Cruising the Highlands in Style: The Caledonian Canal

Cruising the Highlands in Style: The Caledonian Canal

There’s no beauty in the world quite like that of the Scottish Highlands. The rugged landscape will take your breath away and make you eager to see more. One of the best ways to explore the wild side of Scotland is by water, and the Caledonian Canal is the finest route of all.
At 60 miles long, this waterway features 29 lochs, 10 bridges, 4 aqueducts and more incredible scenes of nature than you can count. The route connects the south-east of the country to the north-west, reaching from the charming town of Fort William all the way to Inverness. There’s plenty to do and see when you cruise Scotland: the awe-inspiring castles and famous whisky distilleries are sure to catch your attention.

 

You can sail in the shadow of royalty here. In 1873, Queen Victoria travelled on the canal, which has been extremely popular ever since. The canal’s stunning route makes it easy to see why Queen Victoria loved to cruise Scotland so much!

Thanks to James Watt, the inventor of the Watt steam engine, the idea of constructing the Caledonian Canal first surfaced in 1773. It aimed to connect the eastern and western sides of Scotland, providing work for locals and reducing the need to make a dangerous journey around the coast. The canal would enable all key lochs of the Great Glen could be connected, including Loch Ness, Loch Lochy and Loch Oich.

30 years later, the project was approved by the Scottish government and was led by Thomas Telford, a Scottish engineer. It was designed to run in an incredibly straight line along a geographical fault, and was supposedly a master class in engineering. However, the project missed its deadline by 12 years, taking 19 years to build in total, and also exceeded its budget.

This caused problems for ships that were previously designed to navigate the canal: by the time that it was finished, the ships’ designs were outdated and unsuitable. Although steamer ships with iron hulls were capable of sailing around the Scottish coast, these were too big for the waterway. As a result, while the project was visually impressive, it wasn’t quite the huge success that designers had hoped for.

Despite this, cruising along the Caledonian Canal is an amazing experience from start to finish. Among its many highlights is Neptune’s Staircase: as the longest stair lock in the UK, it takes an impressive 90 minutes for a barge to travel the distance of 500 yards, passing through 8 different locks and rising 70 feet in the process.

If rugged natural beauty, astounding industrial skill and authentic local history sounds like your idea of the perfect cruise, Scotland is the destination for you.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury canal holidays across Europe. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge holiday, whether you’re looking to cruise Scotland, France or Italy.

What to Expect When Cruising the River Moselle

What to Expect When Cruising the River Moselle

Renowned as one of the most picturesque rivers the world, the Moselle stretches for a languid 340 miles from the Vosges Mountains of France to flow into the Rhine in Germany. Various sections have become extremely popular with barge holiday operators, not just for the magnificent scenery encountered along the way, but also for the many historical attractions and, of course, the wine.
The Route of the Moselle

 

From its elevated source at Ballon d’Alsace, the river passes through the spectacularly beautiful and historically significant French landscape of Lorraine, before forming part of the border of Luxembourg and Germany. On its path it takes in countless small towns, Alpine villages and wine-growing regions. Some of the more industrialised sections of the Moselle Valley are also used for transporting goods on large cargo ships. The river joins the Rhine at Koblenz, as its longest tributary. Since it was made entirely navigable in 1964, the river has become a very busy waterway, encompassing 14 locks and a dedicated shipping channel. As well as barge holiday operators, the traffic comprises large numbers of private vessels and commercial and cargo ships.

Attractions en Route

For those on a barge holiday, whatever section of the Moselle makes up the itinerary there are countless attractions to see from the water and on shore excursions. One of the most enchanting is Burg Eltz, a real-life fairytale castle set in its own lush forest. The medieval castle is immaculately preserved, having been in one family for more than 850 years. The interiors are bedecked with original tapestries, furnishings and artworks that have been curated with such attention and care they look like the centuries have simply passed them by. Set upon the peak of a huge craggy rock, Burg Eltz epitomises the concept of a fairytale castle.

For those passing through Trier (close to Luxembourg), exploring the Roman ruins of the oldest city in Germany is a must. Founded in 16 BC by the infamous Augustus, Trier was a vital trade and financial hub for the Roman Empire for more than four centuries. Today one can walk around its many archaeological attractions and take in sites like the Porta Nigra, the Hauptmarkt and the city’s most iconic landmark, the magnificent UNESCO-listed Trierer Dom – the oldest cathedral in Germany. The city is also famous for a very different reason as the birthplace of philosopher Karl Marx.

Fine Wine

It’s not for nothing that wine is one of the most popular themes for barge holiday itineraries in this region of Germany and Luxembourg. The Moselle Valley is renowned for some of the world’s finest Rieslings, which make up around 60% of its total production. The region provides the perfect conditions for this famous grape, with records indicating that it has been grown there since 1435. The Riesling has a distinct colour and flavour that aficionados attribute to its high acidity, and it has the ability to age well up to 40 years.

For history, scenery and the opportunity to immerse yourself in one of the most acclaimed wine regions in the world, cruising along the beautiful River Moselle is invariably a most memorable and enjoyable experience for travellers of any age.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury barge holiday itineraries. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.

Ice Climbing in Chamonix: What to Expect

 

Ice Climbing in Chamonix: What to Expect

For an athletic adventure that will really get your adrenaline pumping, look no further than ice climbing.
Ice Ice, Not For Babies…

 

Ice is unlike any other climbing surface. During the day its consistency changes massively, from hard and flaky in the morning to the soft in the afternoon, so the sport gets easier as the sun warms the ice later in the day. Every time you climb, the route will be slightly different and your guide will need to alter the route and the position of the rope anchor.

It’s unpredictable and has an element of danger, but that’s part of the reason why the sport is so exhilarating!

Physical Fitness: Are You Up to the Challenge?

To properly enjoy this sport, you need to be fit and prepared for the challenges of ice climbing. You should be fit overall, so start adding some more cardio to your workout routine a few months before your climbing trip to improve your endurance.

On top of this, you should incorporate some moves such as dead hangs, weight sit-ups, pull ups and overhead weighted lunges into your fitness routine to start working on the muscles you´ll be using when climbing.

Ensure You’re Equipped

This is an equipment-intensive sport – you’re going to need a climbing harness and helmet, two ice axes, boot crampons and special winter boots. Most lesson providers will be able to rent you these essential items at a fair price for very good quality gear; it may be a good idea to make sure you like the sport before investing a lot of money in specialist equipment.

On top of the equipment, you’re going to need top-of-the-range winter clothing and water-resistant trousers, coat and gloves – and don´t forget good sunglasses and factor 50 sun cream and lip balm.

Climbing in Chamonix

Chamonix is famed for its ice falls, and in the resort and surrounding area you can find over 200 routes for all skill levels. The icefalls at altitude tend to begin forming in December, with the best time to climb being January and February.

Equipment can be bought or rented in all sports shops in Chamonix, and there is a wide variety of different professional guiding organisations who offer ice climbing courses for beginners and intermediates to the sport.

There are great routes for all skill levels in and around the resort, making it a brilliant place to start out and progress during your trip.

How to Get There

Hop on one of the many frequent flights offered by budget airlines offering the UK to Geneva route. You can be in Geneva in under 2 hours from several UK locations, and in just 90 minutes if you´re travelling from London. Getting to Chamonix from Geneva will be the least demanding part of your trip, as Shuttle Direct has years of experience in providing comfortable and convenient transfers to Chamonix. From Geneva, you can even bring you equipment for free as long as you choose that option at the time of booking.

Understanding Narration of Lace Fabrics

Understanding Narration of Lace Fabrics

 

The lace fabric is an open work fabric consisting of a yarn network formed into a complex design. There are two main types of straps: hand made and machine. Although, these two types come with their pros and cons, it’s usually difficult to distinguish between them using your naked eye. The easiest way to do this is to use a magnifying glass.

If you see the fabric and the lace do not have a clear path, chances are the engine is made. If on the other side you see the fabric and you see that it has a clear path, most likely handmade especially Lace Lagos Nigeria.

Lace’s rich heritage of the first elegant fashion trends can be traced back to the 12th and 13th centuries. From the beginning, many styles and techniques of lace making have been developed. Belgium is often described as “the birthplace of modern lace” and today’s lace techniques can still be traced back to traditional lace-making techniques from the Flemish province of Belgium. “Needle Lace”, also called “Renaissance or Brussels” Lace, for example is produced in the Aalst region. “Bobbin Lace”, is a wonderful specialty of Bruges, a magnificent city in western Belgium. This is a very expensive type of rope to produce; Therefore, they are not manufactured for commercial purposes.
As history says, this beautiful cloth is so influential in society that in some cities in Europe only people above a certain social class are allowed to wear it. The supervisors are positioned at the gates of the city and if someone who does not deserve lace is entering the city, they are ordered to prune it or face it burned. Understanding Narration of Lace Fabrics

Do you know? – the term “straight laced” commonly used for someone who is honest, stems from the fact that European women wear corsets that will lace up front, therefore considered appropriate and dignified.

Use of Lace Fabrics

Cloth has many applications. For example, it is used in decorating clothing and home furniture where narrow ropes are used for trim and inserts. The rope width in Ankara is used for curtains, tablecloths and garments.

Laces are created using different designs. The most common designs are:

All-over laces: these are 36 “wide and they are made in such a way that the pattern spreads across the width of the fabric.The pattern also repeats itself in the length of the fabric.

Flouncing: This is a rope that is 18-36 “wide and comes with a smooth edge at the top.They also come with a scalloped edge at the bottom.The launch is used for wide ruffles.Usually, ruffles are arranged in tiers to form a skirt.

Crawling: this is a lace that is no more than 18 inches, usually straight at the top and teeth on the bottom. Usually sewn on the sides of dresses, clothes, lingerie, blouses or handkerchiefs.

Medallions: lace comes in a design that is applied to the fabric which is the base of the ornament. Lace is usually used in the corner of a towel or napkin. It is used as an ornament for blouse, lingerie or dress. Understanding Narration of Lace Fabrics

Cheers and Beers: Laidback Venues in La Plagne

Cheers and Beers: Laidback Venues in La Plagne

Many people believe that après ski is all about thumping music, dancing on tables and staying up all night. Whilst this certainly is possible and great fun on occasion, it is not for everyone.
Fortunately, places like La Plagne have great diversity and suitable establishments for every taste. If your tabletop dancing days are behind you but you still enjoy a few beers and a laugh, La Plagne has plenty of more relaxed, pub-style venues to choose from.

 

These boozers are great places for having a few beers, chilling with your mates and ex-changing your stories from the day with fellow skiers. You can then leave at a reasonable hour and retire to your catered chalet. La Plagne has many great drinking establishments, but read on to find out which ones you simply cannot miss!

Bar La Mine – Brilliantly located in the heart of the action at Plagne 1800, English pub Bar la Mine has DJs and live music, TVs showing live sport and a mining theme. It also has an enormous selection of beers, ciders and wines. It is a popular après spot, so there is always a lively and friendly atmosphere, but there is also plenty of space to sit down and talk or watch the game. The venue is right next to the slopes, making it the perfect place to meet after a long day on the slopes.

Igloo Igloo – This is a funky bar that’s designed like an igloo, and is found inside Plagne Centre’s Galérie du Pelvoux. Step inside and you will be blown away by the neon colours and icy decor, featuring half life-sized polar bears and penguins. Igloo Igloo is a premier spot for DJs and live bands, but you can also sit down on the faux-ice white seats and sip on a homemade cocktail. There are even complimentary nibbles if you get there early, and many patrons comment on the friendliness of the staff.

Le Luna Bar – If you’re looking for a cool rustic-style pub with dim lights, lots of seating and a chilled out atmosphere with occasional live music, Le Luna Bar is the right place for you. It offers a refreshing change of pace from the clubs, which can be hard to have a conversation in. I really like this bar because it has fun pub games on hand, such as table football, darts and pool. Beers, whiskies, cocktails, wines and non-alcoholic drinks are all on the menu, and it is a great spot for a relaxed drink after shredding powder. You can find Le Luna Bar in the Plagne Centre, and is likely to be just a stone’s throw away from your catered chalet. La Plagne regulars often cite this as the best establishment for a relaxed pub in the area.

Bar le 5 a 7 Siete – Bar le 5 a 7 Siete is located in La Plagne Soleil/Village, and is my number one choice for a drink in the area. This cosy wine bar is ideal after a freezing day on the slopes, as you can get comfortable in front of the roaring log fire, sip on your favourite wine and catch up with friends. Alternatively, order tapas and enjoy them out on the brilliant sun terrace, from where you can enjoy lovely views of the surrounding area.

These are just a few of the great drinking establishments, but there are many others to choose from. The best part is that you never have to venture far from your catered cha-let! La Plagne attracts groups of young friends looking for fun yet casual nights out, and it is easy to see why

5 Helpful Car Rental Suggestions

5 Helpful Car Rental Suggestions

Everyone look forward to saving as much as we can. When it comes to traveling, it matters even more. Although some travelers give attention to saving through cheap airfares and hotel deals, there is far more attention that needs to be paid to the automobile rental costs. You’d be surprised to come across how high place be. One common misconception is that these car local rental rates are all the same and no point in planning before time. You certainly need those wheels on your next trip. However, you can save through so many ways to cut down the endless cost of car rental. Here are some of the best tips.

 

1. Join a Commitment Program
However are still a lot of travelers who hesitate after becoming a member of any extra programs, there is no reason why you shouldn’t. A commitment program is great because signing up is free of cost and the permanent benefits good. This might be stressful to understand the procedures in the beginning, but would you mind getting upgrades and perks? With being a loyal call, you’ve significant odds of increasing your status. The same as recurrent fliers are benefitted with the loyalty program of an airline, joining motels car loyalty rewards program would be a great way to save! car rentals in bhutan

Sequel payments on your Produce Use of Coupons
Ahead of booking, it’s always beneficial to look out for coupons and deals related to car rentals. Not any matter what time of the year you’re journeying, there’s plenty for those in need. Want to know the best part of possessing coupons is the fact you’re recognized for over and further than the discounts you get as a frequent hazard. At Alamo, Avis, Money and Budget, you will find the hottest bargains on rental car.

3. Avoid the Airport
As a result of convenience, a lot of us conclude making the mistake of paying higher at the airport. To save lots of a lot more, all you have to do it so allow yourself more time and go out of the air-port vicinity. This would help you to come across many choices of elsewhere agencies that will give you some great rates. Although this challenges your convenience and comforts, you will benefit in the form of huge savings.

4. Lengthen your Reservation
Most of us when striving to save money publication for exactly the same duration as needed. Make an effort doing it otherwise next time. This is because reserving for a longer period can significantly lower your base rate. For instance, weekend rates are often higher in comparison to weekdays. Thankfully, many car rental companies give a good go back although you may hand back the car prior to expected. Even so, for the clarity of procedures it is just a must to go through the conditions and conditions before tallying on the contract. http://www.travelmusafir.com/

5. Gas Costs
Unfortunately, many of us consider this cost trivial. This can be a must to do a research about the gas costs to approximate them over a period of time. GasBuddy is a great mobile iphone app that allows you to determine the expense of gas no subject where you go.

Eco Eco Hotel for Green Globetrotting

Eco Eco Hotel for Green Globetrotting

One of the worst things on the road is the huge carbon footprint you collect while playing globetrotting. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help neutralize your environmental impact and improve your feelings. Spread across the world is a resort that has enormous environmental and social impact. They use water wisely and provide educational programs to people in the local community, and you can help them out by staying there.
Most of the wandering souls are a passion for the world we live in, and living in a place that helps keep this world is a great way to help preserve and protect our planet. Not even a super hippy! This eco option is very luxurious and environmentally friendly. Eco Eco Hotel for Green Globetrotting

Hoshinoya Karuizawa, Japan

A small pavilion-style building with large windows lies on a winding river bank, surrounded by ancient eastern trees. Here’s what you’ll find if you choose to live in this eco resort, where stylish and eco-friendly features of real substance coexist harmoniously. The river itself provides most of the power to this resort, and water rejuvenation is also used in the various revitalizing and relaxation treatments offered to guests staying here. Eco Eco Hotel for Green Globetrotting

Finca Rosa Blanca Inn, Costa Rica. Some photos provided by VFM Leonardo

Be aware that this ethical, carbon-neutral and sustainable resort is also involved in educational projects for local communities and employing only local staff. For the first robbery to an eco hotel, you can not do better than this level of authentic responsibility. Costa Rica enjoys very rich local flora and fauna, and you can easily live a little cliche just by leaving footprints, and just taking photos … but with a factor that feels good to be gained from staying here, who cares about the fun of cliches ?

Whitepod, Le Valais, Switzerland

How about trying spot glamping? This smartly designed white pod fruits are specially made to blend in with the surrounding snowy hills in the winter, and in the summer months, glow is dark green forest. This eco-friendly option buys local products, carefully manages their energy and water consumption, and expects its guests to come in responsibly: means on foot. You will find your inn at the end of a beautiful Alpine walk, and this is part of the eco experience.

Before you go

Whether you achieve one or all of these amazing and ethical goals, you need the appropriate travel insurance. Some insurance companies offer annual multi-trip travel insurance that will keep you covered in all your globetrotting green baskets this year. Check that your insurance company has a customizable option so you can make sure you are protected for your travel purpose. You will enjoy peace of mind while traveling knowing that your person is protected from the environment you are visiting.

Ethan Bailey is an experienced adventure traveler and insurance expert with Let’s Go Insure team. Ethan’s spirit is to inspire his clients to go further, deeper and higher on their journey and his expertise in providing ideal insurance allows them to do just that. If you’re looking for the best multi-trip annual travel insurance Let’s Go works with the most experienced underwriters, intermediaries and insurers. Eco Eco Hotel for Green Globetrotting

Upgrade Your Pro Ski Gear in La Plagne

Upgrade Your Pro Ski Gear in La Plagne

No matter how up to date your ski gear is, there is always room to upgrade. If you are anything like me, then only the latest and best equipment will do, and you know that hav-ing the most current gear is a great way to optimise your performance on the slopes. It is also the best way to turn heads!
In my opinion, the best place to upgrade is always at a ski resort, instead of back home or online. La Plagne is an excellent place to do this, as there are many fully stocked shops. What’s more, it is also one of the best resorts for a holiday with superb skiing and the option of booking a luxury chalet. La Plagne is a much better place to upgrade than back home for the following four reasons:

 

1. Experts on Hand

For me, the primary reason for upgrading at the resort is that you can get the opinion of experts to find the best and latest gear that is right for you. It can be daunting to shop for skis, boots, helmets, clothing and other gear when there is so much variety. An expert will be able to guide you through what is available, and help you to find the right equipment for your age, gender, height, weight and personal preference.

2. Range

Another reason to buy at the resort is because of the wide range that’s available to you. Modern ski gear is catered to different terrains and personal tastes, so it is helpful to be in the store and browse a selection. This could be cross-country skis, race skis, mini skis, slope, all-mountain or another type.

3. Try Outs

A huge benefit of buying in La Plagne is that many places will allow you to try out the gear before making a purchase. You never really know how the equipment will perform until you are on the mountain, which is why buying at home is a huge gamble that may not pay off.

4. Shops

La Plagne has a selection of sports shops that are full of the latest gear and have friendly staff to assist you. Here are a few of the best!

Zig Zag – This is a very friendly sports store that’s run by the welcoming and helpful Yannick, who will happily spend time with you to find the right gear. This is very handy, as they have a huge selection of products, stocking all of the major brands like Stockli, Drake, Fisher and Northwave.

Elpro – There are four Elpro stores around the resort, so chances are there will be one close to your chalet. La Plagne’s most experienced skiers come here to shop, as the store always has the very latest equipment and offer everything that you need to hit the slopes in style.

Guidon Sports – Guidon Sports is a popular shop which is conveniently located right in the heart of La Plagne. Guidon also offers high-end clothing and ski equipment with the chance to make huge savings with the generous discounts usually on offer.

Belle Plagne Sports – Belle Plagne Sports renews their skis, snowboards, clothes, boots and accessories each year, so you will always find the latest here. There are three stores around the area, and each has equipment for all abilities. There are plenty of staff members on hand to offer sound advice.

La Plagne is a superb place to upgrade your gear, and it is also a great choice for skiing and relaxing. Thanks to the option of booking a luxury chalet, La Plagne attracts avid skiers from all around the world – so if you are looking to buy the latest gear, this is the best place to do so.