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



Resident's run-in with wild dogs sparks investigations

A Boambee resident was confronted by three wild dogs outside her house.

Multi-agency reponse after incident.

A rock 'n' roll band with plenty of ability

THE RED HOTS: Drummer Marc, guitarist Gil Morgan, singer Renee, Scott on harmonica and bassist Rod. Absent: Ashlea on tambourine. Coffs Harbour, June 28, 2017.

Coffs band has a message to play loud and clear

What's for dinner Wednesday?

Need help in the kitchen?

What's cooking at your house tonight? Care to share?

Local Partners

Numbers add up for students

Eight of St John Paul College's finest mathematicians travelled by minibus to UNE Armidale to participate in the Year 8 Mathematics Day.


Challenge for cyclists of all levels and ages

This year's C.ex McDonald's Cycle Challenge is being held on Sunday, August 6. You can ride in the the 10km family ride, 20km, 40km, 60km, or the 100km challenge.

This year's cycle challenge is being held on Sunday, August 6.

New developments announced for Curryfest

TASTE TREATS: New developments for Curryfest 2017.

Fresh ideas and developments show no sign of slowing down.

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

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.

There's a bear in there

Big Ted and the gang are coming to town

July Bollywood Markets bring food and fun

FUN FAIR: The next Bollywood Beach Market is on July 1.

THE colour, the sights, the aromas, the joyful vibe.

Pregnant Serena Williams nude on cover of Vanity Fair

"My heart dropped. Like literally it dropped,”

Watch the game at Woopi C.ex

BARNSTORMING: Andrew Fifita of the NSW Blues.

Origin decider at C.ex Woolgoolga

Where is the newest property hotspot?

New apartment development being snapped up by locals.

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

House build hits the spot

Owner Libby Parish from Thora commissioned licensed builder Cormac McMullan, of Cormac & Co to build her a two bedroom, one bathroom house with a skillion roof.

Is this the answer to affordable housing on the Coffs Coast?

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!