A visit to Porto is a galvanizing experience. You’ll notice it as soon as you arrive. It’s the colors that hit you first. Under the rays of a glorious autumn afternoon, hues of cinnabar, tangerine, and lemon twist and twine—and speaking of citruses, does the orange juice here taste…tangier? The steady sound of chatter fills the air, and you feel yourself swelling up with a wave of joie de vivre, a jubilant exultation of simply being. This is a magical peninsula where happiness pursues you, and in the sanguine center of northern Portugal, delight and inspiration drip down every cobbled street. Bem-vindo ao Porto, there’s so much to discover. Continue reading “Porto: An Apéritif for the Senses”
“I’m here preparing the beach for you, putting the sand in the right spot.”
And with those words, I was set. A chance to see Kelano and his enticing promise of a Caribbean boat party were all it took for me to book a three-leg, eighteen-hour journey across the hemisphere and uncharted waters. Tracing several circles around the North Atlantic, my finger found its resting spot on the map. There it was: Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. Up until then, I only knew that Kelano’s “Provo” lay somewhere off the coast of Cuba, and that it had, according to him and more than a few others, the world’s most spectacular beach. As I studied its outline, I felt my heart drum with a reverberating anticipation. The tropical islands of the West Indies had always appeared to me as a sort of beautiful yet surreal artisanal splatter, but finally, I could see the haze lifting before me.
For seekers of eternal sunshine or for those looking to escape the wrath of winter, the islands of Madeira are a balmy sanctuary, far from the grasp of the blistering cold.
A garland of islands cast into the middle of the ocean, hundreds of leagues away from the nearest landfall—it is difficult to believe that anyone had ever managed to reach the shores of the Maldives by boat. First settled by fishermen from the coasts of present-day Indian and Sri Lanka, the atolls were ruled for centuries by successions of chieftain-queens and Buddhist kings before becoming a sultanate and, later, a British protectorate. Continue reading “The Hidden Side of the Maldives”
We arrived at Grande Rivière Noire in the late afternoon, where Pierre and Priscille, a jovial Franco-Mauritian couple and the hosts of our cozy Airbnb, were waiting with a warm welcome. After our summit of Le Pouce earlier in the day, we were all looking forward to some cooling-off time. And were we ecstatic to discover that our new home was only a two-minute walk from paradise. Continue reading “Mauritius—The South”