Washington, D.C Travel

Washington, D.C – capitol of U.S.A

Washington D.C is the capital of the United States of America, it borders with Maryland and Virginia. Home of three of the Federal Governments most important branches – the Capitol, White House and the Supreme Court.

The National Mall is home to Washington’s most interesting monuments, memorials and museums.

The US Navy Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial are powerful tributes to American history.

The White House, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, are are places you might want to reserve ahead.

Make a stop at Arlington National Cemetery, where you make a visit to the Kennedy family gravesite and spend some time with those who gave their life’s to protect our freedom.

Visit the nations’s capital and enjoy it’s rich history here are some facts:

December 23, 1788
Maryland voted to cede a 100-square-mile area for the seat of the national government; about two-thirds of the area became the District of Columbia.

January 23, 1789

Georgetown University was established by Jesuits in present-day Washington, D.C., as the 1st US Catholic college.

Jul 16, 1790
The District of Columbia was established as the seat of the United States government.

Mar 29, 1791
Pres. George Washington and French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant examined the site along the Potomac River that would become the U.S Capital; land given by Virginia and Maryland.

Washington became the official federal capital in 1800.

Apr 15, 1791
Surveyor General Andrew Ellicott consecrated the southern tip of the triangular District of Columbia at Jones Point.
December 12, 1800
Washington D.C. was established as the capital of the United States.

February 27, 1801
The District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.

March 4, 1801
Thomas Jefferson was the first President to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.

August 25, 1814
British forces destroyed the Library of Congress, containing some 3,000 books.

January 30, 1815
The burned Library of Congress was reestablished with Jefferson’s 6,500 volumes.

January 1, 1818
An official reopening of the White House took place after being repaired from burning by British during War of 1812.

December 24, 1851
Fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroying about 35,000 volumes.

January 8, 1853
The first US bronze equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson was unveiled in Washington,D.C.

Mar 6, 1862
President Abraham Lincoln proposed to Congress a revised plan of compensated emancipation for slave-owners in the District of Columbia and the border states.

April 3, 1862
A bill was passed to abolish slavery in Washington, D.C. President Lincoln signed the bill April 16th, 1862.

April 13, 1862
In the Washington area volunteers led by Sarah J. Evans paid homage to the graves of Civil War soldiers.

March 4, 1865
President Lincoln was inaugurated for his 2nd term as President. The Inaugural Ball was held March 6th, 1865.

Apr 14, 1865
On the evening of Good Friday, just after 10 p.m., Pres. Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth while attending the comedy “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater in Washington DC. President Lincoln died, several hours after he was shot.

Upon the assassination Vice-President, Andrew Johnson became the 17th President of the United States – from 1865-1869.

July 5, 1865
The US Secret Service began operating under the Treasury Department. The Secret Service Division goal was to suppress counterfeit currency.

September 25, 1867

Congress created the 1st all black university, Howard University in Washington DC.

October 12, 1901
Theodore Roosevelt renamed the Executive Mansion, to The White House.

March 27, 1912

The first cherry blossom trees, a gift from Japan, were planted in Washington, D.C.

June 20, 1944

The US Congress chartered the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

 May 24, 1951

Racial segregation in Washington D.C. restaurants was ruled illegal.

September 7, 1954

Integration of public schools began in Washington D.C

March 19, 1979

The U.S. House of Representatives began televising its day-to-day business.

April 30, 1997

President Clinton reopened the newly renovated Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Washington also has a lot of things you can do for free, you can visit the Library of Congress, they have free lectures, concerts, exhibits and poetry readings.

The Supreme Court has session that begin at 9:30 a.m. outside the Front Plaza, visitors should arrive much earlier for a chance to attend a session.

You can also visit the National Zoo for free. Home to 1,500 animals of 300 different species.

Washington has great hotels, motels, car rentals, tours and restaurants.

There’s no doubt that Washington is a very interesting place – I know you will have a great time when you visit it.

Orlando Travel

The weather can be a mysterious, exciting and sometimes dangerous thing. But most of all is an attraction. Quite often is the the reason we choose a vacation to a certain place. Having great weather most of the time, is synonymous with tourist attraction. That’s what Orlando, Florida has – great weather. A Good reason to go there the majority of the year.

Orlando, is a city in central Florida. Home to more than a dozen theme parks, amongst which are:

Universal Orlando Resort, a theme park resort owned by NBC Universal and its affiliates.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure is a theme park in Orlando, Florida. Popular spot for walking, special events, feeding the swans & renting swan-shaped paddleboats.

The International Drive, commonly known as I-Drive, is a major 11.1-mile thoroughfare in Orlando, the main strip.

Fun Spot America Theme Parks are group of amusement parks located in Orlando, Florida.

Some people say everything is so expensive in Orlando, check out travel packages and offers in this website and the list of free things you can do in-between theme parks in Orlando.

Visit the City Arts Factory is an eclectic collection of art galleries in downtown Orlando showcasing local and international artists. Free admission Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Walt Disney World Resort

See Orlando’s natural beauty and landscape in Florida’s “secret garden”, the 5.22 acre Kraft Azalea Gardens is located on Lake Eola Park – it’s a 43-acre recreational area in the heart of downtown Orlando.

Visitors can picnic along the shore, enjoy one of the many free concerts at the amphitheater, feed the resident swans or stop by the farmer’s market on Sundays.

Then camp out and roast marshmallows with Disney characters Chip n’ Dale at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort for free.

The evening sing-a-long around the campfire includes a viewing of a Disney movie. Starts at 7:30 p.m.

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, which sits on 80 breathtaking acres just north of Orlando, offers free tours, tastings and many free festivals and events.

Orlando is a unique destination, and there are things to do here that you can’t do anywhere else in the world.

Disney’s Boardwalk features free, live street entertainment in the evenings, including comedians, jazz ensembles and fire shows.

Disney Cruise

Another way of seeing the magical kingdom is getting there on a cruise, find out how on the following video:

Orlando has great hotels, motels, car rentals, tours, cruises and restaurants.

There is so much to do and see in Orlando, book your trip today, let me know how your trip went.

Have a Magical time………

Basel, Switzerland Travel

Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps.

Known for its ski resorts and hiking trails.

Banking and finance are key industries in Switzerland.

And of course Swiss watches and Chocolate are world renowned.

The Official languages are: French, German, Romansh, and Italian.

Basel is one of Switzerland’s most interesting cities.

Basel lies roughly between the Rhine river and the old city gate at Spalentor.

Basel is not a large city but it has a great charm that makes you want to stay in it’s antique stone streets forever.

Basel introduce a modern and whimsical fountain by Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely.

It’s located in the middle of historic houses; it’s an ingenious water-spouting sculpture made of scrap metal.

In the winter, it freezes into ingenious looking ice sculptures.

An old paper mill has been turned into a museum of writing, printing, and paper.

The printing and papermaking processes are shown with actual working machinery.

You can watch the laborious production of handmade paper.

Basel is also home to a large zoo, affectionately known as the Zolli by locals.

Founded in 1874 with 510 animals; predators, primates, mammals, reptiles, birds, and aquatic life.

The lion, penguins and exotic birds, seem to be favorites.

The zoo has been particularly successful in breeding rhinoceros and cheetahs.

Basel has great hotels, motels, car rentals, tours, cruises and restaurants.

Basel is also a great place to take a boat trip.

Luxembourg Travel

Luxembourg is bordered by Belgium, Germany and France. Luxembourg is split into two regions Eisleck in the North and Gutland in the south.
Eisleck is a region of hills, valleys and forests. Gutland is the urban region where 85% of the population live.

Luxembourg is a trilingual country – they speak German, French and Luxembourgish.

As a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is headed by a Grand Duke, Henri Albert Gabriel Felix Marie Guillaume. Henri, and is the world’s only remaining grand duchy. Luxembourg is a developed country, with an advanced economy. Luxembourg is also one of the richest and smallest sovereign states in Europe, in 2012 Luxembourg had a population of 524,853

Luxembourg is a founding member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations, NATO, and Benelux.


In 2016 Luxembourgish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 172 countries and territories, ranking the Luxembourgian passport 6th in the world, tied with countries such as Canada and Switzerland.

The Notre-Dame is the only cathedral of Luxembourg City. It’s a Roman Catholic Church, originally Jesuit. It’s cornerstone was laid in 1613. The church has a gothic architecture with Renaissance adornments.

Late in the 18th century, the church received the image of Maria Consolatrix Afflictorum, the patron saint of Luxembourg.

The cemetery of the cathedral is the National Monument to the Resistance and to the Deportation. The centerpiece of the monument is the famous bronze monument by the 20th century Luxembourgish sculptor Lucien Wercollier called The Political Prisoner.

Luxembourg National Museum of History and Art has a large archaeological collection, they house objects discovered during excavations like: sarcophaguses, tools, coins, jewels, and grave markers. The most outstanding objects being found in the excavations at Dalheim and Titelberg.

The museum has a wide range of Luxembourgish paintings dating back to the 18th century. You can enjoy paintings by Joseph Kutter, Dominique Lang, Eugène Mousset, Jean-Pierre Beckius, Nico Klopp and Auguste Trémont as well as sculptures by Auguste Trémont and Lucien Wercollier.

The museum also houses a collection of contemporary art.

The Groussherzogleche Palais, is a palace in Luxembourg City, it’s the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and where he performs most of his duties as head of state of the Grand Duchy.

Under the supervision of Charlotte, Grand Duchess the palace was redecorated during the 1960s. Charlotte reign as Grand Duchess of Luxembourg from 1919 to 1964.

It was thoroughly restored between 1991 and 1996. The interior of the Palace has been regularly renovated to match modern tastes and standards of comfort.

The Palace today is the official residence of the Grand Duke, and is used by him to exercise his official functions. He and the Grand Duchess, together with their staff, have their offices at the palace, and the state rooms on the first floor are used for a variety of meetings and audiences.

On Christmas Eve, the Grand Duke’s Christmas message is broadcast from the Yellow Room.

Luxembourg is a small country with a huge history, a great country to travel to, it’s small town atmosphere makes a great country to visit when you want to tour and rest on your vacation.

You deserve a rest, go ahead and see Luxembourg. Let me know how your trip went.

Did you see Vianden?

Luxembourg has 100 castles and fortresses – 75 of them date back to the middle ages. Most are open to the public.




Norway Travel

Norway is a great place to travel to, it’s an indescribable beauty that is rarely seen. It’s making contact – with nature.

It’s not unusual to see the guests aboard a ship walk out on deck in the middle of a cold winter night; to catch a glimpse of how the sea brushes upon the fjords.

This ranks as one of natures most interesting experience – especially when it’s 12:00 a.m. and the sun is shinning as bright as it does on any afternoon.

Unlike many countries, this is one of the things that makes Norway a great winter getaway.

In the late 19th century the coast line from Bergen to Kirkenes was a busy route for all sort of ships.

Norway is a great place to take a cruise. A popular route is Bergen to Kirkenes.

 One of the exciting things about visiting Norway  is being able to take a picture of the sea at 3:00 a.m. without a flash.

In the last few centuries the North Pole has became synonymous with Santa Claus, reindeers, vikings, trolls, salmon and cod fish.

Norway is famous for it’s different types of excursions:

There are ski expeditions, dog sledding, kayaking, birdwatching, snowmobile trips, sea eagle safari, mountain hikes, whale watching, sailing to Geiranger fjord, and naturally fishing in Lofoten – a great place to catch cod.

As you approach the coasts of Norway you might see penguins – they are very communicative – lots of noise in their area.

You may also see Polar bears – they are the opposite – no noise in their area- loners, quiet types – serious – very family oriented. You can see that in the interaction they have with their youngs.

Walrus – on the other hand are very observant –  as you approach them – you get the feeling – that they are the ones doing the sight seeing. Besides that – they have great teeth. One glance and you find yourself smiling at them.

Reindeers are and always have been magestic animals – they are a large part of the Norwegian culture. Up north it’s not unusual to see reindeers running thru the mountains in all colors. The white ones – are the most unusual and – photographed ones.

Visiting a Sami Camp in Honningsvag, Norway, (The North Cape) is a great way to learn about them.

Norway is one of those countries you just want to visit in the winter, summer, spring and fall.

Each season in Norway is an indescribable experience. From skiing to sailing.

Seeing the fjords covered in snow as you ski – it’s an incredible experience; then seeing them completely green – as you fish or sail is awesome.

This type of experience can only be matched by seeing the fjords in  transition (spring and fall).

Then when is it best to visit Norway? I’ll let you figure that one out.

Below are some must see places while your there:

Bergen
Bergen was founded in 1070 AD,  was the capital of Norway. It’s a colorful city that has retained the history of Norway.

Enjoy a trip on the Floibannen Funicular during your visit to Bergen and see all of Bergen.

This exciting trip up to the mountain is a magnificent experience in itself. Mount Fløyen, it’s approximately 320 metres above sea level.

From above you can enjoy the cityscape, the seaward, and the fjords surrounding Bergen.

Lofoten
The arctic circle marks the border to the Arctic region. During the summer months they have 24 hour sunlight.

This is what is referred to as the midnight sun.

The charm of the Lofoten islands are the small fishing villages with granite cliffs and white sand beaches.

You will find lots of fish racks and traditional fishermens huts.

Great place to try a fish cake.

The Northern Cape
The Northern Cape is the northern most point of the planet. A popular place for the snowmobile tours. There you will see the Sami people grazing reindeers.

Near the top, there is a exciting nature reserve called Gjesvaer Tappan. Great place for bird watching.

The Seven Sisters
When in Norway crossing the Arctic Circle on a ship is an important part of the experience.

Most tours celebrate it by asking all the passengers to meet on deck and there ritual begins. Here’s a tip: wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet during the ceremony.

Along the way you will pass the Seven Sisters.

The seven sisters are beautiful mountains that have influenced social myths, according to some Norwegian folk tales – trolls are turned to stone if they do not hide before the sun rises.

This was the case with the seven sisters – at least they are still beautiful. See for yourself.

Oslo
Oslo is the capital of Norway, the winter capital of the world. A multicultural city with modern architecture, a sculpture park named Vigeland, a Royal Palace, a Nobel Peace Center, Museums, and home to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump.

Clearly there is so much to do and see in Norway – below is a video that Expedia put together it features some of the most amazing places in Oslo.

Have a safe trip. Let me know all about it…

 

Sweden Travel

Brief History of Sweden

Sweden is a great place to travel to,  it’s  history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them.

8,000 BC to 6,000 BC
Sweden became populated by people who lived by hunting, farming and fishing, and who used simple stone tools.

800–1050 AD
The Viking set off from Sweden the Baltic coast and the rivers into Russia. They developed trading links with the Byzantine Empire and the Arab kingdoms.

1389
The crowns of Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united under the rule of the Danish Queen Margareta.No automatic alt text available.

1397 – 1523
The Kalmar Union joined Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Norway and the Faroes islands under a single monarch.

1611-1632

Gustav II Adolf came to assume great political importance. During his reign Sweden became a leading military power. Gustav II Adolf was killed in 1632 at the Battle of Lützen.

1632-1654
Just before her 6th birthday Kristina succeeded Gustav II Adolf in 1632. She ruled for 22 years.

1654
In 1654 Kristina abdicated converted to Catholicism and moved to Rome, She was succeeded by her cousin – Karl Gustav.

1660
Karl Gustav died in 1660. When Kristina heard about it she returned to Sweden to claim her throne. The Parliament did not accept her claim and she returned to Rome.

During the late 19th centuries 1.3 million Swedish immigrated to America.

1973

Carl Gustaf became King of Sweden on 15th of  September 1973, upon the death of his grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf. Crown Princess Victoria, the eldest child of the King and his wife, Queen Silvia is heir to the throne.

All members of the Royal Family belongs to the Church of Sweden, which is an Evangelical Lutheran Church.

1977
There are over 20,000 Sámi people in Sweden.

The Sámi people were first documented almost 2,000 years ago.  The Sámi were recognized by the Riksdag as an indigenous people first in 1977.

1993

The Sámi Parliament was established as both a democratically elected body and a national administrative authority.

A vast majority of them earn their living from reindeer husbandry.

2006

The moderate party won; together with the Center Party, the Liberal party and the Christian Democrats – formed a government coalition  headed by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Places to visit 

Stockholm

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden; an old town with modern architecture, includes 14 islands connected by tunnels and bridges. Home of the nation’s capital, this region is known for it’s seaside cities, delightful cobblestone streets, old shops, churches, hotels, restaurants and government buildings.

West Coast
The west coast is full of rocky islands, pines, forests, fishes, and cottages. The west coast is car free and a great place for boating, fishing, and seal safaris.

Skane County
beautifully region, with medieval churches, castles, and Renaissance-style villages.

Uppsala County
Home of universities, museums, medieval castles, and old streets surrounded by pine forests.

Vasterbotten County
Swedens natural wilderness full of mountains and forests, A great place to go hiking even in the winter.

Orebro County
Historical town great place to learn about Swedish culture and lifestyle.

Uppsala County
Hundreds of lakes ranging from the very small to very large.

Midnight Sun Coast
This area is known for the phenomenon that only occurs in Europe’s Arctic Circle between June and July–an uninterrupted 24-hour period of complete sunlight. Great to see from the see.

Gotland
Viking treasures were discovered there, historical churches and fortresses.

Gothenburg
Once serving as the center of Sweden’s shipbuilding industry, today this city’s musical festivals and cultural events draw visitors from all over the world with a youthful and energetic atmosphere.

 

Lund
Europe home of the oldest universities, small town youthful energy with old architecture.
Must see Attractions
You must see the Vasa Museum, Stockholm City Hall, the Royal Palace, The ABBA Museum:, and the amusement park it has over 50 – roller coasters, water rides, and Europe’s tallest freefall attraction, plus a gardens and a sculpture park.

Stockholm Canals
Explore the canals that wind through the capital by boat or on foot either way.

Cuisine of Sweden
Sweden is full of international choices of foods they always include bread, pasta, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, fish, or some other meat.

Public Transportation
The larger the city the better the transportation, lots of street taxis, water taxis, ferries, trains, and buses.

There are trains you can take to Germany, Finland, Norway, and Denmark from Stockholm.

Languages of Sweden
The official language of Sweden is Swedish, but many natives speak English as a second language.

Have a good time in Sweden, let me know about your trip…

 

Madrid Travel

Brief History of Madrid

Madrid is a great place to travel to,  it’s  history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them.

Madrid is the capital of Spain since 1606. The development of Madrid as a city began when Philip II moved his court from Toledo to Madrid in 1560.

The origin of the name Madrid is believed to date back as far as 2nd century BC.

In 1329, Ferdinand IV of Castile assembled the Cortes Generales, a precursor to the modern Spanish parliament.

Between 1379 – 1406 Henry III of Castile rebuilt the city after it was destroyed by fire.

The marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella united the Crowns of Castile and Aragon, leading to the beginning of the Spain we all know and love today.

The two kingdoms maintained their national laws until 1714, when under the new Dynasty of the Bourboun a centralized State was built under the “Ways and Laws of Castile”.

The kingdoms of Castile and Aragón were fully united by Charles I of Spain.

During the 17th century, Madrid grew rapidly. The royal court attracted alot of artists and writers to Madrid among which are Cervantes and Lope de Vega.

Philip II transferred the capital from Toledo to Madrid in 1561.

In 1739 Philip V, began constructed new palaces, among which the Palacio Real de Madrid.

From 1716–1788 Charles III made Madrid a city full of buildings and monuments including the Prado and the Puerta de Alcalá.

In 1936–1939, Madrid was besieged by Spanish Nationalist and allied troops under Francisco Franco, during his dictatorship Madrid became very industrialized and experienced massive migrations from rural environments into the city.

Following the death of Franco, and in order to secure stability and democracy, the emerging democratic parties including those of left-wing and republican ideology accepted Franco’s wish to be succeeded by Juan Carlos I, leading to Spain’s current position as a constitutional monarchy.

Benefiting from prosperity in the 1980’s, Spain’s capital city has consolidated its position as the leading economic, cultural, industrial, educational and technological center of the Iberian peninsula.

The Monarchy of Spain referred to as the Crown or the Hispanic Monarchy comprises the reigning monarch, and of his or her family.

Spanish Constitution 

In 1978 the Spanish Constitution re-established the Spanish Monarchy as the form of government in Spain.

The present Spanish monarchy is represented by King Felipe VI, his wife Queen Letizia, and their daughters Leonor, Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofia.

It affirmed the role of the King of Spain as the personification and embodiment of the Spanish State and a symbol of Spain’s enduring unity and permanence.

In 2010, the budget for the Spanish monarchy was 7.4 million euros, one of the lowest public expenditures for the institution of monarchy in Europe.

Some of Madrid’s Most Popular Sites

Among Madrid’s most popular sites are the Museo Reina Sofia, Mercado de San Miguel, Temple de Debod, Plaza de Cibeles, Puerta del Sol, Gran Via, Retiro Park, Prado Museum, Plaza Mayor, and Palacio Real.

The Museo Reina Sofía was designed as a modern complement to the historical Prado Museum. The museum is home to a large collections of artwork by Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí.

The Mercado de San Miguel is a popular shopping destination for local foods and delicacies. On weekends it stays open as late as 2 a.m., as such it’s become a popular place to enjoy drinks and tapas.

The Temple of Debod is in Parque del Oeste, a park near the Royal Palace. The temple to the Egyptian goddess Isis; once stood on the banks of the Nile.

Plaza de Cibeles is closed to the Palace Cibeles, formerly known as the Palace of Communications. At the center of the plaza is a statue; the Fuente de la Cibeles. The fountain depicts the Roman goddess Cybele on a chariot drawn by lions.

Puerta del Sol, or the “Gate of the Sun,” is located in the center of Madrid. This is the place where thousands gather each New Year’s Eve to welcome in the new year. The statue of the Bear and the Strawberry Tree standing on one side of Puerta del Sol – is considered a symbol of Madrid.

The Gran Vía is known as the Broadway of Madrid because it’s “the street that never sleeps.” The Gran Vía has hundreds of shops, restaurants and businesses.

The Parque del Buen Retiro or El Retiro, is a 350-acre garden, with fountains located at the edge of the city center. Retiro Park was a monastery in the 1500s.

The Museo del Prado is an 18th century structure designed by Juan de Villanueva, which houses artworks from Goya, El Greco, da Ribera and Velázquez.

Madrid’s Plaza Mayor dates back to 1619, was used once to host bullfights.

The Palacio Real of Madrid is known for it’s huge structure, it has more than 2,500 fully decorated rooms. Built in 1764, the palace served as the royal residence of Carlos III.

The last royals to reside there were Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenie in the early 1900’s.

Fifty (50) of the rooms are open to the public, including the throne room (Salón del Trono),”.

The ceiling of the throne room was painted by the Baroque artist Tiepolo.

The palace is still used for official government ceremonies.

The palace also has a fresco in the grand dining hall that depicts Christopher Columbus presenting gifts from the New World to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

Travel Pass

When traveling to Madrid The Travel Pass is a wonderful way to save money when using Madrid’s public transport systems, the ticket is valid for all of Madrid’s Metro and Bus services within the city, together with the local suburban trains and the inner-city light railway.

The pass is available for 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days, and can be purchased for Zones A or T. Most of our visitors will require a pass for Zone A only, which covers all locations within Madrid’s city center including the airport.

The ticket is delivered in a protective plastic holder and includes Metro, bus and train maps, together with landmarks and places of interest in Madrid. Instructions for use are also included.

The pass must be purchased for the number of days you will use it for. It will then be activated the first time it is used, and the expiry date printed on the back.

The pass is then valid until 5:00 am on the day after the expiry date, allowing you to use the late nocturnal transport services as well.

In Madrid you can also buy a Tourist Pass and save big on top tourist attractions, some include transport and tapas at some of the sites.

In Madrid, electric power comes through at 220 volts and at 50 Hertz. Check to see if you will need a adapter.

Have a good time in Madrid, let me know about your true travel experience …

London Travel

A Brief History of London

London is a great place to travel to,  it’s  history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them:

According to the legendary Historia Regum Britanniae, by Geoffrey of Monmouth, London was founded by Brutus of Troy about 1000–1100 B.C. after he defeated the native giant Gogmagog; the settlement was known as Caer Troia, Troia Nova in Latin it means New Troy.

AD 200

Britain was divided in two. York became the capital of Britannia Inferior & London of Britannia Superior.

A century later, the Emperor Diocletian reorganized Britain to improve administrative efficiency.

London became the capital of Maxima Caesariensis, one of the four newly created provinces.

It remained the financial center of Britain, and home of the treasury.

Christianity appears to have reached the province at an early date and, only a year after the religion became official London had its own Bishop, Restitutus. Who is known to have attended the Imperial Council of Arles.
Expedia.com
In 1097 William Rufus, the son of William the Conqueror began the construction of ‘Westminster Hall’, which became the focus of the Palace of Westminster.

In 1176 construction began of the most famous incarnation of London Bridge (completed in 1209) which was built on the site of several earlier wooden bridges.

This bridge would last for 600 years, and remained the only bridge across the River Thames until 1739.

In 1216 during the First Barons’ War London was occupied by Prince Louis of France, who had been called in by the baronial rebels against King John and was acclaimed as King of England in St Paul’s Cathedral.

Over the following centuries, London would shake off the heavy French cultural and linguistic influence which had been there since the times of the Norman conquest.

The city would figure heavily in the development of Early Modern English.

During the Reformation, more than half of the area of London was the property of monasteries. London was the center of Protestantism in England.

Henry VIII’s “Dissolution of the Monasteries” had a profound effect on the city. Most of the property changed hands.

The process started in the mid 1530s and by 1538 most monastic houses had been abolished.

The late 16th and early 17th century saw the great flourishing of drama in London. A iconic and prominent figure of the time was William Shakespeare.

During Queen Elizabeth I reign, some of her courtiers and wealthier citizens of London built themselves country residences in Middlesex, Essex and Surrey and permanently left the city.

This was an early stirring of the villa movement, which was a taste for residences which were neither of the city or on an agricultural estate, but at the time of Elizabeth’s death in 1603, London was densely populated.

The general meeting-place of the time was the Old St. Paul’s Cathedral. Merchants used to conduct their business in the aisles.

Lawyers received their clients at their particular pillars; and the unemployed went to the church to look for work.

St Paul’s Churchyard became the center of the book trade, while Fleet Street became a center of public entertainment.

Charles I, acceded to the throne in 1625. During his reign, aristocrats began to inhabit the West End in large numbers. On September 2nd of 1666 the Great Fire of London broke out at one o’clock in the morning at a bakery in Pudding Lane.

It was a windy night and the fire spread, for four days all efforts to extinguish it failed. On Thursday it was finally extinguished, but on the evening of that day the flames returned at the Temple. The fire destroyed sixty percent of the City, the Old St Paul’s Cathedral, 87 parish churches, 44 livery company halls and the Royal Exchange.

The number of lives lost was amazingly small; sixteen lives are said to have been lost in the blaze.

The new City was different from the old one. All the houses and structures were made of bricks. Wood houses were no longer allowed.

During the reign of Queen Anne an act was passed authorizing the building of 50 new churches to serve the greatly increased population living outside the boundaries of the City of London.

The 18th century was a period of rapid growth for London, reflecting an increasing national population, the early stirrings of the Industrial Revolution, and London’s role at the centre of the evolving British Empire.

The first railway to be built in London was a line from London Bridge to Greenwich, which opened in 1836.

In the mid-1960s, music was on the rise and the UK was noticed for such musicians as the Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

In the mid 60’s London also became a fashion trend – a household name of youth and fashion around the world.

London’s fame quickly spread when they introduced to the market thin built models in mini skirts and short dresses.

London became the home of models with thin build, androgynous looks, big eyes, long eyelashes, and very short hair – who wore mini skirts. Some with boots. It became a trend.

By 1966, the mini skirt phase put London on top of the Fashion world.


On 6 July 2005, London won the right to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics making it the first city to host the modern games three times.

However, celebrations were cut short the following day when the city was rocked by a series of terrorist attacks.

More than 50 were killed and 750 injured in three bombings on London Underground trains and a fourth on a double decker bus near King’s Cross.

As you can see London’s history is not only ancient, but intriguing. A must see place.

London Pass

When in London purchase the London Pass it provides you with discounts and free entry to over 60 of the very best tourist attractions in London. Plus a free hop-on hop-off bus tour.

There is also the London Pass for public transportation.

Some of the top attractions in London are the London Tower, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace, Tower of London and it’s always delightful take a boat cruise in the Thames River.

Make sure to check that your devices are compatible with the 220v voltage of London.

In order to use electronics from the United States in England, as well as most other countries outside of the American continent, you need a voltage converter and a plug adapter, unless you have dual-voltage electronics.

England is a country that uses 220v. If your visiting other countries in Europe as well they mostly uses 220v; as well.
NEW YORK – LONDON FLIGHT FROM $729 ROUND TRIP
Great Places to Visit in London 

Buckingham Palace  Tour – usually a 2.5-hour visit to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the Guard Ceremony. Then, enjoy the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – See the sets, costumes, and props used in all the Harry Potter films.

The Coca-Cola London Eye is a major feature of London’s skyline. It boasts some of London’s best views from its 32 capsules, each weighing 10 tonnes and holding up to 25 people. Climb aboard for a breathtaking experience, with an unforgettable perspective of more than 55 of London’s most famous landmarks – all in just 30 minutes!

Madame Tussaud Museum – See world’s most famous faces up-close from Shakespeare to recent artist.

London’s Hop on Hop Off  Bus – It’s best to buy a 24 hour ticket and enjoy the freedom to hop on and off the sightseeing buses and explore some of London’s most famous places, without having to rush to do it all in one day.

Visit the  Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, one day and St Paul’s Cathedral and Trafalgar Square the next day – plus all the stops you can make at restaurants, rivers, canals, parks and shopping streets.

The  Tower of London, is one of the world’s most famous buildings, its 900-year interesting history as a royal palace, prison and place of execution, arsenal, jewel house and zoo.

There is a 90 minute tour thru London’s dark past that is believed to knock your socks off.

The Sea Life London Aquarium houses over 400 species such as sharks, stingrays, moray eels, clown fish, and green turtles.

Getting around London on the River Boats  are popular with visitors and commuters alike, it’s a great way of beating the traffic and just sitting back to enjoy the view.

There is a large selection of these boat tours, some include, dinning, music, and dancing.

Among the canals a must see is the  Grand Union Canal The single longest canal in Britain, the Grand Union links London and Birmingham.

The River Thames London’s is a wonder ful place to see – runs almost 350km (220 miles) from source to sea. It has an amazing history and offers countless places to just sit and relax. It’s a leisure opportunity.

As you well know; there is so much more to see in London. I just hope you enjoyed the brief history offered here. I too like to know a litle bit about the places I visit.  Enjoy the videos and use the links to book your trip. Below is one for an electricity adaptar in case you need one.

London has great hotels, motels, car rentals and restaurants.

Don’t forget to try the local cuisine, and take lots of photos.

Hope you share your experience with us!

Have a great time!

Paris Travel

Paris is and always have been a great place to travel to,  it’s  history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them:

Paris, capital of France

It’s 105 square kilometres which is about 41 square miles, it was founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city it’s name.

In the 12th century, it was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading centre. It’s also the home of one of the oldest Universities in history; The University of Paris.

In the 17th century Paris became one of Europe’s major finance, commerce, fashion, science, and arts center, a position that still keeps today.

Paris is the banking and financial centre of France, houses the headquarters of 29 of the 31 French companies ranked in the 2015 Fortune Global 500.

The city is also a major rail, highway, and air-transport hub, serves two international airports Paris-Charles de Gaulle which is the second busiest airport in Europe after London Heathrow Airport, and Paris-Orly.

The Paris Metro opened in 1900, serves 5.23 million passengers daily. It’s the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro.

The central area of the city along the Seine River is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site, and includes many notable monuments, including Notre Dame Cathedral (12th – 13th century); the Sainte-Chapelle (13th century); the Eiffel Tower (1889); the Grand Palais and Petit Palais (1900); and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre (1914).

Paris is also known for its fashion, particularly the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week, which includes Haute Couture, Paris Fashion Week for Men, and Paris Sping and Summer Collections.

Paris has alot of restaurants that are three stars or better, known for it’s fine food.

 

Most of France’s major universities and grandes écoles are located in Paris.

Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération are France’s major newspapers.

 

The association football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are also based in Paris.

If you are a sports fan you will like to visit the 80,000 seat Stade de France, which was constructed for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. It is located just north of Paris in the commune of Saint Denis.

Paris was also the hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros.

Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics – and is bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016 were all held in the city, and every July the cycling Tour de France finishes there.

The Louvre Museum has some 35,000 artworks. View the paintings, sculpture and architecture from 450 BC to the 19th century.

Among the most popular is Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa.

The museum has an English-speaking tour guide, with audio headsets, great for those who like to stand behind the crowd.

Enjoy a walking tour of the Palais Garnier, Paris’ premier opera house, it’s one of largest opera houses in Europe.

The Opera Garnier, as it is often called, inspired the setting for the famous musical, ‘Phantom of the Opera.’

There you will see the Grand Foyer, the main staircase (Grand Escalier in French).

The Neo-Baroque décor of this beautiful palace was designed by French architect Charles Garnier in the late 19th century. A guided tour usually takes an hour and a half to complete.

One of the unique things of France is that it offers you the opportunity to take to the skies in a hot air balloon ride, over Fontainebleau.

One of the highlights is watching the balloon inflation process, then taking a flight over the Fontainbleau countryside.

This was a former hunting ground of French royalty.

Once above you can view the whole town, the castle, and the wildlife of the forest.

When you land, you get to enjoy a glass of Champagne for the traditional toast des aéronautes, and then return by vehicle to the starting point.

 

Montmartre is the hilly part of Paris, decorated by a staircase that leads to the famous Sacré Coeur Cathedral.

There is another church on the hill, the older Saint Pierre de Montmartre, which is the founding place of the Jesuits.

The area is also famous for its nightlife and artists. The Moulin Rouge the cabaret that invented the can-can, a feisty French dance that put Montmartre on the map.

During sometime in their life artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, Modigliani, Renoir and Dali all lived and or worked for some time in the area.


The Dali Espace museum is also worth a visit. Then make your way into a different kind of Paris as you stroll along quiet country streets that will make you forget you’re in a major European capital!

Air France

At the highest natural point you can appreciate two stunning views: the magnificent Sacré Coeur basilica on one side, and a panorama of Paris on the other.

If you are about to travel to Paris, do not forget to pack the right adapters for your small appliances. Otherwise, you will get yourself into trouble.

Electricity in France—and more generally in Europe—comes out of the electrical outlets at 230-240 volts. In the US, the voltage is 110 volts.

The Paris train, metro, RER, tram and bus system uses a smart card called Passe Navigo Découverte for week passes.

These passes are open to visitors as opposed to normal Navigo passes which are for residents of Ile-de-France only.
The services included are any metro, RER (suburban) train, buses (RATP/Noctilien/Optile), and trams up to the zone limits of your pass.

You can buy a Navigo Découverte pass at nearly any Metro, RER, Transilien train ticket window that normally sells tickets and passes.

Have a good time in Paris, take lots of pictures and share some with us, bon voyage!

Belgium Travel

Belgium is the heir of several former Medieval powers, previously named Belgae or Belgica. This is evident as you travel the country. After the collapse of the Carolingian Empire in the 9th century, the territory that is nowadays Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg, was part of Lotharingia.
The “Lower Lotharingia” remained intact in the feudal Empire: this is the origin of the Low Countries, a general term that encompasses present-day Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830. In 1948 Belgium became a co-signatory to the Benelux Customs Union along with the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This later became the Benelux Economic Union in 1958 and in 2008 the treaty between the three countries was renewed and revised under the title of the Benelux Union.

Belgium is also a member country of the Schengen Area in which border controls with other Schengen members have been eliminated; while at the same time border controls with non-Schengen countries have been strengthened.
Air France
The Belgium terrain is flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, wooded hills and valleys of Ardennes Forest in southeast. The temperature is mild in the winter, cool in the summer, with rainy humid seasons.

Electricity is supplied at 220-230V, 50Hz.

Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark, Italy, and Switzerland and those many other countries using 230V, 50Hz but using different plugs, you will need a plug adapter to use the appliances in Belgium.

The United States, Canada, Japan and other countries using 110V, 60Hz will need a voltage converter.

Some laptops, Mobile Phone chargers and other devices can accept either 110V or 230V and only require a simple plug adapter. Check the voltage rating plates on your appliances before connecting them.

Belgium consists of three federal regions, listed from North to South:
Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.

The northern part of Belgium is a Dutch-speaking region of the country. It includes well known cities like Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges. The Flemish provinces are (from west to east): West-Flanders, East-Flanders, Antwerp, Flemish-Brabant and Limburg.

Wallonia is the French-speaking region of the country (southern) with a few German speaking regions in the east next to the German border. The Walloon provinces are : Hainaut, Walloon Brabant, Namur, and Liège.

Belgium has a very high rate of urbanization and has an astonishing number of cities for such a small territory.

The bilingual capital region of the country is Brussels, countries headquarter.

When travelling by train you will notice that the destinations are listed at stations in the language of the locality.

For example, if travelling from a French-speaking area to Antwerp, it will be listed as ‘Anvers’, from a Flemish-speaking area ‘Antwerpen’.

The exception is Brussels, where destinations are listed in both languages. There is a limited number of international trains, which route Brussels National Airport. They announce the stations in English.

The historic center of Brussels is only about 300 by 400 m long. Antwerp is much bigger, but a ride on a horse-pulled coach gives a better view than the subway.

Some hire cars come equipped with satellite navigation but it’s a good idea to request this when you book your car. It’s probably the most reliable way to get from A to B in Belgium.

This way you will get to see some of the sites of Belgium, as flat as it may be, but architecture in the towns is something to be admired.

Once in Belgium you will be pleasantly surprised at just how clean the towns and villages are. In small towns you can feel that small town community feeling in the people. There are lots of castles in their surroundings, that give their villages that movie type of elegance, that you thought was only possible on the big screen.

If you like to hike, bike or go camping the hills of the Ardennes with their forests is the place for you. Caves, cliffs and green landscapes all around.

Bring your camera for these woods are the home to some deers, boars, and lynxs.

Some cities are beautifully located along the rivers, an wonder place to walk around.

Travel to Belgium and enjoy yourself.

Let me know about your trip……………