Saturday, November 28, 2015

Branson, Missouri


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

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 –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 – 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?


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Zermatt, A Place filled with Amazing Surprises

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.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Varosha, Cyprus


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.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Chengdu, China


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 – 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


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 – 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

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 – 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


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.