Category Archives: Destinations

The Most Popular Wedding Destination in Italy

If it is an Italian wedding that you want, then be sure to explore a Tuscany wedding as one of your options. By far the most intriguing and breathtakingly beautiful part of Italy, Tuscany has the perfect balance of history and present day. Evidence of this is seen in the art of the town and landscapes that are evocative. To make your Tuscany wedding charming and a dream come true, there are a variety of wedding venues available to suit every palette and enough and more wedding planner to ensure that your day is just perfect!

Venues that can be explored

Tuscany weddings are romantic and special no matter what the destination is and that is the beauty of this place, whether you choose to get married in an olive grove, hamlet, renaissance villa, farmhouse or a medieval castle that the famous Medici family resided in! Medieval and tucked away towns that you can choose from are Lucca, Pistoia, Florence, Grosseto, Arezzo and Sienna.

Lucca offers you charming medieval villas that were built by and housed some famous people, like the renaissance villa that was built by Mattoe and the villa on the banks of lake Massaciuccoli that was home to the famous Puccini.

Pistoia offers you a charming villa that dates back to the 17th century and well as an elegant fairy tale like family home that housed one of the most famous families of this little town. This villa has a chapel attached to it as well. Florence offers you the most variety for a wedding in Tuscany with Tuscan architecture that dates back as far as the 14th century. With charming and imposing villas that are rooted in the days gone by and venues for a civil ceremony, you will be spoilt for choice at Florence.

Siena too is not far behind Florence. This little Chianti town has medieval castles and villas that give you the option of having a wedding with a royal touch or one that is by the country side.

Grosseto and Arezzo also offer you their fair share of villas and castles.

Planning a wedding in Tuscany

If you decide to have your fairytale wedding in Tuscany, you are definitely going to need a lot of help to plan it especially if you do not live here, which is the case most of the time. There are plenty of professional wedding planners, like ‘Weddings in Italy by Regency’, ‘Original Tuscan Wedding’, Wedding with a View’ etc., who would be more than happy to make all the arrangements for you, right from the ceremony, to the catering and photography and everything in between. Most of these planners specialise in Tuscany wedding so your wedding will be in good hands.

Eurostar Destinations and Eurostar Connections Guide – Part II

Eurostar Destination Paris – If you are asked to exclude three places while you are traveling to Paris in France (Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe and the Champs Elysees), then you may even decide not to visit Paris. Fondly referred-to as La Ville-Lumière, or the City of Light, Paris reigns supreme amongst all other tourist destinations in the world, attracting over 45 million tourists every year, and this number keeps growing every year. The enigmatic aura of romance, art and history that surrounds Paris acts as a magnet to travellers seeking the ideal holiday. Situated on the beautiful river Seine, Paris is home to some of the most beautiful examples of historic architecture and houses some of the most renowned works of art in the world.

You can never have too much in Paris. As the city attracts more tourists, this can result into a problem for the visitor with just a few days of their itinerary chalked up to this spectacular metropolis. To make your choice easier, we offer you a list of three must-visit Parisian attractions that combine to offer you a comprehensive flavour of the beautiful city.

La Tour Eiffel: Undoubtedly one of the most universally recognised structures in the world, the Eiffel Tower stands tall above the city, a proud sentinel to the spirit of Paris. From a dizzying height of 984 feet, drink in the breathtaking panorama stretching out before you at daytime and take a trip up the tower at sunset to watch in awe as the city lights glitter to life.
La Musée du Louvre: A delight for the art connoisseur’s eyes, the Louvre museum is a veritable treasure chest, housing thousands of paintings, sculptures and other works of art in an expansive and architecturally imposing set of buildings that once constituted a fortress. The Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo are but two shining examples of the stunning collection the Louvre proudly showcases. Don’t forget to get your photo taken beside the famous Louvre pyramid that fronts the museum!
Seine River Cruise: There can be nothing more poetic than gliding lazily over the Seine’s placid waters on one of the popular cruise boats that beckon travellers to an evening of romance, history and relaxation. Dine in style on the Seine and toast the city with a glass of the ol’ bubbly as it spreads out on either side of you, architectural marvels meeting the eye at every turn. A night cruise is specially recommended, as the city comes alive in a glittering necklace of lights and colour that is mirrored in this seductive arterial waterway of Paris.

Eurostar Destination Brussels – Whether you want to visit the recently opened Magritte Museum (refurbished in the Hotel (Altenloh), or you want to enjoy coffee in the pavements of Brussels Spring seasons, or fine cakes in the Sablon Square or you want to stock up for the new seasons. The best of European cuisine? Spectacular Flemish town houses? Addictive glasses of Kriek? Brussels has got it all! Think Brussels, think excellent beer, toothsome waffles, delectable chocolate and scrumptious French fries! This beautiful city stands tall as the capital of Belgium as well as the de facto capital of the European Union. The city’s rich history has left its trace in the form of remarkable works of architecture that constitute a charming complement to the Art Nouveau, modern and post-modern constructions that lend a dash of contemporary pizazz to the urban landscape. Brussels has a thriving art scene that is reinforced by the many museums, more than 80 in number and counting, that pepper its streets. Brusssels has a well connected public transport system.

The following are my top three picks for travellers looking to enjoy a short stay in this captivating city brimming with a unique mixture of culture, art and modernity:

The Grote Markt or Grand Place: At the heart of Brussels is one of the most beautiful squares in all of Europe. Dating back to the 12th century, the Grand Place is lined by a series of architecturally impressive and historically significant buildings that serenely gaze down upon the crowds that throng the many cafés and restaurants that line the square. Notable among these world-renowned buildings are the Gothic Hotel de Ville, the neo-Gothic Maison du Roi, which encompasses the Museum of the City of Brussels, and the spectacular late-seventeenth-century guildhouses, remnants of the vibrant commercial hubs of an era past. It is no wonder that the UNESCO declared the Grand Place a World Heritage Site in 1998.

The Atomium: A lasting symbol of the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, the Atomium is one of the most-visited attractions in Brussels. A monumental tribute to science, the Atomium mimics the form of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.This 332-foot structure is composed of nine enormous interconnected steel spheres that can be navigated from the inside by escalators, the sphere at the top offering a panoramic view of Brussels.

Mannekin Pis: This tiny bronze figure of a urinating boy stands at the junction of Rue de l’Étuve/Stoofstraat and Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat, at walking distance from the Grand Place. Mannekin Pis may measure a mere 61 cm in height but he stands tall among the attractions Brussels has to offer, drawing in droves tourists who cheerfully photograph themselves beside the city’s littlest star. If you are lucky, you might even get to see him clothed-yes, he has his own miniature wardrobe (of more than 740 costumes!) and he proudly displays his perfectly tailored ensembles on special occasions.

Eurostar Destination Disneyland Paris Resort – Disneyland Paris Resort is amazing and no tourist can afford to miss it while traveling to Europe. A creative genius, visionary and dreamer extraordinaire, Walt Disney thought big when he set out to recreate the wonderful world of make-believe he had created. The stunningly spectacular, invariably incredible and often surreal results of his efforts find form in Disneyland. Spilling out across continents in its quest to spread the language of happiness and wonderment, the magic of Disneyland has permeated Europe in the vibrant guise of Disneyland Resort Paris. This Parisian version of Walt Disney’s dream world for children and adults alike is full of magic, thrills and fun, promising a non-stop journey characterised by delightful whimsy and unrestrained fancy. Disneyland Resorts Paris encompasses five diverse magical “lands” that offer a variety of attractions for the whole family. Main Street, U.S.A. delights with its colourful horse-drawn street cars and fun arcades while Frontierland transports you back in time to the American West in the 1800s, replete with cowboys and Indians and the fascinating legends of the Wild West. For a taste of the adrenaline-rush that comes with travel into the unknown, make your way to Adventureland, where you can be a swashbuckling pirate, an intrepid explorer or a courageous castaway, trading mundane reality for a wonderful journey of mystery and discovery. For those with a thirst for the imaginary, Fantasyland beckons with its enchanted castles, fairytale characters and whimsical and colourful priductions. And, finally, treat your inner scientist with a trip to Discoveryland.

Some of the attractions of Disneyland Resort Paris that are absolutely not to be missed are given here and make sure you do not miss any of these while you plan to visit Disneyland Paris –

Space Mountain: Mission 2: In Discoveryland, reach for the moon on this exhilarating roller-coaster ride that catapults you into a fast and furious journey through space. Feel the G-force escalate as you skirt radiant supernovae, dodge hurtling meteorites and whiz through dazzling galaxies in a trip that will leave you breathless and asking for more.

Big Thunder Mountain: Hitch a ride in the American Southwest on a mine train possessed by Native American Spirits, zoom past abandoned mining offices and navigate through the boulder-strewn red-rock terrain of the imposing Big Thunder mountain in this wild locomotive ride that reigns as the star attraction in the rugged landscape of Frontierland.

It’s a Small World: Set in Fantasy land, this musical ride dedicated to evoke the ideal of world peace is a wonderful celebration of global unity and cultural diversity. You and your family are sure to burst into song along with the stirring soundtrack that plays as the ride whisks you through an audio-animatronic display showcasing societies and customs across the world. After a momentous day at Disneyland’s themed parks, move over to Disney Village, where shopping, cinemas, dancing, dining and live entertainment awaits your whole family

Lille Eurostar Destination – Lille is also known as Eurostar Short Break and people enjoy visiting Lille. An unassuming city that has more to it than meets the eye, Lille has a surprises for every traveler. Lille, its name deriving form French for “the island” as a reference to its marshy terrain, is situated near France’s border with Belgium and is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country after Paris, Lyon and Marseille. It is an ancient city, with archeological evidence pointing to human inhabitation as early as 2000 BC. Lille was originally inhabited by the Gauls and has been shuttled about under the control of different rulers before finally settling into its present identity as a French city. With a history that spans the turbulent Middle Ages, the upheaval following the Fench Revolution, the ravages of the two world wars and the intervening Great Depression, Lille is a surprisingly modern city in the present, with a rich and varied urban landscape and great connectivity owing largely to the arrival of the Eurostar trains, which placed Lille in the centre of the important Paris–London–Brussels triangle.

The city’s major river Deule forms an arterial network with Lille’s subsidiary waterways and its strategic location and navigable waters have elevated the city to the position of third largest French river port, closely following Paris and Strasbourg in importance. With many universities to its name and playing host to over one lakh students, the metropolitan area of Lille stands out in the sphere of education as one of the foremost student cities in France.

For those wishing to explore the unique treasures of this historic city, I havea few recommendations that highlight the spirit and heritage of beautiful Lille.

Palais des Beaux-Arts: Lille’s famous museum of fine arts located right in the city centre is a stellar example of fine architecture from the 19th century. This ornate Belle Epoque palace contains a treasure-trove for the eyes of the art connoisseur, to the extent that it invites favourable comparisons with the Louvre in Paris. The museum’s eclectic gallery features masterpieces by artists of great fame like Goya, Rubens, Donatello, Toulouse-Lautrec and Raphael. Other famous works exhibited here include Belisarius Asking for Alms by David and Sleep by Puvis de Chavannes. Apart from paintings, the museum also houses ceramic collections and drawings.

Notre-Dame de la Treille Cathedral: Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Lille’s imposing cathedral possesses a unique main facade that was designed by Pierre-Louis Carlier, a local architect, along with with Peter Rice, the engineer who envisioned the Sydney Opera House’s unconventional and striking design. Modern in style on the outside but with Gothic interiors, the cathedral was originally a basilica. Construction of this impressive structure started in1854 and stretched out sluggishly over the years as a result of financial constraints. However, the building was completed in 1999 and has been a principal tourist attraction in the city ever since, specially famous for its beautiful and revolutionary modern facade.

La Vieille Ville (the old town): Head over to the old town for a leisurely exploration of the city, pausing to admire aspects of architecture and social life that have remained unchanged over the centuries. With quaint winding cobblestoned streets and ancient Flemish town houses, a stroll in this area has many rustic delights to offer. Browse through the vibrant Sunday market stalls or sip an unhurried coffee in a cosy café stretching onto the pavement. The old town promises unlimited charm and warmth

I will cover more Eurostar destinations and attraction places in my Part III. Enjoy your travel in Europe!