Monday 28 September 2009

Visiting Windsor Castle

Visiting Windsor CastleUrban folk everywhere dream of a place out of town where they can get away from it all, and some do indeed enjoy just such a bolthole - but none can match the splendour of Windsor Castle, said to be the favourite weekend retreat of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It is, after all, both the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world (rebuilt by Edward III from 1350).

Guided tours of the Castle's precincts introduce its history and modern role, and there is also an audio tour. Within the Castle, visitors see magnificent State Apartments furnished with some the finest works of art from the Royal Collection, including splendid paintings by the likes of Rubens, Rembrandt, Canaletto, van Dyck and Gainsborough. The Semi-State Rooms (George IV's private apartments) may be viewed in the winter months. St George's Chapel is a splendid example of Gothic architecture. It contains ten royal tombs including those fo Henry VIII and Charles I. In St Albans Street south of the Castle there is a display of the Queen's gifts and royal carriages.

From Windsor, it's but a short hop to Eton, home of the public school and those famous playing fields. Founded in 1440, it has superb medieval buildings and guided tours feature the Cloisters, College Chapel, the school's oldest classroom and the Museum of Eton life.

While you're in these parts, take the opportunity to see the unassuming cradle of Britain's rule of law - Runnymede, where that sly but inefficient King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta by his concerned barons. Today, the site is protected by the National Trust, and consists of beautiful water meadows, grassland and woods.

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Thursday 17 September 2009

Budapest, Travel Advice

Thanks to my business trip, I have visiting Budapest in the middle of September.
Budapest is well known like Paris of the east. I would like to say Budapest is really incredibly elegant and the most enjoyable cities in Europe. It is composed of three cities: Buda, and Obuda on the west side of the river, Pest on the opposite side. Obuda and Buda are often just refered to as Buda, the bourgeois section with its palaces and spas, and the more commercial area is known as Pest.

BudapestBy air
Budapest is easily accessible by air from much of Europe and even the US. The nation's main carrier, Malev, flies to almost every major city on the continent including London, Dublin, Paris, Berlin, Prague and Moscow, as well as to New York, Washington, Beijing and Sydney, whilst budget airline Wizzair is based in Budapest and offers many more seats across Europe. An airport minibus serves all three terminals, whilst the BKV Plusz Repter Busz will take you to the Kobanya-Kispest metro stop at the south east end of the blue line, from where you can zip into town. A taxi will cost 5000-6000 forints.

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Thursday 10 September 2009


OxfordThose who have never visited Oxford may expect to find the ancient university town with dreaming spires pictured in guidebooks, but Oxford is a bustling industrial city with a serious traffic problem. Happily, that doesn't stop the historic centre retaining much orginal charm and some of England's finest medieval buildings.

They (with others constructed in subsequent centuries) are home to the English-speaking world's oldest university - though Oxford was a prestigioius town with important religious houses and a charter from Henry II, before the first college was founded in 1249, Since then, Parliaments have been held, martyrs burned, Charles I was based here dring the English civil war and his son came during London's Great Plague in the 1660s.

The imprint of such events may be found on Oxford's historic fabric - go by train or use Park and Ride from the edge of town to enjoy exploring on foot. Look out for Christ Church Cathedral (both Cathedral and college chapel), the Radcliffe Camera (a circular Palladian library building); Wren's Sheldonian Theatre; University Church of St Mary the Virgin (13th century); Magdalen College; Tom Tower; The Bridge of signs; the Covered Market (opened in 1774).

Of course there's a whole lot more to discover, including all those locations for Inspector Morse's investigations, but that's the joy of the place - get a wonderful view of everything from Carfax Tower in the centre of town, all that remains of 13th-century St Martin's Church.

One unmissable highlight of an Oxford visit is the Ashmolean Museum with its eclectic collections, ranging from antiquities of Ancient Greece and Egypt to Picasso paintings. Look out for curiosities like the lantern carried by gunpowder plotter Guy Fawkes, Oliver Cromwell's death mask and Lawrence of Arabia's ceremonial Arab outfit. Surely such cultural delights are worh half a day!

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Thursday 3 September 2009

Wien tourist guide

Wien tourist guideVienna, is not only the capital of Austria, but also described as Europe's cultural capital, is a metropolis with unique charm, vibrancy and flair. It boasts outstanding infrastructure, is clean and safe, and has all the inspiration that you could wish for in order to discover this wonderful part of Europe. About 2 million inhabitants, is situated on the banks of the Danube. The influx of visitors from all over the world has made Vienna the most popular urban tourist destination in Austria.

A modern romantically city: Vienna (Wien) is a dream city for anyone with a romantic streak or an interest in histroy. Sightseeing opportunities are to be found in abundance. Wander along narrow, medieval alleyways or across imperial squares, view Schonbrunn Palace or the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) in the footsteps of Sissi and Emperor Franz Josef, and marvel at the majestic architecture along the Ring boulevard.. Be inspired by an atmosphere steeped in history - which also boasts the comforts and infrastructure of a romantically imperial city!

A city of culture: Vienna possesses a lively and vast array of cultural attractions. Whether classical or experimental theatre, film or dance festivals, opera or operetta, or exhibitions and concerts - no matter when you come and how long you stay, there is sure to be something exciting for you to discover. Or if your tastes are not quite so culturally refined, then visit one of Vienna's famous coffee houses or traditional wine taverns and work you way through famous culinary specialities.

Wien tourist guideA city of music: Vienna has been synonymous with music for centuries, and was home to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Johann Strauss. This outstanding musical heritage has been preserved right to the present day.

A city of art: Vienna (Wien) has always produced and nurtured world- famous artists. The collecting passion of art-loving rulers and monarchs has made Vienna a treasure house par excellence. The Museum of Fine Arts, for instance is one of the world's largest and most distinguished museums, housing priceless works of art.

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