Category: Countries



Bernese Oberland

The Gstaad-Saanenland holiday region in the Bernese Oberland is popular with a charming mix of visitors: while the chalet village of Gstaad attracts countless stars and starlets the smaller neighbouring villages offer attractive options for families with children.

Zoom map


In the past years the centre of Gstaad has developed into the most popular and shortest shopping street in Switzerland. With its top hotels, gourmet restaurants, luxury chalets and nearby Saanen airport, the car-free resort of Gstaad is a popular destination for international celebrities. With the neighbouring resorts of Saanen, Rougemont, Schönried, Saanenmöser, Zweisimmen, Gsteig and Lauenen, the Saanenland as a whole however offers a considerably broader spectrum: the nature preserve by idyllic Lake Lauenen with its waterfalls and high moors, the narrow streets in the historic village centre of Saanen, the advantageous situation of Schönried and Saanenmöser for winter sports enthusiasts and the peacefulness of the idyllic mountain village of Abländschen are examples of an extremely diverse holiday region.

The Saanenland ski and hiking arena with 57 transport facilities has been given the name «Gstaad Mountain Rides». It is accessible from several villages by link transport facilities. The Montreux-Oberland-Railways (MOB) and buses connect Gstaad with other base stations in Saanenmöser, Schönried, Zweisimmen, Gsteig, Reusch, Lauenen Rougemont and Château-d’Oex in the French-speaking neighbouring region of Pays d’Enhaut.


The wide-open countryside of the Saanenland offers a versatile and and diverse sports programme: hiking (trail network of over 300 km), mountain biking, paragliding and golf. On the River Saane there are opportunities for mountain torrent and canoo adventures. Summer cross-country skiing is possible in the «Glacier 3000» ski region. The summer toboggan run in Schönried, a via ferrata and the Lake Lauenen nature paradise are ideal excursion destinations for families.



In winter, 220km of pistes at altitudes of up to 3000 metres above sea level await skiers and snowboard riders. Several snowparks and numerous toboggan runs as well as 165km of trails for classic- and skating-style cross-country skiing are at the disposal of visitors. For walkers there are about 200km of winter walking trails. Among the rather more unusal activities on offer there is Bavarian curling in the centre of Gstaad and glacier- and heli-skiing.

Winter in the smaller resorts in the region, such as Lauenen, means peace and pleasure on long winter walks, while cross-country skiing or taking a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh.



True to its slogan, “come up, slow down”, Gstaad provides a deliberate counterpoint to our increasingly hectic daily lives. The wellness destination of Gstaad guarantees a perfect wellbeing experience thanks to its intact nature, unsurpassed variety of leisure activities, healthy mountain agriculture and international top events. The right pampering programme is provided by five hotels with a publicly accessible and complete wellness infrastructure, eight hotels with a partial wellness offering and a sports centre with indoor swimming pool. The area’s harmonic topography is made up of five valleys. The location between 1,000 and 3,000 metres above sea-level has a positive impact on your wellbeing. Rushing mountain streams, sparkling mountain lakes, forests and gently rolling green hills with a spectacular Alpine backdrop lend the landscape its idyllic charm. Gstaad is also a paradise for fine diners, with more than 100 restaurants ranging from cosy raclette restaurants to acclaimed gourmet temples. Those who are fond of Alpine authenticity will find plenty of options for accommodation in traditional Alpine operations. Gstaad’s car-free promenade and its easily accessible recreation areas complete the overall impression in a pleasant way.


  • Gourmet restaurants – the gourmet’s paradise of Gstaad has no fewer than fifteen renowned restaurants, including the Restaurant Chesery which has been awarded 18 Gault Millau points.
  • Lake Lauenen – idyllic mountain lake you simply have to take a dip in and excursion destination with a restaurant for mountain bikers and walkers.
  • Scooter fun – Wispile-Gstaad or Sparenmoos-Zweisimmen offer fast descents on special scooters.
  • «Golden Pass» panorama railway – journey from Montreux on Lake Geneva via Gstaad to Lake Thun and from there on to Lucerne in Central

Top Events

  • International Balloon Festival in Châteux-d’Oex – most important Alpine balloon event with about 90 hot-air balloons in a variety of shapes and colours (January).
  • Swatch FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour – 1to1 energy Grand Slam Gstaad – volleyball admidst impressive scenery (July).
  • Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad – international ATP Tennis Tournament with elite players (July).
  • Davidoff Saveurs Gstaad – celebration of authentic flavours from kitchen, cellar and humidor (July).
  • Menuhin Festival Gstaad – summer music festival in honour of the great violinist and conductor (July – September).
  • Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad – international teams riding fiery Arab horses fight for victory (August).
  • Country Night Gstaad – leading country event encompassing a wide musical spectrum (September).
  • Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad – intimate festival of classical music in spring (February/March).

Summer In Cyprus


For those seeking the splendour of the Mediterranean at its peak, summer is an ideal season to visit Cyprus.
From May to mid-October, in Paphos, temperatures are at a steady high, the sky is a cloudless azure blue and, when the heat gets too much, the sea is a stone’s throw away for a refreshing dip. It’s also the ideal season for a range of water sports activities such as scuba diving and sailing.
The early part of the day is perfect for exploring the exceptional local archaeological remains, including the Temple of Aphrodite, where the goddess of love was worshipped.
During the summer, visitors must get into the habit of wearing sunscreen and protective head-wear.
April and May bring in early summer when days are comfortably warm but the evenings are cool. Light daytime clothing and long sleeved cotton or thin woolies are recommended for this part of the season. Especially in April, the countryside is in bloom with wild flowers making it an ideal time for nature-walking.
June, July and August mark the height of summer when temperatures soar and the beaches are at their busiest. There is a selection of tourist and less well known beaches to enjoy in Paphos. The Cyprus Tourist Organisation can advise visitors on where it is safe to swim.
A day-tip to the Troodos villages in the mountains provide an opportunity for traditional dining, visits to UNESCO churches and welcoming cooler climes.

Day Temperature High: 22C
Night Temperature Low: 12C
Sea Temperature: 20C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 9
Humidity: 67%
Days of Rain: 3
Day Temperature High: 26C
Night Temperature Low: 16C
Sea Temperature: 21C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 10
Humidity: 68%
Days of Rain: 3
Day Temperature High: 30C
Night Temperature Low: 18C
Sea Temperature: 24C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 12
Humidity: 64%
Days of Rain: 1
Day Temperature High: 32C
Night Temperature Low: 21C
Sea Temperature: 26C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 12
Humidity: 60%
Days of Rain: 1
Day Temperature High: 33C
Night Temperature Low: 22C
Sea Temperature: 27C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 12
Humidity: 61%
Days of Rain: 1
Day Temperature High: 31C
Night Temperature Low: 20C
Sea Temperature: 26C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 11
Humidity: 59%
Days of Rain: 10
Day Temperature High: 27C
Night Temperature Low: 16C
Sea Temperature: 24C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 9
Humidity: 64%
Days of Rain: 3

Original Story


World’s Best Places to Visit


Sometimes, when the travel bug strikes, the only cure is to pack your bags and go. But where to? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite spots from across the globe. Our list includes the most popular places and we’re adding new destinations all the time, so don’t worry if your favorite spot didn’t make the cut. Check back soon to see if your dream vacation makes the list.




Why go: Year after year, the magnetic City of Lights draws new travelers to its Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre Dame — but Paris also keeps experienced travelers coming back for more. See, there’s always a new Michelin-rated restaurant to try, a new exhibit to see at the Centre Pompidou or a new shop in which to swipe your credit card. And we can’t discount Paris’ je ne sais quoi charm that’s unexplainable but also unmistakeable.


Why go: Known around the world for its legendary fútbol team, Barcelona boasts much more than just athletic talent. Touring the city is a feast for the eyes: Visitors walk past medieval architecture in the Barri Gotic and the innovative creations of Gaudi in Parc Guell. Matching Paris’ Notre Dame with its own Sagrada Familia, Barcelona puts itself near the top of this list with a fun-loving spirit and creative ambition.


Why go: The United Kingdom’s capital city is a world unto itself. With eclectic neighborhoods and numerous landmarks, London requires several days (if not years) to get to know. That said, your inaugural visit (as you will certainly be coming back for more) should include trips to the Tower of London, the National Gallery, and the British Museum. But if you have more time, hit up Portobello Road and Borough Market to appreciate the local culture.


Why go: Relaxed yet professional, classic yet innovative — San Francisco takes its paradoxical qualities in stride, boasting diverse cultural enclaves. Neighborhoods like Nob Hill, the Castro and the Mission District offer unique experiences for every traveler. Yet, there are several monuments that you can’t miss, such as the cable cars, Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz. And, of course, the city’s crowning architectural achievement — the Golden Gate Bridge — is unmistakable.


Why go: Author Ayn Rand once wrote, “I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline.” While many disagree with her politics, her sentiment for the Big Apple is widely shared. America’s most populous city hosts infinite urban adventures. Enjoy an afternoon in Central Park or visit the exhibits at the MoMa or the Met. While new sites, like the National September 11 Memorial, are always popping up, the classics, like the Empire State Building, never get old.


Why go: Of all the Hawaiian Islands, Maui might be the most beloved. The island encapsulates all that Hawaii has to offer: exotic beaches (like Kaihalulu), palatial resorts (like the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea) and lush terrain (as seen in the Iao Valley State Park). Maui can also cater to a range of budgets — the same cannot be said for some of its sister islands, like neighboring Lanai. Visitors regularly return to the mainland singing praise for Maui, but the smart few just put down new roots and pick up a Mai Tai.


Why go: Here, it’s as if Paris migrated to North America. Montreal boasts elements of French culture with a friendly Canadian feel. Travelers adore the quaint cafés, bustling marketplaces and old-world architecture that characterize Montreal. To truly appreciate the city’s majesty, visit St. Joseph’s Oratory, next to Mont-Royal. This immense basilica crowns the skyline and provides an ideal vantage point.


Why go: While it may not be as grand as New York City or as historic as Montreal, why Vancouver caught the attention of the International Olympic Committee is no mystery. This coastal Canadian city boasts a vast amount of outdoor activities that beckon to adrenaline hounds. Kayak in English Bay or test gravity on the Capilano Suspension Bridge before enjoying a scrumptious meal in the second-largest Chinatown in North America.


Why go: Whether they’re swimming in Lake Zurich in the summer or skiing down the nearby Alps in the winter, travelers find delight in Zurich. Delectable pastry shops abound, as do museums and historic churches. Excellent shops reside in upscale Bahnofstrasse and more affordable Niederdorf. For fun, locals and travelers alike hit up the bars and clubs of edgy Zurich West.


Why go: Renowned for the Edinburgh Festival in August, this Scottish city entertains guests year round. Set among steep hills like Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh impresses visitors with its historic sites along the Royal Mile and its casual pub culture. While you’re here, don’t miss Edinburgh Castle or Holyroodhouse Palace for a glimpse of the royal lifestyle.


Why go: Pick a vacation experience you’re looking for, and Puerto Rico can oblige. An old town with historic architecture and cobblestone streets? Look no further than Old San Juan and it’s El Morro fortress. A beachside getaway with stunning vistas and miles of soft, white sand? Consider the bioluminescent bays of Culebra and Vieques. A cosmopolitan destination with high-end shopping and exciting nightlife? Head to the Isla Verde or Santurce neighborhoods of San Juan.


Why go: The U.S. Virgin Islands offers a taste of home (non-roaming cell phones, U.S. dollars, and no language barrier), as well as a varied international vacation (lively Carnival season, reggae music  and clear Caribbean waters). For the best deals and weather, consider visiting in late spring or early summer.


Why go: One of the most visited cities in the U.S., the country’s capital is filled with a huge number of postcard-worthy monuments and buildings. The White House and the Lincoln Memorial are here, as well as a variety of eclectic and walkable neighborhoods. Those on a budget will especially enjoy themselves here since the noteworthy Smithsonian museums are free.


Why go: Budapest is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Central/Eastern Europe. The city has a lot to offer all types of travelers with all ranges of budgets. And Budapest will keep you occupied with its thermal baths, mellow coffeehouses, ridiculous nightlife and pretty much whatever else you can think of.


Why go: Over the past decade or two, Prague has transitioned from a backpacker secret to the unquestioned tourist capital of Central/Eastern Europe. With well-preserved sites, such as the Charles Bridge and St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague retains its gothic mystique. You can spend the days taking in the architecture and the evenings enjoying local pilsners on a never-ending bar crawl.


Why go: If you have to choose one island to visit in Greece, it’s easy to make a case for Crete. Its diverse landscape features everything from anicent ruins to gorgeous beaches, and you can spend a day doing anything from shopping in Agios Nikolaos to hiking the Samaria Gorge.


Why go: If you’re looking for gorgeous weather year round and parties set against beautiful backdrops, look no further than Miami Beach. This Floridian city bursts with colors, crazy nightlife, an amazing coastline and intriguing Art Deco architecture. Head to South Beach’s Ocean Drive to reach the heart of the action.


Why go: If you want a laidback, family-friendly vacation, San Diego should be a top contender. Here, you can sunbathe on Mission Beach, engage in some retail therapy in the Gaslamp Quarter, hike through Torrey Pines State Reserve or the San Diego Zoo, and dine at the historic Hotel del Coronado. There’s plenty to keep you busy, but the Southern California ambiance keeps the pace of life at a comfortable level.


Why go: The Bahamas has so many islands that it’s hard to mash them all into one recommendation, compared to our other destinations. But that’s also part of their appeal. Airfare and hotel rates are generally modest year-round in the Bahamas, but you’ll get the best deals and have less crowds if you plan your visit for the summer or early fall. But take note: These islands’ atmosphere and activities largely cater to tourists, and you’ll be hard pressed to find an authentic Bahamian vibe during your getaway.


Why go: Puerto Vallarta stands out for its outstanding cuisine, eclectic bars and clubs and breathtaking landscape. You could spend just a day exploring the cobblestone streets and art-laden Malecón (or boardwalk) of Zona Centro, or extend your trip for a few more days to try out the nightclubs and European cafés of the downtown area, as well as the hiking in the nearby Sierra Madre Mountains.


Why go: You don’t need to be on a cruise vacation to experience two Caribbean countries for the expense of one. This dual-governed island nation offers chic dining and dazzling stretches of sand on the French side of Saint Martin, and animated nightlife, buzzing casinos, and some of the best duty-free shopping of the Caribbean in Dutch Sint Maarten. Consider visiting in late spring to cash in on the not-too hot weather and discounted hotel rates.


Why go: Limestone-carved Aruba will appeal to the adventure junkie better than any of our best destinations. Dive into the depths of Hadicurari Beach to explore the island’s many shipwrecks, avoid the Aruban rattlesnake on an ATV tour of the Arikok National Park, or party hearty until the wee hours on a booze cruise. But you should be prepared to pay for the adrenaline rush, as Aruba is also one of the pricier vacations on our list.


Why go: This notorious hedonist destination offers visitors every opportunity to make it or break it. Colossal casinos, like the Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace, beckon to travelers with neon light, fascinating shows and, of course, sprawling casino floors. But these mega-resorts offer guests more than just slot machines and drink. Spas, pools, luxury hotel rooms, elite clubs and exotic restaurants are now part of the allure.


Why go: The City of Angels, La La Land, the Entertainment Capital of the World — Los Angeles needs no introduction. But its notoriety both help and hurt its reputation. The traffic on the “101” will tire you out just as much as an evening at a lively West Hollywood club. And your disgust at the thick smog over the city will negate your enjoyment of a sunset overlooking Santa Monica Beach. To appreciate Los Angeles, visit the area more than once and get advice from locals.


Why go: When it comes to the best of the best, size doesn’t matter. Austin may be small compared to other capital cities, but its personality is overwhelmingly large, with citizens holding fast to the city’s mantra, “Keep Austin Weird.” Although home to vast green spaces, funky boutiques and cozy coffee shops, Austin really comes to life at night; the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World” boasts numerous live music venues and one of the largest music festivals in the U.S.

Also Consider…

Why Go: With the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing officially debuted on the global stage and is quickly outshining its more modern brethren — Hong Kong and Shanghai — as a tourist destination. The city boasts world-class attractions, like the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, that showcase country’s past and present. Plus, the jaw-dropping Great Wall of China stands just north of the city, making Beijing a world-traveler must.


Why Go: Sydney has more than just an opera house. At the sight of this famous white structure, outsiders quickly forget all the attractions of this world-class metropolis. You’ll find the bustling Sydney Fish Market and the striking Sydney Harbour Bridge, which stretches high above sailboats and azure waters. Plus, there are numerous beaches (Coogee and Bondi for starters) that draw locals and tourists alike. Also, in its rivalry with Melbourne, Sydney wins the weather battle with its warm, sunny climate.

Rio de Janeiro

Why Go: With its sun-drenched beaches and soothing samba rhythms, Rio jockeys with Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo as South America’s hottest destination — and not just with its temperatures. The famous Christ the Redeemer statue presides over Copacabana Beach and Lapa, a vibrant neighborhood. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more riotously fun event than Rio’s Carnival.

Tel Aviv

Why Go: While Jerusalem may be the old city, Tel Aviv is the trendy new one. Sitting along the Mediterranean, Tel Aviv boasts a broad, sun-drenched shoreline that lures both locals and travelers. And once the sun goes down, a pulsating nightlife erupts across the city. Foreign visitors savor the mouth-watering cuisine found at intimate eateries or street carts. Take your time with this metropolis: There’s a lot to surprise you.



A Farmer’s Lunch in Paris

Bars / RestaurantsA Farmer's Lunch in Paris

A Farmer’s Lunch in Paris

«Marcel, the one who produces the ham, is Ginette’s cousin, and she makes the Brie. And that’s Etienne, he grows apples and he’s also my uncle by the way ». Merci Guillaume for explaining your family tree. Now what we really want is… a taste of your sandwiches.

Guillaume is one of the four merry founders of Label Ferme, the new sandwich shop located on the rue Peletier. Their concept is simple: they pick the best produce from their mountainous region and bring them straight back to their shop in trendy SoPi. You walk to the counter and order two slices of local ham and 50 gr of home grown tomatoes, freshly picked from some garden in the Alps. They transform your selection of ingredients into a divine sandwich and sell it to you by the weight. You can either enjoy it on the spot or follow their advice to the best sunny public bench in the neighborhood. Thank you fellows.

Label Ferme, 43 rue Le Peletier, Paris 9th,
Tel : 00 33 1 44 63 71 94
Open Mondays to Fridays from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm
Sandwichs for 6€ and salads for 8€


Article Source-My Little Paris



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Moving to Spain

Moving and living in Spain for UK Nationals

The process of becoming resident in Spain has been simplified as much as possible, and it now involves less paperwork and time. However it is strongly advisable that new residents complete all the required procedures when registering, opening a bank account, obtaining medical cover and registering cars and driving licences. This is likely to save them an enormous amount of time and trouble when dealing with other aspects of the bureaucracy. Please see the sections on these topics for full information.

Entry and residence requirements

Taking up residence in spain

We advise that all residents obtain a residence card even if it is not obligatory for them, as it is easier to carry than a passport, and simplifies many of the other administration procedures for new residents. However, the information below shows who is legally required to hold a residence card.

Who doesn’t need to obtain a residence card?

UK nationals who are Employees, Self-employed, Students. EU national dependants of an EU or Spanish national or pensioners who have worked in Spain and receive their pension from the Spanish Social Security system no longer need to hold a residence card, and can live in Spain with a valid passport. (Dependants who are non-EU nationals still require a residence card.)

Who must obtain a residence card?

Pensioners who have retired to Spain, people of independent means and non-EU national dependants of an EU or Spanish national, are still required to apply for a residence card. They must apply for one of the following two types of card:

  • Temporary residence card: intended stay of more than three months but less than one year.
  • Ordinary residence card: intended stay of more than one year with a maximum validity of five years and renewable.

How to apply for a residence card


All those who wish to apply should submit the application form, available from the nearest Oficina de Extranjeros, to the local Provincial Police Station (Comisaría de Policía) or Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros). In Madrid this is at C/General Pardiñas 90, along with three passport size photographs, their passport and a photocopy of the original. The issue of a card is at the discretion of the Spanish authorities.

Further information is available from the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, Tel: 900 150 000. You can also download an application form here

Residents should ensure their passport is valid and shows next-of-kin details on the back page. They should keep their family informed of their address in Spain at all times.


Using the Services of a ‘Gestor’

Many people – including Spanish nationals – find that using the services of a ‘Gestor’ is the best way to cope with paperwork. The ‘Gestor’ is not a lawyer as such but will produce the final result with minimum stress, usually for a reasonable fee. New residents can do most of the work themselves, but if they have little time, do not speak fluent Spanish, or are confused by the Spanish administration system, the ‘Gestor’ can be useful.

However, ‘Gestores’ do not produce immediate results and residents should always obtain an estimate of costs before engaging their services. It is not uncommon for the ‘Gestor’ to require a down payment to cover the whole fee. Gestorías can be found in the Páginas Amarillas

Bank accounts

  • Non-residents: Visitors can open a bank account with a non-resident certificate, which they can get from the local Spanish police office (in Madrid, this is at the Brigada Provincial de Documentacion, c/Los Madrazos 9), by presenting their passport and a copy of the original and completing the application form. Visitors must close these accounts if they become resident.
  • Residents: UK nationals resident in Spain can open a bank account with a residence card.

If they do not have a residence card (see Entry and Residence Requirements), UK nationals can open a bank account with their passport and an NIE (Foreigner Identification number).

How to obtain an NIE (Foreigner Identification No.)

Residents can apply for an NIE at the local Police Station (Comisaría de Policía, in Madrid at c/General Pardiñas 90). They need to take their passport and a photocopy of the original, and fill in the application form. They must be prepared to prove they are in Spain legally, and show why they want an NIE.

Alternatively their representative can go to the police station, with the documents to show why they want an NIE, or they can go to the Spanish Consulate in the UK.

Transfer of capital

There is generally no restriction on the import of capital into Spain, but it is advisable to keep records showing that the funds were transferred from abroad and not derived from income earned in Spain. Residents should check with their bank in case any special formalities are necessary.

Transfers of Capital from Spain are governed by Spanish Foreign Exchange Regulations.

Residents in Spain are allowed to take out up to 6,010.12 Euros in cash per trip before having to make a Customs Declaration. They may also bring that amount into Spain without having to declare it. Anything above that should be declared on Form B1, available on entry into Spain.


Britiain has a double taxation agreement with Spain, to ensure people do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. However, taxation is a complex issue, and advice should be sought. The Spanish Finance Ministry publishes a book in English called ‘Taxation Regulations for Foreigners’. Further info: Residents, including retired people, are liable to pay tax on income earned in Spain or from property held in Spain. This includes Property or Real Estate Tax, Wealth and Capital Gains Tax, VAT (IVA), Inheritance Tax, and local municipal charges.

Medical cover and treatment in spain

Taking up residence in spain

Residents in Spain should ensure they are covered by private insurance if Spanish Social Security does not cover them.

Long-term residents

Long-term residents in Spain who are not pensioners, employed persons or officially resident do not qualify for Spanish State health care or NHS treatment in England. UK nationals living in Spain are not entitled to health care in Spain at UK expense. Using an old UK-issued E111 to obtain Spanish health care (which is charged to the NHS) is fraud. They have no right to health care in the UK either, as they are not ordinarily resident there. However, they would receive emergency NHS health care in the UK, in the same way as those persons who are officially registered as resident in Spain may receive emergency healthcare in England while on a visit there.

People in employment

UK nationals working in Spain should be affiliated to the Spanish Social Security system and are covered by Spanish National Health care for which the employer will deduct social security contribution’s from the employee’s pay packet, usually on a monthly basis. Proof of such payments are shown on the pay slip.

A social security number card should be obtained from the local Tesorer?a de Seguridad Social (in Madrid at c/Astros 5 y 7, Tel: 91 503 80 00). This should then be presented at the local medical centre (ambulatorio) along with the correct form, which will entitle the card holder to receive a medical card (tarjeta sanitaria) for ordinary health treatment. A list of medical centres in Madrid is available from the Provinicial Madrid Health Service (Instituto Madrile?o de la Salud), c/ Sagasta 6. Medicines are free if prescribed to treat work-related accidents or illness, otherwise patients pay 40% of the cost.

The self-employed should first obtain an NIE (foreigner identification number) from the police (although we advise obtaining a residence card is easier and more useful) and the Alta Fiscal from the Head Tax Office (Hacienda).

They should take these two documents to the nearest office of the Tesorer?a de Seguridad Social and ask for the Alta de Aut?nomo and the Inscripci?n en la Seguridad Social. They will receive a social security number card, which will entitle them to the tarjeta sanitaria (health card) from their nearest ambulatorio (medical centre), and full medical cover.

The minimum social security contribution for medical cover is 208,18 Euros p/m. (25% less for those under 30, or women over 45).

Working temporarily for a uk employer

Anyone who works in Spain for up to a year is entitled to form E128, if the DSS or the Social Security Agency in Northern Ireland, confirm that they and their employer continue to pay UK national insurance contributions. Those employed on a temporary posting, and any dependants who accompany them, are entitled to treatment for ANY condition during the posting, using an E128. However, if they visit a third EU country, they are only entitled to emergency treatment and will need a UK-issued E111.

If the job unexpectedly lasts longer than 12 months, and the appropriate insurance authorities in Spain agree, employees may remain under the UK scheme for a further period of not more than 12 months.


UK nationals who are studying in Spain as an integral part of a recognised UK course are entitled to form E128 for up to two years. They, and any dependants who accompany them, are then entitled to treatment for ANY condition for the period of their course. They should apply to the National Insurance Contributions Office, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Tel: 0845 915 4811. If the studies are not a compulsory part of a UK course, students are covered by an E128 for up to 12 months. However, if they know in advance that a course will last longer than a year, they are not entitled to an E128.

A student who is undertaking work in Spain that specifically relates to their studies is entitled to form E128 for up to two years.

UK pensioners settling in spain

UK pensioners (anyone receiving an Old Age Pension or a disability pension) who live in Spain will be entitled to receive free medical treatment under the same conditions as Spanish State Pensioners. The UK pays Spain an annual lump sum per pensioner to cover their health costs.

To establish entitlement they must obtain form E121 from the DSS in the UK. To register a UK-issued form E121 they should go to the local INSS office – Oficina del Instituto Nacional de Seguridad Social (the main office in Madrid is c/Padre Damián 4-6, Tel: 91 568 83 00) with their E121, application for a residence card and their passport. The INSS will issue a ‘tarjeta de afiliación’ and assign the pensioner to an outpatients clinic (ambulatorio) and INSALUD doctor. They must apply for a residence card before they can register their E121. Prescribed medicines are free for pensioners and their dependents.

Those who settle in Spain after early retirement, i.e. before the normal UK pensionable age (60 for women, 65 for men), should consult their local DSS office about their medical cover, possibly under form E106, before travelling.

Ill or deteriorating health is costly, and the Spanish Health services do not cover the wide range of assistance pensioners may be used to in the UK. All EU citizens may expect the same social services as any Spanish citizen under the same conditions, subject to local waiting lists and financial contributions. However, they should bear in mind that such things as meals on wheels, day care centres and nursing homes, which are the responsibility of local, regional and municipal authorities, vary from district to district, may be scarce and welfare staff will not usually speak English.

British citizens who have been in Spain for a long time may be admitted to Spanish State homes, but places are very limited even for Spanish pensioners, and there are no British Government or other officially subsidised places. Copies of the Guía Directorio de Centros para Personas Mayores (Directory of Nursing Homes) are available by writing to: IMSERSO, Departamento de Publicaciones, Avda de la Ilustración s/n, c/v Ginzo de Línea, 28029 Madrid. Tel: 91 363 88 88, Fax: 91 363 88 80, More specific information can be obtained by contacting the Consejería de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales or its equivalent in the area where the pensioner lives.

Private residential homes, which provide various levels of treatment, from purely residential facilities to full-time nursing care and medical assistance, are expensive – probably no less than ?1000 per month, and staff will usually only speak Spanish. However, there are some British run homes, mainly on the Costa Blanca.

It is advisable to take out private insurance, which will cover medical and dental treatment and even repatriation to the UK.

People of independent means

People of independent means should be entitled to healthcare on production of their residence card. The Tesorería de Seguridad Social should issue a social security number card with which they can obtain a tarjeta sanitaria (health card) from their local ambulatorio (medical centre).

Returning to the UK

Some UK nationals who have been living abroad for a prolonged period choose to go back to live in the UK. It is important that those in need of long-term care make, or have made for them, arrangements for care before returning to the UK. Entitlement to long-term care services also depends on being ordinarily resident in the UK (previous payment of income tax or NI contributions does not count). Local health or social services in the UK will need persuading that someone who may be completely unknown to them has any right to scarce local resources.

Finding work in Spain

There is a high level of unemployment in Spain, and it is often difficult for foreigners to find work. There is often temporary and seasonal work available e.g. in bars, mainly in holiday areas. Work can also usually be found as an English Teacher in one of the many language schools, although the better jobs will go to those with a qualification such as TEFL. A good knowledge of Spanish is normally essential for most long-term jobs.

Job centres in the UK have details of vacancies throughout the EU, supplied to them through the EURES network, which supports free movement of workers within Europe. As well as UK job centres, EURES can be contacted through Job Centres in Spain (Oficinas de Empleo). For more information visit, or call 0114 259 6190.

Employees may wish to seek legal advice before signing any contract for work. Companies with over fifty employees will normally have a trade union representative who can advise on basic rights and recommend a labour lawyer.

Those looking for work are expected to support themselves while doing so. Unemployment benefit may be transferable to Spain for a limited period. Spanish benefits are not usually payable to non-Spanish nationals. Further information: INEM (National Employment Office). INEM: c/ Espartinas 10. 28001 Madrid. Tel: 91 576 89 02


Those who take up self-employment will need to apply for the necessary documentation. Information is available from PYME (the office for small and medium enterprises). The Ventanilla ?nica Service which helps those wishing to set up business may be helpful. Prospective self-employees can also ask for the Enterprise Creation Support Service (Servicio de Apoyo a la Creaci?n de Empresas) at their nearest Oficina de Empleo (Job Centre).

The British Consulate-General in Madrid and the British Consulates in other cities are not equipped to provide an employment service and cannot reply to enquiries about openings for employment, enter into detailed correspondence or make arrangements in connection with paid or unpaid work. Nor can they intervene in disputes over employment, contracts etc.

PYME : c/ Castelló 117. 28006 Madrid. Tel: 900 190 092.
INEM: c/ Espartinas 10. 28001 Madrid. Tel: 91 576 89 02.


Education is obligatory for all children aged 6-16 if the parents are legally resident in Spain, and is free from pre-school to 18 years. However as pre-school is not obligatory, not all children can gain a place. The availability of places depends on the area of Spain and demand for them.

The British Council has details of schools in Spain which offer an English-type education. Most are members of the National Association of British Schools in Spain, which organises periodic inspections by British inspectors, in collaboration with the British Council.

British Council
Paseo General Mart?nez Campos 31
28010 Madrid
Tel.: 91 337 35 66/ 00
Fax: 91 337 35 73

Spanish british associations, clubs and expatriate organisations



c/ Núñez de Balboa 43
28001 Madrid
Tel: 91 576 51 09
Sunday service: 8.30am, 10am and 11.15am

Rev C. Bingman
C/ Viña 3
28014 Madrid
Tel: 91 571 21 36/ 655 03 18 57
Sunday service: 11am

Dr. D. Dixon
C/ Hernández de Tejada 4
28027 Madrid
Tel: 91 407 43 47
Sunday service: 11am & 7pm

Rev. J. Campbell
Tel: 91 630 22 58

R Richard Wallace
c/ Playa de Sangenjo 26
28230 (Las Rozas) MADRID
Tel: 91 630 51 37/ 667 32 87 68

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church
The English-speaking Parish of Madrid
Calle Dracena, 23
28016 Madrid
Tel: 91 350 3449
web site:

C/ Balmés 3
28010 MADRID
Tel: 91 591 31 31


Sociable English speaking field hockey team
playing in the Madrid first division. .
Enquiries to Mark – Tel: 91 541 12 00

Long established English speaking team playing in the
Local Spanish league. New players always welcome.
Enquiries to Stewart Gibb – Tel: 91 742 2998

Cross-country runs & social gatherings.
Tel: 91 518 81 31

Enquiries to Tom Fryer. Tel: 605 18 73 36

Enquiries to Nico – Tel: 651 11 33 67

Cultural and social events.
Enquiries to Mrs P. Arriete – Tel: 91 345 63 44BRITISH LADIES ASSOCIATION
Monthly meetings and social activities throughout
the year. Enquiries to Shelia Jones –
Tel: 91 803 47 13

Ex-university members, social activities.
Enquiries to Sydney Perera –
Tel: 91 431 64 97

Provides information about community activities and
Services. More information:

English speaking amateur Theatre Group
New members welcome. Tel: 91 326 24 39

Weekly meetings in St. George’s Church Hall

C/ Núñez de Balboa 43
International interdenominational group holding
meetings. Enquiries to Mrs. Milton –
Tel: 91 441 09 13


English speaking
C/ Juan Bravo, 40 bis
Tel: 91 309 19 47

International Community Mental Health Association
C/Juan Bravo 7
28008 MADRID
Tel: 91 576 15 38
Provides mental health services to English-speaking community in Madrid.

English-speaking community publication
Tel: 91 523 74 80


An unofficial network of welfare groups and small charities can help expatriates facing difficulties. Some are British orientated, but in all cases limited resources restrict the assistance they can provide and none would be able to offer long-term care or financial support.
Astral House
1268 London Road
SW16 4ER
Tel: 020 8765 7200/ 0800 00 99 66
(Madrid area only)
Contact British Consulate-General, Madrid for details.
Apartado 7
07180 Santa Ponsa MALLORCA
Tel.: 971 23 15 20
Fax: 971 23 04 90


Information Source:

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Moving to Turkey
Geography of Europe
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Top Attractions in Turkey

St. Sophia Museum

Haghia Sophia Museum, the great masterpiece of Byzantine art. It was built by Justinian in 6th century AD and is the 3rd church to occupy this site.
At the time it was built, it was the largest church in existence. The church was sacked by the Latins during the 4th crusade in 1204 and many of its treasures taken to the west.
When Contantinople (Istanbul) was conquered by the Ottoman Sultan, Mehmet II in 1453, it was converted into a mosque.
Since 1936, by Ataturk’s order it has been a museum.



Blue Mosque



Blue Mosque, Sultan Ahmet Camii is one of the most beautiful mosques in the world. Its name is derived from the blue tiles decorating its interior. Completed in 1616 by Mehmet Aga, Imperial Architect and one of the students of the great architect Sinan.

Its grace and beautiful proportions were intended to reflect the splendour of Islam. It was the supreme Imperial Mosque of the Ottoman Empire. The famous blue and green

Iznik tiles on the walls are bathed in glorious light that is filtered through 260 windows.



The city was founded on a hilltop and spread down to the plains. Aspendus has one of the best preserved and largest Roman theaters in Turkey. It was built in the 2nd C AD. The city’s aqueducts are also well preserved and worth a visit.


Commagene Kingdom at Mt.Nemrut

One of the most spectacular sites in Turkey especially at sunset. Mt Nemrut (approx. 2552m) is an extension of the Taurus mountain range in southeastern Turkey. After the division of Alexander’s Empire into three, the Seleucids established the relatively small and wealthy Commagene Kingdom in the region.

In 62 BC, Antiochos I became king of Commagene and developed his kingdom as a strategic crossroad on the important trade routes between Syria, Mesopotamia and Rome.



Pamukkale is one of the natural wonders of the world. It is a unique geological formation formed over 14.000 years. The spring water at Pamukkale has therapeutic qualities and since antiquity has been said to cure rheumatism, kidney and heart diseases.

Hierapolis, means sacred-city and its history goes back 6th C BC. At its peak the population reached about 100,000. The ruins at Hierapolis cover an extensive area.

The theater, Temple of Apollo, Colonnaded Street, Byzantine Gate, Plutonium and Necropolis (Cemetery) are some of the highlights of the city. The Necropolis has approximately 1000 tombs and is the largest in Asia Minor.



Ephesus is one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the world with a history dating back the 12 C BC. It was an important trade and religious center. During the Roman period its population reached approx. 250,000.

One of the seven wonders of the world, Temple of Artemis was in Ephesus. It is also the site of one of the Seven Churches of Revelation.
St. Paul lived and preached for about 2 years in Ephesus.

Cappadocia Region

One of the geological wonders of the world. Cappadocia is a high plateau in Central Turkey at an altitude of 3270 ft / 1000 m. It lies in a triangle formed by the three main towns of Kayseri, Nevsehir and Nigde.

The history of Cappadocia begins 60 million years ago with the eruption of 2 volcanos, covering the area with lava and tufa. In later periods rain and wind eroded the land and created unusual valleys, canyons and cones.

For many centuries Hittites, Assyrian Colonies, Greeks and Romans lived in the region. Cappadocia is also a very important region in early Christian History.

There are over 600 hundred rock-cut churches built by monks and hermits between the 4th and 11th centuries. In some of these, church walls have been decorated with wonderful frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible.



The history of the city starts in the 8th C BC when Aeolian Greek colonies settled in the area. The city was founded on a hill overlooking the Caicos plain. During the reign of Eumenes II in the 2nd C BC, it became one of the cultural and intellectual centers of the day.

With the invention of pergamena (parchment) its library grew to rival in size, the great library of Alexandria. The famous Altar of Zeus was here.

Pergamum was one of the Seven Churches of the Revelations. The famous Roman physician, Galen was born and studied in Pergamum.The
ruins are separated into 3 parts, the Acropolis, Red Courtyard and Asclepion, which was the cure center of Pergamum.



Sardis was the capital of the Kingdom of Lydia. It was founded on the banks of the famous golden-bearing river Pactolus. The legendary
King of Lydia Croesus (560-540 BC) controlled most of western Asia Minor and made generous offerings to the temples of Delphi, Artemis and Didyma.
Part of the Gymnasium was converted into a synagogue in 3rd C BC. Sardis is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation.



Gallipoli Anzacs – Canakkale

In 1915, Allied warships tried to force their way through the straits with the intention of opening a supply line to Russia via the Black Sea. Allied landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula were finally beaten off by the Turks following bitter warfare.

Related Articles:

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World’s Cheapest Countries to Retire to

The World’s Cheapest Countries to Live In.

Living abroad can be an exciting, mind-opening experience and is the best way to learn about new cultures. But it’s made even better if your money goes further than at does at home. Find out which countries offer the most bang for your buck.

In the west, we’ve gotten used to over-paying for things: car parking charges, expensive housing, rip-off public transport, beers that cost as much as your hourly wage, the list goes on… Thankfully, there are plenty of countries where your money goes much further. They all share common characteristics: cheap accommodation, lots of activities to keep you occupied, and tropical climates that make food bountiful.

Of course, the tropical climate also offers the not-insignificant benefit of gorgeous weather and often pristine beaches on which to while away the hours. And if you can manage to get away from the bigger towns and off the beaten track, you’ll usually find that life becomes cheaper and the scenery even more stunning. Your life in paradise can actually become a reality.


The Land of Smiles needs no introduction. More than probably any other South-East Asian country, it knows how to make us farangs (foreigners) feel welcome.

If you’ve visited, you’ll know the satisfaction of strolling up to a street stall, paying 25 baht (about £0.50) for a plate of fried rice, then sitting on a little plastic chair and watching the world go by. Then there are the cheap, comfortable guest houses (or beach huts!), the dollar-a-bottle beers and the cheap buses that can take you half the length of the country for the same price as getting to the next town at home.

And you know what, living here is even cheaper than visiting. Even in Bangkok, a long-term studio apartment is only £90 per month; move somewhere like Chiang Mai, and you could pay as little as £20! So you can budget just £300 for the whole month and have a lifestyle just as comfortable, but infinitely more satisfying than you’ve got at home.

Oh, and we’ll let you into a little secret… pretty much everyone leaves Thailand looking slimmer than when they arrived! Why? Because instead of stuffing yourself with burgers and chips, you’ll be having rice and green curry; because instead of finishing off your meal with cakes and biscuits, you’ll probably find a fresh mango shake infinitely more refreshing; and because instead of being chained to a desk all day, you’ll be out exploring this gorgeous country!


It may have a troubled history that could give most countries a run for their money, but there are few places in the world where it’s cheaper to live than Cambodia. Even in the capital city, you could live on just £300 per month.

An air-conditioned apartment will only set you back £120 per month. This might be slightly more expensive than Bangkok, but you can easily trim your outgoings further by sharing with other westerners.

But the added bonus is that food and drink is probably even cheaper than in Thailand. You can have a whole meal in a local restaurant for just £1.20 where a beer will be just £0.60; these costs can again be slashed even more by venturing into the markets and street stalls, which will also add a bit of excitement to your stay.

What’s more, the troubled history makes Cambodia a fascinating place to visit. It’s one of the poorest places in Asia and the people are working hard to emerge from the shadow cast by Pol Pot’s infamous regime, but it offers an edge and excitement that’s sometimes missing from nearby countries. The more you learn about Cambodia, the more you’ll come to love it!

The Philippines

Could this £300 budget ever become boring? We certainly don’t think so! Especially when you have fascinating cities and so many beautiful beaches; not surprising when you realise that it’s the second-biggest archipelago in the world. An apartment comes in as low as £25 per month in the smaller cities, rising to £120 in the busier locations.

Once again, the food is probably even cheaper than in Thailand, as large beers come in at only £0.35, while meals at even the nicest restaurants costing just £6 per person, and significantly cheaper than that a smaller, local places.

And guess what: there are also fewer visitors than most other South-East Asian countries, too, so by living here you’ll really feel like you’re getting a uniquely authentic experience.

Costa Rica

The “Rich Coast” is one of Latin America’s best destinations no matter how much money you have, and is even better if you’re on a budget. You know you’re going to get value for money when the cost of your flight is rewarded with a Caribbean and a Pacific coast!

Once again, our magic number of £300 per month appears, although expect your costs to be slightly higher in San Jose, even if you do share accommodation with another westerner. However, venture outside of the capital and prices drop off quickly, with whole houses available for just £150.

Food is similarly priced, with a good meal costing just £1.20 in a locally-run restaurant, and a bunch of bananas from an outdoor market costing £0.30. Even the 2-hour bus journey from San Jose to either coast is less than £2.

These prices may be slightly higher than in other Latin American nations, but what sets Costa Rica apart is just how much is available to you for the still negligible prices. There’s hiking, wildlife-spotting, active volcanoes and some of the best surfing in the world. It’s an amazing location to explore for a couple of years.


Vietnam is a popular budget travel destination and should be high on your list of places to stay for a one year, two years, maybe longer. It offers a scintillating mix of beautiful scenery, unrivalled food and some of the most spirited people you’re ever likely to meet.

So, once you’ve taken into account the £120 per month for your apartment, what should you expect tospend on a typical day in Vietnam? You can wake up and head down to the nearest street stall for a nutritious breakfast of Pho Bo (Hanoi Beef Soup) for just £0.70; hop on a bus for less than £0.50; pick up some fried rice for lunch at about the same price; pay a similar amount for a fruit shake when you get peckish later on; have a Vietnamese Curry in a local restaurant for £2, then finish it off with a few glasses of Bia Hoi for £0.10 each.

Sound good? Well, this 1,600km-long country offers a stunning array of landscapes and almost as many different cuisines to go with them, so you can be sure that life in Vietnam will never get boring.

Original Post

Moving to Turkey


Istanbul modern tramway

Image by mwanasimba via Flickr

Turkey’s geographical location, which features the only city       to straddle two continents, Istanbul, has made it an ideal destination for living and doing business for centuries. Connecting two continents by a body of water known as the Bosphorus, Turkey is home to many ethnic backgrounds, religions and cultures. With the great cultural treasure that holds artifacts, traditions and literature, Turkey is a melting pot of many cultures and peoples. Due to its colorful and long history, this beautiful country is also a mix of old and new, eastern and western, worlds.

Culture and Customs

Modern day Turkish culture and customs are derived from European, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Slavic and Asian heritages, making it truly diverse. The three major religions of the world are also to be found within the culture, each claiming historical beginnings in the region. Other major ethnic groups include the Albanians, Arabs, Assyrians, Bosniaks, Circassians, Kurds, Laz and the three officially recognized minorities, i.e. the Armenians, Greeks and Jews. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk created what is now known as modern day Turkey; one of his primary goals was to make it a progressive, secular, unified state, which helps to illuminate Turkey’s western-leaning foundations.

Turkey is 99% Muslim despite being a secular state; the remainder of the population consists of Christians and Jews.


Turkish has been the sole official language of Turkey since the founding of the Republic in 1923.
States and Territories

Turkey consists of seven regions: the Black Sea Region, the Marmara Region, Aegean, Mediterranean, Central Anatolian, the East and Southeast Anatolian. Turkey has three major coastlines (Black Sea to the north, Mediterranean to the South and Aegean to the west).


Education is compulsory for ages 6-15 during primary school years. High schools are either 3 or 4 years long and students can choose from either public or private. The majority of Turkish adolescents attend public schools. Public schooling is free and users pay fees for private schooling. University entrance in Turkey is based on a national exam, the OSS, which allows you to attend Turkish universities based on the score received. The literacy rate is 95.3% for men and 79.6% for women.

Family Life

Family is a cherished aspect of Turkish culture. Family ties here are strong, and extend far past the immediate members. Within recent years, younger generations are becoming more independent of their families and are establishing their own reputation and financial income. In rural areas, extended families tend to live together; a household might very naturally consist of parents, children, and grandparents and perhaps even aunts or uncles. Urban families mostly consist of parents and children and maybe grandparents. Because family life is so important here, children rarely move out unless they are married, even when/if they do, they still remain firmly connected and in frequent contact. Additionally, retirement homes are unheard of as their children almost always look after the elderly.


One of the most significant developments in the health care sector in Turkey recently has been the specialization of hospitals by branch, which has led to higher performance rates overall. Some of the most impressive hospitals include the Dünya Göz Hastanesi, which specializes in eye care, Acibadem Saglik Group’s Kozyatagi Acibadem Hastanesi, which specializes in neurology and oncology, and the Anadolu Saglik Merkezi, which focuses on oncology and was opened after an 80 million dollar investment. These hospitals are part of a collective with some of America’s most important medical schools including Harvard Medical and John Hopkins Medical Schools.

These investments have greatly increased the number of patients coming from abroad to receive treatment within Turkey, as well as having elevated the status of the health sector in Turkey significantly. For example, Turkey’s thermal hot springs are very popular and both locals and tourists enjoy the benefits of these natural wonders. In addition to the thermal hot springs, some of the most in demand treatments include organ transplantation, heart and eye surgeries, hair transplants and plastic surgery. Of the European and Middle Eastern countries, Danes, Norwegians and Swedes travel to Turkey in the largest numbers for treatments. Of the 100 billion dollars that will have been made in the health sector in the world, it is predicted that 10 billion dollars will belong to Turkey within the next 5 years.

Real Estate

The Turkish real estate sector, which experienced a surge in 2005, in Istanbul in particular, went through a golden age in the first half of 2008. Turkish real estate made significant developments in the city centre areas dominated by offices; in particular, in Istanbul, the area ranging from Barbaros Bulvari through Büyükdere Caddesi all the way to Maslak went through a major transformation during the golden years from 2005-2008. Many rented buildings and signed contracts even before the construction was done, thus elevating the status of the area and increasing the demand for even more buildings and in turn the prices as well.

Many international real estate companies are hoping to take advantage of the global economic crisis by significantly decreasing prices for real estate projects and thus filling a void in the market, by providing housing at more affordable prices.

Under the supervision of US company Pricewaterhouse- Coopers (PwC), The Urban Land Institute (ULI) prepared a ‘European Real Estate Sector New Trends Report’, earning Turkey the spotlight in 2006 for being the number one country to invest in. What made Turkey an attractive place for real estate investment were a number of things including the tourism sector’s potential, indicating the country’s need for more hotels as the report had stated. The report also stated that Istanbul and Izmir were among the most favorable cities to invest in, also due to a rise in their tourism sectors.


Recreation in Turkey tends to reflect the slower pace of European life. People of all ages enjoy meeting with friends and drinking tea, perhaps also while playing the very popular backgammon. Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Turkey and much time is spent watching, playing and discussing. The three most popular teams are Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Besiktas. Turkish people are very fond of the sun and everything that goes with it; the warmer months are spent outdoors or on the beach. Turkish people also love to dance and enjoy music, thus it is not out of the ordinary for a dinner party to turn into a dance party or sing-along. Turkey also has many impressive museums and the locals love to support the arts. Istanbul, for example, has the popular and impressive Istanbul Modern Art Museum, Sabanci Museum and Santralistanbul, just to name a few.


Though taxis are popular and inexpensive in urban areas, travelling throughout the country is usually done by bus. Traveling by water is another efficient option within the city and is popular in Istanbul and Izmir. One of the most exciting projects of late is the subway system, which is being worked on and developed. The aim is for the subway system to eventually be as impressive as that of any other European city. Istanbul has also been enjoying the addition of the Metrobus, which runs from Levent to the Airport; it is fast, inexpensive and easy. The best part about it? It has it’s own lane on the freeway, thus bypassing traffic completely.


Everyone has the right to work in Turkey if they have the right documentation and work permit. How quickly you can find a job in Turkey depends on economic factors, qualifications and skills, the type of work you are seeking, and particular circumstances that may affect the availability of certain types of work in different parts of the country. The government sets laws on wages and work conditions. The laws are about the types of legal agreements that define the work relationship between employers and employees. The agreements determine the amount paid to an employee, the hours worked and conditions such as safety, leave, allowances, training, anti discrimination and more. However, within private institutions working agreements are made between employer and employee directly. If you do not already have a source of income or a job available, and provided your visa allows it, you will need to look for work.

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Abadiania is located in the central state of GOIAS in the Brazilian Altiplano. It is aproximately 88 Km (55 miles) North East of the State Capital Goiania. It is also about 98 Km (61 Miles) South West of the Federal Capital Brasilia. The population of the Municipality of Abadiania according to the last census in 2005 was approximately 12,000 people. The local authorities now believe that number is closer to 14,000 now. Although only about 7,500 live in the part of town that is closest to the highway. The rest are in the old city of Abadiania and in the rural areas surrounding the city which are also part of the municipality. The original city was formed in 1953 and it is now known as old Abadiania. Once the highway that unites Brasilia to Goiania was built, many of the residents of Abadiania were unhappy with the distance between them and this major through fare. Some of these residents began building their homes closer to the highway and eventually the city government was transferred to this area making it the official Abadiania. The old Abadiania also known as Posse d’Abadia remains a quaint little village nestled in the middle of green rolling hills speckled with white Brahma cattle. The elevation of Abadiania is 1,052 Meters ASL. or 3,455 feet ASL. The principal industry in this region is agriculture and cattle ranching.

Weather in Abadiania is classified as Tropical Savana (AW). Concentrated rain showers in the summer months October through April and a dry season from may through September. The maximum precipitation generally occurs in December/January and the warmest months are September and October with average temperatures around 25o Celcius (77o F) although 40oC (104o F) is not uncommon. The coldest months are June and July with average temperatures around 18o C (64oF) and lows ao 12o C or (53o F)

The City of Abadiania is known as the City of Spiritual Cures because of the presence of psychic healer, João de Deus, (John of God) who attracts many national and international tourists seeking cures for their maladies. JOHN OF GOD: , (João de Deus) is without a doubt one of the most powerful channeling mediums and healers alive today. João has been working at the Casa de Dom Inacio for over 30 years. There are some thirty three entities he channels at the Casa, so named after one of the entities, St Ignatius de Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.

John of God is able to help heal so many people at once because he does not work alone. There are thousands of beings working with him who are able to attend to people. He has helped people recover from all kinds of illness, including AIDS, cancer, auto immune disorders, arthritis, injury from sports and accidents, every illness is treatable at the Casa although results can vary. John of God also treats all kinds of emotional disorders, including addictions, depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. The majority of healing by John of God and the entities is invisible, visible surgery is entirely voluntary and makes up a very small proportion of the healing work.

For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who disbelieve, no amount of proof is sufficient.



For many people Jordan begins and ends with the magical ancient Nabataean city of Petra. Petra is one of the Middle East’s most spectacular, unmissable sights and the world’s most dramatic ‘lost city’.

Lawrence of Arabia, Holy land, bible stories,ancient cities, lost cities, Jordan is one of the most welcoming and hospitable countries of the world.

this where you get invited by total strangers to thier homes to eat and sleep over.

Ruined Roman cities, Crusader castles, desert citadels and powerful biblical sites: the brook where Jesus was baptized, the fortress where Herod beheaded John the Baptist and the mountain top where Moses cast eyes on the Promised Land. Biblical scenes are not just consigned to the past in Jordan; you’ll see plenty of men wearing full-flowing robes and leading herds of livestock across the timeless desert. But it’s not all crusty ruins. Jordan’s capital Amman is a modern, culturally diverse Arab city which is light-years away from the typical clichés of Middle Eastern exoticism.

The country also offers some of the wildest adventures in the region, as well as an incredibly varied backdrop ranging from the red desert sands of Wade Rum to the brilliant blues of the coral-filled Gulf of Aqaba; from rich palm-filled wadis to the lifeless Dead Sea. Ultimately it’s the sensual delights of daily life in the Middle East that you’ll hanker for longest after you return home; the bittersweet taste of cardamom coffee or the smell of a richly scented argileh (water pipe); the intoxicating swirl of Arabic pop sliding out of an Amman doorway and the deafening silence of the desert.

Jordanians are a passionate and proud people and the country truly welcomes visitors with open arms. Despite being squeezed between the hotspots of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Israel & the Palestinian Territories, Jordan is probably the safest and most stable country in the region. Regardless of your nationality, you’ll be greeted with nothing but courtesy and hospitality in this gem of a country.
Please comeback for more details on Jordan!








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Ski Megeve in the Heart of the French Alps

Ski- Megeve, France and discover its Chic and Charm!

I am one of those who never know the direction of my journey until I have almost arrived………
I spent 3months in Megeve, France taking French Language and Ski lessons, I just adore Megeve!!
Megeve is made up of a well linked collection of resorts; St Gervais, Jaillet, Combloux, Cote 2000, Rochebrune, Mont D’arbois, and Mont Joly. These are all lift connected ski areas, the lift passes allow skiers to ski Les Contamines too but this is a drive. The ski areas setup is beginner-intermediate friendly and has plenty of terrain for this, but the thing is there are great selections of terrain to move way past this level to cater to the expert skier too. Easliy accessible backcountry terrain and a great area (Mont Joly) for free ride and steeps 35-50 degree pitches. Not to mention the women’s world cup downhill course at cote 2000, which is a must, plus through a short backcountry ski route you can get into the heart of the Les contamines ski area, “you need a professional to take you on this one”

Megeve has so much to offer. It beats the Killy range, Porte du soleil, and the 3 valleys.
Michelin Guide rated restaurants, high-end shopping stores, casinos, and quaint narrow cobbled streets. The village is dominated by the traditional church belfry, and a square all in a pedestrian friendly atmosphere. Horse drawn sleighs carry tourists all over during the peak periods adding a festive and memorable experience for young and old.

There is plenty to do off the pistes. A sports center with an indoor pool, indoor and outdoor ice skating ring and curling rink, climbing wall, indoor tennis courts, table tennis, weights gym, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room. Scenic flights over Mt, Blanc, hot air ballooning, dog sledging and snow shoeing excursions, cross country skiing areas and a bowling alley. There are also numerous events such as FIS ski racing fixtures, winter polo, and winter golf cup, ball room dancing competitions, International ice hockey competitions and music festivals. There are numerous Michelin star restaurants in town and on the mountain but be prepared to pay for the privilege of being in the most entertaining and exclusive resort in the French Alps!
Also Genève, Switzerland is only 33 miles to Megeve, it is great for shopping and night clubs or if you like Milan is only 126 miles away from Megeve, not to forget the high-end shopping stores in Megeve.

Now down to the snowfall:
With the regard to the resort’s altitude and the snow fall; most of the terrain is around the 1800-2000m mark with slopes for all levels (1 week skier to expert) the skiing base station starts at 1600m and the highest point is 2380m (plenty of steeps and free ride terrain up here). Megeve has always benefited from an above average snow record for its altitude range thanks to the microclimate resulting from the proximity of Mont Blanc. Sufficient snow cover is always expected from Christmas until mid-April. Megeve also benefits from tree line skiing which provides good shelter and visibility on bad weather days so it has the luxury of always having somewhere good to ski. And a few lesser known facts that work in favor of Megeve are; because it is a lower resort the terrain underneath the snow is generally grass land and tussock as opposed to a rocky topography, this means that it takes very little snow coverage to open up all areas and keep them open! Not to mention when the winds pick up the windward slopes that get scoured will still be skiable without wrecking skis on rocks! Megeve is always open until the very last scheduled week.

What a place to ski!!!

What better way to ensure a white Christmas than to treat the family to a Magical Christmas in the enchanting resort of Megeve., Spend Christmas day skiing, sledging or having a snowball fight with the kids, listen to the children carol singing in the village, watch Father Christmas passing through on his sledge and ski Instructors skiing into the village by torchlight.

Paris in Spring

Paris in spring:

Paris is popular year-round, as mentioned in my post “Paris the City of Love”, there is a low season as far as prices goes. In November you will find a lot of good bargains in Hotels and flights, you will find special discount on almost everything. So you’re more likely to save money on your Paris airfare by traveling in late summer and autumn.

Spring Weather in Paris

Paris in spring is a delight. After a few months of cold, and a little rain, the sight of new flowers and more consistent sunlight is always welcome – to Parisians and tourists.

canal-st-martin-spring1There is a chance of getting rain in early spring. But the average temperatures climb noticeably from February into March. The nights are still cool, so bringing warm clothes is good policy. Pay attention to current Paris weather forecasts as you’re coming up to your trip, as much of Europe has been experiencing unseasonably warm weather in the Spring in the last few years.


imagesGetting around Paris

France has a terrific rail network that reaches almost every part of the country. If you would prefer to navigate around Paris and France by bus, inter-regional bus services are limited but buses are used extensively for short distance travel within regions.

Having your own vehicle can be expensive and is inconvenient in city centers where parking and traffic is problematic. Renting a car is expensive if you book on the spot but pre-booked and prepaid promotional rates are reasonable.

marais-paris-shoppingThe Paris Metro or Metropolitan (French: Métro de Paris) is the rapid transit metro system in Paris. It has 16 lines, mostly underground, there are 300 stations. Since some are served by several lines, there are 384 stops in total.

Paris has one of the densest metro networks in the world, with 245 stations within 86.9 km2 of the City of Paris. Lines are numbered 1 to 14, with two minor lines, 3bis and 7bis. The minor lines were originally part of lines 3 and 7 but became independent.
Lines are identified on maps by number and color. Direction of travel is indicated by the destination terminus.


Paris is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow It carries 4.5 million passengers a day, and an annual total of 1.388 billion (2007). Chatlet-Les Halles, with 5 Metro lines and three RER commuter rail lines.
The Paris subway system is the second oldest in the world

2000047-460x686Why Paris in Spring?
I loved this poem by Sara Teasdale

Paris in Spring

Oh it’s Paris, it’s Paris,
And spring-time has begun.

I know the Bois is twinkling
In a sort of hazy sheen,
And down the Champs the gray old arch
Stands cold and still between.
But the walk is flecked with sunlight
Where the great acacias lean,
Oh it’s Paris, it’s Paris,
And the leaves are growing green.

The sun’s gone in, the sparkle’s dead,
There falls a dash of rain,
But who would care when such an air
Comes blowing up the Seine?
And still Ninette sits sewing
Beside her window-pane,
When it’s Paris, it’s Paris,
And spring-time’s come again.

Sara Teasdale

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Paris A city to dream wild

Paris the City of Love

I have to start my travel site talking about my favorite city in the world, the most romantic city in the world; I am referring to PARIS – the city of love! the city of light! a city to dream wild!

Paris is the capital city of France. It is also said to be the city of lovers and the most romantic place on earth, where they speak French the language of love.

Paris is one of those cities that’s popular year-round, and most popular during spring and summer but also all year around you find tourist from all over the world.

Paris offers many tourist attractions and exquisite places that will ensure your trip is truly a memorable one. Including monuments, museums, parks and gardens, squares, bridges, the canals of Paris or trade fairs and conferences, whatever your interests, Paris has a lot to offer.

Paris is also known as the City of Light, is the world’s most popular city destination. Paris is the second-largest city in Western Europe, and the most things to see.

The center of Paris is divided in 20 arrondissements , the first arrondissement in the middle and the higher numbers on the outer circle. Most of the arrondissements have their own characteristics. The majority of the world known attractions (Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, Louvre, Panthéon, e,…) are situated in the first 8 arrondissements.

The city of love, is a massive city with many attractions in reachable distance thanks to the
Highly efficient public transport system. It boasts of more than 80 museums and 200 arts
Galleries. A trip to Disney land and the magnificent Eiffel tower will make the trip worthwhile.
The attractive tourists spots are the Arc de triomphe which spans over the tomb of an
Unknown Soldier, the forbidding gothic architecture of the Notre Dame cathedral, the picturesque
Sacre Coeur, to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Moulin Rouge and boat tours along the
Seine. Get the Carte Musees-Monuments pass, which gives access to 70 monuments and
The attractive tourists spots are the Arc de triomphe which spans over the tomb of an
Unknown Soldier, the forbidding gothic architecture of the Notre Dame cathedral, the picturesque
Sacre Coeur, to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Moulin Rouge and boat tours along the
Seine. Get the Carte Musees-Monuments pass, which gives access to 70 monuments and

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