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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts from April, 2009

Paris presents Pocket Film Festival

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Paris tours could offer the opportunity to discover some new and unusual cultural creations later this year at the Pocket Film Festival.

This event, which is dedicated to showing films created using mobile phones, will come to the French capital’s Forum des Images from June 12th to 14th.

Visitors will be able to attend a number of free screenings and events during the course of the festival and will be given the opportunity to download any films they want to see again to their own phone.

Artists participating in the 2009 Pocket Film Festival include the French underground filmmaker Joseph Morder, theatre director Pippo Delbono and painter Richard Texier.

A series of concerts and debates will feature on the festival programme this year, as well as workshops exploring how mobile phones can be used to create high-quality and convincing films.

Another Paris institution dedicated to contemporary culture is the Centre Pompidou, which is currently hosting exhibitions of work by the artists Wassily Kandinsky, Asger Jorn and Alexander Calder.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19115123-ADNFCR

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New York explores modern photography

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People with an interest in contemporary photography should be sure to fit a visit to the Museum of the City of New York into their New York tours this summer.

From June 10th to August 16th, the cultural institution will present the exhibition Dutch Seen, which has been guest-curated by Kathy Ryan, photo editor of the New York Times Magazine.

The showcase features a variety of contemporary images captured by Dutch artists currently working in New York City.

Many of the photographs were specially commissioned to mark the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of New York and look at themes including diversity, tolerance and humanism.

Through portraits, landscapes, still lives, conceptual pieces and other works, the exhibition will delve into the aesthetic traditions of Dutch art from the era of the old masters to contemporary figures.

People taking New York tours this year will also be able to visit the Museum of the City of New York to see Mannahatta/Manhattan, a display that will explore the natural history of the Big Apple.

New York – From the dizzy heights of the Empire State Building to the serene Central Park, New York has it all!ADNFCR-1652-ID-19114785-ADNFCR

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Find Your Shade of Green

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Green View - Olof S

Green View - Olof S

Thinking about going green? With families around the world changing their light bulbs, cleaning products, diet, recycling and commuting habits, why not try applying some of those ideas to your vacation time too!While some of us (ahem) might be using the green movement as a way to avoid bathing, the changes to your holiday time this year needn’t be so drastic. Here are three minor changes I’ve discovered through my own travels that can majorly affect the way you experience your vacation (for the better, I swear!) continue reading

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Travellers invited to Drive the NT

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Travellers could squeeze even more into their Northern Territory tours this year by using the latest driving guide launched by Tourism NT.

In conjunction with the Northern Territory News, the tourism agency has revamped its Drive the NT guide to encourage visitors to spend more time in the state and explore regional areas.

Available from visitor information centres across the Northern Territory, the publication provides details on driving routes that take in attractions including Uluru, Kakadu National Park and the cities of Adelaide and Darwin.

Tourism NT chief executive Maree Tetlow said the region boasts "an array of fantastic options for driving holidays".

She added: "The information will enable [visitors] to slow down their trip and get more from the places they visit.

"There is a bit of a misconception that you have to have a four-wheel drive to travel in the Northern Territory, and while we boast some exciting and challenging adventure routes, most of our best known attractions can be accessed by two-wheel drive vehicles."

Tourism NT this year launched a new promotion to boost the number of backpackers visiting northern Australia.

Uluru/Ayers Rock – Visit the Aboriginal sacred site which is Australia’s most visited tourist attraction.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19113891-ADNFCR

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Orange You Going? Queen’s Day in the Netherlands

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Queen's Day Celebrations - katielips

Queen's Day Celebrations - katielips

Looking for an excuse to get out of town this month? Why not check out the Netherlands largest (and certainly most colourful) festival of the year, Queen’s Day. Held on the birthday of the former Queen Juliana, every April 30th the country fills with festivity. All shops are closed for the day, and almost the entire country becomes an open-air market. You’ll see everything from open-air concerts to food vendors and parades, all, of course, thoroughly covered in the country’s famous bright orange and completely open to the public.

And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the current Queen Beatrix, she’s rumoured to attend two Dutch cities’ celebrations each year.

While you’re there, why not check out a few of the other things the Netherlands has to offer? It may have started as a small fishing village, but as the 6th largest metropolitan area in Europe, Amsterdam has clearly moved beyond its humble roots. continue reading

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London river transport improved

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Travelling on the Thames could become a more prominent part of London tours in the future as a result of an agreement to improve transport services on the river.

Local authorities, boat operators, pier owners and Transport for London are among the organisations involved in a new accord set up by London mayor Boris Johnson to enhance river travel options.

By signing the agreement, the companies will commit themselves to cooperate on improving ticketing, pier facilities, passenger information and other aspects of the travel process.

One benefit that has already resulted from the initiative is a new Thames Clipper service linking Canary Wharf to London Bridge. In November the company will begin accepting Oyster pay-as-you-go cards.

Mr Johnson said: "With the right mixture of investment and imagination, river services can become a truly integral, as well as an extremely pleasant, part of the capital’s transport network.

"Oysterising the Thames as well as providing clearer signage to the piers and services available will make it much easier…to travel on the river."

Some of London’s most famous attractions can be seen by taking a trip on the river, including the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge.

London – Ride the London Eye, visit the Tower of London or take a day out of the city to see Stonehenge.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19112409-ADNFCR

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Dubai explores the world of art

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Dubai tours will give travellers the opportunity to expand their cultural horizons later this year when one of the emirate’s major venues presents two exhibitions of art from around the world.

The unfamiliar Korean art scene will be the first to be explored at a show opening at the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre on May 29th.

Scheduled for a short run to June 3rd, this exhibition will feature a number of works by renowned Korean artists, including colourful and vibrant pieces that represent a dynamic and thriving art scene.

The focus will then move to the southern hemisphere with a showcase of paintings by two female artists from South Africa.

Opening on June 9th and running to June 18th, this display will consist of a series of rich paintings that offer a new take on the urban landscape and explore the environments in which we live and work as "desert gardens".

The Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre is one of Dubai’s major cultural venues and in the past has hosted the Gulf Film Festival and runs of High School Musical, The Importance of Being Earnest and other shows.

Dubai – A true modern metropolis, Dubai boasts a fine range of tourist facilities including the refined Burj al Arab hotel.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19112384-ADNFCR

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Bargain hunters pointed to eastern Europe

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Krakow tours and other travel pursuits in central and eastern Europe could prove a popular option among bargain-holiday hunters this year.

Abta – The Travel Association highlighted the fact that the pound is currently at a record low against the euro, making the exchange rate in eastern Europe "alluringly favourable" compared with hotspots in the west.

Some destinations in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and other countries offer two-course meals for as little as £5 and pints of beer for less than £1.

This affordability, combined with the advantage of short journey times for British travellers, make European destinations comparable with Spain or Greece in the 1970s, according to Abta.

The travel association emphasised the "cosmopolitan chic" of cities such as Krakow, Prague and Budapest as a highlight for culture vultures, offset by the natural appeal of the region’s "unspoilt beaches and dramatic countryside".

According to research released by Abta earlier this year, two thirds (66 per cent) of British people value their summer holiday because it provides them with an emotional boost.

Krakow – A turbulent and fascinating history and nearby Auschwitz have seen Krakow become a popular tourist destination.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19112069-ADNFCR

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Dublin, Ireland, We’re Doing it Tourist Style…

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Dublin Green at Trinity College - lynq8831

Dublin Green at Trinity College - lynq8831

Well, I’ve officially been in the UK for a week, and it’s already time to go on a holiday. Dublin, Ireland, here I (and a collection of five other American twenty-something’s) come! As if we haven’t had enough tourism our first week in England, its time to give Dublin’s tourist market a try. I might be missing Spring Break in Cancun this year, but who needs the sun and sand when you can spend your holiday weekends travelling around Europe?

We’ll be there for three days, and are already looking forward to a jam-packed schedule of the most fantastically touristy sites possible. continue reading

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Caped Crusader heads to Catalonia

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Barcelona tours could have an unusual element later this year when a brand new Batman comic is officially unveiled in the city.

Comic book aficionados will be heading to the Catalan capital from across Europe and the world at the end of May to attend the International Comic Fair, which will take place at the Fira de Barcelona from May 29th to June 1st.

The highlight of the event will be the launch of a special edition Batman comic set in Barcelona.

A cover designed by comic book veteran Jim Lee has already been unveiled, showing the Caped Crusader standing in front of an equally recognisable icon – Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia cathedral.

Set to be published simultaneously in Spain, Italy and the United States on May 29th, the special edition comic will also feature a foreword by Barcelona mayor Jordi Hereu.

Having been the subject of a solo series since 1940, Batman is one of the most popular and famous superheroes in comic book history. The character was originally created by DC Comics, the publisher behind Superman, Wonder Woman and other creations.

Barcelona – Wonderful Gaudi architecture and a cosmopolitan atmosphere have made Barcelona Spain’s most popular city.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19110512-ADNFCR

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