Places to visit: Ice Hotel, Jukasjärvi

Sweden is cold, especially during the winter. There is a lot of snow and ice and the temperature goes many degrees below zero. Many people run away from it, travel to warmer climate or stay where they are. In Jukasjärvi, a small little town located in Lapland, only 200 kilometers from the Arctic Circle, the snow, ice and cold is exactly what attracts people from all over the world.

The Icehotel was inspired by Japanese ice sculptors who in 1989 visited Jukasjärvi and created an exhibition of ice sculptures. One year after the artist Jannot Derid was invited to hold a vernissage which was placed in a specially created igloo located by the Torne river. The vernissage had many visitors and due to the fully booked hotel in the city, the visitors requested for permission to sleep in the exhibition area. In that point, Ice hotel was created.

The Ice Hotel is a staggering 5500 square meters and created only by using ice and snow. Every year the design of the hotel is changed and rebuilt all over again from scratch. A total of approximately 1000 tons of ice is used. The hotel is constructed in 5 steps and the first part is ready the first weekend of December and the complete hotel in January. In addition to having room for over 100 guests, the hotel also incorporates a church and a bar as well.

Below you find a short video of the Ice Hotel.

The 5:2 diet

UntitledThe latest trend in dieting is spreading as fast as the speed of light, just joking, but thanks to the great technology, the 5:2 diet has become world news.

So, what is this new diet about? It is quite simple, during 5 days you eat whatever you want, and the 2 other days you are fasting, or, you can eat up to 600 calories if you are a man, and 500 calories if being a women. Some say its a good way to loose weight, some say it´s not. If you are now considering trying this diet remember a few things:

  • During the 5 whatever-you-want-to-eat days, don´t think that having a greasy burger, a four cheese pizza and 4 liters of soda, and a bunch of snacks is allowed. No no no, you can eat whatever you want, as long as it is healthy (now we all have our own definitions of healthy), so avoid trans fats, reduce the sugar intake and keep a balanced meal

A balanced meal should include: carbohydrates, proteins and fat

  • The 2 fasting days should not be consecutive, so you need to spread those days during the week
  •  Remember that the body needs fuel to function, so don´t forget vitamins and minerals and everything else that is healthy in the food, frankly said….Don´t overdo it!

Good Luck!

Places to visit: Angel Falls

Angel FallsAre you planning a trip to South America? Make sure to have Venezuela on the schedule, or the Auyantepui mountain to be more exact. There you can find the highest waterfall in the world. It is located in the Canaima National Park and with a total height of 979 m (3,212 ft), the Angel Falls is 15 times higher than Niagara Falls, and the highest waterfall in the world.

The Angel Falls (Salto Ángel in Spanish) has been named after the US aviator Jimmie Angel, who is seen to be the first person to fly over the waterfall. It has become one of the main tourist attractions of Venezuela but as the waterfall is located in an isolated jungle, to get there is not the easiest task. You need to get to the village of Canaima, which is only accessible by flight, and from there you go to the Canaima National Park.

Places to visit: Ideal Palace

Le Palais Ideal

Le Palais Ideal

There is no question that we have amazing architectural buildings all over the world. Almost everywhere you go, you will found some building that has the “wow” factor. The Ideal Palace in Hauterives, France is one of them.

The history of the Ideal Palace is more than interesting. The postman Ferdinand Cheval was on his daily route delivering posts as he tripped over on a stone and was amazed by the strange shape it had. The next day he returned to the same spot and started collecting stones which he brought home. The stones he put in his pockets at first, then in a basket and later a wheel barrow. Cheval continued this procedure and worked a lot during the night and after two decades he was ready with the outer walls. He put together the stone using lime, mortar and cement. His inspiration of the design came from the Bible and the Hindu mythology. The building took him 33 years to complete. Cheval wanted to be buried there but the French law did not allow it. He died in 1924, only after a year of the completion.

The Ideal Palace is seen as an amazing masterpiece and a landmark of France. Tourists from all around the world visit the palace every year.

Movie recommendation: 127 hours

Based on a true story

127 hours is a nerve-racking movie based on the life event of Aron Ralston, who was trapped in the bottom of a canyon in the Blue John Canyon in Utah, USA with his arm stuck under a rock with no one but himself. Directed and produced by Danny Boyle, we get to follow James Franco (playing Ralston) as he struggles to survive in staggering heat, rain, without food, and a long list of “what if” thoughts. Thanks to the video camera he brought with him he keeps a video diary and the viewer get to see every emotion, every thought, every feeling of Ralston. As the viewer is about to give up and the thoughts are only that he won´t survive, the movie takes a surprising turn and shows what can be seen as an amazing will power of the human.

Even though the movie is centered to only one character you can not take your eyes away from it as you just want to see what happened in the end. Not very well known, James Franco is a perfect match for the role as Ralston. He delivers all emotions and feelings with every detail to the viewer. He does the little extra and embodies Ralston in a perfect manner. Thumbs up for Franco!

This is a highly recommended must-see movie. It makes you wonder, what would I do in order to survive?

Top travel sites – Barcelona

Barcelona, a city that has it all. Whether you are looking for shopping, nightlife, food, culture or the beach, a trip to Barcelona has something for everyone.

Since the reformation of the city for the Summer Olympics of 1992, it has become one of the most visited cities in Europe. Located in the Catalonian province, the city offers a large variety of activities and attractions you can take part of. Make sure not to miss “La Rambla”, the street in the city center, always crowded with tourists. It is the hometown of the great architect Gaudi, and many of the top visited places in the city belongs to him. One of his most well known works is Sagrada Familia, a church that was begun to be constructed in 1882, and not yet finished. The FC Barcelona football team has made the city even more known. In Barcelona you can also find the most expensive street of Spain, Passeig de Gracia.

To keep it short, here is a list of must see places made by the Barcelona expert at StarBid:

– Sagrada Familia
– Parc Guell
– Barrio Gótico
– Parc del laberint
– Casa Batlló
– La Pedrera
– Parc de la Ciutadella
– Mercat de la Boqueria
– The beach
– La Rambla
– Arc de Triomph
– Picasso museum
– FC Barcelona stadium & museum
– Olympic stadium
– Magic Fountains
– The cathedral