A warm welcome to all of the members of our Aroma Tours Newsletter in more than 35 countries around the world.
Robbi and I are now almost at the end of our journeys for this year and we are looking forward to enjoying some quiet time before our season begins again early next year.
Since our last newsletter we have spent a delightful month in the USA visiting Chicago, Minneapolis, Tampa and San Francisco and shortly Robbi will be returning to China to teach a series of her Blossoming Heart workshops.
2009 has been a water-shed year for Aroma Tours with another brilliant season of tours and already we are seeing next year's bookings forging ahead. It has certainly been a year full of wonderful travels and delightful people with new friendships made and old ones rekindled.
Robbi and I are very excited to see our passion for Aroma Tours coming to fruition and we are greatly looking forward to sharing many more wonderful adventures with our guests next year.
Robbi and I love looking back through the photos of our adventures and remembering the wonderful moments that we have shared with our Aroma Travellers.
We also invite you visit our other Photo Galleries Pages to enjoy more of the 100's of other lovely photos of our aromatic adventures.
Without doubt, one of the main reasons that we continue to grow and flourish, is the on-going support we receive from our past Aroma Travellers.
This year as always we are enjoying a significant number of returning guests who are once again making up more than 20% of our total numbers. For Robbi and myself, it is such a great delight to be welcoming back so many good friends.
We would also like to give our heart-felt thanks to all of you who continue to support us with your kind words and referrals and by spreading news of our tours and retreats amongst your friends.
Robbi and I love receiving your messages of thanks and we have compiled several pages from our recent adventures at Guest Comments 2009 and Guest Comments 2008 as well as a sampler from previous years at Guest Comments Sampler
Each year during our Aromas of Tuscany tour we spend a wonderful afternoon at a lovely small enoteca in Umbria where we sample and savour some of the finest wines and produce from across Italy.
Time passes slowly and with convivial ease as each gastronomic offering and its perfectly matched wine tantalizes our tastebuds. The wines are exceptional and we are privileged to sample rare vintages, some of whose annual production is only 2000 bottles!
We laugh and chat, as tapenades, white truffles and other yummy aromatic goodies arrive as well as finest olive oils [ including the oil that is exclusively used by Alain Ducas in his restaurants ].
All the while we are accompanied by the joyful, deep gonging sound that Italian wine glasses make when they knock together - a poignant reminder that we are indeed in the land of the "Dolce Vita".
All is now well under way for next year's tour season and Robbi and I are thrilled to see the wonderful early response continuing for all of our 2010 offerings.
Now that the Thanksgiving holidays are over we always receive a flow on of bookings, so if you are planning to joining us next year please keep an eye on availability via our Calendar Page.
Our current booking status is:-
If you would like to join us next year or if you have any questions, please get in touch with us either by email at email@example.com or by phone on: +61 3 5331 3254 (afternoon/evening USA time zones, mornings from other countries).
- From the USA/Canada the "international dialling prefix" which replaces the '+' in our phone number is 011, from most other countries it is 00.
We are always exploring and looking for new experiences and beautiful places to share with our Aroma Travellers. This year's efforts discovered two lovely new hotels and several delightful restaurants that we consider perfect to add to next year's tour offerings.
Both new hotels are classed as "4 star small luxury" and we will be using both for our Flavours of Provence Tour. We will also be using the second hotel ( as shown below ) during our Heart of Provence Tour
Our first discovery was in the Bouche du Rhone in a quiet setting with views of the Alpilles on the outskirts of a lovely market town.
It has beautiful grounds and a wonderful sense of Provencale character with a lovely swimming pool, bar and lounges and a delightful 1 Michelin star gastronomic restaurant which we will enjoy during our stay.
Our second hotel is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels group with delightful rooms and a fabulous garden which also hosts the hotel's fine restaurant.
One of the nicest environments we have found with absolutely wonderful staff and a rich history of famous people who have enjoyed being their guests. Just the spot for us to enjoy, n'est pas.
We look forward to sharing these lovely new hotels with our Aroma Travellers next year.
Ephesus is one of the world's greatest ancient sites and has an incredibly rich history.
It began as a Greek Ionian colony in the 10th century BC on the west coast of what is now modern Turkey and grew into one of the most important cities in Asia Minor.
It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. and in Roman times it grew to a population of over 250,000 people ( 1st and 2nd centuries AD ), making it the second largest city of the Empire.
Up until the Roman era, rule of Ephesus changed to the Lydians under king Croesus then the Persian empire, followed by Alexander The Great, Ptolemy III of Egypt and the kings of Pergamon.
Ephesus finally came under Roman rule in 86BC. Systematic plunder and high taxes were imposed by the new masters, however, in 27BC Augustus lifted the prestige of Ephesus by making it the capital of Roman Asia Minor.
The grandeur of Ephesus is indicated by its buildings such as the library of Celsus ( shown as it is today, above ) which once held nearly 12,000 scrolls, the temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the theatre which seated approximately 44,000 people and is regarded as the largest outdoor theatre in the ancient world.
Ephesus was an important centre for early Christianity and the apostle Paul lived and preached there circa 50 AD and also wrote 1st Corinthians whilst there. It is also suggested that the Gospel of John was written in Ephesus and both John and Mary the holy mother, are believed to be buried close to Ephesus.
For much of the Byzantine era ( 395-1071AD ), Ephesus remained the most important city in Asia Minor after Constantinople and the emperor Constantine rebuilt much of the city and erected a new public bath. Also in the 6th century emperor Justinian I built a basilica to St. John over the supposed site of the apostle's tomb.
The gradual silting up of its harbour and consequenti lost of trade, as well as Arab invaders in the 7th and 8th century, led to Ephesus's decline and by the 15th century it was completely abandoned.
Today it is a spectacular place to visit and one of the largest and most important Roman sites in existence - even though it is currently only 15% excavated!
Ephesus is one of the ancient sites we visit during our Turkish Aromatic Odyssey and to be in such an amazing place walking in the footsteps of the ancients is a very stirring experience indeed.
One of the most tantalizing experiences we enjoy during our Turkish Aromatic Odyssey is visiting a Turkish rose distillery while it is in full production.
The heavenly smell of Rosa damascia petals - hand picked before dawn - fills the air. We see them by the tonne, spread out on the floor to prevent them from fermenting before being loaded into huge copper stills to be transformed into pure rose essential oil.
The fruit of all of this labour is a pale yellowish oil with a heavenly aroma, which is carefully decanted into waiting flacons. To experience first hand the distillation of this most exquisite treasure of nature is a total feast for the senses.
The water that exits the stills is saturated with a rich rose fragrance, some of which is retained as finest rose water. What an irony it is to see 1000's of litres of this glorious warm rose water flowing past in a viaduct with bees searching in vain for the flowers their instinct tells them must be there.
Naturally when one is confronted with a room full of fragrant rose petals there is nothing for it but to plunge right in!
Our Provence Aromatherapy Retreat next year will be focusing on skin care and wellbeing. We are very excited and delighted to announce that Mindy Green formerly of Aveda ( USA ) and Megan Larsen of Sodashi Skin Care ( Australia ) will be joining us in our tiny village amongst the lavender fields of the Haute Provence. This will undoubtedly be an awesome week of enhanced learning and practical applications.
For people who have attended the retreat in the past and desire a return visit to our lovely little village surrounded by glorious lavender fields this will be an entirely new curriculum devoted to skin!
Topics covered include:- History of botanicals in skin care, essential oil chemo-types and their unique applications for skin, structure and function of the skin, ingredients for beautiful skin, 12 essential oils for effective skin care, Sodashi reflexology technique for the face, blending essential oils to personalise your products, diagnosis of skin types, carrier oils for different skin types, cleansing from the inside out, mature, ageing and sun damaged skin strategies, skin soothers, skin foods and micronutrients, stress diffusion for emotions relating to skin issues, relaxation techniques to calm the body/mind and soothe the skin.
Our dear friend and colleague Sal Rodd, who is Robbi's fabulous assistant
during our Bali Women's
Retreat has long been interested in the plight of the Moon Bears in China.
These beautiful bears are incarcerated in a coffin-sized cage on a farms in China or Vietnam, where they are being milked for their bile through an open catheter wound. This cruel practice based on traditional practices is gradually being phased out through the activities of Jill Robinson and her amazing team at Animal Asia's Moon Bear Sanctuaries.
Sal has created a website to focus awareness and gather financial support for the work of releasing and recuperating Moon Bears and all money gathered will go towards the adoption and extensive veterinarian care of each bear once rescued. It also gives us the privilege of naming each Moon Bear. The first bear now being rescued has been named "Jigsaw"�.
As part of our
Aroma Tours annual tithing we are supporting Sal's Adopt A Moon Bear Project.
Please join us in Sal's quest to rescue a Moon Bear!
Sharing the sacred, nourishing and nurturing week of our Bali Women's Retreat is one of the highlights of Robbi's travels each year and our groups of lovely women from around the world never fail to be enchanted by the gentle spirit of the Balinese people and the beauty of this lush green paradise.
If you have not already done so we invite you to visit our memorable photos from our 2009 Bali adventures page to enjoy some of the beauty and serenity of Bali through the lovely images.
Bookings for next year's Bali Women's Retreat are already well underway with only 4 places left and we recommend that you get in touch with us shortly if you would like to join us next year.
Over the years the circulation of our Aroma Tours newsletter has grown to more than 6000 subscribers and in these days of filters and anti-spam software it is becoming increasingly more difficult to be sure that our email will arrive safely in your inbox.
There is of course good reason to have this filtering, however, as a consequence we recommend that you add our email address firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book or allowed email list to help ensure that our newsletter will continue to be delivered to you successfully.
Once you have reserved your place via our Tour Booking Page, all your need to do is make your travel arrangements to meet us at the tour rendezvous point. You can either ask your travel agent to assist you, or for the more adventurous you can book your flights and connections yourselves. All of our rendezvous are easily achieved and naturally we provide all of the information and assistance that you will need.
Just a reminder that we have a Frequently Asked Questions Page to help answer the most common questions including how to book, travel arrangements, group sizes etc.
Our past newsletters contain a lot of interesting stories and are well worth a read. You can find them by visiting our Newsletter Archives
You may also enjoy reading a few of the stories that we have compiled over the years on our Stories of Interest Page
"We all need to experience the world from a different point of view from
time to time. Enjoy the familiar but never lose sight of the horizon."
Robbi and I look forward to welcoming you to one of our delightful tours or retreats in the near future and invite you to take a peek at the latest photos of our travels in our Photo Galleries
If you would like detailed information about any of our tours please visit our Information Request Page
As always if you have any questions or if you would like us to assist you personally with advice about your travel arrangements or with any other details please contact us either by email at email@example.com or by phone on +61 3 5331 3254 ( afternoon/evening USA time zones, mornings from other countries ).
Please note you need to replace the '+' in our phone number by your country's international dialling prefix: from the USA/Canada it is 011 from most other countries it is 00.
Jim and Robbi