Many vacationers love to make the most of their time off work or college. This is completely understandable when you consider how much leisure time we actually get away from the stresses and strains of modern society. Some like to cut loose, especially those in the under-thirty age bracket. The there is always the hen and stag nights associated with weddings. Increasing numbers of stags and hens choose to spend a weekend away too. As a result, binge drinking getaways have become increasingly popular in the last few years. Here is a quick guide to the cream of the binge drinking getaway crop.1. Prague This destination is perfect for binge drinking, with a pitcher of beer costing roughly $1! It is an extremely cheap city to drink in, and accommodation is of a high standard for an exceptionally reasonable price. The Ibis Old Town Hotel is one of them, offering the necessary amenities to make your stay comfortable and located within walking distance of the bars.2. Amsterdam Amsterdam has a variety of bars and cafes that are all primarily drinking establishments. Although the prices are extortionate in some places, there are some smaller sidewalk bars that offer alcohol at very low prices. Many of the hotels are located in the centre of the city and within stumbling distance of the bars. Try the Albus Grand Hotel for a luxurious but affordable stay and immediate access to the watering holes of Amsterdam.3. Blackpool The Royal York hotel in Blackpool is perhaps one of the cheapest but best hotels around if you are looking for the ideal location for a binge drinking weekend. The hotel is next to the fantastic nightlife district. Blackpool is full of bars and nightclubs that provide great drinks prices and offers and, as a result, is a popular destination for hen and stag weekends.4. Ibiza This destination needs very little introduction. It is renowned for its all-night club parties in the summer, which attract binge drinkers from all over the globe. Whether you are looking for an unforgettable weekend of partying or a longer break, Ibiza offers the complete package. El Puerto Hotel is in a prime location for a binge drinking getaway. It is right in the heart of Ibiza town and welcomes travellers who party at night and sleep in the day.5. Dublin The Irish are renowned for their ability to drink, so it comes as no surprise that Dublin is one of the top 10 destinations for binge drinking. Many hotels are located in the city centre, but none as reasonably priced at the Mespil Hotel. It is right in the city centre and offers good rooms and facilities for guests without restricting your ability to drink and have a good time!6. Cancun The heart of Mexico and a spring break haven, Cancun offers an excellent rage of bars and clubs, as well as providing a range of places to stay. The Solymar hotel is one of them. It is situated next to the nightlife and offers high quality facilities at an extremely cheap price, considering its location. If you want to drink and be merry, as well as meet new people who are looking for the same things as you from their vacation, Cancun is the place to be.7. Negril Jamaica is renowned for its easy going lifestyle, but is should be more well known for its measures of alcohol. If you are looking to get drunk, then the amount of rum in any drink here should be enough to entice you to the resort. Rondel Village Negril hotel is a short distance from the nightlife but offers a quiet retreat for the morning after hangover.8. Corfu Corfu is perfect for a quieter binge drinking weekend than the other destinations listed. The town is more easygoing but just as cheap as Cancun and Negril. The Bretagne Hotel is located in the heart of the town but is considered budget accommodation. This does not reflect the facilities available. It is a short walk to the bars and clubs, if a little bit further when you are stumbling to your bed at the end of the night.9. Sydney Located in Australia, Sydney offers the perfect combination of sun, sea and alcohol for any binge drinking weekend. You can combine all three if you wish. Hotels like the The Westin Sydney are perfect for binge drinking weekends because they appreciate the fun that most individuals are looking for in a binge drinking getaway.10. Tenerife A long-established fun vacation destination that is perfect for binge drinking, Tenerife offers a wide variety of clubs and bars to suit all tastes. It is also nice and cheap for those on a budget. Accommodation, such as the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel, markets itself towards the younger binge drinkers out there and offers great value for money.Wherever you choose to go for a binge drinking weekend, the top 10 will surely create memorable experiences for all tourists. They cater for alcoholic ventures and offer great prices to boot!
Milton Keynes is one of the best places to live, work or visit in England. The planners dream comes true in this new city!Its young, clean vibrant, safe and affluent, with a range of great attractions in and around it. "Milton Keynes" is the culmination and perhaps the perfection of the Garden City devolopments in Britain that followed the Second World War. The foundation was laid in 1967 when Milton Keynes was officially designated a new town.Milton Keynes capitalised on the earlier lessons of towns like Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage and has successfully blended modern life and commerce to make it one of the best places to live and work in Britain. The twentieth century is so often heralded as the planners dream gone wrong. Whereas those that know Milton Keynes, feel its very much a case of the planner dream came true! Part of the reason for this is the significant architectural and planning talent assembled for the job in the early 70s. Milton Keynes is no laughing matter! Milton Keynes gained prominance in the nations psyche through the gags of 70s comedians like Jasper Carrott, that made fun of the roundabouts and the infamous concrete cows. Later we found out that few of the comedians had even been to MK, but most people were left with a false impression of the city that has taken 25 years to shake off.Great locationMilton Keynes enjoys a great location for commerce and for the traveler looking for a base. Going north its 45 miles from London on the way to Birmingham. Looking east to west its midway between Cambridge and Oxford.Easy accessIts the perfect base to explore the country with most major cities within 2 hours. It has direct rail connections to London (35mins), Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Chester, Stoke on Trent, Coventry, the Lake District, North Wales, Glasgow and Scotland.If you need to fly London Luton International airport is about 15 miles to the south and regional airports at Coventry, Donnington and Birmingham also offer international and national flights.
Tuesday, April 5, 2005, 6:00 pm, Hotel Havana LibreThanks to a severe case of the Revenge of Montezuma (or Ricky Ricardo?..,) I am sitting here in the Hotel Havana Libre and I finally get around to create updates from my first 4.5 days here in Cuba. The Internet connection is definitely the slowest I have ever seen in my entire life, (15 minutes to access my messages at Yahoo..), but I am giving it a shot anyways.Friday morning I arrived at the airport in Toronto at 5:30 am since my husband gave me a ride before work. The plane was scheduled to leave at 10:30 and several transfers with public transport would have taken me 2.5 hours anyway, so I decided to head there early and read a book.Air Canada was delayed after all (due to a problem with the water supply on the plane) and we had to wait for a substitute plane from Winnipeg and finally got off the ground at about noon. 3.5 hours later we arrived at the airport Jose Marti in Havana - a reasonably modern airport. However, it took me and the other travellers almost 2 hours to collect our luggage and finally hop into a taxi.On the way in from the airport I noticed that there was a mixture of industrial developments and agricultural areas, right up until the centre of the city, which is strange compared to Toronto, where there is no significant agriculture until way outside the city. The older gentleman driving the taxi was very friendly and explained a few basic things to me, e.g. that most of the area is industrial and agricultural. He also showed the National Sports Centre to me. Of course you see old cars from the 50s and earlier as well as beat-up Russian Ladas everywhere. Old sidecar motorcycles are also a popular way to get around.I finally arrived at my hotel at about 6 pm where my brand-new friend Pedro (a connection through a friend in Canada) was waiting for me. I had told my friend that I wanted to really spend some time with locals to learn about Cuba, its customs, its way of life etc.Pedro is a brown-skinned black man in his late thirties with a common-law wife and a young daughter. An extremely nice person and hes been very gracious in taking me around and explaining things to me.After I dropped off my suitcase and refreshed myself a little, we hopped into a private individual's car (a practice extremely common in Cuba), he paid a few local pesos and we were whisked downtown in a very old beat-up Lada which ended up picking up various other locals along the way.Habana Vieja is a fascinating colonial city and the age and beauty of the building is astounding. Of course I saw the Capitolio (very similar to the Capital in Washington), several of the big museums, the Hotel Inglaterra and some of the bars that Hemingway frequented.I also saw the big spider exhibit of 2 metallic spiders that are located right in the heart of downtown, an exhibit by a French sculptress that will stay in Havana until April 28 and then apparently move on to New York.We walked around and chatted about life in Cuba and I started to learn a few things, about some of the practical consequences of the revolution (e.g. blacks have it much better today than before, and there is relatively little racism according to Pedro), and the double economy, where locals receive their salary in Pesos Cubanos, (around US$8 to $30 a month), which is not even close to enough for living, so everybody participates in the underground economy in some way.We had a reasonably expensive meal in a downtown "Paladar", a private restaurant in a private home with a maximum of 12 seats, one of the few official private enterprises allowed. When asked about the future of Cuba after Fidel, both my new-found friend and the old man running the Paladar indicated that they thought not much would change after a future passing of Fidel. (Actually the mention of Fidels passing often makes people pull up their hands in front of their mouths and start to speak very quietly...).After the meal, Pedro again flagged down a private vehicle, we hopped in and I got dropped off at the hotel, dropping into bed like a tired sack of potatoes. But I definitely had a great introduction to life in Cuba on my first evening....
Barcelona, Spain is one of the jewels of Europe with its rich history, cultural, and vibrant city life. When you concentrate on the recent cultural developments in Catalunya (composed of four regions, including Barcelona) you will find some of the richest aspects of the area.Set of to Park Guell to see some of the richest examples of Modernism in Barcelona. This park was designed by architect, Antonio Gaudi and contains some of his best works. There is as much art here as in many museums. There are benches, walls, and buildings that are true pieces of art. After you experience a stroll through the park then head to the Sagrada Familia. This is Gaudis church that was created in 1883 and has yet to be completed. It is said to be completed sometime this century, but its a joke amongst locals and expats alike as to when exactly the church will be finished.If you want to take a walk on the wild side then head over to the Barcelona Zoo which was founded in 1892. The zoo can be found in a beautiful park called the Ciutadella Park. The zoo itself has more than 7,500 kinds of animals. There is a small pygmy hippo and a strange anteater as well. The zoo takes much pride from its primate collection. There are tortoises, pelicans, and a red kangaroo. All of these delights can be photographed up-close without having to traveling to the swamp or desert! If you want to try something else for a change then the Aquarama Barcelona is a great place to start. This aquatic park is another world within the zoo. There are daily shows featuring bottlenose dolphins and all kinds of sea creatures. The Barcelona Zoo has an excellent reputation for its research and also is know for its captive breeding, as well as helping to preserved endangered species.Take a strong down the center of old Barcelona on Las Ramblas. This is one of the best street shows in the world. It is full of gardens and bird for sale. The Boqueria is a beautiful fresh market full of anything you can imagine. You can buy fresh squid to the best chocolates and fruit shakes!The 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona helped the city develop even more. For instance the location of the Olympic village is now full of shops and hotels. The Arts Hotel, Mapfre Tower, and the Nova Icaria Square are all there to enjoy. The twin towers can be seen all over the city and mark where this historical even took place.
When people travel abroad whether it is for a holiday or for business, many will pack the usual items such as toiletries and clothing. Some even purchase travel insurance. Most, though, never plan what they'll be eating or drinking when they travel. Knowing what you'll be eating or drinking, however, is probably more important than the clothes you'll be bringing along. If you have ever gotten food poisoning, you'll know what an inconvenience it is and how costly it can be. No one would enjoy being hospitalized in a foreign country during their holiday or business trip.You may be able to avoid food poisoning by ensuring that the establishment you patronize is clean and hygienic. To further guard against it, avoid uncooked or partially cooked meals altogether. So that covers the food. What about the drink? Do you know what is in the water you drink? Many people incorrectly assume that tap water is safe to drink and is clean, clear, pure, and safe. Scientific and environmental studies have shown otherwise. Even if the water from a water source appears to be clear, clean, and safe to drink, consuming water from unknown sources or in countries where potable water cannot be taken for granted could be hazardous to your health.The potential for harmful chemicals (mercury, lead, arsenic, etc), bacteria, fungi, parasites, rust and other contaminants residing in water is growing worldwide. The kind of fresh uncontaminated water available a hundred years ago is harder and more expensive to obtain due to industrialization and a growing population. If the proper precautions aren't taken to treat the water, drinking contaminated water can cause severe illness or disease, even death.That's where water filters come in. Water filters and water filtration systems have become a popular solution lately for tap water. The right filter will not only treat bad tasting tap water but will also treat contaminated water.People take a variety of actions to treat the water they drink at home. They may:- Install faucet filters, sink filters or a complete home water filtration system- Pour the water through pitchers with a canister filtration systems such as Brita before drinkingAll these may work well for drinkable water in developed countries where water from the tap is for the most part, safe to drink. Depending on where you go, whether you are camping or in a foreign country, taking the necessary precautions to treat your water prior to drinking is highly recommended. Boiling water does not remove the contaminants within. A portable water filter comes in very handy for such cases. For the mobile warrior, a water bottle with a built in water filtration system may do just the trick.Not all water filters, however, are created equal. Would you trust your life as well as your loved ones with just any water filter to get the emergency water you need? Consider this, if you had to go so far as to obtain water from an unknown river or source, would the water be drinkable after water treatment? With so many water filters available, how do you know what's best? Here are some things to consider:- What companies or organizations endorse or use the product- What independent studies or tests has the water company done to demonstrate the ability of their water purifier to remove contaminants- What government bodies have approved the treatment methods- What strict quality guidelines do they follow in the manufacture of these water purifiers- How does the purified water taste after treatment- How many specific contaminants does it remove- What bacteria or fungi can it removeAll these are important questions to answer. Be sure to look closely at their product specifications. So, before you go on any trip to a foreign country, remember to pack along with you a proven water treatment system all contained within the convenience of a water bottle.