There is a weird vibe in the air – but hopefully nothing actually in the air

Coronavirus
Ready for lock-down

Is it just me or does anyone else out there feel like today is the first day of a really weird holiday? We’re in the midst of a worldwide crisis, united in a mutual fascination and fear of COVID-19.

Here in Austria the government announced this week that from Monday more extreme measures will be put in place to help contain the spread – inessential shops will be closed along with schools and universities, restaurants must close at 3pm, visits to hospitals and elderly homes are off the cards, medicine can be prescribed over the phone, and certain areas and towns are locked in quarantine. Along with that are the strong recommendations that social contact should be kept to a minimum and anyone who can work from home should.

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Short Trips – Halls Gap – The Grampians – Gariwerd

Grampians The PinnacleDuring our recent trip to Australia, hubby suggested we take some time out for ourselves to see a little bit of the country. When you use up a big holiday period to visit home, it’s often hard to see it as a holiday, as opposed to hopping between the same places and people each time.

The place that came to mind instantly (remembering that we have to be practical, we can’t venture too far from Melbourne), was Halls Gap, a place where I used to go camping with the family as a kid.

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An Austrian Pork Roast – Schweinsbraten

Austrian roast pork - schwinsbratenAustrians love pork. They love it on the barbie, they love it in a pan and they love it in the oven. I waited 4 years for my first, traditional, Austrian, home-cooked pork roast, but it was well worth the wait.

Sure, I’ve had it in restaurants – it’s on every Gasthaus menu, right up there with schnitzel and Kärntner Nudeln. But somehow it’s different when it’s home cooked.

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Short Trips – Bangkok OC (Oriental City)

Bangkok OC (Oriental City) - breakfast hotelI’m not exactly sure what I was expecting from Bangkok when we arrived for a 4-night stopover on our way to Australia at the end of last year. And maybe it was because we’d been in India just a month earlier, but what struck me immediately was how clean it was, how sweet-smelling and how super organized.

Look… I know it’s a big city, and also a big tourist city, so that’s probably what most people would expect, but I hadn’t been. We arrived very early in the morning, and after breakfast in our hotel at the Lamphu Tree House, were delighted to have access to our room just after 9am for a quick nap after our overnight flight.

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Dorothy… we’re not in India anymore

Dinner, le meridien, DelhiAt the end of our two week, action packed, exhausting tour of the Rajasthan region of India, hubby and I booked ourselves three nights in a 5 star hotel in Delhi. We were well aware we would want some time to kick back, chill, and process all we’d seen and done before rushing onto a plane back to real life.

The hotel we were staying at on the last night of the tour in Delhi was fine… but it wasn’t more than that. And when we were woken up early because apparently breakfast was served right outside our room, we decided, time to go.

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Overnight in India… on the train

Overnight train Delhi to JodphurMy time on the overnight train from Delhi to Jodhpur is not my favourite memory of northern India. It’s possibly my worst memory. My time on the overnight train from Delhi to Jodhpur felt like a hideous place I would never escape from. I was sandwiched in the middle bunk between two plastic mats – parallel to me was a heavy Indian man who only stopped snoring to cough; rasping toxic coughs that sounded like one of his lungs was being dragged from his insides out through his mouth.

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