Paris is a modern and dynamic city with significant universities and cultural life.
Las Vegas is a gambling heaven and known for their sponatenous weddings.
Rome home to the Ancient Romans is worth a visit to discover the wide variety of cathedrals and museums.
The enchanting city of Barcelona is a visual delight and famous for its impressive history and culture.
France is one of the world's great centers of art and home to a host of famous artists.
USA has so much to offer from amusement parks to cultural destinations is this the perfect destination.
Italy is a nation that hosts unique and fascinating events of international resonance throughout the year.
Visit Brazil and experience the glamorous beaches of Rio de Janeiro and the thundering Iguaçu Falls.
A DRIVE DOWN THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL WAY
Believe it or not, many people from different parts of the world say that they have seen strange objects flying in the sky, but there is no certain explanation for what they have seen. For those of you fascinated by all things extraterrestrial there are some hot spots to visit to find out for your self.
Let’s start our journey in Britain; passing the A36 road between Salisbury and Bath, there is a small rural town called Warminster where in 1964 mysterious booming noises and light balls crossed the sky. Moving on from England to Scotland, we find Bonnybridge “the UFO capital of Scotland”, where more than 300 UFO showings are reported every year!
Then, crossing the Atlantic ocean, thousands of people have seen flying saucers with lights over the sky in a space of about 300 miles from Nevada, through Phoenix to the edge of Tucson. In Nevada State on Route 375, the state has designated the area as the “The extraterrestrial highway”. It is a popular gathering place for UFO enthusiasts, recently in the limelight due to the film "Paul".
Finally, our extraterrestrial trip ends in Darwin, North Australia, where grey and black discs of different shapes and sizes, and white and yellow lights have created spectacular scenes across the skies.
Could some of these places be part of a tourist trail for visitors from other parts of the universe? There is no certain answer. However, if you want to find out more! visit one of these locations and you may well be amazed!
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London –The Making of Harry Potter
Come and see “Hogwarts in The Snow” - Muggles are welcome!
On the 31st of March 2012, the Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, approximately 18 miles Northwest of central London, finally opened their gates to the public offering an amazing opportunity to explore the magic of Harry Potter, the boy who survived. This winter, there is also something special to see: the whole Hogwarts castle in miniature covered with snow.
The three hour walking tour through the 200 acre studio takes you behind the scenes and showcases of the most successful film series of all time.
After a small introduction of the staff, your tour starts with an amazing introductory film with the three main actors of the movies Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) followed by exploring the original Hogwarts Great Hall with its stonefloor and the great altar where Dumbledore always used to held his festive but also warning speeches at the beginning and end of every school year. Then you will come to "the big room" where all the costumes, props and magical things are located. If you think that you have already seen everything, then you will be surprised, when you will come to the outdoor area of the Warner Bros. Tour. Here you can enjoy a cold delicious "Butterbeer" and you have the possibility to make a photo in front of the Knight bus or Hagrid's bike and you should not miss to take one in front of the Privet Drive where Harry had to eke out during the summers. If you think you have had enough fresh air, the tour continues with the make-up artist room where all the creatures are exhibited and a few special effects are revealed. Then you can wander down Diagon Alley which had been built by incredible talented British artists who paid an amazing attention to details. And if your mind is not already completely blown, it surely will be when you enter the final room where you will see the Hogwarts castle in a scale of 1:24, so detailed and beautiful that your breath will be taken away for a moment. And as if the castle in miniature would not be enough to be breathtaking, this winter, it is covered with a blanket of snow. Due to the popular demand, the duration of this special feature has been extended. So, you have now the possibility to enjoy the most magical snowfall of the season until the 12th of January 2014 in Leavesden.
So if you are a real Pottermaniac do not miss the chance, but be prepared for some secrets that will be revealed.
Last weekend a shooting rampage started and is ongoing in Kenya where thousands of people were trapped in the Westfield shopping center located in Nairobi. The preliminary assessment count is 150 people that have been injured and about 68 people that have been killed during this attack. Responsible for the attack is a group called, Somali al-Shabab and it is assumed that this attack happened as a protest to Kenyan activity in Somalia. The attack has lasted for 3 days now.
The British Foreign & Commonwealth Officer has issued a travel warning to parts of Kenya following the attack. Somali al-Shabab are holding people hostage and 3 Britons plus more nationalities died during the al-Shabab attack.
The Authority is doing everything possible to stabilize the situation and make it safe for the residents and non residents. There are militants in the area attempting to bring closure to this violence in Kenya. The government has increased the security in other places across the country especially in tourist areas.
Phyllis Kandie, Kenyan cabinet secretary for tourism, has reassured the country's condition and said that normal activities do take place in all parts of Kenya. Tour operators and travel agencies have also confirmed that the tourism activities in Kenya continue peacefully.
Cinque Terre is a collection of hills which hides the towns of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore from the outsiders. This beautiful area is part of the Italian Riviera located in the northern parts of Italy at the seaside. The area is about 30 miles (50 km) from Lucca and about 60 miles (100km) from Florence.
The area is very popular amongst tourists and known for its amazing views and paths. Walking trail known as the Sentiero Azzurro connects these five villages but reaching the villages by car is not as easy however it is possible due to the improvements made in the road leading to the area but other means of transportation are way more recommended. Cinque Terre can be reached by train; local trains run between the area and the surrouding cities but also intercity trains (Tav) connect it to other cities such as Milan, Rome, Turin and Tuscany. There are also ferries running between the towns and the area is reachable by ferry from Genoa's Old Harbour and La Spezia, Lerici, or Porto Venere.
Cinque Terre has beautiful nature and the walking trail between the villages gives the possibility for visitors to explore and adore the wonders of the nature. The trail between Riomaggiore and Manarola is called the Via Dell'Amore and is suitable also for wheelchairs and is suitable for all ages as it easy to walk. Added to the traditional trails between the villages more advanced hikers can choose trails leading higher to the mountains in well maintained paths with less tourists and magnificent views. Visitors can also enjoy the sea and the famous sandy beaches of the villages but you can also find more quiet places to go for a swim.
Italy is known for its delicious food and the food culture. Cinque Terre is not an exception when it comes to food; the Liguria region where the area is located is known for many delicacies such as pesto, bread product known as focaccia and crispy pancakes known as farinata. Also each village has their own specialities which they are known from. For example Monterosso is very famous of their anchovies even in the European scale and Corniglia is known for delicious Italian ice cream made from the local honey. The area also has two locally produced wines called Cinque Terre and the Sciachetrà. Added to the wines the area produces brandy called grappa.
To visit Cinque Terre you can book a hotel in Florence or Lucca and take some time to explore the breath taking area.
From July 25th, every travelling citizen of the European Union member state, no matter how young, needs to be travelling with their own passport. Previously in many countries, children have been able to travel having their information in their guardian's passport. In 2009, the EU made a change to the passport regulations so that a passport can only hold the information of one person.
There is no certainty how some of the member countries are going to react to this change in the regulations but some of them have announced to control their borders according to the new regulation. Also several airlines have stated that they will be applying the regulation in their passport control at the airport.
In many countries, this regulation has been implemented already before the EU announced the change in the legislation in 2009. For example, in the UK children have been required to have their own passport since October 5 1998 which means that even all the 10 year passports which had the information of a child have been expired even before the regulation was set by the EU. However this has not been the case in all the member countries which is the reason why this regulation was put in place.
In the UK, the passport restriction was placed to match the international standards and to prevent child abduction. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) is responsible for issuing passports in the UK. Parents can get several types of a court order which states that only the parents of the child are allowed to apply passport for the child. If the application for the passport is coming from someone else, IPS will automatically reject the application. In some cases, the mother of the child is also allowed to forbid the child from getting a passport.
More information about the issuing passports in the UK can be found from Directgov website.
After acquiring passports for the whole family, you are ready to head for a holiday. Do not forget to book a hotel before your departure.
If you are planning a trip to the United States, why not visit the breathtaking Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia or North Carolina. The Parkway does not only have amazing landscapes but it offers other attractions and activities for everybody. The construction of the Parkway started 77 years ago and today the road is 469 miles long.
The Parkway has astonishing views as the road snakes through the mountains. You can find many small villages and local businesses along the Parkway which offer the opportunities to taste the local delicacies and go shopping. There are several galleries along the Parkway for those who are interested in art. For more cultural experiences, you can stop by in one of the museums or visit a theatre. In case you happen to travel during July you can check out the Appalachian Summer Festival held annually in Boone which is located in North Carolina and is easy to visit from Charlotte. In the North Carolina end, you can experience a totally different culture by driving through the Cherokee reservation. The area is reserved for the descendants of the original American Cherokee tribe to live in and has many attractions and souvenier shops for tourists.
In the autumn the colour palet changes and the leaves turn bright red, yellow and orange. During summertime, the nature offers the ideal environment for hiking, biking, camping, swimming and fishing. In the winter, parts of the road are closed as they would be dangerous to drive but alternative routes are available. You can pick up your own map for free from the travel centres located along the road. Any exceptions in the road are mentioned and a separate map for the length of the exception is provided.
As the Blue Ridge Parkway is only accessible by vehicles, it might be an idea to rent a car from either Charlotte or Richmond and book a hotel to stay after the day's drive.
Feeling a little bit nostalgic today ? Here is just what you need : the Spice Girls musical will officially be announced today at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London.
Go back in time until the 90s and feel the Girl Power again thanks to Judy Cramer - producer of Mamma Mia - and Lynne Page - choreographer of Dirty Dancing - and enjoy some of the band's biggest hits such as "Wannabe", "Spice Up Your Life" and "Viva Forever".
The show is going to premiere November 27th of this year at the West End's Piccadilly Theatre and the auditions should start this month until July. The tickets are available on sale right now.
The Girls themselves - Scary, Baby, Posh, Ginger and Sporty are expected to be there today where the exact dates and venue of the much expected show will be revealed. Genuine icons of the decade, the band has sold more than 75 million records all over the world and received numerous awards before splitting up in 1998. The band reformed briefly in 2007 for a Tour that marked the release of their Greatest Hits album.
The Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art is a biennial event that runs over 18 days, from 20 April 2012 to 07 May 2012, in the popular Scotland’s city. The festival schedules an exhibition programme of more than 130 artists of 50 different venues across the city. This GI presents the best international contemporary art alongside leading emerging talent. This year the 130 international and local artists have used new incredible materials and some of the works are signed by Nairy Baghramian, Rosalind Nashashibi and Alexandra Bachzetsis.
A bouncy scale model of Stonehenge, specially commissioned to mark the Olympics, has been unveiled by Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller. This large-scale interactive work has been named Sacrilege and it represents Britain's history, culture and sense of humour. This giant inflatable Stonehenge has sprung up on Glasgow Green and it has had great success in attracting visitors of any age. The installation is deflated at 6pm every night and re-inflated in minutes the following morning.
Sacrilege will be at Glasgow Green for the 18 days of the festival before being shipped to other destinations across the UK and finally to London for the Olympic Games.
The national UK tourism agency VisitBritain made new researches and announced that the traffic of overseas visitors can be increased thanks to the Grammy and BRIT Award winning music.
In a survey of 20,000 overseas panellists, music is seen as an integral part of Britain’s culture and heritage. Almost the half of the interviewed reveals that Music in Britain is seen as a cultural activity that it’s expect to be produced. Also, at the question “what musical activities you would like to undertake while in Britain”, the most popular choice was going on a Beatles tour in Liverpool.
The Beatles with Elton John, Led Zeppelin and Queen are four of the artists who have sold over 300 million records worldwide. They all are Britain and they contributed to make Britain the second largest exporter of music in the world, with a UK music industry revenues totalled £3.8 billion in 2010.
In this moment Adele is leading the current crop of British sales, with more than 18 million copies sold worldwide. The Chief Executive of VisitBritain Sandie Dawe said: “Recent Grammy and BRIT Award success for Adele make our shores a global hub of musical activity which inspires the world”. In addition, other artist as Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, Florence + The Machine and Tinie Tempah have attracted last year some of the 31 million tourists who came to Britain.
To celebrate the music success in Britain, this year the Olympic and Paralympic Closing Ceremonies 2012 have been officially called "A Symphony of British Music". In that events will perform an entirely British cast of high profile performers.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is an important reference point for all travellers, as it provides objective assessments of the risks British nationals may run in every country. The travel advice service is reviewed monthly and it may be updated every time it is necessary, especially during developing crisis.
William Hague has recently announced improvements in the amount of assistance provided for travellers. Some of the changes include the following:
The FCO will create various task-forces which can respond quickly to crises overseas. They include a new crisis centre with a new call handling centre and a new Rapid Deployment team for crises in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
In addition, a new mobile registration system will be created, so that British nationals abroad can keep in touch with the FCO via mobiles or online. Many consular services will be moved online and the Victim Support National Homicide Service will focus on vulnerable people or victims abroad.
These changes are likely to make Britons’ trips around the world more responsible and safe. The Foreign Secretary said "During the Revolution in Egypt we were one of the few countries to judge accurately that the Red Sea resorts would remain safe for British travellers”, acknowledging this as an example of good judgement by consular officials to avoid over-reaction.
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