Travel

100 greatest travel experiences: what are yours?

 
Tasty Cambodian treats

Travel is about meeting new people, discovering new places and new parts of yourself and seeing the wonders of the world, while contributing positively to the people you meet and the places you are lucky enough to experience. Travel isn’t about …

Japanese restaurant owner invests £42/$65 a slice on tuna sushi

 

Whopping tuna catch in Tokyo

A Japanese restaurant owner ignored the global recession and shelled out a staggering 56.49 million yen (£476,082/$736,500) on a  269-kilogramme (592-pound) tuna fish in the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market.

At those prices, a single slice of the highly regarded blue-fin tuna could cost 5000 yen (£42/$65) but the sushi restaurant owner said it will be priced at a more reasonable 418 yen (£3.50/$5.40), despite western countries calling for a ban on fishing of the endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna.

Tips for a wonder-filled break in Rome

 

The Coliseum, Rome

Rome is a wonder of the world. Literally! Every corner you turn there is an architectural wonder, a gastronomic wonder, a religious wonder, a wonder of ancient Rome, or a view to wonder at (romantically or otherwise). However, if you are only visiting for a short break be sure to not try and cram in too much. If you do, things will pass by in the blurr, you’ll wear yourself out, and you will not appreciate one my favourite things to do in Rome – wandering the cobbled streets of the Centro Storico or Trastevere areas drinking coffee (or prosecco), snacking on arancini, and stumbling across yet another enchanting church.

Children are not a tourist attraction

 

Happy kids in CambodiaThings are not always as theys eem when you’re travelling. That dodgy-looking road-side cafe actually serves up the tastiest food. A bargain is often not and whan you work it out later you’ve been ripped off. Or that short cut ends up taking you all day. But some things have a more sinister side to them and deserve more of your attention, and visiting an orphanages in Cambodia definitely does. For more info see this blog: www.jeanloncle-photographe.com/?p=1066

Ye Olde, er, Japanese tearooms … in the middle of the English countryside!?

 

Looking for a quirky twist in the middle of the English countryside? Well, East meets West right here in the middle of Cotswolds Life with the Japanese family-run English tea rooms, The Olde Bakery Tea Shoppe, named Les Routiers Café of the Year 2005, Wales & The Marches.

Owned and run by the Miyawaki family, and housed in a Grade II listed building, award winning cream tea, afternoon tea, cakes and pastries are served up in a traditional English setting in the beautiful town of Winchcombe.

Kendal call me call me anytime call me

 

Kendal Calling won best small festival of 2010 and in 2011 it was still small and perfectly formed. I much prefer small festivals, so that everything you do is not a mission … as is the case at somewhere like Glasto. Although the weather was scorchio on Friday and Saturday, being in the Lake District it inevitably became chilly with nightfall but it only took us 10 minutes to walk from the main arena to the tents to pick up the evening’s accessories.  Besides the main stage, hosting diverse acts like Blondie, the Lancashire Hotpots and Chase & Status, there were tents catering for drum and base, urban jazz, comedy, house, kiddie activities, and my highlight – a northern soul dance class. Plus food from every corner of the globe had made it to Cumbria so at lunchtime I picked a spot in the sun overlooking the main stage, which I didn’t have to fight for, and enjoyed a plate of nasi goreng, or falafel, or a full Indian thali, which I barely had to queue for. 

Benvenido a Miami

 

Will Smith’s party tune, Welcome to Miami, became my personal anthem for our big American road trip.

I sang it silently in my head in the queue for the aeroplane, hummed it as we picked up the Mustang and sang out very loud as we drove along en a 2000 mile route towards Miami.  Will told us to: ‘Party in the city where the heat is on. All night on the beach ‘till the break of dawn’. And we took his advice!

Florida road trip of a lifetime

 

Mustang Jo now baby

We’d been talking sometime about a road-trip across the States. The usual had come up: the north to south California coast road; east to west coast; and the infamous Route 66. Too predictable, too far, too obvious. If we were going to go to the States, we wanted to just make our own journey. And I wanted some nature, the great outdoors. Plus some of that musical Hispanic culture of Cuban dissidents and Latino immigrants. My partner requested roller coasters, shower facilities and the occasional cold beer.

N’awlins – that’s New Orleans to you and me

 

Apparently I am a disgrace, terribly unpatriotic and should be drowned in the Mississippi….. for leaving my country on the day of the biggest and most important wedding in history. A debatbale point of view but one which many Americans were quick to share with me because, on 29 April 2011, I was in New Orleans for a wedding much closer to my heart; that of my friend Erin (we met on the terrace of a bed bug-ridden filthy hole-of-a-hotel in Taipei and consoled ourselves, for having trusted Lonely Planet’s recommendation, by drinking enough tall boys until we didn’t mind that you had to put your hand right inside the grimy cistern in order to flush the toilet). And I think Rosy’s Jazz Hall is a much better location for a wedding than Westminster Abbey anyway.

80:80 World Refugee Day 20 June 2011

 

Deadly Discrimination – not just a case of sexist tea-making policies 

Did you know: 80% of the world’s refugees are women and children fleeing violence, persecution, starvation, slavery and sexual exploitation. What’s more, the poorest nations are hosting 80% of the world’s forcibly displaced population, while richer countries close their borders. So, on World Refugee Day 2011 I thought it apt to resurrect an article I wrote back in 2003, regarding the plight of women around the world (the tea-making refers to my own battle at the time, where the female teachers in the Japanese staff rooms were always expected to jump up and make tea).