Saturday, 22 August 2009

Union Square in New York

In this post I will tell you something about Union Square, popular destinations (like Greenmarket Farmers) located in New York! In Union Square you can find Manhattan's top restaurants, Off-Broadway theaters, retailers etc. It offers free tours, maps and special events.

New York's Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge is the most influential bridge in American history, located in New York. It's New York City's most celebrated architectural wonder. It was designed by John Augustus Roebling (1806-1869), an brilliant engineer, but completed by his son Washington Roebling (1837-1926). It was the longest suspension bridge in the world in 1883, when it was completed, and it was the first constructed bridge using steel. The bridge links the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn which were once two separate cities.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Travel Insurance

What is a travel insurance? This is an insurance that covers medical expenses and financial (such as money invested in nonrefundable pre-payments) and other losses incurred while traveling, either within one's own country, or internationally.

Temporary travel insurance is travel insurance that can be arranged at the time of the booking of a trip to cover the duration of this trip. Thiere is and an continuous insurance which you can pruchase from travel insurance companies, travel agents or directly from travel suppliers such as cruiselines or tour operators. But, travel insurance purchased from travel suppliers tends to be less inclusive than insurance offered by insurance companies.

Travel insurance we can categorise by variety of travelers, so we have student, business, leisure, adventure, cruise and international travel. This options can be insured.

Next, we will give you a list of common risks covered by travel insurance:
--> Medical expenses
--> Emergeny evacuation  or repatriation
--> Trip cancellation/interruption
--> Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
--> Overseas funeral expenses
--> Delayed departure
--> Loss, theft or damage to your personal possessions and money (travel documents are included)
--> Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
--> Legal assistence
--> Personal liability and rental car damage excess

Sometimes travel insurance policies also provide cover for additional costs, although these vary widely between providers.

In addition, often separated insurance can be purchased for specific costs such as:
--> pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes)
--> sports with an element of risk (e.g. skiing, scuba-diving)
--> travel to high risk countries (e.g. due to war or natural disasters or acts of terrorism)

Common Exclusions:
--> pre-existing medical conditions
--> war or terrorism - but some plans may cover this risk
--> injury or illness caused by alcohol or drug use

Usually, the insurers cover pregnancy related expenses, if the travel occurs within the first trimester. After that, insurance coverage varies from insurer to insurer.[1]

Travel insurance can also provide helpful services, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that can include concierge services and emergency travel assistance.

Typically travel insurance for the duration of a journey costs approximately 5-7% of the cost of the trip.

Travelling in Cairo, Egypt

Here I will introduce you into getting around in Cairo. First of all, how will you get arround; the best is to get arround on foot, but after some time, you get tired. And if you're female walking alone, you will attract too much attention. When you get tired, you can use some of available transports as Taxi, Metro or Bus.

In Cairo, you can get around in taxi which you can hail from any corner of any street. Little black and white cabs are everywhere. Driving in Cairo is difficult so you can be thankful after taxi drives you to your desired destination. But, it's not all that great! Sometimes taxi meter doesn't work so you will decide with driver about the price. Whach out if the price is faire! Sometimes they like to separate families or pairs (single men sit in the front, single women in the back). Sometimes a driver pick up extra passengers along the way. A reasonable taxi fare from the airport to the center of town and vice versa is around 25 Egyptian Pounds.

Another transportation method is metro, the only metro system in Africa and you will enjoy in ride. First carriage is for women only and it runs on time (until midnight). Another advantage is that metro is cheap. You need to buy your ticket at the station and hold on to them until you exit at your destination.

Third transportation is bus. They have buses and mini-buses which are good option to get arount the city if you speak and read Arabic and are on a tight budget. You can buy your ticket on board and they can be prepared to get up close and personal with your fellow passengers. Buses and mini-buses depart both terminals and end up in the center of town at Midan Tahrir, the transport hub of Cairo. They cost less than 1 Egyptian Pound.

Although arriving in Cairo can be a little overwhelming it isn't a dangerous place. You may get ripped off but violent crime is extremely rare. Don't worry too much about spending your first night in a hotel recommended by your taxi-driver that on hindsight cost you 5 times it should have.

You probably ask yourself where to stay. Cairo has plenty of accomodation options. You need to decide if you want a hotel near the Pyramids, near the airport (Heliopolis), in the center of town or in some of the finer, quieter neighbourhoods like Zamalek. Good hotels from TourEgypt are on the more luxurious side, till cheap hotels for those with low budget are mostly in central Cairo, between Midan Tahrir and the train station. Use the Lonely Planet Guidebook to find where they are.

This is all for now. I will write more about Cairo later.

Burj Al Arab in Dubai

Burj Al Arab is a luxury hotel located in an artifical island in Dubai, 280m out from Jumeirah beach and it's the second tallest building in the world used as a hotel. It's connected to the mainland with a private curving bridge.

It looks like a sail of a dhow (a type of Arabian vessel), which symbolize Dubai's urban transformation. It has two "wings" which are spread in a V to form a vast "mast", while the space between them is enclosed in a massive atrium. It was designed by an architect Tom Wright of WS Atkins, the UK's largest multidisciplinary consultancy, and built by construction contractor Murray & Roberts from South Africa.

The builders drove 230 pieces of 40m long concrete piles into the sand to secue the foundation. Engineers created a surface layer of large rocks, which is circled with a concrete honeycomb pattern, which serves to protect the foundation from erosion. It took three years to reclaim the land from the sea, but less than three years to construct the building itself. The building contains over 70 000 m3 of concrete and 9,000 tonnes of steel.

This is the only 7 star property on the world. It has 28 double-storey floors which accommodate 202 bedroom suites. The smallest suite occupies an area of 169 m2, till the largest covers 780 m2. You can concluse that this is one of the mopst expensive hotels on the world. The cost of staying in a suite begins at 1000 USD ($) per night, till the cost of staying in Royal Suite (the most expensive and luxury suite) starting at 28000 USD ($) per night!

Suites feature design details that juxtapose east and west. White Tuscan columns and a spiral staircase covered in marble with a wrought-iron gold leaf railing show influence from classicism and art nouveau. Spa-like bathrooms are accented by mosaic tile patterns on the floors and walls, with Arabian-influenced geometries, which are also found elsewhere in the building.

Al Muntaha (which on Arabic means "Ultimate") is one of its restaurants, located 200 meters above the Persian Gulf. It offers an view of Dubai. It is supported by a full cantilever that extends 27 metres from either side of the mast, and is accessed by a panoramic elevator. The main chef there, Edah Semaj Leachim, was awarded Chef of the Year 2006 and also owns the restaurant, in accordance with the Burj Al Arab hotel.

Another restaurant, the Al Mahara (which on Arabic means "The Oyster"), which is accessed via a simulated submarine voyage, features a large seawater aquarium, holding roughly 990,000 litres of water. The tank, made of acrylic glass in order to withstand the water pressure, is about 18 centimetres thick. The restaurant was also voted among the top ten best restaurants of the world by Condé Nast Traveler.