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Tag Archives: Festivals
Can’t wait for Santa to drop down your chimney? Then join him on the piste! This is a wicked excuse to bask in the beautiful scenery of the Swiss Alps, feel the thrill of Alpine skiing, and rub shoulders with one of the world’s largest collections of Santa Clauses. Leave your reindeer by the fireplace and start waxing up your skis: Santa is taking the piste.
If you’re looking for something to warm your cockles on cold November nights you could do much worse than head over to King’s Landing….uh….you know what I mean.
If you suffer of Samhainophobia, you might want to stop reading right now because this is all about pumpkins, Jack-O’-Lanterns and Trick-or-treats. Halloween is creeping up quickly, and it’s time to discover all the ins and outs of what might be one of the world’s scariest holidays.
This is going to be tricky and controversial, but let’s face the truth: 23% of the 8 million tourists that visit Amsterdam every year go to a Coffee Shop during their stay.
For those of you that don’t know what a Coffee Shop is, here’s the Wikipedia definition: “Coffeeshops (or cannabis coffee shop) are establishments in the Netherlands where the sale of cannabis for personal consumption by the public is tolerated by the local authorities”
To celebrate this libertine attitude against soft drugs, each year the New York based magazine “High Times” organizes the “High Times Cannabis Cup” – also known as the “Cannabis Cup” – which is held in November in Amsterdam.
Vibrant; vivacious; venereal – London’s reputation spreads far and wide. The streets are paved with gold, the black cabs run on digestive biscuits, and everybody wears a bowler hat.
There’s always a lot going here because, whatever the weather, London loves to party. One of the best examples of this is the world famous Notting Hill Carnival. Known for its attractive Georgian townhouses and dreary rom-coms, once a year the usually placid district of Notting Hill comes alive in an explosion of colour and music. Strip off your clothes and strap on your dancing shoes for Europe’s largest free carnival.
Known as the Night of Fire, Sant Joan (San Juan in Spanish) coincides with the summer solstice, which marks the turning of the calendar. It’s a hugely popular event in Barcelona, celebrated with lots of merriment, fireworks, bonfires and music.
Parties rage well into the morning, in all corners of the city as well as on the beach. This is a time when the Spanish hold festivities to rival the Dutch Queen’s Day. Personally I’ve been part of it, so I can say from experience that it’s pretty nuts.
I’d definitely love to go again, but this isn’t about me; it’s about you. Thanks to the fabulous generosity of Andante Hotel we’re offering you the chance to win 2 nights for 2 people in Barcelona over Sant Joan.
April marks the beginning of Disneyland Paris’ 20th anniversary celebrations. The park opened its doors twenty years ago on 12th April, then still called Euro Disneyland.
It’s by far the biggest celebration of the Dutch calendar, but remains virtually unheard of outside of the Netherlands. However, try to have an amble along the canals on 30th April and you’ll wonder if the Dutch have been drinking from their waterways.
Queen’s Day (or Koninginnedag, if you’re going local) is an event surely not to be missed, and hotels are often fully booked over this period. Fortunate, then, that we have a double room to give away for free in our latest competition. Let’s look into that a bit further:
One great thing about working with an international group of colleagues is the opportunity to learn more about other cultures. In our office it’s common to hear cries of, ‘ciao, ragazzi’ and ‘uitbuiken!’ in between discussions over the correct way to serve coffee or how much money to put in the birthday kitty.
Recently we all witnessed the curious antics of the Dutch on Queen’s Day – and yes, we might have joined in a little bit – and as we look forward to the summer months, we’ll all have a chance to discover some fascinating festivals held around the world, courtesy of our mirthful colleagues.
Our first stop is almost next door. France’s Lorraine Mondial Air Balloon event originated as a show and competition to promote tourism in the local area. A bi-annual occasion held since 1989, this event in July sees the congregation of hundreds of balloons from many different countries in the Lorraine Regional Nature Park. The thousands of spectators and hundreds of volunteer assistants witness a breathtaking display of shapes and colours filling the sky.