As the ferry leaves port, the sounds and fumes of Dakar disperse on the sea breeze. After a few days immersed in Senegal’s frenetic, colorful, dusty capital city, my short voyage to an offshore island promises a change of pace. But it will also be challenging. I am heading to Gorée, a place synonymous with the Atlantic slave trade.
The Portuguese and then the Dutch, the British and the French converted this little island into a fortress. The battlements remain, and within them the cobbled streets wind narrowly between colonial buildings. All visitors are drawn to one building in particular, the House of Slaves. Here African slaves were held in cramped, windowless cells before being escorted in chains along a narrow stone passage to a rectangle of blinding light at the far end: The Door of No Return.
Today people stand solemnly in front of it, imagining the 12 million slaves forcibly transported from Africa to the Americas, never to return. Some of their descendants now return; Gorée is a place of pilgrimage. Although some historians argue Gorée’s role in the slave trade has been exaggerated, this atmospheric island now serves as a poignant memorial and is an essential stop on any itinerary in Dakar.
Dakar occupies an arrow-shaped peninsula jutting into the Atlantic. This is the westernmost point of Africa. The markets are thrillingly chaotic; the streets teem with traffic, people and livestock. My rusty schoolboy French is enough to get by; but if you don’t know the language, it’s worth hiring a guide/translator. Few people here speak English.
At sundown I find myself at the foot of the African Renaissance Monument, a 160-foot-tall copper statue of a woman, man and child. Constructed by North Korean engineers in 2010 on a hilltop facing the ocean, it has been criticized on grounds of taste and cost ($27 million). But like it or not, it is a bold proclamation of a city that has thrown off the shackles of the past and is looking to new horizons.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
The Airline Passenger Experience Association and SimpliFlying recognized United Airlines for providing a hospital-grade standard of cleanliness and safety during travel. Among the four largest U.S. carriers, United is the first to receive Diamond Certification, the highest in the new APEX Health Safety audit powered by SimpiliFlying.
Custom order your Volvo through the Overseas Delivery Program and receive round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and a personalized delivery at the Volvo Factory Delivery Experience in Gothenburg, Sweden. Your experience begins in Sweden with insurance and registration included, enabling you to drive your new Volvo throughout Scandinavia and Europe. Create the adventure of a lifetime with the program named Best Overseas Delivery four years running, and return home with the ultimate souvenir.
A couple of my friends and I decided to rent a house in the Camelback Mountain area of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains for New Year’s Eve. To find the perfect place, we used Vrbo.com; there were a bunch of properties to choose from, but, in the end, we decided to rent a place in The Village at Camelback.
The International Air Transport Association and Etihad Airways partnered to launch the IATA Travel Pass for passengers on the Gulf carrier. The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that helps passengers manage travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccines. It will be initially offered on select Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi in early 2021, with plans to extend the offer if successful.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection recently debuted a complete redesign, now standing as a luxurious, modern mountain resort in Telluride, Colorado. At 10,540 feet, the ski-in/ski-out retreat boasts new social spaces, a refreshed lobby, a new boutique, a collection of new guest experiences and amenities, and wellness offerings. Additionally, Madeline features a collaboration with Olympian Gus Kenworthy, who helped create the hotel’s Recovery Ski Lounge.