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MAR ‘09 Venezuela’s Endless Coast • Feast on Marrakesh • Explore Buenos Aires Watch Sparks Fly at a Fire Festival • Keep Cool in Death Valley


features

las fallas españa Watch sparks fly at a Spanish Fire Festival 27

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dear all, i’m moving to buenos aires The city that inspires a permanent escape

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keep cool in death valley It’s just a walk in the national park


travelmag

MAR’09

departments

get some grub

21

Marrakesh: Eat, Drink, be Merry

have a quickie

23

Istanbul in 24 Hours

where to soak

25

Venezuela’s Endless Coast

learn the lingo

39

¿Como se Dice?


Marrakesh: eat, drink, be MERRY. by Michelle Rial

Join the locals and feast on anything from snails to goat heads in the old town square of Djemaa el Fna.

R

Regarded as having perfected the art of cooked street food, Marrakesh is traditionally the province of the working class. There are hundreds of sidewalk grills scattered throughout both the medina and Guéliz. Step up for a tasty, satisfying meal at one of these institutions; it’s a priceless experience that costs next to nothing. From midday to midnight, choose from grilled minced beef, sausage, lamb chops, brochettes, Moroccan salads, and french fries, supplemented by bread, olives, and hot sauce. No credit cards, clearly. For the ultimate grilling experience, there’s only one place (although some cautious travelers save their sensitive stomachs until their last night). By dusk, more than a hundred stalls sizzle and smoke their way through mountains of fresh meat and vegetables. Step up to the stall of your choice and order from the wild array of perfectly done veggies, salads, kefta (beef patties), merguez sausages, beef brochettes, couscous, and even french fries. In cooler months or during Ramadan, try a bowl of hearty harira (chickpea, lentil, and meat soup) soup or country eggs in homemade bread. The meal starts with free Vendors will do anything to attract bread (to weigh down your paper your attention, from dragging you to place setting) and a hot dipping a seat to chasing you down the lanes. sauce called harissa. The mint tea at the end should be free, too. There’s little continuity of quality, even at the same stall, so it’s potluck and instinct all the way for each sitting. Vendors will do anything to attract your attention, from dragging you to a seat, chasing you down the lanes, and best of all, performing

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Things you can find

snails goat head sprite fresh orange juice

get some:

in DjemAa el Fna lamb kebab olives Couscous apricots pita baklava

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Istanbul in 24 hours by Michelle Rial

Lose yourself on an action-packed layover with our quickie guide to the Turkish capital.

P

People, Istanbul is hot. And we’re not talking about the weather. These days, there are more happening restaurants, bars, galleries and clubs around town than there are exquisite Ottoman mosques (and that’s a lot). The international fashion and design press have been talking up İstanbul ad nauseam, but the most significant thing about the accolade ‘World’s Hippest City’ is that İstanbullus themselves have come believe it. The creeping sense of decrepitude that had fallen like a pall over their once-all-powerful home town has vanished, replaced by a sense of energy and innovation not seen since the days of Süleyman the Magnificent. The city’s over-abundance of important historic buildings and exciting new art galleries and museums provides visitors with more than enough to see during the day, but it’s at night that the place swings into high-velocity, Happening restaurants, bars, mega-stylish action. Locals are galleries, shops and clubs aside flocking to see and be seen at an exquisite Ottoman mosques. ever-growing array of bars, clubs and restaurants, bringing with them an infectious sense of joie de vivre and a discerning ability to judge these places on their standard of service, drinks, music and food as well as their position in the what’s-hotand-what’s-not stakes. smoke thto attract your attention, from dragging

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Itinerary

Wake up and head to Sultanhamet beat the lunch crowds at the spice bazaar

savor a kebab after buying a scarf in the grand bazaar continue the mosque tour at the aya sofia

Have a:

meditate to the call to prayer in the blue mosque

join children, birds, families for a relaxing moment by the bosphorous pick up some corn back in sultanhamet take in the sunset by the fishermen at the galata bridge

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Endless coastline: Venezuela by Michelle Rial

Venezuela boasts the longest stretch of Caribbean coastline to be found in

Every other South American countries are romanticized for the tango, Machu Picchu or Carnaval, Venezuela’s international reputation swirls around oil, the brash political style of President Hugo Chávez and the occasional international beauty pageant winner. However, there is so much more to Venezuela than these typical headlining issues. As a matter of fact, Venezuela is a country of staggering variety and remains a land that is greatly undervisited by international travelers. But you should really see the coast. It is phenomenal. Chevere, they’d say. The country claims Andean peaks; the longest stretch of Caribbean coastline to be found in any single nation; tranquil offshore islands set amid turquoise seas; wetlands teeming with caimans, capybaras, piranhas and anacondas; the steamy Amazon; and rolling savanna punctuated by flattopped mountains called tepuis. The world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls (Salto Ángel), plummets 979m from the top of a tepui in Parque Nacional Canaima. Those seeking adventure will find hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, kitesurfing, windsurfing, paragliding and more. Even Every few minutes a new coastal better, most of these attractions landscape. Just nearby is Aruba, lie within a one-day bus trip or Trinidad. It’s the best of best worlds. a short flight from each other. Those interested in culture can revel in the pulsating salsa clubs of the nation’s capital, Caracas, explore various regional festivals, look for arts and crafts in the bucolic towns of the interior, or check out some of the world’s best up-and-coming baseball players hit a few innings in a

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caribbean guide to an endless coast

playa piscina

cayo azul

WHERE TO:

maiquetia

Coro

manare

venezuela 26


Expect to feel nothing short of sparks at this bonafied Spanish festival of fire.

STORY: ALEX CRUZ | PHOTOS: MICHELLE RIAL


allas are expensive, often ugly, and most often politically incorrect and offensive. Which is probably why it’s so fun to watch them burn. Sometimes ugly, sometimes caricatures, sometimes funny, soemtimes insulting, politically incorrect. sage, lamb chops, brochettes, Moroccan salads, and french fries, supplemented by bread, olives, and hot sauce. No credit cards, clearly. Are Fallas-Sculptures beautiful, gorgeous, aesthetic? it’s a complex question. What is art? Some people don’t like the fallas. They come here with their own expectations of what good art is and they dislike the chaotic pile of the ninots in a falla, and the bright, striking colours. You have to simply accept the fallas for what they are. They are not a form of sophisticated,

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intelectual scuplture. They are a unique form of art that exists only in Valencia. They are a pile of messages united by a theme, sprinkled with humour, sex and caricature. They are a focus of a people’s festival, built to be understood even by simple folk, built to mount over the crowd and intrude into the daily routine. Yes, they are in bold colours, and yes they do resemble a row of caricatures, but this is what the fallas are. In addition, the fallas have their own framework of boundaries to consider. The wooden carcass and the papier-mache do have their limitations and the stuff that the artists finally come up with, considering they are not cutting-edge architects, is truly amazing. For the ultimate grilling experience, there’s only one place (although some cautious travelers save their sensitive stomachs until their last


30


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* *National Park

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Once you get past that the title includes “Death,”

you’ll enjoy salt falts, sand dunes, moonscape

has to offer. Don’t forget the water.

words: alex cruz images: michelle rial

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for various enchanting locations that don’t give Death Valley its name. Dunes and marshes around the salt pan. Most of the year the bed of the Amargosa River is only a series of dry channels. The river brings some water into the southern end of the valley from desert areas to the east, but most of its flow is underground. Salt Creek, draining the northern arm of the valley, also has only short stretches of perennial surface flow. At times in the past, much more water reached Death Valley. During the Wisconsin Glacial Period of the Pleistocene Epoch, (about 50,000 years ago) a body of water -- Lake Manly -- filled the valley to a depth of 600 feet. More recently (from 2,000 to 5,000 years ago), a shallow lake occupied the valley floor. Evaporation of this lake created the present salt pan.dred stalls sizzle and smoke

mountains, and 45 varieties of wildlife that this park

X marks the spot

oth the medina and Guéliz. Step up for a tasty, satisfying meal at one of these institutions; it’s a priceless experience that costs next to nothing. From midday to midnight, choose from grilled minced beef, sausage, lamb chops, brochettes, Moroccan salads, and french fries, supplemented by bread, olives, and hot sauce. No credit cards, clearly. For the ultimate grilling experience, there’s only one place (although some cautious travelers save their sensitive stomachs until their last night). By dusk, more than a hundred stalls sizzle and smoke their way through mountains of fresh meat and vegetables. Step up to the stall of your choice and order from the wild array of perfectly done veggies, salads, kefta (beef patties), merguez sausages, beef brochettes, couscous, and even french fries. In cooler months or during Ramadan, try a bowl of hearty harira (chickpea, lentil, and meat soup)


oth the medina and Guéliz. Step up for a tasty, zle and smoke their way through mountains of satisfying meal at one of these institutions; it’s fresh meat and vegetables. Step up to the stall a priceless experience that costs next to noth- of your choice and order from the wild array of ing. From midday to midnight, choose from perfectly done veggies, salads, kefta (beef patgrilled minced beef, sausage, lamb chops, ties), merguez sausages, beef brochettes, cousbrochettes, Moroccan salads, and french fries, cous, and even french fries. In cooler months supplemented by bread, olives, and hot sauce. or oth the medina and Guéliz. Step up for a No credit cards, clearly. tasty, satisfying meal at one of these instituFor the ultimate grilling experience, there’s tions; it’s a priceless experience that costs next only one place (although some cautious trav- to nothing. From midday to midnight, choose elers save their sensitive stomachs until their from grilled minced beef, sausage, lamb chops, last night). By dusk, more than a hundred brochettes, Moroccan salads, and french fries, stalls sizzle and smoke their way through supplemented by bread, olives, and hot sauce. mountains of fresh meat and vegetables. Step No credit cards, clearly. up to the stall of your choice and order from At times in the past, much more water the wild array of perfectly done veggies, sal- reached Death Valley. During the Wisconads, kefta (beef patties), merguez sausages, sin Glacial Period of the Pleistocene Epoch, beef brochettes, couscous, and even french (about 50,000 years ago) a body of water fries. In cooler months or during Ramadan, -- Lake Manly -- filled the valley to a depth of try a bowl of hearty harira (chickpea, lentil, 600 feet. More recently (from 2,000 to 5,000 and meat soup) soup or country eggs in home- years ago), a shallow lake occupied the valmade bread. The meal starts with free bread ley floor. Evaporation of this ties), merguez (to weigh down your paper place setting) and a sausages, beef brochettes, couscous, and even

34


Tourist Attraction

It’s the place to settle for the people who won’t.

Story by Michelle Rial Photos by Alex Cruz


in


37:wänder:mar’09


Argentina, she decided. I will live in Buenos Aires. I will eat empanadas. I will dance the tango. I will use my rusty Spanish to say words like “Bailamos,” and “Mi casa es tu casa.” She arrived in Buenos Aires with a backback and a complex. Argentina, she said. I am here. Blah blah blah. Medina and

oth the medina and Guéliz. Step up for a tasty, satisfying meal at one of these institutions; it’s a priceless experience that costs next to nothing. From midday to midnight, choose from grilled minced beef, sausage, lamb chops, brochettes, Moroccan salads, and french fries, supplemented by bread, olives, and hot sauce. No credit cards, clearly. For the ultimate grilling experience, there’s only one place (although some cautious travelers save their sensitive stomachs until their last night). By dusk, more than a hundred stalls sizzle and smoke their way through


¿como se DICE? by Michelle Rial

Say whaaat? Spanish. Get your point across with minimal drawings and hand gestures.

Chuchería Chew•chair•e•yaH Candy or junk food. Salty or sweet.

Media Naranja med•yah nah•rahn•HA Literal Translation: Half organge Meaning: Soulmate

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Desnudo/a Des•nude•oh/Ah

learn the:

Naked man: desnudo (OH) Naked woman: desnuda (AH)

Empanada em•pah•nah•dah A savory pastry often filled with meat, cheese or vegetables. 38


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MAR magazine design, concept, photos by michelle alexandra rial

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