Lessons in the "PlacesToVisit" Category

Backpacking around Europe

Today, let’s talk about backpacking around Europe. It’s a popular pastime, especially among young people at this time of the year. Many like to go around Europe while they discover themselves, and whilst discovering what joys the continent offers them.

The best way to travel around Europe is by coach or train. Students can buy all sorts of different passes that are relatively inexpensive. Popular routes include Berlin to Prague, Amsterdam to Berlin, and Milan to Venice. There is also Munich to Salzburg, as well as Prague to Bratislava then onwards to Budapest. These days many low-cost airlines offer a cheap alternative to rail and coach travel around Europe.

Salsa dancing in Cuba draws in foreign tourists

It’s the weekend and in Cuba at Havana’s Las Canitas nightclub young and old burn up their energy on the dance floor. Salsa is hot in Havana. Dancers twirl to the latest salsa hits. In fact, Cubans pride themselves on their intricate, hip-swivelling moves. They can usually tell the difference between locals and foreigners simply by the way they move on the dance floor.

A Cuban woman shouts: “See, look at him. He needs to move his hips more.” Another she sees: “Wow, he’s got tremendous feeling.” Adding, “He could definitely be Cuban.” Cuba might be famous for its cigars, late 1950s American cars and Fidel Castro but it’s its salsa that tourists are keen to experience when they visit the island today.

The tropical music has over the last 15 years taken Europe by storm, with salsa clubs and dance studios in high demand, especially in Luxembourg, the UK, Germany and Japan. When it comes to travel many of these salsa students have still got salsa on their mind. Where better to head than Cuba in order to try it?

Category: Places to Visit / Cuba / Salsa

Cable car to span River Thames in London

London is to get a spectacular cable car system across the River Thames, which will ferry spectators between two of the London 2012 Olympic venues, the cities transport authority Transport for London (TfL) said recently. Gondolas will glide 300ft (91.44 meters) above the water suspended from cables anchored to giant towers, giving commuters and tourists stunning views of the city.

The scheme will connect the Greenwich Peninsula, home of the O2 Arena, to the Royal Victoria Dock on the north bank, where the ExCeL exhibition centre is. During the Olympics, the O2 Arena will host artistic gymnastics, trampoline and the basketball finals, while the ExCeL will host boxing, fencing, judo, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling.

Up to 2,500 people per hour will be able to make the 1.1km (two thirds of a mile), five-minute journey across the Thames in one of 34 gondola cabins that each will hold a maximum of 10 passengers. That is the equivalent of about 40 London buses.

Category: London / Cable Car / Olympics

A visit to Budapest!

Many people who visit Central Europe like to visit Budapest. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The mighty river Danube flows majestically north to south right through its centre. The city is rightly known as ‘The Queen of the Danube’. It is also known as the ‘City of Spas’, as there are a dozen thermal spa complexes served by over a hundred thermal springs.

Budapest was created out of the unification of the historic towns of Buda, Pest and Óbuda (old Buda) in 1873. Today the city covers an area of 200 square miles. It is home to a population of 1.8m people. Buda and Óbuda occupy about a third of the area and are situated mainly in the hills to the west, with commercial Pest on the plains to the east. There are three islands in the middle of the river Danube. They are Margaret Island, which is the most famous, Óbuda Island, and Csepel Island.

Category: Central Europe / Places to Visit / Budapest

Places to visit in England: South West England

Craggy coastlines, sweeping beaches, glorious green fields, historic houses and rolling hills make up South West England. The region is also known as the ‘West Country’. Certainly, it’s the perfect place for almost any kind of holiday.

It’s largely rural and still relatively unpopulated. Taking in the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol and the Isles of Scilly the area is steeped in legend, monuments and mystery.

Most people will probably associate Cornwall with the legend of King Arthur who was born in Tintagel on Cornwall’s northern coast. There are many legends about Camelot, the Holy Grail and King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur.

Cornwall was the last stronghold of the Celts in England and evidence of even older Neolithic communities’ remains, most famously at Stonehenge in Wiltshire. Other eras have left their monuments as well, from Salisbury’s medieval cathedral and Bath’s Roman Spas to the fossils of Dorset’s Jurassic coast.

Category: Places to Visit / England / South West England

A visit to Vienna!

Most people who visit Central Europe like to visit Vienna. Known as the ‘music city’ the city has class, culture and charm. Vienna has imperial grandeur! It is the capital city of Austria. Former capital of the Austrian Empire it then became part of the Austro Hungarian Empire. The Habsburg family ruling in Vienna and its Empire for centuries until Austria was defeated at the end of the Great War when its monarchy and Empire was broken up.

Visit the Habsburgs Imperial Palace. It is one of the largest palaces in Europe and was the seat of the Habsburg family who spent their winter months here. The famous Schőnbrunn Palace that’s located on the outskirts of the city was until 1918 the summer residence of the Habsburgs.

Category: Central Europe / Places to Visit / Vienna

Places to visit in England: East Anglia

Today let’s look at the region of East Anglia in England. The area covers the East of England and includes the counties of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex. In fact, if you want a short break, be it a weekend away, a week or more then why not try East Anglia?

It has many seaside resorts dotted all along its coastline that all have caravan parks to stay in. In Norfolk there are the delightful Victorian resorts of Hunstanton and Cromer. The former is near Sandringham where the Queen lives for part of the year. You can also visit Sandringham Gardens. Hunstanton faces west even if it’s on the east coast!

Top holiday seaside resorts include Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Southwold is very traditional. Further south are the Essex seaside resorts of Walton, Frinton, Clacton and Southend.

Category: Places to Visit / England / East Anglia

A visit to Prague

Hands up those of you that have been to Prague. I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t - such is its popularity with visiting tourists. So why do people go there?

There are undoubtedly a 101 reasons why you should visit Prague - such is its charm. For those who haven’t, it might just be worth booking a trip there. For those not exactly sure where Prague is - let me inform you that it is in the Czech Republic, which is in ‘Central Europe – The Heart of Europe!’ It is the capital city.

Without further ado let me take you on a leisurely stroll around Prague… Known as ‘the Paris of the East’ and as ‘the city of 100 steeples’, its crowded old cobblestone streets serve tourists 365 days a year. It constantly tops other top European cities to visit - like London, Paris, Budapest and Vienna.

Dozens of airlines fly to Prague, often with cheap airfares, making it a bargain place to visit. From children to old age pensioners, the city is a huge hit with all ages. Prague offers tourists so much more than people expect.

Category: Holidays / Czech Republic / Prague

J’adore Blackpool, Chuck: YouTube lures the French to the British seaside resort

British seaside resort Blackpool is hoping to attract a throng of French visitors after relaunching itself as a romantic and sophisticated holiday destination. Tourism chiefs have harnessed the power of YouTube with a new 90-second film that’s artfully shot. Its images include the town’s famous tower, trams and fairground. It features the dulcet tones of a pretty French girl Valerie in a chic Parisian style art deco cafe in Blackpool.

The mini drama, entitled ‘Blackpool - J’aime la Tour’, (I love the tower) aims to put the resort on the map as greater numbers of French tourists are predicted to visit the UK this year on the back of a strong euro. The promotional video shows the French girl’s fear of leaving Blackpool – the town she has fallen in love with. The film uses stylish flashbacks of Valerie enjoying the resorts attractions with her Lancastrian boyfriend before she orders a Lancashire hotpot* in French in a cafe in Stanley Park, Blackpool.

Category: Leisure / Holidays in UK / Blackpool

A visit to Bratislava

If you fancy visiting Central or Eastern Europe, would like a refreshing change and an interesting place to visit, then could I suggest Bratislava in Slovakia? It’s smaller than nearby Prague, Budapest or Vienna but is most certainly worth a visit, as many visitors have recently discovered.

The Slovak capital city, which is situated on both sides of the river Danube, has had its name since 1919. Previously it was known as Pressburg by the Austrians and Pozsony by the Hungarians. In fact, many Austrians and Hungarians still refer to the city using these names. It was also known as Possonium in Latin.

Today Bratislava has a population of 430,000. It is the youngest capital city in Europe. Bratislava is situated on the edge of the small Carpathian Mountains; to its west is the Austrian border; to the south is the Hungarian border.

Category: Central Europe / Slovakia / Bratislava