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Is the Eurostar economical?

As a regular commuter between London and Paris, I would answer this question with a resounding YES. The Eurostar service is indeed extremely economical, and undoubtedly the cheapest, easiest and most comfortable way to travel between these two great capital cities.

When the Channel Tunnel was first built back in the 1990′s, it did not have the best press here in the UK. After all, England and France have never been the greatest of friends dating right back to the Norman Conquest of 1066, the Hundred Years War, and many other incidents that made a mockery of the expression “entente cordiale”. However, the fact remains that now we have got used to it, the Eurostar is the most favoured method of travel between London and Paris, and indeed between London and Brussels, and is most definitely economical.

Just look at the logistics. Admittedly, some of the air fares at the lower end of the scale may seem cheaper than a Eurostar ticket at first glance, but when you look into their offers more closely, you will see that very few of them are operating from London Heathrow, which is the nearest Airport to the city of London. Most of them are flying between Paris/Brussels and either Gatwick, London City, or Luton for example, all of which are a couple of hours away from the centre of London and will cost you about 20.00 or 30.00 to reach the capital itself. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is also a fair distance away from the metropolis, as asois Brussels Airport. Meanwhile, Eurostar charges only 59.00 return for a journey taking you directly from the centre of London to the very heart of Paris or Brussels. You don’t have to worry about taking your bags onto other buses, trains, or expensive Airport mini-buses, or taxis. Just walk off the Eurostar and onto the metro at Paris Gare du Nord for example, and you can be on the Champs Elysees or wherever else you want to be, in a couple of minutes.

It is true that these very cheap fares have to be bought a certain amount of time in advance, and if you have to buy at the very last minute then the cost becomes much more expensive, but for most families and leisure travellers, who have to book leave from work a fair amount of time in advance anyway, this is not a problem.

Eurostar is not just economical from a financial point of view either. As stated before, it takes you to right to the heart of both cities, so if you are short on time, it is the best way to save time as well as money. As a great tennis fan, there have been many times, I have caught the 6.30am train from London, and been in my seat for the French Open Tennis tournament at Roland Garros for start of play at 11.00am. and that includes the one hour time difference which places Paris one hour ahead of London. There is no way a plane could allow one to do that, whilst coaches and buses with the ferry, may be financially cheaper, but take so long that they could never be called economical if time is a factor.

Another good thing about Eurostar is that you can be upgraded to First Class at a very cheap supplement, and this includes a free meal, unlimited free tea and coffee, and really top class service. So if you are lucky enough to get a special offer upgrade for something like 10.00, you get all those extras included for that 10.00 and what could be more economical that that?

So, in conclusion, if you are thinking of making a journey between London and Paris or Brussels, then Eurostar is the most economical way to go.

Presenting: Pablo Chufeni – Servas Traveller And A Champion Of Cross-border Youth Exchanges

I met Pablo at the Canada-US Servas Conference that was held at the beginning of August in Vancouver where I had a chance to spend about an hour and a half with him to find out more about his involvement as a volunteer for Servas, an organization with hosts and travellers in more than 130 countries whose motto is “Travel for peace” to promote greater inter-cultural understanding and tolerance. Pablo is one of those people who always has a smile on his face and he is filled with an incredible amount of energy. Through Servas he has travelled through a variety of European and North and South American countries.

As a volunteer for Servas, Pablo has tried to harness the international network of Servas in new ways, and most recently he has created an initiative that allows young Servas members to go on language exchanges free of charge that are facilitated by other Servas travellers. Both accommodation and language training are provided free of charge by local Servas hosts. So far his network of participating countries includes Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, the United States and Canada which will provide no-cost language study opportunities to young Servas members in Spanish, Portuguese, French and English.

In addition he is also organizing a youth summit for Servas, to be held in January 2006 in the resort town of Bariloche, Argentina. And he does all these activities part-time, after work, as a volunteer. Meet this bundle of positive energy – Pablo Chufeni.

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, what is your profession, where do you live now?

I’m 27 years old and I work as a theater professor in various institutes. I also study politics at the university as well as French and Portuguese. This year I started to work for the Developing Bank of the Americas in a social program here in my city, Rosario, in Argentina, where I currently live nowadays. I work in the capacitation department as a tutor for teenagers who are at risk. For 7 years I worked for the local TV station as a general producer, but that took up all my time, so now I prefer to use my days in a different way. I also work for a foundation that works with cultural promotion here in my city.

2. You have been a Servas member for a few years now. How did you hear about this organization and what was your first travel experience like?

I heard of Servas by acident,sitting at a coffee table. First I went to Europe as a traveller, but after that I organized my own local group of Servas hosts here in Rosario, and I got involved in the running of the organization. I have been to official meetings in Canada, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, UK and Uruguay. The Servas experiences are so deep and so profound that it is quite complicated to talk about them in a few lines. What I have experienced is simply amazing, it has changed my life.

3. What countries have you travelled to through Servas? What kinds of people from what places have you hosted in your home? What makes Servas travel so

special to you?

I have traveled with Servas in Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Belgium, France, Ireland, Portugal, and the UK. But I´ll make my list larger as soon as

possible!!! At my place I have hosted people from the USA, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Brazil. My house is open to Servas travellers all year long.

It´s not only the bridge that Servas builds for you, but also who is waiting for you on the other side. All the people in Servas are great and interesting, otherwise they wouldn’t open their doors and use their time to chat with you and show you their world.

4. Please tell us about your 3 favourite or most memorable travel stories.

I met a nice couple in Lisbon, she was Mexican and he was born in Angola. The time I spent with them was great. They originally met trough Servas when she was a traveller staying at his house. And now they are married!!!

I also met a guy in Brussels who ate food without cooking it and had strong opinions on flavours and health and how human beings developed the art of cooking only by following their tongue. I had another interesting travel experience with an Arab person who lived in Paris. This was simply amazing. We went together to see a show in Paris of Ute Lemper, a German singer that I always liked, and one day I saw signs in the streets of Paris, announcing one of her concerts. Unfortunately the signs said SOLD OUT! But when I returned to his house he told me, Pablo, I’ve got tickets to a show tonight in case you want to go. We had a great time at the concert.

5. Please tell us about your 3 favourite or most memorable hosting experiences.

It´s hard to say, all my guests have been great in their own way.

6. You are very actively involved in harnessing Servas as a network for learning experiences for young people. Please tell us about the language learning opportunities that you have created through Servas.

In 2003, Servas South America organized an essay contest about “The role of Servas”. I participated and ended up coming in first place. As a contest winner, I was able to attend the Youth South American meeting in Montevideo (Uruguay), also visiting Santa Teresa (Uruguay) where activities were developed for three days. Here I met Camile Costa from Sao Paulo (Brazil) who had taken Spanish classes in Chile. It was then that the idea of using Servas as a platform for developing language study exchanges for young people through Servas was born.

The program is organized in four modules, with respective classes. All the classes are weekly and 1 ½ hour in duration. The modules are: A) Language – B) Arts – C) Social – D) special Events. The young people particpating in these programs get a fully rounded picture of their host society.

7. You are also organizing the first international youth meeting of Servas in the southern hemisphere, called “Patagonia 06″, to be held in the beautiful resort town of Bariloche in Argentina during the 3rd week of January of 2006. Please tell us about this initiative.

Working hard with the help of SERVAS Argentina, the first international youth conference in the southern hemisphere will be held January 15 to 22, 2006. PATAGONIA ’06 will take place in Bariloche in the heart of Argentinean Patagonia. The landscape is simply amazing. Although our focus is not on the landscape, it provides an additional incentive to attend the conference.

SERVAS YOUTH is not only for people under 30, if you are interested in youth issues and want to help us and develop youth projects in Servas, you don’t need to be a teenager. The meeting will cost only U$D 160, which will cover four meals a day, access to every single activity, accommodation in bungalows or tents (no transportation from BsAs included).

This youth meeting will help us a lot to continue developing the position of youth in SERVAS and at the same time to grow as people. There will be three different topics during the meeting. The specific topics of Youth in Servas are: how to develop the youth position, how to reach more young people, the programs that we are already working on and how to make them grow, how can we help developing the local activities in our national group, and how to get young people involved, new programs that we can start implementing, and everything linked to the Youth issue inside Servas.

Here is the link to the PATAGONIA’06 Conference: www3.telus.net/SC/SERVAS/index.htm

8. Despite having your hands full, you are already thinking of other ways of harnessing the Servas network to provide internship and job shadowing

opportunities for young people from across the world. Please tell us more about that.

This is an idea for the near future. First I want to reach my personal goal with PATAGONIA ’06 and the international youth exchanges. Then I want to use

the Servas network to provide job opportunites to young people abroad to develop their resume and their skills.

9. You also host local “diversity meals”. What are they and what is their purpose?

I heard about “diversity meals” from Mary Jane at the United States Servas office. She told me about an activity they have in San Francisco where a number of meals are organized at various Servas members´ houses, where they become hosts to a diverse group of indivdiuals. I decided to borrow this idea and import it to the youth branch of Servas in Argentina.

Although the participants come from different cultural and educational backgrounds, commonalities surface quickly. Diversity meals are intended to foster tolerance and understanding, not just through international travel, but locally with local participants. It is not necessary to visit Bali or Nicaragua to find a different

way of understanding the world. Our neighbours next door are an equally valid option.

10. When you are not volunteering for a good cause, how do you spend the rest of your time?

Honestly I do not have any free time. I work 10 hours a day, so frequently I work on Servas projects at night, that´s why all my emails get sent out at weird times. I also go to the gym daily. In addition, my mother has a life-long medical condition, so I have to help her and stay close to her all the time just in case.

11. What are your upcoming plans, travel and otherwise?

It is always a challenge for my try to find a way to be involved in the kind of activities that I am participating in, considering the fact that I also have to earn money. If one day I find a way to get my economic needs met while working at Servas and anothers NGOs I would be absolutely happy. I always have the feeling that I´m wasting my time when I am working, thinking of all the things that I could be doing if I had the time to spend working on Servas projects. This is my personal challenge.

Thank you, Pablo, for taking your time to explain all your volunteer activities with us. We wish you the very best for you international youth language exchange program and for the Servas Youth Conference, Patagonia ’06. You are actively helping to spread the message of intercultural tolerance and peace to the next generation.

For the entire story including photos please visit http://www.travelandtransitions.com/interviews/servas_pablo_chufeni.htm

Appreciate The Excellent Galleries In Antwerp

When seeking a spirited place, Antwerp tourism opportunities are ideal. Antwerp tourism options give the traveller a custom to experience fine eating options, to drop over extraordinary sites of importance, and to drink in the rich past of the conurbation of Antwerp in Belgium. Fabulous, uniquely styled architecture, inviting and welcoming stores, magnificent past monuments, numerous art galleries, loads of , and myriad cultural activities await the visitor of Antwerp. In addition, getting around the municipality of Antwerp and to various destinations of leisure is amazingly easy, thanks to the myriad forms of public transportation accessible to tourists and metropolis inhabitants.

Antwerp has a host of museums that reminds foreigners of its illustrious former times. The Plantin Moretus Museum is a UNESCO world heritance site for its contribution of European printing while the 16th century. Antwerp zoo is one of the ancient zoos in the world. It has a mass of more than 4000 animals housed in the structure that came from the 19th century. Antwerp has a multitude churches that display diverse architecture these as the baroque church of Carolus Borromeus, and the Cathedral of our Lady, which is one of the grandest churches in Northern Europe. Other locations of importance include the conurbation hall, the ancient market square, and the Vleeshius meat house.

Take a expedition of one of the earliest zoos in the entire world; the Antwerp Zoo contains sea lions, adorable King Penguins, crocodiles, dolphins, monkeys, a vast diversification of reptiles, and fish. Plus, the Zoo is perfect for and children alike! If the zoo doesn’t appeal to you, perhaps the Royal Museum of Fine Arts will hold leisure for you. Once ruined by a devastating fire, the museum has a rich history, having been made, around 1884. Within the museum’s walls you may delight in the extraordinary work of artists like Rubens, Jacob Jordaens, and Floris Claesz van Deck.

Amusement options in Antwerp are hot tickets in Europe. The place has a repute for wonderful ballet displays and operas. You could hear the Royal Flanders Philharmonic do their magic in the concert halls around the metropolitan area. For flick breaks, the UGC Antwerpen has wonderful seats and excessive screens. Entertainment halls populate the city centre. Consult local people on the supreme spots to display amusement amid casual night outs.

Antwerp stands out from the rest of Belgium when it comes to food. While Brussels is legendary for its chocolate, Antwerp has a delicacy named “smos” which is made out of bread. It is difficult to say where the choice “smos” is, as every human in Antwerp has a various opinion about it, but one favored store is Jean-Pierre. The friendly citizens of Antwerp will gladly direct the excursionists to a zone near the university where the accepted “smos” is served.

The preferable restaurants in Antwerp do not offer Belgian food, unfortunately. The common food offered is just like the other locales with regard to ethnic food.

The economic dominance of Antwerp didn’t inaugurate with diamonds. The sheer economic success of the province dates back to the 16th century, and quite obviously, the success has carried over to modish times. Nowadays, the diamond trade is a sparkling feature that gives the conurbation its deserved lustre, yet it still gives us umpteen cultural value that citizens will appreciate.

Automotive history: Citroen Deux Chevaux (2cv)

I described the Citroen Deux Chevaux as half an egg and an engine because in profile, that is what it looks like to me. It also has to be one of the great automotive designs of all time. In terms of putting Europe on wheels, it is in the company of the original Volkswagen Beetle, the original Austin Mini, and the Renault 4. Of these, only the Beetle, commissioned by Adolf Hitler and designed by Ferdinand Porsche, (yes, that one) ever made much of a showing in North America, but the others are arguably more interesting designs. By the way, I am almost certain Dr. Porsche was not a Nazi, and his original design became the basic layout of all those legendary sports cars.

Pierre Boulanger was head of Citroen before the Second World War, when the project first was shaped. It did not see production until 1948, and by the end of the run, more than five million had been sold. The design requirements, since the 2CV was targeted at farmers who needed cheap, practical wheels, were that a man could sit in it while wearing a hat, that it could hold a bale of hay, and also carry long loads of lumber as well as passengers. To call the bodywork basic is an understatement, an absolute minimalist yet very practical bit of work. Fold-down, bolt on fenders, headlights on stalks, (but adjustable from within the car) and a roll top roof made of canvas. This was actually intended to allow awkward loads to be carried, but certainly was fun in nice weather.

The suspension was ingenious, with long travel for an amazing ride, and had only two springs for its four-wheel independent suspension. The original car had nine horsepower, and must have weighed less than eight hundred pounds. It was front wheel drive, with an air-cooled two-cylinder engine.

My most notable times driving a Deux Chevaux were one summer in Belgium. My then girlfriend owned a 1972 model, which I think had around twenty-eight horsepower. It weighed around twelve hundred pounds, amazingly light for any car, and that two cylinder never complained about being run hard all day. Getting across Brussels during rush hour involved a lot of rowing the gearshift lever, but the dents and mismatched paint gave it a take no prisoners appearance which made those in pristine Peugeots and the like quite willing to share the road.

Once we drove it to Austria, up and down those twisting alpine roads, and while it was slow, it was not a rolling roadblock to other traffic. Downhill, there was nothing faster. The thing leaned over so far in corners it felt like your elbow would brush the pavement, but actual grip was very good, on super-skinny Michelin X tyres. The dashboard mounted shifter worked fine, and on the Cote D’Azure, that roll back roof made for some wonderful cruising, especially on moonlit nights. The seats could be removed and used as picnic chairs. Fuel mileage, overall, was about fifty miles per gallon. The UK version apparently even qualified as a low emissions vehicle in the late seventies.

Cheap to buy and operate, practical, roomy, with all the benefits that come from lightweight design. What could be better? This was not a minicar, but a full four seater with legroom to spare. Deux Chevaux have competed in some of the world’s toughest rallies and endurance events. They even race the things on road circuits in England and elsewhere. With modified engines putting out 35-45 horsepower, they can do about 150 kph on a long straight. I’ve seen one of these events, and the competition is furious. There are 2CV clubs, competitions and shows all over the world. In our country try Citroen Autoclub Canada.

There is not a car manufacturer today that could not learn from this design.

Travel Europe – Amsterdam Travel

So you are thinking for a travel to Amsterdam. Well, before you opt for a travel, I guess it is nice for you to know first some of the basic facts about Amsterdam, especially the mode of transportation. It is best that you know how to get there and how to get around for an ultimate Amsterdam travel.

Getting There

Amsterdam is actually accessible by air, by bus or by train, depending on your exact location.

By Air:

Note that when you go for your Amsterdam travel by air, the flights to the city usually arrive in the Schiphol Airport, which is approximately 18 kilometers away, southwest of the city center. From the Schiphol airport, the trains typically leave for Central Station every 20 minutes and so the journey takes 20 minutes. Then, from the Central Station, you’ll get to have a taxi ride to town which takes approximately 15 minutes and the journey will cost you approximately €30. However, the cost actually depends on which part of the town you are going to.

Also important to consider when you prefer to take your Amsterdam travel by air is that some budget airlines are starting to fly to Rotterdam Airport, which is approximately one hour from the city via bus.

By Train:

As mentioned earlier, you can take your Amsterdam travel by train as there are domestic and international trains that travel going to Amsterdam. They typically arrive in the Central Station, which is located in the heart Amsterdam’s city center.

By Bus:

The buses arriving and leaving from the city of Amsterdam do so from Amstel Station. This station is actually linked to Centraal Station by metro. And, the buses leaving for London, Brussels, and Amsterdam’s other cities depart from the Amstel Station.

Getting Around

On your Amsterdam travel, note that you can stroll around the city on foot, by bike, by tram, or by bus or metro, as these are the usual mode of transportation around the city.

On Foot:

Actually, the central part of Amsterdam city is just easy to get around. However, most of what is within apart from the Red Light District and Dam Square, most of what there is to see is a short tram or bike ride away.

By Bike:

Here is a great tip for your Amsterdam travel: the best way to see the entire city of Amsterdam is to travel by bike. Today, there are more than 500,000 bikes in the city. As such, you can hire one of them for about €7 per day. Perhaps the most important thing to consider is to lock your bike, as bike theft is a huge problem in Amsterdam.

By Bus/Metro:

Both the tram and metro are useful for your ultimate Amsterdam travel. These are highly useful if you are traveling outskirts, but otherwise you probably won’t need to use them. In Amsterdam, there are two metro stations, at the Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein, while the bus stops are not as sparse.

By Tram:

Finally, you can take your Amsterdam travel by tram, the most important mode of public transport in the Dutch capital. In the city, there are 15 different lines and they are the backbone of the city’s public transport network. Just note that the best tram for your Amsterdam travel is No.20, which stops close to most of the tourist attractions.

Terrific Antwerpen Has Captivating Parks

When seeking a spirited mecca, Antwerp tourism opportunities are ideal. Antwerp tourism options give the traveller a custom to experience fine eating options, to see extraordinary locations of importance, and to drink in the rich past of the center of Antwerp in Belgium. Fabulous, uniquely styled architecture, inviting and welcoming stores, magnificent ancient monuments, numerous art galleries, an abundance of , and myriad enlightening activities await the visitor of Antwerp. In addition, getting around the place of Antwerp and to mixed destinations of importance is amazingly easy, thanks to the myriad forms of public transportation accessible to guests and borough inhabitants.

As with legions other locales in historically rich Belgium, Antwerp has a magnificent olden days. The area is a paradise for those who think the world of literature, art, or even architecture as seen in spots like the Rubenshuis, the Plantin Moretus Museum, and the Cathedral of Our Lady, respectively. Since it is the diamond capital of the world, one might ask where one can buy some terrific diamonds. As mentioned earlier, 3/4ths of the world diamond trade happens in Antwerp, so the question is misleading, as one may buy diamonds just about anywhere in Antwerp. The terrific would never be in question either as the pride of the province exists in the diamonds one brings home.

Alongside from the casual stroll and site-seeing, there are other frolic and insightful activities that you could do in Antwerp. Indispensable tours in Antwerp include the Port Antwerp trip. The port is the 2nd largest in Europe and the 5th greatest in the world. This port was one of the instruments of free trade in Europe as it welcomed goods from Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The Antwerp Ghostwalk is a center itineration that explores the darker side of Antwerp. The peregrination tells the collapse of Antwerp due to a succession of wars before present it turned around and became termed it is nowadays.

The Pelgrom comes to mind as a divergent form of pleasure. It is a building that has a phenomenal pub underground. It also boasts the “poortershuis,” a remake of a 17th century meeting community. One other thing of note when it comes to pleasure is the little obvious view of the conurbation skyline when one takes the pedestrian tunnel in St. Jansvliet. It is simply breathtaking to see how the diamond capital of the world sparkles at night. The view is nothing short of dazzling. For shoppers, seeing the Meir is a fine idea, especially for those looking for brand heading items.

Antwerp stands out from the rest of Belgium when it comes to food. While Brussels is outstanding for its chocolate, Antwerp has a delicacy called “smos” which is made out of bread. It is difficult to say where the ultimate “smos” is, as every character in Antwerp has a unlike opinion about it, but one famed store is Jean-Pierre. The friendly members of public of Antwerp will gladly direct the day-trippers to a suburb near the university where the notorious, “smos” is served.

The preferable restaurants in Antwerp do not offer Belgian food, unfortunately. The common food offered is just like the other locales with regard to ethnic food.

Antwerp’s past events as a trading hub allowed it to accumulate humanism and past disparate from other metropolitan areas in Belgium. Present, Antwerp is going back to top form economically. Antwerp is one of the rare tourist ports in Europe that is classic and active, ready to bring its spontaneity in the new century.

Eco-Minded Skiers Take the Train

This ski season, if you’re planning to take a ski trip, skip the long, annoying security checks at the airports and take the train instead.

It’s no secret that air travel is less environmentally friendly than train travel. Eurostar train operators in Europe have decided to compete with airlines to transport travelers to The Alps.

Eurostar is the first operator in the world to offer ‘carbon neutral’ journeys for all its travellers – at no extra cost. Newly opened Ebbsfleet offers seven trains per day to Paris and five per day to Brussels. Trains travel as fast as 186 mph, making your trip as short as possible. And as economically friendly as possible to boot.

Eurostar plans to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions by twenty-five per cent per passenger by 2012 with their ‘Tread Lightly’ plan. A train trip with Eurostar generates ten times less carbon dioxide than an airplane trip. In addition to generating fewer emissions, Eurostar plans to offset the emissions they cannot eliminate. Travellers who travel with Eurostar may not realize it, but they are making the environmentally responsible choice.

‘We know that thousands of travellers want to be on the first trains on High Speed 1. We are expecting heavy demand from customers keen to enjoy even faster, shorter journeys to the Continent, and who want to see the stunning restoration of St. Pancras International Station,’ says Eurostar’s Chief Executive, Richard Brown.

Independent research commissioned by Eurostar has shown that a trip from London to the French Alps generates 24 kilograms of carbon dioxide per passenger. In comparison, a typical return flight London Heathrow-Geneva generates 191 kilograms of carbon dioxide while a round trip between Gatwick and Geneva generates 169 kilograms of carbon dioxide per passenger.

An increasing number of skiers are using high speed rail to ski in the French Alps. Since July 2006, more than 33,000 skiers, an increase of 43 per cent from the previous ski season, have used Eurostar to travel to the Alps.

Not only is it more environmentally friendly, it cuts back on transfer problems and lost baggage associated with flying. Travelling with Eurostar helps avoid lengthy coach rides and transfers travellers have to deal with when flying. Eurostar’s stations, located high in the Alps, require only a short bus ride to resorts.

For skiers convenience, Eurostar has travel packages that include round trips to The Alps. Some of their most popular travel incentive packages include overnight travel on Friday night to arrive Saturday morning, or Saturday trips that allow travellers to take in the beautiful scenery along the way.

Eurostar also offers select packages at a slightly higher rate. These select packages offer slightly more roomy accommodations, meals and drinks served at the passenger’s seat.

This ski season, weigh your options. The plane trip may be quicker, but then you have the worries of lost luggage, coach rides and transfers to and from the resorts. The train trip may take a little longer, but much less hassle.

Whatever mode of transportation you choose, have a safe and happy ski season!

Glide Between London and Paris with Eurostar Train

The Eurostar is a high speed train service connecting London and Kent in Britain, with Paris and Brussels in Europe. It is the world’s most advanced train, whisking you under the sea through the famous Channel Tunnel in luxurious surroundings, taking just 20 minutes at a record speed of 186 mph.

The first trains ran in November 1994 and since then, Eurostar has established a dominant share of the market on the routes it serves. With the announcement that the Channel Tunnel Rail Link will open into London St Pancras station on November 14, 2007 the Eurostar service will enjoy “High Speed 1″ status.

Eurostar claims the journey times match or beat air flights, thus making it an alternative to air travel for holidays in Europe. Fares include the price of the ticket and seat reservation. Meals are included for Business Premier and First Class fares. The service is also non-smoking!

Food in first class is better than that served in the economy seats of a plane and comes served separately with metal cutlery and complimentary half-bottles of wine.

There is also the convenience factor. If you live in London, instead of enduring a 40 minute trip to Heathrow, you can make it to Waterloo Station in just 10 minutes, thus shortening your trip.

If you get a seat in the first class (not premium first), not only does the leg-room double, but seemingly, so does the seat size.

From those who have travelled on Eurostar for weekend leisure visits to Europe, comes a trick for getting cheaper tickets. The idea is to book your tickets in reverse to take advantage of leisure fares coming in from the French side. So instead of booking London to Paris Monday to Friday, book Paris to London Friday to Monday. You will see a massive difference in price.

Some say it’s cheaper to buy an air ticket, but if you add on airport taxes, the cost of getting out to one airport and then finding your way into the city from another airport, then all the drinky snacky things you’ll buy on the way, you’d be hard pushed to do the trip for less than the Eurostar ticket. It will also take you much longer and be a much less pleasant journey.

A day trip from London to Paris, or vice-versa? No problem. By plane? It would be a nightmare! The Eurostar also caters very well for disabled people, so if you’re disabled, there’s another plus.

There are another few useful things worth knowing about Eurostar: they sell gift vouchers, which make nice presents. All their timetables are available on the internet, as are booking facilities and even details of how to book onward journeys if you want to transfer to another train to go elsewhere in France.

The downside at present, is that Eurostar’s rail network is not very extensive, which means finding more train connections if you’re going anywhere other than London, Paris and Brussels. But there are plans ahead for the service to extend across Europe. The day may come when you can catch a sleeper from London and wake up in Rome.

Airline reviews: Air France

Air France

Enhance your trip to France via Air France by combining your air itinerary with the reliable and luxurious SNCF, the French rail operator. Joining air and rail travel itineraries through Air France saves you time and money with cut-rate fares. You also have the ease of using advance ticketing. You need not worry about arriving late at the airport in Paris-Air France will automatically book you onto the first available flight or rail departure upon your arrival.

Air France offers low fares. Since the promotions change from time to time, it is best to check with your travel agent or go directly to the Air France website at www.airfrance.us .

Trains in Europe are comfortable and run on time. Air France makes it possible to fly to Paris and then shuttle by train to Brussels Belgium in a trip that last less than 100 minutes. Amazing. Whether Brussels is a side trip or a destination, you can visit the city for a few hours and return to Paris the same way a few hours later or whenever you choose.

Air France makes it easy:

Only one reservation required for both air and rail travel

Electronic ticketing offered

It takes about 15 minutes to move from airport terminals to rail stations

Travel in comfort in special Air France First Class coach with refreshments offered

At Paris Charles de Gaulle, Air France provides a complementary baggage service to transport your baggage between the station and flight terminal for a small additional fee

Very often the time saved over air travel is significant. Consider the distance and short travel time to and from Paris/Brussels. Flying would take much longer and possibly involve airport security or other delays.

Air France Buses

For about $17, you can avoid a very expensive cab ride from Charles de Gaulle Airport to your hotel in the center of Paris on comfortable and secure Air France buses. Once downtown, you can easily hail a taxi for a few Euros or even ride the swift and clean subway.

Service is reliable with coaches departing every half hour to and from Paris between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

You can book this service via toll-free line from U.S. and Canada 1-866-427-4882 or by email: info@linkparis.com .

Give credit where it is due: Air France is leading the way in supporting a clean environment, minimizing as it can their own impact on the environment, knowing the many challenges of controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

Air France even provides a new tool and formula so that you can calculate the CO2 emissions generated by your trip! The calculator is available on their website.

You do not need to speak French to travel on Air France but you can expect to be surrounded by the culture in First Class. Would you like to relax, work and sleep whenever you choose? Try Business Class. Or, take advantage of the very low fare promotions in Economy. Either way, Air France has a lot to offer.

Phenomenal Antwerpen Has Compelling Tourist Attractions

When seeking a spirited trap, Antwerp tourism opportunities are ideal. Antwerp tourism options give the traveller a mode to experience fine eating options, to visit extraordinary sites of importance, and to drink in the rich past of the place of Antwerp in Belgium. Fabulous, uniquely styled architecture, inviting and welcoming stores, magnificent chronicled monuments, numerous art galleries, a quantity of , and myriad civilizing activities await the visitor of Antwerp. In addition, getting around the place of Antwerp and to diverse destinations of activity is amazingly easy, thanks to the myriad forms of public transportation accessible to guests and place inhabitants.

Antwerp has a host of museums that reminds foreigners of its redoubtable days gone by. The Plantin Moretus Museum is a UNESCO world patrimony site for its contribution of European printing when, the 16th century. Antwerp zoo is one of the earliest zoos in the world. It has a amassing of more than 4000 animals housed in the structure that came from the 19th century. Antwerp has umpteen churches that display diverse architecture these as the baroque church of Carolus Borromeus, and the Cathedral of our Lady, which is one of the grandest churches in Northern Europe. Other places of affection include the municipality hall, the old market square, and the Vleeshius meat house.

Beside from the casual stroll and site-seeing, there are other celebration and insightful activities that you can do in Antwerp. Crucial tours in Antwerp include the Port Antwerp expedition. The port is the 2nd largest in Europe and the 5th biggest in the world. This port was one of the instruments of free trade in Europe as it welcomed goods from Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The Antwerp Ghostwalk is a city excursion that explores the darker side of Antwerp. The trip tells the collapse of Antwerp due to a succession of wars antecedently it turned around and became known as it is present.

Pleasure options in Antwerp are hot tickets in Europe. The conurbation has a name for glorious ballet displays and operas. You may hear the Royal Flanders Philharmonic do their magic in the concert halls around the metropolitan area. For film breaks, the UGC Antwerpen has splendid seats and jumbo screens. Entertainment halls populate the city centre. Consult local people on the superior spots to show diversion while casual night outs.

Antwerp stands out from the rest of Belgium when it comes to food. While Brussels is talked about for its chocolate, Antwerp has a delicacy termed “smos” which is made out of bread. It is difficult to say where the foremost “smos” is, as every character in Antwerp has a unlike opinion about it, but one favoured store is Jean-Pierre. The friendly citizens of Antwerp will gladly direct the strangers to a habitat near the university where the notorious, “smos” is served.

The preferable restaurants in Antwerp do not offer Belgian food, unfortunately. The common food offered is just like the other spots with regard to ethnic food.

Antwerp is a tourist spot that must not be missed by humans taking a European road journey. It is enthralling to learn how Belgium and Antwerp mattered in world affairs for the duration the centuries. Stop by Antwerp and experience Belgium’s experiences at its most beautiful.