A sole bagpiper played a lament on the lighthouse rock. What else would you expect at the end of the world? At his feet was a tapestry of Celtic nation flags… Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Manx, Cornish, Breton, and his native Galician.
Sliding down a snow-covered mountain at high speed on my back, with skis somehow tucked underneath me and fresh snowfall partially blocking my vision, I realised that persistence and patience were required traits if I ever wanted to learn to ski properly.
For more than 600 years, the Ottoman empire was one of the true global powers. At its centre, Turkey became the focal point of a cultural cocktail, and remains so to this day. It draws tourists from far and wide with its natural wonders, its splendid architecture, and the archaeological footprint of its great empire.
Snow falls softly on my shoulders as I duck deeper into the warm, bubbling water. My hot tub is surrounded by majestic mountains and I'm alone in the chilly night, apart from a handsome, bearded man standing metres away wielding an axe. He's chopping wood for the fire that will warm the families gathered inside feeding their children pasta.
When I tell you the Hard Rock Hotel in Tenerife has its own Wow manager who heads up an actual Wow department, I think you'll get the idea. And staying with the lingo, I have to say, a long weekend there in late September really was Wowtastic! It is, indeed, a place of exclamation marks.
Whether you're aiming to rub shoulders with Russian oligarchs at a former royal residence, splash with the surf set on the Côte des Basques or head off on a Pyrenean climbing odyssey, Biarritz is the holiday destination for you.
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