Locura en Notting Hill… ¡es el Carnaval!

Dos participantes de la edición del Notting Hill Carnival de 2015 / The Guardian

En verano el color y la música se apoderan de Notting Hill

Aunque el Carnaval sea una fiesta más propia de países de tradición católica, los habitantes del barrio londinense de Notting Hill también lo celebran ¡y a lo grande!

El carnaval de Notting Hill se lleva celebrando a finales del mes de agosto desde hace más de cincuenta años. Esta tradición fue importada por inmigrantes de origen caribeño, especialmente de Trinidad y Tobago, y hoy en día es la fiesta callejera más grande de Europa.

¿Queréis saber más? Entonces leed este breve artículo del periódico The Guardian que, además, recoge imágenes increíbles de la edición de 2015.

Notting Hill carnival 2015: a visual tour

Guardian photojournalist David Levene donned his rain mac and got down and dirty on the streets of west London to bring us a late summer tour of Europe’s biggest street party.

London’s Notting Hill carnival has taken place on Sunday and Monday of the August bank holiday since 1965. It was originally led by members of the local West Indian community, especially those from Trinidad and Tobago. With its distinctive Caribbean feel, by the mid 1970s the carnival was attracting upwards of 150,000 people. In recent years it has pulled in 50,000 performers, 38 sound systems and 2.5 million people over the weekend, making it the second largest street carnival in the world after Rio de Janeiro


The traditional Trinidad carnival elements of mas, calypso/soca and steelpan are blended with Jamaican-style static sound systems, and hundreds of food and craft stalls



J’ouvert – the word comes from the french jour ouvert, meaning daybreak – originated in Trinidad and signals the start of the carnival. The early morning parade on Sunday is a messy affair …

… during which paint, mud and oil is smeared over the bodies of participants, known as jab jabs – French patois for diable (devil). Experienced revellers came well prepared in boiler suits

My cameras and lenses took a lot of abuse amid flying paint and powder – they will definitely need to go for a professional deep clean!

David Levene, photographer


A day out with the kids

Sunday is a family day involving a children’s parade. Although generally quieter than Monday, the atmosphere gradually builds throughout the day

Some last-minute adjustments to outfits are made as this troupe gets ready for the parade

Waiting for the parade, foghorns at the ready…



Dee J D Francis belts out soca aboard one of the floats along the route. A combination of soul and calypso, soca originated from underground culture in Trinidad and Tobago in the late 1970s and has developed to incorporate other musical genres including funk, soul, and zouk


Street food

Jerk chicken, curried goat, and saltfish are the traditional carnival food stall fare, along with sweetcorn, plantain, and lashings of barbecue smoke

Not forgetting the rice and peas … and tins of Red Stripe available on the go

Sounds on the streets

Roots reggae sound system Solution now sits on the legendary corner spot at the junction of Ledbury and Talbot Roads, formerly occupied by Jah Observer. Elsewhere it’s good times in the rain and hands in the air



A good vantage point is the key to the day – is that a window spot on the terraces or just a comfortable chair?


Party people

Costume is a serious business at the carnival





Para saber más

Página web oficial del festival: http://www.thelondonnottinghillcarnival.com/

Información sobre la edición de este año: http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/event/9023471-notting-hill-carnival



Travel sustainably and save the planet!

Cuando viajamos, no sólo hay muchos destinos a donde ir, sino que también hay muchas maneras de llegar hasta ellos. Algunas tienen un gran impacto sobre el medio ambiente sin que nosotros lo sepamos y viajar en avión es una de ellas.

Hoy queremos compartir un breve artículo (en inglés, ¡por supuesto!) de la fundación David Suzuki. La DSF es una organización ecologista canadiense dedicada a la protección del medio ambiente. ¿Su objetivo?

‘Work towards balancing human needs with the Earth’s ability to sustain all life’

En este artículo, la DSF nos da algunos consejos para viajar en avión de manera sostenible. Happy Reading!

Travel sustainably

Although aviation is a relatively small industry, it has a disproportionately large impact on the climate system. It presently accounts for four to nine per cent of the total climate change impact of human activity.

Compared to other modes of transport, such as driving or taking the train, travelling by air has a greater climate impact per passenger kilometre, even over longer distances. It’s also the mode of freight transport that produces the most emissions.

What can I do?

Because the climate impacts of air transportation are at present not adequately regulated under national or international laws, the onus is on individuals and businesses to limit their flying unless absolutely necessary. This needn’t be as drastic as it sounds:

  • Consider taking a vacation closer to home — or even being a tourist in your own town. You’ll save money and avoid the stress of airport security, travelling to and from the airport, and sitting in those tiny seats. Most of us live in places that tourists from elsewhere visit, so take a holiday in your hometown or region and find out what it has to offer.
  • Use other modes of transport where possible. Trains and buses, for example, are much more energy efficient than airplanes, and for regional trips can even be faster when airports are factored in. Even cars can be more efficient than planes — especially with more than one passenger.
  • Use video-conferences for meetings. The David Suzuki Foundation is doing it, and so are companies like Swiss Re andIKEA who use video-conferencing to reduce business air travel. Companies benefit from decreased costs at the same time that they’re helping the planet. Employees avoid the stress of travelling and time away from home and family.
  • Use webcams to keep in touch with family and friends who live far away.
  • Contact your political representatives, tell them you’re concerned about the contribution of aviation to global climate change, and ask them to take action to regulate and limit greenhouse gas emissions from this sector.

If you do have to fly:

  • Try to minimize the number of flights you take by combining trips. For example, book more than one meeting in your destination city, so you don’t need to fly there several times.
  • Fly the most direct route possible, since take-offs and landings use the most fuel.
  • Fly during the daytime, because studies have shown that flights taken at night have a greater impact on the climate.
  • Fly economy, because more people per plane means fewer emissions per person.
  • Pack light, because lighter planes mean less fuel is burned.
  • Purchase carbon offsets to account for the emissions from your flight. See our carbon neutral webpage for more information. If the airline or travel agent you are using doesn’t currently offer its customers the option of offsetting their flights, ask them to consider it.

What is the David Suzuki Foundation doing?

In 2010, the David Suzuki Foundation installed videoconferencing equipment in all of its offices. We also rely on teleconferencing for many of our meetings, and look for ways to minimize travel to conferences, training sessions and other functions where possible. For flights that cannot be avoided, we purchase high quality carbon offsets.


Fuente: http://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/reduce-your-carbon-footprint/travel-sustainably/

Lovely cities, lovely winter!


Source: http://theabroadguide.com/top-european-cities-to-visit-winter/

From sleigh rides through the Swiss countryside and skiing the breathtaking Alps to lounging in outdoor thermal pools and raging at ice festivals, Europe has some of the best and most unique places to spend the winter. Whether you have just a weekend or a whole week to blow, there are an unlimited amount of places to explore. To help you narrow it down, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten cities to visit in the winter.


  1. Abisko, Sweden

If you’re a serious winter lover, Abisko is one of the best places you can go. Almost as far north as you can get on a train in Europe, this Swedish town is one of the world’s best places to catch the Northern Lights. Before you travel there, be forewarned that the sun doesn’t rise for weeks in December and January, but that means it will always feel like Saturday night! Besides gazing at the aurora borealis, visitors can ski, hike, ice skate, go dog sledding, and explore the national parks. Don’t forget to check out the famous Icehotel in nearby Kiruna, which was the world’s first hotel made of ice.

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark

As the home of Hans Christian Andersen, Copenhagen is one of the most fairytale-like cities in Europe, especially in winter. The Danish concept of “hygge” (or “coziness”) is at its peak in winter, when locals spend their afternoons and evenings relaxing, drinking hot chocolate, and enjoying their beautiful surroundings. Top sights in Copenhagen include Tivoli Amusement Park, Christiansborg Slot, and Rosenborg Castle, which are all even more charming covered in snow. Don’t miss out on Copenhagen’s winter culture month, Wondercool, which occurs in February and includes concerts in unusual venues, art shows, and culinary events.

  1. Transylvania, Romania

It doesn’t feel right to visit Dracula’s home on a warm, sunny day, so take a visit to Transylvania when it’s cold and snowy! In addition to Dracula, Transylvania is also home to many medieval towns filled with castles, cathedrals, and rich histories that are just begging to be explored. After you’ve frolicked to your heart’s content, don’t forget to hit up one of the area’s many ski resorts and national parks for some real winter activities.

  1. Venice, Italy

One of the top European tourist attractions in winter is the Carnival of Venice. Beautiful, haunting, and extremely weird, Venice’s February-March celebration is not to be missed. Costumed events can be very pricey, but you can get the full effect of the festival by enjoying the free events with a mask purchased on the street. Carnival aside, traveling to Venice in winter allows visitors to experience the city at a slower pace and really soak up the culture. The city’s canals, beautiful architecture, and old-fashioned atmosphere become magical in winter. A stop in Venice is a definite European highlight.

  1. Prague, Czech Republic

With its snow-capped spires, cobblestone streets, and the romantic hue of its gas-lit street lamps, Prague is right out of a fairytale. It is relatively tourist-free in the winter, which is surprising because the city’s natural beauty comes to life under a blanket of snow. Stroll through the Prague Castle at your own pace or hit up a local cafe to escape the cold, especially Choco Cafe, which has more than a dozen types of hot chocolate. If you’re in the Czech Republic long enough, be sure to take a day trip to Cesky Krumlov, which is known as the “Pearl of Bohemia”.

  1. Granada, Spain

If you’re looking to take a break from the bitter cold, Granada is a great solution. However, don’t go Spain under the impression that it will be a beach vacation. Even southern Spain is too cold for the beach in the winter, which is why a city like Granada is such an ideal option because there is more to do than just stroll along the sand. No other region has as much variety as Granada — you can ski the Sierra Nevadas, head to the coast, or simply just roam the city. Spain is much cheaper and less crowded in the winter months, so visitors can truly enjoy the city’s sights without waiting in line or breaking the bank.

  1. Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck is known as the ski and snowboard capital of the world. As the two-time host of the Winter Olympics and covered in internationally recognized alpine resorts, Innsbruck does not disappoint. In addition to tearing up the slopes, visitors can tour the famous Olympic ski jump and other facilities. Innsbruck was also a seat of power for centuries and history buffs will love visiting the royal Habsburg home and soaking up the city’s beautiful architecture. Furthermore, Innsbruck is the home of Swarovski Crystals, and no visit to this city is complete without a tour of their bizarre but beautiful headquarters.

  1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Even though Iceland is a trek from most popular study abroad spots and it is among Europe’s coldest areas, there are many reasons why its capital is a must-see place. The annual Winter Lights Festival in February is one of the best European celebrations of winter and its abundance of winter sports, museums, and restaurants make it quite a happening place. What makes Reykjavik even more special are the city’s many outdoor geothermal swimming pools, which are some of just a few in Europe. There is nothing quite like relaxing in their naturally warm waters while the snow falls around you. Every pool is unique, so visitors should try as many as possible.

  1. Edinburgh, Scotland

The winding streets, stunning castles, and beautiful Princes Street Gardens transformed into a winter wonderland make Edinburgh a city to definitely visit in winter. There is nothing more charming than ice skating in the center of one of Europe’s oldest cities and wandering through the Edinburgh castle as the snow slowly falls, if you’re lucky to see it. Be sure to check out the highlands as well, which are exquisite in winter. Arthur’s Seat, on the edge of the city, is the perfect place to take a snowy stroll while soaking up unparalleled views.

  1. Bled, Slovenia

Bled’s incredible natural beauty combined with its peaceful surroundings make it one of the most superb alpine areas in Europe. Renowned for its healing climate, thermal lake water, and “tucked away” ambiance, this small city is perfect for anyone looking to have a relaxing winter escape. However, don’t shy away from Bled if you’re looking for a bit more adventure – its terrain is ideal for anyone interested in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, or ice skating. In between relaxing and skiing, don’t forget to check out Bled Castle, a medieval fortress believed to be the oldest castle in Slovenia.

Whether you’re into shredding the slopes or strolling the quaint cobblestone streets, Europe has plenty to offer in the winter. Don’t get bogged down by the cold weather or cabin fever – just pop some cold-weather travel gear on and try something you otherwise couldn’t do in your own city.


An unforgettable New Year’s Eve!

La Garriga, l’Ametlla del Vallès… ¿Ya sabéis dónde pasaréis la noche de fin de año? ¡Echad un vistazo a este artículo y descubrid los mejores lugares para pasar esta noche tan especial!

The 10 Benew-year-eve-riverboats-archst Places To Spend New Year’s Eve in Europe

By A. Reyner (Escape Here)

New Year’s Eve is a time most of us look forward to putting the old year behind us and starting with a fresh slate in the new year. Many people believe that how we ring in the new year also has bearing on what the year will bring us. For travelers, what could be better than celebrating with friends new and old in a far-flung locale, experiencing local traditions and creating new ones? These 10 European cities know how to ring in the new year; get your year started on the right foot by visiting one of these parties.



More than 250,000 people will crowd along the banks of the Thames to ring in the new year. Big Ben performs countdown services and the stroke of midnight marks the beginning a spectacular 10-minute display of lights and fireworks. The London Eye, the Shard and Parliament are among the iconic buildings lit up to welcome the new year. Looking to stay out of the cold and rain? Head to the soiree at the London Sky Bar, where you’ll find food and a live DJ, plus fabulous views of the revelry in the streets below. Free public transport all night will help get you to one of many after-parties around the city. Visit the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park and, on New Year’s Day, take in the annual parade, which features a procession of the Queen’s horses, among others



Croatia may not be a top destination for New Year’s revelers, but the city of Dubrovnik gets extra points for managing to host an almost intimate party, despite the number of people who come out to celebrate. Less claustrophobic than parties in Zagreb and Split, the festivities in Dubrovnik center on Stradun, the city’s main street, where you’re likely to bump elbows with locals on their way to bars and restaurants filled to bursting with celebrating crowds. The city also hosts a number of Croatian performers, offering up a rich program of music and entertainment for the evening. Start with a cozy meal with friends or family, or, if you’re traveling with your honey, consider splurging on a meal at one of the city’s upscale establishments. Join the crowds in Stradun for the stroke of midnight, then keep the party going by stopping off at a local bar.



The Swedes celebrate Christmas in a relatively subdued style, which means they’re all the more ready to let loose and party on New Year’s Eve. Revelry is the order of the day in the nation’s capital, with parties becoming raucous and celebrations pouring into the streets. Fill up on a seafood at a restaurant before moving your party to Skansen, which has been the center of Stockholm’s celebrations since 1895. At the stroke of midnight, a well-known Swede will read the poem “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” as streamers fill the air. Party trumpets and fireworks erupt all around the city. After midnight, participate in some club-hopping and keep the party going late into the night; bars and clubs are often open until 3 or 4 in the morning, giving you plenty of time to celebrate the new year.



It should be little wonder that one of Europe’s most iconic cities makes the list as one of the best places to spend New Year’s. The Eiffel Tower is lit up to mark the occasion and crowds of revelers swarm the Champs-Elysees, which provides fantastic views of the tower. The area turns into a massive street party, with both champagne bottles and fireworks popping everywhere. If you’re looking for something a little different, try Montmarte for excellent views of fireworks without the crowd. If you want something romantic, book a dinner cruise along the Seine and listen to a live orchestra as you sail through the City of Lights. Restaurants and nightclubs also hold soirees so you have no shortage of options for how to ring in the new year. On New Year’s Day, the Grande Parade de Paris caps off the celebrations.



Vienna, once the center of empire and a beautiful city beloved by intellectuals and artists, is perhaps the best place in Europe to experience an “Old World” New Year’s celebration. The city’s most famous party is the Grand Ball held at the Hofburg Palace, but there are plenty of other opportunities for revelry in the Austrian capital. The city’s famous Christmas markets transform into fairs and the New Year’s Eve Trail will lead you through the Old City. The party begins at 2 in the afternoon and continues long after the clock has struck midnight. Mulled wine is the drink of choice for this crowd. A spectacular fireworks display highlights the Wiener Prater fair at midnight. On New Year’s Day, join the crowd gathered outside City Hall to watch the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert on a giant screen.



Amsterdam is known as something of a party city for North Americans, and on New Year’s Eve, the city shows that it deserves that reputation, with impromptu street parties filling the spaces between large, organized revelry in public places like Rembrandtplein, Nieumarkt, Museumplein and Dam Square. Outdoor concerts are complemented by indoor parties at bars. Fireworks go on sale the day before the celebrations, so you can be sure to see plenty of displays. Grab a perch on one of the city’s many bridges and watch the colors explode across the nighttime sky, mirrored in the water below. Grab a glass of champagne and some fried treats (like oliebollen, viamse frites and bitterballen) from the street vendors, then head to the club to keep the party going.



Reykjavik receives only 4 hours of sun on New Year’s Eve, which means the locals are more than ready to celebrate with a festival of light. They start with community bonfires, meant to burn away the troubles of the old year. There are no official fireworks displays organized by the city; rather, there are numerous displays put on by private citizens. Fireworks will often start about half-an-hour before midnight, lighting up every corner of the city as almost 200,000 people get involved. Head to Perlan or Landakotskirkja church for the best views of the city. Plenty of small, private parties keep things hopping, and bars and clubs remain open well after midnight. Since Icelanders tend to go out late anyway, you’ll often find revelers up until the wee hours of the morning, dancing the night away.



Istanbul has been on the rise as a must-see destination for travelers, and what better time than New Year’s? While visiting this vibrant European capital is an experience and a half at any time of year, Istanbul one-ups itself on New Year’s Eve. Start your evening with a traditional Turkish meze dinner in a restaurant in Bebek or Istiklal Caddesi, where celebrations are a little tamer. Afterwards, join the jubilant crowd in the streets of Taksim or another part of the city, where revelers will organize impromptu street parties. If the crowded streets aren’t your scene, you can always book a river cruise along the Bosphorus and watch the celebrations from afar as you sail through the city. The best part is that you’ll have one of the best views for the stunning fireworks at the stroke of midnight.



Prague is known as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and one of the most beautiful in the world. The “city of a hundred spires” comes alive on New Year’s Eve, which is also known as Silvestr. The streets will be packed with a rag-tag crowd of revelers, and bars, clubs and restaurants will be filled with party-goers. Much of the fun takes place at Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square. Fireworks are set off all around town (and perhaps with a bit of dangerous abandon), with one of the best displays occurring at Letna Gardens, which can be watched from nearby bridges and embankments. Champagne bottles are smashed during the celebrations, which means you might want to bring a helmet to this party, but who could resist ringing in the new year in the heart of Europe?



Germany’s capital has something of a reputation as a party city throughout the year, so it makes sense that the city has a go-big-or-go-home attitude toward New Year’s festivities. The highlight is undoubtedly “Party Mile,” a 2-km stretch between Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column, lined with bars, food stalls, music stages, party tents and laser light shows. The fireworks begin promptly at midnight, as do the toasts to the new year. Many people then hit the dancefloors of the city’s clubs, partying until well after sun-up. The Berliner Silversterlauf, the infamous New Year’s Eve “pancake run,” is another tradition in the city. Some people run the free 4-km race on New Year’s Day. Berlin expects to welcome approximately a million revelers to help ring in 2016—maybe you’ll be one of them.

Travelling makes us happy

S. Gil, una de nuestras profesoras y viajera incansable, nos ha hecho llegar hoy este artículo de Bright Side y queremos compartirlo con vosotros. Resulta que viajar nos hace mucho más felices que cualquier objeto que podamos comprar. ¡Seguid leyendo y descubrid por qué!

It turns out that traveling makes us far happier than any material wealth ever does. (Jimmy Tran / Shutterstock)

It turns out that traveling makes us far happier than any material wealth ever does. (Jimmy Tran / Shutterstock)

It turns out that travelling makes us far happier than any material wealth ever does

Why do we head for the shops with such determination as soon as we have money in our wallets? With every new purchase we feel a little happier, but a few days later that satisfaction is often gone without a trace. We at Bright Side decided it was time to get to grips with this problem once and for all, and to make sense of how we can all find true happiness.

It turns out that the main impediment to happiness is adaptation. As soon as something we’ve bought becomes ordinary and unexciting, the level of life satisfaction we feel falls, and we’re forced to search around for the next purchase. This process is repeated again and again.

However, research carried out at Cornell University has found a way to break this damaging cycle. Psychology professor Thomas Gilovich has shown that we experience the same increase in happiness when we buy something we want and when we go travelling. But — and here’s the most important point — the amount of happiness we derive from our purchase falls over time, whereas the memories of our travelling experience continue to supply us with happiness hormones for much longer.

Going to various kinds of unusual events, going on trips, learning new skills, even extreme sport — all of these are an ideal source of happiness for each and every one of us. A new device or even a new car will eventually become just another ordinary object we own, or will otherwise become old and outdated. Every new memory, on the other hand, becomes a real source of joy that stays with us for our whole lives.

Fuente: Bright Side

¿Queréis saber más sobre este tema? Os recomendamos el artículo The Science Of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things, de Jay Cassano.

Visit London!

Heu estat mai a Londres? Si encara no us heu decidit a visitar la capital del Regne Unit, en aquest article publicat per Travelodge trobareu unes quantes raons per fer-ho!


Why everyone should visit London at least once in their lifetime

So perhaps you’re not much of a traveller. Whether your budget’s too tight for regular trips away or you’re just a homebody by nature, there’s at least one trip you need to make, and that’s to the country’s capital. London is a city unlike any other in the world, so why not book a room for a long weekend? Here are 6 reasons why everyone needs to go to London at least once:

1) The Famous Sights

Big Ben, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye… The list goes on and on. There’s nothing quite like the experience of hopping on a red double-decker bus and seeing some of the most recognisable sights in the world from its top deck.

2) The Shopping

Whether you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket or you just want to have a nose past some windows, there is no better place to experience the best shopping in the world than London. Get overwhelmed by the number of people on Oxford Street, stunned by the prices in Knightsbridge and charmed by the boutiques around Carnaby Street.

3) The Nightlife

Londoners may work hard, but they also play hard too. There’s everything any night owl could possibly want in the capital, from classic pubs, to chic clubs, quirky dive bars, theatres packed with Hollywood stars taking their turn on the boards…Whatever you decide to do, make sure you book tickets for some kind of show one evening, whether it be a West End musical, a stand up comedy show, or a great live concert. The biggest stars and the best shows always make a stop in our nation’s capital, so you’re sure to find something that will blow you away.


Looking west along the Thames from Tower Bridge shortly after sunset (Jason Hawkes / www.jasonhawkes.com)

4) The History

The story of London is ever so long and dramatic. So much of our culture as a country developed in this city and you’ll discover more than you can possibly remember if you visit some of its museums and historical attractions. Terrify yourself with the gruesome past of the London Dungeons or bask in the splendour of royalty at Hampton Court Palace.

5) The Unexpected Bits

The best bits of a trip to London will be the bits you won’t expect. There are some things you’d never know until you experience them in person, like how peaceful the green spaces in such a bustling city can be, or how distinctive different neighbourhoods can feel. The one-of-a-kind memories can only come from travelling to the city, putting on some comfortable walking shoes, and going out to explore.

6) The People

London, and in fact Britain in general, may not have a great reputation for being full of friendly, welcoming people, but actually, the city is the wonder that it is because of the great diversity of fascinating people that live there. Everywhere you look you’ll see people doing incredible things, whether it’s building businesses or performing circus acts in the street. Everyone has a story to tell, and on a visit to London it’s worth talking to as many people as possible to hear some of the amazing stories, as well as creating one of your very own.

Font: Travelodge 



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