Elephants, dragons, rice fields, pagodas, karaoke, and edible puppies-going it alone in China's Guangxi province
“The river forms a blue silk belt, the mountains are like jade hairpins.” The seductive words of a Chinese poet called Hanyu enticed me to China’s Southeast—to Guangxi province and the mist-shrouded countryside around Guilin and its Li and Peach Blossom rivers.
It started with 52 expats far from home. These travelers invited 90 local natives to a three-day feast and inadvertently created the most American of holidays--Thanksgiving.
Harar, the ancient capital of the Horn of Africa hides in the wilds of Ethiopia. The Horn of Africa is subdivided into lawless Somalia and not-quite-as-lawless Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti.
Less than two years ago, British couple Ann and David Darrell worked and lived in England. David, 38, was a chartered accountant specializing in insolvency. Ann, 54, owned several small businesses, including a design and communications company and a beauty shop. In February 2004, the couple, married five years, sold their home and their businesses. They spent six months traveling around Europe looking for the right place to begin the next chapter of their lives. That place, it turned out, was Slovakia.
The vegetation on Albania’s Ionian Riviera changes about four times from almost sub-tropical moonscape in the south through miles of ancient olive forest to cypress forest and miniature Grand Canyon landscapes. As you move north, the scrub terrain gives way to ancient pine forest. Villages are built on promontories perched high above the spectacular Ionian coastline; rugged mountains as their backdrop and turquoise bays their view. There are fewer islands here, but what Albania lacks in island life it more than makes up for in long sandy beaches and wild surroundings.
The Indian state of Rajasthan—meaning “Land of Princes”—boasts wildlife sanctuaries, adventure sports, and an endless calendar of festivals and fairs—as well as, one of the world’s most luxurious trains. Over recent decades, it has emerged as India’s most popular destination for both foreign and domestic tourists. The “Golden Triangle,” comprising Delhi, Agra, and Rajasthan’s capital, Jaipur, now attracts almost 60% of international tourists arriving in India and has put Jaipur—known as the “Pink City”—on the world map.
In France’s northern cities, hundreds of boulangeries are folding every year because of changing lifestyles and shopping habits. Not so in the Pyrenees. In the village of Arreau, where I stopped for coffee, the patronne of the bakery told me that housewives still come every morning and evening to buy bread.