Kimonos in Kyoto

A brief glance through the car window, but I saw her, glistening black hair meticulously styled, a pale white oval face of porcelain skin with a hint of pink on the cheeks, eyes lined with black kohl framed by eyebrows shaped into perfect crescent moons and her lips, small, dainty and painted red.
She was sitting in the back of a black taxi cocooned in luxurious and very expensive hand-woven silk. For the briefest moment I saw a creature of fantasy, a woman of the night paid for her company, often the centre of attention in a group of Japan’s most powerful and wealthy business men.
Her night had just begun but she would be profit many times into the early morning for her services, entertaining clients with the skills she has perfected and been trained for. Continue reading

One of Rottnest's many bays

Shortest Overseas Trip Ever

Looking for an island holiday, with over 63 long, white, sandy beaches and 20 crystal clear bays to choose from, world standard diving areas filled with colourful coral and abundant with tropical fish, with distinct wildlife not seen anywhere else on Earth, an interesting history and that great laid back vibe, with fares from only $45 return?

Have you thought about Rottnest?

To most locals, Rotto is that sandy island full of those weird rat-like animals, off the coast of Perth that they may have visited once or twice with their school or family when they were young.

But after a recent visit, I have found a new appreciation for a unique and beautiful travel destination that is right on my city’s doorstep.  Continue reading

Holy Espagna, Batman!

It was Easter in Spain and I had flown down to Seville to witness one of the most interesting religious festivals in the world. The Semana Santa or Holy Week showcases multitudes of Catholic processions by those wishing to be cleansed of their sins for the year. Participants don long robes in the identifiable colours of their local church, complete with a very large pointed hood that covers the face so that they can only see through two holes in the front. Envision the Ku Klux Klan in various colours but without the hate crimes and prejudice. Their pointed hoods are supposed to hide the height of the person while their face is hidden so that people cannot identify the ‘sinners’.

The various sized groups walk through the streets of Seville carrying candles, banners and various antique relics from their church. Some go all out and place their revered statues of Mary and Jesus on giant, gold gilded floats covered in flowers, mainly red and white roses. I assume that those who have committed the worst sins get the punishing job of carrying these floats around from underneath!.  Continue reading