The Shape of Things

Top 5 winter travel destinations of Europe

Winter is not too far off and considering the fact that most people tend to have a good week or two off and spend time away from work and on holiday trips, maybe a trip to some of the most beautiful and captivating winter destinations of Europe is not a bad idea at all. While Europe has wide variety of winter holiday spots, here are a few that are exclusive, exceptional and simply inimitable.

Northern Lights at Ice Hotel, Sweden

How about spending a few nights at the world’s largest hotel made out of ice and snow alone? Constructed fresh each winter and set in the vast Swedish Lapland, the Ice Hotel is the largest of its kind on the planet and the first to kick off the idea. You can sleep cozily wrapped up in rooms that are -5 degrees Celsius and enjoy the hot local cuisine. Of course, the glimpse of breathtaking aurora borealis (Northern Lights) dancing in the sky will leave you with magical memories that will last a lifetime.

Skiing & snow at Chamonix, France

Chamonix is a popular winter destination and for good reason too. It offers some of the world’s finest skiing grounds and if you are a diehard fan of snow-clad slopes, then a family holiday here can be loads of fun. Majestic Alps, Mount Blanc in the backdrop, picture perfect resorts and awesome cable car rides is what you get here.

Exploring Norwegian Fjords, Norway

While each of us has our own personal preferences for the perfect getaway, the Norwegian Fjords will figure in the list of one and all after a single visit. The fjords defy words when it comes to description and their beauty is simply untouched by modern day lifestyle. As if they have been left behind by time and lost in their own void of space, this is arguably the most romantic trip you can envision; postcard perfect images and secluded spots.

The Isle of Skye, Scotland

One of the top island destinations on the planet, the Isle of Skye in Scotland is renowned for scenic beauty, great accessibility and wildlife galore. One of the lesser known delights of Scotland globally, this is a wonderful holiday spot for those who prefer life at a relaxed pace.

Venice, Italy

Let us round the destinations off with a classic and an all-time hit. Venice still retains the charm that it is renowned for and lives up to its reputation of being the most romantic city on the planet. If you wish to visit, ensure that you are never alone!

How to send the perfect gift basket internationally

International couriers are not easy and if you wish to make one yourself, then they become all the more tedious. But, if you have decided on sending out one, then it obviously means that you care enough about this person to go through all of it and send a gift basket across the border.

It can be at times out of a formality you cannot skip, but otherwise, it is most often for someone who is very dear to you. And that obviously means you need to get it right.

Here is how you can send that wonderful and ideal gift basket internationally.

→ If you are ordering one from a store that offers international delivery services, then your job is not all that difficult at all. There are many gift shops and stores that allow for this option. Just make sure that they deliver to the country and location of your choice and do it well. Enquiring around a bit before you pick such services helps too.

→ Most often you want to send an international gift basket that reminds those far away of their home and hence you might want to design your own one. This might include some little things that your loved one is fond off, or treasured when they were home. Making the basket perfect is your prerogative, but while shipping it, check with the company you chose beforehand about what is allowed and what is not.

→ If you are sending your own custom-designed gift basket, then a good thing would be to also check the custom norms of the country that it is being delivered. For example, if you are sending it to someone in the armed forces in the Middle East, then it is good to remember that their custom laws are far more stringent than in the West.

→ Pick out a courier service that is reliable and has a tracking system which is efficient in place. Most international courier companies already offer that. But make certain that the service provider has a substantially good delivery system in place in the country that you are shipping the basket to.

→ Do the little things right. Writing the address clearly and correctly along with giving the service providers the contact number of the recipient always ensures that the gift basket is not lost. Wrap it well and in a secure fashion. In this case, you can sacrifice a bit of aesthetics for the sake of functionality.

The Most Expensive Corkscrew


Whether you are a wine connoisseur, a collector of beautiful things, or just like to have really expensive items, you may find just what you’re looking for in the Sveid corkscrew. The fifty-two pieces of this corkscrew are made from aviation titanium and the fingertip level is custom made, with the choices of casting being eighteen carat platinum or yellow gold. One also has the option of the hinges being cast in gold. The box that the corkscrew sits in can also be customized with many different options for types of wood and colour of lining. The presentation box and the corkscrew can both be engraved.

The corkscrew has a slight resemblance to a Swiss Army knife. In addition to the corkscrew, there is also a cap cutter. When not being used, the corkscrew can be folded compactly. The corkscrew costs approximately $71,000 USD.

World’s Most Expensive Cantaloupe


One may not think of this breakfast fruit as something that is considered to be for the wealthy only but a pair of cantaloupe has recently sold in Japan for 2.5 million yen, which is just over $22,000 USD. This pair of melons comes from the Yubari region which is known for having some of the sweetest and juiciest cantaloupes on earth. Before this industry hit it big in this area it was a mining town but it has recently gone bankrupt.

The sale of these melons at Japan’s Sapporo City Central Wholesale Markets may help the local economy. This was the location of the auction, which featured over one hundred Yubari melons. This pair was definitely of the highest value and was sold to the owner of a neighboring seafood lunchbox and souvenir shop.




The Nephria


Nephria is the world’s most expensive beauty bar. It contains jade powder as well as pure oils from apricot, olive and jojoba, which cleanses, revitalizes, rejuvenates, and reinvigorates the skin.

The jade used to create this unique and very expensive beauty bar emits far-infrared rays. These rays are close to what you find in the rays of the sun.

Nephria is a great stocking stuffer if you don’t mind the price tag of £17.99 for 120g or $35.00 USD.

The Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong


With the rate of inflation and and the urge to build bigger and better buildings, this record may not last long.

The most expensive building ever built that we could find is the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong designed by architect, Ieoh Ming Pei.

The Bank of China Tower, built in 1989, is 72 stories, measuring 369 meters or 1,209 feet and cost $1 billion USD to build.

The Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center was expected to be completed in 2009 at a cost of $1.5 – 2 billion USD.



Expensive Hotdogs at Sweden



If you were in Stockholm, Sweden last September 15, 2005, you have had the unique opportunity of having the United Nations take a big bite out of your wallet.

However, it was all in fun as the money all went to UN-led relief efforts.

Members of United Nations Development Programme’s Nordic Office were out on the streets selling hot dog for a relishy 999 kronors and if all you had was American money, then $150.00 would pretty much cover it.

The Most Expensive Cigarettes by Luck Strike


With the cost of cigarettes rising every day and all the new laws regarding where you can and cannot smoke, you may be wondering if it is all worth it, even if you really do enjoying smoking your favorite brand.

You can find all kinds of unique tobacco products for every brand on the market; however, Lucky Strike has the top billing for the most expensive cigarettes. In 2006, Lucky Strike created a one-off pack. The package that was created is what was so stunning. The cigarettes were placed in an 18-carat white gold package with one diamond and one ruby.

The cigarette package was placed on display at various European airports throughout 2006 with smaller look-alike packs for sale in specific airports. The most expensive pack of Lucky Strikes had a price tag of $100,000 and was used to heighten the sales of the Lucky Strike brand.

The L’Oiseleur



L’Oiseleur is a 4-foot tall automaton doll. It comes with sword, flute, a pair of singing birds, and wonderful hand embroidered in the Renaissance era clothing. As exquisite as it is, this doll plays the flute to the tune of Marche des Rois. Also, it does not use any type of electricity or any motors. It runs purely on spring driven cogs and gears.

The L’Oiseleur when translated means “The Bird Trainer”. This doll has a price tag of $6,250,000. It is probably worth this figure since it has 2,340 gilt or polished steel parts. It took over 15,000 hours to create in a Swiss workshop.