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Peninsular M’sia RM12.90 East M’sia RM15.90 1. ESCAPADE Jubilant Publication January 2012

Travel in style

Snow Melted Spring Is Here! Paris in the fall Star’s Choice LEWIS HEMILTON

What to Bring for a Ski Vacation The Vans Penken Park


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CONTENTS

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Editor’s Column

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The Vans Penken Park

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What to Bring for a Ski Vacation

10 Paris in the fall 14 Je T’aime Monte Carlo 22 Snow Melted Spring Is Here! 26 Star’s Choice


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EDITORS’ COLUMN CHIEF EDITOR

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raveling is supposed to be an eye opnening experience. Hence, many of us tend to use the excuse of not have the time to travel. Taking a break from the buzzing , hectic and noisy city could provide tranquilty. People we go out! Make plans! Enjoy some precious moments with your loved ones! Alas, make it worthwhile.

Ahmad Syafiq Azam

ASSISTANT EDITOR

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hen you leave your country for medical treatment abroad you don’t get to take the conHazirah Hassim stitution with you. Evertyhing is well prepared, get organized and made sure to have fun!

EDITOR

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p e n d ing times with your loved ones can be a way to treat your self for a break. Take your time, Izzat Afifi Ismail plan and schedule for a vacation thats gonna be exhaleratng . Remember, there is always a travelling thats suits your family.

Peninsular M’sia RM12.90 East M’sia RM15.90 Jubilant Publication January 2012

Travel in style

ESCAPADE JAN 2012 For this month, ESCAPADE give you story about Four Season Places that you have to try go to fullfil your holiday. There are the places you have to try; The Vans Penken Park, Monte Carlo, Netherland, and Paris. Trip of the Month Exclusive itineraries for ESCAPADE readers from the world’stop tour operators.


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The Vans Penken Park

Photo credits : Reini Rieser by Beckna

The Mayrhofner Bergbahnen have provided a whole slope to build a huge funpark - The Vans Penken Park.

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eginner or pro - there are 5 different lines to choose from according to your skills: the funline, the public line, the proline, thehalfpipe and the kids park. With this setup the Vans Penken Park in Mayrhofen has established itself as a meeting point of the European freestyle scene.

Vans Penken Park in Mayrhofen.An international shaping crew prepares the obstacles every day and designs the parkaccordingtotheriders’wishesand abilities. Especially the Proline is very popularwithprofessionalfreeskiersand snowboarders from all over the world.

Beginnerscantrytheirfirsttricksonmini jumps,advancedriderspracticeonvarious rails and pros take off on perfectly prepared big jumps. Special highlights are, for example, the rainbow-box and the huge wallride at the end of the park. Riders of different levels of experience will find just the right line in the

The Vans Penken Park is one of the biggest sowparks in Europe and the top address for snowboarders and skiers in the Zillertal. In 2010, the freestyle community chose it as Europes best Snowpark. In order to keep this title, there will be lots of innovations and highlights

It’s all about freestyle


ESCAPADE this year. On the 5 lines, freestylers will once again have a huge playground. On the left side of the park, there will be a completely redesigned Medium Line with 3 kickers in a row and several jibs. Right next to it, the Advanced Line will offer jibs and some challenging jumps. And the legendary Pro Line runs right below the 4-person chairlift Sunjet. Moreover, there is the Halfpipe, the redesigned Pro Rail Line and the Beginners Park – so everybody will find their line in the Vans Penken Park. Vans Penken Park is a product from Mayrhofner Bergbahnen. Since the foundation of the Mayrhofner Bergbahnen in 1953 the company as the skiing area has been growing steadily. Whether you like alpine touring or freeriding; you are a freestyler or an adrenalin junkie; you try to ride as many kilometers on the slopes as possible or prefer relaxing in the deck-chair - the ski resort Mayrhofen has something to offer for everyone. From Sunjet to Funjet Thanks to the southern exposition of the slope the landings are soft and smooth in springtime - and you will get a nice tan as well. The four-person chairlift Sunjet is the Funjet of the Vans Penken Park. At the same length of the park, it brings the freestylers back up to the start so they

can have as many runs as possible. And since the lift runs right above the Pro Line, it provides a sensational view on the action in the park. The Vans Penken Park is one of the biggest sowparks in Europe and the top address for snowboarders and skiers in the Zillertal. In 2010, the freestyle community chose it as Europes best Snowpark. In order to keep this title, there will be lots of innovations and highlights this year. On the 5 lines, freestylers will once again have a huge playground. On the left side of the park, there will be a completely redesigned Medium Line with 3 kickers in a row and several jibs. Right next to it, the Advanced Line will offer jibs and some challenging jumps. And the legendary Pro Line runs right below the 4-person chairlift Sunjet. Moreover, there is the Halfpipe, the redesigned Pro Rail Line and the Beginners Park – so everybody will find their line in the Vans Penken Park.

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What to Bring for a Ski Vacation

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ki vacation packing is an art and a science, which requires you to predict weather patterns, choose the appropriate gear and clothing and somehow fit everything into a minimal amount of luggage. Winter resort packing is further complicated by the need for both on-slope and off-slope clothing. Careful planning along with creative spatial skills can optimize the ski vacation packing process.


ESCAPADE Skis If you have more than one pair of skis, check the predicted snowfall patterns to determine the best skis for the conditions. The National Weather Service Hydrometeorological Center’s website provides the most objective weather predictions. If heavy snowfall is not predicted, choose your all-mountain skis as opposed to your powder skis. When powder is predicted, be sure to bring the powder bowls for your ski poles. Twin-tip skis perform well in the terrain park and half-pipe, but only some are suitable for the rest of the mountain. All-mountain skis can function in most conditions. Most specialty skis are only suitable for special conditions. Unless you’re planning to bring more than one pair, which may incur extra airline charges if you’re flying, choose your most versatile skis. Ski Boots, Ski Socks and Boot Protectors Your boots combined with the appropriate ski socks are your most important pieces of ski equipment. If you’re flying, include them your carry-on luggage. Place your ski socks in a plastic bag and stuff them into your boots. Walking through the base area can damage your ski boots. Some companies make a product called cat tracks, which can be slipped on the bottom of your boots. These inexpensive products are available at most ski and sporting goods shops. Ski Clothes Pack at least two pairs of waterproof, wind-resistant ski pants and a waterproof, wind-resistant ski jacket. Bring at least two turtleneck fleece shirts and one pullover to wear over the fleece. Long Underwear Your long underwear is your moisturewicking layer of clothing, which is responsible for keeping you warm and dry. Bring a few pairs of long-sleeved thermal undershirts and underpants or bring some travel packets of Woolite. Stuff your thermal underwear into your ski bag to cushion your skis.

Ski Helmet and Helmet Liners Ski helmets protect your head from injury and keep your head warm. It’s challenging to find one that fits your head shape and works with your goggles, so be sure to bring your own. If you tend to get really cold, helmet liners fit under your helmet and have neck gaiters attached. You can fold it up and place it in your jacket pocket. Goggles Ultraviolet sun rays are more intense at a high-altitude environment. Ski goggles can protect your eyes from the sun. Avoid crushing them by packing them in your carry-on bag if you’re flying to your destination. Don’t forget your goggle wipes for snowy conditions. Sunscreen and Mositurizer High Country Health Care, medical providers in Summit County, Colorado, recommends applying SPF 15 to 30 sunscreen before going out to the slopes. The high-altitude air is drying, so bring moisturizer and apply it at night. Place these items in a Ziplock bag and stuff them into your ski boots. Walking Shoes and Ice Protection In their attempt to create a “green” environment, many ski resorts limit the amount of ice they use to deice the sidewalks. This often results in slippery conditions. Pack a pair of sturdy, waterproof shoes. Many ski town residents stay safe by using a product called Yak Trax, which can be attached to the bottom of the shoes. Gloves and Hand Warmers Bring two pairs of gloves--one for the slopes and the other for off-slope activities. If you tend to have cold hands, bring hand warmer packets; they are expensive at the resorts. Bathing Suit There’s nothing worse than discovering that the resort has a wonderful hot tub and realizing that you forgot to bring a bathing suit.

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Paris in the fall


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Autumn may just be my favorite time of year in Paris. There’s this contagious surge of energy as people roll back into town and get back to business, and a wave of exciting exhibits, shows, and new movies fill the events guides. Then there’s that hint of the approaching winter, and walks in the crisp air. It’s a heady mix.

Why to Love Paris in the Fall Airfares take a dip as low season returns Booking a hotel at reasonable rates is less of a challenge Paris gets a surge of new energy as locals return to business Festive celebrations and fall foliage Paris in the Fall Cons: In late October and November, days can be cold and dark Outdoor activities can be unpleasant in later part of season Parisians often exhibit SAD syndromes (Seasonal Affective Disorder)-- not always a cheery time around the city

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Walking in Paris is the best way for a visitor to get to know the 20 snail-wrapped Paris arrondissements. La rentrée marks the official end of summer and the cooler autumn weather makes this the ideal time to explore Paris parks. Paris has more trees than any other capital city in Europe, most commonly the platane à feuille d’érable (Maple Leaf Plane). The French typically sculpt these treetops into squares, as you’ll see along the Champs-Élysées. The city is also dotted with London plane trees, beech, sycamores, and chestnuts. These, like most trees in Europe, turn various hues of gold as the weather chills. In the middle of the first arrondissement, between the Seine

and the Louvre, the Jardin des Tuileries is part of a wide esplanade that extends from the Louvre all the way to La Défense and its Grande Arche. While you don’t want to follow in every one of her footsteps, you might fancy yourself royal as you walk the same tree-lined paths royals like Marie Antoinette frequently strolled. Formality aside, children will love this walk with its play park at the north end and trampoline fun for an extra €2. Hungry? Stop by the Paul Boulangerie cart up near the Arc du Carrousel du Louvre to get what you need for a picnic or sit at the crêpe and dessert stand. Like many Paris parks, you’ll see many green chairs beneath the trees and surrounding the basin where children play with rented sailboats. The garden has 20-some different species of trees like Mulberry and Judas. There are numerous sculptures throughout too, with the 18 statues by French Catalan sculptor and painter Aristide Maillol being visitor favorites.


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JE TA’IME MONTE CARLO 14

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With no natural resources to exploit other than its location and climate. The principality has become a resort for tourists and a tax haven for businesses.


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Monaco Cathederal ceiling

Monaco Cathederal Enterance

Monaco Cathederal guards


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Majestic Monaco T

he principality of Monaco or the city-state Monaco lies in between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, bounded by the French Riviera to the west and the Italian Riviera to the east. This is the second smallest independent state in the world (after the Vatican) and is almost entirely urban. Monte Carlo is not the capital of Monaco but a government district. The country is divided into four areas: Monaco-Ville (the old city), the Condamine (port quarter), Monte-Carlo (business and recreation), and Fontvieille (recreation and light industry). With no natural resources to exploit other than its location and climate, the principality has become a resort for tourists and a tax haven for businesses. Monaco is six times the size of the Vatican and the world’s most densely populated independent country. The principality of Monaco offers a great balance of historical and modern attractions. There are various museums and palaces to visit as well as shopping malls and casinos. Monaco also offers relaxation spots along the harbor and even around the attractions. It is relatively easy to navigate Monte Carlo and Monaco if you take the time to learn where the various “short cuts” are. City maps are generally available at most news vendor stands and shops for a small fee.

Getting There? The nearest airport is the Nice Côted’Azur International, which is around 40 kilometers (24.85 miles) away from the city-centre in neighboring France. It operates daily flights to nearly all of Europe’s main cities, such as London and Paris. There are regular Rapide Cote D’Azur buses connecting Monte Carlo with both the terminals at Nice Cote-D’Azur airport, and taxis are always available outside the terminal buildings - although make sure a fee is agreed in advance or the meter is indeed switched on at the start of the journey, as shady French taxi drivers are notorious for charging tourists whatever they see fit.

“With no natural resources to exploit other than its location and climate, the principality has become a resort for tourists and a tax haven for businesses.” Getting Around? Walking is by far the best way to get around Monaco; however, there are some areas, such as the Exotic Gardens, that require a large change in elevation and therefore make for rather strenuous hikes. If you find yourself afoot and wanting to reach the opposite bank of Port Hercule, look for the small pedestrian-only ferry that runs each 20 minutes or so during daylight; it costs only one Euro.

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Clockwise: Concierge at Hotel Hermitage Beaumarchais, view from the hotel suite and the bar on top of the hotel


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View of Hotel Hermitage Beaumarchais

Accomodation

Hotel Hermitage Beaumarchais

If you’re on a budget, Monaco is not the best place to be. For example, a two star hotel without breakfast and bathroom will cost around €60 per person. A better option is to stay in one of the many towns outside of Monaco, for example Ventimiglia, which is a sea-side town situated on the French-Italian border on the Italian side. Nice is only 1/2 hour away from Monaco and it’s very cheap to use the frequent trains. During the winter season, a comfortable two star hotel will only cost you about €20 a person. The Monaco Tourism center staff will also sit down and make phone calls to assist walk-ins in finding accomodation. Even if you ask for “cheap” lodging.

Perched on a clifftop, the Hermitage offer idylic living at its best. The majority of rooms have balconies, so guests can have stunning views from their rooms. While the hotel is quite old, all amenities and features and modern and elegant in their styling and a stay here is truly well deserved. The SBM’s Carte d’Or offers the Hermitage’s guests transport and access to the facilities of the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel and Les Thermes Marins spa. 320€528€ ($416-$686) double; 568€-792€ ($738-$1,030) junior suite; from 1,596€ ($2,075) suite.


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top dollar!

If your wallet permits it, try your Saying goodbye! luck in the Grand Casino and gamble alongside the world’s richest and often In many ways, the Respect section of most famous. You’ll need your pass- the France page can detail how to be port to enter (as Monégasque citizens respectful toward the Monegasque are prohibited from gambling at the population, but it should be noted that casino), and the fees for entry range Monaco is a separate nation and it enormously dewould be very inpending on what sulting to casually “If your wallet permits conflate the two. room you are going to - often from it, try your luck in the Keep in mind that 30€ right up into populaGrand Casino and Monaco’s the hundreds. You tion retain their gamble alongside the own history, their can also visit the casino without world’s richest and often own culture, and gambling, but also their own lifestyle. most famous.” for a nominal fee. With that in mind, The dress code ineveryone is apside is extremely proachable, hapstrict - men are required to wear coats py to chat with you and globally simand ties, and casual or ‘tennis’ shoes are ply kind. Directions or other help are forbidden. The gaming rooms them- only a smile and a question away. The selves are spectacular, with stained gaming rooms themselves are specglass, paintings, and sculptures ev- tacular, with stained glass, paintings, erywhere. There are two other more and sculptures everywhere. There are Americanized casinos in Monte Carlo. two other more Americanized casinos Neither of these has an admission fee, in Monte Carlo. Neither of these has and the dress code is more casual. an admission fee, and the dress code is more casual. The Monaco Opera House or Salle Garnier was built by the famous archi- The principality of Monaco offers a tect Charles Garnier. The auditorium great balance of historical and modof the opera house is decorated in red ern attractions. There are various muand gold and has frescoes and sculp- seums and palaces to visit as well as tures all around the auditorium. Look- shopping malls and casinos. Monaco ing up to the ceiling of the auditorium, also offers relaxation spots along the the visitor will be blown away by the harbor and even around the attracsuperb paintings. The opera house is tions. It is relatively easy to navigate flamboyant but at the same time very Monte Carlo and Monaco if you take beautiful. There have been some of the the time to learn where the various most superior international perfor- “short cuts” are. City maps are genermances of ballet, opera and concerts ally available at most news vendor held in the opera house for more than stands and shops for a small fee. a century; consider taking in a show during your visit... but expect to pay

Monaco F1 Grand Prix


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The inside Monaco Opera House

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Theater performance in Monaco Opera House

The Grand Casino of Monte Carlo


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Snow Melted The

Western Netherlands is the most visited part of the Netherlands and is a very diverse region. It is home to the largest cities of the country, but it also boasts the most typical Dutch rural landscape. Its four provinces are among the most densely populated areas in the world. Much of its territory is part of the Randstad, a conurbation with more than 7.5 million inhabitants that is the economic heart of the Netherlands. It consists of the four largest cities of the country (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) and their surrounding areas. Randstad is the Dutch word for “rim city�, as it is shaped like a circle with an

empty space in the middle. That center is known as the Green Heart, a rural area that mostly consists of pancake flat polders, forests and lakes. The Randstad is an economical powerhouse that much of the other regions in the country rely on. Amsterdam is an important center of the financial world, and many multinationals have based their headquarters in the city’s financial center Zuidas (South Axis). Close to that district is Schiphol Airport, which currently is the fifth busiest airport of the continent. Trade is probably the most important economic activity in the Netherlands,


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Spring Is Here! and that all is due to its geographic location. The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port of Europe and its trade over the Rhine with the German Ruhr area is an important engine for the Dutch economy. The Hague is the country’s political center: the Binnenhof is where the country’s most important political decisions are made. It is often known as the “judicial capital of the world”: it is home to some of the most important international institutions, such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Perminent

Court of Arbitration, among dozens of others. Traditional Holland The Holland of cheese, windmills, clogs and polders can best be seen in the countryside. Most foreigners at least incorporate a visit to the Waterland and Zaan Region — a traditional region of small villages where a traditional folk culture is still present. The most visited attraction of the area is the Zaanse Schans, which is only 10 km north of Amsterdam. It’s a cute display of typical Dutch windmills. Volendam is a well-known traditional fishing village, often visited for its

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“Every Spring, the Bulb Region becomes alive with miles and miles of enormous flower fields — including tulips.”

Tulips meadow in Western Netherland

magnificent waterfront boulevard and its people wearing old Dutch costumes. More authentic nearby communities include Monnickendam and Marken, the latter with its characteristic wooden houses. All About Gouda Another famous export product of Holland is cheese, and you might

Various colours tulip for choice

want to catch a traditional cheese market. The largest cheese market of the Netherlands is held in Alkmaar. Gouda is world-famous for its Gouda cheese, and that town also has its own cheese market. The cheese market of Edam is another fair choice if you want to see (and taste) some. Beemster also has its own cheese, which is sold all over the world, but more interesting is

Worker’s routine every morning


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The World’s Famous Gouda Cheese

World’s Famous Goudkantoor Groningen

Netherlands Water Canals

the Beemster Polder. Because of its historical relevance, and because the original grid pattern of the area is still largely intact, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999.

Kinderdijk, about 20 km east from Rotterdam, are very authentic and make a great stroll through the countryside. Delft is also a mustsee for its typical Dutch blue and white ceramics.

Tulips Galore

Have A Safe Journey

Beside the Gouda cheese market, South Holland has a lot more typical Hollandic scenery on offer. Every Spring, the Bulb Region becomes alive with miles and miles of enormous flower fields — including tulips. Hundreds of thousands of visitors go to the Keukenhof each year to see its beautifully arranged flowers. The windmills at

The Western region is safe in general. There are some outer suburbs that are better avoided, especially in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, but these are mostly outside of the typical tourist spots.


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Which was your best holiday?

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cinema and went to a theatre to see a show – Nicole really likes that kind of stuff.

’ve been travelling since I was about 10, but during the past couple of years I’ve been on some seriously nice holidays and the best We somehow managed one was in Paris with to walk around without the girlfriend [Nicole being recognised. I had Scherzinger]. It was a hoodie on and a hat, “Travelling can at the beginning of and we just mingled be stressful and I still in. our relationship and it was, for me, haven’t figured out the the best holiday I’ve That’s the last time I best way to be most can ever had. remember being able to do that berelaxed” Our hotel room cause now it would be had a view of the Eiffel impossible for us to walk Tower and the service down the Champs-Elysées was amazing, and I think I without being noticed. Espeimpressed the girl because she’s still cially Nicole. She’s the one who gets with me. Paris is very romantic, but all the attention. it’s also really cool – it’s got great history and it’s a little bit like London in What’s your best piece of travel admany ways. We got a boat and went vice? along the Seine, we went up the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Travelling can be stressful and I still haven’t figured out the best way We went to lots of different restau- to be most relaxed. But getting to the rants and ate Japanese food, which airport early and planning help. I hate we weren’t really expecting to have in waiting in queues, so I either get there Paris. And we ate in one really good early or at the end. Don’t get there in Italian restaurant – just by the river – between because then everyone is in although I don’t know what its name is the queue. Now I always go as late as I and I probably couldn’t find it again. can so I miss the queues. It was our first proper holiday together and it was just fun – we laughed the whole time. We also went to the

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