Category Archives: The World Is Yours For The Taking

Beautiful Caves Around The World

Hi everyone, I hope you are all having a good week so far… I think that the weather helps with everyone with what type of mood you are in, and the amount of energy you have, so I have been making the most of this time, while I can.

Today I thought that I would do about some beautiful caves. I know caves, right! You may think BORING!!! I always thought that caves were more like what you see in Indiana Jones, okay a lot are but there are some stunning caves out there in the world, so when I discovered that all caves are not like that, I thought that I would give you an insight into some remarkable caves from around the world.

Enchanting Caves

Here are 10 caves that are bustling with colour, covered either in ice, or could be considered sacred places. underground caves and caverns. You wouldn’t believe that these underground caves exist as they seem almost too good to be true to exist in our world. Here are some incredible caves for you to see for yourself.

Skaftafell Ice Cave, Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

This beautiful cave is located on the frozen lagoon of the Svínafellsjökull glacier in Skaftafell, Iceland. You can best enjoy the vivid blue scene of this magnificent ice cave, either in the fall or during wintertime.  It was constructed from centuries old ice from the slopes of Öræfajökull that as now transpired into what you now see before you, a pressurized glacier ice that contains hardly any air bubbles and making them become more transparent, except for the blue tinge. The ice as occurred over the last several years, and the holes in the Vatnajökull glacier have created amazing caves. The blue ice caves are a rare wonder to see.

Phraya Nakhon Cave, Thailand

The Phraya Nakhon Cave can be found in the Sam Roi Yot National Park in Thailand, it is one of the most mystical and mysterious landmarks there is in Thailand, but there are only a few that get to see it. The reason behind that is, it’s hard to get to the gold and green pavilion, only dedicated travelers, and hikers will accomplish this by making the journey. Those that do get to see it are rewarded with a stunning vision. The light that comes shining through the ceiling makes it even more magical, as it illuminates the Kuha Karuhas temple. The pavilion was purposely built for when King Chulalongkorn visited in 1890, and historically was a popular place for local kings to come and visit

Golden Temple of Dambulla Sri Lanka

The Golden Temple of Dambulla is also known as The Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple, it is the best well-presented cave that Sri Lanka as to offer. The Golden Temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991. It is made up of five caves, that contain 157 statues of Buddha as well as many paintings on the walls and ceilings, which gives you an insight into the artistic talent of ancient times. The best time to go and visit this amazing temple is best late afternoon when it is somewhat cooler. This is one of the oldest temples going as it has been going for 22 centuries but it still looks remarkable for its age.

Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Batu Caves is one of Kuala Lumpur main and most favoured attraction, which comes alive every year attracting millions of tourists worldwide, they come to celebrate the Thaipusam festival that they hold in the caves, with several having been turned into temples. You are met by a grand entrance that can be reached by a staircase of 272 steps and is guarded by a golden statue of the god Murugan which towers at 40 metre’s (131 feet high). The limestone that forms around the Batu Cave dates back 400 million years ago, and the temple are only 100 years old and features the idols, and statues that are stood inside the main caves. This is the largest and most popular of the Batu Caves, At the foot of Batu Hill there are two other caves, one of them is the Art Gallery Cave and the other is a Museum Cave.

The Marble Caves, Patagonia, Chile

The Marble Caves can be found in the General Carrera Lake in Patagonia, and is over 6,000 years old, and was declared a national monument in 1994. The smooth intricate shapes that are etched on the walls of the cave was created by the formations that is made up of calcium carbonate, which is a result of the lakes current, that had carved itself through the rocks over the years. This is one of the world’s most stunning of places to visit. The caves are known for their beautiful and spectacular turquoise water cast of marble ceilings.

Reed Flute Cave, Guilin, China

The Reed Flute Cave can be found in Guangxi, China. The limestone cave has been visited by many tourists over its 1200 years, with its ink subscription that dates to the 8th century BCE. Its name comes from several reeds that grow at the mouth, which can be made into flutes. The colorful lights illuminate off the stunningly formed stalagmites and stalactite causing such a beautiful effect, that as you mesmerized by its many colors, which is just spectacular to see.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA

Antelope Canyon was carved out by millions of years of water erosion, but you would be forgiven for thinking that it has been sculpted by a professional, with its smooth beautiful lines, but that was not the case. Instead, it was formed out of the erosion of sandstones from flash flooding and rainwater. The stunning color of The Navajo sandstones flowing of the cave walls are awe-inspiring, attracting many visitors to the cave and even photographers come from all over the world to see it in all its splendour. The Navajo name for the upper Antelope Canyon is “Tse’ bighanilini,” which means in English “the place where water runs through rocks.” The Antelope is known for the light that shines directly down in to the opening of the canyon and wave like structure.

Han Son Doong Cave, Vietnam

The Han Son Doong cave can be found in Quang Binh Province, and is the largest known cave in the world, and it is utterly mesmerizing and is filled with many wonders. The stalactites measure 70 metre’s in height, with the pearls the size of basketballs. Every time tourists visits, they are stunned by the size of it, as they don’t expect it to be as big as it first appears, but it is a place of many wonders, and those who come, want to explore its many underground gems. There is plenty to see in the cave with parts of it illuminated by two sinkholes that flood the cave with its rays of sunlight beaming down, there is no place in the world like this…

Kyaut Sae Cave, Myanmar

Kyaut Sae Cave is known throughout the world, and is a magical and majestic cave that holds a Buddhist temple hidden within its cave. It does not diminish the fact of its natural beauty at all. There is a small opening in the ceiling that releases sunlight into the cave, illuminating it up giving it an orange or blue glow. This cave is only known to a small number of people that live in the area, as it is a relatively small and therefore not that interesting to researchers. The main visitors to the cave are pilgrims. The temple remains one of the most important places in the country. Trees and shrubs grow inside which gives it an even more stunning feature.

Cuevas del Drach Caves, Spain

Cuevas del Drach Caves can be located at Porto Cristo on the island of Mallorca and are made up of four Dragon Caves (Cave of Luis, Salvador, Black Cave, White Cave, and Cave of the French) it is an unbelievable sight to see. The striking formation was staged over millions of years of non-stop drip-drip. The winding corridors connect to each individual cave, with stalagmites hanging from its enormous ceiling. Near to the entrance is where the “Baths of Diana” is, when entering it you are hit by a small illuminating turquoise blue lake that is just so mesmerizing and enchanting. There in the middle of the lake sits a small orchestra, ready to give you a short concert, you sit in the surrounding boats before the band strikes up and fills the cave with beautiful music. Millions of tourists would come in their droves to see the wonders of this cave and see the only cave that as an orchestra.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, enjoy the rest of your week and I will see you back here next week

Beautiful Forests Around The World

This week’s blog is about the beautiful forests around the world, that look so peaceful and serene and most of all very inviting, a place to go to escape from all the stress. I don’t know about you, but it is sometimes good to get away from all the electronics, so you can switch off and focus on what is important to you, not only for yourself, but to re-connect with your family, as well as nature. We have all had it hard for the past year, and taking time out for loved ones, is more crucial than ever.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan, China

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, as one of the most beautifullest of settings, I think that was why it became the inspiration for the movie Avatar, with its deep ravines, subtropical forest and along with its towering sandstone buttes. This gives you the impression of a magical place that can hypnotise you into forgetting about everything outside of its bubble.  This peaceful and mesmerizing place is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site in the Wulingyuan District of South-Central China’s Hunan Province, which is home to some rare species like the ginkgo biloba tree that is also known by ginkgo or gingko, along with some unusual primates and birds. This park offers some beautiful and thrilling ways to explore its landscape, including its glass walkway and cable cars that gets you up close and personal too the beauty of its forest offering you a bird’s eye view. This is an absolute must for an avid photographer with its out of this world scenery.

Daintree Rainforest, Queensland, Australia

The majestic Daintree Rainforest is thought to be one of the oldest rainforests in the world by being around 135 million years old. It is protected by UNESCO and it is home to a vast amount of rare and threatened plants and animal species, which includes these types of plants that are rare, endangered, and exotic the blue tassel fern, Coopers Creek Walnut, the Rare Russell River Lime. The animals included are the Spotted Tiger Quoll, Musky Rat-Kangaroo, and Southern Cassowary. A prehistoric predator, called the saltwater crocodile can also be found lurking in the rivers and creeks. If you go up to, he forests Discovery Centre’s walkway it allows you to get high up in the trees, after dark a guided walk is a great time to see the forest come alive at night. Daintree is the world’s most stunning of rainforest and is worth a visit.

Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont, USA

Green Mountain National Park as a stunningly picturesque setting, with its beautiful mountain backdrop, and below it is surrounded by its native sugar maple trees to add to its effect. The forest is scenic all through the year, but especially around autumn time which brings out an array of colours, red, orange and gold, making it look so majestic, it gives you a perfect place to go, no matter what time of year. The Green Mountain’s in central and southwest of Vermont, which is good for its many hiking trails, perfect for getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city and gives you a panoramic view at the top of the mountain.

Otzarreta Forest, Spain

The Otzarreta Forest can be found in the northern part of Spain’s Gorbea Natural Park and is well-known to its Basque mountaineers. The forest is surrounded by beechwood trees, and its settings offer many stories in Basque mythology, making it quite romantic. Gorbea Natural Park is in the Basque Country and is known for its tenuous forests, such as Hayedo de Otzarreta. It is said to be especially charming in autumn and is an absolute must place to stop at, for any thrill seeker that loves an exciting adventure.

The Amazon Rainforest, Brazil

The Amazon Rainforest spans over eight South American countries Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana, making it undoubtedly the most famous rainforest that contains a small part of the planet’s known species that spans its 1.4 billion acres of tropical forest and winding river that covers over 4,100 miles. The Amazon contains several million species of different insects, birds, plants, with many still unrecorded. The main wildlife includes animals such as jaguars, tapirs, capybaras, manatees, and other rodents, and several types of monkeys. The Amazon Rainforest looks so serene, but it is at risk, not only with the climate changes but also with it being destroyed, as the forest as over the years decreased in size to what it once was.

Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam, Thailand

The Pom Khlong Song Nam means “two-water canal” and is a wondrous of wonders. It as spectacular mangrove trees with luminous fluorescent blue water, a colour that only happens when the seawater comes together with freshwater at certain points of the cycle of the tide. The Umbra Forest green area is Gargano, which is home to trees like oaks, holm oak, and beech. This is a place for you to study and learn about all the plants growing both in and out of water and soil, and the stream is as clear as glass. Its visitors can take a nature walk and take in all its beauty.  It is an enchanting and mythical place to visit for the adventurous wonderer.

Tongass National Forest, Alaska, USA

Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is approximately 17 million acres making it the largest national forest in America, encompassing the majority of the Alaska Panhandle in southeast Alaska. and is home to some of the country’s picturesque natural beauty with a selection of diverse and unique wildlife, Tongass consists of some of the largest bears’, wolves, mountain goats, black tailed deer, bald eagles’, beavers, fish, humpback whale. orca whales, and otters, and it as one of the best coastal towns in America. This National Forest is both big and beautiful and worth a visit.

Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan, China

Jiuzhaigou Valley is a very enticing and alluring place that is tucked against the edges of the Tibetan Plateau and is both a UNESCO World Heritage site and world biosphere reserve. There is no mistaking that it is undeniably beautiful with its magnificent blue and green lakes, spectacular waterfalls, snow covered peaks, unique wildlife, and forests, it can be found in the Min Shan mountain, making it a perfect excursion break to enjoy, as well as getting to know its nature and wildlife.  it is also home to both endangered plants and animal species which includes the giant panda, the Sichuan takin, Sichuan golden monkey, and 220 bird species, along with numerous orchids and rhododendrons. This place is so much more than its Jiuzhaigou Valley, it is also home to nine Tibetan Villages.

Nuuksio National Park, Espoo, Finland

Nuuksio Natural Park is just outside of Helsinki the capital of Finland, but it’s not to near that it takes away the very essence of the place that captures its beauty, a place where you can go to and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and escape into its wild settings and enjoy the beautiful Finnish scenery, with its rugged crags, green forests, and blue lakes. Pack your backpack for a picnic or campout to create a memorable experience for you, your friends and family, giving you a memorable day, so you can explore its heartlands, and enjoy discovering its wildlife. Nearby is Haltia The Finnish Nature Centre shows you the best of Finland’s natural treasures from across the country. There is a selection of trails you can take that are signposted throughout. This National Park offers a wide range of animals such as the herbivore moose, lynx, Siberian flying squirrel, nocturnal mammals and so much more.

Glen Affric, Scotland

Glen Affric is a somewhere, that offers a place for you go to retreat and reflect, a place that is both peaceful, and calm, and it is there you can find your inner peace and be able to start to heal from the inside out. It as a stunningly majestic forest, that can be easily forgotten that it is in Scotland and not in Canada. With its glistening lochs, snow-topped mountains, and dense forests with its native pinewoods. There will be times you may come across otters basking in its lake, red squirrels scurrying around their natural habitat as they leap between the trees, and you may even get a treat as the golden eagle comes soaring above as well as other wildlife animals like the roe deer, the midge, pine marten, pearl bordered fritillary, scotch argus, crested tit, black grouse, Scottish crossbill. Glen Affric is not short on hiking trails and inviting waterfalls, along with its jagged canyons one of many great examples of Scotland’s majestic wilderness and it is a great way to connect with nature.

Foresta Umbra, Italy

Foresta Umbra the “Forest of Shadows” it is an exquisite and enchanting place, that as a designated picnic area, and thickets of tall, epic trees. This is the last essence of Puglia’s ancient forests that is home to yews, beech, oaks, and Aleppo Pines trees, that is hidden in its hilly terrain, there are more than 65 million different types of orchids that have been discovered here, and the wildlife includes the likes of foxes, wild boar, the roe deer, mouflons, squirrels, woodpeckers, goshawk, the peregrine falcon, and an increasingly rare wild cat, and fallow deer. You will also find that walkers and mountain bikers will find exceptionally well-marked trails within the forest. The Umbra Forest has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2017 and is situated in the heart of Gargano, which is in the province of Foggia, which makes it a perfect place for an exciting autumn break.

Mont Blanc Forest, France

Mount Blanc is Europe’s highest peak and is one of the most known destination for its winter and ski sports. But before we get to the summit, there is a lot of wonderful sites to see, from its captivating forest to its mountainous snow-covered peaks, that gives you an alluring backdrop. The forest is worth visiting and seeing its natural landscape at its best. When hikers come to Mont Blanc Forest, they like to know what kind of wildlife they might run into along the way, as wildlife is always so exciting to see, here is some of the animal species you will get to meet along the way are, an Ibex that is on a mountain cliff, Red foxes, Wild boars, European badger, weasels Alpine, Chamois, Red deer, Roe deer, Alpine marmots, and red squirrels. There are numerous plant species that are among the rare which is the beautiful Slipper Orchid, Aquilegia Alpina, and the Martagon Lily, this just gives you a mere insight into what the forest as to offer.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, enjoy the rest of your day and I will see you back here next week!

8 Futuristic Museums

Hi everyone, I hope you are all keeping okay. This Sunday is Mother’s Day, so happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers out there, but I would like to especially welcome my own daughter to her very first Mother’s Day, as she became a mother herself this year to a beautiful baby boy, but my heart does break that I have not been able to see him or my daughter in person, I didn’t even get to see her through her pregnancy, but I am looking forward to the day that I can get to hug them without this pandemic hanging over our heads.

Anyways on with this week post. Today I am doing about futuristic museums that consists of contemporary art from around the world, this post involves everything that I love all wrapped nicely together, such as museums, art, all tied together by the beautiful and unusual architecture. I love going to museums, art galleries and have become such a fanatic where beautiful and extremely different architecture is concerned, it could be, where the artist in me comes out

8 Futuristic Museums of Contemporary Art around the World

Each museum is special in their own way, whether it’s through their architectural exterior or their unique Interior to even what they house, but whatever it is they are admired by many experts, and people alike, from all around the world. These stunning museums offer you both cultural and architectural experience. Gone are the everyday buildings and now you have the more up to date museums that are more advanced than the run of the mill ones. I am not knocking the older ones as if it were not for them I would not of got my thirst for art and its history..

Famous architects of our generation come out to compete, so they can get to design futuristic architects and standout one of a kind architecture museum, from the likes of Oscar Niemeyer, Jean Nouvel, MVRDV, Santiago Calatrava, these are just a few of the names that had contributed to bringing you out of this world architecture.

Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Niterói Contemporary Museum is in the city of Niterói and has stunning views that look across Guanabara Bay and Sugarloaf Mountain. There is a wide access area that takes you up into the lobby of the museum and into the Hall of Expositions and has a capacity for sixty people to be in there at one time, whilst in there why not explore the works of art by Jorge Duarte, Lygia Clark, and so many more. There are two doors that lead to the viewing gallery, where you can see the Guanabara Bay. The design of this structure has a futuristic feat which was designed by none other than their very own Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer. This building was designed in the shape of a saucer that is likened to a UFO and is set on the cliffside overlooking the Guanabara Bay and Sugarloaf Mountain. that gives it a more stunning look.

Louvre, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The Louvre Museum is designed by Jean Nouvel, features a stainless-steel aluminium dome that is surrounded by water. giving it an idyllic setting on the island of Saadivat and is inspired by the Arab architectural culture designed as “a city museum on the sea” that includes 50 buildings. When the sun beams down onto the dome, light beams through the dome in the form of a star shaped pattern. This took eight years to construct and is the largest art museum in the Arabian Peninsula. The Louvre Abu Dhabi promotes the Western art spread throughout 23 galleries that are either owned by or on loan to the UAE that includes an 1877 self-portrait of Van Gogh, Jacques-Louis David’s famous portrait of Napoleon crossing the Alps on a white horse, 1877 Monet’s painting of the Saint-Lazare railroad station, and 1922 Mondrian’s Composition with Blue, Red, Yellow and Black.

Comic and Animation Museum, Hangzhou, China

When you first look at the museum it looks like a cluster of oversized eggs that is speckled in red, but it is so much more to what it appears to be, it is a fitting masterpiece, for housing the Comic and Animation Museum. This was designed to represent speech bubbles for its eight interconnected parts which fulfils every comic book lovers’ fantasy. Children’s comics have grown to be a more sophisticated art form, and this is every artist dream as everyone tries to compete to be the best and more artistic, in bringing their work to life. Each speech bubble has a specific entrance; education, cinemas/theatre, a massive comic book library, and an interactive exhibition area. This museum was created by MVRDV.

Museum of the Future, Dubai, UAE

This museum is adding a unique architectural structure to the Dubai skyline that was designed by architect Shaun Killa as it has now joined the ranks of the likes of Burj Khalifa and Dubai Frame with its seven floors of exhibitions, that as a calligraphy style steel frame. This museum takes it to a whole other level as parts of this building was created by robots, which gives you an insight into what the future will look like. Visitors will get to experience the technologies from the future and get a glance at what will be the next big technology of the 21st century. This museum explores the future of science and technology.

Museu do Amanha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Museu do Amanha or the “Museum of Tomorrow” is a magnificent and captivating architecture and is one that entices you to come and have a look around its beautiful structure was created by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and is situated at the far side of the Praça Maua’ near the harbour. This museum is a cultural place housing exhibition that addresses the future of the planet. Its unusual architectural design with a cantilevering roof gives you the impression of wings on either end, but it is influenced by the local Brazilian culture along with Calatrava’s reference point, which is the biology of birds. The museum gives you panoramic views of Guanabara Bay and Sao Bento Monastery. This museum is over two levels while retaining as much space as possible and houses’ both short-term and long-term exhibits, with the permanent being on the upper floor.

National Museum of Qatar, Doha, Qatar

The National Museum was designed by Jean Nouvel resembles a bunch of flying saucers that as crashed to the ground all in the same spot, they are made up of interlocking discs, that offers its international visitors a look into its dialogue of rapid change and modernization. Its visitors have been at the heart and centre of this museums’ vision and its development. Everyone who visits the National Museum of Qatar are given an all-round and captivating experience, it doesn’t matter what age you are, the experience is still the same, delving into knowledge of their nation’s history and its people. The story will unfold across eleven compelling galleries as it tells their stories.

Soumaya Museum, Mexico City, Mexico

The Soumaya Museum was created by architectural firm FR-EE (Fernando Romero Enterprise) which is now one of Mexico City’s most striking landmark, with a magnificent eclectic collection of nearly 70,000 objects ranging from the 15th to the mid-20th century that is housed over its nine floors. A skin of 16,000 hexagonal tiles of mirrored steel, that reference the colonial ceramic tiled structure, which gives the museum its diverse appearance. Soumaya was designed by Fernando Romero an architect that is renowned for his stunning designs. This museum contains exhibition spaces, a library, a bookshop, storage areas, offices, a café/restaurant, and a 320-seat auditorium. All spaces that are dedicated to the public will be connected by a spiral ramp which begins as soon as you enter the lobby that goes all the way up to the open floor gallery which sees daylight coming through. The collection consists of European old masters, Auguste Rodin and European sculpture of the 19th and 20th centuries, Mesoamerican art, 19th century Mexican portrait painting, Mexican art of the 20th century, and Impressionism and avant-garde art, there is also, miniature jewellery, coins. Including notable works from the likes of Edgar Degas, Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dalí, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the list is endless

Coming Soon…

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles, US

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art was founded by Philanthropist and filmmaker George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson.  The Lucas museum will inspire all generation through its Universal Visual storytelling. This museum when completed is scheduled to open in 2023 which will present itself in exhibitions that will bring visual storytelling to its fullest richness and complexity. It will give you learning opportunities and will enable all ages to explore diverse forms of narrative art. This is designed by renowned architect Ma Yansong and is under construction in Los Angeles’ Exposition Park. This museum will feature galleries that will showcase the 10,000-piece collection of George Lucas’ memorabilia, which will include The Star Wars Franchise and it will also have state of the art cinematic theatre’s,

Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and enjoy the rest of your day and have a good weekend. See you next week.

7 Perfect European Winter Hideaways

Hello everyone, todays post is about the perfect hideaways, somewhere to go for a little last minute break, and get away from all the hustle and bustle of people pushing and shoving trying to get at the endless bargains that’s on sale, making sure that they get the best deals for Christmas presents, or like me a quiet place to get as much writing done as possible, so that I can finally finish the novel I’ve been working on.

1. Deplar Farm, Iceland

Deplar Farm is surrounded by some of the most beautiful picturesque snow covered valleys and hills that steeply lead you down to the Arctic Ocean that makes it an adventure in itself. There are a couple of ways to get to Deplar Farm, either by flying from Reykjavik on a turboprop plane to Akureyri which is in Iceland’s northern Troll Peninsula, and then whisked away in a Mercedes, or you can just get their by hailing an helicopter. It doesn’t matter which route you take, you will still be dropped off in front of a very quaint traditional farmhouse.

This is a well thought out structure that boasts a whopping 23,000sq ft. Each room is immaculately decorated throughout, and it boasts thirteen bedrooms, a media room, and games room, or why not pamper yourself with their private spa that sits on the slopes which comes with five treatment rooms, a heated indoor/outdoor pool, along with three hot tubs and two saunas, that is there for you to enjoy. Each room as plenty of light that comes through with its floor to ceiling window so you can see the beautiful landscape. This would be an artist’s paradise, painting or sketching the scenery.

A glass walled dining room which you can look out onto the snow covered mountains and the Skagafjörour bay, while eating the local cuisine, and tasting there succulent flavours of herbs and flowers. Deplar Farm is a place to be if you are looking for some fun, it as a playroom full of toys, with its snowmobiles, snowshoes, fishing rods, surfboards with its thick wetsuits, and not forgetting peak-to-fjord heli skiing. Eleven’s mountain guides know there way round the 1,500sq-mile heli ski area and if you manage to do your first descent of a couloir or bowl with your guide, they’ll put your name to it and annotate the lodge map accordingly.

From £8,140 per person for four days’ full-board, that includes airport transfers and semi-private heli skiing in groups of four, based on 28 sharing.

Address: 570 Fljót, Ólafsfjörður, Iceland, Phone: +1 970-237-5985

2. Adler Mountain Lodge, Italy

Adler Mountain Lodge is the ultimate Alpine Lodge, from the moment you enter its doors you get the fragrance of scented wood, it resides in the middle of the Alpe di Suisi, and it is the highest altitude alpine meadow in Europe, from the beautiful valley town of Ortisei in Italy. To get to this stunning lodge it is best reached by gondola and then a horse-drawn sled, or if you would prefer a longer scenic and surreal taxi ride which will include crossing a couple of busy piste skiers, that have the right of way. This is perfect place for someone who wants to have some alone time, with a place of solitude just for you,

Outside of the lodge you will have noticed the overhanging roof, of the carved heads of an eagle and a griffin. Once inside the lodge you will find spacious rooms, with the floor to ceiling windows, a fire pit, and the cathedral of dolomite rock that turns rose-pink at sunset. This is not like many hotels, it is not designed by any city-based interior designer. From the choice of colour of paint, to the length of fabric and every stick of furniture in the eighteen suites and twelve wooden chalets has been done by its owners the Sanoner family.

You can relax by their infinity pool or have a spa day with spoiling treatments which features natural alpine ingredients such as edelweiss, arnica and mountain hay. The Chef produces well balanced organic meals that might include leeks, toasted almonds, sweet and sour pumpkin, spinach and cheese ravioli, and why not drink it down with a glass of prosecco. This is a place that gives you the best of both worlds, a place to relax and take in the amazing views and a place to have some fun on the ski slopes.

Doubles from £560 per person for three nights full-board, including all drinks.  

Address: Via Piz, 11, 39040 Castelrotto BZ, Italy Phone: +39 0471 723000

3. Chalet Calistoga, Val d’ Isere, France

Chalet Calistoga, Val d’ Isere is situated in the quiet Le Crêt enclave of Val d’ Isère, it was originally owned by one of the Valley’s original families. When the new owners took over they reshaped it by putting their own stamp on it, which included the interior décor with French designer Emmanuelle Bardon, France’s top architect. Whom worked with Alain Perrier for eighteen years? The top floor as now become a double height lounge and as enough light coming through its giant windows, that look out at its picturesque views of the valley and you can watch the sunset from the lounge. They also added a 26ft pool that overlooks the valley too.

The Calistoga employs a private chef that can whip up anything from Alpine cuisine to paleo dishes. The staff are on hand to help with your every whim. They love creating surprises, with entertainment that range from musicians to magicians and of course the firework displays. Your children won’t miss out either as there’s a selection of children’s games and toys and if you want a night off they have an in-chalet childcare provider that is fully qualified. If it’s a family getaway you want, this is definitely the one for you, as it provides you with a picnic on the piste or a concert before you sit down to your meal. You are always greeted with a hot chocolate or a glass of Perrier-Jouët, the house champagne, when you come in from skiing on their slopes. This is no ordinary old family home as it is the best one around.

Address: Chemin de la Ruaz, 73150 Val-d’Isère, France Phone: 020 8525 9728

4. Backstage Luxury Loft, Zermatt, Switzerland

I love architects like Heinz Julen, they have such extraordinary minds, with the way they design these unique style architectures along with being the best he is also a furniture maker. The Backstage Loft is one of his own designs. With its most outstanding and remarkable shimmering glass walls with its triple height that looks out onto the Matterhorn. It is cleverly entwined and magnificently incorporated into this beautiful glass structure. It is a cosy suite and the dreamiest of bedrooms that’s sure to give you a perfect night’s sleep.

Backstage Loft as a main lounge and dining room, with bedrooms to the upper level which is superbly encased in glass that lets a lot of light in. It as a stainless steel kitchen which overlooks a 12 person glass dining table. There is a dedicated chef on hand to whip up what your heart desires, everything from a smoothie to a foie-gras tasting menu. The loft is not far from Zermatt’s slopes and restaurants, It comes complete with its own gym, spa hot tub and screening room, completed with its glass enclosure that can open up to give you a panoramic view of the mountain tops.

From £27,730  for seven nights’ chalet board, based on 10 adults sharing , including  two days’ ski instruction Tel: 0041 22 534 9774

5. House Hannes Schneider, Stuben, Austria

In the US this is known to be “the father of modern skiing”. Hannes shaped the way for skiers, as we skied through the twentieth century, with his teaching methods and ski stance it was soon to become the gold standard. Hannes grew up near here, just a couple of valleys over from St Anton, the hamlet of Stuben in Austria. When two Americans had heard the story of Hannes, they seized the opportunity to own and preserve a piece of history, and turned what had been a dingy café into the finest chalets in the Alps.

There are as of today black and white photographs of Schneider that are on the walls of the staircase that lead up to the chalet’s seven bedrooms. Each with contemporary art work, but with luxury touches, like monogrammed stationary and full size toiletries from Vienna’s St. Charles apothecary. Down in the basement you have a family cinema room, and a spa, but you will find that guests tend to gather either in the family sized kitchen or cosy up with a G&T or hot cocoa by the fire.

From £39,700  for seven nights’ chalet board, based on 12 adults sharing, including return flights,  private transfers and in-resort driver  

Address: Stuben 14, 6762 Stuben, Austria Phone: +43 5582 703

6. Chalet Chouqui, Verbier, Switzerland

Verbier is a place that as ultra-luxury chalets, it is hard to pick the finest Chalet Chouqui, however it is one of those that stands out from all the rest, thanks to its style and size. It is set within a quiet enclave, near to the Savoleyres lift giving you an amazing view of the Grand Combin that you won’t want to miss. Chouqui as absolutely everything you can think of. It is made up of two chalets that consists of nine bedrooms, two living rooms, a dining room, bar, games room, cinema and wine cellar and they are all linked by an underground walkway that’s hooked up to a sound system. There is a 50ft indoor pool which is Verbier’s largest to date, its situated facing south overlooking a hot tub that is designed to fit at least 20 people, it comes in handy for a hot tub party, or just sit on one of its sofa’s or loungers by the fire pit. This has become the hot new party pad.

The interior design is stylish and beautifully done out. The contemporary work was by Gytha Nuttall, with a blend of herringbone tweeds with custom made English furniture along with local materials, giving it the beautiful look. Verbier is place that you must experience at least once, to fully appreciate what it as to offer, while there you must grab the ski equipment and try out the slopes. While at Chalet Chouqui guests are encouraged to let their hair down and have some fun. There is a squad of nine staff, that includes two chef’s on hand to keep its guests happy and the food and champagne flowing, and a chauffeur is on hand twenty four hours a day, to drive you to the pistes, shops and bars.

From £69,500  for seven nights’ chalet board, based on  18 sharing

7. Mountain Bear Lodge, Aviemore, Highlands

Mountain Bear Lodge is surrounded by stunning views that is nestled in the Cairngorm Mountains in The Highlands. The log cabin is surrounded by the covering of snow. It as a special quality that will make any large family and friends want to get together on special memorable occasions.

The detached lodge is stunning outside as well as inside. It is surrounded by a very peaceful and private setting, just a mere ½ mile outside the forest village of Nethy Bridge, it is the perfect place if you want to go out and explore parts of the lovely Highlands. The peaceful nature of its setting gives the lodge a majestic effect, with a breath-taking back drop of the mountains to look at. There is plenty of wildlife to see, which includes mountain hares, red and roe deer’s, red squirrels and the many species of song birds. Mountain Bear Lodge is equipped with all the mod cons from state of art appliances, to stylish furnishings, along with some North America Native Memorabilia that blends together with the pine lodge.

The bridge is twelve miles from Aviemore, it is centred at the heart of Cairngorms National Park and at the head of Speyside Way. There you will find a range of shops, restaurants and bars, along with a very wide range of outdoor activities that you must try out, including snowboarding, skiing, hiking, mountain and quad biking, and there is a variety of water sports on Loch Morlich, Loch Insh, and the River Spey that you can choose from, including trips on the railway,, the adventure park and the reindeer centre. There is definitely plenty to do and see while staying at the lodge.

Address: Lettoch Rd, Nethy Bridge PH25 3DL

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I will see you all next week.