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Overseas holidays

Hamburg hosts International Garden Show

One of the rarest and most renowned garden shows is currently underway in Hamburg, entertaining green fingered enthusiasts from all over the world. This year’s International Garden Show (IGS), which is only held once every decade, features the theme of Around the World in 80 Gardens.

The 250-acre site is divided into seven worlds featuring seven wonders and 80 gardens including the World of Ports, celebrating Hamburg’s long maritime history. World of Water, World of Religions, World of Cultural Diversity, World of Continents, World of Nature and World of Activity are the other wonders on display. The event is not due to finish until October 13, meaning there is plenty of time to book flights and sort out airport transfers to one of Germany’s greenest cities.

Visitors can also travel to Landungsbrucken and the HafenCity in the district of Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg, which are just a stone’s throw away from the exhibition site. This month happens to mark the 824th anniversary of the Hamburg’s port, with separate festivities to celebrate the occasion taking place along the River Elbe between May 9-12. The highlight of the event is set to be a grand parade of 300 vessels on the opening day. Day tickets to the IGS cost €21 (£18), while the price drops to €9 after 6pm.

Copyright Press Association 2013

Pushkar Camel Fair 'a unique sight'

Travellers looking for a truly unique experience on their holidays in India are being urged to check out "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" at the Pushkar Camel Fair. The event is held every November at the time of the Kartik Purnima full moon - this year's takes place between 9-17 November - attracting an incredible 300,000 people to see up to 20,000 camels, cattle and horses. Excited travellers wondering what to expect as they board their airport transfers are in for a riot of colour, buzzing activity and carnival as people with livestock from across Rajasthan join international visitors for the huge gathering.

The event was initially set up as part of an effort to boost business for camel traders during the holy Kartik Purnima festival, but it has grown vastly over the years to attract thousands of tourists from around the world who flock to their nearest international airport to get in on the action. Locals and tourists are enthralled by a riot of performances from musicians, folk dancers, herders, farmers, comedians and acrobats as the action unfolds.

Food lovers will not be disappointed either, with authentic Marwari cuisine delighting the tastebuds at this sensual feast. Religion becomes an increasingly strong feature of the latter part of the fair, culminating in thousands of devotees and pilgrims taking a holy dip in the Sarovar Lake. Devotees also visit temples and ashrams to immerse themselves in the spirituality of the holy hymns, chanting, bhajans, prayers and religious ceremonies.

Copyright © Press Association 2013

Mini Wonders of World photos amaze

A stunning selection of photos of the Wonders of the World are creating a buzz thanks to their playful use of perspective.

New York-based photographer Richard Silver uses a processing method known as tilt-shift to create the eye-catching images that add a scale-model feel to iconic world sites. Just taking a look at the photos might cause anyone with the travel bug to head off to an airport and catch a flight to see some of the world's most incredible cities, monuments and natural attractions. The mini versions captured by the photographer include the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, the Eiffel Tower looking like a toy and the magnificent site of Machu Picchu in Peru made no less striking in its miniature form.

"In this picture-series you are travelling the world with me," Silver said. "Since 2006 everywhere I have travelled I take a few photos that will be tilt-shifted and added to my portfolio. What I am trying to accomplish is to shrink-fit the world, one city at a time." So while the images may have a deceptively small feel to them, there is no doubting the scale of the man's ambition as he strives to distil the awe of the world into neat little packages. They are certainly successful in providing a new perspective on the well-known sites and will no doubt only add to the excitement for travellers as they take to their airport transfers with the images firmly planted in their mind.

Indeed it's the reactions of people viewing the photos that gives Silver his biggest thrill, as they often prompt a double-take from viewers taken aback by the apparently shrunk-down proportions of their subjects. "My favourite question is 'is that a model or is that real?" the photographer admits. Because when someone asks him that question, he feels that he has achieved exactly what he set out to do. Overseas travel is of course all about seeing the world in a new way, and there's little doubt he has managed it through his work.

Copyright © Press Association 2013

Paraguay capital 'an offbeat gem'

Travellers on the lookout for city breaks that are out of the ordinary might wish to consider the attractive capital of Paraguay, Asuncion.

This South American gem is largely undiscovered by tourists, offering the enviable opportunity to transfer from city hub to lush outskirts, from buzzing malls to stylish restaurants – even from lively city streets to a scenic island nearby – all the while allowing you the feeling that you are in on a secret. The island in question is Chaco'i, which offers some great birdwatching opportunities.

Other key attractions include the two-mile riverfront promenade in the city centre known as La Costanera, interesting street markets and a number of historic buildings and other cultural sites. While the flowering beauty of much of the city might take visitors by surprise, many of the outlying neighbourhoods – such as the area surrounding Asuncion's main bus terminal – are perhaps more typical of a South American city.

Visitors here will find an abundance of rickety street stalls selling almost anything you can imagine, proving a good choice for gifts and souvenirs to take home. But before travellers even set foot on their airport transfers to reach this most unusual of city break destinations, they might want to make sure they read up on the latest Asuncion travel tips – and one particular book has been described by travel blogger Laurel Miller as a "must-have" for visitors to the city. It seems Other Places Travel Guide: Paraguay (2012) by Romy Natalia Goldberg will become "your best friend" from the moment you get on board your bus to the airport and start planning your trip, according to the blogger.

As well as various insider travel tips for Asuncion and advice on what key attractions to visit, the book also provides indispensable advice on where to find the best chipas, which are moreish cheese bread balls from neighbouring Argentina.

Copyright Press Association 2013

Festival of fish comes to Italy

Keen holidaymakers may wish to consider visiting Italy next month in conjunction with the internationally renowned Slow Fish Festival. The event, open to coach travellers, takes place from May 9 to 12 in Liguria’s capital of Genoa, featuring traditional fishing methods of the north-west region and beyond.

Created by international food movement Slow Food for the sixth year running, the festival aims to whet appetites with tempting aromas of the Street Kitchen Food, which will feature fresh food specialising in regional flavours with value for money. In contrast, a more formal setting will be provided by the Bistro Alliance - a dedicated area for festival goers to enjoy dishes of local and seasonal fish.

An open kitchen where 16 of the biggest names in Italian and international food will also feature, with the likes of Italy’s Moreno Cedroni, Luca Collami and Peppino Tinari showcasing their own favourite fish dishes in front of a live audience. A strong focus on water will also apply at the event, highlighting how the health of the world’s seas and rivers is critical to fish and fish supplies. Water workshops will provide an entertaining but educational insight into such issues, as well as the negative impacts of water shortages and water pollution in developing parts of the world.

Copyright Press Association 2013