As is frequently the case, the spirit of a new era is ushered in by initiative of one committed individual. When it comes to the history of German spa-ing, it is said to have been a progressive physician by the name of Samuel Gottlieb Vogel, who had triggered off the lasting success story of sea-side health treatments. The healing effects of a coastal climate and the invigorating properties of salty seawater on skins in desperate need of airing, were promoted by him. And, in order to corroborate his cause, Vogel convinced nobility to act as prominent supporters and forerunners, making Heiligendamm with its tideless shores the premier German spa resort and Friedrich Franz I of Mecklenburg-Schwerin the first-ever guest to use it. That was back in 1793.Reading time: about 3 minutes
Posts about Heritage
Renowned architects have made them their individual masterpiece and often theatres and opera houses are named after their talented creators. Art and culture lovers not seldom go to great lengths to visit these awe-inspiring edifices and to inspect every detail of their often sumptuous and lavishly decorated interior. At best, admirers become part of a sublime performance. Even a trip halfway around the world does not seem to deter the truly addicted.
Embarking on a journey of theatre-sightseeing based on a pre-selection of venues is a possibility provided by The European Route of Historic Theatres: 8 routes including 22 countries have been compiled not merely to facilitate users’ choice but also to support better planning, help deepen the experience and to promote the around 120 member venues. In Europe alone, a vast number of formidable treasures are waiting to be lifted. Each route combines about twelve theatres and offers a pleasant journey taking roughly a week.Reading time: about 3 minutes
A guest post by Marko Roth
We succumbed to the fascination of Buddhism and Hinduism and eavesdropped on monks praying in Bhutan temples. We admired indigenous people performing spiritual dances in colourful fortresses, traversed the valley of Paro on horseback and cooled down while rafting in Chitwan.
We lived with the indigenous tribes of Taro, were allured by rhinos and tigers on a safari through Chitwan National Park and took a bath with elephants in Barauli Rivers. We crossed mountain chains at 3,000 meters above sea level, fought with bumpy winding roads, watched the cloudless skies of the Himalayans and Mount Everest and marvelled at crazy Kathmandu streets.
And now, we are back!
Tales of a building: Das Stue in Berlin
Upon setting foot into the hotel’s lobby area, guests are greeted by a gigantic crocodiles’ head sculpted by Parisian artist Quentin Garel. Walls around the premises hold fine examples of black-and-white vintage fashion photography collected by one of the hotel’s owners. Artwork and objects placed throughout public spaces vividly pay tribute to a prominent neighbour, the fabled Berlin zoo only a hop away: an enormous giraffe and two gorillas made of painted chicken wire are complemented by fellow animals ready to serve as poufs or practical footrests.
Who might have anticipated in the late 1930s, that the sophisticated edifice erected to house the Danish diplomatic mission in Berlin, would see it being converted into a stylish luxury hotel more than 70 years later? To transform a repeatedly abandoned building into the fashionable spot Das Stue was destined to be, it had to go through extensive refurbishment. It received a novel wing now attached to its former back courtyard and a completely new contemporary identity enhanced by a blend of old and new elements.
When Das Stue opened its gates in December of 2012, it already looked back on a changeful past.Reading time: about 4 minutes
Responsibility, self-dependence and endurance are the magic keywords: the example the Sultanate of Oman is setting this December is of a practical but none-the-less spectacular nature. Predominantly addressed to young nationals, an adventure of Crossing the Empty Quarter previously undertaken in 1930, will now be reenacted to detail. The intended benefit: to symbolically illustrate to the young generation how to adopt the requirements of a rapidly changing world and to pursue their goals with ambition.
The most astonishing lesson for adolescents to be learnt may perhaps be, that survival is actually possible without an almighty digital device glued to one’s cheek. In all likelihood, internet reachability is limited in a quarter as empty as the one named Rub al Khali.Reading time: about 4 minutes