Page 4 of Simunique Travel Blog Posts

Asia » India December 12th 2019

Neither of us slept particularly well last night, but were still up early and down for breakfast by 8.00am. Afterwards we got reception to phone us a taxi, ready to head out for a day of exploring. Charminar was our first stop - The Charminar was constructed in 1591, and has become a landmark and symbol of Hyderabad, and is listed amongst the most recognised structures in India. Its long history includes the existence of a mosque on the top floor for more than 400 years. While both historically and religiously significant, it is also known for the popular and busy local markets, Laad Bazaar, which sprawls out around the surrounding streets. The bazaar didn’t get underway until 11.00am so the streets weren’t busy when we first arrived. We walked around and found ourselves outside the ... read more
Charminar’s facade, taken from the mosque area
Inside Charminar
Local lads sitting under Charminar

Asia » India December 12th 2019

Well, we’re here at last, though I must say this trip hasn’t got off to an auspicious start... Due to the chaos in Sydney Airport on Tuesday because of bushfire smoke cloaking the city, Ginny missed her flight to Brisbane. There were two unannounced boarding gate changes which she, and a lot of other passengers it seems, were unaware of. So, she had no choice but to purchase another seat on a later flight. Well, this flight also had four unannounced boarding gate changes, but thankfully, eventually left on time with Ginny on it. Our flight to Singapore on Wednesday morning when off without a hitch, though we had a 50 minute delay with the Singapore to Hyderabad stretch, finally departing just before 9.00pm. We eventually arrived in Hyderabad 18.5 hours after leaving Brisbane. Hyderabad, The ... read more

Asia » India December 8th 2019

When I first decided to return to India earlier this year as a solo traveller, I had no intention of revisiting The North. I had, after all, visited the major tourist destinations between Delhi and Kolkata and further north to Darjeeling and Sikkim in 2013, and felt no need to retrace my steps. But then my sister, Ginny, expressed interest in coming along. This will be Ginny’s first visit to India, and not to have a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal, walk the ghats of Varanasi or gaze in wonder at The Palace of the Winds in Jaipur would only make for half a trip, so the itinerary was extended. I don’t mind returning to these cities for a second look, as I have found many fascinating places to visit which I didn’t get to ... read more
Varanasi Art on the Ghats
Varanasi 2013
Beautiful carved sandstone facade

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona January 28th 2017

Today, Saturday 28th January, is my last day in Barcelona and I plan to make the most of it. I have a 3.00pm guided tour of Palau de la Musica Catalana this afternoon, but nothing else planned. A scrumptious buffet breakfast is supplied every morning at Forget Me Not B&B and some mornings I've started my day without it as it's only available between 8-10am, and I've been long gone by then. But, not today. Today I linger over breakfast, enjoying the pastries and fruit and an extra cup of tea before heading out to the metro station. First port of call today is Mirador de Colom, the 60 metre high cast iron column holding a statue of Christopher Columbus, situated at the Port Vell end of La Rambla. This explorer discovered America in 1493 and ... read more
El Ravel Fat Cat Street Art
Narrow Street in the Gothic Quarter
La Rambla

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona January 27th 2017

Friday dawns with overcast skies and streets wet from early morning showers. This morning I have a pre-purchased 9.00am 'skip the line' ticket to Barcelona'a most famous landmark, The Basilica Sagrada Familia. This huge church, often referred to as a cathedral even though it has no bishop's seat, became Antonio Gaudi's all-consuming obsession from when he took the project over, a year after it started in 1883, until his death in 1926. During the last months of his life he moved from his home in Guell Park into his workroom on site, to be closer to his work. At the time of his death only the crypt, the apse walls, one portal and one tower had been completed. By 1930 three more towers were finished. Then in 1936, anarchists smashed and burned the interior destroying plans, ... read more
Bastilica Sagrada Familia
Bastilica Sagrada Familia
Bastilica Sagrada Familia

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona January 26th 2017

The next morning, Thursday 26th (Australia Day back home), I'm up early and ready to head out by 7.30am. I have a pre-purchased ticket to Park Guell, valid for admission between 8.30 and 9.00am. If I miss this time frame I'll have to buy another ticket. Only 400 people are admitted to the park every half hour, in an effort to preserve the area and control the crowds. But, crowds were something I didn't have to worry about at that time of the morning. I caught the metro to Lesseps Station, one of two you can reach Park Guell from, and walked from there. I had a map, but the route was well signed, and the walk took 20 minutes from the station. The closer I got to the park, the steeper the hill and there ... read more
Park Guell -  Portico of The Washerwoman
Casa Amatller
Giraffe Street Sculpture in Eixample

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona January 25th 2017

My Easyjet flight from Bristol landed in Barcelona 20 minutes early, definately a good start to my stay! The weather had a lot to answer for though, it was cold and rainy and not at all what I was hoping for. Before visiting a new destination I always research places of interest and how I'm going to get around. I choose accomodation and find the nearest metro, pour over street maps, metro maps, and read, read, read. You can never be too prepared! So I already knew how I was going to find my accomodation for the next four nights - via the metro from the airport and then on foot. The L9 metro line from the airport was opened only last year, and has it's own ticket, aptly named 'Airport Ticket', costing just €4.50 or ... read more
Dragon Lamp Along La Rambla
Barri Gotic Street Scene
Barri Gotic Street Scene

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire » Oxford January 24th 2017

Today, Tuesday 24th January, is my last day in England. Ben is back at work and Florence is in nursery school, so Petra and I are packing up Sam and heading to Oxford for the day. Ben dropped us at the Bristol Railway Station on his way to work for our 90 minute trip. Thankfully, it was a bright, sunny, but very cold day. We had no real plans except for a two hour walking tour of Oxford University, starting at 2.00pm. Oxford, one of the world's best known university cities, is called 'The City of Dreaming Spires'. It's home to 38 colleges and the prestigious Oxford University, all of which are positioned around the medieval town centre. It has been home to royalty and scholars for the past 800 years, though people have been known ... read more
Christ Church College's Great Hall
The Bridge of Sighs
Oxford Street Scene

Europe » United Kingdom » England January 17th 2017

Today (Monday 16th January) we're packing up an enormous amount of life's essentials and heading away for the next four nights. Our destination is Longleat Forest, one of Centre Parcs' family resorts. We're booked into a self contained 2 bedroom 2 bathroom executive lodge, complete with a daily maid service. The Center Parcs concept is to provide short breaks in the forest, bringing families together, and back to nature. They provide high quality accommodation, a range of leisure facilities and more indoor and outdoor activities than you'll ever have time to do. Of course there are also the usual selection of retail outlets and restaurants to spend your money in, all set within a protected and enhanced woodland environment. Each village (there are 5 of them in the UK) is set within 400 acres of natural ... read more
A Foggy Walk
Tossing Nuts To The Squirrels
A Busy Squirrel

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Bristol County January 15th 2017

Whilst browsing on Trip Advisor recently, looking for places to visit around the Bristol area, I found a tiny attraction called Blaise Hamlet. Located on the outskirts of town, on Hallen Road, Pet and Ben hadn't been there so we piled into the car and decided to track it down. It was a little hard to find, accessed via an iron gate directly off the footpath. If not for a sign next to the gate, we would have missed it completely. Blaise Hamlet is a small village green surrounded by nine unique English cottages, complete with brick chimneys, dormer windows, and thatched roofs. Originally built around 1811 for the retired employees of John Harford, the owner of Blaise Castle Estate and Blaise House, these cottages are private homes today and not open to the public. Owned ... read more
Blaise Hamlet
Blaise Hamlet
Blaise Hamlet

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