Aegina Island, the Sleeping Beauty

If you’re in Athens and want to spend some time at the beach, you could take a tram down to Glyfada – it’s a decent option. Better though, take a ferry from Piraeus to Aegina. Aegina is a decent sized island in the Saronic gulf offering  many “typically Greek” attractions: a small traditional port, beautiful sea for swimming and nice beaches, and some ancient culture (Classic and Byzantine in this case). From the centre of Athens, the Metro takes less than 30 minutes to Piraeus, then there...

Where to go in Greece if you love Animals

I like animals. Especially cats. The site of a stray cat evokes strong wishes to pet, feed and water them and if I had my will, humans would be totally outnumbered by cats in our household. But when you travel to Southern Europe (or, in fact, many countries around the Mediterranean Sea), you will find many stray animals, usually cats and dogs, looking at you with those big hungry eyes. I always feel so sorry for them, and I wish I could do something there and then, but...

Visiting Sites on the West Bank of Luxor, and other Luxor Favourites

Luxor Airport was really small, and honestly, not much to shout about. A lot of Nile Cruise tourists would arrive in Hurghada by charter flight. So, forget about public transport from Luxor Airport to the town centre – a taxi it was, and the first shock of haggling a decent price, because as a tourist fresh off a plane, I was easy prey/ very tired and bothered and just wanted to sleep. So it was the next morning before I could really take all this in: I...

Big Island of Hawaii: Kona Coast to Volcano – a leisurely road trip

If you make your own itinerary, and want to go off the beaten track, a car is essential on Big Island. We had booked ours online in Germany, picked it up at the airport (and even though you are in America, a small car is rather small on the Big Island), then set off towards Hilo. There are about three routes from the Kona Coast to Hilo, and ours took us up on the picturesque Mamalahoha Highway, then a right turn onto the Saddle Road. Now, much...

Research Post: Japan Traditional Ceramics Dream Trip ( WARNING: a rather wordy post)

I love Japan, and I love beautiful things. So it comes as a surprise that I have never been deeply into the Japanese art of ceramics. I was lucky enough to visit Japan three times, and every time I would go to one of the small shops in or near Tsukiji fish market and pick up some pretty but inexpensive bowls, sake cups and rectangular plates, or a bento box.  I bought a small vase in a flea market in Himeji and marvelled at its perfectly imperfect...