Central Greece is one of the most mountainous regions of Greece. The slopes are forested with beech, poplar and pine trees. The climate is dry in the interior and temperate along the coasts. All throughout the year, the varied landscapes of the region attract many visitors from all over the world. And no matter the season is, the region remain beautiful.
There are prefectures in Central Greece:
Yliki and Paralimni are the two lakes that you can find in this prefecture. These lakes provide the lake of marathon with water. The mountain Elikona, Kithairon, Parnassos, Neraidolakkoma, Massapio and Chlomo are surrounding the basins of Viotia. The climate of Viotia is continental with cold winters and warm summers. The average temperature is 16C-18C. The capital of the prefecture is Livadia.
The healthy climate, forested slope and innumerable streams give Evrytania the impression of heavn on earth! Evrytania is one of the prefectures forming the Periphery of Central Greece. It has a mountainous landscape, with Mt. Panaitoliko and Mt. Tymfristos occupying most of its territory.
This prefecture has plentiful abundant fresh water supply. Acheloos, Evinos and Mornos rivers are the three rivers in the prefecture. The prefecture has approximately 230,000 residents and its capital city is Messolonghi, which has an important part in modern Greek history.
This prefecture is long and narrow that stretches over the Aegean Sea. The center of attraction is the main highway and ferryboats from several terminals. This is great for those seeking natural beauty and scenic variety.
Colored with silver-green olive groves and the gold of tiny beaches, Fokida is a place where nature and history live. Visit this prefecture as this is the center of the globe, the navel of the Earth.
The district of Fthiotida has great mountains, amazing beaches or cosmopolitan resorts and mountain villages swamped by plane and oak trees. The capital of the prefecture is Lamia.
Visit Central Greece now and let yourself be charmed by its natural beauty and take home unforgettable memories.
British holidaymakers have traditionally used the summer as an opportunity to escape to the sun for a few weeks, jetting off to far flung destinations like Spain, Turkey and the Caribbean. However, the warm months are also a great opportunity to visit parts of Europe that sometimes difficult to reach and lashed by wind, rain and snow during the winter. The north of Scotland, the Atlantic island of Iceland and the Scandinavian country of Norway are all most easily accessible during the summer and boast spectacular scenery, amazing coastlines and friendly locals. If you’re lucky, you might even get to experience the midnight sun on your travels.
Scotland is already a favourite holiday destination for many Britons but few have ventured to the most remote parts of the country. North and west of the Highland capital city of Inverness is a vast expanse of wilderness unlike anything else in the United Kingdom and the staggeringly beautiful Western Isles, sometimes also known as the Outer Hebrides.
The Western Isles feel a world apart from the rest of Scotland, with Scots Gaelic still the dominant language in most areas and the traditional industries of crofting, fishing and weaving forming a major part of the local economy. Back on the mainland, the expansive area north of Inverness is home to delights like the picturesque fishing village of Ullpaool, situated on the shores of Loch Broom, and John O’Groats, the most northerly settlement on the British mainland which looks across the Pentland Firth to the mysterious Orkney Islands.
The island of Iceland, far out in the North Atlantic Ocean, has made the news in recent years thanks to well-publicised economic difficulties and the Eyjafjallajokull volcano which caused travel chaos in 2010. It is an amazing place to visit, quite unlike anywhere else in the world where all the power of nature comes to the fore in the form of towering glaciers and smoking volcanoes. The capital of Reykjavik is the centre of all activity on the island and is a compact, attractive city that makes an ideal base from which to visit the glaciers, volcanoes, geysers and waterfalls that make Iceland one of the most geologically active places on Earth.
Norway is another northern European nation that enjoys vast areas of unspoiled wilderness. The country is famous for its fjords, long narrow coastal inlets hemmed in by mountains of cliffs. These spectacular glacial features run the length of the Norwegian coast, one of the most rugged in the world. The south of the country is dominated by beautiful, picturesque cities like Bergen, Stavanger and the capital of Oslo while much of the north is given over to national parks and protected areas. The northernmost regions lie within the Arctic Circle and towns like Tromso and Hammerfest attract many visitors in the summer, who come seeking the famed Midnight Sun.
Before setting off for a holiday adventure in Scotland, Iceland or Norway be sure to get your travel insurance in good order. You will be visiting some of the most remote areas in Europe and don’t want to be caught unawares should something go wrong.
A very beautiful city on the shores of delighting lake Pamvotis with a rich and interesting history is Ioannina. It is the biggest city of the Epirus region of Greece and the capital of the prefecture being the financial and literature center.
Ioannina’s beauty and warm atmosphere captivates many visitors each year. With each alley and square, each part of the city depicts its great tradition. It offers all of the advance facilities, comforts and services, innumerable historical monuments and museums, and amazing natural beauty of the landscapes, which guarantees a perfect vacation in the city. You can stroll and see the great collection of Byzantine, tour to the castle of Ioannina, the lake with the island, the cave, the old castle, and other special attractions.
Listed below are the special attractions of Ioannina. Never leave the town without visiting them!
This is the legendary lake of Ioannina where you can take a walk on the street and be filled with positive energy. Its splendid landscape and natural beauty will captivate you. Indeed in the middle of the lake you can see the picturesque island of Ioannina.
Pavlos Vrellis Museum
It is considered to be the biggest and most important museum of wax effigies in Greece and in the whole world! The impressive creation of the effigies depicts the history of Epirus and the entire Greece. This museum will certainly impress you so never forget to visit for no reason.
The Old Castle
This is one of the oldest castles, which is well preserved and adds a unique character to Ioannina. If you go to this place you will be left with a piece of experience that is worth living because you will see the old city of Ioannina, important museums, mosques, dungeons, fables and traditions of centuries
Situated about 4km from the city is an extraordinary world and a different world full of pictures and mystery- The Perama Cave. The cave has an unusual atmosphere and is considered a natural miracle because of the stunning stalagmites and stalactites that are found inside.
There are so many wonderful places to see and visit in Ioannina and Epirus. You should consider staying for at least 4-5 days if you are planning to visit here so that you have the chance to explore and appreciate the vast beauty of the region. You can find affordable vacation rentals in Greece starting from $20-$30 per night. There is also an intense nightlife and superb traditional cuisine for the ones who enjoy a good party and good food. Likewise, there are also countless extreme sports in beautiful natural locations. It is a city that combines everything. The entire county is one of exceptional beauty, and its natural setting and landscape make it a very popular vacation destination all throughout the year. Ioannina is such a wonderful city worth visiting that you will never forget!
If you’ve got a holiday to Thailand lined up, chances are you’ll be caught up in planning all the exciting details, like what you’ll do and where you will stay? Whether to book a cheap hotel in Bangkok or check into a big luxury resort? However, it’s also worth sorting out some of the more practical elements well in advance too, such as packing, just to avoid any last-minute panic before you set off.
Now, on any holiday packing list, there’s a fair amount of overlap between what you need in various destinations. After all, it’s not like you’ll be going anywhere you won’t want things like clothes and a book or two for the journey! But, there are some particular bits and bobs you should keep in mind when packing for trips to Thailand, so I’ve put together a quick list of some of the key things below.
Ok, so, the first thing on pretty much all packing lists is clothing. Thailand’s got a year-round average temperature of 31 degrees C, so you need to prepare for heat. This means getting your hands on light, loose, cotton-based clothing, which is pretty much the best thing for keeping cool.
Obviously the temptation here is to go for shorts, strappy tops and the like, but don’t forget to pack some long trousers/skirts and long sleeves too. These are handy for two reasons: firstly, they’ll help prevent you being eaten alive by bugs; secondly, you’ll need to cover up a bit when visiting temples and other sacred sites (visible shoulders are a big no-no).
Having a tropical climate, Thailand has rainy seasons, so you need to come prepared for wet weather too. Generally speaking, there is least chance of rain between November and March (or from June to September on Koh Samui). Broadly, it is wet between May and mid-June, and then from August, with the wettest months being September and October, though this does vary slightly between regions.
If you’re travelling during the rainy season, you shouldn’t just come armed with an umbrella and raincoat (though these are a must) – make sure you pick up some shoes that dry out quickly, and clothes with that same quality. Speaking of shoes, it is well worth remembering to bring some sturdy footwear, since it’s easy to get blisters when traipsing around the mains sights all day.
It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll forget to pack your camera, but make sure you’ve also got a charger and/or spare batteries on your list, and check the amount of space you’ve got on your memory card. If you’re about to run out, either delete some pictures (making sure you’ve got them backed up first!) before you leave, or buy a new memory card.
Next, don’t forget to bring at least one England-Thailand travel adaptor. It’s well worth chucking several in your bag if you’re packing a lot of electrical bits and bobs to make sure you can charge everything when you need to.
Medicine and more
Well before your departure date, visit the doctor and check whether there are any inoculations you need (this does change from time to time, so even if you think you know what’s required, it’s worth doing this). While you’re there, make sure you get a top-up of any regular medicines you take that you may run out of during your break.
You should also head to the local pharmacy and pick up some strong sunscreen (a high SPF is pretty much essential in Thailand, especially if you’re pale) and insect repellent. Admittedly, you can get the latter in most Thai shops, but it’s worth actually having it on when you arrive.
Ever wonder why some people always seem to get bumped to first class at the airport or offered the best rooms at hotels? You can get these perks too – and it’s actually quite easy. You don’t have to be a high-roller in Vegas or on your honeymoon to receive some awesome upgrades and free gifts on your next vacation or business trip, no matter where you’re traveling. Here are three ways to get these perks:
1. Be polite and friendly to the staff.
Believe it or not, a smile really can go a long way. Let’s say you’re working to check in passengers at a hotel. It’s the end of a long, stressful shift and you have two rooms left in the hotel – one with awesome views and the other next to the boiler room. One person checking in has been complaining loudly since he got in line while the other waits patiently and tells you to take your time when the phone rings. Who’s going to get the room with the view?
2. Buy travel insurance before you leave.
If your flight is delayed and your miss your connection, bad weathers causes you to get stuck in your destination for another night, the hotel was overbooked, or there’s another problem with your vacation, just call your insurance rep. He or she will take care of the problem for you, helping you to book a hotel room when needed or find another flight – and usually, this comes at no cost to you. Of course, even insurance policy is different, so read the fine print, but if you purchase a comprehensive policy, you have a better chance of catching the last flight out for the day instead of having to spend the night at the airport.
It may seem to simple to be true, but often times if you just ask, there are perks just waiting for you. Of course, this goes along with tip number one, since no one will be willing to accommodate you if you’re grumpy or mean, but you’ll be amazed at what is available if you ask for it. For example, the next time you’re checking into a hotel, ask if they have any nicer rooms available at your booking price. If it’s a slow weekend, you might score a suite for the price of a regular room. Or, ask if the hotel has any discount programs with local business – they might have coupons available for local restaurants or discount tickets for near-by attractions. Hotels are especially willing to help local customers.
Perks aren’t always possible. If you arrive to an overbooked hotel late, they won’t be able to give you a better room and if your flight is on-time and fully books, an upgrade to first class won’t be possible. But by using the three tips above, sometimes you can get some stuff for free, and that can make your vacation even sweeter.
Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in the United States and held the distinction of being the country’s largest city until 1830. The city of Philadelphia has worked hard over the years to preserve and/or restore historical sites to keep its history alive. If you are planning a trip to Philadelphia, there are seven historic sites that you don’t want to miss.
The Liberty Bell
520 Market Street
Philadelphia PA 19106
The Liberty Bell Center is part of Independence National Historic Park. England sent the bell over in the 1750s and it cracked shortly after its arrival. During the Civil War, the bell received its name The Liberty Bell, from abolitionists who used it as a symbol to help abolish slavery.
525 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Independence Hall is where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution was signed. Historical re-enactors guide visitors through the building while explaining interesting facts the building and its significance to American history.
The Betsy Ross House
239 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Although historians are not 100% certain if Betsy Ross lived in this actual house or the one next-door that was demolished years ago, the house has been refurnished as it would have appeared during Betsy Ross’s lifetime. The Betsy Ross house also features a Betsy Ross actor who educates visitors about the famous flag seamstress.
126 Elfreth’s Alley
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Elfreth’s Alley is often referred to as “Our nation’s oldest residential street.” The thirty-two homes in Elfreth’s Alley were built between 1728 and 1836. Elfreth’s Alley is one of the last few early American streets still in existence and hosts regular events to raise money to keep its colonial houses intact.
314-321 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Although Benjamin Franklin’s house was demolished in the early 1800s, there is a ghost structure on the site that serves as a memorial to the original house. Franklin Court has many different attractions for visitors such as an 18th century printing and bindery office, the Benjamin Franklin Post Office and cell phone guided tours.
7th and Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson rented two rooms in the house while he wrote the Declaration of Independence. In 1975, the house was reconstructed and tourists can enjoy a short film about the drafting of the Declaration of Independence as well as see the rooms where it was actually written. Both rooms are decorated with furniture from the colonial era.
320 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
The first Continental Congress was hosted at Carpenter’s Hall in 1774. Carpenter’s Hall is owned by the oldest trade guild in America, The Carpenters’ Company of the City and County of Philadelphia and has been since 1770. Today the building is part of Independence National Historical Park and welcomes visitors all year round.
Although these are seven of the best historic attractions in Philadelphia, the city has many other historical sites as well. Philadelphia is the birthplace of our nation and the city takes great pride in its history. If you are looking to step back in time, or learn more about how the United States was founded, Philadelphia is a great place to visit.
It’s difficult to imagine the sheer scale and precision of engineering and fitting a cruise ship. Often with a population of more than many villages, hopefully after reading this, you’ll have a greater appreciation of the skill that goes into building these massive floating hotels.
Fabrication and Materials
Shipbuilding today has evolved into a high tech science. The techniques and materials that were used in the first half of the last century have become obsolete. Since 1950, ships have been constructed almost exclusively of fabricated steel or, more recently, aluminium alloys. Cruise ships, due to their massive size, have to be constructed in pieces called prefabs and assembled in dry dock before they can be launched and tested at sea.
Assembly of the Hull and Spatial Planning
Once the hull has been welded together and the ship has been evaluated for seaworthiness the fun can begin. The basic structure of a cruise ship is not much different from that of any other seagoing vessel, except the staterooms and corridors tend to be larger and the décor is definitely more lavish. Cruise ship lines are constantly competing about who can put out the largest and most opulent cruise liners.
Designed for Comfort
Is your flat at home equipped with a plush queen sized bed, whirlpool bathtub and flat screen TV? Your cabin on the cruise ship just might be, depending on who you sail with. When a cruise ship is built today no expense is spared. Unlike their predecessors in the days of old when corners were cut and the lowest bid was king, the players in the shipping industry today have learned painfully what happens when they try to save money on construction costs.
Luxuries Abound and Plenty of Places to Play
The creature comforts don’t end when you step out of your room on cruise holidays. Lounges and pools are plentiful on cruise ships, along with bars, restaurants, game rooms, and of course those romantic spots where a couple can be alone and watch the stars and the moonlight glisten off the water. Worried about sea-sickness? Even the queasiest will have a hard time feeling a cruise ship rock at all. Cruise ships are constructed using a “U” shaped hull design for maximum displacement and stability.
Modern Technology, Cell Phones, and WiFi
Just because you go off to sea on a cruise doesn’t mean you have to leave those wonderful electronic gadgets behind. In addition to flat screen TV’s in the cabins, cruise ships today also offer state-of-the-art entertainment and communications options throughout the ship. You can use your cell phone on virtually all major cruise lines and most of the modern day ships have WiFi and internet cafes where you can surf the web or do a little work while you’re on board.
Other amenities that may be included when a cruise ship is constructed are casinos, movie theatres, and amusement rides for children and adults. Anything that you see on dry land in the world of entertainment is usually available at sea also. Some cruises also have live shows and fireworks displays. Modern technology has made that possible. Storing or using pyrotechnics of any kind on a ship was unheard of just a few short decades ago.
Recruiting the Best in the Business
A position on a cruise ship pays well, more than that same position pays on the mainland or even on resort islands. The final stage after constructing a cruise ship is choosing the personnel that are going to staff it. For this, the industry accepts only the very best in the business. It’s not hard to be selective because anyone who works in the hospitality industry wants a dream job that takes them out to sea and pays them twice as much as what they make at home.
Expect to See Former Naval Officers
Those who operate the ship are also among the finest in their industry. Many cruise ship captains and officers are former naval personnel who have retired or completed their term of service. The same is often true of the engineers and maintenance people, many of whom have advanced maritime degrees and education. It is said that a seafarer will always be a seafarer so it’s no surprise to see sailors with decades of experience working for all of the major cruise lines.
What will the future bring?
The cruise ships of today, compared to those built in the 1960’s and 70’s, are like something out of a science fiction novel. The internet didn’t exist back then, nor did cell phones, aluminium alloys, modern pre-fabrication techniques, and many of the other elements that go into building ships today. What will the future bring? Only time will tell. One thing that is clear though is that people will continue to sail the seven seas and cruise ships will allow them to do that in safety, style and comfort.
Is your next birthday right around the corner? Have you been thinking of ways to celebrate a little differently this year? Maybe you want this milestone to be a little more unique than any other you have had. What could be any more fun than to have a birthday party with all your friends in Cabo San Lucas? Now, that would definitely be a birthday to remember.
Once you make up your mind, visit a travel agency to see what birthday packages they might have available that you can take advantage of. Several times throughout the year discounted travel packages to Cabo San Lucas can be had for a fraction of the cost. If a group of friends get together to travel, the cost per person can be quite low, and the whole vacation becomes quite affordable. In fact, you can’t afford not to go, and this will make a great birthday present to you from you!
If you wish, the travel agent can arrange everything for you right down to the smallest detail, leaving you and your friends with nothing to do but board the plane when the time comes. Upon arriving in Cabo all you will need to do is unpack and let the fun begin. And what fun you will all have! From fun filled sunny days, to excitement under the starry skies, Cabo is there for you to explore. This is the ultimate in birthday celebrations, and one that you will never forget.
You can even plan a beach party for the day of your birthday and have it catered by one of the hotels that are situated on the beach. The party can last from the day, long into the night, where you and your friends can dance and party to your hearts content. This celebration will be like nothing you will ever have, had you had remained at home. Cabo is for parties and adventure, and this is why you should head there to celebrate your next birthday.
The next time you make a wish when blowing out those birthday candles, wish for a trip to Cabo for your next birthday, and then make that wish come true. Begin planning right then, head to a travel agency to make arrangements far enough in advance, and them sit back and wait impatiently for the time to pass. This is one time you will actually look forward to turning another year older.
The engine rooms of today that are the heart and soul of large cruise ships would be confusing and unrecognisable to the engineers and operators from the past. The big ships are still run on turbine power, but the similarities end there. Steam has been replaced by gas and diesel. The new fuel systems burn cleaner and don’t require the use of oil or coal like the steam engines of the past. Since oil has recently gone up significantly in price this also means the new ships are more economical.
The Conversion of Queen Elizabeth II
The QE2 was launched on September 20, 1967 as a steam powered cruise ship. Twenty years later she was converted to electric diesel to prolong her sea life. The engine room still looks the same as it did before the conversion. Only the fuel system and turbines have changed. With the conversion, QE2 sailed the seas for another twenty-two years. Don’t expect any cruise offers to travel on her this year, though. In 2010 she’ll be converted to a luxury hotel and remain stationary where she is currently docked in Dubai. A high end shopping and entertainment complex will be built around her.
Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)
The Safety of Life at Sea Act was actually passed in the United States back in 1914 in response to the Titanic disaster. In 1948 it was adopted by the International Maritime Organisation and is generally considered the current standard by which ships are measured for safety. The Act has been modified a number of times over the years with the most recent change going into effect in 2010. It is these guidelines that are primarily responsible for the change from steam to gas or electric turbine power. The engine rooms on a steam ship tended to be somewhat less safe than their diesel counterparts.
2003 Boiler Explosion on the SS Norway
The SS Norway was crucial in bringing international attention once again to the dangers of using super-heated steam to power ships. On May 25, 2003, one of the four boilers on the SS Norway exploded while she was docked at the Port of Miami, and luckily no passengers were hurt. The SS Norway was launched in 1962 (originally as the SS France) and was the longest cruise ship in the world (316 metres) until the RMS Queen Mary 2 (345 metres) was launched in 2004. While operating as the SS France she had eight boilers which provided 175,000 hp and gave her a cruising speed of 31 knots.
The Engine Room of the Queen Mary 2
The Queen Mary 2 runs on four 16-cylinder marine diesel engines and two gas turbines which put out a combined 67,200 kW at 514 rpm. This system is known as CODAG (Combined Diesel and Gas turbine), and has been common in naval vessels for some time. It’s considered the most economical for a ship when travelling at low speeds and has the power to help it attain high speeds quickly. Despite being 345 metres long with a displacement of 76,000 tons she is one of the most manoeuvrable cruise ships on the water today. The technology that went into the construction of the Queen Mary 2 is some of the very best ever used on a cruise ship.
The Power of Oasis of the Seas
Oasis of the Seas, at 360 metres long, is the largest cruise ship to ever be launched. Her sister ship, Allure of the Seas will be joining her in 2010, making the Queen Mary 2 the third largest cruise ship in the world. It is powered by six marine diesel engines that put out 97,020 kilowatts (130,110 hp) which is used both to propel the ship and provide electricity to its passengers and entertainment facilities. The Oasis is also the first cruise ship to utilise Azipods instead of long screws with propellers on them. Azipods are propellers mounted to tubes which turn, making rudders unnecessary.
The Future of Cruise Ship Propulsion Systems
When you enter the engine room of one of today’s large cruise ships you’ll be surprised at how clean and advanced they are. The technology that goes into constructing a cruise ship today is like nothing that has ever been used on sea-going vessels before. What comes next? With the current record holder at 360 metres it’s unlikely that the ships will get much bigger. Propulsion systems are more powerful and economical now but there’s no doubt that they can be improved. As the techniques used to build ships and the fuel systems utilized by the rest of the world advance there will unquestionably be changes in the cruise ship industry. The next few decades should be a new “Golden Age” for the 21st Century much like the 20’s and 30’s were in the 20th.
About the author: Sarah Van Rensburg is an avid travel writer. She covers a wide range of travel-related topics but with a focus on cheap cruises.
The school summer holiday is upon us all and that can be good news and bad news, for me it’s great as my commute to work is only half as crowded as during term time but for mums and dads the pressure to find interesting things to do, find childcare and simply having them around the house can be infuriating!
But it’s not just that, research carried out by hotvouchers.com has found that the summer hols will cost parents an average of £2,523.32. The poll surveyed 2,000 parents and found that the cost of keeping the kids at home could easily pay for a luxury holiday itself!
Parents taking their children abroad for a week will spend £1,640.92 over that time but the majority of parents aged between 35 and 44 will be staycationing in order to save money. Once the trip is over a further £882.40 will have to be found to keep the kids out of trouble for the other five weeks and 40% of parents will be worried about not being able to find the money that the summer break is going to require, 13% are considering taking out loans to cover the expense. These will include:
Over £350 on food for the family.
£266.80 on trips to theme parks, zoos, farms and various other attractions.
£140 on other entertainment costs not including the £122.50 that parents have budgeted for toys and other goodies that will keep the kids busy.
A further £200 will go on clothes, swimwear, sun cream and beach goods that have to be bought before the week away.
Families who are travelling abroad are fixing to spend £1,042.38 on fares and accommodation, feeding the horde will set the balance back £180.27, over £100 more than if the family were eating at home. Then the trips and other excursions come in at £118.39, the souvenirs are set to cost £39.49.
But that’s just the projected cost, almost half of parents said that they consistently underbudget and end up spending more than they thought they would have to when were planning the vacation.
After collating all the figures Paula Felstead said: ““We were surprised to learn just how expensive the summer holidays can be, regardless of whether families are going abroad or staying in the UK.
“Families are obviously concerned about the costs involved, they still want to ensure they and the children have an enjoyable summer. It’s one luxury that most families will not sacrifice.”
Nearly half of the families who will be going away, either to another part of the UK or indeed travelling abroad will be paying using a credit card. That’s a convenient way to pay but it is storing up trouble for the future if you don’t keep up on the payments. One way to save money while abroad is to leave the cards at home and use cash or travellers cheques instead, budget properly and if the funds won’t stretch to it, go without! Failing that, send the kids to your parents and go on holiday without them!
Dan Cash is a feature writer and former financial researcher currently planning a luxury holiday of his own; a weekend in the garden with no kids!