The Royal Wedding is upon us but what we all really want to know is where they will be heading for their honeymoon. Here are our suggestions for the newly married couple:
It is said they fell in love underneath the African sky so now they can go and celebrate their union in the same continent. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office lifted the travel advisory on Lamu Island earlier last year so it is ripe for visiting but without all the floods of honeymooners that Zanzibar receives. Lamu is a stunning, relaxed, Swahili town with UNESCO World Heritage status. Spend your days hopping out of the way of the wandering donkeys (no cars are allowed on the island) or watching the sunset from the brow of a dhow. The Peponi Hotel is considered the best place to stay on the island. This family run hotel has being going for 50 years, each individually designed room has an ocean view and the legendary bar is a favourite drinking spot for guests and islanders alike. Lamu is the perfect retreat for newlyweds to unwind.
The Nile, Egypt
A five star Nile Cruise encompasses views that have been unchanged for thousands of years, and allows for stopping every now and then for an overland excursion. The trip is a wonderful combination of absorbing culture, viewing animals and relaxing. Described by many as a truly romantic experience, a cruise on the River Nile takes you through the heart of one the world’s most ancient civilisations on the lifeblood of Eygpt. Conjuring up images of Anthony and Cleopatra (hopefully without the dire ending) you will be surrounded by historic temples, majestic monuments and cultural treasures while enjoying the culinary delights along the way.
Kingdom of Bhutan
This mysterious kingdom is on the Eastern edge of the Himalayas snuggled between India and China. Seventy percent of the country is forested which means there is an abundant amount of hiking, bird watching and flora spotting to be under taken. Predominately a Buddhist country you can discover ancient monasteries clinging to the cliff tucked away from the rest of the world or raft down the pristine glacier melted waters. It is definitely a once in a lifetime trip (unless you are a Prince), entry to the country requires that you pay $250.00 each day of your stay and if you are travelling as a couple there is an extra $40 a day charge (JCJ tip: travel within a group and you can avoid this surcharge). Although this may seem as steep as the surrounding countryside, these fees are vital to continue Bhutan’s sustainable approach to tourism.
Bocas del Toro, Panama
For those who would normally head to Mauritius or the Maldives, we suggest an equal if not superior alternative: Panama’s Bocas Del Toro Province on the Caribbean coast with stunning islands, luscious vegetation and a wealth of animals. Spend your evenings in colourful clapboard huts floating above the translucent waters of the Caribbean Sea, in a truly natural paradise, perfect for couples to relax in harmony. If you fancy more of an adventure during the day, you can snorkel the exotic reefs, sunbathe under the swaying palms or uncover the beauty of the bio-diverse rain forest. Take a boat among the mangroves to view monkeys, sloths, caiman and crocodile to name a few. Alternatively relax in a hammock with a good book and delicious rum based cocktail in hand.
Congratulations to HRH Prince Harry and Ms Markle wherever they choose, we wish them a wonderful honeymoon.
Easter traditions are different all over the world, here are a few that we thought would be fantastic to go and see:
Easter is the highlight of the year in Antigua, with over a million visitors descending upon the UNESCO town for Holy Week. The streets become packed with people waiting to enjoy the processions. The Spanish brought the Catholic celebration of Holy Week to Guatemala in 1524 however it has now been mixed with indigenous traditions to make it a very unique experience. Along the route of the processions are amazing, vibrant rugs usually made from dyed sawdust but it is becoming more common for flowers, rice, fruit and coloured earth to be used as well. This video gives you a feel for the celebration.
Similar to Guatemala in that the Holy Week traditions date back to the 16th Century, Alghero on the Italian island of Sardinia also attracts people from all over the world. Throughout Holy Week they reenact the end of Christ’s life characterised by a strong Catalan influence. The most solemn moment is the “Mystery”, the moment when the nails are removed from Christ’s hands and feet, then the statue is placed in a coffin and carried in procession. After the seriousness of the “Mystery”, spirits are lifted and the celebration of the Resurrection begins; the crowds will clap, play music and throw flowers while wishing each other Happy Easter. When the festivities have come to a close people will return home to have a meal together as a family.
Easter coincidences with the start of Spring, in celebration of this locals participate in the annual Pot Throwing on the Saturday before Easter Sunday. This tradition is supposed to symbolise that new crops will be placed within the new pots however there is much speculation as to why it really began and if there is any religious significance surrounding it. On Good Friday people are awoken by mourning bells ringing from the Churches while young girls decorate the Epitaphs in preparation for their circumambulation of the town.
Easter in Ethiopia is known as Fasika and is celebrated around one to two weeks after Easter in the Western calendar. Easter is not a fixed event but a movable feast. During Lent, (the weeks running up to Easter) many Ethiopians will avoid any animal products such as meat, eggs, butter, milk, yogurt, cream and cheese until they have attended the Easter Eve Service, then they will return home and eat together as family breaking this fast. On Easter Sunday everyone will attend the Church service dressed in traditional white robes called habesha dress.
In the South West of France is a tiny town called Bessières now famous across the world all thanks to it’s giant Easter omelette cooked every year on Easter Monday. The origins of the enormous omelette began when Napoleon was travelling through the town and decided to stop for the night. He was so delighted by the omelette that he was served for supper that he requested that the next morning it was cooked for his entire regiment. Nowadays over 10,000 people gather to view the 15,000 egg omelette be cooked by the Worldwide Brotherhood of Knights of the Giant Omelette in a large 14 metre pan. It takes 90 minutes to break all of the eggs and around half an hour to cook it along with duck fat, salt and local d’Espelette pepper.
Let us know if you would like us to arrange travel to any of these eclectic events.