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.