Wonderful resorts at Minorca Island (Mediterranean Sea)

26 September, 2007

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The lesser known but equally famous, Minorca Island is the second largest of the Balearic Islands, the autonomous island group of Spain.

Famous for its many pristine beaches, both of sandy and rocky nature, as well as several sites of prehistoric, monolithic stone monuments, it isn’t require any sense of brilliance as to why this small island (only 15 km wide and 52 km long) is chock-a-block full of visitors all-year round.

With over 60,000 permanent inhabitants, Minorca plays host to a half a million visitors every year. But even with such large numbers, it is not as overrun by them as its nearest neighbours, Ibiza and Majorca are.

Apart from its beaches, there are various sites and monuments for those interested in history, archaeology, music and art. It also has a great nightlife too.

For all those thinking of making a beeline to Minorca, can stay in either one of these hotels:

Hotel Princesa Playa:
Gran Via Son Xoriguer 17, Minorca, Balearic Islands 07760, Spain

Hotel Sant Ignasi:
Carretera Cala Morell, Ciudadela, Minorca, Balearic Islands 07760, Spain

Sol Menorca:
Playa de Santo Tomás, s/n | (Re-opens April 27, 2007), Migjorn Gran, Minorca, Balearic Islands 07749, Spain

Blanc Palace Aparthotel:
Urbanización Sa Caleta | Menorca, Ciudadela, Minorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Menorca Sea Club Apartments:
La Mar s/n | Cala’N Forcat, Minorca, Balearic Islands 07760, Spain

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Malmo Castle – Last of the Scadanavian castles of the renaissance

26 September, 2007

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One of the oldest renaissance castle left in this part of the world (Scandanavia), Malmo Castle was originally constructed as a citadel by King Eric of Pomerania in 1434.

Later in the 16 century, it was demolished and rebuilt in the newer style by then King Christian III of Denmark, as the area was part of the then Kingdom of Denmark. For many years after that the castle remained a stronghold of the kingdom, defending the land against foreign aggressors.

Malmo Castle also once served a prison, with one of its famous inmate was the Earl of Bothwell, third husband of the Mary Queen of Scots, who served a prison sentence of 5 years from 1568-73.

Surrounded by moat and lots of greenery, Malmo Castle is now ‘serving life’ more as a museum than a prison fortress. Currently it houses the Art Museum, City Museum, the Natural History Museum, Aquarium & Tropicarium, and the Konstmuseet.

The latter one contains one of the largest collections of old Scandinavian masters. It also houses a large Russian painting collection dating around to 1900 – the largest outside Russia.

Located in the western side of the city of Malmo in Sweden, Malmo Castle is easily accessible by anyone wishing to visit it. It lies west of the area of Stortorget, the castle can be easily reached on foot.


Malmo: Sweden’s third largest metropolitan centre

22 September, 2007

Malmo is one the biggest cities in Sweden. In fact, it is its third biggest metropolitan centre and the largest in the southern area of mainland Sweden.

Located adjacent to the Oresund Strait, Malmo has a rich historical background, thanks to its importance as a old trading post of the region. With quarter of a million inhabitants, Malmo is also one of the major tourist attractions, which is now made more accessible by the recent construction of the Oresund Link.

Malmo’s attractions include the Malmo Castle that dates back to the 15 century as well as many other stone structures that are left standing from the Middle Ages. Then there is the City Centre, Stor Torget Square – said to be the largest square in the whole Scandinavian region – is also five centuries old.

For tourists, there are these wonderful hotels to reside in:

The Mayfair Hotel:
Adelgatan 4 | (formerly Ramada Mayfair Hotel), Malmo 21122, Sweden

Clarion Collection Malmo:
Engelbrektsgatan 16, Malmo 211 33, Sweden

Hotel Baltzar:
Sodergatan 20, Malmo 21134, Sweden

Hilton Malmo City:
Triangeln 2, Malmo 200 10, Sweden

Radisson SAS Malmo:
Ostergatan 10, Malmo 211 25, Sweden


Minorca Island: Small in size, but more beautiful

22 September, 2007

One of the major tourist attractions in the Mediterranean Sea is the island of Minorca.Part of the greater Balearic Islands group, Minorca belongs to the Spanish nation and lies not far from another of Spain’s island attractions – Majorca.

The name, Minorca comes from the Latin term, Minorca, meaning small or not so significant. The name corresponds with the size of the island, as it is just 15 km wide and 52 km long.

Though, it is the second largest of all the Balearic Islands, Majorca being the larger one, it is the most beautiful of them all. With miles of beaches, it has more beaches, than those of Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera combined. These beaches range from miles-long silver or golden crescents of sand to rocky bays.

The island itself is a set on a rocky bluff, overlooking an ancient port, which was a reason that saw French, Spanish and even British fighting over the island, and hence, for the control of the Mediterranean region (the island lies near the entrance to the Med. Sea).

Minorca Island is famously known for its large collection of megalithic stone monuments, including navetes, taules and talaiots that speak volumes of its early, prehistoric human settlement.

Though, tourism is a major industry at this island, it, unlike its nearby neighbours it not completely dependent on it. It’s other industries include leatherwork, costume jewellery production, dairy farming and gin manufacturing.


Preston: A market town with a historic past

21 September, 2007

Preston, a small cosmopolitan city has always been a center of trade and commerce – even during the Middle Ages.

Located halfway between London and Glasgow, the city is still carrying out its commercial duties acting as not just as a shopping center for the whole Northwest England region but also as an exporting center, trading goods, with many mainland European countries.

Preston, a small town with a population of 129,000 souls started out as what can easily be described as a Church Town, or as historians would have us believe, Priest Town; hence, the name, ‘Preston’.

Situated on River Ribble, Preston is the administrative center of Lancanshire and was recently inducted in the ‘city hall of fame’, when it became the nation’s 50th city. This honour was bestowed in 2002, the Golden Jubilee Year of Queen Elizabeth II accession to the throne. Since then, the city is known by its new title, “Queen’s Golden Jubilee City”.

Preston has always been a significant town during the ages. In the Roman times, a major road ran just north from the then city. In 1179, the village of Preston, received the Royal Charter, and thereafter became a town. The Middle Ages saw the town developed into a major commercial center as it sat on a main route from England to Scotland, contributing to its growth.

Then later on during the 16 and 17 centuries, it got embroiled in a political situation due to which it became the scene of the last major civil war fought in England in 1715. Aptly named, ‘Battle of Preston’ took place when Preston town-folk, sympathizers of Scottish Army loyal to James III of Scotland and England took on English army who were against his accession.

Preston during the ages, has not just been a commercial centre but also a tourist destination. It is more so evident as mentioned by an 18 century writer who visited it and described the city as a pretty town with lots of rich people.

Preston has a lot to offer to visitors. It’s main attractions are St. Walburge’s Church, Miller Arcade, Town Hall, Harris Building, St. John’s Minster, former Corn Exchange, Fishergate Baptist Church and beautiful Georgian buildings at Winckley Square.


Some of the Iceland’s beautiful waterfalls

21 September, 2007

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Iceland, the island literally, middle of nowhere, is ideally suited for waterfalls. The rocky island, which is home to countless glaciers that melt, in summer, feeds equally countless rivers and streams, it is only natural that somewhere along the routes of the river, there will be ravines, and hence, a waterfall.

Some of its spectacular waterfalls are:

Dettifoss: Located in the northeastern Iceland, Dettifoss Waterfall is one of the largest waterfalls of in the country. It is situated on the Jokulsa-a-Fjollum River, which flows from the Vatnajokull Glacier. The Glacier, which itself is the largest glacier in Iceland is situated on the southeastern coast of the country.

It is also said to be the most powerful waterfalls among all of its mainland European counterparts.

Selfoss: A few hundred meters downstream from Dettifoss lie the Selfoss Waterfall whose width is 100 meters and the fall, 44 meters. The water comes from the Jokulsa-a-Fjollum River that originates from the Vatnajokull glacier. After passing through a gorge, it flows into the Artic Sea.

Gooafoss: One of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland is the Gooafoss Waterfall. Located in the north of the country, in the Myvatn district, the water of river Skjalfandafljot falls from a height of 12 meters, spread over range of 30 meters.


Anchorage: Alaska’s largest city

21 September, 2007

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When people think of Alaska, they visualize, snow peaks, skiing, polar ice caps, frozen tundra, frozen lakes, etc.

But that is now the whole picture of Alaska, especially, if you visit Anchorage, Alaska’a largest city, which surprisingly, is quite warm. Though, the winters can be harsh, but summer time, when it is the prime tourist season, the temperature falls to 65 degrees F, ideal for all those touristy activities.

With its rich culture and tradition, the city offers a good opportunity to learn about the history of its natives Indians as well as history of the city itself. There are museums, and events take place regularly to enthral the visiting tourists.

Then there are the outdoor activities such as visits to see the fjords, glaciers, and or viewing the local wildlife in their local habitats. No matter, what you choose to do, there is something for everyone at Anchorage, Alaska.

Hence all those visiting this city, can choose from any one of these hotels:

Homewood Suites by Hilton Anchorage:
140 W Tudor Rd, Anchorage, AK 99503

Anchorage Grand Hotel:
505 W 2nd Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

SpringHill Suites Anchorage Midtown:
3401 A St, Anchorage, AK 99503

Dimond Center Hotel:
700 E Dimond Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99515

Voyager Hotel:
501 K St, Anchorage, AK 99501