Tasmania, Australia

My boyfriend and I spent the ANZAC Day (a public holiday in Australia to remember all those Australian and New Zealanders who died in warfare) long weekend in Tasmania. We flew into Hobart and out of Launceston and spent the four days in between touring mainly the eastern coast of the state. We visited, among other things, the Port Arthur Historical Site, Battery Point and Salamanca Place in Hobart, Freycinet National Park (home of Wineglass Bay), the Bay of Fires, Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake and the Tamar Valley. Tasmania is such a beautiful place – I highly recommend a visit, perhaps more than four days, as we felt that our trip, although it was fantastic, I was unfortunately a bit to rushed. Below are a selection of photographs I took during our road trip.

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Belgium

 

 

A selection of photos taken during a week spent in Belgium, visiting my cousin and great aunt’s and touring this spectacular country. I visited some of the better known town of Bruges and Ghent, as well as some lesser known ones, such as Liege and small towns on the German border, notably Monschau. I was extremely lucky to have a personal travel guide and history buff during the week’s travels (my cousin is a walking encyclopaedia and a lover of road trips), so I received special VIP treatment throughout my stay in Belgium.

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Byron Bay

This was my first visit to Byron Bay and I fell in love with the place. Living in Sydney, almost everyone has been to Byron on several occasions, but it was never a high priority on my must see list, since I have some of the most beautiful beaches at my doorstep. But I have to say I was very impressed with Byron Bay, that is, if you keep off the main beach. Visit beaches such as Tallows and Wategos where you’ll avoid some of the tourist, have a little space to breathe and soak up the beauty of this spectacular part of the eastern coast of Australia.

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Paris

A few friends have recently visited Paris which has made me reminisce about the three months I spent there a few years ago studying French. Although j’ai oublie beaucoup de francais over the years, I still have many fond memories of the time I spent there – the friends I made, the experiences I had and then amazing places I visited. I was browsing through some of the photos I took whilst in Paris, and have decided to share a few of them with you. Paris is such a unique and amazing city – I can’t wait to visit mon vieil ami Paris again sometime soon.
(Please ask if you want any hints and tips on planning a trip to Paris – I lived there for three months and have many suggestions and insider secrets to share).

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No

This film by the Chilean director Pablo Larrain is on my must see list. Not only is it on the official selection for a number of international film festivals, it also has Gael Garcia Bernal in the lead role! Isn’t he just OH EM GEE!!! Historically set in Chile of the late 1980s, during the totalitarian regime, the film is about an advertising executive who creates a campaign to defeat Augusto Pinochet (the Chilean dictator of the time) during the 1988 Chilean referendum. It will be released in Australia tomorrow!

Mostar

The old town of Mostar is absolutely beautiful. I have visited a number of times and am continually amazed by its beauty, and rather sad that is was nearly destroyed during the 1990s Yugoslav conflict. Thankfully, however, it has been well restored to its original state. Particularly the bridge, which once separated the Christian side of Mostar with the Muslim side, was completely destroyed during the war, but recently rebuilt. Wandering through the cobblestone streets takes you back centuries – it almost appears as though little has change in a few hundred years (if  you can imagine away all the tourist paraphilia and  gelaterias dotted around the town). You only need a few hours to soak in Mostar – the old town is very small and easy to navigate. If you’re travelling in the area, it well worth stopping by and saying hello to little Mostar.

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Photography by Jade A Spadina

Porto

One of my favourite cities in the world is Porto. If you liked Lisbon, you’ll love Porto. It’s older, more authentic, more culturally rich, more hip and happening, more artistic – the superlative of everything you love about Lisbon. I lost myself meandering through the streets of Porto – everywhere you look is a picture-postcard scene. The city is absolutely stunning. My photographs below don’t do it justice.

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Cordoba Bed & Be

If you’re travelling through southern Spain, pay a visit to Cordoba, if only to stay at Cordoba Bed and Be. Categorised as a ‘hostel’, and with prices to match, Cordoba Bed and Be is a far cry from your average backpacker hostel. It is more like a boutique hotel. Composed of two imaculately restored apartments, located in a building dated from 1933 and designed by Felix Hernandez, which retain some of their original features, such as hydralic floor tiles, large windows, high ceiling and wooden doors. All rooms have wifi and air conditioning (much needed in the hot summer months in Cordoba). There is also a fully equiped kitchen (where breakfast is ready and waiting for you every morning) and a pleasant living room with an LED television. The entire place is so tastefully decorated that it could easily be featured in an interior design magazine. Every detail is taken care of, from the crisp white sheets, to the antique typewriter in the hallway, the retro light fittings and the carnations placed delicately on the freshly laundered towels.

It is not only the beautiful interiors that make Cordoba Bed and Be a great place to stay, but Jose the host, makes you feel more than at home. Always willing to ablidge and willing the help, he puts a smile on your face and makes your stay unforgettable. For guests he offers evening bicycle and tapas tours around Cordoba, which gives guest an insider’s perspective of this historic and culturally rich town.

The hostel is centrally located on Cruz Conda, in the very centre of Cordoba and only a short walk to the old town, where you can visit the Mezquita (the mosque/cathedral), the Alcazar de los Reyes Christianos (the palace) and the roman bridge. Also, you must visit Cordoba in May during the Festival de los Patios, when many residents of the town open their beautifully decorated patios, which are usually full of flowers in bloom,  for people to visit.

010_op-547x365 012_op-547x365 015_op-547x365 016_op-547x365 019_op-1024x676 021_op-547x365   Images thanks to Cordoba Bed and Be.