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Cuba - Travel Guide

Monday, September 17, 2007

- To get into the tropical atmosphere of Cuba at its fiftieth. Among the American automobiles, the smoky bars of Havana, the effect is assured.



- For its fantastic sea. Cuba offers about six thousand kilometers of splendid Caribbean coast, with beaches and cliffs for all likes.



- For the people's hospitality, not always interested as it is wanted to make you believe. The Cubans are people full of happiness and eager to leave, people who love to find the foreigner, just to exchange ideas.



- To smoke the best tobaccos in the world, made by hand with the leaves of Vuelta Abajo. You can also attend to the making of the tobacco in a factory or maybe inside of a big hotel, where there are exhibited in parties, authenticate preparations for the tobacco’s artists.



- To travel through out the town of Hemingway, a North American writer that lived in the island from the 1939 to the 1961 and where he wrote some of his romances.



GEOGRAPHICAL DATA



Located in the Caribbean Sea, Cuba, with a longitude of about 1.200 kms and a surface of 110.860 Km., is the biggest island in the biggest Antilla. It is at about 200 Km. from the island of Keys and it is close to The Mexican peninsula of Yucatan in and the island of Hispaniola. More than the main island, The Cuban Republic gathers all the isles and islands that surround it. Great part of the Cuban coast is low and sandy, with numerous bays and areas of lagoons and paludose. Its interior is of plains, interrupted by the Sierra de los Organos to the west, the Sierra del Escambray to the center and the Sierra Maestra to the east. Its population is of about 11 million inhabitants.



Time Zone: -6.0 (summer); -6.0 (winter)

Duration of the days 13.5 hours (June); minimum 11.0 hours (December)



WHEN TO GO



Period better: February, March

Good period: January, April, December

Worse Period: September, October



WEATHER



The dry station which is naturally the best period to go, begins at the end of October and finishes in April. The rains station is from April to October, but in these months precipitations, although are abundant always occurs in the half-day and for a short period.



What to take



Without doubts the bathing suit. And then summer clothes, shirts and cotton pullouvers, short and long pants. And do not forget besides, the shoes for walking in the afternoons, to take also a pair of sandals.



CULTURE/MUSEUMS



City Museum

Address: Plaza de Armas, Havana

Schedule: 9.30-18.30

Entrance is paid

One of the main museums of histoty and culture of the isle. It offers a rich exposition ofartistic testimonies bengining from the colonial period up to firts years of the republic.



Revolution Museum

Address: Palacio Presidencial, Calle Refugio, Havana

Schedule: 10-17; Saturday up to 18

Entrance is paid

All that is wanted to know about the myth of the Cuban revolution is exposed in this place, in the ex-presidential building that housed as last tenant, the dictator Batista up to 1959,documents, registrations and movies on the revolutionary epic poem.



National Museum

Address: Calle Trocadero, Havana

Schedule: 10-17; closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Entrance is paid

The exhibition is divided in several sections. The pinacoteca, with linens from Spanish, Englishmen, Danish teachers, among them stand out Velásquez, Murillo, Goya and Turner; the Egyptian old art collection, grecian and Roman, considered the most important in Latin America, the gallery dedicated to the Cuban painting from the XVII century to our days, the ceramic collection, and a space for the contemporary exhibitions.



Hemingway Museum

Address: San Francisco de Paula, San Miguel del Padrón, 12 km from Havana

Schedule: 9-16; Sundays 9-12.30

Entrance is paid

Dedicated to the enthusiasts of North American writer who lived in this building from 1939 to 1961. It was here where Hemingway wrote “Whom sound the bells for” and the “Old man and the sea”.



Music National Museum

Address: Calle Cárcel, Havana

Schedule: 9-17; Sundays 8-12; Closed on Mondays

Entrance is paid

There are exposed numerous Afro-Cuban musical instruments, besides the Fernando Ortiz anthropologist's private collection. Disks, scores and instruments are sold, also some concerts are presented in the museum saloon.



CUBAN CUISINE



The traditional cuisine in Cuba is excellente and it would be a sin to get lost looking for other inetrnational plates, proposed in other local. The Cuban culinary art is born from the encounter of the precolumbian cuisine with the African, French, Spanish, English, and the Hindu and indonesa.



The result of this is a miracle of the balance. There are fruits very often so as (mango, papaya, avocado,) mainly to accompany salted plates and to form part of the base of cocktails and drinks.It is used a lot the pig meat, lots of chicken, mainly in the inside of the country, while in the coastal restaurants are intend exquisite sea plates: fish, crustaceans cooked in several ways. The national plate is the "ajiaco" a soup with the help of potato, banana, corn, calf meat, Chicken, and dry meat.



Another typical food is the "congri", made with black beans and rice cooked all together , accompanied by "pig pork cracklings". The "fufú" is on the other hand a banana puree seasoned with "mojo", a fried lightly of oil garlic and cumin. Do not loose teh oportunity to taste the "Creole lobster" that is nothing else but a fried lobster with tomato, onions, peppers, spicy pepper and sour orange juice. Among the candies the "boniatillo", made of sweet potato and sugar and the "coquito acaramelado" also "la mala rabia" also made of sweet potato sugra cane sirope, cinnamon and sweet orange shell.



The diffused drink is the coffee, served to the American way, that is to say not few, and the rum is pure that serve as base to any prepared swig or the numerous cocktails so as Cuba Libre, the Rum punk or Piña Colada. Cuba also produces an excellent beer. The diffused national marks are the Mayabe and The Lagarto.



FUN/SHOPPING



Who doesn't know the Cuban rum and tobacco, known for everyone as best in the world? In the island there are lots of opportunities to return home with some good music, revolutionary souvenir and why not an automobile of the fifty years.



Tobaccos



The tobaccos or cigarettes are of different sizes, they are sold loose or in elegant wooden boxes. Just to see them makes yoy buy them although you are not a smoker, maybe for a beautiful gift. The prices are almost half of the prices in Italy. For example a box with three Montecristo Sigars N.4 costs at about 10 American dollars. They can be bought in the stores. At Havana in the House of 5a and 16 (5a Ave y 16). In Santiago in Casa del Tabaco (Ave. Jesus Menéndez 730). Pay attention to the conservation of the tobacco. An adequate humidity is needed for them.



Craft



Cuban craft reflex the influence of diverse cultures, mainly the African. Many objects are related with the santería, the Afro-Cuban religion diffused per excellency in the island. There can be dolls of pieces and ceramic, masks made of paper maché and wooden sculptures. Puppets of tamarind seeds are also made. Pretty hats palm feathers fibers or of knitted coconut. Baskets and bags are also made. In old Havana there is the Craft Palace (Calle Cuba 64). In Santiago in the Craft House (Cathedral Plaza).



Foods



The rum is bought obligatorily and the most famous mark is The Havana Club in several versions: Liquor, the most economic; Carta Blanca 3 years and particularly used for the cocktails. Carta Oro, 5 years, and the most refined matured during 7 years. The precise goes from 4 to 7 American dollars each bottle. For adventurers the most valuable rum in Cuba is the retained Matusalem, product from Santiago de Cuba matured during 25 years, it can be around the 15 dollars the bottle in Casa del Ron de Obispo y Bernaza in Old Havana.



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12:41 AM :: 5 comments ::

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Girl's Only Limousine Trip to Philadelphia

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How about ditching the guys for one day and have an all-girls limousine trip to Philadelphia for some fun and excitement? Make this trip an extra special one by booking a limousine, so that you and your girlfriends do not have to argue about who will be the one driving for the trip.



Start out your all-girls limousine trip with a cup of tea or coffee at a locally owned bakery such Petit 4 Pastry Studio, together with some delicately crafted muffins. Once you have had your share of breakfast at this unique bakery, get your limousine driver to take you check out Philadelphia’s oldest attractions such as the Liberty Bell.



The Liberty Bell, home of the cracked icon that started out as a symbol of the Abolitionist movement, and soon represented freedom throughout the world. Here, you and your limousine girls will be able to explore the facts and the myths surrounding the Bell. You may also want to keep your cameras handy to capture some of the dramatic and powerful views of both the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall, just a few steps away.



When you and your limousine girls are done with historical facts, how about some shopping? Have your limousine driver bring you over to the blocks of 2nd and 3rd Streets between Market and Race for some high-end galleries and boutiques. You and your limousine girls will be thrilled to know that there is no sales tax on clothing here and the wearable merchandise range from straight-from-the-runway fashions at Molletta to the Seven and James brand jeans at Charles Porter, to custom-designed handbags at Viv Pickle.



After the shopping spree, you and your limousine girls can wind down for some lunch at Cuba Libre for some Cuban cuisine. The Cuba Libre’s atmosphere is a unique combination of Latin flavor, ambience and splendor and you may even think that you are in old Havana.



When lunch is over, it is time for a visit to one of the world’s finest collections of Impressionist art, as well as some amazing collective of native African art, masks and objects from Nigeria, Gabon and the Ivory Coast, among other countries. An important thing to remember about this place though, is that it is best to call in advance for tickets.



For dinner, ask your limousine driver to take you to Gloria's Gourmet Seafood. Gloria's Gourmet Seafood is part restaurant and part nightclub and they have live performances on certain nights too. The atmosphere at Gloria's is casual, but you are advised to leave the jeans and sneakers at home.



If you and your limousine girls do not wish to stay back at Gloria's after dinner, you can also choose to party into the wee hours at a nearby nightclub – Fiso Lounge. If you happen to hang out at Fiso Lounge on a Friday, you and your limousine girls will also be able to enjoy free drinks until 11pm.



When you have had enough of dancing and drinking at Fiso's, you and your limousine girls can enjoy the ride home in the limousine, without a tinge of regret of booking it in the first place.




UsCoachwaysLimousine is a leading US-based limousine service provider with an impressive list of limousine service clients. Check out http://www.uscoachwayslimousine.com for more info.

6:12 AM :: 1 comments ::

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Shopping in New York City

Whether you’re going uptown or downtown, New York is versatile and sexy! Home to the world’s most fashionable women, the opportunities for shopping in New York City is unrivalled.



Saks 5th Avenue



This venerable New York establishment has been around since 1924 and is the epitome of grace, style and elegance. You can shop till you drop with their extensive collection of products from America and Europe. The information booth on the 50th street side offers quick tips on how to explore ten floors of pure luxury. Start at the basement where the waft of perfumes from the cosmetic counters set the scene. Then take a trip through the in-store designer boutiques namely, Chanel, Gucci & Louis Vuitton. Saks is still famous for its unique shopping experience and boasts the finest men’s department in New York, the best sales imaginable, great value and impeccable sales staff who treat everyone with genuine respect. For a look at the real ladies who lunch, take a peek at Café SFA on the 8th floor.



Bergdorf Goodman



Conservative sophistication with a twist! Bergdorf’s might have a classic air but it houses the most modern of designers, namely Jean Paul Gaultier, Chloe, and Kate Spade, also paying homage to the younger set with mid-price collections by DKNY, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Bergdorf Goodman Special Custom Collection by the Fashion Institute of Technology. Located in the elegant Vanderbilt Mansion, this store boasts resplendent views of Central Park. The handbag department is one of the best in the city, stocked right through from Prada to Chanel. Stop at the shoe department for a coveted pair of Jimmy Choo’s or if you prefer your Manolo's you’re guaranteed the latest styles. The seventh floor houses gifts and antiques, bridal services and fur collections. Watch out for end of season sales which offer great savings.



Now you can drop your shopping bags and go upstairs to one of the city’s best kept secrets. The Susan Ciminelli Day Spa atop of Bergdorf Goodman offers skin products that not only turn back the clock but also imbue your skin with a radiant glow. Susan’s products are made of the purest essential oils, the finest botanicals and natural seaweed.



De Beers



A little South African diamond in New York: De Beers opened their store amidst great fanfare, joining the ranks of Cartier, Bulgari and Tiffany&Co. At the opening of this 6000-square foot boutique, guests got to walk on Swarovski crystal and delight in de Beers’s 203-carat Millennium Star, the largest pear-shaped flawless stone in the world. 1000 visitors frequent this store daily, enjoying the plush lounge area and the fact that no sales assistants hover. Selections range from $500 to $8 million, and include classic diamond jewelry, plus three fashionable collections of rings, earrings, pins, necklaces and bracelets. There is a bridal bar on the second floor where couples can pick out their engagement rings. The “beauty scan”, technology which is unique to De Beers will provide your wife to be with a true picture of just how bright her diamond sparkles.



Prada Flagship Store



The coolest shop on earth for the coolest clothes in the universe! The collaboration between Miuccia Prada and Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas turns shopping into a theatrical experience with screens and media installations. 23 000 square feet of retail space at a cost of $40 million, offers you a more imaginative shopping experience than the usual stores. First stop is an interactive kiosk where you can find out all sorts of facts about Prada. There is a massive glass elevator that you can shop in, and plasma boxes flash images and information at you while try on impeccable designs. The whole design space looks like a giant wave and there are retractable display cages for merchandise. Computer-equipped dressing rooms have glass doors made with SGG’s Priva-Lite technology, which enable a two-way mirror experience. While you are trying on you can watch what’s going on outside. This is exactly the kind of space you would expect from someone charging $600 for a pair of shoes.



Butik



Danish supermodel Helena Christianson has opened her own signature store with Danish partner, Leif Sigersen. Butick, the Danish version of boutique, houses a heady mix of eighteenth century antiques set off with black roses, marvelous organic chocolates and Matthew Williamson candles. This quirky mix of vintage and modern is sourced mainly from Scandinavia and Paris. You’ll find Norgaard Paa Stroget’s striped maritime T-shirts, and one-off retro-print skirts by Rutzou. Camilla Staerk’s understated footwear, handbags by Ricka, and Veronica Civa’s jewelry. This shop is worthy of exploration and chances are you’ll bump into someone famous. Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and Russian model sensation, Natalia Vodianova are regulars. Butik is a stone’s throw away from Nicole Fahri’s boutique, 202.



Barneys



All style gurus’ know that Barneys is a celebrity hangout as it has the hottest fashion, delivered fresh from seasonal shows. This is New York’s fashion capital when it comes to department stores, so come on in all you fashionistas. From fur and mile-high stilettos to the latest in jewelry and handbags by designers like Fendi and Hermes, this store has it all – women’s, men’s and children’s clothing with accessories, fragrances, shoes, cosmetics and tableware. Make use of their concierge services, personal shopping and services studio. Pamper yourself at the image studio with your own makeup artist and indulge your every delight at the resident spa. shopping in New York City couldn’t be finer!




New York City is truly a shopper's paradise and at New York Journey we provide an up-to-date directory of where to go and how to get there. All the information you need to know before you embark on a New York travel experience.

6:10 AM :: 3 comments ::

janangel :: permalink


Air Travel Timesaving Tips To Speed Your Trip

Before ariving at the Airport:



. Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry, and accessories that contain metal. Metal items may set off the alarm on the metal detector.



. Instead, place jewelry and other metal items, including the contents of your pockets, in your carry-on baggage until you clear security. Mobile phones, pagers, keys, lighters, and loose change are examples of items containing metal.



. Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your Carry-on baggage. Checked baggage screening will damage undeveloped film.



. Check ahead of time with your airline or travel agent to determine the airline's baggage policy, including number of pieces you can bring and the size and weight limitations.



. Carry-on baggage is generally limited to one carry-on bag plus one personal item. Personal items include laptops, purses, small backpacks, briefcases, or camera cases. Remember, 1+1.



. The limit of one carry-on and one personal item (purse, briefcase or computer case) does not apply to medical supplies, equipment, mobility aids and/or assistive devices by a person with a disability.



. Place identification tags with your name, address and your phone number on all your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well.



. Pack your outer coat or jacket in your baggage when possible.



. Do NOT pack or bring prohibited items to the airport. Visit http://www.tsa.dot.gov for a complete list.



. Leave gifts unwrapped. Be aware that wrapped gifts may need to be opened for inspection. This applies to both carry-on and checked baggage.



. Avoid overpacking so that your articles don't spill out if your bag is opened for inspection.



. Think carefully about the personal items you place in your carry-on baggage. The screeners may have to open your bag and examine its contents.



. Consider placing articles in clear plastic bags inside your baggage to minimize handing of your personal items.



. If you have a medical implant or other device that is likely to set off the alarm on the metal detector, bring evidence verifying this condition. Although this is not a requirement, it may help expedite the screening process.



. Check with your airline or travel agent to determine how early to arrive at the airport. Ask if you should go to the ticket counter or checked-baggage screening area first. Not all airports are the same.



. Check with your airport to confirm which parking lots are open if you will be parking at the airport. Some lots may be closed for security reasons. Be sure to allow extra time for parking and shuttle transportation.



. Bring a boarding pass, ticket, or ticket confirmation, such as a printed itinerary and a government-issued photo ID. Children under the age of 18 do not require an ID.



. Double check your carry-on baggage to make sure you have removed prohibited items such as pocketknives, scissors, and tools.



. If you do not have checked baggage and you already have a boarding pass, ticket or ticket confirmation, you can proceed directly to your gate through the security checkpoint. Please note that certain airlines do not offer gate check-in.



AT the Airport:



. Do NOT bring drinks or other liquids to the security checkpoint unless they are in paper or polystyrene (e.g. Styrofoam™), sealed or seal-able/spill-proof containers.



. Do NOT bring food to the security checkpoint unless it is wrapped or in a container. Unpeeled natural foods like fruit are ok.



. Put metal IN your carry-on bag, this includes jewelry, loose change, keys, mobile phone, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDAs).



. Take OUT your laptop computer. Place it in a bin, separate from its carry case.



. Take OFF your outer coat. Place it in a bin. Suit jackets and blazers do not have to be removed, unless requested by the screener.




Gerald Crawford was born in South Africa, studied electronics, telecommunication, eco-travel and african travel concepts. He taught responsible tourism in South Africa. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me on. E-mail Address: southafricantravelarticles@12234455.co.za Website Address: www.12234455.co.za

6:09 AM :: 2 comments ::

janangel :: permalink


The Names Behind Cigars

If you're an avid cigar smoker, chances are you have pondered the question on the minds of many: what would I call my cigar line if I suddenly found myself rolling tobacco? Some of you might name it after your mom, others may name it after a childhood pet, calling it something like Smokey. Some of you may name it after a specific region, and others may simply love it, hug it, and name it George.



Those who do roll their own tobacco ponder this very same question; they often find their answers in a plethora of places. Attesting to the variety and individuality each line of cigars possess, the names maintain a similar sense of originality. The following is a list of some of the names of cigars on the market and the reasons for their declaration.



Romeo Y Juliet - Most of us know the story of Romeo and Juliet, the tale of two ill-fated people trapped between the conflict of dueling families. Known as one of the most stunning love stories of all time, William Shakespeare’s portrayal of two innocent lovers put Romeo and Juliet on the map, making them representative of both a true love lost and the problem with communication between those who are dating. As cigars, Romeo and Juliet fair much better; the tragedy lies in not smoking them.



William Penn- Born in 1644, William Penn founded the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a colony in North America that became the state of Pennsylvania. Overseeing the affairs of the Commonwealth, Penn became influential to the US Constitution. A bit overzealous, Penn also composed and published The United States of Europe, a plan to unify Europe in American fashion. William Penn was particularly notable because, in a time of oppression, he treated Native Americans with the respect they deserved. In fact, he often served as a mediator whenever a dispute came about.



Winston Churchill - The name Churchill has become so synonymous with the word cigars that some people may forget Winston Churchill was actually a statesman, an orator, and a Prime Minister. However, a cigar smoker first a prime minister and all the rest second, there are very few men in history who were as enthusiastic about cigars as Winston. His insistence on rarely being photographed without a cigar in hand led one London cartoonist to dub him “Cigarface.”



Henry Clay - An American politician and the founder of the Whig Party, Henry Clay served in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Elemental in fighting for modernization and economic development, Henry Clay was also known as The Great Compromiser for his ability to remain clam and composed when facing issues of extreme duress. In his personal life, Henry Clay was a seeker of pleasantries and a gambler, having twice fought in a duel. It was probably his taste of the good life, as well as the fact that he represented a state where tobacco was grown, that led to a cigar line being rolled in his name



Monte Cristo - This cigar brand was named for The Count of Monte Cristo, a novel written by Alexandre Dumas. Legend states that this novel was very well liked among cigar rollers; it was often read aloud in the factories while the rollers worked. Considered to be one of Dumas’ best books, The Counte of Monte Cristo involves the supposedly true tale of a man imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit; he was framed by four jealous friends. While in prison, he was befriended by a dying man and told of the location of a treasure. After his release, this man found the treasure, adopted a new identity and began plotting his revenge.



Mike Ditka - Da, cigars! The Mike Ditka cigar line is named for, who else, Mike Ditka. Born in 1939, Ditka made a name for himself as a player, a coach, and a television commentator. He’s best known as coach of the Chicago Bears and remains one of only two people to have won a Super Bowl as a player, an assistant coach, and a head coach. Mike Ditka cigars contain a cigar band that is a duplication of the 1985 Super Bowl ring. The cigars, like the man they are named for, contain a bit of bite.



Don Juan - As legend states, Don Juan was a man who courted a girl of noble blood, killing her father when he interfered. Much later, when Don Juan saw a statue of the man he had killed, he irreverently invited it to come over to dine. The statue gladly accepted and the ghost of the murdered man arrived for dinner (don’t you hate when that happens?). As this ghost shook Don Juan’s hand, Don Juan was dragged into Hell.



Simon Bolivar - Often credited with liberating Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, and Bolivia, Simon Bolivar is one of the most renown figures in South American history. Having freed these countries from Spanish rule, he is known as The Liberator. Seventy-one years after his death, in 1901, the Roche Company in Havana honored him by placing his name on their cigar brand.



Having a cigar named after you is a huge honor; few people have the ability to look in a cloud of cigar smoke and see their reflection. Whether a brand is named for a historical figure or a figure of literary merit, the names behind each brand of cigars all serve a purpose, and they all tell a story, forever perpetuating the unique culture that only the luxury of tobacco can possess.




Jennifer Jordan is an editor and staff writer for http://www.whatsknottolove.com. At home in a design firm in Denver, Colorado, she writes articles specific to the finer things in life.

6:07 AM :: 1 comments ::

janangel :: permalink


Dubai Marina - The Heart Of UAE

Providing dubai with an adequate amount of living and working space has always remained to be one of the prime concerns for its planners. But, with very little possibility being left out for growing horizontally, the developers have had no other choice but to go looking forward to achieving some vertical enhancements. This means building up more and more number of towers in the areas already being dug up and under construction. Providing more accommodation in the form of dubai marina was the next move they could have thought of, and what a brilliant idea it has proved to be until now. There is no better way than to start building houses on the seabed anyway, to meet up with the man's growing desire for accommodation.



The marina, called initially Westside, looks set to become one of the main tourism attractions for the travellers in the years to follow. dubai hotels have also started moving in with their assets having got the wind of its rising value. Notwithstanding the current record for being the biggest man-made marina in the name of marina Del Rey in Los Angeles, dubai's marina promises to become a more exciting prospect for the trade and commerce and the travellers on its completion.



Having started taking shape since the year 1998, the plans remain no more a secret for the outside world by today. It will be providing with an extra amount of 53 million square feet for dubai's needs by the time it fully gets running. The project involves carving out of 2 miles of dubai's shoreline for making various constructions, including featuring canals just like in Venice. With the aims like building up high-end villas and apartments for about 120,000 people, the dubai marina development looks set to become one of the best in man's history until today.



The first phase of the dubai marina development, comprising of 25 acres, lasted from the year 1999 to 2003 and cost $200 million in amounts. Six freehold waterfront apartment towers and 64 villas, all having rooftop gardens were constructed during this initial development. Since the foreign nationals were allowed to own these villas and apartments, it was a great opportunity for all those who had a desire for owning houses in dubai. The very thought of marina living is such an exciting prospect, specially for those with a high-end purchasing power, that these properties have been selling like hot cakes. The development of phase one also included the construction of parking space for 2000 cars, sports facilities, 6 swimming pools, themed restaurants, a prayer hall, and a space for retail outlets. All of this was planned and constructed just to see through the initial phase.



The entire zone of dubai marina is also called as the Heart of New dubai because of its strategic location within the fast growing areas of the city. The intention behind its development was to create a small-scale city within dubai with an enviable infrastructure. It is precisely situated on Interchange 5, between Jebel Ali Port and dubai Internet City, dubai Media City, and the American University, thus providing the perfect location for getting on with dubai's life.



This man-made marina is being developed by the real estate giant of UAE, Emaar Properties, and will have 200 buildings, including skyscrapers, marina Torch, dubai marina Towers, Number One dubai, Princess Tower, Infinity Tower, marina Terrace, Horizon Tower, and Le Reve, besides providing a strategic access to many hotel owners.



An ambitious project within dubai marina will be marina 101, which is expected to measure up to 412 meters in height on its completion. It will provide 1.5 million square feet of living and working space to the occupiers of its 101 planned floors. This building is part of Sheffield Real Estate, a global real estate giant, widely known for their freehold property developments. The amount of space to be generated by this building will be unparalleled anywhere in or outside dubai. Additionally, the very outlook of marina 101 is going to be fabulous, with the outer layer being constructed of glass and the summit to be made to look like as a glowing crown. The tower is expected to be available by the year 2010.



There is no argument about the excitement dubai marina holds and the commerce it might generate. What remains to be seen however, is how long will it remain the prime location of UAE, since dubai is well known for dishing out similar landmarks on a regular interval.




Pinks Johnes is an India based freelance writer who often writes on behalf of DubaiFurnishedApartments.com Have a look on this site to learn about Dubai accommodation and furnished apartments, and also to have them compared with what Dubai hotels might offer you.

6:06 AM :: 1 comments ::

janangel :: permalink


South African Travel Tips When Visiting The North West Province

The North West province is a diverse mix of wildlife reserves, cultural and heritage sites, archaeological treasures and entertainment resorts, such as the world-renowed pleasure spots of Sun City, its Lost City and Valley of the Waves, make this province attractive to the local and international tourist.



However, even though the combination of five-star casino resorts and the bush experience, as provided by the Pilanesberg National Park, is a winner, the province's other attractions are culturally rich and of great importance. Sites and routes such as the Taung Archaeological site, where it was believed Darwin's missing link was found, and the Crocodile River Ramble, exploring local arts and crafts along the way, are noteworthy.



Sport and outdoor enthusiasts will feel at home in these natural surroundings that cater for activities ranging from water-skiing to mountain-climbing, with the town of mafikeng well-known for providing some of the best gliding conditions in the world.



CLIMATE:



The North West province experiences warm to hot summers and cold to very cold winters. This province offers almost year-round sunshine meaning visitors will spend very few days indoors. The province enjoys a summer rainfall, which normally sees thunderstorms occurring in the late afternoon. Rain falls mainly between December and March, however the more west one travels the drier it becomes.



SHOPPING:



Shopping malls, antique shops, craft markets, art galleries as well as roadside vendors and stalls are plentiful throughout the province. Not-to-be-missed is the enjoyable Crocodile River Ramble shopping route. Good buys include fruit, biltong, home-made jams and preserves, mampoer (locally distilled liquor), local arts and crafts, ethnic clothing and fabrics.



TOP TEN ATTRACTIONS:



Sun City:



The complex boasts two world-famous golf courses, which annually host the Nedbank 2-million golf challenge, one of the richest invitational tournaments in the world. There is a full casino at the resort, revue theatres and restaurants for every taste. The Valley of the Waves is an inland sea enjoyed by all water and beach enthusiasts. Different tours can be taken including visits to the new cultural village and the botanical gardens.



Pilanesberg National Park:



Known as "Jewel of the North West" This unusual reserve, the fourth largest in South Africa, is set high in the Pilanesberg range and traverses the floor of a long-extinct volcano. The reserve is home to all the main African game species including The Big Five. For the more adventurous, hot-air balloon safaris can be arranged.



mafikeng:



"The place of boulders", mafikeng offers numerous sporting facilities including two golf courses. There is a major conference centre, complemented by two excellent hotels and a casino. The town hosted the 2001 International Gliding Championships from its modern airport. Gliding conditions around mafikeng are regarded as among the best in the world. A short distance from the town is the mafikeng Game Reserve, well known as a breeding centre for rhino and other plains species.



Taung Archaeological Site:



"The place of the lion", this is the location of the world-famous Taung archaeological site at the Buxton limestone quarry where, in 1924 the lime-encrusted skull of a child was discovered and later named Australopithecus africanus by the scientist, Dr Raymond Dart. The prehistoric skull - half man, half ape, is said to have provided the missing link in Darwin's theory of evolution.



Bloemhof dam Nature Reserve:



Ideal stopover to enjoy a drive through Bloemhof dam Nature Reserve which has a variety of small and large antelope species and 256 bird species, with the option of staying over to take in some angling for carp and barbel on either the Bloemhof dam or the Vaal River. Bloemhof dam caters for water sports enthusiasts and is one of the prime angling destinations in South Africa hosting a number of major local and international angling competitions.



Potchefstroom:



The oldest town in South Africa, Potchefstroom was also the republic's first capital. Attractions include the Potchefstroom Museum (in the house of the first president), The Old Fort and Museum, Totius House Museum, Andrew Carnegie Library and City Hall, Goetz Fleischack Museum, North West Command and Oak Avenue.



Rustenburg:



Platinum mining town of Rustenburg where huge deposits of this valuable mineral are mined. Rustenburg has its own Nature Reserve, which protects a large herd of the rare sable antelope. Visitors are allowed to hike in the park.



Hartbeesport dam:



The Hartbeesport dam nestles in the shadow of the Magaliesberg and is popular for fishing, boating, water-skiing and yachting. There is a mine, zoo and a couple of small holiday villages, including the attractive kosmos flowers around the dam.



Magaliesberg:



For local arts and crafts, a driving route which begins in Johannesburg and extends to the Magaliesberg area takes in the homes or shops of a host of artists, potters and craftspeople, known as the Crocodile River Ramble. There are a number of pleasant accommodation options and camping spots in the Magaliesberg area.



Mampoer Route:



Well known for the quality of its mampoer, a powerful home-brew made from fruit such as peaches and apricots. The Mampoer Route is about 60km long and introduces visitors to the secrets of the distilling process and also includes a visit to a trout breeding farm and a game farm.




Gerald Crawford was born in South Africa, studied electronics, telecommunication, eco-travel and african travel concepts. He taught responsible tourism in South Africa. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me on. E-mail Address: southafricantravelarticles@12234455.co.za Website Address: http://www.12234455.co.za

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How to Find Cheap Travel

student travel has come a long way in the past few decades. It is no longer considered a rarity. Gap years, student electives abroad and cheap summer holidays in distant places, have become part of the generally life-enriching experience that is now considered synonymous with the student status. (Frost F et al., 1999)



The current financial climate, with many students having to rely on student loans, parental support, holiday jobs or personal savings for their financial fluidity, largely dictates and limits just what can be achieved in this regard and there are a number of ploys and strategies that are commonly used to make the money go further or, to look at it another way, to allow the same money let the student go further! (Reisinger Y et al., 2004)



We can start by taking an overview of the situation and dividing up the travel costs into those that are necessary to arrive at a destination and those that are necessarily incurred to move around once the student has arrived.



Generally speaking, the preferred way to travel is by flying. It is often the quickest way to travel long distances and in these days of competitive pricing strategies, many of the no-frills and budget airlines are offering very cheap flights across mainland Europe. The unwary student should note that the eye-catching prices quoted are invariably exclusive of taxes and fuel surcharges which can add between £30-£200 onto the quoted cost (depending on destination and distance).



As a general rule, the cheaper the flight, the greater the sacrifice of both flexibility and conditions. A flight that arrives or leaves in the early hours of the morning, does not supply food, has minimal in-flight entertainment and a strict baggage allowance, is clearly going to cost less than one that has additional amenities. A word of caution also for these flights as there are generally strict terms and conditions, limited changeability and minimal prospect of refund if there’s a problem.



Cheap flights are at the other end of the spectrum from cheap holidays. With holidays the greatest savings are made by those who are willing to book at the last minute. With flights, the converse is true. As flights get booked up, the prices tend to rise. (Bernstein J et al., 1999)



Two of the most commonly used mechanisms for obtaining cheap flights are flight-brokers and screen scrapers. The flight brokers make their money by selling you a flight that gives them a commission. There is therefore a balance between the amount of commission that an airline pays them to fill their seats and the requirements of the student. The screen scrapers are web-based tools such as travelSupermarket, travelJungle, and SkyScanner. You effectively enter your requirements and these sites send the details to dozens of airlines (and some brokers) and display their findings with the cheapest first. (Sheth A et al., 2002)



There are variations on this process with sites like Expedia and travelocity specialising in long-haul flights and Expedia and Opodo allowing flights to one airport then leaving from another. flights Direct will specifically examine the charter market for occasional bargains.



If you intend to fly on certain dates a few months in the future, it is well worth signing up to the e-mail lists of the appropriate airlines. They will send out details of short-term sales so that you can snap them up at the right moment if they come up. British Airways, Opodo, American Airlines and KLM are particularly good for this type of approach.



Once at the destination, the student has to consider the best way of travelling around. Rather like the airlines, one pays for convenience, accessibility and comfort – the cheapest forms of travel generally being the slowest and least luxurious. It is clearly impossible to generalise throughout the world, but hitch-hiking, which might have once been considered the cheapest way to travel, has a distinct risk element of personal safety and clearly is inappropriate for the lone female traveller. Many of the commercially available insurance policies specifically forbid such practices. (Cullinane S, 2002)



Public transport is often the most reliable of the cheaper options. Either the local busses, the long-haul coaches or the train services being generally safe and reliable. Many of the more developed countries offer student travel cards (or a variant) to reduce the costs of repeated journeys and some bus companies (Australia travel being a notable example) will sell an open ticket between two specified destinations which can be used with different segments of the journey being undertaken over a period of several weeks.



There are other considerations relating to travel such as how best to deal with money. The time-honoured way of carrying travellers cheques may no longer be popular, with many students electing for the convenience of “plastic” money and credit cards. One should note that Mastercard will generally convert foreign exchange transactions at about the best commercially available rate, but will then add about 2.75%. This does vary between cards and therefore should be individually checked. Overseas cash withdrawals are also usually subject to a 2% additional fee (minimum charge £2) on both credit and debit cards. In addition to all of this, some credit card companies will also add a transaction fee on foreign transactions. (Halifax is currently the worst, levying £1.75 on each transaction.) For the student, the Post Office or Nationwide credit cards appear to be the best option. They have no levy on overseas purchases but they do charge interest on all cash withdrawals.



As with all travel, insurance is not essential, but only the most foolhardy student would travel without it. The annual multi-trip insurance is seldom competitive except for the USA where it may work out cheaper than individual trip cover(mainly because of the medical expense element applicable to the USA). Most will require you to be staying at pre-booked venues which may not be appropriate for the student traveller.



Decide what coveryou need, what excess you need (the first part of each claim that you have to pay yourself) and then shop around. The classic insurance selling line is “why not upgrade to our platinum policy, with £30 million worth of medical coveretc.” In real terms, the chances of you ever needing more than £2 million of medical coveror repatriation to the UK is virtually negligible and therefore perhaps best avoided. A good plan is to include a personal liability coverof £1 million and also coverfor “cancellations and curtailments” together with coverfor lost or delayed baggage and cash.



You should note that Europe-only coveris cheaper than further afield and therefore only select wider coverif it is appropriate. Lastly, ensure that the company you are dealing with is covered by FSA regulated underwriters.



Bear in mind also that the new EHIC card (free from www.dh.gov.uk/travellers) will provide free or discounted health care costs in the EU, but does not coverany repatriation costs.



Useful sites for comparisons and costs are travel-Insurance-Web for Europe-only travel and Insure For for world-wide travel.



References



Judith Bernstein, Susan C. Awe (1999) “Wired travellers : travel and tourism”, Reference Services Review ISSN: 0090-7324 Dec 1999 Vol 27 (4) 364 - 375



Cullinane S (2002) “The relationship between car ownership and public transport provision: a case study of Hong Kong” Transport policy Vol 9, (1), January 2002, pp. 29-39(11)



Frost F, T Shanka (1999) “Asian Australian student travel preferences: An empirical study”, Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 1999



REISINGER Y, F MAVONDO (2004) “Determinants of youth travel market’s perceptions of tourism destinations” Page 1. Tourism Analysis, Vol. 7 pp. 55–66 1083-5423/02 2004



Sheth, A. Bertram, C. Avant, D. Hammond, B. Kochut, K. Warke, Y. (2002) “Managing semantic content for the Web”, Internet Computing IEEE Jul/Aug 2002 Vol: 6, (4) 80- 87




This article was written by Verena Veneeva professional writer working for http://www.coursework4you.co.uk
You are free to reprint this article; however should you do so you must place a hyperlink to Papers4you

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Historic Monaco Grand Prix - Grand Prix de Monaco Historique

The first Monaco Grand prix was held in 1929 and it is now an important part of the formula one calendar. The race covers many of the streets Principality of Monaco.



It is probably one of the most spectacular on the formula one season being set a few metres from the Mediterranean Sea and at the foothills of the Alps. It is also very expensive and restaurant and hotel prices are adjusted accordingly for the long weekend event that is normally held in May. This is the same time as the Cannes Film Festival.



In 1997 the first Historic Monaco Grand prix (Grand prix de Monaco Historique) was held. The idea was to hold the race the week before the main formula one event on the same circuit, particularly as all the infrastructure is in place.



It was then held in 2000 and since then every two years in May. Unlike the formula one event that is 78 laps the races are only 10 to 15 laps depending on the category of cars racing. The event that is organised by the Automobile Club de Monaco is held over Saturday and Sunday with qualifying on the Saturday. cars that are racing date back to pre- 1947, but there cannot be any post 1978 cars.



The day will attract many visitors who will also go to the annual “Goodwood" Revival meeting in England in September. Unlike the formula one race the tickets are not expensive (about 10% of the cost – Approximately 15 euros) and restaurant prices are still normal unlike when the formula one event is on. You can have a most enjoyable day's entertainment.



If you are visiting Monaco for the day, as many of the roads are closed off, parking can be very difficult. An excellent alternative to trying to come in by car is to take a train. There is a great service running along the coast from Ventimigla in Italy (plus Italian connections) on one side to Marseille on the other.



The noise from the track is not so loud as it would be for a modern formula one race, unless they hold a parade of Ferraris as they did in 2004 and many of these were formula one models. There is plenty of atmosphere to absorb including people watching the race from the yachts in the harbour or just people watching!



The Historic Grand prix meeting is not over expensive to organise, as the stands, safety barriers, and the other essential infrastructure parts are already in place for the following week's F1 World Championship Grand prix. Because many of the races are for cars from an age when drivers could be seen at work.



Today's F1 cars have high cockpit surrounds so it's difficult to see anything except the driver's head/safety helmet - with the cars in the Historic Grand prix you can enjoy watching these racers with arms steering their beasts, often on opposite lock as they defy physics whilst treading that invisible line between total control and spinning off into the barriers.



Of course, it's only the bravest and most talented who drive these beasts at 10/10ths - some others are content to lap the circuit much more sedately, not wishing to take huge risks with their irreplaceable historic cars. But the heroes and heroines are those that have their cars sliding on the edge and giving spectators images that will last forever. 2006



The 5th Historic Grand prix was no exception. Memorable. It took place on Sunday 21st May 2006, with practice sessions on Saturday 20th May.



The day's racing included a 10 lap event for sports cars built before 1953. In 1952, the Monaco event had been run for sports cars, as this was a period in F1 when the regulations were being changed from one engine to another and there was not an abundance of single-seater racing cars. How different to 1974, when 32 cars vied for 25 places on the grid..... The 2006 sports-car race featured cars that had competed in the '52 event or were competing in similar races at that time.



Amongst a gaggle of well driven 3.4 litre Jaguar C types, a brace of Ferrari 2-litre spyders, an Aston Martin DB3, a magnificent Gordini and two pre-2nd World War BMWs were a trio of Frazer-Nash cars. Much less powerful than many of the other runners, one of them, in the masterly hands of John Ure, dominated the event in early 2000 Schumacher style. Every lap, right on the limit, every lap like poetry in motion. That's why so many enthusiasts show up from around Europe and beyond.



Martin Stretton, in one of two 6-wheel Tyrrell-Cosworth 'bolides' in the 1975-78, was another on the edge throughout the penultimate race, perhaps the most exciting event of the day. Stretton, who prepares historic cars for a living, certainly knows how to make 'em slither and slide but somehow manages to keep them out of the barriers. He is the only driver to have won here at each Historic meeting to date.



Another sparkler, American Duncan Dayton came away from the meeting with two fine victories, one in the beautiful 1959 Lotus 16 and another in a 1970 Brabham. In both races he and his great rival, Spaniard Joaquin Folch, locked horns for the umpteenth time. Folch, a previous multi-winner here, had to settle for 2nd in one event and retired early in the other, mechanical gremlins spoiling what should have been a battle royal between the two Lotus 16 matadors.



Further information about Monaco: It is located on the Mediterranean Sea, tucked into the Maritimes Alps, it is only minutes from Nice International Airport ( bus, train and helicopter connections) and the French and Italian Rivieras. It has a population of 32,020 and is 2 sq km in size. The currency is the euro as in the neighbouring countries. Most of the people who dwell here come from somewhere else, drawn by the sun, glamorous lifestyle and – most importantly – tax-free income and more police per head of population than in any other European country.



If you are in the area for the Historic Grand prix or the formula one Grand prix and are staying for a few days an enjoyable pastime is a visit to the annual Cannes Film Festival. Like in Monaco if you enjoy watching people, there are certainly plenty to watch at Cannes.




Philip Suter is a Director of jml Property Services; http://www.jmlproperty.co.uk a UK based company offering Insurance products on line at http://www.jml-property-insurance.co.uk and a holiday home advertising service http://www.jmlvillas.com and management training within the UK. He a travel writer and is a very experienced property consultant with over 30 years work in the Residential letting business in the UK and served on the National Council of ARLA. He is a Fellow of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and a Member of The association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)

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“Are We There Yet"? Eight Sanity Saving Holiday Travel Tips

COME FLY WITH ME



1. Morning routes are best for avoiding delays. Booking an early flight rather than a later one gives you more options in the event you are bumped; you’ll have a better chance of getting on another flight the same day. Flying direct is best but, if a connection is necessary, try to fly through a southern hub like Dallas, Charlotte, or Phoenix, where you can at least eliminate weather as a problem. PS: check out secondary airports, which are offering more flights and expanded, improved services.



2. Luggage regulations differ from airline to airline, but you can generally check two bags weighing less than 50 pounds each for free on domestic flights. check with your airline as these rules are subject to change. Try to ship gifts ahead of time but, if bringing presents on your flight, don't wrap them; they might be examined by security. Keep expensive or fragile items in your carry-on to cut down on the chances they'll be damaged or stolen. PS: Completely avoid baggage hassles by shipping everything ahead of time. Try sportsexpress.com, skycapinternational.com, or virtualbellhop.com.



3. check out check-in procedures. Many airlines' websites make it possible for passengers to print out boarding passes at home. Use a curbside skycap if you’re checking luggage; some airlines let them issue boarding passes as well. Inside the terminal, look for a self-service check-in kiosk, where you can quickly get your boarding pass and sometimes check your luggage.



4. Try to use public transportation, as airport parking lots get filled quickly around the holidays. If you must drive, consider a private parking lot near the airport, which will shuttle you to and from the terminal. Find, compare, and reserve airport parking at major US airports at carparknet.com, airportparkingreservations.com, airportdiscountparking.com, and parkingaccess.com. PS: If you live far from an airport and have an early flight, you might want to stay at an airport hotel the night before; some allow you to park your car at the hotel until you return (parksleepfly.com).



5. No matter how well prepared it’s probably inevitable you’ll be stuck in an airport. So check out The Travel Detective: flight Crew Confidential by Peter Greenberg. It lists pilot and flight-attendant picks for the best stores and services in major airports and cities around the world.



HIT THE ROAD, JACK



6. The AAA recommends mapping your route in advance using an online mapping tool. Gas up, buckle up, and get a full night's rest before you set off. PS: Limit yourself to an eight hour driving day; take a break every two hours or 100 miles.



7. Prepare a road survival kit for each kid: books, crayons, coloring books, magnetic puzzles, etc. If your hearing can take it, consider All-American Car-i-oke, a book and CD that create the karaoke experience in the car. PS: check out travelforkids.com and momsminivan.com.



8. Renting a car? Confirm your reservation. Car-rental outfits figure on a no-show rate of 20 percent, so calling to confirm before you arrive lets them know you won't be among that 20. Try to arrive at the rental counter in late morning or early afternoon. PS: Inquire ahead of time about express check-in programs so you can skip any lines.



Don’t forget Spot and Fido! Whether traveling by plane or car, be sure your pet is properly identified with a current tag or microchip. For advice on air travel with pets go to www.aspca.org and click on Pet Care. If your four legged friends aren’t going, plan ahead and make sure they get the best care while you’re gone.




Rosemary Chieppo has been a professional organizer, writer and public speaker since 1999. The costs of not being organized are enormous: time, money and stress. Organizing is the greatest gift people can give themselves; it clears the path to life’s more important destinations! Visit Rosemary's website at http://www.borntoorganize.com

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