Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Bruges, fairy tale fucking town

A "fairy tale fucking town" is how Harry, played by Ralph Fiennes, describes the city Bruges in the film In Bruges. And indeed Bruges is a city full of "beautiful fucking fairy-tale stuff."

Filmed on location, In Bruges finds two hitmen (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) hiding out in the small storybook Belgian town of Bruges after a failed job gets them into hot water with their boss. Written and directed by Academy Award winner Martin McDonagh, the film was the opening-night selection for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Known as the Venice of the North, Bruges is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. In addition, Bruges is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe, located in the lowlands of northwestern Flanders, near the North Sea. As a monument to the age of chivalry, Bruges has few equals.

It was a justified motive that prompted UNESCO in 2000 to include the entire historical city centre on the World Heritage list. Walking along the maze of winding cobbled alleys and romantic canals, you imagine yourself to be in medieval times. The wealth of museums is a striking image of this city's stirring history.

Bruges is also home to contemporary culture, such as the new Concert Hall, which is one of the most prominent music complexes in Flanders. Moreover, many events take place in Bruges. This year , for example, on 5th April 2009, the Tour of Flanders will start in the city.

The restaurants in Bruges which offer gastronomic cuisine and the exclusive hotels are a true feast for those who enjoy the good things in life.

Five reasons why Bruges is certainly worth visiting:

1) For its medieval character

2) For its accessibility: thanks to its privileged location, Bruges can be easily reached by any means of transport.

3) For its superb infrastructure: Bruges offers a wide range of accommodations, from low-budget to 4-star hotels. There is also a whole array of restaurants, ranging from traditional Flemish cooking to world cuisine (Japanese, Indian, African,…).

4) For its short distances: all locations are within walking distance from each other

5) For its beer, chocolates and waffles

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Easter in Corfu from Hotel Arion

Easter in Corfu is so spectacular and special that it is more than worthy of continuation to retain as part of the island's cultural inheritance. Everything that you will see and hear during this particular period, especially during the last 3 days of the Holy Week - all the events, in combination with a town which has a variety of architectural styles and incredible streets, will offer you an unforgettable "fabulous picture" to hold in your memory for ever after.

At 11 a.m. on Palm Sunday, with pomp and ceremony, the procession of Saint Spiridon's relic begins. This procession, which is the largest and longest of all our Saints processions was consecrated in 1630, is in memory of the miracle St Spiridon performed to save the town from the plague. Nowadays, the evening before Palm Sunday, a prayer takes place on the rampart of Aghios Athanasios in the old fortress from where the Saint turned the terrible disease away.

Leaving the town and out to the villages, the blossoming of nature during this spring period, the season of fertilization reaches the peak of its beauty. It is a magical sight for the visitor to experience the fragrances, the colors sparkling in the sun light - the white, the yellow, the purple and the green of the wild flowers, the blue of the sky and the sea combined with the stone of the buildings and monasteries - all this creates an unforgettable picture, a memory that will remain with you for ever. Wednesday of Holy Week a concert of religious music, performed by the town choir takes place in the municipal theatre, announcing the approach of the Holy Passions through the church music. Thursday of Holy Week you can attend the mass of the Twelve Apostles in Duomo, the Catholic Cathedral in the Town Hall square, where they light 12 candles in the beginning of the mass and blow one out at the end of the reading of each Apostle. The morning of Good Friday the ceremony of the "Deposition from the Cross" takes place and at noon of the same day in all churches, the congregation begin to pay their respects to the beautifully adorned floral Epitaph. Early in the afternoon each church, one after the other, starts the funeral procession, criss-crossing the main roads of the town and the Liston. In the suburbs of Garitsa, Anemomilos, San-Rocco and Mandouki as well as at the monasteries of Platytera and Paleokastritsa, the funeral procession takes place with ritual formality and emotion. During the procession of the Epitaphs, displaying the continuation of our cultural inheritance, the "choro" (choir) will chant the well known "E genee pase", the marchers will carry the "skoles" (4-sided banner), the "flamboura" (the remains of Byzantine flags), the enormous candles along with the Venetian lanterns, and the music of the funeral "marchies" (marches) performed by our philharmonic bands, whose golden helmets shine and sparkle in the afternoon sun whilst marching the well-trodden route around Corfu Town.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

New destinations

Find out new destinations on medestino almost everyday

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