Author: Richard Telling

Online Shopping for Cruise Deals

When shopping for vacation packages or cruise and travel vacations, many people are reluctant to deal with online merchants or even offer their email address for price quotes. Let’s look at this last item.

You search online for a specific cruise or vacation. You find a link that looks interesting. Clicking on the link takes you to a merchant. You plug in the parameters of your preferred travel vacation. Then the unthinkable happens. You’re asked to provide your e-mail address! Oh no!

Relax. What’s the worst case scenario? You will perhaps receive an e-mail requesting a little more information regarding your preferred cruise or vacation. After having given the answers requested, you will receive a quotation for your cruise or travel vacation package. You may even receive specials and updates from the merchant to keep you up to date with special cruise and travel deals. Is this so bad? If you do receive subsequent special offers, you may just find your preferred vacation on sale! What’s wrong with that?

Now let’s deal with the first item. You have received your quote for the cruise or vacation of choice. Again, let’s look at the worst case scenario. You still do not want to deal online (although why, I can’t imagine). You can then go to your “brick and mortar” cruise or travel agency armed with information and a very tight budget (remember, you already have a quote for your cruise vacation). This places you in an excellent bargaining position. You have received a couple of quotes online, and know what the best deal online is. Now you can “work over” the “brick and mortar” cruise agent. If you don’t get a better or equal quotation for your cruise or vacation you still have the opportunity to purchase online. Not bad, eh?

Another definite advantage to at least pricing cruises and vacations online is that you get to do it on your time, in your own home or office without the sales pressure sometimes inflicted by face to face quotations. You also have all the time you need to browse through the myriad of cruise and vacation opportunities to get the travel getaway the best suits your needs and desires.

We have all heard of the nightmares that some vacationers have had with travel agents and agencies. There are “scam artists” in virtually every business. You are no more guaranteed that a travel agency from the paper – or even – the yellow pages – is any more reputable than an online merchant. Many frequent travelers deal online because they feel that they can get the best deals on cruises and vacations. And they can get them in “real time” directly from the cruiselines, vacation package companies, and airlines.

Pindaya Village

Pindaya is a small, beautiful and tranquil mountain village in Shan State, Burma, located about 25 miles/40 km north of the Inlay Lake. Its centre is the Botoloke Lake also called Nattamie Kan what means Angles Lake and its attraction more than 8.000 Buddha statues in a cave.

After an interesting 2.5 hours early morning couch ride through a highly scenic landscape called ‘Burma’s Switzerland’ with many small Danu, Pa-O and Taung Yo people settlements on the mountainsides along the road we arrive in Pindaya.

The tribal people are earning their living with the growing of all kinds of vegetable and crops. They are relatively poor, conduct simple lives but are very happy. They are living witnesses to the phrase that money (at least not alone) does not make happy. We should remember that back home looking at the pictures we have made of them. Life is more than making money.

Pindaya village is predominantly populated by people of the ‘Taungyo tribe’ and is surrounded by magnificent often very old banyan trees. It is famous first and foremost for its ‘Pindaya Caves’ and the ‘Shwe Ohn Hmin Pagoda’ (Golden Cave Pagoda). Secondly, it is renowned for the beautiful Shan paper and parasols that are made here since generations.

The Pindaya caves are situated uphill Pindaya’s small lake from which the stairway leads up to the limestone cave’s mouth behind the pagoda. It is quite a long walk up there, which is one of the reasons why one should not try to take Pindaya in a rush. Of course, you can also go by car all the way up to a platform directly below the cave’s entrance or by elevator. But then this ‘Pindaya Cave Exploration’ experience would as I believe be somehow like soup without salt. That is why I am going to walk and climb the stairs

Actually, there a three caves in Pindaya but only one (the southernmost) is open to the public. As far as I know nothing is known about the other caves; not publicly, at least.

The interior of the cave comprises a large net of smaller and larger and sometimes very high caves and cave chambers with different interiors. The smaller ones of them are occasionally quite difficult to reach and to explore as their accesses are low and narrow. But to wind ones way into some of them is well-worth the effort. However, there are also some caves I do not recommend to enter because this is only possible when you are crawling. I do not think that one needs to go to that extreme in order to get a good and authentic feel for the magnificence of this cave.

Many thousand – no one knows their exact number but an estimate says 8,000 plus and counting – of Buddha images of all kinds of material such as lacquer ware, jade, marble, teak, bronze, brass, etc., all sizes from small figurines to large statues in many different styles and different ‘Mudras’ (postures) from the standing ‘Varada Mudra’, depicting Gautama Buddha’s descent from Tavatimsa, to the walking ‘Abhaya Mudra’, representing Buddha’s taming of the rampaging ‘Nalagiri’ elephant, to the seating ‘Bhumisparsha Mudra’ or ‘Dhyani Mudra’ or ‘Dharma Chakra Mudra’ (the differences of which are in the varying positions of the legs, hands and fingers) to the Parinibbana position showing Gautama Buddha in reclining posture.

Provided one has an eye and the patience for details (which to have is needed to fully enjoy all this splendour) all of this will not only be just seen but also registered with awe. The so far earliest known Buddha statue in the cave dates back to 1773; but it is of course possible that there are older ones for not all of them are dated and bear a name.

As for the question of how long the cave is I did not measure it myself but was told that the total lengths of this cave is some 150 metres/490 ft.

As yet no one could tell me exactly when, by whom and why this particular cave was chosen centuries ago for pilgrims to place as sacrificial offerings their Buddha images in here.

Be that as it may, the fact remains that the Pindaya caves are sacred to Buddhists and that you will often see Pongyis and laypeople quietly sitting and meditating in the caves. It is not only that the caves form a labyrinth but also the way in which the Buddha images are arranged what gives quite a different picture than that of other caves such as e.g. the wonderful ‘Kaw Gun Cave’ in Mon state.

Exploring the Pindaya Cave with its unique atmosphere and huge collection of Buddha statues is an experience that creates an everlasting impression on everyone’s mind. By the by, it can get quite cold in the cave and it is therefore advisable to have a thin jacket with long sleeves or at least a shirt or blouse with long sleeves in the bag.

Along the ridge outside the cave is an old temple complex and situated below the ridge is the Shwe Ohn Hmin (Golden Cave) Pagoda, also spelled Shwe U Min (Golden Cave) Pagoda at the entrance to the cave. There is great uncertainty as to when the pagoda was built and by whom. But this would not be Burma if there would not be a legend, and there is one. According to this legend the cave was built by monks sent by emperor Ashoka from India. However, if we take a closer look at this we will find that the oldest known Buddha statue in this cave dates back to 1773 and that emperor Ashoka lived and reigned in the 3rd century B.C. This means that now a time gap is opening up that cannot be easily explained away.

Speaking of legends. In front of the steps leading up to the cave’s entrance are two statues or sculptures. One depicts a huge nasty looking spider and the other an archer aiming with his arrow that is ready to fly at the spider. The legend behind this is that a huge spider that once lived in the cave had kidnapped a young local princess who had been swimming in the lake and kept her hostage. This problem was once and for all solved by the young prince Kummabhaya of Yawnghwe. He put an end to the spider’s life by putting one of his arrows into the spider’s heart. Similar stories you find often in legends. One example is that of the legendary king Pyusawhti of Pagan, who reigned between 167 – 242 A.D. He freed Pagan from the terror of the five menaces with his magic bow and arrows. For his heroic deed he was rewarded by the then king Thamudarit who gave him his daughter as a wife and made him heir apparel.

The pagoda bell in front of the prayer hall is made of brass and according to the inscription it weighs 654 kg/1.442 pound and was cast in 1842.

The prayer hall is connected to the name of a very famous Burmese monk. In fact, he built this prayer hall. His name: U Khandi. U Khandi was born in 1868, as Maung Po Maung in Ywathaya village, Yamethin District, Mandalay division and became Hermit (forest dwelling monk) in 1900. He devoted his entire life to the renovation and building of temples and pagodas and the funding of these projects. In 1949 he passed away and had by then (more precisely his ‘Goodwill’ organisation) built and renovated some 50 temples and pagodas on hill sites and tops all over Burma. Amongst them prestigious structures such as the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, the Hintha Gon Paya and the Mandalay Hill.

But it is not only the Pindaya caves and the Shwe U Min (Golden Cave) Pagoda this village is so well known for. It is also famous for Shan Paper making and parasol (umbrella) making.

With the Cave and pagoda visit behind us it was time for a rest and a quick bite. After an early box-lunch in front of the cave’s mouth during which we have enjoyed the wonderful view on the lake, the hillside dotted with pagodas and the village we went back down to Pindaya Village.

After having first visited the Pindaya market were locals offer an almost unbelievable large variety of fruits,vegetables, potatoes, rice, eggs, household wares, clothes, and so on, we are now in one of the local paper and parasol making workshops. These shops are all family businesses and the members of the family that owns this shop will now give us a step-by-step description and demonstration of how they are performing their traditional crafts of paper and umbrella making. Everything here is made by hand using very simple tools and only natural materials. This family here is in this business since many generations.

Carnival Ship Valor

Once on board things went well. The ship is less than one-year old and still seems new. Cabins were nice and I liked my stateroom with balcony.

For the entire trip the food was good. Same goes with the overall service. The crewmembers and staff were very accommodating.

Once we left Nassau the seas got rough. Matter of fact we had some seven foot seas. This ship really rocked and rolled in spite of its 900′ plus length. Wife and many others became deathly sea sick. Eating dinner was challenging. Kind of like eating during an earthquake that just won’t end.

If you want to avoid food lines at Rosie’s place go upstairs to the fish and chips place (noon only). Never a crowd as most passengers don’t know about the place.

We stayed on the 8th deck. Seemed to be a lot of kids running the passageways. Where are their parents? Alse some people like to party all night in the passageways. There are 23 bars on this ship and they chose the passageways.

Carnival has a great kids program. I don’t have kids but those who did really praised this setup.

If I was 21 again I would like Carnival just fine. Now in my dotage I like peace and quiet so I would try another line although wife says she is done cruising. Carnival does have great prices. The emabarkation procedure went about as well as could be expected. I was off the ship in about one-half hour and bags were in place with nothing lost or pilfered. If you don’t like lines try a smaller ship.

Travel to Germany

Two famous locations in the Baden-Wurttemberg region are Baden-Baden and the Brenner’s Park Hotel and Spa. Baden-Baden which is located north of the Black Forest is a great summer destination as it has various spas, hiking trails, a huge promenade, spectacular springs and pastel houses. The Brenner’s Park Hotel and Spa offers you luxury comforts including a spa treatment. The Bodensee and Lake Constance are located in this region.

The Alpine Road or Deutsche Alpenstrasse presents a very beautiful scenic view. It stretches along the Bavarian Alps. The route offers a good view of the ancient and impressive towns, castles and villages. Germany’s highest mountain Zugspitse and Lake Konignesse are also found here. A part of The Romantic Road called Romantische Strasse is in Bavaria too. A very beautiful city Bamburg is also located nearby which was at one time the Holy Roman Empire’s capital.

Munich which can also be called the financial capital of Germany has got a very deep history and many museums. The Alte Pinakothek has got a very good collection of Renaissance art from the 14th to the 18th centuries including ‘Virgin and Child’ by Da Vinci, ‘Crowning with Thorns’ by Titian and artwork by Hals, Durer, Ruben and Memling. The admission fee is 4 dollars. Then there is the Deutsches Museum which is the world’s most comprehensive technical and scientific museum. You can find lots of interesting, interactive displays and films. Besides museums, Munich has lots of world-class restaurants and drinking joints. In fact, it is very famous for its Oktoberfest, a sixteen-day beer festival every October. This festival is world famous for its fun, high spirits and attracts millions of tourists every year to Munich.

Berlin is the capital city of Germany located between central and north-east. It also has several museums like the famous Science Museum, the Dahlem and the Bode Museum that holds historical relevance pertaining to the Berlin Wall. One section of the Berlin Wall still remains which is the Brandenburg Gate. Berlin is also famous for its world famous orchestra known as The Berlin Philharmonic which attracts music lovers.

Info of Tabodwe And Htamane

Now all over the country rice is harvested and there is not much time for celebrations. Yet, Tabodwe is also a joyful time that finds it culmination in the harvesting festival, Burma’s equivalent to Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day as it is called in North America. Enough rice means that the people must not starve. So, the time of rice harvesting is not only a time of hard work but also joy.

This festival is called ‘Htamane’ after the special food offering that is cooked and eaten at this time. This gives women the most welcome opportunity to provide proof of their cooking skills. Htamane consists of glutinous rice, coconut (shredded), peanut or cooking oil, peanuts (husk removed), ginger (sliced), sesame and salt.

There are three ways in which the htamane – or rice cooking festival as it is also called – is usually celebrated. These are in the private family circle or together with selected friends and neighbours or communally. Whatever way is chosen to celebrate htamane it always means a big, happy gathering because many hands are needed to get all the necessary work done. There are lots of things that need to be done; from the preparing of the ingredients of htamane to the cooking itself. The rice grains and the sesame seeds have to be winnowed, the rice to be properly washed and soaked, the coconut shells to be broken, the fibres removed, the water/milk poured out and the pulp to be shredded/sliced, the peanuts must be shelled and the husk removed, the ginger needs to be peeled and sliced, and so on and so forth.

Cooking htamane is hard work as the extremely sticky htamane that – if, for instance, the feast is celebrated together with a larger number of people – is cooked in huge iron bowls or pots on wood or charcoal fire and must for a period of about half an hour be permanently crashed and stirred with long wooden ladles. However, this part of the cooking process is – although monitored and supervised by the women – performed by two or three men simultaneously as it requires considerable strength.

While performing their soporific job the men are sheered on and encouraged with shouts by onlookers and occasionally the beat of dobats played by dobat troupes. When the first batch of htamane is ready and the first helping is offered to Gautama Buddha and pongyis the exhausted members of the cooking team sit down to enjoy the fruits of their hard labour and the next cooking team takes over, then the next, and so on.

In the following I will give you a more detailed description of how the cooking of htamane works; you may try yourself to do it.

The first step is to give the peanut oil into the pot and fry the ginger and coconut one after the other. Do not forget to strain the oil after each frying. Then you set aside the fried coconut and ginger slices. The next step is to take about half of the peanut oil off the pot.

Then, in comes the rice, which was about two hours before washed and then put into clear water to soak till it is put into the pot with the remaining peanut oil. Water is added and then the rice must cook. About 30 minutes later the rice is soft and after some of the fried coconut and ginger is put aside for later use, to decorate the helpings of htamane served that is, all of the ingredients – except the sesame – are added to the rice. Some people do at this stage remove the pot from the fire as the htamane can easily burn when it remains on the fire and is not stirred very, very properly. However, the taste is much better when the pot remains on the fire until the htamane is ready. Both ways have in common that now the stirring act begins. The rice is first kneaded and crashed between the wooden ladles and properly mixed with the ingredients while the mass is getting ever stickier so that at the end it takes great strength to make the htamane yield to the ladles.

The last and easiest part is the sprinkling of the sesame seeds. This – so it is said – needs great skill as the flavour of the htamane depends on the person sprinkling the seeds handful by handful in regular intervals into the htamane while the strong men do the hard work to stir and mix the very gluey mass with their ladles. When the last sesame is sprinkled in the htamane is ready and the pot removed from the fire.

By the by, ‘sprinkling sesame seeds’ is a Burmese idiom that is disparagingly used for putting the finishing touches to something after the heavy and/or dirty main work was done by others. So, when, for instance, you are adding some condiments to already cooked meal that to be prepared and cooked took your mother (or wife) hours you are ‘sprinkling sesame seeds’. This idiom can be applied to any kind of work and is not confined to cooking.

When the htamane is ready it is divided into helpings (which goes best with a spoon or knife dipped into oil so that the htamane does not stick), nicely decorated with shreds and slices of the fried coconut and ginger and with sesame seeds and served. The taste of htamane is… , well, all I can say is, “Hmmm, yummy, yummy.” And it is very rich; you do not need very much of it to have had your fill.

The traditional way to serve it is on a properly washed and with cooking oil rubbed banana leaf. Tradition matters greatly in Burma what shows in many aspects of Burmese people’s everyday-lives as it permeates and occasionally even controls them.

Especially in rural areas the rice is often still cooked in earthen pots with a humped lit. This has the effect that when the rice is ready it has a peak-shaped top (called crown). This ‘crown’ is the choicest part of the rice. It is carefully removed from the rest of the rice and according to an old tradition set aside and reserved for food offering to Gautama Buddha and pongyis. This tradition is called ‘top priority for those to whom respect is due’ and a custom still practised.

Introduction To Bermuda Cruises

Bermuda is around 120 miles north of the Caribbean Sea. It has a mild climate even during the winter months. Cruises to Bermuda are generally available between April and late October. There are certain cruises which keep on making trips until the end of December. However, they are relatively rare.

Your cruise ship could land in any one of the three ports at Bermuda, though it is most likely that you would stop in the port of Hamilton, as it has two shipping berths. It may happen that you visit more than one port on your Bermuda cruise trip.

The other port is known as St. George port. It is a historical port and attracts large numbers of tourists. Then there is the third port, at King’s Wharf. This port has museums, galleries and popular restaurants, which makes it a famous cultural hub. Bermuda cruises often have a large number of tourists who often make return visits to Bermuda. This indicates the island’s popularity.

However, as it is a small island, restrictions are in place concerning the maximum number of cruise liners that can land here. Check out the limit before you book a Bermuda cruise. The bookings can be done online or over the telephone. There are many cruise liners to choose from. Your choice of a cruise liner depends on your budget and the kind of vacation you are looking to take. There are luxury liners for those who want to splurge, and cheaper liners for those on a tighter budget.

Everything you need to know while Sailing Croatia

Are you about to start your first expedition with Sailing Croatia? Or you already hold some experience in sailing? Here we are to guide you through some of the brief points which you might need to keep in mind in your first or forthcoming sailing attempts.

Things that matter while Sailing Croatia!

You may come across a lot of secrets of Croatia while you explore it via sea. Croatia has it all – the range of sailing options, the spectacular and breathtaking scenery, the untouched and unspoiled bays and the myriad island. The most important one is its clean, calm and clear blue waters.

To reach Croatia, it just takes a little over 2 hours from London. Croatia is considered as Europe’s finest destination for sailing. Sailing Croatia is affordable, relatively safe and takes you through a number of diverse destinations having its unique beauty to present.

In case you are still new in sailing expeditions, you may hire a skilled, professional and experienced skipper who can guide you through the trip with minute details about Sailing Croatia.

What you can experience in your sailing trip to Croatia?

You may come across a number of trip organizers providing varied plans from the arrival at Croatia till the departure. Every trip organizers are bound to keep a minimum of a week-long trip to Croatia.

It’s so surprising about what all you can watch in just a week’s time. But, looking at this fast pace world, trip organizers are forced to develop an itinerary that completes in a week’s time.

Croatia comprises nearly 2000 islands, islets, and reefs together with the mainland ports and anchorages which keeps you in a want to visit the place again.

Warm blue seas, beautiful cities, deserted islands, wicked nightlife, and fresh seafood are somethings which you will never like to miss while Sailing Croatia. And relaxing on the spacious deck of a traditional sailing boat, sailing down the Adriatic with swim stops galore, is, without doubt, the best way to experience the Sailing Croatia trip!

This trip is totally for some relaxation, getting in touch with a cool and calm atmosphere of the islands and contacting friendly people joining you during the Sailing Croatia expedition. You may also try swimming in the sun warm waters during the sailing that may give you a different flavor of the trip.

Victoria Tall Ship Festival

Over the years, many tall ships from all over the world have visited Victoria. I believe that this is the first time the Tall Ship Festival has been held in Victoria. On Thursday June 23, 2005 approximately 30 Tall Ships started gathering near the entrances to Esquimalt Harbour and Victoria Harbour. I thought I would get an early start to avoid any anticipated crowds. My target was the Victoria Breakwater protecting the Inner Harbour. My grandaughter and I went about an hour and a half early to find that that thousands of people had the idea long before me. I managed to find a parking spot and worked my way out on to the breakwater.

There was an endless stream of people along the half-mile stretch of breakwater that extends into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the end was covered with Tall Ship fans. Soon the boats started sailing toward the breakwater.

The show continued until around 1:00 PM when the first ship entered the Victoria Inner Harbour. The Pacific Swift, a Victoria based Tall Ship was the first. The two largest ships, the Russian vessel Pallada and the Mexican vessel Cuauhtemoc had to wait until the evening high tides to enter because of their large draft.

Victoria’s Inner Harbour was teeming with interesting activity as Sea Planes tried to maintain their commercial schedules, Harbour Ferries scooted around, the Coho Ferry tried to leave on time, kayakers everywhere, all manner of pleasure craft coming and going – and all the while, more than 30 Tall Ships docking. The Victoria harbour master, who was orchestrating all this traffic must have had rock solid nerves.

I did not attend the first full day of the Festival, but heard it did have some big hick-ups. The large crowds that attended created huge line- ups everywhere. The organizers addressed the issues and Saturday, when Linda and I attended, went a lot better. The lines were long in the morning but shrunk in the afternoon. There was a lot to see and do. The biggest line-ups were to see the Pallada and the Cuauhtemoc.

We were standing in line to see the Cuauhtemoc when someone called out to say that they were looking for 30 people to visit the Zodiac. The Zodiac was the 3rd largest vessel and due to the low tide, it was a bit hidden. We walked down and were the first people to go on the Zodiac. It was a beautiful and built for the people who became wealthy in manufacturing. The Zodiac was designed to epitomize the speed and grace of the historic North American fishing schooners and was modeled on the Blue Nose (made famous on the Canadian dime).

The line for the Cuauhtemoc had shrunk some, so we joined it. It moved along reasonably well, but it did take an hour to get to the 2nd largest vessel in the Festival.

The Cuauhtemoc is a training tall ship for the Mexican Navy. It was built in Bilbao, Spain July 29, 1982.The Cuauhtemoc is known as the “Ambassador and Gentleman of the Seas”. Generations of officers have trained on it and it has sailed approximately 400,000 miles so far. It is huge, 90 meters in length, 12 meters wide, with 23 sails. It can move at 9 knots under sail and 17 knots under power.

The 23 sails are supported by a tremendous amount of rigging. The wire cables all are covered with soft material (made from frayed rope) to prevent the cables from tearing the sails in the wind. The sailors call it saggy wrinkles.

Someone asked me why you needed to board the vessels as you can see most of the ship from the street above. The features throughout the ship are truly amazing as demonstrated by the immaculately finished wood shown below. There are lots of displays, rigging, brass, wood and interesting equipment on the ship.

Village of Postira Croatia

Brac is the largest islands in the central Dalmatian region of Croatia and Postira is specifically located on its northern coast. Postira is an excellent representation of a quaint Dalmatian town bathed with narrow streets, small houses, green meadows and old vineyards. Dominating its skyline is the Baroque Church of St. John the Baptist. These days, the town is also populated by various hotels; bed and breakfasts; and private apartments to accommodate the growing number of tourists who are lured to the village’s charm and tranquil beauty.

Postira is blessed with a long history, which goes all the way back to the 14th century. Even today, you can find structures and remnants that serve as reminders of the real age of the village. When you go to the village port, you cannot miss the row of stone houses that used to be properties of wealthy families in Brac. The Palace Lazanic is among these striking buildings. The house was also the home of Vladimir Nazor, a celebrated Croatian poet.

The village’s serene valleys and lovely bays make a lasting impression on anyone who sets foot on Postira. The people here are known for their friendliness and hospitality; traits that definitely help create a memorable vacation. At the heart of town, establishments like a fish market, butcher shops, post office, restaurants, shops and cafes welcome new and returning visitors. “Pink Panther’, “Barcode” and “Laman” are just some of the bars and restaurants that have made a name for themselves in the town.

Prominent hotels in the area are also equipped with their own bars. If you find a restaurant with your preferred ambiance and price range, don’t hesitate to order some traditional Dalmatian food! After having that much needed relaxation time; engage yourself in outdoor activities available at Postira such as boating, biking, hiking and other popular water sports.

One of the village’s many assets is its proximity to gorgeous beaches and lovely bays perfect for swimming and relaxation. One of the main beaches to explore near town is the pebble beach called Hele. Other beaches you should consider visiting include Zalo, Molo Lozna, Rat, Vrilo, Prja and Zastivanje. If you want to spend time on a sandy beach, just head out a few kilometers from the town proper to discover Lovrecina, one of the most popular beaches on the island. This beach has also become a favorite among returning visitors because of its facilities, which include a beach bar, restaurant and volleyball courts.

La Tomatina Festival

La Tomatina Festival is the distinct food fight event held on the last Wednesday of August of every year. It attracts thousands of Spanish tourists and also other nationalities from all over. The town of Bunol is located near the Spanish region of Valencia. Its streets within the old town vicinity are the main venues for the fun tomato-throwing event. About 40,000 to 50,000 people participate in this amazing fight, making Bunol’s regular small population swell up during the one-week lone festival. If you are concerned about wasting tomatoes at the event, don’t worry. The world’s biggest food fight make use of only slightly over 100 metric tons of over- ripe tomatoes.

To protect the different shops surrounding the food fight venue, owners place plastic covers on their store facade before the tomato fight. Then several trucks carrying loads of tomatoes drive into the center of the town named Plaza del Pueblo. The first event of La Tomatina begins at about 11 am, and the firing of the water canon marks the start of the tomato battle, where every person is responsible for himself. After an hour, the water cannons are fired again to signal the end of the fight.

Participating in the La Tomatina Festival may be the most enjoyable and messiest experience you will ever have in your life. But because the event has the potential to get to rowdy, participants are asked to observe some rules. It is highly recommended that you wear protective goggles and gloves during the food fight. There is a possibility that some revelers will try to rip off your clothing, even though it is prohibited to do so. Glass bottles and hard objects are not allowed during the fight, and you must always squash the tomatoes before throwing them. It is best to wear closed shoes that can be thrown away as wearing flip flops can easily get your feet hurt. If you plan to take photos of the festivities, don’t forget to bring a waterproof or covered camera.

The tomato fight is not the only activity during La Tomatina. Expect a lot of dancing, firework displays, parades and even a cooking competition on the famous Spanish dish called paella. To control the number of people who can participate in the food fight, the local government has implemented a ticketing policy. Make sure to book the ticket well in advance.