Ethiopia is one of Africa’s most beautiful and fascinating countries, and a surprising travel destination. From spectacular mountain landscapes and national parks to vast lakes and mysterious deserts. From incredible wildlife to intriguing historic landmarks. From vibrant, fast growing cities to small villages and tribal regions, steeped in culture and traditions. In this documentary style video, I will show you 10 beautiful places I visited, on a one-month journey through Ethiopia in 2019. I remember the smiles and welcoming attitude of the people, the incredible food, remarkable monuments, the stunning natural and urban landscapes. In all fairness, this was one of my best travels yet.
Africa’s Somaliland is a self-governing autonomous region with its own currency, military and passport. But it is not recognized as a sovereign state. Somaliland broke away and declared independence from Somalia 30 years ago. It’s seen as a stable region, especially when compared to the rest of Somalia, where there is a big terrorism threat. But most of Somaliland’s 4.5 million people live in poverty. DW takes a closer look at Somaliland and its society.
Visit the fabled Paris bookshop Shakespeare and CompanyOutside the Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company. Pic: Bonnie Elliott
“There are bookshops so packed with history, eccentricity and cultural clout they become a story themselves and the subject of literature. They have the kind of aura that extends beyond bookshelves and rises above commerce, offering writers and readers a refuge from the storms outside, a place where you feel a potential literary superstar just to hang out there.
City Lights in San Francisco (est. 1953), Strand bookstore in New York (est. 1927) and Foyles in London (est. 1903) fall into this category, but the stand-out trailblazer of them all has to be Shakespeare and Company in Paris, ‘a novel in three words’, as the founder of its current manifestation, George Whitman, once described it.”
Julia visits the lush Ionian island of Corfu, often called the least Greek of all the Greek islands. She discovers a little slice of Italy, and samples the delights of its cuisine. Her trip begins in the capital Corfu Town where she discovers a surprising cosmopolitan city more like slice of Italy than Greece.
Dubai Wonder tours readers through this storied city and its cultural diversity and distinct neighborhoods, including Deira, home to the Khor Dubai, a creek that Dubai’s economy relied on for several decades for pearl diving and fishing; Al Quoz, the cultural heart of the city; the Dubai International Financial Centre and Jumeirah, a largely residential district featuring the emirate’s notable resorts along its coast.
An international port city and desert oasis, Dubai is one of the most important metropolises in the Middle East. With modest beginnings in the industries of pearl diving, fishing and trade, Dubai has since eclipsed its historic origins. The most populated of the seven emirates united by founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1971, Dubai is a treasure trove of the best, the biggest and the brightest, drawing such stars of architecture as Zaha Hadid, Foster + Partners, and Santiago Calatrava. Dubai’s skyline features the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa; the giant Dubai Mall; the Burj Al Arab seven-star hotel and the Dubai International Airport—the ultimate extravagance.
Other stops on the tour include Dubai’s burgeoning art scene, the Art Dubai fair and Alserkal Avenue, a cluster of warehouses containing art galleries. Dubai Wonder also takes readers inside the highly anticipated Expo 2020 Dubai, opening in October 2021 and already heralded as the grandest world fair in history. A hub of innovation and firsts, Dubai represents a vision for the future, where anything is possible, as each page of this awe-inspiring addition to Assouline’s Travel Series demonstrates.
Myrna Ayad is an arts consultant, cultural strategist and editor, with a focus on visual art and culture from the Arab world, Iran and Turkey. She established her namesake consultancy in 2018 following her directorship of Art Dubai, the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia’s foremost international art fair. Ayad has written for The New York Times, CNN Online, The Art Newspaper, Artforum, Artsy, Artnet, Wallpaper* and The National, among others, and contributed to artist monographs and exhibition catalogues. From 2007 to 2015, she served as editor of Canvas, the premier magazine for visual art from the Middle East, where she oversaw the production of the title’s affiliate newspapers, catalogues and luxury art books. Over the years, Ayad has served both as a panelist and moderator and sits on the committees of cultural entities in the region. For almost four decades, she has been based in Dubai, where she lives with her husband and two children.
The Peloponnese is a hotspot for people from all over the world but still remains to its traditional Greek roots. The olive groves, its rich history and the stunning coastline, which provides kilometres of golden beaches – it never gets old.
The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the Isthmus of Corinth land bridge which separates the Gulf of Corinth from the Saronic Gulf.
1868 saw Japan open its doors to the outside world, putting an end to more than 200 years of national seclusion and heralding a new era that brought the country firmly into the modern age.
Curating some of the first photographic images of the country, Sabine Arqué and Sebastian Dobson unveil an epic panorama of 1900s Japan, guiding us from Beppu’s hot springs to bustling Osaka, from the historic capitals of Nara and Kyoto to their modern successor, Tokyo.
After Spanish authorities canceled the San Fermin bull-running festival for the second year in a row, the streets of Pamplona – which would have been packed with revelers wearing white – remain quiet.
Crumbling pastel-colored facades line its streets, parked vintage cars evoke times past, live music permeates the air. Welcome to Havana, home to an overwhelming energy. Situated along the Straits of Florida, the capital of Cuba has been through several identities: Spanish colonial settlement, mobster rule in the 1930s, glamour of the 1950s, Cuban revolution and, most recently, a cultural renaissance.
Havana’s bold, provocative approach to art, cuisine and entertainment—as well as the eclectic blend of African, French, Spanish and North American influences—including its range of architecture styles from the sixteenth century to the modern day, confer this epic city with a legendary status on par with the world’s greatest cities. While some of the building are in disrepair, the beauty of the baroque, neoclassical and art deco features triumphs.
The iconic Copa Room cabaret that hosted Ginger Rogers and Abbott and Costello still stands. The Gran Teatro de la Habana, built in the early twentieth century, is now home to the Cuban National Ballet. Habana Vieja is undergoing a massive restoration to its former glory. Havana could be seen as a work-in-progress, but it is more a testament to its never-ending determination to improve and progress, which might be the allure that attracts so many visitors. So take a seat at an authentic paladar (family-run restaurant) and enjoy the vibrant evolution of Havana.
Pamela Ruiz came to Cuba in the 1990s and fell in love, both with the country and her husband, Cuban artist Damian Aquiles. Formerly a location scout for photography shoots, she soon began to turn her attention to art, specifically bridging the international art world and Cuba.
Monocle’s July/August issue marks the return of our annual Quality of Life special edition that is guaranteed to get you in the mood for the sunnier months. Review our index of the world’s 20 most liveable cities, our choices for your perfect summer playlist and an eagerly anticipated visit to the Venice Architecture Biennale. After a challenging year, it’s time to get excited for summer again.