Not quite worked out how to woo your loved one yet this Valentine’s Day? All is not lost… The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg will celebrate big love stories and make them last forever. With Celebrate Your Love Story, the luxury hotel offers lovers from today a fascinating night in the world of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, protagonist of one most famous love stories. For even more romantic privacy, the floating spa area may be used exclusively and awaits the couple for treatments and a signature milk bath with under the stars.
As in the days of spacious Egyptian palaces, the lovers will enjoy the luxury and privacy of the huge The Ritz-Carlton Suite. In the evening, romantic togetherness becomes key. The hotel’s floating spa pontoon, with its breathtaking view on the harbor, awaits its two guests only for an exclusive spa night. Surrounded by a sea of burning candles and spoiled with fine champagne, exotic fruits and canapés, the setting is just perfect to celebrate a true love story. Plus, two dedicated spa-butlers will take care of every wish the couple may have.
What are you waiting for? Book your very own bona fide Bridget Jones’ mini break now!
The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg is located in the centre of Autostadt, the world’s first custom-designed celebration of automotive innovation encompassing architectural originality, scientific advancement, artistic inspiration and lifestyle aspiration. The 13th and 14th of February 13th is now bookable on www.ritz-carlton.com/wolfsburg or by calling +49 (0)5361-607000. Prices start at 2,250 Euro for two people.
This year the 27th Annual International Festival Sarajevo, “Sarajevo Winter”, a traditional cultural and artistic event will take place in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina between the 7 and 28 February. The programme will consist of theatre plays, concerts, films, fine arts exhibitions, panel discussions, literary events, videos, programmes presenting cultural heritage and children programmes.
The first “Sarajevo Winter” Festival was held from 21 December, 1984 to 6th April, 1985. In the course of twenty six years of its existence, the Festival has become an inseparable part of the city life. More than 3,250 performances and exhibitions with over 30,000 participating artists from all parts of the world took place in the 1161 festival days. Thee festival was attended by more than 3 million people. The “Sarajevo Winter” Festival was not even prevented from taking place even in the times of war and has become a symbol of freedom of creativity and a place for familiarising with diverse cultures and civilisations.
Croatia has a lot to offer tourists seeking all manner of escapes, but being one of the most picturesque countries in the world, it is an ideal place for a romantic holiday. Here’s a few reasons why…
We all know oysters are believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Ston on the Pelješac Peninsula has hosted oyster farms since Roman times and has a solid reputation for the best oysters in Croatia. It is also the only place where the Ostrea Edulis variety is found. Smaller than its Atlantic counterpart, it is served open on its flat side, and the meat is firmer and more richly flavoured. Ston is also on the revered Pelješac wine trail so order a bottle of the local Postup and Dingač as well, and then walk it off along the secluded sandy Divna beach to the north of the town.
Take a scenic boat ride across the harbour from a jetty outside the former Maraska (cherry) liqueur building to Zadar’s Old Town with the Barkarjoli (boatmen) of Zadar who have rowed passengers across this stretch of water since the 12th century. Stroll along the waterfront listening to the rhythms of the sea play out on Zadar’s mesmerising Sea Organ, eerily like that of mating whales. Take in the city’s famous sunsets – Hitchcock declared these most beautiful he’d seen – and enjoy the unique ‘Greeting to the Sun’ installation that projects UV light (stored during the day) into the evening sky.
Woo her by taking a water taxi from the airport to the sumptuous, sunken champagne bar of Le Meridien Lav, Split; a luxury hotel with island views. Alternatively check into one of several romantic city centre hotels, such as the Hotel Vestibul Palace and Hotel Peristil, both built within the walls of the famous Diocletian’s Palace. Stroll the city’s Riva (waterfront), stopping off at one of the many cafés for a spot of people watching.
Give the traditional sweetheart’s token: Zagreb’s licitar (gingerbread heart) is a cookie made from honeyed pastry dyed red and colourfully decorated which is traditionally presented to one’s beloved. Croatia’s little known, yet stylish capital of Zagreb is only a 2 hour flight from London. This central European city break will take your breath away with its dazzling architecture and city parks, plus a softer, more bohemian side of coffeehouses, cake shops and street performers. Its oldest parts Gradec and Kaptol are some of the most beautiful and best preserved quarters in Europe. The quirky, cobbled Upper Town is connected to the buzzing Lower Town by funicular. The exciting new ‘MSU’ or Museum of Contemporary Art which opened in late 2009 is a sure way to an art-lover’s heart. www.msu.hr
Warm the cockles of her heart on the elegant Opatija Riviera which is known for its micro-climate (Austrian ladies used to visit to enjoy the milder temperatures). It is now one of Croatia’s foremost spa centres with many wellness spas offering treatments costing 30% less than in neighbouring countries such as Italy. The lungomare (seafront promenade) stretches for 12km from nearby Lovran to the old fishing village of Volosko. Book a table at Plavi Podrum seafood restaurant and ask the country’s most famous sommelier about Croatia’s award-winning wines.
Pop The Question
Spend a weekend in Dubrovnik, one of the world’s most romantic medieval cities and do as my brother-in-law did and ask your sweetheart to marry you. Walk the city ramparts (approx 1 hr) in an anti clockwise direction and take in the coastline or watch life unfold in the 15th century, honey coloured houses within the city walls. The cityscape is breathtaking with bell towers and terracotta rooftops set against the shimmering Adriatic to one side and mountains on the other. In July 2010 a new cable car launches that will ascend Mount Srd (which towers behind the city) in around 3 minutes to 405 metres above sea level. At the top is a viewing platform plus bar and restaurant with visibility of up to 60 kilometres on clear days. www.tzdubrovnik.hr
Discover the Heart-shaped Island
Galesnjak is an uninhabited island in the Zadarski Kanal between Zadar and the Island of Pasman is the ultimate lovers’ hideaway.
Take the Plunge
The Kempinski Hotel Adriatic in Savudrija, Istria (the appropriately heart-shaped peninsula in Croatia’s north-west) is a five-star luxury coastal resort beside beautiful Adriatic Sea complete with its own Wedding Chapel! What more do you need?
For more information about Croatia telephone the Croatian National Tourist Office, 020 8563 7979 or visit the website www.croatia.hr
Today thousands of young Poles are celebrating their futures and hoping to catch a glimpse of their love-to-be, as part of St Andrew’s day. Traditional belief has it that on the night before St Andrew’s day, a young woman is able to “see” her future husband – although today both women and men celebrate the day with equal enthusiasm, hoping to discover the love of their life.
In Poland, traditional Andrzejki superstitions include pouring hot wax from a candle into cold water through a key hole – a future husband’s profession can be determined from the shape of the resulting piece of wax. It is also popular for young women to write the names of potential husbands on pieces of paper and then put them under their pillow. In the morning they take one out, which reveals the name of the husband-to-be.
While tradition and superstition abounds on St Andrew’s eve, it is now well known as a party night throughout Poland with young people across the country celebrating their youth. This year the celebrations will take place on a Saturday, making for a great party atmosphere and an ideal time for people to visit the country.
The Artists for World Peace will be touring their Path of Hope orchestral programme that aims to promote love, tolerance, and truth through music.
Over 150 performers and artists will take to the stage in Oswiecim – the home of the Auschwitz concentration camp – on 31 August and in Krakow on 1 September before bringing their message to audiences in London on 2 September.
The oratorio premiered in Poland 11 years ago and organisers are keen to build on their success to “inspire the world to take action for peace” and encourage “universal values such as love, brotherhood, solidarity, and tolerance.”
Following the orchestral performances, artists along with representatives of churches and religious associations will invite the audience to join them in issuing an appeal for peace.