Monday, December 21, 2009

The World's Best Places to Live

Finland was recently named the best place in the world to live, thanks largely to great air and water quality, low rates of infant diseases, and protection from water pollution and natural disasters. What else is great about Finland? Well, for starters, Finland ...

* Boasts the Northern Lights
* Hosts the Sauna World Championships
* Offers sleddog vacations
* Is home to the Ice Hotel

Plus, it's gorgeous.
Cathedral bridge
celand also made the list of the world's best places to live. Despite it's name, Iceland is not made entirely of ice. In fact, Iceland offers:

* Opportunities to surf
* Excursions to the Icelandic Phallological Museum
* Some of the most gorgeous valleys in the world
* Scuba diving

Iceland has all this, plus ... it's stunningly beautiful.

At the Blue lagoon, Iceland

Across Reykjavik
Norway made the cut, too. Despite it's reputation as being expensive, Norway has:

* Amazing views
* Amazing coasts
* The amazing Hurtigruten
* Some of the world's most amazing islands

Don't believe us? Check out this amazing gallery.

Magnificent reflection
Ahhhh ... Sweden. There are so many reasons to love this nation:

* It's home to one of the world's top tech cities.
* You can see the world's longest art gallery here.
* It'll soon have an ABBA museum!
* They even have Swedish tacos.

Yup ... it wouldn't be hard to live here.

Red sunset and an ancor
Stockholm, Sweden
Austria rounds out the list of the five most liveable countries. However, just because it came in at number five -- and just because it has controversial urinals -- don't dismiss this nation. Austria is the proud home of:

* The world's largest ice caves
* One of the world's most elegant Easter festivals
* Entire villages you can RENT!
* One of the world's most unusual spas

Of course, the nation is lovely to look at, too.

It was a long conversation but at the end he didn't want to sell the house

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Creepiest Places Where You Spent the Nigh

Here’s some unforgettable places that blasted chills down my spine. Haunted, sinister, evil or just plain weird, for those that dream about traveling the world, welcome to your nightmare. It doesn’t matter whether or not you believe in ghosts, there are some places in which none of us would want to spend a night. Paranormal activity is an really a very international affair, and ghosts and apparitions intermingle with the living everywhere day and night.

Margam Castle located near Port Talbot, South Wales

For over a hundred years, rumors of hauntings have plagued this ominous, uninhabited castle. Screams can often be heard from outside and sometimes a strange, cold mist seems to bleed through the walls. It is a disturbing chill that seeps to your very bones. Many years ago, the beautiful woman who once owned the castle died suddenly and without explanation. Some people said it was a murder, yet others were convinced she ended her own life. Do you have the nerve to spend a night in this Haunted House? Margam Castle is a Tudor Gothic castle that was built in the mid-1800’s. It has many spectacular features, such as the beautiful winding staircase and an old cistercian Abbey; the castle is located near Port Talbot, South Wales. Because of the history of this castle no one has inhabited this place for over a hundred years! Guests have the option to spend the night until 7AM. If guests wish to stay the whole night they will have to bring their own sleeping bags as there are no beds to sleep in.

Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Fall River, Massachusetts

The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast is located in the home where murders occurred. Visitors can tour the home and murder scenes, and guests may spend the night in the house. In 1892, Andrew Borden and his wife, Abby, were brutally murdered by someone wielding an axe. Although ultimately acquitted of the crime, Borden’s youngest daughter, Lizzie, never regained her precrime innocence, and many folks in Fall River (and around the country) remained convinced that she got away with murder. Today, the house in which the Bordens lived and died is a city landmark, a museum, and a bed and breakfast. Although Lizzie Borden was acquitted, no one else was ever arrested or tried, and she has remained notorious in American folklore. Dispute over the identity of the killer or killers continues to this day.

Manchac Swamp Louisiana

The Manchac Swamp, also known as the “haunted swamp,” near New Orleans is a Southern Gothic fan’s dream. An imprisoned voodoo queen is said to have cast a curse on these watery surroundings around the turn of the last century, resulting in the disappearance of three hamlets in a hurricane in 1915. This swamp is a wilderness jewel. Sims’s photographs and John Kemp’s text have made timeless the people and place of Manchac Swamp. The Manchac Swamp Bridge is a bridge in the US state of Louisiana. With a total length of 22.80 miles (36.69 km) it is the third longest bridge in the world by total length (see List of bridges by length). The bridge carries Interstate 55 over the Manchac Swamp in Louisiana, and represents one-third of the highway’s approximately 66 miles in Louisiana. Torchlit nighttime boat tours are offered by the Old River Plantation Adventure. But beware: As anyone who has spent a night in the wild can tell you, nature can be anything but gentle, and the staring red-eyed alligators can give you a real fright as they watch your boat cruise slowly by.

Monastery Ostrog Montenegro

Monastery Ostrog, a miracle build by nature and human interactions, carved almost in its entirety in a vertical mountain cliff, is today the pearl of Montenegrin spiritualism that is annually visited by more then a hundred thousand pilgrims from around the world and of all religions. This destination which will take your breath away will fill your soul with elevated feelings of love towards God. It is open to all people at any time of day or night. Just the travel to the Upper monastery is a sacred journey. Believers are expected to walk barefooted from the Lower to the Upper monastery but many can be seen making the assent on their knees. From the monastery one must take holy water, oil, incense anaphora or a small package of icons, or a cross weaved of wheat. With the items, people that could not make the journey can be touched. In front of the relics of this saint many come for spiritual and physical healing, and cases of miracles are well documented even today. There is now the opportunity to spend the night at the monastery with an adjacent building that was created in the same style. Only a bed, blanket and pillow are available in the humble rooms, but the secret advice of the priest is also available.

Bran Castle, Bran, Romania

Bran Castle situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Brasov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, on DN73. Commonly known as “Dracula’s Castle” (although it is one among several locations linked to the Dracula legend, including Poienari Castle and Hunyad Castle), it is marketed as the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In 1897 Bram Stoker wrote a terrifying story about Count Dracula. A century after, there are still people who believe in it. Even researchers are trying to find out the truth about Dracula. All are trying to clear the mystery: was there or wasn’t there a vampire in Transylvania? How many of these fabulous stories are legends and how many say the truth? Here is the legend about Dracula. His castle is supposed to be Bran’s Castle since its narrow corridors constitute a mysterious labyrinth of ghostly nooks and secret chambers easy to hide a “vampire”. According to an official of the Bran Castle administration, there will be made certain changes in the castle. A projection hall with the images of the National Film Archives about the history of the royal family and the castle will be arranged. Also, a room dedicated to the costumes of the royal families and a dining-room will be arranged. Further more, in the Round Tower of the castle a luxurious apartment will be made for the tourists that want to spend the night over Bran Castle.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Arabian Desert Experience

An Arabian Desert Experience – Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa

The true taste of romance and magic in the Arabian Desert:

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa offers exclusivity and luxury to connoisseurs of comfort who seek the true taste of romance and magic in the Arabian Desert. Boasting unobstructed panoramic views of the Hajar Mountains and the surrounding sand dunes, the resort is designed to reflect a Bedouin encampment in a protected reserve where you can experience the authentic culture and heritage of Arabia and protected wildlife and flora during complimentary daily activities from archery, camel safaris and 4-wheel dune driving. For pure relaxation the Timeless Spa offers signature treatments featuring local products, with traditional Rasool rooms and cold plunge pool.

Al Maha’s cuisine is exotic and enticing:

Dining at Al Maha is about options in an atmosphere of relaxed informality. Styles range from Mediterranean to Arabic, in settings which can be intimate or informal. All meals are inclusive and guests can enjoy a sundowner on the terrace or a relaxing drink in The Bar. The finest international chefs ensure guests enjoy the very highest culinary standards, wherever they choose to dine – from the relaxed informality of Al Diwaan Restaurant and its alfresco veranda, to the intimacy of a romantic meal on the private deck of a guest suite. With a variety of options from the Middle East and Mediterranean and with special theme menus featuring Indian, Sri Lankan and Japanese dishes, Al Maha’s cuisine is exotic and enticing.

Offering spectacular views of the desert, Al Maha’s bar deck is a wonderful place for sundowners. Inside, the bar is richly decorated with beautiful artwork and antiques. The Lounge and its veranda are places for meeting, reading or simply watching the indigenous animals gather at the nearby waterhole. Should guests wish to enjoy an informal snack or meal in these relaxing surroundings, it can easily be arranged.

Al Maha’s Jamilah Spa & Leisure Centre:

Surrounded by indigenous flora and cascading water features and offering panoramic views of the desert and the distant Hajar Mountains, Al Maha’s Jamilah Spa & Leisure Centre boasts state-of-the-art LifeFitness equipment, a sauna, steam room, interior Jacuzzi and ice-cold plunge pool. Complete body massage treatments are available in a choice of single or double massage rooms that connect with hydrotherapy and Rasool therapy rooms. Relaxation can also be found outside, in the pool which overlooks the infinite desert horizon.

On-site activities:

Guests are entitled to two complimentary on-site activities per day during their stay at Al Maha, weather permitting. Traditional desert pursuits, such as falconry, camel treks, horse-riding and archery, recall a former way of life. For sheer excitement, an outing in a rugged four-wheel drive vehicle cannot be beaten. In contrast, guided nature walks offer a quieter and more informative way to experience the desert.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Beautiful Italy destinations

Italy is blessed with its natural beauty. Old cities like Venice, a name which later became synonymous to architectural excellence, Rome and Sicily all adds up to its natural splendor. Italy is one of the biggest producers of wine. Traveling a destination like Italy is certain to provide lot of entertainment and pleasure which you will endeavor for all your life. Travel Planners has collected a few natural clips of this country. You might as well run for to book a holiday ticket after you view these images. So beautiful it is. Do evaluate it yourselves.

The Valle dei Templi is an archaeological site in Agrigento, Sicily, southern Italy. It is one of the most outstanding examples of Greater Greece art and architecture, and is one of the main attractions of Sicily as well as a national monument of Italy. The area was included in the UNESCO Heritage Site list in 1997. Much of the excavation and restoration of the temples was due to the efforts of archaeologist Domenico Antonio Lo Faso Pietrasanta (1783-1863), who was the Duke of Serradifalco from 1809 through 1812.

The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. “The Five Lands” comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world. It’s housed in the Palazzo degli Uffizi, a palazzo in Florence, Italy.

The Colosseum or Roman Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre is an elliptical amphitheatre in the center of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering.

Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started between 70 and 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus, with further modifications being made during Domitian’s reign (81–96). The name “Amphitheatrum Flavium” derives from both Vespasian’s and Titus’s family name (Flavius, from the gens Flavia).

The Sassi di Matera are prehistoric cave dwellings in the Italian city of Matera, Basilicata. Situated in the old town, they are composed of the Sasso Caveoso and the later Sasso Barisano.

Pompeii is a ruined and partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Along with Herculaneum, its sister city, Pompeii was destroyed, and completely buried, during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in 79 AD.

The Amalfi Coast, or Costiera Amalfitana in Italian, is a stretch of coastline on the southern side of the Sorrentine Peninsula of Italy (Province of Salerno), extending from Positano in the west to Vietri sul Mare in the east.

Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena. The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site.

Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, the capital city of Italy. At approximately 44 hectares (110 acres) (0.44 km2), and with a population of just over 800, it is the smallest country in the world by both population and area

Saint Mark’s Basilica the cathedral church of Venice, is the most famous of the city’s churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture. It lies on Piazza San Marco (in the San Marco sestiere or district) adjacent and connected to the Doge’s Palace. Originally it was the “chapel” of the Venetian rulers, and not the city’s cathedral. Since 1807 it has been the seat of the Patriarch of Venice, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. For its opulent design, gilded Byzantine mosaics, and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power, from the 11th century on the building was known by the nickname Chiesa d’Oro

The Roman Forum sometimes known by its original Latin name, is located between the Palatine hill and the Capitoline hill of the city of Rome, Italy. It is the central area around which the ancient Roman civilization developed. Citizens referred to the location as the “Forum Magnum” or just the “Forum”.

The Grand Canal is a canal in Venice, Italy. It forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city. Public transport is provided by water buses and private water taxis, but many tourists visit it by gondola. At one end the canal leads into the lagoon near Santa Lucia railway station and the other end leads into Saint Mark Basin: in between it makes a large S-shape through the central districts (”sestieri”) of Venice. It is 3,800 m long, 30-90 m wide, with an average depth of five meters.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply The Tower of Pisa (La Torre di Pisa) is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa. It is situated behind the Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa’s Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo) after the Cathedral and the Baptistry.

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church (Duomo) of Florence, Italy, begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th century Gothic Revival facade by Emilio De Fabris.

The Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi rione in Rome, Italy. Standing 25.9 meters (85 feet) high and 19.8 meters (65 feet) wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city.

Assisi is a town and comune of Italy in province of Perugia, in the Umbria region and on the western flank of Monte Subasio.

It was the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208, and St. Clare (Chiara d’Offreducci), the founder of the Poor Clares. Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows of the 19th century was also born in Assisi.

Mount Vesuviusis a stratovolcano east of Naples, Italy. It is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years, although it is not currently erupting. The two other volcanoes in Italy, (Etna and Stromboli) are located on islands.

Chianti Wine Route

The Frasassi Caves are a remarkable karst cave system in the municipality of Genga, Italy, in the province of Ancona, Marche. They are among the most famous show caves in Italy.

Alberobello is a small town and comune in the province of Bari, in Puglia, Italy. It has about 11,000 inhabitants and is famous for its unique trulli constructions. The Trulli of Alberobello are part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1996.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Luxurious Hotels In New York For Xmas Vacation

Marriott at the Brooklyn BridgeNew York City is the most populated city in the United States and even as a region New York is very popular among travelers. This is the number one destination in the Untied States for foreign visitors as it is the cultural, financial, entertainment, industrial, fashion and commercial center of the United States. However the key to enjoy your entire Big Apple tenure is to consult guides that offer compact knowledge regarding New York Hotels. Of course there is very long list but we have selected some and we believe that are worth your stay in New York. These desirable New York Hotels offer various amenities and services only for your comfort.

Mandarin Oriental, Dallas
Millenium Hilton Hotel New York
The New York Palace
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park
The Plaza hotel New York
The Peninsula New York
Best Western Seaport Inn Downtown
Exchange Hotel New York
Loews Regency Hotel New York