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by Julie

Spain As A Shopping Travel Destination

November 23, 2018 in Blog

It may not be on the top of your list when you think of shopping travel destinations, but Madrid has the best of Spain to offer in its shops. If you are looking for upscale chic shopping experiences, there are a number of exclusive shops available in the city. If more organic shopping is your style, there are flea market atmospheres or a number of quaint antique shops available for perusing.

The main shopping area in Madrid is the Gran Via. This street is full of shops that seemingly never close. Even when the night life kicks up, there is still shopping to be done in this area in many of the stalls around the Plaza Mayor. A word of caution, make sure you know how to bargain. Some of these booths are just looking to make a buck off those in the tourism market and are selling the same tourist junk you can buy at any airport kiosk. Look around, and look for a good deal.

If you love the idea of shopping in the open air visit El Rastro, the massive outdoor flea market in Madrid. In addition to the same touristy things you expect to find everywhere, there are treasures to be found including jewelry, old books, clothes and antiques that need new homes. If you are in the area on a Sunday there is also a coin and stamp fair nearby.

Check out the La Latina Metro Stop. This is located between the Ronda De Toledo and the Plaza de Cascorro and Ronda de Toledo. You will know you are there when you see the massive Eloy Gonzalo statue in the center of Cascorro Square.

This place is packed on the weekends, as it is a travel destination, but while the crowds are big, so are the deals to be had! There are many, many shopping opportunities. There is also some shopping potential during the week, but not nearly as lively an experience as on the weekend.

Want the latest in style and fashion? Then you want the AlcalĀ­ area. You will be able to roam from boutique to boutique filled with dresses, shoes, and all the latest accessories. If you are using the metro as your transport, get off at the Sol or Sevilla.

Another fancy shopping destination is Calle Serrano. This street is full of the finest in shopping including art, gifts and a variety of designer clothing items. You can find a precious gift for yourself, and don’t forget to get something for those back at home that were not lucky enough to be vacationing in Madrid.

The high fashion shopping in Madrid is not just for women. Both genders of the tourism market are appreciated where fashion is concerned. The Calle Princessa, which can be accessed by the Argelles and Ventura Rodriguez metro stops, is lined with a number of men’s boutiques selling suits, accessories and shoes for the classiest of men.

For a quaint shopping experience, try the Calle Preciados. It is a shopping area that is only accessible by walking. To get there, take the Metro to Sol.

Finally get a real feel of Spain at the Mercado de San Miguel. This was once just a fish market, but now it offers a wide variety of foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and other delectable items to experience.

by Julie

Helpful Tips For Winter Travel

November 16, 2018 in Blog

We’ve all felt Jack Frost taking a nip at our nose, and facing Jack also means facing the harsh reality that a harsh winter promises, including the toll it’s like to take on our main mode of transportation.

It’s common knowledge that the tempestuous winter months put our vehicles through greater stress and strain, and can often make minor imperfections into major malfunctions. With that said, experts emphasize the importance of getting your car geared up for winter well advance of the plummeting temperatures.

Battery Operation: Since cold weather can be hard on batteries, checking your battery should be a top priority

– Make sure connections are tight and corrosion-free and that the cables aren’t lose.

– Have a technician conduct a load test to further determine your battery’s condition.

Check Your Liquid Assets: Professionals point out the need to check your vehicles vital fluids and filters, as well as its hoses, belts, and tires.

– At minimum, get oil and filter change.

– Check you coolant level and make sure the water/antifreeze ration is correct.

Set Your Sights On Safety: Remember, visibility is key for winter driving.

– Make sure you have ample windshield-washer fluid. And make sure to always keep it topped off with proper commercial anti-freeze.

– Check and double-check wipers, their condition, and how they are functioning. You can even choose to switch to winter blades as an option.

– Inspect headlights, taillights, brake lights and defrosters, and make sure they are in good, working order.

Interior Design: How your car operates on the inside is just as important to how it functions on the outside.

– Inspect floor for cracks or holes that may allow dangerous (and toxic) exhaust gases into your vehicle.

– Ensure that your heater (and defroster) are working.

Check Brakes, Belts And Hoses: Make sure all are in good condition and in working order before hitting the road.

– Top-off brake, clutch and transmission fluids.

– Check pressure on your belts. Also check for any cracking or fraying.

– Look for loose connections on hoses, as well as for unusual bulges, cracks, tears, and holes.

Treading On Thin Ice: Tire pressure and tread depth affect traction in the snow and rain.

– Check the inflation pressure of your tires and make adjustments according to the season and the temperature. This check, say experts, should be conducted several times a year (about twice a month).

– Check your spare tire and make sure you have one.

Getting Your Wheels In Motion: One of the best ways to safely get around in winter is by switching to a climate-friendly tire.

– Replace current tires with tires especially designed for colder, icier conditions.

– Check tread Depth. Keep in mind the shallower, the better.

– Beware of studded tires. They may offer more traction in wintry weather, but can reduce traction of dry roads.

Stay Attuned To Your Car’s Needs: Taking care of your car means knowing what it needs and when.

– Check the owner’s manual for instructions on how often you’ll need a general tune up, including spark plugs, ignition, coil, fuel injection, etc. and get one done just before the brunt of the winter season strikes.

– Put a minimum of one coat of wax on the exterior to protect paint against the winter making it easier for snow and ice to simply slip off

– Spay a lubricant (such as WD-40) in all door and trunk locks to prevent them from freezing.

Winterize Your Vehicle Inside and Out: Be prepared in care of emergency

– Stock and emergency kit with flashlight, flares, first-aid kid, blanket, warm clothes, gloves, hast, paper towels, snow shovel, snow brush, ice scraper, washer fluid, high energy food and water, and booster cables, and keep it in your car.

– Keep some sand or other such coarse material in your car to pour under tires to assist with traction if you get stuck on ice or hard-packed snow.

– ALWAYS carry your mobile phone with you and make sure it’s charged.

Polishing Your Safety Skills: No matter what kind of vehicle you drive or how well you maintain it, cautious driving is always recommended.

– Invest in an advanced winter driving course.

– Drive carefully and stay safe!

by Julie

Mediterranean Cruise: A Magnificent Travel With Which To Spend Your Vacation

October 27, 2018 in Blog

Do you plan of spending your vacation by cruising, but you do not have any idea where you will be spending it?

Know where the best place is by reading this article. You are sure to get the best suggestion from reading.

Cruising is a trip uses sail or powerboats. It requires more than just days but years to travel and spend your vacation. It is not a simple trip where you can only spend one to two weeks.

Cruising require huge amount of time because it will take moments to tour you in different places from around the world.

It requires almost three to ten years traveling the world. However, in some cases, it only requires years or even just weeks, when there is a definite location. One of the most visited places during a cruise is the Mediterranean Sea.

Mediterranean Sea is still a part of the Atlantic Ocean where only a portion of land divides them. It touches Europe, South Africa and East of Asia. It is a wide sea covering almost 2.5 million kilometer square. Mostly, it is called Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea.

The Mediterranean Sea is obviously the most visited type of cruise on the world. It has more than 120 seaports along the coastline that offers numerous cruising services and vacation plans from one whole week to longer vacation trips.

If you will be visiting the place, you will sure to experience different types of culture in your Mediterranean cruise. You will sure to visit seventeen different culturally rich countries that include Spain, Greece, Egypt and Italy.

All of these have their own culture and unique attraction spots making it the best reason for you to visit them on your cruise. You will be sailing over the blue sea of the Mediterranean.

There many companies that offers Mediterranean cruise. There are over 50 companies to choose from. Most of these companies specialize in Western Mediterranean cruises where you will be choose from among the different destinations of Spain, France, Morocco and Portugal.

Other companies also offer Eastern Mediterranean cruise that will take you to Greece, Croatia, Turkey and other countries of Middle East.

You will also have the chance to tour and reach the countries Cyprus and Malta. You will also land on North African nations.

If you choose to spend a longer vacation over cruising, you will be reaching more countries including those that are not included in the Mediterranean nations.

You will not only enjoy the trip during your cruise but you will also appreciate the different sceneries, culture and traditions. You will enjoy exploring the different history, grand cities, ancient monuments, romantic islands, breathtaking views and the different people while you cruise.

In your cruise, you can also choose the cruise on western part of the Mediterranean Sea where you will be landing on the traditional white Andalucian villages of southern Spain.

You will also get in touch with the worlds famous Manzanilla sherry from Cadiz. Barcelona, French Riviera and other places in Europe will also be included in your western Mediterranean cruise.

You will also reach the wonderful coastline where treasures like dormant volcano of Mt Vesuvius, ancient Pompeii and eye-catching city of Rome is located. You will also reach the islands of Sicily and Sardinia that is all located in Italy.

Your Western Mediterranean experience will be worth remembering because of these fantastic views. You are sure to enjoy the different views of Italy and other countries in Western Part of the Mediterranean Sea.

The last part of the sea you will visit is the East Mediterranean. You will sure enjoy the spectacular coastline of Croatia. You will be seeing the delightful and beautiful city of Dubrovnik before you can dive to the classical sultry island of Greece.

Crete is the island usually visited during a Mediterranean cruise where the histrionic place of Knossos is just a stone’s throw away.

You will never forget the experience if you spend your vacation in Mediterranean cruise. If you want to know more about the Mediterranean Cruise, check out some websites in the internet.

You can gather information by using the different search engines available on the net.

by Julie

Tips For Train Travel In Europe

September 8, 2018 in Blog

Thinking about travelling around Europe via train? Many students, couples, and groups of friends choose train travel as their main method of getting around Europe, and for good reason. Train travel can be a very convenient, beneficial, and cost-effective method of traversing this wonderful continent.

However, European train travel can get confusing, especially if you don’t know where to start. Here are a few tips to help you with train travel in Europe:

First, opt for a train station information desk rather than the ticket window if you need more information or help in planning your trip. The ticket agent is simply there to help you buy your train ticket. Find out if you qualify for any special discounts, or if you can lower your ticket price by taking a different train.

If you are looking for ways to cut down on costs for European train travel, you have a few options. First, travelling by train in southern Europe is almost always cheaper than travelling by train in northern Europe. Second, slower trains are usually significantly cheaper than express trains. Third, travelling overnight for longer trips will help you save money, time, and hotel/hostel accommodation fare. A rail pass or other train pass may also help you to save money, especially if you will be doing a lot of train travel.

When you do go to buy your ticket or pass at the ticket window, make sure you know the train time or number, whether you will be travelling first or second-class, whether it is one-way or round trip, and when you will be travelling. Keep in mind that express trains often require advance reservations and will likely be significantly pricier.

Whether or not you have a reservation for a train seat will affect your train travel in Europe. If you have one, you will have a number for a car and seat. When you are at the train station, check each track or the wall for the Composition of Trains board, which should illustrate where each numbered car will be when the train comes in. If you don’t have a reservation, this means you can sit anywhere but check to make sure that the seat you have chosen isn’t reserved for someone else.

For train travel in Europe, it is quite common for you to have to validate your ticket before you can board through a validation machine that will show you which end of the ticket to put in.

The train eating options is another matter to think about insofar as European train travel is concerned. The longer the travelling distance, the more likely the train is to have a restaurant or caffeteria. For medium distances, expect maybe a cart with a few drinks and snacks on it, but regional trains likely won’t carry anything. Consider purchasing a few snacks at the train station before boarding to ensure you will be fed, and to cut down on costs as well.

by Julie

Some Useful Travel Tips!

September 5, 2018 in Blog

This article will give you some ideas as to what to do, when considering your next travel destination.

You should put your shoes in plastic bags before putting them in your suitcase. That way, other items in your luggage will remain clean and odor free. This is a simple step, but it can secure the rest of the items in your luggage from damage, and save you from an emergency shopping trip in an unfamiliar area.

Always have a copy of your passport available, and keep it a different location than your actual passport. In the event of a stolen or lost passport, having a copy will make replacing it much easier and faster. You can tuck a paper copy into your shoe or simply keep a photo of your passport on your mobile phone.

An important tip for those travelling abroad is to take advantage of ATMs instead of utilizing travellers cheques. By getting cash in this manner, you will receive better rates, despite the inevitable fees that will accompany any transaction made. Simply by withdrawing larger amounts less often, you will incur fewer fees and realise significant overall savings.

Next time you’re out on the town and looking to grab a bite, consider the nearest Japanese restaurant, if you are fond of Japanese food of course. Fresh sushi and sashimi are full of protein, very low in fat, and also incredibly delicious. Salmon, for instance, is amazingly rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.

When travelling with a large dog on a plane, make certain that you don’t leave anything in the crate that your dog can rip to shreds, or chew on that might make him choke. A long lasting dog chew may help the animal remain calm throughout the flight.

When travelling, never ever take drugs across different countries borders. If it is not a prescription medication and you know it is an illegal drug, do not do it. In certain countries possession of illegal drugs can bring very stiff penalties, but if you try to cross a border, some countries use the death penalty as a deterrent.

Going on a long trip can ensure that something will happen. Make sure to pack a small first aid kit with you to help with minor scrapes and bruises. Other items, such as bottled water and some snacks can also make a huge difference when you don’t have to buy these things at a higher price in a tourist attraction area.

Next time you are planning to travel, use the ideas from this article to help you with your travels.

by Julie

Mini Travel Report – The United Kingdom

September 1, 2018 in Blog

About the county

The United Kingdom (UK), also known as England or Great Britain is the country which once ruled nearly the entire world. The glory might have been lost but the people are still proud of their country and heritage and the travel and tourisim industries are among the best in the world. The United Kingdom is an EU member and enjoys a fantastic economic climate. The country consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The country is full of scenic locales and energetic cities. The capital city of the UK is London.

A city beyond compare, the UK represents itself as an icon of diversity with people from all walks of life blended into its culture. It is also home to many architectural marvels such as Buckingham Palace, The Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben), London Bridge and more modern fare such as Canary Wharf. While areas like York and Durham capture the bygone era of country life, Liverpool and Newcastle are modern industrial marvels. Don’t forget the scenic Lake District and Edinburg still attracts people from all over the world.

Population & Languages

The population is around 61 million and the official language is English. Other regional languages spoken are Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and Irish.

Electricity

The voltage is 230-240 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The type of plug used is rectangular blade.

Geographic Location

It is located in Western Europe and consists of islands including the northern one-sixth of Ireland. It is 22 miles from the French border and linked by the chunnel or channel tunnel. You will love rolling lowlands and low mountainous terrain.

Climate

It has a moderate climate but lots of rain with around half of the year being overcast. The lowest temperatures never go below -15 C (5 F) and in summer the average maximum is 34 C (93.2 F). It also gets snow in winter and early spring.

Local Customs

The handshake is customary when you are meeting somebody for the first time. When visiting someones house a small gift like flowers or chocolates is customary. Waiting until everyone is served before eating is also a key social etiquette. Tipping is usually 10-15% in hotels, restaurants and taxis. Smoking and non-smoking areas are clearly designated but like most industrialized countries there is a shift afoot to limit smoking in public areas.

Places to see

London Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Whitehall Palace, the Elizabeth Tower – Big Ben and the Tower of London

Scotland – The Bannockburn Heritage Centre and Ben Lawers Mountains

Wales – Aberdulais Falls, King Arthur’s Labyrinth, Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Great Orme Mines, Portmeirion Village, Rhossili Visitor Centre, Taff Valley Activity Centre and TechinQuest

Travel

By Air – The domestic airlines is British Airways which also connects almost all major world destinations. Almost all airlines connect UK through London which is hub for all international flights between east to west and west to east. Heathrow and Gatwick are international airports of London.

By Sea – Since UK is surrounded by water from almost all sides it has many ports. There are many ferry services operating between the rest of Europe and the UK.

By Rail – Trains connect Ferries at Dover, Folkestone, Newhaven, Portsmouth and Weymouth, sailing for Belgium, France, Germany and Spain (you need to board at Victoria Station in London); and at Harwich, sailing for Germany, The Netherlands and Scandinavia (you need to board at Liverpool Street). Eurostar train connects London with Brussels and Paris through channel tunnel.

By Road – Vehicles can enter the UK through the channel tunnel. Cars and motorcycles, coaches, minibuses, caravans, campervans and other vehicles over 1.85m (6.07ft) can also use channel tunnel.

Prohibited Items

Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, most meat and dairy products, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.

Conclusion

There aren’t many places in the world that rivals England, it has to be a must see if you are planning a trip to Europe.

by Julie

Enjoying Paris Travel

August 30, 2018 in Blog

Taking tours to Paris can be very educational and enjoyable as well. When taking a tour they are already planned out for you and sometimes you will have a guide to tell you about each stop you make along the way.

One of the most important stops you may have on a tour is the La Louvre. Take a walk around the outside and you will see as much as you would when going inside. Notice the fountain standing at the front entrance with the walkway going around it. Inside the La Louvre, you will be able to see the one and only La Pyramid. Check out the shape. At night when it is, all lit up you will see beauty you will never forget. Looking out of the Louvre you can see the Buran Statues in the Paris Royal.

Go inside the Pyramid and you will see the winding staircase going straight to the top. Get a haircut while inside at one of the many salons.

Visit the Palasis Royal and see most beautiful fountain Le Jardin des Tuileries. The Place de la Concorde is in the same area. Visit them at night and see the beautiful lighthouses and fountains all around them. Another great place to go is the Les Champs-Elysees at night where an archway stands with trees lining both sides of the street to the entrance; ride a train or drive through the arch.

Want to see the famous Montmarte Cabaret of Moulin Rouge. It is a huge building with the great windmill sitting on the roof.

You can also visit Paris from the sky by flying over the Seine River. See the fantastic view over the rooftops. Take a boat ride down the River and see the Passer Elle des Arts known as the Lovers meeting place. The view down the River is out of this world with everything lit up drawing everyones attention. The Eiffel tower is located on the Seine River as well and when passing you can enjoy the many fountains all around it.

When taking your tour down the river notice the water level, it is about 9 meters (30 feet) below the street. The river is lined with walls of stone with ivy growing through in places; the walls have iron rings hanging on the walls to represent the past ages. On each side of the river, it has many trees and shrubs and up on the street more trees looking over the river. There are 32 bridges crossing over the Seine River with old buildings and riverboats between them. Look at the water while taking your tour down the river and notice the beautiful colors coming from the buildings and trees with some gardens here and there.

Paris is the capital of France and is over 2,000 years old sitting on an island off the Seine River. The island is 233 miles from the English Channel.

Have you ever wanted to see the Hotel de Cluny in the Notre Dame area? The hotel was built to house the monks when coming from Cluny to visit the capital. The Hotel de Cluny was turned into a museum in 1844 representing the Medieval France.

Stand outside and look at the beautiful cross-windows in the front and the others are all done in Gothic style. Inside the hotel, you will see many tapestries done in the 15th and 16 century

Visit the great Chapel while on your tour of the Seine River. Inside the Chapel, you will see more tapestries of the Lady and the unicorn of the 16th century, which will inspire you to learn more about Paris.