12 Beautiful Places In The Amalfi Coast Of Italy That You Have To Visit; Yaya; Hand Luggage Only

Italy – Costiera Amalfitana

To say that the Amalfi Coast of Italy is beautiful is something of an understatement!

Oh, and don’t get me started on the weather too! While some of us are sat at home, scratching our heads in disbelief at summer snow/hail and wondering why we still need coats in the middle of summer, the Amalfi Coast of Italy seems to just be basking in what seems like perpetual summer sunshine.

Then there are those colourful villages homes, staggered on terraced cliffs, fragrant lemon groves, delicious freshly made Italian food and turquoise waters – all of which are pretty much guaranteed to make you fall in love instantly with not just the Amalfi Coast but Italy as a whole.

But here’s the thing, the Amalfi Coast isn’t just one spot! It’s a collection of lots of different towns and villages – each of which has it’s own unique character and appeal and so you kinda need to decide A.) where to base yourself in the Amalfi Coast when you visit and B) which other places to see during your time in the Amalfi Coast.

Source: 12 Beautiful Places In The Amalfi Coast Of Italy That You Have To Visit


The man, his legacy and more; William JR Curtis; Tribune India

India – The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement

Perhaps most important of all, given Le Corbusier’s overall intentions in Chandigarh, was the so-called ‘Open Hand’ hovering on a mast like a gigantic wind vane, although the irreverent observer cannot help thinking of a base-ball glove.

The ‘Open Hand’ epitomises Le Corbusier’s attempt at combining a public iconography with an abstraction permitting several levels of reading and a formal presence permitting multiple relationships to other ‘objects’ against the sky, such as those on top of the Parliament or the Governor’s Palace.

… Like the bull, the hand was a recurrent theme in Le Corbusier’s own paintings. He initially thought of the ‘Open Hand’ as a symbol of reconciliation above the messy infighting of mundane politics: ‘A symbol very appropriate to the new situation of a liberated and independent earth. A gesture which appeals to fraternal collaboration and solidarity between all men and all nations of the earth.’

‘Modernity’, ‘Nature’, ‘Tradition’— this great triad of Olympian notions is ever present in Le Corbusier’s Capitol. His basic materials were space, light, water, reinforced concrete, the sky and the ground.

Source: The man, his legacy and more

Huge fire engulfs Tibet’s Jokhang Temple raising fears over future of sacred Buddhist structure; AFP

China – Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa

Footage shared on social media shows flames shooting high into the Lhasa sky

A fire at one of Tibet’s holiest Buddhist temples on Saturday raised fears for the future of the monastery as investigators tried to determine the cause of the blaze.

The fire at Jokhang Temple, a Unesco World Heritage Site in the capital Lhasa, started at about 6.40pm but was soon brought under control, Xinhua reported.

“The fire was quickly extinguished, there were no casualties and order has been restored in the area,” state-run Tibet Daily reported, adding that the region’s top Communist Party official Wu Yingjie had gone to the scene.

Internet users posted pictures and videos of the fire on social media, showing flames shooting high into the sky above old Lhasa.

But on Twitter, which is blocked in China, Tibetans living overseas said that photos and posts about the fire were quickly being censored.

Robert Barnett, a London-based Tibetologist, tweeted that sources in Lhasa “claim police have threatened anyone distributing pictures or unofficial news about the fire”.

Source: Huge fire engulfs Tibet’s Jokhang Temple raising fears over future of sacred Buddhist structure

District V is Budapest’s Most Traditionally High-End Neighborhood; Laura House; Mansion Global

Hungary – Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue

The bustling area attracts international investors and diplomats

A classic beauty draped along the ancient Danube River, Budapest is a vibrant capital city and one of Europe’s most populous. It’s a global center of art, architecture, fashion, politics and commerce that attracts an international crowd. The city is marked by 23 districts, with District V at the business, political and historical center of Budapest.

“District V makes up the heart of Budapest, the political, financial, commercial and tourist center of Hungary,” said Kornélia Pásztor of Engel & Völkers Budapest. “The name of the district is Belváros-Lipótváros (Inner City-Leopold Town), referring to the two historical neighborhoods located in the district. Leopold Town was established in the early 19th century, and became the political and financial center of Hungary in the early 20th century when theHungarian Parliament was built.”

“The District V neighborhood is a totally different market than the rest of the city,” said Daniel Toth, co-founder of Matthew & Daniel’s Realty Budapest. “There is a limited number of homes, and there are no empty plots available where you can build new buildings.”


Read more

Exploring some of the world’s oldest rock art in Chad; Lucia Van Der Post; Financial Times

Chad – Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape

Lucia van der Post ventures into deepest Chad on an expedition to document some of the world’s oldest rock art – encountering vast deserts, magnificent caves and poignant vestiges of forgotten eras

Deserts are special places but they are not for everybody. They are for those who love unpeopled places, whose hearts soar at the thought of lands that have been shaped only by nature and time, who don’t mind the vast distances, the privations, the daunting logistics that journeying through them entails. Deserts are for those who are touched by stark mountains, huge dunes, starlit skies and nomadic peoples, for those who feel with Saint-Exupéry: “One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing, yet through the silence something throbs and gleams…”

And for a true desert experience it’s hard to beat the Sahara. I was invited by a family friend, David Coulson, the executive chairman of TARA (Trust for African Rock Art), which had a grant from the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation to document prehistoric rock art in the Tibesti and Ennedi mountains of northern Chad.

Source: Exploring some of the world’s oldest rock art in Chad

A guide to Moscow’s stunning cathedrals; Nellie Huang; G-Adventures

Russia – Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow

There’s more than Saint Basil’s

Russia has the highest number of Orthodox Christians in the entire world, totalling close to 101 million people. It’s no wonder the country is home to so many majestic churches and cathedrals. And the Russian capital, Moscow, is naturally where all the country’s biggest and most lavish monuments are located.

The architecture of Russia’s religious buildings vary in style, from Baroque to extravagant Renaissance-style to traditional Russian. And while they look different from one another, there are some features they all share: gold turrets, fresco paintings, colourful mosaics, and the most distinguishable of all, the onion domes. Here are some of the must-sees:

Saint Basil’s Cathedral

Let’s begin at the historical and spiritual centre of Moscow, Red Square. This was once the focal point of the Orthodox Church, and also the control centre for Russia’s political parties. There are a few Cathedrals and churches right on the square, but the most prominent building of them all is the whimsical Saint Basil’s Cathedral, which has become an icon of Moscow.

Source: A guide to Moscow’s stunning cathedrals

Saving the orangutans of Sumatra; BBC

Indonesia – Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

Photographer Charlie Dailey visited the island to document efforts to relocate a critically endangered species.

The Leuser Ecosystem is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Sumatra and one of the largest single continuous blocks of tropical rainforest left in the whole of south-east Asia. It is also home to the orangutan, one of the region’s most endangered species.

Despite Leuser’s World Heritage status, it is under continued threat from deforestation by palm-oil plantations, affecting both the fragile ecosystem and critically endangered iconic wildlife.

Photographer Charlie Dailey travelled to Sumatra to document the efforts to relocate orangutans in immediate danger.

The rainforests are the natural habitat of the Sumatran orangutan. A large proportion of the population lives in the borders of Leuser, with the highest density in the lower peat-swamp regions of Tripa, Kleut and Sinkhil – primary tropical forest with canopies up to 40ft (12m) high.

When a palm-oil company moves into an area, large swathes of forests are felled to make way for plantations. To plant on the waterlogged peat-land the companies have to create drainage canals.

Source: Saving the orangutans of Sumatra

2018 Lumbini International Steering Committee Meeting at the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal; Unesco

Nepal – Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha

Following the last cross-cutting Lumbini International Steering Committee meeting which took place in Lumbini in February 2017, this year’s meeting will be held from 21 to 23 February 2018 as a continuation of this successful process.

Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997, the property ‘Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha’ is located in western Nepal. Lumbini’s spiritual significance and its rich archaeological remains demonstrate that it is not only the birthplace of the Buddha, but that it has also been a place of holy pilgrimage for thousands of years. Since 2010, the UNESCO/Japan Funds-in-Trust (FiT) project ‘Strengthening the Conservation and Management of Lumbini, the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha, World Heritage Property’ has supported the conservation and management of the property, and the first phase was carried out between July 2010 and July 2013. The Lumbini Phase II project began in 2014, with the overall objective of enabling the national authorities to take a proactive and sustainable approach to protecting and managing the World Heritage property, while safeguarding the cultural assets of the greater Lumbini area, in particular of Ramagrama and Tilaurakot.

Source: 2018 Lumbini International Steering Committee Meeting at the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal

Explore Albania with special guest John Stapleton; Telegraph

Albania – Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra

This memorable journey to a beautiful, lesser visited part of the Balkans will allow you to discover Albania, as well as one of the most breathtaking sites in neighbouring Macedonia. On this 11-day tour, you will take in the area’s magnificent Adriatic coastline, visit four Unesco World Heritage Sites, and delve into the fascinating Communist-era heritage of the region. The acclaimed broadcast journalist and broadcaster John Stapleton will join us for two nights of the tour, offering valuable insights into Albania and the broader region. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit one of Europe’s most beguiling and least known destinations before the crowds arrive.

Tour highlights

  • Undiscovered Albania

With  a long Adriatic coastline, Albania is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe , yet still one of the least visited where the mystique of its Communist past is beguiling to visitors from all over the world. This superbly crafted tour will allow you to discover Albania and a part of Macedonia before volume tourism prevails (new tourists from The Far East and USA are the largest number of new visitors).

  • John Stapleton

Source: Explore Albania with special guest John Stapleton

Why Cuba is the unspoilt gem of the Caribbean; Alice Howarth; Evening Standard

Cuba – Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios

Famed for its colourful capital, Havana, unspoilt sandy beaches and lush rainforests, it is easy to see why Cuba is one of the world’s top destinations. However, there is so much more to this Caribbean island…

Being driven around the bustling, cobbled streets of Havana in an ancient, but beautifully preserved 1950s Cadillac, Chevrolet or Oldsmobile, you feel like you have entered a different era.

It’s not just the unusual combination of grey Soviet-era brutalist architecture juxtaposed with gems such as the Gran Teatro (lit up at night it is a marvel).

Nor is it the contrast between the seemingly endless and wide Malecon waterfront, with the blank canvas of the ocean beyond, and warren of sheltered and shady old town streets where crumbling facades defy gravity thanks to the ingenuity of the population and plenty of wooden props.

No, what really makes you feel that you are in a different time to the rest of the world — and certainly the shoving and pushing grim-faced commuters of London — are the people.

Source: Why Cuba is the unspoilt gem of the Caribbean