Introduction:Portsmouth is located on the south coast of the scenic county of Hampshire. The city has a long established historic naval presence. The city of Portsmouth was established in the year 1623, being a community that swears by its influence to world history. As well as being an important naval town, Portsmouth has a nostalgic feel with its cobblestone streets, horse drawn carriages, museums and famous historic buildings. Boasting over one hundred restaurants, antique shops and a huge music hall called the Portsmouth Music Hall. You will fall in love with the ambience that this historic city offers as well as the coastal aspect of the place.Places of Interest:A place of historic significance, you can explore Lord Nelsons flagship, HMS Victory and visit Queen Victorias battleship, HMS Warrior 1860. You could also have a look at Henry Vllls Mary Rose and retrace the history of the Royal Navy at the Royal Naval Museum. Other attractions include Charles Dickens birthplace, the D-Day Museum featuring the Overlord Embroidery, Southsea Castle, the Royal Marines Museum, and Portsmouth Cathedral.Royal Marines Museum: This is a grand museum situated in a former officers' mess with sweeping stairways, chandeliers and fine paintings. There are also beautiful grounds in which you can relax and enjoy a quiet picnic with your friends. The Exhibition gallery features a talking head of Hannah Snell, audiovisual shows, interactive games, and a collection of over 7,000 medals. Eastney Beam Engine House Industrial Archaeology: This museum contains a pair of magnificent James Watt beam engines, stationed in their original high Victorian engine house of 1887. There are also a variety of other pumping engines on display here. Natural History Museum: In this museum you can see the geology of the Portsmouth area and a full-size reconstruction of Dinosaur Iguanodon and other fossil remains. You can enter here through the Riverbank scene with a fresh water aquarium and have a look at the different kinds of fish on display. You can also see the Ice Age displays and early mammals and birds here. The Spinnaker Tower: This is one wonder which is absolutely breath-taking.You can experience the stunning views from this unique 170m tower, visible from miles around. This is the newest landmark which is change the skyline of Portsmouth! Aspex Gallery: Here, tourists can experience the most creative and contemporary visual arts; locally, nationally and internationally. There are programs of solo, grouped and themed exhibitions mostly centred on the work of younger or emerging artists. The 1642 Living History Village, Historic Site, Gosport: This is a representational Hampshire village set in the year 1642. You could go back in time and experience this replica of how it used to be with timber and thatched buildings. Occupants dress and speak in 17th century style.Things to do:Portsmouth is also called the Waterfront city. It has a fantastic range of restaurants, bars and cafs to soothe your thirst and satisfy your taste buds. Of course, it will suit your budget too. As far as shops are concerned, the choice is huge.Shopping: The Southsea, this major shopping complex has two department stores as well as a range of boutique shops. There are florists, diamond merchants and antique dealers; even interior decorators to cater to your every shopping need. Of course, the cafes, restaurants and bars are numerous too. There is Gunwharf Quays with 80 outlets that sell big brand names for a discount prices. It is open seven days a week. The City Centre is famous for its branded and trendy stores. The shopping precinct on Commercial Road, the indoor mall at Cascades, and the street markets on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are very popular and well worth a visit. Eating and drinking: There are restaurants and small bistros that offer cuisine ranging from Indian to Italian, Turkish to Thai. If you want to meet with friends or enjoy your weekend, there is always a themed location to drink and socialize. Special Events: Two of Portsmouth's most renowned personalities have events to commemorate their lives in 2006. Brunel 200 Portsmouth will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who was born in Portsmouth on 9th of April 1806.The famous author Richard Lancelyn Green will be releasing his wonderful collection of Conan Doyle-related books, papers and assorted memorabilia in the later half of 2006. Transport: Portsmouth has regular bus routes connecting the main visitor areas. In fact, a new pilot bus service for all you night owls has been inaugurated and is operational on Friday and Saturday nights. The Nightrunner will start services from South Parade Pier at 1.25am and 2.25 am and at Winston Churchill Avenue at 1.30am and 2.30am. There are currently 234 licensed taxis working in the city providing 24-hour service.Food and Drink:Indian Palace: Indian Palace in Gunwharf Quays is famous for authentic and traditional spicy and tasty Indian and moghlai dishes. Arbuckles: This small and friendly restaurant is famous for chicken and vegetarian burgers. Booking is required. A fistful of Tacos: This place at South Sea serves authentic sea food and vegeterian dishes as well. Caf Citrus is a popular caf bar in Albert Road, Southsea. It is perfect for a romantic rendevous or a friendly get-together.Hotels and Accomodation:Whether you are looking for a short stay or a longer holiday, Portsmouth offers a comprehensive range of accommodation from small, private bed and breakfasts to the plusher four-star hotels. It is always better if you reserve your accommodation in advance. The tarrifs for hotels, accomodations and guest houses are generally quoted as per person, based on a couple sharing, and include VAT (17.5%). All prices for self-catering units are quoted as per unit per week inclusive of VAT (17.5%).Inn Lodge Portsmouth Royal Beach Hotel Express by Holiday Inn Portsmouth Tulip Inn Portsmouth Beaufort Hotel Best Western Queens Hotel Seacrest HotelEntertainment:The city of Portsmouth is abuzz with entertainment and activity around the clock. Catering for all diverse tastes such as comedy, film, football, live music, bowling, literature and arts. At Gunwharf Quays there is a bowling arena and a state of the art 12 screen cinema, with a further 9 screen cinema at Port Solent. The Kings Theatre Trust Limited at Albert Road, Portsmouth is famous for live music and theatrical events. No 6 Independent Cinema and Vue Cinemas are two of the 4 major cinema houses here.All in all, Portsmouth is a city on the sea packed with a beautiful mix of history and heritage. Add to it the variety on offer with its bars and restaurants as well as a comprehensive program of events, you know that you have discovered the right city to spend your holiday or short stay. Being situated on the coast is a huge bonus too!.
While living in Siberia for a year, I agreed to speak at a human rights conference. Only in Russia will you find a place like Tinda, a city we stopped in on our way. Trans-Siberian RailwayWhen living in Siberia, the only way to get around is car, helicopter or the Trans-Siberian Railway. Since I had neither a car nor helicopter, the train it was. Unfortunately, the train to my conference left at 4 AM after a night spent trying to acquire a travel visa on the sly, which meant drinking a lot of visa. Dutifully, my travel partner, Oleg Vladimirovich, and I made the train where we were met by a local reporter, Nina, who was coming along. The Trans-Siberian Railway can offer some amazing views, but not at four in the morning. I went to sleep. The thing about Russia is you simply cant grasp how big it is. Although we were traveling in the same state [oblast], the trip took 30 hours. Since it was winter, the view out the train was mostly of snow covered trees. Yes, it sounds romantic until you have to sit there for a day. Fortunately, the Russians have good taste as the train radio blared John Lee Hooker most of the way. No, I dont know why. TindaOnly in Russia will you find a city like Tinda. During the Stalin era, it was determined that the timber and natural resources in a particular spot of Siberia were very valuable. Unfortunately, nobody lived within 500 miles of so of the location. To solve the problem, the authorities decided to build a railroad and city from scratch. Building in the middle of Siberia is just a slight challenge. Just to get to the location of Tinda, the Russians had to build a railway over permafrost, bogs, huge mountain ranges, roaring rivers and I wont even mention the bugs in the summer. The unfortunately named BUM railway was started in 1930 and finished in 1984. During this process, hundreds of five story concrete buildings were built to form the city of Tinda. A hundred thousand people were uprooted from their homes and moved to this city in the middle of nowhere. Walla, the communist authorities had a labor force to exploit the natural resources. With the fall of communism, the authorities in Russia are no longer interested in the area. The city is failing and people are flocking to live in cities with jobs and better wages. The ones that remain in Tinda are in desperate straits. It is a sad statement to the legacy of communism, where the interests of the state dominated.
AlmunecarAlmunecar is known as the capital of the Costa Tropical and forms part of the province of Granada. The Costa Tropical is a less well known part of the coastline and is found between the Costa del Sol on the west and the Costa de Almeria to the east.There are some beautiful beaches along the coastline and a good selection of hotels, villas and apartments. The average temperature here is 20C with around 320 days of sunshine per year.Almunecar has a Moorish castle, the Castle of San Miguel and there are also several churches and museums which can be visited. Near to the castle is the Loro Sexi Bird Park which has over 1500 birds and nearby the botanical garden, the Parque del Majuelo is home to Europes largest collection of subtropical plants.MotrilMotril is the largest town on the Costa Tropical and the second largest town in the province of Granada with over 55,000 inhabitants.Motril has a busy commercial port as well as a fishing port and a marina. The two main beaches are the Playa Granada and the Playa Poniente. On the coast road to the west of the Playa Poniente is Casa Astrida which is one of the Kings residences. A little further along is the popular golf course, Los Moriscos.The production of sugar cane was the main industry in the town for centuries and there is still a 16th century sugar mill, Casa de Las Palmas.SalobrenaThe old whitewashed town of Salobrena which is built upon a large rock, has steep, narrow streets which are centred around the 10th Century Moorish castle and the town is surrounded by lush sugar cane fields and the last sugar factory in Europe can be found in the village of La Caleta to the west of the town.Salobrena has been inhabited for over 6000 years and the old town is lovely with great views of the landscape beyond, if you can make the climb to the top of the old town.Salobrena has lots of bars, restaurants and tapas on offer and is ideally situated just 45 minutes from Granada and little over an hour to the Sierra Nevada mountain range so it is also an ideal location to combine winter sun and skiing.MojacarMojacar is in the province of Almeria and just 50 minutes drive from Almeria airport. It is an old whitewashed mountain village and only a couple of kilometres from the coast. There is a tourist resort just to the south called Mojacar Playa.It has over 3000 hours of sunshine per year and has almost no winter season at all. Mojacar has retained most of its original character and is home to a Moorish fortress called El Torreon.The beaches are the main attraction to visit the area as well as the many other picturesque villages to be visited.Puerto de MazarronPuerto de Mazarron is an attractive holiday resort which has been popular with holidaymakers for many years. Fishing and agriculture are still the most important industries in the area but the economy is boosted each year by the influx of tourists in the summer. The coastal area of Mazarron has some of the loveliest unspoilt beaches in Spain and provides a peaceful environment for those choosing to vacation here. It is also a popular destination for Spanish families in the peak season but is ideal for a quieter holiday out of season.There is an attractive promenade which gives access to the beaches and there are many bars, restaurants and cafes to try.
Home to the rich and famous, Monte Carlo exudes style and panache. The locals walk the paths with a swagger; you can smell the affluence. The town is a charming blend of chic city living and wonderful sun-kissed beaches. "Monte Carlo" is a compact city; the best way to explore is by foot. The narrow streets and tight alleyways are home to a fascinating array of petite shops, bars and restaurants.1. Monte Carlo CasinoBuilt in 1863, this architectural masterpiece overlooks the Mediterranean and must be a priority on your sightseeing list. It has a remarkable gold and marble atrium designed by the legendary architect Charles Garnier.2. Walk the Grand Prix Racing RouteThe Monaco Grand Prix has been held annually since 1929 and is considered one of the most prestigious races in motor sport. The roads are transformed from busy public highways into a Formula 1 circuit in an incredibly short space of time.3. Princes PalaceThe palace is open to the public from June to October. The courtyard is paved with over 3 million coloured pebbles, beautifully arranged in geometrical patterns. Built in 1215, the palace was originally a fortress before being transformed into a luxury home.4. Monaco CathedralThis magnificent cathedral was constructed in 1875 and is the final resting ground of Princess Grace. The cathedrals fabulous organ was painstakingly restored to its former glory in 1988.5. Monte-Carlo Thermes MarinsFor over a century this luxury spa has pampered and delivered the ultimate in relaxation. Treat yourself to a day you will never forget.6. Metropole Shopping CentreFilled with designer stores to match those of Paris and Rome, the Metropole is a shoppers paradise. A stroll around Casino Square will present you with precious stones of the highest quality.7. The Old TownAn abundance of quality restaurants and bars present themselves in the more traditional parts of town. Here you can tuck into local specialities such as Monegasque cuisine.8. Caf de ParisLocated in Casino Square, Caf de Paris is the place to be seen. The lively mix of locals and visitors generate a warm atmosphere, whether sitting outside or dining indoors. The menu has an international flavour and daily specials are always recommended.9. The Grimaldi ForumThe stunning Grimaldi Forum is home to a host of cultural events. Watch concerts, opera, ballet, as well as festivals and exhibitions, including the Monte-Carlo Masters tennis.10. Stade Louis IIWhat the home of AS Monaco Football Club lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in quality. Despite a capacity of only 18,500 (smaller than most top football clubs), the grounds architecture make it one of the more memorable stadia.
The majestic island of Sardinia is located off the west coast of Italy just below the island of Corsica. The second largest island in the Mediterranean it runs approximately 250 kilometres from north to south and 110 kilometres from east to west. Italian is the main language of this vastly diverse island although various regions of the island have traditional languages of their own from Catalan in the region of Alghero through to Campidanese in the south. The landscape of this stunning island is incredibly varied, from white sandy beaches on the coast to the mountainous terrain in the central parts of the island. From cities like Cagliari in the south to old coastal towns like Alghero in the north you will find a varied array of architecture and culture. In the region of Nuoro, at the heart of Sardinia, you will find villages and towns 800 metres above sea level that have been completely untouched by the course of time. In the northeast of the island lies the famous Costa Smerelda (the emerald coast) playground of the rich and famous. The island is also peppered with a vast array of archaeological remains including the Nuraghes, (a stone tepee like structure) which are among some of the oldest constructions known to man.The cuisine of Sardinia is just as varied as its terrain with an as expected abundance of seafood dishes to be found in coastal regions including what is said to be some of the finest lobster in the world. All this having been said though the traditional delicacies of Sardinia are to be found in land where your taste buds will be tantalised with wood roast suckling pig, wild boar and traditional Sardinian sausage.Famous the world over the beaches of Sardinia are truly something that must be seen to be believed. Crystal clear waters and white sand that runs for miles, Sardinia truly is a touch of paradise in the Mediterranean. Sardinia has always traditionally been a place of holiday for Italians and a very well kept secret due to its lack of connectivity to the rest of Europe. Ryanair has changed this. Now with flights daily from London (two flights a day in the summer months) to Alghero and connections to Barcelona and Frankfurt, Sardinia has opened its doors to the rest of Europe. With a very short winter and long summer the potential for tourism throughout the year is immense. There are though strict laws in place within Sardinia to preserve the landscape and not allow the island to be over developed. For instance construction of new property on the coast line has been restricted to not allow any building within three kilometres of the sea and there are also many other stringent regulations as to the height of constructions so as not to interfere with the ambient of the terrain. All of this means that what already exists in Sardinia can be used to its full potential without the tranquillity of the island being ruined. Property in Sardinia is still fairly cheap compared to prices around Europe but they are on the rise. Coastal regions are among the more expensive regions to buy but have the added benefit of being a fairly certain rental investment. Inland there are many fantastic bargains to be found immersed in the tranquillity of the Sardinian countryside with the added knowledge that you are never that far away from the coast. Whether you are looking for a new home or merely the holiday of a life time, Sardinia has it all. Go scuba diving amongst the coral in Alghero, sailing in Porto Conte or even rock climbing in Barbagia here you will find a little piece of paradise for everyone.For more information take a look at Sardinia - tourist information