We got up early hoping to hit the road to beat the morning traffic. The Premier Inn provides an array of breakfast options, full and continental for £8.99 and you can eat as much as you like at the self-service buffet. Just in the nick of time, we managed to have brekkie and checked out before the free parking time slot expired.
We flew from Manchester catching a morning flight on Flybe Airlines to Belfast, flight time was around a half hour onboard a Dash 8 Turboprop. Since it’s a smaller aircraft, carry-on luggage must adhere to the correct weight and size required for stowing overhead. Crew at the desk will check your bag, if it doesn’t fit the gauge, it will be placed in the hold. Ours were fine weight wise, but were a touch too bulky thanks to rolled up jackets to be accepted on board. We were not the only ones, it really is a squeeze so bear this in mind when packing or book the extra baggage required. Thankfully we didn’t pay any extra charges. It was a pleasant flight with a lovely skirting over Lough Neagh and the Irish countryside surrounding it.
Hamad International Airport (HIA) is a combination of sleek architecture and world-class facilities, a destination in itself! It’s a huge and ultramodern airport with gleaming surfaces and spotless amenities, it’s 11:00 PM and it feels like an early evening rush in a big shopping mall. Arriving and departing passengers flock to the multitude of shops for last minute gifts and necessities, restaurants and bars full of people waiting for flight announcements or passing layover time. With less than two hours to spare, my first priority was to get to the business lounge area via the duty free shop and continue to experience what Qatar Airways has to offer.
I am pretty much back in the swing of things after two months of galavanting about in the Philippines, Europe and Qatar. I can’t say that living out of a suitcase was easy, it seemed to become heavier each pack despite all the stuff I lost! That’s part of the rich tapestry of travel I suppose, some great highs and a few lows but plenty of fun along the way. If you’re planning a trip for an extended time like I did, carefully plan your entire trip taking into account layover times, local facilities and connections, if necessary have a Plan B as a contingency.
Filipinos have a sweet tooth full stop! Every region around the archipelago boasts its own sweet and savoury offerings and we have all the excuses to indulge in these treats anytime of the day, especially during merienda (meal gap between lunch and dinner) time. If you visit the Philippines you’ll find some of the restaurants even offer an ‘eat-all-you-can merienda’ or ‘snack to sawa’, a buffet style where you can sample most of the regional sweet offerings.
Imagine a table laid out with banana leaves rather than typical tablecloths. Colourful food like lechon, lumpia, prawns and enough mounds of rice to fell even the toughest of carb-loaders are strategically placed on all areas of the long table. Guests are seated next to family, old friends, new friends. It’s a fun festival of food and feasting.
We chocoholics like to believe that chocolate is a health food since it comes from roasted cacao beans, and therefore a vegetable. We hold on to recent studies that tell us chocolate has antidepressant compounds and amino acids linked to mood-lifting chemicals in the brain.
As a foodie, I have to make sure that I nourish and detoxify my body. How do I do it? simple, just a cup of hot or cold green tea! It’s refreshing, soothing and has a calming effect on my body.
The Filipino Food Movement Australia Mabuhay Nights dining pop-up is back, this time it will be held at Sizzling Fillo in Lidcombe this Monday 17th
Each year, Sydney turns into a dazzling extravaganza of lights. The spectacular displays on the famous Landmarks, Sydney’s skyline and throughout parks are turning the Vivid Sydney into one of the best known light, music and ideas festivals in the Southern Hemisphere.
The final day has arrived so we thought we would make the most of it. For the past 4 days our morning routine included a brisk walking on Deck 3, read the Daily Programme, catch up with news on the television then breakfast.
Queen Elizabeth arrived in the port of Hobart early in the morning, although we have been to Hobart before, our arrival by a cruise ship was a first and a truly memorable one. As the ship approached and maneuvered to its dedicated berth, we could smell and feel the cool air of Hobart, after all it was a chilly day at 14 degrees. Sydney may have been hot and sunny when we left but autumn had arrived in Hobart offering a pleasant change.