Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Things to Do in Australia - Western Australia

Western Australia is Australia’s largest state, covering approximately 1/3 of the country, but only about 10% of the population lives here. This is a great destination for anyone seeking isolated and diverse wilderness.

Perth, the fourth largest city in Australia, is the capitol. This beautiful cosmopolitan city is perhaps the most isolated city in the world. Located on the Swan River, it has a similar climate to San Diego and is best known for its outdoor life, offering nineteen beaches, several inner city parks, the river and a warm climate. Perth also has a very vibrant art scene and nightlife satisfying all your travel needs!

Here are some of the most popular attractions in Perth:

Western Australia Museum is located in a series of heritage listed buildings. It’s collection of specimens and artifacts showcase the social and natural history of W.A. Open 7 days a week, year round, except for national holidays.

Kings Park and Botanic Gardens is the most popular tourist destination in Western Australia. This large, lush park contains over 300 species of plants, more than 80 species of birds and has unbeatable waterfront and city views. There are outdoor concerts, plays and movies showing year round! This is a great place to spend a whole day relaxing and taking in the scenery.

Art Gallery of Western Australia is part of the Perth Cultural Centre. This gallery has one of the best Aboriginal art exhibits in Australia featuring rotating exhibits of past and present art.

Aquarium of Western Australia is Australia’s largest aquarium. Here one can observe sea life that is unique to W.A., such as sting rays, giant sharks, sea turtles, the leafy sea dragon and living coral reefs.

Beaches! There are nineteen beaches within minutes of Perth’s city center. While some are great for families and snorkeling, others are perfect for surfing. Perth’s most famous beaches are Cottesloe and Scarborough.

o Cottesloe is the city’s most popular place for swimming, snorkeling and just relaxing in the sun and a great beach for families. Scarborough is a favorite for surfers and body boarders and well-known for its nightlife.

Fremantle is a vibrant, historic port city just 20 minutes south of Perth making it a great destination for a 1 or 2 day side trip. This energetic city offers an abundance of outdoor dining, shopping, bars, night clubs and beaches. Also in Fremantle is:

The Western Australia Maritime Museum, which has six separate galleries, each one focuses on a different aspect of Western Australia’s relationship with the sea. It is open all year, except for Christmas and Good Friday.

Up in Western Australia’s far north is the scenic, laid back coastal town of Broome. Perhaps most famous for producing pearls, it is also home to some incredibly gorgeous beaches and scenic coastline.

Here are some of the most popular attractions in Broome:

Cable Beach is easily one of Australia’s most popular destinations. It offers miles of palm tree dotted white sand beaches, and clear blue waters. There are even camel rides offered along the beach!

Broome Crocodile Park was established as a research center for crocodiles. It not only features freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, but also hatchlings and alligators.

Gantheaume Point is the site of the 130 million year old dinosaur foot prints; truly an amazing adventure for everyone.

Covering about half of Western Australia is the Golden Outback. This is a great place to visit for a true outback adventure. Some of the highlights of this area include Wave Rock, Eucalyptus Forests, National Parks, Farm Stays, the stunning South Coast and mining towns like Kalgoorlie.

The Coral Coast offers opportunities for amazing experiences and interactions with Australia’s marine life. Here you can swim with whale sharks, watch manta rays swim by or meet the dolphins at Monkey Mia.

Look for our series of articles on the five other states of Australia including Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland and South Australia, and its mainland territory, Northern Territory.

Rome accommodation: how to choose

Rome accommodation. Where to choose what to choose…and why.
It’s not hard at all to find accommodation in Rome. You can choose among a wide range of different options: from a charming bed & breakfast to the most luxurious 5 stars hotel. But just because of this variety of solutions, the hard thing become picking up the right one, the one that best fit your needs.

Your budget of course will make a first selection and even if you don’t have budget limits, it will be your idea of comfort that will reduce your options into a smaller number, more easy to choose into. But it’s here, in the apparently indifference between the options that you’re going to need some help to make your decision, hopefully from people that really know the city, even better if they actually live there. And here we are.

Just as many other big cities around the world, Rome has got a lot of different souls, each one of them with its own moods and feelings, so that having your hotel in one area or the other will probably change your perception of the whole period you will spend here.
Trastevere is nothing like Piazza di Spagna, for example, and Campo de’ Fiori is at 10 minutes walking from the Vatican, but at 10 light-years in lifestyle.

Not only the area in which you chose your accommodation will affect your way of experiencing the city, but also the kind of it. Renting an apartment in Rome with a kitchen in it, for example, will make you come in touch with the local grocery store, discover the habits of Italians while shopping in one of the very picturesque outdoor food market and eventually it will make you save some money on your meals. If you choose to stay in a bed & breakfast on in a 2 or 3 stars hotel instead, you will have the chance to try some typical Italian cooking having your lunches and dinners out in a different restaurant almost everyday. An high level hotel it will probably give you a taste of Italian sense of elegance and charming hospitality and it will put you in the middle of fashion boutiques and v.i.p. locations.

Obviously these are only a few examples of the differences between the apparently indifferent options of accommodation in Rome. In this section we will give you advices and tips, we will explain what you will actually find in each kind of room of every rating and in every area, to free your mind from wrong expectations and to build new and hopefully better ones.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Travel Joke : Airline Anecdotes

Occasionally, airline flight attendants make an effort to make the "in-flight safety lecture" a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

"As we prepare for takeoff, please make sure your tray tables and seat backs are fully upright in their most uncomfortable position."

"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 6 ways out of this airplane..."

"Your seat cushions can be used for floatation, and in the event of an emergency water landing, please take them with our compliments."

"We do feature a smoking section on this flight; if you must smoke, contact a member of the flight crew and we will escort you to the wing of the airplane."

"Smoking in the lavatories is prohibited. Any person caught smoking in the lavatories will be asked to leave the plane immediately."

Pilot - "Folks, we have reached our cruising altitude now, so I am going to switch the seat belt sign off. Feel free to move about as you wish, but please stay inside the plane till we land... it's a bit cold outside, and if you walk on the wings it affects the flight pattern."

And, after landing: "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."

As we waited just off the runway for another airliner to cross in front of us, some of the passengers were beginning to retrieve luggage from the overhead bins. The head attendant announced on the intercom, "This aircraft is equipped with a video surveillance system that monitors the cabin during taxiing. Any passengers not remaining in their seats until the aircraft comes to a full and complete stop at the gate will be strip-searched as they leave the aircraft."

Once on a Southwest flight, the pilot said, "We've reached our cruising altitude now, and I'm turning off the seat belt sign. I'm switching to autopilot, too, so I can come back there and visit with all of you for the rest of the flight."

As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Washington National, a lone voice comes over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella...WHOA..!"

"Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the bag over your own mouth and nose before assisting children or adults acting like children."

"As you exit the plane, please make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."

"Last one off the plane must clean it."

And from the pilot during his welcome message: "We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry...Unfortunately none of them are on this flight...!"

Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump and I know what ya'll are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's was the asphalt!"

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, give a smile, and a "Thanks for flying XYZ airline." He said that in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for this little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?" "Why no Ma'am," said the pilot, "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land or were we shot down?"

Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day. During the final approach the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant came on the PA and announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats with your seatbelts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"

Another flight Attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."

After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced: "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."

From a Southwest Airlines employee.... "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight XXX, to YYY. To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seatbelt, and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more."

Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."

Travel Joke : Bum in need of food

One afternoon, a man was riding in the back of his limousine when he saw two men eating grass by the road side. He ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate. "Why are you eating grass?", he asked one man.

"We don't have any money for food.", The poor man replied.

"Oh, come along with me then."

"But sir, I have a wife with two children!"

"Bring them along! And you, come with me too!", he said to the other man.

"But sir, I have a wife with six children!" The second man answered.

"Bring them as well!"

They all climbed into the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limo. Once underway, one of the poor fellows says "sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you."

The rich man replied "No, you don't understand, the grass at my home is about three feet tall!"Tra

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Finding a Great hotel in Barcelona

Barcelona is known for its great nightlife and it offers some other great attractions. No matter what the reason for your visit to Barcelona, you need a good hotel in Barcelona. The following information on these top Barcelona hotels come from reviews by former guests who have stayed at a hotel in Barcelona. You will find that every hotel in Barcelona offers great hotel stays in addition to its other attractions. The hotels reviewed are Casa Camper Hotel, The Hotel Arts, Neri Hotel, and Hesperia Sarria.

Casa Camper Hotel received some nice comments from guests. It has 25 rooms that are decorated in creative fashions that match the amazing décor of the entire hotel. Extras, like minibar and room service, are included in the base cost so you do not end up with a huge bill at check out. It is a short walk to P. Catalvyna and close to the city. For those that like quiet nights , the Casa Camper Hotel is removed enough from the nightlife so it provides a quite sleeping environment. The Casa Camper hotel in Barcelona received great reviews and was listed as well worth checking out.

The Hotel Arts hotel in Barcelona has 402 rooms and is located on the beach. While not every hotel in Barcelona is not usually known for its beaches, the location does provide beautiful views. It is not quite near the city, so you must travel to get to attractions. The nearby restaurants provide wonderful cuisine that makes the location desirable. They are said to have some of the best beds a hotel in Barcelona can offer. The cost of The Hotel Arts does discourage some guests and extras are not included in this base price. Overall, it was reviewed as a great hotel, but not really worth the price.

The Neri Hotel in Barcelonahas artistic décor that draws you into their 22 room establishment. With the use of stone and wood, the décor is beautiful. The rooms are cozy and they offer you the choice of five different sheet types. It is advised that you get good directions to the hotel because it is hard to find. There are no scenic views, but the attention to detail in all the aspects of this hotel makes up for that. Overall, this hotel was said to have exceptional service and created an amazing experience for visitors, making it a must.

The Hesperia Sarria has 134 rooms and is located in a quiet area of Barcelona. It is within walking distance to the train station (Les Tres Torres) and many other attractions. There are locked minibars and safes provided in the modern and clean rooms. There is a restaurant on site, although guests say you may never try it because of the closeness of so many other great bars and restaurants. This was noted by gests to be a great buy.

These four hotels all received good and bad reviews. The descriptions above were taken from majority opinions. While all provided nice stays, some stuck out in the crowd. There are many, many alterntives for a hotel in Barcelona and these are only just a small sample of the great service you can receive.

Profiles of Hotels in Madrid

Madrid is one of the hot spots in Spain. Amongst the nightlife and attractions lie some of Madrid's top hotels. If you are traveling and looking for a hotel in Madrid check out the three hotels profiled below to see if one meets your needs. These hotels offer a wide range of features, they are: Hotel Santa Domingo, Hotel AC Santo Mavro, and Hotel Cuzco.

The Hotel Santa Domingo hotel in Madrid offers its guests comfort. It is located in de Santo Domingo with 120 rooms, each of which is uniquely decorated so no two are alike. Each room has thermostats and bathroom water temperature controls. A choice of background music is also offered in each room of this hotel in Madrid. The television offers six international channels and three pay view channels. Other perks of these comfort driven rooms are adjustable lighting, telephones in the bedroom and bathroom, electronic locks and safety deposit. In the Superior Double hotel in Madrid rooms there is a hydro-massage bathtub. The Hotel Santa Domingo hotel in Madrid also caters to its business clientele with fax machines, copiers, messenger and secretary services, interpreters, computers, sound equipment, slide and overhead projectors with screen, and video equipment. Other extra services offered are babysitting, medical assistance, laundry services, and money exchange. For those traveling with a small pet, th

e Hotel Santa Domingo hotel in Madrid welcomes you. Enjoy comfort in a setting designed for business at the Hotel Santa Domingo.

The Hotel AC Santo Mavro is located in Chamberi close to Paseode la Castellana. It is a 100 year old French Palace hotel in Madrid that has been reconstructed in a combination of classic and avant-garde architecture. The original library and dancing hall have been preserved in their original state, but are now used as a dining room and conference room, respectively. This hotel in Madrid has a garden which provides some rooms with a beautiful, blooming view. The Hotel AC Santo Mavro has 37 rooms which offer 24 hour room service, a free minibar, web TV, cable TV, free coffee shop, and 24 hour laundry service. For a touch of history with all the modern conveniences try the Hotel AC Santo Mavro.

The Hotel Cuzco is located in the financial district, within walking distance to Congress Hall, local shopping centers and entertainment. It has 330 rooms and 8 suites that boost top notch amenities. You will find marble bathrooms, air conditioning, free private safe, electronic minibar, interactive TV, am fm radio and a direct telephone line. The Hotel Cuzco also provides an electronic wakeup system, coffee shop, restaurant, cocktail bar, parking garage, gymnasium and sauna. The Hotel Cuzco hotel in Madrid is in the heart of Madrid's action. This is a fine hotel in Madrid

These three hotels give a glimpse into the fine accommodations available in Madrid. There are hotels for every price range and to fit every need. You are sure to find a great hotel in Madrid that meets all your needs.

Planning a Road Trip? You'll Need Great Driving Maps

Before you take to the highways for your next vacation or business trip, look for a good map or two to take along. Although you may know the way there quite well, an up-to-date map may be able to show you shortcuts or help you avoid road construction and other delays. Don't take chances on a stressed-out memory or a change of location for a business or address that you haven't visited in some time. And you certainly don't want to end up in a strange city without a hint of where to stay or what to do while you're there. Take advantage of some of these low-cost maps and services.

The easiest and fastest type of road map most people can get is over the Internet by visiting one of the popular map sites for road trips. In a matter of seconds, you can type in your starting address as well as your intended destination, and receive a downloadable map charting your course as well as a list of driving instructions. Just print and go! You might want to visit a couple of these sites and compare them for the simplest or fastest way to get where you want to go, although chances are that both routes will be similar. The more you do this, the better feel you will get for which site has the best updates on construction areas and highway modifications.

Another way to get a useful map is to pick up one up a convenience store, department store, or gas station. Check for brand names of map suppliers, keeping in mind the higher quality sources like Rand McNally, etc. Also look for more recent maps, preferably for the current year, although some stores may not stock the latest edition. Then try to get map coverage for the most specific part of your trip rather than for a three-state area that will just make your travel route harder to find. Use a highlighter or marker to trace your route, taking care not to obliterate the exits or town names you need to look for when driving.

One of the best ways to get a quality roadmap is by joining your local automobile association. In addition to providing free maps that plot your trip from one location to another, the staff will highlight the driving areas for you so that you just pick up the maps and you're ready to go. The association typically offers lodging and attraction guides for major cities, rating hotels and motels with a five-star system and detailed information on which accommodations are available through various lodging chains. You can find out where to get Internet service, a swimming pool, and other amenities, including parking options, with these helpful guides.

Don't start your trip empty-handed. Fill up with the latest travel information that will make your journey more pleasant and productive and get you where you want to go with the greatest possible ease.