14 Nov Shanghai Shenanigans

No one is ever bored in Shanghai, a city with an intoxicating mix of old-world glamour and skyscraping, breakneck modernity. Here is a list to get you started on the city’s most popular attractions. Visit The Bund Start your Shanghai explorations in the Bund, a collection of opulent, colonial-era buildings curving along the western bank of the Huángp? River. Wander the upmarket restaurants, bars, shops and hotels, enjoying views across the neon-striped river. From here, pulsating East Nanjing Rd heads away from the waterfront to the skyscraper-lined People’s Square. Cruise the Huangpu River From the Bund, you can take in the Huangpu River from one of 30 tourist boats. Channel old Shanghai in a Shikumen craft, join a pirate boat or deluxe cruiser, or step onto a dragon boat evoking the Ming and Qing dynasty. On the east side of the river you’ll see the steel and glass towers, such as the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, that characterize the city’s financial and commercial center. On the west bank is The Bund, Monument to the People's Heroes, Waibaidu Bridge and Huangpu Park, Shanghai oldest park. Hit the shops Shanghai is a teeming, late-night shopper’s delight, and subway Line 1 conveniently links the city’s three main shopping areas of Nanjing Road, Huanhai Road and Xujiahui. Wander west along Nanjing East Road to the brightly-lit shops and bustling tea houses and bars of Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street. Hang out in tea houses Experience the unique culture of Shanghai’s 24-hour tea houses,...

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07 Nov 5 Weird and Wild European Festivals

If you’re the kind of traveller who seeks out off-the-beaten experiences, then you’ll want to check out some of Europe’s lesser-known festivals. From a bonfire of huge puppets in Valencia to an underwater bike race through a cold Welsh bog, here are five of Europe’s most vibrant and eccentric events. [caption id="attachment_1210" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo courtesy of http://blog.ramtrucks.com.[/caption] Thorrablot Festival, Reykjavik, Iceland Culinary adventurers can taste ancient Viking fare such as ram’s testicles, rotten shark, whale blubber, boiled sheep’s heads, and seal flippers at the annual Thorrablot festival, which starts in mid-January. Or you can swig down some Brennivin, a potent local brew made with potato and caraway, and sample more palatable dishes at Reykjavik restaurants. This midwinter festival commemorates Thor, the Norse god of Thunder, with a month of feasting, storytelling and merriment. [caption id="attachment_1211" align="aligncenter" width="558"] Photo courtesy of https://beltanefiresociety.files.wordpress.com.[/caption] Beltane Fire Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland Mark the birth of summer with drumming, fire displays and pagan drama at Beltane Fire Festival, held at the end of May in the ruins of a replica Parthenon overlooking Edinburgh. Inspired by the ancient Gaelic traditions of the Beltane festival, this riotous celebration features a procession of mythical characters, including the May Queen and mischievous Red Men. Watch their elemental story play out with 12,000 or so other revelers. [caption id="attachment_1212" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo courtesy of http://locuraviajes.com.[/caption] Mountain Bike Bog Snorkeling, Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales For absurdist comedy, an underwater bike race through a cold peat bog is hard to beat. Each...

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06 Nov Seven Cemeteries

In honor of the holidays of remembrance that took place around the world this past weekend (Day of the Dead in Mexico, All Saint’s Day in Europe), we put together a list of some of the world’s most beautiful, impressive, and interesting cemeteries. Take a look at Panrimo’s top 7 cemeteries. Père Lachaise, Paris, France- When you need to take a break from the bustling of the city and long lines for tourist attractions, hop the metro over to the 20th arrondissement and take a quiet walk through the winding stone sidewalks of Père Lachaise. It’s the city’s largest and most beautiful cemetery. It’s also the most famous and is the final resting place for many of France’s greatest artists, politicians, intellectuals and musicians. There is currently a waiting list to “get in” but not if you’re just going to visit. Yeah, I think I’d just like to visit. [caption id="attachment_1187" align="alignnone" width="300"] Flickr: lupomanaro[/caption] Merry Cemetery, Sapanta, Romania- This might be the most cheery, colorful cemetery in the world. Here graves aren’t marked by cold, dark stone or marble, but by brightly painted, hand-carved wooden crosses. Most of these elaborate grave markers also depict humorous scenes from the lives of their owners and sarcastic epitaphs. If only I could read Romanian to understand what they actually said. I might just have to enlist the help of my grandma…I’ll get back to you. [caption id="attachment_1189" align="alignnone" width="300"] Flickr Serge Bystro[/caption] http://carmel.pasi.ro/the-merry-cemetery-sapanta-maramures-romania.html/merry-cemetery-sapanta-romania Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial,...

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03 Nov No Money? No Problem!

From fringe festival events to cultural institutions and glorious gardens, Edinburgh offers lots of activities for travelers on a shoestring. So don't let your lack of funds keep you from the vacation you dream about! Here are our picks of the best free things to do around the city. Discover Scotland’s national museum and galleries Trace Scotland’s story, from prehistoric times to the present, at the National Museum of Scotland. The museum has just undergone a £46.4 million redevelopment, and is set to add another ten galleries for 2016. Art lovers can also spend many budget-friendly days in the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Visit the Writers Museum See the writing desk of Robert Burns, the beloved Scottish bard who made ‘Auld Lang Syne’ a song of drunken new year greeting around the world. The museum also celebrates the lives of Sir Walter Scott, who penned Ivanhoe, Rob Roy and The Lady of the Lake, and Robert Louis Stevenson, author of the classics Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Imagine the lives of these literary geniuses through their personal artifacts, including a dining table and rocking horse owned by Scott and an engraved ring given to Stevenson by a Samoan chief. 3. Hit the free Fringe Festival A limited cash flow wont stop you from enjoying the cultural whirlwind of the Edinburgh Fringe, with hundreds of ‘Free Fringe’ events on offer throughout...

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28 Oct Halloween is Coming! And From Where Does it Come?

[caption id="attachment_1169" align="alignnone" width="300"] http://listverse.com/2012/10/31/origins-of-halloween-candy/[/caption] When you’re putting in vampire fangs or zipping yourself into a furry gorilla suit, do you ever stop to wonder why we actually do this every October? [caption id="attachment_1172" align="alignnone" width="300"] http://livinglifelakeside.blogspot.com/2011/10/boys-at-halloween.html[/caption] Oh hey, I'm just dressing up like a Gorilla. As it turns out Halloween is a tradition that has its roots in…Ireland! The October 31st holiday has been linked with the Celtic Festival called Samhain, meaning “summer’s end” in Old Irish. Samhain was one of the most important days on the medieval Gaelic calendar, marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter on November 1st. It was believed that at this time of year, souls of the dead came back to roam the Earth, and to keep these roaming spirits at bay, the Celts would leave wine and food at their doorsteps. In the 8th century, the Catholic church changed Samhain to All Hallow’s Day, and October 31st became All Hallow’s Eve, eventually evolving into “Halloween.” [caption id="attachment_1171" align="alignnone" width="300"] http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/halloween-around-the-world[/caption] Very Halloweeny Even the Jack O’ Lantern can be traced back to Ireland, specifically to an Irish folktale about a man named “Stingy Jack.” According to legend, Stingy Jack tricked the devil by convincing him to turn himself into a coin to be used to pay for the drinks the two were having together. Once the devil had obliged, Stingy Jack held on to the devil-turned-coin in his pocket next to a silver cross, which...

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27 Oct Say Cheese

There are many things in my life for which I am grateful, not being lactose intolerant chief among them. You may wonder why that would be so high on my list and the answer is, simply, cheese. Cheese is a glorious use of dairy that comes in so many varieties you continuously discover new favorites. With so many cheeses left to try, here are 5 unique cheeses to put on your bucket list. 5) Tomme Au Marc De Raisin Traditionally a Christmas cheese, the process begins in autumn when cow’s milk is salted and curdled. Wrapped and doused in brandy, it is then completely covered in the same raisins that were used to make the alcohol. Decadent, right? Better make sure to have some crackers on hand to balance out the richness. 4) Stilton Au Porto If there were a hierarchy within cheese society, Stilton Au Porto would be king. A historic blue cheese, its production dates back to the 18th century, with only 6 modern dairies licensed to produce it. Turned daily to ensure it is aging evenly, the cheese is soaked in port to achieve the signature creaminess and blue veins. 3) Tchnerni Vit This cheese is region-specific to a town of the same name located in a small Bulgarian province. Made from the milk of local sheep, the curds are salted, and put into a lime wood box, which is then taken out into the mountains and left there until the end of October....

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20 Oct 7 strange wedding traditions from around the world

In case you hadn’t heard, there have been a few major celebrity weddings this year, including George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin, and, infamously, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian (in a ceremony that launched a thousand Instagram posts). While Kimye may have bucked most traditional wedding traditions in favor of a more contemporary ceremony, they did retain a few, including a healthy floral arrangement. Keeping wedding traditions in mind, here are seven strange traditions that you’ll find in various cultures! The Blackening of the Bride in Scotland [caption id="attachment_1146" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Thanks, family and friends!Photo courtesy of http://balintoreholidaycottage.files.wordpress.com[/caption] How much do you love bacon grease? Feathers? Soot? Imagine all of these mixed together with a healthy portion of water and mischief, then dumped over your entire body the day before your wedding. Sound fun? Now, imagine getting tied to a tree while covered in the grime, of course after a healthy portion of alcohol. Welcome to one of Scotland’s wedding traditions! While this originally began as a way to ward evil sprits and has fallen from practice, there are still several Scottish villages that relish this marriage ritual.   French Decadence   [caption id="attachment_1147" align="aligncenter" width="622"] ...

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13 Oct October Fest(s)

With the month half over, many people are starting the countdown to one of the biggest parties of the year: Halloween. What they don’t realize is how many other festivals they could be celebrating in the 2 weeks leading up to that spooky day. Read on to find Panrimo’s favorite international festivals in October. 7) Naga Fireball Festival (Nong Khai, Thailand) October 16th Crowds gather on the banks of the Mekong River to enjoy this unexplained phenomenon. As darkness falls, glowing orbs of varying sizes (some as large as basketballs) rise high into the sky over the river before vanishing. Though some nights are more active than others, thousands of these reddish, fireballs can be seen in the sky near the close of the Buddhist Lenten season. Many have tried to find scientific explanation behind the orbs, but no scientific explanation has stuck. Locals attribute the phenomenon to Naga, a mythic river snake. 6) Bridge Day (West Virginia, USA) October 18th The New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia held the first Bridge Day to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the bridge’s completion, and what better way to do that than by allowing hundreds of people to throw themselves off of it? Every year 400 BASE jumpers parachute off the bridge, floating to safety in the river 876 ft below. Hundreds more rappel down from the bridge supports as 100,000+ spectators cheer them on. Supported by a number of extreme sport companies and...

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07 Oct On This Day in 1889

The Moulin Rouge was born. Happy Birthday, Moulin Rouge! Okay, well technically, it was 125 years ago yesterday that the Moulin Rouge opened its doors in Paris’s 18th arrondissement. In its century and a quarter-long existence, it has become one of the world’s most well known cabarets. Having immortalized the French cancan and inspired numerous artists and filmmakers, it has become arguably as iconic as the Eiffel Tower. This famous Red Windmill has attracted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Prince Edward VII and continues to attract about 600,000 people to its shows per year, many of them tourists, mais oui! [caption id="attachment_1128" align="alignnone" width="300"] http://life.time.com/culture/moulin-rouge-vintage-color-photos-of-cabaret-dancers/#1[/caption]                               Vintage Moulin Rouge [caption id="attachment_1130" align="alignnone" width="300"] http://www.wikiart.org/en/henri-de-toulouse-lautrec/at-the-moulin-rouge-the-dance-1890[/caption]                            Even more vintage Moulin Rouge Want to catch a show? There are two back-to-back shows (two hours long) every night of the year. Yep. The Moulin Rouge is open 365 days a year- that’s 730 opportunities a year to watch the sparkle and feather clad Doriss Girls dazzle and dance in synchrony, all while you dine in the elegant showroom as tuxedoed waiters sweep in to top off your champagne. And don't think intermission is a break from entertainment. Sneak away to the restroom for too long and you'll miss jugglers, acrobats, and talking dogs...

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29 Sep Heal Thyself!

Summer has finally started to make way for fall, and with the new season comes all the assorted fun: brisker temps, changing leaves, more passionate football rivalries, and pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING. What also joins the party is that least-welcome of autumn happenings: the common cold. Here at Panrimo we guzzled chicken noodle soup until we were (figuratively) sick of it. Which got us to thinking, how do people cope with colds elsewhere? Read on to find the international cold-cures we liked the best. 7) Garlic and Onion Omelettes (Morocco) Garlic has long been touted as a cure-all, so combining its power with the vitamins found in onions and eggs is an excellent way to give your body the help it needs to banish infection. This isn’t an omelette in the American sense, but instead takes the form of a Spanish omelette. Heat olive oil in a pan with pepper. Whisk your eggs and pour them into one thin layer, adding the crushed garlic and chopped onions while the egg is still cooking. Flip it once (as you would a pancake) and serve. 6) Habanero Peppers (Mexico) This cure requires no cooking and very little explanation. Procure a habanero pepper. Eat it. Wait as all your sinuses empty out at once. (It might be best to have tissues handy) This might seem like a rather questionable method from a nutrients point of view, but the capsaicin in peppers is actually really good for clearing that icky, thick mucus...

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