Switzerland’s secret cherry liqueur

I shut my eyes to enjoy the sensation of the Röteli going down my throat. The flavours of the Swiss cherry liqueur are new to me, somewhat spicy, somewhat tart, and thoroughly delightful. It is a warm summer evening in Chur, the capital of the Grisons or Graübunden canton in the eastern part of the…

In love with Lucerne

It is still bright and sunny when I head out for an early dinner at seven in the evening. My handy phone map shows the restaurant is just around the corner from where I am staying in Lucerne. So I stroll out of the doors of my charming ‘Romantik’ hotel – as many of the…

Fifty shades of white

Provence, of course, I knew well – I had driven around the villages in the footsteps of Peter Mayle, whose sardonic, yet affectionate look at life in those parts had left me wanting to worship at his feet. And the hillslopes of Tuscany, with their quaint villages, had come to be my secret “when I…

Friday photo: Lucerne

In a country that is dotted with blockbuster landscapes and picturesque cities, I found myself falling in love with Lucerne very easily and rapidly. Its location at the banks of Lake Lucerne and River Reuss, surrounded by the majestic mountains; the Kapellbrucke covered wooden bridge across the river; and then the medieval buildings with their…

Photoessay on Livraria Lello, Portugal’s most beautiful bookshop

It was a dull and rainy day in Porto when I walked into Livraria Lello. And my world was instantly filled with glorious sunshine. Even before I landed in Portugal, this bookshop featured on my must do list, especially thanks to its association with JK Rowling. In her brief time in Porto as an impoverished…

Friday photo: seaside village

I left a bit of my heart behind in Portugal – on a recent two week road trip through the south of Spain and Portugal. Spain was lovely, but we knew what we were in for. But Portugal, so unexpectedly delightful! Gorgeous views, friendly people, soulful fado music, and oh, that stunning Azulejo tile art……

The sound of Salzburg

The Sound of Music is the kind of film that defies both superlative and age. Starring the inimitable Julie Andrews, the movie won five Academy Awards back in 1966, and to this day, remains the third highest grosser in Hollywood. It turns 50 this year, and clearly, nobody is immune from its charm, not even…