11 Irish summer festivals and events not to be missed under any circumstances

A summer trip to Ireland isn’t complete without taking part in one of the many music, art and culture festivals because Ireland’s festivals bring fun, laughter, good times and great memories.

1.Among the key dates to watch this summer is the Galway International Arts Festival https://www.giaf.ie (11-24 July), which has been described as “the biggest, most exciting and most imaginative explosion of artistic activities “of the island of Ireland. This year it features artists from Africa, America, Asia, Australia, Europe and, of course, Ireland and Galway, in a major program of theater, music, comedy, visual art, dance and literary events.
There will be concerts by extraordinary artists from the likes of Pixies, The Flaming Lips and The Stunning, with theatrical highlights including a production of Sam Shepard’s True West, from the Chicago-based Steppenwolf Company. Among many other events is “Lifeline”, an ambitious project from the days of Galway European Capital of Culture, which will see 150 locals perform on a rope above the River Corrib.

2. For a taste of “salty” air, head to the magical Foyle Maritime Festival https://www.foylemaritime.com in Derry-Londonderry (20-24 July), where the famous Walled City of Northern Ireland will welcome sailors who will take part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Various activities are scheduled, such as street theater, fireworks, water sports and gastronomic delights in abundance. Surrounded by the fascinating history of the city walls and a fleet of 70-foot ocean liners, this is a festival not to be missed.

Foyle Maritime Festival

3. Played on the beautiful Causeway Coastal Route and surrounding areas in Northern Ireland, SuperCup NI https://www.supercupni.com (24-29 July) is a world-renowned international youth football tournament. Featuring teams from Mexico, Bermuda and the English Premier League, including Man Utd, it offers a unique opportunity for fans to identify some of football’s most promising talents and future stars.

4. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (Music Festival of Ireland) https://fleadhcheoil.ie is the largest traditional Irish music festival on the planet. This year it takes place in Mullingar, County Westmeath, in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands (from 31 July to 7 August). Featuring a week of Irish music, song and dance, not to mention evening entertainment and family fun, the festival is the highlight of summer for music buffs and culture vultures.

5. Located in lively Belfast, August Féile https://feilebelfast.com (4-14 August) is part of Féile an Phobail, the largest community festival on the island. A celebration of diversity, passion and creativity, drawing people from all over the world to West Belfast. It is advisable to attend the carnival parade on Saturday 6 August and to concerts, comedies, speeches, tours, theater, debates and, above all, the great community party.

6. Or you can decide to spend enchanting summer evenings of music, comedy, film and theater in the beautiful seaside town of Bangor, in Northern Ireland, which has just gained UK city status. The Open House Festival https://openhousefestival.com (11-29 August) will take place in the stunning Bangor Castle Walled Garden and will feature artists such as Beth Orton, Paul Brady, Eddi Reader and the Hothouse Flowers, with screenings of classic films including including Thelma and Louise and Chicago.

Open house festival

7. An integral part of an Irish summer is one of the largest show jumping events in the world, the Dublin International Horse Show https://www.dublinhorseshow.com (17 – 21 August). A celebration of Ireland’s affinity for the horse and all things equine, it lights up August and welcomes competitors and visitors from all over the world. Over 1,000 magnificent horses and ponies are involved in this magical spectacle, but it is also renowned for style, shopping and socializing.

8. Running since 1959, the Rose of Tralee International Festival https://www.roseoftralee.ie (19-23 August) is another Irish festival not to be missed. See the streets of Tralee turn into a party of parades, music, circus, funfair, markets and traditional Irish entertainment. The five days of events culminate in two evenings, in which roses of Irish origin from all over the world come and have a special place dedicated to them to pay homage to the Irish diaspora.

9. The Antrim Coast Half Marathon https://antrimcoasthalfmarathon.com (28 August) awaits the bravest. It takes place against the backdrop of the Causeway Coastal Route, voted “one of the top five greatest journeys on Earth” by Lonely Planet. The World Athletics certified course is flat and fast, promising one of the fastest half marathons in the world.

10. For movie buffs, the Galway Film Fleadh https://www.galwayfilmfleadh.com (5 – 10 July) is the perfect place to explore exciting new feats in the world of cinema, and, for an exciting 15 days on the Wild Atlantic Way, don’t miss the Eearagail Arts Festival https://eaf.ie (9 – 24 July) in County Donegal.

11. For street art lovers, the Viking city of Waterford offers Spraoi Waterford https://spraoi.com (29 – 31 July), with its four days of non-stop fun in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East.

With all these events, fun on the Island of Ireland is guaranteed throughout the summer. And given that when it comes to festivals, Ireland is truly unique, it would be a real shame not to organize yourself to see at least one!

Holy Week in Cádiz: hidden beauty

In the ten days between the Friday of Sorrows and the Sunday of the Resurrection, a total of 29 brotherhoods and a Section of Penance walk the streets of Cádiz. In total there are 52 steps and more than 10,000 people in procession. Both the images and the passages they pass through are authentic heritage jewels, some of which are more than 5 centuries old. As an Andalusian, Holy Week in Cádiz has a number of characteristics common to those of the rest of the region: color, music, the very passion of Andalusia is clearly reflected in Holy Week itself. But there are also several factors that make Holy Week special and different here.

We must start with the geographical position of Cádiz, a peninsula surrounded by the sea on all four sides with the exception of the isthmus that connects it to San Fernando (another island by the way) and the two bridges that connect it to Puerto Real . It is difficult to walk more than 10 minutes through the streets of downtown Cádiz without bumping into the sea, whether in the form of a beach or a balcony. The Holy Week tours are no exception and there are many brotherhoods and herndadas who have their penance station near the Cathedral by the sea. On many occasions they also coincide with the sunset, which allows you to enjoy unique images that cannot be seen in other cities. The light of Cádiz is different and Benito Rodríguez Gatiu, biographer of the great Ortega Bru, says that the image maker of San Roque spent several days in Cádiz observing how the light fell on objects to create the majestic Christ of forgiveness.

Semana Santa Cadiz
Sanidad-Ramon Sanchez

The city of Cádiz leaves all who visit it enchanted: its shape, its small size, its layout, its mixture of architectural styles resulting from its long existence of over 3,000 years make the city a treasure to be discovered at every step , at every corner, every square, every street has its history and Holy Week accompanies the visitor in all those places.
The vast majority of the temples are located in the historic center, the part of Cádiz of greatest tourist interest, a secluded area easily accessible on foot, practically flat and in which hotels and unique accommodations abound. For this reason, Holy Week is the ideal time to discover the three millennia old city which, when spring arrives, puts away the mask and pito (traditionally used for Carnival) and takes out the hood and the incense (which are used for Holy Week).

La imaginería

In addition to the city itself, Holy Week in Cádiz is characterized by impressive and sometimes unknown images. We must start from the assumption that during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries the city was the main port of Spain with America, which made Cádiz a rich and prosperous city where merchants and artists from all over Europe came to embark for the Americas. . Many have left their mark here with priceless images. Unfortunately, the city has also suffered attacks such as that of the Anglo-Dutch fleet in 1596, the tsunami of Lisbon in 1755, the attacks of the radicals during the Second Republic and the subsequent Civil War who got fat with images, heritage of brotherhoods and temples. of the city. The oldest claim that the Nazarene of Cádiz himself was thrown on a pyre lit by the radicals in the preludes to the Civil War and that some brave inhabitants of the Santa María neighborhood pulled him out of the flames by dragging him by the hair.
His head and his hands were then hidden in a bucket at the bottom of a well on Calle Botica for months until it could be recovered and restored. Every Good Friday morning, el Greñuo, as the Lord is known to him in Cádiz, passes in front of that house on Calle Botica as a sign of gratitude. A great heritage was lost, perhaps the most precious and oldest, but fortunately another part was saved that continues today. The oldest image of Cádiz is the Lord of Sentence, in procession on Holy Wednesday and dated to the end of the 15th century. For antiquity and quality, two works by Jacinto Pimentel should be mentioned: the Christs of the brotherhoods of Humility and Patience and Columna, both of the seventeenth century. You just need to see them to realize their age, value and quality. But if there is a Christ in Cádiz that arouses the interest of all, regardless of their faith, it is that of the Good Death that is venerated in the church of San Agustín and that on Good Friday parades in the dark, with the only light of the its four aces.
Much has been written about this carving: we talk about its perfection, its forms, its posture. Some even indicate the possibility of studying anatomy given the technical perfection achieved by its author. But no one knows for sure who he was. He is one of the mysteries of Holy Week in Cádiz, or perhaps even of the history of the city. The theories are hundreds, even if one of the most commented and famous, even if not confirmed, is that it was the work of the well-known Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Álvarez del Pino justifies this hypothesis with the very high amount that appears on the receipt of the engraving: “In that document it is established that the Crucifix cost 300 gold ducats”, which provides another important key for Álvarez del Pino: ” Martínez Montañés, who we can consider as the Andalusian reference of the time, charged 2,000 reales de vellón for a sculpture; the difference of up to 300 gold ducats is astonishing. ”It is not unreasonable given the constant presence of Genoese, Venetians and Italians generally in the history of Cádiz, attracted by the potential of the city as a seaport with America Another illustrious and famous name linked to Holy Week in Cádiz is that of Joseph Haydn. The famous composer was commissioned to compose his “Siete Palabras” from Cádiz. It is controversial whether it came from the cathedral itself or from the Oratorio de la Santa Cueva in via Rosario. At that time Haydn was already one of the most famous composers in Europe, which shows the economic power and influence of the city in those years. Even today, every Good Friday, this work is performed in the Oratorio de las Siete Palabras, an unsurpassed composition and environment to be enjoyed together. Cádiz is Baroque, its period of splendor indicates it and this style is present in many buildings in the city, including, of course, its temples. Within the baroque in Cádiz, the Rocalla is opulent, a style that is not exclusive to the city but which plays a special role here, especially in the temples of El Carmen, San Francisco, the church of the Pastora de Sagasta and Santa María.

settimana Santa Cadice
el caminito, David Ibanez

The sound of Cádiz at Easter

In Andalusia, Holy Week cannot be understood without music. In Andalusia, music is part of our essence and flamenco, one of the hallmarks of Andalusia, is also very present during Holy Week. Historians place the origin of flamenco in the triangle formed between Seville, Jerez and Cádiz and flamenco in Holy Week has a name: the saeta. They are short and improvised compositions that are sung from the street itself or from the balconies. A saeta is a deep and sincere prayer that is born from within the soul and which expresses devotion and love for a Christ or a Virgin in the form of a song. When a saetera or a saetero sings, everyone is silent. Santa María is the flamenco district of Cádiz par excellence and you can enjoy the return of the Nazarene in its church at dawn on Good Friday, when the sun begins to rise, listening to saetas dedicated to the Regidor Perpetuo and his mother, Nuestra Señora de los Dolores , it is a unique experience.
Carnival, undoubtedly the great festival of the city, also surrenders to the charm of Holy Week in Cádiz and there are not a few who sing carnival songs in February and saetas in April. But music is not just saetas. The Cofrade music bands are themselves a vast world that moves many emotions and draws crowds, and Cádiz is fortunate to have one of the best Trumpet and Drum bands in Spain, Rosario de Cádiz, which bears the name of the city and its Holy Week throughout the national territory. Without detracting from other bands in the city such as Polillas, Salud or Ecce Mater.
In recent weeks a concert of processional processions was held at the Gran Teatro Falla and in less than an hour and a half the capacity was sold out. This can help you get an idea of ​​the attraction this music has.

Semana Santa Cadiz
Buenanuerte-jm reyna

The perfect excuse to “eat” Cádiz

The year 2019 began with an article in the New York Times newspaper that placed the city of Cádiz among one of the must-see destinations of that year. Among the arguments, together with the architecture and beauty of the city, he pointed to a hitherto little known reason beyond the Andalusian borders: its gastronomy. In Cádiz you can eat very well (here our article dedicated to the gastronomy of the Province of Cádiz) and a visit to the city during Holy Week is the perfect excuse to take a look. A good place to start is the food market (it does not open on public holidays such as Holy Thursday and Good Friday). There you can find freshly caught fish, as well as shellfish and other seafood. Right next door you can start the day with some good churros, like the ones from La Guapa or La Marina cafeteria. Afterwards it is difficult to choose a place to eat tapas, there are many and very varied. Of course, the tapa is always accompanied by a good sherry wine or a manzanilla from Sanlúcar.
Holy Week also has its classics, such as the empanadas of Casa Hidalgo in Plaza de la Catedral, an ice cream from the Italian ice cream parlor that opens every year just before Easter. Torrijas are a typical dessert of these dates that are also found in pastry shops and pastry shops in Cádiz, as well as donuts for Holy Week. In the coming weeks, the Holy Week of Cádiz will receive the Declaration of Festival of National Tourist Interest, which will undoubtedly serve to publicize this festival and this cultural expression so deeply rooted in this land, but which is in the shadow of other festivals of the city and other Holy Weeks in the area.

Source: cadiz turismo

On March 17th, the world turns green again with Global Greening!

On the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day, Global Greening is back, the Irish Tourism event, which sees iconic monuments around the world light up with green. Born to bring a sign of friendship to the over 70,000,000 people around the world linked to the emerald island, over the years it has assumed a value of communion between peoples, a value that this year is also strongly associated with a message of hope and peace.

Overall, the cultural initiative will globally involve over 700 sites and monuments, with strong support from Italy with 30 illuminated goods. For the next edition of Global Greening, now upon us, significant numbers are still awaited, with the confirmation of some monuments such as the Tower of Pisa, the Well of San Patrizio in Orvieto, the Isola del Liri Waterfall, the Trajan’s Column, Villa Spada and the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola in Rome, the Terrazza a Mare in Lignano Sabbiadoro, the Rocca in Lonato del Garda, the Torre del Bramante in Vigevano, the Bollente in Acqui Terme, the Palazzo del Municipio in Parma, and several others . Procida, Capital of Culture 2022, participates for the second consecutive year with Palazzo Merlato.

Torre di Pisa
Pisa Tower

The Adriatic city returns to pay homage to Ireland and the writer James Joyce, whose “soul is in Trieste”. In fact, the statue that portrays him walking on the Grand Canal will be tinged with green. In addition, for the occasion, the historic lighthouse “La Lanterna” will also be dressed in the color of Ireland, built on a previous defensive structure reminiscent of the Martello Tower of Sandymount, setting in which the famous novel Ulysses, conceived by Joyce, opens. right in Trieste.

Milan, where the Irish Week will be in full swing, will light up the UniCredit Tower, the fountain in Piazza Gae Aulenti, the Spirit de Milan and Porta Romana in green.
Among the new entries at national level: Castel Nanno in Val di Non, Palazzo Cabrino in Novara, the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Loreto in the Alta Valle Intelvi, the War Memorial in Castiglion della Pescaia.

Global Greening kicked off 13 years ago in Australia with the green lighting of the iconic Sidney Opera House, which will also join the celebrations this year.
The 2022 appointment represents one of the initiatives scheduled in the rich calendar of international events to celebrate the Patron Saint of Ireland.
Also this year the official hashtag of the initiative will be #globalgreening.

All images from the opening of the Game of Thrones Studio Tour Ireland

Excited visitors to the new Game of Thrones Studio Tour, the new tourist attraction located in Northern Ireland, were greeted by fan favorites Isaac Hempstead Wright (“Bran Stark”), Kristian Nairn (“Hodor”) and Nathalie Emmanuel (“Missandei “).

Located in one of the original filming locations of the acclaimed series at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, the Game of Thrones Studio Tour brings fans closer than ever to the Seven Kingdoms universe.

And from today, guests can enter the iconic Great Hall of Winterfell where Jon Snow was proclaimed “King of the North”, see Daenerys Targaryen’s towering Dragonstone throne, see the incredible props up close, weapons and visual effects of the series and discover some secrets of the craftsmanship and craftsmanship that helped to “transport” the show from the pages of the script to the screen. The immersive experience brings Westeros to life and evokes the epic map of the show: King’s Landing, Winterfell, Dragonstone, The Barrier and the lands beyond The Barrier.

Costume Gallery
Costume Gallery

Julian Moon, Head of EMEA Warner Bros. Consumer Products, commented, “What an incredible honor to open the doors of the first Game of Thrones Studio Tour today. This is the first time Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment has launched a world-class attraction. in Northern Ireland where fans can explore, up close and in person, a wide range of authentic sets, as well as a full collection of costumes, props, set pieces and more.
We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with Linen Mill Studios who helped bring this project to life with the utmost attention to detail, proportions and depth of production, elements that make this experience so special and noteworthy.
We are proud to be part of the legacy of beloved Game of Thrones franchise and we can’t wait for fans around the world to enter and immerse themselves in all corners of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. “

Andrew Webb and David Browne, executive directors of Linen Mill Studios, commented, “February 4th truly represents a new and exciting chapter in Game of Thrones history. Here at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, after many years of planning, design and construction, we are thrilled to finally open our doors to guests and allow them to approach the Seven Kingdoms like never before, through the world’s first and only Game of Thrones Studio Tour.
Housed in one of the original shooting studios, this incredible and unique experience brings the making of Game of Thrones to life through a wide range of authentic sets, props and costumes, along with engaging interactive moments and exclusive behind-the-scenes content.
On behalf of all those who helped create Game of Thrones Studio Tour and the dedicated team of Linen Mill Studios, creator of this experience, I say that we are proud to be part of a legacy as alive as that of Game of Thrones, legacy. that will delight current and future fans of the show, as well as those interested in the craftsmanship that literally brings an iconic production to life. “

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland: “It is wonderful to be present at the opening of Game of Thrones Studio Tour at Linen Mill Studios.
We are constantly working to revive tourism from abroad: the opening of this world-class tourist attraction is extraordinary news for flows to Northern Ireland and helps give us a significant ‘stand-out’ in a very competitive international market.
It will provide fans of the series and those interested in film and TV making one more reason to book a trip to Ireland Northern Ireland Tourism is delighted to have brought 45 international journalists and influencers from 12 countries to discover the Game of Thrones Studio Tour this week to experience this exceptional new attraction firsthand. We will do everything we can to promote Game of Thrones Studio Tour and Northern Ireland. “

HBO’s Game of Thrones aired in more than 200 countries and territories, culminating in record ratings. Game of Thrones continues to engage passionate fans and ignite public enthusiasm with the next step in the franchise, House of the Dragon, first scheduled for 2022 on HBO and HBO Max.

About Linen Mill Studios

Located in Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland, Linen Mill Studios are part of John Hogg & Co, a Northern Irish family business that has been operating successfully since the 1800s. Established in 1800, the Linen Mill headquarters in Banbridge was used exclusively for linen production. Following a significant decline in the local linen industry in 2008, interaction with HBO came to life.
In subsequent years, one-third of 75% of the Game of Thrones series shot in Northern Ireland was filmed at Linen Mill Studios, including filming the final eighth season in 2018. With its doors opening in February 2022, the Linen Mill Studios Game of Thrones Studio Tour is the latest chapter in the history of the Linen Mill and represents an excellent example of the reconversion of a piece of industrial architecture.

Information on COVID-19

The safety of guests and staff is the number one priority of the Game of Thrones Studio Tour. For more information, see www.gameofthronesstudiotour.com

GAME OF THRONES and all related characters and elements © & ™ Home Box Office, Inc. (s22)

The magic of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year

The vietnamese lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays in Vietnam and lasts 4 days.
At midnight, each family whispers prayers.
The bells ring and the drums beat in the temples.
The first morning is reserved for the husband’s family. The second day is to visit the wife’s family and close friends of hers.
The third day is dedicated to the community outside the family with visits to teachers, bosses or an available doctor.
The fourth day sees the opening of banks and shops and business is going on more cheerfully than usual.

Even if every year the Vietnamese Lunar New Year arrives between January and February, already two or three months before we start talking about this very important event.
When around the world we start thinking about Christmas and Christmas decorations, in Vietnam the excitement for this great event begins to grow.

How to prepare for the trip on New Year’s days

If you plan a trip in the days of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebrations, keep in mind that public transport to and from the most important cities could be full or, at least, suffer significant increases due to the overcrowding of the holidays.
Connections like the one between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, for example, may have long since sold out, whether by plane or train. Trips to reunite with family members, as in every part of the world, are booked months in advance.
In any case, airlines increase flights on public holidays on the most popular domestic routes to try and get as many people to travel as possible. Plan accordingly…

Vietnamese Lunar New Year
Image by Roland Tanglao from Flickr

Vietnamese Lunar New Year
Image by Dennis Jarvis from Flickr

As for the accommodations, the speech is a bit more difficult to interpret. In theory, we are in the warm season and, for this reason, you will find hotel and accommodation prices higher than in other periods. On the other hand, the Vietnamese are at home with their families these days and should stay less in hotels. Since this is a very important popular festival, it is still better to secure accommodation in time. Apparent calm does not necessarily coincide with empty hotels, on the contrary …

Most of the shops, restaurants and businesses are closed on holidays, so plan all sides of this aspect of the trip in good time.

Visit Hanoi during the Lunar New Year

Sunset at Hanoi
Image by Ha Ha from Pixabay

On holidays, Hanoi stops being a busy and noisy capital, taking on a more relaxed and quiet aspect. It is the best time for those who love to visit the cities calmly to enjoy Hanoi and its most fascinating corners.
You can look for some Vietnamese local open around or admire the locals walking around the city in traditional Vietnamese clothes.
Don’t forget to spend some time at the Temple of Literature and the Street of Scholars, as well as the famous temples of the city.

Abu Dhabi will celebrate culinary excellence with the launch of the 50 Best Week Abu Dhabi

To celebrate the inauguration of the 50 Best Restaurants Awards of the Middle East and North Africa on February 7, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced the launch of the 50 Best Week Abu Dhabi, a culinary festival with experiential dining experiences, cooking masterclasses and unique collaborative dinners.

From February 4-11, 2022, the eight-day culinary festival will feature the city’s vibrant food experiences and some of its best restaurants. Ideal for food lovers looking to explore Abu Dhabi’s diverse culinary scene, the event will be filled with mouth-watering moments, with renowned international chefs coming to the UAE capital to showcase their skills and local Emirati talents who will show their skills.

Culinary leaders will provide insights into their food philosophy by inspiring food lovers of their dishes, ingredients, stories and experiences. The acclaimed restaurant awards and gala dinner will recognize 50 outstanding restaurants from across the region that showcase their culinary excellence and dining experiences.

Fatima Saeed Al Baloushi, Acting Director of DCT’s Abu Dhabi Events Bureau, said, “We are thrilled to celebrate culinary excellence throughout Abu Dhabi, reaching out to residents and visitors alike, seasoned food lovers and diners alike. more casual by offering them a taste of our varied food and to try the excellent dishes of some of the world’s leading chefs who will head to our multicultural capital next month.”

Dish prepared at the Abu Dhabi Food Festival
Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi

Dish prepared at the Abu Dhabi Food Festival
Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi

Events include three interactive Masterclasses taking place on Friday 4th February, in which acclaimed chefs from around the world will showcase their skills as they prepare signature dishes in front of a live audience.

The Chefs – Tim Raue of the Tim Raue Restaurant in Berlin; the innovative confectioner Will Goldfarb and Pía León from Central; and Kjolle, the current holder of the title of best female chef in the world, will accompany visitors on a culinary adventure. Ticket holders will also have the opportunity to interact with international chefs.

In the Collaborative Dining Series, visiting chefs will join Abu Dhabi’s most esteemed local talent to create a variety of extraordinary dishes. Raue is bringing his taste to Cantonese restaurant Dai Pai Dong, blending his signature Asian-inspired creations with regional dishes to create a truly memorable menu, while Natsuko Shoji of Eté in Tokyo, winner of the title of best Asian pastry chef, will show his fusion of French and Japanese dishes at the Tori No Su restaurant.

Additionally, Julien Royer of Odette in Singapore, a two-time Best Restaurant in Asia winner, joins forces with LPM to offer a unique collaborative menu that will combine some of the biggest hits from both restaurants for one night only. Budding barbecue masters can light the fire as Dave Pynt, of Burnt Ends in Singapore, showcases his talent in a one-of-a-kind experiential culinary event “Playing with Fire” at Emirates Palace.

Meanwhile, León will host an exclusive “Peruvian Paradise” lunch at Zaya Nurai Island. Showcasing some of the city’s best regional culinary talent continues with Chef’s Table promotions, taking place across the city from February 4th to 11th. On these incredible dining experiences, guests will be treated to bespoke menus created by some of Abu Dhabi’s best chefs.

On February 5th, a live stage event, # 50BestTalks, will also be open to all food lovers, with leading chefs like Goldfarb and Kamal Mouzawak presenting and discussing current topics and trends, as well as personal stories about their travels. culinary. For the grand finale, the first list of MENA’s 50 best restaurants will be unveiled on February 7 at a glamorous awards ceremony.

Over the course of the evening, the emirate’s outstanding restaurants and culinary talent will be honored alongside colleagues from across the MENA region, with a number of special prizes.

Game of Thrones ™ Irish Studio Tour: the first unpublished images

Haven’t you got all your Christmas presents yet?
Here is an idea that can make anyone happy, because Game of Thrones ™ Studio Tour in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, has recently released the very first unpublished images of what visitors to this magnificent “exhibition” will be able to see starting from February 4th dedicated to the famous television series.
The gift vouchers, valid for 24 months, are already on sale on:


Costume Department

Where, how and when

The Game of Thrones ™ Studio Tour will officially launch on February 4, 2022 in Banbridge, Northern Ireland.
It is located exactly in the Linen Mill Studios, the site of a former linen factory with a history dating back to the 1800s.
In 2008, following the decline of the linen industry, a collaboration with HBO, a US television station, began. In the following years part of the Game of Thrones filming done in Northern Ireland was created right inside the Linen Mill Studios.

Game of Thrones Studio Tour

For other information you cannot read our dedicated article, or the official website of the event

Source and photos: Irish Tourism

Seville: all you need to know about the most beautiful city in the world

I never had any doubts: from the moment I set foot in Seville for the first time it was crazy love.
Imagine when I found out I had won a European scholarship that would have allowed me to live and work here for 6 months, how I felt!
Being able to explore this divine city, live it to the fullest every moment and discover every corner, tasting the delicious Andalusian cuisine, the one that I have always put at the top of my culinary preferences.

Seville boasts a divine climate, especially if you love heat.
There are around 3,000 sunny days a year in Seville but when it rains, it really rains, so be prepared for big sunny days as well as rare but powerful thunderstorms.

The monuments of the city

The Andalusian capital has three monuments included in the UNESCO heritage list:

  • The Catedral is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the Western world and the third in Christianity after St. Peter of the Vatican and St. Paul of London.
    The Giralda, with its 100 meters of height, is the minaret of the old mosque, demolished to make way for the cathedral and symbol of the city.
  • The Real Alcázar is the oldest royal palace in use in Europe. It is a group of buildings built in different historical periods whose origins date back to the 10th century.
  • The Archive of the Indies is one of the most important historical archives in the country, with approximately 43,000 documents relating to the discovery and colonization of America.
Image by nathan618 from Pixabay

The monuments of Seville are in every corner of the city and, if you have time to visit it calmly, you can discover them all. In my view, the beauties of Seville reside in being able to go out every evening with a mild climate, walking through the magnificent streets of the city or along the Guadalquivir, passing alongside the Torre del Oro, a 12-sided tower built in that point, just to better control the accesses that occurred from the river in the past.

The first real monument I came across while looking for a room in the city was however Calle Verde, a very narrow street not always counted among the major monuments of Seville and certainly neglected by tourists from all over the world. Walking down Calle Verde you will have the feeling of being able to spread your arms and be able to touch both walls on your sides … Not to mention the coolness (for Seville of course!) That there is compared to other parts of the city, where the scorching sun beats without find the obstacle of the houses.
However, I associate the most vivid memories of my past life in the Andalusian capital with Las Setas in Plaza de la Encarnación, a large building that acts as a parasol for the square itself.
A lot of Seville life passes through here and sooner or later you will find yourself stopping there or passing by too.

You can get lost in the streets and squares of Santa Cruz, the old Jewish quarter or enjoy the stroll in the Maria Luisa Park with the spectacular Plaza de Espana.
Do not miss the Hospital of the Santa Caridad or the Plazas de Toros de la Maestranza.
If you love the Baroque, you can immerse yourself in the Hospital de los Venerables or visit the beautiful Sevillian palace-houses they contain countless works of art, such as the Palacio de las Dueñas (de la Casa de Alba), the Casa de Pilatos (de la Casa Ducal de Medinaceli) or the Palacio de la Condes de Lebrija

Sevillian / Andalusian gastronomy

Croquetas de jamon
Image by Shutterstock

I don’t know if you can understand how good Andalusian cuisine is. As a tourist I had loved and appreciated it very much, but when I began to discover the more traditional cafes and restaurants, I found tastes and flavors even better than I could imagine. I hope my countrymen will not be offended, but for personal taste I consider Andalusian cuisine to be the best in the world, followed by Greek and then Italian (I hope no one is too offended by this bronze medal).

Breakfast with café con leche, tostada with serrano jamon and sometimes a glass of zumo de Naranja (orange juice), were for me the best way to start my days away from home (when I was having breakfast out).
Jamon serrano is something divine that you cannot even imagine and, if you want, you can have a little olive oil put on the bread they serve you for breakfast.
It goes without saying that Spain, Greece and Italy are competing for the scepter for the best olive oil and, not being an expert, I don’t know which is the best. I just believe they are all divine in their own way.
Try them on the go if you get the chance. I will not dwell on paella for a second because I think it has become too touristy a dish and perhaps some areas of Valencia could be more suitable to try it rather than Sevilla.

The variety of Tapas, as well as the bars and restaurants in the city is truly infinite. In Sevilla you go out every night because, apart from the climate, you can eat and drink something with very little money (I’m talking about the pre-pandemic period when I lived there).
The beauty is being able to be in company and taste different tastes by trying light and tasty dishes. And if you want to “break out”, you can eat something heavy or try 20 types of tapas in one evening.
My favorite tapas are croquetas (de jamon), but I assure you that in the past months in Sevilla I have tried many and very good.
Even the caracoles (snails) that may appear disgusting, are actually very good!
The top of the top, when it gets very hot, becomes dishes like gazpacho andaluz, a kind of cold vegetable-based soup.
A roommate of mine from Almeria used to bring trays full of them on Mondays when he came home.
You can’t understand what the Andalusian mother did!
If I think about it, I cry with emotion!
Despite everything, I think I didn’t have time to try everything, because Andalusian gastronomy contains so many specialties that it takes a lifetime to try everything…
and maybe a mother and a grandmother who have been cooking everything for you since You’re small!

Even the wine department certainly does not miss anything:
in Seville you absolutely must try the tinto de verano, a cold drink made from red wine with the addition of soda, ice and, if you ask for it, also lemon.
Generally in the more touristy places they serve it as it is, in the more “traditional” ones the bartender asks you if you want lemon.
Perhaps not everyone knows the rebujito. Yes, because in general it is consumed (even too much) during the Feria de Abril or in other events around Andalusia. The rebujito is made with dry white wine and soda and, during the Feria, it is served at the tables in glass jugs.
Needless to say, it’s so good that you don’t need to be a serial alcoholic to take it out in large quantities.
But then we dance, laugh, eat, walk … and work off a bit before night falls …


Photo by Matthew Waring on Unsplash

Flamenco, born and raised in some neighborhoods of Seville, such as Triana and Alameda, has been declared an intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO. In Seville many people spontaneously dance in the street, attracting the attention of tourists and people. However, it will not be difficult for you, walking in the evening, to notice that in some places flamenco becomes a primary attraction. In other less touristy and more distant places, it is a bit of a superfine and almost secret art, but it takes time and maybe some knowledge for you to discover them and be able to enjoy their true beauty.
One of the most important flamenco events in Seville is undoubtedly la Bienal de Flamenco, a festival that takes place every two years.


Image by Luis Francisco Pizarro Ruiz from Pixabay

Seville is a city full of events and things to do. I think I only spent the time necessary to sleep at home because there was always an opportunity to go out, attend events or just see something nearby. The sea and the beaches are not far away and at the beginning of April you already risk getting a good burn on the beach if you are not careful! On the days I didn’t work or I didn’t have any special programs, I checked the events in the city on this website and, slowly, I admit, I became a bit of a habit, especially on Sunday afternoons when I went to relax with a cool glass of tinto de verano while listening to music across the Guadalquivir.

The most absurd events I have witnessed were two in particular that, in this pandemic period, have probably been moved or canceled (so check before you leave).
The Semana Santa is something crazy because you will see but above all you will hear people moving around the city for several days. Hooded and colorful people invade the streets of the city (each has its own neighborhood) accompanied by very noisy bands. Everyone takes to the streets to watch and the average crowd that will show up in front of you is that of a Queen concert at Wembley in the late 80s …

Not least is the Feria de Abril. Were it not that at least we sit, eat and drink. At the time I lived in Seville but I taught in a school in Dos Hermanas, the largest town in the Sevillian district.
For this reason I decided to do both Ferie de Abril. But I had the good sense not to eat and drink at the one in Sevilla.
I don’t think my liver could have endured two events that close together. At the Feria you go well dressed, you eat divinely and if you are able you can also dance…
Generally you are invited to the casetas and there you sit at the table with your friends. In Seville there are many private casetas where you can enter only by invitation and others open to all, while in Dos Hermanas I remember many more open casetas.
Always keep in mind that all hotels in Seville are packed during these events, so book well in advance and get organized.

Why go to Seville

Image byi Yanko Peyankov from Pixabay

I don’t know about you, but I believe that Seville, beyond so much monumental beauty, has a very special charm.
Its friendly and hospitable inhabitants who in 6 months always made me feel at home, even if I was hundreds of kilometers away from home.
My students inviting me out almost every night, then I found kind colleagues and wonderful people all over Andalusia.
It doesn’t take long to understand that, despite some flaws, the true beauty of a city like Seville actually lies in the people who live there, in the goodness , genuineness of the products of its gastronomy and in the beauty of being able to stay in a city where to meet friends in the evening is at least as important as having to get up the next day to go to work. In Seville I appreciated this: the fact that the people thought about enjoying their free time, even knowing that there were also commitments to keep.
In other cities it didn’t work exactly like that…
..and you weren’t even eating so well 😉

Christmas in Odense

Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense in 1805 in modest conditions as the son of a shoemaker. What better time, if not Christmas, is there to dream of becoming a famous person despite the fact that life has not been favorable to us from the beginning? In 1867 HC Andersen was made an honorary citizen and Odense welcomed the news by organizing a torchlight procession in his honor.

In the magical atmosphere of Christmas, thinking of starting your visit to the city right from the yellow house of one of the most famous writers in the world, can be an idea to fully enjoy the period and the Nordic feeling that this special place can give you.

While Odense is well suited to families, it is also true that children will go crazy with joy when they can admire rare pieces of Danish railways in the Odense Railway Museum, which is located near the center (look for Danmarks Jernbanemuseum on google maps).

During the dark season and the winter period, being able to enjoy the Christmas lights and fresh northern air is essential for strolling along the streets of Odense in December. On the last Saturday of November, the Flakhaven Christmas tree, the town hall square, lights up and there will be music, events and the presence of a very important character: Santa Claus.

The hot chocolate

If you think Northern Europe is just cold and ice, then you are missing out on a lot. I remember wonderful journeys with breathtaking views, but the pleasure of walking into a bar for a hot drink after spending a few hours out walking is priceless!
In Odense you will find a hot chocolate for every taste: walking around the city there are cafes that make many types of hot chocolate: if you are undecided between cocoa and hot chocolate, entering the FredosCoffeeright you will not know what to choose, as here they serve an infinite variety of chocolates, coffees and capuccinos. The Papas Papbar will drive you crazy! Here you can choose your chocolate and then you can decide which of the 600 board games to choose as you spend your time warming up with your hot drink in hand. If you are in company and fear the cold, perhaps this is the bar for you!
Is the chocolate plus alcohol option your favorite? The Receteria offers chocolates with Baileys or Cacao with Cointreau Rum and orange.
If all this is not enough to pamper you…

The Christmas markets

The first two weekends of December (4-5 and 11-12 December), Odense hosts the Christmas markets right in the historic center, the ideal setting for organizing a Christmas party with a unique atmosphere. Odense’s markets attract around 60,000 people and give the opportunity to find delicious food stands, small events but above all, that unique feeling of being in the heart of a colorful and fairytale city, as was its most famous inhabitant.

Source and photo: Visit Odense and visit Denmark

All you need to know about the Shetland Fire Festival

If you go to the Shetland Islands between January and March and hear about Up Helly Aa, don’t worry, it is nothing but the biggest Viking fire festival you have ever witnessed in your life!
The Up Helly Aa is a fire festival that is based in Lerwick and other Shetland villages, however, if you want to see the most majestic, avoiding having to move once you arrive in the island capital, it is worth staying in the city and the show does not will miss ricurely.

The Up Helly Aa is a 24 hour party that requires a very long preparation of months and months. Thousands of people parade through the city and the same are busy for the whole previous year to prepare the costumes of the Giuzer, in particular that of Giuzer Jarl (the Viking leader).

The origins

At one time, in the period between Christmas and New Year, young people dragged barrels of tar by pulling them with sleds through the streets of the city. The state of drunkenness was also very high and this tradition created not a few problems of public disorder in Shetland. After the abolition of the tar barrels, the authorizations were obtained for the torchlight procession and the first celebration of the Up Helly Aa took place in 1881. In 1889 the first galley was burned and over the years the party grew in intensity and interest.

On the evening of the party, the groups, also known as squads, walk through the city lighting up the streets with long lines of fire. At 7.30 pm a rocket is launched over the town hall, the torches are lit and the procession can leave together with the band playing in the streets of Lerwick. The Guizer Jarl is the only one who wears traditional Viking clothing, while everyone else can have beautiful clothes or even rags of all kinds. The galley destined to burn is commanded by the Viking chief who will start the dances once he arrives at the parties.

Lerwick, Shetland Isles, Scotland, UK. 29th January 2019. Up Helly Aa viking fire festival procession which is unique to Shetland and held on the last Tuesday in January each year.
How to participate in the Fire Festival

In recent years the Lerwick Fire Festival has been live streamed. If you want to follow it, you can go to the Facebook Fan Page and watch the show wherever you are.
In case you prefer to attend the Up Helly Aa in person, know that the seats, at least in the town hall square, are quite limited and the only thing to do is to check the status of ticket sales towards the end of the year.
You can ckeck availability on Shetland Times or call the iCentre of Lerwick (+44 (0)1595 3434) and get you put on the waiting list.

Fire Festivals confirmed / canceled for 2022

The planning of the Up Helly Aa of Shetland foresees a very long period and, for this reason, even if the beginning of next year may seem far away, those who are working to create events of this kind must guarantee the safety of all: inhabitants of the island and tourists. The particular historical moment therefore forces the organizers of the Up Helly Aa to have to cancel some events, but also to be able to program others with absolute safety. Here’s where, for now, upcoming fire festivals should take place or be canceled.
If you plan to travel to Shetland between January and March 2022, check the official website not to risk missing some event!

Fire festivals expected to take place in 2022
Fire festivals still to be confirmed for 2022 (last update September 2021)
Fire Festivals postponed to 2023

Source: Shetland.org