Archive for August, 2011

The Obauer

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Two Michelin star restaurant, The ObauerTucked into the verdant Salzach Valley, not far from Salzburg, is the pretty alpine village of Werfen. A fairytale town in a fairytale setting, it wouldn’t be complete without the impressive Hohenwerfen Castle that overlooks it from an imposing position. From here, you survey an alpine wonderland of pastures and forest that is transformed into white finery in winter. Other attractions of the area include the Eisriesenwelt – the world’s largest ice cave – and the Obauer, a celebrated two-Michelin Star restaurant that draws visitors from across Austria, and indeed far beyond it.

For food enthusiasts, the Obauer is a must-experience destination in Austria, laden as it is with distinctions, awards and effusive diner reviews. Named after and run by the Obauer brothers, Karl and Rudi, the restaurant celebrates local produce and traditions, but does so at an internationally high level. The brothers had earned their stripes across the continent before setting up for themselves in 1979, with Rudi learning his trade in France alongside such culinary masters as Emile Jung, Alain Chapel and the Trosgros brothers. (more…)

Palma de Mallorca, a truly Mediterranean port of call

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

The yacht marina, Palma de MallorcaAlthough small in area, Mallorca’s diversity of landscapes, climates and impressions allows it to cater to a great many different tastes, something that has helped to preserve its age-old appeal as a cherished beacon in the seas. Indeed, the fact that Palma’s international airport is the third largest in Spain is an indication of just how prosperous the island has grown on the tourist trade.

But Mallorca’s popularity as a place to soak up the sun, splash around in azure seas and just get away from it all is not a new phenomenon. Evidence suggests that Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans alike used this jewel of the Mediterranean as a place of retreat and repose, making it one of the oldest known tourist destinations in the world. What drew them to this fair isle becomes evident once you lay eyes on its sandy beaches, sheer cliffs, rocky alcoves and deep blue seas.

The largest of the four islands that make up the Balearics, Mallorca’s attractions have not always appealed to peaceful visitors alone. For centuries, it was plagued by pirates, mostly the Corsairs from the Barbary coasts of North Africa, who raided, raped and pillaged, and even carried off citizens to the slave markets of Algiers and Tunis. This menace and the tugs of war between Spain, Britain, France and other powers explain the presence of the many coastal forts and watch towers now used for rather more recreational purposes. (more…)