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From the Olympics to My Fat Greek Wedding, Greece has always been a cultural centerpiece in the history of man. Summing up its contribution requires a small library, but here is an overview.

Overview of Greece for Travelers

Overview of Greece for TravelersFrom the Olympics to My Fat Greek Wedding, Greece has always been a cultural centerpiece in the history of man. Summing up its contribution requires a small library, but here is an overview.Overview of Greece for TravelersGreece was home to some of the earliest advanced civilizations. From the Minoans of the second BC millennium to Mycenaeans who established the basis of the current language, the country has produced cultural, philosophical, political and sport advancements unrivaled by others. The modern Greek state obtained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1830. It has carried on what seems like a constant conflict with Turkey and was also involved in both World Wars. In 1981, Greece joined the European Community that eventually evolved into the European Union. The official name of Greece is the Hellenic Republic. Greece covers an area of roughly 51,000 square miles. Athens is both the capital and largest population center with roughly 3.5 million inhabitants. Thessaloniki is the second largest population area with just over one million people. The terrain of Greece ranges from mountains in the north to flat plains in the south and beautiful islands off the coast. Winters are mild while summers are hot and dry making Greece a huge tourist destination. The people of Greece are known as Greeks. They total more than 10.96 million. Population growth exists, but it is just above .2 percent annually. Greek is the official language. From a religious perspective, 99 percent of Greeks claim Greek Orthodox as their religion. Literacy rate is 95 percent and all levels of education are absolutely free. Life expectancy is 76 for males and 81 for women. Greece is a relatively small country, but has accounted for a remarkable number of developments in the trek of mankind through history. Whether you are going to see the culture or loaf on the islands, Greece is a top travel destination for a good reason.

Traveling to and within Spain

Traveling to and within Spain

Mainland Spain is situated on the Iberian peninsula in the southwest of Europe. It also encompasses two groups of islands. The Islas Baleares (Balearic Islands), in the Mediterranean, Mallorca the largest island is just over one hundred miles off the eastern coast and the Islas Canarias (Canary Islands) which are situated approximately five hundred miles to the southwest and lie off the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Mellila and Cueta are two Spanish enclaves in Morocco on the African continent.

Whilst Spain is one of the world's leading destinations for the package holiday there is more to this country than the beaches of the costas and islands. The independent traveler will want to move around see what more Spain has to offer.

Getting there - There are thirty one airports on the mainland serving the following cities and towns: A Coruna, Albacete, Alicante, Almera, Asturias, Badajoz, Barcelona, Bilbao, Burgos, Cordoba, Girona, Granada, Jerez de la Frontera, Leon, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia, Pamplona, Reus, Sabadell, Salamanca, San Sebastian, Santander, Santiago, Sevilla, Valencia, Valladolid, Vigo and Zaragoza. In the Canaries the islands of El Hierro, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, La Gomera, Lanzarote and Tenerife and in the Balearics Ibiza, Menorca and Mallorca all have airports. Gibraltar, the British colony at the southern most tip of Spain, also has it's own airport. British Airways and the Monarch fly daily to Gibraltar from several departure points in the United Kingdom and Monarch has some very good deals on seats. Major carriers provide scheduled flights to Spain but it is also a principal destination for budget airlines with return flights available for less than 100 Euros from other European cities. It is also possible to pick up bargain seats on the many charter flights serving the tourist industry. Air travel within Spain, with the exception of a couple of budget airlines, is expensive.

Major roads provide access from Portugal to the west and France which borders Spain to the northeast. Road travel within the country can vary. Many roads are not of a good standard but Spain has received billions of Euros in aid from the European Union and much of this has been spent on the infrastructure and so it is also possible to travel on some of the newest and finest roads on the continent. The country is well served by many bus companies linking the major towns and cities with express services. There are also a wealth of local bus services.

The train service is well developed enabling access to the country from both Portugal and France and fast travel between towns and cities within Spain. Fares are cheap compared to some other major European countries. Madrid and Barcelona are served by extensive Metro (underground railway) networks.

In addition to the many inter island services ferries run from the mainland to both the island groups and the two enclaves in Morocco. The Canary Islands are served by a boat running from Cadiz. The journey is long, some 48 hours and the sea conditions often make for a rough passage. It may be preferable to fly although as we have already pointed out this can be expensive. Ferries from Tariffa and Algeciras, in the Andalucian province of Cadiz, run to Tanger in Morroco. Ferries also link the enclave of Cueta with Tariffa, Algeciras and Malaga. Mellila, the other enclave is served by a boats out of Malaga and Almeria. The Balearic Islands have services to the mainland running to Barcelona, Valencia and Denia.

More information about Spain can be found at the Spanish Travel Guide

Avila, Spain

Avila, Spain

Madrid is a city almost without equal in Europe. If you need a break from it, you can take a day trip to Avila to catch a bit of fresh air and see some amazing sites.Avila, SpainMadrid has so much going on it is often hard to drag yourself away from. You will, however, eventually need a break. A day trip to Avila, a town near Madrid, is definitely worth a trip. In fact, a visit to Avila is a must if you visit Spain. The town is so popular, there are over 20 trains a day from Madrid. Avila is in the south of Old Castile, part of the Castile and Leon autonomous district. The city was originally known for Teresa of Avila, a Roman Catholic mystic. The cathedral in the city is also considered a masterpiece. While this is no doubt fascinating to you, the real attraction of Avilla is the defensive fortification. Were you addicted to the Lord of the Rings movies? Enjoy reading about Camelot? Have a thing for castles? You are going to love Avila. The town is home to the second largest defensive walls in the world. Known as Las Murallas, the walls were built in the eleventh century. They are a couple miles long and average 40 feet in height. The walls are partitioned by over 80 towers that reach as high as 65 feet, the equivalent of a six-story building. There are nine gates allowing you to enter and exit the town. All and all, the Avila Walls are a site to be seen.The amazing thing about the walls is their condition. They are in a near perfect state. If you did not know better, you would swear they were built last week. Happily, you can tromp up and down the towers and walk across the top of the walls. Looking out over the area surrounding Avila, you get a definite feel for what it must have been like for a soldier to defend the city. Keep in mind Avila is at a high elevation. It can be cold in the winter and blazing hot in the summer.

The seaside village of Aegiali

The seaside village of Aegiali

Aegiali, in the Greek Cyclades, is a very beautiful seaside village full of outstanding beaches and picturesque landscapes. Besides this, Aegiali offers a wide variety of facilities and therefore tourists could be almost sure of finding practically anything they might need while being in this destination.Aegiali's cuisine is very appealing too and there are several typical dishes that tourists should not miss, especially those containing Mediterranean fish. Night life at Aegiali is also very nice and those visitors who enjoying going out and partying until late would also be able to have a good time in this city.It is also often easy to find a hotel or a room in Aegiali since there is several of them spread throughout the city. Despite of this, it is always advisable to ask in advance and count with a reservation whenever it is possible in order to make sure of finding a place where to stay after arriving.Among the main attractions offered by Aegiali there are its beaches. Aegiali and its surroundings count with many attractive and several outstanding beaches spread throughout the coastline. This way, this destination is also ideal to all those who enjoy the sea, the sand, sunbathing, or practicing beach sports.One of the most picturesque and peculiar beaches visitors could find in Aegiali and its surrounding area is what is known as Levrossos Beach. Levrossos Beach is a nudist beach which offers great sands and clear waters, although many time tourists who approach to it are driven by curiosity rather than by the natural beauty offered by this area of the coast line.The seaside village of Aegiali is situated at about 24 kilometers from the main port of Amorgos and the city of Katapola. This spot also offers several amazing beaches and it is highly recommendable that tourists always try to visit it while being in Aegiali, especially those who enjoy being close to the sea. Aegiali can be a great destination to all those who are fond of the sea, the beach, and traditional Greek food, among several other aspects.

Peak 10 of Breckenridge Ski Resort

The Super Falcon chair lift in Breckenridge, CO opened in 1985, this made peak 10 the third mountain to be opened at Breckenridge Ski Resort. Peak 10's double black terrain is plentiful. All the extreme double diamond terrain is on the south side of the mountain. With great runs like mustang which offers moguls, trees and more. The top part of Mustang is relatively flat, but don't be fooled. This flat part suddenly drops into the steep part of the mountain
Towards the end of the run, there is huge natural hit and the landing is perfect but be careful not to go to big or else you will land of the flat. After the hit make sure you get enough speed for the cat walk. If you snowboard, beware, the traverse to the lift can be exhausting. There are five other double black runs on the southside all are pretty similar to Mustang with steeps and mogels. Quiver, Elan, Trinity, Black Hawk and Darkrider will challenge even the most experienced skier.
If you're riding the Southside don't forget about the brilliant Cimmaron ski run. If you like speed with a lot of rollers, You'll love Cimmaron. This ski run has a giant slalom feel to it with good reason. They actually hold world cup races on this run. Once you pick up speed with this run, you'll have a much easier traverse at the bottom. The southside is the absolute best on a powder day, but I recommend you avoid the double black runs on sunny days.
The north side of peak 10 has less vertical than the south side, but the north side has two of the greatest tree or mogel runs in Corsair and the Burn. Corsair is a little steeper than the burn, and it also has a tighter trees, but if you want to get the most bang for the buck, try starting at corsair and traverse skiers right and I promise you a long fresh run. When you pull up to the corsair mogul run, go left into the trees and I promise it all opens up into an amazing powder field.
The Burn is just below Corsair and offers wide open tree runs with absolultely perfect spacing of the trees. If you keep going to the right side when coming down the Burn, your run will be much longer.
One more run worth mentioning is the Crystal . This runs straight down the middle under the Falcon Chair. This run is a great run for an intermediate skiers looking to take that next step towards being a more aggressive skier. As a warning and tip, if you happen to be riding Breckenridge on a Saturday or Sunday, the lift lines can get extremely long. So my advice to you is to tryout peak10 early in the morning and by 10:30am, you can go to other lifts on Peak 9 or Peak 8 and there won't be much of a line.

Discover Cretes Hidden Treasures

Many people take a holiday on the Greek island of Crete and enjoy the fantastic beaches, charming villages and endless sunshine. But Crete offers the visitor much more than this. As if welcoming people, charming mountain villages, rocky bays, sandy beaches and one of Europes best climates were not enough reasons to visit Crete, it is also a historian's and an archaeologist's paradise. Its fascinating archaeological ruins and world-class museums are surely a bonus. And in the far northwest, east and south of the island, away from the tourist trail, you can expect to see some really excellent smaller Minoan sites that are hardly visited.But before heading for the archaeological ruins, check out the stunning collection of the Iraklion Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, the capital of the island. Home to the worlds finest collection of Minoan art and culture in the world, the twenty rooms and galleries provide the perfect introduction to 5,000 years of island history from the Neolithic to the Graeco-Roman era.The famous Minoan Palace of Knossos, just south of Iraklion, was one of Europes finest buildings during Bronze Age (2800-1100 BC) with around 1,400 rooms. Staircases with shallow alabaster steps lead to upper or lower floors and lovely frescoes, with scenes from everyday life, decorate the Palace walls. The King's and the Queen's apartments feature blue dolphins, while the throne room contains the oldest throne in Europe, the alabaster throne of King Minos.If you are feeling more adventurous head for remote Central Cretes prehistoric site of Gortys, once the largest city in Crete. Besides being the first city to accept Christianity, and with a history as far back as the Minoan period, Gortys was occupied by the Romans in 68 BC and destroyed by the Arabs 900 years later. This layer on layer of civilization brings history to life as you discover an ancient past that helps explain the present.The great thing about Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is that its big enough to get away to places that are not teeming with visitors all the time. As well as resorts and nightlife you can also enjoy simple pleasures such as sipping a coffee at a roadside caf in a mountain village. But, whatever you do, be sure to soak up the islands history through the archaeological remains of the past civilizations. And remember, entrance to all archaeological sites, museums, archaeological collections and monuments is free on Sundays and public holidays between 1 November and 31 March.

Summary

From the Olympics to My Fat Greek Wedding, Greece has always been a cultural centerpiece in the history of man. Summing up its contribution requires a small library, but here is an overview.