Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tips On Barcelona Sightseeing

by: Clinton Maxwell
Barcelona has a lot to be proud of. A city literally stuffed with spectacular architecture, historical and cultural places of interest, fantastic food and a vibrant nightlife, it is no wonder tourists flock to the area. There is more to Catalunya than Barcelona sightseeing however, including a glorious coastline, beautiful mountains and a fierce independent spirit that will be felt by even the least informed visitor.

Make sure you have a map detailing the places of interest when you arrive in Barcelona; it is surprisingly easy to get lost in Barcelona’s bustling streets. A good place to start your tour is Gaudi’s Park Guell, an open space filled with pieces of Gaudi’s work including benches, archways, walls and balconies. It is a place where Gaudi’s imagination really ad free reign, and you feel almost that the works of art are more natural than the plants and trees.

From here you can move easily on to Gaudi’s iconic work, the Sagrada Familia. This church was started in 1882 but was not finished when Gaudi died in 1926. Various attempts have been made to complete the work to Gaudi’s designs but the church is still not entirely finished and probably never will be. If you don’t think you can capture the spirit of the church in your own photographs, you might want to check out the stunning images available in postcard stands that surround the building.

The Barcelona zoo was founded in 1892 and is located in the Ciutadella Park, next to the old town or Ciutat Vella. This is a great place to visit especially of you have children that are likely to lose interest in architecture and history. Some of the seven and a half thousand animals on display include pelicans, American buffalos and red kangaroo, as well as a specialist primate collection which the zoo is famous for.

There is an aquatic park within the zoo that provides a home to bottlenose dolphins among others. Dolphin shows can be seen throughout the warm summer months, and this can make a refreshing escape from the heat of the city. An acclaimed research program at Barcelona zoo is well known for sympathetic breeding of animals in captivity and protection of endangered species, which would otherwise become extinct.

The main avenue in Barcelona, La Rambla is a riot of color and bustle with flower stalls and street performers at regular intervals along the promenade. The main hotels and restaurants center around La Rambla, but you may get a better deal and more authentic dishes if you explore a little further out. One place not be missed is the Boqueria, a fantastic food market to one side of La Rambla, with exotic delicacies you have never even imagined.

The port area received a face lift with the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992. The Olympic village was situated right on the coast and the area is marked by the dual towers of the Arts Hotel, Mapfre Towers and Nova Icaria Square. The main Olympic sites can be found on top of Montjuic, a hill overlooking the city, and can be reached by cable car.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Toothache In A Foreign Land

by: Steve Gillman
Getting a toothache while traveling overseas can be more than just annoying and inconvenient. It can ruin a good vacation. Here are some tips for preventing a toothache before you get on that plane, and for treating it if you get one anyhow.

Traveler's Dental Care

First of all, don't ever go on a long trip if you have an unresolved tooth problem, or even the hint of a toothache starting. Get it taken care of by a dentist, and if there is lingering pain, get a prescription pain reliever to take with you.

Have dental work done far enough in advance of your trip to be sure that all the pain is gone. It is common for a high spot on a new filling to cause severe pain days after it is put in. Any dentist can easily solve this by grinding it down - but wouldn't you rather have it done by the dentist you know and trust?

Avoid doing anything that can cause toothaches or other dental problems while traveling. Avoid eating popcorn, for example. It may be one of the worst foods for damaging teeth.

A toothbrush AND floss are a good idea on any trip, of course. Toothpaste may no longer be allowed on the plane, however. If you travel with only carry-on, this means you will have to remember to buy toothpaste as soon as you arrive at your destination. You can carry a bit of baking soda as an alternative as well - this will be allowed on the plane. Toothbrushes and floss are about dental problem prevention, of course, but what if your toothache starts while you're overseas?

Toothache Treatment

Try aspirin. Tylenol #3 is even better for a severe toothache. Antiseptics that contain benzocaine, applied directly to the irritated tooth and gum will temporarily relieve pain. Oil of cloves (eugenol) will also may help when applied to teeth and gums. Never put aspirin or other painkillers directly to gums, as they may burn your gum tissue.

Sometimes tooth pain does not originate in the teeth or gums, but in the sinus cavities. It may be a sinus infection putting pressure on the gums from above. In these cases, you might have to eliminate the infection with antibiotics to get relief. Some temporary relief is possible if you can clear the sinuses by steaming (carefully) your face, or eating hot sauce.

When teeth are temperature sensitive, you should obviously avoid hot and cold drinks. If it is cold outside, it will also help to breath through your nose. Breathing through the mouth brings cold air flowing over your teeth and can cause a lot of pain.

I have a toothache - the inspiration for this article. Two days ago I noticed that each time we drove over a mountain pass here in Colorado, the pain intensified. Descending below 8,000 feet seemed to take the pain away. If you notice this problem, be ready when flying - not all planes are fully pressurized.

Should you visit a dentist in another country? Certainly you'll have to if it is an emergency. Some toothaches are too severe to wait. You may prefer to just treat the pain until you get home otherwise. On the other hand, if the problem is simple, like a lost filling, some countries provide an opportunity for cheap dental care. Ask first, to see that the dentists are using gloves and the latest tools

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

How Not To Tour Scotland

by: John Winkler
You are 12th in line behind the caravan at the front. A slow right hand bend comes up and you drift out to see if cars are coming, but you notice the car in front has edged up to make it difficult for you to overtake.
"Look at that castle over there, Dad,"
"In a minute, son,"
Then your concentration slips and disaster strikes. You took your eye off the car behind and now he has whipped in front of you. The speedo tells you you are doing no more than 45mph. They shouldn't allow caravans really, on these roads. You do this from Edinburgh to Inverness and back down to Glasgow.

Back at the office, "How did you like Scotland, would you go there again?""It was very nice, but we might do something different next year." Yes, well, next year you could always spend a week driving around the M25. Great fun.

To-day Gillian and I toured Scotland the correct way. We started out as usual with little idea of where we were heading.
"Stalker Castle for soup and a roll?"
"Why not?"

A ride along the edge of Loch Linnhe, with the mountains of Morven across the water. No traffic. Yesterday's cold front had passed over leaving a cool, clear and sunny day. The air was fresh and you could see for miles down the Sound towards Mull.

"How about taking our little North Shian road the wrong way round?"

Single track road, with hardly any passing places. If you meet a car coming the other way the chances are that one of you will have to reverse, but you'll exchange a wave. Didn't matter, didn't pass any other cars. No one goes there. Except us, of course.

Sun came through the trees from South Shian across the water. Low tide made it look soft and wonderful against the light. "Wonder where the old slipway is, we found it before remember?"

This is where the people, and cattle, used to cross in a big rowing boat ferry 200 years ago when they travelled the down the coast from North to South. Cuts off a days walk round the coast, and many famous people in history have used it. It is about a mile across and the Spring tide flows strongly. Took a bit of rowing in the old days with a crowd aboard. They used heavy, caulked, wooden boats then. No glass fibre.

So we stopped to ask Charlie Moore who was planting some larch trees in his garden. The answer lasted for an hour as we swapped stories of the roe deer in his garden, the old ferry, the new pier restaurant owners in the village, and the evening when he froze in his garden as an otter walked by his feet. The answer included his early days in the Orkney Isles. He might have to go back there because the authorities have stopped his licence because of his diabetes. His neighbours get some groceries for him, but he walks three miles to the nearest bus. Lovely man, didn't sound Scottish at all, but that's the Orcadians for you.

Back to the cottage half an hour later taking in little Port Appin and its small passenger ferry to Lismore on the way. Total distance travelled? About 25 miles.

That's the way you tour Scotland properly. You don't go past it in a car. You go into it with the people.

John Winkler

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

YTB Travel Network - Concourse Travel

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Visit Extreme Rugged Remote Parashant Canyon National Monument

by: Bob Therrien
Grand Canyon Parashant Canyon National Monument is not as well known as it’s bigger sister next door. On January 11, 2000, President Bill Clinton established the 1.1-million-acre Monument. This vast monument protects much of the Shivwits Plateau. The Shivwits is ecologically unique because it's where the Sonoran, Great Basin, and Mojave Deserts intersect. This region is a wildlife habitat for several endangered or threatened species. California condors, desert tortoises, willow flycatchers, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope call this area home.

This is a very remote and undeveloped Monument. Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument is located in northwest Arizona, bordered by the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon National Park to the south and east, Nevada and Lake Mead to the west. Many people fly into Las Vegas as a Hub, and plan their visit from there.

The Monument information center is located in the lobby of the BLM Office in St. George, Utah. The address is 345 E. Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah, 84790. There you will find maps, field guides, books, and other items. Staff members are available to answer questions and provide safety information.

If you decide to add this to your adventure tours, here is the mileage from closest major cities: To Saint George from Las Vegas 118 miles, 190 km, From Phoenix 435 miles, 700 km, From Denver 631 miles, 1015 km.

There are only two semi-maintained trails in the Monument – Mt. Trumbull and Mt. Dellenbaugh. All other hiking is on unmarked routes or requires bushwhacking through dense brush or rugged terrain. Grand Canyon Parashant provides a sense of solitude to those who trek into its isolated areas. Located on the edge of the Grand Canyon, the Monument's expansive landscape showcases both natural and cultural history.

Of the points of interest in the Monument, here are the ones that the Bureau of Land Management point out:

• Virgin River Gorge Campground
• Condor Release Viewing Site
• Pakoon Springs
• Mt Trumbull Schoolhouse
• Sawmill Historic Site
• Witch’s Point
• Uinkaret Pueblo
• Nampaweap Petroglyph Site
• Tuweep Ranger Station
• Toroweap Campground
• Toroweap Overlook
• Tassi Spring
• Pearce Ferry Campground
• Pearce Ferry

To travel here, you must use caution, as it is off the beaten track. You must have the appropriate maps to find your way to and around the Monument. There are entry roads from Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Plan your entrance point by your travel route. There are no paved roads or visitor services within the Monument's million-plus acres, so visitors need to be prepared by traveling with an appropriate high-clearance vehicle equipped with two full-sized spare tires. Some content provided by The National Park Service and AZ BLM.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Mont Tremblant Lodging – Which Of Mont Tremblant’s 3 Regions Is Right For You?

by: Devon O'Malley
Nestled deep in the wilderness of Quebec, Mont Tremblant has been dubbed #1 Ski Resort in Eastern North America for 8 consecutive years. Once you learn more about the resort, it's easy to see why.

The ski resort offers over 600 acres of ski and snowboarding trails in 4 unique areas: North Side (Versant Nord), South Side (Versant Sud), Sunny Side (Versant Soleil) and The Edge (Versant Edge). As well, you can savour 94 marked downhill trails and 13 ski lifts to send you soaring up the slopes. You’re practically guaranteed the opportunity to ski or snowboard until you’ve had your fill of snow-brimmed euphoria.

With all the outdoor space to play in, you're going to need quality Mont Tremblant lodging to act as your home base.

Forget guessing.

Instead, enlighten yourself to the various Mont Tremblant lodging regions with this handy guide.

Region 1: Pedestrian Village

The hub of Mont Tremblant resort, the Pedestrian Village is situated at the base of the mountain. The village offers all the features you'd expect from a world-class ski resort, including all the usual suspects: a myriad of shopping outlets, a bustling nightlife scene, apres-ski venues, and plenty of slopeside Mont Tremblant accommodation.

One of the best perks about staying here is you can park your car and walk everywhere you need to go. As well, you’re right in the middle of the action for all the events happening around the resort, perfect for those interested in a high-activity vacation.

Region 2: Domaine du Geant

This Mont Tremblant lodging region is located to the south-east of the Pedestrian Village. Along with Club Intrawest, a variety of lodging developments are interspersed with the Mont Tremblant golf course (hence the name 'Domaine du Geant').

While this region may feel a little far from the action, a handy shuttle bus service provides guests with convenient transportation to the main village. Choose your Mont Tremblant accommodation here if you crave a peaceful setting and the space to spend quality time with your family.

Region 3: Domaine de la Foret

Located to the east of the Pedestrian Village, this Mont Tremblant lodging region is the closest you'll get to nature without living in a tree house. Set against a majestic forest backdrop against the mountainside, these Mont Tremblant lodging options offer tranquility, along with sweeping views of the Pedestrian Village and Lac Tremblant.

Plus, you’re only a short drive to actually get to the village, or catch the handy shuttle. With the Domaine de la Foret, you have many of the conveniences of the Pedestrian Village and priority access to the ski trails. For avid skiers, this region is a great choice.

Armed with this newfound knowledge, you’ll be able to go forth and choose the Mont Tremblant accommodation that’s right for your vacation. Just remember, no matter where you end up staying, Mont Tremblant is sure to offer a variety of experiences you won’t soon forget.

Isle of Wight Tourism

by: Martin Ager
The term Isle of Wight Tourism conjures up images of sunny beaches, dramatic coastlines and glorious countryside. Isle of Wight tourism brings in an estimated £350 million plus per year, which is vital to the Island’s economy. With more people visiting each year, that figure can only rise. The Isle of Wight is the perfect place for a holiday as there are so many things to see and do. Whatever your interests, you will be spoiled for choice and will find that one visit to this special place is never enough. Most people that visit this wonderful island find themselves coming back time and time again which is great for Isle of Wight tourism.

The Isle of Wight is the smallest of England’s counties, with the resident population being around 130,000. To the north lies the Solent and to the south is the English Channel. Known as "The Garden Isle", this jewel of England indeed resembles a diamond in shape, measuring 23 miles west to east and 13 miles north to south, an area or 147 square miles. The Island is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK, with around one million visitors each year. There is over 60 miles of coastline which ranges from award winning beaches to spectacular chalk cliffs. The Island, which is divided into two boroughs - Medina & South Wight, was known as “Vectis” by the Romans. Newport is the county town, although Ryde is the largest town. The exact centre of the Island is at Shide Corner, on the outskirts of Newport and the highest point is St. Boniface Down at Ventnor.

Walking on the Isle of Wight is a popular past-time and there are over 500 miles of public footpaths including dramatic coastal paths. The climate here is almost sub-tropical and Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor are regularly at the top of the UK sunshine table. Over 50% of the Island has been designated an “Area of Outstanding Beauty” with about half of the coastline named as “Heritage Coast” - an honour only awarded to the finest stretches of coastline in the country. Red squirrels have a particular penchant for the surroundings (due to the lack of grey squirrels) and are widely prevalent on the Island - almost the final stronghold in the south of the country.

The most famous landmark here on the Isle of Wight is “The Needles” - three jagged chalk projections running out to sea at the extreme west of the island at Alum Bay, which is also renowned for its multi-coloured sand cliffs, which are caused by a mixture of minerals in the sand. There is a lighthouse here too, clinging to the base of the most westerly rock of the Needles group. It originally became popular here with tourists over 200 years ago when they used to visit by paddle steamer from the mainland. Another popular landmark is the Bembridge Windmill, the only existing windmill on the Island. It is located at the opposite end of the Island, was built around 1700 and still has its original machinery intact.