Areas In Athens City Center

Athens is the capital city of Greece and it is also the biggest city in Greece. It is one of the oldest towns in the world. It is believed that Athens has been in existence for over 3400 years. Archaeologists say that the first human presence in Athens was found long time ago.

It is one of the biggest economic centers in the southern east Europe, global city. It also consists of a port Piraeus which is the largest passenger port in Europe and the second largest in the world. Athens being one of the oldest town it has cool places to visit where one can enjoy with their family. The best time to visit Athens is during the spring and fall, when the temperatures are warm and the tourist traffic is at minimum. While in Athens, it is good to take a tour to some places like presented below;

Athens City Center

Monastiraki

Activities like clothing boutiques, souvenir shops, and specialty store are homed in this flea market. If you are into bargain shopping, this is a place for you to tour and carry some products with you back home. It is strategically located in a square which happens to be a host to the Church of the Pantanassa.

Plaka

Plaka is like a small village in a huge city. It is strategically located on the slopes of acropolis, one of the biggest attraction site in Athens, and has antique buildings that beckon and command attention even when you are not interested. Plaka has several museum where one can visit such as; Jewish museum, Greek folk art museum, Athens university museum, Pavlos and Alexandra kaellopoulou museum, Frissiras museum. Plaka has very strict regulations when it comes to conservation because the social utilities like water are underground in custom-made tunnels.

Temple of Athena Nike

After its construction, this temple has been demolished three times and reconstructed. Nike is the ancient Greek word meaning victory. It was initially constructed due to the cult of Athena Nike, but was later on demolished by the Persians. The reason I find most ambiguous for destruction of the temple is when it was demolished by the Turks so that they could build defense using the stones. Were there no stones available at the moment?

National archaeological museum of Athens

This museum was founded a couple of centuries ago and it houses various archaeological and historical collections including, Mycenean gold cups from Grave IV and V, The Mask of Agamemnon, a gold funeral mask, sculptures, and The Mask of Agamemnon, a gold funeral mask, among others. It was first known as the central museum, before being renamed by Charilaos Trikoupis in 1881, the then prime minister of Greece. The museum managed to stand the Second World War by sealing the antiquities in special boxes and burying them to avoid destruction and theft. To this day, this museum stand in Patission Street, and is worth paying a visit.

Agora: ruins of the ancient market place

Agora is a Greek word meaning gather and orate. From Agora, a short hike is available to the top of the Agora hill from where you get a beautiful view of the Temple of Hephaistos and the ancient Library of Hadrian. At Agora, citizens gathered for sports, politics and any other social activity that brought them together.

Acropolis museum

Most archaeological findings from the Acropolis of Athens are stored in this museum, a good reason you should not leave Athens without setting your feet here. It is an award winning museum with at least six awards. Even though the museum was founded in 2003, it did not open to the public until June 2009.

As part of the top news from Greece, I found this information to be educative so that as you plan to visit Athens, you do not wonder where to start from.

Train to Heathrow – Heathrow Express

If you are looking for a comfortable yet lightening fast commute option from London Paddington to Heathrow Central, then the Heathrow Express is your ideal choice. Mostly known for the amount of time it saves of the passengers, there are several other feathers attached to its cap considering the convenience and universality of its services. The primary slogan of the Heathrow Express is “15 minutes, every 15 minutes”. This means that the train takes only 15 minutes to travel from the origin to its destination including Heathrow terminals 2 and 3 and another 6 minutes to reach terminal 5. Apart from this, a passenger can also a avail a free transfer to terminal 4.

Heathrow Express

Most of the localites and visitors prefer the Heathrow Express over any other means of transport and rifghtfully so. Not only does it respect people’s need to be at places on time but is also accompanied by superior services that make Heathrow Express one of the most preferred means of transport. The list of advantages associated with one’s travel in this train seems unending; the authorities haven’t limited the amount of luggage that you are allowed to carry inside it. Rather, sturdy racks have been constructed all around the train to accommodate luggage of varying sizes. If you are traveling and have big suitcases with you for the airport, place them in the bigger racks; while the smaller bags can be stacked inside the overhead shelves to enjoy a stress-free ride.

There is no exception when it comes to the originating point of all the Heathrow expresses; they all start their ride from the Terminal 5 station and makes a halt only at terminal 2 and 3 of Heathrow Central. The authorities have come up with strapping plans to suit their passengers who travel in the Heathrow Express regularly; meaning, you can look up to the Heathrow Express price and subscribe to their daily plans which requires the passenger to pay only a certain amount each day irrespective of the number of times he will travel through the day. Once this bar us reached, the rest of the travel conducted across of the day is free of cost.

If you get down at either terminal 2 or 3, you will have to walk your way upto the Central Station; but keeping the general public in mind, moving sideways have been installed in these paths to conserve energy and time. The luxury travel experience granted by Heathrow Express is at par with any other business class transport system. Starting from the centrally air-conditioned compartments to the flexible chairs and from the free WiFi connectivity to news TV, the Heathrow Express is sufficed with all the essentials that form an indispensable part of a memorable journey. However, if you are looking for enhanced comfort, you can opt for the First Class tickets that bear with it tables in front of each chair, more room to spread your legs, complimentary copies of the Financial Times and magazines from various genres to choose from.

After having analyzed all the above-mentioned details and characteristics of the Heathrow Express, we can safely conclude that this means of transport is nothing but a boon to the inhabitants of the country. Not only does it excel in speed and premium services for all the passengers alike, the authorities aim at furnishing the passengers with an all-round experience even in that tiny window of 15 minutes. From delineating schemes of benefit for the daily passengers to surfacing means of advance booking to steer away from the unavoidable hustle on the weekdays, the Heathrow connect has got you all covered.

Top Things To Expect when Hiking Rainbow Mountain in Peru

If you are about to plan your trip to Peru, one thing that should be on your list is hiking the rainbow mountain. The rainbow mountain is one of the top-rated tourists’ destinations in Peru and a hike here will be one to remember. Even if you don’t love hiking, you are most likely going to enjoy hiking the rainbow mountain. Before you plan your hike, there are some things you should know so that when you arrive everything is going to be swift and easy. Check out the things you should expect from a Rainbow Mountain tour.

Pick up and cost

The tours are don’t get to cost you much so you can expect to use around 100 soles for it which is around 30 US dollars. From Cusco, it should take you around 3 hours to get to the mountain. You can expect that you will not be alone in this hike as by 3 AM people are getting ready to start their hike so you might want to leave Cusco early before the roads are full of taxis taking other visitors to the mountain. Sometimes you may have to wait a little bit for your pick up so don’t panic if that happens. As long as you paid, your pick up will come.

The drive to Rainbow Mountain

If you are to leave in the morning as it supposed to be, you can expect that the roads are going to be very dark. If you are to use the buses that give the tour, you can expect that it will not be just you and your friends. The buses are boarded by people from different countries. So you can expect to make some new friends if you are social.

You might want to bring a travel pillow if you intend to catch some sleep in the early morning as you are all being taken to the mountain.  You are likely going to be provided with breakfast when the sun comes up. In most cases, the breakfast is normally very delicious fully packed with fruits and vegetables. One thing that you should be very prepared is that it is going to be a bumpy ride so if you are the comfort kind of guy, am very sorry.

Arrival

There are some toilet facilities just when you arrive. Not the best in the world but such a luxury when you are out hiking. If you are going to be using any tissue paper, you will have to come with your own because it is not offered.

Hiking up the Rainbow Mountain

The walk on the Rainbow Mountain will most probably take you the whole day as you will need to cover 14,000 feet. The good thing is that even if long, the walk is gorgeous and the place is greenly and not forgetting the local villages that are built from the startling red rock. You should be prepared that the altitude the mountain can be quite challenging and even if you are a frequent hiker this one is not what you are used to. It will be wise not to start your trek if you have not familiarized yourself with the elevation of the region.

The temperatures

During the n day, the sun can be very hot especially to those who are not used to higher temperatures so you might want to bring along your sunscreen, light clothes, and a pair of glasses. However, the temperature can go down drastically so be sure to bring a jacket or two.

If you don’t enjoy hiking that much, you can try horse riding which will cost you some 70 soles, I bet you will enjoy that.

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

The Best Time Of The Year To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

The Kilimanjaro is regarded as the tallest mountain in the world and while there are tons of other facts about the mountain, climbing Kilimanjaro has become the greatest fantasy for so many people. While this is well said, it is to be noted that there are many people that have climbed the mountain and they have set a new history from time to time.

In another vein, it is to be noted that while so many people long to climb the Kilimanjaro, there are actually periods considered the best times to climb the Kilimanjaro and this is the reason for this article.

climb Mount Kilimanjaro

The best time of the year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

The major reasons while the Mount Kilimanjaro has certain periods of the year when you can climb it is because there are times of the year that are considered as the coldest period of the year, and there are times when it could be snowy. While this is a known fact, there are two periods of the year which are characterized by two trekking periods which could be tagged as the best period for climbing the Kilimanjaro.

The trade wind and the way that the Kilimanjaro is designed is tagged as the way to best describe the climbing period of the year. The trade wind from the Indian Ocean, when it hits the Kilimanjaro in March every year, it forms clouds which makes it far condensed and the Mountain moves upward. During the period of March up until May, the weather of the Kilimanjaro is said to be wet and the propensity that the rain falls makes it a wet season on the Kilimanjaro and so a reason for the period not being the best time to climb the mountain.

In addition however, if you need to climb the mountain by the month of April or May, there are certain routes that you could take and to mention one which is best for this phase would be the Rongai route. This route is linked with the northern side of the Kilimanjaro and because it is a much drier zone, it is the best pick for which you could climb the mountain. The southern region during this phase is always cold and not in your best interest to climb it.

In another vein, the anti-trade wind which blows from the North eastern side of the mountain breezes strongly and they breeze from the month of April to the month of October. This makes this period the best time to climb the mountain because everything is warm during this period. It should also be noted that in the month of November, there is a bit of rain to the northern side of the mountain so it is not advisable to climb the mountain during this period, especially if you know that the northern region is your most preferred route.

The best times to climb the Kilimanjaro

There are two periods which are considered the best times to climb the mountain Kilimanjaro and they include the periods between January-March and also the periods between June-October.

While these two periods are the best periods to climb the mountain, it should be noted that the first region which is the first phase to climb the mountain is often regarded as the colder phase of the climb. It is possible during this period of time to encounter snow and so this doesn’t make it the best time of the year to climb the mountain. However, some people actually prefer this time of the year to climb the mountain because this is the quietest time of the year for people. If you are looking for a time of the year to climb the mountain and then you have to climb quietly with your friends, this is the best time to climb for you.

During the period of June to October, the trek is always congested with so many people around and the reason for this is not farfetched from the fact that it is the period of the year when people have their summer holidays. Because of this reason, so many of the routes that people know are always busy.

The period of March, April and also the month of November, are the wettest phases for the Kilimanjaro and this means that they are not the most ideal for trekking up on the mountain. In another vein, snowfalls and the cold weather are common within the period of December and May.

Cheap single entry visas for the US tourists in Vietnam – what you need to know?

The hike of the Vietnam visa costs for US citizens had sparked up a lot of rages. It has forced the Vietnamese government to restore the cheap rates of Vietnam visa for US citizens within a short period of time. This makes it an ideal nation for the ones in search of a cheap escape destination from their busy schedule – be it students, backpackers or any other resident in the US. The restoration of the cheap services has brought in a lot of praises among the visitors. And it not limited to the single entry options only. Rather it offers cheap service options for visas for 3 months, 6 months and 1 year as well.

visit vietnam

Types of visa options for US citizens planning to visit Vietnam

Vietnam allows multiple types of visa options for the citizens of the United States of America. It includes both single and multiple entry options as mentioned below.

  1. Single entry visa for one month – it allows the visitors from the US to enter Vietnam only once and is allowed to stay up to a period of one month.
  2. Multiple entry visa for one month – visitors from the US are allowed multiple entries to the nation with the period of one month
  3. Single entry visa for three months – allowing the visitors one-time entry to Vietnam and allowed to stay in the nation for 3 months at the max
  4. Multiple entry visa for three months – US citizens can enter and leave Vietnam multiple times during the period of 3 months
  5. Multiple entry visa for six months – permits the US citizens multiple entries to Vietnam and allows a maximum stay of 3 months during each entry or till the visa lasts
  6. Multiple entry visas for one year – it is same as the multiple entry visa for six months except that the US citizens are allowed multiple entries and exit to Vietnam for a period of one month. Similar to the previous options, a maximum stay of three months is allowed during each entry

Charges

The charges for processing the visa of US citizens are very cheap. These cheap rates make Vietnam an ideal option among the students, travelers, and businessmen from the US. The rates mentioned below include the fees for processing the visa as well as stamping the same. That means the visitors will not be required to pay any extra charges when they arrive in Vietnam.

  1. $80 for a single entry visa for a tenure of one month
  2. $135 for multiple entry visa for one month period
  3. $110 for single entry visas for three months
  4. $160 for multiple entry visas valid for three months
  5. $180 for multiple entry visas functional for six months
  6. $220 for visas permitting multiple entries to Vietnam lasting for a year. The San Francisco Consulate office is known to charge $215 for the same process thought the reasons for the reduced charges are not known.

If you are planning to get your visa upon arrival in Vietnam, then it is necessary for you to know that the stamping charges can vary anywhere within the range of $25 to $135 depending upon the type and tenure of the visa.

Documents required

Similar to any other procedural visa application, the US citizens need to present the following documents to avail a tourist visa for a Vietnam tour:

  • Application form for the tourist visa in Vietnam
  • A couple of 2 X 2-inch passport size photos although a single one may be sufficient
  • Money order or a cashier’s check payable and the Vietnam embassy as the fees of processing the visa. A combined money order/check can serve the purpose for multiple applicants who are applying together.
  • Pre-paid stamped envelope carrying self-address to be sent to the Vietnam Embassy. This will be used to return the documents of the visitors. Apart from DHL, visitors can choose any of the tracked mail service providers including UPS, FedEx, and USPS.
  • The original passport for the visa stamping process. If you are applying for visa stamp on loose leaf, you may provide a colored copy of the page of the passport. The validity of both the options is equal.

Time for processing the visa applications of US citizens

Vietnam visa services are available in multiple speed options depending upon the requirement of the visitors. Those include:

  1. Normal service option and it takes up to a couple of working days to get done with the processing
  2. Urgent service option that provides the visa facilities within one working day
  3. Super Urgent service that allows visa processing within one to four working hours
  4. Services in non-working hours. It includes any time of Saturday, holiday or the regular day after Vietnamese time of 4 pm. The service is not available during night time

Where to apply for a visa?

Vietnam visa for US citizens can be applied in multiple ways. One can apply for it upon arrival in Vietnam or just apply for it beforehand before boarding. The option of e-visas is also applicable. Apart from this, the US citizens are also allowed to apply for their visas at the Vietnam Embassy located in the state of Washington DC. They can also apply for the visa at any one of the other Vietnam Consulate Offices in the nation. San Francisco, New York, and Houston host the consulate offices. You can check out their websites to know more about the process.