Take A Catamaran Sunset Cruise To The Pitons

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Saint Lucia is a gorgeous island and one of the best ways to take in and enjoy all the stunning sights it has to offer, is by sea! Thankfully, Capella Marigot Bay is also a Marina, making it extra easy to find the perfect boating experience to suit your desires.

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One of my personal favorites is the Catamaran Sunset Cruise to the Pitons! The catamaran is a special type of boat whose wide base allows for faster sailing while providing ultimate comfort for passengers. This makes for an enjoyable experience where you can whisk along the water’s surface without excessive dipping and bobbing, something that lends itself really well to ideal snap shots and minimal drink spillage. And that will come in handy since it’s the sunset cruise is open bar with delicious rum punch, sparkling wine and even some of St. Lucia’s own lager, Piton Beer.

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The Pitons tower majestically above seemingly springing out of the sea itself and the Catamaran Sunset Cruise takes you right in between Petit Piton and Gros Piton. This also happens to be the location of a National Marine Reserve and so the catamaran stops for 45 minutes allowing passengers to snorkel and see some underwater Saint Lucian wonders!

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While the catamaran is stopped, the bar opens. Passengers can lounge and take in the sights while enjoying a cocktail and chatting with each other. As the sun begins to dip towards the horizon and the sunset lighting starts to set in, the crew plays some Caribbean dance music and the party begins.

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Some people dance while others lounge, sip on drinks and watch the merriment! The entire experience easily becomes an unforgettable memory shared with newfound friends who wave goodbye as the catamaran drops you back off at Capella Marinasunsetcruise8

Be sure to let your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant know if you would like to take a Catamaran Sunset Cruise and everything will be set up for you! Get ready for a gorgeous and fun-filled experience that will yield amazing photos and lifelong memories.

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A Visit To Pigeon Island National Landmark

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With the rainy season almost over, I find myself eager to explore the beaches of Saint Lucia.  The Pigeon Island National Landmark located in Gros Islet, is one of the island’s most important attractions and is as beautiful as it is historically significant.  On my recent visit I had a chance to get to know the park a bit better.

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The Pigeon Island National Landmark or National Park as it is sometimes called, portrays vivid representations of historical and cultural monuments, depicting the battle for control of the island between the English and the French.  This breathtaking, 44 acre park was originally an island in its own right, but was joined to the mainland in 1972 by a man-made causeway.

I did not know that this landmark held so much history and was even more amazed as I walked through this living museum.  I discovered some of the ruins from the war and immediately thought that this would be an excellent location for colonial-style weddings.

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There is an Interpretation Centre that tells you all about the war and how The French in 1778 declared war on the British but then lost.  The battle for The Helen of the West which is sometimes used interchangeably for Saint Lucia continued for fourteen years.  The British built a Naval Base at Gros-Islet Bay, which protected Pigeon Island from being captured.   At that lookout point, they were able to observe the French fleet in Martinique which lead to the defeat of the French at the Battle of the Saints in 1782.  Further into the park, you will find a secluded restaurant at the water’s edge serving locally caught seafood, a hidden pub amongst the ruins and a look out point called The Fort with the best views of the northern part of the island.

I love the white sands of the beaches nearby and the way the grounds are so well maintained.  Many major cultural festivals are held in the opening space including the well known Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival.  I was so happy to have discovered that this relaxing location is only a twenty minute drive from Marigot Bay as I knew I wanted to come back here very soon.

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Would you like to visit the Pigeon Island National Landmark?  Be sure to ask your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant to arrange your special tour to the live museum.   And be sure to stay tuned as I continue to share insider experiences with you about the lovely island of Saint Lucia.  

Discovering Soufriere, Saint Lucia

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In the month of August, Saint Lucia celebrates the two most beautiful flower festivals in the Caribbean region.  The Feast of La Rose originated from the seven years that Saint Lucia was fought over by the British and The Feast of La Marguerite was named after the French who also fought for this island for seven years.  Of all the things I enjoy the most about this beautiful island of Saint Lucia, I am always charmed by the indigenous flowers and plants found in gardens everywhere.  From Jade Vine to Torch Ginger, all 238 square miles are dotted with such a delightful variety of flora.

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In celebration of the flower festivals, I went on a tour to the most decorated town on the island, the town of Soufriere.  Soufriere played host to the flower celebrations this year and is also one of the most spectacular areas on island.  Before the parade began, I drove to the magical Botanical gardens which is where many of the plants are exclusively found in Saint Lucia. As I ventured further into the gardens I discovered the Diamond Falls.  This amazing waterfall is part of the world renowned Sulphur Springs which are a product of the worlds’ only drive in volcano.  Tourists and locals alike, travel specifically to this region to bathe in the healing waters of the Sulphur Springs and to experience their rejuvenating effects on the body.  The Sulphur Springs from which the town of Soufriere got its name, came into formation due to weak spots in the crust of an enormous collapsed crater, the result of volcanic eruptions of gigantic proportions that took place some 410,000 years ago.

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Similar hot springs feed the mineral baths into the Diamond Falls located on the Diamond Estate built originally in 1784 for the troops of King Louis XVI of France so that they could benefit from the therapeutic waters.  I was amazed at the thought that the springs contained healing properties and was really tempted to jump in.  On my way back to watch the parade I looked up to witness the most mesmerizing view of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the twin pitons.   These two volcanic spires, Gros Piton and Petit Piton are one of the main reasons why people visit this beautiful island.

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After enjoy the view, I returned to town just in time to see the denizens of Soufriere in colorful cultural wear as they  put on an event of pomp and pageantry, celebrating the island’s mixed heritage of English and French.  As the event continued with cultural  folk dances such as the Quadrille, the Mappa and the Belair, I could not help but be once again impressed by the beauty and energy of Saint Lucia.

creole-wearIf you are in Saint Lucia during the month of August, be sure to ask your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistants about the flower festivals, Feast of La Rose and Feast of La Marguerite.  And even if it isn’t August, make sure to make time to visit Soufriere, one of the many magical towns here in Saint Lucia!

 

Exploring Dusseldorf On Wheels

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As soon as the weather changes to summery temperatures, I feel like spending time outside.  There are so many fun activities available in Dusseldorf – sometimes I can’t decide what to do first!  My most favorite outdoor activity is inline skating.  I’ve skated at many places in Germany, but Dusseldorf honestly has the best scenery along The Rhine Promenade.

exploring dusseldorfIn my opinion, inline skating is the best form of exercise, but even if you prefer cycling, I promise you that exploring Dusseldorf on wheels is a great adventure.  Of course, this is especially true if you follow my favorite route: The prettiest round starts at the Old Town continuing to Kaiserswerth and back.  I always start in the Old Town to get myself into the right mood for my skating trip.  And if you want to start the adventure with a meal, the best place to have a delicious dish with an Altbier is the Uerige!  It’s one of Dusseldorf’s traditional Altbier breweries and you can enjoy your Altbier outside.

The tour I take is about 20 kilometers long and I am sure you will enjoy every meter of it just as I always do.  Why? Because during the tour you see several sights!  The Tonhalle for example: The Tonhalle is a place where a lot of concerts, usually classical concerts, take place and it is very close to the Promenade.  Secondly, the entire path is located next to the Rhine, which is very idyllic – it makes me feel so free as the wind blows through my hair and I watch the boats move down the river.

In Kaiserswerth, I take a break at the beer garden Galerie Burghof as I am a big fan of their freshly made waffles.  And have you ever heard of the drink Radler?  It is beer mixed with lemonade.  I know it sounds weird, but it is very refreshing and gives you the necessary push for the trek back to the Old Town.
If you are looking for different routes for your personal Dusseldorf skating or biking tour our Personal Assitant’s can provide you with all information and tips during your next stay at the Breidenbacher Hof.  I am sure that they will arrange for exceptional activities for you to explore!

Visiting The Tomás Saraceno in orbit Exhibit

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I am always on the lookout for fun and educational experiences and fortunately Dusseldorf offers a great deal of these!  Recently I asked one of Breidenbacher Hof’s Personal Assistants for some of her current favorite activities around town.  Her immediate suggestion?  The Tomás Saraceno in orbit exhibit at K21 Art Museum.  Intrigued, I had to check it out.

The exhibit, installed in the glass dome of the building, 25 meters above the ground, begins with a web that spans 2500 square meters broken into three levels.  From there six inflated spheres balance like bubbles atop the structure.  The structure can be viewed from below and above.  And the best part?  This is a hands-on exhibit!   My friends and I (and other visitors) were able to climb among the spheres and through the webbing!  I felt a bit like a spider and a bit like I was floating through clouds.

Tomás SaracenoAlthough there was a sense of weightlessness and airiness when exploring the sculpture, I learned that was far from the case.  The webbing of the structure actually weighs a few tons and the largest sphere is about 1000 pounds!  A lot of time also went into creating it, as Saraceno spent more than three years designing and planning the project with a team of engineers.  This piece is the perfect example of how looks can be deceiving!

I loved my visit to Tomás Saraceno in orbit and definitely suggest you visit it during your next trip to Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel.  Be sure to ask your Personal Assistant about this and other fantastic activities to experience around town, I’m sure you will be amazed by what you may discover!

 

 

Image info: 
© Studio Tomás Saraceno 2013
© Kunstsammlung NRW

Get To Know Zihuatanejo

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“I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams,” is one of the iconic lines from the movie The Shawshank Redemption.  This film, along with with When a Man Loves a Woman, are just two of the movies filmed in beautiful Zihuatanejo.  The Pacific here is as blue as you can imagine, and the Mexican way of life is just as you have dreamt about.  If you haven’t been to Zihuatanejo these films will surely inspire a visit.  But just in case you need more, here are some facts about the town:

History:

  • In the native Nahuatl language Zihuatanejo means a “place of women.”  We pronounce it “zee-watt-a-neh-ho.”
  • The city was founded in 1520s, with roots stretching back to the Olmec, Toltec and Tarascan tribes.  In the days of Spanish colonization, Zihuatanejo bay was a stopping point and safe haven for Spanish galleons, pirates and privateers.  Today the municipality has approximately 105,000 residents.

Weather:

  • The climate is warm, with an average yearly temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F).

ZihuatanejoBeaches & Activities:

  • In Zihuatanejo you can practice many water sports; it is famous for fishing, sailing, diving, snorkeling and surfing.
  • Some of the most amazing and swimmable beaches can be found in Zihuatanejo; Playa Principal, Larga, Blanca, La Madera, La Ropa, Las Gatas, to name just a few.  Read more about them here.

Wild life:

  • Lush nature and tropical landscape make Zihtauanejo a great destination for nature lovers: here you can see whales, turtles, crocodiles, endemic bird species, and other wildlife.  Don’t miss to visit the wildlife refuge El Refugio de Potosí.

Zihuatanejo BeachExperience:

  • Zihuatanejo is a small town, which was able to keep its historic charm and friendly atmosphere of an old fishing village.  I recommend exploring the city by foot: visit downtown “El Centro” and feel the vibe of the town and its colorful stores, cafes and restaurants, then continue the walk at the Paseo del Pescador, a beachfront promenade.  Sit at an adjacent restaurant and enjoy the view and the people watching.
  • Visit the colorful artisans market, where you can purchase ceramics, woodcarvings, weavings, sculptures, jewelry and clothing by talented local artisans.  My other favorite market is a food market – an unforgettable and delicious experience!

Food:

  • Try Zihuatanejo’s most popular and traditional dish tiritas (Thin slices of the freshest fish slightly cooked in the grill).  Our Chef Miguel Baltazar prepares it with fresh catch of the day.  I love how refreshing it is!

Twin Destination:

  •  Together with the resort town Ixtapa (home of Capella Ixtapa), Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is referred to as one destination, which offers two distinct lifestyles and experiences.  The experience in Zihuatanejo, traditional port and fishing village, is combined with the comfort of a modern infrastructure and luxury services in Ixtapa.  The towns share 24 km of golden coastline with small bays and lush green hills.

Zihuatanejo is a wonderful place for vacation, relaxation, exploring nature and pristine Mexico.  Best part?  It is just a short drive away from Capella Ixtapa!

 

 

Images:
1. Zihuatanejo Bay by hmerinomx via Flickr
2. La Madera beach by chrismar via Flickr