Archive by Category "Travel Guide & Blog"

Journees du Patrimoine, SEP. 21-22, FRANCE

PARIS & ILE-DE-FRANCE: SEPTEMBER 21st & 22nd 2019, JOURNEES DU PATRIMOINE 2019

European Heritage Days are the occasion to visit Monuments and Castles often for free!
In Paris, discover places usually closed for public. In Ile-de-France, visit the abundant Heritage sites of different eras, from the Renaissance estate to the fortified castles, … Royal Residences.

PARIS Outings to discover:

  1. Elysée Palace opens its doors for European Heritage Days. Visit this high place of power and the prestigious salons of the Hotel d’Evreux.
  2. Palais-Royal and the meeting rooms of the State Council, Ministry of Culture and the Constitutional Council.
  3. French National Assembly, tour Palais Bourbon, Hotel de Lassay.
  4. Ministry of Economy and Finance. Visit Bercy from the inside and enjoy crazy experiences as ziplining.
  5. Ministry of the Interior. Visit Hotel Beauvau, ..lounges, gardens, offices, former jails.
  6. French Court of Appeal.
  7. Grand Palais, created for the 1900 World’s Fair.
  8. Musée de la franc-maçonnerie proposes exclusive tours to discover its values and culture.

ILE-DE-FRANCE

  1. Seine-et-Marne Heritage with guided tours, exclusive open houses and family entertainments!
  2. Yvelines castles and museums.
  3. Essonne and its treasures.
  4. Val de Marne
  5. Val d’Oise.
  6. Seine-Saint-Denis.

Link: https://journeesdupatrimoine.culture.gouv.fr/


Link: https://www.sortiraparis.com/news/heritage-days/guides/54048-european-heritage-days-2019-in-paris-and-the-ile-de-france-region/lang/en

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BELGRADE: Some of the Finest Restaurants

No. 1: DVORIŠTE
http://restorandvoriste.rs/
Mezestoran DVORIŠTE, Svetogorska 46, 11000 Beograd
Tel: +381 11 32 46 515

No. 2: DVA JELENA
http://www.dvajelena.rs/en/
Skadarska 32 (278.76 mi), Belgrade, Serbia 11000
Tel: +381 11 7234885

No. 3: GABBIANO
http://gabbiano.rs/
Kej oslobođenja bb (kod hotela Jugoslavija), 11070 Beograd
Tel: +381 063 836 1462
No. 4: MALA FABRIKA UKUSA
Close to Saint Ten Hotel, Nebojsina 49a Belgrade, Serbia

Home

(By Therese ABou Jaoude Nassar & Hoda Takieddine Talih)

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BUCHAREST: Some of the Finest Restaurants

No. 1: CARU CU BERE

Music and Dance


Stavropoleos 5, Old Town Area, Bucharest
Tel: 0040726 282 373

19:15 Traditional music- Altita Group;
19:45 Traditional music – Caru’ cu bere Taraf (inside the Beer Museum);
20:45 Caru’cu bere team parade;
21:00 Society dances – Contesina Group;
21:30 Sportive dances – Contesina Group;

No. 2: HANUL LU MANUC
https://www.hanumanucrestaurant.ro/ro/evenimente
Str. Franceza nr. 62-64 (0.20 mi) Bucharest, Romania 030119
Tel: 0040730 188 653
20:00 – 23:00 Manuc Inn taraf
20:45 – 22:15 Traditional dances with Rapsodia Carpatilor Ansamble – Songs from Banata, Moldavian, Dances and Folklore from the Oas County
 

No. 3: LACRIMI SI SFINTI
https://www.lacrimisisfinti.com/
Șepcari 16, Old city
Tel: 0040725558286

(By Therese Abou Jaoude Nassar & Hoda Takieddine Talih)

 

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Romania Facts & Figures

Surface: 238,391 km2 roughly the same size as the United Kingdom.
The Palace of Parliament, located in Bucharest, is the world’s largest and most expensive civil administration building in the world. It also ranks as the biggest office building in Europe (3.9 million square feet) and 2nd largest in the world, after the U.S. Pentagon. More than a million tons of marble, steel, crystal and wood have been used to build this palace!
Carpathian Mountains: home to one of the largest undisturbed forests in Europe = 400 unique species of mammals, including the Carpathian chamois, where 60% of European brown bear live.

1,350 floral species e.g. yellow poppy, Transylvanian columbine, saxifrage and edelweiss.

Turda Salt Mines (Salina Turda) located in Transylvania, stands the world’s largest salt mine museum, (400 feet into the Earth).
The Danube River flows 1,788 miles from its springs in Germany’s Black Forest to the Black Sea, where it forms the Danube Delta – 2nd largest and best preserved in Europe formed over a period of more than 10,000 years – 2,200 miles2 of rivers, canals, marshes, tree-fringed lakes and reed islands,. Home to the world’s largest reed bed; hosts rare species of plants & animals e.g. endangered sturgeon, otters, wildcats & European mink.
The 2nd largest underground glacier in Europe (in terms of volume) is found in Transylvania = 3500-year old Scarisoara Glacier, 75,000 cubic meters, located in the Bihor Mountains… 154-foot deep entrance shaft leads to some impressive ice structures, ice stalagmites & Scarisoara ice-cave.
Peles Castle was the 1st European castle entirely lit by electrical current produced by its own plant.

Castle’s central heating & vacuuming systems, built in 1883, are still in use today.

The world’s first industrial oil refinery opened at Ploieşti (southern Romania) in 1857. Oil was exploited commercially in Romania since 1857, two years before oil was discovered in Pennsylvania.
The earliest reliably dated European modern human fossils, up to now, were discovered in 2002 in southwestern Romania (at Pestera cu Oase – translated as the “Cave With Bones”). The fossil’s age is estimated at 37,800 to 42,000 years old.
The real Dracula (Vlad Draculea) nicknamed Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) was a Romanian prince and military leader who fought bravely against the invading Turkish army in the mid 1400’s. Count Dracula – the Vampire – was created by Irish writer, Bram Stoker in 1897.

The most famous novels written are “The Castle in the Carpathians” by Jules Verne, and “Dracula” by Bram Stoker.

Voronet Monastery, northeastern Romania, is known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of the East’. The monastery built in 1488 is known worldwide for frescoes & intense shade of blue known as ‘Voronet blue.’
Tallest wooden church in the world, 2nd tallest wooden structure in Europe, is in Sapanta Peri = Maramures.
Romania Today is the #9 wine producer in the world!

11 “indigenous” varieties of grapes cannot be found anywhere else in the world are produced here.

The movie Cold Mountain was filmed in Romania. Hollywood celebrities Jude Law, Renee Zellweger and Nicole Kidman relaxed in Poiana Brasov after shooting the film Cold Mountain on location in nearby fields and farms.
The Pastrami – a popular sandwich ingredient in America – has its origins in Romania. Little Romania…
The Black Church has the largest organ in Europe with 4000 tubes (built by Buchholz, Berlin’s famous organ builder, in 1836) as well as the largest bell in Romania, weighting 6.3 tons – Brasov (Transylvania).
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Capri, Positano Hotels, To-Do List by Dr Tracy Boghossian

CAPRI

an island in Italy’s Bay of Naples, is famed for its rugged landscape, upscale hotels and shopping, from designer fashions to limoncello and handmade leather sandals. One of its best-known natural sites is the Blue Grotto, a dark cavern where the sea glows electric blue, the result of sunlight passing through an underwater cave.

LUXURY VILLA EXCELSIOR PARCO HOTEL
(Highly recommended for Honeymooners and for discerned People with luxurious taste)
https://www.excelsiorparco.com/en/location

A small villa of 11 gorgeous Rooms built in 1906 and continuously renovated. Known for its luxurious amenities, and above all impeccable and personalized services. For honeymooners, the hotel offers welcome drink, a bottle of sparkling wine, private jaccuzzi if available and stunning views.
The Excelsior Parco is located halfway between Marina Grande and Capri town’s Piazzetta. The port is a five minute walk, and the center of Capri town can be reached in just 15 minutes by foot.
Hotel’s free shuttle service: 9:00am and 9:00pm to the Piazzetta, port, beaches of Marina Grande, Bagni di Tiberio.

What to do in Capri?

  • Island Boat Tour & Grottoes e.g. White, Elephant Arch, Red & Coral Cave, Fishemen Grottoes, Grotto Verde, Blue Grotto
  • Capri’s Piazzetta
  • Marina Grande
  • The Faraglioni Rock Formations
  • The Punta Carena Lighthouse
  • The Tragara and Pizzolungo Trail
  • Villa San Michele
  • Mount Solaro
  • Full Day in Ischia & Mortella Gardens
  • Via Camerelle

Link: http://www.capri.com/en/ferry-schedule

POSITANO

a cliffside village on southern Italy’s Amalfi Coast. It’s a well-known holiday destination with a pebble beachfront and steep, narrow streets lined with boutiques and cafes. Its Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta features a majolica-tiled dome and a 13th-century Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary. The Sentiero degli Dei hiking trail links Positano to other coastal towns.

PASITEA ART HOTEL POSITANO
https://www.hotelpasitea.it/?lang=en
In the very heart of Positano ….
Protected by the Goddess Pasitea, looking straight at the island of the Gauls, the fabulous island of the sirens of Ulysses, the Positano Art Hotel Pasitea offers its customers scents and flavors of the divine coast. Located in the most popular area of Positano, this property is very popular for sightseeing on the Amalfi Coast or to enjoy the fabulous and relaxing sea of the city. The hotel, offers its guests 30 rooms distributed on 4 floors accessible by a lift, each with its own peculiarities. Ask for the “Renovated Section”

What to do:

  • Amalfi Coast tour: Amalfi Coast Experience: Positano, Amalfi and Ravello tour (Amalfi Drive: Iconic corniche with epic coastal views… Vertiginous, cliff-hugging highway with world-famous views of the Amalfi Coast and the sea far below.
  • Church of Santa Maria Assunta
  • Amalfi Cathedral
  • Fornillo Beach
  • Paths of Gods hiking
  • Positano Spiaggia beach
  • Bagni d’Arienzo Beach Club
  • Arienzo Beach (reached by stairs)
  • Grotta dello Smeraldo
  • Cantine Marisa Cuomo
  • Isola Ligalli -boat trip
  • Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius from Positano

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Athens: Off-the-beaten-track

ATHENS: Discover Athens under a new light
Venture off the beaten track to Mount Lycabettus, Philipappos Hill or the Kastella neighborhood, and discover some amazing views of Athens and surrounding areas.

Another viewpoint from the top of MOUNT LYCABETTUS

Legend tells us that when Athena brought a boulder to strengthen the fortifications of the Acropolis, 2 black crows appeared in the sky, as bad omen. Surprised, the goddess dropped her block of stone which then formed into Mount Lycabettus. This myth explains the presence of the highest of the seven Athenian Hills.
From Kolonaki Square, a 30min walk through stepped back streets and tree-lined paths, leads you to the 277-meter Lycabettus hill; and offers you unrivalled view of the entire city as far as the Port of Piraeus.
Or reach the summit by funicular in 3 minutes, where stands the stunning white-walled Saint-George Chapel, built in the 19th century.

A rural walk and view of the Gulf of Aegina

The Hill of the Muses, aka PHILOPAPPOS HILL. Set off from the church of Agia Marina all the way to Socrates’ prison, a maze of rooms carved into the rock. During the Second World War, items from the Acropolis and the Greek National Archaeological Museum are said to have been hidden here. Resume your hillside climb to the ruins of the Sanctuary of the Muses. where artists leave offerings. At the top of the hill the PHILOPAPPOS MONUMENT, 12-meter high.

A well-deserved rest at the top of PROFITIS HILL

In the residential neighborhood of Kastella, right next to Piraeus, visit Profitis Ilias hill. On the way, wander through the maze of narrow streets, hidden stairways surrounded by palm trees and lush vegetation. Admire Mikrolimano small port, where hundreds of small colorful caïque fishing boats bob up and down.

Source: https://www.airfrance.com.lb/LB/en/common/travel-guide/from-the-hilltops-athens-in-a-new-light.htm

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Budapest: Parliament Building

Welcome to the pride of the Hungarian nation, 18th century monument located on the Eastern bank of the Danube River. The 3rd largest parliament in the world spreads over 18,000m2. A masterpiece of 691 rooms also showcases Renaissance and Baroque influences. The excessiveness of the project, can be found in the 40 kilos of gold used, stained-glass windows, 242 sculptures that adorn the place, cupolas, frescoes that dress up the ceilings.
The 96-metre high dome is visible all around town.
A guided tour will present you ornamental stairs, House of Magnates, Holy Crown of Hungary, displayed in the Main Hall.
www.parlament.hu/en/web/house-of-the-national-assembly

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Budapest and its 5 Thermal Baths

With over a hundred hot springs, Budapest is a spa city par excellence. As a cure or for relaxation, take the waters in these spas where well-being is the essence. Five thermal baths for five different tastes in Budapest.
1) Széchenyi Thermal Baths: Your Must-Visit Thermal Baths
2) Király Baths
3) Gellért, Luxury, calm and sensual delights
4) Rudas Baths, rooftop experience
5) Palatinus, with Family

SZÉCHENYI

SZÉCHENYI THERMAL BATHS are without a doubt the most famous in the capital, known throughout the world for their exceptional Renaissance Revival architecture, sheer size and, quality of their calcium- and magnesium-rich waters.
The spring lies 1246 metres underground and when the water spurts up at the surface, it reaches 76°C. …around the 18 pools, 3 outdoors and 15 indoors. Some of the indoor pools are used for back-muscle-building exercises, others are just for aqua-fitness classes. … in winter, the water temperature varies between 27 and 38°C in the outdoor pools.
www.szechenyibath.hu/
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KIRÁLY BATHS

A 16th century exterior that looks like oriental ruins. In fact, the baths date back to the era when the Ottomans ruled over the city. The dome of the main bath filters the daylight and only lets a few beneficial rays pierce through….All around, there are stone alcoves, 3 indoor pools. Unlike other spas, Király Baths were not built near a spring. The water comes from a larch-wood aqueduct. You then adventurously try the cold-water pool located near the whirlpool bath. Or maybe, you would prefer the wooden sauna which can accommodate up to 60 people.
en.kiralyfurdo.hu/
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GELLÉRT

Part of Hungary’s heritage and worldwide fame. Located at the foot of Gellért Hill, which has stunning views over the city of Budapest. Large glass roof sitting on top of the Art Nouveau gallery, Elegance is the essence here. The indoor baths are decorated with porcelain and ceramic mosaics from the famous Hungarian company, Zsolnay. The patterns and colors on the stained glass are impressive. Marble statues dotted here, there and everywhere remind you that this place is dedicated to well-being. Over the decades, the baths have expanded and new services been added. You can choose a hot-stone massage, balneotherapy, chocolate treatment!
www.gellertbath.hu/
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ROOFTOP EXPERIENCE AT THE RUDAS BATHS

There are two sides to the Rudas Baths. The first echoes the history of Hungary which was under Turkish rule in the 16th century. The architecture alone is worth the detour. Immersed in these baths, you will benefit from the soothing waters, known for their healing properties for joint and muscle pain. Treatments on offer include firming and moisturising massages with aromatic plants, scrubs, pedicures and much more.
The other side to the Rudas Baths is much more contemporary, in evidence in the Wellness and Sauna area and especially on the roof of the baths. Sit in a bath at 36°C with views over the city and the Danube which are second to none. The spectacle is even more magical in the evening as the lights of Budapest come on one by one.
en.rudasfurdo.hu/
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Palatinus: en famille

Enfin, si vous voyagez en famille, partez à l’aventure dans les Bains Palatinus. Le complexe s’étend au cœur d’un cadre verdoyant. Les piscines extérieures permettent à tout un chacun de s’amuser ou de se reposer: toboggans, vagues, bassins d’apprentissage pour les jeunes enfants, piscines thermales avec des températures différentes…
en.palatinusstrand.hu/

https://www.airfrance.com.lb/LB/en/common/travel-guide/five-thermal-baths-for-five-different-tastes-in-budapest.htm

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