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Snowbird migration: ideas for the best way to travel

Snowbird Migration: Ideas for the Best Way to Travel

(ARA) – As temperatures drop, and leaves begin to turn, most of us are thinking of woolens and storm windows. But for some fortunate folks, it’s time to pack up and hit the road for sunnier climes. Across the northern latitudes of North America, the annual snowbird migration is set to begin. Dictionaries define “snowbird” as “one who moves from a cold place to a warm one in the winter.”

For those who travel by car, the trip to the Sun Belt means an exhausting drive on a busy highway, punctuated by nights in cookie-cutter motels. Consider enhancing your trip — or at least your accommodations — by staying in bed & breakfasts or country inns along the way.

“Bed & Breakfast Inns ONLINE offers a service designed for snowbirds in search of charming places to roost en route,” says Randy Fought, BBOnline founder and CEO. “Our unique Snowbird Route mapping feature makes it easy to locate interesting, luxurious places to stay on a long car trip, so people don’t have to settle for the ubiquitous chain hotels that cluster along the highways,” he explains.

Snowbird Routes make it easy for travelers to locate bed & breakfasts and small inns close by every major North-South Interstate highway. “Southbound travelers can plan their route, explore nearby B & Bs and communicate with innkeepers, all from a single starting point,” says Fought.

The system is simple to use. Starting from the Bed & Breakfast Inns ONLINE home page, click “Locate a B & B,” and then the Snowbird Routes link, which lists 20 Interstate highways. Click your route, and find a convenient stopover in the list on the left side of the page. Click “Draw a Map,” and your map appears on the right, showing all the inns within a radius of 25 miles of the town you chose. Beneath the map are links to photos, rates, directions and innkeeper contact information, and often a form for reserving a room online.

BBOnline’s Snowbird Routes cover 20 North-South Interstate highways, including Interstate 35, running from Duluth, Minn. to Laredo, Texas; Interstate 95, from Maine to south Florida; Interstate 75 from Sault St. Marie, Mich. to southern Florida; and Interstate 5 from northern Washington to the Mexican border.

Travelers can also locate inns with special amenities and features, such as those that offer discounts for midweek or extended stays, inns on the National Register of Historic Places and properties that offer extras like flowers or gourmet cooking classes.

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Prague cafes beer and castles

Prague Cafes Beer And Castles

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic is an extraordinarily beautiful city. Standing on the banks of the river Vltava (the locals generally use the German name for it the Moldau), few wars or natural disaster ever reach here and the architectural heritage has been beautifully preserved. It is also know as the “hundred Spired City” due to the many churches that adorn the city streets.

Much of the street plan, in as much as there is one is medieval and will come as a surprise (Hopefully a pleasant one) to anyone used to living in a grid pattern North American city.

The city still boasts many beautiful buildings dating from the baroque period; a sight lost to much of Europe that suffered so much in the devastation of two world wars. The canter of the city is a pleasure to walk around with much of it dating from the 14th century when Charles IV started the university and built the “New Town” area of the city.

Prague only established itself as the capital in 1918 with the creation of Czechoslovakia and remained under Soviet control until 1989 when the “Velvet Revolution” gently broke the grip of the failing Soviet Union.

Nowadays the city is a thriving Cafes, clubs and shops where the newly wealthy and the inspirational window shopper can keep themselves amused for hours on end with, with the boulevards containing everything from traditional Czech souvenirs to the latest hi tech modern electrical gadgetry.

Unmissable Prague:

Charles Bridge: built in the 14th century, it was believed at the time that odd numbers were lucky the builders started work at 5:31 on the day 9/7/1352, very odd but maybe effective as the bridge is still standing today!

St.NIcholas Church: When building work finished in 1756 Prague had one of the finest Baroque churches in Europe and it still retains that position today. There is a huge painting of St. Nicholas in the nave and a wonderful bell tower. Mozart gave a recital here and there are still frequent classical concerts throughout the week

Prague Castle: Now the home of the president, it was previously the seat of the Czech royal family, it is surrounded by palaces and features an army museum. The changing of the guard takes place every hour and, as with some other European Capitals it is quite a spectacle, bring a camera.

The Old Town Square: built before the 12th century this is the oldest and most historic square in Prague it is made up of many interesting buildings including many from the baroque period. Many of the buildings are brightly colored and there are many pavement cafes where you can relax and watch the world go by.

The National Technical Museum: Although unimaginatively (though accurately) titled this is a fascinating collection of all things technical with everything from a railway carriage belonging to the Archduke Ferdinand, (whose assassination sparked the outbreak of the first world war) to a working reconstruction, you feel the need, of a working coal mine.

Vhsyrad Castle: At over a thousand years old and a former home of the Czech nobility this castle has an impressive pedigree. Take a stroll on top of the ramparts for a great view of the city and river. There is a wonderful gothic church a museum and a cemetery where the composer Dvorac the Author of the “New World Symphony” is buried.

Petrin Park: One of ther hidden gems of Prague There is a rose garden, maze and a gate to a well cultivated garden but the real sight is from the tip of the hill. Take the short cable car ride to the top and there is the Petrin tower, basically a smaller copy of the Eiffel Tower it is an outstanding viewpoint and well worth the effort.

Food and drink in Prague are both hearty (as you would expect in Eastern Europe) and affordable, you must try the goulash, and the beer is some of the finest on the continent, it is also the original home of Budweiser and they still make their own, some would say superior version. The hotels are more expensive than they used to be but are still affordable, look around for the best bargains, and the transport, mainly buses and trams is very good. Although English is not as common as in many parts of Europe a lot of the locals speak a few words and it is always worth asking directions, as they are polite and friendly. A visit to Prague will not disappoint but don’t go in winter unless you have a good coat.

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Car hire belfast city airport

Car Hire Belfast City Airport

Renting a car in Belfast allows you to explore not just the buzzing city centre, but also the breath-taking scenery of the nearby coastline. The following is a guide to your perfect Belfast getaway.

Belfast Mini Guide:

George Best Belfast City Airport is situated on the A2 Sydenham By Pass linking Belfast and Holywood. The airport offers a range of services and facilities including cafés, bars, tax-free shopping, ATMs and a Bureau de Change-for last minute British sterling exchange.

Things To See/Do Belfast:

Belfast is a very compact city, which offers much scope for walking tours. Many of the streets of Belfast city centre are now pedestrian only. Fascinating places of interest to visit in this once turbulent city include City Hall, where visitors can avail of a free guided tour-including the chance to sit on the mayor’s throne. Belfast’s architectural highlights include the Grand Opera House, which has been restored to its Victorian glory. Belfast boasts the world’s largest dry dock and shipyard, where Harland and Wolff created the world-famous Titanic ship. Suburban Belfast is home to some of the most beautiful and poignant outdoor murals in the world, depicting everthing from political unrest to local sporting heroes like George Best.

Itchy feet? Why not take off on a car hire adventure to explore what the surrounding towns and coastline have to offer. The Antrim coastline can be reached within a half hour’s car hire drive of the city. The highlight of this journey is undoubtedly the view of the Giant’s Causeway; a mysterious natural structure comprising 38,000 hexagonal rocks jutting out into the sea.

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum is another option. The park offers visitors the opportunity to go back in time to discover the traditions, culture and transport of ye olde Ulster.

Eating Out/Nightlife/Accommodation in Belfast:

Belfast offers a wide variety of places to eat out, suiting all tastes and budgets. Thrifty backpackers will enjoy cheap eats at restaurants and gastro pubs like The John Hewitt, located on Donegal Street, where hungry patrons can soak up the traditional music and welcoming atmosphere as they tuck into their hearty but low cost Irish stew. Those willing to pay a little bit more will enjoy fine fare and ‘all you can eat’ special offers at Metro Brasserie on Great Victoria Street.

Belfast is a young, lively city, which offers something for everyone in terms of nightlife and entertainment. Shaftesbury Square is the main focus of the city’s bars and pubs. Trendy nightclubs in Belfast include The Apartment and The Milk Bar on Tomb Street.

Accommodation in Belfast is reasonably priced and there are some good deals available for short breaks and weekend get-aways. Those travelling on a budget can avail of discount rates during the low season at quality hotels including the central four star Europa Hotel on Great Victoria Street. There are also plenty of budget lodgings located around the outskirts of the city for those who want a cheap sleep, no matter what time of the year.

Ski accommodation a few aspects to deliberate before choosing

Ski Accommodation A Few Aspects To Deliberate Before Choosing

Before going on a ski holiday, you should give the type of ski accommodation you will be staying in more than just a passing thought. Where you stay during your vacation will have a huge effect on how much you enjoy yourself in the end.

Before even making a reservation, you should carefully consider the options the different ski resorts provide. Study the facilities at the various resorts and make sure that the resort you are going to has other entertainment options apart from skiing. During any ski vacation there will be more than one day when the weather is simply not conducive to skiing and during those days you would appreciate something to keep you occupied apart from playing blackjack on your laptop.

Generally speaking you have two kinds of ski resorts. The one type is near a town or city and there will be many interesting shops to browse during non-skiing days and many restaurants and pubs where you can while away empty hours or make new friends. Often the surrounding area also offers a lot of interesting sightseeing possibilities.

Then you get the type of resort that sometimes offers stunning scenery but is far away from any form of civilization. There will be a few hotels and other types of accommodation and not much else. Unless you go there to ski day and night, this type of place can get boring very quickly. It’s great to go to a place like this for two or three days, but an extended stay might soon have you climbing up the walls out of boredom.

The better developed resorts normally have a huge variety of accommodation establishment. There are usually more than enough five star hotels to satisfy the influx of the well-heeled who want only the best. Often these hotels have their own shopping centers with boutique stores and a couple of world class restaurants. There will normally also be facilities like saunas and gyms to make sure you stay busy during days that you can’t ski.

The bulk of skiers are usually absorbed by the mid-range hotels. These normally provide decent accommodation to fit the pocket of the average man in the street. As a minimum requirement you should sure such a hotel offers private bathrooms, English TV and facilities like hair dryers. A feature that is great to have is a balcony. Especially if you plan to stay for two or three weeks, your hotel room can easily become quite claustrophobic.

Self-catering options are available in and around most ski resorts. There is no better solution for the family man. Cost wise it’s certainly the best option for a family. You will not only save money on the accommodation itself, but since these chalets will always have a kitchen, you can save a lot of money by preparing all or most of your meals at home.

When it comes to ski accommodation, the guest house has always been one of the best-loved places to stay. The reasons are many. Firstly their rates are usually very competitive. The best of them offer facilities that can compare to that of a good hotel, at a lower cost. And the experience is much more personal than what you will experience at the average hotel.

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