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


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

WARNING: Dodgy door-knockers spark Coast scam alert

SCAM: Door knockers claiming to be collecting for the Salvation Army in the Coolum and Peregian area are not legitimate.

Why you shouldn't give these people your personal information

"There were times I cried because I'm not normal”

INSPIRING EMPLOYEE: Brianna Grice has overcome challenges to gain employment.

"There were times I cried because I'm not normal”

Research shows your genes play a big role in religiosity

Is religion a matter of faith or of genetics?

Researchers have found surprising correlations using twin studies.

Local Partners

Life as a Muslim in a Catholic school

Abdul Malik said he's come to learn more about his faith through talking about Islam with others.

Country music stars coming to Ipswich

Ipswich will get it's country on when The Country Superstars Tribute Show hits town on Friday, June 30 at Brothers Leagues Club.

A UNIQUE tribute show will bring a bit of country into the city.

Shoes make difference to kids in Zambia

MANY SHOES: Toowoomba Grammar School's Adrian Irwin and Fairholme College's Libby Stumer with shoes collected for children in Zambia.

Students are making a difference, creating a new project

Chance to own a piece of Burke and Wills history

Burke and Wills venue manager Jodie Spence. The hotel which has closed to begin major renovations, will be having a sale Sunday June 18 of all furniture which includes, lamps, beds, paintings, blankets.

Vintage lovers and antique collectors are in for a treat

Rapper accidentally drops Banksy's real name in interview

THE shine might just have been taken off bling-toothed British rapper Goldie after he appeared to have revealed the identity of mysterious artist Banksy.

Mariah Carey slammed for on-set antics

Mariah Carey’s cameo in the movie The House was reportedly scrapped.

Actor spills the beans on Mariah’s “borderline abusive” behaviour.

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson dead after long illness

Celebrity chef Darren Simpson has died.

Celebrity chef died after battle with an alcohol-related illness

Ellen shames audience member

Ellen shamed an audience member who stole from her gift shop.

TALK show host catches audience member stealing from her gift shop.

Millionaire’s riches to rags experiment

Businessman Tim Guest swapped his comfortable lifestyle for 10 days to experience what it is like to be homeless.

Businessman discovers harsh realities of homelessness in new series.

Prince Harry says young royals don't want to take the throne

Britain's Prince Harry.

Prince Harry says young royals don't want to take the throne

Rebel Wilson to give away her defamation payout

Actor Wilson says she won't keep a cent of her defamation payout

Open for inspection: Coast homes go on show

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Residents powerless to stop Airbnb ‘party houses’

A photo of a bucks party at a short-term rental in the Watergate Apartments in Melbourne’s Docklands, presented to a Victorian parliamentary committee into changes to laws governing short-stay accommodation.

Residents band together to fight the rise of AirBnB 'party houses'

Mining giants in fight that could spell disaster for NQ town

STAND OFF: There are perfectly good homes for workers, but mining company QCoal could be forced to build a camp and the deserted streets and empty houses of Glenden would remain.

How two mining companies could ruin this small town

Home owners settling to make way for Mackay Ring Road

The Clarkson family's home was moved just down the road from their former land at Stotts Road, Te Kowai, which was resumed by TMR.

But some are still clinging on, fighting for a better deal

Three historic M'boro hotels on the market

The Lamington Hotel Motel, Maryborough. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Three historic Maryborough hotels are on the market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!