Head for the Black Hills: tales of Crazy Horse and Custer in South Dakota

The carving of the Crazy Horse statue is a story in itself but then insurgent tales and mountain sculptures have helped shape this midwest state

It takes a few seconds for the statue of Crazy Horse to come into focus, which is surprising given that it’s being carved out of a 641ft-high stone outcrop. From a distance it looks like just another rocky peak silhouetted against the cloudless South Dakota sky. But get closer and its form and detail become apparent: an unyielding face, a raised arm, a pointing finger, all recreated on a colossal scale.

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Travel | The Guardian

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5 apps for a more successful family vacation

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When we say a ‘more successful’ family vacation we basically mean that anything could happen, especially on a family trip. Things can either go really well or terribly wrong. There was a time when things were simpler and life was, well, much easier. However, everything started changing once kids got in the picture. As much as we adore them, when parents take their kids away from their normal day-to-day routine (which can be unbearable sometimes on its own), let’s just say that they feel more free than ever, and that’s not always such a good thing. Free to scream more, to get lost more and to have horrible meltdowns in the most picturesque places. Don’t get us wrong, a family vacation can also be amazing because it’s a time for pure bonding, a precious time that you don’t always get in your everyday life.

Thankfully, in this day and age, parents have apps to pretty much save them from anything that could go wrong. Ok, maybe not anything but if they want to ‘survive’ a family vacation with their kids, there are a few apps that will come very handy. Some are more useful than others and some are just about pure fun, isn’t that what a vacation is all about? Who knows, maybe some parents will even consider going on another family vacation very soon. Everyone needs some technical help from time to time, and that’s where these 5 apps come in.

GateGuru:

GateGuru is the one app you absolutely need when traveling with kids. It will be a real lifesaver in case your flight gets delayed, or god forbid, cancelled. Based on your flight schedule and details, this app will give you real-time updates so you won’t need to waste any of your precious time. You will also get ,major discounts on travel-related features such as car rental and list of shops and restaurants you can find at the airport.

Yuggler:

Yey, you arrived at your destination, congratulations! Now, if you haven’t planned ahead of time (which is probably not the best idea) then you’ll be very thankful for Yuggler. This app is all about fun and keeping your kids busy. Depending on your area, it will offer you suggestions and opinions of things you can do based on other parents’ recommendations and photos. There’s an option to filter according to your kids’ age, the season you’re traveling in and more.

USA Rest Stops:

In the case of a family road trip or just in case you have long drives as part of your trip itinerary, you will com to realize that your kids need to go, A LOT! The number of breaks just go up as they get older. With USA Rest Stop, you will get to find different rest stops across the country so you will always know when the next stop will be. ‘Are we there yet?’ will become a whole lot endurable.

Postagram:

Postagram will let you send your relatives back home an interactive postcard that will get to their phone way faster than a normal postcard would, obviously. Your Instagram snaps will turn into postcards in just one click.

Plates Free Family Travel Game:

Remember that license plate game you used to play with your siblings and parents when driving around the country? Well, it just went from traditional to digital. Have your children search for different license plates in different states, that way you’ll burn another hour or two.

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The Japanese beach that became an Instagram sensation

Chichibuga beach on Shikoku island was barely known until photographs of stunning sunsets started to appear on social media. Now visitors flock to capture images of the fiery sea and skies at dusk

People were running down the beach. Not for exercise but to get into position before the sun slipped below the horizon. I hurried along, swept up by the sense of urgency. Mini tripods were lined up on the sand at the water’s edge, and selfie sticks were held aloft. Groups of friends, silhouetted against the pink sky, were trying to synchronise their star jumps, while women instructed their boyfriends on exactly how to photograph them as they stared into the sea. One woman posed holding her pet dachshund. The entire beach was a mass Instagram shoot.

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Travel | The Guardian

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5 apps every traveling foodie needs

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For many travelers, their next vacation spot is not just about the scenery, the shopping or the sightseeing. In fact, for many the local cuisine and the food in general is the main focus of their trip. People would actually buy a plane ticket, pay for a hotel room and go through all the ‘burden’ of planning a trip just to go and, we guess, eat. We can totally understand that passion for food and for trying out new things and enticing your taste buds all so very often as we also love the idea of traveling for food. While for many tourists (or even local) going out to a restaurant is just another way to ease their hunger and continue from there, for others it’s really a mission to try out as mush as they can.

What makes one a foodie? We mean, there’s really so much more to being a real foodie than just snapping awesome and Instagram-worthy pictures of your dessert or dinner. It’s actually a deep dedication (and passion) to the colorful culinary world. It seems, though, that these days we are swamped with food and drink-related apps. We don’t know anymore if it’s an app that is all about restaurants and how to find the best one according to your preferences in your area, or whether it’s an app that is about booking the best seats at your favorite place. The choices are endless, the concepts are cool and appetizing, but if you’re looking for specific apps that will match your inner foodie when you travel and make your dining experiences even better, then we’ve rounded up five of the best and most useful apps to help you in that area.

Off the Menu

Every foodie knows that a big part of sharing your dining experiences is about those unique things that happened to you during that time or special dishes you tried that no one else would even dare to try. Well, with Off The Menu you will get to see secret menus and special items that restaurants wouldn’t necessarily offer its guests. With this app you will get a ticket to the backdoor of every important kitchen across the U.S and Canada and will get to try out new things like no one else. This is your way to stay hip and trendy in the restaurant world.

Happy Cow

Being a vegetarian or a  vegan these days does not mean that your options are limited. On the contrary, it seems like there are more and more veggie restaurants rising and with the help of Happy Cow, you can now find them easily around the world. The main purpose of the app’s founders was to make healthy food more accessible and easy to find.

Roaming Hunger

Now this app is one of the coolest food-related apps we have ever seen around. The Roaming Hunger really combines one of the biggest trends in the culinary world these days and that is the wheeling trend of food trucks. With this app you will be able to locate the closest food trucks in your area. There is something so neat about food tricks and their concept that some places are actually worth traveling for just for their mobile food stations.

Foodspotting

Foodspotting couldn’t be more specific as it’s not about the restaurants, it’s actually about the dishes. Sure, these two go hand in hand, but the app focuses on specific dishes and their visuality rather than the quality of the service. By using the app, foodspotters can share pictures of their meals with other users and recommend about these dishes. It’s like sightseeing, but just about food.

No Wait

Every professional foodie knows how hard it gets to try and score a table at a popular restaurant. In fact, there is nothing more disappointing than to travel to a place just to realize you can’t find a spot at a restaurant you’ve been dying to dine in. With NoWait, you will place yourself on the waiting list from pretty much anywhere. Users will be able to see real-time wait times that will save them a lot of time and energy.

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Best roadside food stalls in America

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If you’re a keen traveler, you know the importance of getting a good meal in your bellies while you’re on the road. However, there are many countries where getting roadside food is unheard of, and you just have to wait until the next service station to pick up a sandwich and a candy bar. But not in America. America is filled with some of the best roadside food stalls that will keep you going during your travels. What more could you want?

Captain Cooks – Monticello, New York

Located in the Catskill Mountains in the very centre of the ‘Borscht Belt’ in Monticello, New York is the famous Captain Cooks. This roadside static caravan has been transformed into one of the best eateries on America’s roads. With their Italian heritage, the owners offer incredible Italian-American food infusions – including their yummy Sabrett Hot Dog heaped with all the trimmings. Grab a quick bite before you get back to your road trip.

Cookin’ From Scratch – Doolittle, Missouri

If you ever find yourself driving down the old Route 66 roadways, keep an eye out for the giant chicken – you can’t really miss it, to be honest! Cookin’ From Scratch is one of the most popular stops for truckers, with many of them wishing they drove this way just to try out their famous chicken. Each of the chicken steaks is pan-fried in individual cast iron skillets that give them an incredible juiciness, taste, and crispy skin without it being overly greasy like many fast food chains. If you’ve still got room after this insane chicken, you just have to try out their wild blackberry cobbler. It’s to die for.

Space Aliens Grill and Bar – North Dakota

If you want to rest your driving legs and have more of sit down meal, then the Space Aliens Grill and Bar is the ultimate roadside food outlet. Located in Fargo, North Dakota you could see this restaurant from space! With its creepy alien decor, futuristic theme and extra-terrestrial furnishings, it’s definitely a photo opportunity during your road trip. As if this wasn’t enough, the ribs here are incredible, and they’ve even been judged as the best in America.

Soulman’s Bar-B-Que – Van, Texas

Texas is known for its barbecue – and if you’re driving through Texas it would be rude not to try it out, right? Soulman’s Bar-B-Que offers some of the best roadside barbecue in America, and you definitely won’t regret it. Their meat is cooked slow and low over smoking hickory wood which not only gives it a delicious smoky taste, but it also makes the meat incredibly soft – and it just falls off the bone! Roadtrip + meat = match made in heaven.

Gladys Knight and Ron Winans’ Chicken and Waffles – Georgia

Sometimes you just really need chicken and waffles. Whether you’re in your hometown, on vacation, or driving across America – chicken and waffles just make everything better. This roadside restaurant offers some of the best home comforts in Georgia, meaning you can settle down and try out some green fried tomatoes, smoked turkey wings, collard greens, braised oxtail, and of course, fried chicken and waffles.

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10 great-value restaurants on Latin America’s 50 best list

From a Buenos Aires spot where greens rule to a ‘house of pig’ in São Paulo, our writer offers a personal selection of affordable restaurants on Latin America’s 50 best list

Elaborate tasting menus and fine dining dominate the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list but it’s a different story with the Latin American edition of the awards. The top spot for 2018 did go to Lima’s Maido for the second year running (15-course menu £103), but further down the list there are plenty of restaurants offering great cooking at much more affordable prices. Here are 10 of the tastiest bargains around.

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Travel | The Guardian

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The most common reasons for flight delays

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We’ve all been there. You’re super excited about going on vacation, you get to the airport with more than enough time to get through security, and then the screen flashes up: DELAYED. Eugh. There’s nothing worse than having to hang around an airport for hours, waiting for your flight to take you somewhere sunny and beautiful. But, have you ever considered why your plane might be late? Here are some of the most common reasons for flight delays.

Late planes

According to statistics, the number one reason for late planes is…uh… late planes. If one aircraft is too late to land, then it caused a domino effect to other flights. Unfortunately, it’s not really something that is within the airline’s control. They cannot physically land until they are told it is safe to do so. While you may be all ready to start shouting at the air hostess for running behind, consider that it might actually be another airline company that’s causing all the delays.

Your airline

In nearly half of all cases, however, it is actually the fault of your airline – or something that is at least within their control. According to the U.S Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), nearly 50% of late flights between June 2015 and June 2016 were down to something the airline was simply slacking on. This could be refueling taking too long, crew not turning up on time, aircraft maintenance, and so on. This then leads to other take-offs and landings being delayed (see above). It’s a bit of a Catch-22 situation if you look at it that way.

Weather

Around 30% of delays are actually all down to the weather, which is definitely something that cannot be controlled. Well, not by mere humans anyway. Poor weather means that planes are unable to take-off or land, causing that Catch-22 situation we mentioned earlier. To be fair, we’d rather stay cozy in the airport for a little while longer as opposed to battling high winds or storms in a metal bird. Sure, we don’t mind weather delays one bit.

Airport security

You and I are the kind of people to turn up early for security, right? Unfortunately, not everyone else is. Airport security has got tighter in recent years, which means that it can take a little longer to go through all of the checks. This can then lead to holding up flights, as dozens of passengers can sometimes still be going through screening areas. Less than 0.1% of delays were due to actual security threats, such as evacuating an airport or plane due to a breach, you’ll be pleased to know.

What you can do

So, can you do anything to keep a flight running on time? Other than turning up early enough to check yourself in and get through security, not really. You can also be mindful of all the poor airline staff who will have to deal with the aftermath of a late plane though. It’s not (normally) their fault that the flight is delayed. Unless they’ve turned up late for work, in which case it definitely is their fault…

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5 interesting villages along the Santiago de Camino

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The Camino de Santiago has been one of the most thrilling and exciting travels for hundreds of years. Crossing over Portugal, Spain, and France, The route originally began as a pilgrimage route in the middle ages, finishing at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Supposedly, The Cathedral is considered to be the burial site of the biblical Apostle St. James. Since its formation, the route has hosted over thousands of travelers who choose to explore this unique road and its surrounding astonishing villages.

Le Puy en Velay

The village is located in southern France, deep in the Massif central mountains. Le Puy en Velay is based in a great volcanic crater, while there are two eruption columns overlooking the town. On the first Column lies the cathedral of Le Puy together with a statue of the Virgin Mary. On the other one, there is the church of St. Michael. This place is the starting point for many of the pilgrims in the Santiago de Camino.

Oia

While traveling through the Camino de Santiago, you can enjoy the beautiful coastal way of Portugal. A secret and favorite spot for many passengers is a little village called Oia. Although the town only has a handful of attractions and sights, it does have a magnificent monastery to explore. Many backpackers choose Oia as a superb spot for rest during the trip as you could sit and relax while watching the beautiful coast before continuing on your journey.

Comillas

Following St. James’s way, you can save yourself a trip to see unique architecture in Catalonia. This lovely quiet village was the home of the famous Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi. While Gaudi’s astonishing house is indeed an attraction, the town itself is considered a hidden gem of old-fashioned Spanish cottages and narrow cobblestoned streets. The village of Comillas could be an amazing stop for rest and regeneration.

O Cebreiro

The mountain village of O Cebreiro lies on the French Way and is located between the Os Ancares and O courel Mountain ranges in the North-Eastern part of Spain. The small village is very famous for its ‘pallozas’, historic mountain dwellings that originally dates back before the Roman conquest of Galicia. These unique homes can only be found in this area of the world.

Muxia

During medieval times, many pilgrims finished their voyage In the Finisterre Way, a place which was known in ancient times as ‘the end of the earth’. Muxia’s beautiful scenery is a perfect ending for the Santiago de Camino, as it’s one of the villages located in a stunning coastal area called ‘Coast of Death’ due to the many shipwrecks along its shore. Aside from being a touristic gem, the village is also very famous for its fish industry.

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The most beautiful churches in Europe

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Europe has a lot of beautiful sights to see, and that makes it a desirable destination for anyone going traveling. There are so many different countries to visit, all with their own unique culture and tourist attractions. One thing that almost every European city has in common, however, is a church. Now, churches are relatively beautiful buildings as it is, but some of the churches in Europe are absolutely breathtaking. Here are some of the most beautiful churches in Europe.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

One of the most famous churches in the world, let alone Europe, is the Sagrada Familia. One of the reasons it’s so famous is because it’s not even finished! There’s still not an end date in sight, and yet it’s already been around for a very long time! It currently stands at over 160 meters tall and has some gorgeous, brightly colored stained glass windows to admire. If you’re hoping to pay a visit, you better book well in advance, because the queues can last for a good couple of hours.

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

Of course, the church within the confined walls of the Vatican City was going to feature pretty high on our list! The artwork within the church is absolutely stunning, created by some of the most world-renowned painters that we know and love today. Each room of the church has a different design, so whether you’re in the main hall looking up at the depiction of heaven on the ceiling, or in St. Peter’s crypt looking at the carvings on the wall, you’re going to find yourself being blown away.

Borgund Stave Church, Norway

Norway is a very popular European country to visit, but one of their most famous tourist attractions is the Borgund Stave Church in (you guessed it!) Borgund. It looks like no other church you’ll ever see! Small and stout with a rounded tiled roof, the church dates all the way back to the 12th century and actually looks a bit like a Nordic hut – which is probably what it started out as. However, it’s cute in comparison with other churches that tower over you with their spires and columns. This church feels more like a home.

St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow

Located in Moscow’s famous Red Square, most people will recognize St. Basil’s Cathedral from the minute they lay eyes on it, due to its brightly colored walls and its unique and somewhat flamboyant domes. No other church in the world looks even similar to St. Basil’s Cathedral and this is part of its huge appeal to tourists from across the globe; everyone is desperate to catch a glimpse of this bizarre (yet beautiful) looking cathedral.

Pechersk Lavra, Kiev

If you want to visit a church that could very easily be mistaken for a palace, then Pechersk Lavra in Kiev should definitely be at the top of your list! White and gold in color, the exterior of the church is ornately designed with engravings, golden details and just looks absolutely dazzling when the sun shines down on it. And if you think outside is beautiful, well, just wait until you take a step through the doors of the church and catch a glimpse of the interior. It’s unlike anything else you’ll see.

If you’re planning a trip to any of these European cities then make sure you take in some of their beautiful churches. These should all make it onto your traveling bucket list.

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A local’s guide to Marseille: 10 top tips

Transformed but not gentrified since its year as Capital of Culture in 2013, France’s second city remains a vibrant cultural, ethnic and gastronomic melting pot

Alexandre is a modernist chef who I admire a lot, and his restaurant is worth a gourmet splash out, especially at lunchtime (midday tasting menus from €39-92). He opened AM four years ago and was awarded a Michelin star in 2016. A meal here is very much a surprise: no written menu, just tasting selections that can run to 10 servings, but actually include 20-30 tiny dishes. Alexandre was born in the Congo, and incorporates surprising global ingredients in his cuisine – tapioca from Africa, kumbawa fruits, satay and sake from Asia – but also the wonderful fish and seafood we have in the Mediterranean.

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Travel | The Guardian

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Trade routes that shaped world history

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Trade routes are routes that are used on a widely known basis to transport goods to and from different places. Some trade routes across the world are more significant than others, due to the course that they take or the goods that are transported along them; some of them are important culturally because they were used to experience things you can’t buy, like religion. Here are some of the trade routes that shaped world history.

Amber Road

The Amber Road has been used to transport goods since the year 3,000 B.C. Amber might not seem like it has any significance to us, but it has actually been incredibly useful and valuable over the years. The Romans valued amber very highly for decorative purposes, and it played a big role in the design of their homes, palaces and other buildings, which we have been able to discover today thanks to Amber’s long lasting quality. The ‘Amber Highway’ as it came to be called has also been witness to a lot of deaths, following the rise of demand for Amber in the 12th and 13th centuries, where people would kill merchants who were transporting the precious stone.

Silk Road

The Silk Road is not just one of the most famous trade routes in the world, it’s also one of the oldest, and its use dates back to as far as the first century B.C! It was used by the ancient civilizations of China and by the Roman Empire. At first, the route was used to transport a lot of practical and luxury items, ranging from anything between wool and gold, but over time, more important things were transported down this route; knowledge, trade secrets, art, and religion. Of course, one of the most famous products transported down this trade route was silk, which started during the Han Dynasty. The Chinese were so protective of their trade route that they constructed the Great Wall of China, just to keep it safe!

The Salt Route

Salt might just seem like an everyday household commodity now, but hundreds and thousands of years ago, salt was incredibly precious – so much so that in the Roman age, it actually used to make up a portion of people’s wages. It is used for food and for flavoring, to preserve things, and to heal things with its antiseptic qualities. It is so versatile and used to be so difficult to get hold of that salt routes were crucial. There were several trade routes known as ‘salt roads’ such as Via Saleria in Italy and the Old Salt Route in Germany.

Tea Horse Road

There’s no denying we all like a cup of tea every now and then (daily if you’re British), but do you know how dangerous transporting tea used to be? The Tea Horse Road is one of the most precarious of all the world famous trade routes, with over 6,000 miles of winding roads through mountains and over rivers. Of course, one of the main commodities transported along this route was Chinese tea, but it was also the route for trading Tibetan Warhorses too.

These trade routes have all changed the world around us, in one way or another. Without some of these famous (and often dangerous) trade routes, we wouldn’t have commodities such as tea or salt in our homes today. How strange would that be?

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10 of the best hotels near the sights in Argentina

With the peso dropping 50% against the dollar, Argentina is affordable again, including characterful hotels and hostels in Mendoza, Patagonia, Buenos Aires and other hotspots

This 17th-century former governor’s residence is a comfortable stop-off on Ruta 40 through the Calchaquí valley in the rugged north-west. The hotel is reached via an archway opposite San Nicolás church, and set around a stony courtyard with a pink pepper tree. The 18 rooms are large and airy, with thick adobe walls and carob wood ceilings, wrought-iron beds and hand-knitted throws. Cool off in the pool on steamy summer days; the restaurant serves regional dishes such as ravioli-like sorrentinos, stuffed with lamb.
Doubles from around £95 B&B, haciendademolinos.com.ar

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5 villages you should visit in rural England

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Ahhhhh, England. With its big and bustling cities, its red double-decker buses, its glorious West End, and the incredible Royal Family and palaces, it can often be easy to forget that England offers some of the best countrysides in the world. Although it may just be a small island, England offers quaint little villages surrounded by fields, rural hamlets inside rolling valleys and so much more. So what are you waiting for? Check out these 5 villages you should visit in rural England and book your plane tickets now!

Castle Combe, Cotswolds

When it comes to rural areas in England, the Cotswolds take the (tea and) biscuits. In the Wiltshire, Cotswolds lies Castle Combe, a beautiful and historic little village that looks as if it has been stuck in time. Because of its rustic charm and its riverside location, you might recognize Castle Combe from numerous films, such as Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, and the 2007 movie, Stardust. With its cobbled stone cottages, rugged streets, small doorways, glorious shrubbery and medieval churches and ruins, it really is a thing of beauty.

Polperro

If you want to see traditional and rural England, a trip to Cornwall is a must. With their laid-back lifestyles and their reluctance to enter the technological world (in some villages you can only pay with cash!), the Cornish towns and villages epitomize the English countryside and seaside. One of the most beautiful villages in this area is Polperro, a traditional and authentic seaside village on the East coast of the country. The winding streets of Polperro are paved with cobblestones, and nearly all of them lead you down to the idyllic harbor and its small fishing boats. With direct links to the English Channel, the village was once used as a smuggling village, for vagabonds and their contraband to travel over to Guernsey. There’s no shortage of trinkets and hand-crafted gifts in this village, and their fresh seafood is second to none!

Hawkshead

Hawkshead is located in the incredible Lake District and full to the brim with history, amazing views, gorgeous countryside and of course – a heck load of lakes! The village itself is a traditional 15th-century village, with quaint whitewashed thatched cottages, medieval ruins and buildings, and beautiful windy streets. The village itself is steeped in English history and features William Wordsworth old grammar school, and a special Beatrix Potter Gallery which explores her work and her love for the Lake District. The village is also perfect for those whole love country walks – and with Lake Windermere and Lake Coniston surrounding the village, there isn’t a lack of space.

Staithes

According to one travel writer, Staithes in North Yorkshire is England’s greatest hidden gem – and it’s not hard to see why. As the home of the avid explorer, Captain Cook, Staithes is steeped in history. Although it is small, its idyllic fishing point is an attraction point for people all across the country, who flock to see the tall and thin fishing houses, the river running through the village, the fishing cove and the beautiful hills surrounding it. And of course, like any fishing village, the pubs and seafood are top of the range.

Abbotsbury

Located just 10 miles away from the seaside of Weymouth and the Jurassic Coast, Abbotsbury is a quintessentially British country village. Steeped in history, Abbotsbury is a Victorian gem in the heart of rural Dorset that is full to the brim with rolling fields, glorious parks, woodland valleys, and impressive gardens filled with rare and beautiful flowers. The village is also famous for its paintings, artwork and wood carvings, so you won’t be able to leave without taking a bit of Abbotsbury with you!

Looking to take a trip to Blighty? England is well known for its idyllic countryside, so if you’re vacationing there then you need to check out these rural villages. Picturesque doesn’t even cut it!

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Which plane seats you should choose

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Let’s be honest; nobody really loves flying. For most people, it’s a necessity to meet the cross-country business client, it’s a handy way to travel to your next vacation spot, or it’s just an excuse to get out of another 9-hour drive. For us, flying is quicker. And because there is such a high demand, airlines and airports rush to turn their flights around as quickly as possible. This means cabin crew and cleaners may have as little as 30 minutes to get their plane spick and span before the next customers climb on board. Unless they’re a speedy cleaner (lucky you) this may be pretty difficult, leaving our plane seats pretty dirty. But which ones are the dirtiest and why?

First class perks

It’s no secret that the service in the first class area of the plane is…well, First Class! With extra space, delicious food, exceptional service and more… First Class is definitely the place to be if you can afford it. However, it turns out that First Class has another perk – the cleanest seats on the plane. Because airlines pride themselves on their First Class areas and hope for more and more customers to upgrade to and maintain their First Class status, they spend more time cleaning these areas than they do the economy areas. During their quick turnaround, premium seats always receive a quick once-over with a vacuum, and they also make sure they wipe each window and tray table with a sanitary wipe after each flight. The rich guys get all the perks, ey?

Economy seats

Unfortunately, those who can’t afford First Class seats have to sit in economy – with the dirtier seats. Many airlines have confirmed that they spend a significantly shorter time tending to the seats in this part of the plane. Because of the sometimes short turn-around, cabin crew and cleaners will only undertake basic cleaning routines. For shorter turnarounds, the cleaning team members will remove the obvious trash that adorns the floors and seats, will give the toilets a quick once-over, will wipe large crumbs off the economy seats, and restock all of their dwindling supplies. However, they do not have time to probe each individual seat, which is why you may often find a coffee ring stain on your tray table or a candy wrapper in your seatback pockets. If the plane and cleaning crew have longer to get the plane ready for their next passengers, they may vacuum the floor, and empty these pockets, but that is it.

So what don’t they clean?

Nobody really likes using the plane toilets, but sometimes this just can’t be avoided! However, when you go to use the bathroom, you’d like to think of it being freshly cleaned, and the waste tank is emptied. Nope, this doesn’t happen. Because of the size of waste tanks, planes can often fly numerous short-haul flights before the waste tank needs emptying – which could be the reason there’s always that slightly unsavory smell permeating from the toilet. Alongside this, the tray tables and armrests are left uncleaned. A recent study of plane bacteria has found that the dirtiest place on an airplane is the tray table in front of you, with the remains of numerous food products and bacteria from other people before you. Yummy!

The deep clean

Once a plane settles down for the night, large-scale cleaning crews come to clean the plane properly, from top to bottom. During this night-clean, they wipe down all of the entertainment systems and screens, the tray tables, the armrests and even empty out the seat pockets AND vacuum the floors and chairs. These crews also replace all of the pillows and blankets on board, and thoroughly clean and disinfect the toilet and the galleys.

So if you want the cleanest plane and the cleanest seat, the first flight of the day will be your best bet…Especially if you get the joy of flying First Class.

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How realistic is it to travel to Antarctica?

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Are you bored of going to the same ol’ travel destinations? We don’t blame you. Don’t get us wrong, we love lazing on a beach and soaking up the sun as much as the next person, but there are some instances where you just want more. You want to find a hidden destination that nobody has visited before, you want to explore all four corners of the earth, and you want to go somewhere that you never dreamed you’d get to visit. Because of this, there’s a high chance that you’ve had your eye on Antarctica. From the snow-capped mountains to the glaciers, to the penguins, Antarctica is the ultimate bucket list destination. But how realistic is it to travel to Antarctica?

It’s not a real country

So, Antarctica is just like any other country in the world, right? Not quite! Unlike every other country in the world, Antarctica is not a REAL country. This is because Antarctica has no permanent populations (you know, apart from the penguins and the polar bears), and no government. Because of this, there is no real economy or ethos to this landscape. Instead, it is preserved by some of the top companies and scientists so that they can understand the ecosystem and keep themselves up to date with the ever-changing and unique weather systems. This poses a problem for tourists, as there are very few hotels, there is no public transport system, and there are very few people out there who are willing to make you breakfast in bed…

It’s all about the expedition

If you really want to see what Antarctica has to offer, you won’t be able to do it alone. If you wanted to explore the frozen tundras by yourself, you will need explicit permission and a good reason for doing so. So, you can’t just rock up and frolic with the penguins! One of the best ways to see this area in all of its glory is to join an expedition or find one of the few companies out there who have licences to take tourists across these icy plains. If you’re really lucky, you might even be able to find a luxury cruise that stops off in this incredible non-country.

The environment is harsh

One of the biggest downfalls with a trip to Antarctica is the fact that the environment is incredibly harsh. This place doesn’t just harbor a brisk wind on a cold winter’s day. Instead, this is the kind of cold that will make it almost impossible to stay warm. You will need to shell out thousands of dollars on specialist equipment, you’ll need to know all of the tricks of the trade, and you’ll need to know how to survive in such an environment. Because of this, it’s not the kind of vacation that you would book for the sake of it. This one requires planning.

It’s ridiculously expensive

Because tourism in Antarctica is not as easily accessible as other countries on earth, a trip to Antarctica is ridiculously expensive. You will need to save up a huge portion of money to even think about grabbing your coat and checking out the glaciers. If you’re going on an Antarctic cruise expedition that takes you on a tour around this incredible landscape for 10-14 days, you can expect to pay around $ 10,000 to $ 12,000 per person. This huge chunk of money is not readily available for most people, which means it’s much less realistic to travel to Antarctica than you would think.

If Antarctica is on your travel bucket list, you might have already looked into the possibility of flying to this harsh landscape. However, it seems as though a trip to Antarctica may not be as simple as it seems.

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Best vegan restaurants in the UK: readers’ travel tips

With influences ranging from Van Gogh to Asia, these vegan venues serve up arty as well as delicious food – on beaches, buses … and in an underpass

Bundobust is fast becoming a Leeds institution for food lovers of all persuasions. Everything is veggie, and a large proportion of the menu is vegan, with an easy vegan sharing menu for two a great way in. From the okra fries dusted in black salt and mango powder (genius) to the chole dal and masala dosa, its south Indian street food, craft beer and Asian-inspired cocktails are a winning combo. With dishes from £4-6.50 it’s also easy on the wallet, so you can try a bit of everything.
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5 things you didn’t know about flying first class

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Whether you’re a frequent flyer who regularly travels for business, or if you just fly once a year for your family vacation, you know that flying can be one of the most stressful and tiring experiences of your journey. When flying economy, you have little leg room, odd next door neighbors, super long queues and pretty basic commodities – Yep, the toilet will always smell! But there is another part of the plane that you barely ever see: First Class. Unless you’re really lucky, of course. Here’s what it’s like to fly in first class.

Many people use it to network

We’ve all seen the scenes in movies where the two unsuspecting victims meet next to each other on the plane, share a pleasant hello and then a cliche moment brings them together – cut to the ending and they’ve become BFF’s and set up a meeting in New York to go over a business proposal together next month. Okay, it doesn’t really work like that, but many people do use first class to network with other like-minded. Because the people who fly in First Class normally have more money and work for Fortune 500 companies, they’ll all have something in common – business. In fact, Virgin Atlantic have found that one in five of their First Class customers had done business with someone they had met during their first class flight. Some airlines are now even creating specific networking flights!

You get even more vacation time

If you’re used to flying economy, you’ve probably seen the First Class passengers stroll along past you with their fast-track boarding passes and saunter onto the airplane while you crouch on the floor in a crowded airport lounge. Yep, the first class passengers not only get to board the plane first – but they also get to depart the plane before everyone else too! This means they can get ahead of the game, and be the first in the queue for customs and baggage reclaim. Ultimately, this means they get even more vacation time because they’ll be out the airport doors and onto the beach while you’re still stuck on the plane!

It’s super comfortable

Okay, we all know the deal. Economy flights are in NO WAY comfortable. With little-to-no legroom, a next door neighbor who is sitting way too close to you and using your armrest, and absolutely no way to stretch out and have a good kip; a long-haul flight can be an absolute killer. But long-haul First Class flights? They’re a completely different story. In nearly every first class area of any airplane, the seats are a world apart. Quite literally. With individual seating, each passenger gets their own little area of the plane with a reclining chair (which makes an extremely comfortable bed), a sliding divider which shuts you off from the other passengers, and your own personal TV. The nine-hour flight will just be like your average evening at home.

You can actually get work done

If you’re traveling on a business trip and need to perfect your presentation before you reach your destination, it will be pretty impossible to do so if you sit in economy – because you two choices; have the ability to feel your legs and not get work done, or get work done and lose all circulation. The choice is yours. However, in first class, working is no issue. In fact, your plane journey will probably be more comfortable than your own office! In your First Class seat, you’ve got your own individual table with ample writing space, multiple power sockets to ensure your laptop never runs out of battery, and most now have WIFI! Who needs an office?

You don’t need to be rich to fly first class!

There’s a common misconception that you need to be super rich to afford seats in First Class. As much as it is true buying first class seats through the airline will cost you a hefty sum, there are ways to try and get a first class upgrade for a cheaper price (or even for free!). First and foremost, you need to go by the premise that ‘it doesn’t hurt to ask.’ You’ll be surprised how accommodating airlines can be when it comes to upgrading their passengers – if you just ask! The best way to do this is to always be polite and friendly to them when you go to the check-in desks, and if they have something available, they may bump you up. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Ever wondered what it’s like to fly first class? Here are a few pointers to whet your appetite, but why not try it out for yourself?

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The coolest food trucks in America

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It seems like more and more food trucks are taking over the culinary world and we can’t help but absolutely love it! Food trucks have opened a new world for foodies, for those who just like to grab a bite on the go and especially for those who are looking to start a career in the restaurant business, it’s really a win-win for all sides. It’s almost like a micro-test of how well your business and concept could go before you go and invest thousands of dollars on opening a restaurant. Moreover, it’s like free advertising where you pretty much have your own rolling media platform and all you have to do is focus on cooking good food.

The amount of food trucks that have opened across the U.S. and across the world even, is simply ungraspable. People have realized that there is more than just sandwiches, ice cream or flipped burger, in fact, there is an entire world of tastes cuisines that is now open  for the wide public. You don’t have to book a table at a michelin star restaurant if you want top-notch food, because you can now buy gourmet food on the street if you are craving for something special. Food trucks have definitely gotten fancier over the years, but there’s still a neat variety of nostalgic trucks that serve just good but simple dishes. The best thing about traveling food trucks is that if you hear about a certain theme or concept that is being served in one side of the country, there’s a good chance you’ll get to taste it in your area because these babies go on food-tours as well! We’ve selected the coolest food trucks that can be found in the U.S in terms of design, taste and just overall awesomeness.

Thoroughfare Food Truck

This beautiful food truck opened it’s windows back in 2013 and has been serving the residents of Greenville, South Carolina ever since then. Neil and Jessica who also happen to be a married couple own this lovely truck and they serve a good combination of refined ut also familiar flavors. For example, you can get rosemary chicken salad topped with fine goat cheese. They also specialize in private events.

Border Grill

Ok, so this one has got to be all about good food, after all Border Grill was founded by two former Top Chef Masters contestants, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. These two took their upscale Mexican food to the streets with their lovely Border Grill Truck. They just made a few tweaks to make their original menu fit the -on-the-go crowd. You can find six different tcos, five options for quesadillas and other great side dishes.

Cupcake Carnivale

On a sweeter note, Cupcake Carnivale is every dessert lover’s dream come true. From Strawberry Oreo Cookies & Cream to Chocolate Pumpkin Patch and That’s S’more, one can find the sweetest and most creative cupcakes they’ve ever seen. It’s truly a cupcake festival in one cute truck.

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

This Hawaiian truck is one historical institute. The family business opened its gates and later its windows in 1953 when there were just a couple of shrimp recipes. What started as occasional stops alongside the North Shore soon turned into a sensation all over the country. Just by the number of signatures that are found all over the truck you can sense that this place is a must-visit.

Pepe

Washington D.C. wouldn’t seem like obvious choice or location for a food truck, but that’s part of the charm. This is a fusion-free food truck, which is kind of refreshing in a way. The menu constantly changes and some of the dishes you can find there are  grilled cheese with manchego, seared beef tenderloin and for dessert – hazelnut ice cream flauta. Yummy!

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Tea and history: an evocative brew in Chengdu, China

This centuries-old teahouse in Sichuan province and its regulars are a world away from China’s modern megacities

Out in the western suburbs of Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu, the town of Pengzhen is home to what’s said to be the oldest teahouse in China. About 300 years old, the Guanyin Pavilion is at the heart of a tiny community of historic streets where, against a tide of rapid modernisation, the local population proudly preserves its heritage and traditional way of life.

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Day of the Dead a lively celebration in Mexico

The Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, celebrates and honors deceased loved ones through a variety of different traditions: altars with photographs, sprays of orange marigolds, revelers with faces painted with intricate makeup, a slew of parades and parties, representations of human skeletons and skulls (calacas and calaveras) and various offerings (ofrendas) along roads and in graveyards.


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Breathtaking zoos around the world

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There are zoos in nearly every city in the world – but most of them are the same old thing, one after another. We want excitement, we want exotic animals, we want cool architecture, and we want the best experience. Unfortunately, some of the typical city zoos just don’t cut it for us (because obviously, we only want the best, am I right?) Check out the 5 most breathtaking zoos around the world that you’ll want to visit ASAP.

Singapore Zoo

Many people are often put off by zoos because they want to see the animals free, without cages, and able to roam about where and when they want to. Luckily, the Singapore Zoo gets that. This wildlife park is spread across 64-acres and full of over 2,800 animals from a whopping 300 species! However, they don’t cage any of them. All of the animals in the Singapore exhibits are open-air; separated from the visitors by moats, underwater galleries, elevated edges, platforms and glass observatories. Not only is this more humane and comfortable for the animals, but it also enhances visitors’ viewing experience. So yes, you can get up close and personal with a baboon’s bottom if you wish.

The Berlin Zoo

If you’re looking for a zoo with a bit more class and elegance, then the Berlin Zoo is for you. As the oldest zoo still standing in Germany (it was opened in 1844! What?!) it houses over 9,500 animals and boasts the largest aquarium in the whole world – including an elevated Hippopotamus House which allows you to see the hippos swimming above you as you walk through a tunnel. Alongside the incredible wildlife, the Berlin Zoo also offers some of the most attractive architecture of any other zoo in the world. Trust us.

The London Zoo

If you can believe it, the London Zoo is even older than the Berlin Zoo – and was opened in 1826! The zoo first opened as an animal research facility and has since developed a huge following as one of the best zoos in the world. The London Zoo is also famous for its incredible Victorian architecture which adorns the buildings and covers the animals up from the elements. This zoo houses thousands of animals, including gorillas, Komodo Dragons, tigers, penguins and Galapagos Tortoises. Another claim to fame for London Zoo is that it was also one of the locations where Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was filmed.

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is unlike any other zoo you have or will ever visit. This zoo covers an incredible 216 acres worth of land and is one giant playground for the animals – rather than a zoo. Because of its size, this zoo offers a cable car, golf carts and 6km worth of trails to get you from exhibit to exhibit. And you’re going to want to see all of it, considering it houses over 9,000 animals from over 700 different animal species. Where else are you going to be able to walk alongside the elephants?

Sydney’s Taronga Zoo

How would you like to visit a zoo with incredible views of Sydney Opera House and overlooking the Sydney Harbor? No, this isn’t a dream. You can get all this at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. On the one side, you have the bustling city of Sydney, and on the other side, you have the beginning of the outback. And slap bang in the middle, you have the zoo. Offering some of the most famous Australian animals, including Tasmanian Devils, Australian sea lions, koalas and over 300 other species, you won’t run out of things to look at – both inside and outside the zoo.

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Greece with kids: top family friendly islands you should visit

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When it comes to booking your next family holiday, there is so much to think about – where it is, how long it will take to get there, what there is to do for the kids, what there is to do for the adults (when you need a stiff drink after looking after the kids for the whole day), how much it will cost, and what the place can offer you. It’s not easy. But luckily, Greece is made up of over 200 inhabited islands that make the perfect family destinations. Here are the five best Greek islands to visit if you have a family.

Rhodes

Rhodes is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, and well away from the bright lights, bars, and clubs of many of the ‘party islands.’ This island offers 30-miles worth of white sandy beaches which are perfect for building sandcastles, glorious water which is perfect for splashing and learning how to swim, and some of the best all inclusive hotels in Greece. There are kids’ clubs, cafes, water sports and more to keep the kids entertained. And if you fancy taking in a few of the sights, Rhodes’ Old Town is full of cobbled streets, trinket shops, medieval architecture, and relics.

Naxos

The island of Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades Islands and an incredibly popular vacation destination for families with children. With some of the best and longest beaches in Greece, you could spend hours playing and relaxing on the white sand and swimming in the ocean. Because the beaches are the island’s main attraction, there are so many activities – from horseback riding along the beach to water sports, and pedalo boats, you won’t get bored. If you want to tire the kids out, take them for a hike through the beautiful farms and villages throughout Naxos.

Alonissos

The island of Alonissos is located in a remote area of the Sporades and well away from the tourist traps of Greece. Alonissos is perfect for families with slightly older kids who don’t mind spending most of their day checking out what the island has to offer – but don’t worry, the beaches are still incredible. With the huge Alonissos National Marine Park to explore, you can take the kids out for a boat trip or Kayak to catch a glimpse of the rare seabirds and the Mediterranean Monk Seal, as well as dolphins.

Corfu

If you want a mix of fun and the sun – then Corfu is the perfect option. Located in the Ionian Islands, Corfu is an eclectic mix of pebbled coves, luscious sandy beaches, UNESCO-listed Old Town, incredible rock formations and luscious green inland. As well as checking out all of the sights the island has to offer, you can also take the kids to the famous Aqualand Water Park, or take a trip to the open-air cinema.

Milos

Milos is one of the most unusual Greek Islands. Created by underwater volcanic rock formations, the coast of Milos is rife with smooth cliff edges, sea caves and little coves that are perfect for snorkeling and exploring. The longest beach in Milos consists of three different beaches merging together and merges yellow, pink and red pebbles. With warm underwater springs, the sea will always be the perfect temperature for your family holiday.

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Independent cinemas in the UK: readers’ travel tips

Over 1,500 of you recommended indie picture houses. Here are the top 10 – in stations, warehouses and rural villages

Campbeltown Picture House on the Kintyre peninsula is amazing. Recently refurbished, it has retained all of its original charm (it has been a functioning cinema since 1913) but is now a welcoming, contemporary space offering two screens and a cafe. Screen 1 will blow you away with its atmospheric ceiling and half-timbered “wee house” features. It shows all the latest releases, great classics and streamed live theatre. It is a fantastic cultural hub in a remote, rural area and testament to the relentless hard work of the volunteers who fund-raised to get the refurbishment project off the ground.
Adult from £7, campbeltownpicturehouse.co.uk
Emma Macalister Hall

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Rules to travel by

In the stress and rush of travel, civility can be hard to find. After seeing "whiny jerks" in the boarding line and other boorish behaviors, Focus Brands COO Kat Cole sent several tweets on “simple rules to travel by." She says her tips work not only at airports, but at the workplace and more.
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What you should absolutely never do when visiting Germany

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Have a German vacation planned sometime soon? It’s a beautiful country in Europe, and there are plenty of amazing sights to see. However, before you jet off across the world ready to test your foreign language skills, there are some things you ought to be aware of first. Germany has a strict set of rules that you must abide by if you want to avoid upsetting the locals, or much worse. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t wear shoes inside

Unless given explicit instructions, you should always ask whether someone wants you to take your shoes off when in there home. Most people in Germany don’t wear their shoes inside, so to go ahead and do it could be considered extremely rude. If you feel weird asking, remove them anyway when you go inside to be on the safe side. The last thing you want to is upset someone that’s invited you into their home.

Don’t waste recyclables

Did you know that you’ll be charged extra for buying drinks in bottles or cans when you’re in Germany? It’s part of the country’s initiative to encourage people to recycle and not waste the materials. You’re expected to return the bottles and cans to a shop, although they’re not fussy about which shop you chose. All establishments are required to accept your recyclable waste, whether or not they were the place you bought them from initially.

 

Don’t be late

One thing you can rarely accuse Germans of not being is punctual. They’re almost always on time, and they expect the same of anyone they’re meeting with. To show up late would be considered rude and a waste of someone else’s time. So, if you make any appointments during your German vacation, make sure that you show up to them on time.

Don’t address people incorrectly

Learning another country’s language is confusing, especially when they have an entirely different set of grammatical rules that you’re not used to. When it comes to greeting people in Germany, there are two different ways to do it. You can either say Sie or du, depending on how well you know the person. Sie is the more formal choice, so it’s what you’re expected to use in something like a business setting. Du, on the other hand, is reserved for more informal conversations. If you’re not sure which to use, you can always ask.

Don’t disturb the peace

If you’re a bit of a party animal at night, then you might struggle during your trip to Germany. The country has a set of laws which prevent you from making too much noise at certain times of the day. You can’t do things like play loud music or vacuum between 10 pm and 7 am, or the entirety of Sunday. That might sound pretty restrictive, but it stops residents from being disturbed at inappropriate times. If you don’t follow these rules, people can complain, and you’ll find yourself face to face with one of the public order officers. You didn’t go to Germany to get in trouble with the law, so try to keep it down at night.

very country is different, and you should never visit somewhere new without first checking what rules are in place. They might not always make sense to you, but it’s important to respect them when you’re abroad. After all, you don’t want to get arrested.

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The Beverley Arms, East Yorkshire: hotel review

This revamped hotel’s heritage, comfort and biscuits appeal strongly to our writer, but his companion proves harder to please …

Driving into the leafy East Yorkshire town of Beverley, we clatter over a cattle grid, then past the racecourse into a smart Georgian market town. I am accompanied by Sophie, my partner, a woman who spent many years inspecting hotels, with clipboard in hand. She has never lost the skills. “Remember,” I hear myself say. “Try and enjoy yourself.” She gives me that look, the one that says, I’ll do what has to be done.

We both like Beverley, a cluster of architectural gems around a market square. When Henry V came to town after Agincourt, it took three days to get all the muck out of the market, but these days it is spotlessly neat and tidy. Almost uniquely in modern Britain there is only one empty shop, something of an achievement in itself, and the rest look satisfyingly prosperous. The medieval minster is the big draw, and a worthy one too, filled with grotesque carvings, soaring columns and ancient artefacts. Nearby stands the house where Mary Wollstonecraft spent some of her early teenage years, a fact only rediscovered in early 2018. There’s a plaque on the facade (it’s at 2 Highgate).

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Craving some culture: 5 yummy museums that are a must-visit

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Everyone knows that one of the biggest aspects of traveling has to do with food. In fact, many people who decide to embark on a journey, whether they are big foodies or not, plan their entire trip based on when and where they will be eating at local restaurants or other recommended places. If these travelers had an itinerary, it would look like a menu, basically, and in between they would push in some sightseeings, just to say that they didn’t only travel for the food. If you ask us, we don’t see anything wrong about traveling to a place just for the good or interesting food that it’s known for.

However, if you still feel somewhat guilty for all your guilty pleasures that also happen to be tasty, and you don’t want to go back home thinking all you did on your trip was eat, then we have the perfect solution for you – food museums. Just think about it, a food museum, has the right amount of culture mixed with the one thing you love most – food, all under the same yummy roof. We can’t promise any food tastings or that these places will be found in the more familiar travel-guides, but what we can promise, is a whole new and tasty experience that will open up your senses and challenge your taste as well as your cultural buds.

Museum of Ice cream – Los Angeles, California

It’s safe to say that 98.9% of the people in the world love ice cream. From little kids to adults, it’s the one of the few foods that everyone loves. What’s not to like? It’s sweet, you can top it with endless topping choices and on a hot summer day, it’s the perfect refresher. So if you ever wondered what it would be like to swim in a pool of sprinkles or relax on huge ice lollies, then the Museum of Ice Cream in Los Angeles is the place for you. It’s also suitable for families traveling with children, and it’s the perfect Instagram backdrop for colorful and playful pictures.


The Frietmuseum – Bruges, Belgium

From ice cream to fries – can this day get any better?? Located in the picturesque city of Bruges, the Friet Museum, which was founded by Eddy van Belle, the chairman of the Puratos Group and just a frites lover, takes you on a culinary tour throughout the history of potatoes and how they have become what we know as fries. The museum was actually founded after van Belle googled the words ‘fry museum’ and found zero results. The museum was opened for visitors in 2008 and apart from a bit of potato history, you can also get cones of the Belgian frites, fried, or the way they like to call it – double-cooked.

The Pulmuone Kimchi – Seoul, South Korea

If you are even somewhat familiar with the Korean culture and its food culture specifically, then you must know that kimchi is pretty much Korea’s national food. You can’t enter a restaurant  and not receive a bowl of those traditional and fermented cabbages and radishes. It only makes sense, then, that there would be an entire museum dedicated for that cuisine. You will find a variety of 80 different kimchi, as well as a bit of history through historic cook books and ancient recipes. You can also learn about the process of making different kinds of kimchi. The only catch is, you have to love kimchi.

Cup Noodles Museum – Yokohama, Japan

From one East Asian country to another, Japan offers some of the coolest, most innovative sights in the world, so it only makes sense that Cup Noodle Museum in Yokohama focuses on the idea of ‘creative thinking’. If you ever wondered how the first instant Ramen soup was created and wanted to hear the history of instant noodles, then you must visit this museum which was opened for visitors in 1994. Some of the attractions that can be found at that ramen theme park: a display of over 3000 kinds of instant noodles, and an opportunity to create your own cup noodle.

Pizza Brain Museum – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

You would think that the world’s first Pizza museum would be located in Italy, but in fact the first Pizza museum is found in Philadelphia. It contains the biggest collection of pizza-related mementos. What started as a Kickstarted project, soon turned into one of the yummiest attractions in Philly. Since it opened in 2012, there were many artistic partnerships that have been made with local artists who have decorated the place in their own special way. Needless to  mention, that you can probably get the best pizza in the area at the Pizza Brain Museum.

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20 of the world’s creepiest museums

Some of our worst fears are explored at these bizarre museums. They’ll give you the creeps for Halloween … or any other time of year

Despite being a familiar horror movie character, the ventriloquist’s dummy, with its clunky mouth, heavy eyelids and twisting head wasn’t meant to be fearful when it was invented for 18th century music hall entertainment. This museum houses the largest collection of ventriloquial figures and memorabilia in the world. It once belonged to William Shakespeare Berger, former president of the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists.
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5 places you need to discover in the Caucasus

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Comprised of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, the Caucasus Region is probably one of the most understated travel destinations in the world. With so much to offer, it’s a surprise that these countries have only recently popped up on the traveler’s radar.

However, the region is getting the attention it deserves now, and we suggest you put it on your travel bucket list for the year. Here’s why:

Svaneti

Svaneti is an ancient region located in northwest Georgia, one of the three countries that make up the Caucasus region. This is the highest destination in the Caucasus Mountains that’s inhabited by people. It is also home to Ushguli, one of the highest continuously inhabited settlements in all of Europe. Trekking up to this settlement is a great workout and a fun experience.

Svaneti is a truly mystical place that boasts a rich history. It is home to an indigenous population known as the Svans. The Svans have been here since long ago, and still speak in an ancient, unscripted tongue. As for things to see, you have the ancient towers of Svaneti. There are around 200 of them that have been here since the ninth century. Apart from the towers, Svaneti is home to five museums and 190 churches. Svaneti is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Shikahogh State Reserve

The Shikahogh State Reserve is the second largest forest reserve in Armenia, and to say that it’s stunning would be an understatement. This reserve is truly unspoiled, and proof of this lies in the fact that many of the sections here remain unexplored to this day. The reserve is home to vipers, leopards, wild goats, bears, and a host of other animals. It’s also home to over 1,000 plant species.

Icheri Sheher

Icheri Sheher, also known as “Fortress” or “Old City,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The area is known for its stunning architectural structures, which are located all over. One of those beautiful structures is Maiden Tower, which has been standing here since the 12th century. Then, you have the Shirvanshah Palace, which is believed to have been constructed in the 13th century. Architectural feats aside, Icheri Sheher is also recognized for its handicrafts, especially ceramic work and textiles. You’ll find several shops that sell such items. In fact, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll while you go from shop to shop.

Kakheti

Situated on the Eastern side of Georgia, Kakheti is known for the variety of grapes it produces. But, that’s not all. There are many other wonderful things to experience here. For instance, you have the town of Sighnaghi, which is referred to as the “City of Love.” Apparently, couples come here to get married; something to do with romance in the air! Then, you have the monastery complex of Davit Gareja, which serves as a tranquil getaway, and several other attractions. It’s well worth the effort to explore Kakheti.

Noravank

Armenia has always been known for its monasteries, and Noravank is the most beautiful among them. Constructed in the 13th century, the monastery is also home to the Astvatsatsin or Holy Mother of God church. There’s an interesting legend behind the church – the locals believe that God himself saved it during the Mongol invasion. So, if you do intend to visit monasteries in Armenia, Noravank should be number one on your list.

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The best places to visit in the English countryside

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Greenery as far as your eyes can see, blue skies with serene clouds, winding roads, and patchwork hills – these are what come to mind when one thinks of the countryside. The best part is that English countryside destinations are great to visit all the time, no matter the season.

If you are planning to visit England, then you must make sure not to miss these breathtakingly beautiful countryside destinations. They have a uniquely subtle way to help you reconnect with the best of what nature has to offer.

Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire is a common English countryside destination, attracting a number of tourists every year. It also has a thriving education scene, being home to the reputed University of Oxford. There are plenty of places to visit within Oxfordshire such as Ashbury, Henley on the Thames, Woodstock, Bampton, and more.

Lancashire

Lancashire is a beautiful countryside destination in England, and it is no surprise it attracts many visitors every year. The county has beautiful natural attractions, such as the Forest of Bowland. You can even visit the famous Lancaster Canal. Plus, Lancashire is home to boutique hotels, country inns, majestic castles, and happy festivals.

Essex
Essex is probably one of the most well-known countryside destinations in England. It has a number of little scenic villages, charming towns with bustling markets, and beautiful rolling landscapes. Popular among tourists who love to explore either on foot or by cycling around town, there are plenty of attractions in Essex to keep you occupied during your holiday.

Cotswolds

Home to the famous Cotswold Hills – rolling hills that emerge from the Thames meadows – Cotswolds offers travelers nothing short of a picturesque holiday. This countryside destination is best explored on foot, as it allows you to discover the quaint little market towns, the architecture, the people, and the beauty of the place in general.

Cheshire

If you have read Alice in Wonderland, then the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about the Cheshire countryside would be the Cheshire Cat with a mischievous grin. Also, you may think of Cheshire cheese. These are what this countryside destination is most famous for, but it offers a lot more – think sweeping landscapes, charming country inns, and beautiful homes with distinctive architecture.

Bronte Country

Undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking English countryside destinations, Bronte Country attracts many visitors with its rural charm. The promise of serene walks around town on cobblestone streets surrounded by rustic and cozy-looking buildings while breathing in fresh, country air is just too good to pass up. Besides, who wouldn’t want to see the set of Emily Bronte’s novels?

Cornwall

One of the most well-known English countryside destinations, Cornwall has peaceful beaches with amazing scenery, and you can indulge in a number of water activities. This countryside county is ideal for those looking for a serene holiday where you can go for nature walks.

Spending quality time in the serene countryside of England is one of the best ways to unwind and rediscover nature, learn about new cultures, and meet friendly people. Make sure you visit these places at least once in your lifetime!

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Spooky places to visit in the UK this Halloween: readers’ travel tips

Serious history collides with fond imaginings in our tipsters’ tales of the unexplained, from a Spanish Armada wreck to a snuffling ghost pooch

Windhouse, on Yell, is probably Shetland’s most haunted house. Last year, two 13th-century skeletons were uncovered at this 18th-century ruin, which is reputedly haunted by a lady in silk, a man in a top hat, a servant girl and a dog. There are reports of skeletal remains of a woman, man and child found in separate incidents between the 1880s and 1900s, as well as the story of the shipwrecked sailor who spent a night in the house one Christmas and had to fight off a monster with an axe. The house can be visited for free anytime – and if you’re feeling brave, the gatehouse is now run as a camping pod by Shetland Amenity Trust (£12pp, sleeps 8, Mar-Oct).
Charlotte

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Travel | The Guardian

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These are New York City’s best pizza restaurants

Never before has the New York City pizza scene been as strong and diverse as it is today. World-famous pizzaiolos are continually trying to break ground in this food epicenter to see if their pies can compete, and other types, such as Detroit-style pizza, are starting to become popular pizza contenders too.


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The top five documentaries about traveling

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Every holiday season, you may find yourself wondering where to take a vacation, waffling between one location and another. You may be trying to look for some incredible tips or inspiration on where to go for your escape. But did you know you can push your wanderlust aside right from the comfort of your own couch? You can do this by watching these incredible documentaries about traveling that can transport you to foreign landscapes, epic views, and far off places while still providing some light hearted comedy. Here are the most incredible travel documentaries to inspire your traveling.

#5: Frozen Planet

If you are dreaming of going to colder climates to experience snowy weather, then this is an excellent documentary to watch. The beauty of this film is that you get to experience the dramatic, magical, and mysterious landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctic, which you may never see in real life. In addition to enjoying the soothing voice of the narrator, Sir David Attenborough, you will learn how you can survive in the polar regions of the planet and how snowflakes form.

#4: Human Planet

You can experience some of humankind’s most interesting survival techniques by watching this incredible documentary. In Human Planet, John Hurt shows how people make their homes in some of the most extreme environments such as the snowy Arctic and deep inside dense rainforests. There are a number of amazing survival tips in this breathtaking documentary, and we learn how people have even constructed houses on top of trees in some tropical rainforests.

#3: Further

This documentary, starring Jeremy Jones and his team, is one of the greatest inspirations for mountain climbers and hikers. These guys explore and snowboard down what many call the wildest mountains and forests on our planet. Their aim is to enjoy the ride down the mountain on their snowboards. This adventure either leaves you happy that you are just watching or gives you the confidence to leave your couch and head to the mountain to experience the adrenaline rush for yourself.

#2: Baraka

This incredible documentary involves an adventure in 25 countries on six continents. Right from the beginning, in which you almost feel like you are touching the matted fur of snow monkeys through the screen, you experience the diverse happenings on this planet, which many don’t know about. Since there is no narrative, you’re left wondering, “Why haven’t I gone to such places?”

#1: Around the World in 80 Days

Featuring 17 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America, this travel documentary is written and presented by Michael Palin as part of the BBC travel series. Palin draws the story from the popular adventure novel by Jules Verne, which bears the same name. The film, which is broadcast in seven episodes, features some refreshing lands and locations where the stars travel using all means of transport except for air travel. That is what makes the documentary so incredible.

You don’t have to keep going to the same travel destination every summer or holiday; explore your options a little by watching the above documentaries. You just need to open your eyes wide and behold the chronicles of travelers; both their perilous challenges and their euphoric victories, in order to get inspired to try something new.

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How to make your home feel like a luxury hotel

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The experience of staying in hotel rooms is something that most travelers do not forget. There is something about the way hotel rooms are perfectly arranged which makes the experience incredibly comfortable. The beds in hotel rooms are often fluffier than any bed in usual homes, and the pillows are something you can really sink into. Every experience associated with staying in a hotel such as bathing, sleeping, relaxing in the living or drawing room, or just using the various utilities such as closets and switches, is customized in hotels to provide the perfect experience.

Travelers who stay at luxurious hotels often experience a shock when they get back to their homes. Re-adjusting to the disorganized and cluttered nature of your own home after staying in the perfected settings of a hotel can be quite disconcerting. Fortunately, there are ways to transform the living experience of your own home into that of a hotel. Mentioned below are some of the ways in which you can make your home feel like a luxury hotel.

Ensure a perfect bedroom

The most important aspect of ensuring a hotel-like environment is making sure that you have a top-notch bedroom. The size of the bed should be a king or queen sized base along with a plush mattress. Ditch the usual blankets for a duvet, and it’s always nice to have extra pillows. It is important to have good quality pillows that are neither too soft nor too hard.

Emulate the spa experience in your bathroom- This is all about customizing your bathroom in the best possible way with all the essential oils, lotions, and other kinds of cosmetics and bathing accessories. Your toiletries should be sorted well, preferably in under-sink cabinets. A decently sized bathtub is a must if you want your home to feel like a hotel. You can also choose to have a collection of scented candles that can help you set up the right atmosphere for relaxation.

It’s all about the vibe

Luxury is also a state of mind, so you have to make sure that the general vibe of the house feels to you like you are on vacation. If you are into something extra, Lighting some candles and putting soothing music might also do the trick for you.

Pay attention to the entrance of your homes

One of the first things that you notice when you enter a hotel is its glamorous lobby. It is usually decorated with flowers, orchids or paintings. It also often has a wide arrangement of showpieces and furniture. The same principle applies to your home. You should focus on decorating the entrance to your home along with placing exhibits of your choice at appropriate locations.

So we hope that we gave you some insights on how to make your home feel like a luxury hotel. Through careful planning and attention to detail, it is not difficult to establish the same environment of perfect living that is found at most luxury hotels in your home.

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Clever ways to save money on traveling

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Sure, many of us have dreams of seeing the world. Who doesn’t? But we’re not made of money, and it seems as though our wings are yet to sprout; we need a way to see the world that won’t cost us a small fortune. Thankfully, there are clever ways to save money on traveling that will open up the doors of opportunity to so much more of the globe than we ever believed.

Think of the time

One of the biggest reasons vacation prices will rise is all thanks to those bundles of joy people like to drag around with them – or kids as they are usually called. If you want to go traveling but don’t want to pay a fortune for the privilege, then it’s best to avoid any kind of school break. Airlines and hotels love to ramp up the prices when they know families will be flooding abroad. Not only will you avoid any extra and unnecessary charges, but you’ll also get to enjoy a more peaceful vacation and still have the chance to soak up the beautiful weather in the out-of-season months.

Book at the right time

As well as heading abroad at the right time, it’s just as important to book your tickets when the time is right. Statistics have shown that booking your flights at the weekend could save you as much as 19% on the final fare. No one knows why, but many think it’s because travel agents are typically open in the week meaning they get plenty of business workers. These are usually the ones willing to pay the extra cost for a slice of luxury – or put it all on the company’s card instead. Either one works.

Go it alone

No, we don’t mean ditch your entire family and head of on a solo adventure. Although, that would be one way to avoid paying for the extra tickets. Using travel agents can be one way to book a vacation, but it might not always be the cheapest. Looking for your own flights through price comparison websites is one way to get the best deals on your airfare. Plus, a lot of times hotels will offer up the cheapest rooms if you call them directly or head to their website. Sometimes the extra work is all worth the effort.

Follow the locals

Of course, local residents won’t necessarily want to pay through the nose for everyday things. Watching where they all head to eat is a good start to saving money while traveling as you won’t be spending any extra tourist charges in popular restaurants. Have you thought about how you will get around once you are at your destination? Hiring a vehicle might give you a little more freedom, but public transport is usually the cheapest way to explore new lands. There could be deals on tickets, and you’ll save on any parking fees.

Don’t overdo the texts

How will anyone know if you’ve gone on vacation if you don’t flood their phone with texts and phone calls about your adventures? Although it might be tempting to call home at every opportunity, all those messages could soon add up to a whopping bill at the end. Rather than waste your money, take advantage of any free wifi dotted around and use an app to message instead. There are many free apps that mean you can send all the pictures and videos you like whenever you’re connected to the internet.

Jetting off on vacation doesn’t have to cost a bomb, and neither does enjoying your time while you’re there. Thankfully, these clever ways to save money on traveling will free up more budget for all those souvenirs, and maybe even the next adventure or two.

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Sri Lanka ranked top country for travel in 2019 by Lonely Planet

Improved train services mean it’s easier than ever to explore Sri Lanka but campaigners warn a surge in tourism could ruin its natural beauty

Almost 10 years after the end of its civil war, Sri Lanka has been named the best country in the world to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet. Better transport links, new hotels and a growing number of activities were cited as the reason the south-Asian island was chosen for the top spot in the guidebook publisher ’s annual Best in Travel awards.

“Already notable to intrepid travellers for its mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome and friendliness after decades of civil conflict, this is a country revived,” says Lonely Planet author Ethan Gelber in the Best in Travel 2019 book, published today.

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Travel blogs that are really great reads

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Do you love traveling as much as we do? There really is no better feeling than jumping on an airplane and letting the pilot take you to a brand new destination where you can check out the local cuisine, get to grips with the biggest attractions, and expand your horizons. The world really is your oyster. Of course, traveling the world one country at a time can be difficult if you work full-time, and you have to make the most out of your vacation days and your weekends. But if you struggle to make it through the day without thinking about travel-related-tidbits, you’ll love these travel blogs that are really great reads…

Nomadic Matt

Nomadic Matt is perhaps one of the biggest and most successful travel bloggers in the world. As if that wasn’t cool enough, he’s also written a book that has made its way onto the New York Times best-seller list! After making his way into the world of full-time work and using all of his free time to see more of the world, Matt eventually decided to take the plunge, give up his job, and travel the world full-time. He has since been traveling for over a decade and uses his blog to show off his adventures, provide fans with travel tips, and even help them plan their own traveling adventure on a budget.

Alex in Wonderland

Do you ever just find yourself dreaming of a travel experience? Well, you’re not alone. That’s exactly what Alex went through while she was living and studying in Brooklyn. After growing tired of her everyday life, she decided that enough was enough and bought a one-way ticket abroad. Since then, she has spent six years traveling the globe and seeing what each new destination has to offer. Her travel blog is all about getting the most about a traveling adventure and living your best life.

Roads & Kingdoms

If you’re the kind of person that likes to be clued up about travel and culture, then Roads & Kingdoms is right up your street. This travel blog was set up by two established journalists who decided to give back to those who had caught the travel blog. Within this amazing website, these guys give you all the information you could possibly want to know about a country or city, from the food recommendations to the attractions and natural wonders you really need to see, to the music you need to listen to and the drinks you need to try. It’s the ultimate site of facts and figures, with a little bit of fun thrown in for good measure.

Fearful Adventurer

The Fearful Adventure blog is the blog for all of the worriers out there because traveling can be stressful and scary. Torre uses her blog to help those people out there who struggle with traveling on their own or with other people, to show you that you are in control of your own traveling experiences and that only you have the power to determine how you will make the most out of seeing the world and experiencing new things.

The Blonde Abroad

If you’re a strong, sassy woman who loves to do things off their own back, then you’ll love The Blonde Abroad. This travel blog was set up by Kiki, a California native who decided to take a break from work and try and ‘find herself’ during a summer abroad. However, what she didn’t realize was that she would be sucked into the travel lifestyle and feel totally empowered by going it alone and embracing her female power. From that, The Blonde Abroad was created, and she now advises and helps other women embark on their own solo journey of self-discovery. It will give you massive FOMO but is so worth it.

Looking for a cool new travel blog to keep you company on the commute home from work, or one to give you inspiration? These are a good start.

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6 things to do before leaving on vacation

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Going on a vacation is an exciting affair. You will see things you never imagined, taste things you never tasted before, meet exciting and different people as well as try to learn about new cultures. Many people grow increasingly more impatient as the date of their departure approaches. They grow so impatient that they make a few rudimentary mistakes. Here are a couple of things to do before leaving on your vacation.

Don’t announce it on social media

By telling everyone that you aren’t home, you might as well hold the door open for them too. Many criminals have robbed houses, saying that they only robbed the house because they knew that nobody was home. In the same vein, stop mail service because of the same reason. You can reroute mail to a friend, family member, or ask the postal service to hold it. The post office will keep all of your letters safe, and best of all, the service is free.

Take another look at your insurance

Whenever you leave the country, it is best to know what your insurance will, as well as won’t cover. For example, most United States car insurance policies are valid in Canada. Look at your health insurance to know whether you are covered if you get injured or sick overseas, while you are away from the United States.

A timer for your home is a fabulous investment

Burglars are more likely to rob a house when its lights are constantly off. By putting timers on lights in different rooms, you can fool any would be burglars into thinking you’re home. Set them in such a way that they go off at different times during the day, as well as at night.

Turn off your water mains

This is one of the most important things on this list. Coming home to a flooded home isn’t much fun, and it can also do a lot of damage to your home. Even if you are going to be away only for a few days, it is a good idea to turn off the mains to your water supply because leaks can, and do, happen. You would be doing your bit for the environment by saving water as well.

Unplug all of your electronics

It is common knowledge that electronics do consume electricity even when they aren’t on. Unplug the appliances that will go unused for a while like the toaster, oven, and microwave to save on your electricity bill as well as put a stop to the possibility of an electrical fire. Enjoy your vacation!

Lend your car to a friend

When going away, you can hit two birds with one stone: making sure that your car is always running so the engine won’t be drained, and helping a good friend in need. Don’t forget to make sure that he’s loyal and trustworthy with your beloved vehicle.

So while you are already planning on having the time of your life, don’t forget to follow these instructions beforehand. Only afterwards you’ll be able to enjoy your dream vacation.

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It’s a jungle out there: Costa Rica with kids

Full of exotic animals and rainforests but also child-friendly, Costa Rica is the perfect natural playground for a family adventure

It’s dark in the rainforest, the air thick with strange croaks and chirps, and our group moves slowly, following José’s torchlight. As he gestures for us to stop, we gather around in silence, the adults as keen as the children to see what he’s spotted. There on a leaf, with its bulging orange eyes, neat green body and comically big tangerine feet, sits a Costa Rican tree frog. Cue delighted squeals all round.

“It’s so cute!” whispers my niece, Georgia, and I nod, partly relieved it’s not a boa constrictor or tarantula.

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Travel | The Guardian

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Beautiful canyons of the world

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There is something magical about standing at the edge of a canyon, seeing something so enormous stretching out in front of you – a size you can only imagine! Although these cavernous cracks in the Earth seem like a once in a lifetime sight, there are actually several incredible canyons around the world, and here are five of the most breathtakingly beautiful that you absolutely must see.

Grand Canyon, USA

Probably the most well-known of all canyons, the Grand Canyon is actually one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and if you have ever been, it will be easy to see why. This beautiful sight sees over five million visitors every year, come to marvel the 6000 foot deep, 277 miles long and 18 miles wide canyon. A fantastic view, it is one of the most accessible Canyons and offers hikes, mule rides, and even helicopter tours. Very popular with tourists, there are local hotels right on the rim to stay in, plus museums and education centers based around some of the canyon’s history. On the Vegas side, there is even a huge see-through ledge which gives the feeling of floating right out above the canyon. Not for the faint of heart!

Colca Canyon, Peru

A whopping 13,650 feet deep, Peru’s Colca Canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon! This colorful, 45 mile-long canyon is steeped in Inca and pre-Inca cultural history and still, today maintains ancestral traditions of indigenous people, making it an incredible place to behold. There are plenty of things to keep you busy on this canyon, aside from just the views, as it is home to the endangered condors which can often be spotted. There are plenty of photograph opportunities, including being able to have your photograph taken holding a hawk or a baby Alpaca, and local villagers sell trinkets for tourists to buy.

Copper Canyon, Mexico

In Mexico, you will find the stunning Copper Canyon, which is part of the Barrancas del Cobre, created by six rivers. The best way to enjoy this canyon is on the Copper Canyon Railway which runs 400 miles from Chihuahua to Los Mochis and on its 16-hour journey, climbs over 8,000 feet, across 36 bridges and through 87 tunnels! If you want to explore Copper Canyon on foot, it is advised that you hire a guide as the trails are not mapped nor signposted.

Verdon Gorge, France

A Canyon may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you picture visiting France, but it really is worth the trip to see this incredible turquoise Canyon in South East France! Right by the French Riviera, this Canyon is a haven for hikers, kayakers, and rock climbers – in fact, there are over 1500 routes that have been developed across this 13-mile long canyon! The Verdon Gorge is often given the accolade of Europe’s most beautiful canyon, and it would be difficult to disagree.

River Fish Canyon

An often-photographed beauty, the Fish River Canyon really is breathtaking! It is the largest canyon in Africa at 100 miles long, 18 miles wide and an incredible 1,800 feet deep, making a very popular 54-mile hike, known as The Fish River Canyon Trail. These factors make it the second-most popular tourist attraction in Namibia, second only to Etosha National Park.

These canyons are truly a wondrous feat of nature; they are absolutely stunning. The sheer scale of them takes your breath away; you need to visit at least one of these epic landmarks on your journeys.

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Magical mystery tour: a road trip through Mexico

Kicking off at a raucous Day of the Dead party, this odyssey takes in indigenous culture rarely seen by outsiders, with plenty of music and laughs along the way

I’m lying on the grass in the churchyard in Huaquechula, a small town in the state of Puebla, central Mexico. I open my eyes and look up. A man dressed in eagle feathers is standing on top of a 30-metre telegraph pole banging a small drum, and four other men are climbing up towards him. When the four reach the top, they attach ropes to their ankles and lean far back, arms out, until they are upside down. Then the eagle-man starts to dance and sing.

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Travel | The Guardian

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The most beautiful shopping malls around the world

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When you go out for your weekly shop, or to buy your annual wardrobe (yes, I’m talking about you, men!) you probably just venture to your local mall, with your budget department stores and your food market. You probably don’t expect to be greeted with gondola rides, rollercoasters, or giant aquariums, do you? Well, in certain parts of the world this could be your local shopping mall. Bet you’re regretting your house location now. Let’s all move to Dubai!

Dubai Mall – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

If you’ve ever been to Dubai or the United Arab Emirates, you’ll know that they don’t do anything by halves. Everything is excessive, everything is elegant, everything is clean, and everything is beautiful. Including the shopping malls. As well as being one of the most beautiful malls in the world, the Dubai Mall is also the largest in the world and comes complete with 1,200 shops to its name, an Aquarium and Discovery Center, an ice rink, a theme park, a 22-screen cinema, the largest candy store in the world, an interactive children’s center, and one of the most spectacular indoor fountains on the planet! Not much, then…

The Grand Canal Shoppes – Las Vegas, United States of America

Don’t worry if you’ve never visited Venice because you won’t need to if you take a trip to the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas! This Venetian-themed hotel comes complete with its very own Grand Canal Shoppes featuring incredible waterways, which you can travel using Gondolas – with your very own Gondola driver who might even sing for you if you’re lucky. The mall offers 91 shops connected by cobbled streets and a moving clouded ceiling. And of course, no Venetian street would be complete without street performers.

Canal City – Fukuoka, Japan

Just like the Grand Canal Shoppes in Las Vegas, Canal City shopping mall in Japan has based its mall around incredible canals. The canals serve as the main event in this mall, with the shops built as if they surround the water. But these buildings aren’t your typical run of the mill two-up two-down buildings. Instead, they are all curved, with water features, fountains, and sculptures which have been designed and constructed to trick the eyes of its visitors. As well as some of the most prestigious shops and brands, the mall also houses art exhibitions, gaming centers, cinemas, a music stadium – and the piece de resistance is the fifth floor of the mall which is solely dedicated to ramen! Time to tuck in.

Berjaya Times Square – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Despite the fact the Berjaya Times Square shopping mall in Malaysia is Asia’s largest shopping mall, the grandiose mall is actually designed around the streets and bright lights of New York’s Times Square. With a makeshift subway station, big billboards and bright signs, you could easily mistake it for the Big Apple! The shopping mall offers its visitors over 1000 stores, as well as an incredible indoor theme park complete with roller coasters (yep, inside), a haunted house, and more. As if it wasn’t already pretty epic, the mall also throws in the extra awesomeness of a giant musical staircase to entertain you (and your kids) for hours.

West Edmonton Mall – Edmonton, Canada

The West Edmonton Mall is one of the most beautiful malls in the world because it is one of the most unexpected. As you walk through the doors, you’re bombarded with a huge area full of fun and activities. As well as the obvious stores and food halls, this mall offers the largest indoor waterpark in the world, complete with a wave pool and 83-foot tall water slide, an ice rink, a lake which features sea lions, a mini-golf course, a shooting range, bowling alley, arcade, music Stadium, a chapel and an indoor theme park! Could you need anything else?

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Places with the best weather in the winter

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With summer officially over, it’s time to start planning for your upcoming winter break. With so many places to choose from, you may find it challenging to zero in on the ideal vacation spot. To help you, we’ve made a list of the places that have stellar weather during the winter and which would make for truly divine holiday destinations. So what are we waiting for? Let’s jump in.

Atlas Mountains

Morocco’s Atlas Mountains may not be the first place that comes to mind when we speak of winter, but this African desert paradise transforms into a snow-clad fairyland come winter. Mount Toubkal, which summits at 4167 meters, is a great place for adventure enthusiasts and hiking/camping aficionados. If you are looking for a unique winter experience, this one’s for you.

Quebec

The Canadian city of Quebec makes for a great winter destination, especially during the festive season. While Toronto often represents the ‘English’ side of Canada, Montreal is considered as a representation of Continental Europe. The magnificently designed, beautifully decorated and bustling 17th and 18th Century churches, bakeries, libraries, and bistros on the narrow cobblestone roads give tourists plenty of space to sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee, and savor the many visual delights that Quebec has to offer.

Seville

With its mild winters (ranging between 50 – 54 degrees Fahrenheit), bustling Christmas markets, traditional tapas bars, and unique Belén tradition, Seville is the right choice for your upcoming winter break. Indulge in some of Spain’s most decadent winter dishes, visit the mountainous Sierra Norte area, and ring in the New Year with The Three Wise Men. This is sure to be a colorful winter vacation.

Croatia

Whatever the season, the European nation of Croatia is always a beautiful place to visit. But come winter, this beauty is magnified tenfold. Imagine frozen turquoise lakes, snow-clad forests, ancient snow-strapped buildings, festive fairy lights, and the memorable 40-day long Dubrovnik Winter Festival and you’ll understand why Croatia is such fun during the winter. Also, Game of Thrones fans will find some of their favorite locations from the series, such as king’s landing and its surroundings.

Hallstatt

Hallstatt in Austria is a sight for sore eyes. One look at this small lakeside village and you’ll believe in magic. For that’s exactly what life is like in Hallstatt during winter – utterly magical. The majestic snow-clad Salzburg Mountain and the surrounding crystal clear waters will inspire awe in people of all ages. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit for those looking for a quiet and romantic winter escape.

Queenstown

If you’re looking to winter in a place that still resembles spring and summer, then New Zealand’s Queenstown is the perfect place to visit. The many mountain ranges, including the Remarkables and Coronet Peak are blanketed both in snow and endemic winter flora. You will have quite a few of opportunities to snowboard, ski, and research plants when here.

So while winter could be hard for everyone sometimes, you’ll find that these places might actually your winter vacation dreamy than ever.

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High society: El Alto, Bolivia, steps into the spotlight

After landing at El Alto, canny travellers don’t go straight to La Paz but soak up the exuberant architecture, culture and women’s projects of Bolivia’s second city

Most travellers never give El Alto a second thought. Bolivia’s second city, home to the highest international airport in South America (and fifth-highest in the world) at 4,061 metres, it is a place visitors fly into before being whisked to La Paz, the de facto capital, 15km away and 421 metres lower.

Yet, El Alto is emerging from the shadow of its neighbour, thanks to its fantastic rebel architecture, new cable car routes, emerging culinary credentials and the trailblazing input of its first female mayor, Soledad Chapetón. It’s also proudly championing the Fighting Cholitas, female wrestlers who perform regularly at its sports centre, called El Multifuncional .

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Best cameras to bring with you on your trip

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The invention of the digital camera has taken photography a step further. The traditional film cameras used in the past were quite bulky and incorporated very few features. The invention of digital cameras served as a blessing for photographers in this regard. The user-friendly gadgets enable individuals to snap beautiful pictures with improved clarity. The best part is, customers can now buy the latest digital cameras online, sometimes with special offers and discounts.

The market today is flooded with a huge collection of the latest digital cameras, delivering quality performance in every level of the market. Let us discuss the best cameras to bring with you if you are planning a trip.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21MP DSLR Camera

This is a full frame, 21.1-megapixel camera with full high definition video capability. An attractive design, the light weight, and its compact nature are some of the prominent features of the gadget. The advanced DIGIC 4 processor present in the camera combines with the enhanced CMOS sensor to deliver image quality at 3.9 frames per second. This is the first DSLR from Canon that supports full HD 1920×1080 video capture. The new 3.0″ VGA resolution LCD on the device offers photographers a large 170º angle-of-view.

As far as the menu system of the camera is concerned, it supports a new quick control screen for easy and quick access. There is also a creative auto mode to provide users with control over image brightness, background blur, drive mode, and more.

The Sony Alpha NEX-7

This is another user-friendly device from Sony designed to meet the advanced requirements of photographers. Equipped with a wide range of features, the device offers better clarity even while shooting in dim light. Prominent features of the device include a 3.0″ Tiltable LCD, 24.3MP APS-C sensor, BIONZ image processor, HDMI output, OLED viewfinder, built-in flash, intelligent Auto Focus, and more.

Polaroid Pic 300 For Great Pictures

Yet another instant camera that you need to know about is the Polaroid Pic 300. This gives you the ability to take vivid and colorful pictures that are the size of business cards. It is very responsive to the environment and will activate the auto flash in low light. Additionally, it features auto adjust, an electronic shutter that is 1/60 speed and has compensation for manual exposure. However, you need to purchase Polaroid 300 film to work with this instant camera.

There are at least four different scene settings which will undoubtedly help you capture the perfect picture in any kind of light. This Polaroid camera has a wrist strap for easy handling and is powered by AA batteries.

Canon PowerShot S110

This is another great camera for amateur photographers. With a 12MP 1/1.7″ ‘High Sensitivity CMOS’ sensor, 24-120mm equivalent lens and a DIGIC 5 image processor, photographers can expect quality images. Multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, integrated WI-Fi connectivity, and built-in GPS module are just some of the additional features supported by the gadget.

Every camera on this list could be a great purchase for your next trip, so make sure you go over all of them and find what is your favorite.

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The best places for digital nomads

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In this day and age, many millennials are seeking to escape the familiar corporate nine-to-five workdays, wishing to escape their fluorescent-lighted fate. due to the colossal influence of globalization, the concept of work in the digital era is still ongoing through many twists and turns, and more people wish to examine and experience a less stressful life. From this crisis, the digital nomad lifestyle was born. Today, The Idyllic image of ourselves enjoying life while making money becomes more vivid as freelancers and entrepreneurs are in constant “Workation” – creating your own work schedule while vacating and traveling. From South America to the Far East, here are some great cities that are perfect for digital nomads.

Chang Mai, Thailand

Northern Thailand’s largest city is known as the perfect option for cyber nomads who want to settle in. You may find yourself moving around in a rickshaw or a tuk-tuk (Chang Mai’s main transportation) while looking at the city’s beautiful architecture. Soon enough, you’ll be surrounded by other open-minded independent nomads like you, all drawn to Chang Mai for its sense of community, networking and great Thai food.

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Through word of mouth, Costa Rica’s southeastern city has become a great option for international freelancers to have their perfect workation. While this tropical paradise is mainly famous due to its beautiful coasts and breathtaking nature, Costa Rica is also known for its great Wi-Fi, and many digital nomads choose to work from their restaurants and cafes. After work, you could just go climb a volcano or surf in some of its beautiful coasts.

Vilnius, Lithuania

Lithuania’s capital has been attracting many freelancers and entrepreneurs and offers Achievable accommodation of only $ 425 per month. Vilnius shows a perfect mix between its history, such as the UNESCO-listed Baroque old town, and a vibrant nightlife of never-ending restaurants and bars. Another great benefit in the city is its extraordinary public Wi-Fi, which is considered the fastest in the world, a feature that will attract every Digital Nomad.

Cape Town, South Africa

This South-African gem is considered as Africa main’s tech hub, and despite being known by the industry as the ‘Silicon Cape’ due to its several Information and Communications Technology (ICT) initiatives around the city, it is still relatively unknown to many freelancing workers. In Cape Town, you could work, while also enjoying its perks such as its beautiful scenery, the famous safari and a reasonable rent (around $ 750a month).

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is known as a popular hub for cyber nomads for many years. With its Stunning sandy beaches, reasonable apartment prices, warm people and great Wi-Fi connections, This Indonesian treasure is attracting a growing mass of independent digital workers from all over the globe. For example, you can rent an entire house for less than $ 400 dollars a month, while meeting great people and exploring jaw-dropping locations.

Tallinn, Estonia

Following the booming economic growth of the Baltic states, Estonia’s Bustling capital Tallinn has been making a name for herself with its flourishing tech culture. During any giving time, you could see the city’s workspaces often crowded with cyber nomads. Here, one can easily combine business with pleasure, as Tallinn also known for its great nightlife and multiple music festivals. And if that’s not enough, rent is only around $ 500 per month.

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World’s best spots for scuba diving

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Many people enjoy going to the coast to soak up the sun and relax on the beach, but there other great reasons to make these destinations your next vacation spot. Rather than chilling atop the surface of the water, you can explore what’s hiding beneath it. Scuba diving will introduce you to some of nature’s most breathtaking sights, and it may well change your life. If you think you’ve already seen all the beauty that the world has to offer, just wait until you visit these incredible locations.

Thistlegorm

You might expect a lot of natural beauty when you go scuba diving, but Thistlegorm features something a little more unexpected. Here lies a shipwreck from the 1940s that is still filled with all manner of vehicles, including motorbikes and trucks. If you’re fascinated by history, exploring this place of interest ought to be on your bucket list.

Barracuda Point

The sea life on offer here is some of the most diverse you’ll ever find around the world. From Buffalo Fish to Sea Turtles, you can never quite be sure what you’re going to encounter while scuba diving at this Malaysian site. Plus, with an 800 meter drop off, there’s so much here for you to explore.

Cape Kri

Of course, if its sea life that you want to discover, then Cape Kri in Indonesia has got you covered. This diving spot is home to almost 400 different species, including sharks and barracudas. Many of these enjoy swimming around in the coral reefs along the ocean floor, a sight that you definitely should not miss.

Great Blue Hole

Blue Holes are a wonder to see from the outside, and they don’t get much more magnificent than the Great Blue Hole in Belize. This sinkhole is 143 meters deep and considered to be one of the best places on Earth, probably because it’s so beautiful under the surface. It’s advised that you only dive here once you’re something of a pro because of the dark interior, but the wait will be worth it.

The Yongala

The Yongala is another shipwreck, although you’re not actually allowed to enter this one. The site is protected by the Historic Shipwrecks Act of 1976, meaning it’s something that should only be admired from afar. However, that’s not to say that it isn’t worth visiting, especially with the plethora of marine life that swims around the sunken ship.

Blue Corner

For people who have become pros at scuba diving, you’ll likely appreciate a visit to Blue Corner. This spot challenges divers with its strong currents and sometimes deadly wildlife that call this place their home. The wall dive isn’t easy to do, but if you have the skills, you’ll never forget your experience here.

Big Brother

The real test of your skills is at Big Brother in the Red Sea. If you want to go under the surface here, you’ll need to have experienced more than 50 open water dives, which can take some time to build up. It’s essential that you know what you’re doing if you’re going to dive here, though, because it can be a very unpredictable location. Strong currents and shark encounters make it a unique experience, but one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Liberty Wreck

From one of the most dangerous dives to one of the safest. The Liberty Wreck in Indonesia only has a diving distance of 10-30 meters, so newbies can enjoy the site just as much as any professional. Visibility here is incredible because the water is relatively still, and there’s a great deal to see. Liberty Wreck is home to so much sea life that it’ll probably take your breath away.

Whether you’re a diving fanatic or you’ve only recently acquired your flippers, there’s a lot for you to explore underwater. If there are sites on here you haven’t seen before, be sure to go check them out – you won’t regret it.

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The East London Hotel: ‘Rooms from £85 a short walk from the tube’ – review

‘Throw a stone in any direction from this hotel and it’s likely to land in someone’s negroni’ … a great new base for exploring Bethnal Green

Mother Kelly would be surprised at what’s been happening on her famous doorstep. The Georgian terraced houses of Paradise Row are still there but the railway arches at its northern end – once workshops and mechanics’ garages – have been taken over by chic restaurants and cool bars, one of them named after the early-20th-century pie shop owner herself.

From last week – on the other side of the narrow cobbled street – the site of the former Balls Brothers wine warehouse has been turned, after planning wrangles, into the East London Hotel. In this modernist grey box (with interesting geometric window designs) property developers Irfan Hussain and Marin Jakisic have decided to go for quantity as well as quality. They’ve squeezed 161 rooms on to this small plot between Paradise Row and the V&A Museum of Childhood.

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Popular travel destinations that have been ruined by tourists

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The world has become a more connected place than it used to be. Thanks to advances in technology, travel is cheaper, and we can all just Google a flight to see where our next holiday destination should be. While it is great that so many places that were once thought impossible to get to are now up for vacation consideration plans, there is a problem. The increased footfall in these places is having a negative impact on the place, people, or the actual tourists. Have you been on vacation only to have thought it was ruined by other people also visiting? Check out these popular travel destinations ruined by tourists.

Santorini, Greece

The small island of Santorini in Greece is as beautiful a place as you are likely to find anywhere on the planet. The small island is picturesque and has become an Instagram-worthy vacation destination for many. It is a popular stop for European cruises, so the number of tourists visiting the island per day has had to be capped at 8,000. With so many people crammed onto such a tiny piece of rock, the island is losing its charm and instead just feels overcrowded during peak travel times.

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

You’ve seen those pictures of people standing in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, pretending to be holding it up thanks to a trick of the camera. Well, good luck finding a clear space to take that picture as pretty much everybody who goes is trying their best to get one of these ‘hilarious’ shots that are totally original and have never been done before. The tower is incredible to see, but the sheer number of people who are swarmed around it can really ruin the atmosphere when you are there.

Taj Mahal, India

Unquestionably, the Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, so it makes sense that so many people want to visit. The huge crowds of people, really become a problem as you’ll basically have to battle with them to get a semi-decent photo of one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. If you really want to go then your best bet is to arrive first thing in the morning (gates open at 6am) and then run to the spot you want to take your picture from, otherwise forget about getting a good picture without anyone else in the background.

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galápagos Islands are possibly the best known natural habitat found anywhere on the planet. The islands in Ecuador are naturally a place many people want to visit to get a glimpse of the diverse wildlife found there, but visitors can imbalance the environment. There are strict rules places on visitors, and they are only allowed to go on marked trails with the assistance of a guide. Much of the natural world has been destroyed thanks to human activity, and the Galápagos Islands are one of the few places left on the planet where humans have had relatively little impact on the biodiverse wildlife that lives there. The ecosystem is very fragile there, and further tourism can lead to the whole thing breaking down, ruining it forever.

Mount Everest, Nepal

One of the world’s most dangerous places is being made even more dangerous thanks to the overcrowding on the Nepal side of this mountain. Local guides have complained about the impact too many tourists are having on the site, especially those not capable of climbing the notoriously difficult peak. It is already difficult to climb without having to battle against the hordes of others around you on the mountain.

These places are all incredible and are rightly places that many people desire to go and visit. Unfortunately, they are not capable of housing all of those people which is negatively impacting the experience tourists have when they go. Next time you consider one of these places, think about your impact – and be prepared to wake up early if you want to get a good photo!

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The most luxurious first-class cabins

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Flying first-class is something that many of us can only dream of being able to afford. An incredibly expensive way to travel, it is also the most comfortable and offers plenty of added benefits to compensate for remortgaging your home to afford traveling in style. Many of us will never be able to go first-class, so we’re bringing first class to everybody. Here are the most luxurious first-class cabins.

First-class suite – Emirates

You want to travel in first-class, but you don’t want to have to spend time in the presence of others, even if they too are flying first class. Emirates Airlines offers its customers the chance to fly in their own private suites, giving passengers their very own high tech living space for the duration of their flight. They have mood lighting inside and offer camera projections of the outside, meaning you’ll always have a window seat to look out of. Your leather seat will fully recline to become a comfy bed, even offering customers the chance to place their bed in a zero-gravity position, increasing the feeling of relaxation and weightlessness. There are showers on board, and the food on offer is five-star quality, as are the beauty and grooming products.

La Première suites – Air France

For many people, France offers a chic style that not many other countries can replicate, so it makes sense that Air France offers their own stylish take on the first-class flying experience. Passengers using La Première suites can expect their cabin to be furnished in luxurious wood, metal, and leather as well as some of the best food available on any flight in the world. Passengers flying first-class with Air France can enjoy the finest menu designed by some of France’s best Michelin Star-winning chefs. Your seat can convert to a bed, and you won’t have to worry about privacy as there are curtains you can draw closed to make sure your space is your own.

The Residence – Etihad

Normally if you are going fly first class, you can expect plenty of leg room, top service from the air hostesses and a selection of the finest meals to get you through your journey. Etihad decided to offer their first-class customers a little extra, actually, a lot extra. Called “The Residence,” passengers using this service can expect to have use of their very own, private multi-room cabin. First off, you get your own personal butler to assist you in everything that you do, then you can feel free to roam around your own private living quarters for the rest of your flight. You’ll get a lounge of your own, complete with big TV, a double bedroom and a separate shower room to keep you feeling fresh. You’ll be living in such luxury that you’ll be sad when your flight ends and you have to go back to normal life.

Flying first-class is a luxury few people can afford, that is what makes it so extra special to those who can travel that way. Each airline will try to provide the best service possible to their customers, to make sure they keep coming back to them each time they fly. These first-class cabins are our pick for the most luxurious on offer and the reason why we’ll be asking for a free upgrade the next time we are traveling on their airline.

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Fixing the Fells: the campaign to save the paths of Scafell Pike

Lake District repair team fear funds to protect route up England’s highest mountain will fall short as crowdfunding deadline looms

At the busiest times of year, the stream of human traffic on the Brown Tongue path never ceases – not even at night.

The route used by 100,000 people every year – as the most direct way to the top of Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain – is one of the most heavily walked paths of its type in the world. But its popularity has come at a high price.

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Travel | The Guardian

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Weird Japanese islands you need to visit

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Japan is a diverse country that has just about anything for just about anyone. For adventurers who seek tranquility on unreachable lands, far away from metropolitans and media, there are a number of islands that seem like a small piece of Eden to those who look for it. This article will focus on the best islands for animal lovers, history lovers, and art lovers, inspiring you to go look for more on your own.

For animal lovers – Aoshima and Tashirojima

More than 120 cats live on these islands, outnumbering humans, which is great because you get to keep as many as you want for about a day. There are no hotels, shops, or kiosks however, so your trip should be planned to make the most of your day with the cats only.

For animal lovers – Okunoshima

If you’ve done your research, you know that this island used to be a chemical warfare testing site. Rabbits were shipped there for experimentation, but when the experiments ended, they were left to dominate the land. They’re all yours to cuddle now.

For history lovers – Hashima

An abandoned island rich in history and the set of a fair number of films, Hashima was once home to coal mines. Roaming around the deserted, almost eerie buildings, you’ll get a great feel of the spooky side of Japan. Almost every travel blog recommends this island – you just can’t miss it. It was used as the set for a number of films and documentaries, and it’s really worth seeing for yourself why the world takes so much interest in this small island off the coast of Nagasaki. As fun as it is, there are a lot of safety precautions and rules. Only the physically able can get through, and certainly no one who screams at the sound of a crumbling piece of concrete should make the journey.

For history lovers – Tomogashima

Loaded with historic sites and buildings, this island is sure to give you that time-travel feel as you roam and wander aimlessly around the small, quiet island, gazing around you at the endless ancient structures. It’s only about an hour or two away from Wakayama, so be sure to spend at least a day there.

For art lovers – Naoshima

This is basically an open art gallery for those who create under the stars and clouds. You’ll find imaginative, unique, and daring works sitting there as naturally as if they were a part of the island all along. If you can recognize them, here’s a few artist that gave their contributions to Naoshima: Yayoi Kusama, Tadao Ando, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yasumasa Morimura, Andy Warhol, and Richard Long.

For art lovers – Teshima

Teshima is another island, similar to Naoshima, that hosts the work of famous and undiscovered artists, and makes for an unforgettable journey with its luxurious tours and coffee shops. Only you can decide whether it’s worth your time, but with all its beauty modestly collected in a gallery and two museums, it might very well be worth the trip.

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Hiking a new mega-trail in the Balkans

A long-distance wilderness route will eventually link seven Balkan countries. We walk a stretch from Bosnia to Montenegro

Close to the top of Mount Maglić, on the Bosnia-Montenegro border, a deafening clap of thunder rips across rugged Piva national park. The summit of the 2,386-metre limestone peak is not far away, but with a glance at the darkening sky, our guide Lorenc decides it’s best to turn back.

We weave our way down towards perfectly heart-shaped Lake Trnovačko, just reaching a forest as the downpour hits. When the storm passes, the view across the valley is our reward – glittering, luminous and streaked with post-squall mist. The slopes are lined with tufted grass and a golden eagle floats overhead. The scene silences us, and we walk in quiet contemplation until Lorenc stops us to point out a sign: “Welcome to Bosnia”.

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Travel | The Guardian

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Beautiful, exotic places that were shown on Survivor

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If you have never watched Survivor in your life, then you are missing out on some good television. Survivor is one of the most popular American reality television shows. In the show, the contestants are stranded on exotic islands without much to survive. As the name suggests, the show is all about surviving the challenges they come across and making it to the end to get their hands on the prize money. Some of the locations shown on Survivor are truly breathtaking, and it almost feels like they are perfect for a vacation. Here are some of the beautiful exotic places that were shown on Survivor.

The Herbert River

The Herbert River is located in Queensland, Australia. Shown during the Australian Outback, contestants had to battle some very harsh climatic conditions in this location. This being said, the Herbert River is a beautiful and quaint location, and there are a number of extreme activities that takes place here.

Sabitang Laya Island

This beautiful island is located in the Philippines and has been a prime location for the shoot of two seasons of Survivor. It is breathtakingly beautiful with its long stretches of sand and a vast expanse of blue, clear water. The island is surrounded by beautiful rock structures and is a perfect spot for a vacation. You can go for a swim or simply lie on the sands. There are several activities like snorkeling and scuba diving as well.

Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are situated midway between Polynesia and Tonga. The islands resemble Hawaii in many ways and are filled with lagoons, beaches, coconut groves, and so much more. The best part about this location is the people. The locals are extremely friendly and approachable.

Shaba National Reserve

This reserve is located in Kenya and proved to be a truly challenging experience for the contestants of Survivor. They were dropped right in the middle of a wildlife reserve and asked to make it all the way till the end. Without the challenges, the Shaba National Reserve is a wonderful place to experience wildlife.

Cape Engano

Another stunning location with blue waters and endless stretches of white sand, Cape Engano is located in the Philippines. What takes your breath away is the beautiful landscape you get to witness at Cape Engano. It is one of the top places that anyone who takes a trip to the Philippines must visit.

Pearl Islands

Located in Panama, the Pearl Islands are famous for their nice, hot weather and the beautiful beaches all around them. The water surrounding the Pearl Islands is crystal clear and beckons you invitingly for a swim. The serenity of the islands is bound to relax you and make you want to leave the stress of everyday life far behind.

Ko Tarutao

Ko Tarutao was shown in the fifth season of Survivor. Located in Thailand, Ko Tarutao has a rugged landscape and the scenic beauty is sure to fill your soul. This beautiful place has mountains that reach up to 1640 ft. and offers a wonderful experience to the tourists who visit.

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How to travel the world in a van

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If you are a traveler and explorer at heart, and you wish to travel the world, you might want to consider doing it in a van. It’s not easy, but it can be an incredible experience. It seems like everybody’s dream to travel and explore the various parts of the world at a relaxed pace, experiencing everything that the people of a particular place have to offer. Every little nook and cranny of those small streets, every dish we try, all the people we meet, and all the experiences we share, bring us knowledge and joy.

Living in a van is not easy, especially if you are planning on travelling for a long period of time. If you are looking to make this van your new home, then make sure that it is fully equipped with all the necessary items and comfortable enough to live in. Here are some tips to consider if you want to travel in a van.

Prepare for the weather

Make sure that your new mobile home is prepared for the cold. Winters are harsh in many areas of the world, and it can be frigid if you plan on spending those in your van. Insulate your van properly so that there is no loss of heat during the harsh winter months. Buy some thermal insulation curtains to avoid any loss of heat through the windows, and make sure you have warm blankets.

Stay healthy and active

It is important to make sure that you eat a healthy and balanced diet so that you can survive the long hours of travelling and the different weather conditions you might encounter. Make sure to do regular exercise on the road, as keeping yourself physically fit is important.

Keep clean

Try as much as possible to keep yourself clean and hygienic. With a couple of baby wipes, deodorant, and dry shampoo, it is not hard as it seems. You can also find a shower at places such as gyms and community swimming pools.

Choose your partner carefully

While travelling with your partner, there will be some ups and downs in your relationship, but all can be worked out if you have some patience and perseverance. It will only bring the two of you closer as friends, or as a couple.

Stay safe

Even when you are perfectly safe in your home, make sure that you take some preventive measures. Consider installing a fire extinguisher in the van, or investing in security cameras so that you can make sure that there is no suspicious activity.

In the beginning, there will be difficulties in adjusting to the van lifestyle, but eventually, if you do it right, you will grow to love it and make the road your home. So if you feel that you need to make a change in your life, don’t be scared to get away and live a little different than everyone. Traveling in a van could be the an excellent solution for getting away from this crazy life.

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Europe’s best wilderness cabins and mountain huts for hikers

From designer dens to remote refuges, there are thousands of – often free – walkers’ huts in amazing locations across Europe

Finland has a huge network of open wilderness huts across its 40 national parks, where hikers, skiers and canoers can spend one or two nights for free. Most are log cabins, some dating back to the 1900s; more unusual huts include a former lifeboat rescue station on Koivuluoto Island and an ex-military canteen on Ulko-Tammio Island, both in the Gulf of Finland national park; and a former fire guard’s home in Rokua national park. Facilities are generally basic, but a few have saunas. Vargis, a hut with a jetty on the banks of a small channel in the Kvarken archipelago, is a fantastic place to stay on a canoe trip. It sleeps eight, has a wood stove, and was once a hunting hideout and a base for smugglers during Finland’s prohibition period (1919-1932).
Prices vary, basic huts free

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Best places to watch birds around the world

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If you’re a keen bird watcher, it can be pretty boring sitting in your garden and watching the same old birds come and go. You strive for more, but you don’t know where to find it? Well, bird watching vacations and trips are becoming increasingly common, and give you the chance to see some of the most exotic birds the world has to offer. And you can get some great photos for your album! (And soak up a bit of new culture at the same time).

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not only one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, but it is also one of the most diverse destinations in terms of birds and wildlife. The whole of Costa Rica is teeming with national parks, nature reserves and wide open spaces for these winged beasts to roam free – perfect for the avid bird watcher. There are hundreds of bird species in Costa Rica, from colorful parrots to hummingbirds, to toucans and quetzals – you can’t find these birds at home! The most successful bird watching destination in Costa Rica is the Wilson Botanical Gardens, where bird watchers have recorded over 300 species of bird.

Colca Canyon, Peru

Being a bird watcher is all about finding the biggest and the best bird on the market – but what if you could do this while trekking through the mountains of Peru? Well, if you’re looking to spot the Andean Condor, this is what you’ll have to do. The Andean Condor is one of the largest birds in the world and can grow a wingspan of up to 3m long! Because they are endangered, the birds are incredibly elusive and difficult to spot, but the Colca Canyon is their favorite hide-out spot. They nest in the rocky precipices and take flight every so often, so keep your eyes peeled.

Kruger National Park, South Africa

We don’t know why anyone would turn down an opportunity to visit South Africa, especially when you can witness some of the most incredible species of bird in the world. Kruger National Park is one of the most impressive parks in South Africa, and the migrant spot for over 200 species of bird between the months of October and March. For the rest of the year, Kruger National Park is home to the Big Six; the martial eagle, the Pel’s fishing owl, the Kori bustard, the southern ground hornbill, the saddle-billed stork and the Lappet-faced vulture.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park in the United States of America is one of the most popular national parks in the world and one of the best places to spot the USA’s symbol – the Bald Eagle. The Bald Eagle is incredibly difficult to spot, but the park is teeming with over 18 nests, meaning there is fair game to snap a picture of the incredible bird. They normally live near bodies of water, so pay attention when you walk past any streams, lakes or rivers.

Norfolk, UK

The United Kingdom is home to some of the most beautiful birds in the world – and if you’re planning on taking a birdwatching trip in the UK, Norfolk is the only place to go. With its incredible diverse range of landscapes and habitats, the birds here are incredibly diverse thanks to its marshland, sand dunes, nature reserves, and lagoons; it’s the perfect breeding ground. Expect to see warblers, godwits, spot bitterns, and the marsh harrier here.

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‘Anti-Trump hotel’ opens in Washington DC

Eaton DC offers platform for campaigners as world’s first ‘activist’ hotel. Clever marketing or genuine attempt to broker change?

Join the “group sound bath” in the wellness centre, stop by the civic engagement workshop in the lobby, then settle in for a rousing performance of protest songs from the all-women Resistance Revival Chorus on the rooftop bar. This is a small sample of the events that were on offer at the opening weekend of the Eaton Hotel in Washington DC – the world’s first “activist hotel”.

Founded on an ethos of progressive ideals and social and environmental justice – and located just a few blocks from President Trump’s eponymous hotel chain – the 209-room Eaton Workshop has, unsurprisingly, been dubbed the “anti-Trump hotel”.

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4 Things to See In Canada

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Canada ranked as the second-best country worldwide in 2017 and 2018, according to US News & World Report. The World Economic Forum also listed Canada as one of the top ten tourist destinations in the globe in the 2013 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index. These rankings suggest that Canada is an incredible country to visit. And above all that, it’s an amazing country to travel to. Here are 4 things to see in Canada.

1. Whistler

Take some time to visit this town in Vancouver, Canada. Currently, more than two million people visit it annually. It hosts Whistler Blackcomb, which is North America’s largest ski resort. You can enjoy ski-related activities such as snowshoeing, ski jumping, and tobogganing. You can take part in snowboarding and skiing as well, and take the opportunity to climb Blackcomb and Whistler mountains. Visit this quiet town and take your pick of breathtaking sights to see or incredible adrenaline-filled activities to do.

2. Gros Morne National Park

This park lies in Newfoundland, which Canada’s most easterly province, and is on the west coast of the island. It is a marvelous sight to see because it is home to the second-highest mountain peak in Newfoundland. More specifically, it stands at 806 meters, which means that this mountain is over two times taller than the Empire State Building in New York. It is worth noting that the name of the park, Gros Morne, means “large mountain standing alone” in French. You can also see many other things in Gros Morne National Park, including rock formations, waterfalls, and cliffs. These landscapes are so breathtaking that UNESCO designated this park as a World Heritage Site.

3. The CN Tower

The CN Tower is in Toronto, Ontario. In this case, CN stands for Canadian National Tower. Other people refer to it as Canada’s National Tower, and it is 553.3 meters tall, which is even taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Construction of this tower started in 1973 and ended in 1976. Today, it stands as the tallest freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere.

More than two million international tourists visit this tower annually marveling at its incredible height and design. Many of them enjoy a meal in its revolving restaurant known as 360. Others step on its Glass Floor, Outdoor Observation Terrace, or Indoor Observation Level. The first two viewpoints sit at an elevation of 342 meters while the third one is at 346 meters.

4. The Aurora Borealis

You can watch this sight in Canada’s Northwest Territories because Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories lies in the auroral oval, the geomagnetic North Pole above which the northern lights appear. This fantastic display of colored lights across the sky is, in fact, a collision of gaseous particles disturbed by a stream of charged particles from the sun’s surface.

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories is the best viewpoint for such an incredible scene. A clear sky for most of the year is the principal reason why people love viewing the Aurora Borealis from here, and there are also lighthouses throughout the city that send alerts to residents when there is an aurora forecast.

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5 ways to get over your jet lag

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Adjusting to a new time zone is never easy for your body, especially when you travel east. The difference in time zones causes a great deal of confusion in the biorhythm of your body, and this can further lead to fatigue, headache, and difficulty concentrating.

However, the good news is that you don’t have to suffer from jet lag for a long time. These tips below will help you.

Prepare in every way possible beforehand

It’s never a good idea to stay up the whole night and not get any sleep before a long flight. This only makes your jet lag worse. Instead, a smart move is to help your body adapt to the new time zone in advance. For instance, if you are traveling east, you can sleep a few hours earlier and wake up earlier than usual, and if you are heading west, try going to bed a few hours later than your usual sleeping time. This will help your body adapt easily once you are actually in your new time zone.

In addition, while booking your flight tickets, you should try to land during the afternoon or evening, rather than morning or at night, if possible. This way, it’s easier for you to stay up.

Avoid sleeping pills

You may be tempted to take some sleeping pills so that you can get a good rest, especially if your flight is during the night. Even though these pills may put you to sleep, the aftereffects can be quite unpleasant. After you land, you tend to feel extremely tired, and your jet lag will become worse.

Avoid coffee at all costs, but drink plenty of water

Make sure you do not consume any coffee or other caffeinated drinks such as energy drinks or Coca-cola. The caffeine content will have a negative influence on your body’s biorhythm and make it difficult to sleep. This further makes it harder for you to adjust to your new time zone once you land, worsening your jet lag. Instead, drink plenty of water to make sure your body is properly hydrated.

Make sure you eat as per your new time zone

It’s important to not skip any meal before and during your flight if you want to reduce the effects of jet lag. It is even a good idea to start having your meals as per the new time zone every day. For instance, having milk and cereal at 10 pm can help your body adjust better once you arrive.

Set your watch to the new time zone

Lastly, you can set your watch to your new time zone as soon as you sit on the plane. This will mentally prepare you for your arrival. However, make sure you do this only after entering the plane and not before. You don’t want to miss your flight!

Jet lag may be common and annoying, but you don’t have to let it spoil your traveling experience. Just follow these five useful tips, and your body will adjust to the new time zone in no time.

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Six of the best US national trails – chosen by experts

To mark today’s 50th anniversary of the US national trails system, six hikers and outdoor writers pick their favourite routes across the American wilderness

Length: 3,700 miles
Route: St Louis, Missouri, north-west over the Rockies to Oregon
By Bart Smith, as told to William R Buck

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Travel | The Guardian

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The best restaurants to try in New York City

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New York is one of the most iconic cities in the world. When we say New York, we get a picture in our mind of streets bustling with beautifully dressed people, skyscrapers whose tops disappear into the sky, the Empire State Building, and of course, the timeless Times Square.
New York has always been known to be the center of commercial interactions and tourist visits. The city simply has a quality about it that takes your breath away. Living in New York City is an enriching experience and it seems as though it is always a step ahead of the rest of the world.
New York is also known for a number of things in addition to being a commercial destination. One of the things the city is known for is the rich mix of cuisines and the different types of food it offers.

Here are a few of the best restaurants in New York. Treat your taste buds by paying a visit to some of these restaurants when you are in town.

Ping Seafood

You may be surprised to know that this particular restaurant has been open since 1998. It was a hit back when it opened and continues its excellent service to this day. The Cantonese restaurant offers some exciting seafood dishes like noodles with lobster. Ping Seafood is a great place when you want to eat some good food in a lively environment with your near and dear ones.

Burger Joint

If you are craving some messy, delicious burgers, the Burger Joint is the perfect place for you. It serves some of New York’s best burgers and is definitely not a place to be missed. Their perfectly cooked beef patties, topped with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and a generous serving of cheese placed between freshly baked buns is every meat lover’s fantasy.

The Grill

The Grill is always buzzing with people and it’s no wonder. The restaurant is well known for its stunning interiors, and the food which is just as amazing. The Grill’s interior is actually a revamp of the popular Four Seasons restaurant and the results are nothing less than breathtaking. People flock to this restaurant just for the dining experience alone, although the prime rib and the pasta a la presse are definitely items you should try in the menu. Do not forget to book your table in advance.

Fedora

Would you believe it if we told you that this restaurant has been around for almost a century? Of course, the face of the restaurant has changed several times since 1917, but the food remains unmatched. The quaint restaurant always has a mixed crowd and sports a very elegant interior. Some of the most popular dishes include steak tartare and chicken. The Fedora is perfect for a casual night out, but it is also a great place if you want something fancy.

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A foodie tour of Osaka, Japan

In Japan’s second city, a night out means ‘scoffing until you drop’ – so our writer asks a couple of local experts for help exploring the stalls, cafes and bars

The woman on the early morning train from Osaka station made swift work of a large noodle-stuffed omelette, and just as I was thinking that was a substantial breakfast for a far from substantial person, it was out with the chopsticks again as she set about a generous bento box, its nine compartments filled with rice, fish, veg and pickled bits and bobs.

But that’s Osakans for you: prodigious appetites for food and, in marked contrast to Tokyoites, also for drinking and general fun. You have to love a city that has a word for “scoff till you drop”. Kuidaore literally means “eat to ruin” (whether that’s financial or physical is not specified).

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Travel | The Guardian

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