It’s A Women’s World: The ‘Ladies’ Château’ of the Loire Valley

It’s A Women’s World: The ‘Ladies’ Château’ of the Loire Valley

A French barge cruise on one of European Waterways luxurious, fully-crewed barge hotels is an experience to remember. We firmly believe that there is no better way to explore the Continent than from the water.
The Nymphea hosts our French barge cruise in the Loire Valley, passing under the remarkable five-arch bridge of the Château de Chenonceau. Built in a pale grey stone, the bridge’s symmetrical curves are juxtaposed against the castle’s pointed turrets and enchant our guests time and time again

 

It’s not only architecture and engineering buffs who fall in love on the banks of the River Cher. The unique history of the Château – spanning from the early sixteenth century to the modern day – is well worth discovering.

Hidden Histories

Cruising beneath the repeated arches of the gallery aboard our French barge cruise, our guests often wonder who created them.

Today we are looking at some of the famous inhabitants of the ‘Ladies’ Château’ – the women who shaped both this beautiful building and France.

The Mistress: Diane de Poitiers

Intellectual, royal-favourite Diane de Poitiers lived in sixteenth-century France; no decorative wallflower, Diane was intelligent and politically savvy. She became so well-liked by King Henry II that she often wrote and signed official correspondence on his behalf using the portmanteau ‘HenriDiane’.

Diane was also the King’s mistress for over two decades – perhaps the most powerful woman in the country. As Henry’s mistress she was given the Château de Chenonceau. Diane not only lovingly developed the gardens, she commissioned the stunning arched bridge spanning the river – one of the most iconic architectural features of the Loire Valley.

The Wife: Catherine de’Medici

Catherine de’Medici was the wife of Henry II and, understandably, was jealous Diane’s influential position in Henry’s court. After Henry’s death Catherine forced Diane de Poitiers, the legal owner of the property, to leave and triumphantly took possession herself. Determined to make the Château her own, Catherine installed a grand gallery running across Diane’s bridge – the strong-willed widow had successfully displaced the trusted mistress.

Under Catherine’s management, the castle became the site for many extravagant parties and, rumour has it, the first ever firework display in France lit up the sky over one of her night time revels.

The Saloniste: Louise Dupin

During the French Enlightenment, eighteenth-century French women were at the centre of literary, artistic and cultural advancements. Louise Dupin, who lived in the Château de Chenonceau with her husband, formed a literary salon there which drew in leaders of the Enlightenment movement such as Voltaire, Condillac, Buffon and Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle.

An intelligent woman herself, Louise saved the building during the widespread destruction of property prompted by the Revolution. Louise pointed out that the arched bridge provided a rare crossing place on the river essential for the movement of people and trade. As a result of her quick thinking and bravery we can enjoy the splendour of the Château de Chenonceau in the twenty-first century.

Have a Go at Heli-skiing! A Novice’s Guide

Have a Go at Heli-skiing! A Novice’s Guide

If you’re an adrenaline junkie and skiing pro looking for a new, invigorating energy boost, then you need to get yourself booked onto a heli-skiing break. Being dropped by helicopter to tackle untouched powder runs offers an unadulterated and unforgettable thrill, and a totally immersive experience that will have you hooked! Skip the chairlifts and crowded pistes, and enjoy a vertical drop like never before.
What to Expect From Heli-Skiing

 

You might think heli-skiing is only for top athletes, but this is not so – as long as you’re willing to save up a bit of cash and have several seasons experience of skiing behind you, then you’re ready to go. Nonetheless, it does pay to do some fitness preparation beforehand, and that does involve working up some long runs down at a resort. Set yourself a tough 6-8 week plan to get yourself in the best shape possible – when heli-skiing you’re carving your own path, so getting yourself comfortable covering over 12,000 vertical feet in a day will serve you well. In particular, work on your muscle development and cardio exercise before you go – you’ll thank yourself for it when the fresh powder fights back at the end of a long day!

Another good way to prepare is to choose wisely when to go: January has great powder skiing, as the colder weather preserves the snow, but you may prefer the spring season when the lighter days allows for more time to explore. The going may also depend on where you choose to get dropped off – the grand national parks of Alaska and Canada are particular favourites among aficionados for the higher vertical drops.

Wherever and whenever you go, pack light, layer up and make sure you’re well fuelled before the trip – get in a lot of carbs at breakfast and fully hydrate yourself, as you will have a long and rewarding day ahead of you!

Precautions and Safety Tips

Make sure to check your provider closely before booking a trip. Instructors are often among the very best, but it’s always good to make sure they have proper qualifications and certification from official organisations before embarking on a trip. In particular, it pays dividends to go with an instructor who can advise you of terrain, and who can properly prepare you with avalanche safety information and how to use it. Having more than one guide in a group is also a good idea, so that one of them can act as a tail guide in case you need to slow down.

It’s worth noting that when you get dropped off by helicopter, you’re not actually jumping out, stuntman-style – you’ll dock first before you get out. Nevertheless, that’s not to say the ride itself won’t be the most intense part; many heli-skiers find it calmer when they’re out on the snow!

Of course, one of the best precautions you can take is get yourself decked out with some foolproof skiing travel insurance. Part of the thrill of heli-skiing is in the challenge, but there’s no point in facing new challenges if you don’t allow yourself to get picked back up when you don’t quite make it the first time, particularly when you’re a rookie. With comprehensive skiing travel insurance cover, you can give yourself that extra peace of mind to keep you covered for any eventuality. For the best heli-skiing travel insurance you can find, our guys at InsureMore will have the answer.

Why Get an Exterior Painting Work for Your Home

Why Get an Exterior Painting Work for Your Home

Home maintenance is one of the things you might be afraid of. Sometimes it looks like routine maintenance will even cost an arm and a leg, and you can not always see the benefits of doing so. This can especially happen to the exterior paintings in your home Marietta. Some of the benefits, however, may include increased memory, increased protection and additional personalities. Each of these benefits can add value to your home now and for years to come.
Curb Appeal

Why Get an Exterior Painting Work for Your Home

When you try to sell your house, the exterior is the first thing potential buyers will see. This can have an effect on the price you can get for home. The better your house looks, inside and out, the higher the price you might get from the buyer. The appeal of curbing your home is important to more than just buy and sell. It can also help you feel better to stay in your home and entertain in your yard, adding emotional and physical value to the place.

Building Protection

The exterior paintings at Marietta can provide protection for your home from its elements. This type of work requires certain types of paint, which are made to withstand water damage from the rain system and watering, and hire professional painters sometimes can even give you a warranty. Chances are, if your exterior paint is peeling off, you could have damaged the underlying wall. Paint on the outside of your home can make water seals and help your home more healthy.

Added Personality

The paint layer can add personality to your home. This does not mean that you should choose a bright neon color, however, because the paint and personality of your home should be unique to you. You can choose one color for your shutters, one for your brick work and the other for the main house colors to help it stand out from the neighbors and reflect your aesthetics. The paint layer can modernize the look of your home without altering other features and reflecting the neatness of your personality.

The exterior paintings at Marietta can give you and your home many benefits. Not only a new coat of paint that adds to the attractiveness of the highway, it can also offer a layer of protection for the building itself. You can also let the personality of self and home shine with the right exterior for aesthetic and entertaining. Why Get an Exterior Painting Work for Your Home

Landscape Quality Perks Perks

Landscape Quality Perks Perks

Instead of going with a creeping plastic or metal landscape, many homeowners are now turning to a functioning concrete landscape instead. And there’s a good reason why quality concrete markings for lawns and gardens make smart in homes in the United States and around the world. Not only does concrete have the durability that ensures the long-term look of your page, this is a much more exciting solution for the short term as well. Many people wonder about what a steep landscape is, and here’s the guide.
What is Landscape Curbing?

 

Simply curbing describes the fields in landscape design. The clean edges determine and separate the lawns from the garden beds, driveways and terraces. With concrete restraints, you receive an attractive and affordable permanent edging solution. This is also a very versatile solution, which means you can change the settings and contents of your page without worrying whether the restraint will suit the new style. We can further assess some of the benefits associated with using the confinement to improve the look of your landscape and why it is becoming so popular.

Curbing Benefits

Thanks to the new installation method, the process is very fast and leaves almost no mess. Everything is done automatically and this presents a permanent solution. You do not have to worry to keep or touch the edges. Even if you stay in the same house for ten or twenty years, the edge will stand the test of time.

Another reason to follow this method is because how you can avoid pruning and weeding at any time. It also saves you money, as you will preserve the blanket material. And because crawling also prevents erosion and helps irrigation, it is ideal for those who want the perfect green grass or neat beds or shrubs.

This is an ideal barrier to invasive roots and provides a perfect boundary for your lawn, porch or driveway. If you feel as though your page has some potential but no definite structure and boundaries, add a restriction on your landscape design is the perfect solution. Everything is elevated, both in terms of growth and stability, but also in terms of how the page looks.

Concrete vs. Other Options

The main challenge is deciding whether you want to go with concrete or stick with plastic or metal. Although metals and plastics are more popular in the past, concrete is now the top choice – and with good reason.

Concrete will not rust, rotten, broken or shifted. He remains vibrant in appearance and strong in his foundation. It will survive in all types of climate, which means it is the perfect solution wherever you live. If you want to have a landscape retrograde to your front or back yard, just contact the curbing company or fence in your area. They will persuade you through this process, and they can even show you some pictures of how the yard will look with confinement settings. Landscape Quality Perks Perks

 

What Determines Your Car Insurance Level

What Determines Your Car Insurance Level

Driving a car is a big responsibility. No matter how old you are and how long you drive, there are certain aspects of driving that you should pay attention to. For one, this is a law that your vehicle must be insured so you can drive it. Without proper insurance, you can see serious legal issues. Luckily, getting car insurance in Nashville, TN, is very simple when you know where to turn. Deciding which company to use for your insurance needs will go down according to your personal preference.
When choosing a new car insurance provider, you may be curious about how the rate you provide is determined. It is important to understand that the level of motor vehicle insurance you provide is determined when the insurance agent sees personal information about you and considers how much liability you will get under their scope. Many people know that their driving history affects the given level but it is far from the only factor to be considered. Brushing on how the specified levels can prove useful.

What Determines Your Car Insurance Level

Gender and Age

Some people are already aware of this fact but gender plays a big role in the rate you receive for your car insurance. The main reason for this is because statistics show that men are more likely to have accidents than women, especially accidents that require large compensation from insurance providers. This alone makes the policy directed at men a bit more expensive than the rates women receive. While this may seem unfair, it is important to understand that age will also play a role in gender and balance scales.

Men under 30 usually pay a higher rate than their female counterparts. Once a person enters his 30s, the tariff for car insurance in Nashville, TN, starts running even. Of course, this is beginning to change again with old age. After past the age of 60, men again tend to pay higher car insurance rates than women of the same age. This is again due to the fact that older men are more likely to be involved in accidents.

Experience What Determines Your Car Insurance Level

Another big factor to consider when determining your car insurance rate is your experience behind the wheel. If you have not been a licensed driver for a long time, insurance providers will assume you are at risk. This means the rates will be much higher until you have several years on the road. Teenagers are usually the biggest members of this demographic but there are many adults who do not get their licenses until later. Regardless of age, your experience will have a big impact on your tariff.

Driving comes with many obligations. Having the right insurance is important. To get the best price for car insurance in Nashville, TN, be sure to do your research and learn your options. Keep the various factors that determine your interest rate and you will be able to find out which plan is best for you.

Three Ways to Add Personal Wardrobe Space

Three Ways to Add Personal Wardrobe Space

There does not seem to be enough closet space for our homes, and although we can never create unlimited space to store our things, there are still ways to add valuable closet space. With the help of professionals specializing in home improvement in Norcross, you can improve your living standards with smart cabinets.
Add Shelf

Three Ways to Add Personal Wardrobe Space

This is the simplest option, as you may not use all the closet space you can. First, measure the inside of your closet to determine the width. Then measure the height increase that will separate each rack. From there, measure how deep your shelf should be. The deeper the shelf, the more it will hold. However, if the shelves store a lot of clothing or other items, the shelves will need stronger support. With your size, you will be able to buy or make shelves for cabinets. If you are concerned about support, you may need professional help to secure the shelves to the wall.

Expand Wardrobe

Another option is to physically expand the closet space to give more space. It depends on where the cupboard is located. If it is a hall closet, it may be more difficult to expand it without contracting the nearby aisle. Bedroom cabinets, on the other hand, are much easier to develop. The easiest way to do this is to move the wall separating the cabinet from the room inside. Repairing a house like this in Norcross will likely involve dismantling old walls and new installations, and possibly removal. and reinstallation of power cords and switches for new cabinets.

Create a Wardrobe

What if you do not have the space to expand the existing cabinets? How to build a new cabinet from scratch? Check around your house for areas where you can place new cabinets. Your place can be the best choice. Adding cabinets on your bed can also turn your nest into another bedroom. With a closet to put clothes, you can create a living room, making the bedroom for family members. In the process, adding another cabinet can also add value to your home.

It’s annoying to feel packed into your home without a place to put stuff. Investing in new closet space can help ease your frustration and make it easier to get around your house. Contact a professional who handles home improvements in Norcross for approximate and final assistance in your new home business. Three Ways to Add Personal Wardrobe Space

Crazy Family Fun in Chamonix

Crazy Family Fun in Chamonix

Chamonix is known as one of the best skiing areas in the world – and rightly so! It has a wide-ranging array of pistes that the whole family can enjoy together. From nursery slopes for your little ones to advanced, adrenaline-fuelled pistes for adults and teenagers, Chamonix has something special for everyone.
In addition to skiing, there are many other fun-filled and family-friendly activities that’ll make your ski holiday an exciting adventure that the kids will never forget.

 

Dog Sledding

Are your kids big fans of puppers and woofers? Then you’ll definitely see their eyes light up when you take them dog sledding.

Bred from wolf and domestic dog (usually husky) crosses, these friendly animals love to pull sleds, and they’re so elegant that it makes for a really smooth ride. What’s more, these animals are super affectionate, and you’ll probably find you want one as a pet if you treat the family to a dog sledding experience! This activity is increasingly popular, so make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Paragliding

How does soaring through the snowy peaks of the Alps sound?

Thanks to its glaciers, rugged peaks and eagles, Chamonix is known as the Mecca of mountain flying. Even beginners can enjoy a huge adrenaline rush and amazing flights with very high levels of safety, as the gear is really advanced. If you don’t want to take lessons, tandem flying is also is an option – you’ll take to the skies with an experienced pilot, who will introduce you to the sights that this stunning region has to offer.

Snowshoeing

This is a wonderful way for the whole family to experience the region’s alpine beauty. Snowshoeing takes you away from the over-crowded slopes to the snowy mountains, where you can see deer, foxes and hares in their natural habitat. Why not venture onto glacial terrain for something a little more exciting? Or how about leaving the kids with a child minder and enjoying a moonlit snowshoeing adventure?

Ice Skating

The Richard Bozon Sports Centre boasts an Olympic-sized indoor ice rink, as well as a smaller outdoor rink that’s only a short walk away from the town centre. Give this fun winter sport a whirl, or pop by for the local teams’ ice hockey matches, cheering them on as they play a home game.

How to Get There

Many budget airlines offer several flights every day from the UK to Geneva, with a flight time of only 90 minutes from London. Getting to Chamonix from Geneva couldn’t be easier – simply book a transfer with Shuttle Direct for a quick and easy journey to your accommodation in Chamonix. From Geneva, the transfer only takes about an hour, so you’ll be out on the slopes with the family in no time!

North V. South: The Battle of the Poles

North V. South: The Battle of the Poles

Your breath feels like it freezes as soon as it leaves your lungs, your back and shoulders ache from carrying equipment for days and your legs are shaking – yet, somehow, you’ve never been happier.
Traveling to the Poles is the dream of many an adventure lover. These remote, inhospitable locations offer unique sights and experiences to those brave enough to venture towards their icy hearts.

 

Practicalities

For a first-timer, the safest and most practical way of embarking on a polar expedition is by joining an organised group. This way you can make the most of professional trekkers’ experience and truly enjoy the trip knowing you are in good hands. There are several good companies which specialise in polar expeditions so do your research to find one that suits your needs.

Which Pole if For You?

Teamwork and discipline are key during these trips and you’ll make lifelong friendships with those you cross the ice with. But which Pole is for you? North or South?

North V. South

A trip to the North Pole takes around three weeks and covers around 200km. To reach it, you must head out over the frozen depths of the Arctic Ocean. Underneath metres of ice is the freezing sea, so this ice moves! The drift of ice may work against you and the air is frustratingly humid so you must constantly work to keep your tent dry. Cold management is also a constant battle – keeping warm is key to survival.

Sound like fun? Other challenges include skiing against the drift of the ice and pulling your equipment hundreds of kilometres by sled…

Though these trips are hard work, you’ll have plenty of time to admire the stunning scenery as you’re not trying to win any awards. This trip is for you to gain a better knowledge of both yourself and the strange land surrounding you. A good polar expedition company will take their team at a steady pace, allowing you to absorb the misty mountains of ice and the overwhelming sense of isolation.

A trip to the South Pole is usually shorter, coming in at about a week and a half. Unlike the Arctic, the Antarctic is a continent. Underneath the ice there is firm ground so you won’t be battling ice drift here. The air is also extremely dry – the driest on earth in fact. These factors mean that habitation is possible at the South Pole. However, the Antarctic comes with its own challenges. The driving wind works with the immobile ice to create harsh ‘sastrugi’. These irregular ridges are difficult to walk on and navigate through – especially in the high altitude which can leave you breathless or dizzy. Of course, just like in the Arctic, keeping warm is difficult but essential.

Visitors to this remote region are left speechless by the icy wilderness stretching out endlessly before them, lit by the eerie 24-hour sun that never sets.

Though the Arctic and Antarctic offer very different experiences, the feeling of euphoria when you reach your goal is the same and unparalleled. How does it sound? Terrifying? Or thrilling? If the latter, a polar expedition might just be the perfect trip for you. Good luck!

Melbourne Timber Flooring Options

Melbourne Timber Flooring Options

Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing home, flat or office, adding wooden floors is a great way to improve aesthetics and add value to your property. Wood floors and engineered wooden floors are a valuable asset for buildings because they are durable and durable.
Wooden floors in Melbourne

Melbourne Timber Flooring Options

The wooden floor is exactly as the name implies – the floor is made solely of wood. If you are looking for Melbourne’s Oak Floor or Timber Flooring in Melbourne, Terra Mater offers a wide range of affordable prices. The advantages

Easy to clean: Contrary to other materials such as carpets, hardwood floors do not collect dust particles and allergens. This is very beneficial for those suffering from chronic allergies.

Easily maintained: although occasional scratches or gouges may appear, easily repaired using wood floor polishing. This will return your floor to the original finish. Wooden floors can be renewed several times. Thanks to the veneer lining of the engineered floor, repairs may be made though not as much as hardwood flooring.

Variety: One of the most important features associated with wooden flooring is the aesthetic appeal that they add to your home, The wooden floor adds a sense of elegance and value to your home. Wooden floors come in different colors and colors that allow homeowners to choose their style.

You can choose the following options for Timber Flooring

Hardwood Flooring: Hardwood is the most popular wood type. This type of floor is made of slow-growing tree species. The wood floors are smooth, beautiful, heavy and harder than other wood types Melbourne Timber Flooring Options

Engineered Wooden Flooring Melbourne: Engineered wooden floors are different from wooden floors as they are produced with pieces of various types of glued wood and incorporated with veneers. Engineered wooden floors are more affordable and the veneer lining makes them look like real hardwood floors. These can be installed in any type of subfloor.

Reclaimed Wooden Flooring: Reclaimed Wood Flooring consists of wooden floor boards. Bamboo Wood Flooring: Bamboo flooring has an added advantage as an environmentally friendly alternative while maintaining its aesthetic appeal like a wooden floor.

Private Airport Transfer to Negril Jamaica

Private Airport Transfer to Negril Jamaica

Of any choice, you always deserve the best; your travels in Jamaica will avail basically two types of airport /hotel transfers. One option is a shared service and the other is private taxi service. While the choice is always yours; you will more likely than not choose the one that best serves your needs.
Travelling to the resort town of Negril is always a thrilling ride; situated about 50 miles west of Montego Bay or approximately one hour away your stay in Negril promises to be a great experience. Famous for its many small hotels, villas and guest houses, Negril is truly a gem of resort town. Famous for its Seven-Mile Beach that has graced the cover of many travel magazines, Negril has something for everyone. It is also has another famous spot that attracts hundreds, if not thousands of visitors daily; whether they are staying there or just checking out the resort town for the day. No one should visit Negril without a stop at the joint called, Rick’s Café, a place for cliff diving and watching beautiful sunsets.

 

Getting to Negril from the airport in Montego Bay is easy, the road surface is good and the sceneries are breathtaking. However, to compliment all the wonderful things private airport transfer to Negril is certainly the better option. While it could be the more expensive option, it is more than likely turned out to be better than you first thought.

Vacations are special and most times too short , hence, maximizing every last minute of the vacation should be explored and this is where the private option comes in handy. On the other side of the coin, the shared option could cost a little less but may eat into your vacation time. In choosing the shared option there are several factors that can cause a delay and adversely impact the outcome of your vacation. One could that the bus could take a long while to be filled; another is that there will be a series of stops at other resorts to drop off other guests.

Private Airport Taxi to Negril is certainly the way to go. Instead of sitting on a big bus waiting for it to be filled, you could be off on your journey as soon as you exit the airport. In no time you will be settled in at your resort and enjoying visits to the pool of the bar or sitting on the beach sipping on tropical cocktails. Other important features of your service include being transported in a modern vehicle that is fully air-conditioned. For guests travelling with children, most Montego Bay Airport Transfer Service Company do provide complimentary child seat of the young ones safe.

Go private!!! You will be glad you did. Depending on the size group it may not even cost more than the second option. You get to control your pace and stops are accommodated. Another important feature is that using Private Airport Taxi will allow you to experience the thrill of officially starting your vacation in the private vehicle with an amiable driver who will treat you to the richness of all his country has to offer…all along the way it will be Jamaica where there is “NO PROBLEM MON”