Friday, June 17, 2016

Frankenstein and vampires celebrate their 200th birthday in Switzerland

The Castle of Chillon was made famous by Lord Byron in his epic poem  (wikipedia)

LAKE GENEVA, SWITZERLAND Had it not been for an unseasonably cold and rainy weekend in June, 1816 near Geneva, Switzerland, Gothic literature might have never had two of its most infamous characters.

In fact, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi might never have had careers, because that’s when the Frankenstein monster and vampires were born.
Mary Shelley created Frankenstein  (wikipedia)

Mary Godwin was only 19-years old when she dreamed up the idea of a scientist who created human life from the body parts of corpses. It was the result of a challenge by Mary’s future husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, George Gordon, Lord Byron and John Polidori to see who could come up with the best horror story. In the process, Mary brought Dr. Frankenstein’s monster to life, while Polidori gave us the world of vampires.

Villa Diodati -- Home of Frankenstein and vampires  (wikipedia)
It happened at Villa Diodati on the shores of Lake Geneva. To pass the time the group invented stories which resulted in the creation of Frankenstein, published in 1818 as The Modern Prometheus,” and Polidori’s 1819 Gothic horror story “The Vampyre.” 

At first it was believed that Lord Byron was responsible for the genesis of vampire literature. Byron attested to the fact that Polidori, who was also the poet’s personal physician, was the author of the now infamous bloodthirsty creatures.
The Frankenstein monster  (wilipedia)

Though Villa Diodati is a private residence today and inaccessible to visitors, it can be seen by boat from the lake.

A site that can be visited however, nestles it the eastern end of Lake Geneva, and it is here that Lord Byron attained his literary credentials in the region with his 392-line narrative poem “The Prisoner of Chillon.”

The Castle of Chillon was originally a Roman outpost along the main road through strategic Alpine passes to the east and south. The first written accounts of the castle date to 1005, but it was Byron’s poem in 1816 detailing the imprisonment of a Genevois monk, Francois Bonivard, that captured the imagination.
The dungeon at Chateau Chillon where Francois Bonivard was prisoner  (wikipedia)

Bonivard was held prisoner at the castle from 1532 to 1536 and the imprints of his footsteps are still visible in the dungeon floor where he was chained.

The Castle of Chillon is one of Switzerland's most popular sites thanks to Byron  (wikipedia)
Because Switzerland has been a democracy since the 13th century, it has never had any royalty so castles are not as common in the mountainous country as in other parts of Europe. Even so, Chillon remains one of the most popular attractions in Switzerland.
Portrait of Lord Byron  (wikipedia)

Travelers to Lake Geneva who have no interest in castles or monsters can still enjoy the essence of Swiss culture. With vineyards literally creating a carpet of grapes from the highest hill to the water’s edge, it is one of the most productive wine regions in Switzerland.

Never heard of Swiss wine? That’s because the Swiss drink it themselves and very little is exported. Better to export fictional fiends and savor the wrath of grapes than vice versa.

Teetotalers can still indulge in another well-known Swiss tradition however, as Nestle celebrates its 170th anniversary in 2016. The world famous chocolate company came into existence in 1866 in the village of Vevey as a milk-based baby food manufacturer.

Fireworks at the close of the Geneva Festival light up the sky  (wikipedia)
In 1879, Nestle merged with the inventor of milk chocolate, Daniel Peter, and in 1905 it joined forces with the Anglo-Swiss Milk company in what may have been the sweetest business deal in history.
In Geneva fireworks are an art form  (wikipedia)

Henri Nestle was the founder of the business, but the word “nestle” in French also means nest or finding comfort in a nest and who could dispute such a claim when they “nestle with a chocolate concoction” created on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland?

For the ultimate grand finale, visit Geneva in August and catch the last night of the Fete de Geneve or Festival of Geneva. If you think you have seen fireworks before, you probably haven’t until you witness the hour-long display of pyrotechnics that bring down the curtain on Geneva’s festival.

Using the north shore of the lake as a backdrop, the southern banks are reserved as a viewing area. The fireworks are synchronized to a musical theme, and once they begin, they, indeed, are linked to the music with Swiss precision.
Geneva's skyshow is one of a kind and not to be missed (wikipedia)
It’s a skyshow that is not to be missed. Everything else pales in comparison.

Thus, the fireworks began on the southern shores of Lake Geneva in 1816 and two centuries later, Frankenstein and his vampire friends are still enjoying the show.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Kon-Tiki Museum conjures adventure in Oslo

Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki sailed across the Pacific Ocean in 1947 to Polynesia (wikipedia)
OSLO, NORWAY Usually when people say “They don’t like museums,” what they really mean is that they don’t like certain “types” of museums. For example, there are five exhibitions that immediately come to mind that have universal appeal to even the most hardened “museum cynic.”

The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland is a showcase of both the summer and winter games over the last century. The Museum of Transportation in York, England features trains, trolleys, buses and any other means of mobility from the U.K.’s historic past. In Stockholm, the Wasa Museum is a three-story virtually complete Swedish warship dating to 1626 that was salvaged from the bottom of the harbor in the 1960s. And then there are the outdoor ruins of Pompeii, once a thriving port city near Naples that was smothered by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
Model of the Kon-Tiki from above  (wikipedia)

Oslo, Norway is home to another such venue which is guaranteed to become a topic of dinner conversation following a tour. The Kon-Tiki Museum captures the imagination of everyone who visits, especially appealing to the “little boy” spirit of adventure that lives within the soul almost every male on the planet.

Here in a single setting, visitors discover the story of Norwegian explorer and adventurer Thor Heyerdahl who set out to learn more about the wanderlust spirit of primitive man’s search for new worlds. Guests can also experience the original vessels used during Heyerdahl’s amazing expeditions including the Kon-Tiki, Ra, Tigris, Easter Island, Fatu-Hiva, Tucume and Galapagos. There is a cave tour as well, plus an underwater exhibit and a life-size model of a whale shark.
What makes the Kon-Tiki Museum so appealing is that it’s the kind of place you know a little bit about from magazine articles or television programs but not much more. Then, when you see it up-close-and-personal, it becomes and eye-brow raising source of discovery and suddenly, what was supposed to be a fifteen minute break in the itinerary turns into a two or three hour love affair filled with curiosity and wonder.
Ra II was a reed boat the Heyerdahl team used to cross the Atlantic in 1970  (wikipedia)
Heyerdahl’s first expedition began on April 28, 1947 on a balsa raft called Kon-Tiki. Along with five other crew members, Heyerdahl began his quest from Callao, Peru sailing across the Pacific Ocean to the Polynesian Islands with the purpose of proving it was possible for people in pre-Columbian times to have settled Polynesia from South America.
Side view of Ra II which Heyerdahl used to sail from Morocco to Barbados  (wikipedia)
In literal terms, the “pre-Columbian era” represents to the times preceding the first voyages of Columbus in 1492.
Heyerdahl used only materials and technologies available to the people of the time in which they lived, attempting to prove that there were no technical reasons that would prevent them from a successful voyage. Though the 1947 expedition did sail with some modern equipment, Heyedahl’s argument was that the technologies they possessed had nothing to do with the physical proof that a primitive raft could successfully complete the journey.
Sailing their vessel built from balsa logs and other native materials recorded in illustrations by Spanish conquistadors, the sextet of adventurers were at sea for 101 days covering 4,300 miles before crashing on a reef in the Tuamotu Islands.
The indigenous craft was built from nine balsa tree trunks lashed together with hemp roping. Cross-pieces of balsa logs added support and pine splash boards covered the bow. The main-mast was built from mangrove wood to form an A-frame while behind the main-mast was a bamboo cabin that was 14-feet long and 8-feet wide. The steering oar was also made of mangrove with the rudder blade built out of fir.
Adventurer Thor Heyerdahl  (wikipedia)
Initial supplies consisted of 275 gallons of drinking water stored in 56 water cans. For food, the team relied on flying fish, dolphin fish, yellow fin tuna, bonito and shark which were plentiful to catch during the voyage. Other provisions included 200 coconuts, sweet potatoes, bottle gourd and an assortment of fruit.
Some 23-years later, in May of 1970, Heyerdahl challenged the Atlantic Ocean by sailing from Morocco on a course for Barbados in a reed boat called Ra II. A year earlier, the Norwegian explorer had attempted the same experiment but was forced abandon the project, falling short by only a week.
The Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo is home to all of Heyerdahl's expeditions  (wikipedia)
The 1970 expedition with its eight man crew was at sea for 57 days for a distance of 3,270 nautical miles. Using wall paintings of papyrus vessels from Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and Central and South America, Heyerdahl had the added vision of demonstrating that people from differing cultures and religions could work together to accomplish a common goal.

The Kon-Tiki Museum is a showcase of wonder, awe and adventure. But don’t bother to visit if you “don’t like museums.”

Friday, June 3, 2016

A Curtain call for Shakespeare’s London theater

Exterior of London's Globe Theater, rebuilt through the efforts of American actor Sam Wanamaker  (wikipedia)

LONDON – This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. How  ironic then that excavations for a new apartment tower in London have uncovered the remains of the 16th century theater known as the Curtain where some of his plays were first performed.

But the plot thickens with true dramatic flair thanks to a number of twists.

Archaeologists were surprised to discover that the Curtain was not round like most playhouses of the day. Rather it was square. Adding to the intrigue is the reference in the prologue of Shakespeare’s “Henry V”, which was first staged at the Curtain, where the structure is called “this wooden O.”

Other London theaters during Shakespeare’s time, such as the better known Globe and Rose were circular in design.
The "Wooden O" today in London  (wikipedia)

Adding to the maze of curiosities surrounding Shakespeare and Elizabethan theater over the past four centuries, is the story of an American actor who was responsible for constructing a replica of the Globe theater in London.

During a visit to English capital in 1949, Wanamaker was astonished and dismayed to discover that only trace of the original theater honoring the memory of Shakespeare’s literary contributions was a grimy deteriorating plaque on an abandoned brewery.

With passionate determination Wanamaker created the Shakespeare Globe Trust in 1970 in an effort to raise money for the construction of a new playhouse. In 1997, the Globe reopened with a performance of none other than “Henry V.” Today, the Globe is the only thatch roofed building in the city.

Sadly, Wanamaker died in 1993, never see his dream come to fruition.

Oddly enough, the high cost of real estate is creating building projects throughout London, and the excavation process has accidentally established a bit of a “golden age” of archaeology in the city.
Standing room only for a performance of King Lear at London's Globe Theater  (wikipedia)
Other recent projects have uncovered skeletal remains of 14th century plague victims as well as Roman sandals.

Senior archaeologist at the Museum of London Archaeology, Heather Knight, claims the Curtain site “has probably the best preserved remains of any of the playhouses we’ve looked at.”

The recent excavations show that the Curtain was approximately a 100-foot by 72-foot rectangle that could accommodate about 1,000 people.

Though the Curtain was home to Shakespeare’s acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, from 1597 to 1599, and one of the oldest playhouses in London, it is also one of the least known.

The first performance at the "new" Globe was Henry V  (wikipedia)
As a tribute to Shakespeare’s literary contributions, Sam Wanamaker had a three-fold concept in mind for his Globe reconstruction. First, it would be an active playhouse where patrons can witness performances in much the same manner as they would have been staged during Shakespeare’s time.

Second, it is a school where actors can learn the techniques, nuances and historical styles of theatrical evolution through the centuries.

And finally it is a source of research for Shakespearean and Elizabethan studies.

Aerial view of Sam Wanamker's Globe...the only thatched roof building in London  (wikipedia)
For travelers to London, the Globe is also a living museum where children of all ages can gain a broader understanding of Shakespeare through a variety of ingenious interactive kiosks.

“The show must go on” as they say. Thanks to contemporary progress, some of London’s past has been unearthed and rediscovered. “All the world is a stage” as the Curtain rises like the Phoenix from the ashes of history.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Jaipur, India: A city in the “Pink”

The facade of the Palace of the Winds in Jaipur where the women of the harem could look out to the street  (Taylor)
JAIPUR, INDIA Like most of India, Jaipur is both confounding and mystical. It is a mixture of overwhelming history that gasps for breath under the weight of its massive sea of humanity.

With a population of more than 3-million, Jaipur is the capital and largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded in 1727, what is most remarkable about this pre-modern metropolis, other than its impressive fortresses and palaces, is its unusually wide streets (111 feet) which are laid out in six orderly sectors.
Typical street in Jaipur  (Taylor)

Despite that, readers of Conde Nast Traveler consistently rate Jaipur among the Top Ten Destinations to visit in Asia. With no less than ten massive forts and monuments, five temples, three gardens and two UNESCO World Heritage sites, it’s little wonder that Jaipur has earned its ranking.

Jaipur did not just spring up overnight in the 18th century. The city was carefully planned according to Indian Vastu Shastra with streets running East to West and North to South. There are three gates facing East, West and North as well as numerous gates that face to the South.

The Eastern gate is called Sun Pol, the Western gate is the Moon Pol and the Northern gate faces the ancestral capital of Amber.
The amazing astronomical park features the world's largest sundial  (wikipedia)

 In addition to it architectural treasures and monuments, Jaipur has long been a hub for native arts and crafts which make the city a shopper’s paradise. Major crafts include block printing, stone carving, jewelry, miniature paintings, blue pottery, ivory carving and leather-ware among others.

Situated roughly 180 miles from New Delhi and Agra, Jaipur comprises the third leg of India’s Golden Triangle. It is known as the “Pink City” thanks to the color of its distinctive sandstone and the façade of the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds, a sprawling royal residence which faces the main street of the city.
Main street in Jaipur  (Taylor)

The original purpose of the five-story exterior of the Hawa Mahal was to allow the royal ladies of the harem to observe everyday life in the street below through the honeycomb of 953 small windows. The latticework was designed to allow cool air to waft through the openings which “air conditioned” the space during the hot Indian summers.

The women of the harem were not allowed to be seen and were strictly required to cover their faces with veils.  

Because the front of the Palace of the Winds is little more than a façade, the entrance to the Hawa Mahal is located on a side road near the rear of the building. In case you haven’t already figured it out, a mahal means “palace” in India.

Arguably the two most memorable sites in Jaipur are the Jantar Mantar with its collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments and the Amber Fort, a massive palace that rests atop the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles).
The Amber Fort sits high on The Hill of Eagles  (Taylor)
Another palace, Jaigarth Fort, located beside the Amber Fort, is connected to its sister by a subterranean escape passage. As such, the complex is regarded as a single structure, giving the impression that the entire hill is dominated by an opulent architectural masterpiece.
Elephants are a popular way to visit
the Amber Fort  (wikipedia)

Amber Fort is comprised of red sandstone and marble laid out on four levels of which each contains its own courtyard.

The favorite way to visit the fort is by riding an elephant as it lumbers up the hill. Though motion pictures have a way of making transportation aboard the four-legged behemoths appear to be “exotic”, the sheer size of the animals combined with the swaying of the passenger seat is anything but comfortable.
Intricate artwork is a hallmark of many Indian palaces and fortresses, like the Amber Fort  (wikipedia)
India is a country of palaces, but the Jantar Mantar monument is one of a kind in the world. This fabulous collection of amazing astronomical instruments was completed in 1738 and features the world’s largest stone sundial. Built by Rajput King Sawai Jai Singh, the UNESCO World Heritage site incorporates ancient Hindu and Sanskrit texts that create instruments which allow people to observe astronomical positions with the naked eye.
The sundial at Jantar Mantar is accurate within 20 seconds  (Taylor)
Among the most amazing elements of the collection is the accuracy of the stone sundial with which a trained observer can tell the time within 20 seconds of the actual time.

Like most of the Indian palaces, the astronomical devices are also prodigious in their own way.
Carvings feature animals and
Kama Sutra  (Taylor)

Indian temples are usually adorned with sculpted depictions of animals and/or the sexual positions of the Kama Sutra.

Though part of the Golden Triangle, Jaipur may be the least familiar of the trio of destinations when compared to Delhi and Agra with its Taj Mahal. But Jaipur’s vast collection of architectural treasures combined with its rich, colorful history make it a traveler’s delight.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Looking for an undiscovered treasure? Try Lombok, Indonesia

Bali can be seen in the distance as the sun sets in Lombok, Indonesia  (Taylor)
LOMBOK, INDONESIA When it comes to travel destinations Lombok, Indonesia doesn’t exactly  roll off the tongue like many more familiar places. On the other hand, for travelers who enjoy being on the cutting edge of new travel destinations Lombok may just be the place.

In fact, for people who want to visit paradise on the cheap, Lombok IS the place.

Add in Lombok’s growing reputation as one of the best surfing destinations in the world and it’s a tough combination to beat.
Deserted beach on Lombok   (Taylor)

Situated across the Lombok Strait roughly 25 miles from Bali, Lombok benefits as a secondary destination for visitors to its bigger sister. Today, however, it is coming into its own as a popular place to get away from it all without spending an arm and a leg to do it.

Lombok is roughly circular shaped with a tail. Imagine an oversized sting ray.

Other than Mount Rinjani, the second largest volcano in Indonesia, there is not much to see in Lombok except magnficent beaches, superb local crafts and an abundance of sunshine.

For the moment, prices are inexpensive. A seaview room at the Sheraton in Sengigi goes for about $80 per night. Gradually new boutique resorts are popping up throughout the island as travelers are “discovering” Lombok as a destination in its own right.
One of three infinity pools at Quinci Villas in Lombok  (Taylor)
Food ranges from international to Indonesian to Mediterranean, but it is also easy to find European dishes as well. An excellent meal including drinks may cost $30 tops.
Lombok limos are a favorite way to get around  (Taylor)

Lombok markets itself, if you can call it marketing, as an “unspoiled alternative to Bali.” Though the term “unspoiled” is accurate, “roughing it” in Lombok is not exactly a Robinson Crusoe experience. Beaches are uncrowded and plentiful.

So far, other than snorkeling and surfing, the myriad of water sports that have invaded other resort areas in the world have not yet reached Lombok. Rather, this is a place to “chill” in the sun.

Most of the better resorts have excellent spa facilities where a 90-minute Balinesian massage costs about $40.

Lombok has two golf courses, but it is hardly St. Andrews, so links lovers would do better to leave the clubs at home unless schlepping your bag is something you just cannot escape.

A car with driver and guide will take you around the island for approximately $40 per person. Keep in mind that driving is on the left side of the road, and while there is not a lot of traffic on Lombok compared to Bali, the mopeds and other vehicles can be a challenge. Better to “leave the driving to them.”
Local artisan weaves intricate patterns into cloth -- Weaving, wood carvings are inexpensive souvenirs  (Taylor) 
Lombok, like Bali, is a shopper’s paradise. Cloth weaving, Batik, wood carvings and basket weaving are high quality, especially if you have a good guide who knows where to go. Be prepared to barter. That’s the name of the game.
Peasants still work the fields just as they did centuries ago  (Taylor)

Indonesia is primarily Muslim, which means that Lombok is subject to early morning and late evening calls to prayer that can be annoying for travelers who like to sleep in.

In many ways, Lombok is like stepping back in time where peasants still work the rice fields just as they have for centuries and local transportation in most villages is by horse drawn “carriages” known as “Lombok limousines.”

Typical thatched roof hut on a "busy" street in Lombok  (Taylor)
Given that Lombok is still new to tourism, wi-fi can be tricky at times, but it is available and, besides, what else are you going to do all day?

English is readily spoken and ATMs are easily accessible though the conversion rate may trip you up at first since 1,300,000 Indonesian rupiah is about $100.
Cock fighting is illegal but still popular  (Wikipedia) 

Do not travel with friends from PETA because cock-fighting, though illegal, is a popular sport in many villages.

Little is known about the history of Lombok before the 17th century. Until that time, the island was comprised of small warring states each of which was ruled by a Sasak prince. Today the 3.1 million inhabitants of Lombok are 85% Sasak whose ancestors are believed to have migrated from Java in the first millennium BC.

Rebellious millennials hoping to seek refuge in paradise should know that a top job in one of the resorts only pays about $8 a day. Talk about “minimum” wage.

Another day ends in Lombok where serenity is the national pastime  (Taylor)
For now, most visitors arrive from Australia and the UK partly because the distance for Americans is considerable. On the other hand, U.S. travelers seeking a truly comfortable, relaxing, inexpensive destination may want to consider Lombok.

After all, the biggest decision you will have to make after breakfast is whether to swim in the pool or the Indian Ocean.

Just take a short flight from Bali and look for a giant sting ray.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Berthillon: Home of the best ice cream in Paris

Once you sample the all natural ice cream at Berthillon in Paris, you will know why there is always a line  (wikipedia)
PARIS Years ago, when a fellow traveler learned of my immoral habit of taking an ice cream break in the afternoon when I am away from home, she told me about a place to check out in Paris. I did and I’ve never looked back. Never again do I need to search for the best ice cream in Paris.

Some say Berthillon is the “best ice cream in the world.” Others claim it to be merely the “best ice cream in Paris.” I truly don’t know. Nor do I care, because no other ice cream will ever have a chance to find out.

Berthillon is the Orient Express of ice cream. Not just because it tastes so good, but also because of the story behind it, which makes it all the better.

Though Berthillon ice cream has been around since 1954, it wasn’t until the famous, and influential, French restaurant guide known as Gault Millau recommended “this astonishing ice cream shop hidden in a bistro on the Ile Saint-Louis” that it gained worldwide recognition in the 1960s.
Berthillon is just behind Notre Dame  (wikipedia)

If “healthy” ice cream is your cup of tea, then Berthillon is the place. Situated at 20-31 rue saint Louis on the island of Saint Louis, Berthillon’s original tea room is the place to go. There are other locations on the island and throughout Paris where Berthillon ice cream is available, but part of the fun is getting it from the source where it was first created.

Ile Saint-Louis is one of two small islands in the River Seine. It is tucked away and connected by a small footbridge behind the Cathedral of Notre Dame which means that, logistically, it is not difficult to figure out where to begin.

After crossing the bridge, take the main street in the center of the island and walk down the narrow road until you see a line of people on your right eagerly awaiting a chance to sample their favorite cool creamy confection.
Stroll across the small bridge to Ile St Louis and walk down the main street a few blocks...a treasure awaits  (wikipedia)
Don’t be put off by the line. Patience is a virtue. It is well worth the wait. The tea room inside is small, so most people purchase their ice cream out on the street and move on to the great adventure in their itinerary.

There are some 70 all-natural, chemical-free flavors. Each is created from the freshest dairy products available which are usually purchased just before an individual flavor is created. Hence the term “healthy” ice cream, or, at least, as “healthy” as ice cream can get.
Berthillon may not be as well known as the Eiffel Tower, but it gets high marks just the same  (Taylor)
If you have a personal favorite, do not be surprised if it is not available. Berthillon does not produce each of its 70 choices every day. That said, you will discover fruit sorbets like blackcurrant and pink grapefruit, or the more traditional, and richer offerings made from fresh milk and eggs, such as salted caramel, candied chestnut and, even, gingerbread.

Of course, there are also those traditional “vanilla” flavors that used to define ice cream which are far less adventurous. (They are certainly no less tasty, however.) For example, how about a chocolate “affogato” which is a ball of vanilla ice cream served in a white porcelain mug and topped off with hot chocolate before being covered with praline cream.

Now you’re getting the idea.
Ile St Louis is filled with sidewalk cafes  (wikipedia)

Raymond Berthillon, who began creating his delightful desserts in the 1950s, died in August of 2014, but his legendary gift to the world of confectionary delights lives on.

For those wishing to read more, the Berthillon website is available, but it requires fluency in reading and/or speaking French.

There are a couple of other quirks as well, which are important so that you are not disappointed. Berthillon is closed on Christmas and New Years and it also shuts down in mid-April until the first part of May. Also, forget about satisfying your taste buds during the heat of summer. Berthillon is very French, so it closes toward the end of July until early September.
For the best Berthillon experience, go to the original shop (wikipedia)
They are also closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. If all of that sounds like too much work to satisfy your ice cream addiction, just remember Berthillon is well worth the effort and the wait.

Berthillon is accessible by Metro at Point Marie (line 7), Saint Paul (line 1) and Cardinal Lemoine (lines 9 and 10). You can also get there on bus lines 24, 63, 67, 86 and 87.

While it does take a little effort, Berthillon is not really hard to find if you persevere. And besides, when you actually do discover it, you are guaranteed to get your “just desserts.”

And that’s this week’s travel “scoop.”.