Whilst Catalonians may share many popular traditions with the rest of the world – nativity scenes, lavish dinners and gift giving to name but a few – there are plenty of other more interesting and somewhat bizarre customs which take a bit of getting used to.
An ashram is a spiritual sanctuary. The word ashram is of sanskrit origin, modified to modern Hindi. An ashram was originally a place where a holy man, teacher or guru lived, and students or followers who came from afar to study with them, would eventually end up needing a place to crash. A community would spring up around each ashram, with its inhabitants associated with the spiritual teacher in some way. Cleanliness, even a starkness or decor, is principle, as those who came were not interested in worldly things.
As religion and spirituality shift, change and spread around the world, the ashram is changing as well. Many masters passed, leaving no one to take their place as the head of the ashram. Scandal may have left communities lost for guidance. Eastern philosophies headed west, and western seekers were more easily able to head east. The ashram had to change as well, and now they are kept open by the remaining followers by offering cheap accommodation, yoga or meditation classes, and meals.
It’s a tough situation – those left to manage the ashrams, had never wanted to become proprietors of a business. They would often rather be studying or practicing. I have visited many different ashrams in the east and west, and I want to share some tips with budget travelers, who may find their way to an ashram for one reason or another. It’s important to know that it’s not just a cheap place to stay. Many arrive or live in an ashram because they are seeking a haven, a place to study, to practice, to contemplate life. Here are a few tips to help you understand how you can be respectful, and get the most from your visit. An ashram is NOT a youth hostel, so if you’re looking for a party, stay elsewhere.
A visit to a Turkish Bath, or hammam, is the highlight of many a visitor’s trip to Istanbul. While many people think of Turkish baths as giant hot spring swimming pools, the Istanbul variety has much more in common with a steam room than an actual bath. This traditional steam bath and scrub is both relaxing and invigorating, and while it’s a far cry from your typical spa experience, a visit to a hammam will make your skin feel cleaner than it may ever have before. Here’s what to expect…
We’ve been working on this for a long time — touching it up and polishing it to a high gloss. Now it’s time to present to you the first tripwolf iPad app!
We’ve been working behind the scenes for a long time, and are excited to finally present this to our users – the new iPad app has a sleek design, fresh colors, and easy-to-understand interface.
What can the new iPad app do?
You can find all of the great features of the tripwolf App in the iPad version, but in a new, beautiful package. In this new layout we’ve thought of everything: the harmonious flat design is easy on the eyes and gives you an excellent overview of all of your guides — everything’s organized in the popular card-style layout. This makes it easy to organize your vacation with simple finger swipes and to change them whenever you want. With one click get a preview of the sights, restaurants, and clubs, show the card preview or share the location with friends, or add them to your trip planner or to your favorites. Of course you can display the location whenever you want and you have all of the available travel information ready at a glance.
We’re really excited to hear what you think about the iPad app and look forward to your e-mails and comments to this blog post.
Enjoy tripwolf for iPad, and happy travels!
your tripwolf team
“Madam, you do not understand leather.” After nearly a week in Marrakech, this gentleman who ran one of the souks deep in the heart of the Marrakech market was entirely correct. I researched, I Googled, I window-shopped until I had spun us in circles, but the fact remained: I didn’t understand Moroccan leather. And frankly, I definitely didn’t understand how to haggle. I was about to get schooled.
It was four years ago that the tripwolf apps for iOS and Android were made available for purchase. Since then, the best things have stayed the same, the not-so-best things have improved, and we continue to grow in conjunction with new technology, and your expectations!
This is not least due to our community’s fantastic feedback and wonderful on-site experiences and reviews. Good things are happening — and it’s obvious from the number of downloads! The tripwolf app has been downloaded 5 million times (that’s 5,000,000!) and may have already helped you during your travels!
To celebrate this impressive figure, we want to thank you with a special offer: for one full week, there will be a 20% discount on all app products (from 11/14/2013 to 11/22/2013)! This offer covers not only all of our country guides and city guides but also all of our guide bundles (for instance, the 3-guides package and the tripwolf Unlimited Package).
Rest assured, there’s always so much to do and countless ideas to implement – more on that next time.
Until then, and always, happy travels.
Your tripwolf team
Whilst there are plenty of amazing and authentic tapas bars peppered throughout Barcelona in Spain, there are a few tourist trap-type restaurants which serve up a variation of this local delicacy which the locals wouldn’t even touch.
So you don’t ever have to suffer through a tasteless tapa, here is a selection of some of the best tapas restaurants in Barcelona and dishes which you absolutely have to try.
Every year in December, cold and dark cities and towns throughout Europe come to life and exude festive spirit with magical Christmas markets popping up all over the place. Decorated with a seemingly never-ending supply of twinkling lights, impressively grand trees and a magnificent collection of adornments, these Christmas markets are a must-visit.
From gourmet food and hand-woven garments to artisan gifts and seasonal flowers, the Christmas markets throughout Europe are some of the best places to snap up wonderful gifts for friends and family. In preparation of the ever-closer Christmas season, here’s our selection of the best Christmas markets in Europe.
We’re getting ready for a week in Morocco, which is thrilling. As per usual, we are not renting a car and we’re not taking a stroller for our two daughters (now four and just-shy-of-two). That requires some truly excellent footwear, but I’ll be frank: most of the travel-recommended shoes I’ve seen seem clunky and somewhat heavy. I need arch support, and while I’m not even remotely a fashionista I’d like to look a little bit trendy. Here’s what I’ve come up with as my two favorite go-to travel shoes for warm-weather, dry-climate travel.
Dubai is home to some of the most prestigious nightclubs in the world where A-list celebrities and other famous faces flock to hit the dance floor and enjoy a drink with friends. Come October, these nightclubs are more than just places to see and be seen – they transform into houses of horror to host the very best Halloween parties you’ll find in the United Arab Emirates.
Here is just a small selection of some of the nightclubs in Dubai which are converting their illustrious venues to bring you a truly terrifying night.