There may be no more dramatic landscape than the sculptural green mountains curving majestically around the sparkling bays of Rio de Janeiro. And there may be no better time to finally see this glorious city than in the months after February’s Carnival celebration, when prices drop and crowds are pleasantly thin along the fabled beaches.
The hottest new shopping destination in Sofia, Bulgaria is a shiny, glass-clad monolith on the busy highway between downtown and the airport. Called simply “The Mall,” its facade is plastered in a riot of international name brands: Carrefour, Zara, Benetton. There isn’t a Cyrillic letter, or a Bulgarian name, in sight.
The new face of a hip Jerusalem
is giving Tel Aviv a run for its money.
The sandy stones of
Jerusalem’s ancient center, bathed in the golden light of afternoon, speak of a history that is as ancient as it is eternal. As you stroll through the Old City, in the hush of Shabbat or the bustle of a daily worship hour, the sensory weight of tradition is almost overwhelming.
Just as it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere for the barfly, winter-jaded New Yorkers can take comfort in knowing that somewhere on this planet, it’s feeling like summer.
Down in the balmy Southern Hemisphere, February and March are lounge-by-the-pool months — and nowhere more so than in Auckland, New Zealand’s rising capital of cool. If you’ve been hankering for Oceania, are passing through the South Pacific, or simply have miles to burn, head for Auckland, where locals turn every summer day into an outdoor party.
Where will you travel in 2011? It’s a juicy thought that inspires endless midwinter reverie, and never more so than during a week of waist-high snow drifts and slushy intersections. At times like these, I dream about places where holiday lights coil around palm trees.
I was in Barcelona, dropping by a friend’s shared apartment, when it started up. “I’ve been so busy here, I haven’t even had time to go shopping!” I laughed, and was met with this teasing response from my friend’s housemate — a Bulgarian cellist I barely knew. “No shopping? Why, for you, that must be as unthinkable as not building settlements would be for an Israeli!”
Wintertime in Florida? Why, that’s so old school. Haven’t you heard that the hottest trend is off-season travel?
Make that the coldest trend. As yesterday’s summer resorts have morphed into year-round weekend destinations, beach towns from Cape Cod to Hilton Head have quietly developed a 12-month-long scene. Increasingly, people are willing to sacrifice an August dip in the ocean for a soulful, solitary beach in February — and a chance to spot wildlife that isn’t toting a keg.