Each calendar year, the European Union names two cities as European Capitals of Culture, and during that year there are many cultural events in the selected places. This is a great chance for the designated cities to move into the center of attention, become bridges of communication, gain social and economic benefits, and become locations where international activities take place. With this approach, diversity of cultures and common efforts for mutual understanding can be encouraged. This year's capitals are the capital of the region of Frisia - Leeuwarden and the Maltese capital - Valletta.

 

Fidel Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara – a cliché to say so, but still the main attraction for a visit to Cuba. Ask anybody and you´ll get a quite similar answer: „I want to see the country before it changes“.  Traveling into a Marxist–Leninist socialist state is a different kind of holiday, catapulting you straight into history . . . Tourism in Cuba has been growing rapidly since the ‘80s. Tourism – now counting more than two million visitors per year – is one of the island’s main revenue sources. But obviously there is much more to this country than history and politics.

Temples although places of worship are also a major tourist attraction in different parts of the world. Some are known for their ancient history, others for the spectacular architecture and others for the hundreds of thousand of people that the volunteers at the temples feed each day.

Gold mines, even today, we associate them with something very exciting. After all, not for nothing there were gold fevers, which surely didn´t result in much of a clear thinking. If you have an opportunity to visit one of the modern operating mines, you may want to put on hold, the visions of actually seeing glittering gold. What’s most striking is the unbelievable scale of everything that comes in use when mining for gold. Machines as large as few storeys high buildings that  from a distance look like miniature toys for children, given the enormity of what you see around the machines. Welcome to some of the impressive gold mines around the world.

The former Sugar Bowl of the world welcomed 4.2 million tourists in 2017, according to the national tourism agency, Viajes Cuba. The place 'where fertile land is abundant' (the meaning of cubao) is a ‘socialist El Dorado’, and Cuba is today a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.

For those who judge a country strictly by its cuisine, the following words might be little liberating. Associating beer with Germany or wine with France no longer needs to be absolute, and similarly there may also be some common ground when it comes to food, if looked at more closely.  

"It´s cold like in Siberia" is one of the popular sayings linked to these cold months. And as it seems it is not far from truth. Some places experience winter temperatures that drop down to -50C. Feeling cold? Not the locals of Oymyakon in Russia, apparently. Children are excused from going to school only when it hits – 52.  People have their toilets outside, which might be quite challenging on such days. The lowest temperature recorded was -71,2C in 1933. This is not the only place where winters are so tough.

Alex and Valentina are two young & brave people who decided to leave their jobs and to travel around the world. Being creatives they went on taking bunch of fabulous photos and videos. But more than visual representation, I was fascinated by the deep conclusions and profound meanings these two have found throughout their trip. Was it all so easy? How did they manage their living? From being stuck on a cherry farm in Canada to building a bed in an old minivan and feeling like pilgrims - this adorable couple has done it all. Have dreams - will travel? Read on my interview with Alex to find a few tips on how to make your travel dreams come true.

At a time when a new architectural style had conquered Europe, the major characteristics of the new style dictated that it would mostly serve sacral purposes. Gothic Cathedrals were designed to bring the faithful closer to God through visual experience. The indoor and outdoor support system helped Gothic buildings to reach to great heights while delivering light at ground level. The supporting system served at the same time a decorative function. This unique performance in combination with ornamental vaults, and last but not least the colour effects of stained-glass windows, were fascinating then and continue to charm us today.

Wishful thinking for some is reality for a few others. The interconnected world we live in makes it possible, and sometimes quite rewarding, to become a nomad, travel the world, do what you wish to do, perhaps even live on your own tems to an extent and earn a good living. We are interviewing Alexander Waltner of Sweden, who has made all of these dreams his personal reality.

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