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Posts from August, 2008

South East Asian night market in Wellington

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On August 16th, a South East Asian night market will be held at the TSB Arena in Wellington.

Running from 14:00 until 22:00, it offers visitors a chance to experience the warmth, fragrances and flavours of a typical South East Asian market.

So while you may be visiting New Zealand, you will feel like you are in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia or Vietnam.

Highlights include Wayang Kulit puppeteers from Indonesia, martial arts demonstrations from the Philippines and Vietnam, traditional Batik from Malaysia, as well as continuous music and dance from South East Asian countries.

Meanwhile, the Singapore High Commission and the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society will hold a charity raffle.

In addition, you can taste a variety of delicacies from the different food stalls, and can even buy things like spices and souvenirs to take home with you.

So bring along the whole family to enjoy the food and culture of South East Asia.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.

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Music in Old Krakow festival

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The Music in Old Krakow festival will run in the Polish city from August 15th to 31st.

Organised by the Capella Cracoviensis, a leading Polish music institution which was established in 1970 by Stanislaw Galonski, the festival has grown over the years to become a 17-day event filled with concerts and recitals.

Concerts range from the baroque glories of Bach, Telemann and Purcell to the romantics like Weber and Berlioz.

There are also performances of music of the 20th century, including the works of Bartok and beyond.

The concerts are still mostly performed by the Capella Cracoviensis, which specialises in the early classical music that dominates the programme.

Venues include the Franciscan Church, the Cloth Hall, the courtyard of Collegium Maius and Wawel Castle.

Tickets can be purchased at the box office of the Philharmonic Hall, or at the venue itself about an hour before the performance.

Krakow – A turbulent and fascinating history and nearby Auschwitz have seen Krakow become a popular tourist destination.

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Last chance to catch Grace Kelly exhibition in Paris

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Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III were married in 1956An exhibition dedicated to Oscar-winning actress and Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, is set to end on August 16th.

Showcasing the star”s story through anecdotes, photos and movie memorabilia, the display at the Salle Saint-Jean de l”Hotel de Ville includes her wedding dress and various other gowns she wore on the red carpet.

The exhibition is open from 10:00 to 19:00, and admission is free.

Born in the US in 1929, Grace Kelly studied to become an actress at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, whose alumni include Katharine Hepburn, Lauran Bacall and Spencer Tracy.

In 1952, she signed a seven-year contract with MGM Studios, winning an Oscar two years later for her performance in The Country Girl.

In 1956, she married Price Rainier III of Monaco, ending her film career.

Princess Grace was tragically killed in 1982 after she suffered a stroke while driving, causing her car to fall off a mountainside.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".
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Phones, credit cards biggest holiday grumbles for Brits

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Hidden charge incurred by using credit cards abroad irk Brits the mostHidden charges for using credit and debit cards or mobile phones abroad top the list of holiday irritants for Britons, a new survey by Post Office Travel Services has revealed.

The study also found that six out of ten biggest holiday grumbles were related to the cost of exchanging money abroad, the pressure to leave tips even when service is poor, and the feeling that tourists get charged exorbitantly high rates.

Helen Warburton, Post Office head of travel said: "Our research showed that UK tourists are particularly irritated by the high charges for using mobile phones abroad and for using credit and debit cards to get cash abroad or make purchases."

She advised: "Keep the phone for emergencies, turn the answer machine facility off to avoid expensive incoming calls and get holiday cash in advance, without paying commission or incurring high ATM charges."

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.
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La Festa de Major in Barcelona

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People from the neighbourhood of Gracia pour into the streets during the festivalFrom August 15th until 21st, the Festa de Major (Feast of the Assumption) takes places in the Gracia area of Barcelona.

This week-long event is one of the biggest neighbourhood festivals in the city and is basically one big street party.

One of the most popular events during the Festa de Major is the Tabalada Infernal, the drum parade, where drummers show off their skills around Gracia, beating away at their instruments.

Filled with colourful decorations and floral art, streets compete against each other to win the Best Street Decoration award.

In addition, there is plenty of food and drink, music and dance, games, theatre, fireworks and other activities that make this celebration an experience to remember.

Gracia is a district (barrio) of Barcelona, and is located north of the Old City just one km out of the city centre.

To get there, take the line three on the Metro to Fontana, or if you”re using Catalan Railway, take the train to Gracia station.

Barcelona – Wonderful Gaudi architecture and a cosmopolitan atmosphere have made Barcelona Spain”s most popular city.

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Last chance to see Medieval and Renaissance pieces at the Met

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Two exhibitions will close in New York in mid-AugustAugust 17th is the last date of the Medieval and Renaissance exhibition on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

On loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the 35 treasures of the collection have not been seen previously in the Big Apple.

Included in the exhibition are the Carolingian ivory cover of the Lorsch Gospels, an ivory statuette of the crucified Christ by Giovanni Pisano, Donatello”s bronze Winged Putto with Fantastic Fish, a pair of gilt-bronze statuettes of prophets by Hubert Gerhard, and the Codex Forster 1, one of Leonardo da Vinci”s treasured notebooks.

Around the same time, the Geo/Metric: Prints and Drawings exhbition also ends at the MoMA.

August 18th is the last chance to see this collection of works done in the styles of the Cubist, Futurist, Russian avant-garde artists of the 1910s and 1920s and Minimalists.

New York – From the dizzy heights of the Empire State Building to the serene Central Park New York has it all!
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Spanish Festa de Agua making a splash

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Nearly 30,000 people will attend the water fightOn August 16th, nearly 30,000 people will descend upon the remote Spanish town of Villagarcia de Arousa on San Roque”s feast day for the town”s annual water festival.

After a religious ceremony for the patron saint in the morning, the fun begins in the afternoon as revellers, armed with buckets, hydrants, hoses and any other water-producing devices, come out to start the action – drenching anyone in sight.

The tradition harks back just a decade or so, to when the Galician town suffered a significant drought.

Some beseeched the local patron saint to come up with a solution.

They decided to offer up some of the precious last drops of water that the town possessed – legend has it that the rains soon came.

Vilagarcia de Arousa is situated on the firth of Arousa in Galicia, 45km south of Santiago de Compostela.

It has a population of 37,000, so while it is fairly remote, it is one of the ten largest towns in Galicia.

Family – Theme Parks – Treat the family to a day at one of the Disney resorts or to a splashing day out at a Spanish waterpark.
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People feel holidays are ”non-negotiable”

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Demand for air travel in June increased at the slowest rate since 2003People are continuing to take holidays this summer, despite the credit crunch, because they feel that holidays are "non-negotiable", one industry expert has suggested.

Tom Hall, travel editor of the Lonely Plant series of destination guide books, said that the "savvy traveller … can still travel cheaply".

He added: "People are increasingly aware that if you want real value when you are in your destination you need to get outside of the euro zone and that can mean mid-haul or long-haul.

"I think people are aware that there is real value available there."

According to a report by the International Air Travel Association (IATA), world passenger numbers were up by 3.8 per cent in June compared to a year ago.

However, this was the slowest growth in air travel demand since the SARS crisis in 2003.

"With consumer and business confidence falling and sky-high oil prices, the situation will get a lot worse," said Giovanni Bisignani, director general and chief executive of IATA.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.
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Sydney Opera House named Modern Wonder of the World

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The Opera House beat the Eiffel Tower to reach the top spotSydney”s Opera House has been named as the top Modern Wonder of the World in a poll by Halifax Travel Insurance.

The famous Australian building beat the Eiffel Tower, which came in at number two, as well as Rio de Janeiro”s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, which was named number three.

Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the building and its surroundings are one of the best known in Australia.

Construction started in 1959 and work was finally completed in 1973.

The Opera House is the home of Opera Australia, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony.

It is administered by the Sydney Opera House Trust, under the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts.

Last year, it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was also amongst the 20 finalists in the New Seven Wonders of the World project.

Sydney – Take a cruise of Sydney Harbour or relax on the white sands on Manly Beach.
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Horeke in Hokianga, New Zealand

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Holidaymakers to New Zealand should make sure to visit Horeke, the first European settlement in the Hokianga region in the country.

The town is also the second oldest in New Zealand, making it a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the country.

Horeke sprang up almost overnight when an Australian firm established a shipyard in 1826.

Visitors can enjoy the old buildings of the town which were mostly built over water, because there was no land for sale at the time they were constructed.

One attraction is the Wesleyan mission station which was established to the west of Horeke around 1838.

The Wesleyans had started their work ten years before with the support of Chief Eruera Patuone, who is believed to have had some contact as a small boy with members of Captain Cook”s crew.

While the old mission church has gone, the churchyard with its gravestones remains.

Seniors – Historic Tours – From the Roman Empire to the second world war, these tours bring world history to life.
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