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New Acropolis museum in Athens

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The Parthenon marbles will soon have a new homeA new museum to house the world-famous Parthenon marbles is being built in the shadow of the Acropolis in Athens.

The museum, which has been planned for three decades and has cost the Greek government more than £100 million to build, will at last provide a permanent home for one of the greatest treasures of the world, safe from the city’s corrosive, polluted air.

It will display sections of the marbles that remain in Athens, as well as plaster copies of the friezes that have controversially been on display in the British Museum in London since the 19th century.

They were sent to London by Lord Elgin, the British Ambassador, who hired a team of workers to hack away at the monument as the Parthenon was under attack by looters.

Taking many of its finest sculptures and large chunks of the marble frieze that lined the inside rim, Elgin shipped the treasures back to England and then sold them to the British Museum for £35,000.

The opening date for the New Acropolis Museum is yet to be fixed, but is likely to be in October or November. At present, the ground floor is open from 10am to noon daily.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.
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Holidays are Brits’ number one priority

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Britons say that a holiday is more important than anything elseBritons consider holidays to be the most important factor for their happiness new research has revealed.

A Kayak.co.uk poll of more than 1,000 adults found that 90 per cent of respondents said taking at least one holiday a year is one of the five most important factors that contribute to their overall happiness.

In contrast, 73 per cent said owning their own home was important, 63 per cent listed being in a relationship as one of their five main issues while just 42 per cent named starting a family.

Meanwhile, more than a third of those questioned said they would ditch dining out and shopping for clothes and household goods to afford their holiday.

Annie Wilson, business development director of Kayak.co.uk, said: "As a nation, we’ve always been much more likely to explore the four corners of the earth than to buy the latest flat screen TV.

"There’s just something intoxicating to us about being somewhere else – whether it’s visiting a familiar hideaway or checking off a personal list of ‘must sees’."

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.
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Dubai Atlantis set to open on time

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Dubai's new hotel might rival Burj Al Arab The long-awaited Atlantis hotel and entertainment complex is right on schedule to open on September 24, according to reports.

Located at the head of The Palm Jumeirah, with sweeping views both out to the Gulf and down the spine of the Palm back to Dubai, the development is valued at around $1.5 billion (£7.25 billion), Gulf News said.

Atlantis has 1,539 rooms spread between the East and West towers. There are a total of 150 suites, including two presidential suites and 35 regal suites. Average prices start at around $454 (£227) per night.

The connecting bridge between the two towers is the 924-square metre Bridge Suite, which costs a massive $25,000 (£12,600) per night and is still under construction.

There are also 17 food and beverage outlets and around 23 boutique shops, and a waterpark which houses 28 dolphins brought to Dubai from the Solomon Islands.

Jim Boocher, president of development at Kerzner International, the managers of Atlantis, told Gulf News that the difference between the complex and other hotels is that it can be considered a "destination hotel", rather than simply an accommodation provider.

Dubai – A true modern metropolis Dubai boasts a fine range of tourist facilities including the refined Burj al Arab hotel.
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Belfast Bap Festival

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The festival has several walking toursRunning from July 7th to 10th, the Belfast Bap Festival is in memory of liberal and reformer Bernard ‘Barney’ Hughes, Master Baker, famous for feeding the city’s people with his loaves during the famine.

Events at Belfast’s newest festival include walking tour of Friars Bush Cemetery on July 8th, where people can visit the graves of Barney Hughes and his wife among others.

That evening the best of Belfast’s Irish folk musicians perform at a traditional Irish music session.

On July 9th there is another walking tour, this time of Belfast City Centre where people can see the many of the sites associated with Barney Hughes.

A special concert featuring the songs, stories and poems of Old Belfast with Jane Cassidy and Maurice Leyden takes place that evening.

All music performances take place at the John Hewitt.

During the festival a special menu will be available, while Hilden Brewery will produce a very special one-off beer, made from the same ingredients of the first Belfast Bap.

Seniors – Historic Tours – From the Roman Empire to the second world war, these tours bring world history to life.
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Brits opt for driving holidays to cut costs

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Nearly 12 million Britons are choosing driving holidaysNearly 12 million Britons are choosing to go on driving holidays in order to save costs, research by AA Personal Loans has found.

Almost half of Britons (46 per cent) are opting to spend at least one of their holidays in the UK this year, with three out of four (75 per cent) saying they plan to use their car for trips within the UK and Europe in order to cut costs or avoid travel stress.

Some respondents also said they were opting to avoid air travel this year because they are concerned about the impact this has on the environment.

Mark Huggins, head of AA Personal Loans, said: "Our survey shows people are being smart with their money when booking holidays this summer. People are also thinking carefully about buying smaller cars to save money but it is important to make sure the car you choose is suitable for going on long holiday journeys, with enough room for all your passengers and luggage."

Londoners were most likely to opt for driving holidays to avoid stress, while the Welsh would choose them to cut costs.

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