Tag Archives: Spain

The Ultimate Piping Challenge: Blowing the Asturian Bagpipe

young Asturian bagpipe player

During my recent trip to Asturias, I gave a shot at playing the bagpipes (you know me, I had to give everything a go). I don’t want to blow my own horn, but for a first-timer, I didn’t do too badly though my travel mates who were there …

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Easter Celebrations Around the World


Over the weekend, Christians from different corners of the world celebrated Easter in fervor. The celebrations took place in various forms: from religious processions to colorful parades and bunny-and-eggs celebrations. Last year, I was fortunate to witness one of the biggest Easter celebrations in the world – Seville’s Holy …

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Learning to Pour Cider the Traditional Way in Asturias, Spain

pouring cider the traditiona way, Asturias

Before visiting Asturias, I knew they were obsessed with ciders. But I didn’t know they were this obsessed: the Asturians alone consume over 79,500 litres of cider each year and in Asturias’s biggest city, Gijon, there are well over 1,300 cider bars. I also knew that the Asturians had a peculiar (and …

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Exploring the Picos de Europa – Peaks of Europe

Picos de Europa, Asturias Spain

The mountain range that stretches across Northern Spain was given the name Picos de Europa, (Peaks of Europe) for good reasons. It’s said that when the Spaniards arrived back from the Americas, the mountain range (located just 20km from the coast) was the first thing they saw from sea. …

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Cliffs, Peaks and Meadows: Asturias in Photos

Picos de Europa, highest peaks in Northern Spain

Over the past week, Asturias surprised me with striking landscapes and outstanding gastronomy. Within this small principality in Northern Spain, we explored the mountain range of  Picos de Europa, watched the scenic landscapes from the craggy San Lorenzo Cape, tried pouring cider the traditional Asturian way (from 2m high!) and wandered …

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Discovering a Hidden Corner of Spain – Asturias

Picos de Europa, Asturias Spain

Sprinkled with green prairies and rolling meadows, Asturias breaks all stereotypical notions of Spain. Instead of palm trees and sultry beaches, Asturias is home to mountainous landscapes, sub-zero temperatures and medieval villages reminiscent of Northern Europe. Although visited by Spaniards especially for rural tourism activities, Asturias remain an unexplored …

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My Travel Plans for Spring-Summer 2011

Icebergs in Alaska - hoping to see these in the Arctic!

The last few months have been a quiet one for me – as traveling took a backseat while I focused on writing. I started the year in Southeast Asia, before heading back to our base in Spain and hopping off on short trips around Europe. In the past month …

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Rural Tourism: Unique Ways of Exploring the Countryside

Alpujarras Southern Spain

// Since getting bitten by the travel bug, I’ve been introduced to rural tourism on several occasions: olive-picking in Southern Spain, staying at an eco-lodge in the mountains of Guatemala and experiencing farm life in Western Australia. Rural tourism is a way of exploring and immersing in nature – and it often leads to surprising […]

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Photoblog: Carnival Celebrations All Around the World


// It’s that time of the year again! Flamboyant costumes, larger-than-life parades and colorful street parties: Carnival is an annual festive season celebrated in various corners of the world. What started out as a Roman Catholic festival is now a massive party. One of my favorite events of the year (next to Christmas), the Carnival […]

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Photoblog: The Moroccan Seaside in White and Blue

Panorama of Asilah

// Approaching Asilah from far, we see a jumble of square buildings topped with blue domes, enclosed within the sand-colored Medina walls. Reflecting the colors of the balmy sea, the town of Asilah is bathed in a blanket of white and blue, dotted by the occasional brown brick houses and honey-colored mosques.Men with burly beards, […]

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6 Ideal Driving Tour Destinations


// Imagine cruising along the coastal highway and getting to your destination just in time for sunset – driving tours often give travelers the kind of freedom and flexibility that you can’t get while backpacking. They allow you to explore at your own leisurely pace, in the comfort of your own vehicle. There are plenty […]

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Holy Week (Easter) in Seville, Spain


Easter in Spain is an extraordinary affair: instead of the western Easter bunny-and-eggs celebrations, Holy Week here is looked upon in a religious light. Last week, the whole of Seville was lit up with faint candle lights and larger-than-life figures of Jesus Christ and a weeping Virgin Mary. Seville’s Semana Santa celebrations are …

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7 Unconventional Budget Ski Destinations in Europe


// Skiing on the cheap, really? In Europe? No, I’m not kidding. Look harder and you’ll find several budget options that can make the stingiest of all skiers a happy man. Forget about the Alps, look towards Central and Eastern Europe where small but economical ski stations hide under thick blankets of snow and well-maintained […]

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Culture: Street Performers in Madrid

Street performer on his trumpet in downtown Madrid

// Buskers rule in Europe, especially in Madrid where artists, musicians and hippies take to the streets. Take a stroll around downtown Madrid on a Sunday and you’ll see the vibrant busking scene come alive. During a recent weekend stay in Madrid, we relived those days spent wandering through its labyrinth-like downtown while living in […]

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Photoblog: Best Places for a View in Granada, Spain


// My second home, Granada, is a city poised on undulating slopes with Moorish towers and Catholic spires poking through its skyline, with the white mountain range of Sierra Nevada looming in the background.Because of its hilly terrain, there is a plethora of panoramic spots to take in a bird’s eye view of the city. […]

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