DREAMSCAPES WINTER/SPRING 2024
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TRAVEL GALLERY - WINTER 2023/2024
 
(2023 - Winter Issue)

Writer: CYNTHIA DAVID



If you love modern art, and Italy, and have up to nine like-minded friends who also love the idea of staying at a 270-year-old farmhouse set in a Tuscan olive grove, this tour’s for you! Over three days the art-loving owner of the five-bedroom, beautifully renovated Casetta Firenze will guide you to the Castello di Ama sculpture garden near Siena followed by a wine tasting and lunch. Casetta’s owner Xenia Lemos will drive you to the famed Galleria Continua in San Gimignano and organize a private tour of the Gori sculpture gardens at the Fattoria di Celle in Pistoia. The bespoke tour also includes four sumptuous dinners. Casetta Firenze is located 30 minutes from Florence. Casetta.net

 

Norwegian-born artist Edvard Munch may be best known for his 1893 image The Scream, but two current exhibitions prove there’s much more to his genius. Until January 22, 2024, the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin is exhibiting 80 Munch paintings, prints and photographs. The artist’s stay in Berlin between 1892 and 1907 challenged his colleagues and profoundly influenced the local art scene. The Museum Barberini in nearby Potsdam is exhibiting 90 Munch works that demonstrate his interaction with the forests and coasts of Norway. The dramatic weather depicted in Trembling Earth is especially striking in light of the current climate crisis. berlinischegalerie.de/en/; museum-barberini.de/en

 

Despite inflation and global challenges, the travel market continues to grow. Virtuoso, a global network of travel agencies booking high-end travel, reports a 69 per cent uptick in sales in the first half of 2023 versus 2019, with hotels and cruises leading the way. The U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica and Thailand are set to be the hottest destinations this winter. Demand continues for exclusive experiences, from yachting to joining a scientific expedition in Antarctica. Travellers also want genuine personalized service that saves time and delivers the best experience. Food and wine are crucial, especially for Boomers and Gen-Xers. Top culinary experiences include visiting a brewery or distillery, sampling street food and joining a culinary tour. virtuoso.com

 

After flying from Montreal to Martinique for more than a decade, Air Canada has announced its first-ever direct flight from Toronto to the French Caribbean island this winter. Starting Dec. 16, the five-hour non-stop flight departs on Saturday for capital Fort-de-France. Martinique is known for its French flair, Creole food and rum distilleries. It also boasts unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, hiking trails and waterfalls. In fact the entire island has been designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Aircanada.com

 

After 11 years of construction, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) is once again open to the public. The historic building has been renovated and paired with a pure white addition to display modern works. The makeover creates 40 per cent more exhibition space for KMSKA’s 8,400-piece collection, dating from the early 1300s. While its main collection of Flemish masters hails from Belgium and the Southern Netherlands, the museum also owns a number of international masterpieces. One wing is devoted to works by Belgian painter and printmaker James Ensor. Innovative touches include Radio Bart, where visitors take a seat in a mobile studio and discuss the paintings around them with a blind host. kmska.be/en

 

Hotel William Gray, hidden on a tiny street in the heart of Old Montreal, seamlessly fuses two heritage buildings with an eight-story glass tower. The result is an exciting blend of rich wood, stone, slate and concrete illuminated with black light fixtures or floor-to-ceiling windows and accented with bold local art. Hand your car keys to the valet and settle in for a relaxing stay. Grab a coffee from Café Olimpico next door to enjoy in the stylish Living Room or book a luxury spa treatment. For winter, WG’s popular rooftop terrace has been transformed into a wonderland of cosy heated geodesic domes with sweeping views of the old town and the Grand Roue ferris wheel. Perfect for a sumptuous dinner or brunch. Hotelwilliamgray.com

 

We are obsessed. With footwear! Learn how shoes became objects of desire and how footwear designers became celebrities at the Bata Shoe Museum’s newest exhibition, OBSESSED: How Shoes Became Objects of Desire. Highlights include a Louis Vuitton trunk from the 1900s with discreet compartments for 30 pairs of shoes, designer car shoes for women and a pair of 19th century carriage shoes featuring ostrich feathers to trap the heat. Another pair reflects the craze for purple after a young chemist accidentally created a synthetic purple while trying to find a cure for malaria. The exhibit continues to April 2024. batashoemuseum.ca

 

The brand-new bicycle and pedestrian bridge crossing the A201 highway in Brussels is bound to become the city’s newest tourist attraction. Measuring 710 metres in length, the straight steel bridge, designed by Dutch architects ZJA, rests on V-shaped grey steel columns with cut-away corners. From afar, it appears to float above the highway and point toward the horizon. The shallow, comfortable steps that access the bridge from the tram stop also appear transparent. At its highest point the deck is looming almost eight metres over the highway where cars and trams pass. The bridge should be completed in 2024. zja.nl/en/Fietsbrug-over-de-A201-Brussel

 

There’s a new reason to visit the Czech Republic—timber rafting! While navigating rivers by raft in Europe gradually disappeared as dams were built, the traditions surrounding this ancient means of transport, such as boating songs, are being preserved by a new generation. Timber rafting has also earned Czechs a place on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. The Czech Republic (a.k.a. Czechia) now boasts eight cultural designations. They include handmade beaded Christmas decorations, puppetry, falconry, carnival routes and masks. visitczechrepublic.com

 

You don’t have to be a billionaire, or even a sailor, to charter your own yacht. Simply choose a destination, boat type and up to 10 friends and Dream Yacht Worldwide, based in Clearwater, Florida, will do the rest. All boats come with comfortable private guest cabins with ensuite or shared baths. Locations include British Virgin Islands, Martinique, Tahiti, the Seychelles, Greece and Croatia. The company’s Easy Crewed Charters come with an experienced local skipper who will help you plan a custom itinerary. If you like, add a cook and create a meal plan. On a one-week charter explore breathtaking coastlines, ancient ruins, fresh local cuisine and dazzling islands that can only be reached by boat. Dreamyachtcharter.com

 
 
 
 
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