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Posts from November, 2008

French circus gives a tour de force in Paris

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Ever since Cirque de Soleil emerged onto the world stage, French circus has been in rude health and the International Circus Festival of Tomorrow will once again wow the gathered Parisian crowds early in 2009.

From January 29th to February 1st, Festival Mondial de Cirque de Demain will celebrate its 30th birthday at Cirque Phoenix in the Peouse de Reuilly, with this special anniversary sure to be the most spectacular yet.

The festival is in essence a talent competition which gives a specially-selected jury the chance to seek out and reward the circus superstars of tomorrow.

As such the event has consistently been a breeding ground for the best young performers in the field and this looks set to continue as it finalises the line-up for this very special occasion.

Cirque de Soleil has several sell-out shows in Las Vegas and has performed for packed audiences at a number of top venues across the world.

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18894862-ADNFCR

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Salzburg celebrates its finest export

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The beautiful Austrian city of Salzburg celebrates it most famous gift to the world during Mozart Week early next year.

From January 23rd to February 1st – incorporating his birthday on January 27th – the entire city will come alive with the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born in Salzburg in 1756.

The festival includes a series of major concerts which serve to highlight the lasting influence the composer has had on classic music.

Regarded by some as the finest classic composer to have ever lived, Mozart started his musical life at the age of five and was known as a child prodigy as much for his skill on the keyboard and for creating original works.

Mozart is believed to have written some 41 symphonies throughout his lifetime, among many other works for a range of instruments and arrangements.

Today his compositions remain as popular as ever, with musicians all over the world continuing to study and reinterpret his body of work.

Salzburg is of the most popular tourist destinations in Austria and was this year voted as the third most beautiful city in Europe by readers of Conde Nast Traveller magazine.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18894717-ADNFCR

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Townsville emerging as top Australian destination

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Townsville in Queensland is growing in popularity with adventure tourists in Australia.

The tropical city has seen a five per cent increase in the number of foreign visitors over the past year, according to figures from Tourism Queensland.

As well as plenty of opportunities for backpackers and explorers, Townsville also offers city-lovers a host of cosmopolitan attractions.

Brett Pointon, chief executive of Oaks Hotels and Resorts, said that the destination hosts excellent beaches and diving opportunities.

He explained: "Townsville goes beyond other tropical destinations, as it not only offers reef and beach locations but also a vibrant, cosmopolitan city."

Townsville Enterprise Destination Marketing and Development Manager Brent Randall also said that new cultural and sporting events have helped to raise the profile of the destination.

Events he highlighted included the V8 Supercars, Troy Dunn International Bull Ride, Magnetic Island Race Week and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.
ADNFCR-1652-ID-18894494-ADNFCR

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Holidaymakers ‘looking outside the Eurozone’

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Britons are looking outside of the Eurozone city tours and heading to destinations in Turkey, Egypt and the Middle East.

This is according to Graham McKenzie, managing director of TravelMole, who said that short-haul city breaks are becoming even more diverse.

While European cities remain popular, some tourists are looking for alternative city tours to places that are "somewhere different and relatively close to home", he explained.

Destinations "that are outside the Euro zone, such as Egypt and Turkey" will continue to attract visitors from the UK, although a number of other cities look set to be busy this year.

"I think if you’re talking Middle East, Amman is obviously somewhere that people are going to go," Mr McKenzie added.

"I think Montenegro and Serbia are places that are remerging on to the tourism scene, again with relatively low cost flights and good air connections."

He was speaking after Opodo released a list of the top 12 emerging city break destinations. Included on the list were Cairo, Amman, Istanbul and Berlin.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18894484-ADNFCR

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Camping popular during crunch

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Holidaymakers are going back to nature to make the most of discount breaks.

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has said that camping and caravan holidays are proving particularly popular options.

Britons are packing up tents and heading on active holidays to long-haul and short-haul destinations.

Frances Tuke, spokesperson for ABTA, has explained that "posh camping" is enjoying a renaissance, especially in Europe.

"Camping and what we call ‘posh camping’ have both been very popular over the last year or so. The kind of camping [breaks] where you get semi-permanent structures with pot-belly stoves in them have been really popular," she explained.

Recent research from the Caravan Club revealed that many holidaymakers who go on caravan and camping breaks make an effort to be more environmentally friendly.

Some 78 per cent of those polled said they recycle on a camping or caravan adventure break, while 80 per cent take steps to save energy and 84 per cent attempt to save water.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.

ADNFCR-1652-ID-18894480-ADNFCR

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Family travel ‘easy in Morocco’

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Morocco is becoming an increasingly accessible destination for family travel.

The country appeals to families as it offers home comforts and advanced facilities alongside alternative sights and experiences.

Jane Folliott, Morocco specialist at Orion Trek Voyages, has explained that Moroccan cities such as Marrakech and Fez can make an interesting Christmas destination.

"It’s becoming a lot easier for families to travel in Morocco and people are feeling a bit more confident about taking children to Morocco because it has developed a lot in terms of facilities," she commented.

"At Christmas it’s a very popular destination – it’s short haul from the UK, it’s exotic, it’s for people that don’t want the full on Christmas kind of thing in their face."

However, she added that the European influences mean that visitors can still experience the traditional elements of Christmas.

"You can find a Christmas turkey and have a Christmas dinner," Ms Folliott says, and those dreaming of a white Christmas may also enjoy Marrakech.

"Weather wise it’s pretty good – it’s cold, we had snow on the mountains, it gets cold in Marrakech in the winter time, but generally its pretty good weather.

Marrakech – Be entertained by snake charmers in the old Medina or take a day to explore the Atlas Mountains.
ADNFCR-1652-ID-18893716-ADNFCR

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New York ‘the premier Christmas destination’

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New York is the "ultimate city" for a Christmas break, one travel expert has said.

The city offers appeal all year round, but comes into its own over the festive season, said Tom Hall from the Lonely Planet.

He explained that the "thought of hopping across the Atlantic for a few days" is appealing to holidaymakers, explaining that low-cost travel and hotel accommodation is widely available.

Just before Christmas is a "good time" to visit New York as prices tend to be more affordable than over the actually holidays.

"Ultimately the more cities you visit, the more you realise that New York is, in many ways the ultimate city, and it’s somewhere that goes beyond shopping, so it’s great for three or four days, or even longer if you can spare it."

Research from the Post Office Travel Services Christmas Shopping Guide has revealed that consumers can save 17 per cent on presents by shopping in New York.

The best savings were found on designer clothes, with many other bargains also available.

New York – From the dizzy heights of the Empire State Building to the serene Central Park New York has it all!ADNFCR-1652-ID-18893536-ADNFCR

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Vibrant light show illuminates a beautiful corner of Thailand

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Performed many times throughout the year, the traditional Thai extravaganza of Wimaya Nattakan always draws plenty of spectators, especially during winter time.

Performances during the early months, such as on January 31st, are said by some to be the most impressive as the incredible light effects are diffused by the cool winter air in a way that doesn’t occur at any other time of the year.

Taking place in Phimai Historical Park in the huge province of Nakhon Ratchasima, the festival incorporates intricate choreography depicting the history of the Khymer Empire, as well as drawing on early Buddhist lore.

Set against the backdrop of the powerful coloured light show, the smaller-scale elements are sure to delight the crowds, such as the ceremonial Bai Sri Su Kwan, which welcomes visitors and includes them in proceedings.

A country rich with demonstrations of customs and culture, alongside a proud heritage of religion and celebration, Thailand never ceases to fascinate and in Wimaya Nattakan visitors can experience something quite unique to this dazzling nation.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18893077-ADNFCR

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The world’s eyes look to Florida on Superbowl Sunday

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Sporting events don’t come much bigger than the Superbowl, NFL’s season finale which is watched by American football fans the world over.

The game to decide the 2008-2009 champions will take place on February 3rd next year and will see the top two teams from the United States battle it out to claim their place in history.

The epic tussle that was Superbowl XLII saw a dramatic finish as the New York Giants inflicted the only defeat of the campaign on the New England Patriots, denying them what would have been a perfect 19-0 season in the process.

Next year’s Superbowl XLIII, to be held at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida for only the second time, promises to be just as much of a bruising encounter.

So this season AFC South surprise package the Tennessee Titans have only lost one game, as have reigning champions the Giants of the NFC East, but all this could well change by the time Superbowl Sunday rolls around.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18893072-ADNFCR

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One week holiday in Egypt – land of pharaohs and ancient pyramids

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2 weeks into my new job at Isango, I jumped at the opportunity to try out the experiences offered by my company as I had booked to go for a one week holiday in Egypt prior to taking up my role. Been a solo traveller most of the time, I usually plan my activities at the very last minute where possible, and most of the time, just packing my backpack and going on the plane with an address to the hostel and a lonely planet guide in hand. As a few family members were joining me for the trip, I had to suppress my procrastination and did some pre-trip planning on the sights to visit and things to do in Egypt. Browsing our website for the Egyptian experiences was fairly straight forward using the quick search and filtering out the various type of tours which did not interest me. One of the things that irritated me slightly was the lack of a price sorting option to view the cheapest options available – that’s me, I am a typical backpacker, costs counts for everything!!! On the other hand, I was able to make use of some very clever slider filters to display only experiences within my budget – nifty!

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