Category: European Travel

Ski Holidays in Davos, Switzerland

Ski Holidays in Davos, Switzerland

At 1,560m Davos, located in Graubünden, is one of the highest towns in Europe and has grown to become Switzerland’s largest ski resort. Schatzalp/Strela, Parsenn, Pischa, Jakobshorn and Rinerhorn are the five ski areas surrounding the town of Davos. The Parsenn funicular railway takes skiers right up to Weissfluhjoch at nearly 2,750m in altitude and from the top of the Parsenn there is skiing back down to the town or, in a northwesterly direction, over to the neighbouring resort of Klosters.

Off-piste skiing, fun mogul slopes and long cruising runs, some up to 9 miles in length, complete the picture for skiers of intermediate and advanced levels in Davos. The Jakobshorn area is a very popular ‘inplace’ for snowboarders with various slopes just perfect for boarding. The Pischa area is recommended for families as the slopes are mainly easy, less populated and sunnier.

Large numbers of good bars and restaurants including The Postli Club, the Tonic Piano bar or the Cabanna club.

There is a great choice off excellent restaurants including Davoserhof for Nouvelle Cuisine, Bünder Stübli for traditional dishes and the Café Weber for delicious cakes. The area is vast so there are plenty of opportunities to ski into hidden valleys and find pretty villages and undiscovered bars. Mountain restaurants are dotted all over. Après ski in Davos is comprehensive and Klosters is more traditional but still lively.

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Love islands and romantic Greek beaches

Love islands and romantic Greek beaches

Milia beach, Skopelos

This is a beautiful white sand beach that stretches almost a kilometer, lined with pine trees. The sand is very fine and Milia glimmers white, and turquoise waters are incredibly calm. The picturesque green island of Corfu is located in the bay. Perfect for romantic walks, holding hands. In the summer months there is a high beach bar serving beer and refreshing cocktails at sunset, but Skopelos island is calm and the beach is rarely crowded.

Egremni beach, Lefkada

What really sets Egremni separates the limestone cliffs that back the beach, which gives a concentration of white sand and blue sea drilling. The beach is accessible by a stairway leading down along the cliffs – but not too intimidating, inaccessible light means it is never crowded and has a relaxed and peaceful. This is a protected place, free water sports and restaurants bustling beach: just a simple basic hut for refreshments.

Nas beach, Ikaria

About a mile west of the village of Armenistis is this fjord own tiny, white pebbles, surrounded by steep cliffs on either side. The water is incredibly clear, bright turquoise. Just inside are the foundations of an ancient temple of Aphrodite, and a river inhabited by turtles, frogs and dragonflies winds its way through a canyon – works very well if you are bored to range. On the cliff above, there are a clutch of half a dozen taverns and boarding simple, but it is also far from large hotel and country station you can get in Greece these days.

Love islands and romantic Greek beaches

Balos beach, Crete

The most amazing beach of Crete to be Balos, where the white sands lead to a shallow turquoise and emerald green lagoon and an island, you can reach by walking through warm knee-high water. There is nothing on the beach, but a makeshift canteen serving cold beers and water. Balos is coming to an experience in itself because it is six miles along the rugged peninsula Gramvousa, following a breezy bumpy. Once you reach the end, you walk 20 minutes by a steep path, offering unforgettable views: a great moment for the photos.

Tsigrado beach, Milos

Safely off the beaten track, on the south coast of the island, Tsigrado is kept reasonably free from the crowd because the only way to achieve this is to plummet from the cliff hanging on ropes attached to the rock . When you reach the sea, however, it’s worth – nothing but sand and turquoise water crystal. Most people swim, sunbathe for half an hour, then leave, but if you are organized enough to bring an umbrella, water and something to eat, you can laze the day away to your heart’s content.

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Rome Evening Entertainment

Rome Evening Entertainment

Remember the scene in “Roman Holiday” when Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck danced on a barge anchored in the Tiber? Well, that barge still exists. It is, in fact, the cheapest, most popular spot for evening dancing in Rome. The barge is tied to a dock on the Vatican side of the river, directly in front of the Castel Sant’ Angelo.

There’s no admission, and drinks are not so expensive. All through the evening, a record-player sends slow fox-trots over the waters, and you can either dance or simply sit on soft easy chairs and enjoy the river view-no one will urge you to buy more than one drink per person. I don’t know the name of the dance-barge; I don’t even know whether it has one.

Actually, the most popular form of evening entertainment in Rome is to sit at a sidewalk cafe on the Via Veneta, and watch the passing parade-a wonderfully varied procession of chic women, tailored men, types and characters of every sort. The cafes charge not much for a coffee, and a coffee will last you an hour.

An interesting sidelight: each year on the Via Veneta, one or two particular cafes become mystically selected as the places to sit. Their sidewalk tables are then fully packed, while the cafe next door-same prices, same decor-is empty and forlorn. In any event, be sure to spend a few evening hours simply sitting there over a budget coffee; you’ll be glad you did.

One last suggestion for evening activities: go to a museum. There is at least one major museum open every weekday night in Rome, between the hours of 9 and 11:30 p.m. That permits you to keep up with your sightseeing schedule in Rome, and to do it at the best time of day. While these late-hour evenings vary-and must always be currently checked-the lovely Borghese Museum seems to stay open late on Thursday nights, and the Capitoline Museums, atop the Campidoglio Hill (one of which is devoted to art, the other to sculpture, with one ticket admitting you to both), most definitely stay open late on Saturday evenings. And check to learn the late evening schedule of the fascinating Etruscan Museum, in the Valle Giulia, on the far side of the Borghese Gardens. It also has evening hours on one night a week, but the days vary.

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Italian Travel: Rome embraces you like a small town

Italian Travel: Rome embraces you like a small town

Everyone loves a weekend visit to Florence, but what everyone really wants is to live in Rome. Rome is a chaotic convergence of beauty, history, culture, and conflict. For nearly 3,000 years, the city has fostered an amazing roll of artists and architects, actors and scientists, poets and politicians, with just the necessary amount of humor to make the good, bad, and ugly practically perfect.

And within the last decade, Rome has worked to reinvent itself into a mecca for 21st-century culture and culinary delights, unveiling new contemporary museums, opening new restaurants, and renovating historic spaces. Its undeniable and best personality trait is independence, reflected in all its niche neighborhoods, like Testaccio, Monti, Trastevere, and even the historic center and Borgo. And for that, Rome embraces you like a small town. In other words, it’s a 21st-century capital city with a hometown vibe.

Population: 2.8 million.

Famous Faces: What more could you want than the pope and Francesco Totti? After that, everyone else is just an extra. Other fabulous Rome residents include fashion’s Fendi sisters, Gucci’s Frida Giannini, and Valentino. The silver screen’s Willem Dafoe, Ralph Fiennes, Raoul Bova, Gabriele Muccino, Sophia Loren, and Paolo Sorrentino also live here.

World-Class Art: While masterpieces and monuments may be on almost every corner, church, and piazza, Rome is definitely not stuck in the past. The city has an endless amount of museums, collections, and cultural sites covering a range of eras and genres from ancient to avant-garde. Off the bat, Rome has bragging rights to underground first-century houses, a chapel decorated by Michelangelo, a tiny villa by Raphael, a collection of Caravaggio paintings, and a 21st-century climbable monument by the Starn Brothers. Must-sees include the Vatican Museums, Capitoline Museums, and Palazzo Massimo. Contemporary art and architecture aficionados will want to walk through Richard Meier’s Museum of the Ara Pacis, Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI (21st-century art), and the neoclassical National Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery. And that’s just the beginning.

Popular Way to Get Around Town: Foot, taxi, and even public transportation are the most efficient, while the brave will opt for bikes and scooters.

Sleep Tight: With last year’s opening of the J.K. Place and Gran Meliá, Rome’s hotels have upped their game. The Hassler unleashed an amazing penthouse suite that rightfully boasts the best view of the city, while the always-desirable Hotel de Russie remains tops for its bonus concierge services and flawless style. I love the more intimate luxe of the Art Deco Palazzo Manfredi, plus its rooftop view of the Colosseum can’t be beat. My wallet adores the charming Locanda San Pancrazio.

Fashion Statement: Roman style is all about the three S’s — sunglasses, sparkles, and shoes, for men and women alike. Whatever the walk of life, Romans never leave home without good hair, pressed clothing, bright colors, and an outgoing personality.

Fabulous Food: Roman food is best known as cucina povera, a basic “poor” cuisine made from cooking staples and leftovers, giving us unforgettable caciopepe, amatriciana, and carbonara pastas that can be found in every trattoria and osteria. Over the years, the city has undergone a food revolution — slow food and street food make table appearances, while the city makes room for a galaxy of Michelin stars, including the three-star La Pergola, two two-stars, and 12 one-stars. My favorites are street-food pick-me-up Trapizzino, fritti from Cesare al Casaletto, and Pipero al Rex for a fabulous carbonara with a Michelin star.

Great Escapes: If you really think you need to leave Rome, hill towns like Tivoli and Frascati; lakes like Martignano and Bracciano; and beaches like Fregene, Maccarese, and Ostia are just a 30-to-45-minute escape. Most are reachable by local train or bus, but some require a car.

The Aperitivo Trail: In Rome, it’s an integral part of Roman daily life. Hotel de Russie’s garden bar is the prettiest location for afternoon aperitivi. If the weather is warm, you’ll want to head to a rooftop, and the best views and great drinks are from the hotel terraces of Dom and the American Bar at the Hotel Forum. For serious drinks, step into the tiny speakeasy Jerry Thomas Project, dressed-up dive bar Barnum (with Rome’s best bartender), and D.O.M.’s ground-floor bar, a sexy and intimate backdrop with amazing and expensive cocktails.

The Celluloid City: Florence has done okay but it does not match Rome’s status as one of the great film settings. Fellini showed off its never-a-dull moment nature in “La Dolce Vita” (1960), and Audrey Hepburn embodied its beauty in “Roman Holiday” (William Wyler, 1953). From comedic slice of life to picturesque period pieces, and ancient history to sci-fi and mystery, every generation and genre has filmed in the city: “Ben-Hur” (William Wyler, 1959), “Spartacus” (Stanley Kubrick, 1960), “The Conformist” (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970), “Mahogany” (Berry Gordy, 1975), “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (Anthony Minghella, 1999), “Gladiator” (Ridley Scott, 2000), “The Lizzie McGuire Movie” (Walt Disney Pictures, 2003), “Ocean’s Twelve” (Steven Soderbergh, 2004), “Romanzo Criminale” (Michele Placido, 2005), “Mission: Impossible III” (J.J. Abrams, 2006), “Angels & Demons” (Ron Howard, 2009), “Eat Pray Love” (Ryan Murphy, 2010), “To Rome With Love” (Woody Allen, 2012).

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Snowboarding Holiday Resorts in France

Snowboarding Holiday Resorts in France

When deciding where to go your snowboard holiday there are a number of factors to take into consideration to ensure you have the best holiday possible. Avoiding resorts with too many flats and too many draglifts, finding those that have plenty of off-piste, long runs, a board park and lively apres ski are just a few factors to look out for when booking snowboard holidays. Below is a selection of resorts, that we at Igluski.com believe are ideal for snowboard holidays.

With 225km of piste, a weeks snowboard holiday will not be long enough to explore all the terrain that is on offer in Alpe d’Huez. Considered by many as a freeriders heaven with its miles of off-piste, fun park and 114 runs.

Ranked amongst France’s biggest resorts Les Deux Alpes has loads to offer for snowboard holidays, from wide open spaces, huge off piste area, challenging boarder cross, fun park and half-pipe. With the glacier it’s not only snow sure in the winter but also great for summer snowboard holidays.

Meribel sits at the heart of the massive 3 Valleys ski area and is ideal for intermediates and expert snowboarders alike. With 600kms of piste, 2 terrain parks with a total of 4 half-pipes, 2 quarter-pipes, 2 boarder cross, several rails and plenty of off-piste what more could you want from your snowboard holiday?

Linked to the Portes du Soleil ski area, Morzine has plenty to offer those on snowboard holidays. Whether you snowboard in the local area, which is shared with Les Gets or choose to explore the 650km of Portes du Soleil you will never bore of the varying terrain available.

At 2,100m above sea level, Tignes is one of the highest resorts in the French Alps and boasts a fantastic snow record that is the envy of many resorts worldwide. It is considered one of the major snowboard resorts in France and with 300km of piste, 2 half-pipes, 2 terrain parks and amazing off-piste it’s easy to see why. Tignes is linked with Val D’Isere to form the Espace Killy.

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London Red Bus Routemaster Buses Postcards

London Red Bus Routemaster Buses Postcard
London Red Bus Routemaster Buses by made_in_atlantis
Browse London Red Bus Central Area Postcards

London Red Bus Routemaster Buses Postcards

Keep in touch with Zazzle custom postcards! Add your favorite image to a blank postcard or say “hi” with a pre-existing design. Save paper and mail a note without wasting envelopes!

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London Bridge at Night Postcards

London Bridge at Night Postcard
London Bridge at Night by made_in_atlantis
Become a part of Zazzle’s Artist Affiliate Program

London Bridge at Night Postcard

Keep in touch with Zazzle custom postcards! Add your favorite image to a blank postcard or say “hi” with a pre-existing design. Save paper and mail a note without wasting envelopes!

• 4.25″ x 5.6″ (portrait) or 5.6″ x 4.25″ (landscape).
• Printed on ultra-heavyweight (120 lb.) card stock with a gloss finish.
• No minimum order.
• Get custom stamps to match!

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Ancient Greece: The Theatre of Dionysos

Ancient Greece: The Theatre of Dionysos

The Dionysiac Theatre is the sunniest spot in Athens. The tourists know it and bring their teabaskets. The lizards know it and steal out to bask on marble chairs dedicated to priests and magistrates. The Athenian audiences of classical times must also have known it as they sat there the whole of a spring day with the sun in their eyes and the rock behind them glowing like a furnace.

The existing remains of the Theatre of Dionysos are a complex of many periods and the fundamental questions whether there was a raised stage before the time of the Hellenistic theatre and whether the stage buildings in the classical period were of a permanent nature have not yet been settled to everyone’s satisfaction.

It is generally agreed that the orchestra with its central altar of Dionysos was originally occupied by both chorus and actors. There is also fairly general agreement that no stone auditorium existed before the Lykourgan theatre in the second half of the fourth century B.C.

The actual remains on the site may be divided into four periods: 1. Pre-Lykourgan; 2. Lykourgan; 3. Hellenistic; 4. Roman.

The Lykourgan Theatre was built in consequence of a decree of the Boulé in 342 B.C. and completed before the death of Lykourgos in 326 B.C. This leaves a long period of at least a century and a half for the pre-Lykourgan Theatre.

The oldest remains are six blocks (SM 1) of a curved polygonal wall of limestone, generally believed to be sixth-century, some 100 m. eastnortheast of the Old Temple of Dionysos, which were identified by Dörpfeld as part of the original orchestra. By plotting an imaginary circle on the evidence of the stones he met a fragment of wall (J 3) on its west side and a cutting (A) in the rock on the east side, north of the six blocks, which he thought were part of the circumference.

Many later authorities have rejected the evidence of either A or J 3 or both but nearly all agree that SM 1 supported a curved terrace which formed the boundary of the orchestra itself or had an orchestra of smaller circumference placed upon it. A fragment of polygonal masonry (SM 3) similar to the six stones, which is north of the west end of the Old Temple of Dionysos may have sustained a road or path rising from the level of the Temple to that of the orchestra.

Related Link: Continue Reading on Destination Athens

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Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheum

Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheum

While you’re atop the Acropolis, look carefulIy for the delicate, little Ionic TempIe of Athena Nike (to your right as you approach the main entrance to the Acropolis, located almost over the stairs), which still has same of its original friezes depicting battles with the Persians and the Gods of Olympus; the temple is dedicated to the “WingIess Victory”-wingless, else victory can fly away…

Then, walk to the Erechtheum, a temple perched on the originaI site of the even older Temple to Athena, which is supposed to have stood on the pIot of Iand where Athena and Poseidon battled it out for God-supremacy of Athens. Athena brought forth an olive tree (there is still a little tree in front of the temple!) and Poseidon smote the earth and brought forth sea-water. You’ll probably remember the Temple best for its Caryatides (or Maidens), six of them easily and gracefully supporting a heavy porch ceiling on their heads. The Erechtheum records the disasters of Athens. We do not know when it was begun, but it is recorded that in 409 it was unfinished.

The original date of the little temple to Nike Apteros (the Wingless Victory) is not precisely known. It is obvious, however, that it must date from about the same time as the other Propylaea buildings. One might suppose that the architects of the Propylaea, when they found their plans crippled by the neighbourhood of this sacred site, set themselves to make a virtue of necessity; since their entrance buildings were curtailed, they may have consoled themselves by balancing the group with this little gem of Ionic architecture.

To find a temple outside the sanctuary gates is unusual, and the fact that its position never strikes one as strange is just another tribute to the skill with which the proportions of the building are fitted to the site. The spot must have been sacred to Athena from quite early times and was associated with her in her victorious aspect as “Athena Nike.” Then, as the process of differentiation continued, the precinct was said to be sacred to Victory, and Athena’s name was dropped. But the old wooden image kept on the spot was really an image of Athena and not of a Winged Victory. So the pretty tale was invented that the ground and afterwards the temple were dedicated to a Wingless Victory who would never fly away.

Less than three hundred and fifty years ago, the little temple of Athena Nike was still standing, nearly intact, damaged not at all by men and very little by time. Suddenly it disappeared from travellers’ accounts and visitors’ recollection. It had been dismantled to its lowest courses, and the blocks had been employed by the Turks to build retaining walls and a battery at this western outpost of their fortress of the Acropolis. Smooth wallblocks and delicately carved architectural members were with equal unconcern employed for this new enterprise.

Related Link: Continue Reading on Destination Athens

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Tourists surprised by Big Ben’s tilting

Tourists surprised by Big Ben's tilting

The British landmark’s lean is now extreme enough to be seen with the naked eye.

Big Ben British history is leaning to the point that the inclination can now be clocked with the naked eye, according to a report commissioned by London Underground and the Department Parliamentary Estates.

The 96 meter high clock tower of the Houses of Parliament – known colloquially as Big Ben, the name of the great bell it houses – is sinking unevenly into the ground, causing it to lean towards the north West.

“The slope is now less visible, you can see where you stand on Parliament Square and look east, toward the river I heard there are tourists to take photographs by saying “I do not think it is quite vertical” -.. And they are absolutely right, “Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College, London, John Burland, told the Sunday Telegraph.

The level of the slope has accelerated since 2003, increasing to 0.9 mm per year, compared to long-term average of 0.65 mm per year, the report found.

These levels are not considered hazardous. “If she started a greater acceleration, we would have to try to do something but I do not think we should do something for a few years,” says Burland.

Years of underground development have helped tip the clock tower, the report said. This includes the construction of a parking garage in the 70s and an extension of the Jubilee line to London, as well as changes in field conditions.

The slope leading to the formation of cracks in walls and ceilings of some parts of the House of Commons, including the wing of the Minister.

The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament, is the site of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The construction of the large clock tower was completed in 1858.

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