Travel tips – Walking in Rio de Janeiro and Visiting Lapland

If you’re planning on visiting Rio de Janeiro during the 2014 World Cup here’s an excellent article on walking through Rio

 If you’re more interested in meeting Santa Claus in Lapland then this article is for you.–drive-huskies-meet-santa-claus-and-try-to-catch-the-northern-lights-8956594.html

Help The Philippines by visiting in 2014

Help The Philippines by visiting the country in 2014 – here are some excellent suggestions for your trip –

I have always wanted to see the terraces in Banaue on North Luzon, but I had never heard of Bohol’s most famous attraction – the surreal Chocolate Hills: over 1,500 mounds formed by coral deposits sculpted by the wind and rain.

Books of the Year 2013

From The Guardian – various author’s Books of The Year – a sure sign that Christmas is coming.

Personally, I have read none of the recommended books – mea culpa.

Unusual Places to Stay

If you enjoy unusual places to spend your holidays consider the places in this article.

I have stayed at the Propeller Island in Berlin and enjoyed the experience. I would have added the Salt Hotel in Uyuni in Bolivia to this list although the salt didn’t provide much protection from the Bolivian tourism minister’s all-night party. 

Drinking to success

The man with the cap was sitting at a small table, with a pen and paper lying on it. The table was under a plum tree. He patted the seat next to him. I sat obediently. He poured some liquid from his bottle into two medium-sized glasses.

“Bulgaria,” he said pointing at himself and swallowed his drink. “England,” he said pointing at me and indicated with his eyebrows and eyes that I should celebrate this fact. I barely tasted the liquid as it slid down my throat, but somehow I knew it was quite strong. He filled up the glasses straightaway. Oh hell, I thought, this guy is a professional drinker. I tried to work out, while I still could, how many glasses would be in the bottle and thought there would be around ten, five for him and five for me. I started to eat my bread roll vigorously.

After a couple of minutes grinning at each other, the man suddenly wrote down on a piece of paper the following soccer result: Bulgaria 2 England 0, Sofia, 1974. He drank the contents of his glass triumphantly and said “Hahahaha”. I picked up the paper and nodded my head,”No, no.” Such things are the other way around in Bulgaria, nodding your head means you disagree with someone, shaking it means acknowledgement.  Twitter Id @WorkerJulian

The Beltane Hound

The foxes are allowed to use public transport and bicycles, but not private motorized vehicles to try and outmanouevre the hound. Likewise, nobody is allowed to conceal the foxhound or help it in any way. This relatively new ruling dates from 1873 when one of Lord Laxey’s forefathers disguised that year’s Beltane hound as a pheasant thus confusing the foxes. One of the more drunken foxes did admit that he came across the creature, but mistook the dog’s growling for a bad case of pheasant laryngitis.

There have been some unfortunate events. The 1911 Beltane Hound was never found and it was rumoured that it was aboard the Titanic heading for a new life. The 1954 Hound had no sense of direction and swam over to Northern Island. Three foxes had to be rescued by the local lifeboat as they tried to catch the creature. In 1968 one of the foxes had too much to drink and tried to pin his rosette to a police dog in Ramsay, the capital of the Isle of Man. The police dog’s handler bit the fox, which had to be given a tetanus injection by the local vet as the town doctor was a teetotaller.

Excerpt from 40 Humourous British Traditions

Twitter Id @WorkerJulian

Trip to Taormina

Apparently exhausted by her exertions, the nun sat down, but the middle-aged woman, taking her cue from the nun, got up. She came to stand by me, pulled out a creased picture and pointed at it, saying “Mia Mama.”

Her mother wasn’t the one sunning herself on the rock; she was the one swimming in the pool. “Molto bella, mia mama, molto bella” the woman said proudly and went on to say she had two boys herself, one of whom was interested in karate, emphasizing the point by chopping the air with her meaty hands, while making “Ho, ha, ho” noises. Apparently her husband had died, but she still enjoyed dancing and she then began to sway suggestively in front of me.

Luckily, the bus arrived and the door opened. The nun got on first as did we at a respectful distance. Her dancing curtailed by the arrival of the bus, the woman smiled, waved to us, and walked off to sit at another stop.

Excerpt from Julian’s Journeys

Twitter Id @WorkerJulian

New Meanings for old words

Drasticks          noun         When camping in the forest, these are the final two pieces of wood that you are prepared to rub together to try and start a fire.

Use in a sentence = Be careful – those are the drasticks – if they don’t work it’s going to be a cold night.

Sober               verb          To weep out loud because it is early in the morning and you haven’t had an alcoholic drink in over 8 hours. You aren’t an alcoholic though, you just enjoy a drink, don’t you?

Stereostype      noun          One of those people to whom it is really important to have the least  up-to-date and most out-of-fashion electrical gadgets.

Use in a sentence = Dennis is a stereostype – he uses Morse code to order his breakfast in advance.

Portfolios          noun          Books that are suitable for reading only on the left-hand side of ships.

Starboardfolios noun          Books that are suitable for reading only on the right-hand side of ships.

Use in a sentence = I’m going to read my starboardfolios before we arrive in Barbados.

Mambutterfly  noun          A previously unknown cousin of the mammoth that had a multi-coloured coat and black and white tusks.

Use in a sentence = The remains of the Mambutterfly were recently discovered in a glacier in Siberia.


Read the link from The Guardian below and then wonder how many lives could have been saved in the Philippines with the $142.4 million that was spent a few minutes ago on Francis Bacon’s portraits of Lucian Freud. …

It makes you want to scream, which is ironic when you consider that Francis Bacon’s portraits of Lucian Freud eclipsed The Scream as the most expensive artwork ever auctioned. 

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