Page 2 of AGJ Travel Blog Posts

It seemed fitting that we arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, on New Year's Eve 2013. After all, January 1st would mark the beginning of 'Visit Malaysia Year' 2014. I had explored this diverse city before, in 2010 with my Dad when we visited for 6 days. I had caught the Malaysia travel bug for sure, with all the locals telling us places we 'should' visit in the rest of the country. My fiancé and I wanted to escape the inflated summer prices of Australia and take an end of year holiday overseas. Requirements were - must have great food, great snorkeling, offer us a unique experience and be great value. When Air Asia were offering return flights to KL for $600 per person we decided to take the trip to Malaysia. The really ... read more
Petronas Towers
THE Food!
Street Food

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo June 9th 2010

From one full-on day to the next, it was an early start on Wednesday morning when the sounds of the ship docking at Port Said literally woke up most of the passengers at five-am. As the main points of interest in Egypt are situated around Cairo, it would be a three-hour drive before we could begin our sightseeing. Egyptian immigration had come on board earlier in the morning while we were all sleeping to stamp our passports. Just when we thought Egypt was going to be a lot more relaxed than Israel the day previous, we found out that all of the coaches were travelling in a convoy with police cars at the front and back. A surly officer also accompanied each bus wherever it went for the duration of the day. The only people we ... read more
Cruising on the Nile
Police escort for our floating restaurant
Pyramids of Giza

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem June 8th 2010

The MV Cristal sailed into the port of Ashdod on the coast of Israel early on Tuesday and the tour boarded a coach bound for the city of Jerusalem. During the hour, we drove through the very traditional Jewish quarter where they follow each and every custom. It was quite weird seeing men in full black pantsuits with white shirts, big black hats and long curls beside their ears…but with iPods poking out the sides. Modern culture certainly hasn’t been forgotten in Israel. Next on the tour was a stop at the picturesque Mount of Olives. This spot gives you a beautiful view of Jerusalem and all allows you to see how close all the main religious sites are to one another. There was a little bit of a breeze but the sun was beating down ... read more
Inside the Church of All Nations, where Jesus was sentenced
Military inside the West Wall plaza
Traditional Jewish family

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 7th 2010

If there is one place I would recommend all European travelers go, it would be the city of Istanbul. Formerly Constantinople, the city was founded in around 324AD and despite not being the capital city of Turkey, it is largely considered the ‘commercial capital’ of the country. The tour leader had warned that with the city’s bulging population, it was highly recommended that we take up the cruise’s optional excursion of visiting a few of the big attractions. A few couples on the cruise who had visited Istanbul before warned me not to venture into the busy alone as a young woman- so I opted for the cruise-run excursion. First up it was off to the beautiful Blue Mosque, named after the sixty-thousand plus mosaic tiles used to decorate the interior of the structure. You can ... read more
Home away from home, my room
Passing Galipolli memorial
Inside the Blue Mosque

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens June 3rd 2010

Despite hearing reports that the weather is getting pretty chilly back home in Australia, Athens has turned on the balmy weather for the last five days, reaching around thirty-four degrees each day. The night after Ed’s departure, it was deathly hot. Katie, who I’m staying with here, had to basically sleep out on her verandah to keep cool. I have since become addicted to delicious Greek desserts, visiting the local bakery every day to select a new afternoon treat. Today’s delight has the name Blueberry Panna Cotta. Katie took me to the local supermarket on our first afternoon and we stocked up on basics like milk and bread, fruit and snacks. We’ve eaten in almost every night, taking solace in a break from all the rich foreign food. After a day of relaxing, us girls headed ... read more
Dessert in Gazi
Big local bakery in Athens

Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Santorini May 29th 2010

When you fly over the island of Santorini, it looks like a field of pepper sprinkled with salt on the highest and lowest points. The iconic white cities of Fira and Oia are the largest, with other beach-hugging cities spanning quite a size also. If you fly in on the low side and expect the island to be relatively flat considering what you’ve just seen. If you’re lucky enough to stay up on the caldera, it isn’t until your bus winds its way up to the hotel that you realize the opposite side is literally perched on top of huge cliffs that look out over the neighboring islands. It is only once we walk into the hotel and look out their reception window that we see this view. It is gorgeous and vast. Not to mention ... read more
The view from our suite
Dinner at the hotel
Sunset from the suite

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens May 25th 2010

Greetings from Greece! The capital city Athens has hosted us for the last two and a half days and tomorrow morning we are off to the beautiful island of Santorini. Literally cannot wait! On our last day in Amsterdam, Ed and I spent the morning browsing around the central shopping district, amazed at the number of shoes stores here. They are Sex and the City 2 mad. Most of the shops are advertising ‘look-a-like’ outfits and style ideas. Also, it is impossible to find guys singlets that are low like they are in Australia. They are all high neck, like T-Shirts that have their arms cut off. Very European! All of the stores are also in the swing of the Soccer World Cup. You can’t go anywhere in Amsterdam without seeing bright splashes of Dutch Orange. ... read more
Kitties inside the Poozenboot
Plate of Gyros yummm
View of the Acropolis from our hotel rooftop pool

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam May 21st 2010

After the first beautiful, sunny day in Cannes, Nice followed in Rome’s footsteps and turned on the bleak weather. Fortunately, the sun came out in the afternoon and Ed and I went back to the hotel and changed straight into our summer gear. We had the yummiest French lunch, traditional crepes- both savory and sweet- we couldn’t resist! The long stretch of pebble beach and many fountains made for a nice afternoon stroll in the French town, too. It was off to the exclusive neighbouring country of Monaco for our last evening in Nice. It was enjoyable taking in the huge marina and amazing cars, but unfortunately we didn’t bring our passports with us and weren’t allowed into the infamous Monte Carlo casino. We brought a new meaning to the saying ‘all dressed up and nowhere ... read more
Mmm savory crepes for lunch in Nice
Monaco marina
Monte Carlo Casino

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Nice May 18th 2010

After some last minute morning shopping in a still wet Rome we jumped on a short one hour flight to France! We arrived to beautiful sunny weather, although with a little chill in the wind, to the very glamourous town of Nice. In the middle of the Cote d' Azur, the waters are crystal clear and there is wealth everywhere. Unfortunately, the first thing we noticed was the skinny lanes and terrible drivers! They literally do not know what indicators are. We're burning around in a cute little convertible hire Peurgot and within Nice it's quite difficult to get around. Driving on the open highways twenty-minutes down the coast to Cannes was much better. Ed really enjoyed driving a car properly for the first time in a while! The film festival was everywhere you went in ... read more
Beach screenings in Cannes every night at 9.30
Our little hire car at our hotel in Nice

Europe » Italy May 15th 2010

Greetings from chilly Rome! This morning we woke up to bleak skies and rain here, and instead of walking to our nearby 'tourist locations', we took the underground metro. First to the Spanish Steps, where we braved the rain for a few happy snaps. It wasn't until we were reviewing the photos that we saw a large group up ahead on the steps. We realised there must be some kind of show on. Alas, it was no show- it was our own Aussie Russell Crowe! Singing, of all things. We're still not quite sure what it was he was doing there but he was with three other actors and they were singing everything from Michael Jackson to traditional Italian songs. One guy even had a guitar. We were told by some Americans that the other actors ... read more
Robin and his merry men
Braving the rain

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