I’m an Athenian

Athens towards Lycabettos

I’m an Athenian. I first came here in 1980. No other city has ever challenged me so much. It’s richly cultural yet abrasive and tumultuous. I’ve had my fair share of love-hate with the ancient Greek capital. My Athenian-born children spent most of their childhoods in Australia. But I keep coming back. So do they. Many visitors […]

Trash ‘n treasure at Athens Flea Market

Athens Flea Market

Welcome to the Athens Flea Market where ancient, Byzantine and modern glories are all packed into one gloriously overcrowded mishmash. The entrance is on Monastiraki Square, opposite the Tzistarakis Mosque, built in 1759, which now houses the Kyriazopoulos  pottery collection. You might want to start with a freddo cappuccino and get some fruit to snack […]

Amazing island of Andros

Gavrion on Andros

Andros is a Greek island that blossoms in winter, spring and autumn. In winter it’s green, in spring it’s smothered in wildflowers. In summer it tends to get bashed about a bit by the fickle Meltemi winds sweeping the Cyclades. When there’s no wind, it’s damn hot. Another sweltering rock in the Aegean. By summer’s […]

Driving me crazy in Athens

Athens traffic 2

This is a view of Athens in autumn from the Acropolis, looking towards the cone shaped mountain of Lycabettos with the city centre crammed, rather than sprawled, beneath the two pinnacles. How beautiful, you say. The Greek capital in all its Hellenistic glory. Stately neoclassical buildings with red-tiled roofs, autumn sun glinting off white buildings […]

What are the hardest languages to learn?

Acropolis

I was shopping for veges at an Athens urban produce market and in my dodgy Greek I asked for a hot dude, not a lettuce.  If you’re travelling through a foreign language country, or spending some time living there, do you learn the language, at least some useful phrases? Or do you assume English will […]

Posh new cocktails at Raffles Hotel

Singapore Sling cocktail Raffles

A visit to Singapore isn’t complete without posh cocktails at Raffles Hotel. The most famous, of course, is the Singapore Sling. However the bar staff have just come up with a slew of new ones: British India, The Stray Tiger, Fables of the East and Rose & Rickey. More about them soon. Meanwhile, I promise not to be boring. […]

Best and worst liveable cities

Melbourne 1

One of the joys of travelling is finding an exciting new city where you’d like to put down roots for a while. If you’re looking for a criteria, this will help. The latest results of the  2014 Economist Intelligence Unit Liveable Cities survey rank the best and worst liveable cities with Damascus at the bottom […]

Life hacking for women travelling solo

Patagonia Torres del Paine Chile

Here’s my tips for solo women travellers, which include safety and cultural awareness. It’s a big, bad world, but going solo can be a lot of fun.

Things Can Only Get Feta

Marjory McGinn

Read on for the great Greek book giveaway! Two British journalists decide to leave Scotland for Greece, with dog in tow. Just as the economic crisis hits hard. The challenging first year of the adventure, living in a remote hillside village, became a highly entertaining book, Things Can Only Get Feta (Bene Factum Publishing), where […]