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Tim Richards
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A Walk Through Kyiv's Soviet Past
www.lonelyplanet.com, 20 April 2017

"Ukraine has been a proudly independent nation since 1991, but for decades before that it formed part of the Soviet Union. Many elements of that era – and of the Russian empire before it – remain in the heart of Kyiv, intertwined with remembrances of the city’s medieval glory. It’s a fascinating array of clues from the past, within strolling distance..."

Enjoying a walking tour of USSR-era landmarks in the capital city of Ukraine
.

[Read the full article here]

Masters on the Menu
Traveller (The Age & Sydney Morning Herald),
4 February
2017

"I'm standing in front of The Tower of Babel, a crazed wedding cake of a building. Constructed of tapering layers, broken open on one side, this ancient skyscraper dwarfs the port city lying below it. Though this 1563 painting by Bruegel​ may resemble a mighty structure from Game of Thrones, it's outdone by the architecture within which it hangs. For I'm viewing it within the Kunsthistorisches​ (Art History) Museum, Vienna's greatest repository of art..."

Dining within a great cultural institution in Vienna, Austria
.
 

[Read the full article here]

The Alternative Destinations to Europe's Most Crowded Tourist Cities
Traveller
, 16 December 2016

"Many people in popular European cities rely on tourism for their income, but it seems even these places can hit a point at which the crowds become a problem. What's to be done? Ration arrivals to these cities, and place turnstiles at its parks and most popular streets? I have another solution in mind: go elsewhere. What if we... or at least some of us... chose other European cities to visit? Places that have charms of their own, without being swamped by tourists?"

Proposing attractive alternatives to the most crowded tourist cities of Europe
.
Available for republication (print and Web).
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[Read the full article here]

Getting Naked in Germany's Bathhouses
Traveller
, 17 November 2016

"Which of the world's many nationalities are the most casual about going nude? Could it be the Koreans or Japanese with their traditions of public bathhouses? Or the Finns with their famous saunas? These are strong contenders. But for Olympic levels of nuding up in public, the laurel wreath – or maybe fig leaf – must be presented to the Germans..."

Soaking my cares away in the glorious old bathhouses
of Germany.
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[Read the full article here]

A Love Story
Discover, Spring/Summer 2016

"The Romantic Road touring route through southern Germany has lost none of its charm with age. Established in 1950, it’s a showcase of beautiful towns and cities which match our storybook expectations of Central Europe..." 

Highlighting the attractions along this popular route through Bavaria, Germany.
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[Read the full article here]


Masters of Marzipan: Lübeck's Sweet Success
www.lonelyplanet.com, 3 August 2016

"Central Europe is famous for producing a delicious sweet treat that doesn’t grow in its neighbourhood: chocolate. For the true sweet-toothed connoisseur, however, there’s an even more exotic delicacy to be found in northern Germany. Since the 18th century, confectioners in Lübeck have used almond paste to produce the finest marzipan. Once the indulgence of kings, it’s now available to everyone..."

Sampling the marzipan delights created in
Lübeck, Germany.
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[Read the full article here]

Hamburg's Coffee Connection
www.lonelyplanet.com, 3 August 2016

"Vienna, Melbourne and Seattle are all cities renowned for excellent coffee and lively cafe scenes. But there’s another place that can be added to the list, and it may surprise you: Hamburg. This port city in northern Germany has long thrived on trade, and with the coffee bean having passed through its docks and warehouses for centuries, there’s plenty here to interest lovers of the brew..."

Investigating the coffee history of the port city of Hamburg, Germany
.
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[Read the full article here]

Danish Town is Bard to the Bone
Traveller (The Sun-Herald
),
24 July
2016

"'Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.' I have Hamlet on my mind as I stand inside the train station at Helsingųr, north of Copenhagen. As well I might, because this Danish town is better known in English as Elsinore, the setting for William Shakespeare's play. The station's interior does indeed seem crazed. A huge chandelier hangs from intricately carved roof panels, above an ornately decorated staircase and walls bearing coats of arms. And yet there is method in it..."

Exploring the town and castle which inspired Shakespeare in Helsingųr, Denmark
.
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[Read the full article here]

The European Neighbourhood That Declared Independence
Traveller
, 6 July 2016

"There's more to Nina than meets the eye, and the same could be said for Freetown Christiania. After idealistic squatters moved into this abandoned military base in 1971, it became infamous for the open dealing of cannabis. There's still an air of tension when entering Christiania's Green Light District, on the aptly named Pusher Street. Here photography is forbidden, and the dealers standing by their stalls wear masks. The rest of Christiania, however, is a different world..."

Exploring the counter-culture enclave of Christiania in Copenhagen, Denmark
.
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[Read the full article here]

So Far, So Noir
The Age
, 25 June 2016

"'There are 16 months in Denmark – and five of them are November,' says Christine, my guide on this Nordic Noir tour of central Copenhagen. As our small group huddles outside Vesterport train station, her observation seems particularly apt. This spring afternoon is as unwelcoming as a late-autumn day, the sky spitting drizzle and an icy wind swirling in every direction..."

Joining a tour devoted to 'Scandi noir' television series The Killing and The Bridge, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
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[Read the full article here]

Entering the Dragon's Lair
www.lonelyplanet.com, 22 June 2016

"A two-hour drive north of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv lies the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, site of the worst nuclear accident ever recorded. In the aftermath of a reactor explosion in 1986, cities and villages were abandoned. Decades on, tourists can visit the zone to find an eerie landscape of crumbling buildings being reclaimed by nature. It’s a prime example of dark tourism..."

Joining an overnight tour to the strange radioactive sights of Chernobyl, Ukraine
.
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[Read the full article here]

Going Light
Paradise, May-June 2016

"Are you up for a travel challenge? Here it is: could you travel anywhere in the world, taking only cabin luggage with you? It may sound impossible, but it isn’t. For years, I’ve been honing my approach to packing light, to the point where I only ever take a single bag. The upside? I zip through airports, often bypassing the check-in desks entirely if the airline offers mobile check-in. When I leave the flight at the end of the trip, I can walk straight out of the airport..."

Explaining how to pack light, including for a winter trip to Europe.
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[Read the full article here]

The 60 Best Travel Finds of 2015
(five items by me)
The Sun-Herald
, 27 December 2015

"For over a century, drinkers at the luxurious Raffles Hotel in Singapore have shivered over the story of the tiger who was discovered beneath the hotel's billiard room in 1902. Now they have something with which to toast the terrifying memory: The Stray Tiger. Part of the hotel's Timeline series of cocktails based on historic events, it's a $S27 wild combination of white rum, Cointreau, vermouth, lime juice, absinthe and lemongrass foam. Chin chin!"

I detail five of 60 interesting attractions, in Los Angeles, Munich, Singapore and Melbourne
.
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[Read the full article here]

Airline Review: Emirates Economy
Traveller
, 18 December 2015

"The system's programmers had fun shaking up the usual menu options, with  categories including Middle Earth, Film Club, Disney Classics and Arabic Cinema. The TV collection contains tired comedy stayers such as Big Bang Theory, along with Modern Family, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and dramas such as Fargo, The Code and The Fall..."

Reviewing the economy experience on a flight from Dubai to Frankfurt
.
Available for republication (print only).

[Read the full article here]

Lightning Rod for Science
Traveller (The Age & Sydney Morning Herald
),
28 November
2015

"I clap my hands over my ears at the loud crackling sound, as a great arcing blaze of electrical power strikes a suspended metal sphere. However, the man seated inside its confined space survives thousands of volts of pure, deadly force. There will be no electrocution today. It's a regular demonstration at Munich's Deutsches Museum, but no less spectacular for its harmless outcome..."

Investigating the exhibits at a major science & technology museum
in Munich, Germany.
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[Read the full article here]

Cold War Ghosts Haunt Berlin's Wall
The Sunday Age
, 8 November 2015

"If I'd been standing in this S-Bahn station three decades ago, I'd be in a spot of bother. Nowadays Nordbahnhof is just like any other Berlin station. Opened in 1936, it's an unremarkable brick structure with below-ground platforms decorated with bland cream tiles. During the Cold War, however, Nordbahnhof was a so-called "ghost station" in East Berlin. Located in a no-man's-land behind the Berlin Wall, it was inaccessible to passengers for 30 years..."

Exploring Cold War 'ghost stations' and the official Berlin Wall memorial in Germany
.
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[Read the full article here]

Brussels' Daggiest Day Out
The Sunday Age
, 11 October 2015

"The Continent might have a worldwide reputation for stylish, urbane design (where would we be without the French word chic?), but instead I'm headed for Belgium's daggiest attraction. Spread across beautiful landscaped gardens in the city's north are replicas of 350 famous buildings and monuments from across the European Union, recreated at a scale of 1:25. Thus, the model of London's clock tower that houses Big Ben is four metres high, and the replica Eiffel Tower is as tall as a three-storey building..."

Exploring a collection of miniature buildings in Brussels, Belgium
.
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[Read the full article here]

Euro Trash to Treasure
The Sunday Age
, 23 August 2015

"As I step out of the Kettenbrückengasse​ U-Bahn station, I have to sidestep a couple absorbed in examining a pair of jeans they've just bought. The denim doesn't look much chop to me, faded as it is, with holes in both legs. But this could be the motto of Vienna's Saturday flea market, southwest of the historic Ringstrasse: 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.' A strange eclectic jumble of items that could be trash or treasure is at the heart of the term 'flea market', and never was it more apt than here..."

Examining the quirky merchandise of a flea market in Vienna, Austria
.
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[Read the full article here]

Many Worlds in One Place
The Sun-Herald
, 26 July 2015

"My new cartographic hero is Vincenzo Coronelli. The work of this 17th century Venetian map-making superstar is the first thing you see upon entering Vienna's Globe Museum, a boutique institution owned by Austria's National Library. First up is a pair created by Coronelli in 1693. In those days globes were made by hand, and always in twos – one a terrestrial globe, the other a celestial globe depicting the heavens. They functioned not only as practical objects but as art..."

Admiring the collection of the world's only Globe Museum, in Vienna, Austria.
Available for republication (print only).

[Read the full article here]

Along the Romantic Road
Get Up & Go, Winter 2015

"I arrive in the Bavarian town just as the sun is setting, and find my way to its Old Town on the east bank of the River Main. The view is impressive, with the mighty Marienberg Fortress perched high above the opposite bank. On my side, things are more mellow. People are milling about the old stone bridge here, chatting and sipping wine from nearby riverside restaurants. It’s a magical atmosphere. If this is the standard end of a workday for Würzburg locals, they’re lucky indeed..."

Travelling along a famous touring route through southern Germany.
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[Read the full article here]

Raise a Glass to Munich's Food
The Sunday Age
, 5 July 2015

"If it's nowhere near Oktoberfest and I'm sipping a soft drink as I walk, can I possibly experience the real Munich? Apparently so, according to Iain, the British guide on Radius Tours' daily Bavarian Food Tour. Each member of our small group has a German soft drink thrust into their hands (mine's a cheeky pear and rhubarb flavour) as we head into the streets of the Old Town. Everyone knows about Munich's famous beer, so today is devoted to discovering its less-celebrated food..."

Taking a food tour featuring the highlights of Bavarian cuisine in Munich, Germany
.
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[Read the full article here]

Passport Stamps Fading Away
Traveller
, 3 June 2015

"Legalities aside, passport stamps are a romantic reminder of your time on the road. Sometimes they're prized because they look particularly florid and exotic, other times because of the memories they evoke. As the old-fashioned passport stamp starts to fade away, replaced by electronic entry procedures, they'll become even more attractive as proof that you really were there..."

Considering the appeal of passport stamps in an era when they're becoming rarer.
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[Read the full article here]

The Hills Are a Bit Damp
The Age
, 30 May 2015

"'The plan was for six weeks' location shooting,' says David, our British guide on The Sound of Music bus tour. 'The weather had different ideas.' He's referring to the location filming of the 50-year-old cinematic favourite, but he might as well be talking about today's weather in Salzburg. The hills are alive above the picturesque Austrian city, but it's more with a steady drizzle than music on this cold, wet day..."

Taking a bus tour dedicated to The Sound of Music in Salzburg, Austria
.
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[Read the full article here]

Field of Destiny: Waterloo Battlefield
www.lonelyplanet.com, 20 May 2015

"In ABBA’s winning song at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, the Swedish supergroup delivered a history lesson to their listeners. It was at Waterloo, the brightly-clad musicians informed the audience, that Napoleon surrendered. Indeed it was, after the great Battle of Waterloo which took place on 18 June 1815. Two centuries later, the custodians of the Waterloo battlefield are preparing for a resurgence of interest in the site..."

Exploring this famous battlefield in Belgium on its 200th anniversary.
Not available for republication.

[Read the full article here]

Leipzig: The Music of History
Skylife
, April 2015
(Turkish Airlines inflight magazine)

"I wonder who will reach me first  – the accordion player, or the waiter bringing my lunch? As I sit outside Zill’s Tunnel, a popular restaurant, I can see the accordion player making his way between restaurant tables on each side of the narrow lane. His music floats across the tightly-packed seating, as sunshine gleams through the umbrellas above the tables. This part of Leipzig is known as the Drallewatsch, a zone of restaurants within a maze of beautiful buildings from the Renaissance, Baroque and later periods..."

Outlining the attractions of Leipzig, Germany
.
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[Read the full article here]

A Taste of Coffee History in Leipzig
Traveller
, 29 March 2015

"Believe it or not, there was a time before coffee. Then, in the 17th century, it spread via trade routes north from Arabia. In Leipzig, Germany, the locals' gratitude for this remarkable beverage appears above the doorway of Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum. A gilt-edged sculpture depicts a man in Eastern garb handing a cup of coffee to a young boy. Opened in 1711, the 'Arabian Coffee Tree' is Germany's oldest cafe. And located on the floors above it is Leipzig's Coffee Museum, continuing the tribute to that much-loved brew..."

Exploring an institution dedicated to coffee in Leipzig, Germany
.
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[Read the full article here]

Converts' Guide: Long-Distance Train Travel
The Sun-Herald
, 15 March 2015

"There are many types of long-distance trains, from regularly scheduled services to those that resemble luxury cruise liners. What they have in common is ever-changing scenery. A train is a unique mode of transport, akin to a small town on wheels; always in contact with the world outside, but also slightly separate. It's difficult to get bored as the entire planet passes by your window: people, farms, forests, dramatic landscapes, and the normally hidden backyards of vibrant cities..."

Promoting the benefits of long-distance rail travel, in one of a set of travel essays; including trains travelling through Europe.
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[Read the full article here]

To Berlin by Rail
Get Up & Go, Summer 2015

"Most travellers arrive in London looking for history, but it’s also there on your way out. I’m sipping great coffee within the cavernous interior of Caravan, a sleek modern cafe on Granary Square at Kings Cross. The huge brick building it’s located in was once a storehouse for grain brought in by rail and barge. With that transport history, it seems the right place from which to set off on a grand rail journey to the Continent..."

Detailing a rail journey from London to Berlin, with stops at Brussels and Cologne.
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[Read the full article here]

Taking it to the Streets
The Age, 1 November 2014

"'With street art, people think first of tags. Dogs marking their territory.' It's an opinion that rings true in Melbourne, where the public argument about the worthiness of street art centres on its appeal to the passer-by. Big, decorative illustrations earn the accolade of 'art', while obscure statements of the artist's identity are dismissed as 'tags'. Ben, our New Zealander guide on the Alternative Berlin Street Art Tour, is having none of this. 'Graffiti isn't made for the general public to enjoy...'"

Joining a tour of street art through the suburbs of Berlin, Germany
.
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[Read the full article here]

A Crash Course in Modern Art
The Sunday Age
, 26 October 2014

"On the top floor of Cologne's Museum Ludwig, I discover a little secret. If you push through the glass doors next to the loos on this level, you end up on an empty brick-paved terrace with an excellent view of Cologne Cathedral. Somehow this seems fitting. The vast medieval cathedral is the city's pride and joy, and Germany's most visited attraction; while the museum houses an extensive modern art collection. Together they neatly bookend the city's art history, from the 13th century to the present day..."

Viewing the impressive modern art collection of a museum in Cologne, Germany
.
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[Read the full article here]

Best Literary Walking Tours
Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2015
,
October
2014

"There’s no better way to pay tribute to your favourite author or characters than to follow in their footsteps via these entertaining tours..."

Listing ten distinctive literary walking tours in locales across the world, including the UK, USA, Sweden, Ireland, France, Romania, China and Australia.

This book can be purchased online from Amazon.com.

Not available for republication.

[Read the full article here]


Pack It In: How to Travel With Only Carry-on Luggage
Fairfax Traveller
, 7 August 2013

"My name's Tim, and I'm an obsessive light packer. I only ever travel with a cabin luggage-sized backpack, no matter where I go or how long I stay. In 2011, for example, I spent eight weeks in Europe. My only luggage? That trusty, unassuming High Sierra backpack I bought in 2005. Travelling like this isn't easy. Being self-limited to hand luggage involves a high level of obsession and a cultish devotion to the virtues of travelling light..."

Explaining my light packing "Rule of Three", with specific reference to travel in Poland, the UK and Italy [Includes video clip].
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[Read the full article here]

Cheers! Bathing in Czech Beer
NineMSN Travel, 12 July 2013

"Immersed in the brown foamy liquid, I can smell the faint aroma of what seems like wheat beer. Or a light pilsner. Included in the entry fee are two large steins of the real stuff from the brewery above, a cold full-strength brew which I sip while soaking in the tub. There’s beer inside and beer outside, and I’m feeling fairly mellow in the warm oily bath. The Czech geniuses who designed this spa have definitely figured out how to make 'wellness' seem appealing to blokes..."

Soaking in a bath full of beer, in the city of Olomouc, Czech Republic.
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[Read the full article here]

Dresden Shuffle
The Sunday Age
, 23 June 2013

"I'm sitting in the retro interior of Scheune Cafe in the eastern German city of Dresden, having a beer with Danilo Hommel and talking about the bad old days. Back in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down, Hommel was a young recruit in the army of communist East Germany. Nowadays, he leads the Nightwalk, a bar tour through Neustadt. It's the offbeat part of town – a grungy, hip flipside to the museum-packed city centre across the Elbe River..."

Joining a fascinating bar tour in Dresden, Germany.
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[Read the full article here]

The Tour with the Dragon Tattoo: Stieg Larsson's Stockholm
NineMSN Travel, April 2013

"Plunging into a well-groomed residential quarter, we pass the beautiful St Catherine's Church and admire the flash apartment building bought into by Salander after she fleeced a dodgy businessman of his billions. Descending hillside steps to the square in front of Slussen Metro station, I feel the memorable scenes of the Millennium novels have been vividly filled out in my mind by the colours, sounds and smells of Södermalm's real-life streets..."

Following in  the footsteps of the characters from a crime novel series set in Stockholm, Sweden.
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[Read the full article here]

A World Full of Cheap Thrills
The Age & Sydney Morning Herald
,
16 March
2013

"To be an Australian traveller is to be obsessed by currency exchange rates, and certain cities have a reputation among Aussies for their crippling expense. But with the Aussie dollar's dramatic rise, things must have changed. To test this theory, I visited Lonely Planet's Melbourne HQ to thumb through guidebooks used by travellers ten years ago, comparing prices while factoring in inflation. What I found should put a smile on every Australian traveller's face..."

Exploring the effect of the Australian dollar's rise on attractions in London, New York, Tokyo and Reykjavik.
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[Read the full article here]

World's Most Expensive Cities Not So Bad
Fairfax Traveller
, 7 February 2013

"They were bitter, strong, smooth… and extremely expensive at £18.50 each. In 2008, with the Australian dollar buying 48 pence, that worked out to $38.50 per cocktail. Ouch. I consoled myself that I was doing much better than I would have five years earlier when the dollar had been buying only 35p; at that rate, each Vesper would have cost $52.85. At the other extreme is the exchange rate of today, currently hovering around 66p. Assuming the cocktail cost the same in pounds, that Vesper would now go for $28..."

Examining how the Australian dollar's rise has made travel cheaper than ten years ago in London, New York, Tokyo and Reykjavik.
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[Read the full article here]

An Intoxicating Gallery Tour in Stockholm
The Sun-Herald
, 20 January 2013

"It's in two minds about its subject. Nectar of the gods or demon drink? That's very much up to me, it seems. The museum's curators want me to consider both angles, which seems fitting for a country that nearly voted for Prohibition in 1922 and that maintains a government monopoly over liquor stores. Fair enough. I'll, er, drink to that approach, I think, as I enter beneath a canopy of artificial trees, encountering the first of the museum's smell-and-taste stations..."

Getting into the spirit of the Spirit Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.
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Czeching Out
The Sunday Age
, 28 October 2012

"I'm looking Death in the eye, and Death is looking back at me. Strangely, it doesn't seem as creepy or disturbing as it should. I'm standing beneath Jakubske Square, in the eastern Czech city of Brno, gazing at a thick circular column of human skulls and bones. They're brown with age and rise all the way from the floor to the ceiling of this cool, dimly lit chamber. Nearby are two skeletons in caskets, with a wall of bones behind them..."

Meeting death in a restored ossuary and a monastic crypt in Brno, Czech Republic.
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We All Say Thank You for the Music
Escape, 21 October 2012
(News Ltd's Sunday travel section)

"In less time than it takes to say, 'I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do', I find myself signed up for the tour and standing under the lone oak tree in the courtyard of the Stockholm City Hall, alongside other ABBA fans. We're in the hands of guide Eva Palmqvist, who smiles and flips up a photo of the pop-tastic quartet at their youthful height, arms splayed and dressed in denim, with the dour brick bulk of the City Hall in the background..."

Joining the ABBA City Walk through the centre of Stockholm, Sweden.
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[Read the full article here]


Oddest Food Museums
Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2013, October 2012

List of distinctive food museums in locales across the world (including three in the USA, two in Germany, two in Japan, one in Hungary, one in Belgium, and one in South Korea).

This book can be purchased online from Amazon.com.

Not available for republication.

[Read the full article here]

Circles of Hell: Inside the World's Biggest IKEA Store
Fairfax Traveller,
26 September 2012

"A question occurs: when Swedes visit the biggest IKEA store in the world, do they order the famous 'Swedish meatballs'? Or is the dish simply 'meatballs'? I'm travelling through the drab south-west suburbs of Stockholm on a commuter train, looking for answers to the hard questions. I might not be Mikael Blomkvist, the Millennium series' detective hero who unravels mysteries involving psychopaths and dirty money, but I've read the first book, walked by his fictional address and visited his local cafe..."

Investigating the interior of the world's biggest IKEA store, in Stockholm, Sweden.
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[Read the full article here]

Hip Sips
The Sunday Age, 16 September 2012

"Below on the streets, I have a hint of a grittier side to the island of Södermalm, divided by sluice gates from Stockholm’s picturesque Old Town. Södermalm was once a gritty working-class port and residential district, and there’s a hint of that among the concrete jumble around the Metro station and nearby wharves. For the most part, however, 'Söder' has traced a familiar trajectory of inner-city harbours, from down-at-heel poverty to cutting-edge cool..."

Drinking at the cool cafe-bars of edgy Södermalm, in Stockholm, Sweden.
Available for republication (print only).
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Shades of a Darker Past
Medical Observer, 20 July 2012

"In front of me is a row of false rubber noses of various shapes. Above them are several wigs and false moustaches that look like props from a 1970s TV cop drama. Believe it or not, these props once had a serious purpose. They were used by agents of the Stasi, the feared secret police of communist East Germany, to change their appearance when they had placed a suspect under surveillance..."

Tracing the communist-era past in the city of Leipzig, Germany.
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[Read the full article here]


Angels at My Table
The Sunday Age, 22 April 2012

"I'm sitting in a cafe named after an American city. It's decorated in a florid, over-the-top baroque style, all gilt-edged mirrors and extravagant chandeliers. And I'm in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. This place is a mystery. A delightful, impressively appointed mystery, but a mystery nonetheless..."

Sampling the delights of 19th century coffee houses in Budapest, Hungary.
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[Read the full article here]

Rites of Passage
The Sunday Age, 4 March 2012

"Leipzig is a lively city composed of conflicting historical fragments. In the red corner, there are the remnants of its days within communist East Germany, including the Stasi Museum. In the blue corner, however, is its connection to music (as one-time home of Bach and Mendelssohn), its quirky local dishes and the numerous passageways and courtyards threaded through its attractive Old Town..."

Exploring the historic arcades dotted through the centre of Leipzig, Germany.
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Hungary's Hidden Treasures
Medical Observer, 12 August 2011

"Pécs is a city with a history of conquest. In the 16th century the city was snatched from the Kingdom of Hungary by the invading Turkish Empire. They built a mosque in the middle of the square, which was duly transformed into a church after the Turks were ousted. Nowadays the Mosque Church is a museum, but it’s also a symbol of the waves of cultures which have washed through this town."

Exploring the attractions of sunny Pécs, in southwestern Hungary.
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[Read the full article here]


Fangtastic! The World’s Best Vampire-spotting Locations
www.lonelyplanet.com, 9 August 2011

Revealing several ways of encountering vampires in places around the globe (including locations in Romania, the UK, France, the USA, Costa Rica and Indonesia).


Not available for republication.

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A Good Soak
The Sunday Age, 1 May 2011

"I’m soaking in hot water in the grand Gellért Baths, and wondering whether my skimpy kötény was really a better choice of clothing than the swimwear worn by most of my fellow patrons. But when in Budapest, do as the Hungarians do, I reason... and this humble hired cotton apron is the traditional costume in single-sex sections of the country’s numerous thermal baths."

Taking a dip in the diverse thermal baths of Hungary.
Available for republication (print only).

Images available.

Sample Wine and Soak Up the Past
Escape, 10 April 2011
(News Ltd's Sunday travel section)

"It's not fun down here in the dungeon, and the screaming makes it worse. Not that anyone’s being tortured, thankfully. Instead, a shrieking group of schoolkids has joined our tour of Eger Castle, the enormous medieval fortress at the heart of Eger, a small Hungarian city in wine-growing country east of Budapest. The enthusiastic kids seem immune to the claustrophobia I experience as we head ever deeper..."

Enjoying the wine and history of the town of Eger, Hungary.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.


The Beauty of Bled
The Sunday Age, 20 March 2011

"I’m standing in the light rain, holding an umbrella above the head of an artist as he paints a silhouette on the back of a painting for my wife. What’s the subject? Well, it’s a depiction of me holding an umbrella over him, with my wife Narrelle  standing nearby. Confused? So am I. But then I look up to see the beautiful lake before us, punctuated by an island topped with a small elegant church - itself dwarfed by a mighty castle on the sheer cliff above it - and everything seems just fine."

Spending a day on the shores of beautiful Lake Bled, Slovenia.
Available for republication (print only).

Images available.

Eastern Europe Exposed
NineMSN Travel, January 2011

"There's a whole other Europe over there, with the same things that Western Europe is famous for - art treasures, fascinating castles, great food and wine, and character-packed villages. And there are two big bonuses in the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Firstly, they're cheaper to travel in than the West. And secondly, they're dotted with weird and fascinating remnants left over from the 'reds under the beds' era."

Revealing five appealing and lesser-known attractions in Central and Eastern Europe.
Available for republication.
Images available.

[Read the full article here]

Cool Calm Collective
EasyJet Traveller, January 2011

"It's not every hostel room that features a demolition hole as a window. But then Hostel Celica is not the average backpacker's bolthole. 'The bed is shaped like a boat and one corner of the room is open from when they tried to demolish the building,' says Toma˛ Juvan, director of Ljubljana's most cutting-edge hostel. 'The building started as an Austro-Hungarian military prison. In the end it was a political prison; our ex-prime minister was once held here.'"

Celebrating the cutting-edge delights of Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia.
Not available for republication.
Images available.

[Read the full article here]

In the Doll House
The Sunday Age, 26 December 2010

"I’m standing two metres from the terrifying figure of a vampire looming over a defenceless white-clad maiden, blood dripping from its fangs... when the lights go out. It’s not just the vampire I have to worry about in the sudden inky blackness. Behind me is the infamous Countess Bathory in a bath dripping with virgins’ blood, and further on there’s a gent with a guillotine."

Exploring the quirky (and kinky) museums of Keszthely, Hungary.
Available for republication (print only).

Images available.

Best Vampire Spotting Locales &
Top Ten Historical Re-enactments
Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2011
, November 2010

Two lists of distinctive travel experiences in locales across the world (including one in Romania, one in France, one in Belgium, and one in Croatia).

This book can be purchased online from Amazon.com.

Not available for republication.


Forget Western Europe
www.lonelyplanet.com, 22 October 2010

"To say that the tourist trail through Western Europe is well-travelled is an understatement. In fact it’s so well-travelled it’s not a mere trail, but a six lane highway with frequent rest stops and peak hour traffic jams. So what can you do if you want the quintessential European experience without the expense or the mob scene? Easy – head east."

Describing Eastern European equivalents to the great attractions of the West.
Not available for republication.

[Read the full article here]

Funny Figures of Socialist Realism
The Age, 14 August 2010

"As I walk around the grounds I begin to realise that the statues have an another, unexpected aspect. In a nutshell, they’re funny. Though designed to inspire fear, they also inspire humour. In fact, with their absurdly oversized limbs, stiff expressions and ungainly depictions of movement, the figures are nothing less than a po-faced set of posers who are begging to have the piss taken out of them."

A letter from Budapest, Hungary, describing its communist-era statuary.
Available for republication (print only).

Images available.

View from Vilnius
Medical Observer, 23 July 2010

"There’s a dumpling on my plate the size of a miniature football. In fact, it’s the shape of a football - which is why it’s called a cepelinas (zeppelin), after the famous airships. The pale, doughy exterior is made of potato, and it’s wrapped around a meat filling. On top is a sauce involving sour cream and pork crackling. It may not be the lightest meal I’ve ever ordered, but it would clearly be an unforgivable international snub not to try it."

Exploring the beautiful streets within the capital of Lithuania.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.

[Read the full article here]


Hungary chapter
Lonely Planet: Discover Europe (ed. 1)
May 2010

"It's the beauty of Budapest - both natural and constructed - that makes it stand apart. Straddling a gentle curve in the Danube, the city is flanked by the Buda Hills on the west bank and the beginnings of the Great Plain to the east. Architecturally it is a gem, with enough baroque, neoclassical, eclectic and art nouveau elements to satisfy anyone."

A full-colour guide to this Central European nation, with details of including attractions, accommodation, dining, nightlife, history and culture.

This book can be purchased online from Amazon.com.

Not available for republication.


Cable Car Has the World on a String
Escape, 17 January 2010
(News Ltd's Sunday travel section)

"Then a miracle happens. The dense cloud starts to dissipate under the sunlight's morning warmth, splitting apart to reveal a stark rocky peak way above us. Set within it is the cable car station, an improbable construction wedged into the rock, like the lair of a James Bond villain. As we reach it, I suddenly remember that there's nothing beneath our feet for a very long way, and then we gently ease into place, 2634m above sea level."

Ascending the mighty High Tatra mountains in Slovakia.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.


Europe's Red Remains
Backpacker Essentials, November 2009

"A mention of the Cold War will more likely prompt thoughts of Californian indie band Cold War Kids than the dark days of the Berlin Wall. However, all is not lost. The Wall fell 20 years ago, but Central and Eastern Europe are littered with remnants from the strange, increasingly distant era of the Iron Curtain. That’s the beauty of this part of Europe..."

Detailing ten memorable communist-era relics in Central and Eastern Europe.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.

[Read the full article here]


Hungary chapter
Lonely Planet: Europe on a Shoestring (ed. 6)
October 2009

"Not that urban pleasures are neglected. Cosmopolitan Budapest is packed with world-class operas, monumental historical buildings, and the mighty Danube River flowing through its centre. Having established itself as a state in the year 1000, Hungary has a long history, a rich culture and strong folk traditions that are well worth exploring."

A guide to this Central European nation aimed at the budget traveller, including attractions, accommodation, dining, nightlife, history and culture.

This book can be purchased online from Amazon.com.

Not available for republication.


Hungary chapter
Lonely Planet: Central Europe (ed. 8)
September 2009

"Where else but Hungary can you laze about in an open-air thermal spa in midwinter, while snow patches glisten around you? Following that, it's de rigueur to head to a local bar where a Romani band yelps while a crazed crowd whacks its boot heels, as commanded by Hungarian tradition. Or to go clubbing in an ancient bathhouse, where all dance waist-deep in the healing waters."

Outlines the cultural and natural attractions of this nation, along with details of accommodation, entertainment and dining options.

This book can be purchased online from Amazon.com.

Not available for republication.


Hungary chapter
Lonely Planet: Eastern Europe (ed. 10)
September 2009

"It's the beauty of Budapest - both natural and manmade - that makes it stand apart. Straddling a gentle curve in the Danube, the city is flanked by the Buda Hills on the west bank and the beginnings of the Great Plain to the east. Architecturally it is a gem, with enough baroque, neoclassical, Eclectic and Art Nouveau elements to satisfy anyone."

A comprehensive guide to this Central European nation, covering attractions, accommodation, dining, nightlife, history and culture.

This book can be purchased online from Amazon.com.

Not available for republication.


24 Hours in Vilnius
The Age & The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 August 2009

"Given this tumultuous history, it comes as a surprise to discover how well the city's historic centre has survived the passing of empires. Its narrow, winding cobblestone streets, tiled roofs and baroque churches are a stereotype of visitors' expectations of a small European city.Vilnius is a shining example of what Michael Palin has called 'New Europe'."

How to get the most out of a day in the capital of Lithuania.
Available for republication (print only).
Images available.

[Read the full article here]

High and Mighty
Medical Observer, 24 April 2009

"There's an odd mood of exhilaration in the air; I think, like me, everyone is thinking how improbable this all is, that human beings shouldn't be this high up from the earth, and certainly not sipping alcoholic beverages while doing so. We’re all braced by the strange mix of material comforts and an underlying sense of danger. I want at the same time to shout out 'Aren't we clever?' and 'Aren't we crazy?'"

Scaling the peaks and spas of the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.

A Place Not to Take Yourself Too Seriously
The Sunday Telegraph, 1 February 2009

"The Republic of Uzupis has an honorary president, no standing armed forces, and a commitment only to art. When you learn its national day is April 1, you can appreciate why the Lithuanian government casts an indulgently amused eye over Uzupis, seeing its 'independence' as a great tourist attraction."

Exploring the eccentric U˛upis district of Vilnius, Lithuania.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.

From Tattoos to Tanks
Sydney Morning Herald, 1 October 2005

"You couldn’t say the same for the Criminal Museum of Vienna. This museum incorporates the former Imperial Viennese Police Museum, and exhibits the history of crime and justice in the grand city. There are weapons and uniforms, with a grisly emphasis on notorious criminal figures of the past."

Ranges through the world's oddest museums, exhibiting everything from sulphur to Spam.
Available for republication (print only).

[Read the full article here]

More travel writing: 
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Travel: More Europe

I'm a member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers. This page contains examples of my travel writing, organised by location. Each entry includes a sample paragraph, and indications of available rights.

I also have a selection of high-quality digital images available, depicting a variety of international locations. 
See examples of my travel photography.

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Melbourne VIC 3000
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email:
tim@iwriter.com.au

phone:
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(international +61-411-242327)

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