Scandinavia Attractions

Scandinavia denotes the countries within the northern European peninsula, namely Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. These nations have similar cultural characteristics, and they even have flags and languages that are much alike. Collectively, they are likewise termed the Nordic countries.

A tour of Scandinavia is liable to afford a single using a splendid view of the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. That is a beautiful pure phenomenon in which the sky looks like a surreal, multi-colored curtain of lights. It normally happens in the months of March, April, September and October.

But if a single isn't lucky enough to witness the Northern Lights, you will discover tons of other, less ephemeral attractions that Scandinavia delivers. The hot springs of Iceland, the fjords of Norway, the mountain ski resorts of Sweden are a just few of those attractions. There too are numerous stunning sights: parks, castle ruins, cathedrals, gardens and museums. Different activities like skiing, hiking and participating in Scandinavian festivals are very fashionable and pleasant.

Also worth mentioning is the one other healthy phenomenon distinctive in the area: the midnight sun. This is seen throughout the endless summer days in the northernmost regions, particularly Norway.

Norway, the "Land from the Vikings", is an archipelago popular for its deep fjords (extended thin inlet with steep sides) and wooden churches. Its funds is Oslo, in which one can visit the well known Akershus castle and fortress, many museums and botanical gardens.

With the Scandinavian countries, Denmark may be the smallest and most southernmost. A lot of Denmark is low and flat, with some hilly areas. The country comprises of the Jutland peninsula and much more than 400 islands. It is in addition encompasses the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Notable sights in Denmark are its windmills and conventional conventional thatched cottages, scattered across the nation.

Sweden is the largest Scandinavian state, both territorially and in terms of population. Like Norway, it also consists of a several islands. The funds is Stockholm, which boasts of a charming medieval town referred to as Gamla Stan, and an open-air museum/park termed Skansen. Sweden has a few mountains, lakes and ski resorts.

A trip around Scandinavia can ideally begin in Copenhagen, Denmark, this being one of the most accessible point and also the southernmost. Copenhagen is a pleasant town, the cash and cultural center of Denmark. It has a pleasant style park called the Tivoli Gardens. Christiania, an distinct "free city" within Copenhagen, is in addition worth a pay a visit to.

Just one can then proceed to the Swedish cash of Stockholm, preferably by train. Then the next stop would be Oslo, Norway. Its many museums are interesting, such as the Kon-Tiki Museum and the Viking Ship Museum. One particular must also remember to stop by the City Hall, noteworthy as the venue for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize.

After Oslo, go to Bergen, a scenic coastal town that's Norway's second biggest city. Bergen is lauded as a European Town of Culture in 2000, along with a Entire world Heritage Town. Despite its size, Bergen is really a strolling town having a rural really feel.

Then a single can take a trip to Helsinki, Finland via ferry from Stockholm. Helsinki can be a contemporary harbor town, with many enjoyable parks and churches.

If you enjoy traveling and would like to read more on some of the most famous places in the world, visit famouswonders.com and also check out things to do in Scandinavia.

How to Spend One Day of Shopping in Barcelona

Shopping in Barcelona is a favorite pastime. Whether strolling along the elegant Paseo de Gracia or nipping in and out of trendy botiques in the Born, to go shopping here can be one of many things. Here you will find beautiful clothing, unique footwear, and interesting artwork as a herald to the city's cultural and artistic demographic. Not only do the Spanish have an impeccable eye for style, but they are beautiful craftsmen as well. Thus, there are endless options for every taste. From designer purses to handmade scarves, antique books to original Picassos, this city by the sea does seem to have it all. The mission then, is to go out and find it! But, if you have limited time while visiting the beautiful city, then you need to know where to go to get your shopping fix. The best option for a time-stressed traveller who wants to do some shopping in Barcelona, is to head straight to the shops around Plaza Catalunya.

The Plaza Catalunya serves as a great starting point for many outings, and most certainly for a day of shopping. From here, along the many streets that sprawl out from the square like spider's legs, you can do your shopping for shoes, clothes, and accessories at many of the country's national brands. Stores like Zara, Bershka, Mango, and Blanco all offer good essential finds at very reasonable prices. The main avenue of the Ramblas, the Ronda Universitat, and the Puerta del Angel are all main thoroughfares for fashion-finders. Of course if you'd rather get your exercise in the mountains, the mega department store El Corte Ingles can be found in the very Plaza Catalunya and requires no more than hopping on the escalator to explore its 7 floors of goods.

Dirt Cheap Barcelona [http://www.dirtcheapbarcelona.com] is a budget travel guide with decent advice for budget travellers. The site contains a massive guide to Barcelona shopping.

Germany Travel Tip - Passion Play In Oberammergau

From the 15th of May until the 3rd of October 2010 the eyes of the world will once again focus on Oberammergau, the small town in the Ammengauer Alps, Upper Bavaria. The preparation for the 41th world renowned Passion-Play is well on its way and if you like to witness this mega event, it is time to make your travel preparations and bookings now!

The play runs for 5 consecutive months at the end of each decade and every performance runs for 6 - 7 hours with a meal served during intermission. The Passion-Play is a dramatic reenactment of the Passion of Christ. The history of the Oberammergau Passion-Play started in 1633, in the middle of the most destructive Thirty Years War and after months of suffering and death from the plague, the citizens of Oberammergau swore an oath, that they would perform the Play of the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ every ten years. Legend has it, that thereafter not one more citizen died of the plague.
It all started back in 1633 when the black death reached Oberammergau during the Thirty Years War and the citizens turned to God for help. Nearly every other family had deaths to mourn and so they all came together at the cemetery and swore an oath to portray the suffering and death of the Lord every 10 years. They also erected a symbol of Christ on poles and crossbars, etching by the Oberammergauer artist Hans Schwaighofer. At Pentecost, in the year 1634, they fulfilled their pledge for the first time on a stage, constructed above the fresh graves of the plague victims.

The Passion-Play shows the trial, suffering and death of Jesus Christ in a dramatic fashion. The play is linked to the Lent, an important time before the Easter celebrations for Christian denominations, primarily in the Catholic Church. What makes this Passion-Play so outstanding in the world is the fact, that it is only held once every 10 years. The actors, directors, scriptwriters, stage set coordinators, technicians, musicians and all other supporting members of the production are solely citizens of Oberammergau and in this way still honoring the pledge of their ancestors, given nearly 380 years ago. Over 2,000 people take part in this play and auditions start 2-3 years before the actual event. The men start to grow their hair to look the part when applying for a role and the most prestigious part is of course the role of Jesus Christ.
In 1830, the 22nd Passion Play year, Ludwig I granted permission for the play under the condition that the stage would be no longer erected over the cemetery. This is when the stage was set up on a meadow on the northwestern edge of town. Its ground plan determined the structure of the Passion Play Theater to the present day. At that times 5,000 spectators could be accommodated in front of the stage. From 1830 to 1850 a more romantic view of the play was discovered in line with the Zeitgeist and widely publicized. Since 1870 people from all over the world started to come and witness the Passion-Play in Oberammergau and an ever growing popularity turned it into the mega event, which it is today.

In the year 2000 the Passion-Play was sold out and the same is projected for the year 2010. If you like to join this event, you should make a decision soon and maybe you like to combine your trip to Germany with other, great destinations and things to explore in Bavaria.

This is an example of what you can do in Oberammergau while traveling in Germany. If you want learn more about Oberammergau we compiled a more comprehensive Oberammergau travel guide in collaboration with local residents that provides unique travel insider tips which you can use during you Germany vacation.

This article has been written by Monika Petra. She likes to write Germany related travel articles on Live Like a German - a site for exploring Germany, to learn more about its culture / language, and to find great Germany vacation rentals or holiday apartments when going on a Germany vacation.

Shopping in Birmingham

Oh no, are you a budget traveller visiting Birmingham, but you get offended by the prices of clothes? Pricey high fashion has made an impact on Birmingham the last few years. Despite popular belief, Birmingham is actually drowning in fashion and its designers are leading lights within the UK fashion scene. Local designer Jacob Kimmie recently had an exhibition at prestigious London Fashion Week and Central Saint Martins graduate Usefzada, also from Birmingham, has been dressing Thandie Newton lately. But, this type of fashion is not wanted by today's value for money shoppers in a financial climate that is catastrophic.

So where to go for some Cheap shopping in Birmingham? For downtown chic head to The Custard Factory's flea market in Digbeth (nearest Station Moor Street) on a Saturday for vintage clothes or for the lads try Sunday when the wares are more geared towards vinyl. If there's no spare time in your dairy on weekends t then head to Urban Village, also at The Custard Factory, any time. It's literally a warehouse rammed with second hand clothes!

Also rammed with garb is The Oasis Market on Priory Square is thankfully about as far away from the high street chain as you'll get. It sells Gothic clothes, clusters of silver jewellery, posters, bondage bits and bobs and dope labels such as Dready. And it's also the best place to buy Dr Martins and Wrangler jeans which never go out of fashion.

Hopefully these tips makes it possible for you to enjoy some affordable shopping while visiting the former industrial powerhouse of Britain.

Is your budget tight? It's allright, travel guide Dirt Cheap Birmingham [http://www.dirtcheapbirmingham.com/] shows you where to eat, drink, sleep and shop. Contains many tips about cheap shopping opportunities in Birmingham.

Bullfighting in Madrid

While there's no doubt that it's a big difference from watching a Knicks game or cheering on Manchester United, that is precisely why you should head to a bullfight when you're in Spain. Once you get past that whole cruel-to-animals thing, you really have to look at bullfighting as the art that it is.

Madrid's bullring's official name is La Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas. It is amazing from an architectural point of view, an impressive red brick and ceramic tile múdejar-style structure exploding out of the ground in a residential neighborhood.

From the suits the matadors wear, to the whole spectacle with the audience waving their white handkerchiefs, to visit a bullfight is a great opportunity to have an up-close encounter with a very unique and extraordinary (albeit somewhat barbaric) tradition. When you go to a bullfight you will either be very interested and jump up and shout "Olé!" along with the die-hard locals, or feel that the whole thing is a barbaric and unjust setup that you would want to distance yourself from. Many tourists visit the bullring only to leave after half an hour.

Las Ventas is located at they eponymous metro stop (Ventas, L2). You literally can't miss it. Bullfights take place every Sunday from March to October.

A ticket to a bullfight can be very expensive. The closer to the bullring you are sitting, the more expensive it is. The price range is usually 200-15 euros. The cheapest tickets are towards the top of the stadium and there is no shade. But, you get a great overview of the whole spectacle.

Bullfighting in Madrid's Las Ventas bullring is a bloody spectacle which is heavily covered in the budget travel guide Dirt Cheap Madrid [http://www.dirtcheapmadrid.com/].

Don't Forget About Berlin

Berlin Germany is one place that many people know about but tend to forget about when trying to plan a vacation. Planning a vacation can be very time consuming and difficult and certain places can tend to leave people's minds when they plan.Berlin is one of those places that can tend to be left off the list because many people don't know what is in Berlin. They simply don't realize what Berlin has to offer. Berlin has food, shops, attractions and history what more could you want on your vacation?

First off the trip has to include a visit to the East Side Gallery. This gallery is actually a piece of the Berlin Wall it is now used as a large art gallery. This gallery hold over one hundred pieces of art and is free to the public. This section of the wall once divided east Berlin and west Berlin, but is now the largest open gallery in world. If you enjoy museums then perhaps Museum Island is a good stop for you, this island holds five incredible museums and a cathedral. It is truly a site being right on the river and is a treasure that Berlin visitors usually miss out on.

If you would like to pay tribute to Holocaust victims Berlin is the place to come. They have the most impressive and moving memorials to the Holocaust victims. The site is over 4 acres and over 2,000 pillars. And underneath the ground is the name of every known Holocaust victim. Remember when visiting while this is an attraction it is also a memorial. The Memorial Church in Berlin is also another historic site. This church was damaged by many air raids in World War II. This is what caused it to lose its' tower, now this church stands as a memorial to World War II.

The last place that you must see in Berlin is a gate, but not just any gate, this gate serves as a symbol to the "new" Germany. The Brandenburg Gate once stood dividing east Berlin and west Berlin in the Cold War. When the wall came down the gate remained standing as symbol to the past, present and future. The gate itself is free to see, and is a highly recommended stop. Technically this gate was not a part of the Berlin Wall but definitely held great value to the wall and its' purpose.

Berlin Germany may be forgotten by many tourists when planning trips, however, this is a mistake. Berlin has so much to offer visitors it's hard to see why anyone would want to pass it up. Heritage, art, and history this city really does have it all, and this is only a taste of what this place has to offer. Berlin may seem like it would be an expensive trip and for many travelers it will be however, these few must sees that you just learned about are all free and open to the public. Meaning that to see these great monuments you only need to be in the great city of Berlin.

Traveling on vacation? Try looking up tips and tricks by going to http://www.travelinknowledge.blogspot.com/.

Sea Turtles in Costa Rica

Sea turtles are found in all the oceans (except the Arctic Ocean) worldwide. There are essentially seven species of these animals. Of these seven (viz. leatherback, olive ridley, flat back, hawksbill, loggerhead, kemps ridley and green turtle), the leatherback variety is found in Costa Rica. However, since the species of the leatherback are on swift decline, they have been declared as an endangered species on this planet.

When Edward R. Mercer, one of the largest real estate developers, made Costa Rica his home, he pledged to stop the illegal poaching of the sea turtles as well as ensure the safety of the crucial nesting beaches where the turtles return year after year.

The leather back sea turtle is the largest and the heaviest of the sea turtles with the scientific name, Dermochelys coriacea. It draws its name from the leathery skin that envelops it. The leather back variety lacks the hard shells present in the other turtles. So, in order to compensate for it, the leatherback bears a mosaic of bony plates.

The leather back species has a life span of about seventy years on an average. They are found close to the sources of food and have a distinctive feature of exclusively feeding upon the jelly fish most of the time. Deep divers of Costa Rica, the female leatherback turtles return to the protected nesting beaches every year between October and March to lay 100-150 eggs on an average at the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The biggest threat to the endangered sea turtle species is a wide range of factors starting from loss of critical nesting beaches, predation by humans and over fishing for the purpose of turtle eggs and meat.

The main reason for the capture of the leather back sea turtle in Costa Rica is basically for its eggs and high price for functioning as the aphrodisiacs. When Edward R. Mercer, one of the largest real estate developers, made Costa Rica his home, he pledged to stop the illegal poaching of these endangered animals as well as ensure the safety of the crucial nesting beaches where they return year after year. The entire island was strictly cordoned off by the guards; they were guided to the new nesting beaches in protected national parks.

This ensured that population of sea turtles which has decreased to dangerous levels started rising again and now sea turtles are no longer endangered.

My team can write any article on any topic at a very reasonable rate. You can contact me for any article requirement at sunsanjay1@gmail.com

Destination Attractions - Tips for Travel to Germany

Anybody who is planning a vacation in Europe considers visiting Germany. There is so much that Germany offers in each city that it is important to know about it in advance before going there.

Two famous locations in the Baden-Wurttemberg region are Baden-Baden and the Brenner's Park Hotel and Spa. Baden-Baden which is located north of the Black Forest is a great summer destination as it has various spas, hiking trails, a huge promenade, spectacular springs and pastel houses. The Brenner's Park Hotel and Spa offers you luxury comforts including a spa treatment. The Bodensee and Lake Constance are located in this region.

The Alpine Road or Deutsche Alpenstrasse presents a very beautiful scenic view. It stretches along the Bavarian Alps. The route offers a good view of the ancient and impressive towns, castles and villages. Germany's highest mountain Zugspitse and Lake Konignesse are also found here. A part of The Romantic Road called Romantische Strasse is in Bavaria too. A very beautiful city Bamburg is also located nearby which was at one time the Holy Roman Empire's capital.

Munich which can also be called the financial capital of Germany has got a very deep history and many museums. The Alte Pinakothek has got a very good collection of Renaissance art from the 14th to the 18th centuries including 'Virgin and Child' by Da Vinci, 'Crowning with Thorns' by Titian and artwork by Hals, Durer, Ruben and Memling. The admission fee is 4 dollars. Then there is the Deutsches Museum which is the world's most comprehensive technical and scientific museum. You can find lots of interesting, interactive displays and films. Besides museums, Munich has lots of world-class restaurants and drinking joints. In fact, it is very famous for its Oktoberfest, a sixteen-day beer festival every October. This festival is world famous for its fun, high spirits and attracts millions of tourists every year to Munich.

Berlin is the capital city of Germany located between central and north-east. It also has several museums like the famous Science Museum, the Dahlem and the Bode Museum that holds historical relevance pertaining to the Berlin Wall. One section of the Berlin Wall still remains which is the Brandenburg Gate. Berlin is also famous for its world famous orchestra known as The Berlin Philharmonic which attracts music lovers.

There are many more places to visit in Germany including the Cologne Cathedral, Frankfurt, Rhineland, Saxony, Dresden and Hannover.

My team can write any article on any topic at a very reasonable rate. You can contact me for any article requirement at sunsanjay1@gmail.com

Spanish Schools - What is Education in Spain Like?

Obviously, if you have children and you wish to move to Spain, then the schooling of your children will be your most important priority.

In fact, the overall welfare of your children will probably be the deciding factor as to whether any move to Spain is actually possible and their educational needs may define where you live. Certainly it is true to say that the happiness of your children in Spain will be critical to the success of your relocation. If children are unhappy then this can place tremendous stress upon the adults within a family - to the point at which it can strain a previously good working relationship.

Fortunately, education in Spain is good, albeit that (like the UK) considerable care is required if you are to obtain the best possible results. Of course, the big difference in Spain for a child is that they will be taught in Spanish (and sometimes in a regional dialect, such as Valenciano). As few North European children speak Spanish, it makes their entry into the Spanish schools system sensitive and it can mean that it takes a while for your child to settle. That said, it is extraordinary how fast children pick up a new language and I have only ever known one child unable to learn Spanish.

Of course, timing has a huge part to play when it comes to placing a child into normal (not international) Spanish schools. Without doubt, the younger a child the easier it is for them to assimilate Spanish and to therefore get to grips with education in Spain and the academic work itself. A far greater problem is faced by older children and experience has shown that there is an age at which children find it, to all intents and purposes, impossible to both learn a new language and deal with the demands of increasingly complicated academic work. In essence, the danger time for moving a child into Spanish schools (if they speak no Spanish) is when they are around 12 - 13 years old. Earlier than that and most children will easily learn the language and be able to catch up with the academic work. Older, and it will become difficult (to impossible), for them to keep up with their peers - and not to be able to do so will be demoralising and damaging during a vulnerable time of their lives.

Education in Spain for children is compulsory from the ages of 6 to 16, with primary education lasting 6 years - followed by four years of compulsory secondary education at the end of which a Certificate of Education is received. State Spanish schools are free and normally school uniform is not worn. However, the purchase of school books is the responsibility of parents and can be quite costly (around 300 Euros per child per year). After the age of 16, children can continue with their education in Spain and go to vocational institutes or study for the academically demanding (and highly regarded) Bachillerato. The latter takes two years and is needed should a child wish to attend university.

State schools tend to be as variable as in the UK and much depends upon the precise intake area. It is therefore always wise to check very carefully the reputation of what may become your local Spanish school. Of course, there are private Spanish schools which can often be a very wise choice. These can provide a superb education in Spain within environments that are controlled, safe and that have high aspirations for their students. They provide terrific value for money compared to the cost of their UK (for example) counterparts and, if you can afford it, are well worth using for your children. Fees (2008) vary considerably but can be around 350 euros per month (10 months).

Equally, Spain has a scattering of international schools which provide, in English, a British curriculum. Oddly enough, these Spanish schools frequently have a high proportion of Spanish children, as the wealthy Spanish have a strong urge to ensure that their children are completely fluent in Spanish. They are particularly pertinant if you wish to move to Spain and your children are over the age of 12. As a parent with two children, I have been very impressed by the standard of education in Spain - and my son now is attending university having passed the Bachillerato. This has been a tremendous success (he started Spanish schooling when he was 13) and proof that the existing system of education in Spain works for foreigners!

Nick Snelling is the published author of three books on Spain including 'How to Move Safely to Spain' http://www.movesafelytospain.com. He also maintains an authoritative Blog on Spanish culture, life in Spain and moving to Spain - which you can see on http://www.nicholassnelling.com

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