By Danielle Braff The Washington Post Sun., May 12, 2019 The Ukrainian capital is known for history and architecture. While Ukraine is one of the largely undiscovered spots in Eastern Europe thanks to its political and economic struggles, it’s also incredibly rich in architecture and beauty, making it a lovely place to visit. Currently, there is a Level 2 travel advisory for Ukraine, so while you should exercise increased caution, it’s safe as long as you avoid the eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, or provinces. Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe (legend says it was founded in the 5th century), with a population of 2.9 million. Located on the Dnieper River in north-central Ukraine, it is overflowing with exquisite churches, ancient architecture and plenty of history. A visit isn’t complete without stopping at the St. Sophia Cathedral — which took about 20 years to build and dates to … [Read more...] about In Ukraine, go beyond Kiev for culture and cuisine
By Melanie D.G. Kaplan The Washington Post Sun., May 12, 2019 I’ve stopped counting the number of cities I’ve fallen in love with. But I think Pittsburgh might be the first city to have loved me back. On a Sunday morning in February, the sun broke through rain clouds, and I walked along Pittsburgh’s waterfront to a 10-foot tall bronze sculpture of Mister Rogers tying his shoes. I heard his voice through overhead speakers. “Did you know that wondering about things is one of the first steps to understanding them?” Birds chirped, a freight train rumbled, and I looked upriver toward the sparkling skyline. I’d intended to make this a quick stop, but I couldn’t step away from that familiar voice. By the time Fred had reminded me that there’s nobody else in the world who is exactly like me, I had cried, laughed and called my mom. Steel City remains gritty. On dreary days in western Pennsylvania, the pitter-patter of rain is the … [Read more...] about Soaking in the sights and sounds of the Steel City
By Kelli Kennedy The Associated Press Sun., May 12, 2019 MIAMI—In a nondescript building in North Miami, two dozen dancers in bouncing yellow skirts are high kicking the can-can, aerialists are spinning perilously high from silk cords and frantic seamstresses are hemming outfits in a 20,000 square-foot costume shop. They are all part of a company that puts on more live productions a year than Broadway and London’s West End combined. Royal Caribbean International’s cruise line directs 134 shows in 50 theatres on 26 ships around the world, including seven Broadway-originating shows, eight aqua shows, 18 ice shows and dozens of original musicals. “We have a nightly audience of about 100,000. It is by scale a very, very large operation. Probably under one roof, the biggest in the world,” said Nick Weir, senior vice-president of entertainment. “At any one time, there’s 1,500 to 1,800 cast members employed to make this all come to … [Read more...] about This cruise line rivals Broadway with 134 shows, 50 theatres
By Susanne Masters The New York Times Sun., May 12, 2019 While primarily a painter of people, Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn immortalized at least one tulip. In 1634 he painted his wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, as Flora, goddess of spring and flowers, crowned with a wreath of blooms, of which the largest is a tulip. Its petals are unmistakably striped, with white and red running in flamelike lines. Flowers like it became known as Rembrandt tulips, named by bulb traders in homage to his chiaroscuro painting style and to tap cachet from a famous name. Saskia in her finery crowned with the most expensive type of tulip is in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. But tulipmania, which lifted the Dutch economy to dizzying heights followed by a cataclysmic crash, began in the Hortus botanicus, the botanical garden in Leiden, the city of Rembrandt’s birth. Tulips first arrived in the Netherlands in 1562. Mistaken for a Turkish onion, they were tasted, found … [Read more...] about An ode to Rembrandt’s tulips
The significant advantage of a frequent flyer programme is obviously the miles. With these programs, frequent flyers receive perks such as free flights, upgrades and other travel-related perks. Luckily, there is no limit on how many programs you can join. But to get as many frequent flyer miles as you possibly can, it doesn't make sense to enrol in every single airline's programme. When selecting an frequent flyer programme, go for the airline that has the most flights out of Singapore or the one that serves the destinations you are likely to visit more often. FLY OFTEN, SAVE BIG When choosing the best airline rewards programme for you, there are three factors you should take into consideration: - How easy (or not) it is to earn a flight with your miles and rewards. - Whether you get extra perks other than flights. - Whether blackout dates apply to the programme. - How soon do the miles expire. - And, how easy it is to achieve a higher status (silver, gold, elite, etc.). WHY ARE … [Read more...] about Best frequent flyer programs in 2019: Are they still worth it?