Best Destinations To Enjoy The Last Weeks Of Winter

You are a snow and winter lover and can’t believe the wonderful season is already over? Then take another breath, check out these amazing places and start packing. It doesn’t matter if you are a winter sports addict or maybe like to enjoy this magical time of the year – winter wonderland is opened to everyone!


Photo by Kipras Štreimikis on Unsplash

Sölden in Austria:

Sölden is one of the best regions to combine the joy of skiing and going out to party. Not only is it known for the skiing WorldCup to start there but also for its multiple party hotspots. Two reachable glaciers ensure that you have perfect snow conditions during your stay. Also, the wide and long slopes are offering you the opportunity to fulfill your desire for speed and fun.

After enjoying your down-rides on more than 140 slope kilometers you can choose one of 33 huts within the areal to drink a hot Glühwein. No matter if you are going with or without a company. At an après ski party you surely will find a great company and dance to the local ski-hits. For example, you could visit the Schirmbar Sölden at the bottom of the Giggijochbahn-lift. The venue offers a unique experience with its glass-top, modern DJ’s and happy hours.

If you are not the biggest fan of skiing, you still can enjoy multiple hiking trays in Sölden or visit the Ice-Q restaurant on top of the Gaislachkogl. If you are having the feeling that this scene looks familiar you may be a fan of James Bond. The Film Spectre was partly filmed on the slope called Schwarze Schneide.


Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

St.Moritz in Switzerland

St.Moritz is one of the most famous and luxurious winter holiday resorts in Europe and even in the world. As one of the oldest resorts ever it is as exclusive and elegant as it could be. With over 300 sunny days in a year and a low level of humidity visitors would describe the climate as “champagne climate”.

The resort is offering a lot of different ways to ride down the mountain, as it has over 160 slope kilometers and a variety of off-road areas. With around 125 kilometers of red and black slopes, it is more of an intermediate skiing resort and less suitable for beginners. You are more interested in a precious “celebrity-feeling” experience? No problem! With uncountable luxury shops, highly rated restaurants, and world-class hotels you will feel the same as the celebrity next to you. Yes, you read that right. St.Moritz is like a magnet for international film and pop stars to relax.   


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Tignes in France:

The Motte Glacier in the heart of the French Alps is a perfect place to go if you are chasing the endless winter. The winter season in Tignes normally begins in the middle of October and ends only in May. This area in France is a gorgeous place for all of those who are beginners in snow sports.

In a classification from blue, red and black slopes the blue ones are less inclined, red ones are a little more and the back ones are highly inclined. So as if you are not a professional yet, do not worry! You still will have a wide selection of slopes to learn because 60% of the slopes are classified as blue. Don’t worry if you already are advanced level skier – the black slopes in this area will bring you the adrenalin kick you desire. Even for cross-country skier, Tignes presents a giant variety of over 35 kilometers of loops and trails.

But also, if you are not into skiing or snowboarding it is worth the visit. As a traveler who is not addicted to winter-sports, you can appreciate the impressive 360-degree views of the Alps. Via the Grande Motte cable-car, you easily can reach the rooftop terrace, which is situated at over 3400m above absolute altitude to enjoy the view over Tignes and the mountain tops.


Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash

Garmisch- Partenkirchen in Germany

This rural in Germany is situated around 100 kilometers south of Munich and absolutely worth the visit. Even though most of the European skiing areas are in Austria or Switzerland you should consider visiting this place as well. After hosting the Winter Olympics Games in the late ’40s the area got hyped. Up to this day, it is still hosting plenty of international sports competitions like ski jumping or alpine racing.

On perfectly groomed slopes of every kind, you can show off your talent. Due to its location, the climate is a little milder than for example in Austria. Although it doesn’t get super cold you still can enjoy plenty of snow and sunshine. As a visitor in this region in Germany, it is a must to visit the highest point in Germany called Zugspitze. By going on a cogwheel train and then a cable car you can reach one of the most impressive points of the country. After that ride, you will arrive at the glacier, enjoy the view and the sunshine.


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Riksgränsen in Swedish Lapland

This little area in northern Europe is maybe not the biggest but definitely most magical. Around 200 kilometers north of the actual Arctic Circle you can find a one-in-a-kind skiing experience from February till June. In comparison to skiing areas from the Alps, Riksgränsen is very small. With only 21 kilometers of slopes, you can experience the whole area in only one day.

But it has something special that the others are not able to offer. After around the middle of May, you can let the midnight sun impress you. The midnight sun describes the period of “nightless nights” in Lapland. There is all day long a light visible because the sun does not set below the horizon. During this time, you can enjoy the winter wonderland as long as you want without minding about the time.

PS: If you are not sure which place lures you the most, check out the live-webcams and make sure it is stunning yourself.

Onderzoek: LHBTQ-vriendelijke reisbestemmingen

De LHBTQ-emancipatie lijkt zich wereldwijd steeds sterker te ontwikkelen. Er is steeds meer aandacht voor deze gemeenschap, vooral door traditionele en (vooral) sociale media.

Ondanks de verbeterende omstandigheden voor lesbiennes, homo’s, biseksuelen, transgenders en personen die zich niet identificeren tot een geslacht, is het lang niet overal even fijn voor deze groep. Dit geldt ook voor wanneer zij op vakantie gaan. Lang niet alle landelijke en lokale overheden hanteren een ‘vriendelijk’ beleid voor LHBTQ’ers. En dan is er ook nog de lokale bevolking, die ook niet altijd even tolerant is. 

Om in kaart te brengen hoe LHBTQ-vriendelijk reisbestemmingen zijn en hoe landen zich hierin ontwikkelen, analyseerde Taxi2airport data van Spartacus (een reisgids voor LHBTQ) over de afgelopen vier jaar (2015 tot en met 2019). 

Het onderzoek heeft zich toegespitst op de 50 ‘meest competitieve landen op gebied van toerisme’, waaronder ook Nederland. Taxi2Airport rangschikte deze 50 landen in een Veiligheidskompas voor LHBTQ-reizigers, op basis van positieve factoren, risicofactoren en belemmerende wetgeving voor LHBTQ-reizigers.

Taxi2Airport - Onderzoek: LHBTQ-vriendelijke reisbestemmingen

Meest LHBTQ-vriendelijke reisbestemming is Zweden

Zweden is de vriendelijkste populaire reisbestemming voor LHBTQ’ers, met een totale gemiddelde score van 9,6. De Zweedse wet- en regelgeving voor LHBTQ’ers is zeer positief (lees: tolerant), Zweden omarmen de LHBTQ-gemeenschap en ook op gebied van risico’s (denk aan geweldsincidenten) hoeven LHBTQ’ers zich weinig tot geen zorgen te maken op Zweeds grondgebied. 

Naast Zweden zijn ook andere Europese landen te vinden in de top 10 vriendelijkste reisbestemmingen voor LHBTQ’ers:

    1. Zweden (9,6)
    2. Verenigd Koninkrijk (9,4)
    3. Canada (9,4)
    4. Frankrijk (9,2)
    5. Nederland (9,2)
    6. België (9,2)
    7. Ijsland (9,1)
    8. Spanje (9)
    9. Noorwegen (9)
    10. Denemarken (8,9)

Nederland vijfde meest LHBTQ-vriendelijke land

Ook Nederland is bovenaan het lijstje te vinden als LHBTQ-vriendelijke reisbestemming, met een gemiddelde score van 9,2. Hoewel Nederland, met Amsterdam, te boek staat als een van de meest ‘’Gay-vriendelijke’’ hoofdsteden van wereld, is er toch het een en ander op te merken aan de omstandigheden voor LHBTQ’ers. 

 

Het sociale klimaat in is Nederland niet overal even aangenaam te noemen voor de LHBTQ gemeenschap. De Randstad loopt voor op de rest van Nederland. Nederland kent verder echter gunstige wetgeving en weinig tot geen risico’s voor LHBTQ’ers. 

Amerika in de middenmoot

De Verenigde Staten staan gemiddeld op plek 26, met een score van 7,1. In de periode van 2015 tot 2018 stegen de factoren die een positieve bijdrage leveren aan veilig reizen voor de LHBTQ. Zoals bijvoorbeeld verschillende aanstellingen van ambtenaren met hoog ambtelijke functies op Statelijk niveau. Desalniettemin is over de afgelopen twee jaren een duidelijke daling zichtbaar. 

 

Een van de belangrijkste redenen -volgens Spartacus- bestaat uit bijvoorbeeld de pogingen van President Trump; om transgenderrechten in het leger in te perken. Daarnaast is in vijf jaar niets noemenswaardig veranderd in wet- en regelgeving. Ook loopt de LHBTQ-gemeenschap met een reis naar -het binnenland van- Amerika kans op vervelende situaties met de lokale bevolking in de vorm van (verbaal) geweld. 

Verenigd Koninkrijk daalt in de rangorde

Het Verenigd Koninkrijk staat steevast in de top van de index. Over de afgelopen jaren staat het land gemiddeld op plek 2. Het Verenigd Koninkrijk daalde het afgelopen jaar echter naar plek 4. De belangrijkste reden is het aantal geweldsincidenten tegen LHBTQ’ers. Sinds 2014 zijn deze haatmisdrijven verdubbeld. Deze misdrijven zijn zelfs verdriedubbeld richting transsexuelen, zo meldde de Britse kwaliteitskrant the Guardian afgelopen zomer. Het Verenigd Koninkrijk is echter nog steeds een van de beste landen om naartoe te reizen voor de LHBTQ gemeenschap. 

Minst aantrekkelijke reisbestemmingen

Aan de andere kant van het reis-spectrum voor LHBTQ’ers staan landen die niet te boek staan als tolerant en vriendelijk. De Verenigde Arabische Emiraten staan op de laatste plek in het kompas van Taxi2airport. Dit land kent een score van 1,2 – vooral omdat homosexualiteit een strafbaar feit is en daarvoor de doodstraf kan staan. Ook vormt de lokale gemeenschap een risico. 

 

Hieronder een overzicht van de -in totaal- 12 reisbestemmingen met score lager dan 6:

  1. Verenigde Arabische Emiraten (1,2)
  2. Rusland (2,6)
  3. Maleisië (3,1)
  4. Turkije (4)
  5. Korea (4,2)
  6. Peru (4,5)
  7. India (4,8)
  8. Indonesië (5)
  9. Singapore (5,2)
  10. Panama (5,3)
  11. Polen (5,6)
  12. China (5,9)

Opvallende ontwikkelingen 

Bekijk hieronder het volledige Veiligheidskompas voor LHBTQ-reizigers:

 

Onderzoeksmethodiek

Het Veiligheids Kompas is o.a. gebaseerd op een analyse van de jaarlijkse travel guides van Spartacus (2015-2019). De gegevens zijn vervolgens gelabeld naar drie variabelen: positieve factoren, belemmerende wetgeving en risicofactoren.

7 Carnivals You Need To See In Your Life

Developed in the Middle Ages, the carnival is today a traditional festival all over the world. From Rio de Janeiro to Notting Hills, the Carnival is still a reason to have fun with our relatives.

To help you figure out which one to choose, we have made our selection of the most beautiful carnivals in the world!

The Quebec Winter Carnival
7 – 16 February

 

This year, the Quebec Carnival will celebrate its 66th anniversary. Despite its creation in 1894, this event is officially relaunched in 1954. Come and meet the famous mascot Bonhomme in the middle of his ice palace, during the night parades on Grand Allée! If he is not there, go to the traditional snow bath, which can reach -20 degrees!

Toboggans, a giant football game, shows, snow sculptures, ice canoe races, sleigh rides, and ice skating will also be part of the event!

Quebec City’s carnival is one of the earliest in the year. It begins on February 7th and ends 9 days later, on February 16th. This gives you time to enjoy several carnivals in the same year!

The Venice Carnival
8 – 25 February

 


Photo by Marc Vandecasteele on Unsplash

 

The Venice Carnival is a traditional celebration of the Italian aristocracy that developed in the Middle Ages.

The essence of this carnival is to abolish social codes, allowing the poor to become rich and the rich to become poor.  It also allows people who knew each other to avoid greeting each other.

The festivities begin 10 days before Ash Wednesday and continue until Mardi Gras.

The day of the beginning of the festivities is marked by the “flight of the angel”. The previous year, a young girl is designated -called the “Mary”- to launch herself from the top of the campanile to join their lover on the Piazzetta.

The “Feast of the Marys” takes place on the first Saturday of Carnival when the 12 Marys -the 12 most beautiful women in Venice – parade from San Pietro Castello to Piazza San Marco accompanied by their cortege in traditional costume. It is at the end of this feast that the most beautiful of the Marys is elected, the one who will make the “flight of the angel” the following year.

The Binche Carnival
11 – 13 February

 

This carnival is registered at the UNESCO World Heritage since 2003. It is known for its traditional costume of “Gilles”, a masked character who first appeared in 1795. Dressed in a red and yellow striped suit as well as a white hat made of ostrich feathers, this Gilles’ Parade is composed on one side of a brass band, and dancing characters distributing oranges to the spectators on the other side. Balls, banquets, and fireworks are also part of the event’s program!

The Binche Carnival is composed of 2 parts; the carnival itself which begins 49 days before Easter, and the pre-carnival called “the time of the Soumonces” taking place 6 Sundays before the Mardi Gras.

The Nice Carnival
15 – 29 February

 

Photo by Ben Lescure on Pixabay

 

The Nice Carnival is the biggest in France. Taking place on the Place Masséna for centuries and more recently on the Promenade des Anglais, hundreds of allegorical chariots parade since the Middle Ages. Big heads chariots, flower chariots -which is an honor for local producers- or animation chariots, all parade for days to satisfy its spectators.

Every year, the carnival has a new theme, under the name of “king”. 1994 was the King of Art, the King of Cinema was in 2019, and this year will be under the King of Fashion.

More than 1000 musicians and dancers coming from all around the world take part in the event. The Nice Carnival ends with the “Incineration of the King”, a great fireworks display.

the festivities have begun on February 15th and will end at the end of the month, on February 29th!

The Rio Carnival
21 – 26 February

 

The most famous carnival in the world is also the biggest in the world, the Rio Carnival. This event also called “the world’s biggest party” became the one we know in 1723. Of course, the Rio Carnival is based on the parades of the city’s samba schools. The best 22 Samba schools parade during the 4 days of the Carnival and in the end, the best Samba school is elected!

Each school also has its own Queen who motivates the musicians at the front of the parade.  Every queen is dressed in feathers and dance to the rhythm of the music. At the end of this event, the “Queen of the Carnival” is also elected.

Not to be forgotten is Rio‘s Street Carnival where music, street parades, and bands are an integral part of the event!

The New-Orleans Mardi-Gras
25 February


Photo by skeeze on Pixabay

 

Celebrated since the middle of the 18th century, the New Orleans Carnival is today considered as the 2nd largest carnival in the world after Rio. Many clubs called “Krewes” organize most of the carnival parades. Float riders throw mostly beads, strings and sometimes colorful lingerie into the crowd lead by Jazz music played by parades.

Extravagant costumes colored in purple, green, gold, adorned with the beads taken from the floats are in the spotlight during the New Orleans Carnival.

The Notting Hill Carnival
30 – 31 August

 

Photo by Kelly Robinson on Unsplash

The Notting Hills Carnival is one of the most recent carnivals. Created in 1966, contrarily to the majority of the others, this carnival is not based on Mardi Gras but takes place at the end of August, this year on August 30 and 31, 2020. This event inspired by the many carnivals around the world is based on Caribbean culture and gathers every year nearly 2.5 million people.

Several musical styles are in the spotlight, Soca music, Calypso music, Steelpan music or the Jamaican Dancehall.

If you are looking for something to do at the end of the summer, the Notting Hills Carnival is waiting for you!

Tourism In Saudi Arabia: What Is There To See

Photo by Alvaro Hernandez on Unsplash

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Arab country located in the west of Asia. Although it is a deserted land, the huge modernization and developments make this country an attractive place for tourists. Another reason for its being worthy of a visit is history. There’s a long list of wonderful historical places in Saudi Arabia. Their wonderful cities, peninsulas, museums, mosques and other historic places make it a worth traveling country. Their culture is also unique and appreciable. Due to its history, Saudi Arabia is a holy place for Muslims all over the world. Keeping all these aspects in mind, here we’ll discuss some top places to visit in Saudi Arabia. This article also discusses the ease of access to the availability of e-visa for Saudi Arabia.

 

1- Al Wahbah volcanic crater

This is a camping and hiking point located more than 200 km away from the city of Taif. The place contains a salt field in the center of a desert. Vegetation is rarely found but it is surrounded by springs.

This place is rather a hiking point for competitive people. It takes almost an hour to get to the bottom of the slippery carter. In recent years there have been many upgrades to the place which make it more attractive for tourists. Therefore this place is really worth visiting in Saudia Arabia especially for adventure-seeking tourists.

 

Photo by Alvaro Hernandez on Unsplash

2- The ancient city of Mada’in Sale

As already mentioned Saudia Arabia is a historic country with monuments from thousands of years. This city is a good example of wonderful historic places. It was the second-largest and developed city back in ancient Arabia. The present-day place contains the ruins and remnants of Necropolis. These ruins include up to 130 tombs, adobe houses and a few alter houses. For people who are interested in history, The ancient city of Mada’in Saleh is a dream place.

Photo by Michael Gaida on Pixabay

3- King Fahd’s Fountain

This fountain is another point of tourist attraction. It was named after King Fahd who donated this fountain. It is located in Jeddah city. The distinguishing feature of this fountain is the shoot of more than 250 meters. It’s the world’s tallest fountain. Luminated by 500 spotlights at night, this fountain presents a mesmerizing sight.

4- Masmak Fortress

This Fortress is part of the capital of Saudia Arabia that is Riyadh. This place is also related to Saudi history as it served as a base when Abdulaziz conquered the regions and united the today called Saudia Arabia in 1902. Therefore this place is also of interest to history seekers.

5- Umluj

Umluj is the name given to the sandy beaches of the Red sea. They are also called Saudi Maldives. The beach itself is a breathtaking sight and the sight of mountains and inactive volcanoes makes it something special.

Photo by Maxwell Dugan on Unsplash

6- National museum

The national museum located in Riyadh is representative of the history of Arabia. Modern architecture makes it one of the finest museums in Asia. They’re a wonderful display of Arabian art along with rock carvings and Nabatean tomb. Travelers recommend this museum as a must-visit place.

This list is just a few names among many. Saudia Arabia is full of amazing and wondrous places that are worth visiting. A great number of huge Mosques in the whole country add colors to their beauty. The beaches and mountains, the Seaview, the peninsulas, the historic cities of Taif, Tabuq, Mekkah, Madinah are also among the top attractions in Saudia Arabia. The great deserts are also part of their uniqueness.

Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash

One most important development that took place in Saudia Arabia in recent years is the availability of electronic visa also known as e visas. Ease of getting a visa online for traveling purposes is appreciable and it has comforted tourists who wanted to visit Saudia Arabia. The visa travel application for tourists is a completely online process. This allows tourists to stay up to almost 90 days in the country. Also, the cost of this e visa is affordable and the organization of the whole process is satisfactory. Therefore people who wanted to fulfill their dream of visiting Saudia Arabia and enjoy the huge developments and historic places of the country can now apply through an e visa.

Lirika Hart is a young ambitious girl who has been researching self-development for the past three years and is now focusing on her career. Her mission is to inspire others to live their dreams and be the person to whom they say; “Because of you, I never gave up.”

Tempting Activities To Try This Winter

How are you chilling this winter? Do you like this freezing weather? Many like and dislike winter, but we will tell you there are many fun activities that you can do in winter. If you hate winter maybe you should try out some activities from our list. That way, you will probably enjoy this chilling season more than you used to.

Hiking trails



activity


Although some may decide to stay put in the home, we say that hiking is an excellent activity in winter. You can go out with your family and friends and have a fun time together. When you go out, you need to be careful though, winter is exciting but not kind all the time. There are avalanche, frostbites, and other threats to watch out for.

However, if you are careful, you can have a great time hiking in winter. Rather than closing up yourself in the house, if you go hiking it will boost your health mentally and physically. Being out in the open space gives you fresh air, strengthens your immune system and keep you healthy mentally. When you are communicating with your friends and family, it keeps your mind off from any type of problems.

Although many hates winter because of snow, we think it is snow that makes winter wonderful. First of all, the snow naturally changes the entire landscape. There are many hiking trails popular for winter. Why not try them out this year? Hiking in the winter means there are no bugs bothering you while you are out. You can enjoy hiking at the fullest during this time of the year.

Once you start hiking in winter, you will cherish the surroundings and snow in no time. After that winter, it will be something you look forward to every year instead of distaste.

Motorized Bicycle ride



activity in winter


Another fun activity that will make you admire winter is riding a motorized bicycle. When you are riding, your body burns fat to produce heat which helps you deal with the cold winter. People who tend to stay at home in the winter develop mood disorders. Being limited to movements and openness can do that to you at times. But if you plan on cycling in the winter, you are getting exposure to nature that is needed. It is known to release antidepressant chemicals that keep you happy and healthy.

If you are going for a ride keep in mind that you need to be extra careful about the winter snow. Change the tire of the bike before taking it out in the cold. Every time you need to keep the bike, make sure it is a warm place. In low temperatures, batteries are less effective. So, charge it before taking it out for a ride.

Paintballing with friends


activity in winter


Paintball isn’t the best game for winter. But it still has some advantages over the other seasons.

First of all, the adrenaline rush and the excitement is great for playing the game in winter. It keeps your body warm, there is no irritation from the sweat or bugs that come across your face in other seasons. Apart from its benefits, another good reason to play paintball in winter is the time slot. Since paintball is not a popular game in winter, you are likely to get a game slot of your choice.

In the other seasons, it is hard to get the desired time slots because all good slots are booked. If you want to play paintball in winter, there are many things you need to consider. For a good game, you need the paintballs in good condition. Many people think the balls will not work or paintball is not a winter game. But playing paintball can be as fun as playing in the summer.

You just need to maintain the game accessories carefully to have a fun game. One major problem in the carbon dioxide tank. It does not function well in winter. But if you get one that has high pressure, then it will be suitable to support the winter paintball game. If you are a little careful while playing the game, paintball can be an enjoyable game in winter.

Final words


Many take winter as a gloomy cold season to stay at home. However, winter can be great if you step outside and get involved with numerous sports. Some of them are discussed in this article. Of course, there are other winter activities like skiing, sledding, ice skating, etc. Winter may be cold, but it is not a season to sit inside the home. This is one of the best times to go out and have fun with family and friends.


Lirika Hart is a young ambitious girl who has been researching self-development for the past three years and is now focusing on her career. Her mission is to inspire others to live their dreams and be the person to whom they say; “Because of you, I never gave up.”