The day Spain brought me to tears

Tears are welling up behind my dark sunglasses. Around me people are waving white handkerchiefs and the encouraging “olés” can be heard all over La Glorieta. I knew I shouldn’t have come… What was I thinking? It all started the day before, when travelling from León to Salamanca. In the bus station my attention was drawn towards the numerous posters advertising Salamanca’s “Feria Taurina” or “bullfighting festival”. I had always been curious about this Spanish Continue Reading

Tenerife: mountain ranges, pilot whales and colonial towns!

“Tenerife? Isn’t that the place where thousands of British pensioners flock together to bake in the sun?” I am not going to spend a week eating fish and chips and listening to Brits moaning about the heat!” was my first, not so enthusiastic reaction, when my travel partner came up with the idea. It was safe to say I needed some convincing that there were actually things to do and places to visit in Tenerife. After reading up on the destination however, it turns out there’s Continue Reading

The best places to visit on Kefalonia

Kefalonia, with its green, pine-covered slopes and Mount Ainos majestically towering over the surrounding azure blue waters, is the biggest island of the Ionian Sea. Does its name ring a bell? Very possible! The island of Kefalonia was the setting for the 2001 movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”, in which Nicolas Cage played an Italian captain during WWII. The choice for Cage to play an Italian captain might be debatable, but the movie certainly did a lot for the tourism Continue Reading

Freetown Christiania: the alternative side to Copenhagen

“We have three major rules here: “no pictures, no running and HAVE FUN!” I am standing at the entrance of Pusher street, the main thoroughfare of Freetown Christiania and talking is Nina, a 60+ year old woman and one of the first inhabitants of this alternative neighbourhood in Copenhagen. She is going to take me on a guided tour of Christiania. Many visitors are curious about the Christiania community and it is nowadays one of the main tourist attractions of the city, besides the canal Continue Reading

Kerala: a different kind of India

So you think you know India? Crowded, polluted and heaving with holy cows? Well, think again! After having visited the chaos of Rajasthan and Delhi, I had the chance to visit the southern state of Kerala as part of the Kerala Blog Express and boy, was I in for a surprise! I discovered a totally different part of this immense country, I found an India that isn’t often portrayed in the media. One that definitely deserves a visit and might be the perfect place for a first time visitor to Continue Reading

León: the revolutionary side of Nicaragua

The intoxicating smell of grilled meat and the plumes of smoke indicate that I’m close. I’ve just arrived in León, the revolutionary capital of Nicaragua, and my first mission after a long bus ride is to find food. Behind the cathedral I can spot the little chairs and tables of the fritangas. Fritangas are small, casual outdoor food stands that fill the main square just before sunset in most Nicaraguan towns. There’s no menu, it’s point and choose, and the main staple Continue Reading

The most beautiful colonial towns of Brazil

From the southern town of Paraty to the northern city of Olinda: colonial architecture and cobblestone streets can be found all over Brazil. But nowhere is the concentration so high than in the inland state of Minas Gerais. Minas Gerais has long been known for its wealth of minerals and its mining activities, which, together with the goldrush, created huge wealth in the 18th century. The result is a mix of beautifully decorated churches, colonial houses and a peek into the Continue Reading

Granada, the colonial jewel of Nicaragua

The trees on the Parque Central provide a welcoming shade from the midday heat. Horses and carriages are waiting for tourists to take them around the town and the open-air terraces are heaving.  Above all that towers the prominent yellow and white Cathedral. I arrived in Granada, presumably Nicaragua’s most beautiful and most popular colonial town. And beautiful it is indeed! The nearby Plaza de la Independencia is an attractive ensemble of colonial architecture with patios hidden behind Continue Reading

Salvador da Bahia: beyond the Pelourinho

Colonial architecture, capoeira and Afro-Brazilian culture: these are the clichés that usually come to mind when you think of Brazil’s 3rd biggest city: Salvador da Bahia. And they are all there indeed! All concentrated in the small historic neighbourhood of the “Pelourinho“. There is an undeniable energy emerging from the Pelourinho. It’s a rather small area of steep, cobble-stone streets that is easily discovered on foot and one of the best examples of colonial towns Continue Reading

The Ville Nouvelle of Marrakech: a taste of modern Morocco

The true charm of Marrakech lies inside the medina: a place of endless souks, historical palaces and the famous Djema el Fna square. But Marrakech is also one of Morocco’s most modern cities, home to a yearly international film festival, as well as an arts festival. If you want to have a more complete picture of the city, I’d urge you to stroll around in the Ville Nouvelle, the modern part of Marrakech. Wide boulevards are home to numerous cafés and ice cream parlours, as well as big Continue Reading