Friday, 25 January 2013

Gem of the Caribbean: Grenada

The Caribbean is a sun seekers dream, warm all year round with numerous islands and beaches looking out at clear seas. However, it can be hard to choose the island that is right for you. Grenada is a real dream of an island. It is situated in the south of the Caribbean, close to the shores of South America and Trinidad and Tobago. The island possesses one of the best beaches in the world, Grand Anse Beach. This beach is a few miles long and possesses wonderful white sands and crystal clear water.
The Legendary Grand Anse in later afternoon
Author Varun Kapoor Image courtesy of wikipedia

Grand Anse is not overdeveloped like many famous beaches in neighbouring islands, but it still has amenities. There is a range or hotels, from high end through to more affordable. There are also some great places to eat and drink in the area.

The majority of tourists in Grenada come from the US, UK, Canada and neighbouring countries. However, the numbers are generally not as high as on the neighbouring islands, which makes for less crowds on the idyllic beaches.

The food in Grenada is varied due to the mixture of the people. The majority are of African-Caribbean, but there is also a sizeable minority of Grenadians of East Indian origin. There is also small number of Grenadians of French or English origins, due to Grenada’s history as a British and French colony. This means that there are excellent creole dishes, combining the various cultural influences that came to the island. You can also get great curries and rotis from the island’s Indian culture.
The island is volcanic, so it has steep mountains in the centre of the island and some beautiful remote waterfall, which can provide a perfect break swimming in sea water. The volcanic soil is hugely fertile, so this makes the scenery very green and fruits are abundant.

Grenada is one of the world’s largest producers of high quality nutmeg and mace. This is why the island is often referred to as the Island of Spice. There are also many cocoa plantation that produce very high quality cocoa. Near to Grenville on the Island’s east coast, there is a great plantation to visit called the Belmont Estate. This estate has a lovely colonial feel, with a large restaurant serving high quality local food. You can also sample some of the cocoa, cocoa balls and chocolate.

                                                                Grenada's Nutmeg
                                                              Author Brocken Inaglory
                                                              Image courtesy of wikipedia

Fish is another attraction to Grenada, on Fridays you should visit the west coast town of Goyave. Here there is a special event in the streets called Fish Friday. Here are the local varieties of fish are sold in a street market. There is a real party atmosphere with soca bands and live music.

If you are looking for an exotic break or winter sun, look no further than Grenada.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Travel Spain: Madrid a place to visit for everyone

Madrid is Spain's capital city and is a very vibrant and diverse city. The history of Spain and the warm culture is evident at every street corner. We will highlight some great locations to visit and also talk about the Spanish capital's food and nightlife.


Madrid has two globally prominent art museums in the centre of the city. El Museo del Prado (The Prado) is truly spectacular, with arguably the best collection of Spanish art in the world. The art includes a wide range of artists from the 12th - 19th century. This is definitely worth a lengthy visit.

Reina Sofia, named after Queen Sofia of Spain, is a great testimony to modern art in Spain. It was founded in the name of the reigning Queen in 1992. It holds a wonderful collection of art by Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso and so much more. The closest staion is Atocha and it is definietly worth another lengthy visit.


The City is certainly not all about museums, for those who love gardens and outdoor life, there are parks. The most famous and prominent is the central park of Parque Retiro. Here ther are tree-lined paths, cafes, bars, a large lakes, ornaments and nice gardens. Given Madrid attractive dry climate, this can be a great place to relax.
Retiro Park, courtesy of wikipedia buy author Jkiang

There are many great areas to go out in Madrid. In the area aorund Banco De Espana, there are some upmarket bars. One of these bars is Ramses bar, they have great interior design and are quite an experience. If bars in the day is your interest, why not finish a lovely walk in park with a quick champagne in Ritz Garden Bar. For shopping, Gran Via, Sol and in particular the El Corte Ingles (Department Store Spanish Chain) may be of great interest.

Above: Plaza Mayor with thanks to Wikipedia from author Sebastian Dubiel

For Plaza and sitting out in large square, Plaza Mayor and Plaza Santa Ana are very popular.


All the same food is extremely important in Spain and a night of tapas is most common. La Latina, Chueca, Plaza Santa Ana all possess speciality tapas bars. Be sure to try Bacalao (Cod), Gambas Ajillo (Garlic Prawns), Jamon Iberico (Ham of the highest quality), Lomo Iberico (Pork Tenderloin in a type of Ham/Chrorizo format) and much more. Madrid is a city where wondering around can lead to you stumbling on a great find.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Travel and Life in London: Why is the City so popular amongst the Young?

London is a major cosmopolitan city, with a robust economy. At present, it is very popular with young, job seeking Europeans.

Why is London so popular?

In term of population London is the largest in Western Europe. The population for a large part is diverse and young. Many people who are looking to travel to a foreign city will want to feel comfortable, rather than an outcast or foreigner. London has many different communities within it, which makes many young migrants feel more comfortable. The fast pace of life and numerous attractions is also appealing to many young people.

The Economy

The main reason for mass migration is usually economic. At the moment many European Peripheries are struggling with unemployment. This has encouraged upwardly mobile Spanish and Italians to seek work and opportunities in London. Elsewhere, the EU has enabled many Eastern Europeans to seek a brighter future in London.


The United Kingdom is Europe’s largest English speaking country. English is the most important language for international travel and commerce. This means that is important for many young European to develop their Business English Skills. Therefore, many come here to work part-time, whilst attending Business English Courses. This will not necessarily mean that they are seeking to gain a career in London, but to take the newly found language skills back home to their native countires and advance their careers.

Pace of life

London is unique within the United Kingdom, as the pace of life is very fast. There are constantly people departing and arriving in this international hub. This can make the city somewhat transient, but it does mean that there are always others who are new and looking to form a circle of friends. This is heartening for any new arrival and encourages more immigration.

Culture and Nightlife

The City’s culture is thriving, with all the great museums such as the Tate, National Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, the British Museum and all the great theatres of the West End. New trendy areas are constantly being revitalised by the artier types of Londoner, which makes for fun and diverse nightlife.

Coming to London to Work and Learn English?

London is a great place to visit for one or two years, whilst you work and pay for learning English. The City is multi-cultural, so it can be welcoming to any a wide range of new arrivals.

If you want to learn English, there are many great colleges and institutions, but be clear on what you want to learn. You need to check out the criteria of the schools and your teacher. Make sure that they are offering the right course and that the teacher is qualified.

If you want to use your English commercially or to get a job, you should look for a Business English Course. This will ensure that you learn all the rhetoric to handle issues in a business environment.

Also, be aware that the city is large and you will need to research the best area to suit your finance and personal needs. This can take some research so plan out  your accommodation and don’t be rushed into taking the first place that you encounter.