Is it crazy to visit Stockholm in winter?

The cold is freezing your hands, the snow is bitting your face, it is lunch time but it is -15°C / 5°F! You are doing this!

You might have stumble upon some of my articles about Stockholm, where I recommend to visit the swedish capital between May and September, but a visit in winter will bring the city under a different lights, that few tourists get to know. In this post, I will tell you what to expect when visiting Stockholm in winter and give you tips to make it a rewarding experience. Gloves and hat on, let’s go!


Yes, you are likely to freeze your ass when visiting Stockholm in winter, but it is worth it!

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3 must do to discover the 1000 colors of Valparaiso


Valparaiso (Chile) is no quite like any city you have seen before. Authentic cable cars more than a century old link the cranes of the harbour to the mansions on the top of the hills. Art and colors are omnipresent, from the big industrial buildings to little cobled passages almost hidden to the visitor. Once a pirates´ retreat, rich during the XIX century, hurt by many earthquarkes, the messy city has attracted creative and intellectual for decades. And well, you have to admit, it’s difficult not to fall under the charm of Valparaiso.

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Did you say tango?

Tango: a dance of improvisation, born in the bordels of Buenos Aires at the end of XIXth century. Despised for decades by the sophisticated Argentinian class, it’s in Europe and particularly in Paris that the tango gained its recognition. A century later, travelers from all over the world book a night in Buenos Aires milongas (dance halls) to vibrate with the performances of the best tango dancers in the world.

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A glimpse of the Brazilian carnival, even if you don’t come in February

Every year in February, the daily life of Brazilians stops for 3 days: it’s carnival, a celebration bigger than Christmas. And Rio de Janeiro, with 2 million people attending per day, holds the most famous and biggest carnival in the world.

But did you know you can get a glimpse of the world’s biggest carnival even if out of carnival time? Guided visit to one of the most famous samba school of Rio de Janeiro.

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Travel in time in the charming Brazilian town of Parati

It’s one of these small town where time seems to have stop 100 years back. Parati (pronounce “Paratchi“) is a photogenic postcard town on the coast of Brazil, enjoyable under blue sky as under rain – when photographers get creative with the facades’ reflections in the water pools. The historic center, UNESCO protected, enchants local and international tourists with its aligned white houses with colorful accents.

Add to this the proximity of dozen of beautiful beaches and lands and an ideal location between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and you get the perfect stop over or weekenders’ destination.

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Want to meet a real witch? Go to La Paz!

The witches are respected characters of La Paz. On the streets Jimenez and Linares in the bolivian megapole, their shops attract tourists´eye with their colorful candies, herbal potions and dead llamas.

A couple of secrets from the witches of La Paz

Here, you can buy anything you need to accomplish your rituals to mother earth!

Don´t expect them to tell you their secrets or to let you take them in pictures. In fact, if you show a bit too much curiosity, they will stare at you with a black look, making you fear they just casted an evil spell on you. The witches market is something serious.

Don´t be scared by the usual sight of dead animals or skeletons hanging on their doors, pacha-mama (mother earth) requires sometimes bigger offrandes than just candies and herbs. The local habit is to burry a dead llama under a future house, to bring luck and prosperity over the new home. A majority of the population has strong beliefs towards pacha-mama and the witches rituals and most of construction workers will refuse to start working before the proper completion of the ritual. (Don´t worry, if you don´t know how to perform it yourself, you can always hire the witch to do so!).

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The silver of Potosi – Hier kommt die Sonne


Potosi -located at 4067m- is one of the highest cities in the world, and for 400 years from the 16th century, it was also the most populated city in the world. At its peak around 150 000 people lived there, twice as much as in Paris at the same period of time. But Potosi´s history is not a happy one. We had an opportunity to visit the silver mines and get a glimpse on how the Potosi miner makes his way through the tunnels to find the precious metal, silver.

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Picture of the day: end of afternoon on Plaza San Francisco, Quito

Built on ancient inca ruins, the Plaza San Francisco is one of the main public square of the equatorian capital. Sitting on a bench at the end of the afternoon, we watched  the comings and goings of quiteños (inhabitants of Quito). In the background, the statue of the winged Virgin overlooks the city from the hill “El Panecillo”.


Comings and goings of quiteños at the end of the afternoon, Plaza San Francisco, Quito (Ecuador)

A visit to las señoras del mercado central in Quito

We have now settled down for a few days in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. We are staying in the old town, the historical part of the city and making a daily visit to the mercado central (central market) for our food shopping.

After the third day in a row of shopping there, we start to have our habits and our favorite stands. This is fun! The colors, the smell are appealing and the products fresh. We are getting familiar with the señoras who now welcome us with big smiles. But señora Fabiola Menez, who sells the vegetables, is definitely my favorite of all!

Cartagena, where it all started for the conquistadores… and for us!

It took us 36 hours to get there, 7 trains, a power shortage in Germany and 3 flights to get there. Stepping out of the plane, we feel the warm and humid air of Colombia on our faces. We feel tired, jet lagged, but the excitement is strong. From the sky, we first see all the white skyscrappers on a long piece of land, making it look really modern, like “Legoland”. Then, the more modest areas. And finally, the forteress. The airplane touches the ground. We arrived.

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