Not just flowers, even walls are in bloom all year in this Polish village. See pics

Danuta Dymon, 70, has been at it since the sun came up, dressed from head to toe in clothes also displaying her brushstroke. “As you can see I’m covered in flowers,” she said, adding neon green leaves to the fluorescent orange and pink garland spanning the fence’s brick base in front of her home in Zalipie, in southern Poland. Danuta Dymon painting traditional flower patterns on her fence in Zalipie. (AFP) Dymon is known around the farming village for having painted flowers on virtually everything under her roof: the ceiling,…

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Indonesia’s ‘rainbow village’ becomes an internet sensation. See pics

An Indonesian hamlet dubbed ‘the rainbow village’ after being given a makeover in a kaleidoscope of colours is attracting hordes of visitors and has become an internet sensation. The collection of about 200 modest homes on a hillside above a river used to be a typical, low-income Indonesian neighbourhood that was filthy and gloomy. But residents of the Wonosari community in Semarang decided an extreme makeover was needed, and received money from the local government and several companies to carry out the project. Villagers relax along a path in Semarang….

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‘See you down the izakaya’: pubs, Japan style

Tokyo’s taverns are tiny, sometimes raucous places for after-work drinking and great Japanese bar food Big in Japan … Tokyo is brimming with izakayas. Photograph: Alamy After a day of sightseeing and inevitable Lost In Translation moments, settling into an izakaya is the perfect respite for any traveller in Japan. Izakayas are cheerful pubs serving food and drinks – tiny, raucous and informal. They date back to the 17th century, when teahouses started selling sake to accompany snacks. Nowadays, they are popular with workers needing to unwind. They are found…

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Ljubljana, Slovenia: what to see plus the best hotels, bars and restaurants

Slovenia’s – and now Europe’s – green capital is a laid-back charmer of a city. Easily walkable, it boasts striking architecture and a vibrant outdoor eating and drinking culture Jože’s special one … Ljubljana’s Triple bridge was completed by celebrated architect Jože Plečnik. Photograph: Alamy As capital of one of Europe’s most forested countries, it’s perhaps fitting that Ljubljana is this year’s European Green Capital. A city of just 300,000 inhabitants, Ljubljana has often been ahead of the game when it comes to green initiatives – from the introduction of…

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Ljubljana, Slovenia: what to see plus the best hotels, bars and restaurants

As capital of one of Europe’s most forested countries, it’s perhaps fitting that Ljubljana is this year’s European Green Capital. A city of just 300,000 inhabitants, Ljubljana has often been ahead of the game when it comes to green initiatives – from the introduction of a sophisticated waste management system (Ljubljana was the first EU capital to adopt a zero-waste programme) and the creation of new green spaces from degraded urban land, to electrically powered golf buggy-type vehicles (kavalirs) offering free transport around the old town, which is otherwise closed…

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An insider’s guide to Bucharest: manele music and pastry-scented metro stops

From radical feminism to songs about student dorms, no pants subway rides to breweries in fancy hotels. Expect the unexpected, as Andreea Campeanu shows us her Bucharest Two girls taking a selfie in Herastrau Park, Bucharest. Photograph: Andreea Campeanu Cities is supported by: In five words Merdenele pastry* scented underground stations *(pastry filled with cheese or meet) Sound of the city Street musicians are always a pleasant surprise – you can meet them in underpasses, on the metro, on tiny streets or sprawling boulevards. These performers – from lonely singers…

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Crossing Asia on my bike, I met countless others out to see the world on a bicycle

From drinking tea with yak herders to battling through the mountains, exploring the world on a bicycle is an adventure like no other – and the best way of meeting the world on its own terms Cyclist Emily Chappel at a Chinese petrol station. Photograph: Emily Chappell A new grant, launched by well-known adventurer Tom Allen last week, aims to get young people exploring the world – but with a bicycle and a map, rather than a bus pass and a guidebook. And I’m not surprised. If you ask me,…

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Syria’s Assad doesn’t see ceasefire possible within a week

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with Venezuelan state television TeleSUR in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria’s national news agency SANA on September 26, 2013. REUTERS/SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Monday any ceasefire did not mean each side had to stop using weapons, and nobody was capable of securing the conditions for one within a week. “Regarding a ceasefire, a halt to operations, if it happened, it doesn’t mean that each party will stop using weapons,” Assad said in Damascus in…

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Horror movies you should see over the holidays

After days and even weeks of nonstop holiday preparations and festivities, what you need is a break from all that joy and goodwill. What would be better than a Christmas-themed horror movie with great audio from Bose to scream away your stress? Here are three of the best Christmas horror stories to make you glad you’ve been nice all year. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Since outsourcing is the name of the game, it is just fitting that we start off with this film about an evil Santa in the…

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