Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fun in the winter - Indoor sightseeing in Germany

Great inventors as they are, Germans have come up with a number of great ideas for indoor-activities and fun.
One of them is Tropical Island in Krausnick between Berlin and Dresden, Europe’s largest tropical indoor water party offering you the world’s biggest indoor rainforest, Europe’s largest sauna and spa area, a 650 ft long white, sandy beach and the perfect temperature all year long in an indoor space as big as eight soccer fields! Enjoy shows, good food and relax in this vacation paradise featuring Samoan, Thai, Balinese and African theme worlds. Overnights for every budget can be booked either in one of the hotels, holiday apartments or on a nearby campsite. 

The Heaven’s Gate in Munich is Germany’s largest indoor rock climbing center and also a perfect way to spend a day inside! The total area compromises 11,480 square feet with up to 100 ft high climbing walls. The center is suitable for beginners as well as advanced climbers and features different levels of difficulty. 

In Bremen you can uncover the miracles of mankind, the earth, and cosmos by using all your senses at the Universum Bremen. The Science Center has more than 250 different exhibits, experimentation stations, spatial installations and media installations you can explore and actually try out. Climb up the Stone Hill, play on the Earth Xylophone or learn why stars twinkle, explore the mysteries of light and shadow and much more.

For those desperate for snow there is an ideal place, as well: The Snow Dome in Bispingen near Hamburg is Europe’s most modern indoor ski venue comprising snow area of 77,100 square feet with 13 different snow guns producing fresh snow every day. Come for some fun in the snow!

There are so many indoor possibilities in Germany for you to explore, that fun is guaranteed no matter what the weather outside looks like!

And Nonstop Travel is your EXPERT to get you there and around.

Courtesy of the German National Tourist Office"

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Pergamon Museum - Most visited in Berlin

The Pergamon Museum (Pergamonmuseum in German) takes its name from the Pergamon Altar which takes pride of place in the Museum’s main hall. Situated on Berlin’s famous Museum Island, the Pergamon Museum is the most visited Berlin museum.

The Pergamon Museum was designed by Alfred Messels, but he died before construction began in 1910. His close friend Ludwig Hoffmann supervised the construction of the Pergamon, to Messels’ design, and the building was completed in 1930.

Designed as a “Dreiflügelanlage”, a three-winged building, the Pergamon Museum today houses three separate museums: the Antikensammlung(Collection of Classical Antiquities), occupies the architectural halls and the sculpture wing, theVorderasiatisches Museum (The Middle East Museum) and the Museum für Islamische Kunst(Museum of Islamic Art). Apart from the priceless collections in each of these three museums, what has made the Pergamon Museum world-famous are its reconstruction of monumental archaeological building ensembles – such as thePergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus and the 6th century BC Ishtar Gate from Babylon including the Processional Way of Babylon, and the Facade of the Mshatta Palace.

There is a lot to see in the Pergamon and it’s not possible to cover it in one or two visits alone. The Pergamon Altar is of course the main attraction in the Museum. Dating back to the 2nd century BC, it was built on one of the terraces of the acropolis of the ancient city of Pergamon in Asia Minor.

Under a Masterplan for the Museum Island, the Pergamon Museum is being expanded to make it the centre of the museum complex and it will be connected to the Neues Museum, the Bodemuseum and the Alte Nationalgalerie.

The Pergamon Museum is open 7 days a week from 10:00 – 18:00 (up to 22:00 on Thursdays).

If you’re walking along Unter den Linden, the Pergamon Museum is easily reached on foot. The Pergamon is also easily accessible by public transport: U-Bahn (U6 -Friedrichstraße); S-Bahn (S1, S2, S25 – Friedrichstraße), (S5, S7, S75 – Hackescher Markt); Tram (M1, 12 – Am Kupfergraben), (M4, M5, M6 – Hackescher Markt).

Am Kupfergraben 5
10117 Berlin

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Weather Chaos in Europe continues – U.K., France, Germany and the Netherlands are among the worst

“I’m really disappointed to have disrupted so many thousands of people’s Christmas plans,” he said on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme. “I couldn’t be more sorry, that’s the case.” Colin Matthews, chief executive of BAA, was forced into an embarrassing apology as he sought to sooth passengers’ fury.’

He added that it “may well be” that BAA had to buy more equipment to deal with conditions like those seen in recent days.

Philip Hammond, the U.K.Transport Secretary, promised an inquiry into how stranded passengers were treated at the airport over the weekend, as he acknowledged public “outrage” over the disruption.

Snow, ice and freezing cold weather was hitting road, rail and air networks across northern Europe for a third consecutive day Monday, leaving hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded, retailers facing lower sales and airlines and airports facing big bills for the disruption.

The U.K., France, Germany and the Netherlands are among the worst hit by the freezing weather, which is set to continue until Christmas, according to forecasters.

Paris was one of the worst hit cities. Airport operator Aeroports de Paris (ADP.FR) said no flights landed in Paris Monday morning due to falling snow. Conditions improved in the afternoon although delays were likely to persist.

The city’s public transport operator RATP said about 40 out of 50 bus lines were suspended.

Train operator SNCF said national lines were functioning, but there were delays because of speed restrictions due to the snow. Some local lines, particularly in Normandy, were shut down, it said.

Eurocontrol, the umbrella organization for air-traffic control across 38 countries, said Paris Orly, Roissy Charles de Gaulle and Le Bourget had no flights Monday morning, while Frankfurt and Berlin Tegel in Germany suffered heavy delays.

Fraport AG (FRA.XE), the operator of Frankfurt airport, said about 300 flights were expected to be canceled out of the 1,300 flights scheduled Monday. About 900 of 2,700 scheduled flights were canceled Saturday and Sunday. Fraport had set up some 1,000 camp beds at the airport over the weekend so passengers could spend the night, and staff distributed snacks and drinks and employed clowns and entertainers to try and keep children occupied.

German railway operator Deutsche Bahn AG said its trains were running, though some had major delays due to the bad weather and speed limits. A spokesman said trains were extremely crowded, and passengers could get refunds for their tickets if they decided not to travel.

Many travellers, unable to take flights, have tried to continue their journeys by rail, and main routes between Hamburg and Munich, Berlin and the Ruhr area and between Cologne and Munich were particularly busy, the spokesman said.

London’s Heathrow, the world’s busiest international airport, was open Monday but airport operator BAA Ltd. said it would be operating a reduced schedule until 0600 GMT Wednesday and that further delays and cancellations were inevitable.

British Airways PLC (BAY.LN), which canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend, said only one of Heathrow’s two runways was operational as BAA continued to clear snow and ice.

“Based on current icy conditions and forecast of further bad weather, we expect this process to take some time. The airport is, therefore, likely to be operating at significantly reduced capacity for several days,” BA said.

The airline said it planned to operate as many long-haul flights as possible, but there would be some cancellations. It operated a small number of short-haul flights Monday morning, but canceled the remainder after midday.

“Customers who are travelling from Heathrow, whose travel is not essential, are encouraged to cancel their flight, in return for a full refund, or to consider changing their flight to another date over the next 12 months,” BA said.

All airlines were advising passengers to check their flights were still scheduled before setting off for the airport.

On its website, Eurocontrol described the situation at Heathrow as chaotic and air-traffic control authorities had been requested to work out a solution, including regulating the number of flights into the airport to 10 an hour.

Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond said the immediate focus was on maximizing the number of flights and that restrictions on night flights would be relaxed. However, he added: “Heathrow is likely to be operating at reduced capacity until Christmas.”

As bad weather disrupted travel for the second consecutive winter, Hammond said it was time to consider whether the U.K. was seeing a “step change” in weather that required adjustment. The government would be looking at whether it made sense to spend more on winter preparedness, he said.

Heathrow was at a standstill for much of the weekend as it struggled to clear snow and ice. Thousands of flights were canceled and passengers were left huddled under blankets in terminals. With more snow falling, the airport operator Monday closed Terminal One and Terminal Three buildings for new passengers until due to congestion.

London Stansted, also owned by BAA, said it was fully operational and was taking a couple of flights that would normally have landed at Heathrow. Some airlines operating from Stansted, including Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYA.DB), had laid on extra flights to help stranded passengers, a spokeswoman for the airport said.

Ryanair said it had laid on 20 extra flights Monday between Stansted and destinations including Dublin, Bremen in Germany and Salzburg in Austria.

The disruption was hitting the workings of government. A meeting between the U.K. government and banks to discuss bonuses and lending was postponed Monday because Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was having trouble catching a flight back to London from New York due to bad weather, a government spokesman said.

Rail services and the road network also were suffering severe disruption. The U.K.’s Met Office had severe weather warnings in place over much of the country for more snow or icy roads.

Eurostar, which operates passenger trains between London and European cities including Paris and Brussels through the Channel Tunnel, said it was suffering delays and speed restrictions and it has a number of trains and crew out of position. It said it would operate a contingency timetable with some cancellations for a number of days and it wasn’t selling any more tickets for trains up to Christmas.

In the Netherlands, Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport was fully operational Monday, after canceling about 100 flights on Saturday and about 70 on Sunday due to the harsh weather conditions. However, a spokesperson said some flights were still likely to be canceled due to continuing problems in other countries, while the weather conditions in Amsterdam were causing delays to other flights.

Air France-KLM (AF.FR) said it expected only a “limited” number of cancellations on European flights leaving Schiphol, while almost all long-haul flights will take off.

During the weekend, up to 1,000 passengers got stranded at Schiphol. Passengers who couldn’t get a hotel from their airline were given camp beds by Schiphol, but the airport said only “dozens” had been used.

t must be a thankless task, operating the Twitter account for a major airport during a snowstorm – as the person behind @heathrowairport is discovering.

As thousands of increasingly irate passengers struggle to find information on flights and cancellations, they are often turning to the Heathrow Airport Twitter feed.

Unfortunately, it seems that the person behind the account has little more to go on than the frustrated passengers themselves, and is reduced to simply telling people to check with their airlines or visit

“Best advice is to check with your airline before you fly or view our online departures at”, they tell @jsn0. “Live flight information at Heathrow is available at or via your airline”, @rizzelrose is informed. “You can check our live flight schedules at or contact your airline at”, hears Australia-bound @davery1979.

This less-than-innovative approach to using social media is not meeting with universal approval. One Twitterer points out that “the British Airways website isn’t working so I can’t check”, while @keith1906’s airline has told him to check with the airport, who are now telling him to check with the airline, in a circle that looks tough to break.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The new SWISS business class with fully lie-flat bed from Los Angeles to Zurich

Enjoy ultimate sleeping comfort in the new SWISS Business, featuring a fully lie-flat bed with
innovative air cushion technology, onboard SWISS’ Airbus A340 service from Los Angeles to Zurich
starting February 2011.

Ultimate sleeping comfort:

  • fully horizontal lie-flat bed, 79 inches long

Revolutionary air comfort system:

  • individually adjustable air cushions allow you to adjust the firmness of your seat/bed

More personal space:

  • more privacy
  • better mobility within cabin; most seats have direct aisle access
  • more storage space

Entertainment – the sky is the limit:

  • perfect viewing with new large 12.1” high-resolution 16:9 screens
  • choose from a large selection of music, films, games, information channels
  • iPod and USB connections at every seat

As you know, Nonstop Travel has negotiated rates with SWISS, which can save money, when looking for airfare to Europe. Please contact one of our consultants at (800) 949-6362 or visit our website.

Friday, December 3, 2010

10 Tips For Travel In Germany

Interested in 10 tips for travel in Germany? Germany is an eccentric country rich with history and art. There is something for everyone to see in Germany, from the rolling country side to the lively cities. Here are 10 travel tips for Germany.
  1. Try non traditional lodging. Europe has numerous options for place to stay. Germany has some of the world's best hostels. Staying at a hostel can save you tons of money for lodging. Some perks include free breakfast and WiFi. Other cool options to check out are castles and bed and breakfasts.
  2. Take the train. Because cities in Germany can be pretty spread out, the easiest way to get from point A to point B is taking the train. German rail tends to run numerous specials and discounts, so check out their website before you purchase your tickets.
  3. Use cheap airlines. If your time is limited in Germany, spending hours on the train can derail your itinerary. Check out EasyJet for deeply discounted airfare in Germany and many other locations in Europe. Alternatively choose the car to get around!
  4. Go Green. If you're visiting Germany during the warmer seasons, why not rent a bike and be your own tour guide. Spend time biking around different areas and taking in the sites, all while getting a true taste of Germany. Maybe you'll find a mom and pop restaurant to stop in for lunch, creating an authentic German experience.
  5. Visit a museumLike many destinations, Germany is steeped with history. Many cities have great art museums to get lost in. If art museums aren't your things, check out one of the many churches. Many designed with gothic architecture and different historical styles.
  6. Pick up "City Welcome" cards. Many cities in Germany offer the "City Welcome" card. This card offers guest discounts on historical sites, concerts, zoos, museums, and sometimes free or reduced transportation.
  7. Manners. If you are visiting Germany and are invited into someone's home, it is proper for a guest to bring a gift such as a good bottle of wine. If you are staying for dinner, eat everything on your plate or they will think you didn't enjoy your meal.
  8. If you become ill. Pack any medicine you may need while in Germany, like anti diarrhea tabs or pain pills. If you're staying at a hotel, they may have medicine available for purchase at the front desk. If you need emergency medical attention, dial 112.
  9. Try Wurst. No trip to Germany would be complete without tasting authentic Germany cuisine. From pretzels to wurst, Germany has a funky taste palette to try.
  10. Beer. Germany is also known for it's beer. If you missed out on Oktoberfest, fear not. Ask the locals where the best place to grab a drink is, and while you're at it, ask which local beers to try. You won't regret it, although you might the next morning.