Category Archives: Culture

Top 6 Facts About Machu Picchu.

Top 6 Facts About Machu Picchu.

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1. First to get to start The Machu Picchu Trail you first have to get to the village called Aguas Caliente before riding transportation up a steep, switch back road. This is where you will get the first glimpse of Machu Picchu from an elevated viewpoint which is what trekking pilgrims would have seen nearly five centuries ago.

2. Daily visitors are limited to 2,500 per day, although at times it may seem like more than that. The crowds usually start to build up in the late morning and early to mid afternoon. This leaves the much quieter times at either end of the day when the light is at it’s best for taking photographs.

3. The best time to go is from April to late October after which the low clouds and driving reain usually obscure the site.

4. Machu Picchu was only fairly recently discovered. Back in the early 1900’s the place would have been shrouded by a wall of centuries old vegetation, from which peaked glimpses of stone walls. The American explorer Hiram Bingham discovered the site after it faded into obscurity in the mid 1500,s. The once powerful Inca civilization had been scattered by the Spanish conquerors and with their demise faded away the memories of Machu Picchu. The city was once a home for kings, knobles and priests. This was a sacred place requiring permission to visit. There is now a small, discreet hotel called the Machu Pichhu Sanctuary Lodge which is the only lodging close to the site. Most visitors stay below in the village, or even further away in Cusco. If they do this they can choose to ride the daily luxury Hiram Bingham tran to Aguas Caliente or take one of the more basic trains to the town before getting to Machu Pichhu.

6. The 2,450 metre height of the ruins can cause shortness of breath and elevated heart rates. The effects can be worse in Cuzco which is the closest big city. At 3,300 metres, when exiting the aircraft many passemgers experience dissyness and shorness of breath. Some people prepare for this by taking medications such as Advil to open up the blood vessels and fight headaches. Other treatmens include prescription drugs such as Diamox.The airport staff at Cuzco are well used to dealing with these types of issues and have instant remedies on hand.

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Jewish Heritage Tour River Cruise

7 NIGHT Jewish Heritage Tour River Cruise.

Jewish Heritage Tours

The jewish religion is one of the oldest in the world and in almost every country on the earth has left it’s mark in the magnificent buildings both in ancient and modern history.

Here is an opportunity to visit some of these places and experience first hand and judge for yourself in the form of a river cruise down the Danube and give you the experience of a lifetime that you have always promised yourself.

To request more information

click here:

There are two tours on offer:

1. The Legendary Danube 

 Experience the historic towns full of Jewish Culture on a 7 night The Legendary Danube cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest or in the opposite direction on The Blue Danube Discovery from Budapest to Nuremberg.

Sites to visit in Budapest:

1074 Dohány utca 2 District 7. City Center Budapest

JewishMuseumBudapest
The Great Synagogue in Dohány street is the world’s second largest synagogue, second only to the Temple Emanuel in New York City. It has a vast collection of Judaica on display. Permanent exhibitions are: Devotional objects for Jewish celebrations; Everyday objects; History of the Hungarian Holocaust. . It was built by the Neolog Jewish community of Budapest between 1854 and 1859; its architect was Ludwig Förster from Vienna, Austria. The flat-ceiling interior can accommodate nearly 3,000.

1094 Páva utca 39 District 9. Budapest

HolocaustMemorialCentreBudapest

Holocaust Memorial Centre.This Neolog Synagogue, inaugurated in 1924, is the work of architect Lipót Baumhorn, who designed no less than 22 synagogues in the territory of historical, pre-WWI Hungary. The temple functioned until 1944, when it was turned into an internment station.

As an added bonus once in this beautiful city that I last visited in 1996 you get to see the world famous sights such as Fisherman Bastion, Heroes Square, Budapest Castle and many more.

I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed with this 2 World Heritage Sites city. To stand on the ancient walls of Fisherman Bastion  and admire the view sent chills down my spine and I hope it can do the same for yours.

BudapestWaterfront

Nuremberg.

I haven’t been to Nuremberg but the city has lots of connections to the Jewish community, it was one of the most important commercial city’s of Bavaria and Jews were living in Nuremberg as early as the beginning of the twelfth century.

Jewish Museum of Franconia.

JewishMuseumNuremberg

One of the exhibits in the museum represent the newly found letters Schnaittach Guttag family before, and thus also an example of Jewish emigration to the United States and Frankish homeland ties in the 19 Jahrhundert. Century.

As you can see this is a totally unique experience that does not come along very often so why not find out more information about this once in a lifetime trip that not only gives you the chance to view Jewish Heritage Sites but also the world famous sights that Budapest and Nuremberg have to offer the regular tourist.

Prices starting from only

$1,999 per person

To request more information

click here:

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(USD based on double occupancy, for bookings made between 5July & 31August 2011, prices don’t include land programme, round trip airfare, port charges and gratuities. Departure dates 7 & 15  November 2011)

Cuba Cycling Tour

Cuba Cycling Tour

Came accross this offer today, how about a Cuba Cycle Adventure.

This tour lasts 8 days / 7 nights and is a fully escorted cycling tour, prices are from $999*

The tour itinerary includes HAVANA – VINALES – CAYO JUTIAS – SOROA – LAS TERRAZAS – HAVANA

This cycling adventure features Cuba’s beautiful west and tobacco valleys, the picturesque Cayo Jutias beach, natural caves in Cueva de los Portales, plus Havana.

I have been to Cuba lots of times with my airlne as a flight attendant but only to Varadero and always thought it would be really cool to explore the rest of the country and mix with the locals who I have found to be very friendly and welcoming. What better way than on a bicycle and keeping fit at the same time.

This is what’s included:
7 nights accommodation in carefully selected 3* hotels
Hotel taxes and service charges
Daily breakfast, 4 lunches & 6 dinners
Private roundtrip transfers from/to airport
Bike rental & accompanying mini-van
Sightseeing tours including entrance fees
Experienced multilingual local tour guide

What’s not included: Cuban departure Tax 25 CUC per person & Airfare.

Guaranteed departures: Dec 27/2009; Jan 10 & 31, Feb 14 & 28, Mar 21, May 10, Jun 10, Jul 10, Aug 8 & 29, Oct 10 & 31, Nov 21/2010.

We can arrange flights from your local departure point via any Canadian Gateway.

*Rate is per person in USD, based on double occupancy including hotel taxes & service charges. Single & triple room rates, plus additional hotel nights, excursions and tour extensions are available on request.

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Amsterdam to Clean up

Red LightWhat’s the first thing you think of when Amsterdam is mentioned?

Well if it’s the Red Light District things are going to change.

Amsterdam is trying to clean up it’s Red Light District, overflowing with den’s of iniquity, coffee shops and dope smoke.

At it’s height there were an estimated 450 spots showcasing working women, now down by 100 and more to go.

Artists and fashion designers are taking over, the real life flesh figures are being replaced by fashion clad mannequins showcasing Amsterdam’s top designers wares of fashion. You can even choose the designer ring from the jewellers to put on your loved one’s finger from a snack machine that has been modified to dispense rings.

This transformation has even stretched to other parts of the city such as Zeedijk towards Nieuwmarkt and Chinatown where a new Buddhist temple has been erected.

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The Dead Sea Scrolls on show in Toronto.

The Dead Sea Scrolls on show in Toronto.

Dead Sea Scrolls

There is still time to see a very important aspect of the Israeli and Jewish culture dating back thousands of years.

“The words that changed the world”, that’s what the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) calls them

Widely considered among the greatest archaeological finds of the past century, the Dead Sea Scrolls include the earliest written sources for the Hebrew Bible, dating back to approximately 250 BCE.

They are on display at the Toronto museum until Jan. 3, apparently the Scrolls have been a huge hit in Toronto; since its debut in June, 208,000 people have seen the exhibit and another 100,000 are estimated to visit by January 2010.

The Israel Government Tourist Office in Canada (IGTO) is hoping that interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls will encourage more people to visit Israel, and in particular the historic site of Qumran where the Scrolls were found.

So here is a chance to view a piece of history on your doorstep in North America.

Flights to Toronto from Vancouver start at only $179.00* each way

* Taxes and fees extra

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Cool Happenings in London Now

In my bottomless inbox of travel news, I’ve come across a few articles about London and why you might be interested in taking a trip there before the end of summer.

Putpockets We’ve all heard of pickpockets and how we should be wary of them at home and while we’re abroad. However, 20 former pickpockets who have changed from their former wicked ways have been hired by a broadband company, TalkTalk, to discreetly drop anything from 5 to 20 pound notes in the unguarded pockets, purses, and bags in Trafalgar Square, Covent Gardens, and other busy spots. This initiative to brighten the lives of people in unusual ways runs until the end of August which will see at least 100,000 pounds given away.

Free Bottled Water To provide abit of relief during the summer heat, Soak Media, is providing free bottled water to London commuters. The UK media company sells on-bottle advertising. Their staff distribute the 330ml bottles from ice-filled carts. Their research show that the bottles are held in the hands of the recipients for an average of 50 minutes. What makes Soak Media unique is that they distribute all their profits to charitable causes.

Writer in Residence It’s not unusual unless you consider where it will be. Heathrow Airport has appointed Alain de Botton as the writer-in-residence for 1 week starting August 19, 2009. His desk is located in the new Terminal 5 where his writings appear on a screen behind him for all to read. During the week he will interview passengers and airport staff before returning home to write a short book titled, A Week At The Airport: A Heathrow Diary. The book will include photographs by Richard Baker. On September 21, 2009, ten thousand copies will be distributed for free to Heathrow travellers and then be available for sale through Amazon’s British website and traditional brick and mortar stores.

If you have time for a trip to London in the next few months, you may get a chance to experience the new personal rapid transit (PRT) system that will be launching in Q4 at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. The PRT vehicles will transport 4 passengers at a time from Terminal 5 to various parking lots. It cost the British Airport Authority (BAA) $41 million for these 18 battery powered pods which travel at a maximum of 25 mph.

I’ve received a few e-mails about cruises from my previous blog posts.  To respond to these, my next couple of posts will hopefully answer them, firstly beginning with the types of cruises available.

When I think of Spain…

I recently came across an article about the air quality in Spain. It got me to think…what does Spain mean to me? Well…for most people they associate Spain with things like the distinct architecture, Don Quixote, Pablo Picasso, Pedro Almodovar, football (aka soccer in North America), tapas, paella, flamenco, Ibiza, bull fighting, and the Castile but to name a few. So what do you associate with Spain?

For me, I associate Spain with the “Running of the Bulls” and “La Tomatina”.

Rainbow Travel Inc - Running of the Bulls

Rainbow Travel Inc - Running of the Bulls

The “Running of the Bulls” refers to the tradition of running in front of a herd of bulls that have been let loose through a sectioned off part of the town. The purpose is to transport the bulls from off-site corrals to the bullring where they will be killed in the evening. The most famous “Running of the Bulls” is the one that is part of the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona. The festival runs for 9 consecutive days from July 6th to 14th with a run each day at 8am.

Rainbow Travel Inc - La Tomatina

Rainbow Travel Inc - La Tomatina

“La Tomatina” is a food fight festival in Spain in the town of Brunol. It takes place the last Wednesday of August at 10am. More than 20,000 people participate in this event each year. Being a small industrial town, accommodations are limited and most tourists stay in Valencia and take the bus or train in.

There are numerous events and festivals around the world that many people have not heard of. If you know of something different or unique, please share with us.

Return air fares from Vancouver to Barcelona start at $778 including taxes and fees.

Liverpool – My Home Part 1

I often miss my hometown of Liverpool, UK.  Whenever I read travel articles, see a story on the news, or hear about it on the radio, all my memories of home come to mind. So I ‘ve decided to share with you all the recent news about Liverpool.  If you have the chance to visit the UK, make a point to see Liverpool.  If you’ve been there before, I’d love to hear about your trip and find out what what you thought of it.

The World Just Got Closer to Liverpool, UK

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Rainbow Travel Blog - Liverpool Merseyside waterfront

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has announced its intention to operate new services out of my home city, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, thereby renewing a partnership, which first began seventy years ago. On commencement of its 2009 summer schedule, KLM will launch a new service between Amsterdam and Liverpool, connecting the Liverpool City Region with over 100 worldwide destinations on KLM’s own intercontinental network and with over 650 destinations across KLM’s Skyteam partner networks including Vancouver and the rest of North America.

Effective from 29 March 2009, KLM cityhopper (regional airline subsidiary) will operate the new scheduled service three times daily using Fokker 70 jet aircraft carrying up to 80 passengers.

Liverpool is the UK’s fourth largest city, and one of its fastest growing business centres.  In addition the city’s international profile has grown with its recent accolade of the European Capital of Culture 2008 and of course, the home to The Beatles .

What to Do in Liverpool City Region

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Rainbow Travel Blog - The Three Graces

Liverpool attractions greet you on every street – we haven’t been awarded the Capital of Culture title for nothing!

The architecture is world-class, with more listed buildings than any city outside London. The heart of the city and its waterfront sit proudly alongside treasures like the Taj Mahal and Pyramids at Giza as a World Heritage Site. Whether you’re coming to Liverpool for arts and culture or sport you’ll be spoilt for choice in this great city.

Liverpool Arts & Culture

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Rainbow Travel Blog - Albert Dock

The city’s areas of interest extend far beyond the World Heritage Site. In and around Liverpool, attractions to satisfy the mind are always within reach, with maginificent architecture and cultural wonders filling the metropolis as well as the countryside and seafront.

Liverpool boasts two cathedrals which are major attractions in their own right. The Anglican Cathedral and the Metropolitan Cathedral are fine examples of internationally recognised architecture.

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Rainbow Travel Blog - Walker Art Gallery

Many gems of the National Museums Liverpool fall within the heritage site. The refurbished World Museum Liverpool and Walker Art Gallery are housed in this part of town, while the Tate Liverpool and Merseyside Maritime Museum have their homes on the waterfront, at the Albert Dock, alongside the not to be missed Beatles Story. Check out artinliverpool.com for listings of Arts & Culture events in the area.

If you’re looking for theatres in Liverpool, choose from the Everyman and Playhouse, Unity and Empire theatres for a range of contemporary, classic and touring productions.

More information about Arts & Culture in Liverpool

Liverpool Shopping

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Rainbow Travel Blog - Liverpool Shopping

In Liverpool you will find all the national chains like Marks and Spencer for your basics plus many independent shops for those one of kind unique items.  Be sure to visit the downtown area and the historic district to get a flavour for all the variety available.

If fashion is what you’re looking for, then Liverpool is the kind of place where styles tend to make their first appearances before filtering through to the rest of the country. It has become the first place to look for people with an eye on fashion.  The newest and largest mall is Liverpool ONE. Here you will find the latest in shopping, dining, and entertainment.

More information about Liverpool shopping

Rainbow Travel Tips & Tidbits – 5 September 2008

Travel Tidbits from Rainbow Travel Inc:

Air Transat delivers More Room in Economy:

The space between each row of seats has been increased by about 2 inches from 30 to 32 inches. By doing this, Air Transat has reduced the seating on it’s Airbus 310‘s from 259 to 249 seats and on their Airbus 330‘s from 362 to 342 seats. Air Transat operates a fleet of 13 Airbus A310’s and four A330’s.

Toy Story Opens at Two Parks

Disney Park guests are now able to enter a wild and wooly 4-D world, Toy Story, featuring Woody, Buzz and other favourite characters. This exciting new feature is available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. It’s a high energy adventure that puts guests right in the heart of the action as your game play triggers fun surprises that provide a fourth dimention of fun. Upon entering the attraction, guests are welcomed by Mr Potato Head. More than 5ft tall, this state of the art audio animatronics Mr Potato Head makes two way conversation and asks you to ” step right up” for the incredible Toy Story Experience.

Everyone gets a front row seat when they put on their 3-D specs, shrink to the size of a toy, and board Toy Story Carnival tram ride cars.

Players can pair up and shoot at a variety of targets and because of the 4-D special effects, they can be amongst the action on their exciting journey where objects seem to whirl past as they pop out of the 3-D scenes

Very Affordable Tropical Cruises:

Signature Vacations new Tropical Cruise Programme this winter will feature two itineraries in the Caribbean aboard the 1450 pax Thomson Destiny cruise ship. Thomson Destiny will sail every second Sunday from La Romana in the Dominican Republic visiting Grenada, Dominica, Antigua, St Martin and Tortola before returning to La Romana. The second itinerary will feature The Coral Islands, St Lucia, Barbados, Guadeloupe, St Kitts and Tortola due to Monday and Tuesday flights from Vancouver from Nov 10th onwards.

The Thomson Destiny offers a Kitzone with daily activity programmes, two pools, 24Hr per day buffets, two restaurants, Broadway style shows, library, video, gym and sauna, and all the cruises include port taxes and tipping. There is even an option to pre purchase your alcoholic beverages.

La Machine: The Giant spider, La Princess, brings Liverpool to Standstill

Celebrations for European city of culture continue in my home town, Liverpool (U.K.)

A GIANT spider appeared in Liverpool, Lime Street today. Stunned onlookers stared in amazement as the 37-tonne, 50ft creature dangled high above the street from Concourse Tower. The massive arachnid is the first glimpse of the mysterious La Princess, the mechanical creature at the centre of the La Machine extravaganza. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected on the streets of the city, many of which will be closed off, as the five-day street theatre event unfolds this weekend. The Capital of Culture event will see “scientists” arrive in the city to investigate the creature. The spider, named La Princesse, is the brainchild of François Delarozière and his company La Machine. This is his first spider, and its appearance is part of the city’s capital of culture celebrations. La Princesse is a big girl, weighing 37 tonnes, and a marvel of engineering. She has 50 hydraulic axes of movement, took a year to build, and trundles along the road at two miles an hour.