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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 in ‘Isango’

Paris Vacation Apartment Rentals – Advantages for Family Vacations

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Nowadays, a wide selection of vacation accommodation options for family holidays are available. No longer are families obligated to pile into small hotel rooms, or pay astronomic prices for suites. Paris, especially, offers an enormous selection of vacation rental apartments ranging from comfortable studios to large luxurious lofts that are perfect for family vacations. Whatever size or price range, you will find a vacation apartment that suits your family’s needs. If you are thinking about renting a vacation apartment in Paris for your next family holiday here are some advantages:

Cost effective Renting a vacation apartment is one of the most cost-effective options for family holiday accommodations. In Paris, where hotel prices are extremely high, prices for vacation apartments are generally less expensive than booking multiple hotel rooms. In addition, the amount of additional space that you get with an apartment compared to the price paid makes this type of stay much more economical. Plus, all vacation apartments have fully equipped kitchens, so savings from cooking some meals at home can also be factored into overall cost savings.

Comfort Vacation apartments are more comfortable for families than other accommodation options. Even if you rent a studio, the size of the space is generally larger than an average hotel room in Paris, or any other big city. In some apartments, children often have their own bed, or even room. There is always a dining area and, as mentioned above,fully equipped kitchens where you can make homemade meals. Vacation apartments include all the comforts of home.

Practical Families with small children must consider their special needs when looking at holiday accommodations. Vacation apartments offer practical solutions to meet these needs such as a calm place to have naps without the worry of housekeeping knocking on the door or to prepare special meals that only mom can make! In addition, a kitchen offers the freedom for midnight feedings and an apartment provides space for playing.

As you can see, vacation apartment rentals are one of the most practical and cost-effective accommodation options for families traveling to Paris.

About the author

Donna has lived in Paris for over ten years and has traveled extensively throughout the world with her family. She recommends booking a vacation apartment for your next trip to Paris.

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Elvis Presley’s Graceland

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BE048005It’s been 34 years after Elvis Presley’s death but fans still hold candlelight vigils at the gates of his Graceland mansion to remember The King.

Elvis was born 1935, in Tupelo Mississippi to his parents Vernon and Gladys Presley. His twin-brother Jesse was still born and Elvis would remain an only child. In 1954 he signed up with Sun Records in Memphis, a label owned by Sam Phillips and deemed the birthplace of rock ‘n’roll. Self-taught producer Philips has a knack for spotting talent: he’d also sign the likes of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. A picture of the four jamming in 1956 would later be printed as “The Million Dollar Quartet.” The unique event has recently inspired a jukebox musical Million Dollar Quartet that was sold out on Broadway and a hit in the London West End.

A mere two years after his first recording Elvis had transferred to the bigger label RCA and was on his way to become a world-star. He sold over a billion records, earned 14 Grammy nominations and acted in 33 movies.

In 1967, after an eight year courtship, Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu. Exactly nine months later their daughter Lisa Marie was born. Elvis and Priscilla in Germany when he drafted for the US Army. Remarkably this would be the only time Elvis would travel outside of the USA, despite his worldwide success.

elvis_graceland

On the eve of the 34th of anniversary of her father’s death Lisa Marie released a statement, in which she announced a new exhibition at Graceland in Spring 2012 “Elvis Through His Daughter’s Eyes”.

Elvis might have left the building but his legacy still lives on.

Discover the undisputed birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and visit Graceland and other Memphis music attractions with an audiotour and discount.

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Day Trippers – Oxford

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team-isango-oxfordIt was another sunny weekend and Team isango! went to Oxford for the day. Oxford university is world-famous, its alumni include Nobel Prize winners(e.g. Sir John Eccles) politicians (e.g PM David Cameron and former PM Tony Blair), well-known actors ( e.g. Hugh Grant and Rosamund Pike) authors (e.g Michael Palin) and the list goes on.
christchurchOne of the largest colleges of the university is Christ Church College. The college’s big hall was used for filming some scenes of the  Harry Potter franchise and you can visit the building Mon-Sat 9am- 5.30pm and Sun 2pm-5.30pm. Tickets in peak season £7.50, concessions £6.

screen-shot-2011-08-15-at-153439The city with its historic buildings is a bustling town with plenty of shops, theatres and museums to keep tourists and residents entertained.  Team isango! visited the Ashmolean museum of art and archaeology. Opening times are Tues – Sunday 10am – 6pm, Bank Holiday Monday 10am – 6pm, admission is free.

greenery-oxfordOxford also has a lot of open spaces where you can lie on the grass and look at people punt on the Cherwell or the Thames.

We had fun and we hope you enjoy the pictures!

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Oxford was more touristic than I thought. The main street is full of shops and people! There were street artists and the music bands all over, which was nice too. Visiting the city is very good ’cause it is not so big and you can easily see everything. Just take a tourist map and the fun can start. The old style of the buildings make the city look like it’s from a fairy tale. It was a very nice trip! – Claudio

A visit to Oxford is an easy day out from London – if you are in a rush: take a day tour from London and see Windsor, Oxford and Stonehenge in one day.

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Europe Budget Travel Tips

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At a time of year when people are hunting for cheap flights to Europe and cringing when they see the high cost of airfare, it’s tempting to cut way back on a travel itinerary simply because of the cost. If you’re not so put off by the price of a ticket to skip your trip altogether, however, does it really make sense to get all the way to Europe only to severely limit yourself?

Europe Budget Travel

European guidebook guru Rick Steves often says that it doesn’t make sense to spend thousands on a trip but then skimp on things like the guidebook you bring, but I think the same can be said of the activities you take part in while you’re traveling, too. No, it’s not cheap to fly to Europe during the high season, and that’s especially true this year – but so long as you’re making the commitment to go, the least you can do is spend enough money so that you enjoy your trip.

The good news is that it doesn’t take a trust fund-sized fortune to enjoy a trip to Europe. There are, to be sure, less-costly places in the world to visit, but if you’ve got to see Europe there’s just no replacement. Some European destinations are cheaper than others, however – your money will go further in (for instance) Portugal or Croatia than in France or England. Even within certain countries, there are regions that are cheaper, too. In Italy, for example, the southern half of the country is often significantly cheaper than the northern half – unless it’s August and you’re vying for space on the crowded beaches.

Another area for money-saving throughout Europe is transportation. If you’re traveling in a group, you may be better off sharing the costs of a rental car. If you’ve got more time than the typical two weeks, you could save a bundle with a pass for a European coach tour. If you’re sticking to one country, find out the most common method the locals use for getting around, because that’s often the best value for your money. Going back to the Italian example, the trains have long been one of the best ways to get around the country – and although it used to be much cheaper if you bought city-to-city ticket as you traveled, you can actually save money with an Italian rail pass if your trip includes primarily high-speed trains these days. It’s a big up-front cost, but it could save you quite a bit.

Europe budgeted travel

Once you’ve settled on a destination and mapped out how you’ll save on your trip, consider picking one “splurge” activity. Perhaps it’s a lavish meal, or a hiking tour, or a guided tour of a city – whatever appeals to you most. Choosing one splurge during an otherwise frugal trip is a great way to keep from feeling like you’re skimping too much.

About the Author: Jessica Spiegel is a Portland-based travel writer for BootsnAll Travel, where she’s the resident Italy expert. She has a ridiculous fondness for Venice, and although her list of the top 10 things to do in Venice doesn’t include a gondola ride, she’d love to learn to do the traditional Venetian stand-up style of rowing instead (all the while hoping she didn’t end up in the lagoon).

photos, top to bottom, by zoetnet, Meis Beeder

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The Northern Lights Iceland-A Spectacle to Behold

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aurora-borealis

The night sky can be a magical sight to behold–when the evening is dark and the stars are bright, we gaze up at the infinite ceiling above us, captivated by the wonder and magic it seems to possess. Now imagine that the night sky is not its normal shade of black, but shades of green, purple, blue, and red. Imagine that you’re looking at the Northern Lights Iceland, and experiencing a unique sight like no other.

Iceland is a land full of natural beauty, culture, and history, and the Northern Lights are one of the land’s most miraculous natural attractions. From September to April, on crisp winter nights, the Northern Lights illuminate the Icelandic sky. Also known as the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights are caused by charged particles released from the sun. When the particles reach Earth, they collide with gas particles in the atmosphere, which produces energy and a vibrant, colorful, light spectacle in the night sky. While most comparable to a sunset, the Northern Lights often appear in a series of arcs and spirals that follow Earth’s magnetic field. The Northern Lights can be experienced at a variety of locations around the North Magnetic Pole, but the Northern Lights Iceland are always guaranteed to inspire.

The Aurora Borealis epitomizes Mother Nature’s reputation for unpredictability, and thus catching a glimpse of them is often an elusive venture. However, the hunt for the lights in itself is an adventure that very few people can say they’ve had the opportunity to experience in their lifetime. And when you do get the chance to witness the stunning, colorful lights dancing gracefully across the night sky, you’ll be so entranced by the splendour of it all that you’ll be thrilled you experienced the beautiful Northern Lights Iceland.

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An Evening Singaporean Safari

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As the sun sets over the Singapore Safari, a four-legged creature stirs from its daytime drowse.  Although short and dense in stature, there’s something that makes this horned animal standout.  At first glance, its slate grey coat seems normal.  Upon a second look, however, a bluish tint shines through.  Can this be?

Inside Singapore Zoo’s Night Safari, the Himalayan blue sheep is one among the more than 1,000 animals that begin their day as the moon appears.

The world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals, Night Safari houses 120 species of endangered wildlife.  The park is divided into eight distinct geographical zones, each of which is featured on the Night Safari tour.

As the open-air tram carefully maneuvers between the safari’s physical features—flowing rivers, lush trees, and dirt paths—its inhabitants remain undeterred.  The glowing moon illuminates the strong Cape buffalos that play in the fields, African bongos that feed in grassy fields, and striped hyenas that prowl within the 40 hectares of tropical forest.

Following the four-hour tour, the Night Safari continues with a guided trail walk.  Offering an in-depth look at these nighttime critters, the trip features flying squirrels and bats that glide from tree to tree, and leopards that stalk their intended prey.

What promises to be an evening adventure chockfull of awe and animals, Singapore Zoo’s Night Safari will be a memorable experience.

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Singapore Zoo’s Night Safari

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leopards1

As the sun sets over the Singapore safari, golden jackals and one-horned rhinoceros start to stir. Waking up from their daytime drowses, these four-legged creatures are among the more than 1,000 animals that begin their lightless days at the Night Safari.

The world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal species, Night Safari opened in 1994 and houses 120 species of endangered wildlife. With a focus on innovation, creativity, and captive breeding, the park facilitates the breeding of a slew of animals. From regal Malayan tigers to monstrous Asian elephants to stocky fishing cats, the safari’s habitants roam its 40 hectares of land.

Split up into eight distinct geographical zones, each habitat is featured in the Night Safari tour. As the tram quietly weaves between flowing streams, leafy trees, and dirt paths, the park’s fierce predators and timid forest dwellers remain undisturbed. Illuminated by subtle moonlight, robust Cape buffalo play in the fields, Himalayan blue sheep feed in grassy slopes, and striped hyenas prowl within the tropical forest grounds.

To get a closer look at these nighttime creatures, a guided trail walk proceeds the tram tour. Navigating through the safari’s thick shrubs and winding roads, flying squirrels and bats glide between tress, while leopards bolt after intended prey.

For an evening chockfull of awe, adventure, and animals, visit Singapore Zoo’s Night Safari.

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Five Exciting Things to do in Barcelona

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There is so much to see in the city, sometimes it can be a challenge to decide what and how to do it. But if you’re on vacation, why not try being a tourist with a difference! Here’s a selection of different ways to explore the wonderful, vibrant city of Barcelona – and make sure you make the most of your trip by staying in one of the best Barcelona hotels.

Kickbike and Scooter Tours of Barcelona!

For the eco conscious amongst you, why not take a cross between a bike and a scooter as a way of transporting yourself around the city. Kickbikes are suitable for pretty much anyone, and you can either join a guided tour or just rent the kickbike and take off for the day. Either way, it’s a great way of keeping fit and seeing the sights at the same time.

Barcelona Ice Bar

With a cool -5 ambient temperature, Barcelona’s Ice Bar is the only one of its kind in the world which is built on a beach. Situated at Playa de Barceloneta, the Ice Bar offers the perfect place to cool down from the hot Mediterranean sun. Just don’t forget your jacket and gloves!

Antique Caravan Tours

If you fancy seeing the surrounding area from the back of a traditional horse-drawn caravan, then why not take a tour to discover a little more about the tradition Catalan farmers of the area. From years gone by up to modern days, these tours will give you an insight into the Catalan culture and how the locals live at one with the countryside. The tours last from half a day up to a week in duration.

Rickshaw Tour

Rickshaws are a great way to explore the area, and the fact that someone else is doing the pedalling is always a bonus! What better way to have a local show you around their city, and you never know, you might learn a few words of Spanish along the way!

Go Back to School

No, not seriously, but how about signing up for a cocktail making class and learn how to mix ‘em up like a pro. You’ll be taught some neat bartender tricks, and no doubt be allowed more than just a few tasting sessions along the way. Then at the end, you can watch the professionals show you exactly how it should be done. Cocktail classes are run in a few venues in the city and last a few hours.

Guest post by Escapio.com

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Mount of Olives

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Traveling is something that we all do and most of us enjoy it. We all travel for different reasons some travel from one place to another for business purposes and some travel as tourist. There are many places in this world where religious people go to visit to see and to feel the old memories of their religion. Muslims go to Makkah and Madina in Saudi Arabia to see the places where the religion Islam grown up. This same goes with other religions as well. Christians goes to Israel, as this is the place where their religion started. For most Christians visiting Israel is just like a dream come true. The Israel is considered to be a holy country for Christians and it is considered to be a good place to renew their faith. It is also considered to be a good vacation spot for most Christians.

Israel and especially Jerusalem holds great importance and significance for Christians and Christians from all over the world come to visit this place. The best thing of Israel and Jerusalem is that it holds all the three famous religions of the world. Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Jerusalem is considered to be a holy place for all these three religions. There are many other attractions as well apart from religious views but most people and especially Christians visit Israel and Jerusalem for religious purposes.

The first place, which a Christian enjoys in Jerusalem, is the Old City of Jerusalem and its four quarters. These four quarters are surrounded with eight gates. Well the Israel possess great importance in this world and especially Jerusalem because of its significance in the three most powerful land huge religions in this world.Christians travel to Israel to renew their faith and to become good person and human being and follow what their religion offers.

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See The amazing panoramic view of Paris with eiffel tower tickets.

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Stairway to Heaven

Well…almost! Powering up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower can seem like a god-like task to some but trips to the heavenly city of love are now so much more stress free than before. We can’t promise to carry you up there (there is an elevator after all), but we can guarantee skip the line tickets with one of our Eiffel Tower tours.

Combine your day at the most famous piece of metal this side of the celestial gates with a sightseeing tour of any other of the other spectacular sights Paris has to offer. Make the most of your day by visiting the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay or the Arch de Triumph in the time you saved by not queuing beneath the Eiffel Tower.

Unfortunately only the gods above can control the weather, and even a city as beautiful as Paris has its fair share of rain and unpredictability. The views from the top differ day by day but it would be a lie to say it is ever disappointing. Come rain or shine skip straight to the front of the queue to be first in the elevator, or for the more Herculean among you, the 1665 metal stairs to the second floor.

As is almost always the case (unless you choose a particularly uncomfortable form of transport) the journey surpasses the destination and this is fairly true of the Eiffel Tower. Although the view from the top is divine the walk through the winding, clunking stairs gives a different view of Paris from a different height at each corner.

However you choose to see Paris, don’t waste any time queuing and buy tickets in advance, no matter what the gods decide to hurl down from the unpredictable clouds above.

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