Antwerp is the second largest city of Belgium. The capital city of the province of Antwerp, it is also the second largest harbor in Europe after Rotterdam. It is a leading commercial center famous for cutting, trading and polishing of diamonds. Since the last 15 years, Antwerp has been elevated to the status of being one of the leading cities for fashion design in Europe.The name 'Antwerp' has been linked to the word aanwerp (alluvial mound), which was the geographical feature in the early settlement period in this place. The earliest records of fortification for this historical place take us to the seventh century BC. In the 10th century, Antwerp became a provincial border for the Roman Empire. By the 14th century, the city of Antwerp was already ranked as being the prime center in Western Europe for trading and finance, thanks to its flourishing wool market and seaport.The city went through a low phase economically during the Reformation period and the subsequent conflict between the Catholics and the Protestants. The city rose again in the 17th century with painters like Reubens and Van Dyck becoming famous names. It was Napoleon who realized the strategic importance of Antwerp and undertook the modernization of the Antwerp port. As times passed, Antwerp went on to progress and became what it is todaythe tenth largest port in the world.Places of interest:The Antwerps Grote Markt (town square) is the wonder of the 16th century architecture. The Stadhuis (town hall) is a popular Flemish Gothic structure built in the Renaissance fashion. In the middle of the town square lies a statue of the first hero of Antwerp Brabo. He was the man who had killed a giant, who according to a legend used to control river traffic and extract money from people. The roman soldier Brabo cut the giants hand and threw it into the Schedlt River.Our Ladys Cathedral is another important landmark. With its Gothic architecture, the 123 meter lofty tower is a sight to behold. The cathedral is home to two of the masterpieces of Reubens, The Descent from the Cross and the Elevation of the Cross.The Antwerp castle, known as Steen (stone) is called such because castles in the 13th century were built of wood. This was the first castle at that time to be built of stone.The Meir is another tourist attraction. It is a shopping street and a busiest one at that. The Osterrieth House and the former royal residence of the Belgian kings in Antwerp are two of the important buildings in the Meir. The first stock exchange building in the world was built on Meir. It was gutted down in the middle of the nineteenth century and was reconstructed in Neo-Gothic architecture.Things to do:One thing every visitor can look forward to are the fascinating museums and galleries of Antwerp. The city has been organized and maintained well. A tourist finds exploring Antwerp relatively easy compared to other places because places of interest and other pleasant sights in the town are within walking distance.Take a stroll through the paved lanes and maze like streets of Antwerp. You will be amazed to see the streets lined with royal looking mansions, ancient churches and museums. The city is a pleasant mix of the ancient and the modern with a range of boutiques, restaurants and bars springing up continually. One thing you can do while you tour the city is pay a visit to the Royal Museum of Fine Art (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten). The museum is divided into two units-one containing the works of the Old Masters and the other for the artists belonging to the 19th century and later. Superior collection of European painting is available in the museum including the works of Rubens, Van Dyck, Hals, Van Gogh etc. Rubens the most famous child of Antwerp has his work displayed in the Old Ladys Cathedral as well.MoMu is the epicenter for Antwerps mushrooming design trade. If you are an aspirant designer, you can join an academy to learn the latest in fashion and style. MoMu is known the world over for hosting creative exhibitions for their work. As Antwerp is one of the leading centers of fashion, style and designer outfits, you can profit in many ways.Since Antwerp is well known for diamonds, you can pay a visit to the citys biggest showroom, Diamondland at Appelmansstraat to see craftsmen at work, cutting and polishing the most beautiful object known to manexquisite diamonds. The Provinciaal Diamantmuseum which has just been shifted near Antwerps zoo holds fantastic exhibitions showcasing diamonds and informing people about the history and production of diamonds.Food and Drink:The citizens of Antwerp swear by Belgian cuisine. The cuisine is somewhat French and Flemish oriented. The hot favorite is mussels accompanied with chips and mayonnaise. Other seafood like herring are also favoured and eaten raw. Drinks consist of good quality French wine. Beer however reigns supreme as the countrys favorite drink. In fact Belgium has more than 100 brewers manufacturing more than 400 different beers.People in Antwerp drink three kinds of beer-lager, white beer and the lambic beer. The lager beer comes as a dark double or triple beer. The white beer is self explanatory while the lambic beer is a naturally fermented strong drink having a fruity flavor. A unique type of soup filled with cream called waterzooi, non vegetarian food like chicken and fish, paling in't groen (eels with vegetables and herbs) and vegetarian food are the other favourites. Antwerp is an inexpensive place for eating out. The food consists of customary Flemish dish with French and Mediterranean cuisine. The cafes open at around 9 am in the morning and work till late at night. T Fornuis is one of the popular restaurants in the city as it has the rich French cuisine in a traditional Flemish milieu. Another notable restaurant is La Rade haute. Food is served in a mansion-like place, close to the river Ernest Van Dijckkaai.Hotel and Accommodation:Radisson SAS Park Lane HotelMinotel ColombusBest Western Classic Hotel Villa MozartMiauw SuitesTheater HotelNew International Youth HotelHotel ScheldezichtTourist HotelGolden Tulip Hotel CarltonTulip Inn Hotel AstoriaAlfa Empire HotelFletcher Hotel-Restaurant AntwerpenFletcher Hotel KeyserleiPlaza HotelHotel EdenAlfa De KeyserHotel CammerpoorteHotel Ibis Antwerpen CentrumExpress by Holiday Inn Antwerp City NorthHotel FloridaHotel ResidenceDocklands HotelArass Suite HotelCampanile Antwerpen / AnversHotel IndustrieHotel AntigoneCorinthia Antwerp HotelPrinseHyllit HotelHotel Antverpia HRCrowne Plaza AntwerpEntertainment:The meaning of entertainment can be summed up in the fantastic night life Antwerp enjoys and revels in offering its visitors. There are a whole range of zany bars and restaurants which can give any other city in Northern Europe a run for its money. If you are in Belgium and want to get the best night life entertainment, head to Antwerp, no questions asked! The best times to enjoy nightlife are Friday or Saturday nights. The liveliest and the most fashionable city of Belgium, Antwerp has found a unique place on the style map of the world thanks to the work of some brilliant fashion designers.Belgians love their drink and so it comes across as no surprise that this passion has translated into setting up of many bars and pubs across the city. These bars work any time of the day or night offering choicest of Belgian beer, cocktails, drinks, and wines. Plus you get to enjoy thumping or mellifluous music (according to the public demand) in these bars. Dan Engel is known as Antwerps most famous bar facing the Grote Markt. You can stop by the bar at any time of the day or night for a sip of refreshing beer.Antwerp makes everyone happy, be they adults or kids. The Zoo which is close to the station is the oldest and the largest zoo in Belgium. Children are head over heels in love with the dolphinarium. Other attractions include the lions, giraffes, monkeys and the snake house. Though the zoo is old fashioned, it still remains a craze with children.
Gas prices are soaring! This has resulted in elevated travel expenses. If you travel by car, YOU have some control over the costs.Here are some ways to save money on gas:* Switch to synthetic motor oil. It reduces engine friction and may make your car a little less ravenous at the gas station. (There are brands available claiming 5%-20% increases in fuel economy.)* Use the manufacturer's recommended grade of oil. Manufacturer specs are based on what is best for your specific vehicle.* Buy gas with the recommended octane rating. Premium can actually be detrimental to many engines.* Fill up during the coolest times of day. You get more gas in each gallon, because liquids expand in the heat. The pumps are measuring gallons, not weight.* Make sure that the gas cap is tight after you fill up. Gas evaporates easily - you can lose an appreciable amount through an improperly seated cap.* Check your tires before your holiday and inflate them to the manufacturer's recommendations. Underinflated tires create drag and increase gas consumption. Always carry a tire gauge in your glove compartment.* Never drive on bald tires! Besides being unsafe, they also increase fuel consumption.* Don't leave your engine idling for long periods of time. This includes pre-warming - one minute is all you need. Start off slowly, then use normal speeds after a couple of minutes.* Don't continually start and stop your engine. Each start burns about the same amount of gas as one minute of idle time.* Drive the speed limit on highways - speeding devours gas. Activate your cruise control whenever possible, and when cruise is not engaged remember the 'egg' trick: drive like you have a raw egg between the floorboards and the gas pedal.* Stop lights in cities are usually set to synchronize with the posted speed limit. Drive the speed limit and you are more likely to hit a long series of green lights. Stopping at red lights increases idle time and gas consumption.* Drive in a way that entails minimal use of the brakes.* Don't pack more than you need. The more weight you carry, the more gas you use.* Decrease wind resistance. A car caked with mud, snow, or ice will cause drag and burn more gas than a sleek, clean vehicle.* Don't use the air conditioner unless necessary. Vehicle air conditioners increase fuel consumption.* Pamper your vehicle by ensuring that it goes in for regular tune-ups and maintenance. Slight adjustments can mean dramatic fuel savings. Ask the maintenance people to add fuel injector cleaner whenever the oil is changed.* Some communities have websites that post fuel prices at local gas stations. Do your research before you leave to find out where the cheapest stations are. Use common sense: driving too far out of your way will gobble up more gas than you save. Try gasbuddy.com (USA and Canada) and your favorite search engines.* If you own a gas guzzler, try trading with a relative or neighbor for a smaller vehicle while you vacation. (Make sure that insurance policies on both vehicles are in order first.)* Use your feet! Once you get to your destination, walk whenever possible. Walking is how you really get to know an area.Save money, save the environment - and have more cash to spend on your vacation!
Copyright 2006 Bravos DirectWhen the RC frequency spectrum was first introduced to provide controlled facilities for radio control (RC) modelers, it was limited to a set of just six. These frequencies were not labeled with channel numbers as they are today, but were represented by multi-colored flags; purple/white for 72.320 MHz (megahertz), red/white for 72.240 MHz, etc. Having only 6 frequencies to choose from was quite restrictive and meant a lot of RC airplane pilots had to be grounded, waiting to take their turn on a given frequency. The RC model airplane frequency spectrum today is much broader, consisting of 50 separate 72 MHz channels for general use, a few 27 MHz channels for park flyers, and a handful of other more specialized channels reserved for licensed amateur radio operators.So now you've decided to buy your RC model and radio equipment you also need to decide which radio frequency you are going to operate on. Unlike most other features of the sport, choosing a popular channel which is used by lots of other people is not a good idea. Choosing a standard 72 MHz frequency for your radio can be as simple as going to the local hobby store and purchasing one with a standard radio setup. But randomly choosing a channel can result in a problem if you dont do a little investigation first.Firstly, decide whether you are going to be a park flyer using 27 MHz or going for a more advanced setup on 72 MHz. The 27 MHz channels are primarily dedicated to what are considered park flyers. These pre-packaged systems usually come with everything you need to get up and flying and are intended for the casual flyer that just wants to get out, get in the air, and not mess with the higher cost of a more complex airplane and radio setup. Choosing a RC "model airplane" park flyer package with a pre-set frequency needs little to no investigation since you have little choice as the packages give you a choice of only 3 or 4 channels, some FM(frequency modulated), some AM(amplitude modulated).Channel conflicts in a RC park flying situation are less common due to the large number of parks and flying areas available to the casual pilot. But if you do invest in a park flyer then be aware that there may well be other pilots out there in the park using the same frequency as you and that can mean expensive trouble when you lose control of your airplane because of someone else's signal, or even worse, if some stranger accuses you of causing his airplane to crash.Second, if you are going for 72 MHz then visit your flying field and find out what other people are using. Imagine arriving to your favorite RC model airplane flying field only to find someone else already using the channel you have just paid out good money for. Some clubs have rules pertaining to what happens in this situation. As only one pilot can operate at a time on a given frequency this usually means pilots having to switch off and take turns using the frequency and some means of the club controlling the changeover process either by physically taking control of the transmitter or just having a procedure written into the club rules. If you are flying at a busy site that is not a sanctioned flying club with rules and bylaws, you might find yourself sitting out and unable to fly for the day.The smartest way to choose an RC frequency for your radio is to do some legwork first. Visit the field where you will do most of your flying. Investigate what channels are already in use and which channels are seldom used. Finding one that is infrequently used or not used at all will allow you to buy, secure in the knowledge that you will be able to fly with minimum interruption.Third, make sure you can change the frequency after you have bought the equipment. If you take care to check before you buy whether the system will allow you to do a manual crystal replacement then if you run into a problem you can change later to a channel which is less busy. Some crystal changes you can do yourself while others have to go back to the factory to have the work done. Regardless of your current situation, if you already have an RC radio setup, or just thinking about getting one, doing a little footwork up front can go a long way to ensuring you get maximum enjoyment and flying hours out of your RC model.
Newport Beach is located 50 miles south of Los Angeles and 85 miles north of San Diego in Orange County. It is comprised of the villages such as Balboa, Balboa Island, Corona del Mar, Harbor Island, and Newport Heights. It is famous all over the world because of the picture-perfect sandy beaches and the long stretch of coastline. That, in itself, should be reason enough for you to visit.Many famous celebrities frequent this place, if not call it home. But celebrity or not, you can still explore Newport Beach and its villages for a luxurious and adventurous experience.Nature TripEnvironmental Nature Center Go exploring the more than 2 acres of wildlife habitat with trail guides as you discover Californias unique flora and fauna. Admission is free.Upper Newport Bay A free two-hour tour is available every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. It starts at 9 in the morning from Shellmaker Island. You can explore the areas that are home to more than 200 species of birds and wildlife. You can also avail of canoe tours and campfire activities for the family. Culture and the ArtsCity Hall Art Gallery Visit Newport Blvd from between 9 am to 4 pm from Mondays to Fridays and drop by the City Hall Art Gallery to see works by exhibits of paintings, sculpture and photography by homegrown artists. Newport Harbor Nautical Museum The museum is set in the Pride of Newport, measuring 190 feet. It features the traditional and local sea-faring culture of the region. Galleries focus on several themes ranging from the recreational to commercial. The museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission fees for adults are $4, while for children are $1. Newport Theater Arts Center 2501 Cliff Drive, Newport Beach, CA; (949) 631-0288; Call for Schedule: The local community theater features veteran and new actors. Swing by Cliff Drive and look for the Theatre on the Cliff for schedules of current plays and upcoming shows. Dont confine yourself to going around just the Newport Beach proper. Be adventurous and take a trip to its outlying villages. "Balboa Island" You could spend a day walking along Marine Avenue just browsing more than 70 shops, galleries and restaurants. Specialty boutiques and sidewalk cafes also add flavor to the area. To get there, either take a ferry from Balboa Peninsula or drive down Jamboree Road. Balboa Peninsula If promenading is your thing, try the Balboa boardwalk where you can bike, skate and/or walk as you take in the sights of Newport Harbor. An amusement park established in the 1930s still stands and is a local, as well as a tourist, favorite. Rides the merry-go-round and Ferris wheel in between trips to shops and restaurants. It also features the Balboa Pavilion, which was an electric railway terminal back in the early 1900s. Cannery Village What used to be the hub of commercial fishing with boat yards and canneries (thus the name), this village is now mostly comprised of fine restaurants, vintage shops and a good number of art galleries. For a sampling of the local art, visit Cannery Wharf Park every Sunday to see local artists exhibiting their works towards the afternoon. Lido MarinaThis waterfront village is situated by the Via Oporto. Dont be fooled by the out-of-the-way location of this enclave by the harbor side. It is home to boutiques, jewelry stores, art museums and galleries, and restaurants by the boardwalk. Mariners Mile Whatever you speed is, you can take a charter for either sports fishing or dinner cruise. All restaurants and galleries have a strong maritime feel to them owing to their location. You can also take a gondola ride for a romantic tour around the New Port Harbor canals. Find Mariners Mile by West Coast Highway and is in between Dover Drive and Newport Boulevard. McFadden Square McFadden Square has been famous with chefs and professional seafood buyers since the late 1890s. People would come to get their choice picks of fresh seafood and you can see such activity still go on which starts everyday at 9 in the morning.Theres a lot Newport can bring to your vacation, whether you are on a luxury spree or on a modest budget. You can experience nature at its best while sampling local crafts as well as some high-class shopping. Whatever your speed, Newport Beach has something for everyone.
When you begin planning a vacation, one of the most important steps is to book a hotel room for your stay. After you have made your arrangements to take off work and get to your destination, you will have to figure out an affordable place to stay. There are many ways to approach hotel booking, the most tried and true being purchasing a vacation package through a travel agent. However, travel agents are becoming more expensive and less practical as Internet travel booking becomes the norm.Rather than paying a middleman to book your flights and hotels, online travel websites make it easy to compare rates, research locations and check on availability. Most hotels have their own websites where you can enter your needed dates and get a quote for your stay. You do not have to enter credit card information to research rates at most hotels, so it makes do-it-yourself comparison shopping convenient for anyone with an internet connection. Some hotels even post layouts of their buildings, so you can choose exactly which room you want, rather than taking a chance on being right next to a pool full of screaming children when you are trying to get some much-needed rest and relaxation.There are also some websites that will do your comparison-shopping for you. Sites like Hotwire and Expedia search their databases for hotels available on your needed dates, and they list the best deals for you. You can choose to search according to location, rate range, hotel chain or room size. When using sites like Hotwire, the more flexible your dates are, the greater your chances are of getting an inexpensive rate. However, even if your dates are set in stone, you may still be able to find a cheaper hotel rate using these sites than you would on your own.One way to use the Internet to find low hotel prices is to join a travel club. Many airlines and car rental companies offer deals for repeat customers. Through these programs, frequent travelers can arrange car rentals and flights at discount prices, and they often thrown in hotel stays for a minimal charge. Some car rental companies have partnerships with particular hotel chains, giving discounts to customers who use both companies on their trips. You can sometimes use your airline frequent flier miles to pay for hotel stays, as well. Be sure to check with your airline of choice to see if they offer special hotel rates with their frequent flier programs.Because making reservations online is a do-it-yourself endeavor, hotels save money of staffing. This allows them to offer special online rates for those who book their stays via the Internet. Most hotel chain websites have links to special Internet deals that can save you a lot of money on your vacation lodging. If you are Internet savvy, you can sometimes even qualify for free nights when you book a week at the same hotel.When you are ready to make your online hotel reservation, be sure to have your credit card handy. Because of high security practices, you often have to enter the three-digit code on the back of your credit card to confirm your reservation. Though some people are wary of entering credit card numbers over the Internet, most sites take great care in securing and encoding the information, making identity theft virtually impossible. However, if you are not comfortable completing your transaction online, many hotels allow you to reserve the nights and to call and complete the booking over the phone. Unfortunately, sometimes completing a transaction this way disqualifies you from receiving special Internet rates.