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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 January, 2009

A feast of art in Mallorca

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A stunning collection of art is currently the subject of an exhibition in the CCA Andratx in Mallorca.

The Art Foundation Mallorca Collection has kicked off the season in the CCA and will run until March 1st.

Curators involved in the project include Barry Schwabsky and Friederike Nymphius, as well as Patricia Asbaek, who is also the director of the Kunsthalle.

The three have attempted to make the Art Foundation Mallorca one of the top collections in the world, pooling their knowledge and skills to bring in a host of contemporary art from across the world.

This collection now has a real eclectic flavour, with both established and upcoming artists represented in abundance.

Some of the artists involved include Jim Drain, Gerold Miller, Markus Oehlen and Carsten Fock, and with more than 50 works there may well be the need for a return visit.

In terms of disciplines, photography, ceramics and sculpture will all be featured.

Why not book the La Granja on your own tour in advance?
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Picasso comes alive in Barcelona

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The legendary 20th century artist Pablo Picasso spent much of his life in the city of Barcelona and indeed much of his earliest work is displayed in the city’s Museu Picasso.

However, a special event is currently running at the museum, called Living Things: Figures and Still Life in Picasso.

This exhibition focuses on how the artist created relationships between figures and objects, and uses around 60 of his pieces to display this.

Works on show at Living Things include everything from sketches to paintings and drawings to engravings.

Picasso’s family moved to Barcelona when he was a teenager in the late 19th century and thought of the city as his real home, according to some biographers.

In the early part of the last century, he mainly divided his time between the Catalan city and Paris, and it was in Mougins, France that he died on April 8th 1973.

During his lifetime, Picasso created thousands of works, with some estimates placing the number around 50,000.

Why not book the Montserrat & Cavas Trail tour before you travel?
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Romantic Valentine’s Day Adventures: Vienna

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OK folks, this is it. I’ve guided you through Romantic Valentine’s Day Excursion itineraries in Paris and Florence.  Still haven’t found the perfect trip idea?

Perhaps you’ve already been to these cities, or perhaps you are looking for a destination that is less of a Valentine’s Day cliché.

I thus present to you, in my final post of this series, the charming, music-filled city of VIENNA.

Smaller and more manageable than Paris, yet with a cosmopolitan edge that sets it apart from Florence, Vienna is the perfect weekend destination for the young, culture-loving couple! continue reading

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The Palma International Boat Show in Mallorca

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Everyone from seasoned boat collectors to people who have never sailed will be in attendance at the 26th Palma International Boat Show in Mallorca this year.

Organised by the Fires i Congressos de Balears, this nine-day event offers the chance for visitors to peruse the latest in marine design, all in the stunning surroundings of the Moll Vell of the Palma Port.

From April 25th to May 3rd all types of nautical niceties will be on display, with rubber dinghies right up to sailing boats by way of jet skis, canoes and motor boats.

However, for the gadget-minded, there will also be plenty of accessories and other equipment on display too.

Some 30,000 square metres of sea will be covered by the Palma International Boat Show, along with 15,000 square metres of land.

With locals and tourists alike attending in large numbers, it is also an excellent chance to make friends with people from other countries, and perhaps find a place to berth while on a sailing trip.

The event is open from 10:00 local time until 20:00 with tickets costing €5 (£4.60).

Why not book the Aquacity on your own tour in advance?
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Car classics at the Sitges Vintage Car Rally

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Believe it or not, many people think that car design has been going steadily downhill since the 1920s, and many of these individuals will be found at the Sitges Vintage Car Rally in Barcelona.

In March, it will be the 51st time this event has taken place, as roughly 70 cars built pre-1924 will trundle round a 45km track, which takes the old seaside road from Barcelona and works its way up to Port Aiguadolc in Sitges.

While it is labelled a rally, this is far more about aesthetics rather than velocity, with extra points awarded to drivers who have the best-presented car – as well as the most authentic vintage clothing.

There is also plenty to look at for the less car-enthused, as the rally winds along the stunning Costas del Garraf, providing a feast for the eyes for those who prefer natural beauty.

The race begins at 11:30 local time and is completely free of charge to watch.

Why not book tickets for the Tablao de Carmen Show in advance?
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Holy Week on Mallorca

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Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is one of the most important and widely-practiced holy festivals in the country of Spain, including on the island of Mallorca.

During this week in March, the events surrounding the passion of the Christ are recalled.

Palm Sunday marks the start of the week, when people flock to the island’s churches to be blessed with palms and olive branches.

However, in the evening, this solemn and centuries-old practice gives way to colourful parades marching through the streets, as people celebrate Holy Week.

Then, on Maundy Thursday, a more sombre procession occurs, named La Sang.

During this time, the crucified Jesus Christ is represented and is carried through the streets, in an effort to symbolise what the time of Easter and the religion of Christianity mean.

Visitors to Mallorca during this time will have an excellent chance to see a traditional festival, as well as what Mallorca is really like away from the tourist areas.

Why not book the Caves of Drach (South) tour in advance?
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The passion of Barcelona at the Nou Camp

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The people of Barcelona have a love of football and the city’s biggest club is on course to break all sorts of records this season.

With the front three pairing of Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry, Barcelona have swept all before them and are on course to score more points in a Spanish season than any team before them.

However, the Champions League is seen by many as the biggest prize in club football and French side Lyon stand in Barcelona’s way in the last-16 stage of the competition.

Lyon have dominated French football for the best part of a decade but few would bet on them to upset the Barcelona steamroller.

The first leg is played in France but the second, deciding fixture will be in Barcelona’s awe-inspiring Nou Camp on March 11th at 19:45 GMT.

This is an excellent chance to not only see some of the best football on the planet, but also to sample native Barcelonans at their most passionate.

Why not book the Bus Turistic – Ticket in advance?
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Take in the Barcelona marathon

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For runners and spectators alike, the Barcelona marathon is one of the best of its kind in the world, set against the stunning backdrop of this beautiful city.

At 08:30 in the Avinguda Maria Cristina on March 1st, thousands of runners will take off, with the pace setters expected to finish the race around 10:40.

Runners will be hard pressed to keep their minds on the job, as they race around a city famed for its architecture.

Icons such as the Nou Camp (home of Barcelona’s football club), La Sagrada Familia and the Hospital de Sant Pau will all be passed.

Following its humble begins in the 1970s, the marathon has been growing in popularity, with 7,919 men and 1,202 women taking part last year – up from a respective 6,541 and 934 in 2007.

While most of the runners come from Spain, the UK is well represented too, coming third in the number of runners behind France.

Why not book the BARCELONA – Full Day with lunch tour in advance?
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Out for a duck in Mallorca

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There are many weird and wonderful festivals in Spain, but the prize for the strangest could perhaps go to the "releasing of the ducks" in Can Picafort, Mallorca.

This annual event takes place in August from 12:00, is free to attend and is rather bizarre, or to put it another way – quackers.

A boat sits in the harbour and releases 250 ducks into the sea, which the local people must try and capture.

While these used to be live ducks, enough people have protested about potential animal cruelty to mean that yellow rubber ducks are now used instead.

Some people may have complained about the breaking of a tradition, but as no one is exactly sure where the tradition came from anyway, it is hard to argue.

Even people who don’t fancy getting wet or seeing how many ducks they can capture still enjoy the show, with more than 3,000 spectators usually in attendance.

Why not book the Formentor (North) tour in advance?
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Pump at the volume at Mallorca’s BCM Planet Dance

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Magluf in Mallorca is home to some world-famous clubs, but the biggest of the lot is BCM Planet Dance.

This dance music institution can have 7,000 sweaty punters dancing the night away at any one time, with two separate floors to provide a varied experience.

In the main arena dancers will not only be blown away by the powerful music – the hall features a 3D Tarm laser show which is the biggest of its kind in Europe.

However, the sounds come from a 65,000W – or very, very loud in old money – Funktion One Sound system, meaning that whatever DJ is spinning the tracks the music should be impressive.

Downstairs sees revellers take in BCM Millennium, which puts on foam parties and a host of other ways to make sure dancers don’t go home dry.

The club is open from 22:00 until 06:00 for over-18s only, and costs between €20 and €40 depending on the night.

Why not book the Island Tour before you travel?
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