Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Joy of Tennis | Gavin Manerowski

Gavin Manerowski and other tennis enthusiasts know how fun the sport can be to both play and watch. From the older days of wooden Gavin Manerowskitennis rackets and all-white tennis apparel to the new era of titanium rackets and colourful outfits, the sport of tennis has truly evolved.  While there have been a lot of changes though, the basics of the sport and its culture have remained the same throughout time, making tennis just as enjoyable as it once was.

When Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova were in their heyday, tennis was just as much about finesse as it was power. Players would mix up their swing to catch their opponents off guard. While finesse still plays a big role in tennis today, especially on a clay court surface, power has become the weapon of choice for many top tennis players. For example, players like the Williams sisters have big serves and ground strokes, which overpower their opponents.

In addition to the evolution of the game, the rules about proper attire have also changed. For example, players used to have to wear all white when they came onto the court for a match. Today, players wear a variety of colourful outfits, except when they play at Wimbledon, which is the only Grand Slam Tournament that enforces a traditional dress code. In addition, there are some tennis clubs around the world that politely suggest mostly white attire.

Tennis for youngsters has also changed. Whereas junior tennis players used to play full court tennis, now they play on a modified court, which is much smaller. In addition, tennis players who are 10 years of age or younger use a tennis ball that is softer and bounces higher than a normal tennis ball. These changes allow young players to hone fundamental skills, have more racket control and keep the ball in play longer. Because of this, younger players enjoy the sport more and are more likely to stick with the sport over the long term.

While some parts of tennis have drastically evolved, the fundamentals of the game as well as the etiquette behind the sport have remained the same. The scoring is the same as it has always been, and fans are respectful of the unwritten rules of tennis spectatorship, such as staying quiet while a person serves. Fans such as Gavin Manerowski love the sport both for its evolution as well as its unchanging class.

Paris Little Frequented | Gavin Manerowski

Paris sprawls out before you, a giant mesh of metropolis with infinite things to drive your imagination crazy. So here you are, ready so see the sights Paris is packed full of. There’s the quintessential Eiffel Tower, the immense galleries of the Louvre, the twinkling white Sacred Heart church on Montmartre, the bateaux mouche’s that take you down the Seine, around the Ile de la Cite and Notre Dame, and back north under age-old bridges that have not only stood the test of time, but the test of violent revolutionary change and war. Napoleon rests in Les Invalides, La Concierge hugs the river like a fairy tale chateau. The colonial apartment blocks line the grandest gardens, and the Champs Elysees is lit brightly with design shops.

This is all fabulous, but as Gavin Manerowski knows, there are a few things that are less-frequented by the tourist population and appreciated by the discerning traveller. Don’t misunderstand it; Paris is the most visited city in the world, as you’ve probably heard many times before, so the best sites are visited by throngs of camera-toting foreigners.

Gavin ManerowskiBut let yourself get taken away by such grand locations as the Centre Georges Pompidou. The building offers a stark contrast to its surrounds. The inner workings of a building are usually in the walls, or at least they are somehow fashionably hidden. Not this place. The architect decided to put the colourful piping and electrical lines outside the building! It’s truly a marvellous sight to see. Inside you’ll find the awesome Bibliotheque Publique d’Information (why not browse around!). Also, the National Museum of Modern Art is conveniently located in this ultra-modern building of high-tech architecture.

If you’ve never heard of Auguste Rodin, then after the Centre de Georges Pompidou, you should familiarise yourself with the sculptor at the Musee Rodin. Not only is the old hotel Biron building an impossibly quaint chateau-esque locale, but the extensive gardens stretch into the surrounds and offer a pleasant promenade. Anyway, when you arrive at the museum, you might decide that actually, you do recognise works by Rodin. His piece “The Thinker” is unmistakable, and you might even recognise “The Kiss”.

The Picasso Museum is housed in the Hotel Sale (literally, “Dirty Hotel”). Although the museum of the famous painter in Paris, it is another less-frequented site.  The hotel itself (which is of course no longer a hotel) was built in the mid-17th century, and just like the Rodin museum, offers a very admirable locale for the famous artist’s collection to be housed. If you fancy something a bit odd, try the Paris catacombs for a somewhat spooky experience.

Don’t miss the wonderful sites Paris has to offer. Gavin Manerowski advises there is much to be gained by going off the beaten track in the City of Light, even if just a little bit.

Magical Trat in Thailand | Gavin Manerowski

Intrepid travellers like Gavin Manerowski visit a country several times and try out different regions. Gavin Manerowski in ThailandThailand offers holidaymakers a plethora of magical destinations and one of the most enchanting is Trat, Thailand’s eastern-most province. Trat enjoys a warm climate all year round and lies some 315 km from Bangkok.

Trat’s Khao Banthat mountain range marks a natural border with Cambodia. Most people start their journey of discovery at Trat city. It would be impossible to see Trat’s archipelago of 52 large and small islands in just one holiday, but picking out a couple of the larger ones is a good place to start.

Boasting white sandy beaches and deep blue waters with unspoiled coral reefs that are almost otherworldly in their beauty, Trat’s Koh Chang group of islands is easy to explore with guided boat tours leaving daily from Trat city.

Things to do in Trat

As Trat is justly famous for its rubies, one can join bus excursions to the Bo Rai District’s charming gem market. The famous gem market is located some 50 km north of the Cambodian border and is as vibrant, colourful and gorgeous as rubies are red.

Trat province is also home to the beautiful Mu Koh Chang Marine National Park, a fantastic place to explore Thailand’s marine life by going scuba diving or snorkelling at endless white sandy beaches that seem deserted even at the height of the season.

Apart from sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling, Thailand also offers fantastic diving holidays and trips where one can stay on board of a ship overnight and join whale, shark and mantas, turtle and rays conservation trips that are organised by eco-friendly operators.

Why not hire a kayak and explore the islands’ mysterious coves and mangroves by paddle-power? There are various sea-kayaking hire places, which organise guided tours on the islands.

With all that swimming and kayaking one works up an appetite! Naturally, no self-respecting foodie like Gavin Manerowski would visit Thailand without doing justice to its greatest treasure, for Thailand has arguably the world’s most delicious cuisine.

For travellers who loved munching pad Thai and green curry in London or Manchester, tasting Thai food bought directly from a street vendor at a market in Trat City or from a noodle-stall by the beach will come as a revelation.

As soon as one tries soy-steamed sea bass with fried rice and crab or Soi Polo fried chicken simply oozing with garlic and braves the array of spicy dipping sauces they serve with sticky rice one finds all of Thailand on a plate!