Author Archives: Rachel Kristensen

Love lock bridges around Europe

518262076_c_570_411 (Photo credit: When it comes to romance, Europe seems to be a place that just oozes it. But sometimes, displays of affection can be off-putting. Such is the case of the lock loves, so off-putting that many municipalities are trying to find ways to stop or ban the trend. Paris’ famous landmark turned eye-sore, the love-lock Pont des Artes bridge, is removing the locks for safety concerns and the bridges chain link fencing will be covered by lock-blocking plexi-glass on June 1, 2015. This comes a year after part of the bridge collapsed due to the excess weight of the locks, which on the Pont des Artes is estimated at 92 metric tons of extra weight! The strange tradition of writing a pair of sweethearts names on a lock and attaching it to a beautiful bridge is not just found on the bridge which stands beneath the Eiffle Tower. Where else in Europe has a love-lock bridge? Hohenzollern Bridge, Cologne, Germany - Back in 2009, lovers started locking up their love symbols and throwing the keys in the Rhine River on this bridge in Cologne. Most Ljubavi, Vrnjačka Banja, Serbia – The aptly named bridge when translated means “Bridge of Love”. It’s no wonder this is a bridge of choice for those seeking to prove their love is unbreakable. Malá Strana district, Prague, Czech Republic – One of Europe’s most romantic city has its own love lock bridge, the pedestrian-only Mala Strana. Butchers’ Bridge, Ljubljana, Slovenia - Despite having a less than romantic name, this bridge has seen heavy attention of love-locks after locks starting appearing 5 years ago. Ponte Milvio Bridge, Rome, Italy – On a small section of the bridge, lovers in another one of Europes most romantic cities have been attaching locks and throwing away the keys on this bridge. How long will it be until other bridges across Europe begin taking measures to stop the love lock trend? Only time will tell. While love-lock bridge spotting will likely never be a sole reason to travel to Europe, have a look through our small group tours to Europe’s most historic and romantic cities which may or may not have a love lock bridge.  
Cuba AA Tour - PC Rachel Kristensen

Exploring Cuba: photos from a small group tour around the island

As we landed in Havana for a small group tour of Cuba, almost every member of our group was there to see it ‘before it changes’. Frozen in time, Cuba’s charm is unwavering throughout the country. Imagine a time before cell phones and internet access overran the dinner table. Where fast food chains are absent. Where music and salsa dancers meet to in town plazas to celebrate life in the evening. Where classic cars and bicycles line the streets of crumbling neo-classical buildings. Slowly, change will come to Cuba. But until that point, it will remain a unique country in the world, and a step back in time. Cuba AA Tour - PC Rachel Kristensen Cuba AA Tour - PC Rachel Kristensen Cuba AA Tour - PC Rachel Kristensen Cuba AA Tour - PC Rachel Kristensen Cuba AA Tour - PC Rachel Kristensen Cuba AA Tour - PC Rachel Kristensen Adventures Abroad is pleased to offer a 15 day small group tour that encompasses all of Cuba. Our tour highlights include: - Watching a farmer hand roll a Cuban cigar in tobacco fields of Vinales. - Walking through the historic centre of Havana including a stop at the used book market. - Listening to the drum beats bounce of the cobblestones in the musical soul of Trinidad. - Admiring the city of plazas, in the cattle ranching heartland of Cameguay. - Exploring the rivers and archaeological sites in the tropical rainforest of Baracoa. - Exploring the bustling city of Santiago in the south east. Click here for more information on our next tour of Cuba.
Cuba Cocktail

Tasting Cuba Through Cocktails: Quick Recipe Guide

With a history of creating some of the world’s best rum, currently a third of their land dedicated to growing rum’s main ingredient of sugar cane, a sunny climate, and a thirsty appetite, Cuba has had plenty of time and ingredients to create the perfect Cuban cocktail. Specialties differ across the country, but many of the high profile cocktails have become world famous beyond the Caribbean coastline for a reason: they’re delicious. Here is a quick recipe guide for three of Cuba’s best cocktails, inspired by one of our most recent Cuba tours.   Mojito Classic, refreshing, and with enough sugar to give you energy to salsa all night long. Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz White rum, 6 leaves of mint, soda water, 1 oz fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons sugar Preparation: Crush and mix the mint with sugar and lime juice. Add rum and top with soda water. Garnished with sprig of mint leaves. Served over ice with a straw, garnish with mint leaves.   Cuba Libre Invented by army captains celebrating after Cuba was freed from the Spanish in the Spanish-American war, this classic Cuban cocktail is perhaps the easiest to recreate. Ingredients: 4 oz cola, 1/3 fresh lime juice, 1 2/3 oz white rum Preparation: Add all the ingredients into a short glass, serve over ice, garnish with a lime wedge.   Canchanchara A specialty from Trinidad, it is thought this drink was invented as a pain killer during the battle for independence. Ingredients: 2 oz of white rum, 1 oz of fresh lime juice, 3/4 oz of honey syrup Preparation: Mix all ingredients in a short glass, with a straw to stir in honey. Serve over ice and garnish with a lime wedge.  
    Of course, as any fan of Cuban cocktails will tell you, this is just the beginning of a long list of rum and citrus inspired drinks. If you fancy trying out these delicacies in their founding locations, perhaps indulging in a former Hemingway haunt, click here for information on our next Cuba tour.