January 8, 2017 admin No comments

Brazil: Carnival Parade

One of the most awe-inspiring and grand gestures of celebration in the world is Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. It’s five days of  parading by 14 samba schools through the famous Sambodromo. During Carnival, shops and streets are closed to make way for the celebration: parades, dancing, and parties. This extravagant festival provides entertainment for the local parade goers and introduces the millions of world viewers to the seductive rhythms of the Samba, the soul of Brazil. This year, events start on Friday, February 24, 2017 with the crowning of its king by the mayor of the city and the first parade begins shortly afterwards. Everything ends February 28, 2017 with the Gay Ball in Rio Scala. This day is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent in the Roman Catholic calendar.

woman at carnival

It dates back to about 1723 when immigrants from Cado Verde and Azores introduced the festivities with the intention of getting people wet in order to purify the body, known as entrudo. Over the years, people started to dress up, dance, and play music for on lookers. The celebration continued to grow. And, by the 1980s, the Sambodromo was to provide seating for spectators and to give organization to the procession. When the first day arrives, you can feel the celebratory spirit in the air and in every venue on the streets, like clubs and bars. The entire city awaits in anticipation what is known as the Samba Parade. The heighten festivities last only a few days, but take months and months to prepare for. Just looking at all of the colorful and elaborate costumes and the enormous and intricate floats, one would think that this event was put on by a multi-million dollar corporation. But, you would be wrong. It’s actually created, built, and choreographed by the people and neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro.


carnival dancers

How do they pull off something so huge? Well, it is done through their membership and participation in local samba schools. With members numbering in the thousands, these schools will spend most of the calendar year preparing for their performance to one song. With an intent of composing the best song possible to bring home the victory, each school employs dancers, percussionists, musicians, singers, and even a team of songwriters. The competition is fierce and the prize is coveted, a release of their song on the immensely popular Sambas de Enredo CD.

Beginning in December, grand rehearsals are scheduled almost every weekend on the samba runway in the Sambodromo without the costumes and floats. Another way that the performers rehearse is through samba nights at what is known as the samba courts, rehearsal spaces. They’re open most weekends to anyone who want to dance, including tourists. These gatherings are informal and open to people of all ages.



December 3, 2016 admin No comments

Spain: The Museums You Must See

Spain, with its countless influences and classic history, is a country with a diverse range of sights and sounds to offer its millions of visitors every year. This can prominently be seen in its museums and galleries, a rich history of culture and art has left Spain a strong heritage of accomplishments with names such as Dali, Miro, and Picasso leading the list.

Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona

Fundacio Joan Miro

Expansive and placed on its own estates, the museum is nestled among the regular metropolitan museums and galleries. The Fundacio Joan Miro boasters its white buildings surrounding courtyard that speaks of a Mediterranean flare. With its permanent exhibition space, the foundation gives a particular level of homage to Spain’s more unique artists. These artists may not suit everyone’s taste, but their showings are merit a consideration if you’re visiting the museum.

Dali Theatre-Museum, Figueres

The creation of this museum was overseen by Dali himself, transforming it into his grand surrealist playground. He also produced some works specifically for the museum itself. The “Wind Palace Room”, the “Mae West Room”, and the “Monument to Francesc Pujols and the Rainy Cadillac” are all grand gestures and fantastic examples of Dali’s rich imagination.

Reina Sofia, Madrid

The Reina Sofia is one of Madrid’s most renowned museums, housing a huge compilation of contemporary art. Once standing as the city’s hospital, the museum was established in 1986, but underwent an extensive facelift in 1990. This effort was led by Ian Ritchie, a British architect. They dreamed of creating something to compete with Paris’ Pompidou Center and London’s Tate, a building with at least 36,000 sqm of exhibition space. To date, it’s one of the world’s grandest museums and an really inspiring place.

Reina Sofia Museum

Guggenheim, Bilbao

Designed by Frank O. Gehry, the Guggenheim in Bilbao is considered art by itself. As one of the most easily renowned buildings in Europe, it opened in 1997 as a museum that has been a catalyst for the city’s redevelopment program and a symbol for the new, modern Bilbao.

Erected beside the river, the museum offers thousands of square footage of exhibit space throughout three galleries. There’s always a body of permanent work on display and large exhibits that run for months at a time.



November 28, 2016 admin No comments

Paris: The City of Lights

Paris, the City of Lights, is a great tourist destination regardless of the time of year.  This rich, metropolitan city is one of the more popular places to visit and has something for everyone to see and enjoy. It’s the largest French city with more than 10 million people living there.

Paris, museum, tourism

The North Atlantic drift impacts the weather of Paris. Consequently, Paris has a seashore, west coast climate. The capital relishes in modest temperatures throughout the year and does not have especially high or low conditions. The chilliest months may only get snowfall that lasts no longer that a day. There was a unique circumstance of snowfall in April that may have been triggered by the changes in universal weather patterns.

Nonetheless, October is an ideal time to tour Paris. The locals are calmer after the onset of summer travelers, the variety of colors on exhibit in the many gardens and parks is spectacular, and the crisp daily climate of mid-sixties temperatures is great for experiencing cobble-stoned streets and outdoor markets.

The city boasts of it’s many architectural and archaic wonders that can keep travelers fulfilled for the rest of your life. Among the fashion houses, Paris is very highly rated and brags of an impressive and fast nightlife. The city takes pride in it’s many monuments, historical avenues, museums, iconic landmarks such as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower,  which is one of the most famous museums in the world. Surveys suggest that Paris hosts to more than 30 million tourists every year.

Visitors to Paris get a chance to indulge in the world’s finest dishes. Paris is for its great foods and drinks; and don’t forget it’s cheeses and Parisian coffees. Their freshly made baguettes are freshly made and have dark, golden brown crusts. The French macaron are delicate, sweet meringue-like shell filled with either buttercream, ganache, or jam. Do not plan to diet when you visit this city because you will surely lose you battle.

Lastly, we know that the modernism, historical charm, and breathtaking experiences, which makes Paris the best place to bring a loved one and family. So, don’t miss the opportunity to see the City of Lights. Make it one of the things to do in your lifetime.

November 28, 2016 admin No comments

Rome: Three Stars Hotel

The reality of Rome is not always seen. For Rome, more than for other place, there has been a main problem of city life: how to keep its precious history while improving the lives of it citizens. Recent efforts inspired by the 2000 year Jubilee have brought about some changes. Transportation is booming, new museums have opened up and old ones have been renewed, and the Auditorium has opened to great anticipation. Although Rome hasn’t reinvigorated the days of la dolce vita, but it’s on it’s way to times and feelings that surpass those of long ago.

Rome, tourist

And, speaking of citizens, pride makes up most of the character of the Roman people: Romans are first and foremost Roman and only then Italian. They live life like it is to be conquered and loved. They enjoy life, their history, and their culture.

In a country of natural and architectural beauty, Rome remains the one place that everyone gets overwhelming feelings for. There is no other city that you can see so much culture and pleasantry in such a short space of time and still not see all that it has to offer. For over 2,500 years, from the time when it was a caput mundi (center of the world ) to the present day, Rome has become an unparalleled archaeological and anthropological jewel of Western culture.

From the sculptures of Bernini, to the art of Michelangelo, to the Patheon churches, and the Villa Borghese gardens, the Piazza Navona, and the list goes on and on…Rome is all this and so much more. Everything is out for all to see and has been here waiting for everyone for hundreds of years. It’s will be here for hundreds more for future generations to see.

When you visit Rome, you will want to stay where the hotel owners immerse you in the culture of their city. So, you will want to look for hotels with three stars and above. If you are looking for a luxury hotel then you may be interested in J. K. Place Roma, which has been ranked #1 by U.S. News. It’s located in the fashion district and has a decor filled with designer touched by Michele Bönan. But, if you are looking for a more homey feel, then you may be interested in Pam Gallery Hotel. Choosing a hotel will be based on your budget and the feeling that you want to have after a long day of sightseeing.