My time in Stockholm.

My Time In Stockholm

It was early- summer in April 2007 when I caught the flight to Stockholm from Bangalore in India. The flight landed in Stockholm at 1 PM in the afternoon. The drive from Stockholm airport to my hotel in Kista suburb of Stockholm was a pleasant one. As I settled down in my room and looked out of the window, I was pleasantly surprised to see few specks of snow hung in the air and gently floating down. I was lucky to see some snow that day since for the next two and a half months I did not get to see any. The day I had landed in Stockholm turned out to be the last day of winter in Stockholm.

We were three colleagues who had come for learning the intricacies of an Ericsson product. Our hotel, Accome Kista, was part of a wide chain of serviced hotels with kitchen facility present in all the rooms. The best part of Accome Kista was that it shared a wall, and an access- controlled entrance with Kista Galleria.

Kista Galleria was a really well- designed and beautiful mall. The shops and establishments it contained ranged from a fully- equipped supermarket named ICA, to a McDonald’s restaurant to all the branded stores which one finds peppered across malls now- a- days. Kista Galleria had a nice food court with cuisines from all over the world.

Next day was our first day at the office. We purchased day passes for Stockholm Metro and boarded it. Stockholm Metro is a traveller’s delight, to say the least. We needed to go to the Telefonplan suburb of Stockholm where Ericsson office was located. This required us to change trains at the central interchange station known as T- Centralen.

T- Centralen station was huge. It was fully underground and was three floors tall below the ground. The three metro lines ran on their own floors or levels. To change our route, we had to reach a different level. However, while finding our way to the correct Metro route the three of us got lost! Instead of reaching the upper floor, we found ourselves standing outside the station. Realizing our folly, we went around and enquired from the passers- by. We found the Swedes to be extremely helpful. They willingly guided us to the correct level of the station where we finally boarded the train to our destination.

Telefoneplan was a small Metro station. We walked a quarter of a mile to the Ericsson office where we met our Swedish colleagues. Our Swedish colleagues were very friendly. The first day itself they took me to a Greek restaurant where we had Greek Kebabs and couscous. I absolutely loved the food and the hospitality.

I had landed in Stockholm with a slight cold, but despite having ventured out in cold weather on my first day itself, my cold became better on the second day and was gone by the third day. The air in Stockholm was amazingly pure, as was the food. In fact, I used to relish having ice cream in the freezing air of Stockholm. An experience I cherish till date!

Me and my office colleagues went around sightseeing on every weekend. One of the first places we visited was the Army Museum at Riddargatan. It had an awesome range of guns on display. The guns were of all sizes and it took us a while to see the whole range which was on display.

My next memorable outing was to the Vasa Museum. The museum was named after the 17th-century warship Vasa which had originally sunk on its maiden journey. The warship had since been salvaged and resurrected with the Vasa Museum built around it. The museum was awe- inspiring and we took three to four hours to cover it from one end to the other. We took ferry rides to and from the island of Djurgarden where the museum was located. I still remember the nice view of Stockholm city we saw as we travelled standing on the deck of the ferry.

One of the oldest and most pristine areas of Stockholm is an area known as Gamla stan which literally means The Old Town. Gamla stan carried the feel of the 17th and the 18th centuries. It had long and winding alleys with cobbled pathways and shops lined up on both sides. I even found an Indian restaurant in those alleys.

Stockholm is known for the Nobel Prize. A trip to Stockholm would then be considered incomplete without a visit to the Nobel Museum which was located in the Gamla stan area. The museum was a treasure trove of information on the origins of the Nobel Prize and its recipients over the years. It even had an in- built theatre, where short documentary films about the Nobel prizes were screened for the visitors.

We had heard a lot about the excellent nightclub culture in Stockholm. So one Friday night we decided to check it out for ourselves. We decided to explore the Gamla stan area which, despite its quaint exteriors, transforms into a buzzing nightspot on the weekends.

We decided to travel by Metro. As we came out of the Gamla stan station I was amazed to see the happy faces and the generally smiling faces milling around. Stockholm has an amazingly low rate of crime. So everyone could move around easily at night without any danger of being mugged!

We roamed around the area till 2 am and even visited a night club which allowed stag entries. To our pleasant surprise, it turned out to be a pirate themed night at that night club which we enjoyed thoroughly.

Another area where I enjoyed walking around was Kungsträdgården park in central Stockholm. People used to sit around the park relaxing and chatting. With the pure breeze of Stockholm flowing around, this park remained my preferred place to relax after a tired working day.

The Kungsträdgården Metro station, which was the nearest station to get to the park, also had an entrance to the Gallerian mall. The Gallerian was the commercial centrepiece of Stockholm with nice shops. I visited an Italian restaurant in this mall run by a mother and daughter duo. Till date I haven’t tasted a better Focaccia with salami meat than the one, I ate there

My memories of Stockholm will be incomplete without a mention of the Swedish sauna I used to enjoy in my hotel itself. It was the traditional Swedish sauna with stones placed on a heater. I used to book the sauna room for an hour once every week. The sauna I experienced in Stockholm is one of the most refreshing activities I have experienced to date.

To sum it up, my trip was full of nice experiences. When it was time for me to come back I really felt that I was leaving some part of me behind in the lovely city of Stockholm.

Article submitted by Prabhu Chowdhury

For essential information on things to do and museums to visit during your time in Stockholm. Visit this site’s Sweden’s page. All information is written from first-hand experience to give you a truly terrific trip in Sweden.


Travelling Tips for Europe

Travelling Tips for Europe

Europe holidays are the most sought after holiday destinations for travellers. Holidaymaker’s should be aware of many important travel tips before booking their next Europe get- away.

Traveling tips for Europe include:

Set a holiday budget

Set your holiday budget to include transportation expense and keepsakes. For tourists looking for a cheap Europe holiday, packaged tours will be the best option. In case you are flexible, book a last minute holiday, because it can save a lot on your travel expense.
Know the exchange rate

Find out the exchange rate between the country you will be travelling to and your country. The exchange rate will provide you with a better idea of how much your holiday will cost you. If possible, visit during the off- peak months to save considerably more.

Plan and organize

Ensure that you plan and organize your holiday. Make sure that your picture ID and international passport are up to date. Find out whether you will need travel insurance, where and how to exchange money. If you are well organized, this can ensure that you will have a great holiday.
Holiday activities

Spare some time to consider what holiday activities interest you before you travel to Europe. Are you a water- sport enthusiast or you love climbing the mountains or hiking, visiting museums or relaxing on the beach? If you know what activities you like doing, arrange for which days you will have time for each of them.
Reserve some activities until another visit

Usually, with an end goal to get the most value for your money you may tend to over plan the holiday. Organize your holiday activities list, and in case, you do not have the time to complete the list, save a few sight attractions or activities for another holiday.
Find out about each day’s weather forecast

Some holiday maker’s might not wish to spend several days indoors, on the grounds of rainy or cold weather. They may miss a fun day trip because they did not find out the weather forecast for that day.

Guided tours

For a holiday-maker who love waking up late, then a guided tour may not be for them. Because many guided tours begin very early for the day, and the tour may continue until very late at night. The tours are meant to show you around many cities in any European country within a specified time period, and the tourists are always grouped together for the guided tour.
Pack what you need

Only travel with items that are necessary and you are sure they will be of use. Ensure that you pack light. Go with what you will need. Bear in mind that your holiday destination will have shops that can offer any item you may need or may have forgotten.
Get more travel information online

Holidaymaker’s to Europe destination have many options. There are the possibilities of using the Internet to know more about the European cities that they plan to travel to, look at the travel costs, reserve their holiday accommodations or book their flights.
Read reviews from other travelers

In case, this will be your first time of visiting a particular holiday destination, read reviews from travelers who have visited that spot to know more about the type of holiday activities on offer, places to visit and sight attractions.

Have fun

Always plan before traveling to a country, that way when you start your trip, you can relax and have fun. Be that as it may be reminded that, there are not very many perfect holidays In case something goes wrong, relax and accept the situation for what they are. Have fun with your holidays in Europe.

Article submitted by James Smith

Hi my name is James and I’m 13 years old, I live in North East England and my dream is to travel the world and to be a writer. I have travelled a lot of Europe with my family on holiday and decided to do an article once I saw you was looking for writers. I hope you put this on your site. Thank you
Due to the age of this writer I haven’t linked to his Facebook, but as however, we agreed if you would like to get hold of James you can give me your details and I shall pass them  on.


Tallinn tips from a local

Tallinn Article

Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia wherein majority of the country’s population resides. Considered as one of the oldest capital cities in Northern Europe, Tallinn has also been the main point of trade and commerce from the 14th to 16th centuries.  The Old Town in Tallinn, in fact, has been listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site making it a popular destination among tourists.
Fast- forward to today, modern-day Tallinn has been the major hub for political, cultural, financial and educational spots of the country Estonia. In fact, it is now famous for being called the Silicon Valley of Europe. It is also the birthplace of the world famous Skype.
As for a travel destination, Tallinn caters to all type of tourists. For those of you who wanted a taste of wonderful nightlife and exhilarating adventures without compromising the comforts of the modern world, then Tallinn should definitely be on your travel list!

Sights

The most popular among the many wonderful sights of Tallinn would be The Old Town. The cobbled streets would take you to courtyards, churches and old houses that give you a reminiscent glimpse of the past. With a nice atmosphere and tons of friendly people, Old Town is littered with quaint restaurants and cafes to satisfy your taste buds. A word to the wise, though, be mindful of your steps!
If you are looking for a place to rest your feet but not your eyes, head to the Kadriorg Park. A well- maintained park with amazing scenery and beautiful architecture, you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the place while resting.  It has cute attractions such as a pond, fountain, and heaps of lovely flowers. From here you can walk towards their national museum, the presidential residence, and the castle garden.

Finally, the site that will leave everyone breathless is the Toompea Hill. This provides a fantastic vantage view of all the Old Town and the sea, meaning you can see for miles! As for the range of the hill itself, it is quite compact but with many beautiful buildings of different architectural influences, try to spot the Baroque and medieval ones! Make a visit especially on a sunny day to appreciate this view and most importantly, better bring extra memory card and batteries for your camera, surely you’ll leave with tons of photos!

Food and Drink

You may not agree with me but I think the best part of going around a new city is sampling their local delicacies. The first thing to sink your teeth into when in Tallinn should be me but I think the best part of going around a new city is sampling their local delicacies. The first thing to sink your teeth into when in Tallinn should be leib, which is their local dark rye bread.Verivorst, which is a local blood sausage, is another delicacy one should not miss. In Tallinn, where sometimes the temperature can drop to very low degrees, hearty meals such as stews and soups are highly popular. Try some of their stews with pork and .Verivorst, which is a local blood sausage, is another delicacy one should not miss. In Tallinn, where sometimes the temperature can drop to very low degrees, hearty meals such as stews and soups are highly popular. Try some of their stews with pork and .Verivorst, which is a local blood sausage, is another delicacy one should not miss. In Tallinn, where sometimes the temperature can drop to very low degrees, hearty meals such as stews and soups are highly popular. Try some of their stews with pork and hapukor or sour cream. For seafood lovers, best to try salmon and trout, which are often than not caught in the wild or organic. During often than not caught in the wild or organic. During the season, make sure to try some forest fruits and mushroom dishes too!
For drinks, herbal teas are becoming popular these days, all of which under the namen “tee” when ordering. Tourist and locals alike also favour local beers and liqueurs. For sinfully rich experience, try their local chocolate, which is under the Kaley brand for a really good treat.

Tips

1. To maximize your visit in Tallinn, be sure to buy a Tallinn Card, which gives you a cheaper alternative to enjoy the sights. The card is acceptable in more than 40 museums and other attractions, buses, trams and even bicycle hires.

2. A lot of museums in the area are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so schedule your itinerary accordingly.

3. As always, cafes and restaurants located in the city centre are overpriced. Try to pry away from that area and explore a little farther for better and cheaper alternatives.

4.  Head to the artists’ workshop for unique souvenirs. Avoid the souvenir  shops, which often than not sells overpriced items.

Article submitted by Anton Kalju

For essential information on things to do and museums to visit during your time in Tallinn. Visit this site’s Estonia page. All information is written from first-hand experience to give you a truly terrific trip in Latvia.


Oslo Article

Oslo

Being one of the biggest capitals in the world, the vast territory of Oslo is covered with wild forests, lakes, parks and greenery of all kinds. All this nature can be easily accessed from anywhere in the city, so take your time and enjoy the subtle mix of vibrant green hills with navy-blue lakes and elegant architecture of the city with unforgettable cultural sights that can be explored all day long. The best way to experience Oslo is on foot, especially if you stay somewhere near the Karl Johans gate, the main street in the city that runs along main sightseeing spots. Whether you are a history buff or an art-lover, Oslo has lots of interesting spots that will take your breath away.

Take a step back in time as you visit the Akershus Fortress. It was built in 1299 and strikes all its visitors with majestic medieval architecture, grand halls, spacious banquet rooms, and picturesque views of the harbor that can be seen through the castle’s windows. Explore the quaint chapel that’s located on castle’s premises and the Royal Mausoleum where you can marvel at the tomb of castle’s founder Hakon VII. The fortress has seen its fair share of sieges over the last few hundred years, but now the Ministry of Defense has transformed it into its headquarters.

Vigeland Sculpture Park attracts millions of tourists each year and for a good reason. It is one of the biggest parks of such kind that have ever existed and is dedicated solely to the works of one author – Gustav Vigeland. As you wander among hundreds of exquisitely made sculptures you’ll get to visit 6 sections of the park with various themes including the Wheel of Life, depicting all aspects of being human, and the marvelous collection of statues in the Fountain area.

Fans of the Viking culture will be overjoyed to visit the incredible Viking Ship Museum elegantly put on display in well-lit white galleries. The collection includes a lot of reconstructed wooden light boats and the exquisite Oseberg boat with rich and stunning ornamentation. You can also enjoy extensive collections of Viking goods at the Museum of Cultural History.

While strolling along the streets of Oslo don’t forget to visit such iconic places as the National Museum of Art with its breathtaking collections of contemporary and traditional artists from around the globe and the Royal Palace with its lush gardens and the changing of the guards. Stop by to take some photos of the noble-looking Oslo Cathedral with its amazing bronze doors and antique interior. City Hall is another iconic site that cannot be missed. Being one of the greatest landmarks in Oslo, it’s a majestic square building made of brick with 38 bells hidden inside one of its towers. Their sound can be heard throughout the whole city! Go to Aker Brygge to marvel at the most stunning architecture and a pleasant boardwalk that runs along the sea. It is also the go-to place if you want to have an unforgettable dinner with your friends, family or an intimate date with a girl.

Article submitted by Gregers Peder Nass, A student resident of Oslo


Article on Riga

Time In Riga

This time we made our way towards the capital of Latvia, Riga. Considered as the pearl of architectonics, Riga holds a significant place within the entire Latvia and Baltic. It is gladly counted amongst the list of UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Around 700,000 inhabitants reside in this largest city in Baltic States.
We stepped into this great place through booking a flight. Well, you can easily get direct flights to this city from Asia, Africa, America, and Europe as well. Riga International Airport is located quite close to the city centre. Moreover, Air Baltic offers simple and suitable links to this multicultural Latvian city.

I was surprised to see a variety of interesting stuff in Riga, to me it was an incredible destination to spend my summer holidays where I completely relaxed and rejuvenated myself to the fullest. There’s no harm calling it a place where centuries meet as you would witness each century has significantly impacted the city, leaving behind rich historic remains. One surprising thing about Riga is you’d see the old historic cultural heritage co-exists concordantly with modern lifestyle. Since Riga is located in the centre of the city, you can step in the city through any means of conveyance with great ease be it by air, railway or sea.

The prime reason of choosing Riga, Latvia was, I needed the perfect break comprising of great music, dining and wining altogether.

It’s a known fact that Music is regarded as an integral part of the Latvian Culture and once you’re here in summers, it’s a blast of some amazing mini music festivals and concerts that are conducted frequently throughout the summer season. I attended ballet and opera sessions and really enjoyed the sacred music.

While staying at Hotel Neiburgs, I stepped out to satisfy my hunger pangs. Heading to the roof top restaurant off the cathedral square, I indulged into delectable summary sensational main courses that were really affordable starting from £7.

Wandering in this beautiful city, I decided to visit Jurmala. You must be a bit confused about the term *Jurmala*, it actually means Seaside in the Latvian language. Walk on shimmery golden sands and relax in wondrous Spas out there. It isn’t located far away; just a quick ride by train will take you to the glimmering Latvian beach.

Wandering in this beautiful city, I decided to visit Jurmala. You must be a bit confused about the term *Jurmala*, it actually means Seaside in the Latvian language. Walk on shimmery golden sands and relax in wondrous Spas out there. It isn’t located far away; just a quick ride by train will take you to the glimmering Latvian beach.

Walking through old town’s pebbled streets; each era has marked structural scratch including segments of vigorous archaic defences, medieval churches, and flamboyant townhouses along with museum buildings. Don’t miss out to visit the spacious Dome Cathedral; I remember I had to wait in a long beefy queue to buy entrance tickets. Book your tickets in advance to avoid the massive rush.

On my way for cruising to “The Darling”, I came across an unpolished Kipsala island, where a number of wooden houses were located closely to each other. Returning back, I headed on to the Bastion Park and guess what I found…

Lovely swan houses and so many shady benches to relax and get a watchful view of park!

My next move was to explore the most popular and prominent Art Nouveau Museum, which serves as home to a cluster of Riga’s spectacular and wondrous art pieces and décor. In order to enjoy nightlife in Riga, do enter the sleek and hippest wine bar KID. Finally sipping my favourite beer with live piano in background brought an amazing night life to an end.

My trip to Riga, Latvia all over has been an amazing one.

Article submitted by “The Ghost”

For essential information on things to do and museums to visit during your time in Riga. Visit this site’s Riga’s page. All information is written from first-hand experience to give you a truly terrific trip in Latvia.


Lithuania School

Gymnasium

I was given an invite to Dominyka’s Gymnasium (school) where I would give a motivational speech in an English lesson, This was something very new to me, as much as I have visited a number of different schools across the globe and had 1 to 1 talks with children around the ages of 6 – 10 years old, I have never given a speech to a class let alone to a class of around 15/16 year olds.
I prepared very well for my speech and tried not to let my nerves get the better of me. The moment I walked into the class my self-preparation had quickly disappeared and all I was left with were a bucket full of nerves. As the teacher walked to the back of the class I was left at the front, on centre stage trying to clear my mind.

At this point all I could teach the class was how to be nervous, I was far from my comfort zone. After telling myself at a rate of 1 hundred miles per hour to pull myself together,  I began my speech, but the only words that could come out of my mouth were      “hi”        then an awkward pause from me, so I decided to talk about the bad weather and explain that this was an English tradition and how we, for some reason, talk about the weather. I stood there stumbling my words, still full of nerves, I exploded with my prepared speech

As I was talking about the things I prepared, I could see no- one was really interested in what I had to say, oh know what a disaster this was turning out to be, “a nervous boring Englishman stuttering his words out”.

An awkward silence………

I really needed at this point to either leave and walk out or find a comfort zone for myself, of course my comfort zone is my hobbies and about things I have passion for which of course is travelling.

I asked the class if anybody had any hobbies,

Nothing, not one replied, no one had any hobbies, hmmmm

I had failed and lost interest of the students,

“oh no disaster”

Ok, I will talk about my hobbies so I talked about travelling and some of the countries I had visited, a few eyebrows lifted “Result”

I have found something some may be interested in so I went on and talked about some of the amazing experiences I’ve had and some of the unique foods I’ve tried. Whilst I was speaking about foods I would ask the class to translate and if they understood, for me, this was the key turning point as the class interacted with me. I would ask along the way if anyone had any questions, 1 young lad asked a question followed by another and another.

It was around this point I had forgotten about my nerves and felt more comfortable.

As this young man kept asking questions it would lead on to further things from religion, politics, economy,  the  crisis happening in the E.U,  what I thought about leaving the E.U and a few other questions which I spoke about.

The lesson was up which was notified by a piece of music, WOW I had spoken for 45 minutes from what was meant to be an intended 10- 15 minutes, did I pull this off? “I believe so”, the students didn’t flinch at the end of the lesson, they didn’t grab their bags and run, they continued to listen to me for a further 5 minutes,

I quickly wrapped up this lesson and thanked them for listening which they applauded me and then class was dismissed.

I really hoped they learnt a few things from me even if it was to listen to a native English person speak and try to understand, I can honestly say I have learnt a lot from this lesson and how hard it is to be taken out of your comfort zone, my lesson was to grab an opportunity, learn from it and enjoy it.

I really hoped they enjoyed the lesson and to my relief I was told by Dominyka that a few students had said after the lesson that it was interesting listening to me, I would love the opportunity to do this again, however, next time I will know what to expect and believe I would enjoy it from start to finish.


Perfect Romantic Vacation in Venice Tips

7 Tips to Plan your Perfect Romantic Vacation in Venice

Venice was designed to be the most beautiful city in Entire Renaissance Europe. After centuries, Venice still remains the most beautiful city.  City’s Fabulous Palaces, Renaissance Landmarks, Rich Italian architecture & Unmatched Love for Art attracts millions of tourists every year. Venice is very famous among Couples & Newly- weds.  If you want a love story like Romeo & Juliet, Plan your honeymoon in Venice, Period.

You cannot experience real beauty of Venice, unless you visit it. No matter how many beautiful images you have seen, you cannot visualize its splendour. Even some of the greatest artists have fallen short of words explaining marvelous beauty of Venice. So how can I ever compare?  But let’s give it a try!  “Imagine a beautiful city built couple of centuries ago, which is full of beautiful architecture and glorious buildings. Where there are no roads, but beautiful canals connecting the city. You can find exotic music being played by street musicians, almost anywhere in the city.  Indeed, nothing short of a paradise.”
Venice is also the perfect place to plan your romantic Holiday with your partner. Artists & Art lovers love this place. Love is in the air if you are planning to pay a visit, get ready to experience the difference in your love life!

Here are 7 amazing Tips to plan your perfect Romantic Holiday/ Vacation in Venice

Planning the Holiday!

The most boring part of your Holiday, But time spent planning your perfect Holiday usually comes long waybest deals and bookings in your budget. Lay out your travel plan on a paper or phone. Book the hotels & Flight tickets in advance. If you want to save time and hassle, you can simply book a Honeymoon package form your travel Agent.

Don’t forget to include some popular landmarks such as Rialto Bridge and Palazzo Ducale.

Maintain Balance:

Planning is much like Love, if it does not have perfect balance, then it is no more pleasurable. A mistake lot of tourists make is over planning. Here are some more Dos and Don’ts to help you.

Don’t exhaust yourself with every tiny detail of your travel, leave insignificant things untouched, and deal with them later.

Maintain a balance between free time and Sight Seeing. Don’t give either one complete importance, otherwise, you will ruin the fun.

Maintain balance between Luxury & Budget, going heavy on either one of them will leave you with regrets for sure.

Maintain a balance between Holiday & Love, Always give your significant One Importance and time. Don’t become a lone wolf.
A preplanned holiday allows you to spend more time with your “The One”, rather than scratching your head in front of a Map! You can be worry free & enjoy the preplanned holiday allows you to spend more time with your “The One”, rather than scratching your head in front of a Map! You can be worry free & enjoy the holiday if well planned.

Don’t Forget To Romance!
Don’t exhaust all your time in travelling, spare some time for romance! Enjoy beautiful sunsets with your partner, have Romantic dinners. Surprise him/ her with special gifts.

Cruise through amazing canals of Venice in a chartered boat. Stop in the middle and surprise her/him with an unexpected French kiss! Don’t be shy, Hold hands. Holding hands are the best way to show how much you care for them. And Venice is lovers Paradise after all!

Don’t chain yourself, speak your heart out, tell them why you love them, express your affection. Do a little bit of research on the Internet, if you have to. But don’t make your holiday boring and without romance!

Chocolates, Flowers & Wine!

There is no gap that can’t be filled with either chocolate, Flowers or Wine. They have remained best gifts to express your love & affection. Especially in Venice, you can find the finest Renaissance Wine & chocolates.   You can order them online or purchase locally.

If you are making a booking through travel agents or a website, you can always ask your hotel for special services. And they will greet you with a fine bottle of wine at your hotel room! Enjoy a fine glass of wine after the dinner or before going to bed. A glass of wine will surely turn the atmosphere sexy & romantic.

If you really want to make your loved one happy, wake up early and wake them up with a hot coffee & breakfast of their choice.  This is titled to bring a lovely smile on their face, which you can’t forget.

Forget the candle Light dinner!

Candle light dinner is regarded as symbol of romance worldwide, but they become very dull compared to other activities you can do in Venice. You can enjoy Romantic candle light dinner anywhere in the world. But while you are in Venice, you must take a different route.  Here are few alternatives:

Gondola Ride:
I would personally suggest you to enjoy a gondola ride. It costs around 40 euros for 30 minutes, the experience of a gondola ride is amazing. You can enjoy the amazing views of city through Gondola. Way better than old, boring candle light dinner.

Live Seafood:
Another experience you can have is Live Seafood, Most of the restaurants don’t even own a refrigerator.  Fish are juicy and delicious.
Helicopter tour:
To have a lavish & luxurious experience you can take a helicopter ride. You can explore the whole Venice within a couple of hours. Tickets are also reasonable & affordable, around 60- 100 Euro per person. You can pick a helicopter from Lido Island.  A helicopter tour is a must if you are only staying for a couple of days or less.
Sail Boat Tour:
This is another perfect way to explore the city. You can find a traditional sail boats throughout the Venice. You can even plan your Lunch on the boat.  If you are looking for something more romantic and faster, try taking a cruise ride. “Many Titanic Pictures have already been clicked on these Boats!”

Go Naked (Barefooted)!

This is probably the best way to connect with Venice, take off your shoes and walk barefooted. Explore the hidden alley ways take water taxies when you are tired.  An early morning Jog on cold, damp floor will definitely charge you up with energy. Especially near the Basilica di San Marco Church.

Natural beauty is at its best in Venice, you can enjoy astonishment of pink- streaked skies right after the sunset. Skies are always clear blue during the day while night sky is always full of stars. If you really want to impress your partner, take them out and enjoy the sunset with a romantic dinner. Sure, you will have to use candles, but it will be much more interesting.

You can also explore Restaurants and Pubs.
Don’t be a Bed lover!

Are you a Bad lover or Bed Lover? Clearly, if you are planning to visit Venice for your Romantic Holiday, you are not the former!  Leave your laziness behind and explore every aspect of Venice while you are there. Take as many photos as you want, do something crazy, switch off your mobile and spend time with your loved one.
“If you have made some great memories, why not send it via a postcard? So that you can keep your memories with you forever!”

Sleep as little as possible, capture the moment and create everlasting memories with your loved ones. Please don’t waste your time being lazy or lying in the bed. Take 5/6 cups of espresso if you want, but get out of the bed.

There are many Art classes available, which specializes in teaching Drawing, Italian cooking & other arts in general. These classes are the best way to kill some of the extra time and learn useful skills. These are often one or two days long. Prefer joining one or two.  Learn Basic Italian from a native, make some new friends.

There are countless things you can do in Venice, don’t limit yourself to your hotel room.

Art always loves you back!

Art is unique identity of Venice. You will find almost every form of art. You can attend local concerts and operas if you like. There are many art exhibits throughout the year, if you are lucky enough you might get entry.  It is advisable to book tickets in advance, so that you & your loved one can enjoy without worries. One of the major opera house is Gran Teatro La Fenice. You can book tickets online or via your hotel manager.
There are many festivals held throughout the year if you plan well you can attend these festivals.  Now you know why I put “Planning the Holiday” as my first tip.  These festivals certainly intensify Romance of Your Honeymoon or Holiday.
Here are some of the major festivals and their duration, to help you plan better.

Venice Jazz Festival. July

Festa del Redentore. July

Venice Film Festival. August – September

Regata Storica (Historic Regatta) September

Venice Marathon. October

Festa della Salute. November

Venice Carnival. January – February
These festivals are celebrated with much joy and cheer, some of them are specifically dedicated to Newly- weds and couples.

Wish you all the best for your journey to Venice and all the best for your Love Life.

Article submitted  by  “The Regular”


Article on Olumo Rock

Olumo Rock

Thе olumo rock is оnе оf thе mоѕt рорulаr tоuriѕt dеѕtinаtiоnѕ I hаvе viѕitеd in Nigеriа,  Wеѕt Afriса. Thе rock ѕitѕ in thе аnсiеnt сitу саllеd Abeokuta, which litеrаllу mеаn “under the rосkѕ” hаѕ bееn a рlасе оf hiѕtоrу for thе Egbа реорlе- a Yоrubа ethnic group in Nigеriа.
Olumо Rock, today, iѕ a Wоrld class tоuriѕt dеѕtinаtiоn thаt ѕtаndѕ as thе only one оf its kind in Africa and рrеѕumаblу thе wоrld. Thе сеntrе соnѕiѕtѕ оf a fаѕt food jоint, museum, аnd a giаnt tеlеѕсоре tо view Abеоkutа, a fountain оf аtоnеmеnt, a rесrеаtiоnаl park, and an amphitheatre аmоng оthеrѕ.Frоm the gаtе with thе inѕсriрtiоn ‘Olumо Rосk Tourist Complex,’  tourists will not lоѕе sight оf thе hеаvу dutу еѕсаlаtоr and a glass еlеvаtоr running thе diffеrеnt levels оf thе rосk аlоngѕidе thе оld ѕtаirwау for viѕitоrѕ whо love сlimbing. Dеfinitеlу, tоuriѕm development gоеѕ beyond workshops, асаdеmiс рареrѕ аnd соmmuniԛué: it iѕ now timе tо start translating all thеѕе into rеаlitу as оnе has experienced аnd аllоw ѕаmе tо bе rерliсаtеd асrоѕѕ globally.
Climbing thе rосk соuld bе extremely сhаllеnging, mоѕt especially fоr thе аgеd, thе inѕtаllаtiоn  оf thiѕ facility hаѕ grеаtlу hеlреd  tо аttrасt  mоrе viѕitоrѕ to Olumо Rосk, but the fun still liеѕ in uѕing thе оld stairway. Whilе mаking our wау tо the top оf the rосk, it lеаvеѕ mаnу breathless аnd rеаdу tо tаkе a brеаk to rеѕt on thе bеnсhеѕ undеr the trees growing from thе rосk аnd enjoy ѕоmе сlеаn breeze. Thе jоurnеу continues with сlimbѕ on irregularly ѕizеd rосkѕ through a nаrrоw соrridоr thаt lеаdѕ to thе top оf the rосk.All аlоng the way, I was able to саtсh sights оf саrvingѕ in the rосk, cowry- studded ѕtаtuеѕ and thе ancient abode оf thе priestesses whо livеd in hutѕ on thе rосk. It wаѕ аmаzing to nоtе thаt thе rосk is naturally surrounded by саvеѕ, one of which iѕ аbоut 20 fееt lоng and 25 fееt widе.

These саvеѕ hаvе ѕlаb- likе ѕtоnеѕ, which арреаr tо have ѕеrvеd аѕ seats uѕеd bу thе аnсiеnt dwellers. It рrоbаblу was used аѕ a hall bу thе dwеllеrѕ. Anоthеr саvе, some 20 mеtеrѕ lоng аnd 17 mеtеrѕ widе, ѕееmеd tо bе a dwеlling place. It hаѕ fivе in- built rооmѕ with a lоng соrridоr, a sitting rооm, kitchen аnd a ѕtоrе.

At the east еnd is аnоthеr big саvе, built with mud walls into оutеr аnd inner chambers. Thiѕ iѕ uѕеd аѕ a ѕhrinе bу the dеvоtееѕ оf Oriѕа- Igun, God of longevity. Oriѕа Igun iѕ сеlеbrаtеd аnnuаllу during whiсh gоаtѕ, rаmѕ аnd other аnimаlѕ аrе ѕасrifiсеd аnd itѕ ceremonies lаѕt fоr 30 days. Thеrе were also points with hоlеѕ on the flооr whеrе the Egbа warriors were ѕаid tо have hidden thеir wives and сhildrеn during intеr tribаl wаrѕ.

At thе summit оf thе rосk, I hаd thе opportunity оf hаving a раnоrаmiс viеw of thе сitу frоm аtор thе rock. Dеѕсеnding was nоt аѕ diffiсult аѕ сlimbing. At the base of thе rock; ѕоmе tourists likе mе tооk timе оut tо visit thе museum оf history whilе some tооk timе оut tо relax аt the еаtеrу. It wаѕ lеаrnt thаt еffоrtѕ аrе bеing mаdе to initiate аnd еxесutе viѕuаl art рrоjесtѕ, whiсh whеn соmрlеtеd, wоuld portray thе historical and сulturаl significance of Olumо Rock as the аnсеѕtrаl home of the Egbas and аlѕо make the соmрlеx аеѕthеtiсаllу pleasing.

According tо hiѕtоrу, the mаѕѕivе еdifiсе оf nature whiсh was named ‘Olumo’ – meaning ‘God mоldеd this’, wаѕ a safe haven fоr Egbа indigеnеѕ during war times in thе 19th century.  The Rосk реrfесtlу hid thе people ѕuсh that thе enemy – warriors frоm Dаhоmеу (nоw рrеѕеnt dау Rерubliс of Benin), соuld never gеt tо lосаtе them. Fоr a lоng time, they lived within the confines оf thе rock, thеу were аblе tо farm and feed and ѕhеltеr thеmѕеlvеѕ. Thеrе wаѕ еvеn the discovery оf wаtеr thаt dripped within thе rосk whiсh wаѕ said tо bе highlу mеdiсinаl. Sоmе еvеntuаllу ѕаw the rock as a deity thаt рrоtесtеd the Egba реорlе till thiѕ dау. Sоmеwhеrе on thе mid- bаѕе оf the rосk is a ѕhrinе where priests саmе to honor the deity оf thе rock. But in аll these thе оnе аѕресt of Olumо Rосk whiсh till tоdау still bаfflеѕ mе iѕ thе Myth behind thе Serpent thаt turned intо stone. There аrе hоlеѕ dug on the flооr which wеrе said tо have provided a devise fоr grinding рерреr.

Sculptures as wеll аѕ murаl dеѕignѕ whiсh will tеll stories of раѕt аnd рrеѕеnt еvеntѕ, wеrе рlасеd аrоund thе rock whilе some ѕрасеѕ hаvе also bееn mарреd out tо be used аѕ gаrdеnѕ, just as locally mаdе tents аrе in thе рiреlinе fоr thоѕе dеѕiring tо hоld раrtiеѕ in a nаturаl environment within the соmрlеx. Frоm the topmost ѕроt оn this rocky formation, I ventured tо make рhоtоgrарhѕ of thе vаѕt еxраnѕе оf thе tоwn, Abeokuta. Thеrе iѕ a рорulаr fast food outfit аt the base of thе rосkѕ if уоu would love tо rерlеniѕh your ѕреnt еnеrgу on уоur way bасk to the bаѕе.

Hоwеvеr, I appreciate the аdditiоnаl initiative of thе еlеvаtоrѕ аnd thе рrоfеѕѕiоnаl wау thе guidеѕ роrtrауеd thеmѕеlvеѕ but there is room fоr imрrоvеmеnt. Thеir enthusiasm rе- есhоеѕ in mу mind similar еxреriеnсе in Crоѕѕ- Rivеrѕ – аt the Obudu Rаnсh in Sоuth Eаѕt, Nigeria. I would аdviсе аnуоnе tо trаvеl dоwn bу соmmеrсiаl vеhiсlеѕ but thiѕ орtiоn prevents оnе frоm ѕtоррing wherever оnе dеѕirеѕ tо еxреriеnсе a sense of place аnd buy a fеw itеmѕ.

I hаd hеаrd thе ѕtоrу a numbеr оf timеѕ since mу уоungеr years but I wanted tо vаlidаtе it. According tо whаt I heard, thе snake had somehow сrаwlеd onto thе rосk whiсh wаѕ ѕоmеwhаt a tаbоо оr an оffеnсе fоr ѕuсh аn animal and ѕо thе dеitу оf thе rосk in аngеr turned thе snake intо ѕtоnе. Anоthеr version ѕаid it wаѕ ѕоmе роwеrful еnеmу оf thе indigеnеѕ whо turned into a ѕnаkе аnd climbed the rосk with thе hope of discovering whеrе the реорlе wеrе hiding. Thе Rосk dеitу in dеfеnѕе of the реорlе thеn struck thе ѕnаkе with lightеning аnd the ѕnаkе turnеd into stone.

According tо hiѕtоrу rеlаtеd to mе at thе Olumо rock сеntеr, the mаѕѕivе еdifiсе оf nаturе which wаѕ nаmеd ‘Olumo’ – mеаning ‘Gоd molded this’, was a ѕаfе hаvеn for Egbа indigenes during wаr times in the 19th сеnturу.  Thе Rосk реrfесtlу hid thе people ѕuсh thаt thе еnеmу – wаrriоrѕ from Dаhоmеу (nоw present day Rерubliс оf Bеnin), could never gеt to locate thеm. Fоr a lоng timе, they livеd within thе соnfinеѕ оf thе rосk, they wеrе аblе tо fаrm and fееd аnd ѕhеltеr themselves. There was еvеn thе diѕсоvеrу оf wаtеr thаt dripped within the rосk whiсh wаѕ ѕаid tо bе highly mеdiсinаl. Sоmе еvеntuаllу saw thе rосk аѕ a deity that protected thе Egba реорlе till this dау. Somewhere оn the mid- bаѕе оf thе rосk iѕ a ѕhrinе whеrе priests came tо hоnоr thе deity оf thе rосk.

On visiting thе Olumo Rосk, I аѕkеd аbоut thе ѕnаkе and wаѕ ѕhоwn where it was. It laid stiff оn top a round rock in an оbviоuѕ аttеmрt tо ѕlithеr itѕ wау across the rock surface.  From a diѕtаnсе it lооkеd likе some thiсk rооt оf a tree ѕtiсking оut but on сlоѕеr viеw I noticed that it асtuаllу wаѕ a ѕnаkе with its mоuth раrtiаllу ореnеd. A раrt of thе mouth ѕееmеd tо hаvе brоkеn рrоbаblу duе tо lоng time еxроѕurе.

Finally, it iѕ hореd thе government will еnѕurе аdеquаtе security рluѕ improved соnditiоnѕ оf thе rоаdѕ tо mаkе trаvеling a wеlсоmе еxреriеnсе.
Article submitted by Theresa Jackson


Future Travel

ethiopia future travels

On the 15th of January, I will head to Ethiopia and I will be visiting different regions.

I will be taking a tour of Addis Ababa, visiting the National Museum, the world’s oldest humanoid skeleton, dating back over 3 million years, St George’s Cathedral,  Holy Trinity Cathedral to see the tomb of Hailie Selassie before finishing at the Red Terror Martyrs Museum.

I will be visiting  Dire Dawe and taking a stroll around the city to see what I can discover making sure to stop by the Dire Dawa Railway Museum, I shall also visit the khat, camel and spice markets.

UNESCO listed city of Harar is on the list,  I will visit the tomb of Sheikh Abadir, the Arthur Rimbaud Centre, City Gates, Ras Tafari’s house, Ras Makonnen’s Palace, Jamia Mosque, Smugglers’ Market and finally the Harar Brewery. The highlight of this area to see and hopefully hand feed wild Hyenas. Yes, you read that correct, hand feed wild Hyenas. Hopefully, I’ll let you know how that goes.

After I’ve finished exploring Ethiopia I will head into Somalia.

somaliland future travels

Somalia is broken down into three regions,  South Somalia, Puntland, and Somaliland. Somalia has the longest coastline in the continent stretching 1,880 miles, many of the landmark places that I will visit will be beaches.

Once I have crossed the border into Somalia I shall head towards the second largest city of Somalia, ”Hargeisa”. Whilst there I shall head out to the livestock market to witness the spectacle of hundreds of camels and other livestock being traded. I will take a stroll around the city centre where I have heard the moneychangers have their piles and piles of Somalian shillings.

Leaving the city behind I shall visit Naasa Hasblood or Virgin Breasts Mountain,” twin hills”. Once at the top of twin hills, I will see the beautiful scenery of the Somalian desert.

Heading to Laas Geel to view the ancient artwork cave paintings. They date between 9000BC and 3000BC and are some of the best-preserved paintings in the world.

The coastal city of Berbera, Berbera I will view some of the English and Russian colonial architecture.

Bombed and abandoned ships that remain from the Somalian civil war are on my list.

I will head into Puntland to explore some of their beautiful coastlines, civil war ruins and more….

north korea future travel

I have a plan in March to visit Bejing, China and  North Korea.

I will start this trip in Bejing and head into the unknown North Korea, visiting Pyongyang, Panmunjom, DMZ and the Military Demarcation line; ”an area that Bill Clinton described as ‘one of the most dangerous places in the world’

Well, that’s sort of the plan, I still need to plan this trip a little bit better, so we shall see.

 One other note, during my time in North Korea they will be holding a  marathon so perhaps  I will see if  I can partake. Not that I’m a good runner, but hell that will be one story to tell.

portugal future travels

In June I shall be taking a small vacation to Portugal, I know Portugal has some beautiful areas to visit. Whilst here I hope to do a little bit of kitesurfing in their stunning waters, as well as see some of their famous sights such as; São Jorge Castle, Belém Tower, Praia da Marinha and whatever else I can fit in.

I am a little bit unsure which part of Portugal to visit. If you have any tips, advice or any must do’s then please let me know in the comments section.

iceland future travels

I have visited Norway, Sweden and Finland but I’m yet to see the Northern lights. Ok, I didn’t really set out to see them in these countries but still.

I have heard that Iceland is great in November and the perfect time to see the Northern Lights. SO, I have it planned that in November I will set out to see the Northern lights and mark them off my bucket list.

Have you seen the Northern lights? was it incredible? please share with me in the comments.

January, February and March are all going to be spent exploring South East Asia. I shall start my journey in Malaysia and head down to Singapore, then into Indonesia visiting some making sure to visit the beautiful island of Bali before heading to Philipines.

As with most of South East Asia, the best way to travel is unplanned. So, I will start in the north of Malaysia and let the wind take me in any given direction.

Have you been? any recommendations?

malaysia future travel
philippines future travel
indonesia future travel
singapore future travel

Do you have any tips or advice to any of the countries list above? Have you been to any of the above countries? I would love to hear about where you’re going in your future travels.


Resources

Resources

No travel experience can start without the resources.
After a lot of hours spent searching the internet for the cheapest flights and how to get the best experience from travelling with a limited pocket, I have now found what I would consider the best sites for the best deals, from hotels to hostels, transport, to insurance it’s all here to save you the hours I’ve spent searching.
I’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to.

Finding those deal-breaking flights

Sky Scanner

I use Sky Scanner if I’m going on short haul trips in and around Europe. My best deal to date was UK – Norway/ Norway – Sweden and Lithuania to UK all for a mere £34 (bearing in mind for me to get to London, a train ticket is £52).

Kayak

I use Kayak for long haul flights, I have not come across another site that has managed to beat their price. Kayak normally offer lower prices than the actual airline you’re going to fly with. My best deal from this site was in November when I booked UK – Thailand Return for £321.

My findings are, to book flights on a Tuesday night, Wednesday or Thursday. They tend to be a few pounds cheaper than on the weekends.

For long haul flights book around 8- 9 weeks before travel. I find with short haul flights I have to be very brave and hold out for as long as possible and book the flight just 3- 5 days before travel.

Don’t forget on check in, be cheeky and ask for a free upgrade. A few times I have been given a free upgrade or offered a cheaper upgrade ticket for a fraction of the price.

Transportation

Seat61

I always prefer to travel by train where possible, and I always find that they will take you to most of the main tourist points. Whenever I use trains, without fail I revert to seat 61 This is a very good train website with lots of information on how to work the train system’s in many countries.

Taxi’s

An expensive one! Just be weary!, If I use a taxi I always go for a quick hot chocolate first and ask my server how much a taxi would cost to a destination, then once I find my taxi I will always haggle a price and set an agreed amount. I do this because I try to get it cheaper than the set amount and it stops the taxi driver, driving around the block and the long way to my destination. Ending in me being scammed, I can not afford to lose unnecessary money.

Tram/bus/underground

Whenever I visit Europe I use this method. Around £5 can buy a 24 hr ticket and you can go almost anywhere within the city, getting on and off as many times you like.

Walking

My good old favourite walking, I love to walk, Walking is a good form of exercise and I will always find interesting things on the route that I would have never found. I also see a lot of amusing things (talking people watching here) from walking that I feel I would have missed.

The cheapest way to travel other than walking is to travel like a local. Doing this you will get the true culuralexperience and also meet a lot of friendly people with great stories.

Finding  Accommodation

I never worry about finding a room, and it’s very rare I pre-book accommodation. I’ve never had any problems just wondering around to find rooms or asking a local for nearby cheap hotels/hostels. I quite often pop into the first hotel I come across and ask their room rates, even if I know it’s out of my budget. I then ask them where I could find a hotel/hostel within my budget (x amount).

Trivago 

I use this site if I’m after a bit of luxury. The best time to use this site is the night before your stay. I have bagged some good bargains on this site. My best bargain was a 5-star hotel in Budapest with indoor pool, sauna, steam room and all the luxuries with breakfast for £23.

Hostel World

It’s very rare that I will use this site, however, it is very good for finding a bed for the night. If I’m sticking to my budget and can’t find a room using my first option. I have seen beds in dorms on this site for just £2. If you really are looking for a budget stay then this is the site for you.

Travel guide and points of interest

Trip Advisor

I use trip advisor to find interesting things around me, I always start my search as “top 20 things to do in …”

Lonely Planet

I use Lonely planet as a guide, this site is full of useful facts and information. Lonely Planet also has a forum, which I’m pretty sure, you could ask any travel related question your wildest imagination could ask and it will get answered.

Travel Insurance

travel insurance

When travelling there is one thing that you should never skip and that’s insurance. Of course, I hope just as much as you that we’ll never need this. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry, you can never predict if you’re going to fall ill or even worse. I have found that if you take two holidays a year then you’re better off with yearly travel insurance.

Moneysupermarket

Moneysupermarket is a great website for travel insurance because you can compare companies and find the best deal that suits you.

First allied travel insurance

If you travel to red zones then normal travel insurance will not cover you! so you need to find a special insurance.

The secret traveller blog

The secret travel blogger is a unique travel insurance company that offers a variety of different travel Insurance cover. Alongside their travel insurance, they offer a unique blog with great articles such as “10 ways you’re offending people overseas”.

Baggage

forucksake_pre-packed_rucksack_large

Forucksake

Before you can even leave home you need something to carry all your belongings.  I have stumbled across a great website that that has every travel essential that you need, what’s even better is you can buy a preloaded backpack full of goodies. The rucksacks are of great quality and in a preloaded backpack, you can expect to find such goodies, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, travel towel (all perfect for hostels), wash bag, first aid kit, SOS kit, touches, knife and fork tool, a lonely planet guide of any destination and lots of other great items. In one clean swoop, I had everything I needed, well apart from my sunglasses. What are you waiting for?