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Showing posts with label long haul. Show all posts

Visiting the Floating Torii Gate of Miyajima, Japan

Floating Torii Gate of Miyajima, Japan

Prior to visiting Japan, I didn't know the name of the island that is home to the famous floating shrine. Rather like my visit to Himeji Castle, I knew the emoji symbol and the fact it looked pretty in photos, but it was only with some research that I realised it would be feasible to visit it on a day trip from Osaka, and that the island it lives on is called Itsukushima, but is commonly known as Miyajima.

Hiking the Incredible Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Inside a crevasse on Franz Josef glacier

There's something beautiful about seeing mountains in winter, when the snow is fresh and thick, the skies are blue but the air has a bite. The cold seasons in New Zealand, and especially on the South Island, transform the rolling green landscapes we all know from those films into icing sugar-dusted peaks instead. I was told that 60% of hikes going up onto Franz Josef Glacier are cancelled due to poor weather, so as we drove to the area, my eyes were firmly on the skies.

Three Things to Do in Runaway Bay, Jamaica (That Go Beyond Your All-Inclusive Hotel)

Sunset in Runaway Bay, Jamaica

The contrast between the rural area of Jamaica that my family are from compared to the shiny tourist resorts is staggering. I've said before that the tropical island paradise that is so frequently associated with the country was a stark contrast to what I first experienced when I went to St Elizabeth, but spending a couple of days in Runaway Bay, I saw the shiny, picture perfect hotels that draw people in from around the world.

An Incredible (Budget Friendly) Safari in Kruger Park, South Africa

Elephant seen from safari vehicle

My long haul travels are only feasible because I do them on a budget, but with every one I save a little extra to do something special: a few nights in a nice hotel or eating at an incredible restaurant. For my trip to South Africa, I kept costs low with careful planning specifically so I could go on my first safari.

My Three Favourite Brunch Spots in Melbourne, Australia

Hardware Societe brunch, Melbourne

Brunch has become a staple part of my social life at home in London, but the Australians really nailed it first. I'm not a smashed avo on toast cliché, but early mornings aren't my thing either so this new tradition means a lie-in followed by coffee and carbs, and the people of Melbourne sure do know how to start the day off right.

Where to Find Stunning Coastal Views on South Africa's Garden Route

Knysna Heads, South Africa

Although our journey along South Africa's Garden Route was 1000km long, we covered it all in quite a short period of time. Before setting off from Cape Town, we had some stop-offs planned but took a chance on others depending on how we felt at the time and what our guide books suggested. The route is known for its spectacular views of the South African coastline, so that's exactly what we drove to seek out in between the beautiful little towns we'd found along the way.

Travelling by Ferry Between New Zealand's North and South Islands

View of Marlborough Sounds from Cook Strait ferry, New Zealand

The day I boarded the ferry over to New Zealand's South Island, I wasn't feeling too pretty. A 6am departure meant getting up super early, but it also meant leaving behind beautiful Wellington - a city that I had shown some serious love the night before in the form of many, many gin and tonics. I don't know what it is about boats but they make me much more nervous than planes. A few weeks before I'd travelled on an overnight ferry from Tasmania to Melbourne and remembering those 11 hours of rough seas certainly didn't put my mind at ease.

Traditional Claypot Rice at Four Seasons, Hong Kong

Chicken and mushroom claypot rice

Hong Kong is a city that fascinates me in its juxtaposition of modern and traditional, and there's no expression that shows that any more clearly than in the variety of food available. I've had wonderful brunches in Hong Kong that epitomise western culture, and just like London, they love a food trend (the unicorn toastie was my particular favourite). But I always try and search out traditional meals in Hong Kong too, and claypot rice was a new one for me on my most recent visit.
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review