Archive for 06/28/2012

Why You Should Play Golf in Spain

Golf In Spain

Spain is one of the best destinations to go to for your golf holiday so if you are looking for the best climate along with great golf courses, there is no better location for your next holiday. Planning this kind of trip will require you to do a good deal of research. There are a number of resources available to you when you are planning your next trip.

Choosing to play golf in Spain is the ideal choice for taking your golfing holiday at any time of year because the climate is just right for enjoying your favourite sport all year round. The world class courses and the stunning beauty of the area make this one of the most popular destinations for golfing enthusiasts.

There are many resources available to you online that will help you plan your holiday to play golf in Spain. There are sites that will provide you with all of the information that you need about Spain as well as specific courses, tee times, etc. Spain is a wonderful country to visit and you will be able to find something to do for every member of your travelling party.

You will be able to book your tee times online with many of the sites and also find accommodations for everyone in your party. Why not try a spa and golf holiday for you and that special someone in your life? While you are enjoying your golf in Spain, your partner can enjoy the pampering and relaxation of a day at the spa. Including everyone in your family is the best way to enjoy your holiday.

Getting a group together for golf in Spain is another way that you can enjoy your holiday. Imagine spending a holiday in Spain with all your pals playing as much golf as you want. Booking a trip like this is simple with the use of many of the online resources that are available out there. In most cases, you can book your tee times well before you ever head off on your holiday. There is no need to wait until you get there to find out about playing golf in Spain. Just take a look at the number of resources that are waiting for you online.

However you plan to spend your holiday, there is plenty of opportunity for you to play golf in Spain. But you should also be sure to take some time away from the course and visit some of the great Spanish attractions. There are clubs to dance the night away and some quaint old world areas where you can relax and enjoy the sightseeing.

Start planning your holiday in Spain now to be sure that you include everything you want to do on the trip. Make sure that you get a good listing of the courses in the area and the tee times. Spain is a fabulous place and you will also want to plan a few days to just explore the area and enjoy the beauty of the country.

Discover Larnaca, The Oldest Living City in Cyprus

Top Five Beaches to Visit on a Holiday in North Cyprus

Larnaca is a city on the southeast coast of Cyprus. The major international airport of Cyprus, Larnaca International Airport is located in this city. In ancient times, Larnaca was known as Kition, or in Latin Citium. The biblical name Kittim, though derived from Citium, was in fact used quite generally for Cyprus as a whole, and occasionally by the Hebrews for the Greeks and Romans. Larnaca is colloquially known as Skala to the Greek Cypriot community and & #304;skele to the Turkish Cypriots.

Larnaca is the oldest living city of Cyprus. Legend has it that the first settlement at the spot was founded by Noah s great grandson Kittim. Unlike other ancient cities of Cyprus, which were abandoned by their inhabitants, Larnaca from the time of its founding 6,000 years ago, has existed and still exists on the same site.

The city of Larnaka is well known for its picturesque sea front which includes rows of palm trees. Much of the activity is centred around the city promenade during the major festivals. The most important of these for the city of Larnaka is Kataklysmos or the Festival of the Flood, celebrated in early summer with a series of cultural events.

It has a population of 72,000 and is the island s second commercial port and an important tourist resort. To the north of the town lies the island s oil refinery. The famous stoic philosopher Zeno of Citium hailed from the city. It is said he began his stoic teaching after losing everything he had in a shipwreck.

A famous Athenian general, Kimon, died at sea defending the city of Citium in a major battle with the Persians of Xerxes. On his deathbed, he urged his officers to conceal his death from both allied and Persians. A statue of Kimon the Athenian stands proudly on the sea front promenade of modern Larnaca.

In 1974 Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Army displaced by force about 200,000 Greek Cypriots, the inhabitants of its Northern part. Larnaca received and welcomed over 40.000 refugees, thus tripling its population overnight, now at 65,000.

Larnaca Tourist Resort

Larnaca is one of the major seaside resorts in Cyprus. There are numerous beaches in and around Larnaca which which extend for approx 25 km (16 mi). The main Phinikoudes and McKenzie beaches both have been awarded Blue Flags for environmental cleanliness. With Cyprus Car Hire you can easily explore all the beaches and find your perfect spot you like.

The archaeological sites and its six museums are in the centre of the town. Summer sports and sea activities are readily available. The shops are well stocked and medical care is good. There is one main six screen cinema called K Cineplex which opened in 2001 and is on the edge of the town. Most English language films are shown in English with Greek subtitles.

Within the wider Larnaca district there are 9,500 hotel beds, about 10 of the total all island tourist capacity. Along the Larnaca Bay there are luxurious beach hotels and also hotel apartments or holiday apartments within all price ranges. Prices are generally lower than the rest of the island.

Places of interest

The most important site of Larnaca are the ruins of Ancient Kitium. The earliest architectural remains date back to the 13th century B.C. The area was rebuilt by Achaean Greeks. The remains of the Cyclopean Walls, made of giant blocks and the complex of the five temples, are particularly interesting.

Larnaca Salt Lake fills with water during the winter and is visited by flocks of flamingoes who stay here from November till the end of March. It dries up in the summer. It used to yield a good quality of salt which was scraped from its dried up surface. The salt from this lake is now considered unfit for human consumption.

Ayia Phaneromeni is a rock cavern with two chambers. The structure suggests that it once was a pagan tomb, possibly dating back to Phoenician times. The place is credited with various magical properties: thus those who suffer from headaches or other diseases walk three times round it and leave a piece of clothing or a tuft of their hair on the grill in front of the south window. It is also much frequented by girls, whose lovers are overseas, who come here to pray for their safety.

The Church of Lazarus is another magnificent Orthodox Church in Larnaca which was built in the town over the tomb of St. Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. He died here and was buried in the church named after him. In 890 A.D. his tomb was found bearing the inscription Lazarus the friend of Christ . The marble sarcophagus can be seen inside the church under the Holy of Holies.

The Hala Sultan Tekke is about 5 km (3 mi) west of Larnaka, on the banks of the Salt Lake. It is equivalent to the Christian monastery . Within the precincts of this Tekke is the tomb of Umm Haram, said to be the foster mother of Mohammed. According to Moslem tradition Umm Haram died on this spot in 647 A.D. while accompanying the Arab invaders. She was buried here and later the Ottomans built the present mosque in her honour.
The Old Aqueduct known as The Kamares , stands outside the town on the way to Limassol. It was built in Roman style in 1745 to carry water from a source about 6 miles south of Larnaka into the town. The aqueduct is illuminated at night.

Another site of interest is the Fort of Larnaca which was erected by the Turks in 1625. This fort is now a museum and its inner courtyard is used as an open air garden theatre during the summer months, by kind permission of the director of antiquities.

There you have it, there is certainly plenty to see and do in Larnaca.

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A Few Photos Around London

See below for a few photos around London taken by one of our Facebook friends

Madrid Travel Guide & Photos

Madrid-9

Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain, as well as the capital of the autonomous community of the same name (Comunidad de Madrid). The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million with a metro area population of almost 6.5 million. Madrid is best known for its great cultural and artistic heritage, a good example of which is the El Prado museum. Madrid also boasts some of the liveliest nightlife in the world.

Madrid is located just northeast of the geographical center of the Iberian Peninsula, in the middle of the Spanish central Castillian plateau (Meseta central), at an average altitude of 650m. Nearly all of the most famous tourist areas are located in the center of the city including Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real, and Plaza de Colón. The major streets in Madrid include the Gran Via, Alcalá Street, and Paseo de la Castellana.

The climate of Madrid is continental; mainly dry and quite extreme at times. Madrid sees perpetual sunshine and a characteristically hot and dry summer, and a fairly cold winter with frequent frosts during the night and the occasional snowfall. Spring and autumn are mild with the most rainfall concentrated in these seasons. Spring and autumn are definitely the best times to visit, especially the months of April, May, June, September and October. There is very little rainfall during summer and also less rainfall during winter. During winter snow occurs sporadically; however, snowfall usually lasts only for a few days, but there is abundant snowfall in the adjacent mountain ranges nearby.

The culture of Madrid was dominated by its Royal history, centre of the Spanish Empire. The Royal Palace, big places and buildings used by the Spanish Monarchy, enormous cathedrals and churches are plentiful in Madrid, as well as medieval architecture, although nowadays Madrid is just as much a cosmopolitan city as Berlin or London, full of new architecture, lifestyle and culture.

As Spanish Capital, Madrid has meant the different “establishment” for most Spaniards. During the 2nd Republic (1931-1936) was a bustling city of new ideas. Being capital of the Franquist dictatorship (1939-1975) made the city still seemed to represent a conservative part of Spain to many Spaniards. However, the city is also the epicentre of the famous Movida, Spain’s 80s movement that bred personalities such as the director Pedro Almodóvar. The heritage of this era is indeed still visible in the city centre, where a party can be found at all times and one of the most liberal and colourful environments of Spain can be seen. The city is also known for its great gay tolerance.

The citizens of Madrid, who refer to themselves as Madrileños or the more traditional and currently seldom used term “gatos” (cats), live by a daily routine that is heavily influenced by the climate. Due to the typically midday heat during summer, a “siesta” can be still observed during which some citizens take a break to cool off, though Madrileños can usually only afford this ‘luxury’ during holidays and weekends. Most stores are open during all the day; just small stores are often closed during this time. Workers and those more afflicted by Western lifestyles choose not to observe this long break and work traditional business hours, which are usually between 9AM and 6-7PM. During summer many offices, however, will have a summer schedule requiring workers to start at 8am and finish at 3pm (most commonly without the standard 1-2 hour break for lunch). Offices usually close during the weekend but businesses are often open Saturday morning (downtown stays open until afternoon). Most grocers are closed on Sundays, but some major chain and department stores linked to “culture” (books, music, etc.) will be open throughout the day and all of them on the first Sunday of the month. Shops and department stores in Puerta del Sol area are open every day.

Madrid possibly has the largest number of bars per capita of any European city and a very active nightlife; Madrileños are known to stay up until as late as 5AM-7AM. It is quite common to see a crowded

Gran Vía on weekend nights. It is important to note that, due to this lifestyle, lodging located near the fun areas may end up a nightmare for light sleepers if your window faces the street.

Madrid has a very modernized and elaborate transportation network of buses and Metro. The city contrasts with some large European cities in that it is extremely clean, and city employees in bright yellow vests can almost always be seen cleaning the streets and sidewalks. Like most large cities, however, there is a substantial population of vagrants and beggars lining the streets.

Madrid is one of the biggest and most cosmopolitan cities in Europe. Communities of West Africans, North Africans, other Europeans, Chinese, Indians, Filipinos, Pakistanis and (especially) Latin Americans are prominent.

Some popular neighborhoods are:

  • Alonso Martínez – Many pubs and small discos. Until about 3AM, a very young crowd, and if you?re around here before midnight, and over the age of 20, prepare to feel positively old. Most places close around 3AM, then people move to nearby areas to continue partying (clubs in Gran Vía or Tribunal).
  • Barrio de las Letras / Huertas – Many of Spain’s most famous writers lived there (Cervantes, Quevedo, etc.). It is among Lavapiés, Puerta del Sol and Paseo del Prado. It is an area full of history and interesting buildings and is also well-known because of its concentration of bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels. Plaza de Santa Ana is a beautiful square. It can be considered “too touristic” for some local people.
  • Chueca – Near Malasaña and Gran Vía, it is the gay district (although no one is ever excluded) with a very strong personality. New design, trendy shops, cool cafes. Pop and electronic music. By far, the most cosmopolitan place in town. Has become quite chic and expensive.
  • Tribunal / Malasaña – Alternative area. You can enjoy a café, a dinner, a book or just some drink. Mainly rock and pop music clubs, some of them still open from “La movida madrileña” (beginning of 80′s). Calle Manuela Malasaña is a great place to eat, Calle del Pez a great place to have some drinks and Plaza Dos de Mayo is the heart of the district.
  • Conde Duque – Like Malasaña, this district shares a similar audience. Calle Conde Duque is full of cafés and restaurant. Between the main squares in the district, Plaza de Guardias de Corps and Plaza de las Comendadoras, you will also find other options to have drinks, cafés or tapas. The Conde Duque Cultural Centre usually hosts shows, concerts and exhibitions.
  • Gran VíaThe place that never sleeps. Major street that includes many popular nightclubs, usually open from 1AM to 6-7AM.
  • La Latina – Near Lavapiés, it is the place to go for tapas and full of bohemian young people looking for stylish bars. In the old section, many small bars and pubs, a generally older crowd (late 20s, 30s – you know, “adults”). Contains La Cava Baja street. Avoid places in the Plaza Mayor but for sunbathing and beers. Multiple bars serving fantastic tapas in the Cava Baja and Cuchilleros. It’s surprisingly very crowded on Sunday mornings, from 11AM to late in the afternoon due to its close location to the flea market El Rastro.
  • Lavapiés – Multicultural quarter of the city, with more than 50% foreign residents, mostly from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Plenty of world music bars and many alternative theaters and art galleries. Lavapiés is maybe the most cosmopolitan and hippy area at the same time in Madrid. Indian restaurants, alternative cafés, African music and South American shops. Walking around for a coffee is well worth it.
  • Moncloa – Due to its proximity to the main University in Madrid (Universidad Complutense), Moncloa is associated with students and a student lifestyle, many cheap bars and discos as it is near the university, although some of the places are best avoided.
  • Salamanca – Plenty of expensive boutiques, unique shops with impossible prices and department stores.
  • Torre Europa. There used to be several posh pubs and clubs under the tower across from the stadium. There are 4 or 5 bars and discos in the avenida de Brazil area catering to a young and student crowd.
  • Ciudad Universitaria. This area is where most of the students reside as there are several dorms in this area. There are many, many cheap bars with great nightlife starting from Thursdays.

Article source http://wikitravel.org/en/Madrid

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A Canal Cruise: A Guarantee Against Seasickness

Canal-Boat-Cruise

Looking for a cruise with an almost ironclad guarantee for avoiding seasickness? Then what could possibly be calmer, more serene, than a canal cruise?!

Many seasoned travelers are beginning to look for alternatives to the traditional cruise. And there are those who’d never even consider going on what they disparagingly refer to as a big box cruise. Thankfully, alternatives are plentiful and barge cruising may just be the option that captures your imagination.

Barges have come a long way from their working past. Today, luxury abounds on many of these vessels that have been transformed into mini floating hotels. You can still find barge cruising in North America and even in China, but by far the quintessential barge cruise experience is found in Western Europe or Britain.

Mainstream cruising can be fun but big cruise ships have to stick to deep water. A canal cruise can take you to places that the larger cruise ships could never get to. ‘Hotel’ barges cruise the inland waterways of the European and British countryside along canals, rivers, lakes and over locks. This is your great opportunity to visit these countries and experience the true essence of life, far from the madding crowd.

Barges now offer passengers the same great food, wine and service of the luxury cruise ships, but with a far more intimate experience. If cruising equates to a floating hotel, then the barge is the quaint, boutique hotel of the fleet.

Immerse yourself in an ambiance you will share with only a handful of others. When you have between six and sixteen passengers, it gives a whole new meaning and pleasure to an intimate cruise experience. Savor a side to Europe you will never otherwise encounter. And do it all with style and panache. It really is like touring on someone’s private boat, stopping here and there as your fancy strikes. Not even an adventurous self drive into the backwoods and country lanes will net you the opportunity to get really deep into the pockets of Western Europe and the British Isles. Only barging truly can.

One of the best places to begin your research is online. But don’t make the Internet your final stop. Find a travel agent specialist who has booked many clients on these cruises. Every barge cruise line isn’t the same and it is prudent to deal with someone who knows the pluses and pitfalls. It can make the difference between a memorable and a forgettable barge cruise vacation.

A canal cruise is an exciting option to explore a destination in ways you’ve never done before. Plus the pace at which you journey is one of enforced relaxation. Barges move at a slow pace, allowing passengers to go ashore to walk or to cycle along the original towpath. You can even rejoin your vessel further down the line. Back on board, fine wines and exquisite cuisine abound as you enjoy the company of other like minded travelers. You can see castles on the escarpment above, local markets bursting with freshness and vignettes of rural life from days gone by. Battlefields, mind boggling cultural delights, and other remnants of history await you on a unique canal cruise

Visiting Florence, Cradle of the Renaissance

Florence

Visiting the stunningly beautiful city of Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance and cultural center of Tuscany is always an amazing experience. It is very easy to see how artists could be continuously inspired simply from taking up residence in Florence. The natural beauty of the city and surrounding hills has the ability to make even the most jaded holiday traveler stop and ponder. Drinking a bottle of wine on the steps of Piazza Michelangelo, taking a slow Sunday stroll along the Arno or spending a day in the Uffizi contemplating how so much talent was concentrated in this area all are part of the experience that is Florence.

The beauty of Florence is absorbed through all five senses in addition to through the mind, and living like a native Florentine will make your visit that much more rewarding. Rather than staying in one of the huge number of hotels that Florence boasts, staying in an apartment that is adapted as a holiday residence will give you an experience that is much closer to that of living like a local. Returning to an apartment after a day of soaking up culture before a night of soaking up fabulous Tuscan food is a relaxing transition and could make you want to take up permanent residence.

There is also a great diversity in what type and location of apartment you have available. Whether your preference is for the pulsing center of the city or the scenic and tranquil surrounding hills that are only a few minutes outside of the city you can find an apartment that can meet or exceed all your expectations. The range of holiday residences is immense, and virtually everyone, from a 20 something couple to a family with small children, can find fabulous apartments that will make the experience of visiting the birthplace of the Renaissance that much more unforgettable.

To really enjoy your holiday in Florence you only need to stay in the city center, in order to reach the most important museums and works of art directly by foot. It is certainly the best way to discover the beauties of this wonderful city, while at the same time doing a little movement! If you are looking for a place to stay on a budget, there are many cheap solutions to choose: a holiday apartment in the center of Florence, for instance, is the ideal place to spend a relaxing holiday without spending a fortune.

A holiday apartment has some distinct differences and advantages over a hotel room. Firstly, the size, a slightly larger space can mean a world of difference in how comfortable you are. Of course, having a kitchen at your disposal is amazingly convenient and gives you the opportunity to do a little experimenting with the art of Tuscan cookery that is as renowned as the painting and sculpture. Lastly, and most importantly, is the feeling of being at home. Taking up residence in this beautiful city is a dream for many, and living, even temporarily, in a Florentine apartment offers a small sense of fulfilling that dream.

For fantastic offers on Florence hotels CLICK HERE

Train Travel Tips

Rail-Travel

When traveling, there really are a lot of things that need to be prepared. Not only should you have your tickets on hand, but you have to know vital aspects about your destination, too. With regards to train travel, passengers and tourists who are new to it should familiarize themselves with several important points, as there are many aspects of train travel that are entirely different from traveling by air. Doing so will ensure that the trip goes smoothly, safely, and that every one will enjoy the ride.

Always have your train ticket with you. Just like all your other valuable travel documents such as your ID card and passport, your ticket should be well guarded. This is especially important if you are using a multiple type of pass. Carefully read the information indicated on your ticket, so you know the time for boarding and the platform that you are to wait on. When traveling on the train, keep the train pass with you in an easily accessible place, so that you can pull it out if needed. You do not want to have to be digging around in your bag for it.

Get to know your destination points well. Using a map or a tourist guide, you should be able to identify key areas, as well as basic signs regarding your train. This will prevent you from missing your stop or boarding the wrong train. Most train stations have passenger information in English, and you can also inquire at ticket offices if you have any concerns.

Be sure that you have enough food with you as you travel. Depending on the length of travel time, which can be anywhere from an hour to several hours, trains can provide first class passengers with food and drinks. If you are using a second class ticket, you can bring your own food beforehand, buy snacks on your next stop, or purchase them from on the train.

You should be familiar about luggage rules and guidelines on your train. Usually, each passenger should not have more than three items of luggage, and the size standards may vary depending on which country you are in. For example, if you are traveling in Europe, there are certain trains that do not allow pets, large pieces of luggage, or bicycles. Take note of these before you make a reservation or purchase your ticket.

Another note about luggage. It will be wise to properly label all your belongings. You can store your bags on overhead racks in the train, or even under your seat. Though you may have the option of having some luggage stowed in the luggage car of your train, not all stations have porters who can pick them up for you. Organizing your luggage properly makes finding them easy. According to sources, train stations are not liable for any luggage losses.

If you plan well about your trip and are smart about these tips when traveling by train, you will have no worries getting around the places you are to visit. In this way, you maximize your trip and also make it memorable.

Amsterdam History, Culture and Museums

Amsterdam10

Amsterdam is regarded by many as the city with the most intricate and efficient navigable waterways in the world. It was once the financial hub for all of Europe but today is known more for its ‘tolerant’ character with regards to activities such as prostitution and cannabis.

It has over 50 museums satisfying the hunger of many tourism tastes including that of art, architecture, diamonds, Jewish history, war history and beer. There are even museums displaying the history of sex, erotica, hash and torture. The museums vary in size from the grandiose of the Rijksmuseum to the fascinating Amstelkring, also known as Out Lord in the Attic, in the Red Light district.

Despite its rich and turbulent art, religious and trade history, the city had a modest beginning early in the 13th century as a fishing village and by the middle of the 13th century construction of ‘ Aemestelledam , medieval Dutch for ‘Dam in the Amstel, commenced. The first canals were then built for defence and water management but the ease of transporting traded goods between ships from all over the world contributed to the expansion of the 17th century.

By 1660, the city had quadrupled in size with 3 main canals. Both sides of the canals were lined with houses of wealthy merchants reaping the benefits of having their goods delivered to their doorstep on the water.

Although, in the early 20th century, many canals were filled in to allow for the building of more roads, a quarter of the city’s area still consists of waterways with up to 65 miles of ancient canals. There are now 5 main concentric semi circles of canals or ‘grachts’ called Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht, Prinsengracht and Singelgracht.

Today the original dam is known as the famous Dam Square. Damrak, the main road leading into Dam Square was once the end of the Amstel River. It remains in the heart of the city and although not everyone’s image of beauty, is flanked by the Royal Palace and remembered as the meeting point for Napoleon and his troops during the 1808 takeover of the city.

An array of transport modes are available to get around the sites of Amsterdam including buses, trams, the subway, taxis, cars and even bikes. However, for door to door services like the ancient residents, the public transport operators Museumboat and the Canal Bus, stop at almost all of Amsterdam’s museums and attractions via the web of canals. Some of these main attractions include Anne Frank’s house, Madame Tussaud, Rembrandt’s house, Stedelijk Museum, Van Gogh’s Museum, Heineken Brewery Museum, Diamond Factory Tours and the Jewish Historical Museum.

As Amsterdam was built to be appreciated from the water, there are endless types of canal cruises on offer. The historical luxury Saloon boat cruises are appealingly restored from their original early 20th century creations. They were once sailed by professionals to entertain their clients and guests.

Cruises from the various fleets can be taken at virtually any meal time including breakfast, lunch, high tea and even cheese, wine or beer tasting. Dinner time cruises offer the choice of cuisine including Thai, French, Indonesian, barbeque, pizza, sushi and even pancakes.

Other themed cruises cater for lovers of music, cocktails and drinks, theatre, romance, children’s parties, antique ferryboats, literature and of course the famous red light district.

The central part of the city revolving around Dam Square is divided by Damrak into the old part (Oude Zijdse) on the east side and the new part (Nieuwe Zijdse) on the west side. The Oude Zijdse was once a hive of activity during the middle ages and Amsterdam’s Golden Age of the 17th century. Boats would sail up to Nieuwe Markt to have goods weighed at the Waag before being traded. Attractions of the Oude Zijdse include the gothic Oude kerk which is the oldest church in Amsterdam dating back to the 13th century. Passers by often hear the exquisitely toned 1724 organ in the summer months through the beautiful stain glass windows.

The major modern museums are found in the Nieuwe Zijdse as is the pedestrians only shopping street, Nieuwedijk.

Coffee shops and cafes are found all over the city. Generally speaking, cafes serve only standard non alcoholic beverages and food. Coffee shops present more liberal menus for their customers to meet their various consumption desires.

Apart from the smorgasbord of restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and museums many squares (pleins) and parks provide visitors with down time after busy days. Relax in Vondelpark near Leidesplein, which is also the main nightlife area, or just past Waterloo plein is the Hortus Botanicus and Artis ( one of the oldest zoos in the world ) Leidesplein, Leidesestraat, Rembrandtplein, Muntplein and Museumplein all are lined with various boutique, family, budget and modern hotels. The luxurious Hotel Krasnapolski and Amstel Hotel both date back to the 19th century.

Amsterdam has something for everyone to do including children and on any budget. Its relaxed atmosphere and modern approach to life is welcoming yet allows for escapism back in time for a valuable historical education.

To book Amsterdam hotels CLICK HERE

Some Fun Facts About Scotland

Scotland

The Gaelic word for Scotland is Alba.

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom (in the North West of Europe), occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain.

Scotland is a mountainous country and shares a border with England to the South and is bounded by the North Sea to the East, the Atlantic Ocean to the North / West, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the South West.

Scotland consists of over 790 islands (with around 130 inhabited) in addition to the mainland, including the Northern Isles, (sometimes known as the Shetland Islands) and the Hebrides.

Edinburgh is the country s capital and second largest city as well as one of Europe s largest financial centres. It was also the first city in the world to have its own fire brigade.

The largest city in Scotland is Glasgow.

The highest point in Scotland is Ben Nevis at 1,343m.

Scotland is famous for its fresh water lochs (lakes) – there are over 600 square miles of them. The most famous is Loch Ness where a dinosaur like monster is said to lurk in the water but this has not been proven.

Famous Scottish inventors include Alexander Graham Bell (Telephone) and Alexander Fleming (Penicillin).

Culture lovers from around the world come to Edinburgh for its famous arts festival.

The national flag of Scotland is known as the Saltire or St. Andrew s Cross.

“Flower of Scotland” is popularly held to be the National Anthem of Scotland. Scotland the Brave is used for the Scottish team at the Commonwealth Games.

The largest lake in Scotland is Loch Lomond: 60sq km (40 km long).
St Andrew s Day (30 November) is the national day, although Burns Night tends to be more widely observed.

Scotland currently has a population of just over 5 million.

Edinburgh, like Rome, was built on seven hills.

Tourism is recognised as a key contributor to the Scottish economy. A briefing published in 2002 by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) for the Scottish Parliament s Enterprise and Life Long Learning Committee stated that tourism accounted around 5 of GDP and 7.5 of employment in Scotland.

Famous musicians from Scotland include Annie Lennox, Wet Wet Wet, Travis and Simple Minds.

Members of the European Union can apply for jobs in Scotland and other nationalities can apply for a visa subject to meeting requirements.

The most famous football teams in Scotland are Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers.

Scottish music is an important aspect of the nation s culture, with both traditional and modern influences. A well known traditional Scottish instrument is the Great Highland Bagpipes, a wind instrument consisting of three drones and a melody pipe (called the chanter), which are fed continuously by a reservoir of air in a bag.

The thistle is Scotland s Floral emblem.

There are many famous universities in Scotland including the University of St. Andrews, Edinburgh University and Glasgow University.

The currency in Scotland is Pound Sterling.

The longest river is the Tay at 121 miles.

Scotland is in the Greenwich Mean Time time zone.

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