BAROSSA VALLEY – EVERY WINE-LOVING COUPLE’S RETREAT

EDITED

With its majestic hills, quiet country roads, picturesque villages, garden-fresh gourmet fare and timeless beauty, Barossa is a little slice of ecstasy

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LUCERNE – WHERE EVERY VISTA IS A POSTCARD

Compact and colourful, Lucerne in Central Switzerland seamlessly portrays a subtle interplay between nature and architecture. Here’s what you can see and do when here

SWISS CITIES

Dainty swans swimming freely in a misty Lake, a flower-lined wooden bridge, gorgeous architectural treasures reflecting in shimmering waters, people cycling and walking on a maze of cobblestone streets and giant mountains looming over a delightful, serene town. Now, imagine immersing yourself in this beautiful view from a sidewalk cafe, accompanied with a cup of hot coffee or a glass of Swiss-made red Pinot Noir! You certainly aren’t at fault if you’re already mesmerised by this inspiring terrain. Located in the geographic heart of Switzerland, Lucerne is where urban life and nature come together to give you endless photo opportunities, and this isn’t an overstatement!

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PICK YOUR KICK IN SANTA MONICA

Santa Monica isn’t just another coastal paradise. It’s a place where art, nature, adventure and urban excitement converge

The entrance to the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California, March 7, 2017.

While soft, sandy beaches, wavy palm trees, sun-lit eateries and orange-pink sunsets heavily contribute to its good looks, it is the vibrant cultural scene and neighborhoods loaded with character that really make it enviable. Santa Monica aptly combines the laid-back appeal of a beach town with big-city sophistication, sprinkled with Riviera-style romance and Hollywood glamour. Yes, you have excellent odds of spotting a celebrity or at least someone who seems like they could be one. With beautiful bodies working out everywhere around you, Santa Monica is as inspirational as it is charming. Spend time here and you’ll quickly discover how much SaMo packs in its compact area that can be easily explored on foot.

HOW ABOUT A CLASSIC CALIFORNIA WORKOUT?

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Whether you’re a fitness pro or a light-hearted, Instagramming babe, there’s never a shortage of ways to get active here. Head to the original Muscle Beach where the bodybuilding movement of the 20th century began and it seems like everyone on the beach can stand on their hands! They make it seem like cakewalk but it really isn’t, and you only realise this when you dare to try a few body-balancing acts yourself. Looking for an aquatic challenge?

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GOING SLOW IN ST GALLEN

In the hilly, pre-Alpine landscape set against the imposing backdrop of the Alpstein Massif by Lake Constance, St. Gallen is a place where the air is still pure, grass meticulously trimmed, green and lush and stress is a relatively unknown concept. In other words, it’s the perfect place to take time out of your hectic schedule and just be on your own timetable.

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A STEP BACK IN TIME   

When in St Gallen, you’re just an hour away from Zurich yet far away from city vibes. Spend a day walking at your leisure, admiring its one-of-a-kind architecture you get to see at every turn.

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Abbey Precinct houses the cathedral and the library, and is a real treat. With its twin towers, the Baroque-era cathedral defines the cityscape of St Gallen. Know more about the monumental sacred building that has a lavishly-painted interior, richly decorated with stucco work and paintings. Once there, let the stillness of prayer and meditation envelop you

SWISS CITIES - ART & ARCHITECTURE

In the beautiful rococo hall of Abbey Library, marvel at 1,70,000 printed books, more than 2,000 original medieval handwritten manuscripts and ancient maps. After all, there’s a reason it’s known as the “pharmacy of the soul”

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A FRUITFUL DAY AT A SWISS FARM

While you may undoubtedly visit the picturesque Alps and sample deliciously popular Swiss cheese and chocolates, you are likely to miss out on an opportunity to experience traditional countryside life in Switzerland. On my recent trip to the Central European country, I uncovered the adorably quaint Hinter Musegg in the middle of the delightful little city of Lucerne, and it touched all my senses.

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Pic by Micha Eicher

Every road in Switzerland gives you a thousand photo opportunities and this isn’t an overstatement. While it does take a good amount of walking to reach this mini farm nestled just beyond the town walls, you are likely to lap up every moment of the stride as the setting on both sides leaves you in awe.

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