History of The White Cross

On 30th March 1968 The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to four young girls, at a Lentisco tree in a field, in the village of Palmar de Troya, near Sevilla, Spain. She asked for the Rosary to be recited. Later She appeared to many other people, one seer became prominent, who had asked to see Her, Clemente Dominguez Gomez. In the following years he received the stigmata from St Padre Pio, who pierced his hands, feet and side. The Messages were profuse and frequent, many priests came to say Holy Mass at the altar set up where the tree had stood. Adoration of the Holy Shroud, Holy Face, was prominent and devotion to Our Blessed Mother of Mt Carmel.

The Messages asked for the Restoration of the Latin Liturgy and Eucharistic reparation, consecration to the Holy Face of Our Divine Lord, consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope and Bishops. Also for Holy Communion to be received kneeling and on the tongue. A program of complete Restoration after the ravages of modernism in the 50's and 60's. Eventually Clemente fell from grace, getting an Archbishop to ordain and consecrate him a bishop and others.

Thus the White Cross Shrine began to carry on the mission. Located by the roadside of route 333, Sevilla to Cadiz. The main Seer is Rosario Arenillas, who receives deeply spiritual theological messages, she is 86 years of age. The full rosary is recited each day of the year together with the Litany of Loreto and the Sations of the Cross of the Holy Face.

Heaven has given a Scapular of the Holy Face, be be worn as a sign of consecration. Also the Rosary of Our Fathers, known as the Penitential Rosary, to be a great protection during the three days darkness and final purification of the earth, preceding the New Heaven and New Earth, the Regeneration, when Christ will Reign visibly.

The Parish Priest in the village of Palmar de Troya, Father Joseph, is very helpful to the White Cross pilgrims and says Holy Mass for them and villagers in the Parish Church as often as he can, the local Bishop is also friendly. There is also a Chapel in the village, built by pilgrims, where visiting Priests can stay. There are White Cross Prayer groups all over the world, who pray the full Rosary, Litany and Stations of the Holy Face, in union, every night of the year, principally for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, World Peace and Divine Mercy .

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Possibilities Of The Blogosphere For The PR Industry In Spanish-Speaking Countries

Only two media in Spanish speaking countries offer RSS: the Spanish newspaper El Mundoand the Argentine Clarín. Although the blogs are becoming more visible in the media and are becoming a research topic, still they are something of small “evangelist groups”, who promote its use… but this can change in little time. To face this great challenge, Spanish-speaking PR professionals have to identify the enormous opportunities that other colleagues, fundamentally those whose native language is English, use for their clients, their businesses and, even for themselves.
Perhaps it would be easier for Anglo-saxons, with a different culture, to accept that in order to enter the blogosphere they must take themselves off the pedestal on which they think leaders should be placed, and be closer to thousands of people in a direct way, without any obstacles. It is hard for me to believe that a politician, a high-ranking official or an executive in Mexico, Spain, Peru or Argentina, would agree to write a blog. Furthermore, except for some industries (i.e. IT), the use of blogs to maintain direct communication with their audiences continues to be limited to political parties, governments and even successful businesses. In recent years, there has been a great advance, in which leaders have taken into account the advantages of having a web page and have included it in their communication campaign. Nevertheless, for some industries of the Spanish-speaking countries, the Internet still is a foreign, difficult and expensive tool, and because of this they disregard its use to communicate with their audiences. The blogosphere offers the exact opposite of this: it is a communication tool close to the people, easy-to-use and with such a reduced price that, with so many resources available on the Internet, it can be practically free of charge. It is easy to say that blogs could become a “democratizing” element with real possibilities to change the traditional relationship between sources and the media with the public. Blogs will make possible the “participative journalism”, through which it will be possible to connect the problems of real people to other individuals with the same difficulties and worries. The possibilities are endless in societies that are used to the lack of transparency in government activities and large businesses, and even with media that lack credibility. In fact, what is already happening in a lot of Spanish-speaking countries, as in the Anglo-saxon world, is an explosion of blogs that offer alternative information to the traditional media. Thousands of blogs are appearing to reflect, qualify and denounce, not only the governmental actions or those of political parties, but products, services or even plans that many businesses are carrying out. Also, it is possible that the blogs can be seen as the real possibility for the small and medium-size businesses to access the Internet, without needing to provide a large quantity of resources or having to depend on IT people that don’t necessarily understand the business or communication strategies. Perhaps here is the heart of the matter. These reasons make me think that there are many possibilities for the public relations industry in the Spanish-speaking countries to explore blogs. It is possible that very soon the blogs in Spanish may reach the same importance that other blogs are gradually but firmly gaining, in countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Canada or Australia. Right now, I don’t believe that really independent blogs -that is to say, those that are not part of important communication groups or that are not written by professional journalists that update their blogs paralleled to their main activity- may be accredited like mainstream media in important events such as political campaigns, as is already happening in the US, and soon in the United Kingdom. The public relations industry in Spanish-speaking countries should be prepared to obtain the maximum profit of this phenomenon. How? I will tackle this through some proposed plans of action. * Identify those blogs that have a good level of hits and organize them in categories: technology, political, media, etc. There are some directories that do this like Bitácoras.net [http://bitacoras.net/], Blogdir.com [http://www.blogdir.com], Blogsmexico.com, Blogalia.com, to mention a few. We should be open to see all kinds of blogs, keeping in mind that there will be occasions in which we won’t share the authors’ points of view, but that is important that we take them into consideration. Let’s take the the case of the video games web pages. There are occasions in which children with barely 12 years become true opinion leaders, who are capable of destroying the launch of a new game in which thousands or even millions of euros were invested. * Enter into the blogosphere with the objective of understanding the new medium, its tools, its possibilities and limitations, as well as the best-known authors, although they not be Spanish-speaking. It may seem obvious, but there are many people that have never heard about RSS, feeds, posts, blogs, syndicated content, links or anything along these lines.
A public relations consultant can’t suggest that his or her clients launch a blog without having previously informed the client about what it takes to be successful and, above all, he or she can’t afford not to know an answer to an issue that may be presented in the blogosphere. * Before launching a corporate or institutional blog, one should have a clear strategy of what he or she hopes to be communicate and should understand that the blogosphere has its own “net-etiquette”, that is to say, its own codes, that have implications regarding updating, information sources, the form, the tone of the communication… and, of course, the feedback of the public. We can find that a good idea may produce mediocre results if inadequate tactics are chosen. In this sense, a blog is one more tool among the many available for public relations. And, yes, it offers some unique possibilities that other don’t have. * Make the blog relevant, but take into account that it is a blog. There are people that keep thinking that the blogs are newspapers for teen-agers, in part because it is true. However this is not something bad at all since this shows how flexible blogs are. Therefore, at the moment of launching a blog, one must find an equilibrium among the characteristics of the blogosphere with the objectives of the organization. One cannot do is to create irrelevant posts or wait too long to update the blog. If a business does not have the capacity to maintain a continuous communication with its audience, whether for strategic reasons or legal limitations of another type, perhaps a web page is better for its objectives. * Note that results can’t be immediate. It is one of the main challenges to all public relations professionals that should be faced, not only with the blogs, but when using any other tool. Perhaps in the case of the blogs the challenge is greater because of the novelty of the medium and, in the case of some Latin American countries, by the low penetration of Internet. * Be “blog evangelists”. One must know not only the blogosphere, one must be part of it. This is the only way in which a consultant will be able to offer his or her clients an adequate consultancy. It is not a matter of being a guru with thousands of visits a day, but it is necessary to be comfortable with the blogosphere and knowing who-is-who. The only way to persuade someone is being convinced of that which is preached. The best business card of a consultant that uses the advantages of a blog for an organization should include, apart from its email, his or her blog address. There will be many of things to do, but this could be a good beginning for the Spanish-speaking PR industry, that has yet to see blogs as a tool with a huge potential. We must wait to see if the “blog phenomenon”, that is taking place in a number of countries, will spread to the rest of the world. The low internet penetration in Latin American countries, an incipient culture of the use of IT and a different way of understanding the social relations, will be the main obstacles that will determine if this phenomenon spreads as it has in the Anglo-Saxon countries, or maybe it will be possible that a different movement arises with local particularities that haven’t been exploited yet. We will wait and see… and we better be prepared.

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"Puente De Mayo" in Spain

Long weekend of May is approaching really quickly. Have you already thought, where are you going to spend it? If not, you better make up your mind soon, because the best offers can be already booked!

If you have no idea for your destination, maybe you can think of going to Spain. This southern country is a popular direction during whole year, but it is specially worth seeing in May, because the weather is already good, but it is not too hot still. There is not the time for laying on the beach, but just perfect period for seeing the cities and having long walks. Of course, if you have never been before in Spain highly recommended for the beginning of you Iberian adventure is to get know the two most important and maybe also most beautiful cities: Barcelona and Madrid.

You should look for Barcelona apartments or Madrid apartments as soon as possible, because during first weekend of May really a lot of tourists are coming to those cities.

In Spain 1st of May is also a free day. It is a labour day, as in the most of European countries. Apart from that, in the community of Madrid also 2nd of May is a free day. During those days many shops and offices can be closed, because a lot of Spanish is going to spend this period away from home, so you better think about buying some necessary things in advanced. On 2nd of May you can count on very big party on the streets of Madrid. A lot of tourists are going to visit this city to take a part in this event. So why don´t you look for a Madrid apartments right now?

In Spain long weekend in May is called Puente de Mayo, which means the May bridge. The meaning of this expression is that if the first of May is on Thursday or Tuesday, normally most of people take a free day of work also on Friday or Monday to enjoy their really long weekend. This year we do not have this situation, but still the Spaniards are used to call it Puente de Mayo.

Beginning of May is amazing period in Spain, time when you can already sit in open-air cafeterias, eat strawberries and take part in whole-night parties on the streets. If you want to experience that, check out available Madrid apartments and Barcelona apartments and choose something suitable for you.

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Suitcase Nukes Dirty Bombs and Porous Borders

So far we has seen one huge International Terrorist Attack of 9-11 and several secondary large attacks such as the Madrid Bombing, Bali Explosion, Philippines Ferry Sinking and the London Transit Attack. Yet we have not seen a biological attack, yet we know the International Terrorists are thinking here as we recently linked one of the helpers of the London Train and Bus attack to a Egyptian gentleman with a PhD in Chemistry. We also have intelligence that there are plans to attack a chemical plant in the United States, which seems fairly legitimate seeing as many Oil and Gas assets such as pipelines and refineries have been previously hit.

Additionally these industries including the transportation of such are closely linked; Oil Refineries and Chemical Plants go hand in hand. We have seen International Terrorists use backpacks in their crimes against the innocent and have video footage prior to their acts carrying such bags. We also have reports of Chechnyans coming over our Southern borders carrying backpacks. We know that the Mexican Mafia along with drug runners and former Mexican Intelligence officials have been caught in the act working together. We have also caught our own including police, border patrol, checkpoint personal and a national guardsmen on our own team accepting bribes to allow shipments over our borders. MS-13 a gang has declared war on the volunteer vigilantes such as the "Minutemen" and the "Yuma Patriots" meaning using real bullets to kill them. We have lost control of our borders. We have Russian WMD, which is lost, including some nuclear material, bio-weapons and many scientists who have sold out to the highest bidder. We have China selling weapons to Iran and Israel selling weapons to China. We have Pakistan buying F-16s, while harboring Osama Bin Laden and developing UAVs and short range cruise type missiles. We have SAMs surface to air missiles from China being sold to God only knows who, while Chinese Generals advise on using nuclear weapons against the United States if we come to the aid of our Taiwan in any near future conflict. Meanwhile arsenals are pointed at each other. We have Japan upset over Russia's claim to the Volcano infested chain of Kuril Islands, while North Korea is testing ICBMs by flying them over the Japanese Mainland. Bird Flu has been found in China, Vietnam, Japan and is expected to be here soon, while China tests a secret vaccine on its people in a Eastern Province. AIDS runs ramped in China, Africa and unchecked in many other closer countries. We are still looking for some of the WMD weapons manufacturing of Saddam, which is probably in Syria or Lebanesenon, which no one will talk about. While the Palestinians are flying so far un-armed UAVs over the Israeli border. We have international politics and the true leaders of the world making all sorts of back door deals while we hunker down for Hurricane and Typhoon season around the world. The tectonic plate in the Indian Ocean and a sub plate under Japan are said to be cracking and Global Warming is said to be coming fast. All of which could lead to Global Cooling, excessive hyper weather anomalies and an ice age. Water supplies by 2025 will cause massive deaths and crop failures. Hackers and computer net-centric warfare are said to take down the entire Internet soon, while your identity is stolen and your SPAM prevents you from communicating. International Terrorists are said to plan to take down more airliners, attack our food supply and deliver a virus laced small pox that will kill millions. Meanwhile dirty bombs, suitcase nukes and Electronic Pulse Weapons are to become the future tactics of our enemy. We are preparing to protect our satellite assets and communication systems by developing space weapons yet having a tough time shooting down incoming ICBMs even if it is for practice. Is that all? No, not hardly, there is more sound and fury to cloud our judgment in this present period than in another other time in human history. We are just able to absorb more due to the better food supply, longer life experience and number of news outlets and speed of information feeding our brain usage then previously in our evolution. Therefore more scare tactics are needed.

Now then does it really matter if you believe in the devil or not? Isn't it really ourselves we should be worried about. Those innate characteristics of mankind, which got us here, but also prevent us from getting to the next step? If there was a Devil, which there is not; I wouldn't worry about him much? The tall tell of the Devil is a pretty weak villain for the most part. I am more worried about the hypocritical nature of our own species, which allows us to target our neighbor in the name of our individual chosen gods. If there is one lesson in this bizarre labeling of good and evil, saint or infidel, international terrorist or holly man; it is this: "We are our own worst enemy."

The only real evil is to deny that which we are fore until we recognize that and admit our faults, we have little chance of fixing much of anything? The Devil 666, indeed; where? Show me? Because all I see is a bunch of people on all sides running around pointing figures and choosing sides for a show down? There is more positioning and rhetoric these days than in all the Donald Trump "You're Fired" episodes put together. Furthermore; There is no need to fulfill some insane prophesy of any religious fictional work or doomsday prediction of enigmatic words written long ago for the sole purpose of controlling the masses to serve the will of the few. Think about this, all of it. And I promise to get back to y'all real soon.

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Predator/Prey Relationships in Miocene Spain

Joint American and Spanish Team Study Teeth to find out what Sabre-Toothed Cats Ate

A ratio of Carbon 12 to Carbon 13 isotopes preserved in the fossilised teeth of apex predators and herbivores that lived over nine million years ago has provided a joint American and Spanish research team with an insight into how food chains worked in the latter part of the Miocene epoch. The study, the academic paper having been published in the scientific journal «The Proceedings of the Royal Society of Biology», focused on the diets of the top, predatory mammals and attempted to establish how large carnivores such as Sabre-Toothed Cats and Bear Dogs (Amphicyonids) were able to live in the same habitats without necessarily competing for the same food resources.

Miocene Fossil Locations of Central Spain

Palaeontologists from the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (Madrid) and the University of Michigan (United States) studied the fossilised teeth of specimens of animals that had been found at a number of fossil dig sites at Cerro de los Batallones, just 25 miles south-west of Madrid. A substantial number of vertebrate skeletons have been discovered in this area, two dig sites are particularly rich in predator fossil bones. Scientists suspect these sites represent «natural predator traps», a herbivore may have become stuck fast in mud and this then attracted a number of carnivores and scavengers to the location hoping to feed on the hapless plant-eater. The meat-eaters soon became stuck too, and the rising pile of corpses would have attracted more and more predators, thus the number of carnivore fossil specimens found at such sites are far in excess of the number of herbivore fossil specimens found. Fossils found include those of hyenas, martens and skunks.

Two Types Sabre-Toothed Cat Studied

The researchers studied two species of Sabre-Tooth Cat, Promegantereon ogygia, about the size of an African Leopard (Panthero pardus pardus) and the much larger and heavier Machairodus aphanistus, which was about the size of an extant African Lion (Panthero leo). It is quite common to hear people describe Sabre-Toothed Cats as «Sabre-Toothed Tigers», this is an inaccurate description, as although Sabre-Tooths do belong to the same taxonomic family as today’s «Big Cats» – Felidae, Sabre-Tooth Cats are not closely related to Tigers.

The Fearsome Bear Dogs

The other type of apex predator the research team studied was the Bear Dog known as Magericyon anceps. Bear Dogs are neither Bears or Dogs but seem to be distantly related to both types of carnivore, sharing a common Vulpavine ancestor. M. anceps was a particularly large and powerful example of the Mid to Late Miocene Bear Dogs, large specimens could weigh over 200 kilogrammes and would have stood over a metre high at the shoulder.

Apex Predators Co-existing

The study of the tooth isotopes revealed that the Sabre-Toothed Cats shared the same woodland habitat. The smaller Sabre-Tooth Cat species probably used the abundant cover to avoid encounters with M. aphanistus. Sabre-Toothed Cats have a different build when compared to modern cats. They are not built for speed but have immensely strong front legs and shoulders. Scientists have speculated that Sabre-Toothed Cats specialised in being ambush predators rather than pursuit predators, chasing after their prey. The woodland habitat would have been ideal for ambushing herbivores.

Sabre-Toothed Cats – Likely Ambush Hunters

Both species of Sabre-Toothed Cat showed no statistical differences in the ratio of Carbon 12 to Carbon 13 in their teeth samples. This means that they probably fed on similar prey animals that lived in the woodlands, but their body sizes probably meant that they targeted different sized prey. They may also have avoided direct competition by hunting at different times of the day. It has been speculated that Promegantereon ogygia may have hunted after dusk, or spent more time in the trees, so as to avoid the attentions of larger types of Sabre-Tooth Cat in the area. It seems that the members of the Machairodontinae living in the area that was to become central Spain preferred to eat primitive horses, animals that were not yet the highly efficient runners seen on race tracks today.

Bear Dogs «Top Dog» on the Open Plains

The tests on the Bear Dog teeth showed a different ratio, indicating that a different type of prey was preferred by these carnivores. The Bear Dogs hunted animals that lived in more open, grassland habitats, they seem to have been better suited to pursuit predation, tackling herbivores that lived in open areas such as antelopes.

It seems that nine million years ago, a number of mammalian apex predators were able to co-exist in this part of Europe as they seem to have specialised in hunting different types of prey animal.

Providing an Insight into an Ancient Miocene Ecosystem

Commenting on the study one of the researchers stated that such investigations using isotope analysis of fossil teeth provided an insight into the diets of long extinct creatures. This in turn gave the palaeontologists an understanding of an ancient, long extinct ecosystem.

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Is Milan Still One of the Fashion Capitals?

A few days ago Men’s Fashion Week in Milan ended and in less than a month Women’s Fashion Week will begin. The city will turn into chaos, the bloggers will occupy the streets and nervous journalist and editors will run hysterically from one show to another.

This makes me wonder: is all this hype justified? Can Milan still think of itself as one of the main fashion capitals along with Paris, London and New York or is it slowly losing the battle against some rising fashion metropolis like Madrid, Berlin and São Paulo?

There is no doubt that when it comes to the commercial aspect Milan is the winner. What you see on Milan’s catwalks is what sells all over the world and there will always be big brands like Gucci, Armani, D&G, Prada that will attract international buyers and press. But what matters for the future of any fashion industry is the young and upcoming talent. And that is exactly what is missing in Milan, or rather it is not featured enough as in other fashion weeks around the world. When I think about it, I can’t really come up with any Italian designer that has emerged in last ten years and has created an internationally known and successful brand. Maybe DSquared2, but they are originally from Canada, based in Italy, but not really representatives of Italian taste and style.

So what is missing? There are countless fashion schools all over Italy, there is even a solid platform for the manufacturing process… Maybe Italian fashion community doesn’t do enough to support and guide young designer so they just end up working as assistant designers for some major brand never getting the real recognition for their work. Sure there are events like «Who is on Next?» but still after all these years not one young designer has managed to surpass the borders of Italy and make it big worldwide. And young designer always have their shows on the last day of the fashion week, after all major brands have already finished their shows, and all the press and buyers have left for Paris wich is the next fashion week in the calendar.

So how can we explain the phenomenon of two extraordinary talented Italian designers like Riccardo Tisci who has resurrected the french maison Givenchy; and Giambattista Valli who is equally successful both in prêt-à-porter and haute couture. And somehow they are both based in Paris and are fully embraced by the French fashion industry.

Maybe what is happening to Milan is what used to be the problem of London till recently. It just didn’t have the support system. But one of the biggest British brands Burberry has eventually returned to the London Fashion Week. I don’t see Italian brands like Valentino ever coming back from Paris to Milan.

And lastly, maybe it is to consider also the fact that fashion lives where creativity and young energy burst. In a city that can simply be described with the color grey, where walking down the streets there are significantly more old than young people, and where anxiety and bitterness is the common state of mind, even the fashion has given up. It has moved to a better, warmer and more prosperous place. I bet it is having a fabulous time somewhere in the streets of Rio.


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Famous Guitarists – The Story of John Williams

Leonard Williams emigrated to Australia in the late 1930s where he met Marlaan, a Chinese/Australian, daughter of a well known Melbourne barrister through their mutual love of jazz, and later married her. Len was a respected jazz guitarist who gradually turned towards the classical style. John Christopher Williams was born on the 24th of April, 1941 in Melbourne and when he was four got his first guitar, but real lessons did not begin for another two or three years. Because of his fathers obsession with classical guitar he refused to allow any other form of playing which is something John sometimes regrets to this day.

The family returned to Britain in 1952 for two reasons. Len wanted to start a guitar school, which he did and was very successful, the «Spanish Guitar Centre» continues his work today. Having recognised his sons talent, he wanted him to be taught by the best possible teachers and this was not possible in Australia. Coming back to London was obviously the right thing to do and John was educated at the Frier Barnet Grammar School

Through a friend they met Andres Segovia during a visit to London and the maestro was «very impressed» with the 11 year old and arranged for him to attend his summer school at The Academia Musicale Chigiama di Sienna in Italy which he did until 1959.

The first time John really tasted success was when he was given the honor, on the instigation of his fellow students, of giving the first solo recital by a student of any instrument in 1955.

While he was not in Sienna Williams attended the Royal College of Music from 1956 – 1959 where he, like Julian Bream, studied piano and composition because the college didn’t have a guitar department. However one was formed and upon his graduation John was asked to run it. This he did until 1973 and still maintains a relationship with it to this day.

By the early sixties Williams had performed in the US, Russia, Japan, Paris, Madrid and London. Since then he has toured the world playing solo and with orchestras and has performed on TV and radio many times.

He has often said that he prefers to play with other people, one being his friend Julian Bream; Williams says they know one another’s playing so well that together they create «Magic».

Although he is mainly known as a classical guitarist, John Williams has explored many other styles. He has collaborated with Julian Bream, Paco Pena and was a founder member of SKY, he is also a composer and arranger and has commissioned guitar concertos from composers such as Andre Previn and Stephen Dodgson. He has also worked with Australian composers to produce guitar music that would help to capture the spirit of his native country.

He had a worldwide hit single with Cavatina by Stanley Myers who originally wrote it for a film called ‘The Walking Stick’ in 1970. John Williams asked Myers to expand it and write it for the guitar. In its new mode Cavatina was used as the beautiful theme music for the Oscar winning film ‘The Deer Hunter’ in 1979. Cleo Laine wrote lyrics to it and ‘He was Beautiful’ was recorded by her accompanied by John on the guitar.

He has played for films, The Deer Hunter and A Fish Called Wanda to name but two. He also plays tennis, badminton, chess, table tennis and enjoys talking about «anything». He has been married three times and has a daughter Kate who is a jazz pianist from his first marriage and a boy Charlie to his second wife Sue Cook the well known broadcaster. He lives in London and has a house in Australia.

Think you could be the next John Williams? How about some classical guitar lessons?

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7 Cities to Visit When in Spain

Beautiful sun kissed beaches, splendid scenic beauty, delicious cuisines, and amazing night life. Spain has it all. Here are seven holiday destinations which are a must visit in Spain.

1. Costa Brava- Costa Brava has always been a prominent place for holiday throughout the year. The coastline extends from Port Bou to Blanes. The place has soaring cliffs, abundant vegetation, beautiful villages, sun kissed beaches and hidden bays, which are only accessible through boat. The top places include Chichi Begur, Cadaques and Port Lligat. Port Lligat is famous for Salvador Dali and his wife Gala, as they once lived and worked. If culture and archaeology interests you, then Ampurias or Empúries is a must visit.

2. Santiago de Compostela- This is the capital city of the Galicia region in the north western part of Spain. Also known for its traditional pilgrimage, the place is also known as Camino de Santiago. The pilgrimage is important to many Christians as St James was buried. The city captivates the attention of people across the globe. From its illustrious history or rich culture, the city has so much to offer. Praza do Obradoiro is the arriving point for pilgrims. Santiago Cathedral is also an important landmark, as it situated in the heart of the city.

3. Barcelona – The capital city of Catalonia, this cosmopolitan city situated on the Mediterranean coast has both a historical background seamed effortlessly with modern city life. The Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished cathedral La Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell is a must visit. The city is well-fed, both historically and culturally. Barcelona has a number of bars, great shops, also amazing clubs. One should also check friendly seaside resort of Sitges, a car ride to the National Park of Montserrat, which offers, hiking, climbing and a monastery with beautiful panoramic view.

4. Madrid-Situated in the middle of Spain, the city is more than two million years old, since the stone age. While most of the tourists visit Madrid because of its laid back beaches, it has so much more. The city offers some of the world’s best museums, restaurants, vibrant night life, mouth watering delicacies, and also a large number of pedestrian shops to offer the true essence of Spain. The historic old town, Madrid los Austrians, is a must visit. Today Madrid stands for its art and culture, with over seventy museums including the famous Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia National Art Centre also the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

5. Valencia- Valencia is one of the largest cities in Spain. The city is located in the eastern part of the country in the region of Valencia. The city is well constructed with substantial cultural as well as entertainment complex, known as the «City Of Art and Science». There are several science museum, aquarium, planetarium. Valencia hosts the Fallas Festival every March. It should be on every tourist’s bucket list.

6. Seville- Buzzing night life, refreshing atmosphere, and beautiful tourist attraction, Seville tops the list of cities in Spain you must visit. The city is both the cultural and financial capital of Andalusia. A beautiful place with relevant historic landmarks, important most being the grand Cathedral of Seville. The Cathedral of Seville is a major tourist attraction, as it is believed to be the burial place of Christopher Columbus. The Real Alcazar, is yet another exorbitant place with luxurious garden.

7. Granada- The capital of Granada Province, the city is placed to the south of Seirra Nevada. Granada is the perfect mixture of culture, tradition with an extravagant night life and beautiful scenic beauty. Granada has great architectural sight, with visitors coming across the globe mostly to experience Alhambra. The preceding Moorish grip in Europe, the Alhambra offers its visitor marvellous ornamental architecture, splendid scenic beauty along with spectacular lush garden and breath taking views of the city below.

Spain is synonymous with modern experience inter-weaved perfectly with its grand history and culture. Every city in Spain is an experience in itself. Happy Holidays!

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Costa Del Sol Gay Scene

If you are homosexual, lesbian, transgender, bisexual or straight and want to go to a club or bar where you don’t have to worry about being harassed by the opposite sex, Spain has a very active gay scene. Gay clubs, bars, hotels and associations can be found throughout the country with more of a presence in the larger more cosmopolitan cities like Madrid or Barcelona.

It is currently estimated that there are around four million lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people in Spain with around 62% of Spanish people supporting the move to legalize same-sex marriages. This law now gives Spanish resident same-sex couples the right to marry and the same rights of ownership, inheritance and adoption as married heterosexuals. Because of this growing support for homosexuality, Spain has become a popular tourist and vacation destination for the gay community.

Ever since the early 1960s the Costa del Sol, and Torremolinos in particular, have been a Mecca for gay and gay friendly people. With its laid back lifestyle and visiting or resident artists, singers and writers the Costa del Sol has become the most popular gay centre in Southern Europe.

If you head westwards from Malaga Airport you will discover the gay Costa del Sol starting at the gay beach at Guadalmar, trendy beach bars of Los Alamos to the gay night life of La Nogalera in Torremolinos. If you continue past the naturist beach at Benalmadena to the more restrained gay bars of Fuengirola you will find the famous gay beach at Cabopino before hitting the more subdued scene in the stylish resort of Marbella.

The Costa del Sol is less than a three hour flight from the UK and is an all year round resort area offering real value and something for all gays and lesbians.

Torremolinos has a great gay nightlife, only being surpassed by Madrid and Barcelona.While Sitges and Gran Canaria mainly attract visitors from UK, Holland and Germany, Torremolinos is still a very Spanish town with most of the gay bars filled with local Spanish guys. The age of gay crowd is younger than in Sitges and Gran Canaria with the large nightclubs attracting a very young gay crowd of 18-30 years olds.

There are more than 30 gay and lesbian places in Torremolinos concentrated in a small gay village called Nogalera. Most of the bars are not open before 11:00 pm so be prepared to party until dawn. The most popular gay venues at the moment are El Gate Bar which attracts handsome 30+ guys, the Parthenon Club and Home Disco. The biggest gay sauna of southern Europe will be opening here the end of this year.

There are no real gay hotels in Torremolinos but you will find plenty of gay beach front Bungalows which are in the centre of town just a five minute walk from all the gay bars. Gay bungalows offer a free parking space and total privacy.

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Sian Ka’an – Mexico’s Pandora

There’s an exquisite, gorgeous, fantastic spot down in Mexico, on its Caribbean coast. Bet you never heard of it – unless you happen to be or know of one of the not-so-many thousands of tourists who have visited since it was established by decree of then-Mexico President Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, January 20th 1986 as part of UNESCO’s «Man and the Biosphere» (MAB) Program.

Guess you could call Sian Ka’an a Heaven on Earth. It’s real name sounds kind of unreal, like the place: it’s known as «Sian Ka’an» Mayan for «where the sky is born» or «gift from the sky.» No, we don’t speak Mayan, and Yes, you can get there from here, although it sounds like a sci-fi fantasy, with a name that might pass for Klingon if you don’t speak Mayan.

Sian Ka’an comprises about 1.3 million acres considered unique for their geography and wetlands, which featuring a couple thousand human inhabitants, and hundreds of known bird and mammal species, in a setting so unique and exotically strange it belongs more in the virtual world of Avatar.

There is a whopping charge of $4 (USD) as a fee entrance to the Reserve per person per day, so we can understand why you may be reluctant to spend that kind of money just to visit what sounds like a Heaven on Earth (yes, we’re kidding). You really should visit this land that will quickly remind you of Avatar’s Pandora, and lend your support to the local economy, which relies on tourism and fishing for income.