Monday, August 27, 2007

A Cool New Travel Blog

While surfing on the net for some travel information, I came across this relatively new but seemingly great travel blog. Titled RatesToGo, it is well designed with well detailed information on various travel destinations around the world. The main categories on this blog are Asia, Europe, North America and the world. On closer look I realised that this blog is part of an older webite that was launched in 2002 -! It is owned and operated by Flairview travel.

While surfing through the blog, I found some of the entries completely enchanting. It would be a crime not to mention a couple of them. There is an entry on the Three Most Futuristic Cities - in which the author talks about why and how Dubai, Hong Kong and Tokyo are the three most futuristic cities of the world.

Another very likeable post was the one titled Top Five Ice Cold Hotels! As the name suggests, it talks about hotels in the forzen environment. But its just not that. The article profiles hotels that have been fuly or partially built from ice! Located in places like Canada and Sweden, some of them are built on the concept of the Igloo!

Coming back to the main blog, the catchline on the blog is last minute hotel deals, which is quite nice for those who plan thier holidays at the last moment. The main website on covers over 12,000 last-minute reservations on hotels. Users can book hotels three weeks in advance and help refer them to extra services including car hire, flights, travel insurance, sightseeing attractions, transfers, and worldwide calling cards.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A New Web Directory

Sarthak K recently launched a free website directory which he has titled the Internet Market Web Directory. This links index has a very pleasing and attractive design themed in bold red color. You just need to sign up once on the directory at (no activation emails to click) and you can submit unlimited links for acceptance in the directory. The links are normally approved within 48 hours (subject to quality of site).

One mistake that webmasters commonly make while submitting thier links to this directory is that they include the http:// in the url of the site when they are submitting a link - even though the http:// of the url is already published there. See screenshot for reference:

So for example if your URL is, you should only submit as http:// is already prevalent from the directory. In case you submit the whole url with the http://, then your actual submission will look like this - http://!

The Internet Market web directory also has publishes a blog on internet marketing in its subdomain. The blog - titled Internet Marketing Voodoo, deals with SEO, PPC, affiliate marketing etc.


Tourist Heaven in the Heart of Europe

Berlin, besides being the capital city, is the heart of modern Germany; with a stoic beat that echoes through grand public buildings, glorious museums and theaters, urbane restaurants, bustling pubs and raucous nightclubs. It's a city that thrives on change and that has made a virtue out of reinventing itself. Berlin has one of the most diverse and vibrant nightlife scenes in Europe. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 many buildings in Mitte, the former city center of East Berlin were renovated. Hotels in Berlin can be found cheap if you know the right places to look.

Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria, and the Historic City Centre was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It will be one of the eight host cities in the 2008 European Football Championships. The traditional Vienna is but one of the many façades of this city. Vienna is also a dynamic, young city, famous for its (electronic) music scene with independent labels, cult-status underground record stores, and a vibrant club scene. Hotels in Vienna can also be found cheap if you know where to look.

By now you must be aware that this blog post is a tale of two cities - Berlin and Vienna, that combined together make a tourist heaven in the heart of Europe. If possible, you should adjust your European holiday calendar such that you get to travel both the cities. In Germany, Lufthansa has direct flights to Vienna from Berlin (Tegel) and v.v. As the carrier frequently offers special web only deals (as well as a 'happy hour' page where visitors can bid for flights) you are advised to check online for Lufthansa's latest prices. There are now also a number of low-cost flights from Austria to Germany, with Air Berlin operating services to Vienna from Dortmund, Hamburg and Duesseldorf and Germanwings also flying to the Austrian capital from Cologne-Bonn (CGN). In addition, Sky Europe offers a good value service from Stuttgart to Vienna (via Bratislava). Basically, you fly direct to Bratislava and then, from there, ride a SkyShuttle bus to Vienna for an extra €10 (the journey is just 50km).

Accommodation is widely available at most time in both the cities except during peak tourists easons when the hotels raise their prices. Hotels in Berlin and hotels in Vienna can burn a hole in your pocket (as mentioned earlier,) if you dont do your homework. Others it is assured that you will have the time of your life!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Whistler Effect - Tourist Guide

Traveling to exotic locales and having customised holidays can be great fun. You can rent out stuff like property, car, sports equipment etc to make your holiday more enjoyable and worthwhile. This is where Holiday Whistler steps in.

Holiday Whistler is a vacation rental company based in Whistler, BC. They offer a wide variety of properties for rent all year round. Many are ski-in, ski-out and have wood-burning fireplaces and private hot tubs. It is a is a holiday company with a difference.

Whistler accommodation is one of the best in its class. If you are a large party, they do not mind providing two or more properties that are very close together. The accommodation fits all kind of budgets - from 1 room flats to 10 room properties that include private hot tub; sauna; billiards room and more. There can be no doubt that whistler lodging is the most superior in and widely acknowledged around the world for customized holidays.

While checking out Holiday whistler website, I came across a property that I really liked - the Cedar Ridge 17. This is a prime ski-in, ski-out townhome in the sought-after Cedar Ridge complex just above the Village on the lower slopes of Blackcomb Mountain. Second from the end, it offers a 30-second or less walk from your front door to the slopes. See snapshot below:

Entrance is either through the private garage or up some steps to the first level. Here a spacious hallway has a powder room and storage area and leads into the living, dining and entertainment area with cedar-lined vaulted ceiling, sunken living room with wood-burning fireplace and spacious dining area. The kitchen is at the front and is fully-equipped. At the rear, looking down over the valley is a large deck with sunken private hot tub.


Unleashing Your Creativity

People seem to have the misconception that only a select few are able to unleash a steady flow of creative genius. That is not true at all. The fact is, creativity is very much like a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to consistently give out great results. If you don't practice harnessing creative thinking, this skill will very much atrophy into inexistence. But keep working and this skill will soon come to you in a snap.

So how do you unleash your creative thinking? Well, the first thing is to become a human leech. No, we're not talking about just sucking the blood out of every living being available, we're saying that you should take in as much knowledge and learning you can find. Read everything available -- good and bad, and keep your mind open to the infinite possibilities of the universe. The more you know, the more you'll want to know, and the more your faculty of wonder will be exercised. Prepare to be amazed at little facts that add a bit of color into your life.

Focus on a creative activity everyday. Yes, it's an effort. Even doodling is a creative activity. Don't let anything hinder you. Mindlessness may be a creative activity, but for people who are just starting out to unleash a little bit of creative thinking in their lives, it is helpful and encouraging to have concrete evidence, that, "hey, what I'm doing is getting somewhere." So why don't you try it. Practice drawing for a couple of minutes each day. Bring out your old camera and start snapping photos like crazy. Keep a journal and make a point to write in it religiously. Another cool idea is to write by describing something with your five senses. Try to avoid vague adjectives like "marvelous," "amazing," and "delicious." Before you know it, you'll have built yourself a tiny portfolio, and you'll be amazed at the growth you've undertaken after amassing all those works of art. Who knows, you might actually take to liking those things you do everyday. Pretty soon those things will become a part of you and you'll be addicted to these creative exercises.

Think out of the box -- or don't. Sometimes, constraints are actually a good thing. Limitations discipline you to work within your means. It enables you to be more resourceful. Creative freedom is great, but limitations enforce discipline.

Try something new everyday and let your experiences broaden your perspective. Explore a new district in your neighborhood. Spend an afternoon in a museum to which you've never been before. Chat up someone on the bus. Open up to the people around you. As you thrust yourself out of your comfort zone more and more each day, your sense of adventure grows and so does your zest for life. Think about it. When was the last time you did something for the first time? If it's been a while, I tell you, you've been missing out on a whole lot of experiences that could've added to your growth, emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually. Why don't you try bungee jumping today? Not only will you learn, but you will also have plenty of stories to share, enabling you to practice your storytelling skills and making you the life of the party.

Embrace insanity. No, not to the point of practically admitting yourself into the mental ward. As John Russell once said, "Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting." Exactly! Every creative thought was once deemed insanity by other "normal" people at one time or another. Luckily, that didn't stop the creative geniuses from standing by them. The thing is, sanity or being normal confines people to think... well, normally. Withink limits. Creativity is essentially breaking through barriers. Yes, this includes the bizzarre and the downright strange. I'm not saying that you yourself should develop a creative personality. That might go haywire. An example of a creative personality would be George Washington, who often rode into battle naked, or James Joyce, who wrote "Dubliners" with beetle juice for an intense fear of ink, or Albert Einstein, who thought his cat was a spy sent by his rival (or in thinking creatively in this case, the term could probably be "archnemesis.") It's important that your creativity doesn't get you detached from the real world completely.

I hope this article has inspired you to start thinking beyond your "limits." If you follow these steps pretty soon you'll be living a life full of interesting adventures. Unleashing your creative thinking will bring about a new zest for living life.


Friday, August 10, 2007

A Football Heaven Called England

England is a football crazy nation; talk to any sports fan here and you will come out highly educated about the ins and outs of this highly electric and entertaining game. From the moment you step onto the underground train full of supporters you can feel the excitement and the anticipation in the air.

Once you get to the game there are 90 minutes of action on the pitch, and about 90 minutes of singing off the pitch! Whether it be the Scousers of Liverpool singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone', or fans singing a song in honour of one of their players, or to taunt the opposition, the grounds are rarely quiet.

It's quite difficult to get Premier League tickets, especially to the big clubs. If you're having difficulty, it's usually best to book a long time in advance, and if you don't mind which teams you see, try some of the lesser known clubs in the Premiership. You are lucky if you're a Manchester United fan, because its easy to get accommodation in a Manchester hotel.

It's usually easier to get tickets to teams such as Fulham (London), Middlesbrough (North East England) or Blackburn (North West England) than it is to get tickets to Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United or Arsenal.

If you can't make it to a game, you may like to do a tour of one of our famous stadiums. A London hotel might not necessarily burn a hole in your pocket! Most of the big clubs offer stadium tours where you can get a behind the scenes look at the players' changing rooms, the facilities and if you're lucky a chance to sit in the Manager's match-day seat! Look at the clubs' websites for more details, or you can book a stadium tour of Chelsea's Stanford Bridge ground here.

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