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LEARN TO SKI ON THE SWISS ALPS THIS WINTER WITH ULTIMA GSTAAD’S SKI SCHOOL

Enjoy the peaceful low-key atmosphere, and the promise of adventure on the Swiss Alps this winter as Ultima Gstaad’s Ski School is set to provide you and your kids with the opportunity to learn or build on your existing skiing skills.

Skiing photo courtesy of Gstaad Tourism

Composed of four multilingual and certified instructors the Ski School is the ideal partner for you to explore the serene beauty of Gstaad, offering hourly, morning or afternoon and daily sessions for guests at the Swiss boutique hotel.

Ultima Gstaad’s private instructors will provide you with ski equipment rental, a daily pass for the resort, and transfers to and from the slopes. From one hour of lessons to a full day, the ski instructors will be at your disposal throughout the winter season.

Benjamin Abel, one of the four instructors at Ultima Ski School said, “In the Ultima Ski School, we guarantee the satisfaction and happiness of our guests. Our services are suitable for kids from the age of three, as well as adults who want to safely learn skiing and improve their skills.”

Little ones and grown-ups can enjoy the 220 km ski slopes located on the opposite side of the chalet hotel, and the Ultima Gstaad Ski School offers different exclusive benefits such as direct pick-ups at the hotel, personalized lessons accessible to all levels, private or group courses, and advice on the choice of equipment.

The Ultima Ski School offers different ranges of prices and services which vary according to your skill levels. For private lessons, you can choose from an hour session, a three hours morning or an afternoon session, a full day, five or six mornings or afternoons, or a full six or seven days of lessons.

 

Skiing photo courtesy of Gstaad Tourism

Those with an extended stay at the hotel can book six mornings or afternoons. However, if you are more enthusiastic and passionate, you can go for Heliski.

As well as providing tailored skiing and sports activities, the boutique hotel will also be your guide to an unforgettable stay in Gstaad.

 

Private Lessons (from 3 years old)

Duration

Price in AED per person

1h / person

565

1 day

3,955

1 week

18,455

AED +452 per additional person

 

Heliski

                                               Duration

Price in AED per person

1 day

3,955

+ 25% per additional person

 

 

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What To See Around The Pest Side of Budapest

 

It’s been several months since I visited Budapest in Hungary but the beauty of that place still lingers in my mind like it was just yesterday.  I have expected most of Europe to be similar in terms of architecture and design but somehow, I have been taken by Budapest’s beauty.

I have seen various old towns and cities of other European countries. Their beauty varies from one another. Budapest in Hungary is like a gem tucked in the Central part of Europe. Budapest has been cited as one of the beautiful cities in the world and a top travel destination by a famous travel magazine.

Budapest is the combination of 2 cities, the Buda and Pest side. These 2 are separated by several bridges and one of that is the famous Chain Bridge.

If you are visiting Budapest anytime soon, take note of these places when you are in the Pest side.

 

Andrassy Avenue

The Andrassy Avenue is touted as the Champs Elysees of Budapest. Museums, theaters and opera house line up along this grand Avenue. You can also visit the House of Terror which shows the horrors of what Hungary had experienced during the 20th century.

 

Danube Promenade / Danube Bank

The Danube river bank serves as the promenade of many locals and tourists alike. Here, you can find the Memorial of the Shoes. These shoes are bronze replicas of the Jews who were executed by the Arrow Crosses. They were made to remove their shoes by the bank before they were shot, and their bodies fell and drifted along the River Danube. It is a very poignant memorial to honor those who have perished during the ugly face of World War II.

 

Vaci Utca

This is a famous shopping area in Budapest. It is lined with shops and eateries with beautiful, ornate facade. You can stroll here and enjoy the atmosphere or just sit back in one of the coffee shops and people watch.

 

Hungarian National Parliament

©Ria C/riatravelbug.com

Nestled in front of the Danube River, the Hungarian National Parliament is a prominent Neo-Gothic architectural structure in the Pest side of Budapest. It is easy to see this place from various trams plying through the area. Tourists can easily walk to the building from the Chain Bridge and traverse the lovely cobble stone street of Pest.

 

St. Stephen’s Basilica

©Ria C/riatravelbug.com

I was very lucky to have stayed near the Istvan Basilica (St. Stephen’s Basilica) during my vacation in Budapest, Hungary last year. The view from my room was the dome of this beautiful Basilica. Regular mass is still being held in the Basilica. You can also tour the inside of the Basilica for free but take note of the timing as it is not open throughout the day. You can also climb up in the bell tower for a fee for a breath-taking view of Budapest.

The basilica is the largest in the city and can hold around 8,000 plus people. It also houses the relic of St. Stephen’s right hand which is also open for the public to view.

© Ria C/riatravelbug.com

 

Széchenyi Baths

This is a huge bath complex in the whole of Europe.  It is relatively cheap to enjoy a good bath in this huge complex that is open until night time.

 

Great Market Hall

This place is located at the end of Szabadsag Bridge. It is also known as the Central Market Hall. It has 3 levels. The market sells a wide variety of goods from the famous paprika spice of Hungary, to the many tasty sausages and salamis, local produce, and other dry goods such as Hungarian embroidery and fabrics, and other arts and crafts. You can also grab some ready to eat food here or sample their local cuisine in the food stalls inside the market.

 

The Chain Bridge

© Ria C/riatravelbug.com

The famous beautiful bridge that spans between the Buda and Pest sides of Budapest across the Danube River is called The Chain Bridge. I managed to cross the bridge on foot to reach the Buda side and the view is spectacular! I highly recommend this to visitors in Budapest. There is a pathway on each side of the bridge for pedestrians and bicycle access as well. And once you reach the middle part, take a good look of the beautiful scene in front of you. You get to see Buda and Pest!

© Ria C/riatravelbug.com

 

The Great Synagogue

This Synagogue is the largest built in the entire of Europe around 1854-1859 in a Moorish style architecture. Next to it is the Jewish Museum which features their tradition, culture, costumes, and history.

 

Vajdahunyad Castle

Vajdahunyad Castle is located inside the city park near the Széchenyi Baths. It was built during 1896 for the Millennial Exhibition in Hungary, and it also houses the Museum of Agriculture.

 

Let me share this brief video I have taken from the Buda Hill and it shows the marvelous vista of Pest.

Panoramic view of Pest from the Buda Hill

 

There are more to see in the Pest side of Budapest that I haven’t included here. If you have been to Budapest, you can share more places of interest by leaving a comment in this post.

I hope you will consider these places of interest when you plan your vacation to Budapest.

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Things To Do In Harajuku and Omotesando Area in Tokyo

Harajuku and Omotesando are nice places to visit in Tokyo. They are both located in Shibuya Ward and are close to each other so if you visit one place, you cannot miss the other.

Harajuku was formerly referred to as Onden which is a low-lying area near the Meiji Street. Now, it is very famous for its quaint little shops in Takeshita Street and the young cosplayers walking around during weekends.

Nearby area is Omotesando. It stretches from the foot of Takeshita Street all the way down to Aoyama Dori where the Omotesando Station is located. It is known for as home to some of the well-known brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Herzog and many more, all close to each other. It is sometimes touted as the Champs Elysees of Tokyo.

If you find yourself wandering in Tokyo, make time to visit these 2 places for a nice walk along the famous streets and a look in some of the high-end brands in Tokyo. There are other things to do aside from window-shopping. Here are things you can do in Harajuku and Omotesando.

HARAJUKU

  • Visit Takeshita Dori
  • Shop at the quaint stores in Takeshita
  • Walk the stretch of Takeshita all the way to the other end leading to Omotesando
  • People watch, especially the young cosplayers during weekend
  • Try out their famous crepe in cone
  • Visit the Yoyogi Park
  • Visit the Meiji Jingu Shrine
  • Shop at the big Daiso Shop
  • Visit Yoyogi National Stadium

OMOTESANDO

  • Shop along the “5th Avenue” of Tokyo
  • Visit Kiddyland if you’re the kid at heart. It has loads of toys and has several floors full of fun!
  • Visit the Oriental Bazaar which sells Japanese souvenirs
  • Visit Cat Street
  • Visit the nearby Shibuya Crossing
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Things To Do In Harajuku and Omotesando Area in Tokyo

Harajuku and Omotesando are nice places to visit in Tokyo. They are both located in Shibuya Ward and are close to each other so if you visit one place, you cannot miss the other.

Harajuku was formerly referred to as Onden which is a low-lying area near the Meiji Street. Now, it is very famous for its quaint little shops in Takeshita Street and the young cosplayers walking around during weekends.

Nearby area is Omotesando. It stretches from the foot of Takeshita Street all the way down to Aoyama Dori where the Omotesando Station is located. It is known for as home to some of the well-known brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Herzog and many more, all close to each other. It is sometimes touted as the Champs Elysees of Tokyo.

If you find yourself wandering in Tokyo, make time to visit these 2 places for a nice walk along the famous streets and a look in some of the high-end brands in Tokyo. There are other things to do aside from window-shopping. Here are things you can do in Harajuku and Omotesando.

HARAJUKU

  • Visit Takeshita Dori
  • Shop at the quaint stores in Takeshita
  • Walk the stretch of Takeshita all the way to the other end leading to Omotesando
  • People watch, especially the young cosplayers during weekend
  • Try out their famous crepe in cone
  • Visit the Yoyogi Park
  • Visit the Meiji Jingu Shrine
  • Shop at the big Daiso Shop
  • Visit Yoyogi National Stadium

OMOTESANDO

  • Shop along the “5th Avenue” of Tokyo
  • Visit Kiddyland if you’re the kid at heart. It has loads of toys and has several floors full of fun!
  • Visit the Oriental Bazaar which sells Japanese souvenirs
  • Visit Cat Street
  • Visit the nearby Shibuya Crossing
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Things To Do In Harajuku and Omotesando Area in Tokyo

Harajuku and Omotesando are nice places to visit in Tokyo. They are both located in Shibuya Ward and are close to each other so if you visit one place, you cannot miss the other.

Harajuku was formerly referred to as Onden which is a low-lying area near the Meiji Street. Now, it is very famous for its quaint little shops in Takeshita Street and the young cosplayers walking around during weekends.

Nearby area is Omotesando. It stretches from the foot of Takeshita Street all the way down to Aoyama Dori where the Omotesando Station is located. It is known for as home to some of the well-known brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Herzog and many more, all close to each other. It is sometimes touted as the Champs Elysees of Tokyo.

If you find yourself wandering in Tokyo, make time to visit these 2 places for a nice walk along the famous streets and a look in some of the high-end brands in Tokyo. There are other things to do aside from window-shopping. Here are things you can do in Harajuku and Omotesando.

HARAJUKU

  • Visit Takeshita Dori
  • Shop at the quaint stores in Takeshita
  • Walk the stretch of Takeshita all the way to the other end leading to Omotesando
  • People watch, especially the young cosplayers during weekend
  • Try out their famous crepe in cone
  • Visit the Yoyogi Park
  • Visit the Meiji Jingu Shrine
  • Shop at the big Daiso Shop
  • Visit Yoyogi National Stadium

OMOTESANDO

  • Shop along the “5th Avenue” of Tokyo
  • Visit Kiddyland if you’re the kid at heart. It has loads of toys and has several floors full of fun!
  • Visit the Oriental Bazaar which sells Japanese souvenirs
  • Visit Cat Street
  • Visit the nearby Shibuya Crossing
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A Weekend in Macau

A weekend in Macau is an escape to paradise. An enthralling blend of Chinese and Portuguese culture, Macau draws tourists from around the world. The city’s historical appeal and state-of the-art contemporary architecture provide one of the most beautiful backdrops imaginable. Enchanting resort-spas, hotels, tourist attractions, lavish shopping, casinos, and nightlife create the perfect weekend getaway.

Tourist Attractions

The famous ruins of St. Paul’s and the ruins of St. Paul’s College provide a picturesque look back in time. Both stand as reminders of the Jesuit influences from the early 1600s. St. Paul’s College, Mount Fortress, and the Church of Mater Dei are additional structures that were constructed when the Portuguese settled in the region of Macau. The St. Paul ruins provide a testimony to the first Western-style University built in Macau. Today, the remains provide a unique view of the past to weekend visitors. The Mount Fortress bears further proof of the complex historical events that occurred throughout the ages. Additionally, tourists will find the ancient A-Ma Temple, with its various gates, arches, and pavilions to be a fascinating example of the cultural diversity that the city of Macau is built upon.

Hotels and Resorts:

Macau features more than 28 casino- hotels, many of which provide the ultimate amenities and comfort. The largest of these is the Venetian Casino Resort in Macau, situated in Cotai. The Venetian Casino provides gamblers with eight hundred table-games, ten poker tables, and well over three-thousand poker, slot, and video games inspired by gorgeous online casino versions. You can actually see some of the beautiful graphically-inclined games when you place your bet at Betsson and other online casinos. Located in the Far East, Macau is an enticing gambling destination. The Cotai Strip was developed during a land-reclamation project that serves to connect the islands of Taipa and Coloane. The strip is similar to the Las Vegas Strip in the United States. It is a thriving casino attraction, ideal for weekend guests from around the world. Additionally, aside from the traditional casino style gambling, sports-betting lounges, horseracing, and greyhound tracks draw millions of visitors each year.

Fine Dining, Shopping, and Entertainment:

One of the best ways to spend time during a weekend in Macau is to enjoy meals at any number of the exotic restaurants. The exotic blend of Chinese and Portuguese cuisine has been enhanced over the past 400 years. Macau is the perfect destination for gourmet eating. Garlic, sauces, fish-croquettes, coconut chicken, and intoxicating meats are some of the favourite treats. Many people travel to Macau just to purchase the delicious custard tarts and Portuguese breads.

Gourmet cuisine, glittering lights, and countless tourist events set the stage for fun and festivities.

Retail in Macau is another popular draw. High-fashion, bargain prices, and designer labels, attract shoppers from all regions. The Macau International Dragon Boat Races, the Macau Arts Festival, the House of dancing Water, the International Fireworks Display Contest, the Macau Grand Prix, and the Food Festival draw tourists to some of the most exciting attractions imaginable.

Macau has something for everyone! Just a short distance from Hong Kong and the Philippines, the city is one of the world’s most awesome destinations for weekend travellers!

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Montenegro: Why it could be the next big thing in travel

Photo credit: lonelyplanet.com

You might not know Montenegro as anything but a football team and an entrant into the Eurovision Song Content. After all, it’s hardly a top summer holiday destination – or is it?

This small country – about the size of Northern Ireland – can be found sandwiched between Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania. As such, it was ripped apart by the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s.

However, those bad memories are fading and since becoming an independent country in 2006, Montenegro has been firmly put on the map.

So, after a little thought and some investment from the rich and famous, Montenegro is fast becoming a tourist hotspot and the next big thing in travel.

What does it offer?
Well, aside from becoming a footballing nation, Montenegro also has a number of tourist attractions, particularly on the north-west coast.
National parks: Considering its small size, it’s a wonder Montenegro could have one national park, never mind three. However, Durmitor, Tara Canyon and Biogradsko Jezero are all worth a visit.
Culture: If you’re looking to explore one of the quaint, sleepy villages, it’s worth taking the trip up to Kotor Bay. Thanks to its beautiful scenery and early settlement, the village is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Weather: It’s location on the Adriatic Sea means that it benefits from a similar climate to central and southern Italy. Its border is also no more than a few miles from the increasingly popular Croatian city of Dubrovnik.
Yachting: For those with millions of pounds at their disposal, Porto Montenegro is a real hotspot. It is one of the largest marinas in the world and is regularly visited by numerous celebs, including Roman Abramovich and Novak Djokovic.

How to get there

 When flying to Montenegro directly, there isn’t much choice. The only flights from the UK are from Gatwick to Tivat or Podgorica, with Montenegro Airlines flying twice a week.
  

However, as it’s just a couple of hours away Dubrovnik offers an alternative. If you don’t mind a bumpy car journey you can fly with the likes of easyJet and British Airways amongst others.

  

When planning a trip to Montenegro, don’t forget to purchase  european travel insurance to provide the cover you need in the event of illness or other scenarios you may face on holiday.

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