From pianos and pizza to volcanoes, magicians and plenty of pasta — Italy is one of the world’s most vibrant countries. These 20 fascinating facts may just convince you to start planning your vacation to the country known as “the boot” today.
For many travelers, the ultimate vacation has always been a luxury cruise. After all, who hasn’t dreamed of boarding a comfortable ship and setting sail to a warm, exotic location while enjoying some relaxing time in the sun. But as the cruise industry has grown, so have the options for travelers to consider when choosing where they would like to go on their next cruise. There are now dozens of cruise lines, hundreds of destinations, and a dizzying array of ships to sift through before deciding which options are the best. Recently, Bon Voyage , an online magazine dedicated to the cruise industry, announced its first annual awards, giving consumers some valuable insights into these very topics. Continue Reading…
The way the airplane ‘experience’ usually works for most people is like this:
Plane ride #1 – Fantastic! Beautiful Sights! Exhilarating! Terrifying!
Plane ride #2 – Great Sights! Slightly Uncomfortable! Tiring!
Plane ride #3 – Okay, too tired to look out the window, I need sleep
Plane ride #4 – Where is the teleportation device already?
I’ve been on more plane rides than I can count and by the time I reached plane ride number 10, I was determined to find a way to enjoy my travel time. I also used my fail proof plan while in cars, trains, buses, etc. When I’ve watched all the movies the airline offers, finished reading my book front to back and tried every possible angle to sleep including accidentally cuddling my plane neighbour, it is time to bring out the secret weapon: my 10 step plan to enjoying my plane ride.
1. Bring earplugs
I always hated the feeling of earplugs in my ears and never even thought to pack them until I became desperate for a good nights rest. Though I find them uncomfortable for the first 10 minutes or so, the rest of my fail proof plan helps make this ride a seamless relaxing venture.
There is a stereotype that British food is bland and boring, but I beg to differ. After living abroad in the UK for more than a year and a half, I have found many favourite local dishes that I crave when I am away. When I look forward to my next visit, I’m not just pining for the great historic architecture, the art and culture scene or the green rolling hills – but for these tasty treats as well!
Here are some of the yummy British foods that you should eat during your travels around the United Kingdom:
1. Meat Pies
Brits, especially those in Northern England, love their meat pies. On a dreary and rainy day, what could be better than biting into a piping hot soft and flaky pastry filled with juicy steak chunks and gravy or ground beef and potato or creamy chicken and mushroom? The flavour is hearty, comforting and will fill your belly in a very satisfying way.
Although you might not be accustomed to eating organs, don’t be afraid to give Steak and Kidney pie a try – it’s delicious! Oh, and if you are up North it is essential that your pie is smothered in lots of hot gravy.
2. Fish and Chips
Any visit to one of Britain’s lovely seaside towns such as Brighton, Penzance, Southend on Sea or Margate necessitates getting a heaping portion of Fish and Chips from the best chip shop in town (wrapped in a greasy newspaper) and eating them on the beach while listening to the sounds of the waves and the squawking of seagulls.
Take your time and read reviews to find the best chip shop. Fish and chips can be disappointing when done poorly, but when done well the crispy batter, moist and flaky fish and the lip-smacking salty chips are heavenly.
3. Haggis, Neeps and Tatties
If you venture up into Scotland, you must try this traditional dish. It has a beloved place in Scottish culture – Robbie Burns even wrote an ode to it! You might be disturbed by the thought of what it is – sheep lung, liver and heart cooked with onions, oatmeal and spies within a sheep’s stomach. However, if you can get beyond the mental ick-factor, it’s delicious! (Besides, you have probably eaten worse in those cheap store-bought hot dogs).
Haggis has a wonderful comforting taste and along with neeps and tatties (mashed turnips and potatoes) and smothered in a whiskey gravy, it is the ultimate comfort meal for a chilly day.
4. A Full English Breakfast
A fantastic hangover cure and a great way to fuel up for a day of walking around castles and museums, the Full English is a must. It is a breakfast fit for a king, consisting of eggs, sausages, toast, beans, hash browns, tomatoes and bacon. Of course, there are Irish, Welsh and Scottish variations with different ingredients such as black pudding and haggis.
5. Scotch Eggs
When I was first in the UK and I heard someone mentioning Scotch Eggs I thought, “what in the world are those?” However, I have now grown to love them. They are hard-boiled eggs, wrapped in sausage, covered in breadcrumbs and deep fried. They are usually served cold as a party snack or with a green salad.
6. Lancashire Hotpot
Mmm… a good old fashioned working class meal that is hearty, filling and simple to prepare. A Lancashire Hotpot is made with either lamb or mutton and is left to bake in the oven all day on a low heat with onion and sliced potatoes. It will also usually contain potatoes, turnip, carrot, leeks and onions and sometimes lamb kidney. It cooks ever so slowly, so that the flavours simmer together in a wonderfully juicy and tasty way.
Although curry dishes originated in Southeast Asia, they have become an integral part of British cuisine. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries curry became very popular in Britain due to the large number of British civil servants and military personal who were associated with the British Raj. Later, the dish became much more popular because of the many immigrants who came to the UK from South Asian countries.
Almost all Brits I know love a good curry and they don’t mind it spicy either. One of the perks of living in Accrington, Lancashire was the significant population of South Asian immigrants – which meant many curry restaurants serving delicious spicy dishes. Try a Jalfrezi with onion and green chili, a Dhansak with sweet pineapple or a Roghan Josh tomato based sauce with paprika. If you like it really hot, go for the Vindaloo.
Is your mouth watering yet? These are just a few examples of the great food that you can enjoy when you visit the UK!
September isn’t just about the back-to-school blues anymore, and these exciting festivities around the world are out to prove it. One visit to the Historic Regatta in Venice, the Cows’ Ball in Slovenia or the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in the U.S., and September might just become your favourite month to travel.