Athens is old, beautiful and full of history. No fast food stores here, fresh food and lovey people everywhere. So many sights to see – The Acropolis, the first Olympic Stadium, Hadrians Arch, Acropolis Museum and so much more. I enjoy the coffee, café life style of the Greeks. It is easy, old and beautiful. Upon climbing to the top of the hill of the Acropolis you have the whole city spread out before you. It really is a breathtaking sight. You really know you are in Europe when you see sights like this.
What the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, The Grand Canyon is to America and the Opera House is to Sydney the Blue Lagoon is to Iceland. The Blue Lagoon is a MUST see and is one of the main reasons for going to see Iceland, you’ll be missing something very special if you don’t go.
Set in a large black lava field, the milky blue spa is fed by water at a steady and comfortable 38oC from the futuristic Svartsengi Geothermal Power Plant, which provides and off the planted scene setter for your swim.
Strict rituals must be adhered to before you take the plunge , including a shower and a wash down with special shower gel , then it’s off into the murky blue warm waters of the spa , cover yourself with silica mud for an amazing skin treatment – but don’t get it into your hair !!!. Float around or swim in the spa for as long as you like and enjoy the warm calming waters, take time out to reapply the silica mud at the many buckets around the pond, all in a calm and relaxing 38degree.
The day we visited the Blue Lagoon it was -18 degrees , freezing cold ( and by 11.00am the light was just trying to break thru the dark night sky ) but this didn’t matter as we so happily walked out from the warm and dry spa complex into the frozen pools of ice and snow to get to the pool. Placing our robes and towels on the racks provided we spent a fantastic 45 minutes in the warm and relaxing water, covering our faces with the silica mud and having a huge amount of fun.
When it came time to get ready to leave we didn’t think anything of the freezing temperatures above the water – only to realise this when we went to get our robes to walk back into the spa – they had frozen solid to the racks along with our towels .. We then realised we were the only ones this happened to… Yes us Australians do really stand out as tourists … not an issue as we easily got another set and off to the showers to wash off the effects of the silica mud and thermal waters.
This is truly an amazing experience and one we will never forget. It was a wonderful way to end out 3 days in Iceland – a remarkable country full of natural amazement and scenery, wonderful people and a landscape that looks like the moon!
If you would like to know more about Iceland and the packages available – contact me
Paris is so beautiful and every time you go there you see something new and it reminds you of why you need to keep returning. I took a group of students there in January. We went to the Moulin Rouge and they loved the show and were so excited to be in the naughty part of town. It has a great atmosphere and is quite safe to walk around or sit in a café prior to the show.The next night I walked the students up to see the Eiffel Tower light show. It was raining but it didn’t matter as the Eiffel Tower at night is such a beautiful sight. The lights flash and everyone takes photos and enjoys the spectacular view. I was in awe once again. After seeing the light show the students wanted to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. They loved it as Paris was sparking. Paris is amazing. So beautiful, all the sales were on, the bread is fresh, the sights are amazing and it is easy to walk around.
New York is busy, exciting and alive. Staying just of Times Square we walked everywhere even though it was freezing. This time we had cake and coffee at Carlos Bakery and Magnolias and go to skate at the Rockefeller Centre. I even went to a church service in Harlem this time as I happened to be there on a Sunday. It was a long service but a great experience with singing and everyone becoming involved. Times Square was busy as always and the new shops that have opened up there encourage more people to the area. Sitting on the stairs in Times Square is a great way to watch the world go by. Although this year it was getting colder by the minute!!! Winter in New York is beautiful, you just have to make sure you wear sturdy boots, lots of layers and a beanie. We were lucky to escape before the real cold snap hit.
If you want to see something truly mind blowing then come to Hong Kong in GOLDEN WEEK .. This is a national holiday for the mainland Chinese and they all flock to HK … you won’t believe how many people manage to get into this small & wonderful place.
We flew with Virgin Atlantic who were just fantastic , great seats , great food , the crew were happy , friendly and welcoming and with 3 kids an airline with good in seat TV’s and entertainment is a must and Virgin didn’t disappoint the kids , who sat and watched movies and TV show all the way to HK .
We did a split stay 3 nights in Kowloon and 4 nights on HK Island – it was a great mix and while in Kowloon we stayed at the Mira Hotel – a member of the Design Hotel group. If you like design and a cutting edge hotel then this is your place, rooms were good size and staff were fantastic, a great restaurant & funky bar. On HK island we stayed at EAST another design hotel with amazing views over HK harbour , ceiling to floor glass walls in the rooms , a funky bar & restaurant , outdoor pool and spa and best of all its connected to the City Plaza Shopping Centre – 100’s of shops – the best thing was the area is semi business and semi residential and away from all the crowds, there is an MTR stop below the hotel and literally within minutes you are in Central , Admiralty and 20 minutes from the Temple Street Night Markets in Jordan .
HK is a fascinating place, we did a walking tour of Mongkok – the flower markets, the bird markets and wove in and out of the local streets – seeing food shops, local bakeries and got time to walk around a century old monastery.
I’d recommend HK to anyone who wants to experience the perfect mx of East & West, in craziness and organised chaos, who likes good food and interesting sight BUT also likes to shop!