Wednesday

What you need for a trip to Paris

Paris has inspired literally thousands of novels, poems and screenplays. If you’re planning on experiencing a little of the same inspiration, or if you’re just looking to enjoy every moment of your visit, here are some things you need to make the most of your stay.  

…a useful phrase book Many phrase books try to justify their retail price by including words and terms for all eventualities, meaning travellers end up with a heavy, daunting tome that’s a burden to carry around and a pain to navigate through in a hurry to find what’s needed. Don’t be put off by thinner pamphlets that only cover the basics – they might be all that’s required. Alternatively, if you have a smartphone, there’s a decent selection of apps available for download, any of which will eliminate the necessity of carrying a book at all.  

…light clothing Even city dwellers might be surprised by how humid or muggy it can get in the urban centre at the height of summer. Pack loose-fitting breathable clothes so that wandering the streets in the afternoon sun is more bearable. Also take a lightweight mac that you can tuck into a bag; the climate isn’t too dissimilar to that of the UK, so rain is always a possibility!  

…a flexible itinerary With so much to take in, it would be silly not to have any idea of what to see and do, particularly if you’re only there for a day or two. However, Paris rewards leisurely exploration, so take some time to wander off-course every now and again.  

The Invalides in Paris, France.
…some ‘joie de vivre’ France as a whole is best enjoyed if you decide to embrace a certain lifestyle. Let the laid-back, unhurried atmosphere that has become characteristic of the French capital take over and leave all of your baggage behind at the hotel, both metaphorically and literally.  

…a reliable credit card So that nothing gets in the way of you having a good time, keep your American Express credit card handy. If you have yet to apply for one, have a look online at their range of  credit cards with rewards that help you get the most from the money you spend.

Saturday

Holidays in Croatia- Interesting Places to Visit

Planning for holidays to Croatia and still don't know what places or cities to visit? I guess, that is not a big thing to worry about. There are a lot of beautiful places to visit in this Central part of Europe. For your accommodation, there are a lot of affordable villas in Croatia for you to stay. Depending on your taste, budget and needs , you can always find one in Croatia.

Here are some of the interesting places to visit and to experience in this Balkan country.

Zagreb - It is just like saying, that a trip to France without visiting Paris is nothing. This is the same with Croatia. A visit to its capital city, Zagreb is a must because it is the heart of the political, cultural and economic life of the country. Located at the centre of continental Croatia, this Central European city constitutes a meeting between eastern and western Europe.

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Archaelogical Museum, Mimara Museum, Archbishop's Palace, Art Pavilion, Parliament Building,Strossmayer's walkway, Botanical Garden, Stone Gate are among the main sights not to miss.

For women who love skiing, do the so-called Snow Queen Trophy, a Ladies Night Slalom usually held every January.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik - This old city is one of the top international tourist destinations in Dalmatia. Having a nicknamed as "Pearl of the Adriatic", Dubrovnik is renowned for the beauty of its monuments, its magnificent walls and welcoming atmosphere.

Dubrovnik, Croatia. thanks to my friend Joy for this image.

Don't miss to visit the Old Town with its Rector's Palace, Roland's Column, Sponza Palace, Pile Gate, Placa Stradun and other sights in the area. Being the symbol of Dubrovnik, a walk along its walls will give you great views of the Old Town and the city. The Cathedral and Treasury, Church of St. Blaise, Dominican Monastery, Synagogue and Jewish Museum are also worthy to visit. Spend some times bathing in Banje beach and Lapad beach. Sailing and boat trips are excellent ways to explore nearby islands.

Zadar - This is the historical centre of Dalmatia with its architecture dated back to the Roman times.

A walk around its old town is very much recommended. The Roman Forum is one of its important landmarks. You have to know that the main interest of this city lies in its churches. Among the famous ones are St. Anastasia's Cathedral, St Donatus' Church, St. Elijah's Church, St. Mary's Church and the churches of St. Chrysogonus and St. Simeon.

Spend a day sunbathing or swimming in its beautiful crystal clear waters.

Split - This is one of the best place to spend a winter vacation in Croatia. A few nicknames are given to the largest city in Dalmatia. It is nicknamed as "The most beautiful city in the world" due to its ideal climate. The modern face of Split presents factories, shipyards and a busy port.

A must see in this city are the Diocletian's Palace which is now a UNESCO heritage site, Two original Egyptian sphinxes, Archaeological Museum (the oldest in Croatia), the main city promenade Riva and Salona. Sailing is also a famous sport in Split.

Always remember, croatia villas, hostels and hotels are available whenever and wherever you are especially in the top tourist destinations in Croatia.

Thursday

10 Amazing facts of Niagara Falls in Canada

There are dozens of amazing facts about the Niagara Falls in Canada, but here are ten of them:

1. The Falls are in fact made up of three separate waterfalls, the largest being the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. The Bridal Veils Falls sit next to the American Falls, and are so-named because of their delicate appearance.

2. The total height of the Falls is 51 m. It is the largest waterfall by volume in North America, and the water flows at a maximum speed of 40 km per hour. The Falls occupy an area of 212 sq km.

3. At certain times the flow of water over the falls is reduced. This is to divert water to the nearby hydroelectric dams. These are a major source of electricity for the city of Ontario.

4. Four of Canada’s Great Lakes drain into the Niagara River. From there they pass through the Falls into the fifth lake, Lake Ontario.

5. The combination of light and water means that you are almost guaranteed to see a rainbow when you visit the Falls. The best time for this is in the afternoon or early evening. At night time colours of a different sort appear when the Falls are spot lit.

The Niagara Falls. taken by my friend Neyla.
6. Marilyn Munroe came here in 1952 for the filming of the movie "Niagara". Parts of the film "Superman" were also shot here.

7. It is thought that the name “Niagara” comes from the Iroquois word “Onguiaahra”, which means “strait”.

8. The international boundary between Canada and the United States goes right through the middle of the Falls.

9. The Falls have always attracted daredevils, from the tightrope walker Charles Blondin to those who tried to go over the top in a barrel. Today you can have your own adventure by flying overhead in a helicopter or by going right up to the base of the Falls in the famous Maid of the Mist diesel powered boat.

10. The area attracts 14-20 million visitors every year. This is because it is a fantastic place for a family vacation, with world class hotels, restaurants and entertainments. Make sure you pack your credit cards because there are lots of opportunities for shopping, as wells as golf courses, casinos and fun things for the kids to do.

A True Turkish Delight


If you're looking for a family holiday to remember, look no further than Turkey. You'll be able to enjoy cheap holidays to Turkey all year round thanks to the Mediterranean climate, which gives the destination a pleasant, balmy winter climate as well as sun-drenched summer temperatures.

So what is Turkey like? It's the perfect holiday destination, offering a blend of beaches, shopping, culture and nightlife to suit everyone. The hotels are geared up for families with kids’ clubs, swimming pools and themed evening entertainment to keep everybody happy.

Ruins in Ephesus, Turkey. The Library of Celsus in the middle.
If you are travelling as a group, Antalya is a great location for the nightlife. The pace really hots up when the sun goes down, with nightclubs and bars buzzing with music and laughter right through until sunrise. If you're looking for a slower pace of life, Bodrum gives you a taste of traditional Turkey with sleepy villages, local restaurants and quaint cafes dotted along the coast. Bodrum is also home to a whole host of historical sites and ancient monuments, so it’s a popular choice with history lovers.

For a mix of lazy beach days, historical exploration and electric nightlife, head to Turkey's 'Turquoise Coast' in Dalaman. Dalaman is made up of several resorts, each offering its own taste of Turkey, from busy bazaars to breathtaking beaches. There's something for everyone, giving you lots to see and do for the whole family. Take advantage of the water sports on offer. Enjoy local cuisine in a beach side bar. Party the night away in one of the many night clubs. In Turkey, you can do as much or as little as you like.

For the best holiday deals, search online for late escapes with big savings. You can save hundreds of pounds on last minute getaways and still get a great choice of hotels situated on the coast.

Cut-Price Cruises

Some people might find cruise holidays expensive at first glance, compared to the standard cost of a week’s stay in a package holiday resort. But scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find that it represents excellent value for money, where you can discover a new destination every day, enjoy sumptuous cuisine every waking minute and take advantage of excellent onboard facilities from fitness equipment and pools to cinemas and spa treatments.

What’s more, cheap cruise holidays are easy to find and readily available via recognised tour operators, or by booking direct with the cruise liner. Many tour operators offer regular discounts on cabin upgrades, drinks packages and even onboard spending money, along with reductions on the overall cost of the cruise.


For instance, Thomas Cook cruise deals are always on offer and due to the fact that the company doesn’t own its own fleet, instead booking holidays with the likes of P&O and Royal Caribbean International, they can also pass on discounts provided by the cruise liners themselves.

Furthermore like any package holiday, the prices often come down the closer you get to the departure date. Tour operators and liners would rather sell cabins cheaply than let them go empty for the duration of the cruise, so you will often see further reductions on the cost of cruise holidays the nearer you get to the departure date. So it’s well worth playing the waiting game if you can bear the suspense.

Finally, another good tactic is to book well ahead - up to a year before the cruise departs - and take advantage of early booking deals on next season’s sailings. In addition, you can usually split the cost and pay off your holiday over a longer period of time. So however tight your budget, it’s always worth shopping around to find the best cut-price cruise deals.

Wednesday

Malia: Hot Days, Urban Nights

When it comes to sizzling holiday destinations with scorching sun, a red hot reputation and an ever hotter nightlife, Malia is the place to be.

It’s got everything that a party-lover could ever want: cool R&B classics, urban tunes, dance and chilled house, rock bars and all-night clubs. There’s plenty of cheesy fun too with all the electric 80s tunes, karaoke chaos and school discos you could ever wish for. The clubbing scene might not be as big as Ibiza but it certainly punches well above its weight in the nightlife stakes.

One thing’s for sure, the reputation of Crete clubbing holidays well and truly precedes it. Take a trip here and you won’t be disappointed.


But aside from booming bars and a hedonistic clubbing scene, Malia has got plenty more going for it. By day, take advantage of the resort’s gorgeous slice of golden sandy beach which is all parasols, sunbeds and water sports. Take your pick between pedalos, jet skiis and speed boats, or join in with a spot of volleyball. If that’s too much like hard work, you could always lay your towel on a patch of sand and while away the hours topping up your tan.

And did you know that Malia was the setting for Inbetweeners: The Movie? Take a trip around the town and visit the places that appeared on the film. Or if you feel like soaking up a little culture while you’re here, the old town is well worth a look. You could also wander up the beach and explore some of Crete’s other holiday resorts, or take any one of the numerous day trips to see a little more of the island.

Whatever you like doing by day and whatever you’re into at night, Malia is a heavyweight nightspot that certainly packs a punch.

Tuesday

Enjoying a stay at a cheap hotel near Euston Station

If you're looking for a cheap hotel near Euston Station then there are a good number of options but you needn't look any further than the Travelodge that sits just a few minutes’ walk from station. The convenience of the hotel itself makes it ideal for anyone arriving into Euston on business, with every other part of central London very easily accessible. The transport links from the Euston area in fact are excellent indeed. You can hop on a Tube right from the station and get to the West End or to the City of London within a matter of minutes. Alternatively you can stroll over in a minute or so to either King's Cross or to St Pancras International, where a train can take you to any other part of the region or even across to the continent.

The Tower bridge in London, England. I was there.
Staying at a Euston hotel makes good sense if you're in town on business but it can also be a great place to base yourself if you're visiting London on a city break and you're looking to explore as much of the capital as you can. The immediate vicinity is one of the busier parts of London but within a very short walk to the west you can make your way to Regent's Park, which is an enormous open space that is lovely in any weather and an absolutely delightful place to be when the sun is out. Film fans might recognise the park as a backdrop to scenes in the Oscar-winning movie The King's Speech and children will no doubt be excited by London Zoo, which sits in the far corner of the park.  

Other great places to visit within a short journey of your Euston hotel will be Hyde Park, which is every bit as pleasant and picturesque as Regent's Park, and the British Library, which is actually on Euston Road and boasts one of the most amazing collections of written artifacts anywhere in the world.

Friday

Don’t forget about Norwich

Norwich is a lovely and vibrant city, located in the county of Norfolk, in the east of England. There are many Norfolk Holiday Cottages within a stone’s throw of Norwich which make a charming holiday at any time of year. Norwich has a rich cultural history and was even among the four finalists for the UK City of Culture for 2013. Here is my guide of what not to miss in Norwich.

A great place to shop

Norwich is a great destination for a shopping trip. Whatever your style, the new Chapelfield shopping centre is a great place to shop until you drop. With over ninety stores including House of Fraser, Hollister and apple, Chapelfield’s has proved extremely popular since its opening in 2005. Outside the shopping centre, Norwich city centre is certainly worth a visit, with a great mix of chain store and independent retailers as well as Norwich Market, which is one of the biggest outdoor markets in England. Voted the best City Centre in the UK in 2006, Norwich is a thriving shopping destination.

Beautiful buildings

Norwich’s rich history has lead to a legacy of stunning buildings dotted around the city. As part of a plan to promote Norwich’s heritage on an international scale, a list of twelve listed buildings has been drawn up. This includes historic buildings like Norwich Castle, built as a palace for William the Conqueror which has been a museum since 1894. Norwich Cathedral dates back to 1096 houses both the highest Norman tower, which reaches 40 metres into the sky, and the largest cloisters in England. The list also includes some never buildings like The City Hall built in 1938 with a impressive art deco interior and The Forum finished in 2001 with its impressive 21st-century design. Why not make it your mission to visit all twelve buildings?


Manufacturing History

Mustard has been manufactured in Norwich for over 180 years, so a trip to the Colman's Mustard Shop and Museum is a must, especially for mustard lovers. It’s the place to learn about the famous Colman’s yellow packaged mustard that has become such a British institution and discover how mustard is made. It’s also a great opportunity to pick up a gift for anyone who loves mustard, with everything from tea towels to mustard pots and even speciality mustard.

With so much to do, Norwich is a great option for your next break away, visit www.webcottages.co.uk for a selection of lovely cottages in the area.

Wednesday

Entertainment at the Comfort of Your Home

What are the kinds  of  activities  or  things   usually  entertain you? Do you need to go somewhere to entertain yourself? Everyone certainly has their  own source  of entertainment that they always love  and enjoy. In  this highly technological world we live in, there are  various ways we can  entertainment   ourselves. If you love watching television, playing video games, reading a very interesting book- like the bestseller entitled "The 50 Shades of Grey" (a lot of friends were wildly  entertained with this one), or maybe playing some indoor games like chess, cards, or entertainment through electronic media, there are numerous types of games and entertainment to  choose  from that   practically everyone can  find interesting.

Tuesday

Home Ideas I Get When I Travel

We just arrived from our weekend trips in Switzerland and France. Among the places we visited were Riquewihr and Strasbourg, both are located in France and Basel in Switzerland.  Those were  such wonderful trips and was so cheap considering that  we stayed in a 5-star Hilton hotel in Basel.

As a traveler, I am always observant everytime I visit a place. I always look around and love to take pictures of anything. Last Sunday, as we were on our way to Strasbourg, this retired German guy who was with us in that bus trip told me something like, "You are taking a lot of pictures, huh?" I answered back, "Because we have nice cameras and taking pictures is only the memories we can bring home for free. Besides, we are beautiful that's why we love to take pictures of ourselves". He ended up shutting his mouth.

Anyway, back to the main topic. Don't you know that I always observe and gather home decoration tips when I travel? Taking for example our trip to Turkey last year. In our hotel in Sarimsakli in Ayvalik region, we stayed in Berk Hotel and Resort, a 4-star hotel in this area. I love the furniture in their lobby and I even took some pictures from it.
The lobby of our hotel in Sarimsakli, Turkey.
Most of the times, I look for home and bathroom ideas in any hotel where we stay during our travel. In Basel Hilton for example, I love the idea of their bathroom setting. It is quite simple but elegant. Their lobby is small and has modern furniture but look attractive.

Simple but elegant bathroom in Hilton Holel in Basel.
During my vacation in Las Vegas, I also collected some garden ideas especially in Bellagio Resort. In their famous conservatory, you can find plants and flower arrangements that are unique and are truly beautiful. I have some ideas now on how to remake our garden for summer next year.

Since we are continually doing some home improvements and renovations at the moment, I had the chance to get some ideas from the hotels and resorts we stayed the past months and years.

I also get some ideas from the different sites that offers home designs. Viva Interiors  for example gave me some ideas about home designs and lighting. Since we planned to renovate our dining room next year, their unique dining furniture like tables and chairs gave me some ideas on what kind of furniture I will buy next year.

Egg  chair at Viva Interior.
Viva Interiors has famous designers like Le Corbusier, Florence Knoll, George Nelson, Hans Wegner and many more. They offer modern 20th design especially for your modern home. One good thing with the company is that, they deliver across Europe. It means no worry for those who are living in this continent.

Lastly, I can say that I simply love their home modern designs. I hope we can have some of it when we will be renovating our dining room and living room. Are you looking especially for modern home ideas? Simple visit Viva Interiors and also read their buyers' guide!