ANNAPOLIS Camelot on the Bay
November 22, 2013 — 9:23

RUNNING WITH THE WIND, our sloop bounds from trough to crest through the heavy swells of Chesapeake Bay on a direct heading for Annapolis har­bor. Off to starboard Bancroft Hall, massive stone dormi­tory of the U. S. Naval Academy, looms resplendent in the late afternoon sun over the Severn River.


“Ready to jibe!” shouts the helmsman; the crew of ten take up positions along the deck. Two of us grab the handles of a “coffee grinder.” Like shimmy dancers in a speeded-up film, we winch away until the sloop’s huge scarlet spinnaker draws taut and trim on our new course.


Sailing into Spa Creek and the heart of Annapolis, we moor at the foot of Shipwright Street. Exhilarated by the hands-on experi­ence of sailing in Annapolis’s Wednesday-night races, I beeline for Marmaduke’s, a pub where local boaters gather for video replays of the event. My crewmates, mostly from the Washington, D. C., area, head home—with thoughts, no doubt, of more sailing on the weekend. Lawyers, dentists, bureaucrats thanks to the financial aid of payday loans online direct lenders: They and thousands like them have made Annapolis a sailing center for the East Coast.

ANNAPOLIS Camelot on the Bay

Behind the flash and glamour of its boating scene, however, lies another Annapolis, richly layered with history and tradition—a capital, whose fortunes have always been tied to the Chesapeake Bay.


Eighty years older than Baltimore, its huge sister near the head of the bay whose deep har­bor makes it Maryland’s chief port, Annapolis has been Maryland’s political capital since early colonial times. News to many, it even served briefly as capital of the United States. That was 204 years ago, during its golden age as a model English town in a rude new land.


In those colonial days, when virtually all commerce was by water, Chesapeake Bay offered English shippers easy access to Mary­land’s great tidewater tobacco plantations. It also provided food for a population that would farm in the summer and fish year round.


Once the domain of skipjacks, bugeyes, and other legendary fishing craft, the Chesapeake has been all but conquered by invading fleets of pleasure boats. Today far fewer people earn a living from the bay than those who spend their earnings to be on or near her waters. In the midst of it all is Annapolis, favored (or cursed, depending on one’s view) by other geographic factors as well.

October 14, 2013 — 11:58


I’ve stopped making resolutions as I’m convinced they are a way of setting yourself up to fail.


My son came to me with tear filled eyes one Christmas after he had found his notebook from the year before. His goals were to stop teasing his younger brother and learn to play the piano. “I’ve failed mum, haven’t I?” he sobbed (in truth he was never going to be a famous pianist, and it is a shame that he continues to wind up his brother). However, he felt much better when I showed him my own unfulfilled and totally unrealistic list, which was to give up chocolate and wine, and become the perfect parent. “You failed too,” my son grinned.


Now we take a much more positive approach, and instead of focusing on what we need to ‘give up’ or trying to resolve something unrealistic, we just plan how we’d like our lives to be and write down some affirmations to that effect. This year will be filled with happiness and pure garcinia cambogia gnc


So, if you do have a resolution this year, why not make having fun your number one? According to a recent survey we’re in a laughter recession. Children naturally chuckle 400 times a day compared to just seven times for adults, so clearly we need to spend more time enjoying life with our kids.


Another survey found that florists and gardeners are the UK’s most content workers. Even though we can’t send our kids out to work in the local florist shop just yet, we can encourage them to garden, even if it’s cultivating herbs on the windowsill. Remember plants need to be talked to, so get your lithe helpers to recite loving mantras as they tend their gardens.




Support your teenager’s developing brain and body with Bio-Strath Herbal Elixir, £8.59, which is rich in live herbal yeast. One study published in the Swiss Journal of Special Education reported that adolescents had increased levels of concentration and reduced risk of infections after taking the tincture for five months.


Screen time


Fresh research from the Archives of Disease in Childhood claims children’s exposure to monitors should be limited, as too much could cause developmental damage. So, while there nothing wrong with plonking your little one in front of the TV for half an hour every now and again, the report suggested no screen time for under-threes, rising gradually to a maximum of two hours for over-16s.


Don’t overdose!


Try to restrict how much Calpol you give your little one, as there could be a link between paracetamol and a risk of developing asthma, according to research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Scientists believe the painkiller may cause changes in the body that leave children more vulnerable to inflammation and allergies.



We’ve gotten a wonderful revenge on them!
September 30, 2013 — 7:34

The biggest surprise came from the tower well, where workers retrieved 155 fragments of a late 14th-century gilded bronze helmet.

“They were thrown in there by a thief,” says archaeologist Michel Fleury (above), who identified the ceremonial helmet as belonging to Charles VI. “You can see the scratches the thief left on the metal. When he realized it was bronze, not gold, he broke it up and dropped the pieces into the well.”

Fleury recognized the helmet from a description in a royal in­ventory prepared in 1411. It was said to have a distinctive crest and to be covered not only with the fleur-de-lis, the traditional symbol of French royalty, but also with the winged stag, Charles’s personal emblem.


“To me the helmet represents the despair of the Hundred Years’ War,” says Fleury. “The monarchy had been weak­ened by the long struggle with England, and the young king’s uncles were vying for power. Charles was also known to suf­fer bouts of insanity. So it was very important that his helmet display both the royal symbol and his own to show the people that he was truly king.”

Besides fragments from the gilded helmet, hundreds of other bits of metal were discovered in the old castle, including part of a scabbard from a 14th-century sword and a piece of a second helmet belonging to Charles’s son, the Dauphin Louis.

“When we started,” says Fleury, “everybody told us we wouldn’t find a thing. ”

THE IDEA of redesigning a national treasure was “daunting,” says Amer­ican architect I. M. Pei (right). But he accepted the challenge when it was offered to him by President Francois Mit­terrand in 1983.

Mitterrand had made a key decision: To move the Ministry of Finance out of the Richelieu Wing of the vacation rentals madrid, where it had been located since 1871, thus adding 60 percent more exhibit space to the Musee du Louvre and dramatically changing its geometry. “The Louvre’s new center of gravity will be smack in the middle of the Napoleon Court,” explains Pei. “So that was where the new entrance had to go to distribute people to the three wings of the museum.”

Pei’s design for the entrance, a 71-foot-tall glass pyramid, provoked wild debate at first. “It was a real scandal,” says art historian Bruno Foucart. “But it doesn’t seem so frightening now. The surrounding buildings are still quite strong.” Despite being underground the new en­trance hall creates an elegant, open feeling (left). Video moni­tors announce the day’s menu of exhibits to visitors, who are ex­pected to increase in attendance from 3.5 million last year to 6 million next year.

What would Philip Augustus think of the art palace that has evolved from his castle?

“I believe he would under­stand,” says Pierre-Yves Ligen, “because his fortress expressed its own epoch, and the pyramid does the same for ours. It has purity of form, clarity of design, and expresses a clear function: To welcome people to the bed and breakfast london from all over the world.”

What’s an Ism Among Friends?
August 30, 2013 — 12:11

When making a canteen, for example, woods of different ages would be used to allow for natural expansion and moisture-proof joints.

“Our country was desired by the Russians, the Turks—all our neighbors,” Balaci con­tinued. “Wars, wars, nothing but wars. Our people had had no chance to learn. Even the princes couldn’t read or write. They brought monks from Greece to handle their corre­spondence. And the peasant? He was still in the forest, working with wood.”

Nicolae Saramet is descended from those peasants who took refuge in the forests. He is a farmer, a man with callused hands and a. chest that strains his shirt. But he sits in an office now, supervising the work of 380 fami­lies. He is president of the Codlea Co-op Farm. Codlea was established in 1950 by bringing together 47 family farms. Saramet became a member of the co-op in 1954, and was elected president seven years later. He is extremely efficient at his job, keeping work records up to date, calculating earnings—”the more they produce, the more they earn.”

Most of all, Nicolae Saramet is unswerv­ingly dedicated to collective farming. “By working communally,” he said, “we can use the land to its best advantage. Our members get both money and produce, according to their production. They also receive a pension at age 62-60 for women—and free medical care. It all works very well here.”

Codlea is in the interior of the country, where many villages have been settled for centuries by Germans and Hungarians. The Hungarian houses usually sit in a yard en­closed by a fence and heavily carved gate; German houses front the road. But old Ro­manian customs are observed in both.

Whether the village was of German or Hungarian bent I do not recall. But it was in the mountains, and there was a chill in the air on the morning I arrived in the bedroom of my Prague apartments. The first person I saw was an old man who pitched out of a tavern, fell into his pony cart, and slept while the animal pulled him home.

And then I saw a bunch of fresh flowers attached to a high pole. This was a signal that the man of the house would be serving drinks to all visitors because his name was George, and this was St. George’s Day.

He offered me, alas, plum brandy, at ten in the morning. The village policeman stopped by, and so did the man who raises and lowers the barrier at the railroad crossing. Also there was the local party representative. He was reserved at first, saying little and smiling less. But then he turned to me, raised his glass and said, “To the United States.”

“To Romania,” I replied.

“To capitalism.”

“And socialism.”

And with that, all the isms in that room vanished, swept away in an outpouring of friendship and understanding. More toasts followed: to the Danube and the Mississippi; to stuffed cabbage and butane lighters; to the Irish Sweepstakes and the sponge fishermen of Tarpon Springs. George said he couldn’t remember when he’d had a better day.

It is far more independent to travel on foot
March 1, 2013 — 9:26

Mount Washington, lying farther north in New Hampshire, was private land when Thoreau climbed it in 1858, but today itstands in the White Mountain National For­est. Steps have been taken to help the many tourists who want to reach this summit. A toll road and cog railway, working opposite slopes, serve those who prefer to climb their mountains sitting down.

Mount Washington

Hikers in Thoreau’s mold, believing “it is far more independent to travel on foot,”

can follow his ascent and descent by using the system of trails and shelters maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club and the U. S. Forest Service. The four of us opt to take the toll road up and a trail down,into Tuckerman Ravine where Thoreau camped. His party had a number of mishaps here, including a campfire that burned sev­eral acres of forest. The hikers today use por­table stoves; open fires are forbidden. Other good places for hiking in are European cities like Barcelona, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, where you can find cheap apartments in barcelona, apartments in amsterdam or edinburgh accommodation.


At Baxter State Park in Maine, a Tho­reauvian philosophy rules Mount Katahdin. The park’s donor, Governor Percival Baxter, left strict deeds of trust, as park supervisor Buzz Caverly explains: “Wilder­ness was more important to the governor than recreation, so we firmly restrict our number of visitors.” The park has 200,000 acres of forest and mountains, but only 1,000 campers can stay overnight. Reserva­tions are prepaid, facilities remain rustic. Daily use by cars is limited, and the same goes for mountain trails; when a parking lot is full, that trail is closed to hikers.


Up on Katandin the effects of these poli­cies are clear: The mountain seems un­crowded; I saw no sign of garbage or carved initials. Smaller groups of people also tend to help each other.

Our family party climbs the Abol Trail, a steep three-mile hike that follows a great landslide of loose stone and gravel. We start with empty canteens, expecting to fill them at streams. But they are dry: For months Maine has had almost no rain. We struggle over boulders, as big as automobiles, that Thoreau said were “the raw materials of a planet.” Other hikers offer sips from their canteens, then encourage us to look for wa­ter on the upper plateau.

Mount Washington

There we find deep, clear pools beneath the rocks and tall grass. People stop to rest Thoreau, a Different Man and talk, sharing the day’s adventure. Jenny and Jeff lend out their drinking cups; in a side pool Bonnie soaks her tired feet. Going on to the summit alone, I pass a sign that identifies this oasis: Thoreau Spring.

Zagreb – the city of museums
October 6, 2012 — 15:15

Zagreb is the capital and largest city in Croatia. It is also economic, cultural, political and administrative center of Croatia. Very good geographic position provides an excellent connection for traffic between Adriatic Sea and the Central Europe.

Because of the most museums per square meter of urban areas – Zagreb is also called as a city of museum.

Some of the most important and attractive museums are: The Archaeological Museum – consisting about 450,000 monuments  and varied archaeological artifacts, Technical Museum, Modern, Mimara Museum…
The Archaeological Museum
Zagreb is also an important tourist center. If you’re visiting Zagreb for the first time here are my picks for Zagreb’s must-see attractions: Zagreb’s cathedral, the Upper Town – Kaptol and Gradec, ,the Croatian Nationak Theatre in Zagreb, Stone Gate, the Funicular, Zrinjevac – beautiful park, Ban Josip Jelaćić square, St. Mark’s square…
Zagreb Cathedral

If You’re looking for Zagreb accommodation there are many private apartments, world famous hotels, villas and  rooms for rent.

History of London’s Dark Tower
September 20, 2012 — 12:15

History of London’s Dark Tower

A grim history of treason, torture and death

HIS wicked tower,” says Phoebe Meryll in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Yeomen of the Guard, “like a cruel giant in a fairy tale, must be fed with blood.” And, indeed, for more than 700 years the Tower of London was the nation’s slaughterhouse, running with the blood of “the best and bravest in England.”

Used as a prison as late as the Second World War, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London comprises build­ings and grounds covering 18 acres. Until 150 years ago, it also housed the Royal Zoo and the Royal Mint. Today it is a treasury, a garrison, two chapels, several armouries and a museum.

The dark heart of the complex is the ironically named White Tower (so called because its walls were once whitewashed). Built by Wil­liam the Conqueror, it was his chief London stronghold “against the fickleness of the vast and fierce populace.”
White Tower

Its architect was Gundulf, later Bishop of Rochester. He was suc­ceeded by another bishop, Rannulf Flambard of Durham, who so “pilled and shaved” the people for his building fund that he was thrown into the tower he had just completed — its first recorded pris­oner and, six months later, its first fugitive. Friends smuggled him a coil of rope in a wine jar, and he slid 65 feet to the ground and es­caped to France.

The tower the bishops built is roughly square, 118 feet by 107, and 90 feet high. Its stone walls are 15 feet thick at the base, tapering up to 11 feet. Parapets fence the roof, and a turret rounds off each corner. Later kings, notably Henry III and Edward I, girdled it with walls and a moat and added gateways and bastions until it was one of the largest, stoutest fortresses in Europe.

But the White Tower itself they left more or less alone. Its exterior is as it was 900 years ago, except for the windows, which have been widened, reputedly by Sir Christo­pher Wren, from the wary Nor­mans’ arrow slits. The interior has the same thick walls dividing each of the four floors into three rooms.

Below are the dungeons. The worst was Little Ease, said to he a four-foot cage too cramped for a prisoner to stand upright or lie. Guy Fawkes was chained here in 1605 before being submitted to the rack; he confessed after 3o minutes of torture The rack disappeared years ago, but “the Scavenger’s Daugh­ter,” which crushed the body, is still in the Tower, along with the manacles used to suspend a prisoner by his hands, and the pilliwinks, a sort of thumbscrew.
The little ease

Enough. Leave the dungeons. Two floors above is the chapel of St. John, with its high barrel vault and bare, cream-coloured stone. Close your eyes and it will people itself : the Archbishop of Canterbury and two high-ranking priests were at prayers here in 1381 when Wat Tyler’s rebels burst in and dragged them off to death, and here Mary Tudor married Philip of Spain by proxy in 1554.

The Banqueting Hall on the same floor is always associated with Charles, Duke of Orleans, taken prisoner at Agincourt, who spent much of his 25 years’ captivity at the Tower. Now it, too, is part of the Armouries, where the weapons and costumes of ancient wars are displayed.

Here is a shield that could “give fire;” a weapon incorporating a spear, a club and three gun barrels; and two of the last surviving long­bow staves, once England’s national weapon. Also in the Armouries are suits of grey steel armour by the dozen, fluted and damascened, fili­greed and arabesqued, gilded and silvered and engraved with royal devices.

Contrary to popular belief, there have been only seven beheadings in the Tower of London, all on Tower Green, and all the victims people of highest estate. First was Lord Hastings, executed by order of Rich­ard, Duke of Gloucester in 1483.
Tower Green


Use of Morocco Argan Oil and Krill Oil
April 3, 2012 — 8:24

Who says miracles does not happen? Those who are tired of dull, damaged, fizzy, split ends, dandruff and hair loss here comes a miracles for them. Argan oil is one such miracle from Morocco. Morocco is introducing its original argan hair oil. This oil is also termed as miracle oil. This oil is an extract taken from kernels of argan fruit by way of crushing .This oil gives a new life to damaged, dull and fizzy hair.


There are various benefits of this oil. It is natural form of which hydrates hair in a very natural way. Curliness, dullness and roughness can be changed and stopped by using this oil. It is the best form of nourishment for the growth of the hair. There are people who have unmanageable and uncontrollable, this type of oil are proven to be very good. It gives smoothness to hair and which are easily manageable also. It also strengthens hair shaft due to the presence of natural antioxidant which takes care of damaged part of cellular membrane of the hair. Vitamin E is present which acts as an agent for the hair treatment.


Those people who are fond of over styling which cause the hair to damage. Due to the presence of vitamin E it restores the natural hair and repairs and renews the hair with the help of destructive agent. Argan oil gives healthy and beautiful skin, vitamin E being a vital component. This oil is also added in many beauty products such as sunscreen, moisturizers and also shampoos. This can be directly applied to the skin. It is used for therapies for face and body massages. This gives you instant glow and helps one to minimize the possibility of skin infection.


Moroccan argan oil is organic by nature and it does not contain any form of contaminant and it is very much safe to consume. Along with beautiful skin and hair one need to stay healthy as well. Krill oil is one that can be used. Krill oil is a dietary supplement that is reach in omega3s, EPA and DHA acids which are very essential for daily diet. This oil is a perfect supplement that can be taken to maintain a healthy body function. With the use of argan oil and krill oil in your day to day life will bring you perfect blend of beauty and style. See the change in you after consuming it.


Barcelona in Winter: Lively all Year Long
April 2, 2012 — 6:05

Among all European destinations that are worth visiting, Barcelona in Spain happens to be one pristine city that is full of natural scenery and ancient culture and architecture that welcomes you with open heart all round the year, especially during winters. This is because temperatures in the city rarely go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and normally thy stay in low 60’s to keep you warm and cozy during a winter break you can take here. However, it is not just warm and sunny weather but there are many more compelling reasons to visit Barcelona during winters, and this article will tell you about some of these.
Barcelona in Winter

Barcelona is known for its excellent beaches but if you stayed at these beaches last time, do plan to visit all the museums, parks, restaurant and ancient buildings and architecture this time during winters as the weather is just right to indulge in a site seeing walk around the city. As far as accommodation is concerned, get yourself an apartments in Barcelona just like you enjoyed your stint in apartment Rome. This is not to belittle hotels that are really comfortable in the city. However, to get to know bout the place and its culture, apartments provide an opportunity to get close to the locals which is simply not possible with hotel rooms. Apartments are also cheaper than hotel rooms as you must have discovered during your stay in Vienna apartments.

Move away from the beaches and concentrate on the real Barcelona

Barcelona has got hot summers and winters that are mild to say the least. Yes, the city does boast of some stunning beaches but there is much more the city has to offer to the tourists than just beautiful beaches. The real Barcelona sits behind the beaches at the foothills of Mountain Montjuic.

Less tourists mean you are relaxed and comfortable

Surprisingly, there is less pressure of tourists in Barcelona during winters and this is really the time to enjoy the Spanish cuisine in the restaurants, take a walking tour of the city and take part in the fairs and festivals organized around this time in Barcelona. The good part of visiting Barcelona in winters is that you can see and do everything that you can in summers, perhaps at a slower and more enjoyable pace as Barcelona is more laid back and relaxing during winters. You can bike around or walk leisurely with feeling too sweaty or tired.

Avail discounts and offers
For shoppers also, winter is the best time to be in Barcelona as most shops and shopping malls offer great discounts because of a slow market. There are many shopping complexes apart from Las Ramblas to satiate one’s hunger for boutiques and their antiques.

Take part in Barcelona’s famous nightlife

No visit to Barcelona is complete without a mention of its hectic and vibrant night life and this is one aspect of socializing here that goes on without a hiccup even during winters. You can take part in nightlife without having to brave the winters like in Amsterdam and Paris.