Monday, December 31, 2007

Ireland, Dublin, Cork City and Belfast


When I was in Europe in the 70's in Belgium, I did take the hovercraft over to United Kingdom. Only problem was, my visit was confined to London. I regretted not venturing further, for the Republic of Ireland, the third largest island in Europe,[1] and the twentieth largest island in the world, is just next door. I missed visiting Dublin, its capital city.

I had faced lots of difficulties and wasted much precious finding accommodation when I was traveling around Europe in the 70s which could have been better spent enjoying the sights and sound of the places I visit. Now with the convenient Internet, I can just book online my accommodation at online booking websites like Ireland Hotels


Dublin is not only the vibrant capital city of Ireland, it is also its economic, administrative and cultural center and largest city. It boasts of interesting nightlife full of pubs and tourist attractions. My colleague talks proudly of pub crawling as a student in Australia. If you like that, you can do exactly the same thing in Dublin. If you have interest to see an intricately decorated New Testament text dating back to 800 AD named Book of Kells, go to Trinity College, Ireland's oldest and most prestigious college.

A good day for you to plan your visit to Dublin will be on St. Patrick's Day on 17th March when a big parade will march through the city. It is part of a part of a five-day festival, a celebration of Irish culture as well as a Christian festival. See those attractive ladies in the photo above. Wouldn't you like to be there to watch? Online accommodations booking is available at Dublin Hotels

Cork City

Cork City, the administrative capital center of County Cork, Province of Munster is Ireland's third most populous city after Dublin and Belfast. You can find interesting sidestreets like the one in the photo above with sidewalk cafe.

It hosts many festivals, including

  • Midsummer Festival from mid June to mid July
  • .
  • Film Festival from the beginning of October

  • Jazz Festival on the last weekend of October

The Midsummer Festival is a month long festival when lovers of theatre, music, art, poetry plus others can enjoy them throughout the city during this period. During the Cork City Film Festival, film lovers get to watch not only Irish, but also international films. Cork City host one of Europe's largest jazz festival which from year to year brings together great jazz musicians from around the world. All these has helped Cork City earned the honor of being called a festival city.

Visitors to Cork City can book their accommodation at Cork Hotels

Belfast City

Belfast is the capital of the Province of Ulster of Northern Ireland which is a constituent country of the United Kingdom, . It is the second largest city of Ireland. If you are put off by the more expensive Dublin, you can enjoy a nice and cheaper vacation in Belfast. Belfast is sprouting new hotels, bars, restaurants, clubs and shops every day and is becoming a great vacation city. You will also enjoy the sight of beautiful gardens and great Victorian and Edwardian architecture like what you see in the photo above.

Instead of strive and killing that has wrecked Belfast in the past, you will find peace and prosperity. If you visit Belfast, it is likely you will be greeted warmly by its inhabitants, and if you patronise the numerous pubs and bars, its local patrons will be curious as to what brought you to Belfast and probably eagerly share a little bit of the history of Belfast with you. It will be a great change from that tourist trap, London.

Online accommodation booking is available from Belfast Hotels .

Friday, December 21, 2007

Australia's serviced apartments: Home away from home

Australia, the lucky country

Thia nickname "The Lucky Country" originated from a book with the same title published in 1964 by Donald Horne. Australia has vast resources, freedom from many plants and other diseases that plague other less fortunate countries, a huge land mass and a low population density.

Why visit Australia, the lucky country

There is the Gold Coast, the Great Barrier Reef, the wonder architecture of Sydney's Opera House which I understand took them a fortune to construct, the very unique Flora, fauna and animals found no where else in the world, Uluru (Ayers rock), parents attending their children's graduation ceremony and much more. Especially if it is the later, you are likely to bring an entourage of your family. And for this, hotels are not the best accommodations you should seek, for they are not meant for large groups. Serviced apartments are more suitable.

What are serviced apartments

Serviced apartments are much similar to normal apartments. With normal apartment, you will have to sign a long term contact and cannot check out at your whims and fancies. Serviced apartments do not need fixed contracts and renters can check-out anytime they want. You can stay for a few days to a few months depending on your plans.

Advantages and serviced apartments

What are the advantages of serviced apartments over hotels especially for large groups? Serviced apartment compared to hotels are generally cheaper, have more room and are good for families or for staying for longer periods with a degree of independence, including the freedom to cook your own meals if you are up to it. That freedom can save you a lot of money compared with having to eat out. It is very much like a home away from home.

Serviced apartments in Australia

There are many serviced apartments for visitors to Australia spread all over the vast country. Among them are:

Brisbane, Queensland

Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland and is located beside the Pacific Ocean. It is the third largest city in Australia.

Serviced apartments in Brisbane

Astor hotel or serviced apartment BrisbaneYou can book serviced apartments online at Brisbane Accommodation

Among the hotels in Brisbane, you will find that the Astor Apartments are strategically located very close to Brisbane's busy CBD (Central Business District) being a short 200 metres from the Central Railway Station. There are plenty of Cafes and Restaurants, entertainment, leading businesses and the city's premier shopping district, the Queen Street Mall which are just a short walk away.

There are many room types, but all are smartly furnished with modern facilities with convenience of home facilities, separate bedrooms and private balconies and if you like to look apartments with city views, they have that. You get spacious layouts with the comforts of home. Get the bigger sized one with two bedroom and they will have space and comfort for the daily, weekly or long term guest for business or holiday.

Even one bedroom apartments have separate master bedroom and bathroom. Two bedroom apartments will get you a master bedroom with en suite plus two single beds in the second bedroom with a separate bathroom. You get complimentary safe covered car parking. You can relax by the pool, have a spa and sauna, organize a barbecue on the pool deck at Astor Apartments.

Adelaide, South Australia (City of Festivals)

Adelaide is the capital city of of South Australia situated on eastern side of Gulf Saint Vincent on the Adelaide Plains, north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, and west of the Mount Lofty Ranges. It has been nicknamed "The City of Churches" because in its early history, it has great religious freedom. Modern Adelaide is now famous for its many festivals, wine, arts and sports. If I remember correctly, it is also referred to as a City of Festivals hosting numerous festivals like the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Fringe Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, Adelaide Festival of Ideas, Adelaide Writers' Week, the Feast Festival and WOMADelaide, Australia's premier world music event.

Serviced apartments in Adelaide

Vines apartments, AdelaideOnline booking are available at Adelaide Accommodation. One of the apartments in Adelaide you can book via them is Vines Apartments which is rated 4 stars out of a possible maximum 5 by that site. You can book a Vines Apartment at last minute prices from AUD 84, but this will vary from time to time. For group bookings services for conference, Cheaperthanhotels have a partnership with The Vines Apartments Adelaide to provide for conference, weddings or tour groups.

Vines Apartments have luxury fully furnished, self contained studio style apartments right in the middle of Melbourne Street, North Adelaide nested amongst restaurants and cafes. It is only a short walk from the well known River Torrens, the city center, various hospitals, universities and park lands. Include in the package is a weekly clean.

Its address is

81-91 Melbourne Street
North Adelaide, S

Perth, Western Australia

Perth is the capital city of Western Australia, and among the fastest growing Australian city located in south west Australia next to the Indian Ocean. The scenic Swan River flows through the central business district and suburbs of Perth. It is one of the most isolated city in the world and is closer to East Timor and Jakarta than any major Australian city. The nearest Australian city is Adelaide, 2,104 kilometres away.

Serviced apartments in Perth

Duke's apartments, PerthA good place to look for apartments is Perth Accommodation. Among others, Cheaperthanhotels have a special arrangement with Duke's Apartments for group booking for conferences, weddings or tour groups. It is rated 3 stars if star rating is important to you.

You can get luxury self-contained 2 and 3 bedroom apartments in Duke's Apartments, central Perth. It is designed like a resort with pool, spa, sauna and gym. You can sleep 5 – 8 people for the just the price of a hotel room.

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne located at the Port Phillip Bay, South-east Australia's, is the state capital of Victoria. It is a major commerce industrial center plus numerous cultural activity. Melbourne has been called Australia's "sporting and cultural capital" and is host to many of Australia's significant cultural and sporting events and institutions. You can find a mix of Victorian and contemporary architecture in Melbourne. A distinctive feature of Melbourne is its extensive tram network. It also boasts of many Victorian parks and gardens. Melbourne is a diverse and multicultural city. It had the distinction of playing host to the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Melbourne was the capital city of Australia when the nation was first formed in 1901. However, it has now been replaced by the new, purpose-built capital, Canberra, in 1927. The Federal Parliament of Australia is now located in Canberra.

Serviced apartments in Melbourne

Park Squire Motor Inn And Serviced Apartments, MelbourneMy daughters graduated in Melbourne universities. Had I gone with an entourage of my family for their graduation ceremonies, I would have booked via Melbourne Accomodation a serviced apartment like Park Squire Motor Inn And Serviced Apartments. It will not be cheap to feed a family via eating out in restaurants, especially at the unfavorable currency exchange rates, plus the fact that my bank account had been depleted by my daughters' living expenses and tuition fees during their studies. It would have reduced my expenses a great deal.

And just like the apartments mentioned above, Cheaperthanhotels have a partnership agreement with Park Squire Motor Inn And Serviced Apartments to provide group bookings services for conference, weddings or tour groups. Good thing my daughters did not get married there for even though we may get special rates, hosting wedding receptions there will definitely be more than what it will cost us in our home country.

Monday, December 17, 2007

New Zealand, a unique place in the world

New Zealand, a very unique island country in the world

New Zealand is a very unique country comprising 2 large main Islands and several other small islands. It was for a long time unpopulated by human was about probably the last country to be populate sometime between around AD 800 and 1300. It boast of many unique flora and fauna seen nowhere else in the world because of its isolation. Before the arrival of humans, New Zealand only have animals that can swim or fly such as seals, sea lions, whales and bats. There were only insects and birds, some flightless ones like the Kiwi, the Moa and the Kakapo, and there were no predators to hunt them down. The Polynesians who first landed on the islands brought with them the Polynesian Rat (Kiore) and domesticated dogs. Europeans that arrived later brought cattle, sheeps, pigs, etc. Many of the imported animals drove the indigenous species to extinction, but there are still many unique to New Zealand you can see nowhere else in the world. And I am sure travelers to New Zealand will be glad to know that there are no man eating animals or snakes there.

You will get to see active volcanoes, ancient native forests, prehistoric glaciers and isolated island sanctuaries that will give you a unique experience. New Zealand is also bless with many world heritage sites (sites that have been recognised by UNESCO as having outstanding natural or cultural value. These include Tongariro National Park, Te Wahipounamu and the Subantarctic Islands.

Tonggariro National Park by Gemma Longman

Dent Island, one of New Zealand Sub-Antarctic islands by Twiddleblat

Dent Island, one of New Zealand Sub-Antarctic islands
Te Wahipounamu UNESCO world heritage site by Manuel

New Zealand is really a unique place in the world and worthwhile visiting. For accommodation, the environmentally way is to book online using the environmentally friendly Internet and one which I would have used when I was traveling around Europe in the 70s had it been available. Would have saved me a lot of headache, a lot of precious time, and I believe probably a lot of money too.

New Zealand hotels

Now there are online accommodation booking websites like New Zealand Hotels.

Auckland and Auckland hotels

Auckland is located in the North Island of New Zealand and is the largest city and most populous of the New Zealand. It also has the distinction of having the largest Polynesian population of the world. Auckland is blessed with a warm-temperate climate. In summer, it is warm and humid summers while in winter it is mild and damp. For booking accommodation online, try Auckland Hotels.

Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand

Wellington is the capital city of the New Zealand located at the southern tip of the North Island. You will find an active art center and nightlife in Wellington and café going is a way of life. The Te Papa Tongarewa (the Museum of New Zealand) is located in Wellington. For culture, you have the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. The International Festival of the Arts is held on a biennial basis in Wellington.

For booking accommodation online, try Wellington Hotels


The regional capital of Canterbury is Christchurch and it is the largest city in the South Island. The scenic Avon river flows through the center of the city. The Cathedral Square located in the center of Christchurch houses Christ Church, an Anglican cathedral. It is a popular tourist attraction, particularly the speakers' corner popularized by Ian Brackenbury Channell, the Wizard of New Zealand.

Other attractions include Cashel Street, Christchurch's urban mall which is closed to traffic and open to pedestrian only. At one end of the mall is the Bridge Of Remembrance and at the other end is Hack Circle, an amphitheatre.

You may also be interested in parks like the Botanical Gardens, Hagley Park, Mona Vale, Riccarton House and Bush. Other places of interest include the Canterbury Museum, Ferrymead Heritage Park, Orana Wildlife Park, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Air Force Museum, Southern Encounter Aquarium and Kiwi House, International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch Art Gallery, the Christchurch Arts Centre, the Timeball Station in Lyttelton, the New Brighton pier, Heathcote Gondola, punting on the river Avon (see photo below)

punting on the river
Punting on a river by Zakgollop

For booking accommodation online, go to Christchurch Hotels.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

eBay of vacation cruises: Cheap way to go on vacation curise

By now, I believe all visitor to this website would have heard of eBay where you can get bargains of all kind of things. I have purchased stuff like stepper motors, servo motors, etc. on Even put up for sale myself on my country's local eBay which charge no listing fees. Hard to sell because I was not prepared to deliver, which means I limit my market to a very small area. But did sell off a set of stuff I wanted to get rid of at huge discount to the price I bought for it. But because of the low reserve price, someone was prepared to travel great distance to take delivery of it. Just shows you can often get real bargains, for what I sold through the auction was more than a bargain. It was practically a giveaway. You can see what I sacrificed for a paltry sum at Sherline lathe with stepper motors and drivers.

Now introducing the eBay of vacation cruises - cheap vacation cruises!!!! have auctions that begin with a $1 open and no reserve prices. With luck, you can get a vacation cruise bargain as good as that guy who got a whole set of useful stuff from me, and probably even better! And just like eBay, there often is a "Buy it now" option so you need not wait for the auction to end and book your bargain vacation cruise on the spot.

There are lots of choices like Carnival Cruise or Norwegian Cruise.

So wish you good luck, happy bidding and hope you get your dream vacation cruise at less than bargain price.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

San Diego, lovely weather, lovely beaches

I traveled to San Diego, South California, United States of America in the 1980s. San Diego is a nice city to visit, with pleasant weather and many lovely beaches. I am not the only person who like to visit San Diego, as many others from the neighbouring states of Arizona and Nevada flock in droves to San Diego in summer to escape the searing heat. My sister-in-law lives in Yuma, Arizona, and she is one of those temporary migrants.

San Diego is also very near to the Mexican border with the border town, Tijuana, just 16 miles away. Many who visit San Diego as well as San Diego's own residents go to Tijuana to buy fake brand-name clothing and accessories, prescription drugs plus for cheap entertainment. There are many night clubs at Tijuana. I went there, but didn't buy anything nor did I go to any night clubs.

But the lovely beaches in San Diego is attractive enough and you don't really need to travel to Tijuana to enjoy yourself. One of the more popular beach is Mission Beach, but is not the only one, there are many. If you are only a visitor like me, and not a resident of San Diego, obviously you will need to rent accommodation. One of the places you can book online is San Diego beach rentals. They offer say they everything from basic vacation rentals to luxury vacation rentals and San Diego beach house. If you are more interested in Mission Beach, you can browse through their selection of Mission Beach rentals.

If you do go to San Diego and took some nice digital photographs, I hope you will upload them to Flickr or similar photo web host, and leave a comment with the URL of your album of lovely places in San Diego for all of us to enjoy. They say "sharing is caring" and I hope you care enough to share your experiences in San Diego with others who are not so fortunate. I would had digital cameras being in existence when I visited San Diego 20 years ago.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

World Wide Vacation Rental Directory

Introducing a world wide vacation rental directory - vacation rental by owner. Would you happen to be a vacation rental property owner or manager in any part of the world? That directory is where you can list your property or properties for prospective renters. All you need to do is to create a Goin2Travel account, select a listing option, submit your property listing information and photos. Your listing will be on the web within minutes and you can start getting inquiries and accepting reservations.

With a Goin2Travel account, you will get a detailed web page where you can tell visitors about the good things about your vacation rental property, add in photos, include details of rates and provide your contact information. You can put in unlimited text, you will get your very own Goin2Travel web page with a link to your personal website and you can login to edit your page on a 24 hours day, 7 days a week basis.

Would you happen to own vacation rental property or properties in Myrtle Beach, a resort town along South Carolina's coast which gets more than ten million visitors each annual holiday season? Or if you are just a traveler looking for vacation rentals in Myrtle Beach? Whichever, do check out Myrtle Beach vacation rentals.

Or perhaps you have interest in something further down the United States of America's Eastern coast - Miami Beach? This World Wide Vacation Rental Directory have a site Miami Beach vacation rentals for that popular place too.

In fact from what I see, they have covered pretty much the whole globe, except for a few blank spot. But don't be surprised if you check later after this post is published, that those blank spots have been filled up too, for it don't look like the people running the directory is just sitting down idly but going all out to promote the site so all you vacation rental property or properties owners or managers will get your money worth when you list your vacation rental property or properties with them.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Advantages of online accommodation booking

Disadvantages of not booking accommodation ahead of arrival when traveling

I had traveled extensively around Europe in the 70's when there was no such thing as Internet. I had to hunt for accommodation only on arrival, which is not something pleasant. I had to waste time and energy going from hotel to hotel to find something to suit what I want and/or within my budget. Those time could have been spent doing sight seeing or other activities which were the reasons for me to travel there. Particularly, if you travel during the peak seasons, you may not be able to find the accommodation you need at all, in which case your other choice will be in the railway station or the airport. And if you happened to be traveling during autumn or winter when it is cold, it is going to be a very unpleasant experience.

Advantages of not booking accommodation ahead of arrival when traveling

Thanks largely to Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web arrived on the scene, and not only that, through his insistence and efforts, it remained largely free for the public to use. With that came along sites that help travelers book accommodation easily ahead of arrival, and not only that, do it conveniently from the comfort of their home and also possibly instantly. No waiting. You can also do comparison shopping easily before making your decision without having to, put it crudely, lift your butt off the comfort of your seat.

One of those online accommodation sites is Whistler accommodation, a vacation rental company based in Whistler, British Colombia, Canada, offering a wide variety of properties for rent all year round. They specializes in ski resorts, many of them ski-in, ski-out with wood-burning fireplaces and private hot tubs. According to their site, they can organise a fully-catered holiday which may include particular request such as the services of a masseuse in your chalet every evening or a cosy condo with a log fire a stone’s throw from the village. And all this with a simple email. What can be more convenient than that and how I wished Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee was born earlier. My travel around Europe in the 70s would have been much more pleasant then.

Depending on your preferences, you may go for Whistler condo rental which would be more suitable for those traveling as a big family or in a large group, and you want such facilities as a kitchen or kitchenette so you can cook your own meals and not have to spend more money eating out in expensive restaurants.

Holiday Whistler Accommodations seem to have a lot of choices for you to pick from such as this gem - Cedar Ridge 17 located in Benchlands, Alberta. You can see a photo of its interior below:

According to its descriptions, Cedar Ridge 17 is a ski-in, ski-out townhome on the lower slopes of Blackcomb Mountain within a 30-second or less walk to the slopes. It says it has a spacious hallway, powder room, storage area, sunken living room, spacious dining plus entertainment area with cedar-lined vaulted ceiling with wood-burning fireplace, a and spacious dining area. fully-equipped kitchen, a large deck with sunken private hot tub overlooking the valley plus 3 bedrooms; one with a queen-size bed plus twin beds and one with 2 bunk beds plus separate twin beds, all downstairs.

Upstairs is a very spacious master bedroom with ensuite bathroom and a private deck looking up the hill.

They claim to have 2 parking places for cars, one a private garage and another one on the private driveway. However, there will be no more parking visitors' cars.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Daytona and Myrtle Beach and the rest of the world

The United States of America is a huge country with an area of 3.7 million square miles (9.6 million km²) and over 300 million people with a very wide range of weather, geographical features, people, etc. There is a wide choice of places to visit for resident and well as non-US resident. It is not unusual for US residents of the north to travel south to escape the harsh cold winter.

Among the places they may go to for warmer weather is Daytona in Florida. One often associate the name Daytona with speed because of the world famous NASCAR track that hosts the annual Daytona 500 as well as other racing related events. There is also Daytona USA which is an interactive motor sports theme park with an antique car museum. There are also the Daytona Bike week normally held in February and Biketoberfest in October which attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.

Spring Break Daytona Beach has a long tradition that takes place on miles of sandy beaches with Spring Break activity, pool deck parties, hot Daytona Beach Clubs like the Ocean Deck, Razzles, and 600 North.

With all these, Daytona sound like a great place to visit. Unless you are a Daytona resident, you will of course need accommodation which you can easily chose and book online via Daytona vacation rentals.

Myrtle Beach in South Carolina is also a warm and popular destination for vacationers from around the States, Canada and abroad. The Grand Strand is a 60-mile crescent of beach with clean, wide beaches and a great variety of recreation, entertainment, dining and shopping. If Myrtle Beach sounds like a place you like to visit, you can chose and book your accommodation online via Myrtle vacation rentals.

If neither of these places interest you, there are still lots of places around the world you can go for your vacations and you will find a great variety of accommodations available from vacation rentals.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Take TGV trains rather than fly when in France

There are various ways of travelling - road, rail (trains), fly, etc. In France, the is an extensive network of TGV trains connecting major cities travelling at very high speed. Actually, TGV trains connect not only French cities, but also some cities in Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany, Netherlands and United Kingdom via the Channel (tunnel under the English Channel connecting Folkestone, Kent in the United Kingdom to Coquelles near Calais in northern France. Let us compare travelling via air flights and travelling via high speed TGV trains.


Flying involve very expensive airplanes flying at high altitudes. Much precious and depleting fossil fuel need to be used to get the planes up to the high altitudes. There is the noise pollution on take off and landing which residents near airports have to put up with. The burning of fuel, a precious, increasingly expensive and depleting fossil fuel, releases greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. The contrails (vapor trails or condensation trails and artificial cirrus clouds caused by the exhaust of aircraft engines) left at 30,000ft act to further magnify a plane's climate change impact. Further, the planes are spewing air pollutants such as nitrates, ash and sulfates at high altitudes, some of which deplete ozone in the atmosphere, a protective layer crucial for protecting life on Earth from the Sun's harmful rays. The Royal British Commission on Environmental Pollution estimated in 2002 that commercial airline emissions are a major contributor to global warming, and urged governments to draft policies to encourage train travel instead where feasible. It seems the Lonely Planet guide to Paris recommend taking the train too.

In addition to all the above, airports are usually located far away from the city centers which is the normal initial departure and destination points of air travellers. The travelling time plus the check-in time, time needed to go through custom and immigration procedure plus the security checks after 9/11 contribute to the total travelling time, and for short travel, it is not unusual for train travel to be faster and more convenient as train stations are located very close, if not within city centers.

TGV trains

TGV ("train à grande vitesse" translated from French to English "high-speed train") is France's high-speed rail service first developed by GEC-Alsthom (now Alstom) and SNCF, the French national rail operator. TGV train has expanded from connecting major cities in France to connecting cities in adjacent countries like Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. It also connects to the United Kingdom via the Chunnel (underground tunnel beneath the English Channel between France and United Kingdom). While it has been recorded to travel at 574.8 km/h (357 mph), in commercial use, it can travel at speed up to 320 km/h (200 mph). In addition to its high speed which can rival air travel, it also have the advantage of having the railway stations located near or even within city centers. Thus for short journeys, especially for travel within France, you can probably reach your final destination in shorter time compared with air travel.

Travelling with TGV trains are also safe according to Wikipedia. The TGV trains has not recorded a single fatality due to accident while running at high speed although there had been fatalities while travelling on lignes classiques (traditional lines, that is, collisions at low speed at railway crossings, etc.). Travelling in the more spacious TGV trains is probably more comfortable than in the cramped space in an airplane.

The most extensive network of TGV trains is in France, and in my opinion, it is a much better idea to use the TGV trains than fly when travelling within France. Travelling is one thing. The other thing you will need is accommodation. You can book that online at Hotels in France. Most visitors will be staying in Paris, the capital, and for that, book your accommodation at Hotels in Paris. They have a Lowest Rate Guarantee. If you can get a rate lower than the best available Internet rate on another web site for the same hotel/accommodation, on the same dates, just inform them within 24 hours of booking your room(s) with them, and they will honour that rate for the night(s) for which the lower rate was found and refund you the difference.

If you read Spanish, you can look for accommodation in Francia Hoteles

Monday, July 16, 2007

Travel Insurance for Australians

People of all nationalities, age groups, health conditions, etc. travel within outside of their country for various reasons. Some travel for business reasons. Some take vacations. Some to visit friends or relatives. Some because they became a volunteer and have to go to another place to do their voluntary work. Some travel because they like to see new places, experience different culture, trying out the different kind of food available in different places.

Australians, like other nationalities, also travel. Australia is a huge country. In fact it is a continent. There are plenty of places to go. It has a magnificent reef, the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system. There is a very interesting huge monolithic rock, Ayers Rock, also known as Uluṟu. Adelaide is known for its cultural events, particularly the Adelaide Festival of Arts, a popular biannual event with local and international participants. It has unique wild life which no other country have, like the kangaroo, the Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) often mistakenly called koala bear, and many more.

But Australian don't just do intra-travel. They are also international traveller. Some are international businessmen. Many are backpackers who may travel for months. Some somehow manage to do it for years. Many Australians are migrants who have relatives overseas they would like to visit.

Irrespective of whether you are doing intra- or international travel you will need travel insurance to protect yourself for the unexpected. It might be an accident, a medical emergency, extra expenses because of delayed, postponed or cancelled flights, etc. Some are young travellers. There are even those who are in their eighties. Some are healthy. Some may have medical conditions.

Different Insurance offers different kind of insurance with different conditions for people of different circumstances and needs. It would be tough to walk or drive from one insurance company to another to get the insurance policy that suit your needs and circumstances. It would be great to be able to have online travel insurance so you can get information on the kind of travel insurance policies, their conditions and the premium you have to pay for the travel insurance policy you need, suit your circumstances and budget, all conveniently from the computer in your home. Travel Insurance Direct even provide travel insurance policies for people with some pre-existing medical conditions or are of elderly age - up to the age of 86 years of age. And their website says they are underwritten by Allianz which is one of the world’s largest financial services providers, including insurance. They claim they can provide cheap travel insurance which is great news for those who are price conscious or have to keep to a budget.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Johannesburg, Cradle of Humankind and now Host to 2010 FIFA World Cup

Johannesburg has been called the cradle of humankind, and rightly so. Forty percent of all human ancestor fossil finds have been made here. The Cradle of Humankind is about 50 kilometres northwest of Johannesburg contains a complex of limestone caves which include the Sterkfontein Caves where the 2.3-million year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus which is estimated to be 2.5-million years old (nicknamed "Mrs Ples") and an almost complete ape-man skeleton estimated to be 3 to 3.5-million years old nickname Little Foot. Many excavation sites have yielded hominid remains and these cave sites have yielded over 850 hominid fossil remains and thus represent one of the world's richest concentrations of fossil hominid bearing sites. The Cradle of Humankind was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.

That was ancient history. Now Johannesburg has developed so much that it has won the right to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup sometime in July which is expected to attract a lot of football fans here. In fact the organisers are anticipating so many fans to come that they expect many to be without tickets and for them they have planned a soccer fan park at Mary Fitzgerald Square they can watch all the live action on a large screen at the square.

If you are planning to visit Johannesburg either to see the origin of humankind or to see the FIFA World Cup, book your accommodation ahead of your arrival. One place you can do so online is Johannesburg Hotels where you have a great choice of cheap hotel if you are on a budget. They have a Lowest Rate Guarantee, so you can be assured of a good deal.

Johannesburg has many airports, including the Tambo International Airport which was formerly named Johannesburg International. It is the busiest airport on the African continent and is the air transport hub of Southern Africa. If you are planning on a transit via Johannesburg and planned to stay a short stay to enjoy the sights and attractions of Johannesburg, you can stay at Hotels near Johannesburg Airport.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ecotourism and Hawaii

Turtle on Hawaiian beachWeb definition of ecotourism: "travel undertaken to witness sites or regions of unique natural or ecologic quality, or the provision of services to facilitate such travel". Hawaii is nature. You have nice beaches, reefs, beautiful tropical sea inhabitants, tropical forests, active and dormant volcanoes, visits from spouting humpback whales, etc. It is nature at its best. Travel to Hawaii can be considered as ecotourism according to the definition above.

However, any travel comes with an environmental price. Depleting fossil fuel is burnt. CO2 emission contribute to global warming. Fortunately there is a way to offset them. At Carbon emission offset directory you can find sites that offers you ways to offset the CO2 emission resulting from your travel.

The trend now for savvy vacationers to stay in villas and condominiums rather than hotels as most hotels are located in mainstream areas whereas villas and condominiums are more secluded and offer more flexibility. For example, you can have a whole family staying in the same place and you can buy food to cook yourself which you can't do in a hotel. You can book Hawaiian beachfront cottages or Hawaiian condominiums conveniently online through Hawaiian Beach Rentals.

However, if you still prefer hotels, you can still chose and book hotels through Hawaiian Hotels.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Toothache In A Foreign Land

Toothache In A Foreign Land
by: Steve Gillman

Getting a toothache while traveling overseas can be more than just annoying and inconvenient. It can ruin a good vacation. Here are some tips for preventing a toothache before you get on that plane, and for treating it if you get one anyhow.

Traveler's Dental Care

First of all, don't ever go on a long trip if you have an unresolved tooth problem, or even the hint of a toothache starting. Get it taken care of by a dentist, and if there is lingering pain, get a prescription pain reliever to take with you.

Have dental work done far enough in advance of your trip to be sure that all the pain is gone. It is common for a high spot on a new filling to cause severe pain days after it is put in. Any dentist can easily solve this by grinding it down - but wouldn't you rather have it done by the dentist you know and trust?

Avoid doing anything that can cause toothaches or other dental problems while traveling. Avoid eating popcorn, for example. It may be one of the worst foods for damaging teeth.

A toothbrush AND floss are a good idea on any trip, of course. Toothpaste may no longer be allowed on the plane, however. If you travel with only carry-on, this means you will have to remember to buy toothpaste as soon as you arrive at your destination. You can carry a bit of baking soda as an alternative as well - this will be allowed on the plane. Toothbrushes and floss are about dental problem prevention, of course, but what if your toothache starts while you're overseas?

Toothache Treatment

Try aspirin. Tylenol #3 is even better for a severe toothache. Antiseptics that contain benzocaine, applied directly to the irritated tooth and gum will temporarily relieve pain. Oil of cloves (eugenol) will also may help when applied to teeth and gums. Never put aspirin or other painkillers directly to gums, as they may burn your gum tissue.

Sometimes tooth pain does not originate in the teeth or gums, but in the sinus cavities. It may be a sinus infection putting pressure on the gums from above. In these cases, you might have to eliminate the infection with antibiotics to get relief. Some temporary relief is possible if you can clear the sinuses by steaming (carefully) your face, or eating hot sauce.

When teeth are temperature sensitive, you should obviously avoid hot and cold drinks. If it is cold outside, it will also help to breath through your nose. Breathing through the mouth brings cold air flowing over your teeth and can cause a lot of pain.

I have a toothache - the inspiration for this article. Two days ago I noticed that each time we drove over a mountain pass here in Colorado, the pain intensified. Descending below 8,000 feet seemed to take the pain away. If you notice this problem, be ready when flying - not all planes are fully pressurized.

Should you visit a dentist in another country? Certainly you'll have to if it is an emergency. Some toothaches are too severe to wait. You may prefer to just treat the pain until you get home otherwise. On the other hand, if the problem is simple, like a lost filling, some countries provide an opportunity for cheap dental care. Ask first, to see that the dentists are using gloves and the latest tools.

About The Author
Copyright Steve Gillman. For travel stories, tips and a free Travel Secrets e-book, visit:

Everything about travel

Friday, May 25, 2007

Visit Extreme Rugged Remote Parashant Canyon National Monument

Visit Extreme Rugged Remote Parashant Canyon National Monument
by: Bob Therrien

Grand Canyon Parashant Canyon National Monument is not as well known as it’s bigger sister next door. On January 11, 2000, President Bill Clinton established the 1.1-million-acre Monument. This vast monument protects much of the Shivwits Plateau. The Shivwits is ecologically unique because it's where the Sonoran, Great Basin, and Mojave Deserts intersect. This region is a wildlife habitat for several endangered or threatened species. California condors, desert tortoises, willow flycatchers, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope call this area home.

This is a very remote and undeveloped Monument. Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument is located in northwest Arizona, bordered by the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon National Park to the south and east, Nevada and Lake Mead to the west. Many people fly into Las Vegas as a Hub, and plan their visit from there.

The Monument information center is located in the lobby of the BLM Office in St. George, Utah. The address is 345 E. Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah, 84790. There you will find maps, field guides, books, and other items. Staff members are available to answer questions and provide safety information.

If you decide to add this to your adventure tours, here is the mileage from closest major cities: To Saint George from Las Vegas 118 miles, 190 km, From Phoenix 435 miles, 700 km, From Denver 631 miles, 1015 km.

There are only two semi-maintained trails in the Monument – Mt. Trumbull and Mt. Dellenbaugh. All other hiking is on unmarked routes or requires bushwhacking through dense brush or rugged terrain. Grand Canyon Parashant provides a sense of solitude to those who trek into its isolated areas. Located on the edge of the Grand Canyon, the Monument's expansive landscape showcases both natural and cultural history.

Of the points of interest in the Monument, here are the ones that the Bureau of Land Management point out:

• Virgin River Gorge Campground
• Condor Release Viewing Site
• Pakoon Springs
• Mt Trumbull Schoolhouse
• Sawmill Historic Site
• Witch’s Point
• Uinkaret Pueblo
• Nampaweap Petroglyph Site
• Tuweep Ranger Station
• Toroweap Campground
• Toroweap Overlook
• Tassi Spring
• Pearce Ferry Campground
• Pearce Ferry

To travel here, you must use caution, as it is off the beaten track. You must have the appropriate maps to find your way to and around the Monument. There are entry roads from Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Plan your entrance point by your travel route. There are no paved roads or visitor services within the Monument's million-plus acres, so visitors need to be prepared by traveling with an appropriate high-clearance vehicle equipped with two full-sized spare tires. Some content provided by The National Park Service and AZ BLM.

About The Author
Bob Therrien is a travel writer and has traveled all over North America. He currently operates the website at

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Isle of Wight Tourism

Isle of Wight Tourism
by: Martin Ager

The term Isle of Wight Tourism conjures up images of sunny beaches, dramatic coastlines and glorious countryside. Isle of Wight tourism brings in an estimated £350 million plus per year, which is vital to the Island’s economy. With more people visiting each year, that figure can only rise. The Isle of Wight is the perfect place for a holiday as there are so many things to see and do. Whatever your interests, you will be spoiled for choice and will find that one visit to this special place is never enough. Most people that visit this wonderful island find themselves coming back time and time again which is great for Isle of Wight tourism.

The Isle of Wight is the smallest of England’s counties, with the resident population being around 130,000. To the north lies the Solent and to the south is the English Channel. Known as "The Garden Isle", this jewel of England indeed resembles a diamond in shape, measuring 23 miles west to east and 13 miles north to south, an area or 147 square miles. The Island is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK, with around one million visitors each year. There is over 60 miles of coastline which ranges from award winning beaches to spectacular chalk cliffs. The Island, which is divided into two boroughs - Medina & South Wight, was known as “Vectis” by the Romans. Newport is the county town, although Ryde is the largest town. The exact centre of the Island is at Shide Corner, on the outskirts of Newport and the highest point is St. Boniface Down at Ventnor.

Walking on the Isle of Wight is a popular past-time and there are over 500 miles of public footpaths including dramatic coastal paths. The climate here is almost sub-tropical and Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor are regularly at the top of the UK sunshine table. Over 50% of the Island has been designated an “Area of Outstanding Beauty” with about half of the coastline named as “Heritage Coast” - an honour only awarded to the finest stretches of coastline in the country. Red squirrels have a particular penchant for the surroundings (due to the lack of grey squirrels) and are widely prevalent on the Island - almost the final stronghold in the south of the country.

The most famous landmark here on the Isle of Wight is “The Needles” - three jagged chalk projections running out to sea at the extreme west of the island at Alum Bay, which is also renowned for its multi-coloured sand cliffs, which are caused by a mixture of minerals in the sand. There is a lighthouse here too, clinging to the base of the most westerly rock of the Needles group. It originally became popular here with tourists over 200 years ago when they used to visit by paddle steamer from the mainland. Another popular landmark is the Bembridge Windmill, the only existing windmill on the Island. It is located at the opposite end of the Island, was built around 1700 and still has its original machinery intact.

Isle of Wight Tourist Guide

About The Author
Martin Ager
Isle of Wight tourist guide caters for all the tourist needs on the Isle of Wight. It is an extensive guide for all tourism and leisure activities. Martin Ager is the author, please see Isle of Wight Tourist Guide. Email

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mont Tremblant Lodging – Which Of Mont Tremblant’s 3 Regions Is Right For You?

Mont Tremblant Lodging – Which Of Mont Tremblant’s 3 Regions Is Right For You?
by: Devon O'Malley

Nestled deep in the wilderness of Quebec, Mont Tremblant has been dubbed #1 Ski Resort in Eastern North America for 8 consecutive years. Once you learn more about the resort, it's easy to see why.

The ski resort offers over 600 acres of ski and snowboarding trails in 4 unique areas: North Side (Versant Nord), South Side (Versant Sud), Sunny Side (Versant Soleil) and The Edge (Versant Edge). As well, you can savour 94 marked downhill trails and 13 ski lifts to send you soaring up the slopes. You’re practically guaranteed the opportunity to ski or snowboard until you’ve had your fill of snow-brimmed euphoria.

With all the outdoor space to play in, you're going to need quality Mont Tremblant lodging to act as your home base.

Forget guessing.

Instead, enlighten yourself to the various Mont Tremblant lodging regions with this handy guide.

Region 1: Pedestrian Village

The hub of Mont Tremblant resort, the Pedestrian Village is situated at the base of the mountain. The village offers all the features you'd expect from a world-class ski resort, including all the usual suspects: a myriad of shopping outlets, a bustling nightlife scene, apres-ski venues, and plenty of slopeside Mont Tremblant accommodation.

One of the best perks about staying here is you can park your car and walk everywhere you need to go. As well, you’re right in the middle of the action for all the events happening around the resort, perfect for those interested in a high-activity vacation.

Region 2: Domaine du Geant

This Mont Tremblant lodging region is located to the south-east of the Pedestrian Village. Along with Club Intrawest, a variety of lodging developments are interspersed with the Mont Tremblant golf course (hence the name 'Domaine du Geant').

While this region may feel a little far from the action, a handy shuttle bus service provides guests with convenient transportation to the main village. Choose your Mont Tremblant accommodation here if you crave a peaceful setting and the space to spend quality time with your family.

Region 3: Domaine de la Foret

Located to the east of the Pedestrian Village, this Mont Tremblant lodging region is the closest you'll get to nature without living in a tree house. Set against a majestic forest backdrop against the mountainside, these Mont Tremblant lodging options offer tranquility, along with sweeping views of the Pedestrian Village and Lac Tremblant.

Plus, you’re only a short drive to actually get to the village, or catch the handy shuttle. With the Domaine de la Foret, you have many of the conveniences of the Pedestrian Village and priority access to the ski trails. For avid skiers, this region is a great choice.

Armed with this newfound knowledge, you’ll be able to go forth and choose the Mont Tremblant accommodation that’s right for your vacation. Just remember, no matter where you end up staying, Mont Tremblant is sure to offer a variety of experiences you won’t soon forget.

About The Author
Devon O’ Malley is a staff writer for Allura Direct, a vacation rental website offering powerful search and instant booking features for owners and guests alike. On your next Mont Tremblant vacation, check out their Mont Tremblant lodging directory and save money by booking your lodging in Mont Tremblant directly with homeowners.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tips On Barcelona Sightseeing

Tips On Barcelona Sightseeing
by: Clinton Maxwell

Barcelona has a lot to be proud of. A city literally stuffed with spectacular architecture, historical and cultural places of interest, fantastic food and a vibrant nightlife, it is no wonder tourists flock to the area. There is more to Catalunya than Barcelona sightseeing however, including a glorious coastline, beautiful mountains and a fierce independent spirit that will be felt by even the least informed visitor.

Make sure you have a map detailing the places of interest when you arrive in Barcelona; it is surprisingly easy to get lost in Barcelona’s bustling streets. A good place to start your tour is Gaudi’s Park Guell, an open space filled with pieces of Gaudi’s work including benches, archways, walls and balconies. It is a place where Gaudi’s imagination really ad free reign, and you feel almost that the works of art are more natural than the plants and trees.

From here you can move easily on to Gaudi’s iconic work, the Sagrada Familia. This church was started in 1882 but was not finished when Gaudi died in 1926. Various attempts have been made to complete the work to Gaudi’s designs but the church is still not entirely finished and probably never will be. If you don’t think you can capture the spirit of the church in your own photographs, you might want to check out the stunning images available in postcard stands that surround the building.

The Barcelona zoo was founded in 1892 and is located in the Ciutadella Park, next to the old town or Ciutat Vella. This is a great place to visit especially of you have children that are likely to lose interest in architecture and history. Some of the seven and a half thousand animals on display include pelicans, American buffalos and red kangaroo, as well as a specialist primate collection which the zoo is famous for.

There is an aquatic park within the zoo that provides a home to bottlenose dolphins among others. Dolphin shows can be seen throughout the warm summer months, and this can make a refreshing escape from the heat of the city. An acclaimed research program at Barcelona zoo is well known for sympathetic breeding of animals in captivity and protection of endangered species, which would otherwise become extinct.

The main avenue in Barcelona, La Rambla is a riot of color and bustle with flower stalls and street performers at regular intervals along the promenade. The main hotels and restaurants center around La Rambla, but you may get a better deal and more authentic dishes if you explore a little further out. One place not be missed is the Boqueria, a fantastic food market to one side of La Rambla, with exotic delicacies you have never even imagined.

The port area received a face lift with the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992. The Olympic village was situated right on the coast and the area is marked by the dual towers of the Arts Hotel, Mapfre Towers and Nova Icaria Square. The main Olympic sites can be found on top of Montjuic, a hill overlooking the city, and can be reached by cable car.

About The Author
Clinton Maxwell writes mainly for Barcelona Information , an online site on the topic of travelling in Spain and Costa Brava. You can find his publications over at Barcelona Information and various other sources for Barcelona Spain knowledge.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sample The Delights Of Paella In Spain

Sample The Delights Of Paella In Spain
by: Peter Wilson

Spain is a wonderful European destination, where visitors can look forward to a wonderful vacation experience, with a choice of fabulous areas to visit. When you come to this destination you will find everything you could want for an exciting and diverse vacation experience, from colourful Spanish culture and rich history to wonderful cuisine such as the local specialty dish known as paella. This is a country that is very popular amongst tourists from other parts of Europe, and you will enjoy unique charm and distinct character no matter which part of the country you visit. Some of the wonderful places that you can select from when travelling here include Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Benidorm, Murcia, and many other wonderful destination that offer a unique blend of beauty, recreation, adventure, excitement, fun, history, culture, and more. There are so many wonderful areas to select from in this country that you will never be short of choice, and you will find it east to find the perfect destination to suit you.

Experience unique experiences with a Spanish vacation

When you come to this destination in order to enjoy some quality down time, you will enjoy some wonderful experiences. You will find a long and fascinating history to explore throughout this country, and plenty of opportunity to enjoy delving into the past and learning more about the roots and origins of the area. You can look forward to exploring a range of historical sites and attractions, and you will find a great choice of museums that will help you to learn more about Spanish heritage and history. You will also find bags of culture in this country, and no matter which part you visit you can look forward to a host of local festivities and events that will help you to learn more about the local culture and way of life. In addition to this, you can look forward to great family attractions, excellent recreational facilities, great shopping opportunities, a vibrant nightlife, and an array of natural beauty amidst which to kick back and relax. You can look forward to sampling wonderful cuisine, from local paella to tapas, and even international cuisine.

Affordable and exciting – make the most of your Spanish holiday

If you want to make the most of your time in this country, you can enjoy extra cash to spend simply by looking for great deals on flights and accommodations, which could net you huge savings on the overall cost of your trip. The Internet is a great place in which to find these low cost deals, and you can easily compare the prices and deals from the comfort of your own home. Once you have found the right flight and hotel for your needs you can make your booking quickly and easily online, saving yourself a great deal of time as well as money, and you can enjoy the benefits if making great savings without having to compromise on the quality of your flights or accommodation. You can even arrange and book your travel insurance online, making it easier to book your whole trip under one virtual roof.

About The Author
Peter J. Wilson often creates detailed papers on areas relating with Spain and spanish culture. Working on his detailed writings like Paella, the columnist showed his know-how on areas similar to paella.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Take a tour of Scandinavia's capital cities

Take a tour of Scandinavia's capital cities
by: Andrew Regan

Scandinavian exports to the world have varied in type over the last century; from Abba to Brigitte Neilson, IKEA to Nokia mobile phones, Scandinavian goods and personalities have continued to spread throughout our everyday culture. Despite this, tourism to Scandinavia has only taken off recently, with more and more people in Europe and beyond braving its weather conditions to enjoy its many beautiful cities and landscapes. An ideal holiday idea for the first-time traveller to Scandinavia would be a tour of all the capital cities - Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki - as a way of fully enjoying the delights of the region.

Denmark, for example, may have been in the news recently for more controversial reasons, but its capital, Copenhagen, is popularly ranked as one of the world's best cities to live in, despite its high cost of living. Established annual events include the Copenhagen Jazz Festival ( ), which supports the flourishing jazz scene that has existed in the city for many years; the city is also very popular with homosexual travellers due to its active gay community. It annually hosts a gay pride festival, as well as the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Copenhagen, held in late October.

Stockholm, Sweden's capital, is often referred to as "the Venice of Scandinavia" due to the numerous water channels running through the city. Stockholm also has a rich cultural past that makes it very attractive to foreign visitors; the "Gamla Stan", or Old Town, is an impressive vestige of the medieval architecture, which includes the Riddarholmskyrkan (the city's oldest building), Stockholm Palace and Storkyrkan Cathedral. Stockholm also has over 70 museums, including the Swedish National Museum of Fine Arts, which possesses an extensive collection of fantastic pieces, including works by Rembrandt and Antoine Watteau, as well as many important Swedish artists.

Oslo and Helsinki may not be quite as popular with the majority of mainstream tourists; however they offer much of interest for the potential visitor. Oslo, for instance, is a popular centre for music in Norway, and Scandinavia at large. The world famous Lillehammer Bluesfestival, held every April, is a popular event, as is the Lillehammer Jazzfestival, and the Lillehammer Classic Rock Festival. The Oslo Concert Hall professes to cater to all musical tastes, and The Norwegian Opera is one of Europe's foremost centres of classical opera and ballet.

Finland may have reached the headlines with their Eurovision win this year, through the efforts of rock-shockers Lordi, but this image is at odds with its high brow cultural scene. Helsinki's numerous theatres are widely acclaimed and the capital is also home to various national museums and art galleries. Sometimes known as "the daughter of the Baltic", visitors to Helsinki can also enjoy the Suomenlinna naval fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the open-air museum of Seurasaari Island. Its persistent darkness during the winter months provides a great opportunity for interesting lighting, as in Aleksanterinkatu's famous Christmas street.

Visitors to Scandinavia's capitals will find a selection of affordable and conveniently located independent hotels, as well as the region's largest hotel chain, Scandic Hotels ( ). Make sure you book your tour of Scandinavia now, before the word gets out!

About The Author
Andrew Regan (Andrew Regan ) is a keen sportsman playing rugby during the winter and cricket during the summer.

Monday, May 14, 2007

About Murcia A Hidden Spanish Treasure

About Murcia A Hidden Spanish Treasure
by: Jerry K. Blackburn

If you want to travel to an exciting and unique destination where you can enjoy everything from fabulous weather to fascinating sights – and without the noise of a high number of tourists – then Murcia could prove the ideal destination for you. This is an area that boasts everything you could want for an exciting, satisfying, and memorable vacation experience, and you will find plenty to see and do here, as well as plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind in the sun. With some great deals available on flights and hotel accommodations in Murcia, you won’t have to break the bank when you visit this destination. You can look forward to a full and diverse itinerary, with bags of history and culture to explore, as well as an array of entertainment, attractions, recreational facilities, and more, all within easy reach. Whether you are travelling alone, with a partner, or as part of a larger group or family, you will not be disappointed with your time in this area, and your can combine rest and relaxation with exploration, adventure, fun, and recreation.

Enjoy an array of sights and attractions

When you visit Murcia you can look forward to a wide choice of sights and attractions, so you can look forward to keeping busy and entertained throughout your time here. Enjoy a simple stroll around the city, and take in everything from the natural beauty to the historical architecture as you enjoy exploring the area on foot. If you enjoy delving into the past you will find some wonderful historical attractions to visit. Check out the array of museums in the area, which includes the Science Museum, the Cathedral Museum, the Religious Art Museum, and the Archaeological Museum. Enjoy visiting some wonderful historical buildings and churches, such as the fabulous cathedral, Santa Ana Church, and the Las Agustinas Monastery. Enjoy a trip to the Roman theatre, or enjoy spending time at the Murcian Market Garden. You will find some great shopping opportunities here too, so you can also satisfy the die hard shopper in you with a choice of facilities available.

Get some great deals on your holiday to this destination

Of course, we all love a bargain, and what better way to enjoy the delights of Murcia than through a wonderful vacation that doesn’t cost the earth. You can get some fabulous deals on flights and accommodations in this area, and the best way to find a really low cost deal is to utilize the power of the Internet. By going online to find your holiday bargains you can look forward to an excellent choice of deals, which increases your chances of finding just what you are looking for at a price that fits in with your budget. You can compare the different deals on offer with ease when you go online, and based upon your needs and your budget you can select the one that best suits you. What’s more, you can make your booking via the Internet as well, which means that you can save yourself time and hassle as well as money. With such huge savings available you can look forward to some extra spending money whilst you are in Murcia, as well as the convenience and ease of finding the perfect deal from the comfort of your own home.

About The Author
Focusing recent findings in Spain, Jerry Blackburn wrote for the most part for Alicante Spain. Recording his experience in reports like Murcia,he confirmed his deep knowledge on areas associated with Murcia.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Enjoying Nature In Denia

Enjoying Nature In Denia
by: Jerry K. Blackburn

Denia is located just north of Javea. It is on the northern part of the Costa Blanca coast line, which runs from this city to Torrevieja in the southern part of the region. The weather in the area is similar to most of the Costa Blanca. The summers are hot and the winters are mild. There is little rain in the area. The city enjoys about 320 days of sunshine each year.

The city is located between two airports. Visitors can fly into either Alicante or Valencia airport. Each airport is about an hour and fifteen minute drive to the city. The best way to get around after arriving at the airport is with a car hire. This gives you the freedom to travel around the area. Car hire companies are available at both airports. Reserve your vehicle in advance, especially if you are travelling in the summer tourist season.

Things to do in Denia

Denia is a working town. While visiting here, you will be able to experience the authentic feeling of a Spanish town that you won’t get in the larger, more crowded tourist areas. If you want to spend some time enjoying the attractions in the larger cities, you can get around easily with a car hire.

Another benefit is the town doesn’t close down after the summer season. Many of the larger, tourist areas become like ghost towns at the end of the season. Stores, bars and restaurants close down. Here, you can enjoy shopping and restaurants all year long. This makes the city a good choice for off season vacations.

There is a lot to do for tourists as well in this city. There are two golf courses, Oliva Nova and La Sella for golf lovers. The weather in the area is nice enough for golf almost every day of the year. If you want a golf vacation, consider staying at the resort or close to it.

There are a few spas in the Denia area. A spa vacation is a great way to relax. You will leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Spas are located near the mountain and near to the beach areas.

Although the night life in this city isn’t as busy as the larger discos in Benidorm, there is some night life. There are bars, restaurants and entertainment available. Many places are located near the beach. The night life isn’t as wild as in larger tourist areas, but at least you won’t have to fight the crowds and will still be able to enjoy music and dancing.

The castle in Denia was built in the sixteenth century. The castle is a landmark in the area. Tours are available throughout the year. From inside the castle, you will enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Enjoying Nature in Denia

The towns of Denia and Javea are separated by Montgo mountain. This mountain has many walking routes. You can explore them on your own or go with a group on a walking tour. This is a great place to experience nature while on vacation. There are many great views of the water and town from this mountain.

Denia has 20 kilometres of beaches on the coastline. The beaches here are sandy and clean. They have received the Blue Flag award for good water quality and sand quality. You will enjoy relaxing on the beach and soaking in the sun.

A variety of water sports, including diving, snorkelling and wind surfing are available as well. There are some great areas for diving and snorkelling in the southern beach areas. Once is Les Rotes, a rocky area that is known for great snorkelling and diving. You will be able to view life under the water here.

About The Author
Jerry Blackburn writes essentially for Alicante Spain, a web publication about Spain and Alicante. His writings on Denia are found on Denia and also other online publications.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Things To See In Florence Italy

Things To See In Florence Italy
by: Johnathan Bakers

Florence Italy is in the Tuscany region about midway between Milan to the north and Rome to the South. During the Renaissance, Florence was the center of art, politics and intellectual thought. The city is the biggest tourist attraction in the region with plenty to see and do. The city is small enough to walk to most places, but offers many attractions to keep you interested for weeks.

A large airport and train station in town make travelling within the region or out of the country easy. With public transportation and most attractions in easy walking distance, a Florence car rental may not be necessary.

Everyone in the region speaks Italian, but many people also speak some English. It’s a good idea to have some knowledge of Italian when visiting the area. If you don’t speak Italian, consider purchasing a phrase book with common phrases in Italian to help you communicate while staying in the area.

Early Autumn and Spring are the best times to visit Florence. This is still considered to be tourist season, but is not too overcrowded. Summer is the busiest season and you should expect crowds if you choose to travel at this time. The later Autumn tends to be chilly and can be rainy. It is still warm enough to visit and the crowds will have disappeared by this time.

Things to See in Florence Italy

o Casa di Dante is the home of the famous author of The Divine Comedy. The house is a tourist attraction and is located in the medieval section of the city.

o The Baptistry of John the Baptist is an ornate church that was built in the 11th century

o The Church of San Lorenzo is the oldest religious structure in Florence. It was built prior to the year 400.

The dining in Florence is amazing, with a wide variety of restaurants throughout the city. You will get the chance to sample Florence Italy recipes, which use the freshest ingredients. If you rent villas or apartments in Florence, you may want to try out a few of these in your own kitchen with fresh ingredients purchased at the local market.

Museums in Florence Italy

Florence is home to several well known museums:

o The Florence Archaeological Museum is a palace with Egyptian and Etruscan art collections.

o Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens: the palace consists of several museums with paintings by several celebrated Florentine artists. The Boboli Gardens are manicured Renaissance gardens that you can walk and enjoy.

o Uffizi Gallery was built in 1560 and contains numerous art works. The museum offers a beautiful view of the city in addition to spectacular works of art.

Places to Stay in Florence Italy

Visitors have several Florence accommodation options. There are a wide variety of hotels in Florence Italy, both in the center of town and on the outskirts. Prices vary according to the clientele and location. For longer stays apartments in Florence are a good choice. Most have small kitchens for a more home like atmosphere. If you prefer a more remote, country setting, a farmhouse holiday in Florence is a good choice. All of these can be booked on the internet or through a travel rental agency.

About The Author
Johnathan Bakers writes articles essentially for Florence Italy Guide, an online site on the topic of Florence hotel and Florence accommodation. Writing for works (for example Florence Italy Guide on Florence italy ) he confirmed his expertise in the field.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Rome Hotel: Why People Should Spend More Time in Rome

Rome Hotel: Why People Should Spend More Time in Rome
by: Stefano Sandano

Every year the number of customers visiting Rome increases of 5% and there are always more historical sights to see. This year has we had the chance to attend the inauguration of the Ara Pacis which remained closed for restorations under the supervision of the architect Richard Meier.

Few people know that booking an hotel close to the spanish steps or to trevi Fountain they can see not only the Ara pacis itself but also the Tomb of the emperor Augustus which is located in Piazza Augusto imperatore.

The Ara Pacis of Rome was built in the area of the "Campo Marzio", close to the "via Flaminia", during the four years going from 13 to 9 BC, to celebrate the victories of Augustus in the western provinces of the roman Empire.

The same Augustus indicated on the work "Res gestae divi Augusti" ( Achievements of the divine Augustus )the rituals and the scopes that had led the Senate to build the commemorative altar, which during a large part of the antiquity, as a direct witness of the link between monument and personality, was known as "Ara Pacis Augustae":

"When I came back to Rome from Spain and Gaul ... once I had successfully closed the enterprises in these provinces,

the Senate decided that for my return the "ara della Pace Augusta" should be consecrated in the "Campo Marzio" and I agreed that in this place the law officers, the priests and the vestal virgins could celebrate an annual sacrifice".

The area of the "Ara Pacis" is limited by a rectangular fence in marble with several ornaments and a low relief with a width of approximately 33 feet and a length of just 3 feet.

The central altar, where were taking place the ritual sacrifices, can be reached through two gates located at the center of the shortest sides of the fence and is placed in an higher position with respect to the perimeter of the structure.

The main artistic interest of the "Ara Pacis" is given by the low relief organised in overlap borders and panels that entirely recover the internal and external surface of the enclosure and part of the central altar.

The celebrative scope of the work is directly testified by the presence of the emperor Augustus and of Agrippa,general of the roman navy and son in law of the first emperor, among the represented persons, but also, on the west side, by the scenes dedicated to Aeneas, considered the ancestor of the julio-claudian family to whom the same August was belonging to, and by those remembering the divine origin of Rome with the she-wolf nursing the twins Romulus and Remus under the eye of their father, the god Mars.

The decorations of the "Ara Pacis" are completed by ornaments of naturalistic character, with low relief of plants and small animals and the "Tellus" (the Earth), the divinity representing the personification of peace and prosperity that the empire of Rome was getting prepared to live thanks to the end of the civil wars.

According to the study of some documents, it is considered that the original orientation of the work had been chosen also in relation to the big sundial called "Horologium" that was already surging in the "Campo Marzio", and which gnomon, nowadays located in "piazza di Montecitorio" and known as the obelisk ofthe Pharao Psammetico II, was projecting the own shadow exactly at the centre of the altar every September 23rd, date of birth of the emperor Augustus.

About The Author
Stefano Sandano is an archaeologist and tour guide of Rome and if you want to know more about Rome you can visit Roman Guide.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Is Growing Saint George, Utah The New Palm Springs?

Is Growing Saint George, Utah The New Palm Springs?
by: Bob Therrien

Saint George, Utah is a short ride up Interstate 15 from Las Vegas, NV. It is a wonderful base of operations for your Adventure into the American Southwest! It is one of the fastest growing communities in the United States. It’s been called the new Palm Springs!

Just under two hours drive from Las Vegas, Nevada is another fast growing community. Saint George has an elevation of 2,880 feet above sea level. St. George has an average annual temperature of 59.9° F with summer temperatures well into the 100s. Palm trees and red rock cliffs are the norm in Saint George along with all the convenience of a city of 100 thousand.

Saint George is home to Red Cliffs Desert Preserve a 62,000-acre scenic wildlife reserve set aside to protect the desert tortoise and other rare and sensitive plants and animals Here is where three great ecosystems merge, the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau, Red Cliffs Reserve is biologically rich with an array of animals and plants rarely seen in one place. It contains the most northern populations of the desert tortoise, Gila monster, sidewinder rattlesnake, and chuckwalla - reptiles typically associated with hotter and more southerly deserts, like the Mojave.

Saint George is very close to Zion National Park. Biking at Gooseberry Mesa, ATV’s at Coral Pink Sand Dunes are close too, with Dixie National Forest, Snow Canyon, and Joshua tree forest, all in the area. Southern Utah and all it has to offer can be reached from here. If you love golf, you’ll find it here as well as shopping!

Saint George, Utah is located in Washington County. There is lots of controversy about the proposed public lands legislation in the United States Senate. The bill titled S.3636 considers a land swap of up to 24,000 acres. This wilderness area is part of the zionmojave outdoors.

This draft bill would designate more than 219,000 acres as wilderness, preserve utility corridors, create an off-road trail system, develop a new conservation area, protect 170 miles of the Virgin River, and sell to the highest bidder up to 25,000 acres of public land at fair market value. As with any change, many people are concerned about the wording of the bill and the future rights for people to use the outdoor lands that they have had access to for years. Saint George has been growing, fast for the past few years and there is a concern about the developers who would buy the land up for bid. Controlling urban sprawl in this area is a concern to many. So much of Southern Utah is an adventure outdoor wilderness area, not many people want to see changes take place that would restrict their access.

The bill also creates utility corridors and Southern Utah is awaiting the Lake Powell Pipeline. The pipeline legislation was signed into law in May of 2006. In order to meet the water demands of an ever-growing population in Southern Utah, Washington, Kane and Iron counties are pursuing a pipeline that would run from Lake Powell to Sand Hollow Reservoir. These 158 miles of pipeline would bring 70,000 acre feet of water to Washington County, 10,000 acre feet to Kane County and 20,000 acre feet to Iron County. The pipeline would most likely cost $494 million or more in current dollars.

The Lake Powell Pipeline would allow Utah to tap into its unused portion of the Upper Colorado River water, which was defined in the 1922 Colorado River Compact. The Compact divides the river basin into two areas: the Upper Colorado (comprising Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) and the Lower Basin (comprising Nevada, Arizona and California). Currently Utah is using 74 percent of its annual allocation of 1,369,000 acre feet.

There’s a lot going on here, and you’ll enjoy your Saint George tours.

About The Author
Bob Therrien is a travel writer and has traveled all over North America. He currently operates the website at Saint George Tours.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Scottish Highlands, Land Of Ancient Peoples

The Scottish Highlands, Land Of Ancient Peoples
by: John Winkler

Glencoe is in the heart of the Scottish highlands – in the old days it was renowned for being inaccessible. Yet people have been around here for up top 10,000 years, since the retreat of the last Ice Age. They’ve left their traces.

The traces of people who lived in this area 3,000 years ago have been found a short drive from here.

Mesolithic people moved from site to site based on fishing and hunting. River mouths and estuaries were good sites, they always needed fresh water and materials for building shelters. The weather was warmer then than it is to-day. In this area they also needed protection in the winter, so caves seem to be a good answer. Go North round the shoreline from Oban for a couple of miles to Ganavan sands and you’ll see where they lived.

On the right you’ll pass the old castle built on short cliffs with caves. That’s where the Mesolithic people lived – their rubbish tips have been found. The water level was 16 foot or so higher then. They have found human bones as well as bone and stone artefacts. Tourists can see the caves where they lived. They were all over Ardamurchan, opposite here, and on the Inner Islands. For how long did they live here? Oh, just for four thousand years or so, until settled farming developed.

This country belonged to a farming people, the Picts, during Roman times. They built the strange circular defensive “brochs”. It is a marvellous thing to visit, we’ve been there. Very strange. There is a broch on the island of Lismore nearby, easily found but hardly ever visited to-day.

But during the Roman times the Western Islands were raided and occupied by the Scotia from Northern Ireland. They established an early Kingdom called Dalriada and there are a multitude of remains of them and their burial sites around the Kilmartin area South of Oban, under 2 hours drive from here. After St. Columba established his base on Iona and travelled extensively around the Western Isles, he brought the Picts and the Scots together.

Vikings raided the West Coast from the late 8th century onwards and later settled mostly in the Hebrides. Loch Linnie was the furthest inland they came. One of the early raids was on Iona in 795, part of a series.

The early Scottish kings were buried on Iona just down the road, across the ferry to Mull then one more short ferry trip.

The Vikings came because they had clan wars in Norway taking their toll on the people, and the looting of the Christan Churches helped to fund their local wars back home. They took Scots people with them as slaves. Late in the Viking period there are records of a battle in Laroch, the older name for Ballachulish near Glencoe village and remains have been found there. There is a legend that a Viking ship foundered on a rock in the mouth of Loch Leven on the South Side near where the bridge is now, and a Viking Prince was drowned. If you look West at the lochside at low tide from close to the Bridge you will see such a rock as could do this damage at high tide.

The famous Viking, King Haakon died in Orkney after his ships were damaged in the storm at the Battle of Largs in 1263. This saw the end of the Viking rule in Scotland. His son, Magnus, gave up the Islands after that and a lasting treaty was signed three years later. By this time the Vikings had settled in the Island communities, had all intermarried, had converted to Christianity.

John Winkler
Bayview Kentallen

About The Author
John Winkler used to be the marketing correspondent for The Times in London. Now retired he and his wife have a pretty period cottage on the lochside at Glencoe in Scotland. They let it out for vacations.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

How to Drive Safely in the Australian Summer

How to Drive Safely in the Australian Summer
by: Barbara Thorp

A quick check-up can help prepare your car for the stress of high temperatures in the Australian summer and increase its reliability on road trips, whether they are long or short. To look at the range of new cars available at present log on to and browse the auto classifieds. Firstly, plan trips well to avoid unnecessary driving in extreme heat.


To help prevent dangerous and inconvenient tyre failure, examine tyres for uneven or excessive tread wear. Make sure all tyres, including the spare, are properly inflated and in good condition.


With the engine off, look for worn or cracked belts and damaged blistered or soft hoses. Inspect the antifreeze/coolant level and condition, making sure the proper 50/50 mixture of water and coolant.


Check motor oil level and condition. If driving under extreme conditions, such as very hot temperatures or towing a heavy trailer, switch to motor oil with higher viscosity. Check the owner's manual for specific oil recommendations.


A properly working air conditioning system also helps motorists keep their cool in summer heat.

When you run your air conditioner, you get much worse petrol consumption. Use your air conditioner sparingly. If you have a lower setting, use it. Turn it on until the car gets cool, then turn it off, and let the fan circulate the cool air. Never run your air conditioner with your windows open.

If needed, have the air conditioning serviced by a qualified technician. Do not use non-approved substitute refrigerants.


Because even properly maintained vehicles can break down, and you only want the best used car in Australia, check and you'll find free car listings that may help your search. In any Australian condition, RACV and the NRMA advise motorists to equip their vehicle with an emergency kit, containing at least the following items: A torch with extra batteries, warning devices such as flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, a first-aid kit, extra water, and a mobile phone to get emergency assistance quickly.

You see, driving with precaution doesn't only keep you and your loved ones safe, it also lets you enjoy the scenery and enjoy the ride better!


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Check out , Australia's revved up free used cars classifieds. It's free to register here, free to post your used car for sale ads, and free to look around!

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About The Author
Barbara Thorp is an article contributor for