Paragliding in El Hierro

I don´t really know El Hierro but looking at it from above it is beautiful

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‘Pure’ flamenco in Seville

I love flamenco, so when I saw the following article from  Lonely Planet I wanted to share. Because I had been to one of the venues that is mentioned in Seville I have only copied that part.

Performers at Seville’s Casa de la Guitarra. Image by Casa de la Guitarra

The audience in Seville’s Casa de la Guitarra is crammed in like a football crowd at a Barcelona-Real Madrid game, but it doesn’t seem to matter. All eyes are on the stage where the singer, dancer and guitarist have fused to create a wall of emotion so intense you could practically light a cigarette with it.

Shoes clack, the guitarist’s hand disappears in a blur of strumming, the singer lets loose a long agonising wail; and then suddenly it’s over and all you’re left with is the faint echo of the final chord and the feeling that something profound has transpired.

Most cultural centres are run by respected flamencologists (experts in flamenco). Seville’s Casa de la Guitarra ), which opened in 2012, was founded by José Luís Postigo, a celebrated flamenco guitarist who regularly books Andalucía’s best performers and has set his club up like a mini-museum with glass display cases filled with antique guitars. Nearby and in the same vein is the diminutive family-operated, Auditorio Alvarez Quintero  close to Seville’s famous cathedral. The Casa del Flamenco) in Seville’s medieval Santa Cruz quarter was recently put under new management and is encased in a beautiful 15th century house full of decorative tiles and shifting shadows. A few streets away, lies the Museo del Baile Flamenco   a flamenco museum owned by renowned Seville dancer Cristina Hoyos, which doubles up as a flamenco school and venue for nightly shows.

Quiz an aficionado, however, and they might say that Seville’s best flamenco venue is the Casa de la Memoria which relocated in November 2012 to El Centro where it has added an exposition centre to complement its twice nightly shows. Located over two floors in the former stables of the adjacent Palacio de Lebrija, the centre utilises some of the top performers in Spain. Witness guitarists who play like they’ve got three hands or vocalists who sing as if their hearts have been broken minutes before arriving on stage.

Although Seville is at the centre of Andalucía’s rekindled interest in ‘pure’ flamenco, the trend has been echoed in other cities.

You can read the full article by clicking the link at the top of the page, but This is where I went in Seville

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Inspiration – Tenerife

This is a short video about Philip Kümpel. We met in Tenerife during his 3 weeks trip to relax from work and get some time on the water. Here is a few words from Philip: “I am windsurfer and film composer. Windsurfing is my source of inspiration. Windsurfing is not just a sport, it is much more. There are 1,000 sensory impressions, the colors of the sea, the colors of light, the waves with their own rhythm, the sound of the wind….this gives me Inspiration.”

Music by Philip Kümpel
Camera & edit by Bartek Jankowski (bj-productions.com)

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Places you’ve been mispronouncing.

I had to laugh as this article was published by Americans teaching the rest of us how to pronounce place names, but still there are a couple that I didn´t know.  

As I am currently in the USA at the moment this article in NY Post might come in handy.  

It’s bad enough looking like a tourist, but even worse when you open your mouth and totally butcher the name of the place.  And we’re not just talking trip-up-your-tongue foreign destinations, either — plenty are right here in the good old US of A. But not to worry, we’ll help spare you any such embarrassment with this primer to pronouncing places just like a local.

Now you’ll fit in just swell . . . as long as you leave the white sneakers at home.

Detroit, Mich.

Motor City, baby, is pronounced dih-TROYT, not DEE-troyt. And if you’re heading to the upper peninsula for vacation, Mackinac Island is mack-eh-NAW not mack-in-ACK.

Des Plaines, Ill.

This west Chicago suburb is pronounced as it’s spelled: dess plainz. (Des Moines, day moyne, is next door in Iowa.) And the state is il-uh-NOY: An easy way to remember it, there’s no noise in Illinois.

Concord, N.H. vs. Concord, Mass.

Same spelling, two different pronunciations: The capital of New Hampshire is CON-chord. The historic town in neighboring Massachusetts is conk-ERD, like conquered — though if you really want to sound like a local, it’s more like conk-AWD.

Worcester, Peabody, Scituate and Woburn — Mass.

Speaking of Massachusetts, the state seems to have cornered the market on oddly pronounced towns — so much so that there’s even a website to help you out with the endless list.

Here are just a handful:

For Worcester, you have several options: woos-ter, woos-tah or wiss-tah. What’s a no-no: war-chest-er or war-ses-ter.
Peabody: pee-buh-dee, not pee-body — and say it as fast and as close to a single syllable as you can.
Scituate: sit-choo-it
Quincy: quin-zee, not quin-see
Woburn: woo-bin, not woe-burn

Norfolk, Va.

Home to the world’s largest naval base, the city is pronounced NOR-fok or NAW-foknot nor-FOLK. And while we’re talking Virginia cities, Staunton is STAN-tun and Gloucester is GLAW-ster.

Nevada

It’s ne-VAD-ah, not ne-VAH-duh. Yet another thing Brian Williams got wrong.

Oregon

Another state people always mispronounce. It’s OR-eh-gun, not or-eh-GONE. If there’s not a “Portlandia” skit about this yet, there should be.

New Orleans, La.

OK, so there are as many ways to pronounce this city as there are women flashing themselves on Bourbon Street, but never ever refer to it as NAW-lins. Why? Because only tourists chugging Sazeracs in the French Quarter say it that way. Ditto New OR-lee-inz. Try: New or-LINZ or New or-LEENZ.

Kissimmee, Islamorada and Boca Raton — Florida

It’s kih-SIM-ee, not KISS-eh-mee (cause you might get slapped for being too forward).
Down in the keys, it’s EYE-la-more-ah-dah; though you may be tempted to pronounce it in a Spanish fashion, EESLA-more-ah-da, it’s wrong.
And though the first half’s easy — Boca — the second might trip you up: it’s rah-TONE not rah-TUN.

Now go order the early bird special.

San Pedro, San Rafael, La Jolla — California

Some towns you gotta forget about the Spanish you learned: It’s san PEE-dro not san pay-dro and san rah-FELL not san RAH-FA-el. Except when that Spanish would be helpful: La Jolla is la hoy-yah.

Boerne, Bowie, Buda and Burnet — Texas

Everything’s bigger in Texas — and harder to pronounce, too. It’s BER-neeBOO-eeBYOO-duh and BER-net. And those are just the B’s!

Cartagena, Colombia

Do you see a tilde (~) over that “n” in Cartegena? No? That’s right, so don’t pronounce it like “mañana.” It’s simply kahr-tah-hey-NAH. And we’re talking about the South American country here, not Columbia, SC, or the District of Columbia, which, if you’ll note, is spelled — and thus pronounced — differently. Notice that second “o” in Colombia? That means it’s co-LOM-bee-ah not co-LUM-bee-ah.

Nicaragua

Nic-ah-ra-GOO-ah not nih-kuh-rah-GWUH.

Now let’s take a look at some of those tricky Caribbean islands . . .

Antigua: an-tee-GAH, not an-tee-gwah
Anguilla: an-gwil-ah (like vanilla) not an-gwee-lah
Curaçao: cur-ah-sow (ç makes an “ess” sound)
Nevis: nee-vis
St. Lucia: saint loo-shuh not loo-see-ah

Cappadocia, Turkey

Both acceptable: kap-ah-DOK-yah or kap-ah-doe-KEE-ah, but not kap-ah-doe-CHEE-ah.

Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns — Australia

It’s mel-buhne, not mel-born; briz-bin not briss-bane; and though hotly debated, most pronounce Cairns cans or kenz (just don’t drop an “r” in there).

Edinburgh, Scotland

Ed-in-burrah, not ed-in-bore-oh — or, God forbid, ed-in-burg.

Birmingham, Leicester, Berkshire — UK

It’s bur-ming-EM (not bur-ming-HAM), less-ter not lee-sess-ter, and BARK-sure not berk-shy-er.

Berlin, Germany

The German capital is pronounced bear-LIN or bear-LEEN.

Capri, Italy

Don’t say it like those silly, ankle-exposing pants. It’s pronounced CAH-pree.

Reims, Cannes, Aix, Cahors, Rennes — France

Ranse; cann or kenn (throw in an extra “n”); ex; kah-or; ren.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Home to green dragons, the Slovenian capital is Lyoo-BLEE-AH-nah.

Qatar

Could be kuh-TAR; others say KUH-tar or cutter. “60 Minutes” even did a segment about it — which still doesn’t clear it up.

Maldives

Mawl-deevz or mol-deevz.

Reykjavik, Iceland

REY-kyah-vik not RAKE-ah-vik.

Wisconsin

We end with Wisconsin, because it’s the only place that has a dedicated website — complete with audio — to help you pronounce the state’s 190 cities, 400 villages, 1,260 towns and more — including all these tongue-tanglers: Kaukauna, Ashwaubenon, Mukwonago and Weyauwega.

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The Mountain – Tenerife

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7 ways to holiday like a local in Tenerife

Leave the crowded beaches behind and see another side to Tenerife and holiday like a local. If you’re looking for something beyond Tenerife’s nightclubs and water parks, it’s time to discover what else the island has to offer.

Brits flock to Tenerife both in summer and in low season. The popular holiday destination is best known for its touristy resorts such as Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos, but there’s another side to the Canary island – which is where Tenerife locals go on holiday themselves. So take a peek at the secret side of the island and see just what you might be missing out on. Here is our guide on how to holiday like a local in Tenerife.

1. Go hiking

Tenerife is full of varied hiking and rambling trails, ranging from leisurely coastal walks which only take a couple of hours to complete to challenging mountain treks that take several days to follow. If you’re a hiking novice, the Sendero de los Sentidos (Path of the Senses) in the Anaga Rural Park is a great place to start. This route is made up of three 10-40 minute walks which guide you through the lush, laurel forests of the park to discover the fresh smells, earthy colours and magical sounds that hide within.

2. Explore the Lava Tubes

Whilst Mount Teide takes centre stage when it comes to attractions in Tenerife, the Cueva del Viento (Cave of the Wind) in Icod de los Vinos is equally as impressive. This lava tube is the longest in the EU and the fourth longest in the world, stretching over 17km across three levels. Multilingual guided tours take place several times each day, giving you the chance to study the cave’s bizarre lava formations, ancient fossils and volcanic stalactites.

3. Tour a vineyard

With an impressive number of award-winning wines produced in Tenerife, it’s no wonder locals love their vino. If you’d like see what all the fuss is about, sign up for a guided tour at one of the many vineyards on the island, such as the Cooperativa Cumbres de Abona in Arico and Bodega Cueva del Rey in Garachico. The multilingual tours end in generously-portioned wine tastings which are often accompanied with samples of local bread, jams and cheese.

4. Join in with a fiesta

With 14 public holidays and fiestas each year, it’s almost impossible to visit Tenerife when there isn’t a party being thrown. Whilst the biggest fiesta of the year is the annual Santa Cruz carnival in February, there are plenty of smaller fiestas held in various towns and villages throughout the year. Even if you feel you stick out like a sore thumb, the free-flowing drinks, never-ending supply of local food, pounding live music, energetic dancing and friendly party atmosphere will soon get the better of you and you’ll fit in with the locals just fine.

5. Dine on tapas

Although tapas don’t originate in the Canary Islands, they’re one of the most popular local ways to dine out in Tenerife. Most Canarian restaurants on the island serve up their own unique variation of tapas, which means that even if you order the exact same dish from two restaurants, they’ll taste and look different. Papas arrugadas con mojo (salty boiled potatoes with sauce) is the most popular tapas dish, but for something less touristy, try chopitos (tiny whole squid deep-fried) or carne fiesta (spicy pork cooked with herbs and wine).

6. Relax on a secluded beach

Locals generally avoid the over-crowded beaches of the south in favour of more secluded bays, such as Playa Bollullo and the coves around La Tejita. During the summer months, even these beaches can get packed, but because they’re full of Canarians, you get a completely different atmosphere to the beaches in the tourist resorts. With a beachside bar serving ice cold beer, locals playing guitars and salsa-style dancing, a day at a secluded beach can easily turn into a full-blown fiesta.

7. Try stand up paddle boarding

Paddle boarding is the latest water sport to make its mark on the Tenerife sports scene and it’s hugely popular amongst locals. The sport involves standing on a large flat surf board and using a long oar to paddle around – sounds simple enough until you take into consideration the waves which can appear out of nowhere. For a calm experience, try stand up paddle boarding in Los Cristianos, or for something more rough and challenging, you can’t beat El Médano.

The above written by blogger Nicola Quinn was first published by Skyscanner

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Weather 24th May 2015,

 This might not be quite what you are expecting but following the comments on this blog, plus a post and lots of private messages on Tripadvisor I thought I should at least let you guys know what the weather is doing……

This morning is fine, a bit overcast but hot and humid. Yesterday it rained, not heavy but that stuff that soaks through your clothes and makes you feel cold. We would have happily put up with that as we were due to take a helicopter down the Grand Canyon but the company were also expected lightning so all flights for the day were cancelled. We are heading for Vegas today so maybe able to pick up a flight from there unless we lose all our dollars at the slots. 

So as you will have gathered I’m not at home but in California.

Today’s picture is Palm Springs as I haven’t uploaded the recent pics from the camera. It was hot there 90 degrees should anyone be interested…  All in all this weather update is pretty useless for those looking for Tenerife but don´t worry I will be back and get right on track asap.

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