Archives for posts with tag: Culture

This weekend (slightly late post) whilst perusing the streets of sunny Bournemouth we came across a gathering in the square of the city center. On further inspection it was a demonstration of a group called Zil’oKA. A French Caribbean group promoting the diversity of traditional rhythms, singing, and dances. 

French Caribbean

 

After standing and watching the group for only a few minutes you couldn’t help but be mesmerized by their connection with the music and to each other. They gathered quite a large crowd. It seems only fitting on the rare occasions the sun comes out to have a beautiful sound track of African percussion in the background. Many people were dotted around the square lounging on the grass, readying, soaking up the sun whilst listening to the groups catchy rhythms.

French Caribbean

Many people who were watching started to join in and dance with the group. Small kids would reluctantly let go of their parents hands and be draw into the circle of dancing.
It was really nice seeing a group of people joining together to share their passion with complete strangers. Although they were taking donations it felt as though the group were just humble to have the opportunity to share their music.

The group was made up of women and men of all ages playing tradition percussion. The women of the group were mainly dancers who would interact with the crowd.

Was lovely to be a part of their music and  helped me to get excited that summer is on it’s way!

 

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Last year I was fortunate enough to go to the beautiful island of Tobago. Through a work college, we were able to find accommodation in a private house in the secluded area of Speyside.

I would like to point out that this house was the epitome of basic. It was a house granted, as it did have four walls and a ceiling. Nevertheless it made the experience that little bit more interesting – for example, finding ways of getting running water, was an adventure.

I had not heard very much of the Island of Tobago before going. So the weeks leading up to the trip I was reading every travel journal, recommendations and reviews site going.  One thing I was very concerned about was the fact we were going in the month of September, which as many people had told me, is their rainy season in the Caribbean.
I needn’t have worried. The weather was perfect!

So if you would like to make the most of the off peak airline prices (we flew with Monarch which were very reasonable). I would definitely recommend going.
As the people of Tobago said themselves, ‘It’s always hot!
I think during the whole two weeks we were there, it rained twice for an hour, tops. And to be honest, it was a blessing when it did rain as it was very hot.

I can’t express how much I loved Tobago – from the beautiful beach, to the friendliest people.

The first half of the holiday we spent at Speyside: A very small village along the northern cost of Tobago, just across from the island of Little Tobago. Speyside is a local village with a few small hotels. One of their most popular and luxurious hotel was Blue waters Inn. It is paradise. The beach that the hotel is situated on is a public beach. So many days we went down to the beach, and enjoyed the idyllic views.

The one thing I was dying to do was scuba dive. I had never been before and Speyside is known for it’s incredible scuba diving – as they have the largest brain coral reefs just off the coast.
We had been recommended to visit the Manta Lodge Hotel who had a diving school. The staff were amazing! Made us feel so welcome, and were very helpful.
The diving lessons were taken by Sean, who is very a experienced diver and made us feel safe and calm the whole way! (As I did have my panic moments).
From time to time we would pop in to the hotel and have some drinks. We had dinner there one night – where I tried breadfruit, a local starchy fruit of a tropical tree, which is used as a vegetable. Definitely worth a try if you have the chance!

During our time at Speyside we also went into the rain forest. We went early in the morning, for the best chances to see all the birds. It was a really amazing experience and we got to see another side of the Island.

One of the best things about Speyside is the people! Everyone you walk past would wish you a good day and offer a smile. It was so refreshing. Strangers would ask how your day is going and ‘how are you finding Tobago’. I loved it. It seemed they were relishing in the idea that other people were able to see the beauty in their Country. They were proud and honoured that other people were enjoying their home. It was an unforgettable experience.

The second half of the two weeks we ventured to the other side of the Island where we had been recommended to stay at a place called The Grange Inn. It was on the Western side of the Island. It was very convenient as it was only 5 minutes walk from Grange beach and 10 minutes to Mt Irvine Bay. The Western side of the Island, as it was closer to the city was busier and more tourist attractions. As it was the Caribbean side and was the most common place for tourists to stay.

Making the most of the Caribbean side of the Island we went to Pigeon Point for the day. (Pigeon Point Heritage Park). You had to pay a small fee to enter the heritage park, around $2. I had heard a lot about Pigeon Point and that it was the most beautiful beach in Tobago. And I wasn’t disappointed! It was breathtaking.
White sands and clear blue sea. Tobago was an amazing experience and we met some truly wonderful people along the way!

This is a little preview of the best bits from our trip! 

And some photos…

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Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise,

Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise,

Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise,

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As I sit here drinking my afternoon coffee – I glance out of the window and see a horrible grey sky, wishing I could be somewhere else. In hope of transporting myself somewhere else – flicking through old photographs seems to be the best way.

Two years ago I visited a friend who had moved to Paris after dropping out of Uni. She had been studying French and thought it best to further her learning by moving to the capital of France.
Naturally I jumped at the chance of seeing my darling friend with the added bonus of seeing the beautiful capital that is Paris! I had never been before and was so excited to finally see what all the fuss was about. When I can honestly say I truly fell in love with the city.

I felt like I got to see the true Paris, finding the hidden gems of the city amongst the usual tourist attractions. I visited during July at which point the ‘Paris Plages’ had been set up, transforming the city into one huge resort. If you are thinking about going, I would definitely recommend waiting around for this! It usually starts the end of July and lasts for four weeks.

During my week in Paris, I tried to cram in as many day trips and attractions as I could.

I went to see Sacre-Coeur. (The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris) is a Roman Catholic Church and the highest point in Paris on the hill of Montmartre. It was quite easy to get to by Metro then either walk up the hill (a million steps) or take the tram. I was feeling brave that day – so we walked.
But it was worth it. From the top, you have an amazing view of the whole of Paris. We were lucky, as it was a very sunny day and the views were breathtaking.

Whilst at the top of Montmartre, we walked to ‘the old artists corner’. A cubby place full of talented artists selling their work in a secluded market. I was in heaven. All types of art were being displayed, from contemporary oil on canvas to – water colours. It felt like the heart of Paris, full of culture and bursting with talent.

One of my favourite days was when we took a short metro ride to The Marais which has also long been the focus of the Jewish community. The Marais in recent years is known for being one of the ‘hippest’ areas of the city; packed full of hotels, vintage boutiques, restaurants and bars. It’s also prime territory for art lovers, with a vast concentration of art galleries and museums.
For me I ventured to The Marais in search for the vintage boutiques and thrift shops! The small cobbled, alley streets were the perfect location to find some hidden bargains. Even though it felt like we were at the back and beyond of Paris as the street were off main roads. I wrongly assumed it would have been very quiet! The small streets were packed. It was a bustling neighbourhood of culture, bargain hunters and art lovers.

As we wondered through all the shops, having a nose in each one, naturally we needed a lunch time pit stop. Being the Jewish area it was, there were falafel stands on as many corner streets as you could see (which were perfect for a quick bit to eat). All of which had a queue of about 20 people in each. I loved this hustling bustling atmosphere that you don’t see on the main roads. If you want to see some really quirky vintage shops, take a trip to The Marais!

Amongst other things I visited on my trip to Paris, some of the best moments were the simpler things.
Have a coffee in a small, quiet café on the terrace, underneath an umbrella, catching up with one of my friends.

Some photos of the best bits…

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I cannot wait to go back!

Have you been to Paris – what were your favourite parts?

This weekend I went to an event in Bournemouth called ‘secret walls’ held at the Winchester.

I’ve only been to the Winchester a handful of times and I’ve not been disappointed yet.  It’s a hidden gem! A place that is full of heart in every sense of the word. People are there to share, experience, and appreciate all types of art whether that being dance, spoken word, theatre, art or live music.

If you are ever in the area of Bournemouth, be sure to check it out. You’ll find a pure eclectic mix of underground music and people from all walks of life!

Last night was secret walls ‘Round 1′ – in simple terms an art off. An event where two artists battled against each other to turn a blank wall into a work of art in 90 minutes. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
As the rules state ’90 minutes, black and white, no sketches or pencils, GO BIG, OR GO HOME!!’

Round 1 : HULA HERBERT vs GEO DENCH

Secret Walls | Bournemouth nightlife

Secret Walls | Bournemouth nightlife

Secret Walls | Bournemouth nightlife

Secret Walls | Bournemouth nightlife

Secret Walls | Bournemouth nightlife

Secret Walls | Bournemouth nightlife

The event started at half 9 at which point it wasn’t too busy, but as the 90 minutes progressed the venue certainly picked up! It was such a good atmosphere! With music from DJ Roast Beatz, Extra medium, Selby and a Countryman Sound System UK afterparty.

The winner was Hula Herbert. Or ‘Tank girl’ as we were referring to her the whole night. (Wall on the left).
I did think she deserved to win, her piece was a lot more detailed and I especially loved the little mouse that is perched in the tank! Such a cute little touch!

As the winner of that round, Hula Herbert will go on to compete in round 2. I will definitely be there! I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

What do you think – who’s your favourite?