MARCH 2014

Seychelles What To Know Before You Go

by: Lucy Tucker (reading – 3.2. - 9.2.)

The Seychelles are truly paradise, with extraordinary beaches on almost every island, and they are virtually deserted. The forests are beautifully lush and green, and the underwater sights are amazing with more fish than you could ever dream of, whilst the colors of the sea will leave you spellbound. Another wonderful and man made sight is the lack of high rise hotels, as buildings have to be lower than the palm trees.

In addition if you want to see Green and Hawksbill turtles, then at certain times of the year you can do just that. So if it is nature trails and hiking that fascinates you, then Silhouette Island with no roads, and lots of trails would be perfect for you, especially because the thick vegetation means lots of wildlife.

If fishing, especially fly fishing is your thing, then get yourself to the bonefish flats near Alphonse, where you will catch literally dozens of fish. Add to this the historic and famous coco de mer on Praslin at the Vallee de Mai, and the millions of sooty terns on Bird, and you can see this is a paradise for nature lovers.

On the other hand, if you love beaches, then some of the best beaches in the world are to be found in the Seychelles, and for me it’s a toss up between Anse Lazio on Praslin, Bird Island beach which goes all the way round and is almost deserted, and Anse Victorin on Fregate, which probably wins the vote due to the exclusivity of Fregate, and the white sand, turquoise sea, and the fact it is cut off by rocky headlands on either side. These are just three, and you will realize it is difficult to set them apart when you have been there.

Whilst I personally don’t dive,but I do snorkel, I am reliably informed that the diving at Alphonse is just the best, but Desroches has the coral, and La Digue has the colourful fish, but to be truthful from the moment I walked into the water at Anse Lazio on Praslin and was immediately surrounded in knee deep water by hundreds of brightly coloured fish, I’ve never failed to be astounded by the snorkeling everywhere in the Seychelles.

Where you stay in the Seychelles is very dependent on your budget, and probably the greatest luxury is to be found at the resort on Fregate, home of the best beach too!! Here you stay in a villa with views to die for with your own Jacuzzi overlooking the ocean, it is pure pampered luxury, but it is not the only island with only one resort. Alphonse, Bird, Desroches, and Silhouette are all like this, if you want crowds go to Mahe!!

Praslin, and La Digue are a half way house with affordable hotels, and not many people.

People often ask about the food in the Seychelles, and what it’s like. It is a real fusion of flavours, best described as Creole. It features lots of coriander, chillies, ginger, lemongrass, pepper, and fresh herbs, blended into curries. Fish is in profusion, and seafood, particularly look out for tuna, red snapper, kingfish, parrotfish, or octopus served raw and thinly sliced.

It's great just book and go!!

About The Author

Lucy Tucker loves the Seychelles, read more about the Seychelles at

Japanese Cooking

by: Jonathon Hardcastle (reading – 10.2. - 16.2.)

Do you love Japanese food? The funny thing about Japanese food is that you either love it or you hate it. There is no in-between. And chances are, if you hate it, you probably haven’t really tasted Japanese food yet or haven’t given yourself a chance to sample it enough. Japanese food is hard to appreciate after only one bite. And sometimes, the idea that you are tasting raw food just won’t escape your mind that you are already predisposed to hating Japanese food even before you actually taste it.

Personally, I love Japanese food. There really is no other cuisine like it in the world in terms of its unique taste and presentation. Who would believe that something so raw could be so delicious? For those of you who have not yet discovered the pleasures of Japanese food, allow me to present the following primer.

The standard Japanese meal always involves a bowl of white rice as well as soup and side dishes such as pickles, vegetables, meat and fish. Japanese food is classified by the number of viands or “okazu” that are served with the rice, soup and side dishes. A meal with one okazu is called ichiju-issai and a prime example of this is the traditional Japanese breakfast which consists of miso soup, rice, grilled fish and one pickled vegetable.

The regular Japanese meal usually involves three okazu to go along with the soup, rice and pickles. Traditionally, each of these three okazu are cooked in a different way from the others. They can either be served raw or grilled, simmered, steamed or deep fried.

Another hallmark of Japanese food is seafood, which is the most popular and most widely consumed food in Japan. The most popular dishes include all types of fish as well as shellfish, squid and octopus. Crab is another favorite delicacy and so are whale and seaweed. Despite the fact that Japanese are not heavy meat eaters, you will hardly find any vegetarians among them either probably owing to their deep fashion for seafood. Beef and chicken are also popular among the Japanese.

About The Author

Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles for - In addition, Jonathon also writes articles for and .

The Guggenheim Museum: The Jewel In New York's Artistic Crown

by: Andrew Regan (reading – 17.2. - 23.2.)

The image of New York in art and popular culture has long been cemented as one of timeless universality. In the world of painting and photography, among a host of other art forms, New York has been one of the central muses of the art world: from the controversy over Diego Rivera's Man at the Crossroads mural in the Rockerfeller Center in 1936, to Jonathan Hyman's post-9/11 photography exhibitions, art has been an important component of the shaping of New York. Amidst its host of world-renowned galleries are the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), The Metropolitan Museum and, perhaps most interestingly, the Guggenheim Museum.

In terms of both its art and architecture, the Guggenheim is one of New York's most interesting landmarks; as such, it's an essential stop-off point for any culture vulture in the city. Originally established in 1937 as "The Museum of Non-Objective Painting" the Guggenheim was established with the primary aim of showcasing the work of early modernists; to this day the museum continues to maintain ongoing exhibits of the art of Wassily Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock. Its more recent exhibitions have included eclectic collections: Robert Mapplethorpe and the Classical Traditions, the work of Iraqi-born artists Zaha Hadid and an exhibition of photos showing sculptor David Smith at work.

This wide-ranging selection of exhibits simply proves that while the Guggenheim still adheres to its primary principle of showcasing early modernist art, it also goes a long way in championing post-modern art. Moreover, the Guggenheim has also played host to a distinct selection of commercial art by including seasons of motorcycle exhibitions, as well as a display of Giorgio Armani suits.

The Guggenheim is not only notable for its excellent art collections, but also for its fundamental architectural beauty. Situated at the corner of 89th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan, the Guggenheim museum was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most influential American architects of the early twentieth century, whose works also include the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Hollyhock House in LA and the Illinois mile-high tower in Chicago. Wright's avant-garde design was devised for the specific purpose of making the Metropolitan Museum of Art resemble "a Protestant barn". Looking somewhat like a coiled-up white ribbon, the building was widely reviled at the time of its establishment, but is now generally recognised as one of the defining features of New York's diverse architectural landscape.

New York's Guggenheim Museum is part of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, a non-profit body founded in 1937 by philanthropist Solomon R. Guggenheim and artist Hilla von Rebay. Since the foundation of this original Guggenheim Museum in New York the organisation has gone on to open up other Guggenheims across the world. Today, Guggenheim Museums can be found in Bilbao, Berlin, Venice and Las Vegas. Many cultural tourists who are intent on soaking up the delights of the art world across the globe embark on world tours visiting each Guggenheim Museum in turn. Taking advantage of air miles and reward schemes like the Hilton Honors rewards system can make this sort of round-the-world travel easier - and less expensive - than many might think. So art fans yearning to travel will find that they can visit each Guggenheim Museum in turn without busting their bank balance.

About The Author

Andrew Regan is an online journalist who enjoys socialising at his local rugby club.

The Austrian Alps - Make Your Vacation Unique

by: Clinton Maxwell (reading – 24.2. - 2.3.)

The Alps is a majestic and world famous mountain range that is divided into the Western and the Eastern Alps. A breathtaking place to spend a vacation, this mountain range provides stunning views as well as recreational facilities such as winter sports like skiing. The Western Alps, which are the higher of the mountains, are located in European destinations such as Italy, France, and Switzerland. The broader and longer Eastern Alps can also be found in Italy and Switzerland as well as in Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. When you visit the Alps as your holiday destination you will be in for a real treat, as not only will you find yourself in a destination where you can enjoy exhilarating activities ranging from snow sports to climbing and hiking, but also in a place where you can really relax, take in incredible surroundings, and enjoy the vacation of a lifetime in a destination that is likely to stick in your memory for many years to come. Anyone that wants a unique vacation in a European destination will find the Alps area has something really special to offer.

Select from the Alps resort of your choice

Because the Alps mountain range spans a number of fabulous European destinations you can select the Alpine resort that best meets your needs and tastes. Each of these resorts offers character, beauty, culture, history, and recreational opportunities, so you just can’t go wrong when you decide to opt for this type of vacation. Even those that do not want to visit the recreational facilities or the breathtaking views can enjoy a range of amenities and facilities from dining and nightlife to shopping and easy access to nearby towns and cities for further exploration. A truly magical experience, a holiday in an Alpine resort is one that every member of your group or family will be thrilled with. If you decide to enjoy a vacation in this type of resort consider what other areas you would like to visit in order to determine which resort to opt for. For example, perhaps you would enjoy a visit to Munich or Bavaria then a resort in Germany could prove ideal for you, enabling you to combine your resort break with a visit to some great European cities.

Enjoy the culture and excitement of an Alpine resort

When you opt for an Alpine resort for your vacation you will find that there is something for everyone, from the outdoor enthusiast and sightseer to the culture seeker and the fun-lover. You can combine rest and relaxation with adventure, fun, and excitement, and you will enjoy some incredible photo opportunities. An array of eateries in each of the Alpine resorts throughout Europe will enable visitors to enjoy a choice of cuisine to suit all tastes and needs, and you can enjoy a choice of accommodations such as chalets, lodges, apartments, and hotels, which means that you can find lodgings to suit all needs and budgets. An alpine resort is the ideal choice for those that want to enjoy a European vacation with a real difference, enjoying easy access to some fascinating areas as well as being surrounded by incredible scenery.

About The Author

Clinton Maxwell frequently writes detailed papers on issues dealing with Austria and Switzerland. Through his works (e.g. on Alps) he established his know-how on the subject.