Thursday, 25 December 2008


May you experience the joy of Christmas as we
enter the festive holidays.




Tuesday, 23 December 2008

OR Tambo International Airport

Considering the fact that a lot of us will be traveling this season, I thought it will be helpful to have handy airport information at hand!

Monday, 22 December 2008

SOWETO Day Tour


Let one of our Cardinal Tour Guides show you how to do the Soweto Township the right way. Herewith some of the highlights the Soweto Tour Includes:


Diepkloof: Enter Soweto via the up-market area called Diepkloof Ext where some of the houses can cost in the millions.


In complete contrast we visit a large hostel in the area, in days gone by the notorious hostel system was used as single gender accommodation for migrant labourers, it is now used as informal lodgings for family units.


Soweto Towers Power Swing: Orlando Towers offers you the first ever wing between2 cooling towers, a whooping 100m from the ground.And they're not just any towers! These two cooling towers are the largest landmark in historical Soweto, now one of South Africa's biggest tourist attractions


Baragwanath: We pass Baragwanath Hospital, the largest hospital in the southern hemisphere. Soak up the sites, sounds and "smells" of Africa at close quarters - informal open-air butcher shop, herbalists, barbers and market etc. Enjoy a ‘Smilies’ breakfast (the meat of a cow or sheep’s head) and sip on an Omqombothi (traditional beer) at on of our local shebeens.

Rotsos Shebeen: This is one of the most typical shebeens in Soweto. Here guests are able to mingle with the friendly locals.Rotsos Shebeen is opposite the Baragwanath Hospital, the biggest hospital in the Southern Hemisphere.


Lunch: A highlight of a visit to Soweto is a delicious lunch at one of the well run restaurantspatronized by both tourists and locals alike, offering typical "township" fare including dom bolo (steamed bread), moro ga (spinach), Umqhusho (Khosa samp and beans-Nelson Mandela's favourite dish), Mogodu (tripe-not for the faint hearted!) and a variety of meats, salads and vegetables. Desserts and drinks are not included.


Vilakazi Street: The tour bus will drive through Vilakazi Street, which is the only street in the world where two Nobel Prize winners lived: Nelson Mandela & Desmond Tutu. Unfortunate we won’t be able to enter as the Mandela Family Museum has been closed for renovations.


Hector Peterson museum: After lunch the trip continues to the neighbouring suburb of Orlando West & the Hector Peterson Memorial. Here clients can spend some time wandering through the museum, learning about the student uprising of 1976.Visit the fascinating museum which is a state of the art multi media centre depicting scenes leading up to the student uprising of 1976 and the eventual transition to democracy in South Africa.


Regina Mundi & Thokoza Park: This is one of the biggest Catholic churches in South Africa. The Reginal Mundi Church is the focal point of much of the struggle in the 70's and 80's and home to the famous Black Madonna and Child painting. This church is also known as “The Parliament of Soweto”


Should you require more information on this or other tours around South Africa, please have a look on our website or contact Charl at charl@saitravel.co.za

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Bless the clueless Travel Agents

Before I leave you to enjoy the silliness of the post, let me give you some information. My colleague and I was invited to attend a show call Bjorn Again at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre. This post is all about how, being a travel agent doesn't mean you need to find your own directions around your own country.



All excited we get into the car to drive to Joburg, directions in hand on our way. About half way there I manage to miss place and find the directions. All in all a smooth ride.

I was starting feeling relieved when we had the off ramp coming up and the show starting in 15 minutes time. Sort of like:
Right Place - Check
On Time - Check

But then the off ramp wasn't coming up. We could see Gold Reef City in the distance, but then we are ladies, we follow instructions. After a while, I phone best friend's husband - ends up the off ramp from where we could see Gold Reef City was the off ramp to take. The problem at hand was that we were on our way to Soweto!

Now I know Soweto is a major tourist attraction in South Africa and I would love to do a day tour to Soweto some day. But two white girls driving around at 8pm on any day of the week in the middle of Soweto, is not a good idea. In fact it can only be describe as a very bad idea.

As we drive past the Pioneer Museum, J and I start having silly conversation to try and break the tension. As we stand bumper to bumper we go through the ups and downs of being very nervous.

Finally we get to a fork in the road, either we go to Protea and Protea South or we go to Lenasia. Protea? National flower of South Africa Protea or area in Soweto? Lenasia is a suburb known for Indian people residing there. And all I know is, I have been in a traffic jam in Lenasia a couple of years ago - and yes this was with some Indian friends of mine. Then I also know the very obvious - it is somewhere in JNB, goodness know how far from Gold Reef City.

So we take our chances going to Lenasia. A couple of very busy streets without traffic lights working, we manage to cross the street in once piece, to find our TREASURE - a board that tells us where to go to go back to JNB! Best friend smsses us to say the show is half way, aka we have missed it all and we decide to go home.

Bless us, clueless travel agents.

We take the N14 highway to Witbank. Yip, this is the highway that J drives every day to come to work with. Maybe it was all shock from the whole experience, but as we drive, we see a board that says Benoni. (which is on the other side of JNB) Following Benoni was Brakpan and the Springs. And to be fare, we both know were Bora Bora and Port of Spain is. We can also point out the different countries like Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. Let me rephrase that we can tell you the different countries in the Middle East - Israel, Iraq, Iran and Saudi. But do not ask us to drive from JNB to Pretoria.

All in all, we ended up in Delmas. Delmas is in Mpumalanga Province, 60km from Pretoria, Jnb is only 75km from Pretoria in the opposite direction. JNB and Pretoria is in Gauteng Province!
Just for the fun, have a look at the following links:


In retrospect (looking on the map - we were driving on the N12. J drives the N4 to work)
I will stop there before I seriously harm our reputations.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Excursions - Iguaçu Falls






Iguaçu Falls



The Rio Iguaçu arises in the coastal mountains of Paraná and Santa Catarina and snakes west for 370 miles (600km) before it widens majestically and sweeps around a magnificent jungle stage, plunging and crashing in tiered falls at the border with Argentina and Paraguay. The Foz do Iguaçu (Iguaçu Falls) are over two miles (3km) wide and 262ft (80m) high and their beauty is unsurpassed. Their name, fittingly, comes from the Guarani Indian word meaning 'great waters'. The deep flowing waters of the river tumble down 275 falls (almost twice the height of Niagara Falls) the most famous of which is Devils Throat on the Argentinian border, dropping 230ft (70m). As well as taking in the stunning views, visitors can enjoy kayaking and other watersports in the river. The best time of year to visit is August to November, when there is least risk of floodwaters hindering the approach to the catwalks. The falls are surrounded by the Iguaçu National Park, a huge sub-tropical rainforest covering 135,000 acres that is home to thousands of different species of flora and birds including parrots and hummingbirds.
Transport: The easiest way to get to the falls is by air from Rio. Alternatively you can take a bus via Curitiba




Friday, 12 December 2008

Transport in Rio


Although a large and sprawling city, the neighbourhoods most frequented by visitors are easy to get around in. The public transport system is cheap and efficient, and most places can be reached by metro or bus. By far the quickest and easiest way to get around is by the efficient metro, but there are limits to its coverage of the city with only two lines. The most inexpensive form of transport are the local buses, which travel all over the city as fast as the traffic will allow, although they are often badly driven, crowded and the scene of much petty theft, especially during rush hours when the crowded conditions are ideal for pickpockets. Special care should be taken on buses known to be used by tourists, such as those to the Sugar Loaf. Public transport stops between 11pm and midnight, with some buses operating 24 hours, but it is safer to hire a taxi late at night. Taxis are plentiful and relatively inexpensive. Radio cabs can be ordered and are said to be safer and more reliable, usually with air-conditioning, but they are 30 percent more than regular taxis. Driving in Rio is not recommended and hiring a car is expensive.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

attractions in RIO


Corcovado
The distinctive statue of Christ the Redeemer, arms spread to welcome the world, is the symbol of Rio de Janeiro and one of the seven New Wonders of the Modern World. It rests on top of Rio de Janeiro's Corcovado Mountain, 2,330ft (710m)... see full details


Sugar Loaf
The summit of Rio's unique 1,299ft high (396m) belvedere, named Sugar Loaf because of its resemblance to the loaves of sugar used by the Portuguese colonists, can be reached by a two-stage cable car ride. The first stage takes visitors up 722ft (220m)... see full details


Botanical Gardens
Rio's Botanical Gardens were created in 1808 by the Prince Regent of Portugal as a temporary site for acclimatising imported plants. Today it is home to some 2,600 species of plant life, particularly bromeliads and orchids. Colour is added to the botanical treasures by... see full details


Ipanema
Immortalised in a popular song, 'The girl from Ipanema', this part of Rio offers not only its legendary beach, but numerous excellent hotels, bustling nightlife, sophisticated shopping opportunities and quality restaurants, all within walking distance of each other. Ipanema (the name, incongruously, means 'bad... see full details


Copacabana
This famous Rio beach neighbourhood was just a small fishing village until a new highway changed the face of it sometime in the 1900s. The Copacabana Palace Hotel first opened its doors in 1923, and since then the area mushroomed with Neoclassical and... see full details


Buzios Peninsula
Once the preserve of pirates and slave traders, the peninsula of Buzios, 105 miles (169km) north east of Rio, is today the haunt of the rich and famous who flock to the city (once a fishing village) to enjoy the 20 or so... see full details


Estádio do Maracanã
Built over 50 years ago for use in the Soccer World Cup, this stadium is the largest on the continent, seating a crowd of over 95,000. The stadium is currently used to host the local soccer league games, and is the home of... see full details


Tijuca Forest
The world's largest urban forest, Tijuca spans 7,900 acres (3,200ha) and sits on Rio's doorstep. Inside the forest, walkabouts will lead you past caves, waterfalls and an abundance of exotic and rare flora and fauna. Stop and enjoy a pre-packed lunch at the 'Mesa... see full details


Rio Scenarium
The most festive spot in what is arguably the most festive city in the world. Rio Scenarium is a three floor dance club dedicated to sultry, sweaty summer salsa nights. The decor is interesting, set in an abandoned antiques warehouse, the club is... see full details

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

New Year in Rio de Janeiro: 5 Nights



Copacabana Beach is very famous for the Reveillon


This year there was 2.300.000 people at the beach looking at the sky for the midnight fireworks.In Brazil is very popular that everybody dress in WHITE clothes and go to the beaches all long the Brazilian coast.We do have one of the biggest ocean coasts in the world.




And the party at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro is the biggest meeting point for that special moment every year.The fireworks show took 19 minutes total time, and it was made with 25 tons of Chinese fireworks mounted on eight big ships (those that are used to carry cars) placed at 400 meters from the beach sand.




Behind the ships, at 400 meters more distant, there were lots of yachts of all sizes and 4 big ocean-cruisers that come to Brazil from other countries just to watch the big party.




Besides dressing in white, people do throw white flowers on the Ocean as an offer to the sea, and asking for a better life in the following year, with more health, more money, more happiness, etc... They cry, they pray, they jump, they dance, they yell, welcoming the New Year


Leme Palace Othon (4*) in Rio de Janeiro



Located at the head of Copacabana Beach, the Leme Othon Palace stands near Sugar Loaf and downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.




Package Includes:
Return flights on South Africa Airlines (CPT-JNB-GRU-JNB-CPT or JNB-GRU-JNB)
Return flights on Tam Airlines (SAO-RIO-SAO)
Airport taxes.
Return Private Service transfers airport/hotel/airport with guide.
5 nights hotel accommodation at Leme Othon Palace (4*) in a STD room with breakfast in Rio de Janeiro.





EX JNB Dec 27th to Jan 1st, 09 - R 16.469,00


Tuesday, 9 December 2008


This is just the girlie side of me - elegance!

Weather in St Petersburg


St Petersburg's climate is milder than most areas in Russia due to its proximity to the Baltic Sea, though weather can be highly changeable. Winters are very cold, with freezing winds and snowfall, and temperatures average about 9°F to 10°F (-13°C to -12°C) in January and February (the coldest months), sometimes dropping lower. June to August is usually the warmest time of year, though temperatures are still relatively low and average in the mid-60s Fahrenheit (about 20°C). Summer tends to be the most popular time to travel to St Petersburg, and a spectacular phenomenon is the White Nights in mid-summer, where, due to the city's northern latitudes, the sun doesn't set entirely.

Monday, 8 December 2008

St Petersburg Attractions


The Winter Palace and the Hermitage Museum
The magnificent green, white and gold Winter Palace is superbly situated on the banks of the Neva River, a 656 ft-long (200m) Russian Baroque building that is the biggest and most lavishly decorated palace in the city. The palace was the official residence of... see full details


Palace Square
The main square of St Petersburg and one of the world's most magnificent plazas, Palace Square contains the picturesque Baroque buildings of the Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum on one side and the Classical yellow and white former General Staff buildings of the Russian... see full details


Nevsky Prospekt
Almost three miles (five km) long, Nevsky Prospekt is one of the best-known streets in Russia and is the main thoroughfare of St Petersburg, starting at the Admiralty whose gilded spire is a famous city landmark, to the Moscow Railway Station and then... see full details


St Isaac's Cathedral
The golden dome of St Isaac's Cathedral dominates the skyline of St Petersburg, the colonnade around the cupola offering superb panoramic views over the city. It was commissioned by Tsar Alexander I to be a magnificent imperial cathedral, and the ensuing masterpiece was of... see full details


Peter and Paul Fortress
Situated on a small island on the Neva Delta across the river from The Hermitage, the Peter and Paul Fortress is the oldest building in St Petersburg. Planned by Peter the Great as a defence against possible attacks from the Swedes, the fortress... see full details

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Moscow Climate


Moscow has a continental climate, typified by exceedingly cold, long winters and hot summers. In mid-summer, during July and August, temperatures are pleasantly warm, with occasionally hot spells, and humidity tends to be high. Winters differ drastically, with only about six hours of daylight in the middle of the season and temperatures recorded at way below freezing point. Winter snows start in October and the snow blanket persists well into spring. Moscow has little rainfall, most of its precipitation falling as snow.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Attractions in Moscow



The Kremlin
The oldest part of Moscow dating back to the city's foundation in 1147, and situated at the very heart of the city on top of a hill, the Kremlin is a fortress surrounded by a thick red wall interspersed with 20 towers. The... see full details


Red Square
Red Square is a dramatic open cobbled space in the centre of Moscow, originally the city's market place that served as a public gathering place to celebrate festivals, listen to government announcements or to witness executions, especially common during the reign of Ivan the... see full details


St Basil's Cathedral
St Basil's Cathedral with its multicoloured domes is the most famous image of Russia, standing on the edge of Moscow's Red Square, a striking design that was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to commemorate his victorious military campaign against the Tartar Mongols at Kazan... see full details


Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre
Moscow's oldest theatre, the Bolshoi dates from 1824 and is Russia's most famous theatre, with its world-renowned opera and ballet companies in residence. Completely rebuilt after a fire in 1856, the grand building is a masterpiece of Russian neoclassicism, including an eight-columned entrance porch... see full details


Tretyakov Gallery
The Tretyakov Gallery houses some of the great masterpieces of traditional Russian art from before the Revolution and has the world's finest collection of Russian icons from the 11th to the 17th centuries. The gallery's collection of paintings, graphics and sculptures covers Russian art... see full details


Poklonnaya Hill
Poklonnaya, literally meaning 'bow down', lies in the west part of Moscow and was historically a spot for Western visitors of the city to pay homage before entering the city. Today it is a beacon to Russia's military strength, having withstood invasions by... see full details


Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
After Napoleon retreated from Russia, Tsar Alexander I declared that a cathedral be built in remembrance to the soldiers who had died defending mother Russia. Decades later the cathedral was demolished by Stalin (who found the monument abhorrent), only to be built again on... see full details


Borodino Panorama Museum
The battle of Borodino, is regarded as the bloodiest of the Napoleonic wars, seeing over 70 000 casualties in a single day, an event which saw Napoleon brand the Russians as being 'invincible'. The Borodino Panorama Museum was inaugurated in 1960 and serves... see full details


Moscow Metro
Visitors to Moscow are strongly encouraged to take a ride on the city's glorious underground rail system. The 'tarmac' consists of marble floors, ornate pillars and the walls are adorned with realist artworks. Moscow's metro boasts over two and half billion passenger rides per... see full details

Russian Basics


Time:
Russia is divided into 11 time zones ranging from GMT +2 in the east to GMT +12 in the west. In summer the time is +1 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in September. The local time in Moscow and St Petersburg is GMT +3 (GMT +4 in summer).


Electricity:
Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are standard.


Language:
Russian is the official language. Some people speak English, French or German.


Health:
Travellers to Russia are advised to have up-to-date vaccinations for hepatitis A, tuberculosis and typhoid fever (long-term travellers), as well as medications for travellers' diarrhoea. There is also a risk of tick-borne encephalitis in rural and wooded areas, particularly in the Ural and Siberian regions. HIV/AIDS is on the increase. Measles outbreaks occur. Drinking water should be treated; bottled water is readily available. There is a reciprocal health care agreement with the UK entitling citizens to free health treatment in hospital. Local state medical facilities are of a low standard, however, and visitors are strongly advised to have full insurance for medical treatment and accidents should they require private care. Blood transfusions should not be performed in Russia, due to uncertainties concerning the blood supply. Essential medications and supplies may be limited. There have been outbreaks of bird flu in a number of regions of Russia, including around Moscow, but there have been no reports of human infection. Travellers are advised to avoid contact with domestic, caged and wild birds and ensure that all poultry and egg dishes are well cooked.


Tipping:
Hotel bills in the large cities include a 10 to 15% service charge; otherwise 10% is usual. If a service charge hasn't been added at a restaurant, a 10% tip is expected. City Guides and their drivers also expect a small tip and tipping in bars and nightclubs is common.


Safety:
Travellers are advised against all travel to Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan because of the security situation in the North Caucasus, including the regions of Budyonnovsky, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, Stepnovsky and Kurskoy. Travellers are advised against all but essential travel to North Ossetia, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria (including the Elbrus area) as terrorism and kidnapping in these regions persist. Between April and August 2008, there was a series of explosions in and around Sochi. There is a high risk of domestic terrorism throughout Russia, particularly in Moscow and North Caucasus, with suicide bombings and explosions in public areas and on public transport, and hostage-taking is a serious threat. Visitors are advised to be vigilant and to watch out for pickpockets and street crime. There has been an increase in crime, specifically targeting tourists, in St Petersburg and visitors are advised to be cautious on the metro and buses, and should insist on seeing official ID from police officers. Political protests often end in violence and detention; visitors are advised to avoid all demonstrations.


Customs:
Photography of anything to do with the military, strategic sites, or the airport, is prohibited. It is impolite to refuse alcohol, food and gifts. In Russian Orthodox churches, women are advised to wear skirts and cover their heads with a scarf. It is a legal requirement for visitors to carry passports for identification; copies are not sufficient.


Business:
Russian business is conducted in a fashion similar to Western countries with subtle differences. Russians are business-minded so it is not necessary to form personal relations but developing a good network of resident associates is a good idea. Dress is formal and conservative and on greeting a good firm handshake and direct eye contact indicates strength. Business cards are exchanged and it's advisable to get a Russian translation of your details on the alternate side. Business hours are generally from 9am to 6pm from Monday to Friday.

Friday, 5 December 2008

CHRISTMAS IN RUSSIA


They call it the ‘White Days’ – with a bit of luck mother Russia will spread her white blanket to contrast with her golden and coloured onion domes. Winter in Russia can be simply magical!


Our offer INCLUDES:


Economy-class airfares on SAA&LH ex Johannesburg
Arrival and departure airport/hotel and hotel/train station coach transfers
6 nights B&B in a twin/double room with private en-suite facilities
1 night overnight sleeper train in 2nd class 4-berth compartment
Guided half-day sightseeing group tour in each city
Dinner on Christmas evening in St Petersburg
Visa support documentation


EXCLUDES:


Visas
Items of a personal nature
Insurance


ITINERARY


20 th December: Arrive in MOSCOW. Transfer to the hotel Cosmos for 3 nights.
21 st December: Take the city tour of Moscow including Red Square, St Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin and Novodevichy Monastery.
22 nd December: Day at leisure or choose an optional tour.
23 rd December: Day at leisure or choose an optional tour. Transfer to the railway station for an overnight train to St Petersburg. You will travel aboard the Red Arrow.
24 th December: Early morning arrival in ST PETERSBURG. Transfer to the hotel Dostoevsky for 3 nights. Take the city tour of Petersburg including Nevsky Prospekt, St Isaac’s Cathedral and Peter & Paul’s Fortress.
25 th December: Day at leisure to benefit from fully operating facilities on Christmas day throughout the city. Tonight you will be treated to a dinner in one of St Petersburg’s finest restaurants.
26 th December: Day at leisure or choose an optional tour.
27 th December: Transfer to the airport for your departure.


7 Nights from R25 210 pps

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Paris Transport


Paris has an excellent public transport system. It is divided into five zones radiating out from the centre and ticket prices vary according to the number of zones required. Public transport consists of buses, an underground metro and express trains (RER). Taxis are also available. The easiest way to get around is on the metro and the subways are generally safe at all times. It is possible to transfer between the metro and the RER trains at no extra cost. The bus system is also extensive, but is slower, less frequent and best used for getting to destinations the metro does not cover. Various passes are available for public transport and can be good value if staying for a longer period. The Paris Visites pass is valid for one, two, three or five days and also allows discounts at certain museums, shops and restaurants, but will not necessarily save money, depending on how much one travels. There is also the cheaper weekly or monthly Carte Orange (passport photo required), but this is technically only available for Ile de France residents. Both allow unlimited travel in the chosen zones on the metro, RER, buses and the funicular to Montmartre. The cheapest option if only in town for a day or two is the Carte Mobilis, which allows unlimited travel for a day in Zones 1 and 2. From May to September a passenger boat, the Batobus, offers sightseeing trips on the Seine stopping at the main attractions, and from April to September a Balabus bus service loops around most of the major sights in Paris every Sunday and on public holidays. A nightbus service, Noctambus, covers the city between 1am and 5.30am. Only think about renting a car if planning excursions from the city as aggressive driving, confusing one-way streets and impossible parking can be testing for visitors. Taxis are readily available and can be hailed or caught at taxi ranks.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Shopping Experience in Paris


Paris is a shopper's paradise. The Glitterati will feel at home in the Haute Couture shops found on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, while trend-setting fashions will be found in Rue Etienne Marcel shops. Sadly, the Champs-Elysées is not what it used to be with banks, fast-food chains and malls strategically placed to trap tourists. However one or two good stores still remain, such as the Guerlain Parfumerie and the Virgin Megastore.


Les Halles is a subterranean shopping mall with over 180 stores where bargain hunters will be able to find cheap knockoffs and other trendy clothes. Mainstream department stores offer some great finds such as La Samaritaine, which prides itself as being the one where 'on trouve tout' (one finds everything).


Bargains are in abundance at the three main flea markets situated around the old gates of the city. They are, however, teeming with pickpockets and shoppers should be on their guard. Les Bouquinistes, which consists of rows of bookstalls perched against the walls of the Seine River, is a great place for bookworms to browse and barter.


Traditional Parisians buy most of their food from specialty stores such as bakeries and butcheries with pastries, cheeses or pâtés to die for. The open-air markets are a fantastic place to find flowers, produce and clothing and are frequented by most of the locals. Paris also offers a wealth of window-shopping opportunities making it the ultimate destination for the discerning consumer.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Attraction in Paris


Being a most popular tourist destination, Paris sees over 30 million foreigners a year. There are numerous iconic landmarks to explore as well as many world famous institutions and popular parks. Some sights are visible from many parts of the city, such as the Tour Montparnasse, the Eiffel Tower and the Basilique du Sacre-Cœur.Take a trip to the Louvre and marvel at Da Vinci's Mona Lisa or the Venus de Milo, do a spot of shopping on the Champs-Elysées and have a look at the Arc de Triomphe in the Place de l'Étoile circus. Paris is simply brimming with museums and the Invalides Museum is a great place for culture seekers and is the burial place of many great French soldiers, including Napoleon Bonaparte. There are a few other clerical masterpieces to behold besides Notre-Dame, such as the Gothic 13th-century Sainte-Chapelle palace chapel.Stroll through the Jardin des Plantes, Paris' first public garden, created by Louis XIII's doctor for the cultivation of medicinal plants, or for an action-packed day of fun, head over to Disneyland. The Pompidou Centre is a must-see, housing the Musée National d'Art Modern, while the square to the west of the building attracts a varied assortment of street performers. With its history, culture and countless attractions, Paris has something for just about everyone.
Eiffel Tower
Gustave Eiffel, the architect of the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) could never have guessed that it would become Paris's signature sight and attract more than six million visitors a year. It was built as a temporary structure to commemorate the centenary of the French... see full details


Notre-Dame
Notre-Dame looms large over the Place de Parvis, on the Isle de la Cité, and is the most enduring symbol of Paris. Built between 1163 and 1345 the Cathedral is considered one of the of the world's Gothic masterpieces. The massive interior can... see full details


Louvre
One of the world's great art museums, this vast edifice houses an extraordinary collection of paintings, sculptures and antiquities from all over the world. The Louvre was opened to the public in 1793, soon after the Revolution, to display the spectacular treasures looted from... see full details


Pompidou Centre
Built in the 1970s and named after former French president Georges Pompidou, the futuristic Pompidou Centre is now considered part of the Parisian landscape. The outrageous design, complete with its glass elevators, was the inspiration for the Lloyds Building in London and attracts visitors... see full details


Musée d'Orsay
This great museum is fairly new by Paris standards. It is situated in a railway station by the Seine and houses a vast collection of works from the significant 1848 to 1914 period. There are important works from the Art-Nouveau movement but the... see full details


Musée Rodin
The Rodin Museum is situated near the Musée d'Orsay and is housed in what was once the Hôtel Biron, the beautiful hotel where Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) once lived and worked. Inside are many of Rodin's great marble sculptures including The Kiss and The Hand... see full details


Musée National Picasso
The Picasso Museum is situated in a 17th-century mansion in the heart of Paris. The collection was started in 1973, after the French government accepted Picasso's own collection in lieu of death duties, and was added to after his widow's death in 1990.... see full details


Arc de Triomphe
The world's largest triumphal arch, the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile is set at the centre of a star-shaped configuration of 12 radiating avenues. It stands 165ft (51 metres) tall and the names of major victories won during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods are... see full details


Les Invalides
Les Invalides were built by Louis the 14th in 1670 as a military hospital to take care of wounded soldiers. It comprises the largest single collection of monuments and museums in Paris all relating to the military history of France. It is a... see full details


Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is France's main botanical garden. Covering 28 hectares (280,000 m²) the garden was originally planted by Louis XIII's doctor in 1626 as a medicinal herb garden. In 1640, it became Paris's first public garden. In 1739, after a long period... see full details

Monday, 1 December 2008

Sightseeing in Paris


PARIS VISION TOUR:
€32 per adt €16 per chd
Runs daily at 09:00. 12:00 and 15:00 hrs (duration 3 hours). This tour includes a coach trip to the main monuments in Paris and a cruise on the Seine during which you will discover 2000 years of Paris history.


PARIS PANORAMIC TOUR & SEINE CRUISE:
€50 per adt €25 per chd
Runs daily at 09:00, 12:00 and 15:00 hrs (duration 5 hours). This is a city tour of Paris and you will see two thousand years of Parisian history from your boat on the River Seine. Lastly, you will enjoy a splendid panoramic view of Paris from the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower.


ILLUMINATIONS NIGHT DRIVE:
€27 per adt €14 per chd
Departs daily at 21:00 and 15 May-15 Aug at 22:00. Duration 1h30min. At dusk, Paris becomes the “City of Lights”. This tour gives you the opportunity to discover Paris, its history, its tree-lined boulevards with their animated cafes, and all the brilliantly illuminated monuments and squares: Concorde and Vendome Squares, Opera, Madeleine Church, rue Royale, Champs- Elysees, Arch of Triumph, Trocadero, Invalides, Notre-Dame, Chatelet Square.


MOULIN ROUGE SHOW AND ILLUMINATIONS:
€110 per adt No chd rate
Runs daily at 21:00 hrs (duration 4 hours). An evening tour passing all the brilliantly illuminated monuments, avenues and public buildings of Paris followed by the Moulin Rouge Show (a glass of Champagne is included per person).


DISNEYLAND PARIS:
€107 per adt €95 per chd
Runs daily. Includes a combined ticket for visit to Walt Disney Studios Park® and Disneyland Park®, according to the visitor’s handling capacity at that moment.


LOUVRE MUSEUM GUIDED VISIT:
€44 per adt €22 per chd
Runs Monday, Friday and Saturday at 09:15 hours. Admission to the Museum is free of queuing. Your guided visit of the Louvre will be centred around three world famous works: The Venus de Milo , The Victory of Samothrace and the Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo da Vinci at the beginning of the 16th century. After the guided tour you are free to stay to visit the other rooms of the world's largest museum. Entrance tickets included.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

PARIS HOP ON HOP OFF BUS



From only R373 per adult and R182 per child
The easiest way to see Paris – this ticket allows you 2 consecutive days of unlimited fun, information and exploration! Just hop on and get going!


There are 4 TOURS to choose from, or simply do all 4:

PARIS GRAND TOUR:
The main tour, "Paris Grand Tour" has running commentary in 8 languages and lasts approximately 2 hours. It stops at "Madeleine", "Opera", "Louvre Museum", "Notre-Dame", "Saint Germain-des-Prés", "Orsay Museum", "Concorde", "Champs-Elysées", "Arc de Triomphe", "Trocadéro", "Eiffel Tower "and "Invalides".

BASTILLE – BERCY:
The "Bastille - Bercy" tour has running commentary in 8 languages and lasts about an hour.It stops at "Saint-Paul", "Bastille", "Gare de Lyon", "Gare d'Austerlitz" and "Parc de Bercy".

MONTMATRE – GRAND BOULEVARDS:
The "Montmartre" tour is commented throughout in 8 languages and lasts about an hour.It stops at "Funiculaire de Montmartre", "Gare du Nord", "Gare de l'Est" and "Grands Boulevards".

MONTPARNASSE – ST.GERMAIN:
The "Montparnasse - Saint-Germain" tour is commented throughout in 8 languages and lasts about an hour.It stops at "Jardin du Luxembourg", "Observatoire", "Catacombes", "Invalides" and "Saint-Germain-des-Prés".



Rates excl gratuities and transport to/from departure points.

Rates are subject to increase and currency fluctuations
Child rates valid for children age 5-11. Children 0-4 go for free!
No refunds for unused tickets.
We need to get the original voucher to your clients – please allow enough processing time!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Festive Season in Paris


It is difficult to imagine any city offering you a festive season more romantic and exhilarating than Paris!
The atmosphere, lights, food & wine, shopping…it will brighten up your life!
This holiday may be the start of a life-long love relationship with the City of Light.


INCLUDES:
Return economy class flights ex Johannesburg to Paris on SAA&LH
Estimate airport taxes
4 Nights accommodation
Continental breakfast daily


EXCLUDES:
Items of a personal nature
Visa and insurance cost
All transport and meals not mentioned above



4 Nights from R13 990 pps
VALIDITY
Nov ‘08-Jan ‘09

Friday, 28 November 2008

Getting around in London


Transport:


London's legendary Tube network remains the quickest and easiest way to get around the city, though it is best avoided during rush hour. The famous red buses are a more pleasant, if slower, way to get around. One-, three-, and seven-day Travelcards are good options for tourists; they can be used on buses and the underground and can be bought at any newsagent. Oyster cards, a reusable, discounted, pay-as-you-go option, are now available to overseas visitors, but they must be purchased beforehand online or from overseas travel agents. The ubiquitous black cabs are excellent but very expensive; minicabs are cheaper but must be ordered in advance. Illegal minicabs tout for business around London's theatres and nightspots; they are often the only option late at night but should not be taken by single women or those who don't know the way home. London's main attractions are fairly close to one another; many are situated along the River Thames, and if the weather is nice, walking or taking a riverboat are good options. Driving is not a good option in central London, as parking is difficult to find and very expensive, and those who park illegally are faced with steep fines at best. A 'congestion charge' is also payable by those driving into central London from Monday to Friday between 7am and 6.30pm. However, driving is the only option for those wanting to explore the countryside. Car rental companies require the driver to be over 25, have a full driving license, and hold a credit card. For more information, visit http://www.tfl.gov.uk/

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Shopping in London


Shopping


A European shopping Mecca, London has fantastic fashion stores, with famous brands lurking around every corner. Visit the renowned Oxford and Regent streets for big brands like Gap, Zara, Topshop, H&M and United Colours of Benetton. Don't be put off by their loud exteriors; some shops are actually quite affordable. For music lovers head to Virgin or HMV where you might even spot a famous musician as publicity performances are often held at these stores.


Renowned for its markets, Camden in North London has become one of the fourth most visited sights in London. A haven for punks, Goths and other alternative sub cultures the myriad of stalls and shops sell outrageous retro outfits, colourful accessories and modern party outfits that really have to be seen to be believed.


For an enjoyable weekend outing, Portobello Market is a gem (look out for the Farmers Market in the vicinity). Made famous by the romantic Hollywood film Notting Hill, there are many attractive coffee shops, independent retailers and cheap stalls selling clothing, jewellery and music to explore.


If you are a foodie then head to the Borough Market adjacent to London Bridge. Dedicated to gastronomy, visitors can sample homemade pâté, buy fresh cherries, olive oil, sweet cakes and the likes. General groceries can be bought at one of the major English supermarket chains such as Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and Sainsbury's.

Something to do while in London...


LONDON DINNER & SHOW DEALS
What is the one thing you are SURE to do in London? Yes, it is SHOWTIME! Sure Tours is bringing you great value combo’s for dinners and shows. It cannot be any easier than this, and be warned: you snooze, you loose…



LES MISERABLES & PLANET HOLLYWOOD from only £20.50 pp
Combine a 2-course dinner from the pre-theatre menu at Planet Hollywood with an Upper Circle ticket (normally £12.50, side view restricted) for Les Miserables at The Queens Theatre.
The offer is valid Monday to Friday.
There is still availability for the following dates:
11-14 & 18-22 Dec ’06
(Dates for 2007 to be confirmed soon!)


Planet Hollywood is a madhouse of giant proportions. From the scurrying waiters to the continuous soundtracks to the projection screen going up and down, to the sounds of happy kids, to the visual overload of a collection of museum-quality film memorabilia, Planet Hollywood's atmosphere is absolutely unique.


Restaurant booked for 6pm.




Les Miserables at Queen's Theatre: multi award-winning adaptation of Victor Hugo’s titanic novel about one man’s struggle against adversity in 19th century France. Truly ‘the people’s musical’…...


Performance starts 7.30pm
Premium package also available: £50-tickets for Les Miserables and dinner at Bertorelli’s on Frith St from only £51 pp

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Festive Season in London



Your favourite season in the world’s favourite city – you are heading for your best holiday ever!
Shopping, festive lights, ice-skating, live music, shows… don’t miss out on the fun!


Our package INCLUDES:
Return economy class flights ex Johannesburg to London on SAA
Estimate airport taxes
4 Nights accommodation
Breakfast daily


Prices from R 13 835.00



Subject to availability and currency fluctuations
Valid until 10 January 2009

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

London Attractions


Attractions


With iconic attractions such as the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Tower Bridge, visitors to this eclectic city will be kept busy with the multitude of sights to explore. Visit the stoic lions on Trafalgar Square, be bowled over by the grand interior of St Paul's Cathedral or take a stroll through St James Park and watch the famous changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.Venturing more into the heart of the West End, follow the crowds to the bright montage of lights and billboards at Piccadilly Circus and from there take in Chinatown, Soho and Covent Garden. For those with an appreciation for history and the natural world, the superb British Museum and Natural History Museum in South Kensington are a must. The south bank of the Thames draws visitors with the London Eye, the London Aquarium and the über-cool Tate Modern.An easy and pleasurable way to see the major sights is on one of the city's red buses or, weather permitting, on foot. Many visitors use the underground to travel the short distances from sight to sight, missing the opportunity to gain a better picture of this vibrant city. A boat tour down the river Thames is also a great way to view some major sights and to learn more about the central role this river has played in London life.


Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds is the most famous wax museum gallery in the world, with more than 400 life-sized models of stars, famous politicians, royals and sportsmen, as well as the most infamous criminals the world has known. Inside the Museum the 'Spirit of London' ride... see full details


Tower of London
The Tower of London is perhaps as famous for its traditions as its imposing structure. It is guarded by a special band of Yeoman Warders, known as Beefeaters, and dotted with several large, black birds – the Ravens. Legend has it that if... see full details


Houses of Parliament
Originally built for Edward the Confessor more than 1,000 years ago, the Houses of Parliament, or Palace of Westminster, remained the principal residence of Britain’s monarchs for the next 400 years. Thereafter it became the administrative centre of the country. In 1834 the great... see full details


Tate Modern
Housed in the former Bankside Power Station, which has been transformed by Swiss Architects Herzog & de Meuron into a spectacular new modern building, the Tate Modern is Britain's new National Museum of Modern Art. It showcases an exhaustive collection from 1900 to the... see full details


National Gallery
The National Gallery has an imposing and regal façade stretching across the northern side of Trafalgar Square, and houses over 2,000 paintings from every major European school of painting from the 13th to the 19th century. It was opened in 1938 at its present... see full details


British Museum
With more than 6,000 historical objects from all around the globe, the British Museum houses one of the world’s greatest collections of antiquities, including the Parthenon Frieze or Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone and the Roman Portland Vase dating from the 1st century AD.... see full details


London Eye
At 443ft (135m) tall, and weighing more than 250 double-decker buses, the London Eye is the most spectacular new addition to London’s skyline. With incredible views of most of London’s major attractions, and an opportunity to put the city’s geography into perspective, it is... see full details


Shakespeare’s Globe
Situated on the bank of the Thames, just 656ft (200m) from the site of Shakespeare's original Globe theatre, this fantastic recreation will transport visitors back to the time of the very first productions of Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night. The reconstruction took... see full details
Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s Gallery
No visit to London would be complete without experiencing the pomp and ceremony of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, but now visitors can actually get a peek inside during the annual summer opening of the State Rooms, and see some... see full details

Harrods
Harrod's, which proprietor Mohamed Al Fayed calls his 'Palace in Knightsbridge', promises one of the most extravagant and luxurious shopping experiences in the world. With 22 restaurants, and a wide range of departments and services across its seven floors, it is easy to see... see full details

Camden Market
Camden Market is one of the most exciting shopping experiences London has to offer. Even if you're just browsing, the market is definitely worth a visit with its huge variety of food, antiques, bric-a-brac and clothing stalls, bars, nightspots and crowds of people ranging... see full details

Greenwich
This is the home of the Greenwich Meridian, which splits the globe into East and West and is responsible for setting the world clock on zero degrees latitude. Greenwich has a host of attractions including Greenwich Market with its variety of arts, crafts,... see full details

London Dungeon
Take a trip through London’s dark and gruesome history, meet Jack the Ripper and see what became of his victims, or see the chaos and destruction caused by the great fire of London. The London Dungeon brings history’s most notorious killers and evildoers back... see full details

St Paul’s Cathedral
The great dome of St Paul’s Cathedral has been a distinctive landmark on the London skyline for centuries. Built in 1673 by Sir Christopher Wren, after the previous St Paul’s was burnt to the ground during the Great Fire of London, it is the greatest of... see full details

Piccadilly Circus
One of London's best known, but most overrated sights, Picadilly Circus is at the junction of Picadilly, Regent Street and Shaftesbury Avenue and is surrounded by neon advertising and fast-food restaurants. However with its Tube station, Picadilly Circus is a good starting point for... see full details

3 For 2 Night Special


Stay 3 nights and only pay for 2 at The Cellars-Hohenort
or The Plettenberg
Includes:
- Return economy class airfares
- 3 nights luxury accommodation at the Cellars-Hohenort or The Plettenberg
- 3 days weekend car rental with 200 free kms per day
- Full English Breakfast daily
- Airport & departure taxes (subject to change)

Excludes:
- Meals & drinks not specified above
- Gratuities & any items of a personal nature


The Cellars-Hohenort
3 Nights B&B from:
R 3 599 pps Self Drive
R 5 795 pps ex Johannesburg/Durban
R 5 875 pps ex Port Elizabeth



The Plettenberg
3 Nights B&B from:
R 3 599 pps Self Drive
R 5 651 pps ex Johannesburg
R 6 120 pps ex Cape Town


Valid to the 15th Dec 2008

Monday, 10 November 2008

Thailand - How do you know you've been in the Land of Smiles for too long?



Thailand is an amazing place to live. The friendly people, delicious food and beautiful scenery are just a few reasons to live here. However, the culture is very different from what most westerners are familiar with. Below is a list to help you determine if some of the more curious Thai cultural oddities have rubbed off on you.




You see an elephant in the street and don't think "Oh wow! An elephant!" but instead complain about how it's slowing down traffic.


You wake up in the morning with a hankering for rice and noodles, not eggs and toast.


You think that riding your motorcycle the wrong way down one-way streets, running red lights and riding on the wrong side of the road are perfectly normal.


You think that Singha and Chang are actually pretty decent beers.


You see a family of four and their dog riding together on a single motorcycle and you only wonder what they ate for dinner.


You wear sweaters and sweatshirts despite the steaming hot weather.


You are deeply concerned when your favorite rice dish goes up in price by $0.15 to a staggering $0.60.


The language actually starts to make a little sense.


You have no problems eating raw pig organs mixed with pig blood and spices.


10 year olds riding motorcycles in the streets do not faze you.


You think Sangsom and Mekong are actually pretty decent whiskeys.


You haven't cooked a meal in months, besides what can be made with a hot water maker.


You find that some of the Thai music is actually pretty decent.


Shaking somebody's hand feels weird.


You can ride a motorcycle with 10 grocery bags, a bookshelf and a hot pizza box strapped to it.


You ask for every meal extra spicy.


You put spicy fish sauce on everything.


About The Author
Tom Bak is a professional software developer with over ten years of programming experience on diverse projects, including seven years of videogame experience with numerous published console game titles. He is currently working on a free word game and an online word puzzle.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tom_Bak

Friday, 7 November 2008

the Last Friday Fun Traveler IQ Test...


Here is how it works:
Study the above map
Play the Traveler IQ Test, by clicking here

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Here are 20 world geography facts that you might find surprising or interesting:

1. Portland, Oregon, where it rarely snows, is about 130 miles farther north than Toronto, and over 200 miles farther north than Boston.
2. On France’s southern Mediterranean coast, Cannes, the sunny summer playground of the rich, which is sometimes incorrectly called ‘tropical’, is about 10 miles farther north than Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
3. Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Cape Town, and Sydney are each thousands of miles apart and are known for having unusually pleasant year-round climates, and they are all almost identical distances from the Equator.
4. San Francisco and Melbourne, Australia are both known for mild and fast-changing climates, and they are identical distances from the Equator.
5. Estcourt Station with a population of 4 is in the northernmost tip of Maine, and it sounds like it’s probably snowed-in all winter, and yet London, England is still almost 300 miles farther north.
6. The 49th Parallel, which makes up the long and straight US/Canada border in the west, is about 120 miles north of Estcourt Station, Maine.
7. Glasgow is about 280 miles north of London. Keep going another 250 miles north for Stockholm, another 370 miles north to reach Reykjavik, and 413 miles north to reach Hammerfest, Norway, which is almost 5,000 miles north of the Equator.
8. The entire country of England, with over 50 million residents, is a wee bit smaller than the state of Louisiana.
9. If you combine England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, then together they are a bit smaller than the deceivingly large state of Michigan.
10. France is about 30% larger than the state of California.
11. Crescent City, California is about 15 miles south of the Oregon border, but it’s about 10 miles farther north than Newport, Rhode Island. In other words, you can still be in California and be farther north than coastal Rhode Island.
12. Madrid, with summers so blazing hot that most people take a long break from work every afternoon, is about 10 miles farther north than Salt Lake City, Utah.
13. About two-thirds of Africa is in the Northern Hemisphere.
14. Rome, which is located in the center of Italy, is located at the exact same latitude as Chicago. (I knew that one, because I'm smart)
15. Tehran, Iran, with its scorching summers, is located on the exact same latitude as relatively mild Tokyo, Japan.
16. About 90% of the world’s population lives in the Northern Hemisphere.
17. The incredibly remote island of Tahiti is slightly east of Anchorage, Alaska, which is slightly east of Hawaii. In other words, Hawaii is closer to the 180° longitude the International Date Line is based on than is Tahiti.
18. If you are trying to get a handle on the climate of India it helps to know its northern border is the same as the northern border of Mexico in Tijuana, and the southern border is about the same as the southern border of Panama.
19. Sunny and just-barely-tropical Rio de Janeiro is about 25 miles farther from the equator than Hong Kong.
20. Scientists recently discovered that Florida and Hudson Bay in Canada are getting about 1 inch closer every 36 years. Pass the SPF-30, eh?

Link to original article: http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/08-04/20...rprise-you.html

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Tips for Nervous Flyers

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago, most of the people who feared flying had not actually flown on a plane. Today, many people who have flown or even fly regularly still suffer some kind of anxiety about flight.

If you're a frequent flier who is still frequently nervous, try these tips.

Preflight

Eat a nutritious or comforting meal before flight. If your blood sugar is low your body will be stressed and tired, adding to any anxiety you already have. Avoid stimulants such as coffee and colas, since the caffeine can make you jittery.

Recognize your anxiety or fear rather than denying it. It's natural to feel a little anxious when embarking on a new experience or going to unfamiliar places. Fear or anxiety does not translate as inevitable disaster.

Give yourself more time to get to the airport and more time to check in. Rushing will only increase your anxiety, and leaving everything to the last minute will only postpone it, letting it "spill over" to your flight. Instead, spread your anxiety over a longer period (this may sound silly, but it works). Consider "allowing yourself" to be nervous in the boarding lounge or terminal and move around to relieve your anxiety.

It might also help to watch the planes land and depart, or identify which type of plane you'll be on. Think of how many planes with passengers take off from this airport alone every day, every month, every year, without mishap.

Boarding

Some fear of flying experts recommend telling the flight staff upon boarding that you are an anxious flyer, or even going to the cockpit to briefly meet the captain. It can be comforting to know that the person piloting the plane and "controlling" your flight is more than a voice on the intercom.

Inflight

Although experts agree it's better to be aware during the flight, if you're one of those people with an overactive imagination, you might find occupying your mind effective. Use the headsets provided and listen to music, or bring aboard a magazine or book that contains lots of pictures. Or use your imagination to visualize a calming scene to keep your breathing deep and relaxed.

Loading up on alcohol is not an effective way to relax, since it gives you a feeling of loss of control.

Usually, people with active or paranoid imaginations are simply misinformed. One of the easiest ways to overcome your anxiety is knowledge. Find out more about airplanes and the activities that go on during a flight.

Learn how to identify the sound of the landing gear going up or down, the sound of the flaps moving, and the sound of the engines as the pilot reduces or applies more power. If you're curious about certain sounds or movements, ask a flight attendant.

Pilots often reduce power after takeoff (at about 1000 feet) because of noise abatement restrictions. Sometimes this gives you the sensation of falling or being suspended because the rate of climb of the plane is slower and the engines quieter. Become familiar with different aspects of the flight.

Understand that turbulence does not affect the plane. The plane is moving through air, and although you can't really see it, air is always moving. Think of the plane as "riding the airwaves" just like a boat rides the waves. Try not to resist any movement or your body may become rigid and tense.

Experts advise you to avoid "stonewalling" your anxiety or trying to pretend it's not there. On the contrary, pay attention to what you're feeling so that you either get used to a little anxiety and recognize it, or if it begins to build, you can apply techniques to alleviate it.

Landing

Although circling in the clouds may seem like flying blind, the circling is actually a well-controlled holding pattern. Planes are usually "stacked" with a vertical separation of 1000 feet and are monitored on radar. Pilots follow set procedures for landing and closely monitor their instruments. (That's more than we can say for most drivers.)

The most effective way to feel in control is to be informed and relaxed. You may not be "at the controls" when flying but the people who are, are professionals in a business closely monitored for safety.

To have a look at the original post click here...

Monday, 3 November 2008

Did you know?

*- Rome is closer to Tunis than to Berne, Vienna or Belgrade.
*- Istanbul is the only city that resides on two continents; Europe and Asia.
*- The continents of Europe and Asia are not separate land masses, but they are divided by the Ural Mountains.
*- Tokyo has more neon signs than any than city in the world.
*- Think about it! The Eastern-most opening of the Panama Canal connects to the Pacific Ocean while the Western-most opening of the canal to the Atlantic Ocean; and not what would seem more logical, the other way around.
*- The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn in Polynesia with 1.75 sq. miles.
*- As strange as it may be, Antarctica is essentially a desert of snow and ice with a total annual precipitation of approximately only two inches.
*- Antarctica is the only landmass in the world that is not owned by any one specific country.
*- Alaska has approximately 5,000 earthquakes a year, 20% of which measure more than 3.5 on the Richter Scale.
*- While the state of Minnesota is known for its 10,000 lakes, the country of Finland contains 187,888 lakes.
*- Although Hawaii is mainly known for its 6 major islands, namely: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, The Big Island and Lanai, the state actually comprises 132 islands, reefs and shoals.
*- There are some 81,000 islands off the coast of Finland, 20,000 of which comprise the Finland Archipelago.
*- Indonesia is comprised of 13,667 islands.
*- While Warsaw, Poland has the largest Polish population, Chicago, Illinois boasts of having the world's second largest number of Polish residents.
*- The town of Tidikelt in the Sahara Desert did not receive a drop of rain during a ten year period.
*- Forests cover approximately one third the landmass of the United States of America.
*- Antarctica comprises 90% of the world's ice cover. If melted, this would represent approximately 70% of the earth's fresh water.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Traveller IQ Report

Traveller IQ Addicts unite! Thanks to Starlagurl who advised us that there is a whole forum with regards to Traveller IQ!

starlagurl said...
Cool, glad you're liking our game! You can chat about strategy and compare scores with other Traveler IQ addicts (including me) in our
travel forums

Friday, 31 October 2008

WELCOME TO MAGNIFICENT EGYPT!


Price: from R18 560.00 per person sharing

Package includes:
Economy class airfare Johannesburg – Cairo – Aswan (Nile Cruise) Luxor – Cairo - Johannesburg on the services of Egypt Air
Current airport taxes, fuel surcharges and fees
Meet and assist + all transfers in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor
Immediate check-in on arrival
Introductory conference lecture by Egyptologist
2 nights accommodation 5* hotel in Cairo (Ramses Hilton Hotel or similar) including breakfast
Full day tour of the Egyptian Museum, Pyramids and Sphinx
3 nights on board a 5* Nile Cruiser (Presidential Nile Cruise or similar) including dinner, lunch and breakfast
All sightseeing and entrance fees whilst on cruise
Dayroom in Luxor 5* Isis Luxor Hotel
Farewell dinner with drinks

Package excludes:
All meals and tours not specified
Items of a personal naure, eg. Mini-bar, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
Visa and passport costs
Travel insurance

Please note that all rates are subject to availability and change due to currency fluctuations and price increases. Terms and Conditions apply.

Friday Fun


Here is how it works:
Study the above map of Europe
Play the Traveler IQ Test, by clicking here

Monday, 27 October 2008

10 things you don’t want to overhear on an airline PA system

1. Ocean crossing flight: This is your Captain speaking, I just wanted to take this time to remind you that your seat cushions can be used as floatation devices.
2. Hey folks, we’re going to play a little game of geography trivia. If you can recognize where we are, tell your flight attendant and receive an extra pack of peanuts.
3. Our loss of altitude allows a unique close up perspective of the local terrain. I assure you that it’s all part of our airline’s new commitment to make your a flight a sight seeing extravaganza.
4. Goose! Bogey at 2 o’clock….one on our tail!!!! Eject!!!! Eject!!!!!!!
5. Ummmmmm….Sorry……(silence)
6. (As the plane turns around right after takeoff)…. uhhhhh….we have to go back ….we ..we ….uhhhhhh…. forgot something…..
7. I’m sure everyone noticed the loss of an engine, however the reduction in weight and drag will mean we’ll be flying much more efficiently now.
8. Fasten your seat belt. (In the same tone your friend with the suicidal driving tendencies uses when you get in the car).
9. This is your Captain speaking….these stupid planes are a lot different than the ships I’m used to.. so you’ll have to give me some leeway…
10. It would be a good idea if right now everyone closed their shades and watched the in-flight movie.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Pretoria for the Business Traveler

A short distance from Johannesburg (an hour’s drive along the busiest highway in Africa) lies Pretoria, in the Tshwane metropolitan area. The official seat of government in South Africa, Pretoria is a beautiful city, famed for its Jacaranda trees which blanket the city in purple-blue blossom every spring. Pretoria is more laid-back than Johannesburg, and has a more “African” feel. On the perimeter of South Africa’s “lowveld” area, the thorny bush of Africa mingles with Pretoria’s lush vegetation and its rich red soil. Even in mid-winter the temperatures are mild, ideal for viewing the city’s many historic sites, its tree lined avenues and its Herbert Baker architecture.


Where can we hold our event?

Pretoria offers many diverse places to hold conferences or events, herewith but a few to have a look at. Alternatively contact me direct with your needs at alet@saitravel.co.za

Menlyn Events Arena
Zebra Country Lodge
Victoria Hotel
Tuscan Conference Centre
Tshwabac Clubhouse
Tshwane University of Technology
St George Hotel & Gauteng Convention Centre
Sinodale Conference Centre
Sidibane
Sherwood Forest Guest House
Shere View Lodge
Sheraton Pretoria Hotel & Towers

History and Government:

The Herbert Baker designed Union Buildings, the seat of South Africa’s government, rival the grandeur of the White House and are not to be missed. Ideal for the historian, the city is rich in historical sites relating to Afrikaner history and beautifully preserved historic buildings, including the prominent Voortrekker Monument, the home of Paul Kruger and the city’s original town square, Church Square. Equally important are sites of our recent political history, with Freedom Park a “must see” destination commemorating the lives of thousands of South Africans who devoted their lives to their country’s liberation. The city also has a wealth of historical and natural history museums.


Culture and Entertainment:

Pretoria has a strong music and theatre scene, some outstanding restaurants and nightclubs and excellent art galleries, most prestigious being the excellent collection of South African art at the Pretoria Art Museum. The National State Theatre in Pretoria offers the very best of South Africa’s ballet and opera with international standard shows. The city also has good shopping, a wealth of African and local arts and crafts markets and an African cultural village, for a taste of tribal life.


Top-Rated Attractions

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa
The Blue Train
Burgers Park
Kruger House Museum
Melrose House
The Pretoria Art Museum
Transvaal Museum
Museum of Natural History
Sammy Marks House
Mineral Resort

For more activities, click here
Or contact Charl at Cardinal Tours via email - charl@saitravel.co.za

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Friday Fun Test


Here is how it works:
Study the above map of South America
Play the Traveler IQ Test, by clicking here

Friday, 24 October 2008

Mauritius Country Info

It is easy to run out of adjectives when attempting to describe the natural beauty of the small tropical Indian Ocean island paradise of Mauritius. The volcanic island Republic, covered with lush forest, streams and waterfalls, and fringed with palms, dazzling white sands and teeming coral reefs, lies east of Madagascar just south of the Equator. Mauritius, covering just 720 square miles (1,864 sq km), is the archetypal dream destination for an idyllic holiday, equipped with modern resorts that have been carefully developed to preserve the island’s beauty and ecology.

Mark Twain is quoted as having said that

‘Mauritius was made first, then heaven was copied from it’

and anyone who has experienced the island would no doubt agree with him.
Along with its natural beauty Mauritius has a valuable tourist resource in the warmth and friendliness of its multi-cultural population. Since being officially ‘discovered’ in 1505 by the Portuguese, the island has been occupied by the Dutch, the French and the British. All have added to the melting pot that constitutes the island’s human heritage, along with injections of African slaves, Arab traders and Chinese indentured labourers over the centuries.
Most of the tourist resorts are situated along the 205-mile (330km) coastline, with the capital Port Louis, on the west coast, being the centre of operations for most visitors. The bulk of the population, however, reside on the central plateaux around Curepipe, the island’s other major town.
Although everyone who visits Mauritius comes for the sandy beaches and blue lagoons, most are delighted to discover that the island has plenty of other attractions too, from some of the world’s rarest stamps to the first ever race course to open in the southern hemisphere. Of course no holiday would be complete, either, without good food and entertainment. Mauritius offers both, with some delicious local cuisine that makes use of tropical fruits and vegetables, and the chance to learn the island’s indigenous wild dance, the Sega, which originated among the African slaves of yore.