Consistently voted one of the top Fijian Resorts, Taveuni Island Resort & Spa is a small exclusive luxury resort which offer's the Ultimate Tropical Island Experience.It has been described as the most beautiful small resort in the world 'Set amongst ten acres of lush gardens are twelve elegant luxury bures of unsurpassed style and comfort. Romantic and private they boast panoramic views over the beach, ocean and surrounding islands.' This is the description of the "Taveuni Island" Resort & Spa that made me want to find out if it was all that it seemed.In fact I didnt realise that the bures [cottages] are not on the beach, but perched on a cliff top above the beach, so there is a walk involved here.Accessing the hotel is not difficult, there are several flights a day from Fijis international airport at Nadi, the flight time being about 90 minutes. Be aware there are quite strict weight baggage limitations.The staff meet you at the airport on Taveuni and it only takes about two minutes to get to the resort.Accommodation is important to all of us on our vacation, and the bures at the Taveuni Island Resort & Spa are exceptional. All are decorated with cool tiles, native floral arrangements, and water colours. There are king size beds with beautiful linens, either fans or air conditioning. Add to this private romantic courtyard showers, and views to die for.As you would expect from a top class resort Taveuni has a mini bar, coffee and tea making facilities, bathrobes and hairdryers, but it is the little extras like fresh daily cookies that set it apart.The view from the cliff top pool is another major plus, and in fact the lack of children is a joy, compared to other resorts I have visited.Dining is another high spot, and the dining area is situated on The Deck. You can expect dishes from Fiji, India, and everything grown locally is organic. If you stay in one of the villas, you have your own chef and staff!! Meal times in common with other Fijian resorts are quite rigid.The Taveuni Island Resort & Spa is a definite honeymoon destination, near the top of the list
Two days ago I took our European visitors on a little driving tour of the Niagara Peninsula, specifically to explore some of the 50 something wineries. My brother is a chef and very interested in exploring the authentic tastes and flavours of Canada. So far my visitors have been very impressed with the quality of the Canadian vegetables, meats, spices, and even the various types of beers that they have tried from different microbreweries.We got going around 9:30 am to avoid the brunt of rush hour traffic and made our way west on the QEW highway on another day of perfect weather. We drove through the industrial outskirts of Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington and Hamilton, where they were particularly fascinated by the huge industrial complexes of Ontario's steel industry. Just about 20 minutes south of Hamilton we turned off the highway onto local Highway Number 8, Ontario's wine route, which follows the outline of the NIagara Escarpment.Our first stop on our wine tour was Peninsula Ridge Estates, a very impressive winery built around a Victorian farmhouse with several modern buildings that have been added to faciliate a wine tasting facility and gift shop. The wine testing area is housed in a beautiful barn-like structure with lots of wood and high ceilings, and all the wines and gifts are presented in a very attractive way. My European wine conoisseurs tasted 4 varieties of white wine and admitted that they were duly impressed. They commented that some of the wines had a more distinct flavour than what they are used to back home and indicated their surprise at the quality of wines from Ontario. Of course my brother also examined the menu of the dining room and confirmed that the establishment was indeed an upscale gourmet restaurant, featuring finely crafted cuisine.We had a beautiful day with absolutely no humidity, so we had a clear view of downtown Toronto's skyscrapers from the Peninsula Estates winery. After a little photo tour of the premises we made our way to the next stop: Eastdell Estates, winery located high on top of the escarpment with a perfect lookout point. The restaurant, called the "Bench Bistro" offers simple, yet innovative dishes that pay homage to the area's bountiful harvests and local producers. Reasonably priced, two can dine, with a bottle of wine, for about $80 (CDN).Our next stop was a relatively new winery called Angel's Gate Estates, with a beautiful main building that included a wine boutique as well as an indoor and outdoor dining area overlooking Lake Ontario. We did not taste any wines here, but definitely enjoyed the view. Again, the facilities and surroundings hosting the wine tasting were impressive.Then we headed further south to Vineland Estates Winery situated on the slopes of the Niagara Escarpment with Lake Ontario in the distance. This winery has sometimes been referred to as "Ontario's Most Picturesque Winery" and we certainly enjoyed the location. It is another winery that features a restaurant as well as a wine boutique, located in an 1877 historic barn. The boutique features wines, fine glassware and local preserves, and my European travellers embarked on their second tasting of the day, this time enjoying both red and white varieties. The winery offered various types of crackers and cheese, combined with grape jellies, providing a little snack to a group of hungry pilgrims on Ontario's wine trail. We also noted that the staff in the various wineries was extremely welcoming and friendly, an impression that got reinforced throughout the day.Our lunch stop was at Rockway Glen Golf Course and Estate Winery, a rather unusual combination offering delights for golfing and wine enthusiasts. We had a reasonably priced lunch of gourmet sandwiches on the patio, and appropriately strenghtened continued on our way along the wine route towards our next destination: Niagara Falls.After arriving in one of the most popular destinations in Ontario, not to be missed for any traveller to Toronto, we parked our car on the main parking lot, at $18.00 a little overpriced, although it offered unlimited parking until midnight. As we approached the falls from the south, my guests were astounded at the width of the river and the quantities of water that were about to drop down the steep precipice. We stopped for a while at a spot right where the water starts to hurl down the rocks. The amount and force of the water is awe-inspiring, and the thundering sound of the falling water provides an appropriate backdrop to this natural wonder.The waterfall produced the most amazing complete rainbow inside the gorge that I have ever seen, offering many scenic vistas of the Niagara River set against the appropriately named Rainbow Bridge which connects Ontario with New York State.Several Maid of the Mist sightseeing boats holding curious visitors dressed in blue plastic capes were floating dangerously close to the bottom of the waterfall, providing a great photo opportunity.Naturally, after taking in all these sights we had to take in a refreshment and we rested a bit on a restaurant patio overlooking the falls. After our brief respite we drove along the scenic Niagara Parkway towards Niagara-on-the-Lake, stopping several times at various lookout points, such as the Aero Car tram crossing the gorge, and the immense power plants located on both sides of the river, generating clean hydro-electric energy.The bucolic countryside along the Niagara River features a large number of wineries and orchards and the road is lined with fruit stands, featuring fresh Ontario produce. Finally, we parked our car next to a beautiful park, right where the Niagara River flows into Lake Ontario. By this time, the Niagara River has turned from an angry and wild river with churning waters and rapids into a mild-mannered waterway, ready to merge with the waters of one of the Great Lakes.We had a little stroll around this charming Victorian village, admiring the beautifully kept houses and gardens, and since it was getting late we headed back into the car to continue our drive back to Toronto. The last leg of our trip was a drive through St. Catharines' beautiful little lakeside village, Port Dalhousie, which on this day featured a younger crowd than Niagara-on-the-Lake.Filled with a multitude of impressions of this gorgeous day, we arrived back in Toronto, sharing our various impressions. My European visitors, who had never been to North America, were truly impressed with the Niagara Region and I was glad I was able to give them a little taste of Ontario's wine country.
Packing mens clothes for an African safari is really a very light affair. You would think that when packing for Africa, an international trip, you would need everything that was used by the great white hunters in the Tarzan movies. In reality, this is not the case at all. You are usually only allowed 25 pounds of luggage on your safari, so packing light is essential.Men actually like to wear the same clothes for several days while on safari. It has something to do with the Tarzan syndrome. Remember to pack very little clothing when packing mens clothes for an African safari.ItemsMens clothes for an African safari need to be light colors. The style of course can be fashioned after the hunters in the Tarzan movies, not Tarzan himself. Its very hot in Africa, so shorts are the recommended britches of choice. It is possible to get a pair of everything proof shorts.Believe it or not you can find water-resistant, wrinkle-proof, stain-proof and rip-proof shorts. These shorts are ready for Africa and should be included in mens clothes for the African safari. Plus if you are a clumsy eater, your beverage will just roll off of you when you spill.If you prefer the clothes that you have in your current wardrobe, then choose clothes that will hold up well. Choose mens clothes for your African safari that are comfortable and light. Be sure the clothing can protect you from intense sunlight and malaria carrying mosquitoes.There usually is a laundry service on your safari. If you throw your undies, socks and shorts into a laundry basket, they will usually be waiting for you, folded and tidy on your bed at the end of the day. One pair of shoes is really all you need. Safari camps are not very formal so mens clothes for the African safari should include one pair of good water-resistant hiking boots. You never know when you will be walking through pools and lagoons in Africa.Mens clothes for the African safari should not be anything too flashy. Do not wear bright yellows or wild patterns. You do not want to look like a meal waiting to be eaten. A light fleece jacket at night is helpful for the cooler evenings. And definitely do not forget your Buzz Off clothing.It is essential that mens clothing for their African safari need to include one Buzz Off hat and Buzz Off shorts, shirt and socks. Mosquitoes are the real menace on African safaris, not the wild animals. Buzz-Off clothing is the only clothing you ever need to purchase for an African safari. The real critters will stay away and you can enjoy your safari of wild animals.
Paris The City of Lights, the very word Paris exudes romance and people all over the world throng this place for holiday. What makes Paris so attractive to travelers is because the city is famous all over the world for its enchanting and beautiful landscape, remarkable historical museums and galleries, renowned Parisian squares and parks, breathtaking towers and churches, and prestigious universities. Visitors from all wakes of life come here as The City of Lights has something for everyone including sophisticated, adventurous, leisure, business travelers and beauty-lovers.
Paris is the ultimate spot for fun, leisure and entertainment. It has numerous recreational establishments to keep travelers engaged and entertained. Among all Paris hotels, casino hotels are the most luxurious and lavish kinds of hotels. Casino hotels are also the most sought-after as they are famous for recreational activities such as gambling, games, sports, and other pleasurable activities.
The casino hotels in Paris are quite popular among those who want to mix business with pleasure. Enjoy your stay in the well-furnished and fully equipped rooms with modern facilities including en-suite baths, showers and toilets, satellite television with French and foreign channels, modem plug-ins, direct line telephones, hair-dryers and many more. You can relax and chat with your guests in the casino lobby, patio and bar. Business travelers will find the conference rooms for seminars and business conferences very handy that can accommodate large number of people. The casino hotels in Paris also offer buffet and food that are served fresh from their own French bakeries.
Intended for long stays, these casino hotels are an exciting place. With the casinos situated just inside the hotel, you can enjoy table games like Baccarat, Caribbean Stud Poker, keno, Bingo, Chuck-a-luck, Sic Bo, craps, video lottery terminal, Roulette, Pai Gow, and also slot machines. The nineteenth-century Moulin Rouge-type flair is the Parisian theme in Paris casino hotels. As you stay in these elegant hotels you can also get fantastic views of Paris.
If you are looking for an accommodation in Paris for your next visit, casino hotels are perfect. It will give you the benefit of a pleasant stay with the additional advantage of recreation and entertainment. Book your accommodations directly via Internet and earn more about hotel features and casino services.
At 9:30 am I went to visit Klaudia, one of my best friends from high school, at her parents house. Our other school mate Doris was already there and it was great to see both of them again, more than 23 years after we graduated from high school. After the initial hugs and kisses and how-are-yous we started walking onto the local hill, the Weizberg. Our stroll took us through the local cemetery where we admired a very famous grave: the last resting place of Aurelia Schwarzenegger, Arnolds mother, who was a long-time resident of Weiz. Klaudia even mentioned that her father happened to encounter Mrs. Schwarzenegger at the cemetery a number of years ago, but she had collapsed due to a heart attack. My friends father called the ambulance which gave her emergency treatment and took her to the hospital. She passed away shortly after and Arnold Schwarzenegger sent a thank you letter to the ambulance employees as well as to Klaudias father, to thank him for getting help for his mother. Proof that in this town real celebrity connections are just steps awayRight next to the church is the so-called Krutergarten (herb garden) that was created by a group of local residents (including Klaudias mom) that features a wide variety of local herbs, many of which are used in the regional cuisine. Then we took the romantic stairs down the hill, a pathway that we had walked many times as children. Our local stroll took us past our former high school, where we discussed fond memories of our school years. One of the highlights of our high school careers were two choir trips to Germany, to our partner school in Offenburg, where the two school choirs jointly performed classical songs. We most fondly recalled the actual concert where for the finale both school choirs appeared together to jointly sing the last song. Screaming our lungs out among 120 singers from two different countries was an exhilarating experience, and not surprisingly my passions for cross-cultural exchanges were kindled at an early age. After our return to Klaudias parents Doris left and the rest of us started preparing a hearty meal, and I, by no means gifted in the kitchen, donned the apron and started cutting and chopping whatever needed to be done. (Good thing I was not in charge of any really important tasks) Klaudias mom whipped up a delicious meal for 10+ people in next to no time and we soon sat down in the garden to have some Austrian specialties: we savoured a Brselkndelsuppe (breadcrumb dumplings in a clear beef broth), stuffed green peppers and delicious mashed potatoes with caramelized onions. Given this delicious yet substantial calory injection, we had to do a work-out and decided to do a hike up onto the Schckel, at over 1400 m the highest local mountain. Around 2 pm we met up with Doris again and all three of us broke out our Nordic walking poles and we attacked the mountain from its steepest side. Doris, an experienced hiker, led the group at a rather hellish pace, and the two of us clambered behind her. Some areas were so steep we had to use our hands to brace ourselves climbing up between the rocks. But our walking sticks definitely aided in the ascent and about an hour later we were rewarded with an astounding 360 degree view over the Styrian hills and mountains. The Schckel is also referred to as the Grazer Hausberg or local mountain of Graz, and we had great views down into the Styrian capital and the Mur Valley. To the south the Austrian and Slovenian plains were stretching out, looking east and right saw the foothills of Eastern and Western Styria, and to the north we took in the panorama of the more imposing mountains of the Styrian Alps. We also saw several ramps for hang-gliders, a popular activity in this region. We walked past some peaceful cows that were grazing on the mountain pastures and reached the summit area which is the location of the upper station of the cable car, of a couple of restaurants and a summer tobogganing course. The weather today was brilliant and many serious hikers, mountain bikers and tourists were congregating at the mountain top. We were quite fascinated by the summer tobogganing and Doris suggested that I should try it. Well, I have always been a bit of a daredevil and she did not have to say it twice. She even sprang for my Euro 2.50 round, and a couple of minutes later I was sitting in the steel buggy of death, ready for my hair-raising descent down the serpentine curves of the course. Actually, the ride was a lot tamer than I expected, and I only occasionally pulled the brakes, but it was still an very entertaining experience. I figured if I did it again I would probably try to go down the course without breaking at all. Once the lift had pulled my buggy back up to the summit plateau we started walking past the Stubenberghaus, a large mountain restaurant and inn, towards the summit cross which provides a beautiful view northwards into the mountainous area of Upper Styria. I have always loved mountains, and to see peak after peak after peak was just a great experience. We then started hiking back to the car and our trek back down was considerably easier than the torturous climb up. We stopped at Doris beautiful country house on the way back where we admired her recently created garden pond and her new dog. Equipped with some gorgeous ripe Styrian peaches from Doris familys farm we returned to Weiz and I dropped Klaudia off. About an hour later we reunited when Klaudia, her husband and two children, her parents, her sister Andrea and her daughters Nina and Katja arrived at my brothers place. Tonight we would all get together for a great barbecue, and my brother Ewald, the passionate chef, had a few special treats waiting for us. Anneliese, my sister-in-law, had been helping all afternoon with the preparations. After some initial chit-chatting we started off with a savoury vegetable soup, and then my brother started preparing the main course: 13 whole artic chars were waiting to be grilled in a large pan on an open fire. Ewald had already been marinating the fish in a special blend of herbs and spices the whole day. Tender young potatoes were to accompany the fish, and a solid Styrian salad with pumpkin seed oil rounded out the main course. A scrumptious raspberry parfait provided the sweet final note to our culinary symphony. So despite a bit of rainy weather yesterday, I had had a fantastic couple of days which included classical music, hiking, a reunion with good friends and an amazing array of gastronomic delicacies. Now there is only one more full day left of my trip to Austria, and tomorrow we will explore one of the medieval treasures of Styria: the Riegersburg, a massive fortress on a basaltic outcrop dating back to the 10th century, often referred to as the strongest fortress of Christianity because it was never conquered.