is not new to Portugal or the school. She was a teacher there in the 1980s
before leaving to serve as principal of an international school in Caracas,
Venezuela. Now, as director, she is overseeing the school's move to its
new, high-tech campus in Linho.
a history background, and for that reason her favorite travel destination
is Cordoba in southern Spain. The greatest attraction of the city is its
cathedral, which she considers "one of the most astounding historical
monuments in the world."
was originally constructed between the 8th and 10th centuries as a
Moorish mosque on the site of a Roman temple, and later of a Visigothic
church. The amazing thing about it is that the Christians did not destroy
the mosque, considered to be Europe's most beautiful. Instead they built
their church inside it, keeping the original building intact. Even though
the building has officially been a cathedral for more than 750 years, the
locals call the building, "La Mezquita," the mosque.
all he religions and time periods of history overlaying each other, for
anyone with any sort of history background, it is overwhelming," she
also a great walking city, Curtis explained.
you turn a corner there is some historic thing to see, or a wonderful restaurant
to eat in, or a cafe to stop off in," she said. Those who make the
uphill trek to the Alcazar during the summer would find immediate relief
from the heat. The Moorish palace and gardens often seem to be a refreshing
10 degrees cooler than the surrounding area. It may be the many fountains
set in the Islamic architecture, as much as the landscaping, which create
the refreshing setting.
Curtis suggests is to the Calahorra Castle, seat of the University of Cordoba,
which is reached from the central city via a Roman bridge of 16 arches
over the Guadalquiver River.
On her walks
she has learned of, the vast history of cordoba. It flourished as a
major Roman settlement from the 1st to the 5th century, and was then captured
in succession by the Visigoths and the N46ors. In 756 Abdar-Rahman
made Cordoba the capital of Moorish Spain, and for the next 250 years the
city was one of the world's great commercial and intellectual centers.
well-being of Cordoba declined after the 11th century as Moslem rule in
Spain disintegrated, but the city remained a hub of literature and scholarship.
In 1236 the city was captured and made part of Roman Catholic Spain by
Ferdinand III of Castile.
editor- in- chief,
was already a renowned US journalist when he moved with his family to Prague
in 1967. He was an eyewitness to the reforms of the Prague Spring,
the Soviet invasion of August 1968, and the repression that followed. His
account of these events, "Rowboat to Prague," became an underground
classic, and was responsible for his deportation in 1971. He and his family
lived in Vienna for 20 years, but returned to Prague in late 1990
when he became founding editor of The Prague Post, widely regarded as the
best English -language newspaper in Eastern Europe.
European travel destination is Lake Bled, in northern Slovenia, which
he first visited in 1987 while on assignment for the International Herald
Tribune. In the northwestern most corner of the country, near the borders
of Austria and Italy, Lake Bled lies on the southern slopes of the Karawanken
range of the Alps. The Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, is about 40 miles
to the south.
at Vila Bled, the former summer residence of Marshal Tito that was converted
to a luxury hotel in 1984. Although the luxury of Vila Bled was impressive,
Levy considers the highlight of that trip to be something much more simple.
the very special things that made it my favorite lake in Europe were the
swans flying in formation," Levy recalled.-"Up until that point,
swans were always ugly birds that hissed at you when you went by."
He has been to Lake Bled four or five times since that first visit, and
each time has seen the swans flying.
returned to Bled in 1995 with his family, they lived for a month in a farmhouse.
This arrangement was part of a program organized by the agricultural cooperatives
of Slovenia. He recommends the farmhouse option for anyone traveling with
small children; his two-year-old grandchild was with him for the month,
and the freedom of the farm was a big advantage.
one of Lake Bled's most interesting sights is the 15th century Christian
church on an island in the middle of the lake. The island can be reached
via rowboat in 10 minutes, or by one of the piloted gondolas, called pletnas.
There are 99 steps from the lake to the church, which pilgrims used to
climb on their knees. At the top of the steps is the church's "Wishing
Bell." Legend has it if the bell rings on the third pull, the bellringer's
wish will come true.
On cliffs rising
100 meters above the lakeshore is Bled Castle, which dates from the 11th
century, and was the seat of the bishops of' Brixen for 800 years. It currently
houses a museum that traces the history of Lake Bled and its settlements
from the Bronze Age to the middle of the l9th century, and a small, 16th
Tom Estes, a young school teacher from Los Angeles, took a vacation to
Several years later he had the idea of opening the first Mexican restaurant
in The dream became reality in 1976 when he opened Café Pacifico,
with one of his former Mexican American students as chef. Since
then, Estes has opened restaurants in London, Paris, Cologne,
Milan and, most recently, Sydney. After 10 years in Amsterdam, he moved
to Paris, where he currently lives.
the first place Estes chose to take a European vacation after moving to
Amsterdam in the 1970s. He said "the landscape and the people reminded
me of old California" and he returned four more times to explore different
areas. He highly recommends the seaside town of Ericeira, just over the
border of the Estremadura region north of Lisbon.
At the center
of Ericeira is Praca da Republica, which Estes describes as "a typical
Latin town square where you can spend hours having coffee and watching
the people go by." The square's name relates to the town's place in
recent history. On Oct. 5 1910, Portugal's last monarch, Dom Manuel 11,
learned that an angry republican mob was advancing on him from Lisbon.
He fled to the harbor at Ericeira and sailed into the safety of the British
colony of Gibraltar. A plaque on the side of the Santo Antonio Chapel above
the harbor records this event and there are related documents, including
British newspaper reports, in the small municipal museum.
streets of Ericeiras old fishing quarter are lined by adobe houses painted
white with bright blue trim.
Alternatively, you can always spend the day enjoying Ericeria's fine beaches.
Swimming is not permitted at Ericeira's main beach because it is reserved
for the fishermen. However, the Praia do Sul to the south is a fine, sand
beach set in front of dramatic cliffs.
To the north
is Praia de Sao Sebastiao. This beach was named after the young king
who led an army of 18,000 soldiers in a crusade against the Moors. In 1578,
at the battle of Acacer-Quibir in North Africa, the king and 8,000 of his
men were killed, but the Portuguese people refused to believe the news
of the king's death. A legend grew among "Sebastianists" that he
would reappear one day to lead them back to glory.
the food is of special interest to Estes, and Ericeira is well known
to the Portuguese for its seafood, particularly lobsters and crayfish.
The local speciality is acorda de mariscos, a shellfish stew made by soaking
bread in shellfish stock, then cooking it in olive oil and garlic and adding
eggs and shellfish. Estes also praises the Portuguese for producing good,
natural wines. The best known varieties from the area are the light, dry
red Colares and the local alternative to port, the sweet Setubal muscatel
and Lillehammer, Norway
recently worked out an itinerary for ffiends andfamilyfrom the US traveling
to Norway this summerfor his wedding. He movedfrom New York City to Norway
in December 1996 to be with his Norwegianflancee and to work in the Deloitte
and Touche Oslo office.
recommends Fredrikstad and Lillehammer, both within easy travel distance
of Oslo. Fredrikstad is just over an hour by train, south of Oslo.
Located at the mouth of Norway's longest river, the Glomma, Fredrikstad
is named for the Danish king who built the fortified town in 1567.
ruled by Danish kings from 1387 to 1814, and played a significant role
in the sequence of wars between Sweden and Denmark. The eastern approaches
to Oslo, along the Oslofjord, were especially vulnerable to attack, and
Fredrikstad became an important fortress. By 1635, Fredrikstad was the
strongest fortress in Norway. It still functions as a military camp today
and is the only surviving fortified town in Scandanavia.
that thanks to careful preservation, Fredrikstad's Gamlebyen, the Old Town,
offers visitors "an opportunity to see what a Norwegian town looked
like several hundred years ago." Many buildings in the historic district
have been converted into studios for local artists, and their architectural
integrity has been maintained.
the gates of the Old Town is Kongsten Fort, the most impressive of the
towns outlying defences. Thick stone and earth walls stand on a rocky
knoll that offers views of the surrounding countryside. Underground chambers
and passages illustrate military engineering techniques of the 17th century.
host town of the 1994 Winter Olympics, is a two-hour train ride north
of Oslo. Of course, for anyone interested in winter sports Lillehammer
is hard to beat. In preparation for the Olympics, the Norwegian government
spent two billion kroner on the town's sporting facilities, which are considered
the best in the country. McCloskey recommends taking time to check them
its claim to current fame, Lillehammer has much to offer beyond winter
sports. It enjoys a beautiful location on the shore of Lake Mjosa,
Norway's largest lake, and is rich in cultural and historical sites. The
LillehammerArt Museum, located in the center of town, contains one of the
nation's largest collections of national art. The exhibits contain pieces
dating from the 1830s to the present.
Open Air Museum consists of 150 historical buildings, ranging from
manor farms to cottages used by the poorest yeoman workers. The buildings
exhibited in this museum were gathered from all over the Budbrands Valley
and were reassembled and furnished in 17th to 18th century style. Two key
exhibits are farms dating from the late 17th century, complete with their
various outbuildings and living areas. The oldest structure in the museum's
collection is the Garmo Stave Church, dating from the year 1200. Stave
churches, constructed entirely of wood, were built throughout Norway in
the Middle Ages. An estimated 750 stave churches were built, but today
only about 30 remain.
in "downtown" Lillehammer concentrates on the pedestrian part of
the main thoroughfare, Storgata. It is lined with old wooden houses, reflecting
Lillehammer's claim to be the oldest inland town in eastern Norway.
The New Forest,
managing director, Zagat UK, London
restaurant guides are now the most widely read in North America. As
managing director of Zagat UK, Susan Kessler is working for the same kind
of success in London. Kessler was thefood and decorating editor of New
Woman Magazine when she and her husband moved to London seven years ago.
Soon afterwards, affiend introduced her to Tim and Nina Zagat, who were
looking to launch the guide in the UK.
at Christmas since 1993 Kessler and her husband have spent four nights
at Chewton Glen Hotel, Health and Country Club, 90 miles south west of
London in the New Forest town of New Milton, Hampshire. The 18th century
manor house sits in a 70-acre garden.
As you might
expect from a place recommended by Kessler, the food at Chewton Glen
maintains a high standard, with a Michelin star restaurant kept in the
capable hands of chef Pierre Chevillard. This year the hotel was ranked
number one in Europe and 13th in the world by the Conde Nast Traveler readers
choice poll. Kessler says she returns each year because "it is very
welcoming with wonderful staff who treat you like family."
is located on the southern edge of the New Forest, which despite its
name is actually one of the few primeval oak woods remaining in England.
Its 145 square miles of heathland and woods, make the New Forest the largest
area of unenclosed land in southern Britain; motorists are advised to yield
to the semi-wild ponies that roam the area.
Those not disposed
to ambling through the countryside will find things to see and do at the
national automobile collection at nearby Beaulieu Castle, a shipbuilding
museum at Buckler's Hard on the coastal edge of the New Forest, or sailing
in The Solent, the strait between the New Forest and the Isle of Wight.