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Colombia’s cowboy music: vallenato steals the show in Valledupar

Colombia’s cowboy music: vallenato steals the show in Valledupar Vallenato, the folk music of northern Colombia, was once derided as unsophisticated but is now celebrated at a festival in a city that loves to party Plaza Alfonso Lopez shook to its 16th-century foundations as I squeezed through the whiskey-drinking, sombrero-wearing crowd. On stage, a fast-fingered accordionist played, a sweat stain spreading across his chest. The crowd held aloft framed photographs of their accordion heroes and roared approval as musical scales swooped and soared in the sultry air. Continue reading… https://www.theguardian.com/uk/travel/rssTravel | The GuardianLatest travel news and reviews on UK and world holidays, travel guides to global destinations, city breaks, hotels and restaurant information from the Guardian, the world’s leading…

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Fine art or daring design? 13 must-see new galleries and museums in Europe

Fine art or daring design? 13 must-see new galleries and museums in Europe Gallery launches and long-awaited reopenings of some of Europe’s famous museums are taking place at many great city-break destinations this year A vast new – and, as the name suggests, block-shaped – building on Copenhagen’s harbour, the Blox complex is scheduled to open later this spring and house everything from homes to restaurants and an outdoor space for cultural events. Blox will also be the new home of the Danish Architecture Centre, which will host exhibitions on urban development, architecture and design. • Prices TBA, blox.dk Continue reading… https://www.theguardian.com/uk/travel/rssTravel | The GuardianLatest travel news and reviews on UK and world holidays, travel guides to global destinations,…

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Martin Luther King anniversary: the US Civil Rights Trail

Martin Luther King anniversary: the US Civil Rights Trail Half a century on from the assassination of Martin Luther King, novelist Dolen Perkins-Valdez takes a moving trip on the newly opened trail, from the great man’s birthplace to the site of his death in Memphis If you want to understand America, you must do the US Civil Rights Trail. A deep journey through the conscience of a nation, the sites commemorating the 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights movement reveal a country trying to reconcile its founding principles with its racial inequities. This period marked the most significant division the nation had faced since its civil war. Throughout the trip, I kept asking myself: what would I do for freedom?…

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San Francisco’s Japantown: vibrant, on-trend and fighting for its future

San Francisco’s Japantown: vibrant, on-trend and fighting for its future Japanese people started moving to J-Town after the city’s 1906 earthquake and the area still reflects its roots with festivals, food stops and arty stores but its small businesses face a battle against a real-estate boom An elderly Japanese-American man is pruning the tiny pines in concrete planters on a pedestrianised section of the outdoor Buchanan Street Mall, ignoring the teens hunting invisible Pokémon around him and the drone buzzing overhead. San Francisco’s storied Japantown is where aspects of Japanese culture have taken root in America but it’s also, in this tech-mad, trendy city, a neighbourhood that not only keeps up with the latest trends but sometimes sets them….

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Brunel and beyond: a walk around historic Bristol

Brunel and beyond: a walk around historic Bristol With the city’s much-anticipated Brunel museum opening on Friday, we take a stroll around the streets, waterways and engineering wonders that define Bristol’s heritage Since there’s no avoiding the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel in these parts – especially this week with the opening of a museum dedicated to him – you may as well engage with his legacy straightaway. Come to Bristol by train, alighting at Temple Meads station. When it opened in 1840, this was the western terminus of the Great Western Railway, 116 miles out of Paddington. Viewed from the front its majesty is emphatic, even ecclesiastical, given that its castellated form was, until the second world war,…

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Suffragette cities: events to mark the centenary of voting rights for women

Suffragette cities: events to mark the centenary of voting rights for women The 100th anniversary of votes for women heralds a year of plays, parades and talks and includes the Museum of London’s suffragette movement exhibition The 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 is to be marked on 6 February. It was legislation that enabled all men and some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time and paved the way for universal suffrage 10 years later. Related: 100 women on 100 years of voting Continue reading… https://www.theguardian.com/uk/travel/rssTravel | The GuardianLatest travel news and reviews on UK and world holidays, travel guides to global destinations, city breaks, hotels and restaurant information…

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From Georgia to Grimsby: campaign seeks to save Europe’s neglected heritage sites

From Georgia to Grimsby: campaign seeks to save Europe’s neglected heritage sites An initiative led by Europa Nostra has shortlisted at-risk cultural landmarks and aims protect seven of the most endangered An aerial cableway in Georgia, a modernist monument in Bulgaria and an ice factory in Grimsby, are among 12 heritage sites that have been shortlisted by a campaign that is highlighting Europe’s most at-risk cultural monuments. Heritage federation Europa Nostra, which works with Unesco and the EU, lobbies to protect cultural and natural heritage across the continent and represents national and local heritage groups. The shortlist is part of its 7 Most Endangered initiative that will lead to monuments receiving exposure, as well as guidance from Europa Nostra…

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Spirited away: on the bourbon trail in Kentucky

Spirited away: on the bourbon trail in Kentucky In cities from Lexington to Louisville, previously abandoned distilleries are getting a fresh taste of success in the birthplace of bourbon When I met Mark and Donnie at a roadside cafe in Kentucky, they were sporting bike leathers, tattoos and badges that hinted at involvement in military campaigns. Normally, I’d find a pair of grizzled guys riding Harleys pretty intimidating but these ones had Minnesotan accents. “Oh my gorrrrd, you’re driving down I-64?” asked Mike, in an unexpectedly high register. “You’ve gotta gooor drink whiskey!” The pair were in the middle of a three-week ride to Gettysburg and they had already blazed through several of Kentucky’s best-known distilleries – Jim Beam,…

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Readers’ best travel discoveries of 2017

Readers’ best travel discoveries of 2017 From a Norwegian glacier to an exotic garden in Chennai, and from vegan burgers in Warsaw to a sherry bar in Madrid, readers share their holiday highlights The best travel discoveries of 2017 – chosen by Guardian writers Looking for a walk to complete the day before tackling the mammoth Trolltunga hike in April, we decided on the trail to Buerbreen glacier. The starting point was a 20-minute drive from our base in Odda. The walk was brilliant: three hours of streams, rickety-looking bridges, ropes and scrambling brought us to the glacier. With the added beauty of having the trail to ourselves, this was a wonderful hike seemingly bypassed by those aiming for…

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With Bach to the Baltic: a hike through German history

With Bach to the Baltic: a hike through German history In 1705, JS Bach walked 250 miles from Arnstadt to Lübeck in search of inspiration. Follow in his footsteps now and there are mountains, beech woods and curious relics of the cold war to discover There is no better way to come close to a country than walking across it, for at some point in your journey there will be a moment when the place seems suddenly and wonderfully exposed. It happened to me in Germany, on a freezing winter dusk high on the summit of Brocken, the peak of the Harz mountains between Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. The mountains were adrift in mist. Steam trains hooted like mournful…

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