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P R AC T I C AL T R A V E L L E R by

C a mi lle C hi n

A body of British art © ESTATE OF FRANCIS BACON / SODRAC (2013)

We’ve got three reasons you’ll want to check out Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty, on now at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario through July 20. One: Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud triptych was bought for $142 million at Christie’s New York this past November, making it the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. Two: the purchase of Moore’s abstract The Archer for TO’s Nathan Phillips Square is often cited as the reason Philip Givens didn’t win reelection as the city’s mayor in 1966. Three: Margaret Thatcher described Bacon as “that man who paints those dreadful pictures.” Bacon (1909-1992) and British sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) weren’t ever collaborators, but both survived WWII and were obsessed with conflict, violence and trauma. Organized in conjunction with the UK’s Ashmolean Museum, the exhibit features 130 paintings, sculptures and other works of the body in various states of contortion. Adults $25; kids 6 to 17 $16.50. tel: (877) 225-4246;


Reclining Figure, Henry Moore, 1951. TOP: Untitled (kneeling figure), Francis Bacon, 1982.

MAY 2014 • Doctor’s




Call it a day Chances are the Palms Casino Resort just started the next hotel trend in Vegas. It works like this: check in at, say, at 10pm one night and then check out the following night at the same time. Guests have to book a Superior, Premier or Ivory Suite online at to take advantage of the 24-hour checkout. The latest checkout is at 11pm. There’s no additional charge for the little perk that’ll save you from having to call downstairs to beg for more time!

High on transparency The Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park won a Future Projects award at the 2011 World Architecture Festival in Barcelona — 2½ years before the steeland-glass structure built into bedrock had even opened. “The jury was unanimous,” the judges said. “This is a simple, elegant yet highly emotional project.” Located a five-minute coach ride from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre on the Icefields Parkway, which stretches for 232 kilometres passed snow-capped peaks, glaciers, mountain lakes, waterfalls and alpine meadows, it begins with a Discovery Trail. Six interpretive stations detail the area’s geology and ecology; at the end is the curved, glass-floored observation platform that hovers 280 metres above the Sunwapta Valley. The Skywalk was built in the one percent of the park reserved for infrastructure and services, respecting the 99 percent that is zoned wilderness. It’s open May through October 19. Adults $24.95;
kids 6 to 15: $12.50.


Doctor’s Review • MAY 2014

Popular “science” If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where’d it be? We’re betting Istanbul. The Turkish city that spans Europe and Asia is, after all, TripAdvisor’s top Travellers’ Choice World Destination for 2014. The website determines its top 25 winners by an algorithm that considers the quantity and quality of user reviews — TripAdvisor gets up to 260 million unique visitors a month — and ratings for hotels, attractions and restaurants gathered over a 12-month period. Like Istanbul, Beijing, Marrakech, Siem Reap and Shanghai saw big jumps in popularity compared to 2013, while NYC, Barcelona, Sydney and San Fran saw the largest drops. The top 15 follow (+/- denotes the change in ranking year-overyear; 0 is no change and new is new to the list). For the top 25: travelerschoice-destinations.



Istanbul, Turkey.

Hanoi, Vietnam.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Istanbul, Turkey (+11) Rome, Italy (+2) London, England (0) Beijing, China (+17) Prague, Czech Republic (+4) Marrakech, Morocco (+13) Paris, France (-6) Hanoi, Vietnam (New) Siem Reap, Cambodia (+14) Shanghai, China (+12) Berlin, Germany (0) New York City, New York (-10) Florence, Italy (-5) Buenos Aires, Argentina (+4) Barcelona, Spain (-10)

MAY 2014 • Doctor’s




A few things we like about the US’ first-ever, Amsterdambased citizenM hotel in NYC: free Wi-Fi in all 230 rooms; XL king-size beds; high-pressure rain showers; custom MoodPads that control the lighting, temperature, blinds and wake-up alarm themes. (Want to be woken up by the sound thundering elephants? Done.) Located just off the corner of Broadway and 50th Street in the Theatre District, this outpost of “affordable luxury” includes canteenM, a grab-and-go kitchen that’s open 24/7 for breakfast (US$16) and the like, a rooftop Cloud Bar and a lobby that’s more like a big living room with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. There’s also a “basketball-court inspired gym” and an outdoor yoga terrace. Self check-in is said to take 60 seconds; checkout 30 seconds. Reservations are by Internet only. Rooms from US$199.


Doctor’s Review • MAY 2014


NYC’s newest citizen

It’s all in the wrist AirBerlin and Spain’s Vueling Airlines are now accepting boarding passes on smart watches. Great news for, say, the five people who own one. Don’t get us wrong; mobile boarding passes mean one less document to worry about dropping as you dart through the airport because there was traffic — or because you dallied too long at the souvenir shops. Whatever. Boarding passes on Smartphones strike us as enough but, AirBerlin’s itty-bitty barcode is now viewable (via AirBerlin’s iPhone app) on Pebble Smartwatches that have been synchronized with smartphones. Vueling’s barcode will be viewable (via its Google Play app) on Sony’s SmartWatch 2.

Practical Traveller news | May 2014  
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