Positioned on the largest estuary in the world, the great city of Baltimore dominates Chesapeake Bays commerce, tourism and arts. Also known as Monument City, Baltimore is a living legacy of Americas heritage and historic foundations. Today, the city is thriving with nearly 700,000 residents and a booming industrial seaport. Airfare to Baltimore is a convenient alternative to flying into Washington D.C.Travel to Baltimore for the most intimate of American History, including one of the most famous battles sites against the British. During the Battle of Baltimore in 1812, the British naval fleet found itself in a stalemate with Baltimores Fort McHenry. Without reinforcements available and facing a formidable enemy, the British retreated, inspiring Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner. The Battle Monument was erected in the citys center to commemorate this significant victory for the United States and you can visit the grounds of historic Fort McHenry today.Baltimore is the restingplace of the U.S.S. Constellation, the last all-sail battleship built by the US Navy and a very popular attraction. It is also the last vessel from the Civil War era that is still afloat. Baltimore was the second heaviest traveled port-of-entry for immigrants into the United States during the nations infancy, adding to the incredible diversity in cuisine and culture.More Sights, More Sounds, BaltimoreToday, Baltimore is a mosaic of sophisticated American culture, the offbeat arts and music scene, and riveting professional sporting events. Make sure to visit the funky strip of Baltimore Boulevard known as The Block. Not for the entire family, this stretch is full of sleepless nightclubs, burlesque bars, quirky restaurants, and other forms of adult entertainment. For an alternative outing for the whole family, visit the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, dedicated to the preservation of Baltimores transportation history. The National Aquarium is also located in Baltimore on the seaside Inner Harbor. The aquarium offers a unique rooftop rainforest, an intimate dolphin encounter and it is the most popular attraction in Maryland.Baltimore is also full of dedicated sports fans, committed to their citys athletic history and legacy. The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum celebrates sports legends throughout history in its museum, Sports Legends at Camden Yards. Nearby you can see the Orioles or the Ravens play in stadiums full of diehard fans.Baltimore and BreakwaterBaltimores position on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay is ideal for sightseeing and dining alike. Spend an afternoon on top of the Top of the World Observation Level & Museum, the 27th floor of the World Trade Center on the bays shores, and view the citys skyline, seascape and familiar sights. Then, head down to the market place in the Harbor area for some delectable Chesapeake Bay blue crabs, prepared any way you like, and enjoy live jazz in the evening by the shore.Secure your cheap airfare to Baltimore and dive in to the citys eccentric age-old traditions. You, too, will soon be drinking National Bohemian and cracking open steamed crabs on a newspaper covered table while watching your new favorite team play.
Collecting all your frequent flyer miles is a great idea. If you fly with one particular airline frequently, you can start collecting your points. You can later redeem these points for cash or a free ticket. You can even use a credit card to earn those points, without even traveling. However, airlines are not so pleased with your traveling for free. After all, selling the tickets and not giving them away for free earns them money. Therefore, while buying tickets of an airline that offer you points, you have to be extra cautious. There are some tricks by which you can not only get and redeem your points safely, but also earn extra points and stretch them over a longer duration.While earning points, the things that you should concentrate on are:- Every time you fly, choose a program that offers the most points.- Follow all the rules and regulations.- Look out for promotional letters, especially the ones promoted by partner companies.- If buying flowers or staying at a particular hotel can earn you more miles, why not try it? There are some techniques as well, to earn extra miles. If you are on a business trip, earn extra miles by paying out of your pocket and later having the boss reimburse it. Another way to earn points is, if your spouse flies less frequently than you allow him/her use the extra miles free ticket, while you travel on a paid ticket. And while you are at earning points, dont forget to save all the receipts and watch out for errors in your statement of accounts. Always secure the latest recorded statement, to know how many points you have collected and how many more you wish to add on. Always remember not to splurge your points on unnecessary items like magazine subscriptions or club memberships. Airlines promote these unnecessary attractions to lure you away from the seats. Also, do not waste the points on a cheap flight tickets.If you dont fly that often, you could consider getting yourself a new credit card that offers you frequent flyer points. But, beware, as getting points out of these credit cards without spending much is a bit tricky. Make sure that your card does not come with a hefty annual fee. Some Mileage Credit cards are really good and if you feel that you can save with these cards, go in for them and charge as much as you like. Just remember that if you are paying bills by charging the card, you should pay the bill in cash towards the account the very next day. This helps you not to lose money on the interest charged. Take advantages of such credit card deals and keep yourself updated about your card through mail, newsletters and online. Finally, remember that these points have been earned out of your own hard money spent over a long duration. Hence, when you get ready to redeem and enjoy them, make sure you get the best deal. Always buy a ticket for the best upgrades and in doing so, remember the policy: the early bird gets the worm. The earlier you book the ticket, the better the deal you will get. Also, do not schedule your ticket for evening or morning flights or during weekends because chances are that you wont be given first preference in such cases. And lastly, always call the airline to book your tickets, rather than booking online.
Have you thought about cheap holidays in Algarve, but thought you could not go without taking the family? A cheap holiday to Algarve is just what the family needs. Algarve is a breathtaking area with cliffs and beautiful sights of the bluest waters you have ever seen. You never have to worry about the weather, because when the rest of the European countries are cloudy and cooler, Algarve is warm and sunny. The seafood dinners are found everywhere and the hospitality is just superb. You will not find any other place where you can have it all and enjoy every minute of your vacation. Although the area is famous for its fishing villages just waiting for you to stop, you will enjoy the other attractions in the area as well. The Aquashow is spectacular to see and they have a wave pool for some family fun. You can visit the exhibits of birds and see some interesting show preformed by the birds. If you thing the wave pool was fun, wait until you visit the Slide and Splash. They have rides, slides and a childrens playground. The next stop might be the Aqualand water park. You have never experienced a water park like this before. It is a great time and the entire family will have fun on all the rides and water slides. One day you might decide to visit the Zoomarine, which offers shows and a funfair for visitors. The marine animals put on shows, you might see the seals or the sea lions perform right in front of you. The safari rides around the mountains are something everyone will enjoy. You never know what you will see or where you will see it. The kids like a true adventure just as much as the adults do and you will find it here. Take a boat trip with the family during the day and enjoy some evening fun of seafood, wine and some dancing and music traditional to the country. The restaurants put out great tasting foods and if you have a real adventurous side, you may even ride a donkey or take a donkey cart ride from you drop off point to the Algarvian Restaurant. Okay, riding a donkey might excite you, but a cart ride will relax you. After some peaceful nights in a glorious and elegant hotel, you will be ready to see the historical sites and maybe do some bird watching. Cheap holidays in Algarve should always include some historical adventures. You can take tours to some of the site with a stop for lunch, then onto the rest of the journey and back to the hotel. If you are into birds of unusual species, bird watching in Algarve will delight you. Ria Formosa is one place everyone enjoys for hiking and bird watching. You will have a great adventure and some great times when you plan your "cheap holidays" to Algarve. The entire family will have something to amuse them and keep them busy for the entire vacation.
In a bygone age a safari into deepest, darkest Africa the Big Five were the most sought after animals to hunt. They were the fiercest, the most dangerous of animals that were able to hunt the hunter. So what are the big five?They are the lion, the leopard, the rhinoceros, the buffalo and the elephant. Today, of course, the hunting is done with cameras but that does not take away from the thrill of seeing your first lion or hearing a leopard walk past your camp at night. These big mammals are each far more interesting than the early explorers appreciated.The male lion is much larger than the lioness and will fight to control his pride. When a new male lion takes over a pride, he will kill all the young cubs so that the females will rapidly become fertile and be able to breed with him. A male lion may control a pride and live off of its hunting successes, but the male works hard to defend the pride from other lions that might try to establish themselves as the dominant male and kill the cubs. The Lions in east Africa have the darker mains than lions found in Southern Africa.The best places to see leopards in Serengeti are along the riverine game-viewing tracks. The leopard camouflage makes them extremely difficult to see on the ground, so looking into tall trees with inclined trunks is the best bet for finding a resting leopard. Leopards are solitary, big cats that live all over Africa and as far as South-East Asia, wherever there is sufficient tree cover for them to hide in. They are stealthy hunters, preferring to pounce rather than chase their prey. Whilst they are not generally a threat to humans, they will eat just about everything else, from bugs to gazelles, from baboons to dogs.The first time many people see a leopard, there is a moment of confusion as they wonder, is this a leopard or a cheetah?". This is a common for even the Maasai call leopards and cheetahs by the same name. Leopards hunt at night, generally in dense vegetation; they stalk slowly through grass or bushes, and attack when only a few meters away.The leopards of Serengeti can be seen along rivers and in the denser parts of the woodlands. After making a kill, they will drag it back and up into a convenient tree for protection, presumably from lions or hyenas who might steal their catch. A leopard will then return to the tree for several days to feed and rest. They establish and defend territories, meeting only to mate.There are five species of rhinoceros in the world of which two species are found in Africa - the White or Square-lip Rhino and the Black or Hook-lip Rhino. Black rhino were once numerous on the Serengeti plains. Their horns are still in demand. In the Far East they are used as local drugs and in the Arab world as the handle for daggers, thus resulting in heavy poaching. Consequently, the number of rhino in the Serengeti has been reduced to a handful and these are under heavy protection by the park's armed, anti-poaching rangers trying to ensure their survival. White rhino are not found in the Serengeti.The Cape Buffalo with its huge curved horns held high with more than half a ton of body weight behind them makes for a very intimidating animal. The buffalo and elephants have the widest range of any large African mammals. They live better in grassy woodland with good available water sources. Buffalo are herding animals and can be found in groups of 1,000 or more in certain areas. Each herd is made up of several sub-herds, which range from 30-60 females with both their older members and newborn young. The Cape Buffalo's only predators are lions and humans. Currently, concentrations of buffalo can be seen in the western corridor of Serengeti along the Grumeti River and in the woodland around Seronera.Imagine cresting a hill in the Serengeti Woodlands and seeing before you an entire valley filled with elephants. The African Elephant is the largest land animal and at 3000-5000 kilograms they weigh as much as four cars. Both males and female elephants can push down full-grown trees in the search for food. They can also pick up the smallest seeds or nuts with their digit-like trunk. Most elephants live in herds of 2 to 24, which are led by the oldest female or "matriarch", who can be up to 60 years old. Males live with the herds until they reach puberty and then leave to join bachelor herds, or to roam on their own. The matriarch lives far beyond her breeding age and it is thought that this added life span is important for teaching the younger generations.
If you read guidebooks or travel articles about Mxico, you will read that Mexicans are wonderfully accommodating, friendly, warm, and generous to strangers. You will be given the impression these people are the Salt of the Earth and maybe even virtually Saints. You will be told things like, Mexicans are helpful to a fault and they will be so patient with you trying to learn Spanish. While this might be true, I have, of late, begun to doubt the multitude of clichs that pour forth from all the guidebook and article sources about Mexico.About 18 months into our expatriation experiment, my wife and I began to wonder what was going on in the heartland of Mexico. The clichs we had read in our pre-expat research were, frankly, beginning to fall apart. The longer we lived here, the more we were beginning to see things that the guidebooks gushed about Mexicans congeniality werent necessarily true. Something wasnt adding up.Guanajuato is about as much in the middle of the country as it gets. It is truly the heartland of Mexico. Here life is uber-provincial. The dictionary defines provincial as, a person of local or restricted interests or outlook; a person lacking urban polish or refinement. I began hearing this uber-provincial stuff more and more as the years went by. I heard this from not only American, German, and Canadian expatriates but also from Mexicans who grew up in other parts of Mexico and who, for one reason or another, ended up in Guanajuato.Certain things begin to happen to us that caused us to begin asking questions. After all, we were still very fresh and green expats who didnt know much. But we began to ask about this or that once things started happening.I guess it was the first time I was knocked into the street by a Mexican and subsequently hit by a bus that caused me to wonder what was going on. The second time was really what got me to wondering. I was pushed off the sidewalk not once but twice into the path of an oncoming bus and was struck. Not once did anyone stop to see if I was all right. The pushers never bothered to utter one word to me. My wife has also been pushed and shoved off sidewalks. I have a 70-year-old American gringa pal who was pushed into the path of a taxi and was nailed.One just has to ask what is happening in Guanajuato, Mexico.I wish I could tell you.What I began to see long ago was that the Guanajuatenses on the street are practically running to get somewhere but never arrive on time for anything. Although all of Latin American (and Italy) is famous for how they regard time differently than the rest of the world, this has slowly been changing in the more metropolitan areas of Mexico. More and more, Mexicans are beginning to forsake their traditional understanding of what it means to be on time for anything. Not so in Guanajuato. It is just as traditional here as it has been for centuries. Some say the heartland of Mexico is stuck in the past.But, what you have are Guanajuatenses running at the speed of light and, I can assure you, to get nowhere fast. They are absolutely not trying to get somewhere on time. It is a cultural affectation here in Guanajuato. They will never, ever arrive on time for anything. This is a total mystery in and of itself. Why are they running? They never arrive on time for anything so whats the rush?So, you may logically ask, why are they running down the sidewalk knocking gringos into the gutter? I wish I could tell you, but I cant.I have asked Mexicans because I have the facility in the language to do so. Most of those I have questioned are not from Guanajuato originally. They are here for a job, marriage, or whatever, and have been transplanted from other regions of Mexico.To my amazement, these Guanajuato transplants have told me that they view the people of Guanajuato as some of the rudest, most ill educated, and most ill reared Mexicans in the country. I have gotten emails from Mexicans and as well as been told in face-to-face interviews that they regard Guanajuatenses Mexicans as anti-social. This is amazing. These are Mexicans from other regions talking about their fellow Mexicans. It very much reminds me of those from the Midwest and western parts of America talking about New York.Now, I have to take the word of those who tell me this since the only place Ive ever lived in this country is Guanajuato. But, I am beginning to take their word to heart and believe what they say, hook, line, and sinker. Our experience bears out what our Extra-Guanajuatenses have told us.Once, I got an email from a Mexican lady in Puerto Vallarta. She had read some of my articles and columns but poo-pooed me as a crazy gringo. Then, she and another Mexican girlfriend came traveling through Guanajuato. She said she couldnt wait to email me and tell me how many times she was shoved off the sidewalk and pushed away from the cashiers counter in stores.Just this morning, my wife was in line to buy some very delicious tamales. She placed her order and paid the guy. Before the seller could get out of his mouth, One moment while I get your food a Mexican lady, one of our congenial, warm, and kind Guanajuatenses, elbowed my wife out of line and cut in front of her. The seller had to be someone from some other part of Mexico because he noticed what happened and told this woman to get in line.A month ago, some college student who thought it was appropriate to lay hands on me and shove me a good one shoved me out of the way in a pharmacy! I wish I could tell you that these are all isolated incidents but I would be lying. The guy pushed me as though I was a piece of furniture that was in his way.The mystery is how Mexicans are supposed to be such kind, generous, and accommodating people to foreigners while in Guanajuato, you are just liable to be pushed into the path of an oncoming bus going at the speed of light. Howhowhow is this so?The other day, we were exiting the post office when we saw one Mexican do something to another Mexican. This kid, in his early twenties, walked by a lady who had set her heavy bolsa (a large shopping bag) on the sidewalk while waiting for a cab. This young man kicked the bolsa into the street. It seemed unintentional. He looked briefly and then walked off. The lady took off after him. While she was trying to corral him, a bus came by and squashed her bolsa and all its contents to smithereens. My wife once had to catch an elderly lady who was shoved off a 12-inch-high sidewalk by two girls who seemed not to care a wit that they almost killed one of their fellow countrywomen. Something else that goes on in stores all over the cityanother mystery--is something that would get Guanajuatenses killed in America. When you go to meat counter or any place with a counter, Guanajuatenses will shove you out of the way to bark their orders to the hired help, even though the employee was already waiting on you. Dont miss the picture here. There you are. Youve just given your order to the butcher for a kilo of hotdogs when some Seora puts her hands on you (or elbows you) and knocks you into the middle of next week so she can be at the front of the line.This goes on all the time, without fail, day and nightand theres nothing you can do about it! NOTHING! Why they do it I cannot tell you. We have asked and are told that the people of Guanajuato are malcriados and maleducadas this means ill-raised and badly-educated.I think the mystery is how did they earn the warm and inviting reputation that you read in all the guidebooks? They certainly could not have meant the heartland of Mexico, especially not Guanajuato!Perhaps its the other regions about which the guidebooks have been talking.I do not know!