A history of the most spectacular Palace in Crete

Before the Romans and the Egyptians, there were other civilisations and Empires whose ingenuity and creativity were truly incredible. One of these was the Minoans. They made their home on the stunning islands of Crete. Sitting in the  Mediterranean, not far from the coast of mainland Greece, the Island of Crete is one of the most picturesque there is. Like so many of the Greek islands, it was of strategic importance for controlling trade and commerce in the region. This was all to the Minoans advantage. They used their experience at war and maritime skills to build a fleet that would soon dominate the Mediterranean. They exploited that dominance and money to build a fantastic palace. This was to be the famous city of Knossos. Its remains can still be seen to this day.

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Knossos enters into the Greek Mythos as the site of the Labyrinth and the lair of the Minotaur. It is easy to see the link between the two. Minoans and Minotaur was a direct reference and also an insult from the mainlanders. They constructed a story around the islanders who had a ritual of leaping bulls. The island’s youth would run and vault a bull using its horns as leverage as a test of manhood.

So far, the extensive archaeological work that has been conducted on Knossos has not yielded substantial underground mazes or the remains of a man bull hybrid. It has uncovered some beautiful things and clearly indicates that the Minoans were incredibly advanced in civilisation. The evidence for this is clear, and it is written on the walls of the Palace itself. The incredible frescos the Minoans created show examples of their life and times. It illustrates their rituals and celebrations. It also shows they had access to colour palettes from around the sea which they exploited.

However, it is their essential ability to create pretty astounding systems of public health that can really impress. It is generally thought that the Romans are the pioneers of clean water and latrines. However, as they got all their best ideas from the Greeks, it seems the Minoans were a massive influence. In Knossos, we can see some of the most impressive drainage systems ever created by simple gravity-fed systems. Using the nearby streams and rivers, they are diverted to flow through the city and the Palace. A modern Drain Lining Company like Wilkinson Environmental would be impressed with the skills that have been shown.

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Using just hewn stone and worked clay, the Minoans were able to construct a system that took all of the wastewater out of the city whilst still providing clean water as well.

A public health system is not the only example of the Minoans skill.

There are countless examples of worked ceramic, gold and pottery. The finest being a bust of a bull’s head with golden horns and intricate figurines of snake goddesses.

The great city of Salisbury

The county Capital of Wiltshire, Salisbury is a fascinating place to visit. It is one of the oldest of the UK’s cities and is very close to one of the UK’s most ancient monuments, Stonehenge. What is there to do in this vibrant old city? The city is dominated by it’s mighty Cathedral, which promotes it to a City. It used to be a part of the settlement of Old Sarum built in part from the stones at Stonehenge, a prominent hill fort just outside of the city but with the construction of the Cathedral the power shifted and so did the people coming into the location.

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The Cathedral, which in itself is a day trip, contains a copy of the Magna Carta which is seen as one of the first steps towards an open and democratic society that protected the rights of its citizens. There are plenty of boutique shops to browse and classic pubs and coffee shops to take a breather in and take some refreshment. The city has an excellent Park and Ride which makes life a lot easier rather than trying to park in the city itself. Dating back to the year 900 it still has some of the medieval streets and byways which are definitely not car friendly.

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Mompesson House in the historic Cathedral close is a beautiful example of Georgian architecture but you’ll need your National Trust membership to get in or you may have to pay. There are so many wonderful Local things to do in Salisbury. Just look at for more ideas.

How to Pack For Your Holiday

Whether you are going away on a family holiday with the family or just a romantic getaway, packing for a holiday is an important thing to do. While some people like to leave their things behind and hope that everything will be in perfect condition when they return, if you are going away for a holiday there is simply no way to know what will happen. There is always a chance that you will not have the items that you left behind when you left and if you are on a budget this can be very detrimental to your holiday plans. Make sure you have some levi t-shirts for men from EJ Menswear in the suitcase.

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When you are packing for a holiday, you want to start by making sure that all of your luggage tags are present and in proper places. You also want to check your carry-on luggage for sizes, even if you are going away for only a day or two. All airlines will check your bags before you take them on and you want to make sure that your bags are regulation size so that you will be able to enter the plane and sit down properly in your seat. If your luggage is too large it will not fit through the overhead and you could find that you are missing your connecting flight.

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Once you have made sure that everything that you need is present in your luggage, you will want to pack your personal items, your medications, and anything else that you might need to bring with you. The size of the items that you pack should match the size of the bag that you will be filling with your belongings so that you do not have to worry about carrying a large bag around with you and leaving space for other items. Planning ahead in order to know how to pack for your holiday will help to ensure that you do not forget any important items and you will also be able to get everything that you want to do while on hoilday.

The wonders of the Ring of Kerry

Ireland is thoroughly blessed with a variety of wonderful walks and wanderings but one of the best has to be the marvellous Ring of Kerry. This is a clockwise walk that runs from Killarney to Kenmare. It takes in several picturesque villages and towns such as Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen, and Glenbeigh. It is a breathtaking trip but you will need something to keep the chill out. This is why you will need to have a decent set of Mens Aran Sweaters like those you can buy from Shamrock Gift.

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What can you see when you walk this road? It’s not only a walk through the natural world it is also a trek around the modern as well. The landscape has developed over the many centuries from the ancient world that is also very much in evidence.

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For example, the Dunloe Ogham Stones, reckoned to have been carved in the fifth or sixth century, are a registered national monument. A much larger structure is the Staigue Hill fort just outside of Sneem. This was a large Iron Age structure, built around 400 to 600 AD and was the home of a powerful Chieftain in the area. Even more impressive, it is dry stone construction that used no mortar between the carved and shaped stones. Medieval castles are also covered by Ross and Ballymalis.


There are also examples of the industrial world. A visit to the Kerry Woollen Mills is a great stopover as it is one of the last independent Mills left in Ireland. Being Ireland there are numerous pretty churches to view and the Torc Waterfall has little to rival it.

Things to do in Westport

Westport in County Mayo is an absolute gem on the west coast of Ireland, a city full of adventure and activities to suit all ages and tastes. With charm and charisma, Westport invites you to visit and enchants you to stay and explore. Ideally located along the Wild Atlantic Way and with a number of activities available and a magnificent backdrop, there is truly something for everyone in this coastal city.

Climb Croagh Patrick

A famous pilgrimage site, Croagh Patrick mountain, locally called ‘The Reek’ is about 10 km west of the city. Get your walking shoes on, round up your friends and make a day of it. There is nothing quite as satisfying as getting to the top. Don’t forget your perfect Irish souvenirs, like Aran Sweaters from a site like Shamrock Gifts, suppliers of beautiful Aran Sweaters.

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Cycle the Greenway

The Great Western Greenway is the latest addition to the many attractions of Westport and features 42km of off-road cycling and walking. Take your bikes from Clew rent a bike and hit the road with superb views of Clew Bay and the surrounding area.

Dine in style

Westport is all about the food, and no matter where you stop, there will surely be some beautiful dishes offered. Try the seafood, which is second to none, and be sure to bag a superb cocktail to wash it down – amazing.

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Sit back and relax

Westport offers some lovely places to stay around the area, each of which has friendly staff on hand to help you enjoy every minute of your stay. Another great tip for this area is to drive to Achill Island – accessible by bridge – and follow the breath-taking Atlantic Drive trail.

Top Reasons to Grab Some Winter Sun

Winter can be a pretty miserable affair. Dark skies, not enough hours of sunlight, cold and damp. Don’t you ever wonder if taking a holiday during the winter would make more sense than going away during the pleasant summer months? Well, it turns out that a spot of winter sun could be just what the doctor ordered. Scientific studies reveal that the sun has a whole host of positive benefits, aside from just making us a little cheerier! So, here are the top reasons why you should ditch the scarf and gloves and replace them with a swimsuit and beach towel instead:

Vitamin D

Sunshine gives us vitamin D, as much as 90% of what we need. Vitamin D is essential for protecting us against diseases and slowing down the ageing process! Just 15 minutes of beautiful sunshine a day will provide your daily boost of essential vitamin D, less than the time it takes to start to get sunburn.

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Maintain your weight

University researchers recently found that a certain exposure to UV rays helps the body to release nitric oxide. This is a protein that can help slow down the onset of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Who knew that a winter sun holiday could help so much? Ditch the mince pies and grab a sangria instead!

Mood Boosting

Vitamin D is not only essential for fighting against disease, but it can literally put you in a better mood. Studies have shown that vitamin D has a similar effect to antidepressants, providing a boost to your mood. The better your vitamin D absorption, the better your mood. Let the sun make you happy this winter with a holiday to the perfect winter sun destinations of Lanzarote and Tenerife. For flights to the Canary Islands from Irish Airports, visit

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Sleep Better

Getting out in the sun, for even as little as 15 minutes a day, can help shut down your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel drowsy. This helps your body clock to wind down when it starts to get dark again, ensuring a better night’s sleep.

Decrease blood pressure

Anyone suffering from high blood pressure will benefit from UV ray exposure. Blood pressure levels dropped significantly for an hour after going out in the sunshine for just two lots of 20 minutes.

Enjoy winter sun with care

As with any sun exposure, be sure to use sunscreen and cover up during the hottest parts of the day and you can enjoy all the benefits that the sun brings without any of the harmful effects. Make the most of your winter sun holiday and optimise your vitamin D intake by eating lots of greens rich in antioxidants, use a high factor sunscreen and try a sun monitoring app on your phone to let you know exactly how long you’ve been out in the rays.


Top 5 locations for Long rides

Long rides are irreplaceable, the feeling it gives is priceless. You can be the sole in charge of your time while you rent a car on your holiday expeditions and may explore various awesome places of the world at your own pace. Irrespective of the fact that whether you are in a luxury convertible or a high performing vehicle or a simple sedan, the open road can be cruised and you may implement your fantasy which is unknown of any border.

So instead of always availing a flight and missing the abundance of beauty of your way, opt for a car and check out the difference all by yourself. You will truly enjoy your trip. There are loads of such amazing places in the world which are best suited to get travelled on the road. Presenting the top five destinations which are ideal for long rides.

Bolzano-Cortina d’Ampezzo

This place attracts majority of mountain lovers. The drive is fringed with limestone walls and rugged cliffs. Cutting through the Dolomites, the hundred km drive is awesome and is filled with twists and turns.

Great St. Bernard Pass

One highly popular passes in Alpine Europe stretches around fifty six kilometres from Martigny to San Bernardino. The Swiss section of this road commences from the French spoken locality, Martigny to Italian spoken locality, San Bernardino.

Flower Route – Haarlem-Leiden, 25 miles

The major attraction of this route is the best flower concentration which can be observed on its way. Fields and roads have some awesome colour strips from the beginning of season of flowering, which is late January till the early May. You will enjoy stopping and buying from strollers along the roadside.

Tennessee and Mississippi – Blues Highway Drive

You require to take the Route 61 for driving. Route61 is falling between Vicksburg and Memphis along the Mississipi River. The drive will be musical one as well. You will get drenched in music at every turn. Gospel, Soul, R&B spills out from bars, churches and cars. This is a place where you will find the roads are singing.

Alberta Canada

Starting from the amazing plain fringes you have to climb through the splendid mountains of Jasper National Parks and Banff is experiencing crag, forest and glacier. Various wild animals and elk bears can be figured out during this breath taking two sixty four mile drive. You should always make an advance booking of the car as it will be more reasonable for you. So get the booking done by calling any hire cabs.. And it is also safe for the traveller to have a License and insurance with him. If anyone want to get their insurance and license soon, they can contact dvla contact.
You plan your journey in advance before you hire the car for driving. If you have not opted for an overly long drive, you should opt for a smaller car as it will be more reasonable price wise. Think about space and comfort while planning a long drive. You need to acquire an AC car if the climate is warm. So keep all those crucial factors in mind, while planning the journey and start your marvellous expedition likewise.

The 5 Most Beautiful Coastal Corners Of The Basque Country

Are you a fan of coastal villages? Do you like sea life and typical houses on the beach? Do you want to spend a fishing vacation enjoying all the tranquility you can imagine? Then do not hesitate to visit the Basque Country! We will show you some of the most beautiful corners you will find.

Where to go in Basque Country?

It has been a bit difficult to make a selection with the most beautiful of the Basque Country. Everything is impressive! In addition to the landscapes worthy of thousands of photographs, on the Cantabrian Coast you can enjoy its famous gastronomy with well-prepared dishes.

1. Hondarribia

All this town bordering France and near the Bidasoa River is beautiful. It is an ancient walled city where its cobbled streets will make you want to get lost. You do not want to look at the map! Its castle, now Parador, located in the Plaza de Armas is one of its most representative attractions.

To the east of Hondarribia is the Txingudi Bay. You can take a boat and cross to French lands in a matter of minutes. The Marina district is another place worth visiting, the fishermen’s houses are very beautiful because all their balconies are adorned with flowers.

2. San Sebastián

Zurriola is the beach best known of the capital of the Basque Country and worth laying to rest on it. Its great waves have made it a must for surfers. If you look in the opposite direction to the sea you can see the silhouette of the Congress Hall and Kursaal Auditorium, where every year the San Sebastian Film Festival is celebrated.

As you walk around, take a walk around the Bay of La Concha, the most urban beach in the area. In addition to being in a privileged location, next to the historic center, it is striking its semicircular shape and that its climate is pleasant all year round.

Do you still want more of San Sebastian? Of course, you will! At the end of the beach of Ondarreta stands the Peine del Viento, a great sculptural-monumental work by Eduardo Chillida and Peña Gantxegi. The three pieces that compose it are arranged in different boulders right on the edge of a cliff. It is lovely to see how the waves break on it!

3. Bermeo

If you are going to visit the Costa de Bizkaia, Bermeo is without a doubt a must stop. Surely you have seen the famous hermitage on top of a cliff, typical postcard of the Basque Country. Well, now you know where it is located, very close to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. It has become more popular since Anne Igartiburu decided to marry in this place. What a choice!

During your stay in Bermeo, 30 minutes from Bilbao, you can take a walk through its marina and above all taste some of the typical dishes in the bars of the pier.

4. Flysch Geopark

Between Deba and Zumaia is this large coastal park, of the most beautiful corners of the Gipuzkoan area. It is an incredible place for lovers of geology because they will know the history of some cliffs. 60 million years! A beautiful landscape where you can see it, the panoramas are amazing.

You can start your journey from Itzurun beach and the hermitage of San Telmo. Do you want to observe something unique in the world? Then visit this Basque geopark!

5. Lekeitio

You will fall in love with this town at first sight. Of fishing origin and with an old town of the most beautiful, you will never want to leave from there. Among the main attractions of Lekeito are the Basilica of the Assumption of Santa Maria and of course the area of the port where you can find modern and traditional boats as well as the casitas of the shore.

Looking for a place to dive? You have two! The beaches Isuntza and Karraspio. If the tide is somewhat low, you can go for a walk on the Island of San Nicolás. Pay close attention to the low tide and especially when the tide begins to rise!

10 Best Music Festivals in Australia

Australia; an amazing place that offers you countless sightseeing opportunities, exotic animals, magnificent cities, rainforests and last but not least, unique music festivals that the country prides itself with. It is the perfect destination if you want to experience complete package of music, fun and the historic activities to include in your list of colorful memorable events. Read more

Impenetrable Beauty: Bwindi National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated in south-western Uganda, bordering on the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is a World Heritage Site due to its biological diversity and is home to over 100 mammalian species. The most famous of these are the Bwindi mountain gorillas, a resident population that has over half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world.

Impenetrable Beauty

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Viewing the Gorillas

Tourism is active in this remote park throughout the year, although it is more difficult to move around during the rainy season as the condition of the dirt roads deteriorates. A gorilla trekking holiday is the main attraction for park visitors.

Mountain gorillas are threatened with extinction due to hunting and habitat loss as a response to human population pressure; however, some families that are watched by scientists have been habituated to visitors. The gorillas have adapted to these strange clothed primates in their territory and seldom react to their presence. Further information about the mountain gorillas is available on the World Wildlife website.

If you would like a chance to see the gorillas, it is essential to have a guide and a permit; these are best pre-booked through the various agents that work in the area such as The time spent with the gorillas can vary between companies, from just a short one-hour viewing up to spending a full day in their company. The latter is ideal if you are trying to get those perfect photos. Income earned from allowing tourists to view the gorillas in this way forms a major source of funds for the Uganda Wildlife Authority, a parastatal government body that owns and maintains the park facilities and maintains an anti-poaching unit to protect the gorillas against potential poachers.

Other Activities

In addition to gorilla trekking, there are many guided walks though the National Park, where visitors may see the shy forest elephant, one of the 11 types of primates or many of the 350 bird species that make the forest their home. If you have done enough walking, then try flying over the canopy of the forest to view Uganda’s hills and volcanoes on a grand scale. Luxurious lodges or tented camps are situated around the edge of the park where you will be welcomed and catered for with typical Ugandan hospitality.

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