Sent by Michelle Merrick
Based in Shelly Beach
Looking for help with your business travel? Find out how I can help here
My name is Eloise Fischer and I have been in the travel industry for the past 25 years.
Throughout my travel career, I have been extremely fortunate to work with a variety of clients. In my first 9 years, I was part of a dynamic travel management company in Pretoria. It was here that I perfected my corporate travel skills under the guidance of a strong corporate team. I worked with large government departments right down to smaller private corporate businesses, honing my corporate travel skills.
15 years ago, I moved down to Shelly Beach on the South Coast and turned my energy into looking after leisure travel although I still manage corporate travel.
I have been lucky to have travelled extensively throughout the world, from the very exciting city of London, throughout Europe, the Far East, Australia, Africa and cruising our local Africa shores.
Are you looking for?
1) Quick response to your requests?
2) Best prices and packages designed specially tailored to your needs?
3) The Best possible service – 24 hours / 7 days a week?
4) Dedicated service, offering a 1 stop service and willing to go the extra mile?
5) Someone who you can trust with your travel budget and who will give you the best travel experience and value for money?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions above, then please do not hesitate another moment to contact me.
I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.
29 October 2009
I was lucky to be part of 1 of the 26 Travel Counsellors who won an educational of a lifetime to Australia. My first treat started when I checked in at the Qantas desk in Johannesburg. I was flying BUSINESS CLASS! Qantas really knows how to treat their business class passengers. It was such a treat and a really special experience. I arrived a couple of days ahead of the group so that I could spend some quality time with my brother who lives in Chatswood on the other side of the bridge. When I arrived my brother and his wife asked me what I would like to do in the couple of days I was there and I just asked for quality time with them as I knew that when our tour started, I would be doing lots of sightseeing and activities, so they took me to some nice restaurants and the latest movies. We had a rugby party at their home and oh boy, the Aussies were in their element that they won. No worries mate! We still had a huge party afterwards! Jason and Karien dropped me off at the Observatory Hotel on Monday the 7th of October and that is where I met the rest of the group. We stayed at the Observatory Hotel for 2 nights. What a lovely personal hotel! We felt so at home there! On the Tuesday morning we were up early and set off walking to the Opera House which was about 20 minutes walk from the hotel and this is where we learnt the most fascinating details about the design that inspired a young Danish Architect 50 years ago, who pushed the boundaries of creativity and science and put Sydney on the map forever! After another 20 minute walk through circular quay, we made our way toward the Sydney Harbour Bridge to take part in the bridge climb. I never thought for 1 minute that it took such preparation to do the bridge climb, but it took us over an hour before we actually got onto the bridge to commence our 3 and a half hour walk. What an experience! The views were breathtaking. The guide that took us up to the top of the bridge was very informative and for a 3 and a half hour walk, the time sure flew by and before we knew it, we were back down at the bottom of the bridge collecting our memorabilia and heading off for a fantastic evening of more breathtaking views from the rooftop of the Shangri-la and we enjoyed a marvellous dinner hosted by the hotel. When we had finished with dinner, we decided to take in some nightlife and made our way to a local hotspot where we enjoyed being one of the “locals”. Early the next morning, we were met by APT Blue Mountain Tours and transported to Blue Mountains, where we stayed at another one of the 5 star Orient Express Hotels called Lillianfels Blue Mountain Resort and Spa. The accommodation was nothing short of sheer luxury and the staff really made us feel welcome and at home. My roommate and I had hot chocolate in our luxury rooms to get a bit warmer as it was really cold, after which we went for a walk down to the lookout point near the information centre to have a look at the 3 Sisters ( 3 mountains standing next to each other). Our dinner was sponsored by Blue Mountain Tourism and we really enjoyed a wonderful time playing games and learning more about the fascinating area. After a fun evening, it was off to bed as the crisp mountain air finally took its toll on us. We got to sleep in until 9am the following morning before we were transported to Katoomba for a trip down the steepest railway in the world before heading back to Sydney via a visit to Featherdale Farm and a trip past the Olympic Stadium.
11 December 2008
This was my first trip to Spain and I got to go to Marbella! A very beautiful town along the Costa del Sol. I was most fortunate to be part of a fantastic group of fellow Travel Counsellors attending the annual Travel Counsellors Conference which was held in Marbella. We were whisked off on Iberian Airlines to Madrid, where we landed at an enormous airport. We had to take a train from one terminal to the next (I thought Heathrow was big but Barajas was just as huge!) Another 1 hour flight and we landed in Malaga to the sound of festive music and dancing from a local traditional band. I felt rejuvenated and excited to be met in such a special way. Once we had collected our baggage we hopped on one of the many luxury buses that took us to our 5 Star hotel in Marbella - Hotel Puente Romano. The hotel was like a little "greek village" with our rooms being hidden away in a lush tropical paradise garden with cobbled walkways. The hotel is situated on the beach between Malaga and Peurto Banus. A wide walkway connects the towns and it is always a hive of activity with locals and tourists getting in some exercise - jogging or just taking a leisurely stroll admiring the beautiful gardens and elegant homes on display. Although it was winter, the weather was much like Durban winters with warm days and crisp evenings. Another highlight of the trip was my visit to Mijas. A 45 minute drive from Marbella, situated in the mountains and offering some of the most spectacular aerial views of the Costa del Sol. Mijas is a small town that is old and it is a hit with the tourists especially with the local colourfully dressed donkeys featuring as a taxi service through the narrow cobble pathways of the town. It is a shoppers paradise with some really good bargains to hunt down. We did some local wine tasting and got a chance to sample some of Spain's finest wines. Another favourite outing was Pueto Banus which is for the rich and famous. The streets are lined with Versace and other well know brand shops. The restaurants were mostly closed due to winter, however, it is suggested to follow the locals to the nearest spot as you are sure to get the best meals at very reasonable prices. The yachts were spectacular with each one bigger than the next. I flew back to Madrid where I stayed at a 3 Star hotel situated in a great spot for sightseeing as it was close to the Metro and most shops - The information centre at the airport is wonderful and the people who assisted us were very helpful with information on what to see and do in 2 days . The metro is very easy to navigate with everything translated in English. After purchasing a train ticket to Toledo I was off for more sightseeing and was not disappointed at the rich culture and well preserved old town. It was a filled with tiny streets crammed with shops and churches and the most interesting buildings. A definite must for anyone wanting to visit Spain. After the train trip back from Toledo we decided to take a walk up to the Prado Museum as they offer free entrance between 6pm and 8pm daily. I was blown away with the works of art on display! Another worthwhile outing is the hop-on hop-off bus tour in Madrid which offers you the opportunity to see Old Madrid and New Madrid. Being winter, it was really cold with the daily temperatures only reaching 7 or 10 degrees. There are many coffee shops along the way offering first class coffee and the most wonderful pastries. The bus offers you the chance to get off at a sight that you find interesting and once you are finished having a look another bus will collect you and continue with the route that you were on. I was really happy to get to see the Plaza Mayor as I had really been looking forward to seeing this plaza. I was not disappointed as they were setting up the christmas markets and although it was not open for sale yet (my wallet was breathing a sign of relief). I did get a chance to have a look at the amazing Christmas goodies on offer! The trip was wonderful and I would definitely recommend a visit to Spain!
08 August 2008
When arriving at the entrance of Ushaka, we were met with a very professional team of staff. I have been to quite a few International zoos and aquariums and it definitely is on par, if not better. There are various tickets to purchase. We purchased the SeaWorld pass as it was too cold to take part in the water world activities. To get to SeaWorld we had to make our way down a maze of walkways to the belly of a huge old ship that has been converted into a viewing area for the fish. This really added to the atmosphere as they had special sound effects in the background that made us feel like we were really at sea, having a look at the fish in their natural environment. There in the bottom of the ship is where all the fishy action is! The numerous fish tanks were amazing. Every colour was brought out by just the right amount of light and what a selection of fish. The stingrays were my favourite as they seemed to “fly” through the water and looked so elegant. The sharks were spectacular with the biggest teeth I have ever seen. Ushaka even has a reptile area where there are snakes, brightly coloured frogs on display among decor that really made us feel as though we were in the jungle and made us hungry to see more. So, we went up onto dry land in search of more adventure and boy, did we find what we were looking for. The dolphin show was amazing with the dolphins performing breathtaking acts for the public. Balancing balls on the tips of their noses, leaping through rings in the air. We did not think anything could top these fine creatures, but we were surprised again. The seal show was next and he entertained us for a whole half an hour with wet sloppy kisses, dancing around and trying to catch a poacher – this was all part of the show. The shops were also great fun and we happened to strike gold with a half price sale that they had on that particular day, that enticed even the most tight fisted tourist with a wide array of merchandise on display. We had lunch at the food court; however, there are many different restaurants and fast food places to eat at in the mall. What a day of FUN.
12 August 2008
I arrived in Dubai at the hottest time of the year. Day temperatures in August reach 46 degrees and by 6 in the evening it still does not get any cooler. The weather was not going to spoil this trip though. When arriving in Dubai, we were met by Arabian Adventures and transported to the Pearl Residence Apartments. The rooms were above standard and each had its own mini kitchen. After dumping our bags, we hit the town. We decided to walk the 3 or 4 blocks to the nearest market. Wow, the heat was really unbearable, but we made it and were really surprised at the amazing choice of shopping there was on offer. Later that day after getting about an hours’ rest at the hotel, we decided to go on the Dune Dinner Safari. This for me was really exciting as I love the thrill that the 4x4 ride offered. We also had a chance to do some dune boarding, camel riding and then we were transported to an oasis in the middle of nowhere, where we feasted on local cuisine, had our hands and feet painted with henna and watched belly dancing until late into the evening. The following morning we were up early and made our way to beachfront at the local botanical gardens. The water was as warm as bath water and bluer than the ski. There were quite a few people on the beach as well as some fellow South Africans. The culture can be seen in all aspects of Dubai. Everything is made of the best material and no money is spared on building the perfect hotel, office block or mall. Every palm tree and plant in Dubai has its own sprinkler system as everything is very dry, being an oasis in the middle of a huge desert. We took a trip to the Knaif Market (Women’s Market). Here we got bargains in silk, watches, jewellery, jeans, “designer” t shirts etc. We walked 4 blocks and found ourselves at the Gold Souk. I have never in my life seen so much gold under one roof. It was amazing to walk from one shop to the next and just see the array of jewels on offer. I feel that I did not get to see enough of what Dubai had to offer and will definitely be returning one day for more excitement.
04 August 2008
The first of the Fischer party (four of us) departed for Australia and the other five of us followed the road down under 2 weeks later. What excitement! A whole 22 hours of “excitement”. Any mother will know the fear of travelling such a long distance with a five year old. What started out as fear turned into a great experience onboard Emirates. The staff were friendly, the food was good (and just kept coming! Much to my waistlines dismay) and the entertainment was outstanding (Ice Entertainment kept my son, Joshua, busy for almost 18 hours nonstop.) Upon arrival in Sydney we took a taxi to my brothers’ apartment in Chatswood. What an amazingly busy city. Even more amazing was the night lights from my brothers’ 24th floor balcony. We only spent 1 night in Sydney before flying off to Cairns where we were met by my parents, uncle and aunt. We were taken by boat to an island called Green Island which was beautiful with its marine life and an amazing variety of fish. The day trip included a glass bottom boat ride, a submarine trip along the reef, snorkelling, diving and lunch on a ship docked at the island. Although the island was small, the atmosphere and the people were friendly and it was definitely worth it, to see the reef in its natural state. Before leaving Cairns, I made friends with one of the local Aborigine ladies, who made a friendship necklace for me out of shells that they collect on the beach near her home town. We hired cars and made our way from a very tropical dense Cairns down to Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach. This took us a week to do with overnight stops in towns along the way. Rainbow Beach got its name from the coloured sand cliffs along the beach. Rainbow Beach is a small town with only about 1,000 people living there. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world! I have been here before and its beauty still takes my breath away. Our main reason for the trip was to visit with my brother and his wife, and so they flew out from Sydney to meet us in Brisbane. We were also here to visit my Uncle who has a house in Rainbow Beach. The other reason to visit Australia? Fishing!! I mean we are “Fischers” after all. Everyone in our family loves fishing and we went over to show the Aussies how to fish. The 'Rainbow Beach Family Fishing Classic' is held once a year at Rainbow Beach at the local Country Club. Although their community is small it is very well advertised and people come from far and wide to take part in this annual event. We made daily trips to Fraser Island to fish for the largest catch – we were only allowed to weigh in 1 fish per category per day. Fraser Island is the most beautiful island and it is inhabited by Dingo’s that are tagged and controlled in numbers. It even has a landing strip on the beach for light aircrafts. Driving for Kilometres on the beach was a real treat and we got to pick the perfect fishing spots. Joshua amazed me with his enthusiasm. He was up at 5am every morning in the rented 4x4 and on the first ferry over to Fraser by 6am. There is a local 4x4 rental company in town that has great deals. We stayed at a self catering apartment in Rainbow Beach. The apartments were excellent value for money. We fished for 7 days non-stop from 6am till 2:30pm, when we had to return to Rainbow Beach to weigh in at 4pm. Prize giving from 6pm until 8pm. Each night had a different sponsor with rods and reels, GPS systems, freezers and the last night was the main event with all the big prizes. Joshua was really lucky as he weighed in some of the heaviest fish in the children's division and won rods, reels, hampers, t-shirts and was a favourite among the community, so much so that he is featured on this year’s entry form and posters around town. The children also had nightly entertainment with a special section just for to entertain them with video games, movies, games and baby sitters. After the prize giving, it was off to the country club’s pub area to listen to live entertainers and mingle with the locals. The Australian community are really friendly and we had great fun playing pool, listening to local celebrities singing and having a wonderful time. The week before the fishing competition, we headed off to Steve Irwin’s Australian Zoo. I have never seen such a well kept, neat and tidy zoo. No expense is spared for the comfort of the animals as well as the people who go there to visit them. We even got to be part of a National Geographic television program featuring Terry Irwin and Bindi Irwin. After 4 weeks in Amazing Australia, we had to shed some tears and wave goodbye to the family and board Emirates for South Africa. We will be back though for a visit soon enough as there are still many fishing compo’s to come and many prizes to win. Until then – see ya mate!!!
Shelly Beach 29/04/2009
Shelly Beach 14/08/2008
Shelly Beach 07/08/2008
Mbango, Port Shepstone 07/08/2008
South Coast 07/08/2008