Life in the Fast Lane – Renting an Exotic Car in Central Park

If you are travelling across the USA and spending some time in New York, you may be interested in finding different ways to experience the fascinating and exciting city.  On a recent trip there, I discovered a great little thing you can do – hire a luxury car and drive around Central Park.  If you want to feel part of the wealthy crowd that inhabit New York, this is definitely something you should look into.

I mean, the whole point of renting a fancy car like the ones available at Opulent Cars, is not so much to get from a to b, but to get from a to b in style.  The real joy of driving round Central Park is that it gives you the chance to take in the sights and atmosphere of New York, while avoiding the hideous and infamous Manhattan gridlock.

Central Park has various drives that you can take your car on.  However, if you want to drive and get the best possible view of the city you need to try one of the routes in the North end of the park.  Although these routes are much more hilly and curvy, it does mean that you will be able to see the New York that you expect to see.

Some Driving Rules You Need To Observe And Follow

Obviously, there are certain rules that go with driving round the iconic Central Park that you need to follow implicitly.  You aren’t allowed to just speed round the routes without a care in the world, regardless of how much horsepower your car has or the maximum speed it can reach.  The speed limit in Central Park is 25 mph, so you need to make sure that you never drive faster than that.  As there are a large number of bikers and pedestrians at most points during the day, going any faster than 25 mph could result in an unfortunate incident.

As well as the speed limit, you need to be aware that the Central Park drives are only open to the public at certain parts of the day.  The West Drive is open on weekdays between 8 am and 10 am and is only open to vehicles with high-occupancy.  The East Drive (which runs from 72nd Street/5th Avenue through to 110th Street) is open on weekdays from 7 am to 7 pm.  While the 72nd St Cross Drive is open on weekdays between 8 am and 10 am.  Central Park is closed to any and all traffic from 7 pm on Friday through to 7 am on Monday morning.  Therefore, if you are interested in trying one or more of Central Park’s great driving routes, you need to make sure that you plan this activity for during the week, as you will be unable to do it on the weekend.

Whether you choose to try each of the different drives a different day or only choose one in particular, you will not regret it.

Cheap and Cheerful Days out in the United Kingdom

If you are looking for a way to have a fun day out without breaking the bank, it can sometimes feel like it’s difficult to find a good destination. These days, it is probably more important than ever to try and keep the purse-strings nice and tight, but that doesn’t mean you should be denied your right to a good day out!

With that in mind, we’ve gone around the country and knocked up a list of great destinations that you can enjoy without fretting over the bank balance.

The Natural History Museum in London

All National Museums in the UK are owned and operated by the state, meaning they are completely free to enter. Occasionally, limited time exhibits may require an admission fee, but you can usually see the majority of the good stuff for free.

There are a number of different national museums in the country, but the biggest and the best would have to be the beloved Natural History Museum. There is a lot to be seen here – a ginormous diplodocus skeleton straddling the entrance hall, a giant squid named Archie, and a complete blue whale skeleton. In winter you can even take to the ice rink!

Longsands Beach in Tynemouth

Another completely free attraction, Tynemouth Longsands has been a popular destination for holidaymakers since the 1700s. It certainly lives up to its name – the golden sands stretch on for more than a kilometre, reaching the nearby village of Cullercoats.

It’s still vastly popular in the summertime, so you’ll have to get down there early if you’re hoping for a good spot. Because of the length of the beach, it’s a good place to do some training; the Newcastle United squad are often spotted running up and down at dawn.

The world championship of surfing is frequently held here, and there’s even a surf school to cater to any newbies. What a fantastic place! Make sure to treat yourself to some lovely ice cream too.

Ness Botanic Gardens in Merseyside

If you are looking for the perfect place for a picnic, then you need look no further – Ness Gardens overlooks the Dee estuary with a lovely patch of rolling grass to sit on, making it absolutely divine.

However, that is (of course) not the only reason we would recommend these botanic gardens to you – you can get a good picnic spot almost anywhere if you’re willing to look hard enough! No, instead, the reason you should visit Ness Gardens is for the plants.

A day out at Ness will be an intriguing one: there are more than 10,000 different varieties of plants on show there, from rare types of flowers to unusual breeds of tree. Arguably the most amazing part of the whole place though is the wild flower meadow, where you can stroll through a simply gorgeous area just covered in flowers.

And if you’re hoping for something to top it all off, the gardens often host music and theatre events, so make sure you check out their events calendar!

48 Hours in Stockholm

With over 100 museums and 750 years of history, the Swedish capital of Stockholm is the ideal destination for a city break and has culture in abundance for visitors of all ages. From a charming old town tohistoric relics and one of the largest palaces in the world, here’s our guide to making the most of this vibrant city in just one weekend.

Gamla Stan

Sweden’s medieval city centre is one of the oldest and best preserved in Europe, and is where the city was founded in 1252. It still retains many of the features from the Middle Ages, including cellar vaults, frescoes and winding cobbled streets that give the city a fairy-tale-like appearance. It’s also the best place to start exploring the city.

As well as plenty of restaurants, cafes, shops and bars, Gamla Stan is also home to some of the city’s most notable churches and museums including the Stockholm Cathedral, Nobel Museum and the Royal Palace – one of the largest palaces in the world with more than 600 rooms! Be sure not to miss out on the parade of soldiers and daily changing of the guards.

Skansen Open-Air Museum

Boasting a wonderful location on Royal Djurgården, Skansen is one of the oldest open air museums and is the ideal setting for a family day out. Popular with locals and visitors alike, you can enjoy a fantastic view all over Stockholm here.

You’ll learn all about the history of Sweden here, with150 farms and dwellings from across the country on show here as well as charming town districts featuring glass blowing, a bakery, a golden manor house, a tinsmith’s workshop and a beautiful wooden church from the eighteenth century. There’s also a zoo here featuring moose, bears, lynxes, wolves, seals and other animals native to Scandinavia.

The Royal Palace

We’ve mentioned it already, but no luxury weekend away would be complete without a visit to the ultimate in grandeur and splendour – The Royal Palace. The official residence of His Majesty the King of Sweden boasts more than 600 rooms and five museums!

Built in the popular Italian Baroque style in the eighteenth century, the palace was built to replace the Tre Kronor Castle which burned down in the late seventeenth century. Some of the highlights of your visit will be the lavish eighteenth and nineteenth interiors of the reception rooms, the Hall of State featuring Queen Kristina’s silver throne and Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities. The Royal Palace also houses the Armoury, which is well worth checking out if you want to see royal costumes and armour as well as fantastic coaches from the Royal Stable.

Junibacken

Astrid Lindgren is Sweden’s most beloved children’s writer, but this fun attraction isn’t just for the younger visitors. You’ll enter the wonderful fairy tale world of Astrid Lindgren’s famous books, and meet a whole host of friendly faces including Mardie, Emil, Karlsson on the Roof, PippiLongstocking and more. The kids will love the playful exhibit and visiting the fantastic children’s book shop.

From Cali to the Caribbean–a Music Festival Road Trip

What would you do if you had an unlimited travel budget and a passion for going to the best music festivals and meeting people? We’ve put together a fantasy festival itinerary for the summer starting in the dewy climate of Coachella festival in California, partying through the wildness of Burning Man and the hyperactive overload of the Miami EDM scene all the way through to the world’s most important reggae festival in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

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Coachella Festival California

Coachella nowadays is bursting with Hollywood celebrities desperate to be photographed in their best festival going looks. However, you can still catch some extremely good music at this luxuriously grassy, glossy music festival. All of the year’s hottest artists will be booked to perform and in 2013 festival goers saw acts like hip-hop heavyweights 2 Chainz, all the way to British indie veterans like Blur. Grab a pair of designer shades and head over to this festival which is just peaking in cool.

Burning Man Festival

From the totally mainstream to an obscure festival that teeters on the edge of the mainstream, Burning Man Festival is less of a music festival than a gathering of expressive arts and music performance in the desert. Don’t turn up expecting any acts booked to play, you, the festival goer are the entertainment. What you can expect is to meet a crazy collection of people who make festival going their lifestyle. The festival began in the 1980s as a collective of 20 friends hanging out on the beach and burning effigies for fun. By last year the number of people turning up to the burning man festival had grown to nearly 70,000. It is one of the last truly noncommercial big festivals in the world and you would be a fool to miss it.

Ultra Music Festival, Miami

As soon as you arrive in Florida’s beachfront party city Miami, you know that you’re probably not going to get a decent night’s sleep for many, many nights. And why would you want to? The Ultra Music Festival will play host to practically all of contemporary EDM’s most chart bursting artists. Head on down to set by Avici, Carl Cox and Steve Angelo amongst many many, more. Hyper commercial and geared to a youth audience, the Ultra Music Festival is the perfect stop on your way to the Caribbean. Next you’ll be sailing off to clear blue waters with the Royal Holiday vacation club.

Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica

Billed as the greatest reggae show on earth, this annual festival features headliners as massive as Flo Rida and Miguel plus reggae greats such as Barrington Levy, Sofia Squire, and Nature. It’s always a great party with an electric atmosphere and a great array of supporting treats like fantastic food and entertainment. It takes place on the 3rd week of July in the area of Montego Bay. Get tickets as soon as possible as it’s sure to sell out like hot cakes every year.

If you choose budget travel and accommodation, then it’s very possible to attend all of these events within a budget of about £5,000. If you have any ideas on how to budget a summer festival road trip of fun and excess, then leave your comments below. Tell us also if you’ve been to any of the festivals we’ve mentioned and give us your tips on how to make the most of your time there.

The Top Outdoor Adventure Spots for Hunting and Fishing

Are you sick of the same old fishing hole ten miles down the road? If you’ve got the time, money, and ambition, you absolutely must consider going on one of these outdoors adventures for the avid hunters and fisherman. A vacation dedicated to sport fishing will leave you with lasting memories and stories you can tell your pals for years to come. Imagine being the one to have caught a fish “this big” at the next get together.

If the wife says let’s go to Cancun, you say how about Cape Town in South Africa to watch great whites. Do something extraordinary for your next vacation. Stop following relatives to overpopulated beaches and tourist hot spots. Maybe a hunting trip isn’t for the whole family, but the natural wonders waiting to be seen at these locations astound any person.

1. South Africa Trophy Hunting

Have you ever wanted to hunt big game? Were you thinking about bears, moose, bobcats, and elk? Well, take that vision one step further to go trophy hunting in South Africa. Book a trip to South Africa to hunt over 25 various diverse species. Sound like an adventure?

Benefit from professional guides who lead you to the various spots to hunt such animals as zebra, wildebeest, and impala. When at a ranch, don’t forget to bring more than enough ammo to take down one of these majestic beasts. For whatever ammunition you need, maybe checkout Calibersnm.com.  You surely won’t encounter any of these animals in the United States.

2. Great White Shark Cage Diving in South Africa

Do you want to hang with the world’s deadliest predator? Don’t fret, there will be no box jellyfish on this adventure. If you’ve taken the earlier advice to go big game hunting in South Africa, you’d be a fool not to see the Great White sharks off the coast.

You don’t have to go cage diving with great whites. But then again, telling your buddies about how you survived with a great white inches of your body is an unbelievable tale and once in a lifetime experience.

3. Fishing in a Malaysian Rainforest

Pack your fishing gear, prepare for hot and humid weather, and book a flight to Malaysia. Visit the Royal Belum Forest Reserves for an unusual fishing adventure. If you’re a seasoned or novice fly fisherman, this trip will challenge you physically and mentally. You’ll be surrounded by natural jungle in either Kenyir Jungle or Wild Temenggor.

You can go day fishing in Wild Temenggor in this rainforest, which boasts the 2nd largest body of fresh water. Also, the Keyir Jungle boasts the largest freshwater body reserve in South East Asia where you can fish in the flooded rainforest in various remote locations for a little peace and quiet in the jungle.

4. Unique Fishing in Australia

Australia boasts a coastline that is known for some exciting sport fishing. Professional fisherman from all over the world travel to this continent for a chance to catch giant trevally, sharks, barramundi, or any one of the 250 recorded species in these waters.

If you’re searching for a quiet and untouched waters away from most of the tourist fisherman, then maybe you should travel north of Sydney to South West Rocks in New South Wales. This undisturbed and quaint fishing village will finally provide the solitude you treasure while fishing.

5. Alligator Hunting in Louisiana

If you’ve grown tired of duck hunting or whitetail hunting, then maybe a trip south to where the Mississippi River meets Atchafalaya and Red Rivers might give you the needed thrill to spice your life. Rather than go traveling to a new city, hunt alligators, wild hogs, doves, and if you’re still in the mood, ducks.

You won’t experience anything quite as unique as hunting alligators. These fierce reptiles will have you on your toes the entire trip. They aren’t as large or scary as a saltwater crocodile, but they are deadly.

Image Source – come-fishing-australia.com

Why Take the Bus to Paris?

Perhaps it’s the effect of the economy; perhaps it’s because coach travel is more environmentally friendly.Whatever the reason, coach travel between the UK and Europe is experiencing a real boon.More people than ever, from backpacking students to families and people travelling on business, everyone seems to be realising the intrinsic financial and environmental value of taking the bus rather than the plane on short-haul journeys from, say, London to Paris.

There are coach companies that offer prices that seem almost too cheap – and they are.Most people might prefer to pay a little extra for leg room and comfortable seats for what is, after all, a nine-hour journey from London to Paris.Fortunately iDBUS coach trips offer a viable, cheap alternative to travelling by plane or train and as a new company founded on the principles of offering luxurious travel for budget prices its fleet of coaches have all the mod cons.

Ergonomically designed seats with extra legroom, extra elbow room; bilingual staff; individual lights and air conditioning; adjustable seats and tables; free on board Wi-Fi and plug sockets: you could not ask for a more comfortable ride. The prices vary depending on the time of travel, but are not affected by the date of booking so you can plan ahead or book on the spur of the moment and still get the time and price that suits you best.Their timetables online allow you to select your departure and arrival stations (all centrally located and serviced by local public transport connections) and see at a glance which journeys are available at their lowest price.For instance, your journey with iDBUS from London to Paris could cost just the Mini Price of £33 and the iDBUS from Paris to London is more or less the same, allowing for currency conversion rates.

iDBUS coach trips offer comfort and affordability and you can even book your seats so that you can sit with your travelling companions, choose a window or an aisle seat, sit in the front or the rear – whatever makes you comfortable.You can even opt to travel overnight, meaning that you can arrive early in the morning ready to start your holiday without having had to get up ridiculously early to board a plane to do so.

Travelling by bus takes longer than it takes to get there by plane or train, but at those sorts of prices and with the facilities offered by iDBUS wouldn’t you rather spend longer getting there but be able to spend more when you arrive?Think of all the extra Christmas presents, souvenirs, meals out and experiences you could have all because you have saved money on your travel!

Book your tickets whenever you choose: you could even book your return tickets with iDBUS from Paris to London after you arrive, if you want to be flexible about your holiday arrangements.Then spend the money you’ve saved on something you really want!

Where To Next? – I Have A Few Plans

As much as I have loved my time in Melbourne and enjoyed day and weekend trips to other cities, such as Sydney.  I am now ready to move on to some other places.

Ayer’s Rock

I have still not visited one of the most celebrated natural landmarks in Australia and that is one of the next destinations on my plan.  I have made some friends who actually live near to Ayer’s Rock in the Northern Territory so I will hook up with them when I make my way up there.  Apparently they can get my foot in the door for some work, though there is always the web designing business which is still going well.

Brisbane

This is one of the big cities in Australia that I have always wanted to visit.  Apparently it is known for some great night spots and is one of these cities that appeal to all people’s tastes.  The food is to die for, according to my friends and relatives who have holidayed there in the past.  Much like Melbourne, the weather is comfortable and great all year round – so that definitely appeals to me.

The Great Ocean Road

Another place I was told about was the Great Ocean Road.  The views there sound outstanding.  It is a road that is over 200 miles in length and runs along the coastline of Oz, near Victoria.  As well as the jaw dropping views, there are some great restaurants that I want to check out as I have become a big fan of Australian cuisine, as well as all the Thai, Indian and other Middle Eastern food that is served in many restaurants round here.

Fraser Island In Queensland

Although I have already visited the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, I still haven’t had the chance to visit Fraser Island.  Apparently this is the largest area of sand in the world and has around 120 km of beaches that are all beautifully clean and tidy.  I have been told that it is best to cover Fraser Island over a few days, instead of trying to experience it all in just one or two, so I am already looking into accommodation and travel to get out there and check it out.  I am especially looking forward to checking out the snorkelling and scuba diving round the many shipwrecks and seeing some of the rare flora and fauna found there as well.

The Grampians National Park in Victoria

This park is located in Halls Gap and is around 175 km to the north of the end point of the Great Ocean Road, so I could possibly check this out after my trip along the famous road.  The thing that attracts me to this park is the hikes through the sandstone ridges.