With another Rio Carnival drawing to a close this week, we decided to shine a spotlight on Brazil’s second-largest city.
Surrounded by white-sand beaches and lush rainforest, and bolstered by a towering statue of Christ, it’s no wonder that the proud people of Rio enjoy making a yearly spectacle of their cidade maravilhosa (marvellous city).
Rio Carnival is considered the biggest party on earth. Millions of revellers take to the streets during the five-day festival, which is marked by masked balls, open-air concerts and all-out neighbourhood parties.
The pinnacle of the carnival is the Samba Parade. Up to 90,000 people attend the Sambodromo, a specially-built venue, to gape at vibrantly-costumed dancers moving to the hypnotic beats of the samba drums.
We love London. Which means us creative folk at Trafalgar are pretty lucky to have an office in the city. Take a short stroll and you find yourself standing outside the Queen’s humble abode (we’ve not popped in for a cuppa yet).
A walk in a different direction leads you to the green, open space of Hyde Park – a sanctum from the hustle and bustle of the capital.
With these gems on our doorstep and more, we decided it’s unfair to keep them all to ourselves. So we grabbed our camera, lifted our jackets (and brollies) off the coat stand and snuck out into the Big Smoke to capture a few of its hotspots.
Posted in Sightseeing, Trafalgar, Travel News
Tagged Buckingham Palace, London eye, london holiday, london tour, Tower of London, Trafalgar, Trafalgar london, trafalgar square, trafalgar square holiday, trafalgar square tour
Dust off your shamrock bowler – it’s St. Patrick’s Day next month!
The 17th March has been a good excuse for a shindig for centuries. And it’s all in honour of the Patron Saint of Ireland, who’s credited for bringing Christianity to the country and who died on this day back in the year 493 AD.
Legend has it that St. Patrick rid Ireland of snakes, though this is seen as purely symbolic of his efforts to drive out Paganism. Ireland’s been snake-free since the last ice age, apparently!
Since the 1970s, St. Patrick’s Day has become more of a celebration of Irish culture – and we think it’s definitely an occasion worth raising a glass to.
Guinness – a popular Irish stout
To me, Cambodia’s real treasure is its people: they’re warm, buoyant and content with their simple way of life. Though there’s generally only one reason why travellers are drawn to this wonderful kingdom.
Cambodia is notably famous for the temples of Angkor – namely Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument on the globe. It’s even been added to the eight Wonders of the World list.
Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor Wat. Each city-centre boulevard is lined with trees and its architecture distinctively French colonial. It’s full of countless bars and eateries, where you’ve the option to fine dine or to get a true flavour of Khmer culture by making a pit-stop at one of its street food stalls. If it’s good enough for the locals…
Dutch cuisine isn’t exactly known for being refined or innovative, and it’s probably best described as rustic. You basically mash up some potatoes and cabbage, add a sausage and voila! You have created a Dutch dish. Even though fine Dutch dining is something that is pretty much non-existent, there are some Dutch delicacies you might want to give a try when travelling through the Netherlands.
Something the Dutch do really well is making pancakes. There are numerous pancake houses dotted around the country where you can eat pancakes as big as wagon wheels, with toppings ranging from savoury bacon to sweet apples. If your appetite is not big enough for those, try a portion of poffertjes. They’re mini-pancakes served with a big glob of butter and a generous dusting of powdered sugar.
Chinese New Year begins on 31st January, according to the lunar calendar, and celebrations can last for up to two weeks! But there’s no need to haul yourself to the other side of the world to party Chinese-style. Many countries are home to large a Chinese community, which means celebrations take place far and wide and have been adopted as a part of the culture.
During the run-up to New Year in China, families buy presents, lots of food and new clothes. It’s custom for people to clean their houses from top to bottom to sweep out bad luck, and to deck the outside of their homes with lights and festive decorations. Some even give their windows and doors a fresh lick of red paint!
We’ve picked out some other places in the world that celebrate the Lunar New Year:
When the clock strikes midnight on 1st January, it’s a time to reflect on the past 12 months – and to set a New Year’s resolution or two.
Take more exercise, spend less money, quit smoking. They are all promises we make to ourselves at some point in our lives. And let’s face it, ones that are often broken before the page on the calendar reads February.
Another popular pledge is to see more of the world – and in our opinion, a worthy resolution to keep. Whether you plan to get away for a few days or a few weeks, travelling allows us to step out of our daily lives and meet new people, try new foods and get inside cultures very different from our own.
And at the end, we’re left with priceless memories that can change our lives forever.