We are opening up frontiers and we are revealing the best travel destinations in Magazine 6A, our monthly digital publication. A new way of seeing the word, with 14 editions now available in 11 languages to whet your travel appetite. Sit back and follow us on an adventure that starts right now.

Cover

Number 9

December 2016

Lisbon

Lisbon

Street stories

“Terra firma is no more than a place to pass through.”

Adventure

The best places in the world for your wedding photos

Romantic

Live like a king in Rajasthan

Luxury

Contents

Magazine

Contents

Contents

Number 9

Lisbon

Street stories

Lisbon's reflection shines in the Tagus, along whose reclaimed banks residents now walk with a little more pride, as time has only increased its beauty.

Raquel Tavares

“It's people who make cities”

With traditional notes and contemporary chords, singer Raquel Tavares and composer and musician Rodrigo Leão write the score and add the vocals to Lisbon.

Rodrigo Leâo

“Lisbon is present in my music”

Rodrigo Leão’s career is a metaphor for Portugal’s evolution. Without turning his back on his roots and traditions, he has absorbed outside influences to take his music all over the world.

Romantic

The best places in the world for your wedding photos

The setting may make the difference between a conventional wedding and an extraordinary one. Most likely both will be unforgettable, but the second will definitely have better photos.

Young people

Nimbin: return to the 70s

Active communes, caravans decorated with the peace symbol and psychedelic t-shirts, all in the wilderness. We travel in time, to Nimbin, the last hippie paradise.

Luxury

Live like a king in Rajasthan

Upholstered rooms, hunting trophies and four-poster beds. Maharajas have transformed their palaces into luxury hotels that recreate their former splendour. These are the Hiltons of India.

Getaways

Start the new year first, in Kiribati

It is one of the least-visited countries in the world, and its inhabitants will be the first to welcome 2017. Celebrate with them in this unexplored paradise.

Adventure

“Terra firma is no more than a place to pass through.”

Unwilling to live inland, he seeks to “discover new seas” and the “cultures that surround them”. “I analyse the relationship between humans and the sea,” explains Enric Adrian Gener.

Top 6a

The most inaccessible monasteries

Religious devotion has led to sanctuaries being built in the most remote places on the planet. Reaching these temples might almost require a miracle, but it’s a real sin if you don’t go.

Travelbeats

Fashionable hotels and restaurants, ground-breaking galleries, new openings and the hottest hotspots on the planet all await you here.

Staff

The contents of the present digital publication (www.passenger6a.com) have been provided by CENTRO DE INFORMACIÓN TURÍSTICA FEED BACK S.L, with registered office C/ Santiago Bernabeu, 10, 3º - B, Madrid 28036 and Tax registration number B-82065137 (hereafter, "TRAVELVIEW" ).

TRAVELVIEW is the holder of all digital publication contents, especially, images, videos, articles and editorial contents of varied Tourist Information.

For information purposes,TRAVELVIEW has compiled the content of the digital publication, specially, images, videos, articles and editorial contents of varied Tourist Information, Users being responsible for informing themselves and complying with the necessary requirements to go on any trip (in passport, visa, vaccine terms, etc.).

The exclusive transferee for the said content is TUI Spain S.L.U, with their official address in Calle Mesena, 22, 2º Derecha, 28033 - Madrid (Spain).

Therefore, viewing and loading of the digital publication contents is only permitted for personal and non-commercial use. In no event, will the users be allowed to transfer the content to third persons or entities. The copying, distribution, modification, reproduction, transmission, publication, giving or sale of the Content hosted in the digital publication is also expressly forbidden, as well as the creation of new products or services derived from the content of the digital publication.\n

The contents of the present digital publication (www.passenger6a.com) have been provided by CENTRO DE INFORMACIÓN TURÍSTICA FEED BACK S.L, with registered office C/ Santiago Bernabeu, 10, 3º - B, Madrid 28036 and Tax registration number B-82065137 (hereafter, "TRAVELVIEW" ). TRAVELVIEW is the holder of all digital publication contents, especially, images, videos, articles and editorial contents of varied Tourist Information. For information purposes,TRAVELVIEW has compiled the content of the digital publication, specially, images, videos, articles and editorial contents of varied Tourist Information, Users being responsible for informing themselves and complying with the necessary requirements to go on any trip (in passport, visa, vaccine terms, etc.). The exclusive transferee for the said content is TUI Spain S.L.U, with their official address in Calle Mesena, 22, 2º Derecha, 28033 - Madrid (Spain). Therefore, viewing and loading of the digital publication contents is only permitted for personal and non-commercial use. In no event, will the users be allowed to transfer the content to third persons or entities. The copying, distribution, modification, reproduction, transmission, publication, giving or sale of the Content hosted in the digital publication is also expressly forbidden, as well as the creation of new products or services derived from the content of the digital publication.

Javier García

Publishing Director

Jorge Martín

CMO

Pablo Olmos Adamowich

Creative Director

Carmen Ovalle

Editor in Chief

Lucía Martín

Writer

Guadalupe Rodríguez

Writer

Amanda Franco

Writer

Erika González

Writer

Elena Arranz

Writer

Patricia Gardeu

Writer

Alejandra Abad

Writer

Carmen Domenech

Accounts Manager

Clara Gil

Accounts Manager

Nuria Cabot

Marketing Manager

Ana García

International Strategy Manager

Aurelio Cabra

Community Manager

José António Alves

International Content Editor

Cova García

Designer

Álvaro Calleja

Technical Manager

Santiago García

Development Manager

Roberto González

Programmer

Sergio Cieza

Programmer

Natalia García

Programmer

Carlos Luján

Photo director

Beatriz Iznaola

Account executive

Laura García

Account executive

Report - Lisbon

Magazine

Destination

Lisbon

Street stories

Text:

Guadalupe Rodríguez

Photos:

Carlos Luján

Video:

Kreativa Visual

Lisbon's reflection shines in the Tagus, along whose reclaimed banks residents now walk with a little more pride, as time has only increased its beauty.\n

L

isbon doesn't change, it evolves. More than 3.5 million tourists visited the Portuguese capital in 2015, in line with the 20% increase recorded across Portugal that same year. While Lisbon has been on the travel map for several years, the city is now setting its sights on mass tourism.\n

One of Lisbon's virtues is that it has known how to reuse its past.

Among the factors designed to make visitors feel more welcome is the ongoing revamping of the city’s accommodation options, with boutique hotels blessed with outdoor terraces popping up across central areas of the city, among them the H10 Duque de Loulé, Hotel Bairro Alto and Memmo Alfama, along with a proliferation of designer ‘hostels’, ranging from The Independente, in the fashionable Príncipe Real area, to Brickoven, based in a mansion that once housed a convent.\n

\n

Lisbon has no shortage of things to see and do, thanks in no small part to its wealth of monuments, the character of its buildings decorated with tiles, and its delicious gastronomy. This, plus the fact that run-down industrial areas and the banks of the river Tagus have been given a major facelift have all combined to offer even more leisure and cultural options to tourists and locals alike. This includes the green esplanade along Ribeira das Naus, Plaza del Comerço, where sculptor Joana Vasconcelos has reinvented the Barcelos traditional cockerel in pop style, all the way to the recently opened MAAT - Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology - close to Belém, which looks like becoming Lisbon's answer to the Guggenheim.

“The crisis has been good for creativity,” says Roger Mor as he shows us round LX Factory. It's an old thread factory now converted into a small district where more than 1,000 people connected with the arts and liberal professions now work. \n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

Cataplana with river views

If you're looking to get stuck into traditional Portuguese cooking, you have to try the ‘cataplanas’. These are seafood stews based on potatoes and either fish or shellfish, although they can also be made with meat, and their name comes from the pot and lid in which they're made. If you can get to eat one of these stews on a terrace in Praça de Comerço, like the one at Populi, the only other requirement to achieve perfection is that the sun comes out.\n

Amongst the art galleries, shops, restaurants, ‘coworkshops’ and even an ‘escape room’ with a ‘burlesque’ atmosphere is Landeu, a café that only serves chocolate cake and the Ler Devagar bookstore (“Read slowly” in Portuguese). This old printing works is home to the kinetic sculptures of Pietro Proserpio, giving the place an atmosphere remeniscent of the films ‘Amélie’ and ‘Hugo’. Like many businesses, they have reclaimed and reused the old factory furniture. Restaurant and cocktail bar Río Maravilha has taken over the workers' former dining area and common room to create a space for sharing experiences, especially at dusk from the terrace alongside the 25 de Abril suspension bridge.\n

Main Side, the real estate promoter that Mor works for, wants to put the soul back into these places. Just as the firm has brought art to LX Factory with graffiti works by Brazilian artist Derlon, it has respected the past while offering a new future. It has also turned a series of venues into essential hotspots on Lisbon's nightlife scene, such as Pensâo Amor, an old brothel which is now a trendy bar with pole dancing shows included, and Casa de Pasto restaurant, with a wine bar on the ground floor and a dining area upstairs decorated like a traditional house, mixing kitsch features like flying pigs in the smoking room with some very interesting cuisine. Both are in the Cais do Sodré area, where you can also find the Time Out Market in the Mercado da Ribeira. This, together with the Mercado de Oubrique, is an example of how traditional markets coexist with small take away stalls, often with well-known chefs behind the scenes, inviting you to sit and eat at shared tables.
 
“A nation's cuisine is its culture and is a better way of familiarising yourself with it than visiting monuments,” says José Avillez, a chef with two Michelin stars who has brought creativity and new techniques to Portuguese cooking without neglecting traditional flavours and ingredients. In addition to Belcanto restaurant, he has also recently opened multi-space premises in Lisbon like Bairro and Cantinho de Avillez, where you can buy cooked meats, cheese and preserves and try their more informal recipes. These recent initiatives, such as Palacio Chiado, which has turned some of the rooms in a palatial residence owned by the family of the Marquis of Pombal into bars and restaurants, are just a few of the new venues proving that the gastronomy scene in Lisbon has so much more to offer than just cod and sardines. “There's still a lack of financial stability for restaurants just opening, and we need a greater presence of fusion cuisine and more international chefs coming to cook in Lisbon,” adds Avillez. \n

\n

The Lisbon coast

Doca de Santo Amaro, the leisure area next door to the yachting marina, is a good place to stop for lunch or dinner before embarking on  a trip down the river. Even better, hop aboard a sailing yacht like the ones run by river boating company and sailing school Terra Incógnita, to visit the coastal towns of Cascais, Estoril, Sesimbra and Comporta, where the international jet set flock to the endless beaches.\n

The food critic and director of the Peixe em Lisboa Duarte Calvâo festival agrees that, although Portugal has embraced influences from many cultures, the cuisines of its former colonies, like Angola, Cape Verde, Brazil and Goa, are still not sufficiently represented. One of the pioneers in brining international gastronomy to Lisbon is chef Kiko Martins. After touring 23 in a little over one year, he loaded his personal GPS with maps of flavours and brought the world to Portugal, to use his own words. “I don't like calling it fusion cuisine, because cooking is already fusion in itself,” explains the chef, whose latest restaurant, O Asiático, has just joined his other ventures, A Cevicheria, serving Peruvian food, and O Talho, focusing on meat.
 
Even so, what's currently available in Lisbon's restaurants covers the demands of all kinds of customers. “It's a good time; a more elaborate style of cuisine is being produced and initiatives are taking notice of people's preferences,” adds Duarte Calvâo. You can find anything from restaurants based on a single good product, like the food by pioneering restaurant owner Olivier da Costa K.O.B and Yakuza, through to taverns where you can ‘petiscar’ (nibble) on several small dishes or portions with a glass of wine, in the style of the old ‘carboneria’ bars run by Galicians. La Taberna da Rua das Flores, which sources its organic ingredients directly from Portuguese producers, is a good example of how innovative initiatives featuring traditional Portuguese cooking are being blended with other cultures in a setting recreated with elements rescued from old barber's shops, pharmacies and fire engine garages, outside whose doors customers wait to be seated.\n

And that’s not forgetting the sweet treats stocked in Lisbon's numerous ‘pastelarias’ (cake shops), ranging from the famous ‘pasteis de nata’ (cream cakes) to Bettina and Niccolò Corallo chocolates. Here in Portugal, the coffee to wash it all down with is unfailingly strong, usually a robust torrefacto roast, mixed with Arabica. Finally, to round it all off, a ‘ginjinha’, the traditional cherry liquor that you can buy and drink in the bars and cafés around Rossio square.\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

Crafts and designer shopping

Like food and drink in Lisbon, designers also know how infuse their traditional crafts with a more contemporary touch. In the mansion and now shopping centre of Embaixada, in Praça do Príncipe Real, Portuguese designers, artists and antique dealers cluster round a Neo-Arab style courtyard. The notebooks and exercise books, cosmetics, textiles, cork and ceramic products on sale there, and in other shops like A Vida Portuguesa, More than Wine, Claus Porto and Cerámicas na Linha, have been made in the exactly the same way for decades, although they now seem to have been produced expressly for the craze for everything vintage. One of Lisbon's qualities is that it has known how to reuse, but not recreate, its past.

Craft products are presented in an aura of grand design, something that needs to be promoted more, say Helena and Miguel Amante, the eighth generation of shoe designers and manufacturers for the Eleh brand. Speaking from the reclaimed workshop in the Bairro Azul district where they strive to preserve authenticity, they defend the difference between products made in Portugal and those from Lisbon, a city where “you don't find the same as in other European cities”. Proof of this is when the best souvenir is a tin of sardines.\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

Interview - Raquel Tavares

Magazine

Interview

“It's people who make cities”

This month's passenger

Raquel Tavares

With traditional notes and contemporary chords, singer Raquel Tavares and composer and musician Rodrigo Leão write the score and add the vocals to Lisbon.\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

Fado, a Portuguese genre of folk music that dates back to the 19th century, is regarded as transgressive and ‘bairrista’ (belonging to working-class neighbourhoods). Much like singer Raquel Tavares, who with her latest album, ’Raquel’, shows how she has developed since she began singing Fados at the age of six. She defends her home district of the Alfama in Lisbon with all the passion of her gypsy roots.\n

It’s here that you will find the Fado Museum, where her picture appears in a mural made up of photos of a new generation of Fado artists, people of her age, alongside names like Mariza, Carminho and Ana Moura. Instead of a forward-facing portrait pose, Tavares is shown in profile, singing on stage at one of the concerts she gives all over the world. Up until the age of 17, she would perform at up to three different Fado houses a night. And, while her love for these traditional venues remains as strong as ever, these days she’s more likely to be in sitting in the audience than she is up on stage.
 
“Fado happens wherever there's a singer, a Portuguese guitar and a double bass. Now, where can you listen to it? Luckily there are many Fado houses, in the Alfama, Barrio Alto and Mouraria districts. Although I admit I don't go that often, three of them in particular are important to me: Senhor Vino, A Adega O Faia and Casa de Linhares. Three houses I love going to, where the food is great, the people are fantastic, there's a good, traditional atmosphere, you listen to good music and I feel at home.”
 
Above all, Tavares feels at home in her native Alfama district, where bars serving traditional food rub shoulders with Fado houses, and where the locals hanging their washing out greet each other on the street and then welcome the tourists who rent their houses for a few days like one of the family. \n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

In Lisbon, which “became cosmopolitan but stayed traditional”, she also adores the Chiado district. “It's a place for shopping in the old city centre. This area is epic like Baixa and the Castelo de São Jorge for obvious reasons. Not just for its incredible views but also for its history. The architectural area of Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery is amazing too.”
 
Although she enjoys the most popular parts of the city, she really loves being among the locals. “Wherever I go I like to be with the people who live there. It's true that going to Belém is lovely, but it's the people that make cities what they are. So I think it's more interesting to walk round the districts, like Bairro Alto, Mouraria and Cais do Sodré, where there's all kinds of music at night, with people who have no prejudices, because Lisbon is a very open city.”
 
The city's size, with 1 million inhabitants, its feeling of safety and the ease with which you can get around by taxi are just some of the good things that Tavares finds about visiting the Portuguese capital. “Nine out of every ten restaurants are good ones. It's difficult not to eat well! What more can I say? I'm from Lisbon, it really shows. Come to Lisbon!”\n

\n

\n

Interview - Rodrigo Leão

Magazines

Interview

“Lisbon is present in my music”

This month's passenger

Rodrigo Leâo

Rodrigo Leão’s career is a metaphor for Portugal’s evolution. Without turning his back on his roots and traditions, he has absorbed outside influences to take his music all over the world.\n

\n

Since he started out in the 80s as part of the groups Sétima Legião first and Madredeus later, composer, keyboard player and guitarist Rodrigo Leão has gone back to the roots of Portuguese music, reclaiming instruments like the accordion. He has mixed them with a wide range of influences, from British pop to new age and Brazilian music, building a career as a soundtrack and album composer and collaborator with several notable singers. “Portuguese music has a very strong identity. Not just Fado; there are other groups that are closer to Portuguese folk music,” he says, sitting in 100 Maneiras restaurant close to his home, on the same sofa where the cover photo was taken for his latest album ‘Life is Long’, together with Scott Matthew.\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

When he isn't on tour, Leão divides his time between Alentejo, where he finds the peace and quiet he needs to compose, and Lisbon. There, he likes to walk around Chiado and along the banks of the Tagus, from Cais do Sodré to Alcântara. “The walk takes an hour there and back, against a backdrop of extraordinary light. Cais do Sodré and Barrio Alto are two places with a lot of movement at night, with young people, lots of bars and restaurants. For people who like a lively nightlife they're the best places in Lisbon.” If, on the other hand you're after a quieter atmosphere, Leão recommends Praça das Flores, near Príncipe Real, and Estrela garden.
 “In Lisboa they've opened new venues where you can listen to live music, more restaurants... Lisbon has been given a new lease of life, not only at night but during the day as well. There are more shows running every day. Not only in summer, with all the festivals, where you get the most famous pop rock groups, there's also a packed programme at show venues like the Coliseum at the Belém Cultural Centre that didn't exist ten years ago,” says the musician happily.
 
“Of course I feel that there's something of Lisbon, of Portugal, in my music because I love living here. It may not be very obvious but there are some melodies that are very Portuguese. There's a certain melancholy that's very typical of Portugal, that's very present in the songs I try to write.” But Leão assures us that this melancholnia or romanticism isn't necessarily sad, but can actually be the opposite. “There's a little sadness, a little melancholy, but there's poetry and hope too; living near the sea, having wine, food, it's all part of our culture.”\n

Book Passenger 6A Stories

Book

Passenger6A Stories

Romantic

Magazine

Romantic

The best places in the world for your wedding photos

The setting may make the difference between a conventional wedding and an extraordinary one. Most likely both will be unforgettable, but the second will definitely have better photos.\n

\n

I will always love you

No matter how much time goes by, some places never go out of fashion when pledging your eternal love. Cappadocia, Turkey, Venice and Cinque Terre, Italy and Santorini, Greece, are some of the classic romantic destinations to make it onto the list. We keep on falling in love with them.\n

T

he traditional altar photo is a far cry from striking a pose at the foot of the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Iceland, or under a cloak of stars in Yosemite National Park, California. These are some of the places people have chosen to say “I do”, while also taking the art of wedding photography to the next level, in photos gathered through a contest run by specialist website Junebug Weddings. Fifty snapshots on a round-the-world smooch. In these pics, newly-wed couples look into each other’s eyes as if there were nothing else on the planet. This is difficult to comprehend when you consider the beautiful landscapes surrounding them: from mountains and deserted roads, to urban scenes, frozen at a special moment. The classics are there too, including the Eiffel Tower and Central Station, New York. These are just a few of the thousands of photographs submitted to this competition.
\n

Iceland is one of the favourite places for those seeking luxuriant nature and wild romanticism for the happiest day of their lives. Elizabeth and Brian, who wanted to find a “beautiful, adventurous and unique” place, opted for the land of fire and ice. “We also hoped to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights.” And they were in luck, with the aurora borealis shining on their wedding night. Mait, of M&J Studios, was behind the camera, ready to immortalise the moment. They were also two very special days for him and his assistant. The photo shoot took place at several locations, including the most extreme place any of them had ever visited.

On the way to Jökulsárlón glacial lake, they decided to visit an ice cave. “The cave forms every autumn and is unique every year, as it completely melts down in the spring. It being there in March was a small miracle.” The miracle did not go unnoticed by the judging panel, which included one of the photos of this cave in its selection of the best wedding destinations for 2016.\n

\n

Photo: James Frost

Bombo Quarry, Australia

\n

Seljalandsfoss waterfall, measuring 60m high, is one of few waterfalls that can be viewed from inside.

\n

\n

The same solitary enclaves, but on the other side of the world, in New Zealand and Australia are other favourites among lovers of the great outdoors. They include people like Maria and Pat, photographed by James Frost as they defied waves at Bombo Headland Quarry, New South Wales. The huge basalt columns, reminiscent of Giant’s Causeway, in Northern Ireland, were bathed by the Tasman sea on this occasion.

To get there, you have to come off the Kiama Coast Walk, which runs past other places worthy of this special wedding album, such as Cathedral Rock National Park and Kiama Blowhole. Eleven hours, and more than 1,000km from here, Angie and Doug got married. Toowoomba, Queensland, offers a flat, rural landscape. The mother of the bride accompanied the photographer, Van Middleton in his Jeep and helped him choose locations “that Angie and her family felt were special”. This detail is conveyed through the winning image by this photographer, with the spouses embracing under an enormous tree. Perhaps it was under this very tree where they had their first kiss or carved their initials.\n

\n

\n

\n

Photo: Virginia & Evan Studios

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

Love in paradise

Weddings in paradise are not just for celebrities. Alain Brin, a specialist in tropical destinations, proves this through a photograph of a couple surrounded by shoals of fish, on Turtle Bay Beach, Virgin Islands. Other images in exotic locations include Seychelles, Fiji and Varanasi, India.\n

Photo: Cole Roberts/ Nordica Photography

\n

Photo: Chaz Cruz Photographers

Queenstown, New Zealand

\n

Photo: Claire Morris Photography

\n

Photo: Clarkie Photography

Yosemite National Park, California

\n

Photo: Gabe McClintock Photography

Iceland

\n

Photo: Catia Aguiam Fotografas

Montserrate Palace, Sintra

\n

Photo: Helena and Laurent

San Francisco, California

\n

Photo: Holly Wallace Photos and Film

Queenstown, New Zealand

\n

Photo: Jonnie + Garrett Wedding Photographers

Imperial Sand Dunes, California

\n

Photo: June Photography

Kaneoha, Hawaii

\n

Photo: M&J Studios

Iceland

\n

Photo: Nordica Photography

Hamar, Norway

\n

Photo: Sergio Cueto

Higüey, República Dominicana

\n

Photo: Shari + Mike Photographers

Santorini, Greece

\n

Photo: Terralogical

Bali, Indonesia

\n

Photo: Tin Martin

Bali, Indonesia

\n

Photo: Van Middleton Photography

Pilton, Australia

\n

Young people

Magazine

Young people

Nimbin: return to the 70s

Active communes, caravans decorated with the peace symbol and psychedelic t-shirts, all in the wilderness. We travel in time, to Nimbin, the last hippie paradise.\n

A

struggling cattle town became home to the Aquarius revolution back in 1973. Hundreds of young people in search of a place to belong found Nimbin, Australia, the perfect setting for the Aquarius Festival. Mount Warning overlooks the valley where more than 10,000 people gathered for the Australian Woodstock. During that summer of love, underground culture, the exaltation of freedom, and a closeness to nature gave rise to the birth of the hippie movement in Australia.
\n

Photo: Lismore City Council

\n

Hippies went to Nimbin and stayed. Many attendees at the festival settled in the town and formed communes, like Tuntable Falls—still active today, with 200 members—seeking to construct new ways of sustainable life. \n

Hippies went to Nimbin and stayed.

Four decades later, peculiar architecture, flowery vans and psychedelic drawings make Nimbin the perfect setting for getting stuck in time. Part of the blame belongs to Vernon Treweeke, father of Australian psychedelic art. With the idea of recycling old buildings for the festival, he decided to draw hundreds of rainbows, which still decorate the façades today.\n

Photo: Lismore City Council

\n

Photo: RENATO SEIJI KAWASAKI / Shutterstock.com

\n

Beyond aesthetics, the original community spirit that managed to fill the region with hope endures. In 1979, they managed to convince the New South Wales regional government to impose a law prohibiting the felling of the jungle. The Greenies movement remains active today, promoting political awareness in protecting the environment. A slow, creative lifestyle is promoted through actions like the Nimbin Youth Film Festival, support for consuming local products, and well-being activities, like yoga and meditation. Numerous art projects in the area can be found at Nimbin Museum, which also conserves records of the town’s history since the Aquarius revolution.\n

Let the sunshine in

Abandoned farms amid tropical jungle, waterfalls and volcanic soils. Nature rules in Nimbin Valley, considered a sacred place by the native Bundjlung people. An extinct volcano sleeps under Mount Warning, alongside Killen Falls and the Big Scrub tropical jungle.\n

Photo: Lismore City Council

From the summit of Mount Warning, you will be the first to welcome the new dawn, this being the first point on continental Australia to catch a glimpse of the sunrise.

\n

With a rural population of about 10,000 people distributed throughout the area, and about 350 registered residents in the town alone, Nimbin is surviving the new century and continues attracting backpackers, lifestylers, aspiring hippies and musicians. In the words of writer Austin Pick: “Nimbin is a strange place indeed. It is as if a smoky avenue of Amsterdam has been placed in the middle of the mountains.” In the gardens here, cannabis plants are farmed alongside vegetables. Although it is only legal to consume derivatives, the locals proudly defend it as another one-up they have scored against the system.

At night, dust from the street mixes with farmhouse lights, marijuana smoke and jungle sounds. Poetry and jazz can be heard emanating from some of the bars, like the legendary Rainbow Café. The summer of love may be long gone, but its essence survives. “Sometimes I question why I live here,” Mandie, Tuntable Falls founder, confesses, “and then some really lovely thing will happen and you realise all over again that you live here for that closeness to people, and I guess that spontaneity and creativity that just happens”.\n

Photo: harryws20 via Foter.com / CC BY

In 1973, young people took over the town. Since then, many of the original constructions have been maintained. A symbol of Nimbin.

\n

The rainbow region

The area around the town is known as the Rainbow Region, as a result of the drawings that Vernon Treweeke created here back in 1973. Since then, new murals have appeared and several others have been restored. At the 40th anniversary of the festival, Vernon returned to Nimbin to paint a pizzeria. \n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

Luxury

Magazine

Luxury

Live like a king in Rajasthan

Upholstered rooms, hunting trophies and four-poster beds. Maharajas have transformed their palaces into luxury hotels that recreate their former splendour. These are the Hiltons of India.\n

P

rovidence created the maharajas to offer mankind a spectacle,” wrote Rudyard Kipling, author of ‘The Book of the Virgin Lands’. Until 1947, the year of independence from the British Empire, rulers of the states of India did their shikar (hunting) in Rolls-Royces, ordered furniture, art and jewellery from the most exclusive European firms, and demonstrated their hospitality through banquets for hundreds of guests. For centuries, they lived in walled fortresses or palaces, with terraces and gardens, and separate wings for women and servants.
\n

Now, you can become part of this refined lifestyle. The maharajas have opened their palaces, hunting grounds and summer residences, whose maintenance and restoration were too expensive for them, and now live alongside their guests, with whom they share the history of their families. They have exchanged hedonism for sustainable tourism, and eccentricities for restoring artistic heritage and supporting development in the local community.
\n

The royal court

Noble landowners and ministers also built palaces and holiday homes, near the residences of maharajas, trying to emulate the opulent lifestyles of their leaders. Some of these residences are now hotels, including Samode Palace and Samode Bagh, Narain Niwas Palace, and Castle Kanota.\n

Photo: SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace, Relais & Chateaux

The suites at Rambagh Palace hotel, built in 1835, occupy the luxurious premises that were home to the maharaja of Jaipur.

In Rajasthan, north-east India, you will find Umaid Bhawan Palace, the sixth largest private residence in the world. Part of this sandstone fort, Jodhpur, is a hotel, a member of the prestigious Taj Hotels chain. Decorated in an Art Deco style, it includes 10ha of gardens, with peacocks, an underground swimming pool and a museum of the royal family. Located on a hill, you can enjoy views of the entire city and Mehrangarh Fort.

Another property belonging to the maharajah of Jodhpur is Ahhichatragarh, otherwise known as Nagaur Fort. Following 20 years of restoration work, Ranvas Nagaur hotel has recovered the sophisticated atmosphere that served as a refuge for female members of the royal family. It is divided into 27 rooms, which are distributed across ten havalis (traditional Rajasthan buildings with their own covered courtyards). You can also stay at Royal Tents Nagaur, luxury tents, inside a fifth century fort. It is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset after a day chasing gazelles and antelopes through the surrounding countryside in a jeep. No less impressive is Ramathra Fort, a 350-year-old citadel in the Karauli district. Just like the family in The Marigold Hotel, descendants of the first owner, son of the maharaja of Karauli, restored it over a period of 15 years, to make it into a hotel with 110 rooms.\n

Photo: SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace, Relais & Chateaux

The Jackie Kennedy suite is decorated, like the rest of the hotel, with paintings and furniture belonging to the family, and flamboyant wallpaper with traditional motifs.

\n

Tourism with a conscience

A characteristic feature of luxury accommodation in Rajasthan, as in the case of Ravla Bhenswara and Shahpura Bagh, is that the owner’s family receives and honours the customer as if they had been invited as a guest. The money raised through accommodation is used to maintain the building, and infrastructures in the local community, in addition to financing education and local craftspeople. \n

Photo: Samode Hotels

In 1940, at the entrance to Samode Haveli hotel, they built a ramp for elephants in order to celebrate a wedding in the royal family.

The pink city of Jaipur has some of the finest hotels in the region. Rambagh Palace and Suján Rajmahal Palace have both played host to world-renowned dignitaries, like Jackie Kennedy, Queen Elizabeth II, and the Shah of Iran. The marble staircases, chandeliered rooms and the suites they occupied now accommodate less illustrious guests, who nevertheless enjoy the same hospitality from the maharaja. A stay in the palaces is completed with experiences like polo games, al fresco dinners, concerts, and safaris, which give you the chance to become part of an extinct lifestyle and feel like the guest of a king.\n

\n

Photo: Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces

The staircase in the vestibule at Umaid Bhawan Palace was built using the same marble as in the Taj Mahal.

\n

\n

Getaways

magazine

Getaways

Start the new year first, in Kiribati

It is one of the least-visited countries in the world, and its inhabitants will be the first to welcome 2017. Celebrate with them in this unexplored paradise.\n

I

t receives fewer than 6,000 tourists each year, and one of them was the writer Robert Louis Stevenson. The author of Treasure Island visited one of the 33 coral islands that comprise this archipelago in the 19th century. Even the coral reefs are not enough to make it into a fashionable paradise destination, despite it ticking all the boxes: white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, an exotic past, and an uncertain future.

Kiribati is a waning archipelago. “Our country is 99.99977 % water,” the tourism office asserts. A percentage that continues to grow. Its inhabitants are campaigning against climate change because they know their home is in danger. They refuse to give up and are pressing on, celebrating each year as if it were the last. And they do it before anyone: three hours before Sydney, and nearly a day before Los Angeles, with a 21-hour time difference. They have particularly fond memories of the start of the new millennium. Caroline Island, in the southern region, was renamed Millennium Island to celebrate this milestone.\n

“Our country is 99.99977 % water,”

\n

Photo: Kiribati National Tourism Office

Just 21 of the 33 islands are inhabited.

\n

Photo: Kiribati National Tourism Office /Cat Holloway

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area comprises 408,250 km2 of marine biodiversity.

\n

A gift for Captain Cook

Christmas Island, Kiritimati in the local tongue, was so-named in 1777. The famous English explorer chose it when they landed on the atoll, on 25 December of that year. The first hotel on the island returned the favour centuries later when it was named Captain Cook Hotel.\n

With coral reefs intact and abundant marine life, the entire archipelago is ideal for scuba diving and snorkelling. Most of the schools and tour operators are based in the capital, Tarawa, on Christmas Island. Tropical fish, large mammals and, above all, colourful coral gardens await those who venture under the transparent waters surrounding the islands.

Surfing and fishing are other star activities. Fishing takes place almost exclusively on Christmas Island. Kiritimati, as the locals call it, is one of the best locations for fly fishing in the world, and for catching bonefish. As the tourism office underlines, “there is no such thing as a bad day fishing”. The biggest coral atoll in the world, with its 388 km2, is also the perfect spot for birdwatching.\n

Photo: Kiribati National Tourism Office/Chris Burkhard

The surfing season in Kiribati is from October to March

\n

Photo: warrenjackson via Visual hunt - CC BY-NC

\n

Nature and water sports might hog the limelight, but a trip to Kiribati is not complete without spending time with the locals. They gather at the maneaba, the largest building in the town, built with coral blocks and coconut palm, and with a leaf-covered roof. There, they dance and tell stories. To fully enjoy their culture, the best time to go is in July, when the national independence celebrations take place.

Tourism is little developed, and accommodation is simple and minimally equipped. Kiribati is a destination for those seeking to enjoy the simpler things in life, for true travellers only. Do you want to be one of the 6,000 chosen ones?\n

The battle of Tarawa, between the Americans and Japanese, in November 1943, left its mark on Kiribati. History lovers will find numerous relics from World War II: abandoned bunkers, cannon remains on the beach on Betio Island, and memorials for all sides.\n

War wounds

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

In fact, curiosities about these islands are countless: it is the only country in the world located in the four hemispheres, and one of the most remote as well, lying practically in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. The closest inhabited area is Hawaii, 4,000km away. They have the largest protected marine area in the Pacific, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA). It covers eight atolls and two underwater reefs, and is the size of California. With more than 800 species of fauna, 12 underwater mountains and coral reefs that are “just as they were thousands of years ago”, it became the first place in Kiribati to be added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.\n

Adventure

Magazine

Adventure

“Terra firma is no more than a place to pass through.”

We interview Enric Adrian Gener, the underwater photographer

Unwilling to live inland, he seeks to “discover new seas” and the “cultures that surround them”. “I analyse the relationship between humans and the sea,” explains Enric Adrian Gener.
\n

E

nric Adrian Gener became tired of urban life and working at an advertising agency in Madrid: “I didn’t like working from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 7pm, and having a month a year to travel, if I was lucky. I like it when my life is a little more disorganised.” Besides, this Minorcan was yearning for the sea. “I was living to far away, which meant I couldn’t do what I was really passionate about, in my free time.” Travelling the world as an underwater photographer allowed him to find a balance.\n

\n

The photographer, who can’t imagine living inland, is the model in this image.

\n

What do you look for when you travel? 
When considering destinations, I have no interest in the country. What I care about is the sea: its life, climate and migrations. To me, the country, what we call terra firma, is just a place to pass through. I seek to discover new marine landscapes, and am passionate about swimming next to large animals: whales, sharks, dolphins and manta rays. \n

\n

Don’t Eat Things Off the Floor!

He has many anecdotes, not to mention lessons, from his journeys. “Don’t eat things off the floor,” is what I learned in the Mexican Pacific, after having been ill for three days because I tasted some “tiny green apples” on a beach. “It was very idyllic, beach and apple tree, but they were poisonous.”\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

The human figure appears in more of a minor role, with the sea as the protagonist.

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

What are the main features of your underwater photography?
My photography is based on natural and human elements. The human figure appears in more of a minor role, with the sea as the protagonist. However, this minor role is essential, to enable the lead to come across as significant. It is similar to when you put an object next to another, to compare scale or colour. Human beings, whenever they compare themselves to nature, always come off badly, whether due to immensity, strength, beauty or something else.

What complications do you encounter when taking photographs?
Just the fact of being underwater, without considering the photography, is quite a challenge. Down there, you are cold, under pressure, in the dark, wet, always in movement, with poor visibility and, as if that weren’t enough, you can’t breathe. Added to this, you attempt to take photos. Technically, numerous elements complicate this activity, although they can also be used in your favour. Examples include the disappearance of the colour range in deep water, and scarce light and visibility. But there are also great things, like the absence of gravity.\n

Photo: Enric Adrian Gener

Gener has managed to avoid making his passion an exception; instead he has given it “greater protagonism” in his life.

\n

Photo: Enric Adrian Gener

Among the different sections of his project, 27 MM, there is one dedicated to animal life.

\n

\n

\n

It all started on the island of Hierro...
Yes, that is the before and after of my current way of living. It was also the first step in the 27MM photography project, which I started, funnily enough, using audiovisual language rather than photography. Hierro is a magical place and one of the best scuba-diving destinations in Europe. I was captivated by its sub-aquatic landscapes: volcanoes, walls, leaps into the abyss. The sensation of immensity below your feet is very powerful. After that, I went to the Caribbean, which is the exact opposite. I have been improvising and changing places for five months, but the main reason I went there was because it was the season when the humpback whales migrate from Canada, to breed. And I wanted to be there, in the water.

What do you remember most about your journeys?
In Indonesia, I found the most beautiful coral I have seen in my life. In Australia, the paradise of the waves. For Tonga and the Dominican Republic, the humpback whales. Palau was a story-book paradise. The Red Sea is all crystal-clear waters, chasms and coral. The Revillagigedo Islands, in the Pacific, were home to sharks and giant rays. Mexico has enormous marine biodiversity; I remember discovering the cenotes. For Belize, encounters in the blue of the pelagic zone.\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

The photographer underlined that his underwater project “came about freely, from passion and not as a job. And it is still that way today.”

\n

Biography

Enric Adrian Gener was born in Menorca (Spain), where he lived until moving to Barcelona, and then Madrid, to specialise in art and design. He distanced himself from the Mediterranean, where he first got involved in photography and where, years later, he would seek to unite himself with his greatest passion: the sea. At the moment, he is working on underwater photography, in the seas included in his project: ‘27MM’ .\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

Top 6A

MAGAZINE

TOP 6A

The most inaccessible monasteries

Religious devotion has led to sanctuaries being built in the most remote places on the planet. Reaching these temples might almost require a miracle, but it’s a real sin if you don’t go.

Xuankong Si Temple (The Hanging Monastery)

This is the only monastery to combine the three traditional religions of China: Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoismo. It was built 1,500 years ago between the rocks to shelter it from the rain and snow.

Sigiriya (Matale, Sri Lanka)

Built to be a fortified palace, it was later converted into a Buddhist monastery. It stands on the imposing ‘Lion’s Rock’ and the entrance is flanked by huge claws.

Katskhi Pillar (Katskhi, Georgia)

This small church is perched atop a rocky 30-metre pillar. A solitary monk lives inside but he only accepts male visitors who are brave enough to climb the precarious stairs.

The Meteora Monasteries (Meteora, Grecia)

The hermits used to believe that the higher they went to pray, the closer they would be to God. During the 11th and 12th centuries, they abandoned their solitary caves to create as many as 24 monasteries, of which only six remain today.

Paro Taktsang Dzong (Paro, Bhutan)

Built near the cave where it is said Guru Padmasambhava meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours before establishing Buddhism in Bhutan back in the 8th century.

Taung Kalat Monastery (Bagan, Myanmar)

After climbing the 777 steps that lead to the pagoda, it’s time to pray that Mount Popa, the volcano upon which the monastery sits, doesn’t decide to wake up from its long slumber.

Three religions under one roof

From a palace to a monastery

Men only

As near to God as possible

The gateway to Buddhism

Liturgy above a volcano

Travelbeats

Magazine

Travelbeats

\n

Photo: Adrià Goula

\n

The prettiest bar in the world

“It charges you with positive energy.” That is how the judges of the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards described this blue and white space, with views over the port of Barcelona. The Blue Wave cocktail bar, now the OneOcean Bar, won the prize for best design in the latest edition of these prestigious awards. Behind the tricks of light of its façade and the blue mosaics at the bar is El Equipo Creativo. Their mission was to enhance its exceptional location, in the new OneOcean Club, Port Vell marina. And they achieved it by creating a true marine ambience. It emulates a wave, which envelops customers while they drink cocktails from its exquisite menu.\n

\n

Flight destination: the Brighton sky

“A vertical pier for walking on air”. That’s how David Marks describes his new creation. His studio, Marks Barfield Architects (creators of the London Eye) was engaged to build a possible future icon in Brighton. The British Airways i360, climbing 162m high, is the tallest moving observation tower in the world. Its 3.9m-diameter also makes it the thinnest. Futuristic in appearance, from its glass platform, ten times wider than a London Eye capsule, you can contemplate a 40km stretch of the southern English coastline. Flights to the Brighton sky leave every half hour, and each of them takes about 25 minutes.\n

\n

Celebrate Christmas at Hogwarts

The most famous magic school in the world opens its doors on 7 and 8 December to hold a Christmas banquet. And they let muggles in! The Great Hall, in its full gala attire, will receive guests for the Hogwarts Christmas dinner. The Warner Bros. Studio, London, decided to repeat the event following last year’s success. Guests will enjoy a welcome cocktail and canapés, before going into the main hall, decorated as it appears in the Harry Potter films. There, they will find a magic wand and a scrumptious banquet, like the ones Dumbledore conjured up in the J.K. Rowling books. Dinner will be followed by a studio tour, including the Gryffindor common room and Platform 9 and ¾, where dessert will be waiting. The event will end with a butter beer and music, to dance until the witching hour. Happy (and magical) Christmas!\n

\n

The most popular slide in Los Angeles

It takes four seconds for a man to go down a single floor (from 70 to 69) of the tallest building in Los Angeles. Nothing unusual in that, except when he does it on the outside of the building, on a grey mat, riding a transparent slide. The Skyslide is the most exciting attraction at OUE Skyspace, a panoramic platform with a 360° view of the city, housed in the US Bank Tower. A height of 300m and a few scarce centimetres of glass separate this ‘transparent worm’ from the ground. Nevertheless, you could hang “two blue whales from the slide and it won’t budge,” affirms John Gamboa, vice president of OUE. Those who don’t suffer from vertigo have to pay $25 for the ride, a fee that includes a visit to the panoramic platform.\n

\n

Sleep among books

The bibliophiles’ paradise exists, and it is in Tokyo. The Book and Bed hotel is both a bedroom and library. Its shelves are stacked with more than 3,000 works, and you can sleep on them. There are 30 beds, with shared bathrooms, and you can choose between two types of accommodation: Bookshelf, where you sleep on a shelf, in a cubicle, from 120 to 200cm; or Bunk Beds. Here, they make no promises of fluffy pillows, comfortable mattresses or feather duvets, but a moment of happiness is assured: falling asleep with a book in your hands. And for those who don’t like to read, it is simply because, as J. K. Rowling would say, “you haven’t found the right book”. This is your opportunity.\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n

\n





0 %