MONTENEGRO - ADRIATIC GEM
The most iconic images of newly-independent Montenegro are of the tiny unspoiled islet of Sveti Stefan – yet the whole country exudes charm. JOY DODDS reports. Famed for its beauty, Montenegro lies on the Adriatic coast between Croatia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Serbia and Albania, a land of rugged mountains and beaches lapped by crystal-clear waters. Its tempestuous past, including its role in Tito’s Yugoslavia, behind it, the fledgling nation enjoys burgeoning prosperity, as the hidden gem of the Adriatic.
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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.
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.
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.
CAPTURED WW1 GERMAN TANK ON EXHIBITION: MEPHISTO is a German A7V tank captured by the 26th Battalion of the Australian Infantry Forces in 1918. One of only 20 originally manufactured, this rare tank is the only surviving one of its kind. Come to Canberra and visit Mephisto at the Australian War Memorial from 27 July, 2015.
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.
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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.
JAKARTA'S OLD BATAVIA: Indonesia is increasingly the flavour of the month with Australian tourists, more than one million of us having visited , a 266% increase, in 2013-14.
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
MELLOW HIGH -COUNTRY WINE REGION: Victoria’s King Valley, which produces some of Australia’s highest altitude wines, offers many similarities with Italy’s northern Trentino-Alto Adige wine region, reflecting its immigrant past
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.
UPPER LACHLAN TRIANGLE: LESS than an hour’s drive from Canberra, this triangle of fertile rural land, bounded by Yass, Gunning and Crookwell, is steeped in history and physical beauty.
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.
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.
CLASSIC SINGAPORE: Pockets of exotic colonial buildings make a refreshing contrast to the islands high-rise development. JOY DODDS reports.
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