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



Curtis Island worker ferries find new life interstate, overseas

NEW LIFE: Three of Sealink's five eco-friendly catamarans have found new lives interstate and overseas.

New lease of life for ferries after LNG construction ended.

FREE CONTENT: Roads, schools closed as rain drenches Gladstone

Roads are closed due to wet weather in the Gladstone region.

ROADS are going under in Gladstone as the big wet continues today.

'Massive systemic failure' - damning black lung report

Jo-Ann Miller.

Black lung inquiry releases damning report

Local Partners

Morgan Evans opens up about his CMC love story

SINGER returns from Nashville to host tonight's CMC Music Awards, which he co-hosted last year with his now fiance Kelsea Ballerini.

What's on the big screen this week

OLD TALE: Emma Watson brings to life the character of Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

DISNEY'S remake of Beauty and the Beast opens to rave reviews.

MKR recap: Josh and Amy figure out how to get along

Josh and Amy have figured out how to get along and cook well. Stay away from each other.

THEY’RE the couple we love to hate, but something changed tonight.

Mariah’s making a movie we probably don’t need

Mariah Carey and her dog Jack are prepping for a Christmas movie.

Mariah Carey is making animated movie ready for Christmas.

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

'Biggest adrenaline rush': the man behind Roy Orbison

Dean Bourne is the man behind Roy Orbison reborn.

'Biggest adrenaline rush': the man behind Roy Orbison

The Moonsets are pathing the way with unique sounds

LIVE MUSIC: The Moonsets are coming to Gladstone to perform their quirky natural sounds.

'Never been us': the band's name was pinched by global sensation

Couple ditch Springfield for $350 million rural lifestyle

Sales consultant Rachel Hargreaves (left) of Oliver Hume Waterlea at Wallon with new land owner Rebecca Mallett.

“To purchase a block the same size would be double the price here"

It's official: Byron Bay unaffordable

MILLIONAIRES ROW: The Housing Commission house in Keats St, Byron Bay which sold at auction on Saturday for $1.65 million.

Buying a home in Bay Bay is a dream too far for some

14 massive, exciting Gladstone region projects expected for 2017

Station Creek - Lifestyle Resort - Master Plan including 18-hole Graham Marsh-designed golf course.

Jobs, resorts, terminals, upgrades; so much in store for 2017

Coast home luring interstate buyers sold

PRIZED POSITION: Blue clip location, peaceful surroundings, spacious living with swimming pool, tennis court on 4562sq
m

The property was described as a 'Queenslander with Hamptons style'

Stylish Coast home lures buyers from four states

PRIZED POSITION: The six-bedroom house with swimming pool and floodlit tennis court is on 4562sq
m.

Expansive property boasts serious space

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!