Four Pilgrimages

A few days until Christmas, so it seems apposite to have a blog with a religious bent. Their origin may lie in atoning for sins, but like Christmas, pilgrimages nowadays mean much more than just an expression of devotion to a particular faith. Whether secular or religious, they are in some ways the essence of travel: a practice that mingles the private and the public, mixes the many joys of camaraderie with the more private pleasures of reflection and discovery – of place, people and oneself. Here’s a whistlestop global tour of some of the great pilgrimages.

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A trio of curious Christmas traditions from Europe

One week of frantic shopping left before Christmas. As part of our festive countdown, here are a couple of loveably odd Christmas traditions from Europe. Enjoy.

Krampus, Austria

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A dozen films to give you wanderlust – the sequel

Five great types of local transport

True exploration should always be about more than merely getting from A to B, and here at Gecko’s we love a bit of local transport – hopping aboard boat or bus, spending time with the locals, transforming journeys into adventures. Here’s five local transport types that have caught our eye on our travels.

Jeepney, Philippines

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5 things you might not know about TAJIKISTAN

Some unusual drinks

It’s one of the joys of travelling – discovering the pleasures of the local palate, sampling regional fare and bringing home recipes. Of course, everyone knows that dishes inevitably fail to taste quite as appealing when you cook them up at home – cue embarrassing pauses at dinner parties, followed by guests asking if the guinea pig tasted quite so chewy in Peru.

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A dozen films to give you wanderlust, part one

Films that are both inspiring journeys and inspire others to journey – the entries on this ‘The Beach’ -free zone all share the power to have you swiftly salivating at the scenery and adding a whole raft of new destinations to your ‘must visit’ list. In a blatant Harry Potter-style bid to spin out a good thing, we’ve split the list into two sections – the sequel will be released next week. Grab some popcorn, indulge, then let us know which flicks we missed.

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The world’s best walking cities?

More often than not, getting to grips with what makes a city tick is best done on foot. Whether it’s a museum ramble, exploration of cobblestoned old quarters, or idle paseo-style post-prandial perambulations, a walk is the best way of measuring up how a place exists on a human scale, how its inhabitants go about their daily lives, and of feeling the rhythm of the streets. Here are some of our favourite cities for a stroll. Head to our facebook page to chip in with others...

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Filipino fact file

The Philippines has just become our newest destination, and we’re excited about our trips there: beach out in Borocay then swim with whale sharks at Donsol; walk the Banaue rice terraces before taking a hike on fiery Mayon Volcano – the islands have energy, diversity and spectacle to spare. Take a look here for more details, but rather than us going on about how great the place is, below are a few random facts to whet your appetite.

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