Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine, nowhere else in the world have I seen colours similar to outback Australia. Red earth, blackened trees and a beautiful blue sky.
I took three Japanese students, Yukako, Megumi & Noriko & travelled from the Gold Coastin Queensland, through Broken Hill NSW to Cooper Pedy on the first leg of our journey on the way to Uluru aka Ayers Rock.
The girls started clapping wildly when they saw the kangaroo sign so you can imagine how excited they were when they saw a live one.
Here we are in Coober Pedy
You know when you are near the town when you see all the mounds of dirt & gravel.
OK, what are we waiting for?
Let’s go & check out this underground village.
My trusty Holden Commodore was our transport on our marathon journey all through the Australian Outback we traveled 7,300 kilometers which was around 82 hours behind the wheel.
Mini mountains everywhere
Coober Pedy is a town in northern South Australia, 846 km north of Adelaide. The 2011 census showed its population was 1,695 (953 males, 742 females, including 275 indigenous Australians). The town is sometimes referred to as the “opal capital of the world” due to the quantity of precious opals that are mined there.
Men at work
This was our first indication of work happening around the mines.
Blue Sky Red Earth Coober Pedy Opal Mine
As you can clearly see not all the people live underground.
Opal capital of the World
There are quite a few opal shops, restaurants and a variety of accommodation ranging from four star to backpackers and caravan/camping areas.
Surfers Paradise Road Trip South Australia reminds me of the last frontier and a great road trip I took in 2003. Three Japanese students, Yukako, Megumi & Noriko & I travelled from the Gold Coastin Queensland, through Broken Hill NSW to Coober Pedy in South Australia, a fascinating opal mining town where most of the population live in underground houses, then on to Ayers Rock and back home to the Gold Coast via Hervey Bay where we went whale watching. On our marathon journey all through the Australian Outback we traveled 7,300 kilometers which was around 82 hours behind the wheel.
The above photo is at Tenterfield on the New England Highway.
This famous Australian singer son writer was born in Tenterfield. For a discounted room rate just book through THIS LINK.
Listen to Peter sing one of his famous songs about the Tenterfield sadler.
The first stage
Across NSW to South Australia.
In the middle of NSW
Our first day on the road, we will overnight in Broken Hill.
Trades Hall in Broken Hill.
The Trades Hall is Broken Hill’s most historically important building.
Broken Hill in outback NSW.
Broken Hill over 1,100 km (680 mi) west of Sydney and surrounded by semi-desert.
For a very good discount on a Broken Hill hotel just book through THIS LINK.
Typical outback building
In the 19th and early 20th century Broken Hill was home to a community of Afghans. Afghans worked as camel drivers in parts of outback Australia, and they made a significant contribution to economic growth when transport options were limited. The camel drivers formed the first sizeable Muslim communities in Australia, and in Broken Hill they left their mark in the form of the first mosque in NSW (1891).
Wilmington South Australia
Wilmington is a farming community, known for sheep, wheat and barley, but more recently for the planting of olive groves.
Wilmington is 305 kilometres north of the state capital, Adelaide.
This was at Byron Bay near the start of our journey.
Such lovely young girls, Noriko Megumi & Yukako. Thanks for visiting my Surfers Paradise Road Trip South Australia photo blog. Next stop is Coober Pedy.
Santa Monica Rodeo Drive Los Angeles were regular stop off points for me between 1998 & 2005 on my way to Rio di Janeiro. My inspiration to pull out these old (poor quality early digital) photos came from watching Billy Bob Thornton in the series Goliath, which of course was shot in Santa Monica.
My great friend Denise McKay
Denise was the main reason to stop in L.A., we met when she was living on the Gold Coast & continued our friendship for a number of years after she moved back to the U.S.A.
Sadly this mural is not there anymore however the photo remains a favourite of mine.
Denise dressed to blend in with the wall. 🙂
She is one of those ladies who always looks terrific,
Lunch at Fisherman’s wharf Marina Del Ray
We had the restaurant to ourselves. 🙂
At least it will wash of in a week or so.
The only tattoos I like are the ones that wash off. 🙂
I can’t remember where I parked my car.
Oh! here is is. 🙂
Yellow matches my Mercedes Sports at home. 🙂
Classy neighbourhood & classy lady. 🙂
Back to Santa Monica
Outside the New York Deli which was one of my favourite places to eat, sadly I believe it closed in 2010.
The Central Garden at the Getty Center
There were more than 500 varieties of plants used in the landscaping of the Central Garden.
Patrezia from Salerno
We hooked up with this crazy Italian lady from Salerno, she was a lot ot fun. 🙂
Denise & Petrezia
We had a bit to talk about as it was only a year ago when I was in Salerno.
Farewell from Santa Monica in February 1999.
Had a great time with Denise in Santa Monica now it was time to head to Rio di Janeiro for Carnival. Thanks for visiting my Santa Monica Rodeo Drive Los Angeles photo blog.
Contemplating life beyond 2000 after just completing a huge around the world trip with Tony Murphy & John Martin aka Pothole. The fabulous trip began in November 1999 in Los Angeles then on to Miami, Mexico City, Bolivia, San Paulo, Rio di Janeiro, Salavador, Paris, Bangkok & finishing in Koh Samui.
Consequently I really expected 2000 to be a bit of a let down, after all how do you recover after a two month trip like that one?
The photo above was in Sydney for Pothole’s 50th birthday on February 1st. That’s our good mate Paul Slaughter with the glasses & the lovely Kathy who was Pothole’s girlfriend at the time. He was punching way above his weight as you can clearly see. 🙂
Sadly I was as well.
Punching above my weight also with an Italian princess I met & fell for in Koh Samui.
Her name was Barbara Manelli, however to me she will always be “Gypsy”.
Consequently in March I headed to Florence to see if there was any future pursuing this gorgeous creature. I soon found out that a brief tropical island fling was soon forgotten back in Italy. 🙂
Italy to Australia via Bangkok
I figured there was only one way to fix a broken heart & that was a week in Bangkok on the way home. 🙂
The usual suspects, John Moon, Jim Bell aka “HO HO”, & John “Secrets” Sinclair.
Secrets at Main Beach.
Here is John with one of the gorgeous Main Beach waitresses.
The dreaded black list.
Over the years Secrets has always had a black list of people who have been guilty of some indiscretion of which he has not approved of. I have been on & off the list a few times over the years, now in February 2017 I am, with quite a few others, most certainly firmly back on the list. Consequently to commemorate this honour I designed a T shirt & Pothole has arranged to have them printed. 🙂
World’s 30 tallest Skyscrapers I borrowed from MMK at Architecture & Design which is an online magazine. I would like to thank him for compiling this wonderful list with such great photos.
Number one above is located in Dubai, UAE Height: 828 m; 2,717 ft
These pictures were taken by German photographer Bjoern Lauen.
Shanghai Tower 02. (under construction)
Located in Shanghai, China Height: 632 m; 2,073 ft
Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel 03.
Located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia Height: 601 m; 1,971 ft
One World Trade Center 04. World’s 30 tallest Skyscrapers.
Located in Downtown New York City, USA Height: 541.3 m; 1,776 ft
Taipei 101 05. World’s 30 tallest Skyscrapers.
Located in Taipei,Taiwan Height: 509 m 1,670 ft
Shanghai World Financial Center 06. (left one)
Located in Shanghai, China Height: 492 m 1,614 ft
International Commerce Centre 07.
Located in Hong Kong,Hong Kong Height: 484 m 1,588 ft
Petronas Tower 1 & 2 08.
Located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Height: 452 m 1,483 ft
Zifeng Tower 09.
Located in Nanjing, China Height: 450 m 1,476 ft
Willis Tower 10. (Formerly Sears Tower)
Located in Chicago, USA Height: 442 m 1,450 ft
Kingkey 100 11.
Located in Shenzhen, China Height: 442 m 1,449 ft
Guangzhou International Finance Center 12.
Located in Guangzhou, China Height: 440 m 1,440 ft
Trump International Hotel and Tower 13.
Located in Chicago, USA Height: 423 m 1,389 ft
Jin Mao Tower 14. (in front)
Located in Shanghai, China Height: 421 m 1,380 ft
Princess Tower 15. (the tallest one)
Located in Dubai, UAE Height: 414 m 1,358 ft
Al Hamra Firdous Tower 16.
Located in Kuwait City, Kuwait Height: 413 m 1,354 ft
2 International Finance Centre 17.
Located in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Height: 412 m 1,352 ft
23 Marina 18. (tallest one)
Located in Dubai, UAE Height: 395 m 1,296 ft
CITIC Plaza 19.
Located in Guangzhou, China Height: 391 m 1,283 ft
Shun Hing Square 20.
Located in Shenzhen, China Height: 384 m 1,260 ft
Central Market Project 21. (under construction)
Located in Abu Dhabi, UAE Height: 381 m 1,251 ft
Empire State Building 22.
Located in New York City, USA Height: 381 m 1,250 ft
Elite Residence 23.
Located in Dubai, UAE Height: 380.5 m 1,247 ft
Tuntex Sky Tower 24.
Located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan Height: 378 m 1,240 ft
Central Plaza 25.
Located in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Height: 374 m 1,227 ft
Bank of China Tower 26.
Located in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Height: 367 m 1,205 ft
Bank of America Tower (NY) 27.
Located in New York City, USA Height: 366 m 1,200 ft (only 1 meter shorter than Bank of China Tower)
Almas Tower 28.
Located in Dubai, UAE Height: 363 m 1,191 ft
The Pinnacle 29.
Located in Guangzhou, China Height: 360 m 1,181 ft
SEG Plaza 30.
Located in Shenzhen, China Height: 356 m 1,168 ft
Once again I would like to thank and acknowledge MMK at Architecture & Design which is an online magazine. Many thanks for compiling this wonderful list with such great photos and allowing me to borrow them for my World’s 30 tallest Skyscrapers photo blog.
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Santa Cruz Bolivia sits by the Pirai River in the lowlands east of the Andes Mountains. My little adventure took place in 1999 when I flew from Sydney via Las Vegas to Santa Cruz before visiting Iguazu falls. After the fabulous falls I met friends in Sao Paulo before heading for Rio de Janeiro.
It was 1999 and my first digital camera took rather poor photos.
How lucky was I?
I was met at the airport by Dalia a gorgeous 23 yo Bolivian who I had met in a chat room on the internet. Actually I met her friend who could speak English which Dalia could not. So now you know the reason Santa Cruz was on my itinerary.
Dalia’s friend Coral
Coral was the go-between for meeting Dalia.
Apologies again for the poor quality photos.
Dinner in Santa Cruz with Coral and Dalia’s son Tony.
Everybody I met in Santa Cruz were such nice friendly people. Here is Dalia’s mother and son Tony.
Dalia looking very good in her orange bikini.
Typical Santa Cruz street
Some parts of the city are quite modern, this however is not one of those parts.
Santa Cruz church
Like most South American cities there are plenty of churches.
Going for lunch in Santa Cruz
From memory I think I actually ate an Armadillo for lunch.
Dinner is served
It’s certainly not the Ritz but from memory I think the food was OK.
Very friendly people
Everybody was very friendly, many of the places my friends took me were off the beaten track.
Santa Cruz shops
Some of the buildings were a little more modern.
Here is Kelly Caballero anther gorgeous girl I had met online before I began my great adventure. I still see her on Facebook now in 2016.
Back to Dalia
After my little diversion with Kelly Dalia & I made plans to head for Brazil.
Dalia in Santa Cruz Bolivia
Ok let’s get a passport and a ticket for the death train. The “death train” (so named because of its history in transporting Yellow Fever victims) runs on bumpy tracks from Santa Cruz to Corumbá on the Brazilian side.
Catching some shut-eye on the Death Train.
Dalia sleeping peacefully on the way to Quijarro.
After leaving the train we walked across the border then took a taxi to the Brazilian immigration office, and that’s where my problems began. I was suspicious when they had my passport and wanted to see a credit card to ensure I had enough money to exist on in Brazil. I knew I was in trouble when they went to another room and came back 5 minutes later to give me my passport and credit card back.
Sure enough a week later my credit card was cancelled as there had been $14,000 spent on it all over Brazil. Everything was sorted out when I returned to Australia and I received a replacement card.
Thanks for visiting my Santa Cruz Bolivia photo blog.
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Melbas Gold Coast Legacy is a huge part of Surfers Paradise folklore. Here is my photo record spanning over 25 years showing my friends and I having fun at this iconic nightclub and bar in Surfers Paradise. In the early 80s it was also one of the best restaurants due to the expertise of owner/manager the late great Paul Allen.
My Melba’s three L scenario, Legends were made, Lies were told, Ladies were pursued. 🙂
This is not a travel blog just a personal photo collection from Surfers Paradise Australia.
New Years Eve 1990 Melbas Gold Coast Legacy
On the left is Tony Fazio who was manager at the time, now living in Perth I believe, on the right is Steve Jones one of the legendary bouncers who sadly passed away far too young, RIP.
Adam & Eve
Actually it is David and I think her name was Amanda but don’t hold me to it. A cocktail waitress who was a very sexy lady.
Dinner before we hit Melbas
In those days there was a Japanese restaurant next door where I regularly had dinner before hitting the club. Melbas was only on the 2nd floor then, downstairs was all shops.
Paul’s son Dave Allen part of Melbas Gold Coast Legacy
Dave is a terrific guy, in 1990 he was working behind the bar, in later years he was General manager.
Another New Years Eve around 90/91
Harley Bradstreet one of my greatest long time friends, no Melba’s blog would be complete without him. For a while in the 90s he was actually one of the chefs there, it’s still unknown how many diners were rushed to hospital after eating one of his creations, forgive me mate I’m only joking.
A mutual friend of ours Southport solicitor Larry Wilson coined a famous phrase regarding Harley, he said “anyone can have a bad decade”. That really summed it up beautifully, I often used to refer to this great little guy as my own personal disaster area, but a nicer guy than you could never meet. Narrelle with the great smile worked behind the bar and was Tony Fazzio’s main squeeze at the time, a few years later I recall introducing her to her future husband, Jack Delanty, a one eyed Collingwood supporter from Melbourne.
July 7 1992
July 7 1992 was my birthday so naturally we celebrated at Melbas. Great friend Andre Buzek on the left was dentist on Chevron Island who was always offering cut price dental work to any sexy young lady who crossed his path. Sadly Andre lost his life in a car accident in Cuba about 4 or 5 years after this photo was taken.
Greg Johnstone on the right now lives in Thailand as I do, we occasionally have a beer together. At the back are Roger Williams and Len Jones, Roger went back to Adelaide and Len now lives in Sydney, the name of the girls eludes me.
A very happy bunch of people
The young guy at the back is Justin, another one of Paul Allen’s sons.
The legend himself in 1992
Paul was larger than life and ran Melbas with an iron fist. I originally met him when he was head waiter at Eliza’s restaurant in Cavil Avenue. Two of his customers financed Paul into Melbas around 1981, they saw potential in the way Paul interacted with customers and figured he could develop the best restaurant night club on the coast, they were right.
I vividly recall my first visit on January 1st 1982, we had a huge night on Sydney harbour on New Years Eve which ended at dawn, so on the spur of the moment we flew to the Gold Coast checked into St Tropez in Orchard and wound up at Melbas that evening.
At the start Melbas was 75% restaurant and 25% night club separated by a glass wall. Even though the restaurant was top class each passing year saw it get smaller and the nightclub bigger until it disappeared altogether.
January 1982 a couple of days after we arrived the party continued on the Gold Coast. The new sexy girl in the middle was “Kitty” a totally uninhibited Dutch girl who I knew from Sydney, but that’s another story. 🙂 Helen Burke on the right was soon to become my new girlfriend, in November 2014 I visited her at her winery at Dromana in the state of Victoria, my how time flies when you are having fun. The big guy is Graham La Roche aka “the Biff”, a legend in his own lunch time.
Lets jump forward to the year 2000
One of Paul Allen’s rules was to hire the best looking girls to work behind the bar, in my book the best of them all was Aurora. She is definitely part of Melbas Gold Coast Legacy.
The usual suspects Xmas 2000.
From the left we have Jim Bell, John Sinclair, David Herd and Tony Murphy. Jim rented a room in my home for 15 years from 1995. John moved to Thailand around 2001 and Tony still lives on the Gold Coast.
Xmas 2000 and kerry was one of the head girls, I first met her when she was a waitress at the Boardroom, a well known Southport gentlemen’s club. From memory after Melbas she moved to Koi at Broadbeach, a lovely lady with a great personality.
A definite highlight in 2000
One of the most gorgeous ladies I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, Skye Edwards from Launceston.
Skye-Jilly Edwards (born c. 1972) is an Australian beauty pageant titleholder who won the Miss Globe International 1994 in Istanbul, Turkey and represented her country in the Miss World 1994 pageant in Sun City, South Africa. She was rated in the top 50 models in Australia by Ralph Magazine.
Perfect except for one small thing
Yes, Skye was a smoker, come to think of it so was I in 2000. I finally quit for good 2 years later.
You could always guarantee the best eye candy on the coast would wind up at Melba’s on Melbourne cup day.
The Butterbean Brothers in 2005
Two legends in their own lunch time, the Butterbean brothers aka Larry Krausz & Ross Kennedy. Larry just moved to Pattaya on November 28 2015 and is now my neighbour. (Sadly our buddy Larry passed away in January 2017 after suffering a major stroke in Thailand October 28th 2016) Rossco originally from Melbourne where he sold hot dogs outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and is now a mover and shaker on the Gold Coast. He quit his holdings in Surfers Paradise strip clubs and restaurants to become the glass splash-back Kingof the Coast. We have a long & happy history together with the highlight being a legendary road tripto Sydney, Falls Creek & Melbourne in 1996. What an incredible year 1996 was, read all about it here.
December 2003 Xmas lunch.
Sadly two old friends in this photo have passed away. Second from the left Ron Collier died April 26 2012. I first met Ron in Melbourne in the 70s before he & Yvonne moved to Byron Bay, a great character who loved life to the max. Second on the left is Noel Smith a regular Melba’s customer who passed away in 2011.
Graham La Roche aka “The Biff”.
A true Aussie legend, I also met Graham in Melbourne in the 70s, as his nickname suggests he was a hell of a fighter. Fought with the famous Jimmy Sharman’s boxing troupethroughout Victoria in the 60s and was never defeated. Graham was on-board by boat in Sydney Harbour on New Years Eve 1981 when we got smashed by fireworks because I stupidly anchored in the drop zone, read about it here.
I think this beautiful lady was Maltese, I only wish I was 20 years younger and 4 times wealthier.
Melbourne Cup 2006.
Important evens were always celebrated at Melba’s, here I am with good friends David Robertson aka “Chocolates” and Phil Thomson aka “Baldrick“. Chocs was famous for the huge volume of “Forsters Light” he would consume daily while Baldrick was famous for……… nothing really. 🙂
Another terrific old friend who was a regular member of our Melba’s drinking crew. Also known as “Coupons” which he collects to swap for free stuff. 🙂
Another gorgeous staff member
Service with a smile.
2007, German and gorgeous.
Not only gorgeous but a sparkling personality as well. I can’t remember her unusual name, Zea or something like that.
Looks more Italian than German to me.
A great smile and a wonderful Roman nose she looks more Italian than German to me.
2007 Alan Jones
Twice world Formula 1 champion, a true living legend if ever there was one. Pictured here with myself and well known Gold Coast sycophant David Hoskit.
My birthday 2008
As I said previously all important events were celebrated at Melbas. One of the clowns, I think it was Noodles decided I was old enough for a wheelchair. I can guarantee one thing for sure, Chocs would not have paid for that bottle of red, & everybody who knows him would agree with me. 🙂
Just so cute
It was 2009 and I think her name was Linda, another one of the super cute Melba’s bar staff.
Dani Tobin, a real wild child.
Over the 25 years of drinking at Melba’s I met some wild crazy ladies, and Dani certainly makes it into my top 10. I see her occasionally on Facebook and she seems to have quietened down a little little, hopefully we may catch up again one day. This photo is from 2009.
The usual suspects in 2008
We usually met around 5pm most days and left around 7 pm to sneak home dodging the breathalyser.
When and why did Lloyd become a legend you may well ask? Well sometime around the turn of the century Lloyd relocated his office from Bundall to 50 Cavil Avenue right next door to Melbas. I am sure that no other customer has ever spent more in this bar than Lloyd, for a start most days from 11 am he would conduct his business in the south east corner of the bar surrounded by various friends and associates. He would normally pull up stumps around 6 pm and head home to Main Beach.
One memorable evening around 2007 Lloyd was enjoying himself so much he stayed on much later until the place was jumping. The crowd in the bar at that time was several hundred, so without any fanfare he ordered 800 shooters at a cost of $5,000, guaranteeing his place in Melba’s on the Park folklore for evermore.
Only a few days before making my huge life changing move to Thailand I started having farewell drinks at my favourite bar with my favourite friends.
My last visit November 2014
After my road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road I flew to the Gold Coastto catch up with friends and family. Phil Thomson and I kept alive our tradition of drinks at Melbas on Melbourne day.
That’s all folks for Melbas Gold Coast Legacy
A final gathering of the usual suspects before leaving for Thailand. I hope you enjoyed my Melbas Gold Coast Legacy post.
Here is Glenn to describe how I now feel in April 2016.
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Travel tips five fabulous countries feature some of my favourite places, many people may think I’m a bit of a dinosaur & perhaps I am, however I don’t know any other person who has travelled more than I during the last 20 years. Therefore I hope can provide you with a few ideas on where to go for your next holiday.
I’ll list the 5 countries in alphabetical order rather than by personal preference.
The home of my birth and a country that offers a huge diversification of incredible travel destinations. Most people find it difficult to grasp the size of this great country, don’t make the mistake of trying to cover too much in 3 or 4 weeks, better to come back another time.
Sydney is the most spectacular city but don’t forget Perth and Adelaide both wonderful cities also. Then of course there is the Gold Coast in Queensland with it’s wonderful weather and beautiful beaches.
Brazil Travel tips one of the five fabulous countries
Bigger and more diverse than Australia I have enjoyed 8 visits to the wonderful country. Rio de Janeiro is fabulous however there is so much more to see. Apart from Rio my favourite places are Praia de Pipa, Paraty, Iguazu Falls& Florianoplis.
Since 2004, the blocos have exploded and now there are now nearly 300 blocos with over 40 new ones appearing for the 2007 Carnaval. The first blocos started only a little over ten years ago. This is the heart of the “Street Carnival” which includes the greater likelihood of locals playing percussion instruments with their friends at their favorite hangout as well as the Bandstands and the many Parades of downtown’s Rio Branco Avenue. These events are inclusive and practice for the musicians begins months before the Carnaval and the parades do not end until Sunday of the following weekend.
Croatia is a must for travellers here are Travel tips five fabulous countries
It was March 2005 before I finally made it to this fascinating country, the photo above is the coastal city of Split. I travelled by bus between the major cities to see more of the actual country. I had a terrific 2 bedroom apartment in a great location for only $50 per night, book through this link.
Next door is Bosnia so make sure you also visit the wonderful city of Mostar.
In Zagreb I stayed at the excellent hotel Dubrovnik overlooking the Main Square you see above, it was a perfect location with good wifi. Marc van Bloemen owner of Karmen apartmentsin Dubrovnik was the perfect host, he a friendly Englishman who will point you in the right direction for restaurants, tours & places of interests, he also has a great knowledge of Dubrovniks history.
So many places to see & so much history. I travel there most years making London my base, then visit cities & towns all over the country either by train or car. Apart from London some of my favourite places are Brighton, Bath,Glasgow & Bradford on Avon.The photo above is Gold Hill is a steep cobbled street in the town of Shaftesbury in the English county of Dorset.
Travel tips. Great Britain has an excellent rail service, save up to 80% by booking your ticket before you arrive, just click here. London Underground’s Piccadilly Line provides the most cost-effective rail route between Heathrow Airport and the capital, so look for accommodation around Earl’s Court, Gloucester Rd or Knightsbridge. For more information click here.
Where do you start Paris or Monte Carlo, the choices are endless in this wonderful country. One of my favourite holidays was based in Breil Sur Roya a small village in the mountains near the Italian border just north ofMenton. From here I was able to explore many medieval French & Italian villages as well as the fabulous French Riviera. The Roya river runs through town and is open to trout anglers from March to September. Part of the trout run is reserved for fly-fishing. Trout anglers share the river with white water rafters, another popular local sport.
Chateau de Versailles Paris is a fabulous destination which made my bucket list as soon as I saw the Woody Allen movie “Midnight in Paris”. When the Château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a wealthy suburb of Paris, some 20 kilometres southwest of the French capital.
My favourite European Country by a long shot. The food, the wine, the crazy drivers who park anywhere, there is so much to see & do it’s hard to know where to start. Rome, Florence, Venice there are so many great cities, however if I had to pick two favourites they would be Sam Gimignano and the Cinque Terre.
Travel tip, take a wonderful one hour walk fromSanta Margherita. The homes are truly magnificent, prepare yourself for a great experience when you arrive at the beautiful waterfront village of Portofino. The buildings, the boats, the restaurants, it’s all there. Just make sure you have your credit card and a wallet full of Euros. For the budget minded like myself it makes more sense to stay at Santa Margherita and visit Portofino on foot or by ferry. The Lido Palace is on the beach if you want to go upmarket, my hotel was one block back and reasonable priced, with free car parking, The Mediterraneo.
Thanks for visiting my Travel tips five fabulous countries photo blog.
Marble Mountain Vietnam where the statues are hand carved by certified and regulated stone mason artists. These artist begin a lifelong apprenticeship from a very young age and spend their life learning the trade.
Mined from the famous Marble Mountain, in Vietnam, the premium marble offers quality and colours that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Plus the skill of the Vietnamese ensures a wonderful product.
Many beautiful statues
I had to stop myself from sending a whole container home. TripAdvisor rate Marble Mountain 2nd out of 97 things to do in Danang.
The choice is endless
The stone carving village of Dong Hai, located next to the Marble Mountains in Vietnam is famous for traditional stone engraving and stone-cutting craft.
A Vietnamese Venus de Milo
The statues here are rather extraordinary, all shapes and sizes.
Bangkok to Danang
There are about seven low cost flights per week from Bangkok to Danang, it only takes around 90 minutes.
Tiger on the prowl
This guy is a rather mean looking beast. It reminds me of a funny story of my brush with a tiger in Chiang Mai, check out THIS LINK for the full story.
China Beach Vietnam is in Da Nang, a port city along the coast of the South China Sea. While there is not a great deal in the city in terms of restaurants and bars at the moment, Da Nang has been targetted for massive investment by both the government and private companies alike, and is pipped to be a major destination for both tourism and commerce.
Although I was last there in 2003 I’m sure nothing has changed with the persistent beach vendors. They do not like taking no for an answer and there is really no escape from them.
Everything is for sale
John Martin aka Pothole examining the merchandise.
We met two nice Americans on the beach and had lunch together washed down with some cold beers. Notice my Lee Child novel close by. 🙂
Shelter from the sun.
In more recent history, Danang is best-known for its role in the American Vietnam War. The Danang Airbase was a major American airbase, used both by the Americans and the South Vietnamese. Nearby China Beach, named after its beautiful china-white sand, was home to the 510th Evacuation Hospital, where wounded American soldiers would come to recover. China Beach itself was an American in-country R&R spot, nicknamed the “Five and Dime”. The Vietcong, meanwhile, had their own hospital surprisingly close by in the caves of the Marble Mountains.
Beautiful Vietnamese face
My travelling partner John Martin aka “Pothole” was a bit of a lunatic, he is an excellent reason for travelling alone. 🙂
I forget what the young girl was selling however I just had to capture that beautiful face.
If you find yourself travelling from Da nang to Hoi An make sure you visit Marble Mountain.
China Beach Vietnam
China Beach Vietnam is a great place to relax however I would suggest you stay at Hoi An which is only 45 minutes away by taxi.
David Herd at China beach.
Thanks for visiting my China Beach Vietnam travel page, one of my favourite places in Vietnam, however the image that sticks in my mind most of all are the beautiful faces of the people and their children in this amazing country. Have a look at some of my other Vietnam posts.