Traveling in Romania: some myths, some tips, and something about gypsies

Picnic at the Cathedral

Before I went to Romania several people warned me it might be dangerous, that I should look out. Oh man were they right–why just the other morning a calf escaped and took off down the dirt road with his new wobbly legs splayed all about with dad and granny chasing after him. I mean, who know what might have happened to us.



While I acknowledge that a couple of weeks in Romania does not make me an expert on it’s culture, I strongly believe in having my own first hand experiences and I want to share with you what I learned.

First some myths:

Romania is dangerous.  Close encounters with runaway calves aside, Romania is not dangerous to tourists.  Sure, the area around the train station in Bucharest is a bit dodgy, but no worse than in any other European city.  And just like in the rest of Europe…

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Singapore Changi is world’s best airport

Singapore Changi Airport: Butterflies, Sleep zones and Food Galore!

Airlines and Airports

Courtesy Changi Airport Group Courtesy Changi Airport Group

Singapore Changi is named world’s best airport in the 2015 Skytrax survey, three years running and the sixth time that it won. No surprise. The airport has been the darling of travellers with its wide range of facilities that include a swimming pool, a variety of restaurants and tropical gardens. For one thing, it is continuously expanding and upgrading to stay ahead of the pack.

Changi handles more than 50 million passengers annually out of three terminals. Although it is not operating near full capacity (66 million passengers), it is spending S$1.7 billion (US$1.4 billion) on a fourth terminal to be completed by 2018 and there are already plans for a fifth terminal, costing an estimated S$3 billion, which will be bigger than the current three terminals combined. (See Changi Airport raises the bar to be the world’s best airport, Dec 18, 2014)

So, said…

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Dining: Fast Food Chains From Around the World

Do you have a secret fast food fetish? Check out these options from around the globe.

International Bellhop Travel Magazine

World Fast Food -- HeaderThe fast food concept definitely originated in the United States, but became so loved by visitors to the U.S., that the custom has spread globally — with many interesting fast food restaurant chains popping up in all different countries around the world. We have compiled a list of our favorites, and some that are just too unique to not share with all of our fellow travelers. Enjoy!

Max Hamburgers Swedish Fast Food

Max — Sweden

As you are about to learn from this article, many countries believe the classic fast food hamburger chains are defining as “fast food,” and have their own hamburger chains that look an awful lot like their American Counterparts. The biggest difference is the quality of the food. Max is a very good example of this; while it looks just like the items we get in our fast food restaurants, quality products make a difference you can taste from the first…

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The Big Squeeze: Adding extra seating to economy on the A380.

Just when you thought that there was no way to squeeze anything more into an economy cabin, plans to add an extra seat on the A380 have been unveiled. At the recent Aircraft Interiors expo in Hamburg, the new configurations were shown. Its a 3-5-3 configuration.

The proposed 3-5-3 configuration in the A380 airbus.

The proposed 3-5-3 configuration in the A380 airbus.

It’s hard to find something positive to say about this. Great for a family of five perhaps? That’s where my positivity stops. Imagine being the lone traveller in the middle seat; passing meals across, attempting to go the toilet etc. No thank you. I wonder if the additional cost means that plane tickets will be reduced? I for one will have my fingers crossed that Singapore Airlines (my choice of airline) will not be adopting this. Emirates have not been keen for the uptake it has been reported. Checking your seating configuration will be ever so important if airlines choose to squeeze people in economy in this way. To read more about this check out Australian Business Traveller’s article.


Splendour in the Grass 2015. There’s nothing quite like it!

Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay, Australia.

Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay, Australia.

If you don’t know what Splendour in the Grass is, you might be mistaken for thinking its some new, organic, hipster sweetner you add to hot drinks. Hot it most certainly is. It might be sweet but not in a sugary kind of way. It is however a music festival held each year in Byron Bay. There are over 100 artists featured this year headed up by Mark Ronson. Or if Florence + The Machine are more your thing, then they are there too. Peking Duk or Tame Impala? Or both? Check out this year’s line up here.

Tickets go on sale April 23 and they evaporate quickly. This year’s festival will be held on 24, 25 and 26 July.

Florence + The Machine

Florence + The Machine

Mark Ronson

Mark Ronson

Love a good travel movie? Have you seen all these?

I love a good travel movie. For places that I have been, it is a great reminder of the sights and sounds of that particular place. For places that I am yet to travel, it whets my appetite for destinations yet uncovered. Conde Nast Traveller has published the 50 Best Movies of the past 50 years. What a list! Yes there are a few favourites of mine on there; Lost in Translation and the Grand Budapest Hotel. There are a few missing though. Eat, Pray, Love perhaps? The Best Little Marigold Hotel? What do you think?



Window or Aisle seat? 

When selecting seats on your flight it’s worth considering the pros and cons about the aisle or window seat. We won’t talk about the middle seat – that is drawing the short straw. The window seat gives you the best view in the house. The aisle; quick exit and toilet access. It comes down to preference. I like the window on routes that are relatively short (under 5 hours) and/or routes that I haven’t travelled before. These pics were taken in Winter 2015 out of JFK, NY.  


Did you say cheese? Yes please! 10 best cheese shops in Paris.

Conde Nast Traveller has just published their Top 10 cheese shops in Paris. I was so pleased to see that shop that I frequent when I visit Paris is on the list. I stay in a beautiful apartment very close to Rue Montorgueil. Located here is La Fermette. A beautiful shop with a great range of cheeses, reportedly around 300 different varieties. 403e4c48cce85226fa6a28aa071edac4france-cheese-market

We were introduced to some memorable offerings on our last visit. We can’t wait to return in July!