Lakeside Luxe

Taupo, New Zealand

January 2015

We drove north from Wellington along a winding highway. Rolling hills undulated by; we passed sheer cliffs carved by centuries of rushing rivers, and wide plains, stretching out in green monotony to the foothills of distant mountains. Four hours into our journey we crested a hill and were astounded by the vista spread before us. The massive bulk of Mount Ruapehu, the highest point on New Zealand’s North Island and one of the most active volcanoes in the world, dominated the scene, snow-capped despite the heat. As we continued along the highway, slowly skirting around the mountain, another came into sight – Mount Ngauruhoe, Lord of the Rings’ Mount Doom, almost perfectly conical, its summit shrouded in cloud.  (more…)

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Grindelwald, Switzerland

December 2010

I will be upfront: I don’t like skiing. I find it painful and uncomfortable and I’m terrible at it. Someone once suggested that if I didn’t like skiing, maybe I should try snowboarding, but I felt my incoordination and general ineptitude at physical activity really ruled that out before I even got started. So, when one is spending a week in a Swiss skiing village with absolutely no intention of going either skiing or snowboarding, what do they do? Go tobogganing of course!  (more…)