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Winter Does Not Have To Be Blue

Winter is a good time to visit Havana since the weather is cool.

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posted on 23rd Oct 2014

Winter Does Not Have To Be Blue

Winter Does Not Have To Be Blue


Winter is a good time to visit Havana since the weather is cool.

One of the most dramatic scenes in Godfather 2 is when Michael (Al Pacino) kisses Fredo and says, “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart.”

This scene is set in Havana at a New Year’s Ball. Ironically, “Guantanamera,” the best-known patriotic Cuban song, plays in the background. It is 1 January 1959 and the Batista regime has just fallen and that is the end of Havana, home to casinos and tourists.

Havana has slowly been coming back as a tourist destination. For things to do in Havana, visit the bars and sip Cuban rum. At Bar El Floridita listen to the salsa music while a figure of Ernest Hemingway gazes at the room. Sip Hemingway’s favourite cocktail the Daiquiri and Mojitos, which the Cubans say they invented. The Fototeca Cuba has a collection of old and contemporary Cuban photographs. In November they have something called “November Photo” where exhibitions are coordinated across the city. Admire and ride around in the amazingly well kept American Chevys and Pontiacs from the 1950s. Go to the beaches. Visit the town of Trinidad with its decaying Spanish Architecture and history of sugar mills.

Finally, listen to the amazing music made internationally famous by Ry Cooder when he recorded Buena Vista Social Club with Cuban musicians.



Winter is a great time to visit Berlin for its festive feel and Christmas markets. Some of the famous Christmas markets are Weihnachtszauber Gendarmenmarkt, which almost 600,000 people visit and Berliner Weihnachtszeit am Roten Rathaus

Another attractive aspect about Berlin is that it offers very good value in restaurants and hotels. Bocca di Bacco on Friedrichstrasse serves classic Italian fare. Newton Bar, named after Helmut Newton, the photographer known for his photographs of women in undress, has a great vibe and as the evening progresses the people start spilling out to the street and the music starts getting hotter with lots of retro thrown in. CSA is a chic bar in the former offices of Czech Airlines. The Regent is a great hotel to stay in; a wonderful location and very good value for money. The Adlon Kempinski is another iconic hotel in Berlin.

Visit Hitler's Bunker and the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag. Check out Check Point Charlie. Just after the wall came down you could tell where the West ended and East began but now the East is modern and buzzing.



Finally, although we have talked about Maldives so often, one cant just speak enough about it. So what do you go there to do? Nothing; and that's what makes it magical. You do nothing except maybe swim, snorkel, gaze at the sunset, let your heart beat a slower beat, your mind disengage from the mundane and you come back thinking that you did not get enough time there. The silence and the peace is healing.

Where do you stay? The options are many and depends on the kind of resort you are looking for. For family friendly holidays both Four Seasons resorts are perfect. Maybe, you could split your stay between both. Randheli is one of the stunning new properties run by Cheval Blanc who also have fantastic properties in Courchevel and St Barts. Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru is another lovely property. Soneva is "No shoes. No news." Finally, Como has the first resort to open in the Thaa Atoll. It has other private islands nearby where you can go for whale shark sightings. Being a Como property the spa is always outstanding.

If you go somewhere, truly let your spirit soar; and if you don't go anywhere, look up at the sky and the birds and remember that heaven is always wherever you are standing. In the words of Richard Bach and ‘Jonathan Livingstone Seagull’:

“To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is, you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived.”

For enquiries on accommodation in any of the above destinations or others Contact Us.

Deepak Nathwani

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