CARIBBEAN MAGIC - CUBA
THERE is nowhere quite like Cuba. The island pulsates with energy – in its Old World Spanish traditions, its music, its dance and its outdoor adventure. JOY DODDS reports. While neighbours Jamaica and the Bahamas buzz with Western hype grafted onto a Caribbean base, Cuba remains very much as it did at the time of the 1959 revolution when Fidel Castro’s revolution established a Soviet-style society.
LATEST NEWS
SPARTA'S PAST NOT TO BE MYTH-ED: JOY DODDS discovers a seamless blend of the ancient and modern in Historic Greece. SPARTA – the very name epitomises Homeric daring, valour and resilience. But what of today’s Sparta? Its setting is just as dramatic as its past, broodingly located among the high mountains and deep gorges of the Greek Peloponnesus.
PORT-SIDE ON RIO DUORO: THE world’s oldest demarcated wine region, the terraced Duoro Valley, leads upstream to historic Salamanca in Spain, both UNESCO-designated treasures. JOY DODDS reports.
BLACK SEA CRUISING: LOOKING or a cruise with a difference? The Black Sea is one of cruising's best-kept secrets, a perfect antidote to the increasingly overcrowded Caribbean and Mediterranean, writes JOY DODDS. The Black Sea laps up against Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, land is inked to the Aegean/Mediterranean by the Bosphorus.
TAKE A NIGHT RIDE: With a Eurail Pass, rail travel is convenient and economical. What’s more, travelling on night trains makes a great alternative to costly hotels. JOY DODDS reports. Train travel throughout Europe is a breeze with comprehensive rail networks, covering legendary scenic routes and high-speed/express trains that are efficient and affordable.
THE CALM BEFORE THE VOYAGE: It's 11pm on the Chinese Lunar New Year and the competent, friendly staff of the Mercure Sydney International Airport Hotel are checking in some late arrivals.
ORVIETO – SLOW CITY ON THE ROCKS: Orvieto’s tufo and labyrinth of caves have shaped its independent identity, its Etruscan altars and relics – and the character of a renowned white wine, writes JOY DODDS.
CRUISING
AMALFI ALLURE: Cruising the Amalfi Coast offers spectacular scenery and magical land excursions, as Mt Vesuvius hovers above. JOY DODDS reports.
NEW DANUBE FRONTIERS: Cruising the Danube has taken on a new dimension, extending beyond Hungary’s Budapest into Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. JOY DODDS reports.
ANGKOR AWAY: The Mekong is real life – its banks stacked with visual delights from floating villages and longboats to serene temples and orange-clad monks. JOY DODDS reports.
WESTERN CIVILISATION'S WATERWAY: The Rhône, a jewel in European river cruising, carries a sense of history from Ancient Greek and Roman times, linking deliciously captivating landscapes along its banks. JOY DODDS reports.
BRATISLAVA - DANUBE’S RISING STAR: WHILE lesser-known of the European ports of call, Bratislava’s Stary Mesto (Old Town) is becoming a ‘hot spot’. JOY DODDS reports.
PACIFIC PEARLS: The islands of the Pacific are like the pearls for which they are famous - small yet precious archipelago strings, their natural lustre embellished by small bespoke cruising and the absence of mass tourism.
THE CROSSROADS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN: The Maltese Islands cover only 300sqkm yet across 7000 years they have packed a pre-historic, medieval and 20th century punch. JOY DODDS reports.
TURKEY – MORE THAN AN ANZAC PILGRIMAGE: While unprecedented numbers of Australians will head to Gallipoli (Gelibolu) and Anzac Cove, near Canakkale, to make a pilgrimage to the 1915 landing place and the poignant cemeteries to
VENICE OF THE NORTH: THE former capital of Russia, St Petersburg is unlike any other Russian city and a historic and cultural gem. JOY DODDS reports.
DANUBE SUPERSTAR: Arriving by river, visitors are mesmerised by the sheer grandeur of Budapest and its civic and cultural resilience. JOY DODDS reports.
FRENCH-KANAK PARADISE IN THE PACIFIC: Not surprisingly, Australians are visiting New Caledonia, our closest Melanesian destination, in unprecedented numbers, with a 15% increase in 2014 over the year before. JOY DODDS reports.
THE BASQUE COAST: The Côte Basque is a colourful mix of history, people and cultures where old-fashioned elegance tangles with surfer culture, all with such joie de vivre, as JOY DODDS discovered.
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