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Tips to get through security faster

How can we go through security without getting stressed out? Good question! Going through security can be quite confusing if you are not sure how it works. Here are a few tips to go through security faster and without a hitch.

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Father Christmas also lives in Switzerland

Did you know that you don't need to travel to Lapland to visit Father Christmas? That's one of the things that makes him so magical - he has the gift of being in more than one place at once! From the end of November to 24 December you can also find him in the charming town of Montreux, in Switzerland, just over one hour by train from Geneva Airport (allow a little more if you're travelling by flying sleigh).

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Tallinn the Perfect PreChristmas Getaway

Northern Europe with its markets and ad hoc decoration is the perfect destination for anyone seeking to get into the Christmas spirit before actually celebrating the festivity with their family. One city with a must-visit flea market is Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, which boasts one of the best preserved medieval towns on the Baltic. The historic precinct, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, is ringed by walled fortifications which have withstood all wars. Any further reason for visiting Tallinn? Well, it has one of the most beautiful seafronts in the world and, according to Condé Nast Traveler, it is due to become one of the most prosperous cities of 2017. What else?

Tallinn was a major commercial hub during the period when the Hanseatic League dominated the Baltic and North Sea trade routes. At that time it was known by the Germanic name Reval and such was its prosperity that it could afford to have two mayors and twenty-four municipal councillors who only worked alternate years. The Old Town dates from medieval times and is arranged around the City Hall, which bears the city’s symbol, “Vana Toomas” (Old Thomas), a weathervane in the shape of a mercenary holding a sword in one hand and a flag in the other. Noteworthy, too, is the Lutheran St Mary’s Cathedral, also known as the Dome Church, in bare Gothic style, and the Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, dating from 1900, located on Toompea hill. Danes, Germans, Swedes, Russians and, lastly, Soviets have left their mark on Estonia’s history. Prominent from the latter period is the cinema, now one of the major leisure centres in Tallinn, and the network of inner patios scattered across this Baltic city.

You can’t say you’ve been to Tallinn unless you walk down Pikk jalg (Long Leg) Street and Lühike jalg (Short Leg) Street and stop to take in amazing iconic views of the city from the Patkuli viewing platform overlooking the sea, the harbour and the Church of Oleviste (St Olaf). Neither will you be seasoned experts on the capital of Estonia unless you take a stroll through the modern Rotermanni district, or if you fail to laugh on hearing the names of two of the best known towers on the city wall – “Look in the Kitchen” and “Fat Margaret”.

The inhabitants of Tallinn enjoy going to the beach and one of the most crowded in summer is Pirita (Brigid). With its fine white sand, locals have no qualms about bathing in the wild, frigid waters of the Baltic, where freshwater fish like the pike can also be caught. This coastal district has a marina where athletes who took part in the 1980 Moscow Olympic sailing events were housed.

The Museums of Tallinn

Tallinn boasts a plethora of green areas and museums. Kadriorg Park is home to the palace of the same name, commissioned by the wife of Czar Peter I of Russia. The palace houses the Art Museum of Estonia which exhibits works by Italian, Dutch, German and Russian artists, among others, ranging from the 16th to the 19th century. Nearby is the Kumu Art Museum, one of Tallinn’s most modern and unique buildings, structured in limestone and copper, which hosts all kinds of exhibitions throughout the year, both permanent and temporary.

Other cultural venues well worth seeing, particularly for families travelling with children, include the Rocca al Mare Museum, located in a large wooded park with thatched roof farm cottages dating from the 18th to the 20th century, a timber church and a school. Another highlight is the Estonian Maritime Museum, which features such emblematic nautical exhibits as the Suur Tõll icebreaker – the largest surviving icebreaker in Europe – the Kalev mine-layer and the submarine Lembit.

Make a point of visiting the capital of Estonia – book your Vueling to Tallinn here.

Text by Tus Destinos

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Museum Tour of Donostia

One of the city’s highlights is its well-known Aquarium with a history going back nearly a century. Don’t be put off by its age, however, as it was refurbished in 2008 and is now one of the most modern and comprehensive aquariums in Europe. Its full-circle transparent tunnel is breathtaking for children and adults alike, as is its touch aquarium, where visitors can touch live fish. One of the city’s must-see spots.

Another of the city’s prized museums is the San Telmo which has the distinction of being the oldest museum in the Basque Country. Sited in the old town and housed in a majestic, 16th-century building that was once a Dominican convent, both its exterior and exhibitions deserve a visit. The museum is distributed on three levels – the ground floor features a church, the lower cloister (containing the archaeology section) and two spaces for temporary exhibitions. The first floor houses a gallery displaying Basque art, while the second and top floor boasts a large collection of Spanish and European paintings by the old masters

Who said science can’t be fun? The Eureka! Zientzia Museoa proves that nothing could be further from the truth. This entertaining museum should not be missed, whether you’re accompanied by children or wish to learn science in a special way. It features 169 experimental modules as well as atxikiklik, for children aged 4 to 9, where they discover the habitat of wild animals and the five senses. If you’re travelling with children, a visit to this museum is a must.

The Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa is devoted entirely to the great fashion designer from Getaria. It was once the residential palace of the Marquises of Casa Torre, Queen Fabiola of Belgium’s grandparents, and the Balenciaga masters in their early career years. If you like fashion, this is your museum.

If you’d like to learn a bit more about cider, from apples to the cultural impact it has had in Euskal Herria, you should head for the Museo de la Sidra Vasca Sagardoetxea. Here you will find its complete history – the past, present and future of the fascinating world of the apple.

At the Casa de la Historia museum on Mt Urgull you can learn about the life of thedonostiarrasover time, revealing the more than 800 years of history of a city that still has a young, vibrant spirit. This museum is vital to a deeper understanding of Donosti’s history.

Right in the harbour stands the Museo Naval, a magical spot where thedonostiarras and their relationship with the sea is documented, studied and divulged. A different, interesting place where you are sure to learn something new.

Talking of San Sebastián, we can’t fail to mention its acclaimed football team. The Museo de la Real Sociedad opened to the public in 2009 to mark the club’s 100th anniversary. The museum recounts its history in a novel way, also spotlighting its other sports sections. Football lovers won’t be able to resist the visit.

Lastly, the Museum Cemento Rezola is a highly variegated museum focusing on the role of cement and buildings in our society. It features a large number of audiovisuals, simulators and interactive modules which make for an unforgettable adventure.

Not a bad tour! Donostia is pure culture. Indeed, the city is gearing up to honour its name as the European Capital of Culture 2016. To this end the Centro internacional de cultura contemporánea will be opening to the public at the end of the year. Housed in an old tobacco factory, the centenary building has been fully refurbished for the occasion.

Don’t miss the chance – book your Vueling ticket now!

Text by Tensi Sánchez (Actitudes Magazine)

Photos by San Sebastián Turismo

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