Thursday, October 18th, 2012
Jazz has been prevalent in Prague since the 1920s, but it was after World War II that jazz really became a part of the city’s culture. Today there are jazz festivals all over the Czech Republic, and tourists come from all over to check out Prague’s bustling live music scene.
Prague’s Old Town is home to most of the city’s jazz clubs and definitely the place to be if you are looking to attend more than one venue in a night.
Agharta is a cellar club located just off Old Town Square. With live music from 9pm and a 250CZK entry fee, it is popular with both locals and tourists. Agharta also explores other music genres from blues to swing. The bar prices are cheap and like many of the city’s venues has a waiter service. It is a small venue, so I would get there early (open from 7pm) to ensure you get a seat.
Bily Konicek is a restaurant in a 12th Century cellar in Old Town Square. It serves traditional Czech grub but also has a vast international menu. From 9pm, live jazz bands take centre stage, playing right through until 12am. Be warned – if you are on a budget, this is not the place for you, but is perfect for a special or romantic occasion.
In keeping with the cellar theme, U Stare Pani is one of the best jazz clubs in Prague. The place just oozes with ambiance even before you’ve entered the club; to get to the cellar, you have to go through the reception of the U Stare Pani hotel and down a candle-lit stairwell. Open from 7pm until 2am with live music from 9pm and entrance fees ranging from 200-250CZK.
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Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
People make travel plans everyday, booking their flight, their accommodation and tours they are looking forward to experiencing. Packing can be exciting as their mind is scrambling with thoughts of places they will visit and foods that will amaze their taste buds, but their best travel partner is certainly their smartphone. When you travel with a smartphone you have international service and this can make your vacation adventure so much better. When it comes to travel apps, Apple and Android phones offer them and the best part is most of them are free.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular travel apps to give you an idea of the options you have available to you. Your trip begins with your flight, so if you have a complaint to report, some event that took place at the airport, then you will want to have the FlyRights app. The dept of Homeland Security and TSA review the complaints as they are reported in real time. Twitter, which you most likely already have, can be used to touch base with your hotel prior to your trip and you will have a connection to your airline if you find yourself stranded. You never know when a flight will be canceled so this is a good app to have.
If making your friends jealous of your vacation adventure through pics is your goal, then the Instagram app for photo sharing is just the ticket. You will be able to transform your travel pics from boring to beautiful so viewers get the full effect. Just about everyone has be involved in some kind of bad experience while on vacation and it is true the most successful vacations have been confirmed in advance and that is what TripIT can do for you. This app is all about being organized as it allows you to forward all your emails of confirmation to your account giving you peace of mind that your travel details are set and you have validation with you.
Depending on how far you will travel from home, you can encounter a different form of currency at your destination. This is where the XE Currency app will be with you to convert those foreign numbers to those that you can understand. This way you will know if that souvenir you want to take home is a good price or not. Knowing what the vendor is actually saying about that souvenir is where Google Translate comes into play. Then you can take a stab at the native language, which the locals would prefer anyway. It can make for good fun and be educational at the same time. A different type of translation app is the Vocre. This app translates what you say into the mic from the language you set it for, to the language you set it for. Your choices here are French, Chinese, English, Italian, German, Japanese and Spanish.
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Saturday, September 15th, 2012
If you’re debating whether to go to Spain for your next holiday, here are 10 simple reasons for visiting Spain – whether you choose a break in the vibrant cities or relax on Spain’s world famous Costa’s or it’s sunny islands beaches.
Majorca is home to some of Europe’s biggest, most hedonistic clubbing resorts. But away from the lively nightlife of Palma Nova and Magaluf, Majorca boasts stunning, quieter beach resorts. Visit Majorca for the traditional ‘Releasing of the Ducks’ and ‘Night of Fire’ festivals as well as the impressive Super Yacht Regatta in June.
2. Canary Islands
This fascinating group of islands off the west coast of Spain each have their own individual personality – from the white sand windsurfing beaches in Fuerteventura to the popular Tenerife holiday resorts, the black volcanic sands of La Gomera to the party nightlife of Lanzarote. The Canary Islands offer an unlimited amount of reasons to choose holidays to Spain.
3. The Costas
With nearly 7.5 million visitors in 2011 the Spanish coasts are looking to be a popular choice again for Spanish holidays. From the large tourist complexes in Costa del Sol to the quaint towns and villages of Costa de la Luz, the coasts of Spain are perfect for both big and small trips in the Spanish sun.
Spain’s colourful, energetic city is home to an eclectic mix of museums, galleries, bars and restaurants and is famous for its impressive Gothic and Classical buildings and Gaudi architecture. Escape on a break to Barcelona in January and you will enjoy the Three Kings Parade – a great Christmas festival for the family.
5. La Tomatina
The next La Tomatina in Valencia takes place on August. This famous ‘tomato fight’ is spectacular to watch as well as to take part in. This messy but fun tradition occurs every August and a “top tip” is to wear a white t-shirt to get as much contrast between you and the tomatoes as possible in your photos!
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Saturday, September 8th, 2012
When we think of cruise holidays in general, our minds often turn to the array of choice in every context that the biggest and best ships on the waves are able to offer. But there are no more extravagant equipped vessels out there than the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas. Boundaries have been pushed and expectation levels heightened to a new and altogether amazing degree with the Independence and it is a ship now that really has to be experienced to be believed.
First of all, the scale of the ship is something to marvel at and when you’ve got to grips with that you will start to get some idea of just what a variety of activities there is available for passengers to get involved with. The idea from Royal Caribbean’s point of view has plainly been to offer more choice and more amazing design features than anyone would really have believed to be possible and they have done just that with room to spare. So from an outdoor water park to a massive climbing wall, and from a full-on promenade to dining options galore, it is all there on the Independence.
But even aboard the most resplendent vessel, a cruise holiday would not be worth all that much if it didn’t take you to see some of the most exotic coastlines in the world as well. There again the Independence of the Seas has you covered, with tours taking in the likes of the Caribbean, the Canaries, the Italian Mediterranean and Central America filling up fast for 2012 and 2013. The good news is that there are family packages and other bargain deals available online right now if you take the time and do the homework needed to dig them out.
Friday, August 17th, 2012
Holidays are a treasured time. The time to kick back and relax, forget the stress of back home and soak up some much needed sunshine. But do you go for the cosmopolitan appeal of a city break? Or look to catch some rays on an exotic beach holiday? It can be a tough decision! So why not try a city break destination that also has a beach? Here are two of Europe’s most loved city beach break destinations…
Palma is the capital city of Majorca and the Balearics. The cosmopolitan city is an enchanting mix of history and modern attractions, creating a chic buzz for visitors. Being a commercial and cultural centre, there is an abundance of nightclubs and restaurants as well as historical and cultural sights to visit, sample and enjoy. The city also enjoys an efficient public transport system in comparison to the rest of Majorca.
There are a constant stream of concerts, exhibitions, festivals, ballet and other events as expected from a capital city, with cultural listings available at Tourist Information Offices. Some essential sights include the Gothic Cathedral, a stunning souvenir of Majorca’s turbulent past. Visitors should also look to visit Oliver Market, a covered food market displaying a vast array of food. A great chance to where you can get to know some of the locals. Again, sights are generally more likely than those of Barcelona to be oriented towards residents than holiday makers, good if you want to experience authentic Balearic life.
Palma offers a variety of cuisines, with many good restaurants located along side streets of Passig d’es Born and Avinguda d’Antoni and the Llotja district. Particularly good for traditional Spanish tapas dishes are the popular La Boveda on Calle Boteria, and Burladero,
Playa de Palma is a 6km stretch of sandy beach between C’an Pastilla to El Arenal. Although it is actually about 10km away from the city of Palma, there are good public transport links between Palma city centre and its beach. A wide pedestrian promenade joins Playa de Palma, C’an Pastilla and El Arenal, and there is also a ‘mini-train’ running along the promenade. Around 15 ‘Balnaerios’, small beach huts, are situated along the beach to provide bathroom facilities as well as drinks and snacks. Parts of Playa de Palma are very popular with young holiday makers spending time in the clubs and bars, so may appeal more to those wishing to join in rather than families. Similarly to Barcelona, the other smaller beaches near Palma offer less crowded spots.
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