Skip to content

The Perfect Airport — National Geographic Traveler

November 21, 2011
Media_httpimagesnatio_gtptg

Remember when going to the airport was something special? Mass travel, deregulation, and security clampdowns have turned the airport experience into a real slog. But every once in a while we’re wowed by a cool local shop, world-class art, or a tranquil spot to escape the hubbub. Here’s to those standouts, which, combined, would make the perfect airport.

Architecture
Barajas, Madrid, Spain

Leave it to the Spanish, with their rich tradition of cutting-edge architecture, to build a terminal that conjures a cathedral-like vault drenched in natural light. Two-thirds of a mile long, terminal 4 at MAD won the Stirling Prize for architecture when it opened its doors in 2006. We like the way the color-coded beams that support the undulating bamboo ceiling help passengers get their bearings when they wander off to the newsstand or to grab a bocadillo (traditional baguette sandwich).

Kids Area
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, USA

DFW’s Junior Flyers Clubs in terminals B and C are a big hit with the little aviators. The play areas are mini airports complete with runways, bridges, cars, planes, and air traffic control towers. Over in terminal D, an interactive art installation including a labyrinth-like game with curved, colored glass walls engages all ages. But the biggest attraction is the elevated Skylink: for adults, a speedy way to traverse the five terminals; for kids, a thrilling, swoopy train ride with a panoramic view of the airfield below.

Souvenirs
Macarons in a signature box from Ladurée, Charles de Gaulle, Paris (CDG)
Chocolate-covered potato chips from Esther Price, Dayton, Ohio (DAY)
Hand-carved wooden animal figurines from Out of Africa, Tambo, Johannesburg (JNB)
Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from Made in Oregon, Portland (PDX)
Indigenous pottery from Mata Ortiz Gallery, Puerto Vallarta (PVR)

More:

http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/city-guides/perfect-airport/

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: