Free Oktoberfest For Nurses

Actually, to anyone who works in healthcare, we’ve got your Oktoberfest COVID (get it?)

Where would we be without you through these extraordinary times? If it wasn’t for the nurses and doctors and administrators and everybody* who is working on the frontline, this coronavirus crisis would be so much more horrible than it already is – and it’s already pretty horrible. For the most of us all we have to do to play our part in squashing this virus is to stay at home, to become at one with our couch, and keep up our Oktoberfest training (while staying within government alcohol consumption guidelines). 

But those on the frontline? You’re going to work every day, working super long hours, in a hectic environment, exposing yourself to the virus, to a potentially scared and irrational public, and doing so for, frankly, nowhere near enough money. 

We don’t know when this will be over, but we do know that when it is you will have deserved one helluva party. And we just so happen to know of a party that’s likely to go ahead, and that will be ab-so-fucken-lutely just what the doctor (theoretically) ordered for the doctors (actually, and their colleagues). 

Oktoberfest. 

It’s the world’s biggest and best and original and greatest and most wonderful beer festival, and Stoketoberfest, our accommodation/pre-party/kick-on is the biggest group of the best travellers, that’s mostly original and we really think it’s great and wonderful. 

So to say thanks for all your hard work, we want to invite you along for free. Just shoot an email across to info@stoketravel.com and we’ll book you in. 

And give you VIP treatment while you’re with us. 

Because if it wasn’t for healthcare workers we’d all be fucken fucked; the least we can do is get you nice and fucked up as a way to say thanks.

Check out our Oktoberfest packages here.

*There are so many people working on the frontlines through this. If you can prove to us that you’ve worked in healthcare through this pandemic and have been involved in slowing the spread of COVID-19

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Some Good News For A Change: Stoke Travel Doing Just Fine

Yep, like the rest of the travel industry, everything is a-ok for your pals at Stoke. 

Finally experiencing a bit of long-waited-for good fortune, Stoke Travel is happy to announce that everything is just fine, despite the inevitable incoming global recession, grounding of basically all flights, lockdown of the entire planet, near total decimation of the travel industry and no perceivable end in sight. 

“Yeah this is fine,” explained Stoke Travel CEO Toby Paramor, “we’ve had to cancel all of our spring trips due to coronavirus and summer is very much up in the air. Because of the uncertainty nobody is booking trips for the future – because nobody has any future – and those amongst us who are optimistic about coronavirus-based travel restrictions lifting in time to do some summer travels around Europe are now in a position of massive financial insecurity, probably having lost their job, and everyone’s more concerned about how they’re going to live in the foreseeable future, than they are about booking frivolous travel.

“But of course we’re fine. We’re still open for business, and when restrictions finally do lift we’ll be doing our bit to help people make up for the lost time in lockdowns. Plus we’re all healthy – self-inflicted party ailments aside – and are able to do our bit for the community by just staying inside. So yeah, while this did start out as a tongue-in-cheek April Fools’ joke about how much we’re struggling, when you look at it like that, we’ve still got a job, a roof over our heads, our health and enough to eat and drink, so yeah, we actually are just doing fine. Cheers.”

Stoke Travel are doing fine, and to help you do fine too we’re offering €1 deposits on all our trips for the upcoming 2020 season. Nope, we don’t know when we’ll be travelling again, but we want to enable you to start planning while you’re in lockdown to give yourself something to look forward to. 

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THE BEST PLACES TO STUDY ABROAD IN EUROPE 

Everyone knows Europe is the place to study abroad, but it can be hard to decide what country, let alone city, you should spend the next few months in. To help you out with this huge life decision, we’ve gathered the research and consulted our travel experts to put together our recommended list of European hotspots. Whether it’s a semester or a summer abroad, get ready for some of the best months of your life. 

How do I decide which country to study abroad? 

Year after year the most popular study abroad destinations seem to be Italy or Spain, two of Europe’s most iconic countries, which given their vibrant culture, tasty dishes and breathtaking cities is no surprise. Culturally Spain and Italy are similar in many ways being family-centric and each has a lot to offer in history and cuisine. Compared to the U.S. you’ll experience a more relaxed way of living in both countries. If you are struggling to pick between the two powerhouse’s here are some things to keep in mind.

Italiano vs Español: The Languages

If you’re planning to study abroad to work on your language skills, it shouldn’t be too hard to choose. If you want to practice your Spanish, head to Spain and If you’re itching to learn Italian, Italy’s the place to be. Keep in mind that each country has regions with different dialects, and this is something you should look into further once you select your country.

Paella vs Pasta: The Cuisine

If you’re a foodie, Italy never disappoints with a never-ending opportunity to pizza, pasta, and gelato your way around the country–If you’re already dreaming of carbonara and cannolis, Italy’s waiting for you. Paella and sangria are just the tip of what Spain has to offer, and tapas culture is pretty rapidly making its way around the world. Spend a few months in Spain and you’ll be craving patatas bravas, chorizo and all the other yummy tapas and pintxos in no time. 

Festa Or Fiesta: The Parties 

Nobody comes close to throwing a better fiesta than the Spanish. You’ve heard of San Fermin, the infamous running of the bulls and likely have heard of La Tomatina, the tomato fight. Have you heard, however, of San Vino the whole festival the Spanish have dedicated to throwing wine at each other? Parades, fireworks and partying in the streets until dawn are staples of Spanish holidays and you’ll love every second of how unbelievable they are. Of course, being Europeans, the Italians know how to throw a festa or their own, but we think that Spain is going to leave you with more memories and a bigger hangover than their trans-Mediterranean neighbors.

If you find yourself drawn more to one country than the other, whether it’s the language, culture, sites to see, things to do, or just a feeling, go for it–both Italy and Spain have amazing cities to choose from so you’re probably wondering which city is right for you so you can live your best life.

Spain It Is! Should I study abroad in Barcelona or Madrid?

The rivalry between these two cities is almost as old as time itself. Madrid and Barcelona are both home to delicious food and passionate football fans. They each host their fair share annual festivals and events and quirky neighborhoods to explore. 

As the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona is known for its laid back beachside lifestyle contrasted by lively sporting events, rambling city streets, vibrant energy, and a wild club scene where you can dance your heart out until the sun comes up. 

The Spanish Capital of Madrid is a modern yet elegant sprawling city. It’s unlikely that you’ll run out of museums and palaces to visit, and history and culture to immerse yourself in.

Walking the streets in Barcelona you’ll find yourself surrounded by stunning architecture and tasty tapas and of course you can’t talk about Barcelona without mentioning the man himself: Gaudi. The architect responsible for the magnificent but unfinished Sagrada Familia and other mystical landmarks such as Parc Guell and Casa Batllo. 

Though Barcelona has many museums, they pale in comparison to the big three in Madrid; the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid is also home to the Parque de Retiro, 350 acres of green space in the city where you can rent paddle boats, picnic and just wander amongst the sculptures. In Barcelona, outdoor enthusiasts can get their fix hiking just outside the city limits or exploring nearby vineyards.

Let’s be real Spain has something for everyone so whether you choose Barcelona or Madrid the other is only a short train ride away. 

I Want Italy! Should I study abroad in Rome or Florence? 

The good news is that these cities are located within a couple hundred miles of each other so you can travel quickly and affordably between the two. 

Rome is the bigger of the two cities and has more of a traditional urban vibe while Florence has a small-town vibe.  Rome is a better option if you prefer a big city with public transportation and unique neighbouhoods to explore. 

Florence doesn’t have a metro system so the best way to get around is on foot. If you want to complete all the exercise rings on your Apple watch, and navigate your way around the city Florence is the perfect fit. 

Rome is full of famous landmarks, art, and architecture from all periods of European history. With history on every street corner, Rome is an easy choice for anyone studying history, art, design or architecture.   

Known as the birthplace of the renaissance Florence is home to the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo and Piazzale Michelangelo also provides some of the country’s best views.  Florence is also a center of Italian fashion and is where many luxury brands like Gucci, are headquartered. 

Both cities are full of art, music, architecture, and history and are great locations for trips to other parts of Italy and neighboring countries. 

No matter where you decide to spend the semester

You aren’t going to regret your decision to study abroad and it’s unlikely you’ll regret your choice of destination either. Once you get settled into your new home you’ll have an amazing time and make some lifelong friends and memories along the way. If you really can’t decide, look at multi-city programs. 

The hardest decision? Choosing when to book your flight home. 

Want to get VIP upgrades, free travel and hookups for your buddies while you’re studying abroad? Sign up for the Stoke Travel ambassador program. 

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Dude, Where is Oktoberfest?

When you’re hammered, dirndl’d, a little emotional and a whole lotta lost, this is your guide for finding Oktoberfest. 

You’re in Munich looking for Oktoberfest and you’ve overindulged on the old confidence juice.  You’ve forgotten that you’re in a foreign land, a new city, somewhere completely unfamiliar, and your SIM card doesn’t work, which is concerning because you rely on Google Maps to get from your bed to the bathroom at home. You don’t speak German so you can’t confidently ask for directions, and even if you had the address, all the streets look the same to you.

You’re up schiesser creek without a paddle. 

But don’t worry, we’ll get you there with our foolproof guide on how to find Oktoberfest. 

Follow the lederhosens

So here’s what we know. We know that you should be in Munich. If you’re not in Munich then you’ve cooked this even harder than we ever could have thought and you need to have a long, hard look at yourself. So seeing as though you’re in Munich, during Oktoberfest, and practically everybody bar the worst tourists dress traditionally for the ‘Fest, surely all the people wearing lederhosen (three-quarter leather pants with a kinda bib) or dirndls (traditional dress that emphasises the… oh you’ll see) will be heading towards the festival itself. Brilliant! Foolproof! But, with more than seven million visitors every year, there’s as much chance that people will be walking away from the beer halls as there is a chance they are walking towards them, so you could be following people in the wrong direction. 

Follow the signs to Oktoberfest

If you think you might be in central Munich the good news is that Oktoberfest isn’t far, and that you can walk there from pretty much any part of Munich city. Munich is flat, and the Theresienwiese fairgrounds, where Oktoberfest is held, are well signposted and about a one kilometre walk from the central train station, or Hauptbahnhof. But we’re writing this with the assumption that you’re stein-eyed and pretty much hopeless, so how will you know that you’re in central Munich? Well, do you see a huge castle thing with a giant cuckoo clock on top of it? That’s the Rathaus, the city’s town hall, and you’re in Marienplatz. It’s an easy walk from there. Are you surrounded by naked old dudes in a city park? Then you’re in the English Gardens, and it’s an easy walk from there, too (keep an eye out for river surfers – true story). If you’re by the Nymphenberg Palace then you’re not really near Oktoberfest at all, and it might be better for you to jump on the metro. 

Taking public transport to Oktoberfest

From the Stoketoberfest campsite taking public transport to Oktoberfest is easy: take the 164 bus five stops to Untermenzing; jump on the S2 train headed to Erding and get off at Hackerbrücke; walk across the bridge to Oktoberfest (don’t get lost at this point, or you’ll have to follow the advice above). If you’re somewhere else in the city, though, you’re going to have to negotiate the public transport to one of the following stops:

  • Hackebrücke (S-Bahn lines S1-S8)
  • Hauptbahnhof (the main train station listed above, you can stumble from there)
  • Theresienwiese (the train station of Oktoberfest itself, often very busy, accessed from U-Bahn lines U4 and U5) 
  • Schwanthalerhöle (if you miss the stop at Theresienwiese)
  • Goetheplatz (on U-Bahn lines U3 or U6)

Got it? Look to be fair, if you’re lost in Munich and can’t find Oktoberfest, the world’s biggest and best beer drinking festival, then you’re probably not going to remember these metro instructions, in which case.

Get a taxi to Oktoberfest

This one’s easy, jump in a cab, book an Uber, whatever, and tell them “Oktoberfest”. They’ll know where to go. It’ll be expensive, depending on where you are, really, but you’ll be assured of arriving at the beer halls. 

Then once you get there it’s just a matter of finding your friends, somewhere amongst the 30 different Oktoberfest beer tents, hosting seven million beer lovers. Yeah, we think you’ve got a better chance of just making new friends – look out for people with Stoke Travel wristbands, they’re guaranteed to be legends. Book your Stoketoberfest stay now!

 

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The Sidra House Rules – the Stoke Travel Guide to Navigating a Basque Cider House

If you’re searching for information on the late 90s Tobey Maguire Oscar-winning film, then I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere. But if you’re wanting to find out what exactly goes on in a Basque cider house (sidra in Spanish) – a heavenly, border-line mythical Shangri La for any traveller with eyes bigger than their bellies – you’ve come to the right place.

ANY CIDER HOUSE IS A GOOD CIDER HOUSE

Okay, while this statement isn’t technically correct (there are some real stinkers in the rest of the world), as a rule of thumb it holds true for the majority of the Basque Country. There are the larger, world renowned places such as Petretegi and Saizar, or the smaller more, intimate settings of Satxota or Arizia. Most will cater for groups big or small, but in my book it’s best to support your local. We like to kick it at Satxota.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN APPLE CIDER ONSLAUGHT 

A visit to the cider house is not something to be taken lightly. Preparation must begin the day of, or in fact, the evening before. It is important to have a good night’s sleep, and to wake up with a clear head. A hungover cider house visit is possible, but you’ll never be able to truly appreciate the unlimited cider (more on that later) without tackling proceedings with a clear head. 

Furthermore, it is important to monitor one’s food intake before entering the cider house. Eat too much food, and you’ll never make it to the final course. Eat too little, and you’ll fill up on table bread before the meal has even begun.

THE BEST CIDER IN TOWN

Upon arrival at the sagardotegi (that’s cider house in Basque), you’ll be given a glass. Make sure to guard this glass with the ferocity of a mother wolf defending her cubs – for it is not just a vessel in which to hold your booze – it is so much more. It is a vessel that will carry you throughout the night, away from the pits of sobriety, along the river of tipsiness, and deep into the depths of drunken delight. 

Plus, if you lose or smash your glass, the staff get really angry.

Before the first course is served, you’ll be led out through the restaurant and into a cellar. Some cellars are small, others are massive – depending on which Sidreria you go to – but all will contain cider barrels. The owner or manager of the cider house will shout “Txotx” before opening the tap of the barrel, to allow fresh non-carbonated cider to shoot out, ready for you to meet it with your glass.

Keep your glass as low to the ground as possible, and ensure the cider hits the inside rim. This aerates it, and is the only real way to drink Basque Sidra. “Why do you need to aerate it?” you might be wondering – Basque cider is pretty different to your average drop, uncarbonated and made solely with apples – hence the famous long pour. Fill your glass to two or three fingers, and then knock it back quick smart, like a Scotsman drinking whiskey after his wife just left him.

A GOOD OLD FASHIONED SAUSAGE

Once you’ve had your fill of cider, head back to your seat for the first course, which will likely be there waiting for you – sizzling chorizo, soaked in cider, best served in true Basque fashion, alongside a hunk of bread.

In between courses feel free to wander back to the barrels to get your fill. As mentioned previously, the cider is unlimited, and you’ll only ever be denied another drink if you’re being a belligerent bastard.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE FISH, YOU CAN COD OFF

Next on the menu is a cod omelette. You may have noticed there’s not been much mention of vegetarian options so far at the cider house. It’s not because they don’t have vegetarian options – it’s just because they’re comparatively shite. The omelette, however, is the only exception, where fish is substituted with pimientos, or green peppers. Either will beat any scrambled nonsense you’ve ever made hungover for a Sunday fry up.

After this we’re getting to the real shit – the delicacies. Next up is more cod – Bacalao in pil pil sauce. A Basque speciality nearly as old as the ancient people themselves, the sauce is created when the oil emulsifies when combined with the fish. And it tastes really fucking good. 

BEST. BASQUE. BEEF. PERIOD.

Then we hit the crown jewel of the cider house menu. The crux of the course. The pick of the crop. Txuleta. Slabs of rib cut steak so soft, so tender that it’ll ruin all other meat for you until the end of your days. 

If you like your steak medium or well-done, keep it to yourself. Txuleta is cooked rare, charred on the outside and bloody on the inside. To ask for anything else is to be doing yourself a mischief. Plus the chef’s will likely tell you to eff off.

CHEESE PLEASE

Lastly, if you can even contemplate more food, locally sourced cheese, quince paste and uncracked walnuts will round out the evening. Tradition dictates there is only one way to crack open the walnuts at the end of your meal – with your forehead. I’ve a funny feeling this tradition has been completely made up by one of our Basque mates who’s been looking for a chuckle, but it’s still a perfect way to finish up a completely debaucherous night.

By this point if you can still stumble in the right direction of the bus to take you home, you’ve just about survived. Bonus points if you stay awake for the whole journey home. Then again, if you’re still coherent at this point, have you really been following the cider house rules?

 

Looking for a place to crash after you’ve staggered out the Sidreria doors? Look no further than the Stoke Travel San Sebastian Surf House. Check it out HERE.

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Stoke Travel’s Ultimate List Of Best Places To Pass The Coronavirus Crisis

  1. In your own home, you dingus.

Social distancing matters. Stay away from each other and we’ll see you when this pesky virus pisses off.

€1 deposits on all trips until we’re sure that coronavirus is gone. Reserve your post-CV travel now. We’re guessing it will be done by summer, but every day is different, the situation is forever evolving, and while it’s still lurking around threatening our elderly and immunocompromised peeps we all just have to stay home. Imagine the party we’re all going to have when it’s done! 

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Why The Coronavirus Crisis Is The Best Time To Travel

We highly recommend travelling during pandemics, travelling inside your mind

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is spreading quickly around the world, and as more and more countries go into lockdown, going outside – an essential part of travelling  – is becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible. For still, and probably temporarily, outside of quarantined areas flights are cancelled as airlines cut routes, or are shutting down, countries are closing their borders, and even if you can get into a country, monuments, bars, restaurants – basically everything – are off limits until further notice. Travel as we know it is being put on hold for the time being.

But not dreaming about travel. Because while we’re in lockdown, while we’re sitting staring wistfully out the window, there’s never been a better time to fantasize about where you want to go, to make fanciful plans, and to start booking trips in so that when the virus fog clears and the travel restrictions are lifted, you’ll be primed and ready to hit the world running with some epic trips booked in the post coronavirus (PCV) world. Here’s what you have to do. 

Keep on booking trips because Now is the best time with €1 deposits on all destinations

Why? Because travel companies want/need you to. Please, book trips. Across the industry we’re feeling the pinch, and there isn’t a company big or small that’s not hurting and worrying about the future. Many of our trips are being cancelled due to government recommendations and people are pulling out of those that aren’t due to uncertainty (please don’t cancel, just reschedule, or take the credit). This stings travel companies like Stoke Travel hard because we’re not huge money making corporations (we’re basically a not-for-profit), and we have highly valued staff who we don’t want to let go. We’re sure that this pandemic will pass, and when it does we want to have all the best hands on deck for the bounce back.


We know that this thing will clear and before we know it we’ll all be travelling again. The current lockdown across Europe is set for 30 days, and while it might go longer there aren’t many predictions seeing it last until summer. So it’s wise that you plan to be travelling this summer, but we don’t want you to be out of pocket if coronavirus sticks around for longer than we anticipate and trips stay on hold.

That’s why Stoke Travel are only asking for a €1 deposit during this period, until we’re sure of the future situation. This means you can book and plan until your heart’s content, and if you have to change your plans you won’t be out of pocket. 

Also, airlines have relaxed their flight changing terms due to coronavirus

Like, really relaxed them. One of the main reasons why this is a particularly terrible time to travel is because airlines are being forced to drastically cut back services because there’s nobody flying. The industry is set to take a huge, perhaps in many cases fatal, blow and they’re doing whatever they can to keep people booking, a strategy they may have borrowed from your old pals here at Stoke Travel. So most, if not all, airlines will offer you super flexible deals with free flight changes for up to a year or even more.

So this means you can book your flights to Europe, or around Europe, and book in your Stoke Travel trips, and change it all around as new developments arise with the coronavirus situation, and we think that this is a great idea because…

Booking trips can help you shake the coronavirus quarantine funk

It offers a little bit of a distraction from doing nothing, because daydreaming up our dream trips can really help pass the time. We’re in quarantine here in Spain and what we’re finding is that a solid routine, broken up by doing things that make you feel human again, is really the only way to get through this with your sanity mostly intact. There’s no better way to see the light at the end of the quarantine then to defy COVID-19 and book all the travel that it’s trying to deny us. Do some research, make up a wish list of destinations and events, and then start locking it in so you have something to look forward to during the long, dark days ahead. 

And once COVID-19 quarantines clear, the world is going to go into one hell of a party

We’re certain that when our trips run later on this year they are going to be wild. Before this virus locked us down, all of our winter trips had sold out – literally all of them – and our numbers for everything else were way up on previous years. We were looking at the biggest and best year ever for Stoke Travel events, which naturally means the wildest parties anyone’s ever been to. We are still confident that come summer we’ll be back, everyone will be travelling again, you’ll be with us, and Coronavirus will just be a memory. So dream big and book some travel, because when this thing is done we’re going HAM!

Where do you want to go with €1 deposits? Oktoberfest? The San Sebastian Surf Camp? Our Barcelona Boat Parties? Or any of our other amazing trips 

 

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How to Make the Most of San Sebastian’s “La Semana Grande”

Who said culture had to be boring? 

Get the dates right 

San Sebastian’s La Semana Grande, or, The Big Week for us English speakers, is a week-long fiesta throughout the city, starting on the 8th of August 2020, to the 15th. Yes, you read that right. From official kick-off at 8pm, marked by a cannon firing in the Alderdi Eder gardens, this absolutely textbook Spanish party goes on all-day and all-night for an entire week. Now I’m not saying that going to San Sebastian at any other time wouldn’t be fantastic. Its stunning coastline, world-class food, and totally skits nightlife makes it a must-stop destination for any traveller taking on Spain. However, if you can time your trip to land around August, you’ll see the city in all of its fiesta-infused glory. 

Sort your accommodation out early

You’re not the first person to hear about La Semana Grande. The fiesta brings in thousands and thousands of people all trying to get a slice of that party pie. On one hand, that’s an incredible vibe, but on the other hand, where the hell is everyone going to sleep? It’s important to book your accommodation early, as everything, especially budget options, are going to sell out fast. It seems that you’ve got two options. One, you book yourself a fancy hotel for an extortionate price, maybe afford one night, and then be forced to go home early with your six-month backpacking trip limited to one expensive (but probably brilliant) night in San Sebastian. Then of course there’s option two. Staying at Stoke’s San Sebastian Surf House. With unlimited beer constantly flowing out of the in-house bar’s taps, new mates constantly arriving, and the classic Stoke vibe we’ve made a business out of, you’re guaranteed a big fucking week – and it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg. Book ASAP, to avoid missing out. We’ve only got so many beds. 

Check out the sports

Whether you’re a sports fan or not, trust me, you’re going to want to see what’s getting played during La Semana Grande. Swap out soccer with high-intensity wood chopping, and football with a sixteen-kilometre open sea swimming race. You’re about to see athleticism at its finest. You’ll be surprised at how, having never even heard of the sport in the first place, you’ll find yourself desperately supporting your favourite athlete as they lift, drag, chop and throw shit all around the city. It’s like the Olympics, but with more drinking. 

Make sure you catch the fireworks

Fireworks have always been, and always will be cool. It’s a fact of life. Ever since the lads down in China put fire and bamboo together, the magnificent scenes in the sky have become a symbol of international fiesta. That’s why, like any big week, La Semana Grande puts on a display every night from pyrotechnics all across the world. These are some high-quality fireworks we’re talking about here. International artists come to San Sebastian to show off what they’ve got – resulting in some of the best displays in the world. It’s hard to miss the show, but I would recommend heading down to the beach to watch it in all its glory. Bottle of rum in hand of course. 

Boogie. Hard. 

As two plus two equals four, parties plus dancing equals fun. It’s just simple maths. Live music will be played all throughout the city, and there’s something magical about boogieing on the streets. Every Spanish fiesta involves music, and at La Semana Grande, every night a major act will play on the main stage at Plaza Tomás Alba. Whatever happens, don’t miss it. The plaza attracts thousands of party-goers ready to dance until the sun comes up, and fresh off seeing the fireworks display, I trust you’ll be in the mood to join them. 

San Sebastian is always great, it’s just that it’s a little greater during Semana Grande. Whenever you can get out there, make sure you come and visit us at our San Sebastian Surf House, it’s really a little slice of paradise tucked in the hills behind Zarautz, the number one surf beach in the area, and a short hop from downtown San Sebastian, and all of its bars, pintxos, drinks and babes. 

 

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The Easy to Find Drugs in Barcelona 

You don’t need to look hard to find something to get you going. 

Coffee

Who said Pablo Escobar needed to be involved to get you high? South America’s second favourite export is coffee, and this drug is readily available on almost every street corner in the city of Barcelona. Dubbed ‘The Poor Man’s Red Bull,’ coffee is always going to help get you over the line at four in the morning when you’re feeling the heat of a good old-fashioned alcohol-infused blowout in Barca. It may not have the same effect as the white stuff, but when the going gets tough, you’ll be happy it’s there to help. 

Alcohol

Speaking of alcohol-infused blowouts, you’re going to need some booze to get you there in the first place. The drug of Kings, alcohol has been creating love, causing fights and drowning sorrows since 7000 BC. Like a good suit, it never goes out of fashion. Barca’s bar and club scene is second to none, and you can be sure that some of the best quality drinks in the world can be found within the city limits. Of course, the team here at Stoke Travel are well aware of this, which is why we’ve called Barcelona home for over ten years. What’s more, we know exactly how to show off this knowledge with our Barcelona City Break packages. 

Green Tea

I know, I know, it’s not what you’re expecting, but it might be better to hear this from me rather than have a very disappointing night. The charming lads down at La Rambla are trained in the art of picking out a tourist from a mile away, which is why, despite your best efforts at fitting in, you’re likely to be asked if you smoke weed the second they lay eyes on you. Now here’s the real tragic part, that ‘weed’ has about a 5% chance of actually getting you high. Instead, you’re likely to be looking at €10 bag of very healthy Jasmine Green. Go home, crack the kettle on, get your mates around and enjoy a game of Monopoly with a hearty cup of tea. You got done. 

Paracetamol 

I know, it’s not the little pill you’re looking for at eleven at night, but trust me, it’s going to be the one you need the next morning. Paracetamol has been keeping the Stoke team ticking along for years now, and after some heavy days on our Barcelona Boat Parties, it’s almost been better than that other little pill. Almost. 

Cigarettes

Now we will never condone cigarettes. They’re bad for your lungs, ruin your teeth, and weaken your immune system… but when you’re two pints deep and they’re only €5 a pack, you won’t be the first or the last person to reach for one of those little white soldiers. Immune to the heightened taxes found in other parts of the developed world, ciggies are still affordable for the common Catalan, meaning that they are one drug that is very easy to find, and very easy to enjoy – especially when you’re pretty much always going to be at least two pints deep. And I really mean at least. 

The Real Shit

The stuff you’ve been thinking about the whole time. Pills, powder, and grass. The holy trinity of any unforgettable evening here in the big city – shit, I mean, we don’t do drugs. The real shit is a bit harder to find than my previous few examples, but it’s also the stuff that’ll be worth the search. There’s no definitive answer to knowing exactly where to go for this, but you have to be careful when you look. A lot of people are going to try and rip you off with an inflated price or a shit product, and you’ve got to make sure that you don’t get punked. The team here at Stoke are not affiliated with anyone in this subsection of society, but we might know a guy that knows a guy that might be able to point you in the right direction. That’s what friends are for right?

 

You don’t need substances, illicit or otherwise, to have a great time in Barcelona – but they don’t hurt! Until they hurt, and then they really hurt. How about you just come on down to Barcelona, we can have a few shandies together and see where the morning takes us? For all things Stoke Travel in Barcelona, why don’t you slide yourself over here.

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Will the Coronavirus be at Oktoberfest? 

Honestly, we have no idea. 

As this novel virus makes its way around the world, it’s almost impossible to make a fair assessment of how everything is going to look when September rolls around. What we can say however, is that there is a lot of time between now and then, and you better believe that the world’s top officials are doing everything they can to stop this thing. 

As far as it stands now, the Munich authorities have not cancelled Oktoberfest, nor the upcoming Springfest. We like to think of ourselves as the experts of these beautiful festivals, but the reality is the guys that reaaally know what they’re talking about wear suits and work for the government, and they have deemed both safe enough to continue business as usual, both in the beer halls and for our Stoketoberfest campsites and campsite parties – and we’re not planning on changing any plans until the authorities advise us to do so. It’s still very much game on. 

Is the Coronavirus in Germany?

Yeah. 

It’s also in America, Britain, Australia, Spain, France and Italy too. In fact, it’s everywhere. 

At this point though, Germany poses no more danger than anywhere else (at the time of writing 0.00020% of Germans had contracted coronavirus), and considering its status as Europe’s strongest economy, it’s likely the best place to be if shit hits the fan. The other thing is this – it’s not often that Stoke Travel and viruses can agree on anything, but this time there is – we both believe in no borders. Just like Stoke, the coronavirus doesn’t care for lines drawn up by old dudes hundreds of years ago and is more than happy to cross those lines in order to keep the party going. The thing is, this virus is global, and it doesn’t matter where you are, if it’s going to find you it’s going to find you. It’s going to find you travelling, it’s going to find you at home. In saying that though, as of time of writing, Munich has not confirmed a single case. Good news for beer lovers. 

Is the Coronavirus Dangerous?

Well long story short… it can be. 

Just like catching the common cold, getting in your car, swimming in the ocean, walking down stairs, and every other unavoidable thing you’ve got to do to live your life, it can be dangerous. However, assuming that you’re reading this as an adventurous traveller under the age of 40 (rock on if not though!), you’ll be happy to hear that you’re ridiculously unlikely to find this thing fatal, like, 0.2% chance unlikely. Go buy yourself a lottery ticket if you back those odds. Now that we’re on the subject of statistics though, try this one on for size: 80% of ALL cases experience mild symptoms, ranging from asymptomatic (no symptoms at all) to common cold level. If you’re booking Oktoberfest with Stoke Travel, the coronavirus will be a walk in the park compared to the gnarly hangovers you’re guaranteed to experience. 

Can I Get Health Care at Oktoberfest?

Absolutely! 

At Stoke we will always encourage our fellow travellers to organise health insurance before their trips. We of course will do everything we can to make our fun safe, but the reality is when unlimited beer and sangria is involved, unexpected consequences are almost guaranteed at some point. That’s why we always have security and public safety professionals stationed at all of our festivals, with the medical services on speed dial should we need their assistance. Regardless, Germany itself prides itself on having some of the world’s best doctors and nurses, and with comprehensive health insurance, you better believe that you will have access to them. 

Yeah it’s business as usual for Stoke Travel. By the time Oktoberfest, or Springfest, or anything we do, rolls around the coronavirus scare will have mostly evaporated and the media would have found something else to obsess over. Don’t let it change your life, keep travelling, keep exploring and never stop filling your young, travelling life with all the experiences available to you. If you want to read our full statement on coronavirus and travelling, jump over here, and to book your Oktoberfest trip with Stoke Travel, light this up.

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