Danae outside MACq 01 Hotel, Hobart Australia
Danae outside MACq 01 Hotel, Hobart Australia

UPDATED 26/9/20

Hello, I’m Danae.

Thanks for visiting my weird and wonderful travel blog Trip Over, which features

WHAT THE..?! Travel Reviews.

This blog isn’t one of those picture-perfect dream travel blogs

in the vast ocean of picture-perfect dream travel blogs.

Uh uh.

Mine is different. Funny different. Strange different.

And I hope it brightens your day.

Get ready for my dance to welcome you, followed by a magic carpet ride of

posts about places you could visit,

great travel info, and the strange things we’ve experienced along the way…

By the way, this travel blog uses Australian English spelling since I’m from the City of Bayside, Melbourne.


In this welcome post you’ll find out:

  • 5 reasons why travel is good for you
  • Danae’s scarf recommendations for your trip or gift
  • Danae’s Trip Over travel blog goal
  • what sparked WHAT THE..?! Travel Reviews

travel inspiration

  • whether you think Danae’s weird
  • about Trip Over travel blog site links
  • some of Danae’s Japan and Greece hotel travel reviews
  • WHAT THE..?! at Hilton Osaka, Japan
  • WHAT THE..?! at Satan’s Bazaar, Preveza Greece
  • some of Danae’s Australian hotel travel reviews
  • how to subscribe to Trip Over travel blog posts (free)

 

5 reasons why travel is good for you

passion for travel

1. Passion

Do you love to travel? Or do you lurve to travel?

Since you’re visiting a travel blog, you probably lurve to travel like me.

Lurve of travelling is a romantic sort of love, isn’t it? We get butterflies from the moment we ponder the possibility of getting away.Travel gives us butterflies!The wings of desire flutter, the butterflies go crazy with the fantasy, and then we fall head over heels in lurve when we decide that YES, we’re going on a holiday! Whoo hoo!

Do you love to travel?

Yes, travelling packs a passionate punch which opens our hearts to the joys and wonders of life, helping to keep us young and optimistic. The passion that travel ignites in us turns us on, emotionally, mentally and physically.

2. Energy

Travelling fills us with energy, even while we’re just planning the trip, packing our clothes, and heading off for our next adventure. When we arrive at our destination we truly feel the powerful and uplifting effects of travel because it reawakens us to spontaneity, serendipity, and absorbing the present in a heightened state.

Travel fills us with energy!

3. New stimuli

We’re out of our comfort zone and we stop acting on auto pilot (pardon the travel pun) because we need to process our new surroundings quickly and there is so much new stimuli. We even take a renewed interest in strangers and little details grab our attention.

Travelling allows us to live in a world parallel to our everyday one and learn how other people and societies approach life. You get paradigm shifts when you travel.

Travelling makes us pay attention to detail

4. Builds character

Not only that, travelling builds our character and strengthens our spirit. We’re often faced with unfamiliar situations and must make out-of-the-ordinary decisions about what to do, where to go, and how to get the most out of our day.

Travelling strengthens spirit and builds character
Danae hanging around on the Hollybank Treetops Adventure, Underwood (near Launceston), Tasmania. She looks calm, but it’s all a facade.  BTW – This ended up with her having to zipline 70km per hour over a ravine. Thanks very much to her hubby and sons for that wonderful surprise. N.B.: After all this, Danae’s still afraid of heights!  She highly recommends the experience, though!

5. Substance

Some people might feel that travelling isn’t worth the cost, effort, or risk, but after you travel you realise that the experience stays deep inside you, adds extra substance to your life’s story, and has helped you to reflect and grow.

You know the intrinsic value of new travel adventures and that’s why I’m excited to connect with you through this our shared lurve of travel through this travel blog.


Scarf recommendations for your trip or as a gift

I bought these cool 100% merino wool Rotfuchs scarves made in Germany for our twin sons studying in London. (Rotfuchs means “Red Fox” in German, if you’re wondering ;-D)

Trip Over Travel Blog - Rotfuch anthracite merino scarf
Rotfuchs “Anthracite” Scarf – knitted from 100% merino wool. Made in Germany
Trip Over Travel Reviews - Rotfuchs raschel scarf blue
Rotfuch Cuddly Knit Scarf “Raschel” 100% merino wool. Made in Germany.

Ordered them from Australia through Amazon UK, without postage fees and with quick delivery in time for Christmas 2019. So, for all your friends and family overseas, see if you can buy them gifts from their local Amazon because you’ll save time, money and effort (provided the product turns out to be great).

London Union Jack badge
Go to Amazon UK

When I visited our sons in London after Christmas, January 2020, I saw and felt first hand the excellent quality of these scarves  – very classy, soft and funky. They looked great on the boys. More importantly, our sons love the scarves and were wearing them…a lot! Yay! So very pleased with these purchases

(The Amazon description for the Raschel scarf will say “red and yellow” for the blue one, but don’t worry, it arrives blue.)


The experience of travel has instrinsic value.

Danae’s Trip Over travel blog goal

To give you a unique, fresh travel blog that will WOW! you and give you a grin while delivering:

  • unusual and useful content including tips
  • personal trip recommendations
  • access to lots of great travel-related products and deals, and
  • the WILD CARD called WHAT THE..?! Travel Reviews.

These travel reviews include the weird encounters and improbably incidents that my husband Jim and I have experienced by chance while on holidays. I like to call them WHAT THE..?!s .

What sparked WHAT THE..?! Travel Reviews?

SPARK 1) The WHAT THE..?! TV segment on the Rove Live show about weird stuff that viewers sent in to him, such as strange community signs, ads, and a slice of bread that came out of the loaf with a very happy face.

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SPARK 2) The Marvel Comics WHAT THE..?! series which parodied  the Marvel Universe and was billed as “The Marvel mag of mirth and mayhem”.

Similarly, the WHAT THE..?! encounters that my husband Jim and I have experienced on our trips have parodied (what I consider to be) “normal” events, invoking mirth and mayhem.

Jim and Danae at Marnong Estate
Danae and Jim at beautiful Marnong Estate, Mickleham, Victoria March 2019 (with the worst possible background).

CUT OUT THE GLARE THIS TRIP AND LOOK COOL TOO

These would suit Jim. Actually, all sunnies suit Jim. They just do… 

Ray-Ban glasses for holiday travel

Ray-Ban THE GENERAL RB 3561 COPPER/GREEN SHADED men’s sunglasses


 

SPARK 3) Our little getaway to Hobart Tasmania in early January 2018, which was the catalyst for WHAT THE..?! Travel Reviews. The trip was rife with WHAT THE..?! moments.

Upon reflection, I realised that the tingling thread of WHAT THE..?! was also running through our past few trips to Darwin, Vanuatu, and Greece.

We’ve experienced strange situations, occurrences, human behaviour and bits of info at relatively normal holiday travel destinations.

WHAT THE..?! at MONA
Find out about my glass of sparkling wine that glided 45cm across the table by itself at Faro Tapas Bar, verified by MONA’s Communications Team!

The WHAT THE..?!s have caught us completely by surprise and have left lasting impressions. Sometimes they’re blatant, sometimes more obscure, but they always appear out of nowhere.

I adore WHAT THE..?!s. That’s why this travel blog features WHAT THE..?! Travel Reviews. I’m compelled to share this weird stuff with you along with some great offbeat, handy travel info, great travel ideas and travel-related products and deals.

Are my WHAT THE..?!s weird? Or is it just me?

Danae wearing MACQ 01 robe

Is Danae weird?

Donning the MACq 01 Hotel robe while Jim is asleep. The robe has an old-style map of Hobart hinterland in the hood.

You can buy a robe from MACq 01 Storytelling Hotel for $130AUD.

They’re very large, long and heavy – great for Winter – and have a touch of Assassins Creed and Cobra about them.

Danae wearing a pampering facial mask and a MACq 01 Hotel robe
Danae wearing a pampering facial mask in the Superior Room at MACq 01 Storytelling Hotel

 

Trip Over travel blog site links

There are images and  BOLD AQUA LINKS in this travel blog which I guarantee will only take you to trustworthy sites such as:

in the event that you like what you see and wish to explore/view information. Links lead to e.g. photos, prices, descriptions, and/or reviews.

 

Some hotels that we’ve stayed in while in Japan

Minato, Tokyo, Japan 2017 – Clean, modern, very friendly staff. Language barrier not an issue.

Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan 2017 – Top location near the Ikebukuro Station. Comfortable, clean, roomy, and enjoyable.

Osaka, Japan 2017 – Small room, inexpensive, nothing amazing, but that’s what was we were looking for. Very good value.

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WHAT THE..?! at Hilton Osaka, Japan

Disappointed with Hilton Osaka duck skin on prawn crackersWe ordered a roast duck dish at 5-star Hilton Osaka that was on the menu for around $130AUD. However, when the waiter wheeled the trolley over we were surprised to find that there was only a selection of duck skin pieces perched on those take-away pink prawn crackers! Where was the duck?

They replied that this was the duck.

Needless to say, we returned the dish and pointed out that the menu said duck, not duck skin, which implied that the dish consisted of the meat of the duck. We also mentioned that prawn crackers are usually complimentary.

We requested a replacement lobster dish for the same price and the restaurant kindly obliged.  And I’m happy to report that the dish was delicious and price appropriate.

Jim recommends staying at the Hilton in any foreign country when you need to rely on English-speaking staff since Hilton is a US hospitality company.

Some hotels that we’ve stayed in while in Greece

Dioni Boutique Hotel, Preveza, Greece 2016 (Far west mainland. From Preveza you can drive through the underwater tunnel called The Aktio to get to the incredibly beautiful island of Lefkada).

I can’t say enough good things about Dioni Boutique Hotel. It was perfect for us. Jim kept congratulating me on my choice of accommodation, considering the amazing staff, gorgeous hotel, ATM within 10m, walking distance to the waterfront, taverns, shops, cafes, Satan’s Bazaar, and the foreshore further up. Buffet breakfasts on the rooftop with views.  My only quibble was the noise from the dogs that lived on a neighbouring property, but there are quieter rooms available on the other side.

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WHAT THE..?! at Satan’s Bazaar, Preveza Greece     

Order God with Garlic
You can order God with garlic for just 9 euros at Satan’s Bazaar in Preveza, Greece. (What a typo! Should’ve written Cod.)
On a vespa, Satan's Bazaar, Preveza, Greece
Danae on a Vespa with sister-in-law Kay, Satan’s Bazaar, Preveza, Greece

In Greece we’ve also loved staying at:

Some Australian hotels that we’ve stayed in – 

Bondi Junction, New South Wales, Australia 2015 – Classy, clean, luxurious, spacious apartment. Central location. So much on offer within a short walk. We loved it and had fun at the cook-your-own authentic Korean BBQ restaurant around the corner.

Daylesford, Victoria, Australia 2015 – The room was affordable, modest, clean, and comfortable. Lovely surrounding area and great location, just a block’s walk to the town’s main street.

Eden, New South Wales, Australia 2015 – We really enjoyed our stay as a family at this motel. The room was large, in great condition, and comfortable for everyone. We had a room upstairs with an ocean view from our window. Friendly, family environment. Top location within walking distance to main streets, incl. pubs, restaurants etc. If you’d like to see the actual room we stayed in, find the photo of the room with the red door.

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Yes, more genuine travel recommendations, great travel info, top travel deals and WHAT THE..?! Reviews coming your way!

For all of my feature travel reviews, visit the MENU up the top or read excerpts below.

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WHAT THE..?! at Faro Tapas Bar, MONA

About MONA’s Faro Tapas Bar

Faro Tapas Bar lies at the end of the MONA adventure in the newest wing called Pharos. By the way, MONAMuseum of Old and New Art and it’s located in Berriedale, Tasmania.

MONA’s Faro Tapas Bar Revives Me

Faro Tapas Bar resuscitated me after exploring the dark depths of MONA for hours.

The reason for this is that when you enter Faro Tapas Bar the sudden panoramic explosion of natural light, free-flowing space, and view of land and water zaps you like a defibrillator. You’re compelled to inhale deeply and snap out of the dazed consciousness you had in the tunnels of MONA.

However, I didn’t foresee that we were about to have a bizarre and unexplained experience in Faro Tapas Bar that was going to leave me breathless. To find out what happened, keep reading.

Continue reading Faro Tapas Bar, MONA – WHAT THE..?! TRAVEL REVIEW

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Danae's aura photo

HOBART PSYCHIC EXPO: WHAT THE..?! No. 1

Psychic medium Rebeccah Rhodes picks up on my moving glass at MONA

 

HOBART PSYCHIC EXPO: WHAT THE..?! No. 2

Spiritual healer Paul Carlson makes Jim’s back pain disappear

 

HOBART PSYCHIC EXPO: WHAT THE..?! No. 3

Kristi Beams reads my aura photo with startling accuracy and insight 

Plus, vote in three WHAT THE..?! blog polls!

 

Yep. A hat-trick of WHAT THE..?!s appeared out of nowhere at Hobart Psychic Expo and I’d like to know if you think they’re WHAT THE..?! worthy.

Continue reading Hobart Psychic Expo – WHAT THE..?! TRAVEL REVIEW

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In this post…

1.  Captain Cool on the Mona Roma Ferry WHAT THE..?!

Mona Roma Ferry Review - emojis

 

 2. Mona Roma Ferry Ticket Tips Mona Roma Ferry Review - thumb up emoji

 

3.  We encounter Boobarella on the Mona Roma FerryWHAT THE..?!

Mona Roma Ferry Review - emojis

  Continue reading Mona Roma Ferry – WHAT THE..?! TRAVEL REVIEW

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MACq 01 Cocky Billet Superior Waterfront Room

MACq 01 Storytelling Hotel?

You might be thinking ANOTHER Hobart WHAT THE..?! Travel Review (?!), but as I’ve mentioned our Hobart trip in 2018 was rife with WHAT THE..?! moments. Therefore, I’d like to share this last one that happened to us at MACq 01 Hotel before I move onto Vanuatu, Darwin, Greece, and Japan.

Besides, the quirky and stylish MACq 01 Hotel is a unique, luxury hotel with plenty of personality that in my opinion deserves a featured review. Also, it’s one of booking.com’s TOP HOBART PICKS and “RATED BEST VALUE IN HOBART”.

MACq 01 Hotel Review - Enjoying the wharf outside MACq 01 "Story Telling" Hotel

Outside MACq 01 Hotel Continue reading MACq 01 Storytelling Hotel – WHAT THE..?! TRAVEL REVIEW

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Republic Bar Quality & Service counter

Yeehaaa! Tasmania’s borders are open again! So keep this list of Hobart things to see and do handy for when you head down to the awesome Apple Isle. Going there for Christmas or in the New Year? Well, there’s even a section in this post on things to see and do in Hobart over the festive season.

However, if you feel like ducking over to Tassie right now then simply bite into this juicy blog about the things we saw and did while in Hobart. (We’re foodies.) Plus get some travel inspiration from a few other places we’ve been to around Tasmania. 

In this “Hobart Things to See and Do” post you’ll get:
  • The feels for Hobart’s rich history
  • Insight into Hobart’s activities, sights and sumptuous style
  • A taste of Hobart’s hive of creativity
  • What you can see and do in Hobart during Christmas/New Year
  • Things to see and do there all year ’round
  • A selection of stuff we’ve seen and done around the greater state of Tasmania

 

Continue reading Our Hobart Things to See and Do – TRAVEL REVIEW

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MONA Travel Review Kick-off

Updated 23rd February 2020 – This travel review on MONA aims to give you MONA’s vibe. The review starts from the first time I heard about MONA, because that’s when she started to seduce my curiosity.

Let me explain.

We told a few different friends that we were heading down to Hobart. To my surprise, all of them immediately asked if we were going to take the ferry to MONA.

“Probably,” I replied to the first friend, NV, not that I knew anything about MONA. Rather, NV got that response out of me because her eyes were wide and her voice was low, indicating that MONA was a strange case of Enter at Own Risk.

MONA Review - Carnivorous plant door mat
Already, MONA had the welcoming vibe of this carnivorous plant door mat. (Click to find out the unbelievable name of this Amazon Australia product. You’ll never ever guess it, or ever remember it. WHAT THE..?!)

 

Naturally, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to love MONA or not, but it didn’t matter because I was already intrigued. Then I began wondering whether MONA was on an island. Was she an island? Or some dystopian town nestled in a Tasmanian valley, covered in fairy lights? Continue reading Meet MONA if You Dare – TRAVEL REVIEW

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Port Phillip Bay birds social distancing

 

Port Phillip Bay photo above: Sandringham Yacht Club. Despite lockdown and the danger of prosecution these birds wouldn’t keep off Port Phillip Bay or wear masks, but they did adhere to social distancing.


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Welcome! This Port Phillip Bay Home Delivery post is your scenic trip out on Melbourne’s bay with us. Enjoy.

If you’d like to see some of the fish we’ve caught, find out our fishing tips and see the fish we’ve caught turn into food, go to the post Port Phillip Bay Fishing Fun.

 

In this Port Phillip Bay Home Delivery post you’ll:

  • Get what the Port Phillip Bay blues was like for the thousands of Bay-crazy Melburnians during around 4 months of COVID-19 lockdown
  • Check the Victorian state government’s COVID-19 Bay restrictions as from 9/11/20
  • See our pics of beautiful Port Phillip Bay from Jim’s boat
  • Read My Port Phillip Bay review

Danae at Black Rock beach, Melbourne
Danae at Black Rock beach overlooking a deserted Port Phillip Bay during Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions. (Thanks to my cousin Sam for making the mask.)

Continue reading Your Port Phillip Bay home delivery – SCENIC REVIEW

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Welcome!

After further easing of Melbourne’s COVID restrictions, Port Phillip Bay is now accessible to all Melburnians and fishing on Port Phillip Bay has come back to life! Hooray! This is especially great news for the snapper fisher-people because snapper season started in September.

So, to celebrate, this Port Phillip Bay fishing post is going to let you know about the awesome fishing to be had on the Bay including Jim’s fishing tips. Also see our fish turn into food. Get inspired!

However, if you can’t get to Port Phillip Bay right now, don’t despair because you’ll get a big piece of the beautiful Bay into you just by reading on.

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Guess where hubby Jim is as I write this post. Out a-lookin’ to catch him some gars and snapper!

 

Thank goodness because Jim was starting to whirlpool without any Port Phillip Bay fishing for so long. Not only that, but on the day that restrictions eased he went to take off in his boat and discovered that it had seized up due to inactivity for all those idle months! Consequently, the boat had to go in for repairs, keeping Jim from the Bay for another couple of weeks. Ohhh!

Continue reading Port Phillip Bay fishing fun – REVIEW

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