velvet | cultural holidays
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The Heritage sites of Malta and Gozo

When you visit some of the heritage sites on Malta, you will find that the architecture on the islands (some dating back to more than 5000 years a go) reveal something exceptional: the Maltese temple culture disappeared abruptly in the third Millennium BC and researchers still don’t know exactly why. Surrounded by mystery, Malta’s megalithic […]

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An unforgettable tour of Ecuador

It was a photo of the spectacular Cotopaxi volcano that first captured my imagination. I was ten years old and I promised myself that I would one day visit Ecuador. I had an opportunity in 2008 while I was in South America on my round-the-world trip. I’d planned to fly to Lima from Buenos Aires […]

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In Flanders Fields (image courtesy of Bernt Rostad).

Ten museums in Belgium to visit

A guest post by Sofie Couwenbergh, a writer and travel blogger from Belgium. Belgium is mostly known for its food and drinks. Visitors to the country want to try our chocolate, waffles, fries and beer. What most of them don’t know is that we also have a very diverse museum landscape. There are museums dedicated […]

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The treasures of Gallipoli

Many people thought I was in Turkey when I posted photos of my stay in Gallipoli (map) earlier this summer. I wasn’t. In fact, I was in Puglia, in southern Italy! Gallipoli in Turkey is especially famous as the site of the ‘Gallipoli Campaign’, a battle during World War I, not to be confused with […]

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Inspired by Rio

Rio de Janeiro is a city that bewilders and inspires. Its spectacular setting is the first thing that will grab your attention but once you start exploring, you’ll discover a city of contrasts, but above all else, a city of immense beauty, colour and warm, engaging people. It’s not hard to be inspired by Rio […]

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The magic of Rio de Janeiro in photos

Rio de Janeiro is a city of contrasts and great diversity. Squashed in between imposing mountains, the ocean and a massive bay, the city enjoys one of the most spectacular settings in the world. There’s no denying that the city has a lot of issues – poverty, inadequate infrastructure, high prices and crime to name […]

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History brought to life

“A theme park?”, I asked my guide as we strolled around Melbourne. Cartoon characters and wild, adrenaline-inducing rides immediately sprang to mind. “Well, no”, she replied, “it’s more like an open-air museum. If you’re interested in history, you’ll love it there”. It was the first of several times that day that a local recommended a […]

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History and wine in Rheingau

Rheingau is one of the most historically significant wine-producing regions in Germany. Situated along the Rhine River just west of Frankfurt, the region is characterised by hilly landscapes, castles, monasteries and picturesque towns (the most famous of which is Rüdesheim am Rhein (a fairy-tale like historic town in the heart of the Rheingau), one of […]

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The high-speed ICE train hits more than 300km/h in Germany.

Rail away in Europe

There’s just something special about travelling by train. The rhythmic sounds and motion, the scenery that whizzes by, the other travellers you meet along the way, and pulling into the heart of a city make train travel anywhere a unique experience. With its dense network of railways and high number of frequencies, train travel in […]

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Wine-blending at Middelvlei Wines

It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Almost every time I take a sip of a white or red blend, I try to differentiate the different grape varieties that have gone into the wine and their specific impact on the resulting bouquet, taste and finish. I’ve often wondered what my perfect wine would be and […]

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