Podcast host Lea Lane describes favorite delights of spring travel -- food, flowers and festivals -- from the magnificent to the hilarious.
-- She starts with food, remembering gorging on "spargle," the white gold (asparagus) of Germany. Food festivals are delicious ways to have fun. And one food festival in England involves a nine-pound cheese that rolls down a hill.
-- Spring flowers are Lea's next delight -- colorful wildflowers on roadsides and fields of yellow rapeseed. And gardens, including painter Claude Monet's at Giverny, outside of Paris; and Keukenhof, "the most beautiful spring garden in the world," outside of Amsterdam.
-- Religious festivals celebrate rebirth and cleansing in strange ways. Spring ones include colorful Holi in the Hindu world, where people douse each other with colors and Sonkgran, in the Buddhist world, where everyone douses themselves with water, especially in Thailand. Las Fallas, a Spanish celebration, honors St. Joseph, with huge puppets.
-- Semana Santa, Holy Week highlighted by Easter, is celebrated around the world, but no where more beautiful than in Seville Spain and Antiqua Guatemala, where processions involve robed participants and carpets of flowers.
-- Non-religious festivals include Sechselauten, where a creature called a Boogg is burned to end the winter season. And the King's Birthday in the Netherlands, when everybody wears orange and goes shopping at a huge flea market.
-- In the U.S. there's a sand-sculpture festival in Florida, rodeos out west, Patriot's Day in Boston, and baseball spring training.
-- And as in every episode, we end with special travel memories. Lea shares two unforgettable spring anecdotes: one in the New Zealand (in November), and one in the Greek Islands. Both are surprising, and both are delightful!
Podcast host Lea Lane has traveled to over 100 countries, written many travel books, including Places I Remember, and has contributed to dozens of guidebooks. She's @lealane on Twitter and blogs about travel at forbes.com . Contact her at placesirememberlealane.com.
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