Lausanne Cathedral
Lausanne Cathedral
Photo courtesy ST/




















































Spend St. Valentine's Day in Dublin

If a short break is on your agenda for St. Valentine's Day, perhaps you need a push from the man himself — St. Valentine. Wouldn’t you know it? The Irish actually have relics (some of the remains) of the patron saint of lovers.

You need to head to Dublin for this. The St. Valentine’s Shrine is in Whitefriar Carmelite Church, Aungier Street, a few minutes walk from Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green and the famous Temple Bar, the center of Dublin's shopping, culture and craic in the Irish capital.

If you can, visit St. Valentine’s Shrine on February 14 itself—the saint’s actual feast day, and the origin of the annual celebration of love, although it’s still a place of pilgrimage for those celebrating love at any time.

You can do a lot in Dublin on a long weekend. In Europe’s friendliest city; you can talk to anyone. It's said the city is as intimate as a pub. But it’s probably better not to over-prepare for Dublin, or anywhere in Ireland. Be ready to go with the flow, build in one or two key activities and expect the locals to throw a surprise or two your way.

Dublin hotels and restaurants will be pulling out the stops to create a traditional romantic atmosphere on Valentine’s night, so candle-lit dinners will be the norm. Flowers are no problem either— Smithfield Flower Market — and one Dublin temple to the art of all things— chocolate— is actually not far from St. Valentines’ Shrine. Chocolatier Cocoa Atelier on Drury Street oozes handmade Irish chocolate deliciousness.

Finally, the all-important card.The Emerald Isle’s charm is more along the style of literary son Sheridan: "Won't you come into the garden? My roses should like to meet you."

Ireland is a land that reaches deep into the heart, lifts spirits and stirs you to your very core.

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Egyptian partner

Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts, a leading European hotel company based in Frankfurt, has partnered with the Egyptian tourism group Travco Group International Holding S.A.E., owned by Hamed El Chiaty and family. Steigenberger Hotels AG owns both hotels and resorts and the InterCityHotel chain. The new partner will continue to pursue and further develop the long-term targets of the company. In addition to hotels and Nile cruise ships, Travco's business activities also include tourism services.


new Liège-Guillemins station

Liege train station

The new Liège-Guillemins railroad station was designed by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. This station links Liège to other great European cities such as Paris, London, Amsterdam and Cologne. Just under an hour from Brussels, Liege is known as the “Fiery city” and is home to many great museums, including the new Curtius Musuem.

For more information on LIEGE and Calatrava new Station visit:



La Breguette restaurant
In a bucolic setting high in the Alps, the restaurant La Breguette occupies a building dating to 1706. Famous local Chef Philippe Gignard offers signature dishes and guests can also book charming rooms for overnight stays.


Did you know?

Every night the watchman of Lausanne Cathedral sounds the hours: an uninterrupted ritual for 600 years.

"The watchman has just sounded ten!"

Four times a night, between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., Renato Haeusler, one of the last historic watchmen in Europe, patrols the vertical balcony of the cathedral's northern tower, called "Le Beffroi" -- a tradition dating back six centuries.

In those days, there were watchmen throughout Europe. Their mission: warn the population about fires. In 1880 the city of Lausanne, like many others, was protected from major catastrophes thanks to progress. The function of the watchman was maintained, however, somebody has to wind up the clock so that the bell continues to ring!

There are now only seven watchmen in Europe. Renato Harusler would like the ritual to endure, "so that the watchman remains the vector of a tradition for the following generation and the receiver of the previous one."




Yes, bikes, are now becoming the rage in Rome.

You can stroll across the piazza or you can take your fancy sports car out on the road, but in Roman the latest kick is to bike. The 2 1/2 million citizens of Rome can now hop aboard a bike--there are 250 of them for rent. All you have to do is go to a travel office, register, pay a fee and go peddling away.

Actually, if you use the bike under an hour--it's free. And it costs only about 1 euro for the next half hour, with higher fees the longer you have the bike out. Rome residents must pay a 30 euro deposit. There are nearly 20 bike stands around the city that are open between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. every day.

The bikes limit traffic in the city, appeal to those who don't want to spend a lot of money, and are a healthy way for people to get about.


How do you keep from losing your luggage?

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that mishandled airline baggage is up 32.3% during the last several months. Reportedly, one in every 125 travelers has a piece of luggage missing.

There’s not much that you can do in this regard when you are leaving your luggage to airplane, airport, bus, boat or train personnel.

But there is a better way to make sure that if your luggage is lost—and the tag comes off the outside of the luggage—that you mitigate the problem.

Most people do not put another name/address tag on the inside of their luggage, but that’s an easy way to help you get your luggage back. Write your name/address/telephone on a large piece of paper and put it on top of your belongings.

In the Netherlands, there are more bicycles than people: 20 million bikes, 16.5 million people.

At the Amsterdam Central Train Station, five levels of bikes are stored on a daily basis, so it behooves bicycle owners to know where their bikes are when they return to retrieve them.

Best bet is to memorize where you put your bike (level, area, row) and mark it somehow with a piece of bright ribbon or other distinguishing mark. If you don’t remember, it could take you hours to find it again.