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Berlin, quite surprisingly, has more water surfaces and bridges (650 approx) than Venice, Amsterdam and Stockholm put together! This beautiful capital city and heartbeat of Germany, Berlin is a fascinating place year round with a vast array of attractions to entice all visitors to it again and again especially in the Winter months when its 7 Christmas Markets are out in full force. From traditional markets selling Christmas arts and crafts including hand-blown glass objects, jewellery to mulled wine and cinnamon buns, visiting these markets is a fantastic and fun lead up to Christmas for all the family.

Sightseeing is intense in Berlin…from the remnants of the former Wall to the Brandenburg Gate to Checkpoint Charlie, there is a lot to see in Berlin. A short city break is usually not enough to take in all the historical sights of this legendary city and a second visit is usually imminent on any first-time traveller’s agenda. The transport system in Berlin is, justifiably, known as one of the most efficient in Europe and connects Berlin with the rest of Germany and European countries.

With so many airlines operating routes to Berlin’s main international Tegel airport and a whole crop of low cost carriers now flying to Schonefeld Airport too, it’s never been easier to visit Berlin. Berlin specialists, www.myberlin.co.uk offer fantastic, low prices for a city break to Berlin. They combine cheap flight and discounted hotel packages at top quality hotels including the 5 star Westin Grand Hotel. Check out the offers now as these prices are unbelievably excellent value for money and are not going to be around forever!

As Berlin is just an hour’s flying time from the UK, it makes for the perfect city break, both midweek and weekend. Whether for shopping, sightseeing or for the Christmas Markets, Berlin also makes a great culinary break for food lovers. Try authentic sauerkraut, spicy sausages, schnitzels and pretzels washed down with one of the 800 varieties of beers found in the Bavarian region of Germany. I would recommend you visit Berlin at any time of the year but more so at Christmas when the city is lit up by thousands of twinkling lights and the air is crisp with a hint of snowfall beginning to cloak the city with its velvety texture – that’s the best time to go to Berlin!


Slovenia property investment is hot and it has recently been named one of the best 10 countries to invest in the world. This article will look at Slovenia property investment and the potential for capital growth which has been estimated at up to 280% over the next ten years.

When investing in overseas property a number of factors need to be considered which include:

The countries Political stability, economic growth and housing values at the present compared to possible future growth.

Slovenia property investing has become popular with savvy property investors all over the world, due to its potential to earn great capital growth and solid rental incomes from the buoyant buy-to-let market.

1. Economy

One of the newest members of the European Union (joining in 2004) with the top performing economy of any of the recent member states.

Government macro economic policies have seen Slovenia achieve and sustain great growth.

The Slovenian economy features:

Small external imbalances and public debt, while at the same time lowering inflation and keeping interest rates in line with the rest of the euro economy. EU entry has increased confidence which in turn has increased trade and increased growth, and overseas investment has increased steadily as a result and this has also seen property investment rise dramatically.

Per capita incomes have reached about 80 percent of EU-average for year end 2006.

With growth rates running at around 5% per annum Slovenia’s economic future looks solid. It is this economic expansion which is driving house prices up, as higher incomes and people looking for second overseas homes has increased the demand for quality housing stock.

2. Geography & Communications

Slovenia is only small, compact country and is around half the size of Switzerland or the size of Wales, yet it is beautiful with diverse scenic beauty.

Located to the east of the Trieste region of Italy, it also has borders with Croatia, Austria and Hungary making it a country at the crossroads between the established western economies and the new emerging nations of the east.

Slovenia makes a great base to explore a host of nearby countries and attractions – Venice, Prague and Budapest are all within a day trip.

Many investors who buy a Slovenia investment property are skiers. You can Ski in three countries in one day with one ski pass in these three countries Italy, Austria and of course Slovenia

Slovenia has good infrastructure and communications which is great news for the economy and tourism generally.

With budget airlines flying direct to Slovenia and offering frequent and cheap flights, more people are getting easy access to the delights of this country.

3. Beauty

Slovenia is a beautiful country. The country features all the following:

Stunning mountains, tranquil lakes, alpine forests, valleys, dotted with vineyards and finally, a beautiful stretch of Adriatic coastline. There are also bustling cities and towns such as the capital Ljubljana, the coastal town of Piran with their many attractions and plenty more. Ljubljana is popular with investors and has been compared to Prague and features beautiful baroque architecture, lovely church spires and a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

There is much to enjoy and that leads on to next point which is boosting Slovenia property investment.

4. Tourism

Tourism is rapidly becoming one of the most important industries in Slovenia, as it catches up with its neighbors who have promoted their tourist industries more aggressively until now.

5. Quality Housing

The capital has become popular with overseas property investors, who are taking advantage of growth rates of 30 – 40% per annum. The city reflects the economic growth of the country and new housing is lagging behind demand. This is due to strict local planning laws, which are restricting the flow of quality housing and demand is out stripping supply.

Primorska on the coast and the mountainous area of Gorenjska are the next most expensive places to buy in Slovenia but offer great returns.

6. A Boom in Its Infancy

Property booms tend to last for a long time and the boom in Slovenia investment property looks to be no different. With prices starting at around £40,000 and a wide choice of areas that remain relatively undeveloped there is a wide choice to suit all tastes and budgets.

7. Potential

With capital growth forecast to be up to 280% for the next decade, Slovenian investment property offers solid returns in a safe and stable environment.

You can of course also get rental incomes in the major towns such as Ljubljana and a host of other developing areas offering Slovenian property for sale which include:

The holiday resorts of Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, Maribor, the beautiful coastal city of Piran and the ski resorts of the Kranska Gora region, as well as the Soca Valley – an area of outstanding natural beauty.

8. Ease of Purchase

The buying process in Slovenia is designed to protect both buyers and sellers and local finance is also available from banks and secured locally on the property. All details are held at a central Land registry, making ownership rights clearly visible to all – which is not the case in many countries!

9. Its Safe & Friendly

Slovenia has friendly, helpful, courteous people and an absence of serious crime making it a welcoming country which leaves an impression on all who visit the country.

Slovenia property Investment offers overseas buyers a lot and buying property in Slovenia has never been more popular and it’s easy to see why.

Discover Slovenia property investment and you maybe glad you did.


What are your plans for the weekend? Is a weekend break in Europe in your agenda? A break from the hectic lifestyle is wanted for everyone. No one likes to retreat to the confines of their home. In fact they want to explore the whole world outside their offices. That is true, we are dealing with more than enough of pressure in our offices. We shall just make the most out of our off days. Getting away from the country literally turns to getting away from everything that puts you under pressure. Now weekend breaks in Europe are quite common.

What makes weekend breaks in Europe so common? It is the advancement in technology and opening up of newer aerial routes between US and European destinations that help one plan a short outing to Europe. The charm of Venice, London, Paris, among many others are a passion for people like me for unknown reasons. Some people may also have nostalgic feelings to visit the motherland of their parents. The idea of flying out of the country also is an inspiration for many.

The nostalgic feeling we have towards Europe is true. Many among us have parents or parents’ parents in different parts of Europe. My wife and I visited Germany last year, primarily to visit her ailing mother. The trip turned out to be a great experience for both of us. She now wants weekend breaks in Europe every now and then, and me I am not satisfied with the short trips. Let me see how I can make the trips longer.

It is quite simple and easy to plan weekend breaks in Europe. You don’t even have to leave the seat you are sitting on now to book a European trip. Just open Google in this page or another page and key in “weekend breaks in Europe” and you will be presented with a large number of travel packages specially designed for weekend travelers who want to explore the locations of serenity in Europe.

Different packages are always available. Check out the websites of different travel agencies that offer weekend Europe packages. Soon you will be flying to Europe more frequently to spend your weekends.


Amsterdam the official capital of the Netherlands, stays on the banks of two bodies of water, the IJ bay and the Amstel river. Founded in the late 12th century as a little fishing village on the banks of the Amstel, it is at this time the most larger city in the country and its financial and cultural centre. Amsterdam is not a common city in that it has all the benefits of a substantial city culture, history, food, entertainment, good transport with just some of the disadvantages: it is physically tiny, Incredible, fairly silent, and mostly thanks to the canals, has in some measure little traffic.

Whether you want to visit world distinguished museums, wander along idyllic canals, bask in the glow of the Red Light District, amplify your education of beer or smoke a monster joint, Time Out Amsterdam will tell you the path. Staying at Amsterdam is a breeze and because of its flat terrain, most of the city dwellers manage bicycles to drive in town. Amsterdam also has great public transportation such as trams, a great subway system and the central train station. Housing, especially low savings account accommodation, could be difficult to come up with while in summer and out there Easter and Christmas. It pays to make plans ahead of time

Not much of the low budget hotels or hostels have a internet image, so you eventually will have to get through them promptly by phone or fax or browsing on the internet at http://yahoo.com. Amsterdam is one of the best tourist destinations in Europe. Everybody fall in complete love with the Wonderful canals, old cobblestone streets and Beautiful Dutch architecture. Amsterdam is talk about to as the Venice of the north and has a lot of romantic waterways where you and your beautiful partner can spend high quality time together. I dont care what budget you got, you could enjoy Amsterdam.

I recommend you visit Amsterdam and have a good time, plan ahead of time and book your flights with enough time so you can get the best prices in the market. If you buy your flight tickets months ahead you will get incredible offers and discounted prices.


“This is not Italy, USA!” : Traveling Points for Americans

While enduring every traveler’s nightmare, a layover at the under-construction Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris, France, we watched with exhausted dismay as the electronic departure sign intermittedly displayed and then removed our last-leg flight into Venice. After having flown for eight hours through the night, a sleepless one at that, our group was tired, cranky, and out of sorts…we wanted to get on the next plane only to get off of it ASAP. Still, there’s no excuse for bad behavior, especially when one’s feet are resting upon foreign soil. Watching for any sign that our flight via Air France was again on the board, we grew bored and started people watching. I don’t know which was worse, that feeling of being stuck in an airport or being stuck in the characterization as one of many rude, uncouth traveling Americans. Yet I could see why the French disliked those from the US, on that day, I witnessed several Americans demand in loud voices for their flight to be rescheduled…yesterday. It would have been comical, had it not been so crass…and unreasonable. I cringed and not for the last time during our nine day excursion at some Americans’ ridiculous and impolite behavior toward our very gracious and accommodating Italian hosts.

Fast forward another eight hours, our entire tour group of thirty-eight men and women are happily ensconced at the Hotel Saturnia where every guest is treated with the utmost courtesy and respect, so it was a simple matter to respond in kind. Still there were moments during the upcoming days when we witnessed more uncivil and even bizarre behavior from fellow US citizens. At times, we wanted to run interference and offer apologies. Finally, we realized that some Americans were simply unaware of how their attitudes and actions were affecting native Venetians. Time for an education.

According to Hotel Saturnia’s chief concierge, Andrea Scarpa, Americans, despite their foibles and lack of travel savvy are still considered “fantastic” in comparison to guests from across the globe. Scarpa says that what Italians most appreciate about Americans visiting their country is their expression and appreciation upon receiving a good meal (as in spaghetti) or after a good rest (as in a hot shower). Americans almost always make their requests for the best restaurants, shopping, etc…kindly, warmly, and they tip better than most Europeans as well. Kudos to Americans for expressing


By far the most popular destination for Europeans who take overseas holidays is Spain – but a Spanish airline has surprised many by opening a new route to holiday competitor Malta – which is riding the crest of a tourism wave after some years in the doldrums.

Vueling, a Spanish low cost airline, started flying to Malta three times a week from early April, with the route of Spain’s capital Madrid to Malta’s Luqa Airport.

The Spanish airline was set up just four years ago and already has 24 aircraft in her fleet, and before the announcement of the new Malta service flies to nearly sixty different destinations, and passenger traffic grew an impressive 75 per cent year on year to November 2007, when it carried nearly half a million passeners in that month alone.

Current destinations for the airline include internal Spanish flights to Alicante, serving the Costa Blanca region, and Malaga for the Costa del Sol – both ideal to escape from the city for a golfing or sailing break, or just to spend some time on the beach. With low prices a weekend break is affordable and easy for those working and living in the Spanish capital.

Less surprising in the routes the airline flies to are Nice in the South of France, Milan in Italy, which allows easy access to the Swiss Alps – and Venice, ideal for a romantic couple of days away.

Choosing Malta as a destination for Spanish tourists is a clear example of how Malta is successfully diversifying from her main holiday trade from the UK, which has formed the vast majority of her tourists in recent decades. Allowing low cost airlines to fly to the island’s Luqa Airport has boosted the Malta holidays and hotel trade tremendously in the last two years.

New official figures show that last year’s all important summer season was the best in six years for holidays to Malta, reversing the decline in fortunes for the Mediterranean island.

The good news for Malta is that despite the increase in the number of tourists arriving on the island via low cost flights, the occupancy levels of hotels has increased across the accommodation range from basic to 5 star, showing that Malta can appeal to all.

Further good news for Malta came from the figures for hotels and holidays with the news that while the number of arrivals from her traditional UK market rose by eleven per cent, the number of people from Germany visiting Malta increased by a third in 2007, adding strength to the holidays industry that has been reliant on tourism from one country in the past, and even Spanish tourists now visiting the island.

Both Germany and the UK have seen new low cost flight operators sucessfully applying to fly to Malta, and the increase in tourism can largely be put down to them, but with Spanish and Scandanavian airlines taking an interest Malta could see a real cosmopolitan mix arrive for a holiday this year, further diversifying the mix of European tourists the island welcomes for their holidays.


Anyone visiting Istanbul on a holiday is sure to love the city’s most staggering landmark: the Haghia Sophia. As Istanbul’s most remarkable building, the Haghia Sophia stands out amongst the city’s sea of stunning architecture, acting as a solid testament to Turkey’s long and ancient history. What’s more, the Haghia Sophia has changed its faith twice over the years; but, whatever your religion, the stunning beauty of the Haghia Sophia is sure to appeal to your aesthetic senses.

The most famous church in the Christian kingdom during the medieval ages, the Haghia Sophia was designed by two mathematicians from Athens during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, who aimed to create a structure that supported the world’s largest dome. Constructed in 535 AD, the Haghia Sophia – whose name means Divine Wisdom – remained the largest dome in the world until St Peter’s was erected in Rome. At the time of its construction, the dome of Haghia Sophia was so unusual for the architectural climate of the time that some faithful Christians refused to enter it for fear that the ceiling would fall on their heads!

During the Fourth Crusade and the sacking of Constantinople by the Venetians in 1204 AD, the Haghia Sophia saw many of its ancient treasures being stolen and taken off back to Venice. As the most sacred space in the city, the Haghia Sophia saw its holiest of relics stolen – including a trace of Christ’s blood, a piece of the Holy Cross and relics of St. John and St James – which were then taken to churches all around Western Europe and lost from the sight of Constantinople. However, the Venetians did not manage to steal Haghia Sophia’s precious stone porphyry columns which, during the time of construction, were floated along the Nile to Constantinople, from what is now Sudan.

The fall of Constantinople in the fifteenth century saw the advent of the Ottoman Empire, and in 1453 the Haghia Sophia was turned into a mosque. This development saw the building’s many mosaics being either destroyed or covered with plaster, due to the ban on representational images in Islam. However, in the 1930s, a large number of mosaics were restored by a team from the American Byzantine Institute so people who visit the Haghia Sophia today can enjoy these important artistic monuments to the Byzantine Empire.

Today, the Haghia Sofia has been transformed into the Ayasofya Museum; so people who visit Istanbul will be able to enjoy its ancient treasures and diverse history. And as many airlines offer frequent flights to Istanbul from London, you’ll find it easy to get to this timeless monument of Turkey’s turbulent history.


Birmingham is located in the west midlands and it’s britain’s second most densely populated city, after London.

Birmingham initially gained attention during the industrial revolution. for this reason, the city boasts a massive network of canals, which boasts plenty more miles of canal than venice. The city also boasts severalnotable associations, which include HP Sauce, Tony Hancock, Cadbury’s, Black Sabbath, the Spitfire and the Mini car.

Birmingham is a modern, exciting & cosmopolitan city. With vibrant night life, snazzy hotels, exciting shopping opportunities & unusual tourist attractions, it is a exciting location to visit for a short break or holiday.

Birmingham also has some fantastic architecture to see, which include the Bullring shopping centre. The Bullring was constructed at a cost of £500 million by Benoy & is a beautiful, modern building.

One of the best things about Birmingham has to be its great museums, galleries and attractions that are lively & interesting for the entire family. one of the most interestingis Dudley Zoo, which is in the grounds of dudley castle & has some great animals that are set over 40 acres of beautiful greenery.

Some of our other favourites include the Sarehole Mill, Bantock House & Soho House.

If you are a fan of shopping, you definitely won’t be disappointed by birmingham city centre. From designer stores to small, independent boutiques, the city truly has something for everyone to enjoy.

There are many independent stores in the city’s Custard Factory, which was built on the site of the old Bird’s custard factory. in addition to this, you’ll find high-street stores in the city’s Pallasades shopping centre that is placed just above new street railway station. alternatively, you could drop by the city’s brand-new Bullring mall, which boasts more than 150 different stores for you to look at & enjoy.

With quaint pubs, exclusive wine bars & fabulous nightclubs, brum has everything you require for a fabulous evening out. lovers of electro music will be pleased to find many enormous electro clubs, whereas fanaticals of rock & indie bands will be happy to explore that the city has many live music venues that hold regular concerts, as well as night clubs that play the best bits rock tunes.

If you require somewhere to stay after your fun night out, you will be spoilt for choice in Birmingham. indeed, the city boasts branches of muchmajor hotel chains such as crowne plaza & the malmaison.

As its situated in the centre of england, getting to birmingham is simple. birmingham new street offers regular rail connections to and from various locations throughout england. in addition to this, it is also easily accessed by road.

If you would like to fly to Birmingham, you may fly into Birmingham International Airport. The airport is just 5.5. miles from birmingham city centre.


In 1907 Paul Cornu built the first helicopter. He was a French engineer who manufactured bicycles. In the 15th century, some four hundred years before Paul Cornu built the helicopter, Leonardo Da Vinci sketched one.

Leonardo also invented many devices which enabled the salvation of Venice in 1499. Leonardo was described as a man whose “talents transcended nature”.

Imagination, often times, transcends nature, or what we immediately know.

I am mesmerized by Leonardo Da Vinci. He makes me proud to be a member of the human race. He makes my own imagination go bonkers as I try to imagine him, sitting there, sketching a helicopter. He must have been thinking, “Flight would give us a great advantage over the enemy”. I can imagine that he probably thought in terms of organizing the battlefield a time or two. The actual attack, or defense. Probably envisioned spears or arrows or perhaps bullets shooting from the helicopter.

I think how odd it is that as a child, no one noticed the talent and imagination of Vincent Van Gogh. That it was actually his brother, Theo, who noticed it and encouraged Vincent as a teenager. Van Gogh, himself called his childhood, “gloomy and cold and sterile….”.

My own imagination gets me into trouble. I forget I’m driving. Hours can pass me and I know it not.

Of course, I’m not inventing future war machines. I’m just not that into war. No. I’m usually envisioning something I’d want to paint. Or write. I envision myself as becoming a master on the violin.

While my imagination can make me something of a delinquent, it also is a wonderful gift. One that frees me from this hard reality. My mind romances the universe. I can conquer my fears and enemies within my mind. In that, I truly can relate to Da Vinci.

Fight or flight? Or both!

I really hate war. I’d rather envision images of Le Pantheon upon my drab livingroom floor. I did. And I did. Took me a week. There upon my floor is a cherub riding a sea serpent. Done in an antique olive with black contrast.

You know, if imagination originates within the organic brain and not the ethereal mind, then perhaps imagination itself is something of a genetic echo. Maybe the world really is going in circles and cycles and what if long before Da Vinci was born, there really were helicopters. What if great imagination is the product of a strand of DNA and within that strand is coded the lives of those who lived before. Only stronger than normal. Concentrated.

I fell in love with John Steinbeck when I was 26 and first read The Grapes of Wrath. I thought he was brilliant. I fell in love with each carved word he wrote. Steinbeck was a great observer and a magnet for detail. He had such a way with words. If ever there was a Romantic Journalist, he was.

There was something almost Knightish about him.

Oh, it’s probably just my imagination.


Hawaii, the Caribbean islands, and Mexico. Those are all great places. But has traveling overseas ever crossed your mind? If not, it should because with help from the right people, you might find that a trip to Sweden or Greece costs about as much as a visit to Belize or the Bahamas.

Intrigued? Great. Read on…

These “right people” I spoke of are travel agents, of course…but really, travel agents are only ideal if you only plan to go on an overseas vacation once. Therefore, let’s call them the “kinda right people.” For those of you who plan to go on as many vacations as possible, the “right people” are those that work with timeshare companies because timeshare companies can consistently get you great deals on your vacations whether you want to travel in the U.S. or abroad.

Don’t believe me? Well, take a look at Interval International. The company has been selling timeshares for more than 30 years and has a membership of more than 2 million. The company, which is based in Miami, Florida, is affiliated with resorts in 75+ countries and provides a variety of inexpensive overseas timeshare ownership and vacation rental opportunities for its members. In all, Interval International is partnered with over 2,200 resorts worldwide from which its 2 million members can pick from when it’s time to schedule their vacations. So let me ask you this:

Have you always wanted to see Paris?

Go! There’s a lovely hotel in Paris’ Noisy district called Métropole Opéra. The hotel provides true Parisian charm and is close to a Métro station. That means easy access to the best Paris has to offer—restaurants, museums, boutiques and more!

Do you think you’d ever want to see Venice?

Maybe have a movie moment and be rowed down a moonlit Venice canal with your sweetheart while a violinist played your classical tune? Live it! You could own a timeshare in a 14th century building like the recently renovated Domina Ca’Zusto and be just minutes from the Grand Canal!

Curious about beautiful Greece?

Perhaps a timeshare in Paphos will be your incentive to explore the nation. Don’t deprive yourself! The Panareti’s Royal Coral Bay is located. Just a few minutes outside of Paphos and provides the best of everything: Sand, sun, golf, culture, wineries and more!

Or if none of those locations suit you, there’s always Spain, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Croatia, Turkey, Ireland, Scotland, England…

The point is, timeshare companies, particularly those with access to overseas locales like Interval International can provide many of the dream vacations that you’ve always wanted to experience but never thought you could afford. With a timeshare, you invest in one location and get access to all the rest in the timeshare company’s network, paying nothing (or next to nothing) for your stay. That means that every time you want to travel abroad, all you have to do is book your flight and make sure your passport is up to date. What’s more affordable than that? So, next time you’re thinking about a “getaway,” don’t think: “vacation;” Think: “timeshare” because once you invest, you’ll be able to go anywhere in the world that your heart desires.