Do Not Let Dehydration Spoil Your Vacation

Vacations are meant to be soothing, relaxing and enjoyable and the last thing you need to do is to worry about your health while you are away. Not consuming enough water can signal dehydration and that is not good news for anyone. Are you aware that by the time you register thirst you have already reached the point of dehydration? It is true, you have. Preventing dehydration should always be a top health priority for everybody, young and old. Let us take a closer look at why drinking plenty of water while on vacation (and at home) is so essential for everyone.

Avoid local water

It is not smart to drink local water when on vacation in a lot of areas of the world. Contamination and airborne viruses are terribly common and some places are not known for cleanliness or excellent hygiene practices. When in doubt always drink bottled water. Some places will post signs warning people not to drink the water and it might be to your benefit to speak to the local residents in order to find out about the water situation. If it is precarious at best, proceed with utmost caution. Often the tourist bureau in a given area can be a source of helpful information as well.

Sometimes there is nothing wrong with drinking the water in a particular city, town, or village however the water is likely to have a strange or unusual taste for visitors and therefore could cause stomach cramps, diarrhea or vomiting which is sure to put a damper on your otherwise pleasurable trip. Also the water may contain elements that your system is not accustomed to. For this reason it is strongly recommended that tourists steer clear of the water all together when away from home. In restaurants if you want water, ask for bottled water and not a glass of tap water for your own protection. When visiting an area that is unfamiliar to you, you can never be too careful.

Is water vital for our bodies to remain healthy?

Water accounts for a large percentage of what makes each of us human. The human body is composed of 60 to 70 percent of water. Water is the main component of blood, lymph, sweat, urine and digestive juices. Blood is approximately 83 percent water, bone is 22 percent water and the brain is tremendous 74 percent water. Consuming adequate amounts of water produces energy, regulates body temperature, builds new cells, lubricates joints and eliminates waste.

Adequate hydration is one of the easiest, most cost effective and most overlooked ways to stay healthy. Water is essential for life. We can survive without food for two months or more but we can only survive for a few days without drinking water. Water is an absolute necessity to living a healthy lifestyle.

Every day we lose water naturally from breathing, sweating and waste elimination. We also lose water as a result of exercise as well as environmental conditions such as heat and humidity. Water losses are greater during the summer months due to the fact that perspiration, which is used to cool our bodies, evaporates faster in a hot environment. As it evaporates, our bodies produce more perspiration, using up more and more of the water that is housed in our bodies. Once the water level in our bodies has become depleted, we become overheated because our bodies are no longer able to cool themselves, as they should. A serious lack of water causes blood pressure to elevate thus causing the heart to malfunction and leading the kidneys to shut down. This is a very dangerous condition that left untreated, can prove fatal.

When you participate in sporting events on a trip or even if you go hiking or spend a great deal of time out in the sunshine, you should bring along plenty of water with you and drink it frequently. You are likely to suffer sunstroke or tiredness quicker if you become dehydrated while outside for long periods of time. Remember that even if the water in your bottle is no longer cold, it is still wet and your body is not picky about that!

Drink as much water as possible for health!

Forget spending your money on expensive creams or exfoliating agents for your skin. Instead the best thing you can do for a clear, healthy, radiant complexion is to drink plenty of water. And that is just the beginning of its many health benefits. Let us look closer at the rich benefits of becoming and remaining a water drinker.

Water is imperative for your body to digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients. It also detoxifies the liver and kidneys and carries away waste from the body. Water also plays an important role in the process of digestion. Fiber requires water to aid in proper digestive function. The saying, you cannot have one without the other applies in this case. They need each other. Good fiber can actually go bad when not accompanied by water. Constipation and extreme stomach discomfort can result. It is believed that water when it is pure and free of contaminants is as close to a wonder drug as anything can be.

Keep yourself well hydrated at all times

It cannot be emphasized enough-you have already reached the point of dehydration by the time you feel thirsty. Blood becomes thicker when dehydration occurs and the body has to work harder to help it circulate. As a result, the brain becomes less active, the body becomes tired and it is harder to concentrate on any task.

Everyone has a personal hydration level and it is not the same for everyone. Your personal hydration level depends on many factors including height, weight, age and sex. In order to determine yours, try this formula. Divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces of water per day. As an example, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 ounces of water (about two and a half quarts or 10 eight-ounce glasses) every day.

A look at the many benefits of drinking up on a regular basis

Drinking plenty of purified water has many benefits- it increases mental and physical performance; removes toxins and wastes from the body; improves energy; helps with weight loss; reduces headaches and dizziness; helps to keep alkaline levels balanced in the body and it leads to the contracting of fewer colds and the flu becomes less common. Drinking water will also help in other ways. The additional fluoride added to our supply of drinking water provides extra strength and density to bones and teeth. Drinking plenty of water cushions joints (as previously mentioned) and protects tissues and organs, including the spinal cord, from damage and shock.

Drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, as water is a natural appetite suppressant. Fat cells become rubbery when the body is dehydrated and cannot be easily metabolized. What this means is that it is harder to lose weight when you do not drink enough water.

Water is healing and it has been found to be especially helpful for those people who suffer from kidney stones. Consuming at least eight glasses of water daily reduces the risk of stone formation as water dissolves calcium in the urine. Adequate hydration is also an effective way to prevent urinary tract infections in both sexes as water flushes impurities out of the system. Even a mild case of dehydration makes a person more susceptible to picking up viruses. Water helps the recovery process from illness and disease move more quickly.

When a body is well hydrated, drainage from allergies and colds does not stick and collect in the throat and lungs, and the cough is more productive in getting rid of the bad stuff. Surprising to some, even cold sores that appear on the lips are decreased by drinking water because the eruptions tend to favor dry areas on the body.

Remembering, or even getting into a habit of drinking enough water is not always an easy one to put into play but nor is the effort it takes to bounce back from even a mild case of dehydration. Coffee, tea and sodas containing caffeine are dehydrating so after consuming any of these drinks remember to drink a few extra glasses of water to make up for the diuretic effects.

As human beings we are naturally thirsty (in other words, dehydrated, there is that word again) when we first wake up in the morning. In order to assist the body in flushing out the toxins it has been processing while we slept, drink a decent sized glass of water first thing. Your body will thank you for it. Drink up and start reaping all the benefits that water brings. This goes for when you are at home, at work and away on vacation. Make drinking water as much a part of your daily routine as showering or brushing your teeth and before long it will become second nature to you.

Restaurants in Freeport, Maine

Freeport, Maine is a quaint little town on the Atlantic coast, just twenty minutes north of Portland, Maine’s largest city. Freeport is, like the name suggests, a port town, though the actual port is in the neighboring village of South Freeport, so it feels more like just a small town in the Maine woods. Freeport is perhaps best known for its shopping opportunities. With several major retail outlets on the small, charming main street of town, it looks and feels like a small town, but offers big city fashions and merchandise. The most popular of Freeport’s outlets is the L.L. Bean flagship store, as well as its catalog outlet center and national headquarters. L.L. Bean draws shoppers from all over the East Coast, all over the country, and all over the world. And when the shoppers who come to Freeport have found all the items they were looking for, they usually will have worked up quite an appetite. True to form, Freeport provides for its guests and has a wonderful selection of restaurants from which to choose.

Jameson Tavern is just across a small side-street from the L.L. Bean Flagship store; it is tucked away in a charming old 19th century home that doubles as a cozy inn where travelers can stay with all the shopping right outside their front door. Jameson Tavern has its several dining rooms in each of the downstairs rooms of the inn, with the old living room, parlor, and dining room of the house serving its guests. Hard wood floors, lace curtains, and tastefully decorated tables with white table cloths and a formal wait staff makes Jameson a great place to go for supper after shopping, for a long, lazy lunch, or for a formal dinner celebration. The food is a combination of American traditional and of course, Maine seafood. Visitors will enjoy Jameson Tavern; it makes one feel like he is definitely in the heart of old New England.

Just a few buildings down from Jameson Tavern, on the same side of the main street is the Azure Cafe. The Azure Cafe is set in an old fashioned New England home, but the decor is tastefully modern. Outside in the front is a patio where diners can sit in the summer months. The menu at Azure Cafe is award winning and decadent. With a Mediterranean Italian cuisine, the Azure Cafe delights guests with its pastas, steaks, seafood, salads, antipasto, and poultry. The wine list is competitive and the dessert menu is unmatched. The clam chowder offered at the Azure Cafe has won several local awards; a feat not easy to accomplish in the state of Maine, where clam chowder can be found nearly everywhere.

The Broad Arrow Tavern is set in the historic Harraseeket Inn, at the top of the main street, and about two blocks from L.L. Bean. The Harraseeket is a luxury inn and the Broad Arrow Tavern fits that luxurious promise. At Broad Arrow, lunch and dinner is available, and the chefs use only organic and naturally raised foods. The beef is from the local Wolfe’s Neck Farm where all the livestock is organically grown, and all the produce is grown locally, as is the seafood and milk. The goal of the Broad Arrow is to serve the finest meals possible, while buying only Maine products first. The Broad Arrow Tavern is also aesthetically pleasing, as it is decorated like an old hunting lodge with dark, wood-paneled walls, dark carpet and furnishings, and various wild game mounted on the walls and ceiling.

Freeport has many other fine restaurants that will delight even the most picky palate, including Conondrum’s, Cricket’s, China Rose, and the Mediterranean Grill; but Freeport also offers less expensive restaurants such as Friendly’s, as well as several fast food establishments including McDonald’s and Subway. Even these common chain restaurants are in keeping with Freeport’s charming aesthetics; they are housed in New England style houses and fit right into the town’s quaint decor. The next time you decide to take your family to the coast of Maine for a shopping trip, or even just a fall foliage drive, stop in Freeport when the clock says it’s time for dinner. You will be glad you did.

Nice: Key to the French Riviera by Rich Carriero

Nice is a city painted in pastel colors. The sky is a pale blue swathed with soft clouds. The streets of the city are endless broad promenades of 17th and 18th century buildings painted in soft yellow, white and red. My hostel was a small and stuffy affair on the Rue Pertinax which is just off Jean Medecin. Jean Medicin is the main drag in Nice and leads right to the Mediterranean and the beautiful beaches of the Cote D’Azur. Nice is the heart of the Cote D’Azur, or the French Riviera, perhaps the most glamorous place on earth.

At nearly one million people Nice is a large city. It was founded by the same Ancient Greeks who founded Marseille and Nice has enjoyed much of the same history as a center of trade. Nice’s proximity to Italy has naturally made the city very Italian in character. The colors and design of much of its architecture are similar to what might see in many Italian towns. The city is ringed with large hills. The port is seperated from the beaches and old town by a large headland. On the western side of the promontory is an enormous monument to the victims of the two world wars. The eastern portion of the city is a long, gently curved crescent shaped beach lined with boardwalk.

From Nice one can easily access some of the most famous French towns by rail. Ten miles west of Nice lie the beaches of Antibes, a city that has enjoyed a recent vogue in the game of musical chairs between the French and Italian towns of the Riviera as the most glamorous and popular with the rich and famous. Halfway between Antibes and Nice lies Cannes. Cannes is famous for two reasons. First and foremost Cannes is famous for the annual film festival held in the city which attracts the entire cinematic world. Secondly Cannes has soft white sand beaches, which contrast markedly with the large stone and gravel beaches of many other Riviera towns.

To the East of Nice is Principality of Monaco. Monaco is famous as one of the smallest countries on earth, smaller than Central Park. The principality is a fantasy playland for the rich and famous with more millionaries per square mile than any other place in the world. The tiny nation has its own casino, aquarium, beaches and luxury resort hotels. Sports cars prowl every winding corner and the sun shines down plentifully. Beyond Monaco is Menton and the Italian border with the resort town of San Remo beyond that. With so many beautiful places to see in such a short stretch of coast, Nice is an ideal base of operations.

Nice has many of the qualities of Marseille. It is an ancient seaside town that is quaint, antique and slightly grimy. A walk down Jean Medecin toward the shore reveals a diverse selection of stores and boutiques. The boulevard ends near a beautiful plaza filled with fountains. The beaches of Nice are plentiful but are covered with large stones and can be very uncomfortable to walk on. The water is warm like any place on the Mediterranean. The beach is studded with many beautiful beach clubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and casinos. Walking down the long boardwalk is like something out of a dream. Hundreds of young people hang out on the beach every night as the sun sets drinking wine, smoking cigarettes and playing music. The boardwalk is alight with activity as couples stroll along holding hands and people lean against the railing talking into all hours of the night. Nice is much like a postcard of Coney Island or the Jersey Shore at the turn of the century.

It is a different experience eating a French breakfast as opposed to an American or English breakfast. Each morning I would wake up and stroll to the corner cafe where they sold an incredible variety of pastries. Croissants filled with ham, cheese, tomatoes and vegetables and sweet rolls covered with different syrups. I would enjoy a cup of strong french coffee and a few of these delicious rolls as I planned out my days. Some of these took me straight to the beach where I would bask in the sun and swim for hours.

On my second day in Nice I visited a modern art museum. The Nice museum of modern art is filled with incredible exhibits of painting and sculpture by artists such as Yves Klein and Andy Warhol. There were many fantastic exhibits covering all mediums and in fantastic varieties of color. The exhibits extended to the roof of the museum which offered a panorama of the city in all directions. After visiting the museum I wandered the streets leading back to the shore. As the sun was setting I decided to grab dinner at a boardwalk bistro. The service at French restaurants always seems just a little bit better when you order in French and that night I enjoyed an exceptional meal of Salade Nicoise and Seafood Pasta. After dinner I sat smoking a cigarette, drinking coffee and looking out at the sea while I planned out my next day.

On my third day in Nice I made my way to the train station, which is an old and charming structure located conveniently close to my hostel. After a train ride of only five miles the train pulled into Cannes. Cannes is a cleaner and richer city than Nice. My first stop was to head straight to the beach. The sand was incredibly soft on my feet and blessedly cool-since it is white and powdery it does not absorb heat as well as most sand. Artists had created incredibly large and fantastic sculptures in the sand of castles and large smiling figures. The women who wandered onto that beach were some of the most breathtakingly beautiful women that I have ever seen. Mediterranean women are tall, lean and incredibly tanned. They are the mixture of many different European, Middle Eastern and African nationalities and they are all creatures of the sun.

After taking in the sights of Cannes I decided to wander around the town for a few hours before catching a train back to Nice. I wandered along the boardwalk, gazing at the white washed cupolas and balconies of Cannes’ spectacular hotels and mansions. Everywhere there were advertisements for fashion designers and perfumes showing exorbitant clothing on perfect human forms. After a little searching I found the Cannes Film Festival convention center. As I looked at it I tried to imagine the city during time of the festival-filled with glamorous celebrities decked out in the height of fashion for one of the film industry’s most prestigious nights. I took in lunch at a cafe and as it was another gorgeous day I sat outdoors enjoying a croque monsieur and coffee. After eating I pulled my journal from my bag and wrote for a while before making my way back to the train station.

I would spend three more days in Nice. During that time I would visit Monaco, which I will describe in a seperate article. For the other three days I relaxed in Nice, shopping, going to the beach and enjoying the seafood of the Cote D’Azur. My time in Nice was truly relaxing. I have never been to a place where you can drink wine on the beach as the sun sets and then wander onto the boardwalk for a light meal. If you feel like a little excitement there are clubs and bars everywhere or you can wander into a casino for some black jack and poker. The night air smells like the sea, wine and tobacco in a city that is the ultimate experience of the French Riviera. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in this paradise but Italy was only a few miles away and I was extremely excited when I headed out of the hostel to catch a train to the Italian border and then on to Rome.

What to See in Rio de Janeiro… (By 4Ernesto)

Magnificent scenery, relaxed and hospitable people, the sound of the samba in the streets, glorious beaches… It is all true!!! What is more, Rio de Janeiro is the biggest tropical city in the world, superimposing all the metropolitan conveniences and excitements onto a happy scene of noble palms and blinding white sand.

The population of Rio de Janeiro is over seven million and multiplying fast. More than two million live in shanty-towns that grow like mushrooms on the steep hillsides.

The beauties of Rio de Janeiro are legend, but you’d hardly know it on the way into town from the international airport. Do not let first impressions of the Northern Zone’s heavy industry discourage you.

Central Rio is a busy mixture of historic buildings over-shadowed by high-rise office blocks. The district is graced with sweeping gardens and the man-made beaches that front Guanabara Bay. Tunnels through Rio’s several hills link the centre with the alluring Southern Zone (Zona Sul). This is the oceanfront area where the tourists and Rio’s “beautiful people” spend most of their time.

Sightseeing can be something of an ordeal under the tropical sun, so it is not advisable to wander aimlessly afoot. Decide where you want to go, and then take a taxi or bus. Taxis are plentiful and economical. The bus service is good and cheap, but you have to figure out the complicated routes. Also note that many bus stops are unmarked, though passengers and drivers always know which buses stop where. You will just have to ask for help.

Line 1 of the Metro (underground, subway) goes all the way from the northern suburb of Tijuca to Botafogo, the south-zone district where Rio’s elegant yacht club is located.

The ferryboats from Praca XV de Novembro offer the cheapest sightseeing imaginable, or you can view the bay from a luxury tour boat. There are bus excursions but you could also hire a car and drive yourself, but taxis are more convenient for in-town travel.

With so much to see and do in Rio, do not try to cover it all too fast. When the going gets hot, it is time to follow Carioca custom and head for the beach.

“Pao de Acucar” (Sugar Loaf) is such a well-known landmark that some visitors are surprised to find it is not as tall as, say the Matterhorn or Mount Fuji. No one ever claimed it was any more than a dramatic rock standing guard over the entrance to Guanabara Bay. From its summit 1293 feet above sea level, you can read Rio like a map.

The only way to reach the top of Sugar Loaf is aboard a cable car which makes the journey in two stages. The trip begins at the “Estacao do Teleferico” near Praia Vermelha (Red Beach). All the buses marked “Urca” pass within a couple of blocks of the station. The first stage of the aerial itinerary takes you to the top of Morro da Urca, somewhat more the half as high as Sugar Loaf. At this way station, which also has good panoramas over Rio, there is a big restaurant, as well as shops and a curious little museum of mechanized marionettes. The next car leaves for the Sugar Loaf summit, where you get an airline pilot’s view of Rio and Guanabara Bay. In fact, you are high above the runway of Santos Dumont airport. There are several “mirantes” (observation points) overlooking Rio, but none more dramatic than this one especially at sunset when the lights of the Marvelous City flicker on.

Overall travel time on the cable cars is only five or six minutes, with departures at least every 20 minutes and much more frequently during crowded periods. Delays rarely occur, though should there be a sudden storm, safety-conscious officials might temporarily suspend traffic, stranding passengers at all levels (but not in mid-air). A more likely problem: if there is a cloud within ten miles of Rio, it tends to sidle up to Sugar Loaf and spoil the view. Look carefully at the sky before you begin the cable-car adventure, lest you wind up contemplating a wall of mist and drizzle.

At 2,326 feet, “Corcovado”, meaning Humpbacked Mountain, is nearly twice as high as Sugar Loaf. In modern times it has become equally symbolic of the city of Rio de Janeiro. The statue of Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), with arms outstretched over the bay, was inaugurated as a national monument in 1931. The reinforced concrete statue, designed by the French sculptor Paul Landowski, is 98 feet tall; a small chapel is built into the base of the monument. Since approximately ten different local, state and federal bureaus share responsibility for the site, maintenance problems are chronic.

You can take a sightseeing tour of Rio which includes Corcovado; the buses stop halfway up the mountain and transfer passengers to smaller vans for the circuitous drive to the parking area, from which it is still a vigorous hike up to the base of the statue, or you can take a taxi or drive yourself. The most enjoyable way to Corcovado is aboard the funicular which begins its ascent in Cosme Velho. All buses marked “Cosme Velho” stop within a few steps of the funicular terminal (Estrada de Ferro Corcovado, 513 Rua Cosme Velho). A Swiss cable railway replaces a line inaugurated by Emperor Pedro II in 1884. The trip takes about 20 minutes and passes through full-fledged jungle with brilliant flowering trees.

The view from the top of Corcovado is sensationally comprehensive – from the bay to the city centre to the sea. Conversely the statue, which is well lighted at night, may be seen from almost any place in Rio – a symbol more ubiquitous than the Empire State Building or the Eiffel Tower.

If clouds are clinging to Corcovado, you may be able to sneak in under the ceiling at another belvedere in the same area, the Mirante Dona Marta (1191 ft.) Luxuriant tropical plants surround the modern observation platforms, from which you have an excellent perspective on the spacious Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, a lagoon separated from the ocean by the communities of Ipanema and Leblon.

Corcovado and Dona Marta are within the Parque Nacional da Tijuca (Tijuca National Park), a precious wilderness inside Rio’s city limits. Another belvedere in the same park is called Vista Chinesa (Chinese View), and the look-out point is occupied by a pagoda-like structure. This is not quite the flight of fancy it may seem. In the early 19th century Chinese immigrants established a tea plantation on this site.

I am sure you will enjoy visiting Rio de Janeiro. It is a trip you will never forget!!!

Portugal’s Little-Known Travel Destinations

If you’re considering traveling to Europe, you may not think of Portugal as one of your main destinations. Many of us just think of it as a tiny little country nestled against Spain and very similar to its larger counterpart, but sunny Portugal has much to offer as a tourist destination. Like Spain, it has a sense of age and a great wealth of history and culture. If you are planning to discover some of the country’s main cities, the capital of Lisbon is always a great place to start.

If you love history and can’t get enough of old fortresses and castles, you’ll want to try Lisbon’s old St. George’s Castle, although its Portuguese name, Castelo de Sao Jorge, sounds so much more exotic. Surprisingly, the castle wasn’t originally built by the Portuguese at all, but off and on by many groups of people including Moors of Muslim descent who once lived in this region. It has all the earmarks of a foreboding medieval castle; St. George’s Castle is fascinating to visit and will make some great memories. If you’re not a big fan of heights, the castle may not be the best choice for you due to its lofty location, but I highly recommend this stop for anyone visiting Lisbon.

Like every great European country, Lisbon has its own outstanding cathedral. Its huge walls reach to the sky, and although it doesn’t have massive stained glass windows or high exterior archways like other gothic churches, don’t let its simple appearance fool you. Once you walk inside you will learn about the historical events that make it so appealing. It was constructed in medieval times to accentuate Christian victory over previous Moorish rulers, and has probably changed very little since that time. St. Anthony himself is said to be interred inside the cathedral. Best of all, admission is free and you can wander around to your heart’s content and see many fascinating artifacts.

There are churches and other religious buildings scattered throughout Lisbon, such as Santa Engracia. This beautiful Baroque church captures the imagination with its tales of ghostly interference and its elegant facade, and once you visit you will understand why it is called the National Pantheon. If you’re lucky to be visiting on Saturday or Tuesday and need something to do after your tour of the church, you can drift around at the market.

If this isn’t the kind of attraction you’re looking for, prepare to explore museums, gardens, municipal buildings, and historic streets. One terrific vacation spot especially for families with children is the Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden. Children might not be thrilled about the “natural history” part, but they should love the gardens. There are various statues of explorers, kings, and other important people throughout the city that would make great poses for portraits, but then again, the entire city is photogenic.

If you’re like me, Lisbon is the only Portuguese city you’ve ever really heard much about. The city of Braga may not be as well-known or studded with attractions as Lisbon, but it does have its worthwhile offerings. Braga’s cathedral is more eye-catching than that of Lisbon, with high turrets, a bell tower, and a weathered appearance. It is most likely close to what most people probably envision when they think of a Hispanic church. Different parts were built in different centuries; part of the “se” (the cathedral) is from the 1400s, but the higher parts of the church were not added until the 1600s. From the side, the church isn’t quite so impressive except for a wide, beautifully-sculpted door. Check the Braga Cathedral website to find out what times the church is open to the public.

For some unforgettable natural beauty, seek out Peneda Geres National Park (Parque Nacional da Peneda-Geres) and prepare to see things you might not expect to find in Portugal. Beautiful hills surround tranquil waters; look out for the picturesque waterfall. If you love walking and being one with nature, you should definitely take time on your vacation for this national park.

Where is Coimbra? This city is another historic part of Portugal that few travelers ever hear of. If you take a look at the city from afar, you may be disappointed by the newer-looking buildings, but the skyline belies Coimbra’s true age. In actuality it dates back centuries to the times of the Moors and for awhile it was Portugal’s major city. Like much of Spain and Portugal in general, many of Coimbra’s attractions are related to the development of the Catholic faith. Coimbra’s religious structures include churches, monasteries, and convents that are all worth a visit if you have the time. Don’t miss the historical significance and peacefulness of these places while traveling in Coimbra.

By Lacie R. Schaeffer

How To Find Cheap Airfare For Your Hawaii Vacation

by George Wood

You should search the net thoroughly in case you want cheap airfare to Hawaii. There are so many sites that offer discounted airfares. So you should check out these sites regularly in case you are looking for cheap airfare.

You can also purchase your tickets from the airlines sites. Many airlines which have flights to Hawaii put discounted rates on their websites. The discounts may vary from day to day. Sometimes the airlines also release special Hawaii fares. To make sure that you do not miss on to these opportunities, log on to the website three times in a day.

There are also some big travel sites which offer cheap airfare to Hawaii. So you visit either of these sites – Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. You can get discounted rates as these travel sites work in collaboration with many airlines. The rates may differ for each site. So make sure you visit all the three sites to get the best airfare.

You can go to some travel based search engines in case you are not too much into the internet. These sites collect all the available information from several other sites. All these details are then displayed together and thus it becomes easier to locate cheap airfare.

You can also go to travel search engines like Sidestep. They have a huge database which contains information from travel web sites, airlines sites, and it also has information about car and room rentals. You can find all this and more from here.

You can also use sites like Yahoo or Google to find out about cheap airfare. You also become a member of some companies like AAA. Resort owners have extra benefit. There are resort websites where you can get to know all about traveling. You can also visit sites like Priceline, Hotline and eBay. You can also shop by bidding at various sites to get very best airfare price.

Okey, what you need to do if you can not find a cheap flight that is good for your Hawaii vacation? Well, one thing is to try flying to next airport close by. There is likely to be more like one airport within a couple of hours drive, so try find flights from that airport instead. It might take some extra time to get to the airport, but if it save you hundreds of dollars on your Hawaii airfare, its worth it.

There is also a program run by Priceline.com through which you can get cheap ticket for Hawaii. You are supposed to enter your date of travel, your destination city and how much you are willing to pay for the airfare. The site will then contact all the airlines and see if they get the ticket on the price quoted by you.

However these tickets cannot be refunded so whether you like the flight or not, you have to manage it. The rate will be of course the cheapest.

Restaurants in Brunswick, Maine

The coast of Maine is replete with quaint, cozy towns, and each of these towns is dotted with equally quaint and cozy restaurants. Visitors and locals alike enjoy the variety of cuisine along the Maine coast, from traditional Maine lobster to many different ethnic options in dining. The town of Brunswick, just thirty miles north of Portland, Maine, is among the larger towns on the coast and it has a large variety of restaurants from which to choose. Brunswick is home to Bowdoin College, the Brunswick Naval Air Station, the Maine State Music Theatre, and it is a crossroads for coastal tourism. Although still in the realm of quaint and cozy, Brunswick is a small town with many of the amenities of larger cities, including many interesting and tasty restaurants.

Joshua’s Tavern was our introduction to the state of Maine, as it was the very first place we stopped upon entering the state, and we enjoyed lunch one late July day. While a summer rain poured down outside its windows, we sat in Joshua’s Tavern and feasted on crabmeat rolls, fish and chips, and of course, succulent boiled Maine lobster. The staff is friendly, the ambiance quiet and cozy, and Joshua’s sits right in the middle of town on the main street that runs through Brunswick. The lower level of Joshua’s is a traditional pub with a bar, dart board, and heavy tables, while upstairs is a sunny luncheon room for airier dining. Joshua’s Tavern is named after the Civil War hero, Joshua Chamberlain, and visitors can read about Chamberlain on the back of the menu.

Just down the main street from Joshua’s Tavern is The Great Impasta. Mainers are known for their clipped, friendly accents that usually involve dropping the letter “R” from the ends of their words. The Great Impasta plays on this accent, but once anyone has dined at the tiny restaurant on the corner of Maine Street and Coastal Route One, they will forget the play on words and simply revel in the delicious food. The Great Impasta serves fine Italian cuisine that cannot be matched anywhere along the rest of the Midcoast; or anywhere in Maine, for that matter. The meal begins with a basket of Garlic Knots, which have to be tasted to be believed, and then follows the main dish which might be anything from Linguine, Fettucini, Lasagna, and Spaghetti, to a whole array of seafoods, poultry dishes, and vegetarian dishes. The desserts at The Great Impasta are made on the premises and are decadent displays of Tiramisu, Canoli, Spumoni, and a variety of cheesecakes. As if the food were not enough, The Great Impasta is set in a small, intimate building that makes visitors feel as though they have stepped into old Italy.

Taking a short drive away from the main part of downtown Brunswick, if visitors will drive a few miles down Bath Road toward the Naval Air Station, they will find an area called Cook’s Corner. Just before Cook’s Corner sits an old fashioned drive-in that looks like something out of the 1950s. This cute little drive-in is called Fat Boy’s. Fat Boy’s may have a less-than-appealing name, but the food is excellent and it is a fun place to go. Cars can park in the large parking lot at Fat Boy’s and wait for a friendly waitress to come and take their order, or visitors can go inside the small drive-in and eat in an old-fashioned booth. The menu is chock full of tasty lunch and dinner items including burgers, hot dogs, onion rings, french fries, and BLTs; and of course there are the traditional Maine lobster and crab rolls, as well as fish and chips. With such tasty food, the menu is surprisingly inexpensive, and the staff at Fat Boy’s is friendly and energetic. A visit to Brunswick would not be complete without a visit to Fat Boy’s.

These are only a few of the wonderful restaurants in Brunswick, Maine. Visitors will also find the typical chain and fast food restaurants found elsewhere, such as McDonald’s, Applebees, Friendly’s, Subway, and Starbucks Coffee. Come to Brunswick, Maine and find fine dining and great food along with views that cannot be matched.

Holiday Travel Packages

Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Holiday Travel Package

by Sami Fab

Your well-deserved vacation is near and you are thinking about making reservations. You have two basic choices:

Do you book different components of your holiday such as airline, hotel, and car rental separately or do you book the components as a package, all in one booking?

Depending on whether you have the time and the patience, you could book separately, which sometimes can lead to some savings. However, if you prefer to have everything ready and included in one price, then the package alternative is for you.

Holiday packages can be cheaper than other alternatives because the company selling the products has already negotiated substantial discounts, some of which are passed down to you, the consumer. The principle of packaged holidays is that places and seats are reserved in huge numbers, thus making an individual package relatively cheap.

In a sense it is good to know that all the reservations have taken place. An added bonus can be traveling with other like-minded people possibly leading to friendship. Also in case any difficulties arise, there is often a company representative who will be able to help you.

It is worth bearing in mind, the apparent ease and convenience that packages bring can have downsides too. This is how lower prices are achieved:

1. Your plane may depart late at night. Be prepared for this and it won’t be too much of a disappointment. Alternatively if you have the choice to have a late night departure you should notice a lower price. If not, “ask” for the discount. You’ll be amazed how often you get discounts by simply asking.

2. The allocated seats on the aircraft are sometimes in the middle (away from windows). This may be important if you are traveling with children. Make sure you carry plenty of suitable entertainment. Note that the in-flight movie may not be interesting for the children.

3. If there are several members in your party, you may not all be able to sit together. Again this is even more important if you have children with you.

4. Your hotel room may not offer the best view possible, nor may it be the quietest. Can you handle this? Ask before you book, find out the situation and take alternative action if necessary.

5. Packages are geared to suit groups, as opposed to individuals. They are not always flexible. Flexibility costs extra, quite a bit extra.

6. Cancellations usually involve a penalty or at least an administration charge, which can be more than you expect. Always “ask” before booking.

7. Extras such as upgrades and add-ons can attract a substantial premium.

8. You are stuck with other travelers in the group, whether you like them or not. There is always at least one annoying person in the group but then there are usually a few very interesting and likeable people too.

8. Popular packages are usually fully booked early. You may have to settle for an alternative.

9. Your airline may take an indirect route and a stopover may be on the cards. The right holiday packages can be fun and the majority of people using them are pleasantly surprised. Don’t let the downsides to package holidays put you off.

Remember, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect set-up’. Provided you go into it with reasonable understanding and an open mind, you’re sure to have a great time.

Northern Cyprus Restaurants And Bars Guide

by Julia Ramyalg

Can you imagine vacation in the Northern Cyprus without tasting traditional cuisine?
For every holidaymaker this means definitely an inseparable adventure as tasty Cypriot food represents a part of the unique culture.

North Cyprus is literally studded with restaurants from the authentic Cypriot cuisine, which offer very good value for money, to the fashionable restaurants like French, Chinese or Indian.

Lying on the crossroad of the three continents, the Turkish-Cypriot cuisine has been influenced by different cultures throughout history, owing most of its heritage to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences. Many dishes vary from region to region making North Cyprus a marvelous place to eat. The finest restaurants are, however, found in and around Kyrenia.

Over the years the culinary offerings in Northern Cyprus have grown as has the demand for their services. Not only the residents of the island required their services but also by the growing number of tourists that visit the island each year.

The first restaurants on the island were more local in nature and offered Cypriot dishes such as kebabs and mezes. The most famous of these restaurants are
located in the Kyrenia harbour area. It’s a pleasure to enjoy a candlelight dinnerwhile gazing at the warm light illuminated Kyrenia castle. Between the breath taking scenery and the scrumptious cuisine it is hard to tell which casts the stronger spell on you.

As the international community on the island is continually growing there has been a push towards more family oriented restaurants, similar in nature to TGI Fridays and Steak Houses, “Stone Grill / Cafe Duka” to name a few have opened in and around Kyrenia.

Cafe Bars and English Pubs

There are lots of Cafe bars and English pubs across Northern Cyprus, like the rest of the Mediterranean islands the cafe bar culture is to be seen everywhere.
There is a great range of Cafe bars in and around Kyrenia Harbor that serve a good choice of beers and food. You can also find some great bars in the better
hotels, The Colony Hotel the Rocks Hotel and the Merrit Hotel to name a few also offer entertainment however they can be expensive, so please bear this in mind.

Some English bars worth mentioning are, Villa Swallow that is situated just two minutes walk from the Harbour, it offers a great selection of beers and superb home cooked English food, the Fireman’s Fez Pub is handy to know as it serves good old fish and chips on a Friday evening and the Castle Pub in araoglanoglu which is only five minutes away is very convenient if you want to watch the live football.

The Santori Holiday Village is a great place for a night cap especially in the summer when there is a great atmosphere around the pool bar and restaurant.

The Escape beach offers both bars and Nightclub during the summer months. It is a great place for the latest in dance music and with its open air club next to the sea you could not ask for a better setting.

Restaurants

Niazis Restaurant

Niazis Restaurant has been serving good quality food, mainly kebabs and steaks, to locals and tourists for over 40 years. His now famous kebabs have stopped people needing a starter ever since day one, and with a wide selection of desserts to suit every taste, you really are spoiled for choice. Positioned in the heart of Kyrenia center, just 2 minutes walk from the harbor, you are also in the perfect position to seek out some late night entertainment. Open 7 days a week.

Pizza Garden

Pizza Garden is just a few miles to the west of Kyrenia and this is very popular restaurant that serves various foods throughout the day. Famous for their individual style & taste in a pizza and those delicious, thick chocolate/brandy milkshakes, you can sit and watch the best sunsets the island has to offer in this relaxed and tranquil location. Open 7 days a week, closed from November to March.

Carob

Rich in history and architecture, this delightful restaurant is situated right in the heart of Kyrenia harbor, with its old fishing boats and imposing backdrop of the ancient Kyrenia castle. There are 3 floors in total with the “roof top terrace” being the most popular place for diners to enjoy the amazing view on offer. The menu is extensive and there really is something to suit all tastes, so whilst in the Northern Cyprus the Carob is a must. Open 7 days a week.

The Ambiance

The Ambiance is opened by 2 of the most experienced and popular restaurateurs in the Northern and offers its diners something different from the average restaurant. Set right on the seas edge in the very popular village of Karaoglanoglu, you can relax and enjoy one of the most extensive menus on the island whilst listening to the waves gently splashing against the rocks. The evening is busy and the atmosphere is perfect, the day is laid backed with the chance to relax on loungers and soak up the rays, all in all, the perfect choice. Open 7 days a week, booking essential.

Altinkaya 1

Altinkaya 1 is just 5 miles west of Kyrenia city center on the Kyrenia-Lapta road. This is lovely fish restaurant which offers panoramic views and a friendly atmosphere, open 7 days a week.

Chinese House

Peking and Cantonese dishes served at Kyrenia’s popular Chinese House situated just 1.5 km west of the city center. There are indoor and outdoor seating arrangements so you can enjoy the authentic dishes any time of the year. Closed on Sundays.

Efendis House

Efendis House is situated in the old Turkish quarter with a delightful courtyard garden and giant apricot tree. This old time restaurant has a small but delicious menu, the staff is all friendly and the atmosphere is perfect. Closed on Mondays. If you are looking for a good quality Indian restaurant, look no further. The location is both convenient and impressive and offers diners a wide choice of menu including authentic indian dishes, some French cuisine and an impressive choice of Italian. Something for everyone. And it’s all about Jashans.

The Stone Grill

The Stone Grill offers a superb setting and benefiting from a innovative idea that you can cook your own dinner in front of you! The idea seemed strange at first but has quickly taken off with the full car park an indication of its success. Open 7 days a week

The Address

One of just a few restaurants that stay busy all through the year, and when you taste the food you will know exactly why. Whether it’s on the terrace in the summer, or indoors in the winter, The Address always has a fantastic atmosphere. Closed on Tuesdays.

St Tropez

Looked upon as one of the superior restaurants in Northern Cyprus, and quite rightly so, St Tropez has built up a superb reputation over the years. With an excellent menu to suit all tastes, friendly and efficient staff, a separate ‘cocktail bar’ and a wine list to rival all others, St Tropez is perfect for that special evening out. Open 7 days a week.

Northern Virginia

When most people think about the area in Northern Virginia, if they know anything about it, they will automatically think of the Washington, D.C. area. Northern Virginia includes Arlington, Alexandria, and a whole array of towns stretching out in a large inverted “V” shape, up toward the state of Maryland, and west to the West Virginia border. But Northern Virginia is so much more than just an extension of Washington, D.C. Northern Virginia is scenic, historic, international, southern, and so much more.

Two of the larger cities in Northern Virginia are the aforementioned Arlington and Alexandria. Arlington actually used to be an official part of Washington, D.C., but the 26 square mile area of city was returned to the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1846. Arlington sits just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, and is home to the Arlington National Cemetery and of course, the Pentagon. While Arlington has many quaint, old neighborhoods with World War II era brick homes, it also boasts more office space than downtown Los Angeles.

Just to the southeast of Arlington is the city of Alexandria, where American history abounds. Fifty years older than the city of Washington, D.C., Alexandria was the place where George Washington drilled his troops for the revolutionary war. Now a bustling city with a carefully preserved historic “Old Town” area, Alexandria is a beautiful suburb of D.C. Just nine miles south of the main part of town is historic Mount Vernon, home of George and Martha Washington. Mount Vernon sits on the banks of the Potomac River and it gives visitors a glimpse into the life of our first president.

Farther northwest, many miles from the busy Washington, D.C. area is Harper’s Ferry. Harper’s Ferry is a small town situated on the banks of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers in the northernmost corner of Virginia, where the states of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia meet. Located at the bottom of the ravine created by the two rivers, it is thus tucked within the surrounding mountains. Historically, Harper’s Ferry is best known for John Brown’s raid on the Armory in 1859. Today, the town is a wonderful place to visit with its scenic views, historical past, and tourist attractions.

Just a few miles south of Harper’s Ferry, near the town of Front Royal, visitors will discover the famous Skyline Drive which winds its way 105 miles down the Shenandoah range past the town of Waynesboro, to the tiny town of Afton. As part of the Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive is preserved and protected. There are no commercial areas and no homes or billboards; just a paved, well-maintained road that takes drivers through some of the most beautiful areas in Virginia. Wildlife abounds along Skyline Drive and there are many stopping points and overlooks along the way with amazing views of the Virginia Piedmont and the Shenandoah Valley. Hiking is popular along Skyline Drive and many of the hiking trails will access the famous Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail practically parallels Skyline Drive and through-hikers can often be seen at the local camping spots, as well as nearby stores and restaurants.

Not far down Skyline Drive, if one drives a bit east back toward highway 50, sits the town of Sperryville. While Sperryville holds no specific historical or touristy significance, it is a traditional Virginia mountain town that is off the beaten path. With nothing more than a restaurant or two, a large antique emporium, a few beautiful homes, and a small brook running through town, Sperryville is quiet and makes visitors feel as though they have traveled back through time into a simpler world.

Northern Virginia is nothing if not historic. All along Interstate 66, which runs from Arlington to Front Royal, there are several Civil War battlefields where visitors will find Civil War reenactments and historical tours. The town of Manassas is famous for the Manassas battlefield. There, visitors can walk around the battlefield and ponder the beauty of the area, while trying to imagine the place in the throes of war.

Lastly, a favorite activity in the Northern Virginia area is to spend time in or on the water. The Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers offer canoeing and swimming in various parts, and there are many other rivers, streams and “runs” in the area where locals and tourists alike will enjoy cooling off during the hot summer days.

The next time you consider visiting the Washington, D.C. area, remember there is much to see and do just across the river in Northern Virginia.