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-2018-
DESTINATIONS

MANY PRICES STILL WELL
BELOW 9 YEARS AGO!

 

BRITAIN &

IRELAND

 

SCOTLAND
'THE BRAVE'

 

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'RAINBOW'S END'

 

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'THE LIONHEART'

 

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'THE PENDRAGON'

 

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'WORLD CAPITAL'

 


 
 

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'LA BELLE'

 

 

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Current Events

AT HOME AT FIRST DESTINATIONS

   

A&P SHOWS ACROSS NEW ZEALAND

          A&P (Agricultural and Pastoral) shows are the New Zealand equivalent of rural county fairs in the US and Canada. Most are small, local events held on one day. Some are larger, regional events held over two to four days. A few are important events on the national calendar lasting as much as a week. A&P shows are not put on for tourists, which means foreign visitors have a chance to see New Zealanders at play, doing what they love to do in authentic settings. Cultural snooping? Probably. But FUN!

photos © Home At First

CALENDAR OF SELECTED EVENTS

FEBRUARY–MARCH 2018

 
Festivals, Holidays, Country Fairs, Sporting Events,
Theater, Cultural Gatherings, and Special Performances
Happening Near
HOME AT FIRST Lodgings throughout

BERMUDA, BRITAIN, ICELAND, IRELAND, ITALY,
NEW ZEALAND, PARIS,   SCANDINAVIA,
& SWITZERLAND
Information about HOME AT FIRST’s travel program to:

LONDON  ENGLAND  SCOTLAND  WALES  IRELAND  PARIS  SWITZERLAND

ITALY SWEDEN NORWAY DENMARK ICELAND BERMUDA NEW ZEALAND


NOTE: For many of the LONDON events listed, HOME AT FIRST guests at the
Apartments at St. Katharine’s Marina and at The Brewery Apartments
will take public transportation from the Tower Hill Underground Station,
8-10 minutes walk from St. Katharine’s Marina and 10-12 minutes
walk (or a 5-minute bus ride) from The Brewery.

 

– ONGOING EVENTS OF NOTE –

 

Ongoing daily
  LONDON, ENGLAND   - THE TOWER OF LONDON: “Prisoners of the Tower”
          
HOME AT FIRST’s London guests can’t miss visiting their famous neighbors who were incarcerated and may have met their violent and often gruesome ends at the Tower of London. Special exhibitions and guided tours at the Tower focus on various elements of its 1,000-year-history. These discuss some of the best-known prisoners who were incarcerated there, many of whom were beheaded, including explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, Queen Anne Boleyn, Queen Catherine Howard, Lady (& Queen for a few days) Jane Grey, Nazi leader Rudolph Hess, and terrorist traitor Guy Fawkes, among others.
 
 


THE TOWER OF LONDON AT THE TRAITOR'S GATE
Photo © Home At First  

LOCATION: The Tower of London is just west of the Tower Bridge between the River Thames and Tower Hill Underground Station north of the river.
ADMISSION: £24.80/adult, £19.30/seniors & students (16 & up), £11.50/child (5-15), £44.60/family (1 adult + kids), £63/family (2 adults + kids).
OPENING TIMES MARCH through OCTOBER: Tu-Sa: 9AM-5:30PM; Su-Mo: 10AM-5:30PM. Last admission: 5PM.

OPEN TIMES NOVEMBER through FEBRUARY: Tu-Sa: 9AM-4:30PM; Su-Mo: 10AM-4:30PM. Last admission: 4PM. Closed: 24-26DEC & 01JAN.

GETTING THERE: walk 10 minutes traffic-free from HOME AT FIRST’S LONDON apartments at St. Katharine’s Marina or 12 minutes (with minimal traffic) across the Tower Bridge from HOME AT FIRST’s apartments at The Brewery.
MORE INFO, see:
TOWER OF LONDON.

 


Ongoing, evenings from 9:30PM-10:05PM
  LONDON, ENGLAND   - THE TOWER OF LONDON
“The Ceremony of the Keys”

           700-year-old ceremony of the locking of the main gate of the
Tower of London carried out each evening by the Chief Yeoman Warder of the Tower accompanied by an escort of guards. Tickets are essential and may be obtained
ON-LINE HERE. Tickets for this ancient ceremony are available to the public, free of charge, but subject to a £1 booking charge. Book a
t least two months in advance (3-6 months or more if you hope to attend during June-August). Maximum Group Size: 6 persons April-October; 12 persons November-March.
LOCATION:
The Tower of London main (western) entrance.

ADMISSION: free!

NOTES: Visitors must be in possession of the original ticket issued by the Tower of London at entry. Photography not permitted. No bathrooms or refreshments available.
GETTING THERE: walk 10 minutes traffic-free from
HOME AT FIRST’S LONDON apartments at St. Katharine’s Marina or 15 minutes from HOME AT FIRST’s apartments at The Brewery.
MORE INFO, see:
CEREMONY OF THE KEYS

 

Yeoman of the Guard at The Tower of London's Main Western Gate. Photo © Home At First.
 
Yeoman of the Guard at
the Tower of London's
main western gate

Photo © Home At First


 

THE LORD MAYOR'S COACH, MUSEUM OF LONDON
Photo courtesy the Museum of London

Ongoing, daily from 10AM-6PM 
  LONDON, ENGLAND   

THE MUSEUM OF LONDON
9 Free Galleries Cover a Half-Million Years of London

          London’s best museum offers nine galleries with permanent exhibitions covering the human history of London chronologically from about 450,000BC through Roman times, the medieval period through the Tudor Dynasty, the Civil War, Great Fire and Bubonic Plague of the 17th century, the expansion of London during the growth of the Empire, the twentieth century World War years, up to the modern age when London became a world city.

LOCATION: Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN.
ADMISSION: Free to the museum & its galleries.

GETTING THERE: From HOME AT FIRST’S LONDON apartments walk 5-12 minutes to the Tower Hill Underground Station. Take the Circle Line north 9 minutes to Barbican station, then walk 9 minutes to the museum. Total transit & walking time: 23-28 minutes.
MORE INFO, see:
MUSEUM OF LONDON
.

 

SPECIAL EXHIBITION
February 2 – March 27, 2018

100th Anniversary of
Women Gaining the
Right to Vote in Britain

 

1909 LONDON SUFFRAGETTE POSTER
Image courtesy the Museum of London

 


Ongoing daily from 10AM
  NORTHERN COTSWOLDS - WARWICKSHIRE, WESTERN ENGLAND 
“Events at Medieval Warwick Castle”

          England’s greatest show castle offers a variety of events, including:

Grand Castle Interiors (daily): Explore the grandly furnished public halls, state rooms, and private apartments of Warwick Castle.

The Castle Grounds (daily): Explore the conservatory & peacock garden, the original Norman
castle mound, the Victorian rose garden, the River Avon and its island menagerie.

The Trebuchet & Ballista, the Artillery Fort, and the Towers & Ramparts (daily): Warwick’s own
massive catapult is modelled on the medieval siege machines that once flung rocks, manure, and dead pigs across castle walls. Warwick’s Artillery Fort shows how cannons were used to protect the castle at the end of the Middle Ages. See the war machines in operation specific dates/times.

Flight of the Eagles or other Birds of Prey show daily at the Birds of Prey Arena.

Warwick Dungeon (daily): Warwick’s newest attraction recreates the medieval dungeon from the time the Great Plague ravaged Warwick in 1345. The haunting, live-action experience is not for the faint hearted. An additional charge applies.

The Princess Tower: up the spiral stairs to the chambers of medieval princesses.

See WARWICK CASTLE website for complete listing of events, times & dates.

The original 11th century Norman castle hill: Ethelfled's Mound viewed from a later tower at Warwick Castle. Photo by Zach Elwell © Home At First.
THE ORIGINAL 11TH CENTURY NORMAN CASTLE HILL:
ETHELFLEDA'S MOUND VIEWED FROM A LATER TOWER AT WARWICK CASTLE.

Zach Elwell Photo © Home At First 

LOCATION: in Warwick, about 45 minutes NE of HOME AT FIRST’s Cotswolds cottages in an around Chipping Campden. (Hint: you may want to combine a visit to Warwick Castle with a visit to nearby Stratford-upon-Avon,
Shakespeare’s home town.)
GETTING THERE: From HOME AT FIRST’S COTSWOLDS cottages, drive north on the B4632 to Stratford, then follow the A439 north to the A46 and the A429 into Warwick. Watch for signs for the castle.

OPEN DAILY IN FEBRUARY: Open from 10AM-4PM Feb. thru March 29, 2018.

CASTLE ADMISSION: £19/adult, £17/child, £17/senior. 
Supplemental admission charged for entrance to the Castle Dungeon.
NOTE:
Book on-line in advance for discounted prices.

PARKING: Car lot parking from £6-£10.
MORE INFO, see:
WARWICK CASTLE

 


YORK MINSTER—

one of the world's

greatest Gothic

Cathedrals

York minster — one of the places visited by YORKWALK guided walks
Photo courtesy Yorkwalk

 

Open Daily FEBRUARY thru NOVEMBER 30, 2018.
  YORK CITY - NORTH YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND   
  “Yorkwalks”

          Guided walks through interesting parts of the medieval walled city of York offer exercise, culture, and entertainment. Standard walks offered at 10:30AM and 2:15PM (daily February–November; weekends only in December & January) from the menu of “Roman York”, “Secret York”, “Essential York”, & the popular

Don't believe in ghosts? Photo © Home At First.

“Snickleways” tours of York’s narrow back alleys. At evenings and other times Yorkwalks offer rare opportunities to see parts of York never open to the public, like their “Inaccessible & Hidden York: Graveyard, Coffin, & Crypt Tour”, “Historic Inns and Pubs Tour”, and “Choccy & Sweetie Tour”. Who wouldn’t want to wear sensible shoes on their next visit to Olde Yorke?
LOCATION: Museum Garden Gates, Museum Street, York.

GETTING THERE: HOME AT FIRST NORTH YORKSHIRE guests drive 30-60 minutes to York. Park outside the city gates (MEDIEVAL CENTRAL YORK has very little parking) and walk or take a shuttle bus into the old city.
ADMISSION: £6/adults, £5/students/kids 5-15. Supplement charged for any tours requiring entrance to York Minster.
MORE INFO & COMPLETE SCHEDULE:
YORKWALK.
 

Just seen a ghost? Photo © Home At First.


WHAT'S PLAYING IN LONDON THEATRE?

 

A REDUCED-PRICE TICKET OUTLET ON LEICESTER SQUARE
Photo © Home At First

Ongoing, daily at different times

  LONDON, ENGLAND 

LONDON THEATRE: “What’s Playing?”

   “The Woman in Black":

Long-running (since June 1, 1989) thriller. Essentially a ghost story designed to make the audience scream, shocking apparitions occur throughout the theatre at any time, terrorizing the audience. Perfect for teenagers, but nearly equally frightening to adults. Performances daily at the Fortune Theatre, Russell St. WC2B 5HHU, between Temple


 
ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE IN LONDON

tube and Covent Garden tube, between Bow St. and Drury Lane, north of the Strand and NE of Covent Garden. Rating: adults with strong hearts & teens. Runs at least thru January 26, 2019. Prices from £21.50.

  

  The Play that Goes Wrong”: Comedy about inept amateur thespians struggling to put on a murder mystery set in the 1920s, but what can go wrong does go wrong. Winner of the 2015 award for Best New Comedy. Performances run through September 30, 2018, at the Duchess Theatre, 3-5 Catherine St, WC2B 5LA, in the Covent Garden area, 1 block north of Somerset House. Ten minutes walk NW from Temple tube; 10 minutes walk SE from Covent Garden tube station. Rating: Family (ages 8+). Prices from £26.

  

   “Phantom of the Opera”: long running Gothic musical. Performances through at least
October 20, 2018, at Her Majesty’s Theatre, 57 Haymarket SW1Y 4QL.
Near Piccadilly Circus tube. Rating: Family (ages 10+). Prices from £30.

   “The Mousetrap”: Agatha Christie’s record-running mystery continues through at least January 5, 2019 at St. Martin’s Theatre, Drury Lane, Covent Garden WC2H 9NZ.
Leicester Square tube. Rating: Family ages 12+. Prices from £17.50.

   “Wicked”: musical prequel about the witches of “The Wizard of Oz”. Performances through
at least May 25, 2019, at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Rd. London S1V 1LG.

Victoria tube. Rating: Family (ages 7+). Prices from £19.50.

   “The Lion King”: Long-running blockbuster with spectacular staging though at least July 1, 2018, at the Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington St. WC2E 7RQ at the Strand.
Temple tube (closed Sundays) or Embankment. Rating: Family (ages 6+). Prices from £39.00.

   “Les Miserables”: Victor Hugo’s story about the tragedies of life and indomitable human
spirit continues its long run (since 1985) to continuous critical acclaim. Performances through
at least October 20, 2018, at Queen’s Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave., Soho, W1D 6BA between Piccadilly Circus and Charing Cross Road.
Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus Tube. Musical.
Rating: older teens & adults. Prices from £25.

   “Matilda”: Roald Dahl’s children’s book about a little girl with a big imagination is staged
in London by the Royal Shakespeare Company as a musical hit appealing to adults and kids. Performances through February 10, 2019, at the Cambridge Theatre, 32-34 Earlham St, Soho WC2 9HU.
Piccadilly Circus Tube. Musical. Rating: Family (ages 6+).
Tickets from £26.

   “Kinky Boots”: Local guy/girl makes good. A lowly shoe factory owner teams with a cross-dressing singer/dancer in need of flash stilettos to pull himself by the bootstraps to the world of high fashion. Cindy Lauper's musical score fits like Cinderella's glass slipper. Performances through at least June 30, 2018, at the Adelphi Theatre, 409-412 Strand WC2R 0NS. Embankment tube, then north 10 minutes walk to the Strand. Rating: teens and up (due to immature themes). Prices from £19.50.

  Everybody's Talking About Jamie”: New musical about a 16-year-old boy coming of age as "different" in today's working class Sheffield. Applies to teenagers everywhere dealing with finding themselves while tiptoeing through a minefield of bullying peers and adult expectations. Inspirational, hopeful, positive. Rated L for Liberal. Performances run at least through October 6, 2018, at the Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 7ES, 1.5 blocks northeast of Piccadilly Circus. Three minutes walk NE from Piccadilly Circus tube; 10 minutes walk NW from Leicester Square tube station. Rating: ages 15+ (some strong language and mild sexual references). Prices from £23.

ADMISSION: Full-priced tickets from £10-£100 (not cheap, but often better than Broadway).

TICKETS: Order your tickets in advance on-line via LONDON TOWN. Pick them up at the theatre on the day of performance. Discount tickets available!

GETTING THERE: From HOME AT FIRST’S LONDON apartments walk 5-12 minutes to the Tower Hill or London Bridge Underground Station, then take the District, Circle, or Jubilee Line west.

Covent Garden and South Bank Theatres: Within 10 minutes are most of the tube stops
convenient for Covent Garden and South Bank theatres (Mansion House, Temple, Embankment, Southwark, Waterloo, Charing Cross, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus).

For West End theatres in Soho: From Tower Hill tube take the District Line 6 stops & 10 minutes
to Embankment station. From London Bridge tube take the Jubilee Line west to Waterloo. At
Embankment or Waterloo, change to the Northern Line (direction Edgeware) and travel north to
Leicester (“Lester”) Square or to Tottenham Court Road.

For West End theatres near Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus: From Tower Hill tube take the
District Line west 6 stops and 10 minutes to Embankment. From London Bridge tube take the
Jubilee Line west to Waterloo. At Embankment or Waterloo change to the Bakerloo Line north
to Piccadilly Circus or to Oxford Circus.

For theatres near Waterloo station: From Tower Hill tube take the District Line 6 stops and 10
minutes west to Embankment station, then change to the Northern Line south one stop to
Waterloo. From London Bridge tube take the Jubilee Line west one stop to Southwark tube or
two stops to Waterloo tube.

Total transit & walking time from Tower Hill or London Bridge Underground Stations to almost
any theatre in London’s six principal theatre regions (Barbican, South Bank/Bankside, Covent
Garden, Soho, Oxford Circus, Sloane Square): less than 30 minutes.
 


 

JOHN EVERETT MILLAIS'S 1851 MARIANA USED TO PROMOTE THE UPCOMING EXHIBITION
Image courtesy the National Gallery, London

Ongoing to April 2 2018 10AM-6PM daily

  LONDON   – The National Gallery 

“Reflections — Van Eyck & the Pre-Raphaelites”

          Special exhibition examining the influence of Jan van Eyck on Pre-Raphaelite movement in European painting in the 19th century. Works from Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, and William Holman Hunt will be exhibited along with the iconic "Arnolfini Portrait" (pictured right) (often called the "Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife" or "The Arnolfini Wedding") to illustrate the investigation of symbolism in art.

LOCATION: The Sunley Room at the National Gallery on St. Martin’s Place north of Trafalgar Square, central London WC2H 0HE.

ADMISSION: free to the National Gallery, but for this special exhibition the admission is: £16/adult, £14/seniors, £8/students 12-18.

GETTING THERE: From HOME AT FIRST’S LONDON APARTMENTS AT ST. KATHARINE’S MARINA, walk 5-8 minutes to the Tower Hill Underground Station, then take the District or Circle Line west to

 

 

JAN VAN EYCK'S 'ARNOLFINI PORTRAIT':
NOT A WEDDING, BUT SYMBOLIC OF
RENAISSANCE MARRIAGE AND MORE,
and very influential upon the
pre-Raphaelite movement in art.

Image courtesy the National Gallery, London
 

Embankment Station, then walk five minutes northwest to Trafalgar Square. From THE BREWERY APARTMENTS south of the Tower Bridge, walk 10-12 minutes (or take a bus 2-4 minutes) to London Bridge Underground Station, then take the Jubilee Line west two stops to Waterloo Station. Change to the Northern Line. Go two stops north to Charing Cross Underground Station. Walk 3 minutes north to Trafalgar Square. The National Gallery is the imposing neo-classical building on the north side of Trafalgar Square behind Nelson's Column.
MORE INFO, see:
VAN EYCK AND THE PRE-RAPHAELITES.

 


Daily thru Feb. 11, 2018  10AM-6PM

 LONDON – The National Portrait Gallery 

“Cézanne Portraits”

          Special exhibition examining the portraiture of Paul Cézanne, whose unique compositions place him among the 19th century's greatest artists who influence continues today, ranking him on the list of GOAT artists. This exhibition brings together more than 50 works revealing Cézanne's evolutionary techniques and revolutionary styles tracing his lengthy career.

LOCATION: Just behind the National Gallery on St. Martin’s Place north of Trafalgar Square, central London WC2H 0HE.

ADMISSION: although admission is free to the National Portrait Gallery's collection, admission is charged to this special exhibition: £18/adult, £16.50/seniors/older students and teens.

GETTING THERE: From HOME AT FIRST’S LONDON APARTMENTS AT ST. KATHARINE’S MARINA, walk 5-8 minutes to the Tower Hill Underground Station, then take the District or Circle Line west

 

— MADAME CÉZANNE IN A RED CHAIR—
1877 pORTRAIT BY paul cÉzanne
on loan from the boston museum
of fine arts to the National
portrait gallery's exhibition
Courtesy The National Portrait Gallery

to Embankment Station, then walk five minutes northwest to Trafalgar Square. From THE BREWERY APARTMENTS south of the Tower Bridge, walk 10-12 minutes (or take a bus 2-4 minutes) to London Bridge Underground Station, then take the Jubilee Line west two stops to Waterloo Station. Change to the Northern Line. Go two stops north to Charing Cross Underground Station. Walk 3 minutes north to Trafalgar Square. The National Portrait Gallery is on the west side of St. Martin's Place behind (north of) the imposing neo-classical National Gallery on the north side of Trafalgar Square behind Nelson's Column.
MORE INFO, see:
CÉZANNE PORTRAITS.

 


Nov. 28 2017 to Feb. 25 2018
 PARIS, FRANCE  

The Musée d'Orsay
“Degas, Danse, Dessin. A Tribute to
Edgar Degas with Paul Valéry”

          Special exhibition examining the work of great French impressionist painter Edgar Degas through the impressions of his close friend, the writer/poet Paul Valéry. The Musée d'Orsay show uses paintings from its extensive Degas collection to illustrate the critical points of Valéry.

LOCATION: The Musée d' Orsay is on the Left Bank of the Seine in the 7th Arrondissement.

EXHIBITION TIMES: Tu-Su 9:30AM-6PM; Open til 9:45PM Th. Closed Monday.

ADMISSION: €12/adult, €9/youth 18-25,

 

DEGAS: "SEATED DANCER" (1882; detail)
From the Musée d'Orsay Exhibition
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Children under 18: free. Late Entry Special:
€9 from 4:30PM Tu, We, Fr, Sa, Su, and from 6PM Th.

GETTING THERE: From some Home At First Paris apartments in the 1st, 6th, and 7th Arrondissements it is possible to walk to the museum. From Home At First's other central Paris apartments, take the Métro to Assemblée Nationale, or Solférino stations or the RER C to its Musée d'Orsay stop.
MORE INFO, see:
DEGAS, DANSE, DESSIN.
 


Ongoing Daily through April 2
  LONDON, ENGLAND   –
THE TATE MODERN MUSEUM
“Modigliani Retrospective”

          Special exhibition dedicated to one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Jewish Italian Amedeo Modigliani became a painter and sculptor without category other than "modern artist" during the flourishing of cubists, abstract impressionists, expressionists, and surrealists. Very prolific, very libertine, very self-destructive, and very talented, Modigliani was a charismatic bad-boy of art whose life never quite evolved beyond adolescent impulses and pleasures. He became friends with many of the most notable of artists of early 20th century Paris, and pursued numerous affairs including several regular models. His lifestyle served as a prototype of the rebellious, avant-garde modern artist, and his art continues to influence aspiring young art students.

 

MODIGLIANI: "JUAN GRIS" (1915)
From the Tate Modern Exhibition
On Loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

          Modigliani's portraiture is stylistically identifiable from piece to piece: elongated, cocked heads and necks, voluptuous color, emotionally quizzical facial expressions, softness and suppleness somehow captured in two dimensional drawing. His sculpture add a third dimension and takes on characteristics of African tribal art. Many of Modigliani's evocative paintings and sculptures — and especially his nudes — have been assembled for this major retrospective exhibition at the Tate Modern.

LOCATION: Tate Modern Museum, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG. Across the Millennium footbridge from St. Paul's Cathedral. Adjacent to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre along The Queen's Walk.

EXHIBITION OPEN DAILY thru April 2, 2018: 10AM-6PM Su-Th; 10AM-10PM Fr.
ADMISSION: £17.70/adult (£16.70/seniors & students) for this special exhibition. Otherwise, the Tate Modern's collection and galleries are open to the public without charge.

GETTING THERE:
HOME AT FIRST’S LONDON guests at ST. KATHERINE'S MARINA walk 5-12 minutes to the Tower Hill Underground Station, then take the District or Circle Line west 4 stops to
Mansion House, then walk west 2 blocks to the Millennium Footbridge. Cross the bridge to the Tate Modern Museum on the South Bank of the Thames River. Total transit & walking time: 30 minutes.
Alternatively, walk to the Tower Pier (by Tower of London) and board a westbound Thames Clipper commuter service boat (operating frequency: every 20 minutes from 6AM-1AM) for the 9-minute river sailing to Bankside Pier. The Thames Clippers, like the Underground, London Transport buses, and Docklands Light Rail, is covered by your Oyster Card London transportation pass.
Guests at
THE BREWERY APARTMENTS can walk directly to the Tate Modern by following The Queen's Walk west along the River Thames, reaching the museum in about 30 minutes.

MORE INFO, see: TATE MODERN.

 


IMPRESSIONISTS IN LONDON

THE TATE BRITAIN EY EXHIBITION

NOW THRU MAY 7 2018

CLAUDE MONET'S HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT USED TO PROMOTE THE CURRENT EXHIBITION
Image courtesy the Tate Britain, London

Ongoing Daily thru May 7, 2018
  LONDON, ENGLAND   – THE TATE BRITAIN MUSEUM — THE EY EXHIBITION
“Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile 1870-1904”

          While relative calm prevailed in Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria, war and revolution in France drove many artists across the Channel to seek refuge. Among these were some of the principal French impressionists of the time including Monet, Tissot, and Pissarro. During their self-imposed British exile, their art evolved and matured. This special exhibition at the Tate Britain shows how some of the finest works of the impressionist revolution were created in Britain, portrayed British life, and helped spread the movement to Britain and beyond.

LOCATION: Tate Britain Museum, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG.

EXHIBITION OPEN DAILY thru May 7, 2018:
10AM-6PM Su-Th; 10AM-10PM Fr.
ADMISSION: £17.70/adult (£15.90/seniors & students; under-12s are free) for this special exhibition. Otherwise, the Tate Britain's collection and galleries

are open to the public without charge.

GETTING THERE: HOME AT FIRST’S LONDON guests walk 5-12 minutes to the Tower Hill Underground Station, then take the District or Circle Line west 10 stops to Victoria, then change to the southbound Victoria Line and go 1 stop to Pimlico station. Walk east 8 minutes to the Tate Britain Museum on Millbank Street along the Thames River. Total transit & walking time: 30-40 minutes.

Alternatively, walk to the Tower Pier (by Tower of London) and board a westbound Thames Clipper commuter service boat (operating frequency: every 20 minutes from 6AM-1AM) for the 9-minute river sailing to Bankside Pier. Change at Bankside for the Thames Clipper Tate-to-Tate service to Millbank Pier, a 20-minute sailing (operating every 40 minutes, 10AM-5PM). The Thames Clippers, like the Underground, London Transport buses, and Docklands Light Rail, is covered by your Oyster Card London transportation pass.

MORE INFO, see: TATE BRITAIN.

 


— COMING —               THE LOUVRE PARIS

March 29 – July 23, 2018                                           Hall Napoleon, under the Pyramid

We-Mo 9AM-6PM; closed Tues.
We & Fr PM open to 9:45PM.

 

Delacroix's "LIBERTY LEADING THE PEOPLE", 1830
Image © The  Louvre, Paris provided to promote its special exhibition

  PARIS, FRANCE    “Delacroix”

          The Louvre offers a special exhibition examining the paintings of French romantic master Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863). Over 180 paintings spanning Delacroix's working life will be exhibited in this special show marking the centenary of the artist's death. Delacroix is beloved in France and revered across the world. His dramatic paintings inspire patriotism and embody the concepts of the Romantic Age and the concurrent Age of Revolution.

GETTING THERE: From HOME AT FIRST’S PARIS APARTMENT LOCATIONS, take Métro Lines 1 or 7 to Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre, or, if your apartment is close enough, walk!

ADMISSION: €15 for the special exhibition and the permanent collections.
MORE INFO, see: DELACROIX AT THE LOUVRE.
 


Scotland's Red Hot Chilli Pipers Among 2018's Headliners at the

THE 2018 BERMUDA FESTIVAL NOW THROUGH MARCH 17, 2018

it's not all classical & jazz at the annual bermuda festival
Photo courtesy The Bermuda Festival

Ongoing through March 17  2018
Various Dates & Times - Various Venues

  BERMUDA   "The Bermuda Festival"
        
43rd annual festival originally launched by the internationally revered violinist Yahudi Menuhin. The festival has grown to include classical through pop music, plus magic, comedy, theatre, and all the performing arts. Performers come from around the world, including some home-grown Bermudian talent.
2018 PERFORMANCE
SCHEDULE

3 PERFORMANCE LOCATIONS: Mid-Ocean Amphitheatre at The Fairmont Southampton; The City Hall Theatre, Hamilton; Ruth Seaton James Auditorium, Cedarbridge Academy, Devonshire. HOME AT FIRST's BERMUDA lodgings are within 30min of these venues.

Performances through Mar. 17: Various times: most begin at 7:30PM, 8PM or 8:30PM. Some afternoon matinees Saturdays and Sundays.
ADMISSION: Performance tickets are $50-$80/adults and about 50% less for students and seniors.

TICKETS: available On-Line or by Toll-Free Phone from USA & Canada: (888)860-0996.

HOW TO BUY TICKETS. MORE INFO.

 


 

LEAVE IT TO THE FINANCIAL CAPITAL OF LONDON TO MAKE BANKING FUN FOR KIDS!
Courtesy The Bank of England Museum

Ongoing Weekdays – 10AM-5PM.
  LONDON   – The Bank of England Museum
“The £ in Your Pocket”

          One of the fun, free, funky museums of London. It doesn’t sound like it would be, but this museum is great fun for kids of all ages. This pocket-sized museum (open Monday-Friday except holidays) features new exhibitions and permanent favorites focusing on the story of British money, past, present, and future. Doesn’t sound like a subject your kids would enjoy, right? The museum — using jigsaw puzzles, balloons, gold bars, old coins, and touch-screen computers — sees to it that they will!

LOCATION: Bank of England Museum, Bartholomew Lane, London EC2R 8AH.

GETTING THERE: From HOME AT FIRST’S LONDON apartments walk 5-12 minutes to the Tower Hill Underground Station, then take the District or  Circle Line west 1 stop & 2 minutes to Monument station, then walk 5 minutes through the maze of tunnels following signs for Bank station. Emerge from Bank Underground, walk across the street to the Royal Exchange, with its colonnaded portico, and walk up Threadneedle Street one-half block. Cross Threadneedle Street at Bartholomew Lane. Walk up Bartholomew Lane on the left (west) side of the street. The Bank of England Museum entrance is mid-way up the block, and poorly marked on the left side. Total transit & walking time: less than 20 minutes.
ADMISSION: Free!
OPEN: Mo-Fr 10AM-5PM. Closed weekends and bank holidays (early closing Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. Closed all day Dec. 25-26 and Jan. 1).

MORE INFO, see: BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM

 


Every Saturday starting sometime after 7PM

 Terryglass , No. Co. Tipperary, Central Ireland

“Trad Music Sessions at The Derg Inn”

          The weekly live music session is the only way to improve the music and atmosphere at The Derg Inn in Terryglass. Food available until 10PM. The traditional Irish music could last all evening.

LOCATION: The Derg Inn, on the square, Terryglass.

GETTING THERE: From Home At First’s cottages in CENTRAL IRELAND, follow the R493 to Terryglass village near the northern end of Lough Derg. Home At First guests staying at Terryglass-area cottages are just 1.5 miles from the inn.

ADMISSION: none.

MORE INFO: THE DERG INN.

Terryglass village with Paddy's Pub (left) and the Derg Inn (center). Photo © Home At First.

 

TERRYGLASS VILLAGE WITH
PADDY'S PUB AND THE DERG INN

Photo © HOME AT FIRST
 


Sundays at 2PM
  LONDON, ENGLAND   – Tower Hill Tube Meeting Point
“Guided Walking Tour of Ancient London”

          Regularly-scheduled guided walk provides Home At First London guests looking for more insight into the history –recent and distant – of their London home region. Learn about life here during medieval times: not always nasty, brutish, and short. I
f knights, damsels, and castles are your cup of tea, this walk's teaser should push your happy buttons: “A guided walk through alleyways that tourists never find, including an urban enchanted forest, a place where 13 knights performed three deeds of bravery, a centuries-old peep hole to keep nuns safe from prying eyes, a place of a Maypole and 11,000 beheaded virgins, a fountain whose waters mimic the tail feathers of an ostrich, Bedlam, a prioress, Bluebell Girls, black magic, Geoffrey Chaucer, and traitors’ heads.”
Guide: Susan Jackson, historian and registered Blue Badge Guide. Tel: +44 (0)7977 218374. Email: suejack@btinternet.com. Walks depart from Tower Hill Underground Station Meeting Point Sundays (except 23APR) at 2PM.
LOCATION: Walk begins at Tower Hill Underground Station.

Medieval London can still be found -- if you know where to look. Photo © Home At First.

Medieval London
 can still be found -
if you know
where to look.

Photo © HOME AT FIRST

ADMISSION: Payable to the guide: £10/adult; £8/seniors & students; accompanied children under 15 attend free.

ADVANCE RESERVATIONS: not required.

GETTING THERE: Walk to Tower Hill Tube in 8 minutes from Home At First’s LONDON Apartments at St. Katharine’s Marina by the Tower of London and in 10 minutes from across the Thames at its Apartments at The Brewery.

MORE INFO, phone guide Susan Jackson: +44 (0)7977 218374.
MORE
LONDON WALKS

 


MARCH & APRIL
Several Times Weekly

  BERMUDA 

“Whale Watching Season”

      March and April are the months for guided day trips onto the open Atlantic to see migrating Humpback Whales traveling north to Arctic waters pass close to Bermuda’s shores.

LOCATIONS: Various. Operators across Bermuda.

COST: $75-$150/adult.

GETTING THERE: Taxi or public transport from your Bermuda lodging.

MORE INFO: WHALE WATCHING IN BERMUDA.

 

SHE BREACHES!
Photo courtesy Fantasea Bermuda

 


Various Times Daily thru Mar. 4 2018
  Stockholm, Sweden

"Skating at Kungsträdgården"

    Open-air ice-skating at Kungsträdgården park rink in STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN. Music and hot and cold snacks. Skate rental.

LOCATION: Kungsträdgården (Royal Garden) park rink is just north of Stockholm’s Old City (Gamla Stan) across the Strömbron bridge and within 10 walking minutes of Home At First’s Stockholm lodgings.

RINK OPEN: Weekdays 9AM-9PM and Weekends (Sa-Su) 10AM-9PM into early March.

Stockholm, Sweden - public skating on the Kungstradgarden park rink.

Stockholm, Sweden - public skating on
the
Kungsträdgården park rink.

ADMISSION: Free!

SKATE RENTAL PER HOUR: SEK70/adult; SEK30/child.

NEAREST HOME AT FIRST LODGINGS: less than 5 minutes walking distance at our Gamla Stan Hotel, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN.

MORE INFO: STOCKHOLM SKATING.
 


  Oslo, Norway  
 SKATING AT SPIKERSUPPA thru Mid-March

          Open-air ice-skating at Oslo’s Spikersuppa open-air skating rink in the city center. The rink is formed around a large sculptural fountain not operating in winter. A refreshment stand offering hot and cold snacks and drinks is adjacent to the rink. Home At First’s Oslo lodgings are just a few walking minutes away.

LOCATION: Spikersuppa rink occupies the parkland between Karl Johan's Gate and Stortingsgata just east of the

Oslo, Norway: Free open-air skating at Spikersuppa rink in the city center. Photo © Home At First.

Oslo, Norway: Free open-air skating at
Spikersuppa rink in the city center.

Photo © Home At First.

National Theatre, west of Norway’s
Parliament, and south of the University of Oslo.
OPEN: 11AM-9PM daily into March, 2018.

ADMISSION: Free!

SKATE RENTAL: NOK100/adult; NOK70/child.

MORE INFO: OSLO SKATING, OSLO, NORWAY

 

 


EVENTS IN FEBRUARY 2018

 

A&P SHOWS IN NEW ZEALAND

Cowgirl at A&P show at Murchison, Nelson Region, South Island, New Zealand. Photo © Home At First.

Cowgirl at A&P show at
Murchison, Nelson Region,
South Island, New Zealand.

Photo © Home At First

          A&P (Agricultural and Pastoral) shows are the New Zealand equivalent of rural county fairs in the US and Canada. Most are small, local events held on one day. Some are larger, regional events held over a two to four days. A few are important events on the national calendar lasting as much as a week. In all cases, expect agrarian themes: animals, crops, and machinery, as well as rides and other amusements, lots of food and drink, contests and competitions, baked and canned goods, flower arranging, and, often, music, dancing, and the crowning of a queen. A&P shows are not put on for tourists, which means foreign visitors have a chance to see New Zealanders at play, doing what they love to do, in as authentic a setting as you are likely to find. Cultural snooping? Probably. But FUN!

NEW ZEALAND A&P SHOWS OCCURRING IN FEBRUARY

Sa-Su, February 17, 2018 NELSON REGION: Murchison A&P Show at Murchison Sport, Recreation & Cultural Center Reserve, Waller St., Rt. 6, Murchison, about 90 minutes drive south from Home At First’s NELSON INN en route to WESTLAND. A classic country fair where you will be the only foreigners in attendance.

Sa, February 24, 2018 WESTLAND REGION: South Westland A&P Show at Whataroa, about 90 minutes south of Home At First’s WESTCOAST HOMESTEAD. A classic A&P show with a parade at 12:30PM plus lots of vintage farm equipment. From 9AM. Admission: NZ$5/adult. Parking: NZ$5. MORE INFO.
 


Ongoing through February 20, 2018

  THROUGHOUT Iceland  

"Thorrablot" mid-winter festival

          Winter is hard in Iceland. And long. The old Icelandic month, Thorri, was the hardest of the year. Icelanders are a tough lot. They celebrate their toughest times with a tough festival, Thorrablot. Dancing, games, yarn-telling follow the traditional festival supper of Icelandic delicacies including rotten shark, sheep's head, and ram's stomach filled with sheep's blood porridge, all forced down the gullet with a potato schnapps called "Black Death." Pour me some potato poison. 

LOCATIONS: Thorrablot Icelandic cuisine is served at private parties and at distinctive restaurants throughout Home At Firsts ICELAND
  

 

Anyone for seconds?
John Mraz Photo copyright Home At First


February 18, 2018  11AM-5PM

 Nelson Region, South Island, 
 New Zealand  

“Nelson Wine & Food Festival”

          The tenth installment of this increasingly popular summer festival takes place today in the vineyards at Brightwater, about 20 minutes SW of Home At First’s NELSON INN lodgings in Nelson city. Expect music, crafts, and fashion, but come for the fresh gourmet food and superb wines and craft beers for which the Nelson Region is becoming internationally known.

Sunshine and crowds are expected at the annual Brightwater Wine and Food Festival, Nelson Region. Brightwater Wine and Food Festival photo.
Sunshine and crowds are expected at the
annual Nelson Wine & Food
Festival, Nelson Region.

Nelson Wine & Food Festival photo

LOCATION: Middle Earth Vineyards, Bryant Road (off Rt. 6 south), Brightwater.

ADMISSION: NZ$20/adult. Tickets available at the gate on festival day. Save NZ$5 by buying tickets in advance in Nelson at Paper Plus.

GETTING THERE: you may want to drive so you can include the festival with other goals in the NELSON REGION. However, if you wish to enjoy the foods, wines, and experience of a genuine New Zealand summer party, take the 10:30AM festival bus from downtown Nelson's SBL Depot for an additional NZ$10/adult (round-trip) (return trips at 4PM, 5PM, & 5:30PM.

MORE INFO, see: NELSON WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL.
  


February 20-25, 2018

 Gothenburg, Sweden 

“42nd Gothenburg Horse Show”

          One of the world’s most important indoor horse shows, the 5-day-long Gothenburg Horse Show has become an annual fixture on the calendar of major equestrian events, which this year includes World Cup competitions in both show jumping and dressage.

LOCATION: The Scandinavium Arena, near Liseberg Amusement Park, Gothenburg.

Show jumping -- one of many equestrian events -- at the annual Gothenburg Horse Show. Photo courtesy goteborghorseshow.com.
Show jumping—one of many equestrian
events—at the annual Gothenburg Horse Show

Photo courtesy goteborghorseshow.com

GETTING THERE from Home At First’s nearest Gothenburg lodgings: take the #42 or #52 bus to the Korsvägen transport center by Liseberg, then any tram north a short distance to the Scandinavium.

ADMISSION: A wide variety of ticket types available for days and partial days starting at SEK150 up to SEK840.

MORE INFO, see: GOTHENBURG HORSE SHOW.
    


 

"Kupe" — the arrival story of the Polynesian Maoris to Aotearoa (New Zealand) will be played out on a grand scale with a cast of thousands in Wellington Harbour to open the 2018 New Zealand Festival Friday, February 23.

 Photo courtesy festival.co.nz

February 23 – March 18, 2018

 Wellington, North Island, New Zealand 

“New Zealand Festival”

          A major cultural event occurring every two years, the New Zealand Festival presents a formal program of classical music, drama, dance, literature, and visual art at many venues throughout Wellington city. Note that two weeks of its 24-day run overlap with the less-serious — even hilariously histrionic — Wellington Fringe Festival, to offer a Brobdingnagian variety of entertainment and culture from March 2-24 .

LOCATION: Throughout WELLINGTON city.

ADMISSION: many productions free. Others command serious ticket prices. Tickets for the Royal Military Tattoo: NZ$30-NZ$189.

GETTING THERE from Home At First’s nearest Wellington city lodgings is easily achieved on foot, by car, or by city bus depending upon the venue.

MORE INFO, see: NZ INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL.
  

 


EVENTS IN MARCH 2018

 

Thursday, March 1, 2018
  WALES   “St. David's Day”
          National day of Wales, marked by the celebration of its 6th century patron saint, St. David, who is thought to have died on March 1, 589AD. Commemorated as a national day, like St. George's Day (April 23, England) and St. Andrew's Day (November 30, Scotland), St. David's Day sees plenty of celebrating, including parades in the capital of Cardiff and elsewhere, but it is not a bank holiday — banks and government offices remain open on Wednesday, March 1. Leeks and daffodils are often worn and displayed, sometimes as a political (pro Welsh independence) statement. Leek soup is often served this day.

LOCATIONS: Marked throughout WALES.
MORE INFO, see: ST DAVID.

LEEK
Leek
Daffodil

DAFFODIL

 


March 2-24, 2018

 Wellington, North Island, New Zealand 

“Wellington Fringe Festival 2018”

          Wellington’s annual alternative festival has become an important foil to its stuffier, somewhat concurrent, biennial International Arts Festival (see below), with more than 600+ productions of theatre, comedy, music, cabaret, street theatre, guerilla theatre and gorilla theatre planned at venues across New Zealand’s City by the Bay. See program for more info.

LOCATION: Throughout WELLINGTON city.

ADMISSION: 35% of the productions are free.

GETTING THERE from Home At First’s nearest Wellington city lodgings, is easily achieved on foot, by car, or by city bus depending on the venue.

PROGRAM INFO, see: WELLINGTON FRINGE FESTIVAL.

 

The Wellington Fringe Festival: THREE WEEKS OF CHAOS   

 

 

A&P SHOWS IN NEW ZEALAND

          A&P (Agricultural and Pastoral) shows are the New Zealand equivalent of rural county fairs in the US and Canada. Most are small, local events held on one day. Some are larger, regional events held over a two to four days. A few are important events on the national calendar lasting as much as a week. In all cases, expect agrarian themes: animals, crops, and machinery, as well as rides and other amusements, lots of food and drink, contests and competitions, baked and canned goods, flower arranging, and, often, music, dancing, and the crowning of a queen. A&P shows are not put on for tourists, which means foreign visitors have a chance to see New Zealanders at play, doing what they love to do, in as authentic a setting as you are likely to find. Cultural snooping? Probably. But FUN!

 

Sawyer in competition at an A&P show at Murchison, Nelson Region, South Island, New Zealand. Photo © Home At First.

Sawyer in competition at an A&P
show at Murchison, Nelson Region,
 South Island, New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND A&P SHOWS OCCURRING IN MARCH

Sa, March 3, 2018 DUNEDIN REGION: Strath Taieri A&P Show at Middlemarch, about 90 minutes northwest of Home At First’s DUNEDIN HOUSE and DUNEDIN LODGE. A classic A&P show serving a remote, starkly beautiful part of the South Island. From 9AM each day. Admission: NZ$10/adult. Drive or take the train Taieri Gorge Express from Dunedin.
MORE INFO
: Tess Gibb Tel: 022 158 8943.

Fr-Sa, March 9-10, 2018 CENTRAL OTAGO REGION: Upper Clutha A&P Show at Wanaka, about 80-90 minutes northeast of Home At First’s QUEENSTOWN INN. A classic A&P show and regional country fair set on the Wanaka Recreational Reserve along Lake Wanaka in the adventure town of Wanaka. From 8:30AM–5PM each day. Grand parade Saturday at 12:45PM. Admission daily: NZ$15/adult. MORE INFO.

Tu-Su, March 13-18, 2018 HAWKES BAY REGION: A major event on the New Zealand calendar is the annual Horse of the Year Show, which takes place over 6 days at Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds, Hastings. This equestrian extravaganza has an international field and world-wide prestige. Ticket prices (NZ$26/adult, NZ$22/seniors/students) reflect the event’s importance, as does the NZ$5 VIP carpark. From Home At First lodgings in Hawkes Bay Region, drive south on Route 2 into Hastings. The Hawke’s Bay A&P Showgrounds are at the corner of Kenilworth Rd and Route 2 in eastern Hastings. MORE INFO.

 


Sat., March 10, 2018, 10AM-6PM

 HOKITIKA, Westland, South Island,
 New Zealand 

“Wildfoods Festival”

          The biggest festival in faraway Westland suits the frontier outpost perfectly. Tucked between the wild Tasman Sea and the highest Southern Alps, Westland is a tough place to scratch out a living, requiring tough folks not afraid to rough it – people who make the most of what they have. And what they have is seafood, sheep, insects,

Downing a  "Hokitika Huhu" (deep-fried grub) at the annual Wildfoods Festival. Photo courtesy wildfoods.co.nz.

Downing a "Hokitika Huhu" (deep-fried
grub) at the annual Wildfoods Festival.

Photo courtesy wildfoods.co.nz

birds, wild plants, and some garden varieties.
The annual Wildfoods Festival attracts lots of non-locals to Hokitika’s town square to try odd and often challenging foods: grasshopper and jelly, blackened sheep’s tail, worm sushi, fried whitebait. But never kiwi fricassee. Participants wash down the wild foods with plenty of local suds, then they dance. Meanwhile, on the edge of town the highway patrol waits for partygoers who shouldn’t be driving to try to leave the party too early.

LOCATION: Cass Square, Hokitika, WESTLAND.

ADMISSION: Festival: NZ$40/adult, NZ30/seniors.

GETTING THERE from Home At First’s WEST COAST HOMESTEAD lodgings requires a drive of less than 15 minutes along Route 6.

MORE INFO, see: WILDFOODS FESTIVAL.
 


 

HIGH END FINE ART AND ANTIQUES ON DISPLAY AT LONDON'S
ANNUAL BADA ANTIQUES & FINE ART FAIR IN CHELSEA

Photo courtesy
BADA

Weds. thru Tues., March 14-20, 2018, daily from 11AM into the evening.

  london, ENGLAND 

“BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair”

          The annual BADA (British Antique Dealers Association) Antiques & Fine Art Fair again will occur over a week in mid-March. An outstanding menu of fine art from ancient to modern, and high end antiques — many, but not all British — are on display and on sale. For antique dealers and collectors the annual BADA show is a principal calendar event. Expect to be wowed by the breadth and depth of the offering. Expect to be double-wowed by the prices that will be paid. Bargains will be rare, but treasures plentiful.

LOCATION: Duke of York Square, Sloane Square, Chelsea, London, SW3 4LY.

ADMISSION: £20/adult for one paid entry plus a voucher for a return entry.

GETTING THERE: HOME AT FIRST’S LONDON guests at St. Katharine's Marina walk about 8 minutes to the Tower Hill Underground Station, then take the District or Circle Line west 10 stops to Sloane Square Station. Guests staying at HOME AT FIRST's BREWERY APARTMENTS walk about 10 minutes to London Bridge Underground Station and take the Jubilee Line 3 stops east to Westminster Station, then change to any westbound District or Circle Line Underground train 2 stops west to Sloane Square Station. From Sloane Square Station walk west along Sloane Square to King's Rd, then SW 1 block along King's Rd to the Duke of York Square. Total transit & walking time: 30 minutes.

MORE INFO, see: BADA ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS FAIR.
 

 

Native New Zealand Maori race their traditional war canoes in the annual TURANGAWAEWAE regatta at Ngaruawahia.
Photo courtesy Turangawaewae Regatta

Sat., March 17, 2018, 9AM-6PM

 Ngaruawahia, Waikato, North Island, New Zealand  

“Maori War Canoe Regatta”

          The annual (since 1896) regatta of Maori war canoes takes place today on the Waikato River in Ngaruawahia, a small town north of Hamilton, the regional capital of Waikato. Teams of Maori men in traditional dress row fiercely against one another in their ornate waka war canoes, chanting the ancestral Maori haka war cry to deliver a salute to Maori King Tuheitia.

          Several war canoes will participate in the race, the only time these culturally sacred craft are brought before the public each year. A parade of the canoes usually occurs at 11AM and 3PM. Other events include dugout canoe racing and numerous other Maori cultural exhibitions rarely open to outsiders. Traditional foods, crafts, and Maori information stalls will be open. Amusements and a final concert complete the program.

LOCATION: The public is welcome to join the festival on the lower (riverside) grounds of the normally private Turangawaewae Marae (tribal cultural center), 29 River Rd., Ngaruawahia, Waikato.

ADMISSION: NZ$5/adult. Children under 12 & Seniors 65+: free.

GETTING THERE from Home At First’s AUCKLAND lodgings: drive 60 miles south (70 minutes) along Route 1. Ngaruawahia is about 5 miles north of Hamilton.

GETTING THERE from Home At First’s ROTORUA LODGE lodgings: drive 75 miles NW (100 minutes) Route 5 to Route 1. Ngaruawahia is about 5 miles north of Hamilton. Paid parking on-site at the 34 River Road entrance.

MORE INFO, see: turangawaewae regatta.
 


ST. PATRICK'S DAY FESTIVALS in IRELAND

 

The annual Ardara St. Patrick's Parade will occur at 3:30PM Sunday, March 18, 2018.

 

Ardara, County Donegal,
   NW Ireland: "International
   Walking Festival"

 
    Friday-Sunday, MARCH 16-18, 2018

          Some of Ireland’s wildest and most dramatic scenery lies along the mountainous coast of western County Donegal near the town of Ardara. Each year over the St. Patrick’s festival weekend, Ardara celebrates with its International Walking Festival. Guided walks along the coast and in the mountains are planned for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Walkers sign up in advance to participate in strenuous, moderate, or easy level walks, and pay registration fees accordingly. Walks occur rain or shine. Appropriate dress and hiking gear required.

Ardara Walking Festival offers a variety of walks and weather with splendid Donegal scenery and camaraderie. Photo courtesy www.discoverireland.com.

Ardara Walking Festival offers a variety
of walks and weather with splendid
Donegal scenery and camaraderie.

Photo courtesy www.discoverireland.com

LOCATION: Ardara, County Donegal.

GETTING THERE: From Home At First’s cottages near Donegal town in NORTHWESTERN IRELAND, drive 35 minutes (20mi) northwest to Ardara.

ADMISSION & REGISTRATION: Pay by the walk. Sign-up required in advance.

MORE INFO: ST. PATRICK’S WALKING FESTIVAL IN ARDARA.
  


Dublin, Ireland: St. Patrick's Festival
   
Thursday-Sunday, MARCH 15-19, 2018

         
The BIG one. About 25% of the population of the Republic of Ireland reside in greater Dublin. But on these four days it will seem that everyone from Ireland plus tens of thousands of wanna-be-Irish are in town for this, the most important festival of the year. Each day’s program is chock full of events (free and not-free) scattered across central Dublin from early until late. There will be amusements, guided walks, a beer festival, street performers, céilís, music from rock to trad to classical, even collegiate boat races, but the main event is the Festival Parade. Starting from Parnell Square at noon on Saturday, March 17, the parade will include marching bands from Ireland, France, and the USA. The route

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Dublin! Photo courtesy stpatricksfestival.ie.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY DUBLIN!
Photo courtesy stpatricksfestival.ie

follows O’Connell Street south from Parnell Square, across the River Liffey to College Green, where it turns west as far as Christ Church Cathedral (near Home At First’s Dublin Apartments), then turns south again for a final 300 yards to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

LOCATION: Central Dublin.

GETTING THERE: From Home At First’s apartments in central Dublin (yes—we do have apartments in central Dublin, but you will not find information about them on our website; so, if interested, please inquire) most festival events and the parade with occur within a mile or less of our Dublin apartments. From Home At First’s cottages in CENTRAL IRELAND, take the 7:30AM train from Nenagh (arrives Dublin's Heuston Station at 10AM) and avoid parking problems of Dublin during this busiest week on the city’s social calendar. (Return train departs Dublin Heuston at 6PM, and arrives in Nenagh at 8PM, with a change of trains in Ballybrophy.)

ADMISSION: none necessary along the parade route except at the Parnell Square Grandstand (grandstand tickets €65/person).

PARKING will be scarce. Take public transport if at all possible.

MORE INFO: ST. PATRICK’S FESTIVAL IN DUBLIN 
 


Limerick, Central Ireland:
  St. Patrick's Festival

   
SATURDAY—SUNDAY, MARCH 17-18, 2018

          Limerick, the Republic’s third largest city, and the urban center of Central Ireland, has seen its fortunes reversed in recent decades. No longer the down-in-the-mouth tenement cluster of “Angela’s Ashes”, Limerick has undergone a renaissance comparable to Pittsburgh and Glasgow. In recent years the city has thrown an annual coming-out party for itself each St. Patrick’s Day, and its festival is growing in popularity now to rank in the top community parties in Ireland. There will be an international band championship, a trad music pub trail, special festival markets, horseracing at Limerick Racecourse, and several other scheduled events, but, as in Dublin, the biggest draw will be Thursday’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival Parade. Starting from O’Connell Street at noon on Saturday, March 17,

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Limerick! Photo courtesy limerick.ie/stpatricksfestival.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S
DAY LIMERICK!

Photo limerick.ie/stpatricksfestival

the parade will include marching bands from Ireland, the United States, and other countries. The route follows O’Connell Street ending at Arthur’s Quay Park where a free concert will follow the parade.

LOCATION: Central Dublin.

GETTING THERE: From Home At First’s cottages in CENTRAL IRELAND, drive 20-60 minutes southwest to Limerick. Go early to find parking.

ADMISSION: none, but parking will be scarce.

MORE INFO: ST. PATRICK’S FESTIVAL IN LIMERICK.
   


Galway, Central Ireland
   
Saturday, MARCH 17, 2018 – PARADE AT 11:30AM

          Galway's 116th St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at 11:30AM by Monroe’s Pub on Lower Dominick Street, and over 2 hours follows the cobblestone lanes of old Galway east 1.5 miles to the reviewing stand on Eyre Square. Paraders will be a mix of Irish and international bands, organizations, and floats. The audience (expected to top 50,000) will be a local/international mix, too. Other events will make the day in Galway a major celebration.

LOCATION: Medieval central Galway.

GETTING THERE: From Home At First’s cottages in CENTRAL IRELAND, drive 90 minutes WNW using the N65 to Loughrea, the new

St. Patricks parade at Galway's St. Patrick's Day Parade. Photo courtesy stpatricksgalway.com/.

Dozens of St. Patricks parade at
 Galway's  St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Loughrea Link Road and the M6/N6 into Galway.

ADMISSION: none, but parking will be scarce.

MORE INFO: ST. PATRICK’S DAY IN GALWAY.
 


Tullamore, County Offaly,
   Central Ireland

 
Saturday, MARCH 17, 2018 – PARADE 11:30AM

          County Offaly made headlines in 2011 when President Obama walked the old-time-Ireland streets of Moneygall village during his well-publicized visit to Ireland. Tullamore, Offaly’s county town (county seat) expects to welcome thousands more visitors on St. Patrick’s Day when it hosts its annual community parade. 1,500 participants will march. Up to ten times

Tullamore's St. Patrick's Day Parade. Photo courtesy www.discoverireland.ie.

Tullamore's St. Patrick's parade

Photo courtesy www.discoverireland.ie

that number are expected to line old

Tullamore’s streets. The parade kicks off at 11:30AM.

LOCATION: Town center, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Central Ireland.

GETTING THERE: From Home At First’s cottages in CENTRAL IRELAND, drive 75 minutes NE using the N52 to Tullamore town.

ADMISSION: none, but parking will be scarce.

MORE INFO: ST. PATRICK’S DAY IN TULLAMORE.
   


Cobh, County Cork, Southern
 Ireland: A Titanic Celebration

 
SATURday, MARCH 17, 2018 - PARADE 3:30PM

          Cork city's great natural harbor at Queenstown has witnessed great history. In the mid-nineteenth century many emigrant ships departed Queenstown for the New World and elsewhere overfilled with the refugees of Ireland's Great Famine. The port town was still called Queenstown in 1912 when a great new ship, the Titanic, stopped there April 11 to collect its final 123 passengers on its maiden voyage to New York. Three

Cobh's colorful harbor returns to 1912 this St. Patrick's Day to mark the centenary of the Titanic's maiden voyage. Photo © Home At First.

Cobh's colorful harbor will witness the annual
St. Patrick's Day Parade again this year.

Photo © Home At First

days later the great ship struck the greater iceberg and shocked the world. Ten years later, the Republic of Ireland was free of Britain, and Queenstown traded its colonial name for a new Irish name, "Cobh". Time has not stopped in Cobh, but its colorful harbor and town center retain strong associations with the historic roles the town has played in Irish history. Cobh’s annual St. Patrick’s Day holiday — parade and other festivities — occurs every March 17 at the fine old town harbor looking like a movie set from a time when Ireland dreamed of its freedom and the Titanic was still unsinkable.

LOCATION: Town center, Cobh, Co. Cork, Southern Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day Parade follows a 1-mile route along the Low Road and starts at 3:30PM at the Cobh Heritage Centre by the railway station on the harbor.

GETTING THERE: From Home At First’s cottages in Counties Cork and Kerry in SOUTHWESTERN IRELAND, drive 2 hours east past Cork city on the N40 or the N8 to the N25 east, then take the R624 south past Fota to Cobh.

ADMISSION: none, but parking will be scarce.

MORE INFO: ST. PATRICK’S DAY IN COBH.  

 

 

 

 

CAMBRIDGE SINKING IN 1978. After 161 MEN'S races,  Oxford lags behind Cambridge 82-80 (1 tie).
Photo courtesy www.theboatrace.org

Saturday, March 24, 2018 4:31PM & 5:31PM

 LONDON, England 

“Men's & Women's Oxford v. Cambridge Boat Races for Cancer Research”

          More competitive than Duke vs. North Carolina basketball, older than professional baseball, and more culturally significant than the annual Army-Navy (football) Game, the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Races may be the most intense, colorful 20 minutes in sports. The races promote cancer research in the UK. Best of all, watching them is free.

STARTING TIME: The two Boat Races begin at 4:35PM & 5:35PM.

LOCATION: the boats row west along a 4.5mi length of the River Thames between the west LONDON neighborhoods of Putney and Mortlake.

ADMISSION: Free. But, if you want a choice seat with a broad selection of refreshments, consider a riverside pub (come early).

GETTING THERE: from Home At First’s London Apartments at St. Katharine’s Marina by the Tower, take a District Line Wimbledon-bound train 30 minutes west from Tower Hill to Putney Bridge stop. From Home At First’s London Apartments at The Brewery, take the Jubilee Line train west 5 minutes from London Bridge station to Westminster station, then change to a District Line Wimbledon-bound train west 20 minutes to Putney Bridge stop.

MORE INFO, see: OXFORD-CAMBRIDGE BOAT RACE.
 


PASIFIKA DAY                            AUCKLAND, NZ

photo courtesy aucklandnz.com

Sat-Sun, March 24-25, 2018, 10AM-5PM
 AUCKLAND, North Island, New Zealand   “Pasifika Festival Day”
          A major annual multi-cultural event, the Pasifika Festival celebrates the diversity of Pacific cultures in Auckland, largest city in Polynesia. Auckland’s Western Springs Park is converted into 11 villages for two days, each village representing a different Pacific culture with local food, music, dance, arts, and crafts.

LOCATION: Western Springs Park, AUCKLAND.

ADMISSION: Free.

GETTING THERE from Home At First’s Auckland

PASIFIKA - AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Photo www.aucklandcouncil.govg.nz

lodgings in DEVONPORT, take the Route 1 motorway to the Route 16 Auckland-Kumeu Motorway west. Follow the Auckland-Kumeu Motorway west one to two miles to the Western Springs exit that leads to the Western Springs Park entrance.

MORE INFO, see: PASIFIKA FESTIVAL DAY.
 


Warbirds

OVER WANAKA

new zealand

CURTIS P-40 KITTYHAWKS — JUST TWO OF MANY Warbirds over Wanaka
Photo courtesy www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com.

Friday-Monday, March 30-31 & April 1,  2018 from 7:30AM daily

 WANAKA, Otago, South Island, New Zealand 

“Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow”

          Every two years the Easter weekend skies above Wanaka fill with aircraft of all types, but especially Warbirds from both World Wars as well as military, trainers, exotics, racers, helicopters, models, and more. Stunt, aerobatic, parachute, and precision flying will be on display.

LOCATION: Wanaka Airport, immediately outside of Wanaka town, Otago, and just south and east of some of the highest mountains of the Southern Alps and south of two exquisite turquoise lakes (Wanaka and Hawea).

ADMISSION: Varies from $60-$149/adult per day. See WEBSITE PRICES and PROGRAM.

GETTING THERE: from Home At First’s London nearest regional lodgings, QUEENSTOWN INN at QUEENSTOWN, drive north via Arrowtown and the scenic and rugged Cardrona Pass direct to Wanaka in 1 hour. Otherwise, drive Route 6 east toward Cromwell and then north to Wanaka Airport in about 90 minutes without the rugged pass road.

PARKING: Free.

MORE INFO, see: WARBIRDS OVER WANAKA.
 


CHECK FOR MORE EVENTS EACH MONTH

 

 

Happy Holidays from
— HOME AT FIRST —