Sunday, March 13, 2016

The best Christmas markets of Europe, the peace memorial of Hiroshima, and an AMA Waterways river cruise along the Danube River

The cover story of the new issue of #Travelife Magazine, the leading travel & lifestyle publication, was shot by the Travelife Magazine team in Madrid on a beautiful autumn Sunday.

It was so unusually warm that the bars and cafes had their windows and doors all flung open.

People were spilling out onto the streets in sundresses and t-shirts – mugs of beer and glasses of wine in hand – as if it was summer.

That day, we walked through the famous El Rastro flea market and the more hip Casa San Miguel market, packed with foodies jostling for paella and boquerones even at three in the afternoon, as well as to the Royal Palace and the Plaza Mayor to try and capture the best views of this romantically beautiful city.

When it was over for the day, we ended up at Michelin star chef Paco Roncero’s tapas bar just a stone’s throw away from the Puerta del Sol for an evening of delectable nibbles, including freshly-sliced jamon, bite-sized hamburgers and flavourful callos in tiny pots.


Our main story on Madrid was written by businessman ANDREW MASIGAN who incidentally did double-duty on this trip by also posing for the cover.

A columnist for a major newspaper and an active member of La Camara, the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, he was the ideal writer for this article as he knows Madrid and all its secret neighborhoods by heart.


The wonderful AMA Waterways river cruise some friends and I took from the medieval city of Nuremberg in Germany to Budapest, Hungary to visit the Christmas markets also makes it to our pages.

I usually avoid the cold, but last December I bundled up and steeled myself for ice and snow just for this cruise plus a week spent exploring Prague, while basing ourselves at the lovely Four Seasons Prague right by the river.


Prague, by the way, has one of the loveliest Christmas markets in Europe. And it's just so wonderful to walk around Prague as Christmas approaches, as the city is full of holiday decor.

And I don't mean the commercial kind made in some factory halfway across the world.

Unsurprisingly, the Christmas cheer evident everywhere and the sight of gaily decked out wooden stalls selling everything from intricate ornaments to handmade toys warmed our spirits sufficiently so that dropping temperatures ceased to matter.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Travelife Magazine General Manager GEL BAYONA took a bullet train to Hiroshima to see the famous red gate of the Itsukushima Shrine of Miyajima – often referred to as one of Japan’s three most beautiful views – and the dramatic Atomic Bomb Dome.

Walking through Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial reading the testimonies of survivors of that horrific day in August 1945 when an atomic bomb was dropped over the city left her in tears.


Travel truly offers wonderful new horizons and opportunities to experience a wide range of emotions as you discover more of the world. So make sure you also check out our lists of some of the best experiences and most exciting new destinations in the world to fill your 2016 with the joys of a #Travelife.

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