Tuesday, July 3, 2012


With an estimated 34.3 million tourists arriving in 1990, Spain rates as the third country in the world in terms of tourist arrivals. The history of tourism in Spain and the factors which have contributed to the mass tourism development seen today are discussed in this chapter. The general features and trends of incoming foreign tourism in Spain are detailed; the characteristics of Spaniards themselves as tourists are also reviewed, with the observation that travel agencies are scarcely required by Spaniards since 77.8% arrange their holidays on their own. Current SPanish tourist offerings are considered, with an analysis of accommodation in Spain.

 The tourist sector employed 1.4 million persons in 1990, which accounted for 11.2% of the Spanish working population. The public organization of tourism in Spain is described, followed by a review of future prospects including details of measures to try to capture tourist markets with a higher purchasing power and to promote the unknown touristic potential in Spain. These 'alternatives' to a Spanish sun, sea and sand holiday are suggested; 'cultural Spain', following routes which display the country's history or local traditions; the 13 national parks and 33 natural parks offer an experience of 'natural Spain'; sports such as rafting and mountain-climbing and skiing are increasing in Spain, as is 'health tourism'. The most recent tourist boom has occurred in the market of conference tourism; in 1990, Spain had moved up from 20th to 9th place in terms of numbers of international meetings held.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Travel Dreams of Spain -- The Journey Before the Trip
 by: MIRO
Half the pleasure of traveling is in the anticipation. There’s magic in waiting for the day to come, the expectation of being somewhere new, somewhere exotic, inhaling strangely fragrant air, and feeling foreign breezes stroke your skin. To get maximum enjoyment from your pre-trip daydreaming, I always think it pays to learn a bit about where you’re going before you set foot out the door.

There are cities that can enchant you, where the flagstones of the piazzas and squares can capture your imagination, basilicas and palaces where you can succumb to musing on the generations of feet that trod the very spot where you now stand. But only if you have some inkling of their history.

Spain is one of those evocative destinations… a sweeping backdrop for some of the most intriguing, grand, and turbulent history that has ever been written. In case you find yourself España bound this year or next, here is a random smattering of geographic, historical and other tidbits to set your reveries in motion as you pack.

Occupying eighty-five percent of the Iberian Peninsula at the southwestern tip of Europe, Spain is the continent’s third largest country. Her outlying territories include the Balearic Islands -- Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza -- and the Canary Islands over six hundred miles south, off the North African coast.

Spain today is an exuberant blend of striking contrasts, a place where the traditional and the ultra-modern live side by side. Spanish identity has been shaped by a long, eventful history and by the large footprints left by those who first invaded and colonized the land.

Ancient Greeks and Phoenicians swept through the peninsular ahead of the Romans who came in 300 BC. The imperial conquerors brought their highly developed language and architecture, their agricultural techniques, and unusual new crops like wine grapes and wheat. Evidence of renowned Roman engineering, like the amphitheater in Merida and the great aqueduct in Segovia, remains in many parts of Spain today.

After the Romans, came the Visigoths, one of the many Germanic tribes who had converted to Christianity. They ruled Iberia from their court at Barcelona for three hundred years. Next to take center stage in Spain's drama were the North African Moors who occupied Iberia for seven centuries, imprinting what would become the Spanish language, Spanish architecture and Spanish cuisine with their own unique eastern characteristics. Their influence and legacy are particularly visible in the south, in places like Granada where the great Moorish Fortress, the Alhambra, still stands.

Until the Moors were driven out of the Iberian peninsular in 1492, Spain remained a disconnected group of separate kingdoms. Andalusia, Galicia, Leon, Castilla, Aragon and Catalunya were autonomous and independent until Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand began the process of uniting them into one nation, España.

The ensuing turn of the century began the Golden Age of Spain. Intrepid explorers like Columbus, Pizarro and Cortes set sail around the globe, and for the next two hundred years Spain achieved naval and economic supremacy,making it one of the leading colonial powers of the day.

Predominantly catholic today, the Spain of earlier times was traditionally a cosmopolitan blended society with a reputation for humanistic tolerance. Medieval Moorish culture from 750 to 1050 was highly educated, particularly advanced in mathematics and medicine. For centuries, a substantial Jewish population which prized learning and philosophy endowed Spain with its wisdom and business acumen. Spanish Jews, Moors and Christians lived together in what we would regard today as a very progressive liberal society.

The great university at Salamanca was founded in the early 13th century and became the brightest academic beacon in Europe, matched only by the famous bastions of education founded in the previous century in Paris, Bologna and Oxford. For several hundred years a degree in the Sciences from Salamanca was the most coveted credential to which a scholar could aspire.

Down through the ages many empires have scaled Iberia's mountain ranges, inhabited her shores and marched across her arid plains. Ultimately all succumbed to Spain's siren song and were assimilated into her culture, impacting and changing it, as much as they were impacted and changed by it.

Today's Spain is a parliamentary monarchy comprised of autonomous regions. Each has a distinctive landscape, its own unique history and cultural traditions, a regional cuisine, and sometimes a separate language which distinguishes its natives. The intoxicating energy of Spain can seduce, mystify and mesmerize. Few visitors escape the lure of her charms.

You can ski the peaks and snow caps of the Pyrenees, sunbathe on endless white sand beaches, rub elbows with the jet set in Marbella, or take a dusty road up into the pueblos blancas and find your soul in the raw emotion of Andalusia's gyspsy flamenco. Just bring your open heart... you won't find a warmer welcome anywhere on the continent. 

The City Of Nizams

Top Reasons To Visit Hyderabad- The City Of Nizams
 by: MIRO

Well, there are many solid reasons to visit Hyderabad and here are some of them:

Images of the past: The city of Hyderabad is a living example of the images of the opulent days of its ancient rulers. This 400 year old city is a must visit destination for history lovers. There are many places to visit in Hyderabad that reminds of the glorious past like Charminar, Mecca Masjid, Golconda Fort and so on. There are also many attractions that have remnants of art and culture of the Qutub Shahi and Asaf Jahi dynasties.

Mouth-watering dishes: One of the main highlights of the Hyderabad tourism is the Hyderabadi food which is a blend of Mughlai and Persian cuisines. It is famous for its rich and aromatic nature that comes due to the liberal use of exotic spices, ghee and fresh fruits. The Hyderabadi food uses fresh fruit instead of dried fruits. Biryani, one of India's most popular foods, is flavored rice with meat or vegetables and an important part of Hyderabadi cuisine.

Rich culture: Hyderabad is known for its rich history and culture with a rich and varied heritage in arts, crafts and dance that was formed during the rule of Nizams. One who travels in Hyderabad must visit the Salar Jung Museum to witness the cultural side of Hyderabad. It is one of the biggest one-man collections of antiques of the world who was Salar Jung III. Some of the top items here are Persian carpets, Moghal miniatures and daggers, Chinese porcelain, jade collection and Japanese lacquer and other fabulous items.

Paradise for shopping lovers: Hyderabad is surely the best place in India for shopping. In fact, the city has been a major shopping center of India for years, right from the Mogul kings to the British rule to the present day. People come here to shop for, antiques, jewelry items, beautiful dresses, rare semi precious gems, natural pearls and handicrafts. Due to a pleasant Hyderabad weather, there will be no problem for tourists to travel around looking for souvenirs to take back home.

Other attractions: Gandhipet Lake also known as Osman Sagar is one of the top places to visit in Hyderabad. Spread over an area of 46 square kilometers, here people come to enjoy the lush greenery. One important lake is the Hussain Sagar Lake where 33 statues of different celebrities is breathtaking sight for one who travels in Hyderabad. One can even experience skiing in sweltering summers by visiting the Snow theme Park. It is the only such park in entire India where you can enjoy skiing in artificial snow.

Apart from this, there are Film City Birla mandir and Osmania University which are amongst the top places to visit in Hyderabad. So, it’s time to plan your trip to this “City of Nizams”.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Traveling Around Egypt And Back
 by: MIRO


Egypt is one of the most thrilling places, mainly because of its Pyramids. Egypt is also one of the vacationing spots for the people living in the west and also people living in other parts of the world. This is the perfect trip for a family who wants to add an educational value to their vacation. Unlike most vacation spots, parents drop their children of at an amusement park for hours at a time. A trip to Egypt is a trip that the entire family can enjoy

A grand tour for Egypt starts from Cairo (Ancient Egypt), which includes religious and Islamic sight seeing. Cairo is also one of the major airports in Egypt. Normal tour for Cairo will start from Giza pyramids (Great pyramids), Saqquara (Step pyramid) and even the Egyptian Antiquities museum. This is like a first day tour.

Then the tour usually moves on to Luxor and Aswan, these places are visited either by train or flight. Tours also include visiting some places like Citadel and Khan el-Khalili market in Islamic Cairo, also visiting the churches and Coptic museum in Cairo.

Egypt is a place for Religious tours, Adventure and Specialty tours, golfing tours, fishing expeditions, Birding tours, Nature tours, Simple Holidays, Beach vacations, Scuba diving vacations, Western or Eastern Desert, The Sinai, Jordan, Kenya and the Israel.

Shopping is unlimited in Egypt being a historical and a religious place, one can find many exciting and inventive things to buy.

Food is delicious in Egypt, some of the famous delicacies of Egypt are, Egyptian bean salad, Egyptian stuffed egg plant with rice, meat and okra stew, Egyptian stuffed pigeon, Egyptian green soup, Egyptian salty rice, stuffed grape leaves, fig cakes, um ali (famous dessert of Egypt), Egyptian spiced drink etc… All the dishes of Egypt are made in a unique way; there are recipe books available for people who become lover of the food in Egypt.

Arabic is a common language that is spoken in Egypt. It is not very hard to learn basic Arabic so communication is made between people who do not understand English.

There are various transports that are available in Egypt, getting to places isn’t difficult because of the arrangement of buses, trains, water transport and flights. It is quiet reasonable to travel in Egypt.

Proper planning is recommended so that one would not get confused if going to Egypt the first time. Maps are available so detailed study of Egypt will help in the entire trip.

Egypt : Land Before Time
 by: MIRO

In recent years, the number of people touring Egypt has slowly dwindled. This is most likely due to the violence in the Middle Eastern region and the few bombings and kidnappings that have occured in recent years. However, these cases are pretty much isolated, and the thousands of people who visit Egypt every year thoroughly enjoy their experience there.
Egypt is famous for a lot of things, from their exotic perfumes, fine cotton, and the mysteries of mummification and their ancient religion. However, I would like to focus on the architectural and engineering wonders of the Egyptian civilization. When the tribes in Europe and Africa were still building huts and shelters, the Egyptians have already constructed monstrous monuments hundreds of feet in height and width. It is this superiority that has elevated the ancient Egyptian civilization as one of the greatest civilizations in the world.

The Great Pyramids of Giza

By far the most famous of Egypt's architectural wonders are the 3 Great Pyramids located at Giza, near Cairo. These monuments are hundreds of feet in height, and have survived the test of time for the last 4500 years. There are over a hundred pyramids of various sizes in Egypt, and more in neighboring Sudan. These monuments serve as tombs for the great pharaohs of ancient Egypt, and stand as testimony to the power and influence of these pharaohs.
When you stand at the bottom of the Great Pyramids, looking up at their magnificence, the feeling is indescribable. You begin to wonder just how the ancient people managed to construct this huge structure with only the help of the simple tools available at that time. And this feeling of awe intensifies when you take the opportunity to descend into the pyramids via the original entrances that were used thousands of years ago. When you touch the walls of the now-empty tombs beneath the pyramids, you will feel as if you were there thousands of years ago when the tombs were freshly carved. (One warning: You might not want to enter the pyramids if you are claustrophobic!).

The Sphinx
Next to the Great Pyramids at Giza is the enigmatic Sphinx. A gigantic statue with the head of a man and the body of a lion, the great Sphinx stares silently at the east, perhaps watching the sunrise, or perhaps protecting the great pyramids from whatever evils that may threaten to destroy them. The Sphinx is just as old as the pyramids, aging over 4500 years (or more, depending on which group of archaeologists you believe).
Almost everyone has heard of the Sphinx with its missing nose, and some might wonder how he actually lost his nose. (Do not believe what you saw in the Disney cartoon Aladdin) Almost everyone has seen many pictures, or perhaps the Discovery channel, showing the Sphinx in various angles. But you have to visit it, to stand there right next to it, to realize why both the Sphinx and the Pyramids are the most famous man-made structures in the world. Just the front paw of the Sphinx is larger than a human being!.

The Wonders of the Nile
The architectural wonders of ancient Egypt are not limited to those at Giza. As you travel along the Nile River (incidentally the longest river in the world), you will come across other monuments. Chief of these is the Valley of Kings near Luxor. It is here that many kings from many of the ancient Egyptian dynasties were entombed. Each tomb is unqiue and is a wonder in its own right. Unfortunately, most of the treasure that was entombed with the pharaohs have long been stolen by tomb raiders. Only the well-hidden tomb of Tutankhamun managed to survive more or less intact to this day.
Further south, near the town of Aswan, are the famous temples of Abu Simbel. Constructed during the reign of Ramses II, better known as Ramses the Great, these two temples feature much-larger-than-life statues guarding the entrances. And beautiful hieroglyphs still adorn the walls of the temples.

The few monuments I've mentioned are just a small fraction of the many wonders that can be found in Egypt. If you have any interest in ancient civilizations, or want to know more about the wonders of ancient Egypt, you owe it to yourself to visit this ancient land before its wonders are eventually swept away by the sands of time.

A Guide To Shopping In Egypt
 by: MIRO

It has been a well known fact that when you visit any place else in the world, may it be at your own locality, shopping is never out of the to-do list. You shop and it is out of the question why you do so. So, think about it, if you shop in your own locality, how much more when you are out of the country? A souvenir is a must and I am perfectly aware of that! Now, to save you from wondering where to shop when you are in an enchanting, history rich country like Egypt, I have here a guide for you.

When shopping, Egypt has it "under one roof", the Khan el-Khalili in Cairo. It is a place where you can experience full onslaught of Egyptian shopping. You can find almost anything here - from cloths, to water pipes, to papyrus. Name it, The Khan has it. So, do expect to spend the rest of your day here, especially if you are the impulsive buyer type. A hundred percent guarantee that you will really enjoy shopping here, and yes, you might even drain your wallet in this area. That is why, for a friendly reminder, use your bargaining skills. Why bargain? Because, The Khan is just like most of the bazaars you will find in any other place in the world. Yet, Egyptians usually call the bazaar as souks. Did I mention that the selection in this place is endless? Yes, indeed!

Egyptian cotton, having been soft and longer lasting, claimed the best in the world. So, never miss the opportunity of buying it in an affordable price in the place where it originated, Egypt. The Khan has different varieties of such cotton. From towels, bed sheets, shower robes to just simple cotton cloths turn into your own fancy. They have it here! And if you want the ones that are made highly for export quality, Wekalet El Balah, Al Azhar Street and El Sadd Street is the place to be. These streets have thousands of Egyptian cotton and to top it off, they specialize in this kind of industry.

>From spices to jewelry to perfume bottles, The Khan can provide it for you. Visit the Shobra el-Khema and be amazed with the different bottles made extraordinarily. Some even have intricate designs on it. The bottles come in different shapes, sizes as well as colors.

Now, how can we ever forget the ever most popular papyrus? Guess what, you can also find it here in The Khan. And the good news is, the papyrus artwork comes in all forms and sizes. There are a lot of beautiful papyrus artworks that it will really make it hard for you to decide what to buy or what not. In addition to this, these beautifully made papyrus have signatures of the artists themselves hand-painted on each papyrus. If you will not buy what I just said, why not visit the outside skirts of Egyptian Antiquities Museum and find out for yourself?

And lastly, the hookahs; Egypt is known to have these and yes, again, The Khan has it for you. A variety of glass water pipes or hookahs can be found here. And yes, you will definitely have a hard time deciding which hookah to buy. However, if you will buy one, do not forget the bubble wraps as they keep help keep your purchase in one piece.

There are still a lot of things that you can find in The Khan. So, when visiting Egypt, do not hesitate to visit the place and shop until you drop.