Looking Ahead To The 2012 Summer Olympics

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Sometime around the 8th century B. C., athletes came from Sparta, Croton, Rhodes, Athens and other city-states of the ancient world to compete in competitions on Greece. Some of these events were chariot racing, boxing and running. This gathering of strong and fast competitors would become the forerunner to today’s summer Olympic Games. The Olympics of today is considered the top athletic stage in the world with more than 70 countries sending their athletes to try to take home a medal. The 2012 Summer Olympics will take place in London, United Kingdom. The games will run from July 27 through August 12.

The selection of London as host city for the 2012 games goes back to 2003. Nine cities were vying for the honor of being chosen. These cities were London, Madrid, New York, Havana, Moscow, Istanbul, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Leipzig. By 2004, the number of contenders had been narrowed to five: London, Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow. In 2005, on July 6, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) announced that London would be the city to host the games in 2012.

Competition to be named host was heavy. Each of the cities did all they could to impress the judges. During the selection time, many people believed that Paris had an upper hand. The attempt for the 2012 games was Paris’ third attempt in a few decades and it was also thought that they were “due” to win. But, London had an ace up its sleeve.

In the 1980 summer games in Moscow, and again in Los Angeles in 1984, a young British athlete won gold in the 1500 meter race. Both times, his wins were dramatic and unexpected, as he beat out another British competitor who was regarded by many as the dominating force in the race. The winning athlete was Sebastian Coe and the man whom he defeated was Steve Ovett, the favorite in the race. Twenty years after his amazing upset, Coe would play a big role in winning the nomination for the 2012 Summer Olympics for London.

Barbara Cassani, chairperson for London’s Olympic bid committee, resigned in 2004, after the first phase of the bidding process was complete. She strongly believed that a person with close experience in the Olympics should head up phase 2.

Cassani recommended Sebastian Coe as leader of the second phase. In July 2005, Coe made a presentation to the IOC at one of its important meetings. This presentation was viewed as very successful and possibly a key deciding factor for the award going to London.

The games of 2012 will include 26 sports. Baseball and softball will not be played in London; however they do remain Olympic sports. Women’s boxing has been added for 2012. The Paralympics will also take place and will feature 20 different areas of competition.

The Summer Olympic Games have a rich and fascinating history. Through the years, spectators have been awed as they watch men and women reach higher highs and faster speeds. People have marveled at seeing one nation go all out and do the impossible to upset the favored nation’s team and become the victor. Let’s hope the same kind of excitement is in store for 2012.

As a recognized leader in sports travel and tours, we provide 2012 Summer Olympics packages and Summer Olympics hotels and accommodations, with preferred seating and guaranteed tickets. Also available are the Rugby World Cup packages, accommodation, and tickets for the perfect experience in New Zealand in 2011!

KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines

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The flagship carrier of the Netherlands is KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines, hosting a main hub at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and headquartered in nearby Amstelveen. Offering both domestic and international service, KLM-Royal Dutch airlines serves over 90 destinations, and is also a member of the world’s second largest airline alliance, SkyTeam.

For the past several years, KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines has been part of Air France-KLM, while it has also maintained an operating partnership with Northwest Airlines, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the USA. The two-airline consortium operates a fleet of 607 aircraft that carry nearly 75 million passengers a year to 258 destinations. The Air France-KLM partnership recently obtained even more global reach by purchasing a 25 per cent stake in the Italian carrier Alitalia.

Founded in’19 and the world’s oldest air carrier, KLM ran its first flight, from London to Amsterdam, in May’20. During World War II it ceased operations. The company was accused of helping accused Nazi war criminals escape Germany after World War II, but it has denied the allegations.

While KLM remains the world’s oldest airline, it is no longer the world’s oldest independent airline. Air France and KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines announced merger plans in 2003, marking the end of KLM’s independent run. The merger did affect the ongoing cooperation between KLM and Northwest Airlines, however, as both companies joined SkyTeam in September 2004.

Fliers in first or business class on KLM are given souvenir porcelain reproductions of old Dutch canal houses, the Delftware miniatures filled with a Dutch liqueur. KLM’s practice of handing out the Delft porcelain miniatures began in’52, and, as 2008, the company’s eighty-eighth year in operation; there are 88 models of the houses. Each October 7 the company celebrates the anniversary of its founding with a new Delftware design.

KLM’s mileage program is Flying Blue. Members can accumulate and spend miles on flights on Air France-KLM, and also on other SkyTeam carriers and with a variety of transportation, travel, and financial companies. Flying Blue members earn four membership levels, Ivory, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, determined by their accumulated SkyTeam miles. Members can also earn miles on flights operated by Kenya Airways, which is a Flying Blue partner.

The venerable history of KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines has not shielded it from the current year’s economic turbulence. On account of declining ticket sales and lower cargo traffic, Air France-KLM announced recently that will lay off up to 2,000 workers. These job cuts represent about 3 per cent of the total workforce. The company further plans to reduce its airline capacity by about 2 per cent in the summer of 2009, hoping to compensate for the $653 million loss it posted for the fourth quarter of 2008. Company management has said it has not ruled out even more future job reductions or flight terminations as the company seeks to stabilize its finances and return to profitability.

An airline watchdog group based in Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, announced in February 2009 that it is suing Air France-KLM over price fixing allegations. KLM denies the charges and will defend against the suit. British Airways and Qantas were recently fined $5 million and $20 million over similar price fixing allegations.

Tom Martens is the content syndication coordinator for South Arica?s leading Flight comparison & Booking portal, which includes KLM Airlines amongst others.

Travel + Leisure: World’s Greatest Hotels, Resorts & Spas: 2009 (Worlds Greatest Hotels, Resorts and Spas) (Hardcover)

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Travel + Leisure: World's Greatest Hotels, Resorts & Spas: 2009 (Worlds Greatest Hotels, Resorts and Spas)

Travel + Leisure magazine, the world’s leading authority on hotels, resorts, and spas, presents the ultimate guide to the top places to stay around the globe. Exclusive, up-to-date rankings of the best properties-as determined by T+L’s savvy readers-are combined with editors’ picks for the hottest new hotels of the year, the classics worth a second look, and the all-time favorites. The nearly 500 entries are arranged by region and illustrated with over 100 breathtaking color pho (more…)

A Guide To The Eden Project

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If you’re planning on taking a holiday in Cornwall this year then the Eden Project is one attraction you shouldn’t miss. If you’ve ever wondered what walking in a tropical rainforest would be like ( without the dangerous insects and reptiles ) then you can enjoy the planet’s’s biggest greenhouse. The closest large city to the Eden Project is St Austell but there are loads of places nearby to stay should you would like to visit.

The greenhouses are built within an enormous clay pit. Even though the greenhouses themselves are the primary attraction there are a bunch of things to see outside if the weather is acceptable. Once you enter the project you’ll be met by the 2 main greenhouses, a bunch of smaller gardens and in a few cases a stage where shows take place throughout the year. You check the Eden project website for more information on the location and times of shows before your visit.

The largest greenhouse is the tropical one and this is what the majority come to see. As the name implies this is where all of the tropical and exotic plants are kept including pineapple plants, coffee and bamboo. Thanks to the environment that these plants need the greenhouse is kept at a warm temperature all year around so be sure you wear light clothes. The Eden Project is kept open across the whole year so if you’re visiting on a cold day bring a jumper or coat that may be easily removed.

The second greenhouse is crammed with Mediterranean plants. Although it isn’t quite as large as its tropical opposite number there’s still plenty to see inside including a variety of plants and sculptures. There’s also a comparatively new attraction called The Core which is aimed at training children about the climate, plants and general environmental concerns. The Core building in itself is worth seeing as it’s built in a technique to mimic plant life.

Though taking a look at plants in a greenhouse may not sound like the most exciting trip for kids you’ll be stunned by the amount the Eden Project has to offer . Aside from the natural interest that youngsters have in the environment and plants there are plenty of other attractions including play areas and workshops. There’s also The Core which includes hands on experiments and attractions for youngsters. There will always be something for the kids to do and they’re guaranteed to enjoy the trip.

The Eden project is unquestionably worth visiting whether or not you aren’t staying close by. If it is one of the attractions that you definitely would like to see then it is smart to look for a holiday cottage in Cornwall that’s’s relatively close though. The closest major town is St Austell but the attraction is inside driving distance of Newquay, Padstow and Bodmin. It’s often a good idea to check the journey time before booking a villa or house though as the journey from the far corner of Cornwall is a long one. This is especially critical if you have babies.

If you would like to learn more about getting a holiday cottage then please click the link. Cornwall is a beautiful place all year round.

The Houston Aquarium: Why Is It A Must See Among Other Houston Attractions?

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When you head out to Houston, there are many things waiting that you can marvel. Houston attractions are worth visiting when you go to Texas. They’re indeed marvels to young and old, male or female. No person, not even the past feeling, can overlook these Houston attractions.

You will find at the least 6 Houston attractions get ready to enjoy. Such as: Space Center Houston (NASA), Downtown Aquarium, Houston Museum of Natural Resources, Houston Zoo, and the Health Museum. One that is most favored among all the Houston attractions could be the Houston Aquarium. You might ask why it is regarded as being one of the most popular. Here are five factors to discover the Houston Aquarium:

1. Uniqueness. Among all the Houston Attractions there are, the Houston Aquarium is the most distinctive simply because what you might see here is definitely not the most common stuff you see wherever you go. The things that can be seen here you must need to go deep to see simply because as the name indicates, the Houston Aquarium hold creatures belonging to the deep.

2. A huge selection of Species. Within the Houston Aquarium waits countless species to be noted and treasured? For sure, you will see the elegance of the deep when you visit this location as one of the many Houston attractions available. This is one way to understand while having a good time.

3. Interactions with the creatures. In the Houston Aquarium, you do not just get to see the creatures of the deep, all those hundreds of species, but you can interact with them by playing with them or feeding them. This would add to the fun of the experience and the learning. By interacting with them, the memory of the moment will remain clearer within you.

4. White Tigers. Yes, also found in the Houston Aquarium would be the spectacular white tigers of Maharaja’s Temple. These are really astonishing to see since common tigers are striped yellow. They’re just simply just wonderful to check out in white. This is also why it is best to visit Houston Attractions, specifically the Houston Aquarium because not only they feature sea creatures nevertheless they also offer to catch sight of rare land animals.

5. Never get Hungry. In this Houston Aquarium is found sumptuous restaurants to satisfy your appetite. This way, you do not have to worry about getting hungry while watching all those sea creatures and having a glimpse of those amazing tigers. There are very accessible restaurants just around the bend at the Houston Aquarium.

There you have it. Five explanations why you need to see the Houston Aquarium aside from all other Houston Attractions. This will certainly be one place where your dreams do come true.

The next time you are visitingHouston, make sure you take the time to visit the Houston Aquarium and the other attractions in Houston. This is a great way to spend time with the family this summer!

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