Peace ribbons on the Demilitarised Zone in South Korea © Chris Zeiher
As all the time, our travel-obsessed employees have been off exploring new locations across the globe. This month they share a few of their current adventures from hitting the mountaineering trails in New England to discovering the right pastéis de nata in Portugal.
Exploring the DMZ in South Korea
Clutching a piping-hot espresso I tried to heat myself on a chilly winter’s morning in Seoul, South Korea, as I positioned a small tour bus emblazoned with three letters: DMZ. The ‘Demilitarised Zone’ is one in every of Korea’s hottest vacationer sights, however what makes a go to to this 4km-wide buffer zone between the North and South so fascinating?
I’d heard tales of Ok-Pop being blasted over loudspeakers because the South try to dam out the fixed din of propaganda messages from the North. However on arrival at Imjingak, a park devoted to the 10 million South Koreans separated from their households, it was oddly silent. The audio struggle is at an finish and the park itself is now a mix of memorials and carnival rides. Ribbons, containing messages of peace, tied to the border fence flap within the chilly wind as merry-go-round music softly performs within the background. Bizarre.
The zone continues to supply up oddities from the unused Dorasan Practice Station, the place the platform to Pyongyang (North Korea’s capital) sits abandoned, to the Dora Observatory providing telescopic views throughout the zone – all topped off by a claustrophobic stroll down the Third Infiltration Tunnel which will get you inside 170 metres of North Korea. Half creepy theme park, half unsettling testomony to an unresolved battle, and half image of hope, the DMZ has all the things a darkish vacationer might want.
Chris Zeiher, Director of Gross sales and Advertising in Australia and the Pacific. Observe his tweets @chriszeiher.
How can children resist the intense sandy seashores and hidden coves of Portugal? © Becky Henderson
Retaining the youngsters joyful in Portugal
There’s little doubt about it, travelling along with your youngsters is usually a nerve-racking expertise. Earlier than children, journey meant taking long-haul flights to far-flung locations, pleasing days of exploring and doing just about no matter I needed to do. Now, earlier than we are able to even get to the exploring half, I’m sweating on the prospect of two hours in a confined area with two mini individuals, hoping I’ve sufficient snacks and leisure to cease them annoying different travellers. Then as soon as we’re there, will there be sufficient kid-friendly actions to please the little ones which can even permit us to actually expertise the vacation spot?
Step up Portugal! A brilliant family-friendly, laid-back, welcoming nation that had us all enthralled. Travelling out of the primary vacationer season, we spent lazy days exploring hidden coves alongside the Algarve’s wonderful shoreline, pottering round small cities and trying to find the right pastéis de nata (custard tarts) in native markets. As soon as the solar went down and the youngsters had been asleep, we relaxed with a drop or two of the superb native wine. Youngsters joyful – tick. Adults joyful – double tick!
Becky Henderson, Worldwide Licencing Supervisor.
The Pogue, decked in fall colors, within the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Nationwide Historic Park © Katie Clowes
Veering off the crushed path in Vermont, New England
In hindsight, main my mum who suffers from incapacitating vertigo alongside the ‘Precipice Path’ in all probability wasn’t my finest concept. Nonetheless, after consulting the map at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Nationwide Historic Park, we would realised it was the quickest path to the South Peak of Mount Tom, the place we had been promised a incredible lookout over the charming city of Woodstock, Vermont. Quick on time earlier than our afternoon of cheese, maple syrup and craft beer tasting we determined that, because the path was solely two miles every method, it will make for a pleasant morning stroll to work up an urge for food.
One panic assault, 9 miles and 4 hours later we made it again to the automobile. While we did ultimately attain the Mount Tom lookout and noticed the beautiful view of Woodstock and the encompassing valley in all its fall glory, it was the additional hours spent on this superbly tranquil park and the unexpected journey that I’ll take away from our stroll within the woods. That and a promise by no means to take my mum mountaineering on an unknown route once more!
Katie Clowes, Advertising and Communications Govt for Europe, the Center East and Africa. Observe her on Instagram @kclowes3.
Misty Bled Island (centre proper) trying like a scene from a fairy story © Laura Brown
Citadel-hopping and fairy-tale frolics in Slovenia
Even in winter, Slovenia is likely one of the most lovely locations I’ve ever been. Stone castles are nestled on mountainsides and cobblestone streets wind round picturesque canals and conventional European structure. We started our journey in Ljubljana, the nation’s capital metropolis. Vehicles should not allowed within the metropolis centre, so we spent a whole day freely wandering up and down the canals, ingesting gluhwein and exploring the Christmas markets.
The following day, we drove out into the countryside with a tour information to see the Postojna Cave and Predjama Citadel carved into the aspect of a cliff face, and ended the day on the magical Lake Bled. We took a standard Pletna boat to Bled Island, earlier than watching the sundown over the area from yet one more fortress perched on a mountainside.
The entire expertise was like being in a fairy story. The individuals had been marvellously pleasant, the surroundings was lovely, and I’m fully in love with Slovenia. I can’t wait to return in the summertime once I can get caught into the mountaineering and mountaineering that the nation is thought for.
Laura Brown, Director of Enterprise Operations.