St Pancras International is not just a railway station, it is a permanent home for the high-speed terminus to Ashford thanks to Southeastern, the Continent thanks to Eurostar, and with its accompanying five star Renaissance Hotel, it may well be the grandest railway station in the world.
Dressed in towering and exuberant Victorian red-brick and coloured stone, this dazzling piece of Gothic architecture looks reminiscent of a Cathedral with its clock tower and spiralling turrets.
Its sprawling interior is a hub for transport both overground and underground, but it is also a hub for humanity: around 48 million travellers and visitors per year set off or stay put to enjoy the retail, dining and cultural opportunities.
Originally built as the Midland railway in 1863 it housed Sir William Barlow’s train shed which looked awesome with high arches made of iron and glass and was one of the great engineering feats of the Victorian age. By 1873 the accompanying hotel Midland Grand Hotel was completed.
Once earmarked for demolition, it was restored instead and in 2007 it became the frontage to a vast gateway for High Speed 1 (HS1), the speedy rail service between Britain and mainland
Everyone wants to enjoy their life well. Everyone wants to have the happy life in their life. Do you agree? Of course, everyone wants to have the good life in their life or we can say that we want to have the happy life. Then, in order to have the happy life we need to make the balance between working and also for refreshing. Refreshing here has the meaning that we should do something fun so that our mind can be relaxed. What kind of thing that you will do for having the best activity to release your mind and your stress? Of course, there are many kinds of things that you can do.
One of the best thing to do is having the holiday time. Are you interested to go to somewhere when the holiday is coming? Where is the destination of your holiday? If you do not want to go far away for the holiday, why do not you try to choose to visit Semarang? Semarang is such an interesting place that you can visit and there will be many interesting tourist destinations in Semarang. If you decide to go to this city, you need to prepare such as
Since the beginning of the 17th century, the Dutch began to colonize Indonesia, starting from Banten and Maluku. In 1942, Japan began to replace Netherlands as colonizer but this East Asian country only colonized for 3 years. Indonesia proclaimed its independence less than a month before Japan surrendered to the Allied forces, but the proclamation was accompanied by next four years of vicious fighting, the UN’s mediation, and intermittent negotiations between the Netherlands and Indonesia on the other side. Various attempts were conducted in order to create a permanent transfer of power from the Netherlands to Indonesia in 1949.
A period of full parliamentary intervention lasted until 1957 when President Sukarno announced a presidential decree resulting to the “guided democracy”. After the bad coup by suspected communist party, Sukarno lost his power and was replaced by Suharto. From 1967 to 1998, President Suharto ran the so-called ‘New Order’. After the financial crisis, a wave of demonstrations and great riots overthrowing of Suharto in 1998, legislative elections without intervention took place in 1999. Today, Indonesia is among the top three of the largest democracies in the world. The country also has status as the largest Muslim country all over the world.
The Portugal Masters returns to the Algarve’s Oceânico Victoria Golf Course this autumn. Opening with a Pro Am Day on Wednesday 14th October and concluding on Sunday 18th, this popular leg of the European Tour is the biggest golf tournament in Portugal. Around 40,000 spectators are expected to watch some of the world’s best players compete for a prize fund of €2m.
The 2015 Master’s line-up
The line-up of players for this year’s Masters is due to be announced soon – check here for updates.
In the meantime, word has it that the golfing world is citing Lisbon-born Ricardo Gouveia as the favourite to win the tournament. With two championship wins already under his belt, and a runner-up finish in the 2015 ROLEX Trophy, Gouveia is currently the highest-ranked Portuguese player ever. If he goes on to win the Portugal Masters, he’ll go down in golfing history as the first Portuguese player to achieve the coveted winner’s title.
The championship course
Designed by world-famous professional golfer Arnold Palmer, the cutting-edge Oceânico Victoria opened in 2004. This par 72, 18-hole course measures 6,651 metres, from the back tees, and spans 90 hectares. Set in a stunning natural landscape,
Reasons to Visit Hwange National Park
Abundant Wildlife, African Wild Dog and a Birders Paradise
There is no doubt that Zimbabwe is a wildlife lover’s haven. The country boasts a number of national parks, each hiding a wonderful world of wilderness within its boundaries. For many, however, it is Hwange National Park that takes the crown as the most sought after safari destination in the country.
Hwange National Park
Being Zimbabwe’s largest national park, Hwange is home to a breathtaking variety of wildlife, ranging from the gracious antelope to the impressive elephant. Watch a giraffe try munching off a high branch for a treat or see a cheetah sprint across the bushveld at an unimaginable speed. Hwange National Park has one of the highest animal diversities of any national park in the world.
The absence of permanent surface water is a significant feature of Hwange, which is why animals congregate at waterholes. Game viewing from a waterhole-based hide is an utterly unique safari experience. Hwange is one of the few remaining safari destinations that provides this opportunity for a close-up encounter with wildlife. Quietly creep into the Hide Safari Camp’s underground hideaway and
Marbella may not have snow and frost during the Christmas period but it is still a very festive place to be, with lots of activities for both kids and adults that will get you in to a merry mood. Whether you choose to spend an evening walking through the town centre taking in the Christmas lights or to take your children to Santa’s grotto, Christmas can be as magical in Marbella as anywhere else in the world.
Traditionally, Christmas time begins with the switching on of the Christmas lights in Marbella and San Pedro town centres. This year it takes place on November 27 and the special celebrations continue during the evening with Santa’s Grotto opening in both locations and hot chocolate and doughnuts being served for that sweet treat on a chilly winter’s night.
The festive events continue all along the coast throughout December, with concerts, carol services and Christmas bazaars or fayres where you can buy gifts, holiday baskets and a host of other items.
If you are in Marbella with the children, take a trip to La Cañada where they can meet the jolly, red-suited man himself from December 1 to 26 sat infront of the huge beautiful Christmas tree.
Only an hour flight from Ho Chi Minh City you will find this picturesque, small town that has a long history of being a trade harbor in the 17th and 18th century. Its old center is well preserved and welcomes tourists from all over the world to have a look at old ancient structures that still remain and are part of an acknowledged UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999.
To get to Hoi An you can take a flight to Danang which takes one hour. For the more adventurous traveler there are different trains leaving from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi that will bring you to Danang in around seventeen hours. From the center of Danang it’s around thirty minutes to Hoi An by car and this taxi ride will set you back around 400.000 VND (18 USD).
A little outside the town you will find luxury beach resorts which provide all the amenities you can imagine to indulge yourself in a relaxing getaway from the busy street life. Closer to the ancient center and along the riverside there are many hotels and hostels and this wide variety of accommodation ranges in price from 8 USD to 600 USD a night.
I am prepared to admit this right now …. I am not one of those people who drool over the idea of having a massage, so although a little reluctant, I decided I would be brave and give it a go.
The Laguna Beach Spa is housed in traditional buildings, in a tranquil garden setting, with water features, at the garden-side of the Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort Hotel. Guests are welcomed at reception, with lemon tea to drink and a registration form to fill in, and introduced to the therapist who will provide the treatment they have chosen. They are shown to the treatment room, which has a berugaq (a traditional sitting area), and a wonderful view of the sands and the sea.
The first stage is a foot treatment – a soak in warm water, scented with essential oils, and then a salt scrub. Then, with happy feet encased in slippers, it’s off to the ensuite changing room, where clothing is exchanged for a robe (and disposable underwear, for modesty).
The spa offers a range of health and beauty treatments, with various massages and body scrubs, as well as manicures and pedicures. It caters for all ages; there is even a ‘teen’
Adirama Beach Hotel Lovina – Absolute Beachfront ****.*
Adirama Beach Hotel can be classed as a “Family Hotel” in the true sense of the word. It was rescued from an abandoned state after the Bali bombings of 2002 by Hollander Ruud van Ginkel and brought back to life with an enthusiastic team, most of whom have been with Adirama since it was re-opened. Then there is a great family atmosphere at the restaurant and around the pool. The hotel is almost full most months due to returning guests who have had a good time on their last visit(s).
The hotel rooms are on 2 levels in 2 blocks. The delightful restaurant directly overlooks the ocean and the old pier where VOC ships used to moor. Dolphin viewing trips leave from the beach daily, and there is a range of diving options available via the concierge, as well as tours of local attractions.
The inviting pool is a central meeting place for families when not at the restaurant, on the beach or on an organized tour or fishing trip.
Raja Suite at Adirama Beach Hotel consists of the seaside view and the mountain-view. When rented out to 2 people they will have access to the
Christmas in Malta is a wonderful mix of the merrymaking associated with the festive season together with the religious traditions still very much alive within the Maltese community. In the spirit of the famous Christmas carol, we list twelve top Malta events and other things to do if spending your Christmas on the island. Consider them our twelve gifts for the twelve days of Christmas!
Day 1 – Stroll the Decorated Streets of Valletta
This is the busiest and most merry time of the year for the Maltese capital. Beautifully lit streets with Christmas carols echoing in the background, shops dressed to their Sunday best and activities in abundance.
Day 2 – Tour the Islands for wonderful Christmas Cribs.
You will find incredibly detailed and intricate cribs on display by local enthusiasts in practically every village in Malta. A competition with a list of participating cribs may be found here.
Day 3 – Enjoy a Christmas Concert
This is a great way to really get into the Christmas spirit. Check out our Events calendar for dates and keep an eye out for the much anticipated … featuring international artists and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.
Day 4 – Take the kids to Santa’s Toy Town at Popeye Village
Marvel at busy elves preparing Christmas toys in
There are so many tourist attractions to choose from, fun things to do and sites to visit in the Algarve, it’s easy to miss the natural wonders and interesting reminders of local heritage that make the Algarve such a special place.
Here we’ve listed our Top 10 things to spot as you travel around the Algarve.
Arbutus berries (Medronho)
Medronho is a traditional Portuguese drink made from the attractive red berry-like fruits of the arbutus tree, which can be found growing wild in the Algarve. It’s a potent tipple, certainly not for the faint-hearted, and is often sweetened with honey to make it more palatable.
Considering the arbutus tree thrives in poor soil with little water, it’s quite surprising to see the beautiful strawberry-red berries (pictured above) that it produces. The berries are easy to spot if you’re out in the Algarve countryside in late October to December, particularly in the hills of Monchique and around the Barragem do Arade in Silves. At this time of year, you may also spot local farmers picking the berries – it’s an arduous task as it takes between seven and 10 kilograms of fruit to make just one litre of Medronho.
You’ll spot arbutus trees if you take
One can be forgiven for thinking that water sports in North Bali-Lovina means going out at 6 am to see the dolphins. After all, most tourists associate Lovina with dolphin viewing. However, there is much more going on beneath the surface.
Lovina does not have the best reefs in Bali but fish life is diverse and abundant. Lovina’s sea is often said to resemble a lake because it is so calm. This means safe snorkelling just off the beach and it is a great place to learn the basics of scuba diving. Lovina is equidistant from Bali’s two finest diving areas –Menjangan Island in the west and Amed in the east. Some professional dive operators in Lovina and environs offer regular dive trips to these areas as well as Lovina’s own reefs. Adirama Resort offers diving off its local reef at the site of an old pier. There is reputed to be an old stone anchor with the letters VOC; not Very Old Coral, but Vereenigde Oostindische Companie (Dutch East Indies Company) whose ships used to moor here at one stage.
Here are some of almost a dozen dive companies in the area.
Bali Spice Dive was the first PADI Dive Center in
Love to Boogie? You do! Well how about a Skydive Boogie from 14,000 feet?
If you’re a seasoned skydiver, or have always wanted to know how it feels to fly like a bird, what better place to jump than into the blue skies of the Algarve, where you can take in some of the most spectacular views in Europe.
From the 19th September to 18th October you can be among the 300 or so skydivers taking part in Skydive Algarve’s Autumn Boogie. Renowned skydivers such as Pete Allum, Ian ‘Milko’ Hodgkinson, Silan Stokes, Ally Milne, Amy Chmeleki, Kim Tornwall and Chris France, will be joining hundreds of keen skydivers from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Spain and other areas of Portugal, to take part in this fantastic skydiving festival.
You don’t have to go it alone
Whether you’re a skilled skydiver or a novice, Skydive Algarve’s expert team will make sure you have the best possible experience. If you don’t fancy going it alone, you can opt for a tandem skydive, where you’ll be harnessed to a qualified instructor and enjoy 60 seconds of fabulous freefall, before your instructor flies you back down to earth. What’s more, if you’re a first-timer taking
Summer Holidays often equal beach holidays for most. Here at the Bodrum Peninsula, cold winter days are replaced with high temperatures, carefree experiences, golden sands and a crystal blue sea.
The Aegean coastline of Turkey is a hive of activity for beach lovers flocking from all over the world. Days are spent sunbathing and enjoying watersports, while at night, everyone quietly watches the orange sunset on the horizon. If you are eager to get out and about on the beaches of Bodrum here are our suggestions
Best Beaches in the Bodrum Peninsula
Yalikavak is a small resort gaining popularity with families and older couples in particular. The main attraction is a long , narrow and sandy beach starting at the harbour front and twisting a path dramatically, around the peninsula. It is not a wide beach, but the variety of places you can choose to sit at and play at are so numerous. If you drive just at the end of this beach across the Kudor area, there are some great beaches called “Dodo” and “Potato” beaches where there is little more than one cafe ( albeit sufficient) and plastik beach chairs or picnic tables. They are perfect for a family who wants
In Part I, we described how to get to the remotest places in southern Africa. We discovered the incredible atmosphere of the bush and indulged in authentic safari accommodation amidst wilderness. Now let’s explore the daily excitements awaiting you whilst on Safari…
The Daily Adventure
Days in the bush start early, with sunset, around 6 o’clock – depending on the area and if you are travelling in Africa’s winter or summer time. Getting up early on holidays might be rather unusual for most people, but essential on safari. Trust me, with all the excitement in mind, it is quite easy to get up – even if you are not a morning person at all, like me. The adventure lies ahead!
It is in the early mornings, early evenings and also during night that predators such as the big cats and nocturnal animals like hyena are active. However, people are only allowed within the national parks from sunrise to sunset as visitors are not allowed to drive in the dark. Therefore most camps offer morning activities from 6 / 6.30 am to 11 am and afternoon activities from 3 pm to 6 /6.30 pm. Between 11 am and 3 pm, you are in
Thousands of revellers dressed to the nines will be taking to the streets of Benidorm in September for the fifth Benidorm Pride.
Free live music and DJs plus a dazzling White Party are being lined up for this year’s massive event which lead up the grand finale – a colourful parade from Levante Beach to the Julio Iglesias arena for the closing party.
Many capital cities around the world host Pride parties and parades, so it’s only fitting that the top tourist resort of Benidorm should hold one too. The resort is a top spot for tourists all over Europe, especially the British, and is well-known for its great gay community in the historic Old Town.
Now, during Benidorm Pride week, those Old Town bars and venues are ready to welcome the 10,000 or more visitors who enjoy the special event showcasing local talent. All in all, 30 top Benidorm acts have given their time for free to entertain the Pride crowds.
“We want everyone to come along and enjoy the fun. It doesn’t matter what sexuality you are,” said organiser Geoff Gartland.
“Pride is for everyone to enjoy. It’s not exclusively gay. We try to appeal to everyone including families who can come along
Lombok is a gem in the Indonesian archipelago situated just 32km East of Bali. It has a rich and colourful background of Sasak, Balinese and Bugis cultures and offers the tourist a mix of verdant tropical backdrops, kilometre upon kilometre of rice paddies, high volcanic mountains, fine white sandy beaches lapped by crystal clear water and some of the world’s finest surf breaks and diving spots. The lure of Lombok is in its description “like Bali 30 years ago.” Little islands known as Gilis are dotted around the coast. Most have no motorised transport, providing a tranquil setting for quiet holidays “far from the madding crowd”.
However the best of Lombok is found on the south coast, miles of unspoiled beaches with secluded coves and dramatic rocky headlands. Mandalika Resorts Area in Kuta uses these spectacularly beautiful spots as the backdrop to an enchanting resort complex of global appeal. An adjacent conservation area of 3000 hectares is home to many of the indigenous species of Nusa Tenggara. A system of trails and guideposts will open the area for hiking, bicycling, and other low-impact activities.
Preparing for a night of fishing, South Lombok
The Mandalika Resort itself is a 1250 hectares development, including
All fruit should be washed, but by “safe to eat” we mean that almost no fruit in Bali is sprayed with noxious chemicals, nor is it genetically modified. Bali has such a variety of “wild” fruit that you should take advantage of the situation while here. It literally almost “falls off the trees” and as a result you will be amazed how cheap most fruit is.
If you see deciduous fruit, it is usually imported, and most imported fruit is picked when still green, so lacks that “sun-ripened” flavor. In Bali, most fruit is sold the day it is picked, not stored, unless exported.
A typical fruit in abundance right now is Dragon Fruit (hylocereus), said to originate in Mexico but now “native” to many Asian countries. Its Asian names include the Malay buah naga and pitahaya. The name ‘pitahaya’ or ‘pitaya’ is derived from Spanish.
The fruits have red or white meat with tiny black, edible pips and are great anti-oxidants. Delicious in a smoothy.
Also abundant right now is the Mangosteen (manggis) packed with essential nutrients that are needed for growth, development and overall well-being. Research has shown that this purple-skinned fruit with white segments is loaded with a class of
The most prominent landmark of the Bodrum peninsula is the Castle of St Peter. An impressive silouette, its stone walls and moat are steeped in history and it is a true marvel of architecture. Strolling along its winding interior paths and gardens and through its interior nooks and crevices gives you a sense of life back then. Standing on the coastline of Bodrum town proper, it is elegant, majestic and appears on most picture postcards of the region. Any good travel guide will always list it as the first thing to see when you arrive in the area.
The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology is located within its boundaries and it holds a wealth of treasures and artifacts from throughout history and provides excellent narratives to help you get the most of your visit.
One section puts you inside an ancient cargo ship where you truly see how it felt to navigate around the Aegean having an agenda of buying and selling the much needed commodities found aboard. The exhibit of the commodities found there give your great insight into that period and the local people’s culture. Selma is the director there and she tirelessly devotes her time to “her baby”.
view full post »