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Buenos Aires Argentina, All The Way!

The American south, with its rich cultural significance and picturesque sceneries has been one of the most desired destinations for tourists around the world. Connoisseurs of beauty have sought after a little bit of Argentina lovin’ because of its varied and bountiful assets. Argentina is home to not only the panoramic high and low regions of South America but it is also a place, which has got it all. Most importantly, it paves the way towards Antarctica, a place that previously had been limited to our spherical vision and geographical detailing in textbooks.

Perhaps, the best place to start your tour of Argentina is from its magnificent capital, Buenos Aires. You should tour Buenos Aires and get spellbound amidst its wonders, even its name, Buenos Aires, means fair winds in Spanish. Being an avid seeker of culturally uplifting arenas, I started my tour from Palermo Viejo district, which is towards the north-eastern side of Buenos Aires. Palermo Viejo is the oldest part of the city Palermo Viejo (Old Palermo) is, as its name implies, the oldest part. From Santa Fe Avenue, Palermo Viejo runs southwards to Córdoba Avenue, and from there towards Avenida Dorrego which is towards the east of Coronel Díaz Street. The architecture is reminiscent of an old and deep-rooted Spanish style, which has through the years been modified with contemporary elements. As I am a literature enthusiast, and a little revolutionary at heart, I was almost intoxicated by the fact that it was at Palermo Viejo where Che Guevara and Jorge Luis Borges once lived. In fact, it later came to my attention that Borges wrote his initial poetry at Palermo Viejo (henceforth Viejo).

Historically, Viejo was popular among the communities of Lebanon, Armenia and old Italian and Spanish families; because it was not only residential hub but also a place embedded with rich traditions and cultures. The echoes of which can be seen in the local schools, churches, and restaurants. Walking along the delightful cobblestone streets of Palermo Viejo, with a rusty copy of Borges Ficciones, and Loreena McKennitt’s songs playing on my Ipod, I can assure you that I have never known such bliss. The place is beautifully littered with bars, boutiques and bookstores. The Bed and Breakfast where I was staying was just around the corner from Cordoba where I often did my bargain shopping. Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts are easily available at Buenos Aires. There are a total of 250 hotels in Buenos Aires, which start from as low as $ 17 and are easily booked through sites like Expedia. Holiday apartments are also available for tourists as low as $20, which is a very reasonable amount.

In the afternoons, I strolled the streets, looking ravenously at the boutiques, and indulging in the original, bohemian and chic designs they sold at affordable prices. The streets with its breathtaking arching trees and cafes in the evenings were a treat that I couldn’t get enough of. I spent my afternoons exploring the Caminito, a short street at La Boca. Walking through this colourful street became somewhat of a ritual for me. The pastel coloured walls of the Caminito are something that will stay embedded in your heart for years to come. You will also find tango dancers, dancing away in this vibrant street, a sight that is truly uplifting. So if you want to dance away in the splendour of beauty, literature, fashion and culture, Palermo Viejo is the place for you. So what are you waiting for? Come to Buenos Aires!

Zagreb – Croatia, a Crossroads for Eastern Europe

The city of Zagreb, capital of the Republic of Croatia, assumes a major role and acts as a crossroads for the Eastern European Communities.   It is strategically located on the Adriatic Sea, and shares borders with seven other countries making it a melting pot of interesting people and charming cultures. People are attracted to Croatia from all over Europe.

The Adriatic Sea has beautiful beaches with crystal clear blue water. The capital city itself is filled with life and yearly hosts interesting events, drawing many people from neighboring countries. Weather in Zagreb Croatia has a direct impact on this because of its light winters and agreeably fresh summers which welcome vacationers.

One example of a famous festivity that occurs in the city is the international animated film festival of Zagreb.  It is festival renowned around the world and great artists make the scene to display animated work that each year brings pleasant surprises to its innumerable visitors. Famed international popular music artists such as The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Massive Attack, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, as well as Bob Dylan have all shown up in Zagreb to put on concerts. More than 20 theaters can be found in the city, creating an agreeable, musical atmosphere that is enjoyed by all. The prestigious Croatian National Theater, opened by the Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1895, provides an appealing sightseeing experience.

Another significant historical promenade is the Ban Jelacica Square, a spacious environment perfect for moments of rest and offering as well excellent shopping possibilities. If you plan on buying souvenirs, try neckties, as the very origin of neckties is Croatian –this explains why a large choice of style and fashion in neckties can be found here, making wonderful gifts.

Located on the hill Gornji Grad is Gradec, a core of historical monuments, parks, churches, and the Croatian Parliament. If you don’t wish to miss any sights and are hesitant because of the language barrier don’t be reluctant but head directly to Zagreb Croatia tourism offices who will courteously greet you in English. Moving around in the city is easy, as the public transportation system of buses and trams covers the whole city.

The Zagreb Airport gives easy options for access to this city from around the world, especially from Europe at very moderate prices. In summer, flights from London to Zagreb can be found at around £123 ($200).  Also keep an eye out for package prices as accommodation in Zagreb could end up costing much less than originally expected.

Zagreb Croatia hotels are very plentiful and you will not have to worry about where to spend a night. Budget hotels can be found within a short walking distance of the center and one such hotel is the Buzz Hotel with prices starting at £36 ($60).  Even the more luxurious hotels like the famous 5-star Regent Esplanade Zagreb have affordable rates that begin at £100 ($164) but  can go up to £1 347 (2 190) for the presidential suite.

If at first Zagreb Croatia map routes seem limited, be sure to take a closer look, as Croatia is a country filled with vacation opportunities.  Captivating city tours and amazing beaches are just two of the numerous national treasures that await you.

Warsaw – Poland as a phoenix has risen

The story of Warsaw is truly a remarkable one, as it is a city that greatly suffered during the Second World War with over 80% of its buildings being bombarded. This could have been the end of a beautiful city, but a way was found to overcome the destruction and the city was reborn into a marvelous place that exists today. There is an incredible amount of reconstruction that has taken place over the years, and present-day Warsaw travel guarantees many fantastic memories to cherish.

Warsaw’s Old Town was totally reconstructed after the war, and is today a vestige of the old city, possessing an undeniable charm. The restaurants, cafés and souvenir shops located in this part of the city make it a wonderful remembrance of how Warsaw was during the medieval period.  The Royal Castle  can  be seen in the Old Town, accompanied by the renowned Sigismund’s Column which was created in 1644,  one of the oldest monuments in Europe. For a more baroque tour, visit the Wilanów Palace, which is one of the only surviving buildings of both World Wars.  This tour includes a delightful visit to the palace and to the remarkable gardens surrounding it. Warsaw holidays offer two distinct faces — Chilly winters which transform the city into picturesque snowy scenes and comfortable summers that allow for relaxing promenades during agreeable temperatures.

If you hold admiration for Frederic Chopin, you will find in Warsaw many brothers- in-arms, as numerous places are connected to this famous composer’s life and work. This connection is also found in the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw, as it contains the heart of the composer in an urn immured inside a pillar of this magnificent church.

Don’t be surprised when visiting Warsaw to see different mermaid statues, as it is the symbol of Warsaw’s coat of arms. A legend tells of a love story between a mermaid and Griffin, an ancient defender of the city, who died during a struggle against the Swedish in the 17th century. The mermaid, overtaken by revenge and wishing to continue the fight of her loved one, decided to take the place of Griffin as the defender of the city and because of this became the symbol of Warsaw.

If you have always wished to visit this city, it is now more than possible because Warsaw Poland flights can be obtained at interesting rates from around the globe. For summer vacations you can find tickets from New York for $690 or even lower rates at certain times.

Warsaw, Poland hotels are generally quite competitive in prices and even luxurious hotels are affordable. A great budget accommodation in Warsaw is the Atos Hotel located near the Royal Tract, which has easy access to the center of town and also has attractive rates starting at $34. The Sobieski Hotel is a four star hotel situated in the heart of Warsaw, comprising 427 rooms with exquisite layout, and rates starting from $97.

From Mermaids to Chopin, the nicknamed Phoenix City is full of amazements that will enthrall any traveler. Warsaw is the perfect example of how even the utmost destruction can be overcome and one day again harbor the perfect elements for a superb vacation.  “The greater the obstacle the more glory in overcoming it. “ Moliere

Brussels, Belgium a small country but a grandiose city

Yes, Belgium is not renowned for its size, but is known for the quality of its attractions… Brussels, the Capital of Belgium, is one of those fabulous cities where an indescribable amount of activities are happening every day. Culturally, Brussels is a very open city and all nationalities are represented here, but at the same time a unique home-grown culture is deeply incrusted. Travels to Brussels are easily reached on the western side of Europe, and eastern European countries are also accessible because of its central location.

France has had a big influence on the history of Brussels which explains why French is the first language of the city. The population of Brussels is good with languages and you can find people who are fluent in French, Dutch, and English. This guarantees that integration into the city’s activities will be easy during vacation. The famous statue Manneken Pis is an example showing the degree Dutch and French multiculturalism exists in Brussels.

It is located close to the Grand Place, another important sight to visit in Brussels,   holding a place on the World Heritage list of UNESCO. Every two years in August the Grand Place unfolds an enormous carpet made of flowers which attracts tourists from around the world. The Town Hall, King’s House and Guildhalls can also be seen in this charming area of Brussels.

The Royal Palace of Brussels is a must for visitors, as it is a large and truly amazing site. A wonderful promenade is also available in the lovely public park which faces the Palace.

The Cinquantenaire is a park that not only possesses monuments of grandeur like the Triumphal Arc, but close by are interesting museums — the Military museum, Aviation museum, Art museum and the Auto World museum.

The Atonium, one of the most fascinating sights, is composed of 9 steel spheres all connected together, creating a cell-like shape of pure iron crystal. It stands 335ft (102m) above the ground and from the top a spectacular view of the whole city can be seen. Most of the spheres are accessible via escalators, with souvenir shops and exhibition halls.

Flights to Brussels from London are very affordable, and budget packages can be found from destinations around the world. The Cheapest flights to Brussels can be found at rates as low as £69 ($112) from countries in Europe. Driving to Brussels by car is also easy from England and even easier from Germany. Brussels to Cologne, another touristic city to visit, located in Germany, is only separated by a distance of 112 miles (180km).

Budget travelers will be pleased to know that Brussels has numerous cheap places to stay. Hotel New Galaxy is located only 2 minutes from a subway station, the North Station. Prices here range from 42€ – 60€ ($57 – $82). For a more luxurious sojourn the Royal Windsor Hotel is available. Situated in the heart of Brussels only one step away from the Grand Place, rates start at 160€ ($220).

Belgium has a reputation for having delicious chocolates, amazing fries, and tasty Waffles.  They also have a high standard of kindness toward strangers that invites travelers from around the world to come once, and then come again, to Brussels.

Austria: A Great Place to Learn to Ski

While it may seem a little daunting, with all that heavy and awkward equipment, such as skis, goggles, boots and warm clothing, skiing can actually be a lot easier to learn than you might think. Austria is a popular ski holiday destination for skiers of all ages and abilities since the early 20th century, and it’s also a great place for beginners to learn to ski, as it has some of the most beautiful scenery and best conditions in Europe.

Austria Ski

The weather in Austria is not as cruel as the weather in North America, where sub-zero temperatures, high winds are the blight of every skier. In the alps, the daytime temperature usually averages around 20 degrees Fahrenheit all year round, which makes skiing at any time of year, even January very pleasant, especially as any strong winds don’t tend to last very long in the alps, and they can even help the snowfall.

The snow in Austria is one aspect of a ski holiday that is always guaranteed, and the Austrian Alps are home to some of the best snow seasons in the world, with powdery snow a common sight on the slopes, even until spring. In Austria, they have the Austria Ski Resort Report, which can be accessed online, and gives users the latest snow conditions at some of the best slopes in the country.

When it comes to learning to ski, or just brushing up on existing abilities, Austria’s ski-schools are world-renowned for their versatile and friendly instructors, in fact, many Austrian ski resorts have runs that suit every skier, so pupils can take to the slopes at their own pace. If you’re worried about safety, Austria’s ski resorts always have orientation maps at the lift stations, mid-run markers on all slopes above timberline, and safety nets and danger signs, so that skiers are always well aware of where they should and shouldn’t go.

Ski holidays in Austria are a great way to experience skiing in Europe, and with some of the best conditions, instructors and slopes in the world available, Austria is not only a fantastic place to ski, but also a very beautiful country to visit.

Bucharest A Dynamic Evolving City Surrounded By Intrigue

Bucharest, Romania is a city with many recent changes. Jumping in population from 282,000 in the 1900’s to over 2,000,000, it currently abounds with culturally enlightening characteristics. Travelers apprehensive about the climate are needlessly so, since Romania actually has moderate temperatures. During spring, the climate is comfortably warm, with just enough freshness to be agreeable.  Summers are warm without being overly hot, making car hire in Bucharest a pleasant way to tour the city.

The city of Bucharest is a prospering one, and the cultural scene is diverse and growing.  Visual art is very accessible and include many fascinating classic and contemporary Romanian art pieces.  A good place to view these is in the well-established National Museum of Art of Romania. An attractive element in Bucharest is the strong emphasis put on music — the Romanian Athenaeum is one of the most noticeable buildings and it accommodates many outstanding classical music concerts. Classical music is not the only music style which exists in Bucharest. Many Romanians hold a great love for the electric music scene and some electric bands have obtained national, as well as international, fame. Other types of music can also be enjoyed amid the animated nightlife that Bucharest proposes and this can be found in the central district of the city as well as in the historical center.

Some of the most visited sites are Lăptăria Enache and La Motoare which are both situated on the rooftop of the National Theatre in Bucharest. Cultural events and festivals are abundant all year round, although the most thriving period is during the summer.  One famous occasion is the Opera Festival which occurs in May and June at the National Opera.

Certain enchanting medieval architecture structures still exist in Bucharest, although several were burned and destroyed during the Communist systematization. The ones remaining can be found in the Lipscani district which was the greatest commercial center of Bucharest in the middle ages. Not far from this district is the old Princely Court constructed by Vlad III, the Impaler, also known as Dracula. This street is renown in Bucharest and remains a charming place to visit. Close to the old Court is yet another interesting place to visit — the Manuc’s Inn. It is the oldest operating hotel building in Bucharest and hosts a popular restaurant, a number of bars, and a coffee-house. Bucharest holidays hold many traveling possibilities. During winter there are Ski resorts that ensure great vacations to all those in search of fun in the snow. Summer travel agencies propose various packages that will guarantee a pleasant retreat. Flights to Bucharest from New York can be found as low priced as $550 for a two- week trip throughout the month of June.

Hotels in Bucharest Romania are countless and provide many different options. If you desire to stay at a budget-priced hotel, there are accommodations such as the Hostel Miramont which is located at only a 5-minute walk from Piata Unirii, the largest square in Bucharest. Prices here range from $17 to $39. For a more deluxe stay there is the 5- star Carol Parc Hotel with rates running from $220 up to $1,100.

The touristic city of Bucharest offers and delivers a perfect vacation opportunity for travelers who wish to visit an important and interesting Eastern European Capital and who will surely leave holding many memorable moments in their hands – valued memories that can be treasured for a lifetime.

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