Photo of Vietnamese fisher villages on stilts

Armchair Travels


Forget about touristy San Sebastian, instead discover the pintxo bars of Santander

Among local specialities, preserved anchovy fillets (anchoas del Cantábrico) are the favourite, but the covered Mercado de la Esperanza also flaunts a tantalisingly varied catch. Add in Renzo Piano’s striking waterfront art centre and there’s no shortage of reasons to visit.

The Guardian

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Another world, another time – Harar: a dazzling Muslim town in southern Ethiopia

the spaghetti-like maze of lanes and alleyways of the walled medieval town teem with industrious women, gossiping, bartering at the sprawling street market, buying grain at the teff mill to make spongeyinjeraflatbread, choosing colourful fabrics or stocking up on aromatic spices.

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All about bacalhau, Lisbon and cod chef supremo, Vitor Sobral

There is a visible obsession. Images of that dried, butterflied fish pop up everywhere – on hand painted tiles, on decorative cans, beautifying a silk scarf or shaping a wall-clock in an aging restaurant. Not surprisingly, the clock time is wrong – even bacalhau batteries die.

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Boipeba Brazil

Slow-living on a car-free island: Boipeba, off Bahia, Brazil

But the catch was – in the absence of cars – getting to the pousada. O Ceu (“the sky”) crowns the island's highest point, and even as the slender barrow-boy pushing my bag raced up the steep rutted path, I struggled in the tropical sun.

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Spain - a checklist of tips

A check-list of tips about Spain

Size doesn’t hurt. It’s Western Europe’s second-largest country (after France) in terms of area, and the world’s third-largest exporter of wine, fruits and vegetables. But it’s the incredible diversity of its people and passions that holds the key to understanding Spain’s eternal appeal in the travel world.

CNN Travel

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It’s not all bandits and smugglers – revel in the beauty of inland Albania

Idiosyncrasies piled up, not least the Albanian habit of shaking one’s head to mean yes, and nodding for no. The language itself is unlike any other, though sprinkled with Italian imports. Some things worked in reverse: a copious breakfast started with cake and segued into feta, tomato and sculpted sausage…

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Discover the buzz of multi-cultural, foodie London - in just one street

It's hardly scenic nor is it ritzy, but dig a little deeper behind the facades of this bustling shopping street and you'll find a microcosm of multicultural London. Intrigued by the plethora of ethnically diverse shops and restaurants, I embarked on a walk of discovery…

BBC Travel

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Meet my favourite Indian city – Kolkata (Calcutta)

As the shop shutters rattled up and the streets came to life, the chai-wallah was already bent over his ritual. Sitting cross-legged in a basic stall beside a cauldron of bubbling tea, he poured out tiny, steaming cupfuls, then carefully returned the contents of each one to a beaker, before decanting it back

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Ghadames displays stunning, centuries-old desert architecture in remote Libya

…into the labyrinth of dark shadowy passageways. As we made our way through the sinuous zinqas (arched alleyways roofed with palm wood), shafts of sunlight streamed through occasional skylights, bringing illumination and ventilation.

BBC Travel

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Here’s a snap-shot of Andalucia – from the big hits to lesser known jewels

Inside the Mezquita rows and rows of horseshoe arches are supported by 824 columns designed to give a sense of infinity. Don’t miss the exquisitely crafted mihrab (prayer niche), oriented towards Mecca, from which the imam once led worshippers...

New Zealand HeraldRead More »

Plaestinian Food

Take a peak into a Palestinian home for a classic Levantine recipe: maqloubeh

The magic comes when maqloubeh is served; with a flourish Asous flips the saucepan onto a platter, then gently shakes the pan to loosen and empty out the contents. Thus, the upside-down dish stands at centre stage before slowly collapsing – and the family dives in.

BBC Travel

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Dominican Republic

Find paradise in southwest Dominican Republic – lapped by the cerulean Caribbean

My atlas index shows eight entries for "Paradise", one for "Paradis" and four for "Paraiso". There is one missing though, Paraíso in the Dominican Republic. A blip on a virgin coastline of jungle-clad mountains, this particular paradise has so far escaped the indexers…

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How to be Parisian

How to be a Parisian – though written in 2014, much of this still holds true!

Dinner chat in Paris is dominated by culture and opinions, so read Le Monde or Libération for the latest tips. Le Monde comes out around 3 p.m., so you can easily grab a copy and read the headlines en route to le diner – nobody will pay that much attention to what you say, anyway, before interrupting.

CNN Travel

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