We recently visited Los Angeles, California. L.A. is one of the hottest tourist destination in the world. One of the first things we noticed was how many OTHER tourist were there when we tried to go to Griffith Observatory to get a picture of the Hollywood sign. EVERYONE had the same idea. There were people from China, India, Mexico, Europe and from many other states. Since L.A. is so diverse you can really only speculate where they are from base on their language, car or just asking them. It is not uncommon to mean a South Korean or Armenian for example who does not speak great English but is actually in the US as a permanent resident or even a US Citizen.
We had a checklist of things we wanted to see. We ate at Korea town, we walked on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, we checked out a few fancy restaurants, we took pictures of the Hollywood sign.
There were a couple of cool extras that were not on our list of things to do in L.A. that were really great! Santee Alley and Roscoe Chicken and Waffle.
What to expect in LA?
Tourist traps – Expect an enormous crowd everyday in every la tourist spot. If you don’t want to avoid the tourist spots, then go during off peak hours (before 8am).
Crazy Traffic – Be prepared for the heavy traffic and aggressive drivers. If you are an inexperienced driver, you should just avoid driving if possible. We drove around L.A., fought through the traffic, maneuvered through the ridiculous intersections and let me tell you.. it is exhausting if you are not used to it.
What are the most interesting places to see in los angeles?
Hollywood – The Hollywood sign was very cool to see. It is such an iconic symbol that you almost have to check it out if you are in L.A. Hollywood boulevard is also nice to see. Wax museum is located there as well as other famous tourist spot. Another one that is worth seeing is the La Brea Tar pits.
The best part of L.A. is actually in L.A. It is a city about 30 minutes away in a city called Long Beach. It has the classic feel that everyone thinks about when they think L.A. only if they are NOT FROM the real L.A. It looks like Tampa. It is very clean, rich looking area. It is very classy with lots of restaurants around. It is also not as crowded as LA. The apartments there look beautiful.
What did I like the most?
Santee Alley – Oh my gosh, Santee Alley! It has all the new styles. I loved it. They have really nice lingeries there too. They sell cheap, high quality knock off clothing, purses, and shoes. You can also bargain if you are not tired. L.A. is an international fashion hub. Many new styles of clothing start there. The place resonates cool and starts world wide trends by accident. Beautiful people flock to L.A. trying to make it as actors, musicians and models…
What is the most disappointing attraction I had been?
Walk of Fame was really not what we expected for sure. I felt terrible going there. We were expecting a gleaming sidewalks with facy shops lining the sides of the streets. What you get is a huge crowd, with solicitors every 10 feet, and poor homeless living off random change from tourists. The stars with the names of famous actors, directors and writers of hollywood are there, but I imagined much more. I was sadly mistaken.
The Cost Of Living In London Is More Expensive Than Many Places Around The World
Many believe the cost of living in London is more expensive than the rest of the UK, and according to reports it is. London has become so expensive that thousands of people who work in the capital cannot afford to live there.
With the high house prices and the extremely high rental prices, many of those who do decide to live in London have to share a room in a house. This is not ideal for those wishing to buy their first property or to rent their own flat, but with the high unemployment in the UK, many people have no other option.The average price. Depends what part of london but you are looking at around £400,000 to buy one. For a basic flat to rent, you are looking at around £1,600 per month but you will not get much for that.
For people visiting London, many are shocked at how high the prices are for food, entertainment and travel compared to other countries around the world. A stay in a hotel is much more expensive than most other parts of the country, and that is why many tourist who visit London either stay in a Bed and Breakfast or a hostel.
A pint of beer in London can cost on average nearly £5, which is much more expensive than the rest of the UK. Even soft drinks have become expensive, including bottled water.
An average meal in McDonalds will cost around £5.15, which is not bad considering other prices on food. Shopping in supermarkets is much more expensive in London compared to the rest of the country, which includes personal care items such as hair shampoo that is priced at around £4.44.
Many travel experts believe the high prices in London are putting off the tourists and driving them to other parts of the country including Manchester. Many suggest a person visiting London should bring with them 50% more in spending money than they would visiting other countries around the world.
Although the prices are high in London, the capital is still one of the most visited capitals in the world.
Sample cab fare price: Start : Great North Way, London NW4 1PT, UK
End: Saint Mary Somerset Tower, London EC4V, UK £ 35.60
There are lots of things to see in Denver. You can go to an amusement park (Elitch Gardens), if you are in to nature you can go hiking or check out the botanical garden, The Denver Nature and Science Museum is definitely worth checking out, you can check out a football game and there are hundreds of restaurants in and around town.
If you are an art connoisseur, then you must go to the Denver Art Museum.
Entrance fee for Colorado Resident / Adult : $10.00
Admission for kids: Free everyday
General admission is free for everyone on First Saturdays
Parking Fee: $ 9.00 for whole day
Denver Art museum is truly a great experience. It is the second museum we have visited in Denver. There are tons of things you can see there. The architecture is spectacular. They also offer free days on special occasions.
Denver Art Museum has a souvenir shop and the ticketing booth located on the first floor. The second floor display famous paintings and unique sculptures from artists like Matthew William and others.
A painting with real looking images
The Denver Art Museum even has an area for kids to enjoy art.
As we’ve seen in our previous piece on Romania, it is a country that has always been at the intersection of major cultures and societies. This has had a great influence on the Romanian culture proper. Nowadays, what we call “culture” in this Eastern European state is practically a sum of numerous “borrowed” things that have been adapted to the local setting.
One of the main pillars on which Romania’s mental setting and cultural landscape is built is its Latinity. Even the name of the country sends readers thinking of ancient Rome, and so it should be. As opposed to many of its neighbors, Romania does not have a Slavic language, but a Latin one (very close to Italian, actually); and does not use the Cyrillic alphabet, but the Latin script. Its people are brunette, olive oil-skinned, with greater resemblances with the Spanish, rather than the Russians. Because of its Latinity, Romania has always had a Western-oriented society, thinking of itself together with its Latin brothers
The second pillar is Christianity, Eastern Christianity. Romanians are predominantly Orthodox, with a large minority of Roman and Greek Catholics (located mostly in Transylvania). For centuries, this was one of the reasons why Russia exerted influence over the country and, at some point, tried to engulf it. In recent years, since joining the EU and moving towards the West, Orthodoxy has been left aside and somehow lost its importance. Despite this fact, some of the most important monuments that Romania has to offer are churches and monasteries – magnificent examples of Orthodox architecture can be found in the Northern region of Bucovina or in Wallachia.
[caption id="attachment_3394" align="aligncenter" width="300"] courtesy of romaniadacia.wordpress.com
The third pillar is the Turkish influence – probably the worst one that Romania has come under. Romanian cuisine is a result of it, with several dishes (including sarmale – the national dish) originating from Turkey. Cooking in Romania is mainly based on meat and vegetables, and it consists of soups (locally named ciorba), steaks, vegetable lasagnas (musaca) and baked products (cozonac – a kind of Italian pannetonne and papanasi – fried dough balls dipped in sour cream and marmalade).
Food is not the only thing that Turkey brought over – the culture of corruption is another important “gift”. The tradition of paying for bypassing obstacles or legal procedures has been a trademark of the Ottoman Empire and the way it saw social relations. Unfortunately, the same style was adopted by the Romanian people, but, in recent years, great strives have been made in order to renounce it.
What has come out of this whole mélange: contemporary Romania. A country that sees itself as a part of the West, with examples of classical French and German architecture all around the country and a Western mentality to its citizens, but that, at the same time, has to live with its Orthodox and Turkish heritage. This makes Romania a prime example of a somehow broken society, fighting its way out of an intersection of cultures. Which makes it even more interesting for visitors. You’ll see what I mean when you land in Bucharest: big modern airport but filled with taxi drivers that can’t wait to scam some money off of you.
As mentioned in our previous article on Belgium, Brussels is the capital and largest city of this small Western European country. With almost 1.2 million people living there, it goes by as a medium-size European city, but the presence of the European institutions makes it much more than that…
Brussels has a history of more than 1000 years, being founded in the early Middle Ages by a Frank ruler. The city has been, over time, under the sovereignty of the French, the Spanish (yes, the Spanish!) and the Dutch. It has gone from being a Dutch-speaking small town to today’s Francophone metropolis.
Brussels proper is no more than 120 thousand big, but the region, formed by a total of 18 so-called communes (that is “municipality” in French) makes it a bustling European city. It has changed a lot since WWII, with the building of the European institutions and major infrastructure projects (the city is literally crossed by a network of underground tunnels) shaping the urban landscape.
courtesy of viola.bz
The old part of town, the centre-ville, around the Grand Place (“Large Market”, in English) is the main tourist attraction that Brussels has to offer. The area is riddled with chocolate shops, fries restaurants, souvenirs and beautiful architecture, making it the ideal place for a walk in the afternoon.
courtesy of vacation-rentals.com
To the east, one can visit the Arc du Cinquantanaire, a magnificent example of late 19th century architecture. It was built to mark the 50th anniversary of the Belgian state, in 1880. The Arc also houses the Military and Car Museums of Belgium (both worth a visit, but with a rather expensive entrance fee). Additionally, the European institutions are just around the corner. The European
Parliament offers regular guided tours of its building (book them in advance here), and the Jourdan or Luxembourg squares, located nearby, are good places to have lunch among the so-called Eurocrats.
courtesy of dailymail.co.uk
Other sights include the Battlefield of Waterloo, located just South of Brussels (the place where Napoleon lost his final battle), the Manneken Piss (a small bronze statue of a boy pissing – it’s said that his piss extinguished a fire, so he must have been a big beer lover…), but also the Atomium (a 80 meter tall structure that resembles an atom – the site is a bit overrated, but is worth a visit).
The food in Brussels (as everywhere in Belgium) is just brilliant. The classic Belgian fries (incorrectly labeled “French fries” by the Americans during WWI) and sweet and tasty waffles are an absolute must. You can find good waffles all around the Grande Place at an average price of 4 euros per piece, and some of the best fries in Belgium are made by Maison Antoine, located in Jourdan Square (they’re a bit pricey and almost all the time there is queue, but it’s worth the effort). The Saint Gerry area around the Stock Exchange provides a wide range of small and cozy restaurants with cuisine from 40 different countries.
Where to stay in Brussels?
Lodging can be found easily on Booking.com or similar sites. For the ones that like to travel and live cheap, the offer for Brussels on airbnb is huge, so you’ll find a place in no time. If you’re the fancy type, try some of the boutique hotels located around the Grande Place or the modern Eurocrat-hosting places on Rue de la Loi.
To end, a few tips: Brussels is well known in Europe for its high crime rate and lack of cleanness. Be careful with your possessions (best not carry all the money you have on you, at all times). The public transport is well organized and pretty clear to understand, but it suffers from the constant strikes of the personnel (check in advance for these kind of events so they don’t take you by surprise). Also, be careful with taxis – they are expensive and some drivers can scam you, unfortunately – better use Uber. Nothing left to say but: Have a pleasant stay in Brussels!
Hungary has become in recent years one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Europe. Budapest, a metropolis of almost 2 million people filled with monuments and history, but also other objectives in the country, like the Balaton lake and cultural-rich countryside, have made many people come to the Central European country and spend their holidays there.
courtesy of siamanswer.com
One of the most unknown “attractions” of Hungary is its beautiful feminine population. On the street, in hotels, in museums, in the metro; if you spent more than 15 min in one of these places, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Hungarian girls have for long been considered very pretty by European standards, but the recent tourist surge to Central Europe has made them more visible. They are often characterized by opposite traits: elegant, but also negligent; classy, but also modern; frivolous, but also slutty. It’s a strange combination that you’ll probably not gonna’ meet anywhere else in the world.
As a foreigner, your chances of getting hooked up (especially in Budapest) are quite high. Similar to Romanian girls, the magyars are interested in different cultures (especially Western) and languages, they like hearing stories about distant places and adventures. It would also be good if you would make the effort of learning a few words in the local language (I’ve just mentioned one for you –magyar- at the beginning of the paragraph so “you’re welcome!”).
courtesy of budapestagent.com
The ideal meeting places for girls are of course nightclubs and bars, but also parks (Budapest has plenty of them and people like to go for long picnics in the summer time there). As opposed to Bucharest, the Hungarian capital does not have an area where all the bars and clubs are concentrated. These kinds of establishments are spread around town (prepare your cab money!). Best way to have the whole experience and be able to meet a lot of new people is to do one of the Pub Crawls offered by restaurant owners in Budapest (you’ll easily find them online). If you’re the posh Range Rover loving-type of person, then go to the Peaches & Cream Club – the atmosphere is quite impressive and the women are stunning (best take all your credit cards, euros, dollars, forints and other currency you posses though, because you’ll be spending plenty).
One good tactic to approach Hungarian girls is to become friends with a man (yeah! I know it sounds strange, but bare with me here). As “packs” of girls never roam around town at night alone, but with 2 or 3 male buddies (who are either friendzoned or too uninteresting to date), the way to the girls goes through the men’s… beer. Make friends with them, buy them a drink, talk footy and then… open roads to the girls.
courtesy of miautoculiacan.com
Once you get there, try dancing, talking, gentle touches on the hand (they really like that, but don’t be a creep). Hungarians are not pretentious and they will easily befriend you – don’t need to put much effort into it; even the most unskilled man can approach a Hungarian woman quite easily.
Finally, some top tips: don’t start talking politics – don’t know if you’re following the news or not, but the Hungarian government is going a bit right-wing (a bit more, to be honest), and the Hungarian people seem to support them, so it’s best not to tell your opinions (nobody there cares about them!) on how “fascist, irredentist” or what-not the Hungarian government is; don’t take it personally if they make a lot of jokes about you or talk Hungarian behind your back so that you can’t understand. They do that with everybody, not just you; and, to end, the same tip goes for Romanian and Hungarian girls alike – be mindful of scammers; you never know when your bank card will get emptied in an ATM in Szeged. Érezd jól magad! (that is Have fun! in Hungarian, not a swear word)
On the shores of the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands, lies the small country of Belgium (well… it’s not that small when you compare it to its tiny neighbor, Luxembourg). Inhabited by 10 million people, it is probably one of the weirdest countries in Europe. It literally houses two separate and totally different populations – the Flemish and the Walloons.
The country has a long history of being split between its more powerful neighbors, the Netherlands and France. Even Spain once dominated these lands (back in the days when they used to dominate half of the known world). Belgium has existed as a state only since 1830, when it gained independence from the Netherlands. Its evolution since then has been tumultuous. It was a colonial power (sparking one of the biggest human rights disasters the world has ever seen), it was twice invaded by Germany, in WWI and WWII – talk about bad luck… -, and it went through massive riots in the 60’s and 70’s that almost split up the country.
Today, Belgium is a kingdom and federal state, with three main ethnic populations: the Dutch-speaking Flemish, the Francophone Walloons and the much less numerous Germans. King Philippe is the country’s head of state (the Belgians love their king, but not in a flamboyant, enthusiastic way, as the British or the Dutch do) and he’s held the crown for only two years now. Belgium is also one of the most developed countries in the world, the European gateway for diamonds (Antwerp), and, more importantly, home of the inadequately called French fries, waffles and a couple of thousand of types of beer.
courtesy of drinkingmadeeasy.com
A visit to Belgium should (and will) probably start in Brussels, the country’s capital. You’ll find here a 2 million-big metropolis with an international atmosphere. The city houses and the European Union institutions with more than 100 thousand people from different places in Europe working here (truly the capital of Europe), but also impressive monuments, such as the Atomium (a 20th century 60-metres high structure that looks like an atom). The Grand Place, the old town’s main square, with one of the most impressive examples of Belgian architecture in the country. The Parc de Cinquentenaire and its Triumphal Arch, built for the 50th anniversary of the Belgian state.
courtesy of wikitravel.org
Next stop: Flandres, more specifically, Bruges and Gent, the region’s main towns. Both display brilliant examples of Flemish architecture, with houses dating way back from the 17th century. Both these towns were once upon a time, inland ports, so they both have extensive canal networks (a boat trip is definitely worth-while). If you have time, pass by Antwerp and Ieper (or Ypres, in French) also. The first is one of Europe’s major ports, houses one of the most impressive zoo’s in the country (attention! they have pandas!) and a unique diamond museum. Ieper was the site of one of the biggest battles in WWI, so if you’re a history passionate “looking for cover” in real-life trenches, Ypres’s the place to go.
In the South of the country, Wallonia also has a lot to offer. Liege and Mons are both interesting places to visit (especially Mons, the European Capital of Culture for 2015), with both civil and religious medieval architecture in place. Additionally, if you’re in Liege, take the time and visit the Blegny coal mine. The experience is highly interactive and you get to live the life of an ordinary 20th century Belgian coal miner, even if only for a couple of hours.
Finally, a few tips: don’t leave Belgium without trying the frites (French fries) and gauffre (waffle) – and remember the old Belgian saying: “The dirtier the restaurant, the better the food”; although Belgian beer is great and the variety is so large that it would probably take you a lifetime to try them all, be careful – it’s also very strong; in Belgium, you don’t need more than two beers to sing on the way home; and, one final important thing to remember: Belgium is not the cheapest tourist destination so be sure you bring enough money (and cash; sometimes they can be a bit restrictive towards the types of cards they accept). Nothing more to say than: Bienvenue en Belgique!
We have had the pleasure of visiting Thailand many times. We met some nice and friendly thai people. It is a great place to go. But there are a few things you should know. Here are a few tips for traveling to thailand:
Be polite. Thai people are very cool people but that does not mean you can misbehave in their country. It will just cause animosity against foreigners visiting their country. While we were there we saw an middle eastern man yelling at the police. He was making a complete fool of himself. Things like this make you and everyone who looks like you look very bad.
Great food Beware. The food is amazing but if your stomach is not used to too rich spices, you may want to avoid it. If you are a foodie with a strong stomach, you will be in heaven. Thailand is a food adventure especially if you can handle hot food. Try the grass hoppers, they taste like potato chips!
Backpacking. You will see lots of young, European backpackers walking around. If you decide to do it, you should be prepared. Thailand is very hot and humid. Bring some sunscreen and very comfortable shoes.
Bring Condoms. Thailand is one of the most sexually open places in the world. They don’t see sexuality or sexual orientation like Westerners. You may have many opportunities for sex. Protect yourself.
Money. Bring only what you intend to spend for the night. There are so much entertainment in both Bangkok and Pattaya. It is hard to control the temptation of spending when you are in the middle having fun.
The crowds in some parts of Thailand are overwhelming. Pattaya, for example, is a very touristy area and you can expect that everywhere you go will have a crowd. There are also many foreigners who settled in Thailand and get married to Thai women.
As mentioned in our previous piece on Romania, Bucharest is its capital and biggest city. Definitely the most developed urban settlement in Romania, Bucharest is one of the biggest metropolitan areas in Europe and a powerful administrative, financial and cultural center in Eastern Europe. It is also the most probable landing spot when you arrive in Romania (if you’re flying, of course) as the busiest airport in the country is located on the capital’s outskirts.
History-wise, Bucharest is not an old city, by European standards. The first mention of its existence was in the 15th century, in a letter between two local traders. Since then, it has seen astonishing changes.
Until the 19th century, it remained rather undeveloped, with an unfitting infrastructure, often struck by either diseases or floods. Bucharest was the seat of the ruler of Wallachia, in what is now called the Old Court in what is now called Old Town. Everything revolved around the administrative buildings and the town that was basically a big Turkish bazaar.
Towards the end of the 19th century, French and German influence replaced the Turkish one, and the city started to change. Classical buildings and imposing public monuments emerged. The Cantacuzino Palace, the Telephone’s Palace, the CEC Palaces, the National Bank; they all date from that era. The highlife center shifted further north, to what is today called Calea Victoriei, from the Old Court, on the banks of the Dambovita River.
After WWII, a new era began for Bucharest, a rather red one… Communists took over in Romania and Nicolae Ceausescu (Romania’s world renown dictator – you might have heard of him under the name “Genius of the Carpathians”). Nicholae transformed the city according to his personal will. He razed entire neighborhoods to make way for his dreamed “Civic Centre”, including the current ministries buildings and the humongous Palace of Parliament.
The Palace of Parliament, the heaviest building in the world, the biggest administrative building in the world, the most voluminous building in the world (and this can go on… a lot of records for this place); it’s not to be missed; you’ll definitely be impressed by its size and, if you’re not familiar with communism and its “art-work”, by its kitschy architectural style.
[caption id="attachment_3209" align="aligncenter" width="300"] courtesy of worldalldetails.com
Calea Victoriei – the once-fanciest area of town, where you can find magnificent buildings like: the CEC Palace, the Army’s Club, the Telephone’s Palace, the Athenaeum, the seat of the government and many more.
courtesy of bucharest-shoppingguide.com
The Old Town – the place to go if you like partying in old style buildings, or just want to have a good cup of coffee and enjoy the sun on the patio.
courtesy of unknownbucharest.com
Herastrau Park – one of the biggest parks in Bucharest and definitely one of the most spectacular I have ever seen.
Restaurant recommendations include Carul cu Bere (a restaurant that has been functioning continuously since the 18th century), La Placinte (traditional Romanian-Moldovan food), 18 Lounge by Embassy (if you like a view, you’ll really enjoy this panorama from the 17th floor of an office building in the North part of town), and many others.
As for hotels, look up those nice boutique hotels that made probably made your stay better in places like Paris, Rome or Prague; Bucharest has them too: Carol Park Hotel, Hotel Cismigiu, Hotel Berthelot – all located in the center, close to all the big monuments, with high-class services.
In the end, some tips: be careful with taxi drivers, always ask them to turn on the taximeter or else they’ll scam you, bring both sun-glasses and an umbrella – weather is unpredictable in Bucharest, even in the summer, no need for a lot of money – Bucharest is one of the cheapest tourist destinations in Europe. Distractie placuta!
Manitou Springs is among the top attraction in Colorado. It is a very beautiful place to see. It is filled with authentic shops, ice cream shops, restaurants and bed and breakfast hotels.
You will often see runners going up Barr Trail or hiking up the Incline early in the morning. Next to the trail you can see the Cog Rail, a trail that goes up Pikes Peak.
There are several options for Manitou bed and breakfast in the area for you to stay during your trip.
Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast has a good rating in google reviews with an average room price of $130.00. The advantage of this bed and breakfast place is that it is very accessible and walking distance to all the unique shops and attractions of Manitou Springs. http://www.avenuehotelbandb.com/
Red Crags bed and breakfast is a place full of antique stuff on it. The rooms look elegant but sadly do not have very good reviews from people that have stayed there. It is situated .3 miles away from the Garden of the Gods. Room prices ranges from $100.00- $200.00. http://www.redcrags.com/
Bed and Breakfast at Historic Onaledge. Would you mind staying with ghosts? Well, hopefully they won’t appear during your stay. That is scary. Or maybe the ghosts are gone or perhaps they just made it up as a promotion to sell this b&b place. Onaledge is old but clean with good customer service. It is one of the top locations in Manitou Springs with a good tripadvisor review. It should be worth it. The rooms look very old fashioned. The room rate starts at $125.00. Their website is http://www.onaledge.net/
Agate Hill is another bed and breakfast Inn and cottages in Colorado Springs Area. The rates are not available on their website but you can call them directly on their number 719-685-0685. You can contact them on their website at http://www.agatehill.com/ .
Rockledge Country Inn has the most beautiful rooms among the other Manitou Springs rooms. Among all the places I have seen, Rockledge has the best location. It gives the most spectacular view of the mountains that really highlights the beautiful rock formation of Colorado. The rooms look spacious and pretty with excellent tripadvisor reviews. Room rates ranges from $125.00 – $250.00 http://www.rockledgeinn.com/guest-room-1.html
Blue Skies Inn has a google review of 4.4 out of 5. It is a pretty good review for an Inn. Their website needs more development. Although the Blue Skies Inn is not modern they have excellent services that accommodate tourists and business travelers. Room prices range from $ 145.00 – $ 240.00. http://www.blueskiesinn.com/
There are plenty of bed and breakfast that you can find in Manitou Springs. You may even get a cheaper price in other places that are not listed here check out the online reviews to get an idea of what they have to offer.