Straddling between breakfast and lunch time, brunch has become the hottest trend these days… our favorite leisure break! It’s story was framed in the late 1800s by English and its’ fame was escalated after 130 years in the U.S. However, the word itself was first appeared in Hunter’s Weekly content when Guy Beringer asked the public to have only light meals before going to church on Sunday afternoon. He said that brunch gives you a more jaunty temper and you are instantly like an upbeat ‘’looney kid’’. He even suggested the local restaurants and pubs serving beer with a nice plate of delicacies instead of the typical English tea or coffee. However, there was a short mention on the Punch magazine in 1876 saying that when you eat at times which are a bit closer to breakfast, this is brunch… Read More
Any town or city can hang up a few lights in the city centre and call it a Christmas festival but there are places in the world that put the rest to shame. If you’re fed up of shoddy lights and a sad-looking tree take a look at these places that really know how to put on a show and offer the best alternative places for holidays at Christmas.
If you’ve got enough holiday to extend your holidays until the 5th of January (Three King’s Day) then there’s no place than Barcelona to spend it with Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar. On Januray 4th the three king’s touch down at the city’s port on their very own ship – Santa Eulalia and completely kitted up in velvet. Canons are fired, fireworks are let of and as the mayor of the city hands over the keys of the city to the kings, the magic of Magi officially starts. The kings are paraded through the streets in an extravagant procession of floats comprising of camels, elephants and giraffes.
Christmas is coming and along with all the cosiness there is also the dreaded Christmas shop. Give something different this year and give yourself a present at the same time. Why not head off on your travels and stock up on traditional European goods from a foreign christmas market and soak up the incredible atmosphere.
Vienna’s Christkindlmaerkt is one of the most famous, and long running in Europe and Vienna makes the perfect setting for this European Christmas Market. A lot of effort goes into the magical decorations and atmosphere and it attracts people from all over the world. Held in front of the town hall, visitors flock to Vienna to grab photos with the famous Christmas decorations, listen to the seasonal music, pick up traditional gifts and of course overindulge on sweet chestnuts. The city also offers the chance to see the glorious Schonbrunn and Imperial palaces and to stuff yourself silly with all the great cakes at the coffee houses.
Open: November 17th – December 24th
Image via: @tttaaaooo
Who doesn’t love slip-sliding about and releasing your inner child? Is there a better place to do that than in a them park or water park? We don’t think so. Impress your kids this year with all the facts about these extremely cool water parks for 2014 and don’t forget to tell us if we’ve missed one of your favourite water parks in the comments below.
1. Tropical Islands Resort, Krausnick, Germany. The largest indoor water park in the world, Tropical Islands is in a former zeppelin hangar, complete with rainforest, palm trees, birdsong and artificial sun.
2. Siam Park, Tenerife. Perhaps one of the best known water parks in Europe, Siam Park, the Water Kingdom is home to a Tower of Power which is a 28 metre plunge, the zero gravity Dragon experience, the 200 metre mega slide the Kinnaree and the Sawasdee, a great choice for families: it’s a mini version of the grown up rides especially for kids.
Christmas time around the world is celebrated according to local traditions and every family has their own little quirks. For many though, what makes it really special is the Christmas Food! When families take their seats for Christmas dinner, they feast their eyes on a variety of mouthwatering favourites. In our house it includes Spiced beef! Every house is different though, so we’ve taken a look at some Christmas food favourites from all over the world… Share yours in comments below!
1. Germany – Roast goose with red cabbage. Simple, but carefully arranged (as always!) the Christmas table in Germany combines the meat with vegetables and of course potatoes, a Germans’ favourite!
Image via @ Dave_b
Prague, Czech Republic – Couples Christmas Markets
Two of the most popular Christmas Markets in Prague are held at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Both markets are just five minutes’ walk from each other, creating a magnificent festive atmosphere around the city centre. In both markets you’ll find the usual traditional sweet treats, like Trdelník, a hot sugar coated pastry, lots of local beers, such as the famous Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen and Budvar, and warm drinks including the infamous Glühwein. If you’re hungry, there’s plenty to feast on from large spit roasted hogs to tasty BBQs sausages. The Prague Christmas market includes lots of stalls selling cute handicrafts and decorations and real animals in the crib scene.
Opening times: 30 November 2013 – 12 January 2014. The Prague Christmas markets are open daily, including on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
You’d be forgiven for thinking we’ve gone a bit piggy, what with our bacon beach post, but it seems we’re not alone. Read on for this amazing day out: The Pig Museum Stuttgart. Fun for a couples city break adventure, or just something a bit different (really different, if you ask us!)
Pig Museum via @ Wikicommons
The Pig Museum is a surreal collection of over 50,000 exhibits from all over the world to introduce you to the piggiest experience of your life. The SchweineMuseum on Schlachtofstraße 2A, 70188 Stuttgart offers visitors 25 themed rooms to explore featuring all things porcine. There are (stuffed) pigs to cuddle, representation of pigs in the arts as well as the science of pigs, from their anatomy, how little piglets are made as well as the history of the creatures. The kitsch art and culture is sure to win over grown ups, while kids can enjoy the stuffed animals and myths and legends surrounding pigs.
Meanwhile, if all this porky talk is making your mouth water (vegetarians look away now!) then you won’t bat an eyelid at the museum’s setting; in a former slaughterhouse. After exploring the piggery, a huge beer garden awaits, with tasty treats like knuckle of pork, grilled suckling pig and many more pork delicacies.
There’s more information on pricing and how to get to the Pig Museum Germany on their website here.
To make your visit extra special, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a theme song to bring you through the museum, altogether now:
image by attila acs
Located in Dresden, Germany and more specifically in the area of Neustadt Kunsthofpassage, also known as the student neighbourhood, this building is unique in the world!
The Funnel Wall is an architectural creation by three artists, Christoph Roßner, Annette Paul and Andre Tempel, who converted the exterior wall of the building into a band playing slow or fast track according to the weather.
To be precise, the entire surface is covered with funnels and gutters in the shape of musical instruments and when the rain begins to fall, this colourful drain system “captures” the water and turns the wall into a melodic music band envied by every conductor!
image by Lichtdesigner
image by UglyGuckling
image by Rainer Fritz
Find out more about amazing places around the world, in our Off the Beaten Track series.
Functioning as both a connection to the past and an exhibition of architectural beauty, these mighty and somewhat unrealistic constructions are now ironically considered some of the most peaceful buildings around. From huge, solid strongholds to oriental fortresses and highly decorative palaces, here is our pick of the world’s most incredible ancient castles.
image by mindriot
Prague Castle, Czech Republic
Prague Castle is one of the largest and oldest castles in the world – its surface is around 570 metres long and 130 metres wide. Most fascinating about the castle is its design; representing literally every architectural style of the last millennium, from Gothic to Romanesque and Baroque features, the castle’s first buildings emerged as early as in the ninth century.
The Potala Palace, Tibet
Situated upon Marpo Ri hill, above the Lhasa valley in Tibet, the Potala Palace is the greatest monumental structure in the country. Built by Emperor Songtsen Gampo in 637, the original structure stood until the seventeenth century, when it was incorporated into the foundations of the larger buildings, which still stand today. The present palace, known as Potrang Karpo, or the White Palace, was completed in 1648, during the reign of the fifth Dalai Lama. The Potrang Marpo, or Red Palace, was then added, requiring some 7000 workers and 1500 artists and craftsman for its completion.
Mont St. Michel, France
Le Mont St Michel is located on a small, rocky quasi-island on the Normandy coast, near Brittany. Only one narrow causeway links the island to the coastline, adding to the overall impression of this other-wordly castle. Unlike other castles in France, which were built for defence or to house royals, Mont St Michel began life as a monastery. Italian architect, William de Volpiano, designed the Romanesque church of the abbey in the 11th century, daringly placing the transept crossing at the top of the mount. Countless underground crypts and chapels were built below the structure to compensate for its weight. Today, it attracts over four million visitors a year and has been featured in several movies, cartoons, and even videogames.
Predjamski Castle, Slovenia
Do not be deceived by this castle’s small stature in comparison to other’s around the world – Predjamski is integrated into the second largest cave system in Slovenia and probably the only castle in the world incorporated into the landscape in such a way. It is also the only cave in the world with a double-track railway, meaning tourists can view the inner tunnels, galleries and halls of this unique architectural work.Although its name literally translates as ‘Castle in Front of the Cave’, the castle was actually built in stages, beginning in the twelfth century, with the middle added in renaissance, and the right wing built around 1570.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle via @ Wikicommons
Built for Louis II of Bavaria, often referred to as Mad King Ludwig, Neuschwanstein is a royal palace, located in the Bavarian Alps of Germany. The castle is a quintessential work of nineteenth century romanticism and a fantastical imitation of a medieval castle, complete with towers, spires and turrets – it’s no wonder that Sleeping Beauty’s cast in Disneyland was modelled on it. The castle was also extremely revolutionary at the time, equipped with all kinds of technical conveniences, including running water on all floors, automatic flushing toilets on every floor and a heating system for the entire building.
Matsumoto Castle, Japan
Matsumoto Castle, locally named Matsumotojo, is one of the most complete and beautiful in all of Japan and its origins go back to the Sengoku period (1500s). The castle is an example of ‘hirajiro’, in that it was built on a plain rather than on a hill.
Hunyad Castle, Romania
Although today located in what is known as Hunedoara, Romania, the Hunyad Castle was originally part of Transylvania, and is believed to be the place where Vlad III of Wallachia (aka Dracula) was held prisoner for seven years after he was overthrown in 1462. The castle is the most impressive relic of the Hunyadi dynasty, built in a Gothic style, with Baroque and Renaissance elements. Understandably intimidating, considering its history, the castle’s appearance is equally eerie; a large and imposing building makes up the castle, complete with tall, coloured roofs and myriad towers, windows and balconies, each decorated with stone carvings.
Pena Nationa, Portugal
The oldest palace inspired by European Romanticism, Pena National Palace in Portugal is perched on the top of a hill above the town of Sintra. First built in the fifteenth century as a palace, the building was later reconstructed and donated to the church as a monastery. The style of the palace is a diverse combination of the original and subsequent architectural styles, including Romantic, Bavarian, and Moorish.
In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected. This week, Huettenpalast in Berlin.
What’s the gimmick? Situated inNeukölln, Berlin, Huettenpalast is a former vacuum-cleaner factory floor, where you can spend the night in an old caravan or a wooden hut. It’s camping, but without the mud, much and yuck of pitching a tent in a field. Instead, guests sleep in a renovated caravan or cabin, inside the building, and share a living room with other guests.
You should read… Top weird ways to travel on holiday
Why stay? For that summer feeling of camping all year round – even in winter – and a little bit of retro-happiness. Whether you crave numerous amenities, interesting design or just a cheap bed to crash on, Huettenpalast will deliver.
You should read… A Night Less Ordinary : Nevada City Hotel
The Wow Factor: The sunny campsite contains a center dining area where little baggies of croissants, apples, and drinks are hung on a painted tree for breakfast each morning. Just outside the warehouse’s glass doors is a garden patio where guests can lounge on the hammock, and mingle with other ‘campers’. This cosy, original, eco-friendly and most importantly, cheap hotel, is the perfect base to wander around a district once called “little Istanbul” and now spotted by the New York Times as “one of the most creative places” in Berlin.
You should read… A Night Less Ordinary: Boot Bed ‘n’ Breakfast
Hobrechtstrasse 66, Neukölln, +49 30 3730 5806, huettenpalast.de Doubles from €80, caravans and huts from €60 (singles €40), without breakfast