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Cuba these days is a rather fashionable tourist destination. Tourists head out there, looking to enjoy the beaches, the wonderful weather, the diving and the salsa. And while all of these provide wonderful diversions for Cuba holiday makers, they are also often entirely artificial, created purely for the tourist market that invariably laps it up. For some, this is not enough, but with the tourist industry largely built on these foundations, where can you find the real Cuba on...

In Search Of The Real Cuba

In Search Of The Real CubaCuba these days is a rather fashionable tourist destination. Tourists head out there, looking to enjoy the beaches, the wonderful weather, the diving and the salsa. And while all of these provide wonderful diversions for Cuba holiday makers, they are also often entirely artificial, created purely for the tourist market that invariably laps it up. For some, this is not enough, but with the tourist industry largely built on these foundations, where can you find the real Cuba on your holidays?The answer surprisingly lies in the nations capital, Havana. Though it is a popular tourist area, the real Cuba lies in its narrow side streets and dusky alleys. The citys history dates back as far as 1515, and if youre really serious about seeing the real country you will be prepared to forgo the 5 star resorts touted around the internet in favour of a private house or particular. This will give you a real sense of living on the island in a style more in line with the locals, and has the added bonus of costing no more than $20 per day for one in a prime city centre position perfect for the standard "Cuba holiday" sightseeing.If you have not been sent running for the Varadero beaches by the experience, its time to continue living the Cuban life with a lesson in gastronomy a paladar will provide this. Some years ago, citizens of Havana won the right to open a restaurant (serving no more than 12 people at a time) in their homes, restricted to serving only chicken and beef dishes. Locating one of these will not only give you an insight into how Cuban people live in the capital, but will give you a taste of the real Cuban cuisine rather than the tourist equivalent.Being a guest in a Havana citizens caf/home is on thing, but where is best to mix with real Cubans? The answer would be checking out some of the local bars. The most famous of these is of course Floridita bar, which was a home away from home for the great Earnest Hemmingway. If youre looking to fit in with the locals, and not stand out as a common Cuba holiday maker, a Dauquiri (rum, lemon juice, sugar and maraschino) or Mohito (rum, ice and mint) will help, as well as show you why Cuba is renowned for its fine rums.While this will give you a good insight into how Cuban locals live, theres more to the island than just the human population. If you are in search of exotic jungle and a look at the natural beauty of the island, then the island of Cayo Levisa provides a calm, aesthetically pleasing retreat. Its a 20 minute boat ride from the mainland, but the island is home to tropical jungle, sandy beaches and dazzling coral reefs with exotic marine life. While its not free of Cuba holiday makers, this spot gives you an insight into how the island was before it was populated.For a beach virtually untouched by tourism, though you cant beat Cayo Largo. The 6 hour boat ride puts off the majority of Cuba holiday makers, creating a peaceful tropical island virtually untouched by tourism. The best thing to do here is to enjoy the amazing peaceful scenery and relax away from the strains of the working world.Ive only really scraped the surface here, and the real Cuba will be unique for each visitor, but if you follow my suggestions and feel able to explore beyond the standard tourist world, you will discover a way of life a million miles away from anything in the UK, with enough anecdotes to last until your next visit to this tropical paradise.

Popular Spain Attractions In Large Cities

Popular Spain Attractions In Large Cities

Spain is a popular destination for tourists from all over Europe and around the world. There are many Spain attractions in larger cities and small villages throughout the country. Museums, palaces and old churches give the traveller an opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the various regions in the country.Popular Spain Attractions in Large CitiesBarcelona is located near the border of Spain and France. In this city, you can see a mixture of the various cultures that have influenced it over the course of history. The influence of Rome, France, Carthage and the Moors can be seen in architecture and history.There are many attractions in the Old Town area of Barcelona. There are several old churches in the city. La Rambla is a tree lined road with street vendors and cafes. The Picasso museum showcases art works by the artist. Picasso spent a good part of his youth in this city. The Columbus museum is located on the site where he departed for the New World.Barcelona comes alive at night. The city has a vibrant night life. Dinner is generally served late, at about ten oclock each evening. The bars and clubs in the city really come alive after the dinner hour.Madrid is the capital of Spain and a vibrant city. It is located in the center of the country. Many people visit the city for the famous museums and art collections. The old town area is great for shopping and places to eat. There are a variety of trendy night clubs with live music, if you love the night life.The Golden Triangle is located in the center of the city. This is the location of three famous museums: the Prado, Thyssen Bornemisza and Reina Sofia. In addition to the great museums, the Royal Palace is a major attraction. This palace is used for ceremonial purposes. The throne room and gardens are popular with tourists. If you like bull fighting, visit the Plaza de Toros de las Ventas. This is among the most famous of all bullfighting rings.Seville is the capital of Andalusia and the Province of Seville. There is a lot to see and do in this city. The old quarter has many attractions, including picturesque plazas. The fountains in the plazas are a good place to stop and rest and make a great background for pictures.The Seville Cathedral is an ornately decorated cathedral that was constructed in the fifteenth century. The cathedral is home to an amazing collection of religious art. The tomb of explorer Christopher Columbus is located inside this cathedral.The Alcazar is a royal palace that is open for tours. There are beautiful gardens on the grounds of the palace. The Torre del Oro tower is a maritime museum. This structure was originally part of a fortification built by the Moors to defend the city against invasion. The museum has a number of interesting exhibits on display.Spain Attractions on the Mediterranean CoastThe Costa del Sol is a popular destination to sunbathe in the summer and escape the cold of the winter. There is beautiful scenery and a number of attractions to explore in the cities around this region. Malaga is a popular destination on the Costa del Sol.This region has increased in popularity for golf vacations in recent years. There are a large number of golf resorts and golf courses located here. It has been nicknamed the Costa del Golf by some avid golfers. The weather in this region is great for golf all year round.The Costa Blanca is among the most popular tourist destinations in the country. This area is especially crowded in the summer season. Most visitors fly into Alicante airport and travel from here throughout the region. The Alicante airport is home to many large and discount airlines. Book your reservations well in advance to get the best fare for your trip.The Costa Blanca is home to larger tourist areas such as Benidorm and smaller villages with quiet resorts. The city of Torrevieja is located in the southern part of the region. This city is known for its salt production and salt baths. The salt baths are said to have curative powers for arthritis and skin conditions.

Odaiba - Tokyo's Most Visited Attraction

Odaiba - Tokyo

Aqua City, Venus Fort, and Rainbow Bridge. While they may sound like the settings for the next big battle of 21st century superheroes, they are in actuality just three of the attractions which have made Tokyos Odaiba one of the citys most frequented destinations. Odaiba stands on two of six islands which the Togukawa shogunate built and fortified to protect Tokyo Harbor from Western intrusion, which arrived in the person of Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853. It received its name from the Japanese word daiba, for fort. When Japan experienced its enormous economic boom in the early 1980s, the third and sixth of the fortified islands were extended, and named Tokyo Teleport Town for the ultramodern business city which was to be constructed on them. The economic boom went bust, however, and in the 1990s, new plans permitting Odaiba to be commercially developed saw it quickly inhabited by the entertainment and commercial enterprises which make it such a huge draw today. Among Odiabas most impressive attractions are the replica of Frances Statue of Liberty wtching over its Aqua City shopping center; Venus Fort, another shopping mall designed to resemble eighteenthcentury Venice; and Oedo Onsen Monogatari, an Edo-period style bathing park built around a 1400-metre deep hot spring.The Odiaba Kaihin Park, near the Rainbow Bridge and the possessor of one of Tokyos two sand beaches, is a favorite spot for romantic assignations, but swimming in Tokyos less-than-pristine bay is not recommended. For the technologically inclined, Odaiba has the Miraikan, Japans Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, the Fuji Television Building, and the Toyota Mega Web.Accessing Odaiba from either the Rainbow Bridge or the Yurikamome elevated train will afford visitors some splendid views of Tokyo Bay.The park-like grounds and private waterfront balconies of the five-star Odaiba Nikko Hotel, the first built on Odaiba, offer visitors an escape from the bustle of Tokyo with its. The Odaiba Nikko is a perfect spot for romantic getaways.

Florence Hotel And Other Accommodations

Florence Hotel And Other Accommodations

Florence is the biggest tourist attraction in the Tuscany region. There are hundreds of hotels in the area, making finding the right Florence hotel fairly easy. The choices range from inexpensive hotels to more extravagant and expensive inns. Much of the city and some of the hotels have a medieval feel that is like stepping back in time. This city was the center of culture in the Renaissance and still retains much of this character.Florence Hotel and Other AccommodationsHotels are good for short stays or if you plan to eat out for every meal. If you plan to stay for longer periods, you may want to consider other options. This is also true if you plan to stay in for some meals. Apartments in Florence can be rented for vacations. These have at least a small kitchen, allowing you to stay in for some meals. In addition, an apartment will give you a bit more privacy than most hotels.If you are travelling with a larger group or family, a country farmhouse holiday may be a good choice. These have larger kitchens for cooking meals and come equipped with everything you need, but food and clothing. This will allow you to cook larger meals and try out authentic Florence Italy recipes. Most are located in more remote areas, so you will need a vehicle for sightseeing. Florence car rental agencies can help with renting a vehicle for your stay.Although there are many choices in Florence accommodations, hotels tend to fill up quickly, especially in the tourist season. Be sure to book early to get the best possible rates and the hotel you want. The same is true for apartment rentals and villas. July and August are the busiest months. The prices will be highest at this time. Spring, just before the busy season is a good time to visit, if you want to avoid the larger crowds.Finding and Booking a Florence HotelThe internet is a great place to start your search for hotels in Florence. You will find pictures of the exterior of the hotel as well as the rooms. Many sites offer reviews of the hotels. Read both professional reviews and those written by guests at each hotel you are considering. This can give you the benefit of the opinion of past guests. Once you have made a decision, you can book your room on the internet.The internet can also be used for other accommodations in Florence. Larger vacation rental agencies and many smaller agencies have websites with photographs and descriptions of the apartments or villas. You can even book your rental vehicle on the internet in most cases. You may not need a car, if you will be staying only in the city. If you plan to visit the surrounding country areas, you can arrange for your car to be ready when you arrive.

Treat Yourself To A Relaxing Get-away At A Bed And Breakfast Accommodation

Spring Break is here! Going on a short vacation is a wonderful and relaxing way to take a break from the hurried and stressful lives that so many of us lead. Career pressures, family problems, and a number of other issues seem to crowd our daily lives until we feel like we may explode. Thats the first sign that it may be time for vacation.Taking a vacation with your family, your spouse, or even a close friend can be a fun and exciting time. Its a great way to help your family become closer or a marriage to become more intimate and stronger. Finding a quality bed and breakfast accommodation to fit your style and budget is a perfect place to spend the nights of your vacation getaway.Why Choose A Bed And Breakfast Accommodation Instead Of A HotelMany people are not familiar with the plentiful "bed and breakfast accommodation" s that span the landscape as well. They may think that a hotel or motel are the only accommodation choices available. However, a bed and breakfast offers many features that a hotel does not, namely a personalized experience that is fitted to your individual needs as a couple or a family. One unique feature of the bed and breakfast is that the customer is usually provided with a gourmet breakfast which is included in the price of the room. Bed and breakfast accommodations can be situated in a variety of landscapes, such as a mountain hideaway or a beach setting. Different styles of homes are often turned into fine bed and breakfast accommodations. Old, vintage style homes are often renovated and turned into Victorian homes which offer fabulous furnishings and antique appeal. These homes are often very friendly in nature, as the owners like to get to know their guests and treat them as old friends or family members. For those guests who enjoy a more private vacation, the hosts often leave a couple alone and only intervene on an as needed basis. Separate bungalows or cabins are sometimes a part of this experience as well, depending on the layout of the bed and breakfast.No matter what type of vacation you are looking forward to, a bed and breakfast accommodation helps the experience to be memorable for all. For those taking children along, there are many bed and breakfasts that are child-friendly, offering a pool or other fun experience. Bed and breakfast accommodations are a comfortable and affordable way to spend precious vacation time in a home away from home.

Romancing Canada: A Basic Guide For First-time Travelers

Canada occupies most of North America and is, size-wise, the second largest country in the world. There is nothing small about Canada and this makes it the ideal place for broadening horizons, traveling adventurously, and learning all about a country and its culture passionately.When Is the Best Time to Go?Summer begins in late May and ends in mid-September. Fall is from mid-September to mid-November. Winter starts mid-November and ranges on until mid-March. Finally, spring lasts from mid-March until late May. Canada's tourism peaks from mid-June to mid-September. During these months, travels and accommodations are relatively more expensive.In deciding when to go to Canada, you have to review your reasons for going. Are you going to Canada for the skiing or for the opening of the ice hotels? Then, winter is the perfect time for you to go. If, on the other hand, your reasons include outdoor activities, such as hiking, boating, or fishing, schedule your visit during spring or fall. No matter what season you schedule your visit for, there will always be a deluge of luxury vacation rentals Canada tourists such as yourself can temporarily call home.What Does One Do in Canada?There are many things to do in Canada. You could catch a chinook on the Campbell River, also known as the Salmon Capital of the World. You could join the seemingly endless merrymaking at the Carnaval de Quebec. You could try being a ski bunny at the Whistler, Blackcomb. You could skate through town on the Rideau Canal Skateway, too. You could look for bears in Manitoba. You could go on a wine tour in the Okanagan. You could spend hours scrutinizing the Haida Totem poles. Or, you could live in the pages of Lucy Maud Montgomery's book by pretending to be Anne of Green Gables. The list of activities is endless!Where Is the Best Place to Stay?In Canada, it isn't possible for one to run out of things to do or places to visit. After all, there is nothing small about Canada, and there shouldn't be anything small about your Canadian vacation, too. Go all out in your accommodations and splurge on the "luxury vacation rentals" Canada's different cities have to offer.Luxury vacation rentals, Canada travel agencies will tell you, are a sure way to enjoy your vacation comfortably. Not only will you be staying in a fully-furnished, upscale apartment, you may choose to take on a maid and a driver. There are other services available for tenants, too, and some sites online, discuss these in detail.One good thing about the luxury vacation rentals Canada's cities have to tourists is proximity to tourist spots. Another is quick availability. With only 30 million people living in such a huge country, you can be sure there is a glut of lodging options for the well-heeled and selective. You can take your pick among the many luxury vacation rentals Canada-based firms and homeowners have put on the market.

Summary

Cuba these days is a rather fashionable tourist destination. Tourists head out there, looking to enjoy the beaches, the wonderful weather, the diving and the salsa. And while all of these provide wonderful diversions for Cuba holiday makers, they are also often entirely artificial, created purely for the tourist market that invariably laps it up. For some, this is not enough, but with the tourist industry largely built on these foundations, where can you find the real Cuba on...