Baltics Launch Europe’s First Pandemic ‘Travel Bubble’

As widely reported, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have finally opened their common borders as the Baltic region starts getting back to its regular state after the economic meltdown caused by the coronavirus issue. This has created what can be referred to as the first “travel bubble” among the countries in the European Union.

Some Estonian border officers got rid of all the signs stopping cars and other automobiles from entering into the border. Afterward, the border officers took cake and coffee together at the end of the activities.

After the first vehicles passed through the borders of Baltics, Martin Maestule said that “We have the little celebration because the border is now open again.”

So, if you want to have Baltic tours to explore Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, you can start preparing to do so now.

Baltics travel

With this new development, citizens and residents of these three Baltic countries can now enjoy movement from one nation to another without any restriction. However, any individual coming from outside will need to observe self-isolation for 14 days.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis noted that “The Baltic Travel Bubble is an opportunity for businesses to reopen, and a glimmer of hope for the people that life is getting back to normal.”

The opening of the borders of these Baltic nations came at the time when the executive of the EU is persuading its 27 member nations to open their internal borders again and allow people to travel wider with strict adherence to safety measures like putting on face masks during flights.

The infection rate of COVID-19 has slowed down in the Baltic nations as none of them reported over 12 new cases on Thursday. Besides, lockdowns have been stopped by the authorities since the end of April.

Also, the total number of deaths recorded by these nations is less than 150. This is significantly lesser than Germany, Spain, Italy, France, or other larger countries in the EU.

According to officials, about 120 vehicles passed through the border between Lithuania and Latvia within the first hours of opening it on Friday.

Also, on Friday, foreign ministers of Estonia and Lithuania went to Riga for the signing of a 3-way memorandum on the plan of the three nations to operate the travel zone collectively. The officials didn’t shake hands and maintained a distance of 2 meters between each other. During the meeting, they signed three copies of the document.

It is worthwhile to note that these three countries are the poorest members of the EU zone. It is believed that their economies will go down by 7 to 8% this year. The drop could have been 10% or more if the economies of these nations are not opened before the summer comes.

Notably, people can now travel between Poland and Lithuania as well as Finland and Estonia as the restrictions were removed recently. However, neither Finland nor Poland is in haste to be a part of the full “travel union” proposed by the Baltic nations.

A Top 10 list of What Not to Do on an African Safari

An African Safari trip is a life long dream of lots of people around the globe. Connecting with Mother Nature, seeing majestic views, knowing more about the wildlife, and being away from the havoc of the world for some time. Who doesn’t want that? All you need is to travel Safely. No matter the location, the African Safari trip always pays off with some breathtaking experiences. To make sure your responsible travel and that you get most out of your trip, here are the top 10 things not to do on an African Safari.

African Safari

  1. Acceccive Cell Phone Usage

While you travel across continents to get a chance to see the wildlife with your own eyes, make sure you don’t spoil once in a lifetime chance to see nature from so close. Be responsible, keep yourself away from any unimportant external contact or work. Only use your phone as a camera.

  1. Being Too Loud

A very common mistake by people going on African Safari. While you travel through the wild, don’t make loud sounds or shout towards animals as it may scare them away or maybe trigger an attack in the case of large animals(elephants mostly) and prevent you from amazing sightseeing.

  1. Not Listening to your Guide

Your guide is the most important person to ensure your best experience. Listen to his/her instructions very carefully and do accordingly. To get an eyeshot of all the animals, you have to be patient and silent. The instructions are given to you so that your behavior doesn’t make the animals uncomfortable and you can see them more closely.

  1. Unwise Packing

The weather change plays a vital role in responsible traveling. It can be very tricky in Africa as the most area is desert and the nights are quite cold in some parts. Keep a blend of clothes for both climates. Going on a Safari trip doesn’t mean you have to pack your whole closet, be wise, and pack accordingly so that you don’t have any distractions during the trip.

  1. Disrespecting Locals

As a traveler to another continent, you are a guest their so make sure you leave a good impression. Africa is full of different and colorful local cultures. Treat the locals politely and respect their traditions. Do not offend them in any way and try to greet them in their language. It is not whether you speak their language correctly but the effort you make matters. Your good gesture will be reflected by the locals in many ways and will make your travel even more fascinating.

  1. Not Keeping Distance

You are on a safari trip and there is no doubt you are excited. But don’t let that excitement compromise your safety. Some animals may seem very calm and polite but you never know when they might get triggered and attack you. The behavior of wild animals is very unpredictable so always keep your distance from them and don’t pet them or else your life long dream might turn into a regrettable nightmare.

  1. Not Preparing

Before your travel, make sure you do some research on the places you want to specifically visit. Choose your clothes according to the climate and make sure they are comfortable as the visit can be very tiring. If you are on medication, make sure you do bring some extra just in case. Do prepare yourself well as such trips are once in a lifetime experiences.

  1. Driving Off-Road

You may be an adventurer or a daring human but a Wildlife Safari is not a place to showcase such talents. Don’t go off-road as there are very rare chances of you not getting lost. Many animals get threatened very easily when you enter their territory. Especially elephants as they may directly charge on your vehicle when they see you on their territory or approaching one of their young ones.

  1. Exiting your Vehicle

This is probably the most unresponsible thing to do which can get you in lots of danger. No matter how strong or quick you are, remember you are in the wild and the animals have the advantage here. So never leave your vehicle.

  1. Not Staying Alert

Look carefully around you and don’t miss any breathtaking scene of Mother Nature. Keep your eyes and ears attentive in all directions. The wilderness is all around, you just have to look for it.

Conclusion

An African Safari trip is something not most people get. So make sure you avoid doing the above-listed things and be alert so that you can get the most out of your travel.

The Ultimate Guide to Santa Barbara in a Weekend

Lots of busy people forget that you can do a lot of quality traveling over a weekend. Of course, long road trips and overseas expeditions can be incredible, but a weekend getaway can sometimes be just as meaningful. 

For an amazing weekend vacation in Santa Barbara, we’ve put together a flexible itinerary including where to stay, things to do, and where to eat, even if you’ve only got from Friday night through sunset on Sunday.

Santa Barbara

Friday Night

Check into Your Hotel

There are so many gorgeous places to stay in Santa Barbara. From luxury resorts like San Ysidro Ranch and Four Seasons’ The Biltmore to quaint bed and breakfasts like The Simpson House, there are options for every personality and budget in Santa Barbara. 

Perhaps you’d rather book an Airbnb or try some “glamping” at El Capitan. Really, there’s no wrong way to stay in Santa Barbara.

Hit the Town

Santa Barbara has an incredible nightlife. It is a college town after all, so there are countless bars and wineries that can show you a good time. Head to The Red Piano and dance the night away or taste a flight of local wine at Municipal Winemakers

Saturday in Santa Barbara

Quick Breakfast

To start your first full day in Santa Barbara, grab a quick bite to eat before commencing on your jam-packed weekend. Enjoy an incredible latte and some avocado toast at Handlebar Coffee Roasters or simply indulge in breakfast at your hotel.

Hike Inspiration Point

Before the weather warms up too much, strap on your boots and hit the trail. Hiking is something you just have to do in California and Inspiration Point is one of those iconic peaks that’s not to be missed.

From start to finish, the hike is only three and a half miles round trip. So you’ll be able to enjoy the view, get some exercise, and breathe some fresh air while still having plenty of time for the rest of your day.

Hit the Beach

After the hike, you’re probably in the mood to relax. Santa Barbara has some of the most beautiful beaches in California. They’re perfect for rinsing off, cooling down, and basking in the sun. 

The best beaches in Santa Barbara include:

  • Ledbetter Beach
  • Hendry’s Beach
  • Butterfly Beach
  • East and West Beaches

Best Places to Get Lunch

By this point, you’ll be ready for lunch. No matter where you go, you’re likely to find some delicious grub. Try Lily’s Taqueria for cheap tacos or Brophy Brothers for classic fish and chips on the water.

Goat Tree, Savoy, State & Fig, and Mony’s Mexican Food are some other fantastic choices for lunch in Santa Barbara.

Explore the Funk Zone

Yes, the Funk Zone is a real place. In fact, it’s the trendiest neighborhood in all of Santa Barbara and it should definitely be on your list of things to do while visiting. 

Spend the afternoon biking through the area where you’ll stumble upon art studios and galleries, bohemian boutiques, and the hippest cafes and restaurants around. 

The Funk Zone is also considered Santa Barbara’s urban wine trail with everything from tasting rooms, wine bars, and breweries. It’s definitely a great place to get lost in the area.

Sunday in Santa Barbara

Check out a Farmer’s Market

There’s nothing quite like a slow Sunday morning stroll. Check out of your hotel, drop your bags off with a luggage storage service in Los Angeles, and start your day at the farmers market.

With fresh produce at every turn, food vendors serving coffee and artisanal snacks, and craftsman offering handmade jewelry and art, there’s lots to see at the markets. It’s a wonderful and relaxing way to begin your final day in Santa Barbara.

Brunch

After walking through the market, it’s time for brunch. Make a reservation and stay awhile. Some of the hottest brunch spots in Santa Barbara include:

From bottomless mimosas to spiked milkshakes, a nice, long brunch in Santa Barbara gives Los Angeles a run for its money.

Shop State Street

Nestled in downtown Santa Barbara you’ll find State Street. Spend the early afternoon wandering through its cobblestone streets while window shopping and doing your best not to max out the credit card.

State Street has both well-known stores and indie boutiques. It’s the perfect way to walk off your brunch while you grab some souvenirs and gifts. 

El Presidio Historic Park and Mission Santa Barbara

You’ll notice white stucco walls and red tile rooves all throughout Santa Barbara. The region has deep ties with the Spanish and you can see it in this architecture. It’s even been called the Spanish Riveria of America.

Dive deeper into Santa Barbara’s Spanish roots by visiting El Presidio Historic Park. Built way back in 1782, El Presidio is the last-standing Spanish military site on the California coast. It’s such an interesting place that they’ve turned it into a museum for visitors to brush up on their history.

Then, explore Mission Santa Barbara, founded in 1786. You’ll see artwork and architecture that will only add to your appreciation for the city. They’re both spots you definitely won’t want to miss on your weekend in Santa Barbara. 

Dinner the Santa Barbara Way

Your weekend trip to Santa Barbara is drawing to a close, so make the most of it with dinner at a local spot.

For top-rated Mexican food, better go to Los Agaves. For steak, check out Lucky’s. Great seafood can be found at The Lark and The Nook serves up all your BBQ favorites. Take it back in time with Santa Barbara’s Spanish roots and enjoy tapas at Loquita. Or, if you’re vegetarian, Olivers will be a treat.

Is there anything better than ending a trip with some amazing food? We think not.

https://theblondeabroad.com/ultimate-guide-santa-barbara-weekend/

https://camillestyles.com/travel/your-guide-to-a-weekend-in-santa-barbara/

https://racheloffduty.com/blog/essential-weekend-guide-santa-barbara

https://santabarbaraca.com/itinerary/first-timers-guide-santa-barbara/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilysiegel/2018/06/20/santa-barbara/#6c9d2cee3b36

Areas In Athens City Center

Athens is the capital city of Greece and it is also the biggest city in Greece. It is one of the oldest towns in the world. It is believed that Athens has been in existence for over 3400 years. Archaeologists say that the first human presence in Athens was found long time ago.

It is one of the biggest economic centers in the southern east Europe, global city. It also consists of a port Piraeus which is the largest passenger port in Europe and the second largest in the world. Athens being one of the oldest town it has cool places to visit where one can enjoy with their family. The best time to visit Athens is during the spring and fall, when the temperatures are warm and the tourist traffic is at minimum. While in Athens, it is good to take a tour to some places like presented below;

Athens City Center

Monastiraki

Activities like clothing boutiques, souvenir shops, and specialty store are homed in this flea market. If you are into bargain shopping, this is a place for you to tour and carry some products with you back home. It is strategically located in a square which happens to be a host to the Church of the Pantanassa.

Plaka

Plaka is like a small village in a huge city. It is strategically located on the slopes of acropolis, one of the biggest attraction site in Athens, and has antique buildings that beckon and command attention even when you are not interested. Plaka has several museum where one can visit such as; Jewish museum, Greek folk art museum, Athens university museum, Pavlos and Alexandra kaellopoulou museum, Frissiras museum. Plaka has very strict regulations when it comes to conservation because the social utilities like water are underground in custom-made tunnels.

Temple of Athena Nike

After its construction, this temple has been demolished three times and reconstructed. Nike is the ancient Greek word meaning victory. It was initially constructed due to the cult of Athena Nike, but was later on demolished by the Persians. The reason I find most ambiguous for destruction of the temple is when it was demolished by the Turks so that they could build defense using the stones. Were there no stones available at the moment?

National archaeological museum of Athens

This museum was founded a couple of centuries ago and it houses various archaeological and historical collections including, Mycenean gold cups from Grave IV and V, The Mask of Agamemnon, a gold funeral mask, sculptures, and The Mask of Agamemnon, a gold funeral mask, among others. It was first known as the central museum, before being renamed by Charilaos Trikoupis in 1881, the then prime minister of Greece. The museum managed to stand the Second World War by sealing the antiquities in special boxes and burying them to avoid destruction and theft. To this day, this museum stand in Patission Street, and is worth paying a visit.

Agora: ruins of the ancient market place

Agora is a Greek word meaning gather and orate. From Agora, a short hike is available to the top of the Agora hill from where you get a beautiful view of the Temple of Hephaistos and the ancient Library of Hadrian. At Agora, citizens gathered for sports, politics and any other social activity that brought them together.

Acropolis museum

Most archaeological findings from the Acropolis of Athens are stored in this museum, a good reason you should not leave Athens without setting your feet here. It is an award winning museum with at least six awards. Even though the museum was founded in 2003, it did not open to the public until June 2009.

As part of the top news from Greece, I found this information to be educative so that as you plan to visit Athens, you do not wonder where to start from.

Train to Heathrow – Heathrow Express

If you are looking for a comfortable yet lightening fast commute option from London Paddington to Heathrow Central, then the Heathrow Express is your ideal choice. Mostly known for the amount of time it saves of the passengers, there are several other feathers attached to its cap considering the convenience and universality of its services. The primary slogan of the Heathrow Express is “15 minutes, every 15 minutes”. This means that the train takes only 15 minutes to travel from the origin to its destination including Heathrow terminals 2 and 3 and another 6 minutes to reach terminal 5. Apart from this, a passenger can also a avail a free transfer to terminal 4.

Heathrow Express

Most of the localites and visitors prefer the Heathrow Express over any other means of transport and rifghtfully so. Not only does it respect people’s need to be at places on time but is also accompanied by superior services that make Heathrow Express one of the most preferred means of transport. The list of advantages associated with one’s travel in this train seems unending; the authorities haven’t limited the amount of luggage that you are allowed to carry inside it. Rather, sturdy racks have been constructed all around the train to accommodate luggage of varying sizes. If you are traveling and have big suitcases with you for the airport, place them in the bigger racks; while the smaller bags can be stacked inside the overhead shelves to enjoy a stress-free ride.

There is no exception when it comes to the originating point of all the Heathrow expresses; they all start their ride from the Terminal 5 station and makes a halt only at terminal 2 and 3 of Heathrow Central. The authorities have come up with strapping plans to suit their passengers who travel in the Heathrow Express regularly; meaning, you can look up to the Heathrow Express price and subscribe to their daily plans which requires the passenger to pay only a certain amount each day irrespective of the number of times he will travel through the day. Once this bar us reached, the rest of the travel conducted across of the day is free of cost.

If you get down at either terminal 2 or 3, you will have to walk your way upto the Central Station; but keeping the general public in mind, moving sideways have been installed in these paths to conserve energy and time. The luxury travel experience granted by Heathrow Express is at par with any other business class transport system. Starting from the centrally air-conditioned compartments to the flexible chairs and from the free WiFi connectivity to news TV, the Heathrow Express is sufficed with all the essentials that form an indispensable part of a memorable journey. However, if you are looking for enhanced comfort, you can opt for the First Class tickets that bear with it tables in front of each chair, more room to spread your legs, complimentary copies of the Financial Times and magazines from various genres to choose from.

After having analyzed all the above-mentioned details and characteristics of the Heathrow Express, we can safely conclude that this means of transport is nothing but a boon to the inhabitants of the country. Not only does it excel in speed and premium services for all the passengers alike, the authorities aim at furnishing the passengers with an all-round experience even in that tiny window of 15 minutes. From delineating schemes of benefit for the daily passengers to surfacing means of advance booking to steer away from the unavoidable hustle on the weekdays, the Heathrow connect has got you all covered.