Lifestyle & Travel »

  • Japan’s arty-pelago: Naoshima and beyond

    Posted 2019-01-19 07:00:13 by: bossgate

    Among shrines, rice fields and abandoned buildings, contemporary art has transformed 12 rural islands into a creative paradise – the setting for the 2019 Setouchi TriennaleI’m sitting on a concrete floor watching water droplets as they skitter across the smooth surface. Around me, other people seem equally transfixed. They stand in silent contemplation staring at beads of water bubbling up from tiny holes in the floor, or lie gazing at the vast domed roof, where two oval openings let natural light flood in. The slightest movement echoes around the space. I take a pen out to make some notes and a member of staff suddenly appears at my side and indicates that I should put it away. Phones are also a strict no-no.Teshima Art Museum turns the standard idea of what a museum is on its head. For a start it’s empty. Or to be precise, there is nothing on display. Instead of looking at art works or objects, the visitor is invited to contemplate nature in its purest form: light, water, air. The effect is deeply calming. After 20 minutes, I practically float out. Continue ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • 'I have lost my wallet and brother': reuniting at Kumbh Mela, the world's largest festival

    Posted 2019-01-18 11:09:23 by: bossgate

    As an estimated 15m Hindus gather at convergence of holy rivers in India, the huge lost-and-found centres go digitalDay and night, through crackling loudspeakers, the announcements ring out. “It is Babu speaking,” says a shrill voice. “I have lost my wallet and brother. Please come here the moment you hear this.”“Lal Ram is here,” a woman says a few times. “Come and collect him from the yellow tower.” Continue ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • 10 great European art anniversaries in 2019

    Posted 2019-01-18 06:30:11 by: bossgate

    From 100 years of Bauhaus to 500 years since Leonardo’s death, a host of landmark art events and exhibitions open around Europe this yearIt is 350 years since the death of Rembrandt van Rijn. There is a year-long programme of events in nine Dutch cities, focusing on Rembrandt and the Dutch golden age (listings at holland.com). In Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum (15 Feb-10 June) will display all of its 22 paintings, 60 drawings and 300 engravings – the biggest Rembrandt collection ever seen in a single exhibition. Later in the year it has a Rembrandt and Velazquez show (11 Oct-19 Jan), while the Rembrandt House Museum has three exhibitions and the City Archives tell his personal story (until 7 April). In the Hague, the Mauritshuis (until 15 Sept) is showing 18 paintings attributed to Rembrandt; there’s a display of the painter’s early work at Leiden’s Museum De Lakenhal (3 Nov-9 Feb 2020, lakenhal.nl); and the Fries Museum (to 7 March) has an intimate show devoted to his wife, Saskia . Exhibitions are also taking place in Germany and the UK.• See codart.nl for details Continue ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • A local’s guide to Palermo, Sicily: 10 top tips

    Posted 2019-01-17 11:56:39 by: bossgate

    It may still be basking in the glow of being Italian Capital of Culture 2018 but the city has been a cultural melting pot since antiquityThe Sicilian capital, called the “Kingdom of the sun” by invading Normans in the 12th century, has been a cultural melting pot since Phoenicians and Greeks fought over it in the 5th and 6th centuries BC. Sitting close to where Europe ends and Africa begins, Palermo bears the scars – and echoes the glories – of centuries of domination. Once Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman and ultimately Italian – unified with the mainland only in 1861 – it has a relatively recent “made in Italy” identity. And in 2018 it basked under the banner of Italian Capital of Culture, hosting the prestigious Manifesta contemporary art biennale and helping regenerate its waterfront. Continue ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • 10 great affordable winter sun holidays: readers' travel tips

    Posted 2019-01-17 06:30:09 by: bossgate

    Dodge the British winter, without spending a fortune, with readers’ picks in Spain, including the Canaries, and bargains in north, west and South Africa We escaped to the north-west coast of Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands, for a week before Christmas. With flights from £80, reasonable car hire (£50) and a great Airbnb in Lajares (£30 a night), it was a great week of cycling, surfing, hiking, boat trips to the small island off the north coast and epic sunsets from the lovely fishing village of El Cotillo. Lajares is fun, a lively village with cafes, shops and bike hire and it’s in a national park with a backdrop of a volcano. The north track follows the coast from Corralejo to El Cotillo, where you can find beaches with world-class surf and sheltered white sand lagoons. Sasha Dobrota Continue ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • Extreme heatwave: all-time temperature records fall across parts of Australia

    Posted 2019-01-17 01:36:57 by: bossgate

    Australia had its warmest ever December on record and temperatures this week nudged 50C in some placesCoping with extreme heat: share your photosTemperature records have been broken in towns across parts of Australia sweltering through a heatwave, which is currently in its fourth day.Australia also recorded its hottest December on record the Bureau of Meteorology said on Thursday in a special climate statement on “the unusual extended period of heatwaves” across much of the country. Continue ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • Share a tip on ethical breaks for the chance to win a £200 hotel voucher

    Posted 2019-01-16 11:04:01 by: bossgate

    Tell us about your best eco-friendly, community-based or other ‘holiday with benefits’ anywhere in the worldGoing on holiday is often regarded as “me” time, a chance to relax and recover from the daily grind. But this week we’d like to hear about holidays that also have wider benefits for your destination. These could be wildlife conservation trips, tours led by local women, places with impeccable eco-credentials or projects that ensure income stays within the community.We’re not talking about volunteering holidays here, just breaks that make some sort of difference to people, animals or the planet. Tell us about your ethical trip – being specific about location, price and website where possible, and try to keep your tip to 100 words. Continue ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • A river ride to Rishikesh: India's new adventure capital

    Posted 2019-01-16 06:30:13 by: bossgate

    Rishikesh shot to fame when the Beatles arrived, in search of enlightenment. Half a century on, the area is attracting a different kind of seeker – those after rapids, zipwires and mountain treksI’ve only been in the raft a few minutes, bobbling down a placid stretch of India’s holy Ganges River, before my guide, Kalyan Singh Bhandari, puts his paddle down and sings a haunting Garhwali folk song typical of these Himalayan foothills. The warbling tune is, he says, meant to bring us good luck as we navigate the class 3 and 3+ rapids ahead. Continue ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • 10 of the best sustainable hotels in south-east Asia

    Posted 2019-01-15 06:30:08 by: bossgate

    In Thailand, Vietnam and across Asia, these eco-lodges and hotels are recycling, composting and reclaiming to reduce their impact on the environmentYes, some of the structures are made form recycled shipping containers. And yes, recycled paper is used as insulation to keep the buildings cool. Inverter air conditioners and LED lights save energy and refillable glass water bottles for guests eliminate the need for plastic, while composted waste keeps the garden green – and the mojitos minty. But what is really remarkable about The Yard (a reference to both the greenery and a play on the Thai word for “relatives”) is its location at the heart of the galleries, boutiques and eateries of the cool Ari neighbourhood, a welcome respite from the concrete jungle and roar of traffic in the heart of Bangkok.• Dorm beds from £12, doubles from £27 B&B, theyardhostel.com Continue ...

    Comments: 0   View more...

  • UK passport drops to sixth in global power index

    Posted 2019-01-14 12:41:36 by: bossgate

    Henley Passport Index ranks passports around the world according to visa-free travel, with Japan topping the 2019 list The UK has slipped to joint-sixth in a table of the world’s most powerful passports. The Henley Passport Index ranks countries according to the number of destinations passport holders can visit without a pre-arranged visa, which decreased for the UK this year.In 2015, the UK was ranked joint-first, alongside the US, but has dropped down the listings each year since. The number of visa-free/visa-on-arrival countries UK passport holders can travel to fell from 186 to 185 last year, due to the introduction of e-visas in Turkey (now required prior to arrival). Despite this, however, the UK’s score has improved overall since the index began in 2006, when it had 126, and there are now more outbound trips from the UK than ever before with 72.8 million in 2017. Continue ...

    Comments: 0   View more...