Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Where Have I Been?

Can't believe it's July 2013. Where have the months gone? Still yet to cover four weeks in China, unforgettable New York City, the indescribably awesome Niagara Falls, the power house of America - Washington DC...and then there's the skiing trip to Queenstown...so much to tell...will be back soon with hot spots, travel tips and photos...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Paris Flea Markets

The countdown is on. Admittedly it is a long way off, but come this November 2013 Monty&Me(along with thousands of other locals and tourists) will be strolling through the Paris flea markets in search of that irresistible gem. Earlier this year I uploaded the Keys to the Fleas app onto my iPhone. You can find this flea market information on the net but it is handy to have it stored on your iPhone especially when you are out-and-about in Paris and want to explore different flea markets, check out their locations and confirm open times.

When it comes to markets in Paris there are several good options. My very first trip to Paris was with my parents when I was 17. I have been fortunate to return on a number of occasions since then, each time targeting the markets has been a must. If your time is limited (it is not physically possible  to visit every market as they require and deserve more than just a 30 minutes look-see) first decide on the type of market you want to visit. For example: Do you prefer fresh food markets or trawling through the antiques? Then check location and times open. This will save you running around in circles and chewing up precious, valuable time.

If you have time to do a little research before you go, I've found these links very handy:


Happy market browsing...hope you find something truly wonderful.

Top image: the iPad app as it appears on my phone
Image below: Claudia Strasser (creator of Keys to the Fleas) as it appears on her website psprive.com

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gold Coast HK

Welcome back. It's been a while. It was about a year or so ago that we decided to take a holiday to New York City. One of my wish list destinations. We chose to go via Hong Kong as Man of the Manor had business colleagues living in Central (located on the north shore of Hong Kong Island, across Victoria Harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui, the southernmost point of Kowloon Peninsula). Following our thankfully uneventful flight from Australia to Hong Kong we settled into our hotel, the Novotel. No nasty surprises. It was comfortable and well located. Beaming from cheek to cheek, the Man and I bravely stepped out into the bustle of Hong Kong's Nathan Road (the main thoroughfare in Kowloon, Hong Kong that goes in a south-north direction from Tsim Sha Tsui to Mong Kok.) We had walked only a few metres down the road when we were pounced on by a bubbly young Chinese student, questionnaire in hand. Before we knew it she had us seated in a shuttle bus on our way to the Gold Coast. Seriously? A native Queenslander, I was surprised at such a notion. But yes, there is a Gold Coast in Hong Kong. On our arrival we endured a one hour sales spiel on buying into Absolute Vacations - a time-share holiday abroad concept. Avoid at all costs! We left Nathan Road at 10.30am and didn't return until 2.30pm. (25 mins by taxi each way) Such a waste of our first day in shopping heaven. The upside was winning 7 nights at a resort in Phuket or Costa Del Sol. But you still have to find the airfare to get to these apartments which were located in out-of-the-way places. Needless to say I have no idea where I put that piece of paper that allows us to redeem this prize! On a positive note, it was an experience to see the beach covered in 'imported' sand.

NYC...Washington DC

Ashamedly I haven't blogged for a while. Since I last recorded my wayward meanderings I have been to NYC, Washington DC, spent a day at the falls (Niagara), enjoyed another trip to Hong Kong (squeezing in a quick train trip over the border to Shenzen China), skied New Zealand's white fluffy slopes in all-too-beautiful Queenstown, kicked up my heels in South Australia (from Adelaide to Port Lincoln), as well as a few more destinations which currently escape me. This year Monty and Me (that's Man of the Manor - previously referred to His Lordship - and Yours Truly)are off to Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Spain, Paris and Singapore. Can't wait but it's a long way off yet. In the meantime this Hapless Traveller will upload some favourite photos (in the main taken by Man of the Manor)and post some interesting snippets deemed worthy of sharing...stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This Hapless Traveller

A year has passed and not one blog since January 2011. Why? Time. Motivation. Why do I continue? Because this blog is my way of recording my travels. If someone logs on and reads it...great! If not, c'est la vie. I write it just for fun and for the pure enjoyment of logging my adventures. When I become a little work-weary I log on to remind myself of my life experiences and how lucky I am. My lastest trip last October - 10 beautiful days spent in South Australia. But my favourite journey of 2011 an escape to bustling Hong Kong for a week then, via a very rocky, hideous American Airlines flight, NYC. Oh my god, how I heart that city. Should I win the lotto I would set up two apartments - one in Paris, the other in NYC...
Our first night in NYC fulfilled all expectations...this is the view from our hotel rooftop in Midtown NYC...the city sparkled in all her glory

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brisbane's Behemoth

Call it macabre curiosity but the TV networks were broadcasting too many vociferous messages of doom and gloom for my liking so I clipped the lead to my dog's collar and off we strode to Bartley's Hill on Brisbane's north side to reassure ourselves that the foreboding flood was just another media beat up. The walk was incredibly surreal. There was a pall handing over my suburb...cars silently parked in driveways, homes dimly lit, a distinct lack of children's laughter spilling onto the streets, only the dull pitter patter of constant rain drops falling from the heavens hitting grey cement pavement. Due to the non-stop wet, the pooch had opted to stay indoors these past few days so the walk to the popular scenic vantage point seemed a good idea...for no other reason than to stretch our legs and gain some sort of reassurance and comfot seeing the Brisbane River not breaking its boundary in our little patch although it had already burst its banks in the western suburbs. After being overtaken by a lone, soggy jogger, the pooch and I finally reached our destination which was already occupied by equally curious locals.

The walk had been filled with an ill-fated air of doom and gloom but the site of the city from the top of the hill was even more unsettling. It was pure Hollywood. The sky a murky silver-grey. The river dull, roaring, dangerous and uninviting. The cityscape a Gothem-like creation - eerie and threatening - sadly ill-prepared for the venomous behemoth of distruction yet to strike. It was otherworldly like a scene from Blade Runner with lashings of the blackest Batman movie rolled into one.

Will it be as bad as the 1974 floods? I don't know? I wasn't in Brisbane when it happened...I was a school girl visiting relatives in the UK, oblivious to the havoc reeking throughout our safe city. Tonight is just a taste, they say, of more devastating floods to come. An overpowering wall of water is set swoop down on our city in a day or two. We all hold our breath; our prayers are with those who have lost so much, and for those who are yet to suffer loss.

My wish for 2011 is that this wonderful city survives the worst of it and blossoms in spite of it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

China Syndrome

Unbelievable! Here I was telling everyone within hearing distance to log onto my blog for a regular update on our travels only to discover that blogging was a No No! Simply couldn't get past Big Brother...I was left with no other alternative but to leave my obsession for telling tales until our return. We're now back on Australian soil and over the next few days I will recount my fabulous four-week adventure with His Lordship (HL)...we've travelled from Beijing to Xi'an by train, flown to Wuhan and bused it to the docks on the Yangtze for a four day river cruise, disembarked at Chongqing then flown to Kunming, endured a five hour bus drive to Dali and back again to Kunming, then on we soldiered for a flight to Guilin followed by a cruise down the Li River before disembarking at Yangshou. Then it was back on the bus again to Guilin, a flight to Shanghai before busing it to Suzhou and then Hangzhou before driving back to Shanghai for the end of our tour. It's been a marvellous experience - we've tried all forms of transport from plane, train, bus, rickshaw, and boats (large and small). What has amazed me is my daily daily habits have changed - albeit only temporarily. What habits you may ask? You'll have to read on to find out!

My first blog will start from our Singapore Airlines flight (departing from Brisbane International Airport) and it will be recorded soon...but more importantly I have to get onto blogging my 'bog blog' which I hope to have wrapped up by this evening. It will give you just a taste (pardon the use of this word...) of what HL and I experienced in China...the good, the bad, the ugly, and the fantastic!