Archives for November 2007


Visiting The Somme Battlefields

Next year is the 90th Anniversary of end of World War I, and many travellers will make the pilgrimage to honour the Fallen. An article in The Australian is great overview of the Australian Battlefields and Memorials found in France and Belgium. We visited The Somme region last July, and was struck by what a small area covers so many battlefields. If you are planning a trip to Europe, spare a day to recall their sacrifice.


Travel Photographs – Michelangelo in Italy

This week I’m sharing three photographs to showcase the genius of Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, sculptor, architect and painter:

Michelangelo's-Great-Dome-of St Peter's




Five Cities to Visit this Christmas

Christmas is a cultural explosion in many parts of the world, a time for family, community and faith. That makes it a perfect time to visit another city and immerse your family in the local traditions. For us Southern Hemisphere types, a Christmas up North suddenly puts all those Christmas traditions into perspective.

Here are five Christmas destinations to feed your soul:

London, England

Wake up early Christmas morning, rug up in your Sunday best for Christmas Mass at Westminster Abbey and then enjoy a stroll through the uncrowded streets of London. Plan ahead and book a traditional Christmas lunch at a restaurant or drop into the local pub for a simple meal with the locals. Most businesses and attractions close for 2-3 days but there are seasonal events to keep you entertained like the annual river swim in Hyde Park. Why not take a dip with them?

Berlin, Germany

Christmas markets fill the city and provide a great place to watch Germans at play and enjoy the wonders of hot mull wine and hearty German food. The main Christmas Mass occurs on Christmas Eve at the Berliner Dom and you need to be early to get a seat or try the less crowded Christmas Day service. The markets open after lunch on Christmas Day and the usual attractions open throughout the holidays albeit with some reduced hours.

Rome, Italy

Attend Christmas Mass at St Peters Basilica, even the agnostic feel God’s presence as the Pontiff celebrates Mass above the resting place of Saint Peter (you know someone who actually met Jesus).

Jerusalem, Israel

Join thousands of pilgrims on the trail of Jesus, and visit some of the Holiest places in Christendom. Then remember Jesus’ Hebrew heritage and leave a prayer at the Wailing Wall.

Melbourne, Australia

One for the Northerners, grab a bucket of seafood and an esky (cooler) full of beer and head to the beach for a traditional Aussie Christmas experience. Then on Boxing Day join the faithful at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the Boxing Day Test Match. Christmas will never be the same again.


Cheap Airfares in Australia

Australia is experiencing an unprecedented increase in airlines offering discounted airfares over the last couple of years and it does not look like abating with Tiger Airways joining the fray. Established carrier Qantas held a near monopoly after the collapse of Ansett until Virgin Blue was established to bring the fun and discounts back.

Qantas responded by launching Jetstar as their discount airline, offering fares as low as $49 currently on many popular routes. Tiger Airways is offering fares as low as $39.95 on its routes including Canberra to Melbourne, giving Canberra residents a much needed respite from consistently higher fares than other Australian cities enjoy.

Unlike low cost airlines in other countries (notably Europe), all these carriers operate out of the exact same airports as the major carriers making them an option for internal travel connections to your overseas flight and they may even service your international destination.

Australia is huge country and these discounts are giving travellers an option to get further afield on their visits Down Under without cutting to deeply into the budget.


Jetstar flies into Avalon not Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne.


One Final Journey

My best friend left today.

Her journey long, her companions many,

Fellow travellers called to this trek from every corner.

Their destination, much visited but unknown to most,

A paradise some say but they’re yet to go.

I hope she travels well, and makes new friends

Because I know she is never coming back.


These days will soon be passed but memories I know will last of the times I spent with you.

Chris Bailey, The Saints