Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Travel Lines Bulletin: Exploring Istanbul, Saving Snow Leopards, Coonawarra Reds, Iron Curtain Dash

Australia's top travel writers and photographers strut their stuff. All stories are available for immediate commissioning. Email now for a prompt reply.

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Istanbul Culture and Tourism)
Istanbul: metropolis on the Bosphorus

Istanbul is one of the most exciting cities on the planet. What was once a focal point of Asia Minor is now one of the world's great hubs, fueled by the world's busiest airport. Why the popularity? It's the place where East meets West for architecture, art, food and culture wrapped in an unrivalled sense of history. Every direction in this metropolis on the Bosphorus has the allure of mystery and discovery. John Maddocks trawls the major sites and back streets to discover what makes this bustling mega-city tick. [query]

Snow leopard (uncia uncia) with prey
Vanishing Tracks: Saving the Snow Leopard

Dr Rodney Jackson has the somewhat dubious honour of being the only person alive to have been bitten by a wild Snow Leopard. Jackson has devoted most of his life to working with these beautiful and enigmatic animals and fighting to save them from extinction through the Snow Leopard Conservancy, a not-for-profit organisation that runs community-based tours, conservation and social projects in the Himalayan region. Dr Jackson will be visiting Sydney in November as a guest of the Australian Himalayan Foundation, and Kris Madden has managed to secure an exclusive pre-visit interview with him. [query]

Winemakers under the gum trees (Coonawarra)
Coonawarra: Australia's other red centre

When Australian wine lovers talk about the red centre, they don't mean the dusty, remote desert region at the centre of the island continent. The are talking about Coonawarra, a tiny region midway between Adelaide and Melbourne that is blessed with perfect conditions for making long-lived wines. Coonawarra is a place of pilgrimage for serious wine lovers from around the world – drawn by the magnificent cabernets and shirazes produced locally as a result of the region’s unique “terra rossa” soils - red-brown topsoil sitting on a white limestone base. Winsor Dobbin has a head for red. [query]

Bentley Continental GT at Berlin's historic Tempelhof airfield (Tom Salt)
Iron Curtain Dash: Berlin to Copenhagen via Hamburg

Only 25 years ago, this journey would have been impossible. A convoy of high-powered British-made, German-engineered Bentley saloons breaching the Communist divide between East and West Germany. From the leafy and urbane Berlin suburb of Tiergarten, across the frontier via Hamburg, to the carefree Baltic port of Copenhagen, the entourage visited sites and establishments revived since the historic dissolution of the Soviet-backed GDR in October 1990. Car buff and history nut, Roderick Eime, steers one of the 200mph capable, V12 coupes in this fanciful dash to freedom. [query]

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