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    Visitors guide to florence italy

     

    The city of Florence is actually the capital of Italy's Tuscany area and stands alongside the scenic banks of the Arno River, close to the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Seas. Bustling with local industry, which includes arts and crafts, commerce and tourism; Florence is a particularly historic location, steeped in heritage. One of the most desirable places to visit in Italy, Florence was originally founded by Romans during the first century and grew dramatically between the 1200s and 1600s. Of particular importance, the Medici family, who ruled over Florence during the 15th century, were responsible for many of the city's most spectacular landmarks, buildings and monuments, most of which remain in excellent condition. Florence Travel: The Florence area features a well-structured public transport network, comprising of main railway lines, orange ATAF buses and local taxis that congregate at various taxi ranks and around the piazzas. Renting a car is one of the most popular ways to travel around the Tuscany area and the A1 Motorway connects Florence to many major Italian cities, such as Bologna, Milan, Naples and Rome. Also the A11 Motorway links Florence to Lucca, Pisa and a number of coastal resorts. Florence is easy to reach from around the world and the city's Amerigo Vespucci Airport is nearby. Just 5 km / 3 miles from the city center, the Florence Vespucci Airport offers modern facilities and is home to a number of important international and Italian airlines Florence Commerce: With a thriving commercial city centre and many businesses supporting the services and financial sector, Florence is a wealthy city. Nowadays, with tourism being an equally important industry in the city, many local crafts boost the economy, such as jewellery, leatherwork and ceramics, together with hotels. Florence contains a number of notable, medium-sized companies, including engineering firms, publishing and textile businesses. Florence Hotels: Hotels in Florence are often fairly expensive throughout the year and many are centrally located, although a number of popular cheaper alternatives are available. Accommodation during the peak season quickly becomes fully booked in the most popular hotels and it can be advisable to book at least two weeks ahead. If you decide to rent a car, ensure that the hotel has car parking space available before booking. Hotels can be found all around the city centre, in the green Viale dei Colli area, close to the Santa Maria Novella train station, alongside the Arno River and on the city outskirts. Florence Tourism: Tourism in the Florence area is important and thousands of people choose to visit this part of Tuscany each year, to enjoy the scenic views, historical buildings, stunning architecture and famous works of art. Must-see attractions in Florence include a number of magnificent palaces, such as the Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi and Palazzo Strozzi. Other attractions include the Piazza del Signoria, the Teatro Comunale (theatre), the arched Ponte Vecchio bridge, the historic Campanile di Giotto and the world-famous Duomo / Santa Maria del Fiore – also known as the 'Cathedral of Florence'. Top museums in Florence contain many important art exhibitions and outstanding exhibits. Worth a visit are the National Archeological Museum, the Uffizi Gallery and the Academy Gallery, amongst many others. Also, the Chianti area, which is situated between the city of Florence and nearby Siena, features one of Italy's most stunning countryside landscapes and is also home to a number of famous vineyards. Florence Restaurants: Restaurants in Italy are known as 'Ristoranti' or 'Trattories' and are widespread in Florence, with many different kinds of cuisine readily available. Menu prices do not usually include service charges and these are added to the bill, together with any further cover charges ('coperto'). Therefore, tipping in Florence restaurants is not strictly necessary, although always very much appreciated. Lunch in the city is generally taken around 13:00 and is the main meal of the day, with dinner being eaten between 20:00 and 21:00. Florence Weather: The city of Florence features fairly temperature weather, with notable hot, sunny summer months and cooler, breezy winters. Temperatures between the months of July and August are at their hottest and reach highs of up to 32°C / 90°F. January tends to be Florence's coldest month with daytime temperatures only reaching 9°C / 48°F, although lows of 1°C / 34°F may be experienced.

         
    Visitors guide to honolulu hawaii usa

     

    Honolulu is one of the most popular destinations in Hawaii and is a major city, being located at the far end of Waikiki. The main tourist hot spots in Honolulu are the downtown district - the Pacific Region’s main financial and business center, and Waikiki, the heart of Honolulu. Waikiki is known for its narrow sandy beach area, which has become one of the world’s most notable beaches, lined with many excellent shops, restaurants and accommodation. Located on Hawaii’s Oahu Island, Honolulu is full of things to see and attractions to visit. Dominated by the imposing Diamond Head volcano, which is now extinct, Honolulu is known for its tropical landscape, palm trees, harbor, nearby islands and the Mamala Bay, where a range of water sports are on offer. Honolulu Travel: With a large population and many spreading urban areas, traffic in Honolulu can become understandably busy, particularly due to the cluster of one-way streets. There are a number of car parks and on-street parking areas in central Honolulu, and car rental is widely available. Renting a car in Honolulu is one of the most convenient ways to explore the island of Oahu, although other popular methods of transport include buses, coaches, taxis and even bicycles. Honolulu International Airport (HNL) stands around 4 miles / 6 km from the center of the city and is an important transportation hub. Many passengers arrive each day at Honolulu Airport from mainland America, London and other nearby Hawaiian Islands. With three terminals and a range of facilities, the airport is just a short trip from central Honolulu, with a number of hotels nearby. Places to Stay in Honolulu: Honolulu thrives on tourism and there is a huge range of accommodation throughout the city. Hotel rates in Honolulu are often high, although a selection of budget options do exist, namely bed and breakfast accommodation, which is usually well presented. The American Youth Hostel in Honolulu offers extremely inexpensive rooms and is always popular with budget travelers visiting the city. At the opposite end of the scale, Honolulu is home to a wealth of luxury hotels, often with simply breathtaking coastal views and convenient locations. Some of Honolulu’s premier hotels are amongst the best in the world. Honolulu Tourism: Tourist attractions in Honolulu are excellent and apart from the endless stretches of golden sands, there are plenty of things to see, making Honolulu the ideal holiday destination. Facilities include landmarks and monuments, historical museums, contemporary art galleries, must-see sights, and a large variety of recreational activities. Top attractions include Aloha Tower Marketplace, Honolulu Zoo, Iolani Palace, the Aloha Tower, Diamond Head Lighthouse, the State Capitol Building, Hawaii Maritime Center, the Hawaii State Art Museum, and the Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Honolulu Restaurants: There is an incredible diversity of restaurants and places to eat throughout Honolulu, reflecting the ethnic communities and locals. Look for the restaurants where locals in Honolulu choose to eat, such as those around the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where you will find an array of affordable cafes and food outlets. Also, the food court in the Ala Moana Center is particularly well stocked. Honolulu Weather: The weather in Honolulu varies only slightly all through the year, with constant temperatures reaching the 70s and 80s. Honolulu features two main seasons - April to November, which is slightly warmer than the period December to March. The surrounding ocean remains warm throughout the year and is one of Honolulu’s main attractions.

         
    Visitors guide to houston texas usa

     

    The city of Houston is America's fourth-largest city and although a spreading location, much of the appeal is concentrated in the city center, between the downtown district and the Galleria Mall. Houston is a young and vibrant city, with a host of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Close to the Gulf Coast Cities, Houston is also home to a number of exceptional museums, popular festivals and regular well-attended sporting events at the city's stadium. Houston is a large and important city, incorporating a number of local communities and historical neighborhoods. Amongst these districts are Downtown - the center of Houston, full of entertainment, shops and restaurants; Midtown - easily reached by the city's light railway; and Uptown - one of the liveliest and most animated areas of the city, featuring the enormous cosmopolitan Galleria shopping mall. Other notable areas of Houston include the Museum District - home to an unusual concentration of exceptional museums and art galleries; the Theater District - one of America's most notable clusters of top theaters, in central downtown; and also the Heights - on the northwest side of downtown, with many historic buildings and specialty shops. Houston Tourism: Tourist attractions in Houston are plentiful, making Houston a particularly enjoyable place to visit. Facilities include many striking buildings and monuments, historical museums and traditional art galleries, must-see sights and numerous recreational activities, which are particularly popular in the city's many parklands, such as Hermann Park, Memorial Park and Sam Houston Park. Top attractions include Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, Downtown Aquarium, Houston Zoo, Space Center Houston and Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum, Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) and the JP Morgan Chase Tower Observation Deck. Museums worth a visit include Houston's Lawndale Art Center, Museum of Fine Arts, Contemporary Arts Museum and the Rice University Art Gallery. There are also a number of seasonal theater productions that are always popular with visitors to Houston. Houston Transport: Around Houston, public transport is well organized and a number of major freeways and interstates are nearby. The city contains a large train station along Washington Avenue, with regular Amtrak trains arriving and departing each day, traveling to a range of cities, including Los Angeles. Further transport options include Greyhound buses, the local METRO bus network, the METRORail tram service, car rental and taxicabs. George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston (IAH) stands around 22 miles / 33 km on the north side of the city center and is an important transport hub. With four terminals and many passengers arriving each day from all over the world, Houston Airport provides a range of convenient ground transport, which includes shuttle buses, taxis and car rental options. Also nearby, the William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) is a smaller airport with mainly domestic airlines, located to the southeast of the city's downtown district. Houston Hotels: Being a modern, important and large cosmopolitan city, Houston's accommodation more than meets expectations. With a simply vast selection of well-placed hotels, there is plenty to suit visitors, although advance reservations are sensible. Hotels can be found close to both airports, along nearby highways and throughout the city center, with all main brands well represented. Camping grounds are also available for holidaymakers with RVs, and the Houston International Hostel along Crawford Street is popular with budget travelers. Houston Restaurants: Dining in Houston is massive and there are around 5,000 restaurants and eateries to choose from in Houston, with a wide range of different cuisines readily available for all palates. Many of the city's most popular restaurants can be found in the downtown area, the Richmond Entertainment district, and in the uptown district – particularly along Richmond Avenue. International cuisine on offer in Houston includes French, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Spanish and Thai, together with traditional Texan dishes and American diners. Chinatown is the place to head for authentic Chinese restaurants and shopping malls have become a popular place to eat in Houston and often include large, open-plan food courts, with a number of options, including fast food. Houston Shopping: Houston is an impressive, vibrant shopping destination offering a large selection of shops and stores. Facilities include many popular designer outlets and fashion boutiques, together with well-known department stores and enormous shopping malls. Popular shopping areas include Chinatown, Main Street, Westheimer, Uptown Park Boulevard and Rice Village close to the Museum District. Worth a visit are the River Oaks Center between Woodhead and Shepherd, Alabama and Westheimer, and the University Village, close to Rice University. Houston Weather: The city has a subtropical and fairly humid climate, with sunny, hot summer weather and cooler winters. Temperatures during July and August are at their hottest and can peak at highs of around 35°C / 95°F. Spring in Houston is a mild season and a busy time of the year, when many visitors arrive in Houston. Winters in Houston are cool, although the temperatures stay well above freezing. January is the coldest month when daytime temperatures average around 16°C / 61°F, although lows of less than 10°C / 50°F may be experienced.

         
    Visitors guide to orlando florida usa

     

    The world-famous city of Orlando is located in the central area of the state of Florida, in the USA. Home to the world's number-one tourist attraction, Walt Disney World, Orlando also offers a range of must-see sights, which are popular with both children and adults. Ranging from historical museums to vast water parks, landscaped gardens to superb restaurants, Orlando has it all and is one of America's most popular vacation options, attracting visitors from all over the world. Orlando is a spreading city and covers almost 100 square miles / 260 square kilometers, with a population of around 200,000. Acclaimed as perhaps the ultimate family holiday destination, Orlando is also known for its outstanding shopping malls, vibrant nightlife and sports facilities. Other popular attractions can be found in nearby towns and cities, including Kissimmee. Orlando Transport: Around Orlando, public transport is well maintained and the city offers a number of options, which include taxis, coaches, trains, trams, and buses operated by the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority. Renting a car is one of the most popular ways to travel around the Orlando area and allows the freedom to explore the nearby towns, which surround the city. Florida's number one airport, the bustling Orlando International Airport (MCO), is located close to the city and each month sees several million passengers arriving and departing. Also, the smaller Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) is nearby and has two terminals, offering a range of flights. Both airports provide a selection of reasonably priced ground transportation, which travels into central Orlando. Where to Stay in Orlando: Since the arrival of Disney's Magic Kingdom, the tourist trade in Orlando has grown dramatically, together with the number of hotels. Orlando now offers an enormous selection of hotels, both throughout the city and clustered around many of the popular attractions, particularly Disney World. The nearby town of Kissimmee is just a short trip from Orlando and offers many reasonably priced hotels, which are often more conveniently located and offer better value for money. Orlando Shopping: Orlando is an impressive shopping destination offering a huge selection of outstanding shops and stores. Facilities include an endless range of designer outlets, many well-known department stores, countless fashion boutiques and sprawling shopping malls. Popular shopping areas include the famous International Drive, together with South Orange Blossom Trail, West Oakridge Road and Vineland Road. Orlando Tourism: Tourist attractions in Orlando are outstanding, making Orlando the ideal holiday destination. Facilities include many major landmarks and monuments, museums, art galleries, historical sights, recreational and sporting activities, and in-depth guided tours of the city. Top attractions in Orlando include the Disney Magic Kingdom - complete with its fairytale castle and Mickey Mouse attractions; the Universal Studios - with many outstanding rides, such as the 'Back to the Future' ride and the 'Earthquake'; the Epcot Center - Disney's vision of the future; and the MGM Studios Theme Park - where you will find many movie-related rides and tours. Other popular places to visit in Orlando include the Church Street Station, Gatorland, Leu Botanical Gardens, the Orlando Science Center, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Wet 'n' Wild and Sea World of Florida - home to Shamu the killer whale and featuring more than 200 acres / 80 hectares of marine stadiums and lagoons. Orlando Weather: Orlando has a subtropical and extremely warm climate, with hot summer weather and sunshine throughout the year. The city has become a year-round resort, with little rain and predictable high temperatures. Winters (from December to April) are mild and pleasant and many of the city's most popular festivals are held at this time of the year. Summers (from June to September) are hot, with temperatures consistently in the 80s and 90s.

         
    Visitors guide to phoenix arizona usa

     

    Standing on the northern side of the Sonoran Desert, in the aptly named 'Valley of the Sun' Phoenix is one of the most popular cities in Arizona. Known for its extremely sunny weather and related winter tourist trade, Phoenix has much to offer visitors, with strip malls surrounding the downtown district. Now amongst America's largest cities, Phoenix is a true metropolis, with many striking high-rise buildings in the city center, together with exceptional golf courses and impressive resort areas nearby. Many of the attractions in Phoenix are situated in the downtown district, the heart of the city, where you will find notable restaurants, sporting venues and shops. Other popular areas of the city include the business district, Old Phoenix, particularly around Heritage Square, and the Glendale area, which is home to many of the city's main museums and numerous well-preserved, historical structures. The Mesa area of Phoenix contains a number of shopping malls, whereas Scottsdale boasts resorts and specialty shops. For entertainment venues and a vibrant nightlife, be sure to head to Tempe, where you will not be disappointed. Phoenix Tourism: Tourism in the Phoenix area is well catered for, with many top attractions, a number of which are particularly appealing to families. Ranging from historical ruins and sights, to amusement parks and major shopping centers, Phoenix offers plenty of things to see and places to go. Top attractions include the Castles and Coasters theme park, the vast Phoenix Zoo, the historical St Mary's Basilica, the prehistoric Casa Grande ruins, Goldfield Ghost Town mining village, the Apache Trail, Piestewa Peak walking trails and the Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Center, known for its views of the famous Valley of the Sun. The Phoenix area also contains its fair share of cultural museums and art galleries, with notable attractions including the Arizona Science Center, the Hall of Flame Fire Fighting Museum and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Phoenix offers a range of festivals, which are held throughout the year, such as the Arabian Horse Show in February, the Scottsdale Arts Festival in March, the September National Public Lands Day Outdoor Recreation Fair, and the Way Out West Oktoberfest. Phoenix Transport: Interstates 10 and 17 provide good connections to a number of nearby cities, such as Flagstaff. Many visitors to Phoenix choose to rent a car and this is one of the best ways to travel around the city and neighboring areas. Public buses are also heavily used and the Downtown Area Shuttle, better known simply as 'DASH', connects many top tourist hotspots at no cost. Close to the city's downtown district, Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is an important air hub and is connected to the city by shuttle buses and taxicabs. This important international airport caters for many thousands of arrivals and departures each day and offers good ground transportation options. Phoenix Hotels: Hotels in the Phoenix area are in good supply and hotel rates are often cheapest during the summer months of July and August. Winter is a particularly pleasant time to visit the city and accommodation becomes fully booked at the time of the year. Phoenix Shopping: With many expansive shopping malls, which always feature air conditioning, Phoenix is the perfect city for those who enjoy shopping. All kinds of shops are well represented here, ranging from chain stores and department stores, to fashion boutiques and independent retailers. Many of the city's main shops are concentrated in the Biltmore and Scottsdale districts. Phoenix Restaurants: Southwestern cuisine has long been popular in Phoenix, with more international offerings available throughout the city. Restaurants offer a varied choice of food, although the many notable steakhouses are a must. Clustered in the city center and in the older areas of Biltmore and Scottsdale, a number of eateries and bars can also be found in the lively University area. Phoenix Weather: Standing in the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix offers predictably sunny and hot temperatures, with over 300 days of sunshine each year. Many people choose to visit the city during its warm winter months, particularly during January through March, when temperatures average 13°C / 55°F. The summer months of July through September are the warmest, when temperature peak at 42°C / 108°F, although evening are much cooler.

         
    Visitors guide to rome lazio italy

     

    One of the world's most historic and fascinating cities, Rome is famous for its rich heritage and important buildings. Many magnificent monuments and truly ancient ruins reside in Rome, together with numerous vibrant shopping areas, restaurants and sightseeing opportunities. The city has much to offer tourists and also offers a selection of nearby beaches. Standing alongside the scenic River Tiber, Rome has a population of almost 3 million and experiences hot summer weather and particularly mild, pleasant winters. With year-round attractions, many people choose to visit Rome between November to February, when the city is at its quietest. Rome Hotels: Being one of Italy's most popular tourist destinations, it is hardly surprising that Rome is full of hotels, catering for all tastes and budgets. Ranging from impressive hotels in the Centro Storico (historic centre), to more modern accommodation around the Campo dei Fiori, hotels in Rome quickly become fully booked, and so be sure to reserve your room in advance. Bed and breakfasts in Rome are known as 'pensioni' and often provide particularly good value for money, with a number being located close to the 'Stazione Termini' railway station and Trastevere area. Rome Tourism: Rome has long been a major tourist destination and its historical attractions and important ruins are known throughout the world. However, the city is also an exciting and vibrant place to visit, with many impressive shops, restaurants, entertainment venues and seasonal festivals. Some of the most popular places to visit in Rome include the Circus Maximus, the Coliseum, the Forum, the Pantheon, Janiculum Hill, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and the vast Vatican City, the official residence of the Pope, head of the Roman Catholic faith. The Sistine Chapel at the Vatican City is particularly awe-inspiring, together with the city's numerous art galleries and museums. Popular events in the city include many operas, ballets and concerts at Rome's numerous theatres. Other seasonal highlights include regular football matches at the Stadio Olimpico, the Rome Marathon each March, religious events throughout Easter, concerts at the Teatro Olimpico, June's Pesaro Film Festival, and also the Festa della Madonna della Neve, held every August. Rome Transport: With good rail connections to a number of major cities, including Florence and Venice, Rome is well-connected by highways, which provide easy access to nearby towns. Rome's Metro subway network, public buses and trams all provide inexpensive ways to travel throughout the city. Car rental is one of the most popular ways to travel out of the city and is perfect for day trips and excursions. Located around 18 miles / 29 km from the city centre, Leonardo da Vinci Airport, also known as Fiumicino, is an important air transport hub. Dealing with large numbers of domestic and international flights each day, ground transportation at the airport includes buses, trains and car hire. Rome Shopping: Known for its chic fashion boutiques and expensive department stores, shopping in Rome is a major attraction. With many bustling shops clustered around the Piazza Di Spagna, other popular stores can be found around the city's Via Del Governo Vecchio area, close to the Spanish Steps, along the Via Sistina, and on Via Borgognona. Also, the pedestrianized Via Frattina is the perfect place for some serious window shopping. Rome Restaurants: Home to one of the greatest cuisines in the world, Italian restaurants are known for their superb local specialities, which include freshly made pizzas, pasta dishes, paninis, salads, a selection of cheeses and many other types of food. Al fresco dining is particularly popular in Rome, with an array of cafes, bars and superb ice cream shops clustered around the piazzas.

         
    Visitors guide to san diego california usa

     

    The city of San Diego is located on the southwestern coast of the state of California, in the USA. This pristine, coastal city has much to be proud about and boasts a number of exceptional attractions, including America's best zoo. San Diego city center contains an extremely high concentration of museums, second only to Washington DC. With a popular of around 1.3 million, the city covers approximately 320 square miles / 830 square kilometers. Close to Mexico, much of San Diego has a strong South American character and atmosphere, with many notable Mexican restaurants. City life is generally relaxed and centered around the downtown district, which can be found on the harbor. Many impressive entertainment venues are situated in downtown San Diego, together with shops and important businesses. Of particular interest, downtown's Gaslamp Quarter contains a cluster of historic Victorian buildings and structures. Other import areas worth a visit include Balboa Park, the Hillcrest District, together with La Jolla and Mission Bay, which stand alongside beautiful stretches of sandy beaches. San Diego Tourism: Tourist attractions in San Diego are excellent and include many superb beaches, which make San Diego the perfect holiday destination for all ages. Facilities include a number of notable buildings, museums and art galleries, countless must-see sights and family attractions, and a number of large parklands and gardens. Top attractions include Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, which both offer a range of water sports and coastal walks. Also worth a visit in the city are the world-famous San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego, the Museum of San Diego History, the Museum of Art, the striking cathedral of the Basilica San Diego de Alcala, Knott's Soak water park and nearby Legoland California. Also a popular excursion from San Diego is the city of Anaheim, home to the spectacular Disneyland Resort, which can be reached by car, with the journey lasting around 90 minutes. San Diego Transport: Around San Diego, public transport is reliable and efficient and the city is easy to reach by road, with a number of highways and interstates close-by. The San Diego Trolley is one of the most popular methods of transport in the city and travels to all of the main attractions. Greyhound buses operate within San Diego and connect a number of California cities, together with Amtrak trains and taxicabs. San Diego International Airport (SAN) stands around 3 miles / 5 km from the city center and is an important transport hub. With three large terminal buildings and many passengers arriving each day, San Diego Airport offers plenty of ground transportation options, such as shuttle buses, taxis and car rental. San Diego Hotels: Being a popular and sunny city of California's coast, San Diego predictably offers a variety of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and affordable accommodation options. Some of the most popular hotels in the city can be found in the center of the downtown district, conveniently near to facilities such as shops and restaurants. Further hotels are located around Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, Mission Valley, the nearby island of Coronado, La Jolla, and the scenic North County countryside. Hotel rates in San Diego rise during the summer season and at the weekend. San Diego Restaurants: San Diego offers a good selection of restaurants, which are readily available and suit most palates. Restaurants, cafes and bars have improved greatly in recent years, due to San Diego's rapidly expanding tourist appeal. Concentrated around the downtown areas of San Diego, Hillcrest neighborhood and La Jolla district, Mexican and Asian cuisine is particularly popular in the city. Many restaurants in San Diego feature live music and often stay open late. The numerous cocktail bars along the beachfront provide the perfect place to end your evening. San Diego Shopping: The city contains many large shopping malls, clustered in the Mission Valley area. The Mission Valley Center is perhaps the city's most notable shopping mall and features an array of shops, together with a large food court. For local arts and crafts, together with specialty shops, head to the Old Town district, while the Hillcrest neighborhood is the place to visit for boutiques and general fashion accessories. A number of antique shops and surfing-related items can be found along the Mission Beach area. San Diego Weather: San Diego features warm and sunny Mediterranean-style weather, typical of California, with sunshine throughout the year and pleasant breezes from the Pacific Ocean. Temperatures during June through August are at their hottest and can reach 27°C / 81°F. Winter and spring are warm seasons and many people visit the San Diego area at this mild time of the year. December and January are the coldest months, although daytime temperatures are still quite warm, generally around 18°C / 64°F, although lows of 12°C / 54°F are not unknown.

         
    Visitors guide to seattle washington usa

     

    The city of Seattle is situated in the eastern area of the state of Washington in Northwest America, between the waters of the Puget Sound and Lake Washington. Known for its appealing atmosphere and emergence as the USA’s city of the 1990s, Seattle’s waterfront is its main attraction and this lies along the Alaskan Way, although the city does contain a number of must-see sights. Seattle’s community is built on commerce, fishing and timber, greatly influenced by the nearby Boeing aerospace company. Full of gourmet coffee shops, museums, art galleries and a lively nightlife, the city now also celebrates an important tourism industry. Seattle is a large cosmopolitan city, covering around 90 square miles / 233 square kilometers, with a population of almost 600,000. The city incorporates many smaller communities and important, historical neighborhoods. Amongst these locations are the Ballard, Belltown, Capitol Hill, Pike Place Market, Freemont, Greenlake, Pioneer Square, Queen Anne, SODO and University districts. Seattle Tourism: Tourist attractions in Seattle are varied and impressive, making Seattle an excellent vacation destination. Facilities include many notable landmarks and monuments, museums and art galleries, parklands, recreational activities and insightful guided tours of the city. Top attractions include the Boeing Factory, Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Fisherman's Terminal, the Smith Tower Observation Deck, Hing Hay Park, Safeco Field Stadium, the Seahawks Exhibition Center and the Seattle Center – both a cultural center and popular amusement park constructed for city’s World Fair, which was held in 1962. Seattle is perhaps best known for its eye-catching Space Needle, which towers around 150 meters / 490 feet on the city skyline, offering spectacular views. City museums worth a visit include the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Museum of History and Industry, the Science Fiction Museum and the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Popular parklands in the Seattle area include Discovery Park, Freeway Park, Green Lake Park and the Washington Park Arboretum. Seattle Transport: Around Seattle, public transport provides a number of affordable options, including Amtrak trains, Greyhound and regional buses, and boats from Canada. One of the most popular ways to travel around the city is on the Metro Transit Buses, which are cheaper outside of peak hours. Renting a car is another transport option favored by many visitors to Seattle, allowing easy exploration of the city and surrounding areas. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport stands around 12 miles / 19 km from the city center and is a bustling transportation hub. With many passengers both arriving and departing each day. The airport provides a number of affordable ground transport options, which include shuttle buses, taxis, car rental options and luxury limousines. Seattle Hotels: The city's central downtown district is often booked solid during the summer months, when hotel rates are at their highest. However, outside of downtown Seattle you will find many further hotels, which are more reasonably priced and just a short distance from the city center. Room rates are also often reduced during the rainy season, from October to April, and at weekends. Bed and breakfast accommodation in Seattle is both affordable and popular with visitors, with a number of options being located close to the waterfront. Seattle Restaurants: Seattle takes its coffee very seriously and is famous for being the origin of Starbucks, with the first store still in operation at Pike Place Market. Many other stylish coffee shops and espresso bars can be found throughout the city, together with an abundance of restaurants and dining options. Restaurants in Seattle cater for all palates and many are concentrated along the waterfront, where seafood is a particular specialty. The northwestern side of the city is another popular dining location, with restaurants offering Pan-Asian, Mediterranean, Italian, Mexican and more traditional American cuisine. Seattle Shopping: Seattle is a popular shopping destination offering a large range of major shops and stores. Facilities include a number of famous designer outlets, vast department stores, boutiques and large shopping malls. Popular shopping areas include Broadway Avenue East, First Avenue, Maynard Avenue, Pike Street, Pine Street, Queen Anne and West Dravus, Seneca and Fourth Avenue and University Way. Seattle Weather: The Seattle area is known for its rain, although this is a little unfair, since the city's annual rainfall averages less than 40 inches / 100 cm. Much of the weather is both fine and mild, with hot summers and cooler winter weather. Temperatures are hottest during the months of July and August, peaking at around 25°C / 77°F. January is the coldest month, when temperatures during the daytime average 8°C / 46°F, well above freezing.

         
    Visitors guide to tampa florida usa

     

    The city of Tampa is situated on the western coast of the state of Florida in the USA. With a thriving commercial seaport and many waterfront areas, Tampa is also close to a number of notable beaches, such as Clearwater and St. Pete. Located across from St. Petersburg and within easy reach of Orlando, the city has much to offer visitors, including many historic sites, family attractions and major sporting venues. Tampa currently has a population in excess of 300,000 and covers more than 110 square miles / 285 square kilometers. Tampa also features a wealth of shopping centers, together with restaurants, bars and a healthy nightlife. Much of city life is centered around the downtown area, which contains the Port of Tampa and the Waterfront district. With two universities, many entertainment venues and the outstanding Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, the city has earned itself a reputation for being Florida's cultural center. Tampa Tourism: Tourist attractions in Tampa are extremely impressive, with many superb beaches nearby making Tampa the perfect holiday destination. Facilities include imposing landmarks and monuments, museums and art galleries, many must-see sights and family attractions, recreational activities, and a number of large parklands and gardens. Top attractions include Busch Gardens, which is one of the best theme parks in the whole of Florida, with thrilling rides combined with a vast zoo. Also worth a visit in Tampa are the Florida Aquarium, Dinosaur World, the Weeki Wachee Springs, the extremely historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the Raymond James Stadium, which regularly hosts major professional football games and is the home ground of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Throughout the year the city regularly features many exciting festivals, including the extremely popular Gasparilla Pirate Festival, which is held each year during January and always attracts large crowds. Tampa Transport: Around Tampa, public transport is well ordered and the city is easy to reach by road, with nearby highways and interstates. Greyhound buses operate within Tampa and travel to a number of Florida cities, including Orlando and Miami. Other popular modes of transport include Amtrak trains, inner-city streetcars and taxis, which should generally be booked in advance. Tampa International Airport (TPA) stands around 7 miles / 11 km from the city center and is an important transport hub, regarded as one of America's most efficient airports. With many passengers arriving each day, Tampa Airport offers a range of convenient ground transport, such as shuttle buses, taxis and car rental options. Tampa Hotels: Being a popular and sunny coastal city, with many exceptional attractions, it comes as no surprise that Tampa offers an array of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and affordable accommodation. Some of the most popular hotels in the city can be found in the heart of the downtown district, close to facilities such as shops and restaurants. Also, a number of waterfront hotels in Tampa offer exceptional coastal views and are extremely desirable, although the hotel rates often carry a premium, particularly during the high season, which is from January to April. Weekend and summer rates are usually reduced and this is a good time to find discounts. Tampa Restaurants: Tampa has an abundance of restaurants, which are readily available and suit every palate. Restaurants, cafes and bars have developed greatly in recent years, due to the rapidly expanding tourism trade and busy seaport. Concentrated around the central areas of Tampa, in the Hyde Park neighborhood - particularly along South Howard Avenue, the waterfront and throughout the lively Ybor district, most types of cuisine can be found in Tampa, including fast food at large food courts in shopping malls, traditional Hispanic eateries and exclusive seafood restaurants along the coastline. Tampa Shopping: The city offers a diverse shopping destination, with a large and varied selection of shops and stores. Facilities in Tampa include many designer outlets, well-known department stores, top boutiques and shopping malls. Popular shopping areas include the city's historic and cultural areas, the Centro Ybor Mall - which is located in the Ybor Historic District, and Old Hyde Park Village in Tampa's Old Hyde Park district, where you will find a mixture of modern stores, specialty shops and art galleries, in a particularly scenic setting. Tampa Weather: Tampa features warm and sunny weather, with pleasant breezes from the ocean. Temperatures during June through August are at their hottest and can attain highs of around 33°C / 91°F. Winter and spring are warm seasons and many people choose to visit the Tampa area at this time of the year. December and January are the coldest months with daytime temperatures remaining extremely mild and warm, generally around 22°C / 72°F, although lows of 15°C / 59°F may be experienced.

         
    Visitors guide to venice veneto italy

     

    One of the jewels of Italy, Venice is known throughout the world for its stunning architecture and miles of canals. Consisting of 117 separate islands linked by a series of historic bridges, canals and pavements, Venice is visited each year by many thousands of tourists. Home to some of the world most stunning buildings, impressive museums and art galleries, and a large selection of top restaurants, Venice has much to offer and rarely disappoints. Central Venice consists of six main regions, Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, Santa Croce, San Polo and San Marco, each full of local charm and appeal. One of the most famous landmarks in the city, San Marco Square is the only public square in Venice and offers a rich heritage, with the magnificent buildings of Doge's Palace and the Basilica San Marco nearby. Castello is the most historical area of the city and is known for its Arsenale ship-building yard. On the northern side of Venice, Cannaregio contains the Santa Lucia Railway Station, with nearby Santa Croce linking the city to Italy's mainland. The smallest area of the city is the San Polo district, which offers many local eateries and inns. On Venice's southern side you will find the district of Dorsoduro, which contains the notable 17th-century Dogana da Mar. Transport in Venice: Central Venice is easy to traverse on food, being generally well pedestrianized. Popular methods of transport include inexpensive water buses and more pricey motorboat taxis, both of which offer a convenient and extremely scenic way to travel around the canals. Connected by rail to many large cities in both Italy and Europe, Venice stands on the A4 Autostrada. The city is home to a large and busy airport, which is located around 8 miles / 13 km from the centre and caters for many international airlines. Venice's Marco Polo International Airport is easy to reach by a range of transportation, such as buses, cars, taxis, boats and rail. Venice Tourism: No trip to Venice would be complete without a trip in a traditional gondola and the city is geared up towards the tourist trade, with many must-see sights and attractions. Some of the most popular things to see in Venice include the numerous palaces and historic structures, such as the Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto), the Palazzo Mocenigo, the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and a host of churches. The city is also home to countless trendy shopping areas, which are lined with local boutiques and specialist shops, together with a number of colourful markets. Some of the most outstanding art galleries and museums in the city include the Marciano Museum, the Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico), the Accademia Gallery and the Contini Gallery. The watery city of Venice is also home to a surprising number of green spaces and parklands, such as the Royal Gardens (Giardinetti Reali) and the Giardino Giusti. Nearby Venice you will find a many interesting and appealing towns worth a visit, such as Burano, which is just a short trip by ferry and is known for its lace making. Throughout the year, many major events are held in the Venice area and consist of religious festivals, cultural events and sports. Events not to be missed include seasonal carnivals, the Festa di San Marco at the end of April, the Festa Medioevale del Vino Soave Bianco Soave each May, the Vogalonga rowing regatta in May, the Venice International Film Festival at the end of August, and also the New Year's Eve masses in the city's Catholic churches. Venice Shopping: Full of elegant and trendy boutiques, independent shops and vibrant markets, the city could be called a 'shopper's paradise' and offers plenty of genuine bargains. The best shopping areas in Venice are around the San Marco region, the Mercerie and also close to the Calle dei Fabbri. Also, regular fish markets are held alongside the Grand Canal and are popular with both locals and visitors to the city. Venice Restaurants: With a vast selection of restaurants, cafes and eateries, Venice offers many traditional Italian dishes, which include freshly made pizzas, pastas, paninis, cheeses and salads. Many other types of cuisine are also available aimed at tourists visiting the city, such as fast-food outlets and bars. Al fresco dining is particularly popular in the city and around the San Marco area, known locally as the 'Piazza San Marco'.

         
    Warren county new jersey the new york metro area s undiscovered historic treasure

     

    When people head out from New York and surrounding environs in search of weekend retreats, invariably they end up in western Connecticut, the Hudson River Valley, the Catskills and other upstate New York areas, the Jersey Shore, and the Hamptons. As places where New Yorkers traditionally vacation, purchase second homes, celebrity watch and more, it’s understandable that these locales are top of the list. But what about a place as close to Manhattan as any of the aforementioned hotspots that offers almost everything we find endearing about our destinations of choice for second and vacation homes – historic villages and towns, amazing countryside, outdoor activities, farmhouses, farm markets, artists, country restaurants – but doesn’t have the buzz or the name recognition, at least not yet. There is an area within the New York Metropolitan region that is still overlooked by the masses. Where residents are already starting Friday night dinner in their stone farmhouses while weekenders are stuck in traffic on the way to Litchfield, or Rhinebeck, or East Hampton. Even places farther a field like Bucks and Pike Counties in Pennsylvania and Sullivan County in New York get more press. Well let me introduce you to the formerly depressed backwater turned beautiful and convenient countryside of Warren County, New Jersey. Interestingly, Warren is surrounded by counties which consistently rank among the wealthiest in America: Hunterdon, Somerset and Morris. These are counties full of investors, a highly educated workforce, an abundance of so called McMansions, and quite a bit of disposable income. And to be sure, some of Warren’s eastern border towns have picked up developments and transplants from these ever more unaffordable neighboring areas. But for the most part, it’s the locals who know about or consider living in or visiting Warren County and even then, the western and northern reaches are still quite rural and untouched. For most of its history, Warren County has either been a mystery to those who have never seen it or a place to avoid to those who had heard of its largest town, Phillipsburg--a poor industrial city that had fallen on hard times. A Pleasant Surprise Four years ago, my partner Mark and I stumbled across the village of Finesville in southern Warren County completely by accident. Living in suburban Morristown New Jersey, we were contemplating a second home purchase in the country and saw a house in Bucks County Pennsylvania on a real estate Website that interested us. Always up for a weekend drive, we decided to find it. With map in hand, we took what looked like the most direct route to Upper Bucks County and found ourselves following the Musconetcong River, along Warren County’s southern border, past a collection of about fifty small but magnificent 18th and 19th century stone and clapboard buildings, known as Finesville, just before we crossed into Pennsylvania. Although Warren County was barely on my radar screen, as a Real Estate Agent specializing in historic homes and neighborhoods -- gerrykasper ---, I was flabbergasted that there was a hamlet of this size and quality in Northern New Jersey of which I was unaware. Even more amazing, Mark grew up in eastern Warren County and we had attended an auction only three miles away from Finesville so I had some knowledge of the area. With its roots in the mid 18th century, Finesville began as a collection of taverns, shops and a mill along the Musconetcong River run by the Fine and Siegel Families of Germany. The village was fairly prosperous for most of its history but declined during the twentieth century. Today, locals have bought and restored many of its buildings and, indicative of its burgeoning upscale nature, two vineyards, a winery, an antique store, and an alpaca farm have set up shop in the hamlet. Some of the restorations have been so impressive that two Finesville homes were recently featured in national home and garden magazines. At the time we discovered it, a c.1825 stone Georgian colonial was for sale in the village. The exterior was in some disrepair, the stucco was cracking and peeling, and the original front doors were gone. But the setting in this pristine and unusual village was beautiful and the price, at $135,000, was irresistible. Once inside, we realized this was our dream house in the country. The interior was almost completely intact with a walk-in fireplace, cupboard stairs, beamed ceilings, wide plank floors, and original windows—a jewel box of a house that just needed some sprucing up. And so we bought and restored this house and received the Warren County Historic Preservation Award for our efforts. Even better, because of Warren County’s proximity to work, we were able to sell our primary house in Morristown and move to the country permanently. The Villages and Countryside Warren County is full of hidden and beautiful villages and towns like Finesville and since arriving, several of them have tempted us to consider moving again. As testament to Warren County’s less than stellar reputation, the sign welcoming visitors into its county seat describes Victorian Belvidere as “New Jersey’s best kept secret”. Belvidere is a sleepy town located off the beaten path and layed out around a New England-style Village Green. Each September, the town celebrates Victorian Days, highlighting the prevalent 19th century architecture that lines its streets and forms the basis of the town’s small commercial district. Most of the grand homes have already been restored and there is a great sense of pride in this small close-knit community. Its location directly on the Delaware and Pequest Rivers also makes it a good base for outdoor activities. Northern Warren County offers a scene that rivals the most beautiful in New England. Hope is a one-traffic light crossroads town, founded in the 18th century by a group of Moravians who left an impressive collection of stone dwellings now restored and converted to businesses and residences. One of which is a former gristmill turned into an inn and conference center. Stone and clapboard homes surrounded by cows and sheep dot a landscape that is reminiscent of the Litchfield Hills. With little commercial development, the pace in Hope is decidedly slow but that just adds to its appeal. North of Hope lies the slightly larger village of Blairstown with its recently restored collection of shops and restaurants, currently under consideration for the National Register of Historic Places. Main Street is bookended by a prestigious prep school and the town’s venerable feed store. This is a walking village, good for an hour’s stroll with weekend guests and a poke around the stores and quiet streets. Just west of Hope and Blairstown, outdoor activities exist in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area which includes part of the Appalachian Trail, Millbrook, a recreated 19th century village, and Peters Valley, an artists colony which offers regular shows and exhibits. On the eastern edge of Warren, Hackettstown still retains its 19th century feel with impressive multi-colored Victorian homes, antique stores along Main Street and Centenary College in its midst. Phillipsburg – An Industrial Town Reborn As beautiful as Warren County’s countryside is, it’s the city that we originally tried to avoid that has captured our imagination and may eventually tear us away from Finesville. The county’s largest town is a small, formerly industrial city and transportation hub along the Delaware River that had been neglected for years. Think Hoboken New Jersey or Hudson New York before gentrification. Thankfully that neglect, as in most of Warren County, has kept much of its historic fabric intact and over the past 20 years, building owners have been peeling off old aluminum siding to reveal stunning architecture. The town actively encourages restoration and business development -- businesses in Phillipsburg charge only 3% sales tax with some of that money going to revitalization projects. Progress had been slow, but now there are several highly regarded restaurants in the restored downtown as well as antique shops and several specialty stores. Train rides along the Delaware River start downtown and are popular in the summer as well as for Halloween and the winter holidays. On Thanksgiving, Phillipsburg High School plays its rival Easton Pennsylvania in their annual football game. P’burg, as it is known by locals, is extremely convenient as Routes 78 and 22 run just outside of town as does the express bus to Manhattan, which stops at the Phillipsburg Mall. There are several plans to transform Phillipsburg including the redevelopment of its underutilized waterfront into a residential neighborhood, with construction set to start in 2006, and the repurposing of a vacant industrial park into a new commerce center. Rumor has it that a bed and breakfast is slated to open in an historic stone tavern near the Delaware River bridge. Phillipsburg was named as the location for the New Jersey Transportation and Heritage Museum. Sadly, legislation to provide the funding to make it happen has been stalled and appears unlikely. However, the town is committed to building its own museum and has plans already in the works. Just over the river, Easton Pennsylvania offers more restaurants, the Crayola Factory museum, a very popular local grocery store (a branch of which may hopefully pop up in Warren County), a thriving artists community, the State Theater, and the historic College Hill neighborhood. Even more exciting, there are several luxury condominium developments currently under construction or planned in existing historic Easton properties, such as the former Easton Hotel, which will bring wealthy people within walking distance of downtown Phillipsburg. Phillipsburg has great bones and incredible architecture. South Main Street near the Delaware River Bridge is mostly restored and ready to become the next Cold Spring or South Norwalk or New Paltz. And prices are still a relative bargain. A couple of years ago, we purchased two historic properties on Phillipsburg’s Main Street: an 1887 firehouse for $60,000 and a 19th century Georgian-style colonial for $90,000. As the town continues to revitalize, we are considering a move into the colonial as our permanent home so we can wake up on Saturday mornings and walk to our favorite breakfast spot down the street. Although, we’ll probably keep the Finesville house as our place in the country.

         
    Warsaw the ancient is history the modern a necessity

     

    : Like most other inland European cities, Warsaw is built around a large body of water, straddling the sparkling Vistula River. The small fishing town was first fortified as a Masovian stronghold in the early 14th centurypared with the histories of its pre-Roman Polish neighbors, the city of Warsaw is practically a fledgling on the grand timeline of human settlement in the region. However, it did not take long for Warsaw to become the center of the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth and soon thereafter the capital of the (periodically) independent Poland nation until present. Warsaw is far more inspiring for what has come and gone in the city limits and in the minds of the people than for the physicality of the city today. Warsaw has been destroyed and rebuilt more times than fathomable in its brief history. No other European city experienced quite as extensive horrors and bombardment during World War II from Nazi (and Russian) forces than Warsaw. Over 80 percent of the city was completely razed, including the Old Town and Royal Palace, and nearly 800,000 citizens perished. Though many important buildings were restored after the war, the city has lost much of its Baroque luster and instead has grasped on to the modern era of post-communist art and architecture. The invaluable history is well documented in the immaculately maintained museums and exhibits while, outside, the commitment to present and future life is clearly a driving force in Warsaw’s working gears. Rebuild, Revive, Reinvent Travel to Warsaw to marvel at its graceful execution of eclecticism. The visible stratification of decades in time is embodied by the rotating faзades of building structures. Art-Deco and elaborate Modernist office buildings of the 1990s independence era rub shoulders with giant stone-slab housing complexes built during the chilling post-war Communist period, and somewhere in-between, old Baroque-style manors and museums accent the amalgamation. Many tours lead in and out of these fascinating buildings and locations. Take the Memorial Route to the Struggle and Martyrdom of the Jews 1940-43 through the former Jewish District, which was transformed into a ghetto and then obliterated in WWII, and pass 16 commemorative granite blocks representing significant people, places or events. Just south of here visit the tallest skyscraper in Poland, the triumphant Palace of Culture and Science, a gift from the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Although it was destroyed per Hitler’s orders, the restored Royal Palace in Old Town should also be visited. Much of the grand residence has been returned to its 18th century splendor, complete with a museum of the salvageable works of art. Much of Warsaw’s grid-like structure is rife with greenery. Warsaw University hosts a magnificent Botanical Garden and the south of the city is just the beginning of the enchanting Kabacki Forest. Travel to Warsaw to experience all of the joys of the big city, but with a uniquely Polish twist. The city is not only the seat of the National Opera and Philharmonic, but also jamming with jazz clubs and music barse seek out the nuanced history in Central Europe’s staggeringly modern metropolis. For more information, visit cfares.

         
    Water buses to help reduce dubai s road congestion

     

    Dubai's traffic congestion continues to remain one of the most prime concerns for its planners and administrators. A very significant number of freak collisions taking place, daily occurrences of traffic jams and an ill-educated mass of drivers making one's life difficult on Dubai's roads, is how you could describe Dubai's traffic in few words. The administration on its own part has done all it could to check this existing malice out by building flyovers and underpasses, however the ever-growing population forces the problem to continue on. Several measures are being introduced now to get the things on roads sorted out, among these being the proposed introduction of additional water buses in the Dubai Creek area from July later this year (2007). The Creek is an inlet of the Arabian Gulf that runs across the center where Dubai has been populated upon. People would benefit from any water bus service across this watery passage, since the usual road journeys demand extra time and efforts both. The road traffic will also have a sigh of relief, since part of the daily commuting, however small in entity it may be, will get dispensed elsewhere. However, there are two significant aspects to be taken care of by the authorities and people both. One among these being the kind of boats that will get introduced, as the hot and humid weather of Gulf area can be truly scorching in summers. Secondly, the objective of maintaining Dubai's cultural heritage has also to be kept in mind while introducing any new kind of boats. Boats previously running across Dubai Creek lacked in terms of advancement, but they did have an ethnic Arabian outlook to be proud of. The latest announcement raises some concerns therefore, as the fresh boats to be inducted are going to have an advanced capacity, and therefore some compromises will have to be made out in its existing design. The traditional form of boat design, called Abra, has been followed in this region for years now. The new boat designs to be introduced will draw their outlook both from Abra and modern techniques in equal terms. This deviation from Dubai's heritage will have to be made acceptable to the all concerned, so as to see the planned bus service smoothly running. Currently, there are several bridges and a solitary tunnel apart from Abra boats, which could be used to cross Dubai Creek on any usual occasion. However, boats provide a very conducive atmosphere for making out the journeys as compared to the other methods. Structurally, Abras are open-air wooden ferries that could carry up to 20 passengers sitting across the length of boats on back-to-back benches. This leads to discomfort in the summers however, as temperatures can reach up to 50C and humidity in the range of 90-percent. The improvised fleet of water buses will now have a sitting capacity of 35 passengers, and they will be made fully air-conditioned. The latest boats will be pressed into a loop water-bus service in the very first phase, with two stops on either side of the Creek receiving and sending buses on every 10 minutes from 6am in the morning to 12 at night. Gradually, these buses will be extended up to New Dubai along the coastline, which includes Palm Islands and The World. This new introduction of water-bus service is part of the extended public transport system for Dubai's commuters, which aims at reducing the city's road congestion. The planned Metro Railways will also be playing a crucial role in achieving these objectives apart from the existing Abras and the just mentioned water-bus service.

         
    Water skiing pirates daredevils highlight

     

    Once a year, families pile into the car and head out for a great adventure: the all-American vacation. A popular Midwest stop is Wisconsin Dells, Wis., bustling with activities for all ages. A classic "Dells" favorite is the Tommy Bartlett Show, one of the longest - running, live water-ski, sky and stage shows in the world. "The Tommy Bartlett Show began in 1953, and through its early touring groups and our annual summer runs in Wisconsin Dells, we have entertained millions of visitors throughout the decades," said Tom Diehl, president and co-owner of Tommy Bartlett, Inc. The show has launched an all-new adventure with "Pirates of Bartlett Bay," a themed production featuring a pirate cast of water-skiing performers. The 90-minute extravaganza begins on the water with the world-famous Tommy Bartlett Skiers challenging fate with death-defying stunts by boat and on water skis. With their high-powered boats, fast-paced trick skiing, flips, twists and pyramids, Bartlett's Buccaneers show audiences who rules the high seas. "We feature some of the greatest water-skiers in the country. They make it look easy, but it takes a lot of practice and skill to perform these stunts precisely, three shows a day," Diehl said. The Tommy Bartlett Show is situated in a quiet narrow cove on the shores of beautiful Lake Delton. The site is a natural outdoor amphitheatre that began with simple plank seating in the 1950s and has grown to a modern venue with 5,000 seats, half of which are under cover. While the Show has its roots in water-skiing, it has evolved into a multidimensional performance on stage and high in the sky. "Pirates of Bartlett Bay" comes ashore for its second half, featuring a mix of daredevil thrill acts, juggling and comedy, along with choreographed Entrancing Water fountains and laser lights. Longtime Bartlett show favorites, The Nerveless Nocks dazzle audiences with new tricks aboard the "Wheel of Destiny." Forget the safety harnesses or nets, these brave, world-class stunt performers balance and do tricks freestyle on the rotating 65-foot-high double wheel as it swings end over end. Among the high-flying daredevils is Cyrus Nock, who, at only 8 years old, is one of the youngest thrill performers in the world. Other young performers include the sons of T. J. Howell, 8-year-old Hunter and 5-year-old Carson. Howell mixes in a bit of lighthearted humor with his skillful juggling, from bowling balls to ping-pong balls, and his expert unicycle riding. Not to be outdone by their dad, the boys perform unicycle tricks and get away with the biggest treasures of all-big laughs and big applause. Rounding out the stage acts is comedian Geechy Guy, who holds the Guinness World Record for the most jokes told in one hour-676 to be exact. Some may consider Geechy an early pioneer of reality TV. He got his start in the comedy business via the popular "Star Search" television competition, which ran during the 1990s, has appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and is a regular radio guest on "The Bob and Tom Show." He brings laughter to the Bartlett stage with his goofy style and short quips that have earned him the title as the new "King-of-the-One-Liners." The Tommy Bartlett Show performs three shows daily at 1:00, 4:30 and 8:30 p. m., Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day (1:00 p. m. shows begin last Saturday in June). Rain or shine, the show will go on. Since its inception, the show has performed more than 15,800 times, a testament to its rich history of providing good, wholesome family entertainment.

         
    Weekend city breaks in london the carlton tower hotel 5 knightsbridge

     

    Boasting 220 sumptuous en suite bedrooms, many of which overlook the exquisite gardens of Cadogan Place, the Carlton Tower hotel effortlessly embodies panache and flair. Served by two excellent restaurants and accompanying bar, the Carlton Tower is the ideal base from which to explore London past and present. The hotel offers an accomplished Health Club, adorned with excellent facilities including a fully equipped gym and swimming pool. Situated at the hub of Knightsbridge, the Carlton Tower is at the doorstep of many of the world’s most elite stores including Harrods and Harvey Nichols. The most highly concentrated area of fashionable boutiques can be found on Sloane Street, a shopper’s paradise. Beware though, credit cards have been known to receive some terrible abuse in these areas! Bed and full breakfast (based on two people sharing) can be yours for Ј105 (per person per night) during spring, rising to Ј145 throughout summer and winter. For those travelling alone, the single person supplement is a similar amount on top. A mid-week (Monday to Thursday) supplement is applicable at Ј15 (per person per night) in spring, dropping to just Ј4 for the duration of summer and winter. London Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel 5* (Grosvenor Square) Featuring 236 luxurious en suite bedrooms, furnished with marble bathrooms and the latest wireless internet technology, the London Marriott Grosvenor Square hotel pampers your every need, providing unadulterated relaxation and a full recharge of the most run down batteries. The celebrated Cobalt restaurant offers a taste of the Mediterranean, as well as the more British traditional afternoon tea. Positioned at the central point of London’s chic Mayfair, the shopping havens of Oxford, Regent and Bond Street are all within effortless proximity. Bed and breakfast (based on two people sharing) is Ј99 (per person per night) during spring, increasing to Ј115 throughout summer and winter. The single person supplement is a similar amount again. If you are travelling mid-week (Monday to Thursday) an extra Ј55 is valid in spring, rising to Ј63 for the course of summer and winter. An executive room upgrade is available upon request for an additional Ј59 per room per night. Please note all prices are correct at time of press (December 2005). For reservations call Superbreak on 0870 701 2200. Lines are open 8am – 11pm 7 days a week (excluding Christmas Day).

         
     
         
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