The Legendary Pamplona Bull Festival

The city of Pamplona is the capital of Navarre, Spain and bears great historical significance with great Basque heritage. Pamplona is housed on the mountains and is famous for many things – the rich culture, Michelin-star restaurants, exquisite cuisines and enthralling festivals. One festival that stands out from all the attractions and festivals of this majestic city is the festival of San Fermin or ‘La Feria de San Fermin’.

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The festival of San Fermin, in ordinary words, imply ‘running of bulls’. The grand Pamplona Bull Festival takes place every year in the month of July from 6th to 14th. This enthralling festival dates back to the 13th century and was again recognized in the year 1923 by Ernest Hemingway, known as Papa, who brought out the true spirit of the festival making it the most celebrated festival of the country. The adventurous Bull Run starts every early morning during the festival at eight o’clock, wherein six bulbous bulls and six steers are released onto the narrow streets crowded with viewers on the other side of the barricade while the runners, known as Sanfermines, run along ahead of the deadly bulls. The half a mile adventurous journey leads to a giant bull ring where the bull fight takes place. The runners, Sanfermines, are required to dress up in white shirts and white trousers and wear a bright red neckerchief in honor of Papa whose ghost is believed to roam even today all around Pamplona at least during the month of July.

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To be a part of this adventurous Pamplona Bull Festival viewers need to buy tickets (thousands of which are sold in advance) and tickets which are sold an evening before the bull fights are offered usually at the Plaza de Toros at escalated prices. A stone-carved statue of the great Papa nests near the bull ring and is garlanded with beautiful bright red neckerchiefs, the accessory the runners are required to wear. The angry-looking bulls run along the barricaded streets raging their anger on the runners who come in their way, attacking them with their horns which could sometimes prove to be fatal. The runners try to dodge these attacks but continue racing the bulls creating a lively environment filling up the city of Pamplona. Thousands of excited viewers jam the roads and crowd the top of the buildings to witness the fantastic festival, cheering and clapping for the Sanfermines and holding or wearing the bright red neckerchiefs in honor of the festival. Pamplona drools in the spirit of the festival, celebrating the nine days of Pamplona Bull Festival with extreme fun and entertainment.

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The Pamplona Bull Festival is the pride of Spain and attracts tourists from diverse spheres of the world to witness the beauty of this sport. One can see hundreds of tourists taking part in the festival just for the sake of fun and pleasure. However, recent years have witnessed protests from animal experts demonstrating against the running of the bulls and bull fights, calling these celebrated festivals as ‘running of the nudes’. In spite of this anti- Bull Run and bull fight activities; these festivals are celebrated with great pride even today.

Image Source:WikiPedia

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Reaching the abode of Lord Venkateshwara, Tirupati

Situated at the top of Tirumala Hill in the Tirupati city of Andhra Pradesh in Southern India, the Tirupati Temple or temple of Lord Venkateshwara is one of the most famous shrines in the country. For ages Tirupati darshan has been considered to very auspicious not only be general pilgrims but also by celebrities like filmstars, sportstars and politicians. The Tirupati Temple is undoubtedly one of the most high-profile pilgrim sites in entire India and it witnesses thick crowds throughout the year. Season does not matter when it comes to Tirupati visit. One has to stand in queue to reach the abode of Lord Venkateshwara. The Tirumala hill consists of seven peaks named Sheshadri, Neeladri, Anjandri, Garudadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri.

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The temple of Lord Venkateshwara is set on the top of the Venkatadri peak and is visible from different parts of the city. the deity-Lord Venkateshwara stands inside a garba griha (sanctum) inside the inner temple of Vimanam, a huge tower with golden roofs. The idol is said to be manifested as there is no historic proof of sculptors having the ability to carve such an idol and neither is there any story or legend about installation of the idol in the shrine. Worshipping of Lord Venkateshwara is done six times in a day and the rituals are performed by Vaikhanasa priests who are doing this for generations.

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Estimated number of daily visitors to Tirupati Temple is around one lakh which proves its popularity and the huge rush that you would be a part of. However, you can avoid standing in the long queue to buy ticket and instead opt for Tirupati darshan online booking. Many websites offer online booking packages for Tirupati Darshan availing which you can get direct entry to the Tirupati Temple. Apart from trip to the temple, some of these packages include visit to the Tiruchanur Padmavathi Temple.

Romancing and relaxing on the lap of nature in Thailand

When it comes to the most special ‘honeymoon’ trip, people prefer tranquility, serenity and a calm atmosphere for absolute relaxation. Hence they choose spots that are picturesque, very close to Mother Nature and are absolutely romantic. Off late, Thailand has been growing in popularity as a honeymoon spot. People from all corners of the world now choose from different honeymoon packages Thailand to spend a memorable holiday with their loved ones. With mountains on one side and pristine beaches on another, mysterious and picturesque islands floating on turquoise blue sea water, temples and breathtaking surroundings, Thailand offer a complete package to honeymooners.

Image Source:WikiPedia

Image Source:WikiPedia

At Thailand you can choose from different honeymoon packages. You can opt for a romantic honeymoon package, a relaxing package, lover’s escape or spa honeymoon package. The romancing honeymoon package includes trips to the famous temples of Thailand and the bustling city of Bangkok, the Floating Market, Pattaya Beach and scuba diving at the Coral Island. By choosing the Lover’s Escape package, you can visit the Grand Palace, one of the ‘must see’ places in Thailand. It is a grand complex that features the Temple of Emarald Buddha or Wat Phra Keow, which is a wonder of the world.  From there you will be taken for a Bangkok Canal Tour, where you will be travelling on the water on a motor launch or a speed boat. Temples and residential buildings on either sides of the water way look fascinating from the boat.

Image Source:WikiPedia

Image Source:WikiPedia

To gift your person of ‘love’ complete relaxation, you can choose the relaxing honeymoon package and fly to Chiang Mai from Bangkok. From Chiang Mai you can make trips to the tribal villages on the hills or opt for the elephant safari in the jungle. After spending a couple of days at Chiang Mai you can fly to Samui, which is a serene piece of land on the bank of the turquoise sea. From Samui you can visit the picturesque rocky islands of Koh Nangyuan and Koh Tao. Like many other countries, Thailand honeymoon packages from India are available in different ttypes that you can choose from. Check out packages of different travel agencies and choose one according to your preference.

Top 5 restaurants for vegetarians in Goa: The good and bad of them

Though Goa is a happy place for carnivores, it also takes care of its veg-friendly tourists. So, if meat is strictly no no for you, and you are hunting for some good vegetarian restaurants, then here are 5 of the more recommended ones:

Sharanam Green, Candolim: If you happen to be at Candolim (which is also home to the tempting Candolim Beach), then do make a stopover at Sharanam Green. True to its name, it is completely green and would serve you only veg meals.

The good: The good thing about this place is that it has lots of popular North Indian dishes on its menu.

The bad: And the bad thing is that the cooks tend to add plenty of oil and ghee (so beware the calorie rise)!

Rajdhani, Panjim: Panjim is one of the more favored places to visit in Goa. And its top leafy attraction is Rajdhani where you can dig into pure veg Rajasthani cuisines.

The good: Great location and the traditional thali-style experience

The bad: Can be a bit pricey

Spicy Idli, Arpora Road: A small, hidden and less known eatery, Spicy Idli should satisfy you if you are hankering for South Indian food. Meat-free and glutton-friendly, this restaurant is strongly recommended.

The good: Delicious food, amicable manager

The bad: Only recommended for South Indian food lovers

Anand Sagar, Calangute: Calangute has several restaurants and one of them is Anand Sagar. It serves vegetarian food but the food is not that great. Still, you may check it.

The good: Friendly location, good variety of cuisines

The bad: May disappoint your taste buds

Bhojan, Panjim: Goa tour packages often take tourists to this corner where you can dig into palatable and burp-evoking delicious veg food. It is a must-visit for the Gujarati tourists but non-Gujaratis too would love it.

The good: Comfort factor, quality of food

The bad: Costly, you may need to make advance booking

Cheap Hotels In Switzerland: 4 Places Loved By Budget Backpackers

If you have made the sensible decision of spending your honeymoon in the Swiss Alps, then we would happily show you around some pocket-friendly hotels. We understand that staying at a hotel in an offshore destination can be really heavy on the pocket unless you have done your research well.

Image Source:WikiPedia

Image Source:WikiPedia

So, here we offer you a quick glimpse of some really cheap hotels in the country:

  1.  Piz Buin: The tariff for a person in its room is just 65 CHF. But that’s not the greatest quality about this hotel. It is a quaint and archaic-looking building which offers you the complete serenity and the perfect ambience for a romantic sojourn. It is located in the town of Guarda.
  2. Victoria Ritter: You can buy honeymoon packages for Switzerland and book a room at Hotel Victoria Ritter nestled in Kandersteg. It is a hotel strongly recommended for families traveling with kids. There are special games and kids’ rooms which are perfect for your kids. But even honeymooners and business men love to stay at this cozy place. Its rates are 80 CHF per person.
  3. Hotel Urirotstock: If you wish to stay close to the nature, then choose this hotel situated just by the Lucerne Lake. Located in Isenthal, the hotel charges you just 50 CHF.
  4. Hotel Park: At Fiesch, this hotel should be your perfect resting ground. For staying in a double room, you will be required to shell out just 50 CHF. It has good amenities and enjoys a busy location.
Image Source:WikiPedia

Image Source:WikiPedia

Switzerland honeymoon packages from India are available on the internet and can be booked instantly. Using these packages, you can make advance bookings of rooms in your preferred hotel.

PS- The rates mentioned above are the general tariffs. But as is the case with most hotels, their prices keep changing depending on the season.

Pisa: Explore ‘the Other Leaning Towers of Pisa’

Pisa is situated in Western Tuscany and it is branded throughout the globe for its famed Leaning Tower. But, as you meander around the city you will find that there is a great deal of attractions than just the stunning landmark.

Around 3000 years ago this priestly metropolis began its life as a seaside settlement and layer by layer it came into being in the mid 11th century.

Today if you go to on Pisa city breaks, you’ll be spellbound to face the amazing, historical buildings and monuments that date back 100’s of years. Pisa is recognized for its admirable university that has grown to become Italy’s top schools.

Situated in the north-west of the city, an impressive lawn abides with four elegant and famous buildings. Such imposing structures are quite enormous.

Beauties among the Sinking Sand

The breathtaking Duomo Cathedral that was built almost 1000 years ago, also known as Cathedral’s Bell Tower – better well-known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The Camposanto

It is also called as the Holy Field, unquestionably is one of the most gorgeous looking cemeteries in the world. People regard it as Plazza dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles).

The Battistero Baptistery

The Battistero Baptistery is one of the prevalent of its kind in whole of Italy provides amazing site to the visitors. The structure is 54.86 m high and depicts a Gothic style of Romanesque with round as well as pointed arches. Visitors from around the world love the Italian marbled architecture.

The Tale of Two Museums

Adjacent to the Pisa Camposanto, on two sides of the wall there are two museums located on the south side. One is Museo dell’Opera that contains noteworthy collection of paintings, sculptures and few other works related to the medieval edifices.

With weekend Pisa breaks have you been marveling at the Leaning Tower Pisa? Well, the whole world does? It isn’t the only edifice that is not upright in the city. The sandy soil beneath the Field of Miracles has resulted in other issues that don’t seem obvious.

It has also been found the baptistery churches lurches seem tilted when viewed from a certain angle. The Duomo cathedral is quite far from straight. There are few other small bell towers in Pisa that have also shifted and bear the name ‘The Other Leaning Towers’.

Explore aromatic garden of European flavor with short break Pisa

The Beautiful Botanico Di Pisa is just couple of minutes walk from the tower. These beautiful botanic gardens were founded in the 1540’s and they are the oldest in the whole of Europe.

The gardens are full of an enormous collection of mature specimens from all over the globe. Visitors to the garden can enjoy it as a tranquil place to relax. Explore more of the beauty with guided tours and theatrical shows for the adults and children that are performed in the summer.

Charles Williams is a travel expert working from the last 4 years in http://www.crystaltravel.co.uk, a leading travel agency in London that offers smart deals on cheap flights, city breaks and holidays. He has written several articles on tour & travel, for destinations like Europe, UK & USA.

Turkey packages: Top 5 things to do in Turkey

Turkey has surfaced as a lovely and largely unexplored country which can take you by surprise with its rich wealth of history, culture and heritage. Budget Turkey packages give you a satisfying vignette of diverse attractions which range from mosques to markets, from hot air balloons to a peppy nightlife.

Here are, in brief, the top 5 things to do in Turkey:

Exploring Istanbul: Istanbul is a must-visit city and one which is always teeming with tourists and backpackers. It shows the true mirror of the country’s indigenous culture and has plenty of photogenic markets and mosques. Popular attractions include Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia, Spice Market and Grand Bazaar.

Enjoying the nightlife: Despite not being as liberal as some of the western countries, Turkey tourism does ride high on its fulfilling nightlife. Istanbul’s Taksim Square, in particular, has quite a few clubs and pubs up its sleeves. Antalya is another town where night comes with a new beginning.

Ogling at Goreme: The nature loves to manifest itself in its full glory at Goreme. The mountains feel refreshingly quaint and it is a joy to survey them from hot air balloons. The region is also littered with old decadent churches, smoking hot chimneys, weather-beaten rocks and some excellent trekking sites.

Visit Ephesus: You need to get the most of history out of your Turkey packages. And there can be nothing better than to visit places like Ephesus which have some great sites and museums dedicated to the old world. The Ephesus Museum, in this context, deserves a special mention.

Seeing the springs of Pamukkale: If you are interested in hot springs, then do make sure to visit Pamukkale. It is a reservoir of some hot water springs where nature really makes its dominance felt. Turkey tourism has often spotlighted this region and dubbed the area as ‘cotton castle’.