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Jordan

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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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Ireland

Visit Ireland

Deciding When and Where to Go to Ireland

Would you rather gaze at the rainbows that show up during the spring in Ireland, or enjoy the countryside during the winter? Maybe you rather experience the Galway’s Arts Festival in July, or Cork City’s Jazz Festival in October? Should you base yourself in one place and take day trips, or go the nomadic route?

The summers are warm and the winters are moderate with some snow. May and June are the sunniest months. Weather changes quite frequently from cloudy to sunny and vice versa. If planning the visit during the summer, lightweight woolen or cotton clothes are recommended and jacket for spring and autumn. Always carry raincoat for that untimely showers. Incase of emergency call 999 or 112.

Culture

Most of the locals prefer speaking English here. Handshaking is customary. Irish are social people and are good at having a lively chat even with strangers. People live in great harmony and make great friends. Foreigners are welcomed with warmth and are made to feel at home. Guests are never sent back empty stomach as food is always served at any time of the day, to the guest. Most of the locals come from an agricultural background. Dinner is considered to be a meal of importance as it is the time when the whole family gets together and eat. One can dress casually when out on the streets except women are expected to dress formally at social gatherings and at fine restaurants. Smoking is banned in public places.

Shopping

Many towns organize flee markets at least once a week, which is worth checking out for cheap goods. Belfast is the shopping capital of Ireland; most of the stores open up early and close early too. On Thursdays, shops remain open till 8 in the night.  Value Added Tax of almost 17% is charged, which can be reclaimed later. So if the visitors buy anything from the stores remember to check if the store operates the Retail Export Scheme, which would require the passport and filling of the Tax Free Shopping Form by the sales person. If the restaurant bill doesn’t includes any tax, leave behind a 10% tip to appreciate their service. Giving a tip to the porters and hair dressers is customary here.

Getting There

The national airline that operates here is Aer Lingus, which provides service from most of the major cities of the world. Airlines like Delta Air Lines and many other have been introduced and to promote them, promotional air fares are being offered. Checking out such offers will prove to be money savers. There are many flights from UK to Ireland. The Dublin airport is located at 10 km away from the city. Services like taxis, air coach, buses transport passengers to their destination. Airport has duty free shops, bank, currency exchange, car hire, tourism information, and restaurants for a comfortable journey. Shannon Airport is situated to the north of Limerick City and is 24 km and 25 minutes away from it. Buses, coaches and taxis are available for transportation. Other services that are provided are duty free shops, currency exchange, bank, tourism information and restaurants. While planning to travel, check out other airports like Cork Airport and Knock Information Airport for more options. A departure tax of €10 is to be paid by people over 12 years of age at the Knock International Airport.

To take ferries check out the Baltimore, Galway, Dublin, Wexford and Kinsale ports. Most of the ferries offer high-speed services. Time to time special offers are being announced which can be availed to save money. Check out the websites as some of them offer online booking facility.

Spain

Beautiful Spain


Spain is famous world wide for its flamenco dancers and bullfights. The architecture reflects the Moroccan style. Cave paintings, renaissance cathedrals, Moorish palaces prove the diversity of the country. Spring, fall and early summer are very pleasant here, though summers are hot.

Spain Beaches
Excellent and quiet beaches can be found near  Malaga,  Huelva  and  Almeria  in the south as well as near the coasts of La Manga, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and Euskadi. If you do enjoy extremely developed resort towns, there are plenty of crowded beaches on the Costa de la Luz and the Costa del Sol. Interesting is the harbour of Almerimar with cosy bars, just south of El Ejido (Almeria).

Culture

Spanish is the regional language of Spain. English is also widely spoken here. Over the period of time, Spanish people have become modern in order to gel with the changing times and are no longer conservative. But that hasn’t changed the values, traditions, manners and customs of the locals. People here have two surnames; the first surname can be used to refer to the person. To greet someone, a handshake will do the job. Take a small gift along when visiting someone’s house. Save the flowers for special occasions.

Dinner is generally taken very late in the night. People wear casuals most of the time. Men are expected to wear jackets at some restaurants. Swimsuits should be confined to the pools and beaches. Recently a ban has been applied on smoking in public places.

Shopping

Shops open quite early in the morning and stay open late in the evening. In the afternoon, they are closed for lunch or siesta. Porcelain and leather goods are famous and they will be good gifts for friends and family members back home. Bills are to be paid along with the service charges, so tipping is a matter of gratitude.

Electricity

Voltage is 220 volts and frequency is 50 Hz

Getting There

IBERIA is the national airline of Spain. Many other low-cost airlines offer services in the country. There are nearly thirty international airports in Spain, out of which Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante and Malaga are famous.
Madrid located at 13km away from the city has a good bus service every fifteen minutes. Underground service also works to transport passengers to their destinations. Other facilities offered at this airport are duty free shops, bank, restaurant, tourism information, and hotel reservations.

Barcelona is very close to the city, situated at a distance of 3 km only. Buses are available every 15 minutes and trains are available every 20 minutes. Taxis are available throughout the day. Duty free shops, restaurants, bank, car hire and tourism information are available here.

There is a good network of roads connecting Spain north to south. Toll booths are installed in some parts of the country. Carrying few Euros will help smooth sailing at the toll booths. If driving one’s private car, it would be better if the travel insurance covers medical costs too. Carrying a medical kit can prove to be of some help.


Greece

Visit Greece

Being one of the earliest civilizations known to human kind Greece is a country with rich history, heritage and culture. It is the place where Byzantine Empire once ruled and also great Ottoman Empire. It is also considered to be as the birth place of Democracy. Athens is the capital city of Greece. The Olympic games originated in Greece. Not only that, it was the world center for western philosophy, political science, astronomy, mathematics, major scientific studies and what not. It is also known as a Mediterranean country as it has Mediterranean Sea in the south. It is a popular destination for world tourists in that region known for its beautiful beaches, reach history and charming villages. The Greek islands are one of the most wonderful places to be explored by Cruise or Yacht. The trip of Greece will definitely be one of the most memorable to remember in one’s life.

Population & Languages

The population of Greece is around 11 million and the official language being spoken is Greek. The other popular languages are English and French.

Electricity

The voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plug used are round pin with attachment, round pin with ground, Round pin plug and receptacle with male grounding pin and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.

Geographic Location

It is located in Southern Europe bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea between Albania and Turkey. It is situated in the southern side of Balkan Peninsula. It is also bordered by Bulgaria and Macedonia in the southeast.

Climate

It has three distinct climates namely Alpine, Mediterranean and temperate climate with mild and wet winters and also hot and dry summers due to Mediterranean affect. Alpine system is seen in mountainous regions. The temperate climate is seen near border along Macedonia. Athens has both temperate and Mediterranean weather.

Customs

The Greece is a place with strong historic and cultural background. There are different traditions and customs in different parts of the Greece. The throwing back of a hand is considered to be a negative gesture here in Greece. Casual dress can be worn most of the times. Smoking is prohibited in public transport services and public buildings. Tipping 12 to 1 percent is customary in restaurants, hotels and taxis.

Attractions

* The Olympic Games in Athens (the spot of the historic 2004 Olympic Games)
* Mardi Grass Celebrations in February
* The Parthenon in Athens
* Skiing in Arahova Mountains between October and March
* Easter Celebrations
* Thessaloniki’s White Tower and country’s rich Byzantine culture
* The south of Corinth
* The beaches in Lesvos
* The wine vineyards in the countryside
* The islands near the Aegean Sea
* The wildlife preserve in Alonissos (Sporades Marine Park)
* The famous, Moni Panagia Chozoviotissa, a Byzantine monastery in Amorgos

Travel

By Air – The national airline of Greece is Olympic Airlines. Many popular airlines like British Airways and Delta Airlines operate daily flight from Athens. The biggest airport is newly constructed Athens International Airport which is located like 17 miles northeast of the city. The other international airports of Greece are Heraklion (Crete), Thessaloniki (Macedonia) and Corfu (Kerkira).

By Sea – The popular Greek ports include Corfu, Heraklion, Igoumenitsa, Patras, Piraeus (Athens), Rhodes, Thessaloniki and Volos. Shipping vessels and ferryboat lines link these ports with Italy, Croatia, Cyprus, Russia and Turkey. Some of the popular cruises operating in Greece are Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Festival Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Silversea and Swan Hellenic.

By Rail – If one is coming from UK, the best way is to take Eurostar train to Brussels or Paris and from there take connecting train to Greece.

Beach Vacations for Winter

Hawai,

During the winter months, finding a beach vacation

Spot can be a little difficult.  It doesn’t have
To be, below, you’ll find some resorts that
Offer a unique twist to your winter beach vacation.

Molokai Ranch and Lodge

On a white sand shore on the tiny Hawaiian island of Molokai, guests will stay in comfortable yet unique

Tents.  Each double unit canvas bungalow sits on wooden platforms, offers queen size beds in one Unit, twin beds in the other, solar powered lights, and a private bathroom with hot water showers.
The Molokai Ranch Lodge offer over 54,000 acres, including seaside cliffs with very lush valleys.  The outdoor activities here include sea

Kayaking, cultural hikes, mountain biking, and horseback riding.  For the kids, the lodge offers nature walks, horse stables, tidal pools and Hawaiian arts and crafts.

Grand Wailea Resort and Spa of Hawaii

Long ago, a big swimming pool was enough to make guests happy.  Now days, resorts compete in water
activities such as lagoons, waterfalls, water slides, and even lazy rivers.

The Grand Wailea Resort in Hawaii offers several attractions, such as the 4,580 square foot Hibiscus pool,
and the 25,700 square foot Canyon Activity pool which is great for families.

Hawaii resort

You can choose to put your frequent flier miles to good use and take a beach vacation on the island of Hawaii.  Here, you can relax on the beach, swim in the ocean, play golf, and even indulge in one of the many innovative spa treatments.
OneTravel.com
Hawaii enjoys some of the best weather in the world – making it a great choice for your beach vacation.
The Kona Village Resort in Hawaii offers you several vacation activities that include snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, volleyball, tennis, fishing, scuba diving, and glass bottom boat tours.

Oahu beach vacation

At the Kahala Mandarin Oriental you can expect to be pampered like never before.  You can visit the spa,take scuba diving classes, or choose to swim it up with the dolphins.  The resort is conveniently
located 15 minutes away from Honolulu and Waikiki Beach.

Atlantis Resort of the Bahamas

In the amazing water fun department is the unique Atlantis Resort and Spa on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.  Along with the beach, the Atlantis has eleven swimming pools, Mayan Temple water
slides, and lazy river rides.  The Atlantis also boasts an amazing marine habitat, with exhibit lagoons that house more than 50,000 sea animals.

Virgin Islands vacation

At this vacation destination you can enjoy blue waters and sandy beaches.  The Ritz Carlton, and St. Thomas resorts offer you the best of luxury hotels during your beac h vacation in the Virgin Islands.

Luxury Beach Resort of Bermuda

Two hours away by flight from New York City, Bermuda is a quick and ideal vacation away from the East Coast.  Ariel Sands offers you 47 guest rooms with gourmet food and breathtaking views.

Romance and seclusion in Jamaica

With unique rooms and splendid views of the Caribbean, gourmet cuisine and amazing beaches, The Caves resort in Jamaica helps to set the beach vacation mood like never before.

Club Med Punta Cana

Over the last several years, the Dominican

Republic has been working very hard to establish

itself as a destination for families, with many all inclusive being built.  This location has all the perks of a tropical resort plus stand out features that include kids programs, and other attractions that make Club Med Punta Cana one of the most unique beach vacation spots in the entire world.

Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands National Park is a very unique vacation spot with white sandy beaches, and lodging in comfortable tent cottages.

As with the Molokai Ranch, guest cottages are built on platforms and designed to be both attractive and comfortable.  Each one has a sleeping area, bed linen, towels, kitchen utensils, stove, ice Cooler and even a private deck.

The Maldives

is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls stretching in a north-south direction off India’s Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and Chagos Archipelago. It stands in the Laccadive Sea, about seven hundred kilometers (435 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka and (250 mi) south-west of India

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Get Away from the Winter Blues

The Maldives

is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls stretching in a north-south direction off India’s Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and Chagos Archipelago. It stands in the Laccadive Sea, about seven hundred kilometers (435 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka and (250 mi) south-west of India

This chain of islands is the centrally located archipelago among the Lakshadweep-Maldives-Chagos group of islands, which are in reality the tops of a vast undersea submarine mountain range, in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. The atolls of the Maldives encompass a territory spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometers, making it one of the most dispersed countries in the world in geographic terms. It features 1,192 islets, of which two hundred are inhabited.  The Republic of Maldives’s capital and largest city is Malé.  It is located at the southern edge of North Malé Atoll, in the Kaafu Atoll. It is also one of the Administrative divisions of the Maldives. Traditionally it was the King’s Island, from where the ancient Maldive Royal dynasties ruled and where the palace was located.

The Maldives are the smallest Asian country in both population and land area. With an average ground level of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, it is the lowest country on the planet. It is also the country with the lowest highest point in the world.

Getting There

Malé International Airport is located on its own private island, Hulule, next to the capital      city of Malé. This landing strip of an island is the checkpoint for all international visitors.

Timing

The high season is December through April and attracts more crowds.

To get more information visit the official Maldives tourism site http://www.visitmaldives.com/en

The Maldives has been voted the world’s most romantic destination at the prestigious World Travel Awards. Also nominated were Bali, Hawaii, Mauritius, New York City, Paris, Seychelles, Tuscany, Italy and Venice. The leading resort went to Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu.”

 

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.

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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
museums.
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
museums.


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