Destination Dubai

Dubai is one of the seven states making up the United Arab Emirates and it is located in the Middle East at the crossroads of Asia and Europe.Dubai is a city of striking contrasts; it is an exciting destination both for travelers seeking thrills and adventure and for expatriates seeking a healthy employment climate and a tax free lifestyle.Those expatriates planning on moving to the UAE or who are seeking the latest job opportunities in Dubai are certainly not alone. The population of Dubai is one of the fastest growing in the world and over the past twenty five years it has quadrupled.Employment prospects in the city rise annually by an average of 8.3% and the increasing availability of quality jobs has attracted record numbers of expatriates to the region. The appeal of Dubai lies in the fact that it is a liberal and moderate emirate and it has attracted major players from every single significant business sector of note because of the tax free trade zones Dubai is famous for. These industry giants from the media, IT, engineering and financial sectors for example can recruit internationally and many offer their staff a tax free salary with attractive relocation benefits on top meaning they attract the best, most dynamic employees from around the world.The expatriate population in the entire UAE makes up 91.5% of the working population so you can see how popular a destination Dubai is with international executives from around the world. To work in Dubai it is necessary to obtain an employment visa, if you secure a job offer before you fly out your employer will sponsor your visa for you. Alternatively you can travel to the country on a 30 day temporary visa, seek work and as soon as you secure a job offer you can apply for your employment visa.In terms of those who holiday in Dubai they are divided into a number of categories – you have shopoholics who come for the tax free prices on luxury goods and jewellery, you have those who want an adventure in and around the ancient and fascinating heart of Dubai, you have families keen to hit the theme parks and adventure centres and those who come for the sporting highlights of Dubai such as the world class golf, polo, diving and desert safaris.Visitors to the city of Dubai require a visa unless they herald from Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman or Saudi Arabia. Those visitors who are staying in one of the amazing and luxurious hotels Dubai is famous for will be provided with a visa by the hotel for the duration of their stay. The process to obtain a visa is very simple, in fact most travel agents or hotels will fill in the necessary paper work for you and you can either apply for a 14 day ‘transit visa’ or a 30 day ‘visit visa’ and then enter the country and be free to enjoy your time exploring this dynamic and breathtaking city of contrasts.


Emergency Medical Evacuation Coverage – Does your HMO or PPO offer this?

Travelers insurance may be the only way for most Americans to insure they are fully protected in case of emergency medical evacuation while traveling abroad, because for 70 percent of these U.S. resident HMO and PPO medical insurance plans do not cover such an event.Some travelers’ insurance plans offer transportation to a safe location during emergency medical evacuation but do not offer medical insurance for the duration. Others offer both.One travelers insurance site that we looked at, for example, offers travelers insurance for medical emergency evacuation, for a single person, a couple, or a family, for a designated time period of three, six or 12 months. Online you can get a quote instantly and can purchase the travelers insurance. While this company was clear that it offered no medical coverage it did link to other travelers insurance providers that did so.One offered trip insurance – in other words, for one designated trip – that provided trip delay, interruption or cancellation insurance, protection against lost or delayed baggage, traveler assistance as well as missed connection travelers insurance coverage.The trip insurance site asked your departure and return dates, the number of people traveling in your party, the age of each, the cost of the trip for each and whether you are a U.S. resident. We indicated two U.S. residents would be traveling, one 55 years old, the other 56, and each was spending $1800 for the trips. The results: nine different travelers’ insurance firms offered plans ranging in price from $166 to $293 per person. Three of these offered additional flight insurance – one for $100,000, the others ranging between $300,000 and $1 million. One also offered rental car insurance for $6 a day.If you’d prefer travelers insurance that covers more than one trip, the site offers a quote on this as well. Here you indicate your citizenship, your residency, and the state in which you reside if in the U.S. You can choose domestic travelers insurance coverage or international coverage that does or does not include U.S. travel. You can choose coverage from $25,000 to $2 million. You indicate the dates of travelers’ insurance coverage, your age, the age of your spouse if applicable, and the number of children under 18. The travelers insurance firms displayed in the results now allow you to choose deductible and then offer you their firms’ quotes as well as a handy comparison chart.Clearly, you’ll find a variety of affordable travelers’ insurance options, including emergency medical evacuation coverage, when you decide to travel overseas.


Diners – An American Icon

The definition of a diner is typically a narrow structure resembling a railroad dining car with the interior containing a service counter with stools for seating. Food preparation is along the back wall behind the counter.HistoryThe first “diners” back in the 1890’s were horse drawn wagons on wheels that would park on the city streets and serve their meals similar to today’s “fast food” concept.By the 1920’s, diners were manufactured as a permanent structure resembling the original wagon style. The style changed into a more streamlined appearance by the 1930’s but business was not brisk until after the depression.The demand increased after 1945 and spread to the midwest when there were a dozen diner manufacturers making the diners with many modern amenities including air conditioning, stainless steel exteriors and large windows. This surge lasted about

15 years until the advent of the fast food restaurants.

Since 1970, there has been a new interest in diners with it’s retro appearance and many can be seen and visited across America.TodayDenny’s introduced their new retro style Denny’s Classic Diner restaurants in 1999 complete with stainless steel exterior and rounded roof.

There are currently 18 diner manufacturers with half of them located in New Jersey. No other state in America can top the number of diners than New Jersey with over 200 diners in operation today!If you are interested in learning more about the history of diners, you may wish to visit dinermuseum.org

and a trip to New Jersey should satisfy your appetite with many styles of today’s diners.


Munich Germany — 10 Insider Tips

Munich Germany is a city in the state Bavaria. Would you like to know what the real interesting sights in Munich Germany are? I will tell you 10 of my good ones.If you would like to know something about the city and its history, visit my website for information about that. In this article I will let you know of 10 insider tips of this German city — short and sweet — so that you can print them out and easily scour the sights.First, once you arrive in the city, go to the tourist information office. It is located at Munich Germany main station (outside) or at Marienplatz (downtown).Also, since you already know that this city is venue of the well-known Oktoberfest, there is actually no need for me to tell you anything about that, right?Now, shall we get started? Great! 🙂TOP 10 Bars and Restaurants1. An absolute must-see and must-experience is the “Hundskugel” (Dogs Ball) located in Hotterstrasse in old town. This is Munich’s oldest house which has the perfect ambience for original Bavarian food (e.g. “Schweinshaxe” — knuckle of pork). Quite frankly, once you were here, your friends will become envious you were there without them.2. The “Schuhbecks in den Suedtiroler Stuben” (Schubecks in the South Tyrol Rooms) is a tavern with notable factor. They serve original Bavarian cuisine in high quality. It is located at “Platzl” in old town.3. Another excellent restaurant with original Bavarian cuisine is “Gasthaus Beim Sedlmayr” (Tavern by Sedlmayr). The funny and happy waiters make your time even more glamorous and jollier. Their menu has “all you ever need” once you are in Munich.4. The “Haxnbauer im Scholastikahaus” (sorry, I’m not able to translate that yet…;-), located next to Marienplatz in Sparkassenstrasse, inspires visitors to stay longer than they might want once they enter. It’s just amazing, old woody walls and tables, smelling beer and meat, just unforgettable.5. If you are looking for a chance to see famous football stars and actors, you have to go to the noble P1. I must admit it is not easy to enter this exceptional bar, but definitely worth more than one try. You will find it in Prinzregentenstrasse. The location is, however, quite hidden. Only a small sign beside stairs refers to the legendary club discotheque. Tip: It might be a bit easier if you go in as a couple.Sightseeing and culture6. Stroll along Ludwigstrasse. Ludwig I. underlined the royal Munich with this classicistic boulevard. As a road of sciences, the Ludwigstrasse (Ludwigstreet) is one of the most monumental and most generous roads created in the 19th century. The monument of king Ludwig I on Odeonsplatz, created by Max Widmann, reminds of the owners and name giver who had to withdraw in 1848 after the Lola Montez affair.7. The Maximilianstrasse (Maximilian Street) spreads still old flair while strolling through this historical street. With museums and theatres, galleries and numerous exclusive shops, this splendour road certainly belongs to the most distinguished addresses of Munich Germany.8. Are you art and historical interested? Then walk along the Prinzregentenstrasse (Prince Regent Road). It is considered as museum mile. Prince Regent Luitpold let put on this avenue road at the end of the 19th century.9. The Englischer Garten (English Gardens) is Munich Germany’s famous 900-acre park. It is actually starting in the heart of the city and transitioning into the countryside. The park offers shaded paths for walking and cycling in summer and picturesque frozen lakes in winter. In addition, it contains four beer gardens (Chinesischer Turm, Seehaus, Hirschau, Aumeister), whose invite to stay long after sunset.10. Marienplatz is world-wide well-known with the “new” Neo-Gothic City Hall and its “Gingle Bells” sounds. Acutally a huge square with some interesting taverns. Visit http://www.smart-travel-germany.com/munich.html for additional information and images.By the way, from Munich Germany’s main station, it is a quite short way to downtown and old town — just a few minutes walk.Enjoy your trip!All the best,Marcus Hochstadt© Copyright www.smart-travel-germany.com All Rights Reserved


Burial Mounds Along the Mississippi

Curiosity bought me here, but something deeper, something more spiritual held me here. The long walk up the bluff left me in need of a brief rest, so I sat on the slope of one of the mounds. The entire Mississippi River valley lay before me. It was several miles wide at this point, but I could easily make out the bluffs to the east. Overhead a red tailed hawk wheeled across the sky.I pressed my hands into the grass and felt the cool earth below; earth that held the bones, artifacts, and memory of an ancient people. The years peeled away and I found myself among those people, whose very survival was so dependent on the river valley that leaving it was almost unthinkable.The warm summer sun shone brightly upon a small stand of cultivated crops. Here and there children, dressed in nothing more than a simple cloth, dug in the sand – mimicking their mothers’ search for clams. This time of year large carp crowded into the shallow backwater, which allowed for easy spearing. Rows of the big fish hung, drying in the sun.During the summer months, life was easy. Food was abundant; there to be plucked from bushes or gathered from the river. Winter would be harsh; a cruel ballet of strength, endurance, stored or gathered food, and luck. Only the strong would survive. It was nature’s wayI couldn’t stay among them. To do so would to require a judgment of their way of life compared to mine. To adopt a life that appeared simpler than my own would be wrong. One day, someone in the future might look at my life and long for it — a simpler time.


Welcome to Patagonia! Everything You Need to Know before You Come

Welcome to Patagonia!Patagonia is one of the most amazing places in the world. A land with a lot of history, of mountains, lakes, hills, beautiful flora and fauna. A missionary called Padre Agostini said: “The Paine massif is unrivaled… In its colors and form it is without doubt one of the most fantastic and spectacular sights that human imagination can concieve.” The Torres del Paine national park (with an area of 2,400 km2) is a popular hiking destination. There are clearly marked paths and many refugios which provide shelter and basic services. Views are breathtaking. Hikers can opt for a day trip to see the towers, walk the popular “W” route in about five days, or trek the full circle in 8-9 days. It is a national park and thus hikers are not allowed to stray from the paths. Camping is only allowed at specified campsites, and wood fires are prohibited in the whole park.Many visitors come each year to Torres del Paine National park. Even though you may come whenever you like official season is from september to april. There are many strong reasons people keeps coming. The beautiful fauna and flora are a delight.A relative of the now-domesticated llama, the guanaco — Patagonia’s largest land vertebrate — roams the plains of Torres del Paine. Guanacos live in groups, usually a single dominant male accompanied by up to 10 females and their young. Though elegantly formed creatures, guanacos exhibit a number of seemingly incongruous habits. When they greet, for example, the animals exchange a turkey-like gobble and then, on occasion, vomit a wad of semi-masticated grasses.There many miles of trails for backpackers, from pristine glaciers and fjords of remote to the famous Torres del Paine W Trail with the amazing view of the Cuernos del Paine and the Nordenksjold, Pehoe and Grey Lakes. It is a medium level hike and usually takes four days. Torres del Paine National Park Trail system has land and water-based trails with recognized recreational, scenic, and historic value. Do not forget to sail on the Grey II, a small ship that sails twice everyday to the vey feet of Grey glaciers where you will have a whisky on the rocks with millennial ices.WHEN TO GO: September to April are the best months to visit for warmer time activities. You can check next week weather forecast for Punta Arenas here.GETTING THERE: There are many direct or one-stop flights from major cities to Santiago de Chile and then at least 3 daily flights to Punta Arenas which is 4 hours from Santiago de Chile (2000 miles). To travel by water you can take a cruise to Puerto Natales from Puerto Montt in an amazing 3 day trip by south channels.TRAVEL TIPS: Southern weather can be unpredictable. Consider taking with you and wearing multiple layers of clothes in response to a wide variety of temperatures and weather conditions. Experiencing Patagonia on a low budget is possible, though it requires planning. From december to february room prices are higher. September and April are more relaxed and the weather only slightly chillier, are just as good times to go. Winter months are becoming increasingly popular, particularly for the sport activities. At this time of year hotel rates drop by as much as half.Enjoy patagonia!


An Introduction to Bahamas Vacations

A Bahamas vacation is something that most travelers will never forget. The 700 islands of the Bahamas make up a 100,000-square-mile archipelago, extending over 500 miles. Including uninhabited cays and large rocks, it has a total estimated land area of 5,382 miles. The two main islands are New Providence Island and Grand Bahama Island, although the smaller islands of Abacos, Acklins, Andros, The Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Eleuthera, The Exumas, Inagua, Mayaguana, and San Salvador also offer prime vacation spots.Grand Bahama Island vacations are perhaps the most popular. As the fourth largest island in the Bahamas, Grand Bahama Island extends for 96 miles against emerald green water. The island’s many cities, towns, and villages provide a unique combination of a cosmopolitan locales, historical fishing villages, and undiscovered ecological treasures. The island also has one of the world’s largest underwater cave systems, three national parks, endless beaches, and enchanting marine life.Nassau, as the capital city of the Bahamas on New Providence Island, is also a popular vacation destination.. Along with its neighbor Paradise Island, these two pieces of land mix glamour with tropical ease. Nassau is prized for its sheltered harbor, and the city has managed to preserve its beautiful colonial mansions, cathedrals, 18-th century fortresses, and a Queen’s staircase whose 66 steps lead to a view that simply is not to be missed.Many dream their whole lives of a Bahamas vacation, and with the scenery, culture, and history to be found on Grand Bahama Island and in Nassau, it is easy to see why.


Vacationing on Cozumel Island

Cozumel an island paradise visited and adored by travelers from around the globe. It’s not just the beautiful white sandy beaches that circle the island or the almost perfect year round vacation weather, nor is it the plentiful supply of lodging, international food and variety of entertainment options that bring travelers back time and time again. Cozumel is the scuba diver’s paradise containing an abundance of coral reefs, brightly painted fish and crystal clear waters. Imagine being able to descend to minimum depths and see almost 200 feet around, gazing at some of the most unique and beautiful underwater scenes imaginable. Even for the less adventurous who don’t want to scuba dive, the 80 degree water and rich coral reefs teeming with wildlife, offer unforgettable experiences to snorkelers and swimmers.Mexico’s largest island, just 28 miles long and 10 miles wide, Cozumel is located off the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. For history buffs, this unique island is a beneficiary of the Mayan culture of farmers, fisherman and warriors that prospered on the nearby mainland. Day trips to ancient ruins at Chichen Itza, Tulum and Coba provide an exciting way to blend some educational memories with your ocean adventure. In fact, one of the lesser known but still fascinating sites can be found right on Cozumel. Called San Gervacio, the site has been turned into a beautiful park and was once the place where Mayan women journeyed to worship the goddess Ixchel, the goddess of fertility.In addition to the fabulous beaches and ocean waters, Cozumel is home to a system of underground rivers that honeycomb the porous limestone of the area, providing the truly adventurous with some of the most beautiful cave or “cenote” diving found anywhere on the globe. Filled with fresh water that is almost as clear as air, the sights in these underground lakes are unequaled in their natural beauty and splendor. Truly, Cozumel has something to offer a wide variety of vacationers and pleasure seekers. From the exhausted city dweller who yearns for the peace and quiet of a beautiful tropical paradise, to the life challenging adventurous types who crave excitement and new, unique experiences, to the history buff who marvels over the ruins of past civilizations, Cozumel has something to offer everyone.


The Main Street Electrical Parade

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Walt Disney World proudly presents our spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination in thousands of sparkling lights and electrosynthomagnetic musical sounds… the ‘Main Street Electrical Parade!'”The legendary Main Street Electrical Parade originally debuted in Disneyland on June 17, 1972. Since then, it has been seen by guests in all four of Disney’s theme parks, including Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland. Currently, the parade still makes its daily appearance at Disney’s California Adventure in Disneyland, and at Disneyland Paris. In Walt Disney World, the parade was replaced by “SpectroMagic,” and in Tokyo Disneyland, it was replaced by “Dreamlights.”On June 11, 1977, a version of the parade that was slightly different than the Disneyland original debuted in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Floats in the parade included the Blue Fairy from “Pinocchio,” the Casey Junior Circus Train (from “Dumbo”), with Goofy at the controls, pulling a huge bass drum that read, “The Magic Kingdom Presents Main Street Electrical Parade” in multicolored lights.Sponsored by Energizer, more than 27 tons of batteries powered the lights, audio and floats – they provided enough power to light 32 homes. The final float was a tribute to America. The memorable theme from the parade was adapted from a 1967 synthesizer piece known as “Baroque Hoedown,” written by Gershon Kingsley and Jean-Jacques Perrey. It was discovered by Jack Wagner, the longtime “voice of Disneyland.” (He’s the monorail narrator… you know, the “Please stand clear of the doors” guy). Paul Beaver, a pioneer in the world of synthesized music, took the song and mixed in themes from some of its classic films. The tune was updated in 1977 by Don Dorsey.After 15 seasons in Orlando, it made its final journey down Main Street in Walt Disney World on September 14, 1992, before it was moved to Disneyland Paris. It was replaced by a new spectacle of nighttime lights and music, “SpectroMagic.” The Magic Kingdom’s most technologically advanced parade to date, “SpectroMagic” featured classic Disney characters like Mickey, who conjures up the parade through his sparkling crystal ball, and Goofy, who performs in the parade band.SpectroMagic uses advanced technologies such as 100 miles of fiber optic cables and threads to cast more than 72,000 watts of light onto the streets of the Magic Kingdom. The more than 250,000 fiber optic points of light are found in the form of dancing Disney characters, birds, butterflies and other animals. In fact, more than 30 computers are used to control the lights alone! The opening features Mickey and the Spectrowizards, with the finale including the wicked Chernabog from Fantasia. On May 28, 1999, the Main Street Electrical Parade made its return to Walt Disney World as part of the Millennium Celebration… Sort of.Instead of the Walt Disney World version that was now in France, the Disneyland version that had been running until 1996 was brought over. It underwent a dramatic “makeover” including the addition 575,000 new lights, and replaced “SpectroMagic.” On April 1, 2001, this cherished favorite ended its run at Walt Disney World permanently to make way for the return of “SpectroMagic.” The Main Street Electrical Parade was renamed “Disney’s Electrical Parade” and was moved to Disney’s California Adventure in July of 2001.