Posts Tagged Traveling

La Champeta – Slum culture, identity and sensuality

La Champeta – Slum culture, identity and sensuality

If you ever find yourself well planted in the lovely Caribbean city of Cartagena you might like to know she has more to offer than the beautiful colonial houses and the beach. In the poorer neighborhoods there is a unique cultural phenomenon which has been growing in the city for almost 100 years: La Champeta.

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The Devil Carnival in Riosucio, Colombia

Three Crazy Devils at Riosucio Devil Carnival Colombia

I wonder what madness drove the good citizens of an otherwise normal small town of deeply catholic Colombia to decide to spend one week every two years celebrating the devil. That is so strange that it just has to be witnessed and it is truly an experience. Read the rest of this entry »

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Siesta! Sleeping beauties…

Siesta in Cartagena Colombia

I came across these guys and surprised them on their siesta when I was roaming the streets of Cartagena back in 2006 looking for good photo opportunities and I recon this is one! The photo really captures the essence of the siesta: Drop all you’re doing! It is 12 o’clock and it is too damn hot to be doing anything other than sleep… yeah… right here! I don’t care if it is in the middle of the street! I am ready to chill out…

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White Man Sings Vallenato

On Wednesday we received the three Norwegian winners of a writing contest by the Norwegian Foundation Golden Colombia and their webpage Cocaine.no.

We surprised the three winners at the airport with an overloaded Chiva (party bus) filled with crazy kids from the Barrio Los Communeros. It was a wild ride and a shocking welcome to the Caribbean.

In the town centre of Cartagena the leader of Golden Colombia meets a Vallenato band that he knows. They strike up quite a performance!

Golden Colombia works to make known the tragic effects of cocaine use in the west has on the people of Colombia. Also the foundation try to show the other side of Colombia that is not violence and destruction, but hardworking decent and honest people with a unique culture not known to most of the world.

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The three KL towers and other birds

Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

I took this photo in 2004, when I briefly visited Kuala Lumpur on my way up to Nakhon Si Thammarat, in Thailand. It was rainy season and as you can see… it is building up. This gave the photo a fantastic atmosphere. Like in a movie… and something bad is about to happen. When it rains in Kuala Lumpur… it is not pretending to throw a few drops… it IS seriously raining.

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This is the party center of the universe!

Tu Candela Bar in Cartagena de Indias

Photo from Caribenet.com

Do you remember the best party you have ever been to? The party where nobody was sitting. The music was pumping. The music had Rhythm. The type that is so easy to dance to. The music that everybody loves. The air was warm and humid from the sweat… and the people…. the people they are just smiling and laughing… dancing. Everybody is having the time of their life. Those moments don’t come every weekend. Maybe only once every 2-3 years… maybe only once in a lifetime. Well, there is a place where that party goes on every night and that is “Tu Candela” in Cartagena, Colombia.

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Sunset woman in Koh Pha Ngan

Sunset Woman in Koh Phanang, Thailand

On my trip to Thailand in 2004-2005 I took this photo of an old woman searching the beach in the sunset.

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Colombia – a risky destination (? or !)

The butchers of Cartagena, Colombia

Do you like your life the way it is? If you do… DON’T GO TO COLOMBIA. Stay as far away from the old city of Cartagena as you can. Don’t come close to incredible nature reserve of Tyrona, the salsa capital of Cali or the eternal spring in Medellin. Just stay away. I am NOT joking! The commercial from the Colombian Tourism Agency is not a commercial at all. It is a serious and truthful warning to you as a traveler; if you go to Colombia, the only risk you take, is wanting to stay.

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Koh San Road – The beating heart of backpacking

Koh San Road - Bangkok - Thailand

Koh San Road… Bangkok… Thailand… This is the place where backpackers themselves are the attraction. Koh San Road is hated and loved by travelers as it brings out the best and the worst in the traveling culture. Either you love it or you hate it. But don’t make the mistake of not giving it a try. Koh San Rd cannot and should not be avoided. It is an experience in itself.

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“Die Later” – Dancing for the freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi

Die Later 1 - Bangkok

Today I have to tell a little story of a strange and incredible backpacker.

It was in a small park, close to Koh San Road, back in 2005, I met a backpacker who was over 80 years old. He was dancing with a sign on his back saying “Die Later”. He was dancing for the freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi.

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The most isolated city in the world – Perth

Perth skyline by night

Perth skyline by night from Kings Park

The closest neighboring city is 4 hours west…. In flight! Fly north for about 5 hours and you are in Darwin or you could go west for a 10 hours flight to Johannesburg. That is the neighboring cities of Perth. However, if you decide to go to Perth, you will not necessarily feel alone and isolated. People are welcoming and friendly there. Read the rest of this entry »

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Life is a carnival – Cartagena, Colombia

Party goers in Cartagena, Colombia 2

The Celia Cruz song goes ”La vida es un carnaval” and it is certainly true now in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. The city is now having their yearly celebration of the city’s independence from Spain. Cartagena was important in this independence as it was the first Colombian city to declare independence from the Spaniards. Even the great liberator Simon Bolivar spent a few years in Cartagena where he, after the fall of the first republic, wrote the Cartagena Manifesto.

Cartagena has their carnival in November in contrast to the usual carnivals that are held in February around the world. The Cartagena carnival is for Cartagena only and it is a four day festival of parades in the streets and on water. It is a crazy atmosphere in the city and make sure not to wear your finest cloths as you will most certainly be bombarded with water, flour and paint.

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The terrorizing monkeys of Lop Buri

The monkeys of Lop Buri

On my way down from Chiang Mai in the northern Thailand, in December 2004, I decided to stop over in Lop Buri. This is a funny little town that has different kind of attraction to offer. It is something that for years was considered a massive nuisance to the people living there; the terrorizing monkey clans of Lop Buri. Read the rest of this entry »

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Workers playing football in Quito, Ecuador

Workers playing football in Quito Ecuador

These photos are from my trip to Ecuador in 2006. I especially like this picture, where the workers at a construction site are playing football, with the incredible scene of the city of Quito in the background. This city, so high in the mountains that, even though it is almost right on top of the equator, you can still see the snow covered mountaintops in the background. Read the rest of this entry »

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Charming house with cactus fence in Venezuela

Venezuela House with cactus fence

I took this photo in Isla Margarita in Venezuela. I don’t remember exactly where on the island I saw this house, but I believe it was close to Juan Griegor and that it belonged to an old monastery. I just love that cactus fence!

 

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Coconuts laughing it up … in Koh Pha Ngan

CoconutI have one rule in my life, that I never stray from; Make sure to always have water nearby, especially if you are traveling.

I learned that lesson the hard way. No, I was not stuck in a desert, but I might as well have been. Nope, it was in Ko Pha Ngan in Thailand. Famous for its incredible full moon party. Well, this was back in 2004 and I had got there late. Actually I got to the island the very morning after the party, as I had been working in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

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Impressions from two weeks in Vichy

  • Small dogWell dressed people
  • Small dogs
  • Pooh from small dogs on the streets
  • Thin young man with glasses, thin ponytail, cowboy hat and cowboy coat
  • Croissant
  • Baguette
  • Small beers
  • 1661
  • Armoire
  • Beautiful old houses
  • A few drivers who did not stop at zebra stripes

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Can you watch a full length movie that has no dialogue?

The Triples from Belleville movie posterDo you think you can watch a movie of over one hour where the characters don’t talk? I didn’t think it was possible, but I took the challenge and watched the French movie The Triples from Belleville. The only words uttered in this movie are the refrain on the song in the beginning of the movie (see the clip) and some voices in radio and TV. However, you can safely watch this movie in the original language even if you don’t know French (I don’t either).

The story is about a grandmother who loses her grandson to kidnappers while he is racing in the Tour the France. He is taken over seas and she follows him to rescue him. She gets unexpected help from a group of old French singers from the Fred Astaire period.

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Vichy, France – Do they have the fountain of youth?

Vichy night creamI have been in France for about two weeks now. Vichy, actually if you have heard of it? Maybe from an L’Oreal commercial or product. Vichy is important for L’Oreal as they have a lab here and Vichy is an important brand of products. It is no coincidence L’Oreal is using the Vichy name in the marketing. Vichy’s has been known for centuries for their thermal springs and their reputation for healing powers. L’Oreal is extracting minerals and god knows what from the earth, water and whatever they can break apart and analyze in the unholy search for healing powers and the fountain of youth. Read the rest of this entry »

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