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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 in ‘Hobbies, Courses & Interests’

Weird Foods: More Than Just A Photo Op.

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I can’t say it enough, (and I do, often) food is one of the best and most informative ways to experience a new culture. However, after hearing about a friend’s recent (strange/gross/wild) cultural eating experience in Peru (exactly what that was, we’ll come back to in a moment) I’m starting to think that it’s not just the variety of authentic cuisines that helps to define a new place, but often the experience of stepping completely outside of your (culinary and otherwise) comfort-zone in the process.

Deep, I know. But think about it for a minute, if someone offered you fish eyeballs, pig hoofs or alligator at your local diner, would you even think twice about saying no? Probably not.

So what is it that gets us crazy travellers to embark on weird and wild culinary adventures? Perhaps it’s the desire to become a part of a new place, a new culture, a new experience. Because, as any traveller knows, food isn’t just about filling your belly with calories it’s about embarking on a cultural experience.

Here comes dinner? - Shazari

Here comes dinner? - Shazari

Take my friend’s trip to Peru for example. She’s southern California born and bred, vegetarian, and an organic food junkie. What could have possibly made a girl who diligently washes each grape before digging into the bunch try (gulp) guinea pig at the local Peruvian market? continue reading

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Scariest Places in London: Warwick Castle

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As I plan my trip to Warwick Castle I realize I will never get  British pronunciation correct. I’m quickly told that I’m not going to Warwick, I’m going to “Wor’ick”. With only three days of sightseeing left I want to pick a great spot for my last hurrah. Warwick Castle Dungeons will be opening just before I leave for home and I want to try and squeeze it in if I can get my hands on some Warwick Castle Tickets. My friends and I are all able to agree on this trip because there’s just so much to do there!

continue reading

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British and Irish Lions squad announced

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An announcement has been made confirming the British and Irish Lions players that people on tours of Cape Town and other South African destinations will be able to see during the team’s visit to the country this year.

Irish second row Paul O’Connell will captain the British and Irish Lions this year, becoming the 10th Irishman to lead the team and the 27th captain overall.

O’Connell is one of 37 players picked to take part in the tour of South Africa, a squad that includes 17 backs and 20 forwards.

The captain is one of a record 14 Irish players selected for the team, joined by the likes of Brian O’Driscoll, Tommy Bowe, Ronan O’Gara and Jamie Heaslip.

Thirteen Welsh players were named by head coach Ian McGeechan in this year’s British and Irish Lions squad, including Shane Williams and Andy Powell, while Joe Worsley and Andrew Sheridan were among the eight Englishmen picked.

Only two Scots – Nathan Hines and Euan Murray – were selected for the tour.

Travellers taking tours of South Africa this year will be able to see British and Irish Lions matches in destinations including Cape Town on June 23rd and Johannesburg on July 4th.

Cape Town – From the wine route to the game parks there is so much to see and do in Cape Town.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19134165-ADNFCR

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A Walk on the “Wilde” Side Indeed: Hotspots of Literary History

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Oscar Wilde - janetmck and mukund76

Oscar Wilde - janetmck and mukund76

All of this travelling has given us all a little wanderlust (aka the desire to travel our already small savings away). Europe is packed with history than we’ll ever be able to see in just three short months, but with some great tour guides and a little organization, we’re hoping to cram as much of it in as possible! Since we’re here to study literature and culture, and Dublin was just the first stop on the journey, I can’t wait to check out these other top writing-geek destinations soon:

London: Well, this one’s a bit obvious I suppose, I am living in Kensington and heading to the theatre every week to see a play for class, but for those of you not already enrolled in a literary adventure, London’s blue circle plaques make it easy. Placed outside the doors of London sites, the plaques serve as a guide to the more famous happenings within many an ordinary-looking building). London has been home to many of the most famous authors of all time: Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells, Virginia Woolf, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Keats, J.M. Barrie, and of course Shakespeare are just a few of the city’s most recognizable names. I can’t wait to search out the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens, check out Oscar Wilde’s house in Chelsea, and see Romeo and Juliet at the Globe Theatre…luckily the blue-badge guided Literary London Tour will make it even easier! continue reading

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Find Your Shade of Green

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Green View - Olof S

Green View - Olof S

Thinking about going green? With families around the world changing their light bulbs, cleaning products, diet, recycling and commuting habits, why not try applying some of those ideas to your vacation time too!While some of us (ahem) might be using the green movement as a way to avoid bathing, the changes to your holiday time this year needn’t be so drastic. Here are three minor changes I’ve discovered through my own travels that can majorly affect the way you experience your vacation (for the better, I swear!) continue reading

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International destinations to power down for Earth Hour

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Travellers in many destinations around the world may notice lights going off all around them this weekend as a host of cities participate in Earth Hour.

This initiative will see some 538 towns and cities turn off their lights for 60 minutes from 20:30 local time on March 28th to show support for action on climate change.

Some of the world’s most iconic travel destinations and tourist attractions will participate in Earth Hour, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Sydney Opera House and Las Vegas’ MGM Grand casino.

The initiative was launched in 2007 in Sydney and expanded to some 371 destinations the following year.

Speaking ahead of the 2009 event, Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley said: "Earth Hour is bringing together the diverse peoples of the world in a truly universal and unifying way.

"From Auckland to Hawaii and Cape Town to St Petersburg, people are coming together to vote with their light switch for action on climate change."

It was recently confirmed that the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx will participate in Earth Hour, with Egypt’s first lady Suzanne Mubarak describing climate change as "a growing international crisis no country can afford to overlook".

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-19093960-ADNFCR

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Shopping in the USA

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Souvenirs and splurges abound as shopping tours help you save cash and go home with some amazing steals. Shop designer brands at outlets in New York and Hawaii or buy up the hoodies and track suits Americans are so known for at an American mall experience. If your travel partner doesn’t share your passion for products visit one of America’s inclusive malls, such as the Mall of America. Here you can shop, eat, see a film and even visit a theme park! Perfect for families.

Packages generally include coupon books, gift products and vouchers and helpful tips to enhance your shopping experience! continue reading

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History, Humour and Horrors at the London Bridge Experience

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I’m a real scaredy cat – the one who hid behind the sofa during Dr Who and still buries her head in a cushion when creepy music comes on TV. So, when my grandson Josh said he wanted to visit the London Bridge Experience for his 13th birthday, my heart sank.

The London Bridge Experience is a new attraction but I’d heard it involved a trip into medieval burial grounds and a fair dollop of horror. But a birthday promise is a promise and off we went. “Bet you scream,” said my husband, who still bears scars from the time I dug my fingers into his arm during ‘Jurassic Park’. 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?
ADNFCR-1652-ID-18998737-ADNFCR

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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?
ADNFCR-1652-ID-18998567-ADNFCR

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