Adrift in a bleak economy and our isolated urban bubble, in 2010 my sweetheart and I set out to see the world the old-fashioned way: by bicycle. We did it on the cheap and without any itinerary, gadgets, or training. We moved south with the sun as the seasons changed, cooked food we found at local markets, and slept in fields or on strangers’ couches. [more inside]
Rolf Potts will travel through 12 countries in 42 days, with his current location updated here. He intends to do all this with no luggage, no backpack, no man purse -- not even a fanny pack. [via mefi projects]
German newspaper Der Spiegel decided to take a look at Europe's oddest folk traditions and festivals. Perhaps you can have a metaphorical hard-on for the phallus festival of Tyrnavos, Greece. Maybe you're hungry for how a small Belgian town celebrates the practice of swallowing live fish. Or, alternately, you can look down on those bizarre practices... while chasing a giant wheel of cheese down a hill. [more inside]
Place Project. A suitcase with a camera and a blank book travelled the world. 35 designers have translated the world around them into their pages. After 18 months and 170.000 km it will be presented in Barcelona. November 23 - December 12, 2004.
That most peculiar of spectacles the Fiesta de san Fermín (Running of the Bulls) seems to still exist and will be going ahead tomorrow. The event is held in parallel with Feria del Toro (the Bullfighting Fair); the run itself seems to be in the interests of transporting the bulls to the fair while getting them good and angry, confused, scared and weakened in the process. Being that the event is in honor of Saint Fermín, when the San Fermín church strikes 8am, the bulls are released and the runners get underway, trying to avoid them on their just under 1km trip. On arrival at the Plaza del Toro (Bullring) they are herded into corrals and later released so the crowd can watch the matadors kill them in traditional bullfighting fashion [wmv: 380k | 150k | 56k]. Of course, many people are not really so keen on this event; and it seems PETA will be holding one of their typically daft protests. Can't people just throw tomatoes at each other or something?
Where To Stay In Portugal And Spain: You could do worse than try Secret Places, an ambitious and delightful website that has the advantage of emphasizing unusual and charming accommodation. I don't know about Spain, but the places they recommend in Portugal, the Azores and Madeira are top notch and not at all touristy. These are the fairly priced rural inns, private homes and hotels we Portuguese repair to when our batteries need recharging. Although Portugal is a big tourist destination and there are loads of accommodation websites, I'm sorry to say that this is the first I've seen that's any good. I'm not so sure about the other hotel chain websites highly praised in a New York Times article [ registration required; with pop-ups], although the Ian Schrager Hotels [with pop-ups] one is quite attractive (in an early Nineties way) and very efficient reservation-wise.