All You Need to Know About the Canal de la Marne au Rhin

All You Need to Know About the Canal de la Marne au Rhin

For your next barge holiday in France, why not travel down the Canal de la Marne au Rhin and discover the wonders of Alsace-Lorraine. Its complex history has made it a beautiful crossroads of French and German culture, creating the iconic wooden-beamed houses, delicious Alsatian wines and even their very own dialect. There are a variety of landscapes to admire along the way too, including rolling vineyards, breathtaking mountains and historical cities.
Length and Route

 

The Canal de la Marne au Rhin is a 313-kilometre-long stretch of water that links Paris to Alsace and Germany. An excellent route for a barge holiday in France starts in Vitry-le-François and continues towards the historic town of Bar-le-Duc. You can then travel down towards Nancy, first passing through Toul, to finish a little beyond the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

History and Feats of Engineering

Completed in 1855, the Canal de la Marne au Rhin posed a few major issues to the engineers who designed it – mainly, how to pass through the Vosges mountains and reach the Col de Saverne. Initially the canal was made to rise gradually by passing through a seventeen-lock ladder, which would create a 44-metre level change over 4 kilometres. This technique was used until 1969, at which time it was replaced by the Saint Louis Arzviller inclined plane. With this new system, the barge enters a large caisson and is either lifted or lowered up or down the slope thanks to a counter balancing weight. On a barge holiday in France with European Waterways, you’ll be 1 of 39 barges to use it. It should take about 20 minutes to complete the full journey (including entering and exiting the caisson). It is an ingenious system that uses very little electricity and only requires two men to monitor it.

Attractions en Route

Following the Canal de la Marne au Rhin lets you explore all the Alsace-Moselle region has to offer. You won’t want to pass up on the opportunity of discovering the Lehrer Crystal Glassworks once you have passed over the Arzviller slope, or of exploring the historical city of Strasbourg and taking a tour around the renowned family-run Meteor Brewery when you reach Alsace. The Lehrer Crystal Glassworks lets you immerse yourself in the world of glassblowing as you watch experts craft and cut fine glass. Once you’ve ticked that off your list, I’d recommend visiting the Cathedral in Strasbourg, with its gorgeous Gothic-style architecture, its beautifully detailed stained-glass windows and intricately carved gargoyles. There are 332 steps to climb to reach the top, but the view from up there is well worth the effort. You should also have a wander around the windy streets of La Petit France to see the picturesque Alsatian houses lined with colourful geraniums. You can then head to the Meteor Brewery. It offers guided tours on which you’ll learn the six complex stages of creating and blending that goes into making the unique flavour of this 400-year-old beer. It wouldn’t be a barge holiday in France without a little culture!

Unique Facts About the Wildlife of Galapagos

Unique Facts About the Wildlife of Galapagos

Most nature lovers who embark on wildlife holidays in Galapagos are familiar with the archipelago’s most iconic wildlife species, which include the Giant Tortoise, the Lava Lizard, the Marine Iguana, the Galapagos Sea Lion and the Blue-Footed Booby.
But while the wildlife has been studied and documented extensively, from Darwin’s first forays to the scientists who actively work to ensure its conservation into modern times, there are also some lesser-known facts about these wonderfully unique species. For anyone planning wildlife holidays in Galapagos, knowing a few of these before the trip may add another dimension to an already fascinating encounter.

 

Did You Know?

• The Marine Iguanas found in abundance throughout the archipelago are the world’s only species of marine lizard. The white appearance often seen around their faces is caused by the expulsion of salt from specially adapted glands in their nostrils, which dries and creates a “wig” effect.

• The Galapagos Penguin is the smallest in the world and the only one found north of the Equator. The combination of the cold waters of the Humboldt and Cromwell ocean currents mean it is able to survive in the warmer climate.

• With an average life span of well over a century, the Giant Tortoise lives longer than almost any other vertebrate on the planet. They continue to grow for up to 40 years and can reach a length of over 1.5m and a weight of up to 250kg.

• The most common of all the mammals throughout the islands is the sea lion. The chance to swim and snorkel amongst the curious sea lions is also one of the most sought-after encounters on wildlife holidays in Galapagos. Particularly large colonies are found on Santa Cruz, Isabela and Espanola.

• The Green Sea Turtle found in the waters around the archipelago is a species so old it has been around since before the time of the dinosaurs.

• There are five species of snakes and all of them are endemic to the dry zones of certain islands – although some islands have none. All the species are relatively small (under a metre) and are known as “racers”, due to their ability to move extremely fast. Their only natural predator is the Galapagos Hawk.

• There are four species of boobies that make the islands home. The Blue-footed Booby is renowned for its unique mating dance, where it lifts its feet and wave them in the air, appearing to “dance”, and the Red-footed Booby is the only one to make its nest in the trees and not the ground. The Nazcar Booby is the largest species, while the Masked Booby lives mainly out in the open ocean, returning to land only to breed.

• The Waved Albatross mates for life. There are over 12,000 breeding pairs on the archipelago, which represents the majority of its global population. While the birds depart the islands from December to April, they return to the same place and the same partner every year to breed.

• The term “Darwin’s Finches” actually refers to 15 different species of finches. While their bodies and colouring make them similar in appearance, each has a distinctly different, specially adapted beak.

Wildlife holidays in Galapagos offer a privileged opportunity for nature lovers to experience a truly once-in-a-lifetime encounter with some of the most incredible and unique animals on Earth. And, in this remote and beautiful part of the planet, researchers and naturalists are still learning just how astounding many of them really are. Author Plate

This restaurant invites you in by displaying its kitchen!

This restaurant invites you in by displaying its kitchen!

Concrete brings us a brand new Japanese watering hole and dining experience at Izakaya in Hotel Roomers, Munich.
Hotel Roomers in Munich stands out for its Japanese restaurant, Izakaya in an incredibly unique way. The restaurant announces its presence via its show kitchen visible through the glass facade of the porte-cochere. This kitchen block continues inside the lobby as a jewellery case covered in gold mirror – also the restaurant’s main entrance!

 

Black and gold dominate the colour palette here with a contrasting feature of light wooden lamellas along the ceiling and wall. Gold cladding uplifts the space especially through the backlit bar top, with a warm yellow marble finish that makes every drink sparkle. While the bar is a highlight element, one cannot miss the show-stopper i.e. the oversized wooden Koi-carp lamp. Typically Japanese, this lamp would’ve probably overpowered the design had it not been so dynamic!

Seating zones are created by introducing silk-printed rotating panels that are also black mirrors and level changers. The rotating panels serve many purposes: they can either connect or separate the space depending on the angle of rotation. While on one side, a Japanese-inspired artwork on silkscreen by artist Gijs Scholten anoints it; the other side is clad with a black mirror with different settings. In the early evening, the whole space can appear as one; while during the after-hours, the bar can be cordoned off to establish a darker and cosy mood that lasts deep into the night. This element helps the space adapt to its clients allowing for a truly transformable experience.

All You Need is Lava: A Volcanic Hawaiian Holiday

All You Need is Lava: A Volcanic Hawaiian Holiday

Endlessly fascinating for their beauty and danger, volcanoes have thrilled us human beings for as long as we can remember. And if lazy days on the beach just aren’t for you, why not try a holiday with a little more excitement and head to the active volcanoes of Hawaii? In fact, the archipelago of Hawaii was created through volcanic activity and this fiery heritage is everywhere you look in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, USA. Travel insurance experts, however, say it’s safe terrain.
In the park you can get so close to active volcanoes that you can feel the heat from erupting gases and steam as you walk across lava fields in search of indigenous art…

 

Here are three expeditions you should make in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park if you want to experience the power of volcanoes first hand:

The Long One

The Crater Rim Trail is a fantastic trail for those who love their hikes with just a soupcon of danger! The trail is over 11 miles long and works itself around the summit of Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes on Hawaii. Thousands of years old, Kilauea has been active non-stop for the last thirty years. The trail winds through contrasting sceneries of lush, green rainforests and sterile, steaming rockscapes. As you walk, look out for the earth cracks and vents that break the ground’s surface.

If you’re interested in the local culture you’ll want to know that Kilauea is believed to be the home of Pele – goddess of fire and creator of Hawaii. As the name Fire Goddess suggests, the area can be unpredictable and dangerous. With this in mind, be prepared for sudden trail closures. It’s also always advisable to stay on the marked paths and keep away from edges. Make sure you get out USA travel insurance before visiting – in case of an accident you are safely covered.

The Short One

Ha’akulamanu Trail, or the Sulphur Banks Trail, is much shorter, coming in at just over a mile in length. However, you know what they say: good things come in small packages! The intriguing landscape is devoid of trees as the intense underground heat makes it impossible for most roots to grow. The area is known for the beautiful crystal formations formed by escaping gases over many years. The gas is released through earth vents along with groundwater which is turned into steam and hangs in the air.

Just a warning – it does not smell good here! Rotten eggs anyone?

The Arty One

It’s not often that you can enjoy a nature trail and take in some local art on your way. However, nothing about this art is ordinary. The indigenous artwork found cut into Pu’u Loa, or the “Hill of Long Life”, is carved into the cooled volcanic lava of this sacred site. How amazing is that? There are over 23,000 petroglyphs showing a stunning variety of geometric patterns, human representations and images of the travels of the people of Hawaii around the island. A boardwalk allows visitors to easily view the artwork whilst protecting it and maintaining respect for the site.

TOP TIP: Before you embark on any journey, check your insurance! Designed with explorers in mind, Let’s Go Insure’s USA travel insurance will keep you covered on all your wild ventures.

Ready to have a blast? I’ll see you in Hawaii!

You Need To Know About The Right Metal Roof

You Need To Know About The Right Metal Roof

From a wide selection of roofs, the popularity of metal roofing products has increased dramatically and this indicates that most homeowners and builders know about the benefits of the product. Over the past two decades, new genres of metal roofing materials have been introduced in the market and these materials are far from the tin roof that is generally remembered when one talks about metal roofing materials. Manufacturers feel the demand from homeowners that the material needs to be durable, fireproof, lightweight roof that will give your roof chic look.
Potential reasons the homeowner chooses for a metal roof are for fireproof quality, long life and spare time to install (which depends on the roofer’s work). Furthermore, these ingredients are so light that it reduces the burden of risk from homeowners in the face of natural threats such as storms, heavy rain and more. Since this is the right material that reflects sunlight, then the house will not heat up as it should for homeowners who want to reduce their energy bills, they should openly opt for OKC metal roofing materials. Preliminarily, metal roofing materials are made of aluminum and steel but different materials are also available especially copper and alloys that are used extensively but are not so popular as it is not friendly. Most homeowners use steel and aluminum, known as the most common and important roofing material available on the market for their consumer friendly features. Aluminum is generally a soft metal and more to the tinkle that can be easily damaged with very little effort so this is one of the popular choices for OKC metal roofing materials but few people consider this a roof option. Gutters are generally made with  You Need To Know About The Right Metal Roof Materials OKC  interconnected troughs and this guarantees the drains for downspouts and they draw water from the house. Often sewers tend to clog up with different leaves and debris that increase the problem on various issues. To enjoy the benefits, OKC cleaning gutter is right to choose from. Clogged sewers easily retain water that creates damage to walls and foundations that can damage homes inside and outside. So search the internet for professional sewer cleaning services today.

You Need To Know About The Right Metal Roof

The Gnarliest Waves at Nazareé, Portugal: Not For the Faint-Hearted

The Gnarliest Waves at Nazareé, Portugal: Not For the Faint-Hearted

The little Portuguese fishing village of Nazaré is a surfing hotspot during the summer months, but in winter only the real thrill-seekers stick around. One of these is undoubtedly Garrett McNamara, the big wave big boy from the US, who in 2011 broke the record for the biggest wave ever surfed — and he smashed it right here in Nazaré.
Big Names, Bigger Waves

 

This monster wave measured 78 feet and in 2013 McNamara returned to Nazaré where he surpassed his own record, riding an absolute whopper estimated to be 100 feet tall. Later that year, Carlos Burle of Brazil conquered a wave that seemed even bigger, winning international recognition with surfers worldwide.

In 2014 Andrew Cotton from Plymouth followed suit, and is now known as one of the 4 surfers who have ridden the hugest waves around these parts. He started surfing when he was seven, so if you want to check out these waves you’re going to need a lot of practice or some pretty decent surf travel insurance…

Why Such Big Waves?!

Nazaré is such a Mecca for surfers because of its enormous waves, and these waves exist for our adrenaline-fuelled enjoyment thanks to the make up of its ocean floor topography. Just like Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline, the Tahitian Teahupoo and northern California’s Mavericks (amazing surfing spots any surfer worth their salt know!), Nazaré’s ocean floor boasts a huge underwater gorge.

The Nazaré Canyon stretches 125 miles, starting barely half a mile from the shore and reaching way out into the abyssal plain of the Atlantic Ocean. At 16,000 feet, its unbelievable depth, coupled with its perfect positioning, helps to magnify the waves that approach the Praia do Norte beach in Nazaré. It’s because of this that almost every single day you can bear witness to monster waves up to 4 times the size of those found elsewhere along the coast.

Daredevils and Pros Alike: Surf Travel Insurance is as Essential as Board Wax!

It’s undisputed that tackling these waves is not for the faint of heart. Monster waves often move much faster than others, which forces boarders to get distance from the dangerous, frothy white water as fast as they can.

This kind of surfing is less about aesthetics than its tamer cousin: think extreme sport rather than showy carving, quick cutbacks and pretty floaters. This is about braving the aggro (bad weather), tough conditions and brutal waves while trying to remain upright and avoid reef injuries, wipeout, or even death…

While we wouldn’t recommend big wave surfing to those who aren’t pros, now is a good time to start planning your summer surf trip to enjoy the sun and sea at your (adventurous) leisure! Before you race off to enjoy the surf, travel insurance is a must-buy. Embrace the waves without the fear of monstrous medical bills should anything go wrong. You never know, with a little practice you could even be the next big name to be borne of Nazarés big waves! Surf’s up!

Dare to Dream of a White Christmas in Courchevel

Dare to Dream of a White Christmas in Courchevel

Imagine waking up to a scene of snowy mountains and pine trees capped with a fresh dusting of snow on Christmas morning. Well, if you book a ski holiday to Courchevel for the festive period, this is exactly what you and your kids can expect!
In addition to enjoying a perfect winter wonderland, you and your family will be able to enjoy many festive activities in the resort, ranging from fantastic French-cooked Christmas dinners to a torch-lit descent for the kids to enjoy when the sun goes down.

 

The best part is that all of this couldn’t be easier to reach from the UK, as there are regular flights to Geneva from most UK airports, as well as excellent transport links from Geneva to Courchevel.

Courchevel for Families

While the exclusive Courchevel resort of 1850 is a perfect destination for many couples and ski enthusiasts, families with young children may prefer the lower resorts of 1550 and 1650, which are smaller and have a more family-friendly and intimate feel.

All of the resorts have their own children’s ski schools (I highly recommend learning with the French ESF – let them know that your children are English, and they will put them in an English-speaking class). What’s more, there are nursery runs, snow playgrounds and beginner slopes in each of the resorts.

When you venture away from the slopes, you’ll find that there is as much to do off as on the snow. For example, why not take the family ice skating, bowling or to the cinema?

What to Expect During the Festive Season

As you make your way from Geneva to Courchevel, you’ll feel the excitement of your children growing when you drive into the heart of a Narnia-esque landscape of snowy mountains and pine forests.

When you reach the resort, you’ll discover that the French embrace the magic of the festive season just as much as we do back home. The high streets in all of the resorts sparkle with Christmas lights, giving the entire area a truly magical feel.

Festive treats are likely to include carols and fireworks, traditional markets, a parade, tons of hot chocolate and live music events, as well as traditional Christmas meals in its many restaurants.

Highlights for 2017 include a torch-lit descent that’s led by ESF instructors and that features Santa as a special guest, as well as a special Boxing Day luge event.

Lastly, don’t forget that you’ll also be able to ski on Christmas Day. All of the resort’s lifts and pistes are open all day. Who knows – you might even discover Santa practicing his carving turns!

How to Get There

The resort is served by four airports during the ski season: Chambery, Lyon, Grenoble and Geneva. For the most regular and stress-free connection, choose a flight to Geneva with providers such as easyJet, British Airways, Swiss International or Air France.

For a completely hassle-free way of getting your family from the airport to your resort, simply book an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct before you leave home.

Let us know how many of you will be travelling, how many child seats you will need, and what ski equipment you will be carrying, and we’ll meet you at the airport with the perfect transport for you and your family.

Author Plate

What to Look For in an Interior Painting Contractor

What to Look For in an Interior Painting Contractor

If you need the inside of your home or painted business, you may be looking for an interior painting contractor at Roswell. These contractors can offer many different painting related services that can save your time and money for the maintenance of your interior space. By hiring a professional, you do not have to search for and purchase the necessary equipment for the job and then take the time to finish it. To find the right service for your needs, you will want to see what is offered and by whom. It can give you an idea of ​​what to expect as you retain the services of a painting contractor while inspiring to refresh all your interior space.
Services offered

What to Look For in an Interior Painting Contractor

The interior painting contractor at Roswell can help you with cracked paint and peeling, stains and more. The contractor has the tools and training to do the job quickly and well, making it easier for you to do it yourself. Most of the time, this service will include wiping the walls before painting and also using a drop cloth to protect your belongings. By hiring other people to do your painting, you can have access to more people for the job, better equipment and sometimes a guarantee in the job. These companies will have enough employees trained in quality paintings to finish work on schedule with a bit of distraction in your daily routine.

Reputation

The reputation of a painting company will be the deciding factor in who you hire for the job. These painters need to have a satisfied customer history to give them confidence in their abilities. You can find online reviews and testimonials and completed project galleries to help you choose a painter to work with. You can also ask your family and friends to find personal recommendations for good painters. As you know how a company has acted and reacted to work in the past, you can get a better picture of how they will cope with what you have for them.

The interior painting contractor at Roswell will offer the services you need to make your home look your way. You can find the best contractor for your needs by ensuring that they offer all the services you want and they have a good reputation with the homes in your area. You can find most of this information online with project galleries so to inspire you. What to Look For in an Interior Painting Contractor

Get an Insurance Quote Compliant to Your Needs

Get an Insurance Quote Compliant to Your Needs

You can barely turn on the TV or listen to the radio without hearing the latest ads about how quickly and easily get cheap insurance quotes. With so many different companies and types of insurance, it’s hard to tell which package works best for you. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re in the market to get new policies.
Know your Information

Get an Insurance Quote Compliant to Your Needs

You will only be able to get accurate quotes if you include as much detailed and accurate information as you can at the beginning. If you leave important information or use incorrect information to calculate your total amount, you may see a very different price when buying insurance. The only way to avoid this unpleasant surprise is by knowing relevant variables, such as your driving history, credit score, and prior claims history.

Be Clear Your Needs

Whether you are looking for a home, car, or life insurance quote, you need to be aware of what your needs are and what you do comfortably without when it comes to your specific policy. For example, if there is an accident or something goes wrong, you need to know how much you can afford and pay from any cost. When you look at your policies, if there’s something you think you do not need, take your time and think critically before deciding to leave it to make sure you do not regret it later if you need it. Get an Insurance Quote Compliant to Your Needs

Look around

Instead of going with the first deal you hear on television, check out other companies and policies and make sure you get the best insurance quotes for your situation. An easy place to start is to search for different operators and policies online. This is a great way to get various quotes and potentially save a lot of time and money. You can also contact a trusted agent who can help guide you through this process and provide suggestions and feedback you may not find on the website. Get an Insurance Quote Compliant to Your Needs

Compare the Right Questions and Ask Questions

When you’re shopping for different carriers, you’ll most likely see a variety of prices. While it may be tempting to go with the lowest price, you should make sure that you compare all parts of the policy including deductibles, limits, and other important features. If any part of the policy confuses you or if you are unsure what exactly is covered, do not be afraid to ask a specific question. Buying any policy is a big decision, and you need to be sure that you make the right choice in terms of your coverage.

Once you find a quote that you are satisfied with, go ahead and make your purchase. Make sure you do not cancel your old policy before your new policy is active, because you do not want to get caught in a bad situation without any coverage. After you enable your new policy, it’s an easy change, and you’ll be ready with your new policy.

How to Use Yelp to Improve Your Local Search Rank

How to Use Yelp to Improve Your Local Search Rank

You know that online reviews impact on your bottom line.

No doubt you’ve heard that word of mouth is the best marketing strategy but lately, almost 80% of consumers trust online reviews as if they were a recommendation from a trusted friend.

Over the years, more people turn to them to get the final word on whether they can trust the business or not.

For local businesses, this fact is even more important – moreover, about 50% of mobile searches are local.

Make sense; When you’re out and about and you need to find a place nearby, you’ll turn on your phone and then assess where to go with its reviews.

So how can you make that work for you? One of the answers is to incorporate Yelp into your SEO strategy. How to Use Yelp to Improve Your Local Search Rank

Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.

Here’s how to think like a local SEO company when it comes to yelp.

Optimize Your Site For Yelp
Recently, Yelp launched a new penalty targeting websites that are not mobile-friendly.

If you want to pay attention to Yelp, you must make sure that your website is optimized for mobile search and Yelp.

Here are some tips:

No pop-ups – Make sure there are no pop ups that include content on your main page
The ad folds above – Do not get your clients looking for content
Interstitials – If your site shows interstitials that your users should refuse to go to the main page, Yelp will punish you.
Doing these things will make your site more user-friendly and keep you in good Yelp’s grace. How to Use Yelp to Improve Your Local Search Rank

Do not Request Reviews
Many good, and good reviews help your site rank; any local SEO company can tell you that.

The important thing to remember when getting a review on Yelp is to grow your review organically.

Believe it or not, Yelp will punish you if they suspect you are trying to improve your review.

For example, reviewers determine review ratings.

If the reviewer’s account is new and they barely review anything, Yelp will suspect it as a dummy account and demotivate you.

Same thing if a bunch of reviews come in at the same time.

If you send bulk emails to your subscribers to send reviews and all of a sudden, Yelp gets a ton of them at once, your views will be penalized.

Growing the reviews organically How to Use Yelp to Improve Your Local Search Rank
So how can you improve your SEO ranking by yelp organically?

A good local SEO company trick is to make sure customers know that you are using Yelp.

Put the Yelp button on your site
Add Yelp’s decal to your window
Enter the Yelp key in your email signature
Finally, his review will come in.

Learn From The Best Local SEO Company
Now you have got some yelping tricks under your belt, go and try them.