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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 ‘Things to do in Europe’

Scariest Places in London: Warwick Castle

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As I plan my trip to Warwick Castle I realize I will never get  British pronunciation correct. I’m quickly told that I’m not going to Warwick, I’m going to “Wor’ick”. With only three days of sightseeing left I want to pick a great spot for my last hurrah. Warwick Castle Dungeons will be opening just before I leave for home and I want to try and squeeze it in if I can get my hands on some Warwick Castle Tickets. My friends and I are all able to agree on this trip because there’s just so much to do there!

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Cappadocia, a Natural Gem of Turkey

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8051_2_cavusin A beautiful region that is defined in both ancient Christianity and modern tourism as a site of natural wonders, the people of Cappadocia have made the most of their surroundings. It is home to the people who Biblically heard the gospel in their own tongue during the Pentecost and later resisted the rule of Alexander the Great. Current draws to the region are “fairy chimneys”, dovecotes, rock carvings and underground cities.

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Weak pound ‘did not discourage Brits over Easter’

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British travellers continued to take tours in Venice, New York and other destinations in Europe and the United States over Easter despite the low value of the pound, new figures suggest.

International Currency Exchange (Ice) revealed that the euro was the most popular currency among its customers ahead of the Easter holiday, accounting for 39 per cent of sales, followed closely by the US dollar with 38 per cent.

The Thai baht was in a distant third place with seven per cent of the currency firm’s orders, followed by the Australian dollar (four per cent) and the Mexican peso (three per cent).

Andrew Hamilton, Ice head of marketing, said: "We are in a recession but families want holidays that are low on stress and high in convenience and that means short journeys by train, car, sea or plane into Europe or guaranteed sunshine and family friendly holidays in the US.

"That said, Thailand is proving to be a popular destination after Europe and the US."

The exchange firm released figures last month which indicated that the Canadian dollar, the Czech koruna and the Polish zloty are also among the ten most popular currencies for Brits.

Venice – Fall in love all over again on a Gondola ride on the Grand Canal and lose yourself in the grand St Mark’s Square.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19138316-ADNFCR

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Scariest Places in London: Thorpe Park

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tpOk, so Thorpe Park isn’t technically in London but it is worth the schlep to Surrey. After all, it’s the proud home of SAW: The Ride. The first ever roller coaster based on a horror movie. The promise of bearing down at a 100 degree angle from 100 ft above got my adrenaline rushing way before stepping into the park. Friends who have been on it already are keeping hush hush about the rumoured genius scares in store as the ride leads up to the drop. Hopefully the ride won’t make me as nauseous as the movies.

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Visit ancient Egypt at the Louvre

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People planning Paris tours over the next couple of months will be able to visit the city’s iconic Musee du Louvre to explore an exhibition dedicated to ancient Egypt.

The expansive display was launched in the museum’s Napoleon Hall on March 6th and will be open until June 29th.

Entitled The Gates of Heaven: Visions of the World in Ancient Egypt, the exhibition takes its name from a phrase that the people of the ancient culture used to describe a passageway that led to the afterlife.

The Louvre has amassed a collection of some 350 artefacts from various collections across France and Europe for the showcase, offering a representation of ancient Egypt from the culture’s earliest times right up to the Roman period.

As well as displaying a variety of objects that had various uses and meanings in the culture, the exhibition places the items in their social, religious and artistic context to provide an additional insight into life in ancient times.

The Louvre is the world’s most visited museum, boasting a collection that encompasses artworks including the Mona Lisa.

Paris – Enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower or see the Mona Lisa in the "city of light".ADNFCR-1652-ID-19134042-ADNFCR

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Scariest Places in London: London Dungeon

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ld1In London’s long history there have been many gruesome events. Some are real, some are imagined and some are so well-known the line between fiction and reality has disappeared. As a fan of game-induced panic myself, I set out to find the scariest places in London. With only one week left it will be difficult to finish them all, but the London Dungeons makes such a good playground for a fright I can’t miss it.

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The King and I to be staged at Royal Albert Hall

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Musical fans will be booking their London tours to coincide with a new staging of a classic show later this year.

The Royal Albert Hall will host a production of The King and I from June 12th to 28th.

Originally staged on Broadway in 1951 and turned into a popular film starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner five years later, The King and I is a tale of two people from different worlds learning about each other’s cultures.

Anna, a British governess, is brought into the court of Siam to tutor the king’s many children and slowly begins to develop a relationship with the monarch that introduces her to a world very different from her own.

The tale is told by musical pieces including Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance and I Whistle a Happy Tune, which will be performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in the show.

After the run of The King and I has come to an end, the Royal Albert Hall will host a gig by rock and roll star Neil Sedaka on June 30th.

London – Ride the London Eye, visit the Tower of London or take a day out of the city to see Stonehenge.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19131848-ADNFCR

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Rome to host Letterature

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People taking Rome tours in late May and early June this year will be in the city as it hosts Letterature, its international literature festival.

This event is traditionally held from mid-May to mid-June in the Basilica di Massenzio in the Italian capital.

While entrance is free, visitors still have to present a token to get in which, according to events website whatsonwhen.com, can be picked up at the box office at Via dei Fori Imperiali.

The festival sees successful authors from all over the world visit Rome to present and discuss their work, including pieces that have been produced specifically for the event.

In past years, the cultural celebration has included participation by the likes of Nick Hornby, Jeffery Deaver, VS Naipaul, Gore Vidal and Salman Rushdie.

Visitors will take part in various talks and readings, many of which will be accompanied by live music.

Rome boasts many other attractions and institutions that will interest people who want to take in some culture and history, including the Capitoline and Villa Borghese museums.

Rome – Visit some of the ancient landmarks such as the Colosseum or tour the opulent Vatican.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19131500-ADNFCR

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Spain dominates World’s Best Restaurants list

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Travellers taking tours of Barcelona and other Spanish destinations this year may be tempted to visit some of the destinations that feature on this year’s San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Spain dominated the 2009 survey, boasting four of the ten establishments that received the best reviews from more than 800 chefs, critics and industry experts around the world.

At the top of the list is El Bulli in Roses on the Costa Brava, which was named the world’s best restaurant for the fourth year in a row.

Mugaritz and Arzak, both of which are located in the town of San Sebastian on Spain’s north coast, were ranked fourth and eighth respectively, while El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, not far from Barcelona, was fifth.

France was also fairly well represented in the list, with Paris’ Pierre Gagnaire and Bras in Laguiole both appearing in the top ten.

Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck in Berkshire retained the second place that it achieved last year in the 2009 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, while the United States was represented by New York’s Per Se in sixth place and Chicago’s Alinea in tenth.

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-19131259-ADNFCR

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Stunning Architecture in Spain

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   sagrada2

Looming over Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1882 and is nowhere near completion. The giant spires and grandeur are the design of Anton Gaudi who began construction of the gothic church. As a privately funded venture tourists can become sponsors of the church by paying for a tour of the finished sections come 2010.
   While much of Barcelona is in the gothic style some parts differ greatly. More of Gaudi’s work, and that of his rivals, can be seen in the Paseo de Gracia. Gaudi’s re-visitation of a 19th century home shows off some of his best work as the Batlo House. Immediatly next door, his rival, Josep Puig i Cadafalch, created the Amatlles House using a cubical design. A stroll further down the lane lands visitors at Lleo Morera House designed by Domenech I Montaner. This art nouveau approach to architecture adds a third perspective to the Spanish style.

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