During this posting frenzy, I've just found out about some of the distant countries that I've been published in. And I didn't even knows it.
Here you go. Here's Mumbai. Mumbai! (They like Snow Patrol).
And here, it's still Istanbul, but I've been translated into Turkish.
The middle one is on alternative (read: exciting) winter sports holz. For the full article (in English) go past the jump.
Kate Hutchinson takes a look at the most exciting and affordable winter vacation spots
Ski holidays don’t have to be about champers n’ chalets in Chamonix, says KateHutchinson. Istanbul is a springboard for the hottest winter holidays in the most popular European and Asian ski destinations. So start your search engines and get booking...
SNOW SCULPTURE IN AUSTRIA Snow festivals are pretty common now, with artists hacking snow and ice into glorious shapes in Sweden (Kiruna Snow Festival), Japan (Sapporo Snow Festival), China (Harbin) and the US (North Lake Tahoe Snowfest) and beyond. But some of the finest frozen work can be seen at the Shapes in White Festival in January at ice-cool resort Ischgl in Austria. International sculptors are encouraged to submit their designs and ten artists are invited to line the slopes with pieces to create a giant open-air gallery. This year’s theme – topically – is vampires, so expect the fanged ones to be on show until the end of May when, presumably, they’ll melt in the sun. Sculpting at Shapes in White starts on January 10, 2011 and the awards ceremony is on January 14 (www.ischgl.com).
Flights from Istanbul to Austria (transfer to Innsbruck Airport–INN-then take a train or rental car to Ischgl) can be booked through Pegasus Airlines, Swissair, Turkish Airlines and other discount carriers.
CLUBBING ON ICE Hard partying and the Alps go together like skiing and bad Spandex, however, the plentitude of music festival packages luring hedonists their way suggests otherwise. The biggest, Snowbombing, in Mayrhofen, Austria, is infamous for its fancy dress-themed street party and Arctic disco – a nightclub made entirely of ice – and it returns this April with a headline set from The Prodigy. Over in Andorra, they have their own version, The Big Snow Festival, which is back for 2011 with a similarly clubby vibe. For a more boutique feel, opt for the Black Weekend in Chamonix, which last year featured underground electro sets from the likes of Busy P and Drums of Death. Snowbombing is from April 4-9, 2011 (www.snowbombing.com). The Big Snow Festival is from March 13-20, 2011 (www.thebigsnowfestival.com). Black Crow’s Black Weekend is from March 16-20, 2011 (www.blackweekend.com).
Flights from Istanbul to Austria (transfers to Andorra) can be booked through Pegasus Airlines, Swissair, Turkish Airlines and other discount carriers.
GO INDOORS IN DUBAI Who said that skiing is all about the great outdoors? At the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort, Ski Dubai, there’s no danger that you’ll go careening off the edge of a mountain. It’s huge, covering 22,500 square metres with snow, and you can do some serious damage on the black run or its Snow Park (bobsledding, tobogganing, hurling snowballs and more), the largest of its kind in the world. It’s part of one of the world’s largest malls (you sense the theme here), perfect if you love the shops as much as you do the snow. For a wholly inauthentic chalet experience, book into one of the nearby chalet-style hotels. An Adult Day Pass to Ski Dubai is around 60 Euros (120 TL). For more information on Ski Dubai visit, www.skidubai.com
Flights from Istanbul to Dubai can be booked through Qatar Airways, Emirates, British Airways, Turkish Airlines and other discount carriers.
SWISS-STYLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST Lebanon is commonly dubbed ‘the Switzerland of the Middle East.’ It has five ski resorts, all within easy reach of its capital, Beirut, which are bizarre yet brilliant, timid skiers beware, the Lebanese ski like they drive! They’re fairly cheap compared to their Alpine counterparts, too: a Weekend Day Pass ranges from 18-29 Euros (36-58 TL) depending on the resort, while ski hire is around 7 Euros (14 TL). Faraya is the largest, with a buzzing après ski scene; The Cedars has the longest season and impressive natural beauty; the family favourite is Laqlouq; Mzaar Kfardebian is the tamest; and Qanat Bakish is the lesscrowded option. Lebanon is also one of the few places where you can ski and swim in the sea on the same day, so it’s not uncommon to spot snow demons in skimpy Speedos alongside burqa-clad ladies on skis. For more information on skiing in Lebanon, see www.skileb.com
Flights from Istanbul to Lebanon can be booked through Pegasus Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Turkish Airlines and other discount carriers.
ON A BUDGET IN CYPRUS We can’t all afford the glitz of St. Moritz. Unusual European ski locations like Slovenia, Romania, Czech Republic and Croatia all offer cheap alternatives, but perhaps the most unexpected bargain ski spot is on Mount Olympus in Cyprus’ Troodos area. Built by the British army after World War II, little has changed since the resort was taken over by the Cyprus Ski Club in the 1960s. Consequently, it’s not one for serious skiers, with its mere four lifts, 16 trails and infrequent snowfall. But it’s cheap. In 2009, the last time the ski pass prices were updated, a Full Day Pass was just 23 Euros (46 TL), while neighbouring guesthouses started at 20 Euros (40 TL) a night for a double room. Overall, it’s great for a short break during the winter weeks, when it’s less overrun by locals in pastelcoloured one-piece ski suits, and when the prices are considerably cheaper than spring. The best bit? Come in the afternoon and you can relax on a glorious beach nearby. The Troodos ski season runs from mid-January to mid-March. For more details on the resort and accommodation, see www.skicyprus.com
Flights from Istanbul to Cyprus (transfer from Nicosia or Limassol) can be booked through Pegasus Airlines, Aegean Airlines, Olympic Air, Middle East Airlines, Turkish Airlines and other discount carriers.