Taking a Holiday Away From It All…

Taking a holiday is a much anticipated ritual for most families who look forward to a break from work and home for a while to indulge their senses in everything randomly entertaining. Whether you decide on a self-catering holiday or one that has a planned itinerary is very much a matter of personal choice and destination. Many people have a summer vacation resort to which they return every year, and some are lucky enough to have a summer home to which they retire with all of the comforts of home available.

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I must say that I really think that a vacation should be an adventure into the unknown, and I have had some really fantastic experiences travelling across borders into unknown territory to explore the big wide world. A lot of travel begins with an air flight to your destination and that is where I learned my first valuable lessons in flying… be careful how you pack your suitcase that will be placed in the luggage hold of an aircraft, because a number of things happen to bottles and jars that don’t have screw-on caps, in an unpressurized atmosphere. You may end up at your destination with a mess of seismic proportions if you have not secured your cosmetics and bathing gels, shampoos and conditioners, body washes and lotions.

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Imagine arriving at your hotel and getting ready to unpack and when you open your suitcase there has been a grand multiple evacuation of all of those products that you tucked into spaces to make your suitcase fit snugly… believe me when I had eventually closed my mouth which was hanging open in amazement, I realized there were two ways to view this catastrophe; laugh or cry! When I finally stopped laughing and wiped the last tear from my eye I vowed never to pack plastic bottles in a suitcase again without first popping them into a zip-lock plastic bag, or better still, using my carry-on bag for toiletries! I have never seen such a mess in my life before although everything did smell wonderfully fragrant and sweet!

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No doubt, what I needed was a drink, a laundry service, and a bit of a break from it all; so I escaped to a favorite destination that goes with me whenever I travel…my trusty lap-top! I thoroughly enjoy a bit of time at the online casino as a recreational break from the craziness of what life throws at us without the fuss of dressing up and going out, and so I opened up my lap-top and lay back with it propped against my knees and went to my top online casino to play some games and unwind… there they were, my trusty slots waiting for me to play a while, which I duly did. I sipped on my drink, ordered up some room-service, sent the laundry to housekeeping and settled in for a whirl on the slots which are my passion. It wasn’t long and all of the cares and worries drifted away as I spun the reels of first one, then another game slowly letting the tranquil setting of the casino take me away. This portable entertainment is a god-send and I realized that it didn’t matter where in the world I ended up I could spend some time playing online Casino games and even win a bit of extra cash besides

Tips for packing a suitcase:

  • Roll up your clothing, you will have less wrinkles in material when you reach your destination.
  • Pack all of your make-up in a cosmetic bag and cushion with tissue paper to prevent breakages of eye shadows and pencils. Baggage handlers are a rough lot and they don’t know what is in the suitcase!
  • Place all lotions and shampoos in zip lock bags before popping them into the suitcase to prevent spillages and where possible use screw on caps.
  • You can purchase plastic containers before going on holiday and fill them up with the goodies you can’t live without at bath time.
  • Where possible use carry-on luggage for liquids and creams (packed in zip-lock bags of course).
  • Most hotels have a complimentary range of bathing essentials such as shampoos and lotions waiting for you to try out in your en-suite bathroom, so take advantage of the freebies!
  • Only take what is really essential on the outbound trip, even if your suitcase is not full… you will need the extra space when you return with a whole lot of extra goodies you have bought at your holiday destination
  • Above all, enjoy your holiday and don’t sweat the small stuff, relax and take time out to play and rejuvenate your body and mind, and don’t forget that you need to have some time to just while away playing some of your favorite games at your portable play destination on your lap-top… your online casino!

 

Back to your vacation! Visit all of the sites and enjoy all of the smells, sounds and activities that you would otherwise not partake of. Take boat rides or head off to the hills on horseback with a guide, find out what the destination has to offer and have a ball on your vacation… you’ve earned it!

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This is a guest Blog post by Anne Lewis-Schneider. She is a mother of 3 and grandmother to 2 with another on the way. She is an avid creative and freelance writer, when she is not writing she enjoys knitting, spending time with her family, and is a keen animal activist.

 


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Get Out Of The Car And Experience Soweto By Bike!

An African Experience

This is a guest blog post from Maria of Lebo’s Soweto Back Packers and Soweto Cycle Tour.

Get Out Of The Car And Experience Soweto By Bike!

Get Out Of The Car And Experience Soweto By Bike!

For something different and unusual a tour of Soweto and taste some African cultural life, truly this popular, eco-friendly and exciting township tour takes you around the streets of Soweto for an experience like you’ve never had before.

Our friendly local guides will spend half or full day with you as you cycle around the community, showing you the unique features of this interesting township, at the same time you get to experience the vibe of Soweto, eat that the local burger Kota, taste traditional beer at a shabeen sharing the experience with the local people. You will return home with a different perception of township life.

Some of the more interesting highlights that this interesting tour covers:

  • The Mzimhlope Men’s Hostel]
  • The Hector Pieterson Memorial
  • The famed Vilakazi Street
  • Nelson Mandela’s House
  • Arch Bishop Emirates Tutu house
  • A cycle trough the “Soweto Struggle route”

At the same time you will be able to experience some unusual tastes, such as you sample:

  • Cows head meat
  • Homemade ice lollies
  • Home brewed beer at the local shebeen (pub)
  • A burger “Kota” for your lunch

And to round off the tour a lovely cool drink at the Backpackers’ lodge.

For more information and to book a tour contact Maria at

Lebo’s Soweto Backpackers.
Tell: (011) 936-3444Cell: 074-3609085

www.sowetobackpackers.com

www.sowetobicycletours.com


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Vacation and Sightseeing in Myanmar (Burma)

Vacation and Sightseeing in Myanmar (Burma)

Vacation and Sightseeing in Myanmar (Burma) – paxgaea.com Buddha Statues, Burma, Myanmar

This is a guest blog post by Michael Shaw.
Born in South Africa, raised in Zimbabwe, studied in New Zealand and currently living in the U, Mike has enjoyed seeing different parts of the world and will keep trying to find those hidden gems while working with the Travelling-Nomads.

When most would-be travellers think about holidaying and sightseeing, Asia holidays are often one of the last options that come to mind.  While Burma in particular may be one of the lesser known areas in East Asia, it is for this very reason that it has become an increasingly popular tourist destination for sightseers.  With dozens of attractions to visit, over 1900 kilometres of uninterrupted coastline, and a growing urban environment, Myanmar has become somewhat of a hidden gem for visitors interested in something unique.  Above all, low prices, abundant lodging, and a wide variety of local cuisine make this destination a memorable one, and arguably one of the best places to visit during a tour of East Asia.

Ecotourism

For those looking to visit natural attractions, Burma’s wide spanning forest and mountains make it an excellent destination for ecotourism, and sightseeing.  As a whole, Burma’s ecotourism focuses on its forestry, mountains, and wildlife sanctuaries.  Many of the national parks and reserves focus on trekking, safaris, and other guided tours for tourists, as well as open trails with available car hire for those interested in exploring the area on their own.

While there are many options available, a few stand out above the rest.  In terms of National Forestry Parks, the Alaungdaw Kathapa National park and the Hlawga National Park stands above the rest, while Popa Mountain is the most popular mountain destination in the area.  In terms of wildlife, the Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary ranks highest, with other unique wildlife to be found on Lampi Island.

Architecture and History

While the recent history of Burma speaks little about the area, the past millennium of history makes the Myanmar area an excellent place for sightseers.  While major areas such as Bagan and Rangoon have their own unique architecture, there are several unique temples and buildings still standing, some of dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries.

Within major cities and urban areas, history takes another form.  With such a great recorded history of shifting control over the centuries, many museums in the area store what remains of these ancient cultures.  The list of museums and attractions vary significantly, so it’s an excellent idea to plan ahead and select your sightseeing in advance.

Planning and Reservations

Unlike many smaller East Asian nations, Myanmar as a whole spans nearly 2000 kilometres, with tourist destinations all over.
For travellers looking to take the guesswork out of planning a trip in East Asia, or those who are simply interested in maximising their time in the area, a skilled travel agent is suggested.  Vietnam tours, trips to Cambodia, and sightseeing in Burma are just a few of the many opportunities available to tourists. Customisation for a trip like this is important, so take the time to find the travel agent best suited to planning East Asian Trips.


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Top 5 Attractions in Tel Aviv, Israel

Attractive Tel Aviv for the Most Discerning Visitor

Tel Aviv at Night

Tel Aviv at Night

Ready to visit Israel and see what the Holy Land is hiding? You can start with a trip to Tel Aviv. As one of the most popular destinations in the country, it’s teeming with clubs, nightlife and all-around entertainment, more than enough to gratify even the most insatiable of tourists. Before you travel to Israel without a map, consider making plans to see the following:

5:      Tayelet

One of the highlights of most tours to Israel, Tayelet is the shopping experience of a lifetime. It dominates over 2km of boardwalk between Tel Aviv and Jaffa, offering its walkers everything from restaurants to souvenir shops to high-end boutiques, and when your wallet is exhausted, simply hop off the pier and spend the rest of the day playing on the beach.4: Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center Catch a show, enjoy a concert or simply admire the displays of photography and modern art. Tel Aviv’s Performing Arts Center is a modern marvel of creativity and expression, and since it’s educational and entertaining at all once, it’s one of the many attractions of Israel that you simply can’t miss.

3: TLVnight

Anyone can take tours to Israel, but how many can say they specifically went on a bar tour? TLVnight is the smart man’s alternative to simply stumbling around the Israeli bar scene and hoping to find a party. TLVnight will guide you through the best of the best of Tel Aviv nightlife, introducing you to the right people and showing you all the hottest bars, clubs and after-hours celebrations.

2: Tel Aviv Museum of Art

A taste of culture, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art houses over 200 paintings and artifacts from Israeli and European artists alike. Wander through the hanging veils of Izhar Patkin, enjoy the wing of authentic Van Goghs and be amazed by the 87ft spiraling atrium that serves as a centerpiece to a half-dozen individual galleries. The museum attracts thousands of visitors each year and is one of the shining gems of modern Israel tours, so it’s definitely an attraction you don’t want to miss when you travel to Israel.

1: Tel Aviv Port

You can’t visit Israel without stopping by the Tel Aivi Port. Considered by many to be the heart of the city, it’s the go-to neighborhood for wining, dining, shopping and sightseeing. Lovers flock in droves to its tasty restaurants and all-night clubs, and Israel Tours make a point of stopping by for shops and souvenirs. If you’re looking for the ultimate experience in Tel Aviv, this is where you’ll find it.

This is a Guest Blog post from Israel Tours

 


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Jerusalem: Holy and Wild

Jerusalem a Country of Contrasts

Jerusalem Old City

Jerusalem Old City

Taking a trip to Jerusalem means visiting a city of contrasts. Jerusalem has always had seemingly incongruent aspects living side by side. All Jerusalem tours will make that apparent to any visitor. One of the most interesting contrasts a visitor will find on Holy Land tours is the holy present with a walk on the wilder side.

The Holy

Jerusalem is home to holy sites for three major world religions. Jerusalem tours will take to you all the major religious sites. As the capital city for the Jewish nation for more than 3,000 years, Jerusalem holds Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall. The Western Wall is the only remnant left of the walls that surrounded the Holy Temple, last destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
The next stop on the holy side of Jerusalem tours is to the Dome of the Rock. This mosque was built on the site of the Holy Temple in 637 A.D. as part of the Muslim conquest of Syria, which controlled Jerusalem at the time. The mosque has come to be associated with the Koranic miracle known as the “Night Miracle.” Non-Muslims can visit the Temple Mount area, which is the courtyard outside the mosque. However, they can’t enter the mosque.

Right in the same area of the Old City is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built on the area believed to be the site of the crucifixion of Jesus. Holy Land tours can show visitors the burrowed and cavernous insides of the church, including what’s considered to be the Tomb of Jesus and beautiful mosaics.

The Wild

Jerusalem night life

Jerusalem night life

After you’ve visited the holy sites on your trip to Jerusalem during the day, you can head out for some nightlife. In fact, Jerusalem nightclub Haoman 17 is regularly ranked as one of the world’s best. It’s located in the industrial area of Jerusalem’s Talpiot neighborhood. Another famous club and music venue in the same Talpiot neighborhood is Yellow Submarine. This club is known for its live indie music acts.

The Yoel Salomon pedestrian area has a congregation of cafes, restaurants, wine bars, and one popular nightclub, the Underground. It’s an open air area good for a visit if you’re not sure where you want to go because you’ll have lots of choices, including Latin American dance clubs. This street is also home to one of Jerusalem’s best secrets – a non-kosher restaurant that’s open 24 hours a day, the perfect place to fill up after a long night out.

This is a guest blog post by Holy Land Tours


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Discover Israel: A Country of Many Faiths

Walk in the Paths of the Ancients

Discover Israel; A Country of

Discover Israel; A Country of

There is good reason why Israel is popularly referred to as “the Holy Land.” The State of Israel is home to numerous holy sites and pilgrimage spots of interest to people of all three major world religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – and other minority groups such as the Druze and the Bahai.

All across Israel, and especially in the capital city of Jerusalem, you will find synagogues, churches, temples and mosques, as well as other religious sites and attractions. Since visiting Israel is an integral component of many people’s cultural and religious traditions, it is no wonder that a trip to the Holy Land is often considered a dream come true.

For Jews, a trip to Israel means a trip to the Promised Land, as well as to their national homeland. Jerusalem – the capital city of the modern State of Israel, as well as the capital of King David during Biblical times and the site of the First and Second Temples – is of particular importance. For Christians, Holy Land tours mean visiting the birthplace of Jesus, as well the place of his crucifixion and resurrection. Muslims believe that it was in Israel that Muhammad ascended to the heavens, where he met the prophets of Islam, while people of the Baha’i faith believe that their prophet, Baha’’u’llah, was exiled to Israel.

To help you prepare for your much-anticipated trip to Israel, here are some of the most popular sites and attractions of interest to people of all faiths:

Jewish Tourist Attractions

  • Western Wall (the Kotel)
  • Western Wall Tunnels
  • Water Tunnels in the Old City
  • Ancient Cardo
  • Ramparts Walk (walk along the Old City walls)
  • Tower of David
  • Mount Herzel Museum
  • Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
  • Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum
  • Mount of Olives
  • Hezekiah’s Tunnel
  • Zfat (Sefad) Synagogues
  • Diaspora Museum (Beit HaTfutzot)
  • Mini Israel
  • Time Elevator
  • Masada
  • Israelite Temple of Arad

Christian Tourist Attractions

  • Church of the Holy Sepulcher
  • Church of the Nativity
  • The Way of the Cross
  • Last Supper Room near Mt. Zion
  • Nazareth
  • Bethlehem
  • Jericho
  • Sea of Galilee/Church of the Loaves and Fishes
  • Bethany (Tomb of Lazarus)
  • Capernaum
  • Mount Nebo
  • Mount of Beatitudes (site of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount,” where he named his twelve apostles)
  • Mount Tabor
  • Garden of Gethsemane

Islamic Tourist Attractions

  • l Aqsa Mosque
  • Dome of the Rock
  • Dome of the Chain
  • Madrasas of Jerusalem
  • El-Kas Fountain
    Islamic Museum
  • L.A. Mayer Museum of Islamic Art
  • Mosque of Omar
  • Tomb of David

No matter what faith or religion you adhere to, Israel tours are sure to fascinate, educate, and entertain you throughout. Not only is the country steeped in ancient history and religion, but the modern State of Israel is brimming with museums, sprawling national parks, mouth-watering Middle Eastern delights, adventurous tours and hikes, thrilling amusement parks, captivating archeological sites, and breathtaking panoramic views.

Its diverse landscape means you can go skiing on top of Mount Hermon one day, go scuba diving in the southern resort city of Eilat the next, and proceed to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on the face of the earth, for a rejuvenating mud bath or salty swim on the water. Add to this Israel’s warm climate, stunning beaches, and an endless list of things to do, see, taste, and experience for the whole family, and Israel “the country of all faiths” is second to none.

This is a guest blog post from Israel Tours

 


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