Santa Fe: A Bit of Old Mexico in the US

Santa Fe architecture

Fred Donnelly, Travel Writer for Bon Voyage gave us the rundown on his latest trip to The City Different.

“Santa Fe, New Mexico, population 69,000, has a strange almost other worldly aspect to it. Clearly it’s a city but it has no high-rise buildings to speak of and its civic architecture displays an eerie uniformity. For many decades its building codes have not only restricted heights of structures but also colours and styles.

To the visitor from away, it looks Spanish or Mexican or exotic. Perhaps this is its charm, to be foreign in appearance but still part of the American West.

The old central Plaza laid out by the Spanish all those centuries ago is still the hub of activity for the tourist. Running away from it in all directions are side streets, warrens of arcades, galerias and courtyards, along with many smaller “Plaza Mercados”. Santa Fe is a top destination for high-end shopping, with its many retail outlets. What’s on offer is fine art work, jewelry, native handcrafts, western apparel, rare books, antiques, china, leather goods and luxury imports of every type.”

Read the full article to find out why Santa Fe’s history makes it a fascinating and intriguing cultural destination.

What’s New in Santa Fe?

 

Santa Fe is a 400-year-old historic city that is ever changing. We want to make sure you are  in the know about all the latest happening in the City Different! Read on to find out What’s New in Santa Fe.

 Skiing

New Ski Area Base Lodge: Ski Santa Fe, located 16 miles from downtown Santa Fe, will open a 12,000 square foot expansion to La Casa Lodge base facility this winter. The new addition will increase the size of the rental shop, add new seating space in the food service area, expand menu options and add additional retail space. The area offers a dedicated children’s ski school and terrain for all abilities. Ski Santa Fe’s scheduled season for 2012-2013 is Thanksgiving through Easter.

 

Restaurants and Dining 

New Chef at Rancho Encantado.  Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe welcomes Andrew Cooper as its new executive chef. Cooper arrives from the Four Seasons Hualalai on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Chef of the Year Award.  Chef Carmen Rodriguez of La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa was named Chef of the Year by the New Mexico Restaurant Association. Rodriguez was chosen not only because of his fine cuisine, but also because of his many contributions to the Santa Fe community and his efforts to encourage more Hispanic chefs.

Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen: First time restaurateur Fiona Wong and longtime culinary professional Soma Franks open their new health food café and wine bar. The restaurant will focus on using as much locally sourced farm to table food as possible, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.  1512 Pacheco in Pacheco Park.

Cave Wine Bistro: Opening soon, this intimate space will feature an eclectic menu and an extensive wine list with more than 125 wines by the glass alone. Plans call for keeping the kitchen open late every night at the bistro’s convenient location in the Plaza Galeria facing the Santa Fe Plaza.

Momo & Co. Bakery and Boba Tea Bar: An entirely gluten-free and mostly vegan bakery and teahouse that opened this fall. Baker Leslie Thompson, a native of New York, has met the many challenges of not only baking without flour, eggs and butter but doing so at Santa Fe’s 7,000 foot elevation. She joined with boba tea fan Carola Kieve, who created an all-natural version of boba tea, to open the Johnson Street storefront. The bakery also offers gluten-free and vegan entrees including pizzas, sandwiches, soups and salads.

The Real Butcher Shop.  Pollo Real has been a popular staple at The Santa Fe Farmers market for years, providing customers with tasty, naturally raised poultry and eggs. Now the farmers are taking the next step, opening a butcher shop that will feature their own products and also naturally raised, grass finished and heritage meats and charcuterie from New Mexico and Colorado. The results promise to be delicious. The store opens around the first of the year.

Cooking Schools

Santa Fe School of Cooking Moves.  The Santa Fe School of Cooking is in its expansive new location at 125 North Guadalupe Street. The beautifully renovated building, a former Packard dealership, has a cool retro/modern/New Mexico vibe and houses two kitchens and a large outdoor patio. Santa Fe chef and restaurateur Tracy Ritter is Director of Cuisine.

Santa Fe Culinary Academy Opens.  The Santa Fe Culinary Academy, on the top floor of the downtown Plaza Mercado, is open and teaching classes. Fall classes include everything from basics classes for home cooks to continuing education for restaurant professionals. In January, the academy will welcome its first full-time class of aspiring professional chefs. A student restaurant will allow them to polish their craft. Santa Fe native Rocky Durham and Tanya Story are executive chefs and co-founders.

Museums & Openings

Santa Fe’s newest museum.  The Pablita Velarde Museum of Indian Women in the Arts is a national museum honoring the work of Native women from North America. Named for the first female student in the first Santa Fe Indian School art class, Pablita became the first Native women to paint full time as a career. The museum features the work of Native painters, potters, sculptors, weavers, jewelers, dancers, musicians, filmmakers, poets and writers.

New World Cuisine. A major new exhibit titled New World Cuisine: The Histories of Chocolate, Mate, y Mas, at the Museum of International Folk Art, explores our food’s many fascinating historic, cultural and geographic connections. The exhibit, which opens this December 9 and runs until January, 2014, will feature more than 300 objects related to the gathering, preparation, serving and storage of food. The histories of chocolate and mate are of particular interest and are illustrated by the many decorative cups, sippers, stirrers and pots used to make the popular beverages.

Hands on Santa Fe

DIY: A Creative Journey. In March, 2013 Santa Fe Creative Tourism and Santa Fe’s lodgers collaborate on a month of creative experiences combining workshops and classes taught by local artists with savings at participating accommodations. Discover Santa Fe through a hands-on class in painting, glasswork, writing, photography, folk art and more during this month of personal expression in Santa Fe.

In the News

Top Choice in Conde Nast Traveler. For the twenty-first year in a row, avid travelers who subscribe to Conde Nast Traveler magazine ranked Santa Fe as one of the top cities to visit in the United States. Santa Fe ranked fourth in the travelers pick, behind Charleston, South Carolina, San Francisco, California, and Chicago, Illinois. The popular survey, which is widely used by people planning vacation travel, polled more than 46,000 readers.

Additionally, five Santa Fe hotels were included in the Conde Nast survey’s Top 25 Hotels in the Southwest. Number one on that list is the Inn of the Five Graces. The Inn and Spa at Loretto was ranked fifth, Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi tenth, Hotel Saint Francis twentieth, and La Fonda on the Plaza twenty-first.

Travel + Leisure magazine also picked out Santa Fe for its many charms, ranking it the second best city in America overall during its annual American’s Favorite Cities 2012 poll. The results included voting Santa Fe a #1 Cultural Getaway in addition to praising the city’s shopping, romantic side, museums and galleries, food, cleanliness, environmental friendliness and historical sites.

For more information visit www.santafe.org

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Mountain Splendor, Thrilling Adventures and Tantalizing Cuisine.

If you’re craving some outdoor adventure, then Santa Fe needs to be at the top of your must-explore list. Its gorgeous landscape is home to miles of trails, perfect for hikers and bikers of all experience levels. And whether journeying on foot or on wheels, you’ll be breathing the cleanest air in the country, just ask the American Lung Association. You don’t have to go far to enjoy this outdoor enthusiast’s paradise – the wilderness of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains begins just minutes from downtown Santa Fe. It’s time to hit the trails!

Photo courtesy of Southwest Mountain Adventures – Santa Fe, NM

The Aspen Vista Trail is the most popular in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Its gradual uphill climb is ideal for hikers of all abilities and ages. And, when the snow starts falling the trail makes for the perfect cross-country skiing. If you’re looking for a steeper ascent, head to the top of the Atalaya Mountain Trail. You can catch your breath as you admire majestic views of the Rio Grande valley and Santa Fe below.

View from Aspen Vista Trail – Santa Fe, NM

There are many other trails that provide scenic trips through some of the most magnificent scenery in the southwest. Awe at the large stands of evergreens, piñon and juniper forests, cottonwood and willow trees, lush aspen-fir forests, vibrant fields of wildflowers, and stunning monarch butterflies. You can easily a find great place to picnic, camp, bird watch, and more. Before you head out, don’t forget to prepare for high elevation adventure. Fuel up with a traditional New Mexican breakfast, Café Pasqual’s and the Plaza Café both dish up tasty huevos rancheros.

For those who prefer their fresh-aired splendor a bit bumpier, Santa Fe provides some of the best mountain biking in the southwest. Trails range from slow-paced scenic routes to challenging brutal treks. The Dale Ball Trails is an easy-to-access, immaculate 22-mile trail system just minutes from the plaza. Ranging from St. John’s College to the Sierra Del Norte trailhead just north of downtown, the trail network offers single-track loops for all levels of riders. You don’t need a custom helmet and endorsement deal to enjoy an invigorating ride overlooking the city. Just hop on, pedal, and enjoy.The newly renovated La Tierra trail network of service roads, double track and single-track runs, takes riders through a classic New Mexico piñon forest and expansive open spaces.  This trail system is suited for novice riders, but do expect to see experienced cyclists blur past.

And just in case any doubt remained about Santa Fe’s bike cred, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) chose the City Different as the destination for thier 2012 World Summit (October 10th to the 13th). The conference will discuss and explore all things mountain bike. Attendees can expect a week of professional development, rejuvenation, networking, and of course, unparalleled riding.

International Mountain Bicycling Association 2012 World Summit October 10-13, 2013.

Looking for something a little more low-key? The annual Santa Fe Gourmet Classic held every fall, offers riders of all levels the opportunity to cycle for their supper. This 65-mile gastronomical cruise features rest stops serving up scrumptious snacks and gourment southwest cuisine. The non-competitive ride offers beautiful views of the Sangre de Cristo and Sandia mountains.

Flat tire? Forgot your padded shorts? If you need a quick repair or to restock some gear, stop by Rob & Charlie’s for Santa Fe’s best selection of bikes and parts. If the only part you’re missing is the bike itself, Mellow Velo can hook you up with a rental. Whatever you do, just make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. You don’t want anything to get in the way of post-journey victory enchiladas.

Challenging rides, gorgeous hikes, and spectacular views, make Santa Fe the perfect destination for anyone who loves a vacation that roams.  So tie up those laces and get ready to see Santa Fe in its natural and rugged beauty. Happy trails!

Upcoming Events:

The IMBA 2012 World Summit October 10-13, 2012

Miles of Trails

Aspen Vista Trail

Dale Ball Trail System

La Tierra Trail

Chamisa Trail

Borrego – Bear Wallow – Winsor Loop

Resources and Guides:

FREE Santa Fe Visitors Guide 

Steals and Deals 

Accomodations

Trail Alliance of Santa Fe

Santa Fe Fat Tire Society

A Bike Friendly Community

IMBA WORLD SUMMIT OR BUST!

IMBA 2012 World Summit a Celebration of All Things Mountain Biking

Santa Fe offers riders bountiful terrain and welcoming hospitality

October 1, 2012: If it can be done on a mountain bike, it will be going on at the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s (IMBA) biennial World Summit in Santa Fe, October 10-13. The sixth annual event will include a Vendors Expo featuring major bike and gear manufacturers, daily group rides in the Southern Rockies on the edge of Santa Fe, a fun criterium around the Santa Fe Plaza and daily sessions and workshops.

Photo Courtesy: The International Mountain Bicycling Association

The non-profit IMBA is recognized as a leader in low-impact biking advocacy and as an educational force promoting cooperation between varied trail user groups. More than 100 volunteers will help the hundreds of summit attendees find their way around the city, learn about Santa Fe, and discover the boundless riding on the city limits.

Educational sessions held at the Santa Fe Convention Center will cover topics about mountain bike tourism, creating youth initiatives, developing urban core trails, creating an urban wilderness, the evolution of bike-friendly land policies, and many more topics including a case study of Gallup, New Mexico and how it became the “Adventure Capital of New Mexico.”

The public is welcome to explore the Vendors Expo in and nearby the Santa Fe Convention Center on Thursday, and Friday from 3 PM to 7 PM. Then, on Friday evening, 10/12, downtown will come alive with events. A criterium will be contested around the Santa Fe Plaza on kid-sized Strider bikes–no pedals, all foot powered–during multiple heats. In addition, a trail cutting machine obstacle course will be set up, a demonstration urban bike park will be on display, and the Red Bull film, “Where the Trail Ends” documenting the most ambitious mountain biking expedition ever will be showing at the convention center. www.wherethetrailends.com/ . (All ages, tickets available to the public.)

Group rides will take place every afternoon and be led by the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society and the Santa Fe-based Pedal Queens. Motorists should be aware of increased bike traffic along East and West Alameda, Camino Cabra, Upper Canyon Road, Camino de Las Crucitas, and Camino de Los Montoyas as riders head out to the Dale Ball Trials and the La Tierra Trails. Ride times are:

  • Wednesday 10/10 from Noon to 6:30
  • Thursday, 10/11 from 3:00 to 6:30
  • Friday, 10/12 from 3:00 to 6:30

On Saturday, 10/13 the Winsor Trail will be used by the cyclists from 8:30 AM to 1:00 beginning at the Santa Fe Ski Area parking lot trailhead down to the Chamisa Trial, Sidewinder Trail, and Little Tesuque Creek Trail, ending up on Hyde Park Road. Again, motorists should be mindful of the increased bicycle traffic while hikers and other trail users should be alert to the high volume of bicycle activity on the trails during these times. The National Forest Service will be posting notices and trail intersections will be manned with volunteers reminding users to be alert.

Santa Fe’s outstanding bike terrain and mountain biking infrastructure, small town feel, and ideal location against the foothills of the Southern Rockies were some of the reasons IMBA selected the city for the World Summit. They are also reasons bikers continue to discover Santa Fe as a perfect stepping off point for mountain biking in Northern New Mexico.

Local sponsors include the Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau, Bicycle Technologies International, Outside Magazine, O’Leary Built Bicycles, Santa Fe Fat Tire Society, Santa Fe Brewing Company, Second Street Brewery, Santa Fe Spirits, Marble Brewery, Santa Fe Subaru, the Santa Fe REI store, 10,000 Waves, Hotel Santa Fe, Hilton Santa Fe, Santa Fe Conservation Trust, Century Bank, Wilson & Co., and santafe.com .

 

For more information; www.imba.com/world-summit

World Summit program:

http://issuu.com/imbapublications/docs/2012_summit_program_finalhttp://issuu.com/imbapublications/docs/2012_summit_program_final

 

Runners, Dreamers and Legends: The 2nd Annual Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon

Santa Fe, N.M. —The second annual Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon will draw runners from across North America the weekend of September 15. The USATF-certified race starts Sunday, Sept. 16, at 8 a.m. in downtown Santa Fe and will end in the Rio Grande Valley at the Pueblo of Pojoaque’s Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino.  The race will bring runners and families from around the country to New Mexico and will give athletes the opportunity to test their fitness and endurance at high altitude.

The Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon course will be fast and scenic, dropping over 1,300 feet after a gradual climb for the first two miles. The race starts at historic Fort Marcy Park in the heart of Santa Fe.  Runners will head north on the Old Taos Highway and will see the spectacular views of the 13,000 foot high Sangre De Cristo mountains to the east soon after they exit Fort Marcy.  They will also see the 11,000 foot Jemez Mountains to the west, which will be in the peak fall colors. At the three-mile mark near the Santa Fe Opera, the high point of the course, an inspiring panorama will inspire runners to kick it up a notch. The red rock formations extending up the valley north as far as the eye can see will entice the runners to keep going as they descend into the Rio Grande Valley.

The course then will take the runners into the picturesque Village of Tesuque, passing by Tesuque Village Market, where music, refreshments and water stations await. Continuing downhill, participants will enter the Tesuque Pueblo, passing by Camel Rock before reaching the Pueblo of Pojoaque. The finish will be at the magnificent Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino.

“We’ve created a destination race with top runners who will enjoy our beautiful scenery and rich culture,” says race director Joseph Karnes of Global Running Culture. “We have entries from 26 states, Canada and Mexico. We hope to grow this into a ‘must run’ race that provides participants with an unforgettable experience.  There’s still time to register, so please visit www.santafethunder.com  and join us for this beautiful, fun run.”

Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon will honor legendary Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills, Steve “King of the Mountain” Gachupin, double U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier, Nike N7 Ambassador Alvina Begay and World Record Steeplechaser Peter Koech. They all are scheduled to attend and participate in weekend events. Mills will officially start the race. In addition, a contingent of Rarámuri (Tarahumara) Indians from Copper Canyon, Mexico, is scheduled to participate in the weekend events. The Rarámuri are famed for their running-based culture, as recently portrayed in the best-selling book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall.

Global Running Culture, a nonprofit organization formed by elite distance runners Abraham Kosgei, Joseph Karnes and Antonio Lopez, created Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon. They came together to promote youth fitness, nutrition and health through participation in the sport of running. The race is the group’s primary fundraiser. Partnering with Whole Foods Market, Global Running Culture established the Fitness, Food & Fun Program at the Santa Fe Boys & Girls Clubs. This monthly program provides Club members with the opportunity to run with elite athletes, learn about healthy nutrition and enjoy healthy snacks.

“We want to inspire the next generation by the power of sport,” says 2000 Kenyan Olympic Team selection Abraham Kosgei. “For every child, regular physical activity and good nutrition are keys to success in life.”

There were 710 runners in the 2011 Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon. Organizers can accommodate up to 1,000 runners this year.

Following his astounding come-from-behind victory in the 1964 Olympic 10,000 meter race in Tokyo and a world-record-setting career, Billy Mills has devoted his life to enhancing opportunities for young people. His foundation, Running Strong for American Indian Youth, implements his vision, and his worldwide appearances inspire people of all ages to make the most of their lives. “Each of us is unique,” says Mills, “and we should appreciate the opportunities we have and make the most of them.” Mills is attending the race in support of Global Running Culture’s mission to promote youth fitness and health through healthy nutrition and participation in sport.

Nike N7 dry-fit t-shirts, handmade age-group awards made by Pueblo artists, unique finisher’s medals, a pasta dinner at Buffalo Thunder and live music along the course, combined with Santa Fe’s natural beauty and cultural amenities, make this race a not-to-miss event for both runners and spectators.

Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon weekend events include a talk by Billy Mills, the Race Expo, a Kids Run and the Pasta Dinner on Saturday, Sept. 15.  The Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon, 5K and 1 mile walk all start Sunday, Sept. 16, at 8 a.m., followed by awards and entertainment at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino. The point-to-point half marathon course starts at Fort Marcy and finishes at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, which is where the 5K and 1 Mile walk start and finish.

To register and for additional information, please visit www.santafethunder.com  or email info@santafethunder.com
Registration Fees: Half Marathon: $50, 5K: $25, Walk:  $15
After Sept. 9: Half Marathon: $60, 5K: $30, Walk: $20

www.santafethunder.com

Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon is an official New Mexico Centennial project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Advice From PeterGreenberg.com: Skip the Strip For Santa Fe!

Not every girlfriend getaway begins or ends in Las Vegas.  Not that you can’t have a lot of fun there, but instead of the traditional shopping and cocktails, we sent Fit Globetrotter Dena Roché to New Mexico for a Southwestern alternative to the typical getaway. Think natural spas, galleries and outdoor opera in and around Santa Fe.

An ancient Native American proverb reads, “Don’t allow the grass to grow on the path of friendship.”

While girlfriend getaways are a dime a dozen, Santa Fe offers something different. The city weaves adventure, culinary treats, culture and the requisite pampering with a memorable landscape and unpretentious locals.

We couldn’t have said it better, Dena. Read the full article to see why experts are gushing about Santa Fe, and find everything you need to plan your getaway on Santa Fe’s Official Travel Website SantaFe.org

Need A Change Of Altitude?

Travelers at the summit of Atalaya Trail

Whether you’re looking for an athletic challenge to get your adrenaline flowing, or you’re planning your vacation around cooler temperatures and a landscape beautiful enough to lose yourself in, chances are you’ll find something to love about autumn in Santa Fe. Nestled in the southern foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe is the perfect place to find leisurely walks, and hiking trails, as well as more active events like the annual Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon and the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s World Summit. Athletes have always loved the challenge offered by trails like the 22.2 mile Dale Ball system, and the expansive La Tierra system. And, at an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level even power shopping on the Plaza can qualify as a sport.

 

A customized excursion with Santa Fe Walkabouts

No matter how you decide to spend your time in Santa Fe, you’ll be surrounded by some of the most vibrant fall colors in the southwest thanks to the pristine 1.6 million acre Santa Fe National Forest.  We always get a kick out of sharing our mountain vistas, hiking trails, and scenic country roads with visitors. But, we want your first taste of the cleanest air in the country to be as refreshing as possible, so you can fall head-over-heels in love with Santa Fe the way visitors have for hundreds of years. So, here are a few useful  tips to get you prepared for your change of altitude.

Stay Hydrated

Lots of water seems to help with just about everything, and elevation is no exception.  So drink up. Sure, bathroom breaks might add a little time to your road trip, but you’ll be ready to hit the trail or hit the town as soon as your bags hit the hotel floor.  And trust us, you’ll want to experience as much as possible.

Eat Well

Sopapillas at Tia Sophia’s photo by Justin Delaney from www.goboogo.com

Break your diet and go for those carbohydrates (we recommend the locally loved sopapillas with honey). Seriously. Carbs give your body the immediate energy it needs to let you play hard hiking, biking, or checking out all of Santa Fe’s art markets.

We don’t want to brag, but Santa Fe was just nominated Best Food Town in America by USA Today and Rand Mcnally’s ‘Best of the Road.’ So come hungry. We also have a top ranked local farmer’s market which can provide a bounty of
fresh, seasonal gastronomic surprises. Remember, this is for your health.

Pace Yourself

Santa Fe Plaza during SWAIA Indian Market

Even if you don’t happen to be running in the Buffalo Thunder half marathon, this is still good advice. Don’t try to see and do everything Santa Fe offers that first night here.  Even locals can’t fit all Santa Fe’s great music, cuisine, shopping and hiking trails in one weekend. And we live here. Go ahead and take that extra day or two off work and give yourself the time to relax. And, don’t forget to include a few hours at one of our great spas in your schedule. Remember, vacations are supposed to be relaxing.

Want to know more about the great events going on during your visit, the best places to eat, or hotel specials?  Find it all on our homepage www.santafe.org.  See you soon!

 

Athletic events to get you going: 

Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon – September 16
Santa Fe Gourmet Classic Bicycle Ride – October 6
International Mountain Bicycling World Summit – October 10-13

Click here to explore the hiking & biking trails that Outside Magazine called one of the top five adventures in the Southwest!

The City Different

There are arguably other cities as exotic as Santa Fe. Just not on this continent.

It strikes you the first time you see The City Different. When city officials came up with that name early last century, they got it exactly right. For rarely does a place speak to so many people on so many levels.The landscape conspires to take your breath away. The sunsets are so beautiful and the stars so clear that you can’t take your eyes off the skies. But you’ll quickly see that there’s much to admire in our historic city. The narrow, winding streets invite you to walk closer together. The 400-year-old adobe buildings say, Hey, what’s the hurry? Linger a little. And you’ll find that lingering is easy to do here.

visiting santa fe textThere’s certainly plenty to explore, from the spectacular Sangre de Cristo Mountains outside of town to the world-renowned galleries, museums, boutiques and restaurants just outside your door. The list is almost endless. This site can only whet your appetite and help you plan your perfect visit, whether you’re here for a shopping excursion, an outdoor adventure, a rejuvenation weekend or a food odyssey.

To truly understand why the readers of Conde Nast Traveler put Santa Fe near the top of their must-see list, you’ll just have to experience it first hand. And start a love affair of your own. It only takes one visit to see that this is one of the world’s extraordinary places. And you’ll want to return again and again.