Importance of Alcohol Rehabilitation

Do you know that the last hope of alcohol addicts lies in rehabilitation centers? Alcohol rehabilitation is a recovery process that helps drug addicts return to their normal self and get incorporated into their families and the society.

The recovery process may at times be a painful one to both the patient and the relatives. This is why you need professional touch experts.

Research has shown that it takes several weeks for full recuperation from alcohol addiction. This period ranges between eight weeks to six months. However, the length of time it takes an individual to get healed depends on the gravity of addiction. In essence, when someone indulges in such drugs like as marijuana, cocaine, morphine, and even heroine, such a person will likely suffer the consequence.

Addiction is like a disease which inflicts more injury to the patient and refuses to go except it receives the desired treatment from alcohol rehabilitation professionals. For instance, drug causes the addict more hunger for the substance and at the same time induces abnormal behavior in the person.

Such behavior may include shop-lifting, arrest and detention of the culprit. When someone drives under the influence of alcohol, there is a high chance of fatal accident with resultant death.

Have you taken time to consider the impact of addiction on children? The behaviors of children who are trained by drug-addicted parents are violent and chaotic. Their lives too are known to be very unproductive, insecure and unpredictable.

The ultimate alternative is for those who have alcohol addiction to seek alcohol rehabilitation centers where proper care will be ensured.

In these rehabilitation centers, there are several professionals who manage and care for patients. Here, the mental and other health complications of addiction are treated.

Several alcohol rehabilitation programs abound. These programs are capable of restoring the mental normalcy of the patient. In the rehabilitation centers, there are in- and out-patient sections. In the out-patient section, the patient only visits the doctor for attention usually in the morning and leaves for his home at a later part of the day. This type of program has been adjudged to be the best as it allows the patient and his relatives enough time and opportunity for other activities such as work while keeping time for his treatment.

On the other hand, the residential alcohol rehabilitation is basically for patients with serious case. This is a situation where patients are kept in-house with doctors. Treatments are given at all times to monitor improvement. Often, it is advised that people in such category should seek immediate help.

The Kinds Of Car Keys To Choose From

The automotive industry has come a long way and today car keys are no longer the old style mechanical cut versions. Of course there are several brands that still use this form of keys, but there are numerous other versions out there as well. In mechanical keys, they are machine cut as the name suggests and are more popular with brands such as Ford, GM or even Chevrolet. There are quite a few truck models too that works with these forms of keys. Despite the numerous models of cars on the road, the machine cut continues to be a favourite.

The next version you have is the laser cut automotive keys. These are the advanced versions of the machine cut keys and are also called the sidewinder or the internal cut keys. They have a square edge which have matching cuts on either side. These can fit into a car’s ignition any way you like. Their advantages are that they are not easy to pick and will need specialized help. There is a unique software used in its production and those manning the machines will need specialized training as well. These are found in luxury brand cars like that of Mercedes as well as Audi.

There are several other popular styles of car keys available. You have the transponder keys that have a minute computer chip inserted in the key handle. This is for additional ignition security and to prevent the key from being forged. There is the remote or the switchblade form of transponder keys.

Then you have the smart keys which have a laser cut key that is built in. These kinds of keys gives the driver the flexibility of entering the car and starting it without actually taking the key out of his pocket. Then you have what is known as the VATS keys. This has a unique chip on the blade which though not electronic in nature, has got the name.

And then you have what are known as valet keys. These are given along with a regular transponder key. There is however a slight modification to it, where you can open doors and ignition, but not a locked boot or trunk. These can be made out of plastic or metal.

There are several varieties of keys and the kind you get will depend on the kind of vehicle you pick up. This is essential to the safety of your car and you.

Fastest Ways to Make $10 Online

Who wouldn’t want to know the fastest ways to make $10 online? It is of great interest to people because making a quick buck is on top of everyone’s mind. Money is not everything but for almost everything you need money.

We hear about many internet scams doing their rounds and may be vary of being part of such illegal activities. When people think about making quick money, the shadow of these scams keep them from taking any action on ways and means of making it a reality.

Is it possible to make money legitimately on the internet?

Yes, it is absolutely possible. Not only that it is a possibility, many people around you are already doing it.

Is there any truth in claims such as the fastest ways to make $10 online?

Yes and No. there may be false claims made by fraudulent elements in the society. When you come across an advertisement saying that for a small fee they would tell you or give you a tool to make money online, it is probably a scam. Those people may be making money out of the fee you are paying and not from any other means they claim to teach you. But the fastest ways to make $10 online such as the ones described in this article are genuine and open to everyone.

What are the requirements to make $10 online?

Money always exchanges hands legitimately when there is an exchange of goods or services. It is true for the fastest ways to make $10 also. Many of the things you have; your talents, skill sets, ideas and many goods you have access to, may be useful to others all over the world. There are internet companies which offer you an opportunity to exchange your services for money. They require you to register with them and spell out what you can offer so that you can connect with your prospective clients.

Which are the fastest ways to make $10 online?

There are many; but a few general ones are discussed here.

  • In Just Answer and Ether your answers to specific queries will be paid.
  • Idapted is a forum for those who want to learn English language; those who are proficient in the language can offer their services for pay.
  • Telemarketing companies like Brighten Employment and data entry service companies like Axion will pay you by the hour or per assignment for your services.
  • For those with writing, artistic or computer skills can offer their services at freelancing sites such as Elance, Freelancer, Odesk, Guru, etc. You may visit their sites and register; there is an option for free registration and they take commission only when you get paid for your work.

Unless and until you make your first $10 online, it may still seem like a mirage to you. There is one golden rule you should abide by, as a first timer, though. Never trust an internet site which requires you to make an upfront payment for their services. If a company is offering a platform for you to make money by exchanging your services, it is quite legitimate for them to take a commission out of your earning. But asking you for a paid subscription is your red flag!

As you test the waters, this article about the fastest ways to make $10 online will be your guide.

Shakespeare on Addiction: Sonnet 129

Something interesting happens every time I teach Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129. I’m reasonably certain the term “sex addiction” didn’t exist in his day – and neither did 12 step groups for it, with Elizabethans turning up in their flamboyant garb – but that doesn’t mean that the problem, and its attendant degradations, didn’t exist. Just ask Shakespeare about his Dark Lady.***

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

All this the world well knows; yet none knows well

To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

Why am I thinking about sonnet 129? Shakespeare’s sonnets beg for interpretation, and it’s not just because they are formal masterpieces that we should, as intelligent folk, feel compelled to dissect for dissection’s sake. No, there’s more to them than that. His sonnets are relevant today and I’m going to show you why.

A few years ago, I came across an hour long documentary made about Vancouver’s notorious downtown eastside. The area has been ravaged by an influx of drugs and its victims, earning it a reputation for being something of an elephants’ graveyard: it’s where addicts go to die. The film was called Through a Blue Lens and was shot, mostly, by two beat cops who wanted to portray the lives of the addicts living there. It’s not a warm and fuzzy film about drug addiction, but it’s not condemnatory either. Here’s an excerpt:

The plight of those living in that part of Vancouver became a minor cause célèbre in 1999, in part because The Globe and Mail published a photo essay of its denizens that left a lot of Canadians gasping. It made us aware, in a none-too-gentle way, that we had inner city problems just as bad as some cities south of the border. Vancouver’s port is a gateway for the drug trade and it seems at least some of these drugs don’t travel far: they form the lifeblood of those immiserated souls living in the downtown area.

So why look at Canada’s Skid Row when we’re talking about Shakespeare? It’s because his definition of addiction is one of the best I’ve ever read. It’s relevant today and that’s because when addicts talk about their suffering, they report (albeit less eloquently) many of the same things. And when I say things, I mean they report having many of the same feelings and experiences described by Shakespeare. Those haunting sounds of agony — the addict’s anguish — are distilled, painfully and thoroughly, in this poem.

It begins:

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Shakespeare believes we forfeit our spirit – our soul – when we engage in addictive behaviour. The expense, or the price of the addiction, is paid with it. Waste here is used literally (implying that lives are wasted by addiction) and also symbolically to denote a place. This double meaning is made obvious by the use of the preposition in, as “in” a waste of shame. Waste as a place bookends neatly with that other inferno, hell, mentioned in the closing couplet.

Lust is Shakespeare’s drug of choice and the belief is that it was aimed at the infamous Dark Lady, that promiscuous creature that had Shakespeare, and others, utterly intoxicated.

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust

What are the signs of Shakespeare’s enslavement? The form of a sonnet is strictly prescribed: it is made up of three quatrains — three groups of four lines — and a closing couplet. The rhyme scheme tends to alternate lines, meaning the first line rhymes with the third, the second with the fourth, etc. The lines are usually made up of phrases that go towards forming sentences. However, in this quatrain, the last half is simply a list of adjectives or adjective phrases, enumerating Shakespeare’s agonies. And these agonies are stated strongly, with words like murderous, bloody, savage and extreme.

This is a man in the throes of an obsession, an obsession that won’t even allow him to form coherent thoughts; instead he spits out a list of adjectives to convey his feelings. Shakespeare the wordsmith created this list for a reason. It’s there to denote a burst of feeling that can’t be contained.

But does this fury of Shakespeare’s capture the state of those sad and emaciated souls wandering the downtown eastside? I would argue it does and the key word here is shame. Ask any active addict how they feel about their life and you are bound to discover, underneath the anger and street braggadocio, a deep and murky well of it. That shame is what keeps them using; it’s what keeps them from wanting to feel.

After Shakespeare establishes his narrative voice, he turns to the cyclical nature of his malady. In the second quatrain, he states:

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Here we see the structural and thematic rendering of the cycle of addiction. Let me translate: the addict no sooner enjoys (uses) her drug when she starts to despise its consequences straight (right away). However, beyond all reason she continues to hunt for it, and again, as soon as she consumes it, she hates it beyond all reason because she can’t stop. Then Shakespeare expands the subtle animal imagery and lays blame on suppliers and enablers. Her drug is like a trap laid on purpose and it makes her, the taker, mad. Mad here is being used in the British sense of the word, meaning insane.

It’s usually at this point in my class that I stop and ask students to think of an activity, any activity, they do to excess. Do they spend too much time online? Eat too much of the wrong kind of food? Text incessantly? And it’s also here that I tell them my own little story of addiction, the one that had me frequently rushing to the neighbourhood corner store, in Toronto, when I was a student.

I had an addiction and it was to Swedish Berries, those soft red candies that taste heavenly but are of no nutritional value whatever. These darlings came in handy at midnight when I had an essay to finish and needed a sugar boost. However, the problem was that I didn’t know when to stop. The store sold them in bulk and I didn’t have the discipline to buy only a few. My reasoning, as I stood in front of that bin and ladled in scoop after scoop, was that I would save some for later.

Right.

So I would eat them until I felt sick and this process, over the last two years of my undergrad degree, repeated itself more times than I care to remember. But it was the sequence of events in this process that was important. I would come to the realization it was late. I knew I had to keep working but didn’t want coffee. Then I would think: Hey! Swedish Berries! Great idea! And I would haul myself off to the store, come back and eat way too many of them. Only afterwards would I say to myself: “Did I really have to scarf down that whole bag?” Or: “Good idea? What was I thinking?”

So too goes the cycle of addiction: there is the chase, the consummation and the aftermath. In other words, the anticipation, the imbibing and the remorse. This cycle will be expanded upon in the next quatrain.

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

The first quatrain establishes, through the use of enumeration, Shakespeare’s lo
ss of control. The second establishes the cyclical nature of his addiction. This last is significant because it does not provide new information. However, it does repeat the three part cycle and repetition in Shakespeare is always significant: he uses it to let us know we need to pay attention. Here we are told, again and with more emphasis, that an addict is mad while chasing the drug and mad while consuming it. And of course it is that madness — that inability to reason — that starts the cycle all over again.

But take a look at the second line. Shakespeare reverses the order of the cycle: he starts with the aftermath: had, moves to the consummation: having, and then moves to the first stage of the cycle, the chase: in quest to have. He does this to create the impression of a back-and-forth motion: the addict moves forward and backward, forward and backward, ad infinitum. Why? Because that’s what happens when one becomes addicted: life stalls.

At the start of this article, I said something interesting happens every time I teach this sonnet. Here it is: after I read it out loud, I tell my students to look closely at the panhandlers, especially the young ones, when they pass through the Atwater metro, the metro that services Dawson. I almost always get the same reaction: the class goes silent, the flow of air in the room stops, and these young people, with their futures ahead of them, pay closer attention. This suffering, rendered so poetically by Shakespeare, is only steps away.

And it happens elsewhere. When I drive home, I stop at a busy intersection leading onto the highway. That’s where I often see a young woman, her blonde hair in dreadlocks, holding up a sign asking for spare change. I always give her some and now she knows to come to me. If the traffic light permits, we may even exchange a few words.

I’ve been criticized for doing this — “she’ll just spend the money on drugs” is what I hear — but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how we can stop people from “committing suicide on the installment plan,” as a good friend of mine puts it.

Shakespeare didn’t know either, but luckily for us, that didn’t stop him from looking deeply into that darkness and writing about it anyway.

***I will be, for the sake of brevity and compression, be referring to the narrator as Shakespeare.

How Effective Is Drug Testing in Eradicating Teen Drug Abuse?

Every day, thousands of teens are getting addicted to illicit drugs. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 21.5 percent of youth (more than 1 in 5) aged between 18 and 25 years are under the influence of illicit drugs.

The percentage of teens getting addicted to drugs has increased in the last few years. Many of them are getting into this devastating habit due to lack of awareness of the serious consequences it poses.

Why teens get into drug abuse

There are many reasons why teens get into this habit. Most of the teens experiment with drugs, putting their health and safety at risk. Many teens take drugs just to fit in their friends group because of peer pressure. Some teens are influenced by their parents’ behavior. If they find their parents taking drugs, they would follow it. While some of the teens taking drugs, want to feel good and some teens are prone to drugs due to financial or mental depression.

Teen drug testing helps in eradicating teen drug abuse. It can be conducted in high schools, colleges or at the privacy of the home. It is an effective way to keep teens away from drugs and studies show that it brings a positive effect.

Many high schools are conducting these tests randomly in their schools on students and schools that conduct these tests have higher attendance rates than compared to other schools where the drug testing is not conducted.

High school students are more likely to get influenced by drugs. Therefore, to prevent teens from taking drugs, drug-testing and awareness programs should be conducted in high schools to keep a check on drug abusing teens. These programs are not meant to punish or insult the teens, but to take measures before it is too late.

Use reliable test kits:

There are many drug test kits available in the market. But before you buy the test kit see that it is tested and proven. You need to buy kits from reputed dealer and check if the test kits are approved by the FDA. Reputed dealers will offer these test kits affordable price and the results will be accurate and consistent.

Therefore, before it is too late, teens should be educated about the negative impact that drug leaves on their body and mind in the early stage. Drug testing is an effective way in eradicating teen drug abuse.

Researching and Booking Hotels Online

When planning a holiday, it’s always difficult to know where to stay: how do you pick a hotel you’ve never experienced in an area of a city you might never have visited before? Staying in the right place is a key part of your trip; having comfortable surroundings and being in the right location is crucial for both the holidaymaker and the business traveler.

There are so many sites that offer online travel advice, its hard to know where to start! But next time you’re searching for a hotel to stay in, be sure to check out the following:

Wikitravel

Wikitravel is a great starting point for any traveller. The site provides information from a traveler’s perspective and offers useful advice in relation to where to eat and what to do in any given area. Larger cities are split into smaller districts, and on choosing which district you want to stay in, you are offered hotel options to suit your style and budget.

Expedia

Expedia has a directory of over 80,000 places to stay world-wide and can help you narrow down your search and find the right accommodation. It’s worth remembering that choosing a hotel on price alone is never a great idea. Hotels that are further away from attractions and amenities are usually the cheapest, but as location is a very important factor of any holiday it might be worth paying a little more to be located centrally. The handy map feature on expedia allows you to see exactly where the available rooms are located, letting you weigh up price against location.

Venere

Venere lets you filter your search results down to help pinpoint the perfect hotel for you. The filters include budget, type of accommodation and star rating, although generally photos give a better indicator of just how good a hotel is. When looking at photos of rooms, it’s worth cross checking these with recent reviews of the hotel, just to ensure that the photos are not only recent, but also a genuine representation of the room you will receive upon your arrival.

TripAdvisor

One of the best places to find customer reviews online is TripAdvisor, which has over 75 million reviews, tips and opinions from every type of traveller from around the world. TripAdvisor gives travelers the opportunity to rate hotels, share photos and videos and connect socially with other travellers.

Booking.com

Booking.com is the leading online travel agent and attracts over 30 million unique visitors each month. Offering over 253,441 hotels in 178 countries, the site aims to help travelers discover the best places to stay. Targeted at business and leisure travelers alike, the site scores hotels based on user reviews, which are broken down into categories such as comfort, location, value for money etc.. Hotels can also be filtered by the type of person who left the review – such as families with young children, solo travellers or large groups.

When it comes to booking your chosen hotel, you might think that online travel agents offer the best deals, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Booking direct with a hotel presents many advantages:

– You may be able to find exclusive promotions which aren’t offered on travel agent sites

– Some hotels offer frequent guest points and frequent flyers miles

– Hotels provide guest recognition, meaning the hotel will already know your likes and dislikes if you’ve stayed there before

– Having a direct point of contact at a hotel makes it easier to amend or cancel bookings

– Booking verification is instant as there’s no third party to confuse matters.

So next time you’re looking for a hotel, be it for business or pleasure, remember that while online travel agents and travel review sites can act as a valuable source of information, more often than not you’re better off booking via the hotel directly.

Understanding Your Landing Page

Trends in the marketing and advertising industry are ever-changing. They evolve depending on the developments of target markets and consumers. Before, promotions are centered on traditional media. Businesses invest in print advertisements in magazines and newspapers. They also pay for television and radio advertisements when they want to reach a wider range of market.

Nowadays, though, a new line of advertising and marketing strategy has emerged together with the rise of the online industry. As the target market becomes considerably larger online, businesses become more focused on their promotional strategies. The audience online is so vast that businesses find difficulty in actually reaching out to their market, let alone encouraging them to become actual clients.

This is why a lot of businesses now focus on creating good sales copies and engaging websites for their online market. They have even opened work from home opportunities for content writers, web page designers, and other skilled individuals. One of the best strategies that these businesses employ is the use of landing pages.

A landing page appears when you click through a search engine result or an online ad posting. Usually, these are stand-alone pages that only contain a link to the official website if the reader gets more interested. A comprehensive sales copy is commonly featured in landing pages. Often, they are made for specific advertising purposes or when there is a particular product that a company would like to give emphasis on.

Landing pages may also appear as the result of a link from a social networking account or a specialized marketing campaign. These are the pages that you get redirected to when you click through a badge from the sidebar of your Facebook account or from a blog that you are visiting. You may also reach this through a promotional message sent to you via email.

There are two general types of a landing page. One is the reference type, wherein you only get to view information and content displayed for you. This is the kind that you put up for the purpose of direct promotion. In this type, visitors of the page are given outright the information that they need. The other type of landing page is referred to as transactional because it requires visitors to enter log-in details for them to be able to view the content of the page.

In creating landing pages, you must be able to consider a few essential factors to ensure that they reach the objective for which they are made for. One of these factors is the accessibility of your page. You have to ensure that when a potential client decides to peruse the landing page for your product all of its contents are easily accessible. The information must all be displayed in a well-organized manner to display transparency and encourage understanding of your brand and product.

You should also be able to consider the relevance of your content to the immediate market that you may reach. As the Internet is a wide market, this page will likely be visited by various people. However, only those who find your content relevant to their needs would be interested enough to read through and even click to be redirected to your actual website. This is why you have to ensure that your content would prove to relate to your audience, regardless of their needs and statuses. They have to be able to see some benefit, however remotely, out of the product that you are offering them.

Finally, in creating a landing page, you must also consider the level of interaction that it promotes. Online users are usually more enticed when they get to a page that tries to interact with them because they feel significant to the purpose. You must make your readers feel this way so that they would be encouraged to visit your website and, eventually, become actual clients. Interactive landing pages may include forum questions, online promo contests, and information exchange.

Landing pages are really beneficial for website owners especially to those who are managing work from home opportunities. They do need not to compile all information in just one website. Just always remember to put in your landing page all relevant information for your brand to gain the trust of your immediate market.

Mobile Auto Detailing Noise Reduction Strategy – Shop Vacuum Enclosure

The other day, I was in a high-end neighborhood in California and I noted that it was quite noisy. There were landscapers with air blowers, landscapers using weed wackers, and even a mobile detailer across the street using one of those 5 horsepower shop vacuum. “Why all the noise,” I thought, this is a nice neighborhood. You see, I was surprised that the customers would put up with that noise and nonsense. Apparently they had no choice, but I would submit to you that they actually do. Further, there’s opportunity here and I’d like to explain why.

If you own a mobile detailing business you should consider noise reduction strategies. Perhaps you should buy a portable generator such as the Honda which is very quiet, and use an electric pressure washer, an electric buffer, and find a way to reduce the noise of that shop vacuum. Now then, before I retired I franchised mobile auto detailing units around the country. We set up these mobile rigs on trailers, in vans, and on pickup trucks using skid units. In many locations we would clean vehicles right in office parking lots where office windows were adjacent to the cars we were cleaning.

Our customers were on the phone and having meetings so it was unacceptable to make noise. Nevertheless, those shop vacuum cleaners have a terrible squeal to them. What we did was we took a plastic trashcan cut a hole in the side for the vacuum hose and a small opening in the top with some air-conditioning vent mesh. Then we used insulation around the inside of the trashcan, the kind that is silver on one side with sticky tape on the other. This did the trick. You can hardly hear the sound, unless you stood right next to the trashcan, which was upside down covering the vacuum.

This should work just about anywhere, and we never made any noise. Best of all, we got more referrals, and folks used to tell us that they likes us better than the people they had before because we didn’t make any noise. They would tell their friends, and we got more business. It was that easy. Using best management practices for mobile auto detailing and noise reduction makes sense, and it makes dollars.

Interestingly enough, you can’t buy anything like this in the store, no one sells them, you have to make your own. But since I’ve explained how, I hope you will do this as soon as possible, and help keep the peace and quiet.

Europe – The Best Way to Explore Your Destinations

Our main modes of transportation consisted of the Eurorail, TGV, Metro and walking. But, as with every other aspect of trip planning, it is important to research because there are numerous options available.

There is the choice of whether to get first or second class train tickets; there really is a difference between the two although in the end, they both get you to where you want to go. With first class the seats are very comfortable, there is leg room and ample space for luggage, as well as drinks are offered by passing porters. We chose this option because of the length of time we would be spending on Eurorail while travelling through three different countries.

However, from Paris to Switzerland, we chose the TGV train system which travels at 320 km hour and often faster. This cut our train travel for this leg of our journey from over six hours to about three hours. We chose not to make reservations which would have been an additional cost, deciding to take our chances on not having to wait. Because we left early for the train station, and because the trains leave hourly, we were fortunate in not having a long wait time.

While in Switzerland we were able to use our Eurorail pass. If we had not had this pass, we would’ve had to purchase Swiss passes for transportation while in Switzerland. Our Eurorail pass also gave us passage on the ferries in both Lucerne and Interlacken as well as the cogwheel trains we took up Rigi Kulm Mountain and Jungfrauloch Mountain in Switzerland.

When we purchased our rail passes, based on the fact that we would be travelling to three countries, we got the three country, seven day pass which was ideal for our requirements although as it turned out, the two country pass would’ve been sufficient since the TGV had to be purchased separately. The cost of the pass is determined by the number of countries you visit and the number of days you are using your pass. Purchasing Eurorail passes outside of Europe is cheaper. The open tour bus in Rome was an additional cost. When we were travelling by train, we had to be aware of what the station before our stop was so we could get our luggage and be ready to leave the train when it came into the station.

While in Paris and Rome, we used the Metro system of transportation or by walking to our destinations. Both Metro systems were quite easy to use and in Paris in particular, almost every station had people available to answer questions. Also in Paris, the route you needed to take to get to the train level you wanted, was very clearly marked on the walls at each fork. While in Rome we only used their Metro system one day and had clear instructions on which line we needed to take and the station we had to get off. In both Paris and Rome Metro systems, the next station is shown overhead on a flashing sign so you are given ample warning.

The only taxi we took while in Europe was to the airport to catch our flights home. We could have taken a shuttle or bus to the train station which, between connections, would have taken several hours. For an early morning flight, and with the difficulty of having luggage to worry about, the cost of a taxi was well worth the extra money spent.

Before travelling, make sure to research, plan and organize so that things will go as smoothly as possible and time isn’t wasted trying to get information when that time could be spent travelling and getting to your point of destination more quickly. This is especially true when your travel time is limited as ours was – three countries, eight cities and other specific areas in just two weeks.

Join the Ranks of Famous Mountaineers for a Real Challenge

Mountaineering is a popular pastime for the very adventurous and healthy. Climbing and scaling mountains incrusted with snow and ice for days at a time is an extremely difficult task and those who attempt it must be in excellent health and condition. There have been many “famous” mountaineers over the years and some have made quite a name for themselves such as Sir Edmund Hillary a mountaineer from New Zealand. Hillary’s most famous climb was the ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. According to records, the first bona fide climber of tall mountains was someone who was named Ötzi the Iceman, whose mummified body was found in the Alps at an elevation of around 3000 metres and thought to have been there for at least 5300 years! His discovery has been the subject of much study and research since it was found in 1991.

Mountaineering is a sport for some and profession for others
Many consider mountain climbing a sport or challenging hobby while some take it very seriously and have even made a profession out of scaling tall mountains. They rise to the challenge to prove something to themselves or gain recognition, fame, and fortune. Sponsorship makes financial gain possible for those who work hard to maintain the strength and health it takes for this rigorous task. Rock, ice, snow, and extreme weather conditions make for a risky yet rewarding lifestyle for those who take up the challenge. Women have also become adventurous and prominent as a result of their mountaineering skills. Annabelle Bond, who was born in 1969, is one of four British women to have climbed Mount Everest (2004). She went on to become the fastest woman to scale that famous mountain.

Climbing is an addictive pastime that reaps big rewards
Edward Whymper (another Londoner) was the first explorer and climber to ascend the Matterhorn back in 1865. His claim to fame on that particular climb may have been that he survived! Four members of the group he was with perished during the ascent.

Aron Lee Ralston, born in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA in 1975 made himself renowned by having to cut his own arm off in order to be freed after falling and being stuck between rocks for five days, seven hours. His perilous climb is depicted in a movie titled 127 Hours.

Major William Bill Tilman is another well known English explorer and mountaineer noted for his climbing in the Himalayans as well as sailing voyages.

Matthias Zurbriggen, born in Geneva in 1856 climbed the Alps extensively as a mountain guide and alpinist. He climbed the Aconcagua which is the highest peak of the Americas. He has a New Zealand mountain peak named after him, the Zurbriggen Ridge.

Reccardo Cassin, born in Italy in 1909 made over 2500 ascents and considered one of the leading mountaineers of his time.

George Mallory, noted Englishman and mountaineer became obsessed with the conquest of Mount Everest back in the 1920’s and upon his death his explanation of why he did it “Because it is there” caused him to become famous throughout the world.

Maurice Herzog, a Frenchman, was the first man to scale a peak over 8000 metres (8091m above sea level). He lost his gloves and nearly his life after developing painful frostbite on the fingers of both hands as well as some toes. He and his fellow climbers did make it down successfully however.

The above climbers and many others risk their lives but continue on, thriving on the challenge.