Winter is well and truly here in the UK, which means long, dark nights and unpleasant weather conditions. Chances are, you're dreaming of being somewhere else, somewhere hotter, and somewhere that enjoys winter more than summer. Winter in Spain boasts much more bearable temperatures than the summer and is a hub of activity during the cooler months. There are surprising amount of events and things to do in Spain over winter, from active skiing adventures to cultural museum encounters, there is something for everyone.
Skiing is the ultimate winter activity. The snow, the warm cabins, and the hot drinks make for a cosy escape whilst you enjoy some of the beautiful scenery that Spain has to offer. You may not know it, but Spain has more mountains than any other country in Europe which, when it snows, make the ideal backdrop for this popular winter sport.
I'm not taking about a walk around the block; I'm talking about those bracing walks through breathtaking landscapes that really blow the cobwebs away. Spanish walking holidays are perfect for this time of year as you will meet less tourists along the way and can enjoy your surroundings without feeling unbearably hot.
Spain is home to artworks by some of the most famous artists of all time and there is no better time to explore these masterpieces than during the winter months. Tourists will be scarce so there will be no one blocking your view, and the indoor environment offers the perfect escape from those dreaded bad-weather days. Warm up whilst wandering amongst works by Picasso, Goya, Velaquez, Miro, and Dali.
In the summer, you might find yourself preoccupied doing outdoorsy activities and enjoying the warm temperatures so the cooler months provide the perfect opportunity for you to get your head down and learn Spanish in Spain. There's no better way to learn a language than by immersing yourself in the culture surrounding it and you'll be prepared for your next summer visit.
In summer, the locals often up and leave the cities in search of cooler places. This means that many restaurants, bars and shops are closed for much of the summer until their owners return. In winter, pretty much everything is open because, well, the temperature is much more bearable for the locals.
London has many different types of museums dotted all over the City from History Museums to Science Museums, below are a few of the best ones to visit in London.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum on Cromwell Road in London has a wide variety of different attractions to look at. The museum was established in 1881 and it has many fossils, minerals and rocks from all sorts of past creatures. The museum has many historical items such as dinosaur skeletons and a ‘Darwin Centre’ which is based around all of Darwin’s theories and work.
Museum of London
The museum of London has 9 different galleries that show the History of London from 1666 to the current day. The museums displays many of the important times in History such as the Romans, Medieval times, the outbreak of the Plague and much more.
The science Museum was formalised in 1909 and has a collection of over 30,000 items, the museum has all sorts of things from the first jet engine to the parts from the earliest steam engines. The museum has a wide variety of different attractions such as Science in the 18th Century, the atmosphere and Veterinary History. All of the Museums listed above are free to visit and are easy to access in London.
Many historic routes were built for the purposes of trade, the famous Silk Route for example. Others are routes that were first traversed by pilgrims on journeys of great religious significance. Today, both these pilgrim and trade routes are ideal for the walking holiday enthusiast. Most take in spectacular scenery and can be covered in a week to 10 days which is about the perfect walking holiday duration. For first timers routes like this are fantastic as there are many start and stop points which mean that you can join the road, walk as much as you like and then stop when you feel ready. There are some stunning routes on every continent, many suitable for people of all abilities. Even if you have a family with children there are many sites to see and attractions that can be incorporated to your holiday along the way. Be adventurous and choose a walking holiday along an historic route!
Infographic courtesy of http://www.worldwalks.com
Learning English in England is a great way to improve your chances of becoming fluent quickly. There are plenty of places across the UK where you can settle in to learn. However, individuals tend to learn more quickly when they can immerse themselves in the best of British culture.
London is the most sought-after place for travellers to learn English because there’s so much to see and do. It also boasts great transport links with many places in the south of England, so you can opt to live in a smaller city with a slower pace and still enjoy all the fun of the UK’s capital. Here are three top places to learn English in England.
London’s Soho is a varied and busy place with something for everyone to enjoy. Famous for theatre shows, pubs, clubs, cabaret and stand-up comedy, your evenings will always be exciting if you choose to live here. Here are some of the top attractions.
Famous in the sixties for its iconic shops, Carnaby Street is still a must for fashion lovers today.
A cool place for theatre enthusiasts, this relatively new club has hosted independent artists, comedians and writers since its opening and is rarely less than packed.
Opened in 1959, this legendary nightspot was the first place to host American jazz musicians in the UK. It’s seen some big names over the years and still hosts a variety of top-notch artists.
Baker Street, London
Nestled in the City of Westminster district, Baker Street is a busy road which runs south from Regent’s Park and holds a wealth of history to its name. The fictional detective Sherlock Holmes resided along this road in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, and you can find a museum dedicated to the character at number 221B. Here are some other landmarks in and around the area.
No visit to London would be complete without a trip to this iconic attraction. See waxworks of famous celebrities throughout the centuries.
One of London’s lovely open spaces, Regent’s Park boasts a boating lake, three tennis courts and an outside theatre for visitors to enjoy.
Royal Academy of Music
A must for music-lovers, the Royal Academy of Music holds a collection of musical instruments from around the world, as well as important manuscripts from famous classical composers.
Exeter is a city in East Devon with a history that spans more than 2000 years. Easily accessible from many major UK cities, including London, this quiet yet interesting city is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a gentler pace than England’s capital. Here are some of the top attractions in the area.
This beautiful medieval church is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the UK. Regular guided tours are available.
One of the most attractive areas of the city, Exeter’s Quayside has a fascinating history, beautiful architecture and many lively bars and restaurants.
Royal Albert Memorial Museum
Discover the history of Exeter in this stunning and varied museum.
If you’re interesting in learning English in the UK, visit the Skola website for more details of these three top locations. You can also find out more about English courses for adults in the UK and register your interest online.
Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, is featured among the top most visited places in the world. With its glorious architecture, diverse culture and historical monuments, Kuala Lumpur is a perfect place to spend some time during the holidays. Furthermore, the city also boasts of numerous malls and stores and is considered to be a shopper's paradise.
Important Places to Visit:
Located adjacent to the Perdana Lake Gardens, the museum provides a glimpse in to Malaysia's history and culture. Built in 1963, it has several galleries featuring historical artifacts as well as representations of cultural activities like festivals and weddings.
Kuala Lumpur Tower
Kuala Lumpur Tower is one of the most recognized towers in the world and is seen as a symbol of the city since its inception in 1995. Reaching into the sky, the tower is used for communication purposes with a 421 meter long antenna at the top. It also has a revolving restaurant where visitors can enjoy a nice meal along with the magnificent view of the city below.
Merdeka Square (Independence Square) is probably one of the most significant places in the history of Malaysia. It was here that the Malaysian flag was hoisted for the first time, in August 31, 1957. Every year, on August 31, the square becomes the venue for the National Day parade (Merdeka Parade). What makes the square attractive for the visitors is the panoramic view of the old and new buildings in its vicinity. Many of the constructions like the Sultan Abdul Samad building were completed during the British era.
House of Parliament
The seat of the Malaysian democracy, the House of Parliament is located nearby the Lake Gardens. The main building is 3 stories tall and adjacent to it is a 17 story tower.
Crowded with locals and tourists alike, the Petaling Street is strewn with stores offering cheap clothes and accessories of which most of them are pirated. The area is also known for Malaysian street food with large number of small food stalls and restaurants lining the path. The street also offers a variety of budget hotels for the budget traveler.
Located only at a stone's throw away from the Petaling Market, the Central market is a haven for those who want to purchase items of handicrafts and art. Designed in a stall concept, the Central Market is an example of the traditional Malaysian markets. Different ethnic groups live and work in and around the area and all religious festivals are celebrated in a grand way here.
Kuala Lumpur has a diverse culture with people of different religions co-existing in harmony. Jamek Mosque and Sri Mahamariamman temple are two of the most prominent places of devotion that is worth a visit.
Shopping in Kuala Lumpur
Even the most reluctant shopper would become a shopaholic when in Kuala Lumpur. Apart from the Petaling Market and Central market, the city has 66 malls and many retail outlets. People from all over the world, especially from the Asian region, flock to Kuala Lumpur to shop for anything from clothes to electronic goods.
There’s plenty of accommodation for all kinds of budgets, including budget hotels and inexpensive serviced apartments in Kuala Lumpur.
John Chen is a travel writer currently located in Bangkok, Thailand.
Planning a trip to Japan anytime soon? You may find that their way of living is much different to the way you live. If you want to see Japan for what it really is by getting closer to the locals then there’s one thing you must learn- respect.
Japanese traditions go back for thousands of years and although the importance of respect may not be as serious for the younger generations, it’s still unavoidable in the country. Japan’s cities are vibrant & modern- which could seem like many other cities across the world- but knowing where you stand in society and demonstrating a fair degree of respect is vital.
One of the most important traditions to this day is with the Senpai & kōhai which are terms applied to the mentor system. This is applied in places such as school, sports clubs, businesses, and social organizations.
Another big sign of respect is bowing.
Obama really went for it when he met Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. His nearly 90-degree bow did spark a little bit of controversy back in the states, but that just goes to show how different some cultures can be to each other.
Eating would be yet another vital time to demonstrate your understanding of the Japanese Culture; there are various small mannerisms you need to remember, such as saying “itadakimasu” at the beginning of a meal.
If you’re going to Japan make sure you do your research; you’ll wreak the benefits from showing respect because you’ve demonstrated that you understand the locals and want to see this wonderful country from their eyes.
Modern technology has given us the freedom to share anything we want with the World. Modern technology has also given us the ability to take some astonishingly high-quality photos with affordable cameras. So if you put two-and-two together, you end up with some stunning images from all across the globe. In this post, I’ve wondered around the Worldwide Web and managed to come across some beautiful images of the planet we live on. Enjoy.
This image was captured at Eyjafjallajokull glacier (a bit of a mouthful) in Iceland. The photographer managed to capture some fantastic shots of this eruption which coincided with lightning; a truly epic eruption.
The Blue Dragon
Wow. This photo was taken in Portugal (on a flight from Cardiff to Faro) and has exploded around the Internet. The water is crisply reflecting the blue sky and clouds and the angle of the shot makes the river look like a mythical dragon. I’m sure Steve, the photographer, simply couldn’t help snapping away at this bad boy when flying past!
This surreal reflection was also taken in Iceland; a truly beautiful country with various landscapes. The clarity in the reflection of the water mirrors the cloudy sky. The sun is setting in the distance behind the mountains and with such a high definition image it almost feels as if you’re actually there!
Rock Formations - in New York?
Yes, that’s right – this image was taken in Ithaca, NY. Obviously it’s a lot more peaceful than the Big Apple in this image. I guess New Yorkers should head over here for some peace and quiet every now and then. I know I would!