Category Archives: Dancing

SwitchBitch Book 3 completes the Transformation Trilogy, Solo Travelling and Dancing the theme!

 

I have just completed writing my third SwitchBitch Book in the Transformation Trilogy, this one entitled ‘SwitchBitch: My Journey of Transformation in Travelling Solo, step by step’. 

This year was dominated by a trip of a lifetime. I had to summarise for myself and my Facebook friends what this trip had been all about, and I wrote a tongue-in-cheek story, about my journey through eight countries, walking and dancing 1,2 million steps and just under 1000 km in three months: Continue reading →

Boudha Lounge serves authentic Cantonese cuisine in town, DJ René plays Tuesdays in October!

On Thursday I was invited to try the newish Boudha Lounge on Buiten Street, in the block between Loop and Long streets, offering Cantonese cuisine. Its marketing is managed by well-known Justin Paul Jansen, and his formula is to offer a restaurant and bar service to guests, as well as a DJ box, with a line-up of different DJs on different evenings. DJ René will play on Tuesday evenings, from 19h00 until late. Continue reading →

Returning home to Cape Town after three months on the (European and South American) road as a Solo traveler !

My post below comes from Facebook, a post I wrote in the last few days of my journey through eight countries, walking and dancing 1,2 million steps and just under 1000 km in three months. It was a tongue in cheek story about my journey, motivated in writing my third SwitchBitch Book, but also to share with my Blog readers the World’s 50 Best Restaurants I ate at in Lima, Buenos Aires, Santiago in Chile, Rio de Janeiro, and a Michelin star restaurant in Lisbon, with other great and not so great restaurants, and the interesting Mendoza wine region in Argentina, synonymous with Malbec and the largest in the country. I will be posting stories as soon as I have settled in again and got over the jet lag. Continue reading →

My Top 21 recommendations for what to see and do in Havana, Cuba!

I arrived in Havana on 3 July 2019, with no preparation of what I wanted to see or do, except that I wanted to learn to dance the Salsa. I was lucky that a slightly out of date ‘Cuba’ Guide by Lonely Planet was lying in the lounge of the San Lazaro BnB I stayed at. I annexed it for the more than three weeks that I stayed there, and found useful background information in it, but perhaps it contains too much information, not just focused on Havana, my only destination in Cuba, therefore making a large part of the book irrelevant to me. Much more useful was the Guidebook ‘300 Things to love about Havana’ by Heidi Hollinger, focused on Havana, divided into the various suburbs of Havana, with an address, a good representative photograph, and largely accurate in its descriptions, even if published in 2018. 
 

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Cuban Salsa grew from a fusion of other dance styles, no one is too old to dance it!

I decided to spend close to a month in Cuba, to learn to dance the Salsa in the country from which elements of it originated. It was an interesting experience, learning more about Cuban music, that Salsa is a ‘commercial’ overarching name for a dance incorporating steps from a number of other dance styles, and that I had to come to the conclusion that I do not like most Cuban Salsa music. I was told that Salsa has no age limit, one never being too old to dance, it even being used remedially with older persons. 

 

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‘Lisbon under Stars’ an impactful multi-media modern presentation of Lisbon’s history!

Prior to starting my Portuguese Coastal Camino from Porto, I spent three days in Lisbon, sightseeing as a tourist. One of the highlights of visiting the city was the 360 degree audio and light show ‘LISBON UNDER STARS – immersive Spectacle’, performed in the open air ruins of the Carmo Church, now an archeological museum. 
 
 I had read about the show ‘Lisbon under Stars’ in the TAP inflight magazine whilst flying from London to Lisbon, and when my friend Arno and I walked last the ticket booth by chance, it was meant to be, and we booked and paid for tickets for the following evening. 
 
On arrival, with Arno running slightly late, I queued to get inside, not knowing what the seating would be like. It appeared that our tickets had been booked for the night before, but the ticket office was very kind to swop our tickets for the correct evening. Just then Arno arrived, and we went inside, not knowing what awaited us inside. 
 
A few chairs had been set up, and some cushions. Fake lawn had been rolled out in some sections, and the idea was to find a comfortable spot from which to view the 360 degree show, set in the unrenovated Carmo Church, which was a victim of the famous Lisbon Earthquake and Tsunami in 1755.  
 
The show was preceded by lit up Archeological treasures in the shared space, making them
look surreal, and very modern. And then the lights went down, and a series of historical and cultural events in the history of Lisbon and Portugal was communicated in a modern visual, audio, dance, and musical story and show, one having to look forward, backward and sideways to not miss out on anything. 
 
A female figure represented Lisbon, being the storyteller. The Programme describes it best: ‘You are entering a time travel machine that will transport you on an immersive journey through more than 600 years of history, glories and tragedies of the Portuguese people.’
 
The following historic highlights in Lisbon’s heritage are represented :
 
#. Prologue
 
#. 14 August 1385: Battle of Aljubarrota: 7000 Portuguese defeat 40000 Castilians and ensure the independence of Lisbon. 
 
#.  1389 Construction of Carma Church to celebrate the victory of the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota. 
 
#.  1423: Dom Nuno Alvares Perreira becomes a Carmelite monk, donating all that he has to the Order of Carmo, joins the Convent, and dedicates himself to a monastic life until his death. 
 
#.  8 July 1497 Vasco da Gama leaves Lisbon, to discover the sea route to India. Almost a year later he arrives in Calcutta. 
 
#. 1 November 1755: The great Lisbon earthquake, the firestorm, and the tsunami, which submerged Lisbon’s lower zone’.
 
#.  1756: Reconstruction of Carmo Church: the monks dedicate themselves to the reconstruction of the Carmo Church by their own means. 
 
#.  1834 : Extinction of the Religious Orders’: all religious orders are abolished, and the monks leave Carmo Church
 
#.  1864: Foundation of Carmo Archeological Museum on the foundation of the 1755-destroyed  Carmo Church. 
 
#.  23 July  1920: Birth of Amália Rodrigues, becoming a Fado singing star. 
 
#.  25 April 1974: The fall of the dictatorship, celebrating 48 years of dictatorship in Portugal 
 
#.  Today: Free Lisbon. Multicultural Lisbon. Lisbon Under Stars. Celebration of Lisbon’s Urban art, and cultural and historic heritage. 
 
The show is short at 45 minutes, but is highly recommended. 
 
 
LISBON UNDER STARS. Carmo Archeological Museum. Lisbon. www.lisbonunderstars.com 
 

Dear reader: Due to the hacking of our Social Media accounts, you may need to follow our Facebook again, the hackers having removed 2000 Friends; and our Instagram account, the account having been deleted completely, and now replaced by me with a new one (new handle below). 

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein

 

WhaleTales Blog and SwitchBitch Book 3 go on a new exciting adventure, step by step!

Today is the first day of a three-month adventure on three continents, and including five countries. Not only is it a personal journey, but it also completes my SwitchBitch Book 3 which I stated writing two months ago, and gives me the opportunity to visit and review restaurants I eat at on my Blog. Continue reading →

SwitchBitch Book 2 ‘My Journey of Transformation in walking the Camino, Sole to Soul’ my best 18th birthday present!

Earlier this year I published SwitchBitch Book 1, ‘My journey of transformation from Sour to Sweet’, documenting my physical transformation in losing 45 kg in changing my eating habits, and in expressing my love for dancing. 

SwitchBitch Book 2 ‘My Journey of Transformation in walking the Camino, Sole to Soul’ follows in its footsteps, pardon the pun, having walked the Camino in Spain, and documents my journey on this three-week journey. The book also shares further transformational changes since SwitchBitch Book 1 was published in January this year. 

Launching my second book this year, celebrating it today with my very special friends, some even flying in from Paris and London, is my best 18th birthday present.  Continue reading →

Sweet Service Award goes to Goodluck; Sour Service Award goes to Cape PVC Windows!

The Sweet Service Award goes to Goodluck, a South African electro music band, which played at La Parada Constantia Nek last Sunday, to thousands of fans. As I dance to DJ René Tanguy at the venue every Sunday, this was a surprise change, and an initial disappointment, in that I did not know the band. The singer Jules was infectious, and the producer Ben played others’ tracks too, making it a very danceable hour. I won a CD give-away, such amazing good luck… I spoke to both Ben and Jules afterwards, very lovely natural and unaffected musicians. A thanks goes to La Parada too, for organising this event, at no charge to patrons. Continue reading →