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  • Calling in the heavies at the Highland Games

    Calling in the heavies at the Highland Games

    December 13th, 2013Site Editor
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    Throughout Scotland, not just in the Highlands, summer signals the onset of the Highland Games, from the smallest village get-togethers to the Giant Cowal Highland Gathering in Dunoon, which draws a crowd of 10,000. Urbanites might blanch at the idea of al fresco Scottish country dancing, but with dog trials, tractors, fudge stalls and more cute animals than you... Read more »

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  • Standing at the heart of Mother Russia

    Standing at the heart of Mother Russia

    December 12th, 2013Site Editor
    insert_drive_file Article2 min read

    Stand in the middle of Moscow’s Red Square and in a 360-degree turn, the turbulent past and present of Russia is encapsulated in one fell swoop: flagships of Orthodox Christianity, Tsarist autocracy, communist dictatorship and rampant consumerism confront each other before your eyes. Red Square, is, well, red-ish, but its name actually derives from an old Russian word for... Read more »

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  • Soviet Exhibitionism in Moscow, Russia

    Soviet Exhibitionism in Moscow, Russia

    December 11th, 2013Site Editor
    insert_drive_file Article2 min read

    For a taste of all the Soviet Union once promised and an illustration of what it has come to, there’s nowhere better than the all-Russian Exhibition Centre, known by its acronym VDNKh. This enormous park in northeast Moscow is a glorious illustration of Soviet hubris, an exuberant cultural mix ’n’ match vision of a world... Read more »

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  • 20 picturesque Christmas destinations

    20 picturesque Christmas destinations

    December 11th, 2013Rough Guides Editors
    camera_alt Gallery

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  • St Petersburg’s White Nights

    St Petersburg’s White Nights

    December 10th, 2013Site Editor
    insert_drive_file Article2 min read

    Imagine spending all day sightseeing, taking a shower and a nap, and then looking out of the window to see the sky as bright as midday. Your body kicks into overdrive, and the whole day seems to lie ahead of you. The streets throng with people toting guitars and bottles of champagne or vodka; naval... Read more »

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  • The world’s best speakeasies

    The world’s best speakeasies

    December 9th, 2013Bar Chick
    insert_drive_file Article7 min read

    Why party with the masses when you can steal away with others in-the-know at an underground speakeasy, or find yourself a key to the best secret bar in the city? We know them all, but luckily for you, we’re not very good at keeping secrets; here is a BarChick rundown of the best places for... Read more »

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  • Take the Trans-Mongolian Express

    Take the Trans-Mongolian Express

    December 9th, 2013Jeremy Smith
    insert_drive_file Article2 min read

    Even after seven unbroken days on a train from Moscow, nothing can prepare you for the Chinese border. As you pull into the platform, which is lit up in neon colours, a Chinese-tinged version of the Vienna Waltz comes blaring over the Tannoy. Trying to work out the cultural relevance of this is a hopeless... Read more »

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  • Taking a ride through Lisbon’s historic quarters

    Taking a ride through Lisbon’s historic quarters

    December 6th, 2013Matthew Hancock
    insert_drive_file Article2 min read

    Just as you should arrive in Venice on a boat, it is best to arrive in Lisbon on a tram, from the point where many people leave it for good: at Prazeres, by the city’s picturesque main cemetery. Get a taxi to the suburban terminus of tram 28 for one of the most atmospheric public-transport... Read more »

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  • Clearing your calendar for bacalhau, Portugal

    Clearing your calendar for bacalhau, Portugal

    December 5th, 2013Matthew Hancock
    insert_drive_file Article2 min read

    On Lisbon’s Rua do Arsenal, whole window displays are lined with what looks like crinkly grey cardboard. The smell is far from alluring, but from these humble slabs of cod the Portuguese are able to conjure up an alleged 365 different recipes for bacalhau, one for each day of the year. Reassuringly, none of this mummified fish dates back... Read more »

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  • Heart of stone: losing yourself in deepest Iberia

    Heart of stone: losing yourself in deepest Iberia

    December 4th, 2013Site Editor
    insert_drive_file Article2 min read

    The Beira Baixa is a land of burning plains and granite visions, isolated in one of the most remote corners of Western Europe, where the Spanish border blurs under a broiling sun. Here, if you search hard enough, you’ll find at least two of the most startling medieval villages in Europe: Monsanto – Mon Sanctus... Read more »

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  • Party in the sun at Boom, Portugal

    Party in the sun at Boom, Portugal

    December 3rd, 2013Jeremy Smith
    insert_drive_file Article2 min read

    Twenty thousand revellers each year come to Boom, Europe’s greatest outdoor dance-music festival, which takes place for a week over the August full moon on a lakeside ranch about 60km from Lisbon. In true summer-of-love fashion it combines non-stop dance music with eco-idealism: here you’ll find sustainability workshops, recycling and composting bins, a permaculture garden... Read more »

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  • Hiking in the Tatras, Poland

    Hiking in the Tatras, Poland

    December 2nd, 2013James Smart
    insert_drive_file Article1 min read

    The country’s traditional attractions – Warsaw’s lively old town and Kraków’s gorgeous squares – are worthwhile stops, but it’s easy to forget that there is another Poland, a genuine wilderness of high (and often snowbound) peaks, populated by lynx and bears. The Tatras Mountains are as beautiful as any national park in Europe, and their... Read more »

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