Monday, April 23, 2007

Alicante An Amazing City In The Costa Blanca Region Of Spain

By Lee Smith

SUMMARY: Uniquely located between the sea and the mountains, Alicante is a beautiful port city and a commercial town in Valencia, Spain. It is also the second largest Valencian city and is the headquarters of the province of Alicante. Home to over 0.3 million people, Alicante is also a popular tourist destination in Europe.

Alicante is a stunning harbour city and also a business town in the Valencia region of Costa Blanca, Spain. Located in the middle of the sea and the mountains, it is the second biggest city in the Valencian region. Alicante houses 0.3 million inhabitants and is also a very popular place for tourists.

Alicante has a small city centre, which means you can visit most of the tourist locations by foot. The city is pre-historical and hence there are lots of historical places of interests in Alicante that are worth a visit. Iglesia de Santa Maria - the 15th century church – is one such edifice, also the oldest in Alicante. The interesting aspect with Iglesia de Santa Maria is that it was a mosque during the Moorish times. The MUBAG and Town Hall are situated quite nearby. Located 5km from the city centre is the Monastery de la Santa Faz, which is a great tourist attraction worth visiting.

However, the most prominent attraction of Alicante is the Castle of Santa Barbara, which overlooks the sea and the city itself, from the top of Mount Benacantil. For tourists, the castle can be reached by road or by means of a lift that ascends from Paseo Maritimo. Another historic palace in the city is the Gavina Palace. The edifice now houses the Provincial Gallery, and its collection of 19th century paintings.

Alicante is also famous for its many museums and the stunning artifacts it houses. You must visit the museums of Alicante if you want to gain an insight into it's history. The Archeology Museum is one such repository that has some invaluable collections of artifacts from the medieval Spanish era. The Nativity Scene Museum at San Augustin Street that houses various scenes and figures from across the globe is one of its kinds and is worth paying a visit. The entry is free of cost. The Cathedral of San Nicolas de Bari is located just around the corner from the museum.

The biggest of attractions of Alicante, however, is its beautiful beaches and thrilling nightlife that is one of the best in the whole Spain. The Beach of San Juan is a beautiful loclation and is a popular place for clubbers. Almadraba and Albufereta - famous for water sports activities – the city beach Playa del Postiguet - and Urbanova are other top beaches in the city.

Regarding nightlife, the thick of the activities is centered on El Barrio. This area is crammed with pizza joints and bars and beer cellars. Between Alfonso El Sabio Street and Explanada you will find some great restaurants and pubs in one of Alicante's best promenades. Some beer and a walk along the promenade – a lazy vacation evening cannot get any better than this.

Alicante airport is a popular and growing airport with links all across Spain and Europe. Alicante also has a bus station and a central train station that offers daily connections to Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona and Seville. Buses run to almost every destination in Spain.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Key West - the island in the ocean

The Spaniards, who saw these places, shouted: "Oh, Florida!" Legend has it that that is what the state takes its name. Once in Florida, very often I exclaim after pioneers : Oh, what beaches! Oh, the parks! Oh the museums! Here, as many sites that cover everything in a single article is impossible. Therefore, we will talk only about Key West, one of the islands of the archipelago Florida Keys, the southern state of Florida.

Islands Florida Keys linked to the peninsula of Florida highway unique Overseas Highway. Its length is 113 miles (about 180 kilometers), and is one of the longest highway in the world, connecting the island with a large land.

It built on the spot an old railway, which was built in 1912, millionaire Henry Morrison Flaglerom. Its length is 160 kilometers, a figure unprecedented in those times, especially if one considers that most of the roads had been built over the water. Iron road built seven years; It claimed the lives of 700 people and costing 50 million dollars. But it has only 23 years, the terrible hurricane of Labor Day in 1935 virtually destroyed its ...

Then instead of the railroad car paved road with 42 bridges, one of which is local dostoprimechatelnost correction. Its length - 7 miles (about 11 kilometres), it is called "Seven Mile Bridge", and his picture can be seen in virtually any tourist guide.

The road lies on the island Key West. This is the ultimate, the most southern point of the United States, zero mile Overseas Highway. There was even a special krasno-cherno-jelty buoy, which is written : "The southernmost point of the mainland United States. 90 miles to Cuba."

The island Key West is very small - just 3.2 by 6.4 kilometres, but the island rich history here lived and created many famous people of America, came here to relax Presidents Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy (by the way, the presidential residence here called "Little White House"), on the island even has its own airport. Another said that there is always a good weather, the most beautiful eyes, and that the site is the dream of every tourist ... But everything in order.

City artists, writers and ... cats

Key West is often referred to as paradise on earth, and, of course, the place could not attract many famous Americans. Here at different times lived and worked John Odabon James, Ernest Hemingway, Robert Frost, John Dos Passos, Tennessee Williams and many others, known and not, writers, poets and artists. There is an enormous amount of art galleries and small exhibition halls, where you can buy not only these works of art, and cheap paintings by local artists.

The city is divided into two parts, Old Town and New Town. Of course, for tourists greatest interest is the Old Town. And it is easy to get around on foot in just a few hours. Generally, I would advice is always walking, as in the search space for the machine, you may lose more than one hour. In an extreme case, you can always find a taxi-cost, it would not be very expensive, and where else in the world you will be able to ride in a taxi pink?!

There are many museums, and literary, and memorials, and historic ... Eyes just jawbone. And we must not forget the beaches, fishing. Time here as a slowing down, and will not want to rush. It should be noted that local residents will not hurry, and do not be surprised if in a restaurant you will long serve, it is simply not a rush.

So, if you are limited in time and do not want to run from one museum to another, I would advise myself just a few.

Of course, one can not visit the famous Aquarium. It was built in 1934 and has been called the world's first aquarium in the open. Maybe of course it is not the largest in America, but attracts thousands of tourists to its unusual show feeding sharks, and huge sea turtles. Plus, you can touch the hands of underwater creatures, see barrakud, bass, sea bass, yes all, and not pereczyslishy. Sharks and turtles are fed four times a day, feeding time is written in numerous references, so it is easy to podgadati to Aquarium and see and observe the akulim or tortoise lunch.

After radio can go fishing, the choice is almost unlimited, and to try to catch or raboumec barrakudu. Local fishermen argue that caught even sharks, but this is a great rarity. If you poimaete some unusual fish, the additional fee you can make it stuffed.

Further our path lies in the museum of shipwrecks. The actors, dressed in costumes nineteenth century, the play scenes visitors death shuttle Isaac Allerton, which sank off the coast of Key West in 1856.

And then you can go up to the viewing platform, which since its 20m height was fantastic view of the Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. And who knows, maybe you are lucky, and you will see on the bottom of the sea a ship sunk?

Overall it must be said that the Key West house and can have fun. Every month there are various competitions and festivals, so the chance to go to any celebration of a very high, it is a festival of Robert Frost, and the Theatre Festival, and all sorts of music festivals ... In short, it would be to celebrate and reason can always be found.

One such activity is the "Festival sunset passing on Mallory Square. Local residents say it, "accidentally" forgetting to mention that the festival daily. And we are afraid to move enough, someone behind ... And only then found that it is zakat-to every day!

Every day hundreds of people come to the river to watch the sun. Here are the various street musicians, clowns, artists, traders souvenirs, then you can try the local exotic dishes and drinks. But looking eyes, shodite in a small restaurant or cafe, or simply poguleite City.

Our short trip to Key West is coming to an end. But visit here at least once, I would like to come back again. People in Key West and look good, the ocean-warm and everything, beaches, excellent, very fine tasty and varied. And what will you to the happiness? One is tempted to say : Key West tourist-back!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Maldives - Water Wonderworld

By Eric Hartwell

SUMMARY: What some people call a "thousand Robinson Crusoe islands" could be your next travel destination. The Maldives are ideal for a honeymoon, a family vacation, or a private getaway.

The Maldives are a perfect destination for a holiday, especially if you enjoy the water and all it has to offer. What some people call a "thousand Robinson Crusoe islands" could be your next travel destination. The Maldives are ideal for a honeymoon, a family vacation, or a private getaway. They are the destination of choice for those that enjoy scuba diving and snorkelling.

Warm temperatures all year round, picturesque scenery, and deep-sea underwater diving are just a few of the great reasons to book a trip to this beautiful Maldivian wonderland. Each of the 86 tourist resorts comprising the Maldives caters for scuba diving, and every one has scuba instructors, equipment, and easy set-up for underwater expeditions.

Special courses cover night diving, rescue diving, underwater photography, simple naturalism, and sharks. The growing interest in marine biology amongst students and laymen has influenced the Maldives' instructional courses. All the dive schools instruct in English, at least. It's not uncommon to have German, Italian, French, and Japanese instruction availability.

Some dive schools are instructor development centers, yet others cater to a large variety of advanced and specialized dive courses. All are concerned for safety and security so you will always be in good hands.

These are the ideal islands to get your introduction into scuba diving because all the islands have the basic equipment of compressors, tanks, BCDs, wetsuits, weight belts, etc. Some islands even rent out underwater cameras and video cameras. Snorkeling is better for those afraid of deep sea diving, and surfing is better for those that want to stay above the waves.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Travel Central America

Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Central America offers travelers the opportunity to visit one of the world’s most amazing ecological and cultural destinations. Central America is home to beautiful jungles, sandy beaches, waterspouts like surfing and SCUBA diving, and some of the western hemispheres most hospitable resort destinations.

While Central America has experienced a tumultuous past that includes colonial exploitation and violent uprisings, travelers who visit today will experience relative safety. For those visitors who choose to travel South America, each country offers a unique experience that will engage and entertain them.

Check out the following countries and attractions when you travel South America:

By far, the most stable country in Central America, Belize was created for travelers seeking a Caribbean flavor with a mainland location. In fact, most visitors agree that Belize has more in common with islands of the Caribbean than with its more volatile Central American neighbors. Home to a 180 mile long barrier reef, Belize is a SCUBA and snorkeling enthusiasts dream.

Despite its reputation for social and political repression, travelers flock to the Central American country of Guatemala in an effort to see its natural wonders. Huge volcanoes and the regions highest concentration of Mayan ruins draw visitors to this turbulent nation.

El Salvador:
With the civil war of the 1980’s long over, El Salvador is now transformed into a traveler-friendly destination with huge natural volcanoes. Travelers should certainly visit places like the Montecristo Cloud Forest, which receives over 80 inches of rain annually, and the capital city of San Salvador.

Honduras may appear to be a true banana republic, but travel there is easy, enjoyable and inexpensive. The slow pace, natural beauty and low-profile tourism make it particularly appealing to travelers who enjoy getting off the beaten track.

This troubled Central American nation is rebuilding after years of war. Travelers are drawn there by its wondrous natural landscapes and vast natural treasures.

Costa Rica:
Known as the most stable and ecologically stunning nation in Central America, Costa Rica is the most successful tourist destination in the region. By embracing a very progressive attitude towards the preservation of the environment, visitors who travel Costa Rica can experience the amazing natural wonders of the Central American region. With miles of beautiful coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica provides surfing and snorkeling for its guests. The rain forest of inland Costa Rica is home to monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and exotic birds as well as some rare and endangered plant species, as well.

Except for the world famous Canal that bears the country’s name, Panama is largely overshadowed by its neighbors as a popular destination for Central American travelers. Those who do choose to visit Panama will be enthralled by numerous natural and cultural wonders that should not be overlooked. Visitors should be sure to experience the nation’s native birds and the thrill of off-shore deep-sea fishing.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Romantic Vienna - City Of High Culture And Old World Charm

By Andrew Regan

SUMMARY: Spring is here, love is in the air and if you're thinking about whisking your partner away for a romantic weekend then Vienna - with its high culture and old world charm - makes a great getaway for two.

Less well known as a romantic destination than the somewhat clichéd Paris – the Austrian capital of Vienna is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated and vibrant cities of the world. Its blend of historical and cultural heritage mixed with majestic boulevards, medieval streets and ornate courtyards, radiates old world charm and magic.

But it’s not just architecture that makes Vienna a prime spot for a romantic getaway; the cobbled streets are lined with superb Viennese coffee houses, from where you can try an Austrian fruit tea and the city’s famous pastries. Wander onwards and you’ll find cosmopolitan shops, museums and fantastic restaurants to wine and dine in. Try the traditional Wiener schnitzel or beef goulash, both staple dishes in Vienna, or perhaps grab a Wiener from a Wustelstand as you walk past.

For the evenings, why not sample an opera, ballet or concert? Vienna boasts a proud musical heritage and has produced a number of renowned artistic geniuses, such as Schubert, Brahms and Mozart. There are hundreds of bars, clubs and music venues across the city offering countless opportunities to enjoy classical concerts - but make sure you book in advance, as performances at major venues sell out fast!

Vienna is great to visit in winter when the streets are covered in soft snow: the city becomes a glorious Yuletide parade of colour and music in which you can enjoy Gluwein from the Christmas markets stalls and take in the festive street spirit. And if you get cold, step into the Schmetterlinghaus (Butterfly house) - a dreamy enclave containing more than 150 different species of butterflies, which maintains a cosy temperature of 26C throughout the year.

To inject some real romance into your stay, why not take a room in one of Vienna’s grand hotels such as Hotel Sacher, with its blissfully romantic décor such as white and gold rococo furniture, pink marble bathrooms and views of the opera house? Or, how about a stay in Vienna’s first boutique hotel - the Hotel Das Treist - with its laid back élan, colourful interior and chic Italian restaurant?

Getting to this romantic Austrian paradise is quick and easy with cheap flights to Vienna from London taking just over two hours. So if you’re looking for a romantic destination to woo your partner, Vienna - the city of high culture and old world charm - is the perfect place to visit.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Egypt - Haggling for Bargains

By Elizabeth Hutcheson

Bargaining for goods and services is customary in Egypt and many visitors relish negotiating for that elusive ‘best’ price. But for those unused to the concept, haggling can seem daunting. Securing the ‘right’ price, even for Egyptians, is an acquired skill that takes practice, patience and above all a sense of humour.

When hunting for gifts and souvenirs visitors should never feel pressurised to purchase quickly. Competition is stiff between traders and most shops and markets are open until midnight, seven days a week, affording the visitor plenty of time to browse the wealth of exotic goods available and compare prices.

But there are exceptions to this. Charges are not open to negotiation in coffee shops, restaurants and at fruit and vegetable stalls where profit margins are low. Goods in supermarkets and pharmacies are mostly computerised and prices there are fixed. Private taxi fares should be agreed before acceptance and getting an idea of the real cost of public transport is to be recommended before using.

The local bazaar (souq), where haggling is practically obligatory, can be especially intimidating for the novice shopper on a first visit. Having a drink at any one of the numerous coffee shops is a good way of adjusting to the cacophony of noise and overpowering aromas from spices and smoke. Vendors work extremely hard at enticing potential buyers to inspect their wares. Careful scrutiny of the pantomime of negotiations that follow a successful engagement is the best introduction to the art of Egyptian street trading.

Shopkeepers are more than happy to discuss prices, but most are reluctant to put a value on any item until they have an idea of how much money is likely to be spent. For the serious bargain hunter patience and use of some acting skills is vital. Hesitating, pretending lack of funds and walking away all help.

No trader worth his salt willingly lets a potential buyer go and will eventually name a figure. When he does, a counter offer of at least half is acceptable and from thereon a right good ‘haggling banter’ can be enjoyed by all.

Should a vendor stick at a price that seems too high then either remain persistent, and perhaps casually mention that you have seen the item cheaper elsewhere, or politely depart. A vendor will only let you go if your final offer really is too low.

One useful ploy is to discuss the price of an unwanted item and, when negotiations reach a stalemate, enquire about the item you really want. The vendor, anxious to make a sale, will almost certainly give you his lowest acceptable price for this one.

It can be difficult to prevent others joining in the bidding game, but try not to as it only causes confusion and generally works against you.

Window shopping alone is great fun and a valuable opportunity for tourists to learn about the local people, culture as well as checking out prices. No one is ever obliged to make a purchase, even when offered refreshments.

Should you subsequently find out that someone paid less for the same purchase, don’t worry about it if you think what you paid was fair, reasonable and affordable.

For many tourists the powerful purchasing power of the euro and dollar, combined with relatively cheaper prices for goods and services, is a major reason for choosing Egypt as a holiday destination. But it should be borne in mind, however, that wages are extremely low and for most traders profits are marginal as well as seasonal.

Visitors can generally afford to be a little generous and expect to pay slightly over the odds, especially when asking prices are put into perspective when converted.

However, some unfortunate visitors have been known to forget and squander precious holiday time arguing like crazy over what turned out to be mere pennies in their own currency!