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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts from November, 2008

Hero’s day of remembrance takes on new resonance for contemporary America

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Martin Luther King Jr Day, falling on the third Monday in January, around the time of his birthday on the 15th, will take on new resonance this year.

It will be the first occurrence of the national holiday with a black man in the White House, marking a remarkable journey from the days of slavery and prejudice against which Dr King’s civil rights movement railed against in the 1950s and 60s.

All over America people young and old, black and white celebrate the life and work of the man who pioneered non-violent protest and became known as an inspirational orator.

The day of remembrance includes celebrations such as, a special concert held in Atlanta, Georgia at the Martin Luther King Jr International Chapel and a massive parade through Los Angeles, one of the most racially diverse cities in the world.

While Barack Obama’s accession to the White House is down to a number of political and social factors, the very fact that the new commander-in-chief is an African-American is being seen as a momentous step.

Democrat Barack Obama defeated John McCain in the US Presidential Election on November 4th, collecting significantly more than the requisite 270 Electoral College votes required to win.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18861356-ADNFCR

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Thailand rejoices in festival of light and noise

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A country rich with tradition and spirituality, Thailand will celebrate as one this November as the Loi Krathong festival proceeds in a flurry of colour, light and music.

"The delightful colour of streams" is how the event from November 8th to 12th is described, which is focussed on the first full moon night of the twelfth lunar month.

‘Krathong’ refers to the beautiful and intricately-made illuminated offerings made from banana leaves. These are set to float along waterways all over the country, forming the centrepiece of the festival.

The origins of the custom are not entirely clear, with some suggesting it is a means of worship the presence of Buddha and others claiming viewing it as a means of redeeming oneself to the River Goddess, Khongkha.

Thailand is one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations and attracts millions of visitors from all over the world each year, who comes to sample the beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, well-know hospitality and legendary partying that the south-east Asian country has to offer.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18861339-ADNFCR

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Spanish-speaking world unites to honour venerated saint

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Saint Sebastian, one of the key figures in Catholicism, is remembered in a raft of festivals across the Spanish-speaking world each January.

In Spain itself and all over South America, the festivals of San Sebastian are a key highlight in the religious calendar for millions of Christians.

The capital of Puerto Rico, San Juan, plays host to a huge street festival which draws together Christian imagery and the people”s own ndigenous culture in a cavalcade of music, dancing and colour.

Orce, a small town in the Spanish region of Andalusia, sees a series of historical re-enactments, drawing on the martyrdom of the saints during the Romans” persecution of European Christians.

Meanwhile in Yumbel, Chile, the many patronages of San Sebastian are drawn on as hundreds of thousands of people gather on the streets to celebrate the sacrifice this beloved figure made.

Wherever in the Spanish-speaking world it”s taking place, the Feast of Saint Sebastian is likely to be a noisy and vibrant affair and one that wont [won''t] be forgotten.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18857870-ADNFCR

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Champions Tour gets into full swing in Hawaii

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The PGA Champions Tour is the senior professional circuit and one of the favourite parts of the worldwide golfing calendar.

Teeing off this year”s tour is the MasterCard Championship at Hualalai Golf Course at Ka”upulehu-Kona in Hawaii.

Featuring a host of former top-ranked players, the tour draws big crowds and awards big prize money, with a combined purse of $1.8 million to be spread among the field.

The course was designed by the legendary all-time leading major winner Jack Nicklaus and sits alongside a spectacular run of volcanic coastline, the very kind which marks Hawaii out as one of the world”s most unique and beautiful visitor destinations.

Famous names who might appear at the event include old campaigners like Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Nick Price, not to mention defending champion Fred Funk.

Golf fans and those in search of picturesque and peaceful surrounding need look no further than this stunning Pacific Island.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18857862-ADNFCR

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Prestigious sports get the winter treatment

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Polo has many connotations but most people would not think of it as a winter sport.

The Snow Arena Polo World Cup in Austria”s Kitzbuhel resort could certainly surprise many people as it sees some of the world”s top snow polo players compete in the sport”s premier event.

From January 16th-18th, six of the world”s top teams will contest the 7th staging of the event. Last year saw the Kaefer/Lanson Team emerge victorious against Team Hypo Liechtenstein.

While the majority of polo is played on dry land, this event is unique example of the versatility and widespread appeal of the sport.

Polo has long been associated with glamour and high society around the world and is played at a high level as far and wide as India, Argentina and the United States.

Notable polo players include HRH Prince Charles, who played competitively until a number of serious injuries forced him to retire.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18855874-ADNFCR

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World-famous rally event puts drivers through their paces

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The annual Dakar Rally sees drivers from across the world test themselves against the terrain and conditions in the world”s most demanding race from January 3rd to 18th.

This year”s event will make history as it”s to be staged in South America for the first time: the circuit will run from Valparaiso in Chile via Buenos Aires in Argentina and back, touching on both the western and eastern coasts of the continent in the process.

The circuit will see drivers tear across mountains, through rainforests and everything in between – with only a fraction of the field expected to complete the contest.

Participants will have to deal with extremes of temperature found in very few parts of the world, in a range of vehicles from buggies to huge, professionally-equipped off-road 4x4s.

But the newest challenge facing this year”s competitors will be altitude – nearly 1,000km of the 9,000km route will be run at over 1,500m above sea level.

Not for the faint-hearted the Dakar Rally is one of the world”s true most challenging endurance events.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.
ADNFCR-1652-ID-18855679-ADNFCR

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California city revels in ‘anti-festival’

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In a world where every event has to have a festival to go with it, one group of organisers – or, rather, ‘unorganisers’ – satirise the culture with the annual Doo Dah Parade.

Held in the Old Town district of Pasadena, a city on the outskirts of Los Angeles, the parade began life as a spoof of the Festival of Roses, held each year to celebrate the revered annual college football showdown, in 1976.

Its founders perceived an increasing tightening of rules and regulations associated with the event and decided to strike back with their own celebration which revels in having no rules, no restrictions and no theme whatsoever.

The result is a carnival like atmosphere where, it seems, anything goes – perhaps explaining it being described as a "passport to weirdness" by those behind it.

Thousands of spectators gather to watch performers cavort through the city under the watchful eye of the Grand Marshall.

While anyone can take part they should be mindful of just how random they’re expected to be given the past attractions, which have included Synchronised Precision Briefcase Marching Drill Team.

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18855674-ADNFCR

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California city revels in ”anti-festival”

0

In a world where every event has to have a festival to go with it, one group of organisers – or, rather, ”unorganisers” – satirise the culture with the annual Doo Dah Parade.

Held in the Old Town district of Pasadena, a city on the outskirts of Los Angeles, the parade began life as a spoof of the Festival of Roses, held each year to celebrate the revered annual college football showdown, in 1976.

Its founders perceived an increasing tightening of rules and regulations associated with the event and decided to strike back with their own celebration which revels in having no rules, no restrictions and no theme whatsoever.

The result is a carnival like atmosphere where, it seems, anything goes – perhaps explaining it being described as a "passport to weirdness" by those behind it.

Thousands of spectators gather to watch performers cavort through the city under the watchful eye of the Grand Marshall.

While anyone can take part they should be mindful of just how random they”re expected to be given the past attractions, which have included Synchronised Precision Briefcase Marching Drill Team.

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18855674-ADNFCR

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