Posts for Culture

The Tourist’s Guide to both Comfort and Convenience of Stays in London

Destinations, Europe, Travel Tips - Ross French - October 31, 2015

London is a city that prides itself in its Queen, its people and its cultural heritage. The rich culture of this city runs back to a very long time ago and it’s the pride of that culture is what that attracts many within its bosoms. From places like Oxford Street and Hyde Park, to places like the London eye or the London bridge which is but of many popular attractions that the city has to offer. Also, speaking of commerce for the business travelers, London equally has a great history in trade and commerce as London was the first ever city to establish a company for the sole purpose of conducting commerce with a foreign nation known as the English East India Company which goes to show how far back the origin of commerce goes. Be it the contemporary opportunist or even the happy go lucky tourist, London has something to offer to all.Hotel

In the arms of Comfort

When you think of the historical heritage and grandeur that London represents, you think of comfort and well, who doesn’t want to live like that during their stay in the city? Be it for any business purpose or purely for pleasure, the Montcalm hotel Marble Arch has got you covered. Located at Park Lane, it is at close proximity to many historically relevant locations such as the Oxford and Regent Streets, Hyde Park etc. that many will enjoy. Also for the couple waiting to get married or to just throw that grand anniversary party, the Marble Arch has a Grand Ballroom that has no equal in comparison. For the businessman seeking to get work done, the Marble Arch is also home to two meeting and events rooms where private dinners and business meetings are a routine task for them and they are more than obliged to host such events if the need be. Speaking of luxury, every room is the Marble Arch has been tastefully decorated keeping luxury in mind and it is fitted with amenities such as Wi-Fi, LCD TV’s coupled with international and satellite channels, an iPad etc. to make ones stay as comfortable as can be. Finally, for the foodies, the Marble Arch has two renowned Restaurants and a Champagne bar to cater to one’s gastronomic desires.

Convenience at its finest

HotelsIf convenience may be more of your thing rather than comfort, London has got you covered there as well. The BW Plus Park Grand London Heathrow Hotel is a lovely and very reputable establishment that is also conveniently located in Heathrow in close proximity to the Airport for serving primarily those who seek a restful sleep during a long layover or for those with flights departing at odd hours. Each room in this hotel is highly spacious and the arrangement of the décor is in such a way that the guest gets the maximum amount of relaxation as we are all, too familiar with jet lag and physical strain ones goes through on International Flights. Aside from that, every room is fitted with state of the art amenities such a Wi-Fi, LCD TV’s with international Satellite Channels, iPod Docking Stations etc. Be it for the businessman or the tourist, the BW Plus Park Grand London Heathrow Hotel delivers and maintains a very high bar of convenience like no other.


Image by Fabien Equant,mighty.travels,Anna & Michal Under Creative Common License.

 

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5 Reasons to Visit Turkey

Turkey - Ross French - September 7, 2013

Visit Turkey

Turkey is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination, but not everyone is convinced…yet. Here we intend to give you a rundown of the very best reasons to holiday in this fascinating country. By the end of it, there is a good chance you will be ready to book your trip to visit turkey.

5 Reasons to Visit Turkey

1. Beaches

With a vast coastline, there is plenty of opportunities to enjoy the fun by the sea in Turkey. Different areas of the country have their vibes, but this only adds to the charm. In the north, you can enjoy visiting resorts on the Black Sea, while in the south there is the Aegean and Mediterranean.

These latter regions benefit from sunshine for a large part of the year, with Antalya and Bodrum particularly popular among tourists. Whether you want to get a tan, build a sandcastle, or enjoy some watersports. Visit Turkey, It has a beach for you.

2. History

You cannot go anywhere in Turkey without stumbling across a historical monument. In fact, the country is home to more archaeological sites than anywhere else in the world. Visit Turkey, Head to Ephesus where the Temple of Artemis was constructed, the city of Troy – famous for its war, and the stunning cave church of St Peter.

More recent history can also be found throughout the country and especially in Istanbul. Here, you will find the likes of the Topkapi and Dolmabahce palaces and the Galata Tower, dating back to 1348.

3. Culture

Turkey is a fascinating mix of different cultures and religions that all add something to the whole. This means that music, dancing, and folklore varies throughout the regions, with influences from all over.

This has also led to some amazing architecture on show. Don’t miss the Blue Mosque, named for the color of the tiles lining the walls inside, and its neighbor, the magnificent Aya Sofya. This structure has a huge freestanding down and amazing mosaics depicting figures from Christianity.

4. Food

There are many places in the world where food is linked to the culture and eaten with gusto, but nowhere quite as much as Turkey. It has taken the best parts from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines and made them it’s own.

The most amazing kebabs come from the southeastern part of the country and bear no resemblance to those you eat after a drunken night out. Wonderful assortments of meze are presented to diners prior to the main course, and seafood plays a huge role in Turkey’s food chain.

Be sure to try a balik ekmek or fish sandwich while in Istanbul. Fish does not get any fresher than this. Once caught they are grilled right by the water, popped between some bread and served hot to tourists and locals alike.

Another assault on the senses is a walk through the spice bazaar, where mounds of rose and pale yellow cubes of Turkish delight is piled high. Try before you buy and never purchase the packaged stuff as the fresh is far more delicious.

5. Value for money

Turkey is a relatively cheap destination, and those converting pounds into Turkish lira will find that they get a good exchange rate. You can end up spending a lot of money if you want to buy expensive rugs and souvenirs, which are tempting, but many everyday items are more reasonable.

Why are you waiting for? Go and Visit Turkey!

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Going on Holiday to Turkey

Turkey - Ross French - January 6, 2013

Holiday to Turkey

Going on Holiday to Turkey – What Do I Need To Know?

History, culture, cuisine, and scenery; when it comes to providing unbeatable holidays, Turkey certainly knows how to please its guests. There is plenty to entice holidaymakers to this glorious country – but what do you need to know before you depart?

1. Where to go?

Turkey is a vibrant country, offering everything from secluded beaches to bustling cities. Whether you’re searching for water sports, historical artifacts, mezze platters, crowded bazaars, or bustling metropolises, there’s a huge variety of holiday styles to experience here.

Look for a cheap holiday to Turkey in iconic cities such as Istanbul. The stunning Topkapî Palace, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar are all found here so you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied. Alternatively, Izrum is a great option for summer travelers with secluded coves the perfect setting for families looking to spend a few days relaxing in the country’s clear waters.

Consider a cruise around the coastline to take in the beautiful scenery. Fethiye to Gumbet is popular routes. These can be booked as a week-long standalone holiday or as an excursion.

2. How much to spend?

Turkey has become one of the most popular destinations for package holidays for UK tourists – and this means you shouldn’t have to spend much. The best time to book these breaks is for late spring or early autumn. You’re more likely to find a better deal, but also you’ll find that the heat is more bearable than during the peak summer period.

Consider how much money you’ll need for food and souvenirs as well as looking at the cost of the holiday itself. Turkey has often been perceived as a cheap destination, and evidence of this can be found in its inclusion on the Post Office’s Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer 2012, where it featured in the top 20.

3. What do I need to know before I leave?

On arrival:

When you arrive at your destination airport in Turkey, you’ll be asked to pay £10 (in GBP) at customs before entering the country. Make sure you have this to hand to avoid any delays.

Language:

Turkey isn’t the easiest country to navigate, and foreign language and currency could prove overwhelming for inexperienced travelers. Try to learn a few vital phrases if you plan on going to any traditional Turkish markets where bartering is customary. At the more ‘touristy’ beach resorts, most of the locals will speak relatively good English, so you should be ok when ordering a meal in the evening, and remember with a package holiday Reps in resort can assist you.

Currency:

The Lira is currently stable after years of fluctuation; however, you should keep an eye out for Yeni Turk Lirasi (New Turkish Lira). This currency was implemented to try and beat inflation but made illegal in 2003. Despite this, they remain in circulation and may be used to short change travelers, so be aware of this.

Tipping:

It’s customary to leave around 10-15% in change on top of the bill. Some restaurants will calculate this 10-15% for you and automatically add to your bill as a service charge, so check your receipt before leaving any cash on the table.

Weather:

Turkey’s beautiful and lush coastline enjoys moderate winter temperatures and hot, humid summers, while the shoulder seasons of May and September are balmy and pleasant.

So, Why are you waiting for? Go on a holiday to Turkey!

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At the Heart of South Africa Lies Johannesburg

Guest Posts - Ross French - May 23, 2011

soweto District of Soweto

Guest Post

At The Heart of South Africa At the heart of South Africa lies Johannesburg, an exciting and cosmopolitan city that is brimming with history and culture. So why is it only viewed as mere stop off for passengers on their lengthy journeys across the country? My advice would be to leave the terminal and go out to explore all that South Africa’s largest city has to offer.

Johannesburg_South_Africa_01

Johannesburg’s city skyline

If it’s an education you’re after, look no further than the Apartheid Museum in Gold Reef. With a series of twenty two exhibitions, the museum takes visitors through the complete history of the country’s dark past, from the beginning of the apartheid regime in 1948 to the release of Nelson Mandela in 1994. This is a must on any trip to the city. The nearby district of Soweto is also well worth a visit to further an understanding of the apartheid system. On 16th June 1976, Soweto was the attention of the world’s media as mass protests took place against the government’s policies. With twenty three deaths and extensive violence, this event will be forever embedded in the country’s memory. Today, Soweto is home to The National Nelson Mandela Museum. Made out of the former house of Nelson Mandela and full of his personal artefacts, it is no wonder that this is one of the most popular museums in the whole of South Africa. Residents of Soweto conduct private tours of the museum.

soweto

District of Soweto

So Johannesburg provides tourists with a stark reminder as to the country’s dark past. But what about the present? Nowadays the city is considered as the business capital of the country; high risers dominate the skyline. Eating places in Johannesburg are also second to none. For an authentic, South African experience head to Moyo in Zoo Lake. Ostrich Bebe and fillet khuzwayo are their signature dishes. Moyo also offers fantastic live and authentic African music to accompany your meal. In Johannesburg you are likely to hear some Kwaito songs (a genre of music that derives from the city). For something a little quieter, look no further than The Grillhouse in Rosebank. With attentive service, classy décor and the best steaks around, this place is not to be missed. Or how about something exotic and colourful? Coco Bongo is the place to be. Enjoy fine wines, royal rib racks and delicious cocktails before you dance the night away to upbeat, live music.

Johannesburg is home to some of the best shops and shopping malls in the country. For upmarket clothes shops head to the Sandston shopping centre or Nelson Mandela Square. However, for a glimpse into authentic South Africa, Rosebank Flea Market is the place to be. Carvings, textiles, ceramics, hand made jewellery, spices and local food are all at your disposal. It’s perfectly acceptable to engage in a good haggle too.

With so much history and culture, it’s clear that Johannesburg is far more interesting and enticing than Johannesburg International Airport. So be adventurous and explore all that this fantastic city has to offer.

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