Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Offbeat Attractions in Paris

Written by Adrienne Erin

Paris ~ one of the top wonders of the world. Not only is it the city of love, it is the city where tourist attractions are in abundance.  If you are visiting Paris, you might be wondering to yourself, "Where can I go to enjoy myself?" As per usual, you probably have locations such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and other such sites in mind.

While those sites are good attractions for first-time tourists, you may want to get the full effect of Paris.  In order to get a sense of history and culture, there are three sites you will especially want to visit: the Paris Catacombs, the Parc de Buttes-Chaumont and the Lutèce Arena.


Catacombs of Paris - Photo courtesy of Ben Templesmith
Catacombs of Paris
Also referred to as Catacombes de Paris. The Catacombs of Paris is one of the most unusual tourist attractions around the world.

The underground ossuary began in the 18th century, where it began as a mining place for stone quarries.  However, as time passed, the stone quarries depleted, leaving the mines vacant from 1777 to 1786.

It was not until 1786 where the mines were put back to us -- an underground burial for the Paris population.  Begun by Police Lieutenant General Alexandre Lenoir and finished by his successor Thiroux de Crosne, the exhumation and reburial of all the Paris' deceased was undergone.

Now a burial ground of six million people, tourists roam the catacombs to see one of the most prestigious burial grounds known on earth. The skeletal remains that act as walls are real remains.

This museum offers an in depth understanding of the Paris culture and gives you an interesting experience.  This will be one experience you will not forget anytime soon.

Arènes de Lutèce ~ Photo courtesy of Natalie Hegert
Arènes de Lutèce
Coliseums were thought to be only large in Rome, since Romans monopolized and popularized gladiatorial combat.  However, Romans populated much of the globe centuries ago and, now; there are coliseums around the entire eastern hemisphere, including France.

In France, gladiators would gather from all around the world to fight at the Arènes de Lutèce.  Constructed in the 1st century, this amphitheatre was one of the longest and largest of its kind and could seat as much as 15,000 people.  In the upper tiers, the poor and slaves would sit in the battered heat.  However, in the lower tiers, Roman citizens were seated and linen awnings were provided to protect citizens from the harsh sun.

The arena was buried over the centuries, and though the neighbourhood around it was named "les  Arenes" after it, nobody quite knew where it was until the 1860s.  It was rediscovered by a construction company that was planning to build a tram depot there.  Now it is a protected site, avoiding the construction of any metro stops or outdoor playground equipment, able to be enjoyed by everyone.

Now, tourists are able to view and travel around the coliseum.  Often there will be children playing sports in the centre of the arena, but if you can, stand in the centre to spectate the arena in its entirety.  The stone seats are a quiet place in a charming old neighbourhood to eat a bagel from the the bagel shop nearby, or just take in the scenery of one of the oldest attractions in Paris.  It's not a visit you will soon forget!

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Located on the northeast side of Paris, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is the fifth largest park in Paris, coming in at 61 acres.

The urban park was crafted in the late 19th century and has been a popular tourist attraction since.  The park is known for three major features: The Temple de la Sibylle, Île de la Belvédére and an Artificial Lake.
Photo taken by the Adrienne
  • The Temple de la Sibylle - The most famous and prominent feature of Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, this temple resembles the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, Italy. Inspired by many romantic paintings in the 18th and 19th century, the Temple of Vesta was an inspiration to be recreated and attract tourists to visit it across the world. The Temple de la Sibylle is crafted in pure perfection, giving tourists a very romantic setting once inside.
  • Île de la Belvédére - A rocky island surrounded by the waters of a beautiful lake, the steep cliffs of this island were crafted from old gypsum quarry stone.  Standing thirty feet above water, tourists will get a beautiful view of the park as Île de la Belvédére sits in the heart of the park. Synthetic waterfalls make way for a beautiful and rather romantic gesture if you are with someone you love.
  • Artificial Lake - Constructed to surround the Île de la Belvédére, this artificial lake is beautiful and peaceful.  The waters are almost always calm and make for great canoeing with your family or a loved one. This lake can be seen in full-view from the top of the Île de la Belvédére.

Author Bio
Adrienne is a a freelance writer and Francophile whose love of travel was ignited by her experience studying abroad in Paris. She travelled extensively in France to practice her language skills, and also travelled abroad to a number of European countries to visit friends, family, and sites that had interested her for years. Read her personal blog, Pongra, to see more of her work.













Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Top 10 Tourist Sites and Cheap Holidays in Costa Brava

Written by Ariana Louis

Ever gone to Costa Brava "the Wild Coast"?

It is one of the hidden gems of Spain.  There are cheap holidays in Costa Brava so take advantage of them.  In Costa Brava, there is something for everyone: busy night life, beautiful beaches with lots of people or more secluded tiny bays and private beaches, gift shops, hotels, resorts, restaurants, shopping, spa's and  more.



Hidden Gems

Developed in the 1950's to be the newest tourist destination, it grew into a place known for cheap and cheerful holidays with lots of high rises and eventually over building. For those who want something with more character and less mass tourism, there is part of the coastline north of the port of Palamos with tiny bays, small beaches and small harbours or shelters for fishing boats.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Singapore Attractions: Things to Do in Singapore

Written by Olivia Kane

Singapore has become one of the hottest destinations in South East Asia, thanks to the huge investment in the local tourism industry over the last decade.  Nowhere else in Asia can you find so much crammed into such a small place.
Raffles Hotel Long Bar ~ Singapore
Incredible food, world-class shopping, amazing architecture and tourist attractions can all be found in this vibrant city that never sleeps.  Singapore is safe, clean and has a variety of activities to suit any traveller, whether you be a lone foodie tourist or family group.

It can be difficult to find up-to-date information on foreign countries, with many of the best events going under the radar of big travel sites.  A good way to get an insider view of what's happening locally is to find a Singapore blog that is related to your personal interests.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Top 5 Advantages while Going on Trekking

Written by Zara Jones

Trekking is one of the most enjoyable activities that tourists on adventure holidays like to indulge in.  But little do people realize that a strenuous activity like trekking also comes along with several health benefits. Climbing, dodging boulders or running is common while on hiking or trekking tours.  Such physical activities eventually help shed unwanted flab around girth or other areas which makes a trekker far healthier than he may have ever been.

For those who wish to derive the same benefits, India trekking tour is a must try. There are five major advantages that a trekking lover would derive while on India adventure trekking tour:


Photo courtesy of ruselscot

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Making the Most of Your TEFL Year in Thailand

Written by Robert Oakden

If you want to start a career teaching English overseas, then Thailand is a great choice. Taking a year to teach in Thailand is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience and it can be the start of a long and fulfilling career - but you have to make the most of it.

Some TEFL teachers have an amazing time on their first year
but others miss out because they don't make the effort


Here are few simple ways that you can ensure your first year of TEFL teaching is a success:

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

10 Best Destinations for Summer Holiday Breaks That Won't Break the Budget

Written by Olivia Kane

When planning a summer holiday, it is important to weigh up where you're going against your budget.  Finding a holiday break that won't break the bank can be achieved by looking into particular destinations and resorts that can offer great deals for families and all inclusive stays.  
It is also worth remembering, though, that the cost of a summer holiday break can be further reduced by exploring options for single trip travel insurance that covers children for free as part of a deal; finding these policies can make it much easier to control your budget when travelling.

What then, are some ideas for summer holiday breaks that are particularly well suited to families?

1. Turkey
One of the most cost effective places to visit in Europe, Turkey is home to beach spots like Antalya and Patara, as well as to resorts such as Kaya and Olu Deniz.  The Bodrum peninsula is particularly recommended if you want low cost accommodation and a wide range of activities for children.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Mabuhay! Welcome to the Philippines ~ Is it really more fun?


Mabuhay! 

This is the customary greetings you will hear and encounter at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as soon as you set foot on the Philippine soil.  It is the Tagalog translation for 'Welcome'.

Local passenger jeepney plying in the city of Pasay
I welcome you to the Philippines.  

If you know where to go and you know what to explore, it will definitely be a memorable adventure for you. Now, if you are ready to reach the heights, swim in the beautiful beaches, explore the sights, and tour the busy streets, then, come and discover what this southeast Asian country has to offer.

Monday, 22 July 2013

It's a Boy ~ Her Royal Highness and her child are doing well

Yes, it's a boy! 

Millions of people around the world are waiting for this moment. The Royal baby boy was born today at 4:24 p.m.  Catherine and William, the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge, welcomed their first child who will be called His Royal Highness Prince ..... (name to be announced in due course). The child will be third in line to the throne.


Trafalgar Fountain in London ENGLAND ~ Courtesy of Reuters

Catherine was brought early morning to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital which is next to Paddington Station in London.  It is the same hospital where Princes William and Harry were born.

The world is celebrating for the arrival of the Royal child.  People all over the world gathered outside Buckingham Palace and crowds of well wishers cheer at London's St. Mary Hospital. Celebrities reacted and have sent their best wishes to the couple. It's a feeling of excitement for this great part of the history.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

HONEST ED's ~ A Toronto Landmark No More!

If you have travelled to Canada, you must have crossed the street leading to Honest Ed's, an iconic discount outlet in the intersection of Bloor & Bathurst Sts. in the city of Toronto. A landmark for tourists and a great entertainment and shopping experience combined.

The "one location only" shopping centre is located in the culturally diverse, safe and vibrant neighbourhood. The area around Honest Ed's store is called Mirvish Village, a unique shopping area featuring boutiques, book stores, artists studios, antique shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.



Going up the stairs to the second floor, one can see autographed pictures of show business personalities and theatrical productions. This reveal the link between Ed Mirvish as a theatre producer, and Honest Ed as a retailer.

Honest Ed's days are numbered.  I am not a big fan of this huge retail store maybe because I am, most of the time, lost trying to find its exit.  But if only I buy something and head to the cashier to pay, then it will lead me to my way out because there is a tiny exit beside the counters.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Reviews: Hotel Domus Mariae Palazzo Carpegna in Rome, Italy

The Garden: Courtesy of  Hotel Domus Mariae Palazzo Carpegna
Updated: January 31, 2017 - Hotel Domus Mariae Palazzo Carpegna in Rome has been renovated and changed to a new name, The Church Palace. Please click the link below for an updated information.

Hotel Domus Mariae Palazzo Carpegna is a 4-star hotel in Rome, Italy set in a beautiful Renaissance-inspired mansion, overlooking the enchanting gardens of the Villa Carpegna park. It is an ideal spot for privacy and relaxation. The historical building is just a few minutes from St. Peter Basilica and the Vatican City

To tour the major attractions, take a train from Cornelia Subway Train Station (Linea A) which is around 300 metres walk from the hotel and 3 kilometres from the city centre and the main shopping streets.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Travel Warning: Is it safe to travel to Egypt?

Is it safe to head out to Egypt for a holiday? The answer to this question is a big NO. So, if you have made a plan or thinking of booking a trip to this country, you better think again.


  
Egypt's ongoing political protests and social unrest is all over the place and is likely to worsen due to the intervention of the Egyptian military to put an interim, technocratic administration to run the country temporarily.

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada advises that due to unpredictable security situation and continued demonstrations, Canadians should avoid a trip to Egypt especially to the Sinai Peninsula, Port Said, Suez, Ismailia, Mahalla and Cairo which is the centre of anti-government protests.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Travel by Bus

Written by Aleena Lois


Riding a bus is one of the most preferred modes of transport for many people.  

It is convenient and cheaper compared to other means of going around. It is also known to be the most eco-friendly and cost effective means of travelling for both short and long distances.  

It produces low amount of carbon dioxide emission and it offer travellers with great opportunity to relax and enjoy a clean environment. 

If you want to be an effective bus traveller and have a memorable and hassle-free trip, there are number of things you ought to know: