The hall of the main library in Prague is dominated by a giant tower of books – a monument made out of old novels from the library by Slovak artist Matej Kren. It rises more than 5m in the air. In the bottom, there is a mirror, creating the effect of a deep, deep well of wisdom. A sight that is hidden for most tourists, but very, very impressive.
Who doesn’t long for an intense dose of heat and sunshine at this time of year? To satisfy those cravings, we have come up with 10 holiday spots where the weather in February is near perfect – in other words, sunny, with temperatures in the mid- to high 20sC, and little likelihood of rain.
Because this flat and scrubby little island boasts some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean and Anguilla is a very exclusive place to holiday. The island has many gourmet restaurants; several of the region’s best upmarket hotels and some of the most luxurious villas imaginable (locally, dubbed “supervillas”).
Fly to Antigua, then take a 45-minute local flight on to Anguilla. With a good connection, total travelling time is about 11 hours.
To experience the Caribbean’s natural landscapes at their most dramatic. Rent a Jeep, put on your walking boots and you will discover a towering interior covered in dense rainforest, thundering waterfalls and hidden, boiling lakes. Guides will take you to spots where you can view rare wild parrots and agouti (giant rodents), but you can also rely on visits from hummingbirds at the island’s eco-friendly guesthouses. Dominica does have some spectacular beaches on its north coast, but they are likely to be a long drive from where you will be staying. The beaches and the island’s welcoming Caribs – the Caribbean’s last remaining indigenous tribe, with its own protected territory – appeared in the recent Pirates of the Caribbean films.However, Dominica isn’t green for nothing – even in the dry winter season, expect some rain most days.
Fly to one of the main Caribbean islands, such as Antigua, then take an inter-island flight on to Dominica. With a good connection, total travelling time is about 11 hours.
An unlikely mixture of arcane Communist ways, decrepit vintage Cadillacs, faded Spanish colonial architecture, fantastic music everywhere you go and the world’s best cigars. Spend a few days in Havana. Stay in one of the renovated mansions in the old part of the city, which is gradually being restored to its former magnificence; hang out in classic bars once frequented by Hemingway; and take in a top salsa or jazz band.
After a few days, rent a car and head to Vinales valley, where striking limestone outcrops rise out of tobacco-growing fields, then continue on to Trinidad, the island’s showpiece colonial town.
Virgin flies from Gatwick to Havana twice a week, taking just under 10 hours.
4. The Maldives
Almost all the 90 or so hotels in the Indian Ocean archipelago occupy their own mini tropical island, ringed by sandy beaches and a milky blue lagoon. Moreover, the diving and snorkelling are fantastic .
The only way to fly non-stop both ways is on charter flights (flying time around 11 hours). Alternatively, fly scheduled – Emirates, for example, has flights via Dubai with good connection times.
The South Beach part of Miami Beach is a compact, walkable adult playground, filled with gorgeous art deco hotels, fashionable restaurants, hip bars and cool nightclubs. In short, it’s party central – and as such, the length of the flight aside, is perfect for a decadent long weekend.
Sip cocktails in the see-and-be-seen bars of hotels such as the Shore Club, the Delano and the Standard. During the daytime, skip the beach, which has all the charm of a sand-covered motorway. Instead, café and gallery hop along pedestrian Lincoln Road Mall, or learn about South Beach’s art deco architecture on informative walking tours conducted by the Miami Design Preservation League.
Fly to Miami from Heathrow with British Airways, Virgin or American Airlines – flight time is around nine hours.
For the top-notch upmarket resort hotels; for the shopping ; for the buzzing nightlife and first-rate restaurants – Gordon Ramsay’s refined Verre tops the bill; and for the weather, which is normally as good as it gets for a winter-sun destination – in the mid- to high 20sC, sunny, with just the very occasional shower.
If the heat gets too much, head for the slopes and snow park of Ski Dubai, in the Mall of the Emirates.
Another option is the Madinat Jumeirah, a mock-ancient Arabian city threaded by waterways, with dozens of cafés and restaurants and its own souk.
There are many direct flights a week to Dubai, including some from a number of regional airports.
7. Baja California
Baja California (Lower California) is that long, narrow arm of Mexico that dangles southwards from the United States border between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California for about 775 miles. On the Pacific coast there are excellent long, wide beaches in the far north while the calm, clement inland Sea of Cortez laps some beautiful bays in the southern reaches. A highway runs from end to end, which makes for a great driving holiday.
Away from the beaches there are stunning deserts, colonial towns (Loreto and La Paz are lovely), world-class diving and sport fishing, vineyards – and little traffic.
There is sunshine all year at this latitude, but winter is more pleasant and the Cortez, while still warm, is not bath-water sickly.
In central Baja, between February and early April, you can see grey whales that have migrated here from the Arctic.
There is great snack food all over, and top-notch modern Mexican cuisine.
Fly to Mexico City and on to Tijuana, Guerrero Negro or Los Cabos. With good connections, total travelling time is about 13 hours.
Thailand is a firm favourite of the winter sun-seeking fraternity. February and March are two of the best months of the year in which to visit, since temperatures are warm and sunny weather is pretty much guaranteed.
Head for the island of Phuket or resorts such as Ko Lanta, Krabi, Phi Phi and Khao Lak. In addition to larger luxury hotels, there’s a growing number of reasonably priced boutique-style properties.
The “golden triangle” close to Chiang Rai is perfect for elephant-trekking, walking in the hills, dipping a toe into Laos and Burma or simply indulging in some invigorating massage therapy.
The following airlines all offer direct services to Bangkok (approx 12 hours): Thai Airways International (0870 60 60 911, http://www.thaiairways.com), Eva Air (020 7380 8300, http://www.evaair.com), British Airways (0870 850 9 850, http://www.ba.com) and Qantas (0845 7 747 767, http://www.qantas.com).
Nothing can compare with learning about the bewitching world of hieroglyphics and jackal-headed gods among the tombs and desert sands of Egypt itself. Luxor, with winter temperatures in the mid-20s, is slightly warmer than Cairo and the best base for exploring the Valleys of the Kings and Queens and the great temple at Karnak, or for joining a cruise down the Nile to Aswan and Abu Simbel.Alternativelly, spend a few days on the beach at a Red Sea resort, where is superb snorkelling and diving . The Egyptian pound is linked to the US dollar, so your money goes a long way.
There are numerous charter flights direct to Luxor and Red Sea resorts; GB Airways (www.gbairways.com) to Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada; daily scheduled flights to Cairo with British Airways (www.britishairways.com) and Egypt Air (www.egyptair.com), with onward connections.
10. South Africa
For its exhilarating blend of marvellous scenery, multicultural cities and vast game parks beset by the Big Five, all seasoned with some of the best food and wine in the southern hemisphere. Start in Cape Town, with just two hours’ time difference. January and February, the hottest months, are when the city moves outdoors.
More fabulous beaches stretch along the Garden Route, while the best wildlife viewing is in Kruger Park, where private lodges provide the ultimate secluded bush experience, with superb food and, yes, wine. The jagged Drakensberg mountains provide excellent hiking, while the languid wetlands of St Lucia are a sultry draw for bird- and hippo-watchers.
Virgin Atlantic (0870 380 2007, http://www.virgin-atlantic.com), British Airways (0870 850 9850, http://www.ba.com) and South African Airways (0870 747 1111, http://www.flysaa.com) have direct flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Marisa Lee Miller, born August 6, 1978, is an American model best known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues and her work for Victoria’s Secret . After a stint shooting with photographer Mario Testino for fashion magazines like Vogue, Miller began working for both companies in 2002. In 2007, she became a Victoria’s Secret Angel, and graced the cover of the 2008 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue to record-setting numbers. Her accomplishments have led to her being dubbed the “return of the great American .”
She is also known for contracts with companies like Harley-Davidson , for whom she is the first spokesperson in the history of the company. Miller is considered a sex symbol; she ranked #1 on Maxim magazine’s 2008 “Hot 100” list and in FHM‘s global 2010 “Sexiest Women in the World” poll.
The hottie Brooklyn Decker was born April 12, 1987. She is an American fashion model and actress best known for her appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, including the cover of the 2010 issue.
In addition to working for Victoria’s Secret for the 2010 “Swim” collection, she has ventured into television with guest appearances on Chuck, Ugly Betty and Royal Pains. She made her feature film debut in Just Go with It. Decker is married to American tennis player Andy Roddick.
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Hair color Blonde
Eye color Blue
Rolex is the largest luxury watch brand and is the most recognizable, both in name and in look, out of any watch. Founded in London in 1905, Rolex is relatively young, compared to top luxury watch brands from Switzerland, like Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. Made from Swiss made movements, the goal of Rolex was to be the luxury Swiss watch for the whole world.
And where can you often spot one of these global status symbols? On the wrists of your favorite celebrities of course! And looking out for the male demographic I’m in, I’ve collected pics on just sexy female celebrities are their shiny new Rolex watches. The timeless Rolex Lady-Datejust is always popular with women, but so is the men’s Rolex Daytona. Following some dedicated research, the men’s Daytona watch actually turns up as often in photos of female celebs as the Lady-Datejust.
With over-sized watches still a hot trend for men, we’re seeing plenty of women picking up men’s watches for the larger size as well, with the Rolex Daytona an obvious favorite with the ladies. Like the appeal of girl wearing just a men’s dress shirt, I think a slick men’s watch like the Daytona looks sexy on a femle. Check out the pics and I’m sure you’ll agree.
And if your wife or girlfriend asks, you’re officially just browsing for her next birthday present.
Tonia studied acting at George Kimoulis Drama Centre in Athens before moving to London where she has continued training with renowned acting coach Giles Foreman.
In Greece she has appeared in numerous productions including the television series ‘True Love’ and ‘Golden Girls’ and on stage in the musical ‘Trendy’ to name only a few.
Since moving to London Tonia has most recently worked with acclaimed director Martha Fiennes on her project ‘The Nativity’ and in the feature film ‘Berberian Sound Studio’.
Bi-lingual in Greek and English Tonia, she has an effortless beauty and a talent that is catching the eye of many directors and producers in the UK.
Height 1,68 m
Weight 54 kg
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Brown
Mario Sorrenti shot the upcoming Pirelli 2012 with 13 models and actresses — all of which he’s worked with before — in Corsica. Among the featured? Isabeli Fontana, Natasha Poly, Saskia de Brauw, Lara Stone, Joan Smalls, Guinevere van Seenus, Malgosia Bela, Edita Vilkevicute, Kate Moss, Milla Jovovich, Margareth Made, and Rinko Kikuchi.
Of the calendar’s look, Sorrenti explained: “You know, originally I thought I was going to do very sexy pictures, and when we got there I realized that I didn’t want the pictures to be sexy at all . . . I didn’t want them to be posing and arching and like sticking their boobs in my face or anything like that.” Thus, he added: “We tried to keep it very simple, there were times where we did just photographs with the model and myself and there was no one around. I think that was the moment when I was able to capture some of the most beautiful photographs . . . You kind of lose yourself and you go with the flow of the moment and just let things happen.”
The full calendar — all 25 pictures — are in the slideshow bellow!