The March edition of London’s best fun mag, TNT Magazine, featured an article by One Small World entitled: Your Weird Summer Sorted!
Posts Tagged ‘travel’
Europe’s Most Unmissable Festival
Winner Announced: Monday 24th Nov 2014
One thing I did not expect to discover when I set out on the European Bazaar project was just how many festivals there are out there that people would call bizarre. Even after over a year of researching and six months trekking back and forth across the continent, I’m still having people regale me with events, ceremonies or competitions that : 1) test my credulity and 2) I struggle to believe I’m yet to hear about.
The Edinburgh Fringe festival requires no introduction. It is the world’s largest arts festival and in 2014 will see 49,497 performances of 3,193 shows in 299 venues across one of the world’s most picturesque and historic cities.
The European Bazaar project has now been underway for 4 months. Sadly it has been set against the distressing backdrop of the twin Malaysia disasters, the international apathy toward the massacres in Gaza and the political collateral damage of the war in the Ukraine.
And it’s times like these that it is is easy to forget that we do know how to be nice to one another.
That’s why I can now tell you that if your faith in humanity is getting a little thin, then you need to visit a little scarecrow festival in the heart of Ireland.
Driving north we are on the upward span of a long, arching bridge. Up ahead the girders of the bridge, set against the monotone grey-blue sky, make it look as if we are driving towards a door in the firmament, opening into a hazy Great Beyond.
It’s not too far from the truth. As we crest the bridge we can once again see over the pastures and fields of windmills that seem to roll on forever. The far north of Germany is almost as far into the Great Beyond as you can get and still be in continental Europe. The weather looks menacing but we’re heading to a festival where a little rain really won’t hurt anybody – Germany’s Wattolümpiade, the Mud Olympics.
As One Small World racks up the kilometres in search of Europe’s weirdest festivals, I’ve been lucky to come across many wonderful places on the road. And just like each of us have our idiosyncrasies, inexplicable sillinesses, and definite sense of self, so too do the places that we inhabit.
I do have to admit a certain closed-mindedness when it comes to notorious party-island destinations. I’ve always been unenthused by the tales I’ve heard from Bali (or Aus-Bali-a as it could otherwise be known), I found few redeeming features in Corfu and please get my head examined if I ever mention Ibiza as a possible destination.
Bruges in Belgium has had almost every favourable adjective thrown at it over time. And it is one of those rare cities that you immediately realise deserves almost all of the praise, even that which slips into ecstatic hyperbole. It is an elegantly city, easy to dive into and unerringly rewarding.