Favorite Holiday Meals from Around the World

Christmas cookies

Festive food is a huge part of the holiday season, with Christmas dinner being a time-honored tradition all over the world. While this may be the case, the food that is eaten in different countries varies hugely, so for those wanting to add an international twist to their Christmas meal this year, these are some holiday meals from around the world that you can take some inspiration from.

Italy
When it comes to their Christmas dinner, Italy stands apart from the majority of European countries, because rather than feasting on roasted meat, they turn to the sea to put together their Feast of the Seven Fishes. Held on Christmas Eve, this tradition, which comes from Southern Italy, commemorates the wait for the birth of baby Jesus. As expected from its name, the feast features course after course of seafood, with everything from clams to oysters to scallops to many other types of fish.

Fiji
Fiji is known for its unique customs and traditions, and the Christmas meal here is no exception. A typical Christmas table in Fiji is usually bursting with color, as well as delicious aromas, with everything from fish in banana leaves, garlic stuffed chicken, and pork that has been slow cooked in an underground hot stone oven.

malouf

Israel
Turkey is a common feature in the Christmas dinners in Israel, but these birds are seasoned with a range of tantalizing spices, from nutmeg to cinnamon to pepper, before being stuffed with rice and almonds. Other popular dishes that often appear on the festive table are Qidreh, a lamb dish that has been cooked in a wood-fired oven, Malfouf, which is rice with ground lamb rolled in cabbage leaves, and sides of hummus, as well as Middle Eastern vegetables.

Peru
Christmas dinner in Peru is held on Christmas Eve, and just like in many other countries, roast turkey is the star of the feast. The Peruvian Christmas version usually sees the turkey stuffed with beef and peanuts, and then decorated with fresh cherries and pineapples. After the main meal, marzipan is often served up for dessert, alongside a steaming mug of thick hot chocolate.

Christmas dinner

Australia
When it comes to Christmas dinner, Australia tends to follow the British tradition turkey, but since it is summer rather than winter for them, roasting is not usually the cooking method of choice. Instead, Christmas barbecues are extremely common, and everything from turkey to ham to ribs is cooked up, with a cold Pavlova to follow for dessert.

Poland
A traditional Polish Christmas meal always features carp, and this freshwater fish used to be bought in advance and kept alive in buckets until Christmas Eve, to ensure maximum freshness. When it comes time for cooking, the carp is scaled and de-boned, before the flesh is salted and then gently fried in olive oil.

The traditions that you follow for your holiday meal are important, but this does not mean that you cannot mix it up a bit this year, borrowing a few elements from around the world. Whether this means adding a couple of Italian-inspired seafood dishes, or serving up some Peruvian marzipan and hot chocolate for dessert, there are many ways in which you can add some international flair to your Christmas dinner this year.

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Duty Free Shopping

Shopping

An average of $40 million is spent at duty-free shops each year around the world, and this number is steadily on the rise. Duty-free shopping has always had a certain allure about it, with duty-free shops able to promise big bargains, as they are exempt from paying duty, otherwise known as local import tax, on the goods that they sell. The duty-free shops that you find in European airports are also VAT free, giving you even more savings. The reason that these shops are allowed to be exempt from paying tax is due to the fact that they are selling goods to shoppers who are leaving the country, which is why the majority of duty-free shops are found in airports and ports.

What To Purchase
With duty-free deals flashing at you from all angles, it can be difficult to know which products are actually providing good value for money. Generally, while alcohol and tobacco products may not do much for your health, they are among the best goods to purchase from duty-free shops. There are also a number of great bargains to be had with makeup and skin care, as well as some luxury goods.

What Not To Purchase
While there are many great deals to be found at duty-free shops, there are certain products that you would be better off purchasing elsewhere. Electronics are one of these, as often the marked down items at duty-free shops will be older models, and the latest models can usually be purchased for a similar price online. The same applies to clothing that has been imported, although clothing that has been made locally is usually a great item to buy from a duty-free shop.

Remember the Limit
Every country will have a limit on the value of duty-free goods that you are allowed to bring in, and it is important to check these before you travel. If you find yourself to be over the limit, you will have to pay tax on the excess, which could mean that your purchases become more expensive than they would have been if you had bought them elsewhere.

While it can sometimes be tricky to work out whether or not you are actually buying an item at a reduced price, duty-free shopping is always fun, with an incredible range of goods from all over the world available to browse through. This is made even better by the fact that most duty-free shops are at airports and ports, providing the ideal way to pass some time while waiting to travel. If there is a particular item that you are hoping to buy, it is always a good idea to do a quick bit of research beforehand, so that you know the average price before visiting a duty-free shop. If you make sure that you are a savvy shopper, then you will easily be able to pick out the very best deals at duty-free shopping, enjoying bargains that you would not be able to find elsewhere.

Photography Tourism – OROGOLD Reviews

The best way for amateur photographers to develop their skills is to find exciting and inspiring subjects to photograph, and this is where photography tourism comes in. Aimed at photographers of all levels, photography tourism enables photographers to explore some of the most exciting, exotic and colorful landscapes in the world. Each of the tours mentioned in this OROGOLD list of photography tourism destinations comes with professional photographers who can teach you more about how to hone your craft.

Image depicting wonderful African safari adventures

African Wildlife Photography
Photographing wildlife is known to be extremely tricky, as you can’t exactly tell the animals to stand still while you adjust your settings. In order to help guests capture the wildlife better, the &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, in KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa, runs tailor-made Photographic Safaris. The safaris are led by a team of expert trackers and rangers, and accompanied by professional wildlife photographers who can help guests with anything from lighting to composition to editing photos. For those who want to explore Tanzania, which offers some of the best wildlife-viewing opportunities in Africa, the two week Photographer’s Paradise course takes guests to some of the best viewing points on Mount Kilimanjaro, gives them access to one of the greatest wildlife migrations on earth across the Serengeti, and takes them to see the tree-climbing lions of Lake Manyara. The second half of the course is more relaxed, at a Zanzibar island, where guests learn how to take the most stunning sunset shots.

Breathtaking views of the Northern Lights phenomenon.

Mysterious Iceland
Iceland, with its mystical landscapes and world-famous Northern Lights, is a photographer’s dream. Wild Photography Holidays in Iceland offers two different courses, where guests will enjoy one-on-one tuition with professional photographers. They will also be taken to some of Iceland’s greatest sights, from the magnificent lava formations at Dimmuborgir, to inspiring geothermal landscapes that feature steam vents and boiling springs and mud pools. Of course, photographing the Northern Lights is also a part of the course.

Incredible views of the jal Mahal in Maan Sagar Lake, Rajasthan.

Authentic India
Authentic Adventures in Rajahstan, India, gives guests the opportunity to be taken around some of the best shooting spots in the region of Rajahstan. A professional photographer accompanies guests to Udaipur, the ‘white city’, Jaipur, the ‘pink city’, and Jodhpur, the ‘blue city’. Advice and instruction will be given on how best to capture the multitude of colors and vibrant energy, as well as the ornate palaces, snake charmers and brightly dressed locals. The trip is organized to coincide with the Camel Fair in Pushkar, which attracts more than a quarter million nomadic camel herders who set up camp nearby, attracting hoards of entertainers, dancers, traders, acrobats, and many other exciting photography subjects that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else in the world.

Photography tourism is offered in countries all over the world, and many courses can be tailored to suit your exact needs. Whether you want to work on your composition, develop your wildlife photography instincts, or capture glimpses of other cultures, a photography holiday tour will be able to help, and you can be sure that the photographs that you take home with you will be better than any souvenir you might have purchased!

Best Los Angeles Beaches – OROGOLD Reviews

Thanks to warm weather all year round, and 75 miles of coastline, Los Angeles is a magnet for beach lovers from all over the world. With almost two dozen beaches in the county, LA has something to offer for everyone, from families with young children to surfers looking for the best waves. OROGOLD reviews the best Los Angeles Beaches here.

Image of the Leo Carrillo State Beach, California

Leo Carrillo State Beach
Leo Carrillo State Beach is among the most beautiful beaches that you will find in Los Angeles. The beach, located at the northern tip of Malibu, stretches out for about one and a half miles, meaning that there is plenty of space if you want to get away from the crowds. Since the waves are quite tame here, it is great for longboarding, although not so great for surfing. The beach is dotted with sea caves and tidal pools, both of which are always fun to explore, for adults as well as children. It is also one of the only beaches that you can bring your dog to, as long as you keep him on a leash. If you want to spend the night under the stars, there is a camping ground on site that you can use, as well as picnic areas and showers.

Beautiful picture of the Venice Beach, Los Angeles.

Venice Beach
Venice Beach is arguably one of the most famous beaches in the world, thanks to its trendy boardwalk, bikini-clad women on roller skates, and an endless array of street performers. For those who like to people-watch, Venice Beach is the one for you. Due to its popularity, it is usually always crowded, but because the beach is quite spaced out, there are still areas to go if you want some peace and quiet. The boardwalk has plenty of shops, selling beachy clothing and surfing equipment, and there is also a huge choice of places to eat and drink. There are lifeguards stationed throughout the beach during the day, but because the waves are quite inconsistent here, it is not the best spot for surfers.

The Malibu Surfrider Beach, California.

Malibu Surfrider Beach
As you can tell from the name, the Surfrider Beach in Malibu is the best one for surfers. The sandstone reefs at the north of the pier help to create the perfect break, so that surfers can ride the waves all the way down the coast. There are three different surfing points to choose from, meaning that beginners, as well as the more advanced surfers, can all take part in the action. Don’t worry if you aren’t a surfer, as it is still a great beach to relax and be a spectator. There are also plenty of eating options, so you could easily spend the whole day on the beach.

The El Matador State Beach in Los Angeles.

El Matador State Beach
El Matador State Beach is a secluded pocket beach, located north west of Malibu. The beach is considered to be a hidden gem, especially when compared to the more well-known LA beaches, and is famous for its ridged cliffs and rocky outcrops. Since the beach is quite rocky, be sure to bring shoes with you, as well as any food or drink that you may want, as there are no facilities here. However, don’t let that put you off, as it is a great beach to visit when you want some privacy, and its location makes it perfect for watching a beautiful sunset.

Los Angeles, with its endless summers, sparkling ocean and swaying palm trees, will never disappoint those who want to spend some time on gorgeous sandy beaches. With so many to choose from, you could easily spend each day at a different beach and still not have time to visit them all, so make sure to do some research beforehand in order to find the LA beach that is perfect for you.