on a sea voyage, the expected, rather than the unexpected, can preoccupy the traveler. In “Tuscany to the Sea” (page 128), Samantha Brooks explores some of Italy’s quieter stretches of coastline aboard the just-launched 135-foot sailing yacht Satori. “I took small-boat sailing classes in college and got some other certifications just after, but I would always get seasick on anything over about 40 feet, so I was a bit leery,” Samantha says. Luckily for her, the ship cruised like a dream. “But,” she adds, “if I had gotten sick, the onboard masseuse and 250-bottle wine cellar would have provided excellent remedies.”
nothing could be more unexpected than Rwanda’s rapid emergence as Africa’s most intriguing setting for safaris, as editor Jackie Caradonio observes in “High in the Green Hills” (page 92). Yet the astonishing landscapes proved less surprising than some of the country’s simple pleasures, such as the local banana wine Jackie savored on her drive from Kigali to the Virunga Mountains. “My driver Emmanuel had been singing the alcoholic beverage’s praises to me during our drive,” she recalls. “A simple fermented blend composed of only bananas and white sugar, the concoction was definitely a surprise to my taste buds—nothing like grape wine, a bit hoppy like beer, and overwhelmingly sweet and syrupy to the last drop. I wouldn’t make it my drink of choice, but it was indeed the perfect tipple for a long drive through the Rwandan countryside.”
some of the more memorable sights the sojourner sees are at the table, and nowhere is the table more lavishly equipped than in Shanghai, the subject of this month’s “Time Well Spent” (page 161). One of the top culinary destinations in Shanghai is DADONG, renowned for its succulent, crispy, and creatively prepared Peking duck, which editor Jill Newman sought out on a recent visit. “Without advance planning, I couldn’t even get a reservation,” she says. The numerous rebuffs, however, were softened by the announcement that Chef Dong is opening a restaurant in Jill’s hometown of New York. “Clearly the Chinese were extremely proud of their famous chef now being exported to America to introduce the traditional Peking duck with a twist,” Jill observes. “On my return, I was surprised to learn that many New Yorkers were also anxiously awaiting the opening of DADONG in Midtown. When the reservation line opened in the fall, more than 2,000 people called, and the restaurant is booked until mid-February. I finally got the chance to taste the Peking duck at a press preview night, and it was worth the wait. As Chef Dong says, ‘It’s the only duck with skin so crispy that is shatters like glass.’ ”
Sometimes, the traveler must return home to see—as well as to taste.
“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”
—G. K. CHESTERTON