Las Fallas - The spirit of the Spanish fiesta
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Las Fallas - The spirit of the Spanish fiesta

  Through the syncopated drumming of deafening firecrackers in the Plaza Ayutamiento, standing shoulder to shoulder in the thick crowd of excited Valencians and smoke, I was immersed in the spirit of The Spanish fiesta.    On March 14th, I went to experience 6 days one of the most rich, sensational and luscious festivals that I have ever attended: Las Fallas. Erected in the coastal city of Valencia, home of the famous dish “Paella”, Las Fallas, has been quietly attracting thousands of visitors for generations. This flamboyant Spanish fiesta had it all: with large scale art pieces scattered throughout the city, traditional costumes, street ...

Herring Festival in Dieppe
Monday, November 17, 2014
Las Fallas - The spirit of the Spanish fiesta

A mere 2.5 hours away from Paris, the quiet little port city of Dieppe often goes unnoticed by most travelers; however this quiet little city comes to life time to time to reveal its true Normandy flavor and French hospitality. The annual Herring Festival this past weekend was no exception as the local Dieppoise fishermen celebrated their freshest catch along the lovely renovated boardwalk in Dieppe. As a Canadian I had come across the city Dieppe when speaking about our history. Thousands of brave Canadian soldiers disembarked and were lost on the beaches of Dieppe during a failed attack against the German occupation during WW2. Till this day the locals are quite fond and sympathetic ...

The Bombing of Master Han Dan!
Friday, March 07, 2014
Las Fallas - The spirit of the Spanish fiesta

After our captivating lantern festival experience in Pinxi, we thought our Taiwanese celebrations were over but a week later in Taitung, we randomly stumbled upon one of the weirdest festivals I have ever seen called “The bombing of master Han Dan”.The Chinese lunar calendar new year is the most important event in Taiwan and can be celebrated slightly different in each region. The holiday last starts on the last day of a lunar calendar year and goes on for 15 days. On the 15th day, different regions have their own special way of celebrating this occasion. In many places in the north, such as Pinxi and Zhongxin honour the special day by releasing thousands of beautiful lanterns ...

Fire in the sky - The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival
Monday, February 10, 2014
Las Fallas - The spirit of the Spanish fiesta

Nestled in a lush cozy valley south east of Taipei, Pingxi a once forgotten coal mining town, is literally glowing with life. The thousands of rejoicing visitors are all here to be one of the lucky witnesses of what has become one of the most attractive celebrations in Taiwan. We were lucky enough to get a free lantern for one of the group releases at 7:00pm. The lanterns this year were being released in smaller groups because of a fire hazard from previous years. 10 waves of 200 lanterns each is still going to be impressive considering I have never even seen a sky lantern before.We pulled ourselves out of bed early this cold and damp morning to catch a metro and bus into Pingxi. AG was ...

Looking into the eyes of an Orangutan
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Las Fallas - The spirit of the Spanish fiesta

It only took one gaze from him, to dispel the unbearable discomfort from my sweat drenched shirt and throbbing mosquito bites. In the eyes of one of the last remanding great ancestors of our species, I saw a reflection of  intelligence, vitality, and existence. It took us 4 hours puttering up the Sekonyer river on our Klotok, a traditional Indonesian river boat to get us to our first orangutan viewing spot . We docked our temporary floating home at Tanjung Harapan, one of three orangutan rehabilitation camps in Tanjung Puting National Park. Feeding time for the furry residents at this camp was at 14:00 . I waited impatiently. Eager to catch our first glimpse of our first Orangutan we ...