ISSUE 127 | NOVEMBER 2018 | DHS10
BAHAMAS VIENNA CAPPADOCIA YORKSHIRE
Produced in Dubai Production City
Venture off the beaten track on a safari with a difference
THIS MONTH’S TRAVEL COMPANIONS
Ever seen a moonbow? The nighttime answer to the rainbow, showcasing refracted light from the moon (rather than the sun), is a highlight of a South African safari, says Ian Belcher, who travelled to Zambia and Botswana in search of stunning scenery and, of course, wildlife. It's the long read that inspired our cover this month. And we can all learn a valuable lesson from his tale: that
sometimes, veering off the beaten track is the very best way to
discover a destination. Indeed, as we hurtle towards the end of
the year, we invite you to rip up the itinerary and throw caution
to the wind for a chance to stumble across those shiny hidden
gems that may otherwise be overlooked.
Hunter 486 highlights his favourite restaurants
The sentiment is also championed in our locals' guide to
Vienna (page 30), in which three plugged-in residents share their
unique take on this magnetic arts and culture hotspot.
p26 GARY DURRANT of
And if you're seeking a total change of scenery, perhaps we
can tempt you to the rolling Yorkshire Dales (page 54). A world
away from the desert, this historic county is where lush moorland,
quaint villages and chatty locals can be found – all washed down
by a strong cup of tea. Just don't forget your Wellingtons.
p28 Filmmaker and adventurer PAUL NICKLEN shares his stories
Senior Designer Hirak Kapadia
Senior Advertising Manager
Mia Cachero email@example.com Production Manager Muthu Kumar
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p34 Foodie PATRICIA VINCENT shows us Vienna for gourmands
Photography credits: Getty Images and Phocal Media
Stay up-to-date on what’s happening online and on our social channels on page 83
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p67 Photographer GRANT PRITCHARD gives us his best travel shots
COVER IMAGE A herd of zebras huddled together. Getty Images
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HIT ESCAPE Opening soon, the first W Escape in the Middle East arrives on the iconic Palm Jumeirah. Shaking up the global gateway, W Dubai â€“ The Palm offers no compromise to having it all.
For reservations wdubaithepalm.com firstname.lastname@example.org @wdubaipalm
CONTENTS November 2018 17
CHEF’S TOP TABLES
From the cotton-white salt flat of
New hotels on our radar, why people are flocking to Seminyak and festive markets to shop
dnata Travel’s Emily Williams selects the best destinations for winter holidays
Gary Durrant, of Hunter 486, shines a light on his favourite restaurants around the world
Salar de Uyuni to stellar sea views at Bondi Beach
A LIFE WELL TRAVELLED
THE LOCALS’ GUIDE TO VIENNA
Marine biologist Paul Nicklen gives us a glimpse of his well travelled life
Three clued-up locals share the best arts and culture spots, foodie delights and must-see sights
Be immersed in art at the Artist in Residence Suite at the Conservatorium in Amsterdam World Traveller 7
Time your African safari right, and you can see mysterious moonrainbows and other-worldly saltscapes
Why’s everything painted pink? What’s up with those sunsets? And where is everyone in Bahamas?
Tearooms, lonely stone villages, battered bracken moors and designer digs... this is Yorkshire
A LONG WEEKEND
MY GREAT ESCAPES
Photographer Grant Pritchard shares the stories behind his best travel snaps
Enjoy a well-deserved weekend away at these luxurious hotels and resorts
Take advantage of our exclusive deals for your next adventure
Why hot air ballooning rocks in this lunar-like landscape
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Inspiration. Expertly crafted. Comprising two iconic towers, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is centrally located beside the Dubai Water Canal and offers a spectrum of facilities and services for a seamless experience. The hotel features: 1,608 Luxurious Guest Rooms and Suites, Over 15 Award-Winning Restaurants and Lounges, Saray Spa featuring Traditional Hammams, A Dead Sea Floatation Pool and 17 Treatment Rooms, State-of-the-Art Health Club and Fitness facilities, 8,000 sqm of spectacular Meeting Spaces.
JW MarriottÂŽ MarquisÂŽ Hotel Dubai jwmarriott.com/DXBJW Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE | T +971.4.414.0000 | jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com
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BOLIVIA ISLA INCAHUASI
This vast, cotton-white salt flat of Salar de Uyuni (the world’s largest) is eerily empty but for a single cactusstudded island, Isla Isla Incahuasi. But though this hilly outpost sounds like one of the world’s most isolated spots (and once was), it actually attracts an avalanche of daily visitors. They come as part of organised hiking tours, taking the 15-minute trail to the top to pose against a backdrop that’s beautifully juxtaposed by the cloudless blue of the sky and the white of the earth. As for the cacti, this has been their home for over a thousand years.
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TAKE ME THERE
SYDNEY BONDI BEACH
Ask an Australian about Bondi Beach and, generally, they'll respond with a negative shrug of the shoulders and tell you not to bother visiting. They'll say there are far better, and less crowded, beaches close by, and though that's hard to argue against, it's also hard to argue otherwise that for first-time visitors to Sydney, Bondi remains a mustvisit. If you're not a surfer, the best way to see the crashing waves is through an open window in the dining room at Icebergs, a restaurant and lounge that offers up spellbinding sea views and first rate Italian fare. To walk off that gnocchi, stroll the 4km Bondi to Bronte walking route that hugs Sydney's glorious coastline.
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TAKE ME THERE
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Instantly calming at first sight it may be, but behind the jade waters and verdant peaks that welcome visitors to Kualoa – a four-thousand-acre private nature reserve – lies a veritable playground for outdoor (and movie) enthusiasts. This tropical paradise has been used as the setting for myriad movies and TV shows; Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, and Lost among them, which in turn have lent themselves to some of the themed pursuits on offer to daredevil visitors – the seven-section Jurassic Valley Zipline has lines that stretch for a quarter of a mile, some 200ft from the valley below. However, if you'd like someone else to do all the work, a horseback tour is a great way to take in your blockbuster surrounds.
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WORLD TRAVELLER X SUN AQUA IRU VELI MALDIVES
Seeking the sun In need of a relaxing Indian Ocean escape? We’ve got the skinny on a new all-inclusive resort on a private island in the Maldives that begs discovery
tretches of soft white sand, a vibrant underwater world and pampering spa treatments are just three treats that spring to mind when planning a Maldivian style escape. And we know a place that delivers on all fronts, with the added bonus of being so new that you’ll feel a world away from the usual crowds. Sun Aqua Iru Veli, a five-star allinclusive resort, has recently opened on the naturally beautiful island of Aluvifushi in the South Nilandhe Atoll, a 35-minute seaplane journey from Velana International Airport. True to the Sun Aqua brand, the resort is stylishly laid-back, with a playful vibe that fosters relaxation from the start. Set within its own coral reef lagoon, it has been carefully developed to ensure minimal
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disruption to the unspoiled natural environment, so you don’t need to fret about your footprint. Featuring 125 villas and suites, you can choose to stay over the water, or along the beachfront. But whatever location you select, the accommodations have one thing in common: offering you the feeling of being totally secluded amid the open space. What’s more, all the villas, from the couples’ suites to the extended family villas, feature a private freshwater pool and views of the Indian Ocean. Created especially for Middle Eastern travellers, the Sun Aqua Sultan Suites afford maximum privacy, with their pools located in an open-air space within the villa. For families, the Family Beach Suite with Pool has a separate living room, which can be used as extra bed space for children.
RnR comes in spades. Immerse yourself in the infinity pool and then ramp up the fun factor by taking part in a variety of activities and watersports, such as jet skiing, catamaran sailing and diving. The Sun Aqua Spa, perched over the lagoon, has six treatment pavilions and a hydrotherapy area offering a range of treatments combining western and eastern philosophies. Dining options include the all-day dining venue with its suits-all international menu, a grill restaurant set on the beach with a focus on seafood and meat dishes, as well as an over-water eatery that specialises in Italian fare. Those in the mood for romance can book a private table on the sand, or on your villa terrace, and unwind as your personal chef whips up delicious dishes before your eyes. All you need to do is enjoy the sunset. To find out more, visit iru-veli.com
Globetrotter Be informed, be inspired, be there
GOLDEN GLOW Diwali (7 November) is one of the best times of year to visit India, when festivities take place across the country. If youâ€™ve already missed the boat, why not plan a winter break, when it's a breeze to explore the must-see cities. On our wish list is Udaipur, with its elaborate palaces, serene lakes and magnificent gardens. Live out your exotic adventures at Taj Lake Palace on Lake Pichola (pictured), where scenes for the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy were shot.
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EARLY DOORS Be among the first to stay at these hot new hotels around the globe 1
1. DUBAI. Family favourite, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, is back in action following a five-month refurbishment that has given the Dubai hospitality icon a more contemporary ambience – think white, gold and blue accents throughout – along with a host of new dining experiences. Everything from the guestrooms to the restaurants, kids’ clubs and even the beach cabanas have been given a new look, inspired by the property’s coveted beachfront location. Our favourite bits? Stunning views of Burj Al Arab from every room and suite and unlimited access to Wild Wadi Waterpark. Go now to give your friends a serious dose of staycation envy. 2. CHINA. Escape to Wuzhen, China’s 1,300-year-old water town (dubbed the Venice of the East) 18 World Traveller
and immerse yourself in the destination’s ancient allure thanks to Alila Wuzhen, which is opening this month. Located just an hour’s drive from Hangzhou, and 90 minutes from Shanghai, this sleek hotel is right on the doorstep of the maze of quiet canals. Its design reflects the area, with suites and villas wrapped around private courtyards and intertwining waterways creating a sense of calm. 3. GRENADA. If a chic Spice Island interlude sounds like your idea of bliss, then Silversands Grenada, opening on 1 December, is sure to appeal. Settle into one of the beautiful villas located on Grand Anse beach – it’s the first major resort to open there for 25 years – take a dip in the longest swimming pool in the region, and feast on local dishes
(with plenty of spice) at Asiatique before living out your Caribbean dreams by exploring the sparkling waterfalls and lush rainforests. 4. RWANDA. Nestled within the Gisakura working tea plantation, on the edge of one of the oldest rainforests in Africa, One&Only Nyungwe House promises to fulfill your wildest travel dreams, with awe-inspiring jungle views, farm-to-table dining and a chance to take part in ancient traditions such as spear throwing. Nature lovers will be pleased to hear that conservation is at the heart; the canopy walk (60 metres high) is especially captivating. But the real treat here is the opportunity to encounter one of East Africa’s last intact chimpanzee populations playing, wild and free.
Wellness Haven at Saray Spa. Renew for the journey ahead.
A relaxing realm of quiet luxury, Saray Spa at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is an authentic wellness Spa, where ancient healing techniques and locally sourced natural ingredients are combined to enhance the well-being of each guest. The Spa features 17 treatment rooms, inclusive of two private Hammam rooms, one Dead Sea treatment room boasting the UAEâ€™s only Dead Sea Floatation Pool found within, and two Private Luxury Spa Suites. Experience the wonders of the Middle East through Arabian Body Rituals or Hammam Rituals, or benefit from the results-oriented facials. An exclusive retail boutique offers luxurious gifts and spa products for every occasion.
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai | Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE T +971 4 414 6754 | email@example.com | jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com
Set in the heart of a lost Eden, the only resort on Silhouette Island, Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa, offers a luxury hotel experience in a natural jungle setting. For more information, please call +248 4293949, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit seychelleslabriz.hilton.com
ÂŠ 2017 Hilton Worldwide
The Inside Track A stay at The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa puts you within walking distance of the area’s best nightlife, restaurants and shopping. Here’s our pick:
EAT Bikini While it’s hard to have a bad dining experience in Seminyak (the standard and variety of restaurants belie its size), you’ll be hard pushed to find anywhere as inventive, daring, and downright brilliant as Bikini. The theatrical dishes look as good as they taste.
THE BEST OF
SEMINYAK While the cool crowd have long since discovered the laidback charms of Ubud and Canguu, the party people still flock to Seminyak. But beyond the action after dark there’s much to love about this hottest of spots, particularly if you know where to stay… If nighttime in Seminyak belongs to big name DJs and beach clubs, daytime is all about the art of relaxation. To indulge in a bit of both, base yourself at the wonderfully welcoming (by way of flower garlands and smiles abound) Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa. This is where laid-back comes with a huge helping of luxury: a stretched infinity pool looking out to rolling waves, a spa that ranks among the island’s best (no need to look beyond the signature
Balinese massage), and a range of accommodations that embrace either the glorious swathe of beach the resort steps down to, or the tropical gardens in which it stands. Of the latter, the Two Bedroom Garden Pool Villa is the epitome of elegance, housing not one but two seven-metre swimming pools (what’s a bedroom without its own pool?), an open-air Jacuzzi, and shaded gazebo. Stay in an Ocean Suite and your balcony doors frame the sight of the sun rising
above the ocean each morning and setting in a blaze of colour each night. Of note for foodies is the fact that ingredients sourced from local farmers and fishermen form the backbone of menus at the resort’s two restaurants, with the heart-tugging setting of Sanje – aside the sea so that dinner is served by candlelight and soundtracked by lapping waves – more than enough to tempt you back here time and again.
Ku De Ta A matter of steps from The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa, this legendary beach club remains one of Bali’s big draws; a noisy neighbour you’re more than happy to have. With superstar DJs regular guests on the decks, great food from morning through night, and a relaxed atmosphere that’s welcoming to families by day, this is a place that encapsulates Bali.
SHOP Palma Australia There are some superb (and even better value) boutiques in Seminyak and chief among them is Palma Australia, a label born in Bali and now sold in stores throughout the founder’s homeland of Australia. Very feminine in style and designed for the summer, the focus is on hand-printed silks and organic cottons, with pieces primed to take you from the beach through to the evening.
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Trending destinations dnata Travel’s resident globetrotter, Emily Williams, selects the best destinations for winter holidays Keen to hit the snowy slopes this season? Join the winter sports enthusiasts heading to St. Moritz. This pictureperfect town in the Swiss Alps has hosted the Winter Olympics twice, has an outdoor Olympic ice rink and its frozen lake hosts cricket, polo, and even horse racing on ice. It’s the perfect destination for people of all skiing abilities, and there’s the much vaunted après ski scene to experience, too.
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Festive markets will soon be popping up in the historic city of Prague. One of Europe’s most picturesque cities, it transforms into a winter wonderland at this time of year and is the ultimate place to embark on a festive market tour. You’ll find stalls scattered across its major public spaces, but the biggest and most popular are located at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, which are just a 10-minute stroll apart.
Wander through the Old Town of Québec City and immerse yourself in this fairy-tale winter village. The walled city of Vieux-Québec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Plus, it's home to the only ice hotel in North America. Hôtel de Glace is rebuilt entirely every year with a new theme. There are four ski resorts just a short drive time away, with snow tubing and snow sliding just a couple of the activities to throw yourself into.
It’s the best time of year to see the northern lights from Iceland, with the hours of darkness extended during winter. Reykjavik, the northernmost capital of the world, is an ideal place to stay. Other experiences you can have here include visiting the Blue Lagoon natural geothermal spa, as well as joining the famous Golden Circle tourist route known for its geysers, waterfalls and beautiful national park vistas.
BRUNCH IN THE BIG SMOKE The popular mid-day meal has gone bijou in London… anyone for edamame and wasabi croquettes? We’re no strangers to brunch in this part of the world, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. Even the most seasoned brunch-goer will be tempted to don their elasticated trousers once more to experience the unique foodie concepts emerging in the UK capital. First up is Sexy Fish [Berkeley Square House, Mayfair], at which chef director Bjoern Weissgerber has created a new menu inspired by the seas of Asia. Highlights include the asparagus soldiers, the Sexy Fish Benedict (served on a black charcoal muffin with tuna and avocado, or lobster and truffle), and edamame and wasabi croquettes. Available every Sunday from noon to 4pm. Over at Jikoni [21 Blandford St, Marylebone], meaning kitchen in Swahili, chef Ravinder Bhogal (born in Kenya to Indian parents) serves food inspired by her vibrant heritage. On the brunch menu, the pumpkin Scotch egg and caramel braised tofu are sure to beat any grand buffet experience into submission. Next, follow the cool set to Nobu Shoreditch [10-50 Willow Street], where the weekend brunch, from noon to 4pm), is brimming with curiosities, such as Banana Soy French Toast and Salmon Scrambled Egg Donburui for a taste of the exotic.
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Feeling festive Wrap up warm and jingle those bells… these three spectacular winter markets are sure to get you in the spirit 1
Rathausmarkt, Hamburg Set in the central square, in front of the historic City Hall, the festively adorned stalls of Rathausmarkt stretch as far as the eye can see. Foodies can pick up a stollen, a traditional German bread made with dried fruits, nuts and spices, while kids will love Spielzeuggasse (toy street). Open from 26 November to 23 December 2018.
Winter Wonders, Brussels Running from 30 November until 6 January 2019 in central Brussels, this magical winter wonderland features more than 200 chalets, as well as thrill-a-minute fairground attractions including a Ferris wheel and merry-go-round, plus an iceskating rink and decorated big tree. It’s enough to make you believe.
East Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh Featuring a merry mix of crafters, gift shops and festive foodie treats, this traditional market will fill you with good cheer. Be dazzled by the lights and tuck into a traditional dinner for a true taste of Scottish festivities. Open from 17 November until 1 Jan (closed on 25 December).
Oh, Vienna… May the memories of your Viennese vacation be forever wrapped around you thanks to this luxurious scarf featuring motifs inspired by the cultural heritage of the city, designed by Jelena Fiala (jelenafiala.com). And if you haven't yet been, turn to page 30 to find out how to discover the capital like a local.
CHEF’S TOP TABLES Formerly of The Savoy and Claridge's, Gary Durrant heads up Hunter 486 at The Arch London, an under-the-radar culinary gem
On my wish list…
I've yet to eat at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London, which has maintained its three Michelin stars for an incredible 17 years. It's one of only three London restaurants to hold three stars.
LE CAP Cote d’Azur Chef Yoric Tièche’s Michelinstarred restaurant is a gem. I greatly admire the Provençal and Mediterranean dishes he produces and the ingredients he uses, some plucked from the hotel’s own garden. This restaurant holds a very special place in my heart, as I love the palatial setting of the hotel it’s in: Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat on the Cote d’Azur. FAVOURITE DISH: The shaved summer truffle salad.
CORE BY CLARE SMYTH London This restaurant only opened last summer but has already amassed a host of awards, including Clare Smyth being voted the world’s best female chef. I visited just after it opened and found the food delicious, complex, inventive and balanced. A definite must-dine when in London. FAVOURITE DISH: Scottish venison, smoked bacon, and pearl barley.
HIX SOHO London I stumbled upon this great Soho restaurant a while back, and in the mood for a great cut of meat, I tried the picanha steak with bone marrow. I absolutely loved the dish and have been back since (a couple of times, in fact) to try it out again and again. Full of flavour and robust in texture, this dish is guaranteed to please any steak lover. FAVOURITE DISH: Picanha steak with chips and peppercorn sauce.
COME DINE WITH ME... Being classically trained, I have adopted a lot of haute cuisine influences and applied them to my own love of modern British cuisine. A firm favourite of mine to cook is the fish stew (bouillabaisse). I enjoy creating dishes that reflect a sense of home-cooked, wholesome meals with elements of luxury.
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WORLD TRAVELLER X SOFITEL HOTELS & RESORTS
A passion for travel Blending French art de vivre with local culture and customs, Sofitel Hotels & Resorts delivers a warm welcome in every corner of the world This image: Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche Inset: Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach
Delivering an authentic travel experience is something Sofitel Hotels & Resorts excels at. This famous French hospitality brand, established in 1964, places its guests at the heart of the approach, giving rise to sophisticated accommodations that champion the essence of the locale, allowing travellers to gain a richer insight into a destination's culture, cuisine and way of life. Here are three on our radar..
Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Located along The Walk at JBR, Dubai Marina’s bustling promenade, the hotel stands out from the crowd with its locallyinspired design elements including deep blue ceilings sprinkled with thousands of twinkling lights. All rooms and suites have a private balcony with a sea view, and fun times come in the form of an infinity pool as well as direct access to
the beach. For a memorable meal, head to A.O.C, where French classics are prepared at live cooking stations.
Sofitel Dubai Downtown A stone's throw from Burj Khalifa, this cosmopolitan hotel also has a panoramic view of the coastline. Enter into a world of French elegance by booking a Prestige Suite and rest up in the feather-soft bed. Plus, those staying in club rooms and suites enjoy complimentary access to Club Millésime lounge. For a sit-down dinner, we recommend you try the Georgian delicacies at Modi restaurant.
hues and mother of pearl design details that lend a soothing vacation vibe. All rooms and suites offer breathtaking views of the corniche. Push the boat out by booking the spacious Imperial Suite, nourish yourself at Parmigiana Italian Restaurant, where contemporary Italian fare comes to the fore, or head to Grills@ Chill’O for Arabic and Mediterranean dishes by the pool. Open until 3am, Jazz & Fizz bar tempts you to stay up past your bedtime but if you've overindulged you can go for a tension-busting body massage at SO SPA. Sofitel Hotels & Resorts has 12 hotels in the Middle East and more than 120 hotels around the globe. To find out more, please visit sofitel.com Sofitel Downtown Dubai
Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche Located at the Eastern tip of Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Road, this property is characterised by wave-shapes, ocean
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A LIFE WELL TRAVELLED
Photographer, film-maker, marine biologist and author of new book, Born to Ice I cannot say I enjoy the process of travelling. I like arriving at a place and making myself part of the scenery. I enjoy staying long enough so that I can begin to understand the patterns of nature and the movement of animals. If an animal, like a bear, has accepted my presence, then I know I have been in a place long enough. I discover destinations based on the subjects I want to photograph. For me, the connection to megafauna – the whales, bears, sharks – is what makes me happiest, so I seek places where I can spend time in the wild with these creatures, on their own terms and unencumbered by other humans. Every time I am able to spend time with animals, like polar bears or grizzly bears, I feel like I am
learning something of value. Wild creatures that are intelligent, communicative, and yet are often treated like they have no feelings or suffer no pain, need someone to give them a voice. I have spent my entire life trying to share with the world the real character of animals that are often portrayed as evil or ferocious but, in reality, are just trying to survive in a world that is frequently harsh. I grew up in the Arctic and I learned from the Inuit people with whom I spent my childhood not just how to survive in the cold, but how to thrive in conditions that most people would find unforgiving. The polar regions are where I feel most at home and where I have made my professional mark. For as long as I can, I will continue to return to wild, remote areas in the polar regions, where nature is still allowed to exist as it did thousands of years ago, but where our human carelessness is inflicting the most dramatic change. I prefer to travel alone, but if I had to pick a travel companion I would say that my life partner, Cristina Mittermeier, is the person I most enjoying travelling with. Like myself, she is a passionate conservation photographer, adventurer, nature lover and my favourite dive buddy. I am excited to begin exploring the tropical seas: places that are still pristine and wild, like the Raja Ampat Islands in Indonesia, or places that need help, such as the Caribbean. There is a big sea out there to explore and I intend to spend the rest of my life working to protect our oceans.
Photo © Cristina Mittermeier
Paul Nicklen’s new book, Born to Ice, is out now, published by teNeues
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THE LOCALS' GUIDE TO
Vienna With culture bursting from every nook of its cobblestone streets, it’s easy to fall in love with Austria’s charming capital
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The historic Belvedere with its beautiful landscaped gardens
WORKS OF ART Travel blogger Una Stefanovic, of Vienna Insider (viennainsider.com), highlights the city’s creative gems Best architecture to view? If, like me, you’re a fan of art nouveau, be sure to explore the buildings designed by Otto Wagner, one of Austria’s greatest architects. You’ll find many of his designs, such as the Secession Building and the painted Majolica House at Linke Wienzeile facing the colourful Naschmarkt market, where you can chill and enjoy local delicacies. Favourite arts spots? I love the Art History Museum the most. The palace itself is impressive and holds gorgeous works of art, as well as many precious artefacts from the Habsburgs' period. There’s also Belvedere Palace, which holds Klimt’s best works and is an unforgettable space to explore. Must-see creative spaces? If you’re into contemporary art and Austrian artists, Leopold Museum and Mumok cannot be overlooked. Where can we uncover hidden gems? Wander around to discover hidden streets, little restaurants and charming shops in the 1st district and those surrounding them. I also recommend a visit to the Palace of Justice; it’s an impressive building with a stunning view to enjoy from the top floor. Entry is free and open to the public, although few people know it. Best way to meet the locals? Visit the restaurants, cafés, markets and events organised by Vienna City, such as the festive markets. For hipster vibes, be sure to check out the concept shops of the 7th district. And to feel like a true Austrian, spend an afternoon enjoying cake and coffee in one of the traditional cafés such as Schwarze Kameel. World Traveller 31
SCENIC SETTINGS Photographer Silia Eleftheriadou highlights Vienna’s most picturesque places to feast your eyes on
Photo by Una Stefanovic
My favourite subjects to photograph are side streets, doors and the imposing architecture in general while I roam the city. I believe that the most photogenic spots in the city centre are the views from the Albertina Museum and Franziskanerplatz.
Beauty is omnipresent in this city, but a classic is, of course, the city centre and the gardens of the Schönbrunn Palace that will take your
breath away. Other than that, the hills surrounding Vienna, such as Cobenzl or Kahlenberg, offer amazing views of the whole capital.
Again, one of my favourites is Franziskanerplatz. Cinema lovers will recognise Kleines Café from the Richard Linklater film Before Sunrise – a cute little coffee shop that offers the perfect Viennese atmosphere. Other hidden gems would be the Strudlhofstiege (the art nouveau staircase), or the rooftop bar at SO/ Vienna, with its view of the city centre.
I recommend you get wonderfully lost in the cute little streets of the city centre, and if you feel the need for some nature, escape to the Donauinsel, the island on the Danube.
The view from Kahlenberg hill
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Austria's famous Sachertorte
CULINARY TALES A foodie at heart, Patricia Vincent rounds up the city’s must-try gourmet experiences Viennese cuisine today is the result of Vienna having been at the centre of a multicultural empire for hundreds of years. Local recipes mixed with the influences of people moving to the city, each bringing their own local cuisines with them, have made Vienna a culinary melting pot. As a vegetarian, dishes I love are: Steirische Kürbiscremesuppe (pumpkin cream soup served with a few drops of cold pumpkin seed oil); Käferbohnensalat (scarlet runner 34 World Traveller
bean salad); Steinpilz Ragoût (porcini or boletus mushrooms ragoût); and Kärntner Kasnudeln (Carinthian dumplings filled with fresh cheese and mint). When it comes to dessert, I will never refuse a Punschkrapferl, a delicious sweet pastry, or the famous Sachertorte. An interesting Viennese culinary tradition is Das Wiener Gabelfrühstück, a type of in-between meal that's a bit like brunch, and is dedicated to the hard-working people who
have early working hours. If you're dining in company, it’s polite to start eating only once everybody has been served. At the festive markets you can taste little bites, such as roasted nuts, potatoes, and sweet chestnuts. The Heuriger (taverns) in the former rural regions, such as Grinzing and Nußdorf, offer traditional dishes that you can enjoy to the sounds of Schrammelmusik, a Viennese folk music that originated in the late 19th century.
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WORLD TRAVELLER X ANANTARA SIR BANI YAS ISLAND
The wild side You donâ€™t have to venture far to satisfy your wanderlust. This desert island experience on your doorstep is the perfect staycation for nature fans and adventure seekers alike Al Sahel Villa Resort
rom seeing giraffes roam free across the Arabian Wildlife Park to taking a dip in your private plunge pool as gazelles skip past, and feasting on delicious barbecue food by the light of the fire â€“ a trip to Sir Bani Yas Island is on the wish list for many of us in the region. A jewel of the Arabian Gulf and the living legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed, Sir Bani Yas Island draws adventure seekers from around the globe to experience its unique blend of desert and nature. Just a two-hour drive from Abu Dhabi, or a three-hour drive from Dubai, this stunning island provides a coveted chance to discover the diverse flora and fauna of the UAE, thanks to a variety of conservation projects inspired by the rich cultural history that its founder held close to his heart. Guests can choose from three luxurious resorts: the familyoriented Desert Islands Resort & Spa by
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Stunning sea views at Anantara Al Yamm Villa Resort
Anantara, the tranquil beach getaway that is Anantara Al Yamm Villa Resort, and the Arabian adventure inspired Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort. Stays have been designed with local sensibilities in mind, with private planes available for charter, ladies-only beaches and tailored activities upon request. Plus, there are experienced guides on hand to steer visitors of all ages on a journey into nature – and therein lies the island’s biggest charm. Set within an unspoiled reserve amid the glistening Arabian Gulf, Sir Bani Yas Island was established in 1971 and has a rich cultural history that dates to the Bronze Age (4000 BCE). Today, it is a haven for over 16,000 animals, with numerous animal protection programmes in place to care for endangered species, such as the Arabian oryx and Arabian tahr – something that’s best discovered while on a nature and wildlife drive. One of the most popular ways to discover the island, let your guide take you for a spin in a four-wheel drive for an up close view of free-roaming wildlife including giraffe. There are about three million trees native to the island, including ghaf (the national tree of the UAE), palm trees, mangroves, miswak and cedar. Plus, there are special areas for vegetation including date palm trees, tamarind and olive trees, all of which hold a special place in Arab culture as a principle food source for the Bani Yas tribe. Activities abound, with kayaking through the mangroves, snorkelling and paddleboarding, as well as challenging mountain bike routes through the everchanging landscape. It’s a far cry from the usual beach, pool, spa combo, although that’s all there to enjoy as well, albeit with a wild twist. Dining also comes to the fore, with everything from the traditional African Boma experience under the stars at Al Sahel Villa Resort (it’s reminiscent of the traditional circular enclosures set up by African tribes as meeting places for tribal elders) to Mediterranean fare teamed with panoramic sea views at Olio at Al Yamm Villa Resort among the top choices to tempt you for a memorable meal.
To find out more, call +971 2 895 8700 or visit sir-bani-yas-island.anantara.com World Traveller 37
A safari in Zambia and Botswana? Time it right, and you can add mysterious moon-rainbows and other-worldly saltscapes to that 24-carat wildlife tick list, says Ian Belcher
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t’s a night for wizardry and alchemy; a night when a mysterious apparition, first witnessed by Aristotle three centuries BC, materialises before my eyes in the coal-black sky. The spectral beam, linking the furious Zambezi River with the African heavens, arcs directly above the thunderous mile-wide cascade of Victoria Falls: an ethereal frame for a wonder of the natural world. Like every other spectator in the small congregation, I’m transfixed. The silence and unblinking stares suggest an outbreak of mass hypnosis. Animals (big animals: elephants, buffaloes, giraffes) lurk among nearby jackalberry and mopane trees, but all eyes are locked on the exquisite refraction of moonlight in spray: a lunar rainbow. For the first, but certainly not the last, time on my two-centre safari, combining Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park with Botswana’s Makgadikgadi salt pans, Africa’s wildlife isn’t the main draw. It provides a prolific, marvellously entertaining cast of extras, but the true A-list stars of this trip are the widescreen wilderness landscapes and vast canopy of sky. In southern Africa’s wildlife-watching heartland, I’ve found a safari that will blow your mind whether it’s your first time or your fifth – or even if animals aren’t a major passion. Zambia’s authorities know that the moonbow – exactly the same as a rainbow, except the refracted light comes from the moon rather than the sun – is something special, so they only grant nighttime access to the falls three times a month: the night of the full moon and those immediately before and after. Local lodges are well versed on the lunar calendar and can make all the arrangements for you, so I arrive alongside a dribble of intrigued tourists in a sunset of blazing honey. Darkness quickly smothers the poetry. Bats flit overhead and the wall of water thunders behind dense vegetation. The world feels eerie, malevolent and thrilling. At 6.30pm I reach the Eastern Cataract – a peachy spot with a view directly down the gorge – as a billion-watt moon levitates above the bush. Within minutes, a smoky shaft of light enters stage left, rising vertically from the Zambezi to the underlit span of Victoria Falls Bridge. The audience whispers rather than cheers. The ghostly grey beam pulses intermittently as gusts of spray catch the World Traveller 39
light, gradually extending into the sky, before wilting half an hour later, into a graceful arch, as if the 20th Century Fox spotlight has run out of steam. Instead of a multicoloured daytime showstopper, it’s a subtle, captivating and – by 9pm, when the stage curtain descends – unforgettable drama. While the moonbow coyly limits its appearances, Victoria Falls is always in the limelight: an intoxicating, frighteningly powerful force of nature. Major stars attract groupies, however. Lots of them. At one viewpoint I wait patiently for 19 Japanese tourists to snap identical shots before being knocked aside by a nun taking a selfie. Neither Zambia nor Botswana are beset by the minibus crowds that can take the sheen off a safari in Kenya or South Africa, but – as a fan of glorious isolation – I’m delighted to find another way to rise above all other visitors. For a less congested, more heart-stopping panorama, I wake before the sun to clamber aboard a microlight flown by a former fighter pilot, Pascal Muguto. It’s simple to arrange – I just picked up one of the leaflets lying around in every hotel lobby – but it’s not for nervous passengers. At a cruising altitude of 457m (565m directly above the gorge), there’s nothing between my feet and the sunbaked African earth. I look down, cross myself and white-knuckle the microlight frame – flying on a wing and a prayer... Fear has its rewards, though: the view’s a corker. Not just the plunging water, dancing rainbow and atomic mushrooms of spray, but the zigzag of connected ravines – each left high and dry when the ravenous Zambezi devoured a vein of softer rock, opening a new channel. As we cross the central falls, Pascal casually points to a spot where, eight years ago, a guide grabbed a tourist who’d slipped towards the void. He saved her, only to slide over himself. There’s no dark drama today, just gentle early sunshine and serenity. I manage a nonchalant wave at the GoPro camera on the tip of the wing. Back on solid land, or rather muscular water, I set off, sans crowds again, in pursuit of tigerfish, a Zambezi prey with the teeth of Nosferatu and the fervour of Gérard Depardieu at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Only one out of my hundreds of casts strikes gold, but that’s enough, igniting a blast of head-shaking, tail-walking, 40 World Traveller
�I’ve found a safari that will blow your mind whether it’s your first time or your fifth – or even if animals aren’t a major passion’ silver-scaled adrenaline. The antidote is a sundowner cruise. With grunting hippos, towering ilala palms and savagely chilled mocktail, it’s an essential ingredient in the Victoria Falls safari recipe. To be fair, so is the wildlife. Despite all the other diversions, it would be rude not to pay a visit. A dawn game drive generates a fabulous dinner party guest list, with giraffes that lick their own ears using 45cmlong tongues, vervet monkeys sporting lurid blue testicles, and marabou storks that pee on their own legs, painting a cooling white gloss. The seating plan may be tricky. Elijah, my guide, offers a collective noun masterclass: a sounder of warthogs, a shrewdness of apes and a dazzle of zebras (also useful for footballers’ WAGs). We
watch a prehistoric-looking monitor lizard sniffing through its forked tongue; study sparrow-weavers’ nests resembling Boris Johnson’s hair; and, most memorably, meet a five-tonne rogue elephant. ‘Last year he chased me for two kilometres,’ says Elijah, his eyes glued on the enormous bull. ‘I think he has psychological problems. He could easily flip a vehicle.’ We slowly reverse and hide behind a mopane thicket (Hemingway would turn in his grave) as the elephant and his alpha tusks amble past. I daren’t tell the majestic beast he only has a bit part in my safari. Instead, I quietly slip away, head west alongside the Zambezi and cross into Botswana before flying 300km south to the Makgadikgadi
This page: micorlight flying over the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls
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This page: the spectacular Victoria Falls
â€˜While the moonbow coyly limits its appearances, Victoria Falls is always in the limelight: an intoxicating, frighteningly powerful force of natureâ€™
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salt flats (all arranged effortlessly through my tour operator). As our plane descends, it appears I haven’t just left Zambia, I’ve departed planet Earth. Enormous splatters of glinting white crystals are woven with ochre Kalahari grasslands on which ilala palms, baobab trees and spiky aloe vera lurk like low-budget Doctor Who monsters: an otherworldly scene dwarfed by a huge tureen of cyan sky. It’s hard to credit that, several millennia ago, this was the deepest darkest depths of a lake larger than Switzerland. Tectonic activity then emptied the basin, leaving the mineral-rich bed to bake and bleach under relentless sun. The two biggest salt pans, Nwetwe and Sua, now extend for 12,000 square kilometres: a landscape to bend the mind and stretch the retina. ‘Look at it,’ urges my guide, Joshua, as we stare towards a horizon where silvery-grey crust and tropical sky meld into a creamy haze. ‘Your eyes scream “enough please, no more”.’ Unsurprisingly, the Makgadikgadi has no ordinary safari lodge. Jack’s Camp, nuzzling the fringes of Sua Pan, blends explorer chic with vintage pointy-roofed expedition tents housing a mess room, tea station and library. Its antiques include a portable mahogany bar, battered travel trunks and cabinets displaying animal skulls and prehistoric flint tools, while the 10 ‘rooms’ boast four-posters and wooden thunderbox lavatory seats. In the early evening, along with other guests – a gaggle of well-heeled Americans and Europeans – I straddle a quad bike, mummify my mouth and nose in a kikoy scarf and accelerate directly into the ‘great nothing’ of the Sua Pan, dust plume sparkling in the late sun. As our stretched stick-man shadows fresco the surface salt, we’re instructed to find our own space. ‘Lie down,’ urges Joshua. ‘The silence is deafening. You can hear your own blood flowing through your veins.’ I can’t, actually. My stomach’s rumbling, but it’s still an epic, empty, magnificently still world. As I stand, the first stars and planets appear – heavenly flakes that rapidly develop into an astral blizzard. A burning grey smudge above the horizon is the zodiacal lights – debris from the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago. World Traveller 43
It’s the thought-provoking cue for Jack’s Camp to announce a fireside feast, followed by a surprise al fresco while we eat. I hardly sleep – the mercury’s nudging zero – but who cares? Insomnia is rarely so rewarding. Sua is a brutal environment – brine shrimps are its only living organism – but the surrounding semi-arid Kalahari grassland teems with life. Right now it hosts two thousand zebras, but within months, as the wet season brings temporary fecundity, around 50,000 more will arrive on their annual migratory loop through northern Botswana. The area becomes a mini Serengeti. Certainly there’s more to this part of Africa than animals, but you’d be mad to come here and ignore them. Indeed, my evening game drive reveals a truly surreal bag of wildlife (what else would you expect in this Dalí-esque land?). Flocks of ostriches rub feathers with stiff-legged, spikyheaded secretary birds, while hares dubbed ‘African kangaroos’ bounce up and down with one eye open – a weirdly mesmerising sight as they reflect our headlamps’ beam. It’s an amuse-bouche for the 44 World Traveller
Makgadikgadi’s meerkats. I arrive as eight emerge from a burrow in the morning chill, standing in line as the sun warms their black tummies. Thanks to Fattie – a conspicuously slim local villager who hangs out with them eight hours a day, 365 days a year – the mob are semi-habituated, unconcerned as I lie down inches away. A ‘scout’ climbs onto my hip to scan for predators. I’ve reached peak Attenborough. The petite carnivores may look ridiculously cute, but the illusion is shattered over the next two hours as I follow them foraging for breakfast. When a meerkat scents scorpions or small lizards hiding underground, it digs frantically before using razor-sharp teeth and talons to rip apart the prey. Fattie’s mob is the Kalahari’s answer to Peaky Blinders. Now I’ve compared the meerkat, I know this safari has bigger stars. Far bigger. I spend an intriguing last morning with San bushmen, some smoking hare droppings rolled in brandy-bush leaves. They show me edible plants, shoot arrows tipped with beetle-dung poison, and hold scorpions inside their mouths.
Apparently, the San are immune to certain venom. It’s one way to find out, I guess. As I watch the small group play Springbok v Lightning – an enthusiastic bushmen version of Rock-Paper-Scissors – I can’t help but notice the elders have ravines rather than wrinkles. What age are they? My question induces a long series of clicks, head nods and more clicks. ‘They are...’ replies my translator slowly, pausing for more clicks and nods. ‘They are... many years.’ ‘Many?’ ‘Yes, many. They’ve no idea.’ In the Makgadikgadi, age clearly isn’t just a number. The modern world seems a distant concept. I’ve ended up in a big land under a big sky with little men, their huntergatherer culture every bit as mystical and enthralling as Victoria Falls’s sublime moonbow: final conclusive proof that Africa’s animals needn’t be the main draw. Safaris can be better. So much better. Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com
Credit: Ian Belcher / The Sunday Times Travel Magazine / News Licensing
This page: baobabs trees under a starlit sky
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Caribbean Queen Why’s everything painted pink? What’s up with those sunsets? And where is everyone? Katie Bowman can’t work out how the beautiful Bahamas remains under the radar
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ne email I received while away had the subject head ‘Howz Bermuda?’ (alongside a palm tree emoji). And on my return a colleague asked if I’d liked ‘Barbados?’, before another walked past, interrupting to say he’d really loved my ‘Instagram pictures from Barbuda’. ‘The water’s so clear!’ he enthused. ‘Which filter did you use?’ I hadn’t been to Bermuda. Or Barbados. Or Barbuda. (Or, for that matter, used a filter.) I had been to the Bahamas. And this, from a team of travel journalists. There’s not a lot we know about the Bahamas. And that’s exactly what has attracted me for years now. All I had was a dreamy, sun-bleached vision of the 700-plus islands, fed by rock songs (Lenny Kravitz hails from Eleuthera and named a song after his home island), fashion shoots (Beyoncé’s first ever swimwear campaign — Google it), Bond movies (Daniel Craig in trunks emerging from the sea), and other equally sensible and reliable sources. This unpindownable archipelago seemed to have the very best bits of the Caribbean: the style of St Barts; the cool colonialist looks of Nevis; the scene and sass of Jamaica; the 48 World Traveller
Opening pages from left: the welcome sign to On Da Beach Bar and Grill on Elbow Cay; the vendor of a beach shack on Harbour Island holds a basket of limes. Right: Atlantis Paradise Island
crystalline waters of the Caymans; the slick service (and efficient air con) of the Florida Keys. Yet, despite ticking every box in the classic Caribbean wishlist, and despite having, it seemed, something for every type of West Indies holidaymaker, it was about as well-discovered by tourists as a remote Hebridean islet. No-one I knew had ever been to the Bahamas. No-one I knew even knew of anyone who had been to the Bahamas. Sure enough, Nassau airport – its domestic terminal, at least – is more like a bus station than a global hub. Locals take planes as casually as Dubaians take taxis, and the flights are as frequent, soaring off every few minutes to destinations that sound like fantastical fabrications from Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadman’s Cay, Black Point, Rock Sound, Treasure Cay. But it’s just another commute for islanders – one family on my flight was carrying home a giant pepperoni pizza that warranted its own luggage tag. This is great news for travellers, as reaching even the teeniest speck of paradise is a breeze in the Bahamas. Minutes later, I touched down in Marsh Harbour, the airport for the idyllic Abacos. This northerly string of ‘outer
â€˜Atlantis is not one hotel, but six. What it lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in admirable chutzpahâ€™
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islands’ are timewarp treasures, sharing one traffic light across their 2,000sq km scattering. Locals drive around the sandy streets in golf carts, while the clapboard butcher’s and grocery store are painted in every shade from Parma Violet to Dipdab yellow. When my toes first sank into the sand on Winding Bay beach, I couldn’t help but snort a sort of laugh, an involuntary yelp of delighted incredulity at its bakingpowder hue combined with preposterously high squeak-to-softness levels. Later, when I padded about the wooden floor of my beach cabana, I left powdery white footprints that looked as though detectives had dusted down for evidence at a crime scene. What was this place, this paradise? And where, exactly, was everyone? I found a lot of people – maybe five – on the dry dock, peering over the edge at dark shadows cast by a fleet of stingrays on the clear seabed below... soon joined by a green sea turtle, cruising about in the shade of our wooden pier. It was a scene I should have had to sail kilometres out to sea for, weighed down by scuba gear on an expensive diving trip. But I was dry as a bone, my mahi-mahi tacos grilling nicely at the beach shack while I made this small detour. Two guys even casually clinked Kalik hops (pronounced ‘click’) at the watery wildlife tableau we’d just witnessed, as if to say, ‘Yeah, stuff like that happens here.’ I found four more people on the beach, playing ‘corn hole’ – a time-worn beach game that involves throwing small sacks filled with sand (corn in the old days) into small holes – and a further twosome trying their hand at ‘tiki toss’, where you swing a small ring, attached by string to a palm tree, in the hope of looping it around a hook. While drinking Kalik. No sports screen, no lounger wars, no queue for a single drink. Instead, I moved on to the next Bahamian island. Could it out-serene the easy-going Abacos? The signs were good when I overheard a woman at tin-shack Eleuthera airport saying, as she threw
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her arms around a friend: ‘I’m burn out, girl! NP is such a rat race.’ We had flown to Eleuthera via New Providence (NP), picking the girl up on the way. Admittedly, NP is the busiest of the islands, but it’s still a place that considers three folk in a fish-fry queue ‘gridlock’. As the taxi whizzed down Queen’s Highway, backbone to this skinny speck, my driver yelled out, rolling down his window. He was proudly pointing out Glass Window Bridge, a stretch where Eleuthera becomes so narrow that the inky Atlantic on your left side is a mere paddle from the sparkling Caribbean on your right. One solitary wooden kiosk enjoyed the fullfrontal panorama, selling Kalik to visitors. Yet despite Glass Window Bridge fitting wonders-of-the-world criteria, just one man propped up the bar. Minutes later, we passed Queen’s Baths, striking rock pools that are heated each day by the sun, like natural Jacuzzis come evening; then the Cow and the Bull appeared in the dusk, two ravishing rock formations. Rumour has it they were displaced after a tsunami aeons ago, though they look more like they went astray en route to Tate Modern. Eleuthera’s shores were standard-issue stunning (it’s amazing how quickly you become immune to immaculate), but I heard the truly bucket-list beaches were on next-door neighbour, Harbour Island. Just a nine-minute ferry from gorgeous, but ungroomed Eleuthera, ‘Bri-land’ (say ‘Harbour Island’ quickly enough and you arrive at this local nickname) is much more coiffured. Crumbling old sugar mills have been converted into designer swimwear boutiques; discreet Sotheby’s for-sale signs hide among frangipani; and the 12-boutique-hotels-to-one-bank count is very revealing. But don’t go thinking stylish means sterile: on Harbour Island, roosters still roam the streets and you can grab a bowl of conch chowder for $5 – it’s just that you might be slurping your soup beside Diane von Furstenberg. Its star
This page: The view from the historic area of Candelaria Opposite: Contemporary art in Iglesia de Santa Clara
â€˜Reaching even the teeniest speck of paradise is a breeze in the Bahamas.â€™
This page, clockwise from top: a craftsman displays his wooden creations to tourists near Fincastle in Nassau; waves roll in on Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island; Halfmoon Cay's colourful houses
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This page: riding across powder-soft sand
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Credit: Katie Bowman / The Sunday Times Travel Magazine / News Licensing
‘I left powdery white footprints that looked as though detectives had dusted down for evidence at a crime scene’ beach is Pink Sands, thus named because of its hue, created by a mix of fine coral and the shells of microscopic coral insects. It is deepest in colour at the water’s edge, a dazzling yet delicate tone that nail-polish manufacturers might call ‘Mouse’s Earlobe’. You can check in to the Pink Sands or Coral Sands hotels and wallow in the view from your five-star lounger, or you can just as easily take the public path and lay your towel down in the same patch, then watch as the sky turns from Colgate blue to a bloody fist-fight between Team Fuchsia and Team Mauve. Warning: if you are lucky enough ever to reach these islands, sunsets afterwards will never be as stirring again. On to New Providence, gateway for most of the tourists who make it to the Bahamas. Nassau is its pulsating capital, daubed in pink – the national colour. Here was a busy Caribbean city going about its business, and it was thrilling. In the few places it wasn’t pink, it was starched white to within an inch of its life: policemen and women – in crisp, white safari-style jacket, brass buttons, scarlet belt and pith helmet – handcontrolled street traffic, so immaculate and unflappable they seemed like props to wow the tourists. (It works.) Bankers hurried from one air- conditioned glass tower to another; old ladies beneath giant, beflowered raffia hats wove bags between open knees at the bustling Straw Market; and streams of cruise-ship passengers peered around in awe at the cool, calm, collected – yet colourful – scene. A lot of the day-trippers were off to Atlantis, like its Dubai sister, a megawatt powerhouse of a hotel that, in many visitors’ opinion, is the Bahamas. While the other
699 islands would beg to differ, I had to see the phenomenon for myself. Atlantis is not one hotel, but six (with almost 4,000 rooms between them). It contains the former most expensive hotel suite in the world, and (similar to its Dubai counterpart) it has a waterslide that drops riders 20m through a shark tank. Understated it ain’t. But what it lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in admirable chutzpah. At the end of my first day, I had kissed Electra the bottlenose dolphin (who lives on site in Dolphin Cay); and I’d eaten chocolatedipped marshmallows for breakfast (hey, if a 7am buffet includes a chocolate fountain, I’m going to try it). And boy, was everyone happy. Children were happy. Parents were happy because the children were happy. And Grandma and Pop were happy because there were always reclining loungers available in the shade. Atlantis, and Nassau, aren’t to everyone’s taste, but certainly suited the millions of families, honeymooners and young bucks who streamed through check-in desks on a daily basis. When it came to unabashed, in-your-face, dressed-in-diamante fun, Nassau nailed it, and did it so much better than any other resort in the Caribbean. Come to think of it, the Bahamas did every element of a textbook Caribbean trip – sunsets, skies, sand, beaches, beach shacks, fish fries, glam hotels, even geological wow factor – better than anywhere else in the Caribbean. After all, with those 700 islands, everyone is guaranteed to find one they’ll fall for – the odds of holiday success are heavily stacked in travellers’ favour. Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com World Traveller 53
Yes, there are tearooms â€” but lonely stone villages, battered bracken moors and designer digs, too. Anthony Peregrine gets a shock in Englandâ€™s Yorkshire Dales
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reat heavens, but Yorkshire is a grand place. There. It’s said, and it was less painful than anticipated. I’m a Lancastrian. Not ‘proud’ or ‘dyed in the wool’— just a normal Lancastrian routinely exasperated by Yorkshiremen’s claim to special status among English-speaking peoples. You know the sort of thing: they’re strong, blunt and taciturn; they ‘speak as they find’, inhabit ‘God’s Own County’ and score runs at the rate of one an hour, fuelled on Yorkshire pudding and Yorkshire Tea from the great plantations of somewhere like Dewsbury. Hell’s teeth, they’re also ‘gradely (decent) folk’. As if an independent nation, they have a Yorkshire Day on August 1. This is irritating in a way unmatched in, say, Wiltshire. But then I went to the Yorkshire Dales and started to make allowances. By the end of day one, I’d forgiven Yorkshire people much. This was magnificent country. It’s conceivable that England holds none better. OK, so they’re immodest about it. I would be, too. Let us be clear. The word ‘dales’ sounds sweet, quaint, even comforting — and slivers of the region are just that, where streams burble through wildflower meadows, and lend sparkle to stone villages. Within the turn of a wheel, though, the landscape switches from Postman Pat to Wuthering Heights, with power and challenging space to spare. Pastures roll up to battered bracken moors disciplined, but not much, by dry-stone walls. Clouds sweep across at speed, obviously booked elsewhere. If it’s sunny now, it will be raining shortly. Mist will likely enhance the force of upland emptiness, at once mesmerising and intimidating. I was overwhelmed. Every prospect pleased. Across the entire Dales, there was nowhere – literally, nowhere – one could look without being smitten by a glorious, wild-country England many doubtless thought was lost. The only trouble is the hiking. It’s very much what you do in the Dales, apparently; exhortations to do it are relentless from visitor centres, several thousand guidebooks, and red-faced people in boots and weatherproofs whose efforts are a reproach to the idle. Fortunately, I’m toughWorld Traveller 55
minded, so resisted all that, apart from an opening romp around Bolton Abbey. What a place to start. Here, the southern Dales had been (slightly) tamed for family-day-out purposes. Both abbey and eponymous village were on the Yorkshire estate of the Dukes of Devonshire, who have long held that getting the populace into wide-open spaces was a jolly good idea. As the dukes owned more wideopen space than most – the Bolton Abbey estate alone covers some 12,000 hectares – there was plenty of room. We joined them, rocking along the River Wharfe, in and out of greensward, woodland and tea shops and into the 12th-century abbey, wrecked after the dissolution of the monasteries. We could have roamed over 130km of increasingly wild footpaths – but there are limits. We drove on up Wharfedale. A universe of sheep dotted the fells, like Braille on a deep-green background. ‘I’ve never seen better-fed sheep,’ said my wife, a French farmer’s daughter. ‘Chunky,’ agreed a nearby Yorkshirewoman whose authority on chunkiness was unquestionable. The road unravelled up and down and round and round, each undulating aspect as satisfactory to the senses as Tuscany. Here were hills, dipping dales and remote farms, walls, distant barns, and tough grey villages – Burnsall, Grassington – to provide the punctuation. Thus to Hawes, at the Dales’ heart, then out again to the Simonstone Hall Hotel. With noble views across the sweep of Upper Wensleydale, the manor house co-opted us into the Yorkshire squirearchy – terraces, peacocks, deep sofas, wood-panelling, fourposters and all. Granted, it hadn’t worked so well for Jeremy Clarkson. His BBC career crashed right here in March 2015, after alleged fisticuffs over hot-dinner-related issues. But that was a no-go subject. Subsequently, Simonstone changed hands. It is now run by co-owner (and ex-architect) Jake Dinsdale who is very tall, very bright and not yet out of his 20s. He’s both sharpening and loosening the place up – the conservatory had recently hosted its own opera evening. ‘We can do it all in Yorkshire,’ said Jake, as one rather thought he might. Any road, if you’ve the cash, this is your Dales base. It served us splendidly. As did Hawes itself. By ’eck, but these 56 World Traveller
villages were rooted – in time and space. They had to be. They’d forever been far from anywhere, not so much off the beaten track as off the one after that. Thus, Brexit broke out often. (‘I’ve no real affinity wi’ Leeds, never mind Warsaw,’ said a bloke in the Board Inn.) So did a wraparound sense of community. In Hawes, a local association had just taken over the petrol station. It already ran the library, shuttle buses and much else besides. The old station was now the Dales Countryside Museum, with cracking coverage of farming (obviously), but also of lead-mining. Who knew that mining fuelled 18th- and 19th-century Dales prosperity, paying for the terrific Georgian houses that dignified towns and villages? The whole museum was captivating. So was the Outhwaite craft ropeworks opposite. Ropeworks, eh? Queue right here, then? Certainly. There was enormous satisfaction in the rope- and braidmaking processes. Big bobbins span like an Eightsome Reel at full speed. Later, across town, at the Wensleydale Creamery, cheeseman Chris Cannon gave the most accomplished demo of cheese production I’ve ever witnessed. And, Lord help me, I’ve witnessed a few. If short of rennet, Dales farmers’ wives would, back in the day, use crushed slugs. ‘By the time I’ve finished, you’ll not be as keen on cheese as you thought you were,’ said Chris. Rennet, though, is
‘The road unravelled up and down and round and round, each undulating aspect as satisfactory to the senses as Tuscany’
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mainly vegetarian these days, including in the amazingly popular Wensleydaleand-cranberry confection. (‘We buy cranberries from the US cheap, mix them with cheese and sell it back to them at extortionate prices,’ explained Chris.) The visit ended with a tasting of the creamery’s 28 different products. Best of all was ‘Kit Calvert’, named after the ’30s saviour of Wensleydale cheese (it’s a long story...). From Hawes, a rock’n’roll drive across the moors took us to the barely visible Garsdale station, remote on the CarlisleSettle line. If not the bleakest station in England, Garsdale was certainly in the top three. ‘Draughty, eh?’ said the sole fellow passenger as we were hurled across the platform by driving rain and wind howling down from the hills. Thus were we blown into a two-carriage diesel, a welcome banality amid angry elements and a wild landscape fashioned in their image. ‘England’s Empty Quarter,’ she said. ‘Apart from the sheep,’ I said. ‘Apart from the sheep,’ she agreed. Just south of Garsdale, the line’s star attraction was the Ribblehead Viaduct, which (whisper this) wasn’t that impressive — compared with some of Europe’s really Top: a bridge over the River Wharfe. Right: the Ribblehead Viaduct carries the Settle–Carlisle Railway across Batty Moss
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startling viaducts (see ‘M’ for ‘Millau’). It was even less impressive when crossed on the train. This was actually the worst place from which to see it (apart, obviously, from Croydon. Or Shanghai). In truth, we didn’t see it at all, because it was underneath us. No matter. Fine viaduct photos stared from every postcard and brochure in the Dales. One got the idea, and chuffed into Settle, of which Edward Elgar was a fervent fan. Today was market day, which didn’t detain us long (I’ve a feeling that England has lost the hang of markets). Instead, we ambled along shambles and ginnels (as the laneways here are known), thought about clambering up Castlebergh Crag rearing directly above, thought again, then hummed old Elgar’s Enigma Variations before spending agreeable minutes at the 17th-century Quakers’ Meeting House talking fair trade (George Fox had been, and remained, big round here). Then we went for lunch in nearby tearooms. My, but the Dales likes tearooms. There was an epidemic of them in every village. In other wild spots of the world (the Himalayas, etc), one retreats from soaring splendour to a tent for fermented yak’s milk and something unspeakable
Credit: The Sunday Times Travel Magazine / News Licensing
to eat – bowels of tiger, or lung of yeti. In the Dales, one strides off the moors for... a cup of tea and cake. This is as it should be, the English way of keeping the elements at bay and under control. But might there be an oversupply? And might their pricing have been overambitious? Answer: at $25 for two sandwiches and two coffees, damned right it was. Ah well. Upwards and onwards along Wensleydale, and over to Swaledale. Here were yet more glorious pastures and ruffled hills swelling to unlikely heights. ‘Wild,’ my wife said. ‘Well, yes,’ I said. ‘And no.’ The raw material was terrific, but farming and sheep have shaped the Dales for centuries. Left alone – as a stretch had been at Bolton Abbey – they’d turn unsightly in short order. On the River Ure, the Aysgarth Falls were not as astonishing as the 19th-century attentions of JMW Turner had led us to expect: the Aysgarth Stumbles, perhaps. But Richmond. Ah, Richmond. Yorkshire’s Richmond, the original of 57 worldwide Richmonds. We’d been there on our honeymoon decades before, but all I could remember was the sloping, cobbled Market Place. Back then, my attention had doubtless been elsewhere. Anyway. Prince Charles had likened the square to the Campo at Siena and, as so often, he’d been spot on. We went up to England’s greatest 11th-century castle, the remains of which dominate the town and River Swale. The castle’s strongest memory was much more recent – as jail to the Richmond 16 of ‘absolutist’ conscientious objectors to the Great War. Their preserved graffiti includes: ‘We will not murder, or help to murder.’ We wandered, delighted, along the river, back up to the town’s enormously satisfying Georgian heart, and everywhere else. This was our kind of town, big enough (pop: 8,500) to have most things you needed, small enough that you might know the people with whom you were sharing them. Prime among the sites was the world’s only functioning Georgian theatre in its original form. The original form was titchy, half the space taken by the stage, with room for an audience of 200 in the stalls, tiny circle and boxes right onto the stage. From most of the seats, were you a surgeon, you could have leaned over and taken out the performers’ tonsils. Yet they welcomed opera, ballet
Opposite: Park overlooking the Mission district This page: Poached duck eggs on a slice of toasted San Francisco sourdough bread
‘Across the entire Dales, there was nowhere one could look without being smitten by a glorious, wild-country England’ and the Globe Theatre companies. Plus an annual panto during which, at a specified moment, spectators hurl knitted items at the stage. ‘It’s a tradition. We started with woollen bananas,’ said theatre volunteer Gerry Broadbent. Last year, 2017, The Wizard of Oz was inundated nightly with woollen doughnuts knitted for months in advance by local knitters. One champion lady had knitted 310. (I have one such doughnut before me
as I write. For most people, 310 would have been a life’s work.) Given such statistics, one cannot but forgive Yorkshire completely. ‘I’d forgotten how beautiful it was,’ said my other half. She was right. England is damned lucky to have it. I’ll maybe mention this from time to time, until everybody’s been. Inspired to travel? To book a trip, call +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com World Traveller 59
Weekends Staycations and short-haul escapes
FEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS If you like to precision plan your weekends away then you’ll know that a little insider knowledge can go a long way – especially when it comes to deciding where to dine. Your mission? To bag the table with the best view, like these rickshaw style seats on the terrace at Mekong at Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort (you're welcome!). It’s just one way to maximise your experience during a stay there, although its private beach, luxe spa and watersports aplenty provide lots more to write home about.
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Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia is a fairy tale experience
YOUR GUIDE TO: CAPPADOCIA
If a fairy tale were to be set on the moon, Cappadocia would be the movie location. Take a winter trip to this Turkish delight for a real-life cinematic experience
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See wild horses roam the land
WORDS BY CLAIRE MALCOLM
hose dreamy Instagram shots donâ€™t lie: a 60-minute flight from Istanbul lands you in a part of Turkey quite unlike any other, where multihued hot air balloons often float across a lunar landscape. Cappadocia occupies 5,000 square kilometres of the vast Central Anatolian region and is characterised by an undulating landscape of kooky volcanic rock formations dating back 4,000 years, enchanting communities carved into the soft stone, maze-like underground cities, and a glut of fresco adorned Byzantine churches. Ideal for a long weekend, you can take to the skies or journey deep into the caves to discover this magical destination on all its levelsâ€Ś
# travelgoals Score some edible souvenirs at one of the area’s authentic local markets. Top buys include seasoned pumpkin seeds, local honey, dried apricots and seasonal roasted chestnuts. Wednesday is market day in Göreme, Ürgüp bags Saturday and Nevsehir takes Monday
Explore the underground cities
DEEP IMPACT Rock your world You could easily spend a day at Göreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site. A blank canvas of misshapen formations from afar, look closely and you’ll find windows, doors and staircases hewn from the rock, many of which open up to reveal stunningly preserved Byzantine church interiors (with a few red herrings for fun) housing jaw-droppingly colourful frescoes. All the churches have nicknames, such as Snake (Yılanlı Kilise), where a fresco depicts St George slaying the dragon (squint and you get the snake reference).
UPS AND DOWNS High achiever It doesn’t get any more surreal than drifting over fairy chimneys and deep green valleys in a flying machine, and a hot air balloon trip (weather permitting) over Cappadocia’s distinctive landscape is one for the bucket list. A sunrise experience, expect to rise to 1,000 metres if conditions are calm and travel up to 20 kilometres on a perfect day. Wild ride Get off the beaten track in and around Göreme atop a quad bike, with escorted tours offering a different, and very dusty, perspective of the countryside. Rev up your love of adventure and cover a decent amount of ground (not to mention dunes and trails) through the surrounding valleys. Stop offs for photographs are a given and sunset is a particularly popular time. Snow days Plan your trip during the winter and a major attraction that comes into focus is Mount Erciyes and the chilly call of the ski season. While its peak (3,917 metres) is snow-capped all year round, the slopes come into their own from November until April. Erciyes Ski Centre (on the northern Tekir Plateau) offers 12 kilometres of runs and is home to Turkey’s longest chairlift. Snowboarders and sledders get their own dedicated runs and extreme sports fans will wig out with some serious kite skiing action. Rev up your exploration on a quad bike
Ghost town More al fresco exploration awaits at Zelve Open-Air Museum. Spread across three valleys, it began life as a 9th-century monastery and was a thriving village by the 20th century. Abandoned in 1952 due to erosion and the threat of rockfalls, you can now (safely) explore the area’s churches and picturesque rock-cut mosque. What lies beneath Cappadocia’s ingenious citizens dug deep… literally. Derinkuyu Underground City is one of 36 belowground communities in the region, and beyond its 600 or so doorways lie 85 vertical metres of living space including cellars, storage rooms, refectories and (temporary) mortuaries, guarded by moving stone doors that, historically, could be quickly sealed in the event of attack. It’s not for the claustrophobic, although there is plenty of fresh air thanks to 15,000 cleverly designed ventilation ducts – just mind your head. World Traveller 63
MINI BREAK #
travelgoals Baby soft skin is the end goal of a Turkish hammam experience. Start with a steam or sauna before a vigorous top to toe lambs’ wool kese mitt scrubdown. Final step? A soothing bubble massage on a heated marble slab
CHIMNEYS AND CASTLES Funghi or fairy? Let your imagination run wild in Paşabağ. It’s here that Cappadocia’s famed mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys dot the landscape, soaring as high as 40 metres. More fact than folklore, these iconic geological formations owe their unique shape to volcanic eruptions and natural erosion. A haven in times gone by for local hermits who wanted to distance themselves spiritually from the material world, they carved shelters into the chimneys, creating 15-metrehigh rooms that can still be seen today.
Moon walk A 10-minute drive from Göreme, Devrent (aka Imagination) Valley is Cappadocia’s very own zoo, but you won’t find any real animals here. The lunar landscaped menagerie of camels, snakes, seals, alligators and dolphins is formed entirely from soft volcanic rock. There’s even one outcrop said to resemble Napoleon’s bicorne hat. For dinner with a side
The beautiful Ihlara Valley near Belisirma is popular for hiking
TAKE A HIKE
of drama, order the traditional clay pot stew called Testi Kabab, where the meat, tomato, veg and chilli combo is sealed with dough then slowcooked for hours before being ceremoniously cracked open to let the rich broth run out.
On the rock No fairy tale is complete without a castle fit for a princess and perched on Cappadocia’s highest point is Uçhisar. Hard to miss, this is your legs' workout for the day, with the 45-minute climb including 120 steps. It’s entirely worth it for awe-inspiring valley views as far as distant Mount Erciyes; and while a lot of the castle is off-limits due to erosion, its pattern of honeycombed doorways punctuates the sandy rock, with many of the remaining rooms converted to dovecotes. Go at sunset for the best pictures and a choir of cooing pigeons.
Valley girl Boasting the deepest gorge in Asia Minor (100 metres), Ihlara Valley is the ideal hiking spot. Pack a picnic and plot your route through the 14-kilometre-long stretch of land, where poplar trees sway in the wind, the Melendiz River babbles, and frogs croak just like a scene from Enchanted. The charming village of Belisirma is a great stop-off point for some local fare.
In the pink The triple eruptions of Mount Erciyes, Mount Hasan and Mount Melendiz created a stunning series of fertile valleys, with Rose Valley one of the prettiest. We’re talking pastel pink, yellow, and orange cliffs, softened by mother nature over millennia and sprinkled with fruit orchards and local farms. On the hoof Also known as the ‘land of beautiful horses’, if you’d rather ride than walk then horseback exploration on the back of a native Anatolian or Arabian steed takes you into Cappadocian cowboy territory. Trot, gallop and canter your way across the landscape, through Swords, Meskendir, Rose and the slushily named Love valleys for a visual surfeit of abundant natural beauty. 64 World Traveller
WHERE TO STAY Cappadocia Abras Cave Hotel A former seminary carved into the Ürgüp rock face, this 600-year-old building oozes history from every stone pore. Colourful rugs and authentic artefacts add warmth to the cosy rooms and ramp up the heritage vibe. Wrap up and enjoy the outdoor terrace with uninterrupted views of the landscape. Doors of Cappadocia With just 17 highly individual cavethemed rooms and suites, make a play for the King Suite with its heart-shaped bath and circular bed. A family-run hotel in a quiet area of Göreme, head to the upper terrace to watch the aerial parade of hot air balloons. Hardy travellers can take a dip in the rooftop pool.
A typical dish of hot pot potatoes
A-MEZZE-ING EATS Stuff it Try Cappadocia’s signature dish, a regional take on ravioli known as mantı, at Zeytin Cafe ve Ev Yemekleri in Ürgüp. The name is a mouthful but the small squares of meat or cheese stuffed pasta, served with a garlicky tomato sauce are so good that it's a draw card for locals. zeytincafeurgup.com Hot pot A Göreme favourite in a gorgeous stone courtyard setting next to the Cappadocia Cultural Centre, Seten Restaurant showcases classic Anatolian and Turkish cuisine. Portions are winter warmer substantial; we rate the clay pot lamb, stuffed squash blossoms and brick oven rice pudding. setenrestaurant.com Lil’a restaurant Nestled amid 200 hectares of kitchen garden goodness and helmed by renowned chef Çağrı Erdoğan, Lil’a occupies pride of place in Üçhisar's elegant Museum Hotel. Specialising in modern interpretations of classic Turkish dishes, it’s fine dining with sustainable flair. Culinary standouts include the roast duck with honey, lavender and sour cherry sauce, and the divine vine leaf-smoked lamb tenderloin with eggplant purée. lil-a.com.tr
Ariana Sustainable Luxury Lodge An eco hideaway in the hills of the Uchisar Valley, this peaceful retreat makes the most of its canyon setting, with its sun terraces the ideal spot for a yoga session or al fresco massage. Down time is guaranteed: the lodge features just 11 rooms and one restaurant, an Americandiner style eatery that sources many of its ingredients direct from the hotel’s garden. Ariana Sustainable Luxury Lodge
travelgoals The pottery heartland of Cappadocia, Avanos’ local artisans use the vibrant red clay of the Kızılırmak River to create signature earthenware and ceramic items hand-decorated with colourful, intricate patterns. Try your hand at a workshop or marvel at the collection at Guray Ceramic Museum World Traveller 65
WORLD TRAVELLER X DCT ABU DHABI
This image and below: Emirati Traditional Games, 2017
Let the games begin Step back in time and discover the traditional children’s games that shaped the UAE’s cultural identity at this fascinating exhibition in Abu Dhabi
hile smartphones, virtual reality and trending toys may be high-up on the wish list of the youth of today, in the past, a more imaginative approach to fun was required. In the UAE, children found creative ways to entertain themselves using the resources and materials available to them, taking inspiration from the surrounding environment. From the classic thrill of hide and seek (otherwise known as Al Dusays), to the balancing challenge of Al Karabi, these traditional games have played a pivotal role in developing the country’s shared and collective heritage. Culture fans will be pleased to learn that all of this is being celebrated by The Emirati Traditional Games exhibition, which is taking place from 1 November 2018 to 1 January 2019 at Al Qattara Arts Centre in Al Ain. Organised by the
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Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, the exhibition, now in its second edition, will shine a light on five of the most popular local games: Al Saggala, Al Gaheef, Um Al Eyal, Khoosa Boosa and Adim Al Serra. These are being championed through a series of commissioned works by Emirati artists who are inspired by these games, each one using his or her unique technical and artistic skills to create a fresh understanding and interpretation of heritage. The result is a fusion of the past and the present, and a statement about the continuation and resilience of heritage. So no matter how the modern world affects our everyday lives, the games once invented by children, and their playful charm, will be preserved for generations to come. To find out more about this exhibition, visit visitabudhabi.ae
My Great Escapes Photographer Grant Pritchard left New Zealand aged 21 to travel the world. Three decades later, his passionturned-career still powers his travels. @thesnappingkiwi
1. Gazing up at Burj Khalifa. This impressive landmark has been shot many times, so I wanted to capture a new angle. Laying down on the pavement and wriggling from side to side until I was totally happy may have looked a little odd, but I achieved the composition I was looking for. 2. A picture-perfect cottage. Welsh tea rooms donâ€™t come better than Tu Hwnt lr Bront in Llanrwst. My family and I visited last autumn, just as the leaves were changing colour. Some early morning sunshine made this the perfect shot. 3. Vibrant Singapore. Traditional performers never fail to impress, such as this Balinese dancer I captured at an event in Singapore, a city that's always bursting with colour and activity. 4. Moody scenes of the Golden Gate Bridge. My youngest daughter and I wanted a few shots of this famous San Francisco bridge and although the weather wasnâ€™t quite what we were hoping for, we cherish the memories. 5. Fun times in Miami. After a hectic work week, a few of the team stayed on in Miami for some RnR. Capturing the brightly-painted lifeguard huts was a must. 6. Trekking in Yosemite National Park. Although I try to stay in family mode while on holiday, scenes like this cannot be overlooked. My wife and I vowed to return one day.
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WORLD TRAVELLER X PALAZZO VERSACE DUBAI
Palazzo Versace Dubai
Be transported to a world of 16th century indulgence at this icon of Italian hospitality at the heart of Culture Village THE ROOMS With its interiors showcasing the Versace lifestyle, Palazzo Versace Dubai epitomises grandeur and luxury in every inch of its spacious rooms and suites. The artistic direction of Donatella Versace is seen throughout, and captured perfectly in the two-bedroom duplex Imperial Suites. Celebrating its second anniversary this month, the property is offering special rates and a line-up of added extras.
THE FOOD Enjoy fine fare in an opulent setting at signature restaurant Vanitas. Overlooking the historic Dubai Creek, the venue is ideal for treating that special someone to an epicurean adventure tasting Italian delicacies. Keep the evening going with drinks at Q’s, Quincy Jones’ first ever bar, and be wowed by US artist Rogelio Douglas Jr. who is performing live until 1 December.
THE ACTIVITIES Bask under the warm sun beside one of three outdoor swimming pools. And if you want to feel the sea breeze, take advantage of the complimentary transfer to Nikki Beach. The Spa is a haven for relaxation, home to the hi-tech Spa Wave sound-massage-system bed – simply lay back and let the specially curated music and vibration massage system lull you into a deep state of relaxation.
To find out more, call +971 4 556 8888 or visit palazzoversace.ae 68 World Traveller
WORLD TRAVELLER X LE MÉRIDIEN AL AQAH BEACH RESORT
Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort Ramp up the fun factor on an all all-inclusive break at this family-friendly resort in Fujairah THE ROOMS Nestled between the ocean and the mountains, this popular beach resort is a draw card for fun seekers. Wake up to the sounds of waves lapping the shore and the marvellous sight of the Al Hajar mountain range, the highest in the Arabian Peninsula. The Penthouse Bedroom Suite has more than enough space for larger broods, accommodating up to nine people in style.
THE FOOD Home to eight dining venues, your taste buds are in for an adventure, too. You can sink your teeth into delicious grills at Gonu Bar & Grill as the fresh ocean breeze washes over you. Alternatively, head to Views Restaurant for a delicious eastmeets-west fusion buffet and live music or, for a taste of the exotic, simply reserve your table at the elegant Indian restaurant Swaad.
THE ACTIVITIES For some adrenaline-pumping fun, get warmed up for the resort’s own obstacle course, the Al Aqah Challenge. Featuring the first-of-its-kind rope course tower on the East Coast, you can take part in five activities under the watchful eye of the expert instructors. From zooming through the air on the zip lines to scaling the climbing wall, it’s sure to bring out your competitive side.
To find out more, call +971 9 244 9000 or visit marriott.com 70 World Traveller
EXCEPTIONAL, INDIGENOUS, EXPERIENCE. Experience the alluring, golden desert landscape, the captivating silence of nature, the free-roaming wildlife in the reserve, all enjoyed from your private suite and pool. Indulge in a luxurious desert adventure with camel treks, horseback riding, falconry, archery, dune drives and more.
HOTELS THAT DEFINE THE DESTINATION FOR RESERVATIONS, PLEASE CALL 971 4 832 9900 OR VISIT THELUXURYCOLLECTION.COM/ALMAHA
WORLD TRAVELLER X DUBAI MARRIOTT HARBOUR HOTEL & SUITES
Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites For a longer stay, make yourself at home in a stylish suite overlooking Dubai Marina THE ROOMS If you're planning on staying in Dubai for a while, or simply appreciate the convenience of having your own kitchen, the stylish suites at this four-star property in Dubai Marina may be just what you're looking for. There are one-, two- and three-bedroom suites available, each featuring a modern kitchen and a sleek marble bathroom with an oversized tub. Room service is available around the clock.
THE FOOD Jump-start you day with a cup of coffee and a pastry at Counter Culture CafĂŠ, which, like all the apartments, offers free Wi-Fi so you can stay well connected to the wider world. For hearty British fare with a twist (and a quick game of pool), The Croft is the place to go. On the 52nd floor, Observatory Bar & Grill is great for classic dishes and crafted beverages, with panoramic views of the waterfront.
THE ACTIVITIES Your fitness regime needn't suffer, as all guests enjoy access to the fitness centre. When you want to unwind, head to Saray Spa, which offers a range of pampering treatments, such as the signature Saray Arabic Coffee Awakener, which includes a body scrub, mask and massage. Get out and explore Dubai, including Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai Media City and Internet City, all of which are just a short stroll away.
To find out more, call +971 4 319 4000 or visit dubaimarriottharbourhotel.com 72 World Traveller
C R E AT E SPECIAL MOMENTS WITH US.
DUBAI MARRIOTT HARBOUR HOTEL & SUITES KING SALMAN BIN ABDULAZIZ AL SAUD STREET DUBAI MARINA, PO BOX 66662, DUBAI, UAE T. 971.4.319.4000 | DUBAIMARRIOTTHARBOURHOTEL.COM Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites @marriottharbour
Standing tall in the heart of Dubai Marina, featuring incomparable panoramic views of the city, combine the best of all worlds with luxurious accommodation, three contemporary dining destinations and a blissful caravanserai-inspired, Saray Spa.
WORLD TRAVELLER X JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS DUBAI
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Stay in this landmark hotel and enjoy the luxury of choice THE ROOMS The world's tallest five-star hotel, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is an architectural gem with ample space to welcome guests from around the globe. Its 1,608 guestrooms and suites have luxurious finishings – think marble bathrooms with oversized tubs – with free Wi-Fi and views of the skyline or Dubai Water Canal. Families can book a suite and spread out in two separate living and sleeping areas.
THE FOOD Foodies will find plenty to satisfy the appetite at this property, which has 15 award-winning restaurants and bars. For perfectly prepared cuts of meat, Prime68 steakhouse is sure to impress while, for authentic Indian fare, Rang Mahal is the talk of the town – the street food style plates are a great sampler. If Japanese is more your flavour, Izakaya is a casual cool setting for sharing tasty bites.
THE ACTIVITIES The hotel is close to many of Dubai's top attractions, but there are lots of perks that'll tempt you to linger at the property. Take a dip in the sparkling outdoor swimming pool or, for a spot of pampering, head to the opulent Saray Spa, which features 17 treatment rooms and the UAE's only Dead Sea flotation pool. Try The Saray Golden Hammam, which includes a decadent skin massage using 24-karat gold.
To find out more, call +971 4 414 0000 or visit jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com 74 World Traveller
Surroundings to inspire, experiences to remember. Comprising two iconic towers, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is centrally located beside the Dubai Water Canal. The 1,608-rooms hotel has a collection of over 15 award-winning restaurants and bars, a sublime Saray Spa and Club Marquis, and over 8,000 sq m of spectacular indoor and outdoor event space.
JW MarriottÂŽ MarquisÂŽ Hotel Dubai jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, PO Box 121000, Dubai, UAE | T +971 4 414 0000
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai |
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Reader offers Great deals to get you packing
OFFERS ON THE TABLE The winter holidays are upon us and whether you want to wrap up warm and learn to ski in Switzerland, make a flying visit to Cape Town (pictured, and on page 79), or unwind in a luxury hotel on your doorstep, this month's exclusive reader offers are sure to ignite your wanderlustâ€Ś
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THE FANTASTIC FOUR
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DNATA TRAVEL OFFERS
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dinner; and return airport transfers. Validity: Now until 29 November 2018.
SHANGRI-LA LA BARR AL JISSAH RESORT AND SPA HOTEL AL BANDAR 3 nights starting from USD730 per person Special offer: 30% discount on room rate. Includes: Stay in a Deluxe Room with breakfast and dinner daily and return airport transfers. Stay validity: Now until 15 December 2018. GRAND HYATT MUSCAT 2 nights starting from USD309 per person Special offer: 30% discount on room rate. Includes: Stay in a Grand Room with breakfast and dinner daily and return airport transfers. Stay validity: Now until 15 December 2018. Book by 30 November 2018.
Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Autograph Collection
DOWNTOWN ROTANA MANAMA 2 nights starting from USD215 per person Special offer: Complimentary upgrade to next category, early check-in from 10am and late check-out until 3pm. Includes: Stay in a Superior Room with breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now until 30 November 2018.
InterContinental Cairo Semiramis Fairmont The Palm
INTERCONTINENTAL CAIRO SEMIRAMIS 3 nights starting from USD245 per person Special offer: 20% discount on room rate. Includes: Stay in a Standard Room with breakfast and daily and return airport transfers. Validity: Now until 21 December 2018.
By calling dnata on +971 4 316 6666
By stepping into a dnata outlet or by visiting dnatatravel.com
On the website you can also sign up to the dnata newsletter and receive more offers direct to your inbox. T&Cs apply.
THE PERFECT SKI HOLIDAY All-Inclusive by Club Med 7 NIGHTS, ALL-INCLUSIVE + FLIGHTS FROM AED8,899pp*
All-Inclusive package includes:
Premium Rooms Gourmet Cuisine
Expert Childcare Over 60 sports
Ski Lift Pass
...and so much more!
Experience originality at Club Med Saint Moritz Roi Soleil nestled at the foot of the Swiss Alps â€“ the birthplace of Alpine Skiing, an ideal choice for an All-Inclusive, hassle free skiing holiday.
Find out more at www.dnatatravel.com To book call 800 DNATA (36282) or speak to us in-store Download our app
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*Terms & conditions applied. Price is per person based on two people staying seven nights at the 4* Club Med Saint Moritz Soleil Hotel on a all-inclusive basis, with return economy flights. Traveling between 01/12/2018 to 31/03/2019. Subject to availability.
Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara
Win a wild holiday!
WIN A TWO-NIGHT STAY FOR TWO AT DESERT ISLANDS RESORT & SPA BY ANANTARA If you dream of escaping to a desert island, then it doesn't get much better than this stunning resort, just a two-hour drive from Abu Dhabi. We're giving one lucky reader the chance to win a two-night stay for two, inclusive of a wildlife drive for two and daily breakfast. Enter on our website today, and check out the resort at @anantarasirbaniyas
MINI BREAK Our handy guides to trending destinations perfect for a long weekend away
The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
Twiddling your thumbs between issues? Simply visit worldtravellermagazine.com for even more travel inspo, and carry on the conversation on our social channels
Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara
A gem on the doorstep, Abu Dhabi is where old and new combine, creating a magnetic combination of culture, luxury and family-friendly fun. We've rounded up its best bits in our annual Insider guide, available to read on our website now.
Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa
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Chef Anthony Genovese shares his fave restaurants around the globe
TRAVEL NOTES Get top travel tips from those in-the-know in this dedicated section on the website
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TRAVEL INSPIRATION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
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Suite dreams Our monthly finish with a flourish, delving into a suite that has a character and style all of its own
Artist in Residence Suite Conservatorium
If you've a keen eye for art, this carefully curated suite featuring the work of leading Dutch artist Marie CĂŠcile Thijs is sure to pique your interest. With the look and feel of a classic townhouse, it's one of two such suites at this trendy Amsterdam hotel; the other decorated by portrait artist Jasper KrabbĂŠ. And with views of Jan Luijkenstraat from the balcony, a separate kitchenette so you can live like a local, and a deep soaking tub to unwind in, these suites are ideal for longer stays. The hotel's links to the art world extend far beyond the guestrooms, however, thanks to its Artist in Residence programme that showcases a wonderful gallery of contemporary gems, transforming it into a canvas in its own right.
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