Win a weekend for two at Helsinki

Radisson Blue Quiz

Radisson Blue Quiz is a new competition which gives a chance to win some cool prizes. All you have to do is to visit the website, answer correctly to all three questions and you might be the lucky winner of a weekend stay for two or a giftcard (1,000 giftcards are offered: 860 worth €20, 120 worth €50 and 20 giftcards worth €100). Radisson Blue are giving away the weekend for two at one of their wonderful hotels in Milan, Madrid, Berlin, Helsinki or Hamburg. In order to participate in the competition you have to fulfil the eligibility criteria. More specifically, the participation is exclusively opened to persons who are domiciled in the European Union and who are at least 18 years old at the time of entering the contest. Simple as that!

I entered the competition having in mind to win a city break at Helsinki. I am interested in visiting this city since it is Finland's hub for cosmopolitan living and because it houses many of the country's landmarks like the Ateneum Art Museum, Temppeliaukio Church, Parliament of Finland or Helsinki Cathedral. As I read on the internet, the classical Helsinki's sights can be divided into an eclectic set of churches and a wide variety of museums. But what I want to see most is the Suomenlinna fortress. It was once the greatest sea fortress in the Baltic, built by the Swedish around 1750 in order to protect their eastern flank. Today, Suomenlinna is still living in its own time with only old buildings, few cars and inhabitants, and lots of old fortifications or catacombs. But it's not just a museum: the complex houses restaurants, cafes, and museums, being also a very popular place for picnics. It is so magnificent!

Hope to win the trip to Helsinki in order to have the opportunity to see these wonderful places. See you there!

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Boracay's White Beach

Boracay Island is located off the northwest corner of Panay Island, and belongs to the Western Visayas island-group, or Region VI, of the Philippines. In 1990, it was voted by the BMW Tropical Beach Handbook as one of the best beaches in the world and again in 1996 by British publication TV Quick as the world's number one tropical beach. In 2007, Boracay Island topped the list of the World’s Most Popular Beach according to Yahoo! Travel.

White Beach is the main tourist beach of the island. It is about four kilometers long and is lined with resorts, hotels, lodging houses, restaurants, and other related businesses. In the central portion, for about two kilometers, there is a footpath known as the Beachfront Path separating the beach itself from the establishments located along it. In the north and south of the Beachfront Path, beachfront establishments do literally front along the beach itself. Several roads and paths connect the Beachfront Path with Boracay's Main Road, a vehicular road which runs the length of the island. At the extreme northern end of White Beach, a footpath runs around the headland there and connects White Beach with Diniwid Beach.

Thai massage

Thai massage is a type of massage in Thai style that involves stretching and deep massage. This form of bodywork is usually performed on the floor, and the client wears comfortable clothes that allow for movement. No oils are used in Thai massage. It is known in Thailand as nuat phaen boran, which means literally: the ancient manner massage.

For the practicing of this type of massage, the client wears very comfortable clothes and lies on a mat or firm mattress on the floor. It can be done solo or in a group of a dozen or so patients in the same large room. The receiver is sat into a lot of yoga like positions during the entire course of the massage.

The massage practitioner leans on the recipient's body using hands and usually straight forearms locked at the elbow to apply firm rhythmic pressure. The massage generally follows the Sen lines on the body (somewhat like the meridians or channels in the Chinese medicine and Indian nadis). Legs and feet of the giver can be used to fixate the body or limbs of the recipient. In other positions, hands fixate the body, while the feet do the massaging action. A full Thai massage session typically lasts two hours or more, and includes rhythmic pressing and stretching of the entire body (it may include also pulling fingers, toes, ears, cracking the knuckles, walking on the recipient's back, and arching the recipient's into the so-called cobra position). There is a standard procedure and rhythm for this massage.

A trip to Kenya

Kenya is a very beautiful country on the east coast of Africa. Its people have diverse and varied cultural beliefs and practices which are interested for a lot of tourists. Here, the most notable is the Masaai culture, represented by a group of people living in the northeastern part of Kenya who still hold on to there cultural practices and beliefs. It is an unforgettable experience to live with these friendly people and being one of them even for a day. Kenya is also the home of a great number of wild animals and birds.

Tourists should visit Kenya because it is a country that is enjoying abundance of peace and prosperity: people have learned to coexist with each other in harmony, the government ensures that the tourism industry is well taken care of etc. For example, an annual budgetary allocation for the tourism industry ensures that tourists enjoy top of the range services making the adventure to Kenya unforgettable.

Today, the eighth world wonder has found its home in Kenya. This is the annual wildebeest migration that takes place in the months of June to September. It is a thrill to watch these animals crossing Mara on there way to Serengeti. The lions, leopards, buffalos, elephants and rhinos are the residents in this beautiful country. And if you will travel through the game reserves and national parks, be sure that the adventure is one you will not forget quickly.

Enjoying a coffee

Most widely known as coffeehouses or cafés, establishments serving prepared coffee or other hot beverages have existed for over five hundred years. Various legends involving the introduction of coffee to Istanbul at a "Kiva Han" in the late 15th century circulate in culinary tradition, but with no documentation.

Coffeehouses in Mecca soon became a concern as places for political gatherings to the imams who banned them, and the drink, for Muslims between 1512 and 1524. In 1530 the first coffee house was opened in Damascus, and not long after there were many coffee houses in Cairo. In the 17th century, coffee appeared for the first time in Europe outside the Ottoman Empire, and coffeehouses were established and quickly became popular. The first coffeehouses in Western Europe appeared in Venice, a result of the traffic between La Serenissima and the Ottomans; the very first one is recorded in 1645. The first coffeehouse in England was set up in Oxford in 1650 by a Jewish man named Jacob in the building now known as "The Grand Cafe". By 1675, there were more than 3,000 coffeehouses in England.

An Armenian named Pascal established in Paris a coffee stall in 1672 that was ultimately unsuccessful and the city had to wait until 1689 for its first coffeehouse when Procopio Cutò opened the Café Procope. This coffeehouse still exists today and was a major meeting place of the French Enlightenment; Voltaire, Rousseau, and Denis Diderot frequented it, and it is arguably the birthplace of the Encyclopédie, the first modern encyclopedia. America had its first coffeehouse in Boston, in 1676.

The modern espresso machine was born in Milan in 1945 by Achille Gaggia, and from there spread across coffeehouses and restaurants across Italy and the rest of Europe and North America in the early 1950s. An Italian named Pino Riservato opened the first espresso bar, the Moka Bar, in Soho in 1952, and there were 400 such bars in London alone by 1956. Cappucino was particularly popular among English drinkers. Similarly in the United States, the espresso craze spread. North Beach in San Francisco saw the opening of the Caffe Trieste in 1957, which saw Beat Generation poets such as Allan Ginsberg and Bob Kaufman alongside bemused Italian immigrants.

Winning your dream holiday

Play 4 Park Inn

Imagine how it would be to win a vacation in a comfortable and modern hotel located near the sandy beach in an exceptional environment with palm trees and greenery on Djerba island. This is possible if you enter the Radisson – Park Inn competition which is running weekly until the 18th of December 2010. There are great prizes, on a weekly basis two winners receiving an iPad and a £250 voucher for Park Inn Hotels, which can be used at over 200 hotels in 16 countries at the restaurant, bar, or simply on the room. Moreover, each participant will be entered into the final draw for one week's stay at Park Inn Manchester, Park Inn Berlin, or Park Inn Ulysse Resort (in Djerba, Tunisia) plus a £300 giftcard.

All you have to do in order to enter the competition is to play online this fun game of 4 in a row. Every time you play the game, no matter if you win or loose, you log in an entry to the competition. The general idea is to try your best at beating the hotel manager at his own game and be in with a chance of winning the mentioned really cool prizes. But in order to be eligible as a participant you have to be at least 18 years old at the time of entering the competition, and to be a resident of the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria or Switzerland.  

The Play 4 Park Inn competition is open from November 18, 2010 until December 18, 2010 as already mentioned. The 7 nights accommodation prize is for two persons and has to be materialized until the end of 2011.

If it is for me to win the big prize I would definitely prefer the vacation in Tunisia. Why? Because Djerba it is not just an ordinary island, it is like a little world of its own. Although a fairly big island, it is also so compressed that the laziest travellers can cover most of it. On the island, there are many villages with almost no towns, each village telling its own story. In conclusion, Djerba is smooth, sometimes startling, and just as charming as enthusiastic Tunisians tell you it is. Hope I transferred you even a small part of my enthusiasm about this place, since it is truly a dream destination for me.

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Discover Napa Valley

Napa Valley, 30 miles long with a lot of grapes planted on more than 46,000 acres, is located in San Francisco. Known for its sparkling wines, Napa Valley is one of the premier travel destinations in the world. It has incredible locations where you can also find some of the most amazing wineries.

In Napa valley you can find great food and sunshine, and you can always enjoy the view of mountains or valleys covered by vines. With these magnificent and amazing views, fragrant and delicious delights, the Valley is a magnificent place for the tourists. With plenty of attractions, the children can enjoy also the amazing view of the valley while the adults can taste some unforgettable wines or can relax at the health around the area.

These famous tours start from San Francisco Ferry which is the home to ferry plaza farmer market. In California different areas offer wine travel related services, but Napa Valley is definitely the best. Napa Valley tour is an extraordinary way to travel to art galleries, museums and wild life historic sites. Hot air balloon flight is the best option to get to the mentioned historic sites. The tour is full of surprises for visitors which can entertain themselves by visiting the Skyline Wilderness Park, taking a ride with the Napa Valley wine train, going to the Geyser Mountains and to the Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, or by visiting the Sharps teen Museum.

Inspiring young people

The Cooperative Membership Fund is a grant scheme, which helps local communities like clubs, community groups or charities throughout the UK. The funds are given by generous members by donating some of their share of profits, which is then given away in the form of small grants. For example, this year the members have donated £1.2 million to local community groups across United Kingdom. To qualify for a grant, the projects must address a community issue, provide long term benefit to the community, support the Cooperative values and principles and also be innovative. In this sense, it has to be mentioned that the Cooperative has real values and true commitments, not just empty corporate mission statements, trying to make the real difference. 

The Cooperative Membership Fund

What I liked most about this initiative was the program dedicated to young people ment to inspire them to volunteer in their community. They are supported to become active citizens, and at the same time ways for them to change their world for the better being opened through education or various opportunities. The entire work is set to direct benefit of 250,000 young people across the UK, but the vision is far higher: bringing a cultural shift in the way that young people are viewed and treated. To this end, from gaining qualifications, experience and self-belief, to bringing effectively the change in their communities, the Cooperative Community Fund offers the opportunity for young people to make real differences to their lives. More specifically, the young people are encouraged to enjoy sport, including kitting out 60,000 budding football stars with strips, and sponsoring the Netball Superleague and Activate Sport academies. It is also encouraged their passion for music through the sponsorship of the British Music Experience at the O2 Arena which is enabling 15,000 young people to visit this venue for free.

In conclusion, when you commit to change, you have to make it happen. There are some other great stories behind this project. In order to find something about them, all you have to do is to visit their website.

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Shopping places in Delhi

A shopping paradise, Delhi has a lot to offer for the buyers. For instance, the arts and crafts from all the states of India are available in the emporia at Baba Khadag Singh Marg near Parliament. Crafts Museum on Mathura Road offers shawls, pottery and paintings. There are antique shops in Sunder Nagar while Chandni Chowk has had its hold in commercial activities for more than three centuries.

If you are a lover of antique and traditional goods, then you are in the right place. There are shops in Delhi dealing in traditional art and crafts items, precious stones, pottery, brassware, wood work done in rosewood and sandalwood. Delhi's old and traditional shopping market lies in Old Delhi's Chandni Chowk and Central Delhi's Connaught Place. However, there are also new trendy markets in Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and Karol Bagh where you will find goods ranging from antiques to the latest fashionable items.

Ansal Plaza. A part of HUDCO Place built on 35 acres of land, Ansal Plaza is a shopping complex situated near South Extension, one of the posh markets in New Delhi. The Plaza complex competes with the best international shopping complexes in the world in its architectural splendor, aesthetic details and shopping experience.

Palika Bazar. the underground market in Connaught Place is famous for electronic goods, leather and apparels. There are so many small shops in the markets that you have flexible options to choose from. Bargaining is very much a common feature of this market.

Chandni Chowk. The various markets of Delhi are interesting for having their own distinctive ambience and flavor. In Old Delhi, the congested and most densely populated market of Chandni Chowk has survived for more than three centuries. Strewn richly with historical landmarks, this shopping area has shops, which are more than 100 years old.

Connaught Place. Connaught Place, the horseshoe-shaped market of New Delhi, was designed by Robert Tor Russell and W H Nicholls. It was named after the Duke of Connaught, a member of the British royal family. It was the largest of its kind in India at that time.

Sarojini Nagar. It is located in the posh South locality of Delhi. Also known as SN, Sarojini Nagar, it is one of the most sought after places in New Delhi, from where you can buy clothes and fabrics. The biggest attraction of the place is that here can be found the most stylish outfits in India, at unbeatable prices.

How to choose the best web hosting service

If you are looking for a hosting service, then you will have to take all the necessary time out to choose the right one since there are many different features available when it comes to web hosting. Certain features come standard with web hosts, but others don’t (such as spam-protected email addresses etc). If the last thing you want is an email account that will get flooded with spam, you might want to consider getting this feature when you are choosing your web host.

You will also want to choose how many email addresses you need, because the more you have, the more money you will end up paying. Since this is definitely an important aspect, consider exactly what you need before laying down any money for webhosting services. The amount of disk space will also be an issue, so make sure you know how much you need before you choose a certain package.

There are packages for people who are just starting off, which gives all of the basic tools that are needed in order to successfully launch a website, including the necessary disk space, email accounts etc. There are also hosting packages for more experienced website builders, people who know what they are doing and need some serious features to make their site run efficiently. In conclusion, you will also have to catch up with the latest news, and read related articles in order to be aware of all the available options.

But if you expect to profit from your website substantially, maybe you will have to pay for unlimited features such as email addresses and spam-protected mailboxes. It will be an investment that will ultimately be worthy in the end. The more money you invest, the more you can expect to get back, as long as you use the correct strategy. This starts with figuring out exactly what you will need for your website to run the way it should. You will need to determine how much data needs to be transferred and how much space you will need to do it. After answering all of these questions, you will be able to choose the best web hosting service for you.

Making iced mocha

Having a hot coffee on a sunny hot day is actually not so tempting, but that is certainly no need to dismiss the pleasure of enjoying a taste of coffee. The solution is, of course, the iced coffee. Maybe you have tasted it in a coffee shop, but how about preparing it in your own home comfort. Below, I will highlight some great tips to prepare a refreshing iced mocha, which happens to be also my favorite drink.

The beauty of iced mocha is the fact that there are various ways to make it, every way revealing a different taste. Just by including whipped cream and chocolate garnish will certainly add an extra touch on your iced mocha.

For the specific recipe (which should be enough for 4 drinks) you will need some ice cubes, but these will be included at the end. First, you will have to make 4 double espressos and mix them with brown sugar until it melts. Then, take the espresso, add 3 spoons of chocolate sauce and mix it accurately. Put it away for a while and let it cool down, then put it in the refrigerator to make it ice cold.

Right after it became cold, add half a spoon of vanilla and two cups of cold milk. Add everything in a blender and mix it. Put the coffee into 4 tall glasses, then add half cup of crushed ice to each glass. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle a little bit of chocolate garnish. Add a straw and you're simply ready to enjoy it!

Sydney: something for each visitor

Continuously ranked as one of the most popular and desirable tourist destinations, Sydney is known for its ocean beaches, famous landmarks and beautiful harbors. There are a lot of staying options in Sydney: from cheap and affordable to luxury and highly comfortable, your choice depending only on the budget. Sydney, an important hub for entertainment, celebrations and businesses offer everything to makes your trip a memorable one. From special tourist attractions of the city to the beaches like Bondi and Manly and the beautiful harbor front located in the North Shore and Eastern Suburbs, Sydney has something for each visitor.

The hotels can be found in different parts of the city, making its exploring very easy. Tourist guides and car rental services are offered, thus making your visit a relaxing one. In addition, hotels offer spa and massage services as per your budget and requirements.

Popular tourist destinations located in and near Sydney include: Sydney Harbor Bridge, Darling Harbor, Sydney Aquarium, Opera House, Circular Quay and Sydney Wildlife World. The Museum of Contemporary Art, State Theatre, Art Gallery of New South Wales and Sydney Theatre are located right in the heart of this cultural city. The exquisite park lands of the Hyde Park, Centennial Park and Royal Botanic Gardens represents also a must visit and the harbor-side tourist attractions of Watsons Bay, Nielsen Park and Balmoral Beach are the perfect picnic spots.

Becoming a Star

So you want to be a star? You have the charisma, the looks and the talent, all combined? Maybe people respond to you, because you simply have that special something needed to make it in the entertainment biz. So how do you get there from where you are?

Even though you will not actually living the life of a celebrity, HP will help you feel like a star. How is it possible? By experiencing the instant fame of a star in your own paparazzi video. They came up with this new interactive video that allows you to embed photos from your computer or your Facebook account in order to see what it would be like to live the highs and lows of the celebrity lifestyle. With all that this implies: giant limousine, crowded parties, picture and name on the cover of the magazines, and everything else that make you feel very popular.

Below, of course, you will see my HP- Be A Star video. And therefore, for a few moments, I’ve lived the celebrity lifestyle in its entire glory. I’ve shined in my own light, followed my own path, and didn’t worried about the gossips, or paparazzi.


So, in order to have some harmless fun wasting just a few minutes all you have to do is to make your own video and then share it. You can start by leaving a comment to this post with your direct link of the video in order to let me know how your instant fame experience was. Visit also the HP Facebook fanpage in order to socialize and win VIP products. You will definitely ‘Like’ it!

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Discover Tunisia

Tunisia is ranked by each tourist in accordance with their priorities: some will come for the sea, others for Sahara, and others to discover the secrets of ancient Carthage. But, anyway, more and more people choose to vacation in this country. The main resort area of Tunisia is located along the Mediterranean coast of Hammamet to the island of Djerba. These tourists are attracted by the beaches covered with soft sand, opposite from the capital Tunis side coast until Tabarka, which is practically on the border with Algeria, which is not so popular, due to the beaches driven by rocks.

The options for excursions are not so many, having the opportunity to choose from a set of tours which will be available no matter where you stay: the ruins of Carthage, the largest Roman Coliseum in North Africa at El Jem, Kairouan holy city of Islam, with the oldest mosque and mausoleum on the continent. Besides this, directly in the sand, there are some other entertainment options waiting for you: air balloon, camel racing, horse riding, jeep safari. You can even leave the high dune on a snowboard.

Hammamet is one of the most popular resorts among foreign tourists. Last but not least is the fact that here is the fourth largest thalasso therapy center in the world. Besides this, Hammamet or the garden city of the country of sand, as it is called, has another special value: here it can be found hotels for every taste and price.

If you take the road from El Kantavi to Sousa, at only only 5 km, you will find the town of Sousse. This is not only a major resort, but also the third largest city of Tunisia, older than Carthage. Here should not be missed the museum of mosaic art, the Christian catacombs, or the old fortress. As for shopping, even if in Tunisia you will find mostly small shops with souvenirs and beach items, in Sousse there are a lot of shops, including fashion boutiques.

Fishing for Fun

Fishing is a lot of fun. Actually, fishing with my kids is the best family time we spent. Just getting outside and hanging around by the lake are the best moments we spend together. In the beginning, my kids used fishing as a way to get them to the lake on a nice day. Which is ok, since it gets me outdoors where I bond with nature. There's nothing more relaxing than sitting on the lake in my boat and leaving the stress of everyday life far behind. It soothes the soul, and in this fast world, it's a lot cheaper than a therapist. Also my kids discovered that they love to fish, once we've been out a few times.

When we had first in mind to start go fishing, I had to select the boat wisely. A boat that meets the requirements and objectives on what I want to do with the fish caught are the things to look at when selecting it. Then it comes the selection of the appropriate place that meets the desired duration of the trip. And don’t forget about the tackle, bait, ice and fresh water. The tackle is really a set of pulleys and ropes assembled to facilitate the mechanisms for hoisting and pulling. Bait is for luring the fish. Ice is for keeping fresh the fish caught during the journey. Lastly, the fresh water is for thirst quencher during the fishing trip. Wear comfortable clothes that are suited for a hot summer day. T-shirts and shorts are the greatest clothes to have in mind when you go fishing. Keep in mind that an additional t-shirt will also be helpful. Also, I don’t have to forget about the baseball caps for my kids. This is efficient in shielding the hot rays in the sun during the journey. Bring with you polarized sunglasses to see the fish inside water. After all that preparation, we are ready to go fishing. When we see the variety of fish that can be caught on the lake we go, it feels very good.

And after a couple of hours, when we are all hungry, we get back to the town in order to enjoy a pizza. Since the best place to do that is Pizza Hut, we are always anxious to get there. And they have also this offer of letting kids under 12 years eat free which was available all summer, and which have been extended until January 9, 2011. More specifically, it means that for every adult main course purchased, an accompanying child can choose from either a free 2 course kids meal or a free kids lunchtime buffet which includes pizza, pasta and salad. More details about this offer can be found at

Besides the Kids Eat Free offer, on the bottom of the receipt you will find also a code, which if it is entered at their website can get you great deals on a wide range of family activities and adventures including holidays, theme parks, zoos and more. In conclusion, it is a pizza to be enjoyed!

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Shopping in London

London it is definitely a place where you can never run out of spots to go to when you want to buy things. One of the best shopping places in town especially if you want to spend on luxurious items is Harrods, located in Knightsbridge. Browsing products in Harrods will take you at least two hours because of the wide range of things to choose from. The store started out in 1849, and has since then built its reputation as a premiere shopping place. Now, more and more famous people are entering its doors and the range of up market products just gets wider.

If you are a tourist who wants to avail affordable items and quality second hand goods, then going to London markets is a must. The Greenwich market is a popular getaway for shoppers who want to save and gain more as well. Unique crafts and art products, rare collectibles, and antiques can be found all around the market place which will become memorable souvenirs for loved ones. The one hundred and fifty stalls of Greenwich market during week end will surely make your day. In addition, the marketplace will take you to an international food trip because of the variety of the restaurants you can go to with Caribbean, Korean, French, or Italian cuisines.

For those who are fond of signature perfumes, the place to be is Penhaligon’s perfumery, nestled in Wellington Street in Covent Garden. There are various scented products you could take home to including sweet-smelling clothes, body products, body sprays, and a range of perfumes.

Another market where you can experience the identity of London is Brick Lane. The place is buzzling with market-goers finding second-hand items spread on stalls and Oriental restaurants serving different dishes from Indian to Bangladeshi dining places. It is only open for Sundays though.

In conclusion, visit London and enjoy the shopping places there and, who knows, maybe you will find what you are looking for!

Ideal Vacation: Hotel or House Rental?

Every year, for the holidays you have to find an affordable hotel at a warm beachfront destination. But if you decide to do a family trip to Maui, where the hotels are really expensive you will start looking for alternatives. For example, various websites are offering vacation rental homes that allow you to find a place in your budget with more space than you ever imagined.

There are pros and cons to choosing a vacation rental home over a traditional hotel or resort and it's definitely not for everyone. But in most cases a vacation home will give you more space, having also kitchens with beautiful furniture and laundry facilities, and it is more economical than a high-end resort hotel. If the unit is part of a resort or condo complex, you may have the use of additional recreational facilities such as a swimming pool, hot tub or tennis courts. Depending on the rental, many include amenities such as beach towels, coolers, lawn chairs and boogie boards.

The longer you stay at the rental the cheaper the rate, and often times the renter may throw in a free night or some other incentive. The other obvious perk is the money you save on meals by doing some of the cooking yourself. House rentals can be booked directly over the internet through one of the many sites specializing in vacation rentals. They also provide pictures and details of the property and most are very quick to respond to any questions. Some sites provide the phone numbers of the owners, and it may be worth contacting them directly to try and negotiate a better rate.

There is a different feeling about staying in a rental home over a hotel. It allows you to imagine actually owning a villa on the beach in Barbados or some other luxury destination. You become intermingled with the local culture as you shop for groceries, visit neighborhood markets, or hang out at nearby cafes. If you've ever wanted to live like a millionaire, you can split the rent with a few friends and secure a luxury beach front villa that may otherwise run you millions of dollars to buy. Spend some time soaking up the sun and then go home to reality.

Azores Islands

The Azores is a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1,500 km west from Lisbon and about 3,900 east from the east coast of North America. The archipelago, and economic exclusion zone, forms the Autonomous Region of the Azores, one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal. Its main industries are: agriculture, dairy farming, minor livestock ranching, fishing and tourism, which is becoming the major service activity in the region. In addition, the government of the Azores is responsible for employing a large percentage of population directly or indirectly in many aspects of the service and tertiary sectors.

The Azores islands are not just a destination but a magical journey. With breathtaking views, at the core of nine islands you will find a harmonious convergence of majestic scenery with the human warmth and way of life that is both timeless and contemporary. Over the years the Azores Islands have gained the trust of visitors looking for an exciting holiday.

Still a sleeping beauty, the nine islands of this fascinating archipelago, which marks the westernmost end of Europe, have everything to please every traveler. If you are in search of spectacular landscapes with never-ending panoramic views, savagely beautiful untouched nature, wide open spaces where the green color prevails, exuberant flora exhibiting all colors of the rainbow, solitary hiking routes, small and peaceful villages, picturesque and deserted roads, then the Azores are the ideal holiday destination.

Shopping in Qingdao

Qingdao is not what you would expect form a typical city in China. Although the friendly locals will remind you that you are in China, the German architecture of some of the old buildings here gives Qingdao an unmistakable European feel. Visitors to the city should not miss the opportunity to pay a visit to the Tsingtao Brewery which was founded in 1903. If you want to get a taste of the real Qingdao, try out a serving of noodles at Ajisen Ramen with a side dish of deep fried shrimp or a slice of sensational roast duck from the Xiao Wangfu Roast Duck Restaurant. SOS Entertainment and the Corner Jazz Club are some of the best places in town to party.

Travelers looking for great shopping options in the city of Qingdao should go to Dontai Jusco Shopping Centre. This store is home to a range of shops from clothing outlets to electronic gadget shops. The Haixin Plaza was opened in 1997 and is a five storied complex where a variety of goods are offered along with a great restaurant. Longshan Underground Commercial Street is famous for its clothing boutiques and liquor stores which offer a great selection of beer. Jimo Moad Market is one of the best places in the city to buy seafood and collectibles such as seashell carvings. The Fada Department Store and the Qingdao Laoshan Department Store are some of the other shopping facilities in the area from which visitors can fulfill all their shopping needs.

Discover the Freedom Trail in Boston

The Freedom Trail is a red path through downtown Boston, Massachusetts that leads to 16 significant historic sites. Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston is literally like stepping back into history. Dating back to a century before America's War for Independence a strong heritage and culture of freedom was entwined amongst Bostonian colonial settlements. So, along the trail, tourists can see individual collections of museums, meeting houses, churches, graveyards, parks, a ship and historical signs that tell a true tale about the American Revolution and beyond.

The Boston Freedom Trail begins at Boston Common and moves on to the New State House where, when completed in 1795 became the political center of Boston. Here there is an option for a free one hour tour. The next point of interest is the Park Street Church where William Lloyd Garrison gave the first inspiring anti-slavery speech. The Boston Freedom Trail moves on to where Samuel Adams and Paul Revere are buried at the Granary Burying Ground, and further on to the King's Chapel Burying Ground and the Ben Franklin statue which is also the site of the first public school in the area. From here the Boston Freedom Trail takes visitors to the Old Corner Bookstore where legends like Thoreau and Emerson gathered, and then on to the Old South Meeting House.

The Freedom Trail Boston also includes such sites as Faneuil Hall, the Old State House and the site of the Boston Massacre where a simple cobblestone circle marks the area where 5 colonists were murdered by British soldiers in 1770. Paul Revere House owned by Revere from 1770-1800, can also be found along the Freedom Trail Boston and is one of the favorites among visitors. Tours of the inside are available. When walking along the Freedom Trail Boston history seems to come alive again and visitors draw a unique perspective from seeing all the monuments and historical houses with their own eyes.

Café Atlantico by Cesaria Evora

Cesaria Evora, the native of the island of Cape Verde, is known worldwide as the countries’ foremost practitioner of the morna style. Café Atlantico, released in 1999, is a tribute to Evora’s hometown of Mindelo, which is a port on the Cape Verdean Island where sailors from Portugal, Argentina, Brazil and the Caribbean cross-pollinated the music of the island. In other words, this album is an ambitious musical experience where traditional cape-verdean and afro-cuban rhythms are successfully blended.

Evora's singing is a true gift, luckily very appreciated around the globe. Starting with the very first sounds, this album is all soul, all Cesaria. There are moments for dancing as well as moments for contemplating, moments done with a perfect taste. The musicians surrounding Cesaria on this CD are completely in tune with her and represent a great add to the overall success of the music. Atlantic Paradise is one of the best tracks, revealing the most her tone, mood and style.

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is located on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It is one of the highest commercially navigable lakes in the world and, taking into consideration the volume of water, it is also the largest lake in South America. The western part of the lake lies within the Puno Region of Peru, and the eastern side is located in the Bolivian La Paz Department.

Lake Titicaca is fed by rainfall and melt water from glaciers on the sierras that abut the Altiplano. Five major river systems feed into Lake Titicaca: Ramis, Coata, Ilave, Huancané, and Suchez. More than 20 other smaller streams empty into Titicaca, and the lake has 41 islands, some of which are densely populated.

The origin of the name Titicaca is unknown. It has been translated as "Rock Puma", allegedly because of its resemblance to the shape of a puma hunting a rabbit, combining words from the local languages Quechua and Aymara, and as well as translated as "Crag of Lead." Locally, the lake goes by several names. Because the southeast quarter of the lake is separate from the main body (connected only by the Strait of Tiquina), the Bolivians call it Lago Huiñaymarca and the larger part Lago Chucuito. In Peru, these smaller and larger parts are referred to as Lago Pequeño and Lago Grande, respectively.

Shopping in Singapore

A flea market is a place where you can buy cheap goods as well as second hand items. They can be either bought or exchanged for other items. The reason why they are much more popular than regular markets is due to the extreme variety of items you can discover there: small treasures of antiques, curios and knickknacks of all sizes, shapes, times and colors are arranged into little stacks and sold. They may have lost their original luster but these items have never lost their appeal exuding from their quaint designs, silently urging you to keep them as souvenirs.

If you go for shopping in Singapore but have never been to the Thieves Market, you are definitely missing a whole adventure. Located along the Sungei Road, the Thieves Market is the oldest and biggest flea market in Singapore. The name sounds a bit intimidating but there is a story behind it: in the past the flea market on Sungei Road used to sell stolen goods along with used goods and so it soon became infamous as the Thieves Market. There used to be a perennial saying that goes like if you lose something valuable at home then come to the Thieves Market to find it.

After going through ups and downs that brought a negative reputation to this road, the authorities have stepped forward and taken measures to cleanse the flea market. Today it has become a thriving market teeming with street peddlers. You may not hear the mechanical greetings or see forced smiles on their weather beaten faces as they will not mind whether you buy their items or not. The peddlers here represent the very life and blood of a flea market, being worlds apart from the sophisticated ambience you experience at the malls all the time.

The kind of items you find here are overwhelming and not all may appeal to your taste but have patience and indulge in every moment you spend here. You might discover something quite valuable and timeless hidden among those countless items. For example, you can shop for mobile phones, bikes, electric goods, look-alike watches, household items, sports goods, toys and even clothes.

Enjoying the Foods and Drinks of Singapore

Singapore is commonly known as a shopping haven, a safe and secure traveling destination, a beach and city holiday rolled into one and a meeting point of many cultures and religions. Singapore is also the melting pot of many foods and drinks from all over the world.

You can satisfy your gastronomic desire for sumptuous cuisines at any time of the day and anywhere in the island. Singapore's unique blend of food and drink is considered very special. Below, I will present a list of six must-try foods and drinks when you visit Singapore.

Singapore Sling. A cocktail originally invented for the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel in the early 20th century. The original recipe uses gin, cherry brandy and Benedictine; the concoctions though differ in other parts of the country and the world. The drink is shaken and strained into a glass before adding in club soda. You can find the drink in most bars in Singapore.

Chicken Rice. A local favorite, this dish has been considered as being a national dish by several food critics. You can choose a serving of roasted, steamed or barbequed chicken with rice cooked in chicken stock and garlic. Add a dash of chili sauce and dark soy sauce, a plate of chicken rice is both a tasty and filling meal.

Laksa. While there are many versions of this dish in Malaysia, a Singapore version has its roots in the Peranakan community. Rice noodles are cooked in coconut spicy gravy and sprinkled with prawns, bean curd and chicken. It is a very rich and indulgent dish that will leave you craving for more.

Fried Carrot Cake. Certainly a comfort food for many Singaporeans, fried carrot cake is a mix of diced radish and egg tossed in soy sauce. A common hawker food, this dish is oily and spicy but promises a truly satisfying gastronomic experience.

Satay. If you are familiar with kebabs on skewers in Mediterranean dishes, Satay is the local version of meat on skewers. You can get chicken, beef and lamb Satays served with peanut sauce. Hotels usually add Satays as a side dish to its fried rice or fried noodles.

Ice kacang. An all-time favorite, Ice Kacang is a delightful dessert to end a meal. With a base of jelly, red beans, corn and Attap seeds, ice is grated on top of them and topped with various colored sugar syrup and condensed milk. It is truly a purely indulgent treat to satisfy your sweet tooth and a great way to quench your thirst in sunny Singapore.

Find the Best Online Casinos

Since there are a lot of casinos on the internet currently, the knowledge of which online casinos are the most safe and trusted establishments to play at can be more important than knowing how to play and navigate the different games available. Selecting an all-around excellent online casino with the best in fairness and safety features can be a complicated task, but it does not have to be: you need to exercise certain caution and to analyze your expectations. Casinos are of two types: web-based and download casinos, the last of them being more popular. In order to use them, you first have to download specific software and then start playing games.

Before choosing any particular online casino, it is essential to ensure the specific casino has the requisite license for operation. Also, the top casinos should assure you of the utmost security of your financial transactions. An online casino should offer customer support on all seven days of the week and twenty-four hours of the day. You should be able to contact support personnel of the casinos through telephone, e-mail, live chat, or even fax. Another prerequisite of best online casinos is their loyalty points, bonuses, and other incentives.

In conclusion, the best casinos can be found also on specialized gambling portals listing the trustworthy casinos. Even so, it has to be mentioned that you need to remember to research the prospective internet casino before opening a new member account. After you have done so, do yourself a favor and gamble at a casino only as a way to have fun. After all, that should be its purpose: the gambler who does not become attached to winnings or losses will ultimately have a pleasant experience.

A Tale of Two Cities

I am sure that you know very well the story A Tale of Two Cities written by Charles Dickens. It is, in fact, the story of the uprisings in France. Beginning with a man named Jerry Cruncher who is chasing a mail coach holding, he delivers a letter to Lorry telling him that he needs to wait in the city he is traveling to (Dover) for a young woman. He meets the young woman, named Lucie Manette, which tells him that her father (thought dead) has been found in Paris. Lorry brings Lucie to Paris, traveling first to a city called Saint Antoine where they meet the Defarge's. They are the leaders of a group called the "Jacques" who are the revolutionaries that are also housing Lucie's father (in such agony after his imprisonment in the Bastille for eighteen years). The family is reunited, but Dr. Manette (Lucie's Father) is still distressed.

In 1780 a man named Charles Darnay is on trial for treason. Two british spies are trying to frame the innocent Darnay for their own profit, but in the court room Darnay is saved from the death penalty. Charles becomes very fond of Lucie Manette, starting to fall in love. After the French government discovers the things of Charles past and his true identity, the best of times turns into the worst. The Defarge's lead an attack on The Bastille were Dr. Manette was held prisoner, as a revolt against the French aristocracy. Mister Defarge discovers the the letter in Dr. Manette's jail cell that will change someone's life forever. Will Lucie and Charles remain together? Will be Dr. Manette sent back to the place that he suffered so long ago? Will France ever be able to find its peace?

In a few words this was the plot synopsis. If you didn’t have the book around, you can search pdf files in order to download it for free. I personally enjoyed reading this story. There were many things in this book that I found extraordinary: the way that Dickens is able to connect all of the characters to each other, or the descriptive level of the book, Dickens being sure that doesn't miss any detail, making possible for the reader to picture out the entire image.

In conclusion, I would recommend this book because you will be able to learn a lot from it. There is a lot of suspense and it is hard to tell what is going to happen next. If you like history then you will like for sure this book. After you’ve started it, is very hard to put it down and I guarantee that you will want to read more and more until you will be able to find out how it ends.

Nightlife in Athens

It is said that the nightlife of Athens rivals with that of New York, London and Paris and maybe surpass those cities. Even though the recent events may question seriously your decision of visiting or not this city, one thing is for certain: you won't find more restaurants, bars, and clubs in a smaller area than you will in Athens with the majority of the nightlife being in central areas. Below I will select some of the best locations in this city in order to have them in mind when you are looking for dance clubs, live Greek music, or bars & lounges.

Akrotiri. A summer spent in Athens is not complete without a visit to this club located on the coast. Here, the cosmopolitan ambience and the pulsing music, bring clubbing to a whole other level.
Ammos Beach. This well-known summer spot is situated directly on the water and hosts dance parties with DJs from all over the world.
Island. Just as the name suggests, breezy island surroundings and exceptional sea views offer a laid-back atmosphere. But as the night goes, the lounge tunes make way for beats on which you will dance all night long.
Venue. One of the leading dance clubs in Athens boasting three dance floors and a calendar of exclusive dance parties.

Ammos. Here you can find a great mix of modern, mainstream and more established Greek music.
Athinion Arena. Here, the live Greek music program is more like a Vegas show, featuring dancers and acrobats. A unique twist to the average bouzouki night.
Thea. This live show features some young Greek singers that are sure to lighten up the mood and get you on the dance floor.
Mostrou. In other words, traditional Greek music presented in a tavern-style atmosphere in the heart of Athens.

Balthazar. This lounge is a tropical paradise in the centre of Athens with breezy décor and posh clientele. It is definitely a place to see and be seen.
Baraonda. It is an exclusive outdoor bar and restaurant offering great cuisine and a swanky garden atmosphere that attracts a fashionably cool crowd.
Istioploikos. A well-known café-bar overlooking the port of Mikrolimano provides a laid-back atmosphere to enjoy drinks with your friends.
Soul. This eclectic bar is separated into three areas whit different DJs and it is sure it will please a wide range of musical preferences.

An Invitation to Inspiration from Peugeot

Peugeot has enjoyed a special relationship with the French people for 200 years, establishing this automobile as a marker of their emotions. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Peugeot’s industrial adventure, the company invites all Internet users across the Europe to express the emotions inspired by the car of tomorrow and post their feelings on this virtual wall on their recently launched website, from 6th of May till 5th of October 2010.

Using photos, texts and videos, you can choose your own way of expressing the view of the automobile as a true space for living, sharing and feeling. The best entries will win prizes including preview road tests of the 508 or VIP week-ends at the Le Mans 24 hour race. All your desires can be expressed through six emotionally expressive themes: performance (by sharing the strongest sporting moments), environment (presenting the most beautiful feelings inspired by the natural world), emotions (describing memorable emotions inspired by creative design), movement (catching and communicating the vibrations of the city), connectivity (showing how the outside world and its technologies have taken up residence in the car) and vision (bringing on the wall some unusual holiday incidents, or hilarious moments).

Scuba Diving Destinations

Scuba diving is an excellent way to see some beautiful sites. The tropical coral diving sites with their colorful sea life are the most famous, but other attractions can be mentioned here including rocky reefs, shipwrecks, caverns or caves. Let’s find out together some of the major dive destinations in the world:

The Island of Cozumel, Mexico. The island is surrounded by gorgeous reefs and pristine clear water; perfect for scuba diving. On a good day visibility can be up to 200 feet. Gentle currents running parallel to the reef are a drift diver's dream. There are 19 popular scuba diving reef areas, including dramatic swim-through teeming with marine life. Cozumel is a friendly place for the foreign tourists, having affordable accommodation and buzzing night life. Cave divers will enjoy a trip to the mainland to scuba dive the cenotes (freshwater caves).

Seven Brothers Islands, Djibouti. Djibouti has a unique ecosystem where the mix of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean results in an abundance of marine life. Between the months of September and January, Djibouti is home to resting migrating whale sharks. It is common to see many whale sharks, including juveniles, which tend to stay close to the coast during their visit. Seven Brothers Islands is the major attraction to Djibouti waters. This breathtaking reef system comprises of seven islands covering a vast area. Monumental drop-offs with stunning soft corals carpeting the walls, schooling fish and big pelagic can all be expected.

Fiji Islands, South Pacific. Fiji offers an incredible scuba diving experience. It is the "Soft Coral Capital of the World", the home of the "Great White Wall", the "Yellow Tunnel" and other famous underwater beautiful places. Scuba diving conditions and visibility are unrivalled all over the year. Because of its clear water and dazzling coral, Fiji is a favorite hangout for professional underwater photographers.

Heron Island, Australia. Heron Island is literally a coral island rising above the famous Great Barrier Reef. With excellent scuba diving places, just a few steps from the shore, you can strap on a snorkel and stay under 20 feet for hours. Heron is a quiet island, devoid of industry or day trippers, which is ideal for the scuba diver who wants to bask in a relaxed casual lifestyle during surface intervals.

Koh Tao Island, Thailand. It is a tourist-friendly resort island that caters especially to scuba divers. Surrounded on all sides by colorful reefs, the island is also well known for opportunities for close-encounters with elusive whale sharks and grey reef sharks. The scuba diving is excellent, but despite desperate marine conservation efforts shark hunting is offered as a tourist diversion and many people travel to Koh Tao just to kill the local fauna.

Tired of Searching for the Right Phone System?

Even if you have a small or a large business, your office phone system is very important for your business as it allows you to communicate with your staff and your clients, easily and efficiently. Unless you have a very small number of staff, you will have to search for a sophisticated phone system that can improve productivity and enhance customer service. Below, I will try to present you some helpful tips to be used when searching for phone systems for your office.

Choose the quality. Avoid the temptation to save some costs by under investing in a system. Despite the wide use of the Internet, telephone services continue to be an essential business communication tool. Make sure you invest in a known brand, a reliable system that's going to be able to support your business as it grows.

Use the existing equipment. A great way to save money on installation costs is to choose a telephone system that is compatible with or can make use of telephone handsets or outlets that you already have.

Make a list of the features you need. The features which I’m referring on this point include: call waiting, call forwarding, caller ID, call return, call blocking or call trace.

Choose the right dealer. Choosing a reputable dealer with positive customer testimonials is vital. When researching your prospective dealers, find out how long they have been in the business, whether they've done jobs for companies or businesses similar in size to yours, and what skills, qualifications or experience the technicians have. Don't be afraid to ask them for information about their customer service track record so you can get an idea of how the company would handle the situation if you had a telephone or equipment emergency.

Consider also the budget. Because the installation costs of a new office phone system can be relatively high, be sure to ask your system dealer about any leasing or financing options that may be available if your business's current cash flow is limited. Keep in mind that interest may apply to leasing arrangements, so it may be more cost effective to pay up front. Also, find out if your dealer is willing to take away the existing phone system and give you a discount on the new one.

The Invisible Bridge

The Invisible Bridge is the first novel written by Julie Orringer. Published in May 2010, it is a marvelous achievement. The author of the novel has that rare talent that makes a 600-page story very readable, even at its grimmest. Building vivid worlds in effortless phrases, she takes us in 1930s Budapest just as a young Hungarian Jew, Andras Lévi, departs for the École Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris. He hones his talent for design, works backstage in a theater, and allies with other Jewish students in defiance of rising Nazi influence. And then he meets Klara, a captivating Hungarian ballet instructor nine years his senior with a painful past and a willful teenage daughter. Against Klara's better judgment, love engulfs them, drowning out the rumblings of war for a time. But inevitably, Nazi aggression drives them back to Hungary, where life for the Jews goes from hardship to horror.

The World War II and the Holocaust have been covered so extensively in many formats, and yet there are so many under represented stories. This book takes up one of these side stories, the story of Jews in Hungary, and brings the day-to-day realities of the war to life just to touch you in the way, only a personal story can.

The brilliance of Orringer's novel is the tender and poignant testimony of the human spirit, the fragile structure of a human being standing against the barbaric forces of history. As I said before, it is a touching story of the power of love, the foundation of life which withstands the horror and tragedy, grief and despair of war.

Buying Pearls for Your Special Someone

Buying pearls for your special someone (your wife or your girlfriend) is one of the most thoughtful, meaningful and romantic gestures you can ever make. Items like rings, necklaces, bracelets or ear rings made from pearls will always express your lasting love and devotion. The magic, mystique and enduring appeal of a pearl jewelry make it a natural gift for that special occasion in your life.

But, most guys know as much about buying pearl jewelry as about brain surgery or rocket science. The good news is that buying fine jewelry for your special someone does not have to become a very hard task. When you know some basic things about pearls, you can set your mind at ease and select the perfect jewelry that will stun and amaze your loved one.

Since pearls come in a variety of shapes, colors and overtones they are the versatile, perfect choice to support any woman’s look, style and personality. Below I will present two of the most beautiful types of pearls that you should have in mind when you want to buy such gift:

Southsea Pearls. Available in an array of colors from the palest moonlight to molten gold, the southsea pearls display a satiny luster that begs to be touched. Celebrated by collectors everywhere for their amazing sizes, your loved one will feel very sophisticated when wearing these pearls.

Freshwater Pearls. These are the latest best-kept secret. The freshwater pearls that look very similar to the ones presented above in size and luster are the affordable alternative to the most expensive ones. With uniformly round shapes, exceptional luster, shimmering orient, and an array of natural colors such as peach, lavender and white, these pearls are sure to charm and surprise your more modern and contemporary girlfriend or spouse.

Now that you received a little crash course in pearl selection, you are ready to venture out and buy some amazing pearl jewelry for the woman you love. To this end, you can consider also online stores like Pure Pearls which offers pearls from the most popular types to the rare ones, both cultured and wild collected from all over the world. At the end of the day, I guarantee that she will treasure this gift for a lifetime!

Advantages of Living on a Farm

Everyone has their own idea of what living on a farm is like and what are the advantages. And if I would want to name just a few of them, I will definitely speak about: peace and quiet, lower stress, and fresher air.

The life on a farm starts early, in most cases before the dawn. Depending on the size of the farm and the work that it does, the farmer might be getting up by 4 a.m. to get started on a day that lasts well past dusk. There are crops to tend to, livestock to feed and water and other chores that need to be done, often in a race against the heat of the day. The farmer must keep one step ahead of his animals, his crops and his machinery, because letting anything slide for even one day can lead to a complete disaster.

But living on a farm is not all work and no fun. Many farms have ponds to swim and fish in, or trees to climb. Farms with livestock can be very educational as young ones are born. There is nothing sweeter than a newly born lamb, horse, cow or even pig. Of course, if the farm is in the business of raising animals for meat for personal use or for profit, then the children should be made aware of that from the very start.

Asking what it is like to live on a farm might actually be the same as asking what it is like to live in a mansion, or a shack. You live your life, eating, sleeping and trying to make a living just like anybody else. Your office is just out in the barn and your commute may be from the seat of a big tractor. You are the boss, the animals or the crops are your employees as you all pull together to accomplish your end goals. Meetings are held at dawn, and vacation is during the off season. And at the end of the day, living on a farm is simply living!