Asia, Countries, Europe, Skiing

The Swissglais verb to ski is Verbier

OK I’ve made that up that the Swissglais verb to ski is Verbier but it is only to give the resort the prominence it deserves.

Verbier is celebrating and not just because at last we’re getting a ski season (my delayed start on the run will start in March, Dieu s’il vous plait).

The Swiss village in the Valais Canton,  the gateway to the 4 Vallées region, has been named World’s Best Ski Resort 2021 at the World Ski Awards.

It was a double celebration for the village with W Verbier collecting World’s Best Ski Hotel.

Chalet, allez, allez, allez

Chalet Zermatt Peak, sitting in the shadow of the Matterhorn, claimed World’s Best Ski Chalet.

Whilst Austria’s exquisite Aurelio Lech won World’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel.

Now proper skiers (moi? aspiring) will tell you rightly about the world beyond Switzerland and the Alps

And that is recognised in the awards.

With the latest arrival on Japan’s luxury ski hospitality scene, The Vale Rusutsu, taking World’s Best New Ski Hotel.

Dubai high

Ski Dubai, served by our old friends Attraction Tickets, boasts an impressive array of snow-based activities.

And that’s why it picked up World’s Best Indoor Ski Resort.

Meanwhile the understated opulence of Chalet Face à Face in Val d’Isère, was acknowledged.

With the newcomer accolade for World’s Best New Ski Chalet.

Murphski and I

Now if only I had a chalet trip to Val D’Isere set up for March.

And better still I only have an old friend and champion skier there with me.

The multi award-winning Catherine ‘Murphski’ Murphy on the party to pick me up when I’m down.

And I mean that quite literally.

Bravo

Bravo to all the winners and as they say in these quarters, a word from the sponsors.

Sion Rapson, Managing Director, World Ski Awards, said: ‘Our winners represent the very best of the global ski tourism sector and my congratulations to each of them.

‘The 9th annual World Ski Awards programme received a record number of votes from ski consumers across the world.

‘This shows that the appetite for ski tourism has never been stronger and bodes well as the global recovery gathers momentum.’

If I’d been there, of course, I’d have fed Sion the line The Swissglais verb to ski is Verbier.

 

Asia, Countries, Deals

Stand up for the Stans

As the eyes of the world, the ones that aren’t on Novak Djokavic and Australia, are focused on Kazakhstan today we’d like to stand up for the Stans.

I don’t have to tell you that there are seven in Central Asia…

Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Some we know better than others.. I was schooled in a Pakistani area of Glasgow.

Afghanistan instantly conjures up war but boasts history and culture galore and Kazakhstan is more than the land of Borat.

And some know the Stans better than others.

Such as my cousin’s husband, a health administration professional who is only the Aga Khan’s go-to-man when it comes to managing hospitals in the Stans.

And so when the news feeds told us Kazakhstan was the size of Western Europe I was able to impress my circle.

Silky smooth

You dancer: And you can learn what it means too

It also helps to be on speaking terms with Wendy Wu and her team who know Asia like the back of their hands.

And maybe to have done your homework,. although Joanna Lumley’s The Silk Road is the sort of assignment I would have loved at school.

So if you’re a fan of turquoise domes, yurts and the Silk Road read on…

Wendy is offering a 12-day tour of Uzbekistan from £2,885pp Classic Group Tour which is a saving of £405pp going out on either Friday, April 5th.

Uzbeki the uzbest

It’s not all traditional: East meets West

Our old friends at Turkish Airlines fly to Tashkent from London (from £452), Birmingham (£496), Manchester (£524) and Edinburgh (£511).

So what makes Uzbeki the uzbest?

You’ll kick off in Tashkent, where you’ll remember from Joanna’s show the magnificent Metro station.

And, yes, it knocks the Tube and Glasgow’s Magic Roundabout into the ha’penny place.

Above ground you will marvel at the Khast Imam Complex, home to the Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theatre.

With Turkish Airlines’ Onur in Istanbul

And the Chorsu Bazaar, a vast open-air market found in the heart of the old city.

Khiva is one of the country’s oldest cities so if you’re into old monuments (Mrs M clearly is) and historical Islamic universities you’ll get your money’s worth.

Joanna sought out a man who’s been making sheepskin chugirma hats for centuries, if you’re looking for a souvenir to go along with your fridge magnet.

Talking of which, you’ll want to earn your bread when you’re there…

So why not seek out a traditional Uzbek bread-making class.

Alexander… it’s great

Greek is the word: Alexander loved it here

Like Joanna, you’ll get to check out Samarkand.

It’s only one of the world’s oldest still-inhabited cities, and its centrepiece is Registan square.

And it has the recommendation of none less than Alexander the Great.

Samarkand’s architect Tamerlane is buried in the Gur Emir Mausoleum which you’ll tick off your list.

As well as the necropolis Shah-i-Zinda and the magnificent Bibi-Khanym Mosque, hailed as one of the most impressive in the Islamic world.

Any trip to a Muslim country wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a Bazaar.

And having taken in the Grand Bazaar with Turkish Airlines in Istanbul, I’d be onto you if you missed out.

Try the bustling Siyob Bazaar in Samarkand… a trip to a traditional factory to learn about silk paper making.

And the wines that have been enjoyed here for centuries.

All the more reason to Stand up for the Stans.

Although after all that shopping and drinking you’ll need to lie down.

 

 

 

America, Asia, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Happy Euro Year

It was the perfect start to 2002, we were being given money… so where are we now as we mark Happy Euro Year 20 years on?

And what has it meant for those of us whose every instinct is to travel?

The truth is that for millions of millennials in Europe they won’t have travelled with anything else.

While for everyone who travels under a British passport we’ve always been told to look at it as board game money.

I say that, though ex-pats, of which I was one for 13 years living abroad have had to adjust quickly.

It usually starts when you’re buying booze in the supermarket.

And it’s only when you stop baulking and having to make mental adjustments at the price of a bottle of wine.

It’s more than a tenner… that you’ve truly assimilated.

Europhile, Eurosceptic

I’m in the money: Euro millions

 

So as this day is designated Happy Euro Day, was the Euro a good idea and is it right that Britain stayed with the pound?

Like everything there is the economical argument and then the emotional one.

And whenever that arises the emotional always prevails.

In countries too that have come over to the Euro there is still a sentimental attachment to the old currency.

Now if you’re a Fortysomething, Fiftysomething or later then you’ll probably remember well the frank, Deutschmark, peseta, escudo, lira or drachma.

And if you’re like my Dear Old Dad then you’ve probably got a box somewhere with all that old coinage.

A careful man, I imagine that he thought he might have use for them again if the Euro experiment failed.

Dinar time

Anyone want an old note: Foreign currency

So what do we miss about our old foreign money?

Well, it was the only time in our lives that we could really feel like a millionaire…

When we got our hands on lira.

The trouble was working out that it cost thousands to buy groceries.

And if you did try the lingo a queue would quickly form as you’re asking the teller how much you’d get for your few pounds.

Of course more of the world is outside of the Eurozone than in it.

Now I’m not about to go all numismatic on you but I do have a Jordanian dinar stuck on the side of my bookcase. And old Turkey notes too.

A souvenir of my Istanbul adventures with Turkish Airways, and with G Adventures trip to the Middle East.

But in truth just some money of such little value that I couldn’t get rid of it.

Any old money

Saddam it: What are you doing here?

Airports do take your old money in those glass boxes in the terminal.

And the descendants of the Nabataeans too in Petra where a trader tried to flog us notes from Iran with Saddam Hussein’s face on them.

Now doubtless there would have been many who would exchange dinar for Hussein.

But they had more than the look of a Monopoly note with Saddam’s face drawn on.

Working for the Yankee dollar

By George: Issy, Jimmy and the First Prez

There are some notes which are gladly accepted wherever you go and they’ll grab your hand off in the Caribbean for the Yankee dollar.

And there are 39 currencies around the world pegged to the dollar.

As a guide your yellow reggae bus in Barbados cost half of the Bajan dollar, $1, when I rocked it there a few years ago.

In the States itself you can buy Confederacy money at fairs in the Deep South on your road trip.

But the real money is in the Union dollar.

Money to burn: And the US here I come

And the more Benjamins (Franklin), or $100s, you have in your pocket the luckier you are.

Conversely, the $1 note is named for the Greatest American of them all, George Washington.

So be careful when you’re tipping.

Me? I always make sure I keep a fistful of dollars with me!

Happy Euro Day everyone or whatever currency you deal in… just, maybe avoid Saddam notes though.

 

 

 

Asia, Countries, Deals, Europe

Here We Goa Cristiano

Here We Goa Cristiano. Ronaldo, R7, has been put on a podium in India’s Portuguese outlier.

Yes, we’ve been here before, with statues a bit of a hobby horse of mine.

Funny, because there are too many of these with empirical British generals and not enough of the gee-gees themselves.

Although racecourses are the exception.

And who else would have pride of place at Aintree, Liverpool, home of the Grand National than Red Rum?

 

Cristiano Ronaldo, of course, is a football thoroughbred who his native Portuguese have had on a podium for years.

All of which our tour guide par excellence Jose Madomis made clear early in our visit to Portugal Centro.

Although The Scary One has never knowingly been told who she should defer to… Signore Ronaldo or Mourinho.

The first statue

Honed and toned: Cristiano in Madeira

The Portuguesers know his value, of course, and closer to God is He.

As I found out when I saw his beach towel for sale among all the Our Lady mini-statues in the Marian site of Fatima.

And while Cristiano is lauded on mainland Portugal he is venerated in Madeira, the island off Africa, where he was born and raised.

And where the first Cristiano statue went up.

Cristiano Goanaldo

Indian culture: In Goa

And we’re thinking here that this coastline region of India is made for Cristiano.

We don’t know if in fact he owns any of it but needless to say he should be able to afford a good bulk of it.

Vasco da Gama, named after the explorer, is its capital.

And with its Portuguese culture and architecture you’d be forgiven for thinking you were still in Iberia.

For those who like to mark landmarks (guilty!) next May 30 sees the 35th anniversary of Goa becoming India‘s 25th state.

Get us there

Child’s play: In Goa

All major airlines fly from the UK and Ireland to Madeira, it takes 3 hours and 40 minutes, and our old friends at skyscanner quote £46 with Ryanair.

And we’re advised that TUI provides direct flights from London Gatwick to Goa for a return from £551pp for February.

Here We Goa Cristiano.

 

 

 

Asia, Countries, Europe

Old Man Frost a gift to the world

I’ve been hearing it for years, my father-in-law Old Man Frost a gift to the world.

Only the truth is it’s not that it’s not him, the train enthusiast we know as Yorkshire’s Casey Jones.

No, this Old Man Frost is actually called Ded Moroz and he’s coming your way.

If you live in East Europe or South-East Europe that is.

Ded Moroz

Old Man Frost, Old Woman Frost… and Coolio J

I’m indebted to my buddy Peter for flagging up that Old Man Frost (no, not mine) is on the move.

Though I suspect he didn’t see him first hand on the Russian Metro.

Ded Moroz’s story does indeed start in Russia but long, long ago… before Christianity.

Frostie the Showman

Blue for you: Old Frostie

Ded (let’s just call him Frostie) lives in Veliky Ustyug, 500 miles north of Moscow.

And Russian families make pilgrimages there which is probably where we found him on the train.

And, yes, you can see for yourself, but this is the dress code for your Frostie.

His fur coat is ankle long and is embroidered with silvery stars and crosses.

And his hat should be red and embroidered with pearls.

Frostie wears mittens and a wide white belt. He has high boots with silver ornamentation, but on an exceptionally chilly day can opt for valenki!

And he carries a twisted pikestaff made of silver or crystal.

It is said to help the oul fella weave his way through the deep dark forest in the winter.

Kids often tease Ded Moroz calling him “Ded Moroz the Red Nose.”

And his young helper

Two for the price of one: And an Ice Maiden

Note here that our Frostie is not so easily teasable.

And who is Frostie’s young helper here?

Well, none other than Snegurochka, the Ice Maiden, his granddaughter.

And again we have one of them here who is the apple of her grandfather’s eye.

They travel wide and far

The new Old Frostie and his Little Helper

Frostie is a bit of a shape-shifter… I know all about them from the fjords.

And you can find versions of Frostie and his little helper across the former Soviet Union.

The real thing: Bandanaman and buddie

And in Bulgaria and in the Slavic countries in the Balkans.

I dare say if I were to go back to Bosnia & Herzegovina at this time of the year I’d see Old Frostie.

Old Man Frost on the move

Another West v East battle: Santa v Frostie

So with the bottom of our trees empty a thought on where the gifts are still waiting to be handed out.

Santie is having a well-deserved rest back in Lapland but Old Frostie is on the move.

Yes, that Old Man Frost a gift to the World.

 

 

America, Asia, Australasia, Countries, Europe, Ireland

Virtual tour de force of guides

Jose, Ingrid, Zuhair, Simon, Siseko, all introduced me to their worlds, but in these times we will make do with the virtual tour de force of guides.

As more and more of our leaders close more and more of our borders our immediate concern is how and when we can rebook our holidays.

We should though also give a thought to our dream makers, our travel providers, for whom this is their very livelihood.

And for the tour guides, the above mentioned for me who gave of their every waking moment to show me…

Portugal Centro, Dresden, Jordan, the World War battlefields of Flanders and South Africa.

And, of course, there have been many, many more.

So what do tour guides do when they don’t have tours to guide?

Well, they still take them virtually.

And that is where ToursByLocals  come in.

With 231 live virtual tours in 39 countries, those spending more time than anticipated stuck indoors in the coming weeks can escape with local guides all over the world.

And they pledge that 100% of the value of a Live Virtual Tour (to a limit of $150) can be redeemed when travellers book a future, in-person tour with the same guide.

O little town of Bethlehem

Bauble of Bethlehem: And your guide will take you further

Ramzi is a born and bred Bethlehemite.

He begins his tour in the old city of Jerusalem where he will introduce you to each of its four quarters: Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Armenian, before journeying to Bethlehem.

You will ‘visit’ Manger Square with its giant tree where locals sing carols.

Virtual visitors can also spot the Mosque of Omar and The Church of the Nativity.

Yes, that one, the birthplace of Jesus… you’ll probably spot it because of the star above it (although I can’t verify that).

ToursByLocals offers a one-and-a-half-hour Jerusalem and Bethlehem  live virtual tour for £113 per tour for up to 10 users. Guiding Services provided via an online video conference system. 

Silent Scandinavian night

Fairytale of Copenhagen: With Tom and My Little Mermaid

My old American uni buddy Tom gave us the city tour of Copenhagen on our whistle stop visit to the Danish Capital when cruising around the fjords with MSC.

And like so many of the breaks you take your gaze is often drawn to the close horizon and the next place.

While in Jordan with G Adventures (Zuhair country), it was to Palestine and Israel, in Denmark it was to Sweden. 

Per is your man in Stockholm.

He’ll take you around the winding streets of the canal-snaking city.

Start this virtual evening tour at the illuminated display windows at Stockholm’s famous department store, NK, and stroll past “gingerbread” style houses with festive lights.

You’ll get to see the Parliament, the Royal Palace, Royal Opera and Lutheran Cathedral.

Navigate through medieval alleyways, passages and tiny squares, virtually squeezing through the 3ft wide Mårten Trotzigs gränd (alley), before ending at an iconic site in Old Town, soaking up Swedish history and picturesque buildings.

The one-hour Swedish Christmas live virtual tour comes in at £172 per tour for up to 10 users. Guiding Services provided via an online video conference system. Tours can be customised according to interests.

Dingle bells

Dingle jangle: Watch out for Fungi

Everyone I met and befriended in my 13 years in Ireland, and in a lifetime visiting with my Irish mammy, is a tour guide.

In Dingle in Kerry the foremost of them is Deirdre.

Get a taste of why Dingle is one of the top foodie towns in Ireland by meeting resident producers and be inspired by a mouth-watering local recipe to try at home this Christmas. And keep an eye out for most famous local, Fungi the dolphin.

The one-hour live virtual Christmas in Dingle tour for £88 per tour for up to 10 users. Guiding Services provided via an online video conference system. 

Fairytale of New York

Central Spark: The famous New York park

Yes, you’ve been listening to it on a loop these weeks, and with apologies to Shane and Kirsty, it’s too good to ignore as a label to dress up this virtual tour.

Ibrahima is your gal in the Big Apple.

She knows Central Park like the back of her hand. 

Grab a mug of hot chocolate at home and join Ibrahima on a virtual tour gazing at pretty lakes and waterfalls with highlights including Belvedere Castle and the Bow Bridge.

Guests might even spot a horse and carriage for a magical Christmas touch.

The one-hour-30-minute Central Park Hidden Gems live virtual tour for £140 per tour for up to 10 users or £218 per tour for up to 50 users. Guiding Services provided via an online video conference system. 

A Down Under Christmas

Awesome: Melbourne is hot, hot, hot at Christmas

Christmases for the Scary One when she was just a lass were in Australia when it was still Roast Turkey despite the roasting weather.

Delve deep into Melbourne’s vibrant Central Business District with Leanne.

Be wowed by the street art and ‘hole in the wall’ cafes selling the best coffee in town and hidden bars.

The one-hour Melbourne’s Laneways and Arcades live virtual tour comes in at £61 per tour for up to six users. Guiding Services provided via an online video conference system. Guests will also be provided with a digital resource pack to complement the tour itinerary after booking.

So treat yourself this Christmas to a virtual tour of the world.

I think you’ll agree it’s a virtual tour de force of guides.

 

Asia, Countries, Pilgrimage

There’s something about Mary Magdalene

There’s always something old to be found in the Holy Land and this year there’s something about Mary Magdalene.

And as always we have the archaeologists to thank.

Those who ply their trowels 24/7 and 365 days a year have only uncovered Jesus’s pal’s birthplace.

And it’s a sacred place, a 2,000-year-old synagogue from the Second Temple period in Migdal.

Synagogue-a-go-go

And we’ve found some vessels: Drink up

So where are we? Migd-where you say.

Well, Migdal served as the main base for Yosef Ben Matityahu (Flavius Josephus).

And what the Bible didn’t tell us was that he was waging a war against the Romans in the Galilee during the Great Revolt.

This site is also mentioned in Christian texts as the birthplace of Mary Magdalene.

Digging for secrets: The Promised Land

And now we’ve got your attention…

And we can tell you that the newly-excavated synagogue is a broad, square-shaped building constructed from basalt and limestone.

While in a small room on the south side of the hall, a plaster-coated stone shelf was found.

And we’re told the room may have been used to store scrolls…

And maybe (and I’m going straight to hell here) some love letters to J of Nazareth.

Building on history

Big hugs: Jesus and Mary Magdalene

So bringing us up to date, Magdalene’s birthplace comes hard on the heels of the building uncovered in the 2009 excavations.

That was the first synagogue from the Second Temple period found in the Galilee.

Professor Adi Erlich, head of the Zinman Institute of archaeology at the University of Haifa put it all in context.

He said: ‘The stone bearing a relief of the Menorah from the other synagogue at Migdal, suggests that the local Jews saw Jerusalem as their religious centre.’

We dig what you say

Holiest of holies: Jerusalem

While excavator Dina Avshalom-Gorni built on that.

She added: ‘We can imagine Mary Magdalene and her family coming to the synagogue here.

‘Along with other residents of Migdal, to participate in religious and communal events.

‘The exposure of a second synagogue casts new light on Jewish communal life in the Galilee, the area where, according to the New Testament, Jesus performed his miracles.’

At this time of the year we’re all focusing on birth, and a new beginning.

And Israel, which led the way in vaccination roll-out, is born again (they’ve a history for this too) for visitors.

Old and new

Star power: Israel

The Land of Milk and Honey‘s latest campaign, Two Cities, One Break, encourages us to visit Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

They serve as diverse destinations that boast the country’s mineral beaches, Bauhaus architecture, 3,000-year-old history and biblical background.

And you’ll know too that Israel is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Old City of Jerusalem, Acre and Masada.

Some of which they even share with their neighbours such as the Baptismal Site of John the Baptist along the River Jordan.

And you can take in both on a G Adventures Israel and Jordan trip… they’re pals, you know.

Yes, there’s something about Joseph, Jesus and there’s something about Mary Magdalene.

 

 

 

 

 

Adventure, Asia, Countries, Cruising, Europe

To have and to have yacht

To have and have yacht… that is a question because the most expensive don’t look like yachts at all I know them, you know the ones with floaty sails.

So I’m admitting that that’s the first thing which came into mind when I was sent a list of the world’s most expensive yachts.

Now if only it came earlier… I’ve already bought the Scary One’s Christmas present.

And so I have been doing my homework has left me little clearer other than to discover that they are originally Dutch and need to be fun and racy.

I also discovered King Charles II returned back to England on a jaght.

And that he loved to compete with his brother James along the Thames.

The haves and the have yachts

It seems then that yachts are fast fun boats for filthy rich people.

And that’s just what PayDayLoansNet have given us.

Supreme yacht

Plain sailing: History Supreme

The most expensive yacht in the world is History Supreme costing $4.8 billion.

And it belongs to Malaysian Robert Kuok, who we guess must live on it as he is domiciled in Deep Water Bay in Hong Kong.

At 100ft long, and weighing in at 220,462 pounds the yacht is covered in 100,000kg of gold, platinum and jewels.

It took over three years to produce, the yacht includes:

A deck, dining area, rails, anchor, all crafted from precious metals.

The vessel’s base is wrapped in a thin layer of gold.

With the master bedroom featuring a statue made from genuine Tyrannosaurus Rex bones.

Almost as old as Bob, who has young bones and is still going strong at 98.

Well, you would with all that luxury around you.

Roman’s empire  

Roman luxury: Mr Abramovich’s pad

Chelsea FC owner doesn’t normally settle for second as his multitude of managers will testify.

But History Supreme eclipses Roman’s Eclipse.

It costs an eye-watering $1.5 billion.

The luxe yacht is spread across nine decks, featuring two helipads, two swimming pools, 24 guest bedrooms, a disco hall and a mini-submarine.

The facilities aboard Eclipse include a gym, dance floor, underwater lights, beach club, wifi connection, beauty salon, tender garage and deck jacuzzi etc.

Monaco mariners

See you on the yacht: Roman

Now if you want to be part of the Monaco fast set you want to take to the waters which I did on our speedboat on the Cote d’Azure.

And we passed by the mansions of the Great and the Good and their harbours.

Roman, who it’s fair to say likes a yacht, is said to be the billionaire backer of this super yacht.

The Streets of Monaco is said to have cost $1.1 billion.

And it is designed to encapsulate the beautiful streets of the French Riviera onboard.

The 508-foot-long superyacht includes an onboard casino, racetrack, three swimming pools and a mini-submarine helipad.

There are seven guest suites, a mini waterfall and a restaurant with an underwater view.

All of which have stylised interiors that mimic the city’s iconic surroundings.

Azzam bam

That’s Azzam craft: The yacht

The ‘Azzam’ is a deluxe yacht that flaunts incredible complexity in its detail and design costing $600 million.

The superyacht can accommodate up to 36 guests with a crew of 60 people is required onboard to maintain the yacht.

At 180 metres in length, it is the longest private motor yacht in the world.

So in a world where the divisions are growing wider it is worth reflecting.

On how the rich live and where you’re only worry is… to have and to have yacht.

Asia, Countries, Culture

She Israel beautiful

Say what you will about Miss Universe but the host country are guaranteed to be winners today… yes, she Israel beautiful.

Miss Universe along with Eurovision, the World Cup and the European Championships was my childhood window to the world.

And while the last three will continue to open up our young people’s imagination to unknown countries Miss Universe has been stigmatised.

The model line

Muddy lovely: Emma Rose

Beauty pageants though have survived and thrived as I witnessed for myself behind a queue of fluttering eyelashes in Dublin Airport.

And shoot me but there are worse things to do than wait in line behind beautiful women.

Britain’s hopes rested on the shapely shoulders of Emma Rose Collingridge.

And in time-honoured Universe fashion the East Anglian and her fellow contestants have been showcasing the host country’s charms.

Which in Israel means, of course slapping on the mud in the Dead Sea.

Scrubs up well

High fives: With Big Rapper Jerry in Dead Sea

Of course Emma Rose scrubs up better than fiftysomething beardie Scotsmen from his G Adventures adventures.

Although I have been working on that with the salts I took back from the Dead Sea.

Universe has worked hard to reinvent itself in the face of the Woke assault and stresses that it takes female empowerment seriously.

And so English graduate Emma Jane has been a busy beauty queen.

Now that’s a CV

Sash and carry: Miss Great Britain Emma Rose

She has developed a self-defence programme for women called ‘Draw The line’ to empower women with the skills to defend themselves.

And away from her Miss Universe duties, the 23-year-old balances her part-time modelling career with voluntary work and female rights advocacy.

She also uses her English degree to write articles for recognised platforms on issues such as mental health, bullying, and sexual harassment.

Land of milk and honeys

Marvel East: Middle East beauties

Emma Rose has had, of course, some stiff competition in Eilat.

And, yes, because it’s Universe everybody will be a winner… only there will be only one crowned.

And we know that the champion will commit to world peace.

We will too and celebrate The Land of Milk and some real honeys and say… She Israel beautiful.

 

America, Asia, Countries

Treat her with caviar

You do some strange things on the eve of surrendering the single life (no, not that) but I wanted to treat her with caviar.

Thing was that this was out in the sticks and so the first taste of Beluga would have to wait.

For when mes amis would invite me to the French Embassy in Dublin.

I ended up becoming as much a fixture as Le Tricolore outside the Fitzwilliam Lane maison.

Truth is there are other French delicacies I’d prefer and I’m still exploring them.

Wear your caviar

Now unless you’re a sloppy eater (guilty!) you’d never let a bubble of caviar slip from your mouth.

Only rubbing it onto your skin is actually good for you.

And better still if a masseuse with sensual hands is rubbing it into you.

And while my shoulders are tensing up at my desk didn’t this survey drop into my inbox from wellness specialists CFAH.

Maldives masseuse

Wham hammam thanks palm: In the Maldives

The Maldives are all about luxury so it shouldn’t surprise you if such a masseuse is on hand.

And there is at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort.

Where for $750, you can indulge in a three-hour treatment, the Caviar Journey, that uses anti-ageing properties of caviar extract.

Feel the wrinkles, spots and scars fall off.

It involves an exfoliation, a magnesium massage and a lavender bath.

With champagne and caviar, of course.

But still not as dear as…

Chilled: Abu Dhabi

 

Yes, even Caviar in the Maldives isn’t the most luxurious treatment out there (though it’d do for me).

Because Abu Dhabi is offering A Day of Gold, which was, of course, featured at the World Spa Awards.

For $1,150 you can experience a luxurious gold Hammam and the spa’s signature Palance Massage.

And once hammamed then Goddamn… you’ll be back.

The Fabu Dhabi treat includes a small lunch (only small?) before you get indulged in a 24-Carat Gold Radiance Facial and a Bastien Pedicure.  

Or this Beverly Thrill

Be at one with nature: In Beverly Hills

 

And in the land that time forgot Californians think nothing of splashing the cash to hang on to their youth.

The Peninsula Spa Beverly Hills offers a 120-minute long high tech facial for $1,500 (costing you $12.50 a minute).

This facial is described as a six-in-one treatment that uses cutting edge technology to ‘enhance’ and ‘enrich’ the skin.

It aims to stimulate and tone your inner skin to reveal it’s inner glow.

Because once you’re out with the beautiful people… 

Dubai high

Ya dancer: Dubai

But the spa of spas is at the Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray in Dubai.

Where for $6,800 you’ll get a 24-Karat Gold Mask.

The treatment also includes an argan oil massage and a luxury skin softening milk bath.

It’ll leave you looking radiant with a natural glow. 

Tip top treatments

All tip top treatments I think you’d agree.

And just a word with one very close to my heart a masseuse remember to tip the ones with the magic fingers.