• Travel Supplement

    Pea plant pilgrims: Tracing the strange history of the 19th Century Czech friar who founded modern genetics in his garden

    They were the strangest tour guides I had ever encountered. Five sisters ranging in age from seven to 25 held the rusty keys to Gregor Mendel s troubled history.They would unlock heavy monastery doors to uncover secrets about this impoverished Czech genius, a mentally unstable friar whose pea-plant experiments in the 19th Century solved some of mankind s genetic mysteries.In the study of hereditary disease and DNA, GCSE students like me are given a potted history of Mendel. And during my studies, I became as intrigued by the man himself as I was with his work. Martha's voyage of discovery ...

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    I've found heaven - in a little Swiss bar: Savouring a tour of Switzerland's very first chocolate factory

    I am looking at the conveyor belt of my dreams. Bite-size cylinders of chocolate whirr past, bound for a colourful casing and, a few hours later, a shop shelf. Such is the growl in my stomach, if one of these delicious confections doesn t come my way soon, I could throw a strop worthy of Veruca Salt herself.Maison Cailler, Switzerland s first chocolate factory, lies in the tiny village of Broc, in the ambrosial Fribourg region. Silky ribbons of chocolate pour from the mould here at Maison Cailler, Switzerland s first chocolate factoryFounder Francois-Louis Cailler became hooked on the sweet ...

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    Bathe like a Roman: A hotel in Bath with a private thermal spa any emperor would envy

    The antique sedan chair in the hotel s marble-floored hallway recalls an era of 18th Century elegance when the painter Sir Thomas Gainsborough lived just a few doors away. Yet the main attraction of this swish new hotel in Bath is due to an even more ancient heritage think toga-clad Romans in Britain reclining decadently on marble beds amid steam from natural hot springs.This glorious, unspoiled city has always been a place of pleasure. Not surprisingly, the Victorian anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce once decreed: Bath is the worst of all places for getting any work done. Huw relished in the ...

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    Cycle from Bangkok to Saigon? Let's give it a Thai! Crossing three countries in a fortnight on two wheels

    Cycling through three countries in two weeks sounds like a Top Gear-style challenge, but it s what a lot of people now call a holiday. Bikepacking is a new phenomenon where holidaymakers see the world on two wheels, while staying at different locations along the route.Even my fiancee Claire was keen, despite having ridden her new bike only six times. So how would she cope riding 30 miles a day on the back routes of Thailand, the temple roads of Cambodia, and the bustling streets of Vietnam? Daniel and his fiancee Claire rode 30 miles a day from Bangkok to ...

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    Travel notes: What s new and how to get the best from your holiday, including a toboggan ride and a royal day out

    There are new experiences to be had for every type of traveller this month.The Baglioni Hotel London, for example, has a package which involves a tour of Kensington Palace's upcoming exhibition on Princess Diana. For the kids, a thrilling new Alpine toboggan ride is opening at Zip World, Snowdonia, this spring. Here, the Daily Mail rounds up the best of the rest. Royal day out There are new experiences to be had for every type of traveller this month, such as a package from the Baglioni Hotel London which includes a tour of Kensington Palace, picturedKensington Palace is celebrating the ...

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    A tasty Cyprus spa and side dish of celebrity: A truly relaxing getaway with a cameo from Paul Hollywood

    When it s a choice between visiting an archaeological site or watching Paul Hollywood film a documentary, the Great British Bake Off star wins hands down. We are in Paphos, Cyprus, where my newly teenage daughter, Daisy, is agog to see Hollywood in the flesh.Back at the Annabelle Hotel, Hollywood is every inch the A-lister. Excited holidaymakers film him on their mobiles as he strides around the pool, camera crew in tow. Anna took her 13-year-old daughter, left, to the Anassa hotel in Cyprus where they had an impromptu chat with Great British Bake Off star Paul Hollywood, rightDaisy and ...

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    Africa's new Riviera: Seven special places to stay on Mozambique's 1,500 miles of glorious beaches

    Once considered an apres-safari wind-down, the Mozambique Riviera is emerging as a destination in its own right. The coastline offers two enchanted archipelagos Quirimbas in the north, Bazaruto in the south a history which wraps together African, Arab and Portuguese influences, and 1,500 miles of beaches.Yes, getting there can be a trek but it s worth it. Here are some of the best places to stay . . .Rest and relaxation Diamonds Mequfi Beach Resort, pictured, is a series of bungalows on a secluded beachDiamonds Mequfi Beach Resort is a series of bungalows on a secluded beach on a peninsula, ...

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    Algarve without golf? It s perfect... especially if you love beaches and gastronomy

    Were we the only tourists on the Algarve who didn t play golf? It certainly felt like that in the arrivals hall at Faro airport as we searched for our suitcases on the carousel under a mound of bulky bags of clubs.Many of their owners were heading, like us, for Quinta do Lago, the gilded zone of exclusive villas, umbrella pines, artificial lakes and smart shops, where the main recreation is golf. Elegant: From the harbour in Faro holidaymakers can explore the lagoon and see wildlifeIf my wife Avril and I felt like imposters, the concierge at our hotel, the ...

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    Travel expert Fred Mawer offers seven top tips for making your holidays stress-free and saving yourself money

    If you are planning on taking an overseas holiday this year, it s not just the flights, ferries, trains and accommodation that need arranging. A host of other things need checking and sorting out before you go away, and by tackling the preparations well ahead you will often save yourself a good deal of trouble and money.Get covered Fred Mawer has all the advice you need to ensure your travels go smoothlyA key element of travel insurance is the cancellation cover, so make sure you have a policy in place as soon as you book your holiday. Ignore insurance policies ...

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    If Orlando's shark doesn't get you, then the snake will: A pair of thrillseekers are gripped by two new rides swooping through Florida

    Half-way up the lift-hill on the Mako ride we were acutely aware that we were a very long up way in the air. And very exposed. The little lap bar that was meant to be holding us securely in the car seemed awfully slender, and, with a 200ft drop imminent, there was a moment of delicious terror as we realised there really was no way out. Fangs for the memory: The Mako coaster is Orlando s latest thrill machine, the highest, fastest and longest coaster in the city s amazing theme park empire, and SeaWorld s new crown jewelHappily, that ...

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    Cycling star Becky James decides to ditch her bike and... give St Lucia a spin

    Being a track cyclist is a wonderful thing winning two silver medals in Rio last summer was fabulous (at one point due to ill health and injury it was by no means certain that I would even get to the Games let alone end up on the podium). But there are some downsides: in the past four years I've had just two holidays.One was to Dubai two years ago and the other was to Nice for four days in 2012 (when I still had to take my bike with me because I was in training). Becky, right, with her friend ...

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    Croatia s coolest corner: John Stapleton loves the faded grandeur of Opatija and modern glamour of Losinj

    While thousands flock to Dubrovnik, there is a gorgeous corner of Croatia that few Brits have heard of, let alone visited. At the turn of the 19th Century Opatija, in the Kvarner region of the country, was the favoured resort of Europe s glitterati. Then under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian empire, it became a sort of Vienna on Sea. Chic spot: John and his wife Lynn bask in sunshine at the harbour at LosinjArchduke Ferdinand stayed here and so, too, did artists and celebrities such as the composer Puccini, playwright Chekhov and dancer Isadora Duncan all attracted by its ...

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    My date with the Greek supermodel: Why Santorini is the perfect island just as long as you can dodge the crowds

    Supermodel of the Cyclades, the Greek island of Santorini is drop-dead gorgeous. A froth of whitewashed stone houses and blue-domed churches cling to the puckered maw of a vast caldera, plunging dramatically into the azure Aegean Sea. Throw in beaches, dreamy tavernas, chi chi shops and a sunset experience to rival Ibiza, and it s easy to see why the A-list regularly sail up in their super-yachts. Blue delight: The Greek island of Santorini boasts colourful roofs and truly staggering viewsUnfortunately, the day husband Nick and I visit Santorini s pretty town of Oia an idyllic hill-top place of medieval ...

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    All that jazz: New Orleans is jam-packed with history, tragedy and fine cocktails

    The evening slams into action with a long blast of brass. Ronell Johnson has swung to his feet and is squeezing every last bit of jazz out of his trombone. Rickie Monie, meanwhile, is tinkling the ivories at the speed of a hurricane.I d been told that the Preservation Hall in New Orleans was the place to see live jazz, but I d never realised it would be as moody-blues as this. The Preservation Hall in New Orleans, pictured, continues to attract the best acts in townAll the local jazz legends have blown their trumpets here, from Punch Miller and ...

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    Heading for China? Take the Silk Road to discover modern marvels and forgotten wonders

    When Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 he wasn t looking for America, he was searching for a route from Spain to China; America just got in the way. The Spanish were after the riches of Asia: silk, dates, spices. Until later adventurers discovered how to sail to the Far East, trade with China depended on the Silk Road, along which merchants brought camels laden with goods from China all the way to the Mediterranean.The trade between China and Europe generated huge wealth hence Spain s desire to find a new way to the East. Eventually a way emerged; ...

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quotes

Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999