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Cover

Number 4

July 2016

London

Kiren Yogi

“London is the laboratory of the world”

Wadi Mujib, Jordan’s Gorge

Adventure

Rome, eternally young

Weekenders

The Island of magical machines

Vacation

Contents

Magazine

Contents

Contents

Number 4

London

European capital of cinema

It has been the stage for movies of intrigue, war and romance but close up it is even more impressive. On this trip around the British capital, we explore just why cinema loves London so much.

Kiren Jogi

“London is the laboratory of the world”

She was born in Birmingham but moved to Bombay with the aim of making it big in Bollywood. Now she returns with her own production outfit, the Indian London Film Company, through which she aims to link both worlds. We interview her in London.

Adventure

Wadi Mujib, Jordan’s Gorge

Lying 400 metres below sea level, Wadi Mujib is home to the world’s lowest lying nature reserve. It’s also high on the list of must-see places for lovers of challenging adventures in spectacular surroundings.

Weekenders

Rome, eternally young

It is the Eternal City because past, present and future meet together there. But also because Rome can always surprise you with something new, even if you've visited a thousand times before.

You and me

The Island free of paparazzi

In 1958, Lord Glenconner paid 45.000 pounds sterling to purchase Mustique. That is what it costs today to spend one week on this private island.

Vacances

The Island of magical machines

Imagine combining the imagination of Jules Verne with the ingenuity of Leonardo Da Vinci. What would we get? The answer can be found in Nantes and its living machines.

Culture

Fogo Island: from cod to art

In the nineties, Fogo Island’s population lived off fishing. Following a downturn in the fishing industry, this small Canadian island transformed itself into an inspirational retreat for artists.

Top 6a

Sleeping in the clouds

With views of Everest or at the foot of a volcano. In this selection of some of the highest hotels in the world, you’ll think you’re dreaming when you look out the window.

Travelfancy

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

The Latest

Going on a trip? Before shutting your suitcase, make sure you haven't forgotten our essentials.

Staff

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Editor in Chief

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Report - London

Magazine

Destination

London

European capital of cinema

Text:

Lucía Martín

Photo:

Carlos Luján

Video:

Kreativa Visual

It has been the stage for movies of intrigue, war and romance but close up it is even more impressive. On this trip around the British capital, we explore just why cinema loves London so much.\n

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lose up. A girl works on her laptop while having some banana bread in the Wild Food Café. A hipster is out walking his dog. The dog smells the bread and thows itself at the girl, and so the two young people meet.

It could be the opening scene of a romantic comedy, but it has just happened on a terrace in Neal’s Yard. This colourful pátio, hidden among the buildings around Covent Garden, could serve as a movie set, and the couple could be the stars of the umpteenth remake of Love Actually, this time with a springtime twist and New Age cafés in the background. I moved on without ever knowing if it had a happy ending, but my guess was it did. Before I took my leave, I left a message on the magnetic board that stands in the doorway of the café: “To be continued ...”\n

Inside any carriage you can hear the “modern Babylon” that twice-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli spoke of.

Every corner in London hides a story worthy of the big screen, as if at any moment Ridley Scott were about to appear shouting “Cut!” Novelist Walter Besant knew it. He discovered “something new every day”, even though he had been walking London’s streets for over 30 years. Or Samuel Johnson, who declared that a man who has seen London, has seen as much of life as the world can show.\n

Wild Food Café

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By simply riding the Tube, you can learn a lot, if not everything, about the British capital. Inside any carriage you can hear the “modern Babylon” that twice-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli spoke of. The street food stalls in Camden Lock Market demonstrate it in tasty ways - all the food cultures of the world in scarcely 30 metres of market, a festival of tastes that include Ethiopian curry, salmon nigiri, tropical smoothies and fresh pasta made as you watch. Alessandro, an Italian polyglot thanks to his stall in Global Kitchen, plays at guessing the nationality of the passers-by as he cuts the ravioli. He is nearly always right. He recommends the Stables Market, an old horse hospital converted into an alternative market. Entrance is through a tunnel that opens up onto more than 700 stalls that offer everything from retro leather handbags to underwear stamped with the Union Jack.


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449 Strand

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Posing on Primrose Hill

It rains a lot in London, but not all the time. On average, the city has 1,460 hours of sunshine, and when the sun comes out, Londoners pour into their city's parks. For example, to Primrose Hill, to the north of Regent's Park, where the neighbours gather to see the sunset. It’s a hill, some 65 metres high, with views over all of Central London. Couples sit out on the grass surrounded by picnic baskets that conceal bottles of wine and cans of beer. Selfies abound. You can check it out: to know if the weather is good in London all you need to do is check how many pics carry the Primrose Hill hashtag on Instagram.


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Westminster Bridge

The street markets mark the London week as much as the chimes of Big Ben. On Saturdays, it’s Portobello Market in Notting Hill. On Sundays, the markets at Old Spitalfields and Brick Lane with up-to-the-minute fashions, albeit second or third-hand. Apple’s Market in Covent Garden has a new look almost daily: depending on the day of the week, it will be flowers or crafts or antiques - like the compasses that Valif sell on Mondays. The market is held inside the historic Market Building, the very heart of the neighbourhood for over 180 years. It is in the same piazza as the Royal Opera House, though there is no need to buy a ticket to enjoy the show: the stone paving serves as a magnificent stage for acrobats, magicians, and street musicians. Oasis’ Wonderwall is playing - the permanent soundtrack of London’s streets.\n

I hear it again near Westminster Abbey and again near the Millenium Bridge. As I walk the short distance between the suspension bridge designed by Norman Foster and St. Paul’s Cathedral, it starts to rain. Maybe you are gonna be the one that saves me. With the song of the Gallagher brothers ringing in my head, I step inside the church to get out of the rain. Its dome is the largest in the world after that of St. Peter’s in Rome. It was completed at the beginning of the 17th century, replacing the church burnt down in the Great Fire of London in 1666. “The fire destroyed virtually the whole city and when it came to rebuilding they thought, Should we plan the new avenues American-style? Or have more Medieval chaos?” They took the second option, Chris, a student of literature, now working in marketing, tells me with typical English irony. His office is not far from Pudding Lane, where the fire broke out. The low-lying wooden houses of those years have been replaced by Victorian buildings and modern skyscrapers like The Shard or 30 St Mary Axe, better known as The Gherkin.













If Covent Garden with its cafés and restaurants bring to mind tales of romance, then the urban landscape of the City suggests a different type of story. Drama, as in Woody Allen’s Match Point or as with the battles of Thor in The Dark World. The steel and glass skyscrapers are home to sophisticated places serving cocktails worthy of Agent 007, among them

the Sky Bar of the Sushi Samba restaurant. London has always been home to James Bond, and not only because it is home to MI6, whose HQ we saw explode in Skyfall. Ian Fleming, the creator of the secret agent, wrote his first novel, Casino Royale, here. Fleming moved into the Writers’ Block in Carlyle Mansions, where Henry James and T.S. Elliot also lived. These luxury apartments are in Chelsea, one of London’s chicest neighbourhoods.\n

The most romantic street in London

The 1999 movie Notting Hill made it the place to visit. Since then, thousands of tourists have been looking for love in the souvenir shops and antique dealers of Portobello Road. The bookstore in the movie was based on a small book shop on a street perpendicular to Blenheim Crescent. Its interior hasn’t changed since 1981. Veronica smiles at the hundreds of intrigued shoppers who call in on the off-chance of meeting Hugh Grant at the counter. Veronica has been working there for two months and has lived more than one moment of high comedy. One customer asked her – with Julia Roberts looking on from the poster – for the book that Sophia Loren had bought in the film.\n

Portobello Road

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Whitechapel will be its antagonist, closer to the thriller than to glamour. Its fame comes from one of those cases in which reality surpasses fiction: it was the scene of the crimes of Jack the Ripper. The young Sherlock Holmes also investigated several murders in this area, although it must be said that the neighbourhood is much different today when compared to the days of Holmes. Today, Whitechapel Gallery, one of the best of London’s contemporary art galleries, gives cultural life to a zone that can no longer be considered marginal.

Each neighbourhood is a new film set. By simply crossing a London street, you can move from comedy to drama. From the grand department stores on Park Lane to a small pub in an alley off the Strand. I head back to the city centre. A council worker with the looks of a model sweeps the street to the rhythm of music just off Piccadilly. The scene is so carefully set that the Trueman Show syndrome attacks me. But unlike Jim Carrey, I don’t try to escape. As Samuel Johnson would say, “ You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London”. And I add, no woman either. Fade to black.\n

The National Gallery

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London Eye

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The City of London

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Candem Lock

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Primrose Hill

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Interview - Kiren Jogi

Magazine

Interview

“London is the laboratory of the world”

This month´s passenger

Kiren Jogi

She was born in Birmingham but moved to Bombay with the aim of making it big in Bollywood. Now she returns with her own production outfit, the Indian London Film Company, through which she aims to link both worlds. We interview her in London.\n

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Kiren Jogi

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We are in the Southbank Centre, one of Britain's most dynamic centres for the arts. Today it is buzzing with energy. Tonight are the BAFTA awards, and the elegance and glamour of the occasion pervade the whole city, not unlike the Cannes Festival, which Kiren Jogi attended in 2008 for the showing of Veiled Existence. In that movie she played the the part of an Indian woman who has settled in the UK. In real life Kiren did the opposite: she left England for Bollywood. Her debut in the world’s largest cinema industry was in Ghajini (2008), the Hindi remake of Christopher Nolan’s Memento. She turned it into the box office hit of the year in India. Following that, shootings of her films have taken her to Istanbul, Bangkok, Singapore and Paris.\n

From the terrace of the Southbank Centre we can see Big Ben, the London Eye and Parliament. Kiren tells us that in the afternoons this roof garden fills with the City’s beautiful people enjoying a mojito on the lawn. It isn’t the typical London afterwork scene, better known for pints in the pub than rooftop gardens, but anything goes here. The city has many faces, as does Kiren Jogi. She is actress, director, producer and scipt writer. Currently she is fully occupied with a TV series that parallels her life: an English actress of Indian origin directs a Bollywood production in England. “It’s partly autobiographical, but I’m not quite as crazy as she is”, she explains with a laugh.

The fusion of the two worlds has marked her career. Her production firm, Indian London Film Company, has the same mix of cultures. “It’s the perfect match of East and West in a marriage that neither partner could reject” it states. For Kiren Jogi, London represents the polygamous version of this perfect match. “Here it’s the fusion of East with West, America, India, Europe, China. . . it’s a laboratory of the world”. To come to understand this multicultural London, she knows exactly what has to be done: “Travel. Spend a day to get to know outer London. There you will get to know small cities and people who have come from all over. You will know a city of the world”.


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This is what most fascinates her about the country’s capital. “London as a city inspires anyone who is creative. There are people from all parts and the place is alive with energy. From the monuments and tourist spots, its arquitecture and theatres, to a small café in a side street”. To the left, there is classical London with its monuments, the London that fascinates tourists of all nationalities. To the right, sophisticated London, with its art galleries and designer skyscrapers. We put her on the spot and ask her to choose one shot that captures the essence of changing, bubbling London. “I would say South Bank represents the best full description of the city: cosmopolitan, traditional, cultured, and full of vitality... Here you have the National Theatre, views of Parliament and the tmajor ourist spots. All in one place”.


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Woody Allen also chose the south bank of the Thames for Match Point, and the actress Katrina Kaif walks barefoot over Millenium Bridge in Namastey London. London is chosen as the setting for thousands of films every year. From classics such as Notting Hill or Bridget Jones to the latest from Gerard Butler with Morgan Freeman, London Has Fallen. And it isn’t only Hollywood. The UK capital is a favourite setting for directors of Bollywood films in Europe. For Kiren, the reasons are self evident: “When you film in London, especially a Bollywood movie, it is always a love story. The city has this taste of freshness and vitality, of falling in love”.

For Karin, London has been a long-term love affair. She lived here during the production of Anita and Me at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. “To be part of something like that in the heart of the world of theatre was a fantastic experience. London has always been ‘that place’. From the moment you step into the Underground, theatre is at the centre of it all. There are posters everywhere announcing the shows, from the small to the large scale productions”. The same was true in the West End where we went after the interview. The sun gave no quarter, but the smile never left Karin’s face. “It isn’t as hot as in Bombay”, she says as she sips an iced coffee.

She still travels frequently to Bombay, but while she is in London she always goes to Southall. “It’s like the mini-India of London”. When we ask her for the most authentic Indian restaurant she confesses amid laughter that she still hasn’t found one (even though there are over 9,000 Indian restaurants in the UK, two for every Chinese restaurant). But she throws out a hint: Broadway Street in Southall. “If you walk down that street, you can try jalebis, a typical Indian sweet, and you can find all the tastes of Bombay, Delhi or the Punjab”. For a creative person like Kiren, food too is a source of inspiration. “Everything that touches my life inspires me”. And even more so in London.\n

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Big Ben

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Adventure

Magazine

Adventure

Wadi Mujib, Jordan’s Gorge

Lying 400 metres below sea level, Wadi Mujib is home to the world’s lowest lying nature reserve. It’s also high on the list of must-see places for lovers of challenging adventures in spectacular surroundings.\n

Imagine a passage cutting through steep red cliffs, such as the iconic Siq Canyon that leads to the ancient city of Petra. Now imagine it flooded with water. That’s exactly what the Wadi Mujib gorge is, and what makes it such a mecca for adventure-seeking travelers and princes alike. “It’s one of my favourite places, I urge everyone to visit”, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein of Jordan has said of the canyon that was named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2011.\n

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Foto: © RSCN or The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature

The Ibex trail follows the Dead Sea Highway before climbing up to the Reserve.

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Just before it enters the Dead Sea, the River Mujib cuts through the Wadi Mujib gorge, one of the top tourist destinations in the Kingdom of Jordan, along with Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea and, of course, Petra itself. In biblical times the river was named Arnon, a Hebrew word meaning “noisy”, in reference to the roar of its many waterfalls. Here, the Karak and Madaba mountains reach a height of 900 metres, while, at its lowest, the Mujib is 416 metres below sea level, a variation in elevation of 1,300 metres.\n

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Birds of passage

As the river Mujib has water the year round, the area is rich in biodiversity. Over 100 species of migratory birds stop off in the Reserve that is managed by The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). The RSCN has been responsible for biodiversity programmes in Jordan since 1987.\n

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Wadi Mujib is a mecca for adventurers and lovers of canyon hiking.

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The Wadi Mujib runs right through the year. Excursions through its gorge are usually in organised groups, keeping to the bed of the river whenever possible. The gorge is quite wide and the waters are rarely fast-running, but, as it ascends, the gorge narrows and rocks begin to block the way, making navigation increasingly challenging. There are four possible routes, three of which – the Siq trail, Canyon trail, and the Malaqi trail – are water trails and are open only from April to October, The fourth, the Ibex trail, is a dry trail and can be taken at any time during the year, except during Ramadan. The Siq trail is the most popular, largely to its accessibility, being catalogued at the easy to moderate difficulty level. It takes over two hours to complete, and welcomes first time gorge hikers who want to combine their visit to Petra or to the Dead Sea with a small dose of adrenaline. On this trail, groups of up to 80 are led by expert guides each day, while all the other trails through the gorge only allow a maximum of 25 hikers a day.\n

Photo: © RSCN or The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature

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Photo: © RSCN or The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature

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The Canyon trail also follows the lower reaches of the Mujib gorge. It is more demanding – catalogued at moderate to challenging difficulty level – and at one point there is a 20-metre waterfall to be negotiated. This is made possible by a series of ropes as well as the expert guidance of trained guides. The third trail, the Malaqi trail, starts in the soft rocky hills that lead down to the Mujib and also has a difficulty level of moderate to challenging. It continues, this time up river to the confluence with the Hidan River. A short drop down leads to a series of picturesque natural pools, before arriving at the waterfall.

The fourth trail – and the only one on which you don’t have to get wet – runs parallel to the Dead Sea and is ideal for hill walkers and ramblers. It is classified as moderately difficult and takes its name – Ibex – from the wild goats that were a once a symbol of the Moon God in the ancient kingdom of Saba. After decades of being hunted, Ibex remain in danger of extinction, though the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature now runs a captive breeding programme and numbers are on the rise. Though they are famously shy, some lucky visitors do see Ibex, the true kings of the canyon, scrambling the gorge’s steep rock walls, so keep your eyes peeled!\n

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Photo: © RSCN or The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature

The organisers ask you not to damage the environment, and to respect the flora and fauna of the area.

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Sleeping “under the sea”

To prepare for the trail, you can stay overnight on the Mujib Reserve. There is a choice of chalets or double rooms, all offering excellent views of the Dead Sea coast. All accommodation is just metres away from the Visitors Centre, the departure point for all the trails, easy or challenging.\n

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Weekenders

Magazine

Weekenders

Rome, eternally young

It is the Eternal City because past, present and future meet together there. But also because Rome can always surprise you with something new, even if you've visited a thousand times before.\n

Photo: Alliance / shutterstock.com

Rome is always among the top twenty most visited cities in the world.

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A feline city

Rome and cats have always had a special relationship. They hide away among the ruins and pose as if they were models in the postcards. Torre Argentina is a favourite spot of theirs. The corner with Florida Street has become a refuge home for some 150 cats, all quite happy to pose for the camera.\n

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t knows how to rejuvenate itself because modern times rise out of the ruins of its past. Walking the Appian Way and shuddering with emotion in the 20 kilometres of catacombs of Saint Calixtus is a modern phenomenon. “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have changed”, said Nelson Mandela. It happens in Rome. Try it: follow in the footsteps of Stendhal in Walks in Rome (1928-1929) and visit all seven hills. Go to Campidoglio and visit the Capitoline Museums. It was here in Italy where Stendhal suffered the symptoms of the syndrome that carries his name. The sensation of being so overwhelmed by the sights you are seeing that you are unable to breathe – it’s known as the Stendhal Syndrome”. “An overdose of beauty” that, literally, takes your breath away, as you come down the Palatine Hill, or go between the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus, the birth point of the city.

His Literary Guide is obligatory reading: “Only a foolish person will admire other cities if he has never seen Rome”, wrote Petrarch. The guide takes the reader to timeless places admired by universal writers. “The city as seen by writers, each travelling at a moment in history, and each choosing his own words”, the InRome guide that organises several literary routes explains: “Accounts by writers in Spanish, by contemporary writers, writings in Latin from Ancient Rome,” the Rome that surprised Dickens, delighted Henry James, or inspired the lyrical fascination of Rilke.\n

The traveller should not leave Rome without visiting the Coliseum and the Fountain of Trevi, where you can play out your Anita Ekberg fantasies. The good news here is that both monuments have recently had a face-lift. The amphitheatre has been under restoration for two years: the structure was reinforced, the facades cleaned and the amount of space accessible to the public increased by 25%. And the same has happened to the fountain. After years of cleaning and repair, the scaffolding has finally come down. The 16th century sculptures of the ‘Quattro Fontane’ have also been restored.\n

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Photo: Maurizio / shutterstock.com

El parque Villa Gregoriana combina sus elementos naturales con otros artificiales, como algunas de las cascadas.

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El del Belvedere, un entorno natural con mármoles blancos, es uno de los jardines papales

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Small treasures to delight the eye

The Papal Gardens, a 1279 addition to Villa Barberini at Castel Gandolfo in the outskirts of Rome have been open to visitors for the last two years. When the Director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci, announced the opening, he made it clear that Pope Francis wanted to share “the splendour of art set in the glory of nature”. The visit begins in the landscaped Barberini Gardens, filled with aromatic herbs in the shadow of buildings known as the second Vatican.

New additions aside, Rome is eternal because in addition to the grandeur of the Vatican or Agrippa’s Pantheon, the city’s smaller treasures never fail to surprise. By all means put your hand into the La Bocca della Verità  (The Mouth of Truth) in the basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin, but also cross over and pause in front of the Temple of Hercules Victor. Look beyond the tourist attractions. Stand amazed in the church of Saint Mary of Victory at the whiteness of the ecstasy of Saint Teresa. Visit the churches of Gesu or Saint Mary the Great. And visit the EUR, the neighbourhood built by Mussolini for the Exhibition that never took place because of the outbreak of the Second World War. Take a bike ride through Villa Borghese gardens. Drink in the greens and oranges of Trastevere. Take the boat to Tiberian island, and take to heart the final advice of Stendhal: ”I don’t ask you to take my word for all this, only that if one day you visit Rome, do keep your eyes wide open”.\n

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The amphitheatre has been under restoration for two years: the structure was reinforced, the facades cleaned and the amount of space accessible to the public increased by 25%.

Photo: © Governatorato SCV – Direzione dei Musei

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A Romantic-period park

Tivoli has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Close by is the Villa Gregoriana park, whose natural waterfalls and broken terrain make it the perfect place to escape to for a day. Get out of crowded Rome and hide away in this Romantic dreamland.\n

You and me

Magazine

You and me

The Island free of paparazzi

In 1958, Lord Glenconner paid 45.000 pounds sterling to purchase Mustique. That is what it costs today to spend one week on this private island.\n

Don’t be surprised if you run into Prince William of England singing Elvis Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds’ in Basil’s Bar. Or at least, try not to look surprised! It’s normal for Mustique. The British Royal Family, Mick Jagger or Robbie Williams are part of a small group of people you will cross paths with if you visit this island, the most exclusive of the 32 islands that make up St. Vincent and the Grenadines.\n

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For the peace of mind of its scarce 500 inhabitants and its visitors, Mustique is an air exclusion zone. Bad news for the paparazzi. But so as not to mislead anyone, this is not an island where the famous live; no, but it is an island where celebrities can, temporarily, forget about their status. Where Tommy Hilfiger swaps shoes and blazer for shorts and T-shirt.\n

Mustique is where the ‘celebrities’, at least for a little while, forget about their status.

The island is managed by the Mustique Company, formed by the property owners on the island. From its purchase in 1958, the island has been an exclusive project, shaped in its beginnings by the Swedish architect Arne Hasselqvist and British stage designer Oliver Messel. Colin Tennant, 3rd Baron of Glenconner, whose great-great-grandfather revolutionised the cotton industry in Scotland with the discovery of bleaching powder. The Baron described the island in its original state as “a poorly cared for cemetery”.\n

On the beach, in a yacht, or in one of its villas. Mustique offers its guests the opportunity of saying “Yes, I do”.

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To rent a villa on Mustique costs betweene $5,000 and $75,000 per week.

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His intial idea was to set up a cotton plantation, though those plans quickly changed. In 1960 he gave a plot of land to his friend Princess Margaret as a wedding present. She built a residence called Les Jolies Eaux. This sparked the interest of the media and the aristocracy in this Caribbean archipelago. Eventually, the island was divided up into 120 plots and a mixture of High Society, artists and designers bought them up. Their diversity became apparant architecturally in the various styles of châteaux: French, Moroccan riads, or Bali inspired houses.
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To the rhythm of the blues

The annual Mustique Blues Festival is held in the third week of January. It’s quite an event for the residents who gather in Basil’s Bar to enjoy local and international artists. Proceeds from the sale of the festival companion CD recordings go to The Basil Charles Educational Foundation.\n

Car-free, transport around the island is by golf buggies.

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“On Mustique, anything goes” is the company slogan. They are few regulations on the island, and visitors can do whatever they want to, always provided they don’t disturb the residents or other visitors.
Today there are 89 private villas and two hotels on the island. The best known is The Cotton House, an old cotton warehouse converted into an hotel. The Cotton House’s Veranda Restaurant serves the island’s finest shell and fresh fish, and where you can try coconut shushi.

Horse riding by the shore, a game of tennis at the club, or a dawn yoga class on the beach are some of the options Mustique offers the visitor.

If the 5.7 square kilometres of the island are too limiting for you, a short boat trip takes you to the neighbouring islands of Bequia and Canouan and the Tobago Cays. Here you can scuba dive with the tortoises and have a picnic on the beach where Jack Sparrow was abandoned by the crew in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.

Mustique is where the Dukes of Cambridge go to escape the English cold, or where Paul McCartney celebrated his third honeymoon in Mick Jagger’s house. But it still isn’t an island of the famous. Mustique is a paradox, where princesses, rock stars, and multimillionaires pay a high price for a piece of normality.\n

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The old sugar mill houses a small museum with photographs and plans that tell the history of the island.

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Vacation

Magazine

Vacation

The Island of magical machines

Imagine combining the imagination of Jules Verne with the ingenuity of Leonardo Da Vinci. What would we get? The answer can be found in Nantes and its living machines.\n

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A 12-metre tall elephant comes out of a warehouse on the banks of the Loire in the city of Nantes. Neither the locals nor the tourists seem overly alarmed. They watch as 48 tons of metal and wood moves slowly, trumpeting and spraying water from its trunk. On its back it carries as many as 50 tourists on a 30-minute outing on the l’île de Nantes, a river island in the heart of the city.\n

It’s a tour of the magic worlds created through the imagination of Jules Verne, the most celebrated son of Nantes. “The time will come when science will outstrip imagination,” the author of Around the World in Eighty Days famously predicted, and how right he was: These machines are undoubtedly beyond the dreams of anyone, child or adult.\n

Even the waves are man-made

The Carrousel des Mondes Marins in front of the Jules Verne Museum is an aquarium guarded by 16 fishermen from all the world’s oceans. The visitor can interact with marine creatures from the depths of the ocean - the reverse propulsion squid, the giant crab or the pirate fish.\n

Photo: Jean-Dominique Billaud/LVAN

When woken and brought out of its dark hole, the spider can carry up to four passengers

The Great Elephant has become the unofficial symbol of the city, appearing on postcards and souvenirs. It’s also the emblem of the street-theatre company, La Machine as well as being used by the Les Machines de l’île artistic project, which is based on the site of the old city shipyards. The starting point for the daily outings of the Great Elephant are the sheds where the heating furnaces were fitted into the ships passing through the yard. Today the dreamlike creatures of Nantes welcome visitors of all ages to an open-air amusement park.

The Workshop is the shed where the “machines” are made; fantastic pieces of sculpture that come alive thanks to the mechanisms that form part of the skeleton. From raised walkways, visitors can watch the craftsmen at work as they construct a gigantic flying heron, a manta ray, a Chinese dragon or an enormous spider. However, even here in the laboratory-workshop, the craftsmen take care not to reveal the secret of how they bring their wondrous creations to life.\n

Photo: Jean Dominique Billaud / LVAN

The prototype branch of the planned Heron Tree is 20 metres long and its steel structure weighs 20 tonnes.

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Follow the green line

Le Voyage à Nantes festival (1 July – 28 August) transforms the city into an open-air art exhibition, with around 30 installations set up in the streets, squares and gardens. A green line linking them is marked on the streets to guide the visitor around.\n

Photo: ©Ltionel

In front of the Workshop lies the Gallery, home to a number of hands-on machines for visitors to investigate. It will be the location of a major upcoming project by the company, though it is still in the planning stage. Called the Arbre aux Herons, it’s a massive steel tree, 50 metres in diametre, and 35 metres tall which could stood be standing in the very heart of the city. It will be topped by two mechanical herons and populated by creatures that will transport the visitor through its terraces and walkways. At the moment you can go up the only branch that has been built so far, and this can be found at the entry to the Gallery.

All these fantastical creatures come alive thanks to their robot parts and also thanks to the pioneering work of scenographers François Delarozière y Pierre Orefice. They are the creative brains behind this project that links the worlds of Jules Verne, the mechanical ingenuity of Leonardo Da Vinci and the industrial history of Nantes. The goal is “to dream up tomorrow’s cities and transform our perception of the cities of today”. It may seem no more than an illusion, but Verne as has already told us, only by paying attention to the mad are the greatest discoveries made.\n

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Photo: © Franck Tomps

The Giant Crab, the Pirate Fish or the Storm Ship can be constructed and built by visitors.

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The Great Elephant has become the unofficial symbol of the city

Photo: Jean_Dominique Billaud Nantes

In 2014, the Marine Worlds Carousel received the Thea Award as an outstanding achievement and “unprecedented artistic project”

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Culture

magazine

Culture

Fogo Island: from cod to art

In the nineties, Fogo Island’s population lived off fishing. Following a downturn in the fishing industry, this small Canadian island transformed itself into an inspirational retreat for artists.\n

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eave the stress of the city behind to find your true self in a quiet refuge among icebergs and cliffs. There are people, wrote Henry David Thoreau, “who go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” That is the sensation of the traveller who arrives in Fogo Island off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The 3,000 islanders living in eleven settlements on this 148 square kilometre island have fished all their lives, but now, they earn their keep in a much different way.

For decades they were virtually isolated. A Marconi radio transmitting station, that was their only way to communicate with the outside world, can be visited today to help the visitor understand their past. The same is true of Bleak House, built in 1816, and today converted into a museum. The house belonged to the Slade family, the most powerful of the island’s fish traders in the 19th century.\n

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Photo: Alex Fradkin

The archtectural style pursues the ideal of a coming together of modern ideas with elements of traditional crafts.

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Photo: Alex Fradkin

Among the facilities at Fogo Island Inn is a rooftop sauna.

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Prominent artists

Yotaro Niwa, scholar of the Japanese Department of Art and Culture; Hannah Rickards, Max Mara Art awardee; Erika Balsom, lecturer in Cinema Studies at Kings College; the violinist George Van Sam; the photogapher Edgar Leciejewski, and the painter Geoff Butler are among those who have been artists in residence.\n

The islanders themselves act as guides for the visitors . Grouped together on a rocky coastal zone facing the Atlantic,  they have abandoned fishing and live off culture and tourism. The Fogo Island Arts project, set up by the Shorefast Foundation has made this change of life possible. In 2003, when the fishing crises destroyed the island’s economy, the Foundation was the motor to improve social, cultural and economic conditions. To achieve this, they created a programme of resident artists – some 15 per year, each residency lasting between one and three months – and four work studios. Fogo Island is now populated with filmmakers, writers, musicians and designers.
Zita Cobb, co-founder of Shorefast, was born on the island, which she left to study finance. On her return, she chose to invest in culture for her birth place, switching from the sale of fish to the sale of paintings. From classic geotourism to rebuilding the island economy without losing touch with its roots. Her emblematic building is the Fogo Island Inn, a 29-room hotel, equipped with conference centre, library, art gallery and cinema. “It is an architectural gem that encompasses all the wonders of the island. This Inn tells the story of us; the story of this place and its people.”Cobb explains. It’s a deluxe place – four stories, five stars – that provides income and a way of life for almost all the families of the island.\n

Photo: Alex Fradkin

Tower Studio, en Shoal Bay.

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The hotel and studios were designed by architect Todd Saunders. He champions sustainability: the two hundred bedcovers in the rooms were hand sewn by the women of the island, and the furniture was handmade by local craftsmen. Nor is the inspiration provided by nature forgotten. With the help of binoculars, the whales can be observed from the hotel windows.

Alternative accommodation is availble nearby. Landwash Lodging is a house by the beach that has been in the same family for generations. Meals are served in Nicole’s Cafe. A taste of the sea hangs in the air – especially a taste of cod – and traditional foods are mixed with modern cuisine. Fogo Island continues to be a village of fishermen, but  now they devote themselves to art. Their neighbours know that catching fish is no longer their goal – surviving is. What the sea gave to them before, now art and culture provide.\n

Exhibitions of international artistic works are held on Fogo Island, accompanied by publications on the exhibits. The island continues to be a location for films. Discussions are held among critics and artists on such topics as the survival of culture. In August, the Brimstone Head Folk Festival brings music and local dances.\n

Philosophising on life

The islanders themselves act as guides for the visitors.

Photo: Alex Fradkin

Local craftsmen build the bulk of the furniture, though at times they are influenced by international artists.

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Photo: Alex Fradkin

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Photo: Alex Fradkin

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Photo: Alex Fradkin

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Photo: Alex Fradkin

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Photo: Alex Fradkin

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Photo: Alex Fradkin

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Top 6a

MAGAZINE

TOP 6A

Sleeping in the clouds

With views of Everest or at the foot of a volcano. In this selection of some of the highest hotels in the world, you’ll think you’re dreaming when you look out the window.

Yeti Mountain Home Kongde (Kathmandu, Nepal)

Including acclimatisation, you’ll need six days to get to this small hotel in Kathmandu (Nepal). The reward? Sleeping with views of some of the world’s highest mountain peaks: Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Gyachung Kang and Ama Dablam. At 4,250 metres high it has 15 rooms, all of them made of wood.

Hotel Everest View (Solukhumbu, Nepal)

Standing at a height of 3,962 metres, its name says it all: Hotel Everest View. Located in Nepal National Park, it offers 360º views of all the surrounding peaks, including Everest. In fact, you can admire the highest peak in the world from every room. There’s no better reward if you manage to make it there.

Palacio de Sal (Uyuni, Bolivia)

Salar de Uyuni salt flat, at 3,660 metres above sea level, can be seen from space. On its banks you can find the first hotel in the world made from blocks of salt. Covering an area of 12,000 m2, its 30 igloo-shaped rooms match the white landscape perfectly.

Hacienda el Porvenir (Valle del Pedergal, Ecuador)

Surrounded by four volcanoes (including Cotopaxi) and at a height of 3,500 metres, Hacienda El Porvenir is one of the most picturesque places to stay in Ecuador’s Central Andes. It is located just 50 kilometres from Quito and it’s the destination for you if you like adventure holidays. You can go hiking, cycling, horse riding and much more.

Grawand (Senales, Italy)

The highest hotel in Europe can be found in the Italian Alps. Located on the Val Senales glacier (at 3,212 metres), in the coldest months you can only get there by cable car. From December to March, there are organised night-skiing excursions that end with dinner on the glacier.

Kulmhotel Gornergrat (Zermatt, Switzerland)

This is the lowest hotel in this selection, but its 3,100 metres make a visit well worthwhile. Surrounded by mountains that stand at over 4,000 metres, this is one of the best places in the Alps to admire the stars. Built next to an observatory, it’s located in Zermatt, one of Switzerland’s most prestigious ski resorts.

Photo: ©Yeti Mountain Home

Photo: ©Hotel Everest View

Photo: Palacio de la Sal

Photo: Hacienda El Porvenir / Tierra del Volcán

Photo: Glacier Hotel Grawand Schnalstal (Photo Athesia Tappeiner)

Photo: Kulmhotel Gornergrat

Well located

"I slept on Everest"

Salty igloos

On the slopes of a volcano

At the top of Europe

With views of the Milky Way

Travelfancy

Magazine

Travelfancy

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Photo: Virgin Galactic

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VSS Unity, on the way into space

Stephen Hawking was among those present at the naming ceremony for the spaceship that will take six lucky tourists on a trip towards the stars. VSS Unity, developed by Virgin Galactic, was unveiled at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. While today we holiday to Rome or New York, how long before outer space becomes the travel destination of choice?\n

Photo: Tella Balls Dessert Bar

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Forbidden not to sin

Calling all Nutella lovers, your own special paradise now exists. Aki Daikos and Simon Kapatos hit the jackpot with their Tella Balls, a Nutella filled doughnut on top of a milkshake. Now they have opened a dessert cafe  in Sydney where hazelnut the chocolate spread is all the rage. In Tella Balls Dessert Bar you will have only one problem: deciding which of the calory-packed  desserts to choose.\n

Photo: The Floating Sea Horse

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Investing in a floating house

Living under the sea in a floating house? Only in Dubai. The Floating Seahorse company has designed dream homes in which space is not a problem. 370 square metres distributed over three floors, with the bathroom and main bedroom underwater, because fish make the best neighbours of all.\n

Photo: Hotel Daniel Vienna

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Chic caravans

How would you like the to live in a caravan but with all the conveniences of a hotel? Daniel Hotel in Vienna offers the combination: accommodation in a 1952 trailer in the hotel garden, fitted with the luxuries of TV, full-size bathtub, air conditioning and wi-fi. 16 square metres of smart luxury.\n

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Wuppertal Suspension Railway

The city of Wuppertal (Alemania) has the world’s oldest monorail. It entered into service in 1901, inaugurated by Emperor Wilhelm II. It does not run on rails but hangs 12 metres above the ground. It is known as the steel dragon, and the crossing over the river Wupper accounts for most of its route. It carries 25 million passengers a year.\n

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The Latest

Magazine

The Latest

Quiksilver Stay High Beachwear Collection

This summer’s collection from the surf brand presents stamped tie dye boardwear. Light, quick-drying materials with designs inspired by Brazilian beaches and good time surfing.\n

Action camera SJCAM SJ5000 Plus

Do you want to relive your holidays? Well, action cameras allow you to do just that. This model, with a Panasonic sensor, has integrated WiFi and can record for 60 minutes in Full HD with a 170º angle of view.\n

Roxy Pop Surf Beachwear Collection

Hey, would you like to go surfing on a Hawaiin beach? It may be a pipe dream, but at least you can dress as if you were really there. Think comfortably fitting floral designs to enjoy the summer.\n

Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent watch

Limited edition in carbon fibre and Texalium with a titanium and gold crown and rubber lined wrist strap. This timepiece has a camouflaged outer case is fitted with technology three years in the making. At 9, it shows the peace symbol.\n

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