Tag Archives: Spain

Carnival Cruise Ship to Undergo Major Overhaul

imageCarnival Cruise Lines has announced plans for the Carnival Destiny cruise ship to undergo an extensive dry dock in early 2013.   The Destiny was launched in 1996 as the world’s largest cruise ship carrying 2,642 passengers and began the current era of the mega ships.  The dry dock will last for 49 days and cost $155 million, radically transforming her into the Carnival Sunshine.

The Carnival Sunshine will receive the full Carnival Funship 2.0 experience, an additional 182 cabins, and the expansion of 2 decks completely transforming the layout of the ship.  Carnival President and CEO released the following statement,

When Guernica Came to Town

imageIn 1938, one of Picasso’s most famous paintings was rolled up and taken to places previously untouched by art – even car showrooms

Every day, 11,000 people make the trip to the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid to see Picasso’s Guernica. The invisible infra-red wire around the painting is hyper-vigilant — the tiniest of leans (and I speak from experience) has alarms ringing, and guards to their feet, within seconds. Understandable, but a pity since all but the most eagle-eyed will miss the clues to an extraordinary story.

Over its 75-year history, it has been rolled and unrolled, stretched, nailed up, pulled down, driven, shipped and flown, all in the service of a cause. Creases and cracks mark its surface; its four corners are littered with puncture marks tracing the life it’s led.

Hire and fire’ has destroyed Britain’s jobs economy

imageEurope’s biggest problem now is youth unemployment – we should be looking at the German labour model

These days we tend to talk about the divisions in Europe as one between net creditors and debtors. In reality this is just a sideshow. There is a much more fundamental gulf, hinted at by Angela Merkel in her Davos speech yesterday: between countries with organised industrial training systems such as Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia, Austria and Switzerland – all currently with jobless rates of between 3% and 7% – and those with much higher rates of unemployment, often in double digits, in peripheral Europe.

Mediterranean cruise guide

imageMediterranean cruises are a wonderful way of taking in a number of fascinating sights with a minimum of hassle. Douglas Ward offers a complete guide to taking a Mediterranean cruise.

Mediterranean cruises can be rewarding in so many ways – culturally, educationally, visually, architecturally, and historically, as well as from a culinary viewpoint. The Mediterranean is the second most popular cruise region in the world, after the Caribbean. It is loosely divided into two cruising areas: the Western Mediterranean (typically including France, Spain, Portugal and Italy) and Eastern Mediterranean (countries east of Italy, such as Croatia, Greece and Turkey).

Off with his head – how Henry VIII was decapitated from royal painting

imageOne of Tudor England’s most famous paintings, The Field of the Cloth of Gold, contains an unsolved puzzle.

It is one of Tudor England’s most famous paintings, depicting the pomp and splendour of Henry VIII’s reign.

But a key feature of The Field of the Cloth of Gold remains shrouded in mystery – just how Henry lost his head.

The painting portrays the 1520 meeting between Henry and Francis I of France near Calais, an 18-day spectacle arranged by Henry to boost propaganda surrounding his reign and project an image of harmony between the two nations.

Golfbreaks

Golf holidays, Golf breaks, Golf Hotels and Resorts in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal amongst others from Europe’s largest golf travel company

Top 10 property safe havens abroad

As an economic hurricane rages through traditional destinations in Europe and the US, buyers must look abroad to these top 10 property safe havens.
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The euro is in crisis. Stock markets are in freefall. Two prime ministers have been sacked. Italian debt is at record levels, and Spain faces an early election tomorrow. Across the pond, America’s annual budget deficit is measured in trillions.

One by one the traditional destinations for British house-hunters are becoming badlands. Rather than stay in the quagmire, it’s time for buyers to seek new pastures. There are always safe havens if you look hard enough.

Factors to Consider when Planning a European Cruise

imageOnce you decide to take a European cruise, you will quickly find that planning the vacation is not an easy task.  There are many factors to consider when planning your dream vacation such as voyage lengths, price ranges, potential destinations, and the many different cruise lines.  This article will cover some of the factors you must think about to ensure you find the European cruise that meets your needs and desires, allowing you to enjoy a perfect vacation.

The first thing you have to think about is the time of year you will take your cruise.  If you have commitments or a work schedule that will limit when you can travel,

there may be a significant impact on selecting a destination.  You will have to decide when you can travel so you can research the European cruises that are best to take at that specific time of the year.

Food and wine: guide to good eating abroad

Heading to the Continent on holiday? You are probably looking forward to some delicious food. But how do you find it? Andrew Purvis has some tips.

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Eating well is one of the great pleasures of travel. Often, it is emotive and sensuous – the thing we remember most about a holiday: a delicious breakfast of fresh cornetto and cappuccino in Tuscany; a fragrant lunch of red tomatoes, chalk-white cheese, black olives, cucumber and a boiled egg on a sunny terrace in Bodrum; the briny indulgence of ozone-fresh fruits de mer eaten at a beachfront table in Nice with the setting sun in your eyes, salt in the air and a chilled glass in your hand. We like to feel that we are relishing a cuisine which is rooted into a different landscape, climate and tradition.

Top 10 most beautiful castles in the world

imageTraveling is never boring, and there are few people who don’t have fond memories of holidays spent roaming the globe, exploring a city or country where they’ve never been before. Experiencing something new and exciting is the essence of travel, and a successful trip is usually a trip that teaches something about a place or the people living there. So if you are willing to expand your horizons while traveling, here’s a list of the ultimate top 10 travel experiences that you shouldn’t miss in your life!

Spain holiday savings: how to cut costs

Annie Bennett continues our series with advice on how to cut costs on a Spanish holiday.

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I had lunch under the trees in one of Madrid’s most historic squares today. A big bowl of gazpacho, followed by strips of tender Ibérico ham with a salad, then chocolate ice cream. That little lot, along with a glass of chilled white wine, and an iced coffee, came to €13 (£11.50).

The set lunch, menú del dia, has always been a great bargain in Spain, but never more so than now, when prices generally have risen and both locals and visitors are feeling the pinch. Here are some more ideas on how to save money this summer.

London’s rich sell as foreign money pours in

Britain’s rich and famous are moving out of central London’s most up-market districts and being replaced by wealthy overseas buyers, according to new research.

imageSavills, the estate agent, says £3.7bn of foreign money is pouring into the prime London housing market every year and especially into areas such as Mayfair, Kensington, Notting Hill and Chelsea.

The demand is leading to UK owners selling their homes and moving to outer London, creating a “champagne tower effect” with the distribution of wealth in the capital.

Savills’ report, called World in London and published on Friday, says British sellers of homes in central London have outnumbered British buyers by 30pc this year, compared with 5pc in 2008. Meanwhile, foreign buyers have outnumbered foreign sellers by 58pc in 2011, up from 23pc in 2008.

Dumfries House: a Sleeping Beauty brought back to life by the Prince of Wales

Saved by Prince Charles from the auctioneer’s hammer, Dumfries House – a time capsule of 18th-century furnishing – has been restored to its former glory Dumfries House has been portrayed as an 18th-century Sleeping Beauty.

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Adam-designed and Chippendale-furnished, it remained untouched for 250 years, so the story goes, before being kissed by a prince and startled into trembling new life. Astoundingly, this fairy tale is largely true.

Until this gem of an estate was ‘saved for the nation’ in June 2007, few people even knew of its existence. Yet its contents, dating from the mid-1750s, when it was built by the 5th Earl of Dumfries, include at least 50 pieces by the great British furniture maker Thomas Chippendale – some specially made for the house – along with the finest surviving collection of carved Scottish rococo furniture.

Barcelona, Spain: a cultural city guide

Lucinda Baring offers an essential cultural guide to Barcelona, the capital – and crown jewel – of Catalonia.

imageLike George Orwell before me, I don’t find it hard to pay homage to Catalonia. The landscape of the north-eastern Spanish region moves from the mountains of the Pyrenees to the rugged coastline of the Costa Brava and on to Barcelona, Catalonia’s capital and glittering crown jewel.

Described as “the flower among the beautiful cities of the world” by Cervantes in Don Quixote, Barcelona has since been championed and immortalised by many – in the literature of Laurie Lee and Carlos Ruiz Zafón, by the architecture of Antoni Gaudí and more recently in the music by Freddie Mercury.

Barcelona, Spain: a cultural city guide

Lucinda Baring offers an essential cultural guide to Barcelona, the capital – and crown jewel – of Catalonia.

imageLike George Orwell before me, I don’t find it hard to pay homage to Catalonia. The landscape of the north-eastern Spanish region moves from the mountains of the Pyrenees to the rugged coastline of the Costa Brava and on to Barcelona, Catalonia’s capital and glittering crown jewel.

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