I’ve wanted to travel ever since I was given a Speedwell bicycle for my 12th birthday and hit the suburban streets of southeast Sydney. Years later my skills came in handy as I pedalled the tranquil roads of the Loire Valley and the desert tracks of the Valley of the Kings.

In 1990 fate guided me to the offices of Reed Publishing where I took a job as reporter on Traveltrade magazine (now morphed into Travel Weekly). After 10 years of interviewing the travel industry’s high-fliers and reporting on hotels, cruising, aviation, tour operators and the latest destinations, I set out on my freelance career.

The exotic has always interested me and my most remote jaunt was to Uzbekistan where I motored along the former Silk Route in a battered Russian-built van. Other trips have included Morocco, Zambia, Samoa, India, Nepal, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Tahiti, Turkey, Japan, Israel, Vietnam, Botswana and Bermuda.

I also write for Fodor’s Guide to Australia and am updating the Sydney, New South Wales, Melbourne and Victoria chapters.

My stories have appeared in The Australian, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sun-Herald, The Bulletin, Luxury Travel, Cruise Passenger and business travel magazines including Travel Bulletin

I am currently secretary of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.

HE was sitting almost opposite me in a café; briefcase by his side and a sheaf of papers spread out across the low coffee table in front of him. It was his attire that caught my attention. He was wearing a pair of crisp pale pink linen shorts, a blue and white striped shirt, blue tie, a pair of long white socks and black patent leather shoes adorned with a small gold chain of sorts. I was intrigued, but this was Bermuda and it dawned on me that I’d come face-to-face with some genuine culture.

In San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district I went looking for the last rays
of the Summer of Love.  I’d missed the hippy revolution, being straight jacketed in a school uniform imprisoned behind Catholic school gates
in the heady days of 1967.
In Haight Street I spied a huge plastic pair of
fish-netted legs dangling from a building. Beneath them was a shop selling clothes that rock chicks and drag queens would die for, and next door Positively Haight Street was blasting out the ‘60s tunes and selling Grateful Dead T-shirts by the score. It was heaven.

CRIMINALS and unfaithful wives were thrown from the Kalyan Minaret in Bukhara, known as the Tower of Death. I look up at this magnificent structure, 47 metres high, built in Bukhara’ s 12th century heyday. The practice of hurling people from the summit continued until 1884 when the Russians finally put a stop to it. In Samarkand I listen as our guide tells us that human heads were impaled on spikes in the Registan, the most stunning building in Central Asia. These grim snippets of Uzbekistan’s past are mixed with noble stories of heroes and I lap up every exotic detail.

ARRIVING in Venice by plane in the dead of night is a tantalising mystery.
I was whisked from Marco Polo airport to the nearby pier in a matter of minutes by my 'meet and greet' senorita and bundled into a small launch. Also on board were a couple, a couple of lovers that is, perhaps on their honeymoon. I sighed an inward sigh. I was to be alone for a few days in this the most romantic city in the world. My boatman raced off and for 20 minutes we crossed the dark expanse of the Venice Lagoon. A few lights in the distance and those hanging from mooring poles gave some illumination but mostly we were cloaked in darkness. Click here to read the full story

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a story, contact Caroline

ph: (61 2) 9365 7185
mob: 0413 657 552
email: caroline@carolinegladstone.com

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