Norway’s dancing lights

Norway is a winter wonderland with so many different reasons to visit.

But, the Northern Lights (also known as Aurora Borealis) has to be the main attraction.

veronicamatheson.com can finally tick this dazzling display of dancing lights off the bucket list after sighting this rare natural phenomenon some 350km north of the Arctic Circle, near Tromso in Norway.

To find out more Veronica chatted to Terence Murtagh, an astronomer who spends much of his time chasing the Northern Lights around the world.

 

The Met turns 150

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, usually known as The Met, is located on New York City’s Fifth Avenue, in an impressive building resembling a grand palace. Step into its Great Hall and you are in one of the world’s most important cultural institutions. This year, 2020, The Met celebrates its 150th anniversary so veronicamatheson.com chatted to the Met’s Deputy Director of Collections, Andrea Bayer who is organizing the celebrations.

 

Slow travel

Today’s fast pace of life has changed the way many of us travel so that when we do take a break we opt to really slow down. Australian travel writer Penny Watson has put together a guide on journeys around the world called Slow Travel that is published by Hardie Grant Books.  Here Penny chats to veronicamatheson.com about her favourite places to go slow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snail caviar

OK, we’ve all heard of the luxurious black pearls of Beluga caviar. But who has heard of the delicate white pearls of escargot (as in snails) caviar?

The one person farming snails for caviar in Australia is Cheryl Jokobi who has set up  Gippsland Pearls with partner Sara Bailey in the state of Victoria. Cheryl says escargot caviar is really popular in Europe, but she still has to develop a market for it Down Under.

Here she chats to veronicamatheson.com about her snails, where she finds them, and how the caviar is produced.

 

 

Cruise planner

The luxury cruise line Silversea visits more than 1000 ports around the world, and Conrad Combrink is in charge of the team developing the expeditions and experiences at those diverse destinations. Reporter Veronica Matheson spoke to Conrad Combrink about how Silversea’s itineraries come together.

 

Cruise amid the fjords

There’s a growing demand from travellers wanting to cruise Norway’s rugged fjord coastline to experience the Midnight Sun in summer months and the spectacular Northern Lights (the aurora borealis) in winter.

One of the major players cruising the Norwegian coastline is Hurtigruten, and to find out more reporter Veronica Matheson chatted to the cruise line’s Damian Perry about Hurtigruten’s 10 ships carrying passengers and freight to 34 ports along the Norwegian coastline, and the four expedition ships that focus on polar waters. For more visit http://www.hurtigruten.com.au

Vivid Varanasi

Friends tell me they are off to India, and that one of the places they must-see is the Holy city of Varanasi, the spiritual capital for Hindu pilgrims. Instantly, colorful images of that incredible city – it sits on the banks of the Ganges River in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh – flood my memory from a recent visit. The sights there remain so vivid, but relating those experiences to someone else falls rather flat.

But, do listen to my interview with tour guide Sanjay Nepal on Travel Writers Radio for a taste of what travellers will find there. His description is far better than mine could ever be as he has lived and worked there for many years.

 

Oz cruise season

International cruise ships are sailing into Australian waters at a rapid rate of knots as the summer cruise season Down Under gets under way. Reporter Veronica Matheson chats to MD of Cruise Lines Internationl Association (CLIA) Australasia about the bumper season ahead, and about what is trending on the cruise scene right now.

Forest retreat

Just weeks ago bushfires were raging across the Gold Coast hinterland, close to the World Heritage listed Lamington National Park where O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat hosts birders and bushwalkers from around the world. Reporter Veronica Matheson chatted to Shane O’Reilly about the bushfires, his family’s long association with the area, and how they built the world’s first boardwalk in the rainforest’s tree canopy.

Photo: Regent Bowerbird at O’Reilly’s. More: www.oreillys.com.au/

Gin is her tonic

Kylie Sepos is an Australian farmer’s wife, and the woman behind a gin from The Farmer’s Wife Distillery. The business  has just turned one, but has already picked up a Silver Medal at an international spirit show in London (UK).

Here is Veronica Matheson’s chat with Kylie, and its all about gin.