One of the most anticipated parties on Brazil’s calendar, Carnival has, over the centuries, become an integral part of national culture. However, it is neither a Brazilian invention nor is it celebrated in Brazil only. In fact, Carnival dates back to Ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. In Brazil, the revelry began in the colonial period with Entrudo, a festival introduced by the Portuguese and celebrated by slaves in the colony. Then came the cordões (street blocks), dancehall parties, corsos (parades), and samba schools, which, especially in Rio de Janeiro, have taken on the look of a major production and have enchanted the whole world for decades. But there’s more to Carnival than just samba: it includes other traditional cultural and regional manifestations such as afoxés, frev...More
Travel Miscellany tagged posts
Oahu, the gathering spot of the Hawaiian Islands, has become the center point of exceptional dining experiences. While most people who visit Hawaii might want the cultural experience of a Luau, the fusion of cooking styles and cuisines make this a one of a kind destination. Expect dishes where Hawaiian culture meets international influence. And with the number of visitors, restaurants are incredibly competitive with you being the dinning winner.
Life’s A Beach Wine Festival
Hawaii has roving wine and food festivals that span almost six months on the various islands. With a sunset view, the Life’s A Beach combines a variety of wines and dishes (dense on the meat and fish ingredients), into an evening, which is a total event with on the water entertainment and fireworks...More
Gone are the days when holidays were for just kicking back. Yes, we all love to wind down on a beach for a day or two with a good novel, but recent trends such as volunteer-tourism and educational-tourism have grown in popularity, showing that hands-on experiences are now a vacation must. And It’s not only millennials who are wanting to get their hands and mind busy learning new skills. All ages are keen to get in on the action and learn something new on holiday.
On a recent holiday to New Zealand, I made a swing by Martinbough, the country’s beloved boutique wine town, for a handful of rather immersive experiences. Not only did I leave afterwards in love with the quaint town, but already planning what I wanted to do on my next visit...More
Just a few years ago, the Azores started appearing in a handful of publications and articles with titles like, “remote islands that no one knows about” and “Europe’s Best Kept Secret.” Many people, especially North Americans could not point out this archipelago on a map. But for those in the know, the thought of a collection of volcanic islands in the middle of the Atlantic with a subtropical climate and European twist is quite intriguing. In recent years, they have been billed as the hot new adventure destinations, offering a plethora of exciting ways to explore the diverse islands and their culture.
There aren’t many tourists, yet
Although the Azores have been a destination for Portuguese and other Europeans for years, they really are relatively unknown to the rest...More
With its rich and diverse tourism offering, its privileged position within the heart of Europe and its incredible location on the northern shore of Lake Geneva, the Olympic capital of Lausanne is not just a famous sporting city but also a cultural one that springs to life during the Summer months.
The Summer is also a great time to visit for cultural events such as Festival de La Cité and the Winegrowers Festival (Fête des Vignerons) and, with the city being so accessible (just 40 minutes from Geneva International Airport, and ...More
In case you didn’t know, I LOVE Japan. I studied the culture extensively in college and grad school, lived there twice, used to travel to Tokyo 1-2 times per year over the course of a decade in my last career, and continue to travel to Japan often. Even after numerous visits, I continue to find new, dynamic experiences to have there. Here are a few of them…
1. Visit Niseko on the island of Hokkaido (Japan’s northernmost island)
With its gorgeous scenery, the highest quality of food in Japan due to its vast number of farms, and calm feel, Niseko is a hidden secret typically frequented by Japanese residents. After visiting Niseko for the first time in May of 2019, I see the draw locals have to the area and I encourage any visitor to make a stop here if you have the time...More
Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts is widely regarded as one of the most luxurious and innovative hotel brands in the world. With more than 20 hotels in key locations across the globe, the brand’s five star Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel is perhaps atypical of many in the group. Hidden away in a discrete but central location and housed in a Belgravia mews house, it is worlds apart from the likes of the Jumierah’s famous Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai and has little in common with many other hotels within the brand, but for the group’s consistently keen eye for quality and careful attention to detail.More
The short voyage across the Solent, sometimes as little as 22 minutes, makes a visit to the Isle of Wight an adventure. Not only are crossings fast, they are very frequent too.
You are embarking on a mini-cruise when you take Wightlink from Lymington, Portsmouth or Southampton to the Isle of Wight. Although the ferry crossings are quick there’s usually time for a coffee or light lunch as you watch the island approaching...More
While South African wines are starting to get the global recognition they deserve, it is still a little known fact to most travelers that the winelands in the cape region in South Africa are a culinary walhalla. Most of the best fine dining restaurants can be found at one of the famous vineyards. I’ll give you my personal favorites, but limited it to 5 as otherwise you would be reading for days.
The Restaurant at Waterkloof
First up is this restaurant in the sky (as they like to call it locally) which has won numerous award ever since it opened. It was voted the number 1 restaurant in South Africa last year, and it has every right to be proud of that as they work hard to deliver the best of the best on a daily basis.
Chef Gregory uses local ingredients and with his French ...More
It is hard to believe, but it has been fifty years since the historic Woodstock festival in 1969.
Woodstock’s effect on music, art, and culture is indisputable. However, many people don’t realize that the Woodstock festival did not take place in the New York town of the same name. Instead, due to logistical reasons, the festival was moved several times until it finally settled in the town of Bethel, NY. The historic Woodstock festival grounds are preserved to this day as the site of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Today, you can visit the grounds, tour the museum dedicated to Woodstock and participate in special events. The summer is the ideal time to visit Woodstock’s Historic site and celebrate a special piece of history with a great weekend getaway from NYC.