On the road in the vintage car

Only now do I know how good it can feel to drive a car. And how much closer one can experience the landscape, just how much more intense everything can feel when travelling from village to village in a vintage convertible on mountain passes and side roads. In a dark blue 1959 Jaguar convertible for instance, in a Morris MG-A or a Mercedes 190 SL from the fifties, an Austin Healey 3000 or an Alfa Romeo Giulietta from the sixties.

I did not even want to exit the car anymore – and hardly have I ever experienced the border triangle (Austria, Italy, Slovenia) more beautifully than now with the historic convertible. Driving feeling and driving experience simply are completely different than in a modern car: there is something nostalgic to it, there is romance. And above all, it has class! It is not even about the people at the roadside glancing after you, taking pictures with their phones, or even waving.

This is about yourself ­– about this travel feeling, as if time had not only stopped, but turned back.

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Zaya Nurai Island off Abu Dhabi

Aboard a speedboat, passengers pass the private millionaire islands off Abu Dhabi with all their palaces on their way to Zaya Nurai Island. This makes the journey to Zaya Nurai Island an experience in itself! There are a few dozen islands here, the crossing takes just under a quarter of an hour – and it is most beautiful in the airstream on deck. What awaits me is a luxury resort on a private island: spacious, elegant, with private pools, the utmost discretion, with several restaurants, bright sandy beaches. The owners: a local real estate entrepreneur and a member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family. Their dream: to make Nurai Island an island with a Maldives look. Read more


Mnemba Island Lodge

It is probably the sum of it all which makes this place in the ocean so unique – Mnemba Island with its lodge, a 20-minute boat ride away from the northeast tip of Zanzibar. It is this magnificent African sky so close to the equator – this feeling on the beach at night of being able to stretch out your arm and pick a star from the sky. They seem close enough to reach. And it is this joy of dining outdoors with no more than 24 other guests with candles and oil lamps all around. There are but twelve huts on the island where everything is provided for, yet they intentionally have this simplistic touch. But of course, there is also the magical daytime experience: the white sand, the turquoise sea, the wonders of the wilderness, the light blue sky. The sum of it all is just extraordinary. So extraordinary that you would not want to leave anytime soon. Read more


Six Senses Bhutan

What remains after a journey to this enchanted kingdom in the Himalayas? It is this smile of the people there, which is apparently contagious. You take it home with you. Just like this relaxed serenity, this expression of contentment. What remains of Bhutan is the feeling of happiness. I have never brought anything better from a journey. It all started with a visual flight to Paro at about 2400 meters altitude: many kilometers of mountains and valleys, to be seen through the windows left and right. As if one flies into Fantasyland, always curving around new mountain ranges while flying low. How often did I think how good it is that the pilot knows his way around here and does this all the time!

I have experienced Bhutan as a land of beguiling beauty, somehow graceful from the first moment on, original, anything but overrun. And it’s sparkling clean, almost plastic-free. Even the customs officers on arrival wear traditional costumes instead of uniforms. There used to be a traffic light in the city of Thimphu – it caused too much stress. Now there are none in all of Bhutan. Read more


Samadhi Ocean Resort

It is quite intriguing when a hotel does not have an address. When it calls the seven seas its home without it being a cruise ship, when it can be anywhere as long as there is water under the keel: between the Canary Islands, in the Gulf of Naples or near the shores of the Aeolian Islands for example. The ‘Samadhi Ocean Resort’ requires no address at all: it is a sailing yacht which provides the feel of a luxury resort and follows a feel-good philosophy that is worth passing on. I was fascinated when I first heard about it recently. I love the sea, the relaxed atmosphere on the water when nothing is amiss, and there are no disturbances. I like to start off the day with yoga on the polished planks of a yacht, then drink a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice – and comfortably look forward to everything yet to come.

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