This is the good life. When you’re cruising down Portugal’s Douro River, glass of local wine in hand, stunning scenery laid out before you, you’ll have to agree. When you’re exploring the cobbled laneways of Lisbon, when you’re checking out the tapas bars of Madrid – you’ll have to agree. This is the good life.
Portugal and Spain are truly amazing travel destinations; places where life is lived to its fullest, where family, friends, good food and wine are the most important things of all. To dive into this irresistible culture is to indulge in the good life; truly, this is a journey to inspire, to fulfil, and to fall in love with. Live the Mediterranean life
All of those dreams you have of the Mediterranean lifestyle, the long lunches in the sunshine, the delicious fresh produce, the familial atmosphere, the affordable, high-quality food and wine – they will come true. Very quickly. On APT’s “Douro Delights” tour you’ll find yourself enjoying the best of the Iberian lifestyle, tasting cheese and wine at Quinta da Aveleda, eating a family-style lunch in Quinta da Roeda, and taking dinner aboard your river ship surrounded by friends old and new. Unpack once
One of the standard hassles of European travel is the constant movement, the packing and unpacking of bags, the checking in and checking out of hotels. Aboard a river cruise, however, that isn’t an issue. From day four to day 11 of this journey your hotel room will move with you, as your luxury river ship transports you up the Douro River and into some of the most beautiful locales northern Portugal has to offer. Visit two of Europe’s great cities
Douro Delights’ river cruise is bookended by visits to two of Europe’s greatest, though sometimes underappreciated, capital cities: Lisbon, and Madrid. In Lisbon, ride the city’s iconic tramcars, explore its warrens of cobbled streets, and take a detour to the historic seaside town of Sintra. In Madrid, visit the famed Prado art museum, learn about Spanish cuisine on a culinary tour, or explore the Santiago Bernabeu, home of the Real Madrid football club.
Madrid.Cruise in style
APT’s Douro Valley river ship, the AmaVida, is a luxurious vessel custom-built for cruising this magnificent waterway. Seventy per cent of the staterooms feature private balconies, and there are plenty of facilities to enjoy as you make your leisurely way through northern Portugal, including an open-air swimming pool, a spa, a sun deck, a lounge and bar, and a restaurant with both indoor and alfresco dining spaces. Enjoy free time
Though the “Douro Delights” cruise has plenty of experiences included, there’s also ample time to explore on your own, to get to know the places you visit at your natural pace. Walk the cobbled lanes of Lisbon; enjoy a leisurely lunch in Sintra; wander the terraced hillsides of Pinhao; or hop between tapas bars in Madrid. This tour gives you the freedom to discover what makes this part of the world unique. Wine and dine
Enjoy the wine of the Douro Valley.
The highlight of any journey through the Iberian Peninsula is undoubtedly the food: the cuisines of Portugal and Spain are history, culture and love on a plate. On the Douro Delights tour you’ll be treated to the full splendour of Iberian gastronomy, from a private meal at the winemaking estate Quinta da Aveleda, to a picnic by the river in Regua, to the option of a culinary tour in Madrid, to the high-quality, authentic local dishes you’ll be served every day by the internationally-trained team on board the MS AmaVida. Enjoy Signature Experiences
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedios in Lamego.
APT offers its guests the chance to enjoy classic parts of Portugal and Spain that few other people ever get to see through its range of “Signature Experiences”. At Quinta da Aveleda, explore stunning gardens before indulging in a wine and cheese tasting and private dinner. In the Portuguese town of Lamego, visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies. And in Pinhao, relax with a family-style lunch at a winery. Explore the Douro Valley
The Douro Valley is one of Europe’s underappreciated gems, a waterway with looks to match the Rhine, wine-making culture to match the Loire Valley, and history to match the Rhone. Its delights are all there for you to discover on this journey, too: the ancient villages set into hillsides; the blue-and-white-tiled buildings; the terraced slopes catching the warmth of the sun; the wineries with their long lunches. It’s a seemingly never-ending joy. Step back in time
There’s some serious history in the Douro Valley: not only is this the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, but there have been settlements on these riverbanks for thousands of years. One of the best places to appreciate that antiquity is Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo. This hilltop town features the ruins of Rodrigo Castle, built in the 1200s, and commands panoramic views of the surrounding valley. Utilise local knowledge
Throughout the Douro Delights tour you’ll enjoy the services of APT’s expert Tour and Cruise Directors, as well as gain knowledge from local, bilingual guides who will lead you through their specific towns. This is the ideal way to appreciate the history and culture of a few countries that may not be that familiar, but which are truly fascinating and welcoming destinations.
This article produced in association with APT.
Be inspired by the Mediterranean’s irresistible culture – from its rich history to its vibrant countryside, everything is taken care of on a luxury APT river cruise.
For more information visit http://www.aptouring苏州夜总会招聘.au/trips/europe/eupdclm14 or contact your travel agent.
UPDATE Sunday 4pm
Firefighters hope to have all three fires in the Dungog area contained by Tuesday.
On Sunday afternoon the Main Creek fire was contained, while the Chichester fire had almost been contained.
Crews were still working to gain the upper hand on the Chichester Dam fire, and hoped to have it controlled by the end of Tuesday.
Residents can expect to see a lot of smoke around Chichester Dam on Sunday and Monday as crews conduct back burn operations.
Firefighters are currently battling threefires in the Dungog area.
The Rural Fire Service has advised the Main Creek Fire is now contained and will be patrolled from the air over the weekend.
At Chichester Dam, a fireis burning north of the dam area in steep remote country.
In Upper Chichester a fire is burning in remote steep country in the area south of Gold Diggers Gully.
Over the weekend, fire fighters will work on the fire ground and will be supported by air resources.
Smoke will be visible over the weekend from these fires.
The fire is being managed by the Incident Management Team located at the Lower Hunter Fire Control office at East Maitland.
This office will be open over the long weekend and can be reached on 4015 0000 between 0800 and 2000 hours.
Information in regards to fires in the area, fire danger ratings and total fire bans is available from 1800 NSWRFS (1800 679 737),NSW Rural Fire Service website and the Fires Near Me app.
A staging area will be established at Bendolba Rural Fire Brigade Station on Salisbury Rd, Salisbury.
There are currently no road closures.
There is a Park fire ban for the Barrington Tops National Park issued by NPWS.
Gas and electric barbecues and cookers are permitted with conditions.
More information on this is available from National Parks.
There is also a solid fuel ban issued by Forestry Corporation for State Forests in the Barrington area including Chichester and Masseys Creek State Forests.
This Sunday October 1 sees the start of the Bush Fire Danger period. From this date, a fire permit is required for burning activities. Permits have currently been suspended due to predicted weather conditions.
Fire Permits are not required for fires for the purpose of cooking food, provided that:
* the fire is in a permanently constructed fireplace;
* at a site surrounded by ground that is cleared of all combustible materials for a distance of at least two metres all around;
*the fire is completely extinguished before leaving.
Modest: author Richard Flanagan. Picture: Simon SchluterWinning the most prestigious award in literature, the annual Man Booker Prize, has often provoked a period of controversy for the successful contestant.
Not long after taking home the Booker for his 1988 novel Oscar & Lucinda, Peter Carey had his car fire bombed after writing an opinion piece that criticised white supremicism in .
In the months that followed Eleanor Catton winning her prize in 2013, she was widely condemned in her native New Zealand for claiming that her government was shallow, profit obsessed and money hungry.
A year later a humble but brilliantly imaginative novelist from Tasmania won his first Man Booker Prize. Accepting the award for The Narrow Road to the Deep North, the Oxford-educated Richard Flanagan, from a tiny west coast mining town, announced that the then Prime Minister’s commitment to coal made him ashamed to be an n.
In the years that followed that infamous ceremony, Flanagan has been busy examining a very different sort of shame and controversy. His new novel First Person tells the story of Kif Kehlmann, a struggling writer suddenly called upon to ghost write the memoirs of the mysterious and cunning white collar criminal, Siegfried Heidl. Intellectually seduced by the manipulative wits of Heidl and chasing the quick fix of a much-needed paycheque, Kehlmann attempts to reconcile his conscience with the financial responsibilities he owes to his young family.
The story draws heavily upon the author’s own experience as an ambitious young novelist in Hobart and the task he once undertook, in a similarly desperate position to Kehlmann, to write the story of the millionaire fraudster John Friedrich.
Long before his Booker triumph, Flanagan was himself a penniless writer with a monthly mortgage that his literary ambitions alone could barely sustain.
“When I was first starting out I never had a Plan B,” admits Flanagan. “For me, there never was an escape plan because I knew that a writer was all I was ever going to be and yet it is a very hard way to make a living.”
As Kif in the novel ponders his own escape from the deceitful and conniving Heidl, Flanagan contrasts the familial warmths of Kehlmann’s native Tasmania with the bleak and dreary bitumens of a drizzly inner Melbourne. Unlike his earlier and most evocative novels, First Person sets it lens onto a hostile and inhospitable city that the con man Heidl personifies with a mesmerising veracity.
By the time Kif Kehlmann makes it back to his family, the emotional home that he leaves behind at the beginning of the novel has itself become a strange and unwelcoming place.
When Flanagan reflects on this depiction of Hobart and his earlier illustrations of his home state as a whole, he can easily appreciate how the Tasmania in his own literature has remained something of a mystery.
“I used to write about the place because I found it fascinating” he says. “I still write about it because I am yet to understand it. This is true even though as a person I have been so much shaped by it.”
In Conversation with Richard Flanagan on Tuesday, Oct 3, features Flanagan talking withNewcastle Writers Festival director Rosemarie Milsom about his writing life and his new novelFirst Person. The event is at Nex, Wests City, corner of King andUnion streets, Newcastle West. Tickets $15 (Eventbrite).The Herald, Newcastle
Geoffrey StrongA TRUCK driver who punched a co-worker to death after the pair argued over a minor accident in the yard of a Sandgate freight company has been jailed for a maximum of six years, becoming the firstman to be sentenced undera variation of the state’s new “one punch” laws.
Geoffrey Michael Strong, 46, appeared in Newcastle District Court on Friday where Judge Roy Ellis sentenced him to a non-parole period of three years and six months for causing the death of Glenn Canning, 45, at Crawford Freightlines on August 4, 2015.
The catalyst for the fatal assault was a minor crash between Strong’s truck and Mr Canning’s forklift in the yardabout 2.40pm, according to an agreed statement of facts.
A short time later, the pair argued and traded obscenities before Strong walked around the front of his prime mover to where Mr Canning was still sitting in his forklift.
He reached up and punched Mr Canning four times in the head.
Mr Canning slumped forward in the seat and was pronounced dead before paramedics could get him to hospital.
Strong was initially charged with manslaughter, but pleaded guilty to the alternative charge of assault causing death on the first day of trial.
The offence falls under the state’s new “one-punch” laws, passed in 2014 after several high-profile “coward punch” cases in Sydney, and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail.
The offence was created to deter alcohol-fuelled violence, however it included a provision featuring the same criminal elementsbut without the aggravating feature of the offender being intoxicated.
“As best as I was able to ascertain there have been no prior sentences in NSW under [that section],” Crown prosecutor Brendan Queenan told Judge Ellis.
The court heard two emotional victim impact statements, including one fromMr Canning’s daughter, Renee, who outlined the huge hole his sudden death had left in their family.
Strong’s barrister, David Price,submitted his client was subject to “extra-curial punishment”, citing a “letter of demand” from WorkCover NSW who are seeking to recover from Strong a large insurance payout made to Mr Canning’s family.
Judge Ellis ordered Strong be eligible for parole on March 28, 2021.
Seven has been forced to reposition its latest ratings weapon after Cannonball misfired badly on debut.
The new game show, which seems to be based on the fundamentally flawed premise that water theme parks are intrinsically hilarious, premiered at 7.30pm on Wednesday night to a decidedly soggy audience of just 513,000 viewers in the five mainland capital cities.
The show that aired immediately before it, Home & Away, was watched by 716,000 people, meaning just over 200,000 turned off just when Seven would have been hoping they would dive into this new, exciting and, well, empty-headed local version of a Dutch show.
That result dragged Seven’s main-channel share of the metro free-to-air audience down to just 16.6 per cent on Wednesday night, well behind Nine’s 23.1 per cent share.
The response was swift. The second episode had been scheduled to air at 7.30pm on Thursday night, but was instead quietly sent to the kiddie pool of late-night television, 10.45pm on Friday.
Two more episodes are slated for next week – again at 7.30pm on Wednesday and Thursday – but Seven’s lifeguards have already ordered this troubled and troublesome production, which was first announced by Seven as “coming soon” back in April 2016, out of the water altogether.
Next week’s episodes will be the last.
Does that mean Cannonball has sunk?
A spokesman for the network says not. “The show was always a four-episode run,” he said.
Cannonball’s brief volley isn’t the only misfire Seven has had to endure lately. The high-profile Hell’s Kitchen , with Marco Pierre White teaching a team of second-string celebrities how to cook, was also a ratings and critical dud.
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