Backpacking

No, Really. You Really Need the Clown Shoes.

Day Eight: 21.5
At 5 a.m. my first alarm sounds and I snooze it, knowing I need to get up so I have enough time to tape my blisters and finish packing by 7. I’m snuggled in the comforter of a real bed, inside a tipi at Mountain Valley Retreat. It is difficult to exit the warmth, the night having been a particularly cold one. I get out of the blankets just long enough to fire up the propane heater, ...

The post No, Really. You Really Need the Clown Shoes. appeared first on The Trek.

Backpacker Radio #34 | Ken Ilgunas on Trespassing Across America

n today’s episode of Backpacker Radio, Smiles and I sit down with author Ken Ilgunas. To put it simply, Ken is a guy who marches to the beat of his own drum. We talk at length about his time hiking the length of the Keystone XL pipeline, both where it was developed and supposed to be developed, where he had to not only trespass for much of this hike, but knock on complete strangers’ doors for help on many occasions. ...

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Andrew Skurka interview

Backpacker Radio spoke with the thru hiking legend, author, blogger, and backcountry guide Andrew Skurka. Very entertaining. Very informative. He shares strong opinion on gear. Andrew names Cam “Swami” Honan and Justin “Trauma” Lichter as two thru hikers he admires … Continue reading

Singapore in 24 Hours: A Quick Video Tour

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Activities

Singapore is Southeast Asia’s multicultural playground.

Sleek, luxurious hotels stand alongside colorful, historical shophouses as the Arab Quarter bleeds into Little India and Chinatown blends into a rich financial hub. There’s plenty to see in this small island nation and Big & Small had just 24 hours to explore the heart of Singapore.

Follow our journey, from the buttoned-up downtown core to the hip lanes surrounding Arab Street, the ornate Hindu temples of Little India, the bustling streets of Chinatown, and the futuristic worlds of Gardens by the Bay.

And watch as we taste some local food and check out Marina Bay Sands, one of the world’s swankiest hotels.

 

When you visit Singapore you need to be able to be mobile, so remember these key tips to guarantee a productive and successful trip.

  1. Book a room in a hotel, Airbnb, or hostel in the center. You need to be able to get around the city quickly, so be central.
  2. Be able to try and sample the main food, which takes influence from India, China, and the Middle East. Take the time to visit Little India, Chinatown, Arab Street, Haji Lane, and more. 
  3. Walk and take the subway in Singapore. The Mass Rapid Transit, or MRT, is a rapid transit system making up the railway system in Singapore, spanning most of the city-state.

 

The reputation of Singapore may surprise, so be ready to enjoy every aspect of the city. In comparison, Singapore may be overlooked compared to Bangkok, but Singapore is more dynamic and varied than many realize. 

There’s a lot to do and see here, and even if you can only carve out one day in Singapore, you find plenty to love in the Lion City.

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1° 18' 19.2888" N, 103° 51' 2.772" E
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The Best Street Art in Barcelona

Barcelona is a hotspot for all up and coming graffiti artists, and the city is full of artistic creations born from spray paint and lain on walls.

Attracting street art enthusiasts from all around the world, discover some of the best works of art below...

 

The Best Street Art in Barcelona

Keith Haring @ MACBA Museum

If the name Keith Haring isn’t familiar, we guarantee that you’ll be familiar with this artist once you see his work around the city. His most famous piece is a mural painted near the Raval Quarter’s MACBA museum which seeks to highlight the importance of AIDS prevention, an illness that Haring himself suffered with during his lifetime and which he died from just a year after painting this design.

Did you know? The mural was transferred to a new wall on the occasion of its 25th anniversary in February 2014, in commemoration of Keith Haring.

 

Joan Miró Mural @ Carrer Sant Pau and Carrer de la Riereta

Another piece of street art reminiscent of a great artist lies deep within the city’s El Raval neighbourhood. Curious travellers can find a great mural composed by the artist Sixe Paredes in the style of Joan Miró. The mural was painted during the exhibition "From Miró to BCN" and to this day, it is one of the city's most famous paintings.

 

Jardins de les 3 Xemeneies @ Avinguda Paraŀlel

On one of Barcelona's biggest and busiest roads, Avinguda Paraŀlel in the Poble-Sec district, is a graffiti and skate park guaranteed to make all street art enthusiasts a little hot under the collar.

After previously registering online or on their phone, artists are free to add their work to the skate park, and immortalise their designs… well, until someone new paints over them, of course! 

 

Axe Colours @ Gracia Neighbourhood

An artist who is making a name for himself throughout the city, Axe Colours mainly composes his work in Barcelona’s quirky Gracia district. His style takes that of a visual biographer, painting famous faces like Breaking Bad’s Walter White, Lionel Messi, and characters from the Game of Thrones series.

Due to Barcelona’s prohibition of street art on public walls, many artists have resorted to painting their designs on shop shutters... and Axe Colours is no exception. Therefore, you might need to wait until closing time to see some of his sensational pieces of work. But trust us, it’ll be worth it.

 

Kiss of Freedom @ Plaça d'Isidre Nonell

One of the most instagrammed images in the whole of Europe, The Kiss of Freedom- also called "The world begins with every kiss" - can be found near the Cathedral of Barcelona in the Gothic Quarter and consists of small individual ceramic tiles that can only be seen clearly on closer approach.

The photos on these tiles come from 4,000 readers of the Spanish newspaper ‘El Periódico’ who were asked which memories or moments gave them their own sense of freedom. Together, these memories form two kissing mouths which stretch for a total of 8 x 4 metres.

This beautiful piece was created in 2014 on the 300th anniversary of the fall of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession.

 

Street Artists: El Xupet Negre

El Xupet Negre, the black pacifier, is one of the most important artists in the scene and is now one of the 50 most influential street artists of all time. His signature image of a child’s black dummy can be found throughout Barcelona, a city he has been decorating with his work since 1991.

The artist put his very first piece near the famous bar, Oro Negro (black gold), the place that also gave him his artistic trademark name. But why a dummy? According to the artist himself, his signature icon was born from the idea that we were all children once… Talk about a Peter Pan complex!

 

Street Artists: Onergizer Konair and Pez

As much as we love the work of El Xupet Negre, we love it even more when he collaborates with other artists in the city, particularly our favourites Konair (whose signature design is a cartoon ice cream) and Pez (who enjoys adding his childlike fish trademark to many of Barcelona’s walls).

 

Collaborations by these artists as well as their individual work can be found everywhere in Barcelona and without a doubt help to shape Barcelona’s already sensational cityscape.

 

Travel tip shared by ApartmentBarcelona.
www.apartmentbarcelona.com

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10 Best Ventilated Backpacking Packs of 2019

Ventilated backpacks, also called suspended-mesh backpacks, keep you cooler and drier when backpacking in hot or humid weather or when you’re carrying a heavy load. First invented by Deuter Packs, they’re one of the most sought-after backpack features by backpackers. While many backpack manufacturers claim that their backpacks are ventilated, it’s important to differentiate between …

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