Salvador Dali Behind the Stache

By 1800FlyEurope in Destination Highlights | on December 7th, 2012 with No Comments

Salvador Dali May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989

Easily identifiable by his signature handlebar mustache, eccentric and quirky Salvador Dali was most famous for his dreamlike paintings and his unpredictably flamboyant behavior. Dali was born in Figueres, Spain, just off the Mediterranean coast and 140 km northeast of Barcelona. His parents, Salvador Dali i Cusi and Felipa Domenech Ferros, recognized their son’s artistic potential at a young age and enrolled him in drawing school in 1916.

Early on in Dali’s life, two events occurred that are said to have immensely impacted the young prodigy psyche. When he was only six years old, his mother and father brought Salvador to visit his older brothers grave, and told him that he was the reincarnation of his deceased sibling. The older brother had passed away nine months before Salvador Dal√≠ was born; both shared the same name. Then, at the age of sixteen, his mother tragically lost her battle with cancer.

Not only was Dali revered for his masterful painting skills, but he also created sculptures, filmed two short movies with Luis Butel, designed a few architectural structures and even dabbled in fashion photography. His wife (Gala or Elena Ivanovna Diakonova) was a source of inspiration for many of his works, and she was known as being the more grounded one of the two.

Interesting Facts about Salvador Dali

  • It was during the early 1920s, while studying at Academia de San Fernando in Madrid (School of Fine Arts), that Dali began sporting a shoestring-thin stache, which he waxed and twisted to point upward and out. The idea for this stylistic statement came from 17th-century painter Diego Velzquez’s mustache.
  • Dali was kicked out of Academia de San Fernando when he proclaimed that no one in the school‚Äôs faculty was qualified to evaluate his work, during the schools final exams.
  • Many Surrealist Group members in Paris enthusiastically followed Sigmund Freuds dream interpretation research during the 1930s and Dal√≠ did as well. The two met to discuss their work, and although Freud had previously stated that he thought all Surrealists were crazy, he decided Dal√≠ was the exception to this belief.
  • In 1934, Dal√≠ was booted from the Surrealist Group for supporting political beliefs the other members disapproved of. Seemingly unaffected by the incident, he sneered, “I myself am surrealism”.
  • The artist cleverly avoided payment of his restaurant tabs by doodling pictures on the backs of his checks. Most establishments would’nt dare let go of a Dali sketch by cashing one of these.
  • If asked for an autograph, Dali would sign his name and steal the fans pen.

 

Salvador Dali’s Most Famous Works

The Persistance of Memory (1931) is not only one of Dali’s most recognizable oil paintings but it is also the piece of art most commonly associated with the Surrealism Movement. Melting clocks and an abstract self portrait are set within a desert-scape, portraying a dreamlike world.

Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog 1929) is a 16 minute, silent movie that Salvador Dal√≠ and Luis Bu√±uel created together. It was based on two dreams each artist recalled prior to the filming. Dali’s had been about ants and a lone hand on the crawl (an image of The Addams Family ‚ÄúThing‚Äù comes to mind) and Bu√±uel‚Äôs had been about a cloud slicing the moon in half. (Open a link to IMDB‚Äôs movie trailer by clicking on Bu√±uel‚Äôs photo. Warning, view with caution; the clip has a gruesome/graphic scene.)

photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Figueres Teatre-Museu Dal√≠ (Dal√≠ Theatre-Museum 1974) is based in Dali’s home town. It boasts the worlds largest surrealistic statement, which holds the most extensive collection of the artist‚Äôs works. The locations original 19th century building was almost completely destroyed in 1939, during the Spanish Civil War. Dali designed the new theatre using the historic structure‚Äôs remaining shell and created the whimsical architecture that stands today. (Click on the image to visit the official Dal√≠ Theatre-Museum page.)

Book flights to Barcelona today and set off on an art tour of northern Spain. Let Dali, Picasso and Gaudí’s ingenious works grab hold of your imagination.

 

Colmar for the Holidays

By 1800FlyEurope in Destination Highlights | on November 26th, 2012 with No Comments

photo courtesy of Nikkodem, flickr creative commons

Year-round, picture perfect Colmar is a lovely destination to visit. Visitors can’t help but fall in love with this destinations fairytale-like backdrops in and around the old town. Half-timbered buildings line the cobblestone streets and a charming canal sleepily flows through the Little Venice district. Come late November, the city and local businesses transform Colmars historic quarters into quite possibly the prettiest place in the world for you to ring in the holidays.

photo courtesy of Office de Tourisme de Colmar, flickr creative commons

Situated nearby Germanys border and about 70 miles southwest of Strasbourg, the self acclaimed Capital of the Alsace Wine Route just opened its Christmas Markets for the holiday season on November 23rd, 2012. Colmars winter wonderland of hand-crafted goods, festive treats and merry entertainment will run until December 31st, 2012.

photo courtesy of Osmenda, flickr creative commons

There are five markets scattered amongst the towns main plazas, and as the sun sets late afternoon, tasteful white Christmas lights cast their soft glow upon the streets down below. A steamy cup of mulled wine is the perfect for keeping warm while shopping for those one of a kind gifts. There’s even a Childrens Christmas Market in Little Venice, complete with handmade toys, holiday themed kiddie rides and a large mailbox to send Santa present wish lists.

photo courtesy of Office de Tourisme de Colmar, flickr creative commons

Book your flights to Strasbourg today, and rent a car in France so that you can follow the Alsace Wine Route on your way to Colmar. Over 30 Alsatian vineyards open their wine cellar doors to the public during the holiday season.

 

List of Europe’s Best Travel Webcams

By 1800FlyEurope in Destination Highlights | on November 14th, 2012 with No Comments

Tour Europe in real time without ever having to leave the comfort of your swivel chair. Some of the following travel webcams allow you to control the views from your computer and others offer stunning 360 degree panoramic vistas. Watch gondoliers paddle down Venice’s Grand Canal or enjoy an evening glimpse of the illuminated Eiffel Tower as the camera sweeps Parisskyline. The lucky few may be able to catch the Northern Lights from the Borealis cam in Norway and let your children search for Santa at his workshop on the Arctic Circle in Finland. Without a doubt, these are some of the best scenic webcams across Europe!

Click on the images below to open the webcam link. Some cameras may go down from time to time, and there are others that are best viewed during daylight (their time). For a different perspective, check back different times of the day.

Panoramic of Ski Area in Soelden, Austria

Brugge, Belgium and historic Belfry Tower

5 alternating webcams in Opatija, Croatia

Prague Castle Panorama and more

Frederiksborg Castle

South Bank of the River Thames in London

Santa’s workshop on the Arctic Circle

panoramic views of Parisian skyline

pans in and out of scenes from downtown Berlin

Adrian’s Gate in Athens

Blue Lagoon in Iceland

View from Guinness Gravity Bar in Dublin

watch the activity along Venice’s Grand Canal

Overlooks Port Hercule and Monaco’s old town

great people watching along one of Amsterdam’s canals

City Hall in Belfast

Borealis Livecam panorama

pans the Main Market Square in Poland

control the camera and pan around Edinburgh’s City Centre

panoramas of Barcelona’s Old Harbour area

Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

panorama of Zurich, Switzerland

Oludeniz Beach, Turkey

Don’t just live vicariously through the internet, book flights to Europe and experience the real deal.

4 New Airline Standards Set by Boeing 787s

By 1800FlyEurope in Travel News | on November 8th, 2012 with No Comments

photo courtesy of gkphoto01 flickr creative commons

Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner

November 4th marked a pivotal point in history for both United Airlines and U.S. air travel when the 787 Dreamliner departed on its inaugural domestic flight from Houston to Chicago. Passengers enthusiastically boarded the plane for the momentous occasion, which can only be compared to the excitement of a child’s first flying experience. What makes Boeing’s new commercial aircraft so cutting-edge, you may ask? Read onto to discover four of the Dreamliner’s innovative features.

Efficiency

About 50 percent of the state-of-the-art Boeing’s weight is composed of carbon fiber composite materials, which are lighter, need less upkeep, and amount to less waste from manufacturing,. LED lights are the only source of illumination you’ll find inside the Dreamliners cabin, and the 787 uses 20 percent less fuel than other planes of the same size. Fitted with either a Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 or General Electric GEnx or engine, the revolutionary aircraft produces less noise and emissions than models before it.

Smoother Flights

787 Dreamliners come equipped with progressive wing and tail technology. They are integrated with a state-of-the-art Fly-by-wire system, the plane is able to detect and automatically correct its stability when encountering turbulence. Everyone enjoys the benefits of a smoother flight from the 787’s hi-tech electrical components.

photo courtesy of Jun Seita flickr creative commons

Passenger Comfort

First class passengers have the ability to lay their seats completely flat and take a relaxing snooze mid-air, a nice luxury to have for those long, international flights. All window seats will bring out our inner-childs need to push the futuristic dimming button a couple times, and the larger panes give passengers a better view of the earth down below. LEDs provide the cabin with a tranquil ambiance and designate distinct mood lighting in various hues to signify take-off, meal service, sleeping and landing times. Each seat offers fliers the cushy amenity of having a personal Panasonic eX2 in-flight-entertainment system, and there is much more room to store carry-on luggage in the overhead storage compartment. Take a tour of the United Dreamliner’s cabin here.

Improved Air Quality and Cabin Pressure

The typical commercial aircraft is fitted with a bleed air system, where the oxygen supply is pulled through the plane’s engines. This means that you are breathing in fumes and toxins emitted by jet fuel. Passenger and crew lungs benefit from the Dreamliner’s no-bleed air technology, because the aircraft’s oxygen is pumped into the cabin from separate intake ducts far away from the engines. The 787’s cabin pressure is 2000 feet less than other typical commercial planes, which means everyone’s lungs are taking in an additional 8 percent of oxygen.

December 4th, United’s 787s will begin their international flights to Amsterdam from the Houston hub. United has ordered 50 Dreamliners from Boeing (each costing more than $200 million), and it is only a matter of time before other U.S. airline companies begin to update their fleets with Boeing’s latest aircraft.

photo courtesy of Luke Lai flickr creative commons

 

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Fare Type Round Trip     One Way
Passengers  Adults
  Children under 11