Category Archives: Lifestyle

Barcelona bans horse carriages

Barcelona has banned horse carriages from June 2018, with the only exception for days of traditional celebration like Los Tres Toms and the Feast of Sant Medir. The ban has been celebrated by animal protection groups, and all those who felt compassionate to horses, suffering from cruelty. Catalonia demonstrates firm determination to imply at most progressive legislation of animal welfare.

After the announcement was made, Deputy Mayor Janet Sanz for ecology tweeted, “Barcelona is a friend to animals.” Given the number of incidents with horse-drawn carriages in the US alone, Barcelona is certainly showing its compassion for animals.

The decision was taken in December 2017, but the owners of horses were given a period of time to adjust to a new situation, and the legislation came into force these days.

Barcelona has been in the forefront of animal welfare, creating a harmonious environment without cruelty and animal abuse. One can hope the other European cities will follow the example of banning this dangerous and outdated practise.

Barcelona irresistible golden sand beaches

Even without its beaches, Barcelona would be one of Europe’s coolest destinations thanks to its groundbreaking food scene, unique architecture and legendary nightlife.
But the cherry on the sundae is the three-mile strip of nearly continuous golden sand, which is so wired into its heart that it’s like the entire city’s backyard, CNN Travel suggests.

Much of the seafront buzzes with a carnival atmosphere year-round, with hawkers tiptoeing around sunbathers to sell cold cans of beer, beach blankets and chintzy trinkets.

Albania among top ten destinations

This week, the travel guide Lonely Planet named Tirana in their top ten “essential destinations in Europe” list, calling it a transformed “vigorous metropolis” and highlighting the city’s green and sustainable ethos.

Further showcasing Albania’s potential as a top tourist destination, Italian paper Travel News, named Drimadhes one of the five most beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean as well as “the most beautiful beach on the Albanian Riviera“. With direct flights to Tirana from over 30 cities in Europe, it is predicted that 2018 will witness the largest numbers yet of foreign tourists visiting Albania.

This year’s list aims at resolving the problem of overflow of tourists, or mass tourism, which devastates locals in communities like Reykjavik, Iceland, or Florence, Italy to name a few.  Some cities are even considering visitor caps per day to curb the problem. S The Mayors of overwhelmed by crowds cities have already taken measures. The municipality of Venice banned the new hotels and fast food restaurants opening in a bid to cap the number of tourists streaming through the streets.

Venice ‘visitor-only‘ routes to popular landmarks have been introduced last year ahead of the bank holiday weekend to keep tourists away from the locals – who have long complained about excessive crowds.

Topping Lonely Planet’s 2018 list for underrated European destinations is the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy, which is often overlooked in favor of more well-known regions like Tuscany, Campania and The Veneto.

Rubens daughter portrait at Christie’s

At Christie’s London on July 5 the portrait of  Peter Paul Rubens daughter Clara will be exposed for the final sale while  it’s being valued between $4 million and $6.8 million.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA) set the painting for auction five years ago, for estimated $20,000–$30,000, while the acclaimed institution had no idea as to the scale of its error. The painting then wasn’t attributed to the genius of Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640),  but considered to be from a disciple imitating his style. However the portrait was completed by Rubens himself, depicting  the artist’s 12-year-old daughter, finished just before her untimely death from the plague.

There is legend about another portrait by Rubens, depicting a blond lady, which is considered to be fantasy of the artist, haunted by his passed away daughter Clara. The father imagined how his daughter would look like if survived the plague. However this one is not for sale, but exposed permanently in Hermitage Museum of Saint-Petersburg.

Portrait of a Lady-in-Waiting to the Infanta Isabella or the Portrait of Clara Serena Rubens, Daughter of the Painter (?), Hermitage, Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

Rubens fille

Israel’s Netta wins Eurovision

Netta, representing Israel, has won the Eurovision Song Contest for her quirky dance song Toy – assembled with its trademark chicken dance.

Israeli candidate became an early favourite, but the vote went down to the wire with Cyprus finishing in second place.

Netta thanked juries and the public for “choosing different” as she lifted the glass microphone trophy.

Netta Barzilai (in Hebrew: נטע ברזילי‎; born 22 January 1993), known by many as simply Netta, is an Israeli singer and a looping artist.

Champagne toast to Antarctica!

Imagine a landscape that only a handful of people will ever get to see in their lifetime, then imagine flying to it on a specially commissioned jet and landing on a custom-carved ice runway to experience hours and hours of continuous daylight. This is Antarctica. Relax in an exclusive luxury camp – for a maximum of 12 guests – and enjoy your choice of activities, from leisurely treks or ice climbing to penguin visits and ice-tunnel exploration.

Indulge in signature Clos19 meals and toast it all with our fine champagnes, wines and spirits.  Do as little or as much as you like on this eight-day Clos19 tour of Antarctica. Get in touch, and a tour specialist will help you design your perfect trip. Please note that all dates and planned activities may vary and are subject to weather conditions in Antarctica.

Clos19 Champ


Antarctica – 28 November to 6 December 2019

Antarctica, warm up with exciting activities, fine foods and Clos19 tastings. Your experience includes:

  • Airport transfers to your hotel on arrival in Cape Town.
  • Flights from Cape Town to Antarctica on a specially commissioned jet.
  • A day with emperor penguins at Atka Bay.
  • A chance to explore brilliant blue ice waves and tunnels.
  • A visit to a Russian science base, ending with a relaxing sauna.
  • A gastronomic experience without compare – sumptuous Clos19 signature feasts and tastings of our iconic champagnes, wines and spirits.
  • Flights to the South Pole, the southernmost place on Earth, to explore the polar plateau.
  • All accommodation, guides, travel, and food and drink in Antarctica.
  • The use of key items of polar clothing as outlined on our equipment list.



Dated 1774 trio of wine bottles at auction

On Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 2 pm at Jura Enchères, Brigitte Fenaux and Philippe Etiévant, 145 chemin de la Ferté in Lons-le-Saunier, will put on auction the 102 bottles of the cellar of the Commander Grand à Arbois. Jura white wines, one of 1811, others of 1905, all prior to 1967 and, pearls of that day, 3 bottles of 1774. To the opinion of wine experts, there are no authentic wines prior to this date “in circulation“. No doubt alcohols, but very few expect them to be ‘real’ wines.

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