Many people may not even have heard of the tiny nation of Palau, a small archipelago located hundreds of miles off the Eastern coast of The Philippines. This miniscule island paradise, however, has emerged as a world leader in the ecotourism industry as it looks to concurrently protect its unique environment and attract increasing numbers of tourists to experience it for themselves.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with huge potential for growth in ecotourism, with the European nation having continued its recovery from the strife of the war torn 1990s in the region.
This new industry has been created around the country’s beautiful capital city, Sarajevo, which is one of few European capitals that remain relatively undiscovered by mass tourism.
Located in a country that still enjoys almost 50% forest coverage, Sarajevo is a hidden jewel for tourists willing to explore such a young nation, whilst Bosnia beyond the walls of its main city is also one of Europe’s undiscovered ecological delights.
Boasting imposing mountains, otherworldly glaciers and some of the most diverse and spectacular landscapes on the planet, the very southern tip of South America should be a place for only the most intrepid explorers to tread. But is it possible to explore the incredible scenery of Tierra del Fuego, the Land of Fire, in a more luxurious fashion?
Now an autonomous region of Finland, the 6,700 islands that form the Åland Islands archipelago have genuine historical significance for Scandinavia. Straddling the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia, sprawling across the sea between Sweden and Finland, the Åland Islands’ location made them an important strategic location, particularly in maritime history.
It is the trademark dish of the Spanish cuisine, but what characterises good paella?
Spain’s perhaps most famous dish was created by poor labourers in Valencian rice fields. So, at least, goes the story. At lunchtime they would cook rice in large pans over fire. They would eat it straight from the pan using wooden spoons. The ingredients? Whatever was available: tomatoes, onions, vegetables, snails, beans and rabbits. “It’s a peasant’s dish; an everyman’s dish. It came about as a result of needing to work in the fields,” says Nick Blythe of Paella Fella, a Spanish food caterer. “It was backbreaking work.”
Others tales go differently. In the time of the Moorish kings, another story says, servants would make rice dishes by using leftovers from royal banquets. They gathered the food in large pots and took it home. The theory also says the word ‘paella’ derives from the Arabic word for ‘leftovers’. Continue Reading…
Pacific islands recently hosted a summit designed to increase global efforts against Co2 emissions. Now they hope nations will keep their promises.
Climate change is upon us already, and some countries will feel the effects sooner than others. In the Pacific Ocean, smaller island states are vulnerable to rising ocean levels as the Arctic ice melts as a consequence of increasing carbon volumes released into the atmosphere. That includes the Marshall Islands, a group of 29 atolls and coral islands that are located on an average of two metres above the ocean.
The effects are being felt already. Coastal floods, soil erosion and droughts have hit islands in recent times. Earlier this year, the president of the Marshall Islands, Christopher Loeak, declared a state of emergency after a drought and floods nearly destroyed Majuro, the capital. Its seawall was breached and the airport runway flooded. Some 6,000 people were left to survive on less than a litre of water per day. Continue Reading…
Beside the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort stood as an impregnable bastion under the Mughal Empire.
In 1565, Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, the third ruler of the Mughal Empire – which controlled large parts of India in the 16th and 17th centuries – built the main constructions of the Agra Fort. He erected walls around what became a fortified city. The provincial city of Agra became the empire’s capital.
In 1627, Akbar’s grandson, Shah Jahan, became the empire’s fifth ruler. Years later he moved to Delhi. He constructed the Taj Mahal, the famous white marble monument, in memory of his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal. He built it only a few kilometres from the Agra Fort.
Jahan fell ill in 1657 and resigned his throne to Dara Shikoh, the eldest of his four sons. His brothers were jealous. They attacked the Agra Fort and defeated Shikoh. The third son, Aurangzeb, appointed himself ruler and locked his father inside the fort. “He did it because Shah Jahan didn’t want Aurangzeb to become the ruler,” says Ruknuddin Mirza, conservation architect at the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. “It wasn’t revenge, but more about taking the power by force.” It is said that Jahan could see the Taj Mahal from his balcony. He died after eight years in imprisonment. Continue Reading…
The Swiss village of Gstaad is a luxurious getaway for celebrities and Hollywood A-listers.
In the 1960s, TIME magazine summed it up when describing it as “the place to be”. Gstaad, a small settlement in the municipality of Saanen, south-western Switzerland, had already attracted personalities such as Grace Kelly and Roger Moore. Others included David Niven, Peter Sellers and Elizabeth Taylor. They fled to the Alps to escape busy lives. Continue Reading…
The Slow Food organisation aims to protect local food culture, and has grown into an influential international movement. Continue Reading…
The futuristic Gardens by the Bay have become one of Singapore’s major attractions since opening one year ago.
It looks like a scene from a science fiction movie. Stroll down Singapore’s Marina Bay and you will see 50-metre-tall trees branch out across blossoming gardens. Two air-conditioned conservatories lurk by the seaside, with glasshouse exteriors akin to giant snail shells. Inside one of them, a 35-metre-high mountain releases the world’s largest indoor waterfall. Welcome to the Gardens by the Bay. Continue Reading…