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A European summer in pictures

This blog has always been about writing. I didn’t even start adding photos to posts until about a year ago, and even then it was initially a struggle. I changed my attitude this year, and add photos to about ninety per cent of my posts. I never think that they’re any good, but I post [...]

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Back to school: Visiting the Gelato University in Bologna

My good friend and tour guiding colleague Ola Pach has quite an obsession. I’ve seen it in person; nothing will get in the way of Ola and her beloved gelato. This makes her quite the travelling companion in Italy, where she’s been the last few weeks. Her first day in Rome saw her down fourteen [...]

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The O’Dowd pizza rating system

My Dad and I like to rate things. Growing up in Altona, we would drive past Kooringal Golf Course on the way to my high school each day. For years, we would rate the golf course as to how good it looked on that particular day. Of course, I’ve never played golf before. I’m even [...]

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Perche no?

The part of my job I take the most seriously has got to be food recommendations. Think about it. You’ve got a tour guide jumping about at the front of the bus, claiming she’s the go-to person in terms of European knowledge. Generally, people don’t blink if you recount the date of the Berlin Wall [...]

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Where you might find me this summer

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Two essays have been handed in, one to go. In a weird way, it looks as if I might finish all of my essays a week early. I have a deadline a week before everyone else. Because in sixteen days, I’ll be flying out [...]

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Venice’s forgotten islands

There’s more to Venice than Venice. Literally. Although most visitors stick to the main island of Venice to explore the city, Venice itself is a lagoon, and therefore people set up shop in a sprinkling of nearby islands. The two most famous of these ‘other’ islands are Murano and Burano. In order to actually get [...]

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The Italian Disneyland

No city divides guides more than Venice. Some hate the place, turned off by the omnipresent crowds, the smelly canals and the overpriced, bland food. Others, like me, have been swept away by its charms. My two previous visits to Venice featured blue skies, semi-decent food and an array of photos I was adamant were [...]

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Give it a miss

Planning a big trip can be mighty hard. I can remember the moment when I brought my ‘Europe on a Shoestring’ home from Borders, after months of flicking through its pages. I sat down, highlighter in hand, and began planning. I knew the big places I had to go. You can’t go to Europe and [...]

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The decadent loop

It took a while for the South Loop to grow on me. It also took me a while to give it a name. But I have fortunately succeeded on both counts. The South Loop (Munich-Venice-Rome-Florence-Nice-Lauterbrunnen) was my least favourite during training, mainly due to the fact that we spent much of this time sleeping (or [...]

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Eleven scoops

I have a confession to make. I have managed to find myself in a difficult predicament – I have an unhealthy obsession with gelato in Italy. The record currently stands at eleven scoops in a single day, held by Marc Grayson in Venice. But I myself have hoed down a plethora of different flavours, from [...]

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