SUNDAY’S SPECIAL SPOT – STAR WARS SET IN TUNISIA


In a living room far, far away…  Okay, not that far – just a different apartment, I was watching the Long Way Down mini-series where Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor stop in Tunisia and visit the still standing set used in several of the Star Wars movies. They visited the home planet of Luke Skywalker – Tatooine. I learned something new that night – I can go to Tatooine!! How cool is that?

Tunisia, located in north Africa, lies along the Mediterrean Sea. South of Italy and Malta, this age-old country is bathed in history. Ancient times of empires past to recent histories combined with desert sands, bustling cities and splendid beaches gives a traveler much to experience.  The Saharan backdrop certainly made it an ideal place for the fictional planet of Tatooine. Inspiration for the name even came from the Tunisian city of Tatouine.

Hotel Sidi Driss – used at Luke Skywalker’s home in Star Wars IV

The Star Wars movies that were filmed here were mainly in the southern areas of the country. Matmata is home to the Lars Homestead (Luke’s home). Tunisia’s fortified granaries (ksours) was the location of Anakin’s home. For some more info about the set locations, check out this article I found here.

Now I wonder if my sister (who is also a Star Wars fan) would want to go with me…

Photo credit:  Wikimedia CommonsLiftarn

 

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A WORLD OF FESTIVALS


Who doesn’t like a good festival? Big ones, small ones, free ones, music ones, food ones, holiday ones, religious ones, cultural ones and even silly ones. I would guess that there is one for just about everyone.  And to list them all would be a serious feat, one which I will not attempt. Every village, town and city has one so a quick Internet search should do the trick. Here is a listing of Vancouver’s festivals.

Now, how about those really big festivals? The ones you may spend several days enjoying or making a specific trip for? You hear about them from friends, on social media or even on travel/tourism websites. Today I will post a few of the big ones I’ve heard of and a great website that I found that lists even more!!

Here are some BIG festivals that I am aware of:

GLASTONBURY MUSIC FESTIVAL (U.K.) -This is a 5 day music festival held at Pilton, Somerset (England) and has been around since the 1970s. It is a huge celebration of music and performing arts. This year’s festival (June 25-29, 2014) is already sold out.

LA TOMATINA TOMATO THROWING FESTIVAL (Spain) – FOOD FIGHT!! This festival just screams FUN! I may not be into the music festival scene but I could go for throwing tomatoes at people around me. It is always held on the last Wednesday of August near the town of Bunol, Spain.

ROSWELL UFO FESTIVAL (USA) – I learned of this festival after being invited to attend.  I am not a UFO enthusiast, though, I think it would be interesting to check it out. Perhaps I will make there sometime. This 3 day event is being held July 3 – 6, 2014.

TOMORROWLAND MUSIC FESTIVAL (Belgium) – since 2005 electronic music fans have been able to revel in not only music but the creative psychedelic-type lights and decorations. With numerous stages and musicians this festival is bound to be fun! This year has the event over two weekends in July in Boom, Belgium.

BURNING MAN FESTIVAL (USA) – I know quite a few “Burners”. I am intrigued by Burning Man but am not certain I am Burning Man material – I am not one to really dress up in costume/cosplay but I heard such tremendous things about this particular festival. Held in the Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada during the last week of August, it draws tens of thousands of people looking for “radical self expression”. Incredible art sculptures, a focus on community and expression it certainly is attention grabbing.

SANTA CON (various world cities) – Somehow I have missed Santa Con every year since I heard of it about 5 years ago. Every year! Now it may not be your typical festival (its actually a pub crawl) but how can one not want to dress up like Santa with dozens of others and go from pub to pub? This is, of course, held in December.

So these are some of ones I have heard of time and again. There are many many more. Upon some Internet research I found a great site that has done all the work for you. They list loads of festivals all over the world. This is probably your best one-shop stop for world festival info!! Fest 300 has plenty of information for you to find out about a great festival.

How well do you know the world countries?


Here is a fun little quiz to test how well you know the names of the world countries. You are given 12 minutes to name every country in the world. The countdown begins immediately. I was, to my disappointment, only able to list about 60% on my first try…

http://www.jetpunk.com/quizzes/how-many-countries-can-you-name.php

Have fun and comment on how well your first try went!

 

SUNDAY’S SPECIAL SPOT – FULL MOON PARTIES IN THAILAND


Oops…maybe this post should be called “Monday’s Magic Moment” – sorry for the delay

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“Baby it’s cold outside”. Well it is officially December and a frosty winter season for Northern Hemisphere countries. Even moderately weathered Vancouver has been a bit chillier than normal. To help warm your souls I will be posting warmer destinations for the next several weeks. Enjoy! I know I will.
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I have, over the years, heard many things about Thailand. Mouthwatering food, pristine beaches, tropical weather, inexpensive traveling, and steeped in history it offers something for most anyone. Often included in the descriptions and lists of “what to do” of Thailand is the infamous Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan. Although this is not a “spot”, so to speak, it is something that is synonymous with this SE Asian locale.

What started out as a small party on the eve of the full moon in 1985 has turned into an enormous beach dance party (or rave) of over 10,000 – 20,000 fluorescent painted Western party-goers. World-class deejay’s mix music over dozens of sound systems, food stalls line the beaches and cheap drinks are available everywhere. It is one big party from sunset to sunrise with plenty of fun to had and memories made. Information and guidelines can be found on several websites. I guess with a party of this scale it is prudent and always use common sense and overindulging is best kept at bay. Check out Rough Guides Survivor Guide and Full Moon website for info, tips and survival know-how.

Drop In Bar, Full Moon Party Night


It is not for everyone that is certain, however, it would be a sight to see. Would I attend? I can not say. Dancing on the beach would be fun but 10,000+ people may be too big of a crowd for my tastes. Perhaps if the opportunity presented itself I would decide then. I will just wait and see.

Photo credit: Flickr – Brendan007