Thursday, 25 December 2008
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, 21 December 2008
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.
On Time - Check
Just for the fun, have a look at the following links:
I will stop there before I seriously harm our reputations.
Saturday, 13 December 2008
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
Thursday, 11 December 2008
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Located at the head of Copacabana Beach, the Leme Othon Palace stands near Sugar Loaf and downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Return flights on South Africa Airlines (CPT-JNB-GRU-JNB-CPT or JNB-GRU-JNB)
Return flights on Tam Airlines (SAO-RIO-SAO)
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
Monday, 8 December 2008
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
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
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
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Saturday, 6 December 2008
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 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
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, 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
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
Friday, 5 December 2008
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
Items of a personal nature
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.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
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
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 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
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
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
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
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 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
Monday, 1 December 2008
€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).
€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.