Saturday, 7 September 2019

National Trust, English Heritage or Historic Houses - which should you join?

Sherborne Castle
National Trust, English Heritage or Historic Houses - which membership is best? Then there is the National Trust Overseas Visitors Touring Pass, membership of a National Trust Overseas Organisation or the English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass. Confused yet? Each membership gives you access to different attractions, has different pricing structures and different rules, some of which are clear and some of which are hidden in the fine print and downright sneaky.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Is the London Eye worth it!

The London Eye
Is the London Eye fun? Absolutely! At £30 for a standard ticket in 2019, is the London Eye worth the outrageous price? No!!!  But - my advice is do it anyway. Read on for how much fun it is - as well as a few tips on getting it just a little bit cheaper.  And - whether you should pay even more by adding a skip the line ticket to your purchase. For a 30 minute ride the London Eye works out at a pound a minute. Think of it that way and it doesn't sound so bad.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Avebury Henge: A stone circle to rival Stonehenge

Avebury Henge
Ancient Britons were an industrious lot. 4,000 years ago, around the same time they were piling up huge stones on the Salisbury Plain to create Stonehenge they were doing more or less the same thing 12 miles (20 kms) to the north to create the stone circles of Avebury Henge. Although a lot less popular than its more famous cousin, Avebury Henge is in many ways more interesting. For one thing you can walk right up to the stones and touch them. For another, once you have paid to park, the site is free - although there is a way to see Stonehenge for free which is almost as good as the paid entrance.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

The Best Free Things to do in London

Little Venice London
For the sheer cost of entry to its major attractions London must outrank almost every other capital city on the planet. Spend a couple of days visiting attractions like the Tower of London, the View from the Shard, the London Eye and the Royal Observatory at Greenwich and you can easily spend £100 (USD125/AUD180). But don't despair! Like most cities, London has its share of free things to do. You just have to know what they are. To help you along a bit I have put together a list of the best free things to do in London. You will find my favourite attraction at the top of the list.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

How to see Stonehenge for free!

Four and a half thousand years ago (give or take a century or two) pre-historic Britons dragged a whole lot of very big stones to a pleasant spot on the Salisbury Plain and built a circle. It is hard to know why they did it, although archaeologists generally believe it had something to do with burials. The stones weighed up to 40 tons so this was a bit more than a casual morning's mucking about. Today the circle is called Stonehenge. It attracts more than one million visitors a year and it charges a hefty £19 for every single one of them EXCEPT for those who know how to visit for free.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

The Shard: What it is like at the top of London's tallest building.

At 309.6 m (1016 ft) high The Shard is tall - the tallest building in the European Union. Standing at the bottom looking up you get an idea of just how tall, but it is only once you are perched 72 floors and 244 m (801 ft) above street level and look at up (yes - you read that right 'up' not 'down') that you get the full acrophobia-inducing feeling of just how tall the Shard really is. The observation deck is partially open to the air - enough to be able to look through the steel and glass superstructure and see nothing but sky. I defy anyone to stand there, look up and not succumb to a touch of vertigo.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Turbopass London City Pass - Your passport to London attractions.

London City Pass
London attractions are expensive, very expensive. David and I have travelled together for 35 years visiting many of the world's leading cities. I struggle to remember a single one which surpasses London for the cost of its attractions - except perhaps my home city of Sydney. You have to see the irony in that. But what do you do! We have come half way around the world (22 hours in the air) to get here, we can hardly stand in front of the Tower of London or the London Eye or the Shard, look at each other and say - no its a bit pricey, we won't go in. Luckily we found a solution.  After a bit of internet research we chanced across the London City Pass issued by Turbopass.⃰

Monday, 29 April 2019

What to see in 3 days at Luxor: A 2019 itinerary

Luxor Temple
Ancient Egyptians loved to built things - pyramids, temples, tombs, monuments and statutes, and much of this architectural flair found its expression in the ancient city known today as Luxor. Ancient Egyptians knew it as Waset and to the Greeks it was Thebes but whatever you want to call it Luxor is place you do not want to miss. There are no pyramids, for these you need to head to Giza, just outside Cairo but for temples, monuments, statutes and tombs Luxor is unsurpassed. As the city where Nile cruises begin or end Luxor may already be on your itinerary but don't let the tour guides rush you. Luxor is a place to slow down, explore on your own and absorb some of the magic of one of the world's greatest ancient civilisations.

Friday, 12 April 2019

How to Visit the Valley of the Kings: What you need to know in 2019!

Entrance to Valley of the Kings
There are more than 60 royal tombs in Egypt's Valley of the Kings - that we know of! Many more may lie undisturbed beneath the desert.  Let's face it you are not going to be able to visit them all in a day. You probably only have a few hours - it will be hot, even in winter, and there is a fair bit of walking, mostly uphill. You need a plan! David and I went to the Valley of the Kings in 2006 and again in December 2018. We have put together this guide to give you an idea of how to get there, what to expect when you arrive, what it will cost and a few other things which are useful to know.  If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment here or send us an email. We love to help out fellow travellers.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Cruising the Nile on a Dahabiya with Nour el Nil: 5 days of luxury in Egypt

It is winter in Egypt and we have taken advantage of the coolest time of year to indulge ourselves in a Nile cruise. Dozens of boats ply the route between Luxor and Aswan. Mostly they are diesel powered cruise ships - river boat behemoths like floating hotels. Then there are dahabiyas - if you want slow travel or to channel your inner Cleopatra (or Marc Antony perhaps) then a dahabiya is for you. More Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot than Cleo and her lover, David and I have splashed out on a Nile cruise on the Meroe, a dahabiya operated by Nour el Nil.