Sun – check. Blue water – check. Amazing location – check. I think I’ve found the most incredible place on Earth. This is Amilla, a modern and architecturally designed island resort, plonked on one of the thousands of sandy islands in the Maldives. This is the sister resort to Finolhu where we spent our first couple of nights in the Maldives. Our room is spectacular. It’s the only word for it. Or maybe huge. The view makes it! This is the location for Rebecca’s 40th birthday celebration – which started with watching the sun come up over the water. Then
I’ve always loved beach holidays – the sun, sand and afternoon naps. And the Maldives have always been one of those places where you think “wouldn’t that be nice” bug would probably never happen. I had set the expectation pretty high. Tahiti, where we visited about ten years ago, have since been my favourite holiday destination of all time. I think I’ve got a new number one. The place is amazing. Our first stop is Finolhu. We flew in on a seaplane, flying over countless islands and resorts below. The resort / attol is picture perfect, the view from our over-water bungalow
Before I travelled here, I didn’t actually know a great deal about Sri Lanka. But what a surprise it has been. Our trip here is sadly drawing to a close after 12 says. The last full day started early with another big climb. The prior day it was to the top of Sigiriya, one of the famous sights of the country. However just nearby is the shorter peak of Pidurangala Rock. This rock gives you the postcard view of Sigiriya, which you see in many of the travel guides. Again, it’s recommended to do the climb early in the morning to
Being surrounded by water, Sri Lanka has expanses of amazing coastline, ranging from surfing breaks with golden sand to wild and rugged stretches. The Wild Coast is where the jungle meets the Indian Ocean. It’s here that you will find Yala National Park, known for its leopards. We woke up early this morning for our safari drive into Yala, first taking in a remarkable sunrise over the ocean. It was then on to Yala, just a short drive from where we are staying. There was an interesting array of birdlife – from storks and peacocks, to eagles and little colourful
After a long day and night of travel, and overnighting in Singapore, we flew out to Colombo mid-morning. There was no First Class though. Business would have to do. Slumming it! After a three and a half hour flight, we came in across the coast of Sri Lanka, landing at Colombo. Colombo Airport is an interesting place. The duty free is like you’ve never seen before – washing machines, televisions, blenders. Every whitegood you could ever need, carry across an airport car park and take home. We were met by our driver, Sathana, who started driving us south. The roads
Over the next few weeks I’m expecting to see some amazing places. But one of the things I was looking forward to most was flying First Class for the first leg to Singapore. Let me start by saying we didn’t pay for it, it was all done on points and we had to fly to Melbourne so we could get our First Class experience. We wined and dined in the Qantas First Class lounge having some Neil Perry fare. Then it was on board our Emirates A380 to Singapore. We were like bogan school kids who got to stay at
Being from Sydney it’s actually quite rare seeing the sun go down over the water – normally it’s the suburbs. Sure, we get great sunrises but sunsets are at a much more reasonable time of the day. We went to Adelaide recently for a wedding. Unfortunately I didn’t take my proper camera gear, so this is from a little point and shoot – and admittedly, taken after a belly full of beer at the wedding, and running across the road to the Largs Bay Pier when I saw the colours appearing.
After three weeks, the sun has finally set on our Italian adventure. We decided to see out our time here with a three hour sailing trip around Lake Como. Yes, it was a three hour tour. No, the weather didn’t get rough and the tiny ship wasn’t tossed. We walked to the wharf, through the back streets of Bellagio where we are staying. Once aboard, Carlos, our captain, told us about some of the sights and villas before serving up a huge platter of cheese, meats and sandwiches. And a couple of bottles of wine. We watched the sun go
So his is how the other half live. Big waterfront palaces, seaplanes and helicopters, and a constant stream of tourists gawking into your property to get a glimpse. We are now in Lake Como, about an hour’s train ride from Milan. Lake Como is where some geezer called George Clooney has his summer residence. Apparently he also runs a coffee shop or something. It’s a beautiful area, and reminds me somewhat of Milford Sound in New Zealand, just with hotels, ferries and Americans. The view from our room is impressive to say the least. And we even got fireworks last
This place reminds me of a packet of Fruit Tingles. Burano is an island a couple of kilometres from Venice, a bit further out on the lagoon. The homes there were (apparently) originally painted bright colours so fishermen could spot their homes from the sea. Today, it’s done for the tourists more than anything. We also visited Murano, famous for Venitian glass.
This truly is one of the most photogenic places on Earth. We arrived here after catching a high speed train from Florence. After a bit of mucking around with our accomodation, we finally checked in to our flat. It’s huge! We front onto a canal, in a quieter part of Venice. We are also just a short walk from the Accademia bridge, where I watched the sun come up and go down today. Today we walked around the city, up and down streets, over bridges and somehow ended up not getting too lost in this rabbit warren of a place.
Warning. There’s lots of blue skies, blue water and gelato ahead. We’ve said goodbye to the incredible Cinque Terre area, after spending a day exploring and enjoying the cool blue water. We even managed to find some sand – or what Europeans refer to as sand. We caught a ferry from Riomaggoire to Monterosso, enjoying the coastline. At Monterosso, we cooled off with a dip. It’s not cheap though. €25 for two beds and an umbrella. But again, worth it just to keep your arse off the gravelly beach. It wasn’t quite sand. More like ground up gravel. But better