With over 50 countries in its lair, the continent of Europe is an embodiment of diversity at its best. From the Norwegian fjords to the Scottish highlands, each country is culturally distinct and unequivocally unique. In this two part article, I bring to you some of the exclusive experiences that cannot be missed whilst travelling around Europe.
- Mayor of London fireworks – United Kingdom
Every New Year’s Eve, the city of London’s skyline lights up at the stroke of midnight with a spectacular display of fireworks across the River Thames. A mesmerising sight lasting for over 10 minutes, this global event attracts over 100,000 visitors from all over the world. Not to forget the party atmosphere, the revelry and a DJ’s music rocking at the background all through the event more than makes up for the cold and the wind on a typical winter night!
- Oktoberfest, Germany
Breaking stereotypes might not have featured in their motto but the Germans did exactly that by continuing this long-standing tradition of hosting Oktoberfest – a mammoth 16-day annual beer festival held during the mid/end of September up until the first week of October. With 14 big and 21 small tents to choose from, each differing in their aura and the menu served, this festival is considered the world’s biggest folk festival with up to 7.7 million litres of beer consumed in 2013 according to stats!
If being dressed in traditional costumes, serving and drinking copious amounts of ‘liquid gold’ all around does not impress you enough; add some delectable ethnic food, music and amusement rides into the mix and there’s no other place to be than here every September!
- La Tomatina, Spain
Quite possibly the only delightful ‘fight’ in the world where everybody wins by getting drenched in red, La Tomatina is a street carnival about 40 km from Valencia. An otherwise quiet town of Bunol, where this annual event is held gets unusually chaotic and messy on the last Wednesday in the month of August every year, when around 130 tonnes ripened and squishy tomatoes are thrown at the crowds in the city centre for about an hour.
The festival begins and ends with the sound of a cannon during which time trucks laden with bright tomatoes are strewn along its track for people to use and throw at each other. If you are looking for some chaotic fun during summer, this is one place that cannot be missed.
- Cannes film festival, France
With a population of about 70,000, Cannes is a tiny picturesque city in the French Riviera and a popular tourist destination for all strata of the society during most parts of the year. However, every year in May, this quiet town transforms itself for 12 days becoming a starry abode for the glitzy and the glamorous in the show business reaching a peak population of over 210,000!
The Cannes film festival is a prestigious invitation only event attended by the rich, talented and famous artists in the world of cinema. The festival serves as an ode to all genres of cinema with virtually anyone being able to submit their film to be watched and adjudged by some of the best in the business. Needless to say, this international event has tremendous media coverage across the world for its red carpet events, elite stars sashaying in their best attire and of course some world-class cinema.