Italy has 18 National Parks, 89 Regional Parks, over 400 reserves, 47 protected wetlands, and seven marine reserves. Italy’s oldest national park, Gran Paradiso, is in Valle d’Aosta. It was originally the hunting grounds of the ruling House of Savoy, who donated the first 5000 acres to the people in 1919. Because this was once a royal hunting reserve, there are about 450 miles of marked trails and mule-tracks, which makes it a paradise for advanced and inexperienced hikers alike. It includes a large territory of high mountains, from the 800 meters of the bottom of the valleys to the 4,061 meters of the Gran Paradiso peak. Larch and fir woods, picturesque alpine grasslands, rocks, and glaciers make up an ideal scenery for hiking and trekking. Today the mountain of Gran Paradiso is generally considered an easy climb, except for the last 60 metres to the top. So pack your bags and experience the paradise of Gran Paradiso National Park.
Helsingor is also known by its English name Elsinore, it is a city island of Zealand in eastern Denmark. This city is most popular due to Kronborg Castle where Hamlet has been performed a number of times. It has 60,000 inhabitants and is surrounded by the The Sound, which is a stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden. Helsingor is the closest Danish city to Sweden. Elsinore has a quaint small-town charm with all the benefits of a big city . Apart from the castle it has an informative museum and a rich culture. It has numerous Hikes , cycle trails and clean beach’s to offer. Denmark has a temperate climate. The best time to visit Helsingor would be between June and August. Amongst the must see’s are: 1) A statue of King Erik of Pomerania, stands in the heart of Helsingor within walking distance of Helsingor train station. 2) The Church of St. Mary and the Carmelite Monastery. 3) Helsingor Cemetery is beautifully situated with a view across the Sound. 4) The interior of Marienlyst Palace and Park royal palace . 5) The National Museum of Science and Technology, in the south end of town. 6) The ruins of Gurre Castle which lie on the outskirts of Helsingor towards the town of Tikob. 7) Lake Esrum towards the west of Helsingor, it is Denmark’s second largest lake.
The wellness resort of Terme di Saturnia is located in the heart of Tuscany’s Maremma region, the spa resort is above ancient thermal springs. Romans used to rejuvenate in these springs in the 2nd century B.C. With a soothing temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the sulphur-rich water continuously flows into the natural fissure. The resort uses natural algae collected from the thermal pool, noted for its moisturizing properties, in many of its beauty treatments and products. One does not have resist temptation as food at this spa resort is based on the principle of moderation. It has a well equipped fitness center and one can also take up numerous other activities such as walking, swimming, golf, tennis, hiking , mountain biking. The spa has 60 treatment rooms, where guests have a choice for massages, facials, hydrotherapy, skin remedies and evaluations.
It seems as though the Dutch people are born on bicycles, everyone seems to be able to ride. Netherlands is a land of lush green countryside and canals perfectly suitable for biking. Miles and miles of well-marked, maintained and constantly used bike paths crisscross this entire country. One may ride through tulip fields, grassy dunes, cross windmills or take long trails along the various canals and rivers. The ride is a feast to the eyes.Most popular routes cover the major cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Den Hague as well as some smaller towns like Haarlem, Leiden and Vianen. In most of the cities, you’ll find beautiful canals and architecture similar to Amsterdam’s, but each has its own unique history and personality. Enjoy the essence of Netherlands like the Dutch do from the saddle of a bicycle.
Wandering across Europe you definitely come upon numerous hostels. The cheap, dormitory type accommodation of hostels are a signature for youngsters traveling through Europe on a budget. Hostel life there has been made much of through movies and books.But in America the same importance is not given to hostels. The few hostels there are not very popular, they are not well connected and people don’t know where they are. Independent U.S. hostels have been found to be dull. Many are just old hotels and houses which have been remodeled bearing no resemblance to the typical dormitory type hostels buzzing with travelers. It is difficult to think of backpacking through America because the long distances involved. Absence of cheap transportation facilities restricts budget travel. Hostels having doorways crowded with buzzing, laughing backpackers will always be bookmarks for happy times of carefree youth. Hostel culture needs to be encouraged.
As a sailing resort the coastline of northern Gallura, Sardinia has become a popular playground of the rich. Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean, characterized by a jagged and rocky coastline and interspersed with marvelous beaches. It is part of the territory of Italy. Intense karstic phenomena that had developed in this land resulted in the formation of about 1500 caves. Which provide exhilarating chances for adventurous climbs and hikes. Some of the world’s most ancient archaeological sites are present in Sardinia. It is a horde of natural resources, containing thousands of rare animals (Mediterranean Monk alSeal, boar ) and plant species. A destination for those seeking serenity as well as nature lovers. As Paula suggests make Ulassai, a small village in Sardinia your base camp. This limestone canyon provides an ample range of possibilities to satisfy the needs of both the novice and expert climber. For mountain bikers a number of trails are available as well. The ‘Lecorci’ waterfall most spectacular right after the rains provides some difficult climbs. From Northern Ulassai one can cross over the Genna Silana pass (1,017 meters) and trek the sheer Gola su Gorropu canyon. Touring in this area can include trips to prehistoric ruins like Tiscali. Now if you’re tired of walking and want to lounge and drool, move to the beaches of Vignola, Santa Teresa di Gallura and Porto Pollo.The island is well-known for hosting championship events such as the Kite surf World Cup. The trip would be incomplete without diving into the beautiful waters.
Imagine a fish that is to be eaten raw but is actually cured ! I’m referring to the herring . This fish renders itself edible because of enzymes secreted by its pancreas in the raw state after it is dead. A small oily fish it is found in waters of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea. Serves as the staple diet of the dutch , is also used to make the popular Scandinavian dish , pickled Herring. Raw herring roe is often used for sushi or eaten on its own. From days of yore Dutch fishing boats have fished for herrings. In Holland, the fish is treated in 2 stages . First, after being frozen, it is brought to shore,where its entrails are removed, but not the pancreas to retain the enzymes. The half-cleaned fish are packaged in kegs, which are sold to fishmongers who will do the final cleaning before the fish is sold . The best are the green herrings. So go ahead treat yourself to a meal of dried, smoked, herring.
If you are planning to visit Rome as per recommendations of the itenaries you will visit the Vatican museums. These museums are extensive, with lots to see much more than one can cover in a single day. While you might be bowled over by the classic art frescos of Michelangelo’s famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. In your enthusiasm don’t forget to pay attention to the walls on either side leading to the Sistine Chapel. They are covered with painted maps of 15th century Italy. The precision of these maps is astounding and count amongst the must see.
To get a sniff of the cologne making process you can visit the city of Cologne. For it is the birthplace for ‘Eau de Cologne’ the French word for ‘water of Cologne,’ a light perfume which has a characteristic concentration of about 2-5% essential oils. Cologne is one of the oldest and the fourth largest city in Germany, having been founded by the Romans in A.D. 50. After being damaged during World War II the city was reconstructed in a modern way. Popular today as Germany’s Media centre this city has numerous buildings of historical importance. Amongst them are: The Twelve Romanesque Churches which are an outstanding example of medieval sacral architecture, Cologne University one of the largest universities in Germany, Various museums amongst them Fragrance-Museum Farina House is a must see, but the top of the list goes to the Cologne Cathedral. A world heritage site, it has been Cologne’s most famous edifice since its completion in the late 19th century. The cathedral is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church (but in fact belongs to itself) and is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne. Cologne Cathedral is the church with the largest facade (the west or main facade with the twin towers) and remains the second-tallest Gothic structure in the world. It claims to house the relics of the Three Magi. It was constructed over a period of more than six centuries.
Hogg Robinson Group (HRG), an international corporate service company which has its complete hold on Russia and Hungary has made a move to cover eastern Europe as well. It has acquired BTI (Business Travel International) Czech Republic and BTI Slovakia. With eastern Europe’s growing Business travel market it’s a lucrative move. These groups will now trade as HRG Czech Republic and HRG Slovakia. David Radcliffe, Chief Executive of Hogg Robinson Group, said: "This move is strategically important to HRG. We already have ownership in the Hungarian market and this acquisition gives us an additional owned presence in the Eastern European market which continues to see growth in the corporate services arena, particularly as it relates to business travel. Last year alone saw the number of air tickets printed in the Czech Republic increase by 8% on the previous year, and by 17% (vpy) in Slovakia. Moreover, following their admission into the European Union in 2004, and with both countries receiving greater levels of Direct Foreign Investment, we anticipate that the market will continue to expand." The company will now have a strong existence in the boom markets.