Time for some digital detox?

When I set off on my gap year travels back in 1990 the worldwide web didn’t exist, mobile telephony was no more than a futuristic vision on Tomorrows World, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg , was still at infant school. My somewhat limited musical collection consisted of just 5 cassettes and a Sony Walkman (state [...]

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Great skiing and a playroom designed by the godfather of creativity

Every year we see the family ski market come up with innovative new offerings and this year is no exception. Luxury tour operator Powder Byrne really seem to have pulled it out of the bag with the latest edition to their portfolio in the Swizz resort of Lenzerheide. Less than two hours from Zurich airport, [...]

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Having a whale of a time

Watching wildlife is one of the things I enjoy most about travelling. It’s become a bit of an addiction for me, something I try to factor in to every trip. And now I can add whale watching to my list, following a recent trip to British Columbia in Canada – an experience that was every [...]

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Horse in Ecuador

Cowboys and injuries

It had seemed such a great idea, riding across the Ecuadorean pampa like a cowboy, trotting in the shadows of snow-topped volcanoes. The boyfriend had been sceptical. As I’d gunned for a six-hour gallop he’d frowned and curbed my equine enthusiasm to a two-hour expedition. I huffed – this was the must-do South American experience, [...]

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Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

When stereotypes turn good

We’re told it’s bad to have preconceptions. We should keep an open mind – especially when we travel. Indeed, we should not pre-judge our destination on its cliches: we must arrive unbaggaged, free from string-of-onion, clog-wearing, towel-on-sunlounger type stereotypes. But then I went to Switzerland. And all my pesky preconceptions, which I tried my hardest [...]

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Jacques-Cartier National Park, Quebec, Canada

Before a Fall

“So will the colours come in about a week?” I asked Marie as I scanned the still-green hills. “Ten days,” she replied, assessing the Fall-ing foliage in a flash. “It will be ten days.” Such certainty – down to individual chunks of 24 hours – over the whims of nature seemed like hokum to me; [...]

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The Shackleton Epic

Legend has it that the 1914 job ad simply said ….. ‘Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.’ Not the most inspiring job description perhaps, but it was enough to convince 25 men to join Ernest Shackleton in [...]

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Cafe culture in Belgrade, Serbia

Cheap as chips! So where had it all gone wrong…?

Can the credit crunch reach you even in one of Europe’s cheapest countries? The answer, it seems, is yes. Or at least that’s how it seemed as we sat there looking at the dessert crumbs and glaring bill – which we couldn’t pay. How had this happened? We were in Serbia, a country of such [...]

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The view from the top

What’s the world’s best city view? It’s a question that’s bound to start a heated debate. After all, we’ve all got our favourites. There are plenty of strong contenders. Paris from the Eiffel Tower or Hong Kong from the Peak? New York from the Top of the Rock or London from the recently finished Shard? [...]

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Portugal’s poetic corner

What have Byron, Hans Christian Anderson and JK Rowling, got in common? Well, for one thing, each of these literary luminaries found creative inspiration in the hilltop town of Sintra, in Portugal. And you can see why. The beautiful old heart of the city – full of pastel-coloured estancias, old churches and grand palaces that [...]

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