Posts Tagged With: Vagabrothers

This is Flamenco: Guitars and Gypsies in Granada

When you think of Spain chances are that you think about flamenco, sangria and bull fighting.  That’s partly true, but especially so in the south of Spain.  Flamenco is perhaps Spain’s most notorious export; but to the people of Andalusia, flamenco isn’t just a style of music…it’s a way of life.

The Vagabrothers explore the back streets in the shadow of the Alhambra and speak to a master guitar maker to find out what flamenco really is.  Come along to jam with the Gypsies of Granada.

Disfruta amigos!  Ole!

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Namibia: The Search for the Eternal Flame

Children

As Marko and I plan our next 6 month adventure around the world,  I look back on an amazing and formative experience in my life.

In August of 2012,  I set off on an expedition with Ken Hames, a former Major in the British Special Forces and BBC TV presenter.  Our goal was to cross the Otjihipa Mountains in Northern Namibia, one the most remote regions in the world.  We wanted to find a sub-tribe of the Himba,  the Chimba.  The Chimba are some of Africa’s last hunter-gatherers and exist in almost complete isolation.

Our journey lasted three weeks and was fraught with danger and setbacks.  It took us 6 days off-road to arrive to the Otjihipa mountain range only to have our Land Rover break down 15km from our goal, the Kunene River.  From there we set off on foot and  battled the elements; searing heat during the day and frigid temperatures at night.  During this expedition I learned the importance of team-work, determination, and the immense power we all have, the power of the mind.

For those who say there is nothing left to explore in our world… I most certainly disagree.

-Vagabrother Alex

Thank you Mark Tattersall of Ainsworth & Parkinson Ltd. for the edit.

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Vagabrothers Win My Destination’s Biggest Baddest Bucket List

Wow.

The Vagabrothers are stoked to announce that out of 1,251 entries from 110 different countries, we have WON My Destination’s Biggest Baddest Bucket List.

What does that mean?

Starting in July we are off on a 6 month trip around the world to 6 continents and 25 destinations of our choice.  Our goal?  Explore the world, connect with the locals, and inspire you to do the same.  From the deserts of Oman, to the summit of Mount Kilmanjaro, to the jungles of Bali our Bucket List is sure to be amazing.

We will be vlogging, blogging and snapping photos the entire time so be sure to stay tuned. Trust us, this is going to be one hell of an adventure…and we are taking you with us!

Thanks again to Mydestination.com for making this all possible and making dreams come true!  You guys rock!

– The Vagabrothers

Here is a taste of what’s to come.

Image

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#MyBBB Vlog #2: Agur Euskadi (Goodbye Basque Country)

Spend the next 3 minutes with the Vagabrothers as they recount their amazing memories from a very special place.

Goodbye Euskadi…for now.

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Countdown to London Week 1: Alex’s Vlog

Vagabrother Alex recounts the past few weeks in San Sebastián where the pace of life has accelerated drastically since being named a top ten finalist in My Destination’s Biggest Baddest Bucket List.

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Vagabrothers on the Radio

Hello World,

What a crazy past few weeks it has been over here in San Sebastián.  Ever since Mydestination.com announced the finalists to the Biggest Baddest Bucket List we have been a wild roller coaster ride!

Here is a quick video edit of Alex’s radio interview with Cadena Ser from last week.  In it he explains more about the BBB contest, a bit of history about the Vagabrothers and their views on travel and exploration.

Sincerely,

-Vagabrother Alex

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Andalusia: Road Trip through History

Wow,

What a crazy adventure, where to begin and how?  The last month has been hectic,  March Madness is not just about Basketball,  Mark left Spain and is back in California (visa’s are an unfortunate reality of travel).  With Mark gone, two of my childhood friends, Andy and David came out to visit.  We found a ridiculously cheap camper van rental and headed South, into the heart of Andalusia where Spain’s history is on display and very much in your face.  Semana Santa is a week-long somber ‘celebration’ of Jesus’s story;  it’s where a moribund Catholic Church takes the streets of Spain and reinforces its presence. It’s when the Army, the Church, and the Spanish people get together to celebrate the Reconquista.  All week-long from the biggest cities to the smallest pueblos, Jesus and Mary, cloaked in the silver and gold amassed by Conquistadors so many centuries before, make their way through the winding cobble stone streets of Southern Spain.  The processions often pass the architectural reminders of a time when Spain was an Islamic country.  It’s a fascinating and at times perplexing display of a long, complicated and violent history.

Here is a two-minute taster of what we saw.

Enjoy

Vagabrother Alex

 

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Next Episode Teaser: In Search of Scottish Identity

As Scotland prepares to vote on independence from the UK, the Vagabrothers set off in search of Scottish identity, trying to figure out why Scots are so different from the rest of the UK.

To find out, they travel across the country asking locals what it means to be Scottish, replacing their preconceptions with insights on the country’s unique history and culture.

They wind up in some unexpected places, make new friends and come home with great memories.

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Anarchism in Barcelona: Part 1

This week, we go to Barcelona to figure out a question we’ve been wondering for a while – why is anarchism so big in Spain?

Is it just a passing phase or could it be part of something bigger? We hit the streets to find out.

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Remember, Remember…

Alex and I skate up to the abandoned building and stop before the entrance. The main door is barred shut. Curtains and cardboard cover the windows. To our left, a dented black door lays ajar, casting a ray of light into a dark room. A chain dangles from a busted keyhole, it’s padlock left open.

We knock, then took a step back and looked at the massive mural stretching five stories into the Barcelona sky. There was no doubt we had found the Casa Okupa. We’d been skating across the city all day looking for one that hadn’t already been shut down by police, and this one looked alive – if secretive.

We knock again and wait a moment. No answer.

“¡Hola! Is anyone here?”

We look at each other, shrug and crack the door open. We hear voices up the staircase.

“Hola chicos!” we shout. “Can we come in?”

“Upstairs!” they reply, “Come upstairs!” We push the door open, stepping into the Okupa and into a world we’d been wondering about since coming to Spain three years earlier.

 ***

Spain’s rebellious side simmers just beneath the surface. Beyond flamenco is punk. Past the beach are the squats. And across the walls of every tourist town is anti-fascist graffiti and anarchy signs. It’s an image that jars our stereotypes, but it’s very real indeed.

It’s easy to dismiss this anti-establishment streak as a passing trend, but we wanted to see if there was more to the story. In particular, we were interested in the Okupa movement, which has been taking over abandoned buildings and converting them into community centers and collective living arrangements – although ones that are often shut to the public.

A closer look shows Okupa is more than just squats in abandoned buildings. It’s a philosophy to life and a political statement with a presence in every major city in Spain and its roots in a forgotten history – the days when Barcelona was run by anarchists.

The story took us to Spain’s civil war of the 1930s, a bloody era whose scars are still felt today. Learning more would require us to examine a skeleton in Spain’s closet. Was anarchism a passing trend, or a was it an enduring part of the Barcelona’s spirit?

That question took us here, to our first Casa Okupa in Barcelona. At this point, there was nothing left but to go inside and see where the adventure would lead.

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