Lancia Appia

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And there I was in Senigallia, Italy, where the local classic car club had a meeting in front of the castle. I found this car which is very similar to my first car. I have owned it approximately two weeks. Then in the first shower it appeared that the back wheelarches where rotten. The prior owner had driven it approximately 15 years in those days (early 70ies). He was the best friend of my granddad. He stored the car in a garage and hadn’t noticed the wheelarches problems. He took the car back without a hassle and subsequently I bought my first Citroen, a 2CV. Not really sure anymore I have owned a series II Appia like this one or a series one…fond memories.

When in Rome…potter the Tiber in your Marble Yacht

Fabio Viale Marble Yacht

Via Today an Tomorrow, a blog curated – that’s a cool new term for what I usually do here:-) – by Berlin based Belgian Pieter I found Italian Sculptor Fabio Viale who cut his yacht from a whole piece of white Carrara and pottered the Tiber with it.

Boscolo Exedra Milano Hotel

Despite Milan’s de facto world design capital status, the city lacks design hotels. Boscolo Exedra, a new hotel opening very soon, will fill the gap.

The former bank will, after one year and €150 million in renovations, host 154 rooms, nine thematic suites (including Cinema, Sport, Family, Romantic and Milano) and conference rooms with a stunning view looking out on the Duomo.

Via Cool Hunting

10 Questions For (31): Gesa Noormann of Escapio

Happy to present Gesa Noormann of Escapio

Gesa-Noormann
1) Who Are you?
My name is Gesa Noormann. I am doing PR for Escapio, a booking platform for exclusive, handpicked hotels. I especially love testing out and reporting on our gorgeous hotels in the Escapio Blog. I live in the middle of Berlin with my twin daughters and two rabbits. Aside from travelling, I love cooking and having friends over to share food and drinks

2) What do you like about what you do?
It may sound a little kitschy, but I have always dreamt of landing a job like I have at Escapio. It combines my passions for travel, great hotels and writing. The internet offers so many possibilities to communicate with people and to develop new marketing ideas that I really feel I’m doing exciting and new things every day.

3) What don’t you like about what you do?
Sometimes I miss meeting people personally instead of having virtual contacts on the internet.

4) Please tell us all about your site / blog and your aims with it.
Escapio is a booking website with a selection of handpicked hotels. Our concept is that customers can choose their hotel by lifestyle criteria like romantic or design hotels rather than just by destination or price. In times of bargain deals we want to give our customers the security of enjoying a special stay in an excellent hotel. Our blog is a complement to the website, for our customers to share our experiences with hotels, locations and lifestyle.

5) Your top 3 destination experiences you’ve ever stayed to date and why?
Egypt: so many things to see, such a rich cultural heritage, the Nile in the middle of the desert… just great!

Provence/Côte d’Azur: beautiful landscape, great food, my favorite language, fabulous shopping opportunities.

Venice: The City of my heart, a mix of beauty, decadence and melancholia.

La-Posta-Vecchia
La-Posta-Vecchia

6) Your top 3 accommodations you’ve ever stayed to date and why?
La Posta Vecchia, Rome. The perfect hideaway for lovers (ex-villa of Paul Getty and his lover). You actually sleep in the bed of Katharina de Medici, enjoy great food and eternal beauty near the city. Great restaurant with one Michelin star

The Hotel Al Moudira Louxor. The Lebanese owner brought all the antiquities and style from her villa in Cairo to this new built hotel in the middle of the desert. This hotel near King’s valley is a real oriental dream.

The Hollmann Beletage in Vienna: A very special and unique place in the historic center of Vienna. Actor Robert Hollmann realized with this hotel his personal idea of feeling at home – only better.

7) Your top 3 most memorable food / wine experiences to date and why?
Restaurant Hugo’s in the Intercontinental Hotel Berlin: Thomas Kammeier got his Michelin star for a good reason. He serves excellent, honest food with regional influences (his interpretation of the “currywurst” is unforgettable). Great panoramic view of Berlin.

Restaurant Le Castelleras near Fayence, France: This attractive stone villa is perched on a hillside and overlooks Fayence and the valley. A hidden and splendid location to enjoy refined Provençal-style cuisine. Great home-made ice cream with olive oil from the olive plantation behind the villa.

Harry’s Dolci in Venice with a great view on the Canale Grande. The food is fantastic and the other reason why I will never forget this experience is that my boyfriend and I, freshly in love, were not allowed to kiss. The manager’s severe call “Not in my restaurant” has become kind of an idiom between us since then.

8) Your top 3 worst destination/ accommodation /food experiences to date and why?
Unfortunately, I have canceled the names of these places out of my memory, so I cannot warn you

A hotel in downtown New York City, a so called in-place for artists. Perhaps I am not bohemian enough to live cockroaches in my bed as an interesting experience.

A hotel in Etropole/Bulgaria (best place in town!): My boyfriend is still getting spots on his face when he remembers the 50-years-of-socialism-carpet, 40 degrees in the room and no curtains…The wedding of my ex au pair was great, however, and for 19 euros per night you cannot really complain either.

9) Can you offer the readers 3 destination/ food / accommodation / things to do tips about the city you are currently living in?
Well, just have a look on Escapio’s Berlin hotels. I would send my most stylish friends to the Hotel Q in West Berlin. It is really fashionable and cool with guests like Angelina Jolie and Amy Whinehouse. Prices are really affordable, and the bar is a great chill out place.
The Ellington Hotel is great, too. Or for party people, I would choose the Arcotel Velvet in Berlin Mitte. If you want more luxury and are post materialist-design lover, please do not miss The Mandala at Potsdamer Platz, it is just gorgeous!

For people who like to spend money on food, I would suggest the Hugo’s (mentioned above), the Margaux at Unter den Linden or the Horvath in Kreuzberg. For a lower budget, a great rustic Italian is the Café Aroma in Kreuzberg or the Vietnamese Si An http://www.expedia.de/vc/reisefuehrer/restaurant-si-an-berlin-27737) in Prenzlauer Berg.

Hollmann-Beletage-Vienna
Hollmann-Beletage-Vienna

10) Any Question(s) you’d expected me to ask that you would like to answer?
Perhaps why people should choose Escapio? Because we believe in our choice of hotels (one of the best in the Mediterranean) and have a great, enthusiastic team that loves to help our customers book their dream hotel.

My Take

Thank you Gesa! In Berlin you mention places I certainly will check out at a future occasion and your mention of Hollmann Beletage will surely make me try out that one once over my current Vienna favorites. Big question: When will Escapio follow up my suggestions for Dutch additions to its site?

Photo Plugin Galore: First Try – Two 12 ft Dinghies in Love

The new WordPress 2.7 version makes it much easier to find Plugins. I had a project on my back burner for which I need a decent Photo or Gallery Plugin.

I have shown already some interest here for Yachts and Yachting. I have not divulged yet that I used to be an avid dinghy sailor and used to race dinghies as well. Alas ever since I ventured into our Hotel business, my own clinker built 12 foot Dinghy dating back from 1944, is stored safely without much attention lately. I’m even not sure my old stiff legs will be able to endure a regatta anymore.

On the original date of this post I used a plugin, Tylr Slidr enabling me to show you a couple of photos that I uploaded recently, but took in 2005 in Venice during the Biennial of 2005. There I found two Italian 12 ft Dinghies in the Arsenal. They were berthed opposite each other and were giving each other signs with lamps. It was an Art installation. A sort of act of love. Very poetic and I would never have thought of such use of two old dinghies in a basin that was used for maintenance of submarines.

The Artist, Laura Belem, born in 1974 in Bele Horizonte and working there, was able to make this installation with the help of a stipend from the Ministry of Culture of Brazil.

The 12ft Dinghy is a typical One Design Class. It was designed in 1913 by George Cockshott, an amateur boat designer from Southport, Lancashire, who won a competition organized by the Boat Racing Association (BRA). The BRA wanted a new sailing dinghy that would also serve as a yacht tender, and Cockshott’s design with its single, high-peaked lugsail fitted the bill.

It became an IYRU Dutch Class in 1914 and an International Class in 1920. It was even used for sailing competitions in the Olympic Games of Antwerp of 1920 and of Amsterdam of 1928. In 1920 they sailed on the North Sea with a lot of wind. The gold medal was won by the Dutch brothers Jan Hin and Frans Hin. In the 60ies I had the honor to sail against Jan Frans Hin – well, competing …. actually it was more of looking to his backside:-) The Silver medals were also won by two Dutchman (Van der Biesen and Beukers). In Amsterdam in 1928, on an inland lake near Amsterdam with not much wind, the medal winners were all of Scandinavian origin: 1)The Swede Sven Thorel, 2) Norwegian Henrik Robert and 3) The Fin B. Broman.

Recently we saw the International 12 ft Dingy class association being incorporated.
There are still several fleets:

  • In The Netherlands there is a fleet of over 200 active enthusiasts,
  • North Germany has fleets mainly around Lubeck and Hamburg,
  • Italy has several fleets and is very active,
  • To my knowledge there are also fleets in the UK, Japan, Switzerland and Turkey.

Dutch compete in Italy and in Germany. Japanese and Italians come to The Netherlands for a race sometimes. The class becomes more and more international nowadays, 95 years after it’s creation. Amazing huh?

I found a PDF file with 2007 draft Class rules in English at the site of an Italian Fleet.

This exercise in nostalgia was just to test this plugin and it seems to be what I needed for this post, although the loading of the whole seems a bit slow. What would you think? [Added: And sadly it didn’t work out as anticipated]

Added January 5, 2008: The next Slideshow of the same photos is as per the advice of Heather from Heather on her Travels and used by her at a slideshow of the Turtle Fountain in Rome. It loaded a lot easier, and was also very easy to copy and paste into your blog, but has not the full screen view mode as the other plugin….Thanks Heather! [Update: Unfortunately Slideshow has closed down]

Added July 14, 2009
Oops When I reviewed this article there appeared some hiccups and parts of the post including the two slide shows simply disappeared completely. Grrr recovering it from previous revisions must be done piece by piece as apparently a later update of WordPress (or the theme) seems to garble text into executable code…. done…it was the link to the Swiss fleet that did it!. Those Swiss:-)

Added November 9, 2009
Since this post I’ve had to delete the plugin. We now are waiting for the 2.9 version of WordPress, wich has been promised will handle media much better than it does prsently.

Added March 11, 2012
It appears Slideshow has closed its doors permanently as of March 6, 2012. Revisiting the site of Heather learned me she has now incorporated a Google + thingy…I’ll put this on the back burner for a while to look into it further.