Things You Should Definitely Do During Your Trip to Italy

Italy is one of the most sought after places of globetrotters, history buffs, and art enthusiasts around the world. Just like Vienna, France, Germany, or Amsterdam, Italy was able to preserve most of its old-world architecture and mixed it well with contemporary designs. Which means then when you walk the streets of the cities, it is like getting a glimpse of what it was like in historical Italy.

But more than just the architecture, there are a lot of activities and places you can appreciate when you take a luxury Italian vacation. Visit museums which houses the largest collections of artwork in the world, seats of power, breathtaking views, and so on. But before you book that plane ticket, check out this list of things you should definitely do during your trip.

Get a tour of the Vatican museums

Vatican City is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. More than just the seat of the Pope, it is where cardinals meet with each other to address concerns within the church. A lot of tourists go straight for the Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, or the Castel Sant’Angelo. But to make your trip to the Vatican state worthwhile, you should join a tour to for the Vatican museums.

The Vatican Museums was founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century. Here, you will find the largest religious art collection, amassed by different Popes throughout the centuries. There are painting, classical sculptures, and Renaissance art masterpieces. You may also get the chance to see art that are being restored. An estimated 70,000 art works can be found here, 20,000 of which are currently on display in 54 galleries. You can visit the Vatican museum website to know more about the displays and the ongoing research and restoration projects.

Visit The Last Supper in Milan

Leonardo da Vinci is probably the most underappreciated genius of his time, just like Vincent van Gogh. Open Culture has just made da Vinci’s notebooks available for viewing online and you can see the various topics he was interested in. There were sketches of the human body, with notes on anatomy and physiology. He also made engineering feats by sketching what looked like his vision of a chopper and a SCUBA gear. But his most famous works were his art, like the largest equestrian sculpture commissioned by the Duke of Milan or the Mona Lisa. One of his popular art works, though, measures at 180 inches by 350 inches found in the dining hall of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, called The Last Supper.

A depiction of the Last Supper is a common refectory art, as told in the Gospel of John. Travellers are allowed only 15 minutes to view da Vinci’s own interpretation of the Last Supper. Because of environmental changes and damage made intentionally during the French Revolution (when anti-clerical troops used the area as an armory), much of the original painting is gone. However, there were numerous attempts at restoring the painting, the last of which was completed in 1999.

Experience a Gondola ride in Venice

This might seem like the go-to activity in Venice, and some people just skip over it because they feel it is just become banal. But really, anyone who finds themselves in Venice should be able to stream the Venetian canals on a gondola.

Venice sits on a lagoon which is surrounded by the Adriatic Sea. Around it are 118 smaller islands which you can visit through bridges like the Rialto bridge. However, one of the more scenic ways to go from one island to another is through the canal waterways. The Grand Canal divides Venice into two sections, so it is the perfect way to get a view of the whole city.

Bask in the Renaissance art collection in Florence

You are in Italy, you might as well overdose on art because that is what you will see at every corner of each city. Most especially in Florence, where the Uffizi Gallery can be visited by art enthusiasts. It houses the largest collection of Renaissance art, including: Leonardo da Vinci’s The Annunciation, Adoration of the Magi, Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo, Fra Filippo Lippi’s Madonna and Child, Coronation of the Virgin, and the Piero di Cosimo’s Perseus Freeing Andromeda.

While you are in Florence, you might want to climb up the Duomo. Although if you are scared of heights, you can just appreciate it from below. The Duomo is actually the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, the main cathedral in Florence. The Gothic design is credited to Arnolfo di Cambio and was completed with the dome by Filippo Brunelleschi.

Try the pizza in Naples

One should not pass up the opportunity to eat pizza where it originated, in Naples. While the Neapolitan pizza is said to have originated in Turkey, from a dish called Jeyoun, the modern pizza had its roots in the city during the late 18th century when tomato was added in the focaccia — a flat oven-baked bread. But the word “pizza” is documented to have been coined first in 997 CE in Gaeta, located in Lazio, Central Italy.

Walk through the excavated streets in Pompeii

A lot of discoveries in Pompeii are being talked about on History Channel, National Geographic, and archaeological publications. More than just the remains of the residents who fell during the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, we are discovering more about their way of life because of the artworks, graffitis, and potteries being excavated. Travellers are encouraged to walk the streets of Pompeii, allowing them to imagine how life was like before the explosion.

Make sure you try out these things during your trip to Italy. It will give you a much deeper sense of what the city is and help learn more about why Italy has gone to lengths to preserve its rich culture and history.

Merken

Applying for an Indian Visa? Things you should know!

The charming and delightful India!  

India is a beautiful and fascinating country full of history and ethnic diversity. It is famous for its centuries-old temples, the remarkable Taj Mahal, and contemporary skyscrapers. Its geographical features consist of breathtaking hill resorts, majestic Himalayan mountains, frozen glaciers, fertile valleys and beautiful beaches. It has a rich history and a large number of historical sites dating back to the Mughal empire. The British rule also left an everlasting imprint on this great country. India’s fascinating cultural heritage and popular hill resorts make it one of the most popular tourist destinations. Apart from tourism, a large number of people visit India for numerous other reasons such as education, religious pilgrimage, business, and much more. Anyone who wishes to visit India is required to first apply and secure a valid Indian visa and have a valid passport of the country they belong to.

Requirements for Indian Visa

Generally, there are four main requirements for a valid Indian visa. You will need to complete the necessary documentation which includes a completed and signed application form, passport number, visa fee, and a recent photograph and submit the documents on time.

There are different types of visas and the applicant’s nature of the visit and the number of days the applicant will stay in India will determine the type of visa he or she requires. For example, a tourist visa can be valid for 6 months to 10 years, depending on the requirements of different visa applications. Student and business visas are both valid for a minimum of 1 year.

Steps for applying for an Indian visa

The first step when applying for an Indian visa application is to fill out the form. This form can be obtained from the Indian Consulate or the Indian Embassy. This form can also be obtained online but online applications can take more than 1 day to process. Indian visas are issued by the Visa and the Consular Passport Division of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to tourists from different countries. Two passport size photos are also required. These photos should be colored, the applicant must be facing front and should have the photograph taken without wearing any glasses. The applicant must also complete other standard requirements, if any, and attach all the documents with the application.

You should also have a valid and current passport before applying for an Indian visa. The passport should have at least two or more blank pages where the visa can be stamped. A copy of your birth certificate should also be submitted with the application. This acts as confirmation of your nationality, date of birth and your parent’s name. In addition, a photocopy of your driver’s license, state identification card, or a current utility bill (water, electricity, gas, sewage). Visitors to India can get their visa extended for a further three months. For this purpose, you will need to visit a Foreigner’s Registration Office which can be easily located in all the major cities in India such as Calcutta, New Delhi, Chennai or Mumbai.

Feel Great Experience Vacation with Royal Caribbean Baltimore Cruising Program

The Royal Caribbean Baltimore offers cruise trip to the great Port Discovery, National Aquarium or Baltimore Zoo in the city, and the baseball adventure Inner Harbor.

royal Caribbean Baltimore If it is your first experience, having a journey on a cruise ship is indeed a popular option to spend the holiday time. People can enjoy their time at the sea and visit the most popular cities and destinations around the world. In this case, the royal Caribbean Baltimore is an option where people will be brought to the famous city of Baltimore in Maryland. The city has a lot of attractive things to explore.

There are many things to see and to do for those who join the royal Caribbean Baltimore. The city offers everyone in the family some attractive places to visit. The kids can enjoy their time in Port Discovery. They can also check out the amazing collection in National Aquarium in the city, or visit the Baltimore Zoo that has more than 2000 animals.
Continue reading Feel Great Experience Vacation with Royal Caribbean Baltimore Cruising Program

Five “I Will Not Travel Without” Items

Travel items
Travel items

Everyone has a security blanket.  No, not some warm piece of fabric that we’ve been carrying around since childhood.  In this case, the security blanket is the item(s) that you simply won’t leave behind because they either mean that much to you or they are really that practical.  Doesn’t matter if I’m hopping flights, camping out or simply visiting family, there are five items that I won’t travel without.  Want to know what they are?

1) Towel.  Scoff and mock all you want, but I will always have some form of towel on me when I travel.  Doesn’t need to be huge, just a hand towel will do (a washcloth is too small).  Why?  The best reason is because of a book called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  I won’t spoil anything.  Other reasons are because it’s great to dry off with, wrap fragile items in, use as an emergency “here I am!” beacon and you never know what kind of scuzzy hotel you could end up in.

2) Harmonica.  Small, simple and easy to carry, these little guys have never led me astray.  I’ve kept myself occupied during layovers, played for change to get to the next bus station and sat in with incredible musicians all over the world.

3) Swiss army knife.  A bit tougher to travel with in recent times, the knife is always in my pocket or in my bag (unless I’m doing carry-on).  The reasons are many and range from the ability to open wine and cut cheese on a Paris bound overnight train to fixing a bike that has a few screws loose.  If it was good enough for MacGyver, it’s good enough for me.

4) Pad and pen.  This one should be fairly obvious.  I like making paper airplanes and shooting spit-balls.  Clearly.

5) Baby powder.  Sure, laugh it up, but I always travel with a small bottle of the stuff.  Great for masking the “I’ve been stuck on a plane for hours” stench, for freshening up clothes that may have gone a touch stale and, forgive me, it keeps things from chaffing if you’re walking around for hours or days at a time.  You feet will thank you, your traveling companions will thank you and then you’ll thank me.  Simple as that.

See?  A few simple and relatively cheap things that I won’t walk out the door without.  Feel free to steal from this list.  Feel even more free to add your own “must haves” in the comments section or on my Twitter.  What won’t you leave home without?  Watches, wallets, spectacles?

Steve Zimmermann has drank with Aussies in Italy, danced on floating stages in Austria, sailed with dolphins in St. Vincent and pulled boats through creeks in Ireland.  He is a Lancaster, PA based writer who worked on the PR side of travel tourism before embarking on a career as a copywriter who happens to do a lot of traveling.  Follow him @zedcreative and say hello.

4 Things to Do in Dublin at No Cost

Dublin is a fascinating city, also from a tourism point of view. Unlike many other cities in Ireland, and also UK, which usually get a very specific visitors, Dublin tends to get a mix of them all. If you go to Liverpool, you will see a lot of people traveling there to party. Manchester is technology and history, and it is often visited by families, whereas Dublin gets a total mix of everyone.

I believe that part of this is because of such a multitude of various things to do in the city. From Temple Bar, a cultural district, where you can immerse yourself in a famous Dublin’s nightlife to great museums as well as landmarks, often standing as a commemoration of important historic facts that shaped the city and Ireland as a whole.

Dublin is also a great place to visit on a budget. Even though it is usually considered a fairly expensive city, there are plenty of things you can do there at absolutely no cost. In this post I want to highlight some of them to you.

1. Trinity College Grounds

One of the finest landmarks in the city centre is this Ireland’s oldest university, operating from 1592, when it was founded by Queen Elizabeth I. Without a dount, Trinity is one of the most fascinating tourist attractions in the city.

The grounds of the college are opened to the public and offer plenty to those interested in architecture. Once there, you must see the Chapel and the Examination Hall. The Museum Building is another one not to miss. You can also visit the Trinity College Library, which is also the largest research library in the country. One of the highlights of its collection is the Book of Kells, the oldest printed book in Ireland.

Trinity College is fairly easy to fine. It’s located at the start of the famous O’Connell Bridge and another well known street, Dame street.

2. Grafton Street and St. Stephens Green Park

Right off Trinity starts another important landmark in the city, Grafton Street. This is one of the two top shopping streets in Dublin. Major brands like Brown Thomas have their retail outlets there. The street is bustling with life, and if you are tired of browsing through the shops, you can relax in one of the many cafes or restaurants there.

On top of Grafton street sits a gem of Dublin’s city centre, St. Stephens Green park. This large green area is a perfect escape from the busy Grafton street. You can enjoy walking in the part alleys or, in the summer stumble upon a jazz concert in the parks alcove.

3. Phoenix Park

And, if you want to escape the city for longer, then Phoenix Park, one of the largest city parks in Europe is certainly the best place to do so. The park spans over 1750 acres, incorporating walking paths, bicycle tracks, monumements you can visit as well as Dublin Zoo.

One of the highlights of the Park is the residence of the President of Ireland, which you can actually visit, the Papal Cross, erected to commemorate the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979 as well as the Deerfield Residence, the home to US Ambassador in Ireland.

4. National Gallery Of Ireland and Modern Art Museum

For those of you who are interested in art, not only from Ireland, there are two amazing places to visit. National Gallery of Ireland, located on Merrion Square, which houses a large collection of Irish and European Art.

The Museum of Modern Art, which is not far from Phoenix Park is, as the name suggests, dedicated to the contemporary art and offers exhibitions that stimulate and intrigue.

Thomas writes about interesting things to do in various European cities and by day, works for a leading Dublin Apartments provider in Ireland.

Maldives Holidays – Heaven on Earth?

What is it about the maldives? It only takes a few holiday reviews, a little bit of background research, and a glance at some typically jaw-dropping pictures to realise that people just love the Maldives. Anyone even vaguely aware of the place is likely to go ‘Ooooohhh…’ at the very mention of the islands, a sentiment echoed by the ‘Ahhhhhh…’ people emit when they arrive there and the majesty of it starts to sink in.

Palms in the Maldives

Visitors return with overwhelmingly good feelings for the Maldives, to the extent that most customer reviews of holidays there are so bursting with happiness that readers could suspect they were written by a travel rep. But no, look around, and the evidence mounts for my case – are the Maldives really heaven on Earth?

Whether you call it a tropical paradise, the perfect island fantasy or a picture-postcard dream, everyone can relate to these powerful mental images.

Shipwrecked in the Maldives? Yes please

For many people, finding heaven on Earth is all about peace and quiet, solitude, and getting away from the stress, dirt, pollution and chaos that characterise our surroundings in modern life. Just like the classic Robinson Crusoe adventure, the Maldives are a place where you could be shipwrecked forever and never miss home. Your supermarket would be the bountiful seas, coconut palms and fruit-laden branches. The odd barrel of Rum would float ashore, and who knows, maybe even a companion.

Relaxing Indian Ocean luxury

Other kinds of traveller can think of nothing more heavenly than lounging year-round in the perfect tropical climate, with kind, attentive hotel staff bringing fine food and drinks at the ring of a bell. Days would pass in bucolic satisfaction, gazing at the sparkling sand and glittering waves, taking a dip, reading, living like royalty might in a better world. As the sun sets over a calm ocean, fine dining, flickering candles and good conversation feels all the more natural knowing that your refuge is just metres away, and there is no work in the morning.

Coconut on beach

Intrepid adventures in the Maldives

For those with a more adventurous spirit, all 1000sq.km of the Maldives island chain becomes a sun-drenched tropical playground. Exploring the hundreds of uninhabited islands by boat could be a lifetime’s work, and no-one can claim to have seen every spectacular reef, teeming as they are with tropical fish and exotic sea life. In their vision of heaven on Earth, days are filled swimming with Dolphins, scuba-diving into the fantastical submerged realms of the Indian Ocean, claiming undiscovered coves and sunken ships.

Boat and Atoll

Are the Maldives all things to all people?

Whichever of these visions of a Tropical heaven might suit you best is largely unimportant; most travellers to the Maldives enjoy a combination of all of them. The luxury market orientated, high-quality resorts and facilities in the Maldives are testament to the local understanding of why we love their islands; tourism is by far the largest industry, and with the ‘high season’ being almost all year round, providing a great experience for visitors is at the heart of many people’s lives.

As for what kind of package – the choices are vast. I for one love the freedom of live-aboard accommodation; waking up to a new view every morning, navigating the reefs and lagoons, and putting ashore wherever catches your eye is a fine way to experience the stunning beauty of the Maldives. If a resort, well-appointed villa or even a private island is more your style, all inclusive packages can be a great idea as you never have to count your pennies.

After all, who needs their wallet in heaven?

 

Gerry Bern is an independent writer who loves travelling, music, food and all the finer things in life. Gerry is currently getting excited about getting away this year, watching out for the best Maldives holidays deals, and counting the days…

The Biggest Ships Ever to Set Sail

When the subject of the big ships is raised it is generally assumed that we are talking about the modern era. Nothing that sailed before the year 1900 came close to rivalling the massive super tankers or warships of the 20th Century.

Which Ship is the Largest?

500w-knock-nevis

Ships are measured in three categories. You can look at the length, the weight, or the displacement, which is the amount of water that a ship has to displace in order to be able to float. Ships also fall into three categories: warships, cargo ships, and passenger ships. All of the top ten longest and heaviest ships ever launched are cargo ships. Topping this list is the Knock Nevis, a super tanker owned by Norway’s Fred Olsen Productions which is 458.5 metres long and displaces 564,763 DWT (dead weight tons).

Rounding Out the Top Ten

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Eight of the remaining top ten longest ships made are super tankers. The only exception in the top ten is the Emma Maersk, a container ship that is 397 metres long. She ranks number four on the overall list. The tenth ranked ships on that list are the Jarmada class super tankers which measure out at 373.5 metres, just 13.5 metres longer than Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis of the Seas” and thirty-one meters longer than the Enterprise Class aircraft carriers in service for the United States Navy.

Largest Warships on the Seas

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Ships of war have been responsible for the testing and implementation of new technology for centuries. The military always seems to get the best of everything before the private sector even knows it exists. The technology needed for GPS navigation and wireless signals has been available far longer than average people have had access to it. Shipbuilding is no different. The top ten largest warships are all aircraft carriers, eight of which are operated by the United States, one by Great Britain, and one by Russia.

Tough Luck for Eleven through Twenty

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The aircraft carriers in the top ten are all fairly new, but if you go back a little further to the ships ranked eleven through twenty you’ll find an interesting statistic. Of those ten ships, seven of them have been sunk. Two of those are actually rather famous: The Akagi, a Japanese aircraft carrier that was involved in the attack on Pearl Harbour; and the Bismarck, the famous German warship sunk by the British Navy in 1941.

Top Ten Cruise Ships

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The longest cruise ships in the world are the “Oasis of the Seas” (360 metres) and her sister ship the “Allure of the Seas” (launching in 2010).  The “RMS Queen Mary 2” ranks third (345 metres) and Royal Caribbean’s “Freedom of the Seas” and “Liberty of the Seas” (both 339 metres) round out the top five. Numbers six through ten are the “Independence of the Seas” (339 metres), MSC Splendida (333 metres), MSC Fantasia (333 metres), Celebrity Solstice (315 metres) and Celebrity Equinox (315 metres).

Where would the Titanic rank today?

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The Titanic was 268 metres long and was considered unsinkable. Obviously that was not the case. Today’s ships are sturdier and the technology used to navigate them is far better than it was in 1912. The iceberg that was the bane of the Titanic would have been detected with today’s equipment and the accident could have been avoided. All of the larger cruise ships on the water today are equipped with the best tracking and navigation equipment on the market.

A Floating Resort Island on the Sea

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The “Oasis of the Seas” carries over 5000 passengers and houses a shopping mall, a park with over 12,000 plants and trees, and a sports deck with a full basketball court, flow-riders, and an eighteen hole miniature golf course. There are staterooms available that overlook either the park or the ocean and there are Jacuzzis that hang over the side of the ship fifteen decks up. This massive floating city is most likely the most impressive shipbuilding creation yet. Can someone come up with something bigger and better? If they do it may not fit into a harbour or dry dock anywhere. They may have to install helipads to get passengers on and off the ship.

ISLAND PALAU – South Pacific Island

Beleuu er a Belau or the Republic of Palau is an island nation that very few people have heard about. It is a chain of about two hundred islands, located in the Western Pacific Ocean about 650 kms to the Southeast of Philippines. Only about eight of the existing two hundred islands are populated. It is a constitutional republic and Babeldoab or Babelthuap is the capital city, having a population of about 12,000 people. It became a capital from Oreror or Koror in 2006. Administratively, the nation is divided into 16 states, and has a bicameral legislature or two houses of parliament.

The nation has a high literacy rate of about 92% and the majority of the population is Roman Catholics, followed by Protestants. The people mostly are of the Palauan, Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Carolinian or other Asian ethnicity. Babelthuap is the largest island and is very mountainous. Other important islands are Arakabesan, Malaka, Peleliu, Angaur to the South and Kayangel and Ngeruangel islands to the Northeast. The other islands are mostly coral islands encircled with barrier reefs. This island country is truly virgin and unspoilt. Continue reading ISLAND PALAU – South Pacific Island

Enjoy Winter Holidays in Austria

Are you planning for winter holidays in Europe? Consider Austria, one of the great winter holiday destinations in Europe. There are number of reasons that attract visitors from all around the world to visit this amazing country. If you love skiing and other winter sports or like to hear classical music, Austria has to offers all. Tourists get attracted to magnificent hiking trails and natural beauty of the country. The spa hotels and resorts, such as the Saalbach, Rogner Bad Blumau, St. Anton, etc. offers tourists not only great accommodations, but a paradise type of experience where they can relax, relieve stress, and recharge for the long overhaul ahead.

Austria is one of the most popular countries having a rich and dramatic history which is geographically surrounded by Snow Mountains. You will find this a beautiful and historical places to visit as there are gorgeous lakes, medieval fortresses, castles, churches, etc that are covered with hills and soaring mountains. Austria is also popular amongst music lovers as there are large numbers of concerts taking place every year. Austria is home of many poets, singers and musicians.

There are number of places you can visit in Austria. For your Austria Tours requirements, visit Tempo Holidays, a leading Australian Travel Agent. Some of the top attractions of Austria are:

1. Hofburg Imperial Palace

Built during 13th century, the Hofburg Imperial Palace was built; still today it has the same charm and stands as a testament to the power and wealth of the mighty political family. You can find the office of President of Austria, International Convention Center, the famous Spanish Riding School and its Lipizzan stallions in this palace. You can visit a museum which is open for public.

2. Vienna

Vienna is one of the greatest and most historic cities in Western Europe. Vienna has lots of things to offer like Art and Culture, Sports and Relaxation, Pleasure and Recreation. Vienna is popular for many old buildings, churches, etc. Vienna is also famous for classical music and opera. It is birthplace of Austria’s most famous rulers and some of the most famous composers of classical music.

3. Salzburg

Salzburg is well known as “City of Churches” due to number of churches that were built here. In fact, it is also named as the Rome of the North because of this. It is fourth largest urban area of Austria. Salzburg is also known for its old streets, festivals, the Mirabell Palace, the hohensalzburg Fortress and the Mozarteum.

4. Grossglockner Alpine Road

The Grossglockner alpine road is one of the most visited alpine roads in the continent. It ends in the highest mountain in Austria where its largest glacier is also located. In fact, since the mid 1930’s, this famous road has been visited by over 50 million people eager to see its spectacular views.

5. Innsbruck

Innsbruck is well known as a vacation destination during winter, but it also attracts many tourists during summer as well. The winter Olympics were hosted here twice and it will also host young Olympics in 2012.This place is situated between two imposing mountainsides, so ideal for winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing. Not only that, Innsbruck is also a popular tourist destination even in the summer months because it is ideal for mountaineering and ecotourism.

6. Eisriesenwelt Caves

The Eisriesenwelt caves showcase extraordinary rock and ice formations, majestic towers and columns and even an underground glacier and waterfall. It was discovered sometime during the late 1870’s by Anton Posselt and since then has attracted thousands of tourists from all around the world. Today, it is considered as one of the largest ice cave in the world.

7. Carnutinum Archaeological Museum

Carnutinum was once the most important of Roman towns in the Alps. It was founded sometime during the 6th century AD and has seen about 5000 inhabitants under the Roman Empire. Today, this town houses the largest collection of Roman artifacts ranging from Roman jewelry, roman arms and coins, landmarks such as amphitheatres and baths as well as other religious objects from the Roman religion of Mithras worship.

8. Graz

The Graz is perhaps the most famous center for culture, architecture and art. In fact, it was been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the historical value of the place. Here, tourists will also get to experience the vibrant nightlife that
Gratz is well known for.

9. The Museum of the Future

The Museum of the Future is called the Ars Electronica. This museum is also well known for its stunning collection of modern technology. As such, this has become a tourist spot.

10. Hohe Tauern National Park

One of the last natural wilderness areas in Europe, this park is well known for its flora and fauna. Here you can nice wild life, like Mountain goats, ibex, chamois, a wide variety of birds, sheep, etc. Here you can enjoy nature at its best with your
loved ones.

Flying With Pets – How Can You Keep Your Pet Safe And Healthy When Traveling On Commercial Airline Flights?

  

If you are planning to fly with your pet, you are part of a growing trend that has been increasing for the last number of years.  Most airlines, for a nominal fee, will allow your small pet to fly with you if it will fit in a FAA approved pet carrier that can be stowed under your seat.  The following important information can help you keep your pet safe, healthy, and happy on airline flights.
 

When booking a flight, it is a good idea to make reservations for yourself and your pet as early as possible.  You must let the airline know that you want to bring your pet with you.  It is very important to tell them, as they will only allow a limited number of pets on each flight.  Some airlines do not allow pets at all, especially on international flights.  Always confirm your flight the day before you leave on your trip.   If you are traveling internationally you need to confirm your reservation seventy-two hours before you go.
 

Before you fly into the wide blue yonder with your furry travel companion, you need to take him or her to the veterinarian for a checkup, to make sure he or she is healthy enough to travel.  You will also need to take its health certificate with you, showing that your pet is up-to-date on all its vaccinations, including rabies.  Your pet must wear its current vaccination tag when traveling.  As well, your pet must meet the health regulations of every country that you will be traveling to.  Bring along a copy of your pet’s medical records listing its allergies, chronic medical conditions, and medications. 
 

If you haven’t done this already, you should get your pet micro-chipped.  That way, if your pet gets lost and is taken to an animal shelter or vet, where its chip can be scanned, you both can be reunited.  Keep in mind that your pet’s identification tag will have your home address and phone number on it.  That won’t be of much help if your pet is lost while you are on vacation.  It may be a good idea to get another tag made up with your destination address and phone number on it.  What happens if you pet isn’t found until after you have returned from your vacation?  It makes sense that you should leave both your home I.D. tag on your pet as well as attaching the new tag.  That way you have all bases covered and stand a better chance of being reunited with your pet.
 
You should carry a photo of you pet with you when you’re traveling.  It will help you prove that you are the rightful owner if any problems of ownership occur.  Also, the photo can be used to make up flyers to post in the area where your pet was lost.
 

Flying with pets that are too large to fit into a FAA approved pet carrier is not advisable as they will have to be stowed in the cargo hold.  Putting your pet in the cargo hold can be traumatic and dangerous to your pet’s health.    It would make far more sense to leave your pet with friends,
or a pet sitting service for the duration of your vacation. 
 
The American Veterinary Medical Association advises against sedating or tranquilizing your pet when flying, especially dogs.  Dogs regulate their body temperature by panting, so if they are tranquilized, they may not be able to pant.  If this happens, it can leave them defenseless against the fluctuation of temperature and air pressure that occurs in the cargo hold of every flight.  Also, keep in mind that pets don’t enjoy flying, or being stuffed into a cramped kennel and left alone in a dark and desolate cargo hold.  It must be terrifying for them.
 

There are a number of websites that give additional valuable information regarding traveling with your pet.  Two outstanding sites are the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) at aspca.org, and the Federal Government’s Department of Agriculture at aphis.usda.gov, which has an excellent article entitled, Traveling With Your Pet.  
 

 

If you want a great travel carrier for your small pet, you may want to consider the popular, FAA approved pet carrier, Sherpa On Wheels.  This Cadillac of pet carriers can be a luxurious and  comfortable home for your pet while flying.   It has the convenience of a front and top entry, mesh ventilation panels, recessed wheels, as well as a detachable pull handle and a shoulder strap.  It is available on line at SherpaPet.com.
 

                                                                               
 Dorothy Yamich has a passion for travel. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as traveled in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  She is a travel consultant and specializes in luxury cruises as well as vacation packages.  If you are looking for information on cheap airfares, fabulous discounted luxury cruises and great holiday deals, visit:  http://www.traveltipsguide.com