Travel

Milan furniture Fair 2013 / Salone del Mobile highlights – Lighting

I’ve just came back from the Milan Furniture Fair in Italy and I must admit it has been a great trip and I got to see many fascinating designs both in terms of furniture/lighting and fashion. Milan is truly a capital of design full of elegant and well dressed people. I would like to start sharing some of the highlights of the trip with the lighting. Below are some of the most interesting pieces I’ve seen at the exhibition in Rho (outskirts of Milan) and in the show rooms scattered around Milan itself.

Milan furniture fair 2013 -  Rho

Milan furniture fair 2013 map

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Milan furniture fair 2013 lighting

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Stay safe while staying adventurous

jet ski adventure

Who doesn’t love adventures while on holiday? They’re exciting, they remind you of how great it feels to be alive and they give you a good story to relay to friends back home. But while you’re enjoying that adrenaline rush, remember that you, like everyone else, are mortal. Additionally, a botched escapade might not kill you, but could cause you serious illness or injury, the effects of which could range from a ruined holiday to a lifetime of disability.

To avoid all of these nasty experiences, here are some tips to help you stay safe while on holiday.

Get insurance

While you may be able to access quality health care at home, your coverage may not extend to care in medical facilities abroad. If you have a medical emergency or suffer a holiday illness, you could end up paying a lot more than you would have at home, just because you’re dealing with a different system.

Additionally, the standard of medical care varies greatly throughout the world. There have been cases in which patients have contracted HIV from contaminated medical supplies, or when an injury was improperly treated and worsened later. Furthermore, you may not be able to file a clinical negligence claim because different countries have different regulations for medical care.

However, with insurance you may be able to get coverage for medical evacuation, where you can be taken home and treated in your own country. Of course, without insurance, this option is astronomically expensive.

Check for licences

Before you attempt any activities or tours geared to thrill-seeking, check and see whether the company is registered or licensed. Also, do some research online and see what other travellers have to say, such as on TripAdvisor or on Lonely Planet’s forums. This will help you determine whether you will be safe on any of these expeditions.

holiday

 

Be a discerning diner

While eating local food can be one of the pleasures of travel, it’s also a good way to get sick. Since for different countries there are different regulations governing food quality and restaurant hygiene, food-borne illness is one of the most common problems travelers face.

To prevent food-borne illness, try to be careful about where you eat. Make sure to check the cleanliness of the dining area, and if you see evidence of filth, find a different place to have your dinner. You can also take a cue from the locals, and only visit restaurants and cafes that are full of patrons. Avoid establishments that are empty or have just a few patrons. Chances are, the local people know which places are safe and which are not. Plus, a full restaurant may indicate particularly tasty or popular food.

Go with your gut

Finally, make sure to listen to and honour your instincts. Only you can determine your comfort level, and if a situation feels unsafe then get out immediately. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy your adventure.

adventurous holidays

Going to Salone Internazionale del Mobile – Milan Furniture Fair 2013!

Milan furniture fair

I’m excited about going to Italy and attending the Milan Furniture Fair this year and I will make sure to share the experience with you on the blog. If you would like to attend I suggest you plan ahead due to the high prices of accommodation at that time in Milan. I suggest you book a hotel outside the city, for example at the Lake Como, which is based just a 40 min away by train from Milan.

The Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2013 (Milan Furniture Fair) is just like a Milan Fashion Fair but for the Furniture! The show is a global benchmark for the Home Furnishing Sector. The show sets trends for the interior designers across the world. Interior designers present their pieces every year, usually in April. This year Milan Furniture Fair is taking place between 9th and 14th of April. The event is open to members of the trade but the general public is welcome to come on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th. The show will take place at Strada Statale del Sempione, 28, Milano, Rho, 20017, Italy, so at the north west outskirts of Milan.

Milan Furniture Fair 2013 map

 

The opening hours are 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. Here are the prices for the event:

Ticket type

Online purchase

Purchase at the
fairgrounds

1-entrance card

Euro 20.00

Euro 23.00

3-entrance card

Euro 40.00

Euro 45.00

6-entrance card

Euro 52.00

Euro 58.00

1-entrance card + return ticket Milan/Rho Fiera

Euro 25.00

1-entrance card + 1-day Travelcard

Euro 27.00

3-entrance card + 1-week Travelcard

Euro 53.40

6-entrance card + 1-week Travelcard

Euro 65.40

Reduced one entrance card for students Euro 18.00 (not available for advance purchase)

The pass is strictly personal.
Every entrance into the fairgrounds will be deducted from your pass. 

Tickets valid only for the general public visiting the shows on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April:
Euro 36.00 Ticket for Two
Euro 41.00 Family ticket (valid for 2 adults + 1 child under 18)

Both tickets are valid for one admission only.

 

 

Dangerous & beautiful holiday destinations

Everyone has a list of countries they would rather not visit due to the things they have overheard in the media or because of the fear of a particular place originated purely from our ignorance. Some people fear going abroad in general and make sure they have the full package travel insurance in place before going on holiday to a safe destination such as Spain or France. Of course, there are countries with internal conflicts that should be avoided such as Iraq and Syria despite its historical sites. But there are places, where the conflict is long gone and there is no reason not to explore its natural beauty. Here are some of the countries with stunning landscapes we don’t have to be afraid of.

Albany

Albany is quite commonly portrayed as a country, where you can easily lose your possessions, and even lives. In fact, the Albanian people are very friendly. Thefts can happen, particularly in the north of the country, but by maintaining a minimum of precautions you can avoid being robbed. The tourist infrastructure of Albania is getting better with every year. Albania is fascinating and full of contrasts. You can find there beautiful beaches and wild mountains as well as ancient monuments and a taste of the Orient. The only thing you should really fear in Albany is holes in the roads and cars at night driving without signal lights.

Albany

Cambodia

Cambodia is a country, which suffered a lot of misfortunes across the years, including American bombings, the Khmer Rouge terror and natural disasters. Today, however, it is a safe place for tourists and travelling in Cambodia can be very convenient. Roads between major cities are better, the buses are better quality, the tourist destinations have been cleared from mines, and where the mines still remains there are warning markings. The people of Cambodia are very friendly, even though they live in poor and in difficult conditions and tourists should remain sensitive to their unprivileged situation.

Cambodia

Namibia

Africa is considered to be a dangerous continent, where people should not go unless with organized trips accompanied by gunned men. Meanwhile, tourists who traveled through Namibia highly praise this country and that they’ve been struck by the surprisingly peaceful general governance. In Namibia you can experience an exciting safari and see the highest dunes in the world. If you don’t wonder around by yourself at night you should be fine. All you need to worry about are the appropriate vaccinations before leaving and on-site drinking of only bottled water.

Namibia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

War in the Balkans ended many years ago, but even now this region causes travelers’ concerns. Loads of tourists come to Croatia every year, some travel through Bosnia and Herzegovina to reach their Croatian destination but sadly never decide to explore this fascinating country. There are many destroyed and abandoned houses in the country and there are a few mines scattered across the country but those are well marked and warn people not to come close. Bosnia and Herzegovina has loads of beauty to offer, including wild mountains, great ski areas, rafting emerald rivers, and cities with oriental atmosphere. Also, finding accommodation in a hotel or guest house is not a problem and the standard of those places is pretty good.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tunisia

It is widely accepted that the Arab countries in this uneasy time of the Arab uprisings in some of the countries in North Africa and the Middle East can be less safe than they were a few years ago. These days tourists come to Tunisia mainly for the vast sandy beaches but mostly stay at the hotel the whole time. It is not dangerous to leave the hotel unless there is a gathering or demonstration. Going anywhere near Libya is also not advised but generally it is a peaceful country compared to Egypt or Israel for example.

Tunisia

Top 3 Bookshops in Europe

I’ve always been and I always will be a fan of old school reading. Despite being fascinated with the new designs and technology and how it has been changing the way we live in the past few years, there is one thing I will always do the old way…read a book. Keep real books in business and leave the kindle at home this holiday!

old-books-on-shelves

1. The Bookàbar Bookshop, Rome

Attached to the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, this book shop symbolizes modern design at its finest in a store full of art books.  The minimalistic design and the shop itself is a work of art with spacious white walls and shelves, curved ceilings with modern lighting in three different rooms.

2. Shakespeare & Company, Paris

For those bookworms more impressed by the beauty of books than the architecture of the shop, then this bookstore in Paris requires a visit. It is a haven for literature lovers, containing an extensive selection of second-hand books and undiscovered literary treasures. The original shop even took in poor aspiring writers, giving them a bed and food as long as they read a book a day!

Shakespeare & Company. bookstore

3. Another Country, Berlin

This English language, second-hand bookshop is more of a library than a shop, offering twenty thousand books available to buy or borrow.  It gives customers freedom to experiment with new literature without paying an arm and leg! Should you choose to return a book after buying it you get a refund minus a 1, 50 Euro charge, genius! This bookshop holds regular events such as English film club, TV night and dinner night as well as hosting various concerts, readings and performances. It draws in readers from all corners of Berlin being an important social venue for different social circles to mix and share their literature love!

These bookshops are definitely worth a visit for all of those geeks out there visiting Europe. If you’re looking for a relaxing place to stay and enjoy getting stuck in to some of your new books, Go with Oh offer accommodation all over Europe  with many different apartment options to satisfy your preferences.

New Years Travel Resolutions 2013

Every year I put together a list of places I would like to visit during my holidays – definition: a few days of freedom from work we have each year. Work is a necessary inconvenience in order to enjoy every moment we don’t have to sit at our desks. Thus careful planning of each of those minutes is a good way to start a year. Here is a list of my holiday destinations for 2013.

1. Poland

I definitely will go home at least a couple of times. Make sure to visit all my family and friends but also explore some of the most beautiful part of Poland – the mountains in the South of the country. I’ve never been to the main tourist destination there called Zakopane. This is on my to-do list for this year and hoping to have some great time hiking through those picturesque mountains.

polish mountains zakopane

morskie oko polish mountains

2. USA

USA has been always my number one holiday destination. Quite frankly I could live there full time just for the sake of continuously exploring every bit of this vast and fascinating country. Last year I managed to go on a girls only road trip, covering the southern part of Florida. This year I would like to take on the Western coast of the United States. Starting in San Francisco and moving south to Los Angeles and San Diego and then move East Grand Canyon and finish it off with a weekend in Las Vegas.

Los Angeles beach

Grand Canyon

Two weeks should be enough to cover that route by car. I would love to see San Francisco’s landmark the imposing Golden Gate Bridge. Apparently San Francisco is the most European city in the US and is a magnet for many subcultures. Los Angeles has been always on my list due to its cinematographic history and the Warner Bros Studios and Universal Studios, which offer a great day of fun and excitement for a movie fanatics like myself. Then the Grand Canyon, I don’t think I have to get into detail with this one, you just have to see it. And finally Las Vegas, where you can spend all your last money on gambling and booze. But fortunately, there are other things to do in Vegas as well. Where else can you ride a gondola, visit the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building and see stars rubbing elbow with everyday people?! Easiest way to get there is to apply for US ESTA online.

Las Vegas lights

3. Italy

I’ve never been to Italy before but there a few places I definitely don’t want to miss on my first trip there. I’m planning to start up north and drive/walk/train my way through the south of the country. Starting a trip in Trentino, surrounded by stunning mountains sounds like a good plan. On the one hand Trentino offers the vast plains rich in rivers, streams and creeks ideal for water sports, on the other you have the mountains, the Dolomites, which turn red at the sunset. At the Alpine peaks you will find the eternal snow perfect for winter sports. Trentino sounds like a small paradise for those who love to spend free time actively and I’m definitely one of those people.

Trentino, Italy

The next stop of my dream Italian trip would be Venice. Perfect place for some full-on sightseeing and romantic time for two; I can already see us enjoying the foreground singing of the gondoliers at the sunset…such a cliché I know. Next stop on the list would be the beautiful region of Tuscany. I heard the best way to see Tuscany is by car, driving back roads, enjoying lavender and sunflower fields, sample local wines and visiting villages hidden among the greenery. Then, keep moving south to Rome, where a whole day of sightseeing will be rewarded with a tasty pizza and a bottle of red…ahhh heaven.

Venice, Italy

Tuscany, Italy

Since I will only have a week for this trip I will finish in Rome. The rest of the country, including the islands will have to be covered in the next years to come. I’m sure I will fall in love with Italy immediately.

Rome

 

A guide to the best comic conventions coming up in the UK in 2013

With 2012 soon drawing to a close, the number of comic conventions left on the calendar is also slowing down. Don’t worry however, as there are already plenty of events all over the country slowly filling 2013. These are a few of the events that have already been announced and what you can expect to see.

London Super Comic Convention – February 23-24

The 2012 event welcomed comic legend Stan Lee through its doors, co-creator of Spiderman and the X-Men, the Hulk and more. Will the 2013 event manage to attract someone of the same calibre? Among the line-up so far is Neal Adams, a man who has not only been instrumental in modernising characters such as Superman and Batman, but who has worked tirelessly for creator’s rights.

"London super comic convention logo"

Cardiff Comic and Animation Expo – March 2-3

A week later the comic convention spotlight moves from the English capital to the Welsh one. This expo is fairly new, and perhaps not big enough to attract as many of the biggest names in the comic industry, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of fun to be had. As the home of Doctor Who and Torchwood, the Cardiff Comic and Animation Expo is a particular favourite of Dalek and sci-fi lovers.

"Cardiff comic and animation expo"
Bristol Comics Expo – May 11-12

The Bristol Comics Expo has been busy signing many top artists in the industry to its event. Rob Williams, David Roach and David Hine, who have worked with leading companies such as Marvel Comics, DC Comics and 2000AD are all confirmed so far. Having run since 2004 (and before then under different names), the Bristol Comics Expo claims to be the country’s largest, so you can expect plenty to see and do.

"Bristol Comics Expo 2013"

Melksham Comic Convention – August 31

For such a small town, the Melksham Comic Convention has proved a big hit with locals and visitor alike. Whether you just want some signed merchandise or a chance to ask a question in open Q&As, the smaller price tag attached to this event makes it a steal.

"Melksham Comic Convention"
Why not stick around?

Each of these cities can offer much more than the comic conventions they’re hosting. You can go on a Dr. Who tour in Cardiff, visit the massive number of comic book stores in London or perhaps do something entirely different and take a day trip to Bath from Melksham. In fact, if you’re making a trip from out of town you can find plenty of hotels near each venue so you can enjoy the full weekend.

US Presidential Elections – 4 more years!

"Vote Obama car"

Yesterday was 6 weeks until the U.S. Presidential Elections, which will be held on 6th of November.  I thought I would do some reminiscing of 2008 Elections and this amazing day when Barack Obama was elected the first Black (actually half White half Black as he’s mother was White) 44th President of the United States. Both the election day and the Presidential Inauguration was an amazing experience and I was fortunate to be part of it.

In 2008-2009 I was studying at the George Washington University, a few blocks from the White House and I was able to be a part of the most exciting presidential election year in the history of America. On the election night I saw a lot of Americans crying from happiness and disbelief that they managed to see an African-American being elected a President. I hugged a 90 year old African-American woman, who did not believe it would happen in her lifetime and she couldn’t be more proud that day because she was fighting for this day to come herself, being involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s. Regardless of the economic situation and if we agree with Obama’s policies or not, that cold day in November 2008 made quite a few people across the whole World believe in the U.S. and the American people. Let’s hope this year we will witness the same passion and devotion and we will be able to secure another 4 years for the best Presidential candidate America seen to date (besides Jimmy Carter).

The upcoming Presidential Debates:

October 3rd – Presidential Debate at the University of Denver, Colorado

October 11th – Vice-Presidential Debate at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky

October 16th – Presidential Debate at Hofstra University in Hampstead, New York

October 22nd – Presidential Debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida

4 years ago in Washington, D.C….

"Presidential election 2008"

"a women in the Oval Office"

"Winning state after state - Obama 2008"

"Obama got elected President"

"Ben's Chilli Bowl, Washington D.C."

"Ben's Chilli Bowl, Washington D.C."

The U.S. Presidential Inauguration 2009

"2009 Presidential Inauguration - Barack Obama"

So patriotic and I am not even American!

"difficult road to the Inauguration 2009, Washington DC"

Very vigorous and supportive crowd

"US Presidential Inauguration 2008, Barack Obama"

"US Presidential Inauguration 2008, Barack Obama"

"US Presidential Inauguration 2008, Barack Obama"

"The inauguration of Barack Obama - 2009 US Presidential Inauguration"

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