Visit Toulouse

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Toulouse is a city in southwestern France and is the fourth largest city in the European country. It is traditionally known as the Ville Rose or Pink City.

The city boasts a number of high-tech research bases and is also the base of the Airbus airplane manufacturers. The city boasts the third largest university in France.

The city has typical architecture of southern France and is the home of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Canal Du Midi and the Basilica of St. Sernin.

Places to visit in Toulouse include the Galerie du Chateau d’eau which is one of the world’s oldest sites dedicated to photography.

There is also the Hotel d’Assezat, cathedral de Notre Dame, Hotel de Pierre, Capitole de Toulouse which is a building of great architectural importance, the Pont Neuf bridge, Jardin des Plantes, Musee des Augustins, and Les Abattoirs museum which features many contemporary paintings and art.

Food is very important to the French culture and the Toulouse sausage is a specialty of the region. Other specialties include the cassoulet Toulousain which is a bean and pork stew, Garbure which is a cabbage and poultry soup and foie gras.

Places to enjoy Toulousain cuisine include Les Jardin de L’Opera, Le Restaurant Adresse, and le Velane.

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Lisbon Artists doing what they love

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It isn’t always often that people get to do exactly what they want in lie but for Lisbon born DJ Marlon Silva, life has worked out and provided him the opportunity to do just that.

Silva, who goes by the moniker Marfox, grew up in the Portuguese capital wanting to be a DJ watching his father and cousin playing at parties and knowing that someday he would too.

The 25-year old Silva has earned kudos and respect in the neighbourhood since his emergence. His music is a mixture of just about everything from American to African to European but relies heavily on the African sounds of his heritage.

Marfox and his protégé DJ NIgga Fox are among of group of young electronic music DJ’s who work in the area including Jose Moura and Marcio Matos of Principe Discos.

Principe Discos releases Silva’s and Nigga Fox’s records… the debut 12’ was in 2012. The group which came together in 2005 has also spread their tunes abroad playing at the Unsound Music Festival in Krakow, Poland.

Other Lisbon artists that work with Marfox and Nigga Fox include The Maquinas Brothers, Pausas, and Fofuxo.

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Washington DC

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While it is true that Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States, it is a nice place to visit for the average tourist in its own right.

The city is cool and with an easy road network is one of the nicest cities to walk around in with chic neighbourhoods, trendy restaurants, and an entire section dedicated to American history on the National Mall.

It is also walking or a metro rides distance from the nearby states of Maryland and Virginia which both donated land to help form the district, named in honour of President George Washington, in 1791.

The city is in a humid sub-tropical zone and has four seasons with hot summers and cold winters.

The city has a distinctly European feel which is not surprising since it was designed based on plans of the cities of Paris, Karlsruhe, Amsterdam, and Milan.

Six of the buildings listed in the top ten of the American Institute of Architects are in Washington D.C. These include the White House; the US Capitol; Thomas Jefferson Memorial; Lincoln Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Historic buildings in the city have a varied style built in Queen Anne, Chateauesque, Romanesque, and Victorian styles.

Georgetown, the Smithsonian Institute with the National Air and Space Museum are also must sees. Across the Potomac River in Virginia is Arlington Memorial cemetery where former presidents including JFK are buried.

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Crete, cradle of European civilisation

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The island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea is the largest of the Greek isles and the most populous.

The second largest island in the Mediterranean after Cyprus- Crete is teeming with history. It was once the centre of Minoan civilisation which is recorded as the earliest known European civilisation.

The culture is rich. Known for Mantinades poetry and music, and dances the most notable being the Pentozali. Crete is also rich with archaeological sites such as Knossos and Phaistos and there are also Minoan, Roman, and World War II ruins.

Crete is mountainous and has three different groups of mountains forming part of a range running from east to west. The island is plush with fertile plateaux, valleys, caves, and gorges. The climate is primarily temperate and there is snowfall in the mountains between November and May.

Heraklion is the largest city and capital, with more than a fifth of the island’s 600,000 people.

Crete has a road network larger than that of Britain and is well-served by ferries from the mainland city of Athens.

Crete is a veritable den of flora and fauna not seen anywhere else in Greece or other parts of Europe. There are no large or dangerous mammals or snakes on the island.

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