Friday, December 18, 2015

Rauma Municipality, Norway

Rauma

Rauma – Traditional District of Romsdal, Norway


Rauma, a municipality in More og Romsdal county in Norway is a part of the traditional district of Romsdal. The town of Andalsnes is the administrative centre of industry, commerce and service, an important communication link and the end station for the Rauma Railway. It has been a cruise port ever since 1883. The first golf course of Norway lies in Andalsnes and was the English `salmonlords’ who had arranged the golf tournaments at the beginning of the last century.

 There are only 6 holes so far and probably will be expanded soon. Andalsnes has over 100 years long tradition in the tourism industry with the well-known Trollstigne and Trollveggen in the area. Owing to this one will find plenty of hotels and overnight accommodation for the tourists. Andalsnes has some exciting industry and commerce and in recent years there has been increase in activity in modern plastic industry.

The leading traditional industry in the Rauma municipality has been the clothing industry especially in Isfjorden. In summer, it is said that Rauma tends to have a large amount of tourist traffic and the main tourist attraction comprise of mountain climbing, hiking and salmon fishing. The Rauma municipality has about 7,500 inhabitants, covering a space of 1.502,1 km2

Rauma Lines – Beautiful & Wildest Railways


Other settlements comprise of the villages of Vagstranda, Voll, Innfjorden, Veblungsnes, Verma, Isfjorden Rodven, Eidsbygda, Afarnes and Mittet. Several of these settlements in the municipality are situated beside the fjords and in the valley of Romsdalen.

Part of the southern end of the Romsdalsfjorden and the Isfjorden is surrounded by the municipality and also includes the Romsdalen valley as well as the Romsdalsalpene Mountains.Towards the lower area of the valleys and surrounding the Romsdalsfjord and Rodyenfjorden isthe agriculture with livestock. The Rauma Line is said to be one of the most beautiful as well as the wildest railways in Norway. It is 114.2 kilometre long railway between Andalsnes and Dombas.

 This line features two horseshoe curves having a 365 metre elevation drop. Surrounding the line’s feature is the Kylling Bridge with views of the mountainous valley. There are five stations which are still in use namely Dombas, Lesja, Lesjaverk, Bjorli and Andalsnes and it is said that there are plans to replace the line with high speed railway.

Trollstigen – Trollveggen Amazing Attractions


Other attractions are the Troll Road – Trollstigen and Europe’s highest vertical mountain face Trollveggen with idyllic hamlets and villages, mountain tops that reach up to 6,000 feet, fjord-side beauty spots with amazing viewing platform. Trollstigen is a road through the mountains of Norway’s Rauma municipality and is famous for its twists and turns together with its steep incline. Tourists need to be careful while crossing the Stigfossen Waterfall Bridge and avoid getting vertigo while looking down from the viewing platform. The roads are closed in the dangerous winter month and can be visited only in summer. Trollvegen being the highest vertical mountain is the cradle of mountain climbing sports in Scandinavia and is the landmark when one drives down Romsdalen by car. Several of the people tend to stop the car at Horgheimseidet to admire the highest overhang of Europe. Besides these there are several other sites to be explored with has a charm of its own.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

La Hougue Bie

La Hougue Bie

La Hougue Bie – Site of a Neolithic Burial Ground


Around 3500 BC, the Hougue Bie started as the site of a Neolithic burial ground which was covered by a passage grave together with a burial chamber. The passage grave comprised of a constricted passage which leads to a large oval chambers. Two small side chambers projected from the north as well as the south walls while a raised platform leads to a small end chambers situated towards the western area of the main chamber. This area could probably be the most sacred spot of the site.

The huge upright stones together with the capstones in the tomb came from several places in the east of the island and could have been set in places with the use of earth ramps, wooden rollers with plenty of manpower. Though it has been referred as a tomb, the site has served a more complex purpose with various rituals and ceremonial tasks.

For several centuries, it was open and in use prior to the tomb being eventually sealed and the site was abandoned. From early times, La Hougue Bie would have been acknowledged as a pagan site and was Christianised in the 12th century. On the summit of La Hougue Bie, a chapel had been constructed and probably replaced an older wooden structure.

Re-Consecrated in 1931 – Extensively Rebuilt


For four centuries, the chapel remained in use till the Jerusalem chapel and the crypt was built in 1520. Towards the Protestant reformation, the chapels were abandoned and later on, fell into ruin, but was re-consecrated in 1931 and extensively rebuilt.

It was reoccupied in the 18th century and soon after 1780, the chapel ruins were transformed into a Neo-Gothic style house by the D’Auvergne family. The chapels’ interiors were extensively modified to create a large hall with windows on both sides. Towards the 18th century, the house had been abandoned and fell into ruins and the ruined towers of La Hougue Bie turned out to be an important landmark as well as a tourist attraction.

It was described as the `wonder of the islands’ wonder’ in 1859.The site was then bought by the Societe Jersiaise for use as an historic site in 1920. However on 10th March 1942, German forces started building a battalion command bunker towards the eastern side of the Neolithic mound.

Trenches Dug – Extensive Archaeological Destruction


The next few years thereafter, a total of around 70 trenches had been dug in the ground which resulted in extensive archaeological destruction. Dominating this tranquil as well as a spiritual site, a medieval chapel tends to sit on top of the prehistoric mound and monument. Different from several other monuments, one can stand inside the chamber of the passage grave and determine the heart of this place of worship.

On the site, antique treasures are yet to be discovered in the archaeology and geology museum which includes coins stores, axes, swords and spears. Besides this, one will also find command bunker built during the German Occupation which accommodates a unique memorial to the slave-workers in the Channel Islands at the time of the Second World War.

There is also a large picnic spot where one can enjoy an outing amongst the surrounding which tends to be peaceful and beautiful. Overall, it is an interesting place to explore during vacation.

Discount Marine Parts and Supplies

boat

Boating is one of the greatest leisure activities. There is nothing quite like being out there on the open water and feeling the wind on your face. However, boating also requires a great deal of preparation if you are going to do it safely. You must never forget how dangerous the water can be. You need to be prepared to handle a wide variety of situations that may arise during your voyage. Being properly educated about the supplies you will need to have on your boat and how to use them correctly is important. It could literally save your life during an emergency situation. Here are some ways to locate a marine equipment supplier you can trust.

1. Years in the marine equipment industry

You need to avoid people who set up shop selling marine parts in a new location. Some of these people are not very reputable. They open a store by the water and hope to attract the business of novice boaters who do not know very much about the products they are buying. These places will often sell substandard products. They will then quickly close the shop and leave town as quickly as they appeared. This is why you need to get a little background information about any marine equipment suppliers that you do business with. When did they open their first store? How long have they been in that particular location? Getting answers to these questions will make it much less likely that you will get ripped off.

2. What items do they sell?

The amount of marine products currently on the market is truly staggering. There is a chance that many stores will not sell the item you are looking for if it is particularly obscure. You should strive to find a marine equipment supplier that stocks some unusual items that many of the other places do not. A large inventory is preferable because it will allow you to avoid running all over town when you are doing your shopping. A vast quantity of discount marine parts are available now.

3. Better Business Bureau (BBB)

It is always a smart decision to check out what the BBB has to say about any new marine equipment supplier you are thinking about shopping at for the first time. See what their rating is. You may discover that the business has a lot of complaints against it. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Two Weeks in Beautiful Australia


Australia
Australia is one of the finest and worlds grand travel destinations, with the most modern cities and towns, and the vast wilderness, consisting of huge mixture of cultures and the different climates, and different terrain for wanderers to discover. In two weeks you can start with the East of Australia in cities Sydney and Brisbane, and the cherished trip to the Whitsunday islands, and then the great wild worlds of reef and the famous rain forests that encircle the city of Cairns. This 3000 km travel is an unforgettable experience….

Sydney, the majestic metropolis in the southern hemisphere

Sydney, an excellent location for a city, is built on the place of the first British settlement in Australia, which is on the hills encircled by one the world’s biggest natural harbours. This harbour has iconic structures like the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The coastline where the city meets have famous beaches, such as Manly Beach, which is a surfing destination. Travelers adore the Sydney SEALIFE Aquarium with around 12,000 kinds marine life.

Party in the chill city, the gold coast

From Sydney up north you will reach the city of the Gold Coast, which is Australia s alive city, with fast nightlife and sky-scraping skyline, and a shore line of beaches with white sands and a vicinity of thick wild rainforest. You can explore the Springbrook National Park with a different ecosystem of plants and animal life.

Get to know Brisbane

Driving some hours north you reach the city of Brisbane. One of the most attractive cities, with a subtropical climate, and a great café culture, and the life in the city is mostly outdoor than behind closed doors. You can also visit the country’s finest zoos.

Visit the Fraser islands

Still further up north of Brisbane is the largest island of sand which has lovely natural beauty. A coastline of soft beaches of sand, turning creeks, freshwater lakes and the rainforest. The full of the island is restricted in Great Sandy National Park, and Lake McKenzie, a clear blue lake filled with water so pure and is unsuitable for many of the species. A few kilometers from the lake is the Kingfisher Bay Resort which provides accommodation to the island.

The spotless Whitsunday islands

The Whitsundays are an archipelago of 74 islands on the east coast of Australia on the Pacific Ocean. The Whitehaven Beach is the prettiest in the whole country. It borders green jungle inlands, with white shimmering sand, and the clear blue water of the sea. You can venture out to sea on your own in a boat to find out your own hidden coves and quiet spaces.

Discover the world of reef and rainforest

If you continue up north for 600 km you will reach Cairns, a small city in the north of Queensland, which is 2700 km far from Sydney from where the travel started from. Cairns is bordered by an amazing wild world, both on land and in water. From Cairns you can easily access the Great Barrier Reef which stretches for 2000 km along the north coast of Australia.

The Barrier reef is home to variety of marine life, fish, turtles, whales, sharks, dolphins, stingrays, sea snakes, and wide variety of beautiful birds. Underwater you can view different varieties of seagrass, canyons, plateau and gulfs. You can explore this entire underwater species by a boat which has flippers, a wet suit and Scuba diving suit. North of the city of Cairns on land is the Daintree Rainforest, with reptile and marsupial species, and 20% of the country’s species of birds. The Rainforest and the Reef booming with life makes Australia very unique.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand is the perfect destination for International tourists to visit. Queenstown is the location to visit all the year round. It is situated beside Lake Wakatipu which is in the Southern Lakes district of New Zealand, and the snow capped mountains can be seen in winter in all its beauty. Queenstown is the ultimate in the world for outdoor action, and adventure. You can do skiing in the winter and other activities like bungee jumping, sky diving, horse trekking, and river rafting all the year round. You can enjoy cycling on picturesque tracks to the backcountry trails. Queenstown is known as the Adventure Capital of the World.

History

This area was first known to the Maori tribe, and the Europeans arrived there in the year 1860. William Gilbert Rees and Nicholas von Tunzelmann were the first Europeans to settle in this area. Rees built a farm in this locality of Queenstown in 1860, but in 1862 gold was found in the Arrow river, and Rees converted his shed into a hotel and named it Queen’s Arms, is now known as Eichardt’s. Numerous roads in Queenstown have names from the era of gold mining, and some historic structures still stand in Queenstown.

Tourism

Known as the resort town, Queenstown has around 220 adventure tourism activities like, Skiing , Snowboarding, paragliding, sky gliding, paragliding, jet boating, white water rafting, bungee jumping and mountain biking, to name a few. Queenstown is a main place for snow sports in New Zealand, and people from New Zealand , and from all parts of the world travel to ski at the four major mountain ski fields, Cardrona Alpine resort, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treple Cone, and cross country skiing is also obtainable at the Waiorau Snowfarm close to the Cardrona village. TSS Earnslaw a 100 year old twin screw coal fired steamer travels in Lake Wakatipu.

Queenstown is in the close proximity of the wine producing area, the two vineyards are owned by the actor Sam Neil. The neighboring town of Arrowtown has many restaurants and bars. Queenstown holds many festivals like the Bike Festival, Winter Festival and the Jazz Festival.

Queenstown and the and the neighboring areas are famous film shootings, for films like Lord of the Rings, Hindi Feature film Kaho Na Pyar Hai, I Hate Luv Stories, and the Willow, to name a few.

Climate

Queenstown is positioned on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and a few 100 meters away are the centers for skiing and Snowboarding. Because of its elevation, and its high mountain background, has an oceanic climate. The summers are hot upto 30 degrees centigrade and the winters are cold, with temperatures as low as 9 degrees centigrade.

Transport

Queenstown can be reached by road and by air but not by railways. As it is a resort centre, many bus services are available into Queenstown. Queenstown also has an International Airport and an Helicopter base. The main road into Queenstown is through the Highway 6 heading to the eastern side of Lake Wakatipu.
Relaxation

You can indulge yourself by visiting regions wineries, select from the 120 bars and restaurants, and relish the local chocolates, beer and wines. Do your shopping in the very stylish shopping centers and also relax at the luxury spas to perk up your mind, body and soul.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ubud, Indonesia


Ubud
Ubud is a cultural hub, famous for its arts and craft, and is situated in central Bali, Indonesia, also has workshops of various artists and several galleries.

HISTORY

Ubud in fact consists of 12 villages, and each village is run by local village committees. Ubud dates back to the eighth century, when at that time was centre for natural medicine and curing, and that is how the name Ubud was taken , Ubad is the Balinese word for medicine. For the next 400 years temples and monasteries were established, and the temple complex at Gunung Kawi and the cave temples at Goa Gajah are from this period. Even the dance and drama from that period is still performed in Ubud today.

In the year 1900, Ubud became a Dutch province , but the colonialists did not interfere with the conventional arts and culture, and they were encouraged by the Royal Families to show their presence in the town, and were involved in promoting and of understanding of Balinese art and culture and taking it to the world, and developed into a high profile international place to visit.

Ubud is situated 200m above sea level, it has a fairly cool temperature, but a noon it becomes very hot, and the humidity is quite high. It is always better to see places in Ubud by moving outdoor early in the morning to avoid the heat. In the months of January and February Ubud has very heavy rainfall.

PLACES TO SEE IN UBUD

Central Ubud is usually congested with people and heavy traffic, of tricycles and trucks, and mainly in the afternoons when the tourists arrive in buses. To see the major attractions in Ubud, you should come here for holidays at least for a week, to see the sights properly.

The main historical sites are located out of the town area, and some of them as far as 20km, but advisable to visit these places. When you do visit attractions such as Goa Gajah, Gunung Kawi, Pura Kehen, and Tirta Empul, always ask a knowledgeable guide to accompany you to enjoy these beautiful places, and learn about their cultural and spiritual importance.

BICYCLE IN THE BAMBOO FOREST

Take a tour on a cycle through the Bamboo forests, and the coffee plantations, and take the traditional Penglipuran village breakfast overlooking Batur Mountain and lake and have your lunch in the centre of paddy fields in restaurant. You can also take a cycle ride through the serene surrounding, and tranquil pathways leading downhill to villages, and different landscapes of Bali, and also visit the local craftsmen doing their daily work.

PURA PUSEH BATUAN TEMPLE

The temple is the most famous sight, and this structure dates back to the 11th century and has enchanting stone carvings.

GOA GAJAH (ELEPHANT CAVE) 

This Goa Gajah cave dates back to the ninth century, the entrance is ornately carved demon mouth, and inside the cave are lingam and yoni statues, as well as a statue of Lord Ganesha.

GUNUNG KAWI (POET MOUNTAIN) 

Dates back from the eleventh century, and is the burial ground complex of King Anak Wungsu and his numerous wives. This ancient structure can be reached by going down 371 steps.

The other important temples to visit are the Pura Kehen Temple, Puri Saren Agung Royal Palace, The Tirta Empul holy temple built around the hot springs and the Balinese come here to bathe and cleanse themselves spiritually and physically. The Monkey forest in Ubud is a must visit, so is the visit to Petulu to see the White Herons which descend there in thousands, and watching them is a spectacle

Ubud is centre of Arts, and has 65 various game plan dance shows, puppet shows, and special temple ceremonies. There are plenty of spas to choose from to relax yourself.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Branson, Missouri

Titanic

Branson - A Family Vacation Destination


Branson in southwest Missouri is an Ozark town and is known as a family vacation destination. Its 76 Country Boulevard is popularly lined with theatres that had once hosted mostly country music performers though presently have diverse entertainment.

Moreover along the strip are Silver Dollar city, a 1800s themed amusement park together with live music, Dolly Parton’s Wild West style Dixie Stampede dinner theatre and the landmark Marvel Cave. Branson is a city in Stone and Taney County having a small portion in the west that extends into Stone County.

The community had been named after Ruben Branson, postmaster as well as an operator of general store in the 1880s, in that area. Branson had been a popular destination for travellers from Missouri and the neighbouring locations. It became a famous tourist destination due to its collection of entertainment theatres together with its76 Country Boulevard including Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede.

This destination has drawn tourist from all regions of the country typically by car or bus. One cannot miss out on the museum’s ship shaped portico while travelling along Highway 76 in Branson, which is Branson’s own Titanic Museum, a home to unique collection of historical artifacts connected to the ill-fated ship’s attempt to cross the Atlantic.

Museum – Interesting & Unique Experience


The museum provides lots of interesting and unique experiences to enjoy on your trip to this amazing destination. Branson Titanic Museum is situated at 3235 W. 76 Country Boulevard in Branson, at the intersection of 76 Highway 165 and is placed a few miles towards the west of downtown Branson.

It is in the vicinity of other local attractions like the Ripley’s Believe It or Not. If one tends to be staying near the museum, the easiest way to reach there is driving where ample of parking space is made available for visitors at the museum.

The Silver Dollar City which is one of Americas’ great them parks, offers a 1880s themed experience with twist and turn on Outlaw Run or Wildfire, two of the park’s big roller coaster or be astounded by the craftsmen as well as artisan demonstrating in your presence.

One could also enjoy good Ozark Mountain cooking from one of the several tasty restaurants or booths or also become a volunteer at the Fireman’s Landing; the park’s all new family adventure space for 2015.

Promised Land Zoo – Experience of Live Animal Shows


The Track Family Fun Parks in Branson are top destination for families as well as groups. With three different locations around Highway 76, there are three various high rise tracks, inclusive of the Wild Woody, The Lumberjack and Heavy Metal High Rise, with bumper boats, mini golf, laser tag, the Sky Coaster and much more.

At the Promised Land Zoo tourist can get the experience of live animal shows, a foot safari, Parakeet Paradise and also bottle feeding the baby animals. The focus of the Zoo is to provide safe conditions for the animals, an entertaining experience for the tourists while at the same time educate visitors on the importance of taking care of animals in the world around.

Go through the treetops of Wolfe Mountain at Branson Zipline and Canopy tours and learn about the local wildlife as well as the Ozark region on photo safari or could choose from the various zip line tour choices. Branson is an amazing destination with plenty of interesting sites one would enjoy exploring.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

5 Things That Make Norfolk, Virginia, a Hidden Treasure


Norfolk
Your cab driver’s behavior can tell you a lot about a particular city or town. If he’s a bit rugged and blows the horn too much you might be in Queens. However, if you are greeted with a bottle of water and a fist bump you might be in Norfolk, Virginia, a place that’s refined enough to still be considered country and busy enough not to be boring. The editors at Forbes Travel Guide recently visited the coastal Virginia metropolis and discovered it had more to it than sheer hospitable chauffeurs at the airport. The city’s growing gastronomic and art scenes have it on the verge of exploding. If you visit now, you can enjoy without much of the metropolis fuss.

The Mermaids

Anywhere you look in the city, you will find some or the other mention of a mermaid. From its logo to Virginia’s first urban winery i.e. the legendary siren of the sea is all over the place. As the fable has it, mermaids would sing to soldiers back to safe coastline after battles on the cruel waters. Being the home of the world’s biggest naval station, the Naval station and the city adopted the creatures as a kind of mascot in the year 1999. Today the people with pride pose for pictures in front of the 100 mermaid statues located around the city and test their skills by painting mini replicas at the mermaid factory. When you are lost downtown the statues can come quite useful as landmarks.

The Arts

Norfolk is a creative place with the naval themed public arts project. The city has a number of diverse neighborhoods like the Norfolk Arts District and Ghent that are starting to fill with paintbrushes. The latter section of the town houses some notable exhibition halls (Okay Spark Gallery) and the famous Chrysler Museum of Art, a 220,000 square foot museum filled with European paintings, American art and the Glass art collection. Impressed by the museums Tiffany holdings, you can then proceed to the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio for a free demonstration of glassblowing and Kiln working session.

The Food

It is a known fact that the people of Virginia love their food, and love to eat. Along the coast Norfolk serves high end snacks (The Grilled Cheese Bistro) and rice bowls, to mouth watering seafood. At the 456 Fish you are served the best potato chip encrusted jumbo lump crab cake, And for dinner you can go for some privacy and have Grass fed lamb with a bottle of Fiore Sangiovese.

The Beer

When we were visiting town, the famous Virginia Beer festival was taking place at the town point park. There are 65 local beers available, but we could not taste all, but especially loved the Norfolk’s Smartmouth Brewing Company. The three year old beer is a Belgian saison with a fruity taste and peppers. Another winning area is the O’Connor Brewing company, which houses a taproom for sampling the El Guapo the Norfolk Canyon Ale.

The Location

Norfolk has the proximity to all the other important places like, Virginia Beach on 18 miles away. If you cross Elizabeth River and head south, you will reach Portsmouth. 17 miles north, you will come into Hampton and Newport News. 30 miles further you will be in Williamsburg a village where Thomas Jefferson and Paul Revere roamed in the 1700s. Close and a walkable distance is the History Museum, and just down the street is the Forbes Travel Guide Four stars Williamsburg Inn and the Williamsburg Lodge which take care of tourists and guests like a family.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun

Cancun –A Popular Holiday Destination

Cancun is located on the south-east coast of Mexico in Quintana Roo in the Yucatan Peninsula bordering the Caribbean Sea. It is self-possessed of two distinct areas; one is the more traditional downtown area, El Centro and Zona Hotelera, which is a long beachfront strip of high rise hotels, shops, restaurants and nightclubs.

Cancun is also a popular destination for students during college’s break period of spring. One will find white powdery sand beaches together with turquoise crystal clear waters accompanied with the popular Mexican hospitality which makes this destination an amazing location for vacation. It is an ideal holiday spot having sunshine throughout the year with tropical and humid weather.

The official language spoken in Cancun is Spanish and most of the Mexicans that work in the tourism industry tend to speak English together with French, Italian as well as German spoken by some of them. Most of the local natives still speak Mayan as their first language while Spanish seems to be the second. Among themselves most of them tend to speak Mayan. This destination tends to offer a variety of activities which ranges from water sport such as jet skiing, parasailing on the beach and bar hopping in the Hotel District.

Xcaret – Ecological Theme Park/Delphinus – Swimming with Dolphins

Other local attractions comprise of Xcaret which is an ecological theme park and Delphinus, a swimming experience with the dolphins. The transportation opportunities to Cancun is overwhelming wherein the streets have good amount of taxis, tourist buses together with transport vans to shuttle visitors to and from the hotels and the popular sites within the city.

However, Cancun being a large tourist destination,crimes are on the rise, especially late at night and in the early hours of morning and it advisable to travel in groups while in the city. Getting around Cancun is easy and cheap by bus and one can avail bus services to most places within Cancun.

There is bus service every hour from Cancun Airport to Downtown Cancun and from Cancun bus terminal in downtown Cancun one will find regular services to every area in Mexico. The Cancun Airport handles the second largest volume of traffic in Mexico and hence the security level seems to be very high here.

Airport With Great Modern Facilities/Equipment

After the construction of the new terminal, Cancun airport boast of great modern facilities and equipment. One will find remarkable duty free shops as well as gifts shops selling silver jewellery as well as souvenirs. The official currency in Cancun is the Mexican peso; however American dollars are also accepted.

 For exchange purpose, besides the banks, there are other exchange houses all over Cancun which tend to be open beyond the working hours. Cancun telecommunication seems to be modern and up-to-date with all the main tourist places having facilities like fax and internet service.

Tourist would also have the facility of wireless internet access in several hotels as well most of the restaurants and cafes. Making call from the hotel could tend to be a costly affair. The cheapest way of making calls is with prepaid cards. Some of the best places to explore is to visit and climb Coba which is the tallest Mayan pyramid in the Yucatan, explore Tulum, the only seaside Mayan archaeological site, the Cancun Maya Museum, Xoximilco Cancun, a replica of the Xochimilco neighbourhood in Mexico city featuring trajinera canal rides with local food, drink together with live music from each region of Mexico.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Osaka, Japan

Osaka

Osaka – Economic Powerhouse of Kansai Region for Centuries


Osaka is located in the centre of Kinki region in the Midwest Japan covering the smallest prefecture land space in Japan. It boost of largest population with the highest population density immediately after the capital, Tokyo. It is the third largest and second most important city and has been the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region for several centuries.Osaka dates back to the Asuka and the Nara periods and was earlier known as Naniwas prior to the Nara period when the capital used to be moved with the reign of each new emperor. Naniwa once the capital city of Japan was the first one to be known.

Osaka continued to play an important role as a hub for land, sea and river-canal transportation, even after the capital had moved elsewhere.Surrounded on three sides of the prefecture are the mountains and towards the west, the arc-shaped Osaka Bay. Due to its proximity to the former capitals of Japan Kyoto and Nara, it has prospered as an important point for land and water transportation together as a commercial city. The Osaka Castle with a five layer donjon as its core on a lawn park which tends to extend to around 60,000 square meters is in the Osaka City.

Kaiyukan Aquarium – Largest Aquarium in the World


The park, during the cherry blossom season in spring is particularly crowded with hanami or cherry blossom viewing crowd. Umeda, Osaka’s north gate has a massive stretch of underground mall which accommodates several restaurants, fashion and sundry goods stores. When compared to Kita with Umeda at its core, Minami seems to be an area with core cities; Namba which is a famous business as well as shopping district together with Dotonbori has several restaurants on both sides of Dontonbori-gawa River.Minami is known as a town of public entertainments, having several theatres as well as cinemas.

The Tenpo-zan Harbour Village has a 112.5 meter high Ferris wheel, with shopping mall and Kaiyukan Aquarium which is one of the largest aquarium in the world and ATC – Asia Pacific Trade Centre, the largest outlet mall in Japan is also very popular. Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century had chosen Osaka as the location for his castle and the city could have been Japan’s capital had it not been for Tokugawa leyasu who terminated the Toyotomi lineage after the death of Hideyoshi and moved his government to distant Edo (Tokyo).

Osaka Served as Nation’s Kitchen


During the era of Tokugawa, when Edo served as the grim seat of military power and Kyoto was the home of the Imperial court together with its couriers, Osaka served as `the Nation’s Kitchen’. It was the collection and the distribution point of rice which was the most important measure of wealth. Therefore it was also the city where the merchants made and lost fortunes and happily ignored all warnings from the shogunate to lessen their noticeable consumption. Shiteennoji university in Osaka is famous for its courses.

Osaka’s courageous entrepreneurs took the lead in industrial development during the Meiji era, making it equal to Manchester in U.K. A thorough defeat in World War II had left little evidence of this magnificent past. The castle is also a Ferro concrete reconstruction till date and though not appealing and gruff on the surface, Osaka tends to remain Japan’s best place to eat, drink and be merry. In legend, Osakans continue to greet one another with mokarimmaka – are you making money?

-o0o-

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Zermatt, A Place filled with Amazing Surprises


Zermatt
Zermatt the beautiful Swiss City lies at the foot of Matterhorn. The Europe’s car-free village, Zermatt is a place where one must tour in his lifetime. The fascinating holiday destination has preserved its natural beauty and offers infinitely enthusiastic possibilities to make your excursion an extraordinary experience. This village vastly swelled up with white cotton like snow over it hills makes it a first choice for all the mountaineers. Not only this, it also has a fashionable place to be. Sounds interesting, right?

Here’s an account of what makes Zermatt a place to be called ‘Amusing and irresistible?


  • Get in natural living… No Cars Please!
    The main magnetism for tourists comes out to be its clean and in the pink surroundings. Yes, it’s all pollution free... the ‘car-less’ town in Switzerland. Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk all day. For commuting in Zermatt, you have access to long shuttle cars, which will take you from one place to another in no time.
  • Get yourself packed for skiing on the glorious range of ice covered mountains:
    One of the highly famed activities you just can’t afford to miss is SKIING. The Swiss peaks will entice you to get your skiing bolt and nuts fixed and run yourselves freely on the milky white snow. (Having a snowy affair!) Be the ruler of the iced slopes and get a fairy- taled winter in Zermatt.
  • Don’t miss on the mesmerizing view of Matterhorn Glacier Paradise:
    The Matterhorn Glacier Paradise or simply ‘MGP’ can be regarded as one of the main show stoppers point in Zermatt. A cable car or Swiss gondola takes you to the jaw dropping range of Swiss, French and Italian Alpines. Fall in love with the eye catching view on the top! Under this peak is an artificial snow park designed for snowboarders delight. Don’t forget to refine your boarding skills people.
  • Be an Eskimo in the Igloo Village:
    Want to build your own ice home? Zermatt’s Igloo village has all what you are looking for. The village located in between of Riffelberg and Gornergrat offers its visitors a wide range of attractive entertainment options like stay in an igloo, enjoying snowshoe hiking hitting snow balls on each other, and a get the needed warmth chilling out in the bar. Don’t miss out to savor a cup of fondue to add a little spice in your experience.
  • Experience Zermatt’s myth rich culture in Matterhorn Museum:
    The famous Matterhorn Museum depicts the events which played an important role in the establishment of Zermatt and Matterhorn. Yes, there is a story from turning a farmer’s village into a world famous resort. The all lighted night view of the museum is a treat to the eyes.
We have just given you a peek-a-boo to the exquisiteness of this Swiss town. Don’t forget that the car-freed zone, Zermatt change it colors after every turn! Yes, it has got a lot more to experience for its visitors one can imagine.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Planning a Trip to France with Your Family? Southern France Offers You a Lot


This southern part of France is the delightful part of the country, with beautiful landscapes, captivating forests, very ancient caves and famous castles with a historic background set in the midst of scenic and pictorial villages and towns. There are an array of activities available in the full of the region, that appeal to the full family. The region includes

Chateau de Bonaguil

This stunning looking castle built in the 13th century is built on the high rocky spur between two rivers will definitely ignite the imagination of the young children. This castle is among the last of the grand fortified castles constructed in France. Chateau de Bonguil can be best enjoyed in the month of July, when fireworks displays during the night time, lights the night sky, the castle and its backdrop.

Pech Merle

Pech Merle is a pre history centre, located about 35 minutes drive from Cahors, which offers an absorbing insight into the prehistoric cavemen and cave women and the world famous wall paintings they produced. This centre also provides educational workshops for both the children and the adults.

Les Croisieres Fenelon

It is highly recommended to take a ride by a river boat to enjoy the scenic beauty of this region. Cruises are offered from Les Croisieres Fenelon up to the Saint Cirq Lapopie and also past the vineyards of Cahors, and the cruises are available the full day which include food and drinks which are all offered on board.

Latour Marliac

Latour Marliac is an excellent spot for budding horticulturalists and budding botanists to enjoy nature. It has 6 acres of wonderfully managed gardens, and this is a ideal place to lose yourself on a bright and sunny afternoon. Children are also kept busy and for a meager price children are given activity book to pass their time

Grotte de Lastournelle 

It is highly suggested to visit Grotte de Lastournelle which is a journey into the underworld of Lot. These ancient natural caves are formed by river flowing, which has 7 rooms formed by the flow of the river, which dates back to 25 million years. The area adjoining in front of the entrance of the caves is an ideal place to picnic and has a lot facilities for children

La Foret des Singes

Children normally love animals, and they will enjoy seeing and meeting free living monkeys, who roam free, and the children can really get close to the monkeys. This place is not a typical zoo, but the monkeys have the entire freedom to move around, sometimes without being seen by the public.

Les Bains de Casteljaloux

This is swimming and spa complex for mainly adults for their relaxation, and activity for children at the waterside. This complex also has facilities like steam rooms, sauna, Jacuzzi and a Japanese bath. There is also a heated indoor pool.

Happy Forest, Pont-du-Casse

This is a place to have a lot of fun; this happy forest has woodland surrounding, and also has aerial rides taking you above the treetops.

People on holidays looking for some adventure can visit this region south of France and get to really relax, enjoy the history of the places there, including sightseeing, sports, and the rare scenic beauty which take their breath away.

-o0o-

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Varosha, Cyprus

Varosha

Varosha – Most Famous Tourist Destination in the World


Varosha town, a southern section of the Cypriot city of Famagusta was the most famous tourist destination in the 1970s and to cater to the tourists, which was increasing, several new high rise buildings as well as hotel had been constructed. Varosha was not only the popular tourist destination in Cyprus but between 1970 and 1974, it was also one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world.

Varosha was once an active town with tourist swarming the beaches and the shores of Varosha in Cyprus were graced by famous film stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot. However, in 1974, the town had been invaded by Turkish troops and the population which was once 40,000, disappeared to nothing and the resorts that stand there have a desolate look where hotels appear with broken windows that line the beach.

There are signs around the place prohibiting photographs and videos with the Turkish soldiers guarding the place. Prior to the division of Cyprus in 1974, Varosha a resort in Famagusta was very prosperous and the rich as well as the poor were drawn by some of the best beaches on the island. Besides Brigitte Bardot, Richard Burton dropped by and the Argo Hotel on JFK Avenue was Elizabeth Taylor’s favourite spot.

Turkey Invaded Cyprus – Occupied Northern Third of Island


Vasia Markides, a 34 year old American Greek-Cypriot whose mother had grown up there informs that anyone who comes from Varosha has a romanticised conception of it and talks about it being the hub of art and intellectual activity.

 They describe it as the French Riviera of Cyprus. However, forty years ago after several years of inter-ethnic violence ending in a revolution which was inspired by the ruling military regime of Greece, Turkey invaded Cyprus occupying the northern third of the island. With the advancement of the troops in Varosha, the inhabitants of a Greek-Cypriot community fled expecting to return when the situation would calm down.

But the resort seemed to be fenced off by the Turkish military and it has been a ghost town since then. UN resolutions called for the handover of Varosha to UN control in 1984 and prohibit any effortto resettle it by anyone other than those who had been forced out.

Travel Restrictions Relieved – 2003


One of them had been Markides’ mother Emily who had just got married and all her wedding presents were still in the attic when the home was abandoned. Other narrates stories of pots left cooking on stoves and lives stopped mid-way.

 Travel restrictions were relieved for the first time in 2003, permitting Cypriots on both sides to cross the UN Buffer Zone which is commonly known as the `Green Line’. Vasia Markides narrates of the day when she had returned to peek across the wire at her ancestral home for the first time that the picture in her mind was like a paradise but felt like some sort of post-apocalyptic nightmare and nature taking over.

Prickly pear bushes had overrun the total six square kilometres with trees that had sprouted through living rooms. It is a ghost town. One will find signs across the fence cautioning tourist that photos and movies are forbidden and trespassers with the risk of death. Exiled inhabitants tend to regularly pin love letters and flowers to the barbed wire around the place.

-o0o-

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Chengdu, China

Chengdu

Chengdu – A Natural Habitat of Giant Pandas


Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province is known as the `Heavenly State’. It is located towards the west of Sichuan Basin, in the centre of Chengdu Plain and is a natural habitat of giant pandas. Chengdu is said to be a panda city and pandas are used to decorate the city where one will find a variety of them like the panda hats, panda purses, panda shoes and much more.

The panda location where one needs to visit is the Panda Research Base since at times; one may find tiny pandas there. The population is over 11 million and it covers an area of 12.3 thousand square kilometres. Due to its agricultural wealth, Chengdu is at times called the `Land of Milk and Honey’ The Funan River intersects the city and though boat traffic was common till 1960, it has now disappeared.

The city area is now separated into five urban districts, four sub-urban districts and 9 counties and is a home to over 14 million inhabitants. Chengdu is said to have a reputation as a very easy-going city which emphasizes relaxation and culture due to which together with green space, it has been ranked as one of the most liveable mega-cities in China.

Geographical Location – Excellent Hub for Travel


Chengdu has also been credited with good nightlife scene comprising of several new western style buildings in the big city centre. The geographical location of Chengdu makes it an excellent hub for further travel to several parts of the world.

The Shuangliu International airport in Chengdu is one of the busiest airport in the world and in 2012, it move around 30 million passengers. The Shuangliu International airport has followed the example of Beijing by constructing a huge new terminal with flights from Chengdu to 96 domestic and 52 international destinations.

Passport holders of around 51 countries comprising of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland USA, UK and others can avail 72 hours of free transit through Shuangliu Airport.Besides this, Chengdu also has busy bus and train stations and it is a city which provides easy pit stop while travelling further. The weather in summer tends to be hot and humid since the city is surrounded by small mountains towards the east and sits in the Red Basin. An hour to the west is the foothills of the massive Tibetan Plateau and the magnificent scenic mountains of west Sichuan.

Dujiangyan Irrigation Project


Profiting from the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project that had been erected in 256 B.C; Sichuan Province is believed as `Tian fu Zhi Guo’, a place which is richly bestowed with natural resources and as a capital it is very productive. The Min and Tuo Rivers, the two branches of the Yagtze River that is connected to forty other rivers, tend to supply an irrigation space of over 700 square kilometres with 150 to 180 million kilowatts of water.

The land is tremendously fertile due to its abundance of mineral resources. Archaeological discoveries at the Sanxingdui and Jinsha sites have recognized that the Chengdu region had been inhabited more than four thousand years ago and had been an important centre of an exceptional ancient culture during the period of Shang and Zhou dynasties.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

St. Elmo, Colorado

St._Elmo

St. Elmo – Ghost Town – Colorado, United States


St. Elmo is considered as a ghost town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States and lies in the heart of the Sawatch Range, 20 miles southwest of Buena Vista, at an elevation of 9,961 feet. Almost 2,000 people had settled here when mining for gold and silver had begun. The town was at its peak in the 1890s and had a telegraph office, general store, town hall, 5 hotels, saloons, a newspaper office, dancing halls and a school house.

The Denver south Park and Pacific Railroad line ran through St. Elmo. There were around 150 patented mine entitlements in the area and most of the people living in St. Elmo worked at the Mary Murphy, Theresa C, - the Molly or the Pioneer Mines.

Mary Murphy Mine was considered to be the largest as well as the most successful mine in the area. It has recovered more than $60,000,000 worth of gold when in operation. The mining industry began to deteriorate in early 1920s and towards 1922, the railroad discontinued operating. While the other mines ultimately shut down, the Mary Murphy Mine continued to function till the railroad was abandoned in 1922.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places


When the mining industry eventually shut down, St. Elmo declined in population significantly and miners searched other places for gold and silver with the business district in St. Elmo closing down. Very few people continued living in the town and the postal service also discontinued its activities after the death of St. Elmo’s postmaster in 1922.

The community is said to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the St. Elmo Historic District. It is one of the best preserved ghost towns in Colorado and to get here one can drive south from Leadville on Highway 24 to Buena Vista and take Highway 285 south to Nathrop. On turning west on County Road 162, follow the signs for St. Elmo.

The drive down there is easy for a standard vehicle. Several buildings in St. Elmo and the surrounding area is private property and venturing away from the public roads and landing on private land could be trespassing. The mountains around the place have miles of underground tunnels and shafts and the area could be dangerous where a safe and stable area could suddenly collapse.

Colorado’s Best Preserved Ghost Town


The buildings also tend to be in different state of decay and are considered to be unsafe. St. Elmo originated in 1879 and was once called Forest City. The name seemed to change because it was opposed by the post office department since California already had a Forest City.

The name was the result of either a southern city with the name or named after a popular novel at that time known as St. Elmo and the main character in the novel was St. Elmo Murray. St. Elmo has a population of more than 2000 inhabitants at its peak.St. Elmo is considered to be unique since the buildings are preserved and not restored.

It has been labelled as Colorado’s Best Preserved Ghost Town but is called `God’s Country’. The buildings in St. Elmo are owned privately and are well preserved. There are also some vacation homes too in the surrounding area and a general store which operates from May to October.

 Though St. Elmo is said to be a ghost town, it still seems to be inhabited and tourism tend to bring several people to this destination every year. The old mining roads are said to be used as Jeep and four wheeler trails.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Moveable Floating Artificial Islands by Migaloo Reinterpret Luxury Yachting

Ailand

Migaloo’s Floating Private Island


Designers at Migaloo, the Austrian Private Submersible Yachts have put together their ideas and have come with up with concepts for a floating private island which they believe can be built in the near future.The yacht company now provides custom floating homes based on semi-submersible platforms with all the amenities of a mega-yacht together with an exotic island.

This can be moved to any location in the world enabling the owners to just consider anchoring and move their luxury resort whenever the climate is not favourable. Future billionaires can now have the convenience of sailing and docking their super yachts while they travel from one island to another by demanding an island to come to them.

Comprising of a massive 80 metre high penthouse suite, with waterfalls together with a helipad, the moveable island provides its wealthy possessor much more than an average super yacht, though it also has a mini harbour attached, if the owner intend to keep their luxury vessel close by. Owners of the island will be provided with 360 degree view within the penthouse which can be accessed by an 80 metre elevator.

Moveable Paradise – Kokomo Ailand


Surrounding the complex, the resident would be provided with all the amenities which can be expected on a land based tropical hideout which has a spa and beach desks comprise of massage and beauty salons, gym, entertainment pool with a bar and barbeque area and outdoor dining quarters. It also has a glass bottom Jacuzzi, where the main deck would be influenced by a tropical jungle with a pool, palm trees besides vertical gardens and waterfall.

In addition to this it would also include a shark feeding station adding natural elements to the marine island. Recognizedon proven technology which Migaloo has, the company states that moveable paradise which is known as Kokomo Ailand is appropriate for a high class hotel, company headquarters or a casino. If the island is to be utilised for commercial purpose, the company could include space for crew members to stay on and a helipad for easy access. According to the company the islands built by Migaloo would be tailor made as per the requirements of their clients.

Initial Design Concept/Main Design Directions


The managing director of Migaloo, Christian Gumpold states that the response was amazing and all of their clients seem to love the idea. He further added that they are presently negotiating with many clients who seem to be interested in the project and that they have created an initial design concept to portray their ideas as well as the main design directions. He also went on to say that their design team need some more months for the same though the definite details in the design based on the client’s wishes would be much longer with intense procedure.

This seems to be common in the yachting industry. Mr Gumpold also added that he is expecting that living at sea would seem to be a huge trend in the near future and that the floating islands could be the precise first step towards society adjusting to this new way of living. The complete concept structure is 117 metres wide and 78 meters tall and is totally customizable with regards to shape, size and features. The Migaloo `Kikomo Ailand, artificial island credits the owners with freedom and privacy, combined with the glamorous appearance of a tropical island.

Aeolian Islands, Italy

Aeolian_Islands

Aeolian Islands – Seven Small Occupied Italian Islands


The Aeolian Islands are the seven small occupied Italian islands off the northern shore of Sicily towards the tip of Italy’s toe. The Aeolian Islands offers an outstanding record of volcanic island building together with destruction with on-going volcanic wonders. Researched since the 18th century, these islands have provided the science of volcanology with instances of two type of eruptions namely Vulcanian and Strombolian.

They have thus featured highly in the education of geologist for over 200 years. The site still continues to enhance the field of volcanology. The seven islands and various uninhabited islets of the Aeolian archipelago surprisingly had been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Its volcanic origins had left a histrionic legacy of black-sand beaches with smouldering craters and splintered rocky coastlines.

 From the Spartan conical Alcudi, with donkeys as the only means of land transport, to the international jet set playground of Panarea, individuals can identify their own charms. Towards the north of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea, the archipelago had been named after Aeolus, god of the winds, by the Greek immigrants. One will find two active volcanoes, Stromboli and Vulcano with volcanic activity of some kind like steaming fumaroles or thermal waters on most of the other islands. During winter storms, the island seems to be cut off for days.

Lipari – Largest of the Aeolian Islands


The island like several coastal communities having a total population of 10,000 tends to have various characters based on the season. The count increases to 200,000 during summer, with ports filled with yachts, bars and beaches with very beautiful as well as very wealthy visitors. The rich and famous tend to sail in to Panarea in August, on their multi-million euro yachts to live in villas or €500 a night hotel rooms.

 Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands and is also the only one having a sizeable town with a considerable year round population. Pumice quarries have taken big bits from the mountains but mining has been banned recently with plans in creating a geo-park with eco-museum as well as thermal baths. Though the town has its own appeal, the fortified acropolis, a few flower hung valley together with the pretty harbour of Marina Corta, the place does not seem to be too sophisticated.

Coast Rocky/Wild/Undeveloped


The coast around is rocky, wild and undeveloped with splintered rocks offshore and has an amazing view. It is not possible to access by car but can be reached on foot at Valle Muria where there is a beach or at Punta delle Fontanelle. The highlight of the coastal is the footpath along the coast between the Terme di San Calogero and the kaolin quarry which is at Bagnosecco.

Here the surface of the creamy white kaolin is indigo, violet, orange, mustard, blue and verdigris due to the emissions from steaming sulphurous fumaroles. The islands are very famous as a holiday destination providing sunshine, beaches together with natural beauty. Besides sunbathers, they also tend to draw thrill seekers. The archipelago had been formed by volcanic activity with two of the island still active volcanoes.

 Though this could put off some of the travellers, there are several others who find the dramatic scenery very appealing, the hot mud bath together with the opportunity to hike to the craters of Vulcano and Stromboli. Though the Aeolian Islands are not mostly well known to English speaking tourist, they tend to be the most amazing places for a relaxed holiday.

Boating – Relax – Pleasure/Serenity


Boating
One of the most relaxing activities with a mixture of pleasure and serenity is through boating which offers the freshness of water and air and the feeling is amazing. Exposure to the sun though could have its own effect on the person sailing away and it is always good to have some sort of protection inspite of the pleasure of boating. Suppliers are available with boat bimini tops to provide some sort of protection from sun and heat while boating.

The supplier was established in 2009 and has grown to be a reliable service provider in the Marine industry with good customer service. They are specialised in the development of biminis and dodgers, boat upholstery and covers and their work is manufactured at their warehouse, using local suppliers for all their materials and fabrics. These covers are provided to protect them from the sun which could be lowered whenever it seems essential.

The installations are quite reasonable in price size and choices which can be raised to protect the individuals from the sun while boating and enjoy the ocean breeze or dropped down to enjoy the complete element of being out in the boat and make the most of the experience.

Custom Made – Suit the Requirements


They are mounted on strong, light weight frames, covering the helm station or flying bridge of a boat. Some of them even tend to spread across the passenger areas and it can work on all kinds of boats.Several of them are also custom-made to suit the requirement of the consumer and trimmed to certain boat where they are installed.

The highest means of quality has been utilised in the creation of these covers to withstand the harsh marine environment and are also UV, mould and water resistant.A well designed boat cover of good quality could also heighten the appearance of a boat besides providing shelter from the sun and could also keep off the rain in case of sudden cloud bursts.

Some of their products and services comprise of boat trimming, marine trimming, sail covers, carpet both interior and exterior, yacht accessories, boom tents/bow covers, boat covers, sunbed, cover for outdoor furniture, dodgers, repairs to mention a few. You could engage the services of this supplier and have a great voyage.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lanzarote, Spain

Lanzarote

Lanzarote – Spanish Island, A Volcanic Origin


Lanzarote, a Spanish island is towards the eastern area of the autonomous Canary Island in the Atlantic Ocean about 125 km off the coast of Africa and 1,000 km from the Iberian Peninsula. Lanzarote has a volcanic origin and was born through scorching eruptions.

It has hardened lava streams and excessive rock formation. The island had emerged around 15 million years ago as a creation of the Canary hotspot Alfred Wegner’s research of the island when he visited in 1912 and showed how it fitted with his theory of continental drift.The island is said to emerge along with the others after the break-up of the African and the American continental plates.

The biggest recorded eruptions took place between 1730 and 1736 in an area which is now designated Timanfaya National Park. The huge environmental value of the island received UNESCO recognition in 1993.As an UNESCO biosphere reserve, Lanzarote is an intriguing island having extraordinary geology of 300 volcanic cones. It has interesting sights, great beaches with good number of restaurants and hotels. The landscape here has an unambiguous and ethereal appearance with occasional bucolic, palm filled valley compared with surreal, furrowed black lava fields.

Unique Landscape Creates Valuable Ecosystem


The strange volcanic soils of Lanzarote welcomes the tourist and the islands’ tranquillity and silence enables you to disconnect and recharge the energy level during the long sunny days spent on this amazing island. Its unique landscapes create a valuable ecosystem which is recognized all across the world.

 It has an ideal atmosphere where one can relax and lose themselves amidst the volcanoes, lava tubes together with the pristine beaches. The islands’ main sights have been appealingly developed by the late Cesar Manrique. He was a Lanzarote native and an artist who still tends to have a considerable effect on the island through a cultural foundation which promotes Lanzarote’s conservation architectural and cultural integrity.

To get to know the island is to visit its wineries and wine cellars and taste their delicious Malvasia wines. The rolling vineyards of the La Geria wine region having rows of pits and stone wall to shelter the vines tends to surprise the tourist. It is where most of the islands delicious Designation of Origin wines are made.

Crater By Sea – Natural Amphitheatre by Sea


Most of Manrique’s art is in Lanzarote and at the popular Fundacion Cesar Manrique gallery which attracts thousands of visitors each year due to his harmonious vision of Lanzarote as well as its landscape. One can explore it still further by visiting the Jameos del Agua or the Mirador del Rio viewpoint. A crater by the sea, Charco de los Clicos, formed during the 1730 eruptions, is a natural amphitheatre by the sea comprising of emerald green lagoon shaped by the sunken crater.

The colour that comes out is from natural algae living in the warm water that contrast with the black sand beach giving a most remarkable view to the tourist. When one walks down into the lava cave, which was earlier used as a shelter from pirate attacks, one enters a volcanic territory where molten magma solidified into twisted shapes.

 The colours of the magma still tend to remain in the rocks with reds, created by rusting iron from the fresh lava along with ochre and greens which is caused by the reflection of light of the salt that has saturated in from the ocean. Several sites are there to be explored at this amazing destination with each having its own charm and beauty.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Chiang_Kai-shek_Memorial_Hall

National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall – Memory of the First President


The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall was built in memory of the first president of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek. Construction of the hall commenced in 1976, a year after the President had passed away. It was designed by C. C. Yang an architect also for The Grand Hotel.

It is situated in the heart of Taipei City and has a total area of two hundred and fifty thousand square meters. A large area of the memorial hall is covered with the colours of Taiwanese flag of blue, white and red and the colours of the flag signify independence, equality and universal love.

 The memorial is said to be white with blue roof which represents the dominant colours in the ROC flag and the emblem of the Chinese Nationalist Party –KMT adorns the domed ceiling. Looking west is a bronze statue of Chiang, symbolically to the Presidential Office Building and mainland China while the front plaza of the hall seems to be a major venue for democratic assemblies. It was opened in 1980 as a part of a national park and a gathering area.

Building - Octagon Shaped


The building which is octagon shaped rises 76 meters and is covered with blue tiles and red accents and the eight sides characterise the Chinese cultural symbolism of the number `8’ which is traditionally linked with fortune and wealth.

The two sets of 89 steps represent the age of Chiang which lead up to the main hall accommodating the bronze statue of Chiang which is protected by military personnel that tend to change each hour.The letterings behind the statue of Chiang reads `Ethnics, Democracy’ and `Science’ and the inscription on the side is `The purpose of life is to improve the general life of humanity’ and `The meaning of life is to create and sustain subsequent lives in the universe’.

Beneath the hall is a museum that documents the life and career of Chiang and also exhibits the Taiwan history, pan-Chinese culture and history together with the development of ROC after moving to Taiwan. Other than the main hall, the large complex comprises of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park, National Concert Hall and the National Theatre.

Exclusive Local/International Performances


The National Concert Hall and the National Theatre are towards the corner of the occupant. The hall and the theatre, since its formation, held various exclusive local as well as international performances and with various fine performances together with exhibitions, these halls have been significant to art and culture of Taiwan.

The hall besides being used as Chiang’s former office, has various arrangements for each area and at the heritage display room, visitors can see historical records, important treasured preserved photographs as well as old items used by the president. Viewing these exhibits, visitors can have an idea on the precious historical properties of Taiwan.

 Moreover, the vehicle of the president is also displayed in the central corridor. Besides this the auditorium provides a place for expert speeches and receptions of important foreign guests. The name of the square is officially known as Liberty Square but the name change was politically inspired and several of the people still refer to the complex as CKS Memorial Hall.

 It has been considered as a national historical site of Taiwan since 2007 and is now an important landmark of Taipei attracting a huge amount of visitors annually.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Palisades, New Jersey

Palisades

The Palisades – Impressive Line of Steep Cliffs


The Palisades which is also known as the New Jersey Palisades or the Hudson River Palisades are considered to be a line of steep cliffs along the west area of the lower Hudson River towards the north-eastern New Jersey and southern New Jersey in United States.

The Palisades are the most impressive cliffs lining the western margin of the Hudson River. Palisade is resultant from the word `pale’, which eventually is from the Latin word `palus’ that means `stake’. The Lenape had named the cliffs `rocks that look like rows of trees’, a phrase which became `Weehawken’, a name of a town in New Jersey which is perched at the top of the cliffs across from Manhattan.

The cliffs tend to stretch north from the Jersey City at about 20 mi/32 km to around Nyack, New York. The cliffs rise almost vertically from the edge of the river which are almost 300 feet high at Weehawken and tend to increase steadily to 540 feet high near their northern terminus. Towards north from Fort Lee, the Palisades seem to be part of Palisades Interstate Park and are considered as a National Natural Landmark. Land slide was happened along Palisades cliff in 2012.

Designated – National Natural Landmark


The Palisades had been designated a `National Natural Landmark’ as a best example of a thick diabase sill in the United states. The sill seem to spread southward beyond the cliffs in Jersey City below the Inner Harbour and again appear on Staten Island.

 The Palisades are the worn cross-section of a huge intrusive diabase sill which encroached between layers of sandstone and shale of the Late Triassic Stockton and Lockatong Formations. The sill lines 1,000 feet thick and could have probably been fed from an unknown stock buried below the basin towards the west.

Radiometric age determinations of the diabase indicate that the sill shaped in multiple stages, around 192 to 186 million years. The Palisades are some of the most histrionic geologic features in the surrounding area of New York City which forms a canyon of the Hudson north of George Washington Bridge. Besides this it also provides a vista of the skyline which is positioned in the Newark Basin, a rift basin located typically in New Jersey.

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory


There are several places of entrance to Palisades. A projection of diabase at the top of the cliff is one of the first you see while emerging onto the ramp from the Lincoln Tunnel on New Jersey end. The Palisades also tends to anchor the western area of both the George Washington as well as Tappan Zee Bridges.

The stretch of ten mile from the George Washington Bridge to the NJ-NY stateline tends to provide several locations for exploring the remarkable scenery within the Palisades Interstate Park. Moreover, a trail system which follows the crest of the Palisades starts at the western area of the George Washington Bridge with the possibility of walking across the bridge from the 175th Street or George Washington Bridge Station on the A train in Manhattan.

A better option would be to drive across the bridge going towards the north along the Palisades Interstate Parkway, pulling off at the various overlooks all along the way. The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory which is part of Columbia University is just north of the New Jersey/New York border at Exit 4 on the Palisades Interstate Parkway and this satellite campus provides open houses yearly, which are an attraction to those, interested in geology and would not want to miss.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Huacachina Oasis, Peru

Huacachina

Huacachina Oasis – Home to Adventure Tour – Dune Buggy/Sandboarding


The desert oasis Huacachina is situated five hours south of Lima and is home to an adventure tour known as the dune buggy and sand boarding tour. The tour is quite thrilling as well as frightening, transporting you deep into the desert to view huge sand dunes along the coast.

One would find plenty to explore here which comprises of winery tours, flights over the world famous Nazca Line as well as boat tours to view Humboldt penguins and sea lions. In the middle of one of the driest climates in the world is the oasis town with plush palm trees, flourishing foliage with a tranquil lagoon which is said to have curative properties.

This magical town known as Huacachina is placed 4 km from the southern city of Ica which was earlier Spanish colonial town located on the borders of the desert. On arrival at the Oasis of America which is one of the last oasis in North and South America, one would be greeted by the sights of rustic hotels, old-fashioned shops and an oasis library that tends to surround the blue lagoon.

In 1940s the luscious town was famous with wealthy Peruvian who would come to bathe in the lagoon since it was believed to have healing powers.

National Cultural Heritage Site


According to legend, a beautiful Incan princess had been found bathing, by a young hunter and when she fled, the pool of water left behind by her became the lagoon. As she fled, the folds of her mantle streamed behind her developing the surrounding sand dunes.

The water level of the lagoon had dropped over the past few years, owing to landowners constructing wells to obtain groundwater together with evaporation during high summer temperatures. In an attempt to overcome this issue, the water was pumped into the lake from Ica for the inhabitants of Huacachina.

The National Institute of Culture had declared that area as a national cultural heritage site and it is expected that this tranquil oasis would never be a mirage in the desert. Residents of the Huacachina tend to rent out sand boards as well as buggies for backpackers who travel to this town. Tourist can experience the exciting sand dunes together with splendid views

Industrial Winery Develop Pisco – Sweet Red Wine


The descendent of Inca tend to make their living by hosting guest, coming from various ends of the world to climb to the top of a wind sculptured sand dune, on rented sand boards or dune buggies, to watch the sunset illuminating the golden landscape before sailing down the slopes.

The dune buggy and sand boarding tour is both thrilling as well as amazing, transporting you at great speed deep into the desert to view huge sand dunes. The mountains of sand are gorgeous and fantastic. The coast of Peru has been making sweet red wine.

 Pisco, a strong version of brandy is known for over 250 years since the Spanish invaders had brought with them grapes to the New World. The tour offers an opportunity of visiting large, industrial winery which develops Pisco and wine utilising modern techniques as well as a small family run winery which uses ancient colonial age technique like clay jars which are known as botijas. One can get the opportunity of sampling some of the wine and Pisco at both these locations.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Planning a Trip to Marrakech? A complete guide to make your trip Exquisite!

Marrakech


One of the imperial cities of Morocco, Marrakech, is a place where past meets the present. The “Land of God” is a pearl polished by its distinctive history and incredible tradition. The city is also known for its generosity to its visitors (love getting pampered… don’t fail to experience it in the Moroccan style!) All the travelling lovers out there… Marrakech’s packed in streets with a diverse culture will get your life the best reason to live for! (Seems like a joke? No we are serious.)

Here’s a checklist of must have experiences in the world of unique lifestyle and culture: (Being Mark-ecious!)
  • Take a trip round in El- Badi Palace: (Incomparable Experience!)
    The El-Badi Palace is a place where you will find more storks hopping around you than citizens. (Yes, In a simply Storking Palace… It’s sheer fun.) The bare ruins, left-over mosaics and stark walls have a lot of tales to put in the picture. Don’t forget to make a road to terrace for mounting Atlas! (Simply a Jaw-dropping view.)
  • Spend a night in the Riad: (Nothing can beat the feeling of Moroccan lifestyle)
    The moment you step into Marrakech, Enormous hotels may attract you with their lavish hospitality techniques. (But Wait…Save your money for something better!)Check in yourself in a Riad- a beautiful Moroccan trend house within Medina (old city). (Living with the true luxury)
  • Unwind at the Menara Gardens: (Cal-eching to enjoy)
    Take a caleche ride (A Moroccan style horse driven carriage) to gorgeous Menara gardens which will escape you from the flocks of tourists that throng the Medina. The artificial lake is surrounded by fruit orchids and vastly spread olive groves. (Naturally Fruit-full)
  • Be in Wonder at the Koutoubia Mosque: (Glance at Easy going lifestyle!)
    One look at the awe-inspiring minaret of Koutoubia Mosque at the sunset can make you feel overwhelmed and content. The tall standing architectural illustration of Marrakech is something you can’t afford to miss. (Yes…Get it in bold, italics and underlined). The view of the dusk at the mosque makes Marrakech-ish lives unfussy, trouble-free and a place worth to live. (Sober and Sweet)
  • Binge on some Marrakechi Delicacies: (Food on the streets!)
    Dozens of stalls bud all over the “souk” every night. All sort of local food is a true treat to one’s tummy (Djemma el-Fna will surely make you put on a lot of calories!) Food will undoubtedly craft as a highlight for your trip- its light to your pockets and cheerful to your taste buds. Among the mouth-watering chews are local tangy tagine, crunchy cous-cous, juicy kebabs and hot harira soup.
  • (Of course, we can’t fail to remember our foodie readers.)

We hope after reading this piece of writing you all are tempted to get your bags packed and plan your next vacation to the city of amazing memories! (Don’t thank us… just get your hidden travelling child play freely in the gardens of Marrakech.)

Say “Xin chao” to Hanoi!

Hanoi

Hanoi can be simply described as the heart beat of Vietnam. It has been a first pick for the traveling lovers around the world since the times immemorial. The city is known for its colorful culture and vivid lifestyle has enormous sets of colors one can image on his brain palettes. Yes, this cheerful holiday destination has been a golden buzz of the travel world. Don’t hide your excitement people!


We have got a five starred roll of paper listing down the must see places of Hanoi which will give your holiday a perfect blend of distinct yet warm hue-filled memories. Let’s fire up our virtual ride’s engine to Hanoi… (Ready… set… go…!)

  • Hoan Kiem Lake: (The Red Water Lake)

    The”lake of resorted sword” (also known as Ho-Goum) serves as the core of Hanoi. This lake which embeds itself with a historical fairy-tale is known to be the center of social and cultural festivities for Hanoi citizens going on for more than a thousand years. Don’t forget to get yourself clicked down the lakeside.

  • Temple of Literature: (The first University of Vietnam)

    This temple of literature is the oldest and foremost hub of education in Hanoi. A pathway with natural beauty leads its visitors to “The Van Mieu Quac tu Giam” (Learn their Native Language). The temple spread across from North to South was destroyed in wars and was renovated a number of times to get its glory back. (A true example of Vietnamese architecture.)

  • Hanoi’s Old Quarter: (The Shopping Paradise)

    The shopping hot spot of Hanoi is a must visit place for all shoppers. You can’t resist your feet off it. The quarter’s fun filled maze of streets offers a great number of mouth- watering eats as well as cheap and reliable stuff and services. The triangle shaped market is packed with some out of the ordinary hawkers and equally interesting names. Get your Pockets light)

  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum : (The hero of Hanoi’s tourist attractions!)

    This mausoleum on the Ba Dinh Square embeds the remains of Ho Chi Minh (Country’s Beloved “Uncle Ho”), the popular leader of Vietnam. The body preserved in a glass case is yearly taken to Russia for its maintenance. Uncle Ho’s final resting place with its unique history and Visitor’s extraordinary experience make it a worth to stopover. (Don’t miss on this!)

  • Hanoi Opera House: (For the art lovers!)

    The jaw-dropping piece of French structural design is something you got to have a look at. A cherished place to visit for the weekend offers a wide range of Vietnamese opera, traditional folk music and classical performances. The state- of- the- art example of Hanoi’s rich architecture. Get your tickets to the show booked now.

We hope all the readers out there are making up their minds and settling up their funds for experiencing the Hanoi-ese Lifestyle. Don’t forget to make a note of these places for making your trip trip a splendid one.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Skatftafeli, Iceland

Skatftafeli

Skaftafell – Second National Park


Skaftafell, the second national park recognized in 1968 comprises of some of the most amazing natural pearls of the country. The rugged landscapes, mountains and glaciers, the flora and the fauna have a charming influence on the tourists.

Skaftafell National Park is one of those destinations in Iceland which should not be missed. It has a beautiful mountainous region towards the south of Iceland on the southern edge of the mighty Vatnajokull glacier.The old Skaftafell National park is around 5,000 km2 but from 2008 the epicentre of the largest National Park in Europe; Vatnajokull National Park covers 12,000 km2.

This area is an appealing place to view the amazing contrasts between active volcanoes, enormous glaciers, powerful glacier rivers with endless flat sandy plains and the park seems to be the birth place of Icelandic Mountain Guides.

This is where the glacier tours began in 1994, enabling tourist to enjoy nature of the park in a safe, enjoyable and friendly environment. Several options are there to enjoy the experience of this amazing destination. One could hike from the campsite or the hotel or drive to the glacier lagoon, hike up to the Kristinartindar peaks for a beautiful view, watch the documentary of the 1996 eruption in the Skaftafell Visitor Centre and much more.

Skaftafell Visitor Centre – Information/Service Centre


The Skaftafell Visitor Centre is said to be an information as well as service centre wherein visitors could get answers to their queries regarding Skaftafell together with information regarding hiking tracks, accommodation and recreational option in the area.

The centre also tends to have an exhibitions room where the story of fire and ice is narrated, the way the volcanoes and glaciers struggled to form the surrounding area as well as the effects of the eruptions together with the glacial outburst floods of daily life of the people. Put up on display are the items from the fateful expedition of British students in 1952 together with a film of the southern territory of Vatnajokull National Park.

Tourist preferring to experience glacier walks or indulge in some mountain climbing, could seek the help of the local expert mountain guides. There are three various glacier walks on the Svinafellsjokull Glacier with a day tours/ice climbing for all levels.

Ideal Location for Outdoor Activities in Icelandic Atmosphere


On the high mountains surrounding the park, mountain climbing is done up to the high glaciated mountains of Hrutsfjallstindar and the highest summit of Iceland – Hvannadalshnukur.

The combination of scenic landscape together with favourable weather condition and a selection of hiking trails have made Skaftafell one of the most ideal locations for tourists preferring the outdoor activities in Icelandic atmosphere.

Easy and short tracks tend to lead to waterfall Svartifoss and glacier Skaftafellsjokull. However for those needing to go further on, the Morsardalur valley and Kristinartindar mountain peaks seems to be ideal with regards to labour and distance.

Skaftfell also seems to be the appropriate base camp for those intend on climbing Iceland’s highest mountain peak – Hvannadalshnjukur. Skaftafell also has private travel companies operating and provide guided hikes to the nearby mountains and glaciers as well as sightseeing flights over glacier Vatnajokull together with other famous attractions.