We already know that Spain is filled with superlatives: it’s home to the best restaurant in the world, the best parties – check out San Fermines or Las Fallas – and possibly the best word of all, siesta. But what we might not know is that this southern European country also hosts a small piece of heaven: the Cíes Islands.
With over 2,000 migrants gathered outside of Budapest’s Keleti train station last night, tension grew between refugees and Hungary’s riot police force. Many migrants began angrily chanting the word “freedom” in an…
In 1332, a Franciscan monk from Ireland visited the island of Crete. While there, he wrote this description of what he called “the descendants of Cain,” whom he met outside the town of Heraklion:
“They rarely, or ever remain in one place more than thirty days; but ever, as though bearing God’s curse with them, after the thirtieth day, go like vagabonds and fugitives from one locality to another, in the manner of the Arabs, with small, oblong, black, low tents, and run from cavern to cavern, because the place where they establish themselves becomes in that space of time so full of vermin and filth that it is no longer habitable.”
This was the first written account in Western Europe of the people who would come to be known as Gypsies, or Romani. Over the next four centuries, these people, who began their journey in northern India a thousand years prior, would cross every kingdom and principality in Europe. By the 18th century, they had traveled to America, and today they live all over the world.
Get ready: you’re about to be struck with some serious wanderlust. From secluded towns tucked among looming mountains to frequently-visited, technicolor villages with more canals than concrete, we’ve selected a handful of destinations which prove that cities don’t hold a monopoly on culture:
Travelers looking for a break from the sights–and smells–of Paris, delight: Annecy is here for you. Boasting all the French charm you could want and fabulous views of the southeastern French town is not to be missed. Whether it’s swimming in the aqua lake of Lac d’Annecy (one of the purest lakes in all of Europe), biking, or just walking about the old town area (Vieille Ville), Annecy begs to be explored. The provincial charm is further highlighted by the Château d’Annecy, a restored castle that was once home to the Counts of Geneva.
Americans were at the forefront of inventing and making widespread use of television. We were also at the forefront of using it as a teaching tool for uplifting people all over the world. Unfortunately, we were also the first to toss that noble vision right out the window and run cigarette ads thinly disguised as news programs and hundreds of episodes of The Gong Show.
But, despite our own imbecility, Americans are consistently amazed at the surreal TV sometimes produced overseas. Every culture that has adopted TV has approached the medium in its own unique way, from North Korea’s all-propaganda, all the time format, to Japanese game shows that cross the conceptual boundary between lowbrow entertainment and actionable war crimes. It’s as if TV was our kid, who we sent to college overseas, only to have her come back as a Mao-quoting anarchist who runs a scat play blog on Tumblr.
Sometimes, mass media, ratings desperation, and striking cultural differences collide—and the results are then broadcast for the world (and a few aliens, probably) to see. Fortunately, some thoughtful people have done the public service of uploading the weirdest moments of surreal TV from overseas to the Internet for posterity.