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PUBLIC MARKS from wiredsetman with tags video & york

16 May 2007

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

The overnight ferry from Guernsey arrives in Portsmouth at 6 a.m. I got up, therefore, at 5:30 a.m., and when I looked in the mirror that morning, I thought of one man: Laurent Derame.

15 May 2007

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Feudalism is dead and long gone, a hilariously primitive system of law and order that vanished, along with plague and chivalry, with the Middle Ages. This is what most people will tell you, and they are wrong. Feudalism is alive and living in quiet, tax-sheltered comfort on a grass-covered chunk of granite in the middle of the English Channel called Sark, though lately it's been doing a bit of soul searching.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

While the rest of the world has turned its back on clarified butter, Normandy has not, and for this it is deserving of high praise. This means, however, that if you're going to travel along the coast of Normandy, you may wish to consider a high-cardio form of locomotion, especially if you're going to be doing things like eating a sole that took its final swim in sea of clarified butter.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Bad news was waiting in Burgundy: A wind was blowing. It was a perfect day to send up a kite, and therefore absolutely not perfect for going up in a hot air balloon, which was the reason I had driven all the way from Monaco. I was, in other words, grounded.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

I never thought I would say this, but I now know what it feels like to be George W. Bush, seeing as I seem to have annoyed, appalled, and enraged half of Europe with a couple of recent postings. In my defense, I will say only that I only ever report what I see and feel.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

One of the things about traveling is that you can step foot in a town or city you have never been to before and be reminded -- powerfully reminded -- of people and places that have receded far into the past. This is what happened to me at the Vigilius Mountain Resort.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Editor's Note: When Mark started his 80 day journey back in early March, the first question many of you had was "where is he going next?" Mark never did reveal much about his itinerary during those early days. In fact, he still keeps that information close. There are a number of very, very important reasons for his secretiveness, but don't fret, readers, as all will be divulged in the September issue of Conde Nast Traveler. But one thing we can tell you. We're having a contest based on Mark's final, final international stop before completing his around the world journey. One lucky winner will win a trip for two to Palm Springs. Click here for details.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Getting the feet -- and everything else -- wet at Vigilius Mountian Resort. Wir sollen Uns unbeschrenkt uber Nacktheit unterhalten. The above sentence is German for, "It is now time we had a frank and open discussion about nudity." There's a good reason it's in German. Let me paint you a picture: It is early evening at the Vigilius Mountain Resort, a hotel and spa complex Monte San Vigilio in Italy's South Tyrol. I have just returned from my triumphant via ferrata assault on Mount Fenberg. Though it is not the cheapest hotel I have stayed at on this generously funded circumnavigation, the Vigilius is the one I like best. It is modern, both starkly and warmly. To behold its neat interior vistas is to rinse the mind of clutter.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Italy isn't a very big country, but a lot changes as you drive north. The economy picks up, for one thing. Northern Italy, many people say, is the tugboat that pulls Italy along, while southern Italy is the anchor. The Po Valley, which runs from the Italian Alps into the Adriatic near Venice, is one of the most industrialized regions on the planet. If you keep driving north of the Po Valley, people start speaking German, but you're still in Italy. It's fair to say that more changes in one hour of highway driving in Italy than in one day of highway driving in Nebraska.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Things started going wrong for Florence about a thousand years ago, when a very important man named Hugo--a margrave, no less--decided he wanted to live in Florence instead of the then capital, Lucca, a decision which brought on a period known as The Golden Age of Florentine Art. Half a millennium later, A guy named Lorenzo di Medici started running the show and throwing serious money at local artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci (best known for his thrilling novel, "The Da Vinci Code") and Botticelli. Pretty soon, all the talk was about Florence: The architecture! The paintings! The sculptures! The ravioli!

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Thanks in great part to Starbucks, we have become a culture of Italian-style coffee drinkers. We drink cappuccinos, we pour honey into caffe lattes and sprinkle cinnamon on top, and a few of us even know the words "espresso macchiato," which is a quarter of an inch of mud-like coffee topped with a little milk and a tiny dollop of foam. Or at least that's the definition I'm going with. The very concept of macchiato is troubled by controversy.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

The following post is dedicated to James Hathaway, genius marketer, loyal blog-reader, and nice guy. James Hathaway is the Communications and Conservation Manager at the Orvis Company, which makes fly-fishing rods. As some of you may remember, I brought 6/7ths of an Orvis fly-fishing rod with me to Mongolia. My plan was to bring all seven sevenths of the rod, but something went greivously wrong during the packing phase of the trip and the end result was that I found myself standing on the bank of a Mongolian River with an incomplete-and useless-fishing rod.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Wrong on both counts: I'm Canadian and I've long been a fan of sexually suggestive folk music. I even have a suggestion to make: "Red Staggerwing," which is on All the Roadrunning, the album by Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris that came out last year. It's not quite as blunt as "La Cilentana," but it's playful in the best way. I consider this album a must-have. In fact, I've listened to it at least once in every country I have visited on this trip.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

My Slow Day in Italy didn't begin nearly as slowly as I'd imagined. Tilde woke me up at 7:30, I had a quick shower, a quicker breakfast, and then it was into Tilde's car. The three of us--Tilde, myself, and her daughter, Wanda--were headed into the mountains and I wasn't quite sure why. Tilde said something about a crazy man named Ali and sausage. That's all I knew, but it seemed like as good a reason as any.

14 May 2007

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Concierge.com asset, video. Concierge.com travel writer, Mark Schatzker, treks around the world in 80 days. Follow his intrepid journey on his blog as he attempts to circumnavigate the globe “the old-fashioned way.” In this video he shows you some of the items accompanying him on his journey. Find out more at http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/blogs/80days. From Wiredset Digital Agency. Ingredients Flour - 500 grams (100 grams per person, 80 percent soft flour and 20 percent hard flour) Eggs - 3 (possible more or fewer, depending on "feel") Water Weigh and mix the flour. Pour it in a tall pile on a pastry board, and form a crater in the center with hands. Crack the eggs into the crater and beat well. Fold the flour into the eggs and when they are absorbed add water. Knead the dough with hands, adding water, until it has reached a desired consistency.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Concierge.com asset, video. Concierge.com travel writer, Mark Schatzker, treks around the world in 80 days. Follow his intrepid journey on his blog as he attempts to circumnavigate the globe “the old-fashioned way.” In this video he shows you some of the items accompanying him on his journey. Find out more at http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/blogs/80days. From Wiredset Digital Agency. Sometime after lunch, we hopped into Tilde's Alpha Romeo and paid a visit to the butcher, Luigi, to get some Podolica bisteccas.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

I like Italy. I have liked Italy from the first moment I stepped foot on Italian soil, which was in the winter of 1987 when, for the first time in my life, I was greeted by a taxi driver with the word, "Pronto." There is only one other country in Europe that can match the history, cuisine, and beauty of Italy--I think you know which one I am talking about--but Italy has one thing that country does not have: friendly people.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Good question. A lot of people don't like spending money on a guide, but nothing can heighten the experience of a foreign place like a cultural--not to mention linguistic--interpreter. The best way to find a guide is to go through a travel specialist that you trust--I tend to find travel specialists in the pages of Conde Nast Traveler. When you find someone, call them. Ask them as many difficult questions as you can think of. If they can't--or don't want to--answer you questions, hang up and call someone else. In the case of northern Greece and Papingo, I used Hellenic Adventures. A full list of travel specialists will be appearing in the August issue of Conde Nast Traveler. In the meantime you can review the magazine's interactive travel specialist finder as well as their FAQ on which type of trip requires a specialist's help, and which doesn't.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

When it comes to long drives, Greece would seem to be a country of happy endings. Like the drive to Papingo, the drive to the port town of Igoumenitsa climaxes with a soul-stirring views. This is due to the fact that Igoumenitsa is a port town, which is exactly the reason that most Greek people will tell you not to visit the place. If you tell them there's no time to visit Iouannina because you have to make a ferry in Igoumenitsa, they will say, "You must come back, then." If you ask them if Igoumenitsa is a nice town, they will say no. If you ask them why, you'll get the following answer: "It's a port town."

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

We shall now turn our attention to the matter of roofs. Roofs say a lot about a place. I'm not sure exactly what it is they say, because the quality and beauty of roofs--which tend to go hand-in-hand, as it happens--turns out to be almost impossible to predict. But roofs say a lot.

08 May 2007

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Can't sleep. It is two in the morning and I am on a train lying a bed that is three inches shorter than I would like it to be. We are somewhere between Istanbul and Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, where, in a few hours, I will be setting off on a five-hour drive across mountains. The air smells of sewage and rotten fish. I hope it is the fecund aroma of the sea and not actual sewage and rotten fish. I drank too much coffee today. I had grown too used to the mild stimulation of tea-drinking culture. The coffee is hitting me hard.

23 April 2007

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

The trip to Istanbul aboard the Yuzhnaya Palmyra costs something along the lines of $650 and is worth every penny, not because of the disco, the food or the magician--which I value collectively at $23--but thanks to a body of water called the Bosphorus. The Bosphorus is a narrow channel connecting the Black Sea with the Mediterranean Ocean, and when it comes to epic nautical moments, few can match the experience of sailing into the Bosphorus. It looks at first like shore--hilly, far-off shore. You stand on deck and see that your ship seems to have joined a fleet of container ships all headed, apparently, towards that same stretch of hilly, far-off shore.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

If you're at all like me and one day, in the midst of plotting your path around the world, you stumble across the problem of the Black Sea and learn that there is a ferry that travels from the Ukrainian port of Odessa to the great city of Istanbul, then like me, you become misty-eyed at the thought of the journey. You imagine Jason and his Argonauts rowing its dark waters to claim the golden fleece, you read a Wikipedia article that states certain scholars believe the Black Sea is the setting for Noah's flood, and you then fire up Google Earth, zoom in on the Black Sea and, with the aid of this heady combination of satellite photography and broadband, become lost in thoughts of its ancientness. The idea of crossing the Black Sea in no time seems very romantic.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Day 39: At dinner I did a stupid thing. I ordered caviar. I had just finished reading a book about caviar called Caviar, by Inga Saffron, which was mainly about how terribly and alarmingly abused sturgeon stocks in Russia have become since the fall of communism and that this ancient and fascinating creature with the most delicious roe of any fish in the world may soon become extinct in the Caspian Sea. It is a sad and painful subject to read about, but the descriptions of all that caviar left me in quite a state.

Around the World in 80 Days: A Travel Blog by Conde Nast Traveler at Concierge.com

Day 39: Moscow's fairytale, onion-domed masterpiece is called St. Basil's Cathedral, and contrary to popular opinion it is not Vladimir Putin's house. (Though if he were to suddenly claim it as such, no one would be too surprised.) Few other structures inspire as much awe or appear so vivid in real life as St. Basil's. If Disney's Magic Kingdom rates a 12, it rates a 94. It was built by Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of the Khanate of Kazan; an event that took place in the 16th century. I don't know where Khanate of Kazan is, but I imagine it didn't meet a good end because "the Terrible" wasn't a reference to Ivan's tennis serve.

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