My Kind of Holiday: Marguerite Poland
Marguerite Poland is an award-winning writer . Her latest work is a memoir, Taken Captive by Birds
Where did you spend your last holiday?
Cape St Francis.
The best thing you did while there?
I climbed the lighthouse, an experience that was exciting and romantic.
Your favourite city abroad and why?
London. We had friends with a flat there and visiting the same neighbourhood year after year made it feel like home.
What must a first-time visitor see there?
Walk up and down both sides of the Thames. It gives you a sense of the vastness of the place.
What should they not bother with?
Typical attractions with long queues. Rather, walk the streets.
Your best holiday ever?
Visiting the World War 1 battlefields of Northern France was a profound and moving experience. We visited small and large graveyards among the farmlands, searching for specific names. It was awe-inspiring.
The worst hotel you have stayed in?
A hotel in Midrand I stayed at during a business trip. The view was a used-car graveyard and the linen was suspect. I thought if I opened a cupboard a body might fall out.
The best thing you have been given on holiday . or pinched from a hotel?
We won a weekend at a game lodge and I was told to leave the window open because a chat had built a nest in the canopy over the bed. His presence was better than being given a basketful of goodies.
One place you want to see before you die?
A World War 1 battlefield in northern Tanzania at the foot of Kilimanjaro. I wrote a novel that ended there and it is a pilgrimage I really need to make.
Have you had any embarrassing moments as a traveller?
On our first overseas trip - our girls were pre-teens - we put our luggage on a particularly fast-moving walkway. The luggage got to the end before we did and all four of us fell over it. It was the first and last time I saw anyone in Paris laugh.
What do you avoid on holiday?
Sitting with strangers at meals and playing hotel party games.