Winter Bliss and Cheap Charms in Bansko Ski Resort

For many, Bulgaria seems like an odd spot to have a winter sports holiday. Yes, this is not your typical go-to place like Austria or Switzerland. And it shouldn’t be. The country has a lot to offer to those who prefer a little something off the beaten the path. We’re not talking about the cheap booze. Beyond the cliché and the attractive low rates, Bulgaria’s winter resorts enchant the visitor with an eclectic folk culture and astonishing nature. This is exactly what makes Bansko, one of the country’s top resorts, so unique and different from the mainstream winter holiday destinations.

Bansko gives an initial impression of a typical Eastern European ski resort: lots of bars and local pubs, a handful of restaurants and hotels with a decent level of service and a set of standard ski runs. Once explored, the place reveals its colourful, warm and versatile vibe that will inevitably settle in your heart. Bansko is a fascinating mix of traditional and modern, where folklore and contemporary exist in a perfect balance. Luxury hotels and upbeat restaurants are walking distance from the lovely cobbled lanes and ethnographic wooden houses of the old town.

Bansko Ski Pistes

When speaking of winter resorts, it all comes to one thing – the quality of the ski pistes. In the last years, Bansko attracted some investments from local and foreign entities and experienced a complete make-over. There is no trace of the communist-like image that usually comes to the mind when thinking of Eastern Europe. A modern state-of-art lift system connects the base and slopes. Snowmaking is available in almost all of the runs. A new hub with up-market hotels and apartments is developed in a prime position on the edge of the pistes. There is a wide diversity of ski runs in terms of difficulty, from nursery slopes to black pistes. Resting in the scenic Pirin Mountain, Bansko will leave anyone in awe with its majestic pine-lined slopes and vast niveous meadows.

The breathtaking nature is not the only advantage of the place. Bansko is a bargain compared to other popular winter ski resorts. But in this case, the lower price does not require a compromise on the quality of the ski runs or the food and accommodation. Frugal travellers will appreciate the appealing level of services and the unmatched rates.

Bansko winter ski resort

For some, the chief reason to visit Bansko ski resort is the lively nightlife. The town is known for being a party place for winter sports enthusiasts. However, those looking for a peaceful retreat should not scratch Bansko off the list. Plenty of private villas, guest houses, Airbnb rentals and hotels are situated in a more secluded and picturesque area, away from the city centre and the busy streets.

Travelers looking for a sense of where locals hang out should head to the traditional taverns called “mehana”. You will be greeted by a warm blaze from an open fireplace and the traditional Bulgarian hospitality. The wooden tables covered with red and black checked tablecloths and the striped rugs and upholstery give a traditional Bulgarian tinge to the place, which is further enhanced by the live folk music in the background. There is a good choice of typical Bulgarian dishes and delectable wines. If feeling particularly adventurous, try the famous Bulgarian drink “rakia”.
Bansko may not be your standard winter ski resort and that is why it is so intriguing to visit. With its rich culture, amazing selection of hotels and restaurants and promising après ski, Bansko should definitely be on your list of your next winter holiday destination.

GLOBAL ENTRY cards for the whole family

Wondering how to organize the perfect travel? Not sure what to do in order to make more pleasant the border’s crossing when traveling with the whole family? You need more than ever to travel fast and comfortable, but still can’t find a way how to do it?

Well, stop searching and trust us – we know what the best for you and your family is when it comes to crossing the border! – GLOBAL ENTRY card – your “pass” on the border when traveling by sea, by land and by air from Canada to the U.S.! And if you really want to make happy your family by providing them with more pleasant traveling, then read this article and start working on the issue – to apply for a GLOBAL ENTRY card or for GLOBAL ENTRY family renewal!

 

Every new member of the GLOBAL ENTRY program will be more that pleasantly surprised by the great advantages that its membership will bring him. If so far, you as a regular traveler have met certain difficulties and inconveniences when passing the customs checks, then after getting your card you will forget about all that and will start traveling quite differently… But if you already have a GLOBAL ENTRY card, and not only you but the whole family too, then the only think you have to think about is to get informed about how and when to renew your membership (and that of your family too)!

How to renew Global Entry?

The steps when renewing your GLOBAL ENTRY card/GLOBAL ENTRY memberships are very easy and if you want to get a family package the procedure will be even easier as opposed to the renewing of your card when applying only you! – Surprisingly, right – more people but at the same time easier?

When applying for a renewing of the GLOBAL ENTRY family package, you should know that you can renew your cards within 6 months before the expiry date. If you miss the expiration date, do not worry because you can apply for GLOBAL ENTRY cards in this situation too! You have to follow just 3 steps that will make your application successful and you will get your new cards as soon as possible. Especially for all the families that would like to renew their cards, there is a special family application you have to fill in. Once when you do that, have to send your form by email and to follow the next steps in order to finish your application successful…

No doubts, everyone who once has used a GLOBAL ENTRY card, want to renew it and to take advantage of its great benefits again. Be part of the GLOBAL ENTRY program and do not forget to apply when your card expires!

 

Niagara Falls – what to see in the area?

Niagara falls

Among the countless beautiful places on this Earth there are only a select few that really shine the brightest. From the vast Great Wall and the man-made, or possibly not, pyramids of Egypt, to nature’s meticulously sculpted beauty. Choosing a single destination to visit seems almost an unsurmountable task – do we choose the Grand Canyon and its intransitive beauty and vastness, or do we go down South and witness what was once the Mayan civilizational powerhouse and is now barely the remnants of its former self?

Water, among its many life-giving qualities, has the ability to be both serenely beautiful and frighteningly powerful. One of the few places where we can witness water in both of these states is the Niagara Falls. It’s beautiful cycle of calmly reaching the cliff edge to furiously plunging 51 meters down and continuing its way to Lake Ontario can be mesmerizing. And being located on the USA-Canada border means that the whole Niagara Falls area is well-developed and certainly not lacking in activities.

What better way to experience the falls than hopping on a Maid of the Mist steamboat and getting a bit wet in the process? These boat tours have been offering visitors the chance to get plunged right under the falls for more than a century and a half. Available for both Canadian and American visitors, this would certainly be a memorable boat ride.

If, however, we desire seeing the falls from a different perspective, we can always opt for the Journey Behind the Falls. It consists of tunnels and caverns, taking visitors on a walk right behind the roaring water curtain.

Certainly not recommended as a way of experiencing the falls, though, would be a terrifying ride down in a barrel, as some daredevils have tried. Chances of survival are iffy, although chances of an insane adrenalin rush are positively off the charts.

When we’re done with the up close and personal time with the Niagara Falls, the Skylon Tower’s observation decks offer a great view, towering 160 meters above the falls.

Admire the Botanical Gardens of the Niagara Parks, and after the long day of thrills and sight-seeing why not hit up the Niagara Fallsview Casino, where countless slot machines and tables await to see whether you’ve been born under a lucky star. Don’t feel left out if you’re not much of gambler, though – there’s plenty of shopping space, occasional performances and concerts in the Avalon Ballroom, restaurants, and of course – spa, for treating yourself.