Posts Tagged 'festival'

The Sun and Nature are revered in Kozino, Croatia

Chill out with a view like this with a vacation rental.

Chill out with a view like this with a vacation rental.

Provide you and those around you, an entirely new perspective on life. The cure all begins by experiencing the beauty of the sun, sea and stone-built architecture. These are just a few of the excellent reasons to visit Kozino, Croatia. Kozino is situated on the Adriatic Coast in the southernmost part of the country. 

This ideal destination offers a gentle atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life. It can only be describes as a true picture perfect Mediterranean getaway at a fraction of the cost of other seaside destinations. There are two possibilities for the area; you can make your holiday as active as you wish with historical points of interest or inactive by taking a more lazy approach and just enjoy the breathtaking change of scenery of Kozino and other remote villages.

And what scenery it is! On the many clear days in Kozino, the natural beauty surrounded by Mediterranean fauna makes it a tranquil retreat, perfect for strolling and meeting the locals. The crisp scent of dawn gives way to the break of day and genuine quiet solitude can be found, especially with a 2 bedroom vacation rental home overlooking the sea.

Beyond appealing to the visual, with the crystal-clear sea, sailing, diving and divine beaches, head towards  the historical city of Zadar; a mere 5 miles away. As the closest neighbor to Kozino, Zadar has a wealth of museums and churches, with historical and cultural heritage dating back to prehistoric times.  Over the years, great care has been taken to preserve the findings as things were not always so peaceful in the land of tranquility. Many wars and disputes are noted throughout the centuries with the ancient Illyrians, Romans and continuing into the 5th century under the rule of Venetians and finally splitting one nation into several.

Great strides have been made to keep in time with modern day conveniences without losing the relaxed pace and strong connection to nature. Many have stated that the ”most beautiful sunset in the world” takes place here.

The admiration of the sun is so strong that a work of modern art known as the ”Greeting to the Sun” was created at the very end of the Zadar peninsula. Your first impression will be that it is an amphitheater because of the circular design; but it actually becomes an impressive show of light with a replica of our Solar System planets and their orbits surrounding it.

Nature at its best in Kozino

Nature at its best in Kozino

This festival of lights protrudes to the rhythm with three hundred multi-layer glass panels. The glass conduction plates are actually photo-voltage solar modules and the displays of colored light become symbolic towards nature. Of course, the sun is the shining star of the show,  for which it is dedicated to as the icon of life. Beside the feast for the eyes, the ears are not left out. Sounds are provided by the Sea Organ with a preference towards  waves pounding and wind whooshing.

There is one thing for sure in Kozino; you will leave refreshed, rejuvenated and more in touch with nature. Isn’t this perfect for sharing Kozino and it neighbors with others in a vacation rental?

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The Blues Won´t Get You Down in Kinsale, Ireland

Even if you are not Irish, your eyes will be smiling with a visit to Kinsale, Ireland. Just a stroll along the river, by the harbor, on the upper side of the town consisting of its charming shops and of course, Irish pubs will exhilarate you.

Besides the pubs, Kinsale is known as the “Gourmet Capitol of Ireland,” and you will find wonderful cuisines that will suit all palates. It is said by many that the best tasting meals you have ever had will be here! You can even learn some the specialites at the Kinsdale Cooking School, featuring guest chefs each week.

Desmond castle is a short walk uphill and was a 15th century Custom and Town House that has had a checkered past with many stories to tell. Besides serving as a Customs house from around 1500, it became a prison for French prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars and relief centre during the famine. It is now finally converted to The Irish Wine Museum, where you become a connoisseur or perhaps just a little more knowledgeable than you were before.

Kinsale can easily claim its place among being one of Ireland’s more historic locations, as the town with its castle, can boast two historical forts, Charles Fort, and James Fort.

Dating from 1677, Charles Fort  can give visitors a good chance to familiarize themselves with the history of the town. A wealth of information is supplied by the Exhibition Centre and do not miss the chance to view the fort from a vantage point at the mouth of the harbor.

The pentagonal shaped fort with a covered walkway leading to it, is James Fort, constructed between 1601 and 1603. Here, again, you will hear the tales behind the walls.

A vacation rental in Kinsale, Ireland is the way to go.

A vacation rental in Kinsale, Ireland is the way to go.

No wonder so many visitors head back year after year. With great food, wonderful shops, and amazing views, Kinsale will be one of your favorite places to vacation. Stay at a vacation rental overlooking the River Bandon, sleeping six, so bring the whole family to explore.

This little Irish village nestled between the hills and the shoreline hosts and coincides with Cork’s well-known jazz festival with one of their own. The best of Jazz and Blues takes place in Kinsale, Ireland featuring international acts from the US, UK and Ireland. The music spills out on October 24th to the 27th.

Among maze of narrow picturesque streets, never far from the water, Kinsale will resound to the sounds of this party during four days of live jazz performances. Live it up and then after the festival, enjoy this small quaint city when it returns back to its normal flavor.

Although Waterford reigns with its crystal, Kinsale Crystal is gaining fast. Take a peek inside and you will even find that you can watch some of this beautiful work being done on the premises and not mass produced. Kinsale Silver is another shop, where the craft is made with pride  as the silversmiths create one of a kind silver jewelry.

A visit to kinsale can be yours, with or without jazz. So when will go head there?

Looking at Food in a Different Light in Lisbon, Portugal.

Food connoisseurs, foodies and just for those who want nothing better than to have a chance to expand their culinary horizons; head to Lisbon this fall.  Get your palate ready for action and while at it, there is an added bonus. Lisbon’s streets and monuments will be more colourful than usual. 

The Luzboa Festival, takes place on “even” years and since it is 2008, it is once again time for the renowned street project. Beginning November 8th to January 11th, Lisbon becomes a city of brightness, color and contemporary art thus transforming it into a public gallery throughout the streets every evening. What’s more the lights are environmentally friendly LED and illuminate the city upon dusk until midnight. Of course weekends will stay lit up a little longer and a total of 40 diverse examples by artists from Portugal and other European countries are on display.

Stay out as late as you wish. You are walking distance to home.

Stay out as late as you wish. You are walking distance to home.

This festival aspires to bring people outdoors in the fall and early winter evenings to partake in the event and enjoy their beautiful urban space. While outdoors exploring the city during this two month festival of lights, try some of the specialities found only in Portugal. Many wonderful dining experiences are available  and once you’ve sampled your way through several, you will want to savor these flavors and tastes. As soon as you arrive into the quaint capital city of Portugal, aka Lisboa, you will immediately start to smell the fresh aromas within it.

Don’t  worry about being out late; do as all the inhabitants do, walk before dining, eat, walk once more and then rest your head after a scrumptious feast in your own vacation rental, such as the Casa Lapa, right in the center of the city. This 2 bedroom duplex apartment sleeps 4 and you will not miss a night of Luzboa.

Begin your evening viewing the monuments under their natural light, then head towards the port, which becomes magical with the sun setting upon the western horizon. This is really a fascinating city to just stroll and soak it up. As you get hungry, let the gastronomic adventure begin.

Everything is walking distance to your Lisbon vacation rental.

Everything is walking distance to your Lisbon vacation rental.

Try the “Sardinhas,” one of the most popular dishes in Portugal, consisting of fried sardines usually served on a bed of rice. Codfish known as “Bacalhau” along with shrimp and mussels are also very common choices.

If you are not a fish fan, then turkey may be more your fare. A dish called “Bifanas de Peru” which is turkey cutlets in a cream sauce is quite popular. Just remember, that in Portugal, they kick their sauces up a notch. To sum up Portuguese food, one can say that it is delicious, inexpensive and fresh.

Afterwards, check out the monuments, under their new lights strategically placed, while obtaining a new perspective on the centuries old capitol.  Lisbon is the place where many nautical discovers had started, and now is the time for it to be discovered by you under the lights of Luzboa.

Make up for a Lost Summer and Dance Away in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam has gained much promotion due to an exciting nightlife, such as the upcoming annual Amsterdam Dance Event featuring “400 DJs and acts in 40 different venues.” This event will have you dance the night away, not only in clubs, but records stores, art galleries and some other surprising places. Known “the biggest club festival in the world,” the dates for this extravaganza in 2008 begin October 22 for four days.

There are so many things to do in Amsterdam that every visitor can enjoy a wonderful vacation even without a high profile festival. Not many cities have more contrasts than Amsterdam with tulips, brown cafes and colorful, stunning architecture. Intriguing sights are around every corner; and the waterways of canals on almost every street. Art lovers will never lose sight of the fabulous galleries and museums. 

Most city dwellers prefer a mode of transport using their well connected trams or riding bicycles along the narrow cobblestone streets. Homes are vertically built to accommodate more people and utilize the land area more efficiently. This city was and has remained “green” long before it became fashionable.

The city is divided into several areas and best way for you to learn your surroundings is to take a canal tour. Your feet will appreciate the rest too. The tour guides on board are very informative, explaining the historical portions beyond the views and sites. What’s great is afterwards, you can view this gem of a city and explore the same areas by renting a bike securing you are more knowledgeable.

Imagine watching daily life from your home in the canals of Amsterdam.

Imagine watching daily life from your home in the canals of Amsterdam.

And when you marvel at the houseboats dotting along the canals, it is natural to wonder what it would be like to live aboard one. But wait! You can experience living on the canals like many of the natives already do in Amsterdam.

A houseboat on the canals has all the comforts of home and can be rented as a vacation home for your accommodation needs. You will be in walking distance to all of the major sights too.

Many of us imagine Holland being of windmills and wooden shoes; a la Hans Brinker with his silver skates. Of course, it’s easy to find the wooden shoes in most souvenir shops but a windmill in the city seems improbable. Not necessarily so. The only operating one within Amsterdam is the Stolen Windmill. It lies on the border of the city, allowing visitors 364 days a year and is closed only on January 1.

Amsterdam is a cultural center that still harbors a strong bohemian and laid-back spirit, and it has affordable options rarely found in other European capitals. What’s more, you will always have a Dam good time, so go and see Amsterdam for yourself, as it has more to offer all year round.

A city filled with options!

A city filled with options!

 

Sampling of a few of the must sees in Amsterdam:

• Anne Frankhuis
The home of the great literary classic of a young girl’s plight in occupied Holland, a visit here actually lifts your spirits for the struggle of survival.
 
• Rijksmuseum De Meesterwerken
This museum contains the world’s largest collection of paintings by the Dutch masters.

• Van Gogh Museum
Four levels of nothing but Van Gogh art, including the infamous “Starry Night.”

London – Celebrate with the Mayor!

Hurry, on September 13th and 14th, a must visit is to the annual Mayors Thames Festival in London. What better way to say goodbye to summer than with a large party to celebrate the event. With much to do between Westminster Bridge and Waterloo Tower, this spectacular, free celebration requests much participation by you, with dancing, live performances, making sculptures, listening to music and sailing on the Thames. Of course there will be plenty of food and beverages available to add to your enjoyment.

The street festival of all street festivals closes all roads and bridges, thus making the city a cultural event not to be forgotten. An unique highlight this year is the New European Village Stage, with performances of dance, music and folklore of the most recent members of the European Community such as Poland, Czech Republic and Lithuania.

Ever wanted to be in the movies? It is possible at the Movieum tent, that takes you on a behind the scenes tour and discovering the film heritage in England. You can get involved in movie making and may even get a special role in a film as an extra or the one who yells “Action.

At County Hall, a Wizard School has been tailored as an interactive live children’s show. This show is just one of the various activities that families can enjoy together at this festival.

In the evening, dance the night away by the Tate. Tango along the vibrant riverside with instruction and star-performers leading the way.

On Victoria Embankment, there will be 2,500 participants lead by a specially commissioned dragon from China. The festival’s Fireworks Finale is fired from barges in the middle of the Thames and only will prove that the Mayors Thames Festival gets bigger and bolder every year. If you can not make it for this one, start planning for next year.

What better way to enjoy London’s celebration than with your own private flat. London, known to be one of the most expensive cities in Europe is now affordable with a place you can call your own right near all the festivities along the river. The Trafalgar is just one of many properties available that offers all the comfort and room one needs, yet at an affordable price.

Stay in your own flat at The Trafalgar in the center of London!

Stay in your own flat at The Trafalgar in the center of London!

London is a city of many distinctions all throughout the year, with an array of sightseeing opportunities, from having a glimpse of parliament, riding in a double decker bus, seeing great theater, to sitting in the back of a black cab having a conversation with the taxi driver on world events. Some of the most famous places in the city include Big Ben, Parliament, St. Paul´s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Tower Bridge and  Buckingham Palace and, in particular, the historical and highly singular changing of the guard ceremony.

 

Autumn in Prague is Music to the Ears!

From September 12th to October 1st, a celebration in one of the most interesting Central European city takes place, known as the Prague Autumn International Music Festival. The festival devotes its attention to Classical music throughout the city. Take your choice between Beethoven, Brahms or Tchaikovsky, as there are concerts from all the greats represented here. Even the great American composers, George and Ira Gershwin, scores are in full force as symphonic arrangements of their jazz age pieces have since become a favorite in Prague.

Walk to the Old Square in Prague from your holiday home.

Walk to the Old Square in Prague from your holiday home.

The basis of the Prague Autumn Festival’s program does not only comprise of Classical orchestral works but innovated ways to bring the classics to the public. The festival, which is now in its seventeenth year, previously incorporated Charlie Chaplin’s famous film, City Lights, with live music. Other past venues included a complete performance of a Chinese opera brought in directly from China. The festival has continued to become an international favorite with worldwide performers and this year promised not to disappoint.

With such variety, there is no reason not to find a performance that will appeal to you, just as the city of Prague will. Prague is addressed as “Maticka Praha” by the Czech people which mean “little mother Prague”.

Prague, also being called the “City of the Hundred Towers,” with the River Vltavo running through the middle of it, is flourishing. The medieval beauty of its surroundings can be seen from Old Town Square, the hub with its painted facades. Prague is the heart of Europe and continues in its endeavour to integrate the works of the old with the new in harmony.

In fact, many of the holiday homes that are within the city are either renovated originals or brand new but match the city’s ambiance and texture.

Holiday Home in Prague

Right in the city of Prague your one bedroom apartment in a new modern apartment

With a vacation home in the city of Prague, such as the one to the left, you never know what architectural wonders you will encounter around the corner.

What is the general consensus on Prague? It offers so much to see and do and is one of the most romantic cities to visit. A visit to the weekend market of bric-a-bracs may find you, purchasing a relic from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is that unique in several of the artifacts for sale.

Prague Castle is currently the seat of government but has housed kings and emperors. The city offers a great variety of cafes and restaurants to enjoy local and international cuisine and to drink their famous Czech beer. Prague has an enchanting effect, that it will continue to maintain visitors, more than other cities in the world.

Don’t miss a chance to visit this newly discovered jewel emerging in Europe and remember the music it presents to you.

Nazaré for Seafarers, Legends and More

One event that takes place yearly, in this quaint fishing port along the Atlantic Ocean located in Nazaré, Portugal, is the Our Lady of Nazaré Festival (Nossa Senhora da Nazre Romaria). The festival begins on September 8 and is the biggest celebration in Nazaré to include great food, wine, singing, bullfights and folk dancing.

The town derives its name from Nazareth, Palestine, where the origins of a statue of the Virgin Mary came from. It was brought back to this fishing village by a monk in the 4th century, according to legend. Because of her presence, the villagers felt the Virgin Mary bestowed good fortune for them with the sea. The main attraction on the 8th is the religious procession commencing from the 17th century Nossa Senhora da Nazare Church and carrying the image of Our Lady of Nazaré down to the sea for blessings.

What nicer way is there to witness this festival by its townspeople firsthand than staying at your own 2 bedroom holiday home overlooking the sea. Within walking distant to the town center you will be assured you will not miss a thing.

Overlook the sea in Nazaré in your 2 bedroom vacation home.

Overlook the sea in Nazaré in your 2 bedroom vacation home.

Being discovered to become a resort for those in the know; the area professes long sandy shorelines, considered to be among the best beaches of Portugal. 

It is possible to see the town’s traditional ways of daily life still in existence. It is here that the fishermen still sport the area’s traditional garb as their great grandfathers did and sail their brightly painted fishing boats moored right on the beach. Where else can you see the local women carrying immense loads on their heads or sitting with each other, sewing up fishing nets for their men wearing the traditional black? The narrow streets of the fishing area remind the visitor the daily lives of its inhabitant have gone unobstructed to the rigors of modern life.
 
You may notice woman wearing seven layers of brightly colored petticoats under their skirts, which are known as the “Seven Skirts of Nazare.” There are different theories, pertaining to this custom, as some are convinced that the petticoats relate to the seven days of the week; while others state it is the rainbow, matching their husband’s boats, thus, signifying good fortune and harvest at sea. Most likely it actually came about as way for fishermen’s wives to stay warm against the elements.

Needless to say, the waterfront is lined with some excellent seafood restaurants serving the fresh catch of the day and anytime is wonderful for a visit. Get an amazing panoramic view of Nazaré and the sea by taking a funicular that climbs 360ft above in the town of Sitio.


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