Where to Find the World’s Most Beautiful Easter Eggs

eggsNo Easter celebration is complete without colorful Easter eggs making an appearance. And these eggs are beautiful too. Artisans think out-of-the-box and have a blast decorating their most fanciful eggs. They are probably at their creative best, creating them in a wide display of color and designs. In fact, many of them are so beautiful that you won’t want to eat them – you’ll just want to save them forever.  But what’s the fun in that?

Often, these eggs are made at home, with families sitting around a table, decorating hard-boiled eggs with paints and pastels. But increasingly these days, most people are buying them rather than spending the time to decorate at home.  And that’s sad.

Interestingly, the most beautiful of all Easter eggs come from Europe. Most of them are huge chocolate eggs that are wrapped in shiny foil. In the United States, the eggs are much smaller and less elaborate. It’s more about decorating the Easter basket with gifts inside it.

So, where can you find the most beautiful and the finest Easter eggs?

Go for the Eastern European variety. You can certainly try the ones from Ukraine, as they are absolutely gorgeous. The intricate carvings with floral, animal, and geometric motifs are sure to thrill you. They are, of course, available in many other designs as well. The dye quality used is also very good.

Another option is to go for Romanian Easter eggs. Try them from the small and beautiful city of Bucovina, where generations have been decorating stunning eggs for years. It’s become a rich tradition, a way of life, in the city.

The Croats, Hungarians, Czechs, Lithuanians, Belarusians, Poles, Slovaks, and Serbs all make fantastic eggs for the Easter celebrations. Many of the eggs made in these countries have folk art designs on them, and they look exotic. In fact, quite often, you will see that the most beautiful eggs have all been made in Eastern or Central European countries. If you are a connoisseur of Easter eggs, you can tell one just by taking a glance.

Across the European continent, archaeologists have uncovered ornate, egg-shaped artifacts that date back thousands of years, even before Christianity. Brightly-painted plants and flowers in full blossom can be seen on the eggs, so Europe has a rich history of designing their eggs. No wonder they make such beautiful Easter eggs now.

Advertisements
Posted in Europe, Travel Tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Top Spots to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated amid much fanfare across the world. Here are some of the best places for celebrating the big day.

Dublin, Irelandparade-dublinDublin, Ireland, will of course be on any list. The entire city is magically transformed on the occasion. It’s one huge party between March 12th and 19th, with the main event being the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which is held on the 17th in the city center. Every year, there is a unique theme and the parade features artists, theater troupes, dancers, marching bands, and huge puppetry from all over.

Chicago – It is said that the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Chicago attract more than 350,000 spectators, making it one of the biggest. The city has been hosting one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades for the last five decades. You’ll see dancers and floats everywhere, plus the river is dyed green every year. The celebrations last for several days.

New York Cityst_patrickNYC is busy throughout the year, but it gets busier on St. Patrick’s Day. More than two million people attend the parade in the city, during which you’ll see a lot of automobiles, exhibits, and floats. Descendents of Irish soldiers who settled in the US have made it among the biggest events in NYC. The city has been organizing among the longest continuously running parades.

Buenos Aires, Argentina – St. Patrick’s Day is usually celebrated in English-speaking countries, but the two exceptions to this are Argentina and Uruguay. One reason for this is that there’s a very big Irish community in Argentina (the fifth largest in the world). More than 50,000 people participate in the street party held on St. Patrick’s Day. The party goes on for long.

Sydney, Australiast patricks sydneyThere is no better place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a warmer climate than in Sydney. Autumn is about to begin this time of the year and the Irish pubs are busy. There is music everywhere. People from more than 30 Irish counties participate in the parade.

Boston, USA – Boston is known for its Irish heritage and, naturally, the city would be a good place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The celebrations kick off a week before the big day, then there is a parade and the Gaelic Gourmet Gala. There are a lot of Irish band concerts as well.

Posted in Travel Tips | Tagged | Leave a comment

Famous Movie Locations in Paris

French cinema is world famous. The country has given us many acclaimed directors, actors, and films for years. A lot of movies are set in Paris–and not just from French cinema, even Hollywood often comes to France, Paris in particular. Here are some of the more famous movies that have been set in Paris, and the places where they were made.

You can see these places in a single day in the city. It could be interesting to go on a movie tour of Paris.

Le pont Bir-Hakeim – Christopher Nolan’s Inception (metro: Bir-Hakeim)

pont

You could start off by visiting the Seine on the Pont Bir-Hakeim. Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page were seen here bending the laws of physics as we know it in Inception. Of course, you can’t move this bridge with your mind, but you can still get an amazing view of the city. That’s not all. This was also the place where Maria Schneider met Marlon Brando in the classic The Last Tango in Paris.

Montmartre – Café des Deux Moulins – Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie 15 rue Lepic (metro: Blanche)

Café des Deux Moulins

Next, visit the amazing Montmartre. There are plenty of cafés here, but you should go to the cafe of Amélie Poulain. The décor has changed over time, but even today, you will get the same service and the same old authentic French atmosphere. Those who have loved this movie will surely enjoy a visit and its fantastic crême brulée.

L’Avenue des Champs Elysées – Stanley Donan’s Funny Face (metro: Charles de Gaulle)

L’Avenue des Champs Elysées

Follow the footsteps of Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn in the musical Bonjour, Paris! by going to the Arc de Triomphe, moving on to the la Place de la Concorde, and finally on to the banks of the beautiful Seine River. See the movie Funny Face before you travel in Paris and try to identify all the places.

L’Hôtel du Nord – Marcel Carné’s Hôtel du Nord 102 quai de Jemmapes (metro: République)

hotel du nord

The next destination in your tour of movies made in Paris could be to relive the moments from the classic Hôtel du Nord. Visit the restaurant here and have a candlelit dinner. Paris is the city of romance, and there’s no better place to have a romantic dinner in Paris. This hotel in Paris, located on the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin, has retained all its charm and glamour and is in the perfect neighborhood for an evening stroll.

L’Eglise Saint-Étienne-du-Mont – Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ (metro: Cardinal Lemoine)

Saint-Étienne-du-Mont is a church that hardly any tourists visit. But it’s stunning. And here’s one more reason why you should visit this church. Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” was shot here. The church is also the final resting grounds of Pascal and Racine.

Posted in Europe, Paris | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Most Romantic Restaurants in Oklahoma

This article will show you the best romantic restaurants in Oklahoma, USA. Oklahoma is a state in the middle of America and it has two large cities, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

If you’re looking for the romantic dinner in Tulsa or OKC (as it’s endearingly called), don’t worry. Here are five most romantic restaurants in Oklahoma:

1. Castle Falls

Castle falls

The romantic atmosphere of this restaurant in Oklahoma City can be felt as soon as you enter. Decorated like a castle with European nuances, this restaurant is home to some amazing chefs who work diligently to serve an amazing, romantic meal. Many couples come to Castle Falls to celebrate special occasions or to have a romantic dinner.

2. Red Rock Canyon Grill

Canyon Rock

This restaurant is located on Lake Hefner in the north of Oklahoma City. This romantic restaurant in Oklahoma City is very suitable for couples who dream of having an elegant dinner. The staff will let you linger as long as you please, truly taking in the romantic atmosphere, lovely decor, and beautiful lake views.  There is also a location in Tulsa.

3. Nonna’s Euro-American Restaurant

6-nonnas

This romantic Oklahoma City restaurant has excellent menus featuring dishes you’ve never tasted before.  The restaurant’s decor is modern and light with cozy seats and a generally romantic vibe. The bar serves up delicious drinks while the kitchen puts out stellar food.

4. Ti Amo

tiamo

This romantic restaurant in Tulsa is located in the second-largest city in Oklahoma. Ti Amo is recommended for a romantic dinner for those on a budget. This Italian restaurant in Tulsa knows how to treat couples by offering romantic dessert and a wonderful wine list.  There two locations–one in South Tulsa and one right downtown–so having a romantic meal will be convenient no matter where you are.

5. Sonoma Bistro & Wine Bar

Sonoma brunch

When couples come into this restaurant, they will directly served by a Mediterranean style.  This romantic Tulsa restaurant offers an elegant dinner experience with gourmet meals. This restaurant is really famous in Tulsa, so you should plan to make a reservation first.  They also serve up a wonderful brunch, which is worth checking out if you plan on having a romantic weekend in Tulsa, including an overnight in a hotel.  Just wake up in the morning and continue the romance with your brunch at Sonoma.

Those are the best romantic restaurants and bars that you should try with your partner to have a romantic dinner in Oklahoma.

Posted in Usa | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ideas for Traveling to London with Children

London is many things to many people. For some it’s the home of the Queen and the city of British royalty. For others, it is the capital of the country that gave birth to the “Industrial Revolution” and changed the world. There are those who visit London for all its theaters and museums. But London is a great city for kids as well. There is a great choice for them all through 12 months of the year. There are many wonderful places that would make any child or young adult happy. Here are some places kids love, so check them out during your next family trip to London.

Harry Potter’s Londonharry-potter-kings-cross-platform_4d7a0e6db576d-600x400

There are many places in the city for Harry Potter lovers. There is, of course, the Warner Bros. Studio. Then there is the Kings Cross Station from which the Hogwarts Express leaves, but Harry is also seen boarding the Hogwarts Express from the St. Pancras Station. Visit the Leadenhall Market, which was featured in the Philosopher’s Stone as the Diagon Alley. The Tower Bridge can never be missed in London–even Harry flew over it. If you want to explore London with kids and have an itinerary planned for you, check out a Harry Potter tour.

Pollock’s Toy Museum – Different types of toys from across the world are on display here. There is 100-year-old a bruised bear and even a clay mouse from ancient Egypt that goes back 4,000 years. There are dolls, dollhouses, folk toys, tin toys, toy theaters, and more. Toy theater performances are held live and you’ll also find a toy shop as well.

Madame Tussaudsone direction madame tussauds

Madame Tussauds in London has become almost a landmark, and everyone, not just kids, usually puts a stop on their itinerary.  The wax figures of famous people, both historical and contemporary, are on display here. Your child can rub elbows with the Queen, Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Einstein, Picasso, Madonna, Adolf Hitler, and, a new favorite of litter girls everywhere–One Direction.

London Aquarium – This is a must visit when you’re looking for things to do in London with kids. You will find hundreds of species of sea life and fish from across the world in its water tanks. There are sharks, seahorses, starfish, piranhas, gigantic eels, and so much more. Kids might also enjoying seeing divers feeding the fish.

London ZooMeerkats at the London Zoo

The zoo in London is among the better ones in the world as it is home to more than 12,000 animals. There are various interesting sections like the Gorilla Kingdom, Tiger Territory, Penguin Pool, Rainforest Lookout, Blackburn Pavilion, and the Butterfly Paradise. The “Meet the Animals” show is held every day.

London Dungeon – This tour is sure to thrill your child. It’s definitely spooky. There are waxworks, repulsive animatronics, gruesome sound effects, and high-tech 3D elements to make everybody scream. Often, staff members wear believable costumes to make guests jump up and run.

Posted in Travel Tips | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Best Hotels for Fall Events Around the World

First-Thanksgiving-Reenactment

Autumn is a beautiful time of year with lots of things to do and plenty of memories to make.  With trees changing color for a beautiful backdrop, apples to be picked for a fun family day, the crisp air with the warm sunshine, it’s a great time to grab some cider, take in the beautiful changing landscape, and enjoy a wonderful fall holiday before the chill of winter sets in.

And, as with any season, fall has its hallmark festivals and celebrations, and many of them are worth checking out over and over.  Here are some of the top fall events and suggestions on great hotels in the area:

Foliage in New England

One of the most beautiful parts about the fall season is the changing landscape, thanks mainly to the transition of colors as trees change from green to red, yellow, and orange.  While this beautiful phenomenon takes place around the globe, some of the most stunning fall foliage can be found in New England, namely Vermont and Connecticut.  Nestled in the Green Mountains, Vermont’s brilliant colors of fall paint a bronze landscape, and the parklands of Connecticut make for great camping or day trips from New York City.

Vermont hotels for fall foliage include the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, a beautiful hilltop compound that lends stunning views, wonderful accommodations, and lots of fun fall activities.  Other great hotels in Vermont include the Rabbit Hill Inn, a B&B in Lower Waterford, and the Mountain Meadows Lodge near a ski resort in Killington.

Further south and perfect for day trips from Boston or New York, Connecticut also offers wonderful accommodations for fall foliage, including Winvian, a group of individual, uniquely-decorated cottages in Morris.   Other great Connecticut hotel options are the Mayflower Inn & Spa in Washington and the Best Western Regent Inn.

Oktoberfest

One of the most hyped fall events is Oktoberfest, a near two-week annual beer festival in Munich, Germany.  Don your lederhosen and grab your stein—it’s going to be an amazing celebration of beer tastings and fun.

The quaint yet swanky Hotel Seibel is a fantastic Munich hotel for Oktoberfest—it’s actually one of the closest hotels you’ll find to the Oktoberfest site.  Other nice options include Meininger Hotel, which is great for those on a budget, and the Four Points by Sheridan, which is a good choice for those looking for a familiar hotel setting.

Halloween

Many cities around the world can be scary on a daily basis, but some step it to celebrate Halloween.  Particularly in the United States, people dress up on October 31 and take part in spooky spectacles, including haunted houses, costume balls, and ghost tours.  Two must-visit Halloween cities are Salem, Massachusetts, and New York City.  Salem, famous for its witch trails in the late 1600s, Salem is the self-proclaimed Witch City, and every October, Haunted Happenings takes place across the town.  Then there is the West Village Halloween Parade in New York City, when the entire neighborhood is overtaken by a mass of people dressed to the nines in original, elaborate, and truly unique costumes.

Halloween hotels in Salem include the Hawthorne Hotel and the Salem Inn—both of which are said to be haunted, in addition to the Morning Glory B&B.  Hotels in New York City for Halloween include the Washington Square Hotel, the W Union Square, and The Standard along the Hudson River.

Guy Fawkes Night

Every November 5 across Great Britain, you’ll be able to see some spectacular fireworks shows as well as some impressive bonfires as the country celebrates Guy Fawkes Night.  An occasion to commemorate the failed assassination attempt on King James I, the annual bonfires and pyrotechnics continue to fulfill the original order in 1605 to celebrate the king’s survival.

To get amazing views of the Guy Fawkes Night celebrations, head to London hotels near the Thames River.  Some nice hotels in London with views of the river include London Hotel Marriott County Hall, the Wyndham Grand, and The Savoy.

Thanksgiving

One of the biggest holidays in the United States is one that celebrates the coming together of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans in a meal that became known as Thanksgiving.  On the last Thursday in November, Americans get together with friends and family to give thanks for the things in their lives and to eat an enormous meal.  Two wonderful places to celebrate Thanksgiving are Plymouth, Massachusetts, and New York City.  It was in Plymouth that the Pilgrims first settled and where the first Thanksgiving took place, and to this day, Thanksgiving there starts out with a reenactment.  Further south in New York City, Thanksgiving Day starts out with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, featuring enormous balloons that wind their way through Manhattan.

Plymouth hotels include the Best Western Plus Cold Spring and the John Carver Inn and Spa.  Meanwhile, great New York hotels on Thanksgiving include Hotel Pennsylvania, which is right around the corner from the finish line of the parade; the Mandarin Oriental, a swanky spot in the Time Warner Center at the south west corner of Central Park; and the Residence Inn on 6th Avenue just south of Bryant Park.  But keep in mind that these hotels fill up very quickly during the holidays, and as a result, prices can sometimes triple.  As a result, you should book in advance to make sure you find a great deal on your NYC hotel.

Plymouth hotels include the Best Western Plus Cold Spring and the John Carver Inn and Spa.  Meanwhile, budget friendly hotels in New York on Thanksgiving include Hotel Pennsylvania, which is right around the corner from the parade finish line in Herald Square.

Posted in Travel Tips | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Destination Profile: Iceland

reykjavik460x276

The first settler to this then-unknown island in the Atlantic Ocean was a Scandinavian sailor, Ingólfur Arnason, who arrived in 874; although the island was actually named by a Norse Viking. The book of settlements from the 12th Century tells a folk tale that is still repeated today of how Iceland was named by a man called Flóki Vilgeroarson. He sailed there with his livestock and spent so much time and energy fishing and hunting that he didn’t grow any feed for his animals for the winter months. Consequently, his stock died and he returned to his homeland, calling the island a name that represented to him its inhospitable and unpromising state.

Lack of food now won’t be a problem, if you like fish of course, so if you are feeling crowded out at home, take a trip to Iceland. This Nordic island is the most sparsely populated in Europe, and the capital, Reykjavik, is the northernmost capital in the world. With a land area of 103,000 km² and a population of just 320,000, it is easy to see why there are no crowds. The majority of the inhabitants, 99%, live in the urban areas with 60% living in the area of greater Reykjavik.

Puffin002

Iceland is northwest of the United Kingdom, between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Greenland Sea, and has a similar social and market economy to the Scandinavian countries. There is low unemployment, high growth, and, due to an excellent state welfare system, the life expectancy of the residents is high. Being an island, it is not surprising that fishing plays a big part in the economy. 7% of the workforce are in industries related to fishing and 40% of the country’s export earnings come from the same.

The landscape has many glacial rivers that flow out through the lowlands to the sea, but there are also plateaus of lava and sand along with mountains and active volcanoes. The hot springs in Iceland, as well as its geysers, it very popular as a tourist destination. Enjoying Iceland’s hot springs is a national pastime that involves relaxing in one of the 170 geo-thermal pools. The most famous geo-thermal pool is the Blue Lagoon and Iceland tourism mainly centers around that.

Iceland_-_Blue_Lagoon_09_(6571266721)

Most people think of Iceland as a cold place with no sun and plenty of ice and snow, but Iceland strangely enough has a temperate climate and, even though it is just outside the Arctic Circle, the air is warmed by the Gulf Stream. The highest temperature ever recorded was 30.5ºC in 1939, which is really surprising, and the lowest a rather chilly -38ºC in 1918. The weather is responsible for the phenomena that in mid-winter means there are no daylight hours, it is dark all the time, and in June and July, the reverse happens and there are no hours of darkness.

Iceland Northern Lights

Other things to do in Iceland include whale watching, seeing cute little puffins, watching the Northern Lights, checking out the Gullfoss waterfall, and eating some really interesting food.  A trip to Iceland is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Posted in Europe | Tagged | Leave a comment