Monday, April 30, 2012

The Many Pleasures of Dubai

The beautiful city of Dubai in the Middle East is a tourist’s delight. There are many tourist destinations and attractions that you can indulge in Dubai. The beauty of Dubai is such that people of all age groups can visit here and enjoy themselves. The Dubai tourism packages takes you to a whole lot of places such as the deserts of Dubai where you can have a memorable time with a royal feast and belly dancers, the theme parks such as the Ski Dubai, the Wadi water park, the various museums and galleries , the Dubai Beach and the Creek and loads of such destinations.

The Dubai packages also promise you some of the most popular places of visit such as the Burj Khalifa, the Burg Al Arab Hotel, and The Jumeirah Beach hotel and so on.
Known for its mystical splendour, Dubai doesn’t fall short of adventures which will leave you breathless. The city is gifted with natural landscape which supports adventure tourism. The facilities and infrastructural development has ensured that adventure tourism serves as a huge attraction. Dubai has a variety of adventure sports lined up for the venture hungry soul. You can choose from the following list: Desert Safaris, Mountain Climbing, Sky Diving, Scuba Diving, Water Surfing, Sailing, Snorkeling, Swimming, Go Karting, Wadi Bashing,and Dune Bashing.
Desert Safari’s are by far the most enjoyable in Dubai. It takes you through the arid land in what seems like a roller coaster ride in a car. These safari’s are mostly arranged in the afternoon such that the tourist can end a safari by seeing the sun set in the evening.

The shopping destinations in Dubai are the highlight of the Dubai tourism . The Dubai Mall, which is the largest shopping mall in the world and other smaller malls and souks are the best that you could think of in Dubai. Shopping is a great pass time in Dubai.
In Dubai, the gold market is known as The Gold Souk. There are a number of shops within this area which sell gold jewellery. The most amazing fact about this place is that you will never be able to see such a large congregation of gold jewellery anywhere else in the world. Usually, the souks are crowded, you will find that there is very little security for the gold shops in this place which is astonishing. It is best to visit during the evening time. You may find yourself lost in the vast collection of jewels leaving you indecisive. So, make sure you allot plenty of time for this.
In Dubai, Gold prices are the cheapest, this is the main factor drawing tourists to purchase gold on Dubai. There are two gold markets in Dubai.
Travelling to Dubai is extremely popular also because of easy accessibility of Dubai from various parts of the world. Come visit Dubai with Mercury Travels and fulfill all your shopping and adventure fantasies.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

France, the most romantic country in the world, is an exquisite journey of discovery.

Few things can compare to watching life go by on a quaint Paris boulevard, as you sit in a picture-perfect street café, lazily sipping on decadent French wine.

Except, perhaps, the mesmerizing view from the famous Eiffel Tower, or the iconic Arc de Triomphe.

Stroll leisurely down the Champs-Élysées. Shop to your heart’s content at Galeries Lafayette, be spellbound by the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay. Sneak a peek at the original cabaret, the Moulin Rouge.

Follow a wine trail into the lush countryside in Bordeaux. Get a taste of its exquiste vineyards and prestigious châteaux in the Médoc region. Experience the medieval village of Saint-Émilion.

Explore the majestic peaks, dense forests and idyllic lakes in the Rhône-Alps region.
Take a scenic train ride into the mountain village of Chamonix, rise above Europe’s highest peak, the Mont Blanc, in a cable car.
Get a flavor of the French gastronomy at a traditional bouchon in Lyon. Linger over a romantic meal at a quaint waterfront restaurant in Annecy, the Venice of the Alps.
Soak up the sun in Nice, the capital of the French Riviera. Rub shoulders with the rich and famous in Cannes.
Cruise  down the picturesque canals around the Grand Île, explore the Petite France area, in Strasbourg
Raise a toast to the finest bubbly in the world in Champagne. Pay a heady visit to the famous Dom Perignon Champagne house.
Explore France with Mercury Travels. Its beauty will leave you speechless.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The beautiful Czech Republic. A whiff of European history, a taste of world-class beer.

Historic towns with enchanting squares. Gothic castles. Renaissance chateaux. A holiday in the Czech Republic is truly a journey through the sands of time.
Discover the cobblestoned streets of the Lesser Town, and the historic 14th century Charles Bridge in Prague. Take a breathtaking cruise down the Vltava river. Explore the largest castle complex in the world, the Prague Castle.
Pay your respects at the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, watch time stand still as the medieval Astronomical Clock ticks on. Catch the 12 Apostles on the hour.
Embrace the traditions and legends of Prague’s Jewish heritage at the museums, synagogues and Jewish quarters.
Indulge in some frenetic shopping, enjoy a night on town at one of Prague’s glittering nightspots.

Enjoy the exquisite blend of mime, ballet, film and dance, coupled with mesmerizing visual effects, at a unique Black Light Theatre performance, in Prague.
Admire the gorgeous view of the magical town and winding river from the tower of Cesky Krumlov Castle in Southern Bohemia, take in its Baroque Theater and Castle Garden.
Visit Europe’s oldest and finest spas, like Karlovy Vary nestled in a picturesque forested valley, drink from twelve unique thermal springs.
Follow an intoxicating beer trail to the Plzeň brewery in Bohemia, the spiritual home of beer. Tuck into sumptuous potato pancakes at a medieval tavern.
Explore the breathtaking Czech Republic with Mercury Travels. In this fairytale land, no experience will be too far.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Switzerland – a cultural confluence in the heart of Europe

Whether it's the lakes, chocolate, watches, the Alps, or just their famed neutrality, a holiday to Switzerland offers a wealth of history, culture and activities to enjoy.

Switzerland captivates with its breathtaking mountains, clear blue lakes, Alpine villages, fairytale castles, lakeside chalets, fields of edelweiss and beautiful cultured cities. The snow-capped Alps, Europe’s highest mountains, abound with awe-inspiring glaciers and gigantic rock-formations. Frothy streams rush down the mountains and waterfalls thunder into valleys. They provide a spectacular backdrop for some picturesque villages with traditional painted houses. The reflection of the pines shimmers on the crystal-clear blue surface of the mountain lakes. The Alpine meadows are breathtakingly beautiful. South of the Alps is the Mediterranean ambience of beaches with palm trees, outdoor cafés, promenades and quaint houses with stone-dotted roofs.
Switzerland is a country much more than dramatic landscapes, quaint country settings, chocolates, cheese and watches. The destination’s central location in the heart of Europe with its largest lakes—Geneva, Constance (Bodensee), and Maggiore—straddling the French, German-Austrian, and Italian borders, respectively wonderfully combines the cultural influences of its neighbours, truly making it one of its kind in the European continent.
Founded 700 years ago, Switzerland is now a multicultural and hospitable country and home to 7.4 million people. The diverse linguistic, culinary, architectural and musical traditions shape the Swiss culture in different parts of the country such as the regions of Basel, Zurich, Geneva and the ’King of all mountains’ – Matterhorn conveniently accessible by  the Glacier Express.
Visit Mt Pilatus, Jungfraujoch, Gornergrat, Glacier 3000, Mt Titlis and Schilthorn summit all built up at over 3,000 meters above sea level. Explore the scenic mountain trails with opportunities for hiking, bicycling, golfing, gourmet dining, sophisticated culture and nightlife, incorporates a unique cross-cultural confluence like no other in the heart of Europe.
Zurich, in northwest Switzerland, is home to the Opera House, Grossmünster Church and the Swiss National Museum. Check out the unbeatable shopping, high culture, music and club events, art galleries and great restaurants the city offers. Visit the fascinating city of Basel, Switzerland's oldest university town, which presents the very best in modern art and architecture with attractions ranging from the Doll's House Museum to the Swiss Architecture Museum. The new thrives with the old in the rich cultural cities of Bern and Geneva. Stroll through the city streets, taking in the medieval arcades with modern boutiques; modern architecture within easy reach of the Roman ruins, Medieval castles and Baroque cathedrals.
Spend time in the charming city of Lucerne. Roam its cobbled lanes, past fresoced medieval guildhalls, quirky shopping, down to the lakefront quays, where ferries stand against a backdrop of snowy peaks! Of course, no visit to Lucerne can be complete without a visit to the original Bucherer showroom, famed for its intricately handcrafted watches, clocks, including the Guinness Book of Records certified ‘largest roller ball clock in the world’, and exquisite jewellery conjured out of pearl and gemstone.
For those seeking a more cultural or historical experience – Switzerland boasts over 700 museums, acclaimed art collections and numerous festivals. So whether it's Geneva's Red Cross Museum, the classical musical events of Lucerne or Zurich's spring festival, there is plenty to see and do.

Switzerland is chocolate heaven. But there is more to Swiss cuisine than just chocolate and cheese. The gourmet restaurants in its charming cities or quaint restaurants in idyllic remote country areas offer delicious local specialities made from local produce – like the asparagus from the village farmer’s field, fish from the neighbouring river or lake or honey from the local meadow. Taste wines with the winegrower, check out the chocolate factory, check out the over 450 varieties of cheese and of course, enjoy the fondue.

Whether it’s skiing down glaciers or walking the hills, cable car riding up Alpine mountain peaks or driving across breathtaking vistas, indulging in chic European shopping or relaxing at cosmopolitan cafés, Switzerland is the perfect destination for an unforgettable holiday with Mercury Travels.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Tour de France

France is the most visited country in the world. It offers a wide array of holiday attractions: great cities like Paris, Bordeaux, Strasbourg Marseille, Nice and Lyon, glorious golden beaches in the French Riviera, an impressive number of monuments, lovely countryside, verdant vineyards, incredible mountain scenery, and amazing things to do from skiing to enjoying the theme parks.

Paris, the City of Lights, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. This romantic city has attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame, the Centre Pompidou and the Louvre Museum. There are so many things to see and do in Paris and just as many places to enjoy the vibrant nightlife.
A great way to begin the day is with breakfast of steaming coffee and flaky, freshly baked croissants on a buzzing Paris boulevard. For those on a family holiday with children, Paris and its surroundings are also home to some great theme parks like the Parc Asterix and Disneyland Paris. The Parc Asterix, located 35 km north of Paris, is an Asterix and Obelisk themed amusement park with an array of rollercoasters, and takes visitors on a journey through ancient Gaul, the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages right up to the 21st century. Disneyland Paris, often referred to as Euro Disney, is on the wish list of the young and the young at heart.
The Atlantic Ocean borders the west of France. In the north, Normandy and Brittany have rolling hills, rugged coast, sandy beaches, quiet little harbour towns and luxury resorts like Deauville. They have a distinct atmosphere and you can still sense the Celtic origin of the region in its inhabitants.
The Champagne-Ardenne wine region located in the north east of France is renowned for its production of the bubbly- Champagne! The historic city of Reims is the gateway to this region.
In the east of France are Alsace, Lorraine, and Burgundy regions. The landscape has rolling hills and beautiful cities such as Metz, Strasbourg, Nancy and Dijon. It is famous for its many wines, including the magnificent Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
In the centre of France is the fabulous Loire Valley with many great castles and beautiful towns. Tours, a city of captivating charm, is the gateway to the Loire Valley, fairytale Chateaux country. Chartres is best known for the Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral, considered to be the finest Gothic cathedral in France and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Alps are great for skiing in winter and hiking in summer. Chamonix is a must-visit ski destination as are the quaint towns of Annecy and Grenoble.
The sprawling vineyards and the medieval charm of the Aquitaine region need no introduction. The elegant city of Bordeaux is an interesting blend of tradition and modernity. The promise of the sea in Biarritz is an instant lure for sun worshippers.
The Riviera in the South of France with its lovely beaches and good food draws tourists and celebrities alike. Provence is dotted with pleasant small villages. Languedoc has its own language and culture. The medieval town of Carcassonne is a must-visit destination The Pyrenees, a great mountain range separating France from Spain, has opportunities for hiking and skiing. Embark on a spiritual quest with a trip to Lourdes.
Each region of France unravels itself through its unique monuments, its cuisine, wines, its way of life. Each province of France has its own identity, something truly distinctive from the rest that makes it so special, so different and yet an integral part of France.
Whether your idea of a holiday in France is strolling hand in hand along a cobble-stoned boulevard, enjoying with the kids at the theme parks, spending a relaxing afternoon sipping coffee, or glamming it up for an evening of wining and dining and then a trip to the Opéra, France has something for everyone.
A Tour de France is certainly a unique and fabulous way to experience France. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Czech Republic – Stunningly Different

Located in the heart of Europe, the Czech Republic is a fascinating country offering spectacular heritage sites, world famous spas, international events, and unique experiences.

The Czech Republic has always been Europe´s true hub, giving you today the chance to taste a modern European lifestyle in a breathtaking architectural and natural setting. It is truly amazing that a small country of only 79,000 sq km is home to 12 charming UNESCO sites.
Prague considered by many as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Textbook of architectural styles with its wealth of monuments, a city filled with music and romance is also a modern city full of life and entertainment. Its magical atmosphere of 1000-year history, effortlessly brings together its old charms and modern lifestyle. Admire Gothic architecture at the Charles Bridge or St Vitus Cathedral; be impressed by a Baroque pompous style at St Nicolas Church; Art Nouveau comes alive at the Municipal House, while the House of Black Madonna is a Cubist lover’s delight. It’s no wonder then that the central part of the city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site already in 1992. Experience the surrealistic settings of Franz Kafka’s novels in Prague, the Golden City of Hundred Spires, where cobblestoned streets, quaint cafés, and walks by the Vltava River set the tone for a beautiful stay. For a laid-back day, grab a local brew and traverse the length of Prague’s Lesser Quarter, a picturesque part of town with charming houses, stunning churches, and courtyards.
Prague is a Mecca for musical performances, local and international artistes have held countless music dos and performances at the over dozens concert halls, cinemas, and music clubs in the city.
Český Krumlov is another beautiful and scenic Czech town, which lies south of Prague, close to the Austrian border. Charming and iconic castle and medieval houses with cobblestoned streets conceal numerous secret legends and myths, dominated by a castle stretching over the meandering Vltava River.
In June each year, the three-day Festival of the Five-Petal Rose, held as a tribute to the famous Lords of Rosenberg who once ruled the place, returns Český Krumlov to the Renaissance era. The town comes alive with street plays, craft fairs, jousts, music, dance, and fencing duels.
Embark on a Krumlov Mystery Tour to experience the mysterious stories and secret messages graven in the city’s historical buildings. Another must-do is a tour in the local brewery. The tradition of brewing beer in Český Krumlov goes back many centuries with the first written documentation in a deed from the reeve Michal dating 1336.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Český Krumlov is also a lively town surrounded by unspoiled countryside. Enjoy the historic sites and landscape scenery of the surrounds on a boating, rafting or bike trip. The cosy inns, coffee shops, and ancient taverns entertain a diverse international crowd.
Karlovy Vary, also known by its English name of Carlsbad, is a beautiful, world-renowned spa town. Nestled amid the picturesque forests of West Bohemia, Karlovy Vary was founded in 1358 by King Charles IV. Down the years, celebrities such as Russian Tsar Peter the Great and the famous poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe praised the curative effects of the town's mineral springs. More recently Karlovy Vary has also become famous for the annual International Film Festival attended by many internationally famous directors and film stars.
Walk along the enchanting open air colonnades that are an inherent part of the historical city centre. Taste the town's famous mineral springs including the largest and best known Vridlo (Giant Spring), which spurts its healing waters to a height of almost 17 metres.
Karlovy Vary is also famous for the world renowned Bohemian crystal, Moser, and Thun porcelain. A taste of the traditional, local liqueur Becherovka made of herbs, and also called a 13th spring, is recommended to complete the Karlovy Vary experience.
Unique cuisine, hundreds of different beer flavours with famous brands like Pilsner Urquell or Original Budweiser, shopping for the renowned Bohemia Crystal, the warmth of friendly people and the relaxed atmosphere in the Czech Republic - Come with Mercury Travels and visit a fairy tale land where no experience is too far.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Calgary Stampede, Canada from July 6-15, 2012. Watch the world’s meanest Cowboys battle to be the best.

In 1912 the great Stampede was born from the vision of Guy Weadick, a famous working cowboy and vaudeville entertainer featured in the traveling wild-west shows that were popular world-wide in the early 1900s. He was a man with a dream of celebrating the romance of the old west.

            The Stampede we enjoy today has evolved from Guy's vision. Weadick was a dreamer, but a dreamer with a difference. As well as being a showman and a performer, Weadick was a promoter and organizer extraordinaire, and he had the substance to make his dream a reality. The only thing this cowboy lacked was money.
He haunted the lobby and the bar of the Alberta Hotel and told his story to anyone who would listen. Finally, a meeting was arranged with E.L. Richardson, General Manager of the Calgary Industrial Exhibition. Faced with an Exhibition that had been slowly losing steam and in need of a new spark of life, Richardson was intrigued and thought that Weadick's hair brain scheme might keep the exhibition from sinking into the red again. Weadick needed a $100,000 bankroll and Richardson assured Weadick that if responsible financial backers came along, he would recommend a rental of the Exhibition Grounds, but that would be the limit of his involvement.
As Weadick, frustrated and dispirited, returned to the Alberta Hotel, he was met by a man who had heard his story. He introduced himself as H.C. McMullen, general livestock agent for the Canadian Pacific Railway. He listened to Weadick's proposition and asked for a week to arrange a meeting between Weadick and four prominent Calgarians: George Lane, A.E. Cross, A.J. McLean and Patrick Burns. These men, who later became the Big Four, agreed to back the project to a total of $100,000 and the deal was cemented with a handshake. It would be known as The Stampede and if it proved to be as successful as Weadick expected it to be, the word Stampede would always be synonymous with Calgary. The first Stampede, held in September of 1912, was everything Weadick promised - a resounding public success. Thus the stage was set and the script written for The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

The winner of each event during the Showdown on the final Sunday will walk away with $100,000, double the amount of last year's payout, making it the 'world's richest ride in rodeo'. As Guy Weadick stated in 1912, The money is here, come and get it.


The parade opens up the Stampede, and is always the first Friday morning of the Stampede. The parade is always a highlight of the Stampede, even for people who've lived in Calgary all their lives. About the only people who skip it are those hung-over from the night before's festivities. The parade is televised locally and across Canada (9:30 - 11:30 am). It attracts about 250,000 people, plus another million on TV). The parade begins west on 6th Avenue at MacLeod Trail, and continues to 10th Street SW, and then east again on 9th Avenue. The parade begins at 9 am, and runs till about noon (depending on where on the route you are).



The Rodeo is a hit with big audiences and the world's top cowboys/cowgirls. It is exciting to watch the world's best competitors and world-champion rodeo stock battle for glory and the lure of over one million dollars in prize money. The Calgary Stampede is the only regular season rodeo to offer one million dollars. The world's top professional cowboys and rodeo stock come together for unparalleled excitement!