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Open your world 1/4

New Chillin’

Open up your world to new cultures and experiences. From the hidden gems of Marseille to swimming in the wadis of Muscat: our local guides take you to the best chillin’ spots in their cities.

Let’s chill
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Around the world with KLM & Heineken

New Chillin’ is the first in a series of four ‘Open Your World’ – articles, a cooperation between Heineken and KLM. In six weeks we crossed land and ocean to meet new people and discover and capture new experiences in twelve KLM destinations. From Mumbai to Vancouver and from Muscat to Santiago. Every article features three destinations with three hot spots each. All seen through the eyes of a local. Like what you see? Good for you, there are three more episodes to come!

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Heineken New Chillin 03 Marseille Profile

Marseille’s hidden gems with Elsa Galland

Elsa is a Food blogger and food editor at a Marseille magazine (ToutMa.fr) where she discovers hidden culinary gems and introduces them to her loyal food savvy followers on her social accounts. For iFly KLM Magazine she reveals her favorite off the beaten path hang-outs and places to chill.

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    End of the world

    Marseille is all about the blue. The Sea, the sky, the blue from « le Vélodrome », our soccer team stadium! We are used to sea swimming from March to October, as if summer was never ending. All year long we love to get a boat and sail to one of the "Calanques". There we can enjoy the seascape with a good glass of wine.

    At Les Goudes, a "Calanque" just a shot from downtown by car, you can rent a canoe, walk on a slack line above the sea between two rocks, skin dive, wind surf or hike along the coast path. This place is still in within the city limits but looks like the end of the world.

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    Heineken New Chillin 05 Marseille Mucem 2 Bg

    Area around Mucem

    Old and new

    Since we live in a very old city, there are a lot of historical places. One of my favorite is Le Mucem (museum of European and Mediterranean civilizations). The place is like a bridge between La Joliette, the new business district (formerly the dockside of the harbor), and the historical city. The Fort Saint Jean Jean (a former military fort erected on ancient Greek ruins from the 6th century before Christ) has been renovated and talks now with the new building from the architect Rudy Ricciotti: a black cube wrapped with black concrete lace. There is always something going on at the museum esplanade. I love this open place to look at the open sea towards the Northern edges of Africa.

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    La Friche

    The pulse of the city

    Since Marseille is a big harbor, oriented towards all Mediterranean countries, the city is home of a lot of foreign communities. And that is reflected in our food and music culture. If you want to feel the pulse of the city, I suggest a night out at La Friche la Belle de Mai, an industrial wasteland of the former tobacco manufacturer. Come with friends and kids, grab a beer, have a seat or just enjoy the skate park waiting for a concert, a BBQ or some artistic to happen... La Friche is the place to be if you want to really understand Marseille, the permanent sloughing city!

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    Heineken New Chillin 08 Vancouver Profile

    Cruising Vancouver by bike with Grace Armani

    Grace is a blogger and freelance creative. She is always seen at the most hip places around the town, but also enjoys spending time in nature.

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    Lively coffee culture

    Want to know where to find me? In Gastown. I adore the charm and mystery that calls from each corner of Gastown, which has in turn inspired the array of boutiques, restaurants, bars, cafes and creatives, like myself, to frequent often. Here you can hang out in a different cafe and enjoy a good cup of coffee, any day of the week. Thanks to the rise of coffee culture and the influx of local coffee roasters, there seems to be amazing independent cafes opening all over the city but especially in historic Gastown, which is great news for me and my laptop lifestyle.

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      Stanley Park

      Green trails and beaches

      As a creative I’m constantly in search of inspiration, so luckily living in beautiful Vancouver there is a perpetual source of refreshing nature, beauty and adventure. Stanley Park has so many central activities to offer like biking the seawall, lounging on one of the many warm sandy beaches, hiking the luscious green trails, visiting the rose garden or catching a glimpse of the beavers at Beaver Lake. I always feel refreshed once I’ve immersed and restored myself with Mother Nature, hence why I often refer to the city as “Vanbeauty”.

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        Heineken New Chillin 11 Vancouver Stanley Park Bg Mob

        Kitsilano Beach

        Long summer evenings

        Living in Kitsilano was one of the best times of my life. This neighborhood is the perfect balance of casual fun and relaxation with friends and family because there are so many great spots to chill at. Once summer rolls around, the beach and the streets are overflowing with various crowds of cool and trendy people of Vancouver. I enjoy evenings here to hang out, catch up with friends, and play beach volleyball against the substantial backdrop where the Pacific ocean and mountains kiss then meet the expansive sky. Sunsets here are splendid, when supernatural colours dance along the scenic skyline of Vancouver.

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        Heineken New Chillin 13 Musqat Profile

        Swimming in wadis with Heather Louise Duncan

        Heather is a 30 year old Scottish Expat living in the Sultanate of Oman. Waving goodbye to her home country almost 6 years ago, she has carved out a life for herself as a passionate adventure seeker. Usually found scaling the highest mountains or out at sea on her kayak, there is rarely a quiet moment in her schedule.

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        Wadi Shab

        Another world

        Wadis are typical for Oman and are lush green valleys in the middle of the desert. Approximately a 90-minute drive from Muscat you’ll find the infamous Wadi Shab in the village of Tiwi. You know you’re in for something special as the trip starts by taking a boat across the mouth of the wadi where it joins the sea. Eventually you’ll land onto a palm tree grove that farms dates. A 45-minute hike up the wadi will take you to a stream. Jump down into it and continue to walk until you get to the end. Then simply swim underwater through a natural path in the rocks, and you’ll pop up into a cave with a small waterfall. It is a lot of fun to climb up the rocks and jump into the water!

        “Oman is special to me for so many reasons including the great lifestyle we have, friendly locals, endless adventure opportunities."

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        Heineken New Chillin 16 Musqat Hike


        Hike old town and Fort

        Muttrah is an old commercial district in Muscat. Many people don’t know that from there you can make the beautiful C38 hike from Riyam Park up to an abandoned village and into the back of Muttrah. The views from the climb on the way up are impressive and give you a beautiful view of the harbor and the old town. The route goes through a wadi. Be warned that you need to be reasonably fit for this hike because at times this wadi can be wet. The total hike should take about an hour, and you can cool off with a fresh juice at the Muttrah Corniche. Head up the steps to the newly refurbished fort recently reopened after being closed for 10 years. It has great views over Muttrah and the port. I have made this trip about forty times in recent years, and whenever I have visitors I always bring them here. Strangely enough I have rarely seen other hikers during all of these trips.

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          The Chedi

          Dining on the sand

          Watching the sunset on the beach having a drink at The Chedi hotel is a great way to end the day and start the evening. There are three restaurants to choose from but the Beach restaurant provides a special environment by allowing diners to dine outside on the sand. The Chedi is one of the few places with direct access to the beach and well worth visiting. I like to go here with my family since I live nearby.

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            The Grand Canyon of Oman

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            A two-and-a-half-hour drive from Muscat takes you up to Jebel Akhdar. Here you can visit the spectacular Anantara resort which offers breathtaking views of Oman’s Grand Canyon, Wadi Ghul. A great free activity to do here for day-trippers is to take the Balcony Walk (W6 route) where you can hike along the edge of the canyon to an old abandoned village. Along the route you can cool off in one of the natural pools. And don’t be afraid of the goats that live along this path! They’re harmless.

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            Public Beach Sunrise

            During the early hours (at sunrise) the beaches of Muscat come alive. You'll see a lot of people at the beach doing all kind of activities, running, swimming etc.


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