Category Archives: Uncategorized




An Introduction to New York


Visitors can get their bearings in New York by researching the options for City Tour perhaps a way to get a glimpse of the main attractions before deciding what the priorities are for the rest of the holiday.

If it is just a weekend visit, this is certainly the quickest way to see the landmarks made so famous on film and television.

The best tours are those using double decker buses where tourists can buy tickets with a certain validity and hop on and off at will; it is not possible to hop on and off in the same way with another means of transport that New York uses to introduce itself, the helicopter!

There is so much to see in New York that only the individual will know how he or she wishes to spend their time.  The landmarks are perhaps the most straightforward of the Imageattractions; the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Grand Central, the United Nations and Central Park.

However when it comes to the cultural aspects of a visit, it is impossible to list the number and variety of museums that await the visitor to New York so that part of the trip may be best done individually. The Museum of Natural History is astonishing whether the section on prehistoric life, on current birds and mammals or the priceless collection of gemstones, one emerald a particular stunner.

New York is a city of art and once again whether it is the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, or any other, it’s definitely a case of being spoilt for choice.Image

For those of a nervous disposition there are two other tours to consider; a 15 minute helicopter ride above the City, going over the Bridges on the East River and viewing the famous landmarks of Manhattan is one of them. The helicopter ride of course can give its passengers a whole new perspective of the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty; the pilot takes the helicopter so close it is nearly possible to touch these landmarks.

The other is a virtual reality show within the Empire State building here the visitors sits in a theatre and is absorbed into a virtual reality flight over the City and under the Rivers of New York in a real flight of fancy.

Sometimes the basis for making a decision about a guided tour depends on the constraint of time. Tours can be a single day seeing the main sights or taken over a few days where passengers can jump on and off the buses at places which they want to see in more detail.

Companies also run tours at night time either to experience the attractions at night or perhaps link a tour with a visit to a theatre, a restaurant, or enjoy the general night life that New York has to offer. There are tours for every taste and flexible combinations to help tourists experience the atmosphere of New York at first hand.

This article was written by Steve, a travel blogger for, providers of NYC holiday apartments and New York vacation rental apartments.


Asian restaurants in Barcelona

When you go to Barcelona you will find a lot of tapas restaurants. In every street there are more than one. Sometimes you may like to eat something else. In Barcelona there also live a lot of Asian people, therefore you can also find Asian restaurants in Barcelona. There are less of these then tapas bars.  When I say Asian restaurants, you have to think of sushi, noodles, rise, chicken teriyaki and more. The term Asian food is a general term for: Japanese cuisine, Thai cuisine, Korean cuisine, Filipino cuisine, Vietnamese cuisine, Singaporean cuisine, Indonesian cuisine and Malaysian cuisine. This means that Chinese and Indian cuisines are excluded from this term. If you are planning to go to Barcelona, check the list below where you can find good Asian restaurants. Enjoy your dinner.

This restaurant has a few outlets in Barcelona, where you can get mainly noodles. Of course you can also eat here rice and other things, but if you like noodles you should go and try this restaurant. Most are located in the ´Eixample´ district. They also have a very nice interior, every restaurants looks almost the same. The locations where you can find them are: Princesa 23, Consell de cent 323, Avda diagonal (in shopping mall L´illa), Tallers 69, Avda diagonal 208, Gran Vía de les Corts Catalanes 545-577 and Avda diagonal 3-35. Most of them are located in the centre, so if you went shopping you can have a nice dinner there.

Sushi Express:
Here you can get all kinds of sushi. If you like sushi this will feel like you are in heaven. You can eat it in the restaurant, but you can also take it away. If you call them, they will deliver it at your house or even hotel. They also arrange catering service. So if you have a party or something else and you want sushi, they can arrange this. They use the best ingredients; therefore it’s not very cheap. You can find sushi express at Consell de cent 255. They are open 365 days a year.

This restaurant is again something different, but also an Asian restaurant. The food you get here is more Vietnamese (as the name suggests). The prices here are much lower than in the other two restaurants. Every country has at least one signature dish. Vietnam´s dish is ´pho´. This is a noodle soup. If you like soup I would definitely recommend this. Here they also provide a catering service. Check their site for more information.  

Enjoy your stay in Barcelona, because it´s a great city. Are you looking for vacation apartments in Barcelona or accommodation in Barcelona, you can find them on the Internet.

This article was written by Silvie, a travel writer and blogger for

Top Ten Travel Destination Songs

As I worked on some travel destination articles and listening to the radio I suddenly realised that many places have famous music tracks written about them and so started to compile a top ten of classic destination tunes.

 The remit was that the song had to have the destination in the title, be relatively well-known and a destination somewhere worth visiting. As always with these things the choices are going to prove contentious and there are bound to be tracks of which I am either not aware or forgot
(or hate with a passion, remember music ended in 1995 when the likes of idol, X Factor and Talent poluted the music scene) but please feel free to post me your suggestions.

10) China Girl – David Bowie 1983  

While Chinese tourism is a relatively new concept, the country has thrown itself headlong into embracing visitors. New theme parks, golf courses and regular colourful festivals and tours of ancient temples are the norm nowadays in this enigmatic and still relatively unknown country.

9) California Dreamin – Mamma’s & Papa’s 1965  

The summer of 68’ and everyone’s ideal of taking a holiday in California. From surfing to skiing you can have the time of your life in Cali. There are the sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge, San Diego Zoo or a trip around the studios of Hollywood. Wherever you decide to spend your time on the west coast state you are guaranteed gorgeous weather and beautiful people.

8) Scarborough Fair – Simon & Garfunkle 1966  

Taken from a traditional English Folk ballad the song perfectly summarises the gentle rolling Yorkshire countryside. The town itself has an old ruined Norman castle, quaint church and sandy beach to stroll along. Scarborough provides a holiday of simple pleasures, ice cream, tea and cake and a colourful tea towel but sadly no longer a fair.

7) Woman from Tokyo – Deep Purple 1973  

This pounding rock beat, bounces around like the neon lights of its title city. Tokyo is a wild fast paced city with a techno pulse, but it also has its serene, quiet moments such as the many stunning Japanese gardens and temple sites. Tomorrow’s World junkies will love the crazy, zany aspects of this strange, yet familiar capital.

6) Fairytale of New York – The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl 1987

Shopping, skyscrapers and yellow taxis are probably the strangers view point of New York but a city this size is bound to appeal to all. Plenty of museums and galleries to wonder around, singular attractions like the Statue of Liberty and Central Park, while view from the top of the Empire State Building is spectacular.

 5) Girl from Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto 1964  

Chic, stylish and very 60’s sound to the seaside resort on the southern side of Rio de Janeiro. Rio is most famous for its lively carnival and a sexy samba on streets, its Sugarloaf Mountain and statue of Christ are synonymous with the city too. It also has massive tropical jungle parkland in the centre of its urban sprawl that is well worth exploring.

4) Parisienne Walkways – Gary Moore 1979  

Haunting classic that begs you to sit outside a Paris corner café in the Champs Elyses. The Notra Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, drifting down the River Seine or manically negotiating Le Arc de Triomph as all well documented Parisian pursuits. The romantic, surprising moments though are to be found in the little streets, the quiet plazas and the small boutique stores.

3) Night Boat to Cairo – Madness 1979  

Cairo like the song is a crazy, wild place, full of people milling around, busy bazaars and strange dark stalls. The Pyramids on the outskirts are probably the most popular of Egypt’s attractions with Nile cruises not far away.

2) Vienna – Ultravox 1981

Mysterious narrow cobbled streets and cosy café bars make Vienna and ideal destination for a romantic weekend away. Most of the video was filmed in London but the grave shown is of Carl Schweighofer, a notorious piano maker buried in Vienna.

1) London Calling – The Clash 1979  

While the Clash portrays a side of London most people never wish to see, the less anarchic image of the Tate, St Paul’s and Buckingham Palace is the more normal requirement. However you could let your hair down enjoying a pie and a pint in a lunchtime pub or walk the streets eating fish and chips wrapped in newspaper.

Here are some other of the many notable classics that just missed out because I had to draw the line somewhere were:-

Vegas Two Times – Stereophonics

Kashmir – Led Zeppelin 

Breakfast in America – Supertramp

Guns of Brixton – The Clash 

LA Woman – The Doors

Harlem Shuffle – The Rolling Stones

Kingtson Town – UB40

Don’t Cry for me Argentina – Julie Covington

Lost in France – Bonnie Tyler

Copacabana – Barry Manilow

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynard Skynard

Is this the way to Amarillo – Tony Christie

 Africa – Toto

Olive Picking on Holiday

Have you ever thought what it might be like to go on holiday and pick olives? Since coming to Italy several years ago I have always wanted to see what it was like to pick grapes and olives. Well last week I was able to achieve one of those goals.

I was invited by a friend to stay at her house and help her Italian friends pick olives from their 100 trees. You might think that 100 doesn’t sound that many but believe me it’s hard work and you can get a lot of olives from those trees.

As we were picking in November I wrapped up warm expecting it to be a little chilly. My goodness, was I wrong. The temperatures soared to 21 degrees and luckily enough I had worn a tee-shirt under my jumper. The Italian pickers thought I was a bit mad as they kept their jumpers in place and even had fleeces on. The camaraderie amongst all the pickers is fantastic and a lot of laughing and joking can be heard through the trees.

First of all they put the nets under the trees to catch the olives as they fall. For the upper branches they use a special brush like machine to reach the olives, which is quite a lot of fun even when you get hit on the head by flying olives. For the lower half of the tree it’s all hands to the branches to strip them of their wonderful quarry. The feel of olives coming from the tree by your own hands is amazing. You can get a little messy when picking so wearing old clothes is a must. When all the olives have been taken from the tree they shake them to one corner of the netting and then pour them into a basket ready to go onto the waiting tractor.

When all the trees have been stripped they are taken to the local olive press so that all the gorgeous oil can be extracted. In Italy the season of Nouvo Olio is a big one with everyone talking about it and comparing the spicy oil, which is ideal for dipping your fresh bread or for making bruscetta.

I was lucky enough to go to the local olive press to see the next process for the olives. The smell as you walk in is amazing, who would have thought that fresh pressed olives would smell so good? First of all they fall through the hatch and are caught onto the conveyer belt which then takes them to the huge pressing cogs. At this point it is very noisy so I beat a hasty retreat to watch the oil coming out of the pipes and into the awaiting vats.

If you’re lucky the press will offer you a tasting of the fresh pressed oil. This is one of the best parts of the olive picking process, you get to sample the fresh, almost, peppery oil on crusty bread. It’s amazing! Just make sure that you’ve got a drink of water close to hand in case it’s a little too peppery for you.

The press where I went, you could also purchase the oil in a range of different sized containers and bottles, all professionally sealed for you. You can purchase oil in little bottles up to huge 2 litre tins, the little bottles do make ideal gifts.

So if you’ve ever wanted to have a go at picking olives I would highly recommend it to you. Although it’s hard work it’s also great fun and very rewarding.

If you would like to find out more about the wonderful opportunities to pick olives, gather porcini or hunt truffles around the Umbrian, Tuscan countryside or the many other memorable days out you can have, please contact Travelling Content for more information.


Author Suzanne Winfield

Wine at the Christmas Markets

With the festive season well and truly upon us, many will be making trips to Europe’s Christmas markets. Veritable fairgrounds of street stalls selling their wares of traditional nutcrackers and wooden toys, with festive music permeating the atmosphere – these markets ooze holiday spirit and promises of sleigh bells jingling their way to every chimney.

Working your way through these twinkling aisles can be hungry and thirsty work, and what is the weary traveller to do other than sample the local delicacies of bratwurst sausages, magenbrot (gingerbread) and glühwein – mulled wine. This warming tipple simply tastes of Christmas with its aromas of cinnamon and cloves – a tasty treat, prepared with local wines. But must German wines be warmed and spiced in this way, or are they of a quality to enjoy on their own merit? Can the likes of Germany, Austria or Hungary offer up any half decent table wine to satisfy the discerning visitor? Well, perhaps surprisingly to some, the answer is yes.

Germany’s wine trade has traditionally been associated with the flat taste and limp body of Liebfraumilch. Developed as an introductory wine, this sweet and cheap drink offers little to the wine drinker, but has had a huge impact on Germany’s wine-making reputation. If we could leave our preconceptions to one side, we would discover that Germany in fact can offer some excellent wines. Most notable would be its superb Reislings, which vary in flavour and intensity across the region – one to suit every palate perhaps. Reisling grapes originated in Germany and are usually classed as one of the ‘big three’ grape varieties used in wine, alongside Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Drier Reislings are noted for their compatibility with a huge range of foods, particularly those seen as difficult to match with a wine – and a nice sparkling variety would be the perfect accompaniment to your Christmas dinner.

Germany isn’t alone in boasting some excellent quality wine, across the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Hungary has also suffered from cheap and substandard wines flooding our supermarket shelves over the last couple of decades. Thanks to the privatisation of the vineyards, however, quality has improved enormously in recent years, and there are some lovely varieties available now – particularly those making use of the unusual Cserszegi Füszere grape. What a pity that we could so easily miss the best they have to offer. Across Europe, there are some real gems to be found – don’t make a trip to the fabulous Viennese market, for example, without sampling some of the excellent Grüner Veltliner – look for bottles marked Smaragd, which indicates the finest quality.

Wherever you visit this Christmas, there is much to be gained in sampling some of the local wine … even if it is warmed, spiced with cloves and cinnamon and decorated with orange pieces. You could even leave out a glass for Father Christmas – he would certainly enjoy it.


Asgar Dungarawalla is a bon viveur & wine expert from Champagne Gifts 4 U that offers champagne gifts for all occasions.

Painting on the Borderlands

Painting on the Borderlands.

Five of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy

Il Club dei Borghi piu Belli d’Italia is a tourist organisation that was set up in 2001 to promote, restore and preserve the most beautiful small villages in Italy. The countryside is full of gorgeous, magnificent old hamlets that because they are often off the beaten track don’t figure prominently in tour guides or travel itineraries. The 100 Club makes sure these wonderful Italian destinations are brought to the attention of tourists and opens their eyes to the wonderful world of the road less travelled.
When deciding to take a holiday in Italy it’s easy to immediately think of the main tourist attractions. Rome, Florence and Venice automatically spring to mind, but the scenic hill towns of Umbria such as Montone and Citerna or Tuscany’s fortified towns of Anghiari and Poppi make a glorious alternative. These are places are guaranteed to leave you with a sense of the real Italy; its food, wine, people and culture even more so than the traditional travel destinations.

Umbria is especially lucky in this respect and the evergreen land locked province on the Italian peninsula contributes a massive 22 beautiful places of interest that should definitely be included in any tour plans.

Five Reasons to Visit the middle of Italy:-

1) Montone, this picturesque hill town over looking the Tiber Valley, despite its size, is full of history and its wonderful clear night skies made a natural choice for an observatory. Traditional craft skills such as wrought ironwork and pillow lace are also still carried out in the area and you can find many lovely produced local items to buy.

They also hold the famous outdoor Umbria Film Festival in July, which was started by Monty Python actor Terry Gilliam and each October sees the tasty Autumn Fruits of the Forest Festival enter the town.


2) Montefalco started life as a hunting lodge for Frederick II around 1249 and endured the typical Umbrian years of power struggles, battles and prosperous times. Montefalco with its Sagratino red wines is now recognised worldwide as a perfect area for viniculture and olive oil production. The magnificently planned and presented hill top town is a great place to visit while touring the province.  One of the annual highlights is the colourful Infiorita Flower Festival held each June where the streets are decorated with bright floral designs made from seeds and coloured rice.

Majolica Ware

3) Deruta is an ancient town with a long turbulent history but is probably most well known as the home of Majolica pottery. Resurgence in interest in the vibrant ceramic has led to a revival of many of the town’s old traditions. In Deruta tourists can buy Majolica ware directly from the many pottery studios around this breathtaking town in the heart of Umbria.

4) Anghiari at the head of the Tiber River is a glorious old citadel, which from its mighty perch looks down across the valley towards Sansepolcro. It was on this plain that a famous battle occurred and was painted by Leonardo da Vince. The “Battle of Anghiari” has since been lost but its story continues to be told here. The narrow, twisting streets are also home to many antique shops and restorers and makes for a lovely day out in the summer.

San Gemini

6) San Gemini is classified as an official “Slow City” so nothing is ever rushed here. This is a place to come and relax and unwind. Populated with dozens of ancient buildings and churches, it has been known since Roman times for its thermal spas and curative waters. Despite its tranquil exterior, in September every year, the residents of San Gemini let their hair down and host a Medieval Jousting contest. At this time the town is awash with flags, traditional costumes, parades and fighting.

If you are interested in finding out more about organised and guided tours, activities and festivals around Tuscany and Umbria contact Travelling Content for more information.

Dam Wall Collapses on the River Tiber

The Christmas snow in the Apennines has turned to melt water and has given way to raging waters along the length of the River Tevere, which flows down to Rome.  In San Secondo, a small village in the Upper Tiber Valley, Umbria the lower fields have been flooded as the waters spill over the banks and drench the surrounding farmlands. 

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When I first posted this about the strangely high water levels of the Tiber River, I thought it had to do with unseasonally melt water from snow. I have since found out that there was a 150 foot hole in the dam wall of Lake Montegolio. At its peak the water was gushing out at 600 sqm per second and hence the flooding some 30km south in San Secondo. We drove past today and the lake is completely empty now.  The clip shows the sheer force of the water as the dam emptied. Ignorance is bliss at times.


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