Holiday planning is a minefield in my family (see Shoba Narayan’s lister vs lounger column on Page 5). My husband loves to zone out under open skies and rolling meadows, I want to rush around an urban sprawl soaking in its soul. For the last few weeks, we’ve been wondering where to go for our week off in June.
Perhaps this cover story (Page 12) will do the trick for us. After all, if you can get your papers in order for that dreaded Schengen visa (Moldova, the husband informs me, offers a visa on arrival), there’s nothing like Europe. No other continent offers such a heady mix of culture, history, open skies/empty roads and, of course, first class beer. What I miss most about living in the US as a graduate student is access to new, subtitled foreign films (mostly from Europe) and European beer.
The Czechs, Irish and Germans lead the beer drinking pack, of course, and the ideal pilgrimages would be to Munich or Dublin. But did I mention the husband hates beer? And since you can get Guinness on tap in pretty much any European country and since most countries in that continent offer great homegrown stuff (even tiny Belgium has its cult Trappist beers, brewed within the walls of abbeys), why not give Europe a shot?
So perhaps, inspired by this week’s cover story, we’ll end up in Wroclaw, which seems rural enough for him, and I think I can make do with respectable, old-fashioned Polish beer. After all just last week beer biggie SABMiller announced that second half sales of its main Polish beer, Tyskie, had trebled in the UK. Of course, the company also said that this was probably because most of the young Poles who have migrated to Britain remain faithful to the brands they grew up with. Oh, well.
This week, we’ve also surveyed all the five-star loyalty programmes on offer. The Park’s ‘Preferred at the Park’ plan sounds like a great deal if you travel a lot or are based in Delhi. If you entertain mainly in Mumbai, the Marriott’s ‘The JW Preferred Card’ is a good bet. And surprise, surprise, the Oberoi group is the only big hospitality chain that doesn’t offer a loyalty programme.
The Dark Side of the Moon debate continues on Page 21. Roger Waters recently announced he would play the entire album during his North American tour that began last week. Who wants to go next?
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