It`s a well known fact that hotels nowadays play a big role. Every year more and more new hotels are opened.
Sometimes it is even difficult to decide which to choose while traveling. There are luxury hotels, which seem to be expensive, b & b hotels, where you will get only breakfasts and a place to sleep, youth hostels, where you meant to serve everything yourself and many other places to stay in. For example an apartment, a tent, a caravan and 3, 4 or 5 star hotel. Some people enjoy staying in a hotel while others prefer other places to stay in. Sure, on the one hand there are a lot of advantages in it.
To begin with, it`s convenient. You have a chance to make a telephone call and reserve any room you want in a good time, to be confident by your arrival. Besides, you don`t need to serve yourself, everything will be done by the hotel staff, I find it wonderful. More than that, I do like that in the hotel you can be offered some interesting excursions and you can be sure that they are safe because the hotel is responsible for every offer.
But on the other hand there are still some disadvantages in staying in a hotel. First of all, the service can be poor and slowly, for this reason you can be late for a business conferation or a friends party, I find it extremely disappointing. Second, the food can be too salty, overcooked and etc...spoiled. It can be a serious problem for people with weak stomach. Third, the view from the window can be not so romantic as the advertisement said but more modest, it can also disappoint some people, who care about the beaty around them. Personally I`m for staying in a hotel inspite of all disadvantages. It`s only a freak of chance, everything can happen. So before booking a hotel, you`d better learn some facts about it in the net or from your friends for sure. Last summes I stayed in a hotel in Turkey, everything was up to date, wonderful service, tasty food and friendly staff. I would be happy to wisit "Saray hotel" ne more time. By the way, Saray in Turkish means a palace and it really looks so. I have only positive impressions about that place and hotel.
If I`m not mistaken there are 4 big hotels in Petrozavodsk. They are "Masks", "Karelia", "Severnaya" and one more near the embankment, unfortunately I don`t know it`s name yet. In my opinion our town provides good hotels for foreigners and native people. You can stay there from one night only to even a month or more, if you can afford it sure. In general I am only for staying in a hotel, this will save your money, time and will be convenient.
In Britain there are many customs and traditions. British people are very conservative. They carefully keep up their traditions and they are proud of them.
One of the most famous English traditions is “afternoon tea”.
Everyone knows that tea is very popular drink in Britain, it’s more popular than coffee. The first tea was brought to Europe in 1610 by the Dutch. Tea came to England in the middle of the 17th century. The English East India Trading Company presented it as a gift to King Charles II in 1664. At that time tea was very expensive, and everyone couldn’t buy it. In the 18th century tea became the main drink in Britain. Charles’s wife, Queen Catherine, made tea an official palace drink. Curious British tradition is first pour milk into a cup and then tea originates from here. Fine porcelain cups were too thin and fragile and they could be damaged by hot tea. That’s why they first poured warm milk into the cup and then hot tea.
In the early 1840s, tea drinking developed into a social tradition thanks to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. At that time there was a very early breakfast, and a dinner was serving at 20.00 pm only. At noon Duchess usually was hungry. Then she ordered to serve tea and bread, butter, cakes and cookies for her. Duchess liked this innovation and she began to invite his friends at afternoon tea.
Soon, tea ceremony was very fashionable among the privileged class and became an integral part of Victorian Britain.
Nowadays, throughout the homes, tea shops and hotels of Britain, the custom of tea-time continues.
British tea ceremony is a real art. Classic English tea-set has more than thirty subjects. Porcelain set includes 12 cups and saucers, milk jug, sugar bowl, vase jam, teapot and so on. Usually, guests are offered to choose tea from 5-10 varieties. The main rule of any official Tea Party: tea in the guests’ cups should be poured at the table. The owner or waiter comes up to each guest from the right side and pours tea. Hot water and tea leaves are never served separately. Tea is brewed in a teapot. One spoonful of tea per person and one for the pot is added. It doesn’t need to be diluted with boiled water in cups. Most people in Britain prefer strong tea with milk and sugar. They don’t drink tea with lemon. That’s why tea with milk is called “English tea”, and tea with lemon is “Russian tea”.
It’s interesting, that “five o’clock” is one of the most common stereotypes about Britain. English people have tea not only at 5 o’clock. They drink tea with pleasure several times a day, when they have a free moment. Traditional “Afternoon Tea” is served at any time between lunch and dinner (from the noon until 6 in the evening).
Today tea is still the most national drink and an important part of British social life.
What to do in Madrid?
Here are some suggestions of what to do in Madrid to make the most of your stay.
If you are in Madrid, don’t loose the opportunity to visit some of the famous museums of the city, the Reina Sofia art museum, El Prado or the Thyssen Bornemisza. Entrance to El Prado and Reina Sofia museums are free on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
Even if you are not a sport's lover watching a football match in Madrid can be worth it, since Madrid is home to the famous Real Madrid football team, who plays in the Santiago Bernabeu football pitch. If you are ready for stronger emotions, you can also watch a "corrida de toros" (bullfighting). Madrid's bullfighting ring "Las Ventas" is one of the most important in Spain. By mid-may the best “corridas” take place in the city as part of the celebrations of the Saint Isidro festivities.
Theme parks: In Madrid there are several attraction parks where you can spend a great day especially if you are travelling with children. The most famous ones are the "Warner Bros. Park" and the "Parque de atracciones de Madrid" (Madrid's Attraction Park). The first is some 25 kilometres south of Madrid, but easy to reach using public transport, for more information on opening times and fees of the park visit their website: Warner Bros Park Madrid: www.warnerbrospark.com
Among the monuments not to be missed in Madrid are the central square "Plaza Mayor" of Renaissance style, the Royal Palace built in the 18th century, and the adjacent Sabatini Gardens, and the "Puerta del Sol" (gate of the sun), dating from the 15th century, which was once the main entrance to the city.
In Madrid you will also find lots of good shops and shopping centres, one of the best shopping malls is Xanadú ( www.madridxanadu.com) which includes a snow park where you can ski on artificial snow. A different way of shopping in Madrid is going to its fleamarket (rastro) on Sunday morning, the market is in Ribera de Curtidores.
Other good option for your leisure time in the city of Madrid is to discover its bars and restaurants, try the famous Spanish wines and the tipical "tapas" or "pinchos", small portions of food available in most bars before lunch time and dinner time. You'll find good tapas bars around the "Plaza Mayor" and "Sol" street, in the centre of the city, also, in the zone of Cuatro Caminos and Tetuan or around the "Salamanca" zone. Here are some suggestions:
In Cuatro Caminos: El Quinto Vino, La Toledana, Combarro
In Sol: Casa Paco, Las Bravas, don Pedro, Casa Labra
In Salamanca: Jurucha, Cervecería Alarcia, Taberna la Daniela
You can't leave Madrid without having tasted the famous "cocido madrileño" (a kind of soup with chickpeas and meats) which is the traditional madrilean dish of excellence. Some exceptionally good restaurants are: Jockey (in Amador de los Ríos, 6) and El Amparo (in callejón de Puigcerdá, 8), these are only some suggestions but you will find plenty of restaurants for all budgets and tastes.
Los Angeles spans a widely diverse geographic area. Primarily a desert basin, the area is surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountain range and divided by the Santa Monica Mountains. Los Angeles County has 81 miles of coastline. There are such rivers as the Los Angeles, the Rio Hondo, the San Gabriel and the Ventura rivers.
The climate of Los Angeles as the climate of Southern California has often been described as «perfect» and with good reason. Mostly it is sunny and warm with gentle ocean breezes in the summer. The humidity is low with little rain. In fact, there are no unpleasant seasons in Los Angeles.
The name Los Angeles is Spanish for the Angels. In the late 18th century, Felipe de Neve, Spanish Governor of California, saw the need to establish a settlement along the River Los Angeles, The primary purpose for the pueblo was to reaffirm Spain's claim over the territory in the face of encroachments by Russia in the north and Britain from the sea. The settlement would also help to keep Spain's California military garrisons supplied and fed. Los Angeles was officially established by Governor Felipe de Neve on September 4,1781.
Governor de Neve's statue stands today at the Plaza of Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. Later, when Mexico became an independent state, California with Los Angeles was governed by Mexicans.
In August of 1846, American soldiers entered Los Angeles and the Stars and Stripes flag has flown over the city since January 1847. On February, 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed and the Mexican-American War was finished, California was ceded to the United States. In 1851 the first Los Angeles City police force was organized.
Nowadays the city of Los Angeles holds many distinctions. Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world, a cultural centre which has more than 300 museums and a paradise of good weather.
It is the only city in the world to host the Summer Olympics twice. Downtown of Los Angeles is the largest government centre outside of Washington, D.C.
Los Angeles has the only remaining wooden lighthouse in the world. It is located in Fermin Park in San Pedro. Los Angeles has the largest historical theatre district, located in Downtown on Broadway.
Los Angeles is on the leading edge of the growth industries. The Los Angeles area "Digital Coast" has more multimedia jobs than Silicon Valley and New York City combined. The Los Angeles metropolitan area, with more than 122,000 jobs in the fashion industry, has surpassed New York's fashion district work force.
The population of Los Angeles is about four million people. Los Angeles ranks as the second largest city in the nation behind New York City, In Los Angeles there are people from about 140 countries speaking approximately 86 different languages and currently call Los Angeles home.
Entry to Buckingham Palace is via Ambassador's Court on Buckingham Palace Road. The Grand Hall is on the original site of the old entrance hall, dominated by the Grand staircase aptly named, because of its winding proportions and floral gilt-bronze balustrade.
As you walk through the Guard Room note the Gobelin tapestries lining the walls. The vibrantly coloured silk walls in the Green Drawing Room provide the perfect compliment to the beautifully coved and guilded ceiling. This is the site of Queen Charlotte's salon. In the splendid scarlet and gold Throne Room you can see the chairs used at the coronation of Her Majesty The Queen in 1953. The magnificent Ballroom extending to 122 feet in length was opened in Queen Victoria's reign in 1856 to celebrate the end of the Crimean war.
In the picture gallery designed by Nash are wonderful art treasures by Rubens, Rembrandt, Canaletto, Vermeer, and many others. This is a selection from the Royal Collection held in trust by the Queen for her successors and the nation and is regarded as Britain's National Heritage. In the State Dining Room the red silk damask on the walls makes a fitting background to the state portraits of Kings and Queens from George III to George IV. The regency dining chairs were purchased by the Prince Regent in 1813 for his home at Carlton House.
As you pass through the Blue Drawing Room, another of Nash's stunning rooms, note the thirty fake onyx columns and the Sevres porcelain table which was made for Napoleon. From the semicircular bow window of the domed Music Room you will have a good view of the garden and grounds. The Archbishop of Canterbury has christened four royal babies in this room. Perhaps most magnificent of all is the White Drawing Room, furnished with French antiques and English cut glass chandeliers suspended from the beautiful ceiling, the delicate colours of the furnishings standing out against the gold walls. The Minister's stairs at the end of the hall links the principal floor of state rooms to the Marble Hall, which is the heart of the old Buckingham House. Clad in Italian marble it contains some fine sculpture, including three groups by Antonio Canova.
The History of Buckingham Palace began in 1702 when the Duke of Buckingham had it built as his London home. The Duke's son sold the house in 1761 to George III, it was renamed “Queen's House” in 1774 as Queen Charlotte resided there. When it passed to George IV in 1820, Nash was commissioned to make alterations to the palace. The main block was retained but a new suite of rooms was added facing west into the garden, doubling the size of the building. The French Neo Classical style was the influence for the design. The re-modelled state rooms remain unchanged from Nash's original design.
Queen Victoria was the first monarch to take up residence in Buckingham Palace in 1837. Once again extensive changes took place, one of these was to have the huge arched gateway removed to Tyburn, where it remains, known as Marble Arch.
Today Buckingham Palace is used not only as the home of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, but also for the administrative work for the monarchy. It is here in the state apartments that Her Majesty receives and entertains guests invited to the Palace.
During the summer, the Changing of the Guard takes place at the front of the Palace.