Places to go (4)Staff writer▾ | Wednesday January 30, 2008 5:01AM ET
February 6, 2008
New Zealand, Wendon Valley
Just when I think that Englishmen have the silliest events in the world New Zealand shows its funny side. But, when I get the second look I realise that New Zealand's event comes from the UK (how surprising) where it is thought to be an ancient fertility ritual. What connect an ancient fertility ritual with Cheese Rolling? I don't know, but it seems hilarious to me. Whitestone Cheese Rolling holds in Henderson Family Farm, 10km from Waikaka, New Zealand.
Every 15 minutes one of the big Windsor Blue cheese will go bouncing down the hill, with the crowd of cheese chasers, of course. How much New Zealand takes it seriously proves the reward of 500 dollars and title of NZ Grand Champion Cheese Roller. I almost forgot that winners get the cheese and a helicopter ride, too. Good fun is guaranteed; take a look if you are near by.
February 5, 2008
And when we are talking about Englishmen in England, precisely in city of Olney, runners run with - pancakes. Just few weeks ago we announced London's race with eggs, now it's the race with pancakes. What is with this English people that run with eggs and, as I see now, with the eggs product? Maybe they have surplus of chickens there, who can tell? Well, word or two about this funny race. Pancake race has long history and a challenge was received from city Liberal in Kansas, USA. So, Americans have their fingers here...
Today the race is a little bit different now and it extend from the Market Place to a point midway down Church Lane - a distance of 415 yards. Race starts on Pancake Bell (absolutely clearly, how else), pancakes are tossed at the start and the winner is required to toss her pancake again at the finish. Olsey citizen are probably smug of pancakes, but if you are in visit like a tourist, you will enjoy. Silly Englishmen!
February 7, 2008
Happy New Year, China! On February 7, starts the New Year by Chinese calendar. In the Drum Tower in Longhua Park, Shanghai, 108 Buddhists will strike the temple bell at midnight. Each stroke of the bell represents one kind of earthly happiness. For Longhua Park people say that it is famous for its ancient temple, the Longhua Pagoda, its evening bell-striking ceremony and beautiful peach blossoms. Very nice place to welcome a New Year again.
For those who read a horoscope in a daily newspaper this year is the year of the Rat. The Chinese say that others should always listen to the advice of the Rat because of their intellect and observatory powers. And around me Snakes only, no Rats at all...
February 8, 2008
If you are in Los Angeles at February 8, stretch you legs to the Convention Center in Los Angeles and visit Grammy Awards Charity Auction. Auction starts at 5:30 p.m., so you will have enough time to drink morning café, make some shopping, do business, talk to friends... not necessarily in that order.
Make a plan and reserve late afternoon for a visit to Convention Center and be a part of this charity auction. I will count some of items: Elton John signed sunglasses, Fender Stratocaster of Bob Dylan (signed), then, his used harmonica, also signed, Ray Charles's jacket, Franck Sinatra's signed letter... The rest is on you to reveal. Yes, money goes to MusiCares. Have a nice afternoon and do something nice for somebody.
One hotel in Turkey attracted our attention. That is the Gamirasu hotel in Cappadocia, a 1000-year-old Byzantine monastery, and the cave house with 18 rooms opened as a hotel in 1999. It offers modern conveniences yet still preserving the spirit of the area that has been inhabited for more than five thousand years. Even famous Forbes recognized it and put it on the list of The Middle East's Ultra Luxury Hotels. Some of the rooms were used until recently as the monks' cells.
Rooms are cooled by volcanic rock that keeps the temperature on the pleasant 20 degrees Celsius throughout the year. At the same time it is a modern and traditional hotel with a fireplaces and balconies, live Turkish music and original frescoes from 8th century. Furniture carved from stone, even fresh cow's milk, Gamirasu offers all that. This is the perfect place for those who want to feel spiritual while on vacation. If you still have some doubts we’ll just add that Cappadocia means "The land of pretty horses". ■