Category Archives: Europe

Unleash your inner adventurer in Norway’s wilderness on the new Western Fjords Hiking Tour

50 NORTH Logo

Vancouver, Febrauary 4th, 2019–  Nordic Travel Specialist, 50 Degrees North, has introduced a new, exclusive 9-day tour, ‘Western Fjords Hike’. Aimed at all active adventurers with a reasonable fitness level and a love for hiking, this tour takes them into the heart of the unique, secluded and exceptionally beautiful Western fjords in Norway, away from the summer crowds.

The ‘Western Fjords Hike’ follows 50 Degrees North’s signature style of taking travelers ‘off the beaten path’ and into hard-to-reach yet profoundly stunning and authentic parts of the Nordics. This is enabled on this tour partly by their use of a private minivan with space for up to 12 people – both a highly flexible and safe alternative to public transport or a private rental car. However, the hikes in this tour make the experience all the more exclusive and unique, offering breathtaking panoramic views that few travelers get to see for themselves. 

“This tour follows the same route as our ‘Western Fjords of Norway tour’, complete with our own private minibus, but is geared to those with a good level of fitness and endurance. This is an active tour with guided day hikes and some of the trails are very steep and long – a great challenge for anyone seeking an active escape in secluded and beautiful scenery”, says Tietse Stelma, 50 Degrees North’s CEO and founder. 

The self-guided tour starts from Bergen and finishes in Ålesund. In between, travelers get to hike in several breathtaking locations, join the locals on a ferry ride from Bergen to Kalvåg, catch a private 50 Degrees North minivan through the Western fjords with Loen as the main base, and travel along the Norfjord and the Hjørundfjord, two stunning fjords surrounded by lush forests and small, scenic villages. Once in Ålesund, the trekkers also get to embark on an exciting Wildlife Sea Safari in a high-speed RIB-boat. 

The trip runs weekly from July to September, 2019 with fixed departures from Bergen every Thursday
(4049 AUD / 2914 USD / 3950 CAD per person). 

For more information on the ‘Western Fjords Hike’ tour, please visit:https://www.fiftydegreesnorth.com/tour/western-fjords-hike

For more information on the ‘Western Fjords of Norway’ tour, please visit:https://www.fiftydegreesnorth.com/tour/western-fjords-of-norway-tour

Ctrl – V Experience in Waterloo, Ontario

As soon as we knew that we are going to CTRL-V we were so impatient that could not wait for 8 pm! The dinner took so long… Finally at 8:10 pm we arrived at Ctrl-V  – Canada’s first virtual reality arcade that was opened in Waterloo just recently.                                       We walked in the first set of doors… First the parents  had to sign the waver for safety reasons… after the wavers we watched the helpful demonstration video… and finally were ready to start!                           My first game was “Climbey”.  I had a tutorial, also the staff helped me to figure out walking and climbing techniques.  After playing “Climbey”, I choose a game where you pick a song and with your controllers you bump to the beat of the song – I chose “Shake it off” By Taylor Swift. It was a good exercise. My  about an hour experience felt like ten minutes…

By Anna Sophia

Family trip to African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari first opened its doors to the visitors in 1969 and since then went through a lot expansions and animal additions… About 6,000 visitors come here daily to see the exotic animals that are roaming free in the fields or just enjoying the warm summer day in their artfully created habitats on land and water.

To start our visit we boarded the “African Queen” boat that took us around the island where we saw monkeys jumping in the ropes and multiple birds such as vultures and pelicans.  One of the spots was taken by two lemur families. The boat operators told us about animals routine and some funny life stories…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The boat came back to the pierce and we decided to take a bus that goes to African savanna . We had to enter through the specially designed gate system that allows buses and cars to safely go in and out of that area. “Keep your arms and heads inside, no windows opening”…. The bus tour goes through multiple enclosures  each housing different wild animals.  We are surrounded by lions,  then  we pass by cheetahs… We got to see many mountain goats as well as rhinos and many giraffes…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The best part of the bus tour was visiting the giraffes, they came up very closely so we had around four of them circling around the bus, one of them even licked the bus mirrors. It is quite a spectacular view  – one of them gracefully approaching our window, the other is in the front of the bus… oh, one more is in the front!

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

Following the bus tour we went on the ”Nature Boy” scenic railway, the tour lasts around fifteen minutes. On the way we got to see the elephants habitat, a donkey and many turtles that came out of the pond for summer sun. It was a nice way to give our feet some rest and enjoy the fresh air coming from the lake and trees…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

 

Elephants Bath time was now up, so we headed to the lake to see them coming gracefully – leading was a large male elephant and then smaller ones – females and young siblings. Elephants got in the water, it looked like they are walking on the bottom of the lake – but no, some places are deep and they do have to swim, sometimes we could only see the very top of the head and the trunk… they had some fun time splashing and spraying each other; later rangers came and started throwing apples to the elephants – which was a lot of fun for all!!

Elephant swim

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

It was a hot day – we would not mind to go for a plunge too – and we could at the Safari’s water park area – however, we were quite hungry and went to the cafe to have lunch…. We had to say goodbye to all the animals big and small before heading of to our next destination.

By Jonathan K.

 

 

‘Green light’ for St Patrick’s celebrations around the world!

16 March 2017:  Over 250 iconic landmarks and sites around the world will be illuminated green over the coming days – as part of Tourism Ireland’s 2017 Global Greening initiative to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.

The annual initiative, now in its eighth year, which sees a host of major landmarks around the world turn green for St Patrick’s Day, has grown from strength to strength, with many new landmarks signing up to take part this year.

Stadiums, statues, castles and towers will go green to celebrate our national day (17 March) with exciting additions for 2017 including the One World Trade Center in New York – the main building of the re-built World Trade Center in New York and the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Canadian landmarks going green this year include the Toronto Sign, Casa Loma, Whistler Ski Resort, Calgary Tower, Cabot Tower, The Big Fiddle, the Museum of Nature, the Big Nickel, the Distillery District, the Sails of Lights, the Futalognkosaurus (dinosaur) in the Royal Ontario Museum, Montreal City Hall, Complexe Desjardins, and La Tour McGill.
Click Tourism Ireland’s Global Greenings for footage of the world turning green.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the eighth year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and each year I am delighted to see even more well-known attractions and landmark sites wishing to get involved. The eagerness of cities and countries everywhere to take part underlines the strength of the deep connection that people all over the world feel to Ireland. More than 70 million people around the world claim links to the island of Ireland and St Patrick’s Day is a truly unique opportunity to reconnect them with their heritage.”

Of course, the ‘greenings’ are just one part of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. The place to be on 17th March is Ireland where there are two festivals which shouldn’t be missed.

In Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, the ‘St Patrick’s Festival’ will last for four great days, taking in the weekend and running from 16-19 March.  The city will be alive with music, film, arts, dance, culture, fun and even international rugby.

Each year the festival has a different theme with this year’s ‘Ireland We Are’ giving the city a chance to showcase all that Ireland stands for today.  Festival favourites include the world’s largest outdoor céilí, world-class museums hosting free workshops and guided historic walks including famous sites such as the Guinness Storehouse. The main event, the St Patrick’s Festival parade, is held on Friday 17 March in Dublin’s city centre.

In Northern Ireland, the newly curated ‘Home of St Patrick Festival’ celebrates St Patrick, the man and the saint, as one of the world’s most inspiring and loved saints of all time. Taking place in the beautiful landscape of Counties Armagh and Down, which was once Patrick’s home, the festival will culminate on Sunday 19 March with ‘The Voice of the Irish’ closing concert in spectacular Newry Cathedral.

News From Vaud Tourism. Lake Geneva Region. March 2017

Encounter in Vaud

Jean-Yves Cavin – Co-director of the Cully Jazz Festival

The Cully Jazz Festival, which will be celebrating its 35th edition this year, has become an illustrious event thanks to a clever blend of specific ingredients. The recipe isn’t that easy, but it’s a resounding success each year. Co-director and artistic director Jean-Yves Cavin has been able to maintain and improve its preparation. He tells us all about it in this new episode of the video series “Encounters in Vaud” which is produced by the Lake Geneva Region Tourism Office. Internationally reputed artists, a stunning setting, a goodly pinch of art de vivre, passionate winegrowers, charming wine cellars, a welcoming village and a strong sense of hospitality: the Cully Jazz Festival is all that. Be tempted…

Villars – Bretaye / 17.03.17 – 19.03.17

Afterseason Villars Electro FestivalCome and join the best of Electro clubbing at the Maison de Montagne in Bretaye. Swiss and international DJs will perform set after set in a heated tent with an incredible view, perched at an altitude of 1700m overlooking the Dents du Midi.

Leysin / 20.03.17 – 26.03.17

Worldwide Festival

The biggest “British” electronic musical event of the Vaud Alps is held every year in March in the Leysin resort and ski area. Presented by the star of British radio, Gilles Peterson, famous DJs perform for 5 days of musical madness!

Diablerets – Glacier 3000 / 25.03.17 – 26.03.17

Freeride Days

Enjoy the incredible ski region of Glacier 3000, offering powder snow and the motto “freeride for all”. Follow in the footsteps of some of Europe’s best proriders and experienced mountain guides.

Morges / 05.04.17 – 10.04.17

Divinum Wine Fair

Divinum opens its doors to the discovery of some exceptional vineyards as well as tasting of wines from all horizons. Let you guide by the wine-grower artisans whose mission is to satisfy your taste buds and to share with you their passion. Divinum is more than a wine fair, this is an experiment.

Leysin – Les Mosses – La Lécherette

Offer available from 13th March to 18th April 2017

The perfect hotel break !

7 days and 7 nights in the snowy mountains for CHF 710.- For the Easter holiday, from 13th March to 17th April, Leysin – Les Mosses – La Lécherette offer accommodation in a hotel with half-board, plus a daily ski pass (100 km of slopes), entry to the swimming pool as well as price reductions on ski equipment or ski/snowboard classes.

Villars-Gryon – Les Diablerets

Offer available from 1st April 2017 to 17th April 2017

Ski & Snow Fiesta

To celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring, Villars-Gryon – Les Diablerets offer a rich programme of music and crazy events from 1 April to 17 April. All that comes with special SkiSnowFiesta offers in some of the hotels, apartments, ski schools and sport shops. A wonderful way to spend the Easter holidays.

UNESCO new World Heritage Site in Stuttgart for Le Corbusier houses

Germany gains 41st UNESCO World Heritage Site

On July 17, 2016, the two Le Corbusier houses at the Weissenhof Estate in the Southern German city of Stuttgart were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making it the first World Heritage Site for Stuttgart and the 41st for Germany.
As part of a transnational joint application, Stuttgart and destinations in seven other countries applied to have 17 of Le Corbusier’s buildings listed due to the architect’s outstanding contribution to Modernism. The two Stuttgart houses are the architect’s only buildings in Germany and include the Weissenhof Museum, which illustrates the radical change in architecture around the time of the Second World War as well as Le Corbusier’s visionary thinking.
Germany’s other 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites include the majestic Cologne Cathedral, the expansive Wadden Sea habitat, Classical Weimar and Regensburg’s charming Old Town. They can be explored on eight different themed routes<http://www.germany.travel/en/towns-cities-culture/unesco-world-heritage/unesco-routes/unesco-routes.html>, from natural wonders to architecture to palaces and parks.
For more information about Germany’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, visit www.germany.travel/unesco.

Toyota Cambridge Assembly Plant Tour

Toyota Visitors Centre
Toyota Visitors Centre

Toyota Cambridge Assembly Plant Tour

It all started with the usual long, one-hour drive out of Toronto, but soon we were there. As we headed in to the visitor centre we discussed our first impressions. Inside the centre we found many exhibits of the Toyota history and models of the past and present. After a short safety video in the conference room we made our preparations to step in to the factory.

Toyota Plant Tours in Canada
Toyota Plant Tours in Canada

As we began the tour we immediately took note of the extreme cleanliness of the factory. Sadly though visitors and employees are not allowed to bring any of their beloved personal electronics into the factory (no selfies), we are not able to show you the amazing robots and technology that were within the factory. Shortly after we climbed in to the trams that would drive us around the plant. The first stop was the west stamping area where they would take massive sheets of steel and use a multi-ton weight to stamp them (these where not in action when we were there).

 

Informative Free Tours to Toyota Plant near Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada
Informative Free Tours to Toyota Plant near Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada

The stamper had to be supported by concrete to prevent a mini earthquake every time they where in action. After, we visited the main assembly where we saw cars hanging above us as they were coming fresh out of paint, soon we headed to the west weld where the 10 thousand pound “Godzilla” robot moved multi ton cars around. The welding section impressed us with 600 separate robots. After seeing the sparks fly, we headed down to the final assembly line where the cars are started up for the first time. This one-hour super informative trip felt too short as we headed through the final corridor and back to the visitor centre. We where impressed that the Toyoda family built up from being a automated sewing business.

You can arrange the Free tour only week in advance by visiting TMMC.ca webiste or by phone:(519) 653-1111 x 2270 Keep in mind no walk in tours. Printable map of TMMC

Downloadable Toyota Tours brochure

16 weird and wonderful things to do in 2016 in WALES!

As Wales celebrates its Year of Adventure in 2016, VisitWales had highlighted 16 unique things to do in the destination – discover your own adventure! Choose from trampolining in a slate mine, experimenting with seaweed, catch some waves inland, find the world’s biggest Elvis festival and try to pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch…and much much more!

The Gobbins opens for dramatic cliff walks! Ireland News.

Gobbins(Toronto, ON – 04 Sept 2015) – Visitors to Northern Ireland’s famous Causeway Coastal Route now have the opportunity to experience an exhilarating walk to awaken the senses, above crashing waves on a spectacular cliff path over the Irish Sea. The Gobbins coastal walk experience, first enjoyed in 1902 by the Edwardians has now opened the doors to a modern cliff path to delight those who wish to experience the coast up close.

The magnificently restored Edwardian attraction features a series of tubular and suspension bridges, a staircase, caves and tunnels carved through the County Antrim basalt coast.

It offers a thrilling mix of rugged beauty, spectacular views, heritage, flora and fauna.

The route offers not just a walk along a cliff top but also includes metal bridges & water-splashed gantries installed along sheer cliff faces as well as below sea-level experiences of the caves and the bridges.
The Gobbins’ geologically diverse landscape is straight out of Game of Thrones and is actually in the vicinity of locations used in the filming of the hit TV show.

With access by guided tour, the journey begins at a state of the art visitor centre, from where walkers are transferred to the cliff path by minibus. Tours begin on the hour currently from 10am to 3pm daily. The full excursion including the visitor centre can take up to 3-4 hours. The walk is bracing and refreshing, and suitable for people of normal fitness levels.

Those not wishing to walk the path can still enjoy the stunning views and at the visitor centre learn about The Gobbins through an exhibition on the building of the path, its history from Edwardian times and the local geology and ecology. There is also a coffee shop and gift shop.

Only a 40 minute drive from Belfast, The Gobbins coastal path is in Islandmagee, a narrow peninsula just at the beginning of the world-famous Causeway Coastal Route and close to the famous Blackhead light house.

The area is an idyllic holiday spot and home to the Giant’s Causeway, the Glens of Antrim, Bushmills Distillery, Rathlin Island and miles of golden sand and loads of water-based activity. Walking the spectacular Gobbins Cliff path will now be a must for those touring Northern Ireland’s famous Causeway coastal route.

The Gobbins was originally designed by visionary engineer Berkeley Dean Wise and built in 1902. Its name comes from the Irish An Gobain, meaning ‘the points of rock’.

About Tourism Ireland:
Tourism Ireland is responsible for promoting the island of Ireland as a leading vacation destination for Canadians. In 2014, a record number of Canadians visited the island of Ireland. Ireland offers a wealth of experiences for travelers with scenic landscapes; vibrant cities; an abundance of culture and historical experiences; and world-class hospitality. For more about visiting Ireland go to www.ireland.com
www.gobbinscliffpath.com (http://ireland.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=107d4f82c3f67d157e09a3684&id=5534ba1d40&e=e11a1b6da8)

GREAT Value: 10 Free, Affordable and Unique Tours in Britain

6724There are so many free or affordable walking tours to choose from in Britain, delving into subjects from literature and art, to music and LGBT heritage. Get your walking shoes on!

  1. Charles Dickens walk around London – Free App

Follow the author’s footsteps around London with this app. You’ll be guided by GPS with suggestions for pubs along the way. Approximately two hours, search for ‘Walking with Dickens’ in the app store. www.dickenslondontours.co.uk

  1. The World Heritage Site Audio Tour of Bath, England – Free

Take yourself on a journey through Bath’s captivating sights, such as The Royal Crescent and Assembly Rooms. The tour comes with a free route map and 12 chapters/audio files. www.visitbath.co.uk

  1. Shakespeare Tour of Stratford upon Avon, England – $12 (£6)

Walk in William Shakespeare’s footsteps where he was born and buried. Highlights include the River Avon, Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church. Approximately two hours. www.stratfordtownwalk.co.uk

  1. Banksy tour of Bristol, England – $18.50 (£9.20)

Fans of provocative artist Banksy will love this street-art tour. What’s special about this tour is that the guides live and work in the local street art community. Approximately two hours. www.wherethewall.com/tours

  1. Food tour of East London – Pay What You Want

Eat like a king while spending only a few pounds. Sample samosas, taste the fish and chips voted ‘Best in London’ and peruse the hippest food trucks. Approximately two hours, suggested sampling cost $20-30 (£10-15). www.freetoursbyfoot.com

  1. LGBT Heritage tour of Manchester, England – $16 (£8)

Follow the stone rainbow flags to discover 200 years of LGBT life. Tour includes Mantos, the Gay Villages first openly gay bar and the statue of Alan Turing, the World War 2 mathematician persecuted for his homosexuality. Approximately 2 hours. www.manchesterguidedtours.com

  1. Mural Tour of Derry, Northern Ireland – $8 (£4)

Derry is divided culturally by hundreds of years of conflict by opposing religions. This historical tour explores the artistry and religious and political statements. Plus there’s free tea or coffee! Approximately one hour. www.derrycitytours.com

  1. Fear and Loathing in Cardiff tour, Wales – $12 (£6)

Wandering among Cardiff’s glorious gothic revival architecture, this tour takes in treachery, torture, execution, war, battles and piracy. Approximately two hours. www.cardiffwalkingtours.com

  1. Musical tour of Glasgow, Scotland – Free

Tour Glasgow to a soundtrack that features interviews with bands like Mogwai. You’ll find Franz Ferdinand’s Chateau and discover Glasgow’s cool underground scene. Download the tour through the Guidigo app and search for ‘Walking Heads.’ Four walks, all approximately one hour. www.walkngheads.net

  1. Rebus tour of Edinburgh, Scotland – $20 (£10)

Ian Rankin explores contemporary Edinburgh in his best-selling crime novels. Led by entertaining and knowledgeable guide Colin, the tour takes in locations featured in the books. Approximately two hours. www.rebustours.com

For more deals and discounts visit the VisitBritain Shop: https://www.visitbritainshop.com/

Info provided by:  Cathy Stapells