Holidaying in Brighton, London by the Sea

Known as “London by the Sea”, Brighton is one of the UK’s largest and most famous seaside resorts.

Brighton’s heyday came in the 18th Century when the town’s favour with the party-loving Prince of Wales (later George VI) gave it an immediate cachet. The London elite flocked to Brighton in the royal wake and traces of this old gentility remains in the fashionable town houses, squares and crescents in the Victorian mode. The most marked royal touch is seen in the the fantastic Brighton Royal Pavilion with its eastern domes and spires.

The English aristocracy later neglected Brighton in favour of resorts in continental Europe. However, the opening of the railway in 1841 brought in a regular flood of day trippers and weekend trysters that continues to this day. The addition of piers and amusements parks served to attract a more general visitor in search of fairground rides, candy floss and jaw breaking rock.

Today’s Brighton is moving with the times. It’s just 52 miles from London and offers a wide range of hotels, restaurants and entertainment facilities. This make it a popular conference industry destination. Plus, it’s recently become a popular location for high-tech media companies to set up shop.

The seafront features a pebble beach, and the strip between its two piers is lined with bars, eateries, night clubs and amusement arcades. Brighton beach also has a designated official nudist area.

Brighton is now home to one of Europe’s largest marinas and an outdoor sports centre. And it’s well-stocked with shopping outlets such as clothing stores, jewellers, and antique shops. Brighton also has a number of museums including the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, the Booth Museum of Natural History, the Brighton Fishing Museum and the Brighton Toy and Model Museum.

transport:getting there and getting around

Fast trains whisk passengers from London to Brighton in under an hour. There are 41 departures a day from Victoria or London Bridge Station. Alternatively, buses from Victoria Coach Station reach Brighton in about two hours. Driving is easy along the M23 and connecting with the A23.

Getting around Brighton is easy with its extensive bus service and abundance of taxis. There is also a limited night-bus service. Brighton seafront features the Volks Electric Railway, the worlds oldest electric railway. A recent innovation is the introduction of motorised trishaws from Asia known as tuc-tucs.

Brighton is located on the south coast of England and so is subject to that island nation’s capricious weather. Summer in July and August is usually warm and sunny but as with everywhere in the UK, rain is always a possibility.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of hotels in Brighton

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Brighton hotels

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Brighton accommodation

• May sees the Brighton Festival. It’s an arts festival that features processions and fireworks along with theatre, music and visual arts events throughout the city.

In Paris, art is no longer abstract for kids

Paris has been described as anything but a place for kids: a city for lovers, a cultural Mecca. Yet you may be surprised to find out how prepared the French capital is to entertain children. Even in what is considered to be an adult activity, touring museums.

At the Louvre Museum, the largest museum in the world and a must-see in Paris, kids aged 4 and up can take part in one of the many children’s workshops.

The Musée d’Orsay (Orsay Museum), which has one of Europe’s best collections of impressionist art, is another example. Each Sunday throughout the summer, the museum organizes games, mimes and storytelling for children 12 years old and under. The program is designed to teach children about the masters, such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec.

At one such event, the Orsay museum organized a card game called Jeu de l’oie or the Goose game. Kids are divided into teams. Each team is given several cards, which correspond to a work of art. Cards in hand, the children search the museum for the masterpieces.

When the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art inaugurated the exhibition entitled J’en rêve or I dream, which included the work of 48 young artists from around the world, it also organized several activities for kids. At one event, Camille Henrot, one of the artists, reworked her film by drawing and scratching on the negative. Children participating in this workshop created their own works of art.

While many of the activities are conducted in French, language is unlikely to prove a barrier to participation. For example, instruction is only a small part of Learning to Create Glasswork, a children’s activity offered at the Musée National du Moyen Age (Middle Age Museum).

But there are other ways to making learning fun at museums in Paris. Rent audio guides designed specifically for kids and available in several languages. Take a family tour, often times conducted in a language other than French. Or organize a private guided tour for your family.

Many museums in Paris, such as the Louvre, are free for kids under 18 years of age. Avoid long lines, buy a Museum Pass valid for up to 1, 3 or 5 consecutive days, and visit more than 70 museums and monuments in and around Paris.

Pick up a copy of Objectif Musée, available at Paris museums, or Paris-Île-de-France avec des Yeux d’Enfants published by the tourist office. Both are in French only. Objectif Musée lists all scheduled activities for children organized by the state museums while Paris-Île-de-France avec des Yeux d’Enfants lists fun things to do with kids in Paris.

Italy – Romancing with a Romantic City

This interesting article addresses some of the key issues regarding travelling to Italy. A careful reading of this material could make a big difference in how you think about travelling to Italy.

There is no doubt that Italy is the most romantic place in the world. With its Victorian charm, old-worldliness and old-fashion atmosphere, it is not surprising that Italy is one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

What is great about the country is the fact that tourist spots literally litter every corner of this small country. There are monuments, piazzas, fountains, churches and museums. From its capital Rome to Venice, Tuscany and Florence, there will surely be something that will capture your interest.

Ancient Rome boasts of ancient structures like the Roman Imperial Forums, which includes the Forum of Caesar, The Forum of Vespasian, which is otherwise known as the Temple of Peace and of course the Forum Trajan, which has been greatly preserved even after several centuries. Overlooking the forums is the the Palatine Hills and the Palace Complex, where the greatest people in Roman history and Roman Empire lived.

Besides the complex is the Circus Maximus, which was historically famous for having been a venue for racing chariots. This is also where roman emperors kept the citizens entertained by filling their stomach with food and their eyes with circus acts.

Colosseum is another spot that you should not exclude in your itinerary. The collosseum, which can seat more than fifty thousand spectators, lie witness to a chapter in history where gladiators provided entertainment for a falling Roman Empire.

Is everything making sense so far? If not, I’m sure that with just a little more reading, all the facts will fall into place.

The Pantheon is another symbol of the Great Roman Empire. Commissioned by Hadrian, the temple boasts of a rotunda and a dome. This is actually part of the seven wonders of the Ancient World.

Another great architectural work is the Castel Sant Angelo, which is better known as Hadrian’s Mausoleum. More than just a tomb, this tourist spot provides visitors a panoramic view of the Tiber. In previous centuries, the Castel was also used by Emperors as passageways in times of danger. The popes of the Vatican were also able to use the tunnels as it connects to the Vatican. Speaking of Vatican, never forget to include St. Peter뭩 Basilica and the Vatican Museums in your list of places to visit. Although the Vatican is technically an autonomous state, going there is relatively easy and cheap when you are in Italy of course.

Palazzo dei Conservatori, a building constructed through the plans made by none other than Michaelangelo, and the Palazzo dei Museo Capitolino are two of the museums that you should visit. Both of these can be found in the Capitoline Hill, which was once a seat of power in the country. Even today, it remains to be the center of government.

Italy also has lots of Piazzas, one of which is the Piazza Venezia, where you will find the Palazzo Venezia, a museum quite famous for its collections of works of arts in the medieval and the Renaissance period. There is also a shopping district in the area of the Via del Corso is only an hour or two away.

Another beautiful piazza that you can visit is the Piazza Navona, where you will find a number of fountains including Bernini뭩 La Fontana. There is also the Church of Sant’Angese, which you will definitely admire for its architectural design.

The Piazza de Spagna, on the other hand, features the famous Spanish Steps or what is called the Scalinata della Trinita’ de Monti in Italian. The steps lead to the church in Trinita dei Monte.
Another tourist spot that you should not miss is the Trevi Fountain. Legend has it that people who manage to throw their coins inside the Fontana di Trevi will come back again to Italy.

Don’t limit yourself by refusing to learn the details about travelling to Italy. The more you know, the easier it will be to focus on what’s important.

Jamaica Hotels and Retreats

Jamaica is a legendary island in the Caribbean with more beauty than you can image. Visiting Jamaica retreats is one extremely relaxing way to experience the island.

Jamaica Hotels and Retreats

Jamaica is an island destination known for its relaxing and romantic atmosphere. What better way to enhance your vacation here than to go to one of the great Jamaica retreats? The retreats on Jamaica are prepared to pamper you while taking full advantage of the great island, beach and ocean atmosphere.

One of the Jamaica retreats you’ll be sure to enjoy is the High Hope Estate, located near Ocho Rios in Jamaica. This inn has only five guest rooms, assuring that your vacation and stay here will be intimate and romantic. The rooms themselves are furnished with beautiful English and Jamaican antiques. The clinic at High Hope Estate offers such varied services as massages and the pampering Milk and Honey Wrap, sure to relax and rejuvenate even the most tired traveler.

Another of the great resorts and Jamaica retreats is the Half Moon Rose Hall, in Montego Bay. This resort houses the Bodywork Spa, which has many different treatments and packages to indulge your senses. Their menu includes wraps, manicures, pedicures, facials, rejuvenation day packages and couples packages to create your own relaxation getaway. The Half Moon Rose Hall resort itself has many other amenities, such as an 18 hole golf course and shopping, even a children’s center!

There are many more Jamaica retreats to discover, including those at all-inclusive resorts. The Couples Resort in Ocho Rios, for example, offers many different treatments to their guests. Some of these include aromatherapy massages, Swedish massages and body polishes. There are also salon services available at the retreat for both men and women, making it so you never have to leave the resort for all of your rejuvenation needs!

Another all-inclusive resort chain, Sandals, has seven different resorts located on the island of Jamaica. Most of them, such as the Sandals Negril Beach Resort, include rejuvenation clinics right on the resort property. The Red Lane Retreats, as the retreats at Sandals are known, offer such diverse treatments as the Salty Margarita Scrub and the Java Jive Scrub, along with massages and other usual treats.

Jamaica is a great place for a vacation, and it’s made even better by a trip to one of the Jamaica retreats that are available in the area. You can relax on the beach and then relax with a massage or facial, all at one location. Best of all, the variety of retreats here means that everyone can find a spot in Jamaica to suit their tastes.

A Country Within A Country: Travel To Barcelona

The distinctive regional culture of Barcelona is largely due to geography and a plentitude of national pride and elitism. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, one of Spain’s 17 semi-autonomous states. The regional language is Catalan, along with the national language of Castilian Spanish. There has long been pressure from the Catalonian government and nationalists to earn complete autonomy from Spain. Consequently, the exclusive culture can be difficult to adjust to and there is significant animosity towards foreigners around the main tourist street of Las Ramblas. To thoroughly enjoy the sweet life and gentle hospitality of Barcelona, leave this busy area and explore the many diverse districts, endless with possibility.

Café Life and Nightlife for the Night Owl
Barcelona is truly a city that never sleeps, particularly during the warm Mediterranean summers. Avoid standing out like a sore thumb by eating dinner when the locals do: after 10 p.m. It is common to see children, grandparents and the family dog gathering at the outdoor cafes at these hours when the day’s work is finished and time for friends and family has commenced. Since Barcelona hosted the Olympics in 1992, the city has been revamped with visitor friendly attractions such as the massive Olympic Village, a string of swanky restaurants, state-of-the-art nightclubs and boutiques along the beach. Most nightclubs do not get going until after 1 a.m. and club-goers typically wander out onto the beach around 5:30 to watch the sunrise over the Mediterranean.

A Modernista Mecca
The architectural wonders of Barcelona will keep even the most novice eye bewildered and intrigued. Antoni Gaudi decorated Barcelona with his treasures of modernism as a painter on a canvas. The grand boulevard of Passeig de Gracia is lined with elaborately adorned Casa Batllo and Casa Mila, both with the most intricate rooftops known to modern architecture. Arguably the most stunning of Gaudi’s work is the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia. Each of the church’s facades are meticulously designed with different themes and styles combining nature with religion and the soaring towers topped with mosaic grapes are built around a conch-like coiled staircase that visitors may choose to take instead of the elevator. Another tribute to Barcelona’s artistic heritage is the Palau da la Musica Catalana. A view of the glass and mosaic inverted chandelier on the ceiling of the theater is alone worth the visit. Daily tours are offered in addition to the regularly held musical performances. Afterward, get lost in the tiny twisting passages of the surrounding historic Gothic Quarter.

Traveling Barcelona Right Not Your Weekend Visit
It is best to avoid traveling to Spain in August, when most of the locals (and most of Mediterranean Europe) take their vacations. Chances are that the restaurant you wanted to visit will be closed and museums will have extremely curtailed hours. August can also be uncomfortably hot.

Barcelona should be traveled with care and patience. The only disappointment visitors have is the inability to see all of the city’s landmarks and hidden corners in a realistic amount of time.

10 Must-Dos When In Barcelona

High spirits and vitality govern in abundance when in Barcelona. This infectious capital of Catalonia, and second largest city in Spain, exudes soul and energy, living life to the full. Barcelona’s verve is matched by its magnificent architecture, characterised by one man’s signature, Antonio Gaudi.

1. Las Ramblas

Running from seafront through to Placa de Catalunya, Las Ramblas is a fusion of market stalls and street entertainment. Watch out for the mime artists, though keep a hand on your wallet.

2. Sagrada Familia Church

In progress since 1882, La Sagrada Familia is perhaps Antonio Gaudi’s most magnificent achievement. As yet unfinished, the ongoing construction of this gothic masterpiece is financed through tourism.

3. Picasso Museum

Born in Malaga, Pablo Picasso moved to Barcelona during his teen years. Though many of his greatest works are in private hands, the Picasso Museum on the Carrer Moncada is well worth a visit.

4. Casa-Museu Gaudi

A pink, Alice-in-Wonderland house is the setting for the Gaudi museum. Gaudi lived in this surreal location between 1906 and 1926 with his niece. Exhibits in the museum include furniture, drawings and portraits designed by the great man himself.

5. The Poble Espanyol

Completed in 1929, the ‘Spanish Village’ is a compilation of buildings representing the collective architectural characteristics of Spain. A celebration of all things Spanish, the village has become a gathering place to dine and be entertained.

6. Bishop’s Palace

After being destroyed by fire, Bishop Juan Bautista Grau i Vallespinós commissioned Antonio Gaudi to design a new, more magnificent palace in 1887. Upon the bishop’s death, and consequent interference from the diocese, Gaudi abandoned the project. It was not inhabited until 1961.

7. Gothic Quarter

On the site of an ancient Roman village, the Gothic Quarter is a contrast of contemporary and medieval architecture, incorporating the magnificent 14th century cathedral.

8. Olympic Stadium

During 1992, the eyes of the world focused on the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona as they hosted the Olympic Games. Today a popular athletics facility, the stadium was a redesigned version of the original built in 1929.

9. Passeig de Gracia

As one of the major shopping areas of Barcelona, Passeig de Gracia caters for the modest, and also those who prefer the more sophisticated boutiques. Bars and restaurants also line the thoroughfare.

10. Lover’s Day

On behalf of those looking for romance, Barcelona obliges with its own version of St Valentines, known as Lover’s Day, celebrated every April 23rd.