Cape Town City Center – Travel Information on Cape Town

The enthusiasm and energy of a new, proud nation comes to life on the streets and in the City Centre of Cape Town in the Western Cape, South Africa. A rich diversity of shopping opportunities, art, music, cuisine, theatre, entertainment and nightlife awaits the visitor. And for the sporty and adventurous, there is something to suit everybody’s adrenaline rush – from all kinds of conventional sports to water sports to helicopter flips.

The beautiful Mother City has so much to offer, but since it is not our intention to present a comprehensive tourism brochure – rather consult the various tourism information bureaus for detailed information – we’ll stick to wetting your appetite with our Travel Information and some highly recommended attractions and things to do:

CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE: Built between 1666 and 1679, this pentagonal fort is the oldest colonial and best preserved structure of its kind in South Africa. Guided tours daily – experience cultural exhibitions, military history and colourful ceremonies, the dungeons, blacksmith, fine wines and Cape Malay cuisine.

THE GARDENS: Established in 1962 by Jan van Riebeeck, the first colonial governor in South Africa, to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to passing ships, the Company Gardens is a green, peaceful oasis in the middle of a bustling modern city, worthy of a stroll and house the SA Museum and Planetarium, the SA Cultural History Museum, the SA Jewish Museum, the SA National Gallery with contemporary works of art.

CRAFT MARKETS: Get a taste of Africa at Green Market Square and the pedestrian walk at St George’s Mall where vendors sell anything from African crafts to clothes, jewelery and books to bric-a-brac. Visit also the craft markets of Greenpoint, Noordhoek and Khayelitsha.

CABLE CAR UP TABLE MOUNTAIN: The summit of Table Mountain is more than 1 000 meters high, provide spectacular views and sports a restaurant, shop, telescopes and walkways.

CAPE MALAY QUARTER: Also called the Bo-Kaap, guided walking tours will give you insight into the influence of the colourful Malay culture on the SA cuisine and architecture in Cape Town.

LONG STREET: Famous for all kinds of fascinating shops selling antiques, collectibles, clothing and books, a vibrant nightlife and good restaurants.

Explore the city on the open-top bus and get to know more about the history and culture of the Mother City.

V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town is a working habour that has been turned into South Africa’s most visited tourist attraction. It has over 270 contemporary stores, street entertainers, live music shows at the open air amphitheatre, 11 cinemas, an Imax theater, 7 hotels, the Two Oceans Aquarium where you can swim with the sharks, boat trips, harbour cruises, helicopter charters, art and craft markets, designer clothes, African souvenirs and jewelery shops, a variety of top restaurants, historic sites, a working brewery – to mention a few.

Robben Island

The departure point for ferries and a tour of the maximum-security prison on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years, is at the Clock Tower.

Things to do in Cape Town Central, South Africa

* Visit the V&A Waterfront for excellent restaurants and shopping

* Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront

* Take a trip to Robben Island from the V&A Waterfront

* Take a harbour sunset cruise from the V&A Waterfront

* Visit the oldest building in the country, the Castle of Good Hope

* Spend some time in the historic Company Gardens

* Visits the craft stalls at Green Market Square for a taste of Africa

* Explore the Bo-Kaap with its Cape Malay flavour

* Take the cable car up Table Mountain

* Take a helicopter trip over the Peninsula

* Visit Long Street with its antique and book shops

* Explore the city on the open-top bus

* Drive the scenic coastal road from Green Point to Chapman’s Peak

* Hike up Table Mountain

* Take a charter cruise from the harbour

The Southern Suburbs

* Visit Mostert’s Mill, one of only two Dutch windmills in the Cape, in Rosebank

* Visit Rodes Memorial on the slopes of Table Mountain where antelope roam freely

* Newlands Stadium and cricket fields

* Have a picnic in the Newlands Forest with its an amazing tapestry of trees

* Shop at award-winning Cavendish Square Shopping Centre in Claremont

* Visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden – over 5 000 species of indigenous flora

* Visit Constantia Valley and the wine estates

Atlantic Coast, Cape Town, South Africa

* Do one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the world – the Chapman’s Peak Drive

* Visit the Green Point craft market on Sundays

* Stroll along Sea Point Beachfront Promenade

* Swim in the Olympic-sized swimming pool at Sea Point

* Visit the four elite beaches amongst the boulders of Clifton

* Enjoy the view from a restaurant at Camps Bay

* Visit Llandudno for surfing and scuba diving

* Tan at Sandy Bay, South Africa’s only nudist beach

* Visit the Hout Bay harbour with its Yacht Club Marina and Mariner’s Wharf

* Sunset cruises from Hout Bay harbour

* Scuba diving, surfing, kite surfing, sea kayaking, deep sea fishing

* Abseil from Chapman’s Peak

* Cruise from Hout Bay to see the seals

Peninsula, Cape Town, South Africa

* Take a train ride from Simonstown to Muizenberg

* Swim with the penguins at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town

* Visit the Toy Museum and Maritime Museum in Simon’s Town

* Visit Gemstone Factory in Simon’s Town

* Visit Just Nuisance’s Grave in Simon’s Town

* Swim at Fish Hoek beach

* Snorkel off Sunnycove beach in Fish Hoek

* Golf at Clovelly

* Go caving in the mountains near Kalk Bay

* Browse amongst antique shops in Kalk Bay

* Visit the old fashioned fishing harbour in Kalk Bay

* Horse riding at 8 km Long Beach near Noordhoek

* For excellent surfing, angling, crayfish boat trips visit Kommetjie

* Visit Cape Point, the Cape of Good Hope nature reserve

* Take a walk at Cape Point to see the Fynbos (indigenous flora}

* Visit the ostrich farm – camel rides

* Walk in Silvermine Nature Reserve

* Surf at “The Hoek” or walk along the beach at Noorhoek

* Sunset beach rides – with champagne at Noordhoek

* Scuba diving, surfing, kite surfing, sea kayaking, deep sea fishing, power boating

* Blaauwberg Region, Cape Town Metro, South Africa

* Enjoy the view of Table Mountain from 48 km of white, sandy beaches

* Top angling spots as well as surfing, wind and kite surfing

* Shop at Canal Walk, the biggest shopping centre on the continent

* Sail on the Rietvlei Dam in the Nature Reserve

* Milnerton Golf Club

* Visit Sanccob, famous rescue centre for polluted marine birds and penquins.

* Watch whales (July to September) and year-round dolphin watching at Bloubergstrand

* Visit Melkbosstrand, the gateway to the West Coast

* Koeberg Power Station and Nature Reserve

* Tygerberg Region, Cape Town, South Africa

* Visit the Grand West Casino Complex with 2 hotels, Olympic sized ice rink, 60 restaurants

* Take a township tour to Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats

* Entertainment and sport at the Velodrome

* Shop at the Tyger Valley Shopping Centre in Bellville

* The Durbanville Wine Route has six wine estates open for tastings

* Durbanville Golf Club

Oostenberg Region, Cape Town Metro, South Africa

* Oostenberg has six own wine estates with wine tasting and hamper picnics

* Visit the Tygerberg Zoo, Drakenstein Lion Park and Animalzone

* Visit the Wijnland Auto Museum – biggest collection of classic and vintage cars in the country

* Kuils River Golf Club offers an 18-hole course and welcomes visitors

* Helderberg Region, Cape Town Metro, South Africa

* Visit the Helderberg Wine Route, starting at Somerset West

* Visit the Stellenbosch winelands

* Swim at long, white, safe swimming beaches of Strand and Gordon’s Bay

* Visit the Helderberg Nature Reserve in Somerset West

* Visit the Fynbos Biosphere near Betty’s Bay

* Magnificent coastal scenic Clarence Drive to Rooi Els

* Watch whales from August to November from Gordon’s Bay

* Scuba diving, surfing, kite surfing, sea kayaking, deep sea fishing in area

* Shop at Somerset Mall, one of the biggest shopping malls in the Western Cape

* Take a drive along the beautiful coastal False Bay road to Muizenberg

* Visit historic Vergelegen Wine Estate

* Visit Monkey Town with 24 species or monkeys

* Golf at Erinvale, Somerset West and Strand Golf Clubs

* Go for shark diving in Gansbaai further along the coast

* See the cheetahs at Spier Wine Estate

Source by Monika Moser

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Why Did Northern Rock Call in the Bank of England?

The confirmation by the Bank of England of support for Northern Rock plc on 12 September 2007 is the first major sign of international fallout from the collapse of the US subprime mortgage lending market. In the US, lenders such as New Century Financial Corporation, the second largest subprime lender in California, have gone bankrupt. In the UK, as Northern Rock is classed as a bank, the authorities intervened in order to prevent market panic. There have been persistent rumors that several leading UK banks, including Barclays, have liquidity issues and the Bank of England wished to send a clear signal that no major bank will be allowed to fail.

The irony of Northern Rock is that it was generally deemed to be a successful company. The share price was GBP12.58 in February, but by 14 September 2007 it had dropped to GBP4.33.

Northern Rock achieved sales growth by offering 100% mortgages on home valuations, plus an extras 25%. Their projected growth rate was 20% per annum and yet the market was only growing at around 10%. In order to gain this volume of business, they needed very attractive mortgage products and also to adopt a flexible approach to consumers with mixed credit records.

They were so successful that they gained 22% market share of all new mortgages taken out during the first 6 months of 2007. The growth in the issue of mortgages was primarily funded via the wholesale market, as opposed to deposits by individual savers. It is estimated that some 75% of funds come from this source. The near collapse of interbank lending in August effectively starved Northern Rock of funds and caused a liquidity crisis.

In comparison to the US subprime scene, Northern Rock appears almost prudent. New Century of California took such a lenient view on customers’ poor credit ratings that it allegedly would make advances to a person who came out of bankruptcy on the previous day. Northern Rock, on the other hand, has not been accused of failures of diligence in its lending policies and mortgage risk assessment methods. Northern Rock has not been hit by mortgage defaults, but by a lack of finance which is required to fund its ambitious expansion.

The housing market in the UK is now set to follow the downward trend of the USA. Prices have dropped by more than 10% in some locations such as Stockton, California, where the repossession rate is running at 3.7% of households.

Despite the differences between Northern Rock and the bankrupt US mortgage lenders, the root cause remains the same. This is the persistent growth of consumer debt.

In the UK, the average level of household debt, excluding mortgages, is GBP8,856. Average household debt is GBP56,000 if mortgages are included. It should be noted that these are average figures and they include a large number of households who do not have mortgages or credit card balances.

Some 11.8m UK households have mortgages and the average amount outstanding is GBP96,560. In addition, if non mortgage debt is limited to the households with unsecured loans, mainly credit cards, then the debt figure rises to GBP20,600. Therefore the average total debt of households with mortgages and credit card loans is a staggering GBP117,160.

Although the USA figures are calculated in different ways, average credit card and car loan debt is US$18,700 per household, and mortgage debt is US$74,000.

In both countries, but especially the UK, the increase in consumer debt is based on the expectation of rising house prices, full employment and low interest rates. If any of these conditions change, then the results will be serious if not catastrophic.

The growth of the UK economy over the last 20 years, has been driven by the steady increase in house prices and underpinned by North Sea oil. During this time, the manufacture of goods in the UK has continued its secular decline as has the number of British owned firms in both the manufacturing and service sectors. The major growth sector of the economy has been financial services and the City of London, which has eclipsed Wall Street.

In both countries, the dampening of inflationary pressures due to cheap imports, is unlikely to continue indefinitely. The process of globalisation is almost complete. Wages and material costs are set to rise in China and other far east manufacturers, and this imported inflation will bring to an end the period of consumer led growth in both the USA and UK. This will inevitably lead to period of re-adjustment, during which time interest rates could well rise to double digits.

In the meantime, the uncertainty surrounding financial institutions will continue to unnerve both the housing and stock markets of the western economies. Investors seeking serious returns need to look further afield, and borrowers need to reconsider their ability to repay loans in the event of a significant rise in interest rates.

Source by Leslie Hardy

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JVC NZ R206 50Wx4 CD Review

There are a lot of products that are recognized to car audio components and many times, various models from various brands are available. The truth is, without the proper knowledge and information, you may end up buying products or components that are excessively expensive which have features you did not need to have in the first place.

The first thing that you need to do is to consider what your expectations are for your car audio head unit, there are a lot of many amazing products out there which can even allow you to have Bluetooth connectivity and access to hands free phone calls and etc . But make sure you know what you need first and make sure that you are not paying extra for something that you will not be using later on.

This is why knowing what a unit or a certain model from a certain manufacturer is very important before you start off buying any of them. For one, you do not want to buy one that is not capable of functioning under minimum requirements and for another, you might want to upgrade later on in the near future and for certain, you would definitely want to get a unit that is able to accept up with high performance changes.

One of the more popular brands out there is the JVC line of products; these products are well equipped with the latest technology that can definately cater to all your audio needs. The difference is, not all of their products are generic or made equipped with all the various gadgets and gizmos that it is supposedly to have. Instead, it has various models and each model are made specifically to what consumers need to have so that they get exactly what they need and they avoid paying for excess technology.

One of the models that the JVC in car audio products can offer is the JVC NZ R206 50Wx4 CD. This model is very stylish in its design and it is actually quite affordable compared to other models. Although it has less function and technology, this model is very appropriate for people who are fond of buying audio CD's of their favorite artists or bands.

It is basically a MOSFET unit with a high sensitivity tuner. You can buy it original in New Zealand and its quality can be well secured and unlike the many products which are mass produced in various Asian countries. This JVC head unit is basically a stable unit that is ample for routine car audio setups. It can fully accommodate your entire original artist CD's and I am certain that it will be good enough to perform all your basic car stereo tasks.

Source by Mica G

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The Basics Of Forex Trading Interventions

Central banks continue to sustain their big role in modern day’s Forex market, even after losing absolute control to trading ranges in late 1980s. Here are a few hints that every Forex trader must know. Since the dark days of the Bretton Woods Accord, a time when currencies were bound to each other at a 1% range, foreign exchange markets have gone through a big change. In the past 30 odd years, the globalization of the economies, the technological breakthroughs and the staggering growth in investment funds and commodity trading advisors have expanded the daily trading volume in Forex to trillions of dollars.

Central banks make use of Forex for a number of reasons; one of which is making payments. On the contrary, when Forex exchange is involved, the trader’s focal point goes to market interventions. People usually wonder if central banks are involved in profiteering at all, because of the way they manipulate specific currencies when foreign exchange is at the summit and lowest point. However, even if major central banks are often successful with long term because they never speculate in Forex, they typically lose in the short and medium terms. Their actions are often for keeping exchange rates from getting dangerously low, which has a negative effect on exporters, and restoring orderly conditions in the market.

Only foreign exchange is involved with unsterilized, or naked, interventions. The Fed, for example, only conducts Forex with countries with external currencies like Japan and Europe. However, in addition to the effect on foreign exchange rates, an intervention has a rather unpopular side effect to major central bankers, as seen on monetary supplies. Because of this, economical levels often require significant changes to pricing and interest rates. A naked intervention always leads to long term effects.

A sterilized intervention, however, promptly reflects onto the monetary supply, making it a tool of choice for traders. Sterilized interventions are known for short to medium term effect, but that is more than enough in foreign exchange.

If not done wisely, interventions can also affect traders negatively. Interventions can be both damaging and beneficial at the same time, so understanding the concept behind it is very important. Central banks may reverse the trends, slow it down, or intervene with the market to provide liquidity and protect specific levels from variation. Because central banks promptly answer to compromising trends, traders are restricted from expecting a mechanical approach.

In case of a crisis, a currency pair or several currency pairs may be affected, thereby throwing off the market either in terms of pure havoc or imbalance between the pairs. In case one side of the pair goes astray, central banks are there to supply it and keep the market running. However, there is no guarantee the bank will operate this way. In case it does, do not expect the bank to cover the entire market losses, as they will only be there to provide a minuscule backdoor for traders.

Actually, central banks don’t have total control of where the market may lead; they are only capable of making interventions so as to influence the pace of the trend. Volatility acceleration has a rather reflexive effect on momentum funds; as it increases, so does the other one. In turn, central banks will aim for the speed of movement, and not its particular direction. To slow down a plummeting trend, for example, a bank might purchase stocks in minute amounts sequentially. In which case, traders are going to take advantage of the bank’s intervention by selling now, and buying back their stocks when the trend recovers.

Source by Rita Lawson

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Forex Trading Times

Knowing what the best times to Forex is a crucial component to effective and efficient Forex trading. During the trading week the Forex market is open 24 hours a day, but just because it is open around the clock does not mean prices are always moving in a way that makes a particular market worth trading. Money is made in the Forex market when the market is volatile and moving, not when the market is calm and reliably quiet.

So, as a Forex trader you need to know when the most active Forex trading times are, as this will aid you greatly in the timing of both your entries and your exits as you navigate the markets. The two most active Forex sessions are the London session and the New York session, during these sessions price action provides the best trading environment. The Asian trading session is often less volatile and thus less likely to result in major moves within the various Forex pairs.

The Forex market contains three distinct trading sessions; trading starts in Australia and Asia, and moves around the globe into Europe and finally ending the day in North America as trading closes each day in New York. The various Forex trading hours are as follows:

• Asian trading session (including Australia and New Zealand): the Asian trading session opens at 6:00 pm EST and closes at 4:00 am EST

• London trading session: the London trading session opens at 3:00 am EST and closes at 12:00 pm EST.

• New York trading session: the New York trading session opens at 8:00 am EST and closes at 5:00 pm EST.

As you can see from the above list of times to trade Forex, there are periods each day where the sessions over-lap each other. It is within these periods when volume and volatility typically rise to peak levels. The London and New York trading sessions over-lap between 8am and 12pm EST, this is typically considered the best time to trade Forex. The reason it is considered the best time to trade is because this is when the world's two most active trading centers cross; as London trading comes to an end, New York trading is opening, and they are both open at the same time for 4 hours each trading day. As a result, many traders strictly trade within this 4 hour window because it generally brings the best liquidity and volatility.

Beyond knowing the best Forex trading times , it also helps to know which currency pairs to trade. Generally speaking, the "major" Forex currency pairs are the best, the reason that they are generally considered to be the best Forex pairs to trade is mainly because they offer the smallest spreads and highest liquidity. This means you pay smaller fees to trade the majors and they move in a "safer" manner than the "exotic" currency pairs, which can tend to jump around and move a relatively illogical way. In the end, make sure you know the best times for Forex trading and the best Forex pairs to trade; These are some of the basics of learning Forex.

Source by Nial Fuller

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A Traveler's Guide to Sites of Salzburg

It may surprise you to learn that you are already familiar with some of the sights offered by Salzburg, Austria. This stunning city, with its myriad of Renaissance churches and castles, is featured prominently in the movie The Sound of Music . Located in the foothills of the Alps, Salzburg is the fourth largest city in Austria. The city is the birthplace of Mozart and history abounds around every corner. The sights and sounds of this well preserved city will amaze and delight even the most seasoned travelers.

Arriving in Salzburg, you will be greeted by the sight of Hohensalzburg Castle (Festung Hohensalzburg) which sits on on top of Festungsberg Hill and seess to reign over the city. Construction of the castle began in the early 1500's, and it has served many uses over 500 years' – as a barracks, ammunition depot, dungeon, and even a prison during World War II. It is one of the largest and most authentic castles in all of Europe, and a very popular tourist destination. After braving a trip in the rickety lift to the top of Festungsberg Hill, you will be afforded a stunning, panoramic view of the city.

Another popular, must see site is Nonnberg Abbey. It was founded in 714 and is one of the oldest surviving women's convents. Made famous by our favorite singing nun from The Sound of Music , this is the abbey where the original Maria von Trapp taught after World War II. It seems that you can only stand with deep respect and awe when entering the gates.

If you are in the mood to spend some vacation dollars, I would suggest a stroll down Getreibegasse – a major shopping district with expensive stores that will fulfill (possibly exceed) all your shopping needs. This street is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (his house is located at Number 9 Getreibegasse) and once housed the elite of Salzburg – merchants, doctors, and wealthy citizens. It is one of the busiest and cleanest streets you will find – every Saturday, and during the holidays, the street is flushed with water in order to wash all grime down to the Salzach river. In addition to visiting all the various boutiques and expensive shops, you will have a chance to enjoy the plethora of street artists and vendors that seem to occupy every corner.

One can find many amazing places to visit in Salzburg. The city is rich with historical cathedrals, monasteries, and breweries which will inspire the hidden poet in its visitors. You may find yourself lost in the rich Austrian heritage while strolling around town or sitting in a pub. It is an experience you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Source by Robert K Kennedy

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Conveyancing Mythbusters

Conveyancing in the UK has come in for some flak over the years.

Instead of people balking at the first mention of conveyancing we’re trying to change the way people look at the conveyancing process in general, so they embrace it as something that can make your move stress free. We’ve come up with a useful guide highlighting some of the myths associated with conveyancing, and how we can make the process much easier.

The myths of conveyancing

You always have to use a Solicitor

Myth! A Solicitor is qualified to carry out a wide range of legal practices, but often specialises in one area. For example, matrimonial law, criminal law or personal injury settlements to name a few. A Licensed Conveyancer is trained and specialises in one thing only- property law. All of their time is dedicated to people moving home.

• Local solicitors are always best

Myth! This is simply not true and we’re astounded by how many movers have come to us saying they thought they had to use a local solicitor. Conveyancing is all about crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s. Good Conveyancers offer great service, are professional and get you moved quicker. If your local solicitor isn’t a conveyancing specialist then they may not have the expertise to ensure that your move is as smooth and stress free as possible.

It takes ages to move home

Myth! The conveyancing industry in the UK has had this reputation for a long time. A good Conveyancer will realise that what customers want most is to have their sale or purchase taken care of as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Life’s too short to be worrying about whether your conveyancer has seen the local drainage searches or made enquiries about building permission for that extension the seller had done, which is why we do all the hard work for you.

By taking advantage of innovative technology, including an electronic postroom and 24/7 online case tracking, we’re able to speed up the conveyancing process, sometimes processing your move up to 3 weeks quicker than the national average!

No regular contact – you have to do all the chasing

Myth! There’s nothing worse than not knowing! If your Conveyancer isn’t keeping you up-to-date on the progress of your case then this can add to the already considerable stress of moving home. A good Conveyancer will always keep in regular contact with you, even if we’ve got nothing new to tell you. And by operating longer opening hours and utilising SMS text messaging we’re able to provide you with information when it’s most convenient for YOU!

Source by Chris C Fleming

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Find the Right Place to Stay in London With Careful Planning

As one of Europe's largest and most imposing cities, it's easy for tourists and travelers to feel daunted in London. After all, with the tube network confusing you at one turn and vast swathes of people on Oxford Street overwhelming you at another, it's likely that you'll get lost more than once! However, with a bit of careful planning you'll be able to locate a London hotel that suits your needs – so it's less likely that you'll misplace yourself and your travel companions in the big city's diversity of attractions.

If you're keen to spend your holiday sightseeing in London, for example, hotels in Westminster are most likely to suit your purpose. By using Westminster as your base, you'll be able to enjoy fast and convenient access to some of London's most iconic attractions: including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Waterloo Bridge. What's more, you'll be just a stone's throw away from the London Eye – the perfect way to survey the city of London's breathtaking architectural skyline in style.

On the other hand, people keen to spend their time in London's most fascinating museums and premier art galleries should find a hotel in Russell Square or South Kensington. Russell Square is home to the British Museum, the British Library and a range of antique bookstores and cafés – an ideal area for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in London's more sophisticated pursuits. Additionally, hotels in South Kensington offer travelers easy access to the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum – so you'll find it simple to indulge in London's cultural hotspots without getting lost among its imposing buildings.

Of course, many people looking for hotels in London are visitors expecting to indulge in a little – or a lot! – of retail therapy during their stay in Britain's bustling capital. And it's perfectly possible to find hotels in London's premier shopping districts in order to minimize the amount of transport you'll need to take during your shopping holiday. For instance, if high street shopping is your major point of interest, you'll be able to find hotels in and around Oxford Street – so you'll be able to locate the UK's busiest and best shopping location with no hassle whatever.

Moreover, if you're planning to hit London's most exclusive fashion outlets and designer boutiques, there are many hotels to be found in the West End and Knightsbridge. From here, you'll be able to locate top retail destinations, like Harvey Nichols and Harrods, and you'll even be close to London's vibrant theater district, making it possible for you to take in a show in the evening as well.

Whatever the purpose of your holiday in London, it's certain that you'll be able to find a London hotel that's appropriate for your favorite pursuits. All it takes is some careful planning and you'll be on your way to an unforgivable London adventure in no time!

Source by Adam Singleton

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How to Sort the Nutrition Facts About Fruit

Fruits are vital components of a healthy diet. Yet 60% of Americans hardly eat enough fruits. Many say it is hard to fit them in and hard to do. To meet your daily requirements, it means eating 2 to 3 cups of fruit. This presents a challenge for many. Arming yourself with the knowledge on how to include fruits in the diet, the role they play in optimal good health is an incentive to make them priorities as components of your healthy lifestyle. Fruits are delicious, colorful and can be eaten on demand. Fruits are low in calories, are nutrient dense- high in vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, fibers with high water content. Although some fruits are seasonal, fresh fruits are still available in grocery store year-round when local farms productions are halted.

Beware of food manufacturers who place small amounts of “real fruits” in foods and include them as “real fruits” on their food label. These claims do not translate as whole fruit or as a piece of fruit. Take a look at the Nutrition Label ingredients. Ask yourself, is this fruit listed as “whole fruit” or “fruit flavored?” If it is “fruit flavored” it is not counted as whole fruit.

Fresh fruits are either sweet or tart in flavor. Mostly they are low in calories, high in nutrients, tasty and flavorful. Canned and frozen fruits without added sugars or syrups count as pure fruit. Include a variety of fruits in your diet such as berries that are packed with vitamins-C, banana, contains potassium, mangoes contain vitamin-A and fiber. Make it a habit to eat different fruits. Each fruit delivers different nutrients and benefits and that is the key to getting variety.

Dried fruits like raisins; cranberries and prunes are pure fruits but must be eaten in smaller amounts because drying makes them more concentrated and higher in calories. Look at the difference; a cup of fresh grapes has approximately 104 calories and half a cup of raisins has 216 calories. Another options is freeze drying fruits, eating that type of fruit does not contribute high calories, has good flavor and retain most of their nutrients. However, they are expensive.

100% Juice

One hundred percent fruit juices count as a serving of fruit. However, the whole fruit of an orange provides 62 calories, 3-g of fiber. One serving of juice, a ½ cup serving with pulp, has the same calories as whole orange, but the difference is the lack of fiber.

Yogurt with Fruit at the Bottom

Fruit is usually included in yogurt. The amount of fruit it contains does not supply much nutrients and the sugar added increases the caloric levels. It is better to buy plain low-fat yogurt and add your own serving of fruit.

The Science behind Fruits

Fruits are friends to having a healthy heart. In a study conducted by the Finns’ women added ½-cup (4 ounces) of mixed berries and about 2 ounces of pureed berries to their daily diets. Their good cholesterol (HDL) was improved by 5.2 percent after 8 weeks. Fruits are associated in lowering the risk of Cancer. A Japanese study of over 42,000 adults showed that citrus consumption reduced the risk of all types of cancer. Many factors may attribute to the findings. One idea suggests that the flavonoids of lemon may inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Fruits are a great helper in losing weight. Researchers in Brazil asked women to add 3 apples, pears or equal amount of fiber containing oat cookies to their daily diets. At the end of 10 weeks the fruit eaters lost almost 2 pounds, while the oat eaters’ weight remained the same. Fruits contain fiber and nutrients so include them in your 3 meals or as snacks. Remember: perception of “sweetness” or acidity is personal. Fruit eaten before the peak of its season may be more acidic to the palate. Fruit eaten during or after their peak season may taste less acidic or sweeter to the palate. Fruit eaten at the end of the season may be mealy or pithy with little residual flavor.

Global Trends of Fruits

Make fruits a focal staple in your menu planning. Select a variety of colorful fruits that are tasty, are nutrient dense. Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, oranges, apricots, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, watermelon, apples, pomegranate, mangoes, cherries, peaches nectarines are delicious and have antioxidant properties that are good for our health. They can be eaten fresh, cooked, as topping for cereals salads, and chutneys for grilled roasted meats, chicken, and fish. The next time you visit your grocery store, take a look at the exotic fruits that are grown and shipped from all corners of the world and are delivered to us across national and geographical boundaries through many channels of technology and transportation. These exotic fruits are fresh, frozen and canned. You can purchase them as fresh, frozen, canned, dried in the same forms as our native fruits. These fruits are available to us from regions far and wide where they were grown and come with a price we should not take it for granted. Grapes come from Chile, Kiwi from New Zealand and Mangoes from India or the Caribbean. These fruits are perfectly formed and are undamaged. Make them a part of your fruit adventure. You are doing your body and health good. You now know the merits of eating fruits and the importance it plays in our health and well-being, it is versatile, it delights, it keeps our taste buds pleasurable. So make fruits an essential part of your diet.

Source by Hope H Anderson

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What Does Lumber Really Mean To Us?

Lumber, which is also often called timber in the USA, is a selection of wood in any of its pre and post processing stages. It includes all wood from the moment of felling to the time it is ready for use in whatever industry it is needed (mainly the building, furniture and paper manufacturing industry). Lumber is not limited to a single type or species of wood, but most hardwoods are preferred over the softwood from coniferous species such as pine, fir and spruce. However, some softwood’s are used to manufacturer and build high-grade flooring.

Regional uses of the word lumber

In most Commonwealth Countries such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa the term Lumber is used to refer to processed (sawn) wood products such as floor boards and counter tops.

In both the United States of America and Canada lumber has a North American connotation and is used to refer to felled trees that are milled into boards. The word timber is also used in America, but more often than not refers only to sawn wooden boards with the smallest dimension of no less than 127mm.

Hardwood Lumber Specs in the Americas

In North America the sizes used for hardwood lumber can vary from those used for softwoods. The hardwood boards used in both the USA and Canada can be of various widths and lengths, but do need to be of a specified uniform thickness.

Hardwoods that are used for furniture manufacturing are felled during the months of autumn and winter. This is because the sap stops running in the trees and allows for a better quality of lumber.

Did you know? Natural sap ruins the natural color of timber and decreases the value of the furniture or flooring made out of it. This is why hardwoods are generally felled in the colder months of the year.

Known Lumber Defects

There are 5 types of lumber defects with specific causes:

Conversion Related Defects

These defects are caused during the felling or milling process and include chip marks from handing and diagonal grain issues due to incorrect cutting.

Fungal Related Defects

These defects are caused by the fungal infections of the wood and include (but are not limited to brown rot, dry rot, sap stain, wet rot and heart rot.

Insect Related Defects

This type of defect is caused by insects such as marine borers, carpenter ants and termites to name but a few.

Seasoning Related Defects

These types of defects are due to seasoning issues with the wood. This is the number one cause for splinters and sliver damage in all types of lumber.

Source by Justin K. Atkins

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