Road to Santiago de Compostela

732 km on foot from  St Jean Pied de Port to the cathedral of Santiago. At least one month of walking passing from the peaks of the Pyrenees to the boiling meseta till the forests of Galicia.

This is El Camino de Santiago.

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Students, families, religious groups face this challenge each for a different reason but they all follow ‘Las conchas’, the shell symbols used to indicate the path.

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A backpack of at least 9 kg, blisters and physical pain are the inseparable companions of this adventure. Wearing comfortable technical  shoes is a necessity ironically remembered along the way.

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Fortunately,  it is easy to find small restaurants where to revive body and soul thanks to a tortilla and a empanada. A beer is here a must at any hour of the day.

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Small villages are always ready to welcome walkers; la Credential, a sort of ID of the pilgrim filled by the timbres of the different churches encountered along the way, will allow you to stay at the hostels for low prices.

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The majority of the hostels is equipped with kitchen. If not the same owner will cook you dinner. Even washing machines will always be present, even in the most unexpected places.

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Competition for the few available beds in the smaller countries and the summer heat forced many to get up at dawn but the eyes are certainly rewarded for this effort.

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Despite the several interesting travelers you will encounter, the road will seem endless, and often you’ll find yourself wishing water more than anything else in the world.

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But when in the distance you will see the cathedral as longed, the beautiful city of Santiago won’t be your only gain. Spiritual enrichment, a greater self-knowledge, and a feeling of accomplishment will be a far more heavy personal baggage of the 9 kg backpack with which you get used to walking.

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New Year Valentine’s Day

Around 250,000 people of different cultures decided in an alternative way to spend this Valentine’s 2016. So many in fact flocked to the West End’s streets of London for the Chinese New Year celebrations. Lanterns, dragons, carp of all colors have thus replaced the red roses.

The annual capital’s parade, the biggest in the world outside China, has marked with one week delay, the beginning of the year of the monkey.


The schedule of the event, despite the large turnout and a small protest against dog- eating, had no setbacks thanks to the help of many volunteers. Cindy, 21, Chinese volunteer who studies in London, said :

“Even if this environment is different from China, taking part to the celebrations makes me feel closer to my origins,”

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Unmissable selfie in the crowd of Chinatown

The highlight of the celebration has featured ten lion teams acting their propitiatory dance among the restaurants, craft stalls and food stands of Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue till the heart of Chinatown.

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A team of dancing lion

On the Trafalgar Square stage artists visiting from China specifically for the occasion performed acrobatic show, theatre and song recitals.

A family area at Charing Cross Road have hosted martial arts demonstrations and an opera performance from the Chinese Young Cultural Ambassadors, providing a welcome shelter from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding streets.

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Martial arts demonstrators

London confirms once again to be one of the cosmopolitan capital of Europe.

Tourists of all backgrounds have taken advantage of this opportunity of contact with a still mysterious culture. Like Marie, 51, half french woman who said:

“I’ve always been fascinated by Chinese culture, since I was five. I came here to learn more about the year of the monkey. I think that it is showed the happy side of China.”