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Category Archives for "Europe"

Must see locations, events and places to travel and enjoy in the Europe.

Copenhagen Open Its Castles & Palaces Gates

If you’re planning a visit to the Danish capital, be sure not to miss these five historic castles and palaces that celebrate the royal history of the nation

Christiansborg Palace

christiansborg palace

Beneath the opulent Christiansborg Palace, home of the Danish parliament, is a mysterious world. These are the ruins of the 12th-century castle of Bishop Absalon. Visitors can tour not only the splendour of Christiansborg Palace, but also the evocative remains of the ruined castle.

Rosenborg Castle

ROSENBORG CASTLE

This stunning 17th-century castle takes travellers back in time to meet the waxworks of those who once called its halls their home. Here you can relive some of their most scandalous episodes. However, whatever you do, don’t miss the Danish crown jewels, which are sure to take your breath away.

Frederiksborg Castle

FREDERIKSBORG CASTLE

Set on an island in its own lake, the 17th-century Frederiksborg Castle was rebuilt after a catastrophic fire in the 19th century. Now it houses the Museum of National History and one of the most beautiful royal gardens you will ever have the chance to explore.

Fredensborg Palace

FREDENSBORG PALACE

Fredensborg Palace is still used as a residence by the Danish royal family. This Baroque masterpiece is particularly famed for its extensive and extravagant gardens, many of which are still tended and enjoyed by members of the royal family themselves.

Amalienborg Palace

AMALIENBORG PALACE

The residence of the Danish royal family welcomes visitors for guided tours around its awe-inspiring rococo interiors. Be sure to watch the traditional changing of the Royal Guard before you tour all four of the different Danish palaces that make up Amalienborg.

Best Places To Go Out For History Lovers

Britain has so much to offer the casual historian in terms of days out and excursions that the choice can be a little overwhelming. Whether it’s castles or museums that whet your appetite for learning about the past, we’ve shortlisted five of the best historical destinations that are guaranteed to excite, inform and entertain.

AMBERLEY MUSEUM & HERITAGE CENTRE

AMBERLEY MUSEUM & HERITAGE CENTRE

Located between the Sussex towns of Arundel and Storrington, Amberley Museum is dedicated to local industrial heritage. Exhibits include the telecommunications hall, electricity hall, working printshop, road steam engines and more. The museum is home to traditional craftspeople such as the wheelwrights and blacksmith, with a cafe, gift shop, nature trails and picnic areas. The museum hosts more than 50 events ranging from children’s activity days to classic vehicle shows. February half term events include Opening Weekend on 13-14 February, Toddler Tuesday on the 16th and Electric Amberley Activity Day on the 17th.

All events are listed on the museum’s website and Facebook page. After half term the museum is open from March to October, seven days a week during Sussex school holidays and on Bank Holidays, otherwise Wednesday to Sunday.

HEVER CASTLE & GARDENS

HEVER CASTLE & GARDENS-1

Experience 700 years of history at the castle once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and also home to Anne of Cleves. Set in the beautiful Kent countryside, the original Medieval castle with its gatehouse and walled bailey was built in 1270, with the Tudor dwelling added by the Boleyn family.

The splendid panelled rooms contain fine furniture, tapestries, antiques and an important collection of Tudor portraits. Two prayer books that belonged to Anne Boleyn are on display – one is believed to be the prayer book she took to her execution at the Tower. Despite its splendour, Hever Castle also houses lots of armour and gruesome torture devices. A permanent exhibition brings the 16th century to life with costumed figures illustrating key events in Anne’s life at the castle.

THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL TO THE FEW AT THE WING

THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL TO THE FEW AT THE WING

The bravery and sacrifice of the aircrew who took part in the Battle of Britain in 1940 continues to inspire us more than 75 years after it happened. The story of how fewer than 3,000 men took to the sky to defeat the Luftwaffe and end Hitler’s plans to invade this country is brilliantly told in the new Spitfire-shaped Wing building at the National Memorial to the Few. Situated on Kent’s famous white cliffs at Capel-le-Ferne near Folkestone, the multimedia Scramble Experience gives a sense of what it must have been like to take part in possibly the most important battle this country has ever won.

The memorial itself is an inspirational stone carving of an airman gazing reflectively out over the Channel, while the site is also home to a replica Hurricane and Spitfire and the Christopher Foxley- Norris Memorial Wall, where the names of those who took part are listed.

THE JORVIK GROUP

THE JORVIK GROUP

Exploring the history of a city like York can be an expensive day out or short break. Luckily the JORVIK Group offer the Pastport – allowing access to five of the best city-centre attractions throughout the year for one great, discounted price. Discover a Medieval townhouse, once hidden behind a modern facade and now restored to its former glory at Barley Hall.

Explore the bloody impact of the Wars of the Roses on York at the Richard III & Henry VII Experiences on the famous city walls. Experience hands-on archaeology at DIG – An Archaeological Adventure. Unfortunately following the floods in York over the Christmas period, JORVIK Viking Centre will be closed until further notice but any Pastports purchased during this time will be valid for 24 months, allowing you to re-visit York and re-discover the Viking Age at JORVIK!

TOUR THE THAMES: CRIME, DEATH AND MYTHS

 thames-bridge

Saturday 20 February, 1-4.30pm

Take a boat trip down the Thames and immerse yourself in the myths of the river and dark stories of crime and death from Execution Dock to the Great Stink. Join experts Scott Wood, author of London Urban Legends: The Corpse On The Tube and a regular contributor to Londonist, and Julie Chandler, a Blue Badge Guide and founder of London Town Tours, as they narrate the stories of the river.

The tour goes from Westminster Pier to the 02 and back again, passing by the famous landmarks of the city including London’s iconic bridges, the London Eye, the Tower of London, London’s Docklands and Greenwich. Book now for £38 by calling 020 7001 9844.

Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival, Germany

On weekends from September to November, downtown Ludwigsburg engages in revelry celebrating the harvest of the season—pumpkins. Giant pumpkin sculptures designed around a theme take pride of place near the town market in southwestern Germany. There’s also a display of close to 800 types of pumpkins and other squash grown locally in Ludwigsburg. There are pumpkin carving contests and food stalls featuring dishes made using the sweet squash, including what is known as “Germany’s biggest pumpkin soup” that is sold to raise money for charity.

pumpkin-festival

The highlights at the Kurbisausstellung Ludwigsburg (Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival) are the paddlers and the weigh-offs. For the former, participants paddle across Castle Lake in giant hollowed-out pumpkins. Meanwhile, the biggest, heaviest pumpkins battle it out at the Pumpkin Weigh-Offs (the European record holder is a 1054-kilogram specimen from 2014). Winning entries are proudly displayed before being smashed to smithereens by revellers on the last day. Some do it for fun, others to collect the seeds to grow their own prize pumpkin.

Welcome To Lemon Festival: Menton, France

The French Riviera town of Menton welcomes the end of winter with a celebration that involves tonnes and tonnes of sunny, juicy lemons. At the Fete du Citron or Lemon Festival, organised every year in February-March, lemons and other citrons are arranged to create 30-foot-high structures at the town’s Bioves Gardens. Artists and enthusiasts create designs based on the year’s theme, which has ranged from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea inspired by the Jules Verne novel, to Tribulations of a Lemon in China, a spin-off on a popular French novel. Come nightfall, the orange and yellow structures are illuminated with myriad lights, and often accompanied by sounds to bring the fruity creations to life.

lemon-festival

There’s also a parade once a day along the adjacent Promenade du Soleil that lends the festival a carnival air. There’s the Golden Fruits Parade and the nighttime parades, which have extravagantly decorated citrus floats that are sometimes accompanied by dramatic fireworks and followed by brass bands, confetti-showering crowds, and brightly-dressed dancers and performers. The whole town gets into the spirit of the festivities with shops selling citrus-flavoured foods and fragrances among other things.

This Mini-Guide Will Help You to Discover The Real London Air

Brexit may have been controversial for the Brits, but travelers eager to visit London have reason to celebrate. Politics aside, the aftermath of Brexit brings tourism benefits to Americans because of a favorable exchange rate and more affordable transatlantic airfares.

Anglophiles drawn to the English capital will find that the city is still an eclectic mix of royal, modern, and indie. Even native Londoners would need more than a lifetime to uncover everything that their city offers.   Venturing beyond the historic center and popular must-see spots can feel as though you’ve wandered past a series of connected villages that sport football scarves as flags. Sometimes, it can seem like you’ve even, in the tradition of British television treasure Doctor Who, traversed through time and space itself.

red-phone-box-london

London’s calling. Answer in a classic red phone box

In spite of the current legislative upheaval, visitors will discover a welcoming city. Diversity is diffused throughout London’s 60,000 winding streets, from the experimental artist spaces to neighborhood ethnic eateries to the stocked stalls that line Saturday markets. In London, hipsters, global finance leaders, and expats convene as equals with a pint in hand at the local pub.

And that, Brexit or not, is a pretty great deal.

Situate your stay along the Thames, the aquatic artery that threads through the heart of London. Just steps from both the river and Trafalgar Square, the CORINTHIA boasts Victorian architecture, a planet-size crystal chandelier, a florist, and a swanky spa featuring an ice fountain and sleeping pods. Across the street from the Tower of London and a few minutes’ stroll from the river is CITIZENM. The 370-room hotel includes a lobby made to feel like your living room, if your living room were outfitted with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and Union Jack accent pieces.

citizenm-hotel

CitizenM Hotel’s Tower of London location is both proper and plush

Plus, there are Instagram-ready workspaces with complimentary espresso, a library saturated with style books, and a selection of iMacs in case you left your laptop at home. For an alternative stay, try the GOOD HOTEL, a floating former detention center for illegal immigrants. This new not-for-profit hotel will spend five years in the Royal Victoria Docks, serving up local craft beers in what was once the mess hall and waterfront views on its rooftop garden. Better yet: All the Good Hotel’s profits go into an education and entrepreneurship program for its staff.

Discover The Portrait Of The Unforgettable Dublin

DUBLIN WRITERS MUSEUM – Letters, rare editions, portraits, and other memorabilia from the likes of Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Shaw, Yeats, Joyce, and Beckett fill this 18th-century mansion. The Michelin-starred restaurant Chapter One occupies its basement level.

JAMES JOYCE CENTRE – Far from a stuffy memorial to the literary cult figure, the centre hosts weekly Joyce-themed walks, spearheads the annual Bloomsday festival, and welcomes guest readers as starry as Stephen Fry.

TRINITY COLLEGE – Take a student-guided walking tour around this prestigious 16th-century university, home to the largest library in Ireland and the illuminated ninth-century Gospel manuscript, the Book of Kells.

TRINITY COLLEGE

TRINITY COLLEGE

SWENY’S PHARMACY – Daily Joyce readings take place at this former pharmacy where Ulysses’ Leopold Bloom famously buys lemon-seen ted soap.

PATRICK’S – Dublin’s 13th-century cathedral, one of the city’s few remaining medieval buildings, is a pilgrimage spot for fans of satirist and poet Jonathan Swift, who was also a dean of the cathedra.

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF IRELAND – Its holdings include the largest collection of W. B. Yeats manuscripts in the world, donated by the Yeats family.

La Tomatina – Bunol, Valencia

LAST WEDNESDAY IN AUGUST.

la-tomatina-1

THIS HAS GOT TO BE ONE OF THE MESSIEST FESTIVALS WE’VE EVER SEEN.

We’ll give you a hot tip – don’t wear your Sunday finest. You can expect to get entirely covered from tip to toe in squished tomatoes at this annual food fight festival in Eastern Spain.

AND THIS IS ALL IN AID OF WHAT?

A rollicking good time. Is there a better reason? The origins of the festival aren’t clear, but that doesn’t stop thousands upon thousands of revellers turning up on the last Wednesday in August to hurl tomatoes at one another.

DO WE BRING OUR OWN TOMATOES?

The festival has grown to such extraordinary size that the town trucks in tonnes of the red missiles and dumps them in the centre of town for the food fighters to get stuck into.

HOW LONG DOES THE CHAOS LAST?

Partying lasts all week, but the messy part of the affair lasts just a few hours, from 11am to around 2pm. Most of the action happens close to the town centre, but the streets fanning out from there are all caught up in the mix, so you can expect to get pelted wherever you are.

Ivrea Orange Festival – Ivrea, Turin

FEBRUARY.

A FRUIT FESTIVAL SOUNDS VERY QUAINT.

That’s what we thought, but no, this is war.

WAR DOESN’T SOUND LIKE MUCH FUN.

Ok, it’s not exactly war, but a re-enactment of an historic battle between the victorious yet humble village folk and a despotic lord – instead of using more historically accurate weaponry like swords, the actors use oranges.

OF COURSE THEY DO. THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE.

ivrea-orange-festival-1

It’s thought that the use of oranges came about after young women decided to drop oranges from balconies on high onto boys below that they found attractive… but ignoring the nonsensical sequence of events that got us here, the festival is a colourful, entertaining, vibrant spectacle watched by over 100,000 spectators. It’s not possible for just anyone to take part in the actual battle, however; you need to register to be part of the regiment of foot soldiers.

OH GOOD, WE CAN STAND SAFELY ON THE SIDELINES AND CHEER THE VILLAGERS ON.

Sure, but be warned, being anywhere near the town square while the oranges are being launched will put you at risk of copping a juicing.

Buso Festival – Mohács

FEBRUARY.

HUNGARIAN HALLOWEEN?

buso-festival-hungary-1

The creepy costumes donned by the revellers at this eccentric Magyar carnival certainly give Halloween ghouls a run for their money.

WHAT ARE THESE MASKED MEN DOING? AND WHY?

Dressed as horned monsters with woollen pelts, these costumed fiends are entrusted with the job of frightening off the freezing winter weather. It’s a symbolic nod to a significant Hungarian historical event. In the 16th century, the townsfolk of Mohács dressed in disturbing get-up to frighten away the invading Turkish army.

ONCE THE AWFUL WEATHER HAS BEEN SENT PACKING, WHAT’S NEXT?

The festival lasts six days and over the course of this time there are lots of activities, open to all, that won’t scare you silly. There’s a costume competition for little monsters, a street procession that starts off on boats on the Danube and ends with horse-drawn floats in the centre of town, and a burning man effigy to signal the end of the cold. Everyone walks around drinking mulled wine and brandy and toasting their success at seeing in the imminent end of winter.

Air Guitar World Championships – Oulu

LATE AUGUST.

IS THIS JUST GOING TO BE LIKE EVERY STUDENT HOUSESHARE ON A SATURDAY NIGHT?

You can expect a superior standard to your mate Dave’s beer-fuelled rendition of ‘Back in Black’. The competitors who make it to this, the holy grail of air guitar competitions, take their craft very seriously.

HOW SERIOUSLY?

air-guitar-world-championships-1

If you’re in any doubt as to the earnestness of the ideals of the competition, then have a read of the organisers’ ideology. These peaceful rockers believe that if everyone in the world played air guitar, wars would end, climate change would stop and all bad things would disappear. Now that’s got to be worth a riff, right?

HOW DO WE GET IN ON THE FUN?

Choose your song, practise like crazy, then send in a one-minute edited clip of your best effort. Or work your way through your national ranks. Be sure to play with technical accuracy and unbridled passion. Remember that your instrument must be invisible, although it can be either electric or acoustic in make (believe), and you are not allowed any air roadies or air back-up bands – that would, of course, be a totally unfair advantage.