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- Ice skating in London winter 2016
London's gifted with a number of great ice rinks during the winter. Several long-standing ice skating rinks have shut in recent years, such as Greenwich and Kew Gardens. That does however leave quite a number of options all over London, so here they are: Eyeskate at London Eye Situated in Jubilee Gardens under the London Eye, you can skate right on the Southbank. And when you're done, there are quite a few other attractions nearby. Open from late November to early January. Tickets and prices are not yet online, but they'll be available from the London Eye website (see below). Tickets are cheaper if prebooked. Open from 10 am to 9 pm. Photo by Lima Pix on flickr Address, booking, and phone London Eye South Bank London SE1 7PB Tickets and information: Eyeskate website Hampton Court ice rink Located in the most extravagant palace grounds of any London skating ice rink, Hampton Court's rink is a little out of the way but a fantastic place to be during the season. Open from November to early January, and you buy tickets through Ticketmaster or at the site. The rink has a cloakroom and skate rental. If you're not skating, or just want to spend more time at Hampton Court, and you should, the Frost Fayre café will let you warm up and get some coffee and cake before or after your skating session. Open from 5 November 2016 to 8 January 2017. Adult peak times tickets are £13.50. Open from 10 am to 10 pm. Photo by Visit Britain on flickr Address, booking, and phone Hampton Court Palace East Molesey Surrey KT8 9AU England Tickets and information: Hampton Court website Natural History Museum ice rink The first of the 2016 season's outdoor ice rinks opens in the National History Museum's gardens, running from the last weekend of October to early January. Alongside the 1,000 square meter rink is a smaller "junior" rink and nearby there are several food stands, offering good organice and free-range food. Observers can enjoy a glass of mulled wine in the two-tier viewing area, café and bar. The fantastic museum will give you hours of educational entertainment once you're done with skating too. The ice rink is open from 27 October to 8 January 2017. Prices are from £12.65 for adults and children from £8.80. Opening hours are 10 am to 10 pm on weekdays, and 8.45 am to 10 pm on weekends. Address, booking, and phone Natural History Museum Cromwell Road South Kensington London SW7 5BD Tickets and information on the website. Alexandra Palace Ice Rink Reopened in the 2011 season after a £2.3 million refurbishment, the Alexandra Palace Ice Rink has taken North London's skaters for a slippery festivity season since. The ice rink is open year round, and offers skating lessons, hockey lessons, fun skating sessions, and even disco skating nights. You'll be able to hire this venue privately as well, and if you're all worn out skating, relax in the cozy café. There are special events throughout the year called Ice Nation, one example is the Halloween skating party. And, it's a great opportunity to take in the astounding architecture of the Palace as well. Ticket prices are £9.50 for adults at peak times, but check the site for your desired times as some ticket prices are lower. Admission for spectators is charged at £1.50, but on Friday and Saturday evenings, everyone pays the full admission cost. Skate hire is included in the ticket prices. Address, booking, and phone Alexandra Palace Ice Rink Alexandra Palace Way London N22 7AY Phone: +44 20 8365 4386 Tickets and information on the website. Somerset House ice rink Probably the most well known, this skating rink takes over the central part of Somerset House from mid November to late January every winter. The rink is open from 10am to 10pm, and certain nights, like New Year's Eve, there are special sessions with champagne and fireworks! This year, the Somerset House Ice Rink is holding lunch time ice skating workout sessions called Big Ice Dance. Late night sessions, from 8pm, are Club Nights, and will cost £17 per person to skate accompanied by a DJ and disco lights. This season, the ice rink is open from 17 November 2016 - 15 January 2017. Tickets are from £7.50 for adults. Special events and evenings such as New Year's Eve cost more. Photo by Razlan on flickr. Address, booking, and phone Somerset House The Strand Covent Garden London WC2R 1LA Telephone: +44 (0)844 847 1520 Tickets and information: Somerset House website Tower of London ice rink Set in the dry moat of the fantastic Tower of London, just outside the walls. This rink is surrounded by history and quite easy to reach from anywhere in Central London. The Tower's skating rink is open from about mid-November through the second week of January each winter. Open 9am–5.30pm Tue–Sat; 10am–5.30pm Sun–Mon. This season's dates are November 16, 2016 to January 3, 2017. Peak tickets are from £13.50 for adults. Peak hours are all weekend, and evenings after 5pm. Photo by Yvonne on flickr. Address, booking, and phone Tower of London The City London EC3N 4AB Telephone: +44 20 8241 9818 Tickets and information: Tower of London website Hyde Park Winter Wonderland ice rink There's an ice skating rink set up in the popular Winter Wonderland fun fair in Hyde Park during the end of November until early January. The rink is surrounded by the other attractions of the Winter Wonderland, including food stalls, a ferris wheel and other rides, and plenty of Londoners enjoying the Christmas period. This is London's and England's largest ice rink and surrounds the grand Victorian band stand for its 1,600m2, the largest in the UK. The Winter Wonderland is free entry, but there's a charge for ice skating of £9.50 to £15.50 per hour for adults and £7.50 to £10.50 for children. Season dates are 18 Nov 2016 to 2 Jan 2017, 10 am to 10 pm with last skating session starting at 9 pm. Photo by Garry Knight on flickr Address, booking, and phone Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park Tube to Green Park or Hyde Park Corner Tickets and information: Winter Wonderland website Wembley Park ice rink at London Designer Outlets Skate under the Wembley Stadium arch this winter at the nearby Wembley Designer Outlets ice rink. A great choice for visitors to northwest London, or those able to catch the skating slots during offpeak as it's seriously cheap ice skating during the weekdays. The ice rink at Wembley Designer Outlets is open from 18 November 2016 to 2 January 2017. Peak prices are £12.50, but offpeak is as little as £5, making Wembley a great deal for ice skating in London this winter. Open 11 am to last session starting 8 pm. Closing at 6 pm on Christmas Eve / Boxing Day / New Year’s Eve / New Year’s Day. Address, booking, and phone Ice Skate London Designer Outlet Empire Way London HA9 0FD Tickets and information: Ice Skate at LDO website Broadgate ice rink The Broadgate Ice Rink used to be located at Broadgate Circus, right at the heart of the City, surrounded by bars and cafes. In 2014 it moved to the nearby Exchange Square, and got more room to skate. Perfect for a lunch-time skating sessions for City workers and any tourist or Londoner that happens to be in the City of London. Open from mid-November, this ice skating rink doesn't close up shop until the middle of February. The rink is one of the cheaper, with £13 entry prices in the winter 2015 season and children skate from £9. Prices for 2016 are not yet released. Skate hire is included in the price. There are no lockers at Broadgate ice rink, so don't bring any valuables that won't fit in your jacket pockets! Open from mid-November 2016 to end of February 2017. Address, booking, and phone Broadgate Ice Rink Exchange Square London EC2A 2BQ Booking can be done on phone +44 (0) 845 653 1424 Tickets and information: Broadgate website Queens Ice and Bowl Note that Queen's is currently closed and will open later in 2016 after refurbishment. If you're looking at learning how to ice skate, try Queens' classes for adults or kids. Queens is open year round from 10am to 11pm, and in addition to ice skating and classes, has a number of ten pin bowling lanes at some of the best prices in London - £7 per game. The venue also has a bar and a restaurant if you're hungry after spending time on skates. During the weekends, there's more of a party atmosphere with a DJ playing songs for the people skating. Queens ice skating rink is open 10am - 6:45pm every day and 8pm to 10:45pm and a session costs £10.50 for adults, £10 for children, plus £2 for skate hire. Photo by Jonanamary on flickr Address, booking, and phone Queens 17 Queensway London W2 4QP Telephone: 020 7229 0172 Tickets and information: Queens Ice and Bowl website Canary Wharf ice rink You can skate in the shadow of the Docklands landmark or have a warming drink or food at the pop-up bar. This is the only ice rink we know of where you can skate off onto a separate path under trees dressed in fairy lights! Skating lessons are also available. The Canary Wharf ice rink is open Mondays through Saturdays 9.45am-11pm, Sundays 9.45am-7.30pm (last admission is one hour before closing). Prices start at £14.50 for adults. Kids up to 13 years old skate for £10.50. Family tickets are available too. The season begins early November and closes near the end of February. Skate hire is included in the session prices. Season dates are 4 Nov 2016 to 25 Feb 2017, closed on Christmas Day. Address, booking, and phone Canary Wharf ice rink Canada Square Park Canary Wharf E14 5AH Tickets and information: Canary Wharf ice rink website Lee Valley Ice Centre The Ice Centre is the Centre of Excellence for the South of England and has a 56m by 26m ice pad that provides ice skating for all levels and abilities, from beginners to international competitors. The Centre has public sessions 7 days a week at various times and a learn to skate programme which operates 6 days a week for children and adults. When you're not skating, there's the Ice House Café to relax in. There is a full stocked ice shop selling all skating equipment. The center is open 7 days a week, and prices are £10 for an adult in 2016, including skate hire. Children's prices are £6 under 5 years, and £9 under 16 years old. Address, booking, and phone Lee Valley Ice Centre Lea Bridge Road Leyton, London, E10 7QL Telephone: +44 (0)20 8533 3154 Booking and information: Lee Valley Ice Centre website Sobell Leisure Centre, Islington Sobell Leisure Centre has a 32 meter indoor ice rink with sound and vision. Skate hire is included and refreshments are available. Bring the family along for a fun experience on ice. The center is open year round, and they offer public skating sessions each day of the week. This is the cheapest ice skating in London, with non-member prices just £6.35. Photo by George Beinhart on flickr Address, booking, and phone Sobell Leisure Centre Hornsey Road London N7 7NY Telephone: +44 (0)20 7609 2166 Information: Sobell Leisure Centre website Windsor on Ice Getting out of London a little, but just an half an hour on the train, you can both visit the royal village of Windsor and get some skating time in. Take the train from either Paddington or Waterloo train stations to reach either of Windsor's stations. This rink is open from late November to early January, so you'll need to make a fast decision about what date you want to skate here. The ice rink café sells warming hot chocolates, mulled wine and festive snacks. It's also set in the grounds of Windsor Castle, which you can visit on a guided tour if you want to spend some more time. Windsor also has plenty of good shopping, so this is a good daytrip from London. The skating season here is 26 November 2016 until 2 January 2017. Opening hours are 10 am to 9 pm, except Christmas Day. Adult tickets are £12.50 for an hours session, childrens tickets are £10.50. Though there's a current 2 for 1 offer. Photo by Rachel Andrew on flickr Address, booking, and phone Alexandra Park Barry Avenue Windsor Berkshire SL4 5JA Tickets and information: Windsor on Ice website Westfield Ice Rink 2016 sees the 6th year for the very popular Westfield London Indoor Ice Rink. This Christmas, Westfield London will be cooler than ever as an ice rink takes over the Atrium. The rink is made with real ice and it's indoors so you don’t have to worry about the weather! There's tons of food available right at the skating rink, as well as the very long strip of all-year-round restaurants along the side of the mall. This season is 23 November 2016 to 8 January 2017. Opening hours vary over the season, but the earliest start is 9.15 am and latest close is 11 pm. Prices are £12 for adults and £10 for children. Address, booking, and phone Westfield Shopping Centre Ariel Way London W12 7GF Tickets and information: Westfield Ice Rink Greenwich ice rink Greenwich's magnificent Old Royal Naval College is the setting for an outdoor ice rink from early December to mid-January. The rink is set in the beautiful grounds of the college, in summer this is one of the most pleasant places you can find in London, right next to Greenwich Park, the oldest park in London. A skating session here is perfect to combine with a visit to the Greenwich Market as well, one of the oldest and most charming markets in London. Greenwich itself is designated a World Heritage Site, so take a walk around and take in English history at some of its best. The Greenwich Ice Rink seems to be closed permanently, as it hasn't opened since 2010. Address, booking, and phone Old Royal Naval College Romney Road Greenwich London SE10 9LWThis is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/ice-skating-london/Related articles:What to pack: Moleskine City NotebooksParis tours for the unorganized visitor3 free experiences in London We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Thursday 13th of October 2016 09:00:00 AM
- Summer holidays to keep the children happy in the UK
It’s that time of year again – the dreaded six week holiday from school. It becomes your duty as a parent to make sure your little angels are entertained, stimulated and more importantly kept from nagging you about their on-going boredom through the whole duration. Below we have rustled up a few holiday ideas from all over the UK that should keep the whole family happy all summer long – or at least for a good proportion of it! Eden Project – Cornwall The Eden Project is a series of 50 meter high conservatories that contains the world’s biggest inside rainforest. From exotic flora and fauna to exciting exhibitions and shows – this season you will be able to spot all manner of pre-historic beasts roaming through Eden’s rainforest with their “Dinosaurs at Eden” program running from 24 July - 2 September. Blackpool – Lancashire You have the beach, donkey rides, ice cream, candy floss, the arcades, the Blackpool tower and of course the Pleasure Beach. With lots of rides for all age ranges, you’ll be able to keep everyone entertained here from a thrill-seeking ride on the Pepsi Max rollercoaster to a nice relaxing time on the tea cups. Round off the action packed day by all tucking into a supper of real fish, chips and mushy peas – perfect! Pembrokeshire – Wales From the rolling green valleys to the legends of King Arthur – you and the children will have a wonderful time exploring Pembrokeshire’s beautiful countryside and Wales rocky coastlines. Take a cycle or a family trek around the national park or if the weather’s nice enough take a stroll up and down one of the many coastal paths Pembrokeshire has. Isle of Skye – Scotland Get the kids all excited by trekking through the raw natural beauty of the Scottish islands on the Isle of Skye. With such places as Dunvegan and Armadale Castle to get their imaginations going, you can all pretend you are in your very own fairy tale – dressing up to get in character is always an option! Alton Towers – Staffordshire Alton Towers has always been a firm favourite, especially you have teenagers to entertain as well. This summer sees the debut of their new ride ‘The Smiler’ which boasts a record breaking 14 hoops! There are also rides and park sections for all ages, so don’t worry if you’re not too into loop-der-looping that much, you will still have fun. Kent – strawberry picking farms A fun and different thing to do during the summer, is to visit a strawberry picking farm. A number of which can be found in the charming countryside of Kent. Not only will this be an educational activity for the children but after a hard day’s work they can enjoy the sweet, delicious fruits of their labor with a giant bowl of ice cream to boot! Photos by Colin Boylett (1), Jeremy Thompson (2), Chris Frewin (3), Indrik myneur (4), Jenny Brown (5), and James Lee (6) on flickrThis is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/summer-holidays-keep-children-happy-uk/Related articles:These festivals make it a summer of musicThe Dordogne Strawberry FestivalsReculver Towers near Herne Bay, KentThe Eden Project, Cornwall, EnglandFive stunning British holiday destinationsBrilliant cycling routes around the UKHead to Devon for a family holidayConwy Castle, WalesDawyck Castle and Botanic Gardens, ScotlandBudapest's Vienna GateSan Diego Model Railroad Museum We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Monday 4th of May 2015 09:00:00 AM
- These festivals make it a summer of music
Europe is a delicious melting pot over the summer months of a huge variety of different and exciting music festivals - from world famous bands playing wonderfully exotic locations to more traditional showcases of local talent and music styles - spending a summer festival hopping across Europe will go above and beyond your wildest expectations. Below we have handpicked a few of our favourite festivals from across the continent to help with you with any plans you may be trying to cultivate over the coming months or for next year: Sziget Festival - Budapest -Hungary Taking place in the sizzling August heat in the beautiful town of Budapest, Sziget Festival showcases a tantalizing range of music acts - from traditional Roma and Hungarian folk music to the likes of Queens of The Stone Age and Lilly Allen gracing its main stage. After being voted “best new festival 2013” and a successful 2014, you know you’ll be in for a treat in Hungary this year! Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, Morocco Technically not (or not at all) a part of Europe, but still very cheap to get to via many budget airlines - Morocco. Here you’ll find the epic 9 day-er Fez Festival of World Sacred Music! Everything from French gypsy bands to traditional Moroccan sufi performances, that are held at various locations all throughout this wondrous Arabic city. Eurockéennes Festival, France Set in one of the most beautiful locations ever, Eurockéennes Festival has made its home on the breath taking Lake Malsaucy near Belfort on the French/Swiss border. This non-profit, independently run fest has been going for several years and is now one of France’s biggest during the summer. The Black Keys and Franz Ferdinand were just some of the names to grace the stage in June at this year’s event, so make sure you get in quick for this summer! The Garden Festival, Tisno, Croatia Croatia’s shores are vast becoming festival central for many revelers across Europe, due its stunning scenery and laid back atmosphere. The Garden Festival is an eight day affair that has several stages that play a variety of dance, deep house and trance music. So be prepared to be dancing all night until the sun comes up. Tinso is also famous for its superb, fresh seafood and is very close to the festival site so they’ll be no need to pack a case of pot noodles for this festival! Fortarock, Nijmegen, The Netherlands For all the metal heads out there, the Fortarock fest that is held around the end of May each year will not fail to get your summer started with rock. Set in The Netherlands oldest town, such rock legends as Iron Maiden, Slayer and Megadeth were this year’s highlights with heaps of local metal bands added to the mix for extra Oomph! The perfect place to “hang bang” and “windmill” to your heart’s content. Venom, Hatebreed, and Papa Roach are confirmed, and Slipknot headlines, so get buying tickets now! Photos by sputnik mi amor_ (1), marcpuig (2), and Eva Rinaldi on flickrThis is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/festivals-make-it-summer-music/Related articles:Hafengeburtstag: Hamburg's biggest partyCapoeira in SalvadorMohican State Park, Loudenville, Ohio3 top European budget destinationsUndiscovered honeymoon destinations in EuropeWhat you need to know about driving in FranceBudapest's Vienna GateTop 5 city break destinations 2012 We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Monday 27th of April 2015 09:00:00 AM
- Hariharalaya Retreat Center in Siem Reap
Retreat centers are a great way to start you on a new path of understanding or to help you remember ways of reconnecting with your higher self. Hariharalaya Retreat Center in Siem Reap is one of South East Asia’s best options if you are considering an intensive course in yoga and meditation. What do they do? Hariharalaya Retreat Center host a range of courses from 5 days to 21 days that take you through a series of steps that help teach you ways of reaching personal inner peace. From daily yoga classes and meditation courses to massage and body language discussions – you’ll be introduced to a variety of wonderfully healing techniques that you will be able to use in your everyday life if you so wish to. All food, drink, use of facilities and accommodation is included in the prices that can be seen on their website. You have a choice of dormitories, private rooms and double rooms – whichever suits your needs or budget. Hariharalaya follows a strict vegan diet and recommends that you abstaining from alcohol, tobacco and communication from the outside world during your time there. Obviously everyone is to free to do as they please but the full benefits may not be reaped if guidelines are not honored. Why go to a retreat? Places such as Hariharalaya are great if you have recently experienced any personal problems in your life and want to find ways to cope with said problems. There are also very good if you wish to learn how to meditate and do Yoga by yourself at home but are unsure as to how to do it or would like guidance first. People come for all sorts of different reasons. May be you would just like a break from everyday life and wish to do that in a calm, beautiful relaxing atmosphere? May you are seeking guidance in personal spiritual growth and have not been able to center yourself as a solo person? How do I get there? If you are already in Siem Reap, a short 30 minute tuk-tuk ride will get you here from the city center. Elsewhere in Cambodia is reliably connected with Siem Reap and many places do direct buses and sleeper buses to here. Hariharalaya is well known in the town so many of the local taxis will know how to get here. You may have to haggle on price, but around $10 is a fair price from Siem Reap town center. If you are coming from more international places, most airports fly out to Phnom Phen or Bangkok with connecting flights on to Siem Reap. Please check your countries listing to for the latest info. Hariharalaya is a particularly good retreat center that we have heard about but if you can get one closer to home obviously that might be a better option. Retreat centers are a great way to learn new skills if you are a little unsure about meditation and different forms of yoga. They give you a chance to meet like minded individuals and also ask any questions of the teachers whilst you are there as well. This is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/hariharalaya-retreat-center-siem-reap/Related articles:Time to take back our worldDiving in the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Monday 23rd of March 2015 09:00:00 AM
- A weekend in Bologna
Flights booked? Check. Travel insurance? Check. Passport? Check. Appetite for delicious Bolognese food and culture? Definitely check! Here you can find all the information you will need on what to do on your first weekend trip to Bologna, the beautiful capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy. Recommended time to jet off: June or July, though of course it is beautiful any time! Art and Culture Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna If you are keen to learn all about Bologna’s history and art, then the ‘National Gallery’ is the perfect place to start. Dating back to 1808 the gallery houses a comprehensive selection of Emiliano art works. Starting with the 13th and 14th Century Emiliano paintings and ending up in Baroque 18th Century art, this is a full on day of cultural appreciation! The Cinema Ritrovato Festival Once outside again there is yet more culture to witness in the cool evening summer air. Namely in the form of the world renowned ‘Cinema Ritrovato Festival’: running nightly screenings from late June to early July in the Piazza Maggiore. With films ranging from historical documentaries on facism to surreal Pasolini, this is one for film fanatics and casual tourists alike. What’s more, it is all free! Architecture One of the most striking architectural features of Bologna are the endless portico arcades. Built in the 11th century the city has over 53km of these coverings, making a midday stroll in the summer a much more shady and pleasant experience! Another striking feature are the torres or towers. A climb to the top of the Torre Asinelli in the market area is necessary; the 498 steps are definitely worth the view from the top, so persevere! Founded in 1088 and claiming to be the oldest in the world, Bologna’s university is a beautiful place to visit. What’s more, if you are there in July you are more than likely to run in to hundreds of people singing and wearing Laurels, celebrating graduation. These graduations often involve large street parties, with live music and cheap drinks so get into the spirit and join in! Food and Drink Aside from all the world-renowned Bolognese cuisine, the ragù and the tortellini, there is a hidden secret of cheap and fun dining in Bologna that many tourists are not aware of. Namely: aperitivos! Order a ‘spritz’, a local drink of choice made from Prossecco and either Aperol or Campari. for around 6-7 euros in the evening and you are entitled to a delicious free Italian buffet. Available in most of the central bars, you cannot leave Bologna without an aperitivo and free meal! Photos by Marco Assini (1), David Benavent (2), and David Benavent on flickrThis is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/weekend-bologna/Related articles:Netmage Festival, BolognaThe Vatican MuseumsSa Corbula, going local in Cabras, SardiniaCooking in hotel rooms - Video We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Sunday 26th of October 2014 09:00:00 AM
- Lapping up the Christmas spirit in Lapland, Finland
Lapland is the ultimate Christmas wonderland. From reindeer sleigh rides and ice skating on real solid ice lakes to meet the very man himself who makes Christmas possible – Santa Claus! The Lapland Christmas Resort in Finland is a child’s (and big kids!) dream come true. If a holiday here doesn’t get you in the festive spirit I’m not sure what will. Everywhere you look snow dusted Christmas card scenes fill your vision, with cosy log cabins, grazing reindeers, open lit wood fires and the smell of cinnamon and cloves whirling all around you – Lapland is Christmas in one place. Below we have a list of fun and exciting suggestions of things to do for both the children and grown-ups, so you both get the best out of your special family get-a-way to Lapland. Here are some great things to do whilst in Lapland: Snowmobile safari Ever wanted to meet a snow fox? Or how about catching a glimpse of a pack of Finnish wolves in their natural habitat? Well now you can, hold on as you’re whisked through the winter wilderness of Lapland on a luxury family sized snowmobile. Keep a eye out for the abundance of wildlife that call this icy volatile environment their home! Meet and greet with Santa! Ever wanted to meet the man himself? Here is your once in a lifetime opportunity to having a special meeting with the actual Santa Claus. He’s a very busy man, especially around the festive period so doesn’t take up too much of his time. But he will be free for a chat and a glass of milk for you all to say “Hello!” to him. Reindeer sleigh ride What better way than to get into the festive spirit than a sleigh ride pulled along by all of Santa’s reindeer? There will be all your favorites including the famous Rudolph with his red nose to lead your way. Sit back as you are taken on a magical sleigh ride through the amazing snowy woods of Lapland. Northern lights adventure The Northern Lights are a natural wonder that will amaze the children and adults alike! Lapland’s location in Finland give you a great vantage point to witness one of nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles, with solar flares creating shimmering green and pink shifts of light all over the night sky. If you want a real Christmas family adventure book a trip to Finland’s Lapland for the ultimate festive experience. With many resorts offering deals such as ‘kids Go Free’ (with 2 or more adults paying full admission price) and ‘Two for One’ discounts, you won’t be breaking the bank either. Give your family the best Christmas present ever with an amazing trip to the most Christmassy place in the world – Lapland! Photos by Heather Sunderland (1) on flickr and Moyan Brenn (2)This is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/lapping-up-christmas-spirit-lapland-finland/Related articles:Merry Christmas 2011Dive into luxurious DubaiVisit Alaska for the majestic outdoorsAfrica's amazing off-the-beaten-path places We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Monday 6th of October 2014 09:00:00 AM
- Africa's amazing off-the-beaten-path places
Africa - a continent shrouded in a contradictory mix of raw beauty and dark misinterpretation. Don’t believe everything you see on the TV about it. Because although Africa has had its problems just like anywhere else, it’s vibrant, proud and infectious sprit will outshine any preconceptions you had about this wondrous continent before you arrived. Where else could you be literally feet away from a whole lion’s Pride within their natural habitat? Wave at giraffes as they munch away at leaves from treetops, make friends with mischievous orangutans and witness the gentle grace of the african elephants as you glide by on a wild tour. If you’re a lover of David Attenborough documentaries, seeing the real thing with your own eyes in Africa will simply blow you your mind. Obviously Africa’s immense natural history is why so many people come here, but engaging with the local people and tribes in each area will have you reeling from stories they’ll tell you. Slap thighs with the Masai groups in Kenya and witness aged old traditions with the Zulu’s in Natal - travelling this vast and beautiful continent will change your life forever. Algeria Algeria is a beautiful region of Africa that has the great advantage of not being visited by many tourists - so you’ll feel like you have stumbled upon your very own diamond in the rough when you get to exploring it. From ancient Roman ruins and endless deserts to the winding, narrow, bustling alleyways of the capital Algiers - you’ll be able to feel the intensity of the place with every turn you take. Or you can explore the stunning hillside city of Constantine, clinging to the side of several mountains and built by the side of River Rhumel. There are museums and important historical sites around the city (one of the most beautiful is the Palais du Bey, in the casbah). The city is only 50 miles inland from the Mediterranean coast. Note that although Algeria is a lot more settled after the end of the civil war 2002, it is still recommended to always take a guide or official tour company when venturing outside of the busier towns and cities here. Kenya The ultimate place to revel in Africa’s natural history by taking the plunge on a nail-biting and death defying safari. Take a guided tour on a typical 4x4 from the foothills of the mighty Kilimanjaro, from here you can head out to the plains of the famous Masai Mara and spot all manner of wild beasts going about their daily business - do not forget your camera, as you will encounter so many images of a life time you’ll want to remember forever. Angola One of the home’s to the legendary martial art forms - Capoeira. Twinned in this respect with its brothers across the South Atlantic in Salvador, Brazil - during the slave trade of the seventeenth century both Angola and Salvador were the first origins of this unique art form. Capoeria is still practiced in many villages today in Angola and is an amazing show to watch and even get involved in - if you’re feeling brave enough! Namibia From enchanting mountains, searing deserts, ancient city ruins and a plethora of wildlife - Namibia is one of Africa’s best kept secrets. A lot of people miss Namibia off there itineraries when travelling Africa, but when you have such places as Etosha National Park and the Namib-Naukluft Park in the West where you can spot wild zebras, cheetahs and even rhinos - it’s hard to imagine why so many people leave it out, but at least there’s more to discover for the rest of us. Photos by Aftab Uzzaman (1), mariusz kluzniak (2), United Nations Photo (3), jlrsousa (4), and Massmo Relsig (5) on flickrThis is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/africas-amazing-off-the-beaten-path-places/Related articles:Lamu Old TownMuir Woods, San Francisco, CALake Bogoria National Park, Kenya We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Thursday 25th of September 2014 09:00:00 AM
- London's architectural beauties
The city of London is instantly recognisable. Be given a photo of the UK capital’s skyline and it’s likely you’ll be instantly able to pick out the Gherkin, the Houses of Parliament, and Canary Wharf. They define the city. The modern, stylish city with a huge history that is quintessentially British. But there are plenty more buildings that tell the tales of London and they’re truly beautiful too. We run down some picture perfect locations to fit in between Downing Street and Buck House… Kenwood House This former stately home at the top of Hampstead Heath is a masterpiece and one of the finest Georgian mansions in the country. Although the masterpieces don’t end there, Rembrandt, Thomas Gainsborough, and Johannes Vermeer all have work on display after the building and art collection was donated to the nation by Lord Iveagh, a member of the Guinness family. And we certainly can raise a glass to him for that as the estate is visited by over one million people each year. The house dates back to the 18th century and was originally known as Caen Wood House and is perfect for a summer picnic or autumnal stroll taking in a view that matches the house’s splendour in every way possible. Cittie of Yorke Although the Guinness family aren’t directly associated with the Cittie of Yorke, you certainly won’t be short of one here thanks to good ol’ Arthur. The Cittie of Yorke pub is a grade II listed public house in Holborn and dates back to the 1920s, although a pub has been on the site since 1430. Step through the doors and be transported back to the Victorian era, where Dylan Thomas would be sat in the long bar writing an ode to the very place he was sat in, or meander through the crowds of merry drinkers to the period-style cubicles. Just a short walk from The British Museum, you can take in history from around the world before walking over to sample something of historical importance to Britain – the pint. The Shard But in the fast paced lifestyle of the world’s most visited city, it’s often out with the old and in with the new, and perhaps the finest new structure in the capital is The Shard. Opened in February 2013, it’s the tallest building in the EU and includes an open air observation deck with an unparalleled view of the Big Smoke. The building was designed by Renzo Piano, the man responsible for the Centre Georges Pompidou, and took inspiration from the spires of London churches which can be equally enjoyed throughout the city. The London Hippodrome In the heart of the bustling Leicester Square the London Hippodrome is an interesting building not just for the splendid sculptures that stand proud at the very top of the building, but also for the incredible stories that have happened inside. First opening in 1900 for circus and performances, the theatre welcomed the likes of Charlie Chaplin and even Julie Andrews in her first stage role at the age of 12, before converting into a nightclub where Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, and Dusty Springfield would all wow audiences. Nowadays, it’s a place the Rat Pack would feel right at home – one of the finest casinos outside of Mayfair. It continues to host some of the finest live events in the city and is even ideal for a quick game on the green velvet away from the noise and chaos of London’s West End. The Old Bailey Although you should make sure you’re visiting for the right reasons, The Old Bailey is often overlooked by tourists despite its long and infamous history, alongside a style of build that is synonymous with London. The court itself goes as far back as 1585, although what we see today began its life at the start of the 1900s. Over the years its appearance has developed alongside the way trials have changed and been carried out although the neo-Baroque style designed by E.W. Mountford over 100 years ago still remains the focal point of the building despite numerous extentions. Photos by Trodel (1), diamond geezer (2), El Bingle (3), Mariano Mantel (4), Paul Hudson (5), and Alan Denney (6) on flickr.This is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/londons-architectural-beauties/Related articles:Cheap eats in LondonThe Aqua Building, ChicagoHouse for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park, GlasgowLondon for free summer 2008Chinese New Year in London 2009Kenwood House, LondonSandeman's New London ToursBuckingham Palace Gardens, London We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Saturday 6th of September 2014 09:00:00 AM
- Have a Nepal adventure
Nepal is certainly one of the most stunning regions on earth. Playing host to eight of the highest mountains in the world, including the mighty Everest, it’s not hard to see why so many people flock to this tiny country year after year. On all sides you are surrounded by the most breath taking natural beauty in the form of towering mountains, deep glacier craved valleys, roaring rivers and large expanses of untouched forest. Nepal is definitely a place for anyone who is a lover of the outdoors and for those seeking wild adventures. Apart from its famous terrain, Nepal also has a wide and diverse range of ethnic groups which is significant in the fact that it is such a small country. With so much culture and nature to soak up, you will have a lifetime of stories to tell from just a short time in this truly magical place. From our adventures in Nepal, we’ve highlighted just below a few things that should not be missed whilst you are travelling through here. Trekking Of course, no trip to Nepal would be complete without a few days hard trekking in the world’s highest mountain range - The Himalayas. Spanning over seven countries, trekking in the Himalayas is something that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Trekking within the Everest region is highly popular due to the phenomenal views you encounter of the world’s highest mountain itself and also for the breath taking scenery encapsulating it. Protected by the Sagarmatha National Park, you’ll be passing through rocky valleys, alpine forests, flower covered meadows and ancient glaciers and rivers. Culture With the plethora of Himalayan tribes and ethnic groups that call these mountains and Nepal their home - you will encounter many different and awe-inspiring individuals here. From different languages, religious practices, cultural traditions and customs it is said that the Nepalese people as a whole, celebrate more cultural festivals than they have days in the year. In Katmandu alone there are around seven different ethnic groups, the biggest being Newar who are said to be the true indigenous people of the Katmandu Valley. For a truly diverse cultural tour - come to Nepal! Wildlife Nepal is home to the rare “lordly tiger” and “one horned rhino” that you may have a chance of spotting whilst trekking or on safari in the region. Explore the beautiful diverse range of flora and fauna here as well as gazing up at some of the 850 species of exotic birds that have made the forests and jungles of Nepal their home. If you wanting a holiday with a bit more adventure this time around, Nepal is a certainly a place that will go above and beyond your wildest dreams and will have you planning your trip back before you have even left. Photos by Marina & Enrique (1), Twin Work & Volunteer (2), and nahlinse (3) on flickrThis is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/have-nepal-adventure/Related articles:The Swayambhu Stupa, NepalGreat reads #18Visit Alaska for the majestic outdoorsHow to photograph famous American natural landmarksNairobi National Park, KenyaNarayanhiti Palace Museum, Kathmandu We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Wednesday 6th of August 2014 09:00:00 AM
- Five stunning British holiday destinations
When many think of a holiday, they think of boarding a plane and jet setting abroad. However, what a number of holidaymakers forget is the fact that the UK is home to an abundance of stunning locations itself. The best part is that getting to them won’t break the bank either. Thanks to McCarthy and Stone we’ve got a number of special locations in England to share with you. Any one of these would make an amazing holiday while staying in the country this summer. The Cotswolds The Cotswolds is an area of quintessential boutiques, gentle hills and beautiful cottages. It’s just a short hop from the bustling cities of Bath and Oxford and boasts a number of manor houses, country pubs and charming churches - all of which can be explored at your own pace. Durdle Door, Dorset Dorset is another popular UK attraction and on a sunny day, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were abroad. The Durdle Door, which juts out into the vast blue sea, is nestled within Dorset’s beautiful Jurassic Coast - a World Heritage Site embracing 95 miles of unspoiled, fossil-dabbled coastline. West Wittering, West Sussex Summer 2014 has turned out to be a hot one here in the UK, so why not take advantage of the many amazing beaches our country has to offer? West Wittering boasts a stunning stretch of unspoiled bays, where white sands meet blue waters. Having been awarded a Blue Flag as one of the finest beaches in the UK, it’s certainly worth a visit. On arrival, you can expect to be met by beautiful beaches, incredible hills, and the picturesque chalk lands of the South Downs as well as an abundance of wildlife. It’s an ideal place to take the family for the weekend. Newquay, Cornwall Newquay has long been a popular destination; after all, it’s often described as a beach lover’s paradise! It’s also a great option for those wishing to try their hand at surfing, as the Atlantic swells create world-class surf here. Other activities include exploring the grassy cliff tops, which boast astounding views. For those wishing to escape the crowds, Whipsidery Beach is a must-visit and it’s here that you’ll discover a secluded haven comprising smugglers’ caves and rock pools. Bamburgh, Northumberland Bamburgh Castle is a great UK holiday destination for those looking to explore a renowned landmark and one that offers panoramic views. The beach below is the perfect backdrop to the dark and brooding establishment which sits high above the windswept coast. Photos by James Davies (1), trekker308 (2), Barry (3), Thomas Quine (4), and Al King (5) on flickr This is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/stunning-british-holiday-destinations/Related articles:Swim amongst fluorescent plankton in SE AsiaHead to Devon for a family holidayBarbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, St Ives, EnglandBrilliant cycling routes around the UKCotswolds Country Park, England We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Monday 28th of July 2014 09:00:00 AM
- Things to remember when getting a tattoo in Asia
When you are traveling around Asia you will more than likely have encountered some wild places that you will want to remember for the rest of your life. Getting a tattoo can be the perfect way to capture those memories but there are a few risks which need to be considered before getting one done in a foreign country. Below we have highlighted a few points so you’ll have a better tattoo experience whilst in Asia, and not end up with a failed tat or worse infection etc. Research your tattoo options It is much the same as being at home do your research. Have a look online and see if the shop you’re considering has a website so you can look at past work of the tattoo artist and see customer testimonials if possible. Word of mouth is always a great way to judge whether to go to a certain shop and you can always then see their work in the flesh and make your own judgments. Hygiene and cleanliness of the shop The most important thing to look out for is the cleanliness of the studio. If there is someone getting work done when you are there, try and watch the artist at work. Check that all the surfaces that are being used are covered with protective and clean materials like cling film for example. If no one’s getting a tattoo, have a look to see if the surfaces look like they have been properly cleaned after the last customer. Is the tattoo equipment just lying around with needles still on or is it all clean waiting for the next customer in an orderly way? The second most important thing is the feeling you get when you walk in. Are the staff friendly will they chat and ask about your ideas for your tattoo, do you feel comfortable with these people? Can they draw the design that you have? All good tattoo artists will have photos of their work either on the walls or in albums to suit the style and design of your desired tattoo – so choose wisely. If you don't get a good feeling about the artist or the hygiene of the shop, then simply move on. Tatto cost Another thing that you will have to consider is the cost. This needs to be discussed before the work begins, as some shops will have a rate for the whole tattoo where as others an hourly rate. This will mostly depend on the size and technique of tattooing you want done you can always try to negotiate a lower price as it is Asia after all – we all love a haggle! Always keep in mind that you will have this for the rest of your life and a good tattoo doesn’t come cheap. Tattoo after care Make sure that you do not go swimming for at least 2 weeks after you have had your tattoo done. Take care to wash it wish non fragranced soap and water around 3 times a day and keep it protected from sand, general dirt, and out of the sun. Bepathane cream is the best to help your tattoo heal quickly, so be sure to have a fresh tube of this to hand to apply after you have washed your tattooed area. In Asia sterilization equipment is expensive, and legislation on health standards is very lax so they might not be up to the standards of western parlors. For example, make sure the shop open a packet of fresh needles for your tattoo and all equipment is clean before going ahead. Word of mouth and seeing the end results for yourself is always the best advice to go on when choosing a tattoo artist. Always keep in mind to keep up with the aftercare of your tattoo vigilantly as you are in a place where your body is more sensitive to the foreign bacteria and germs - keep that new tattoo clean at all costs. Photos by Binder.donedat (1) and gullevek (2) on flickrThis is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/things-remember-when-getting-tattoo-asia/Related articles:British keep spending on holiday despite economic woesSwim amongst fluorescent plankton in SE AsiaAmerican Ex-Pat in London We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Monday 21st of July 2014 09:00:00 AM
- Top attractions when exploring Rotterdam
You may consider Rotterdam to be Amsterdam’s boring, industrial, second cousin of a city. But that’d be since you haven’t visited this city yet, and seen its parks, restaurants, museums, or nightlife for yourself. Things to do in Rotterdam Arboretum Trompenburg Trompenburg is a large landscaped botanical garden in the heart of Rotterdam, perfect for recuperating after a hot day exploring the city. While the name goes back to the 11th century, the gardens were established in the 1950’s, and now has one of the best collections of trees, flowers and other plants in Europe. There’s a tea house on site for those wanting a bite to eat or coffee to fuel further exploration. Honingerdijk 86, Rotterdam, The Netherlands Rotterdam Zoo The zoo, and its recently opened Oceanium aquarium receives around 1.4 million visitors per year. They can’t all be wrong, so the zoo is a must-do on a Rotterdam visit. You can get unusually close to many of the animals, which is amazing for kids as long as you make them keep their hands to themselves! Do make sure to pick up one of the English maps though, as signage is often in Dutch only. The zoo, Diergaarde Blijdorp in Dutch, covers a large area to fit in all the enclosures, so bring great walking shoes, and the sunscreen. Plenty of food and drink available to rest the legs and refresh as well. Blijdorplaan 8, Rotterdam 3041 JE ExitGame It’s a normal room, but the door is locked and if you can’t escape in the next 60 minutes… You don’t want to find out! No, this isn’t a horror game show, but rather a fun group activity sure to tickle your brain cells. Solve a mountain of tricksy puzzles to secure your freedom. Oostmaaslaan 37, Rotterdam 3063 AN The Euromast Tower This 100 meter high tower has the most far-reaching views over Rotterdam, and you can take them in while eating in the onsite restaurant. It’s not quite at the top, but nearly half way up at 35 meters in the air. It’s high enough to allow a glittering night view of the city for dinner, or viewing the river and cityscape over brunch. Parkhaven 20, Rotterdam, The Netherland Wereldmuseum An unusual art museum in central Rotterdam, the building started out as the Royal Yacht Club of Prince Hendrik. As the members brought back interesting items from all over the world, the collection grew and the club held exhibitions of ethnographic and maritime objects. Once Prince Hendrik died, the club ceased to exist and the building became the modern day museum. And since, the eclectic collection has grown in size year by year. Rosener, Rotterdam 3026 Getting there While you could fly to Rotterdam, ideally by finding a cheap ticket from a consolidator, that’s not the best way when you can go by Ferry. Take a ride on P&O Ferries Hull to Rotterdam route to better enjoy the journey. Alternatively, you can catch the Eurostar from London’s St Pancras station and go by train. This is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/top-attractions-when-exploring-rotterdam/Related articles:Rembrandt Park, AmsterdamRoyal Alcazar Palace, SevilleOrange County Zoo, Orange, CaliforniaThe Vatican Museums We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Thursday 17th of July 2014 09:00:00 AM
- Pearling in Western Australia
If you are considering going to Australia to work or need to do your regional/agricultural work for your second year working holiday visa - working within the pearling industry in the country's Western region might be exactly the job for you. What is pearling? “Pearling” is not extracting the pearls from the shells themselves but hacking the deposits that have formed on the clam shell over time. In most pearl farms, clams take around eight months to produce a good sized pearl. The job of pearling is to rid the clam of impurities and to look out for potential diseases that may stop or slow down the formation of the pearl inside. Once it has reached maturity, divers who are properly trained in pearl harvesting, retrieve the clams and place them back ready for their next season. How do I get a job? Broome in Western Australia is a great place to start looking as it has the highest concentration of pearl farms than anywhere else in the country. You can also find pearling jobs in the Northern Territory and Queensland too. Most places will take on people with little experience as it is a relatively easy job but one that is long hours and repetitive tasks, on hundreds of clams a day. You also have to stay on a boat out at sea for 2 weeks straight so some may not be able to cope with being away from civilization for that long a time. The work pattern for most jobs is 2 weeks working and 1 week off, so it’s entirely depends on if you think you’d be suited to the working life of a pearler. What are the benefits? Obviously the pay is a huge draw for people, which come in averagely at $1,000 a week. Although this may seem moderate by Australian wage levels, all your accommodation and food are paid for and there is nothing to spend your money on whilst out at sea for the 2 weeks. For backpackers wanting to save cash quickly to fund their trip, this can be a great way to do just that, without the temptation of spending that hard earned cash away. Plus, although it is a simple yet repetitive job many people say pearling is easier than most of the agricultural work many do in order to obtain a second year visa. Plus you’ll get to swim and free dive every day whilst out at sea - which may appeal to you more than toiling in the fields in the hot sun all day! The Legend of The Doomed Pearl of Broome If you do start pearling in Broome, you may here the myth that a worker there when harvesting pearls one season, stole a very big and particularly beautiful pearl. Apparently one of the other divers on the team saw the event and killed the man to obtain the pearl for himself. The legend goes that the same fate became of each person that tried to keep the pearl, but over the years no one actually knows what became of the pearl itself. If you spot aforementioned pearl - I’d just give it away to a museum and break the curse once and for all! Photos by Ra'ed Qutena (1) and Alex Valavanis (2) on flickrThis is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/pearling-western-australia/Related articles:Australia's deadliest animalsSplendour in the Grass Festival, AustraliaTips for planning an Australian road trip We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Wednesday 9th of July 2014 09:00:00 AM
- An Idiot Abroad is brilliant travel TV
Here’s why I think Karl Pilkington has made one of the best travel programmes ever! “An Idiot Abroad” first aired on our British TV screens in 2012 and was the brain child of legendary comedians Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Stemming from a series of podcast the character of “Karl Pilkington” was developed and eventually turned into the lead of the hit TV show “An Idiot Abroad”. Although the show is meant primarily to be a comedy (which of course it is as well) it is also a really honest and great travel programme. Through Karl’s jaded, moronic view of all the amazing places Ricky and Stephen send him to, he actually ends up revealing a more accurate picture of the country he’s visiting unlike other travel programmes. Other travel programmes such as “Wish You Were”, only show you the very best aspects of the place they are holidaying in. Karl’s total disregard and annoyance with everything that isn’t English, lets you see the country for what it is - the good and bad aspects. As fellow travellers will know, it is sadly not all lovable locals and sunny beaches when travelling - there can also be a lot of other things to deal with that aren’t always necessarily great. Karl through his dimwitted outlook reveals more of a realistic and valuable take on a country, rather than just its positives. Therefore making a more well-rounded and realistic travel programme, that allows the viewer to make up their own mind about travelling there - as they’ll have more of a general idea of what to expect. A good example of the above point is Karl’s trip to Thailand. In the episode Karl visits Bangkok during Songkran which is the official start to the Thai New Year. What many people may not know is that Thailand (especially its main cites Bangkok and Chiang Mai) explode in huge water fights, where anybody and everybody is fair game. Tourist and locals alike run through the streets and soak anyone they come across to the bone. Obviously arriving into such chaos, Karl (and all his luggage) are incidentally sodden by the time he gets back to his hostel. For the viewer you are seeing the beauty and raw passion of Thailand without it being dressed up or dumb down. After being to Songkran I can tell you that Karl’s experience is as true as any and if you have any valuable electronics it’s a good warning signal for anyone thinking of visiting Thailand around this time in the year. Although Thailand is renowned for its paradise like islands and ever smiling locals, the show really does a great job in showing its more cultural aspects. Besides the Songkran in the episode, Carl also has encounters with lady boys, Muay Thai fighters and even chows down on King Cobra with a few locals in the North. To conclude, if you’re thinking of visiting a country and would like to see a real show that won’t just over-hype all the best bits of it - look up “An Idiot Abroad” so you can gauge a more subjective opinion before booking a flight out there. Photo by Strellevik on flickrThis is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/an-idiot-abroad-is-brilliant-travel-tv/Related articles:Fee could be levied on ESTA travel to the U.S. by 2010Swim amongst fluorescent plankton in SE Asia We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Monday 7th of July 2014 09:00:00 AM
- Cambodia - A dark and tragic history
When most people visit Cambodia, they are greeted by a sea of smiles and pleas of "Tuk-Tuk Miss and Sir?!" From there it’s beautiful ancient temples in Angkor Wat, scorched countryside and simply perfect islands – most visitors to Cambodia wouldn’t even realise the horrors of it’s tragic past if they weren’t told about them. With a little research and reading, you begin to realise the sheer horror that many Cambodians had to endure during the years of the Vietnam War and then afterwards with the rise of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. The suffering and pain that many Cambodians had to go through were indeed some of the worst atrocities committed in the twentieth century. During the years of 1975-1979 an army general - code name “Pol Pot” - had a vision for his newly claimed Cambodia. Including such philosophies as Marxism and Maoism, he wanted to return Cambodia to a more feudal existence and bring the country back to “the year 0”. Through the U.S. carpet bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War - cities, towns and villages lived in constant fear of being rained down upon by U.S bombs. Destruction and death were thwarted - with the rise of the Khmer Rouge in 1975, the movement found it very easy to persuade people to evacuate their homes and move to the countryside, so as to be safe from the U.S attacks. It should be noted that Cambodia stayed neutral during the Vietnam War, but many Vietnamese fled deep into Cambodia to try and escape American advances. The U.S wanted to flush these enemy troops out, hence why Cambodia became a target. Nearly all of the population of Cambodia’s main cities and towns were evacuated at gunpoint to work in countryside rice harvesting camps. Many were killed for defiance or their inability work in the vast rice fields. One of the main camps close to Phnom Penh, more famously known as the Killing Fields, can still be visited even to this present day. Although it is a harrowing and soul-chilling experience, it is one that must be undergone if you truly wish to understand anything about Cambodia and its people. From mass graves, thousands of skulls and children’s clothes still being washed up in the rains – you can only imagine the out-right horror that so many Cambodians had to suffer at the hands of their own people. Along with the prison of Tuol Sleng, which was used to torture “political” prisoners - the sheer magnitude of the monstrosities that went on in these locations is sometimes just too barbaric to even contemplate. When the Vietnamese troops finally got to such locations and liberated the people there, they were not even sure the scale of what they had come across and infiltrated. By 1979 one in three Cambodians had fallen prey to the evil tactics of the Khmer Rouge. Considering a lot of these people were from the intellectual elite that Pol Pot had labeled the ultimate traitors, this set Cambodia back decades, which can still be felt in the country today. The most heartwarming thing about Cambodia is – although they have suffered such a horrible past they are the most friendly, funny and amazing people that grace the earth. They do not use their history as an excuse and have risen above their dark past to be the amazing, vibrant, wonderful country they are today. We recommend that you go see for yourself and be astounded at the tenaciousness and beauty of the human spirit. Photos by Toby Simkin (1) and mikkelz (2) on flickrThis is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/cambodia-dark-and-tragic-history/Related articles:Diving in the Perhentian Islands, MalaysiaEating your way around South East AsiaThe Vatican Museums We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Monday 30th of June 2014 09:00:00 AM
- Lord of The Rings locations in New Zealand
Whenever you think of New Zealand there’s usually one thing that springs to everyone’s minds - Lord of the Rings! Peter Jackson, a native kiwi himself wanted showcase his beautiful home country in the spectacular Lord of The Rings and Hobbit films that he felt were perfect to portray “Tolkien’s “middle earth”. This really created a lot of tourism hype for the film locations within New Zealand - I know it did that for me! Below we have highlighted a list of top place to hit if you want to make believe you’re in the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit films. Get your swords and cloaks packed and get re-enacting as many movie scenes as you can in these spectacular locations: Ruapehu - Hidden Bay This is an exceptionally important stop-over for anyone wanting to have a slice of the real Lord of Rings experience. The famous Mount Ruapehu acting as the Lonely Mountain in the Hobbit were filmed here, along with parts of Mordor from Lord of The Rings. As well as absorbing this spectacular movie set, you can also trek, ski, kayak and cycle all around the Ruapehu region. The local Maori tribe, the “Iwi”, are also great to get to know, as they were involved in a lot of the planning of the sets and blessing/welcoming the film crew. Marlborough - Forest River If you’re a fan of the first Hobbit film “The Desolation of Smaug” you will have a grand time exploring the beautiful region of Marlborough. This is where the great scene of the dwarves escaping from the wood elf kingdom in the beer barrels was filmed - which personally made my day to visit! Waterfalls, ancient woods and giant trees are spread all over this area, along with the rare native New Zealand bats that make this awe-inspiring landscape its home. Lake Pukaki - Lake Town Lake Pukaki in the north of New Zealand’s South Island, plays host to some of its highest peaks and biggest alpine lakes. Etched over the ages through glaciers, this area is one of spectacular natural beauty with deep valleys and ridges. Hence why it was highly sought after as a major set location for the Hobbit’s “Lake Town”. Here you can spend your days hiking, cycling and skiing around this breath taking region. By night you can look up to the dark heavens and star gaze at the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve which is the world’s largest international park. Miles and miles away from city lights and pollution you have a plethora of stars just waited to be gazed at and spotted - truly a magical experience. Paradise - Beorn’s House The mysterious Beorn in the Hobbit books was always one of my favourite characters as he caused the most intrigue, due to his being able to morph into a bear. Now you can visit his house that is located way out back in snowcapped mountains of Queenstown. Marvel at the huge detailed wooden carvings and furniture in Beorn’s beautiful house and admire the real back drop of the countless misty mountain roads, which have also featured in the Lord of The Rings films too. Visiting New Zealand is the ultimate holiday experience for any Lord of The Ring’s or Hobbit fan. But never fear even if you’re not too into Lord of The Rings, New Zealand still has some of the most spectacular scenery that you will have days of enjoyment exploring and having adventures through. Photos by Tom Raven (1), Phil Norton (2), Trey Ratcliff (3), and paul bica (4), all on flickr This is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/lord-rings-locations-new-zealand/Related articles:Tips for staying safe camping in New Zealand4 exciting green getaways We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Tuesday 24th of June 2014 09:00:00 AM
- Social etiquette in South East Asia
When it comes to travelling in different cultures, you can sometimes accidently offend the locals with (what you see as) very off hand gestures, that would normally be wholly accepted back home in western society. However you must keep in mind when backpacking through such places as South East Asia for example that a lot of the local people (especially the older generations) are very traditional and religious. Although a lot of places cater for westerners and speak English, it is still good to respect the native’s culture and to try and abide by their way of life as much as possible - after all you are one’s that are the tourists in their country! Below we have just highlighted a few of the main mishaps many westerners forget whilst in South East Asia, as to make your time there run a lot more smooth and happier in every way possible. Showing the soles of your feet! This is a great insult to anyone in South East Asia if you were to place the soles of your feet upon a table or a chair. Even worse is showing the soles of your feet in a temple or to any religious statues such as Buddha. If you want to pay your respects at temples etc, always make sure you have your feet safely tucked behind your bum to avoid any unnecessary embarrassment or upset! Ladies - stay away from the monks! It is a sin for a monk to be touched or to touch a woman whilst he is in his religious servitude. You also cannot walk in the path a monk is taking or present any monk with any gift offering. The only way you can give something to a monk is to first give it to a man to give to them, or you can kneel with your head down and wait to see if the monk will accept the gift from you. This usually only works with native women though. Avoid eye contact if possible too! Bikinis in public Ok ladies, you’re in a hot country and it’s all too easy to want to strip off everywhere - but native women are very modest in their fashions and choose to cover up. Of course, if you are in a western-run place or are at the beach/swimming pool, wear whatever you want! But if you are in a local village or a locally run guesthouse or bar, you should take into account the local dress code and cover up when you are in such places out of respect. Public shows of affection This is for all the love birds out there. Any smooching you have to do, may have to be left until you are alone - as public displays of affection are usually frowned upon in more traditional parts of South East Asia. So when in these places always keep in mind to keep the passions at bay until you get home as not to offend or embarrass anyone! The people of South East Asia are some of the most wonderful and loving you will ever come across, just try when in more rural areas to respect the culture and religion by following suit from the locals instead of other westerners! Photos by Mike Stenhouse (1), dannebrog (2), Taro Taylor (3), Gordon Haire (4), and Jon Rawlinson (5) on flickrThis is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/social-etiquette-south-east-asia/Related articles: We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Thursday 12th of June 2014 09:00:00 AM
- The 2 week hit list for Thailand
When it comes to vacation time it can be sometimes hard to get a decent amount of days off to really see everything a country like Thailand has to offer. With Thailand you have the amazing tropical paradises that are its islands and the beautiful green lush mountainous in it’s North – how can you squeeze all that into 2 weeks? Well, luckily for you we have devised a list of key destinations to head to whilst holidaying in Thailand that will give you a real taste of what this great country has to offer – without having to quit your job or go over your holiday allowance. Bangkok - 2 nights This is one of South East Asia’s most vibrant capitals with so many different and amazing districts you are really spoilt for choice in Bangkok. From the backpacker haven that is Khao San Road to the beautiful Royal Place and temples – Bangkok has everything from the weird and wonderful to offer you and definitely worth checking out for a night or two. Chiang Mai – 2 nights The capital of the North – to speak in tourist terms. If you found Bangkok a bit full on, you will love the chilled out vibes of the city that is Chiang Mai. Surrounded by stunning Thai countryside and mountains, if you ride motorbikes you will be in for the treat of your life! Pai – 4 nights Following on from Chiang Mai, you have the peaceful little hippy town of Pai. As soon as you drive into Pai you are greeted on all sides by amazing green mountains and spectacular scenery – it will simply take your breath away. You can also do lots of trekking, kayaking, rock climbing and white water rafting here so get stuck in as soon as you get there! Krabi This is a great gateway town to the Thai islands and a beautiful beach town within itself. Krabi has lots of golden sandy beaches and lively nightlife – an amazing build up before you are marooned on the islands for the rest of your trip. Koh Tao A picture perfect paradise, that is also a great place to go diving and one of the cheapest places in the world to get certified for it. Turtles, dolphins, tropical fish and stingrays can all be spotted in Koh Tao’s surrounding waters, amongst the most beautiful coral in the world too. Koh Lanta What a perfect way to wind up your holiday than to spend the last nights of it chilling out on Koh Lanta. Unlike it’s noisier and full moon party island neighbors, Koh Lanta is just both mesmersing and beautiful – the best place to swing in a hammock on the beach whilst sipping cocktails – perfection. There you have it, all of Thailand’s best highlights all covered within just 2 weeks! The next time you come to book your annual holiday don’t overlook such places as Thailand thinking you wouldn’t have enough time to see it all. Of course, you could spend 2 years travelling around Thailand and not be bored or run out of amazing things to do and see – but 2 weeks is enough time too to get a taste of one of the best countries in the world, at least just for a little while! Photos by Mikhail Koninin (1), Sam Gao (2), AG Gilmore (3), Axel Drainville (4), Rushen (5), vosta (6), and Robert Mehlan (7) on flickrThis is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/2-week-hit-list-thailand/Related articles:Swim amongst fluorescent plankton in SE AsiaHow to save money when visiting BangkokDiving in the Perhentian Islands, MalaysiaThe world's most gorgeous beaches We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Monday 19th of May 2014 09:00:00 AM
- Australia's deadliest animals
When you ask some people “what's the first thing that comes to mind when you say Australia?”, they’ll say the deadly animals that call this volatile yet beautiful country their home. With more than their fair share of the world’s most poisonous and deadly animals, it is little wonder that the place has a reputation for all the weird and wonderful. As a visitor to Australia you may need to look out for a few of the main pest that can cause disruption to your trip. As most Australians really think nothing of finding a snake or a Huntsman spider in the house, as a tourist you may encounter a few nasty surprises - most of which cannot harm you but it is still good to be aware of what you may find hiding in your backpack. Below we have highlighted a few of the main baddies to look out for, but try not let this list put you off as most people come back from a holiday in Oz without encountering a single one of these - but it is always good to be aware! Snakes Australia plays host to 8 out of 10 of the world’s most poisonous snakes. From vipers, boas and restrictors there are 140 species of snake that name Australia as their home. Most people on a trip to Oz do not ever encounter them but if you are planning to stray from the cities to see some of Oz’s famous outback, you may need to keep a few things in mind. If trekking, always wear tough boots that at least come over your ankle and long trousers, as if you accidently step on a snake or come too close to one, these little things could save you from a nasty bite. Spiders The spiders of Australia incite more fear around the world than anywhere else. The native Huntsman and Black Widow (to only mention a few!) are ones to look out for. Although the infamous Huntsman spiders are not deadly (although they certainly look that way!) they can still deliver a nasty bite that can cause swelling and irritation. Be aware to check such things as bags and clothes if they have been laying around for some time, just in case one of these lovely spiders of Australia has decided to make your belongings it’s home! Jellyfish Jellyfish stings in Australia can cause death, with several venomous species claiming the north as it home. The Box Jellyfish is particularly notorious around Darwin due to it liking the warmer climate here. Please take note of official council warning signs, indicating the safest places to swim and surf etc. Crocodiles Attacks on people are common in places where large crocodiles are native and human populations live. Of the 23 crocodile species that call Australia their home only 6 of those are considered dangerous to adult humans. Take extra care when in areas where crocodiles are abundant. The Australian Government and councils are very good at putting signs up to warn tourists of the dangers, especially when swimming or bathing in certain areas - take the time to read the signs and stay away from the water at all costs, if instructed to do so. Apart from the Australian Salt Water Crocodiles that firmly live up to their reputation as a dangerous animal, most of the other groups can deliver a nasty bite or sting but won’t kill you. Most people after spending time in Australia soon realise that unless you really go searching for such creatures in their natural habitat you won’t see them. If you do fall unlucky and do come into contact with any of the above animals, Australian hospitals are more than equipped with anti-dotes and treatments to help recover from your encounter. This is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/australias-deadliest-animals/Related articles:Tips for planning an Australian road tripTips for staying safe camping in New Zealand We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Wednesday 7th of May 2014 09:00:00 AM
- Picturesque day trips in Northern France
The North of France is a great destination for a relaxed break, with a peaceful countryside au contraire to its lively and often bloody history. There is a great deal to discover, and with a little research you will be fascinated by what this nation has been through. Such epic tales of the D Day landings at the Battle of Normandy, and the 1066 Battle of Hastings led by Duke William II of Normandy, famous for the British king Harold being killed by an arrow through the eye! Anyhow today this region is a fantastic place to take a break; I have narrowed it down to 3 of the most picturesque destinations: Mont Saint-Michel This is one of France’s most distinctive and recognisable landmarks, and an absolutely incredible sight to behold. A fairy-tale like cluster of ancient ornate buildings, which appear almost crystallised, like some kind of other worldly craft that was frozen in time, caught blasting like a rocket out of the water. It could almost be mistaken for a giant castle, when it is in fact an entire medieval village. This magical spot started its inhabited life as a monastery many moons ago before 1000AD. Strategically placed on its own island just off the shore, it is only reachable when the tide is out. Being located in Normandy, after 1066, having conquered Britain, it was under the control of William the Conqueror. Otherwise known as Duke William II, the same man responsible for the arrow that killed the British King Harold in Hastings. Inside the Mont Saint-Michel you will find medieval tight winding streets amongst the tall buildings. If you walk to the summit you will be rewarded with an incredible view of the French coast and the vast English Channel. This is a living piece of history. Walking within its walls evokes an array of pictures, of times long gone by. Dinan Dinan is a picturesque village set beside the River Rance. The architecture is typically medieval French, dating back to the 13h century; lots of wooden beams sagging with age, overhanging one another, of which in between old plaster hosts an array of pastel colours. The whole town is surrounded by a medieval wall, still standing and parts of which you can still walk on. The town itself is mainly developed up a steep hill beside the river, and again the view you are rewarded with makes the challenging walk more than worth it. You can even hire your own boat with either a paddle or engine, and sail on down the river. Falaise d'Etretat An incredible dramatic coastline, blessed with many rocky coves, and the distinctive natural stone bridge which looks like a huge pale stony arm reaching deep down into the sea. It is a great place to take a picnic and spend the day hiking amidst the various illustrious bays, which have been influential to such artists as Monet and Boudoin. Against this spectacular backdrop, you can choose to try a choice of watersports such as kayaking, wind or kite surfing. There are options for complete beginners t seasoned pros. The whole of Northern France has a vast array of unforgettable experiences to offer, and once you scratch the surface, you will undoubtedly want to come back for more! Oh, and bring an extra memory card for your camera. You’ll need it! Photos by Yann Pinczon du Sel (1), Martine (2), and Corentin Foucaut (3) on flickr This is originally posted at http://www.eyeflare.com/article/picturesque-day-trips-northern-france/Related articles:The hidden treasures of land locked LaosWhat you need to know about driving in France We have Moved! Update your Reader Now. This feed has moved to: http://feeds.feedblitz.com/eyeflare Update your reader now with this changed subscription address to get your latest updates from Eyeflare.com.
Monday 14th of April 2014 09:00:00 AM
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