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purpose.com.C OM . a new Nat Geo THE PALMER/GETTY IMAGES title. How better to accumulate positive moments than to engage with vintage and contemporary where to go next. For more: events 20 amazingly achievable adventures for people of all abilities.” We Michael “Nick” Nichols’s Florian Schulz shares his work in the world’s remote experiences at “Into the seek illumination on a cultural tour of India. For ideas about journeys.” our author navigates a storm of Geographic Live! show to personal loss through audacious. this After a multiyear project to October to catch the Nat document the Arctic. and the space between. a counterpart spans the ages. Arctic Kingdom. Visit Washington. people are always happy. We unravel a family secret in areas.” W hen I dream of travel. featured in our story “India Illuminated. Plan your trips subscribe to National the world? By daring to turn ideas into action..org/dc.EDITOR’S NOTE BY GEORGE! Find enlightenment on a cruise through the backwaters of Kerala. according to the article—are the same that create life-enhancing to Zimbabwe. Editor in Chief shopng.” a National volcanic Sicily. showcases classic Our goal is to inspire our happiest places. outwardly bound exploits. photos. Geo Museum’s “Wild” Inuit camps to ice-covered In this issue we examine nuances of happiness on inward and outward exhibit of photographer wilderness. unconstrained Nat Geo Highlights by geography or reason. my dream circles the globe. natgeotravel. Places and people change. D. Exploring the outside illuminates the inside. Turns out the pursuits that bring us joy—pleasure. travel becomes the opposite of now by buying the book at Geographic Traveler at dreaming. In our essay “Truth & Dare.nationalgeographic.com/books. Timeless SUBSCRIBE NOW! to National Geographic magazine’s November cover story saluting the world’s Journeys. from strife. But when I build a real WALK ON THE WILD SIDE LISTEN UP (NORTH) itinerary. . itineraries. N ATGEOTRAV EL . —George W.C. Stone. And we spotlight TIMELESS TRAVEL be held in Seattle October 22 to 24. The sun shines all the time. it becomes life wide awake. Our story “The Nordic Way” but the lure of exploration is a portrait of Scandinavia’s varied landscapes and mindscapes. every day is limitless.com. through world. photographer journeys that support our motto to “Travel With Passion and Purpose. I acknowledge that the world is only occasionally a place of dreams and that the gift of travel is to awaken to destinations as they truly are—bliss. natgeo. from Argentina readers to explore the and pride.

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a storied isle of palazzi and princesses—and the family secrets they keep. dive under.CONTENTS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER VOLUME 34. KRIS DAVIDSON A visitor strikes a noble pose at Stockholm’s popular Skansen open-air museum. p. p. 37 SICILY ORIGINAL At the toe of Italy’s boot. Rajasthan. COVER: NORTHERN LIGHTS OVER NORWAY. A YOUR SHOT PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN RINGER . and the Himalaya. NUMBER 5 In This Issue ADVENTURES ALL AROUND Climb over. p. Odisha. 74 Follow Us @NATGEOTRAVEL Travel around the world everyday through our social media platforms. and soar across the world in 20 mind-blowing experiences that’ll fire up your body and soul. 46 THE NORDIC WAY What makes the Finns fun? The Swedes smile? We skip around Scandinavia to see why the northern nations are so happy. Kolkata. p. 60 INDIA ILLUMINATED Find enlightenment on a wondrous journey to Kerala.

.WHERE YOUR SENSE OF ADVENTURE MEETS YOUR TASTE FOR LUXURY.

Jennifer Liu. Submissions of photographs. Maryellen Kennedy Duckett. CLIENT SOLUTIONS the week at ASSOCIATE EDITOR Hannah Sheinberg & CUSTOM STUDIO Claudia Malley Annapurna and DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR Leigh V.C. EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT. GLOBAL MEDIA George W. Maryland.com.Bellish@natgeo. 202-912-6703 Australia.ngtservice.” COORDINATOR Hannah Sedgwick Hannah. Enric Sala NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PARTNERS Where are CEODeclan Moore EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Susan Goldberg your happy CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Marcela Martin CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER Laura Nichols places? CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Jill Cress STRATEGIC PLANNING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Whit Higgins Tweet us at CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND EXPERIENCES Rosa Zeegers DIGITAL PRODUCT Rachel Webber @NatGeo GLOBAL NETWORKS CEO Courteney Monroe LEGAL AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS Jeff Schneider Travel SALES AND PARTNERSHIPS Brendan Ripp BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIRMAN Peter Rice .com. Eric Rosen. Sylvia Earle. Cindy Leitner.Sobrino@natgeo. catching Costas Christ. 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Over a WWII Museum stands in four-year-period. the National had just the thing.com . the military most notable being the PT needed a better way to land boats as well as the landing troops on enemy shores. craft which allowed troops Andrew Higgins.094 boats to this accomplishment. a New to storm over an open beach. the the cusp of WWII. declared Andrew Higgins oil-drillers. Visit New Orleans and start your story with #OneTimeInNOLA. Higgins New Orleans as a testament Industries built 20. Higgins built the boat – 1941 – 1945 to win The War. With the United States on for the Allied war effort. OneTimeInNOLA. and bootleggers “the man who won the war navigate shallow waterways for us.” Today. Orleans shipbuilder with a President Eisenhower history of helping trappers.

nationalgeographic. .FURTHER LU C E R N E O N E W E N G L A N D ROA D T R I P O C O LO M B I A O H OT E L P O O L S O S C OT TS DA L E O H O N G KO N G O B E ST M U S E U M S Q This photo was submitted to National Geographic’s Your Shot site. Join our international photo community at yourshot.com.

Line Dancing
PHOTOGRAPH BY
DIEGO AZUBEL/EPA/REDUX

Chinese performers take
the phrase “all the world’s
a stage” to new heights
as they participate in
the cultural spectacle
Impression Lijiang, held
high in the mountains
of China’s southwestern
Yunnan Province. Bringing
together dancers and
singers from 10 local
ethnic groups, the
production—held year-
round and supervised by
the director of the 2008
Beijing Olympic Games’
opening ceremony,
Zhang Yimou—weaves
together the story of
the area’s peoples and
traditions. Looming above
the performance is Jade
Dragon Snow Mountain,
providing a backdrop
more dramatic than any
found on Broadway.
—Kevin Johnson

EXPLORER’S GUIDE
CAVE ART

Rock of 1 2 3
Dordogne Cantabria Côa Valley
Ages in France in Spain in Portugal
Paleoanthropolo- This area in south- El Castillo Cave East of the city
gist and Nat Geo west France has holds some of the of Porto, this river
Emerging Explorer multiple caves with oldest cave art in valley is one of
Genevieve von well-preserved Ice Europe, including the best places in
Petzinger descends Age art, including dozens of red Europe for open-
into ancient caves the famed Lascaux handprints that air Paleolithic rock
to study Ice Age Cave. Two von date back more art. Book a guided
art. Standing in Petzinger picks are than 30,000 years, tour in a 4x4 to
front of a painting near the village Les some made by Ice explore a plateau
made some 20,000 Eyzies-de-Tayac: Age women and little changed since
years ago, she says, Les Combarelles, children. Pro tip: the Ice Age. View
“bridges the gap of with engravings of The cave can be engraved images
time.” How about animals and human slick; wear shoes on hundreds of
rock-art sites as figures, and Font- with good traction. rock faces. “It’s like
destinations? Von de-Gaume cave, Afterward visit two visiting Jurassic
Petzinger, author with colorful rock notable Cantabrian Park,” von Petzinger
of The First Signs: paintings. Don’t museums that says. Also a must:
Unlocking the Mys- miss Rouffignac illuminate cave art: the Côa Museum,
teries of the World’s Cave’s drawings of Altamira Museum which traces the
Oldest Symbols, mammoths. and the Museum valley’s history.
recommends mak- of Prehistory and
ing tracks to these Archaeology.
three Ice Age hot
spots, all in Europe.
—Kitson Jazynka

SISSE BRIMBERG/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE

Animal images cover a
wall in the Lascaux cave
complex in Dordogne.

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Ironic. dragons circling the Alpine peaks and mirror summit). a timeless church spires. A classic way to bring the lakeside. that chime like songbirds. River—with bracing innova. this city blends shoes and explore Old lakes.” But we seem to cease. bridges. and covered Lucerne into focus is to feeling pervades. But in With the snowcapped means “lake of the four Lucerne. we head straight cruise the lake. bridge or walking along fix of medieval squares. Trains that run like the best of tradition—cafés Town’s maze of cobble- clockwork and clocks serving hot chocolate or stone alleys and squares. Swiss wine along the Reuss working up an appetite for Breakfasts to rise for. Vierwaldstättersee. on Lake Lucerne Lucerne’s tower and Chapel Bridge (rebuilt after a fire in 1993) have kept the faith by Lake Lucerne since the 1300s. looming in the distance love to grab our walking —Kelly DiNardo . momentum. (look for its legendary Fairy tales and dragons. name. all the rösti (potato fritters) Chocolate to die for. its German given the Swiss obsession to Lucerne. The tion (the Swiss Museum of and Luzerner Nusskuchen stereotypes of Switzerland Transport is a monument (hazelnut cake) a hungry are the superlatives of to geek-chic marvels of traveler can eat. from trains to crossing town by covered When we need our Swiss cars to planes). Whether many other destinations. with timeliness. producing marvel after marvel… —Mark Twain. wonders never peak of Mount Pilatus forested places.MiNi GUiDE LUCERNE “ ” The colors in the water change and blend and dissolve.

call 855-847-5951. For real estate inquiries. this is where striving feels like Visit palmettobluff. File no. call 855-847-7910. where the open-minded meet the open ocean. if any. No federal agency has judged the merits or value. of this property. The complete offering terms are in an offering plan available from sponsor. H-110005 .com. A secret between you and the tides. This is where an aimless life has the most direction. To book your stay with Montage Palmetto Bluff. This does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy where prohibited by law. Where. in secluded eaves of marshland. Obtain the Property Report required by federal law and read it before signing anything. exclusivity is unlimited.

neo-Renaissance-meets- Slumbers baroque landmark. a 41-room. the BÜRGENSTOCK RESORT (O) has assembled three historic hotels—once frequented by such stars FOR THE ALPINE as Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren—into one glamorous. PREVIOUS PAGE: RUDY BALASKO/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS ADVENTURER Lace up your boots and head beyond Lucerne on National Geographic Expeditions’ “Switzerland: Iconic Hikes of the Swiss Alps. a nine-hole golf course. Groups with four to six people should consider trip.BOOK iT LUCERNE GO WITH NAT GEO Fit for kings: Lucerne’s Grand Hotel National FOR THE ALPINE TAMER KOSELI (ALL ILLUSTRATIONS). Perched on O TRENDY a forested ridge above Lake Lucerne. Co-founded around the turn of the 20th century by famed hotelier César Ritz and pioneering chef Auguste O NEW Escoffier. and a lakeside terrace and bar. A short walk from 10-day “Swiss Trains and Lucerne’s train station. tennis courts.000-square-foot spa. N ATGEOTRAV EL . and Bernina Express— A renovation has brought new life. housed in a turreted stone building that once was Como. Zermatt’s glaciers. the 370-room resort includes Breeze past the best of a 107. and scale the Matterhorn’s lower reaches. and biking trails. which comes with a private rooftop terrace of the Matterhorn and and a hot tub perfect for chilly Swiss nights. and a modern sensibility. MARTIN LEHMANN/ALAMY (TRAIN). the 40-room hotel pops with bright colors the Italian Lake District” and playful details. Gornergrat Bahn. the hotel continues a tradition of culinary excellence with O CLASSIC four restaurants. A camera is a must- bring.C OM . and a private beach on the lake for water sports. with National Geographic Expeditions’ a gathering place for the local labor movement. SIGHTSEER focused retreat. Trek around the base of the Eiger. for dramatic shots reserving the tower suite. Spread over 148 acres. indoor and outdoor pools (one heated in Switzerland on three winter). COURTESY GRAND HOTEL NATIONAL LUZERN (HOTEL). to the then cruise Italy’s Lake HOTEL ANKER (O). 43 miles of hiking venerable trains—Glacier Express. Lakeside A long the northern shore of Lake Lucerne sits the regal GRAND HOTEL NATIONAL (O). health. a café.” a nine-day journey through the scenic Swiss cantons of Bern and Valais.

September is the World also will find recreational of Fräkmüntegg to the bedecked wooden bridge Band Festival. stand-up paddle boarding. you the mid-mountain station Chapel Bridge. The blues roll into town in 3 Ferries and paddle steamers regularly crisscross Lake Lucerne. August brings the distant spa towns—and ular option is the “Dragon “the most mournful and Lucerne Festival. a multi. Train fan? decorated on the inside largest wind-music event. Small but mighty: Lucerne’s Mount Pilatus cog train . the stage for the Lucerne Brunnen and Weggis brings you to the Esel onion-domed Jesuit Blues Festival. orchestras perform. Another pop- which Mark Twain called revelers. a cliff face near the city. Museum of Transport. the poignant Lion it’s Carnival.983-foot Cross the Chapel Bridge. hundreds of costumed entire lake. carved into with three parades and to half-day tours of the views of Lucerne. 4 The world’s steepest cog railway hauls visitors to the 6. a flower. when everyone offering everything from summit of Lucerne’s costumed splendor. parade in take you past many of the November. including windsurfing. its lake. a local favorite the “loveliest place”) with horizon-spanning Monument. a 10-minute walk Town. Get your rail knowledge with paintings depicting where top brass bands and kayaking. including from John P. Church. which seems to fly from the world”. From then hit the cog rails the well-preserved Old Buckwheat Zydeco takes resort towns such as there. top of Pilatus. A leisurely walk will 2 The city plays host to festivals year-round. Europe’s water-sport options. city’s highlights. This being Switzerland. In February (which Mark Twain called observation platform. leading to a network of Ride” aerial cableway. moving piece of stone in week feast of classical lake and mountain hikes. Hammond to short cruises to nearby Mount Pilatus. waterskiing. and on track at the Swiss events in Swiss history. and the famous music held since 1938. visiting more and the Alps.SEE iT LUCERNE Four Ways Ramblers Culture Vultures Water Lovers Rail Riders to Go Local 1 Lucerne is compact enough to explore on foot. the 351-year-old.

consuming some 20 pounds per person per year. is Tibits. pastry with mushroom in-house. The MAX CHOCOLATIER. which prepares and jewel-tone accents will and serves up such local a smoky Schnitter beer. Restaurant medieval guild house with ingredients in its beers. from edelweiss in spring to pumpkin in Monument or Chapel Bridge. fruity farm-fresh salads and grill. a The riverside Rathaus It’s easy to go vegetarian Three venues in one. and other traditional tours are by appointment. from plates of grilled meat and “giant farm” bratwurst. a confectionery pralines and cakes—including Luzerner Nusskuchen. four ways tavern run by the same family for four generations. where dry-aged meat Flavors and languages cheese tarts. LEE JAKOB (CHOCOLATES) Max Chocolatier Final Touch: Chocolate T he Swiss are the world’s leading chocoholics. risottos to cheesecakes. fish specialties. prearranged tours of the chocolate-making facility are available. Then there and a “vinotheque” pours Romansh) converge in sauce. Pfistern occupies a Luzerner Bier uses local chain of casual vegetarian top varietals. French. Christmas beer. small-group “sightseeing chocolate tour” that begins here you’ll find everything from chocolates and tarts to and ends at CONFISERIE BACHMANN. so flavors to bring home a chocolate replica of Lucerne’s Lion vary by season. CONFISERIE KURMANN is one of the few big-name shops that haven’t expanded to other cities. eateries created by three Anker’s funky chandeliers a view of the Chapel Bridge which include a lager and brothers. Sweet treats at COURTESY MAX CHOCOLATIER (CHOCOLATE CAKE). Start your Lucerne chocolate experience on a 90-minute fall. a cigar lounge.C OM . part of a Swiss some of Switzerland’s convivial Lucerne dishes. more than 40 vegetarian have you lingering over its favorites as lake fish and Sample them on a tour and vegan dishes. and a you’ll find potato rösti. goodies—truffles to pastries to shop also crafts chocolate sculptures.” At boutique traditional cakes infused with hazelnut filling. (by appointment). bakery with a “flowing chocolate wall. Brauerei specializes in seasonal beers—dark-malt in Lucerne: Numerous restaurant menus feature Ampersand houses a wine bar. should you want chocolate spreads—use natural ingredients. Italian. group brewery and fondues. N ATGEOTRAV EL .EAT iT LUCERNE Say cheese Traditional Fare Beer Lovers Vegetarian New and Trendy (and bier) At Wirtshaus Galliker. veal in puff summer beer—brewed cheese-based raclettes cooks over an open fire (German.

DISCOVER THE WILD T R AV E L W I T H N AT I O N A L G EO G R A P H I C V E N T U R E TO T H E W O R L D’ S W I L D P L AC E S W I T H N AT I O N A L G E O G R A P H I C . W H E T H E R YO U ’ R E O B S E R V I N G W I L D L I F E O N S A FA R I W I T H O U R E X P E R T S. OR SHOOTING IMAGES WHEN YOU TRAVEL WITH US. the National Geographic Society. used under license. W E G E T YO U C LO S E R T H A N YO U E V E R I M A G I N E D. © 2017 National Geographic Partners. .C O M | 1-888-966-8687 furthering our understanding of the planet. LLC. whose explorers and researchers are N ATG E O E X P E D I T I O N S . HIKING THE ANDES ON AN ACTIVE EXPEDITION. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS and the Yellow Border Design are trademarks of the National Geographic Society. YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE I N M O N G O L I A A LO N G S I D E O N E O F O U R P R O S O N A P H OTO G R A P H Y We return 27% of our proceeds to E X P E D I T I O N .

No color with an autumnal filter needed. A blaze of fall colors ignites leafy Pioneer Valley. Stockbridge O Waterfront Restaurant: The Red Inn. Provincetown Our favorite route winds west from the North Shore For a dazzlingly to the Berkshires. then back east to nothing competes Cape Cod. Narrow roads dip and turn as they pass maple and birch trees crowned with a kaleidoscope of fiery reds and gilded ambers.ROAD TRIP P MASSACHUSETTS ³ Miles: 411 O Days on the Road: 3 O Americana: Norman Rockwell Museum. . chromatic journey. in the heart of Massachusetts. road trip around —Nick Altschuller Massachusetts.

complete with craftspeople drive through in summer. as if hops and tropical pilots. in Newbury. Arrive one of the four vessels in more than six miles of trails at Tree House early in the local Dolphin Fleet for running or skiing. the Berkshire East at the Tanglewood Music onto a cumulus cloud. shacks offering boiled crustaceans and seaside landmark built when it was Massachusetts town of food festivals. In the evening. PREVIOUS PAGE: DENIS TANGNEY. Board creative specials as lobster poutine. be sure to take in a concert fruit fell in love and settled backs are the stars. the local leaf-peeping season. Boston Pops to Sting. breed in Caribbean waters. provide it does is make hits. and the refined as you cruise best beers in these United most tip sits the resort North Shore has you covered. as they If you seek adrenaline over antiques. and music. erick Law Olmsted. If you beer.STOP 1 STOP 3 STOP 4 STOP 5 GUILLERMO TRAPIELLO (MAP). considered the flagship that can be spotted into length of western Massachusetts. this eatery mixes classics with such grounds. Come scaper of Central Park to site in Monson). Summer brings topped with a lobster claw. which run the head into town for dinner. Speakeasy Donuts. fatten up on nutrient-rich Mountain Resort offers everything from rafting to zip-lining Center. and art and views. Begin you may spot porpoises and more.000-square-foot spa ration of world-class. TAMER KOSELI (ILLUSTRATION) In a Pinch Stay the Course House Party Wave Goodbye Journey from rugged to When you scan a list of the At Cape Cod’s northern- Someone in the car is going to want lobster. designed by Fred. big new barnlike lodge. 55. to traditional lobster Resort. The the day. where cake doughnuts come town of Lenox and the House Brewing Company. but hump- and artisans selling watercolor landscapes and maple syrup. JR. England–style IPA. fitness classes. from pop-ups like southwest to the Berkshire States./GETTY IMAGES. your tasting with what is playing in its wake. though. which tastes October include minkes. These include Bob Lobster. and fins. As your a 35. since locals and Whale Watch to sail to the interior of the resort offers tourists alike will already Stellwagen Bank National STOP 2 its own sprawling luxury— be lined up for their daily Marine Sanctuary. Julius. de rigueur to hire the land.000-square. Whales The tree-blanketed Berkshire mountains. from the session in the brewery’s long winter swim south to region’s coolest downhill mountain-bike park. The beer hideaway is the you’ll see P Town going his basement. and Opened by a lobsterman who sold his catch out of create your backyard. New boat pushes off from shore. funky vibe. O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 . a Gilded Age foot home in the southern the buzz of sailing regattas. Height of Adventure with pools. Charlton (near an older music happenings. remain the benchmark for drinks. this craft here in fall. Beyoncé of breweries: All to the … whales. prized for its beaches and Cranwell Spa & Golf With a new. which hosts a Then kick it back for a cod and mackerel before a to winter skiing. But what distinguishes this resort is the range of artists. zero in on Tree mecca of Provincetown.

and by kayak— war. on horseback. has been to park’s sandy shoreline. Peace through National Park. is servation through tourism. Colombia is poised to tourism is Colombia’s an eye-opening nature to become an ecotourism crown jewel. National Park the Revolutionary Armed white Caribbean beaches Adventuresome travelers Forces of Colombia (FARC) almost vertically up into can join a four-day guided If Earth’s biodiversity were become ecotourism tropical cloud forests. Kogi built high in the because this nation of Sustainable Tourism for ative. is home to the indigenous exploring the park’s other last year’s peace accord Ground zero for this Kogi people. to jungles to deserts. endangered of tropical on Tayrona’s Cañaveral species of flora and fauna Colombia’s passionate vice landscapes. trek to this ancient jungle- a country.” that is among the most Thatched bungalows home to one of every 10 says Sandra Howard Taylor. from Development. off-limits during the years of conflict.PLACES WE LOVE COLOMBIA Tayrona to local and international this varied landscape that sites include the Ciudad travelers—and fighters for extends from brilliantly Perdida. And with minister of tourism.org. who revere wonders. . Spanish conquistadores snowcapped mountains be a world leader in con. swing their gates open Q Places We Love: National Geographic Traveler GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE MIKE THEISS/NATIONAL celebrates the United Nations 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. “Protecting it for future cloaked settlement the called Colombia. Tayrona holiday that advances a mecca. “Tayrona is new era of peace for tourism is no empty slogan our Yellowstone. For more information on this global initiative. “Our goal for 2017. near dry tropical forest changed their world. Tayrona also beach provide a base for in the world. ending 60 years of civil enlightened approach nature and whose sacred on foot.” says Colombia. or Lost City. That’s the International Year of generations is our imper. of 55 national parks. it’s becoming reality Julia Miranda. visit unwto. it could be soldiers. Colombia’s as some of the country’s national parks director. —Costas Christ here.” Jaguars roam the mountains centuries before ecological treasures.

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attached to each of our digital devices so I had the pool all to myself. It was winter in Arizona. I couldn’t say The view from the Blue Palace’s infinity pool. so By Katrina Woznicki No one else wanted to brave the chill. Oak Creek gurgling nearby. We live in a heads-down culture. Strip down and bare day.OBSESSIONS HOTEL POOLS Aquatic U nder a gibbous moon. I could hear into the hotel’s infinity pool. from nine inches to at the sky is a blessing. unseen yet warmly felt. I waded in. takes in Spinalonga isle.C OM former fortress. Utopia heated year-round to 84°F. It Sedona’s sentinel red rocks loomed in felt like stepping into a bath after a long the darkness. in Crete. the air crisp. From the that simply to float and gaze upward steps. (almost) all to find nirvana on holiday sky was the color of slate. a N ATGEOTRAVEL . . Beyond it. and the Pools encourage us to look up. I slipped more than four feet deep.

clear and calm. you could swim across it in a few strokes. On this trip to Sedona. Whether it’s a quick road trip or a plush vacation. this we swam. as artificial as they might appear to some. The night GEORGE FAKAROS (INFINITY POOL). even if that means spending a little more. defenses down as you embrace new Backstroking across the chilly water. LE SIRENUSE/PHOTO BY YDO SOL (AMALFI) Park Hyatt’s “Sky Pool” sits the Amalfi coastline. HOTEL NH SEVILLA and the scenery. outdoor on the 47th floor. I brought my own floatie. when the heat of the day peaks. we stayed at perfect cool respite. Its concrete exterior fish nibbling my feet. big pools. infinity pools. rectangular. muscle and mind soft- puccino and changed quickly into my bathing suit. but it’s been with me for as long as I can remember. and pool presents a 180-degree sample pools the way people try food. allowing me to soak up a view instead of bracing for waves or worrying about Hotel Pools With the Hotel Bonaventure Montreal. SWISSÔTEL ZÜRICH ening together. new scents. It was cloudy and cool all week. Swimming pools. Yes. I could see how Thirty-two floors up. in the mountains—that I am eager to dive into. be exposed to Quebec’s harsh winter winds. are always that enticing cerulean color. During a sunny afternoon. A lemon-scented pool terrace at Le Sirenuse perches on the Amalfi Coast’s steep cliffs. The simple. I choose lodging with a pool versus one without. this one was shaped like a sprinkled donut. new surroundings. writer based in New York City. on many church steeples. relaxation. where I swam in another small PARK HYATT TOKYO day and accessed by a vestibule so swimmers won’t pool that forced me to look up and admire a big view. the first thing I do after checking into a hotel is beeline to the pool. One long weekend in January. hairpin turns on the road. a change in different walking along the beach or driving along the my perspective. O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 . above us. I booked the Amara Resort because it claimed to have a pool with one of the best views in Arizona. It wasn’t really a place for exercise but more a place for meditation. day the sun broke through. The saltwater pool wasn’t large or deep. After every long drive. The morning after my night soak. Italy. To swim is to surrender. a landscape that would look quite PLAZA DE ARMAS they each offer rejuvenation. Lakes are murky and too mysterious. I was vacation. ing on a precipice. I don’t feel this way about natural sources of water. After all. countless pool at Le Sirenuse was surrounded by potted lemon is the Japanese pool from stars twinkled against an opaque sky and snowflakes trees. this small If a hotel pool is heated. but its interior is an urban Swimming in Sedona reminded me of my recent oasis. bliss comes in many forms. I swim year-round. new sights. small pools. the same view from the night before was now completely different: tree branches crisscross- ing like Chinese calligraphy. Pools are my yoga mat. I floated in my giant. after every long flight. the sounds. In Spain. Sky-High Views blended in with downtown. which rolls up very nicely into my suitcase. when my passion for hotel swimming pools began. but on the one the film Lost in Translation. the colors of the red rocks shifting constantly from orange to crimson to gold as the sun inched westward. eggs cling to these cliffs like barnacles. islands. a blue-ribbon sky not rushing any of it. plastic donut trying to ascertain if the bragging rights were warranted. silently fell into the pool. it was below freezing. I gulped down my cap. submerging myself in both the pool Rooftop pools. This habit— call it an obsession—is why I always pack my bathing suit in my carry-on. Oceans are moody and too restless. I towering and dangerous Italy’s cliffs really are. and there are how homes and businesses painted the color of Easter view of the Swiss city’s many more of them around the world—in cities. indoor rooftop retreat offers the KATRINA WOZNICKI ( @katrinawoz) is a freelance or outdoor. An outdoor heated swimming pool is open every stay in Positano.

” north of Cartagena. western China—and happy dogs and owners. photographers.” “Taking my dog to off-leash time in Brooklyn’s “Seeing someone have their teeth worked on by Prospect Park. —Kevin Johnson “Riding the Belmond Hiram Bingham train to and “Jumping from the deck of a traditional Turkish “Having endangered Rothschild giraffes eat from Machu Picchu. with everyone downing pisco sours!” Sea near Bodrum.” vines in Virunga National Park. It’s a real show.C OM .” feeling great relief that it isn’t me. and editors. DRC. Turkey. The mood is especially festive sailing gulet into the crystalline blue Aegean from my palm at Giraffe Manor. with hundreds of foot-powered drill in Hotan. Louisiana.“ outskirts of Nairobi.WHERE IN THE WORLD HAPPY EXPERIENCES What makes travelers happy? Adventures? Discoveries? Baby gorillas? We salute the pursuit of happiness (a story in National Geographic’s November issue).” “Following the mobile jazz bands in and out of bars “Watching baby mountain gorillas swing from “Floating in the Totumo Mud Volcano.” N ATGEOTRAV EL . Kenya. Colombia. with 16 joyful experiences championed by our globe-trotting writers. a lodge on the on the return. an hour on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans.

“Watching a baby elephant take a frolicking mud “Ringing the temple bell of happiness at midnight ceans) in Bonaire. Japan.” on New Year’s Eve in Kyoto.” O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 . (barbecue) at the Argentinian home of new Spain’s La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone.” gardens in Giverny. Like swimming through stars!” bath in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.” friends while cheering on the local soccer team.” just outside Quebec City. France. followed by an impromptu and realizing I’m the one who looks comical picnic of baguettes and cheese in a meadow by Claude Monet’s lily-filled and out of place. Heaven. “Sipping cava while floating in a hot-air balloon “Snowshoeing while tethered to a sled dog “Savoring the flavors of an authentic asada over the lava-sculpted countryside of northern in the frosty woods of Chaudière-Appalaches.” “Sitting with a puffin in Scotland’s Shiant Isles “A back-road bike ride in Normandy.” ART: LEON EDLER “Night diving into bioluminescent ostracods (crusta.

the initiative and chef at Virtù protects a desert Honest Craft. ARIZONA with 182 miles of hike-bike trails. .SMART CITIES SCOTTSDALE. It’s not just saguaros Desert dwellers are that have found a a determined lot. Scottsdale In few places is celebrates Native this truism more American and pronounced than in cowboy art at its Scottsdale. honors Frank of tony resorts with Lloyd Wright at the a shrewd sense architect’s winter for sustainability. haven. ecosystem from “We Scottsdalians development while always return here. Now a creative. the owner locals. which Museum of the mixes the shimmer West. and supports was a driving force local arts in gallery behind a voter. top off a dish at El Chorro.” says Gio point of pride for Osso. “Scottsdale’s of the city as the desert environment McDowell Sonoran forces you to be Preserve. providing citizens asking. home. Taliesin In 1995 that spirit West. opened in the 1930s and popular for its views of Camelback Mountain. districts on Main approved tax to Street and Marshall set aside a third Way. ‘What will we think of next?’” —Katarina Kovacevic Crispy corn chips. a Southwest staple.

Outback Adventures The first to feature an traverse an unexpectedly all-Arizona wine list. fun. Scottsdale public 150 mi U. retaining much of the perfect bit of eccentric. FnB green and tranquil desert is a fitting finale to Scotts. the hotel’s decor. past buttes and volcanic lights the region’s natural hills. . dale’s Urban Wine Trail. and watch the shouldn’t miss sampling sun rise above saguaro Chef Gio Osso’s signature cacti. visitors Loop Trail. LEARN MORE AT NATIONALGEO GRAPHIC. A R I Z O NA NM Clockwise from top: On CA the Gateway Loop trail. Then tuck into a post- bounty: Think grilled spicy flight feast served alfresco. doubles as a gallery Chunk Sweets & Treats— for local artists thanks to a such as chocolate bacon robust partnership with the caramel corn and mesquite nearby Cattle Track Arts chocolate-chip cookies— Compound. such as scallops begins its hot-air balloon with white-chocolate rides over the Sonoran beurre blanc and charred Desert with cookies and octopus with Calabrian coffee. The new. the pool at 150 km MEXICO Mountain Shadows.CITIE S. SOAR. The the vibrant hues of ’60s small-batch. Look for coyotes chili butter. Shop Stay DESERT DESIGNS ARTSY ABODES Consignment shop Vintage Mountain Shadows resort by Misty presents the opened this April as a owner’s curated anthology revamp of the 1960s of retro European designer namesake that stood in its fashion—bright. PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH EXPERIENCE S COT T SDALE . for a hike along its Gateway ranean dishes. Cattle Track’s are souvenirs worthy of creative denizens designed space in your luggage. the state’s diverse varietals. Scottsdale fashion at Vintage by Phoenix Misty. NG MAPS installation of colorful fiber UT CO NV balls in the lobby. inspired by & Objects gift shop. handcrafted textile artist Alexander confections at Super Girard. Arts Compound or at in-2016 Andaz Scottsdale Andaz Scottsdale’s Textiles Resort & Spa. and place. Chef and bobcats as you drift Charleen Badman high. the original mid-century Buy limited-edition charm and blending artworks and high-fired the city’s glossy modern stoneware directly from architecture with the stark artists at the Cattle Track desert environs. At FnB. a keep your eyes peeled for network of downtown sightings of bald eagles tasting rooms showcasing and wild mustangs. Eat Play GASTRONOMIC OASIS HIKE. art sculpture. Float Balloon Tours plates. broccoli in a tangerine aioli Kayak rides down the lower or Peruvian chicken spring Salt River with Arizona rolls with local tomatillo. including the oft-Instagrammed art KRIS DAVIDSON (ALL PHOTOS). PADDLE Virtù Honest Craft is Hit the McDowell Sonoran known for its weekly menu Preserve in early morning of garden-fresh Mediter. terrain.COM/SMART. As you paddle.S.

On number of U. and cultural. verve. 50 0 the steamy weather gives this major port city on the J F M A M J A D J F M A M J A D South China Sea that much more sizzle. Airline competition to tout a collective 87 Miche. you can drop a you stay on the island or means round-trip fares Chinese lunar calendar—typically in May or June— fortune on a meal at the in Kowloon? Truth is. Tim Ho Wan afternoon tea. the question is always: Do this major hub in Asia the fifth day of the fifth month of the traditional lin stars..S. barbecued-pork buns. airports. A highlight: the “fancy dress competition. lavish Pacific Airways. single-star groups of its palatial rooms. and more. typhoons 950F 300 mm and all. The competitions take claim a star each). Cathay is a member of the place at various locations. including in Victoria a few dollars afford such a contemporary counter. FESTIVAL DINING LODGING FLIGHTS Enter the Dragon Dim Sum Delights Harbour Hotels East Meets West Hong Kong’s annual Dragon Boat Festival begins on Hong Kong’s restaurants When it comes to lodging. U. N ATGEOTRAV EL .OFF-SEASON STRATEGIST HONG KONG MAY TO SEPTEMBER: Even the rainy season. where the island is Upper House. book awards on it. nonstop flights from a many carved to resemble dragons and each (two of the four locations immersion experiences. opened and United. Cathay compete in speed races in narrow wooden boats. with phenomenal can use American Airlines Harbour. can’t put a damper on Hong Kong’s vitality.and three-star spots. can’t go wrong either way. Spectators watch thousands of is home to one of the Peninsula Hotel.C OM BY E R IC RO SE N . atop a skyscraper. point. also offers restaurants. and dragon boat races. so you treats as steamed shrimp. BOBBY YIP/REUTERS equipped with a drummer. you as low as $500 from the and includes several days of races and splashy two. Average high temperature Average rainfall Banner race: Teams of power paddlers compete in the cacophonous Dragon Boat Festival.S.” chive dumplings and baked harbor views from its perch or British Airways miles to with paddlers racing in wigs. airlines with nonstop However. Hong Kong also Kowloon is home to the flights include American celebrations. For off-season explorers. Oneworld Alliance. Hong Kong’s paddle-wielding athletes from all over the world world’s least expensive in 1928 and renowned for hometown carrier. banana suits.

travel advisors. On a mission to inspire “Impactful Travel”. writers.Travel finds the best adventure companies and stories for you to constantly remain equipped and inspired to travel the world.Travel. covering 100+ adventure travel destinations. ARGENTINA Adventure. is a community of responsible travelers. powered by the Adventure Travel Trade Association. sustainable growth of adventure travel around the globe. They are the voice of travel businesses committed to long-term. ADVENTURE TRAVEL .MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES AWAIT SALTA. Adventure. 400+ tour providers. photographers.

Here Moroccan residence is are 15 genre-shifting showcasing his eclectic museums. pushing museums so enamored of the city to expand in size and that he made it his second reenvision displays to home. fabric swatches. Now. Each revolutions in creativity. with couture to South Africa. Petri Creativity finds new angles at London’s striking Design Museum. from Seattle sensibility. and became itself. celebrated this winter at London’s Design Museum Journeys that spark the is one of several museums imagination can lead to to debut in 2017. . The interactive offerings. educate. the French designer’s inspire visitors. Yves Saint Laurent Museum —Alexandra E. and later. a half century engage. receiving attention for and interiors inspired by their daring designs and the city’s vivid palette.BEST LIST 15 MUST-SEE MUSEUMS ³ ”I believe most things can be said in a few lines. In suggests that exhibits of 1966 a young Yves Saint the future will be as much Laurent discovered the about the experience of an beauty and colors of object as about the object Marrakech. that are sketches.” —Italian auto designer Enzo Ferrari.

LLC. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC UNIQUE LODGES OF THE WORLD and the Yellow Border Design are registered trademarks of the National Geographic Society. used under license. Visit natgeolodges. .com or call +1-888-701-5486. Tanzania © 2017 National Geographic Partners. Photo: Sayari Camp. WHAT A FIND A COLLECTION OF HANDPICKED LODGES WHERE SUSTAINABILITY MEETS SPLENDOR Let us plan your dream trip.

Indonesia’s first Northwest at Seattle’s museum for international Nordic Heritage Museum. to architecture. museum rolls out the now with more exhibit carpet for music fans. D. futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza celebrates such luminaries as Louis Vuitton and delves into History & Culture Korea’s own influence on international design. from fashion experiments included. JUAN LUIS DURÁN (SCIENCE MUSEUM ). exhibit space at SFMOMA from slavery to the Obama (San Francisco Museum of presidency and beyond. Vespas to Sweden’s Museum of robots. housed in the plants—make for a great late designer’s home. MVRDV/OSSIP VAN DUIVENBODE (RAGNAROCK ). Also rebooted: Denmark’s Ragnarock London’s Tate Modern. with works by such stars as Jeff Koons and exhibits From top: Art is a big deal on Indonesian art. EYE CANDY in Rio de Janeiro. A instruments from the 1950s must: the rooftop terrace.C OM . on. contemporary-art scene. MACAN. where we’re topped by a belvedere with headed—rooted in science. sweeping views. iconic outfits and musical and new dining options. come from.BEST LIST 15 MUST-SEE MUSEUMS Science & Tech Design & Architecture WORLDS OF POSSIBILITY The Museum of Tomorrow. Modern Art). Spain. rock-and-roll Town the Zeitz. day trip. fashions at the new Yves and a huge living wall— Saint Laurent Museum in seeded with thousands of Marrakech. Concede your international and Israeli own flops at the Failure designers. restaurants. The exuberance Failure displays more of Israel’s Design Museum than 70 product clunkers. In Cape at SFMOMA. and life. the bold National Museum of Modern Art African American History and Culture is the largest AHEAD OF THE CURVE museum dedicated to the A redesign nearly tripled story of African Americans. all fluid curves. with and performance spaces. the biggest colors tart up Ragnarock African museum to open museum. Holon starts with its exte- from lasagna-flavored rior of looping curves and HENRIK KAM COURTESY SFMOMA (SFMOMA). inspires Cheers to wine and bold visitors to conjure a bright design at Bordeaux’s future through a largely Cité du Vin. and more. in 2016. N ATGEOTRAV EL . aims to “Designer Maker User” instill as it explores the exhibit displays hundreds intersection of science. The cultural digital experience that center. is a looks at philosophical ideas multisensory playground and questions—where we with 19 themed spaces. In Seoul the Confession Booth. TRUE STORIES Opened in Washington..C. seven floors It’s all Morocco-inspired of galleries. PREVIOUS PAGE: GRAVITY ROAD toothpaste to anti–jet lag continues with works by gadgets. celebrates on water by Valencia’s the continent’s thriving playful Science Museum. visitors walk in a century. Museum where you will see tools. of items spanning various technology. disciplines. the Valencia. Follow paths of Nordic with panoramas over immigrants to the Pacific London. opens late 2017 costumes. Download Curiosity is what the new design history at London’s Science Museum in Design Museum. modern art.

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where my husband and I had come to savor The ethereal landscapes Starry-eyed on a time together at the rustic-meets-refined Beresheet Hotel of Chile’s Atacama Desert babymoon in a before our baby arrived. And not just any desert: Israel’s other. N ATGEOTRAV EL . massage in the hotel’s sun-filled spa. Perched on cliffs above the crater. Another treat was Beresheet’s overflowing breakfast spread. stone villas integrate into the landscape. Sunset views from a hilltop capped our final Geographic Unique Lodge child-free getaway. ASSAF PINCHUK/ISROTEL secluded Amangiri. complete with visits from and guided stargazing. Earth’s surround Alto Atacama. a National nant lady dreams of. I couldn’t wait to bob in the infinity pool. seven pools. the main lodge and its desert garden. so off we went. local mountain goats. Highlights: a both counts. with everything from shakshuka (eggs Watch elephants and kudu from your own water hole poached in tomato sauce) to local cheeses—and all the carbs a preg- at Sarara Camp.C OM . HOT DESERT LODGES worldly Negev. We look forward to returning…next time as three. hiking to an ancient village Utah’s canyons and buttes that may have been a stop on the ancient spice route. He itched to explore Ramon Crater. in northern Kenya. Once back: a draw guests to stylish. but I craved relaxation.GRAND HOTELS ISRAEL Desert Luxe T he desert was calling. a lunar landscape largest erosion crater. Beresheet delivered on family-owned resort tucked By Christine Blau into a canyon. yet the Infinite views of southern Negev had taken hold of us.

Hangzhou is production also expressed the idea of Road today are new ideas. silk and chinaware friendsĠyour waist will be touched by (www. cross the the softness of a silk dress while you are history dates back over a thousand World Heritage sites and its alluring Danube River and reaching the Thames. pulls tourists right into the city’s heart.com) . Hangzhou and produced a series of VR years ago. silk. its travelled from the West Lake. Among them. Hangzhou in VR Zero Distance to the Paradise City 750 years ago. will be intoxicated by the beauty of booming cities bursting with energy and and the charming countryside. with the launch of this VR eyes will be glued to the serene West this heavenly robe in the Heaven City. Now.gotohz. but also a magic force that seamless heavenly robe’ to describe a payment system in the world. but also outshining nature. China has quite a few cities whose films showing the city’s culture. Hangzhou are not only a feast of visual Chinese people use the phrase ‘a ecommerce industry and mobile and immeasurable potential for and audio art. important hubs along the ancient Silk headsetđthe magic starts to work. Today. people will be smell the fragrance of the dragon-well because it will be easily taken away by to the most visited locations in brought back to the days hundreds of tea while you are having high tea with this heavenly journey. shopping at Harrods. while you are the only one that not only prides itself everlasting and inclusive civilization. Monthly However. it took Marco Polo a number of years to travel from his hometown to Hangzhou. traveling on the new Silk Fuchun Resort that resembles a scroll of creativity. Your modern technology. amazing link These newly released VR films of claims home to the most advanced between history and digital economy. and a new way of win-win cooperation. and you can also find many lifestyle characterized by tea. and your heart years. which could be unique city is bringing itself to the perfectly used to describe Hangzhou. With high resolution 360 degree video film series in important European city Lake while you’re strolling along the all you need to do is to put on the latest cameras and tailor-made dronesđa along the new Silk Road built by China’s Thames embankment. food bridging the East and the West. to see Road. curious eyes of tourists from around the Hangzhou used to be one of the most The moment you put on the VR which seamlessly integrated history and globe with cutting-edge VR technology. the journey to this Heaven City takes only one minute for anyone from anywhere in the world. new economy Chinese ink painting. when tea. daydreaming in a remote English village. this development. And now. state of perfection. Today. a city he called Heaven. your nose will VR headset and hold your breath- professional VR production team set off Belt and Road Initiatives. on two World Heritage sites.

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for accessible routes that range from easy to expert. and below worlds of wonder with these 20 achievable feats Rock climbers know to head to the Trapps. across. O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 37 .ADVENTURE ALL Explore above. in New York’s Shawangunk Mountains.

Å Above Accent your ascent with sublime views from on high You don’t have to climb Mont Blanc to marvel at a skyscraping Alps panorama.C OM . Glass- enclosed gondolas ferry passengers up nearby peak Aiguille du Midi. 38 NATGEOTRAVEL .

and Italy. and sunglasses on the observatory walkway. My friend and I share nearly the same epic view the climbers have. with a new appreciation of Alpine peaks and the adventurous people who explore them. one of the highest restaurants in Europe. It’s bright. Its 15. The Aiguille du Midi also has one of the world’s highest museums.000 feet above them. for which Chamonix has historically been considered a top spot. While the mountain climbers are refueling on energy bars. turn to page 44. a peak neighboring Mont Blanc. we enjoy strong coffee and chocolate cake at Le 3842. we have arrived at 12. We pull up Instagram to capture our obligatory “step into the void. Ä . and blustery. Their top-of-the- world vista takes in a snow- dusted Alpine massif that spans France. but not the same foot blisters or crevasse hazards. Located in a rocky chamber deep in the mountain.771-foot summit looms still some 3. and we still need warm layers.” a glass cube off the walkway that thrills with the spectacle of a sheer Alpine drop below our feet. We hop on the cable car back to town. cold. Western Europe’s tallest peak. Switzerland. the Musée de l’Alpinisme Pointe displays photos and memorabilia from the early days of extreme sports—such as BASE jumping. though. The Aiguille du Midi gives them a taste of what it’s like to be an alpinist—but without the need for expensive hiking boots. Unlike them. WESTERN EUROPE Blister-Free Mont Blanc T hree Gore-Tex–clad mountaineers are making their arduous slog up Mont Blanc. Gondolas have ferried passengers to surrounding heights from Chamonix since 1924.395 feet via a 20-minute cable car ride from the French resort town of Chamonix to this observation deck on Aiguille du Midi. sunscreen. —Mary Anne Potts For more adventures that take you above.

into the gait that is entirely unique to rugged silence of off-road this venerable breed. Iceland. water. advanced riders upshift to a grateful for the horses that jaunty tölt—the rocking fifth carried us here. horses wander off to graze in a The Icelandic horse is field while the humans slip into equal parts strong and gentle.” Unsaddled. Across Å Å Glide across spectacular landscapes with thrills. you see and feel the The tall dome of glistening earth. Iceland is remarkably black volcanic earth. Steady hooves the glassy Sauðafellsvatn crunch over miles of new lake. following the ancient Kjölur I breathe in time with my Route that crosses the barren animal. air. manage this desolate Game Pleasantly exhausted. but the volcano in Iceland and the summer sun never disappears.” and largely untouched by outside “Magic. and fire. —Andrew Evans 40 NATGEOTRAV EL . so I loosen the reins and let her lead our way across Iceland’s southern highlands. we revel of Thrones scenery thanks to in the warmth that emanates the horses’ agility. ice is Hekla—the most active Evening comes. our small group from Íshestar trots toward the row of mossy green mountains on the horizon. rode this same cross-country lighting up the soulful eyes route more than a thousand of these fuzzy beasts with years ago. moment. even the least soak our tired bodies outside experienced equestrian can the cozy huts near Hveravellir. small and tough—have which roughly translate to remained a separate breed “Fire Bear. the influence. and since then. according Instead the horizon blushes to ancient lore. while more from the heart of the Earth.” “Arrogant. bubbling natural hot pools to In the saddle. inhaling the damp middle of the country from northern wind as we skirt coast to coast. not spills ICELAND On Horseback in the Land of Fire and Ice M y horse knows the land better than I. tongue-twister names like Iceland’s wild-maned horses— Eldbjörn. gateway to Hell. and Töfrandi. Single file.C OM . lumpy elemental like this—at any as a field of crushed Oreos. Hroki. The Vikings pink and the land glows.

turn to page 44. For more journeys across. Even first-time equestrians find the famed Icelandic horse a smooth ride for treks across the country’s ragged interior. Ä .

including popular Cenote Cristalino near Playa del Carmen. Å Below Take the plunge to discover new realms Anyone can explore the many dazzling cenotes that riddle Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.C OM . 42 NATGEOTRAVEL .

Our hushed voices echoed against the cave ceiling. while passages led much deeper. Ä . the Maya relied on cenotes for freshwater and believed they were portals to the gods. Divers in wet suits and kids in swimsuits trundled out into the parking lot. —Kate Siber For more thrills that take you below. MEXICO Swimming in Sinkholes B eneath lush greenery. Families and couples picnicked on a small lawn as we descended stairs to the sunlit pool. taking in the delicate stillness of this singular window into the Earth. We floated and breast stroked until our fingers were wrinkly. Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is like Swiss cheese. but—happily— the clerk let us in. Dos Ojos Cenote was almost ready to close by the time we got there. which swept over our heads like a grand opera house. illuminated in gem-tone shades of blue and green by the late afternoon light. divers’ headlamps lit the craggy depths. Below. A couple of days later. we watched fish and turtles circle stalactites and stalagmites. teeming with snorkelers. About 30 feet below. Down the creaky wooden steps that led into the pool. Down a dirt road fringed by jungle. We finned back and forth then warmed up aboveground with others who had come to delight in the luminous pleasures and wild wonders of this stone-rimmed pool in the jungle. but you don’t need special certifications to enjoy the pools at the surface. turn to page 44. Through our masks. formed when limestone collapses and cool groundwater seeps in. The bedrock is pocked with thousands of sinkholes. rock formations sank away into a 30-foot-deep pool. We sank into the 76°F water. we discovered we were completely alone. In centuries past. we visited Gran Cenote and found a very different experience: a lively party. Now divers explore the depths.

com Coast. Ski Team and tours through old-growth British Paddle around the creaking and CARIBBEAN High West Distillery and Saloon. the and primordial pine.C OM R E P O RT E D BY M A RY A NNE P O T T S . Adventurers as young as 10 don NEW MEXICO Atacama. Coasteer the Emerald Isle owyhee-river-whitewater. heat can be dangerous. and Raft the Owyhee marine life in more than 70 snuba at an iconic landscape carved by zip lines take you safely out of your locations worldwide. elevation change. where you Native Americans. so consult of the fragile desert landscape. Park City welcomes group can picnic on the grounds. PREVIOUS PAGES: ANDREW BURR (CLIMBING). For a mellow trip. adventures.com Located about 90 miles north of New York City.300 acres BRITISH COLUMBIA of all levels.ABOVE Sea. and that’s precisely the draw. CHRISTIAN ASLUND (MONT BLANC). and Romania). CHRISTIAN VIZL (CENOTE) Zip-Line in Whistler experience an otherworldly oasis. on a sunrise hot-air balloon ride departing from San Pedro de Skim on Nordic Ice growing sport of coasteering. rock hopping. birch. Park City is Ziptrek’s impressive array of zip-line also home to the U. Shawangunk Mountains Old World villages. the largest ski resort in the U. and Kelso Lakes.441 acres of Boundary case.html a park ranger to make a plan suited including 19. Just over nine to the scenery. eurovelo. The more than 119 limestone the supervision of a skilled guide. excursions range Caverns National Park have been CENTRAL EUROPE sea caving. the Bright Angel Balloon Over the Atacama Owyhee River. rising 470 skiers and non-skiers alike. For novices. Columbian rain forests and over calving glaciers and icebergs of parkcitymountain. pools. to the Black Spring and fall are prime for charm and Sundance cinephile foot. Instead the tank floats Grand Canyon Explore the tree canopy at one of lazyottercharters. A hike from the canyon rim down 10 Treetop Trekking locations in Swim down to 20 feet.com/ times. skiers-only Gravity does all the work on Kayak Prince William Sound parks/bruneau-dunes terrain at Deer Valley. San Juan del Sur on the Pacific free-standing sand dune. and resident countries (France. around. largest and most popular cliff. part of an ancient fossil extremesports.ziptrek. and orcas Hike Rim to River in the Do a Ropes Course from having to carry their air tank could all make an appearance. ideal for NEW YORK ACROSS: Urban ice- first-time cyclists who want to skating is a thing in Rock Climb in the pedal past romantic castles and Stockholm.com Blackstone Bay in Prince William Snuba in Aruba Sound. Sweden.com to a snowboard or sled). is a perfect setting for the nps. to at Park City Mountain Resort. try the Kelso loop.com on a raft trailing behind the diver. rowadventures. offers a white sand beach feet in Idaho’s Bruneau Dunes State of skiers will find their fix among and rolling waves ideal for surfers Park. including time and used for millennia by comfort zone. accessible by elevator or Serbia. Rent a “sand” board (similar 300-plus trails over 7. atacamaballooning.gov/grca Sal. climbs. Ski Park City bats. Sea otters. making it a ideally on a weekday to avoid prized destination for paddling crowds.gov/ sample the groomed. sanjuansurf. located 10 minutes from exploring North America’s tallest sophistication. Sandboard Bruneau Dunes With its mix of old mining-town Room.gov/cave 44 NATGEOTRAV EL . Suspension OREGON prior diving experience. snuba frees divers harbor seals.com/rafting.409-foot Licancabur Ireland.ie/coasteering EuroVelo 6 bike path runs along reef. The path is wide and mostly flat or slightly downhill. Playa Tennessee. rocky to your fitness level and the season. and through eight more IDAHO formations.com Learn to Fly on Lookout Mountain NICARAGUA No experience is required to Surf Nicaragua tandem hang glide with an Nicaragua may not have the best instructor above verdant Lookout surfing waves of Central America— Valley. The for a humbling aerial perspective IRELAND rapids. Depending on ice possible—swimming. just an hour and a half’s A hybrid between snorkeling and ARIZONA CANADA drive from Anchorage.864-mile ice-skating caves. the “Gunks” are a MINNESOTA rite of passage for any gym climber Canoe the Boundary Waters aspiring to scale the rocks—in this The 814.380 feet of can drift past blue parrotfish and CHILE adventure of Idaho and Oregon’s other denizens of the Caribbean.S. Switzerland. Or ALASKA parksandrecreation. with its scalloped. solid quartz conglomerate— Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Greater Gotham. bald eagles. Volcano and the Cordillera de la SWEDEN shore. Croatia.com Few white-water trips can compare Aruba’s De Palm Island. and a campground.idaho. contain huge chambers of the Danube River from its source in BELOW UTAH stalactites and mind-boggling Germany. All levels hanglide. head to the Trapps. now FOLIO IMAGES (SKATING). scuba diving.com creeks. and spruce forests. viewing platforms. whistler. to see Canyon provides an intimate look bridges. and from small lakes to the Baltic Sea. The increasingly popular 1. GALLERY STOCK (HORSES).com Lower Owyhee delights with the periodic water sources for staying Drift above the driest place on Earth most hot springs and the gentlest hydrated. Hungary. Nonfliers in the Remanso. alluring to humans since prehistoric Bike the Danube Cycle Path even jumping off cliffs—all under stockholmadventures. near Chattanooga. depalmisland. For easy protect lakes and streams. Don’t miss the knockout Big Austria. linking up Sawbill. wildlife. treetoptrekking. nps.com Glide across prime natural ice helmets and wet suits to scout the around Stockholm—beginners Cave Carlsbad Irish coastline by whatever means ACROSS welcome. and miles one way with 4. wildlife viewing.S. The natural spectacles of Carlsbad conditions. sawbill. or walk. GEORGIA Alton. the Trail is well maintained with toilets. Slovakia. without to the Colorado River in the Grand Quebec or Ontario.

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A S I C I LY ORIGINAL At the toe of Italy's boot. a storied isle of palazzi and princesses—and the family secrets they keep STORY BY TARA ISABELLA BURTON PHOTOGRAPHS BY LUCA LOCATELLI 46 NATGEOTRAV EL .C OM .

The town of Cefalù. with its Arab-inspired cathedral backed by La Rocca promontory. captures Sicily’s earthy magic. .

C OM .Palermo’s Palazzo Valguarnera- Gangi served as a setting for Luchino Visconti’s epic film Il Gattopardo. 48 NATGEOTRAVEL .

O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 49 . and art. Today she must fight against those who put up big. she tells me. “My ancestors did a very good job. and architects. The precise geometry of the mock colonnades. do you?” the princess shrugs. Of course. early 18th-century rooms of her palazzo. One of the dining rooms is full of painted dancing skeletons. here. is history. of harmony over chaos. earning a doctorate in Islamic studies and writing several books. including the Italian translation of The Lord of the Rings. Compared to my cousins’. by her own estima- tion. a small squat town a 10-minute train ride from Palermo. at the massive neoclassical facade of Villa Valguarnera.) She has spent the past 30 years expelling the Mafia from her property—a saga that she recounts to me during a stroll in the lemon orchard on her grounds in Bagheria. poetry. She fills the gilded. “What we believe in. the black sheep of the Sicilian Valguarnera family. Every architec- tural element in the villa. in which she still lives. Peter’s Square in Rome. was designed to celebrate the triumph of wisdom over ignorance. artists.” Princess Vittoria Alliata di Villafranca is. inspired by St. its staircases and archways and balconies over- looking the dark Tyrrhenian Sea. and the Freemason sigils hidden among the frescoes and decorations. “It’s a little small. and let them live on the grounds. She spent years in the Middle East. are all elements of an old Sicily the princess believes she is responsible for keeping alive. Here. “But it is a demonic battle. (The three outbuildings she rents out at surprisingly reasonable prices on Airbnb. we”—families like hers—“were responsible for civilization. guests she takes a shine to are invited for pizza and iced tea on the balcony. must die. a puckish prince once surprised his dinner party guests by presenting them with cadavers modeled after themselves—reminding us that we all. with Moroccan tables and piled carpets.” she says. the princess notes.” she says. “You like the palace.” They’d hire the finest craftspeople. “Once. They’d create enclaves of beauty. even princes. this place—” she motions behind her.

Though dormant. . the Silvestri craters on Mount Etna are a reminder of the volcanic energy simmering below Sicily's surface.

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someone such and a sgroppino. against the purveyors of concrete. A hike to the top of the rock between my American mother and my Sicilian father. although less influential in Sicilian identity. like those that adorn every cathedral apse here. a vodka-soaked lemon sorbet cocktail whose 52 NATGEOTRAV EL . That. exasperated by my too-American Sicilian family—one much like the princess’s. dispossessed aristocrat. a fish that could feed 20. sweeps upward to La Rocca. my heritage. an example. the Arab-Norman cathedral. In Cefalù. like the one that had front space with a kitschy boardwalk where Sicilian men stand RAYMOND PATRICK (TREES) been used to film Luchino Visconti’s classic Il Gattopardo (The by their boats with boom boxes. mosaic. where dilapidated housing projects and concrete Yet in Sicily you can never find just one story. and waitresses. a UNESCO World Heritage understand. handed down to me by my mother. was sketched mountain goats. he had grand hotels like the art nouveau–style Villa Igiea share sea- lived in one of the great Sicilian villas.” she Spanish viceroys. She points to Bagheria itself as story in one of those palazzi. I’d wondered whether some part of my Mafia—an ever present force. an eccentric nobleman. lay here and whether I would find my own politics than half a century ago. and family history. whose reveals ruined Greek and Roman temples. at some point. Sicily is less a portrait than a Byzantine-style says. just outside Palermo. the melancholy epic about the decline of a noble lo’s square. wildflowers.C OM . Children dance in Mondel- Leopard). the princess sighs. All I knew about my father was that. request for a menu. is Sicily’s tragedy. out only vaguely. Governed by chain stores abut the very gates of her palazzo. I was the product of a brief. a seaside resort town more than an hour from IT IS PRECISELY MY OWN ORIGINS I have come to Sicily to Palermo. In the lively beach suburb of Mondello. inform me that I’m getting what’s fresh- As a child. intense relationship site. powers from the Arabs to Greeks to Normans to Habsburgs to “There are people who do not understand their origins.ugly buildings. against the as the princess herself. I used to imagine that my father must have been a est today: sweet swordfish caponata.

Valguarnera-Gangi (owned by the “town cousins” of our uncon- which houses the Quattro Canti. at times. on a mannequin nearby. The “Come on in!” cries one woman outside the Palazzo Conte splendid hotels around the Garibaldi Theater. signs are written variously in Italian. when I look out the window into the palace yard. In the Greek-influenced Cattedrale family portrait. Down another. where composer Richard Wagner wrote the statues that memorialize Sicily’s onetime Spanish kings. with sunburned skin and for tourists now. OR YEARS BEFORE visiting Sicily. name.” my friend Orlando And yet. chaotic mix. san”). is bare hands. says. impeccably polished Emperor Frederick Barbarossa is buried. black comedy. I Donfrancesco. they’re see a group of 10-year-old local boys. the messy reality of Sicily feels even further Down one alleyway. opening to Parsifal. almost all open to the public by reservation for a fee— cultural blend most keenly. The palazzo dazzles with dozens of gilded ballrooms. the baroness points out a cars blasting Arabic music. Around Via Maqueda. Fried chickpea panelle—a flaky snack reminiscent of savory baklava—shares table space with arancini rice balls. and Hebrew.On the road to Mount Etna. I am even Italian at all. tentacles thick to bursting. (Death. Then she di Palermo. eucalyptus trees border trim vineyards. the son of Holy Roman points to a 19th-century military uniform.” But in the middle of this everywhere-place. deep-fried pilaf from the city’s Arab era. a local man (right) collects wild asparagus growing along the volcanic rock-strewn roadside. it is possible to lose not support—most blame the Mafia. my father’s birthplace. a quartet of imposing baroque ventional princess). I learn. the world of the decaying Sicilian aristocracy is less the stuff of There. Dishes are nominally Italian but seasoned with Arab-influenced sweetness: Swordfish pasta comes with succulent eggplant and the ever present mint. Even in Each palace I visit I wonder: Was this the place my father the palazzi I visit—almost all operated by the original aristocratic lived? But the more I come to know Sicily on my own terms—from O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 53 .” bright eyes. Nearby are the outdoor down to the shoes. at the far more extravagant Palazzo 1890s. “We’re Hotel Et Des Palmes and Grand Hotel Wagner (the bombastic on TripAdvisor!” Teutonic composer lived just down the street)—faded palazzi The late 15th-century Palazzo Ajutamicristo is presided over with heavy jacquard curtains and bars decorated in the uniquely by no-nonsense Baroness Maria Calefati di Canalotti and her Sicilian. among the warrens. Florence. Greek. like Zola’s courte- sweltering old town to the Mercato Vucciria. I feel that families. With little state Arab. codfish puree is infused with cardamom. In Palermo. where Byzantine. which replaces southern Italy’s basil as the herb of choice. Outside Palermo (opposite). art nouveau style known as “Liberty”—give way in the stubby. on Via Vittorio Emanuele. From there. everything is real. the main market. a recurring feature in Sicilian palaces. a Roman novelist. doubles as a Sicilian sexual vulgarity. “Rome. But in Palermo. Under a decadently colorful ceiling fresco of “The Glory place. and a “suicide room” full that does tricks on his worktable.) “That’s what I love about Palermo. a fishmonger of portraits of beautiful. Norman. mirrored ceilings. implicitly or explicitly—they only your way but your language. cab- T-shirt and a grin shows off his enormous cat. melancholic princes and mythical and sells squid. with its trucks toting live chickens and its taped-together of the Virtuous Prince” of the palace. as a Sicilian. kicking their soccer ball all the way to the palace gate.” she says. a Russian blue inets of curiosities. The island’s indigenous grapes—white Grillo and signature red Nero d'Avola—are making a comeback with a new generation of winemakers. overly friendly dog (“named Nana. a bicycle repairman with an oil-slicked away. holding it out with his historic figures doing away with themselves. It is this realness that I come to love about my Sicily. such as Grand Federico. classic cinema than.” bazaars that sell hats from the 1950s and medallions from the A few streets away. it is a few minutes’ walk to the Piazza Vigliena. Arabic. street rely on private finances and tourism to keep the past alive. “My husband’s grandfather. and Jewish influences converge. where cultures and centuries collide so violently. Even the food in Sicily reflects this riotous. “It’s the same one. one grinning waiter informs me with a hiccup. offering me a flyer to meet the conte himself. I begin to wonder if. I’d described F myself as “half Italian.

ian flag.the street vendors shouting in Sicilian and the baronesses who Then the saint herself arrives. although she has not spoken to him in years. My father is not some 54 NATGEOTRAVEL . at last. Maybe here. Across the street. Her crown reaches all the way wax poetic about their Jack Russell terriers to the Arab men with to our balcony. She is still close RAYMOND PATRICK (ALL) The baroness points out a man in the crowd she recognizes: to his sister. she says. Intimidated by her buoyant eccentricity. best vantage point to see the evening parade. down a few feet. casting the saint in shadow. They drop side by side.C OM . He raises his hand to his lips and looks upward. who. mock-blushes. the patron saint of Palermo. But I the tourists and the bearded motorcyclists who blow us kisses. up a sign saying “Carpe Diem. on another balcony. decidedly unromantic. she says. I realize this. her caftan flowing. the to me. gyrating in midair. aerialists tumbling from it. a hoop I embrace is an island of strangers making their own history descends from a tall crane. The statue glitters in the moonlight. “Of course I know let feathers fly into the streets. I have We watch from the balcony as all Palermo comes together: not yet dared to tell her about my mission. faith and spectacle intertwine. He Palermo’s mayor. in Sicilian. each of whom their boom boxes on the Mondello boardwalk. him!” They were childhood friends. dressed in a sash emblazoned with the Ital. different praises: Viva Santa Rosalia! they rides’ glimmering light—the less it seems to matter. Meanwhile. under the carnival rhyme. in his youth. The Sicily cry. her float is carried by six men. A friend of the Baroness di Canalotti has ACK AT THE PALACE. I tell her the name of my father. myth has it. the priests. revelers hold the little I know of him. was handsome. nobody—and everybody—belongs. Here in Palermo. at the citywide feast of Santa Rosalia. once saved the town from plague. at last open up. as it happens. It is.” then open up pillowcases and “But you must be joking!” she exclaims. she She has known the story of the mysterious palazzo all along. Princess Alliata sails over B rented us her art nouveau apartment by the Quattro Canti.

she says. so many praises to Santa Rosalia. O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 55 .Stone and light: In Modica. and blames for putting up the ugly new buildings in Bagheria I could follow my family history further—the princess offers that she despises. start to feel like home. Rather. as we sit and drink under- But the house in the family myth. so many sgroppinos and spritzes and princesses and empty ballrooms and sailors. it might well have been here in Bagheria—either the princess’s. the news that my father was not an Old World visual storyteller whose work has also appeared in the New aristocrat. she may be able neath the frescoes. but part of the family that heralded that world’s York Times Magazine and the New Yorker. When my father was a young man. The Sicilian story I’m most interested in now is my own. It is precisely this mix that brutalist architect. grandfather had a passionate affair with the next-door neigh. Traveler on her hometown of New York City. It is precisely this mix of beauty and decline that has dissolute prince out of Il Gattopardo. is forthcoming from Doubleday. as the princess toasts art and heritage. LUCA LOCATELLI ( @lucalocatelliphoto) is a multimedia A week ago. the news feels just right. bor. one villa over. If TARA ISABELLA BURTON ( @notoriousTIB) last wrote for my father had told my mother about a palace he remembered. he is the son of a made me fall so in love with Sicily. the very one the princess calls “my enemy” makes the island. for the first time. Milan-based or the one just next door. southern Sicilian town UNESCO World Heritage status. might have disappointed me: a crack in my imagined laundry drying on a line reflect a steadfast tradition that has earned the facade of Sicily. But after so many nights wandering maze-like streets. He and my father were always hanging around the place. But. houses cascading down the hillside and fresh demise. to put me in touch with my aunt. Palermo’s Kursaal Kalhesa café (right) occupies a ruined palazzo built into the seawall. my longer feels necessary. Social Creature. it no to shed some light on. Her debut novel.

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Located inside the Vendicari Nature Reserve. . Calamosche beach is a less crowded alternative to Sicily’s north coast.

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people trust it to be expertly researched. Being real matters.com . GfK MRI. No wonder magazine readers are more engaged and more likely to recommend advertised products. on mobile or video. Whether in print. That’s a fact. written and fact-checked. Spring 2016. #BelieveMagMedia | BelieveMagMedia. Pew Research Center. Americans confused about even the basic facts. online. READ? With fake news leaving most Sources: 2016 Survey. magazine media keeps it real.

hike fjords. and ski everywhere to discover why northern Europeans are among the happiest people on Earth BY C L E M E N S B O M S D O R F .Savor seafood. sail clear waters.

hygge: Life’s simple pleasures include a perfect dish of scallops at Studio restaurant in Copenhagen or the tranquility of a solitary church in Skagen (left). O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 61 . DENMARK Hello.

Our sailing trip took place in July. In winter. thickness of the ice. silently. people use långfärdsskridskor. when sailing through Stockholm’s archi- pelago.” virtues. and we’d forgotten to return it to its proper place. providing nearly PREVIOUS PAGES: SARAH COGHILL (CHURCH. Instead with its opulently decorated cupola. The building is nice enough.000 islands.000 feet above the Lysefjorden—it makes you dizzy. When you can get there—say. Just stroll through the capitals and look at their modest. That’s hardly appropriate. of which only a few are inhabited. Nearly half a century after the first moon landing. I visited Helsinki a number of times the region’s overwhelming and sometimes forbidding natural before I realized I was walking past the Finnish Presidential landscape. dropped anchor here and there. Marina parking lots are jammed with tiny cars. To me this pursuit of approachability reveals something about the Nordic sensibility. “Wow. so I also fell to my knees. and dreamed ourselves away just as so many others do each summer. a characteristic that can be observed in everyday gestures. While this may be standard in much of the world. SOME YEARS AGO. FINLAND Exhale: After long. and elegantly over the frozen sea—a dangerous sport given the freezing waters and the uneven GULLIVER THEIS/LAIF/REDUX (CAFÉ). when the sun shines until late evening and rises in the very early morning. popular for its glass-domed igloos. Queen Sonja—a vigorous octogenarian— their numbers when they are the only ones in the shop. to move quickly. This is just as Astrid Lindgren described it! I thought. I imagined it would be much bigger” is what I often hear from visitors to Copenhagen about the Little Mermaid sculpture. which rises steeply almost 2. as it is not uncommon to see patrons dutifully taking of asking us to move it. is far more impressive. people of the north value equal- ity. kneeling before each other in a state of confusion. customers never crowd or queue but politely take a number that guarantees them their time at the counter. in northern Finland (right). chatted. Above all. known for its burgers and fresh juices. I thought. SCALLOPS) 24 hours of light without any great surplus of heat. travel- ers still can’t get to every Nordic outpost. special Swedish ice skates. Such over-organization is the price to pay if you are seeking The pragmatism of this do-it-yourself royal illustrates an a society that celebrates freedom and eschews favoritism.L ESS THAN AN HOUR into my visit with Queen Sonja of Norway. Sailing is far from an elite sport in the Nordics. I had come to the castle in Oslo to interview Her Majesty about her art collection. In preparation for a royal portrait. Some 30. From May to September plenty of boats can be seen in the waters between the islands. And there we were. Placing an extreme premium on fairness might be rooted in almost reticent residences. And you Icelandic singer Björk once sang. Finns flock to light-filled waterside spots like Helsinki's Birgitta café (left). dropped to the floor to push it herself. Her Royal Highness suddenly fell to her knees before me. islets. LAURA GRIER/ROBERT HARDING (YOGA). the queen and the commoner. people have come to Palace. But winter doesn’t stop the yoga at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. lie like oversize pebbles in the seas surrounding the Swedish capital. We sailed a few hours each day. but the National Library. The surprise of Nordic intimacy extends beyond homes and across nations. in Nordic lands this system becomes democratic to the point of absurdity. In the face of this grandeur. embrace their littleness. and rocks. As approachability that is just one aspect of the Nordic way. . my photographer and I had moved a heavy chair. I looked around and my mind turned to the author of Pippi Longstocking. dark winters. In bakeries and the like. the top of the Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) plateau in southwest Norway. “I thought I could organize don’t have to meet Nordic nobility to grasp northern European freedom / how Scandinavian of me.

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former fishermen’s cabins (known as rorbuer) now rent out to visitors. Some include the use of a rowboat. .NORWAY On the Lofoten Islands.

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on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. .ICELAND At Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. dancing northern lights are best seen from September to April.

“Security makes us happy. In the capital vast numbers commute to work equality. and the city is doing a lot to boost this figure. all streets have separate bike lanes. SARAH COGHILL (HARBOR). DENMARK Nyhavn harbor has been a constant in Copenhagen’s social life since the 17th century. as revealed in MARIO VIGO (LIGHTS). He expressions such as “Shut up. Denmark is said to be the ern Europeans. Danes are often happy. Even during the These two words are not only the most common expletive but— week plenty of people are on the ski tracks by afternoon. “being afraid of the future is not an issue for us. stop as infrequently as possible. With the Nordic welfare state often seen to foster happiness. who runs a furniture shop in the city. unexpectedly—can also be used to emphasize happiness. was once asked whether he knew how to ski. two words literally demand. Almost seem more equal when not saying a word. shut up? This is the silent area of the train!” In the Danish silent O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 67 .” It’s similar with skiing. “Asking me this as a Norwegian is like expression. In large parts of Finland and Sweden. for good and ill. northwest of Copenhagen. which is what the asking a Dane whether he rides a bike. not drivers. as people by bike. is because silence. Those who get shouted at often When I’m in Oslo during winter. to get around quickly. which are nearly as wide as Once. I take my skis on the subway reply by screaming “Hold kæft!” which is Danish for “Shut up!” and travel 20 minutes east or west of the city. cross-country skiing is for everyone. is very important to many north- Together with the Netherlands. when a guy the roads themselves. what a beautiful day!” looked as if somebody had just doubted whether he was able I think the reason “shut up” might be the favorite Danish to use a knife and fork. for enjoyment or to sightsee. Quite Kristian Ridder-Nielsen.” says Kiki Borch. hockey is get really upset and grumble when others seem to be biking for Canadians. Most cyclists in Copenhagen do not ride for fun but rather and the whole of Norway. Maybe they are even mutually dependent. or football is for Americans. PREVIOUS PAGES: IZHAIRGUNS/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS (CABINS) Copenhagen. Sometimes silence seems to be as important as cycling nation. a Norwegian friend living in the opposite of Hamlet. the lanes for cars and which in winter are cleared of snow before Willumsens Museum. That also means they ride fast and can Skiing for Norwegians is what soccer is for Germans. “Could you please cyclists.F. a friend and I sat chatting on a local train to J.” he explained. Traffic lights are programmed to ensure sitting in front of us turned around and said.

SWEDEN The 400-year-old annual Sami festival in Jokkmokk. folk dancing. north of the Arctic Circle. . and reindeer races. is a time for trading.

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C OM “ T H E N ORDI C WAY ” WA S A DA P T E D F RO M T H E GE R M A N E D I T I O N O F N AT I O N AL G EO G R A P H I C T R AV E LE R . the Bicycle Snake bridge (right) winds above the harbor and is part of Copenhagen’s aim to offer the world’s best urban cycling. 70 NATGEOTRAV EL . But none seemed to be upset or mentally broken. another one his house. and cooked hygge are as sweet. he took me on a trip to collect mussels with his friends outside Reykjavík. the concept is criticized for nurturing an them on an open fire in the garden. and than during my 10 years in Copenhagen or my five in Stockholm. we walked across the In Denmark they behave like grandmas. German writer CLEMENS BOMSDORF has lived in Scandinavia This was at the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008. whether at home or in a cozy setting. mussel club. Though I have Europe’s celebrated state of happiness.DENMARK Easy riding: Copenhagen’s streets are both pet. Opened in 2014. Bent over like old men. The Icelanders spoke about how the crisis fortable with what you have. tea from a thermos. stones close to the shore until we had collected several pounds CORY RICHARDS (DOG. labeled stillezone. The city plans for 28 cycle superhighways throughout the capital region. I was invited to locals’ homes more often together was their collective response to doom and gloom. one of the women in the noting that our outraged fellow passenger was a punk rocker. Just days after I had gotten to know Óskar Ericsson. In five old cars we drove to Hvalfjördur. also known In other countries where punks still exist. it was all they seemed to need. One had lost his job. feast among new friends. Not all sentiments about At dusk we left for Reykjavík.” The word has been interpreted had impacted them. HIGHWAY). and for 15 years. Experiencing nature never lived in Iceland. PREVIOUS PAGES: LOLA AKINMADE ÅKERSTRÖM (REINDEER) around the world to suggest a warm feeling among friends. AXEL BRUNST/TANDEM (PULPIT ROCK). It’s worth it for free from nature?” asked Dögg. . He is writing a book about one of the sources of Iceland and its people were in dire straits. not only are mobile phones forbid. “Why buy something if you can get den but all audible human communication as well. spend as little as possible. Danes have become well-known for their hygge—a concept of mussels. as Whale Fjord. Everybody tried to Norwegian happiness: its one-trillion-dollar oil fund. With one briny bite of the element of exclusion. I got a taste of what underpins northern But this is not the case everywhere in the north.and bike-friendly. During the search we took several breaks and drank that roughly translates as “take it easy and make yourself com. they play loud music. cleaned the mussels. wagons.

NORWAY A love of outdoor adventures. such as the hike up Pulpit Rock. is a trait that unites Nordic peoples and may be a key to their happiness. .

Near the Russian can soak in hot springs and border. archipelago its first Michelin and other global landmarks. and condensed Akvavit is a typically Scandinavian milk and honey. in Tampere. an internationally renowned Or steam in midair at SkySauna gathering showcasing new (skysauna. sampling as many dinner. insidethevolcano. where letters Adventure 360 get postmarked with a special You can find outdoor activity in Santa Claus stamp. both Icelandic and global. dill. celebrates Swim Between Continents d’Or cooking competition. P E T R I .is). with its eighth-floor view watching. Chef Rasmus Legoland amusement park. built Maximum Moomin elevator.dk Blini Bonanza local cooking style involving January means blini time in Late-Night Hike fermentation known as raest. along Iceland’s the country inaugurated its 40th Golden Circle route. muumimuseo. and fly a century. but other in Frederikssund (vikingespil.info).dk) inventive fillings that speak and the Viking Ship Museum in to Finland’s unique Russian- Roskilde (vikingeskibsmuseet. mountain biking. the Moomin and gold medals at the Bocuse factory in the small Jutland town Museum. snorkel between two Faroe Islands.dk). Viking Raids plate–size specialty blinis as they mountain during the months of but in the meantime splurge Rich in Viking history. nationalparks.fi water. summer.fi) or with a Whopper music. no certification needed. dreamed tectonic plates—North American tasting menu at Koks (koks.dk). influenced Nordic cuisine include slow-cooked Finnish lamb’s neck. Go Volcano SWEDEN At the Turn up the heat at Laugarvatn Treehotel. in 1968 next to the original Lego Opened in June. Deep.fi). at Burger King Sauna (to reserve. silver. In festivals focusing on subjects Helsinki try it the traditional way from film to elves. Hossa National Park’s then sample (and learn how to remote location is perfect for make) volcano bread.is email mannerheimintie12 . it with smørrebrød. Until Noma Reopens … KRIS DAVIDSON Helsinki. head over to Rovaniemi sea fish in the north. and bird.TRUE NORTH 25 Ways to Nordic Bliss home to the annual Viking Games fish and roe topping. voyage into Mols Bjerge about rural life in the late 19th National Park in the east. The annual at Kotiharjun (kotiharjunsauna. For Finland’s centennial this year. Naughty or Nice coriander. Denmark is can.burgerking@restel.fo). If you come in every direction in Jutland. Water of Life cured reindeer. underground in a pot.fi kite in the west. tipple found across Denmark that’s flavored with berries. The highlight: Miniland. the That New Park Smell Mirrorcube room Fontana Geothermal Baths provides reflection. dizzying variety of toppings.is star for its fresh seafood and legoland. Then cap cuisine at Geranium (geranium hiking. a midnight hike up Snæfell December in Copenhagen. visitrovaniemi. In the of Billund. cooked DENMARK on high-concept new Nordic fresh-air adventures like canoeing. ICELAND FINLAND Party Central Sauna Like a King Iceland programs a wealth of This is land of the sauna. Pair In Rovaniemi. as locals go on restaurant Let the sun be your guide on Noma 2. or other notes. icelandairwaves. where you national park. interlock to create scale models up by illustrator Tove Jansson and Eurasian—in startlingly clear which earned the self-governing of Copenhagen’s Nyhavn harbor during WWII. off a hike up dormant volcano Get Your Kicks With Bricks .fi). the beloved hippo-like cartoon At Silfra. try the multicourse where 20 million colorful bricks characters the Moomins. when the country 72 NATGEOTRAVEL . (fontana.0 is set to debut in crawls. open-faced visit year-round Santa Claus sandwiches with an equally Village (santaclausvillage. There’s the usual smoked June and July.C OM R E P O RT E D BY A L E X A N D RA E .com Kofoed has won bronze. bike in the Local History Museum to learn south. an amusement park located on the Arctic Circle.fi) AirWaves festival has become or Hermanni (saunahermanni. dive. in Finnish Lapland.fi/hossa Thrihnukagigur by venturing Everything is awesome at the first inside its crater in an open-cable of city gardens.

visit Íslenski Bærinn.com GREENLAND (KA L A A L L I T N U N A AT ) (DENMARK) Jan Mayen (NORWAY) Tromsø RUSSIA D N . Air Guitar? Try Ice Guitar.com/explore design rooms in the forest of gathering of Sami people. classical. dine on . dance.no photogenic western Swedish bar-hommage. islenskibaerinn. ending with a dip available for overnight stays in largest collections of Edvard in the outdoor thermal pools of the seaside village of Reine.se the annual Northern Lights Stockholm’s Bar Hommage instruments made from the Festival in Tromsø is nine days of creates seasonal “cocktails by naturally harvested frozen stuff. the light-filled accommodation sleeps Festival in the mountain town Held the last week of January. you can run or walk along the is printed on a souvenir postcard. Wish You Were Here of Geilo are performed with up to five.com After viewing one of the world’s last 12 hours. is awash in 24 hours of daylight.com/hotels/reine-rorbuer your own team of Alaskan huskies crayfish and oysters from western Turf’s Up Norway at the museum’s Lysverket through the Lapland wilderness Take a detour off the Ring Road to Gorgeous Fjords restaurant. IS A EN Norwegian Sea L OT P LOF Icehotel A Rovaniemi HOSSA Reine L NATIONAL Jokkmokk PARK F Silfra Laugarvatn Fontana ARCTIC CIRCLE I N Hvalfjörður ICELAND Treehotel Reykjavík ĺslenski Laugarfell Accommodation & Hot Springs L A Bærinn E N Thrihnukagigur Snæfell Y 6. 50-mile race that and other global cities. kodebergen. classicnorway Nat Geo Expeditions lets you drive Museums of Bergen. in the Dogsled to the Icehotel Munch paintings at KODE Art Laugarfell.no for a night at the Icehotel.se All the concerts at the Ice Music Sky-Watchers 7th Room. icebug. The annual Icebug Xperience is names in Stockholm. Those brightly painted fishermen’s nordlysfestivalen. guidetoiceland. Uppsala. cabins so evocative of far-north Munch and Munch coast. Harads is appropriately named the jokkmokksmarknad.com/explore turned museum celebrating these ferries to experience Norway’s SWEDEN wonders of traditional Arctic natural assets from Oslo to Sami Shopping Tree House of Your Dreams architecture.” drinks inspired by street icemusicfestival.is Bergen with Nat Geo Expeditions’ Cheer on a reindeer race and buy 10-day “Norway’s Trains and The latest addition to the a wool blanket at the Jokkmokk Fjords” trip. treehotel.is Lofoten Islands. and Norway—known as rorbuer—are lunches. Run the Bohuslän Coast location. natgeoexpeditions Treehotel’s collection of high- NORWAY Winter Market. a turf house Climb aboard five trains and three natgeoexpeditions.013 ft A 1. Opened in 2016.no and electronic performances. with some events taking place a three-day. The menu Cabin Craze outside under the aurora borealis.833 m N D E D G u l f o f Bo t h n i a W Tampere R S W Faroe Islands O (DENMARK) Helsinki N Geilo ATLANTIC Bergen Oslo ESTONIA O CE A N Stockholm Preikestolen BOHUSLÄN LATVIA a Se MOLS BJERGE LITHUANIA c ti No r t h NATIONAL PARK Copenhagen a l Billund B RUSSIA UNITED Sea DENMARK R oskilde KINGDOM 200 mi NG MAPS 200 km POLAND GERMANY O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 73 . Race tickets include three Tours typically begin at 9 p. a 412-year-old .m. world-class jazz.

INDIA
ILLUMINATE D

Embark on five enlightening journeys,
from regal Rajasthan to spicy Kerala,
that reveal a soul-stirring land

JODHPUR
Built by maharajas,
hilltop Mehrangarh
Fort and white-clad
Jaswant Thada attest
to Rajasthan’s wealth
and artistry.

O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 75

prophecy. “You must go to the bandhani-
turban makers of Jaipur,” he said. So I
T H E P E AC O C KS O F ventured to the Pink City (painted that
R A JAST H A N color to welcome the Prince of Wales in
the late 1800s and kept rosy ever since)
BY TAHIR SHAH
and found myself marveling at the Palace
of Winds, and the camel carts, and the
bustle of the ancient bazaars.
ON A FIRST VISIT TO INDIA half my life On a side street off a side street, I came
ago, a fortune-teller beckoned me over upon the turban makers. As is the case
to where he was huddled in the shade, on with everyone in Rajasthan who’s mas-
Platform 5 of Jodhpur Junction. tered a craft, their ancestors had been
I was waiting for a second-class in the employ of the Mughals and then The door
train carriage to scoop me up and heave the maharajas. was open, so
me northwestward to Jaisalmer, on the Folding strands of coarse cotton back I went in and
edge of Rajasthan’s Thar Desert. and forth, they tied the bundles firm, then found a vast
Having parted with a single rupee dyed them in vats of blazing color. The Aladdin’s
coin, I chose a fold of paper from the chief of the dyers heard of my quest and cave of loot,
fortune-teller’s tin mug. My destiny was of the fortune-teller from Jodhpur Junc- all antique,
written in a range of Indian languages, tion. “I heard the cook at Mehrangarh
each piece
and in English as well. It said: Fort in Jodhpur once baked a peacock,”
more
“A pair of peacocks will bring knowl- he told me. “Go and speak to him.”
edge of the Land of Kings.” I traveled to Jodhpur and found
amazing
For more than two decades I have myself on Platform 5 of Jodhpur Junc-
than the last.
visited Rajasthan, Land of Kings. And as tion, where my zigzag quest had begun
I’ve woven my way through its towns and so many years before. There was no sign
cities, the soothsayer from Jodhpur Junc- of the fortune-teller, so I made my way
tion has rarely left my mind. to the fort.
On every journey I’ve hunted out
peacocks, making them a theme of my EVEN IN A LAND of awe-inspiring scale,
travels, allowing the national bird of India Mehrangarh stands out. Monumentally
to guide my route. large, it was constructed on a prominent
Rajasthan, in the northwestern part plateau more than half a millennium ago,
of the country, bordering Pakistan, is towering over the sweeping vista below.
a cluster of desert kingdoms, infused After more than a little cajoling, I was
with a raw and regal decadence that sets taken into the voluminous kitchens and
the state apart from everywhere else. introduced to the cook, who was prepar-
It’s a realm of fabulous palaces conjured ing a feast. Peacock was not on the menu
by the reckless abandon of the maha- that night though. After he described his
rajas, a land of antique Rolls-Royces, of ancestry and barked orders at the legions Over the years, I went to Bikaner and
fabrics dyed in a kaleidoscope of rain- of staff, he listened to the soothsayer’s back to Jaisalmer, to where the train
bow hues, of camels, and of searing sand auguring. had once taken me from Platform 5 of
and heat. “Go to the stepwell at Birkha Bawari Jodhpur Junction. I roamed through the
On the southern cusp of Rajasthan, in and ask for the guardian.” Thar Desert with a group of musicians
Udaipur, I once met a wizened painter So I did. and even more camels.
of miniatures named Rustam Khan. His He in turn sent me to the block print- Then one day I found myself at a ware-
ancestors had documented the deeds of ers of Jaipur, and they sent me to the house in the backstreets of Jodhpur yet
the Mughal emperors at court. When I camel fair at Pushkar. I spent three nights again. A contact had revealed in a whis-
found him, he was painting a peacock there, in a tent made from camel hair, per that the answer to my quest could be
half an inch high, the tip of his brush no the full moon providing an eeriness to found in the repository.
more than a few strands of hair. the sea of cud-chewing groaning beasts The door was open, so I went in and
I told him of the fortune-teller and his of burden. found a vast Aladdin’s cave of loot, all

76 NATGEOTRAV EL .C OM

antique. Mehrangarh Fort. the hilts JODHPUR JODHPUR the last. guests luxe hotel. Jodhpur Junction. wide as cattle troughs. chess sets was agreed. I gave thanks to the With tea delivered Another regal With no one in sight to help me. a price screens. for a pair of peacocks had itself led me to at Laxmi Niwas Palace (lower right) Palace are treated sits dramatically in Suddenly I saw them. marble fountains that once After a great deal of bargaining. look out on houses (upper the courtyards of right) traditionally crafted from malachite. discover the many and varied treasures like its former royal the middle of Lake A pair of magnificent long-stemmed of this Land of Kings. Taj Lake the objects. admiring all true—after all. intricate lattice is called the Blue from palaces. and I left with the daggers jali. back toward BIKANER UDAIPUR silver. boxes inlaid with As I wandered away. serving dishes as wrapped in newspaper and brown string. my decades-long search (lower left). I knew my quest had ended. I fortune-teller. and huge porphyry urns. His prophecy had come by uniformed waiter mansion turned roamed through the store. painted this hue. called City for its many burbled at Mughal courts. damascened in gold. each piece more amazing than daggers in the form of peacocks. O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 77 . Without knowing Windows (upper The second largest left) decorated with city in Rajasthan There were carved mahogany swings how or why. Pichola. residents.

78 NATGEOTRAVEL .C OM .

KOLKATA “View Kolkata’s streets with fresh eyes.” . “and you’ll begin to discern the magic hiding in details.” says author Tahir Shah.

which nothing is what it seems.” and I’m guessing as they left. more to what is India’s most alluring and is now known. there’s a rip-roaring rumpus of a ride. a zillion miles of electrical wiring weave It’s part of the story. plasterwork crumbled and almost everything white and struggled lost. and you’re swept away on a KO L K ATA the megacity’s seething uproar. “You have to let Calcutta in through all your senses. observe what was at first had been since the 18th century. particulars. see Kolkata the genuine article—the real Until 1911. as it your senses. but there’s so much The best way to decipher Kolkata. Despite hidden. when the power of the and a spellbinding image emerges in city that the British pretended didn’t exist. You’ve got to breathe it. and activists.” . because it’s absolutely irresistible. railings were sold for scrap long ago. Banyan trees sprout from the tops to maintain a sense of propriety. place to start. the real Calcutta began per. Their whitewash is all but BY TAHIR SHAH During their rule. is through a lens trained on Soak up the spectrum of detail. I N T H E D E TA I L S sense of pomp and grandeur that lingers The old Raj buildings are a great even today. and you misunderstood city. students. British Raj was shifted to New Delhi. The gutters are mostly THINK “CALCUTTA. College Street’s Indian Coffee House (left) is a throwback to a time pre-Starbucks and still draws writers. taste it. At the vast Mullik Ghat flower market (right). Piece the fragments together. clogged with sludge. feel it. smell it. and Teresa and poverty on a biblical scale. the wrought iron your mind is conjuring images of Mother colating forth. the British painted gone now. As soon of office blocks. Hone The Bowbazar is perfect for a stop KOLKATA Hung with a portrait of Rabindranath Tagore. And thank God for that. this West Bengal city was the capital. as it everywhere. vendors sell thick marigold garlands for temple rituals and special events.

THE FINEST DETAILS ARE those in move. they pay the shopkeepers for the cerebral elite—and for the five Nobel ence Kolkata’s level of specificity is on foot dust swept daily from the workshops. as scholars have hauling blocks of ice furled up in sack- ness. cussing burning issues. and literati is dis. Ifte Ahsan. warn they’re coming through. he’s a sold by the kilo.on your treasure hunt. undersized workshops. for Indians. and oxcarts little jewelry stores there do brisk busi. intellectuals. tury and a half. Buses look like they’re about to Calcutta Walks a few years ago. bicycles. the city is known for its Without doubt the best way to experi- wallas. a new generation their way out of Mad Max. at the famous disintegrate. Known as ghamela. before touting the I’ve used the services of Kolkata’s fore- treasure back to the goldsmiths. ment. diving in at the deep end. Crumbling other. Nearby. crafting wedding bijouterie in their been doing at that spot for almost a cen. Having set up hand textbooks are being weighed and traffic. Ambassador taxis. most impassioned son. shovel-like pans. In recent years gold using ammonia. Trams could have slalomed connoisseur of Kolkata detail unlike any Indian Coffee House. cloth all jostle for their piece of road. on College Street. But. to Next stop. Rickshaws are pulled by lithe barefoot Look carefully. An early morning stroll with him is . tenth. The streets are packed with get down to the bedrock. and you’ll spot men The legacy of Mother Teresa may bearers clinking miniature handbells to outside stooping over gutters with be Kolkata’s international face. The hordes of of poets. laureates who are associated with it (of and by taking your life into your hands— With care they amalgamate the flecks of whom Mother Teresa is one).

C OM .HIMALAYA Hemmed in by the Himalaya in India’s north. 82 NATGEOTRAV EL . Rangdum monastery offers rugged isolation in stark contrast to cities like Kolkata.

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smell it. tain ridge 10. I’m aware Members of a family-friendly hiking trip “Not at all. of English. Ahsan stops dead in BY NILOUFER VENKATRAMAN “You’ve got to breathe it.” he says. escape the jalebis are being deep fried before being Peliti. in the northern the past. that niggling thoughts that have bothered HIMALAYA He shakes his head. “It’s the same plaque on the Disconnected from the primary the Dead Letter Office. dark clouds are forming. Ahsan shows me electricity for three days now.” he says.” he says. I sense of it. Kolkata isn’t about that the wind has picked up and. “as much as it is about distance. You see.” the low rumble of thunder.” devices that govern my daily life. “It’s all that remains. standing to attention outside—the crest my family. Importer Ahsan leads me down a chaotic side. “Look at that. an oval marble disk to the right surround us like a tiara. A woman is Ahsan jabs a thumb at a detail in the Himalaya. feel it. We are standing on a moun- He pauses briefly to point out a small of royalty overhanging all. point- it. French & Italian provisions. . I hear state of Himachal Pradesh. me for weeks have dissipated. And don’t ever try and make ing out a marble plaque set into a wall.like having an old black-and-white movie of Raj architecture where undeliverable tinted with glowing color. palms photo.” I’VE BEEN WITHOUT a cell phone signal or walk as he talks.” Ahsan tells me as we stroll Turning onto the once magnificent I N T H E H I M A L AYA through the already bustling streets. I notice “A little sad. the here and now. wanted when I decided to come on this in which saffron-colored. in the set up camp along a thickly forested ridge overlooking the Kulu Valley. and spend time with soaked in warm sugar syrup. We weave between the Pulling out his iPad. We pass of the door.000 feet up in the western shrine to the goddess Kali. taste his tracks. an imposing hulk wall there. mail would once have been sorted and “You have to let Calcutta in through all shipped back to London. H A P PY CA M P E RS your senses. pressed together. head bowed. snowy peaks huddled in supplication before it. isn’t it?” I say. Chowringhee Road. It’s what I’d food stalls and great pans of bubbling oil on the screen a sepia image of staid per. spiral-shaped fection: the fabled emporium of Signor trekking adventure: to unplug. where craggy. with manservants and retainers pace of urban living. because you never will!” read it aloud: “Federico Peliti.

in Geographic Traveler India dusted with fresh powder come into view. “It’s ice!” I hear my daugh. . and (Calcutta) MYANMAR INDIA I walk back together. thalis. 11. bengalcuisine.com desire rip apart a family spa is a 30-minute drive in Kerala. with the Beas River flow. I’m not used to this cold. resort set in a lush oasis brew their own tea leaves. 888-966-8687 O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 85 . bhanwarniwas. the Kenilworth is good at this fast-food spot with Nat Geo Expeditions offers ding on a patch of snow. When the New Delhi A L A Y A NEPAL reverberating thunder gets louder. popular salt-and-pepper cruise in Kerala to an 11-day ground. is hot and humid. includes the Talayar Valley round of fresh lime juice. Vikram Seth’s grass and wildflowers.com /kewpie’s_kitchen guidebook. and continuing to munch on the carpet of estate with an indulgent teabungalows. in India’s CHINA mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh. where we live. WHERE TO STAY Bungalow. Children. including three fam. All six children. the luxury train Palace on NG MAPS extra screen time at home haven’t once lodgings on tea plantations like dosa. The many varieties of the from a seven-day trip that Himalaya through the eyes of children: kenilworthhotels. HIMACHAL PRADESH We’ve planned our walking in a way that H PA K I S TA N ensures we’re settled in camp before the I M daily thunderstorm strikes. love.com/explore. For drinks. but don’t miss the Rajasthan trip on board This network of Kerala thattil kutti. on the right. Dosas are the specialty GO WITH NAT GEO Chaklani camp. pink sandstone mansion family pictures. wondrous play. A few days later. Sit in the Last Sigh in Kerala and left. grabbing at falling pellets. natgeoexpeditions mentioned a video game. a fluffy pancake. kick ice. But this is India too— A ra b i a n Ba y o f the Himalaya. several itineraries to India. Soon pea-size hailstones pelt KERALA the stainless steel plates left outside after lunch. Snowfields and glaciers and European styles. the tem- perature has plummeted. AFGHANISTAN ilies. who live year-round in balmy Insiders’ India weather. I begin to see the value near the Maidan. the mammoth peaks of the Pir Panjal this extravagantly carved dining room decorated with Mumbai. examining wild ODISHA BANGLADESH purple iris and dragon-shaped deadwood. with four suites. run through the meadow. Fourteen of us. several locations in Kochi. Mumbai (Bombay) By the time we reach camp. sets The Moor’s Built in 1927 for the traditional Kolkata home tain vistas: the Dhaola Dhar range on the Rampuria family of Bikaner. We stop briefly in (BURMA) a soaring pine forest. an open green space. The grandeur of these summits never Kenilworth Hotel Pai Brothers gets old. on 2 Elgin Lane. Salman Rushdie. obligation.500 feet up at A Kolkata institution. the children go butt sled. The very same kids who demand Briar Tea Bungalows dosa. and enjoy hotel mingles Indian real Bengali home-cooked Adapted from the National ing in between. Kolkata My 11-year-old daughter. pick handfuls with their bare hands. SRI LANKA ter squeal in delight. WHERE TO EAT A Suitable Boy explores from Jaipur’s city center. Tarunya. She’s pulled on 400 mi her red poncho and is jumping around MALDIVES 400 km in glee. order a Wheels. are on a nine-day trek in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalaya. which fringe the north of the country. This award-winning luxury the pack ponies seem unflustered.com Kewpie’s post-independence North TWO HOURS LATER the storm abates. the highest mountains Se a Be n g a l on Earth. Mumbai. In Arundhati Roy’s The open their mouths toward the sky. oberoihotels. and Reserve ahead to India. Only Guests can pluck and God of Small Things. Bhanwar Niwas experience a meal in this best known for Midnight’s once again we’re facing brilliant moun. throwing her hands in the air. just outside WHAT TO READ Oberoi Rajvilas Munnar.com crispy crepes include a includes a houseboat for them an endless. my BHUTAN husband estimates we have an hour to RAJASTHAN Ganges get to the safety of our tents in the alpine meadow below.

.ODISHA One of this eastern state’s main attractions. Konarak’s 13th-century Sun Temple was built to resemble a horse-drawn chariot for the sun god.

The dancers perform against the old. single solar lamp. vultures soar through the air. It was shaped Krishna and Radha frolicking or the many numerous sixth-to-12th-century Hindu like a butterfly and almost as light as one. and darkness village about an hour’s drive south of the of many ancient Hindu temples in Odi- descends. several blouses and like his father and grandfather before pine. Conversation is easy. built around no doubt having located a meal in the adjacent Kais Wildlife Sanctuary. “for the grass. We huddle together in the of making pattachitra paintings on cloth one of the main reasons visitors come to dining tent illuminated by the light of a canvases or tala pattachitra engravings the state. Their attire and temples. ikat. A wellspring of power recharges everyone who comes here. him. “We do find scores of ladybugs scampering in months laboring over a single canvas. patterns dominate. If we stop practicing our One night we camp at Dohra Nala. On our last evening at Chaklani. a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its roots can be traced to the in the simple joys of living off the grid. oak. stone is ground to make paint. an artists’ 1100. an intricate and Each place we visit reinforces the joys threads that designers have “discovered” beautiful work by his grandfather. an ancient Puri. to the source of many of my his home with a wide smile. in recent years and are using to make him why he’s dedicated his life to the art. And Odisha is where art. made-up games. the temples’ exteriors depict dancers in The small outer room of each home beautiful jewelry. we are all immersed who are learning the craft. When I enter stone poses come alive during a short per- BY NEHA DARA Maguni Mohapatra’s home. this. the Like pattachitra paintings and Odissi dance. this for the gods. Sanskrit text on the performing arts. a dance form so enduring it finds at the Shree Jagannath Temple in seaside drons in full bloom. produces pizza favorite Indian crafts. my mother gave me a silver filigree and-white. but the appeal of At the far end of the village. I ask of exiting the information superhighway. he’s using a formance at the home of Ileana Citaristi. avatars of Lord Ganesha. Many of the sculptures on the craft from their fathers. IN THE DANCING HALLS of temples like lives ahead or behind.” he says in Hindi. showing Lord baneshwar’s old town. It’s the home of up to a stack of scrolls. others filled with pastel colors. so I recently planned Abhimanyu Bariki welcomes me into jubilant whooping when Karma. he pulls out an for lunch. when a painting that takes months the children’s infectious thrill when they It’s where pattachitra painters spend to create sells for a meager $600. and their sons. or horse chestnut trees and feel dresses hang in my wardrobe. His son performing and teaching the classical WHEN I WAS A GIRL of about 13 or 14 years shows me several paintings. The sandstone temple. fill. My first stop is Raghurajpur. dancers dedicate their lives to learning Lord Jagannath is the presiding deity sides full of fragrant violet rhododen. sun leaves the valley but from its hidden silver filigree art was also born from a desire spot sets the tallest peaks aglow in pink to revere the gods. some black. There is no talk of work Usually women prepare the canvases. dance. I absorb the quietude of forests filled with modern silhouettes. and floral incessant laughter. 20 minutes south of Raghurajpur. I can see why saints. Bhubaneshwar. without agenda. Odissi. sadhus. and gurus consider this a spiritual haven. Near Matikochhar mention in the Natya Shastra. their impromptu I lost the brooch. the best a visit there. In one an Italian-born Odissi dancer who’s lived corner is the mortar and pestle in which in Bhubaneshwar for nearly 40 years. village. tradition of devadasis. ing it with more detail than the eye can Lord Jagannath. maidens in service More recently young women are learning of the gods. and yellow. the classical dance form of Odissi Himalayan ridge. is a major pilgrimage spot and one The raven calls fade. silly. Wool hats and padded socks capital. help prepare was born. as do Uno cards and travel in the 150 homes is engaged in the task ple. on canvases fashioned from palm leaves. Perched on this men do the painting. Reaching camp cook there ever was. a state The motifs are religious. Together with Konarak’s Sun Tem- come out. Nearly everyone sha. Effortlessly I tune in to them: their the wings filled with swirls of delicate jewelry are richly detailed. their Odisha remained. a beautiful fabric woven from dyed 80-year-old painting. absorb in a glance. P R AY E RS is a studio where visitors can see works A few days later I watch those graceful F RO M O D I S H A in progress and on display. who will venerate the lord?” between two mountain brooks and hill. In their hair the dancers wear O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 87 . backdrop of the Bindusagar Tank in Bhu- brooch that was made in Odisha. the natural colors from shells and stones. it is Scrabble. in which there are on India’s eastern coast. fine brush to draw a dancing figure. the rules of their silver wire. young performances around the campfire.

a photo- idol of goddess Durga. brooch I remember. It ends up being a farm-to-table trip flower will become part of a tiara for an I didn’t even bother to tear open the on steroids. acts as our tour guide. They use for. has been doing the work of tarakasi. I didn’t Brothers. “We have forgotten of twisting streets. Bariki and Das still exist. mountains from Kochi to the Cardamom To me it has far more value. and another relative work would help her rediscover the food of her as a team to make each petal of a dainty homeland. Finally. I had never been to India and flower: One fashions the frame. I have a replacement spice garden that smelled of elephant The next day it takes nearly five hours for the piece of wearable art I’d lost so dung and ripening jackfruit. but moved to the filigree is known here. Like pattachitra little packet of ground black dust tossed journalist who knows all the best places and Odissi. Odisha’s of a god. On one of them is the its beauty.C OM . This trip Das. from a desire to revere the gods. It reminds me that artists like “From the time of the Roman Empire. BY KIM SEVERSON U. I their lives to perfecting a skill in the name pepper. ceps and knives to do the fine work. he suggests we eat some dosas in he says I can buy finer filigree jewelry one leg of my flight and the black pepper the city the night before. ing 175-item menu that offers myriad vari- into an exquisite hairpin for me. and the third makes the I OWE BLACK PEPPER an apology. for just six dollars. where the spices and tea grow. row it challenges even the best Indian 88 NATGEOTRAVEL . Unlike Bhubaneshwar airport. for I know ers have arrived seeking a spice they once Hills. made my way to Kerala. Before I tions and spice gardens that cover the coils of silver wire that fill it. I curving road climbing the hills is so nar- art and adornment are manifestations found black pepper religion.” workshop of Nirakar Das. as deftly made as the of faith. the first in the world to run com- with its wide roads. in southwestern Western Ghats mountains like a tapestry. another wanted to see firsthand the tea planta- welds it together. his uncle. for generations. as H OT A N D S P I CY Thiruvananthapuram. I had taken it for granted. That India. But wandering through a three-acre ations of the crispy South Indian crepes.S. Before our long day of mountain Das directs me to a shop nearby where Even when I snagged a fluke upgrade on travel.filigree ornaments. Gomez as we land at the polished Kochi ancient capital. who dedicate people have been coming here for black Hoping to find something similar. in a land to grind our way in a van up through the many years ago.000 years trad. We pile into Pai than what is commonly sold in stores. where for more than 4.” says Atlanta-based chef Asha head the next day to Cuttack. silver filigree art was also born onto my airline meal tray when I was fly. where you order from a stagger- There Jayant Sahoo customizes a flower give it a second thought. The now that objects I had thought of as thought was more valuable than gold. Cuttack is a warren pletely on solar power. Manoj Vasudevan. arrived in a tiny porcelain shaker. when she was a teenager. whose family KERALA She was born in Kerala’s capital city. to eat. ing to India from my home in Atlanta.

berries I have ever seen. I open it while tle over six dollars. A day’s work brings them a lit. watch it get cedar. spice garden where Thomas Puthan- Rolling tea gardens purakkal. thing they left us was tea. where the bunga. England. dried. We wrote for Traveler about Bath. small spice gardens with their daily quotas. O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 89 . will bring in about $7. JUSTIN there is not a single household where a in bloom or when the next pepper-vine CREEDY SMITH/FIGAROPHOTO/CONTOUR STYLE/GETTY IMAGES (PALACE). and I trimming the very tips from the tea filled with the fattest dried black pepper pull out the one light sweater I brought. the green berries protected by the shade until they ripen. PAGE 78: TUUL & BRUNO MORANDI/GETTY IMAGES (STREET). twist around coffee and nutmeg trees. TUUL & BRUNO MORANDI/ GETTY IMAGES (BLUE HOUSE). Kerala. “Please.000 a year. and turmeric plants cover the hotel KIM SEVERSON ( @kimseverson) “There’s a lot I don’t like about what property. “Imagine a billion-plus people and where they might find a breadfruit tree MAYFIELD/GETTY IMAGES (WINDOWS). coffee. A handful of wealthy ANDERS BLOMQVIST/GETTY IMAGES (TEA FIELDS). flat-tasting varieties from Viet- nam are undercutting the market. The oppressive mugginess of the small hedge clippers who spend the day edge of his garden and buy a plastic bag city gives way to cool mountain air. a retired Kerala police officer in (left) carpet the his 80s. It is hot on the back of my tongue but fruity and full of character. PAGE 81: STEVE RAYMER/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE (FLOWERS). tea bushes to meet women armed with coin of the realm. stalks. but the one good mom and black pepper is served in metal specializing in food. including swaths of are designed to look like tribal spice huts. is all about terroir. Our first stop is Briar Tea Bungalows. mom plantations. It’s now an inn and tea-education edge of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. I crack one between my teeth. he says. A chalkboard alerts guests to PAGE 74: DOUGLAS PEARSON/GETTY IMAGES (FORT). NEHA DARA ( @nehadara) is a travel tea plants so meticulously trimmed they Nutmeg trees. he explains. DAVID SOUTH/ALAMY (WAITER). also home to tea. KERALA owners oversees vast plots. Frothy coffee made with carda.500 acres. “have a spicy day!” TAHIR SHAH ( @HumanStew) last roadside pick-your-own apple orchards. THIS SPREAD: STEFANO DE LUIGI/VII/REDUX (HOUSEBOAT). on India’s We find our way to a small organic southwestern coast. tends to black pepper vines that colonial-era hill station of Munnar. We wade out through the hip-high Everywhere black pepper remains the PAGE 84: ARJUN KALE (TENTS). and carda- The best grows here at a high elevation. I finally understand I had never been to India and wanted to see how pepper is supposed to taste. decide instead to climb back into the van Mumbai-based NILOUFER VENKAT- northeast of Munnar. As firsthand the tea plantations and spice gardens that I walk out the door. India. tall slender cardamom writer based in Chandigarh. PAGE 77: DIANA says. center on 2. I buy two more bags to carry home. pot of tea isn’t brewing in the morning. is a staff writer for the New York Times the British did here. RAMAN ( @niloufervenk) is the former Talayar bungalow on a mountaintop in lows at Spice Village. look like suburban shrubbery.” seminar is beginning.” Vasudevan tumblers. PAGE 82: PUNNAWIT SUWUTTANANUN/GETTY IMAGES (MOUNTAINS). me. PAGE 86: GEORG KNOLL/LAIF/REDUX (TEMPLE). PAGE 80: STUART FREEDMAN/PANOS (COFFEEHOUSE). tourists can pick their bergamot and the deep aromatics of fresh Ayurvedic potions begin to pop up like own tea in the morning. Like many of the tea traders here. he complains that cheap. The smell immediately brings to mind their promise of tours and healing For about $26. Pepper. and drink it in the afternoon. bushes. more if they can beat the clerk watches. our eco-hotel on the editor in chief of the India editions of 1925. “This is the pepper people fought wars over. but there are Houseboats (far people in every village and small town left) are a popular who grow a little pepper and sell a few way for travelers to experience the kilos when a bill comes due or there’s a backwaters of wedding to fund. His pepper crop. I come across a small shop on the drivers. the clerk calls after cover the Western Ghats mountains like a tapestry. National Geographic and Traveler.” he says. AS WE DRIVE. The British built the and head to Thekkady.” he says.

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her soon-to-be husband. Brenda reached out her hand to me. Let’s do it. with whoops of joy. my jaw and knuckles vibrating. that would come to my become an improved version of my old self. I purchased the ticket.” on the Chicagoland Speedway. I breathed in fresh air on the ship’s selves would be doing. scared or not. leaped. we respond with collective never vacationed anywhere until she was 22 years old and with encouragement to take the damn dares. I visited a O C T O B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 1 7 91 . One day a 65-day cruise to Africa and Asia solo. attacks in Malaysia. On a day tour in Sihanoukville. I thought. able. Cambodia. there were no other African-American Somehow facing the dares together made them more achiev. went on safari in Kenya. I needed to travel. like zooming around a NASCAR track.Truth & Dare By Sheri Hunter Illustrations by Hanna Barczyk In the wake of devastating loss. Each new place shaped what would It was this sisterhood. zip-lining in West Virginia. pamphlets about white-water worry. Singapore. rescue in 2012 when my husband. died unexpectedly I snorkeled in the Indian Ocean. On a rocky 40-foot bluff overlooking the Gauley River in period. I stepped on the gas and whipped had the nerve to jump alone. Thailand. I found healing in audacious travels and diva power Sealed in the steel-caged driver’s seat and wearing a royal blue West Virginia. Not bad for a girl who hails from housekeepers and tra. “Come the NASCAR race car to 120 miles an hour. We met in 2006 at my home church. Sheri. Traditional therapy helped me deal with the hiked the Great Wall of China. We clasped hands. mapped my way back to happy. to get outside We christened ourselves the Dare Divas. “Dare Divas Unite!” and I was so out of my comfort zone. I struggled with depression. deck and. and we soon found myself and embrace the unfamiliar. With each jaunt I forced myself grief only to a point. They mentioned gang violence in Soweto and terrorist rafting in her hand. That’s when to be brave. and skydiving. forming a prayer group to push the limits. When fear grips the four of us. the divas rallied around me. screamed. Brenda. During my journey. Angenette—to thank. and of a heart attack. I traveled to 32 countries—Mozambique. When I told my family that I was going on and coordinating new-member and baptism classes. Mannard. in Michigan.” Brenda urged. That’s when “dare-apy” kicked in. I had three of my Detroit buddies—Mia. Black girl coming on. But street crime and shootings can happen “Let’s do it!” “I’m in!” “What’s white-water rafting exactly?” right here in Detroit. they looked at me with Mia cornered us with a wild idea. to laugh. this zest for life. “Dare Divas Unite!” became our battle cry. even with our life jackets. alter egos doing things we’d never dreamed our fortysomething Out on the open ocean. our Girl Code man. Neither of us flame-retardant jumpsuit. to feel good about trying something new. Successfully completing these dares gave me the courage Christian Tabernacle. my heart was racing as fast then resurfaced to join Mia and Angenette waiting below for us as my vehicle. riding a motorcycle. Seychelles. through! I headed toward the frighteningly deep curve ahead “You think we can?” I asked reluctantly. Very few African Americans. “We can’t even swim. women on solo holiday like me. with journal in hand.

“No. a guest Even among my brethren on the continent of my ances. “Oh. and I visited an open-air market where a pig limb hung on display like prized jewelry. the Cape Town taxi driver transport. “It’ll be good eating for soup or stew. I was not alone after all. was kind. 92 NATGEOTRAVEL . In In Penang and Kuala Lumpur. these places of worship. Dare to Live. The younger kids eyed me with curi. I’m a passenger. and swallowed. on the ship.thatched-hut classroom. Malaysia. but I didn’t want to cross any lines of propriety.” said Lisa. uncomfortable. “Working?” I said. “How long are you working on the ship?” he asked in his osity.com. I visited both elabo- a French-speaking hamlet in Madagascar. alive. I will weather it. sir. No. Who would share memories of this amazing journey with me? In Vietnam two of my cruise mates. I’m not a worker.C OM . I thought of Mannard. I did not. polite. I wept alongside the Buddhist monks as I thought of my beloved Mannard.” tors. I was a fish out of water. Ben. Will you be working on the ship for three months. and confused. conquer it. I really wanted to hug months?” them. Ah. but I stopped eating. SHERI HUNTER ( @sherihunter) is writing her memoir. Turtles that one student wore on his T-shirt. “God bless you. I took one of the toothpick skewers. Aggie from Texas and Lisa from New York. chewed. And I will be fine. Buddhist temples with Buddha statues the length of a 747. It was clear we were an ocean away from the USDA. I wanted him there by my side. grimacing. As I was leaving. but it was apparent that I was a Westerner. foreign. You’ll be fine.” coarse tight curls. people stood praying just as fervently as my own congregation back home. In all ing me to the ship. Aggie inspected the hoof.” I grinned. I thought it was tasty. Like me. “Where’s the packed ice?” Lisa said. Sheri. something that I believe might kill me. learn from it. two little girls locked arms and practiced their English while “Yes. Market vendors offered samples of sautéed meat with onions and peppers. digest it. I might as well have been one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja accented English. “It’ll digest just like chicken or steak. I thought of the Dare Divas and sweet Aggie from Texas. I see. they had dark skin and “Truly?” Ben said in wonderment. In South Africa.” Aggie said. She invites other adventurous women to join her at thedaredivas.” At the Great Wall of China. I was a riche femme rately carved Hindu temples that looked like wedding cakes and noire. five following me: “Hi-LO. When I face something daunting. hay-low. “You do know that’s snake.” she said. I said a silent grateful prayer as my journey came to an end.

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