Your must have list for visiting Ireland

If you’re thinking of travelling to the wonderful land of all things green this summer, then there are a few things you’ll need. Ireland is a unique country in many ways, but the temperamental weather, long and wild rural landscapes and sometimes confusing language and accents can leave it all the more confusing. Don’t get caught unprepared, make the most of your big summer trip and follow our guidelines.

web-Dersey-Island-Cliffs

Top tips for travelling to Ireland

1. Rain proof clothing

Think the summer months will provide you with sunshine? Think again. Irish weather is notoriously unpredictable and you will always need rain proof clothing, so come prepared! Invest in proper water proof clothing because travelling to Ireland usually means exploring and you’ll need good, warm and water proof clothes to do this properly.

web-2450fanadheadlighthousedonegal

2. A wolly hat

It’s not just the rain that comes and goes, Ireland can often by windy and cold. You’ll want to bring a hat to keep warm and a few other clothing accessories like a pair of gloves and a scarf. Yes, this may seem ridiculous for the summer but if you’re coming from a hot climate – you’ll find Irish summer weather to be cold and wet at worst.

3. Good comfortable shoes

If you really want to experience Ireland, be prepared for lots of walking. You’ll need comfortable shoes for the hills and dirt roads but all the walking is absolutely worth it, with views unmatched elsewhere in Europe.

web-1170derrighmalaghbogroad

4. Sun cream

Yes we said the weather can be unpredictable and that includes sunshine too! And the occasional sunshine received coupled with the strong wind can often result in sunburn. So be sure to bring plenty of sun cream.

5. A Cúpla Focal

The Irish language is completely unrelated to English and you may need a few words here and there to help you get by. Even though most of Ireland speaks English, you may encounter a few native speakers and even if you don’t, it’s nice to show the locals you’ve done your homework. Get your fill of helpful Irish words and phrases before jetting off.

6. Remember your Euros

Ireland can be considered for some but as all travellers will know, it’s all about making the most of your money and researching. Bring Euros and sterling to Ireland if you going to visit the North – you’ll need sterling. Although you can sometimes exchange in both currencies, it’s always best to play it safe.

web-1001627.jpg

The locals are notoriously friendly and the weather, although unpredictable can also be a blessing. You’ll get to experience the wetlands and get wet! It’s often impressive to see beautiful rain falling on acres of green land.

If you’re thinking of visiting Ireland, Expedia have frequent offers on both flights and hotels to Ireland. So what are you waiting for? Pack up, see the 40 shades of green and get to know what all the fuss is about.

Best australian casinos

Online casinos are now becoming more popular than ever and offer individuals the experience of a real casino, but in the comfort of their own home. These online casinos are different in style, but many offer the same selection of games, as well as the same coding structures, which makes these games more realistic and enjoyable to play. Online Casinos that cater for an Australian audience are also available and can be a great alternative to the popular real life casinos that you can find through out the country. The casinos allow players the ability to gamble with real money or just practice for fun, and can be a great way to spend time whilst traveling. So what are some of the best online casinos in Australia and what do they have that make them stand out among the rest of the online casinos.

One of the best Australian casinos that caters for the Australian currency system is that of Royal Vegas Online Casino. As well as having a wide range of great games and slot machine variations to play on, the site also offers a large bonus of $1200, which is given to you over the course of four deposits that you must make to the site. The site is known for having over 500 games since it was launched in 2000, with new ones being added on a regular basis.

7sultans is a stylish online casino that is also well respected, thanks to its trustworthy site design and enticing selection of games. The casino also offers a welcome package of up to $1000 for new members. The site has different concepts which make it exciting, such as weekly competitions and prizes that offer large rewards to those who take part and win.

Jackpot city is another online casino that has been pulling in the players thanks to its fun and well designed selection of slot machines. It also has other popular games, such as Blackjack and Poker, and will appeal to fans of good quality casino gaming. The site does not offer a bonus as big as some of the other sites, which is a shame. However, players are offered $500 as a bonus if they choose to sign up with the site.

A Battle of the Elements

Finland versus Turkey

Snow or sand, oceans or ice, this is one of the most debated questions by sportspeople and common folk alike. No matter which side of the fence you sit, whether it’s soaking up the sun on the beach, or making snow angels in the cold, there is no denying that both terrains have a great deal to offer to each and every individual, both young and old. In the icy corner we find Kuusamo, a town in Finland with its beautiful Ski Resorts. While in the sunny corner we find the Turkish Rivera, the utopian-like southwest coast of Turkey. Here are some of the best activities that both areas have to offer.

Skiing versus Windsurfing

Both activities require you to have perfect balance as well as a lust for the extreme. Skiing is one of the most entertaining activities you can perform in the snow, allowing you to twist and turn down massive slopes without a care in the world. There is very little that matches the feeling of standing at the top of a slope, frozen white landscapes stretching in all directions around you, as you take that leap of faith. If you’ve ever watched the Winter Olympics, you will surely know that there is a large number of different types of skiing, such as alpine skiing, telemark skiing as well cross country. Whist at the Ruka Ski Resort in Kuusamo, you will have the opportunity to perfect your skiing skills in all of the above mentioned.

SkiingSurfing

If windsurfing is more your cup of tea, with the idea of massive waves and cool winds allowing you to soar high above the oceans like a seagull on steroids, then I suggest you hop on one of the many flights to Dalaman, take a short journey to the Western town of Alacati and let the fun in the waves begin.

Icy Hikes versus Sunny Hikes

Hiking is one of the best ways to become one with nature, as well as allowing your camera to work overtime taking photos of the beautiful views. Kuusamo as well as the Turkish Rivera both have some breathtakingly stunning hiking trails for you to explore. The most popular trail in Kuusamo is definitely that of the Karhunkierros Hiking Trail. In case you don’t feel that the word “Karhunkierros” sounds awesome enough, you will be glad to know that it is in fact Finnish for “Bear’s Ring”. This trail is definitely not for the faint hearted, stretching some 80 kilometres from Salla to Kuusamo, allowing you to experience unique hillside terrains, dense pine dominated forests and the beautiful river banks of the Oulanka National Park.

Hiking

On the warmer side of our magnificent planet, you will come across the Lycian Way, one of the most popular hiking trails that southwest Turkey has to offer. This fantastic trail stretches some 509 kilometres long, connecting Fethiye in the west with Antalya in the southwest. Be sure to keep an eye out for the half white, half red markings along the way, pointing out the trail.

Wonders of Wildlife

Both Finland and Turkey have some magnificent wildlife to offer. The Kuusamo Predator Centre is the perfect place to become better acquainted with some of the biggest and most deadly predators of Finland. Come face-to-face with bears, lynxes, foxes, wolves and even reindeer.

Wildlife

Although you will probably never spot a bear soaking in the sun in Turkey, this area has a large number of fantastic wildlife also on offer. With caracals, wild deer and goats, dolphins and sea turtles, animal lovers will definitely spend a fair amount of their time with binoculars pressed against their eyes.

The Unconventional Guide to Finland

Like most countries Finland offers the usual fare for tourists. The country features numerous museums, art galleries, fine dining, European style casinos offering range of blackjack games, theatre and, of course, luxury accommodations.

wvwerrf

Finland also has a slightly less conventional side.

Nokia is the world’s leading manufacturer of cell phones and as a nod to the frustration that they often cause hosts a yearly mobile phone throwing contest. Some of the other Finnish competitions have included topless winter jogging when temperatures can be from -3C to -22C, and the Air Guitar World Championships.

While some of the more unusual events are one offs, Finland offers a wide range of events and sights for the more adventurous.

Stay in a Prison

The Hotel Katajonokka became a hotel in 2007; from 1837 until 2002 it was a prison.  A one year renovation project transformed the prison to a luxury boutique hotel, but because the building is protected by the Board of Antiquities, most of the prison has been persevered, including the exterior, the central corridor and the prison wall.

Some of the rooms are converted prison cells, usually two or three of the old cells with the walls removed. You get the dichotomy of the old cells with modern furnishings.  The Jailbird Bar and restaurant offers great food, but the menu and servers play up the prison motif to the hilt from their uniforms (old prisoner garb) to the daily specials. For the historically inclined the Uspenski Cathedral is nearby.

Get Your Entertainment while Sight Seeing

As in most European cities, walking is one of the best ways to explore Helsinki. However if you are willing to entertain and to be entertained you should consider the Karaoke Taxi. Karaoke is gaining popularity in Finland. The Karaoke Taxi is a 12 seater minibus with all the karaoke gear; lights, microphones, speaker and TV screens. You can chose from English language artists like Elvis, Eminem, Frank Sinatra or Lady Gaga, or try your hand at Finnish artists.

Stay Fit While seeing Helsinki

Nordic Walking is a popular form of exercise similar to cross country skiing using specially designed poles.  Tour guides will set you up with the equipment and take you on a nice tour at the same time. Nordic Walking is incredibly good for you and burns more calories than regular walking and works out more areas of the body all with low impact.

 

Museums

Finland or course has the standard museums and galleries, but also a couple of more unusual ones. The School Museum traces the history of the city’s school system in two buildings that date back to the 1830’s. Kiasma is a unique contemporary art museum. The ever-changing exhibits and collections usually focus on high tech installations and performance art.

Take advantage of a City Sherpa

One of the best ways to explore a country is with the help of a local. City Sherpa’s is a unique service where locals guide you and help you plan your excursions though their unique perspectives.  City Sherpas cover an incredible range of specialties, interests and tastes and you choose them based on your interest.  Their services are entirely free as all City Sherpas are volunteers, although buying lunch or a drink for your Sherpa is a nice touch.

 

 

 

 

 

Caravan holiday around Scandinavia

For many caravan owners, touring Scandinavia is a trip that is most definitely on their list. As Scandinavia is a large region of Northern Europe, there are many countries to explore. Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden each provide endless possibilities to explore. This is why many caravan owners add Scandinavia to their list of places to visit but it is clear that a certain amount of time is needed to cover the trip.

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 9.17.07 PM

Depending on the amount of time you have you may only choose to tour some of the countries of Scandinavia. Wherever you choose to go, make sure you have taken out caravan insurance to cover yourself for the many ‘what if’s’ that could affect your caravan whilst you are on your trip.

Here is a brief snippet of each country which will be sure to make you want to go and visit to find out more for yourself!

Norway:

Norway has so much to offer, the choice is varied as to which part of Norway you choose to visit. For example Southern Norway is great for sports. If you like skiing, fishing, rafting or climbing then this is the place for you. You could bring your family along or go for a fun filled activity packed trip for you and your partner, the choice is yours! Northern Norway is also great for wildlife and safaris. As you can see Norway is a real mixed bag of activities!

Finland:

What better reason is there to visit Finland than to see the home of Santa Claus of course! As well as going to Lapland there are plenty of other sights on offer. Finland has quite a few interesting features; the sauna is a way of life in Finland with the Finnish starting from as young as 2 years old! Finland also boasts beautiful natural habitats and claims to have the world’s cleanest running tap water. The Finnish are also famous for their abstract design so you are sure to pick up a few unique souvenirs whilst on your trip.

Denmark:

If you’re looking for beautiful scenery to explore then Denmark is the place for you. With miles and miles of coastline on offer as well as forest interiors, Denmark takes great pride from its magnificent outdoor culture. The heart of Denmark- the Trekanten region is the perfect spot for a touring holiday. Travelling by car or by true Danish style on your bicycle, you will have a great time. How you choose to travel is completely up to you! A must see when in Trekanten are the monuments at Jelling, which are in fact one of Denmark’s most important historical sights.

Sweden:

Sweden is yet another country which is superb for the great outdoors. If you are looking for charming nature then Skåne is the place for you. The town of Helsingborg has its own palm beach – do we need to say anymore? When in Helsingborg it is highly recommended that you visit the gardens at Sofiero Castle which were awarded the prestigious honour of being named Europe’s most beautiful park in 2010. It isn’t hard to see why as there are hundreds of beautiful plants on offer as well as glorious views of the Öresund Sound, the perfect picnic spot!

Holidays for Artists

It’s always nice to take a holiday, and for artists particularly it can also be a way to find new ideas and fresh inspiration for their work. There are a number of different holidays that can suit artists, and these all bring their own unique benefits.

Untitled2

While the various types of holiday are usually different and distinct, it is important to note that there are not always clear lines drawn between them. There may be some locations which offer a mixture of different benefits.

Getting Ready

After you have chosen what type of holiday you want to take and picked a location, it is important to ensure you are ready to make the most of your trip. In particular, you should ensure that you are well-stocked with the art materials you need.

It is often best to buy art materials from an online shop such as http://www.jacksonsart.com/. Prices are frequently lower online compared to buying equivalent quality in a shop, and online shops make it easy to browse through an extensive range in one place.
The Quiet Getaway

Some artists work best with peace and quiet. The lack of distractions coupled with the space to let your mind wander creatively can be ideal for the creative process. Many quieter destinations are also set amongst beautiful scenery, meaning that there is plenty of attractive subject matter and a wealth of inspirational views.

Quiet destinations can be found around the world. They range from the gentle, green-and-silver beauty of the English Lake District to mystical, snowy mountainscapes.

The Busy Break

Other artists find busy locations such as cities offer just as much benefit as a quiet retreat. Bustling cities offer a range of benefits that some artists thrive upon. They offer a wealth of big and small galleries where the modern artist can take inspiration from generations of masters as well as upcoming talents. Many artists also find they are invigorated by the lively lifestyle of a city.

Once again, a number of locations have a well-earned reputation as cities for artists. Paris – with its spectacular galleries and huge, long-lived arts scene – is very much the definitive place to go. However, most capitals and other major cities such as London or New York also offer a wealth of museums and galleries.

The Thriving Arts Scene

Many professional or talented amateur artists enjoy visiting a place with a thriving arts scene. These locations offer the chance to meet other artists, take inspiration from a range of installations and galleries, and soak up the almost undefinable atmosphere that comes with a location that has a thriving arts scene and is known for its culture.

This is where the lines between different types of holiday begin to get blurred. Many locations that offer a thriving arts scene will also be city breaks. Paris and Brighton are two of the most notable locations in this category. However, some smaller and quieter locations also have a reputation for their arts scene. Notably, Tunisia’s Sidi Bou Said is a small seaside village with an arts scene to rival many major cities.

 

Image attributed to: prozac1/Freedigitalphotos.net

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/africa/tunisia-the-blue-and-white-village-of-sidi-bou-said-928152.html

 

 

How long does it take to transfer money abroad?

Traveling abroad for a vacation or on business means that travelers have to consider many different things, particularly when it comes to contingency plans in case something goes wrong.  Having a back-up plan is essential and it is extremely important for finances.  What would happen if money was stolen or lost?

Options for replacing missing money

Getting money sent on in an emergency is easy as there are various different options available.  One of the main options is a direct deposit to a bank account.  This money can then be withdrawn via an ATM.  This is a cost effective option as it can be cheap to withdraw money in that way.

Money transfer such as Trans-Fast Money Transfer is another option and is perfect for those who are traveling away from the main tourist routes, perhaps in countries such as the Philippines.  Transferring funds this way can be a little more expensive but it can be easily accessible in many different parts of the world as there are plenty of different outlets.

A more expensive option is to withdraw cash via an ATM using a credit card.  The fees for this can be high and not all credit cards will allow it.  Alternatively there is the option of asking somebody to put cash in an envelope and send via companies such as Fed-Ex.  Couriers frown upon this practice but some people do it because the deliveries are reliable.  However, it should be noted that in some destination countries this is actually illegal – check local regulations first.

In an emergency an embassy might be able to help but they will normally only do so when every other avenue of assistance has been exhausted.  If they do help with money then it should be noted that it would need to be paid back.

Transferring money

Money can be sent online using a transfer service.  This can be done from a debit or credit card and for countries such as the Philippines, can be sent directly to a bank account.  This is a very secure method of sending money and rates are standard so there are no hidden charges.

It should only take between one and two business days to reach the destination account.  This means that the person waiting for the money should not be left struggling for too long.  The transaction can be done online in minutes and it is a very simple process to follow.  One of the advantages is the sheer number of countries that a service like this covers.  Some money transfer services will reach more than 200 different countries, so it is certainly one of the most convenient options.

Looking after money abroad

Planning ahead will mean that these emergency options may never be needed.  It is recommended that not all money is carried in cash in order to prevent it all being lost and it is also a good idea not to keep it all in the same place in luggage.  However, emergencies do happen and are often unpreventable. It is good to know that there are ways to deal with them when they do.

 

 

Essential do’s and don’ts of healthy travel

Traveling is an extremely exciting pastime and for many people, their passion for exploring takes them to a vast array of the world’s countries. However, it’s important to remain safe when discovering the world, and there a few important do’s and don’ts to ensure that individuals return home just as healthy as they were when they set out.

Maintain a little exercise

Though people might be away from their gym, there’s no excuse not to do any exercise. Many hotels have fitness centers that guests can use for the duration of their stay. For city destinations, instead of using taxis to explore, vacationers can discover what the metropolis has to offer on foot. As well as helping fitness, this is also a great way to unearth hidden attractions and hot spots. Finally, even if there’s very little walking involved and no gym to go to, even a few pushups and squats can be done with very little effort.

Keep to a healthy diet

When going on vacation, it’s easy to allow diets to fall by the wayside. Don’t be tempted to start eating unhealthy snacks and fast food simply because it’s convenient. Whilst a lot of accommodation options don’t offer many cooking tools, booking well in advance provides the chance to find hotel rooms with kitchenettes. When going out for daytrips, take a snack bag with fruit, nuts and other healthy morsels. In addition, people shouldn’t be afraid to explore the local cuisine instead of opting for takeaway and fast-food chains that are more familiar. After all, trying new things is why many people travel.

Stay clean

Germs travel at an astonishing rate, and it only takes a brief moment for someone to put their hand to their face, and illness can take hold. Staying clean and washing hands is important in everyday life, but on vacation, it’s vital. Food should never be eaten with hands if they haven’t first been washed. In a country where the water supply’s cleanliness might be called into question, using alcohol wipes or a hand sanitizer is a must.

Prepare medication in advance

Particularly for those who require medication every day, it’s crucial to prepare in advance. Don’t ever leave getting drugs until the last minute, as they might not be available. In addition, it’s essential to check that specific pharmaceuticals are legal in the country being visited. For example, prescriptions that contain codeine aren’t allowed in the UAE. For people who buy medication online, make sure an order is made well in advance of the travel date. In addition, it’s an extremely good idea to get a doctor’s note explaining any medications and why they’re being used.

Luckily, it’s relatively easy to stay safe and healthy when traveling as long as a little common sense is used. Exercise regimes can be upheld simply, and though eating well might take a little more planning, it’s achievable. And, by minimizing the chance of become sick, whilst ensuring all the right medicines have been ordered, explorers can have a great trip with very few worries.

An absolute beginner’s guide to winter sports equipment

With the Winter Olympics in Sochi having drawn to a close and the stunning exploits of the professionals on the ski slopes now confined to memory, maybe it’s time to take the plunge and think about trying out some winter sports. The professionals may make it look easy as they glide their way down the pistes in their designer ski kits and equipment, but for absolute beginners there are a number of things that need to be considered before taking those first cautious steps onto the snow.

Prepare with care

If money were no object then it would be easy to go to a winter sports shop and buy everything that is needed for skiing or snowboarding, but when just starting out it may be better to hire some of the basic equipment just in case the sport is not as appealing as it once seemed.

That said, there aren’t many people who have tasted the thrill of skiing who don’t want to do it again and again, but it’s worth taking the advice of experienced winter sports enthusiasts before taking decisions. Getting the right ski gear and equipment is crucial to having an enjoyable time on the mountain so careful preparation is essential.

Ski gear

The right clothing is particularly important when taking to the slopes for the first time. Warmth is essential, especially when the ambient temperature drops sharply, so start with a thermal vest and leggings, a long-sleeved t-shirt and a fleece top. Over these go a waterproof jacket and salopettes, preferably of breathable material to give sweat the chance to evaporate. Good ski socks are also essential, and wear a woollen hat to help keep the head and ears warm. Ensure that gloves are well-insulated and waterproof. Stylish ski jackets are easily available for those wanting to make a fashion statement on the mountainside.

Ski equipment

The most important item of ski equipment is the boot. It is vital that each boot fits well, allowing a little wriggle room for the toes (otherwise the feet can get really cold) but otherwise holding the feet firmly so they can’t move from side to side. As a beginner it makes sense to wear a well-fitting helmet, as there will be a lot of falling over – mostly unplanned. A helmet will help protect the head when it collides with the ground, as it is likely to do so from time to time. A boot dryer for ski boots can also be a good investment, as this will enable you to enjoy warm dry boots every day of your skiing adventure,

Some beginners may prefer to start out with sunglasses but they are not much use when it snows, so investing in a decent pair of goggles is a good idea.

Choosing appropriate skis is the final step towards getting kitted out for the first adventure in the snow. Skis are made for different skill levels so there is no point in trying a pair that are aimed at experienced skiers. These are stiffer than those for beginners, which are softer and make it easier to turn at lower speeds, helping to build up the muscle strength needed to develop better control.

Places to visit in the Caribbean

The Caribbean islands are unique and have a lot to offer in terms of culture, food and locales. Mention of these beautiful islands evokes images of clear water, carnivals, beautiful landscape and beaches. You also picture images of rich people vacationing in The Caribbean in their luxury yachts and cruises. But the islands have lots of sightseeing opportunities for all people. Let’s have a look at some of the special places which are must see.

Dominican Republic – This beautiful island lies between Punta Cana and Puerto Plate and has the best of resort towns. There’s plenty you can do here. The island has beautiful and green mountains and forests which has many diverse wildlife species. People are friendly and helpful. October to December is the favored time to visit the place. The island is affected by storms and hurricanes from June to November and a visit should be avoided then

Santo Domingo: This place is a popular destination for tourists who are interested in historical places. Santo Domingo is the most densely populated area in the Caribbean. The city also has lively bars and casinos. The best time to visit is from November to March.

Aruba : Aruba is an island in South part of The Caribbean. Tourists love the place for tis warm sunny weather and its beautiful white beaches. The island attracts many divers from all over the world who are looking for places to study the coral reefs. People here are friendly and helpful.

In order to visit the beautiful islands, don’t forget to bring some essential items which would help you in your visit. Do remember to take a decent camera with you so that you can click photographs of this beautiful place. Also bring along comfortable shoes with you as sandals can cause blisters on your feet.

Water sports

The Caribbean islands are popular for water sports. Caribbean water sports include swimming, waterskiing, snorkeling and kayaking.

Snorkeling- Snorkeling is a popular Caribbean water sport where there are well marked snorkeling trails across many islands in Caribbean.

Parasailing – Parasailing training and equipment’s are available from hotel as well as from the beach. Parasailing gives view of beautiful beaches, clear waters and wildlife of The Caribbean.

Waterskiing – Waterskiing has become very popular lately. There are many people on beach who can rent such jet skis.

Scuba diving – Scuba diving is another popular sport where there are several popular diving spots in The Cayman islands.

Caribbean carnivals

A Caribbean carnival is held every year. Carnivals are special here as it represents the culture here. Due to a large number of Africans on the island, African traditions are a part of the carnival. A Caribbean carnival is quite exciting and colorful as each islands has its own twist to the celebrations.

You should go ahead and take part in Caribbean vacations.

Florence: Essential Travel Tips

Whenever you head off to a new city it’s always a good idea to get some insider tips that will make your visit even better that you planned. Knowing what to do and where to go is essential, it’s also important to know the best ways to get around the city and to save money. I love going to Florence, over the years I have been able to get some great local knowledge that makes my trips there go very smoothly indeed. So whether it’s looking for the best sites or booking apartments in Florence, this list that I have created below will help you plan for a great break to Florence, please do comment and let me know if you have any other advice or if you have found better ways than I have mentioned. We are a travel community and should all come together to help each other out. So here are my best travel tips for Florence.

Buy the Firenze Card as soon as possible

Florence is really keeping up with the times by offering a card that gives you admission to most of the major museums, bust travel free and also allows you to queue jump at a lot of the attractions. The card is absolutely fantastic, it will be valid for 72 hours after you purchase it and at the moment it costs just 50 Euros. When you look at all of the places that you are given entry to with the card you will be able to see that it will end up saving you money, some museums charge around 40 Euros for a one time entry You will be able to see all of the main sites for 50 euros and also have free local transport on buses around the city – does it get any better?

Choose the right Hotel

We all know that with every trip picking the right hotel is always important. If you can, try to avoid hotels that around the area of Santa Maria Novella, this will allow you to choose a more relaxing place to stay. There are plenty of hotels that are around the train station, but you will find that these hotels are on very busy treats that can be very noisy indeed. Florence is a tiny place, so no matter where you choose to stay you will never be too far from all of the major sites and it won’t take you hours to get from A to B. Every time I visit I try to find other accommodation that is different to the last place i stayed, remember to read reviews and ratings online before confirming your booking.

Never take the bus, always walk in Florence

As mentioned above, Florence is a very small city it is much smaller than you can ever imagine. A lot of people that visit Florence have been to other major cities such as Rome, they of course think that the city bus is the quickest way to get around the city – they hop off the train and on to a bus heading to the city center. What you must note is that the train station is in the historical part of Florence, the cathedral is only 5 minutes walking. If you were to walk from one side of the city to the other it would only take around thirty minutes. So, do yourself a favour and walk when you can it will help to discover the city and burn off some of the tasty Italian food that you have been eating.

 

Archaeology and culture in Gran Canaria

With its rugged terrain, picturesque remote villages and fascinating history, it’s important to remember that Gran Canaria is more than just a beach destination. A rich and varied history awaits you, with a plethora of historic attractions, as well as a diverse and multifaceted culture. There is ample opportunity to discover much about Gran Canaria during your stay here, and once you’ve sorted out transportation (which you can do at this link), you can start planning what would be best to see. For now, we’ll just outline our personal favourite aspects about the island’s culture and archaeology to whet your appetite.

Culture

Gran Canaria is a world of contrasts – of seemingly opposing aspects that somehow complement one another. Where else can you explore an incredible old gothic church and then venture outside into a banana plantation? Or stumble into the ruins of a pre-Hispanic city just two steps away from the market? The joy of exploring the island by yourself is that you can enjoy these experiences on a spontaneous basis. There are plenty of historical relics to discover from cultures across the world. Gran Canaria was once a gigantic crossroads for the international shipping trade, and so sailors from many different countries have been able to make their mark on it over time.

The remote picturesque villages are a particular highlight. Make time to visit Tejeda – it may be high in the mountains but its beautiful collection of churches and historic attractions is second to none. Likewise, the town of Arucas is dominated by a neo-gothic style of architecture that has been impressing visitors for centuries. Puerto de las Nieves is a little fishing village – visit here for excellent seafood cuisine, the freshest you can get.

Archaeology

If you’re interested in exploring the activities of Gran Canaria’s ancient inhabitants, you’re in for a treat. The island is said to have been blessed with the most complete ruins of past civilisations of all its Canary equivalents. It counts caves painted with indigenous Canarian artwork among its sites of historical interest, as well as the enormous burial area of Maipes Archaeological Park, which stretches onwards with a surface of over one square kilometre. The caves of Tunte, however, hide evidence of the living – this large underground settlement comprises an entire village complete with dwellings, granaries and rupestrian paintings. It is absolutely fascinating to wander through. You’ll find ancient constructions out in the open too, such as those of La Restinga, which were supposedly used for grain storage by the first inhabitants of Gran Canaria.

For an informed education on the island’s history, head to one of its many museums. The Museo de la Zafra offers a striking look into the traditional agricultural way of life led in the local area, while Salines de Tenefe gives a surprisingly informative indication of why salt has been so historically important to the island. Failing that, head to Casa de Colon – the House of Columbus – which celebrates Gran Canaria’s role in the discovery of America and its central position in the international trade network.

Top casinos to visit when travelling in Europe

If you were looking for a break from the snow, hen heading down into mainland Europe would be a great idea. Travellers have a lot of choices when planning their next holiday. Many prefer to plan a holiday around a particular theme such as something they wish to do while away from home. Today, casino holidays are a popular theme as more and more people are into casino gambling thanks to the prevalence and ease of access provided by online casinos. The continent of Europe is an excellent place to visit many casinos. Given the smaller nature of the countries here, it is quite easy to move across borders with the excellent transportation system.

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 8.56.48 PM

France is the home to many different casinos. The French city of Cannes is not only well known for their high profile film festival but their casinos as well. The Casino Croisette offers up almost 300 slot machine games. These can include three reel or five reel machines. Live games are also popular options. Poker is well liked and versions like Omaha Poker and Texas Hold ‘Em can be found at Croisette. Given the casino’s poker reputation, the World Poker Tour has opted to have some of their high level tournaments here at the Casino Croisette. Weekly ladies’ games are also featured here.

Cannes also provides visitors with another casino, The Casino Palm Beach, which is smaller than the Casino Croisette, however it offers the same sort of casino games. Expect to also find live table games and slot machine games. With it being situated along the sunny French Riviera, visitors also come to the region to enjoy the spectacular beaches. Many guests will find that depending upon the time of year, the casino may be rather quiet. An aspect of casino gambling that some players prefer is this intimate nature. Outdoor gambling is a new trend found at both casinos, as this has been created in order to please guests who smoke. But you can enjoy the casinos from the cold climates of Scandinavia and play online pokies from your log cabin.

fvk_glasgow

The Kerrang! Tour, 2014

It’s that time of year again when the Kerrang! Tour hits the road. Rock lovers are always waiting to hear for news of the event as it attracts some big names from all around the word, the 2014 lineup will not disappoint. With Limp Bizkit being the main attraction the event is sure to be a resounding success. Tickets are being offered at a superb rate, you can buy tickets for only 20 pounds! This means that you will have to get in early and buy your ticket, you will not be the only one who wants to go and see the tour as it makes it’s way through Liverpool. Check online before it is too late!

fvk_glasgow

Limp Bizkit are a great addition to the line up, they have had unbelievable success world wide and remain top of the list of many people as the best live band to see. They also branched out into other genres, they collaborated with the Rap juggernaut that is Jay-Z to produce a special live album. The fusion of rap and metal meant that their music reached a wider audience, this audience then bought into the Limp Bizkit music and catapulted them even more to the forefront of music. With other great additions to the line up there is something for everyone on the list, the climax will come when the American rockers take the stage, I’m sure the roof will come off when they run through their long list of classics that the crowd know off by heart.

The Kerrang tour has always been popular in Liverpool, this is because it is easy to reach and there are plenty of options for accommodation in the surrounding areas. One of the best places to stay is Runcorn, it’s a very relaxed place. It gives you the perfect opportunity to relax and rest before a night of loud music, walk through the streets eating in one of the many local cafes and then enjoy a beer before catching the train into Liverpool. If you’re looking for the ideal place for you and your friends to sleep then you should definitely take a look a the local Holiday Inn. With great facilities, friendly staff and fantastic location you can’t go wrong if you make a booking. Be sure to get in early because you will not be the only one looking to get some great accommodation.

Are ‘Northern Lights’ Cruises a Good Idea?

Ask for holiday advice for the depths of winter, and most people would suggest heading south, towards the sun. For the winter of 2013/14, though, the smart move is to head north, because there are more ways to enjoy the sun than just basking in it on a beach somewhere.

images (47)
Every eleven years or so, the sun becomes very active. Like an obstreperous teenager it develops spots, flares up unpredictably, and starts throwing things around, disturbing the atmosphere. Luckily, the result is the awe-inspiring display of celestial fireworks we know as the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. This winter coincides with the peak of solar activity, and the aurorae are already dancing across the northern skies.

Don’t Panic!

It’s a long time since people believed the Northern Lights heralded the end of the world, or that the red streamers across the sky were the work of fire-breathing dragons. They’re quite safe, so why not enjoy the show? As natural wonders go, they are certainly amongst the most breath-taking, and never the same twice. Vast swathes of the sky fill with shimmering curtains of green, white and red light, and although they may appear to reach right down to the ground, all the action actually occurs nearly a hundred miles above the ground.

See The Light

Every season, a dedicated band of aurora-watchers flock to northern climes to view this natural spectacle. Although the Lights do occasionally appear over the UK, they become more common and reliable further north, so the Nordic countries, Alaska, and Canada are all popular destinations. City breaks, remote wilderness treks, and independent travelling are all viable options for enjoying the show, but it’s always best to have some other interest for those times when the skies are cloudy, or the Lights take a night off.

Northern Lights Cruises

An increasingly popular way to sneak a glimpse of the Northern Lights is on a dedicated cruise, and various cruise operators, such as Royal Caribbean Cruises, are gearing up for the season this year. Apart from the Northern Lights, fjord-hopping up and down the coast of Norway offers some spectacular scenery, plenty of ice, and interesting drop off points. Being out to sea affords some excellent viewing conditions, too, as the night skies are free of the bright lights found on land, and the Northern Lights stand out all the better.

Pack Your Thermals

No pain, no gain, though. Before embarking on a cruise consider if you are a good sailor – the North Sea can be a little choppy in winter, and it would be a shame to miss the show and spend the whole trip feeling queasy in the cabin. As for baggage, expect to take a little more than shorts, flip flops, and dinner jacket. Plenty of layers and weatherproofs will be required, as the breeze off the glaciers can be rather nippy, and stout footwear is needed for the snow and ice when taking trips ashore. Being prepared will pay dividends and allow you to enjoy the glorious sights in comfort.