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Nightlife on Ibiza

The 'super clubs' of Ibiza are renowned the world over as the global HQ of dance music, and deservedly so. Not only for their size and splendour, but mainly for the unique atmosphere created by thousands of people, fresh off the beach, letting their hair down with a holiday vengeance.

It has to be borne in mind though that these clubs pre-date the 'dance music' phenomenon by many years. Most have been around for three decades, during which time they have put on top ranking the artists of the moment down through the years and therefore every musical genre that has come and gone over this period - from the hippies onwards.

This is still the case today and will be tomorrow and more than likely forever Witness the fact that the Global room at Pacha is devoting six nights a week to perfecting the blend of Hip Hop and R&B with House music in a very effective crossover, whilst on the other side of the island Es Paradis have had 'Twice as Nice' dispensing R&B, Garage and 2-Step sounds for years. This year check out their Drum and Bass night on Sundays vs. the Old Skool spectacular 'Helter Skelter meets Innovation'.


Es Paradis
El Divino

text taken from ibizaholidays

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Ibiza Beaches

One of the greatest benefits of living on a tiny island like Ibiza, with over 80 beaches to choose from, is that you can select the perfect beach for the moment. Be that a special occasion, putting yourself around, or simply attaining that serene tranquility that you seek...

Then to change your mind, seek an alternative, and discover that wherever you are on Ibiza it is no more than half an hour to your chosen alternative vibe, even if it's on the other side of the island.

Wherever you are on Ibiza there will be some days when the prevailing wind will offer waves - when you planned a day of snorkelling, or a flat calm - the day after you polished your surf board.

Occasionally you wake up and look out to sea to find clouds spoiling your plans for the day on the beach, but linger a while longer and you will suss the direction of the prevailing wind, which creates the clouds by forcing the colder air upwards as it reaches the land mass of the island. It soon becomes easy to work out which beaches will still enjoy sunshine on the windward side whether you fancy waves to play in, or a sheltered cove to enjoy snorkelling with sunlight illuminating the seabed below?

Some days the skies are clear on your local beach, but the incoming wind is creating surf when you really fancied a lazy hour watching clouds vapourise from your lilo? Relax in the knowledge that it's only 30 minutes to that new dream beach you never checked out before - sometimes even less than ten minutes walk?

!!! Enjoy:) !!!

text taken from ibizaholidays

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Ibiza Fiestas

3 Kings Parade - 5th January

After the excesses of Christmas & New Years Eve the childrens turn comes on the evening of the 3 Kings Day Fiesta on the 6th January with parades, fireworks and the distribution of presents and thousands of sweets to the children of Ibiza.
On the 5th the three kings (Melchor, Gasper and Baltasar) arrive in many of the towns and villages throughout Ibiza. Some arrive by boat, some on horseback, but they parade throught the streets throwing sweets out and then afterwards giving away presents.

Carnival - 1st March

Ibiza folk love fiestas - and the more the merrier. In fact they seize upon every opportunity to break out the traditional costumes and display their folk dancing talents in a display of religious fervour.
Carnival, however, is a completely different ball game incorporating none of the above elements. It is simply an excuse for the population to celebrate the end of winter with pure enjoyment, flamboyance and fun.
Endless pageants of glittering costumes, brilliantly decorated carriages, loud music and laughing faces are the order of the day as both adults and children display the fruits of their labours over the previous weeks - building floats, sewing costumes and practicing dance routines.
The results of all this toil are then released onto the streets in a chaotic and diverse display that often reflects the preoccupations of the islanders. Satirical digs at political characters and events are to be expected - this year's favourite was the topical 'motorway' building project currently being opposed by the majority of the population. However, all of this takes place in an atmosphere of joy and infectious exuberance that extends to the spectators, who also dress up, celebrate and dance - everyone with everybody regardless of nationality, language, colour or creed.
Laughter knows no boundaries.

Santa Eulalia - 1st Sunday in May

The first Sunday in May may seem a fairly loose date for a fiesta, in terms of dates and diaries, but this is perhaps a clue as to how far back into antiquity this fiesta dates. It is not only one of the oldest, but also one of the quaintest of the island celebrations. One of the highlights is the procession featuring beautifully preserved and with flowers decorated horse drawn carts. That's where the name Flower Festival comes from.
Nobody knows how old the tradition is, but it certainly pre-dates the town's current fortress church. Tradition has it that originally there was a small chapel atop the cliff to the north side of the bay of Santa Eulalia , which was perfectly adequate for the settlements smaller population of the day. However, one Sunday (very likely the first Sunday in May) almost immediately after the service and the departure of the worshippers, there was a loud rumble and the little church slid down the face of the cliff and into the sea. As nobody was hurt the incident was proclaimed a miracle by the hugely religious population and word of this miracle spread swiftly around the island. This prompted people from all over the island to travel to tiny Santa Eulalia each first Sunday in May to celebrate the miraculous salvation of the local worshippers and the holy place.
Bear in mind that the vast majority of the island's population travelled by horse and cart until only a few decades ago which largely accounts for the negative attitude of locals to travelling great distances, of more than a few miles, even today. Long-term residents soon seem to absorb this attitude too. Then consider that there weren't any roads to speak of - even today's roughest camino would look like a motorway to our ancient horse and cart.
But they made the effort to trek over to this fiesta on their carts and thus this Santa Eulalia celebration became the island's annual cart exhibition.
Cart processions can actually be more entertaining than one might expect. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the 'día del trueno' meaning the 'day of thunder'. It has long been a tradition to crown a fiesta with a spectacular firework display long after the sun has set - and they are indeed spectacular. However, as any proficient pyrotechnist will tell you, it is vital to test one firework from the installation long before unleashing the barrage that marks the end of the fiesta. Unfortunately on this occasion, probably due to a wiring fault (in the best of local tradition) the afternoon test firing unleashed the entire display as the horse and cart procession made its way down the main street. The noise somewhat alarmed the horses who took off in complete panic with carts and occupants in tow. Unfortunately the full effects of the firework display were invisible on such a sunny afternoon.
This misfortune was only to be bettered the following year when the town hall decided that distributing the traditional sweets from a low flying aircraft would be a novel idea. Once again fifty or more horses fled up the side streets of the village in terror.
To end on a more positive note - tradition has it that the submerged bell of the sunken church still tolls on dark and stormy nights to warn passing ships of the shallow waters near to the cliff. In recent memory this seems to have worked? Anyway, let's look forward to an eventful day out with the rest of the island - see you on the first Sunday of May.

San Juan - 24th June

One of the most loved Fiestas - this falls on June 24th, coinciding almost exactly with the summer solstice - suggesting that this festival has been around some time.
Although a Catholic holiday, it falls into the category of 'existing pagan festival' renamed as Christian 'holy-day'. This one dates back to times when churches were caves and altars were trees. But when the sun reached its summer solstice zenith everybody felt good. The trees were full of fruit, the crops were in the fields, the sea was calm for fishing and the weather was warm. People were content - much as they still are nowadays in June, as the night club opening parties compete for attention.
The main feature of this Fiesta is still the huge nocturnal bonfires the locals light to express their gratitude for being alive, and these are spectacular even nowadays. In days gone by, when light at night was practically a non-occurence, it is easy to see how these came to assume wizardly proportions in island mentality. To some extent this could explain the very 'other worldly' vibe of the village of San Juan and those who choose to live there?
The symbolic significance of the fires is that of release and renewal. All present throw something old into the fire in order to make room for the new. Different items represent different mystical messages e.g. old shoes mean that the thrower wants to walk a new path of life? Despite all of the serious magical associations, this is still a fun Fiesta if you can find a parking spot or don't mind a long walk?

El Carmen - 16th July

The Virgin of Carmen is the patron saint and protector of fishermen and sailors - those who live on and from the sea. Little surprise then that her 'saints' day is celebrated vigorously throughout Ibiza and Formentera, where the sea is almost inevitably your distant horizon.
Most churches on the island contain a statue of 'Nuestra Se-ora de Carmen' as local worshippers have great faith in her benevolent aura, which is apparently most powerfully felt at the tiny hamlet of Es Cubells on the south coast.
However, this cult only arrived on Ibiza 150 years ago with a Carmelite friar exiled by the government of the day, who were none to keen on the clergy, or their influence over the population. The friar, Father Palau, was one of Barcelona's leading intellectuals and therefore a major dissident problem for the far-left progressive government. Ibiza seemed the perfect, inaccessible backwater for their problem.
(In fact Father Palau was only here for six years before he was absolved of any political wrongdoing and returned to Barcelona.)
Nonetheless he left an indelible mark on the island during his extended sabbatical. Clearly not seeking company he chose the tiny hamlet of Es Cubells to set up home, which at that time consisted of two houses and a few farmers' outbuildings.
In the absence of intellectual stimulation he retreated within himself and made nature his family. This passion regularly drew him to the uninhabited. mystical island of Es Vedra where he would meditate and fast for as long as a month at a time. Surrounded and inspired by nature and nothing else he chronicled his experiences and found sufficient inner peace to return to society and build a small hermitage overlooking the sea. This was dedicated to his beloved Virgin of Carmen and, despite the risk, he arranged for his old icon of the virgin to be smuggled out to the island for the altar of his shrine.
He then set about touring Ibiza and Formentera preaching her virtues in every house of God. His sermons generated such fervour that an icon of El Carmen appeared at almost every church on the Pitiusas.
However, hordes of worshippers still chose to brave the long, rocky road to Father Palau's little hermitage at Es Cubells to best worship the Virgin, or thank her for her benevolence. This they felt was where her power was strongest, in much the same way that many people feel about nearby Es Vedra.
Nowadays the current church of Es Cubells, with its magnificent view and undeniable ambience, stands on the spot originally occupied by Father Palau's original hermitage.

Formentera - 25th July

July 25th is the Fiesta de Santiago, a national holiday throughout Spain, which has its roots way back in highly religous legend. However, in Formentera it is known as the Fiesta Sant Jaume (St. James' day) and has its roots in much more recent history. Unusually these roots have no religious connotations and pay little homage to the 'saint behind the day'. This is how it came about:-
For many centuries, since Formentera was abandoned in the 14th century during the Black Death, pirates ruled the waves around the Pitiusan islands (Ibiza & Formentera) and made Formentera too risky a place to live. Even after the Ibicenco corsairs had more or less beaten off the pirates, they were still not entirely eradicated which meant that travelling to and from Formentera was not the pleasant afternoon out that we enjoy today - it was a life and death venture.
However, during the 18th century families slowly trickled back to stake their claims on the little island and by the middle of the century there were some 200 people living there. As it happens many of those brave souls came from the Santa Eulalia area of Ibiza where, for some reason, there was an inordinately high concentration of men called Jaume (James?). For this reason many of Formentera's new settlers were called Jaume - some had Jaume for a surname too.
Late July was a relatively quiet time in the agricultural calendar and is even today. The fruit has already been harvested and the wheat has still to ripen. In addition to this the summer sea is at its calmest and most inviting for a boat trip. There was only one thing for a self respecting, sensible Ibicenco to do given this fortuitous situation - jump in a boat and pay a visit to the friends and family in Formentera? The perfect day usually selected for this visit was, of course, San Jaume and before long the spontaneous visits coalesced into an official holiday.
What a good reason for a fiesta? the re-uniting of long lost loved ones..... (church optional)

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Ibiza, the smallest of the three Balearic Islands, attracts thousands of people from all over Europe every year. Lying near its bigger sister Mallorca, Ibiza itself is an internationally leading tourist destination. Nicknamed the capital of electronic music, Ibiza has one of the best nightlife offers of Europe with several discos, bars and night clubs which have gained international reputation particularly because of the numerous intense dance music sessions and parties held during the summer months.

Nevertheless, the island of Ibiza is internationally known not only because of its non-stop party atmosphere, but also for its cultural and natural features. A great part of the island is listed under the United Nations World Heritage Sites. The treasures underlying this land are innumerable. Inland from the coastline, the traditional scenery of many villages and remote country houses and villas has remained intact, retaining the unique character of this island.

Ibiza is also the perfect destination for those seeking to enjoy of water sports, as surf, snorkeling and scuba diving, especially after spending time on the beach during those sun-drenched days. The island has several sport facilities along its striking seashore and many tourists and locals use this great opportunity to cool themselves down when the sun is really burning.

Immerse yourself in Ibiza, its unique culture, beautiful beaches, wild nightlife and friendly people - this unforgettable island boasts with both active and relaxing options, leaving anybody out of breath. No matter what you like, Ibiza will definitely delight you.

text taken from Ibiza Travel Guide

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What's the story?
Since beyond the memory of the oldest storyteller, the Indians of the Pacific coast have told of- and feared- giant, hairy, bad-smelling, manlike creatures that live in the dense wilderness of the western slope of the Cascade Range, especially from northern California to British Columbia. Every tribe has a name for them, best known being the Salish Indian Sasquatch, the Yurok Indian Toki-mussi and the Hoopa Indian Oh-mah. People in the United States usually call them Bigfoot.

As the white man penetrated the Pacific coast area, they began to report Bigfoot and his spoor occasionally, beginning with a report made by Alexander Anderson of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1864. Hundreds of sightings, including a couple of dozen pretty believable ones, reinforced by fairly common discovery of tracks, nests, droppings, and other evidence, have been reported since.

In the late 1950's, the California Bureau of Public Roads began pushing a timber access road into the unmapped wilderness of the Bluff Creek area north of Eureka- and Bigfoot sightings began to increase. First to report signs were the road-building crew. Then loggers, hikers, hunters and visitors began to report sightings, tracks, and droppings with increasing frequency.

The recreational boom of the Fifties pushed more and more campers, hikers, hunters and fishermen into the eastern slope of the Cascades at the same time, and other sightings and evidences began to gather. Reports became more and more frequent, especially in reports by a few interested newspapers: The San Francisco Chronicle; the Humboldt Times of Eureka, California; the Portland Oregon Journal; the Longview, Washington Times, and the Agassiz-Harrison Advance, in British Columbia.

The sightings were concentrated in a few areas, though scattered additional reports came in as well. Most consistent have been from the Fraser River Valley, Vancouver Island, and the mainland coast of the Strait of Georgia, in British Columbia; the "Ape Canyon" area near Mount Saint Helens in southwestern Washington; the Three Sisters Wilderness west of Bend, in west central Oregon; and the area around the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation northeast of Eureka, California, especially the Bluff Creek watershed.

One other site of a long series of very mysterious happenings - and perhaps as many as a dozen unsolved killings - is the valley at the confluence of the Liard and South Nahanni Rivers, at the south end of the Mackenzie Range, near Fort Simpson in the Canadian Northwest Territories. Though far to the north of Bigfoot's usual haunts, the valley is heated by warm springs- so warm that missionaries have grown banana palms there.

Increasing reports of new evidence brought in the one student and chronicler of "Abominable Snowmen" around the world, Ivan T. Sanderson. A Cambridge-educated Englishman well versed in botany, zoology, geology and anthropology, Sanderson is internationally known as a writer and television personality, and has gathered "snowman" material since 1930.

After several extended trips into sighting areas, hundreds of interviews and a great deal of research, Sanderson produced feature articles in 1959 and 1961 for True magazine, then in 1961 published an enormous collection from his research, interviews, investigations and personal experiences. The book, Abominable Snowman: Legend Come to Life was published by Chilton Books, Inc., of Philadelphia. Even at $7.50, it has gone through three printings, and is a whopping good buy for anyone interested in the subject. (Patterson himself has published a book, a 172-page collection of newspaper clippings, interviews, photographs and drawings from his investigations through 1966. It serves best to update Sanderson's 1961 book for interested readers. It was published by the Northwest Research association of Yakima, and sold for three dollars.)

Largely as a result of Sanderson's work, Roger Patterson launched his stubborn search. When he got his pictures last fall, he and Sanderson collaborated on an article -first of a proposed series- for Argosy magazine of, February 1968. The issue sold out completely in the first week it was on the newsstands.

But because of the publicity from Argosy and his national television appearances, Patterson has been able to plan another expedition to Bluff Creek, a year-long project beginning in May of this year. It will be one of the largest and best-run search expeditions to date with every participant carrying a camera, and the capture plan built around a new tranquilizer gun reportedly rifle-accurate to a range of several hundred feet.

Patterson, in organizing and financing his expedition, has formed a non-profit organization called the Northwest Research Association. Interested readers can get the details free by writing Post Office Box 1101, Yakima, Washington 98901. They'll be invited to join the Association, too, which involves a chance to apply to go along on next summer's search. While only the exceptionally well qualified will get to go along, all the members will be kept posted on developments regularly.

That's the basic background story. Now, except for details, you know about as much about bigfoot as I did when I started working on the story. Here are the answers to some of the questions I asked along the way:

Why is there so little evidence?
In the first place, the terrain of that western slope is so rugged and densely overgrown that it has not even been mapped except by aerial survey. Anyone who has not seen it will have a hard time understanding its impenetrability, but it takes just one flight up the Coast Range to see why it is almost impassable, even by horseback and even on foot.

Why have no remains or fossils ever been found? Why not, indeed? Two explanations come to mind: First is that nature does not leave organic materials lying around the forest. Even the bones and antlers of large animals are quickly eaten or dispersed by the little forest scavengers. A second explanation, put forth by Sanderson, is that a sub-human race may well gather the remains of its dead for burial in a cave or burying ground.

Why hasn't someone shot one?
Well, reports of two shootings exist. First was by a group of prospectors who shot at one large creature and missed, then shot a second that fell into Ape Canyon and wasn't recovered. The prospectors were later driven out of their cabin by an unexplained but violent attack, supposedly by a vengeful tribe of the creatures, throwing rocks.

Second report was by a bear hunter, who wounded a young one in a tree by mistake. He was horrified to see that he had shot a "human'', and left precipitously when a bigger creature came out of the forest to rescue the wounded youngster.

Several hunters have reported having a bigfoot in their sights. Each one has reported later that he could not pull the trigger on such a human target, or that he feared a manslaughter charge ff he did.

A number of other people claim to have had actual contact with Bigfoot. One, Albert Ostman, of Chilliwack, British Columbia claimed to have been "kidnapped" and held for six days by a family of them near Toba Inlet on the Strait of Georgia. He escaped unharmed. Several mysterious killings have been blamed on Bigfoot, most convincing being the death by slamming to the ground of two guards posted to watch a mining camp on the Chetco River, near the Oregon-California border, in 1890.

Are they so human?
Apparently. Certainly they are not apelike or bear like. Apes do not have buttocks or breasts, which the creature in Patterson's pictures certainly has. Apes do not leave flat-footed human footprints, either. Nor have there ever been any apes on North America, or any fossil evidence of them.

Bears do not walk erect for more than a few steps, nor do they leave human footprints, even when their feet have been scarred in forest fires.

Having seen several showings of Patterson's movie film, I can say without fear of contradiction that, whatever the creature in the picture is, it is neither an ape nor a bear. And if it was a "man in an ape suit", it was a very big man with a very strange stride in a very good ape suit.

Then what could it be?
The most interesting and plausible solution was expressed in the recent Argosy article. Bigfoot could be a sub-human creature, not unlike lava or Peking man, which like the American Indians migrated to this continent over the land bridge that has existed between Siberia and Alaska several times over the past few million years.

Presumably, they may have found the benign climate of the Pacific coast to their liking. Presumably they were driven back from the coast later, when the smaller but better-armed Indians claimed the coastal areas for themselves. That could be the foundation of the Indian legend of Sasquatch.

What do the experts think?
In the Argosy article, the editors interviewed three well-known scientists on that subject:

Dr. John R. Napier, Director of the Primate Biology Program of the Smithsonian Institution, said that he saw nothing in the film that, on scientific grounds, would point conclusively to a hoax. He expressed some reservations about the exaggerated fluidity of movement of the creature in Patterson's film, and suggested that despite the apparent breasts, he would tend to think the creature a male because of the crest on its head, which occurs only in male primates.

Dr. Joseph Wraight, Chief Geographer for the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, confirmed that a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska has existed several times in the past million years, and at those times, the climate in the bridge area was relatively mild. A migration from Asia, then, would have been logically possible.

Dr. Osman Hill, Director of Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center at Emory University, confirmed that the creature in the film must be hominid- manlike- rather than pongid - apelike. He went on to say that this opinion does not eliminate the chance of a masquerade, but added that if such was the case, it was extremely well done. Dr. Hill expressed the thoughts of dozens of hopeful men as well: Whatever was shown in the film, it should stimulate the formation of a truly scientific expedition to the area, to seek really concrete evidence one way or the other:
Argosy's experts didn't commit themselves as, either believers or disbelievers. Being scientists, they can t make conclusions without hard evidence. At least they were willing to talk about Bigfoot; most scientists will not.
One thing everyone involved agrees on: Somebody should get into the bush on a large scale and find out if Bigfoot is really there. I can't take the time to go along on this summer's expedition, but I'd give anything for the chance to go along. Wouldn't you?

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Werewolf in the History

A werewolf in folklore and mythology is a person who shapeshifts into a wolf, either purposely, by using magic, or after being placed under a curse. The medieval chronicler Gervase of Tilbury associated the transformation with the appearance of the full moon, but this concept was rarely associated with the werewolf until the idea was picked up by modern fiction writers. Most modern references agree that a werewolf can be killed if shot by a silver bullet, although this is more a reflection of fiction’s influence than an authentic feature of the folk legends. A werewolf allegedly can be killed by complete destruction of heart or brain; silver isn’t necessary.

Many European countries and cultures have stories of werewolves, including France (loup-garou), Greece (lycanthropos), Spain (hombre lobo), Bulgaria (varkolak, vulkodlak), Czech Republic (vlkodlak), Serbia (vukodlak), Russia (oboroten’ , vurdalak), Ukraine (vovkulak(a),vovkun, pereverten’ ), Croatia (vukodlak), Poland (wilkolak), Romania (varcolac), Scotland (werewolf, wulver), England (werwolf), Ireland (faoladh or conriocht), Germany (Werwolf), Denmark/Sweden (Varulv), Galicia(lobisÛn),, Portugal(( lobisomem)) Lithuania (vilkolakis and vilkatlakis), Latvia (vilkatis and vilkacis), Andorra (home llop), Estonia (libahunt), Argentina (lobizon, hombre lobo) and Italy (lupo mannaro). In northern Europe, there are also tales about people changing into animals including bears and wolves.

In Norse mythology, the legends of Ulfhednar (an Old Norse term for a warrior with attributes parallel to those of a berserker, but with a lupine aspect rather than ursine; both terms refer to a special type of warrior capable of performing feats far beyond the abilities of normal people. Historically, this was attributed to possession by the spirit of an animal) mentioned in Haraldskvaeoi and the Volsunga saga may be a source of the werewolf myths. These were vicious fighters analogous to the better known berserker, dressed in wolf hides and said to channel the spirits of these animals, enhancing their own power and ferocity in battle; they were immune to pain and killed viciously in battle, like a wild animal. They are both closely associated with Odin.

In Latvian mythology, the Vilkacis was a person changed into a wolf-like monster, though the Vilkacis was occasionally beneficial.

A closely related set of myths are the skin-walkers. These myths probably have a common base in Proto-Indo-European society, where the class of young, unwed warriors were apparently associated with wolves.

Shape-shifters similar to werewolves are common in myths from all over the world, though most of them involve animal forms other than wolves.

In Greek mythology the story of Lycaon supplies one of the earliest examples of a werewolf legend. According to one form of it Lycaon was transformed into a wolf as a result of eating human flesh; one of those who were present at periodical sacrifice on Mount Lycaon was said to suffer a similar fate.

The Roman Pliny the Elder, quoting Euanthes, says that a man of Anthus’ family was selected by lot and brought to a lake in Arcadia, where he hung his clothing on an ash tree and swam across. This resulted in his being transformed into a wolf, and he wandered in this shape nine years. Then, if he had attacked no human being, he was at liberty to swim back and resume his former shape. Probably the two stories are identical, though we hear nothing of participation in the Lycaean sacrifice by the descendant of Antaeus.

Herodotus in his Histories tells us that the Neuri, a tribe he places to the north-east of Scythia were annually transformed for a few days, and Virgil is familiar with transformation of human beings into wolves. In the novel Satyricon, written about year 60 by Gaius Petronius, one of the characters recites a story about a man who turns into a wolf during a full moon.

There are women, so the Armenian belief runs, who in consequence of deadly sins are condemned to pass seven years in the form of a wolf. A spirit comes to such a woman and brings her a wolf’s skin. He orders her to put it on, and no sooner has she done this than the most frightful wolfish cravings make their appearance and soon get the upper hand. Her better nature conquered, she makes a meal of her own children, one by one, then of her relatives’ children according to the degree of relationship, and finally the children of strangers begin to fall as prey to her. She wanders forth only at night, and doors and locks spring open at her approach. When morning draws near she returns to human form and removes her wolf skin. In these cases the transformation was involuntary or virtually so. But side by side with this belief in involuntary metamorphosis, we find the belief that human beings can change themselves into animals at will and then resume their own form.

France in particular seems to have been infested with werewolves during the 16th century, and the consequent trials were very numerous. In some of the cases - e.g. those of the Gandillon family in the Jura, the tailor of Chalons and Roulet in Angers, all occurring in the year 1598 - there was clear evidence against the accused of murder and cannibalism, but none of association with wolves; in other cases, as that of Gilles Garnier in Dole in 1573, there was clear evidence against some wolf, but none against the accused.

Yet while this lycanthropy fever, both of suspectors and of suspected, was at its height, it was decided in the case of Jean Grenier at Bordeaux in 1603 that lycanthropy was nothing more than an insane delusion. From this time the loup-garou gradually ceased to be regarded as a dangerous heretic, and fell back into his pre-Christian position of being simply a “man-wolf-fiend”.

The lubins or lupins of France were usually female and shy in contrast to the aggressive loup-garous.

In Prussia, Livonia and Lithuania, according to the bishops Olaus Magnus and Majolus, the werwolves were in the 16th century far more destructive than “true and natural wolves”, and their heterodoxy appears from the Catholic bishops’ assertion that they formed “an accursed college” of those “desirous of innovations contrary to the divine law”.

The wolf was still extant in England in 1600, but had become extinct by 1680. At the beginning of the 17th century the punishment of witchcraft was still zealously prosecuted by James I of England, and that pious monarch regarded “warwoolfes” as victims of delusion induced by “a natural superabundance of melancholic”.

Many of the werewolves in European tradition were most innocent and God-fearing persons, who suffered through the witchcraft of others, or simply from an unhappy fate, and who as wolves behaved in a truly touching fashion, fawning upon and protecting their benefactors. In Marie de France’s poem Bisclaveret (c. 1200), the nobleman Bisclavret, for reasons not described in the lai, had to transform into a wolf every week. When his treacherous wife stole his clothing, needed to restore his human form, he escaped the king’s wolf hunt by imploring the king for mercy, and accompanied the king thereafter. His behavior at court was so gentle and harmless than when his wife and her new husband appeared at court, his attack on them was taken as evidence of reason to hate them, and the truth was revealed. Others of this sort were the hero of William and the Werewolf (translated from French into English about 1350), and the numerous princes and princesses, knights and ladies, who appear temporarily in beast form in the German fairy tales, or Marchen.

Indeed, the power of transforming others into wild beasts was attributed not only to malignant sorcerers, but also to Christian saints. Omnes angeli, boni et mali, ex virtute naturali habent potestatem transmutandi corpora nostra (”All angels, good and bad have the power of transmutating our bodies”) was the dictum of St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Patrick transformed Vereticus, a king in Wales, into a wolf; and St. Natalis cursed an illustrious Irish family with the result that each member of it was doomed to be a wolf for seven years. In other tales the divine agency is still more direct, while in Russia, again, men are supposed to become werewolves through incurring the wrath of the devil.

Some werewolf lore is based on documented events. The Beast of Gévaudan was a creature that reportedly terrorized the general area of the former province of Gévaudan, in today’s Lozère département, in the Margeride Mountains in south-central France, in the general timeframe of 1764 to 1767. It was often described as a giant wolf and was said to attack livestock and humans indiscriminately.

In the late 1990s, a string of man-eating wolf attacks were reported in Uttar Pradesh, India. Frightened people claimed, among other things, that the wolves were werewolves.

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Gardens & Parks of Beijing

The Grand View Garden

Helpful info:
Admission fee: CNY 40
Bus route: 59, 122, 717, 721, 806, 816, 819, 939

The Grand View Garden was created using the description from the story ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ an ancient Chinese masterpiece. Started in 1984 and finished in 1989 it was first used as a TV series location for ‘Dream of Red Mansion’.

There are more than 40 scenic areas within the 32 acre garden combining artificial features beautifully with nature. The essential ingredients of a classical Chinese garden are all there – palaces, pavilions, water features and rockeries to name but a few. If you should feel in need of refreshment after visiting the gardens the Grand View Garden Restaurant is the perfect setting to enjoy dinner in this glorious setting.

Beihai Park

Helpful info:
Admission fee: CNY 5 (Nov - Mar), CNY 10 (Apr - Oct)
Opening hours: 06:00 - 20:00 (Nov - Mar), 06:00 - 22:00 (Apr - Oct)
Bus route: From South Gate: 101, 103, 109, 812, 814, 846
From North Gate: 107, 111, 118, 701, 823
From East Gate: 5

Beihai Park which was opened to an enthusiastic public in 1925 has the honour of being one of the largest and oldest Imperial gardens. Well preserved after its 1,000 year long history, this ancient garden combines the characteristics of the Northern and Southern gardens along with magnificence of imperial palaces and formal religious constructions.

The park is built according to ancient Chinese tradition using the legend of the 3 magic mountains located to the East of China where man could gain immortality. In Beihai Park the water-mountain combination is represented by the pool and the 3 islets, Jade Flowery Islet, the Island of the Circular City and Xishantai Island. More than half of the park’s 0.71 square kilometres is taken up by the lake.

On top of the Jade Flowery Islet stands the White Dagoba, built in 1651 and twice rebuilt after being destroyed. It was built by the 1st Emperor of the Qing dynasty to show his belief in Buddhism. Standing at 35.9 metres high it is topped with two bronze canopies around which hang 14 bells. Inside the dagoba holds the monk’s mantle and alms bowl along with the Bhuddist Scriptures and two pieces of Sarira.

When you have finished your tour of the islet the Eastern Shore Scenic Area can be reached by crossing the Zhishan Bridge. Here are to be found many ‘gardens’ within the garden, the Hao Pu Creek Garden being of special note. Then by moving Westward you will arrive at the Northern Shore area.
Here is to be found the Quiet Heart Studio being the most prominent independent garden in the park. Initially built in the Ming Dynasty it contains palaces and pavilions, towers, halls and corridors.

Dragons play a major role in Chinese history and they are to be found here at the park. The famous nine-dragon screen which has 9 dragons on each side was built in 1756 and is about 27 metres long. The screen is embossed with coloured glazed tiles and along with the nine dragons on each side. Hundreds of large and small dragons in various postures decorate the two eave ends totalling 635 dragons! Southwest of this magnificent screen lies the Five Dragon Pavilions.

This structure is made from 5 connected pavilions with spires and was built in 1602 and repaired several times since. They are on the North bank of the lake and protrude out over the water making a peaceful and tranquil place to rest.
To complete your tour of the gardens visit the Circular City on the South-western corner of the park. Standing at 4.6 metres high, the encircling wall is 276 metres in circumference. The city includes many halls, pavilions and towers. The most important of these is Chengguang Hall where a priceless statue of Buddha made from White Jade is to be found. Again if you are feeling hungry you could have a meal in Fangshan Restaurant to be found at the Northern shore of the lake.

text from Accommodation olympic games Bejng 2008

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