Photographer Patrick Faigenbaum on Capturing the Spirit of Calcutta

Patrick Faigenbaum Aperture

When you look the photographs of Patrick Faigenbaum, you can instinctively see how his subjects are informed by their settings. From an aristocrat’s dining room to a crumbling, flooded street in Calcutta, the places in which these people are situated influence the viewer’s understanding of who they are, where they’re from, and how they live day-to-day—all at a glance. Born in Paris in 1954, Faigenbaum first gained renown in the 1980s for his portraits of Italian aristocratic families. Since then, he has pointed his lens on such cities as far-flung as Tulle and Prague. This month, an exhibition of his work entitled Kolkata/Calcutta opened at the New York-based Aperture Foundation.

The exhibition also happens to mark the inaugural partnership between the Hermès Foundation and the Aperture Foundation. (The Hermès Foundation is a patron of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, which Faigenbaum won for the photographs on view.) “Before, the winner was only displayed in Paris,” said Catherine Tsekenis, the Creative Director of the Hermès Foundation and voice of the Hermès vision. “It’s a very good opportunity to show the winner.” While the Foundation doesn’t play a direct role in selecting the recipient of the award, Tsekenis believes that Faigenbaum’s work is a good match. “It’s generous with a lot of humanistic values,” she says. Travel + Leisure recently sat down with Faigenbaum to discuss his interest in Calcutta and the ways in which photography has changed since he began shooting in the 1970s.

You recently arrived from Paris. How is the photography scene there different from it is in New York?

When I began photography in 1972, there was more focus in Paris on reportage, advertising, and fashion. None of these three genres interested me. You didn’t hear about all the great photographers who had worked in France except Henri Cartier-Bresson. There were strict rules about photography—at that time you had to have photographs with the black frame around to show you didn’t crop the picture. That was a wrong idea. Cartier-Bresson didn’t care if you cropped or not.

You didn’t hear about all the great photographers—Brassaï, Kertész, Doisneau. Man Ray and the Surrealists of the 1930s, the photographers of the ‘40s and ‘50s, maybe the ‘60s. You couldn’t see them until they came back into vogue in the ‘80s with books and museum retrospectives.

I needed advice because I learned photography alone. I came to New York on my own to see the great photographers. I met Richard Avedon, Eugene Smith, Ralph Gibson. Gibson liked my work so he called for me the publisher of Popular Photography, the magazine, and I had an article two years later in 1979.

How did you develop an interest in India, and particularly in Calcutta?

I was very attracted by Indian culture, art, and film. Jean-François Chevrier [the curator of the show at Aperture] discovered the work of artist Shreyasi Chatterjee in India. He came back suggested her as a subject. I visited her, saw her work and discussed it with her. She works in a neighborhood and environment and comes back and makes mixed-technique works. She makes embroidery; she paints. She puts into her paintings what she saw in the streets. But it was not possible to concentrate it only on her. I was very interested in Calcutta as a capital but also the countryside and the villages—how people were working with the land and with animals. So it evolved. I wanted to meet other artists and find the intellectual sustenance, the spirit of the city through music, dance, theater, painting, films, and acting. So my work was more in that direction. More social.

How did your understanding of Calcutta change from your initial ideas of the city through your first and second visits to the city?

It’s really difficult to understand. It’s very complex and takes time. For the first time when I was traveling, I was afraid. Not of the people, but of getting lost. I’m not great with plans or maps. It was even more difficult in India. You don’t see names of streets. The cab drivers don’t understand you. Most of them live in the country and come into the city to work. Someone has to go with you. It can be impossible to get around. Not just for me, but for locals too. They would try to take a cab and the cab wouldn’t take them.

What does it mean to be an artist capturing a different culture? How did you approach this task as an outsider?

India has been photographed a lot. There are so many images out there. It was difficult to figure out what hadn’t been done before. You had to think a lot about different composition, different things you could do. It wasn’t like other projects where I could get lost in a city and work with intuition. We had to construct, to build a kind of project. I had to think about what kind of people I could meet. The work with Chatterjee was important because I was inside her home. I saw how she lives with her husband, with her work, with her mother. It was important to see how people live there.

Chatterjee is middle class. She looks very poor. In India, you have very poor people, and you have very, very rich people. I wanted to talk about misery. I wanted to show poor people because they are there, but I didn’t want to make miserable work. That means you have to stay with people and talk with them. To be able to communicate with people, stay on the floor with them or in the countryside and try to understand a little bit. It’s so complex, India. If only I understood a little bit.

What’s great is that though it’s so far, you can feel so close to people. As close as I’d feel in Paris, where I was born. That was good, I think. To feel like an instrument, to show visitors or spectators what I experienced and lived. To put that together. But the pictures were very difficult to do. I took hundreds of pictures. I thought what I was doing might be different because it was coming from me. You have to trust your intuition, what you’re able to do.

It’s also the right time for me to be doing this work. You have to be more mature. I think ten years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I had to pass through other experiences to create these images. You have to give a lot of yourself. And you can’t only be taken by the spectacle of what you see. The scenes in front of you may be strong, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense to do those pictures.

London Design Week Diary Designjunction Wrong or Right?


“Isn’t this so my kind of thing?” said Monica Khemsurov, rising from a padded leather sofa embedded within a detached steel-and-wood frame. It definitely was her kind of thing: Khemsurov, with fellow furniture maven Jill Singer, is the founder of online visual-culture clearinghouse Sight Unseen, and the faintly architectural X Ray couch by designer Alain Gilles—from which she’d just extracted herself—jived perfectly with her site’s sense of style, sort of after-hours late-modernist dreamscape in a Werner Fassbinder film.

The same could be said of the marble-disk dining table by American designer Jonah Takagi, or the 1930s repro mirror by Deco master J.E. Ruhlmann that accompanied it, all part of the booth for Parisian brand La Chance that opened on Wednesday as part of the Designjunction section of London’s sprawling design week. Finding one’s kind of thing there wasn’t easy: occupying two cavernous neo-classical buildings in Bloomsbury, Designjunction was an unusual mix of trade fair and designer showcase, with upstart furniture makers jockeying for place alongside well-known industry stalwarts.

In the latter category, Danish outfit Hay was given pride of place in a lower-floor space beneath a dramatic glassed-in dome. Under the direction of design veteran Sebastian Wrong, the firm presented their new line Wrong by Hay, featuring lighting (Wrong’s Sinker pendants) and seating (svelte red stools by Leon Ransmeier) in tune with the company’s pared-down sensibility. Doubling as a coffee shop for weary fairgoers, the installation complemented the dark, romantic interior with countertops and display stands in a smooth cork laminate. “It’s actually used for gaskets in engine mounts,” explained Wrong, standing in the hazy afternoon light filtering down from the glazed canopy.

“One’s kind of thing” isn’t always the new-new thing. Another American design aficionado, historian and writer Paul Makovsky, had winged into London for a single afternoon to preside over the Designjunction stall of legendary interiors company Herman Miller. The display spotlighted the work of Ward Bennett, a heretofore neglected mid-century master whose classic Sled and Scissor chairs are enjoying renewed popularity. “He designed an apartment for Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone,” explained Makovsky, who’s preparing an in-depth study of Bennett.

But perhaps the best thing about the London Design Festival (as indeed about London itself) is if one’s thing happens to be the collision of both old and new. At Designjunction, commercial plastics manufacturer Curver was launching themselves onto the design market with their new Knit line of pots, bags and more, woven into intricate patterns in an array of pastel shades that “really bring it to life and make it contemporary,” as Curver design consultant Kate Franklin put it. Meanwhile, only a couple blocks away, a small, thoughtful show on pop-urban detritus sponsored by local team Workshop for Potential Design took up one of the old breakfast rooms in the Sir John Soane’s Museum, the labyrinthine home of England’s most famous turn-of-the-19th-century architect. Going from space-age materials to neo-gothic stonework produces a pleasantly disorienting effect—accentuated, as it always is here, when the shows close down and the design crowds heads “down the pub.”

An Insider’s Guide to Wonders of the State Fair of Texas

Big Tex

Every year, shortly after the beginning of fall, Dallas’ famed Fair Park opens its gates to one of the nation’s longest-running state fairs. The State Fair of Texas, which opens this weekend and will continue for the next three weeks, has a lot to see, so here’s the low-down:


Fair Park in Dallas originated as the location of the 1936 Centennial Exposition, so it’s unsurprising that the park boasts the world’s largest collection of Art Deco buildings, art, and sculptures. It’s also the only intact and unaltered pre-1950s world fair site remaining in the United States.

And, of course, there’s Big Tex, the giant, slow-talking cowboy that’s become a Lone Star State icon. Having recently been upgraded (sadly, due to an unexpected electrical fire), Big Tex welcomes all with his deep, loud voice “Howdy, Folks!” His chest is puffed up and his arms are out in welcome—this is his home, and he is a great host


Tradition runs deep—and so does a desire for a competition ribbon. Each year thousands of Texans enter contests for farming, cooking, baking, craft making, and art. It’s important to note, too, that the “best in state” entrants sit in the Arts and Crafts building with the infamous butter sculptures, and that this year is in fact the last year to gaze upon them.


Even if you’re not much for carnival games or rides, The Midway, where all that fun stuff is located, is still worth walking through. Throughout the day, for example, you may glimpse the Midway Barker, who has no lower body. Other entertainment of the Boardwalk Empire era: the Texas Star Ferris wheel and the Texas Skyway, a airborne gondola ride through the Midway and toward the Top’o Texas Tower.

Fair Fare:

And, of course, there’s a world in top-notch, totally fried cuisine. A classic corn dog is a timeless choice, and only Fletchers is acceptable. Each year the Texas State Fair hosts a food competition for its vendors, who can compete for top placement in both the “Best Tasting” and “Most Creative” categories. This year’s not-to-miss winners? The Chicken Fried Lobster with Champagne Gravy and the Holy Moly Carrot Cake.

For beverage connoisseurs there is the Texas Wine Garden and Magnolia Beer Garden, which are both an excellent way to not only explore the variety of Texas wines and beers but to sneak away and relax from the masses. And there’s a new attraction this year: purportedly the world’s largest bar on wheels, a 53-foot-long truck serving craft beers on tap.


Daily shows are sprinkled throughout the fairgrounds, and some of the best are in the PanAm Arena. Check out the Pig Races, Dog Show, and the new Horse Spectacular, which narrates the history of horse showmanship. It’s about as Texas as you can get.

The Hall of State will exhibit a historical view of Big Texas State Music, providing a decade- and genre-spanning look at the state’s musical history. The exhibit will also attract plenty of Texas musicians for live shows throughout the day.

During the fair, the Cotton Bowl hosts two great college rivalries. This Saturday the State Fair Classic will take place between Grambling State Tigers and Prairie View A&M Panthers. On Saturday, October 10, the Red River Showdown will flood the park with University of Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma University Sooners (you’ll flock or flee depending on your team).

ProTips from a Texan:

After a long day of walking, the best way to relax is go by the Auto Building, where the car show is hosted, and find the new-to-market massage chairs.

And for souvenir options? Head to the Midway photobooth and use your corn dog, beer or lemonade as props for your picture with Big Tex. Also: the Big Tex bobble head.

How I Became An Expert on Vacations

How to Take Exciting Cruise Vacations If there is one thing a person should to relax it’s to take wonderful cruise vacations that they would remember for the rest of their life. You would never forget this experience because it will truly open your eyes to the world around you. Popularity of this vacation trip has risen over the years because of the fact that it can provide vacation-goers everything they want and more. You need to engage in this venture for so many reasons. Here are some of the reasons why you have to go on a cruise as much as possible especially considering that you need to enjoy your life as well: The variety of cruising has to be considered as much as possible.
The Beginners Guide To Trips (Chapter 1)
You can choose from various types of cruise ships out there. Choose a cruise vessel that you would love as much as possible because this is a vacation – one that you should enjoy in more ways than one. You should fulfill your taste when it comes to these kinds of things because it is something that would make you happy. You have a ton of options to choose concerning all the aspects of this trip. If you want to dine in class, for example, then you can choose the huge vessels to take a cruise on. These ships have a wide variety of entertaining their guests as well. You will surely be able to enjoy your cruise as much as possible when you do this.
Case Study: My Experience With Cruises
Vacation value of your trip Choosing a cruise means you have to pick the one that can give you the best deal. Before you buy a ticket, you need to consider its price and at the same time the packages that go along with it as well. You need to consider the ship which you would be riding for your cruise and if it would be worth the price you plan on paying for it. Parts of the package would be the pampering services that you get as well. The meals that you are getting are also very important to consider at the same time. Bigger ships are usually more grand and they will give you the most sophisticated presentation for your regular meals every single day. When you accomplish this, you will surely be able to enjoy these amazing floating resorts at all times. These vessels will provide you with so many fun activities which you won’t be able to resist. You can also be sure that as the sun goes down, the real fun will begin. You will be offered a romantic setting to enjoy with your partner. With all these opportunities to have fun and be happy, there is no way you wouldn’t be able to. One of the things that one would enjoy about their vacation are the many activities that they have the opportunity of choosing.

A Simple Plan: Automobiles

Why Car Rentals are Beneficial If you own your own car, you might be in a very good position, as car ownership provides a lot of conveniences and advantages that you might not be able to enjoy without one. For example, it might be difficult to commute to a certain destination in the dead of night or in the wee hours of the morning, but if you have a car, things are just very easy. There are times, however, when one will not benefit while driving his or her own car, and during these times, it is definitely beneficial to rent a car. For example, one will benefit a lot of things when renting a car on vacation, on a business trip, or even when his or her car breaks down and a space of time is needed in order to wait for it to be repaired. One who considers the long run will realize that renting a car, especially when one travels to another location, is actually beneficial, as it saves a lot of money. Transporting your own car is another option, but definitely not the best one, as it can cause your car to suffer from damage, which will certainly cost you a lot of money. A person who cares about his or her own car, then, and wishes to save it from damage and wear and tear which comes quicker than normal, he or she will benefit from renting a car while traveling. If you are not familiar with the place you are traveling to on business or on a vacation, you will also be happy to know that renting a car is beneficial because it will provide you with wonderful convenience as you make your way through this new city. It is certainly difficult for people to learn the modes of transportation if they are unfamiliar with the city, and trying to use them will not only cost them a lot of valuable time, but will also be very difficult and inconvenient for them. If you don’t want to waste your valuable time and energy when you travel to a new city, then, it is a wonderful idea for you to rent a car there, gaining a lot of convenience and ease as you travel.
If You Read One Article About Automobiles, Read This One
Of course, different people have different needs, and you will be happy to know that good car rental companies offer you many choices to select from, ensuring that you will find exactly what you need. For example, businessmen might need bigger cars to be able to accommodate their associates, while families may wish to settle for smaller versions which are easy to drive and maneuver. It is clear to see how many advantages a person who finds a good car rental company can enjoy.6 Facts About Rentals Everyone Thinks Are True

The Essential Laws of Trips Explained

The Most Convenient Travel Options for Brazil It is undoubtedly true to appreciate the fact that each and every individual should make sure that their life is as interesting as possible, especially after long hours of working hard in a bid to justify a plate on the table, whereas it is wise to once in a while take a vacation to ponder, relax and even have an appropriate platform to socialize with their family, friends or even colleagues thereby experiencing untold peace of mind. In that regards, it is worth noting that among the majority of destinations worldwide, Brazil is one of the best South American country that is worth being visited, especially owing to its famous carnival that showcases amazing culture with dance, endless partying as well as engaging in the renown samba dance style, whereas any other person who has a unique love for the world life, they are sure to have breathtaking adventures at the Amazon. It is absolutely important to note that any enthusiastic tourist who may decide to visit the amazing country of Brazil could be discouraged by the expensive costs of flights to this country, however, it is possible for a person to be able to achieve their wildest dream of visiting this mesmerizing country of great people, cultures as well as wildlife by just ensuring that they are willing to consider some convenient options. It is incredible to appreciate the fundamental fact that each and every budding tourist who considers visiting the beautiful Brazil should always ensure that they book their flights after the holiday seasons are over, whereas this will guarantee that the low demand on flights will lower the flight costs to a much more affordable level; in which case a person should ensure that they book their flight after the busy summer break as well as in January and February after the new year holidays. The other amazing solution to ensuring quite affordable flight costs to the lovely country of Brazil is by connecting various flights until a final destination to Brazil, this is amazingly cheaper that a person who books a direct flight to the South American country of Brazil, however, a person should make sure that they have an insurance cover in place in case of delays. It is impeccable to appreciate the fact that whenever any person is looking for the cheapest air flight charges to Brazil, they should always make sure that they for flights on the third day of the week, which is Wednesday, owing to the basic fact that statistics have revealed that this day has the cheapest flights given the low travel demand in a normal work week.
The Best Advice About Resources I’ve Ever Written
It is critically recommended that each and every passionate traveler with a dream of travelling into the amazing country of Brazil, should ensure that they employ the techniques mentioned above in ensuring that they get the best deals with the airline companies.News For This Month: Resources

Smart Tips For Uncovering Vacations

Preparing To Travel In Brazil There are so places all over the world that you can travel and most people have always dreamed of traveling these destinations. There are a lot of benefits and advantages that you can get from traveling and sometimes you are able to meet good people and make good memories from traveling. Brazil proves to have the best places that anyone could travel and this is why a lot of people would want to visit the different places in Brazil. If you are looking for a place with unique cultures and great views then you can only expect more when you visit Brazil. When you are thinking of traveling to Brazil for a limited time, you will have to plan everything out so that you can be sure that you will get the best experience when you are in Brazil and this can ultimately save you money and time for doing it. This is why you will have to do some researching about the best places that you should go during your stay in Brazil. The best way to be ready and prepare for traveling is to know the place that you are visiting and this is why you should first know Brazil through researching. You should know the climate of Brazil during your stay so that you can prepare with anything related to the climate of the place. This is to ensure that you will get the most while traveling to Brazil and you are able to tolerate the climate that Brazil has.
Why Resources Aren’t As Bad As You Think
What You Need To Know About Brazil Being a tropical country, Brazil is mostly sunny and people there are accustomed to how hot it can get during summer. It is important that you are able to visit your dermatologist and other health experts to see if you are capable of staying in the sunny places of Brazil.
A Quick Rundown of Trips
When you are traveling overseas, you will have to think of preparing everything especially your documents which would be the most important thing a travel could have. It is not impossible that you are going to get in so much trouble for not having the complete documents for your traveling period and this means you will need to have the complete papers necessary during your travel. When you are still not prepared and ready to travel but you are still planning to go to Brazil you will have to think about visiting the internet to see some guides and tips for a successful travel any places in Brazil. These are some of the things that you should always remember when you are going to visit Brazil and have a great memory by traveling through the best places in Brazil.

Lessons Learned About Activities

The Dos and Don’ts of Youth Retreats Planning a youth retreat is the same with planning for any event. A very well planned preparation should be done to make it a success. There must be a step by step guide so that you won’t have to worry during the event or at least be ready to face anything before, during and after the retreat. The very first thing to remember when planning the retreat is to identify your goals and objectives. Since Christian youth retreats require you to let go of the present such as your busy life and norms, you must be prepared to do so. The objective of conducting this type of retreat is for the youth to discover their inner selves through meeting new people and interacting with them but the ultimate goal is to focus in Christ. To achieve your objectives, you must be able to plan activities that will help reach it by way of organizing games or just be solemn and have everything done indoor. Next is to look for a recruitment admin. This group is responsible for all the organizing and administration of the whole event. These people should be ready to extend their time and effort for the event. The admin can be composed of the youths’ parents and loved ones.
Overwhelmed by the Complexity of Plans? This May Help
Your location must also be well planned. If you seek for a solemn place away from the hustles and bustles of the city, you can go to places near lakes, or those that are more eco-friendly. But if it’s the other way around, you can look for resorts that already have built-in activity areas that cater to events like retreats.
What Do You Know About Events
The expenses for your planned retreat are one of the major concerns to be tackled. That is why it is important to have an estimated cost for the event. Since retreats are often conducted outside Church, there will be more expenses to be incurred that’s why seeking for donors is important. Fundraising is also effective. The youth is more effective in fundraising. How do you invite youth participants? You can come up with a teaser announcement for the youth so that there will be anticipation for them to expect something in the future. A formal written invitation is the most common of all. Having a packing list is a must. There should be limit to the baggage of each participant to accommodate everyone and conserve space. Since the event will separate the youth from their families, their parents will not stop thinking about their meals and situation. That is why the parents should have assurance. You must be able to follow your participants, too. Make sure all the details are provided for the event for them to be well prepared, too.

5 Lessons Learned: Trips

Short Term Missions for Teens The next generation leaders are teenagers. Parents should ensure that their teens grow into responsible parents. Short term missions exist to help parents to bring them up responsibly. These are gatherings in which the teen get to interact and learn from each other. Religious associations, as well as governments, organize these missions. Having them in these missions ensure a number of benefits. these missions are open for all parents to involve their teenagers. The spirit of interaction is encouraged by having these missions. Teenagers coming from different places get together in these camps. They also get to learn about the challenges experienced by their counterparts in other regions. They also come up with future solutions. They also get to create networks that are long lasting. This ensures a united society for the future. They also learn to embrace diversity by appreciating the cultures of others. They get to carry out different activities while in these camps. Religious leaders are usually involved in these missions, therefore, encouraging moral values. They get to be taught in relation to what their religion states. These teenagers also get to be morally responsible people. With the religious teachings impacted on them, people are assured of getting a disciplined society.
Learning The Secrets About Trips
It also enables them to embrace the religious views of others. They also get to understand their religious views more appropriately.
Where To Start with Traveling and More
Mission trips are also a good avenue for the teens to learn and develop technical skills. This is because they are given training. They, therefore, learn how to engage in a variety of activities that are economical. They also get to self-employ themselves. They are as well taught the value of being entrepreneurs. Unemployment in different societies is also solved. During these camps, the teens also get to develop their talents and abilities. Their strengths and weaknesses are also made known to them. While at the camps, teenagers are given various challenges. They get to be grouped into various categories during this time. This enables them to work together. This makes them know the importance of teamwork. This is because there is a lot of sharing of ideas during this time. Their holistic development is also assured. Future leaders are therefore developed this way. They will be taught on the effects of various vices to society. The mission camps also ensure that the teens spend their holidays well. Habits such as drug and alcohol abuse are discouraged because these teenagers are kept busy during this time. Their security is assured when they are in the camps. The camps are a good holiday experience to teenagers. There are very many advantages that people get from attending these missions and camps. It is up to each parent to ensure that their children are involved in these camps.

Enjoy Door in the Florida Keys Miami and Ft transport

Seven days a week – clean, comfortable vans, full size carry twelve passengers. Lauderdale airport and back. Collect the Port of Miami and Port Everglades to anywhere in Florida Keys, leave, so you to your destination as Key West, Key Largo and Islamorada, Marathon. Miami to Key West shuttle full size, 12 passenger vans are clean and have plenty of space for comfortable, and that goal for you is to drive. It will take you from Miami Airport or harbor cruise to Key West and between all points. Also the cruise port Key West to Fort Lauderdale or airport is not a problem for our reliable transport service Key West.

Key points Shuttle pick-up west

Miami International Airport (MIA)

Miami International Airport (MIA) collection is at the bottom (luggage). Located between the terminal D + E, walk through the first set of rails taxis, then through the second set of lanes for private vehicles. If you cross the two sets of tracks, you get a great medium in which the public bus terminal.

Ft. Lauderdale (FLL)

Fort Lauderdale (FLL) is at the bottom (luggage) outside the terminal get your rhythm airline. Affordable collect! We keep up and down all of the Florida Keys. Check out our low prices out of town or the key of your choice! Why drive and pay for parking when you are in style and luxury in a Shuttle. The Key West Florida Keys an archipelago of coral drive in the southern States. They begin at  southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc to the southwest and then. Westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited and uninhabited Tortugas the islands lay along the Florida Straits, west divide the Atlantic Ocean in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the definition of an edge of Florida Bay. On the next point, the southern tip of Key West is just 90 miles (140 kilometers) from Cuba. The Florida Keys are between about some and around degrees north latitude, in the subtropics. The key is defined as a tropical climate, according to climate classification. More than 95 percent of the land area is located in Monroe County, but   small portion northeast into Miami-Dade as Totten Key.

The total area is 137.3 square miles (356 km2). According to the 2000 census, the population was 79,535, with an average density of 579.27 inhabitants per square (223.66 / km2) mile, although a large part of the population in some areas much higher density is concentrated, such as City Key West, which has 32% of the total population of the city keys. The Key West is the county seat of Monroe. The circuit consists of a section on the mainland which is almost in Everglades Park, and the islands from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas.

Smart Ideas: Businesses Revisited

Hua Hin Hotels: Some Basic Facts When you are out traveling, there is a lot of different kinds of things that you will want to do such as staying at a Hua Hin Hotel. So when you are traveling around Thailand, staying in Hua Hin is no doubt a most do because not only are the hotels here simply amazing, but the town itself is gorgeous and jammed packed with history. So if you want to stay in this awesome town, then you should consider finding a top notch Hua Hin hotel, so that you will be able to stay and experience this majestic and gorgeous place. Also, going to this city just to be able to experience the night life in this city is well worth it because Hua Hin is known to be extremely peaceful and relaxing at night. When you are going out on a vacation, then you will want to enjoy some luxuries that you normally will not be able to enjoy. Anyone will be able to enjoy a Hua Hin hotel, because they have a lot of different kinds of features and services available to you, so you will no doubt enjoy your time. There is quite a few different services and features you will be able to enjoy when it comes down to staying at a Hua Hin hotel because they will have everything you need such as a fitness center and also wifi, which is pretty awesome to say the least. There is a lot of factors you will want to keep into mind of when it comes down to the services you can enjoy at these hotels, because they are all wheel chair accessible, they have spas, and they also have swimming pools as well. And many of these Hua Hin hotels will allow you to bring your pet as well, which is always a good thing. Hua Hin is without a doubt an amazing place that you can visit when you are planning on going on a vacation, so just keep this place into mind if you want to have the time of your life. Hua Hin is home to five star luxury resorts and it is also the home of budget friendly hotels as well, so it does not matter what kind of financial situation you are in because you will no doubt find something that will meet your needs and wants. There is many different kinds of Hua Hin hotels available to you, so if you want to stay at an amazing hotel, you will have to think about making sure you are able to do some research and compare different places to find the best hotel for you. There is many different kinds of hotels out there that have amazing views of the beach, that you may want to consider as well. And that is the basic facts and the basic information regarding Hua Hin Hotels.How to Achieve Maximum Success with Hotels

How I Achieved Maximum Success with Hotels

Vacations – My Most Valuable Advice

Some Helpful Suggestions When Visiting Utah Valley Paying a visit to Utah provides many ways for activities to be constantly become dynamic and busy, even if the destination is different, there are some useful tips for having a great time in Utah Valley. It is certainly possible to go on skiing or snowboarding or even winter sports, it is the accepted venue for famous sports performances, it is so excellent that it seems in the license plaque of many vehicles, that means that it’s worth visiting and you could check directly into various resorts all around the area. You can even do some biking in the wilderness and numerous countrywide parks in the region, it includes many paths all around the vicinity that are recommendable for beginners to expert biking followers, biking is possible even on rocky, snowy or any land that you would like to create an adventure, there are even sporting contests and celebrations that enable biking in the moonlight. You can do hiking in different mountainous areas that you want, it is the best place for hiking, other canyons offer an attractive view especially when the sun is rising, if you are in a getaway in Utah Valley, there is always a hiking area near you.
A Beginners Guide To Options
Climbing on rocks is also very popular which is usually showcased in many popular films, this place is the best one for ordinary climbers that want a good challenge, there are more canyons that give great areas for hiking with different ranges of height.
What Do You Know About Traveling
The fishes are always biting in Utah, given the vast area of lakes, fishing a definitely the best choice of hobby, there are different activities that you can do like fly-fishing and you can catch great fishes down the southern area. Camping can unite the family better, you can bring your own covering mat or car and set it up anywhere from any canyon or national park, one great activity is tenting on the beach, you can inhale the fresh air and and listen to good sounds of the waves. Golfing play is extremely popular in Utah also, there are numerous resorts offering the most amazing golf courses, additionally, it is near some famous landscapes, if you want to experience a better thrill, you can test yourself by playing golf in popular canyons. Why not try horseback riding as well, this wonderful place offers paths and trails for horseback fans, there are a variety of horse tracks that are readily available to you even if you a beginner. You are able to do boating in many lakes, especially through the summer months, you may bring your own sail boat or skis and simply dive directly into the action. You can also explore caves where the most beautiful ones are located in Utah, during our visit, if there is no need for a tour, you can be free of exploring your at your own time because there are still many undiscovered caves in Utah.

5 Uses For Vacations

Learn Everything There Is To Know About Holidays and Having a Great Time Holiday is one of the most anticipated event that many people are looking forward to ever since January and now that is here, many are making some noise on how to enjoy it. When holiday arrives, you will get the chance of spending your weeks away from the hassle and bustle of the busy streets and into the calm and relaxing vacation. This is also the time for you to get away from your hectic job where you have had to put in lots of overtime just to get all the things you need to finish done. For all the things that you have achieved and the things that you are striving to fulfill, you deserve one heck of a break which means you need to get away for a week and just enjoy yourself as much as you can. Speaking of holiday, it means having a good time so of course there will be plenty of eating out and enjoy the local nightlife. During daytime, you can choose between passing the day staying under the sun and sunbathe or soak yourself up with the local tourist sites. Holiday will always be the time for you to enjoy yourself, haven fun and let your hair down and for whatever reason you may have, it can only be sum up with one word – bliss. Holidays are also considered to be fab for talking time out from a stressful and modern lifestyle. However, before you indulge yourself on anything, you need to think things over and over again in order for you to avoid any nasty surprises or if you do not want anything to spoil your time with your friends. Listed below are some tips that you can follow in making sure that you will be surviving the holiday:
The Beginners Guide To Holidays (Getting Started 101)
One of the most essential thing that our body needs is water therefore, in order for you not to be dehydrated, you need to always carry around bottle of water wherever you may go. It is important for your body to be hydrated all the time therefore, you need to make sure that you are always drinking plenty of water, may it be during the day, before your set out and certainly when you get back from a fun day. But, you also need to bear in mind that when it comes to water, you have to choose the bottled one and not those ice made from local water.
Smart Ideas: Vacations Revisited
You must never forget to pack properly and when we say pack, you need to include some medicines and first aid kits especially now that there are so many tourist spots made available for visit and lots of food to indulge yourself into.

Practical and Helpful Tips: Vacations

Important Considerations when Travelling to Mexico Those who enjoy travelling should include Mexico in the places they should visit. Mexico is now considered a tourist destination because they have many wonderful beaches, exciting fiestas and your travel can be full of fun and excitement. Every traveler prepares by studying about the place where they will visit, and this should also be true when you visit Mexico; it is necessary to learn as much about Mexico so that you can have a good experience while there. It will be a fun thing to learn some Mexican words and phrases which you can use while you are there. The primary spoken language in the place is Spanish. Bringing an English/Spanish dictionary might do you good. You may be asked for your passport frequently so make sure it is kept safe. When you arrive in Mexico and pass through customs, they will be asking for your tourist card as proof that you have permission to enter Mexico.
Resources – Getting Started & Next Steps
Some items are not allowed in Mexico. You cannot bring more than three liters of alcohol and more than fifty cigars. You are also limited to 400 cigarettes as long as you are over eighteen years old. One camera is acceptable and if it is an old one, only 12 rolls of film are allowed.
Where To Start with Trips and More
You use Mexican pesos when in Mexico. Most stores and restaurants accept this currency. If you haven’t exchanged your money for pesos, you can also use your credit cards for purchases. You will need the pesos in smaller stores and restaurants. Travelers checks can also be used here. Drinking water in Mexico is not very safe. Bottles or boiled water are the safest to drink. Tourist should be cautious in using tap water. You should also take caution when buying fruits and vegetables that have not been washed in purified water. It will be unfortunate if you get sick while on vacation from drinking water or eating certain foods. IF you are not traveling with a group there are ways to find other travelers with whom to travel to Mexico. If you want to go around the country, there are many ways to do it. You can either go with an RV caravan or rent a camping vehicle. You can also go with the caravan while using your own rental vehicle. With this you travel at low cost and at the same time you are safe with fellow travelers. However, this will not be convenient if you have your own itinerary. The choice belongs to the travelers. Popular tourist spots in Mexico are safe. The outskirts may not be as safe. For the best destination is Mexico, consult with the locals.

Lessons Learned from Years with Agents

Reasons For Hiring A Corporate Travel Agent Knowing the specifics of the travel may be tricky enough when taking a trip for some personal reasons. And with all of the laws and requirements, especially with international excursions, it can be both time consuming and confusing to those who are unfamiliar with it. If something is not done correctly even on accident, you may be surprised at the hassles that it could bring including the fines or worst, lawsuits. There are many people who actually work with travel agents instead of risking themselves to committing mistakes. It is important for businesses as well as companies to utilize the service of a corporate travel agent when sending employees on business trip regardless if the destination is abroad or just across the country. Without a doubt, many corporations were able to take their operations to a different level due to globalization. Nothing can still replace travelling to meet with whom you’re doing business personally while it is true that technology made things a lot easier to arrange conferences and meetings face to face. This can send better message and professional courtesy than just doing a face to face meeting digitally.
A Simple Plan For Investigating Trips
Aside from the fact that corporate travel agents know the ins and outs of passport and visa requirements and several other travel regulations, they are also aware of where to find the most affordable deals possible. Knowing which transportation is the most practical, whether to grab a train or fly the whole way for the last leg of your trip, where the best accommodations are for the company’s staffs and even accurately inform the travelers of the exchange rates if they’re visiting abroad are some of the services they can provide. They can also work on planning the whole itinerary of your trip if you want to so all you need to do is to sit back and relax.
Finding Ways To Keep Up With Traveling
Perhaps, the company might not want to fork out extra cash to pay for corporate travel agent or they have not yet planned such expense to their budget. But you better consider this, suppose that someone in the company has tried to directly make travel plans or the employee must figure everything out himself. This can potentially take hours which can possibly cause delay to the trip. But if you have a travel agent on your side, there is nothing to worry about. Besides, all those who are unfamiliar with travel planning have higher chances to be hoodwinked in paying for higher fares and accommodation than what they may have to. Unscrupulous ticket sellers and even hotel managers will take any possible opportunity to swindle a bit of money from their unsuspecting customers if they sense that someone doesn’t know what they are doing.

Finding Similarities Between Resources and Life

How to Survival in the Wilderness: Tips and Hints to Know

Due to your busy schedule, you are able to to take alight some of your must-brings like a bottle of water or even a hanky. But this is not something you should be worrying about since you can go on with your day even in their absence. But what if the situation turns into something unexpected and you find yourself in the middle of the wilderness and having no one with you? At times, you need to look forward to what’s unexpected, so you know what to do and where to go when that time arrives.

Tips and Hints for Wilderness Survival


Before you set up for a trip, you must tell someone that you are going somewhere. Do not go to any place without letting your friend or family know about it. If there is someone who is privy of your trip, you are confident that whatever happens in your travel, someone will always be finding a way to locate you. Make it sure that you communicate to them not just your destination but also the time duration within which you will be away.


Alright, you are in a difficult and unusual situation, so it is normal to fear and panic. But it will be hard for you to get out of the situation properly if you have them with you. So, do not fear and panic and keep a head on. When you can’t get things done right there and then, just look for another way to do. Stay calm and try to observe your environment first. Inhale and exhale and begin forming a plan.


For sure, you have some things there with you. They might not seem to be purposeful at the beginning, but you have to keep them with you. Never take lightly the smallest item that you have for who knows, it might be the key to going out of the situation. A shoe lace may even be used for making a bow and arrow.


Even in the absence of carpentry tools and lumber supplies, you can build your own shelter in that wilderness by being creative. Form a small structure that functions like a house, so you can be protected against the cold and warmth in the day and night. You also need to have some shelter against the rain. Find some plant leaves that you can use for both bedding and leaving. Plants that are thorny and are not dense may not be ideal to be used as bedding.

You are not thinking negative when you are studying how to survive in the wilderness prior to the occurrence of the situation. You are just preparing yourself.


3 Vacations Tips from Someone With Experience

Where to Go When Vacationing in Colorado There is a lodge in Colorado which is a famous mountain resort famous for having the largest ski resort in North America. For millions of people, this area is the ultimate ski destination for a holiday. Not only for being a ski resort, this place has a diverse nightlife and fantastic shopping areas. Another resort has something to offer for every guest, with its extra ordinary and nice Bavarian-style village, this resort has hundreds of shopping, entertaining and dining choices. This resort has several lodging options to fit your budget, and is considered as a likeable place to visit whole year round. It is recommended that visitors do their bookings in advance so that they can get a favourable rate. If you do the booking at the last minute, you could stand the possibility of no units for your scheduled trip.
The Key Elements of Great Lodges
Some people who decide on the last minute, could find booking their units through the internet. Websites are available in this area offering last minute bookings.
Why People Think Vacations Are A Good Idea
Another way to look for last minute lodging in the valley is to go into major travel booking sites. Good deals are available in websites if you join their clubs or email newsletter. Being a member of these online publications can get you good rates especially during peak season, without shelling out a good amount of money. Vail has many lodging units in its four distinct areas, which are the Vail Village, Lionshead, East Village and West Village. These areas could run from cheap to expensive lodging options. With luxurious hotels and lodges, Vail Village is the place for those who has the money. Lionshead on the other hand has available condos that cost millions of dollars. Lionshead is also the place to lodge if you want to use the gondola to be at the top of Eagle’s Nest. If you like to have a vacation with the open air surrounding you, then Aspen Colorado must be seriously an option. This is a fabulous vacation area that offers all types of unique activities near to any lodging place you have chosen. Aspen is a serene area, set in John Denver country, that offers opportunity to do any winter sport at any given day during winter season. A very important reason why people opt for Aspen is because the skiing and snowboarding activities are just minutes away from your lodging door. Aside from these activities, you can also go cross-country skiing or alpine touring. Breckenridge is a town with many full service hotels that provide access to the resort and Main Street. There are also luxurious condo rentals with private hot tub in Brekenridge. This place also provide fantastic view of the Ten Mile Range. This place truly can set a luxurious mountain vacation for you and your family, in whatever style of lodging would suit you best.

Study: My Understanding of Boxes

The Importance of Subscription Boxes

A subscription box is actually a compendium of retail products that are given directly to the customer on a recurring basis. The subscription boxes are a marketing strategey and a means to subscribe products. The subscription boxes are utilized by the business companies that have subscription based ecommerce which is usually called as subcom for short, which tail a subscription business scheme. They target a lot of different customers and cater to a wide range of specific interests and necessities. The subscription box commerce is nascent, as a result, a minimal amount of data exists. It is appraised that there are merely 400 to 600 various forms of subscription boxes just in the United States and more overseas.

The subscriptions are not the same in terms of frequency and price which makes them easily reachable to a wide range of customers who don’t have the same socioeconomic backgrounds. There is a tendency for the subscription boxes to have a price range of 10 to 100 US dollars. The usage of subscription boxes are increasing in popularity among the consumers as well as businesses. The subscription business is suitable for a lot of markets. The large scale merchants such as Lacnome, Freshpair, CVS Pharmacy, Amazon, and Walmart make use of the subscription business. And even the local groups and small scale business companies benefit from subscription boxes. The products are inadequate only to what can be transported as well as downloaded. In the face of this, there are a number of products such as the smaller and the lighter ones, that are more suited for subscription box in contrast to others.

History of subscription boxes
There are a whole heap of subscription trade companies that are growing so fast these days. Since its launched in 2011, there are a number of business companies that continue to double in size for every six months. On the other hand, there are also a couple of business companies that tripled or quadrupled in size in just a number of months. And for this, a lot of companies prefer to use subscription boxes as a form of marketing tool at the present time. And their sales just went extremely high since they were provided with the opportunity to reach out to a lot of clients from every corner of the world. In addition, they have attained a lot of subscribers than they have expected making more and more companies make use of subscription boxes.
What Research About Boxes Can Teach You

What are the various kinds of subscription boxes?
The subscription business has two types of categories, the convenience commerce and discovery commerce. Both of these categories are destined to increase the sales as well as foster brand loyalty. On the other hand, they still have a dissimilarity which is disparity.Why not learn more about Sales?

Ideas for Men Traveling Alone

traveling as the individual male poses any number associated with excellent advantages, but that also gifts some difficulties. The majority of traveling advice with regard to singles will be tailored to be able to a women’s perspective, however solo adult men face numerous of the particular same difficulties as properly as special obstacles while globetrotting. Cautious planning and also common feeling play critical roles within this consider: It usually takes only 1 bad selection to switch a wish vacation in to a nightmare.

Dialing a accredited cab business when going at nighttime can preserve you via getting inside non-listed taxis along with becoming sufferers of burglary, and only because an individual are some sort of man really does not imply that a person are not necessarily at danger. Especially inside developing international locations, seedy owners sometimes strategy with any group regarding cohorts to be able to detain their very own vehicle about a personal stretch associated with road. Subsequently they draw out tools and pressure you in order to comply along with their requirements.

Single males traveling upon a spending budget will generally opt to be able to stay from hostels using shared suites. Be conscious that several hostel dorms are co-ed, so an individual might become staying inside the similar room using females. Check out ahead or even ask typically the manager regarding room preparations when arranging if a person want to be able to secure the bed within an all-male dorm. To learn more on traveling for single guys, click here.

Live Escape Games in Berlin

The sensation that has been sweeping the world has hit Berlin with eight live escape games opening their doors in the last 6 months.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, you are not alone! Until a few weeks ago, I too was an escape game virgin…. But lets just say my cherry has been well and truly popped!

Check out our Berlin Room Escape Game Directory

Live escape games, also known as room escape games, real escape games, or exit games, are a relatively new phenomenon. The inspiration comes from the world of computer games, chiefly, point and click adventure games like Monkey Island or 100 doors (a game for smartphone and tablet).  The basic premise is that you are locked in a room and have 60 minutes to escape. To do so you will have to scour the room for clues, combine various elements and solve a number of puzzles, eventually leading you your release…  If you like detective stories, TV shows like the CSI, or playing puzzles, computer games or board games then you should definitely try out a live escape game.

I don’t want to give too much away, because that would ruin the experience.  Part of the fun (particularly with your first game) is not knowing exactly what to expect, so forgive me if I am a little vague on the details…Trust me, it’s for your own good, and believe me when I tell you that this is one of the best ways I have ever spent an hour of my time. One of the best things about the experience is that it is a team game. Only by working together will you have a hope of getting out of the room alive…. just kidding, if the time runs out the game master will open the door and let you out.  The game will lead you on a merry rollercoaster of emotions, with moments of utter frustration dissolving into fist pumps and screeches of delight as a solution suddenly becomes clear, and, although I am not the high fiving type, lets just say that my palms were still stinging an hour after we diffused our first bomb!

Thwart an assassination attempt in 1960’s West Berlin at Questory

Before my first live escape game I didn’t really know what to expect.  I certainly didn’t expect to be so immersed in the experience, or that my adrenaline would be pumping so hard as the time ticked down. After that first game we grabbed some beers and spent the next few hours “debriefing” reliving an experience that was as exciting as it was unique.  At the time, it was the only game in Berlin, so I wasn’t sure if or when I’d get another chance to play.  Well – you can picture my cheshire cat sized grin when I learned that another 4 had opened in last last few months while I wasn’t looking!

It is only a month since I made that delightful discovery and I have now played at each of the locations in Berlin… beware, it is more addictive than cocaine! The staff at each of the locations are really friendly, helpful, genuinely enthusiastic and excited about the concept and were keen to get our feedback after playing. During the game, a “game master” follows your progress by camera and microphone and will give hints if they see you stuck on a particular puzzle or wasting your time on something that isn’t part of the game. Across the board, the clues given were really good, and were given as gentle nudges in the right direction rather than overt solutions.

I played each game with a different group of people who had no previous room escape game experience.  This gave me some good insights into the difficulty as well as the overall experience from a beginners perspective. I am a bit surprised, but also very happy to say that each game we played offered such a unique, challenging and immersive experience that I would happily recommend any one of them. No matter which game you decide on, I am sure you will have a great time, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you end up playing more than one!

Read on for my thoughts on each of the live escape games we played and click on their link to find out more information.

The Room – Live Escape Game Berlin

Missions played:  The Beast of Berlin (Difficulty Level 5/5)
                             Go West (Difficulty 3/5)
Price: from 66€ for a team of 2 to 99€ for a team of 5
More Info

The Room offers Berlin’s most lavish and impressive room escape experience. Set in the in the office of Chief Inspector Ernst Gannat in1920s Berlin the level of detail as well as great historical touches take this game to the next level. A great variety of puzzles presented some really challenging moments – we needed quite a few hints and were halfway through the last puzzle when we ran out of time! At every step of the way we were impressed with the quality of the build and furnishings as well as the soundtrack, composed especially for the game. This is a game that has been designed and built by an experienced and passionate team that have succeeded in creating something truly remarkable. They also have a second room, “Go West” where you get to escape from East Berlin which is every bit as exciting as it sounds!

Exit Berlin – Live Escape Game

Mitte (a short walk from Alexanderplatz)
Game Played: Madhous
Price: 59 € for a team of 2 to 129 € for a team of 8
More info

Exit, located in an original GDR bunker, definitely has the coolest live escape game location in Berlin. The bunker adds a lot to the atmosphere of the games and lends the whole experience and extra sense of excitement. Exit is the perfect choice for larger groups, parties, or company events, and have a large space perfect for groups, complete with poker table! They also offer one of their games, “Secret Prison” in battle mode: the have 2 identical versions of the game, so you can play head to head with another team and see who gets out first. “Madhouse”, the game we played, is definitely one of the best games in Berlin with some great puzzles, and more than a few surprises (you’ll have to find out for yourself what they are). The game is quite difficult, particularly for first timers, so I suggest if it is your first escape game experience, that you start with Hackers Home as a warm up.

Game Played: The Assassin (Difficulty 4/5)
Price: 60 € per team (2-6 Players)
More Info

Set in West Berlin in 1963, in Questory’s “The Assassin” we had to pick up the trail of a would be assassin and stop him before he carried out his dastardly plot (cue: evil laugh). The game is really nicely set up in 60’s décor, and has some great puzzles.  A cool touch are the trench coats and hats on the coat rack if you feel like getting into costume.   A couple of the puzzles are pretty damn difficult and we needed quite a few prods in the right direction from our game master before we successfully completed the mission. Being a bit of a Cold War nerd I particularly enjoyed the historical details and the soundscape which accompanies the game provides a great atmosphere as well as a good amount of historical context. We are looking forward to checking out their second game which is currently in the planning stage and should be playable from early 2015.

Hipster Escape Party

Difficulty Level 4/5
Price: 20 € per person (Teams of 2-8 Players)
More Info

Hipster Escape Party is an interesting and original take on the room escape game. Instead of countering spies, bombs, and evil villains, you and your team “wake up” to find yourself locked in an apartment on the morning after an epic house party. You have 60 minutes to find the key and escape the scene before the owner gets home. This game proved quite challenging, with our team escaping with only 5 minutes to spare. Hipster Escape Party is one of the largest games in Berlin and I would recommend playing with a team of 4 to 6 for the best experience. The puzzles were logical, creative and challenging and the game master was great, providing only a little nudge in the right direction when it was absolutely necessary.

Stop the evil chemist in EXIT Berlin’s Toxic Kitchen

Mission Accepted

Price: from 59 € for a team of 2 to 95 € for a team of 5
Difficulty Level: 3/5
More Info

In this mission you begin in the office of an employee of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Services, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND).  The BND is actually located across the road from the game, so it gives the game an added dose of realism.  The puzzles have been well thought out and game has a nice pace and logic to it – we got through it with only 3 minutes to spare!  One thing I liked is that they can alter the game slightly depending on the size of the group, which means that it will still provide a challenge whether you are 2 or 5 players.  The game master was great and only gave us a nudge in the right direction when absolutely necessary.

Escape Zone Berlin

Game Played: The Dictator Room (Difficulty 3.5/5)
Other Games:  Emergency Room
Price: from 69 € for a team of two to 99 € for a team of 6
More Info

Escape Zone Berlin’s Dictator Room offers an exciting room escape experience.  An evil dictator is planning on blowing up the city as his grasp of power begins to falter.  For some reason he has decided to leave his office for exactly 60 minutes, leaving you and your team an opportunity to save the city.  This is a fun, exciting game with top quality construction and furnishings.  Most importantly, the puzzles are interesting and creative, with a few fantastic “ahhh SNAP” moments (which you will have to play yourself to discover…no spoilers here).  They also have a second room “The Emergency Room”, a medical themed escape in which you will need to save a critically ill patient.  Escape Zone is really conveniently located in Nikolaiviertel, just a short walk from Alexanderplatz.


Make a Break

Price: from 50 € for a team of 2 to 96 € for a team of 6
Difficulty Level: 2.5/5
More Info

As a fan of Berlin history I love that they have taken this iconic moment in history as the basis for the game. The story is immersive and the décor, although somewhat elementary, creates a great atmosphere for some cold war espionage! The puzzles were logical and intriguing, with a good balance between simpler puzzles and ones that required a bit more brain power. The mission “Tear Down This Wall” is set on the 9th of November 1989: your team has been tasked by the West German secret service to broadcast fake commands to the guards, ordering them to open the border crossings. Although it still presents a challenge for experienced escape artists, I would really recommend it as a great game for first timers. They currently have another 2 games in development which should be opening in the coming months… something I am very excited about.


Team Escape Berlin

Game Played: Mr Nobody’s First Case (Difficulty: 3/5)
Price: from 71 € for a team of 2  to 110 € for a team of 6. 
More Info

In this game by Team Escape Berlin we had to find out what had happened to the missing journalist “Mr Nobody”. Before the game we were told that the success rate for that week was around 60%, which filled me with a mixture of nervousness and determination. Perhaps because of the extra motivation, we were on fire, and completed the mission in around 46 mins. The game is well designed and built and we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience, in particular the flow and complex but logical through-line of the puzzles. There were a couple of moments that we particularly enjoyed, but I’ll leave you to discover them for yourself and there are some nice Berlin specific details in the story line which I appreciated.  Team Escape also have a second room “The State Secret” which I am looking forward to playing sometime soon as well as games in Cologne and Düsseldorf.

TRAP – Team Race Against Puzzles

Friedrichshain (Cafe Szimpla)
Price:  50 € per team (2-5 People)
More info

TRAP is sort of the little brother of the Berlin escape game scene, although was actually the first to set up in Berlin.  It was also the first Escape Game that I played and as such left very good impression.  Rather than being a purpose built room, the game takes place in the back room of a cafe. The puzzles are located in a series of wooden military boxes, and were designed as a portable game that could be taken to festivals or events. At first we were a little skeptical as the atmosphere is pretty lacking, but as soon as the counter started ticking down we immediately set to work and became just as intent in solving the puzzles as we did with the more elaborate games. The puzzles are complex and one in particular had us really stumped until we had one of those “lightbulb moments”. This is a good game if you are looking to challenge your brain a little and don’t mind a lack of props, or detailed storyline.


7 Steps to a Perfect Weekend in Berlin

Everyone’s idea of the perfect Berlin weekend will differ wildly, and the beauty of Berlin is that it is a city full of possibilities. Want to save on accommodation and spend the entire weekend club hopping? – easy! How about a relaxing weekend of pampering and 5 star indulgence? No problem. I could go on and on here so let me just say that it doesn’t matter whether your interests lie in shopping, nightlife, history, culture or food, Berlin has it covered. The one problem with all this choice is that it can sometimes be overwhelming, and if you are only here for a weekend it isn’t going to be possible to do everything.

The blogosphere is full of amazing tales of visits to Berlin, travellers rave about the city, and many of them (like us) love the city so much they end up moving here. So, when I read Gemma Fottles’ travel blog about her disappointing first trip to Berlin I was a bit surprised, As I read her post, though, I could see what when wrong, and how, with a little bit of planning, the trip could have turned out a lot different.

When I heard that Gemma was coming back to Berlin courtesy of Berlin based travel search engine GoEuro we thought it would be a great idea to tag along and film her Berlin Weekend and see how things went, second time around…check out our video of the weekend as well as our interview with Gemma for her impressions of Berlin:

Take Two…

Berlin is deceptively big and largely decentralised.  This means that unlike many other cities, you wont really find a main city centre where all the action occurs or a district where you’ll find all the awesome restaurants and bars. The great thing, and at times the curse, of Berlin, is that each district is self sufficiant city unto itself.  The popular district of Kreuzberg, for example, has around 150,000 residents and a abundance of great bars, shops and restaurants. Each district is made up of smaller neighbourhoods known as a “Kiez”, and it is these neighbourhoods where you will find most of the cool bars, shops and eateries.  Spend some time wandering around and Berlin will reveal itself to you as you happen across little pockets of interesting shops, or hidden away cafes and the awesome bars that Berlin is famous for.

Of course, on a weekend trip, you will have limited time for wandering and letting things unfold so instead, a little planning is required. Now, when I say “a little planning” I mean it, please don’t plan a minute by minute itinerary.  Instead, do a bit of research and come up with a few things that you absolutely want to do, as well as a couple of “if we have time” items. One of the great things about traveling, and Berlin as well, is spontaneity, so make sure you leave some room open to head to that awesome bar that someone just told you about, or the exhibition that just caught your eye. Some of my best Berlin experiences have been when I started with a plan and then went with the flow.

With that in mind, instead of coming up with the perfect Berlin itinerary, I’ve decided to put together

7 steps for the Perfect Berlin Weekend

1.  Do some research

Head online or grab a guidebook and do a bit of research to find out what the city has on offer. If you like museums, check out a few online and decide which ones you want to visit. If you are into a particular music style, make sure you find out which venues play the stuff you like. Some attractions like the Reichstag or the Sammlung Boros will required advanced booking so make sure if they are on your “definitely want to do”list, that you book your ticket. If you want to go shopping, be aware that most shops are shut on Sundays (but there are a great selection of Sunday flea markets).


2.  Do a tour

My first suggestion for visiting Berlin for the first time is to do a tour. A tour will help you make sense of the geography as well as the culture and history of the city. There are a number of great companies in Berlin offering an variety of different tours. Insider Tour offer a selection of great walking tours from their general Berlin tour to more specific ones on topics such as Third Reich History, Cold War, or Berlin Today. If you are looking for something a little less mainstream, Alternative Berlin Tours offer a number of different walking tours which delve into Berlin’s alternative scene where you’ll get to see lots of Berlin’s street art and hear about the different subcultures which make up Berlin. If walking isn’t your thing, there are also bike, bus, and boat tours on offer. Make sure you ask your guide for their hot tips for bars, clubs or restaurants… usually you’ll get some great local suggestions.

3.  Decide what sort of weekend you want

Are you coming for a weekend of partying? Or do you want to hit the shops or markets? Is a day of relaxing on the river with a cocktail your idea of perfection or are you keen to spend every waking hour immersing yourself in Berlin’s rich history?

To a certain extent you can combine a bit of everything, but it pays to have an idea of what you would like to get out of the weekend so you can narrow down your options. If you have 6 museums that you are dying to visit, you probably wont want to stumble home at 9am after hitting the clubs all night.

4.  Be flexible

If you are having an awesome time in a bar, and your newly met friends suggest another cool bar or club why not run with it! We have discovered some amazing places this way, and as long as you exhibit some common sense as far as safety goes, there is not a lot that can go wrong.

If bad weather puts the kibosh on your outdoor plans, use the opportunity to check out one of Berlin’s museums or find a local bar to spend some time in.

5.  Put some thought into where you are going to stay

Each locality has a different style and feel and will appeal to a different sort of visitor so make sure you do a bit of research. If you are looking to party hard you will want to stay in Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain. Boutique shopping? Charlottenburg, Mitte, or Prenzlauer Berg. Choose where you will stay based on what you are mostly going to be doing.  This will cut down your travel time/cost and you will be able to spend more time enjoying your weekend.

6.  Find out where the locals go

Yes, you can have a great weekend hanging out with other travellers and getting drunk in the hostel bar or the German themed tourist restaurant.  Ask around, though, and you are bound to find some gems that are a little off the radar. Talk with hotel staff, shop keepers, and tour guides.  I guarantee you, if you ask nicely, that they will have some favourite spots they will be happy to share.  Berliners are very proud of their city, and although can be a bit abrupt or dry, they are generally very helpful and warm hearted.

7. Keep your expectations realistic

Yes, Berlin is amazing, and yes, everyone is raving about how amazing it is, but Berlin is also a city which can sometimes take a little time to fall in love with. It is big, not particularly beautiful, and the locals can sometimes come across as rude. A weekend is a small amount of time and if one plan goes awry or the weather is bad it could spell disaster unless you are willing to go with the flow and change things up.

Berlin’s Top Cold War Locations

With spies, intrigue, double agents, the CIA, KGB, the space race and not to mention the nuclear arms race it is no wonder that the Cold War continues to fascinate.  Playing up the action were the countless films made during the period, from James Bond to classics like “The Spy who came in from the Cold” and many of the real life stories from the period are every bit as exciting as the movies.
Berlin was at the front line of the Cold War and bore the brunt of much of the Superpower’s political machinations.  During the first Cold War crisis, the Soviets blockaded West Berlin forcing the allies to embark on the largest airlift in history, landing over 200,000 planes during the 300 day blockade, providing 4700 tonnes of necessities daily!  On the 27th of October, 10 Soviet and 10 American tanks faced off for over 16 hours across the border at Checkpoint Charlie – thankfully the crises ended peacefully but it could have easily triggered World War 3.
There are many locations across Berlin that still bear the legacy of the Cold War from grand Monuments, to impressive examples of communist architecture.  The distinctive identity of the various Berlin localities also have a great deal to do with the Cold War and the 55 year division of the city including of course the period from 1961 to 1989 that the Berlin Wall snaked its way through the German capital.
Here are 10 of our favourite original Cold War sites that stand the test of time – Be sure to check out our video below on the Top 5 Cold War Sites with Mike from Insider Tour.

1: Tempelhof Airfield

What better place to chill out than an abandoned airfield? No, really, believe me, it totally works!
Berlin Tempelhof Airport closed operations in 2008 and has now become one of Berlin’s largest and most visited public parks.  Built by the Nazi’s in 1927, through the Cold War years it was the main airport for American Military Transport into West Berlin and was used extensively during the Berlin Airlift.
In 2010 the space was re-opened as a city park and now, thousands of people flock to the airstrip on a sunny day to picnic, ride bikes or rollerblade, fly kites or generally romp around in the huge open space. It’s not only the outdoor areas that are in use nowadays, the massive airline hanger now hosts all sorts of events throughout the year. Fairs, fashion shows and music concerts are held here, giving another tick in the city’s list of cool places to experience in Berlin.  There is also a company offering fascinating english language tours of the buildings every weekend.

2: Stasi Museum

This Stasi Museum is housed in the former Stasi headquarters of Berlin where the MFS (Ministry for State Security) ran operations for nearly 40 years.
After the fall off the Berlin Wall the new government established this whole compound as a research centre, open to the public in 1990, but it wasn’t until 2012 that ‘House 1’ of the offices was opened as an exhibition. Here you can see the offices complete with original furniture, of Erich Mielke, who was head of the Stasi for 30 years. You can also learn about ‘Tradition Work’ in the Stasi, the resistance and opposition it faced and see all sorts of artefacts on display like spy cameras and other tricks of the trade that they used to gather information.


3: The Tränenpalast

This building, next to the Friedrichstraße train station in Berlin Mitte, was one of the border crossings during the Cold War, where people could travel from East to West, provided they had the correct documentation and were admitted by the border control guards.
Translated, the Tränenpalast means The Palace of Tears, a fittingly emotional title for a place where loved ones said their goodbyes, not knowing when they would see them again. Now a free museum, here you can learn more about the history of the border, and discover people’s stories who had first hand experience with this building, who said their own goodbyes right on this spot.

4: Berlin Wall Memorial

If you want to get back to basics, you need to visit the wonderful Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer. On this site stands part of the original wall and a preserved section of the death strip with lookout guard tower. You get a great view of this from the observation deck across the road. From here you have a view from the Chapel of Remembrance all the way to Nordbahnhof train station, which also has a ‘ghost stations’ exhibition within it.
If you walk the length of Bernauerstraße you’ll see original photos, learn about escape attempts and the people who lost their lives, see where the underground tunnels ran and the original floor plan of the church. There is a visitor’s centre opposite the station where you can get more information on the Berlin Wall. This memorial is a must see when you are in Berlin.

5: Treptower Park

Opened four years after the end of World War 2, the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park is the burial ground for up to 5000 Soviet soldiers who fell in the Battle of Berlin in April-May 1945. This memorial is massive and breathtaking with impressive statues, sarcophagi and sculptures.  Interestingly, and somewhat fittingly, the red granite used in the large stylised Soviet flags beside the kneeling soldiers, which was taken from Hiltler’s New Reich Chancellery after the war.  Renovated in 2004, this memorial sits in Treptower Park which also has lots of green space for picnicking and lounging in the sun.

6:  Alltag in der DDR Museum

This museum in the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg is the perfect place to get an inside look at what life was like behind the Berlin Wall. It’s filled with memorabilia and artefacts from the era, an original Trabi car with attached camping hood, scenes from work and play and heaps of information on the times. One of he best parts is the footage. You can watch original interviews with the general public living in East Berlin and get a small glimpse on how they felt about it and the restrictions it placed on them and their lives.
This free museum should take about 2 hours to get through, depending on your interest and is well located to combine with a trip to the Berlin Wall Memorial.

7:  Hohenschönhausen Memorial

This prison has definitely seen some political history. If you were a political prisoner or opposed the GDR regime you would have likely seen the inside of these cells.
In 1945 the Stasi police took over this old canteen block and used it as a detainment camp. In 1946 the cellar part was converted into an area for interrogation and detention before it closed, and after reopening in 1951 by the East German ministry of State Security, it was used as a remand centre until 1989.
A tour of this prison, in English, only happens once a day at 2.30pm for €5. You’ll discover all about the world of the Stasi and their intelligence gathering techniques, surveillance and interrogation techniques and more.  These tours are often run by former inmates, yet another reason to go and get a story – first hand.

8:  Insider Tour – Cold War Tour

What better way to delve further into the Cold War than to learn about Stasi methods and surveillance, who the key figures were and most intriguingly, where are these people now?
On Insider Tour’s Cold War Berlin tour, they will take you on a specific city walk, which opens up the secrets of GDR Berlin: the ghost trail of the death strip and the Berlin Wall, the escape attempts, the spies and the soviet secrets.
It takes four hours in total and only costs €12 or €10 if you are under 26!  Tours leave every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday all year round, no booking necessary just turn up at the meeting point in Hackescher Markt and you’ll be on your way.

9:  Berlin on Bike – Berlin Wall Tour

With Berlin on Bike’s tour of the Berlin Wall, you can cover far more ground than you would trying to see this much of the wall on foot. Starting at the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg you will ride 15 kilometres between Bornholmer Straße and the government district.  During your ride you’ll discover border checkpoints, original death strip sections and what remains of the Berlin Wall today. All this unveiled by a fantastic guide who knows everything one could know about the times of the Wall and it’s downfall.
It’s a good idea to reserve a spot on his tour. The trip itself costs €14, you are welcome to ride your own bike or you can hire one from Berlin on Bike for an extra €5. Lasting around 3.5 hours, english tours run at 11.00am every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

10:  The Berliner Fernsehturm

This being the tallest structure in Germany, the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) is a hard one to miss. Grandly rising out of Alexanderplatz, it was built between 1965 and 1969 by the German Democratic Republic administration and was a symbol of socialist technology and prowess in a divided city.
Today it is one of Berlin’s most recognised sights and attracts over one million visitors every year. It’s a great place for the best view of the city from the observation platform or even as you enjoy a coffee or a meal in the revolving restaurant situated within the circumference of the sphere.

Gay Berlin

Berlin is often touted as one of the world’s best LGBT destinations.  It doesn’t much matter which guide, blog or website you consult, you are bound to find a travel writer singing its praises and extolling the virtues of Berlin’s liberal attitude, its non stop parties, or its epic festivals.


Full disclosure time: I’m not gay, and to be honest hadn’t really thought much about what Berlin had to offer LGBT travellers in much detail until we had a few friends ask us where they should go for a drink.  I hit all the usual travel and LGBT websites to try to find some places to recommend as well as try to get a sense of what it is about Berlin that appeals to the LGBT traveller.  Although there are obviously some differences in the bars and clubs that are suggested, what I came to realise is that the answer is pretty much the same thing that draws gay tourists as everyone else…

Basically, Berlin is a city where you can be yourself, without apology or judgment, or even really attracting any attention.  With such an array of cultures and sub-cultures living side by side it doesn’t matter what your niche, fetish, scene, or style is, there is somewhere here where you can feel at home.  As I did my research, it became increasingly apparent that I needed to consult with someone who knew what they were talking about.  So, instead of just regurgitating what all the other guides were saying about Berlin’s gay scene we decided to enlist the help of Adam Groffman.
Adam is a Berlin based travel blogger who writes both a hipster travel blog, as well as a gay travel guide so I figured he would just the person we needed to get an insider’s perspective on Gay Berlin.  He has lived here for the past couple of years and has plenty of tips for visitors, both gay and straight.  I decided it would be fun to make him pick his top 5 Berlin locations and also had a chat with him about why he thinks Berlin is such a magnet to the LGBT community.
*** For the month of November, Adam is running a sweepstakes and is giving away a ticket for two from the US to Berlin as well as 4 nights accommodation.  For more information and to enter the competition head HERE ***

MyDBerlin Hi Adam, thanks for helping us out with an locals perspective on Berlin’s Gay scene… Berlin is often touted as the Gay Capital of Europe. Is that true?

Adam:  Berlin’s LGBT scene is certainly a big part of day-to-day life in Berlin and I think because of the city’s friendly spirit, Berlin makes for a great gay destination. The city is so much more than just the historical “gayborhood” of Schöneberg – gay bars, clubs and events are everywhere here!

MyDBerlin: Is it worth coming for Berlin’s gay pride festivals like Christopher St Day etc?

Adam:  Berlin’s annual CSD is a big event and it’s always a lot of fun. Plus it’s so much more than just the parade. The weekend before there’s a big “Strassenfest” with DJs and live music in the streets of Schoneberg plus local organizations put up booths and sell all sorts of things along the street. It feels much more like you’re a part of the community at the CSD events like that, rather than the often big, loud and crazy parade! If you do plan to visit for CSD, make sure you book a place to stay earlier rather than later – the city fills up with tourists from all over the world!

MyDBerlin: Why do you love living in Berlin?

Adam:  If you ask many other Berlin expats, you’ll hear the same kind of story. This city is infectious — there’s an incredible energy and atmosphere here that’s hard to describe. Berlin is a changing city and, unlike many other big cities, it still feels like anyone can do anything here. There is so much happening here just about every day of the week, it’s never boring. The city just has an incredible energy to it and you feel as if you can achieve almost anything here.

MyDBerlin Is there another city that comes close to Berlin’s fabulousness?

Adam:  Oh, tough question! I love cities like London and NYC because they’ve both got great gay scenes (probably the world’s best), but they’re also just such big cities they can be overwhelming. Smaller cities that are equally fun and interesting are sometimes a better comparison. I think Tel Aviv has a lot of what Berlin offers and it’s another favorite city of mine!

MyDBerlin: You’ve been blogging for 5 years now, What is the best thing about being a travel blogger?

Adam:  I love the freedom and flexibility of owning my own publication – everything from the initial set-up and day-to-day social media (I’m probably addicted to Twitter and Instagram!) to the bigger projects such as my redesign or exciting marketing promotions. I worked in the publishing industry (as a graphic designer) for three years right out of university, but being able to control every step of the process is exciting and scary – that’s why I love blogging. The thrill of doing my own thing!

MyDBerlin:  So we’ve got your top 5 spots in our Gay Berlin video, any other hot tips for gay travel in Berlin?

Adam:  Berlin has a lot of great events throughout the year for LGBT tourists. One of my favorite things to do in Berlin during the winter is attend film screenings during the Berlinale Film Festival. But what most people don’t know is that the Berlinale runs a LGBT-themed film festival as part of the greater Berlinale festival – the Teddy Awards. It’s really great to see LGBT-themed cinema and a lot of the films are top-notch!

Adam has some great information on his blog so make sure you head to Travels of Adam or My Gay Travel Guide. You can also find him on twitter, facebook or instagram.  In addition to his blogging and travelling, Adam is also the Digital Marketing Manager for Eating Europe Tours.

Adam’s Top 5 Gay Berlin Locations



SchwuZ is one of my favourite Gay clubs in Berlin.  It is located in the new gay neighbourhood of Neukölln and is one of the longest running and most popular clubs in Berlin.  Open from Wednesday to Saturday they do a number of weekly parties with various musical styles, including pop, house, techno, and indie rock.  They have 3 dance floors so you’ll can always find some music you like and semi regular themed nights like the insanely popular “Madonnamania” are a lot of fun!

The Club

Not actually a club, “The Club” is a chilled out bar, also located in Neukölln (and a great spot for a few drinks before heading to SchwuZ).  Open every night, The Club is a cool place to hang out with a beer or cocktail, and they also hold some interesting events like art shows, poetry readings and a Wednesday drag night, with half price drinks until midnight!  YUM!

Memorial to the Homosexuals persecuted under Nazism

This memorial, commissioned by the German government, is the third of its kind in Germany and is symbolic of the country’s ongoing commitment to equality as well as honouring the gay and lesbian victims of the Holocaust.  Located in Tiergarten park, this simple but powerful memorial is not in every travel guide, but is well worth a visit.

Hamburger Mary’s Restaurant and Bar

Located in the more traditional and historic gay neighbourhood of Schöneberg, Hamburger Mary’s is a restaurant and bar that’s known for its weekend drag nights.  As the name would suggest they also do a pretty decent burger.  Every weekend they have a great line up of drag queens, and often play host to international acts featured on RuPaul’s Drag Race.  If you happen to be staying at Axel Hotel, Hamburger Mary’s, located on the ground floor, makes for a good place to start or finish the night.

Bruno’s Gay Lifestyle Shop

Bruno’s is gay lifestyle shop at Nollendorfplatz, also in Schöneberg.  In this, their flagship store, you’ll find a massive range of clothing, with heaps of underwear, sports and clubwear, along with movies, books, magazines, and of course a decent section of condoms, lubes, sex toys and porn.