Sunday, May 31, 2020

Faroe Islands - Photos

I’m dreaming of the Faroe Islands, a windswept archipelago of 18 islands that’s snuggled in the North Atlantic between Iceland and Norway. It thrives on its main claim to fame: a reputation for a pristine environment, and awe-inspiring scenery. 

The weather can be dramatic with high winds and drenching rains. In fact, the Faroese have 40 words for “fog.” But no matter whether it’s foggy, cloudy, blustery, whether I was pelted with rain or sleet, or whether the sun was blazing, this is a land with an absolute peaceful beauty that I long to return to.

I visited four of the 18 islands and found that around every bend in the road is an idyllic scene of tumbling waterfalls, rushing streams, jagged peaks with birds soaring about, and expansive pastures where sheep placidly graze. 

A bucolic trail that takes about two hours to hike leads from the capital city of Torshavn to Kirkjubour, a waterfront village of turf-roof dwellings, cathedral ruins and Saint Olav's Church. It's here where Trondur Patursson, a Faroese sculptor, painter and glass artist, created the colorful gate in the photo below. 

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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Resorts in Fiji - Photos

I’m daydreaming of Fiji, specifically Castaway Island, a resort on a private island, as well as the Nanuku Auberge Resort, which is set on the rainy side of the main island of Viti Levu.

At Castaway island, the North Beach is perfect for an early morning walk. Every morning, I walked out of my beach bure — a traditional Fijian bungalow — and jogged along the golden sands, or hiked a trail along the coastline, being mindful of the sensation of the breeze on my face, and the soft sound of the tide lapping on volcanic rocks.

Some days, at low-tide, I strolled around a rocky point to a more desolate strip of sand. Some people enjoy kayaking there as well. I dream of getting a massage at a portable table that’s occasionally set up along North Beach in a secluded area, far from the myriad water-based activities

Even a type A person (like myself) can easily get into a Zen state of mind at the Nanuku Auberge Resort where a sustainability and eco ethic prevails, including learning how to plant mangrove forests. This property is idyllic, whether it’s the accommodations that have private plunge pools, the creative cuisine in the al fresco restaurant, or the daily opportunities to learn first-hand about Fijian culture.

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Mauritius - SALT of Palmar resort - Photos

Memories of SALT of Palmar that’s set along the languid east coast of Mauritius. A stay at this placid property is all about embracing life, love and learning: love for the environment and the eco- and sustainability-focused ethic cultivated on the property that provides guests with super soft bathrobes made with 100% organic cotton and material from coffee beans, and flip flops constructed of sedge; living a day that begins with sunrise yoga and mindful meditation on the white sand beach; and learning a new skill, such as pottery taught by the same artisan who created all the creative ceramic dishware in their al fresco restaurant.

SALT of Palmar enwraps guests in a tranquil vibe that’s also full of whimsy and playfulness, especially in terms of its architecture. The basic structure is a riad-style complex with nooks and crannies and oculus windows and plant-filled courtyards. But the designers also imbued the resort with some strikingly wild hues and seemingly disparate patterns. This diversity reflects the country itself that’s a melting pot of cultures and cuisine.

One of my many fond memories: An oculus window reveals the peace that’s found in every nook and cranny at this property.

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Sunday, May 10, 2020

Iceland - Reykjanes Peninsula - Photos

At this time, calming travel photos are welcome. Whenever I visit Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, I’m filled with peace and joy, surrounded by dramatic and pastoral landscapes — something I especially crave now.

Though the Reykjanes Peninsula is most noted for bustling Keflavik Airport, I roamed the landscape windswept seascapes and volcanic reminders. It’s  chock full of curious geological features. The second photo below shows off Gunnhver, a geothermal area where I strolled a boardwalk, surrounded by plumes of steam that pour from cracks in the earth. This area is named for Gunna, a female ghost that was said to plague the peninsula until she was thrown into a roiling hot spring. The thick clouds obscure much along the boardwalks, including any apparitions. .

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