Christian Estrosi, President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, along with Maurice Lévy, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, and Stephen Kaufer, President & CEO of TripAdvisor, launched “French Merveilles,” an innovative promotional campaign conceived by the teams of Publicis Groupe.
Tuesday April 4, Christian Estrosi announced the international partnership to re-launch the tourism industry in this region. The concept surrounds reinforcing the beauty of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur; which is home of incomparable wonders.
Under the gaze of the Alhambra Palace, and on soil trodden by poet Federico Garcia Lorca, the two hundred year old La Casa Grande de Zujaira sits proudly. I stand looking through the original metal gates at part of the ‘big house.’ Now split in two, the imposing white house, with its clock built by Gustav Eiffel’s apprentices, rests majestically with its terraced garden sprawling at its feet.
There’s nowhere quite like Cape Town, the jewel of South Africa. This fascinating city is a meld of cultures, history and landscape, crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain. Often regarded as synonymous with the “Mother City,” (Cape Town’s affectionate moniker), this landmark is the single most welcoming icon to its people, as well as to travelers from around the globe. Named a New Seven Wonders of Nature, the mountain is one of the oldest on earth, six times older than the Himalayas and five times older than the Rockies. It forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, which extends all the way to the Cape of Good Hope, the most southwestern extremity of Africa.
Just like many days and nights before, the aroma of Conch Butter Sauce, Souse and Potato Salad, and many, many, other traditional Caribbean dishes wafts through the air. Like magic, the aroma beckons you, leading you to the heart of Estate Princesse, right off Northside Road to the Cast Iron Pot in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. And the man behind the magic, no other, then award-winning, Chef Burton Peterson. Peterson who once worked in the famed Waldorf Astoria in New York, is no stranger to creating eventful and intricate dishes for U.S. Presidents, celebrities, royalty, and brides. This is probably why the Cast Iron Pot possesses an air of seclusion that makes you feel like royalty from the moment you enter the main dining area. You know you have officially arrived to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, when you’ve had a meal or two, at the Cast Iron Pot.
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With cruise season here, many folks who love that mode of travel will be taking to the season mega-ships that resemble floating ‘round-the-clock buffets and offer shore excursions too brief to provide a real sense of the destination. Others will opt for vessels and itineraries which provide very different experiences. They include Civil War buffs Tom and Elaine Preston, who take to shore to wander through reconstructed forts and trenches where one of the most important battles of that conflict was fought. Betsy and Andy Cross follow a machete-wielding guide as he clears a path through a dense rainforest that covers an area the size of India. Fun, rather than tropical foliage, attracts Lauren Davis and Jim Goodman to a Go-Kart race track, a ropes course and an exhilarating water slide.
Quebec’s French-Canadian allure is integrated with countless immigrant populations that have made this a prosperous area with an energetic blend of people and cultures. Despite being a family travel writer that lives on the East Coast of the United States, I had never visited our friends to the North. Our family decided it was time to go and explore this stunning area with our children Anna Cecilia (8) and Luca (5). A mere ninety minute flight from our home city of Washington, D.C., we had to find out what marvelous Montréal and it’s Eastern Townships were all about.
Although I would never intentionally seek out a taxi without a windshield, of course, I’m glad the only cab I could find to take me from Santo Domingo de los Colorados in Ecuador to a hummingbird preserve a few miles west didn’t have a windshield, nor windows either for that matter. My two-dented-doors vintage cab made Columbo’s battered old wreck look like a sleek new Jaguar.
It's a most undignified way to roll up to former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's favourite restaurant. We arrive at Lucca, in Sacramento's leafy Midtown, hooting and hollering on one of those 15-person party bikes that resembles a bar on wheels.Usually, Sac Brew Bike's tours hit rambunctious pubs. But, our group has chartered the party bike to peddle the eight blocks from Sac Brew Bike's bar and headquarters to fine-dining Lucca.
Everyone has heard of Colonial Williamsburg with its dozens of buildings from the late-17th to mid-19th centuries. But it's not real, folks! Although few people have heard of New Castle, Delaware, it has almost as many buildings from that same era and real people live there. Okay, they're not dressed up like Revolutionaries, but the history there is even more...well, historic. It’s a genuine Colonial town but without the colonists.
Humans have developed a fascination for things we cannot explain. Our nature is to reason, that is what separates us from the animal kingdom.How do you explain that feeling that bristles the hair on the back of our neck? The alarm goes off, your heart starts beating quickly, your senses sharpen, your legs are ready to run and yet we always want to know more.
As self-imposed exiles go, this one is exquisite, sexy, opulent and indulgent.My wife, Kerry, and I are holed up in one of the new, sumptuous over-the-water bungalow at Sandals South Coast Resort in Jamaica, and, we don't want to leave. So, we don't. We sequester ourselves in a four-day cocoon of over-water coupledom to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.
For the record, Switzerland does not have a royal family and is actually as close as you get to a direct democracy in this day and age. But these are just details. If there was a Swiss royal family, I imagine they would live in a modern castle like The Dolder Grand, with Warhol and Dalí paintings hanging casually on the wall.
Enjoying our first dinner during a group tour of Sicily, we turned to our guide and told him that the meal was excellent. This being Sicily, the reply was not all that surprising. “You can steal my money but don’t touch my food,” Alessio remarked. He followed that remark by claiming: “If lunch or dinner doesn’t have at least five courses, it’s just a snack.” I suspect the largesse ahead of us was a paltry morsel.So yes, food plays an important role in the lifestyle of Italians. Very important. Portions often approach gargantuan in size. And growing, harvesting, cooking and eating hold a place of near reverence in their daily lives.
Sandwiched between other spectators on a wooden bench, I nod my head enthusiastically to the six-piece jazz band tearing it up at New Orleans’ Preservation Hall. New Orleans celebrates its 300th anniversary in 2018, and I’m in Louisiana’s largest and most diverse city to fight my obsessive need to associate everything with 1980’s pop music. (Especially Van Halen.) If I can’t broaden my historical knowledge and musical appreciation in the Mississippi River mecca for everything from Cajun and Creole cuisine to Mardi Gras partying, there really is no hope for me.
The "wonderfood" of the future? Are you a food lover? Mexico City is famous for its tasty food, history, color, and crowds.
“Huerto Roma Verde” in the heart of México City, in Colonia Roma Sur, hosts “El Bonito Tianguis”. A highlight of the fast-growing annual event is “Insect Feast Festival 2018” each June to enlighten people about pre-Hispanic food through entomophagy gastronomy or insect-eating.
Sometime between being shot out of the waterslide like a cannon ball and jumping off the top deck into shimmering Shuswap Lake, we declare houseboating our new favourite way to vacation.
But, of course, there will also be simple lounging in the sunshine, awe-inspiring vistas around every bend, soaking in the top-deck hot tub, barbecuing on the front deck, outdoor showers on the back deck, wine at twilight and sleeping like a baby as the water gentle laps against the boat.
Mangoes are beloved in Nevis, but nobody buys them. They don't have to. Nearly ever Nevisian has a mango tree or three in their backyard and even if you don't have one, in the summer it literally rains mangoes and people can't give them away fast enough. There are officially 44 different kinds of mangoes in Nevis; the Amory Polly, Julie and Long mangoes are just a few of the most prized. Known throughout the Caribbean as St. Kitts' smaller, more luxurious sister island, Nevis has the laid-back luxury you'll crave after tiring of the ritz and glamour of St. Barts. Here you can chase monkeys barefoot or sit by the pool sipping an iced almond milk latte. Just one road circles the whole island, an easy 45-minute drive to circumnavigate.
Baltimore has a booming coffee scene. Hipsters are roasting, different types of milk are being frothed or just warmed, the coffee is served cold, warm, iced, drip, with mocha and in many variations in the coffee shops of Baltimore.However, what really stood out about the coffee shops in Baltimore to me was they take their coffee very very seriously.
It happens all the time with Overseas Adventure Travel. I start out expecting to write about the trip itself – in this case, Sicily's Ancient Landscapes & Timeless Traditions -- and I end up writing about all the things that are not on the itinerary – what OAT refers to as Learning and Discovery. Sure, I wanted to focus on the extensive ruins of the Greeks and Romans from the 8th century BC; the city market initiated by the Arabs in 900 A.D. which still operates today almost as it did then. The Norman Church built in 1174 which was proclaimed by one of the trip participants as “The most magnificent cathedral ever!” and a boat ride to a Phoenician island dating back 2700 years. But that’s where the story veered into trouble… I found myself being equally surprised and delighted by all the little extra things we were seeing and doing -- and yes, often eating -- that were NOT on the itinerary, the L&D moments that reflect the culture and deepen the immersive experience already embodied within the OAT itinerary.
Welcome to a pork lover's fairytale. With its woodland wonders, historic castle, tempting meals, deep sleeps and even the crowning of a sparkly-eyed prince, the historic Rocky Mountain town of Banff brought a dreamy adventure to life when it welcomed Cochon555.
This important heritage-breed pig culinary competition to raise awareness and funds for farmers and charities came to Canada for the first time this Spring and was an instant best-seller. Every available ticket sold.
I was delighted when my husband and I received Betty's invitation to join her for a picnic at the Sunset at the Palms Resort in Negril, Jamaica. The setting was lush, the food and wine enticing. Conversation, though, was a tad strained. But then her recent history was a bit dicey. Recently married, rumor has it was a shotgun wedding. Seems Betty had been knocked up and the kids already there. It was hard for her to attend to them and also focus on her guests. Still, she was already back at work maintaining the grounds -- Betty is a very resilient goat. And one of Sunset’s favorite staff members.
I’m not at all a connoisseur of beer. I know a Pilsner Lager is a good beer; Bud Light is not. I know beers from the Czech Republic are among the best in the world. But it wasn’t until I was marinating in a beer barrel in Ostrava, Czech Republic that I really got to experience a good beer that up close and personal. A beer massage is one of the de rigueur options offered at the Chateau Zamek-Zábřeh Hotel and Brewery in Ostrava, about a three-hour train ride from Prague. And why not? After all, it washes harmful substances from the body, relieves stress, rejuvenates skin and hair, moisturizes the body and boosts immunity. And you thought it was just to cool off with on a hot summer day!
Strolling along the twisted streets lined by aged buildings in a jumble of architectural styles, my first thought was that the setting would be a city planner’s nightmare. Then my mind wandered to the rich history that has unfolded in the often-overlooked neighborhood in one of the most-visited cities in the world. Throughout the Marais district of Paris, crumbling mansions that cling to memories of past glory days are neighbors to trendy shops and galleries. Bustling restaurants abut small, offbeat museums.
Seated in a beer garden sipping a brew that was made onsite, Sam and Nancy Goodman tap their feet to the beat of music emanating from a band on the stage. Art is the focus of attention for Paul and Elizabeth Cantor, as they stroll past a collection that could be on display at a major museum – but isn’t.
Lace up. There's a new three-hour walking tour of Paris about the evolution of fashion the 18th century on. Context Travel has Paris covered from haute couture to ready-to-wear and you can learn along. There's a shopping culture that dates back to the French Revolution, through Baron Haussmann’s revitalization of the city, to the present-day Champs-Elysées fashion houses. Gain insights into influential designers as you walk from Palais Royal through grands magasins near the Place de l’Opéra, the Place Vendôme and streets that housed former ateliers of Worth and Chanel with a learned docent like Damien Delille.