Many people will tell you that Budapest is their favourite city in Europe. Perhaps I didn't look hard enough but, after Prague, it seemed less splendid and somewhat dull and jaded
But if you want a cultural experience utterly foreign to the average Australian then accept an invitation to a popular city beach or swimming spot near a major population. This is, to the average Australian beachgoer, as instant coffee is to the Australian coffee snob or as a British national park is to an Australian wilderness area.
Like military intelligence, the living dead, found missing and Microsoft Works, the concept of an undiscovered Mediterranean Island is about as near to reality as Australia being the Clever Country.
To travel through the Balkans is to experience both its beauty and its heartbreak; the people are welcoming but beneath the surface are hundreds of years of brutality and genocide. All played out against a landscape as beautiful as any on earth.
There is no rest in Florence from the madding crowds....except choosing the right time of day and a 20 minute walk away from the city centre. Rules for the Idiot Traveller: anytime before 8 am is a good time to visit tourist spots and any place more than a kilometre from the key tourist attractions is a million miles from the madding crowd.
Somewhere in Corsica you will find the bodies. The poor fools that travelled up the Cap Corse without cash. Ostensibly we are in France a modern, 21st century nation. But not in Corsica. No you are in anti-France where the French are just more foreigners, credit cards are a yet to be discovered means of paying for things or, alternatively, a trick to be played on innocent Corsicans by tourists and the Italians (Genovese) were simply invaders that happened to hang around for a century or four.
Aside from the most obvious perils of traveling overseas such as lost passports, lost cameras, lost phones and lost minds, travel offers one of the great pleasures of life.....And then there is dealing with the BANK......
I leave Berlin for Prague and Budapest, appropriately, from Ostbahn Hof, which used to be the main terminal in East Berlin, before the Wall fell. Like many things in Berlin it's been modernised and scrubbed up, but it seems like an appropriate place from which to head to eastern Europe. For whatever reason these two... Continue Reading →
Ah, Berlin the beautiful, the bold, the brutal, the bizarre.... Everyone told me that Berlin was a great city to visit and they weren't wrong. If only Australian cities were more like Berlin (or indeed other cities in Europe). Bike paths everywhere, masses of green open space, street art, rivers and canals, great museums, car... Continue Reading →