Monday, 30 September 2019

Festivals of the month: October 2019

As the hot and humid weather slowly comes to a close, the ‘Sharad Ritu’ sets in and slowly envelopes the country with its gorgeous spirit and colours. This is when fairs and festivals start getting celebrated with renewed vigour. Take a look at some of the festivities that October is all set to unveil.

Durga Puja
Where: West Bengal
When: October 4-8

Although celebrated across the country where ever there are Bengalis, the joy and fervour of this festival is to be seen to believe in the state of West Bengal where devotees worship Goddess Durga, believed to be the slayer of the demon Mahishasura after a fierce, nine-day battle. Beginning with the Mahalaya, while each day calls for a celebration, it is on Sashti Tithi or the sixth day that gorgeously adorned idols of the Goddess are placed in community pandals. On Vijayadashami-the tenth day, the idols are immersed in sea waters amid much merriment. Besides pandal-hopping, everyone looks forward to gorging on goodies such as sandesh, malpua, kolar bora, luchi and alur torkari that are an integral part of the festival.

Also Read: Food to relish across India during Navratri

Also Read: Top yatra experiences in Nepal

Where: All over India
When: October 8


via Lonely Planet India

Food to relish across India during Navratri

One of the most vibrant and auspicious festivals, Navratri is celebrated across the length and breadth of the country. The beats of dhols, dances and colourful displays might differ from state to state but the energy around these nine days is equally magical everywhere. While for many the period is highlighted by fasting and detoxification to better adjust to climatic changes or onset of winter, for others it is a perfect reason for feasting. It is that time of the year when kuttu (buckwheat), rajgira (amaranth), singhara (water chestnut), sabudana (sago) and vrat ke chawal or samvat rice (barnyard millet) preparations become staple in a lot of homes. For the rest, the eating spree varies between farsaan, naivedyam, luchi poori and a lot more. Here’s a looking at how food defines the festive fervour of this season in various parts on India.

Also Read: Top yatra experiences in Nepal

Also Read: The road to accessible adventures



via Lonely Planet India

Four spots in Seattle for your art and architectural fix

Seattle's Art an Architecture
An installation at Chihuly Garden and Glass. Photo credit: IrynaN/

1. Chihuly Garden and Glass

Just below the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass is home to massive installations by local glass artist Dale Chihuly. Visitors will be awed by the brightly coloured, sea-life-inspired pieces suspended overhead. The exhibits are especially striking when dramatically lit up at night.

305 Harrison St

Seattle's Art an Architecture
Outside the Seattle Art Museum. Photo credit: Jiri Vondrous

2. Seattle Art Museum

The epicentre of the city’s visual arts, this sprawling museum complex has art from Africa, Asia, Europe and Native America. With over 25,000 pieces in the collection, it’s impossible to take it all in on one visit, so be sure to pick up a map in the lobby to choose a route to match your interests.

1300 1st Ave

Seattle's Art an Architecture
An art work at the Olympic Sculpture Park. Photo credit: Max Herman/

3. Olympic Sculpture Park

Free to enter, the waterfront Olympic Sculpture Park features a collection of large-scale, outdoor, contemporary sculptures. A 670m, Z-shaped walkway connects downtown Seattle to the waterfront strip, providing a physical transition from the city to the art. As a bonus, the park also offers great views of the distant Olympic Mountains, the Space Needle and the Puget Sound.

2901 Western Ave

43: Time in seconds it takes to travel in a Space Needle elevator from the ground floor to the top level of the tower

Seattle's Art an Architecture
The Space Needle is an icon in Seattle. Photo credit: Tanya Goehring

4. Space Needle

Seattle’s icon was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and now draws 1.3 million annual visitors. The structure’s elevators whisk visitors to an observation deck 152m above the city, which, thanks to a major renovation, now includes the world’s first rotating glass floor.

400 Broad St

Seattle's Art and Architecture
The city’s design philosophy is more about texture and detail over grand sculptural gestures, says Alan Maskin. Photo: Tanya Goehring

Q&A with Alan Maskin, design principal for the Century Project for the Space Needle

What’s your favourite part of the Space Needle renovation?

We added 196% more glass, transforming the Space Needle into one of the most interactive pieces of architecture. People use their entire bodies to engage with it – touching everything, lying down, leaning against the glass. There are few places that inspire that level of engagement. We designed an environment where you’re completely safe, but the transparency to the city gives you the sense that you’re taking a risk.

What’s the city’s place in the world of architecture and design?

There’s a strong Pacific Rim and Asian design influence here. You see this most clearly in the way Northwestern design integrates architecture with the landscape, putting an emphasis on the craft of building and materiality. We like texture and detail over grand sculptural gestures – architecture that’s quieter, less flamboyant.

Seattle's Art an Architecture
A man capturing the view of the city from atop the Space Needle. Photo credit: Tanya Goehring

SEE ALSO: 5 places to soak in Seattle’s culture and heritage

This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine

The post Four spots in Seattle for your art and architectural fix appeared first on SilverKris.

from SilverKris

墨尔本: 绿食哲学

Melbourne chinese feature going green Onda1. Onda

Onda并不是全素的餐厅,但近乎一半的餐单料理是素食。位于繁忙的Bridge Road,装潢色彩亮丽的南非餐厅尽管新开业不久,但每到傍晚,总见餐厅中央区的波浪形沙发坐满了食客。主厨兼创办人之一Stephen Hogan曾在墨尔本名店Chin Chin 和Bistro Guillaume任职。在这家餐厅,他颠覆一切规则,结合了巴西和伯利兹传统,带来秘鲁和瓜地马拉的南美洲风味美食。品尝马苏里拉芝士奇巴泡芙(一种阿根廷特色芝士面包)配上深色的Mole酱汁,也别忘了香料青豆和马铃薯制成的酥皮饺子Empanadas。或一尝枫木釉烤茄子薄饼,佐以辛辣的西班牙多香果泥,最后以番薯派配红加仑果雪葩、红薯片、凤梨胶和柠檬烤酥饼碎,为美好一餐划下句点。

Melbourne chinese feature going green Etta
Photo Credit: Annika Kafcaloudis

2. Etta

无论是食物或装潢,这家小酒馆都透着一股沉稳低调的风格。使用澳洲螺纹大理石制成的吧台桌,配上淡色系木质建材,或许是布朗斯威克区的Lygon街上最迷人的餐饮场所。由Ramblr前主厨Charley Snadden-Wilson,以及曾任职于Attica的Hannah Green主理,无需多作说明,这里以料理展现实力。食客可享用经典法式佳肴Pommes Anna(切成薄片的马铃薯佐以黑蒜和帕玛森奶酪)、新鲜制作的Stracciatella丝绸奶酪配上辣椒和烤韭葱,以及配搭紫菜牛油和昆布的烤卷心菜。此外,这里也提供丰富的红酒选择,大多来自澳洲与欧洲酒农所特酿的橙酒和天然芬芳的红酒。

Melbourne chinese feature going green Smith & Daughters3. Smith & Daughters

即便餐厅的纯素料理让人感觉概念有点不明确,任何到过墨尔本的人,应该都曾在谷歌搜寻这家位于布朗斯威克街的一座蓝石建筑内的超人气餐厅。而让老饕回头的最大因素是主厨兼创办人之一Shannon Martinez的革新理念。餐厅最初售卖墨西哥Tapas,如今延伸到各类意式美食,有新鲜蘑菇制成的深红色“牛肉酱”意大利面,也有几可乱真的柠檬酸豆酱的“鸡肉”Piccata料理。另外,配上无花果和炸帕玛森奶酪的“生牛肉片”Carpaccio也是招牌菜色之一。

Melbourne chinese feature going green The Vegie Bar4. The Vegie Bar

自1988年开业以来提供无肉料理,可算得上是墨尔本历史最悠久的素食馆。创办人Laki和 Marian Papadopoulos过去30年来主理餐厅至今,依然在业内保持领先地位。其全素料理主打全球化美食风格,灵感取自土耳其、印度、摩洛哥、马来西亚等各地的料理元素。诸如Mee Goreng(炒福建面配上花生酱)等招牌料理固然是不变经典,这里所售卖的美食却也不断与时并进。餐厅近年推出自家革新版的Better Than a Big Mac汉堡(三层布里欧修面包内夹两块素牛肉饼和纯素芝士),以及美味的菠萝蜜玉米饼配黑豆和芥末大蒜蛋黄酱。

Melbourne chinese feature going green Transformer5. Transformer

2015年开业,The Vegie Bar幕后团队看准时机入场,打造高级食肆。店址前身是旧仓库,餐饮空间概念一分为二,一边是裸砖墙与黑色钢铁隔间的后工业风用餐区,另一边是温室用餐区,桌子之间缀以绿色攀墙植物,清新迷人。与装潢设计一脉相承,这里的食物通过各式高超烹饪技法处理。农场新鲜栽种的食材经过压缩、发酵、真空低温烹调、烤焦和浸泡,同时将蔬菜解构重组,烹制出创新风味、口感和视觉效果。让人意想不到的食材搭配,如棕榈心、芹菜雷莫拉酱和育空黄金薯片;或是烤花椰菜配上焦糖酸奶。此外,这里也可享用到各式传统菜色,如配上松茸、烤栗子和鼠尾草牛油的云朵状意式疙瘩Gnocchi。

Melbourne chinese feature going green Trippy Taco6. Trippy Taco

墨尔本素来以具前瞻性思维的创新佳肴和高档料理著称,但Trippy Taco却以家常平民小吃墨西哥卷饼(Burrito)俘虏人心。与墨尔本知名的黑胶唱片行Northside Records毗邻,这家可容纳45人的墨西哥餐厅,提供全城最好吃的墨西哥卷饼,全素食材,没有用上任何猪、鸡、鱼或牛肉。餐厅老板Simon Fisher过去在墨西哥生活过,学会了制作墨西哥薄饼的一手好手艺,最初在音乐节上售卖自制的卷饼,其后才设立永久性店面。除了墨西哥卷饼,餐单选择还包括玉米片(Nacho)、薄饼(Taco)、玉米粽(Tamale)和馅饼(Quesadilla)。令人满足的丰富馅料,包括黑豆、炭烤豆腐、溶化了的芝士和莎莎酱,还可额外添加炒蛋。食客也可以品尝不含乳制品的配料,以及各种辣酱,从稍带麻味到焦土味,任君选择。唯一问题是午餐时段不易找到位子,不妨在等待当儿,欣赏满街形形色色的人流川行以消磨时间。

Melbourne chinese feature going green Attica7. Attica

在“全球50最佳餐厅”名单中,Attica被评为澳洲第一的顶尖餐厅。位于Ripponlea的这家高级餐厅,不但连续5年入选,更曾在2018年攀上最高排名第20位(虽然在2019年滑落至第84名,仍值得关注)。掌舵者Ben Shewry出生成长于纽西兰农村,他所设计的餐单,旨在发掘探索本土食材,以凸显出澳洲料理的精彩。呈现至少12道奢华料理的厨师精选,选用的优质食材均来自当地个体农户和采集者,大部份都是澳洲的原生食材。尽管Attica也提供其他非素食料理,素食者仍能享用特制餐单。除了熟成圣诞老人甜瓜配戴维森李子干、炸珍珠小洋葱配自制椰子酸乳酪,还有创新大胆的美味小点——维吉麦芝士面包卷,都让人回味无穷。

SEE ALSO: 悉尼 玩味趣食指南

This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine

The post 墨尔本: 绿食哲学 appeared first on SilverKris.

from SilverKris

Street Music

Playing on the Pont au Double. I will never forget walking across the bridge hearing his beautiful music.

via Paris Through My Lens

Take a Look Inside Indonesia: The Orangutans, Jungles, and Culture

There are some animals out there that are so hard to see in the wild that most people will only ever have the opportunity to see them in zoos. One such creature is the orangutan.



from JustLuxe: LuxuryTravel News

Sunday, 29 September 2019

A private view: explore the quieter side of Florence

Away from the bustle of the crowds is a far gentler version of Tuscany’s great art and food city. All you need is a bike

It’s midnight, and I am lost in Florence. I’m on a bike without lights (almost no one has lights on their bikes in central Florence, just as no one has a helmet) and whichever turn I take to get me to the River Arno seems to get me back to the Duomo. But what a sight it is, its magnificent light and dark marble rising majestically out of the night. I have a bag of locally made chocolate in my basket and suddenly I realise that being lost in the Renaissance city in the middle of the night, with a supply of cioccolato con nocciole, makes me perhaps the luckiest person alive.

Florence is a glorious city and I am blessed to be spending a lot of time in it right now, working on a project about female Renaissance artists (yes! they were here all the time, painting alongside da Vinci and Michelangelo, Botticelli and Caravaggio; it’s just taken us a few hundred years to clock their existence). Sometimes I rent a room in the centre, but this week I am based 4km from the Duomo (hence the bike), in an architect-designed collection of rooms and flats on the Oltrarno (translation: “the other side of the Arno”). It’s called Riva Lofts, and cycling back to it 15 minutes later along the river path, when I eventually get my bearings, feels like being transported to the Umbrian countryside.

Continue reading...

via Italy holidays | The Guardian

Place des Vosges

Every trip to Paris, the Marais and Place des Vosges is on our list.

via Paris Through My Lens

3 food spots to visit on Jakarta’s new MRT

Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit feature
Jakarta’s new MRT. Photo credit: Muhammad Fadli

1. Echigoya Ramen

This authentic ramen spot located in Little Tokyo is known for its delicious shio, shoyu and tonkotsu ramen. Nearest MRT Station: Blok M.

+62 21 739 5962

2. Sunyi House of Coffee and Hope

Sunyi means “quiet” and this café lives up to its name, staffed entirely by baristas who are hearing- and speech-impaired. Nearest MRT Station: Fatmawati.

Jakarta MRT line
Loka Padang’s Bakwan Jagung Jumbo. Photo credit: Loka Padang

3. Loka Padang

For a vegan take on Padang curries, Loka Padang uses jackfruit, eggplant and mushroom instead of meat. Nearest MRT Station: Setiabudi.

Singapore Airlines flies to Jakarta nine times daily. To book a flight, visit

SEE ALSO: The coolest neighbourhoods to visit on Jakarta’s new Mass Rapid Transit

This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine

The post 3 food spots to visit on Jakarta’s new MRT appeared first on SilverKris.

from SilverKris

Adare Manor: The Definitive Luxe Golf Destination in Ireland

A hallmark of a memorable travel destination is its ability to make guests feel as if they are home – regardless of their point of origin. The recently completed renovation of



from JustLuxe: LuxuryTravel News

Why The Canyon Suites At The Phoenician Are The Most Luxurious In Arizona

From the sprawling luxurious resorts to the spectacular Sonoran Desert sunsets, there are so many reasons any time of year to head to Scottsdale. As the temperatures start to cool down in New England, this year-round sun soaked destination is one



from JustLuxe: LuxuryTravel News

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Virgil Abloh: “未来新生代, 是我的缪思”

Virgil Abloh Interview
Photo credit: Ovidiu Hrubaru/

我在芝加哥的成长经历,对我有着 深刻的影响。我对滑板运动和嘻哈音乐非常着迷。这些启发了我确立目标,希望在高端时尚和街头服饰之间建立一个对话桥梁。街头文 化远比起任何一切,对我的影响都来得深远。


史蒂夫 ∙ 乔布斯、卡尔∙拉格斐以及迈克尔∙乔丹,他们并非因为墨守成规才成为家喻户晓的人物。他们全心全意投入自己的领域,而我一直以来也是如此。

刚接任(路易威登男装艺术总监) 时,感觉很不可思议。我为接受我的集团首席执行官贝尔纳∙阿尔诺先生,以及路易威登团队而鼓掌。这是一家很棒的公司,有着成功的品牌历史,但让我感到最钦佩的是他们对于另辟新径所抱持的开放态度。


Virgil Abloh Off White Interview
Photo credit:



(我的衣柜必备单品)比大家想象的更简单:白T恤、黑T恤、(Nike Air Force 1s)、牛仔裤和黑色连帽衫。尽管我追求创意,但有某些东西是不可或缺的。

伦敦是我最喜爱的城市之一。乐在伦敦之余,我每次都能完成许多工作。我喜欢那些小角落,像苏豪区和肖迪奇。Shoreditch House是我最喜欢的工作场所之一,我在那里时,工作效率总是特别好。



SEE ALSO: 布里斯班: 闪耀新潮区

This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine

The post Virgil Abloh: “未来新生代, 是我的缪思” appeared first on SilverKris.

from SilverKris

Friday, 27 September 2019

In pics: The giants of Africa

The African Elephant, one of the most graceful big creatures on Earth, is the largest living land animal. These mammals generally live in families headed by a matriarch (largest female elephant in the herd) and have very strong social structures and bonds. These sentient beings roam the grassland savannahs, deep forests and even the southern deserts of this great continent.

While the iconic elephant can be seen in almost all national parks of Africa, the best among them for viewing the pachyderm are Amboseli National Park in Southern Kenya, which has Mount Kilimanjaro as it’s backdrop, Kidepo Valley & Queen Elizabeth national parks of Uganda, the famous Serengeti in Tanzania, South Luangwa in Zambia, Okavango Delta & Chobe in Botswana, Addo Elephant Park and Kruger in South Africa. There are also elephants which have adapted to the harsh desert conditions found in north-west Namibia, in particular Kaokoland and Damaraland areas.

Also Read: Visit Greenland to witness global warming in action

Also Read: Solo travel: how to keep costs down


via Lonely Planet India

What happens if you don’t put your phone on airplane mode on a flight?

It’s not that long ago when airlines stopped telling passengers to keep their mobile phones, tablets, e-readers and other devices turned off throughout the flight. Remember the time in 2011 when Alec Baldwin was kicked off an American Airlines plane after becoming disruptive when a flight attendant told him to stop playing Words with Friends? Airlines take this stuff seriously for a reason.

Why do we have to put our phones on flight mode?

We’re asked to turn our devices off or to flight mode because of electromagnetic interference from phones, tablets, e-readers, electronic headsets, and more. Since some planes were built before these became a thing, it took a while for the industry to make sure it was entirely safe to use them.

These days, you’ll even see iPads and other tablets in the flight deck, which pilots use to store paperwork instead of lugging around big bags with actual paper in. You’ll see flight attendants using tablets and big phones too, either instead of or in addition to those reams and reams of dot-matrix printed paperwork. All those devices have been tested extensively to make sure there’s no interference.

Also Read: How to make the most of your travels

Also Read: Visit Greenland to witness global warming in action

But that hasn’t always been the case! In fact, back in 2011, some parts within specific models of flight deck screen on certain Boeing 737 aircraft proved to be susceptible to interference. How’d we find out that specific combination of planes and monitors — and fix it? During the rigorous testing process to enable airlines to offer inflight internet, that’s how. Part of that testing process is creating enough electromagnetic interference to represent an entire cabin full of devices of a variety of sizes, including some that are malfunctioning. Pretty much every airliner-equipment combo operated by a major international airline has now been tested.

What happens if I don’t put my phone on airplane mode?

For years, safety regulators, airlines, aircraft manufacturers and everyone else in the industry has known that there are dozens of devices left out of airplane mode on every flight. In a way, the fact that planes haven’t fallen out of the sky willy-nilly because someone left their Kindle on is the best demonstration that, for the most part, most devices don’t affect most planes.

But most isn’t good enough for aviation. Some folks don’t know that their Kindle even has 3G, or that the Bluetooth on their watch/headphones/other device counts as needing to be in airplane mode. Some forget that they’ve packed one of those devices in the overhead bin. Some even blatantly ignore the rules, assuming that their vital email on that device isn’t going to make their plane start to plummet. And it probably isn’t.

Here’s the thing: aviation doesn’t work on probablys. One of the reasons why aviation is safer than getting in your car, crossing the street, or even just staying at home (more people are casualties of toilet-related incidents than aviation accidents!) is that airlines and their regulators work with an abundance of caution.

This article was first published on

via Lonely Planet India

Top awards for Lonely Planet Madhya Pradesh pocket guidebooks

Lonely Planet India is proud to announce that our pocket Madhya Pradesh guidebooks have won the National Tourism Awards (2017–18) in the Best Tourism Promotion Material category.

  • Pocket Madhya Pradesh
  • Heritage Trips Madhya Pradesh
  • Tiger & Beyond
  • Short Escapes from Bhopal

A big shout out to our India team!

The award winning titles are a great travel companion on your next trip to Madhya Pradesh. From heritage and spiritual trips, adventure safaris, plush resorts, expert recommendations they’re packed with useful travel tips.

For more travel related information, keep following Lonely Planet India.

via Lonely Planet India

Lake Lucerne: Zurich’s natural treasure is ripe for exploration

Top of the Lake
A passenger steamer on Lake Lucerne

There’s no fence separating me from the 1,921m drop down to the implausibly turquoise Lake Lucerne (known to locals as Vierwaldstättersee) below. I’m standing in a meadow on the mountain of Fronalpstock that’s thick with wild clove, inky enzian and alpine orchids. The journey from Zurich to this summit in central Switzerland involved a train, a funicular and a chairlift, each connection seamlessly Swiss and each leg even more scenic than the last.

As I stand along the ridge gawking down at one of the bends in the four-armed lake below, a pair of cows, bronze bells clanging at their necks, watch me wearily from a nearby pasture. Suddenly, the melancholy bellows of an alphorn echo up from the valley and I feel my heart lifting up into my chest. The scene might sound clichéd, but the deep primordial colours, the clarity of sounds and the purity of the landscape stirs something within me. I’m awestruck by these Alps and often feel nourished and mentally and spiritually reset by my visits here.

I moved to Zurich from New York in 2012 and have been making regular alpine pilgrimages to the country’s 26 cantons and four linguistic regions ever since. Time and again, though, I’m drawn back to the majestic shores and valleys of Vierwaldstättersee. The sensation of being on the car-free Alp here is unlike anything offered by the other alpine lakes. It’s similar to snorkelling: the sounds of the human world below are muted; colours are heightened; and nature has a rare advantage over humankind.

Top of the Lake
The spectacular view from Fronalpstock

What’s more, the 114km2 Vierwaldstättersee – whose German name translates word-for-word to “four forest settlement lake” – is currently having a moment. In 2019, the lakefront village of Vitznau, parked at the foot of Mount Rigi on an idyllic bay, received three new Michelin stars, raising the lake’s total to eight stars, certifying it as a bona fide foodie destination. Across the lake, the S$600 million Bürgenstock Resort opened in 2017 and includes four hotels and a 10,000m2 spa with a game-changing thermal bath and new summer farmers’ markets, pool parties and DJ sessions.

Meanwhile, 20km down shore, you’ll find the Stoosbahn, the world’s steepest funicular railway, launched in late 2017. It provides access to the family-friendly Stoos resort at the foot of Fronalpstock, home to almost 34km of skiable piste, new themed hiking trails, cheese markets, sunset gondola rides and regular yodelling and alphorn concerts. Between these developments, and the timeless natural beauty of the region, Vierwaldstättersee is ripe for exploration.

Top of the Lake
The Stoosbahn funicular railway

I start my journey with the 45-minute train ride from Zurich to Vierwaldstättersee’s lake-perched station. Upon arriving, I walk five minutes to the ferry terminal behind the Modernist KKL Luzern Concert Hall, designed by Jean Nouvel. I hop on a scenic one-hour ferry to Vitznau, the base station of the Rigi Railways cog train that’s been running continuously since 1871. It’s also home to the country’s newest constellation of Michelin stars. In Michelin’s 2019 guide to Switzerland, Vitznau scored four stars at three different restaurants. These include one-starred Sens inside the Hotel Vitznauerhof as well as one-starred PRISMA and two-starred focus, both located within the Belle Époque-era Park Hotel Vitznau. This classic English-style hideaway, built during Switzerland’s golden age of alpine exploration, is best known for its restorative wellness offerings and lake views.

Though the 36-year-old chef Patrick Mahler – who’s lived in central Switzerland for six years – has only been manning the stoves at focus for a year, the restaurant’s double stars are arguably down to his vision. Mahler’s creations such as Swiss char caviar spooned atop Japanese custard royale and tender veal sweetbreads with local hazelnut, white asparagus and capers continue to garner global acclaim. “When people think of Swiss food, they think of fondue and rosti, but there’s so much more,” he says.

Top of the Lake
Poolside at Burgenstock Resort

After a few restorative days in Vitznau, I hop on a scenic 30-minute steamship journey across the lake to the shores of Canton Nidwalden, one of many Unesco World Heritage sites on the lake known for prehistoric pile dwellings dating back more than 6,000 years. Vierwaldstättersee is actually a freshwater fjord, which is easy to understand when you’re out on the water gazing up at the mighty snow-capped mountains on either side of you. As the ship chugs leeward, the town of Lucerne disappears from sight. In recent years, the city has become Switzerland’s de facto capital of tourism and is chock-a-block with tour buses and the luxury boutiques and quick-service restaurants that cater to them. It doesn’t take long to access Vierwaldstättersee’s hushed alpine world of lapping shorelines and hidden valleys – I can’t understand why so few tourists leave the city.

After disembarking in the tiny village of Kehrsiten, I step into a cherry-red funicular for a four-minute journey up to Bürgenstock (the ferry and the funicular are free for hotel guests). Today, Bürgenstock is home to four separate hotels. It’s a sybaritic riot of grand old hotel parquetry mixed with a dose of mid-century glamour, bestowed on the resort from VIP visitors over the years such as Sean Connery, Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger. Former guests Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn loved Bürgenstock so much, they both moved there. Hepburn even married her first husband Mel Ferrer in Bürgenstock’s chapel in 1954.

Top of the Lake
Scallop with turnip cabbage, green apple and coriander from PRISMA

That glamour and mystery still endure today, especially in the spa’s gravity-defying infinity thermal bath perched precariously over a cliff top and whipped by crosswinds. You can check into Bürgenstock’s Waldhotel, a timber-slatted resort-clinic hybrid with views overlooking the rear side of the mountain dotted with weathered Swiss barns, cows and sheep. The hotel’s restaurant Verbena is a highlight of my Bürgenstock stay, and dishes such as pheasant stock, cherrywood-smoked venison and sturgeon with Lucerne caviar are by turns healthy and edifying. From Waldhotel, an easy 30-minute hike takes me past Hepburn’s and Loren’s villas to Villa Honegg, an old-fashioned boutique hotel with 23 rooms and a creative kitchen sending out dishes such as goat curd with mint pesto; alpine cheese with dandelion honey; and Swiss pike ceviche with fir sprouts and cilantro.

“I regard the goodness, the tolerance and the virtue of these Alps, and my sense of the world is restored once again”

Serious hikers can plunge even deeper into Nidwalden’s alps by trekking the 24km, five-hour route (or 30-minute drive) to Bannalpsee and Alp Oberfeld, home turf of sustainable alpine cheesemakers Rita and Josef Waser-Späni. “We process 120 litres of organic dairy every day,” says Rita. “We use copper kettles over an open fire and rely on dairy from heritage breeds of livestock such as peacock mountain goats and Rhaetian Grey cattle to produce our cheeses.”

Over the years, I’ve brought multiple visiting friends to Vierwaldstättersee’s sharpest bend, on the opposite shore in Canton Schwyz. If there’s one road that begs to be driven on, the jaw-dropping Axenstrasse, whose northern axis point starts here, is it. The curvaceous passage catapults and corkscrews for over 11 glorious kilometres, plunging through century-old mountain tunnels and dangling precipitously above cliff walls cascading down to azure waters.

Top of the Lake
The elegant exterior of PRISMA

Over on the southern edge of Canton Schwyz is the town of Brunnen, home to Strandbad Hopfräben, one of the lake’s many badi (swimming lidos). Before Switzerland developed its north-south axis highways in the ’70s and ’80s, Brunnen was a popular lunch stop for Italy-bound motorists. Before crossing the Gotthard Pass, they would pause along this stretch for a dish called Poulet im Chörbli (chicken in a basket), served at several venues often marked with a cartoon chicken out front. The crispy-skinned half chicken is served in a surprisingly spicy sauce, a rarity in Switzerland. Over the years, I’ve tried many, but the version at Oschen, a half-timber gasthaus decorated with hand-painted crests which dates back to 1740, is the best. It’s ideally eaten with fresh kopfsalat (butterhead lettuce) and a heap of pommes frites (fries) and washed down with a cold Swiss rosé.

The Axenstrasse ends in the lakeside town of Flüelen, located in the vehemently independent canton of Uri where the southernmost Italian aiming arm of the lake is called Urnersee. The late Anthony Bourdain refused to visit Switzerland because he mistakenly thought it was a country filled with rich skiers donning Swiss watches and eating truffled fondue. But if there’s one place in Switzerland I bet he’d have loved, it would have been Uri, Switzerland’s poorest canton and arguably its most Swiss. It’s populated by fierce working class labourers, tradesmen and self-sufficient dairy farmers who rely on the rugged Alps for sustenance just as their ancestors did millennia ago.

Top of the Lake
Cool off in the lake at Vitznau

Fittingly, Uri is the birthplace of Switzerland. On 1 August 1291, in a green lakeside meadow called Rütli, three cantons – Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden (which later split into the two cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden) swore a uniting oath, forming a loose confederation against the marauding Habsburgs. This rogue gang was referred to by Latin-speaking Romans as Confoederatio Helvetica, a term still used in the abbreviated form CH to denote everything from Swiss currency to the nation’s sports teams.

Uri is also home to Altdorf, the picturesque cantonal capital where William Tell allegedly shot an apple off his son’s head. It’s marked today by colourful murals and statues in the town’s bustling platzli (plaza). His birthplace of Bürglen, just a few kilometres away, is also worth a visit and noted for its charming William Tell chapel. In 2019, native guide Hansruedi Herger launched his own sustainable small group tour operator called The Alps By Joe. He takes guests to see the lake’s red pine forests and ibex colonies and feels that his native Uri has a special allure. “Urnersee is the most magical part of the lake and its deep green beckons you to plunge in,” he says from his home in Bürglen. “Swimming in this arm of the lake restores harmony in your body, especially after a hike.”

Top of the Lake
Cows grazing along the mountainside, seen from the chairlift to Fronalpstock

The deeper you go into Uri, the sunnier and more Italian it feels – a reminder that Switzerland’s sole Italian-speaking canton, Ticino, is the next stop heading south, while Italy itself is less than 100km away. Indeed, Uri remains the only canton besides Ticino where learning Italian is still mandatory in primary school. What’s more, Swiss cuisine here begins to mingle with Italian through dishes such as the creamy alplermagronen (a macaroni and cheese dish with roots in Switzerland and northern Italy) and ghackets mit hörnli (macaroni and minced meat ragù).

Tempting as it is to give in to the gravitational pull of Italy and the magnetic Roman world to the south that sculpted so much of Europe, I plant myself here on the lakeshore at the seams of these two distinctly different European cultures. Sunset comes early in Uri and the sun sinks behind the sculptural Urner Alps, electrifying the tips of mountain tops in a spectacularly pink display of alpenglühen or alpenglow. Swiss as the scene is, it’s the moon rising over sparkling Urnersee that is a moving and fitting finish to any visit. As it peaks over the Alps and shines down on the lake’s glassy surface in a million milky shards, I regard the goodness, the tolerance and the virtue of these Alps, and my sense of the world is restored once again.

Take a hike: Key walks in the region to check out

Entlebuch Biosphere Zurich Lucerne
Unesco World Heritage site Entlebuch Biosphere is surrounded by the Alps. Photo credit: Michal Stipek/

The Buiräbähnli (“farmer’s cable car”) Safari in Nidwalden’s Engelberg is an alpine farm trek that utilises farmer’s gondolas and cable cars to visit remote farms where you can sample cheese and alpine butter. The hikes are ideal for families and those with limited mobility, and some skirt the Entlebuch Biosphere, a 395km2 valley that’s home to a Unesco World Heritage site noted for its endemic wildflowers, such as enzian and edelweiss, and rare birds, such as cuckoos, owls and grouse.

One of Uri’s most scenic trails is accessed by a self-operating open-air gondola to the Ober-Axen trailhead. Along the 5km Eggberge trail, you’ll encounter mossy forests, hermetic dairy farmers and wildflower-strewn meadows.

Golzernsee is an easy-to-medium 6km hike over chalet-filled fields. The Golzernseilbahn whisks you over emerald pastures to the Golzernsee trailhead. The trail’s flat first half is an easy hike lined with honour-system huts that are run by farmers’ kids hawking wheels of Alp cheese and locally quarried quartz.

Once you reach Golzernsee, a small green alpine lake perfect for summer swims and picnics, you can spend the day swimming or hike further up to the top of the trail’s second, more difficult stretch.

Singapore Airlines flies direct to Zurich daily. To book a flight, visit

SEE ALSO: 8 bars galvanising the Zürich bar scene

This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine

The post Lake Lucerne: Zurich’s natural treasure is ripe for exploration appeared first on SilverKris.

from SilverKris

6 spots to visit in Parap, Darwin, from galleries to coffee joints

Home to one of Darwin’s oldest markets – the Saturday Parap Village Market – this once-sleepy suburb became the locals’ weekend hangout of choice when Parap’s creative set started opening shops in and around the markets, generating a low-key, artsy vibe for the neighbourhood while creating pioneering businesses, from a new breed of butcher to an exhibition and retail gallery space dedicated to artists based in Australia’s Top End.

Darwin's parap village market
Laneway Specialty Coffee’s baked goods are a winner

1. Laneway Specialty Coffee

The coffee scene was noticeably flat in Darwin before this specialty roaster opened in 2014. It’s all about fair and direct trade here, using numerous single-origin beans to brew filter and cold-drip coffee. The scratch-made mega muffins sell out every morning, especially on white chocolate and peanut butter with blueberries day.

Darwin's parap village market
The Humpty Doo Barramundi Mooli at Saffrron Restaurant.

2. Saffrron Restaurant

Originally from Tamil Nadu, chef Selvam Kandasamy’s cooking has been drawing visitors to Parap for almost a decade. This newly renovated restaurant was the first in Australia to use biodegradable tableware, and remains committed to sourcing locally for dishes such as barramundi poached in ginger, coconut milk and turmeric.

Darwin's parap village market
The Local only stocks works from Northern Territory artisans.

3. The Local

Shopping local is the entire focus behind this new artist-run retail space in Parap Shopping Village, hence its name. The vibrant store only stocks works and goods from Northern Territory artists and makers, giving shoppers direct access to handcrafted jewellery, pottery, art and fabrics from local talent at commission-free prices. Perfect for picking up a unique souvenir.

Darwin's parap village market
Outstation Gallery’s director Matt Ward has embarked on a spin-off project that will also be in Parap.

4. Outstation Gallery

Aside from presenting Indigenous artwork from around Australia, this gallery sources pieces from art centres that support fair work practices for its artists. Director Matt Ward’s connection with local artists through Outstation has spurred a spin-off project that will open in Parap soon and exclusively showcase work from artists with a connection to Australia’s Top End.

Darwin's parap village market
The Butcher’s Gus Wheatley with his prime rib

5. The Butcher on Parap

This modern butcher is a far cry from a traditional meat market. Artwork from local artist Wayne Miles hangs from the walls and ready-to-grill meals are stocked alongside tender dry-aged cuts. It specialisea in free-range and grass-fed meat, and its Aussie lamb burger (made with rosemary, cheese and Vegemite) is all you need for an impromptu barbecue in the park.

Darwin's parap village market
The fresh bakes at Parap Bakery will get you craving for more

6. Parap Bakery

At this family-owned bakery, all the breads, pies and cakes are baked fresh on-site daily. Breakfast is the showstopper – egg and bacon rolls are served with freshly baked brioche buns while sugar-dusted doughnuts are topped with decadent treats such as KitKats, gummy worms and Tim Tams. Lunch options are hard to beat too, with the avocado and brie sandwich served on fresh sourdough bread.

SEE ALSO: The cultural hotspots of Darwin

This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of Silkwinds magazine

The post 6 spots to visit in Parap, Darwin, from galleries to coffee joints appeared first on SilverKris.

from SilverKris

My Happy Place

From my very first visit to Paris in March, 2007, I have found a way to drag up a green chair, put my feet up and thank God I'm in Paris again. A plastic glass of champagne is the icing on the cake.

via Paris Through My Lens

Lisbon's Five Star Bairro Alto Hotel Reopens

With its storied traditions, new world cool and immense natural beauty, it’s no wonder that Portugal is having a complete resurgence, with travelers flocking to this Iberian Peninsula in droves. This southern European country has been p



from JustLuxe: LuxuryTravel News

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Sep 26, Flags of Malaysia

Here is some trivia about the flags of Malaysia, the old Malaya flag and the State flags and State coats of arms.

from The Malaysia Traveller Blog

Les colonnes

Palais Galliera, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris. While not always open, it's worth researching upcoming exhibits before your next visit. 

via Paris Through My Lens

The road to accessible adventures

Travel has always been alluring, but is it the same for those with special needs.  “Accessible travel,” as we call it is seeing a rise and India too is slowly gearing up opening doors for the differently abled to see this beautiful country.

Way back in 2006 when my friend from Bengaluru was visiting Delhi, she had expressed her wish to see the Qutub Minar. Being wheelchair bound there was no such provision to take her. But cut to today’s date and time accessible travel in India is seeing a rise in graph. Most tourism destinations are shifting focus towards issues such as sustainability, cultural richness and accessibility.

The whole concept of accessibility is reaching a wider audience. Making spaces accessible for all is an ongoing effort and working towards ensuring accessible infrastructure and transportation systems, and changing people’s attitude is simply indispensable. Adding to this Sminu Jindal, Founder, SVAYAM; a leading accessibility organization, says “SVAYAM along with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had made Unesco World Heritage Site of Qutub Minar accessible in 2008 – the first ever WHS in the country to be made accessible. Making monuments accessible is also helping in boosting revenue of a monument as there’s a spike in footfalls once a site becomes accessible. Accessibility also makes a heritage site safer and helps in its preservation while also instilling a sense of discipline among visitors”.

Not many may remember but way back in 2001 when Stephen Hawking visited India he had expressed his wish to visit the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb and others, and it was then that temporary wooden ramps were installed and these monuments got their first make-shift disabled-friendly access.

Tourism needs to be accessible to all – regardless of age, gender or physical status. With more and more specially-abled travellers moving out of their comfort zone and travelling to different locations, travel is becoming more about inclusion and India is taking its baby steps towards it.

Also Read: Hip hostels across India for travellers

Also Read: Visit Greenland to witness global warming in action


via Lonely Planet India

What to Eat in Italy in the Fall

Every season in Italy has its own delights, and autumn is definitely the star of the show when it comes to food, the harvest and culinary festivals. Some of Italy’s most famous dishes are based on autumn’s harvest bounty – truffles, pumpkin ravioli, porcini mushrooms, chestnuts and artichokes. Come along with us as we take … Continue reading What to Eat in Italy in the Fall

The post What to Eat in Italy in the Fall appeared first on Italy Perfect Travel Blog.

fromItaly Perfect Travel Blog

4 day trips you can embark on from Seattle

A day trip in Seattle
Bainbridge Island. Photo credit: Ciaran Meister/

1. Bainbridge Island

Though it’s only a half-hour ferry ride from Colman Dock, Bainbridge Island feels a world away. First, explore the shops and eateries in the quaint, walkable downtown area of Winslow, then find farm-totable fare at award-winning restaurant Hitchcock nearby. Washington’s wine scene is on par with Napa and Sonoma, and on Bainbridge, you can sip Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay at Eagle Harbor Wine and Amelia Wynn Winery. Before heading back, see works from local artists at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.

A day trip in Seattle
Mount Rainier. Photo credit: Jeff Zenner Photography/

2. Mount Rainier National Park

The glacier-capped volcano of Mount Rainier looms behind Seattle. This spectacular peak, its surrounding wildflower meadows and old-growth forests are protected by Mount Rainier National Park. Picturesque hikes abound, many of the best starting from the Paradise Visitor Centre, a two-and a- half-hour drive from Seattle. Scenic trails promising views of glowing blue glaciers and abundant wildlife start right from the parking lot. Rangers at the visitor centre can provide updates on weather and trail conditions.

4,392m: Height of Mount Rainier’s crater summit. Its ice caves and lake are being studied due to their similar conditions to Mars and the moons of Jupiter

A day trip in Seattle
Hama Hama Oyster Saloon. Photo credit: Rina Jordan

3. Hoodcanal

The fish hook-shaped fjord of Hood Canal, about an hour and a half from Seattle by car, is a rewarding day trip for seafood lovers. Start your day exploring the fjord and the view of the crags of Olympic National Park – from a kayak or paddleboard rented from Alderbrook Resort and Spa. Then, head to the canal-side town of Hoodsport to sip wines at the Stottle Winery Tasting Room and try small-batch gins and vodkas at the Hardware Distillery.

Hungry? Drive 15 minutes up the road to the Hama Hama Oyster Saloon. Here, tangy smoke from barbecuing oysters floats over wooden picnic tables just steps from where the shellfish were harvested. Or stop back in at Alderbrook; its waterfront restaurant serves up fresh-caught seafood dishes paired with respected Washington wines.

A day trip in Seattle
Fisherman’s Wharf, Vancouver. Photo credit: Stephanie Braconnier/

4. Victoria

The high-speed Victoria Clipper whisks travellers to Victoria, Canada in under three hours, journeying through whale-inhabited waters. Here, learn about First Nations culture at the Royal BC Museum. Sip tea at the posh Fairmont Empress Hotel. Eat fresh seafood at the floating kiosks of Fisherman’s Wharf and sample local beer with harbour views at Spinnaker’s Gastro Brewpub. The return boat leaves at 6pm and gets you back by bedtime.

SEE ALSO: 8 perfect day trips to take from Barcelona

This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine

The post 4 day trips you can embark on from Seattle appeared first on SilverKris.

from SilverKris

An insider’s guide to Wellington, New Zealand

Insider guide to Wellington, NZEAT

Thunderbird Cafe is my go-to for a cuppa and delicious breakfast as it serves the best flat white coffee with coconut milk. Capital Markets, which consists of over 30 stalls selling great Asian street food, carries my favourite lemongrass and chilli chicken on rice from Vietnamese stall Where’s Charlie. Charley Noble Eatery & Bar is also a must-try – its fi re-grilled cauliflower steak covered in currant salsa with almond cream and a side of potatoes cooked in duck fat goes down extremely well with a glass of FROMM Rosé from Marlborough.


Dirty Little Secret is a small rooftop bar that’s perfect for a great night with a scenic view of the Wellington cityscape. However, my favourite has got to be Bangalore Polo Club. My fix is The Deadeye which comes with a coconut popsicle in it. You can choose to sip on cocktails in the sunny indoor garden or dine in a more private VIP-style booth at the back of the restaurant.


For an interactive history lesson, head over to Wellington Museum, which is housed in a gorgeous 1892 heritage building. If you are an outdoors person, I recommend taking a ferry from Wellington Harbour to Matiu/Somes Island. It’s rich in both Maori and European history and has plenty of native birds and plants. Alternatively, head to Days Bay, where you will find restaurants, shops, art galleries and a stunner of a beach. Those with families should also cruise out to Lower Hutt for a fun day at Avalon Park. There’s a water play area and a small train that takes you around the park, plus plenty of space to enjoy a picnic lunch.


Wellington’s CBD is rather compact, so walking up and down the slopes is an option. Otherwise, taking buses or booking a ride through the Uber app works for getting around. If you are venturing outside of the CBD, I suggest taking one of the Metlink trains.

Illustration by Máximo Paenza

Singapore Airlines flies to Wellington four times weekly. To book a flight, visit

SEE ALSO: The best locally owned establishments in Wellington

This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine

The post An insider’s guide to Wellington, New Zealand appeared first on SilverKris.

from SilverKris

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Skip the line Eiffel Tower Tours – Don’t waste time on line

3 min read

We don’t like to spend our valuable time standing in line in Paris. That’s why we book skip-the-line tours every time we can. The Eiffel Tower is the world’s most visited monument with some of the longest lineups— something more than 9 million people go up the tower a year. It’s better to sign up for a skip-the-line trip rather than spending hours in a queue.

Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Lines Tours

See what we mean by looong lines? Instead of standing in it, imagine meeting your guide at the base of the tower, walking right past the long line, and catching the elevator up the Eiffel Tower. There you have plenty of time to take great photos of the breathtaking cityscapes from this vantage point.

At the end of the guided part of the tour you’ll be on Level Two. On tours that include summit access your guide will hand you a ticket to the other elevator that takes you to the top of the tower, Level Three, although for many people getting to Level Two is all they want.

Once at the summit you can spend as much time on Level Three as you like. Take in the view and admire your new favorite city while sipping on a glass of champagne. That’s right, there’s a champagne bar at the top of the Eiffel Tower! Is it any wonder we love Paris?

With the Eiffel Tower being so popular, skip-the-line tours tend to sell out and the availability varies. The best way to make your skip-the-line plans is to peruse the two lists of Eiffel Tower tours (links below) to find one that available for your dates. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Eiffel Tower only makes tickets and passes available three months in advance. So you many have to wait until March 1 (for instance) to book a skip-the-line tour for June 1.

Even Better! VIP Tour + Champagne Cruise

Out of all the activities we’ve done that include the Eiffel Tower, this is one of our favorites. Imagine yourself at sunset, on a Seine River cruise, sitting in reserved seats at the front of the bateauxsipping champagne, watching the magical lights of Paris glide by.

Then you disembark near the foot of the Eiffel Tower for a guided, skip-the-line VIP tour of the first two levels. Your guide leads you directly to the priority access and up the elevator. Finish the evening viewing the lights of Paris for as long as you like. Man, it was worth it!

Eiffel Tower Illuminations Tour

You may like this nighttime illuminations tour even better. Here’s how it goes —

  • Step 1: meet your guide at the base of the Eiffel Tower at dusk, as the sun is setting.
  • Step 2: with your priority tickets you skip the line as your guide takes you to the first level while telling you Insider stories about the 130-year-old tower.
  • Step 3: take in the magnificent view of the lights of Paris from the second level.

This tour is only available one or twice a week, so you really need to plan ahead to book it.

Eiffel Tower – How to get in there

Boat, bus, bike or Metro — there are many ways to get to the Eiffel Tower. Here are a few Metro tips:

  • Metro: Bir-Hakeim. This line runs above ground so you get another view of the tower as you cross the Seine.
  • Metro: Alma-Marceau. You arrive on the Right Bank next to Princess Diana’s de facto memorial flame and cross the Seine on the Pont d’Alma. It’s a short but breathtaking stroll along the Seine to the Tour Eiffel — especially at night when the tower is lit up.
  • Metro: Trocadero. Arrive across the river at the Trocadero plaza where you get the best view of the Eiffel Tower. Then cross the bridge and you’re there.

from Paris is Paris