Friday, September 21, 2018

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Late afternoon I meet Candelaria at a café on the slopes of the Albaicin – the old Moorish quarter – and sip peppermint tea from petite porcelain cups. She orders almond cookies and apologises for her Spanish. The courtyard is open, with large paved flagstones, the tables squarish, small and scattered. Surrounding high walls on three sides are alive with masses of espaliered red roses.We sit soaking up the last of the sun, gazing eastward over receding terra cotta rooves as they disappear from view down to the winding river realm of the Darro. Across the river lay slopes cloaked in the green... Read More

The narrow road is a roughed-out, potholed track gouged from ragged Norwegian mountains. Winding alongside a grey Arctic Ocean, it’s graced with the occasional passing bay and kept in place against northern tempests by discarded mountain boulders.

Turning a last cliffside corner I stop the car and push open the door, buffeted by a wild wind, the dashboard map flying into my girlfriend’s face and the door slamming shut against my shoulder. Farther along is a concrete-buttressed causeway snaking its way along the final 100m; an open camping space ahead and across the way a rustic Venetian... Read More

It's somewhat amazing that America's Best Beaches have changed pretty dramatically since Dr. Beach started reviewing America's Best Beaches almost 2 decades ago.

He releases the "best beaches" list annually and his 2013 list is now out with Main Beach, in East Hampton NY, playground to the trend setters, the rich and the famous taking "top honors." Professor Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, does an analysis of each beach based on numerous factors that include water and sand quality, safety, and size of waves.

The Best Beaches in America according to Dr. Beach for 2013 Are:

... Read More

A few years ago a friend launched a website called Slow Traveller. It featured many vacation rentals and articles on enjoying and appreciating where you are by truly slowing down. I didn’t realize how vacation rentals fit into what she was calling slow travel as vacation rentals meant to me a villa in a destination such as Cabo San Lucas or a luxury Paris apartment rental. There was a sense that a vacation rental does slow down your trip, or in my view even inconvenience it, as the option of buying groceries, eating meals at the home and not being surrounded by crowds of people at the... Read More

“From the fruit in [your] drink to the fish on [your] plate, absolute freshness is the rule here at Beach House,” says Chef Vernice -- the executive chef at at Beach House Turks and Caicos; a new 21-suite property that's the only boutique hotel located directly on Grace Bay Beach.

Rumors are that the Beach House has the best restaurant in T&C. And if the drinks are anything to go by, they probably do. The menu at Beach House regularly changes to keep things fresh and travelers and locals coming back. What's more fascinating and definitely intoxicating is their bespoke cocktail... Read More

Most of us are familiar with the command to “do as I say, not as I do”, that is oftentimes the refuge for people in authority (parents, government leaders, bosses etc) who engage in questionable behaviour or practices, while at the same time demanding a different standard from their peers and underlings. And there is also the personal application to this ‘rule’, best illustrated in the classic scenario where a retail manager sees one of his salesmen arrive at work with a dour, sour, glum-faced expression. The salesman maintains this ‘stay-away-from-me’ look on his face throughout the morning.... Read More

Someone told me that with Google Earth, Wikipedia and other instant information tools readily at our fingertips these days, there was no longer a need to travel to foreign places to get a sense of culture, language, food, geography and all the other elements that a trip outside of one’s physical boundaries provide. While armchair travelling has never had it better, I beg to differ with these pundits of inertia.

I recently wrote a novel set in a part of France I had never visited (my travels in that country up to that point had been limited to Paris and environs). With the assistance... Read More

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