You’re in a city where time seems to have stopped somewhere in the 60s: you’re surrounded by Stalinist sculptures and buildings, typical of the communist era. You look at your clock to make sure it didn’t stop. You try to find a newspaper and make sure you’ve not woken up in a different era.
You are in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Surprised, excited? Let the eDreams Travel Blog guide you through the hidden corners of this peculiar city.
Conquering the City
Minsk is all a showcase of the former Soviet Union architecture and style: wide avenues, giant buildings, war memorials and Soviet symbols. And yet, if you cross the river you’ll find another side of Minsk, you’ll find a lively, bustling, Baroque eastern European capital.
The main attractions of the capital are: the main avenue, Skakiny Prospect, St. Simon’s Church, the Cathedral of Saint-Dukhavki, The Independence Square and across the Svislach river, the old city centre
While the day is still young, head over to the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, a church that functions as an art gallery, where you’ll find a large collection of icons, such as the Saint Mary icon, which is said to be made by St. Luke.
Want to know what happened to Minsk during World War II? take a stroll through the Museum of the Great Patriotic War. here you’ll see both a Nazi concentration camp model and a section dedicated to Belarusian resistance movement.
The National Library is another not to be missed stop;a 22 floors futuristic building that changes colour depending of the position of the sun.
Precious fishing sites and ancient woodlands in Belarus
If you’ve come this far, you should know that Belarus is a perfect destination for those who love fishing, as the country has thousands of lakes and rivers ideal for practicing this hobby.
If you travel south from the capital, close to the border with Poland, you’ll discover the ancient woodland Belovezhskaya Pushcha, one of the last remaining parts of the once virgin forests of the Great European Plain.
And these are just a few guidelines, only a few of the things you could do, see, experience in Belarus. The best way to get to know the place is getting a cheap flight, jumping into a plane and experiencing it yourself.
This is a guest por by eDreams blog
What’s really exciting is the honeymoon. A holiday in which all you need to do is fly somewhere nice and enjoy being in love.
Today the eDreams Travel Blog will give us a few ideas of where to go and what to do.
The Stone Forest (China)
One of the most famous places in the country, this 350 square kilometres rock forest is one of the most romantic places to get lost in with the one your love. The legend says that the forest was a the birthplace of a Ashima, a beautiful woman who wasn’t allowed to marry her lover. In return she turned herself and the forest into stone.
The Valley of the Moon (Brazil)
Is you lover asking you for the moon? Take her or him to the “Vale da Lua”, a rocky area close to the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in Brazil and 11 km away from São Jorge. The lunar grey stones are softened and curved by the transparent waters of the São Miguel river, giving the place an out-of-this-world feeling all year long.
The coloured thermal waters of Beppu (Japan)
Situated on the Kunisaki Island, Japan and sandwiched between the sea and the mountains, Beppu has nine geothermal hot springs, also known as “the nine hells of Beppu”. The springs contain sulphur and mineral salts, which gives the water a misty feel and a reddish colour.
Celeste River (Costa Rica)
The water of this river is so blue you’ll feel like you’ve travelled to Pandora or even the land of the Smurfs. And it’s a blue you’ve never seen before in liquid form, as the colour is given by a the chemical reaction between sulfur and calcium carbonate. The waters of this river are warm and crystal clear and you’ll feel you’re in Paradise.
What you should really love about these City Guides is:
- They help you with that city break you have been planning. Cool & Quirky places to get the most of each city.
- Use them on your own city. People who have trampled all over it, have found the coolest tips for you.
- They are free!!
This is a guest por by eDreams blog
It’s not just dogs that are a man’s best friend, pets in general are great companions, but they also come with a lot of responsibilities. And what do you do when you go away? If you want to take your pet with you on your holiday or weekend break, travel can be tricky. So here the eDreams blog offers some tips on travelling with pets.
1. Planning Ahead
Think about exactly how the animal will travel, find out about the procedures involved and whether travel to your particular destination will especially cause problems or inconveniences.
2. The Animal and its Age
Make sure you consider your type of pet and it’s age. For example, puppies are more delicate, plus they eat and do their business more frequently than adult animals. On the other hand, cats are highly territorial and strongly dislike change, so they generally experience more travel stress than other types of pets.
3. Medical Check-up and Vaccines
Before embarking on your trip, you should pay a visit to the vet to get your pet checked out. The vet will also recommend vaccines for the animal, depending on where you’re travelling to.
While you’re packing your bikini and suntan lotion, don’t forget your pet’s essentials too. Make sure he / she has his / her cleaning products, collar and lead, usual food, and not to forget their favourite toys.
Since October 1st, 2004, dogs, cats and ferrets travelling within member countries of the European Union need a European Passport for Pets. You can get this document at the vet’s.
Does your pet have a microchip, or at least an identification tag on its collar with your name and address? This is without doubt the easiest way to ensure you don’t lose your companion on your travels.
7. Where to Stay
Hotels, country cottages, campsites… more and more accommodation is allowing pets to stay. Just make sure you ask before and give plenty of notice.
Depending on the destination, some forms of transport are more convenient than others. For this reason, when bringing pets people often opt to travel by car, since it’s relatively easy and simple. This way you can stop, take the animal out, feed and water it whenever you decide to, without depending on anyone.
If you’re travelling by train, there are a series of conditions for pets:
- Only one animal per person is allowed and it has to be transported in a cage or carry case.
- The cage can be no bigger than 60x35x35.
- Depending on the company, the price should be about 50% of the cost of the ticket, corresponding to the class you are travelling in.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for cheap flights or cruises, whether or not pets are allowed and conditions for travel are dependent on each individual company.
Apart from this advice, the rest is common sense. Treat your animal as you would do a human as they can have as many needs and concerns as we do.
And lastly don’t forget that your pet can and should appear in your holiday photos… unless they haven’t enjoyed themselves as much as you have…
Something is ending and something new is beginning, here are iwannagothere’s favourites from 2011.
The House Hotel in Istanbul stole our hearts this year mainly because of its gorgeous roof top terrace bar. They just treat you differently than any hotel we have ever heard of or been too. Turkey’s prime location we thinks.
And finally our favourite shopping, very hard to choose but we settle on one.
Finally we thought the following Travel Tip is quite important for almost everyone as our Travel Tips Contest Winner Katrina suggested:
There’s many things you need to bring on your travel expeditions but I strongly suggest packing in your own roll of toilet paper… Especially westerners exploring new places cause you never know. Better to be safe than drippy!!
We love everywhere but these items just resonated to us this year.
We wish you a 2012 full of great trips and experiences!
There are many different Christmas around the world, here are just 3 we choose:
3. The Christmas Lantern Art Festival is held in China’s Harbin every year and its very christmas, with over 2000 ice sculptures to gave upon and may many different lanterns to see that light the sky alight.
Tired of your white, cold Christmas? Have some fun and go on a cruise to your favorite destination!
Bahamas, anyone? Check out these great deals from Royal Caribbean. And just in case you need a little more convincing, check out the holiday inspiration below!
* This is a sponsored post by Royal Caribbean.
It’s that time of the year when everyone is giving presents so it’s only right that we should give all our Coolpackers a gift too. From today until the 2nd of January all our Mobile Cities Guides are only 0,99€!!
What We & You should really love about these Mobile Guides is:
- It helps you to decide to go on that City break you have been putting off.
- Learn more about the city you are in from people who have trampled all over it and found the coolest tips for you.
- They are a 70% off!!
As you all know we ran a survey this Autumn asking you guys a few different things about what you we’re up to this year & after corilating the results this is the data we’ve got from you:
I find iwannagothere specially useful…
Are you going o a trip on the next 6 months?
We will contact the 5 winners of the IWGT Tote Bags chosen at random by a clever computer.
(Since we just asked you for your email they can not be public
Thanks to everyone for your participations!