Newfoundland

It’s a rugged remoteness. The glacial-swept highlands conjure up fairy tales, the mighty fjords breed a difficulty of exploration that boasts an incredible sense of accomplishment,” said Andy Nichols, expert outdoor guide and owner of Gros Morne Outdoor Company. “To sum up the community here, it’s simple: It’s a place where no one locks their doors.”

Offering UNESCO World Heritage Sites, sprawling national parks, picturesque seaside villages, a world-class food scene, and quite possibly the country’s friendliest locals, you’d think Newfoundland would be swarming with tourists. However, this Canadian island that sits off the eastern coast of the country, flanking Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, sees a mere fraction of the visitors of British Columbia and Alberta. Newfoundland’s most inspiring national park, Gros Morne, sees a quarter of the visitors of Alberta’s famed Banff National Park and Lake Louise—two parks that are anticipating more than 5 million visitors this year alone. If you’re craving hikes that both challenge and inspire; food that’s as local as you can possibly get (think fish caught off the harbor where you’re eating); and secluded campsites, skip the crowds of Alberta and head to Newfoundland instead.

“Newfoundland has all that western Canada has, from soaring mountain ranges to deep valleys and gorges, yet it is truly untouched. You can go and hike in peak season with a handful of people, not thousands,” said Ian Cloud, owner and operator of Tour Gros Morne. “You can experience a national park that is not bursting at the seams with people but bursting with natural surroundings, moments of peace. I feel this is the type of place that Banff was 100 years ago.”

Here, six reasons to skip Alberta and make the trek to Newfoundland instead:

Hiking in Newfoundland
Hiking in NewfoundlandPhoto: Courtesy of Claire Volkman

Gros Morne National Park
Encompassing almost 700-square-miles of land, Gros Morne National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is arguably one of the highlights of a visit to Newfoundland. Composed of rolling mountains and sprawling forests encapsulated with thick brush and spongy moss–laden bogs and multi-hued limestone cliffs, this 450,000-year-old landscape touts some of North America’s most complex geography. Along with a lush, green atmosphere that rivals that of Scotland and Ireland, the park is also home to the Tablelands—a piece of the Earth’s mantle that’s often hidden well beneath the crust. It’s a place where scientists discovered plate tectonics. More than just outdoor spaces, the park is also encircled by small pockets of villages and towns, home to quirky boutiques and cafes, restaurants rivaling that of Calgary, and a hospitality of a kind collection of locals that truly can’t be found anywhere else. Even though most locals recommend visiting the park during the summer, which spans from May to September, you’ll also find a few who rave about the remote and stunning alpine landscapes of the winter.

“Winter allows you to be the first of your friends to explore places and be the only tracks on the trails. You feel like you have an entire national park to yourself, and that is a feeling unlike anything I had ever experienced anywhere else in Canada,” Cloud said.

The forests of Newfoundland
The forests of NewfoundlandPhoto: Courtesy of Claire Volkman

The Wildlife
The population of the entire island of Newfoundland sits just shy of 550,000—not even 1/8 of Alberta (which is more than 4.3 million). With such a scattered and sparse human footprint, the wildlife sightings are bar none. Trips to and from Deer Lake’s regional yet effective airport in the mornings and evenings will boast ample moose sightings as they toggle to and from the thick forest brush on either side of the highway. Ten thousand black bears call the area home and can sometimes be spotted in the treetops of Gros Morne. Elk, caribou, and a variety of bird species (like the Atlantic puffin, or the ptarmigan) are also common sights along the sloping hills. On the water, the cold Atlantic waves are home to more than 22 species of whales, making it one of the best places to charter a boat, kayak, or canoe and catch a glimpse of a massive humpback breeching or watch one swim alongside you.

Curry-soaked mussels at Black Spruce
Curry-soaked mussels at Black SprucePhoto: Courtesy of Claire Volkman

The Long Range Traverse
What brings so many people to the awe-inspiring landscapes of Alberta are the trails, which weave and meander all along the famous Canadian Rockies. The same amount of trails can be found in Newfoundland—just with an added degree of difficulty. The Long Range Traverse with Great Canadian Trails, which can take 4–7 days, is one of the country’s most challenging and weaves through Gros Morne National Park’s craggily cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and through miles of squashy bogs. “It’s one of the few true traverses that have no defined trail markings. Only 12 people are allowed to access per day and it features this incredibly inspiring mix of wild pristine wilderness,” Ian said.

Not only is the park strict on the number of hikers and campers allowed, the conditions to complete it are short—think 8–10 weeks a year, making the competition to complete it, high. Beyond that, though, the Long Range offers trekkers a chance to experience Newfoundland in a way typically just reserved for the locals. “It requires a degree of understanding of true backcountry hiking—not something many visitors understand. The views are spectacular as you pass by fjords and glacially carved mountains. And finally, the lack of people provides a unique and intimate experience. It’s a harsh but beautiful landscape,” Steven Wheeler, co-owner of Gros Morne Outdoor Company, said.

Often labeled an 8/10 in difficulty, it’s not for the faint of heart or the completely unfit, as days are filled scrambling up narrow mountain passages, bum-sliding through thick brushes of pine trees, and river crossing through icy river waters. The views, which often span 360 degrees of the bountiful landscape, make every tiring step worth it.

St. John’s Beer Tour
St. John’s Beer TourPhoto: Courtesy of Claire Volkman

Farm-to-Fork Fare
Alberta is, without a doubt, one of Canada’s most inspiring food cultures. However, despite being far less populated, Newfoundland’s unique food scene undoubtedly rivals Alberta’s. Despite the long, cold winters, fresh produce (like tomatoes, squash, herbs, potatoes, turnips, broccoli, and more) has found a way to thrive during the shorter growing season. Paired with the fishing culture, which has fueled the economy of villages around the island (Trout River, Port de Grave, St. John’s, and Dildo), the fare found on restaurant menus is as local as you can get. You’d be remiss not to order lobster, which is caught off the coast of Newfoundland starting in April and served a myriad of ways, from buttered in rolls to served as a dumpling in high-end eateries like the Blue Ocean Dining Room in Gros Morne.

For a taste of true Newfie cuisine, order a fried cod plate with mashed potatoes, pork scrunchins’, and buttery vegetables. It’s a hearty dish, but one that’s as unique to the area as the landscape. If you’re feeling adventurous, the cod tongue—which is often served deep-fried with tartar sauce—is another delicacy, along with dried moose jerky. Beyond simple fare, though, the island has a large variety of upscale eateries that rival that of those found in Banff, like the Black Spruce, a contemporary bistro serving dishes like curry soaked mussels and homemade ravioli; or Saltwater Restaurant in St. John’s, where you can order fresh-caught oysters paired with vanilla beet salad.

Food tours are also a great way to sample the different dishes of the area. Taste of Gros Morne, for example, offers a few different tours around western Newfoundland’s national park. Each tour takes you around to the area’s best restaurants to sample the gastronomy, as well as gives you local insight into the community from owner Rebecca Cloud, who also brings a sample of her homemade cuisine for you to savor. In St. John’s, you can opt to fill your belly with something a little more lively, like craft brews, on the St. John’s Beer Tour. The Townie Brew Tour will take you to owner and guide Kayla’s favorite pubs, while the Axes & Ales Tour gives you a beer sample and the chance to toss an axe (safely).

Bonne Bay in Newfoundland
Bonne Bay in NewfoundlandPhoto: Courtesy of Claire Volkman

Undeniable Outdoor Adventure
For outdoor enthusiasts, there isn’t any better place to hike, bike, trek, fish, mountain climb, swim, kayak, run, or forage than Newfoundland’s vast landscapes. Like Gros Morne’s Long Range Traverse, the island is riddled with hundreds of hiking trails spanning thousands of meters and dozens of different climates and geography. Another just as popular—although more developed—trek is the East Coast Trail with Great Canadian Trails, which connects more than 30 seaside trails and over 270 kilometers of trail in St. John’s. With hikes ranging from a few hours to multiple days, you’ll get a chance to walk through the pastel-colored villages that are most often associated with Newfoundland.

Beyond the standard adventure, you’ll also find other unique outdoor sports to satisfy any level of adrenaline junkie, from ziplining off Marble Mountain or over Petty Harbor, to rafting through the rapids of Exploits River, to flight-seeing over the boreal forests and icy bays of the island, and everything in between. In winter, you can also dog sled (thanks to the more than 16 feet of snow the island typically sees), backcountry ski (especially in and around Gros Morne National Park), snowmobile, snowshoe, and sled.

Summer’s activities are more plentiful, with the chance to mountain bike, participate in trail runs, fish, and go boating.

A Newfoundland sunset
A Newfoundland sunsetPhoto: Courtesy of Claire Volkman

The People
Canadians have a reputation for being kind and welcoming. They’re the type of people who will say “I’m sorry” even if you bumped into them; a kind group of strangers who will invite you into their home for a meal, even if they just met you. Locals from Newfoundland, or Newfies, as many call themselves, are no exception.

A unique blend of French, Irish, English and aboriginal, the languages of the island range from French Canadian (spoken mostly on the western side) to a blend of Irish and English, which can be heard scattered throughout the peninsula. “Though being one of the oldest colonies in North America, the eastern portion of the province was the focus of development, with western portion not seeing any real development until the 1900s. It’s made our population [those in western Newfoundland] more rugged, outdoorsy and kind, I think,” Wheeler said with a smile.

Since the population of the island is so sparse, with a majority of locals living in and around the bigger cities like Deer Lake, St. John’s, and Conception Bay, the smaller towns, seaside villages, and remote communities offer a sense of community that’s been extinct in so many other parts of North America. Not only are the locals nice, they’re resilient—mostly because they have to be in the island’s harsher climates. Instead of hibernating during winter, most residents can be found enjoying the peninsula’s jaw-dropping beauty 365 days out of the year, regardless of the temperatures.

Picturesque Seaside Towns
You’ll find beautiful towns all across Canada, especially in Alberta, but the charming pastel hues of St. John’s fishing homes; the sock-lined front yards of Trout River; and the historic churches turned live music venues of Bonne Bay are especially picturesque. St. John’s, for example, is a living postcard, thanks to the crisscross streets that were developed for horse-drawn carriages; colorful row homes wedged along hidden alleyways; along with tiny wooden homes speckled atop Signal Hill. The western side offers more remote towns, like Trout River, which vaunt no cell-phone service, pastel-colored houseboats, and a way of life that’s been since forgotten (like the local matriarchs who sell handwoven socks on lines in front of their homes). Even Bonavista, which is one of the province’s most popular landmarks, has a quiet ruggedness to it. Named after a saying Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto exclaimed upon landing (“O buono vista”), a look around to the area’s rugged cliffsides, pebbled beaches, historical lighthouses, and cobblestoned streets make it not hard to see why he was so enamored with the view.

(Recently published in Vogue, Magazine)

Keep That Vent Open

(published in Travel and Leisure Magazine)

The next time you go to turn off the ventilation above your seat on an airplane — whether because you’re afraid of getting sick or you’re downright chilly — you ight want to reconsider.

 Using that tiny vent can actually work to your advantage, as it can help you avoid contact with certain microorganisms that can get you sick during a flight.

Travel + Leisure spoke to Dr. Mark Gendreau — the medical director and vice chair of emergency medicine at Lahey Medical Center-Peabody, and an expert on the spread of infectious diseases associated with air travel — to learn how it works and how travelers can best utilize the that little air conditioner.

“Ventilation on airplanes has gotten a bad reputation, but it’s completely unfounded,” Gendreau told T+L.

The flow pattern of air on an aircraft doesn’t necessarily work front to back, or back to front. It’s actually compartmentalized into various sections on the aircraft,” Gendreau said.

“As a rule of thumb, the air that you’re typically breathing and exposed to is usually anywhere from two to five rows surrounding your seat,” he added.

Here’s how the ventilation systems work.

Each of these sections (known as temperature control zones), receives air from overhead distribution nozzles that flow through the length of the cabin. The air exits the plane through a grill that’s often located beneath the windows, or where the side walls meet the floor of the plane.

This air then combines with the air outside before going through a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) to clear away dust and microbes before re-entering the plane.

The number of these ventilation zones varies depending on the aircraft, but each zone typically goes through this filtration process 15 to 30 times within the hour, with 50 percent of the air getting re-circulated and 50 percent of the air coming from outside, according to Gendreau.

The systems were primarily designed during the time when smoking was permitted on flights, Gendreau said, meaning airlines had to come up with an efficient and regular filtration system for their ventilation to clear the smoke from the cabins.

For this reason, HEPA filters can remove more than 99 percent of dust and microbes in the air, Gendreau said, though there are times where you’ll want to turn to your personal vent.

“For airborne viruses, it is incredibly important to ventilate, since ventilation becomes your main means of control besides isolating the affected person,” Gendreau said.

Airborne viruses, like tuberculosis and measles, are transmitted by tiny droplet nuclei that can hang in the air for up to five hours, Gendreau said.

While viruses associated with the common cold and upper respiratory track infections tend to be larger in size and heavier (consequently falling to the floor rather quickly), these particles linger. Which is where your vent comes in.

By using the vent and turning it on medium or low, you can create an invisible air barrier around you that creates turbulence — simultaneously blocking these particles and forcing them to the ground faster.

Planes also have low humidity, which means your mucous membrane can dry out on during a flight. When this happens, you’re more susceptible to contracting a virus, which is why keeping them away becomes all the more important.

And because those heavy common cold particles can still travel up to six feet every time you cough, sneeze, or speak, it’s equally important to wipe down and avoid touching surfaces (like that tray table you were probably resting your head on).

Martin Luther, Germany

by Anthony Peregrine, The Telegraph, August 29, 2017

I stood before the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Next to me was a group of senior US visitors with their guide, Angela. Awe came easily. This was the door, so legend has it, upon which Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on October 31, 1517. The theses inveighed against papal indulgences, called the all-powerful Catholic church hierarchy into question and so, to Luther’s surprise, laid the foundations for religious freedom, therefore Protestantism. (He’d thought he was simply initiating an academic debate.) Thus, 500 years ago, was the world changed by a monk and a hammer in a little town 70 miles south of Berlin. The Reformation began here.

“Extraordinary,” said an American. “And I’m wondering, Angela, whether the hardware store still exists, the place the guy bought his nails?” Americans are practical. They require the detail. The answer is “no”. I couldn’t find even a modern hardware shop in an old town buffing itself up to be the centre of Germany this summer. Centre of Europe, too, really. From now through October, the 500th anniversary is fuelling exhibitions, celebratory events, and much else besides across central Germany and down to the Rhine.

No-one, in short, could accuse the Bundesrepublik of underselling the event. They’ve been at it for a decade – 2017 is the culmination – and Luther himself is everywhere. Never was there such a plethora of portraits of a German. He’s in statues, monuments, posters and paintings (generally stout and in his doctoral cap), but also in books and pottery statuettes, on wine and spirit bottles and snack packets – “Martin Luther’s nuts” – on honey jars and bus tickets, and in the form of a recently-issued, two-inch Playmobil figure. Some 34,000 of these were sold in three days in Germany.

Martin Luther is obviously the star of both the Reformation and its quincentennial celebrations. Back then, though, he wasn’t entirely alone or entirely original. Others, including Jan Hus 100 years earlier, had already had reformatory thoughts. But Luther benefited, vitally, from the printing revolution – which sent his ideas spinning fast throughout Germany and Europe – and from well-placed political protection. This ensured he didn’t, like Hus and other ‘heretics’, end up roasted.

And, certainly, his truculence suited an era angry with a debauched Catholic church. Its many abuses included requiring that the faithful cough up cash for salvation, the infamous “indulgences”. Luther, by contrast, reckoned that Christians could make their own way to God. They didn’t need the church as a conduit, or a papacy to sell them forgiveness. Grace was attainable by belief alone, not by stacking up pious deeds, kowtowing to the clergy or tipping up coinage. Luther had faults. He was a great one for demanding liberty which he subsequently denied to others. He never quite got the hang of political, as opposed to religious, freedom. And his late anti-semitic rantings were great succour for Nazis 400 years later.

But there’s no dispute that he’s a Top 5 figure in European history, attacking the foundations of the Catholic church when the church was the key player in the western world. This suggests, and it’s true, that there are two ways of doing a 2017 Reformation tour. It may be a pilgrimage, inspired by faith – like a visit to St Peter’s, or to Lourdes. Or it may be a belief-free historical trip, intent simply on discovering where what happened. The second was my approach, though I much appreciated bumping into Lutheran groups along the way. They were invariably polite and jolly.

I started in Worms, not least because the Diet of Worms is such a terrific linguistic gift from Germany to the British schoolboy mentality (ie, mine). As you’ll know, though, “diet” in this context doesn’t mean what you eat. It’s an assembly or parliament. They called the Diet of Worms in 1521 that the new Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, might get Luther to think again about his seditious reform nonsense. Hearings were held in the Bishop’s Palace. Luther refused to cede. “I cannot and will not recant,” he said, “because acting against conscience is unsafe and threatens salvation.”

Already excommunicated by the pope, Luther was now outlawed by the emperor. He should have been arrested and burned, but he wasn’t. His protector, Prince Frederick the Wise of Saxony, whisked him away to hiding in Wartburg castle (where, to pass time on, he translated the New Testament into German). As ever, then, religious concerns were grafted onto political conflict, ensuring complexity for all.

These days, Worms doesn’t look quite as prosperous as Germany should. It was fearfully smacked about in 1945, and put back together haphazardly. The mid-morning pedestrian centre has more blokes drinking beer from cans than you’d expect. But then it has its wonders. Bang central, the great Trinity Protestant church was destroyed in the war, then rebuilt and has regained the majesty to match the Catholic cathedral opposite. The Bishop’s Palace no longer exists. The site is now a public garden. The spot where Luther underwent his 1521 grilling is marked, since this spring, by a vast pair of bronze shoes into which one might slip one’s own feet. Thus might one stand where the reformer stood and, like him, refuse to compromise. I did. Against all that the world could throw at me, I went for a beer.

Later, I lapped the Luther monument in the gardens of Lütherplatz. It was enormous, the biggest Luther monument anywhere, the size of three or four boxing rings. Topped by a huge bronze Luther himself, it featured the entire Reformation cast: Hus, Zwingli, Savanarola, Calvin and others yet. I’d tell you more about this but I got caught up in a small boys’ game of soccer. They were using the monument as goal and, apparently, John Wycliffe as ref. I saved a screamer from a seven-year-old and walked on for the most moving moments in Worms. These had nothing to do with Luther. They involved the town’s Jewish cemetery – the oldest in Europe, operational from the 11th-century to the early 20th. It’s now lawn-scaped and silent, but for visiting orthodox Jews bobbing about their devotions. Agèd headstones, most at weather-beaten angles, spread across the grass slopes like exhausted wanderers staggering home.

In these circumstances, I couldn’t be bothered with Worms’ other claim to fame – as base to the mythical Nibelungen characters who inspired Wagner’s Ring. Myths and Wagner invariably give me a pain in the head, anyway, so I went down to the banks of the Rhine and had dinner served by the sort of cheerful German lady generally seen toting 10 litres of beer. Sausage, potatoes and sauerkraut constituted my diet of Worms, though “diet” was maybe pushing it a bit.

So into the former GDR and Eisleben, a comely and substantial former copper mining town where Luther was born in 1483, and died in 1546. Opposite the Tourist Office, the birth-house is revered, though Luther lived there less than a year. Then his mining manager dad moved the family on. Though original elements remain, the house has undergone multiple transformations, including time as a whore-house in the 17th-century. For the 500th, a make-over has created an engrossing little museum covering Luther’s early life. Among much else, we see a cot, the nursery and living room and learn from Luther that his beloved mother “would beat me for the sake of a single nut, until blood flowed”. Luther was baptised up the road at the church of St Peter and St Paul, also subject to startling contemporary renewal. There’s a large round hole in the floor under which water flows and in which one – anyone – may be baptised, upon application.

Meanwhile the towers of the nearby St Andrew’s church dominate the town. Its pulpit witnessed Luther’s last sermons in 1546. By now, he’d lived 30 years in Wittenberg, but returned to Eisleben to resolve a civil dispute. He was astonishingly ill: overweight, half-deaf and half-blind, struck by gout, kidney stones and vertigo. He had four heart attacks in his few days in Eisleben. He nevertheless resolved the dispute, gave a few lectures and four sermons, including a tirade against the Jews: “Envenomed worms,” he cried. “We are at fault in not slaying them.” Heinrich Himmler and Nazi propagandists dug up such words with glee in the 1930s. Luther defenders claim the sentiments were of their time, that the reformer was old and enfeebled, and that Luther’s fury was inspired by the Jews refusal to convert to Christianity, not by any belief that they constituted an inferior race.

Whatever the truth, he croaked almost immediately. The death-house opposite the church isn’t where he died. It was mis-identified last century. No matter, though, for it’s a cracker. It has, like the birth-house, recently been made over – into a museum of Luther’s last journey. He expired in a room which is now white and bathed in a recording of his doctor’s account of his death. The doc emphasised how peaceful the end had been. Thus were countered Catholic rumours that, because he had refused the Last Rites, the reformer had died in torment. The museum also contains a stuffed porcupine. Luther had described the civil dispute he had to solve as “as prickly as a porcupine”. The museum’s use of a real stuffed porcupine to illustrate just how prickly this could be was, I thought, a stroke of German genius.

Wittenburg, Germany // Photo by LiliGraphie/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Then I walked on, past the Lutherschenk Inn, whose “Luther-platter” comprised a smoked pork chop, roast pork, chicken, sausage, white and red cabbage, and bacon dumplings for €16.50 [£14]. German Lutherans take some stoking. So to the station. German Rail was whisking me round Luther-towns, with extreme good grace. I’ve rarely encountered such charming public servants. One young fellow, in Mannheim, came out from his Information kiosk to help me with a baffling ticket machine. He was with me for 10 minutes. Another five and I’d have him canonised.

A couple of hours from Eisleben, Wittenberg – now known as Lutherstadt-Wittenberg – is understandably the epi-centre of quincentennial events. From mid-May through summer, the 50,000-strong city exults with exhibitions, festivals, plays, music and Gates of Freedom stands round the ramparts, each one tackling a different Reformation theme. According to the blurb: “Everyone is invited to change the world, society and the church”, a bracing challenge for a short break.

Wittenberg is a long town centre whose main street, Collegienstrasse, runs endlessly, with Teutonic elegance and restraint. One may easily imagine monks and university professors (Luther was both) issuing forth from the doorways, arguing theology. After a dinner of “hearty sausage specialities” and breakfast of more of the same, I kicked off at the new “Panorama Asisi 1517”. Slotted into what looks like a giant, squat cooling tower, this is a vast, 360° depiction of Reformation Wittenberg. It’s riveting. There’s sound and wrap-around vision, detail piled upon detail and, if you climb the tower in the middle of the circle, an extraordinary 3D effect. It’s like looking over a real Renaissance town where everything’s happening at once. “Mehr wow!” say German ad posters these days. The Panorama delivers it in spades.

A hop away is the house Luther lived in from 1508 onwards. If it looks like a big 16th-century monastery, that’s because it was. Luther entered as a Catholic monk. Here, though, he concluded that the church needed a shake-up. A trip to Rome convinced him that neither pontiff nor clergy had much in the way of morals. Back home, the sale of indulgences – “When a coin in the coffer rings/ A soul from purgatory springs” – appalled him. Whence the 95 theses, which may have been nailed to the church door – back then, church doors were notice-boards – but probably not by Luther himself. University professors rarely did their own hammering.

The message spread “as if borne by angels’ wings,” he wrote. The church reacted “as if heaven had collapsed”. Luther was excommunicated, then outlawed. What started as summons to scholarly disputation caused a world-changing conflagration. Freed of unnecessary restrictions – including celibacy – Luther married a former nun in 1525. Katharina von Bora had escaped from her convent in a fish barrel. The couple moved into the monastery, which soon became home to their vast household: six children, student lodgers, staff, colleagues and so many besides that they were frequently 50 at table.

The great thing is that the Luther house now tells both stories – religious and domestic – in the largest Reformation museum anywhere. I toured the chambers for hours, studying coverage of Luther’s disputes with more radical Reformation opponents, but also overawed by Katharine’s exceptional housewifery. She husbanded farm animals and crops, farmed fish, brewed beer, dabbled in property – and so kept the Luthers afloat. While travelling, Luther wrote to her: “I keep thinking what good wine and beer I have at home, as well as a beautiful wife. Or should I say ‘boss’?”

Despite the earlier sausages, I was now hungry again, so had a sandwich at the Luther House café. Then I walked up the street – it truly is a delight of German dignity – to the Castle Church where, at 3pm, there was to be a service in English. We were maybe 100 in a church built for a thousand. There’s a double irony here. In 2017 we are honouring Luther yet, relatively speaking, hardly anyone actually goes to church. And yet, this non-church-going is a descendant of the very individual religious freedom which Luther was the first to stake out.

The service was taken by the Revd Murray Fink from California, a jovial cove. He talked of “the unearned gift of grace which sets us free”. Then we sang Luther’s greatest hymn: “A mighty fortress is our God”. Luther insisted his followers sing like billy-o. They did, and still do. I came out of there walking four feet above the ground.

Essentials

Getting there

The nearest airports are Berlin for Wittenberg, Leipzig for Eisleben, and Frankfurt for Worms. The easiest way to check available flights and fares is via skyscanner.net. Before hiring a car, check our guide (telegraph.co.uk/tt-carhireguide). By train: German Rail (08718 808066, bahn.co.uk).

Where to stay

The best hotel in Worms is the Dom (dom-hotel.de; B&B from £89.) In Eisleben, head for the Deckerts Hotel am Katharinestift (deckerts-hotel.de; B&B from £72). In the centre of Wittenberg, the Brauhaus is a craft brewery which doubles as a vintage hotel (brauhaus-wittenberg.de; doubles from £72).

What to see and do

A trio of national exhibitions on Luther themes – in Berlin, Wittenberg and Wartburg castle, Eisenach (3xhammer.de). Wittenberg religious-themed programme  r2017.org). Also useful are martinluther.degermanytravel/luther and luther2017.de .

 

This article was written by Anthony Peregrine from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Auckland, New Zeland

No matter what clients are looking for in a vacation, Auckland probably has it. Outdoor activities? Check. Relaxing beaches? Check. Wine travel and culture? Check and check.

Auckland is the most populous city in New Zealand and is also the country’s financial hub. The downtown area has a bustling array of bars, restaurants, and entertainment while the outlying parks, beaches, and islands are a natural escape.

Flights from Sydney are around three hours while flights from Los Angeles are near 13 hours. The long-haul flight from the continental United States might be a turn-off to some clients but once they’re there, they will be glad they made the trip.

Where to Stay

The Delamore Lodge on Waiheke Island is just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. The property has only four suites and a two-bedroom apartment. Where it lacks in size, it makes up for in luxury.

The Delamore Lodge delivers views of the Hauraki Gulf at almost every turn and all rooms have a patio and rain shower that overlooks the water. For a more social setting, guests can take in the views in the heated infinity pool or private gardens that have a variety of plant life and work by local artists.

Meals and complimentary pre-dinner drinks and hors d’oeuvres can also be taken outside. The property has its own private wine cellar that offers a variety of award-winning local wine.

For the guest that wants to make a grand entrance, the hotel has its own private helicopter landing site (just five minutes from Auckland). There are also private boat charters exclusive to guests of Delamore Lodge.

Waiheke Island is located just off the coast of the mainland and is the second largest island in the gulf. There are a variety of beaches from family oriented to clothing optional. It also has dozens of vineyards and is often referred to as New Zealand’s, “island of wine.”

Hauraki Gulf // Photo by Avi_Cohen_Nehemia/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

For clients who would rather be in the center of the city, Hotel DeBrett connects High Street’s hip bars and restaurants and Shortland Street’s business area.

The boutique luxury hotel is located just blocks from Albert Park, the Auckland Art Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Square, and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

There are 25 rooms and suites ranging from a classic single king-sized room to a split-level loft suite. Rooms are designed in art-deco fashion and include funky furniture and colorful 100 percent handwoven New Zealand carpets.

Guests can choose from three dining locations: Debretts Kitchen offers gourmet seasonal menus in a relaxed setting and features a high glass atrium ceiling and fireplace; while Housebar and Cornerbar both offer small bites and a range of cocktails, wines, and beers. Cornerbar sits on the main street and attracts a healthy night-life scene.

And for those who want a little of everything, Sofitel Auckland, an Accor Hotel, is located right on the water, but is still close attractions in downtown. Guests can easily walk to many of the local wharfs as well as Victoria Park, New Zealand Maritime Museum, and Wynyard Quarter which offers more than a dozen restaurants.

There are 171 rooms, many of which offer views over the Viaduct basin. All the rooms have private Juliet balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize the view.

The hotel also houses a restaurant, bar, and al fresco café, as well as an indoor heated pool and fitness center.

Keep a look out for The Ritz’s first New Zealand property, set to open in Auckland in 2019.

What to Do

Auckland averages in the low to mid 70s in the summer and upper 50s in the winter, making it a great place for outdoor activities. One of the most popular things to do is to kayak to Rangitoto Island, which houses a large volcano. Visitors can make the trek to the summit usually in around an hour. And from there, they can take in clear views of the region. Auckland Sea Kayaks also does multi-day, full day, and sunset tours.

Mount Eden is the highest of Auckland’s mainland volcanoes. Visitors can climb or bike up to the 196-meter-high summit to get amazing views of the city.

Also worth checking out is One Tree Hill, where sheep and cattle graze next to the city’s largest volcanoes. The 83-meter volcano has three craters and a lava field. Located just over eight kilometers from downtown Auckland, the expansive park has picnic areas, BBQs, and playgrounds, making it a great afternoon picnic outside of the main city.

View from the Sky Tower // Photo by AsianDream/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

There are also plenty of indoor activities to do if trekking up the sides of volcanoes isn’t what your clients had in mind for vacation. If they still want views of the city, the Sky Tower offers just that. The 328-meter-high building towers over the city and houses more than a dozen dining locations and bars as well as a casino.

For those who want an adrenaline rush, the SkyWalk lets visitors take in views while walking around a platform just over a meter wide 192 meters up. Visitors walk around the buildings pergola while strapped into a full body harness. If that’s not enough, the SkyJump lets visitors base jump by wire from the building.

For something a little calmer, there are several museums to choose from including the Auckland Museum, which focuses on Kiwi history (especially natural and military) the Auckland Art Gallery.

And don’t forget the beaches. There are beaches in the city as well as just outside. Mission Bay is close by and offers a relaxing sandy beach and beachfront walkway with restaurants. Or if you’re willing to travel a bit for some great surfing, Piha is a black sand beach that’s less than an hour from downtown and is one of the most popular places in Auckland to catch some waves.

Where to Eat

Chef Sid Sharawat has been creating fine-dining Indian cuisine since 2015. His restaurant, Cassia, offers upscale-but-traditional Indian fare that he describes as “modern Indian.” According to the website, “Sid marries his creative culinary skills with the traditional dishes he has grown up with in India – classic spice and flavour combinations reworked with contemporary and local New Zealand ingredients.”

Cassia was recently awarded the 2017 Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year, for the second year in a row, and gained Two Hats in the prestigious Cuisine Good Food Awards for 2016. Sharawat’s first restaurant, SIDART offers international cuisine and is considered one of the best high-end restaurants in the city.

Another great option is the French Café, considered one of the best restaurants in the world. It boasts a number of awards, including Trip Advisor’s 2016 Traveler’s Choice Awards for fine dining, taking the top spot in New Zealand and number 19 in the world. It was also included in La Liste’s roundup of best restaurants in the world.

El Dorado, Arkansas

The city of El Dorado, Ark., a two-hour drive south of Little Rock, probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind as an up-and-coming tourist destination, but if Terry Stewart, 71, the former chief executive officer and president of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has his way, this perception may soon change. As the chief executive officer of El Dorado Festivals & Events, Mr. Stewart is charged with turning the city into the next music and arts hub in the United States.

A $70 million infusion is key to the project: The money comes from a combination of donors, including Murphy Oil Corporation, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Walton Family Foundation. The first phase of the initiative, the $54 million, six-block Murphy Arts District in downtown El Dorado, is making its debut on Sept. 27. The district’s five-day opening celebration will have performances by artists like Brad Paisley, Smokey Robinson, Ludacris and the hip-hop trio Migos.

Below are edited excerpts from an interview with Mr. Stewart.

What exactly is the Murphy Arts District?

It’s essentially a new neighborhood in the center of El Dorado. We’ve repurposed a number of historic buildings to create a cabaret restaurant, a 2,000-seat music hall and an outdoor amphitheater which can seat 10,000 people. There’s also a two-acre play park for children with climbing equipment, slides, a zip line and a water area where there are fountains to run and jump through.

The amphitheater and music hall will be venues for music concerts by both famous and lesser-known artists and also for touring Broadway shows. The cabaret restaurant will host performances by cabaret acts

The city of El Dorado, Ark., a two-hour drive south of Little Rock, probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind as an up-and-coming tourist destination, but if Terry Stewart, 71, the former chief executive officer and president of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has his way, this perception may soon change. As the chief executive officer of El Dorado Festivals & Events, Mr. Stewart is charged with turning the city into the next music and arts hub in the United States.

A $70 million infusion is key to the project: The money comes from a combination of donors, including Murphy Oil Corporation, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Walton Family Foundation. The first phase of the initiative, the $54 million, six-block Murphy Arts District in downtown El Dorado, is making its debut on Sept. 27. The district’s five-day opening celebration will have performances by artists like Brad Paisley, Smokey Robinson.

Luggage Help

(Recently posted in the Independent)

You check your shiny new suitcase onto a flight. Hours later an unrecognisable, battered old version of it is spat out onto the luggage carousel. What happened to it while you were snacking on peanuts and watching action movies? And is there anything you can do to protect it?

If anyone can advise, it’s Tricia Davis. As an airline employee she’s heard many stories from heartbroken travellers about their damaged luggage. But she promises not all luggage handlers are brutes and says there are things you can do to help your bags fare better.

“In my nine years of working for an airline, I have handled thousands of bags,” says Tricia. “I have also been a compulsive traveller my entire life and am always on the lookout for great bags. Your suitcase should protect the items inside and in order to do that, it needs to survive the journey itself.”

Here are Tricia’s top tips on everything from bag material to wheel configuration and how to claim for damaged luggage.

Cost

“My first suggestion is always to hit up charity shops. People don’t want to store suitcases and often donate them after their travels, I have purchased quite a few hundred dollar bags for less than five dollars. Some high end bags do come with a warranty but only if the bag is defective, not poorly designed.

Wheels

“I’m not sure why suitcase companies switched to four spinner wheels from two recessed rollerblade wheels, but it was a bad idea. Look in any cargo pit and you’ll see the spinner wheel graveyard. When your bag is pulled from the top of the stack, it comes crashing down on those wheels. Always get recessed wheels whenever possible. Unless it’s for your carry-on, when recessed wheels allow you to bring your bag sideways down the aisle.”

Materials

“Plastic suitcases were not created with travel in mind. Unless you’re travelling in a Lear jet or a limo, your plastic bag may not make it to your destination intact. Plastic cases crack in cold weather, they get crushed under the weight of all the other bags in the cargo pit, and they slide off the stack and land on the tarmac.

“Fabric bags are certainly more durable. They also tend to still come with recessed wheels. My favourite travel bag is a two compartment rolling duffle bag, very sturdy and you can squeeze a lot in. And they are survivors if you need to drag them up or down a flight of stairs.”

Name tags

“Yes you need them. If your bag came with one, fill it out. Name, phone number and city. Not your street address or your email. And your mobile number, not your home or office number. If your bag didn’t come with a name tag, buy one and put one of the airport ones on it too. Also, put one on your carry-on, especially if you have a black roller bag.”

Covers

Some high end bags come with a fitted clear plastic cover. There are also some cool stretchy covers, like a T-shirt for your suitcase. These are helpful for a few reasons. They protect your bag from dirt and grease from carts and belts, keep zip pulls from being snagged and ripped off and can customise your bag with a fun design.”

Zips

“Make sure all your zips are closed, even if nothing is in the pocket. If not, the open pocket can get hooked on something in the conveyer system which can rip the front off.”

Straps

“Loose and unhooked straps are a disaster waiting to happen. If your bag has a separate shoulder strap, take it off and put it inside your bag. You want as few reasons as possible for your bag to get caught on something and shredded.”

Old barcode labels

“When you arrive at your destination, remove all the barcode stickers from your bag. Ticket agents don’t always have the time to do it and your bag travels by barcode. So if your bag doesn’t arrive at your current destination, the airline may not have lost your bag, it could have gone to one of your previous destinations.”

Colour

“I suggest a multicoloured fabric bag. If you do choose a solid, stick to darker ones. I’ve seen some beautiful pink, white and yellow bags totally covered in grime after the first trip. And if you do get a black bag, do something to distinguish it from all the others. Just make sure it’s not a big scarf that will get stuck on a conveyor belt.”

Damage

“If your bag is damaged, make a claim as soon as you pick it up. Most airlines have a 24 hour window to make a claim. Keep the original bag tag on the bag because If you make an online claim you may need to return the empty bag back to the airport.”

 

WOW Airlines

Can St. Louis support a non-stop route to Iceland? How about Cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit?

Icelandic budget carrier WOW Air thinks so, and – with fares that begin at less than $100 one-way – it’s betting those Midwest markets will be profitable additions to its fast-growing U.S. network.

WOW Air announced service from the four cities on Wednesday, an expansion that will give it a total of 12 U.S. destinations.

WOW’s new routes will launch this spring, with tickets going on sale Wednesday. One-way fares to Iceland will start at $99.99 from all four cities. Connecting flights to WOW’s other European destinations begin at $149.99.

USA TODAY$99 flight to Europe? Here’s what it really costs | WOW Air offers $99 fares to Europe; What’s the catch?

“We’re very excited about these cities,” WOW Air founder and CEO Skúli Mogensen said to USA TODAY’s Today in the Sky blog.

Asked if there was demand to support the new non-stops to Iceland, especially from the smaller markets included in Wednesday’s announcement, Mogensen struck a bullish tone.

“We like the region. We think there’s opportunity there. We think it’s under-served,” he said to Today in the Sky, adding that the company is “very data driven” in seeking out prospective new markets.

On all four routes, WOW will fly four flights a week on single-aisle Airbus A321 aircraft to its hub at the Keflavik airport near Reykjavik. Connecting itineraries will be available to more than two dozen destinations in Europe.

“Our unique opportunity is to use Iceland as a hub. We can then distribute the traffic to our main destinations in Europe, be it London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Berlin, Copenhagen, etc.,” Mogensen said. “That’s really the key. Instead of having a single point-to-point flight, we actually give you a very affordable flight to multiple destinations in Europe via Iceland.”

TODAY IN THE SKYIcelandair: Cleveland will be newest U.S. city

From three of the new cities – Cleveland, Cincinnati and St. Louis – WOW will be one of the few airlines with a trans-Atlantic option. From St. Louis, WOW will be the only carrier flying to Europe. At Cincinnati, only Delta flies to Europe with flights to Paris Charles de Gaulle. And in Cleveland, WOW’s only trans-Atlantic competitor will be national rival Icelandair, which interestingly just announced its own Cleveland-Reykjavik service on Tuesday.

“We welcome competition from all airlines,” Mogensen said about the fresh competition from Icelandair. “No other airline has offered as low fares as we have done over the Atlantic. We will continue to add destinations in the U.S. in the next weeks and as always offer the lowest fares.”

WOW Air first began flying to the U.S. just in 2015, when it launched service from Baltimore/Washington (BWI) and Boston. While its earliest U.S. destinations were focused on the East and West coasts, WOW’s four newest cities continue its recent expansion in the interior of the country. Most recently, the airline begin flying from both Chicago O’Hare and Pittsburgh earlier this year.

With the new Midwest additions, WOW’s full line-up of U.S. gateways includes BWI, Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and San Francisco. In Canada, WOW flies from Montreal and Toronto.

(Recently posted in USA Today)

 

Top Reason to Cruise

Marriott Rewards Insiders has released a new study with insights on what travelers want out of their cruise.

Top Reasons to Cruise

Over 50 percent selected exploring as their top reason to take a cruise vacation, followed closely by relaxing. Trying something new and The chance to see multiple destinations were also highly rated.

Top Elite Benefits

Marriott also polled travelers on the top benefits theyd like to see during their cruise. Bonus points and onboard credit to use on anything were the top picks, as well as free drinks, a free excursion and a hotel certificate.

Respondents also offered a number of insights on top cruise lines, destinations and more:

Favorite cruise line:

Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Viking

Coolest region to visit:

Caribbean, Alaska and Mediterranean

Best cruise length:

6 – 8 nights

Top incentives to cruise:

Free Elite perks, ability to earn extra Marriott Rewards points, affordable price.

How far youd travel to the point of departure:

Long flight (over 4 hours)

Your favorite onboard experiences:

Culinary delights, entertainment and shows, relaxing

Source: Marriott

 

Time to Visit India

by Gill Charlton from The Telegraph, August 17, 2017

As India celebrates its 70th year of independence from Britain, strong cultural ties remain. Indian novelists feature high on British bestseller lists, fashionistas covet Kashmiri shawls and handblock-printed fabrics, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has become a British film classic.

I’ve been travelling around India for 30 years yet feel I’ve barely scratched the surface of this enthralling, colour-saturated, life-affirming country. The cities are filled with great treasure houses, architectural marvels and enough shopping to last a lifetime but, as Gandhi once wrote, “India does not live in its towns but in its villages”. To get a real sense of what makes this country of 1.3 billion people so special, it’s essential to get out into village India. Today there are hundreds of comfortable country hotels to choose from, many in restored forts and palaces, ideal bases for exploring rural India. And many hoteliers and princely hosts have worked up special experiences to help visitors engage more fully with the rural life, from country walks during the magical “cow-dust hour” before sunset to Jeep rides into tribal areas to visit talented artisans.

Getting a tourist visa is no longer the time-consuming mission it used to be. The online application still demands patience and the ability to size digital photographs (ask a young friend) but it should take no more than four days to receive approval of an eVisitor Visa.

There has, however, been a sharp rise in hotel rates. On July 1, the Indian Government brought in a new national sales tax, which has increased the cost of a night in a hotel by 7-14 per cent. For rooms priced under Rs7,500 (£88) the sales tax now adds 18 per cent to the quoted room rate; for more expensive rooms it’s a whopping 28 per cent. Naturally, hotels and agents try to hide this tax when you book online, so make sure you read the small print.

Here are 10 of the most iconic travel experiences that should be on every visitor’s wish list for India.

Photo by Astalor/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

1. Walk in the Himalayas

The high-altitude desert of Ladakh (“land of high passes”) has a rich Buddhist culture and offers superb trekking in summer. It is a chance to see a way of life that hasn’t changed for centuries.

Exodus Travels (020 3811 4518; exodus.co.uk) has an escorted 15-day Trails of Ladakh tour from £2,099, including flights and most meals. It features walks combined with visits to villages, medieval monasteries and forts – and the chance to raft down the Indus River.

2. Visit the Taj Mahal

Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s ethereal white marble mausoleum, the burial place of his beloved wife Mumtaz, never disappoints. Go at dawn before the tour bus crowds arrive. In the afternoon, visit the tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah, known as the “Baby Taj”, and watch the sun set over the Taj Mahal from across the river.

Cox & Kings (020 3813 9416; coxandkings.co.uk) includes a dawn tour of the Taj on its 13-day Exotic India itinerary aimed at solo travellers; from £2,955 half-board, including flights.

3. Stay in a royal palace

So many historic palaces have opened their doors to paying guests that it’s hard to decide where to stay. My personal favourites are Ahilya Fort for a house-party (ahilyafort.com); Devigarh for a modern luxury in a fairy-tale setting (raasdevigarh.com); and Rawla Narlai for a country retreat with leopard sightings (rawlanarlai.com).

Ampersand Travel (020 7819 9770; ampersandtravel.com) can talk you through all the options and create a palace-hopping tour for two or 20 with a host of special experiences.

Palace hotels in India

Mumbai India - saiko3p/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo by saiko3p/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

4. Take tea for two, taste seafood in Goa

Maximum City is the ideal epithet for Mumbai. If you can’t afford to stay at the Taj Mahal Palace, make sure you have afternoon tea or a drink in the Sea Lounge. It’s a Mumbai institution open to all. Wind down from the city’s hectic pace in South Goa, where fresh seafood is cooked up in beach shacks and bicycles can be hired to pedal through rice paddies to Portuguese churches.

Audley Travel (01993 838330; audleytravel.com) has an 10-day City and Beach tour from £2,395 based on two sharing, including flights, chauffeured car and guided excursions.

5. Know your Hindu gods

Hinduism is a way of life in India and at its most flamboyant in the temple towns of Madurai, Trichy and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The sculptural decoration is magnificent (bring binoculars) and it’s mesmerising to watch pilgrims offering gifts and prayers to their favourite deities in the vast Hindu pantheon.

An 11-day tailored tour for two, taking in the highlights of Tamil Nadu costs from £1,965 b&b, including flights and chauffeured car, with Real Holidays (020 7359 3938; realholidays.co.uk)

6. Cruise down the Ganges

The Ganges gives an insight into India at its most spiritual: a celebration of life and death. Riviera Travel offers a fascinating river cruise aboard the 56-passenger RV Bengal Ganga, taking in Varanasi; rural Bihar, where The Buddha lived and taught; and Kolkata, the former capital of British India.

Riviera Travel (01283 880170; rivieratravel.com) offers its 17-day Journey on the Ganges tour from £3,299, including flights and full board on the cruise. For day boats and guided walks along the Ganges in Varanasi, contact Varanasi Walks (varanasiwalks.com), which runs the best.

7. Ride the slow train

Riding the rails in India is a rite of passage. No visit is complete without negotiating the organised chaos that is Indian Railways. Travel inter-city overnight or take a narrow-gauge “toy train” into the hills. You can either book direct with Indian Railways via the cleartrip.com website, or join an escorted tour offered by a specialist operator.

Great Rail Journeys (01904 521936; greatrail.com). Its India’s Palace on Wheels tour features a week aboard the country’s most luxurious train as it journeys through Rajasthan; £5,095 for 15 days in five-star accommodation, including flights.

tiger India

Photo by Raghu_Ramaswamy/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

8. See a tiger

There are only a few thousand tigers left in India, so getting to see one of these magnificent creatures is not easy. One of the best reserves is Bandhavgarh National Park in Central India, which is among the destinations on a tour with Naturetrek, which has a 100 per cent record of seeing tigers on its longer trips. Other wildlife you might see includes sambar, spotted deer, swamp deer, gaur and wild boar.

Naturetrek (01962 733051; naturetrek.co.uk) offers an escorted 13-day Tiger Marathon tour (shorter tours also available) from £3,195 including flights and all meals. The naturalist-led tour visits Pench, Kanha and Panna National Parks as well as Bandhavgarh.

9. Sample spices and houseboats in Kerala

Kerala offers a gentle introduction to India, with smaller, less crowded cities, a slower pace of life, and a cleaner environment. Stay on a tea estate in the Western Ghats, where you can also track wild elephants and visit spice gardens before cruising the backwaters in a converted rice barge and taking some beach time at pretty Varkala.

TransIndus (020 8566 3739; transindus.co.uk) has 12-day escorted Kerala Adventure tours for small groups featuring all these experiences from £1,095, including some meals but excluding flights.

10. Delve into village India

Indian villages are the guardians of tradition, places where much is still made by hand, from pottery water jars to woollen dhurries, and their makers are pleased when visitors show an interest. Rural hotels often arrange guided walks through carefully tended fields full of bird life (many rural areas can count more than 200 species).

Nobody does “village India” better than Wild Frontiers (020 3930 4144; wildfrontierstravel.com) which takes small groups into villages all across India while staying in comfortable hotels. From £2,195 for a 14-day India in Slow Motion tour around Rajasthan, including all meals; excluding flights.

 

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Bermuda’s Nine Parishes

(Courtesy of Travel Institute)

Bermuda’s Nine Parishes

 

Destination knowledge is critical to your job as a travel consultant. Today let’s take a look at Bermuda’s nine parishes from The Travel Institute’s Destination Specialist Caribbean course.  

 

In 1616 the islands were surveyed and divided into tribes (shares of land), each one named after a member of the original Bermuda Company. These tribes are today’s nine parishes. From west to east the parishes are:

Sandys:

  • Port for mega ships, westernmost parish
  • Bermuda Arts Centre showcases Bermuda artists
  • Bermuda Maritime Museum, artifacts from the Sea Venture
  • Casemate Barracks in the Dockyard
  • Clocktower Mall, shopping center at Dockyard
  • Dolphin Quest, swim with dolphins at Dockyard
  • Royal Naval Dockyard, port, entertainment, and shopping complex
  • Somerset Village, one of Bermuda’s five main settlements
  • Somerset Bridge, world’s smallest drawbridge

Southampton:

  • Church Bay public beach for snorkeling
  • Horseshoe Bay, the most photographed beach. In 2012 the bay got Wi-Fi
  • Gibbs Hill Lighthouse (built in 1846), tallest Bermuda structure with 185 steps to top

Warwick:

  • Two fine public golf courses
  • Cliffs and beaches on the south shore
  • Long Bay Beach

Paget:

  • Across the bay from Hamilton
  • Botanical Gardens with an orchid house, fruit groves, and formal gardens
  • Camden, historic house in typical Bermudian architecture
  • Hungry Bay, national park and nature reserve
  • King Edward VII Memorial Hospital
  • Salt Kettle Peninsula, a ferry terminal

Pembroke:  with Hamilton, the capital and a port

  • City Hall, seat of government
  • Fort Hamilton
  • Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, sponsor of the Newport-to-Bermuda race.
  • Underwater Exploration Institute

Devonshire:

  • Arboretum
  • National Sports Centre
  • U.S. Consulate General

Smith’s:

  • Devil’s Hole, sinkhole that forms a natural aquarium
  • Harrington Sound, for fishing, sailing, kayaking, and viewing
  • Spittal Pond, island’s largest nature reserve, and wildlife sanctuary
  • Verdmont, manor house unchanged since the late 1700s

Hamilton Parish: (different from the site of the city)

  • Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo
  • Crystal Caves, natural limestone caves
  • Flatt’s Village, one of Bermuda’s five main settlements „ Mangrove Lake
  • Swizzle Inn

St. George’s:

  • Port
  • Bermuda Trust Museum
  • Former U.S. Naval Air Station; Lighthouse Hill; the Natural Arches
  • Tucker’s Town, one of Bermuda’s five main settlements
  • King’s Square in St. George’s, Designated World Heritage Site
  • Forts surrounding St. George’s
  • St. Peter’s Church (1617), oldest Anglican Church in the Western Hemisphere