Fiordland – all good things come to those who wait

Our last sightseeing day before two sea days crossing the Tasman Sea to Sydney was billed as ‘scenic cruising’ in Fiordland. When we rose early and looked out, the scenery consisted of leaden skies, falling rain and mist down to a few metres above the sea. If there were any majestic cliffs out there, they … Continue reading Fiordland – all good things come to those who wait

Yes Auckland I’m impressed

Subtitle - and you didn’t even have to try. Some places eventually get into your affections. Some never do. Others irritate and jar. And then occasionally you turn up somewhere, head out to see what’s about, think ‘hey, this is cool’ and you’re sold. Effortless. That was Auckland for me today. We pulled into port … Continue reading Yes Auckland I’m impressed

A warm welcome in Fiji – from the people at least!

As we rose and looked out on the approaching islands of Fiji, the scene wasn’t quite as imagined. Rather than sun kissed palm fringed beaches we could see leaden skies, steady rain, a rather industrial looking port ahead and some ominous shipwrecks surprisingly adjacent to our starboard bow! It was more akin to sailing in … Continue reading A warm welcome in Fiji – from the people at least!

Tahiti – should travel really be this easy?

Now it’s not that my backpacking days are well and truly over. They never really happened. I didn’t travel extensively when I was young - no family holidays abroad, no gap year of Inter-rail with my schoolmates. I did have the good fortune to travel in my twenties and thirties but it was mainly to … Continue reading Tahiti – should travel really be this easy?

Later Florentine palazzos

So, we’ve seen some of the quattrocento palazzos which typified the family rivalries rife in Florence at the time. But what happened next...? For once, artistic licence trumped politics, and aesthetics took centre stage. A stylistic rivalry developed between an ongoing ‘Florentine style’ and one being developed and championed in Rome. How much Florence became … Continue reading Later Florentine palazzos