PRACTICAL GUIDE AND USEFUL ADVICE TO ENJOY SAINT PETERSBURG

St. Petersburg . And I start this with a tip. Do not leave this capital of Russia without taking a boat trip on the Neva. Crossing its channels, in some moments you will have the feeling that you are in Venice, but no. The colorful facade of the Hermitage soon places the traveler. And undoubtedly, that picture illuminated by the soft natural light that shines in the late afternoon between the end of June and the beginning of July will be one of the photos of the trip.

Catedral ortodoxa de San Salvador sobre la Sangre Derramada

Orthodox Cathedral of San Salvador on the Spilled Blood Also the golden domes of the picturesque Orthodox cathedral of San Salvador on the Spilled Blood will endanger the battery of the camera. Always compared to the also famous cathedral of St. Basil of Moscow and built in the same place where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881 , it is one of the essential visits in this Russian capital.  After the river crossing and the photo shoot, it’s time to go for dinner and for that, it’s best to head for the Nevsky Prospect . Recommend a restaurant ( Pectopah in Russian ) concrete in St. Petersburg, is a difficult task. In this city everything changes very quickly: from one month to the next, in an establishment the owners, the waiters, the cooks, the menu, the prices and even the type of business can completely change.

PecPectopah (restaurant in Russian)

Russian cuisine is rich, and there are restaurants of all nationalities but before sitting at the table it is advisable to check that there is a letter in English. The normal thing is that everything is written in Russian, that is, with Cyrillic alphabet . It is the official language and it is really complex, which makes communication difficult . Also, there is not a lot of people who speak English. The most advisable thing is to create a small dictionary with key words in Russian . Luckily, many fast food chains have recently opened, the ” bistros “. A kind of cafeterias where they serve soups, salads, meats, fish … The problem is that they do not usually have the letter in English either. But the good thing is that the food looks and you can choose to finger. And they are always much cheaper.  Beer Ad in Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg in June and July is wonderful . But be careful, do not let this midnight sun charm you. And do not forget the clock. In St. Petersburg you have to be very attentive to the time, especially those staying on the island Vasilievski , where most of the hotels in the city are located . Between April and October , 22 of the three hundred bridges on the river open daily, between 1 and 4 o’clock in the morning, so that the ships that cross the Neva to the Volga, or return to the Baltic. During that time, some areas such as the aforementioned island are completely isolated . Although the hours of darkness are very few, it is better not to hang up when the light definitely hides after an intense day . So pay attention and remember to return to your hotel before 1am.

Nevski Perspective

Nevski Perspective During white nights, the city also shines with a special light overflowing cultural life . There are more than seventy theaters in St. Petersburg, among which the Mariinsky , named after the Empress Maria Fedorovna, wife of Alexander II, stands out . It is located in the Teatral Plaza, and is the center of cultural life. If you dare to attend a show, try to be a provisor buying the tickets. It is also interesting to consult the Musorgskiy Theater program or the Mikhailovsky . Lovers of classical ballet will surely find some interesting spectacle at the Hermitage Theater, located in one of the museum’s buildings. Respect  Typical dances at the Nicolaevsky Palace. When moving, keep in mind that the St. Petersburg metro is one of the deepest in the world with hidden stations more than 120 meters underground . It is not as impressive as the one in Moscow , but it is just as complicated as all the indications are in Cyrillic.

Saint Petersburg bus

 Saint Petersburg bus Buses, minibuses or trolleybuses are also very convenient to get around. It is paid directly to the collectors who go on board.  Cashier in a bus in Saint Petersburg Another way to get around is in private cars , very typical in this city. To get one you just have to raise your hand and, sure, stop some spontaneous taxi driver eager to pocket a few extra rubles. But … before going up, be sure to negotiate and close the price. Also to buy souvenirs you have to negotiate. Here, bargaining is part of everyday life. 

Wineries and tastings in the Mendoza region. Argentina

Wineries like Trapiche, which keeps that beautiful industrial aesthetic with the train tracks where wine once circulated from Mendoza to Buenos Aires as a protagonist. There are ultramodern, avant-garde temples. Some even house art museums such as Salentein wineries with these barrels housed in millimeter-sized steel and glass temples and with their own hotel, an exception in the area because there are not many wineries with accommodation.  Casks in the Salentein winery There are some where they offer you to enjoy the wine by doing several tastings, they offer you the possibility of going out to harvest (in February, March… do not forget that Argentina is in the southern hemisphere and the seasons are opposite to the European ones). Or fun and original activities such as horseback riding among vineyards, one of the proposals of Viña Cobos winery . Routes in carriages or in old motorcycles with sidecar! … as they offer in Finca las Lechuzas. Ah, also points to the option of going from cellar to cellar by bicycle, the latest trend in the area. Riding among vineyards

Riding among vineyards If you like golf attentive also to Atamisque winery’s proposal: play in a nine-hole course and end the day with a personalized tasting. Appetite truth? One of the holes of the Atamisque winery:

One of the holes of the Atamisque winery It is important to emphasize that almost all wineries have restaurants and that is a key detail because the best thing about Mendoza is not just the quality of its grapes and its wines. The bewitching power of wine is multiplied if you accompany it with exquisite dishes, that is, a good ” pairing “. And the gastronomy of Mendoza is the ideal partner to make those pleasures a reality.

The gastronomic offer is rich

 The gastronomic offer is abundant and of quality For example, do not leave the region without trying a good barbecue . My proposal, reserve one in the Norton winery, where I have had the luck to taste one and recommend the experience. A typical Argentine who marries well with the wines of the region and who will offer you in many wineries. Many wineries in Mendoza has a restaurant with views of the vineyards

Many wineries in Mendoza has a restaurant with views of the vineyards And of course, do not miss visiting Mendoza capital. Beautiful town where you will not only find hotels with international chains but also a cozy city where you can stop and eat, shop. With a wide cultural offer and a lot of nightlife. If you decide to install your camp in Mendoza, my proposal is to rent a car to move from cellar to cellar (or a bicycle) but important, always call before the visit and remember that the reservation for lunch or dinner is mandatory.

Pedaling from cellar to cellar is an option

To organize your stay, do not forget to visit the Rutas del Vino website where you will find information about wineries open to visitors. And about companies that organize activities.  Pedaling from cellar to cellar is an option If you liked the proposal and you dare to savor this region of Argentina, keep in mind that the best way to get to the interior of Argentina is by flying to Santiago de Chile (Lan Chile operates this route with good offers). And once there take a connection to Mendoza. As I have been told by those who make this trip frequently (many entrepreneurs and businessmen related to the world of wine) this is without a doubt the best combination.

 

A day at the Rissani market.

Life on the edge of the desert Downhill, south of the easternmost massif of the Great Atlas in Morocco, we advance along the river Ziz. The river advances, painting a bright green, the increasingly arid lands that are approaching the Sahara, between palm groves and small settlements.  

Finally the water is swallowed and disappears between the sand and the rock in the small town of Rissani .

Here from remote times it is an essential stop on the trans-Saharan trade routes, where the caravans of the Sahel unloaded part of the gold and slaves.

Currently on market days (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) the souk becomes a meeting point for a large part of the population of the region, an authentic celebration of colors, smells, tastes and textures flood the visitor, submerging him in a world unknown, entering fully into the daily life of a town that proudly preserves its tradition as the last commercial scale between civilization and the Great Desert.
 

The sun filters through the canopies that protect the souk, creating an almost unreal scenario. From the dawn they are installing the first positions. Entire sacks of spices of impossible colors, are opened and distributed among the merchants.

Trucks arrive full of watermelons, oranges, coconuts, dates …; some women dusted and placed on the shelves items of crafts, forge, brass, copper, silver and jewelry in another street we see the great exposure of carpets of different shapes, sizes and drawings.

A smell of freshly tanned leather fills the dark alley that leads to an area full of tiny shops. The leather dyed lime green giving shape to square “poufs”, yellow pompoms carefully sewn to fragile and soft fuchsia gloves. Shelves overflowing from the traditional “Adidas Berber”, the yellow slippers, with the rubber soles of recycled tire.
 
The call to the prayer of the muezzin announces the noon. We arrive at the part of the market where animals are bought and sold: goats, chickens, sheep … and finally the big market of donkeys, authentic means of transport and usual load in the area. We entered a huge meadow full of hundreds of donkeys and some men talking and negotiating.

A teapot on fire in every corner, in every stall or shop: the essential mint tea to start, or close any transaction.
 
A smoky chicken Tajin makes us recover our strength. Meanwhile, new cars arrive, trucks loaded with merchandise, rows of donkeys with children mounted and guided by people who live tens of kilometers away. A one-eyed man winks at me as he unloads gas cylinders, throwing them, as if they were the same watermelons that arrived in the market in the morning. Every moment in Rissani is an experience. 

Travel to discover: Towards Sustainable Tourism A new trend is being imposed on the world of travel.

The Formula: Guided by a traveler-coordinator, travelers will only have hired the basics: Flights, transportation, paperwork and insurance). Accommodation and maintenance are hired on the fly (with a common fund) and are paid directly (in local currency) giving the trip an absolute dynamism, while favoring local economies and achieving significant savings in the total cost of travel .

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This philosophy of travel is based on the social and cultural integration of the traveler with the destination and respect for the environment.


This traveling formula has four key points :

Flexible trips: It is possible to modify the planned itinerary as the group decides and the duration of the stays in each zone that is visited, according to the interest of the site or events that occur in the area unexpectedly.

Travel for all: By traveling as a group, paying in local currency and using local resources, the cost of the trip is greatly reduced and the impact on the areas visited is reduced, especially the most vulnerable environmentally or those inhabited by indigenous communities.

Sustainable travel: Small family accommodation and camps or local identity accommodation will be used. Public transportation (where possible) and always local services. In this way the traveler’s money will revert to local economies, both the tours and scheduled excursions will be aimed at favoring the protection of the environment and ensuring the least possible impact.

Adventure trips: With this traveling philosophy it is about recovering the essence of the trip. Discover recondite places, ancestral cultures, surprising nature and infinite ways of seeing the world.
 
The Guide-coordinator
He is a traveler, with traveling experience and leader of the expedition. The role of the guide-coordinator, in collaboration with local organizations, is to actively accompany and guide a small group during the trip, contributing their knowledge of the destination showing the culture and environment of each area visited.

Towards Sustainable Tourism
Sustainable tourism according to the World Tourism Organization “conceived as the one that leads to the management of all resources in a way that satisfies economic, social and aesthetic needs, maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and systems that support life “according to Agenda 21 for travel & Tourism Industry,” Sustainable tourism products are products that operate in harmony with the local environment, community and cultures, so that they become permanent beneficiaries “(WTO, 2001; WTTC1995).

TREKK

The talk of sustainable travel is talking about the triple profitability:

1. Environmental: minimizes any damage to the environment (flora, fauna, water, soil, energy use, pollution, etc.) and ideally tries to benefit the environment in a positive way (promoting conservation and protection).

2. Sociocultural : It should not harm, but revitalize the social structure or culture of the host community.

3. Economic: It must contribute to the economic well-being of the local community, in a way that is not only punctual, but can be maintained over time.
 

Sustainable tourism seeks to minimize the negative impacts and damage of tourism activity and maximize the economic benefits to the visited environment.

Ecotourism , a type of sustainable tourism, takes place in natural areas little or not explored, environmentally and socially vulnerable, especially if they are inhabited by local indigenous groups, so the potential impact could be even greater (for good or for wrong). That the impact is positive depends on three factors: Support for conservation, benefits for host communities and education for visitors.

The responsibility of this type of tourism can apply to any type of service offered to customers. A great city hotel can have a management in perfect harmony with the social and environmental principles and a small hostel in the mountain on the contrary. This applies to transportation used, excursions in rural areas, etc.

It is important to note that local organizations that do not count and involve local communities and the surrounding environment end up damaging the social structure and destroying their resources. The result is the loss of their original identity and habitat; and therefore all its attraction and interest of tourists.

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Customer satisfaction is what will continue the tourism sector and is maintained by three pillars: Governments have always tended to strengthen the first pillar: health, hygiene and safety. The second pillar: that of Quality is supported by traditional tourism certification programs. But it is the third pillar that is currently shaking the whole system: the triple profitability, still very green in Spain and far from the first international “green” certification programs that consider the environmental impacts of tourism: Sociocultural and economic sustainability.

The best of Paris WHY PARIS?

Paris is a city that we always carry in our heart. So from time to time we can not avoid returning and updating data. Well beyond the clichés of the city of love etc. The truth is that here you can come to fall in love, or you can come alone, or you can come to someone who knows someone. It is undoubtedly the city with the most impressive and largest historical center in Europe. His interest is such that one can perfectly devote a week and still miss days. Then we review those practical data that can be very useful and also give a review of those places that have marked us most of this wonderful city.

 
WHEN TO GO: As we said in other blogs, preferably spring or autumn, in winter it is very cold, and in summer despite what many people think you can spend a lot of heat.
AIRPORT COMPANIES AIR-TRANSPORTATION Paris as you know has 3 main airports, You have to be careful that some low cost companies leave you lying in very distant airports. The Charles de Gaulle is undoubtedly the best, from here you have the following means to get to the city center -The RER B communicates directly the airport with the center approximately in half an hour. The ticket price is € 9.10 and it is also valid to take the metro and get to the hotel. • Schedules of line B are from 4:56 to 00:15 -ROISSY BUS: Bus that connects the airport with the opera square. It’s worth € 10 and it takes 45 to 60 minutes. It happens with a frequency of 15 to 30 min. -BUS: The 305 communicates the airport with the GARE DEL L’EST station

ACCOMMODATION Maybe the easiest part. We always use to find a good hotel at a good price, the Viajemos.com platform and we always get it right. This time, we stayed at the Crauzel Hotel, a very well-located little hotel with fantastic views of Montmatre, very well located with fantastic views, economical and well located.

TRANSPORT – THE METRO : To get around the center of Paris, the metro perfectly combines with the RER. The ticket is the same. Timetable from 5:30 to 1:15 on Fridays and Saturdays closes at 2:15 – LA RER: In the center works like the metro with a single ticket. The RER closes before the subway. – BUS: Hours from 7:00 to 20:30 and the main lines run until 00:30. On Sundays and holidays there are many lines that do not circulate. The nocturnes have an N in front of the number and are from 00:30 to 7:00 Types of tickets: – TICKET t +: allows the use of both metro, bus, RER and funicular. Allows unlimited transfers between Metro and RER (within Paris) between bus lines and trams (except T4). The limitations: Not being able to make transfers between the metro network, and the buses and not being able to get on the same bus line NOTE : this is a bit confusing, because according to what you read, it allows unlimited transfers and then says no. The issue is that in Paris the line changed involves going around, so this would mean 2 tickets but attention because there are transfers where you do not have to go around so 1 ticket would be worth for the 2 lines. The duration of a ticket is 90 minutes, can be bought at the windows and subway machines, RER … The price of the single is € 1.70 and the price of € 10.70. – PARIS VISIT : It serves to mount in everything, there are 1, 2, 3 and 5 days. The computation of days are counted complete days indistinctly of the time at which it begins to be used. It is also acquired by zones 1-3 or 1-5. Prices: 1 day: € 9.75, 2 days: € 15.85, 3 days: € 21.60 – PASSE NAVIGO : It is a weekly subscription, which goes from Monday to Sunday, if you are interested for a week. -BATOBUS: It’s the ship that goes by the Seine, it costs € 15 from 10:00 to 19:00

FOOD AND PRICES As you can see throughout this post, prices in both the Latin Quarter and Montmatre range around € 12 on the menu, with starter, first and dessert. The house wine, usually goes by size in prices of 5, 10, 15 and 20 € Coffee (only) in bar costs € 1

HEALTH AND SAFETY As always the European health card. And with regard to security, because the common sense to be a big city must always have an alert eye in case, but without being overwhelmed, it is quite safe.

WHAT TO SEE, OUR RECOMMENDATIONS …
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For 3 days

Start by taking a long walk through the Champs Elysees, look at the people, the shops etc. Until you reach the Arc de Triomphe, and finally head towards the Trocadero. Of course, you have to visit the Eiffel Tower. If you only go three days we do not recommend you to go up since you can easily leave one tomorrow. From the top of the Arc de Triomf the views are similar and there are not so many queues.

The next day direct to Notre Dame, is located on an island hugged by the Seine, the island of Cite, built between the twelfth and twelfth centuries, superb only lacked to speak is noted over the centuries, it is as if you were looking at a Senior person to the face, transmits wisdom, although it is true that in Spain there are a few cathedrals that have nothing to envy but it is not about making comparisons that is a bit of caciques. Once you finish you have to know in depth the Latin Quarter one of the places – together with Monmatré – more impressive. IMG 0107  

Kicking and kicking is the best, you will come across emblems such as Place de la Concorde, the Magdalena church, National Assembly, Alexandre III bridge

Finally visit the neighborhood of Monmatre and majestic Sacre Coeur.
For three days it is already a lot and it will depend on whether it is winter or summer that always spreads more.
MORE THAN THREE DAYS In addition to the above, add -according to days- Luxembourg Gardens, Chinatown, Pantheon, flea market of the Place Monge, Jardin des Plantes, Place des Vosges and the house of Victor Hugo, area of ​​La Defense, called as the financial zone, Palais Royal

MUSEUMS

There are many but we love: I MAGNIFY the Museum of Modern Art (Palais de Tokyo) which is a little further on the other side of the Seine,
Pompidou Center. Once there we ask how much the entrance costs, the price is € 13 but they tell us that to see it in conditions are 6h and close at 9:00 p.m.
EL LOUVRE , the complex stands on what was once a fortress, has undergone various modifications throughout history, the acclaimed Da Vinci Code made famous its glass pyramid. It is very important if you do not have many days to be clear about what you want to see as it is impossible to see everything in one day or two or three, has renowned works such as the Venus del Milo, La Gioconda and the Virgin of the Rocks, etc. etc. etc.

EXCURSIONS FROM PARIS

CHATEAU DE VERSAILLES , just over 10km westwards, the Palace of Versailles rests, owing its splendor to the famous King of the Sun, Louis XIV. To get there, take the RER C line to Versailles Rive Gauche, 35min about 7 € i / v.
There are two types of entrance, one for the palace for about € 12 and another for the gardens for about € 5, we recommend both, the palace is magnificent, it takes all morning to see it and after lunch visit the gardens, you can rent bicycles, which is a very good idea,

DISNEYLAND PARIS , – as not- to get there you have to take the RER line A in the direction of Marne la Vallace / Chessy, it costs 16 € i / v and it takes about 35min, you do not have lost it is the last station and then you follow the whole world and you arrive immediately, otherwise yes, it is a theme park, who likes the theme parks will love, nowadays, we recommend it only for children. Who cares you can stay there and spend several days, for this we recommend the page cited in the accommodation section.

CONCLUSION .- You see, Paris, it lasts for much more than a week, it is very easy to arrive from any part of the planet, its infrastructure is unique, it is not expensive -in spite of what you think- especially when compared to London or New York and we assure you that it will provide you with a satisfaction and memories that will last in you for the rest of the times. But you will tell us.

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4 essential places to visit Amsterdam

To visit Amsterdam, you will have no choice but to be open to all the wonders that this beautiful Dutch city will offer you. From its renowned museums, to the cosmopolitanism that its streets give off, without forgetting a boat trip through its many canals.

If there is an urban destination that can be really exciting in the old continent, that is none other than Amsterdam. An exit that you can not leave aside when planning your next trips. Being one of the most cosmopolitan cities of which you can find yourself all over the world , and in which you will never feel foreign due to the kindness of its people. Three hours short of any Spanish airport, many unforgettable places await you to visit Amsterdam, which will remain in the retina of your eyes for a long time. There will be many surprises that this visit will bring to the main Flemish city, and the first of them, the many people who ride their bikes through its beautiful and neat streets. Not in vain, is the favorite means of transport among the Dutch, and the most recommended to visit the city and go to the essential places of this visit. Surely you will have many problems to select the four most representative places and that you can not miss during the visit. The cultural offer that it presents is one of the most powerful in the world. Although if you want to take the pulse of the city, there will be no better recipe than walking quietly through its streets, while you admire the classicism of its buildings, and of course, the endless canals that cross it. From the beginning, you will not be surprised to be called the Venice of the North.

Dam Square

It is the epicenter of the social life of the city , and that in the main square every day gathers countless tourists from around the world portraying it with their cameras, in an almost oppressive way. With the Grand Hotel Kransnapolsky as the main witness of the many historical events that have taken place in this part of Europe. Of course, you will not have any wasting the visit, while you take a smoked herring on its steps to regain strength for what you expect from now on. From this bustling square, you will have at hand a short visit to some of its main monuments there : the Royal Palace, or its famous Obelisk. And you can even take a walk through history entering the Madame Tussauds Museum. All without leaving the most famous urban space in the city. Where you can even plan the next destinations to visit Amsterdam.

Amsterdam canals

One of the main attractions to visit Amsterdam are its canals, which are associated with the history of the city. About 80 kilometers meandering its streets , from north to south, and from west to east, surrounded by water your visit. The best alternative to enjoy them is through the tourist boats that daily make different routes to discover all the corners of the city from another perspective. The first surprise that you will take will be to see how many Dutch people live in the canals, with their boats housing. Some of them are authentic luxury apartments, and you can peek from the tourist barges. During the tour you will admire not only its canals, but bridges and the polychromy of the houses on both sides of the canal. Amsterdam in a pure state, in short.

Visit Amsterdam: your channels 
Abariltur

Van Gogh Museum

Its there is a name linked to the history of the city, that is none other than Vicent Van Gogh. With one of the most important monothematic museums of the current culture offer that you can find in the world. It houses the collection of works by this exceptional painter in a modernist building. Throughout its three floors, more than 200 original works will be concentrated . “The potato eaters”, “Arles’ bedroom” and a version of “The sunflowers” will be only some masterpieces that you can admire during this tour of the interior of the museum. Anyway, the endless queues will be the main annoyance of this obligatory visit. And if you do not want to waste a lot of time, you will have no choice but to go first thing in the morning. You can even take advantage of the visit to take a pleasant walk through one of the many parks that adjoin this cultural center. It will help you to assimilate the figure of the Dutch artist. Visit Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum
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Rijksmuseum

To visit Amsterdam you should not miss an appointment with the largest museum in the country, which houses a large collection of Dutch painting of the seventeenth century . And that is world-famous for including “La Ronda de Noche” by Rembrandt, or “La Lechera” by Johannes Vermeer. But his proposal goes beyond painting, by including Delft ceramic objects, sculptures, engravings and other objects of great artistic relevance. Something you should not miss is to check the majesty of its facade, one of the great symbols of the city, and from where you can go to other hot spots to visit Amsterdam. Not in vain, is located in the center of the city, and where you can go to make other visits, without excessive walking. visit amsterdam: Rijksmuseum
RasMarley Nothing seen in this itinerary will be indifferent, and the biggest debate you can have at night in the pubs is to find out which of these places you liked the most, and why. It will not be strange that in the end you decide on the four alternatives that we propose. Are you willing to accept the challenge?