Many of us in the United States have surely heard about the Moon Over Miami, what Autumn is like in New York and how someone Left (his) Heart in San Francisco. Perhaps in dreams or in reality, we have seen April in Paris, or a Foggy Day in London Town...
But today our beloved carry-on, eager to be lightly and efficiently packed with our best Anatomie travel clothes -wrinkle-free, machine and hand washable, never iron, always chic- we will look down other roads, less traveled by, and plan our autumn visit to a dream destination.
Peru will lay at a traveler’s feet breathtaking views that had not been imagined in real life and will never be forgotten. Amidst the picturesque indigenous villages, the colonial Spanish architecture of culture-drenched Lima, the amazing cuisine, art and museums, this South American country with some still mysterious roots boasts beaches, desert, rainforest and the imposing Andes, one of the most majestic mountain ranges in the world.
Nestled in the highlands, in the ancient Cusco region, one of the “Seven Wonders of the World” awaits in unfathomable silence: the Inca ruin city of Machu Picchu. If you visit it -and you must- do so during the dry season, May through October. We must warn you about the throngs of tourists, but sunny, cooler weather will ease your path should you choose to trek the Inca Trail, up some 2,000 stairs or 34 miles over a four day period. Excellent hotels and tour packages can be reserved online. Experienced guides will accompany you.
Since you plan to visit Cusco, you might decide as well on a stop at the bustling capital of Argentina. Some claim no city is as enticing as Buenos Aires, with her European-touched architecture, endless parks and cafes, and bookstores that never close their doors. Add tango and the delicious life staples: empanadas, unrivaled beef, wine, salads and ice cream, and you’ve got yourself a budget-friendly vacation in a gracious, special place. Also keep in mind that our Fall is their Spring, so the same weather rules apply when selecting the clothes you will take.
According to several experts, magnificent Budapest -often called the Paris of the East- is a top pick for travel in the Fall. Although temperatures tend to plummet by November, early October remains temperate and its sunsets are breathtaking (if in doubt, search Hungary and a picture of its Parliament under the orange sky). The River Danube divides the capital in two: Buda, rich in medieval architectural landmarks, and neoclassic Pest, most recognized by its 19th Century Chain Bridge. Turkish and Roman influences mesh gracefully with the unique Hungarian culture, which brings us to the singular characteristic that attracts the most visitors: Natural hot springs and mineral spas, from the grand Gellert Spa to the baths at thermal Lake Héviz; a memorable adventure in the subtle autumn chill.
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Or, you might choose to explore so many other moderately priced, more tourist-shy gems: Tour lovely Montenegro in the Balkan Peninsula. Discover Serbia and its vibrant capital, Belgrade, which seems never to sleep. Even Armenia, hiding in the Caucasus Mountains with her timeless monasteries and heavenly food; her surprisingly urban city life in Yerevan, her heroic history and fragrant, unusual fruit-based wines (the pomegranate is Armenia’s national symbol).
In closing, we might suggest one of Europe’s most overlooked regions, if it were not for a dark legend of international notoriety. Romania, and particularly Transylvania, offer no mass commercialization but deep cultural immersion at very affordable prices. The stunning Carpathian peaks are the backdrop for wandering sheep, the hospitality of the Roma people; outstanding food, well-preserved castles, the stuff of myth: all unscathed by war, totalitarianism and even time. Worth a try, maybe as Halloween approaches...
If it gets cold, you’ll have your toasty Anatomie jacket.
Off to somewhere new this fall? Share your travels with us using #EVERYDAYANATOMIE on Instagram.