Between a rock and a hard place for Greece

Greeks say NO! Chania, Crete 1

Not too far away from where you’re enjoying your Greek vacation, locals may be protesting and lining up half the night to get paltry amounts of cash out of ATMs. They’re also bracing for tough choices in Sunday’s referendum, a climactic vote in the longstanding debt crisis. Banks say they have a €1bn cash buffer […]

Travel tips as Greek debt crisis deepens

Santorini, Greece,

Bring €, don’t panic You’re probably not thinking about much while you anticipate your sexy sunny Greek holiday. But here’s what is really going on behind the caffe freddo on the island of your dreams. Or that cold beer in Glyfada on the “Athenian Riviera”. The protracted Greek debt crisis is coming to a head, […]

Provençal markets take the cake

Aix en Provence markets 8

I get excited about Provençal markets the way other people get excited about Louboutin and Chanel. While they gasp over the perfect jacket or shoes with a shiny red-lacquered sole, I swoon at the sight of pumpkins, sheep cheese and cabbage plants. I’m missing out on haute couture and they’re missing nature’s bounty while our fragile planet […]

300 years of Wine O’Clock in the Rhône

Château Les Quatre Filles

It’s exactly 300 years since these 40 acres on the baking hot floor of the Rhône Valley were first settled for the purpose of producing wine. In 1715 the Granier family decided this was a good spot, and planted vines. I’m in the Château Les Quatre Filles vineyard in the south of the valley. From […]

Aegina day trip to another world

Aegina 2

I meet a fellow Athenian who’s lived in the Greek capital for over 35 years, and yet she’s never been to the island of Aegina. “I hear it’s nice,” she said. I gulp and blink. If you’re standing on the Acropolis looking out to sea, Aegina resembles a smoky blue, slumbering whale of mythical proportions. There’s […]

Explore Catalonia’s cava and castles

Explore Catalonia

Fellow travel blogger Josie Schneider and husband Conrad have created a small, personal tour to explore Catalonia, titled A Cava and Castles Experience.  Josie is a go-to expert on housesitting around the world, sharing her knowledge at housesittingtravel.com . Recently Catalonia has become the preferred niche for the Michigan couple.  The northern Spanish region has also recently captured […]

Athens street art will open your eyes

Athens street art

Athens street art has moved way beyond graffiti into powerful social expression. It’s provocative and evocative. There’s no denying the talent. Most artists started out as teenagers doing what teens do – tagging trains and walls. Now they’re even students at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Recently the City of Athens sponsored some of the better work […]

Italian Joy by Carla Coulson – giveaway

Italian Joy by Carla Coulson 6

WHO: Australian Carla Coulson left her corporate job and Sydney life to start a new life in Europe as a photographer. In her first book, Italian Joy, she describes the joys and hardships of her first five years, spent living in Florence. WHAT: More than a decade after Italian Joy  was published, it has been reprinted into a […]

Coffee snobbery dissolved in an instant

coffee beans 2

“Damn, you people take coffee seriously,” said the visiting American staying in our apartment. We do. So so seriously. Especially in our state capital cities. We spend more time in cafes, buy more fancy home coffee machines than we used to and buy more coffee beans than we used to. We love it when visitors […]

Home stay or hotel?

airbnb

Airbnb and other home stay companies allow travellers to stay in frugal or fantastic accommodation all over the world. The concept opens up destinations to people who couldn’t otherwise afford it (yes, that’s me), and to people who want to engage with communities and cultures at a grassroots level. Is that you? The idea of […]