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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 ‘Things to do in Europe’

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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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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Zurich Street Parade

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More than half a million will attend the paradeThe Zurich Street Parade will take place on Sunday August 10th from 13:00 until midnight.

Beginning at Utoquai, the parade will proceed towards Bellevue, Quaibrucke and Burkliplatz, finally arriving at Hafendamm Enge.

Friendship is the theme for 2008, and the parade aims at promoting peaceful, responsible treatment of our fellow human beings, the environment and, of course, ourselves.

This year, the line-up for the parade includes stars like Markus Schulz, Fedde Le Grand, Monika Kruse, Tektonik and Moonbootica.

In addition, upcoming artists will be contributing their own sounds and beats to create a musical experience that”s full of variety.

The Zurich Street Parade began in 1992, modelled on the Berlin Love Parade.

The event has mushroomed from the original 2,000 people dancing at a few sound systems to encompass over 30 ”lovemobiles” (mobile dance floors that push through the mass of people) and half a million revellers.

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.
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Globe trotters unite: a journey with a purpose.

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Our ‘Perfect Holiday’ Contest entries have been rolling in! A few of you got very creative with your responses, crafting globe trotting itineraries with inventive themes. Here are some of our favourites thus far:

1. ‘Southern Music Odyssey’, by Greg Davies

A road trip with a difference—i.e. not your usual ‘Route 66’ or ‘Coast to Coast’ American Dream. Due to my late grandfather’s musical obsession that he passed onto me, my dream holiday would be to drive the southern United States, visiting and enjoying some of the famous sights and sounds of Country music—the Grand Ol’ Opry, Memphis, Tupelo, Austin, Nashville—all in an old convertible…staying at old-style motels along the way and enjoying southern hospitality and good ol’ time music, the way it’s meant to be enjoyed!

2. ‘A Taste for Travel’, by Lydia Houghton

I’d have lobster in Cancun, cocktails in New York, A balti in Bombay, A Guinness in County Cork, coq au vin in Paris, a pizza in fair Rome, a chop suey in Beijing, and Swedish meatballs in Stockholm.

It would be such a treat to take a break from all the cooking, but the only problem is… my tummy might need tucking!

3. ‘Natural World Wonders’, by Chris Woodroofe

My Perfect Holiday would be a tour around all of the natural world wonders: Serengeti Migration, Galápagos Islands, Grand Canyon, Iguazu Falls, Amazon Rainforest, Ngorongoro Crater, Great Barrier Reef, Bora Bora Cappadocia and Victoria Falls. All I would need would be a backpack, a diary, and a camera…this would be my perfect holiday—very simple, but very rewarding, as the natural world wonders are being destroyed…

That’s all for now!

The official shortlist will be posted on the isango! website very soon. Be sure to vote!

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Live music festival in Krakow

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There will be international as well as Polish acts On August 22nd and 23rd, the Coca-Cola Live Music Festival returns to the Krakow Aviation Museum.

As well as many international performers, visitors can enjoy the sounds of home-grown artists, with the winner of Coke Live Fresh Noise (a talent search for the best young Polish musician) playing one set.

On Friday August 22nd, highlights include performances by Timbaland, Kaiser Chiefs, Hurt, Indios Bravos, Pezet, Afrometal, Apple Tree, Angelo Mike, Electricity, Madame Tinto and Chris Jaxx.

The next day, Saturday August 23rd, will see artists like The Prodigy, Missy Elliot, Sean Paul and Neverafter perform.

Over both days, shows take place across three stages: the Main Stage, Coke Stage and Burn Stage.

There is camping area around 300 metres from the Main Stage, bathroom facilities, food stalls, mobile phone-charging points and a Coke Clinic tent where massages are available.

A one-day ticket costs 85 PLN (£20), a two-day ticket without a campsite costs 150 PLN (£37), and a two-day ticket with a campsite costs 165 PLN (£40).

Krakow – A turbulent and fascinating history and nearby Auschwitz have seen Krakow become a popular tourist destination.
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Beauty and the Beast in Dublin

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The musical will run in Dublin until August 10thDisney”s Beauty and the Beast is playing at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin until Sunday August 10th.

This is one of the most popular and enchantingly romantic fables ever told.

Seen by over 25 million people worldwide, it has been nominated for nine Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Audiences in London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Sydney and Tokyo have been wowed by this musical extravaganza.

Children will thoroughly enjoy watching this Disney love story, while adults will find themselves tapping their feet to the catchy tunes.

Produced by Peter Frosdick and Martin Dodd for UK Productions, Beauty and the Beast has music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.

It is directed and choreographed by Alison Pollard with musical supervision by Gareth Williams.

Set design is by Charles Camm, while costumes have been created by Elizabeth Dennis.

Doors open at 19:15 and the show starts at 20:00.

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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Regulation to help disabled travellers in Europe

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The new law is set to help 15 million disabled travellersA new regulation for up to 15 million disabled travellers in Europe has come into effect.

Under the measures, airports in EU countries have to provide services to help disabled people to board, disembark and transfer between flights.

Transport minister, Rosie Winterton, said: "This is a major step in ensuring that disabled people and those with reduced mobility have the same access to the standards and services that everyone expects when they fly.

"We expect all airlines and airports to maintain these high standards and for strong action to be taken against anyone repeatedly breaking the regulations across Europe."

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission”s Baroness Jane Campbell, added: "People who previously daren”t risk flying for fear of problems can now confidently give it a try."

This is the second stage of measures to support disabled passengers flying through Europe.

Last year, it became illegal for airlines, travel agents or tour operators to refuse a holiday booking on the grounds of disability.

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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Croatia holiday ”good value for money”

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More than 7,000 Brits visited Croatia between January and MarchA holiday to Croatia may be the best thing to do as the credit crunch hits wallets, as the country offers "good value for money", a spokesperson for Charisma PR has said.

The agency, which works on behalf of the Croatia Tourism Board, believes that the former Yugoslav nation "is very reasonable because it is outside the eurozone, so it”s still good value for money because the pound is not particularly strong against the euro at the moment".

In addition, the spokesperson said, visitors will enjoy Croatia because "the countryside is very beautiful and the beaches and the water are very clean".

According to official statistics, there were nearly 600,000 tourists in Croatia between January and March 2008 – up 14 per cent compared to the same period in 2007.

The number of foreign tourists increased by 30 per cent to 285,688 in the first quarter of 2008 and there were a little more than 7,000 tourists from the UK.

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-18708300-ADNFCR

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Croatia holiday ”good value for money”

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More than 7,000 Brits visited Croatia between January and MarchA holiday to Croatia may be the best thing to do as the credit crunch hits wallets, as the country offers "good value for money", a spokesperson for Charisma PR has said.

The agency, which works on behalf of the Croatia Tourism Board, believes that the former Yugoslav nation "is very reasonable because it is outside the eurozone, so it”s still good value for money because the pound is not particularly strong against the euro at the moment".

In addition, the spokesperson said, visitors will enjoy Croatia because "the countryside is very beautiful and the beaches and the water are very clean".

According to official statistics, there were nearly 600,000 tourists in Croatia between January and March 2008 – up 14 per cent compared to the same period in 2007.

The number of foreign tourists increased by 30 per cent to 285,688 in the first quarter of 2008 and there were a little more than 7,000 tourists from the UK.

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-18708300-ADNFCR

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Croatia holiday ”good value for money”

0

More than 7,000 Brits visited Croatia between January and MarchA holiday to Croatia may be the best thing to do as the credit crunch hits wallets, as the country offers "good value for money", a spokesperson for Charisma PR has said.

The agency, which works on behalf of the Croatia Tourism Board, believes that the former Yugoslav nation "is very reasonable because it is outside the eurozone, so it”s still good value for money because the pound is not particularly strong against the euro at the moment".

In addition, the spokesperson said, visitors will enjoy Croatia because "the countryside is very beautiful and the beaches and the water are very clean".

According to official statistics, there were nearly 600,000 tourists in Croatia between January and March 2008 – up 14 per cent compared to the same period in 2007.

The number of foreign tourists increased by 30 per cent to 285,688 in the first quarter of 2008 and there were a little more than 7,000 tourists from the UK.

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-18708300-ADNFCR

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