From monuments to sauce – the magic number 7

Things don’t always come in threes. Another  ‘magic number’ is the 7. Here is a selection of important and beautiful destinations around the world as well as other attractions, all connected to the number 7.

Seven miles beach Grand Cayman

There are quite a few fabulous beaches around the world which can compete for the title ‘Best beach in the world’ and 7 miles beach on Grand Cayman is certainly one of the for runners. In my personal book of favorites it ranks even better than South Beach in my beloved Miami. Although called 7 miles beach, the beach is ‘only’ 5.5 miles long, but, believe me, that’s enough to spend an absolute dream day. I stay at the aptly named Comfort Inn Suites at one end, a nice hotel, directly on the beach, small, unpretentious but with everything you need, including a waffle maker for breakfast.

Comfort Inn Seven miles beach/ Grand Cayman

Of a morning, I just put on my bikini, grab a towel, sandals and hang a credit card in a water tight pouch around my neck and am off to a marvelous day on the beach. I juts walk along in the sand, go for a swim, then walk on, resting from time to time in the shade of palm trees and let my mind drift over the turquoise expanse of the ocean. My first major stop of the luxurious Ritz Carlton, which is why I need the T-shirt and  the credit card. All day long I do nothing but walk, swim, have a snack and a drink, it’s heaven. Just make sure you slab on a good thick layer of waterproof sun protection before you set out or the Caribbean sun will burn you badly.

Seven miles bridge/ Florida Keys

Forming a part of US1,  seven miles bridge connects Knight’s key, a part of Marathon, with Little Duck Key in the lower keys. There are actually two bridges, the old one was badly damaged in the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, but the remains are still there and serve as fishing piers for many, many fisherman. Driving over 7 miles bridge is like driving into eternity. It’s hard to describe, you have to do it yourself  to experience the utter sense of freedom you feel. Doing so in a convertible with the top down is the ultimate!!

Seven miles bridge/Florida

Seven Sisters/London

Maybe less exotic but nonetheless worthwhile is a visit to Seven Sisters in North London. The name derives from a circle of seven elm trees, planted perhaps in the 1500. Today, the area is famous for the seven sisters market with colorful stalls and a strong Latin American influence.

Seven sisters Elms London

Seven Sleepers/ Ephesus/Turkey

Legend has it, that seven Christian youths who feared for their lives during the reign of Decius retired to a mountain cave near Ephesus to avoid persecution in about 250 AD. They fell asleep and awoke some 200 years later under the reign of Emperor Theodosius II. The seven sleeper cave is a major attraction in Ephesus and nearby Selcuk and a visit makes a nice detour from the more famous ancient site of Ephesus.

Seven sleepers cave/Ephesus/Turkey

Seven wonders of the ancient world

Do you remember which they are? To refresh:

Pyramids of Giza

Hanging gardens of Babylon

Temple of Artemis Ephesus

Statue of Zeus/Olympia

Mausoleum of Halicarnassos

Colossus of Rhodes

Lighthouse of Alexandria

Of these wonders, only the pyramids  have survived relatively  intact. There is one column left of the Artemis temple in what is today Selcuk and bits and pieces of the mausoleum in what it today Bodrum.

Seven wonders of the modern world

In 2001 a Swiss foundation, the New7Wonders Foundation, started an initiative to nominate the seven wonders of the modern world. Over 200 monuments were entered into the competition and the result of the polls was announced in Lisbon in 2007. They are:

 

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Christ the Redeemer, Rio

Colosseum, Rome

Great Wall of China

Mach Picchu, Peru

Petra, Jordan

Taj Mahal

Of those I have only visited Petra and Rome, so there is a lot of travel still to be done, all in the name of the  number 7.

Petra/Jordan

Snow-white and the seven dwarfs

These fairy tale figures can of course not be left out, as they give countless kids and adults a lot of joy when visiting Disneyland or Disneyworld in Orlando, Los Angeles or Paris.

7 ingredients of Green Sauce

Yes, the magic number 7 extends to the world of fine cuisine too. As is the case in Frankfurt’s famous green sauce, a cold sauce or vinaigrette which must include seven herbs: parsley, borage, sorrel, garden cress, chervil, chives and dill. Finely chopped the herbs are mixed with vinegar and olive oil and the sauce is a fine accompaniment to fish as well as meat.

Green sauce ingredients

The green sauce isn’t restricted to Germany though, there are variations popular in France and Italy too.

If you have any magic 7 to add, please feel free to do so.

 

 

 

 

THE dream trip to Peru!

Peru's magic

Just look at this picture and don’t tell me you could remain indifferent. Those mists of the Andes, those ancient walls, the images and tales of the fabulous Inca culture that spring to mind, the achievements and the tragedy and the life  of their present day descendents..all of it  has a pull so strong that I would pack my bag and go right now, were I not immerged in the equally fascinating culture and history of the Middle East for the next few months.  But after that, nothing is going to stop me from heading  West and visiting the country of my name sakes.

An added reason is the fact that I was lucky enough to come across Ancient Summit Inc. and its founder and owner Nina Fogelman. Another glamour granny of the first order who, in the 1980s came to Peru and was hooked. So much so, that she adopted 4 Andean Indian kids (having by now 11 little ones as she says) and decided to share her experiences and supreme knowledge of all things Peruan with discerning travelers who generally hate organised tours but appreciate  to be guided as opposed to be  herded.

Happy Nina

Ancient Summit came into being and it seems to me  the ideal way to visit the country, its culture and history. The trips are measure made so as to accommodate women and men of our age who are fit but also need a bit more rest than the 20 somethings. Having said that, Ancient Summit caters for all ages!

Nina will show us the famous sites, but she will also use her personal knowledge and lead us to a village she is very anxious NOT to transform into a tourist hot spot. We will have a chance to observe  real life  and to share in her humanitarian efforts. We may leave our footprints but in the most beneficial way possible.

Village visit

And we will have a chance to sample the cuisine from modern adaptations to the old fashioned ways, meeting chefs in elegant restaurants and Andean peasant women browsing the markets.

Please check out her blog and website. www.ancientsummit.com

Frankly, I can’t wait and maybe we’ll meet on a joint trip in the not so distant future.

Pictures curtesy of Nina Fogelman and Ancient Summit Inc.