In the Culture Road section, we give four tips of exciting festivals that combine well with holiday destinations, we show colorful street art and we share an XXL book tip.
Text: Angelique van Os
Tip 1: Sagres Birdwatching & Nature Activities Festival, Portugal
The annual Sagres Birdwatching & Nature Activities Festival will take place in the southwestern tip of the Algarve from 5 to 8 October . Although the birds are central to this festival, this multi-day event consists of various activities, lectures and workshops. You can spot dolphins, kayak, take a yoga class on the beach and walk along the coastline. You can also look for moths and moths, for example.
Bird lovers can indulge themselves with several excursions. For example, you can search the Atlantic Ocean for seabirds, there are various bird safaris and birds are monitored and registered with rings. Of course there are also early bird bird walking tours.
In addition, Sagres is a nice town that is not (yet) overrun by tourists at this time of year and there are cozy restaurants and a number of beautiful hotels.
Photography: Angelique van Os
Tip 2. Kristiansand & Punkt Festival, Norway
The southern Kristiansand is sometimes seen as the Norwegian Riviera. Kristiansand is a beautiful, compact and child-friendly city on the water, with a beautiful historic heart (Posebyen), and also a green environment and its own city beach. It is also the city of the adventurous electronic and jazzy festival Punkt. Since 2021 it is possible to make the crossing by boat from Eemshaven.
Just outside the center of Kristiansand, past the lively harbor and fish market full of restaurants Fyskebrygga, is the adjacent island of Odderøya . There are many beautiful viewpoints here. Because it was previously a naval base, bunkers and military traces can also be seen. Today, the island serves more as a recreation with walking routes and there are cultural activities and exhibitions, especially in high season.
If you don’t want to go to busy Bysstranda, but want to enjoy the water, you can visit Bertes Bay. According to locals, this is one of the best preserved places in Kristiansand. This ‘hidden’ water spot is located on a small harbor with a basic campsite behind it. It is allowed to camp here quite cheaply. You can plunge straight into the clear water from the jetties. Especially nice for teenagers. In the 1970s this was a well-known hippie place where a lot of music was made.
Ravnedalen Nature Park
A third green tip is the beautiful Ravnedalen Nature Park . You can walk there from the center in half an hour. Along the way, stop at various exuberant street art and murals, because Kristiansand is bursting with them. Ravnedalen is a popular place among the locals. The lush hilly park that was once established by General Wergeland in 1876 – his statue is still there – is surrounded by rocks and water features. In the summer there are concerts and festivals on a beautiful outdoor stage. There is also plenty of picnicking and you can eat in Café Generalen. In addition, there are various (steep) hiking trails, some of which offer beautiful views of the city.
Lovers of Indian food can go to Mother India. Pricey, but the fantastic dishes, flavors and underground setting are worth it. And veggies can indulge themselves at Spiren . In addition to delicious healthy dishes, juices and smoothies, there is also a surprising inner garden where concerts are sometimes given.
In the first weekend of September, the seaside resort is extra vibrant because of the adventurous Punkt festival . The multi-day event is the brainchild of programmers and live remixers/producers Jan Bang and Erik Honoré. They have been running the festival for 18 years and have been a strong team for over 35 years. Punkt is quite small-scale (between 1000 and 2000 visitors), but the set-up is grand. The quality and level of bands and acts is high. You also immediately get an impression of the city and its nightlife, because the concerts can be found in various, sometimes unexpected places.
What is special is that Punkt really forms a community, a family. You can taste that in everything: the accessibility and involvement between artists, press, organization and public is great and everyone visits each other afterwards. In addition, Punkt is known for entering into new experiments and collaborations. The programmers also always play a role at the festival. For more info and line-up look HERE .
More tips about Norway? Also read about Arctic Hideway in the Pure Plek section. Thanks to Punkt and Viddar Mortensen.
Photography: Angelique van Os
Tip 3. Coffee table book Greenland
Size: 41.5 x 31.5 cm | Number of pages: 356 | Number of photos: 190 color photos and 40 black and white photos | Edition: Hardcover | Language: English | Price: €350,-
The originally Greek landscape and travel photographer Fokion Zissiadis (1956) beautifully portrays the icy world of Greenland with the XXL coffee table book Greenland published by teNeues.
Zissiadis’ tribute to the world’s largest (2,166,086km²) and sparsely populated island (more than 55,000 inhabitants) is very dedicated. He shows the unknown Greenland in all its guises, with beautiful white views where ice and water meet. He also beautifully portrays the indigenous Inuit population and their collaboration with arctic dogs, as well as the perhaps last wild polar bears. From intense close-ups to vast white expanses, Zissiadis’ images come to life as you browse. The photographer naturally considers the dangers and possible consequences of climate change and explains in an interview what drove him to make this extensive document.
However, it is not an innovative book; Sebastian Copeland already released the similar Arctica, the Vanishing North (2015), followed by Paul Nicklen’s wonderful Born to Ice (2018). The difference is that Zissiadis focuses solely on Greenland and adds his own signature to it.
Greenland is Zissiadi’s third book. His first photo exhibition , Icebergs- From Genesis to Extinction , was on display at the Benaki Museum in Athens (2019). | More info look HERE.
Tip 4. Luanda culture & street art
A trip to Angola often starts with the capital Luanda as a base. The lively metropolis, located on the Atlantic Ocean, exudes a great contrast between rich and poor. The Musseque – slums – and luxury office buildings of Chinese and Portuguese multinationals and oil companies are a stone’s throw from each other. Skyscrapers are popping up like mushrooms, while many colonial-era buildings are falling into disrepair. Luanda has come a long way, but is on the rise.
Palace of Ferro
Fortunately, there is much to discover in Luanda, especially in the cultural field. The metropolis has a number of beautiful buildings that are worth a visit, such as Palacio de Ferro (the yellow palace). This beautiful building with graceful balcony arches is 400 years old, designed by Gustave Eiffel. It serves as a cultural center. You can pay a short visit to the small-scale Anthropological Museum. Ancient utensils, musical instruments and masks are exhibited here.
Rua dos Mercardores
In addition to the lively street life, Luanda mainly has colorful and exuberant street art. In several streets you will find impressive paintings on high buildings. Most impressive is the hidden Rua dos Mercardores. This entire street consists of street art, graffiti and murals. Here, some of the artworks tell their own story, or there is a reference to Angola’s violent past.
Also in the south of Angola, in the city of Lubango, just outside the center, a wall is completely filled with beautiful paintings by various Angolan artists.
Want to read more about Angola? Read our report HERE .
Photos: Henk Bothof