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Melissani Cave is a natural phenomenon found on the island of Kefalonia, Greece. It is located on the east coast of the island close to the town of Sami, which incidentally gained fame when the Hollywood film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was filmed there.

If you’re on Kefalonia, the cave is definitely worth a visit. Seven euros buys you a ticket on a row boat which takes you on a 15 minute ride around the cave. You enter from an underground tunnel and in the heat of the Mediterranean summer the cool cave is a welcome relief!

There are two sections to the cave, one is a wide open expanse of turquoise blue crystal clear waters which is a cool 15 degrees celcius all year round and is a mix of fresh and saltwater. Look closely and you can spot eels swimming around!

There are stalactites hanging from the roof of the cave which are quite large but look small in comparison to the size of the cave itself. The second section of the cave has a small island which has vegetation and is home to a small population of wild pigeons.

The cave was first explored in 1951 and during excavations in 1962, several ancient artifacts were discovered. When you’ve finished your tour, the famous beach of Antisamos (where Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was also filmed), beckons for a swim and a lunch of grilled octopus and salad.

Photography by Ms Gingham and Eleni Spyropoulou

Polka Dot Bride Shop

Does the thought of an outback Australian honeymoon appeal to you? Well then the historical Arkaba Station may be just what you’re looking for! This homestead, located on the edge of South Australia’s picturesque Flinder’s Ranges national park was first settled way back in 1851 and the cottage built in 1856. You can drive there in 41/2 hours from Adelaide or if you’re wanting to do it in high flying style, you can charter a plane which will get you there in 65 minutes!

The homestead overlooks the Elder Range which is said to glow a hue of pink in the early morning, and houses four bedrooms each with it’s own ensuite bathroom. If you would like a little more privacy, their is a fifth residence, the Coachman’s Cottage in the edge of the garden. Relax in the 500 thread count sheets while imagining how different life in the 1800’s would have been! There are no televisions, phones or computers here to distract you so you literally have nothing else to do than take in the rugged Australian landscape.

When the South Australian heat gets too much, you’ll be able to enjoy the outdoor pool. Imagine taking a dip in amidst all this beautiful countryside!

If you’re more of the adventurous type, you are able to take a 4WD ride with your own expert tour guide to show you the amazing terrain ranging from knife edge ridge tops to cypress pine country. Of course, you’ll have the extra treat of experiencing the wildlife of the area including the native kangaroo! Extra activities include day trips to the Flinders Ranges National Park, wildlife viewing, mountain biking and hot air balloon rides.

Walking safaris are also available where local tour guides show you all the best spots to explore. After a full day of spotting wildlife, exploring waterholes and dry creek beds, camp out under the stars in your own “swag”. Camping at it’s finest!

Back at Arkaba Station, help yourself to a selection of wines from the cellar before dinner is served on the terrace in order to admire the amazing view. As Arkaba Station can only accommodate a small group of guests at any one time, the friendly and casual atmoshpere will ensure that you truly relax.

Arkaba Station offers an appealing combination of outback ruggedness and modern luxury that is sure to appeal to the “glamper” in you! For more information and rates, visit the Arkaba Station website.

All images from Arkaba Station

Image from Safdie Architects via archdaily

Imposing, majestic and just plain tall, the Marina Bay Sands complex is everything you could ask for in a highrise hotel. Built in 2010 and designed by Safdie Architects it dominates the skyline of this beautiful city. For me and my family, it was the first stop on a trip to Greece, designed to break up the torturous 18 hour or so trip. We didn’t know what to expect as we actually hadn’t heard anything about it (living under a rock obviously) so our minds were open. What we found was a noisy, massive, buzzing and absolutely breathtaking hotel…. 3 towers and over 2500 rooms of breathtaking hotel.

Our complimentary shuttle bus took us from Changi International Airport to the hotel, and arriving at 10:30pm to check in we were still greeted by crowds of people out and about. There are bars, shops, restaurants and two separate check in and concierge counters all in the foyer of the hotel. Underneath the complex, and directly accessible by at least three sets of escalators is a massive shopping complex complete with ice skating rink, theatre and a huge casino. Of course, after our flight, our main priority was getting to our room for some much needed shower and shut eye. What we found when we entered literally knocked our tired little socks off!

Upon entry, the block out blinds automatically open to reveal an amazing city skyline. Take a few steps in and you’re greeted with an entry hall complete with a coffee machine and then a couple more steps reveal the walk in closet and huge bathroom.

Tall ceilings, sliding wooden doors and perfectly finished interiors are heaven to a weary traveller. Our room also had an office complete with fax, scanner, printer and full internet connectivity. Very handy!

The kids had a sofa bed that they thought was just the best and we had an amazing king size pillow of fluff to sleep on! Oh why don’t they make beds like this to buy!

I will be writing again about this hotel on my way back to Australia! We get to stay here for 5 whole nights and explore Singapore! If anyone has any recommendations about where to go and what to do while we’re there I’d love to hear them!!