Paris – France

Etymology

The name Paris derives from that of its earliest inhabitants, the Gaulish tribe known as the Parisii. The city was called Lutetia (more fully, Lutetia Parisiorum, “Lutetia of the Parisii”), during the Roman era of the 1st to the 6th century, but during the reign of Julian the Apostate (360–363), the city was renamed Paris.[25]
It is believed that the name of the Parisii tribe comes from the Celtic Gallic word parisio meaning “the working people” or “the craftsmen.”[26]
Paris has many nicknames, but its most famous is “La Ville-Lumière” (“The City of Light”),[27] a name it owes first to its fame as a centre of education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment, and later to its early adoption of street lighting.[28] Since the mid-19th century, Paris has been known as Paname[29] ([panam]) in the Parisian slang called argot ( Moi j’suis d’Paname, i.e. “I’m from Paname”). The singer Renaud repopularized the term amongst the young generation[29] with his 1976 album Amoureux de Paname (“In love with Paname”).
Paris’ inhabitants are known in English as “Parisians” and in French as Parisiens ([paʁizjɛ̃] ( listen)). Parisians are often pejoratively called Parigots ([paʁiɡo] ( listen)), a term first used in 1900[30] by those living outside the Paris region.

Top 10 Romantic Destinations around the World !

Whilst you’re getting all ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ this Valentines Day – here’s some things to think about for next year…The Top 10 list of Romantic Destinations around the World!

1.       Sunsets on Beruwala, Sri Lanka have to be one of the most romantic things to do. Warm sea breeze,

Sri Lanka, Valentine's Day delight, Dating & Relationships, Travel Section, Dating Symbol blogSri Lanka

crystal clear waters and 80 miles of white, sandy beach topped with tall palm trees and excellent food. Sri Lanka holidays might seem a bit pricey, but if you can find the right deal – they’re perfect to mark that special occasion with that special someone.

2.       Central Park in New York might be one of the most visited locations in America but it still holds that romantic charm. You can go all ‘Sex and the City’ and get a horse drawn carriage ride through the park or just sit back on a bench and watch the city lights twinkle through the trees.

3.       Venice has long been a romance capital; with its canals, iconic architecture and relaxed Italian culture – it’s a haven for those wanting the perfect city break. Take a private Gondola ride down the Grand Canal to experience some of the best views.

4.       The famous artist Gaudi filled the city of Barcelona with some of his most famous pieces of work – the most iconic being the impressive Cathedral of Sagrada Familia. The streets are bustling with tourists and locals alike. Its compact streets and squares are filled with great Tapas, great wine and a friendly welcome – perfect to cosy up together or share in a truly unique experience. Head to Barcelona’s gothic quarter to add a bit of mystery and discovery to your trip – it’s just off the tourist trail and offers a unique perspective on the city.

5.       Aah Paris – it had to be on the list. With the Eiffel tower, the Champs Élysée and the famous works at La Louvre, romance oozes out of this city. With so much to see and so many recommendations of where to go – the best idea is to relax and explore at your own pace. Stumble across some out of the way local restaurant or take to the main go-to destinations at night and experience a totally new side to this tourist hot-spot.

6.       Here’s a bit of a surprise – Cape Town. Cape Town offers romance in a different way. South Africa has a lot to offer from dramatic views to warm oceans, excellent hospitality to great food and wine. It also allows you to add a spot of adventure on your romantic holiday for two. For a great sunset, look no further than Bloubergstrand or Blue Mountain Beach.

Mexico, Valentine's Day delight, Dating & Relationships, Travel Section, Dating Symbol blogMexico

7.       Cancun in Mexicomight be famous for the American Spring Break but it can offer a lot more.

The Caribbean Sea is the main reason to travel to Cancun – crystal clear waters like no other and perfect white sandy beaches mean that a resort holiday here can be one of the most romantic and enjoyable ways to enjoy Mexico holidays. Mexico is famous for excellent all-inclusive deals so if the budget fits, treat yourself!

8.       If you’re looking up-market you’ve probably already looked at the Maldives. This

relaxing-in-the-beach-yatcht-maldives-pictures, Valentine's Day destination, Dating Symbol blogMaldives

collection of paradise islands are the go-to for celebrities and time again feature as one the most beautiful places in the world. For a real cultural experience head to Seenu and Addu – they are the most traditional of the Atol Islands and offer so much more that the standard hotel experience.

9.       Edinburgh is increasingly overlooked as a romantic destination but it really shouldn’t be. Cobbled streets, long history and one of the best welcomes anywhere in the world – Edinburgh city breaks can be the perfect mix of cosmopolitan city life, off the beaten track restaurants and at night – one of the liveliest cities in the United Kingdom. Take a walk round Edinburgh Castle at night, high on a hill and subtly lit – it can be a uniquely romantic experience.

10.   Why not stick local? Without letting them know, surprise that certain someone with a booking at a local restaurant or even better a meal at home – drag out the Christmas lights and candles and you’re guaranteed to knock them off their feet. Sometimes simple is best.

Editor Note: Valentine’s Day is a special time and it would be terrific to be able to get away around that special time. For more ideas, click here.

Love, Romance, Commitment – Eiffel Tower, Paris

 know Paris is the place for loveromance and interesting happenings. But, as strange as it may seem, there has been a commitment ceremony between a woman and – wait for it – the Eiffel Tower. Now, I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised, given that I am led to believe it was a competition of sorts, conducted by MEN for who could build the best and largest Phallic symbol all those years ago. And – the old Eiffel Tower won. Erika Eiffel – as the woman is now known, is attracted to inanimate objects and changed her name to reflect her bond with the Paris landmark.

Erika Eiffel, 37, a former soldier who lives in San Francisco, has been in love with objects before – and still loves inanimate objects, a condition categorised as objectum sexual. Her first infatuation was with Lance, a bow that helped her to become a world-class archer. She also has a ‘fondness’ of the Berlin Wall and she claims to have a physical relationship with a piece of fence she keeps in her bedroom, according to a http://www.telegraph.co.uk report from 2008.

The love of one woman's life - literally. Eiffel Tower, Paris France. www.datingsymbol.comThe love of one woman’s life – literally. Eiffel Tower, Paris France.

But it is the Eiffel Tower she has pledged to love, honor and obey in an intimate ceremony attended by a handful of friends. You can view a report on this possible new ‘sexual orientation’ here

This puts a whole new meaning into loving the romance and intrigue of the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and any other ‘romantic’ place we’d care to name.

In love with the Eiffel Tower, www.datingsymbol.comIn love with the Eiffel Tower

And I thought strange things only happened in the good ole US of A! See you in Paris

What’s the love of your life?

5 Romantic Places to Visit in Paris

Thinking of going somewhere with your partner where the two of you can have a romantic time?

romantic-couple, Travel Section, DAting symbol blog

Why not try the romantic spots in Paris? Without a doubt, Paris tops the list for romantic vacations. The following are the five romantic places to visit when you are in Paris:

 

Eiffel Tower Paris, most romantic places to visit in Paris, Travel Section, Dating Symbol blogThe Eiffel Tower

Of course when you think of Paris, the first thing to spring to your mind must be the Eiffel Tower – you must have seen plenty of couples proposing or wooing each other in movies with Eiffel Tower in the back-drop. Although it is not the only romantic place in Paris a trip to the Eiffel Tower is indeed full of romantic moments especially if you try something more private, like dining at the Jules Verne restaurant which is situated at the second floor of the tower. If you just really want to be alone, away from the crowds, you can simply pack dinner, grab a bottle of wine and sit with your partner in the park below the tower. The best time to do this is at night, and apart from being romantic it is economical as well.

Montmartre

Another hot-spot in Paris is the Montmartre, which is a breathtaking destination perched on a hill in the northern side of Paris and affording a bird’s eye view of the city. When you visit Montmartre you and your partner would be automatically enchanted by the village atmosphere here. Couples can hold hands and take a romantic stroll down the winding streets of Montmartre, grab a bite at cafes or do some shopping in pretty shops here.

Jardin du Luxembourg_palace_and_gardens_flowerbeds,Travel Section, Dating Symbol blogJardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg is the grounds of the French Senate and although it may seem like the last place to visit for a romantic getaway it has actually been a spot for lovers from the era of Napoleon to Simone de Beauvoir to Jean-Paul Sartre. You can visit this lovely garden for a picnic, taking a stroll or simply to sit down in the midst of beautiful flowerbeds, fountains and statues and spend some time admiring the beauty with your soul mate or partner.

Musee Rodin

Paris is famous for its grand museums but if you can choose only one among them then it has to be Musee Rodin as this is the most romantic of all. Here you will be able to find a lot of sculptures and even wander around the gardens surrounding the building with your partner.

The Victoria Palace Hotel

romantic vacation at Paris just isn’t complete without a stay at a romantic hotel. A stay at the Victoria Palace Hotel is something that would sweep you off your feet and you would also be able to experience living like the nobles. The rooms of this hotel reflect the Louis XVI style with marble bathrooms, canopy beds and magnificent architecture. You can also have a view of the Louvre from your room.

Dating Symbol’s guest author today for romantic destinations in Paris is Elijah Bitson.  Elijah is the writer behind Mega.co.uk where you can find some useful information on Holiday autos promo code in order to help you save money.

 

Sunstroke Project & Olia Tira with Epic Sax Guy – Superman

Eurovision Moldova 2012 preselection.

Travel agents know something you don’t .

Travel agents often specialize in trips that involve more decisions and logistical challenges such as cruises and safaris.

( Travel agents often specialize in trips that involve more decisions and logistical challenges such as cruises and safaris. )

(CNN) — By the time Costa Concordia cruise passenger Arthur Beach got to Rome, he knew how he would get home to Albuquerque.

Beach and his wife, Alex, had flown to Barcelona to celebrate Alex’s birthday and boarded the Concordia there. They had been on the ship five days when disaster struck.

It took the rest of the night and most of the next day for the Beaches to escape the sinking cruise ship and get to shore, leave the island to get to the Italian mainland, board a bus to get to an airport hotel outside Rome and head into Rome to obtain temporary passports at the U.S. Embassy before they could leave.

Back at the hotel, Beach didn’t call his airline. Instead, he called his son to contact his travel agent. Within a few hours, Jackie Berube, an agent with All World Travel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, had booked him on an evening flight to Barcelona and a room at a hotel near the Barcelona airport. Berube, whose agency is a member of the Virtuoso network of travel agencies, moved their return flight to depart the next day.

“I thought Jackie did very well,” said Beach, 66, who has booked travel with Berube for 20 years. “She had two to four hours from the time she was notified that we would like to get out of Rome, and she had us out.”

Like many travelers, Beach usually books his own flights when he’s taking a simple business trip within the United States. But he turns to his travel agent when his plans get more complicated or he’s leaving the country or when there’s trouble.

Evolution of the travel agent

“She has more information and easier access to it and knows more about it than I do,” Beach said.

Not your grandmother’s travel agent

In an age where travelers of all ages turn to the Internet to book flight and hotel reservations, modern travel agents are offering expert advice on cruises and tour packages to far-flung locales, advice on the best a particular city has to offer, exclusive perks, hidden discount prices and the security of an adviser in case of inconvenience or disaster.

Successful agents know that their customers have access to lots of travel information — often too much — and want time-saving guidance, exclusivity and security in a complicated world. Whether they can convince younger Americans who may not have ever worked with a travel agent of that added value — and ensure their industry’s survival — remains to be seen.

It’s true that there are fewer U.S. travel agents today: 105,910 in 2010 versus 111,000 in 2006, according to the American Society of Travel Agents. And there are fewer agencies: 14,800 agencies in 2010, compared with 18,850 in 2006, according to ASTA.

While some agencies went out of business after the airlines eliminated commissions and consumers began to shop online, agencies have also consolidated and started offering more service than the Internet can provide. Many have shifted to home offices, doing most of their business over e-mail and the telephone.

To serve a generation that may have never dealt with a human being while making travel plans, travel companies are hiring young people to market to their own generation. American Express Travel launched a pilot apprentice program to teach the travel business to young people with strong customer service skills who were interested in travel but had no business experience. In the first class of 25 apprentices, 90% were promoted to full-time travel agents after a year, says Ellen Bettridge, vice president of the American Express U.S. Retail Travel Network.

American Express Travel, which allows customers to book online, via telephone or in-person, launched the NextPedition program last fall to attract young people, Bettridge says. People take an online survey to assess their travel interests and are offered mystery travel packages according to their personality type. A key element: Purchasing the trip requires a conversation with a human being, allowing the company to make the case for human interaction with its agents.

Yet as the numbers show, many consumers still aren’t convinced. Singer-songwriter Marilyn Carino, who travels between homes in Atlanta and Brooklyn and often books touring gigs in Canada and Europe, prefers the simplicity of booking online, even for complex leisure travel.

“Booking travel online is way preferable to using an agent. You don’t have to say ‘What?’ or ‘Can you spell that?’ to your computer screen,’ ” Carino said. “Enter your name, info, dates, just the facts, click OK, done.”

Money still matters

When the economy tanks, the travel industry gets hit especially hard. The U.S. travel market declined 15% in 2009, according toPhoCusWright, a travel market research firm. Travel agencies were hit even harder, declining 21% because their bottom line is affected by corporate travel and complicated leisure travel, which includes international travel, cruises and tour packages. But they also recovered the fastest in 2010: up 15% while the total market gained 11%, says Douglas Quinby, PhoCusWright’s senior director of research and author of an upcoming study of travel agents.

Where travel agents once relied heavily on a percentage of the price of an airline ticket, now they often charge flat fees for airline ticket purchases or creating a custom trip package. They still receive commissions from tour operators and cruise lines for sales, and may receive airline commissions if an airline wants to promote a particular route or if the agent purchases a significant number of one airline’s products, says Lauri Reishus, vice president of operations at ARC, an airline-owned company that provides financial services to the travel industry.

Travel agents may charge a flat $35 fee to purchase an airline ticket or a $250 “plan to go” fee to organize a more complex travel package. (Some fees may apply to the cost of a trip.) Expert agents can charge an hourly rate for specialized services, and some even charge an annual retainer for customers who want an agent at their disposal.

“Other people will spend $35 and consider it a bargain to not only get the best price but to have someone there to help me when something happens,” says Matthew Upchurch, chief executive officer of Virtuoso, a luxury network of affiliated travel agencies.

It’s a relationship

Modern travel advisers want you to think of them like a financial adviser or lawyer, with whom you have a long-term relationship, says Upchurch. That person understands what you like from what you say about your preferences, from what you say you liked on previous trips and from the questions they ask that you might not have thought of.

“One of the biggest values of a good travel adviser is understanding what’s important to you and being able to provide options you hadn’t thought of,” Upchurch said.

For many agents, specialization is the name of the game. Travel agencies (not including Expedia, Priceline and other online travel agencies) make up one-third of the U.S. travel market but grab a larger share of cruise and tour operator packages (about two-thirds) and corporate travel (more than three-quarters), says PhoCusWright’s Quinby.

They may specialize in cruises, African safaris, Japanese trips, adventure travel or corporate travel.

“It’s not just that a travel agent is a cruise specialist,” Quinby said. “They’re going to be a certified Alaska cruise specialist or a specialist for the Princess Cruise line. They take tons of destination and product training.”

The average traveler is spending hours online booking their travel, perhaps time worth more than the dollars saved by not using an agent.

“The average traveler is spending something like … nine web sessions and visiting 21 websites in order to book their travel,” said Mark Orwoll, an editor of Travel + Leisure magazine. “Travelers are really looking for some advice, somebody who can answer questions for them, somebody who has experience in traveling, and they can’t always get that online.”

Travelers spending a lot of money on a complicated trip want to get it right, says Tony Gonchar, chief executive officer of the American Society of Travel Agents. “If I recommend Jordan, I’ve known your experience historically and talked post-trip about how you enjoyed your visit. I’ve assessed your risk tolerance.”

While travel agents get a lot of buzz when they remove travelers from the mess of a cruise ship disaster or from the path of an erupting Icelandic volcano, they also can address the more ordinary disruptions of missed flights and lost luggage.

Before you go

Before you book, Gonchar recommends choosing an agent from ASTA membership at travelsense.org. If your agent is an ASTA member, he promises his association’s code of ethics can be enforced up to and including expulsion.

“You have recourse if you do not have the ability to resolve your issue with a travel agent,” he said. “It’s like a Good Housekeeping seal of approval.”

Paradise in the Virgin Islands .

<br/>The British and U.S. Virgin Islands offer crystal blue waters and beautifully serene escapes. iReporters shared their favorite photos of paradise with us. Mary Beth Wilson captured this gorgeous view of St. John, looking toward the British Virgin Islands. "St. John is our island paradise."

The British and U.S. Virgin Islands offer crystal blue waters and beautifully serene escapes. iReporters shared their favorite photos of paradise with us. Mary Beth Wilson captured this gorgeous view of St. John, looking toward the British Virgin Islands. “St. John is our island paradise.”

<br/>Jobelle Daquis lives in the British Virgin Islands and took this photo of sailing in Spring Bay, Virgin Gorda.

Jobelle Daquis lives in the British Virgin Islands and took this photo of sailing in Spring Bay, Virgin Gorda.

<br/>Shandiz Shafaei shot this sunset on St. Thomas while visiting for the first time to attend a wedding.

Shandiz Shafaei shot this sunset on St. Thomas while visiting for the first time to attend a wedding.

<br/>Andrew Warren took this photo of colorful buildings at Soper's Hole on Tortola. "We love the beauty and laid back feel of the place, the warmth of the people and find that each island has its own unique character and charm."

Andrew Warren took this photo of colorful buildings at Soper’s Hole on Tortola. “We love the beauty and laid back feel of the place, the warmth of the people and find that each island has its own unique character and charm.”

<br/>Mary Beth Wilson captured this picturesque view of St. Thomas at sunset from Caneel Bay Resort on St. John. "We feel at home there."

Mary Beth Wilson captured this picturesque view of St. Thomas at sunset from Caneel Bay Resort on St. John. “We feel at home there.”

<br/>Shandiz Shafaei captured this fiery sunset on St. Thomas. "It's a great place to relax and recharge your batteries."

Shandiz Shafaei captured this fiery sunset on St. Thomas. “It’s a great place to relax and recharge your batteries.”