Subscribe RSS

Archive for » March, 2009 «

Must See Places On Your First Paris Trip

Here are two of the more unusual facts that I’ve read recently about France and it’s capital Paris. For example, France is the most visited country in the world by tourists. Another strange one is that the most disappointing tourist attraction in the world in the Eiffel Tower. Who came up with these so called facts is not exactly clear but the truth is that there is plenty to see and do in France and Paris that you won’t be left twiddling your thumbs next time you plan a visit. Here is some must see things while you are there.

First stop is the Eiffel tower. Despite the above or even just so that you can have your own opinion, the Eiffel tower is a must do in Paris. Most people would recognize it as the first venue to visit in Paris and it provides a spectacular view when you get up to the top. The view is made better if you know what you are looking at so get a guide or map beforehand. Depending on the time when you visit Paris, the downside of the tower is the waiting. It can take a long time to get up to the top because of the queues. Winter time is better for queues and the view is just as good on most occasions.

The Louvre is one of the most famous museums and art galleries in the world without doubt and a must see when in Paris. Of course everyone wants to see the Mona Lisa and you may have to queue at times, but there are thousands of other paintings and exhibits that you could spend days wandering round.

There are plenty of other museums to see in Paris. One that might not get so much attention in the tour guides is the Rodin museum. Rodin is the Victorian era sculptor behind iconic statues such as the Thinker and the Kiss. The museum is actually set in a venue where he lived for a time. Many of the monuments and statues are outside, with the thinker in the front garden.

Montmatre is a district in the 18th arrondissment that is popular and picaresque. It garnered a reputation as a favorite haunt for many struggling artists during the 19th century that went on to become the central creative forces of the impressionist and surrealist movements. After that it has become a must see location for tourists and popular location for many films, both French and foreign. The square is a popular place to eat during the day and plenty of nightclubs off the beaten track to visit at night. The centerpiece is the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur. Not far from the metro exit you will find the sweep stars that will take you to the front of the Basilica (or you can take the railway funicular). 

The metro is a great transport system that can get you to most places in Paris and is reliable and efficient. Although this is just the tip of the iceberg of places to see when visiting Paris, for a first time tourist they are must see things if you are on a tight deadline.

You stay in Paris will be better if you learn some French. Visit Rocket French language for comprehensive reviews on some leading home study French courses that can help you to learn French quickly. You will find a review of Rocket French and Can you learn French with Rocket French in 3 months ?

Tips for Parking at Busy Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow, with over 90 airlines offering flights to over 200 domestic, European and international destinations, is a major worldwide transport hub. A phenomenal 67 million passengers use Heathrow airport every year and many like to leave their vehicles in the extensive Heathrow airport parking lots while they are away.

If you are inclined to drive to Heathrow and leave your car ready for your return then there are a few factors to consider.

Short term parking is ideal for dropping people off or meeting arrivals at the airport. It’s also suitable for short trips of maybe a few days or a long weekend. For longer trips you will need to use the long term parking facilities. It is vitally important to remember not to leave your car unattended in the pickup and set down areas outside the airport terminal buildings. Airport security will mean that your car is towed away and you will need to pay a release fee to get it back.

Heathrow actually provides some short term parking very close to the terminals that is particularly suitable for business travellers with frequent courtesy buses.

Long term parking is what you will need to use if your trip lasts more than a few days. If you are parking your car yourself it is important that you leave enough time to both find your car parking space and to transfer back to the airport terminal in time to check in ready for your flight. Most heathrow airport car parks operate transfer buses that run back and forth every 10 minutes.

Another option to consider is the excellent Heathrow meet and greet services. This means that you don’t have to worry about transfers to and from the car park. You don’t even have to worry about finding your car park. You are met at the airport by a professional driver who will expertly park your car for you. When you return your call will be retrieved from the car park by a professional driver who will have it waiting outside the terminal for you. You can even get your car cleaned while you are away.

Broadly speaking, these are the options available when considering Heathrow airport parking. But how to you get the best price?

Simple. All you need do is pay a visit to a good travel services comparison site like the one provided by gosimply.com. On this site you can quickly compare all of the Heathrow airport car parks, their locations, transfer times, security facilities and, importantly, prices. You will also be able to read honest, impartial reviews provided by previous users of the various traveller services. Then book your Heathrow parking space online and you will save up to 60% on the regular parking prices. There has never been an easier time to save money on travel services like this.

A Traveler’s Guide to the Iceland Customs

The Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland is littered with majestic volcanoes and glaciers. It is also a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, especially bird-watchers and whale-watchers. It is a dream come true for those who love outdoor adventure, as well, since it offers various activities such as horseback riding, skiing and whitewater rafting. Indeed, Iceland is a popular European tourist destination. Before you go on a trip there, though, it is good to learn some of the basic Iceland customs first.

Just like other Western countries, one of the customs in Iceland is to shake hands when greeting while saying ‘hello’. A kiss on the cheek is acceptable, too, along with the greeting ‘Sael’ or ‘Saell’, an expression which means ‘happiness’.

Another example of the customs in Iceland is to remove your footwear in the hallway when you enter an Icelander’s home. Also, don’t feel surprised if you receive an invitation to be a guest in someone’s home since it Icelanders are known to be good hosts. Go ahead and agree to come. Just be sure to buy a bouquet of flowers or a similar gift for your host before going.

More than likely, you will be asked to stay for lunch or dinner. Once at table, it will be good for you to know that you don’t need to say grace or any expressions or gratitude like ‘Bon Appetit’ or ‘Itadakimasu’. Simply eat the food you are served then express your gratitude to your host with a handshake when the meal is over.

Keep in mind, too, that believing in mysterious or ‘hidden’ beings such as elves and trolls is part of the traditions in Iceland, so don’t bring up the subject about them casually. Indeed, most of the unique and sometimes bizarre rock formations in Iceland is attributed to elves or trolls, Elf ‘habitats’ are protected, as well.

As a tourist in Iceland, you’ll also be glad to know that tipping is not one of the customs in Iceland. No one will expect you to tip or throw you a mean glance if you don’t, whether you’re at a hotel, cab or restaurant. Still, feel free to be generous when you want to.

Iceland is also a great Christmas destination, particularly because of the Christmas traditions in Iceland. These traditions include giving gifts for 13 days, particularly since Iceland has not one but 13 Santa Clauses and 26 days of Christmas! If you’re planning to spend the yuletide holidays there, don’t forget to say ‘Gleileg jol gott og fars!’, which is the Icelandic equivalent for ‘Merry Christmas’.

These are just some of the most common Iceland customs. True, there may be no law requiring you to follow them, but there is no harm in doing so. In fact, you might just be rewarded with a rich cultural experience and a more meaningful trip to Iceland.

Isabella Olsen is a writer who has explored major tourist destinations around the globe, including Iceland, by car. To book your car rental Iceland or learn more about cheap car hire worldwide, visit www.zencarhire.com.

Enjoy Magaluf Holidays

Break from all the usual holiday monotony and try Magaluf holidays. Travel to this amazing resort on the Spanish island of Majorca, in the city of Calvia, and experience a holiday to remember.

Magaluf is the complete vacation beach resort, with great entertainments and sunny weather all located on an amazing island. The area features landscapes that are certain to impress you, and is dotted with stunning beaches of white sand for all those who enjoy life by the sea. Magaluf is conveniently situated about fifteen miles (twenty four kms) from the main Majorca airport, making it very simple for you to getaway to this stunning island resort.

Experience Magaluf holidays in the restaurants, shops and hotels that dot this beautiful urbanized island. Magaluf is the place to be for the hip and trendy, with cool shops and a happening night life in the many lively bars and nightclubs to choose from in the resort. If you buy a Magaluf club pass, which is ideal for clubbers and party lovers, it will mean you can experience all the nightclubs on the island for one price.

Magaluf is also a great place for families, with two water parks and family friendly activities. For all the adventurers and thrill-seekers, there is bungee rocket, go kart racing, horseback riding, scuba diving, wind surfing and other various water sports and recreations. There are also popular dinner shows and cabarets as alternative forms of entertainment.

If you are tired of your holidays being cold, you can change that by making sure your holiday plans include traveling to Magaluf. Magaluf visitors nearly always enjoy good weather during their stay. Magaluf is famed for being a major holiday resort, so if you’re looking to escape to somewhere with nice weather and fun things to do, Magaluf should be your first choice.

Make sure you get out and explore on your Magaluf holidays. Dive into the undeniable beauty of the location and all it can provide. With such a huge range of activities to get involved with on Magaluf, the possibilities for fun in the sun are nearly endless. Magaluf is a great choice for your summer vacation. After you’ve experienced Magaluf once, you’ll want to come back for repeat visits. Choose Magaluf holidays today and experience the vacation of a lifetime.

Have You Tried A Tour Of Alaska?

Alaska

There are literally hundreds of Alaskan tours to choose from! Whether you’re bringing young children to show them wildlife, nature and a part of history, or taking a romantic and adventurous honeymoon adventure, there is something in Alaska for you. When most people think of cruises, the Bahamas or Hawaii comes to mind, but you can find fantastic seven-night expeditions in peak summer months for as low as $699 (primarily because most people head to Europe during the warmer months). Be sure to save enough money for your adventure to the 49th Us state, as there is no limit to what you can do on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

In Juneau, a classic Alaskan tour is the “Four Glaciers By Helicopter & Dog Sled Adventure.” On this once-in-a-lifetime expedition, you’ll soar over four real glaciers, which are the Taku, the Hole-in-the-Wall, Dead Branch and East Twin, while catching a bird’s eye view of moose, goats, bears and caribou. Then you will land on Norris Glacier where you’ll meet up with your Alaskan malamute and Alaskan husky dogsled team. Your guide will describe the 1,000-mile Iditarod Race that traverses from Anchorage to Nome. Your trip will include some hiking through crevasses and navigating streams for two hours of ethereal zen. This journey is for the fearless, the cold-insensitive, the adventurous and the athletic.

Calling all fishermen! Sitka offers a full-day excursion you won’t want to miss! It’s no secret that Alaska is home to some delicious seafood, particularly salmon, halibut and Alaskan king crab. This state is a beacon for any serious fisherman looking to fish the best of the best. The captain will take you to proven spots where you can troll for king, silver or chum salmon or anchor-and-jig a halibut. You’ll even be treated to lunch and snacks on this trip.

The town of Sitka is well-known for its Russian heritage and pride. When you visit this Alaskan town, you may want to take the “Historic Russian America, Raptor Center & Russian Dancers” tour. The Alaska Raptor Rehabilitation Center is an amazing sight to behold, with many birds of prey (including bald eagles) circling overhead and swooping by. You’ll see America’s first Russian Orthodox cathedral, see where the 1804 Battle of Alaska was bought and where the first Alaskan flag was flown in 1867. The Russian Folk Dance troupe will also entertain visitors of all ages. Whether visiting for the nature, the heritage, the fishing or the adventure…this is the place you won’t soon forget.

The Defense Travel System Is This What You Need

All the travel needs of American military or government members are covered by a complex structure known as the defense travel system. For a realistic picture of the way the Defense Travel System operates it suffices to mention that it is very similar to civilian travel or touristic websites where you can find nearly anything from hotels and restaurants to car rental, air lines and taxis. The regular use of the Defense Travel System requires the creation of a travel order that processed by several services for authorization, with the same order you can make vouchers at the end of the trip.

The creation of the travel orders can be performed individually too, but it may take longer to get the approval or one can even experience a failure to get authorization. This problem within the Defense Travel System results from the fact that the approval of a trip needs several reviewers who can give different interpretations to the requirements. Therefore every unit has an agent with special training in the defense travel system who can cover all the details. From the many tasks specific to DTS, the electronic routing and the travel authorization come among the first.

The Defense Travel System also deals with the online bookings and the different changes of itinerary whether they be about airlines, hotels or rented cars. Then, the payment, and the travel reconciliation also fall under its obligations together with the immediate reimbursement to travelers who get paid in less than three days. Furthermore, the Defense Travel System also tackles with the archiving of documents and the processing of the reports specific to its structures. The use of the DTS program is very advantageous for the traveler particularly since the online program variants are visitor friendly with great ease of navigation from screen to screen.

The latest software used in the programs of the Defense Travel System include secure sockets layer technologies that increase the time of response specific to the system while limiting the possible software incompatibilities. Starting from web-based tutorials, training for DTS is now available within the boundaries specified by the regulations of the Department of Defense; one can check the official Internet page for further details. Therefore, the chances for an increase in the number of users for the Defense Travel System are high given the fact that the support for the familiarization with the program is granted at full extent.

I hope you have been able to gain something from this article, thanks for reading.

For further free travel help be sure to try visiting Caribbean Jamaica Travel.

History of Medan Indonesia

Medan Indonesia

Medan City

Medan North Sumatra is the 3rd largest city in Indonesia. Located in Sumatera Utara of Indonesia with a population of 2.5 millions residents. It is said that during day time, the population of Medan City will grow to about 4 millions with people coming from suburbs.

The unique thing about Medan is that, it resides the largest volcanic lake in world known as Lake Toba which is twice the size of it neighboring country of Singapore.

History of Medan Indonesia

Medan started as a village called Kampung Medan (Medan Village). Kampung Medan was founded by Guru Patimpus around the 1590s. As Kampung Medan sits on Tanah Deli (Land of Deli), Kampung Medan is also referred as Medan-Deli. The original place of Medan Village is an area where the Deli River meets Babura River.

Based on the diary of the Portuguese merchant in early 16th century, it stated that the name of Medan was actually derived from Medina which is actually a holy city in the western of Saudi Arabia. However, other source indicated that the name of ‘Medan’ actually came from Indian language “Meiden”. One of the Karo-Indonesia dictionary written by Darwin Prinst SH published in 2002 wrote that Medan could also be defined as “recover” or “be better”.

The first inhabitants of Medan came from the Batak Karo community. It was not until the Sultan of Aceh, Sultan Iskandar Muda, sent his warlord, Gocah Pahlawan Laksamana Khoja Bintan, to be the Sultanate of Aceh’s representative in Tanah Deli, that the Sultanate of Deli started to grow. This growth stimulated growth in both the population and culture of Medan City. In the second year reign of Sultan Deli (between 1669-1698), there was a cavalry battle in Medan.

Medan did not experience significant development till the 1860s, when the Dutch colonialists began clearing the land for tobacco plantations. Medan quickly became a center of government and commercial activity, dominating development of Indonesia’s western region.

The Dutch governed Tanah Deli from 1658, after Sultan Ismail, ruler of the Kingdom of Siak Sri Indrapura, yielded some of his once-ruled land, Deli, Langkat, and Serdang. In 1915 Medan officially became the capital of North Sumatra Province, and officially a city in 1918.

With the largest volcanic lake in the world, Sumatra Lake Toba , Medan is a city worth visiting for your vacation deals in Asia Indonesia

Visit www.MedanKu.com for more information about Medan Massage

Download Medan city guide, budget travel guide and see more pictures and videos of Medan Indonesia.

Caribe Cove Resort: There’s More to Orlando than Meets the Eye

There is more to Florida than the wealth of theme parks in the Orlando area. Orlando city has a wide range of sights, places to eat with many of these available along International Drive where it is possible to park the car and take a stroll. People come back here every year because they know it is where they will find everything they could possibly want.

If you are an animal lover then you one place you must visit is the Central Florida Zoological Park in Sanford which was opened to the public in 1975 and houses a collection of over 400 hundred animals. They are a charitable privately owned organization that are dedicated to protecting exotic animals and those that originated in Florida as well as provide classes and events for children.

When seeing the sights you need to plan a stop at The Orlando Science Center. Located about twenty minutes from the Orlando Airport, you can find the super complex that was built in 1955. It sports over 2,000 square feet of space and over ten halls. The International Trolley and Train Museum has fourteen trains running simultaneously in mountains, wilderness and urban areas; including three waterfalls that use 12,000 gallons of water per hour.

There are plenty of resorts to chose from and a good place to check them out is the Trip Advisor website where you will find plenty of unbiased reviews, including the ‘candid’ travellers photos as opposed to the often unrecognizable official hotel ones. Our newest resort, Caribe Cove in Kissimmee, may well soon be our most popular, too. Caribe Cove Resort is a platinum rated resort in a quiet location, yet close enough to the action, with enormous condos and first class decor and furnishings. It is surrounded by lush wetlands yet still only minutes from Disney and provides a real oasis to return to after a frenetic day at the parks and attractions of Orlando. There’s no need for ‘candid’ photos at this resort as what you see is really what you get!

Exploring Europe’s Medieval Heritage through the Romanian Castles

Whether you’re a student of architecture, a historian fascinated by the medieval times in Europe or a tourist simply looking for new sights to admire, Romania should definitely be on your list of places to see. Why? Simply because Romania is filled with medieval architectural wonders, the most notable of which are the magnificent Romanian castles located in Central Romania.

Indeed, the Romanian castles are attractions worth seeing for anyone planning a trip to Romania. Dating back to as far as the 13th century, these imposing structures used to be the homes of Saxon nobility – a fact attested to by their luxurious interiors and austere defenses. Because of this, some of them have also been considered as World Heritage Sites.

The Calnic Castle near Sibiu is one such castle. Also known as the Calnic Fortified Church, this castle was built by Count Chyl de Kelling in the 13th century. It is well known for its defensive structures, particularly its high walls and the five-storey tall Siegfried Tower, which, today, serves as the castle’s museum.

The most popular among the Romanian castles, though, is the Bran Castle in Brasov, which is also a national monument. Its beautiful turrets and majestic walls make it a must-see for anyone on a trip to Romania, although most of its fame comes from its nickname – Dracula’s Castle – and the mysterious legends that go with it. While the legend may never be proved, the rumor that Vlad Tepes used to live there is enough to lure flocks of tourists every year. 

Another popular Romanian castle is the Corvinesti Castle, the former residence of Prince Iancu, one of Romania’s most famous rulers. Located in Hunedoara, it is considered as the country’s greatest, particularly because of its impressive drawbridge, vast halls and more than 50 chambers decorated with medieval art.

The Peles Castle in Sinaia also stands out, not just among the Romanian castles, but among all the castles of Europe. After all, it is not only considered an outstanding example of Neo-Renaissance architecture, but is also the most stunning castle in Europe, boasting an extensive collection of art and ornate furniture. Peles Castle is also the first castle in Europe to be powered by electricity.

Although not considered as one of the Romanian castles, the Palace of Culture is also a popular destination of those visiting Romania. With 298 rooms, it is one of the largest buildings in Romania. It is also home to four museums, namely the Museum of Art, Museum of History, Museum of Science and Technology and Museum of Ethnography.

Other Romanian castles you can visit include the Fagaras Castle, the Valea Viilor Fortress and the Mogosoaia Palace, as well as other minor castles and fortresses. True, they may not be as grand as the major castles, but they can still make your trip to Romania one worth remembering for years to come.

Isabella Olsen is a writer who has travelled to global tourist destinations such as Romania by car. To book your car hire Romania or learn more about car rental worldwide, visit www.zencarhire.com.

How to Save on Your Family Holidays in Poland

Spending family holidays in Poland can put a strain on your budget. However, like in any other activity, there are ways to cut down on expenses while still touring the Polish historic landmarks and having a memorable vacation in Poland.

One way to save on your trip to Poland is to book a cheap car hire. Indeed, renting a car isn’t just less expensive than booking group tours. It also allows you to choose more affordable places for dining, shopping and lodging.

Reserving a car hire is also more enjoyable than touring Poland on a bus with strangers. You’ll have the chance to visit each historic town and attraction again and again, while having more private moments with your loved ones.

You can also save on your family holidays in Poland by not staying at a hotel. Rather, spend the night in a private room, a pension house or an apartment for rent. These offer much more affordable rates than hotels. You can opt to stay at a hostel, too – if you can tolerate the curfew or share the floor with school groups, that is.

You might want to consider having your meals at out-of-the-way cafes or milk bars, too. Milk bars are like the Polish fast food restaurants and therfore, serve cheap food, while still allowing you to sample the local cuisine and culture.

Another way to save while spending your family holidays in Poland is by doing your shopping in quaint little souvenir shops all over Poland rather than shopping in Warsaw. You might get better finds, too.

Last but not least, try not to schedule your trip to Poland during the peak season, particularly July and August. During these months, it will be harder to find cheap accomodations. You’ll have to find your way through crowds at the tourist attractions, too.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your family holidays in Poland and look forward to the experience of a lifetime. Cutting down on expenses doesn’t mean cutting down on the fun, after all. As long as you get to spend time with your family in one of the best tourist destinations in the world, you’re still bound to have a journey to remember.

Isabella Olsen is a writer for various travel magazines who has toured global tourist destinations by car. To book your Poland car hire or learn more about cheap car hire worldwide, visit www.zencarhire.com.