Friday, July 11, 2008

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Richness Of Italy

Very few places in the world offer the richness of Italy. From the emergence of the mighty Roman Empire to the bustling tourist trade of modern day Venice, Italy has always been at the heart of European civilization. This alone makes it a must see on any European vacation and you can see why even a short visit to Italy will make you wanting to come back year after year. So let's explore how you can have a lot of Italian fun in just a short time. This is the two city tour if Italy that is a great way to go for your first time in the country. The two cities? Venice and Rome. Why these two? The reason is that both offer something totally unique from other cities in Europe and both have an important place in Italian history. First is Venice. There is nothing more stunning than getting off the train at the Venice station and hearing a unique sound that cannot be heard in any other major city. There's the bustle of people moving and talking but wait, there are no cars. No engines, no horns or screeching tires, just water and stone. Everyone knows Venice is a city build on the water but the experience of being in a place where no cars can be heard is truly special. The warm waters of the Mediterranean lap against the sidewalk giving the city a perpetual peaceful feeling that is very relaxing. This is why Venice is a good place to start your fun Italian vacation. You've probably been running around Europe from one great city to the next a when you get to Venice, you can slow down and let the waters calm you. Once you take in the atmosphere, the city is yours to explore. With it's relatively small size, you can walk most places in a short time. Or if you want to explore the water a little more, you can take a water taxi or a gondola and ride the canals. The center of activity is usually San Marco square where the pigeons hang out by the hundreds and if the water is high, you can walk on it via the duckboards that are put out. The architecture of a place like San Marco dates back to the Middle Ages when Venice was the trading center of Europe. The designs are intricate and exquisite and those who are art lovers will find hundreds of pieces to gaze at. The real fun in Venice and in Italy as a whole is the food. Venice has so many little restaurants and cafes that you can eat to your heart's content for days and never get bored. The Italian style sandwich called panini, is a wonderful lunch and has so many different variations that each place has their own special recipe. So eat up, see the sites and hop back on the train for a trip to the eternal city, Rome. Like in the days of the gladiators, Rome is center of the European cultural universe. The city on seven hills is one of the oldest in Western Europe and is a glory to behold. You could spend your entire vacation in Rome and not see the entire place.

So much of the beauty of the city is hidden away from tourist traps in the little alleys and squares where Romans keep to themselves but welcome visitors who happen to find their way there. The best way to orient yourself to a city the size of Rome is to take a bus tour when you first arrive. The tour will show you the major sites and when you're on it, take notes so you can go back and visit the places you have seen. Major sites like the Colloseum, the Forum. Trevi Fountain, and others can been visited while walking. After your bus tour, take a walk around the old city then make your way out on the following days. You can explore the ancient underground in the catacombs where very old Romans are buried or see the great aqueducts built during the Roman Empire. Take a day to see Vatican City where the Pope lives when he's not out on tour. There is more are in the few square blocks that you can possible take and you'll be dizzy after you've walked it's long halls. The end is worth while though as the Sistine Chapel awaits after a long tour. Truly Michaelangelo's greatest paintings cover the chapel ceiling and wall. Sports, food, shopping, whatever you desire, Rome offers it. Like the saying goes "When in Rome, do as the Romans," and I hope your fun Italian vacation allows you to immerse yourself in Italian culture and be Italian, if only for a short time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Trip To Bora Bora

Do you every heard about the country called French Polynesia? And about the islands of Tahiti and borabora I know many of you, firstly heard about it but those who are regular travelers knows what I say about. Yes Tahiti and the bora bora islands is a part of smaller groups of Island of French Polynesia. Now these two island are very much popular destinations os tourist because of their scenery beauty and exotic beaches. In the middle of the island having awesome volcano which is the favorite spot for tourist. there are various vocational packages available to Tahiti and bora bora you can check and gathered various precious information regarding Flights to Bora Bora, and check accommodation in different Hotel Bora Bora & resorts according to your requirement. This site is a major hub for arranging your trip and you could also check last minute offers and exclusive discounts. If you chooses this destination for your trip I definitely says .. this is your unforgettable trip. Because this trip having all type of excitement from beaches to volcano and if you are couple I think this is the most romantic place for you. So be romantic and give a wonderful gift of vacation to Bora Bora to your loved one.

Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

This is one of the true paradises of the world, rain forests, unique cultures, volcanic landscapes and natural beauty abounds. This is a definite outdoor lovers delight.

There is scuba diving for the beginner and the most experienced, hiking up to the top of the world's highest active volcano, exotic bird watching in breathtaking cloud forests.

Galapagos Islands have been labeled as the "Garden of Eden" and nothing short of spectacular. The best time to visit the islands is between January and May when it is basically described a tropical, which means it has hot temperatures, blue sky and occasional but brief downpours.

Quintessential Ecuador, La Sierra or Andes highlands are the most frequented region in the county. This is where you will find condors, glaciated volcanoes, Indian markets, haciendas, cloud forests, Incan ruins and high altitude grasslands.

Of course, there is the Amazon jungle and it one the worlds most awe inspiring natural wonders. The Amazon is the worlds largest remaining tropical rain forest. In the Amazon river there are islands as big as Switzerland, otters as big as men and at a certain point you can be in the middle and see neither shore, everything is bigger and more spectacular on the Amazon river.

So to sum Ecuador up, you are in for a breathtaking encounter like cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Make sure you have a passport and start making your reservations for your trip to this wonderland of pleasure. No passport yet, you can get one right in the comfort of your home on your Personal Travel Website, easy and convenient.

Translation Service

Most of the people around the world having language problem and we all knows that without language we don’t communicate with others.. but now with the help of translation anyone can easily understand any language without any hassle.from a long period there are various developments were going on in IT industry regarding translation, now on the internet anyone can translate any email, article of any language in to your language! so if ever you need some translation services like Arabic translation, Hindi translation, Farsi translation or any translation services just go to this site and need assistance for your problems. So check their website for more information regarding translation, and check the translating tools which I think very useful to you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Holidays In Paris

Owing to its location, Paris has a temperate, oceanic climate; it's location straddling the banks of the river Seine make it a beautiful city to visit. Almost everyone taking a European vacation will decide on a short stay in Paris; you will however, discover that more time is required to fully appreciate what it has to offer.

It is renowned for its wonderful Gothic inspired buildings and street markets; plus sights like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and many other places that are havens for tourists, both home grown and international. Traveling through the city of Paris can be very enjoyable; there is an excellent underground system called the Metro which runs regular trains into the city center and is very easy to understand.

No visit would be complete without a trip to the top of the almost 1,000 feet tall Eiffel tower; it can be seen throughout most locations around the city. You can be assured of an even more beautiful sight if you visit in the evening when it is illuminated; it is possible to take organized tours which tell the story of the Tower and the history of France.

The famous Paris Avenue 'the Champs Elysees' must also receive a visit; you can see beautiful shops, sit and drink coffee from the many cafes or have a meal in a first class restaurant. This is an 'up-market' area that attracts thousands of tourists each day; it is also where most of the five star hotels are situated but thankfully hotels tend to be cheaper once you move away from the city center.

The city's famous museum, the Louvre is huge and worth a visit if you have the time; it contains almost a third of a million exhibits and is in fact one of the biggest art museums in the world. The problem is a Paris short stay will only ever provide a glimpse of what can be seen here; some of the most important art collections in the world are here including Leonardo da Vinci's world famous Mona Lisa. What makes Paris special is the number of artists that have been attracted to this great capital; painters like Monet and Picasso spent many years here and a large number of their art works can be seen in Paris today.

The famous 19th century edifice built on Napoleons instructions, the Arc de Triomphe, is also in Paris; to honor his generals (and his troops) he had their names inscribed upon it. Many people do not know that an observatory was included in the design which affords great views of the surrounding area; in particular those obtained along the lanes that lead from it.

You will not be at a loss for places to visit whilst in the city; there are plenty of others to keep you occupied but to make the most of your time, use one of the guided tours. It's an unfortunate fact that a Paris short stay vacation will only include some of the attractions; anything else on your 'to see' list can wait for your next trip.

Azamara Cruises

Most of the people around the globe enjoys holidays in different shapes and different manner like many of us enjoys their holidays in some exotics relaxing beaches some on deserts, hiking etc and many on the middle of the ocean.. Yes I meant cruises.

From a long period cruises vacations are very much popular because now they come in affordable good packages and peoples wants to go there for enjoying their vacations.

There are several cruise lines which are known and famous for their luxurious hospitality and the one best is Azamara Cruises.

The Azamara Cruises line is not a very old one cruise line, they start just 2 years before but in this short time they much popular among tourists because of their good service. Azamara Cruises is well known for their two ships the Azamara journey and the other one is azamara quest. These Azamara Cruises visits all great destinations such as Asia, Europe, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Africa, South America and many more. So those who are interested in this journey takes Mediterranean Cruises for making their holidays more beautiful, I think you must enjoys your life here on the cruise with awesome delight food of any kind, I bet you never forget these precious moments in the cruise. So check their site now for more info regarding destinations, packages, booking etc

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mauritius: Heaven on Earth

I think the famous Mark Twain described the island of Mauritius well when he described it as "heaven on earth".

If you are looking for somewhere different to spend time with your new partner then a honeymoons Mauritius holiday seems to be the perfect solution. This island located in the Indian Ocean just above the Tropic of Capricorn is becoming extremely popular with newlyweds from around the world.

Here they can spend time together getting to know one another and enjoying all that the island has to offer. In fact they may find themselves becoming completely overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and smells that this island paradise has to offer.

Certainly this is one of the most romantic destinations that a young couple can go to and spend time enjoying each other's company. There is plenty of accommodation on the island to select from and where you stay will depend upon your budget.

When it comes to which is the best time of year to visit this tropical paradise because the weather is reasonable throughout the year you could visit at about just anytime you want. However, between July and September is favored by most tourists as the temperatures and humidity levels are much lower. Whereas through January to April you can expect much more rain than normal.

Certainly if you intend to participate in some diving and snorkeling during your stay then between December and March is perfect. This is the time of year when the waters around the island are at the clearest and you will be better able to view the myriads of sea life that surround it.

A luxury holiday in Mauritius really provides you with all the opportunities to relax and unwind. There are several different ones to choose from on the island and all will help you to forget about the stresses and strains that work and everyday life places upon you.

One such hotel that offers such a vacation is The Royal Palm located on the northwest side of the island in lush tropical surroundings. It is also located close to Grand Baie and is certainly somewhere celebrities, along with royalty and heads of state will elect to stay if they want to get away from it all.

Another location that is proving extremely popular with couples who are looking for a romantic breakaway is Trou Aux Biches. This hotel is found right by one of the islands best beaches and offers you privacy as the accommodation is chalet style properties. These are all situated in tropical gardens but within a matter of minutes you can be strolling along the beach enjoying the views as the sunsets over the Indian Ocean.

However if you are coming to the island to play a few rounds of golf then the hotel you should be looking to book is Paradis Golf Resort. Along with its own 18 hole golf course close by is the Dinarobin Spa Resort and as for food you will be spoilt for choice as it has 7 different restaurants to select from. Certainly you will find yourself spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting the right luxury holiday for you on the Island of Mauritius.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Las Vegas Deals

Many of you knows about Las Vegas, yes this is the city of casino world with lots of excitement many of the world bigger casino player comes over there for finding the true taste of casino which they cant find anywhere. The city of las vegas is completely rich in their beauty many people comes from around the globe to take a look of this heaven but now las vegas is changes very fastly to the modern world and very few places provides you the closer look of classic marvels yes you understand right only few of the accomdatation hotels provides the beast las vegas deals with their true history as well as nostalgia & class. I personally thinks and recommend to check the website of sahara vegas who provides good information relating to classic vegas experience. On this website portal you also find some amazing las vegas packages if you will planning your holidays in las vegas and I recommends you to book your hotel before travel because its very difficult to find the accommodation in las vegas if you are not booked prior.

Those people who will in mid of planning their wedding I only say one thing that please make your wedding more memorable and this thing you only do at Las Vegas Weddings I think this is the most best moment of your life if you getting married their because las vegas is the most romantic place ever.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The island of Cyprus

The island of Cyprus is separated into two parts, a split that resulted from a Turkish invasion of the country forty years ago. This shouldn't be a popular holiday destination and yet it is. How has this come about?

Driving through the streets of the capital city, Nicosia, you soon find the fortifications that separate the Nicosia of Turkish Cypriots from that of the Greek Cypriots to the south. Like the island itself, the capital city is divided.

Looking at this description of Cyprus, you would think that it would be hard to see why this could possibly be a popular location for tourism.

Taking a drive further south, to the beaches that surround the popular resort of Limassol, it soon becomes clear that this is an island that has plenty to offer.

Despite the separation, the reality is that people on this island have lived in relative harmony for many years. It's been seen as a safe destination for visitors, although the northern part of the island is not officially recognized by the United Nations.

Most visitors head for the south, with its booming tourist infrastructure. The coastal regions are dominated by large hotels, with their associated bars and restaurants.

Many are seen as perfect for family holidays, while the resort of Ayia Napa has hit the news as one of the best party resorts in Europe.

It's clear that there is more to the island than just its political history. Indeed, heading inland, it's still possible to see that the traditional Cypriot way of life survives.

Despite the upheavals of the recent past, Cyprus remains a welcoming place for visitors. The local people are warm and friendly, as is the climate.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sydney: A Comfortabe Experience

Sydney is known for the breathtaking views it gives to the tourists. Apart from the picturesque locales Sydney is also very busy economically. Thus the city receives guests in humongous amount. The city is one of the advanced places in the world in terms of technology and other components of development. Therefore the city offers immense comfort to the guests it receives all throughout the year. The hotels and the places to stay in the city are highly stylized. The main purpose is to make the city attractive and draw the attention of the international crowd. The city receives crowd from every walk of life and people come there for varied purposes. The purpose ranges from business to honeymoon. Thus the hotels and boarding houses are so designed that they serve the purposes of everyone. The style and comfort in the city go hand in hand. This gives the tourists tremendous opportunity to explore the city at peace.

The hotels are stylized in terms of architectural value, services they offer and the living condition in the hotel. Everything is done is done towards giving the guests maximum comfort during their stay at the city. The guests definitely get value for their money and their stay at the city becomes memorable. Comfortable stay in Sydney Hotels Staying in Sydney has always been comfortable for any foreigner who at least once has visited the city. The living conditions in the city are extremely comfortable. This is because rooms of every kind are available. Rooms of varied size and shape are available according to the requirement of the customer. Generally the rooms are technically equipped to aid communication of the people who are putting up in that room. Generally the rooms are well equipped with the latest tools of communication so that the guests can stay connected to the rest of the world. The rooms are generally very well furnished. The furniture kept in these rooms boast of architecture of highest aesthetic value. This furniture also is very comfortable as they are so designed. How to live with panache Living in a Luxury Hotel in Sydney is not very difficult as there are several of them to make a choice from. Generally there is no dearth of space in these hotels but during some festive seasons they might get filled. Thus at times it is necessary to book rooms well in advance before setting foot in the city.

Monday, February 4, 2008

2008 Dubai Shopping Festival

Dubai is currently the hot place to shop. Dubai is also one of the world's most vibrant tourist destinations. Dubai Zoo, Dragon Mart, Ski Dubai, Dubai Museum, Dubai Creek, Camel Racing, etc are the main attractions of Dubai. Nowadays Dubai Shopping Festival has become a main attraction of Dubai. DSF was first started in Feb1996 as a retail event by the Dubai Govt. Since then it has become an annual shopping festival and continues to promote tourism. Every year Dubai shopping festival lives up to its promise of staging the most exciting activities for the whole family inspired by the theme one world, one family, one festival. More than two million visitors attend the Dubai shopping festival each year, with retail spending totaling in excess of US $ 1 billion.

During DSF promotions & discounts make it possible for shoppers to buy branded products at extremely competitive prices. The main focal point of the festival is the Global Village, where the international community gather together to display their culture and heritage through exhibitions of traditional handicrafts, clothing, music and dance. Another popular shopping spot during DSF is the Carpet Oasis. The exhibition shows thousands of unique, exclusive, handmade oriental & persian carpets. DSF offers a variety of entertainment events such as nightly fireworks, laser shows, fashion shows, and music concerts. Festival also has daily raffle draws with lots of prizes. In addition to that the DSF has started an award ceremony for the Ideal Arab Mother, Ideal Family etc. Most airlines flying out of Dubai International Airport offer reduced airfare, along with the much needed excess baggage allowance during DSF. The DSF2008 will be held from 24th January 2008 to 24th February 2008 over a period of 32 days. DSF 2008 is expected to be unique in its own way, as it welcomes visitors to a new season-The fifth season. Hence, while the rest of the world sees four seasons in a year, the Dubai visitors get to enjoy a fifth season, which is expected to be the best of all. Shopping malls typically stay open throughout the day from 10 AM- 10 PM. However, on Fridays, they open, from 2 PM- 10 PM. Some even stay open until midnight. Always carry sunglasses, hats, and cameras. It is advised to avoid taking photographs of the Muslim women, airports, docks, Government buildings, military installations etc. Always respect the religious sentiments, beliefs and customs of the locals. Book your Air tickets and Hotel Accommodations immediately!!!

Sri Lanka: A Peral In Indian Ocean

As the fanfare of the festive season has died down, it is easy to feel the need to get away from the cold British winter and experience some sun. For a luxury holiday offering the requisite sunrays as well as excellent cuisine, views and different festivals throughout the year, look no further than Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka, officially known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island nation in South Asia, located about 19 miles off the southern coast of India. With a population of around 20 million, the country is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic, with nearly a third of the population following faiths other than Buddhism, most notably Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. This multiculturalism can in part be attributed to the different rules of Sri Lanka, including colonisation by Portugal, the Netherlands and finally Great Britain. After peaceful negotiations with the British, the island nation became independent in 1948, and in 1972, the nation, then-known as Ceylon, changed its name to Sri Lanka, meaning “Resplendent Land”.

As a result of the multi-religious background, Sri Lanka is renowned for its many religious festivals. Sri Lanka offers at least one festival each month as Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Muslims celebrate both religious and national occasions. This month, for example, the full-moon festival of Dututhu commemorates the visit of Lord Buddha to Kelankya, the temple of Kelania. The Hindu community meanwhile celebrates the harvest festival of Thai Pongal, where homes are cleaned and decorated, farm animals bathed and sometimes adorned, and special dishes prepared. The sizeable Muslim community celebrate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, roughly every 11 months, with prayers in mosques, distribution of alms, family-oriented celebrations and the enjoyment of traditional dishes. In addition, there are several national holidays, such as the Sri Lankan New Year, celebrated every year between 12-14 April, to ensure good fortune in the coming year. Amongst the traditional rituals undertaken, houses are spring cleaned, new clothes worn and newly harvested rice cooked in milk in new pots. Traditional games and music are enjoyed, and passing visitors are invariably invited to join in the celebrations. These are merely some of the many festivals held throughout the year, with further information being available from the Sri Lanka Tourist Board.

Apart from the festivals themselves, Sri Lanka can offer travellers the sights belying its rich heritage, such as the Temple of the Tooth, situated in the central city of Kandy, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It houses a tooth that came from the mouth of Lord Buddha, and is as a result considered one of Sri Lanka’s most holy shrines. Kandy is also home to the Pinawela Elephant Orphanage, a national sanctuary for about 70 semi-tame elephants, allowed to roam freely around the orphanage, with bathing and feeding times being highlights for tourists. Other cities popular with tourists include Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.

In addition, the cuisine is considered some of the finest in the region. In general the food is excellent value, with the most expensive tourist-oriented places rarely charging over the equivalent of US$20 for a meal. The staple Sri Lankan diet consists of rice and curry. A must-try dish is Kottu Roti; a medley of chopped roti (bread), vegetables and your choice of meat, a uniquely Sri Lankan dish and best served when made fresh by street vendors. Please note that while Sri Lankans eat with their right hands, cutlery is available at all eateries.

Beijing: Forbidden City

Perfectly placed in the heart of Beijing, Forbidden City is a graceful historical marvel which China proudly displays. Known as Gu Gong in Chinese, this world renowned heritage site was the majestic palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties and its 980 buildings with 8707 bays of rooms symbolize traditional Chinese architecture. This dazzling historical site has been the inspiration for many cultural and architectural developments in Asia and excels as the largest surviving palace complex in the world.

From ancient times Forbidden City has aroused awe and admiration of its visitors due to its glorious architectural splendour and historical insight. At present it houses the Palace Museum which displays a massive collection of artifacts ranging from Ceramic to Jade. The exhibits are centered on Quing imperial collection while the imperial libraries contain one of the largest preservations of historical books and documents.

The surrounding walls intensifies the magnificence of Forbidden City and serves as defensive as well as retaining walls. The one surrounding the palace is 7.9 meters high and elegantly poised at the four corners are four towers which have been the focal point for much folklore. On each side of the wall are two gates known as the Meridian and the Gate of Divine Might. In addition to these are another two gates towards the east and west referred to as the East Glorious Gate and the West Glorious Gate, all these splendidly decorated by a collection of golden door nails. In close proximity is Raffles Beijing, one of the most sought after Beijing hotels equally admired as an icon of Beijing's historical heritage providing exceptional lavish amenities to its visitors. A trip to the charming city of Beijing would not be complete without exploring the overwhelming Forbidden City and Raffles Beijing surpasses as one of the best luxury hotels in Beijing to experience the wonder of this historical city while indulging in the hotel's innumerable comforts.

Italy: Rediscovered

If you are hankering for a European vacation, why not consider the Liguria region of northern Italy, commonly known as the Italian Riviera? This narrow strip of land lies on the Ligurian Sea, close to Monaco and the French Riviera. While Liguria is hardly an undiscovered tourist site, its crowds are much smaller than those next door. This beautiful region boasts many little towns or villages, and the international port city of Genoa almost smack dab in the center of the coast. This sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly city of about six hundred thousand calls itself La Superba (the Proud). Be sure to read the other articles in this series: eastern Liguria, western Liguria, and Cinque Terre, five little seaside villages that just might steal your heart.

Given its excellent location and great harbor, the city of Genoa has been around for thousands of years. Over its long history Genoa was destroyed on several occasions. Early in the Eleventh Century the city Genoa became the Republic of Genoa, an independent city-state. At its high point this republic controlled Liguria, Piedmont, Sardinia, and Corsica. Genoa was a major player in the Crusades, and established colonies in the Middle East, in the Aegean, in Sicily, and Northern Africa. Genoese Crusaders brought home a green glass goblet from the Levant, which many Genoese consider to be the Holy Grail.

Times changed and by the Seventeenth Century Genoa was no longer a major power. In 1797 Napoleon conquered Genoa and it was annexed to France a few years later. Genoa is proud to have liberated itself from French rule, but before long it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Sardinia. Another proud moment in Genovese and Italian history occurred in 1860 when Giuseppe Garibaldi set out from Genoa with over a thousand volunteers to launch his successful campaign for a united Italy.

Genoa has so many attractions that we present a list, grouped by general area. Check off what you want to see and then with a map plan your own itinerary. We are regrouping the sites into three locations, south, north, and the port area plus our starting point. When we say south we mean south of Caruggi, Genoa's medieval center, the largest such district in all Europe. Its tiny cobblestoned streets are a-maze-ing. Walk around for a few hours; you won't be disappointed.

The Twelfth Century San Matteo Church just south of Caruggi contains the tomb of Andrea Doria, Genoa's second most famous sailor whose family ruled the area for several centuries way back when. The Piazza San Matteo was their stomping ground. The main palace was given as a gift to Andrea Doria for being such a good sailor, defeating many enemies. You should consider visiting several other churches south of Caruggi including the Twelfth Century Duomo (Cathedral) San Lorenzo (St. Lawrence) with its San Lorenzo Treasury Museum home to a medieval silver and gold collection.

The Twelfth Century twin towers known as Porta Soprana mark the spot where an ancient Roman road entered the city. According to legend Christopher Columbus's father was a gatekeeper there. His alleged boyhood home is nearby. Some claim that it's a reconstruction and only worth a few minutes of your time, if at all. But you should see the towers.

The Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa's opera house, was originally built in the Nineteenth Century. Even though the famous opera composer Verdi spent some forty winters in Genoa, he had little connection with this building. He declined to compose an opera for the 1892 commemoration of Columbus's first voyage to America, saying that at the age of nearly 80 he was too old. This reason sounds good to me except that during the following year his very successful comic opera Falstaff first opened. Every year the Niccolo Paganini Violin Contest is held in this opera house.

Now we move north of Caruggi, Genoa's medieval center. We'll start in the same way as our southern tour ended, by looking at palaces. Via Garibaldi is a street just loaded with palaces; I counted fourteen but I may have missed some little ones. Let's look at three of them. The Sixteenth Century Palazzo Doria Tursi is the largest palace on the street. Constructed for a Genovese banker it later belonged to the Doria family before becoming the town hall. The Sixteenth Century Palazzo Bianco (White Palace) was donated to Genoa in 1894 on condition that it become an art gallery. The neighboring Seventeenth Century Palazzo Rosso (Red Palace) has also become an art museum hosting works by Titian, Van Dyck, and many others.

San Siro, Genoa's oldest church, was its cathedral from the Fourth to the Ninth Centuries. As befits its age it's dark inside. The Sixteenth Century Baroque Bascilica of the Most Holy Saint Annunziata was built beyond the city walls. It has a beautiful dome and lots and lots of great frescoes.

Genoa provides several distinctive transportation methods that are worth taking for their unique views. The Genova-Casella Railway goes from the northeastern Piazza Manin city center through the hilly, rugged and scenic countryside surrounding the city to the little town of Casella, population about three thousand, some nine miles (fourteen kilometers) to the northeast. Genoa's three different funicular (cable car) systems each offer great views of the hills that surround the city.

And now for the port. Even if you are not into visiting ports, you really should see Genoa's harbor. It's the largest port in all Italy, handling a full 10% of all port traffic within the country. It's fairly safe, especially if you don't wander around deserted areas at night. Since the 1992 celebration of Christopher Columbus's initial trip to America (he certainly didn't discover this hardly uninhabited part of the world) it has become a major cultural center. In October the Salone Nautico Internationale (International Boat Show) Europe's biggest takes place. We'll make a few stops to see some of the highlights starting with Il Bigo west of Caruggi and work our way north.

Il Bigo is a distinctive monument that was built for the 1992 Columbus commemoration. Take the Bigo Panoramic Elevator for an exceptional view of Genoa and its surroundings. If you so desire, you can ice skate in winter at the rink next door.

The Acquario de Genova (Genoa Aquarium) is the largest one in Europe and number two in the world, after Osaka, Japan. This is one of the most visited museums in all Italy. Its huge tanks reproduce the environment of the Mediterranean Sea and the oceans and contain over six hundred species. There's even a hummingbird room. The Galata Sea Museum shows the evolution of the port and the city starting from the late Medieval period to the present. In its Sala della Tempesta (Tempest Room) a ship simulator lets visitors experience the thrill of navigating a small boat through a heavy storm.

What about food? Liguria is most famous for its pesto, claimed to be the best in the world. It's simple to make: grab the nearest mortar and pestle and grind together basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Don't break a Ligurian's heart, don't make it in a blender. Serve with fresh pasta. And don't forget the wine.

Let's suggest a sample menu, one of many. Start with Zuppa di Acciughe (Anchovy Soup). Then try Cima alla genovese (Cold Stuffed Breast of Veal.) For dessert indulge yourself with Amaretti (Almond Cookies.) Be sure to increase your dining pleasure by including local wines with your meal.

We'll conclude with a quick look at Liguria wine. Liguria doesn't have a lot of room for wine grapes. It ranks number 19 among the 20 Italian regions for both the acreage devoted to wine grapes and the total annual wine production. About 34% of its wine is red or rosé, leaving 66% white. The region produces eight DOC wines. DOC stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, which may be translated as Denomination of Controlled Origin, presumably a high-quality wine. About 14% of Ligurian wine carries the DOC designation.

Val Polcevera DOC is the only DOC wine in the Genoa area. It seems to be a grab bag classification; there are eight different styles many of which have subdivisions. Red, white, rosé; dry, sweet; still, fizzy, sparkling, you name it they have it. But you will probably have to visit Liguria or some neighboring regions of Italy to taste any of them. To tell the truth, there are many better reasons for visiting this lovely area.

Cape Town: The city of beauty & History

I can just imagine the thoughts of Portuguese explorer Bartholemew Diaz, when he first discovered the Cape in 1488. Coming in from the sea to this glorious and mountainous landscape must have been wondrous! Cape Town has come a very long way from its initial stages as home to the nomadic Khoi people and later the Dutch settlers of Jan van Riebeek of the Dutch East India Company.

Now a truly international city of sprawling proportions, all the cliches that have been applied to Cape Town are completely true - the Mother City, The Most Beautiful City in the World.. All with a beautiful backdrop of the amazing Table Mountain.

Arrive in Cape Town at the Cape Town International Airport, and drive through a series of dilapidated, but interesting, townships to the city itself. So many international class hotels to choose from, both in the city and Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, and also in the surrounding suburbs. Choose also from a range of quality bed & breakfasts, guest houses and self-catering villas and apartments, for the perfect holiday accommodation.

Take the famed cable car up to the top of Table Mountain - what a glorious view of the city, Signal Hill and the surrounding areas! Meet the famous 'Dassies' or rock rabbits, that live on the summit - almost tame and very cute.

Visit the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and take a ferry to Robben Island where you can visit the jail cell occupied by Nelson Mandela for so many years, and enjoy the view of the mountain from the island.

While in the Waterfront, take a sailing cruise, harbour cruise, booze cruise or just relax in the many quality restaurants, cafes and bars. Got a bit of money so spend? Have a shopping spree in the luxurious Victoria Wharf shopping mall!

In the city itself, there are many shops, restaurants and cafes to explore, plus the Castle, and also the fascinating Bo-Kaap or Malay Quarter, with its wonderfully colourful houses. Hear the noon gun boom out as it has since 1806! The gun is situated on Signal Hill, just adjacent to the city.

High Tea - here's a treat - experience high tea at one of the luxury hotels. I highly recommended the Table Bay Hotel in the Waterfront and also the historic Mount Nelson Hotel near the Company Gardens for a treat DELUXE - with sandwiches, snacks and pastries, and delicious cakes and chocolate treats plus a range of tasty teas and coffee... you can always diet when you get home again!

Having explored the city to its fullest, go further afoot and visit gorgeous Camps Bay, popular seaside town with some amazing restaurants on the golden sandy beach front. The Atlantic Seaboard and the Cape Point Route have many lovely suburbs and towns, all with endless beaches and so much to explore.

Go to the famous Cape Winelands and visit the vineyards for wine tasting, delicious lunches, and beautiful views. I first drove through the wine lands soon after dawn, on a winter morning and the views were so lovely I could have cried! Frost on the hillsides, the dark reds and greens of the vines...

Take a trip down the famed Garden Route all the way along the coast to Plettenberg Bay and the nearby Tsitsikamma Forest. Along the route you will visit beautiful seaside towns, see the ostriches and Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn and experience real tranquility and beauty.

Visit the Overberg Region and the Whale Route - Hermanus is a historic little town with so many attractions including whale watching - the whales are so close, you could almost touch them!

All over the Cape Peninsula, golfers will find world-class golf courses to indulge their hobby, all with mountain or sea views.

All in all, Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula of South Africa are well worth the visit and you will never forget the time that you spent in this marvelous country.

Budapest The beauty Behind It

Often described as The Jewel of the Danube the Hungarian capital of Budapest is a glittering mix of ancient attractions and modern conveniences, combined to form a vibrant and beautiful city. Undoubtedly the brightest jewel on the Danube, present day Budapest was created in 1873 from the separate towns of Buda, Pest and Obuda. With its mountainous region of Buda, the hills drop abruptly into the river to a contrastingly flat Pest sitting on the opposite bank, the majestic Danube flowing between them, a city unspoiled by time. The definitive view of Budapest is that of Castle hill and the First District. Four bridges join Buda and Pest; the Chain Bridge, opened in 1894, and still the most recognizable symbol of the city, Margaret Bridge opened in 1876, giving access from the road to Margrit Island, a two and a half kilometre stretch of Parkland in the middle of the Danbube, Liberty Bridge, built for the Millennium celebrations and opened in 1896, with the Grand Market Hall at one end and the Gellert Hill at the other, and lastly Elizabeth Bridge, a long white cable bridge opened in 1964.

Budapest offers a unique blend of European cultural influences, all presented with a style that is distinctly Hungarian. There are centuries of history to explore through its abundant monuments and architectural sites, from Turkish baths to the turn of the Century architecture. Budapest has one of Europe's largest Parliaments, the largest functioning synagogue, and the continent's first underground railway. Visitors will find the remains of fortresses and buildings from Roman times, Gothic and Baroque buildings, incredibly rich Art Nouveau architectural heritage, and still operating Turkish baths. Budapest is richly endowed with natural springs of thermal waters possessing various medical properties, and it is these that supply the city's many thermal baths. No other capital city in the world can boast at having 100 thermal springs and 12 medicinal baths within its boundaries, where 19 million gallons of thermal water rise to the surface each day. Among its most precious treasures are its sixteenth century Turkish baths, as well as one of the larges bathing complexes anywhere in Europe, with thermal baths so warm that the outdoor pools are popular with bathers even in the depths of winter.

There is a huge range of cultural entertainment to choose from in this incredibly exciting, colourful and varied city of world culture, with 237 monuments, 223 museums and galleries, 35 theatres, 90 cinemas, 2 opera houses, 12 concert halls and nearly 200 places of amusement. There are theatrical performances and concerts of classical and light music every day, with both Hungarian artists and guests from all over the world. The city's mainstream cultural wedge features Andrasssy ut, Budapest's most beautiful boulevard lines with café's, restaurants and many designer shops. Budapest's very own Broadway crosses it at Nagymezo utca and the Opera House. The Liszt Academy is also comfortably ensconced here among many eclectic buildings.

Despite spectacular development, Budapest has preserved its old charm and magic. It is a city where the pleasing harmony of different architectural styles and superb structures , the care's, baths, the food and culture, combined with legendary hospitality blend into an unforgettable experience. The people of Budapest now enjoy an ever increasing calendar of festivals and cultural events that take place throughout the city, film festivals, jazz concerts, book fairs, to name but a few. It has a continental climate with cold, humid winters, temperatures between zero to minus fifteen centigrade, the river can freeze and it will often snow, you will find locals ice skating on the frozen boating lake, whilst across the park others enjoying the hot outdoor thermal baths. The summers are warm to hot with temperatures between twenty seven to thirty three degrees centigrade.

Hungary boasts 20 wine producing regions; the most favourable natural conditions make this country a prime location for the production of premium wines. You can visit the vineyards and wineries in almost all regions of the country. The most beautiful landscapes are to be found where the best wine is produced, Tokaj and Alfold in the sand of the Great Hungarian Plain. Several wine regions are found around Balaton where you will find the larges shallow lake in Europe. On the North, the combination of basalt volcano peaks and the water surface of the lake make these the most spectacular site of Hungary.

Hungary's unique cuisine has influences from the Central Asian Magyar founders of the nations, Turks, Germans, French Austrians, Czechs, Slovaks, Serbians and Croatians. Sauces rich in cream, delicacies such as goose liver, game such as boar and venison, hot fish soup, paprika stew, known as Hungarian Goulash, roast chicken with cottage cheese noodles. Fabulous deserts and pastries, strudels, tortes and the legendary gundel pancakes with runny chocolate sauce.

BudArpads offer you luxurious, inexpensive apartments to stay and will make your Budapest experience one to remember always. Our staff in England and Budapest are here to help make your stay in Budapest City Centre, one to remember always. Holiday in the wonderful city, Budapest.

Travel to Spain

With many tourists now choosing to travel to Spain, it's clear that it has become known throughout the world as a country that is exciting and fun to visit. This is because there are so many good places to visit in Spain. Places like the Costa Del Sol and Costa Blanca, and other towns and villages such as Alicante, Valencia, Granada, Benidorm, Murcia, Seville, and of course Madrid. Each offers a variety of attractions, entertainment, and recreational attractions. When you choose to go to Spain for your vacation what awaits you is a wonderfully entertaining experience, with a little something for everyone in your party to enjoy.

When choosing a vacation destination people generally want one that offers a fair amount of variety. We're looking for spot that has perfect weather, cultural attractions, beautiful natural surroundings, a wealth of history and culture and perfect beaches, and you have found vacation Nirvana. That's exactly what you get with a Spain vacation, and people take their vacation in Spain for the following reasons.

There are many resort areas to choose from, like Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol, where you can visit towns such as Alicante, Valencia, and Murcia. Or you could choose a vacation in a city such as Granada, Seville or Madrid.

There is virtually no end to the choice of Spanish destinations that will offer any vacationer a wonderful combination of entertainment and relaxation. If you travel with a family or a group, there is sure to be something for everyone.

With all these areas to choose from, with each offering its own unique type of experience, you're sure to find a spot that's perfect for your vacation.

It doesn't really matter where in Spain you decide to spend your vacation. You'll have a wonderful time and come away with memories that will last a lifetime. Many who go on a Spain Vacation leave already planning to return to Spain for their next vacation.