Armchair Travel & Culture: See The World While You're At Home!
We may be at home for a while, but there’s so much to see and do from the comfort of your armchair.
By now you probably know all about musicals being streamed on YouTube by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, virtual tours of the National Gallery, and Jamie Oliver’s ‘Keep Cooking and Carry On’ show – all absolutely fabulous – so we wanted to share a few of our favourites that haven’t had as much attention yet… starting with travel, of course!
See the sights and scenery without setting foot in an airport or carting any luggage around. There really is something for everyone.
This week we’ve been spending a lot of time on the Bilbao Bizkaia website, gazing at incredible photos of the seaside, mountains and city, getting wonderful ideas for a 2021 holiday there, and imagining ourselves in this beautiful Spanish haven of art and culture. Highly recommended!
Home travel tip: Get ready for an authentic Bilbao experience with a glass of wine and some pinxhos (Basque-style tapas). You’ll find lots of great recipes on pinterest, or have a go at creating your own with what’s in your fridge or pantry – start with pieces of bread/toast as a base and add cheese, herbs, anchovies, olives, salami, or anything else you have at home. Spear each piece with a toothpick for stability and easy snacking while you’re scrolling through photos or watching a virtual tour.
Ever wanted to see Mount Everest up close? Google Street View can take us to all sorts of amazing places we’d never be able to reach on our own, including Everest Base Camp. On this breathtaking site, simply click and move your cursor to see a 360-degree view of the base camp. You can also scroll down on that same page to see fantastic photos from a climb.
If you’re dreaming of an African safari, WildEarth’s safariLIVE is a real treat. You’ll get to enjoy the beauty of Southern Africa’s wildlife up close and in their natural habitat, with commentary from an expert game ranger – you can even ask him questions and interact in real time.
For early risers, the Sunrise Safari begins at 6am Central African Time (CAT) – that’s 5am here in the UK*. There’s also a Sunset Safari at 14:30 our time (15:30 CAT) that’s equally spectacular. Each session lasts 3 hours, but you can join and leave any time you like while it’s on.
There are some great extra videos available on their website too, and plenty of information about animals such as lions, leopards, cheetah and rare wild dogs that you can see during the live sessions.
(*Please note regarding times, CAT is technically 2 hours ahead of GMT, but they don’t have daylight savings time over there, so until our clocks go back for winter there’s only 1 hour difference.)
Many of our favourite theatres are streaming plays and musicals free of charge. Most are available for a few days or a week at a time, so it’s a good idea to make a note of what you want to watch and when.
First things first:Andrea Bocelli will be broadcasting a live concert on Easter Sunday from Milan’s Duomo Cathedral! We cannot wait!
'One Man, Two Guvnors' is on NT Live (National Theatre) until 9 April – a member of our team saw a production of this a few years ago and reports that it was excellent and hilarious! NT will be showing something new each week, with Jane Eyre and Twelfth Night lined up for later in April.
For fans of the Bard, Shakespeare’s Globe has plays, interviews, sound recordings, and a virtual tour on its website. Hamlet is available to watch until 19 April, and will be followed by Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
A lot of musicians are making their music available at no charge, and many are also keeping fans entertained with their own livestreamed performances from home. Robbie Williams did an impromptu karaoke session that’s lots of fun to watch, while other artists are going the more formal or collaborative route – such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment who recently played Bach “together” from their living rooms through the power of video conferencing.
The big news this week is that the Royal Academy has put a virtual tour of its Picasso On Paper exhibition online! The exhibition had only just begun so very few had a chance to go before the gallery closed – now we can all see it!
Google just about any other gallery and you’re likely to find a virtual tour or at least some highlights from their collection, so it’s very easy to get some culture while we’re at home.
A good option, if you’re curious about a specific artist or style (or if you just want to immerse yourself in art) is www.WikiArt.org
The collection is massive and you can search by artist, institution, century, genre, media, and much more. There are also short films to watch, and a curated set of featured works that will keep you intrigued for hours.
Lots to keep us busy… and that’s just for starters! We’ll keep sharing interesting armchair travel and culture with you regularly, and please tell us if you find something wonderful for fellow armchair explorers to enjoy – send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
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