A warm welcome to all of the members of our Aroma Tours Newsletter from around the world.
I are now back home in our lovely little cottage in
south eastern Australia enjoying the awakening of spring with daffodils, newly
opening leaves, magnificent flowering wattles, fruit trees in blossom and
an abundance of rain.
It is nice to be staying in one place after more than three months of Aromatic Adventures in Spain, Dordogne, Turkey and Provence and we are enjoying time to reflect on the many delightful moments we have shared with our Aroma Travellers
We are looking forward to adding the final chapters to our Aroma Tours chronicles for this year and will share some of the stories of our Bali and Tuscany adventures with you in our October newsletter.
Robbi and I are also thrilled to see that our 2014 tour season is already off to a flying start with an unprecedented number of early bookings, mostly from our returning Aroma Travellers and their friends.
We hope to have the pleasure of your company next year and if you would like the latest details of our tours and retreats, please visit our information request page
One of the best ways to enjoy the spirit of our
Aroma Tours adventures is by taking a
peek at a few of the 1000's of photos we have taken during our travels.
Robbi and I also enjoy sharing with you some of lovely images taken by our guests during their journeys with us.
We will begin with four pages of lovely photos from this year's adventures for your viewing pleasure:-
Please remember to take a peek at our Photo Galleries Pages where you will enjoy many beautiful images of our past adventures.
Without doubt, the main reason that we continue to grow and flourish, is the on-going support we receive from our past Aroma Travellers.
This year we are enjoying an outstanding number of returning Aroma Travellers and new guests who are joining us because of direct referrals - currently over 55% of our guests!
For Robbi and myself, it is such a great delight to welcome back so many good friends and to see our Aroma Tours continuing to flourish.
We would also like to give our heart-felt thanks to all of you who continue to support us with your kind words and referrals as you spread news of our tours and retreats amongst your friends.
Your appreciation that we have shared such a special time with you during our journey together means so much to us and make us very happy indeed.
More guest comments from our Aroma Tours adventures can be found using the pull-down list below:-
You may also like to visit our picture gallery page where you can enjoy viewing the many beautiful photos of our journeys.
In all of our journeys we love to share with our guests the joy of experiencing the cuisine and gastronomic traditions of the regions we visit.
The tastes and aromas of fresh seasonal ingredients prepared with practiced skill, care and pride in preparation, combine in a myriad of ways to bring us moments to savour.
It is a challenge to express the delectable moments we shared but hopefully your eyes will enjoy dining along with us.
Robbi and I hope to share some of these delicious moments with you in the near future.
Our 2014 tour season is off to a flying start with an unprecedented number of early bookings, mostly from our returning Aroma Travellers and their friends.
All of our tours for 2013 were fully booked, however, due to a late cancellation we currently have 1 vacancy for our Bali Women's Retreat 16 - 23 September 2013.
Our booking status at the time of this newsletter is:-
|2013 Tour Season|
|2014 Tour Season|
Robbi and I hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you to one of our delightful aromatic adventures and to sharing a wonderful and memorable time with you.
It is our pleasure to assist you with any questions you may have and we invite you to get in touch with us either by email at email@example.com or by phone on: +613 5331 3254 (afternoon/evening USA time zones, mornings from other countries).
Creme de Cassis is
a popular liquor made in France from blackcurrants which are generally
grown in the cooler regions of Burgundy as well as the Loire and Rhone valleys.
The blackcurrant plant needs to be subjected to below freezing temperatures for 10 weeks or more during winter in order to produce abundant fruit and even then the berries only maintain optimal flavour for one day!
Also, because they are very quickly oxidized once picked ( due to their high vitamin C content ), they must be flash frozen to -30C as soon as possible in order to preserve their colour and flavour.
To create creme de cassis, the flash frozen berries are warmed to -5C and macerated for up to 3 months in a mixture of water and alcohol which extracts the flavour and colour from the berries without the possibility of fermentation. The resulting juice is then decanted, pressed and filtered, then sugar is added.
This style of macerated liquor is given the name "creme" to differentiate it from fermented liquors such as Marc, Armignac, Calvados and Eau de Vie. The French name for blackcurrant is cassis, hence the liquor was called Creme de Cassis.
It was the mayor of Dijon, Canon Felix Kir,
already famous for his
involvement in the French resistance, who is credited for preserving the tradition and
of making aperitifs during the difficult years of the 2nd world war.
Mayor Kir would often be seen offering guests to the capital of Burgundy the traditional blanc cassis, a combination of dry white wine and creme de cassis which eventually became know as a "Kir".
Other drinks incorporating creme de cassis are:- Communard, a dash of creme de cassis plus a cool dry red wine such as passe-due-grain or, a personal favourite, Kir Royale - a blush of creme de cassis in champagne.
During our Flavours of Spain Tour we visit the spectacular Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art in Bilbao, recognized as a masterpiece of 20th century architecture and one of the world's most spectacular buildings.
It is a triumph of inspiration, planning, cooperation and execution and was realized as the result of the Basque government's vision to revitalize the struggling port city of Bilbao. The idea was to create a world class museum for contemporary art which would attract visitors and create new prosperity.
With that in mind, in 1991, they approached the Guggenheim Foundation in the USA to propose that a Guggenheim affiliated modern art museum be built on a 32,500-square-meter site along the Nervion River in the old industrial heart of the city.
The commitment was as large as the vision, with US$100 million set aside for construction, US$50 million for an acquisitions fund, a one-time US$20 million fee to the Guggenheim Foundation and agreement to subsidize the museum's US$12 million annual budget.
The Guggenheim Foundation agreed to give their name to this new museum which they would design and manage, as well as rotating part of their permanent modern art collection and organizing temporary exhibitions.
Canadian architect Frank Gehry was chosen to design the building and was tasked to create a daring and innovative design; which he most certainly did! His stunning concept utilized three key elements: glass, titanium, and limestone in seemingly random curves, "to catch the light", positioned around a central flower-like atrium.
This amazing building ( even more amazingly ) was constructed on time and under budget and was opened on October 18, 1997 King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
Almost immediately, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao became a popular tourist attraction, drawing approximately 4 million visitors from around the world in its first 3 years and adding almost �500 million to the local economy! Not only was Bilbao's economy strengthened but the taxes raised from hotels, restaurants, shops and transport more than paid for the cost of the project.
The exhibits usually highlight Avant-garde, modern and contemporary art, as well as 20th century abstraction, and non-objective art. The exhibits change regularly with traditional paintings and sculptures less emphasized compared to installations and electronic forms. The highlight of the collection, and its only permanent exhibit, is "The Matter of Time" a series of weathering steel sculptures designed by Serra, which are housed in the 130 meter long Arcelor Gallery
Visiting the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a total feast for the senses, especially with our colleague, art historian and bon vivant Carol guiding us expertly through the amazing exhibits.
For the latest details of our tours and retreats, please visit our information request page and if you would like to join us for one of our delightful aromatic journeys, please visit our booking request page to reserve your place.
Once you have reserved your place via our tour booking page, all your need to do is make your travel arrangements to meet us at the tour rendezvous point. You can either ask your travel agent to assist you, or for the more adventurous you can book your flights and connections yourselves. All of our rendezvous are easily achieved and naturally we provide all of the information and assistance that you will need.
Just a reminder that we have a frequently asked questions page to help answer the most common questions including how to book, travel arrangements, group sizes etc.
Our past newsletters contain a lot of interesting stories and are well worth a read. You can find them by visiting our newsletter archives
You may also enjoy reading a few of the stories that we have compiled over the years on our stories of interest page
Robbi and I look forward to welcoming you to one of our delightful tours or retreats in the near future and invite you to take a peek at the latest photos of our travels in our photo galleries
As always if you have any questions or if you would like us to assist you personally with advice about your travel arrangements or with any other details please contact us either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on +61 3 5331 3254 ( afternoon/evening USA time zones, mornings from other countries ).
Please note you need to replace the '+' in our phone number with your country's international dialing prefix: from the USA/Canada it is 011 from most other countries it is 00.
Jim and Robbi