New Year’s Day and it’s time to move on. We board the Waiheke ferry and then head south-eastwards then back up north towards the Coromandel Peninsula. Tommy entertains us with various podcasts to pass the time. When we reach the peninsula we decide to go the scenic route up the west side. Continue reading
My New Zealand visit starts badly. I am so obsessed by the thought of the rigorous customs police confiscating our Solomon wooden carvings we have brought as gifts that I completely forget the banana I popped into my bag in the lounge, intending to eat it on the flight. Suffice to say, dear reader, I got done and it cost me $400 – ‘no criminal record’ the official says brightly. I have to admit the officials are charm itself – and I just feel a complete fool.
The next stage of our trip takes us to the Solomon Islands for a 14-day dive adventure aboard the MV Bilikiki. This has been a long-time ambition of ours and the trip was carefully planned around these dates and Christmas in NZ; for dive boats such as this you have to book a year in advance. Continue reading
After months of planning we are finally on our way! Our travels will take us to Singapore; Cambodia to visit the charity where I am a trustee, United World Schools, and the school we sponsored; to the Solomon Islands to dive for two weeks (via Singapore and Brisbane briefly); then to New Zealand for 5 weeks, joined by Tommy, to see all our old ‘nannies’ now married with children; next to French Polynesia for more diving and some island-hopping, including to the Cook Islands before crossing the date line to LA for one night and three weeks in Colombia. Phew! Continue reading
I had been invited to Prague to commemorate 90 years since my grandfather Hermann Ungar died aged only 36 from sepsis. He was a Czech Jewish writer who was beginning to build a reputation for himself as a formidable talent amongst the Prague and Berlin literary circles of that time, which included Kafka, Stefan Zweig, Bertolt Brecht among other illustrious names. At the last minute the dates were changed but I had bought tickets and booked the hotel so off we went. Continue reading
So here we are in Granada, home to Alhambra, which means the Red Fort. It is correct to simply call it Alhambra as ‘al’ means ‘the’ in Arabic. Granada itself is named after the old Jewish settlement, Medina-al-Granata, or Pomegranate City, the fruit being a symbol of fertility, which is said to contain the same number of seeds as the volumes of the Torah. We have a free day to explore before our extortionate tour; still nervous about whether we have been scammed, we are relieved to get a text confirming the meeting time. Phew! Continue reading