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easyCar urges holidaymakers to book their summer car rentals early June 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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easyCar is urging holidaymakers to book their summer car rentals early this year to avoid disappointment. An easyCar spokesperson said today: “Our car rental broker business has grown rapidly over the last two years and this means we’re in a better position than ever to offer even more competitive rates. But with offers this good we are likely to sell out fast over summer, which means you have to book early if you don’t want to miss out.”

In the past two years easyCar (http://www.easycar.com ) has grown from a car rental company with about 50 locations to one with more than 2,000 locations in 55 countries around the world from here in the UK to destinations as far flung as Canada and Australia. This substantial growth has meant that easyCar can pass on some fantastic Summer Sunshine Offers to its customers this year. easyCar’s “Summer Sunshine Offers” start from just £66 per week for car hire in Malaga, Spain.

Make sure you don’t miss out on these great deals by booking your rental car early to ensure availability. Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure avoid disappointment by booking early during the summer months. This summer is set to be one of the busiest on record for late holiday deals so make sure that you book your car hire along with your holiday to avoid missing out.

A low cost car rental from easyCar gives you the freedom to explore your holiday destination at your own pace, whether that means a day sight seeing, exploring the countryside or enjoying the beach. With a car rental from easyCar you can make your holiday whatever you want it to be.

Not only are there are plenty of destinations on offer: Tenerife; Nice; Cyprus; Florence; Malta; Florida, Norway; Croatia and many other destinations worldwide, but there are also plenty of vehicles on offer. So whether you need an MPV, an economy vehicle, a super-mini, an SUV or just fancy a convertible or luxury vehicle, all these and a variety of other models are available from easyCar.com.

To find out more about the “Summer Sunshine Offers” (http://www.easycar.com/car-hire/destination/SpecialOffers.aspx/EN/ ), or to book your rental vehicle visit easyCar car rental (http://www.easyCar.com ).

Aphrodite’s Rock Beckons June 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus.
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Aphrodite was the goddess of love, beauty, sex appeal, and fertility. She was reputed to charm everyone, even the gods.

The qualities possessed by Aphrodite are the same that are now embodied in Cyprus, her mythical home, which lures foreign investors each year to share its charms.

A new investment opportunity located just 10 minutes from Aphrodite’s Rock on this legendary island is available to mere mortals with a 5% deposit.

The Mandria development lies in tranquil surroundings, close to 3 golf courses and incorporates a range of sports facilities including two swimming pools and a gymnasium. It is also only 10 minutes away from Paphos Town.

A range of two and 3 bed apartments and maisonettes are available at prices from £130,000, with mortgages freely available from only £426 per month.

Howard Rose a spokesman for UK-based Ferndown Property Services said: “It is really unusual to find an investment opportunity like this. It doesn’t carry any of the political uncertainty of investment in the occupied and controlled by Turkish army who invaded the North part of the Republic of Cyprus island in July 1974″.

Generous discounts are available and the builder is able to subsidise the offer to foreign investors so that they only need to pay an almost unheard of 5% deposit. 10% VAT may also be repayable by the Republic of Cyprus Government at completion, which is due in November 2007.

The excellent location means that it is great buy to let opportunity. If you’re a golfing fanatic, then a choice of 3 courses should provide enough choice.

U.S. Men Win Bronze Medal in Cyprus June 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Baseball Handball Volleyball.
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The U.S. No. 1 men’s team of John Mayer and Matt Prosser overcame 90-degree temperatures and a tough German team to win the bronze medal at the Third Beach Volleyball World University Championships on Sunday in Cyprus.

Mayer (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Pepperdine) and Prosser (Ventura, Calif./Long Beach State) defeated the No. 2 German team of Raimund Wenning and Stefan Schmeckenbecher, 21-16, 22-20, for the third-place finish.

Earlier in the day, Mayer/Prosser had lost to the German No. 1 team of Sebastian Dollinger and Florian Huth in the double-elimination tournament to fall to the third-place game. Until then, Mayer/Prosser had not lost a set.

Germany will host next year’s Fourth Beach Volleyball World University Championships.

The web site for the 2006 Beach Volleyball World University Championships is http://www.ucy.ac.cy/wubeachvolley06/pages/home.php

Shopping centers booming in the Greek market June 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece.
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Great scope for shopping centers identified in the Greek market

Most shopping centers in Europe relied on entertainment as a crowd-puller, but this trend is now changing.

Shopping centers have dominated the Greek market and the whole of Europe. The new malls have mushroomed in all European cities, and during 2006 and 2007 more than 14.8 million square meters of new shopping centers will open for European consumers, according to international consultancy company Jones Lang LaSalle.

The greatest activity is recorded in southern Europe, since in Italy and Spain there are malls covering a total surface of 4 million sq.m. that are under construction and will begin operating in the next couple of years.

In Central and Eastern Europe, figures are equally impressive: The new centers about to begin operation in Russia and Poland within the next two years are estimated by Jones Lang LaSalle at 1.8 million sq.m., while in Germany and the Netherlands this figure comes to 1 million sq.m.

In the Greek market, figures are clearly smaller and in the next two years no more than 120,000 sq.m. of new shopping centers are expected, at least for the time being, not including discount stores or big box developments such as Ikea.

A key role in the development of new shopping centers is seen to be provided by the tenders of Olympic properties, which seem to be the solution to the permanent problem of development companies: The securing of the appropriate plot or property at a normal cost. After the first three tenders for the post-Olympics use of installations, two new major malls have emerged, on Kifissias Avenue and in Galatsi, with a combined surface of 80,000 sq.m. (more…)

Greek olive oil promoted at D.C. event June 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Greece.
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More than 200 US food service, supermarket and hospitality professionals were treated to samples of Greek olive oil from the Peloponnese, Crete and Lesvos along with Grecian wines and delicacies in a tourism development-funded ministry event held at the Greek embassy here last week, the Athens News Agency reports.

The event was held within the framework of a promotion of Greek cuisine and products in the United States, in cooperation with importers of Greek olive oil to the country.

Guests were also given information about the quality of olive oil produced in Greece and the value of the so-called "Mediterranean Diet".

The olive oil sampling was the second most prominent event for the promotion of Greek products organised by the embassy in Washington after a wine tasting evening held last January.

Greece's ambassador to the United States, Alexandros Mallias, added that he hoped US consumers will recognise the high quality and health benefits that has been offered by Greece's incomparable olive oil for the past 4,000 years.

Starwood selected to manage Astir Palace Hotel Complex June 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hotels Greece.
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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and Astir Palace Vouliagmeni S.A. announced that Starwood was chosen to oversee hotel operations for the famed Astir Palace Hotel complex near Athens, Greece.

The world-renowned Astir Palace is a luxury resort on the Athenian Riviera, consisting of three five-star hotels, the Arion, Nafsika and Aphrodite, and seventy-six bungalows, with a total of 526 guest rooms. Sprawling across 75 acres of sun-drenched gardens on a pine-dotted private peninsula, the resort complex boasts breathtaking views of the Saronic Gulf on the Mediterranean Sea and three private beaches. In July, Starwood will raise its Luxury Collection flag on the Arion Hotel and the Westin flag on the Nafsika Hotel. In 2008, W hotel will take over the Aphrodite Hotel, following an extensive renovation. The resort complex is owned by Astir Palace Vouliagmeni S.A. which is publicly traded on the Athens Stock Exchange.

Arion Hotel, A Luxury Collection Resort

On July 1, 2006, the 123-room Arion Hotel and its 76 adjacent bungalows will debut as the Arion Hotel and Villas, a Luxury Collection Resort. With its legendary beauty, unrivaled water views, elegant and sophisticated decor, original paintings, private swimming pools and beaches, gourmet restaurants and unique modern luxuries throughout, Arion will be a stellar addition to The Luxury Collection. Famed for its collection of magical hotels like the Gritti Palace, the Hotel Imperial and The Phoenician, The Luxury Collection inspires its guests with exceptional service and unique experiences all indigenous to each destination.

The Westin Nafsika Resort

Also converting in July 2006, the 162-room Nafsika Hotel will become The Westin Nafsika Resort. Contemporary lines dominate the interiors of the hotel which is accented by modern artwork and a soothing color palette. The Westin Nafsika, with its seaside setting, exceptional views and private poolside kiosks, embodies Westin's core values of personal, instinctive, renewal, which have struck a chord with travelers around the globe. Additional features include sea-view lounges, bars and verandas, and fusion and Mediterranean cuisine restaurants Westin Hotels continues to aggressively expand its footprint around the globe, having executed a record number of new hotel projects in 2005, and a robust pipeline of new hotel projects in the work.

W Aphrodite

The 165-room Aphrodite Hotel will continue to operate under its current name through October 2006 at which time an extensive refurbishment is planned to convert the hotel into the W Aphrodite. W is the world's fastest growing luxury hotel brand, known for inspiring its guests with thoughtful, refreshing and stylish experiences, signature restaurants, bars and destination spas. Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design, comfort and cultural influences from fashion to music to art and everything in between. Upon opening in 2008, W Aphrodite will feature all of W's celebrated comforts including Whatever/Whenever, the hotel's 24-hour concierge service that can provide guests with whatever they want from a bathtub filled with chocolates to private jet service, as well as a nightlife destination, signature restaurants and a Bliss spa.

Starwood already operates four hotels in Greece under the Luxury Collection brand including the world-famous Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens; the Vedema Resort, in Santorini; the Santa Marina Resort & Villas in Mykonos and the Blue Palace Resort & Spa, in Elounda, Crete.

The Zeitgeist of Berlin in the 70s in Thessaloniki June 19, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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The Zeitgeist of Berlin in the 70s Helmut Middendorf, of the original Young Wild Ones, is showing his work in Thessaloniki

‘When I work, I begin with a new idea and it is independent of the environment in which I work and live. The subjects can come from many different things, such as photographs I have taken, images from magazines, drawings. I am not one of those artists who looks out a window and paints,’ says Helmut Middendorf.

The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki has been hosting an exhibition of works by the significant German painter Helmut Middendorf since June 8. He belongs to the German neo-expressionists who started off in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne in the early 1970s, becoming known as the Young Wild Ones (or Neuwilde and Nouveau Fauves), and propagating what is known as vehement painting and showing their earliest works at the Haus am Waldsee and Galerie am Moritzplatz.

Middendorf’s work is distinguished by its large-scale compositions of almost lurid color, portraits that distort the original characteristics and interventions on motifs, such as with collage or graffiti. The exhibition in Thessaloniki will run until September 29 and will then be brought to Athens.

Helmut Middendorf was born in 1953 in the city of Dinklage in northern Germany and studied painting at the Berlin School of Fine Arts.

He, along with other members of his school, is a founding member of the Galerie am Morisplatz in Berlin in 1977 and has been teaching experimental film at his alma mater.

His breakthrough came in the 1980s, where he distinguished himself in a group show on vehement painting held at the Berliner Haus am Waldsee, showing his work alongside that of Rainer Fetting, Salome and Bernd Zimmer. That same year he received a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), which allowed him to go to New York.

Middendorf has held numerous solo shows as well as participating in group exhibitions in the USA and around Europe.

Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, 154 Egnatia, Thessaloniki, tel 2310 281567, 2310 240002.