Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sweet Revenge mentioned on funbugs

I'm delighted to see that my first novel Sweet Revenge and its review by Maralyn B Hill has been mentioned on funbugs.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I love Galicia!

The Northern province of Spain has so many beautiful spots it's a shame not more people travel there. I was so fascinated with the lush woods, ragged coastline, calm and soothing rias, islands, beaches, historical sites and glorious seafood, that I needed to write a Pocket Travel Guide.It's available from guidegecko You can have a free preview, download at $4 or purchase at $9.06. Admire the pictures too and if you have suggestions to add, they will be more than welcome.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Review of The Househusbands Club

Read the 5star review at Readers Favorite.

"The Househusbands' Club" Finalist in Readers Review Awards

My first novel "The Househusbands' Club" is finalist in its category in the 2009 Readers Favorite Award competition. A review will be posted shortly on their website.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

TRAVEL’N ON » Blog Archive » Tiniest “Everything” in Tortola

TRAVEL’N ON » Blog Archive » Tiniest “Everything” in Tortola

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Permanent Make-up

A single woman traveler wants to look good 24/7. Being on the move however does not always allow for visits to hairdressers and beauty parlors. Balancing your make up kit on your knees when in a cramped aircraft seat or on a bus in the middle of nowhere isn't easy either. So, what's the solution? Two words: permanent make-up. I have been reluctant for a long time, fearing pain and infection, but finally I took the plunge. You can have your eyebrows done, your lips and even permanent eyeliner tattooed on. I stayed away from the latter. I thought: if the girl slips with her needle I'll be blind in one eye or both. So I restricted myself to eyebrows and lips and it's really great. To be honest: it does hurt. They do numb your lips and eyebrows, but even so, the tears were streaming down my face. It doesn't come cheap either and, once the scab has fallen off, you need a retouch. But the result is great. You look groomed all day long and all night too without fear of smearing anything.Find a reputable salon to avoid any fears of lacking hygiene, grit your teeth and suffer through the ordeal. All that's needed is tinted moisturizer, a touch of blusher and lip gloss and any of that can be easily applied anywhere.

Memories of the Orient Express

When I recently visited Istanbul, I stayed in a small hotel in the historic Sultanahmed district of the city.The advantage of that location is, that many of Istanbul's most famous landmarks are literally within walking distance. One of my first stops was Sirkeci Gare, which once upon a time was the final destination of the Orient Express of Agatha Christie fame. Anyone who has seen or read Murder in the Orient Express cannot possibly pass up the opportunity to visit the picturesque location. Built in what is known as the oriental version of the German Jugenstil (the architect was actually German) today's Orient Express does no longer run as far as Istanbul. But the building has been lovingly preserved and restored and the restaurant inside the statoon which was once the First Class waiting room, conveys the atmosphere of time gone by. Many photographs of famous travelers who were passengers of the Orient Express adorn the walls. They used to proceed to the Pera Palace Hotel, as in fact Mrs. Christie did, who wrote her novel there. The hotel is at present closed under extensive renovations but will no doubt reopen in even greater splendor.


In compliance with latest regulations the owner of this blog states that she has not received any kind of remuneration or advantage from any of the locations, resorts, products or services mentioned in any individual blog post. Owner will make full disclosure should that situation change in future.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Enjoying the fish in Paradise Island/Nassau

The last stop on my recent 7day cruise calling on several Caribbean islands was Nassau/Bahamas. As we approached port the gigantic Atlantis resort on Paradise island virtually rose out of the early morning mist. Once docked, I couldn't get off fast enough and take the ferry over. The ferry alone was already an adventure. Ferry is too big a word for it, it's rather a glorified fishing boat with a lot of wooden benches nailed to the floor and a sailor/mate/captain cum travel guide who was full of fun. Once I entered the resort, I learned that you could only have access to certain areas, including the famous tunnel by forking out a stiff $75. No need for that though. There are plenty of public areas to visit which already take your breath away. The casino, the shopping arcade and, three entire walls of aquarium. You can get really close and personal with the fish, watch them swim, see sharks, stingrays and many, many more colorful species. Then go outside and walk along the walkway which surrounds the hotel and look at waterfalls and more fish from above. A wonderful fruit salad at one of the many restaurants was the crowning glory of a memorable excursion to Paradise island.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Single woman traveler and jewelry

Of course, us single girls roaming the world, want to look good. Clothes is easy, but what about jewelry? We do own the real thing, but is it wise to take it with us? The answer is no. Theft in hotels do occur and what good do the diamonds do us if they are stashed in the strong box. Outdoors there is always the risk of being mugged when you wear the real bling. There are two alternatives: decorative costume jewelery which can never be mistaken for the real thing. Or, fo somewhat safer surroundings imitations or semo precious stones. Look a this website: Lovely pieces at very reasonable prices. Better leave the above at home!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Self Defense for the woman traveler

Let's face it. If we, as a single woman traveler, roam the world on our own, we have to be concerned about our safety. I for one, am sick and tired of looking over my shoulder and have taken the plunge and attended as self defense course. I have come away not only with a few good tricks, but also with insights which I want to share. "If you look like a victim, you will become a victim", were the first words our instructor said. "Remember to walk erect and self confident. Don't clutch your purse to your chest and hurry along with your head bowed. You are silently screaming: attack me!!" Next was the fact, that defending yourself does not require physical strength. Anatomical knowledge, some flexibility and the law of leverage will do the trick. Elbows, fingers, knees applied in the right way can get you out of an attack. Hopefully, we will never have to apply what we learn in the course, but having leanred the tricks and moves boost self confidence and we will never agin look like a vicitom. If you find a self defense course in your vicinity, don't hesitate to attend. You are never too old either.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Book signing party!

I still can't believe it, but its' really going to happen. On the 19th I'm having my first ever book signing party in the party room of my condo in Miami. What's more, it has been arranged by the manager of the community, who read Sweet Revenge, liked it a lot and just wanted to give me a hand. Isn't that something?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chance to win a trip to Hawaii

Here is a chance to win a trip to Hawaii for me. But, I need a little help from ym friends. Please click on this link on trazzler. It's an article and picture I entered in the Islands Competition at the online travel magazine trazzler. First prize is: a trip to Hawaii!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

What the single woman traveler reads on a long distance flight

The hours are dragging and I much prefer to read a book over watching a movie. So, in the airports, I'm always on the lookout for a book, a novel which promises entertainment but is manageable (i.e. not 1000 pages and weighing a ton)and which I can read from start to finish in about 6-8 hours. Of course, you can always read a travel guide getting some information about the destination you are heading for, but, if you go on vacation, you are likely to have done that before you even set off. Back to the novels: I decided to write one of my own, with just that purpose in mind. Entertain and finish when you are ready to disembark. Why not give my novel "Sweet Revenge" a try? Available at barnes&noble online. My gourmet friend and writer Maralyn B Hill liked it. Follow her on her blog and read about the world of travel, delicious food and fine wines. You could also look at my novel #2 "The Househusbands Club.: It's available from lulu. Although with 323 pages a bit longer than Sweet Revenge, you can still manage it and have a good laugh.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lady's Polo in Miami Beach

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Oh yes, the ladies practice this sport too. And how chic they look fully in action on their ponies.

Where to admire orchids in the middle of December

Where else in the world can the single woman traveler admire blooming orchids in a lovely garden (not a hothouse) at the beginning of December but at an orchid enthusiast's marvelous garden in Coral Gables Miami. Yes, I know, there are other countries where it's hot in December but I'm just such a Miami fan and the orchids are an added bonus.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Where to sit on a long distance flight?

There are actually only two choices: aisle or window. Nobody would opt voluntarily for a middle seat on a long distance flight. My choice is always aisle. The purpose of a window seat is to be able to look out and see something. Well, it's either night or you are above the clouds or the blinds come down even during broad daylight as soon as the movie starts. Just try to push up your blind and you are in trouble! An aisle seat allows you to get up and move around or visit the restroom to your heart's content without disturbing anybody. It also allows you to stretch your legs into the aisle--with due caution of course! Mind running kids, other 'promenading' passengers or the drinks trolley. In addition you have at least one free elbow and the overhead bin is further away from the top of your head than in a window seat which sometimes makes me feel claustrophobic. As many travelers still opt for a window seat, the single woman traveler (or male traveler for that matter) will almost always have a choice of their favorite aisle seat even if they haven't or couldn't pre-book their seat.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Books and travel articles - inka piegsa-quischotte

Books and travel articles - inka piegsa-quischotte

Let's forget the calories!

Even the most calorie conscious woman traveler needs to throw caution to the wind and simple indulge in the pleasure of sweets and pastries. Hardly is there a better place to be found than the Spice Market in Istanbul. Be prepared to come close to a sugar coma, because the incredible variety of Turkish Delight alone is irresistible. Not to mention baklava, cakes and the very rich chocolate mousse with walnuts.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My favorite blog to follow

The single woman traveler does not only like to travel and to discover inspiring locations all over the world, she also like to sample local food. Absolute experts in the field, combining travel and mouthwatering specialties are Maryaln B Hill and her friend and writing partner Brenda. What she an others discover is reflected in their blog whereandwhatintheworld. Join me in following them and learn how to recreate the dishes you have sampled on your travels at home.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm now also to be found on authornation!

AuthorNation Celebrates 2008 as the Year of the Author! AuthorNation Celebrates 2008 as the Year of the Author!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Preview and buy The Househusband Club from

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

The single woman traveler's latest novel

My second novel, "The Househusband Club" is just out on lulu. Laugh and cry with the adventures of three househusbands, who think it's a good idea to solve their problems on a cruise to the South Pacific. However, all kinds of mischief, mistaken identity, jealousy, flings and more make matters worse until an unexpected turn brings everything to a happy ending. My experiences and impressions on a cruise to Tahiti and beyond a few years back, prompted the idea to this novel which has now seen the light of the book-world.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Single on a huge cruise ship!!

It was somewhat against my will that I landed on the Carnival Freedom. This came about because the cruise was advertised by the Historical Museum of Southern Florida for its members and it wasn't mentioned which cruise ship we would be on. Having been on a cruise only once before, in the South Pacific on a ship which carried only 250 passengers, I was totally overwhelmed when the Freedom loomed. I was also put together with another lady, the museum travel agent had assured me was very nice, my age etc, but in the end was totally unbearable. The service desk was extremely helpful in finding me a single cabin after two nights at an additional cost of $150 which was acceptable. There also is no shortage of food on this ship, but one look at the extremely obese majority of the other passengers could put you off food for life! It wasn't nice either to see them in the pool or on the deck, but that's not the cruise line's fault. Arrival time at the first port of call, San Juan in Puerto Rico was very bad. The ship docked at 6pm, when it was getting dark and left again at midnight, so there were only a few hours on the island---in the pitch black dark. I failed to understand what could be funny about a hairy chest competition but they make a lot of effort to keep people entertained. For a single woman here is the best advice: find a quiet corner to sunbath or read, make sure you have a cabin with daylight and otherwise make the most of going ashore, preferably on your own so you don't have to wait until whatever group is together and you are not herded to places you don't really want to go.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What souvenirs to buy?

Which woman, single or not, doesn't like jewelery? The single woman traveler doesn't want to be loaded down with souvenirs which, once at home, just end up on a shelf or gather dust in a dark corner. What fits the bill of being souvenir and a piece a woman likes to wear is affordable jewelery and the Caribbean islands offer a treasure trove. My favorite are the pieces which I found in Charlotte Amalie, the capital of St. Thomas in the USVI and, to be precise, in the World Amber Museum. What I didn't know until visiting the museum is that a) amber is also found in the Caribbean and b) that it comes in many colors from light green to the darkest brown. Amber pieces are very light even when set in silver or gold and flattering to every age. Unlike diamonds, emeralds etc. amber jewelery can be worn all day long. Just look at this gorgeous pendant, but there are bracelets, rings, earrings etc. for every taste and occasion available in the museum's small retail store.

Monday, November 16, 2009

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Webalbum from my cruise

Look at the fantastic pictures from my cruise in the Caribbean in my webalbum.

The single woman is cruising...

On a cruise ship that is! 8 days lie just behind me which I spent on board the Carnival Freedom, cruising Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua and Nassau/Bahamas. Cruises don't come cheap and, therefore I let myself be persuaded by the travel agent to share a cabin with a "very nice lady your won age". I of course didn't know the lady in question, but I thought: I'm not a difficult person, I don't snore and don't have smelly feet and it's only for a few nights and..anyway we won't spend much time in the cabin. Let me tell you: don't do it! If you can't afford the rather stiff price for a single cabin, don't go on the cruise, but never, ever share with some one you don't know. I had to move into a single cabin after two nights, because there was no way I would allow myself to be patronized in the manner this woman tried. Among other things: she asked me not to use perfume or Eau de Cologne in the bathroom in the morning as she can't stand the scent so early in the day. I kid you not!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Contacts or glasses?

Of course, being women, we want to look nice even if we embark on long haul flights. Looking good and being comfortable are top priority. And as this is a blog oriented towards women of a "certain age" many of us will need glasses. Reading glasses are no problem, but what about short sigthedness? For those who usually use contact lenses here is a piece of advice: get yourself a pair of chic glasses when you plan a long distance flight and dispense with the contacts. Dehydration is a major problem when flying and eyes dry out, with the result, that the lenses get very sticky and itchy. Cases have been known, where they stuck so terribly to the eyeball that they needed to be removed surgically. Get yourself not too dark sun glasses with prescription lenses. They have the added advantage of hiding tired eyes and you may even be mistaken for a celebrity.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Digg it!!

I'm on authorsden now!

Where authors and readers come together!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Magazines woman travelers would want to write for.

As you can see, travel is my passion. But, enjoying it all on my own is only half the fun. Therefore, I love to share my adventures (and mis-adventures, as the case may be), experiences, pictures and anything else which occurs whilst I'm roaming the world with others who are equally familiar with the "itchy feet" syndrome. Question is, where to find a forum to put one's articles and pictures. The choice is big, so I will today talk about two online magazines, which I love to read and to write for. An added bonus is, that the editors of both are approachable and actually correspond with you. That's not always the case. Number one is Gonomad. The articles published there showcase beautiful destinations as well as giving useful information to find one's way around. Editor Max Hartshorne replies quickly and is for me "The man with the hat". It was his birthday recently, so send him a Happy Birthday on facebook. Number two, where I have just been assigned to write an article, is travelwithachallenge. The mag is orientated towards older travelers, which suits me just fine, given that I'm no spring chicken anymore. Editor Alison Gardner is very nice too, responds quickly and tells you exactly what she wants. Both magazines need top notch pictures, preferably your own. So, if you like, follow my footsteps and happy writing.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Two peculiar fashion icons

On my recent trip to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia/Spain, I happened upon the story of the Two Marias. The ladies were living in poverty and suffered greatly in the times of Franco. To get ahead, they became seamstresses and created their own, outrageous clothes. Then, in post war Santiago, at exactly 2pm on the dot, every day come rain come shine, they went out, dressed in their latest creations and walked for an hour along the Rambla, teasing and flirting with the students, giving fashion advice to the girls and becoming much in demand as designers and embroiderers. The Two Marias became a local legend and the darlings of an entire city. Upon their death, they were even honoured with a statue and many a poem was dedicated to them.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Glitter in your eyes

Let's face it. Which woman can resist to look at breathtaking jewelry even if the bank balance doesn't allow to buy it? Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is a paradise for day dreaming and looking at the fantastic creations Turkish jewelers come up with. They'll also be delighted to let you try on any piece that takes your fancy, So, just enjoy and feel like queen for a few minutes. 
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Turkish bling!

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A SW friendly Hotel in La Coruna

Sw stands for "single woman", just in case you wondered. During my latest trip to Galicia, the northern province of Spain, I moved around a lot. I didn't book hotels in advance but just let myself be surprised what I might find. And I hit on a gem in La Coruna. It's the Hotel Moon.Conveniently located on Calle Ramon y Cajal this hotel is small and the stuff is extraordinary welcoming.Even more so, if they find out that you are a single woman traveler. Single rooms are not always easy to come by and are often expensive and crammed. Not so here. For about €50 you get a very comfortable single room and a bathroom with all the amenities a woman needs. The hairdryer didn't work, it was a Sunday, nobody could be found to repair it---no problem, Maria, the manager gave me her own. The theme of the hotel revolves around the moon and you simply can't miss the narrow entrance, because this friendly guy greets you on the pavement.

Monday, October 19, 2009

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

An air travel must have

Aircrafts can get very cold and drafty, especially at night. Pillws and blankets are not usually in ample supply and, quite honestly, apart from being flimsy, I don't feel all that comfortable having itmes used by endless people before me, close to my face. Of course, they are desinfected and plastic wraped, but even so.. What to do? Easy. The answer for us women travelers is a must have which is a fashion accessory at the same time. I'm talking about a cashmire or pashmina shawl. When not needed in the aircraft, it is decoratively slung around the shoulders. On board and folded, it serves as a pillow or, at night as a very comfy blanket. I found it much more comfortable than inflatable pillows or a real blanket which takes up space. So, next time, try it out.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chic women travel light!

What single woman traveler doesn't know the feeling: struggle with luggage, handbag, passport, wallet, tickets, trolley trying to make it through the airport, through security and to the gate in time. Nobody helps you get your bag in the overhead locker and, once you have arrived, you spend ages at the caroussel and, in the worst of cases, your luggage has travelled to the opposite part of the globe from you. Not any more. Where ever I go in the world and regardless of the length of my stay, it's a copious shoulder bag with plenty of zippered compartments for travel documents, a book, money, passport and basic cosmetics. The zippered compartments are vital for easy access to what's needed at any given moment and for security so that nifty thieves can't slip their sticky hands into your belongings. Next is a carry on bag which contains the absolute necessities and nothing else. I'm a great fan of the luggage made by Spanish luxury leather goods manufacturer Loewe. Their products are expensive, but they last forever, are extremely chic and lightweight by themselves. They can also be easily distinguished and cannot be confused with somebody else's luggage. It's imperative that your luggage should never weigh more than you yourself are able to lift and stow in the overhead locker. My carry on bag never holds cosmetics. They are heavy and today's restrictions calling for ealed bags ar just tedious. My handbag holds travel toothpaste and toothbrush, a comb, a brush, a deo stick and lip gloss. Enough to gt you to your destination smelling and feeling good. All you really need to carry in the bag are any medications you might need, but don't forget to also carry presriptions or you could be in serious trouble in some countries. All other cosmetics I buy cheaply at a suprmarket at my destination. The same applies to items of clothing. Street markets etc. offer anything you might need for the duration without breaking the bank.Nothing needs to be of high quality for a few weeks. What also goes in the bag is a set of plastic cutlery. I oftne like to have a quick snack, a few piecs of fruit or a joghurt in my room insetad of going for every meal to a restaurant. A set of cutlery is indispensable for that purpose. Follow these golden rules and you will a. be surprised how little you really need and can still look fab and b. how much airport stress is reduced. Holiday over, I leave everything behind for the maids to enjoy.

About me

I am exactly what this blog is about: a single woman of a certain age who loves to travel the world. What I love even more is to write about my adventures and experiences and to share "Know how", insider tips, beautiful destinations and just about anything and everything a modern day Freya Stark encounters with like- minded people. Mind you, this blog isn't exclusively meant for women: men may enjoy reading it too, so they will understand us better and, perhaps, learn to lend a hand if needed. No blog of this kind would be complete without pictures, so you'll find those here too.