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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Political Map of Europe

Political map of Europe

While not technically a political map of Europe in the strictest sense. This map tries to set a delineation between the European Union Countries and the rest of Europe. It also is an attempt to see how the other non European Union countries fit within the greater European region. Technically speaking go here, if you want to see a political map of Europe in the historical definition of the phrase. This area is mostly about conjecture and how Europe ties together as a continent. It will be updated regularly and this map may change and others will be added.

We will also be adding historically accurate political maps so as to show how politics progressed through you Europe over time. In researching this area we found some interesting and sometimes funny and sometimes serious events that caused unusual redrawing of the borders of various countries that make up Europe. Some countries were created and some were lost to time and the borders moved around quite a deal through out the 4000 years of European history. Politically speaking most countries started out as city states and then as one state or another became dominant, the others in the vicinity got swallowed up. One extreme example of this is the Roman empire which swallowed up huge tracts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East for that matter. It was all considered part of the Roman empire and eventually when the empire split up and slowly died certain geographical regions banded together to eventually form the countries of Europe. Some of these remain to this day and others have fallen by the way side. It will definitely be an interesting insight into how politics and culture work together at nation building. Stay tuned.

Rail Map Europe

A rail Europe map

Rail Europe tickets are a great alternative to flying. Imagine taking in the breath taking views of the European Alps, the Med, the Adriatic, the Greek Isles and much more. Travelling by train in today’s day age will allow you to have a proper holiday. It will allow you relax and reflect while you speed towards your destination in complete comfort and style. No worries about luggage size. Take all the gear for the whole family on that ski trip and not worry about excess baggage fees. No bookings are essential; you can purchase your ticket at any time. Turn up at the train station and start your holiday. No more worrying about flight schedules. If you miss one train! Catch the next!

The best way to buy a rail Europe ticket is get a Eurail Global Pass some people refer to them incorrectly as Eurorail Passes but it basically means the same thing. These can be bought as 10 day to 3 month passes. 3 month passes being the best value but of course are the most expensive as well. Have a look at the rail Europe map in the centre of the page and see if it the countries and cities you are interested in visiting for your vacation are included. They should be as most Western European countries are covered by these railway passes.

The rail systems that are covered by most train passes include.

  • Eurostar – is a high-speed passenger rail service connecting London with Paris and Brussels. All its trains traverse the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France, owned and operated separately by Euro-tunnel.
  • German rail (Deutsche bahn) – is the German national railway company. 3 different railway companies were merged to form this company. 1) Deutsche Reichsbahn of East Germany, 2) VdeR . it had railway assets in West Berlin, 3) Deutsche Bundesbahn of West Germany.
  • British Rail (British Railways) . Is an amalgamation of the .big four. 1) Great Western Railway, 2) London, Midland and Scottish Railway, 3) London and North Eastern Railway, 4) Southern Railway.
  • Swiss Federal Railways . Is the official railway of Switzerland.

How does it compare to a driving holiday? Well Driving can be fun but it can also be stressful. So depending on what kind of holiday you are looking for, will depend on what mode of transport you choose. Most train stations are at the heart of a European metropolis centre. So shopping, cafes, the art galleries and museums are usually not far away and usually within walking distance. The rising cost of fuel is starting to make an impact in both the airline industry and the driving holiday set. With a train the economies of scale mean that fuel has a smaller impact on price. A Europe rail pass is also so versatile. Extending holidays is no drama and adding locations to your holiday is as easy as turning up on a new train platform.

Travelling Europe by train is a great cheap alternative to flying. You will have more chances to meet like minded travellers and to take in the natural and urban beauty of Europe. Buying rail tickets in Europe is easy. You can get them over the internet or go to almost any railway station. So if you are thinking about travelling Europe by train make sure you do your research, you will be happy you did.  Oh and one more thing make sure you search online for a Rail Europe coupon code. It will make travelling the railways of Europe that much cheaper.

Map of Central Europe

A map of Central Europe

There is no common standard of what actually constitutes Central Europe, in fact many of the countries that are defined under this title also form part of Eastern & Western Europe. For the purposes of this article I am going to define the following countries as forming Central Europe, which is the current definition held by the United Nations:

  1. Austria
  2. Czech Republic
  3. Germany
  4. Hungary
  5. Liechenstein
  6. Poland
  7. Slovakia
  8. Slovenia
  9. Switzerland

There are plenty of sights to see within Central Europe and I am going to take you through a number of them right now. Although of course whilst wandering around you will discover many other wonderful sightseeing opportunities.

  1. Almost everything located within Berlin, Germany is a sight in itself. A particular favourite amongst tourists is climbing the Reichstag Dome.
  2. Of course, no trip to Germany is complete without experiencing wonderful German Beer. The best way to do this is to go to the Beer Hall located in Munich. The Olympic Park is also located incredibly close by and is worth a visit.
  3. Also in Germany you can take the chance to visit ‘The Eagles Nest’ which was a location where Hitler helped to direct the German War.
  4. For the more adventurous amongst people there are plenty of natural sights to see when you hike through the mountains of Switzerland or drive through the rolling countryside gazing at many of the beautiful lakes around the area.
  5. Poland was almost destroyed during World War 2, particularly Warsaw. Take a look around the modern architectural wonders in the city which almost has been completely rebuilt but still in a more medieval style.
  6. There are plenty of concentration camps located within Poland. One of the most popular of course is Auschwitz. The reality of war really hits home when you visit one of these concentration camps.
  7. A particular favourite of those travelling to Central Europe to sightsee is travelling up ‘Castle Hill’ for fantastic views over Budapest, capital of Hungary.
  8. The ‘Rhine River’ travels through most of the countries in Central Europe and a cruise along this will take you to some of the best vineyards in the world. Perfect for wine lovers.

There really is so much to do for sightseeing in Central Europe. Whether you are looking to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Europe by hiking through mountains or driving through the countryside, or whether you want to experience the rich history which is evident in almost every major town located within Central Europe.

In my opinion if you are going to go sightseeing in Central Europe you should do it properly, for that reason take a chance to visit all nearby countries such as France, Spain and Belgium. Only then will you be able to get the full European experience. Plenty of cheap flights will take you to any of these destinations, after that it is simply a matter of hiring a car and hitting the open road.

Venice is unforgettable

Amazing Venice in ItalyVenice is truly a beautiful and romantic city. Anyone who intends to visit this Italian city will enjoy the city’s beauty of nature especially the natural water canals. People are not only attracted to this ancient city because it was built on a lagoon but also because of its famous landmarks, beautiful old-fashion streets and rich culture. Remember, even in Shakespeare’s time this city was a famous trading city so popular in fact that the play writer could come up with the play The Merchant of Venice without even setting his feet on this ancient trading city or even having been to Italy.

Venice is a preferred city for any tourists especially newly wed. The reason why it is known to be a romantic city is simply because it is mostly visited by couples who want to have a romantic experience. It is common to find more tourists as compare to the local population of the city. It is also common to find tourists in a group of two enjoying every bit of the romantic experience Venice has to offer.

Tourist trade is the only source of income for the local people known as Venetians. When you visit Venice, you may think its buildings were built just to attract tourist. It is beautified by its narrow canals mounted by old and attractive bridges and buildings. Make sure get a good map of Venice when going to this lovely city.

Venice was built in the 5th Century and it later grew to a maritime empire. It comprises of 121 small islands connected by an incredible 435 bridges. The city stands on a lagoon making it the most popular experience for tourists. City streets clogged with polluting road traffic is a phenomenon that is never found in this city. The best way of moving around this city is by water using water buses. However, there are raised sidewalks which can be used to move from a certain point to another without getting your feet wet.

If you are planning to visit Venice, it is important to get yourself familiar with the map of the city’s vaporetto ways first.  They are usually found in most of the city’s guidebooks and also easily downloadable from the internet. It is a good idea to book a hotel of your choice before booking your flight to Venice so as to avoid missing out due to the large number of tourists the city receives throughout the year.

On the day of visit, the first decision you will have to take upon arrival at the city’s Marco Polo Airport is how to get to your reserved hotel. There is a walkway at the airport that leads to an area where you can see the city for the first time. To get to your hotel there are buses and taxis that can take you to your hotel by road, but by far the best way to travel is by water boats or vaporetti. These vaporetti will take you to your stop in an hour’s time. When you use these Alilaguna company vaporetti you will get to enjoy the magnificent old fashioned building and bridges of this ancient city. You can also use the water taxi if you want to save money since it can accommodate more people and thus the fare is cheaper compared to vaporetti.

You can take the red vaporetti route which goes around the attractive ancient island of Murano and on to Lido’s beaches then towards St. Mark’s Square which is a tourist hotspot. St. Mark’s Square is known as Piazza San Marko by the local population. It has the Campanile bell tower which is the tallest building in Venice. The top of the Campanile can be accessed via a lift; from there you can see the whole of the red roofed city. You can also find the Doge’s palace at the St. Mark’s Square. This palace is symbol of Venice judicial and political history and as far back as the 9th Century it was the city’s dukes’ seat of power. You can visit the private chambers, halls of state and even torture chambers.

Map of Venice
Map of Venice (Venezia)

St. Mark’s Square is connected to the Grand Canal by a group of shopping streets. Here you will get Murano glass made jewellery and Venetian traditional balls and ornaments. As you walk through these streets, you will get to another Venice’s famous landmark, the Rialto Bridge.

Venice is also blessed with magnificent art galleries. One fine gallery is the Galleria dell’Accademia. It is located on the quiet island of Dorsoduro. It has a rich Venice’s art.

The centre of Venice is easily accessible even on foot. You can walk around in less than an hour. However, the maze created by small canals is amazing; you can walk around and stop each time to take a photo due to the picturesque bridges and buildings around. You can enter a cafe and have an ice cream while watching water boats ferry tourists with the backdrop of picturesque view of buildings.

Memorable holiday by visiting Munich

Munich in GermanyIf one wants to make their holidays as memorable as they possibly can be, then it might be a good idea to consider the city of Munich in Germany as one of their destination.  This city boasts of being the third largest city in Germany with the average population of about one million three hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants. The city has a motto, which translates to Munich likes you. From the city motto, one gets a feel of what this city has to offer to the tourist.

The rich history of the city is something that is helping to attract people who want to explore Munich. The history of the city states that it was initially founded by monks thus the name that it has got is a derivative if the word that means by the monks place. This is just a sample of the rich history that this city has to offer to the travelling visitor. The modern city of Munich is now a financial hub spot that has got a thriving economy and a booming tourist industry. The infrastructure of this city is one of the best in the world and this means that the tourist will be able to enjoy the services of plush hotels and other amenities that this city has to offer. Holiday that is spent in Munich is guaranteed to be fun and relaxing and this is one of the reasons that this city has seen a rise in the number of tourist.

The city is modern and is a leader when it comes to the international field of technology innovation and financial growth. Some reviewers of cites have ranked it as the world most livable city. What this means is that the city is the crème of civilization and the quality of services and the quality of life in the city is among the highest in the world. Many people would love to simply go and live in this great city and the tourists who visit this city will feel that they need to revisit since the experience that they will have will be so good.

The history of the city and its establishment is rich and the tourist will be amazed at the important events that this city has hosted. There are various important landmarks that one can go and visit to get a sense of the rich diversity that this city has to offer. This city has been the host for great events that happened in the past and was at one time the spotlight of artistic and historical events in the past civilization. The history of this city is also tied to the history of the international community. Munich was an important player in the two world wars that ravaged the globe. It was greatly affected by the two wars just as Berlin was affected by the two world wars. The city’s ability to rebuild and emerge as one of the best cities in the world is something to marvel at. It is the reason that many people will visit Germany and Munich in particular. The tourist can see and understand how this city was affected, and how the inhabitants had to start rebuilding the city after the world wars.

The city was and still is the center of many political happenings and events that have changed the landscape ofGermanypolitics over the past centuries. It is an important element in the political happenings of Germany and has a say in the way Germany’s politics and other social economical issues are viewed and shaped.

Although the city was heavily damaged by the allied bombings during the war, it has been able to rebuild itself into an important city in the republicof Germany. This is due to the fact that the city has been able to attract investors and industries that have helped in the reconstruction process. The city now has a well-defined infrastructure that not only caters for the residents but can also support the huge number of tourists who come in every year. Most of the residents that now live in Munich enjoy a very high standard of living. This standard of living can be experienced by the visitor when they visit this great city.

The economy of Munich is driven by industrial and information technology developments. The crime rate that this city experiences is very low so the tourist is now able to enjoy romantic walks in the evening without having to worry about being mugged. No tourist will visit a city that has the highest crime rate in the world. Most people will shy away from such cities due to obvious risk factor that the visit to the city entails. Security is one of the most important issues that the tourist looks at when they are deciding the destination for their holiday. It is the reason that some cities will experience a high rate tourist while others will experiences a reduced number of tourists. Munich is a safe and secure city that one can tour and have a good time.