Opinion

TRAVEL: Recalling romance on foreign shores

People release sky lanterns to pay homage to the triple gem: Budhha, Dharma and Sangha during Yi Peng festival.
People release sky lanterns to pay homage to the triple gem: Budhha, Dharma and Sangha during Yi Peng festival. gagarych

ALTHOUGH I've never been whisked off to a romantic destination for Valentine's Day I have had more than my share of romance during my many years of travel.

Most of these romantic adventures have come about by simply being in the right place at the right time, and that made them all the more special.

One of the most romantic things I've ever done was to send off a sky lantern on a beach in Thailand. Pity I didn't have my man with me at the time. I was surrounded by a group of rowdy travel writers but we all succumbed to the romance of writing our dreams and wishes on paper and sending them up in the lanterns to light up the night sky with hundreds of others. It was a romantic spectacle never forgotten.

I remember another night in Paris (with the husband this time), just arrived after the long-haul flight from Australia and unable to sleep, going out in the streets at 3am and finding a small bistro still open, not willing to feed us but willing to open a bottle of wine.

Sitting in the empty restaurant at a window table, looking out into the quiet Paris night, the empty wet streets softly lit by the glow of street lights, was as romantic as it could get. Pity we nodded off at the table.

On a visit to Montalcino in Tuscany one year we stayed in a castle lavishly renovated into a hotel. The romance was embodied in every ancient stone of the Castello di Velona crowned on a hill with commanding Tuscan views and their rich country colours: cool greens, rustic browns, buttery yellows.

Our room looked into the castle courtyard, romantic enough, but the best view was from the bathroom, or more specifically, the loo.

An arched window that reached to the floor opposite the loo was the frame for a picture-postcard of undulating Italian landscape: round haystacks and tall cypress trees.

Over aperitifs in our sitting room, the husband decided the view into the castle courtyard was not romantic enough and we should remove ourselves to the bathroom and have our drinks there to fully enjoy the splendid Tuscan ambience.

It didn't sound so silly after our first glass of Rosso de Montalcino, so we carried our chairs into the bathroom with a plate of cheese and ciabatta.

However, there wasn't enough room for the chairs between the loo and the window so the husband, always one to come up with a solution, removed the chairs, came back and said: "You sit on the bidet and I will close the toilet lid and sit on it. You hold the cheese."

For just one capricious moment, I considered it. But straddling a bidet while balancing a wedge of gorgonzola on my lap was not the romantic vision I had of myself during the Tuscan cocktail hour.

There have been many small moments of romance in our travels: dinner a deux on a beach on Koh Samui surrounded by candlelight with the waves lapping at our feet; a giant king-sized bed with soft and textured bedding, draped in swathes of chiffon falling from the ceiling in a boutique hotel in Florence; being served chilled champagne from a silver bucket on a beach in the Greek island Mykonos while looking out to super yachts - the list goes on. Now we are of a certain age we do not go looking for romance but, come to think of it, we never did.

But it has often found us and when it drops in unexpectedly, we welcome it, offer it cocktails and hospitality in the hope it will stay. Perhaps it is the same for you.

Topics:  opinion thailand travel valentine's day



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

A whisky-lover's blueprint to Brisbane's best bars

Check out The Gresham for some old-school fine drops.

SCOTCH, Whiskey and Whisky; it all gets a bit confusing.

Your guide to the best Brisbane markets

Enjoy the beautiful offerings of one of Brisbane's many markets.

WHO doesn’t love a good market!?

8 things you didn't know you could do at North Straddie

Watch these guys while you enjoy the magical sunset of an evening.

NORTH Stradbroke Island is the perfect getaway.

Ain’t no mountain high enough

No Caption

Brisbane's dishing up the mountain-hiking goods!

Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art always has a fun, exciting and interesting exhibition on show for the whole family to enjoy.

YOU'D be mistaken in thinking Brisbane wasn't an arty city.

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Police bust nervous teen trying to buy 'pingers, MDMA and LSD'

TRU0109 hot topic page 10 teenager buying drug at club during spring break party

POLICE caught this 19-yo trying to buy drugs

Windows smashed in break and enter, theft of Gladstone home

Police generic, crime scene.  Photo Tessa Mapstone / South Burnett Times

Police are investigating a break and enter and theft.

Loads of CQ jobs as $80M mine hits major milestone

RESOURCES REVIVAL: The Mount Morgan Gold - Copper Project took a major step as the Rockhampton Regional Council signed off on the last local government approval needed.

$80M Mt Morgan mine project is "nearing the point of no return”.

Local Partners

Vital Queensland service needs your help

THEY help 40,000 people by providing more than 140 services. And now they need your help.


Bundy mum blogging to get families offline

FAMILY FUN: Deonie Crowther is holding family craft sessions at the Windmill Cafe in Bargara.

Crafty projects a hit with parents and children

Take luxury food, wine tour around Toowoomba

FOODIE CULTURE: Emily Moon (left) and Cheryse Bliesner with the Hummer used for Toowoomba's Luxury Food and Wine Tour.

It is designed to highlight the best produce the region has to offer

Country music stars coming to Ipswich

Ipswich will get it's country on when The Country Superstars Tribute Show hits town on Friday, June 30 at Brothers Leagues Club.

A UNIQUE tribute show will bring a bit of country into the city.

Game of Thrones: Crucial details you probably forgot

IT’S been a while since we’ve been to Westeros. But there are some crucial story points you need to remember before we head back there for season seven.

Gladstone girl tops ARIA charts, beating Taylor Swift

Hayley Marsten at yachties yesterday afternoon.

'Crazy': Gladstone girl tops ARIA charts

Pregnant Serena Williams nude on cover of Vanity Fair

"My heart dropped. Like literally it dropped,”

Manga artist to host free workshops in Gladstone

FREE WORKSHOPS: David Lovegrove has rescheduled his Gladstone visit.

Illustrator David Lovegrove is on his way to the harbour city.

Wonder Woman sequel underway

Gal Gadot in a scene from the movie Wonder Woman.

IT’S no surprise plans are already underway for Wonder Woman 2.

Agent judged among the world's best

Century 21 on Duporth principal Damien Said with team members Ryan Tomlinson, Jamie Smith, Kristie Cannon, Andrew Richardson and Sarah Beckman at the Maroochydore office.

Sunshine Coast real estate agent named in world-wide group's top 25

Island caretaker has weeks to live, abandons paradise

St Bees managing director Phil Webb, has been struck with illness and it has prompted the sale of the island.

His health has deteriorated in the past couple of months

Prime CBD site sold as laneway culture progresses

The Longs building Ruthven Street has been purchased by a group of investors to be renovated into a series of shops/eateries.  June 2017

How investors and council plan to transform the Toowoomba CBD

Gateway opens to $3b Coast mega estate

VISION: An artist's impression of the Palmview development 'Harmony' and its linear park.

New road provides link from the past to the future

Major German supermarket set to open in southeast Queensland

German supermarket giant Kaufland is understood to have approached southeast Queensland councils about a possible distribution centre, which would kickstart the establishment of new supermarkets.

Supermarket giant Kaufland has its eyes firmly on Queensland.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!