Sicily has made an indelible mark on the European traveling scene. Is it because of the Volcano that is still burning, or is it because of the rich cultural heritage that the city carries? The European experience has been adorned by the Italian influence. The Greek domination has left such marks on the settlements around Rome and rest of Italy including Greece and Sicily that it has become next to impossible to miss it. The roman leftovers are grand enough to attract the historians as well as the tourists. Sicily is one of the most sought after destinations in Italy. The tourism advantage that Sicily can give is just an added feature. The reason for this is that it is essentially a culturally charged city. The city has in itself treasured the exploits of the second Great War as well as the ancient historical facts that a significant part of world history. The city holds a distinct aura as differentiable as its language, which is a mixture of many nearby languages. The Mediterranean influence on the place can be felt by the cuisine that is served in its lavishly decorated restaurants. Sicily holds a unique history that is flanked by the exploits and rule of many dynasties. The geographical location of the place gives a very wrong picture of it being part of the Italian rule. Though it is now a part of Italy but its origin and history is different from that of Italy. The main land of Sicily is separated from the Italian land and thus it finds many indigenous people living in it. How ever it has been a favorite of almost all the empires. The Carthage, the Greeks and the Normans fought over the land too much and it saw the changing the hands. Rome was finally the victor and they ruled it for a long time. Then in the late 19th century Italy took over the control. However the impact of mafia on the island is too much and large part of the land is still under its influence. The city also has the honor of perpetrating the mafia concept. The Greek and the roman influence on the city can be seen by the architecture that is seen around the city. The enormous size of the cathedrals and platforms dazzles the mind of the visitors. The Sicilian backdrop has been used by many film makers and performers. The sheer grandeur of the roman and Greek constructions makes it one of the most sought after destination in southern Europe.Mount Etna is one of the volcanoes that is still active apart from being the tallest in Europe. The rich thick forest cover around the Etna region is an added attraction to the tourists. Apart from the seldom traffic problems and delays in flights and trains, the city offers a vista of traveling experiences. The city is easy to approach, as it is a part of most of eastern and southern European tours. The individual visit can also be a good idea. From romanticism of the mafia to the raw power of nature Sicily has it all.
If you are planning a Eastern Europe city break one of the most interesting and entertaining cities would probably be Prague. March offers many possibilities to spend a few days off in a cultural environment still rich in tradition. This year Easter comes quite early and exactly from 21-24 March so that X-Mas holiday memories are still fresh. As Easter in Prague is a special time most of the city's attractions like opera house, theatres, pubs, restaurants and other entertainment operate every day are open throughout. In particular over the Easter weekend, whilst some shops and restaurants may be closed on Easter Monday. In any case, from the 8th until the 30th of March 2008 Prague features its famous and world attractive Easter Markets. They open daily and offer many handcrafted goods, including wooden toys, traditional dolls and puppets, typical bohemian crystal and jewellery, and of course, everything related to the Easter Season. In fact, you wont miss the brightly coloured, hand-painted Easter eggs and the pastel-colour candles to bring to your friends or decorate your home. It is possible to purchase Easter Egg and ask for personalized decorations on it. We got a nice bunny with a name of our friend on it. On Easter Sunday in particular, girls and women especially in the surrounding villages paint eggs in many personal variations. A mixture of watercolours, picture stickers, bee's wax, straw and/or feathers can be used. Prague also hosts an Easter egg contest annually where girls paint their Easter eggs whilst boys prepare their Easter whips for Easter Monday. Visitors may see examples of these Easter whips in the Prague Markets that, as well as the Christmas Markets in Prague, spread their 100 and more stalls all over from the Old Town Square to Wenceslas Square. Czech ladies also dress up in traditional costumes and will be a perfect subject for your pictures!! For men following their wives felt a prey to Easter shopping, there will be a vast range of food and drink, from hot sausages to ice-cold Pilsner beer. The official Prague beer! Although terribly unhealthy, tasty yummy barbecued sausages or roasting pigs and chips will probably be your treat!! There are many other attractions in Prague: the Jewish ghetto can represent also the religious Prague tour while there for Easter. Consider its high season for Prague as the city is quite well renown for its Easter markets and its the perfect period to go. So consider to find your accommodation in advance. In particular, there are multitudes of youth hostels spreading all over although not always their standards are comparable to the Europeans. Nevertheless prices are very good and now they are all run by young people offering all comforts and services backpackers might need as internet connections, common rooms, kitchen. Some also offer swimming pool and sauna. But if you are travelling with family or in a small group you can also consider the comfort of having a private apartment in Prague to share: that can allow you total privacy and relevant costs cut off!
The "Land of the Midnight Sun" has always been an amazing source of raw, rugged beauty and many think of Alaska only as a great summertime vacation destination. On the other hand, if you like to ski you may want to consider Alaska when planning your next ski vacation because it has some of the best skiing in the world.And one of the top resorts in all of Alaska is the Alyeska Resort. Alyeska has a top elevation slightly above 2,700 feet, a vertical drop of 2,500 and the area gets an average annual snowfall of 631 inches.In addition to offering some of the best skiing in the world, another nice benefit of Alyeska is that you won't run into long lift lines or overly crowded slopes. There are nine lifts, including six chair lifts, two surface lifts and one cable car line. The majority of their trails are designed for the intermediate skier but with 68 trails they also have countless runs for both the beginner and expert.Night skiing is not only allowed but it may be one of most awe inspiring ski experiences you'll ever have. Snow capped mountains, hanging glaciers and the infamous Northern Lights are just a few of the visual bonuses of night skiing at Alyeska. It was ranked number nine in Skiing Magazine's annual top twenty-five killer ski trip reviews.The season begins in mid November and runs through mid April at Alyeska and with close to sixteen hours of daylight each day during April, this area of Alaska boasts the longest period of daylight anywhere in the United States. On the other hand, in December, there are only about seven hours of daylight but with their fabulous night time skiing it's really not an issue.The Alyeska Prince Hotel is the wonderful place to stay. You'll enjoy elegant rooms, fine dining and nightly entertainment is also available. In addition, there are other nightlife watering holes in the area that are not associated with the hotel.If tubing interests you, then visiting the Glacier Tubing Park is an absolute must. It features two lanes of terrain and a surface lift and everyone in the family will enjoy spending time at the tubing park. The Alyeska Terrain Park is a must for snowboarding enthusiasts. Other winter activities that can be enjoyed in and around the "Alyeska Resort" include flight seeing, heliskiing, ocean cruising tours, dog sledding, ice climbing, back country skiing, mountaineering and polar bear watching tours.The Alyeska Resort not only offers some of the best skiing on the continent but when you consider the broad range of available winter activities that can be enjoyed by the entire family, it represents one of the best winter vacation destinations in the world - bar none.This article may be reproduced only in its entirety.
In the movie "City Slickers," a group of vacationers has a series of adventures while working hard as ranch hands. But those who have been to a real Colorado dude ranch know it's actually a relaxing way to spend a vacation.Here are five reasons why a dude ranch is better than "City Slickers":1. All the activities without all the planning: At a dude ranch, you just wake up and go. Most of the activities are offered right at the ranch, so everyone can go their own direction without extensive planning or constantly pulling out their wallets.2. "Away from it all": Although some guests are nervous at first to find that their cell phones don't work in the beautiful Colorado mountains, they are soon relieved. Guests can still check in at home from the ranch office. 3. True relaxation: Guests can truly relax from the first day, as they take that initial horseback ride and discover breathtaking scenery. They soon reconnect to each other as they converse over leisurely meals. And they discover the natural world around them again."Finding the rhythm of the ranch is what I call it," says Charles Henry with the Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association.4. Ownership: About the middle of a dude ranch week, guests begin to act like they own the place, which is just fine with ranch owners. They specialize in creating an atmosphere in which the ranch becomes a guest's second home. 5. The staff: Most vacation spots don't offer the opportunity to get to know the staff like a dude ranch. The people working at dude ranches eat meals with the guests, sit around the campfire together, and are not considered "the help." A common comment written in dude ranch guest books is: "The staff was amazing!" Staff members often keep in touch with guests for years to come.
Holland certainly has a reputation with travelers. Known for having a very liberal attitude on social issues such as prostitution and drugs, the reputation is not always deserved. Yes, marijuana and prostitution is legal, but there is so much more to the country. Many look at Amsterdam as Holland, but visitors know there is much more. If you desire to travel to Holland, also known as the Netherlands, dont miss these attractions.AmsterdamSimply put, Amsterdam has something for everyone. The city is an incredibly beautiful collection of old world European architecture elegantly partitioned by canals. In truth, the city is built on roughly 90 small islands, although you can hardly tell. Transportation is best undertaken on foot or by bicycle. With a cool climate, youll barely break a sweat.Contrary to popular opinion, Amsterdam is not just a city of liberal policies. Yes, coffee bars sell things other then just coffee. Yes, there are women in windows that are awfully friendly. Still, there is so much more to experience in the city.Van Gogh MuseumThe Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh houses the world's largest collection of the work of Vincent van Gogh. From his early work, the museum contains 700 artistic works and 850 letters. After moving to Paris in 1886, van Gogh entered an impressionist period, of which the museum contains a large collection. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the collection is the organization. The entire collection is arranged chronologically from the first to last work. As you walk, you can clearly see the evolution of this masters skill.Anne Frank HouseWho hasnt read the intense diary of "Anne Frank" ? Hiding from the Nazis, she and her family lived in an annexed section of an apartment in Amsterdam for two years. In 1957, the house was donated to the Anne Frank Foundation and turned into a museum. A visit will send chills through your spine. The museum contains films, the annexed area and the original notes of Anne Frank. A must see for anyone traveling to Amsterdam.Beyond AmsterdamFor those needing a break from Amsterdam, there is much to be seen in Holland. If you are looking for a color explosion, consider taking the bulb cycling tour out of Noordwijk. Windmills your thing? Head to the De Zaan district to see them in action. Prefer to spend a night in a castle? Try the Castle Hotel Engelenburg, which even lets you ruin a good walk by playing golf.Travel to Holland and you wont regret it. Whether you want to investigate the countries liberal policies or simply bike through fields of tulips, Holland will satisfy.