All the great places for vacation

Monday, June 22, 2009

Aquariums in France

France does not only offer visitors the chance to see art museums and listen to music in their parks. The country has many aquariums to discover. They are located throughout the country and offer a variety of exhibits and species to view and learn about. This would be an exciting addition to anyone's tourist plans, especially with young children.

Musee de la Mer is an aquarium located in Biarritz, France. It first opened in 1935 and has since been renovated. Musee de la Mer offers a spectacular collection of fish and invertebrates that are found in the Bay of Biscay. These creatures are held in 25 aquariums. There is over 150 species to see. These include sharks, the guitar ray, and the saw fish. One of the most popular attractions is the seal pool, which can be seen from open air and below. It is especially fun to see when the seals are fed. This aquarium is open every day of the year except for the second week of January.

The city of La Rochelle offers the state of the art Aquarium de La Rochelle. The aquarium features several different water habitats to discover. You will find exhibits on sea life in the Mediterranean Sea, and also the Atlantic Ocean. There is a wide variety of jelly fish, along with fish and mollusks that are from the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The building also has a 120 seat auditorium which is where conferences can be held and films are played. This is a must stop if you are in the area.

Paris offers what some say is the most beautiful aquarium in Europe. CinAqua has over 9,500 fish, and 26 sharks to see. You know this aquarium is huge when it takes 4 million liters of water to maintain. These aquariums are the biggest in the country.

The building also has 16 cinema screens that play music and animated films. This aquarium is in the heart of Paris, so make sure to not miss it if you visit the city of lights.

Ocanopolis will please anyone who is interested in sea life. The aquarium is located in the city of Brest. There are over 50 different aquariums to see, which hold sea creatures that are from all over the world. These aquariums are sectioned off into three different groups. These groups include tropical, polar, and temperate. This means you will be able to see many types of creatures that live deep in the ocean. The aquarium also has picture galleries, films, and interactive games which will keep both children and adults entertained. It is definitely worth a visit.

If you love the ocean and all it has to offer, you will not be disappointed with the aquariums that the French have. They are easy to locate and offer a large variety of species that you may have never seen before. This would be a great addition to you travel itinerary. It is fun for the whole family. It would be a memorable experience to add to your visit to France.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Traveling in Armenia, Colombia

This city located north west of Bogota and is the capital of Quindo which is a department of Colombia. Armenia is located between Bogota, Medellin, and Cali which are the three largest cities in Colombia, however, this city is much smaller than the latter three. However this does not stop Armenia from being a large tourist attraction. Armenia helps form the three cities that make up the Colombian Coffee Growers Axis. Armenia is also proclaimed to be one of the most attractive areas in the country, being a clean and green area.

Armenia is known to the locals as Ciudad Milagro, or the Miracle city due to its amazingly fast urban growth and development. As you travel a bit south of the city you find that there is a renewed and booming tourist industry. This area has many villas for rent, eco-hotels for the eco-tourist, theme parks which are always a hit, and family centers you can easily spend whole days at. Of course, there are always the local favorites like local cuisine, country clubs, and exhibition centers. These country clubs specialize in tennis, golf, and fishing along with cart races and several other sporting options. Armenia is a great place to take a family vacation to. It is also much more calm and considerably safer than the three much larger cities surrounding it. However, Armenia is also a great place to stay if you are wanting to visit more than one of these cities. There is a great transportation center for going in between these cities surrounding Armenia.

This renewed tourist industry that has swept over Armenia is making this city a very popular attraction again. Armenia's northern region is a gateway to Los Nevados Park which houses the highest peaks in Colombia. These mountains rise to beautiful snowy tops more than four thousand five hundred meters above sea level. On the side of the foothills of this national park resides the breath taking Cocora Valley. Here in this aesthetically pleasing valley is where Colombia's national tree grows, the wax palm.

Armenia is also known for its culinary delicacies. If you are a fan of eating out this is a great place to enjoy delicious foods of all sorts. The local famous favorite is the fried river trout, which is proclaimed to be some of the best in the world. There is also a great local love for arts, crafts, and furniture which are world renowned. This area is well known for being the bohemian center of regional artists. You can, of course, expect a great festival to be held here as is tradition in this part of the world. The festival held here is the Jeep Parade which includes the country's folklore and is represented through the events and traditions visible during most of its town's festivities.

Armenia is a great and peaceful city to visit while in Colombia. If you are looking for a spot that is more laid back but still jam packed with things to do, Armenia is the destination for you.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Brewery Tours in Germany

Germany is known for its beer, so what better way to learn about the country and its tradition by visiting a brewery tour. There are countless breweries throughout the country. You will be able to get a first hand glimpse of how the brews are made and even sample them. You might even get hooked on a German brand that you never even heard about.

Andechs Monastery & Brewery goes back to the 10th century and is one of the few breweries that are monastic owned and operated. It is now a large and modern brewery. The brewery also makes schnapps and brandy. The grounds offer visitors a beer garden and restaurant. The profits go to fund the monastery. The monks breed their own livestock and make their own cheese which is used in the restaurant. You can drink a few brews while viewing the beautiful scenery. The money goes to a good cause and will make you feel good about spending it. The Andechs Monastery & Brewery is located by the second largest lake in the country, Starnberger See.

Paulaner was also started by monks in Munich. The most popular brews from this company are Weissbier and Salvator stark beer. Their logo is the head of a monk which shows its history. The company is no longer ran by monks and happens to be the most modern and biggest breweries in all of Germany. They offer tours of their plant. Weihenstephan is another brewery that was created by monks in 1040, making it the oldest brewery in the world. The German state now owns the brewery. Tours are available and guided by experts. Free beer tasting is also welcomed.

If you are near the town of Darmstadt, a great tour can be found in Pfungstadt at the Pfungstaedter Brewery. You will be able to watch a video that shows the beer making process which lasts about 20 minutes in length. After the video you get to tour the brewery itself. Once the tour is over, you have about an hour to enjoy the beer tasting. Food is provided which includes sausage, and pretzels. The brewery also gives souvenirs to everyone after the tour is over. It is worth going to if you enjoy beer and want to try new brands.

The Hofbruhaus brewery was created by Duke Wilhelm V and was specifically made for the royal family. This is why the logo has a crown on it. By 1939 it became state run. The Hofbruhaus beer hall is more known that the actual beer that is produced there. It happens to be one of Germany's most frequented tourist attractions.

Wherever you go in Germany, you are sure to find a variety of beer available. Many tours will help you learn how the beer is produced and how the companies came about. This would be perfect for someone who wants to view the beautiful scenery of Germany while sampling its finest brews. Many of the tours can be spoken in English, so before going, call ahead to make sure you will be able to fully understand the tour.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Interesting Facts about Niagara Falls

One immense water feature, actually made up of three waterfalls, the Niagara Falls is a hot tourist attraction. Newlyweds often plan their honeymoon in the area surrounding Niagara Falls and thousands of new visitors visit the falls every year. The view of the falls is beyond stunning, making it one of the most well known and famous waterfalls in the world. Yet, there are some facts about Niagara Falls that many people may not be aware of. Below are some fascinating facts associated with Niagara Falls.

Few people know that a person actually successfully went over Niagara Falls in a barrel! Despite the fact that the feat was attempted several times by others with dire consequences, a schoolteacher actually survived the ordeal. What's more, the schoolteacher was a 63 year old woman!

At one time, Niagara Falls has what is referred to as an ice bridge. Tourists used to be able to walk along the ice bridge, a bridge that was naturally formed by the cold water in the waterfall during the wintry season. Of course, the passage of tourists onto the natural ice bridge was forever ceased in the early 1900's when several tourists died while on the bridge. The frozen bridge gave way and tourists have not been allowed to go onto the natural formation ever since.

Another interesting fact about Niagara Falls is most people are under the false assumption that it is the biggest waterfall in the world. This probably has occurred because the falls are so well known. In truth, Niagara Falls is second to the South African Falls called Victoria Falls, in terms of size.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Traveling Destinations in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is the most ethnically diverse city in Brazil by far. After slavery was abolished they started to replace the African slave workers with immigrants in the coffee plantations. The person responsible for the replacement of the slaves with immigrants was the senator at this time, Nicolau Vergueiro. This senator brought in German, Swiss, and Portuguese people to work even on his own properties. Thanks to this man, however, Sao Paulo has become a great city to travel to if you are looking for a city with a wide diversity of things to do. With over one hundred ethnicities city wide, there are many culturally different things to do throughout Sao Paulo. Between venues of performing arts, to buildings of top architectural design, Sao Paulo is by far one of the most exciting cities in South America to visit.

Music has played a very important part in the history of Sao Paulo as well. Of course, the music of Sao Paulo has been affected by the many different cultures and ethnicities that dwell within the city. There are many musical venues located around the city for the vacationer interested in the music scene. The Bar Brahma venue in Centro has been a popular place in Sao Paulo for the local legends to play at such as Adoniran Barbosa, who composed and sang samba. The Julio Prestes Cultural Center in another very important performing arts building in Sao Paulo. The cultural center is actually inside the Julio Prestes Station which has been totally restored and renovated by the state government of Brazil. Inside the Station is the Sala Sao Paulo, which has one thousand four hundred and ninety eight seats, and is also the home of the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado of Sao Paulo. The Sala Sao Paulo is a venue especially made for symphonic and chamber presentations. It has been designed and updated to meet the most up to date international standards and is often compared to our own Boston Symphonic Hall here in America. If you are traveling to Sao Paulo this is a must see destination of the city.

There is also the Municipal Theater of Sao Paulo, which happens to be one of the most important theaters in South America, and is also one of the oldest theaters here in this country. It is also one of the greatest landmarks in the city. Not only is it historically important to the city and to South America, but it is also an important architectural landmark. It is a great place to visit if you are making your way to Sao Paulo. In this building, arts were revolutionized in Brazil during the Week of Modern Art in 1922. This building is also now home to the Sao Paulo Municipal Symphonic Orchestra, the Lyric Choir, and the City Ballet. If you are interested in the arts of different regions of the world, Sao Paulo is a wonderful place to visit for its many historical buildings and venues for arts and performing arts.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Zoos in Germany

If you love animals, Germany has plenty of zoos throughout the country to keep you happy. The zoos differ in sizes and admission prices. You will also be able to see different species of animals that you may not find at the other zoos. It is worth a visit when you are arranging your travel plans. The zoos are especially fun for children.

One of the largest zoos in Germany is the Zoologischer Garten Berlin. It is located in Berlin and has one of the biggest selections of species to see. The zoo opened in 1844, making it Germany's first zoo. It suffered terrible damage during World War II and was completely wreaked. The zoo is fine now, and happens to be the most visited zoo in all of Europe. It holds 14,000 animals from 1,500 species. Zoologischer Garten Berlin is one of the only zoos that have exhibits for Tarictic Hornbills and the Tuatara. The zoo is also home to the famous baby polar bear names Knut, who has made headlines around the world.

Hellabrunn Zoo which is located in Munich is one of the most popular tourist spots in all of Germany. The animals are grouped into the different parts of the world they are from and are in individual buildings. Over 4,000 animals are at the zoo in open enclosures which duplicates their natural habitats. One of the highlights of the zoo is the Elephant House. Other favorites to see are the covered free aviary, and an ape house.

The zoo in the city of Hanover has unique exhibits you will not be able to see anywhere else. One of the exhibits is the Sambezi. Zoo visitors are taken down an artificial African river. Giraffes, rhinoceros, birds, and much more can be seen throughout the boat ride. Meyers Farm is a great stop for children. It is a traditional German farm house that has farm animals which the children can play with. There is also a restaurant in the area. Jungle Palace is one other must see exhibit at the zoo. Elephants and other animals live amongst Indian style type palaces. There is also an Elephant show that takes place throughout the day.

Frankfurt also has a zoo. The Frankfurt zoo is the second oldest in the country. It was built in 1858 and still is popular to this day. You will be able to see animals from all over the world. Some of the exhibits include the Australian Outback, the African Savannah, and Antarctica. Twice a day there is a simulated tropical storm which many people look forward to seeing. Once the zoo closes, its beer gardens open for the guests to unwind.

Each zoo has their own hours they are open. Some are closed a few months out of the year during the colder months. Make sure you know the zoos information before going there. When planning your vacation consider spending sometime at one of them. Taking a visit to one of Germany's zoos is a definite fun time for you and your whole family!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Popular Travel Destinations in Brazil

Brazil is a place that can offer you many different travel features that are not offered in other place in the world. It is famous for the largest river and rainforest, the biggest waterfalls, large amounts of wildlife and the longest beautiful tropical beach. These exciting things bring in a lot of tourist from all over the world. The sights and sounds are unbelievable. Brazil also offers beautiful warm tropical beach resorts along the Northeast coast. The Manaus region is a very popular Brazilian travel destination. It is located right in the heart of the Amazon offering an amazing aquatic environment and green rainforest.

Brazil offers all year round beautiful beaches especially in the Brazilian Northeast coast. These beaches are some of the most amazing beaches that you can see in the world. The largest waterfalls of the world the Iguassu Falls is located in Brazil surrounded by a lush tropical rainforest. The Brazilian Pantanal is a very large animal reserve where people can watch birds and other forms of wildlife. It is a big destination for people who don't care to get muddy because it usually gets flooded each season. There are many unique cities such as Rio de Janeiro with exciting beach life, nightlife, music and beautiful natural landscapes. Rio de Janeiro is right near the top for fun and excitement. Another unique city is Salvador Bahia. Famous for its black culture, cuisine, dance, music and exoticism. Both cities are very exciting depending on what you are looking for. These places are great things to see while visiting Brazil.

When you travel in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest it is a very unique experience like no other that you will ever know. You will get to see all the wonder of the world's biggest rainforest. When it comes to Brazilian weather there is much rain. Most showers tend to only last two hours or less then the sunshine is back out again. Some regions may get more rainfall then others. So depending on where you travel you may get more or less rainfall. If you are from the United States or Canada you will need a visa when you are on a Brazilian vacation. A visa is not very difficult to get and is not a big problem for most people to acquire when traveling. If you are going to be staying in a hotel in Brazil they are said to be very affordable. The best luxury hotels in Brazil are very affordable, so you can choose a nice hotel without all the expense. Air flights in Brazil can be expensive. It all depends on when you make your reservations. So it is important to cal and check out the prices ahead of time. There are so many wonderful places to go and see in Brazil. Brazil is a beautiful destination that is very popular. And it offers some of the most beautiful sights in the world that you will never forget. When you travel to Brazil you will be sure to have the time of your life.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Traveling in the Niagara Falls Area

Tourists traveling to Niagara Falls by car will always have desirable transportation at their disposal, but what about tourists that might arrive by plane or other means? There are a variety of transportation options available in the Niagara Falls regions and such forms of transportation are reasonably affordable. Below are some the common forms of transportation that tourists can access while visiting the Niagara region.

Taxi services are available while staying in Niagara Falls. The taxi service is available 24 hours a day and tourists can be picked up when they arrive at the airport. Further, handicapped accessible vehicles are available upon request. Taxi rates vary depending upon destination, but taxis will transport tourists to all of the main site seeing locations in the region.

Shuttle buses are another transportation choice for tourists, and there is an equal diversity in the various routes offered by shuttle bus companies. Places that can be visited via shuttle bus transportation include the American Falls, Casino Niagara, the Clifton Hill Amusement Area, Garner Road, Great Gorge, the Horseshoe Falls, the IMAX Theatre, Lundy's Lane, Lundy's Lane Historical Museum, the Niagara Whirlpool,

The Skylon Tower, and the Spanish Aero Car just to name a few fantastic destinations.

Finally, tourists arriving in Niagara will find that there are numerous rental car services readily available. Rates are reasonable and depend upon the length of time the rental is used, the type of rental, and miscellaneous factors determined by the rental company.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Travel In Rio Grande Sul

Rio Grande Sul is the southernmost state of Brazil. Its name literally means Great River of the South. It is also the state with the fourth greatest human development in Brazil. Here in the southernmost state of Brazil the winters can sometimes be quite rigorous. If you were planning a trip here in the winter months, you may want to pack some warm clothes. Rio borders Argentina and Uruguay. The capital of this Brazilian state is Porto Alegre and is one of the largest cities in Brazil.

Porto Alegre is one of the richest cultural cities in southern Brazil and for many years held the highest standard of living nation wide. If you are looking for a clean city to visit this one should be on the top of your list. It was the only Brazilian city listed in Jones Lang LaSalle's World Winning Cities. This city is located on the Guaiba Lake and also at the junction of five rivers. If you are an eco tourist there is plenty to see ecologically right around the city.

As with many of the other major cities in Brazil, Porto Alegre also houses a great football stadium. Beira Rio is the name of the largest and grandest stadium in the city. Farroupilha Park is one of the largest parks in the city, located near the business district. As I have mentioned before, the cleanliness of this city is one unsurpassed in the area so you can expect all the city's parks to well kempt. Another beautiful building in the city is the Cultural Center which was built in a neoclassical fashion. It was built at the beginning of the century by a German architect, but you would never guess its age from the wonderful condition it is kept in. There is also another Cultural Center on the lake and is one of the most important centers of the country. The chimney of this building stands tall enough to see it anywhere from within the city.

The Mercado Publico Central or the Central Market was a building also built in a neoclassical fashion and is a great tourist attraction. Although renovation of this building from 1995 to 1996 modified its original structure, it still houses over one hundred shops, restaurants, and other market place shops. Near to this landmark is another great park known as Moinhos de Vento Park. It is another water front park with a play ground for the children, many jogging and cycling paths, and many places to just sit and relax after a long day of running around the city.

Porto Alegre is also known for its breath taking sunsets. People around the city and tourist from around the world praise this city for having one of the best views for the sunset. In general this city is praised for its general loveliness and cleanliness where as many places in South America are not known for their general upkeep. This is a great place for a tourist to come and enjoy a peaceful beautiful city.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Restaurants in Germany

When you think of Germany what kind of food comes to mind? Probably you thought of sausage and a beer on the side. This is a true favorite in Germany but there are many restaurants in the country that serve foods other than that. In bigger cities you will be able to find chain restaurants and cafes, mixed with unique restaurants. In smaller towns and villages you will be able to find tiny restaurants bursting the authentic German cuisine. No matter where you go, there is sure to be a restaurant to please your appetite.

Caf Einstein is a chain found in Berlin. It is similar to Starbucks but has its own style. Taking a step into the caf will make you feel like you are in Vienna. They have mirrored walls, and high ceilings which resemble the old style of a Viennese coffee house. They offer a menu with sweets to choose from along with lunch and dinner items. They have indoor and outdoor seating to people watch. Caf Einstein is a great place to take a rest if you have been walking along time through Berlin. It has a relaxing atmosphere and a tasty menu to choose from.

While in Berlin take a trip to Friedrichshain which is the most happening district in the city. It used to be nothing but wasteland a few years back, but has been redeveloped and given a bit of color and spice. 100 Wasser is one of the many restaurants in the area. It is named after the famous Austrian artist, Hundertwasser. The restaurant is decorated with similar artistic style to the famous artist. It is a great spot to relax and have breakfast, or get together for drinks in the nighttime. You will be able to find a variety of items such as pizza and flans to choose from. The prices are moderate so you will not have to worry if you are on a budget.

Hamburg offers the Ahrberg which has a great view of the river Elbe. This is a terrific restaurant to stop at before or after taking a stroll along the river. The Ahrberg ranks in the higher priced end of restaurants. Visitors will feel back in time with the vintage and old fashioned dcor throughout the restaurant. When the weather is nice, there is outdoor seating available for a beautiful view. The menu consists of traditional hanseatic cuisine which includes many fish dishes. There are also international dishes to choose from. There is sure to be something to fit everyone's taste.

Benders Marie in Dsseldorf is the oldest shellfish restaurant in the city. It is best to come here during the mussel seasons which are between November through February when the restaurant serves 20 different variations. People who do not like shellfish will be able to choose from a classic German menu.

There is an endless amount of restaurants to choose from when in Germany. When you are there you have the chance to try dishes you never could before. You will be able to try unique foods and maybe have a few new favorites by the time your journey ends.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Secret to Picking the Best Cruise Lines

Going on a cruise is a fun, exciting and great way to get away from it all for a while. However, don't think that a cruise has to cost you an arm and a leg. Today, there are many options available to you, as far as dream cruises are concerned, no matter what your budget is.

In addition, a little bit of planning can go a long way. Decide where you would like to take a trip. Then, begin to look for cruise trip discounts. At the same time, plan where you would like to go, destination wise, in a step-by-step fashion. Then look for the best cruise lines that meet your vacation plan.

When looking for the best cruise lines, in addition to price, you have to take into consideration customer service.

There are many different cruise lines out there, which range in variety of experiences and destinations. But it's not only where you're traveling, it's how you get served when you travel! There are a variety of different options available to you, as far as crew services are concerned, when evaluating the best cruise lines.

Some services include spa treatments, dancing, sports activities, and even gambling in casinos.

Also, when looking at the best cruise lines, find out what type of food they serve. Most cruise lines will offer new and traditional ways of dining.

When it comes to finding the best cruise lines, it just boils down to proper planning and research. By researching which cruise lines are going to be on discount, and finding the most luxurious cruise at your price point, you can plan your dream vacation without breaking the bank.

Just remember to evaluate each cruise line based on which destinations it will reach, what activities are offered, its pricing and customer service, as well as the food served. If you do that, then you can't go wrong.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

About The Caribbean Cruises

Find Out More About The Caribbean Cruises So That You And Your Family Could Begin Planning An Exciting Trip

In this article it is time for you all to learn a little bit more about the Caribbean Cruises that are out there and also find out more information regarding all of the beautiful and exotic locations you will get to see whenever you choose to go on a Caribbean Cruise. It is important to thoroughly research any place that you are planning on vacationing to, so that you are completely positive that it is something that you and your family could really enjoy and that there will be plenty of activities there for everyone that will be accompanying you on the vacation. Getting to escape from it all sometimes is such a joy and can truly make you feel completely refreshed as well and if you tend to not get away that often, it is time to start making some changes in your life. Everyone does deserve a break once in awhile and it is really important that you always try and make the time to think about that, instead of staying so wrapped up with work and other stresses in your life, that you end up just neglecting yourself by not allowing yourself a break when you need it.

Caribbean Cruises have so much to offer to anyone out there and once you do decide to take such a vacation, you will totally be overjoyed to see all of the places that you will get to see and I can not explain how gorgeous and exciting it will be for you all. Make sure that you take your time when trying to prepare for such a trip though because if you try to do something such as this and you are in a really big hurry, chances are you will end up forgetting something very important to you. The Caribbean Cruise Lines have so many wonderful and delightful cruises to offer everyone, but you should be prepared to pay a pretty penny, there is no doubt about that at all. There truly is something there for everyone, no matter what their tastes include, so basically just be ready to have the best time of your life and once you go that first time, I could almost bet that you would be wanting to plan another trip like this just as quickly as you possibly can.

Caribbean Cruises of all types will include wonderful and thrilling activities for you and your family and some of these things would include, snorkeling, sunbathing, dancing, fine dining, delicious foods and drinks and some of them even include entire bowling alleys! As I said, there is something for everyone whenever you and your family choose to escape by going on a vacation such as this and while you are there please be sure that you cherish every single moment because the memories that will be made will be amazing and absolutely unforgettable. So, start today, doing a little research about this type of vacation, so that you can start making plans today!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Transportation and Driving in Mexico

When an American tourist is traveling abroad, even in Mexico, driving conditions can be a much different situation. The road conditions are quite different from those here in the United States. You should be aware of these differences and be prepared to encounter these differences and deal with them. A lot of public transportation vehicles do not observe traffic regulations like speed limits and even stopping at red lights.

United States driver's licenses are fortunately valid in Mexico. So, if you are taking a trip to south of the border you will luckily not have to acquire any special pass or license. The Mexican government, of course, regulates very strictly the entry and exit of vehicles across the border. Mexican law requires that only the owner of a vehicle drive their car, there should be n o one else behind the wheel. If this law is not followed, they may seize the vehicle and it will not be returned under any circumstance. So, do remember to keep behind the wheel of your own vehicle while in Mexico.

Just as in the United States, Mexico requires all drivers to have insurance, including rental vehicles as well. Mexican auto insurance can be obtained easily in most cities on either side of the border. This should be no problem for any traveler to acquire. Remember, United States liability insurance is not valid in Mexico, that also includes most other collision and comprehensive coverage issued by United States companies. It is also considered invalid if the driver of the vehicle is found to be under the influence of and drugs, alcohol, or other inhibitors.

A very useful fact to know while in Mexico is that the Mexican equivalent to 911 is 060. If you have an emergency while driving, or at any other time, this is the number you will want to be dialing. However, this number is not always answered so be prepared. If you are on a toll road in Mexico you may contact the Green Angels or the Angeles Verde. The Green Angels are a fleet of trucks with a bilingual crew. They may be directly reached at a number. If for some reason you cannot call them, merely pull off to the side of the road and lift your hood. There is a good possibility they will find you if you wait in this fashion. If you happen to be involved in an automobile accident you will automatically be taken into police custody until it can be sorted out. You will be held until they find out who is liable and as to whether you will be able to pay any penalty. If you did not invest in the Mexican liability insurance you may not be allowed to depart the country. You may even be denied leaving if you have a life threatening medical emergency. So be sure to go into Mexico prepared for anything or you may be very sorry you didn't. You may even have to spend some time in jail, and you will certainly have to do so if you do not have the insurance you need. You will have to remain there until all parties are satisfied that responsibility has been assigned properly and everyone is pleased financially. If it is really serious you or whoever is at fault may be facing criminal charges.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Last Minute Cruise Deals: A Great Way to Get a Discount

If you're looking to get a deal on a cruise line, then there are some options available to you which they're called last minute cruise deals. But, there is something you need to realize about them. In this article, I will discuss exactly what you need to know about last minute cruise deals.

First of all, in general, you will save the most paying for your cruise far in advance. Most cruise lines will offer a big discount for those who pay a month or two in advance, when booking their vacation. If you watch a cruise line's website, you may notice that their tickets seem to be offered at more and more of a discount, as the cruise approaches. However, usually these discounts still save you less than if you would have paid an advance.

However, the rock bottom prices are going to come at the end. This is where last minute cancellations are made for the cruise, and the ship is left with empty spots. In order to fill these, they will offer tickets for the cruise at a very low rate.

Of course, the downside to this is that you will not have an adequate time to prepare for your vacation. You must be able to be flexible, and be able to take a vacation quickly, when the special promotion or price reduction is offered.

One way to make sure you're prepared to take advantage of this last minute cruise deal is to decide which type of cruises cruises you would like to go on. Then, simply follow the rates for these cruise packages. Stay in contact with the cruise line, and let them know that you wish to be notified if any last minute tickets become available.

And when they do, realize that you have very little time to act. Make sure you can seize the opportunity when it comes!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Renting a Car in Brazil

Brazil is a beautiful country with many friendly people. You will need some sort of dependable transportation when traveling in Brazil. Renting a car is a good option for transportation. When traveling in Brazil there are a few things that you should know when it comes to renting a car. When you are vacationing in Brazil you may want to consider renting a car to have a way to get back and forth where you are going. There are many different car rental agencies in Brazil with some located at the airport for making reservations to rent a car. You can also contact your personal travel agent and have them to make a reservation for you in advance. If you are traveling in Brazil you will need a driver's license with you and if you are a member of AAA you may also want to obtain an International Driving Permit License from them in order to drive in Brazil.

Normally when you go to rent a car in Brazil you will receive a five speed with a manual transmission rental car. This seems to be what the vast majority is of all the rental cars in Brazil. So don't count on getting an automatic transmission when you go to rent a car. It is a smart thing to know that when you get a rental car to sign up for full insurance. This way if you are in an accident you will have the right insurance to back you up and this will give you a piece of mind. Gas prices have been known to be very expensive in Brazil. Some Brazilian cars will run on either gasoline or alcohol. Alcohol also known as methanol can cost less then gasoline. Alcohol is known to provide more horsepower and less mileage per liter. Almost all the gas stations in Brazil will offer alcohol, gasoline and diesel fuel for your car.

Brazil is known to have many toll roads on the highways. You will most likely have to stop about every thirty minutes when traveling on these highways. There are many gas stations on the highways and restaurants that are attached in with the gas stations. This will give you a good opportunity along the way to stop and gas your car up and have something to eat. They are also good places to get out and stretch your legs and give your self a break along the way when you are traveling. Brazilians drive differently then people in the United States and sometimes they look at road signs as just being suggestions.

Sometimes while driving on the highways or streets in Brazil you will be stopped by the police to check your identity and the cars registration papers. There are also speed bumps in various locations on the streets, highways and roads in Brazil close to cities and towns. These speed bumps are meant to slow the traffic down. There are different size speed bumps so you should watch not going over them to fast in order to keep your car in good working condition.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Travel in Parana

This Brazilian state is located in the southern part of the country. It borders the countries Paraguay and Argentina. This state has the Tropic of Capricorn running through it and houses what is left of the araucarias forest which is one of the most important subtropical forests of the world. Parana attracts nearly seven thousand tourists per year with its many attractions. At the border of Argentina lies the National Park of Iguacu which is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Twenty four miles from here, at the border of Paraguay is the largest dam in the world, the Hidroeletrica de Itaipu, which is another great tourist attraction of Parana. Also, the National Park of Vila Velha near the city of Ponta Grossa is yet another attraction of this Brazilian state for the eco tourists out there.

The capital city of Curitiba is the largest financial center of southern Brazil. This city has an enormous population of nearly two million people and is the largest population in southern Brazil. Curitiba is the most important city in southern Brazil with a rich cultural history, and large political and economic centers. It also houses the most modern of Brazilian airport terminals and is by far the most important airport in Southern Brazil. Any traveler to this area should feel safe coming into a terminal such as this. Curitiba was named after the many Brazilian Pines that encompass the area in and around the city. It is a most beautiful city and a must visit.

There is quite a variety of things to do in Curitiba. Not far outside of Curitiba is the state park Vila Velha. One of the main attractions of this state park is the Stone City. You can even take a bus from the city which runs regularly to this park. Another beautiful and trademark structure you can visit while in this lovely city is the Opera de Arame. This structure is constructed with glass and metal tubes complete with a waterfall and garden park. A vast botanical garden was also added as an attraction here in the city of Curitiba. Even as a newer attraction, it has quickly become very popular to the locals and the tourists here.

There are several architectural sites in this city worth visiting. There are the museums for modern architecture, which house a lot of the works of Oscar Niemeyer. Along with the architectural sites there are also city parks which have been local and tourist favorites for years. Barigui Park is one of the oldest parks in the city, and is known for its peacefulness. The city itself is also known for its general cleanliness, but not well known worldwide even though many visitors compare its cleanliness to places like Singapore and the like.

Curitiba is also known as the Christmas capital of Brazil. So for those travelers coming down in the Christmas months, you are in for a wonderful surprise. Here they have the annual Children's Christmas Show. Children line up in the windows of the HSBC building in Centro and sing carols. It is well worth going out of your way to see this spectacle at Christmas time.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Museums in Germany

There are over 3,000 museums in Germany with many different themes. There are private, state, and municipal museums. More than 100 million people visit the museums throughout the year. In the larger cities the museums are in close range from each other. This is perfect when you are visiting and want to see a few museums throughout your trip.

In Berlin there is the Museum Island which is located in the northern part of Spreeinsel. It is an island in the Spree River that is located in the center of Berlin. The name came about since there are a few museums that call the island home. The Old Museum was completed in 1830 and is the oldest of all. Behind the Old Museum was built The New Museum in 1859. It was almost completely destroyed in World War II. It is currently being rebuilt and is expected to be completed in 2009. It will showcase collections of Pre History and Egyptian artifacts. One of the largest 19th century painting and sculpture collections in Germany can be found at the Old National Gallery which is also on the island. It is worth spending a day or two to see all the treasures that the museums hold.

If you are visiting Munich and have children the Deutsches Museum is an ideal stop. Children and adults will be able to do experiements that are centered on nature and physics. Most of the exhibits are in small rooms where you can push buttons and see what happens. This museum is near the area where Oktoberfest is held. It is open daily and makes for a fun time of learning and discovering.

Autostadt is the car lovers dream come true. The museum focuses on automobiles in the area of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany. There are also seven pavilions that are dedicated to the care makers. Some of these pavilions include Bentley, and Audi. Over 1.2 million people visit Autostadt each year. A reason it is such an attraction is for all of the modern architecture.

The Lbeck Museum of Theatre Puppets is located in the city of Lbeck and exhibits a wide selection of puppets from over three centuries. These puppets are from Europe, Asia, and Africa and come in many different styles. Some of the items on display include marionettes, glove puppets, finger puppets, costumes, and even entire puppet theaters. There is a shop and caf inside the museum for its guests to take a break and be amongst the puppets at the same time. This is an interesting museum for both children and adults.

Germany has many museums to discover. It all depends on what interests you. Doing research on the area you will be staying at will help you decide if there is a museum you would like to visit. You will be able to see exhibits you have never been able to before. It is worth your time and should definitely be part of your plans when traveling through the country.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Climate in Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls and the surrounding area is an area that is exposed to a variety of weather. All four seasons occur in Niagara Falls because the area is roughly equal distance from the equator as is the city of Boston, Massachusetts. Thus, Niagara Falls experiences cold winters, and balmy springs and equally warm summers. Finally, autumn is a fantastic time to tour the Niagara Falls region the landscape and changing leaves make for a truly memorable experience.

The coldest temperatures in Niagara Falls occur during the months of early November to late March: in November the temperature ranges from 22 degrees Fahrenheit to 47 degrees Fahrenheit, while the month of March displays similar temperatures anywhere from 30 degrees Fahrenheit to nearly 43 degrees Fahrenheit. January is typically the coldest of all months, with low temperatures averaging around 15 degrees Fahrenheit and highs peaking right around 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow is typical and abundant during the winter months in Niagara Falls.

Spring, especially in the time period between late March and mid May, offers a mixture of mild to brisk temperature changes, as does the months of September through October. In striking contrast, the summers are comfortable enough in Niagara Falls that tourists can feel comfortable in casual shorts and short sleeved shirts. In late May temperatures begin to warm considerably, averaging just about 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the months of June through August offer temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

No matter what the weather in Niagara Falls, no matter what the season, it is imperative that tourists are prepared for the weather. If tourists plan on visiting the falls, they should also make sure they have a change of clothing or they may even want to bring some rain gear along. Windy days can move the splashing water about and tourists often get wet while viewing the falls.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Brazilian Climate

Ninety percent of Brazil is within the tropical zone. So this means that when traveling to this warm and humid climate that your attire should be fitting to the summer styles of attire. However, the Brazilian climate varies quite considerably from the tropical north, where the equator cuts through the Amazon, to the temperate zones below the Tropic of Capricorn. The Tropic of Capricorn crosses through Brazil at the point of Sao, Paulo, so there may be some need to pack warm attire if you are venturing farther south. Amazingly Brazil has five different climatic zones within the country, tropical, semi arid, highland tropical, subtropical, and equatorial. So when traveling to Brazil make sure you pack the right attire for the right region where you will be traveling.

Temperatures along the equator in Brazil are actually quite nice, there is very little seasonal variation near the equator. There are times that it can get cool enough to wear a jacket here in these regions near the equator, especially in a rain, so when packing for a trip here to Brazil you may want to remember your jacket. Temperatures do not reach summer extremes as you might think they would, rather they stay in the mild region of the seventies. In the temperate zones, however, the temperatures do often reach the humid summer extremes of one hundred plus. In the other extreme of the countries climate, there are frosty regions south of the Tropic of Capricorn during the winter, which happens between the months of June and August. Some years they even see snow in the mountainous areas like Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. When traveling to these parts of Brazil you may want to dress very warmly. Especially if you find yourself here in the winter months. Places like Sao Paulo, Brasilia, and Belo Horizonte are a moderate type, with temperatures falling between fifty nine and eighty seven degrees, despite their low latitude. Coastal cities like Rio de Janeiro, Recife, and Salvador have warm climates as well, with temperatures ranging from seventy three to eighty one degrees with the enjoyment of the trade winds. The subtropical cities in the southern part of Brazil, such as Porto Alegre and Curitiba, have a climate type that is similar to those in parts of the United States and Europe. In these places temperatures can fall below freezing in the wintertime.

Precipitation in Brazil can vary widely from region to region. Most of Brazil has a moderate rainfall between forty and sixty inches in a year, with most of it falling in the summer time. Brazilian summer falls in the months of December and April south of the equator. The region of the Amazon is known for its humidity with rainfall of eighty inches or more per year. In some parts of the western Amazon and close to Belem, it is closer to one hundred and twenty inches per year. The Amazon rainforest actually has a three to five month dry season each year, but this also varies in accordance to the region being above or below the equator.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Travel in Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel is another one of Mexico's very popular tourist attractions. There is a lot of rich cultural heritage in and around this area. Cozumel in Mayan means Island of the Swallows and it is located off the shore of the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is not so far from Cancun. It is world renowned for its scuba diving as well as other water related activities. It is also the largest Atlantic island of Mexico and is the third largest island in all following Tiburon Island and the Isla Angel de la Guarda. Almost the whole of the population here lives on the western shore in the town of San Miguel. The rest of this island is covered in dense vegetation and is another great attraction for the eco-tourist.

As many other places in the Spanish speaking countries south of our American border, there is a great festival held here every year in the small town of El Cedral in the southern end of the Cozumel Island. It is a most historic event and a must see for any tourist traveling here in the end of the April month. This annual event was started over one hundred and fifty years ago by Casimiro Cardenas. This man was one of a group that had fled to this island from the village of Saban on the mainland. He and his people fled after an attack during the War of Castes. These attackers that they fled from killed many of the other villagers, but he and a few others escaped while he clutched tightly to a wooden cross. So it was that the tradition of this festival was born when Cardenas vowed to begin this tradition wherever he and the few survivors settled. It was to be in held to honor the religious and holy power of the crucifix in which he held. So for the religious traveler, this may be a festival of some interest for reasons other than its great festivities. The festivities include a rodeo, music, traditional feasts, bull fights and other competitions. This celebration lasts about five days and is most worthy of visiting if you happen to be in the area.

Cozumel is well known for its biodiversity. There are quite a number of endemic species to this island, some which are on the brink of extinction which should attract any tourist to see the fading beauty that is here. There is the Cozumel thrasher which is nearly extinct if not already so, the Cozumel vireo which can only be found here and the Cozumel wren. Another highly endangered species that dwells here is the great curassow and of course the Cozumel emerald. There are several dwarf mammals that live here on the island such as the Cozumel island raccoon and the dwarf coati which is another highly endangered animal. Not to forget the Cozumel fox and the ever splendid toadfish which is also becoming endangered.

If you are an animal lover and more of an eco-tourist, Cozumel is a wonderful island to visit. You may get to see some of the endangered species that reside only here before they are completely extinct. So come diving and exploring in Cozumel!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Annie Taylor Survives a Barrel Trip over Niagara Falls

It's hard to imagine; someone actually going over Niagara Falls in a barrel and surviving the attempt. It's even harder to imagine that someone would even consider doing such a thing. Nevertheless, Annie Taylor was the first person to pull off this stunt successfully in the year 1901, and she managed to come out of it with nothing more than a minor cut on her forehead.

Annie Taylor had a manager for the event and she had high hopes that her successful trip over the falls would make her rich enough to pay off her debts. Hopping into a rowboat, with her wooden barrel trailing closely behind, the widowed Michigan schoolteacher rowed out to an area just before the falls and climbed into the barrel on October 24, 1901. After her safe arrival at the bottom of the falls, the stunt being successfully accomplished did not gain her the fame she desired.

Since Annie Taylor's successful attempt, others have tried to go over the falls, and although they have succeeded, it is not without significant injury. Bobby Leach went over the falls in a barrel made of steel just ten years after Annie Taylor and broke both of his knees in the process. Further, Jean Lussier made a successful trip over the falls in a rubber ball, but not without his share of nail biting moments.

Finally, many individuals have died in an attempt to match Annie Taylor's accomplishment. Charles G. Stephens lost his life in his attempt to conquer the deathly waters of Niagara in 1920; George L. Statakis suffocated after making the 175 foot drop in 1930; and Robert Overcracker died in his attempt to Jet Ski over the falls with a parachute that sadly failed him in 1995.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Preparing Yourself to Travel to Mexico

It is very important to remember while traveling abroad that United States citizens are often targeted by foreigners for malicious acts. This is no different in Mexico. If you are planning a trip to Mexico, I strongly recommend that you look over these facts so that you can be one more step closer to being prepared for traveling outside our great country.

The United States Embassy urges you to always be aware of your surrounding while in Mexico. Women traveling alone are especially warned to keep an eye on their surroundings. Make sure that there is no one following you or keeping an especially close eye on you. Women who have been unaccompanied have been raped, robbed, and even abducted and help captive while their credit cards were being used at varied businesses or Automatic Teller Machines. Women are not the only ones who have been victimized by being held captive, however, while their credit cards were taken from ATM to ATM. Any traveler who is by themselves is urged to only travel in the day light and to stay in well populated areas. Even Mexican citizens are subjected to this kind of treatment. Travelers beware!

Kidnapping is also a big problem in Mexico. Nearly all the kidnapping cases that are reported victimize travelers. The crime rate for kidnapping is raising at an alarming rate. So, once again, if you are an American citizen abroad, you are urged to keep your travel to the day time and keep yourself in well populated areas. Kidnapping of this nature have occurred in nearly all major Mexican cities and are being coined express kidnappings for their nature. A traveler is kidnapped, but only for short times for their money, more directly, money on their credit cards that must be gotten from ATMs. Crimes of this nature are not only targeting the wealthy, but the middle class as well.

Crime does not only occur on the streets but also on the highways! Travelers need to exercise extreme caution at all times, even when they are driving. The United States Embassy would like travelers to know that avoiding night travel is one of the smartest things you can do while on a vacation or business trip to Mexico. Everything that can be done during the day should be done that way. If you must travel at night then you are advised to use the toll roads as opposed to the free highways that anyone may travel on. It is said that keeping your doors locked and your windows up it a precaution you definitely want to take. It doesn't matter if you're on the highway or in town, remember to take these preventative steps for your own safety. The Embassy also would like American travelers that are stopped in traffic or in heavy traffic to leave themselves enough room to maneuver out of it to escape if need be. Above all else on the road, do not hitchhike! It is better to be safe than sorry while traveling outside of our country.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Discount Cruises: How to Get the Best Deal

If you've considered going on a relaxing, romantic or exotic vacation, then I'm sure you already contemplated taking your vacation on a cruise ship. It is a great way to spend your vacation alone, with your spouse, or even with the whole family. However, cruise ships don't necessarily have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are discount cruises available to you, if you know where to look.

First of all, there are a variety of different cruise travel packages on the market. There are some designs for those with no concern for budget, and others who are very budget conscious. There are price points for all types, so don't think you can't afford a cruise.

To increase your chances of finding discount cruises, follow some of the options below.

First, contact travel agencies. By finding a travel agent, you will find a guide to help you get the best deal on a cruise ship. They may even be able to negotiate a discounted rate for you. At the very least, they will find something within your budget.

Book your cruise early. Oftentimes, cruise lines will offer large discounts for those who pay a month or more in advance.

At the same time, booking late can mean a discount as well. The way this works is that if there are passengers which cancel at the last minute, and you find out about it, you can take their place, and often at a discount.

Also, shop around the Internet. By going to different cruise websites, and looking at different packages and comparing them, you may find one that is very inexpensive. Also, you may come across a deal or discount rate.

Finally, remember that your experience is more than just based on price. Make sure you are to get the service you expect, see the sights you wish to see, and also enjoy a variety of activities. Otherwise, it won't be worth the money you save.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Caribbean islands

The Caribbean islands are in a prime location for one of their specialties seafood. Salted codfish is a specialty on the Caribbean islands. It is usually served in a salad or stew, or at breakfast in scrambled eggs. Lobster, sea turtle, shrimp, crab, and sea urchins are also specialties on the islands. They are used to make such exotic, spicy Caribbean dishes as Antillean crab pilaf and curried coconut shrimp.

Desserts are an integral part of the Caribbean culinary experience. Sugar cane is one of the area's chief products, so there are always an abundance of cakes, pies, and dumplings. Caribbean natives incorporate dessert into almost every meal. At Caribbean restaurants you may notice the emphasis they put on their desserts; in their culture, dessert is just as important as the main course.

Caribbean cuisine incorporates flavors from all of the different cultures that have ever graced the shores of the islands, from Africa to China to India. The flavoring in Caribbean cuisine is intense and rich, strikingly similar African and Creole food.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Restaurants in France

France is known for its cuisine. It would be a shame not to indulge yourself while there. There are many restaurants and cafes to choose from. They differ from authentic regional dishes, to international foods. There is something to please anyone's appetite.

Les Deux Magots which is located in Paris is one of the most famous cafes in the city. Sartre, de Beauvoir and Hemingway all wrote at the caf. It was one of Hemmingway's favorites. The cafe was also featured in the 1955 version of Sabrina which starred Richard Gere. It is a great spot to have a lunch and watch the people pass by. You will be able to get a taste of France, and its people at the same time.

Beautiful views is what you will see when you have a meal at Altitude 95. It is located in the Eiffel Tower. The restaurant offers fast and friendly service. It is very kid-friendly considering many other restaurants in the city do not even have highchairs for children. They have a many delicious options to choose from, including a kid's meal. This would be a great spot after taking a tour of the Eiffel Tower. It will make your visit of the famous landmark even more memorable.

Chez Clement is a great restaurant to try out while in Paris. It is a chain of restaurants so they can be found in different locations throughout the area. Prices for meals in the city can get expensive. Chez Clement offers meals in big portions, and for less cost. Their menu consists of many Rotisserie items. The meats are cooked differently, somewhat like a barbeque. There is also a kid menu available. Many tourists visit this chain of restaurants and enjoy their quick and simple meals.

Angelina is a popular coffee house in Paris. Bring your sweet tooth because they serve a variety of sweets. Their most talked about item is the "famous" chocolat africain. It is a thick hot chocolate drink that is has a generous amount of whip cream on top. Many people who have tried it insist that it is the best hot chocolate they have ever had. The caf also offers a few lunch items. This is mainly for sweets. You do not even have to stay in the caf; you can order the pastries and take them to go if you wish. It is a must stop for many tourists in Paris.

Chartier is the place to eat if you want to be amongst the locals. It is a huge restaurant that can seat several hundreds of guests. The food is authentic and low in price. It is a great stop for the experience and feel. You will not find the fanciest of foods, but you will feel like you are a part of the city.

Everywhere you look; there are restaurants to choose from in Paris. The prices range, as well as the menus. There is something to please everyone. It may be difficult to understand what the menus say if you're French is not up to key, but usually the restaurant staff knows at least a small amount of English to help you get a taste of France.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

French Wine Tours

No visit to France would be complete without enjoying wine. France offers many wine tours to choose from throughout the country. You will be able to taste wine at France's best and most exclusive estates. Widening your wine knowledge will be in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. There are many wine tours to choose from which may include a delicious meal. You will want to find the perfect tour for yourself before going to France so you will get an idea of what to expect.

The city of Bordeaux offers a few different wine tours to choose from. This is an once in a lifetime opportunity to taste wine at some of the world's most famous chateaux which may include Chateaux Margaux, and Latour. These estates are not opened to the public. You will be a guest for VIP tours and tastings. You will be offered to be one of the first people to try the latest vintage barrel, and sample other fine vintages. You will also be able to enjoy first class accommodations along with delicious meals created by some of the most famous chefs in the area. The tour also offers luxury lodgings at the Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron. These tours book fast, so it is important to book ahead of time so you will not miss out on this amazing time.

If you are looking for old world charm a wine tour in Alsace would be perfect. Alsace is located in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains, offering not only amazing wine, but beautiful scenery. Some of the most finely white wines that are made here include Reislings, Pinot Gris and Gewurtztraminers. Your tour will consist of visiting the top wineries of the area, and discovering the beautiful countryside and the other cities of Colmar and Strasbourg. This is an unforgettable vacation spot, not just in the summer, but also for the holidays.

You will be able to see some of the most beautiful vineyards in France when taking a tour in The Rhone Valley and Provence. Vines that never seem to end cover the landscape. You will be able to enjoy the local wines while viewing the amazing scenery. In Northern Rhone where Syrah and Viognier are found, you will be able to try famous wines created there such as Cte Rtie, Hermitage and Condrieu. You will be able to have an amazing meal near the Rhone River, or take an adventure through Vienne that has Roman ruins.

A 1 1/2 hour trip out of Paris will get you to a Champagne Wine Tour. During your tour in Champagne you will visit the top producers that are in large houses such as Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart or Moet et Chandon. You will discover old cellars that may date back to the Roman times. You will also be able to meet with the wine makers and learn how they process making the champagnes.

When visiting France, it is a must to at least try the wine that the country has to offer. It is a part of the history of the country and prized by many who live there. Wine tours will help you gain more knowledge and add more memorable moments to your time in France.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Culinary Traditions of the Caribbean Islands

Authentic Caribbean cuisine is truly an excellent representation of all the cultural influences the Caribbean Islands have experienced since Christopher Columbus' landing in the late 1400's. With a fine mixture of French Island and African recipes, Caribbean cuisine is widely prepared and enjoyed by people of all nationalities, in many areas of the United States and the world.

Caribbean food and culture was forever changed when the European traders brought African slaves into the region. The slaves ate mostly the scrap leftovers of the slave owners, so not unlike the slaves in the United States they had to make do with what they had. This was the birth of the more contemporary Caribbean Cuisine. The African slaves blended the knowledge of spices and vegetables they had brought from their homeland and incorporated them with the precious fruits and vegetables of the Caribbean Islands, as well as other staples to be found in the area. This created many one-of-a-kind dishes, because many of the produce on the islands at the time was too fragile to make it through the exportation process. Fruits most often found in Caribbean cuisine include yams, yucca, mangos and papaya fruits. Among the produce that is too fragile to be exported is the tamarind fruit and plantains (a fruit grown on a tree that is similar to the banana).

Caribbean food, while spicy, is one of the healthier options among culinary traditions from different regions. As discussed, the lush Caribbean islands are chock full of vegetables and fruits for healthy living. In addition to that, America introduced beans, corn, chile peppers, potatoes and tomatoes to the islands, broadening their palate.

When slavery was abolished on the islands, slave owners had to look else where for help. Bringing in labor from India and China, different types of dishes using rice or curry were introduced and blended into mainstream Caribbean cuisine. This is how the Caribbean favorite curry goat was born.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Nightlife in Paris, France

If you are visiting Paris and do not have any children to tend to, perhaps indulging in the nightlife Paris has to offer will be fun. There are different clubs for choose from. Some differ in prices, so you should decide how much you would like to spend. A good idea is to plan ahead. If you already enjoy clubs where you live and you know you would like to visit a few while in France, why not read reviews about the clubs in whichever city you are going to be and determine if you would like to go to it.

A Paris club that is very famous is the Moulin Rouge. It is a club that was built in 1889 and has traditional cabaret shows. The main act is at night where there is a performance. There are both women and male dancers and often they will perform the famous can-can dance which is part of the country's cultural heritage. This is a popular tourist attraction, which means the prices for the dinner and performance can be pricey for some people. It should be known that this club is for adults since there may be some nudity. The area the club is found in is also somewhat risky. If you enjoy Las Vegas, this club may be good for you.

If clubs are not something you are into, why not take a stroll down the biggest and most popular street in Paris. Avenue des Champs Elysees is quite different during the evening with a whole different atmosphere. Couples find it very romantic to walk around this area. There any many lights including on all the monuments and landmarks. The avenue has many shops, and restaurants to visit. Imagine going for a walk in Paris with it beautifully lit, stopping for a coffee break at one of the cafes, then visiting the shops to find a special gift, and topping the night off with a romantic dinner. This would be a time perfect for just about anyone!

If you are in the mood for going out to have a drink or two, the Buddha Bar may be for you. It is a very hip place that is sophisticated. The atmosphere is dark and lit by candles. The Buddha Bar plays exclusive music that is made for them and sell the CDs. Enjoy the evening by having a meal and drink with a giant Buddha statue looking at you. The Buddha Bar has a great ambience is will not be forgettable. Keep in mind that the prices for drinks can be quite expensive. If that is not an issue, this place is a great stop while in Paris.

If you are on a budget, simply taking a walk around the city is enough. You can view the Eiffel Tower from any bridge. Other monuments and landmarks can easily be found by taking a walk. Viewing the nature and beauty of the city and its people will be enough to captivate you and make your time in France memorable. You do not have to go broke to have a great time. It is up to you on what you wish to do while you are there. There is something to keep everyone occupied and happy.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Last Minute Cruises: Are They the Best Deal?

The rule of thumb is that the earlier you pay for your cruise ship, the bigger the discount you will get. This is because cruise lines like to get money in advance. It lets them know that they have filled a spot on their cruise. So, if you're planning a vacation, and have the budget, it's best to pay for it in advance, ideally 2 months or more.

However, you're going to get the lowest pricing on cruises where a last minute cancellation takes place. What happens here is the cruise ship becomes desperate to fill up the remaining spots, and will do so just above a profit, or even breakeven. This is where you come in.

Last minute cruises offer a great discount for you, if you can seize them. However, it can be a bit risky. First of all, if you're planning on getting a last minute deal, it just might not happen. An opening may not become available.

Also, you may not be able to seize the opportunity when it comes, due to some other commitments. In order to get the best out of last minute cruises, you have to have a flexible schedule in order to seize the opportunity.

This is especially true if you have to fly to the location to take the cruise. Will you be able to get a ticket at the last minute? It can be very costly sometimes.

For this reason, last minute cruises are not always the financially best option available to you. In general, it is good practice to book in advance. You'll still get a heavy discount, you'll make sure that you're not paying extra for traveling fees to get to the cruise line, and you will guarantee a spot on the ship.

There you have it, the truth about last minute cruises.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Traveling in Medellin, Columbia

Medellin is known to be one of the most populous cities and the second largest city in the country after the city of Bogota. Medellin was founded by Francisco Herrera and Don Campuzano. Medellin has a population of over two million people. Medellin also serves as the core of the Aburra Valley metropolitan area in Columbia. It is one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. It has an ongoing problem like other Columbia cities with unemployment and sub employment problems going on. This is and has been the main concern of the city.

Land transportation is important in the city of Medellin. When traveling in the city of Medellin you have the option of traveling with the Metro Public transportation system. Medellin's Metro Public transportation system consists of diesel buses and taxis and an urban train. The urban train connects the cities of Medellin, Envigado, Itagui and Bello. There is also an air cable car that complements the urban train that is locally known as Metrocable. It serves a geographically difficult area that is known to be depressed. The traffic in Medellin is what you would call chaotic because of the number of vehicles that is on the highway. And exceeding the highways capacity. The diesel buses and the pollution produced by them have become a big problem and issue. This is noticed more in the center of the city and the southern district called El Poblado. The city offers no additional space for more constructions of new highways.

In the year 2006 the construction started for the Metroplus. This will help in allowing faster transit for buses and stations similar to Bogota's TransMilenio. This service will take place in 2008 covering almost all of the city area. This service will help out with the city's traffic problems and contamination problems. Most of the old buses will be retired and the new service buses with operate with natural gas. Air transportation is also used for many reasons in Medellin. International flights go through the Jose Maria Cordova International Airport in Rionegro a municipality of Medellin. This airport is much better suited for larger aircraft and night time operations. It has an international terminal that has daily international flights to and from the areas of Miami, Panama City, New York, Caracas, Quito, Aruba and a mixture of other important ant cities.

There are certain signs of heavy urban development in the city of Medellin, mainly with the construction of many new skyscrapers. The fact is Medellin is outpacing every other major Colombian city in the construction and in the development of new high rises that includes Bogota, known as the nation's capital and economic center. In November 2007, there were many new high rises that were under construction and going up in Medellin. One of these included twenty five being approved and seventeen of them being proposed. There are more high rises under construction in Medellin today than in cities such as Los Angeles, New York City and Philadelphia put all together.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

French Spas

After working a 9 to 5 job, dealing with everyday stresses in life, a vacation is needed to relax and regain your senses. Deciding to take a vacation to France is a good start. The problem is, is that dealing with the long tourist lines and crowded restaurants might not relax you as much as you would like. This is when visiting a spa becomes a must do while in France. The country has many luxurious spas to choose from. You are sure to find one that will relax your body and mind.

Evian Royal Resort is one of the most exclusive 42 acre estates in the world. It is located on the shores of Lake Geneva and near the French Alps, making for beautiful views. Evian Royal Resort is famous for its fabulous spa which concentrates on restoring body and soul. There are quite a few packages to choose from. One of the packages available is the 6 night regeneration and beauty package. An experienced team which includes masseurs, physiotherapists, and beauty therapists will provide treatments that help understand one's body, a balanced diet, and harmonizing energies. They have knowledge of oriental traditions which will help ease your tensions and awaken your senses. The resort also has a golf club and different restaurants to enjoy.

La Trianon Palace & Spa is located in Paris at a Westin Hotel property. It offers luxury and elegance. You will feel like royalty as soon as you step in. The spa offers massages, body treatments, and manicures since they have a full service salon. La Trianon Palace & Spa also has a steam room and full shower system to enjoy. The outside of the spa is full of beautiful flowers which you can view as you sit in their relaxation area. It is worth spoiling yourself at this spa. Reservations are recommended.

If you would like a retreat from Paris, Givenchy Spa is a great place to escape. It is located in the Hotel Martinez. The spa is located in Cannes, with amazing views of the ocean from its courtyards and balconies. You will be able to enjoy their outdoor services, private beach or pool, and terrace. The highlight of the spa is the 4 Hand Ylang Ylang massage. The spa uses its own products for all of its body wraps, body scrubs, and facials. Also available is the Canyon Love Stone therapy which consists of using hot stones.

Meurice Hotel is a retreat within the city of Paris. They offer marble stone baths with purified water to relax in. You will be able to choose from a variety of skin treatments, and massages. There are also packages for men available, so you're Husband or Boyfriend will not be left out.

Spas are throughout the country so it is best to look into them before you leave for France. This way you will know what the spa offers and be the most satisfied when you are there. You will be able to relax and enjoy the France at the same time.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Travel Tips for Visiting France

When you decide to take a vacation to France there are some information that you should know. Learning how the country is and what it offers will make your trip from beginning to end stress free. You should be aware of how you will travel to get there, and once you are there. You should know of the areas you are going to visit and where you plan on staying. You also should know how to act while there because every country has their own customs and ways of doing everyday things.

Air France is the national airline for the country. There are quite a few airports to choose from. Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is located 14 miles from the city. There are coaches that run every 20 minutes to the city for easy travel. The airport is also near a train that can take you where you want to go. Paris Orly (ORY) is an airport that is located 9 miles south of the city. Buses and coaches run about every 12 minutes to help you get to your destination. Taxis are also easy to find. Lyon (LYS) (Lyon-Saint-Exupry) is an airport found 15 miles from the city. Taxis and coaches are available.

One other airport you can fly to is Marseille (MRS) (Marseille-Marignane). It is located 19 miles from the city and also has coaches and taxis ready for travelers.

Greetings in France usually consist of shaking hands, and often times kissing both cheeks. Monsieur or Madame is the normal terms to address someone. If you go to a formal dinner the special guest or host will let everyone know when they can begin to eat. Mealtime is usually long and relaxing so make sure you space your plans correctly so you can enjoy your meal. Casual clothing is common, but France is known for their stylish clothes. If you go to a more social spot such as a club or casino, the clothing is more formal.

The weather in France differs throughout the year just like in the rest of the world. When packing your clothing you will have to consider this. In the spring and fall the temperatures are commonly between 45-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter time temperatures range between 30-45 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer is naturally the warmest time of year with temperatures being 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember to pack comfortable shoes for all the walking you will be doing. Clothes that can be layered will be ideal for temperature changes and also a coat that can be for all types of weather.

If you only know a few words in French, do not worry. Even though French is the official language of the country, English is understood by many French that live in major cities.

When traveling to France you will need to remember that passports are required. If you do not have one while you are arranging your trip, it is best to get one issued to you as soon as possible so it does not interrupt your plans. Once you have everything set and you are there enjoying yourself, the only thing you will have to worry about is which wine you are going to have.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Traveling in Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City is, of course, the capital of the country and the most populous city in Mexico. It is by far the most important economic center, industrial center, and cultural center. There are nearly twenty million people that inhabit this large city making it the most populous city in the western hemisphere and the second largest in the world. Herein Mexico City is where the Powers of the Union are at seat. Mexico City is located in the Valley of Mexico, which is also called the Valley of Anahuac, which is located in the center of the country.

Mexico City is home to many historic landmarks and is a great traveling destination. There is, of course, the Historic Center of Mexico City and the floating gardens which can both be found in the southern boroughs of the city. These have both been declared World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Some of the famous landmarks that reside in the Historic Center include to Plaza de la Constitucion, the main central square with its oddly time clashing Spanish like era Metropolitan Cathedral and the Palacio Nacional. There are, of course, the ancient Aztec ruins and within a few steps of that the Templo Mayor, which is the tallest skyscraper in Latin America.

There are also an array of great museums and parks to visit while you are here. There is the Museum of Estanquillo or the Museum of Cartoons and Magazine, which should be a hit for any adult fans in the family and all the kids. Not far from here is the most recognizable icon and landmark of Mexico City, the Golden Angel of Independence. This Angel is found on the wide avenue Paseo de la Reforma, and was modeled by command of the Emporer Maximilian after the Champs Elysees in Paris. The avenue was also by design to specifically connect the National Palace, which is the seat of government, to the Castle of Chapultepec, which is the residence of the royalty. Today, it is still just as an important part of the city, housing the financial district. Any tourist would enjoy walking down this road for its historical importance and landmarks along the way.

There is a lot of great sight seeing here in Mexico City. There are a lot of attractions that are literally steps away from one another. There is even the single longest avenue in the world here and it is named Avenida de los Insurgentes, and it is nearly twenty miles long.

Not far from here is the Chapultepec Park that houses that Castle of Chapultepec which is now a museum on a hill! This Museum overlooks other various monuments and even the city zoo. The city zoo is also a great visit while here in Mexico City. Over the last few years it has grown to have more species of animals and has grown in size. So, if you're looking for a great vacation destination, look no further! Mexico City has attractions that are only a couple steps out your hotel door!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Truth about Carnival Cruise Lines

You're not restricted to only land when it comes to your vacation. Cruise ships offer an ideal way to spend your vacation time. You can relax, travel to and view exotic locations, and see many different destinations, all in one vacation.

Imagine experiencing this on your cruise. You wake up, and you find freshly brewed coffee and an exotic breakfast. It is prepared and waiting for you at your table. After breakfast, you may take in the sun for a while and look at the beautiful scenery. Or, maybe you want to swim on the pool aboard the ship, or just relax in the spa.

If you're tense, why not get a massage from the onboard masseuse? You want to be ready for later, when you attend the evening activities, or play in one of the casinos that are found aboard the ship. If neither of those are your cup of tea, just relax and enjoy a great dinner in the dining room and plan for tomorrow.

Depending on which Carnival Cruise Line you choose, all of these activities and more are available to you. It all depends on what you wish to do on your vacation, when deciding upon which Carnival Cruise Lines to go with.

Besides activities, Carnival Cruise Lines offer you a variety of destinations you can explore. From Alaska to Hawaii, Mexico to the Caribbean, and more! With all the different locations, it won't be hard to find a cruise package perfect for you.

We discussed some of the activities above that you can enjoy on a carnival cruise. In addition to those, there are many different cruises that offer golf instruction, an onboard gym, the finest first class meals and wine available in the world, activities for children such as puppet shows and face painting, as well as a variety of different games and movies.

A carnival cruise is the perfect way to enjoy a vacation!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Festivals in France

There are many festivals that take place all over France throughout the year. When you visit the country there may be one happening. These festivals can have just about anything. You will find festivals celebrating music, food, and art. There are also festivals for film and car lovers. When making your trip plans, try to find out if there will be a festival taking place when you are visiting.

If you love music, France has many festivals that involve it. One of the biggest music festivals in the country is FrancoFolies. It happens every summer in the city of La Rochelle. The festival features many French musicians that play jazz, rock, and folk. There usually are international bands that also perform. This festival would be great for someone visiting who would like a taste of the French music scene.

Another music festival that happens during the summer is the Paris Jazz Festival. It is a series of free concerts that occur in the 1,500 seat Espace Delta in Parc Floral which is in the middle of Bois de Vincennes. These concerts are held every Saturday and Sunday at 4:30 PM. The crowd can listen while in a chaise lounge, or have a picnic while the musicians play. There have been many artists that have performed including Didier Lockwood, and Claude Nougaro.

If you enjoy wine and are traveling in Paris in October, a great festival to go to is Montmartre Grape Harvest Festival. Montmartre is a wine growing area in Paris. This area has hosted the festival since 1937. It occurs the first Saturday of October and is free. It includes wine tasting, a parade, and a large gathering of wine growers, lovers, and experts. In the evening there is a variety show, dinner, and a ball. This would be a great festival to attend.

Festivals in France are not just about music and food. Every July in Biarritz, which is a town located on the beach of Southwestern France there is a surf festival held at the Cte des Basques which is the birthplace of surfing in the country. People come from all over the world to take part in it. There are a number of contests and demonstrations for surfing, paddle board racing, and other water sports. You will also be able to see Hawaiian ceremonies. The fun does not end when the sun goes down. There is films and music to continue the celebration through the long summer evenings. This would be a great festival if you are planning a vacation near the beach. You will be able to see surfers from all over the world and maybe even try surfing yourself!

There are many festivals throughout the year in all of France. You can easily find one happening while you are there. It is best to look ahead of time so you will not miss them once you are in town. You will be able to enjoy what France has to offer such as music, food, and films, and perhaps even learn more about the country while having a wonderful time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Things of Interest in Bogota, Colombia

Bogota is the capital of Colombia and has several things for the traveling tourist to see and to get involved in. Bogota is located at the base of a mountain range that houses some famous mountain peaks in the area. Bogota is a city of great contrasts and has been known to be dangerous at times to foreign visitors. However, Bogota is a wonderful city to visit if you remember to take the proper safety measures. Depending on the length of your stay, Bogota can be very exciting. If you are planning on a week or more vacation to this spot, you will be more than able to cover all the things the city has to offer.

There are a lot of famous buildings and landmarks scattered around Bogota. The safest and the wealthiest part of Bogota is downtown, whereas Bogota is divided into three main territories. Tourists are warned to try to stay to these much safer areas. There are also the northern suburbs which is a relatively safe area. The most crime ridden part of town is in the south where the much poorer housing and things are found. Tourists are again urged to steer clear of this area in general. You must be ready to vacation responsibly when in countries like Colombia. Of course, most of the tourist sights are in the central neighborhood of La Candelaria. A lot of the buildings in this area are of a colonial fashion with wide eaved balconies. These houses are arranged in a sort of grid around the Plaza Bolivar, which is the center seat of the government here. Out from the Plaza, there are also neoclassical administrative buildings, such as you will find all over South America. The neoclassical fashion is a popular on nation wide here in South America.

The Cathedral and the gigantic Palace of Justice are also placed around the Plaza Bolivar. The Palace of Justice has been rebuilt and remodeled, as the original Palace was destroyed in 1985 after the building was stormed and taken over by guerillas. Another place you must make sure to walk around is La Plaza del Chorro de Quevedo. This is where the city was founded and you can get a great feel of everything from this point.

The most acclaimed museum here in Bogota is the Meseo del Oro, or the Gold Museum. This museum contains, by far, one of the world's richest collections of golds, emeralds, and other priceless jewelry artifacts. Many or most of these artifacts pre date the Colombian period of time. There is also an array of other museums to visit while in the city. These include the Colonial Museum, the Museo 20 de Julio or the Museum of July 20 where in this museum it documents the rigorous nine year struggle for independence which began in 1810. If you are interested in viewing the works of Colombia's most famous painter, Fernando Botero, then do not forget to visit the museum set up in his honor as well. Of course, this Museum of Art also houses many other famous painters' works as well.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Guide to Celebrity Cruise Lines

It's vacation time. You have a week off, and now it's only a matter of deciding what to do with it. One of the best ways to get the most out of your vacation is to go on a cruise. With today's competitive rates, it's cheaper than ever!

A great thing about a cruise is that everything you need is right there for you. Let's say you wish to work out. Go to the fitness center aboard the cruise. What if you are hungry? There are restaurants right on the cruise ship. Swimming pools, casinos, dance floors and more can be found on cruise ships.

All of the top cruise lines employ world class chefs to prepare the meals. And you get your choice, without having to break out your wallet, your meals are included in the cost of the cruise.

In addition to having a wonderful number of options all in one location, you can take advantage of the sightseeing activities that these cruise lines offer. Tourist guides will help you with the local sites. What about the kids? There are many activities that can keep them preoccupied while you go about your way.

There are many different options available to you, when choosing cruise lines. One of the coolest options is celebrity cruise lines. In addition to some of the things we discussed above, you will find that many of these cruise ships also have those upscale boutiques that are famous in Las Vegas and New York.

Also, you will be able to view some of the finest artwork available to you, right there on the ship. You can try your luck in the casino, or you can get a manicure, a massage, or even acupuncture!

Celebrity Cruise lines are perfect way for you to go on a vacation that you will remember for the rest of your life.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Things to Do In Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is a very important city in Colombia. This city has many nicknames such as The Heroic City, The Door to the Americas, Capital of the Caribbean, and several others. If you are planning a trip to Colombia this is a must see on your touring of the country. There is a wide variety of things to do here in Cartagena and it is also considered to be one of the more safe cities in Colombia. Cartagena is also well known for being a great vacationing escape for honeymooners.

Like Bogota, Cartagena is a city that is divided into main sections. There is of course downtown, there is the northern section of town, the Matuna, San Diego, Bocagrande, and the Getseman neighborhood. These different areas are of course known for the different attractions and parts of the city that they house. Downtown is, of course, the heart of this city and the history of Cartagena can best be seen from here. The Northern part of town holds the airport and the old part of the city. The section of town referred to as San Diego is home to the Beaux Arts School Building and the Convent of the Nuns of the Order of Saint Claire. The part of town called Matuna is much like the business section of town and if you are staying here in Cartagena this is more than likely where your hotel would be found. The Getseman neighborhood is home to the Centennary Park and it commemorates a century of independence. So, as you can see, Cartagena is a grand city with many places to see and many different things to do!

Downtown is where you can find the most attractions of the city. If you get to visit nowhere else in the city, downtown should be your first stop. The style of things here in the downtown is a more colonial style with a little bit of Italian influence. There is an official entrance to downtown which is through Puerta del Reloj, or the Clock Gate. This Clock Gate comes out and onto the Plaza de los Coches or Square of the Carriages. Not but a moment's time from there is the Plaza de la Aduana or the Custom's Square, which is next to the mayor's office. Yet another Plaza not so very far from these points is the San Pedro Claver Square and of course his namesake's church. Here close to this Square is the Museum of Modern Art. As you travel along from here you will find the Plaza de Bolivar and the Palace of the Inquisition on one side. Not too much further from here you will find the office of Historical Archives which holds Cartagena's colorful history. Next to the Archives building you will find the Government Palace which, of course, holds the governor of the Department of Bolivar. If you travel across the street from this building you will find the Cathedral of Cartagena. If these religious temples interest you there is one more stop you should make in you journey around Cartagena. The Santo Domingo Church is a beautifully restored landmark and is worthy of the time taken to see it.