Archive

Category Archives for "Europe"

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

Amsterdam Gay Pride/Europride – Amsterdam

LATE AUGUST TO EARLY JULY.

THERE ARE GAY PRIDE PARADES ALL OVER THE WORLD – WHY AMSTERDAM?

Amsterdam Gay Pride-1

Trying to choose the best gay pride party in the world is kind of like choosing a favourite child. There are so many cities that turn on a tremendous event – Sydney, San Francisco, London, New York, the list goes on. However, Amsterdam gets the vote having rolled the event into the supersized ‘Europride’, a three-week long LGBT celebratory extravaganza.

THREE WEEKS! THAT’S A HELL OF A PRIDE.

If three weeks off work is too much to ask, make sure you’re there for the last weekend (early August) – that’s when most of the major events take place.

WHAT’S IN STORE FOR US AS PART OF THESE FINAL FESTIVITIES?

Street parties, the Drag Queen Olympics, the Canal Parade, the Funhouse dance party, and the enormous Pride Closing Party. Some events are divided into either gay or lesbian, and some are themed, like the Bear Necessities, but the vibe is generally inclusive and fun for all.

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival – Speyside, Scotland

APRIL OR MAY.

THIS MUST BE PARADISE.

 

If your idea of paradise involves more whisky than you could poke a caber at, then yes, this is paradise.

A CABER? WHAT?

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

You know, the caber toss? Never mind. The point is that you’re in Scotland, and is there anything more Scottish than whisky? And this is where the spirit comes to life, a five-day celebration of the art, craft and business of making and drinking the water of life.

I’VE ALREADY BOOKED A TICKET.

You won’t be disappointed. The festival takes place in the towns, villages and 50 distilleries of Speyside, with some 400 events over its five days. There are distillery tours and tastings, talks, whisky fairs, fine dining dinners, live music…

MY MOUTH IS WATERING.

It’s a truly satisfying festival, blending single malt with the singular beauty of rural Scotland and its convivial hospitality. You’ll go for the whisky but stay for Speyside itself. Ok, and the whisky. But you’ll stay, that much is certain.

Oktoberfest – Munich

MID TO LATE SEPTEMBER.

AH BEER, GLORIOUS BEER.

oktoberfest-beer-1

If you happen to be partial to the amber ale, as millions of us are, then Oktoberfest is known to you. If you go to join the fun, you’ll discover it’s the beating heart of the beer-swilling world.

TELL US IT’S NOT ALL BOOZY LADS STUMBLING AROUND IN LEDERHOSEN.

Over six million visitors turn up to be a part of the festivities so chances are you’ll run into a few boozy lads but they won’t dominate the fun.

WE IMAGINE THAT WE MIGHT BE NURSING A HANGOVER AT SOME STAGE.

In that case, eat yourself out of a hole with traditional treats like hendl (roast chicken), schweinebraten (roast pork), or schweinshaxe (grilled ham hock).

ALRIGHT, WE’RE BACK ON THE HORSE.

Before you get into doing your bit with the nearly eight million litres of beer that is drunk here each year, have a go on the amusement rides and sideshow games. Your eye might be slightly out later.

MAD Symposium – Copenhagen

LATE AUGUST.

A SYMPOSIUM? SOUNDS SERIOUS.

mad-symposium-1

When famed Danish chef, Rene Redzepi (of Noma note), pulled the symposium together for the first time in 2011, we imagine he was hoping that everyone would take his efforts seriously. And they did: in the short time that the symposium has been running it has garnered a reputation as ‘the Food World’s G-20’.

A CHEF MASH UP?

The philosophy behind MAD is ‘to expand knowledge of food to make every meal a better meal… Good cooking and a healthy environment can and should go hand-in-hand’. So yes, there’s a healthy contingent of eager chefs, but the symposium draws in many others from the food industry, including farmers, food journalists, suppliers and food-service professionals.

DELICIOUS INSPIRATION.

The cast of guest speakers reads like a who’s who of the international restaurant world. Think David Chang, Albert Adria, Alain Ducasse, to name just a few – so you would be hard-pressed to come away from the festival without a mind packed with new culinary ideas.

Bordeaux Fête le Vin – Bordeaux, France

LATE JUNE.

WE SENSE A WINNING COMBINATION OF LOCATION AND THEME HERE.

bordeaux-fête-le-vin

The viticulture gods do shine down on this UNESCO World Heritage site at the end of June each year. With an architecturally stunning setting and world-famous vineyards surrounding the town, this fabulous festival draws in wine aficionados from all corners of the globe.

WINE TASTING IN BORDEAUX? WELL, WE GUESS SOMEONE HAS TO DO IT.

You will most certainly not be alone; this shindig is known as one of the biggest wine festivals in the world and while the wine is first and foremost, the four-day fiesta includes barrel-rolling competitions, live music, fireworks displays and sound and light shows each night. That is, of course, if you get tired of all the tippling.

LET’S GET STARTED THEN.

The festival sets up on a two kilometre stretch of road between the historical old town and the river, with a string of tasting pavilions featuring more than 80 appellations from Bordeaux and the Aquitaine region. Make your way to the water.

The International Highline Meeting Festival – Monte Piana

SEPTEMBER.

IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE HERE…

Look up.

WHOAH, THAT’S A NEW ONE.

International Highline Meeting Festival-1

The festival goers that are suspended hundreds of feet above the ground in those colourful hammocks are called slackers, and they’re not your usual festival slackers; these guys earned their name from the slack wire helping to prevent them plunging to their deaths. The fiesta is a chance for lovers of the sport to meet up in a totally non-competitive environment.

WHAT IF WE PREFER THE VIEW OF THE DOLOMITES FROM SOLID GROUND?

Completely understandable; the aim of the get-together is to not only give enthusiasts a chance to hang out (boom boom) but to gently introduce newbies to the sport. Don’t feel pressured to get high (bam) – the festival organisers put on musical entertainment, an outdoor cinema, food stalls and yoga lessons for those not into the high life. At night there’s a dance party that even the slackers get in on.

World Body Painting Festival – Portschach

JULY.

A STEP ABOVE THE FACE-PAINTING STALL AT OUR LOCAL FETE.

This is a go-to destination for anyone who has ever been interested in body art. There is awe-inspiring body painting on show as well as airbrush and special effects artists working their magic. In some cases, it’s hard to even believe that there’s a human being underneath that paintwork.

THERE’S QUITE A BUZZ GOING ON – IS THAT A DJ ON STAGE?

Over the years, the body painting festival has broadened its horizons to become a self-proclaimed ‘multicultural, multimedia open air space’ and that’s why you can experience five different zones with a host of DJs playing anything from reggae to electronica, to dancehall to hip hop. There’s even a stretch of beach dedicated to activities for the kids and a whole market zone with fashion, craft and jewellery.

WHERE CAN WE SEE THE BEST OF THE BODY PAINTING?

world-bodypainting-festival

The best body artists from over 50 countries around the world are on show, so everywhere you look there are stunning pieces of art. However, for something a bit different, stick around until the evening show of the best UV body paint, spectacularly lit up under lights.

White Nights Festival – St Petersburg

MAY TO JULY.

THE SUMMER MAY BE SHORT IN RUSSIA BUT THEY KNOW HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF IT IN ST PETERSBURG.

st-petersburg

Do they! In what should be described as a series of many major artistic events and not just one festival, White Nights runs over the longest days of the year and features a staggeringly varied array of performances and exhibitions.

WHAT SORT OF THINGS CAN WE EXPECT?

There is classical music, opera, dance, film, circus acts, comedy, theatre, sculpture, jazz concerts and myriad other performing arts pieces on show. Many performances are outdoors, so strolling around the city centre or along the banks of the River Neva you’re likely to catch a free show.

GIVE US A COUPLE OF MUST-SEES.

One of the most justifiably popular events is the Scarlet Sails – the recreation of a child’s storybook. A giant crimson-tailed longship is sailed up the River Neva towards the Tsar’s palace, with accompanying fireworks and lightshows. This spectacle draws crowds in their millions. Also, make sure to be at the opening of the drawbridge at least once – a street party erupts at 2am each night the drawbridge is retracted.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival – Scotland

AUGUST.

THIS IS ALL WEIRD PERFORMANCE ART, ISN’T IT?

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

This is the granddaddy of performance art festivals and you can bet on seeing some weird and wonderful acts over the month it’s held. But it’s not all Shakespearean plays performed by dangerously drunk actors, and grim, ironic, post-modern, pre-future fairytales. The entertainment on offer is unbelievably diverse: musicals, kids’ shows, dance, circus, cabaret…

… I THINK I REALLY JUST WANT A LAUGH. …

and comedy. The Fringe has a strong humour focus; you’ll find a laugh or two for sure. Rowan Atkinson, Eddie Izzard and Billy Connolly made names for themselves here.

THAT DOESN’T SOUND FRINGEY AT ALL!

Maybe not at their current levels of fame. But here there’s some genuinely groundbreaking stuff going on. You’re likely to experience acts that might not make it into more mainstream arts festivals – at least, not until Fringe-found fame opens those kinds of doors.

AgitAgueda Art Festival – Agueda, Portugal

JULY (EXACT DATES VARY).

WOW, THE UMBRELLAS IN THE SKY.

AgitAgueda Art Festival-1

One of the most recognisable symbols of this vibrant Portuguese festival is the installation of hundreds of colourful umbrellas suspended above one of the city’s streets. Other parts of the urban landscape, like park benches, stairs, and power poles, are also painted in colourful examples of street art, creating an enchanted atmosphere.

WHAT’S IT ALL IN AID OF?

The festival aims to promote new musical and artistic projects with the ‘Talentos AgitAgueda’, a competition for emerging artists. As well as new hopefuls there are many established national and international acts that grace the stage.

DO WE HAVE TIME TO CHECK IT ALL OUT?

The festivities extend over three weeks so there’s plenty of time to pack it all in. Many of the musical acts perform in the main tent, which is free. And there’s nothing stopping you from walking around the streets to see all the amazing outdoor installations, murals and sculptures

1 3 4 5 6 7 97