Botafumeiro

After adding Santiago De Compostella to our destinations; we simply had to follow up on an extraordinary event that captures in equal measures ones amusement and bewilderment.

As mentioned in the review an absolute must see event that will leave you speechless happens at certain intervals throughout the year, one falls around the 25th of July for the feast of St James which is during the pilgrimage time of year. The Botafumeiro, or to us lay folk, 'The Giant Swinging Incense Pot' is an 80(ish)kg silver pot of smoking fumes. It is hoisted on an old rope by 8 priests who start pulling in unison.

 

The smoking pot swings higher and higher, faster and faster until it is penduluming the entire width of the mighty cathedral at a speed of about 65km/hr (40.38mph).

This ritual started in the middle ages and purportedly one of the reasons of doing this was to clear the air from the stench of the under-bathed pilgrims who had just hiked their from all over the continent. 

On several occasions in its several hundred year history the hefty incense pot has not gone to plan. On one such occasion it speared through the stained-glass windows and travelled a good distance from the church. This happened to have occurred when a certain queen-to-be was visiting - Princess Catherine of Aragon was travelling to England to marry King Henry the 8th. She was there to bare witness to this event, some say she should have taken it as an omen for her pending marriage. 

*Watch to the end to see the priest take it for a twirling dance to bring it to rest.

 

Where Does Travelindicator Go On Holiday?

It has been a long year for us overe here at Travelindicator.

It's a strange contradiction when your job includes running a website about the most fantastic travel destinations in the world, yet on the daily you spend most of your time sitting at your desk coding away - wishing you were there.

Don't get us wrong, that is in no way a complaint as we love doing what we do and discovering all these new destinations, and what's more we love the fact that Travelindicator actually helps us make our holiday planning that much more efficient.

But just to change the tone here for a moment, let us today share with you a bit about our very own and very personal holiday plans for summer 2015.

Summer holiday?!

One part of Travelindicator (that's me!) is actually a European who resides in Singapore. A funny anecdote is that in one of my first days here some years back I enthusiastically told a local friend about my plans for the upcoming summer holiday, only to find him laughing in my face.

"Summer, what do you mean? Every day is summer in tropical Singapore!" OK, lesson learned, but we can't quite shake that European habit of spreading our wings come June-August.

Making it even more difficult is the fact that on the one hand I am surrounded by fantastic South East Asian destinations, but on the other hand long for traveling in Europe. This year my wife and I decided to go for the best of both worlds and spend a short week here in the region, and another two back in Europe.

Leg 1: South East Asia - Koh Samui

Koh Samui

The first part of our holiday (traveling with wife and kid, by the way) brings us to lovely Koh Samui. The Gulf of Thailand rather than the Andaman Sea is where it's at at this time of year if you want to avoid the rain, so that's where we shall be.

We are staying in a resort on the northern side of the island, roughly between Bophut Beach and Fisherman's Village. I will be the first one to admit that we booked our holiday relatively late, and so finding a place to stay proved difficult as most were fully booked or outlandishly expensive.

We ended up with a four star resort that offers us what we think we need: a good beach, near to places to drink and eat but not in the midst of it, and close to the airport. We can't wait.  

Leg 2: Europe - Amsterdam and The Netherlands

OK, so I am one of those people that calls The Netherlands "home home". As in, my real and current home is somewhere else, but that is where my roots are.

There won't be much sightseeing in places like Amsterdam involved here I'm afraid, as rather than that we will drive all the way to the eastern province of Overijssel and stay with relatives there.

Come to think of it, we have not written a single piece about that part of the country (to come I'm sure), but rest assured that it is green and lovely. See accompanying photo.

Leg 3: Europe - Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany 

After spending a few days in the Netherlands we head over to what is actually the main stay of our entire holiday: Tuscany! Here we will spend 2 weeks in utter peace in an AirBnb property that stands on top of a hill and is 500 meters away from its closest neighbour.

The funny thing is that this place cost us less money for nearly 2 weeks as we pay for a short week in the Koh Samui resort. From here we will explore places like Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terre and Lucca.

We then end our trip by heading over to Genoa and Milan for a night or two, and from there we fly back to Singapore. Sounds like it's going to be a magnificent summer!

Enjoy yours too.

-J