Today let’s talk about summer. For some, it’s the best time of year. For schoolchildren, summer is the time of long school holidays. It’s also when many families go on their summer holidays.
Summer in the Northern Hemisphere in Europe is the season after spring and before autumn. The summer solstice on June 21 is the traditional date of summer starting. June 21 has the longest day and the shortest night. Druids like to meet at Stonehenge in Southwest England on this day.
Summer is traditionally June, July and August. It is when the weather in Europe is normally at its best. It is hot and sunny.
Recently travel website Lonely Planet revealed the top 500 places to visit. The list, compiled by travel experts and writers, includes the world’s top sights. Today though, I thought we’d focus on some of the more unusual and alternative places to visit in the world. Surprisingly there are quite a few of them to consider visiting.
What about a visit to Silfra in Iceland? Here, divers can see where two continents meet. Alternatively there is Jellyfish Lake in Palau. You can actually swim with millions of huge jellyfish. In the Cayman Islands there is Stingray City. This place is a haven for tourists wanting to get up close to the many different types of Stingray.
Recently travel website Lonely Planet revealed the top places every traveller should visit before they die. The list, compiled by travel experts and writers, includes the world’s top sights, such as the Grand Canyon and Iguazu Falls. A ‘Top 500’ list was created. Today, we’ll focus on a few of them. Ultimately, we’ll create our own definitive bucket list of places to visit.
Topping the Lonely Planet list were the stunning Temples of Angkor in Cambodia. The Great Barrier Reef off Australia came second. In third place was Machu Picchu in Peru. In fourth position was the Great Wall of China in China.
I love London! - That’s what the T-shirt says in the souvenir shop in Oxford Street. It’s what the tourists like to buy when they visit London.
People from all around the world love to visit London. It’s a great city. Many like to go on a red double decker bus or ride in a black London taxi. Others use the London Underground.
Category: Tourism / London / Places to Visit
Skiers in Western Austria recently got a bit too much snow for their liking. It was reported that more than 15,000 tourists were stuck in various ski resorts after too much of the white fluffy stuff fell last week. Dozens were reported to have been airlifted out of ski resorts by helicopters after roads became blocked by 5m of snow - though the cost was around £1,800 (€2,017) per person.
On Saturday an Austrian army military helicopter was brought in to pick up 52 people who had been stranded at a mountain refuge in Vorarlberg. Skiers had been unable to make the descent from the Lindauer Huette refuge, which is 1,744m (5,720 ft) above sea level, by any other means because of the avalanche risk.
The snow has caused chaos on the roads and railways. Villages and some tourist resorts have been cut off. The most heavily hit areas were Austria’s western Tirol and Vorarlberg regions that received 1-2 meters of snow (3-7ft) of snow in just four days.
Category: Tourism / Skiing Holidays / Austria
A tent that looks like a VW Camper Van is set to be a hit at camping sites and music festivals this summer. The life size replica of the original VW Camper Van has been officially licensed by the German car manufacturer for the first time. The pop up tents each contain two zip-separated double sized rooms and provides enough sleeping space for four to five people.
The tent, which is available in red, blue or yellow cost £299.99 (€340), which is a tad cheaper than the real VW Camper Van that can still sell for up to £25,000 (€28,000). It measures 398cm long, 187cm high and 155cm deep, so it’s easy for most people to stand up in. The fabric roof and sides have a high waterproofing rating, ensuring it will provide an effective shelter if the summer festival season is a washout.
Category: VW Camper Vans / Tents / Camping
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 Czech travel agency has come up with a novel idea for a holiday. It is offering holidaymakers “retro” holidays where punters are given the opportunity to turn back the clock and re-live the past. These ‘communist’ holidays are package holidays for people nostalgic for the trade union perks of communist Czechoslovakia, when factory workers were bussed off to recuperate from the daily grind.
For a modest sum guests can stay at a grim-looking hotel in Slovakia’s Tatra Mountains, to relive the sights, sounds and smells of pre 1989 holidays the BBC recently reported. These ‘retro’ holidays are being offered in the style of the workers’ breaks that used to be organised by the Communist Revolutionary Trade Union Movement – or ROH – to use a Czech acronym.
The holidays were a reward for a year of toil in the offices, factories and coal mines of socialist Czechoslovakia. Most visitors today are middle age or elderly Slovaks or Czechs – coming to rekindle fond memories of times gone by. Why not?
Thailand’s capital Bangkok continues to see ongoing fighting between the “Yellow shirts” (the government) and the “red shirts” (the opposition) (the United Front for Democracy (UDD)). The “civil war” intensified in the city’s shopping district after renegade Thai general Khattiya Sawasdipol was shot whilst giving an interview as he backed the protesters. He later died in hospital.
Troops later opened fire on the red shirt encampment using live bullets rather than rubber ones. Tear gas was also used to try to get the red camp to shift. They responded by setting alight rubber tyres that created black smoke to shield themselves. Thousands of tyres now line the area. The reds torched nearby buildings and used slingshots at troops. Fire crackers were also hurled. Trucks and other vehicles were burnt.
Since March, when the dispute started, more than 60 people have been killed, another 1,600 wounded. This is in the land of smiles where tourists still go! Tourists though have been advised to stay away from Thailand by their governments. Tourism has unsurprisingly sharply dropped.
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