Tag - Amazing days out

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Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart
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Holidays: The Most Amazing Swimming Pools In The World
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Amazing Days Out | Pirate Route Jamaica
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Purple 10 really weird museums
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Anchorman 2, it’s kind of a big deal at this Museum
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A Night Less Ordinary: A room made from Lego
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Amazing Days Out: International Spy Museum
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Off the beaten track: Top Greek Caves
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At the dive in: poolside outdoor cinemas
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Purple Hearts… Dalaman Holidays 2014

Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart

You’d be forgiven for thinking we’ve gone a bit piggy, what with our bacon beach post, but it seems we’re not alone. Read on for this amazing day out: The Pig Museum Stuttgart. Fun for a couples city break adventure, or just something a bit different (really different, if you ask us!)

Pig-museum-stuttgart-3

Pig Museum via @ Wikicommons

The Pig Museum is a surreal collection of over 50,000 exhibits from all over the world to introduce you to the piggiest experience of your life. The SchweineMuseum on Schlachtofstraße 2A, 70188 Stuttgart offers visitors 25 themed rooms to explore featuring all things porcine. There are (stuffed) pigs to cuddle, representation of pigs in the arts as well as the science of pigs, from their anatomy, how little piglets are made as well as the history of the creatures. The kitsch art and culture is sure to win over grown ups, while kids can enjoy the stuffed animals and myths and legends surrounding pigs.

Pic museum 2 from Purple Travel

Pig museum germanyImages via @ Wikicommons @ dhaun & @ Stuttgart Tourism

Meanwhile, if all this porky talk is making your mouth water (vegetarians look away now!) then you won’t bat an eyelid at the museum’s setting; in a former slaughterhouse. After exploring the piggery, a huge beer garden awaits, with tasty treats like knuckle of pork, grilled suckling pig and many more pork delicacies.

There’s more information on pricing and how to get to the Pig Museum Germany on their website here.

To make your visit extra special, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a theme song to bring you through the museum, altogether now:

Holidays: The Most Amazing Swimming Pools In The World

Holidays: Crocosaurus CoveImagine time spent in one of these amazing swimming pools, from scary experiences with crocs, luxurious infinity pools in Italy to natural lagoons in Iceland:

Cage of Death, Crocosaurus Cove, Australia
Holidays: Blue Lagoon Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Iceland via @ Daveness_98

 Devil’s Pool, Victoria Falls

Holidays: El Ganzo

El Ganzo, MexicoHolidays: Elounda, Crete
Elounda Gulf Villas Crete Holidays: Four Seasons Serengeti
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, TanzaniaHolidays: Hotel Caruso Italy
Hotel Caruso, Italy Holidays: Jade Mountain St Lucia

Jade Mountain, St LuciaHolidays: Mardan Palace Turkey

Mardan Palace, Antalya, TurkeyMarina Bay Sands, SingaporePerivolas

Perivolos, Santorini, Greece
San Alfonso del Mar

San Alfonso del Mar, Chile (The Biggest Swimming Pool in the World!)

The Joule Dallas

The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TexasUbud Hotel Hanging Garden Pool

Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali

Amazing Days Out | Pirate Route Jamaica

Jamaica was once the perfect base for pirates. 300 years before it became known for all inclusive, perfect white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, it was the top choice for a pirate hideaway. The scurvy dogs travelled throughout the Caribbean plundering the new world’s treasure ships and stowing their bounty away. Enjoy our guide to the Pirate Route Jamaica.

pirate flag Image via @ Nicolas Raymond 

If you aarrrre (sorry!) a fan of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, you might be familiar with Jamaica’s history of plundering and scavenging. For everyone else that’s loved Pirates of the Caribbean, wants to hoist the holly roger or simply have a holiday with a little extra spice, we’ve got the ultimate road trip for wannabe marauders.

Port Royal As you enter Port Royal you’re greeted with an old sign that says: ‘Where the Buccaneers Drank their Beer.’ That’s the kind of place we want to visit. Port Royal has a trusty Pirate legacy; it was invaded by the undead forces of the infamous Jolly Roger and used as a base by Henry Morgan a Welshman who became known as one of the most successful and ruthless pirates around. It’s also said to have been frequented by the famous swashbuckler Jack Sparrow and Jamaica has made claims as the birthplace of Blackbeard, (but so has Bristol in the UK and Carolina in the US.)

jamaica

Image via @ rickpilot_2000

Kingston Head back towards Kingston on your road trip and take a trip to Bob Marley’s former home. Not pirate related, but a must see when you’re in the Jamaica. Further along, about 18 miles on the highway, you’ll find the old capital Spanish Town.  The English pirate, Calico Jack who operated throughout the Caribbean in the ‘golden age of piracy’ was hanged here after his capture in Negril Bay, alongside his two female crew, Mary Read and Anne Bonny. These ladies made the crew by disguising themselves as men. This worked until Read started to develop feelings for Jack himself.

Negril Bay Follow the road around and you’ll find the scene of a great pirate raid. This is where Calico Jack was enjoying a rum fuelled party when Captain Barnet was dispatched to capture him. No doubt his senses were a little dulled and he was caught. Calico Jack was executed and his body was displayed in an iron frame as a warning to other pirates.

kingston

Image via @ Thomas Huxley

Montego Bay The second city of Jamaica is a good place to get the kids involved in a little pirate fun. From there you can hop on a replica galleon, where you’ll be treated to hearty dinner to set you up for an enemy raid. Pirates armed with swords and pistols will jump on deck and a fiery battle will take place!

Ocho Rios A perfect place to finish your pirate road trip. Apart from a simply stunning drive, Ocho Rios is where you’ll find the legendary pirate Henry Morgan’s hideaway. It is said Morgan directed his attacks from behind thick walls. It’s also where the location of British playwright Noel Coward’s estate Firefly. It’s said the room where Coward wrote his compositions – “the room with a view” overlooks a gun slit, “pirate cabin” that hid Morgan from view. Today, Coward’s grave side stands near a secret tunnel that Morgan used to escape to sea.

Purple 10 really weird museums

A spy museum, all you’ve ever wanted to know about toilets and real life samples from Big Foot, we’ve got 10 really weird museums from around the world for your pleasure.

museum mosaic 1

  1. Want to become a spy? Actually, can we just ask, who doesn’t? Well, now you can, for a day anyway, at the International Spy Museum in Washington DC, USA. We’re talking gadgets, code breaking and generally being a bit James Bond as you learn about the history of secret agents and get to grips with a life of espionage.
  2. Iceland’s Phallological Museum in Reykjavik, is as the name suggests all about biology and takes it very seriously too. It is home to a collection of more than 215 penis specimens from various mammals found in the wild all over the island including a walrus, a rogue polar bear, a whale. There are also four examples from humans, but we didn’t ask where they came from.
  3. We always hear of the priceless art found in countless cities throughout the world, but what about the bad stuff? The Museum of Bad Art in Boston claims to be the only one of its kind in the world. Featuring art that’s ‘too bad to be ignored’ it features plenty of paintings of dodgy blue people, symbols that don’t mean much and some weird uses of nudity.
  4. For all you’ve ever wanted to know about the humble toilet, you could do worse than the International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi. The curators tell us: ‘the toilet is a part of the history of human hygiene which is a critical chapter in the growth of civilisation.’
  5. Athens is well known for its museums filled with thousands of years of artefacts that document the birthplace of science and democracy. We like the Tactual Museum, where you’re actively encouraged to touch everything. There are all kinds of replicas, statues and frescoes that you can get up close and personal with.
  6. The Hair Museum of Avanos in Cappadocia, Turkey is a fairly simple idea, but definitely one of the most bizarre things you’ll see. In a room under an unassuming pottery shop, you’ll find caves covered with a collection of over 16,000 locks of hair from women from all over the world. It’s free to enter, and women can leave a lock of their own if they want.
  7. For the latest information and conjecture on the likes of Big Foot, the Montauk Monster, or the Abominable Snowman, then the Cryptozoology Museum, in Portland, USA is a good place to start. It claims to have ‘actual samples’ of hair and unique pieces of evidence from mythical creatures from all over the world.
  8. Your green fingers will start tingling when you hear about the British Lawnmower Museum. As you would expect, it’s dedicated to all things grass cutting and is home to specialised gardening machines, vintage lawnmowers and all manner of parts and conservation materials from all over the world. A truly British experience.
  9. If you’ve got a weak stomach, it might be best to skip the Paris Sewer Museum. You’re guided through the tunnels and pummelled by historical and factual information about the famous underground areas that have featured in French literature including Les Miserables and Phantom Of The Opera.
  10. Love chips? So do we and so do the Belgians apparently, if the Friet Museum is anything to go by. The ground floor offers a 10,000 year potted history of the humble spud and it’s development into the tasty chip we know and love today.

You should read… Amazing Days Out: Pig Museum Stuttgart

Anchorman 2, it’s kind of a big deal at this Museum

Finally! Ron Burgundy’s amazing commitment to quality journalism is about to be recognised with a dedicated exhibition in Washington DC. Anchorman: The Exhibit will open on November 14.

Anchorman Museum

The Newseum in partnership with Paramount Pictures is opening the special exhibit ahead of the long awaited sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The original film starring Will Ferrell, Cristina Applegate and Steve Carell became a huge hit and one of the most quotable films of recent years. Fans of the film will get to see props, like Burgundy’s jazz flute and the whip used in that rival anchormen fight scene. The costumes worn by the Channel 4 Evening News Team will feature and visitors can check out a re-creation of the KVWN-TV anchor desk and set. If you’re a budding Burgundy, you can even step in front of the camera yourself, just be careful no one adds a question mark to your auto cue. We’re also hoping it’ll be filled with leather bound books and smell of rich mahogany. Ron Burgundy himself is delighted with the dedication: ‘I’m literally trapped in a glass case of emotion.’ The trailer for Anchorman 2 is a hint at what to expect: Find more information on the Anchorman Exhibition at the Newseum website.

A Night Less Ordinary: A room made from Lego

Legoland Room 1

If your idea of a good night is packed with Lego bricks, towers of all shapes and sizes and little square headed figures all over the place, then head for a night in Legoland in California, USA. Due to open on April 5th 2013, if you thought your home was coming down with Lego bricks, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Legoland California is dedicated to all things colourful and brick shaped, from the blocks that adorn the walls as you make your way in, to the perfectly themed carpets. There are around 3,422 Lego models throughout the hotel, including eight in each room, made from more than three million Lego bricks. In the lobby alone there is a wall of 6,000 minifigures and a family of smoke breathing dragons at the front entrance.

Legoland water park

In the hotel there are three dedicated room types: Pirate with its Jolly Roger flags and Lego pirate parrots, Adventure with a sweeping jungle theme and friendly brick made monkeys and Kingdom where you get a taste of all things King Arthur and the Round Table. It’s probably fair to say these rooms and staying in the hotel fulfil just about every Lego fantasy you could imagine. In fact you could say it’s a Lego geek’s dream right down to the smallest detail. On top of family sleeping areas and dedicated Lego treats for little ones, a trip to the Hotel also offers select entry to rides and attractions within the theme park.

Beyond the hotel you get to splash around in the water park and even build your own raft from soft Lego bricks, or dodge the water cannons, go on a Safari trek, or visit Sky Patrol. Whatever you choose, we’re sure Lego adventurers of all ages will find something to enjoy. There are even mini Lego Star Wars adventure areas, a mini Las Vegas and something called a Coastersaurus, which we are dying to try!

Miniland las vegas

Find out more about hotels you never knew existed in other posts in a Night Less Ordinary.

All images via @ Legoland California.

Amazing Days Out: International Spy Museum

Intl Spy Museum 1

Gadgets, gizmos, cool cars, and femme fatales: all in a days work for James Bond and for visitors to the International Spy Museum. In Washington DC, you’ll find the spaced dedicated to unveiling the mysterious world of professional espionage, shining a light on double lives, and sharing the sometimes hilarious tricks of the trade that make spies so intriguing (lipstick gun anyone?)

A day at Washington’s most fun museum starts with the Spy in the City tour. We’re pretty sure it’ll be a highlight for any nine year old, or 99 year old! You track your way across the city, solving a series of fiendish clues and complete your mission. The tour is made all the more realistic with all the undercover gadgets you’d expect. Back at base you can explore the museum, which is filled with stories of ingenious, and sometimes ridiculous stories from the golden age of spying in the 50s and 60s, with in-shoe cameras and a replica of a tunnel that run underneath Berlin during the Cold War. There are also much older artefacts like George Washington’s spy letter, and an Enigma Machine used during World War II to send coded messages.

Intl Spy Museum 3

Right now Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains has some of the most famous cars from the franchise, along with a detailed exposition of every Bond Villain and the chance to create your own secret lair! Argo Exposed also brings you behind the scenes of the real life and completely daring mission by Tony Mendez to rescue a group of Americans from Iran by going undercover as a film crew.

Lipstick Pistol Intl Spy Museum

There’s code-breaking and a whole room dedicated to the Enigma cipher museum and it’s constantly updated with new activities – see if you can pass a polygraph test while you’re there. The best bit, is when you take away your spy stories you can be sure they come with some kind of authority, the man in charge of the museum was in the CIA for over 35 years, while the advisory board has two former chiefs of disguise for the Agency as well as a retired KGB general. create your own secret lair! Argo Exposed also brings you behind the scenes of the real life and completely daring mission by Tony Mendez to rescue a group of  Americans from Iran by going undercover as a film crew.

Tickets are $19.95 and children under 6 go free. You’ll find it on 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004.

Find out more about cheap holidays to the USA from Purple Travel.

Off the beaten track: Top Greek Caves

Off the beaten track: Top Greek Caves

Explore, dream, discover, There’s never been a better time to holiday in Greece and on top of the beaches and sunshine, there is plenty to discover. Go home with a tale to tell after visiting one of the huge cave complexes dotted throughout the mainland and the islands.

Cave of Melissani: Found in the beautiful island of Kefalonia, this is an underground masterpiece. Shaped like a ‘B’ a small tunnel brings small tour boats inside the cave where the sun’s rays transform it into a heavenly light show. (Image via @ NikitasPhoto)

Melissani cave in Kefalonia via Purple Travel

Cavern of Perama: Just 5km away from Ioannina city centre in Western Greece, the Cavern of Perama, discovered in the 40s is a real treat. A tour around the imaginatively lightened caves, and awe-inspiring ancient stalactites and stalagmites is well worth the trip.

Diros Cavern: One of the most beautiful lake made caverns in the world, together with Padirac Chasm in Southern France and Jeita in Beirut. Diros Cavern in the Peloponnese is 14.5 km long, featuring underwater and overland routes.

Cave of the Lakes: In the village of Kastria in Achaia lies the famous Cave of the Lakes, a rare natural creation. Apart from its labyrinth of corridors, its mysterious galleries and its strange stalactite formations, this cave has something exclusively unique that does not exist in other infamous caves. Inside visitors will find a string of cascading lakes forming three different levels that establish its uniqueness in the world.

Cavern of Aggitis River (Maaras): The cave of the springs of the Aggitis River in Drama-Northern Greece features colourful and varied forms of stalactites reflected in the still waters of the underground river. It’s the perfect choice for budding biologists; unique fish species has been found in this cavern, such as Barbus Barbus, Squalius Orpheus and a rare kind of semi-transparent stone crayfish.

Alistrati’s Cave: According to the Greek Mythology, Pluto, master of Hades kidnapped Persephone, daughter of the Goddess Demeter. He led her to what was called the Gates of the Underworld at a ravine. The specific area which is mentioned in these Greek Myths is the same one near Alistratis’ Cave. The cavern lies in a place called Petroto, where Mother Nature decided to demonstrate its power by creating medusa-like shapes. However, what fascinates the most is the huge stalactites forming pure white curtains along the walls.

Σπήλαιο Κάψια-Τρίπολη

Cave of the Elephants: The Cave of the Elephants in Chania, Crete is a refuge for the protected species of Mediterranean Seal, one of the most endangered mammals of Europe. Diving in this cavern is a truly magnificent experience as visitors can admire the beautiful décor of stalactites and stalagmites (underwater and above the water surface) and see fossilized bones, which are embedded in the rocks of the cave.

Σπήλαιο Ελεφάντων

Dragon’s Cave: Sshhh! Located in Kastoria-Northern Greece, this impressive cave with underground lakes was once believed to be a gold mine guarded by a sleepless dragon.

Σπηλιά Δράκου

Find out more about amazing places around the world, in our Off the Beaten Track series.

At the dive in: poolside outdoor cinemas

We like to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the travel world, but even we didn’t see this one coming: dive in cinemas. Whether you’re into rom-coms or action flicks, adventure or cartoons, hotels and beyond across the world are tempting guests with poolside outdoor cinemas. So grab your bikini and head for our top 8.

Archipelago Cinema Thailand from PurpleTravel

The Westin St John Resort and Villas, US Virgin Islands The only thing that could make a holiday in the Caribbean better, is probably the opportunity to soak up the sunset in the pool as a movie flickers to life on a big screen with maybe a cocktail or two delivered right to your hand.

The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, USA Not content with just regular old movies, the Cosmopolitan’s BLVD social club blasts films on a colossal screen, that’s perfect for Hollywood favourites. This year alone feature the Wizard of Oz, Karate Kid, Social Network and Father of the Bride.

Archipelago, Thailand You might have seen those pictures floating (pun intended) around the internet of a huge floating screen in the middle of the sea. Well, it’s part of Thailand’s Film on the Rocks Festival. A huge floating raft was launched with the screening anchored a little way from the seats. The screen is touring, after which it’s set to be donated to the local community.

Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia We’re not quite sure if this is an inspired idea or just simply mad. As part of the Brisbane International Film Festival the director decided to show an in-pool screening of Jaws. And why not include films with a little bite.

The Fairmont Hotel, Dallas, USA During the day, the pool on the third floor of this hotel offers sweeping views of the Dallas skyline, while at night; anyone can come and watch a free movie. Pull up an inflatable raft, sit back and relax with a cocktail for this lovely experience.

The Pearl, San Diego, USA offers a free weekly cinema social. Dive into their eclectic film choices, some food and drinks and get settled in for classics, blockbusters or independents. There’s certainly something in The Pearl’s library to suit every taste.

Hot Tub Cinema, London Grab your nearest and dearest, hop into your swimming cozzy and head for the latest London trend, Jacuzzi cinemas. The simple idea has exploded in popularity in the last few months and the Hackney rooftop is the place to be. Shows are continually sold out for the champagne fuelled movie nights.

CenterParcs, Park Zandvoort near Amsterdam At its Aqua Mundo you can swim, bring the kids, soak up the sunshine and best of all, finish the day and take a well earned break watching a film on the massive screen in the comfort of your own inflatable rubber ring!

You should read… the best water slides ever!

Purple Hearts… Dalaman Holidays 2014

Purple Hearts… Dalaman Holidays 2014

For most travellers, Dalaman on Turkey’s Southern Aegean coast, is little more than an airport stop for visits to either the beach resorts of Fethiye, the southeast, or Dalyan to the northwest coast. However, it’s definitely worth basing yourself here, particularly if you have transport that will enable you to see the highlights of the region.

Things to do on Dalaman Holidays 2014, Turkey

Take a hike
Take a walk through the Lycian Way to explore the more unspoilt aspects of the region. Between Fethiye and Antalya, the mountains rise steeply from the wooded shoreline and small bays, offering beautiful views and varied walking opportunities. It’s likely that the only other people you are likely to see will be the farmers and goat herdsmen that tend to the pastures each day. The Lycians themselves were a democratic people, with a unique style of art and a luxurious standard of living. Although they absorbed Greek culture, they were later conquered by the Romans. Their graves and ruins abound on the peninsula, which comprises many remote historical sites.

Indulge in a mud bath

The spas in Dalyan are internationally renowned, attracting visitors with their sulphur-rich mud baths. The baths are believed to provide relief from many rheumatic and skin conditions and some have said that a mud bath in Dalyan has even left them looking younger. Either way, this great experience will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed for the remainder of your holiday.

Try your hand at paragliding
On route from Dalaman to Kalkan, you will pass the cliffs above Olu Deniz, where you can find paragliding like you’ve never seen it before. If the idea of jumping from a cliff with another person holding onto you also sounds appealing then Olu Deniz is your new favourite place, particularly as it now hosts for the International Air Games each October.

Party at the Lycian Festival
For three days at the end of June, Kas hosts the annual Lycian Festival. Folk-dancing troupes from Turkey and beyond perform in one of  Dalaman’s largest and most vibrant festivals. The festivities are met with street food, lots of drink and a lively, party atmosphere to the early hours of the morning.

Take a hydrofoil to Rhodes
Taking a hydrofoil trip from Marmaris to Rhodes for the day is a quick and cheap option that gives you more travel for your money. You can also do a similar trip to Kos, but we recommend Rhodes for its historical sites and beautiful tavernas. You don’t need any visas or documentation to take the trip.

Places to see on Dalaman Holidays 2014, Turkey

Kalkan
This stunning, well-maintained fishing village is just south of Fethiye. Its well-facilitated and attractive accommodation, and heaps of first-rate eateries make it a wonderful place to visit. And what’s more, the hotels and shops of the day  become rooftop restaurants at night, providing the perfect spot for viewing the harbour at sunset.

Patara Beach
Patara Beach is nine miles of almost completely deserted golden sands. As it is an archaelogical area, you will be required to pay a small fee to go onto the beach, but thw soft sand and shallow waters will most definitely make it worth the money. You can also head up into the dunes of the Beach, where you’ll find unexcavated Roman ruins such as temples and columns of buildings with sand blowing over them and Marram grass growing in their creeks and crevices.

Myra and Kekova
St Nicholas (the original Father Christmas) was the bishop of Myra. He dropped gifts down the chimney of poor people’s homes so that their daughters would have a dowry upon marriage. He wore a red costume and a red hat (no surprises there) and has been celebrated in the Christmas story ever since.
Nearby, the town of Kekova has a ancient Lycian underwater town that sank beneath the waves after an earthquake. You can hire a canoe and sail over the rooftops and market squares of the old city, the home to hundreds of people.

Where to eat in Dalaman
If you’re staying in the centre of Dalaman, you’ll find a great deal of choice when it comes to where to eat. The numerous restaurants on offer span from the more casual cafe restaurants to the smarter, find dining end of the spectrum. Dalaman is also famed for its tea gardens – a lovely place to spend an afternoon. Try our favourite haunt, the Akkaya Garden for a meal to remember.

Dalaman cuisine
As Dalaman is less touristy than many other parts of Southern Turkey, you will be glad to discover there are no British style pubs and restaurants – it is traditional Turkish here. Turkish cuisine is renowned as one of the world’s best, considered to be one of the world’s three main cuisines due to the variety of its recipes, its use of natural ingredients and its flavours and tastes. A main meal will usually begin with soup and meze (a variety of small cold and hot dishes made for sharing), which is usually made up of Tarama salad, cacik (taziki), dolma (vine leaves or peppers stuffed with rice), börek (pastries) and arnavut ciğeri (cubes of fried liver), but there are many varieties and alternatives. The main course is usually meat or fish, served with çoban salatası, a salad made of tomato, cucumber, parsley and onion, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. Try a siş kebap (grilled cubes of seasoned meat on skewer), or if you prefer something hot and spicy, try an Adana kebap, made of minced lamb and hot peppers and spices formed around a flat skewer.

Visit our website now for more on cheap Dalaman Holidays 2014.

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