Five Suggestions for Hong Kong

Hong Kong may seem a small island, but there is much to do - far too much for one visit alone. When you need a break from exploring all the shopping and food options, here are five suggestions to add to your to do list.

Travelling to The Peak

Simply reaching The Peak on Hong Kong Island is half the fun. Until 1888, the only way there was a three hour ride in a rickshaw; the opening of the Peak Tram saw the travel time reduced to 8 minutes. There is nothing quite sitting in the tram being pulled back into the seat as the tram climbs the impossible inline, which had a gradient from 4 to 27 degrees. A word of advice - arrive early, as the queues can stretch forever. Catching a bus is another option (and a good way to return) which gives quite a sightseeing tour of the exclusive houses and apartments of the Upper and Mid-Levels.

Visit Stanley

I love catching the bus to Stanley, a bay on the far side of Hong Kong Island. Sitting up the top of bus No 6, 6X or 6A, I watch Hong Kong pass as th…

Drifting Down the Danube

For one of the busiest waterways in Europe, the Danube offers many peaceful spots.

In places, quiet houses line the banks, the perfect weekender. The air is filled with the sound of birdsong, and the lap of water.

At every bend of the Danube there stands another church, another ruined castle atop a hill.

Occasionally the villages sell to the size of towns, but peaceful towns, untouched by the troubles of the real world.

Vineyards are everywhere. And in this now-ruined castle above Dürnstein, Richard the LionHeart was once held prisoner.

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My Morning Friend

There’s nothing quite like the sound of a currawong warbling of a morning. It such a melodious sound, a welcoming start to the day.
In spring many birds visit my balcony with their babies, knowing I will leave some food for their breakfast. The currawongs always give me a thank you song in reply.

Summer in London

Having only been to London when the days are short and the sun rarely seen, I was enthralled at the difference in the city under the summer sunshine.

Flowers abounded, on every corner, every lamp post. Buildings were covered in them. In the parks the lawns were dotted with tiny flowers poking their faces to the sky.

I did wonder who cares for these flowers, and where they go during winter. Just where do all these pots of colourful gems come from each summer?

Then there were places like St Dunstan-in-the-East - bombed during the Blitz, now a garden oasis in the centre of London.

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Labelling Corfu

Corfu is a place of contrasts. A brilliant blue sea under blazing sunshine. A centre packed with tourists.
And forgotten mosaics, so delicate.

I love the ethereal nature of this work. I never quite understood Byzantine icons, but in Corfu they finally made sense. Sitting in the Church of St Spyridon, where the remains of Corfu's patron saint are on display, I sat surrounded by incense, and icons glimmered at me in the darkness.

Away from the perennial crowds which flood to the island, are hidden spots. Old buildings, forgotten towers, streets which seem to lead nowhere; Corfu defies labels.

Corfu is a place to wander, and to be lost. Which I managed very easily. Trust me, the map didn't help.

A Few Things I Saw in Budapest

I had too short a time in this magical city. Two cities, really; stately Buda on the hill, and the vibrant Pest which arose on the slat plains by the river.

A morning spent in the luxurious Széchenyi Baths. An opportunity not to be missed, passing my time this Belle Epoch beauty, at times frequented by royalty..

And then there is the shopping. Budapest is famous for its shopping, especially in Pest where anything and everything can be found. A pig in a carriage? No worries.

Finally, the Houses of Parliament. More stunning than any photograph can make them. An amazing piece of architecture, and simply magical when seen at night under a full moon.

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