It’s A Women’s World: The ‘Ladies’ Château’ of the Loire Valley

It’s A Women’s World: The ‘Ladies’ Château’ of the Loire Valley

A French barge cruise on one of European Waterways luxurious, fully-crewed barge hotels is an experience to remember. We firmly believe that there is no better way to explore the Continent than from the water.
The Nymphea hosts our French barge cruise in the Loire Valley, passing under the remarkable five-arch bridge of the Château de Chenonceau. Built in a pale grey stone, the bridge’s symmetrical curves are juxtaposed against the castle’s pointed turrets and enchant our guests time and time again

 

It’s not only architecture and engineering buffs who fall in love on the banks of the River Cher. The unique history of the Château – spanning from the early sixteenth century to the modern day – is well worth discovering.

Hidden Histories

Cruising beneath the repeated arches of the gallery aboard our French barge cruise, our guests often wonder who created them.

Today we are looking at some of the famous inhabitants of the ‘Ladies’ Château’ – the women who shaped both this beautiful building and France.

The Mistress: Diane de Poitiers

Intellectual, royal-favourite Diane de Poitiers lived in sixteenth-century France; no decorative wallflower, Diane was intelligent and politically savvy. She became so well-liked by King Henry II that she often wrote and signed official correspondence on his behalf using the portmanteau ‘HenriDiane’.

Diane was also the King’s mistress for over two decades – perhaps the most powerful woman in the country. As Henry’s mistress she was given the Château de Chenonceau. Diane not only lovingly developed the gardens, she commissioned the stunning arched bridge spanning the river – one of the most iconic architectural features of the Loire Valley.

The Wife: Catherine de’Medici

Catherine de’Medici was the wife of Henry II and, understandably, was jealous Diane’s influential position in Henry’s court. After Henry’s death Catherine forced Diane de Poitiers, the legal owner of the property, to leave and triumphantly took possession herself. Determined to make the Château her own, Catherine installed a grand gallery running across Diane’s bridge – the strong-willed widow had successfully displaced the trusted mistress.

Under Catherine’s management, the castle became the site for many extravagant parties and, rumour has it, the first ever firework display in France lit up the sky over one of her night time revels.

The Saloniste: Louise Dupin

During the French Enlightenment, eighteenth-century French women were at the centre of literary, artistic and cultural advancements. Louise Dupin, who lived in the Château de Chenonceau with her husband, formed a literary salon there which drew in leaders of the Enlightenment movement such as Voltaire, Condillac, Buffon and Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle.

An intelligent woman herself, Louise saved the building during the widespread destruction of property prompted by the Revolution. Louise pointed out that the arched bridge provided a rare crossing place on the river essential for the movement of people and trade. As a result of her quick thinking and bravery we can enjoy the splendour of the Château de Chenonceau in the twenty-first century.

This restaurant invites you in by displaying its kitchen!

This restaurant invites you in by displaying its kitchen!

Concrete brings us a brand new Japanese watering hole and dining experience at Izakaya in Hotel Roomers, Munich.
Hotel Roomers in Munich stands out for its Japanese restaurant, Izakaya in an incredibly unique way. The restaurant announces its presence via its show kitchen visible through the glass facade of the porte-cochere. This kitchen block continues inside the lobby as a jewellery case covered in gold mirror – also the restaurant’s main entrance!

 

Black and gold dominate the colour palette here with a contrasting feature of light wooden lamellas along the ceiling and wall. Gold cladding uplifts the space especially through the backlit bar top, with a warm yellow marble finish that makes every drink sparkle. While the bar is a highlight element, one cannot miss the show-stopper i.e. the oversized wooden Koi-carp lamp. Typically Japanese, this lamp would’ve probably overpowered the design had it not been so dynamic!

Seating zones are created by introducing silk-printed rotating panels that are also black mirrors and level changers. The rotating panels serve many purposes: they can either connect or separate the space depending on the angle of rotation. While on one side, a Japanese-inspired artwork on silkscreen by artist Gijs Scholten anoints it; the other side is clad with a black mirror with different settings. In the early evening, the whole space can appear as one; while during the after-hours, the bar can be cordoned off to establish a darker and cosy mood that lasts deep into the night. This element helps the space adapt to its clients allowing for a truly transformable experience.

Take a Leap Into the Unknown: 4 Exciting Bungee Jump Techniques!

Take a Leap Into the Unknown: 4 Exciting Bungee Jump Techniques!

For many, a bungee jump is a once-in-a-lifetime, adrenaline-filled activity that you’ll remember forever – and you’ll forever be able to tell people about your jump! There are many ways to skin a cat, and some of these bungee jump techniques will make your jump even more memorable. Whether you’re a seasoned jumper or will only take the plunge once in your life, there is a thrilling technique out there for you.
Feel Like You Can Fly Techniques!

 

The Swallow Dive is one of the most popular jump styles in use today, and for good reason! Especially beloved by adrenaline seekers, you have to take a big running jump off the platform with your arms stretched out as wide as possible (like a swallow). This will let you soar through the sky to the ground below. There will be a huge adrenaline rush as you feel like you’re flying through the air… and as an added bonus, as the cord begins stretching you will be pointing downwards – perfect for a smooth and easy deceleration.

Be aware: if the body harness you’re kitted out with has a front cord attachment, ensure you twist 180 degrees so by the time the cord tightens out you’re facing upwards. Don’t worry, your instructor will know all this! But the more you know before your jump, the more relaxed you’ll be before the big event.

The Bat Drop is a little trickier than the swallow dive, and much more daring! For this jump style you’ll have to be positioned hanging upside down (!!!) on the edge of the platform. Someone else will need to be holding your feet, and once they release you you’ll shoot off like a bat or vampire into the darkness of the night!

The Back Dive is another jump which is considered to be a little more difficult. You’ll really need to put your all into launching off the platform so that when you’re at the end of your fall, your head will be pointing straight down. Just like the swallow dive, be sure to be facing upwards at the end of your jump if you happen to be using a front-connected body harness.

The Elevator is a technique you’ll definitely have seen somewhere before. You simply step off the platform with your feet pointing down at the ground, and when you reach the end of the bungee you’ll be automatically flipped the right way round.

Top tip: only do the Elevator if you have access to a rubber (Kiwi/ Euro) cord to avoid hurting yourself and doing your ankles some serious harm!

Jump Safely, Jump Insured

Whether you’re going for the jump of a lifetime or plan to tick off all of our suggested bungee jump techniques, make sure your travel insurance covers you. Let’s Go Insure offers cover for one or multiple jumps, and our friendly staff are on hand to help you with getting covered for all of your daredevil antics!

Are Nitrates in Your Food Bad For You?

 

It seems every week there is a new food problem that people worry about. One minute experts warn people about high fructose corn syrup, and then they talk about the dangers of fat in the diet.

Recently more and more people are concerned about nitrate in food. Some people may think that nitrate concerns in food are relatively new, but the debate about its presence in consumables has been around since the 1970s.

Before you can understand the recent nitrate controversy, you need to take a quick science lesson.

Difference between nitrite and nitrate.
Some people use the words of nitrite and nitrate alternately, but they are different compounds.

Both nitrite and nitrate are naturally inorganic compounds composed of nitrogen and oxygen. The main difference is that nitrate has three oxygen molecules, and nitrite has only two oxygen molecules.

Nitrate is so common that it is found naturally in soil, water, and air. They are also very versatile compounds.

Nitrates are used in a variety of foods. They can be used to dye food, and are widely used to preserve meat and dairy products that are cured.

They are also used for industrial purposes. You can find nitrates in explosives, fertilizers, and even some types of enamel glass.

Not infrequently certain compounds used for human consumption and industrial purposes. But there is something about nitrate and nitrite that makes them dangerous.

A volatile reaction
Nitrates do not pose much health risk to animals, that’s when they are converted to nitrites so that everything changes.

Nitrate is a stable compound, nitrite is not. Once the nitrate is converted to nitrite, it can turn into nitric oxide or nitrosamine. Both forms of nitrite have carcinogenic properties and are associated with many other health problems.

Nitrosamines only form in certain environments, they must be near amino acids and in high heat. Unfortunately, many popular cured meats are cooked under these conditions.

Since nitrate in food is a controversial topic, some people may wonder how something that is harmful to humans can be safely processed.

If you want to understand the use of nitrates in rampant foods, you need to think about one of America’s most popular foods.

Consider a hot dog
Like many nutritious nitrate foods, hot dogs are typical American food. They are very popular, easy to prepare, and cheap to produce and buy. You’ll find it at almost every sporting event or BBQ, and cut almost every child’s plate.

Despite the popularity of hot dogs, this is one of the worst foods you can incorporate into your body.

If you want an example of unhealthy nitrate levels in the diet, look no further than hot dogs.

Nitrates are an important part of the average hot dog. Unlike some meats, it is very difficult to treat them without the use of nitrates.

There is nothing wrong with the hot dog itself. Anyway, it’s just meat and bread.

The real problem is the way they are processed with nitrate.

Nitrates allow hot dog meat to keep its pink color and prevent it from spoiling too quickly. Without nitrate, it is impossible to process and deliver it as our community does.

Nitrate in food is normal new
Nitrates have become an important part of the preservation process, and effect most of their meat the way they do hot dogs. Nitrate is also very cheap. Using them is the easiest way to keep up with the meat demand in the country.

Almost every type of meat you eat, regardless of whether it is cured, has been treated with nitrates. If nitrate is only in one type of food, it will be simple, but everything is in almost everything.

High levels of nitrate can be found in popular fruits and vegetables. Natural nitrate in vegetables does not cause concern, but its synthetic nitrates.

Nitrate is a popular additive in fertilizer. Fruits and vegetables grown in soil containing nitrates can easily take excess compounds.

Nitrate is highly present in food so some companies rely on the use of other additives to deal with the adverse effects.

Many people do not know this, but hot dogs are processed with vitamin C (although most companies will list it as ascorbic acid on the label) as a way to fight strong nitrate.

It may feel comfortable for some companies that are trying to reduce the damage of nitric food. But others who care about their health will want to reduce as much of the nutritious food from food as possible

Vintage Watches are Timeless Timepieces You Need

A long summer afternoon, spent in the study of your dull grandfather. The aroma of cologne and her cigar competed with the smell of Grandmother’s meat or Sunday sauce, which floated from the kitchen above. You will be tucked into the corner of a cracked leather armchair, photographed through a book of greatness with rich illustrations of watercolors, or maybe just seeing dancing dust dancing through the sun.

Sometimes Grandpa will let you look around the treasures in his desk drawer: old coins, antique keys, pens, pictures of black relatives and distant relatives. And, of course, his watch, still as cool as buying it in Paris during the war. Glance once again displays memories, and he starts telling his story …

There is no doubt that vintage watches are reminiscent of an era when people value the quality of workmanship. Unfortunately, your brother is the one who inherited Grandpa’s watch, but there’s a way for you to recapture the nostalgia: looking at vintage watches.

Three Reasons Why Vintage Watches Are Not Aligned
On days when no self-respecting person will be seen in public without a hat and a pocket box, a watch is a necessary accessory as well as a style.

Today, we do not need a watch – even if you do not want to go into your breast pocket for your smartphone, it looks like digital clocks are everywhere. So why choose vintage watches? Let’s see.

They Are Not Ordinary

Wearing watch watches, especially one of the many multilevel vintage watches available, will set you apart from the masses. When everyone bends over their devices, drawn to the vortex of social media and ongoing communication, all you have to do is glance at your wrists quickly.

They are the class symbol

James Bond. Cary Grant. Sinatra and Deano. The classic style is not as easy as it is today, it’s now a disposable mode and people wear pajamas to grocery stores. It’s not you you understand that projecting sophisticated masculine images depends on the details: well-polished wing tips, because your shirt just wrinkles and, of course, the beautiful leather band of your vintage watch peeking out from behind your cuffs.

They Last Lifetime – Or Two!

If the vintage Omega watches can talk, they will definitely tell some interesting stories.

What story will you rely on on your watch repertoire? Having a well-made watch from the mid-20th century puts you in history. Unlike today’s technological gizmos that are practically obsolete when you take them out of their packaging, the old school technology of beautifully crafted chronographs is completely timeless.

Imagine passing on a vintage watch to your son, and then one day seeing him decorate your grandkids wrist. No iPhone can compare to that tradition.

Once you tie the first watch, you’ll be hooked. Vintage watches are wonderful, collectible, and practical items that you will be proud to own, and move on to future generations. Grandpa will approve!

Love blogs? How about sharing news with other vintage watch lovers on your favorite social platform?

Introduce Young Learners to the Opal Coast

Introduce Young Learners to the Opal Coast

For teachers planning school trips to France, a clearer option such as Paris certainly holds much appeal in terms of their historical depth, culture and accessibility. However, this is not the only objective to consider: The beautiful Opal Beach, which covers the region from Picardy to the Belgian border, provides some excellent options for school trips to France with a focus on subjects such as history, language, or science. Introduce Young Learners to the Opal Coast
The Value of Education for Getting to Beaten the Ticket

There is much to say to bring students to destinations that have not been so touched by modern tourism traps. Exploring Opal Beach will allow deeper levels of intimacy with people and cultures, and expose students to languages ​​and cultures at a comfortable pace. The beauty, tradition and authenticity of the Opal Coast make it an absolute gem for groups of all ages.

Come out in Nature

In addition to its historical and cultural cache, Opal Beach is an area of ​​outstanding natural beauty. For young students on a school trip to France, the opportunity to get out into the coastal environment can offer a warm welcome and help build a profound appreciation of the flora, fauna and spectacular scenery that determines this beautiful region.

To find a different side to nature, a visit to the impressive French National Marine Life Center, also known as Nausicaa, provides an introduction to the diverse marine life. Nausicaa is the largest aquarium in Europe and provides an interactive and highly entertaining experience for children. Introduce Young Learners to the Opal Coast

Engage in history

This coastal region has been an important history for centuries – not only to France but also to the rest of the world. From this coast Julius Caesar invaded England in 55 BC, and the area also played an important role in the second battle of the world war. There are many relics that continue to bring past lives for young students, including the 1916 Somme Museum in Albert, Hitler’s podium rocket at La Coupole, and the Mimoyecques Fortress in Calais.

Find the Authenticity

Not just history students who can benefit from traveling to this area on a school trip to France. The small traditional fishing town that forms the shoreline is an ideal situation for young people to discover their first taste of French language, culture and cuisine. In this relaxed and less touristy atmosphere, the experience is often more authentic and generally less intimidating. Students can practice their beginner language skills with local market vendors, and friendly and always positive responses help them grow in confidence to interact more. It is also an opportunity to expand their appetite to include some regional delicacies to the source.

Though less well known than the larger tourist towns, the Opal Coast is no less important for students in terms of native cultural experience. His ability to facilitate curriculum-based curriculum learning opportunities across a range of subjects provides tremendous educational value potential.

John Gardiner is Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specializing in travel for school trips to France and educational tours for school and youth groups to the UK, Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveler, John is keen to provide students with a valuable and exciting learning experience outside the classroom. By sharing expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and continue their studies into life. Introduce Young Learners to the Opal Coast

What is Modbus and How Can You Benefit From it

If you’re looking for an easy to use, open serial communication protocol to implement with your electronic industrial devices, then you must have stumbled upon Modbus, at least once or twice.

Curious about what it is and how you can benefit from it? Many companies and developers have grown to love this open communication communication protocol, and use it extensively in programming the electronic industrial devices they work on.

Let’s take a look at what Modbus is, and how you can benefit from it.

What exactly is Modbus?
Modbus was developed in 1979 by Modicon, the company behind the first programmable logic controller. In tech terms, it is a serial communication protocol.

In other words, Modbus is a way for electronic industrial devices communicate with each other. It allows information to be transmitted over serial lines between electronic devices. Devices can request information, as well as supply it.

Devices that request information using Modbus are called Modbus Slaves. Modbus Masters can even write information to Modbus Slaves.

It should be noted that there can be one Master per Modbus network, but there can be up to 247 Slaves. Each Slave has their own unique address.

How much does Modbus cost and how is it used?
When Modbus was created, it was released to the public, making it an open protocol. This means that companies and developers are built into their networks and build into their equipment without paying royalties.

This fact has made Modbus the most commonly used electronic industrial devices are connected. Regardless of the industry, your organization is in, Modbus can be used to help automate network communication.

There are also various versions available from Modbus that are used to address specific needs an organization. For example, Modbus TCP is used for Ethernet, and Modbus RTU and Modbus ASCII for serial lines.

How can Modbus help my company?
Modbus is great for any company within the manufacturing industry – regardless of what you manufacture. Your organization can benefit from Modbus, because it allows quick and efficient communication between devices in a network.

A scenario in which Modbus could be used in transmitting control devices and sending them back to a main control device.

A practical application of this would be an electronic industrial system that measures air pressure and transmits them back to a computer for analysis. Another way that it can be used is connecting a supervisory system to the remote terminal units in a supervisory control and data acquisition system.

If your company has a real need for data collection and transmission to a main computer, or if it actively uses a supervisory control and data acquisition system then Modbus is definitely a serial transmission protocol worth exploring.

Those two scenarios are just a fraction of the possibility that Modbus is used in your company’s network. With Modbus, the possibilities for innovation and simplification are endless.

How to Pack your Backpack like a Pro

How to Pack your Backpack like a Pro

Your adventure is fast approaching and you’re buzzing to get out there to conquer immense peaks and discover as many remote mountaintops, monuments and markets (which are normally seen only by local eyes!) as you can. You’ll only be able to make it there on your own two feet, with everything you need strapped to your back. Therefore the planning is crucial. Here are a few tops tips to bear in mind.
The Backpack is your Turtle Shell

 

This huge bulky beast will become your home and wardrobe on your journey, and so you need to make sure you get one that meets your purposes. Pop into any decent mountain or outdoors shop and there are always friendly and enthusiastic staff on-hand to help you pick out the best bag for you.

Before you Begin Packing

Before you even think about trying to master Tetris by jamming everything in, make sure you have all the essential gear. Make sure to grab a good backpacking checklist off the internet and then lay everything out in the following categories…

1) Most frequently used 2) Least frequently used 3) Heaviest gear 4) Lightest gear

Once you’ve got it all laid out it will be easier to start slotting things away in an order that makes sense. We find this method the most useful:

1) Frequently used stuff on the top (easy to reach) 2) Less frequently used stuff on the bottom (not in the way during the day) 3) Heavier gear closer to your back (you won’t feel it so much here) 4) Lighter gear away from your back (it doesn’t require as much support)

Compartments are your Friend

The Bottom is the perfect spot for bulkier items you won’t need until you camp. Think sleeping bag, sleeping mat, cold weather layers and your dry boots or shoes.

The Core Part is where you’ll want to keep heavier gear that you won’t need during your hike. This will include your tent and cooking kits, water and food.

Top Part of the pack is where you should stow things you’re going to need a lot during the day, including a fleece, your water filter, a first aid kit and loo supplies.

Accessory Pockets are where you keep the bits and pieces you need at a moment’s notice. This is the home for your sun cream, SPF lip balm, sunglasses, water bottle, bug spray, compass, the all-important snacks, ID and cash.

Loops and Lash-ons are key for those items which are easier strapped on than stuffed into your bag such as tent poles, hiking poles, rope and camping stools.

Just a Guideline!

Your exact needs will vary on the region you’re exploring and the time of year you’ll be there. Make sure to read up on what you’ll need and be prepared. Remember that for any backpacker, travel insurance should be the first item you organise. There are many types of backpacker travel insurance, and our team at Let’s Go Insure can help you find the one to suit your needs.

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4 Easy Tips for Promoting Your Online Weed Content

 

According to Search Engine Watch, there are 7 reasons why and how content goes viral. These include content that is able to trigger emotions, positive sentiment such as the Ice Bucket Challenge, and people’s natural tendency to share powerful ideas.

But virality is not the only measure of online content success. Your online weed content, for example, does not have to be seen and loved by everyone. As long as your target audience responds positively to your content, you may not think of it as viral but you can consider it as a job well done.

Of course, getting there takes some work. So if you’re looking for a way to learn how to do it.

How to Promote Your Online Weed Content
1. Target Smaller Community Sites

Remember what we said about reaching your target audience? The beauty of going after the red community is Reddit or Quora is an awesome is for the niche-specific blogs.

But take note, this may sound easy but you can not forget about adding value to the community. This means you have to establish yourself as an authority. In this case, an authority in weed.

Try to be helpful and actively participate. That means posting questions and maybe even promoting others’ work. When community members notice your contributions, which is your cue to start sharing (aka promoting) your content.

2. Consider Paid Promotion

Some channels such as content recommendation platforms work for those who want to reach a wide audience. If you want to be online weed content to stand out, though, you should promote on social networking and / or social bookmarking sites.

Why?

With Facebook’s sponsored posts or Twitter’s promoted tweets, you get the option to really hand pick the people who you want to see your content. These promotion channels will allow you to go as granular as you want. You can target by age, occupation, location, and even marital status.

For those who have a limited marketing budget, this is also a cost-effective option. You can adjust your bids as low as $ 1 / day. This means you do not have to spend a lot just to get eyeballs to your website.

3. Work with Influencers

Business Dictionary defines influencers as individuals who can affect others’ purchase decisions. They can do this because of their authority (real or perceived), knowledge, position, or relationship.

If you can network with influencers in your niche and get them to share your content, you automatically get access to their followers. If you’re an influencer yourself, it becomes a mutually beneficial partnership. Your combined viewers obviously increased exposure for both parties.

Now, if you’re still working on becoming an influencer, you may want to ask a contributor on their site. If it’s a blog about weed brownies, you can write a related post or do a video reviewing pot brownies.

4. Try Retargeting

An easy way to promote your content is retargeting. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it means getting visitors who have read one or some of your posts and luring them back to your website.

This is usually done with ads. Tagged visitors will be shown banner ads that will hopefully entice them to check your site again. Retargeting can also be accomplished with email marketing.

The Gnarliest Waves at Nazareé, Portugal: Not For the Faint-Hearted

The Gnarliest Waves at Nazareé, Portugal: Not For the Faint-Hearted

The little Portuguese fishing village of Nazaré is a surfing hotspot during the summer months, but in winter only the real thrill-seekers stick around. One of these is undoubtedly Garrett McNamara, the big wave big boy from the US, who in 2011 broke the record for the biggest wave ever surfed — and he smashed it right here in Nazaré.
Big Names, Bigger Waves

 

This monster wave measured 78 feet and in 2013 McNamara returned to Nazaré where he surpassed his own record, riding an absolute whopper estimated to be 100 feet tall. Later that year, Carlos Burle of Brazil conquered a wave that seemed even bigger, winning international recognition with surfers worldwide.

In 2014 Andrew Cotton from Plymouth followed suit, and is now known as one of the 4 surfers who have ridden the hugest waves around these parts. He started surfing when he was seven, so if you want to check out these waves you’re going to need a lot of practice or some pretty decent surf travel insurance…

Why Such Big Waves?!

Nazaré is such a Mecca for surfers because of its enormous waves, and these waves exist for our adrenaline-fuelled enjoyment thanks to the make up of its ocean floor topography. Just like Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline, the Tahitian Teahupoo and northern California’s Mavericks (amazing surfing spots any surfer worth their salt know!), Nazaré’s ocean floor boasts a huge underwater gorge.

The Nazaré Canyon stretches 125 miles, starting barely half a mile from the shore and reaching way out into the abyssal plain of the Atlantic Ocean. At 16,000 feet, its unbelievable depth, coupled with its perfect positioning, helps to magnify the waves that approach the Praia do Norte beach in Nazaré. It’s because of this that almost every single day you can bear witness to monster waves up to 4 times the size of those found elsewhere along the coast.

Daredevils and Pros Alike: Surf Travel Insurance is as Essential as Board Wax!

It’s undisputed that tackling these waves is not for the faint of heart. Monster waves often move much faster than others, which forces boarders to get distance from the dangerous, frothy white water as fast as they can.

This kind of surfing is less about aesthetics than its tamer cousin: think extreme sport rather than showy carving, quick cutbacks and pretty floaters. This is about braving the aggro (bad weather), tough conditions and brutal waves while trying to remain upright and avoid reef injuries, wipeout, or even death…

While we wouldn’t recommend big wave surfing to those who aren’t pros, now is a good time to start planning your summer surf trip to enjoy the sun and sea at your (adventurous) leisure! Before you race off to enjoy the surf, travel insurance is a must-buy. Embrace the waves without the fear of monstrous medical bills should anything go wrong. You never know, with a little practice you could even be the next big name to be borne of Nazarés big waves! Surf’s up!