The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

SYD­NEY-BORN Lana Pen­rose has worked as a mu­sic jour­nal­ist, record com­pany pro­mo­tions man­ager, mu­sic television pro­ducer and per­sonal as­sis­tant to pop singer Dar­ren Hayes. Pen­rose moved to Greece in 2000 with her part­ner and last year re­leased a nar­ra­tive of her ad­ven­tures, ToHel­lasand Back:MyModern-DayGreekTragedy. She now di­vides her time be­tween Lon­don and Aus­tralia and has re­cently trav­elled to Scan­di­navia, Rus­sia and other places in Europe. www.pen­ EGYP­TIAN MU­SEUM, CAIRO There are more than 100,000 stun­ning pieces of Egyp­tian art and arte­facts here, in­clud­ing the gold mask worn by Tu­tankhamen. The sheer num­ber of ex­hibits is stag­ger­ing; a por­tal into an­other time. www.egyp­tian­mu­ VARANGIS, ATHENS Never have I seen more home­wares shops than in Athens, par­tic­u­larly along the main artery, Ki­fis­sias Av­enue. I’m a great fan of con­tem­po­rary furniture and a favourite is Varangis. Now into its fourth gen­er­a­tion, this fam­ily busi­ness has evolved with the times to cre­ate unique rep­re­sen­ta­tions of mod­ern Greek home fur­nish­ings. WHEELS AND DOLL BABY, DAR­LINGHURST, SYD­NEY When­ever I re­turn to Syd­ney, I squeeze in a visit to Wheels and Doll Baby; this la­bel is now stocked in Lon­don stores and even at Heathrow air­port. I love th­ese de­signs be­cause they’re a lit­tle bit rock ’ n’ roll. www.wheel­sand­doll­ SERA, LON­DON As though a cream-filled taste of Moulin Rouge has been dropped into west Lon­don, this small out­let is like a call­girl’s boudoir, with its se­lec­tion of corsets, feather boas, lamp­shades and glit­tery plat­form boots. www.seraoflon­ HO­TEL JOSEF, PRAGUE Prague is one of the world’s most beau­ti­ful me­dieval cities, yet this four-star ho­tel is ul­tra-mod­ern, com­fort­able and af­ford­able. I look on Ho­tel Josef, which is just out­side the old Jewish Quar­ter, as a con­tem­po­rary con­tra­dic­tion to the his­toric world out­side. BAR­RACUDA RESTAU­RANT, MALTA Af­ter an ex­haust­ing day, my in­trepid brothers and I stum­bled across the Bar­racuda Restau­rant, over­look­ing Spinola Bay in Malta. Po­lite en­quiries con­cern­ing our pref­er­ences were made and a spe­cial dish was cre­ated and served to each of us. The re­sult was one of our most un­for­get­table meals.­racuda. DEPECHE MODE BAR, TALLINN, ES­TO­NIA Quite un­ex­pected, the Depeche Mode Bar in Tallinn is hid­den among the many lit­tle bars and cafes that line the hilly, cob­ble­stoned streets of this old Es­to­nian city. It’s some­thing like an un­der­ground cave and Depeche Mode of­ten goes there when visit­ing this re­mark­able part of east­ern Europe. KENYA My favourite place is Kenya, a hands-down win­ner. Out­side trou­bled Nairobi and within the many game re­serves, par­tic­u­larly the Ma­sai Mara, there is nowhere like it. It’s the most con­nected to Mother Earth I’ve felt. www.mag­i­

Sharon Fowler THE re­cently launched Gift Card Store, in part­ner­ship with Ac­cor Ho­tels, pro­vides a con­ve­nient, has­sle-free way to pur­chase presents for fam­ily and friends who are keen trav­ellers. The Ac­cor Ho­tels gift card is avail­able to the value of $200 and can be used at more than 90 ho­tels through­out Aus­tralia for pay­ment or part-pay­ment of ac­com­mo­da­tion, room ser­vice or din­ing. Avail­able from Aus­tralia Post out­lets, Cal­tex ser­vice sta­tions and newsagents. More:­corho­­cards.

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