Archive for » May, 2014 «

Travel Europe: Rich in history – Part 3

Europe is rich in history and culture with some famous cities. European travel in nations like France, Greece, England, Spain, Italy and Germany can offer attractive tourist destinations.

To begin with, England is home to one of Europe’s most populated and exciting cities. The city of London, found in southeast England, is one with a rich history steeped in the Houses of Parliament. From Big Ben, to the Tower of London, there are a number of interesting landmarks to see. London also has notable art galleries like the Tate Modern, in addition to various food and drink localities. Outside the city, you could visit Blackpool, Manchester, or the county of Devonshire, which has good beaches and coastal settings. England travel by train is easy enough, via Waterloo station in London.

If seeking a more Mediterranean flavor, then travel Italy for a sample of southern Europe. The Italian nation is home to the city of Rome, home of old Coliseums, and some notable architecture like the Pantheon. The most popular museum found in the city, is the National Museum of Rome, but other museums worth a visit are the Capitoline Museums. For art lovers, the National Gallery of Modern Art is also worth a look. Likewise, you can sample some fine Italian cuisine from pasta to pizza!

Travel Spain and you will be visiting another southern European nation, which is popular with tourists. Spain’s most notable city is Barcelona. Barcelona is a coastal city, with access to beaches available for a summer trip. In addition, the city boasts famous architecture produced by the likes of Antoni Gaudi. You can visit his designs, or likewise cathedrals like the Sagrada Familia. The world-renowned Gran Teatre del Liceu opera is a great venue for music and theatre. There are also a number of other popular resorts like Mallorca, and the Costa Blanca found in Spain.

Germany, France and Greece also offer popular European travel destinations. Travel France and you will invariably find Paris, the capital of the nation and home to the Eiffel Tower, Arc Del Triomph and famous art galleries like the Louvre, home of the Mona Lisa painting. Greece travel offers such sights as the Parthenon in Athens, dating back to ancient times. Travel Germany, from Berlin to Munich you will find great beer, sausages and landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate.

Whatever you are seeking from a holiday, Europe can most likely satisfy it. Travel Europe, and be sure not to miss out Spain, France, England, Italy, Greece or Germany!

Hotel Chain Expands to Spain

Travelodge Budget Hotel Company has expanded to Spain with one location set in beautiful Madrid and another in Barcelona.

The UK budget hotel chain recently announced a one billion euro expansion plan for Spain and plans to open 100 more affordable hotels and create two thousand jobs in Spain by the year 2020.

This follows successful trials at Travelodge Madrid Las Rozas in Madrid and Travelodge Barcelona Hospitalet in Barcelona. Travelodge in Spain is ripe for growth and hotels in Valencia, Malaga, Zaragoza and Bilbao are set to join the two pilot sites in Madrid and Barcelona.

The budget hotel chain desires leadership in the emerging Spanish affordable hotel market. Travelodge hopes to double in size by 2011; taking advantage of growth in the sector.

Chief executive Grant Hearn said he believes there is a very strong growth pattern outlook for the next 10-15 years. The pilot program demonstrated that the Travelodge model works in Spain and the time is right to capitalize on this demand. The company learned some sixty percent of their UK 1.5 million online customers are planning holidays to Spain in the next three years.

‘Spain is the logical place for us to start our overseas expansion,’ says Hearn. ‘We are very excited about our plans for Spain, an important longer-term growth strategy.’

‘Spanish travellers take 143 million trips a year and there were only 100 budget hotels in Spain,, says Mr. Hearn. According to Travelodge, the budget sector is the fastest growing part of the hotel business.

Travelodge said it was first drawn to Spain by the favorable conditions. It will target businesses first, followed by British tourists whom regularly visit Spain.

Only a quick flight away from the UK, Spain has consistently been a favorite destination for British tourists since the 1950′s. Less than two hours by air, Spain offers luxuries that aren’t readily available in the UK. Diverse cultures and customs have more to offer than miles of beautiful white sandy beaches and clear waters with year-round spring temperatures.

Spain is also rich in monumental heritage, great food and entertainment – all of which bring many British tourists to Spain year after year.

British tourists who want to enjoy more than the beautiful beaches of Spain take in day trips to nearby areas that include some of the world’s best golf courses, swimming pools and lush forests.

Convenient locations of Travelodge in Spain, enhanced with comforts of home and modern amenities, complete the Spanish holiday experience to offer exciting possibilities to British travelers.

Low cost flights have made trips to Spain a real possibility for British tourists as well. This has been instrumental to the growing number of British citizens taking holidays in Spain. Since the 1960′s air travel prices have steadily dropped and became available to a wider customer range. This makes Spain a very desirable vacation spot for many British tourists.

The budget hotel chain Travelodge was recently bought by Dubai International Capital in a 675m deal. The current management team, which includes chief executive Grant Hearn and Chairman Keith Hamill, will stay onboard after the sale has completed.

The Insider’s Guide to Shopping in Barcelona

Shopping in Barcelona is a favorite pastime. Whether strolling along the elegant Paseo de Gracia or nipping in and out of trendy botiques in the Born, to go shopping here can be one of many things. Here you will find beautiful clothing, unique footwear, and interesting artwork as a herald to the city’s cultural and artistic demographic. Not only do the Spanish have an impeccable eye for style, but they are beautiful craftsmen as well. Thus, there are endless options for every taste. From designer purses to handmade scarves, antique books to original Picassos, this city by the sea does seem to have it all. The mission then, is to go out and find it! In this article you’ll find information about shopping opportunities in various areas of Barcelona.

Plaza Catalunya

The Plaza Catalunya serves as a great starting point for many outings, and most certainly for a day of shopping. From here, along the many streets that sprawl out from the square like spider’s legs, you can do your shopping for shoes, clothes, and accessories at many of the country’s national brands. Stores like Zara, Bershka, Mango, and Blanco all offer good essential finds at very reasonable prices. The main avenue of the Ramblas, the Ronda Universitat, and the Puerta del Angel are all main thoroughfares for fashion-finders. Of course if you’d rather get your exercise in the mountains, the mega department store El Corte Ingles can be found in the very Plaza Catalunya and requires no more than hopping on the escalator to explore its 7 floors of goods.

Shopping centres

Although popping in and out of stores while exploring the streets of the city is a great way to multi-task, there are several shopping centers within the city for those who prefer  a no-nonsense day of shopping. Also, while most stores will remain closed on Sundays, the big shopping centers will be operating 7 days a week and are therefore great options for weekend travelers. Maremagnum and L’illa Diagonal are the two main malls, and are both easy to get to. Maremagnum is located in the old port and is home to countless shops of all types and price ranges, as well as restaurants, bars, and clubs. It can be accessed by Metro lines 3 and 4, Drassanes and Barceloneta stops respectively. L’illa Diagonal is a three-story mega complex which, like the former, affords a day’s worth of shopping and price-comparing on an endless array of items. Here too are plenty of restaurants and bar to refuel at throughout the day. L’illa Diagonal can be reached by Metro line 3, Maria Cristina stop.

Artsy and unique: Raval, Gothic and Born

If you’re seeking something a bit more unique and are willing to explore, then I would definitely recommend venturing into the dark, narrow streets of the Gothic, Raval, and Born neighborhoods. Each has its own character and offerings and is worth discovering on its own terms. The Raval, although until recently known more as a red-light district than for mainstream traffic, has recently been transforming itself as a hub for young artists, students, and immigrants ready to forge out their own enclave. Shops with handmade crafts and imported art can be found along Calle Fernandina, which juts out from the square in front of the MacBa. Another fun street is Carrer dels Tallers, just off the top of the Ramblas, where you can find record and poster shops, funky footware, and hippy stores selling typical lounge-clothing and accessories.

Crossing the Ramblas to the north and entering the Gothic Quarter is yet another ambience. Here you’ll find plenty of clothing, art, and jewelry stores, some more authentic than others as this neighborhood has been pretty much overrun by tourist flats and hotels and has likewise catered to this population. There are some interesting finds here though, such as a huge ceramic warehouse full of locally made pots, vases, plates, and tiles on Carrer dels Escudellers. Heading a bit further north, after crossing the Via Laietana, the ultra-trendy hood of the Born sits quietly and is full of hidden jewels along the ever so elusive side streets. Here many an up-and-coming Barcelonese designer has set up their storefront, showcasing original, beautiful, and usually pretty pricy creations.

Rattanland is still trusted as Rattan Furniture exporter company

Rattanland Furniture, internationally recognized for quality rattan furniture, unveiled its newest rattan products. The new collection line perfectly blends rattan’s durable trait and the intrinsic designs of Rattanland’s skilled and experienced team. Newest products – Cuba Collection, Cuba Love Seat, Jamaica Collection, Jamaica Love Seat, Hawaii Collection, Hawaii Sofa , Adelaide, Constanta Dining Set, Le Havre Club Chair, and Cyprus Corner Set.

The complete collected works of Rattanland include product lines of dining chairs, baskets, racks, storages, bed room, lamps, tables, living room and other home accessories.

Provide your family, friends and visitors a different experience with Rattanland’s elegant and simple dining set and chairs – Liverpool Chair, Paris Waterhyacinth Set, St. Carolina Dining Set, Amazon Set, Lahti Dining Chair, Elgar Side Chair, Tokyo Dining Set, Aspen Arm Chair are just to name few.

If you want a different twist for your ordinary furnishing and equipment at home – then try Rattanland’s baskets, racks, storages, lamps and other miscellaneous items. Special designs to suit different moods will definitely give you a difficult time to choose from their countless products. The catalog includes Pyramid Lamp, Hanging Lamps, Guitar Lamps, Mushroom Lamps, Elephant Basket, Lalabata Basket, Magazine Racks, Narrow Rack, Indiana Rack, Wichita Bench, Thurso Bench, Obia Mirror, Laundry Box with Cushion, Japanese Pillow, Cirebon Stool and Abaca Carpet.

Energize your living room with Rattanland’s specially designed sets. For simple and elegant looking pieces try the following – Bavaria Set, Bosanova Set, Eureka Set, Charlotte Set, San Juan Seagrass, Barcelona Croco Set, Palm Beach Set, Haiti Wing Set, Bahamas Waterhyacinth, San Antonio Set, Rio de Janeiro Set, Cleopatra Set, Casablanca Set. For people who want a little distinctiveness in their surrounding you could try the following – Watson Round Sofa, Brasil Chair, Esperance Chair and New Cleopatra Set.

For a more contemporary interior with a blend of sleek, stylish rattan look then try their aluminum furniture collection. This includes Canberra Chair, Limasol Chair, Stockholm Lazy Chair, Miramar Set, Sacramento Chair, Verona Chair, Oslo Table, Tenerife Arm Chair, Ancona Chair, Bobadella Chair and Lanzarote Arm Chair to name some.

If you still can’t get enough the try putting a stylish approach to your homes with their Home Accessories set – Grid Sketsel, Teak Aluminum Sketsel, Grid Tray, Buttler Tray and Bath Mat.

Rattanland uses fine and superior materials in all of their collection line. Abaca comes from black banana tree. Abacas are very strong and have a beautiful natural shade. Banana natural is another material used. Its color is white or beige and suitable for making living sets. Brankas water hyacinth on the other hand is taken from lakes and rivers. It is dried until it turns into light brown or yellow. Seagrass is also used and prepared from wild weeds. Its natural color is green and mostly used for dining chairs.

For more than 7 years, Rattanland’s elegant and durable collected works have reached more than 40 countries. It is not surprising anymore why their clients find comfort and satisfaction in the furniture they produce.

Sporting Holidays In Barcelona

You must consider traveling to Barcelona, if you are planning for your sporting holidays. You can find a number of sporting facilities in Barcelona. The city has long sporting tradition. Barcelona hosted several matches of 1982 Football World Cup, but the 1992 Summer Olympics was the major sports event in the city. The city has also been host to the X FINA World Championships and Eurobasket twice.

Barcelona is home to FC Barcelona sports club, one of the biggest sports clubs of Europe. Futbol Club Barcelona, also known as Barça, is famous for its football team that is one of the dominating teams in the Spanish league and the UEFA Champions League. FC Barcelona football team was champion of the 2005 and 2006 Spanish League, commonly known as “La Liga.” The team was also the 2006 UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Champions League, also known as the European Cup.

Along with Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, FC Barcelona was one of the founding members of La Liga in 1928. It was the first La Liga champion. It is one of the most successful clubs with 18 La Liga, 24 Copa del Rey, 7 Supercopa de España, 2 UEFA Champions League, 4 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, 3 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup/UEFA Cup, and 2 European Super Cup trophies under its belt.

Barcelona offers you two UEFA 5-star rated football stadiums – FC Barcelona’s Nou Camp and Espanyol’s Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys. The Nou Camp, located in the Les Corts section of Barcelona, and the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, located in the Sants-Montjuïc part of Barcelona were the stadiums used for the 1992 Olympics.

FC Barcelona also has teams in the Spanish basketball ACB league (Winterthur FCB), the handball ASOBAL league (FC Barcelona-Cifec), and the roller hockey league. The Palau Blaugrana is the basketball team’s stadium that is just across from the Camp Nou football stadium. The club also has amateur teams in several other sports including athletics, baseball, cycling, field hockey, figure skating, and volleyball. The club also has a museum, the second most visited museum in Catalonia. With estimated revenue of €259.1 million, FC Barcelona was the second richest club in the world during the 2005-06 seasons.

Additionally, Joventut Badalona is another well-known basketball club in the area. Often, there are several famous competitions organized year-round in Barcelona. Some of these competitions include Cursa del Corte Inglés, Cursa de la Mercè, Cursa Jean Bouin, Milla Sagrada Família and the San Silvestre. The Open Seat Godó is a 50-year-old ATP Tour International Series Gold tennis tournament, which is organized annually in the facilities of the Reial Club de Tenis Barcelona (Barcelona Royal Tennis Club).

Besides, you can enjoy swimming race across the port, which is organized during Christmas every year. The Formula One Spanish Grand Prix and the Catalan motorcycle Grand Prix are hosted by the Circuit de Catalunya racetrack in Montmeló, near Barcelona. Barcelona has also grown popular with skateboarders.

Enjoying Your Travels To Spain

Thinking about traveling to Spain? Spain – located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula – continues to be one of the most popular tourist attractions and vacation spots just as much today as it has always been in the past. Maybe you’re wondering about where to visit in Spain… Maybe you want to learn more about its history and experience its tremendous influence in European art… Whatever your reasons for wanting to visit are, you’re certainly bound to enjoy the rich culture, customs, and history of this country once you’ve arrived there.

As you can imagine, the architecture of Barcelona, the Holy Monstreat, and the Toledo cathedral make this a popular coordinate. And because this is such a hot travel spot, you’re advised to make your airline reservations, hotel reservations, and car rental preparations early – three to four months in advance as a matter of fact – especially when tourism is likely to be high (summer months, holidays, etc.). If you prefer to travel “off-season,” – that is, during a time when tourism is low, you may not need to make such early reservations. In the latter case, one month-advanced preparation may suffice.

After you’ve made your reservations, you can fulfill the rest of your time preparing for everything that Spain has to offer. One of the ways that you can do that is by taking a local trip to your favorite library and perusing the immense number of books about Spain. By doing this, you can prepare yourself with the language – perhaps even check out a few books or audio tapes of the language (if available) and additionally learn about Spain’s monetary system.

You should always learn about entry requirements, inoculations and other safety information you might need before you go not only to Spain – but also just about anywhere out of the country. But you can also familiarize yourself with the dress of the land and maybe try a few local restaurants that serve Spanish cuisine and play a little of its native music. Of course you can always visit your museum and inquire about the art of the land so that you’ll know what to look for once you get there – in particular, the works of El Greco. The idea here is to educate yourself amid all the excitement of visiting a place so rich in culture!

Now some people like spontaneity – a little adventure – the unknown – whatever you want to call it, but some of us like to create an itinerary of things to do and places to go. If you’re the “planning type,” then you might appreciate taking the time to map out your excursion. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that – seeing that you’re visiting a new area, your chances of being bored or going against spontaneity are very slim because Spain has so much to offer to each one of your physical senses!

When and if you create such an itinerary, some of the things that you will want to include of course are things like times to eat, take tours, attend shows, and (our favorite) shop! You might think that this information is hard to find but thanks to the Internet, it really isn’t’ hard to find at all. If you’re working with a travel agent, then your efforts to fill an itinerary should be pretty minimal. But if you’re working alone, you can certainly visit the tourist websites of Spain and create your own chart of things to discover and enjoy.

If you’re handy with the native language of Spain (which you might have correctly guessed is Spanish), you can certainly read a few online Spanish newspapers to find events and locals that might be of interest to you. Chances are that you’ll find a lot more entertainment information by reading a Spanish newspaper than you would if you solely relied on an English interpretation.

Once you’ve arrived and have found transportation to your hotel, you can inquire further to find even more interests. By this time, you should be speaking a little Spanish so that you can effectively communicate and exchange money with your hotel manager:

Hola! (Hello)
Gracias! (Thank You)
Como te llamas? (What’s your name?)
Como estas? (How are you?)
Me llamo… (My name is…)
Soy de United States of America (I’m from the United States of America)
No comprendo (I don’t understand)
Por favor (please)
Me numero de telefono es el… (My phone number is [and then the numbers in Spanish [uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco, etc.)

You’ll of course want to learn how to ask for other important things like help and/or directions. These are some of the things that will make your trip to Spain more enjoyable – especially as you converse with the natives and experiment with new foods or amusements that you hadn’t even planned for! Just remember to pack your camera or your small video cam so that you can record your experience and enjoy them with loved ones back home.

Travel in Spain by Taxi

Traveling by taxi in Spain provides an extremely convenient way to move about and “sight-see.” Like traveling by taxi in the United States, minimum charges accompany metered mileage plus a small additional fee for baggage and evening – night – or holiday drives.

Spain Driving Tips

European Union citizens (18 years or older) must own a national driving license to drive in Spain, however non-European Union citizens (18 years or older) also need an International Driving Permit as well. Both types of citizens must have car insurance and identification (license, passport, etc.) by law, is required at all times. Seat belts must be worn by all passengers, and travelers under the age of 14 must be seated in the back seat of the vehicle. When driving, remember that driving positions are reversed to American drivers. You must yield to on-coming traffic from junctures and traffic circles.

Special care should be taken to restrict your driving to the main routes outlined on the most recent maps of this area as other routes may not be appropriate for driving (dirt roads, mountain passes, etc.). In urban areas, you can conveniently refuel your vehicle from unleaded or diesel gas stations. But if you’ll drive for long periods of time, it’s wise to completely fill your tank, as fuel stations are sparse in rural sections of the country.

Driving speeds are generally restricted to 30 mph to 56 mph, however driving speeds can increase from 62 mph to 75 mph on highways with more than two lanes. Be prepared to pay both variable and fixed toll charges associated with city entry ways.

Traveling in Spain by Car / Car Rental

Because Spain’s city centers are so popular, you are cautioned to avoid driving in these areas – especially since the narrow roads in these places can accommodate traffic traveling in one direction only. In addition, parked automobiles make driving extremely difficult. Traveling by car rental is best accomplished by following a current map of its roads – which offer views that are nothing short of amazing.

Truly Travel Spain: Essential Destinations


There is no superior starting place for your travel to Spain than the grand and enchanting streets of Barcelona. There is never a dull moment in this city that literally never sleeps, especially in the summer months. Barcelona is studded with the unmistakable modernism of Antoni Gaudi, who single-handedly landed the city on the architectural map. A stroll down the grand avenue Passeig de Gracia will take you directly in front of both Casa Batllo and Casa Mila, which are incredible feats of art and design and fully accessible to the public. Make reservations to have cocktails and watch the sun set on the Alice In Wonderland-like rooftop of Casa Mila (only available for the summer season). Wind your way through the narrow passages of the Gothic Quarter, the oldest part of town, until you find the overwhelming and unmistakable Gothic Cathedral (just remember to watch your pockets!).

Just an hour north of Barcelona in the town of Figueres is Northern Spain’s most interesting and unique museum. The Dali museum is so extraordinary because it was designed and constructed by the artist himself and the collection of his works is unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. The coastline north of Barcelona, extending to the French border, is known as the Costa Brava and is one of the Mediterranean’s most exclusive and beautiful vacation destinations. Additionally, Catalonia’s countryside is spotted with superb Spanish wine vineyards and olive groves. Once you fall in love with Barcelona, it will be extremely difficult to leave; however, there are a few other gems in the north to explore in order to have really traveled Spain.

San Sebastian (Donostia)

A blend of cosmopolitan chic and sophisticated resort town, San Sebastian offers all the luxuries of a big city while providing the Atlantic coastline with its most popular beach getaway. San Sebastian, the heart and soul of the Basque region, is widely known for its world-class restaurants and irresistible tapas bars; its location just south of the French border has added a unique flare to the culture and cuisine found nowhere else in Spain. Just a short bus ride inland takes you to Bilbao, home of Frank O. Gehry’s spectacular architectural triumph, the Guggenheim Museum. This is one stop that must be made when you travel Spain!


The captivating words of Hemmingway and the dangerous art of bull running are inescapable symbols of this historic township. Another cultural staple of the Basque region, Pamplona should be a stop on as you travel Spain in July when La Fiesta de San Fermin (The Running of the Bulls) takes place over 14 days. The population of 250,000 explodes to over 1 million, so reserve a place to stay early or simply do what the locals do: eat, drink and dance in the streets until the sun comes up and the bulls begin to run!

Months would be needed to travel Spain’s diverse cultures and distinct regions. With more limited time, these fascinating destinations provide an intimate window into the authentic Spanish way of life.

Where To Find The Best Nightlife When In Barcelona!

You have to ask yourself what you have in mind. If it is sun and sea that you are after, then you will do well to find yourself at a coastal town or on an island somewhere. If, however, you are after some great nightlife mixed in with some culture, then Barcelona should be first on your list.

Barcelona is one of the best places to go to see architecture both modern and old. There are enough museums to keep any cultural enthusiast happy for weeks as well as making those who don’t have much of an interest in anything cultural into cultural enthusiasts in a very short space of time.

This is all good and well for during the day. You can find yourself a great hotel in the vicinity of the old section of the town so that you can enjoy the architectural culture. However, you have to take the nightlife into account for when you want to experience Barcelona after dark. This is when the city really wakes up and comes to life.

A larger part of Barcelona’s culture is built on tapas. This is something you have to experience for yourself. If you walk into any bar after dark, you will be amazed at the free snacks that are on offer. Just make sure you save enough space for your meal afterwards because on the Barcelona main strip it is where you will find some of the best restaurants.

After dinner, you should head down to one of the pubs. Being an international city, you will find a wide range of clubs from which to choose. The standard pubs are the Irish ones but you should try the Catalan pubs if you want to experience something really different.

It would be wise to choose your accommodation carefully if you plan on having a few big nights.

Although there are always cabs and buses, the closer you stay to your favorite hangout the better. There is plenty of top class accommodation to choose from in Barcelona and there is enough to suit any budget. The city has all the world famous hotels as well as many self-catering holiday apartments. If you want to come and go as you please then self-catering is a better bet. However, if you want the structure of a hotel and the extras in terms of day tours and shuttles it provides then you can look for a hotel that suits your budget.

Some of the best bars to visit include L’Arquer, London Bar and Miramelinda. L’Arquer is definitely something you have not experienced before due to the fact that there are designated archery lanes. If you think this is up your alley, then you should book soon. You will definitely not be disappointed.

Paradise for Animal Lovers

Barcelona Zoo is a fantastic Zoo situated in Park Ciutadella. If one is an animal lover and enjoy visiting Zoos, one will love Barcelona Zoo. The Zoo has a wide variety of animals, birds, reptiles, marine life & insects. At the weekends the Zoo puts on the famous Dolphin shows, which are an absolute must. With a many eating areas, a shop, electric cars, ponies, a mini-train & much more, you will have a great day out no matter what age a person is.

Barcelona Zoological Park first opened its gates on the Day of the Mercè, patron saint of Barcelona, 1892. The collection of animals on show there came from a private collection kept by Lluis Marti i Codolar at La Granja Vella, his estate in Horta. He offered the animals to Barcelona City Council, and the mayor, Manuel Porcar, gave his approval to their purchase and the subsequent move to the publicly-owned site that was left vacant in Ciutadella Park after the 1888 Universal Exposition.

One of the most excellent features of the zoo is that it is located directly next to the Catalan parliament. The zoo is a very pleasant day out with a surprisingly large and varied number of animals in quite a small area.

Other highlights at the zoo include dolphin shows and killer whale show. The adventure playground seems like a great place for kids. A large chunk of the Parc de la Ciutadella is taken up with the city’s zoo. Until recently, the main attraction was Copito de Nieve (Snowflake), the only albino gorilla in captivity in the world. He died but left behind a large family of children and grandchildren. Despite losing its star attraction, there are still plenty of other reasons to visit Barcelona’s Zoo, and one is the pleasant leafy garden setting itself. Many of the enclosures are bar less and the animals kept in place via a moat. Barcelona’s Zoo is probably a lot more progressive than many other zoos on the continent and children will delight at the mountain goats, llamas, lions, bears, hippos, huge primate community, and dozens of other species. There are also a dolphin show and sizable reptile enclosure and an exhibition on the extinction of gorillas in Snowflake’s memory; from the time he was captured in Equatorial Guinea in 1966 through his rise to celebrity status and the city’s mascot.

Barcelona Zoo mission is the conservation of animal species through European programs for breeding in captivity, including the black vulture, the Gila monster, the anteater, Rothschild’s giraffe and the mhorr gazelle. The zoo also promotes veterinary research and organizes educational activities, including programs for schools.

Barcelona Zoo is set in a magnificent garden, covering 13 hectares of Ciutadella Park and containing a collection of some 7,500 individual animals belonging to more than 400 species from all over the world. Barcelona Zoo adheres to the World Zoo Conservation Strategy and hence carries out a series of activities.

Today education is considered as the main purpose of any zoo, and the reason for its existence. In order to achieve this goal there is an Education Department whose prime aim is to make certain that those members of the public who visit the Zoo throughout the year learn to understand, appreciate, respect and love animals, which is a great asset towards the safeguarding of wildlife and nature.

Airline Tickets – Top 10 Tips for Backpackers

Here is some practical advice on purchasing airline tickets:

1. There can be a huge difference in price for an airline ticket depending on where it is bought, so it is worthwhile to shop around. There are several sites on the Internet which compare the best price for a particular itinerary. They are sometimes restricted to only citizens or residents of a particular country; use a search engine to find a suitable one for your country.

2. These days there are many budget airlines around such as which budget and ETN. Check them out to find out if there are any budget airlines flying to your destination. Note that the budget airline´s definition of Paris and Barcelona may mean an 80 minute bus ride to the centre of the city.

3. Some airlines offer bundles where you get a number of domestic flights if you buy the international flight with them. This can be great value.

4. If you are travelling for a longer period of time you can check out round-the-world tickets which can be of great value but often have restrictions e.g. you must keep flying in the same direction and can not go back.

5. It may be cheaper to go to typical business destinations during holidays and holiday destinations during low season.

6. If you think that your plans may change look what the fine print says about cancellations and rebooking.

7. Some countries require you to have a return ticket in order to let you into the country. If you plan on entering by air and leaving the country by land this can be a problem.

8. If you are on a special diet make sure to communicate this when booking and also during check-in.

9. If you miss your flight because you arrive late at the airport or because you mix up the dates of your flight you may be allowed to take another flight either free or for a charge without having to buy a new ticket. It all depends on your airline so try to put on your sorriest face when you go there.

10. Check with your airline if you need to reconfirm your ticket a few days before you go back.

Mohammed has 10 camels. He sells 12 camels. The first people to collect their camels get them. As the last two persons come to collect their camels Mohammed says “Sorry but sometimes people buy camels and do not collect them so I sell some camels twice. I will get some new camels next week: you can get yours then, please have this chewing gum as compensation.” This is exactly what airlines do. They sell more tickets than they have seats hoping that some people will not show up. Well sometimes too many people show up which means that some people get bumped off the flight. To make sure that person is not you reconfirm your flight and show up early at the airport. If you are bumped off the flight you can get compensation, assistance, food and hotel paid for. If you are not in a hurry you can even volunteer to give up your seat for compensation.

Frequent flyer programs

Frequent flyer programs allow you to collect bonus points which can be used in exchange for flights or other services such as hotel rooms or rental cars. Airlines use these programs to create loyalty among travellers and give them incentives for booking with them even though other airlines may offer better rates. Many passengers end up never using their bonus points so think twice before buying a more expensive flight just because you have a frequent flyer card with the airline. There are usually a very limited amount of seats available for frequent flyers so if you plan to use your miles book well in advance.