zaterdag 30 mei 2009

Traveling for the MTV Generation

A venerable name in travel is partnering with the network that brought you music videos, "Pimp My Ride" and "Cribs" to produce a new series of trendy guidebooks for young travelers.

"MTV Italy" ($24) and "MTV Ireland" ($22) are the first books in the series from Frommer's, an imprint of New Jersey-based Wiley Publishing.

"MTV Europe" ($25) is due out in early December. Guides to Spain, France, England, American road trips and Mexico's beach resorts will be published in 2007.

The publisher says the books will lead readers "to some of the world's hottest party scenes and outdoor adventures" while also listing traditional museums and world-class attractions.

The MTV series is ideal for inexperienced travelers who need basic advice, especially those on a budget. They start out with "Best of" chapters that can help anyone come up with a good itinerary for a trip covering a lot of ground in a short time, combining authentic, offbeat experiences with local must-sees.

But the paperbacks are also filled with easy-to-digest tips on everything from arranging affordable cell phone service overseas, to making sure you have the right converters and adapters for your electronic gear, to explaining that it's hard to find a rental car in Europe with an automatic transmission (most are stick shift). Other advice includes calling your credit card company before you leave the U.S. so that your account isn't frozen because your charges from overseas look suspicious.

The "best of" recommendations in "MTV Italy" include "most awesome ancient ruins" like the Colosseum and Roman Forum, best seen, according to the guide, after dark when the floodlights come on. Best churches, according to "MTV Italy," are St. Peter's Basilica, the Duomo in Florence and St. Mark's Basilica.

The book also recommends the Riviera Romagnola towns of Rimini and Riccione on the Adriatic Coast as anything-goes destinations for serious partying, and Perugia and Bologna as "best college towns." For bars, the Drunken Ship in Rome and the Red Garter in Florence are described as places where "body shots and Power Hour drink specials" will remind you of spring break.

Less wild but also highly recommended bars include Vineria Reggio on Campo de' Fiori in Rome, Rock Castle in Perugia, Corto Maltese in Bologna and Bar Magenta in Milan. Best hostels in "MTV Italy" include Archi Rossi in Florence, The Beehive and Colors in Rome, and Hostel of the Sun in Naples.

Recommendations from "MTV Europe" include the continent's hottest nightclubs and bars, from London's celebrity-studded Boujis to Munich's retro Atomik Cafe to the Kulimnator in Antwerp, Belgium, where you can choose from 700 types of beer.

A chapter on Lisbon, Portugal, compares the city's Avenida da Liberdade, "with its marvelous mosaic walkways and rows of high-end shops," to the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Lisbon listings also include the Lisbon Lounge Hostel, described as "one of Europe's funkiest hostels" with an "irresistible lounge ... for hanging out"; Bom Apetite, a small, no-frills restaurant recommended for cheap eats; and Cafe A Brasileira do Chiado, where stopping in for tea or coffee is a local tradition.

Top Destinations : Quito

If you've been to Quito, Ecuador, there's a good chance you were heading to the Galápagos. But Quito, the colonial capital perched 9,200 feet up in the Andes, is no longer just a whistle stop. The city's crumbling historic center, one of Latin America's least altered, has been reborn after a seven-year, $200 million renovation. And a crop of upscale hotels has arrived, including a JW Marriott, making Quito a glorious new center in the so-called Middle of the World.

Info about Quito can be found in Wikipedia

vrijdag 29 mei 2009

BeWelcome in Caracas - Part 2

Second excerpt from a travel guide written by Vicky Baker for the Guardian. She is staying with some members of a new travel network called BeWelcome.

However, while lacking organised tourism, Caracas is anything but dull. Having a contact like Pierre helps me go beyond bar-room discussions and see how one of the world's most controversial leaders, Hugo Chavez, is impacting on day-to-day life in the barrios. It may only be one side of a highly polarised city, but it's undoubtedly the one most of us are interested in.

On my first night in town, I find myself pulling up a chair among the San Augustin locals at their weekly Consejo Comunal meeting, one of Chavez's initiatives to get communities actively managing their own development. It's a small group of no more than 10 (plus Pierre and a university friend), but all are engrossed in discussions about setting up markets to sell food straight from farms to combat inflation.

Pierre's connection with San Augustin stems from a research trip for a university project. After getting to know the locals and becoming inspired by "the revolution", he has stuck around, becoming heavily involved in plans to renovate the area's old theatre, Casa Cultural de Alameda.

Privately owned but abandoned since the 1960s, the theatre was taken over by the community in 2004 and has been transformed into a public arts centre. Although still in desperate need of repair, and with limited electric lighting, it is already being used for art exhibitions, music lessons and the weekly Consejo Comunal meetings. When Pierre and I return on a Friday afternoon, local volunteers are busy repairing tiled mosaics on the art-deco-inspired frontage, while the sound of an upstairs salsa rehearsal enlivens the street below

Broken Wing - the Nits

One of my favourite travel songs is Broken Wing by the Dutch group The Nits. The lyrics remind me of a trip I took to Turku and Helsinki, and it is nice to think that we all have a guardian angel who travels with us. I can assure you that my guardian angel has saved my ass on numerous occassions.


donderdag 28 mei 2009

Bewelcome in Caracas - Creating a new network

Vicky Baker is on her way through South America, putting different Hospitality Exchange and Travel networks to the test.

Today we publish the last excerpt of her stay with Felicita and Pierre in Caracas, Venezuela.

Back in Pierre's towerblock apartment, we cook up some cheap student fare - plantain chips and pumpkin soup. The place is not unlike any student flat the world over, with its mishmash of furniture, piles of washing-up, brightly painted walls and the odd political poster, plus budget artistic touches such as the seashells that hang from the bathroom ceiling. The place houses far more people than the four bedrooms would imply, but, like Pierre, all are easy-going and no one bats an eyelid at having a stranger stay for almost a week.

Pierre is a true believer in hospitality tourism and claims to have opened his home to "hundreds and hundreds" of travellers, both here and in France. He was once an active volunteer for hospitalityclub, devoting around 10 hours a week to administrative tasks. However, in 2005, after a disagreement with the site's German founder, Pierre and fellow volunteers decided to launch their own alternative site,

The site went live last year, and has just reached the 3,000-members point. It still has a long way to go if it wants to rival Hospitality Club (with 300,000 plus), but Pierre insists they would rather take their time to build up the right sort of membership. The aim is to open up the project to people from all social backgrounds, people like Felicia. "I know I can offer tourists a new experience, and they can offer me one too," she tells me, as we share a few beers with her neighbours in her front room.

My first experience with certainly does what it says on the tin, with Pierre and Felicia making me feel quite at home. Will my next host show me a different side of Venezuelan life? Javier, from the coastal town of Barcelona, is just back from a 10-month travel-networking trip around Europe, so is sure to have some stories.

Top tourist attractions at Corcovado, Brasil

Corcovado in South America is known for its natural parks which comprise of various species of wildlife and vegetation. The hills of Corcovado are situated in the middle of the city of Rio de Janerio. The place is an ideal retreat for tourists. One can practice various adventure or water sports here or explore the nature of this Brazilian region. The hills are abode to various types of wild life.

One can easily visit Corcovado at Brazil as it has a very well developed network of transport system. One can take a flight to Drake Bay or Palmar Sur and from there use the other local modes of transport to reach this hilly region in the center of Rio de Janerio.

Tourist Attractions at Corcovado
Corcovado in Brazil is a very popular tourist destination. One must check out the statue of Jesus Christ with arms open that blesses the whole city of Rio de Janerio. The other significant sightseeing venues at Corcovado are listed below:

- Drake Bay
- Corcovado National Park
- Las Caletas
- Rio Claro
- Cano Island Biological Reserve

One can also go out on tours of sea kayaking, scuba diving, horseback riding, birdwatching, amazing mangroves, beaches, carnivals and many other places at Corcovado of Brazil.

woensdag 27 mei 2009

A short introduction to Disney World

Everybody knows about the Wonderful World of Disney. Here are some travel tips to help you decide which theme park is perfect for you.

Walt Disney World Parks include theme parks such as Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom Park. Water Parks include Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. In Magicland, there's Adventureland where there's Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Swiss Family, Treehouse, Enchanted Tiki, Shrunken Ned's, Junior Jungle Boats and Magic Carpets of Aladdin. There are many magical Disney Resorts around the globe.

Disneyworld is a place where storybook fantasy comes to life for children of all ages. At Magic Kingdom, the big thrills include Splash Mountain. Sports and Recreation includes Frontierland Shooting Arcade. Fun For Little Ones includes Monsters Inc. Comedy Club, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Donald's Boat, Peter Pan's Flight etc. Other attractions at Walt Disney World are Cindrella Castle, Jungle Cruise, The Haunted Mansion, Tom Sawyer Island, Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress. The Mild But Wild Thrills include Astro Orbiter, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Mad Tea Party, Snow White's Scary Advetures etc.

At Epcot, there are Big Thrills like Mission: SPACE, Test Track etc. Fun For Little Ones includes visit to The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Journey Into Imagination With Figment, Kidcot Fun Stops, The Living Seas etc. Mild But Wild Thrills include "Honey, I Shrunk The Audience", Maelstrom and Body Wars. Other attractions include Circle of Life, EL Rio del Tiempo, Ellen's Energy Adventure, Living With the Land etc.

Disney MGM Studios has Big Thrills like Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith and Star Tours - the ultimate Star Wars thrill ride. Live Entertainment includes Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show etc. Mild But Wild Thrills include Disney-MGM Studios Backlot Tour. Other Attractions include ATAS Hall of Fame Plaza, Muppet Vision 3-D and The Magic of Disney Animation.

Disney Animal Kingdom attractions include Animal Encounters such as Affection Section, Conservation Station, Maharajah Jungle Trek, The Oasis Exhibits etc. Mild But Wild Thrills include Kilimanjaro Safaris, Primeval Whirl and Kali River Rapids. Big Thrills includes Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. Mild But Wild Thrills include It's Tough to be a Bug, Kali River Rapids, Primeval Whirl etc.

Water Parks such as Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon have loads of adventure in store for everybody.

Traveling with Teenagers

It's always important to take care of your health, whether you're at home or on the road, but there are some additional concerns that are important to keep in mind when you're traveling.

Whether you're taking a trip with your family or plan to live abroad for several months for a study program, it's easier to get sick when you're in a new place because your body hasn't had a chance to adjust to the food, water, and air in a new environment. Traveling can bring you in contact with things that your body isn't used to. Continue reading for tips on keeping your travel experience as healthy as possible.

Don't Take a Vacation From Health
The stress and excitement of travel can make you more likely to get sick, but if you follow a few simple tips, you're more likely to stay healthy throughout your trip - and your trip will definitely be more enjoyable. The good news is that as a teen, your immune system is as strong as an adult's, but lack of sleep and a poor diet can make it easier for you to become sick.

The first thing you should do if you're heading overseas is to find out what kinds of vaccinations you'll need in advance because different countries have different requirements. In the United States, contact your doctor or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a list of necessary vaccinations. You'll want to allow plenty of time for this step in case you need to get vaccines that require more than one dose.

dinsdag 26 mei 2009

Things to do in Bruges

One of the highlights of a trip to Bruges, Belgium is climbing the 366 steps of the Belfort. For the price of an admission ticket (€5) you get a healthy gym exercise and a beautiful view. The Belfort was built on the site of an older wooden structure that burned to the ground. It used to have a wooden spire at the top, but this too was destroyed by flames after being hit by lightning.

You can find the tower on the main square in the middle of the city, and it offers sweeping views of distant church spires and red-tiled rooftops. the 366 stone steps were carved in 1282. Fortunately you can catch your breath in a room that once contained the town's treasures.

Visiting the Royal and Grand Palace in Bangkok

Grand Palace is a must see for tourists planning Bangkok tour this year. Grand Palace, Bangkok was built in 1783. The approximate area occupied by the Grand Palace is about 218,400 sq meter. The palace is surrounded by walls.

Tourists once in the Grand Palace, Bangkok will love to see the Chapel Royal of Emerald Buddha built inside the complex. There are other governmental offices and residences of royal families are located here. This palace of Bangkok was built by the then ruler Rama I. The ruler shifted his administrative center once he became the ruler of the land.

Rama I took initiatives to build many monasteries, forts and monuments, he moved to build a palace. Rama I built this palace so that it can house his offices besides being his residential quarter. Later this architectural splendor was called Grand Palace.

Grand Palace, Bangkok has become a favorite tourist destination. They can have a great Grand Palace View from a distance. Functions and ceremonies are held in this palace. The palace is not anymore used by the royal families in Bangkok. There is a reception room inside the Grand Palace. Tourists can visit this hall. It is very spacious and is built in European style.

maandag 25 mei 2009

Visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

Anne Frank House Amsterdam commemorates the torture and extermination of the Jews by the Nazi army during the second World War. Anne Frank was a teenage Jew girl, who had put down in her diary, the detailed accounts of life in hiding and the incidents in and around Amsterdam. This diary was later discovered by a helper of the Frank house, Miep Gies. After the conclusion of the war this book was published for the first time in the year 1947 in Dutch edition. Anne frank died of Typhus when she was taken to the concentration camp and so did her sister Margot.

Henceforth, there diary has been published in over fifty five different languages. The house has now been transformed to museum. The original diary by Anne Frank ha been put up for public viewing. Among the other things, there are video clips and pictures of war and the aftermath of the World War II.

The Frank family, comprising Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank, and his two daughters hid in this house for over two years. Their hiding place was the uppermost floor of the annexe of the house. The front part was formerly the office of Otto Frank. During the period of hiding they were joined by Mr. and Mrs Daan, Peter and Mr. Dussel. They were supplied by daily needs by a guard before being betrayed and sent off to meet their respective fates. Otto Frank alone survived the war.

The Anne Frank's House in Amsterdam is open for public viewing but those with walking problem are warned of the steep staircase. Also, visitors to the Anne Frank House are not allowed to photograph of the interiors of the house cum museum.

Adieu Sweet Bahnhof

Another great travel song from the Nits. It reminds me of all those trips i took with my InterRail pass.


zondag 24 mei 2009

A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is to hitchhikers what Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is to bikers. Ok, maybe that is a bit exaggerated, but both books/series/movies have an amazing cult following. But what is A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy exactly, and does it really cover all star systems in the Universe? And what is the Meaning of Life?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy series created by Douglas Adams. Originally a radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978, it was later adapted to other formats, and over several years it gradually became an international multi-media phenomenon.
The title The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is often abbreviated "HHGTTG" (as used on fan websites) or "H2G2" (first used by Neil Gaiman as a chapter title in Don't Panic and later by the online guide run by the BBC). The series is also often referred to as "The Hitchhiker's Guide", "Hitchhiker's", or simply "[The] Guide". This title can refer to any of the various incarnations of the story of which the books are the most widely distributed, having been translated into more than 30 languages by 2005.[4] The title can also refer to the fictional guidebook The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, an eccentric electronic encyclopedia prominently featured in the series.

The various versions follow the same basic plot, but they are in many places mutually contradictory, as Adams rewrote the story substantially for each new adaptation. In all versions, the series follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, a hapless Englishman who, with his friend Ford Prefect, an alien from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and researcher for the eponymous guidebook, escapes the demolition of Earth by a bureaucratic alien race called the Vogons.

Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ford's semi-cousin and the Galactic President, unknowingly saves the pair from certain death. He brings them aboard his stolen spaceship, the Heart of Gold, whose crew rounds out the main cast of characters: Marvin, the Paranoid Android, a depressed robot, and Trillian, formerly known as Tricia McMillan, a woman Arthur once met at a party who he soon realises is the only other survivor of Earth's destruction. After this, the characters embark on a quest to find the legendary planet of Magrathea and the Question to the Ultimate Answer.

In Wikipedia you can find everything you always wanted to know about HHGTTG (and much more that you probably didn't want to know). Any self-respecting hitchhiker should at least check it out.

Berlin Beach Camp 2008


The 4th BERLIN BEACHCAMP will happen from May 8th - 12th 2008 at its traditional
location "Strandbad Gruenau" (Sportpromenade 9, 12527 Berlin).

The Beachcamp is a gathering of Hospitality Exchange members, and one of the biggest events on the calendar.

This time we even can stay longer at the beach, if we want: The official end of the camp is Monday, May 12th, but if there is a minimum of 100 people, who want to stay a few days longer, there would be no problem (as long as we can pay the costs for an extra rescue-swimmer and other expenses).

You will find more informations at the following links:

BeWelcome Forum


zaterdag 23 mei 2009

How can you visit the White House?

White House Tours
Public tours of the White House are available for groups of 10 or more people. Requests must be submitted through one's Member of Congress and are accepted up to six months in advance. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (excluding federal holidays), and are scheduled on a first come, first served basis approximately one month in advance of the requested date. We encourage you to submit your request as early as possible since a limited number of tours are available. All White House tours are free of charge. For the most current tour information, please call the 24-hour line at 202-456-7041. Please note that White House tours may be subject to last minute cancellation.

For two hundred years, the White House has stood as a symbol of the Presidency, the United States government, and the American people. Construction began when the first cornerstone was laid in October of 1792. Although President Washington oversaw the construction of the house, he never lived in it. It was not until 1800, when the White House was nearly completed, that its first residents, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved in. Since that time, each President has made his own changes and additions. The White House is, after all, the President's private home. It is also the only private residence of a head of state that is open to the public, free of charge.

The White House has a unique and fascinating history. It survived a fire at the hands of the British in 1814 (during the war of 1812) and another fire in the West Wing in 1929, while Herbert Hoover was President. Throughout much of Harry S. Truman's presidency, the interior of the house, with the exception of the third floor, was completely gutted and renovated while the Trumans lived at Blair House, right across Pennsylvania Avenue. Nonetheless, the exterior stone walls are those first put in place when the White House was constructed two centuries ago.

At various times in history, the White House has been known as the "President's Palace," the "President's House," and the "Executive Mansion." President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name in 1901.

Obituary for Bob Luitweiler - founder of SERVAS

Bob Luitweiler, pacifist, war resister, civil-rights and international peace activist, died on April 13, 2008, in Bellingham, Washington, U.S at the age of 89.
Through his passion for peace-building Luitweiler made thousands of people from all parts of the world enjoy hospitality and culture exchange through Servas, a peace organisation he started to build right after WW2. He laid the foundation for fostering peace, understanding and hospitality. Together with Servas BeWelcome will continue to live his ideas and build bridges between people and nations.

Watch a movie about the live work of Bob Luitweiler
Read a news article reflecting his achievements

Servas Open Doors is an international, non-governmental, interracial peace association running in over 125 countries by volunteers. Founded in 1949 by Bob Luitweiler and his friends as a peace movement, Servas International is a non-profit worldwide cooperative cultural exchange network bringing people together to build understanding, tolerance, mutual-respect, and world peace. It works toward world peace by encouraging individual person-to-person contacts.

Servas means "serve", in the sense of "we serve peace", in the language Esperanto. The organization was originally called Peacebuilders.

It operates through a network of Servas hosts around the world who are interested in opening their doors to travelers, and, 'on the other side of the coin', many open-minded travelers who want to get to know the heart of the countries they visit. Travelers and hosts may be interviewed annually according to branch (Member Country) practice; travelers write a letter of introduction annually, as well.

Servas International has consultative status as a non-governmental organization with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, currently with representation at many of the UN's hubs of activity.

There are over 20,000 Servas 'open doors' scattered throughout almost every country in the world.

vrijdag 22 mei 2009

Table Mountain, Kaapstad, South Africa

Table Mountain is Cape Town's most famous landmark and one of the city's greatest attractions and the reason for its popularuty can be understood by seeing the above table mountain picture . There are over 100 scenic ways to climb Table Mountain , which stands at 1086 metres above sea level, but most people take the revolving cable car which whisks you to the top in a just a few minutes. The views in all directions are magnificent and the feeling of being on top of the world is what makes this such a popular destination and this Table Mountain is named so because it is a flat topped mountain with the first person who reach Table Mountain cape town was Antonio de Saldanha in 1503.

The mountain is sculpted from sandstone and it elevation 1086 metres above the bay which you can also see in the table mountain picture . Its flat summit measures nearly 3km from end to end. The Table Mountain cape town is home to approximately 1470 species of plants. Included is the rare silver Tree and the wild orchid Disa Uniflora.

The Cableway was opened in 1929 and provides safe access to Table Mountain cape town even more interesting. It is not advisable to climb the mountain without someone experienced who knows the route well. There are some 350 recognised paths to the summit, some undemanding and some extremely difficult.

Best Beaches in Brazil - Morro de Sao Paulo

Morro de Sao Paulo: This Brazilian beach is tucked away on the Tinhare Island, an hour and a half off the coast of Salvador, Bahia - home to spectacular beaches in its own right. Morro de Sao Paulo consists of not one, but four beaches, each with its own personality. And the most fun part about Morro de Sao Paulo beach is the famous zip line that takes you from one of the morros or hills, right down to the beach!

donderdag 21 mei 2009

Recipe from Italy: Parmesan Chicken

Here is a healthy quick dinner. Low calorie and short cooking time. Great meal to make when you get home during the week.

Dijon mustard, apple juice, Parmesan cheese and garlic form a crispy and delicious coating on chicken breasts in this easy recipe. Make sure you use soft fresh bread crumbs, not the dry crumbs out of the can. If you use the dry crumbs you will have way too much for the recipe.


1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup apple juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh soft bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves


Line a 13x9" pan with foil and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In shallow pan, mix mustard, apple juice, and garlic. In other pan, mix the crumbs, cheese, parsley, melted butter, salt, pepper, and parsley flakes.

Coat chicken in the mustard mixture, then roll it in the crumb mixture until thoroughly coated. Place the chicken in prepared pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Serves 8

Note: You have to use soft fresh bread crumbs for this recipe; bread crumbs you make yourself by crumbling or processing fresh bread. Do NOT use the dried bread crumbs you buy in the supermarket; you'll have way too much left over.

How Safe are Travel Networking Sites

I read an article today which questions the safety of so-called Hospitality Exchange websites (or Travel networking sites as they are also sometimes called).

As a member of one of those communities (BeWelcome) I was surprised to read about the negative image this article tries to paint. Of course safety is an important concern, but I have the feeling this article is written from the viewpoint of the Hotel Industry.

Maybe they have forgotten that more people get robbed in hotels than they do when staying with friends. I have hosted hundreds of people, have stayed with dozens as well, and never did I have any problems. The only time I got robbed was....when staying in a hotel in Bremen.

In we are working on a verification tool which will make it possible for members to verify themselves (without costs, unlike Couchsurfing where this will cost you about 25 euro) and still keep a good balance between privacy and safety. If you want to help us implement this, we'd love to hear from you.

Anyway, i've copied the article here below, feel free to make up your own mind.

How Safe Are Travel Networking Sites?

By Laura Bundock
Sky News Reporter

The craze of travel networking sites has hit record levels, but some experts are starting to question how safe they really are.

Backpackers warned to be cautious

Millions of us have signed up to the sites which link up members and allow them to sleep on each other's sofas for free.

But as the trend grows, there is a concern some inexperienced travellers could be at risk.

Charlie McGrath runs Objective Travel, which provides safety courses for would-be globe trotters, "Young backpackers especially who haven't been away much need to be wary and cautious of these sites because you don't really know who you're going to be staying with.

"It's better to stay in somewhere on the commercial market."

Those who do use the sites believe they are the future of travelling. Journalist Vicky Baker is halfway through a three month trip around South America using travel networking.

Tired of following well-trodden tourist trails, she feels they've greatly enhanced her travels, "Before, I was often staying in carbon-copy hostels hanging out with other backpackers, speaking English all the time and never really getting beyond the surface of the country I was in.

"Having local contacts has made it a very different experience."

The websites do have safety systems to protect members. Couchsurfing, one of the biggest sites, lets users leave comments and "vouch" for each other.

It also has a system of personal verification for a small fee.

Other sites like Global Freeloaders and Hospitality Club make members exchange passport numbers.

Trent Collins, from Couchsurfing said its users are advised to use the safety tools, "There have been no major incidents within Couchsurfing and members are encouraged at all times to make sure that they are careful to see that they follow safety protocols to keep it that way."

One signed up, yet unsuccessful member of Couchsurfing is Simon Calder, travel editor of The Independent newspaper.

Despite failing to find anyone willing to put him up in Paris, he feels with common sense the sites offer fantastic opportunities.

"I celebrate the opportunities that the internet confers to bring us closer together, and if only someone would agree either to host me or to sleep on my couch then I'd love to try it in person. So far, no luck.

"Of course there are risks - nothing in life is risk free - but I believe the potential for good far outweighs the dangers."

woensdag 20 mei 2009

The Passenger - Iggy Pop

One of the greatest songs about traveling must be Iggy Pop's The Passenger. The raw energy, the great beat and wonderful lyrics make this a rock song like no other. The simple riff of the Stooges and unique voice of Iggy will never become dull. And whether you are partying or traveling, this song will never let you down.

Go on. Sing "la la la la la.. lala la la, la la la la.. lala la la".
You know you want to...


"The Passenger"

Tarango Zoo, Sydney

Taronga Zoo is the most renowned zoological garden of the Australian country. The Taronga Zoo, Sydney has an enviable location at an elevated plain which overlooks the Harbor Bridge, Sydney Cove and Sydney Harbor Bridge. The zoo has a whole collection of diversified Australian wildlife and many rare species.

The history of the Taronga Zoo dates back to the year 1912 when the government of New South Wales acquired 43 acres of land on the northern part of the harbor. In 1913, the management of this zoo came into the hands of Taronga Zoological Park Trust. The earlier site of the park was located at the Moore Park. About 552 birds, 228 mammals and 64 reptiles were shifted from the Moore Park to the Taronga Zoo. The Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia was however, officially opened on October 7th, 1916.

At present, the Taronga Zoo of Sydney has around 340 species and more than 2600 individual animals. Some of the rare animals at the Taronga Zoo are Australian Lungfish, Green Tree Frog, Asian Brown Tortoise, Tuatara, Elongated Tortoise, Giant Cave Gecko, Veiled Chameleon and Olive Python among many others.

The Taronga Zoo is opened on all days of the year, including the Christmas day from 9.00am to 17.00pm. One can avail the ferry from Circular Quay or take Bus 247 from Wynyard bus station.

dinsdag 19 mei 2009

What is Poverty Pourism or Poorism?

I came across the term "poorism" when looking for articles about alternative ways of traveling. Poverty tourism or poorism is a type of tourism, much akin to slumming, in which tourists travel to less developed places to observe people living in poverty.

Poorism travel tours are popular in places like India, Ethiopia, and even places that have had natural disasters such as hurricanes and tsunamis. After Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana became a big poorism site.

Critics say poorism is likened to a kind of voyeurism, exploiting people less fortunate, snapping pictures and leaving nothing in return. Some poorism tours do use portions of the profits to help out however.

I came across an interesting article by John Lancaster for Smithsonian Magazine. Here is an excerpt :

Next Stop, Squalor
Is poverty tourism "poorism," they call it exploration or exploitation?

By John Lancaster
Smithsonian magazine, March 2007

The Dharavi squatter settlement in Mumbai is often described as the biggest slum in Asia. It sits between two rail lines in the northern part of the city, on a creek that once sustained a thriving fishery. The creek is now a sump of sewage and industrial waste, and the air above Dharavi is foul.

By one estimate, the slum is home to 10,000 small factories, almost all of them illegal and unregulated. The factories provide sustenance of a sort to the million or so people who are thought to live in Dharavi, which at 432 acres is barely half the size of New York City's Central Park. There is no discernible garbage pickup, and only one toilet for every 1,440 people. It is a vision of urban hell.

It is also one of India's newest tourist attractions. Since January of last year, a young British entrepreneur, Christopher Way, and his Indian business partner, Krishna Poojari, have been selling walking tours of Dharavi as if it were Jerusalem's walled city or the byways of Dickens' London. There seems to be a market for this sort of thing: almost every day during the recent December holidays, small groups of foreign travelers, accompanied by Poojari or another guide, tramped through Dharavi's fetid alleys in a stoic quest for...What? Enlightenment? Authenticity? The three-hour excursions are slated for mention in a forthcoming Lonely Planet guide, and they cost about $6.75 a head—more if you want to go to Dharavi by air-conditioned car.

Poverty tourism—sometimes known as "poorism"—did not originate in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). For years, tour operators have been escorting foreign visitors through Rio de Janeiro's infamous favelas, with their drug gangs and ocean views, and the vast townships outside Cape Town and Johannesburg, where tourists are invited to mix with South Africans at one of the illicit beer halls known as shebeens. A nonprofit group in New Delhi charges tourists for guided walks through the railway station, to raise money for the street children who haunt its platforms.

But the Dharavi tours have been especially controversial. In a lengthy report last September, the Indian English-language Times Now television channel attacked them as an exercise in voyeurism and a sleazy bid to "cash in on the Ôpoor-India' image." That report was followed by a panel discussion in which the moderator all but accused Poojari of crimes against humanity. "If you were living in Dharavi, in that slum, would you like a foreign tourist coming and walking all over you?" he sputtered. "This kind of slum tourism, it is a clear invasion of somebody's privacy....You are treating humans like animals." A tourism official on the panel called the tour operators "parasites [who] need to be investigated and put behind bars," and a state lawmaker has threatened to shut them down.

The critics, it seemed, had claimed the moral high ground. But could they hold it?

[to be continued]

Riders on the Storm - The Doors

Riders on the Storm is a great song to listen to when driving in a car. Especially when it is raining. The song creates an atmosphere that truly conveys the feeling of being out in the rain.

The way Ray Manzarek plays those keyboards, the sound effects and especially the moment were Jim Morrison says "there's a killer on the road"...makes you happy you are inside the car and not outside :)

Lyrics Riders on the Storm - the Doors

maandag 18 mei 2009

Armenian Church, Singapore

Armenian Church is one of the greatest attractions in Singapore and is believed to be the oldest one. Standing on the Hill Street it reflects the fine style of colonial architecture. By taking the Hill Street direction from the City Hall MRT Station one can reach this place of interest. George Coleman is the main architect of this church. It is said that the Armenian Church was made in the honor of St Gregory, a well-known monk of 4th century. This old church of Singapore is also referred as a national monument. Basically the Armenian Apostolic Church consists of a dome-shaped roof.

It is also said that this church is the first building to have the electricity connection. Till now one can come across several well-maintained gravestones on the church grounds including the Sarkies brothers and Agnes Joaquim. In the year 1995 this great monument won the URA Architectural Heritage Award.

In the true sense, this church reflects the excellent cultural reserve of Singapore and thus attracts the people from across the world. The Armenian Orthodox Church is indeed one of the greatest work of art and also the pride of the residents of Singapore. So don't miss out to visit this place while you are taking a trip around Singapore.

Things to do in Luxemburg

Things to do in Luxembourg City when you are bored:

- Visit the new Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean

- Go underground in the Bock Casemates

- Walk around town and see Europe's most beautiful balcony, the Chemin de la Corniche

- Pay your respects at the US Military Cemetery (where Patton rests)

- Cycle around Luxembourg, a surprisingly bicycle-friendly city

- Have some great alfresco dining with an unbeatable view at Breedewee

- Enjoy some open-air movie screenings in summer at Cinématèque Municipal

zondag 17 mei 2009

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is a group of massive waterfalls located on the Niagara River on the border between United States and Canada. The American Falls are 1060 feet wide and have a clear drop of only 70 feet. The Canadian Falls are about 2600 feet wide and have a drop of 170 feet.

A ride in the Maid of the Mist Boat. Decked in raingear, standing in the boat you feel the mist slightly spray your face, you hear the rumble of the fall and sense the immense potential power of it.

Niagara Falls (French: les Chutes du Niagara) are massive waterfalls on the Niagara River, straddling the international border separating the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, 75 miles (120 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Falls is composed of two major sections parted by Goat Island: Horseshoe Falls, on the Canadian side of the border and American Falls on the United States side. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls also is located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island. Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly-formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m³) of water fall over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m³) on average. It is the most powerful waterfall in North America.

The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 1800s.

the ABC of Belgian pubs and cafés

Belgium's café (pub/bar) scene is one of its idiosyncratic delights. All cafés serve alcohol and are open from around 10 am. thre is no official closing - these linger-as-long-as-you-like pubs stay open until the last person leaves. On sunny days the populace emerges to soak up the sun and a drink at pavement cafés, or as the Flemish put it, "een terrasje doen" (doing a terrace).

A few local terms include:

- Bar: mostly associated with jenever (gin) and other strong drinks; no food.

- Brasserie: spacious modern eateries, often with a terrace, and staying open from lunch till late. Great for casual dining or a drink at any time.

- Bruin café - 'brown café': a small, old-fashioned pub noted for its décor: wood panelling, mirrored walls and globe lights. Mostly drinking only. Also called a bruine kroeg.

- Eetcafé - literally 'eating café'. Flemish name for a pub serving a decent range of beers plus a limited number of meals. Also called eetkroeg or estaminet.

- Grand Café - old-world establishments adored by elderly mesdames but attracting an eclectic clientele. Good for a drink or meal at any time.

- Herberg - old flemish title for a tavern. These places tend to be larger than ordinary cafés, and dish up drinks and sometimes meals.

zaterdag 16 mei 2009

Recipe for Boerewors


The self sufficient South African farming community wasted nothing. When a beast was slaughtered in winter, all parts were used, including the trotters which were used for making brawn, and the intestines which were used as casings for home-made sausage. Every farmer’s wife prided herself on her own special recipe for making sausage. The fillings ranged from beef and mutton to game meat or even game offal encased in game intestines and called Skilpad and Pofadder.

1.5 kg beef
1.5 kg pork
500 g bacon, diced
25 ml salt
5 ml ground pepper
50 ml ground coriander
2 ml freshly grated nutmeg
1ml ground cloves
2 ml ground dried thyme
2 ml ground allspice
125 ml red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
50 ml Worcestershire sauce
85 g sausage casings
Cut the beef and pork meat into 1.5 " cubes and mix it with all the other ingredients except the sausage casings. Grind the meat using a medium-course grinding plate. Fill the sausage casings firmly but not too tightly with the meat mixture.

Can be fried, grilled or barbecued over coals.

Makes 3.5 kg

Top 10 of Holiday Destinations in 2007

Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic has been named as the number one emerging holiday destination in the world.

The honour has been bestowed on the region by travel community website TripAdvisor and a number of other destinations have also been highly recommended.

Las Terrenas was praised for its long white beaches and was described as the ideal Caribbean getaway.

Breaux Bridge, in Louisiana, was ranked second, with the region being lauded for its culinary delights mixed with action-packed activities.

Third place went to Bali, Indonesia, which is fast becoming one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, particularly among backpackers.

Other high-ranking destinations include Los Suenos in Costa Rica, Pula in Croatia and Ko Lanta in Thailand.

The rest of the top ten was made up of Sayulita in Mexico, Argentina's Puerto Madryn and Can Tho and Sapa in Vietnam.

vrijdag 15 mei 2009

Traveling to Palestine

Palestine is a unique country from all perspectives; history, religions, cultures etc. What made this country so famous from old times until our day is its rich history related to the old human presence in this area as well as it is the home of the 3 monotheistic world religions; Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Not only that, but also because of the never ending wars that this country experienced and still experiences.

Why Travel to Palestine

Anyone with an interest in world history, spiritual history, archaeology, contemporary politics, or Middle Eastern culture will find themselves fascinated by Palestine. You can find the some of the following interest areas:

Pilgrimage and spirituality

Palestine is considered a sacred place by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, as well as by other religious groups such as the Druze and Bahai. It is home to hundreds of holy sites, primary among them being the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem; the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherds' Fields in Bethlehem/Beit Sahour; the Tomb of the Patriarchs or Haram al-Ibrahimi in Hebron; and many others.

Ancient history and archaeology

Palestine has always been a centre of political, cultural, social, and spiritual life. Around 3000 BCE, Semitic migrations to Palestine from the Arabian Peninsula began: the Amorites and the Canaanites were the first to migrate to Palestine; then came the Jebusites, the Aramites, the Moabites, the Ammorites and the Nabataeans. The Hebrews arrived in approximately 1020 BCE.

A testament to Palestine's ancient past, the country's archaeological history is incredibly rich and diverse. Innumerable excavated sites can be found throughout Palestine and a huge variety of artefacts have been discovered: ancient tools, pottery, sculptures, mosaics, drawings, cave dwellings, burial places, temples, shrines, castles, fortresses, and even entire cities.

Interested tourists can arrange to visit any number of archeological sites and museums.

Contemporary politics

Travelers interested in the history of the Zionist movement, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the current status of the conflict should consider this type of tour. They can involve meetings with Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, civil society groups, politicians, scholars, and victims of the conflict. They can also include visits to particular sites of interest, such as mixed Israeli/Palestinian communities, Israeli settlements, demolished Palestinian houses, communities under siege, and sites affected by the segregation wall.

Finally, trips can involve working with Israeli and Palestinian solidarity groups such as the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions ( and the International Solidarity Movement (

Palestinian and Middle Eastern culture

Before the word became unfashionable, the Zionist movement defined itself as a colonial enterprise. Like all colonial movements, it developed a set of historical myths designed to de-legitimize the native people's claims to their lands, or even to deny their existence entirely.

In response to this onslaught emerged the Palestinian folklore movement, which sought to document and describe Palestine's unique culture in order to establish the age-old connection between Palestinians and their country. Palestinian folklorists collected all kinds of materials, from traditional dress to traditional folktales.

Interested tourists can arrange to visit folklore museums and to meet with Palestinian folklore experts.

The Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) is one ogranization that can help you to learn about history, religions, conflicts, culture, traditions etc. In this place, one can have a life experience that can never be found elsewhere.

In the Dutch Mountains - the Nits

Have you ever been to the Dutch Mountains? Maybe you think they don't exist, but I live right next to them. On the border between Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands lies the highest point of the Netherlands : The Vaalserberg, 322 metres high.


donderdag 14 mei 2009

Europe's most Popular Travel Destinations

Europe's most popular holiday destinations

Sun, sand, picturesque scenery and nature, art, culture and history. These are what the most popular holiday destinations in Europe - Italy, Spain and France - have in common. This is what several surveys (including aa GfK EURO BUS® representative survey) carried out in twelve European countries and the USA has revealed.

There are a number of reasons for this: of course, the weather plays a large part in the equation, with hot summers and sun, sand and sea among the decisive factors. However, nature and scenery and the art, culture and history of a particular country also attract tourists. Curiosity about the country and its people constitutes another important aspect.

The sun-seeking Germans

It is hardly a surprise to learn that Germans prefer to holiday in the sunnier climes of Southern Europe. When asked in which country they would most like to spend a ten-day holiday, one in six replied Spain and one in eight, Italy. Around ten per cent like spending their holidays in the mountains of Austria, while other popular holiday destinations are Greece, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey and Ireland - although these are much further down the list than the countries in the top group.

So why are Germans so keen on these countries? More than half give the decisive factors as weather, sun, beaches, along with nature and scenery. The art, culture and history of a country are less important to Germans than to other Europeans. The typical German on holiday is looking for rest and relaxation and this is what clearly distinguishes Germans, as indeed, Austrians, from the average European.

Other Europeans do not have nearly as clear preferences. When deciding where to go for their next holiday, aspects such as lovely, friendly people, the culture and gastronomy of the country, curiosity about a particular country and the fact that they have been there several times before are also important .

Germany as a holiday destination?

As a holiday destination, to European holiday-makers, Germany comes somewhere in the upper middle of the league table.

Most visitors to Germany come from the Russian Federation, with one in ten Russians considering Germany their ideal holiday destination. However, with 15 per cent, France is even higher in the Russian ranking. A desire to travel, along with art, culture and history is what attracts the Russian holiday-maker to France and Germany.

The Poles, Portugese, Americans and Dutch also give Germany the thumbs up as a holiday destination, although it does not come at the top of the list of any of these nationalities.

Britain does it for the Americans

Whereas Europeans prefer to spend their holidays in Italy, France and Spain, one quarter of all American tourists choose the UK. And those who are put off by the British weather head for Italy.

In third place, but way behind on the American list of top holiday destinations, are France and Germany.

More than half of holidaying Americans are keen on nature and scenery, as well as art, culture and history. Those going in for the arduous journey to Europe opt to visit countries they have not been to before. As could be expected, the climate, sun and beaches are of lesser importance.

The survey

These and other findings from the survey of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, with particular reference to the Germans, were produced by the GfK EURO BUS® network. Each of the 13 participating GfK subsidiaries surveyed approx. 1,000 representatively selected respondents in their own countries by telephone or face-to-face interview. The total number of respondents selected at random amounted to 14,399 in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA.

Things to do in Ghent

What can you do in Ghent, Belgium? Well, climb the belfry for a start.
Ghent's Belfort, or belfry, is both a historical and an architectural gem. It was built in the 14th century, took 70 years to complete a served as a showpiece but also as a watchtower where guards kept a vigilant eye over the entire city.

In the underground section were kept important municipal documents in a locked trunk that was chained to the ground. This room is know as the "secrecy room" and you can still it today.

There are six levels to the Belfort, most of which you can visit as you make your way up the seemingly never-ending spiral staircase. On view are artefacts, like old carillon bells and the remains of the original copper-plated dragon that sat at the very top of the spire.

woensdag 13 mei 2009

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and "treasure," usually toys or trinkets of little value. Today, well over 800,000 geocaches are registered on various websites devoted to the pastime. Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica.

For the traditional geocache, a geocacher will place a waterproof container, containing a log book (with pen or pencil) and trinkets or some sort of treasures, then note the cache's coordinates. These coordinates, along with other details of the location, are posted on a website. Other geocachers obtain the coordinates from the Internet and seek out the cache using their GPS handheld receivers. The finding geocachers record their exploits in the logbook and online. Geocachers are free to take objects from the cache in exchange for leaving something of similar or higher value, so there is treasure for the next person to find.

Microcache hidden and found beside the Roman ColosseumTypical cache treasures are not high in monetary value but may hold personal value to the finder. Aside from the logbook, common cache contents are unusual coins or currency, small toys, ornamental buttons, CDs, or books. Also common are objects that are moved from cache to cache, such as Travel Bugs or Geocoins, whose travels may be logged and followed online. Occasionally, higher value items are included in geocaches, normally reserved for the "first finder", or in locations which are harder to reach.

A Travel BugGeocache container sizes range from film canisters often called "microcaches," too small to hold anything more than a tiny paper log, to five-gallon buckets or even larger containers.

If a geocache has been vandalized or stolen, it is said to have been "muggled" or "plundered." The former term plays off the fact that those not familiar with geocaching are called "geo-muggles" or just muggles, a term borrowed from the Harry Potter series of books.

If a cacher discovers that a cache has been muggled, it can be logged as needing maintenance, which sends an e-mail to the cache owner so it can be repaired, replaced, or archived (deactivated).

More information can be found here :

Travel Tools on Facebook

Facebook probably needs no introduction anymore.It is the biggest social networking website with more than 70 million active users worldwide. But it also offers some travel-related features, often created by external websites.

Here are some of the most popular :

- Cities I've Visited : created by TripAdvisor, which allows you to display a map of all the places you have visited

- Local Pics : designed to share your favourite restaurants, hotels etc... with other members

- Traveler IQ Challenge : an addictive geographical quiz, created by Travelpod

dinsdag 12 mei 2009

What is Alternative Tourism

The following article has the purpose of defining what "Alternative Tourism" is. To understand this concept we should explore what tourism is and begin classifying in some way the diverse types of tourism. The diverse tourism types are created from the experiences that tourists want to experience; such are the cases of the nature tourism, cultural tourism, adventure tourism, among others. Each type of tourism is a way to give a denomination to a new market niche for a different experience.

Such is the case of the two big types of tourism: (1) mass tourism, and (2) alternative tourism.

"Mass Tourism" or "Traditional Tourism" generally refers to the big conglomerates or tourist resorts in the world. Where the tourist companies are property of big transnational corporations, where one expects the same type of service and facilities whether in Bali or in New York, and where there is little interaction with the local communities.

On other a counterpart has arisen hence its name "Alternative Tourism", concept that is defined as not being mass tourism. Under the alternative tourism concept we can find a series of classifications and types of tourism. What characterizes the concept of "Alternative" is the existence of small or medium companies, created by families or friends, where there is the possibility of more contact with the communities and where most of the times there is a respect for the environment. This concept is generally used by government institutions and academics, and very rarely a traveller will ask in an information centre for places or activities of alternative tourism.

Some researches have tried to define alternative tourism as a tourism that gives emphasis to the contact and understanding between the hosts and the tourist, as well as the environment (Smith & Eadington, 1992 as cited in Newsome, Moore & Dowling, 2002). Also as a tourism that is consistent with the natural, social and community values and that allows a positive relationship among locals and tourists (Wearing & Neil, 1999 as cited in Newsome, Moore & Dowling, 2002). Alternative tourism includes micro and small companies of local inhabitants' property (Cater, 1993 as cited in Newsome, Moore & Dowling, 2002). Other characteristics of alternative tourism are smaller impacts in the natural and social environments, links with other sectors (agriculture, craft) of the local economy and retention of earnings in the region (Newsome, Moore & Dowling, 2002).

As we already mentioned government institutions use the concept and many times in an incorrect way, including in the "alternative" activities things like golf! In spite of these errors and the incorrect classifications that governments make of the different types of alternative tourism, we consider that the concept is useful.

The classifications that can be included under the concept of alternative tourism can be Natural, Cultural, Events and Others. The "Natural" (tourism that you can undertake in natural places, about the nature, and/or for the preservation of the natural environment) it includes: adventure tourism, ecotourism, and nature tourism. The "Cultural" (tourism that involves contact and learning about a culture) it includes the archaeological, rural tourism, religious and ethnic. "Events" (tourism interested in experiencing characteristic events of an area or important annual events) that include sports, carnivals and festivals for example. In the classification of other everything enters that you cannot include in the other classifications like volunteering, farm stays, educational tourism, etc.

The present article tried to define what alternative tourism is and its usefulness as a concept to classify the diverse types of tourism that emerge in the international market. It was not defined only by its counterpart "mass tourism", but also through the type of experiences lived by the tourist, the way it is supplied through small and medium operators, as well as by whom is benefited with the revenues of these companies. Although it is a concept many times criticized to be of little use by the operators and tourists it helps us to understand that the experiences searched for by the tourists are changing. Tourism is looking for an "alternative" both cultural and natural, both personal and authentic, an "alternative tourism."


Newsome, D., Moore S.A., Dowling, R.K. (2002) Natural Area Tourism: Ecology, Impacts and Management. UK: Channel View publications, Ecoturismolatino

Tourism, Alternative Tourism and Solidarity

Tourism fulfills a human need for rest and recreation. People normally set out to see other places and meet other people. Other people, meanwhile, extend their hospitality to their guests - a national trait worthy of praise.

But tourism also satisfies the thirst for profit. Big business, hungry for megabuck profits, resort to gross commercialism and imposes unsuitable development programs.

In the process, people get trampled upon, cultures erode and eco-systems deteriorate. Third World nations, main recipients of these ‘development programs,’ usually end up the losers.

Alternative Tourism, as a counter trend, seeks to right these abuses by challenging the profit structure and commercial premise of the tourism industry. Alternative Tourism works to redefine tourism back to its original spirit of exchange and solidarity among peoples.

A Billion Dollar Industry
Tourism has increased rapidly since the end of the Second World War as improved mass transportation provided people with cheaper and faster ways of getting to other places. It also enabled them to go to farther and farther destinations and meet more people.

From around 70 million people who spent a few billion dollars in 1960, the number of tourists rose to half a billion, spending some $324 billion, in 1993. With a yearly average increase of 7%, the number of international tourists is expected to reach 956 million by the end of 2000.

The tourism industry employs 74 million people and domestic and international tourism receipts account for 9.3% of GNP worldwide.

The hotel and airline industries control the bulk of the tourist business, as tourist spending goes mainly to the carrier and to accommodation. A good part of the earnings also goes to the tour and travel operators. These transnational companies, either affiliated with each other or subsidiaries of larger conglomerates, earn billions of dollars from the tourist money spent on holiday travel, rest and recreation, and even business and convention activities.

Transport industry suppliers such as the shipbuilding and train industries also rake in a good profit. The construction industry, likewise, profits from hotel and resort building contracts.

Tourism in the Third World
Many Third World nations in the early 1970s embraced tourism as a quick recipe for development. Staggering from high unemployment rates and heavy indebtedness, many governments saw tourism as a source of foreign exchange to fund balance of payments deficits and service their foreign debts. Tourism also promised a viable source of investments for their backward economies and a source of quick livelihood and employment for their unskilled workers.

With encouragement from the United Nations (UN) and the IMF-World Bank, this tourism-development strategy paved the way for the entry of TNCs and other investments in hotel and resort development, foreign-funded government infrastructure and other tourism-related projects and tourism programs. Bilateral and multilateral loans poured in to finance these projects.

Too poor to resist and not given much choice, many Third World countries soon adapted the strategy. Bilateral and multilateral loans poured in to finance these projects. Various aid organizations like the UNDP, WTO, ESCAP, JICA and the ADB lent their ‘expertise’ in supporting and promoting tourism or tourism-related projects in Southeast Asia, South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific islands. People from industrialized countries were treated to cheap, exotic and unspoiled destinations in the Third World.

In the process, the social, economic and cultural life of many third world countries were opened up to widescale tourism exploitation and their natural resources displayed for despoiling.

Whatever initial financial relief Third World countries had was eventually lost in the form of repatriated profits or debt service money.

Tourism’s negative impact on the third world countries and their peoples is staggering. Self-sufficient economies get smothered, social relations break, cultures eroded and environments are laid waste.

The list is long and well-documented: Self-sufficient agricultural economies giving way to tourism-reliant economies; women and children being forced into prostitution to service sex-tours and pedophiles; fishermen turning into waiters; and urban poor and indigenous communities domains giving way to golf courses and large hotels.

Alternative Tourism
Alternative tourism emerged from the Third World as a reaction to the negative effects tourism heaped on its countries.

Alternative tourism came in different names and various models. All tried to stop the onslaught and improve the situation. Backyard tourism, for instance, sought ‘to preserve the original rural appeal’ of the tourist destination. It also relied on the services of small local enterprises while rejecting the development of modern resorts.

Endemic tourism, on the other hand, used the ‘special characteristics of individual communities which attracted tourists’ and the ‘great value of the cultural characteristics of communities’ as tourism assets.

Increasing global concerns for the environment, meanwhile, produced eco-tourism which tried to ‘shy away from commercial destinations and focused on environmental themes.’ Sustainable tourism is yet another new form of alternative tourism that is led by an ‘empowered and gender-sensitive community’ that ‘protects and enhance ecological resources.’

The Philippine Experience
The Philippine experience remains a classic case of what tourism has done to a third world country. Tourism’s impact on our society, culture, economy and environment already gives a perfect picture of what the Third World has gone through in its adoption of tourism-development.

Sex-tourists and pedophiles walking hand-in-hand with women and children is a common site in the red-light districts of Manila, Cebu and Davao. Golf courses, hotels and large shopping malls are continually displacing peasants in CALABARZON and urban dwellers in the poor districts of Metro Manila. Indigenous tribes like the Mangyans and Igorots are turned into tourist attractions.

And who will forget the former US military bases in Subic and Pampanga. These monuments to tourism left thousands of Amerasians fatherless and hooked on drugs and prostitutes dying of AIDS while awaiting the promised return of his ‘sailor boy.’

Early attempts at alternative tourism in the country dates back to the mid-1970s when residents of Puerto Galera in Mindoro built cottages for ‘back pack’ tourists searching for the ambience of nature and warm smiles of the local people. The residents also employed family members to serve drinks and wash the clothes of these tourists.

These family-owned enterprises, soon to be known as backyard tourism, were at first modestly successful as they managed to do away with the expensive accommodations offered by hotels and the degrading work of serving foreign owners.

Foreign tour operators, however, learned to adjust to the negative image of tourism and soon began building their own cottages and not touching the natural ambience of the place. Soon backyard tourism became another adjunct of the mainstream tourism industry as foreigners took over management and ownership of the local cottages.

Other types of alternatives to tourism came out through the eighties and nineties still in reaction to the worsening negative effects of tourism. These models also tried to adjust to the failures and co-optation of the earlier models by working on broader concerns and action plans.

People’s organizations, cause-oriented groups and NGOs began promoting their own type of ‘exposure programs’ to interested and ‘concerned’ foreigners. These groups offered an alternative tourism hinged on a much broader nationalist program that directly challenged the profit motive of tourism and worked for a ‘real empowerment for the people as masters of their fate’ and ready to reject imposed development models on them.

PGX and Alternative Tourism
The People’s Global Exchange (PGX) is one of many NGOs that started alternative tourism programs in the mid-80s.

PGX has long been hosting foreigners active in the solidarity movement for the Philippines. Its Development-Education program served to deepen the circle of friends already familiar with Philippines realities and active in solidarity work by immersing them in the day-to-day lives and struggles of the different sectors.

Soon it was hosting ‘walk-ins’ and other visitors unfamiliar to Philippine realities, but who were otherwise interested to learn from an ‘exposure’ program and possibly do ‘concrete things’ upon return to their countries.

Working with a broad network of people’s organizations and organized communities, PGX began promoting alternative tourism as a new program and concept for the unfamiliar but interested people from industrialized nations.

A 1992 PGX paper says alternative tourism is ‘an educationally-oriented’ and ‘non-commercial’ program. It also ‘promotes a socially and ecologically responsible’ tourism that is ‘people-centered.’ Most important, it ‘creates a venue for initiating friendships and solidarity between peoples.’

Since the late 1980s, PGX has hosted more than a thousand visitors who came individually or in groups. It even managed to host boatloads of Japanese ‘tourists’ belonging to Peaceboat, a Japanese NGO also active in alternative tours, in 1991, 1992, 1997 and 1998. These exposurees numbered more than three-hundred per boat-load and were divided into groups of fifty or more people who then went to different communities.

With its partners, PGX offers a range of programs aimed at promoting sectoral issues as well as broader concerns. Sectoral issues range from peasant landlessness to poor working conditions in factories to demolitions of squatter families to evictions of tribal groups. Similarly, the accompanying struggle of said sectors are highlighted and their calls for solidarity extended to the visitors.

Broader concerns, notably ecological problems (poisoning of rivers and lakes), women issues (prostitution, wife battering), children (pedophiles, drugs) have gained increasing interest on the visitors’ part.

Exposure programs usually last from seven-day mini-exposures to 2-year internships. Visitors come from different groups: students, academics, factory workers, homemakers and even children.

These alternative programs seem to pay off as many exposurees, upon returning to their countries, have taken up Philippine issues and linked-up with Philippine support groups. Some have even influenced their families and friends to try the same exposure they have gone through. A few have formally joined and became active in solidarity groups.

Concerned groups and individuals have taken many alternatives and paths in facing the issues of tourism. Some proved effective for some time but eventually failed. Others were co-opted by big business interests who have learned to adjust to changing perceptions of tourism. Others remained and, in their own way, continued trying to change the system by testing new models.

More than three decades of experience suggests that true alternative tourism is one that is not subject to the profit motives of big business interests. Alternative tourism also work for an empowered community that can and will reject development impositions on their lives.

Only then can we really talk of having gone back to tourism’s original spirit - that of exchange and solidarity among peoples.

Source : Philippines International Review
Vol.2, No.2
Spring 2000

maandag 11 mei 2009

Visiting the Battlefields of Europe: Waterloo

Waterloo in Belgium is a unique place: there you can see the battlefield exactly like it was on June the 18th, 1815 when Wellington faced Napoleon for an ultimate battle that changed Europe's face forever. Visit the Lion Hamlet and experience the new animation : Battlefield Tour

From 1st July until 31st August there will be every weekend – cavalry, infantry and artillery fire demonstrations.
Only those who have smelled the cannon powder and seen a cavalry charge can truly understand what the Battle of Waterloo was like. Every weekend in the months of July and August, at the same site as Napoleon’s final battle, you can re-live this key event in History.

You can also discover the battlefield of Waterloo on a mountain bike! Visit the British gun positions and the key points of the battle for yourself and trace the movements of the French cavalry.

Take a bicycle tour of Waterloo Battlefield on your own bike or on one of the 50 mountain bikes available for hire at the location. Cycle along trails and discover the many monuments and commemorative stones dotting the site of the famous battle that raged here on 18 June 1815.

Two routes have been designed and laid out for cyclists, and in addition to this exciting new way of visiting the battlefield there are many other outdoor activities for families to enjoy at Lion's Hamlet.

A detailed map of the routes is available at the bicycle hire office along with a leaflet providing information on each monument. Bicycle trailers are available for toddlers as well as children’s bikes, and helmets are provided free with every bike hired.

You can find more info on the Waterloo 1815 website

zondag 10 mei 2009

The Mont Royal Fortress in Traben-Trarbach

In South-West Germany, not far from Trier, lies the wonderful village of Traben-Trarbach. Famous as a wine region and a great place to go trekking, this town also offers another remarkable point of interest: one of the largest fortifications ever build: The Mont Royal Fortress.

In support of her range of fortifications and the domination of the
Rhineland, France built the Mont Royal fortress in 1687.

Under the supervision of the famous Vauban it was, at times, built by,
up to 8.000 enforced labourers. Millions of French public funds and
German compulsory reparations were spent. With a diameter of 5 kilometres it covered the whole of the plateau with the main fortress extending over a length of 1,6 kilometres and width of 750 metres, bordered by the left bank of the Moselle all around the peninsula. The main keep with an area of 123 acres and a height of 200 metres, formed the very heart of the whole fortress and was surrounded by a main wall of 2,92 kilometres in length and 30 metres in height with 5 bastions and 3 fortified towers. In additon 3 ramparts, 5 outer walls, moats with inner walls (the so-called curtain-walls), outer works, galeries and various other stoneworks protected this fortified town. South of it there was the "Große Königliche Hauptquartier" (Grand Royal Headquarters), a fortified camp and operations centre for the Rhenish troops; with a citizenry of its own, stables for 3000 horses and barracks for 12.000 men.

Under its governor, the Earl of Montal, this gigantic works had a combat complement of 14 regiments with 8.450 men, 155 heavy ordnances
and enormous supplies, e.g. 504.000 gallons of wine. The whole installation was twice as powerful as its supporting fortresses of Saarlouis, Luxembourg and Rhinefels together.

In the long run, however, France was not able to maintain such an unrealistically expensive fortress, 100 kilometres inland of the militarized Rhineland, against a startled Europe.

The Netherlands and England alike tried to negotiate for Mont Royal
undemolished. France, however, was reluctant to let her adversaries
have her model fortification and prefered to have it dismantled after the Peace of Ryswick in 1698.

In The Thirties of this century, the local historian Ernst Willen Spies Ph.D., supervised and conducted excavations on Mont Royal by means of original plans from archives in Paris. A local history association was formed in 1930 which enthusiastically aimed at excavating the fortifications and opening up this unique attraction for tourism. The main excavations were performed during the years 1929-1937. Without exception they were merely intended for tourism. During the war years from 1939-1945, time once more spread the veil of oblivion over the ruins causing further decay. More important tasks were to be done in the post-war period. It was not until the Sixties that a flourishing tourism brought this unique site in the West of Germany back into promenance and recently steps have been taken to make Mont Royal accessible to tourism again.

zaterdag 9 mei 2009

The Train - the Nits

Traveling by train is my greatest pleasure. It always has been like that. And just listen to the lyrics of this song by the Nits, it takes me back to those interRail days...


Things to Eat and Drink in Miami

At BeTraveler we have been once to Miami, and the culinary adventures where plentiful and surprising.

As you might expect from a city that has districts called Little Havana and Little Haiti, there's no shortage of hearty Cuban and Caribbean cuisine in Miami, but the city's elaborate mix of immigrants has also resulted in some fascinating culinary fusions.

The real deal: Cafe Cubano at Versailles.

"Floribbean" cooking mixes elements of traditional Caribbean cookery with modern techniques and an emphasis on fresh produce, while the style known as "Nuevo Latino" revisits classic recipes from all over Latin America, using choicer cuts of meats, healthier ingredients and an added an North American sensibility.

There's nothing "nuevo" about Versailles Restaurant (3555 SW. Eighth Street), which, in spite of the French allusions of its name, serves reassuringly traditional Cuban dishes. This Little Havana institution specializes in cheap hearty staples like "moros" (black beans and rice) and "vaca frita" (shredded fried beef with a garlic seasoning), but the real draw is people-watching in the heart of the Cuban exile community, as the émigrés reminisce about the old country.

The Versailles bakery next door does great empanadas, fruit juices and Cuban coffee, which is an entirely different beast from the regular American filter variety. Café cubano, or "cafecito," is like a sweet espresso and is served in tiny, potent shots. Add a splash of steamed milk to get a delicious "cortadito." Outside Little Havana, David's Café (1058 Collins Avenue) in South Beach knows how to whip up a mean "café con leche."

As with so many things in Miami, when it comes to fine dining, South Beach is the place to be. If you like to eat in the company of the glitterati and you've got the bank balance to back you up, take your meat-loving self to Prime One Twelve (112 Ocean Drive). It may be just a steakhouse, but this is the kind of steakhouse favored by A-list celebs. A filet mignon will set you back $52, and you'll love all 12 juicy ounces of it, while a dessert of fried Oreos is diet-wreckingly good.

Elsewhere in South Beach, Lincoln Road is home to some very chic eateries, many of which get away with charging ridiculous prices for very ordinary fare. Fortunately, there's Sushi Samba Dromo (600 Lincoln Rd), with its seafood-based fusion of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine. Think sashimi flavored with exotic fruits and you'll be on the right track. Kind of... For sushi of the more traditional kind, try Nobu at the Shores Club hotel (1901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach), which also does excellent tempura and teriyaki.

Joe's Stone Crab (11 Washington Ave) is another South Beach favorite. Joe's doesn't take reservations and there are huge queues for its legendary crab, but if you've got better things to do than queue for two hours for your supper, you can always grab a takeout from the counter next door.

If you want to impress that special someone, there's nowhere better than Casa Tua (1700 James Avenue). This secluded, romantic hideaway has superb Italian food and is suitably expensive.

Vegetarians are well catered for at the Lost and Found Saloon (185 NW 36th Street) in the Wynwood neighborhood, a relaxed but stylish option for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Gourmet Carrot (959 West Avenue, Miami Beach) is another good spot for veggies, or anyone with a hankering for a deliciously healthy smoothie.

Source : own experiences and CNN

Do's and Don't's of London

A citytrip normally only lasts a couple of days. So you should try to get the best deals in such a short time. Here are some personal tips & tricks for a succesful visit to London.

Things you MUST see in London

1. Westminster Cathedral
The Roman-Catholic Westminster Cathedral is less famous than Wesminster Abbey, but it is definitely a must. The architecture is byzantine and you can find wonderful mosaics. (

2. Leadenhall Market
A wonderful markethall that houses boutiques, delicatesse shops and pubs.(

3. Inns of Courts
The four British law courts form a huge campus with squares, parcs and gardens. Don't forget to pay a visit to Sir John Soane's Museum ( and Temple Church (

4. Covent Garden
This used to be the old vegetable and fruit market of Central London, but now it is situated in one of the most lively regions in London. You can do your shopping, relax on a terrace or just enjoy the streetlife. (

5. The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection is a wonderfully rich but not very well-known artmuseum. It exhibits a beautiful range of furniture, china, weaponry, sculptures and paintings, including work by Frans Hals and Fragonard. (

Things to avoid in London

1. Cheap Hotels
Stay away from hotels that are too cheap: you won't get good service, the rooms will be small and dirty, and the famous English Breakfast will disappoint you. Especially in areas like Kensington, South Kensington and Mayfair the hotels can be dodgy. It is true that prices in London are more expensive than in most other cities, but if you do some research you might find some good value for money.

2. Asian Fastfood
Londen, and especially Chinatown, offer many Asian fastfood restaurants where you can get an all-you-can-eat buffet. The hygiene has improved over the years, but the quality of the food not. Luckily not all Asian restaurants suffer from the same problem, so look out for those that offer set meals at reasonable prices.

3. madame Tussauds
Some travelers put this on the list of 'must see' attractions, but we feel Madame Tussauds is simply overrated.
Maybe children like to have their picture taken with David Beckham and the Hulk, but paying 22,50 pounds or 27 euros) and waiting for hours in the queue, is not our idea of fun.

4. Bustours
Avoid the hop-on hop-off busses in London. They offer sightseeing tours but are shamelessly overpriced and give dismal information. No, it's much better to pay 3,50 pounds (4,10 euros) for a day ticket on the London Public Transport, which gives free use of all busses and metros in London for a day. Take Route 11 and sit on the top of the double-decker. You will see all the sights!

vrijdag 8 mei 2009

A Quick Guide to Delft

The historic town centre of Delft in the Netherlands is well preserved, with its medieval origins apparent. During the Golden Age, the town developed into a wealthy merchants' town, with a chamber of the Dutch East India Company, and famous scientists and painters residing there. The most famous painter of course, was Johannes Vermeer, who was born there and was influenced by the colours, light and atmosphere of Delft, so very apparent in much of his work.
There’s also a strong royal influence in Delft. The Nieuwe Kerk church houses the royal vault where the members of the Dutch Royal Family rest in peace.

Vermeer centre Delft

Delft is the city of the famous painter Johannes Vermeer. His many masterpieces have spread all over the world, yet Vermeer lived and worked in Delft throughout his entire life.

In April 2007, the Vermeer centre opened its doors with a multimedia presentation about Vermeer’s work, his life and about the 17th-century Delft he inhabited. A visit to the centre will make you see Vermeer’s work and Delft in a different light. For more information:

A walk around Delft

There is a Vermeer ‘trail’ that you can follow around Delft, to experience the various periods in the artist’s life. The walk (which you can follow as you please) takes you to see the famous ‘View of Delft’ as painted by Vermeer in his masterpiece, to the beautiful church in the heart of Delft where he was baptised as a baby on the Great Market Square, and even to the Voldersgracht on which it is believed that Vermeer modelled his ‘The Little Street’ painting. A highly educational experience!
Famous Delftware

The famous blue & white Delftware is of course world renowned. Earthenware factories in Delft date back to the seventeenth century, when the Dutch East Indian Company brought Chinese porcelain over to Holland. The most famous Delft workshop, which still exists today, is the Royal Porceleyne Fles, where you can see delftware being hand-made and even give it a go yourself.
Delft way of life

Delft is a student town, which is reflected in the many restaurants, cafes and pubs. Wander round the lovely little streets and the old market square, and stop off at one of the many typical old Dutch cafés, grand cafés, intimate eating places or top restaurants. You’ll be spoilt for choice, and once you’ve experienced the laid back way of life here, you won’t want to leave!

Sournce :

An Indian Wedding

This entry dates from August 20, 2006. Location: Coimbatore, India

We informed the manager about the cockroaches in our room but he didn't even apologize. Even when we told him that under the bed we found crisps from previous guests (many hotelrooms in India are not regularly cleaned - we stayed in many places two nights and never saw a cleaning lady or even traces of something being touched) he didn't budge. The complaint register showed an entry somewhere last year as the last negative feedback, so we imagine that either nobody complains or nobody bothers to write it down. Anyway, if you want to stay in Hotel Saat, you have been warned.

We checked out, got to the station and tried to find a bus to Coimbatore. Again we were not lucky, because the bus never showed up. But there was another one going to Salem (100 km further) so we jumped on that, settled in the back with reclining seats and put in our earplugs when the Bollywood movie started playing on the DVD player in front of the bus.

After almost 5 hours on the bus (bumpy roads, state border controls) we arrived in Coimbatore where Vishnu, another HC member, picked us up. He took us to a very nice place for lunch where we tried Pongal (looks like mashed potatoes but is actualy made from rice, peppercorn and spices) and some dosas with cauliflower. We then drove to his home, met his mum and freshened up to go to a wedding.

A friend of his(Senthil)got married that day to an American girl (Amanda), and we were invited to the reception. Indian weddings are quite different from European, they can last several days (or even a full week) and having more than 1000 guests is not uncommon. Here it was a 'small' wedding with about 500 people showing up during some stage of the day. And most will have their picture taken together with the bride and groom (just like us). This marriage had a walking dinner with starters, main courses and desserts. I tried a carrot halwa (soft sweetmeat) but found it too sweet for my taste. The bride and groom met on the internet and then in Chicago. They promised to listen to our CD when they are going on their honeymoon.

Getting married is serious business in India. Many people still have arranged marriages
, where the parents will choose the bride. Some men and women have the option to refuse twice, the third time they HAVE to marry the partner chosen by their parents. But nowadays there are more and more marriages out of love. And these are often found on the internet or in newspapers. Reading the classified ads in the newspapers is quite an eye-opener. Most people demand that their partner is from the same or similar caste (with more than 1600 castes that can be a bit tricky) and special importance is put on the biodata and horoscope.

If you want to find out more about the pros and cons of arranged marriages : click here

Afterwards we went back to Vishnu's place and he found us accommodation in Ooty (our next destination). Vishnu works in logistics (textile, Coimbatore is the textile capital and often called 'The Manchester of India) but lately he wants to broaden his horizon by importing champagne and European wines. We even got a taste of some Indian wine made from Strawberries which a friend of his makes in the hills around Coonoor.

Berlin Beach Camp 2009

For the fifth time in a row, Berlin is going to rock the beach around Pentacost. Members of several Hospitality Exchange Networks (including will meet again. A splendid time is guaranteed for all!

It's time for a meeting in Berlin again!

Berlin Beach Camp 2009

So - let's get together!


When: Thursday, May 28th - Monday, June 1st
Where: Berlin, beach side area at Strandbad Tegel
What: celebrating worldwide hospitality, having loads of fun!
Who: heaps of friendly people
Why: why not?


For detailed information, updates and registration see

Let's have some fun, see you there...

Michael (miicoo)
Jens (jenseb)
Manuel (crumbking)

Dear fellow members,

following the tradition of our last Berlin Camps since 2005 we’d like to
celebrate the beginning of summer together with you. This is our 5th years

We have an awesome NEW LOCATION at „Strandbad Tegel“,
situated directly at the water. It has a wonderful beach and all the amenities
we’ll need for a perfect event.

Do you like to meet other friendly people, listen to live music, having
interesting talks and to take part in many cultural activities, excursions and
workshops? Do you enjoy sitting at a bonfire, having a BBQ, to take part in
fun-sports or just sitting lazy in a beachchair and enjoying the sun?

Then you should come! Together with you we’ll have a lot of fun!
You’ll find all detailed information for this event on the website

Don't hesitate to speak about the camp to all your friends,
and bring them with you !!

We're looking forward meeting you in Berlin.