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Photos: WORLD CRUISE TOURS

Click "Read More" to check out my new photos and let me know what you think!

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Hello dear friends!

  Hello dear friends!   I want to share with you my Curriculum Vitae ( CV ) in FanBox                                                  I joined FanBox in March/2013 without any hopes and goals, just wanting to see what it is kind of network, where everyone is talking about. From the beginning various teachers and leaders sent me a message or two and they are not at all contributed to the enhanced my interest in FanBox. Only after two months of membership one member from my country waked me interest for learning certain areas in FanBox. She supplied me with links to various educational materials and stimulate me to learn more. Result of her efforts was that I start to learn. I was very pleased when I saw that my knowledge increases, and with it my satisfaction with the fact that I am a FanBox member.                                                 Here's how I increased my knowledge: 1. I read some chapters in FanBox Learning C

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Nice Small Story

Nice Small Story   A Nice Story don't miss it read it Once   There was a good old barber in Mumbai. One day a florist goes to him for a haircut. After the cut, he goes to pay the barber and the barber replies:"I am sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I am doing a Community Service". Florist is happy and leaves the shop.The next morning when the Barber goes to open his shop, there is a "Thank You" Card and a dozen roses waiting at his door.   A

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Amazing Latin Dance

          Amazing Latin Dance, please take a deep breath and enjoy in the amazing Latin dance.

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KORNATI ISLANDS

  KORNATI ISLANDS   It is a group of about 130 islands, islets and reefs sprinkled in the deep blue sea of the Adriatic covering an area of about 64 sq km. The Kornati archipelago is in Dalmatia, a coastal region of Croatia just across the cities of Zadarand Sibenik.        The largest island is Kornat from which the archipelago takes its name. Other larger islands are, Piskara, Kurba Vela, Zut,

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Opatija The Queen Of Tourism

Opatija The Queen Of Tourism “The First Lady”, “Pearl of the Adriatic”,"Sankt Jakobi", "Abbazia", "Old dame", “Queen of Tourism”– these are just a some of the names given to Opatija, nice city in Croatia, on Adriatic Sea. Guarded by a backdrop of densely-wooded hills, it sits where the Istrian peninsula joins the Kvarner Riviera. Escaping Vienna's winter chill, the Hapsburg nobility of the Austro-Hungarian Empire set the fashion more then 160 years ago. Drawn by the mild microclimate, Opatija's glittering guest list included crowned heads, composers, novelists, and other celebrities of the day. They flocked here to take in the sea air, revive their health in hot baths, cold baths, and the sanatorium; and to dance or gamble until dawn. Other distinguished visitors included Chekhov, Puccini, and Gustav Mahler - who came to convalesce here a

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Croatia My Homeland

  Croatia My Homeland  Small Country For Great Holidays     The Republic of Croatia is a central European, Adriatic and Mediterranean country. Its north-eastern part is a part of Pannonia and the Danube Basin.The western part follows the Hungarian border to Slovenia. In the southwest, Istria borders Slowenien. Further to the south there are Primorje and Dalmatia stretching all the way to Croatia’s southern-most part where it borders Montenegro. In its north eastern part, Croatia borders Serbia and its eastern border is shared with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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Chip Card For Making Cigarettes Less Dangerous

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Chip Card For Making Cigarettes ... by Zlatko Miko

Chip Card For Making Cigarettes Less Dangerous

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Boracay Paradise

  Boracay Paradise Island   Anyone who hasn't been to the Philippines will want to see the best that the country has to offer. A common impression is that it's in the Pacific so you can imagine palm trees, neat little huts, white sand beaches, beach beds, nice chilled or iced drinks to compliment the weather, and the beautiful ocean. If that is your first impression of the country then you get the chance to fulfill the fantasy by heading out to Boracay. A dream vacation coming to life right before your eyes – that is exactly what this Philippine island embodies. Now that isn't just something anyone comes up with off the top of their head. It is no surprise that many people have described their experience on the island that way. No small wonder that the place has been nominated as the best beach in the world on more than one occasion. Understand the Basics Getting general tourist information about this tropical island can spell the success or failure of your visit. One ought to know what tourist traps to avoid. Visitors ought to get acquainted with financial matters like where you can get access to your cash in case you run out. You should also find out what things you ought to bring and know where you can turn to in case you run into trouble. Transportation People actually begin their voyage to this island via a short flight on a local plane. The island is small so don't expect to be landing here. You'll take a short boat ride just to get to this island. Coincidental with getting general tourist info, one should expect certain fees that tourists are expected to pay once they land on the island itself. There are only a few transportation options here but you usually have to go on foot to get to the many hot spots. Oh yes, you'll also do a lot of boat riding in case you want to get a tour of the place. Beaches Perhaps the most popular beach here on the island is White Beach, which is due to its resplendent white sands and calm waters. Strong winds don't

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9 Photos That Will Make You Want To Hop On A Plan

  9 Photos That Will Make You Want To Hop On A Plane To Yangon  When I arrived by night in the city of Yangon, I couldn’t help but look in wonder at the glimmering Shwedagon Pagoda, lighting up the darkened sky with it’s golden splendor.  Perched high up on a hill, it dominates the city’s skyline and is a visible icon from nearly every corner of Yangon.

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Top 5 Most Romantic Destinations

      Top 5 Most Romantic Destinations Planning a romantic summer getaway or honeymoon and looking for the perfect place?  I was recently asked what destinations I thought were the most romantic, and these are the top five that really made an impression on me. A moody view of the coastline in Hermanus 1 – Hermanus, South Africa Why it’s romantic — Along the coast there is a cliffside pathway through South Africa’s natural fynbos and flowers where the air is brisk and misty from the waves crashing against the rocky shore.  Just north of this seaside town, there is a wine valley known as Hemel-en-Aarde, which translates to “Heaven and Earth.”  The pinot noir here is spectacular and the views are breathtaking.  Honestly, it’s one of my favorite places on earth. WHERE TO STAY:  Birkenhead House WHAT TO SEE:  Quad Bike Ride to Hamilton Russell Vineyard A view of the sunset from our balcony 2 – Seaside, Florida Why it’s romantic — It’s one of the few places I know where you can watch both the sunrise and the sunset on the same beach.  The water is a mesmerizing jewel tone color, the sand as soft as baby powder, and couples can rent bikes and slowly meander down the paths from beach-to-beach.

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A Guide To Ordering Coffee In Italy

  A Guide To Ordering Coffee In Italy.   Coffee is pretty much  ingrained in the culture here in Italy and I’ve been fascinated by the different styles offered of my favorite beverage.  First of all, Starbucks has it all wrong.  It’s “piccolo, medio, and grande” instead of Tall, Grande, and Venti. And really, I haven’t seen anything offered that is bigger than a normal sized coffee cup. There’s also a lot more variety with the menu.  It’s common to see over 20 different ways to have your espresso.  Here’s a few I’ve seen pretty frequently: Caffè con Cioccolato:  Cappuccino with chocolate shavings elegantly served in a china cup.      Caffè Corretto:  This is coffee “corrected.”  An espresso with a splash (not a full shot) of your choice of liquor.  I tried it with amaretto. Delish.      Caffè Schekerato (or Shakerato):  Espresso, sugar, and ice shaken in a martini shaker to make a sweet cold coffee, usually with a bit of sweet foam at the top.  At first glance, it might look like a mini Guinness.

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Sweet Diwali: Celebrating The New Year In India

  Sweet Diwali: Celebrating The New Year In India        During my trip around the world with the Four Seasons FSJet, we’ve arrived in Mumbai during one of the biggest holidays in the country, Diwali.  A celebration of light and the triumph of good over evil, locals decorate their homes, cars, and even bicycles with marigolds and twinkling lights.  According to a tweet I received, the marigolds represent a trust in the divine and a will to overcome obstacles.               Throughout the night, fire crackers boom through the city and light up the night sky.  Small clay bowls, some

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Helpful Tips For Making The Most Of Your Cruise

  Helpful Tips For Making The Most Of Your Cruise   I just got back from a Carnival cruise and have a whole list of notes of things I want to remember to bring next time, as well as a few things I brought along that I now know I can’t live without.   If you’re headed out on a cruise soon, here’s are some helpful tips for packing and planning to make the most out of your vacation. PACKING Pack A Lanyard You know all those of those lanyards you get at conventions and meetings that you don’t know what to do with?  Bring one on your cruise!  Even if you don’t have a lanyard at home, they sell them on board in the gift shop.  Everything from sporty ones to blingy ones.  It’s useful for carrying your Sail & Sign card when you’re walking around the ship.  We brought a hole punch for ours, but after cruising I discovered it would be better to have a lanyard with one of those clear plastic pouches so that way you can add your driver’s license too for ID when getting on and off the ship in ports.     Pack Extra Conditioner There are no 3 ounce liquid restrictions on a cruise like there are when flying (though, if you’re flying in for your cruise, you’ll have to put these in your checked luggage).  While this tip might just be for the ladies, I have to say, the one thing I wish I had more of was extra hair conditioner. The ocean wind, sun, and salt water all take a toll on long locks, so I ran out of my 3 ounce conditioner on the third day. They do have some sundries in the gift shop (including conditioner) if you forget anything at home.  But they’re typically priced at a premium since you’re at sea ($5 for White Rain, $14 for Pantene) and not a deal like the items you find in the Duty Free shop. Pack A Water Bottle And Travel Coffee Mug In the Marketplace on board the ship you’ll find a filtered water machine as well as a coffee, tea, and hot chocolate available 24 hours a day to keep you hydrated and caffeinated. Bring your own water bottle and travel coffee mug to take advantage of the unlimited refills and to make it easy to walk around the ship without spilling your beverage.  If you forget your coffee mug, don’t worry, they have a coffee shop on board with specialty coffees too.  Be sure to get their coffee card to get a stamp with each purchase toward a free beverage.  

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Empire State Building - 2014 Christmas Light Show

  Empire State Building - 2014 Christmas Light Show (Night 2) 2nd night of the Christmas light

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Sai Kung Pineapple Buns and Linong Tea on Lantau

  Sai Kung Pineapple Buns and Linong Tea on Lantau Island      Strolling through the streets of Hong Kong, there’s no shortage of fun foods to try.  Travelers can dig their chopsticks into traditional street foods such as rice noodle rolls and fish balls in tangy red sauce, or, for the adventurous gourmand, there’s slimy snake soup or gelatinous steamed tripe.  (Foodie confession here … I can’t stomach the slimy foods.)  Personally, my favorite were the sweets.     In the seaside area of Sai Kung, I stumbled upon a bakery with a queue outside that wrapped around the building. Usually, that’s sure indicator of excellent food, and the comforting scent of fresh baked bread confirmed that this treat would probably be worth the wait.   While in line, I watched as a baker emerged from a side door every five minutes or so with a steaming hot pan full of puffed up yellow rolls.  My guide informed me that these were Hong Kong‘s famous “pineapple buns,” named after their golden crust that cracks into a crisscross pattern.

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Yangon’s Circular Train

  Yangon’s Circular Train   Built by the British during colonial times, this vintage

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Get a Feel for Zagreb: Stroll, Sit, and Sip

  Get a Feel for Zagreb: Stroll, Sit, and Sip        My first full day in Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, I found myself in the cozy kitchen of a friend of a new friend, gathered around a rickety table with a group of handsome young Croatian men. We slowly sipped wine and munched on salty cheese and pršut sent by concerned mothers from Dalmatia, and they curiously inquired about how it was I ended up in Croatia. I had been studying in England at the time, and I mostly came to Zagreb on a whim. Yet there I was, spending my afternoon with good food and even better company. I could hardly believe my luck.   An afternoon view of Zagreb from upper town   I’ve been back to Zagreb several times since that initial visit, and each time I relearn how to live the good life. Zagreb is a bustling city, full of things to do and sights to see, but for me, sight-seeing in Croatia’s capital is always slow, deliberate, and punctuated by leisurely coffee breaks. Zagreb is a city for exploring, wandering, and—most importantly—enjoying.   Wander Through Upper Town Narrow streets and charming homes characterize peaceful and quiet Gradec, part of Zagreb’s medieval Upper Town (Gornji Grad). Tucked away up on a hill just above Ilica, Zagreb’s bustling shopping street, Gradec is easily accessible from Zagreb’s main square, Trg Bana Jelacica. I like to walk up Radiceva Ulica, at the northwest corner of the square, and duck into a passageway of sorts on the left. You’re in the right spot if you hit a stone staircase a few steps in. I always get a thrill from climbing up the stone steps and resurfacing with a great view of the city. Alternatively, the Zagreb Funicular (Zagrebacka uspinjačc) on Tomiceva Ulica, just off of Ilica and slightly west of the main square, takes you quickly to the top for a small fee. Either route will deposit you in front of Lotrscak Tower, built in the 13th century as a lookout point from Gradec’s southern walls. Climb to the top for scenic views of the city, but take care to climb back down before the Gric cannon is fired at noon, continuing a daily ritual that began more than

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10 Negative Calorie Foods

    10 Negative Calorie Foods       Live to eat    Negative calorie foods can be eaten as often as you want without having to feel an ounce of guilt. Finally, the saying "eat to live, don't live to eat," can be reversed. Negative calorie foods take more energy to chew and digest than they actually contain, so you'll never have to worry about eating these foods in large quantities or gaining weight from them. They also contain ample amounts of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Next time you're in the mood for a snack, reach for one of these foods instead of that bag of chips, which we all know does more harm than good. 1 Celery One cup of celery contains less than 20 calories. It's rich in fiber, full of water and can even help reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. By the time you prepare, wash, eat and digest it, the 20 calories — and then some — will be long gone. 2 Lettuce Lettuce contains a mere 8 calories per

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Tonight's Dinner: Grilled Asparagus & Steak Salad

  Tonight's Dinner: Grilled Asparagus & Steak Salad Recipe A simple salad packed with flavor   Vegetables are always better when they're fresh instead of frozen. But they're even tastier when cooked up on the grill.     During these warm summer months salads are a cool delicious answer to "what's for dinner." Ideally, there will be no cooking involved, just some raw, fresh veggies chopped up and tossed together for an out-of-this-world entree. But if you believe that dinner isn't dinner unless it's cooked, take the cooking outside and grill. The grill brightens up the flavor of vegetables to make that salad even more amazing. You could even add some steak or chicken while you're at it and have a grilled salad that will bring smiles to everyone's faces. Grilled asparagus and steak salad Serves 4   Ingredients: 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon coriander 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

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Beautiful Island Vis In Croatia

  Beautiful Island Vis In Croatia   Vis Island in Dalmatia, Croatia: pictures from Saint George's Bay and the city of Komiza.

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Blue And Green Cave In Croatia

  Blue And Green Cave In Croatia      Caves in Central Dalmatia, Croatia: pictures from the Blue Cave in Bisevo Island and the Green Cave in Ravnik Island.

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From the Rooftops of Lastovo

From the Rooftops of Lastovo              2014-11-24 Southern coast of Croatia has a lot to offer to roving sailors, but if you feel more adventurous you might want to sail a bit further from the coastline and visit this peculiar location. Around 55 NM away from the coastline of Dubrovnik, you can find the Archipelago of Lastovo counting 46 islands; with the main island Lastovo at its center.  With the landmass of 42 km2 it may not be one of the bigger Croatian islands, but nonetheless it is a home to numerous curiosities and many beautiful sites and traditions. Thanks to its military past, this location was closed off to the public until 15 years ago. This assured the protection of the natural wealth which is maintained to this day through Lastovo’s status as a nature park. However, this means that yachting visitors are required to pay a daily fee of 2.70 Euros per person. All this makes Lastovo a quirky combination of natural beauty, military history and rooted traditional values.   Approaching from the NW you can find the main harbor in the sheltered inlet of Luka Velji Lago containing a yacht quay and a number of anchorages. On the north side there are anchorages at Mali Lago and Zaklopatica and on the south side you can moor at Skirvena Luka. Make sure to browse around these locations; in addition to being anchorages, they are also beautiful spots with some interesting sites to see, for example the abandoned submarine pen* near Mali Lago.

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Strolling Through Galle, Sri Lanka by Zlatko Miko

  Strolling Through Galle, Sri Lanka   My time in Galle was far too short – but it was more than enough for me to declare it my favorite place in Sri Lanka. Galle is a Dutch colonial town on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast anchored by a World Heritage-listed fort. The architecture gives it a feeling like nowhere else in the country. What I loved about Galle was how European it felt, set in the middle of a tropical Asian country. It was a nice mix of architecture, colors, and even modes of transport. If you have limited time in Sri Lanka — say, a week or less — I recommend you base yourself entirely on the South Coast, spending time in Galle and the resort towns that dot the coast (like Unawatuna, Mirissa, and Thalpe). As wonderful as Sri Lanka is, it’s not easy to get around the island quickly without flying, but you can still have a satisfying weeklong vacation if you stick to this itinerary. Behold: the best of Galle. I love scenes like this that unfold behind every corner: tuk-tuks, old-fashioned cars, and women in gorgeous dresses. One thing that most people don’t know about Sri Lanka is that it’s more religiously diverse than you might think. Most Sri Lankans are Buddhists, followed by Hindus (mostly among the Tamil population primarily in the north), and there are also sizable Muslim and Catholic populations as well. This Anglican church in Galle dates back centuries.

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Vancouver, Canada’s Westcoast Gem

  Vancouver, Canada’s Westcoast Gem     What is it about Vancouver that travellers seem to love so much? Is it the mountains, the beaches, the active inhabitants of the city? On your trip to Vancouver, British Columbia you’ll want to see some of the places the locals frequent. There are so many gems in Vancouver, so if your visit is short and sweet then here are some of my personal favourites!   Vancouver from the float plane  Parks  Everyone will tell you to visit Stanley Park, and yes it’s beautiful. I love going to the free outdoor movies that play during the months of July and August. If you’re on a budget, then grab a blanket and bring some treats, it’s such a great way to spend the evening and it’s totally free of charge. Rain or shine, you can’t leave Vancouver without driving, walking, or biking through this beautiful park. Smack dab between North Vancouver and Vancouver Proper, it’s beauty, vastness, and tall enchanting trees will not disappoint. In fact, I really recommend renting a bike and riding around the entire park, you’ll be able to stop and see the beautiful sights, and it’s quite inexpensive. There a few bike rental establishments right on Denman and Georgia Street, which are right near the park. Stanley Park is a popular place that travellers list as a Vancouver hotspot, but it’s not the only beautiful park to visit. While you’re in Vancouver, definitely try to visit Queen Elizabeth Park. The gorgeous, well-manicured gardens are worth a visit, and it is one of the highest points in Vancouver so you will see some amazing views. If you just can’t get enough of the parks and you’re a nature enthusiast, then make sure you also make a trip to the VanDusen Botanical Gardens. It’s just a gorgeous as Queen Elizabeth Park, and has one of the most beautiful rose gardens I’ve seen. Visit the VanDusen Botanical Gardens from March to May and you might be lucky enough to see the magical cherry blossoms, but if you happen to be here for the

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Mississippi by Zlatko Miko

  Mississippi Jackson                                        

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Islands in Croatia

  Islands in Croatia Croatia has 698 islands, 399 islets and 78 reefs which makes the biggest archipelago in the Adriatic Sea and the second largest in the Mediterranean Sea. The Croatian islands totaling 4058 km of coastline The Croatian islands inhabited since ancient Greece today on 698 Croatian islands, 47 are inhabited, in the sense that at least one person resides there permanently. Some sources put the figure at 66 inhabited islands but the number of islands with a home, 19 of these islands have lost their inhabitants because of insufficient economic activity The main economic activity on Croatian islands are agriculture and viticulture, as the culture of the olive fishing and tourism. The economy is relatively underdeveloped.   Hvar Island Queen among the Dalmatian islands, has been known since ancient times because of its strategic position and water, by its wealth of historical periods, because of its cultural and natural monuments and literature. Brac Island is the oldest town on the island of Brac and the town of fishermen and wine producers, it has become a famous tourist center. It's hard to show in brief what is Bol today, but it is certainly the ideal place for holidays. Split is established inside and around the huge palace of the Roman emperor, which stretched over an area of 39,000 sqm. The Emperor was a native of the city of Split Salone located on the heights. This is a major industrial and tourist port of the Dalmatian coast Stari Grad Croatia, Central Dalmatia, Hvar Island, a city and port on the northwestern coast of the island of Hvar. Main activities include viticulture, olive growing, breeding, fruit processing grapes, tourism and fishing. Situated on the regional road courses across the island, it is a port. It is a ground anchorage for yachts northeast of Cape Fortin, when the wind blows bora yachts may take refuge in bays and Zavala and Tiha when the sirocco wind blows in the Graciste berries, Sveti ante, Maslinica. Trogir is nice city located in Dalmatia. It is built on a small island (approximately 1 km²) between the mainland and the island of Ciovo. Tourism is the most important economic resource of Trogir, supplying more than 50% of the municipal budget with over 20,000 beds in hotel rooms and apartments. Vela Luka is a village, the municipality had 4,380 inhabitants. This community developed in the early

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Croatian Dessert Wines

  Croatian Dessert Wines Sweet pairing – exploring straw wines: Dalmatian Prosek and Tuscan VinSanto      I do love a good pudding wine to round off dinner! And in many of Hvar’s local restaurants, they’ll offer a glass of prosek or travarica as they clear away the dishes. The sweet prosek is a traditionally-made straw wine, while travarica is an aromatic herbal grappa. Both are good, but for me, Croatian prosek is one of the outstanding dessert wines of the world! Prosek tasting lineup So what is straw wine? It’s a type of dessert wine where the grapes have been left lying on a bed of straw for some time after harvest, either in sun or shade, to concentrate the sugar. The technique dates back to Phoenician times and was probably an effort to extend the shelf-life of the wine as they carried it around the Mediterranean. A popular shortcut these days is to boil the must, but that’s cheating and the end product tastes different. A real, traditionally-made prosek takes time and it’s not cost-effective for most commercial winemakers. But there’s lots of homemade prosek produced, and it can be really good! Straw wines are made in France, Italy, Croatia, Cyprus and other warm climes around the Mediterranean. Sometimes bunches of grapes are laid on racks or hung up under the rafters instead of on straw. The Italians call it passito, and that’s how the famous VinSanto is produced. Further north, and up in the mountains, winemakers achieve a similar effect by freezing out some of the water – thereby making ice-wine. So at the end of our dinner last night, we decided to do a comparison tasting of a couple of different proseks, both from the island of Hvar, and a VinSanto del Chianti from across the sea in Tuscany. To make it more interesting, we put together a sample plate of dessert flavours – fruit, chocolate, two types of cheese and cantucci. Our wine selections: Tomic Prosek Hectorovich 2007 One of the best traditional prošeks available on the market, and you can only buy it in Croatia. Served in all the best restaurants there, and for a very good reason. This is the gold standard of proseks. Made with indigenous Hvar grape varieties: bogdanusa, marastina, prc, muskat and produced in the traditional way using mature grapes mixed with some dried grapes from carefully selected locations and dried on straw for a month. Prosek Hectorovich is named after Petar Hektorovic, the 16th century poet and all-round renaissance man from the island of Hvar. Tasting notes from their website: This wine pairs wonderfully with desserts, especially dried figs and the traditional Dalmatian biscuits, as well as blue cheeses. Small children also tend to like it very much, so it is best to keep it out of their reach.

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Croatian Olive Oils – a long-standing tradition

  Croatian Olive Oils – a long-standing tradition    Dalmatians say: To taste good, a fish must swim three times – once in the sea, once in olive oil, and once in wine! Although I’m generally not a fan of munching olives, I have to admit they are good in combination with cheese and anchovies to accompany a glass of wine. And I definitely do like a good olive oil. We’ve recently tried different types from California, Spain, Italy and South America, and are beginning to appreciate the variation in flavours. We’re now hoping to expand our somewhat sparse knowledge to Croatian oils, as there are some fine examples of artisan extra-virgin olive oil on the market from around Dalmatia and  Istria. Rizman olive oil ready for tasting With that in mind, we attended a seminar at April’s Dalmatian Wine Expo, given by Dr sc. Mirella Zanentic, and Rizman, producers of some wonderful wines and olive oils. The presentation was somewhat technical, concentrating mostly on the process and quality of oil production, and I thought they rather missed an opportunity to spread the word about local products and the different olive varieties grown here. Olive Oil seminar Let’s start with the basics of olive cultivation in Croatia. Olives are grown from Istria in the north to Dubrovnik in the south, along the Adriatic coast and on the islands. Also in Inland Dalmatia, though further north winters are much too cold away from the sea. The olive trees were probably brought by the Phoenicians or ancient Greeks, and cultivation was further developed by the Romans. So we’re talking at least two millenia of olive cultivation on the Adriatic coast. 1,500 year old olive tree in Kaštela Some olive trees are reputed to be extremely old – for example one in Zastrazisce on Hvar, another in the Kastela area possibly 1,500 years old, and a very famous one on the island of Brijuni, confirmed at 1,600 years old.  There are also many instances where the original tree has died, but the stump is surrounded by the next generation of shoots grown into new trees. Old olive tree with new growth in Malo Grablje, Hvar Most of the olive production in Croatia is on small plantations, many parcels less than a hectare in size. In Dalmatia, you can see why that is so, given the steep terrain and poor soil collected behind retaining dry-stone walls.  So the types of olive grown here must be pretty heat resistant and drought tolerant. Further up the coast, in Istria, there are different varieties grown, ones that can better tolerate cold and strong winds. Croatian  Olive Varieties Domestic varieties The top five domestic varieties are shown on the

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Sea Turtles vs Man

    Sea Turtles vs Man A picture is worth as 1000 words: For all the theory you

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Vrboska – where the church is really a fortress!

  Vrboska – where the church is really a fortress! This entry was posted on January 10, 2015 by Mara.   St Mary of Mercy in Vrboska At the heart of Vrboska is one of the more unusual churches that you’ll ever see – the church fortress of St Mary of Mercy has high walls, battlements and an impressive ravelin defending the front door. Originally financed by the local people, it was extended and fortified in 1575 to be a refuge in times of attack by the Ottoman Turks and other marauding pirates. Back end and high walls Battlements View from the roof To us, it’s the clock at the end of our street, helpfully chiming the hours by day and night – see The Bells of St Marys. Now, as I mentioned in that post, we have a couple of other examples of fortified churches on the island, so let’s take a look at them… St Marys church in Jelsa Another St Mary’s is the dominating church in Jelsa, with its elegant white bell-tower standing proudly above the cluster of red roofs. This church gets a mention in the Hvar Statute of 1331, at a time when it was much smaller. Don’t let the 19th century façade and bell-tower fool you – take a peek round the back and you’ll see high defensive walls with battlements. This church was also a place of refuge for the local townsfolk in the 16th century when the Turks came calling. Stari Grad Dominican Monastery And over in Stari Grad, the Dominican Monastery of St Peter the Martyr was founded in 1482. Following a devastating attack by Turkish corsair Uluj Ali in 1571, much of the town had to be rebuilt, and the monastery added a defensive tower. Local people here also had the option of sheltering in

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Donkeys and Kayaks: Discover the True Dalmatia

  Donkeys and Kayaks: Discover the True Dalmatia     Every time I meet the owner of leading Split activity agency, Vese from CroActive Holidays, I feel a little self-conscious about my weight and lifestyle. I have known Vese for years, as she is originally from my adopted home town of Jelsa, and although she is considerably younger than me, she always feels like my older sister, full of advice, encouragement... and healthy living. My days of marathon running are over I fear, but every time I meet her and chat about the exciting things she is up to, I briefly consider giving up my unhealthy lifestyle and getting a little more active. Croactive Holidays opened a couple of years ago in Split, the latest activity agency offering tours from the Dalmatian capital, but what impressed me from the start was the thought and planning that went into offering a truly personal and well-thought out programmes which were a lot more innovative than the standard fare.

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Croatia – Touristic Paradise by Zlatko Miko

  Croatia – Touristic Paradise             Croatia Capital: Zagreb  Population: 4,7 millions               

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The Mexico Less Traveled

  The Mexico Less Traveled Most vacationers head to Mexico to rock-out hard during Spring Break in Cancun or wither away on gorgeous beaches.  I went to Mexico to study Spanish and relish in the joys of local food, art, and culture.  I stayed in a welcoming and inexpensive Posada (inn) a few blocks from the school at which I learned Spanish every morning.  As my aptitude for holding a conversation began to improve, I immersed myself deeper into the local scene–getting cafe con leche suggestions from natives, buying Queso Oaxaca at the super market, and going to neighborhood bars.  I spent four lovely weeks eating delicious street food (food borne illness is just a myth, right?), examining ornate Catholic churches, and viewing historical paintings. Guadalajara, Mexico I was in Guadalajara, which is located in the state of Jalisco, close to the pacific coast, and about half way down the country. Guadalajara is home to an incredibly comprehensive market (Mercado Libertad), a short car trip away from Tequila, the town from which the classic Mexican liquor originates, and some of the boldest, most soul-piercing murals my eyes have ever beheld. The city is filled with quaint plazas and tranquil parques (parks).  It seems as though after every five minutes of walking you stumble upon another stately, colonial plaza or sweepingly verdant park.  Parque Agua Azul, which is located on the outskirts of the city, is a lovely weekend destination for natives and their families. The lush, green space has a number of unusual features for a park.  There’s a busy butterfly house, an aviary that lots of multicolored toucans and parrots call (or, er, tweet) home, and a stunni

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Oahu on a Dime

  Oahu on a Dime As a Hawaii native, and now a New Yorker…. I consistently get asked the question just how expensive Hawaii is. It’s true, Hawaii isn’t cheap but if you’ve been dreaming of vacationing there your entire life and have abated the idea because of the perception that you can’t do it inexpensively, second guess yourself. Oahu, Hawaii (Photo: Flickr) Here are a few tips to doing Hawaii in high style while on a budget: First, visit the islands during the off-season. Last year, I curbed the idea of hitting home for holidays and instead booked a flight for after the New Year when ticket prices typically plummet. Even better, my personal favorite airline, Hawaiian Air just started flying non-stop between JFK and HNL, so I was able to score a flight for just under $500. Just so happens, I had to go back again in February for work and scored another cheap seat for a mere $460! And, don’t let the idea of off-season scare you. The weather in Hawaii is perpetually paradise-esque with the exception of a little more rain in the winter. On the hotel side of the spectrum, there are two, stylish boutique hotels I absolutely love on Oahu. The Waikiki Parc and The New Otani. Both should never estimate more than $250 a night in peak season. The Waikiki Parc is the sister hotel to the elegant Halekulani Hotel which sits just across the

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Alaska by Zlatko Miko

  Alaska                                  

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Arizona by Zlatko Miko

      Arizona  Phoenix  Phoenix is located in the southern region of Arizona about 240 miles south of Flagstaff and 240 miles north of Tucson. The city lies in a broad flat desert basin surrounded by barren rocky mountains. This is a great city that has expanded to envelop the surrounding communities of Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale and Sun City. It is a pretty small town with a few dozen skyscrapers surrounded by a

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Munich: Great destination

    Munich: Great destination  When I had to choose between my possible Erasmus destinations, Germany was not on the top of my list. By stroke of fate, I ended up choosing Germany and, a year later, I absolutely do not regret my decision. My final Erasmus destination was Passau, a little town located in the south of Germany with a population of about 50,000, of which more than 10,000 are students. Therefore, the party was guaranteed. View of Munich from St. Peter’s Tower . Photo Credit: Andrea Jiménez Rodríguez. Only 200 kilometres away was Munich, the second largest city in Germany. As a Madrilenian, I am used to being surrounded by people and I love to be in crowded places, enjoying the movement and noise a big city offers daily. For these reasons, I often took the train to Munich to feel the warm welcome of a big metropolis. Despite this initial impression, my first memory of Munich was the deathly silence in the airport, as a reminder that the tradition of speaking loudly is typical only in Spain and clearly, does not apply to Germans. I was also fortunate to arrive at the end of September, while the city was still in full Oktoberfest mode. Thus, I spent my first Erasmus week among many different kinds of beer. But Munich turned out to be much more than that. Where to start: I strongly recommended walking along The English Garden (Englischer Garten in German) regardless of the rain. Independent of the season, you can always find a group of surfers practicing in a standing wave of the Isar River. The landscape is indescribable and can only be experienced. Cyclists, joggers, roller skaters…the park is ideal for all sports fans. When the good weather arrives, people emerge from their buildings to prepare picnics and bbq’s. Naturally, a beer garden is located inside the park, right beside the Chinese tower and very close to the Tee House. Without a doubt, this is the place to do anything you want as it has so much to offer. As my trips

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Istanbul Impressions

  Istanbul Impressions   My first acquaintance with Istanbul was with the mighty Bosphorus Sea. It was 3am, and I was being driven down the desolate highway from the Istanbul Atatürk airport. The windows were wound down, and my only company was the saturated sea breeze. I was headed into Sultanahmet in the old town of Istanbul to put my bags down for the night. There were lights on shipping vessels out in the distance dotting the skyline, gently coercing us along the shoreline. Beyond the veil of light fog that shrouded the city, I could make out the outlines of jagged rooftops and stoic, slender minarets. Straddling the Bosphorus Strait on either shore are the European and Asian sides of Turkey. For a little while I sat arrested by the stillness before me, but little did I know of the magnetic power the Bosphorus held over all of Istanbul. The next three days would reveal all.  The Blue Mosque in Istanbul  As dawn broke, the silence that cloaked the city slowly evaporated.  The horns of impatient taxi drivers, clinking of tea glasses, constant croaking of seagulls overhead, bellowing calls to prayer at mosques during various intervals in the day, the chiming bells of trams in Taksim, and the thumping bass of Turkish pop reverberate throughout the vessel of Istanbul. This constant cacophony of sound is inescapable and was only one part of the full sensory journey I found myself embarking on. I started off my first day exploring the architectural marvels of the Sultan Ahmed (Blue) Mosque and Hagia Sofia. Sitting across from one another, neither one of these monuments appears to overshadow the other, for both appear regal and exquisite in their own essence. It occurs to me that their resounding significance even in modern day Istanbul, remain a testament to the might and glory of both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires that ruled through these parts, centuries ago. My immers

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Budapest, Hungary

  Budapest, Hungary It wasn’t love at first sight. A low ashen sky shrouded the city when we arrived in Budapest just after Christmas, 2001, leaden clouds spitting sleet and dirty snow. The perpetual pall made everything look poor, derelict, dismal. The very air was gray. The buildings, gray. Even the people waiting in a line that stretched out the door of the corner shop seemed a bit gray, their grim expressions, shabby, formless coats, and dull resignation dredging up every old stereotype of the former Eastern Bloc. They were, after all, standing in line to buy bread. Through it all the River Danube slid silently like an oil slick, clotted with a slurry of slush that was, of course, gray. But we awoke on our third day there to streaming sunshine, and the city was transformed. Buda Castle had shed its forbidding, almost oppressive presence and seemed instead an appropriate residence for kings. The intricate Zsolnay roof tiles of the 14th century Gothic Matthias Church gleamed behind the ramparts of Fisherman’s Bastion, and even the unfortunate monstrosities of the international chain hotels that mar the Pest side of the river couldn’t detract too much from the fact that Budapest is, after all, a beautiful city. Bas relief of St. Istvan (Stephen) on the Basilica The municipalities of Buda and Pest were first connected in 1849 with the inauguration of the Chain Bridge, still one of Budapest’s most-photographed sights and a pervasive symbol of the city. Official unification came in 1873, and the city began to gear up for its millennial celebrations in 1896. As an American who took part in bicentennial parades in 1976, the fact that Hungary celebrated its first thousand years over a hundred years ago is somewhat humbling. Much of the present city dates from that time, as city planners (perhaps regrettably) razed much older buildings to make way for an incredibly ambitious program of urban renewal. Andrassy utca, Budapest’s grandest boulevard, exemplifies the changes the city underwent at the time.  The street, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, was originally designed to link the City Park (Varosliget) with the city center with a broad, sweeping boulevard, along the lines of Haussman’s grand avenues in Paris.  Lined with fashionable boutiques and chic cafes, Andrassy is a pleasant place to stroll, and although the Italian custom of the evening “passeggiata” is unknown in Hungary,

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The Lion King by Zlatko Miko

  The Lion King gets real in South Africa You know that moment in The Lion King, when you’re introduced to Africa for the first time?  When the sun, peeking out from the horizon, slowly ascends into the red sky, and everything sizzles a little? Turns out, it’s real. Sunrise in Kruger National Park. Groggily turning away from the skyline, I surveyed the other intrepid explorers in my minivan, which was at this moment racing east, toward the sunrise.  There they were: a bored driver from Johannesburg, two whispering Australians, a snoring German, and my American sister, who adjusted her Total Pillow – yes, as seen on TV – to get a better view of the South African grassland. The veld, as it’s called, was also living up the hype.  Waist-high grass shone gold, blowing in the wind astride the far-off trees, was silhouetted by a thin layer of fog floating just above the ground. Though I would see this sunrise many times more, none would live up to this.  This was my Lion King moment.  This was Africa. I was on Day One of my first safari. I had booked the adventure with Intrepid Travel, which caters to no-frills, high-octane excursions around the world for travelers on a budget.  The four-day itinerary ($500) would take us through Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest game reserve.  Roughly the size of Wales, it’s known for playing host to wild animals as very few parks can – to study up, I watched Battle at Kruger over a dozen times. Everyone needs friends. John had me.

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How To Tip In Europe

  How To Tip In Europe In Europe tipping is far more modest and you do NOT tip 15-20% as you would in the States. Here’s a quick little guide to tipping in Western Europe and some of my favorite wanderlust-inducing pictures..because, why not? Austria  Restaurants | tips are usually included in the bill however it’s customary to add 10% Cabs | 10% is perfect Bars | round up to the nearest euro Czech Republic  Restaurants | tips are usually included in the bill however if you don’t see it add 5% Cabs | round up to the nearest euro Bars | 10% is appropriate France  Restaurants | by law it’s always included in the bill however adding 0-5% on top of the bill for good service is normal. FYI – The words “service compris” means no tip is required but locals still do. Cabs | round up to the nearest euro Bars | round up to the nearest euro Germany

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To Moscow With Love,

  To Moscow With Love, or some travel tips for hopeless romantics One hot August morning, I find myself onboard of an Airbus 320, in Barajas airport; beside me, a breathtakingly handsome man who smiles at me and there’s nothing strange in that because we are deeply in love and this is supposed to be our honeymoon trip. - Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome aboard Aeroflot Airline flight…  Apparently, everything is great. We are going to Moscow, my hometown. The city I’m supposed to know like the palm of my hand. And here I am, armed with five guidebooks in three different languages, trying to memorize the date of birth of Ivan The Terrible… - Now we request your full attention as the flight attendants demonstrate the safety features of this aircraft… The Red Square by night, your must-see number One in Moscow Again, everything’s supposed to be great, but there’s something that is bothering me enormously. I try to keep calm, yet my mind is like a poor rabbit, trying to find a delicious carrot in a frozen field. - The emergency exits are situated …  Something is terribly wrong. I look around. The cruel truth is that nobody is listening to the poor flight attendants. - Your life vest is under your seat  If they start singing Jingle Bells, they would have everyone’s attention. But they don’t… - Oxygen masks are… Oh, what am I doing? What does Ivan the Terrible have to do with our honeymoon trip? I’ve got it. Yes, I’ve got it. I don’t want to feel like these flight attendants. I don’t want our first trip to be like these cabin announcements. I close the guidebooks. It will be the best trip of our lives, I think, decidedly. Somewhere between lunch and Poland’s border, I know what to do. “- I promise this will be the best vacation ever,” – I tell him, looking into his amber eyes “- I know,” – he smiles at me and gives me a long kiss… We are in Heaven! - On behalf of the entire crew, we would like to thank you… We are in Moscow! The Cathedral of Christ The Saviour Our tiny suitcases in hand, we run through passport control to the train that would take us directly to the center of Moscow, Belorusskaya station. Then, just one more metro stop and we are at home, where a modest Russian lunch is waiting: pelmeni (giant cousins of ravioli, stuffed with minced meat and addictive like The Big Bang Theory series), borsch (suspicious at first sight due to its similarity to the Count Dracula’s favourite meal, and extremely yummy at first taste beetroot soup, consisting of about 20 ingredients and served with sour cream), Olivier salad (world-renowned Russian Salad, named after Lucien Olivier, the chef of one of Moscow’s most celebrated restaurants, Hermitage, who invented

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Bilbao’s Art Scene

  Bilbao’s Art Scene     Classic, ornate and modern are the first impressions I perceived of Bilbao’s architecture. The city steps away from the style of most major cities in Northern Spain because of its modern structures. Bilbao is developing into an interesting, artistic capital that welcomes the public into its exhibits, galleries and typical city life. In addition to major museums throughout the city, a visitor will come across art by simply walking down the street. View of Torre Iberdrola in Bilbao, Spain Unfortunately there are several parts of Bilbao that are far from pleasing to the eye. Bilbao is an industrial city; therefore many structures are dedicated to factories and machinery. Their focus is more on utilization than aesthetic appeal. These areas seemed to be amplified by the dull, grey sky caused by the rainy weather characteristic of Basque Country. Many of the city’s more modern areas are being developed as a result of deindustrialization and are certainly having an effect on its appearance. Within the previous photo you can see the Torre Iberdrola, the highest building in Bilbao. It stands distinguished from the other, more synonymous architecture. The tower was designed by an Argentinean architect César Pelli. I would hope this movement will continue and the city will only become more appealing. Bilbao’s city center is a fusion of ornate and modern. A perfect example is a contrast between the Parque de Doña Casilda Iturrizar and Bilbao’s Health Department Headquarters. These two areas are within a ten minute walk from each other, yet couldn’t be more different. Walking from the direction of the bus station, Termibus, you will come upon the park fairly quickly. The main entrance is a cyclical tunnel of archways framed by classical columns. The structures are made of traditional red brick and ornate, mosaic tile. The path surrounds several picturesque fountains and rotundas. Only a short walk away stands the

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Alicante, Spain

  Alicante, Spain You won’t find Alicante, Spain, in the guidebooks. At least, not unless you’re looking for it. Most publishers relegate it to a lone page or small corner of the “Costa Blanca” section, where it’s overshadowed by its more popular neighbors like colorful Valencia and ancient Murcia. The Mediterranean Sea from the Castillo de Santa Bárbara in Alicante, Spain. Photo by Olivia Young. And after living there for six months, I can see why: Alicante is not for the power sight-seers. It’s not for museum-junkies or 5-meal-a-day foodies. It’s for people who seek the authentic, day-to-day, not-so-bustling side of Spain — the side we always read about in novels and travel articles. In Alicante, nearly every store shutters its doors at 2 p.m., only to re-open at 5 p.m. Couples stroll arm-in-arm ­(slowly, of course) along the palm-tree-lined Explanada, and families and friends dine for hours at the restaurants on its quiet streets. Its small size and welcoming atmosphere makes Alicante the perfect destination for budget travelers searching for an authentic corner of Spain. And that’s why Alicante’s residents, the alicantinos, will tell you that their city has a little bit of everything — from the Mediterranean Sea and white-sand beaches to a towering medieval castle, traditional Spanish markets, and classic Valencian cuisine. Visit Classic Spanish architecture in Alicante’s Casco Antiguo. Photo by Olivia Young. El Casco Antiguo (Old Town) Start your trip to Alicante with a stroll through the Casco Antiguo, (Old Town), where you’ll find colorful Spanish architecture, hidden Mediterranean cathedrals, and small, echoing plazas. Stop to drink a café con leche at one of the many outdoor cafés, or peruse the handmade offerings at the weekly artisans’ market in Plaza de La Santa Faz. El Castillo de Santa Bárbara No visit to Alicante would be complete without a hike up the Castillo de Santa Bárbara. With its roots in ancient Rome and hints of Moorish influence, the hilltop fortress offers breathtaking views of Alicante from above. Curators have preserved and restored various rooms within the fortress, including the original Roman arches and high-ceilinged barracks. The castle also serves as a cultural center, where you can view historical photos of the city and various rotating exhibits. You can also take a guided tour for a small fee. Visits can be booked here. Getting there: On Foot: Access the old wall off of

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10 little towns in EUROPE you need to visit NOW!

  10 little towns in EUROPE you need to visit NOW!        Here it is. Check out what I consider the 10 most beautiful, charming, little towns in Europe. I hope this wanderlust-inducing list kicks you into booking your next trip, because really, you just have to visit. 1 | Burano Island, Italy   In the Venetian Lagoon, this little island is known as the residence for the large population of fishermen. The vibrantly colored rows of houses were historically used as beacons for finding their way home after a long day at sea. In recent years it’s become a Pinterest sensation and a true photographer’s paradise. While there be sure to try fresh octopus (but not coupled with espresso, like I did). 2 | Positano, Italy  On the Almalfi Coast, this little town is a true treasure. Stunning mountains leap from the clear Mediterranean for dramatic views while the UNESCO-approved village feels as though you’re in an Italian dream. The vacation destination for the stars, I claimed it here as the most beautiful place in Europe and I mean it. 3 | Oxford, England

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Bangkok Beyond the Stereotypes

  Bangkok Beyond the Stereotypes    Blaring horns, thick smog, filthy streets and a seedy underbelly is the stereotype often attributed to Bangkok. This was my niggling concern when I booked a stay in the city en route to Thailand’s prettier attributes – the islands. However, within hours of placing my sandaled feed on the city’s streets, I knew this modern megalopolis had been mis-sold. Grand Palace: A palace fit for royalty and belying Thailand’s traditional past. The heavens were open with fist-sized drops of rain when my late night flight landed in Suvarnabhumi Airport. I bundled my soggy luggage into my hotel, Penpark Place, and lingered in the lobby staring at the water smashing the pavement, willing it to stop. I was famished and needed to head out. After 15 minutes passed without change I knew there was nothing else for it. I threw on my raincoat and fled into the wet, dark and humid night. My hotel was near Khao San Road and it didn’t take long to collide with a stall hawking food. A customer-less lady was delighted at my presence and served up a delicious bowl of Pad Thai with the friendliest sawatii kha (hello) and smile; all for under $1. Sat under her ineffective makeshift shelter with rain streaming down my back and noodles warming my stomach, I suspected there was more to this city than stereotypes would tell. The next day, bright enough despite the jetlag, I grabbed my map and circled the sights I planned to see. It is easy to type-cast Bangkok as the buzzing modern city that it is, but it is also steeped in a long history and its traditions remain as relevant today as they were when Bangkok was part of ancient Siam. I wanted to immerse myself in the crux of Thailand’s past and imagine for a moment what life used to be like when the city wasn’t possessed by the constant din of tourist touting tuk-tuks. The Grand Palace was a staggering sight that

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Perugia, Italy

  Perugia, Italy An Enchanting Jewel in Umbria’s Crown    Two of the most romantic and enjoyable years of my life were spent during the time I lived in Italy as a student at The Universita Per Stranieri (University for Foreigners) in the Umbrian city of Perugia. Before the controversial murder trial of Amanda Knox, there were not many Americans who were familiar with this charming medieval city steeped in history, folklore and tradition. Located some three hours from both Florence and Rome, this bucolic, hilltop city has a colorful past and an allure all its own. Hills of Perugia Umbria as an area and Perugia in particular were inhabited since the days before recorded history. It was, however, the settlement of the Etruscans in the 6th century that elevated Perugia to a position of prominence in the High Tiber Valley. The city is known for its narrow streets (calle) that to this day bulge with all kinds of wares, culinary delights and redolent aromas that linger seductively in the air. While all of Italy is renowned for its magnificent art and architecture, Perugia’s incredible artwork was created by some of the greatest artists and sculptors who ever lived. The name, Perugia, derives from one of its most talented and celebrated artists: Pietro Vannucci, also known as Perugino. One of his pupils was the Renaissance master, Raphael, and their masterpieces are almost everywhere you look. The Capella di San Severo, which is located at the Piazza Raffaello, features a fresco where the handiwork of both artists is present. Raphael is said to have done the upper half and Perugino the bottom. Perugino’s major works can be seen at the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria (National Gallery of Umbria) and a visit is a worthwhile way to spend an afternoon. The gallery contains 30 rooms of priceless art. Even the

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Valencia, Spain

  Valencia, Spain With a privileged location along the Mediterranean Sea, the third-largest city in Spain can boast itself as one charming place. Filled with designer shops, fabulous museums and a delicious cuisine it calls its own, Valencia, Spain is also a tale of two cities. This mixture creates just the right environment for a perfect break no matter the season. Architect Santiago Calatrava's bridge - Assut d’Or Compared by many as a smaller version of Barcelona, I included; I thought I would re-visit this Mediterranean city by the sea during the holiday season to compare the old and new. It has been several years since my last visit, which at that time was filled with construction to create a newer Valencia. After all the America´s Cup and Grand Prix were coming to town. This time the trip lasted a mere two days, but I certainly packed the time well in the ever evolving rapidly urban center. If you love old towns, then there is nothing like a walk through Valencia´s original quarter. The area actually dates back to the Romans, who dominated the economic, cultural and religious life in the entire city and region. As you walk, you will find this area overflowing with churches, such as the Cathedral, that are crafted in a blend of Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque design. During the holiday season, the nativity scene is a huge draw. However, the Cathedral is noted for one of the most celebrated gold and agate chalice. The church and residents will argue intensely that this cup is the one used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. To them, it is the Holy Grail and the City of Valencia is blessed to have it in their possession. No one will ever sway a Valenciano away from this belief. The old Valencia The entire district is in the holiday mood, with its narrow streets decorated with blue and white lights for Christmas and Three Kings Day.

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Duck Race Festival in Germany

  Duck Race Festival in Germany Staying in a place having special event during travel is always a bonus to our journey. What comes into your mind in the month of October? Halloween ? There are actually more festivals than we can think of besides Halloween. In Germany, there is an Annual Rubber Duck Race coming up! Can you imagine having the river filled with thousands of rubber ducks? How lovely it is! The rubber ducks will need to pass through all obstacles and float to the final destination. The winner can get a €1000 holiday voucher, with plenty of other prizes for runners-up. Duck Race was not only held in

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Bike Traveling: Journeys of a Life Time

  Bike Traveling: Journeys of a Life Time What types of life are you chasing at your twenties? I’d say young, wild and free. Not only because I am influenced by Wiz Khalifa’s song (any of his fans here?) but also by a person, one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the year to be exact. Aged 24, Alastair Humphreys dreamt of a cycle journey. Setting his foot on England, he made his first stop in South Africa. Since that time, he rode continuously to different parts of the world, and completed his journey by cycling back to England from eastern Siberia. In about four years, he got his dream realized with an expedition involving Earth’s three great landmasses, namely Africa, the Americas and Eurasia, on a budget of just £7000.

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Artist Creates a Surreal Story with Photographs

  Artist Creates a Surreal Story with Photographs    We all know that there is great truth behind “One picture, thousand words”: the following photo-series which hold Hamburg-based art director Robert Jahns besides the fact his surreal point of watching the world is unique; it also gives a solid ground for making stories. By creating stunning surreal photo manipulations full of bright colors and daring characters ready to boost your spirit, when a beholder looks at the current photographs he/she can easily create a magnificent story in his/her mind. Be brave enough to be different, to see the other part of the coin and to enjoy the freedom of creativity and optimism. That is the main message which this creative mind is trying to give us. Check this compilation and try to create a different point of view…

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10 Amazing European Itineraries

  10 Amazing European Itineraries        Thinking about going to Europe but haven’t a clue as to where to start? Considering gastronomy, scenery, culture, ease of transit and loads of other factors here are 10 amazing 1 week itineraries for seeing the best of Europe! Pair them together if you have more time (lucky you!). 1 | PARIS + BRUGES + AMSTERDAM Easy train connections connect the romantic city of lights, a charming Belgian village with endless varieties of brew, and a beautiful canalled city on water. Beaming with museums, great food and nightlife this itinerary is ideal for culture-lovers and foodies and ideal any time of the year. Remember to pack your camera to capture that quintessential European architecture and comfortable shoes for long strolls through winding narrow streets.   2 | LOIRE VALLEY + PARIS Wine, castles and Parisian delights are photographer’s and foodie’s dreams come true. A one hour bullet train connects the joys of Paris (Mona, Moulin Rouge, Eiffel) with rolling, fertile fields riddled with chateaus and rivers. Make Amboise your base for convenience to all the sights in the Loire Valley while Chateaux East of Tours is sighted as being the best. Plan a visit in early fall to catch the peak of the wine harvest otherwise shoot for outdoor-appropriate weather the majority of the year. 3 | NICE + PROVENCE + MONACO Imagine sweeping views of provencal lavender fields, the most picturesque Instagram-worthy villages and touring one of the world’s most luxurious cities. Sigh. A trip for those that like to be on the go, the French Riviera is filled with too many destinations to name and delightfully convenient to the beaches (and airport!) of Nice. Navigate to your favorite destinations, like Eze, by train or rent a car to find your way into sleepy, romantic French villages.  

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20 Places You Should Visit In 2015

  20 Places You Should Visit In 2015 It’s time to start thinking about planning your dream trip next year. So where should you go? We looked at major developments, cultural trends, and global festivals to find the hottest places to travel around the world in 2015. From the Philippines to Peru, here are the best places to travel next year.      Japan will become a bargain destination for travelers. Tourism in Japan has taken a hit since the 2011 tsunami hit the country’s coast and ricocheted into a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Since then, the Japanese government has cleaned up the countryside and launched a massive public-relations campaign encouraging tourists to come visit. Pair that with a sharp decline in the value of the Japanese currency, and you get a country that’s ripe for tourism. Traditionally one of the most expensive countries in the world, Japan is quickly becoming a bargain destination that’s luring in travelers looking for a deal.  More than 11 million visitors have traveled to Japan so far this year, with more expected. Most tourists are heading to Tokyo, which is also busy preparing for the 2020 summer Olympics. Lima, Peru, will be the foodie capital of South America. A dish from Central restaurant in Lima. Lima, Peru has been slowly building its reputation as a city for foodies, cementing its status most recently when the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards gave the coveted top spot to the city’s Central restaurant. In total, eight of 50 restaurants on the prestigious list were in Lima. The Peruvian city is home to everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to hole-in-the-wall cevicherias that will continue to draw in foodies from around the world. “Frozen” fans will flock to Norway to seek out Elsa and Anna’s fictional Arendelle. The Lofoten Islands, Norway. “Frozen” has made over $1.2 billion for Disney, and with its increased merchandising andrumors of a sequel, the “Frozen” craze will only continue to grow. Set in Arendelle, a fictional kingdom in Norway, “Frozen” shows a gorgeous landscape of lakes, waterfalls, mountains, and fjords. Fans of the animated film are now seeking out real-life Arendelle in Norway. The country has seen a huge growth in tourism since the release of the film, with tour operators reporting a 40% increase in sales. Bergen, a city on the west coast, was the inspiration for the film. Voss is also popular with fans for its nearby fjords, glaciers, rivers, and lakes. With its small fishing villages and breathtaking cliffs, the Lofoten Islands will also attract Frozen fans. Iran will be the new tourism hotspot in the Middle East. A mosque in Isfahan, Iran. Iran is becoming a tourist hotspot, with tour operators reporting significant increases in tourists booking trips to the Middle Eastern country. Perhaps that’s because of a slight thaw in its relationships with the West, or simply because of the allure of exploring a little-known destination with few other tourists around. Note that Americans are allowed to visit Iran, but they must travel with an official tour guide or get their itinerary approved by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Travel within Iran is considered safe if you tour responsibly, even though the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel warning to the country. The country is home to ancient cities with breathtaking mosques and gorgeous natural landscapes. Popular cities with tourists are Isfahan and Tehran, but people also travel to see the ruins at Persepolis, the tombs at Shiraz, and the beaches on the Caspian Sea. River cruises will be popular in Europe and elsewhere. A river cruise on the Danube. Forget the massive, personality-devoid cruise ships. The river cruise industry is booming these days. These cruises offer a more refined, intimate, and cultured experience than the behemoth ocean liners. They also allow guests to embark right in the center of the cities, and enjoy riverbank scenery the entire ride. Luxury cruise-ship operator Viking River Cruises has carved a niche for itself as the top river-cruise ship company. It offers cruises all over the world, filled with unique cultural activities like lectures, language lessons, and demonstrations like cuckoo-clock-making, that are meant to shed light on the destinations visited. Even the food aboard the ship reflects the local culture, showcasing regional specialties from each destination. Namibia’s beauty will draw tourists to Africa.

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Marylin Monroe In Chicago

  Marylin Monroe In Chicago   Giant Marylin Monroe 50th anniversary statue in Chicago . Lifelike "Seven Year Itch" iconis pose captured by designer Seward Johnson... The projest was kept in great secrecy till recently Providing shelter under rain & snow.

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Famous Actors That Died Too Young

  Famous Actors That Died Too Young    While there is never a good time to lose our favorite actors and actresses, we have lost some celebrities that were simply to young to pass away. We have put together this slideshow in order to commemorate their work that we would love for you to check out. Let us know in the comments if we have missed any names! James Dean (1931-1955) James Dean was the star of some of 50’s major hits like East of Eden, Rebel without a Cause, and Giant. He is ranked at #18 in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars list and is a prominent cult icon in the movie industry. He was only 24 years old when he passed away from a car accident. Bruce Lee (1940-1973) One of Martial Art’s biggest icons is Bruce Lee. His popular movies include Fist of Fury, Enter the Dragon, and Way of the Dragon (ever wondered who would win in a fight between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, then watch this film!). Bruce Lee died at the age of 32 from cerebral edema. His son, Brandon Lee, suffered a similar tragedy; he was accidently shot while shooting the film The Crow. Brandon died at the young age of 28 and like his father, his legacy as cultural icon continues with their fans.

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Best Fat Burning Foods by Zlatko Miko

  Best Fat Burning Foods These 12 foods will start narrowing your waist the minute they leave your fork and enter your mouth!  Make sure these are added to your shopping list on your next trip. Grapefruit Vitamin C helps with the proper metabolism of fat, foods rich in it make great choices for burning fat. Eating half a grapefruit for breakfast or about thirty minutes before eating meals will help you feel more full and prevent overeating. Black Pepper Piperine, the important substance in Black Pepper, has shown signs of reducing the formation of fat cells in your body. Black pepper also helps to increase your metabolism. This is great news for those Ssck of eating bland food and looking for an easy way to shed some pounds! Cinnamon Cinnamon is known to lower blood sugar levels; this can help in suppressing monster appetites. Adding cinnamon to teas, coffee, and yogurt (plain!!) are some easy ways to get it in your system. Note** Try your best to purchase Ceylon cinnamon; the ingredient Coumarin, found in high amounts in Cassia Cinnamon, is known to have harmful effects on the liver.    Eggs

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How to Become Incredibly Happy

  How to Become Incredibly Happy    We usually think of ‘happiness’ as something that happens to us—you win something, you had a good day or someone did something nice and you’re happy. When in fact, the truth is, we can influence our own happiness. According to the report conducted by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 10 people report being depressed (clinically). The sad truth is that besides harming our mental state, depression can also result in physical illnesses, low productivity and an all-around poor quality of life. Although many of us might not be at a stage where we require medication to deal with this, even a small amount of depression is all it takes to put the body under stress. Here are some easy ways to help you start living a happier life today.    Sleep, Eat, Exercise, Repeat! Sleep Getting enough sleep plays a crucial role in our moods and how we handle negativity. About 7.5-8 hours of sleep is recommended for adults,  a number that many of us struggle to reach. Deep sleep is quintessential in generating mood boosting chemicals; according to National Institutes of Health (NIH), “activity in parts of the brain that control emotions, decision-making processes, and social interactions is drastically reduced during deep sleep, suggesting that this type of sleep may help people maintain optimal emotional and social functioning while they are awake.” Late night TV is often to blame for our poor sleep quality; try to record your shows and opt for sleep instead! Also, use weekends to catch up on your favorite daytime activities instead of staying awake late at night. Why waste the weekend by playing catch up on sleep? Eating The foods we choose to eat have a strong connection with our moods. Most of us can differentiate between healthy and unhealthy foods, yet many of us still continue to pick the unhealthy options. A study conducted by University College London suggested that people eating whole/healthier foods were 26% lower risk of future depression than those who commonly ate processed foods. Not only do processed foods impact your body’s image (a crucial factor of happiness), but they can also be a catalyst in altering brain chemicals required to stay happy. Exercise Exercise doesn’t just help to keep your body in good shape, but it also releases chemicals that are great for your mental well-being! Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are the key chemicals that are released during exercising that are important in keeping you happy and

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15 Spectacular Places You Must Swim Before You Di

  15 Spectacular Places You Must Swim Before You Die    Planet Earth is made up of 71% water allowing so many opportunities for great swimming. That would require quite a bit of exploring to find perfection, so we made your life easier and have listed the 15 best places in the world to take a dip. Come on in, the water’s fine. 1. Busuanga Island, Philippines Breathtaking beaches and crystal clear water to splash in.    2. Capri, Italy Explore a magnificent blue grotto, or bask on the sand.    3. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye Little lagoons of natural wonder speckled down the Cuillin mountains.   4. Santorini, Greece Take a dip in the big blue sea, with the sun on your back.

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Croatia by user268035886

  Croatia Capital: Zagreb Population: 4.7 million Official language: Croatian Majority group: Croatian (78%) Minority groups: Serbian (12.3%), Hungary (0.48%), Italian (0.45%), Czech (0.28%), Slovakia (0.12%), Ruthenian (0.07%) , German (0.06%), Ukraine (0.05%), etc. Political system: Democratic republic    

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Honolulu Hawaii

  Honolulu,  Hawaii onolulu   Honolulu    Honolulu is the capital and largest city of the State of Hawaii, United States. It is also the county seat of Honolulu, on the south-east of the island of Oahu coast. In Hawaiian, Honolulu means "sheltered bay" or "place of shelter."    In the census of 2010, there were 337,256 inhabitants Honolulu and nearly a third of the population of the entire county, which includes the entire island of Oahu, and the islands to the northwest of the island of Niihau. The urban area had 953,207 inhabitants in 2010. Honolulu is the capital of the most populous in proportion to the total population of the State.    Honolulu is known for its tourist district of Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head volcanic crater. Honolulu is also home to the main campus of the University of Hawaii, Manoa located in the university area of the city.    The naval base at Pearl Harbor, known as the site of the Japanese attack of December 7, 1941 which caused the outbreak of war the United States during World War II, is about fifteen kilometers west of the city.    Honolulu is also the birthplace of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States.    The climate of the city is tropical and humid in summer but sometimes is very pleasant in winter, the average high temperature is 27 ° C and the average low temperature is 18 ° C. In summer, the average high temperature is 31 ° C and the average low temperature is 23 ° C. In Honolulu, the climate is warm and soft with little difference between summer and winter. The mild climate is due to the trade winds. The surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean varies little from 25 ° C in winter to 27 ° C in summer.       Honolulu is the pearl of the Pacific. Located on the southeast coast of the island Ohahu, Honolulu multiplies dream shots and we never tire. But to see a sunset on Sunset beach? under the influence of the trade winds, the island bathed in a mild tropical climate, sometimes humid. Warm and soft, Mecca of nature and scenery, the archipelago is known for its exotic beauties, its surfers, its exoticism and its huge natural heritage. Indeed, volcanoes, mountains, rock arches or sandy bay to the delight of foreign visitors.

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Norway by Zlatko Miko

  Norway   Norway Oslo: The capital is nestled at the bottom of a fjord, in a large bay dotted with islands and wooded islands separating the city from the open sea. Three quarters of its surface is occupied by green spaces and pools of water, make the city a human face ... Norway, on the north-west end of Europe. The country shares a border with Sweden, Finland and Russia. To the west, it is open from north to south over the Atlantic Ocean. The country has the official name "The Kingdom of Norway." In addition to the mainland, it encompasses Svalbard and Jan Mayen Island, located in the Arctic. The Bouvet Islands and Peter I, located in Antarctica are linked to the Norwegian Krone. Norway is long - 1,750 kilometers from north to south. Its area is almost exactly equivalent to that of Great Britain, Italy and Japan. Its population not exceeding 4.3 million people, you will understand that, compared to other countries, this is not the space is missing.    Form of Government: Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system    Population: 4.3 million    Area: 386,958 km2 (Svalbard and Jan Mayen included)      Coastline: 2,650 kilometers (about 22,000 miles, fjords included)

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Barcelona, Spain by Zlatko Miko

  Barcelona, Spain   Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain by population. Barcelona is cradled by the waves of the Mediterranean, 2 hours south of the French Pyrenees. It is the capital of Catalonia, a region in northern Spain, whose culture, personality and traditions are particularly strong. Few cities in Europe can offer as much diversity and cultural experiences that Barcelona. The beaches of 4.2 km close to the town center and a beneficent sun throughout the year. Many great artists and painters have lived here and their influence has clearly marked the city. Picasso and Miró, which are devoted to the works two museums. There are also other museums and art galleries throughout the city, spend the day on one of the beaches close to the city center. Be invaded by the sun, the sea and the view   The architecture of Gaudi is admired by architects around the world, and is recognized as unique and avant garde in modern architecture.      

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Bavaria, Germany

  Bavaria, Germany                                                                                      

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Explore Granada, Spain

  Explore Granada, Spain         Granada is a place that is near and dear to your heart and there are a couple of places that are not to be missed!      1. The first and most obvious is the Alhambra. It use to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient world, and it lives up to all the wonder and hype! The Alhambra started as a fortress in the war, and turned into a royal palace, and looks as such. The best comparison I can make is that the Alhambra is to Spain, what Versailles is to France! I never took a formal tour, but if you have the time I would recommend it. I opted for the audio tour the first time, and then stuck with tour books and exploring on my own. If you are limited on time, go with the tour guide! There is so much history, and so many stories that it makes the experiences far better! 

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Sicily Trip

  Sicily Trip    Sicily is filled to the brim with bustling cities, old school markets, and unimaginably beautiful panoramic views. Even though we used Catania as our overnight base in Sicily, we made sure to explore more of what the football at the end of Italy's "boot" had to offer. Today I'll tell you about two day trips we went on from Catania, although both cities are also easily accessible from other parts of the island as well! This is going to be an extremely photo-heavy post because... well, you'll see why!    Taormina:    The views from this little slice of Sicilian paradise are absolutely unreal. Although this small commune is an extremely popular tourist destination, as it is a common stop for many cruises, it is still 100% worth it to go! The historic center of the town might be crazy touristy and filled to the gills with people, but with Mount Etna in the distance, an impressive (and still-functioning) Greek amphitheater to explore, and an elevated view of the Ionian Sea, I can not more highly recommend adding Taormina to your must-see list in Sicily.    

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Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

  Lake Bohinj, Slovenia    Lake Bohinj is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia, which is situated in the Triglav National Park. It’s not as famous as Lake Bled but it means that there are less tourists and more pristine nature.   Lake Bohinj has the East-West orientation which means that there is always fascinating light to capture and it’s surrounded with mountains that creates the most amazing reflections in crystal clear water. There is also a church from the 14th century standing by the lake (it’s also in the coat of arms of the municipality Bohinj). I come to the lake on a weekly basis and the atmosphere out there is always different and always interesting to photograph.  3

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Amalfi, Italy

  Amalfi, Italy Amalfi is located in the Gulf of Salerno in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Amalfi is located in the Gulf of Salermo in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Amalfi coast consists mainly of rocky cliffs. The city itself is located on the sides and bottom of a groove opening of the harbour and dominated by Mount Cerreto (1,315 m). Amalfi is a tourist town. The beauty of the natural surroundings, the maze of narrow medieval streets and the particular mix of cultural influences from across the Mediterranean made it a city declared World Heritage by UNESCO since 1997. Amalfi is known for its production of quality lemons and handmade paper. 5518 people live there                                                        

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Montpellier, France

  Montpellier, France  Montpellier is a city in southern France, capital of the department of Herault and Languedoc-Roussillon region. Montpellier is between Nîmes and Béziers, near the Mediterranean Sea. The town, intramural, has a population of over 250 000 inhabitants, while the urban area has more than 510,000 inhabitants in 2006. Liverpool is located on the axis between Spain to the west and Italy to the east. Montpellier is the eighth town in France by its population "Intramural" and also the most populous of the Languedoc-Roussillon and Hérault. The city is located 10 km from the Mediterranean Sea (Palavas-les-Flots) by expressway and 75 km from the nearest point mountain (Aigoual 1567 m, located in the department of Gard Montpellier is 52 km Nimes, 30 km from Sète, 65 km from Béziers 168 km Marseille 248 km Toulouse or 350 km from Barcelona. It is 750 km from Paris. Today the eighth largest city in France with its intramural population and third French city of the Mediterranean axis (behind Marseille and Nice), it is one of the few cities with over 100,000 inhabitants, the population increased so uninterrupted for about fifty years. She has more than doubled over that period to 251 634 inhabitants

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Nice by Zlatko Miko

           Nice and the French Riviera                

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Strasbourg, France

  Strasbourg, France Strasbourg is a city in eastern France, on the left bank of the Rhine. It is the capital of the Alsace region and the Bas-Rhin. The city is the seat of numerous European and international institutions, including the Council of Europe since 1949, the European Parliament since 1952 official seat since 1992, the European Court of Human Rights in the Palace of Human Rights, Man since 1998, the European Ombudsman. As such, it is frequently described as a European capital or parliamentary capital of Europe.  Its population, Strasbourg intramural was the first French town of Grand Est and the seventh of France [Its urban area is the ninth of France, counting 761 042 inhabitants in 2010 in its French part. She is one of the major economic centres of the northeast and is distinguished by a highly diversified secondary sector and the tertiary sector mainly turned to the financial, research and consulting. Strasbourg's economy is also marked by the establishment of two clusters, one devoted to the life sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, the other for future vehicles. City border with Germany, Strasbourg is deeply bicultural. Its history is rich and tormented, left a remarkable architectural heritage. Its downtown, located on the Big Island, is entirely classified world heritage by UNESCO since 1988 and includes the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg and the district of La Petite France. Strasbourg has also become the symbol of Franco-German reconciliation and more generally of the European Union. The city has gradually specialized in political, cultural, and institutional. It is thus one of the few cities with Geneva, Montreal or New York, to be the seat of international organizations without being capital of a country. Strasbourg is an international convention city, the second in France after Paris. The presence of several renowned national institutions such as the National Theatre, the National and University Library and the National Opera of the Rhine makes it an important cultural centre. Strasbourg is also a great student city, university, its colleges University which hosted 18 Nobel Prize within its walls, was the recipient of numerous tenders in the context of future investments, to make it a centre of excellence in

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Nice Ice Hotel in Romania

  Nice Ice Hotel in Romania Romania is a country where everything is possible. In the heart of the Carpathians at a high altitude on Balea Lake we find the Hotel of Ice. It was the first of its kind in the Southeast Europe. Besides the comfort you hand in the hotel, you can enjoy the landscape with snowy mountains. The hotel has a bar, a restaurant, and next to it you can find even an ice church. Bedroom  

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Grand Canyon, Arizona

  Grand Canyon, Arizona  

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Paris Arc de Triomphe & Eiffel Tower

  Paris Arc de Triomphe & Eiffel Tower        

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Palace of Versailles

    Palace of Versailles Palace De Versailles is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French, it is known as the Château de Versailles. When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a wealthy suburb of Paris, some 20 kilometres southwest of the French capital. The court of Versailles was the centre of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime.

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Bora Bora by Zlatko Miko

Bora Bora      Bora Bora with 9000 inhabitants is one of the Leeward Islands of the Leeward Society Islands in French Polynesia. It is located about 260 km north-west of the capital Papeete. It is home to Bora Bora airport. The capital of the island is Vaitape. The atoll of Tupai is an administrative arm of Bora Bora.  Bora Bora is formed of an extinct volcano surrounded by a lagoon and reef fringe. Its highest point is Mount Otemanu (727 m) in the center of the atoll; another peak, Mount Pahia, also located on the main island, reaching 661 m. The main island is dug three windows open onto the lagoon: Faanui Bay and the Bay of Tuuraapuo or Povaie Bay to the west, and the Bay Hitiaa northwest. Bay Tuuraapuo separates the main island of the two islands of volcanic origin: Toopua and Toopua-iti. A coral necklace protects Bora Bora as a dike. This is a barrier reef, which has only opening to the ocean: the pass Teavanui, located west of the main island, which allows most large ships to enter in the lagoon. They must, however, remain in a channel because otherwise the water is shallow. The barrier reef is very large place, it is over two kilometers in width in the southwest of the island. To the east and north of the island, the reef supports a series of islands made of coral rubble and sand.      

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Guadeloupe

    Guadeloupe      The Guadeloupe 405,500 hab. is both a region and a French overseas department located in America. This small Antillean archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, of 1628 km2 which includes a multitude of islands, six of which are inhabited it is about 6200 km from mainland France, 600 km north of the coast of South America, 700 km east of the Dominican Republic and 2,200 km south-eastern United States. According to current knowledge, the Arawaks came from Venezuela in the Orinoco basin, were the first to be held in Guadeloupe. The peaceful population of fishermen saw the arrival from the ninth century to the Carib Indian, and they occupied the premises until the end of the fifteenth century, that is to say, until the arrival of Europeans. Guadeloupe has a tropical climate tempered by maritime influences and trade winds. We distinguish two seasons in Guadeloupe and in Temperature side, with an average of 27 ° C, there is little difference between the warmer months (25 ° C to 32 ° C) and the coldest months (23 ° C to 29 ° C). The specific geography of the archipelago, the contrast between Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, also causes a specific climate on each island. Grande-Terre and its limestone plateau regularly experiencing severe drought, while at the same time, relief perpendicular to the flow of trade winds Basse Terre regulates the rainfall. The average temperature of the seawater is 28 degrees Celsius. Agriculture (sugar cane, banana, melon, coffee, vanilla, pineapple, avocado, orange, lemon, star fruit, etc.), once the economic engine of the archipelago, only survives thanks to government subsidies and local authorities. "The cane is our steel" have a saying in Guadeloupe and because industry, few, mostly belong to the food sector (sweets, rum distilleries, canneries). Sugar cane and bananas, the two biggest productions of the archipelago, are in crisis. As for the fruit and vegetable crops, they fail to cover the needs of 400,000 inhabitants; each year, Guadeloupe has to import more than ten thousand tons of fruits and vegetables. In addition, Guadeloupe has a dozen industrial zones throughout the country; activities are concentrated in the urban Pointoise mainly on the site of Jarry (325 hectares), Common Mahault Bay. This industrial area Tourism is the only sector to maintain some momentum; the good results of 2007 confirm the positive trend in the economy of the area. Passenger traffic at Pole Caribbean (excluding transit) increased by 6.2%, mainly as a result of the development of cruise tourism, up 26.9% over the year; off cruise lines, the number of passengers arrived in the archipelago rose 3.6%. The listed hotel has also benefited from the increase in attendance                          

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New Caledonia Beaches

  Beaches in New Caledonia   New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, 1,210 km east of Australia and 16,136 km  east of Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Chesterfield Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of Pines, and a few remote islets. The Chesterfield Islands are in

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French Polynesia

   French Polynesia French Polynesia is a country overseas of the French Republic, made up of 5 archipelagos, a total of 118 islands of which 67 are inhabited. Located in the southern Pacific Ocean, about 6,000 km east of Australia: the Society Islands with the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier, the Austral Islands and the Marquesas Islands. It also includes the huge maritime areas French Polynesia had 259,706 inhabitants, French is the only official language of French Polynesia is a community of overseas territories. The currency is the CFP franc, which is not listed on the exchange market, its price being fixed relative to the euro: 1 euro is worth 119.3317 Pacific Franc French Polynesia has a moderately developed economy, dependent on tourism and financial allocations from the state, including DGDE. It is essentially a service economy, with limited industrial and agricultural sector in difficulty. The bulk of the goods consumed are imported. The culture of the black pearl for jewellery is highly developed, but the sector is in big trouble, and knows a recurring problem of overproduction. This phenomenon also concerns the production of Tahitian vanilla, whose quality is known, but is also the most expensive in the world market. This territory includes several groups of islands and atolls, the most important and most populated is Tahiti. Polynesian cuisine is characterized by a great variety of dishes based on seafood and exotic fruits and influenced by French and Chinese cuisines. Of course there are clear differences according to the archipelagos. The Maa Tahiti means the traditional meal, usually eaten on Sundays and feast days in the Society Islands and Tuamotu. The Marquesas, the more one will taste kaikai enana.                                           

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Nuku Hiva French Polynesia

   Nuku Hiva French Polynesia    Nuku Hiva (sometimes erroneously spelled "Nukahiva") is the largest of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. It was formerly also known as Île Marchand and Madison Island. Please enjoy here in some wonderful photos.   Nuku-Hiva---Village   Nuku-Hiva---Village   Nuku-Hiva---Village   Nuku-Hiva---Village  

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Martinique,

  Martinique, Walk Across the Island The Martinique ( capital is Fort-de-France ), is an island in the French Antilles, overseas department and EU outermost region located in the Caribbean. It owes its name to Christopher Columbus, She's French since 1635 the first European to discover it. Martinique is located in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, between Dominica to the north and to the south St Lucia, approximately 450 km north-east of the coast of Venezuela, and about 700 miles south -east of the Dominican Republic. It has a population of 390,395 inhabitants. The settlement of Martinique is relatively recent. Its history is largely marked by the colonization of America by slavery. Martinique, stretches about 70 km long, 30 km wide. The highest point is the volcano of Mount Pelee. Martinique has few native species. The most common wild animals remain discreet: the manikous the matoutous-cliffs are endemic tarantulas, iguanas delicatissima and green iguana, mongoose and snake or trigonocephalus spearhead. See also: List of bird species in Martinique. The Atlantic coast is bordered by a virtually unbroken coral reef, where circulate offshore fish and where houses the sedentary fauna. Martinique's rainforest humid tropical or equatorial type, is composed of ferns and trees such as mahogany (in English, the locust, which are used to make furniture. The banana is the first agricultural export 57.8% of agricultural production of the island                                                 

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Reunion, France

  Reunion, France       Reunion is a French island in the southwest of the Indian Ocean located in the Mascarene archipelago about 700 kilometers east of Madagascar and just over 200 kilometers southwest of Mauritius, the nearest land. Subjected to a tropical climate, it has a steep terrain formed there are only a few million years. Also, despite a marked erosion, it culminates at 3071 meters above sea level to the summit of Piton des Neiges and also houses one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Piton de la Fournaise. Lava flows issued by the latter regularly increased the total area of ​​the territory beaten by the waves and enjoy in its approximately 2,512 square kilometers of existing outstanding natural endemism. Reunion, having been inhabited only from the mid-seventeenth century, about 150 years after its appearance on portolans Portuguese navigators. First a simple stop of the French East India Company known for Mascareigne, it quickly becomes that of Bourbon in a strategic counter the route to India, helped by the coffee trade expansion from year 1710. Soon a real plantation society, the colony then passes under the direct control of the king of France in the 1760s before being reassigned to the culture of the Napoleonic sugarcane, Reunion is from an overseas department designated by the number 974, and has thus a rapid development which involved his most recent status of outermost region of the European Union. Nevertheless, and despite its membership in the euro area, its productive fabric remains structurally fragile, still being heavily dependent on France,

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Reunion, Another View

  Reunion, Another View Reunion is a French island in the southwest of the Indian Ocean located in the Mascarene archipelago about 700 kilometers east of Madagascar and just over 200 kilometers southwest of Mauritius, the nearest land. Subjected to a tropical climate, it has a steep terrain formed there are only a few million years. Also, despite a marked erosion, it culminates at 3071 meters above sea level to the summit of Piton des Neiges and also houses one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Piton de la Fournaise. Lava flows issued by the latter regularly increased the total area of ​​the territory beaten by the waves and enjoy in its approximately 2,512 square kilometers of existing outstanding natural endemism.  The Meeting, having been inhabited only from the mid-seventeenth century, about 150 years after its appearance on portolans Portuguese navigators. First a simple stop of the French East India Company known for Mascareigne, it quickly becomes that of Bourbon in a strategic counter the route to India, helped by the coffee trade expansion from year 1710. Soon a real plantation society, the colony then passes under the direct control of the king of France in the 1760s before being reassigned to the culture of the Napoleonic sugarcane, Reunion is from an overseas department designated by the number 974, and has thus a rapid development which involved his most recent status of outermost region of the European Union. Nevertheless, and despite its membership in the euro area, its productive fabric remains structurally fragile, still being heavily dependent on France, But far from being a problem, the local population is also a great wealth given the youth of the islanders and their different origins, both European, Malagasy, East African, Indian, Malay and Chinese. Living together in a small space has already resulted in unusual combinations, language dialogue via Reunion Creole, their religions meeting around an original syncretism their cuisines all feeding Reunion kitchen and merging their music for give Sega and Maloya. The original mix is ​​considered an essential asset for the largest economic sector of the island, the local tourism industry, to which it owes its nickname of intense Island.                                    

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Cannes, Festival City

  Cannes, Festival City  Cannes is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur just northeast of Esterel 36 km from Nice, 55 km from Monaco and 60 km from the Italian border. The city stretches over 8.8 km long and 4.5 km wide The town of Cannes is the third city of the department by its population.  During the Film Festival, a population is over 160,000 inhabitants. Therefore, Cannes has been able to grow outside its Film Festival. Cannes quickly became a media-saturated city. The town is divided into quarters. The most important is La Bocca located west of the city, with access to the sea. A full-fledged city with his own life, an annex town hall, a church, a post office, its Provencal market, its beautiful bowling alley and a train station and also the Lérins islands which form a neighbourhood. Luxury shops offer, between sea and sun, a prestigious showcase of French luxury.                                  

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Normandy Coast

  Normandy coast Normandy is one of the largest regions of France. It extends from the English Channel to the north to Maine and south suburbs of Paris, it affects Brittany and Picardy west to the east. Normandy is divided into two quite distinct parts. To the east, Upper Normandy, consisting of two departments of Seine Maritime and Eure, located in the Paris Basin watered by the Seine. To the west of Lower Normandy includes three departments: the Manche, Calvados and Orne. It is on the Armorican Massif, entire ancient hills resembling a wide triangle whose base rests on the Paris Basin and peak overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Despite these differences between the Upper and Lower Normandy, the province is crossed by rivers and dotted with forests. This geographical diversity has made the Normandy not only one of the richest provinces of France, but also one of the finest, also celebrated by artists and tourists.    

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Miami, Florida

  Miami, Florida      Miami is one of Florida city called state of radiant sun. The temperature remains mild most of the year and it has a comfortable semi tropical atmosphere. Although mercury can sometimes go up or down beyond what we hope, the temperature in fact remains perfect throughout the year. Miami is a city located southeast of Florida in Miami Dade County on the Miami River. Although the city is not in itself very large, metropolitan Miami includes several surrounding towns. The same Miami 377 000, with over 5.4 million residents in the greater Miami Beach Fort Lauderdale Hialeah i. Directly to the city west are the Everglades. The name "Miami" comes from an Indian word meaning "sweet water". Tequesta Indians were settled at the mouth of the Miami River. The area is rich in water because the Miami River is essentially a channel between the Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean. The area to the 8th Street, with its small shops run by Cubans, is known as the Small Havana name. The fact that Miami has become bilingual in large part, was a stimulus to immigration from the countries of Central and South America.      

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Why Croatia should be at the top of your summer b

  Why Croatia should be at the top of your summer bucketlist                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unless you’re a dedicated snow man (or woman) you’ll probably want to ensure that your summer months are spent soaking up the sun somewhere it’s actually guaranteed to shine. But where in the  world is that? Short answer, Croatia.   Nestled between Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary, and just a jump across the Adriatic from Italy, Croatia boasts the best of both the Balkan and Central European worlds making it the perfect summer getaway. Don’t want to take our word for it? We’ll let these photographs do the talking for us: The coastal waters are ridiculous   This iridescent water is the definition of crystal. Doesn’t it just make you want to dive right in? Everyone is an incredible cook

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Beautiful Destinations for the Contemplative Trav

  Beautiful Destinations for the Contemplative Traveler      There are times when the universe gets our soul for no reason and we end up feeling lost, wandering around without reason. If that’s true for you right now, how about some travel therapy? Whether you’re the adventurous type, beach bum, or luxurious traveler, there are many ways you can spend your days-off in this wonderful world you’re living in. 1. Kashmir, India   The easiest way to clear one’s thoughts is to take a walk outside and if that’s your relaxation method of choice, you better step it up into a hike along the trails of Kashmir. You can choose if you want to take the relaxing or challenging way. Either way guarantees that you’ll spend the entire hike appreciating the beauty around you. 2. Bali, Indonesia   You want to find yourself…but isn’t Bali a bad choice for that? The answer is no of course! One destination in Bali you need to visit if you want a peaceful getaway is the town of Ubud where culture and nature are combined. Ubud boasts destinations like the Tegallalang Rice Terraces and Temple of Tirta Empul. Ubud is also a great spot for detoxification, meditation, and yoga. 3. White Desert, Egypt   Seeing nothing but an empty desert is special in its own way especially if you witness an almost all-white landscape. Egypt’s White Desert is known for its alien-like rock formations where you can spend the night (make sure to bring your tent!). This place is truly unbelievable and will make you want to visit it again and again. 4. Koyasan, Japan    Take your soul-searching into a different level and live like a monk, even just for a few days. Koyasan (Mount Koya) is the center of Shingon Buddhism and a small town has developed around it. Over a hundred temples can now be seen along the streets of Koyasan and about half of these temples offer lodgings. Besides the fact that you can stay overnight, you’ll also have the opportunity to live like a monk by tasting vegetarian cuisine

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Mississippi - Along The River

  Mississippi - along the river                    

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California by Zlatko Miko

California            Monteray San Fransisco Morro Rock Mount Lak Mount Shasta Napa Valley Malibu Palm Spring desert Palm Spring castle Palm Spring Golfe Yosemite Park Park in San Diego Yosemite Park Yosemite Park Baie de San Diego

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Traveling To New Zealand

  Traveling To New Zealand What about to go to paradise of the earth – New Zealand. A 20+ hours flights to Auckland from Europe is a really long journey, but it is worth because so many beautiful places that you have never imagined they were real. Please see here some of them: Fiordland Castle Hill Haast Pass

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Sri Lanka – Some Views

  Sri Lanka – Some Views    Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country near the south-east of India in South Asia. Sri Lanka, known until 1972 as Ceylon, has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest. Sri Lanka has a documented history that spans over 3,000 years, but there are theories to suggest that Sri Lanka had pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II.            

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Rhine Falls, Switzerland

  Rhine Falls, Switzerland Located on the right bank of the Rhine, near the city of Schaffhausen, the medieval city with beautiful houses with decorated windows. It is a host of tourist and cultural attractions. Rhine Falls is the largest waterfall in Europe, 150 m wide. In normal times, 700 cubic meters of water per second gush over the rocks to fall 23 meters down. The narrow alleys invite you to stroll and shop, and contemplation. It's

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Luxembourg

  Luxembourg    Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a landlocked country in Western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. It comprises two principal regions: the Oesling in the north as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland ("good country") in the south. Luxembourg had a population of 524,853 and has an area of 2,586 square kilometres, making it one of the smallest sovereign nations in Europe. Luxembourg is a member of the Benelux, the European Union - which is one of the six founding countries - and NATO.        

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Ko Samui, Thailand

  Ko Samui, Thailand Ko Samui  is an island off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus, Thailand. Geographically in the Chumphon Archipelago, it is administratively part of Surat Thani Province. It is located in the Gulf of Siam. Ko Samui is Thailand's second-largest island after Phuket, with an area of 228.7 km2, a population of over 63,000 and a hotel occupancy rate of 73% as the number of visitors increases. Abundant tourist resources, sandy beaches, coral reefs, and coconut trees are present on the island. Please see here some photos from this wonderful destination.      

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Fiji, Melanesia

Fiji, Melanesia Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec Islands to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast, and  Tuvalu to the north.  Fiji is an archipelago of more than 332 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres. The farthest island is Onu-i-Lau. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the population of almost 860,000. The capital and largest city, Suva, is on Viti Levu. About three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres like Nadi (tourism) or Lautoka (sugar cane industry). Viti Levu's interior is sparsely inhabited due to its terrain  Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific due to an abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources. Today, the main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry and sugar exports. The country's currency

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Scotland by Zlatko Miko

  Scotland Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the south-west. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides. Edinburgh, is the country's capital and second-largest city. Please enjoy here in some beautiful pictures.    

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Ireland by Zlatko Miko

  Ireland Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic to the west of Great Britain, from which it is separated by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St Georges Channel, and after which it is the largest island of the British Isles. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, which covers the remaining area and is located in the north-east of the island. The population of Ireland is about 6.4 million. Just under 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. The island's geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the Middle Ages. As of 2013, the amount of land that is wooded in Ireland is about 11% of the total, compared with a European average of 35%. There are 26 extant mammal species native to Ireland.   Please enjoy in some beautiful photos.   L'Irlande est une île des Îles B-s

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Prague, Czech Republic

  Prague, Czech Republic Prague  is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is the fifteenth-largest city in the European Union. It is also the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava River, the city is home to about 1.24 million people, while its larger urban zone is estimated to have a population of nearly 2 million. The city has a temperate climate, with warm summers and chilly winters. The origin of the name Praha is rather associated with the word prah (that means a 'threshold'), which is a rapid on the river.   Prague has been a political, cultural, and economic centre of central Europe with waxing and waning fortunes during its 1,100-year existence.  

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Mexico by Zlatko Miko

  Viva la Mexico     Mexico, officially the United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos )  is a federal republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost two million square kilometers,  Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent nation in the world. With an estimated population of over 113 million, it is the eleventh most populous and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most populous country in Latin America. Mexico is a federation comprising thirty-one states and a Federal District, its capital and largest city is Mexico City.              

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Norfolk Island, Oceania

  Norfolk Island, Oceania   Norfolk Island  is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, 1,412 kilometers  directly east of mainland Australia's Evans Head, and about 900 kilometres  from Lord Howe Island. The island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia, and enjoys a large degree of self-governance. Together with two neighboring islands, it forms one of Australia's external territories. It has 2,300 inhabitants living on a total area of about 35 km2. Its capital is Kingston. Originally settled by East Polynesians, Norfolk Island was colonized by Great Britain as part of its settlement of Australia in 1788. The island served as a convict penal settlement until May 1855, except for an 11-year hiatus between 1814 and 1825, when it was abandoned. In 1856 permanent civilian residence on the island began when it was settled from Pitcairn. In 1901, the island became a part of the Commonwealth of Australia. The evergreen Norfolk Island pine is a symbol of the island and thus pictured on its flag. Native to the island, the pine is a key export industry for Norfolk Island, being a popular ornamental tree on mainland Australia, where two related species grow, and also worldwide.           Ball Bay Bird Rock Norfolk Island Mont Pitt Morton Bay Mount Bates Native forêt

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Zadar, Croatia

   Zadar, Croatia Zadar is a city and municipality in Croatia in the north of Dalmatia. In the 2001 census, the municipality had 72,718 inhabitants, and the only city had 69,556 inhabitants. On an old Liburni center, the city is transformed into a Roman colony after they helped Octavian in the first Dalmatian War (35-33 BC. BC). It was then called Iader (Iadera variations or Ieader sometimes written with initial J recently. - Ancient Greek Ιάδαιρα Ιάδερα or later τα Διάδωρα Under the Empire, the city was prosperous because of the wine trade and oil. Its name (Illyrian) was probably Hal Zara. The Roman colony falls during the invasion of the Goths and in 538 under Byzantine rule. The Byzantine rule will end in the second half of the fourteenth century. The Venetians diverted the Fourth Crusade to loot the city at its headquarters in 1202 (en). It is then the Hungarians, under the Treaty of Zadar, control the city before it passes in 1409 under the rule of Venice. For four centuries, the city will be used to repel the invasion of the Turks.    In 1797, the Americans seized Zadar before it is attached to the Illyrian province in 1808 by Napoleon until 1813, when Austria reoccupied the city until the end of the First World War. The Treaty of Rapallo gives the city the Italians. World War disfigures the city by 54 Allied bombing in 1943 and 1944. The city lost most of its magnificent Austro-Hungarian buildings of the nineteenth century but the majority of its oldest buildings are spared by bombs. Most of the Italian-based population (about 20 000 people, 83% of Zadarois at the beginning of the war between the kingdoms of Italy and Yugoslavia 6 April 1941) fled. About 150 Italians were massacred by Tito's partisans. After the war, a project planned to raze all homes and keep only the churches to make the center an open air museum. In 1947, the city officially became Yugoslav and Croatian after the country's independence in 1991. Zadar is the fifth largest city in Croatia (about 80 000 inhabitants. She was elected in 2004 city of great prospect with the greatest potential of any the Mediterranean basin. In 2012, Zadar is a vibrant city which, according to the tourist office, attracted nearly 150,000 tourists every year. The secret to Zadar? Meanwhile both relaxed and vibrant, peaceful parks that have filled the gap of the missing houses, shops for fashion victims and little restaurants where you can enjoy sautéed octopus washed down with a glass of Vinarija Dingac, the one of the best wines in the country. St. Simeon Church (Christian basilica of the fifth century who then experienced many changes in Gothic and Baroque style. It contains the shrine of Saint Simeon dating from 1377 and Triptych of the Virgin Mary from the Faubourg also the last quarter of the fourteenth century, painted by the Venetian Meneghelo Ivanov Canalis who clings to the stylistic developments in Central Europe. St Michael's Church, St. Chrysogonus Church, St. Mary's Church, Church of St. Donat (religious complex Romanesque and Byzantine dating back to the ninth century) St. Anastasia Cathedral (XII century Romanesque church with an imposing façade with three portal

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Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatian: Nacionalni

  Croatian Beauty Plitvice Lake Plitvice Lakes National Park (Croatian: Nacionalni park Plitvicka jezera, colloquial Plitvice) is the oldest national park in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia. The national park was founded in 1949 and is situated in the mountainous karst area of central Croatia, at the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The important north-south road connection, which passes through the national park area, connects the Croatian inland with the Adriatic coastal region. The protected area extends over 296.85 square kilometres . About 90% of this area is part of Lika-Senj County, while the remaining 10% is part of Karlovac County. In 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage register among the first natural sites worldwide. Each year, more than 1.1 million visitors are recorded. The national park is world famous for its lakes arranged in cascades. Currently, 16 lakes can be seen from the surface. These lakes are a result of the confluence of several small rivers and subterranean karst rivers. The lakes are all interconnected and follow the water flow. They are separated by natural dams of travertine, which is deposited by the action of moss, algae, and bacteria. The particularly sensitive travertine barriers are the result of an interplay between water, air and plants. The encrusted plants and bacteria accumulate on top of each other, forming travertine barriers which grow at the rate of about 1 cm  per year. The sixteen lakes are separated into an upper and lower cluster formed by runoff from the mountains, descending from an altitude of 636 to 503 m  over a distance of some eight km, aligned in a south-north direction. The lakes collectively cover an area of about two square kilometres , with the water exiting from the lowest lake forming the Korana River. The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colors change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight. Through different climatic influences and the large difference in elevation within the protected area, a multifaceted flora and fauna has been created. The national park area is home to many endemic species.        

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Balaton Lake, Hungary

  Balaton Lake, Hungary Lake Balaton is a freshwater lake in the Transdanubian region of Hungary. It is the largest lake in Central Europe, and one of the region's foremost tourist destinations. The Zala River provides the largest inflow of water to the lake, and the canalized Sio is the only outflow. The mountainous region of the northern shore is known both for its historic character and as a major wine region, while the flat southern shore is known for its resort towns. Balatonfured and Heviz developed early as resorts for the wealthy, but it was not until the late 19th century when landowners, ruined by Phylloxera attacking their grape vines, began building summer homes to rent out to the burgeoning middle classes.    

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The Cats Of Recoleta Cemetery

  The Cats Of Recoleta Cemetery It’s not often that a graveyard is a major tourist attraction, but the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires falls into that category.  Many of Argentina’s most famous people are buried in this cemetery, including Evita.

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Budapest, Hungary by Zlatko Miko

  Budapest, Hungary    Budapest is the capital and the largest city of Hungary, and one of the largest cities in Central Europe. It is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre, sometimes described as the primate city of Hungary. In 2011, according to the census, Budapest had 1.74 million inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2.1 million due to suburbanisation. The Budapest Metropolitan Area is home to 3.3 million people. The city covers an area of 525 square kilometres  Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with its unification on 17 November 1873 of Buda and Óbuda, on the west bank, with Pest, on the east bank. The history of Budapest began with Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement that became the Roman capital of Pannonia Inferior. Hungarians arrived in the territory in the 9th century. Their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241–42. The re-established town became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture by the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohács and nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule, the region entered a new age of prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Budapest became a global city after its unification in 1873. It also became the second capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a great power that dissolved in 1918, following World War I. Budapest was the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian Republic of Councils of 1919, Operation Panzerfaust in 1944, the Battle of Budapest in 1945, and the Revolution of 1956. Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest's extensive World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrassy Avenue, Heroes' Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second-oldest metro line in the world. It has around 80 geothermal springs, the world's largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. The city attracts about 4.4 million tourists a year, making it the 25th most popular city in the world, and the 6th in Europe, according to Euromonitor. Considered a financial hub in Central Europe, the city ranked third on Mastercard's Emerging Markets Index, and ranked as the most liveable Central or Eastern European city on EIU's quality of life index. It is also ranked as "the world's second best city" by Condé Nast Traveler, and "Europe's 7th most idyllic place to live" by Forbes, It is the highest ranked Central/Eastern European city on Innovation Cities' Top 100 index.   Budapest is home to the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), and the first foreign office of the China Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA). Eighteen universities are situated in Budapest, including the Central European University, Eotvos Lorand University and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.          

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Souvenirs from Argentina

  Souvenirs From Argentina     Have you ever noticed how people feel entitled to receive a gift when you return from your travels?  I mean, you can’t visit another country without bringing back souvenirs for them.  Friends, family, co-workers… they need proof.  Proof that you traveled to where you say you traveled. They want to taste what you tasted, hear what you heard, and see what you saw.  They don’t want another bedazzled hat that reads “I Heart (Whatever Place You Visited).”  They want something authentic.  And, you know, you might want something to remember your trip by as well.  So here’s a list of souvenirs to bring back from Argentina… Malbec Wine Sure, your ostentatious wine-loving friends back home brag about knowing every variety of Merlot made in the last 50 years.  But they might not know much about Malbec.  Malbec is a dark and fruity red wine produced in the Mendoza region of Argentina and it’s widely considered the national wine.  Thanks to a favourable exchange rate, you can add another cork to their collection for relatively little money.  An expensive, world-class bottle of Malbec can be purchased for less than $20. Leather Goods

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Györ, Hungary

  Györ, Hungary Györ   with 131,000 inhabitants is the capital of North-West Hungary, capital of the department of Gylr-Moson-Sopron. Watered by the Danube, it is located on one of the main roads of Central Europe, halfway between Budapest and Vienna. It is the sixth largest city of Hungary in size and is one of five major regional centers. Its population is 129,352 inhabitants. Arrabona named in antiquity and in modern Latin Javarinum, Györ was a military post from the time of the Roman Empire. Taken by the Turks in 1591, the city was taken over in 1598. In 1809 there Beauharnais defeated Archduke Archduke John of Austria at the Battle of Raab. Presence of metallurgical industries and automobile with the factory of the German Volkswagen AG who assembles Audi sports models and engines. The city has a secondary military school or military school. Paired with Colmar in France there is the Museum of Roman Archaeology and Monuments of the twelfth century century in the Baroque era.    

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The Poas Volcano in Alajuela, Costa Rica

  The Poas Volcano in Alajuela, Costa Rica       Poás Volcano is one of Costa Rica’s active volcanoes that is popular among travelers who want a different hiking experience and thoroughly understand the Earth’s amazing land formations. The 2,708-meter volcano shows the power of nature’s geothermal forces which formed the land of Costa Rica. Poás Volcano is located within the area of Poás Volcano National Park, 30 kilometres northwest of San Jose which can take an hour and a half depending on the route that you’re going to take. If coming from Ciudad Quesada, it’ll take you 116 kilometres to reach the site.

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Buenos Aires - Be Prepared

  Buenos Aires - Be Prepared Buenos Aires turned out to be much different than we expected.  And because we weren’t fully prepared, things wound up being more complicated and took a little longer than they should have.  We don’t want you to get caught off guard by this exciting but sometimes confusing city, so we’ve come up with a list of things that every tourist should know before visiting Buenos Aires…    It’s Not English Friendly Buenos Aires isn’t English-friendly.  Not only do the majority of residents not speak a word of English, they speak their language to you as if you know everything they’re saying.  They generally don’t make an effort to speak slower or use hand gestures or work with you to try and understand what they’re talking about — they just talk as fast as normal.  Buenos Aires is one of those cities where you can’t even get by on a few simple phrases; you have to have a cursory knowledge of Spanish just to make it through the day.  They seem to understand what you’re saying in English, they just don’t cater to you. Argentines Speak Castilian Argentines speak a slightly different version of Spanish called Castilian.  The Spanish word for “you” is “tú,” but in Castilian it’s “vos.”  Double-L’s sound like a “y” in Spanish, but in Argentina they sounds like a “j.”  So the word for chicken is pronounced poi-joh instead of poi-yo.  The Italian influence on the Castilian language is most noticeable in how people say goodbye; instead of “adios,” Argentines say “ciao.” Malos Aires You know how Disneyland is called “The Happiest Place On Earth,” but really it’s a breeding ground for arguments and whining and familial implosion and all that is unhappy?   Well, Buenos Aires suffers from a similar case of false advertising.  “Buenos Aires” means “good air” but there’s nothing good about it.  It’s smoggy and dirty, and the heavily polluted waters emanate a stinky trashcan smell that lingers in the air, especially in warm weather. Crazy Drivers

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Mount McKinley

  Mount McKinley Mount McKinley or Denali is the highest mountain peak in North America, with a summit elevation of 6,194 m above sea level. At some 5,500 m, the base-to-peak rise is considered the largest of any mountain situated entirely above sea level. Measured by topographic prominence, it is the third most prominent peak after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of the U.S. state of Alaska, McKinley is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve. The first European to document sighting the mountain was George Vancouver in 1794. In 1903, James Wickersham recorded the first attempt at climbing McKinley, which was unsuccessful. In 1906, Frederick Cook claimed the first ascent, which was later proven to be false. The first verifiable ascent to McKinley's summit was achieved on June 7, 1913 by climbers Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, and Robert Tatum, who went by the South Summit. In 1951, Bradford Washburn pioneered the West Buttress route, considered to be the safest and easiest route and therefore the most popular currently in use.   In September 2013, Alaska's government announced Mount McKinley is 6,168 m tall and not 6,194 m as measured in 1952 using photogrammetry. The State-wide Digital Mapping Initiative, in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, said the more accurate height was 25 m lower using measurements from a 2012 survey that used Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar. The new height was accepted by the U.S. Geological Survey and is now part of its National Elevation Dataset. Please enjoy here in some awesome photos of Mount McKinley    

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Buenos Aires - 10 Things Every Tourist Should Do H

    Buenos Aires - 10 Things Every Tourist Should Do Here Buenos Aires is a sprawling city of 13 million people crammed into 48 districts.  With numbers that large, a list of things to see and do could easily get overwhelming.  So to make your task less daunting, we’ve narrowed it down to 10 things every tourist should do in Buenos Aires. 10.  Walk Caminito street. The seedy barrio of La Boca is home to Caminito street, a colorful oasis of artists, tango dancers and over-priced souvenirs.  The histrionic antics of people trying to lure you into their stalls and restaurants make this the most touristy area in Buenos Aires.  However, the brightly colored corrugated steel houses of early Italian immigrants (called conventillos) provide some of the most unique and picturesque architecture in the city.  The street is lined with paintings and sculptures, and there’s even a nearby wax museum (at 1261 Del Valle Iberlucea) that depicts scenes from colonial times to present (most likely devoid of the “tattooed gangsters robbing tourist” scene). 9.  Relax in the parks of Palermo. Palermo is the largest barrio in Buenos Aires, yet despite its size it is considered the most exclusive neighborhood.  Much of Palermo is occupied by a vast system of lush green parks and gardens replete with shady picnic areas, walking trails, lakes and colorful foliage.  The complex is made up of the Botanical Gardens, Japanese Gardens, Zoological Gardens, Rose Gardens and the Parque Tres de Febrero (called the Palermo Woods) and also includes major attractions such as the world-famous polo grounds, a horse racing track, the Galileo Galilei Planetarium and a plethora of monuments. 8.  Shop for inexpensive leather. Thanks to a fortuitous exchange rate (currently 3.8 pesos to 1 American dollar) and a carnivorous culture that supplies an abundance of cow carcass, leather goods like saddles, belts, boots and even cup holders are ridiculously inexpensive.  Custom-made leather jackets can be purchased for as low as $100

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Spring In Alaska And Yukon

  Spring In Alaska And Yukon    Yukon is the westernmost and smallest of Canada's three federal territories. Whitehorse is the territorial capital and Yukon's only city. The territory was split from the Northwest Territories in 1898. The federal government's Yukon Act, which received royal assent on March 27, 2002, confirmed "Yukon" as the standard, though "Yukon Territory" remains the more popular usage. Though officially bilingual (English and French), the Yukon Government also recognizes First Nations languages. At 5,959 m, Yukon's Mount Logan, in Kluane National Park and Reserve, is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest on the North American continent (after Mount McKinley in the U.S. state of Alaska). The territory's climate is Arctic in the north (north of Old Crow), subarctic in the central region, between north of Whitehorse and Pie Town, and has a humid continental climate in the far south, south of Whitehorse and in areas close to the British Columbia border. Several rivers run through Yukon, some being the Stewart River, Peel River, and the Yukon River, after which the territory was named. Alaska  is a U.S. state situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent. Bordering the state to the east is the Canadian territory of Yukon and the Canadian province of British Columbia, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia (specifically, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and Kamchatka Krai) further west across the Bering Strait. Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area, the 4th least populous and the least densely populated of the 50 United States. Approximately half of Alaska's 735,132 residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska's economy is dominated by the oil, natural gas, and fishing industries, resources which it has in abundance. Tourism is also a significant part of the economy.   Although it had been occupied for thousands of years by indigenous peoples, from the 18th century onward, European powers considered the territory of Alaska ripe for exploitation and trade. The United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U.S. dollars at approximately two cents per acre ($4.74/km²). The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912. It was admitted as the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959.  

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My favorite New Destinations of 2013

  My favorite New Destinations of 2013      2013 was a fantastic and exciting travel year — probably my most active year of travel yet! This year I visited a record-breaking 22 countries (UK, USA, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, San Marino, Austria, Malta, Turkey, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Romania, United Arab Emirates, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, and Cambodia — though, if we’re being technical, I also drove across Oman for a bit, stayed in a hotel in China overnight, and left Manila Airport to snooze in a nearby hotel in the Philippines for a few hours). Last year I highlighted my favorite new destinations of 2012, including the Faroe Islands, Montenegro, and Costa Brava, Spain. This year I had so many to choose from — and though I was tempted to put every new destination on the list, I narrowed it down to the ones that I enjoyed the most. On this list, I rank my personal top three new destinations of the year; the rest aren’t in any particular order. Behold: my favorite new destinations of 2013!   Japan   Japan is unlike anywhere I have ever been — it could be another planet. Every moment is filled with excitement and stimulation — it’s just so different here. Things like Japanese trash cans and vending machine become fascinating, and yes, Japanese toilets are that good.   On top of that, the food is universally outstanding and exquisitely prepared, even in fast food restaurants, and Japanese people are some of the most helpful and welcoming people I have ever met. Every destination was wild and different, from the crazy neighborhoods of Tokyo to the brash neon streets of Osaka to the calm temples and gardens of Kyoto and beyond. Mario and I can’t wait to return and see much, much more.   My highlights: Spotting a maiko in Kyoto, bar-hopping in Golden Gai in Tokyo, eating Kobe beef in Kobe, so many outstanding sunsets, having a wild seafood feast with a tuna butchering in Kyoto, the wild neon and street food of Dotonbori in Osaka, checking out Japanese fashion in Harajuku, riding the shinkansen bullet train, smooching on a Tokyo subway car and watching a little girl’s mouth fall open in amazement.     Malta   Malta had the highest stakes of any destination this year — it’s where my fiance grew up and it’s the place on Earth he loves the most. I am SO grateful that I fell madly in love with Malta right away! Being in Malta was like pure happiness — I enjoyed every minute, and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.   I go crazy for architecture wherever I go, and I fell particularly hard for Valletta with its perfect grid streets, retro streets straight out of the 1950s, and brightly painted gossip box-style balconies. Malta’s churches are insane, like if Liberace and Kanye West jointly designed them. The natural beauty is scintillating, particularly in Gozo, and Malta has such a distinct, proud culture unlike anything I’ve seen elsewhere in Europe.

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Brazil 10 Things That Shock Firs... by Zlatko Miko

    Brazil 10 Things That Shock First-time Visitors There’s a huge pot that stands in South America. Fill it with Portuguese settlers, indigenous tribes, Africans, Dutch, French, Spanish, German and even Japanese, mix them all together and you’ve got the population of a land named Brazil. For some foreigners, it’s a paradise they must visit and cross out on their bucket list for whatever reasons they have in mind: the sun, the beaches, the music, the dancing, the girls, the football, whatever. But before you simply focus on your samba skills, learn more about the country and its people because Brazil isn’t only about those reasons! Here are 10 things that you should expect to encounter while in Brazil: 1. Botecos   So you’re looking for a bar in Brazil huh? If you’re going to ask a local to have drinks with you in a bar, that can be a bit difficult, because the usual “bar” that you think of isn’t what you’ll find here. Well yes, there can be a few but if you’re just going to drink and chat with friends in an affordable price, just go to the nearest boteco. The word boteco (buteco or botequim) comes from the Portuguese word “botica” and the Spanish word “bodega” meaning a grocery store. Botecos are now known as the low-end dive bars where you can buy snacks like potato chips and nuts, tapas-style plates to share,  sandwiches, and different choices of cheap bottled beer. These botecos normally have small spaces that’s why you’d see plastic tables and chairs popping out on the sidewalks once retail shops close at night. If there’s no space left, it’s not unusual to see patrons standing outside. 2. Touchy-Feely   Brazilians are known to be “touchy-feely” people which means their personal space isn’t as wide as it is for people who are used to keeping distances and greeting with a handshake. From strangers to friends, you may find Brazilians standing too close while talking which can be uncomfortable. Greetings start with a kiss or two – or three – depending on the region you’re traveling in Brazil. Moreover, both men and women will often touch you by holding your hand or patting your shoulder during conversations, so don’t freak out when this happens. Welcome to Brazil

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The “I Could Totally Live Here” List

The “I Could Totally Live Here” List   Throughout the world, I’ve found places that I’ve fallen in love with — perfect beaches, isolated islands, wild and interesting cities of all sizes.  New places are constantly being added to my list of favorite places in the world. But could I live there?  That requires a whole different set of criteria.  In an ideal place, the weather is sunny and warm, the cost of living is cheap, it’s well-connected travel-wise, and it’s home to lots of fellow expats and cool locals, with plenty of things to do. No place is perfect — each one has at least one downside.  But here are the places that top my list: Innsbruck, Austria I never expected to fall in love with Innsbruck!  I always imagined it as a posh winter resort, but it’s actually a cool mid-sized city with lots of fun bars and a big, party-loving student population.  There are parks everywhere, the people seem so active and outdoorsy, and there’s easy access to the gorgeous Tirol countryside.  Best of all?  The Alps surround you in every direction.  I could never get tired of looking at them. The downside: winter.  I started traveling in part to avoid the long, snowy winters of New England.  Innsbruck, quite obviously, gets doused in snow each year. Granada, Spain I would love to live in Spain, and Granada tops my list of Spanish cities where I would live.  Granada is a very comfortable city with lots of nice people.  It’s absolutely gorgeous, with lots of different neighborhoods.  Watching the sun set over the Alhambra as flamenco music plays is one of the most romantic experiences you can have, for free, on a nightly basis.  The weather is OUTSTANDING.  And, of course, the FREE TAPAS culture is amazing! The downside: it’s not as well-connected.  The Malaga airport is over an hour away, and connects decently within Europe, but for any further than that, I would have to fly through

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Lucas Foglia’s Photos From the West

  Lucas Foglia’s Photos From the West     “I could disappear here,” photographer Lucas Foglia remembers thinking as his car broke down during a rural Wyoming snowstorm. Luckily someone stopped and gave him a lift, sparing him from literally disappearing in the snow. Ever since traveling to the American west in 2006, Fogila has been drawn to the scale of the western landscape and the people living in it.  Growing up on a farm in Long Island, New York, Foglia watched the rural landscape slowly become suburban sprawl. The call to open spaces and documenting the relationship between people and land are reoccurring themes in his photography. In exploring the West, Foglia was struck by “a collision of different perspectives over how the land should be used.” Cotton farmers in Texas struggled to maintain their farms while at the same time new wind farms began popping up. Foglia visited a friend in Wyoming in 2009 and encountered the oil and natural gas boom. He witnessed a similar transformation happening with gold mining in Nevada. “Since the American West is famous for being wild,” explains Foglia. “And since the identity of its rural communities is often connected to ranching, it felt relevant to create a series about the interface between the lifestyles of ranching and mining in the contemporary American West.” Currently based in Berkeley, California, Foglia made many trips to the interior west between 2006-2013, photographing in stints of 3 weeks to 3 months across Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico and Montana. “Knowing the history of photography the West, I tried to be very conscious,” says Foglia. He intentionally stayed away from replicating iconic imagery of the western cowboy. “I want the pictures individually to be compelling, but making the overall view complex.” An exhibition of Foglia’s “Frontcountry” pictures are on display

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Chocolate Museums

  Chocolate Museums  Today is the most polarizing — and most fake — holiday in the world, Valentine’s Day. And that means it’s time to give your significant other a box of chocolates.  How typical and uncreative. She won’t be impressed by that cheap box of chocolate you picked up from the gas station on your way home from work.  And she certainly won’t put out like some cheap hooker that succumbs to any feeble token of adoration.  Your gal is better than that — and so are you. If you really want to woo her — or woo her back — you’ve got to step it a notch.  Don’t just give her chocolates, give her the entire chocolate experience by taking her to a chocolate museum. There are 45 chocolate museums in the world, but if you really want to engage in a traditional missionary-style lovemaking session under the contrived conditions of Valentine’s Day, you’ve got to take her to one of the best. Here’s a list of the top 10 chocolate museums in the world, in alphabetical order…   Cadbury World – Birmingham, United Kingdom     Cadbury is probably best known in the States for their chocolate eggs hawked by a clucking bunny.  Even though it’s an Easter treat, it’s guaranteed to get her into the mood, which is why it’s imperative that you immediately whisk her away to Cadbury World in Birmingham, England.  If things don’t go well, at least you have three tours and 14 attractions to fall back on.   Candy Americana Museum – Lititz, Pennsylvania     Nothing says romance more than you and your loved one admiring a collection of over 1,000 antique molds, tins, boxes of chocolate and hand-painted porcelain chocolate pots at the Candy Americana Museum.  Best of all, it’s free, and that makes you a thoughtful cheapskate.

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Alaska - Another View

  Alaska - Another View          

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The Most Beautiful Places in Southeast Asia

  The Most Beautiful Places in Southeast Asia   One of the highlights of spending extended time in Southeast Asia was that I got to see so much beauty, and so many different kinds of beauty. Here are the most beautiful places in Southeast Asia: Thailand’s Andaman Coast Clear turquoise water, limestone cliffs, white sand, longtail boats — this is the Thailand of postcards, and that alone is the reason why you should visit. And there are so many places.  Koh Phi Phi has its famous cliffs and beautiful views from the top of the island.  Koh Lanta is more rugged and less visited, with lots of hidden, deserted beaches.  But for the absolute perfect shots, go to Phranang Beach on Railay. Laos’s Bolaven Plateau There aren’t a lot of tourists on the Bolaven Plateau yet, and there are very few traversing the area on

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Adjuntas, Puerto Rico

  Adjuntas, Puerto Rico Adjuntas is a small mountainside municipality in Puerto Rico located central midwest of the island on the Cordillera Central, north of Yauco, Guayanilla and Penuelas; southeast of Utuado; east of Lares and Yauco; and west of Ponce. Adjuntas is spread over 16 wards and Adjuntas Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). Adjuntas is about two hours by car westward from the capital, San Juan. It is the principal city of the Adjuntas Micropolitan Statistical Area. Adjuntas is nicknamed "the Switzerland of Puerto Rico", because of its relatively chilly weather. Many Puerto Rican mountain towns have cooler weather than the rest of the island; Adjuntas is no exception: the average yearly weather is 21 °C  (High: 28 °C; Low: 14 °C) Its mild climate attracts a good number of islanders tourists during the summer months. The town has a small hotel named Monte Rio and a good size parador, or country inn, called Villa Sotomayor. Adjuntas has about 19500 inhabitants. Please see some nice pictures showing this picturesque place.   Of course dear visitor, please write some words how do you like Adjuntas.                                                                    

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Cuba – Varadero and Havana

  Cuba – Varadero and Havana Cuba is a country in Central America consists of the island of Cuba the largest island of the Greater Antilles, the Isle of Youth and several adjacent small islands. It is located in the northern Caribbean at the confluence of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean; south of the east coast of the United States and the Bahamas, east of Mexico and to the west of Turkey and Caicos Islands, north of the Cayman Islands and Jamaica. Cuba Estla second most populated island in the Caribbean with almost 11.5 million inhabitants. Its capital is Havana, its official language Spanish and two currencies are used: the Cuban peso and the Cuban convertible peso. The island was a Spanish colony from 1492 to 1898 and a US Territory of America until May 20, 1902. Since the 1959 revolution, Before the arrival of the conquistadors, Cuba was inhabited by Native Americans: the Siboney and Tainos. The Siboney were hunters and fishermen who left beautiful cave paintings - more than 200 in Punta del Este caves on the Isla de la Juventud. The Taino lived culture and hunting and had a primitive form of social organization. Spain conquered the island in the sixteenth century after the discovery of the island by Christopher Columbus on October 28, 1492. Spanish rule lasted until the Treaty of Paris in 1898. During these four centuries new cities will emerge with Santiago de Cuba in 1514 and 1515. The Havana Bartolomé de las Casas Despite the efforts of the Indian population will pay a heavy price: it will be virtually wiped out in a few years. Disappointed by the low productivity of the gold mines, the conquistadors decide to Cuba their hub to the mainland and use it as a stopover for ships loaded riches of the New World to Spain. The island is so turned to new activities: tobacco (about 300 million cigars a year and a dozen billion cigarettes brown or blonde, coffee and sugar cane inherited from four centuries of Spanish colonization and . Cuba provides the bulk of its resources latter activity requiring labor intensive, it will be appealed to African slaves: agriculture and fishing.                              

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Melbourne: The Coolest City in the World

  Melbourne: The Coolest City in the World           My sky-high expectations for Melbourne began when I was in college. It began when my roommate Kelly Anne decided to study abroad in Melbourne. At that point in time, Fairfield University only allowed you to do select study abroad programs that were either their own programs or through their partners, and none of the programs took place in Melbourne.   Kelly wanted to study in Melbourne so badly, she actually transferred out of Fairfield and enrolled in another university so she could take part in their study abroad program.   By contrast, I decided on a whim to apply for Fairfield’s Florence program. I got accepted in less than 24 hours.   “Why would you go through all that trouble?” I asked her. “You could have just done Fairfield’s Brisbane program. Or one of the Sydney programs.”   “No.” That one syllable she uttered was so chilling that I didn’t raise the subject again.     Kelly was adamant. Melbourne was the greatest city in Australia, and there was no way she would be missing it, even if it meant giving up half her summer for a chilly semester in the southern hemisphere.   Well, she went to Melbourne. She had the time of her life. And she transferred back to Fairfield as soon as her semester ended.   Kelly wasn’t the only one who harboured such strong feelings for Melbourne. It seems like all of my friends who visit Melbourne promptly fall madly in love.   Melbourne is an alternative city — independent, artsy, and filled with culture and counterculture. I’m a huge fan of cities like these, especially Berlin and Brooklyn, and I couldn’t wait to see what Melbourne had in store for me.     Like Berlin and Brooklyn, Melbourne is a bike-friendly city and has great coffee (some declare it the best coffee in the world). Another attribute these cities share? High tolerance of street art.     You see lots of street art all over Melbourne, much of it excellent, but the epicentre of this movement is Hosier Lane. This street is covered in layers upon layers of paint. Mario photographed some of the artists for Someone Once Told Me.  

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Curacao, Caribbean Paradise by Zlatko Miko

  Curacao, Caribbean Paradise   Curacao  is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, north of the Venezuelan coast, that is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Formally called the Country of Curacao,  it includes the main island and the uninhabited island of Klein Curacao ("Little Curacao"). It has a population of over 150,000 on an area of 444 km2 and its capital is Willemstad.    Prior to the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 10 October 2010, Curacao was administered as the "Island Territory of Curacao", one of five island territories of the former Netherlands Antilles.   The original inhabitants of Curacao were Arawak peoples. Their ancestors had migrated to the island from          

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A Day in the Mekong Delta

  A Day in the Mekong Delta         The Mekong Delta, the place where the great river splits into trails, paths and waterways, is supposed to be one of Vietnam’s most beautiful attractions. Naturally, my friends and I decided to book a one-day tour from Saigon.   I’ll be honest – while we’ve done so many wonderful things in Vietnam, our Mekong Delta tour was a bit of a bust.   After a bus ride and boat trip, we made our first stop – a coconut candy factory.     The candy had a bit of an odd taste, especially since it was wrapped in (edible) rice paper, but it quickly became addicting!   We also got a free shot of coconut wine.  

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Australia by Zlatko Miko

  Australia  - Another View          Alice Springs Sydney Opera Surfers Paradises Brisbane    Perth Port Philipp - Melbourne Melbourne Quarter in  Melbourne Centre commercial in  Melbourne

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Saigon: We Were Meant For Each Other

  Saigon: We Were Meant For Each Other   I Love Saigon.   Are you surprised?  Everyone keeps saying to me, “Jeez, Kate, is there any place you don’t like?”   (Well, yes.  Luang Prabang.)   I do love Bangkok.  I love Hanoi.  I love Phnom Penh.  But Saigon is more than just another Southeast Asian city I love — it’s the city that would make the best place for me to live.   Yes, the metropolis officially known as Ho Chi Minh City is tailor-made for Adventurous Kate.  Here’s why:     Saigon has style. Women and men are far more fashion-conscious in Vietnam than any of the other countries I’ve visited in Southeast Asia, and they go all out in Saigon!   Fashion makes for entertaining people-watching.  The last thing you want is a boring city!     Saigon has greenery.   When I was living in the centro of Florence, Italy, I realized how important it was to be surrounded by parks, grass and trees. Florence’s centro is devoid of any greenery, and it drove me crazy.   But Saigon is filled with parks. You must visit them at sunset, when crowds of women erupt into aerobics classes!       Saigon rocks at night. Come on, do you really think I would settle for a city with a less-than-rocking nightlife scene?   The city has a lot of great bars, and the beer is cheap.  And they have a lot of karaoke places!     Saigon is delicious. Banh mi stands on every corner?  Literally, just about every corner?  That’s all I need.  Maybe a bit of pho on occasion to switch things up.   In all honesty, if I were to live somewhere long-term, I would need access to Western food once in a while.  Just once in a while.  And Saigon has that.     Saigon is modern — and beautiful. Even though some of my favorite cities, like Budapest, are defined by their classic architecture, I was seduced by Saigon’s modern edge.   It’s funny, but Saigon actually reminded me a lot of Buenos Aires — much more so than Hanoi.  And the weather is HOT year-round, just how I like it!     And, just as a bonus — Saigon has cheap beauty treatments.  I couldn’t believe the pricing — even cheaper than Thailand!  I also got the best manicure I’ve ever had.  (No wonder all the manicurists in Boston are Vietnamese!)   Also, Saigon has access to lots of Western beauty products — especially skincare products.  And they’re not all formulated to bleach your skin.  That’s appreciated.   Of course, Saigon has its detriments as well. The prostitution is a little in-your-face.  The motorbike traffic could easily kill you.  And I do wish they had a subway.   But as far as a place to live, Saigon could very well become my Southeast Asian home! As someone who has absolutely no idea what her future holds, I’m going to file Saigon away for the future…        Source: http://www.adventurouskate.com/saigon-we-were-meant-for-each-other/

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St Maarten

  St. Maarten St. Maarten is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It encompasses the southern 40% of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, while the northern 60% of the island constitutes the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin. Its capital is Philipsburg. It has a population of 37,000 on an area of 34 km2. Before 10 October 2010, St Maarten was known as the Island Territory of Sint Maarten, and was one of five island territories that constituted the Netherlands Antilles. In 1493, during Christopher Columbus' second voyage to the West Indies, upon first sighting the island he named it Isla de San Martín after Saint Martin of Tours because it was 11 November, St. Martin's Day. However, though he claimed it as a Spanish territory, Columbus never landed there, and Spain made the settlement of the island a low priority. The French and Dutch, on the other hand, both coveted the island. While the French wanted to colonize the islands between Trinidad and Bermuda, the Dutch found San Martín a convenient halfway point between their colonies in New Amsterdam (present day New York) and Brazil. With few people inhabiting the island, the Dutch easily founded a settlement there in 1631, erecting Fort Amsterdam as protection from invaders. Jan Claeszen Van Campen became its first governor, and soon thereafter the Dutch East India Company began their salt mining operations. French and British settlements sprang up on the island as well. Taking note of these successful colonies and wanting to maintain their control of the salt trade, the Spanish now found St. Martin much more appealing. The Eighty Years' War which had been raging between Spain and the Netherlands provided further incentive to attack.      

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Hoi An - The Most Beautiful Town in Vietnam

  Hoi An - The Most Beautiful Town in Vietnam After four months on the road, I’ve learned which kinds of destinations I like the most: gritty cities, hippie beaches, small towns that have yet to be discovered by the masses. I’ve also learned what I don’t like: any place that caters to wealthy, upmarket tourists.  By the time the upmarket tourists arrive, a place has usually been toured to death by everyone else. Hoi An, an adorable little town in central Vietnam, is like one of the towns that I would be inclined to hate.  But against all odds, I loved Hoi An anyway. Look at how pretty it is!

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Dominican Republic by Zlatko Miko

  Dominican Republic   The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western three-eighths of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two countries. Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48,445 square kilometres  and nearly 10 million people, one million of which live in the capital city, Santo Domingo. Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1492, which the Taíno people had inhabited since the 7th century. It became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas; namely Santo Domingo, the oldest continuously inhabited city and the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World. After three centuries of Spanish rule, with French and Haitian interludes, the country became independent in 1821. The ruler, Jose Nunez de Caceres, intended that the Dominican Republic be part of the nation of Gran Colombia, but he was quickly removed by the Haitian government and Dominican slave revolts. Victorious in the Dominican War of Independence against Haitian rule in 1844, the Dominican Republic over the next 72 years, experienced mostly internal strife and encountered a brief return to colonial status under Spanish rule proposed by general Pedro Santana, becoming the only nation in the hemisphere to do so after gaining its independence. The United States occupation lasted eight years between 1916–1924, and a subsequent calm and prosperous six-year period under Horacio Vasquez Lajara, were followed by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina until 1961. The civil war of 1965, the country's last, was ended by a U.S.-led intervention, and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquin Balaguer, 1966–1978. Since then, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy.      

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Halong Bay: The Ultimate Party Cruise!

  Halong Bay: The Ultimate Party Cruise!   Halong Bay is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places in Vietnam. Thousands of giant limestone islands fill the bay, and when it’s misty, it gives off the feeling of a haunted Jurassic Park. I knew I had to visit Halong Bay, and there are plenty of tour operators offering different cruise packages.  But over and over, I kept hearing the same refrain from fellow travelers: “You have to do the trip with Hanoi Backpackers.  It’s expensive, but so worth it.” Plenty of Halong Bay tour operators run two-day tours for about $25 and three-day tours for $35.  The Rock Long, Rock Hard Tour of Halong Bay from Hanoi Backpackers costs $70 for two days and $120 for three. I decided to go with the two-day tour – and everyone was right.  It was so worth it. We stepped on board and our tour leader, Sebastian, gave us a brief overview of the rules.  “Do not climb the rope ladders – they won’t hold your weight.” Check.  “Do not swim after dark – you’ll freeze and nobody will pull you out.” Check again. Then came rule #3: “Do not, under any circumstances – and people have been sent home for this in the past – drink from your right hand.” …Really? “If anyone does, you may shout, ‘Buffalo!’ at them and they must consume the rest of their drink in its entirety.  The person who called Buffalo gets to then draw anything they want on that person’s face.” This wasn’t our parents’ cruise, that’s for sure.  (Also, see the above photo.) “If anyone uses the words drink, drank or drunk, that person must immediately drop and do five push-ups.” Oh, I was so in the right place!

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Wonderful Sunset Silhouettes

  Wonderful Sunset Silhouettes   Stunning photos of silhouettes taken in front of the sunset by the photographer Pink sword. He doesn’t think that taking shots directly in the sun is wrong, he takes advantage of that and creates these amazing pieces of art.      

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Places You Should Visit

  Places You Should Visit Long sandy beaches, archaeological sites where you can feel the spirit of the old civilizations, volcano islands, mountains are some of the vocation suggestions we gonna offer in this article. We know that always the first problem are the money [we have the same problem:)] but if you are financially ready, you gonna find these suggestions very useful for your plans. Please enjoy and ask any questions regarding this places, we know everything 1. Abel Tasman National Park – New Zealand Stunning beaches, intriguing shapes of the stones and turquoise water attracts more than 150,000 visitors a year. Abel Tasman is the smallest of the 14 national parks in New Zealand. Covered with natural bushes and tangled paths that are surrounded with green and blue scenery, while under the feet you can feel the warmth of the golden sand. Besides the beautiful scenery, the area offers many activities such as canoeing, hiking, diving, cruising etc.. Abel Tasman National Park is a national park located at the north end of the South Island of New Zealand. The park was founded in 1942, largely through the efforts of ornithologist and author Perrine Moncrieff to have land reserved for the purpose. 2. The Puja festival – Sri Lanka   A long line of lights illuminates the path to the mountain top called Adam during the Puja fair, held in the central highlands of Sri Lanka.The Central Highlands were recently added to the list of UNESCO for protected national treasures. 3. Virunga Mountains – East Africa  The African Virunga massif is most appropriate example of the creative, and the destructive nature of volcanoes. Creating border between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the chain of 8 active volcanoes is one of the largest volcanic regions in the world. 4. Peru There are many reasons to visit Peru. They include a visit to Machu Picchu and exploring the ancient remains of the city, adoration of the rarest birds that exist in the world or review the deepest canyons on Earth. You can read more about Machu Picchu in our articles about the 8 MYTHICAL DESTINATIONS in the World

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Scorpions Snack in Beijing

  Scorpions Snack in Beijing   The Chinese are famous for eating everything. Name an animal and I guarantee there’s a restaurant that serves it; name any part of that animal and they’ll have a dish featuring it. To be fair, mostly this stereotype applies to the south. There’s even a saying among the Chinese that people in Guangdong province “eat everything that swims except the submarine, everything that flies except the airplane and everything with four legs except the table.” But times are changing. These days, the growing middle class no longer feasts on many of the more unusual delicacies. For first-hand proof, head to Wangfujing in Beijing.   An alleyway off Wangfujing street in Beijing   Wangfujing is the capital’s most famous shopping district. High-end brands line the main street and street stalls selling the standard trinkets line the alleys. Among the trinkets sits an area of food stalls. Many of them sell popular Chinese street food. Other stalls sell food more popular with camera-toting tourists.   Some of the more unusual snacks on offer in Wangfujing   We were just such tourists and took numerous photos of skewered, but still living, scorpions, crickets, spiders, starfish and countless unidentifiable creatures. It wasn’t long before a group of Chinese tourists challenged us to try some of these treats. We were planning on doing so anyway, but thought it would be nice to have some company, so we asked them to join us. They just laughed and told us they don’t eat that crap—it’s just for foreign tourists.   Lizards and worms…more crap no local seemed to want   We didn’t try any starfish, but someone

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Vacation in Australia

  Vacation in Australia Australia is an island continent, with an area of ​​7,686,850 km2, fourteen times France. It is entirely situated in the southern hemisphere Few people on this wide earth: 18500000 90% living in cities (Australia has the most urbanized population of the planet). By discovering the "bush" (inland) we better understand this concentration: Only Aboriginal and toughest bushmen have learned to survive in this space of drylands which occupies 70% of the country's surface. To address Australia, then you simply spray the limits: its vastness exposed to several types of climates and beyond the desert, it offers a wide variety of landscapes, tropical coast of northern Tasmania green pastures. .... In this unique environment, isolated from the rest of the world, have developed a flora and especially a very special wildlife: kangaroo, koala, platypus. Australia is also the land of reptiles with multiple species of snakes, crocodiles, lizards and hundreds of insects and birds. The southern islands are home to seals and penguins. Finally, the Great Barrier Reef which stretches 2000 km to the east, has given life to an underwater extra ordinary wildlife. The continent is divided into six states and two territories. Sydney, the capital of New South Wales Canberra This is a state in itself (Australian Capital Territory). Victoria is the smallest of the Continent States Tasmania's capital, Hobart and small islands, is the smallest state in Australia The Northen Territory Territory is twice as big as France with a population of less than 200 000 inhabitants. Darwin is the capital Western Australia corresponds in size to Western Europe! two million people live in the capital, Perth    

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The Rocky Fortress Town Monemvasia, Greece

  The Rocky Fortress Town Monemvasia, Greece   A giant rock floats above the Grecian waters of Palaia Monemvasia bay, but wait – it’s not just an ordinary rock blocking the soothing sight of the horizon over the bay. The rock itself is an awe-inspiring sight showing off its surface colored with different shades that transition between grey and pink tones. What makes it even more special is the fact that it is also a town worth knowing. Go ahead and cross that bridge from the coast of Laconia to see the small peninsula of Monemvasia. Photo Source :Dimitris Giannios Photo Source :Discover Greece Right at the Peloponnesian east coast, Monemvasia is an attraction for its location, history, and interesting ruins. The first thing you’ll notice is its 40 Byzantine churches erected all over the narrow streets of this Greek medieval fortress. The churches that still exist today are evidence of Monemvasia’s history dating back to the 6th century when it was under the possession of the Byzantines. It remained Byzantine territory for almost seven hundred years until it was colonized by the Franks in 1249. It was later returned to the Byzantines, leading to the creation of  the Despotate of the Morea (or Mystras). Photo Source :Eleanna K. Melissa

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Kalbarri, Australia

  Kalbarri, Australia Kalbarri is a coastal town in the Mid West region located 592 km north of Perth, Western Australia. The town is found at the mouth of the Murchison River and has an elevation of 6 metres . It is connected by public transport to Perth via Transwa coach services N1 and N2. The local Aboriginal people inhabited the area for thousands of years and have a dreaming story about the Rainbow Serpent forming the Murchison River as she came from inland to the coast. The first European people to visit the area were the crew of the trading ship belonging to the Dutch East India Company, the Batavia, who put two mutinous crew members ashore near Bluff Point just south of the town. The area became a popular fishing and tourist spot in the 1940s and by 1948 the state government declared a townsite. Lots were soon surveyed and the town was gazetted in 1951. Kalbarri was named after an Aboriginal man from the Murchison tribe and is also the name of an edible seed. The town is geared towards tourism and fishing, with attractions including the daily pelican feeding, the Kalbarri National Park, Murchison River Gorge and the Murchison River. There are two charter boats to go on to view the Murchison River. The town attracts 200,000 tourists every year, with the population of the town swelling to 8,000 during holiday seasons.              

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Konglor Cave in Laos

  Konglor Cave in Laos   Tham Kong Lo is a karst limestone cave in Phu Hin Bun National Park, in Khammouane Province, Laos. It is located roughly 130 kilometres  north of Thakhek, on the Nam Hin Bun River, which flows into the cave. The karst formation is dramatic and the cave has been cited as a "one of Southeast Asia's geological wonders". The cave is deep (lasting about 7 kilometres ) and wide and as high as 100 m in parts. The locals in recent years have set up vendors at the location to provide to tourists. Inside the cave is a pool which glows a bright emerald colour which locals hold as sacred, believing it to reflect the skin of the Hindi god Indra.        

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Mount Uluru, Northern Australia

  Mount Uluru, Northern Australia The pictures are taken in the most northern state in Australia just against New Guinea. Northern Territory is a federal Australian territory in the centre and central northern regions. It shares borders with Western Australia to the west, South Australia to the south, and Queensland to the east. Mount Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock and officially gazetted as Uluru / Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia. It lies 335 km  south west of the nearest large town, Alice Springs, 450 km  by road. Kata Tjuta and Uluru are the two major features of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru is sacred to the Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to a plethora of springs, waterholes, rock caves, and ancient paintings. Uluru is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.                      

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Snake Island, Philippines

  Snake Island, Philippines     In the northernmost portion of Palawan in the Philippine archipelago, a group of islands all known collectively as El Nido attracts divers, snorkelers and beach bums all game to hop around its islands. Among the other amazing islands in El Nido, there is one island named Snake Island that grabs attention in the area because of its unique sandbar. The Snake Island isn’t actually an island infested by snakes (that’s not attractive). Originally known as Vigan island, the Snake Island is one of El Nido’s main attractions for its S-shaped sandbar that stretches across the waters connecting itself to mainland Palawan. The only catch is, you can only step foot on this strip if it’s low-tide. It is just right behind Bacuit Bay, the home of different marine species, and the white sand beaches of Pangalusian island. It’s 45 minutes away from El Nido town if you’re gonna go there by boat. Once you’re there be sure you’re all geared up with your aqua shoes or flip-flops before walking on the sandbar to avoid stepping on some nasty rockfish. You can swim in both sides of the sandbar and in the end, you can trek to the top to see the entire “snake” and the sea.  

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China and What Can Shock First Time Visitors

  China and What Can Shock First Time Visitors      Thanks to China’s rapid economic growth, the culture shock you will experience in China is likely to be subtler than less-developed areas. Nevertheless, China has a rich history of doing things their own way, which definitely creates a few quirks and eyebrow-raising behaviours along the way, especially for unprepared Westerners. Positive or negative, the Chinese just do some of unique things that shock first-time visitors and that’s what makes them interesting. Here are the 10 things you could (and should) notice while in China:   1. The Value of “Face”   The Chinese give importance to their “face” which they call “mianzi” in Mandarin. “Mianzi” translates as “dignity, prestige, and reputation”. “Losing face” which in other words means losing dignity is the Chinese’ worst fear. To many, face is said to be even more important than truth or justice. To keep this dignity, the Chinese avoid conflicts where they could potentially lose face as much as possible. They’ll rather be polite, accommodating, strive to live with loyalty and keep one’s word. 2. Relationships   Relationships matter and for the Chinese, it’s called “guanxi”. The term guanxi can be better understood as “personal contacts”, and isn’t something that should be underestimated. It doesn’t only revolve around the family, but it’s also important when it comes to business. That’s why for foreigners, it isn’t just the matter of presenting the price and the product to Chinese businessmen; relying and building guanxi is the only way to succeed in the Chinese market. 3.  Food Options

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7 Reasons to Honeymoon in South Africa

    7 Reasons to Honeymoon in South Africa     Whenever anyone asks my advice on where to go for their honeymoon, I consistently recommend one spot – South Africa. The rainbow nation, as it’s often referred has it all from vibrant cities and sexy beaches to untamed wilderness and rural beauty. No matter what you are looking for, South Africa is an idyllic setting for a honeymoon. Experience sunrise in the bush, “Sundowners” (South Africa’s version of Happy Hour) in wine country or at the beach and no shortage of over-the-top luxury hotels and restaurants. The hard part is choosing where to go! I recommend spending the bulk of your honeymoon in and around Cape Town as well as including a trip to Kruger Park for a safari. I have 7 reasons that will ensure that wedded bliss ensues. 1. The Cape Peninsula   Cape Town is one of the country’s most beautiful cities. It’s unique because although it’s a major metropolitan city, it’s also overflowing with natural beauty and wildlife. Spend a day taking in Cape Town’s stunning landscapes in and around Table Mountain National Park. Hike to the top of Table Mountain and admire the sweeping views (or take a cable car to save time and energy), explore the Cape of Good Hope, soak in the panoramic views at Cape Point and even check out an African penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach. African Penguins at Boulder’s Beach   2. The Garden Route Knysna   Take your first road trip as a couple along The Garden Route, a stretch of road along South Africa’s southeastern coast. The drive takes at least a few days but there are excellent stops along the way in some amazing towns and nature reserves. You’ll find secluded bays, stunning flora and fauna and tons of wildlife along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales and dolphins that often swim close to shore near Plettenberg Bay. Oenophiles will also rejoice at Bramon Wine Farm, located just outside of Plattenberg Bay. Sedgefield, Calitzdorp and Knysna are also well worth a stop. 3. Eat Your Heart Out

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Earth’s Greatest Vertical Drop

  Earth’s Greatest Vertical Drop   Mount Thor, a little different than the superhero hailing from Asgard, resides in beautiful Canada. Of course, we know the mountain’s namesake, Thor, the all-powerful Norse God, whose strength comes from thunder. Known for its amazing mountain range and miraculous sites, Mount Thor lives up to its name and does not disappoint. It makes

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The Pico Cao Grande: Sao Tome’s needle-shaped volc

  The Pico Cao Grande: Sao Tome’s needle-shaped volcanic plug peak   Be quick with your vacation plans! Summer is on its way, and no one wants to be stuck inside when there’s a gorgeous world out there for you and your family to explore. A fantastic destination that has been flying under the radar for years is the islands surrounding Africa. With a diverse climate, the continent itself holds many beautiful sites that have welcomed tourists from all over the world to enjoy these natural beauties. Pico Cao Grande is most definitely one of them. Pico Cao Grande, also “Great Dog Peak,” is located on the coast of the southern part of Sao Tome. It’s a small nation, sharing dominion with the tiny Principe, and

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Everything you ever wanted to know about India (Q

  Everything you ever wanted to know about India (Q&A)      Subscribe   India is a destination on most travellers’ bucket lists. It’s bright, it’s busy and it’s loud, but it’s also an extremely spiritual place. And when planning a trip to India, it can be difficult to know where to start, so we recruited Intrepid’s destination manager for the Subcontinent, Ryan Turner, and directed some FAQs his way.   He came back with a load of expert advice that we think you’ll find pretty useful. Read on, dear travellers. Read on. What is it about India that makes it such an awesome destination for travellers? There is literally nowhere else like India. Its got everything. Teeming cities, beautiful beaches, mountains, deserts, ruins and palaces, and the most friendly people and amazing food on earth. Each region is different to the next and every day is a proper adventure. What’s your favourite part of India? Difficult question! I loved spending time on the beach in Gokarna, south of Goa. Karnataka is a beautiful state. It’s really relaxed, has great food and the

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Spring, How Beautiful It Is!

  Spring, How Beautiful It Is!     Share 23   On the scale of 1 being the lowest to 100 inches of snow as the highest, how done are you with winter at this point? Just kidding. Hang on there dear friend! This crazy season is just about over and what’s about to come will be worth the wait and dry skin. Springtime is coming and the best way to remind you about this colorful and warm future is through these photogasmic – and non-allergenic – shots. Akdamar Island, Turkey    Tatra Mountains, Poland    Vancouver, Canada      Buren, The Netherlands

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North Sentinel Island – The Island That Rejected

  North Sentinel Island – The Island That Rejected Civilization    Tourists have long traveled to many of India’s over-1200 islands of scenic beaches, coral reefs, and volcanic diving. And while many of the islands can be traveled to thanks to an agreement with the Indian government, at least one island remains untouched: North Sentinel Island.   Despite North Sentinel Island’s gorgeous environment, it is currently not possible to visit the island. North Sentinel Island is the home of the Sentinelese, the last small group of surviving indigenous people who have largely rejected contact with modern civilization. Because the Sentinelese people have a history of hostility to outsiders, much is not known about the island beyond a few accounts. In 1896, an escaped convic t from the British prisons of The Andamans drifted on to the shores of North Sentinel by accident. A few days later, a search party found his body on a beach, punctured by arrows and with his throat slit. In 1974, a group went there to make a documentary, and the film’s director took an 8-foot arrow in the thigh.

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Austria by Zlatko Miko

  Austria Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.5 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,879 square kilometers. Please see how beautiful Austria is:           

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Sweden - Must Visit Places

  Sweden - Must Visit Places       How do you imagine Sweden? When it comes to natural spots, Sweden is packed with unbelievable sights beyond the fjords and the glaciers. It’s not always cold and dark, and when summer comes it gives the Swedish people a chance to visit the beach, view majestic waterfalls, or hike the mountains. Here are 11 of the natural destinations in Sweden you might want to witness. 1. Martorpsfallet Waterfall   Martorpsfallet is located on a hill called Kinnekulle in the province of Västergötland, Sweden. The amount of water the waterfall produces is at its highest level during springtime. Around the waterfalls is a forest with varieties of plants and trees growing in the limestone-rich area. You can also see remains of the cottages and crofts built nearby Martorpsfallen  during the 19th century. 2. Sandhammaren Located in Österlen, Scania, the southeastern tip of Sweden, Sandhammaren is a beach perfect for those who want a peaceful place to enjoy the sand dunes and warm Baltic waters (but still don’t forget your sweaters!). It has often been named as Sweden’s best beach for its long, fine-grained, white sandy beach. Besides the beach, you can even go atop the four lighthouses in Sandhammaren to see the amazing coastline from above. 3. Atoklimpen Hill

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Winged Insects Made From Old Com... by Zlatko Miko

  Winged Insects Made From Old Computer Circuit Boards And Electronics   Our society discards a lot of electronics, as they are rendered obsolete almost every day, but artists like Julie Alice Chappell, based in the UK, are there to pick up the pieces and turn them into beautiful recycled art. In her case, she turns old computer circuit boards and electronics into beautiful winged insects in a series called “Computer Component Bugs.” “With all their tiny components, complex circuitry and bright metallic colours I cannot help but compare them to the detailed patterns we see when we look at nature up close,” Chappell wrote in an article on permaculture.co.uk. “I view the miniature circuit boards with the same curiosity and amazement as I view the natural world.“ Chappell is an environmentally minded artist as well – she says her work transforms “discarded and often environmentally dangerous materials to create something new and precious, keeping the art sympathetic to current environmental issues whilst developing an original making process.“ If you like her work, check out her Etsy, where she sells her beautiful winged creations!      

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Galapagos Islands Extraordinary Destination

  Galapagos Islands     The Galapagos Islands are like nowhere else on earth. It’s been said before and it’ll be said a thousand times again. But no matter how many times you hear that, nothing can prepare you for arriving on the islands. They really are alien.   The skies are filled with some of the best-looking birdlife, and more of it, than you’re likely to ever see again in your life. I’m not even a Twitcher, nor did I consider myself particularly a fan of birds, but by the end of my trip even I could spot a female juvenile frigatebird from 40 paces. Then, of course, there is the land and aquatic life. Both shore and sea are fully-stocked with some of the most miraculous creautres in the world. Giant tortoises lazily patrol the Santa Cruz highlands, marine iguanas sun themselves on Bachas Beach, sea turtles graze on underwater meadows, Sally Lightfoot Crabs hop, skip and jump across the rockpools – the place is like a real-life Disney movie. I took a camera along on my eight-day Intrepid itinerary and attempted to capture as much of the island’s magic as I could. Here’s a small selection of what I came home with. 1. Pelicans, Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island Arriving on Bachas Beach on day one was overwhelming, due to the sheer volume of birds on the beach. Every few minutes, a shrill whistle would alert you to a flock of boobies zooming overhead. Pelicans would duck in from the sky close enough to grab your hat from your head. These two were enjoying some quiet time.    2. Remains of the Bachas Barge, Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island Our Intrepid guide, Oswaldo, leads the way whilst I exercise my god-given right to get the angles.   3. Blue-footed boobies overhead, Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island As mentioned above, these guys would shoot over every few minutes. It wasn’t hard to get a good photo.   4. Pelican, ready for his close-up, Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island The pelicans just don’t care about humans. Oswaldo,

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Tunisia - 10 Amazing Attractions

  Tunisia - 10 Amazing Attractions       Tunisia has always been linked to a rich culture and its well-known history. Other than its cool stories, Tunisia also has a natural beauty that attracts hundreds of beach bums and those who seek a different kind of adventure in the middle of the desert. Is there anything you need take note of? Worry not. There’s a lot to see in this laid-back country, but for starters, here’s a guide that can start up your travel cravings right now. 1. Chott el Djerid Described as one of the Mars-like places on Earth, Chott el Djerid is a seasonal lake found in southwest Tunisia that almost doesn’t look like a lake because it is dry for most of the year. It’s like an enormous pie baking under the sun until it perfectly forms a hard crust made of sodium chloride with a vivid red color because of its high iron content while sealing its underground water. Wait for the sunrise to witness a spectacular party of colors as the salt rocks turn from red to purple, pink, and green. 2. Grand Erg Oriental   Just south of Chott el Djerid is the Grand Erg Oriental. The erg (a field of sand dunes in the Sahara Desert) covers mostly the Saharan lowlands of northeast Algeria. However, its northeastern edge spills over Tunisia which gives tourists a chance to see the sand dunes. It’s a vast playground for visitors who want to experience riding dune buggies and camels, or just sit atop the sand mountains and watch the sunset. 3. Ras R’mel

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Space Expeditions To The Moon Available To The Pub

  Space Expeditions To The Moon Available To The Public      Holiday experiences today are practically becoming more and more out of this world. Ironically, some tour companies are actually offering that are literally of this planet. Excalibur Almaz, a UK-based company, is offering the public space expeditions to the moon. They’ve done it in 2008, and now they’re doing it again, set to launch for 2015. Only three slots are available, and you know you’re qualified if you’re a government-funded research scientist or a billionaire with $150 million to burn.

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Pools of Huanglong Valley in China

  Pools of Huanglong Valley in China          When staring at a painting, photograph, or even a video, have you ever experienced the feeling  of wanting to dive into the world of that stunning piece? The term for this feeling is unidentified but for the following images, be sure that you’re prepared to fight yourself in case your heart skips. Yes, this is an exaggeration. Moreover, blame it on the amazing emerald-to-turquoise ponds of Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area, which can make us say, “Hey nature, you overdid it again.”     Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area is a UNESCO- certified World Heritage Site surrounded by snow-capped peaks and contains a series of travertine lakes, waterfalls, forests, and mountain scenery. It is located in the north-west of Sichuan Province, China, three to four hours from Jiuzhaigou.     Huanglong is actually the home of the valley popular for its

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Yehliu Geopark in Taiwan

  Yehliu Geopark in Taiwan          Witness a different kind of rock formation in a fishing town in Taiwan. Yehliu Geopark is the place where naturally-formed rocks show off their odd shapes that may help them pass as otherworldly creations. If you’re in Taipei, Taiwan, it’s a great time-killer to travel to the northern coast and observe this amazing natural wonder.     Yehliu Geopark is located in the town of Wanli, which sits between the cities of Taipei and Keelung in New Taipei, Taiwan. The natural creation, part of the Daliao Miocene Formation, stretches approximately 1,700 meters into the ocean, formed as geological forces pushed the Datun Mountain out of the sea. The weird-looking rocks are called hoodoo stones and are described as tall, thin spires of rocks protruding from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. These hoodoos grow and may reach a height of 1.5 to 45 meters.

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Taiwan - Asia’s Hottest New Destination

  Taiwan - Asia’s Hottest New Destination Subscribe     So you’ve wandered the Great Wall, picked a Japanese Cherry Blossom and chewed pad thai on the palm-fringed beaches of Ko Samui. But have you, oh intrepid explorer, ever been to Taiwan?   If the answer is ‘no’, read on to discover an underrated island of soaring green mountains, marble cliffs, unspoiled beaches and sizzling street food. If the answer is ‘yes’, read on anyway and try not to look so smug. There’s a pretty good chance you’re reading this on a Taiwanese-made gadget – the little islands off the coast of China churn out most of the world’s technological goodies. But if digital industry isn’t your idea of a good time, never fear, Taiwan also has some of the most staggeringly beautiful landscapes, vibrant cities, friendly locals and world-class fusion cuisine in Asia. It’s a burgeoning travel destination, but if you’re quick you can avoid the crowds and discover a tranquil beauty that’s definitely ‘Made in Taiwan’. 1. Taroko Gorge It’s hard to make geology sexy. Rocks aren’t usually all that exciting. Layers of strata tend to bore. But the Taiwanese are lucky to have Taroko Gorge – a winding maze of compacted marble cliffs, huge cut-out tunnels burrowing straight into the mountain, rushing rapids far below and towering green mountains eclipsing the sky on all sides – that’s one of the coolest canyon systems you’ll find outside of Nevada. Known as one of the

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Infected No More: 4 Former Leper Islands That You

  Infected No More: 4 Former Leper Islands That You Can Visit    Leprosy has been an existing disease since the ancient times as shown through Hippocrates’s documents in 460 BC and the skeletal remains from the second millennium BC. It is characterized by developed symptoms like skin sores, lumps, and bumps. The outbreaks have affected thousands of people from all continents and the greatest ancient civilizations like China, India, and Egypt have feared that this disease was incurable and contagious, making the leprosy patients a terrifying sight for those who aren’t infected.   Because of this fear, quarantine sites called leper colonies became widespread during the Middle Ages. These quarantine sites are mostly found in remote areas such as mountains and islands. Now in this time that the world knows that leprosy is curable and not contagious, most of these remote places are now abandoned and some islands continue to be homes of hundreds of people pr to none at all. There are islands however, that offer guided tours and welcome tourists to share their past and reintroduce the place to what it has become in the present. Here are four of the former leprosy colonies that you can visit. 1. Culion Island, Palawan, Philippines   Culion was the quarantine area for those who were infected by leprosy in the Philippines during the American period. It became known as the largest leper colony in the world with a recorded number of 16,138 patients. it was once also known as the Island of the Living Dead or the Island of No Return. With the island’s popularity for being the largest leper colony, it also became a laboratory for scientists around the world.

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George, the Human Cat

  George, the Human Cat     People like to say “awww, he thinks he’s people” when they see an animal standing on two legs, but sometimes, they may not know how close they are to the truth. George is a cat that prefers to stand on two legs and looks like he intends to one day become a real person and take over the world.  George’s owner shared his photos on Reddit, where he wrote, “he is the sweetest cat I’ve ever known. Really bizarre, but sweet.” “He is the sweetest cat I’ve ever known. Really bizarre, but sweet”      

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Algarve, Portugal

Algarve, Portugal The Algarve is the southernmost region of mainland Portugal. It has an area of 4,997 square kilometers  with 451,006 permanent inhabitants, and incorporates 16 municipalities. The region has as its administrative centre the city of Faro, where both the region's international airport (FAO) and public university (the University of the Algarve ) are located. Tourism and related activities are extensive and make up the bulk of the Algarve's summer economy. Production of food, which includes fish and other seafood, fruit, oranges, carob, beans, figs and almonds, is also economically important in the region. The Algarve is the most popular tourist destination in Portugal, and one of the most popular in Europe. Its population triples in the peak holiday season thanks to a high influx of visitors, and receives an average of 7 million foreign tourists each year. In total, including national visitors, almost 10 million people visit the Algarve annually. The Algarve is currently the third richest region in Portugal, after Lisbon and Madeira, with a GDP per capita 86% of the European Union average.               .                                                 Monchique                                

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Amazing Attractions to See in Armenia

  Amazing Attractions to See in Armenia           Take a look on a map. Can you point to where Armenia is? Armenia is situated in the northeast of the Armenian Upland, between the Caucasus and Asia Minor, surrounded by Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Iran. It’s known as the world’s first Christian country, dating back to over 1,700 years ago, so it’s not shocking to see countless monasteries treated as tourist destinations. Besides the monasteries, Armenia possesses many historical and natural sites that’ll make your trip jam-packed with beautiful memories. Here are 12 of the places to see in Armenia: 1. Lake Sevan   Lake Sevan, also called Gegharkunik, is the largest lake in Armenia and also in the Caucasus Region. The stunning body of water with shades of black to aquamarine is considered as a popular recreational spot in Armenia. It is surrounded by 160 beach resorts from the most affordable to the most luxurious. But wherever you spend your days and nights, don’t forget to enjoy the water by doing some sailing, paragliding, water boarding, jet skiing, or just party all night long. 2. Mount Aragats   Mount Aragats is the highest peak in the South Caucasus at 4,091 meters. The mountain has sub-alpine and alpine zones, plus four peaks and a crater considered to be one of the biggest craters in the world. It is a favorite among mountaineers due to its accessibility and the amazing views you’ll discover once you’re at the peak, views like the Lesser and Greater Caucasus Range and Europe’s highest mountain Mt. Elbrus. 3. Tatev Monastery

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Italian Hill Towns

  Italian Hill Towns   There's something so magical about small towns in the rolling hills of Italy. These are towns filled with friendly locals who never hesitate to a shout an amiable buongiorno your way. Towns with stunning views from every direction and incredible cathedrals. These are towns with histories filled with tales of mighty rule and incredible decline. Hope beyond all hope that you'll get lucky enough to be in these towns during one of their weekly markets or annual festivals. Take a deep breath of fresh air and wander around the narrow, winding streets without any sort of direction. Taste some local cheese and wine. Explore Umbria. Civita di Bagnoregio: Civita di Bagnoregio is one of the most unique places I've ever been. For one thing, you have to walk across a long bridge to get to it because it is literally placed directly on top of a quickly eroding hill. The other interesting thing is that there are only 6 permanent residents in the entire town. I suppose this has to do with the whole quickly eroding thing. This little town was founded over 2500 years ago by the Etruscans, the empire that Tuscany is named after. The most striking feature of Civita di Bagnoregio for me is the view from the modern (and much safer) suburb, Bagnoregio. It's just absolutely stunning. One word of advice: You probably shouldn't go visit Civita di Bagnoregio when it is raining. Trust us. We learned this the hard way. lolz        Things you should do in Civita di Bagnoregio: Take in the view of the town before you walk across the bridge. Enjoy the subtle beauty of the ancient buildings as you wander around the town. Peek into the cathedral. Eat some bruschetta. Check out one of the 1000+ year old olive presses

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An Evening in Taormina, Sicily

  An Evening in Taormina, Sicily Taormina Messina, ItalyOct 6, 2014         I like to think of Sicily as mainland Italy’s cool, laid-back, little sister. She’s somewhat off the map, has a killer cuisine, gorgeous coastline and a (relatively) relaxed, islander attitude. Taormina, one of the many gems littered across the island, attracts it’s share of the tourism industry but has an unforgettable Sicilian flare.    Taromina lies just an hour from the large coastal city of Catania and could easily occupy a visitor for a few days of hiking, beach-going and exploring the village. Our visit started with a tour of the Teatro Antico di Taormina. One of the most celebrated ruins in Sicily, the amphitheater was built early in the 7th century BC (!). Mount Etna lying not far in the distance, stunning views of the Sicilian coast, dangled olive trees, ancient Roman ruins, and, to our delight, a youth orchestra playing classics during out visit, all made for quite an experience.      

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Heidelberg in Bloom by Zlatko Miko

  Heidelberg in Bloom Heidelberg knows I’m leaving. Lately I’ve spent my evenings wandering the city in search of wisteria, taking naps in the sunshine on the Neckarwiesen (park along the riverbank not far from my apartment), toasting at weekend wine festivals and joining Dan on bike rides to nearby villages. The air is filled with fragrance and puffy dandelion seeds. Absolutely everything is in bloom. Our days in Europe may be dwindling but one thing is certain, I’ve savoring my time in one of the prettiest places in Europe, my hometown. Recently I was moved by a quote, I’m not the philosophical type, but this one is lingering: “She believed she could so she did.” I interpret this as that sometimes the path we’re supposed to take may not be the one that we want. Goodness knows we’re all supposed to do so many things – buy apartments, eat organic, settle down (whatever that means). Over the past month Dan and I have had to dig deep to recognize what we really wanted for our future. Omitting protocol for people in their late 20’s, we talked at length about what we COULD do if we tried hard enough. With our decision, I’ve found an unbelievable peace and excitement for the road ahead. If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that sometimes you have to challenge yourself to follow your heart because it’s not always easy or practical. If you dream of when it could happen, I think the real question is deciding when you will make it happen.

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Cicret Bracelet

  Cicret Bracelet Here is a video shot by the Cicret Team showing the uses of the first working prototype of the Cicret Bracelet. Are you ready for this?And it’s waterproof too. Look what they developed in Israel. 

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How To Spend Your Day In Lisbon

  How To Spend Your Day In Lisbon   Easily one of our favorite destinations in Europe, there’s SO much to see and do in Lisbon, Portugal. We had an absolute heyday eating, sightseeing and exploring the city during our visit. Better yet, the locals couldn’t be more friendly and fun, so we left with not only great memories but new friends! I reached out to some of my new Lisbon-buddies to compile this list of their favorite spots and added some of my own. 1 | Shop at the Feira da Ladra market Held Tuesdays and Saturdays, dawn to dusk, arrive early for unique and beautiful souvenirs ranging from antiques to pottery! 2 | See sunrise over Almafa from Miradouro das Portas do Sol The most picturesque viewpoint in the city, watch as the city comes alive with the new day. 7 AM – 7:30 AM – 3 | Listen to traditional Fado at Tasca Bela Every 20 minutes the restaurant lights dim and a new Fado singer takes the floor. Go for the show but dinner is amazing too! 4 | Sip ginja at Casa de Ginja in Mercado de Riberia A Portuguese cherry liquor, be careful because it’s pretty darn delicious. Bourdain may have had one too many during his visit.

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Pacific Coast Highway – Where to Stop

  Pacific Coast Highway – Where to Stop   This is one of the most scenic, effortlessly beautiful road trips in the world. Buckle up, you’re in for one hell-uv-a ride! See here for more on planning your Pacific Coast Road Trip. For booking hotels last minute or on-the-go, I tried the Skyscanner Hotel App for the first time. For more ideas on where to road trip in the USA, see my guide to figuring out where you should road trip in the USA.   Starting Point: San Francisco San Francisco is the cultural, commercial, and financial hub of Northern California. It is effortlessly cool, busier than it has ever been, and now so popular with tech start-ups that rent prices are out of control. In fact, it would be cheaper to live in Manhattan, NYC, than it would be to live in San Francisco nowadays. But with great weather year-round, nearby beaches and surrounded by a body of water, San Francisco has a lot to offer visitors. The cafe culture is strong, the people are interesting, and there’s plenty of history/culture to keep you busy for a few days in San Francisco. Don’t Miss: The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, Union Square, Haight Street, The Castro, Riding a Cable Car, The Painted Ladies.   Half Moon Bay Though not your typical first stop on Highway 1, it is easy to see why I’d recommend a short stop at Half Moon Bay after enjoying a glorious evening of luxury at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay to kick off my journey. Here in Northern California they’re all about wine country – with a twist. As the sun began to set around 7:30pm in the evening, the fires were lit and everyone

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Capri, Italy

  Capri, Italy                                                                       The island of Capri is located in the Bay of Naples, the Mediterranean Sea, it is an Italian island of 6 km long and 3 wide situated off. It is known since ancient times for its beauty and is a resort since Roman times. The island has many other interests like Marina Piccola, the Belvedere of Tragara, Anacapri, the Blue Grotto and the ruins of the Imperial Roman villas. Tacitus wrote that there were 12 imperial villas in Capri. There are the ruins of Tragara. Suetonius spoke of the foundations of the villa were excavated, giant bones and 'weapons of stone' were discovered. Octavian Augustus then ordered to expose them in the garden of his main residence. This is considered by some as the first exhibition of fossils. Tiberius, the successor of Augustus also built a series of villas in Capri, the most famous being the "Villa Jovis". The island has hosted many famous guests such as Jean Cocteau, André Gide, Oscar Wilde, Pablo Picasso and has become a popular destination for tourists. During the tourist season, in summer, the island is taken by storm and in the morning or evening is preferred to visit                 

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Where to Find Colour in Singapore

  Where to Find Colour in Singapore    Going to the same place twice has never been something I have avoided. Of course I love going new places and will seek out new adventures wherever possible, but I have never set out to visit only new places and not return to the cities and countries I loved, or even loathed. I first visited Singapore a year ago for just two days. It is without hesitation that I can admit I didn’t give it the chance it deserved and can say with 100% certainty thatyou need more than two days to explore Singapore, or any country for that matter. Those two days were jam-packed with touristy hotspots on lists I had trusted would show me the “Top Things To Do in Singapore”. Those lists were wrong. They had only directed me to the top priced tourist haunts, despite claiming to cover the only attractions worth visiting whilst in Singapore. Of course the Marina Bay Sands was great to visit, as was the iconic Merlion. But they were nothing more than an opportunity to take a photo and say I had ‘done’ Singapore. I hadn’t. Needless to say I was excited to return back to Singapore this year and give it a second chance. This is the first in a series of blog posts that will uncover the strangely wonderful side to Singapore you probably haven’t heard about or know existed! This is the first in a series of blog posts that will uncover the strangely

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Pictures of the Week: October 17, 2014

  Pictures of the Week: October 17, 2014    A woman wearing a facemask, as protection from volcanic ash, harvests ash covered chillies and tomatoes at a village in Karo district located, Sumatra island on October 14, 2014 as Mount Sinabung volcano (background) continued to erupt. In February, Sinabung’s eruption killed about 17 people and forced more than 33,000 others to flee their homes.    A protester sits front of barriers against police officers at a main street in Mong Kok district in Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Riot police cleared an offshoot Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid on Friday, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that have blocked key streets for more than two weeks, but leaving the city’s main thoroughfare still in the hands of the activists.   1 A woman wearing a facemask, as protection from volcanic ash, harvests ash covered chillies and tomatoes at a village in Karo district located, Sumatra island on October 14, 2014 as Mount Sinabung volcano (background) continued to erupt. In February, Sinabung's eruption killed about 17 people and forced more than 33,000 others to flee their homes. 2 Security men guard as Indian women arrive to cast their votes during the Haryana state elections in Bandhwadi, India, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. The Indian states Haryana and Maharashtra are going to the polls Wednesday to elect representatives to their respective state legislatures. 3 A protester sits front of barriers against police officers at a main street in Mong Kok district in Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Riot police cleared an offshoot Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid on Friday, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that have blocked key streets for more than two weeks, but leaving the city's main thoroughfare still in the hands of the activists. 4 A young man exercises using the beams that hold a water tank

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Janet Schwartz and Bimbo

  Janet Schwartz and Bimbo       Jen Osborne is a photographer based in Berlin, Germany. For the last week of August 2014, Osborne travelled to her native Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and photographed Janet Schwartz (known to some as a deer whisperer) and her domesticated deer “Bimbo,” living in the remote mountains near Ucluelet. The visit was the result of a year and a half of trying to gain access, involving multiple trips driving for hours through the mountains to convince Schwartz to be photographed. “I would like people to see how two characters, both in a sort of state of disrepair, can be therapeutic to each other,” writes Osborne. “Janet is somewhat downtrodden, due to life experiences, and BIMBO nearly died as a fawn – but they found each other and Janet explained her love for this animal – it seems to keep her alive somehow.”  Photos and text by Jennifer Osborne Nearly two years ago, a reclusive 70-something-year-old named Janet Schwartz was devastated when the law threatened to separate her from her domesticated deer, Bimbo. Conservation officers arrived at her generator-powered plywood shack, plopped miles away from a remote Canadian tourist town called Ucluelet, with orders to take the then ten-year-old deer into their custody. Janet was told she wasn’t allowed to keep her deer anymore because in this part of Canada, it is illegal to keep wild animals as

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Sorrento, Italy

  Sorrento, Italy    Perched on the green hills overlooking the sea, Sorrento is the most charming town of the Sorrento Peninsula. Permeated by a timeless charm, it has become one of the most popular destinations of Southern Italy for tourists from all around the world, thanks to its mild climate, the breathtaking views and the rich culinary tradition. The historic centre of Sorrento is characterized by terraces, some of which have a great historical and architectural value, offering breathtaking views of the Gulf of Naples. It’s impossible not to stop for a moment to enjoy the surrounding landscape, having the opportunity to take great pictures. The timeless charm of Sorrento can be found in its veracity, and you can breathe it just strolling along the maze of medieval streets: amongst traditional artisan shops, quiet squares, Roman churches and historic houses, you will be enchanted by the atmosphere of this picturesque city.                       

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Lago di Como, Italy

  Lago di Como, Italy Lake Como is a lake of glacial origin in Lombardy, Italy. It has an area of 146 square kilometres, making it the third-largest lake in Italy, after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore.  At over 400 metres deep, it is one of the deepest lakes in Europe, and the bottom of the lake is more than 200 metres below sea level. I would like to start the year describing our short trip to Lake Como (Lario) and Bellagio. I can’t imagine a better way to start the new year! Every time I travel to some place in Italy, I always discover something new and breathtaking views. I’ve always considered myself a real traveller, who catch every chance to travel, often abroad, but Italy remains my hometown and it’s plenty of places to discover.   Here a short account of our daily trip, with some shots that I took on the way. We took the highway till the exit Como/Chiasso (where is located the frontier post for Switzerland, Como is only 5 km before the boundary line). We start our tour from Bellagio, a tiny village on the lake shore, 35 km far from Como. The panoramic way is a narrow and tight-curved mountain road, that ran along the lake. We took some beautiful shots, even if weather was not really good. I suggest this itinerary because of the beauty of the landscape. It’s a zone of ancient villas and tiny town, of aquatic sports and good food and products, like oil, wine, mushroom, and honey.  

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Venezuela – New Photos

  Venezuela – New Photos   Years after Hugo Chavez’ death, his eyes are everywhere   Years after the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, images depicting his eyes are seen everywhere around Venezuela- from giant billboards and buildings to t-shirts and notebooks. Over the past two months, AFP photographer Leo Ramirez made this unique series of photos using a camera phone, entitled “The Eyes That See You.”      1 A giant billboard with an image depicting the eyes of late Venezuelan former President Hugo Chavez is seen in Caracas on March 04, 2014. A year after the death of President Hugo Chavez, the image that depicts his eyes are seen everywhere, from giant billboards and buildings to t-shirts and notebooks. This photo was taken with a mobile .      2 A traffic jam under graffiti depicting the eyes of late Venezuelan former President Hugo Chavez in Caracas on March 04, 2014. A year after the death of President Hugo Chavez, the image that depicts his eyes are seen everywhere, from giant billboards and buildings to t-shirts and notebooks. This photo was taken with a mobile phone. 3 Pedestrians walk next to a graffiti depicting the eyes of late Venezuelan former President Hugo Chavez in Caracas on January 16, 2014. A year after the death of President Hugo Chavez, the image that depicts his eyes are seen everywhere, from giant billboards and buildings to t-shirts and notebooks. This photo was taken with a mobile phone.

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Deserts That Will Make Your Mouth Water

  Deserts That Will Make Your Mouth Water              Many of us think of deserts as nothing but wastelands void of life and color. However, the deserts below are anything but where even under the hot relentless sun and the arid conditions, there is a hidden beauty that lies among the sand and rock.   Bring some water along and some shade for your head as we explore nine deserts that will make your mouth water. 1. Monument Valley Buttes, Arizona Photo When you think of the classic Western film, what images come to mind? You may be thinking of the lone cowboy with the squint in one eye and the clusters of hills out in a desert. Well, you didn’t know it, but you were probably thinking of the iconic buttes of Monument Valley, particularly the “mittens”, which got its debut in the movie, Stagecoach. 2. Antelope Canyon, Arizona

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11 Reasons You should Go to China Right Now

  11 Reasons You should Go to China Right Now     Chinese New Year is on Sunday! Unfortunately for me I will be halfway over the Atlantic Ocean on a plane to Finland (which probably doesn’t have a high Chinese population, although I haven’t fact checked that).   I miss China. It’s kind of weird how much I miss it considering I spent most of my time there coughing and not being able to understand anyone. I guess anywhere will grow on you if you spend enough months there, but China is absolutely the most unique and interesting country I’ve been to.   It might be a bit presumptuous, but I really think you should go too. Don’t be intimidated by the language barrier and the pollution and the general craziness. Go anyways.   Here is why:   Absurd Things Happen Hourly   Culturally, visiting China was like visiting another planet- one which was sometimes completely indecipherable. Motorbike moving vans, lettuce clothes lines and weird behaviour. It’s the one country I’ve been to where I literally had no idea what was going to happen next at any given time. It’s odd and amusing and it constantly keeps you on your toes.         Their History is Longer Then Your History   This is what initially attracted me to China: it’s one of the world’s oldest civilizations with thousands and thousands of years of continuos history.         The Cheapest Yummiest Street Food   Some people are leery of street food,

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Fira, Santorini, Greece

  Fira, Santorini, Greece     My visit to Santorini in early April was squished into 48 lightening-packed hours, a quick weekend getaway before a business trip nearby. Like most people, I’d heard about the island for years so when the opportunity to finally pay a visit entailed a pricey ferry and limited leisure time, I still jumped. Sleep when you’re dead, they say.   I opted to stay in the town of Fira because of it’s proximity to the port however if/when I return I’ll shoot for Oia (more in a post to come). ‘Downtown’ (if you can call it that) Fira felt a bit touristy to me but offered plenty of dining and shopping choices. Hoping to avoid any tourist traps, I consulted locals and was directed to Naossa, which was absolutely delicious.   Prior to arriving on the island I’d seen zillions of beautiful pictures but still didn’t expect the topography I found – for the most part, the main activity on the island is perched atop steep rocky cliffs high above the sea, called Caldera. This explains all those jaw-dropping infinity pools on the hotel websites, beach swimming really isn’t possible without a long winding cab, shuttle or scooter ride down to the water. Not a problem for me. Santorini was formed by a volcano, the top of which is visible just off shore, which also created ‘lava islands’ nearby. The sunset is considered the best in Oia since it’s unobstructed by these islands but in my opinion they only add interest.   A final takeaway from my visit- much like Venice and Rome, Santorini isn’t the same in high season (late May – September). In early April I found the island peaceful and dreamy but after conversations with locals in the hotel industry I understand it’s the exact opposite mid-summer as tourists pack onto the island off huge cruise ships. The quiet winding path that I strolled to get to and from town can get so dense with vacationers that queues form near some of the steeper steps. Not my cup of tea. Alas, if you settle into one of the many luxurious hotels all the buzz might not matter while you sip local white wine and bask in the Greek sun.  

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Miyajima – the Prettiest Tourist Trap

  Miyajima – the Prettiest Tourist Trap        Have you heard of the island Miyajima? Maybe not, but you’d probably recognize the one thing it’s famous for: the “floating torri.”. Subject of a thousand postcards, this orange gate is supposed to be one of Japan’s Three Views. It’s a very popular spot for domestic and international tourists alike, often visited via ferry from Hiroshima.   Honestly, I was somewhat sceptical that I would be able to spend an entire day on this island. After all, how many pictures can you take of one gate? Judging by the sheer hordes of people crowded at the shoreline, the answer appears to be a lot. I was disappointed though to stumble upon the gates at low tide. Pretty, but not so dramatic:     But I was also able to find a lot of other interesting things on this little island. First off were

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The Sun Goes Down

  The Sun Goes Down        

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25 razloga zašto nikada ne bi trebali posjetiti Hr

  25 razloga zasto nikada ne bi trebali posjetiti Hrvatsku!   1. Njihove gradevine se ruse Hrvatska ima nasljeđe koje datira tisucama godina unazad, spektakularna građevina poput Pulske Arene, sesti najveci rimski amfiteatar u svijetu.   2. Njihovi zrakoplovi nemaju kotace Prosle godine je u suvremenu europsku zrakoplovnu povijest uvedena prva usluga hidroaviona u Hrvatskoj. Putujte kao nikad prije.   3. Njihovi autobusi izgledaju smijesno S vise od tisucu otoka za izabrati, putovanje trajektom je romanticni dio hrvatskog ljetovanja.   4. Njihovi taksiji su drugaciji A ako imate novac za taksi, zasto ne uzivati gliserom ispod neba?    5. Hrana izgleda smijesno Svaka regija Hrvatske ima svoju kuhinju, a svi imaju jednu zajednicku stvar - svjezinu sastojaka!   6. Vino je neizgovorljivo Sa 130 autohtonih sorti grozda, ukljucujuci izvorni Zinfandel, upoznavanje vina je izazov. Kako Vi izgovarate Grk?   7. Njihove haljine su smijesne Hrvatska je zemlja tradicije, a mnogi festivali sadrze spektakularne tradicionalne haljine.   8. Njihova glazba nema instrumente Dalmatinska klapa je spektakularna, UNESCO-va nematerijalna svjetska bastina.   9. Oni govore puno o maslinama

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Some Facts Your Don’t Want To Know

  Some Facts Your Don’t

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Walking in Sydney

  Walking in Sydney      If you plan to travel to Sydney, Australia anytime soon you are going to want to embark on at least a few of these spellbinding Sydney walks. Sydney has so much to offer in terms of sun, sand, ocean waves, famous landmarks and picturesque mountainsides. The variety is unlimited and the beauty found throughout the capital of New South Wales is sure to spark some serious wanderlust. Here are 12 Sydney walks that will take your breath away, enjoy! 1. Walk from Berowra Waters to Cowan Station  This walk stretches between Sydney and Newcastle and is a smaller portion of the Great North Walk. It still takes around 3 1/2 hours to complete and is not for the faint of heart (or the inexperienced hiker).   2. Walk Manly to Shelly Beach  This walk is flat and easy to navigate but offers splendid views to inspire your mind and delight your soul.   3. Walk from Christison Park to Inner South Head

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Funchal, Madeira

  Funchal, Madeira Funchal  is the capital of Madeira and the Autonomous Region of Madeira Portugal grouping of the archipelago. Port of call located on the south coast, it is also the only major town on the island. the city has 111,892 inhabitants and is administratively divided into 10 municipalities. Funchal enjoys a Mediterranean climate influenced by the Gulf Stream. Founded in 1421, it is elevated to city status in 1508 by King Manuel I, when the first Portuguese discovered the island of Madeira in the fifteenth century, wild fennel grew abundantly on the site of the current city. the port and the city of Funchal were attacked during the First World War In 1566, in response to acts of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida, the city is attacked by the filibuster Monluc Peyrot, second son of Blaise Monluc, Marshal of France. Funchal was sacked, its inhabitants massacred, looted churches and raped nuns, while Monluc was killed during the capture of the city in 1916, the port was bombed by the German navy. The attack targeted the Portuguese warships, French and English, but the city itself was not spared, several civilians were killed, and the damage was significant enough. The Diocese of Funchal was in 1514 by the Papal Bull On 31 January 1533, the diocese was elevated to Archdiocese and as becoming for nearly 22 years the largest metropolitan archdiocese of the world, having as dependencies of the Dioceses Portuguese colonial empire: Azores, Brazil, Africa, East. On 3 July 1551, a further reorganization of the dioceses of Portugal and its empire ended the Archdiocese of Funchal, Funchal Cathedral, the Hispano-Arabic and Romanesque-Gothic lines, was built in 1514. It has the one of the most beautiful wooden ceiling Portugal from the island.

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Awesome Photos from The Denver Post Archive

  Awesome Photos from The Denver Post Archive Twenty-five of the best photos from The Denver Post’s photographic archives. From a 1929 Denver cattle auction to a 1972 anti-war protest in Boulder.  To see more photographs from our archive check out our Archive Picture of the Day gallery.   1 MAY 22 1981 - Vegetation for cattle is sparse near Shiprock, N.M. Devastation is caused by Navajo livestock over grazing within the reservation. 2 MAY 9 1972 - Officers from the Jefferson County sheriff's office hold two protesters in Boulder. Thirty-three officers from Jefferson County were brought to Boulder for the demonstration. Thirty officers from Adams County were also brought into the city. 3 JUL 8 1986 - Mrs O.G. Enholm who lives at 12th and Cook waters her grass from a stool, a comfortable way to get the chore done. 4 NOV 20 1968 - Trick Shooter Ray Hollander takes aim at a cigarette in the mouth of his wife, Genie. The performer, who lost a hand and part of another, credits a 1955 Denver appearance on being a turning point in life. 5 AUG 25 1966 - The Colorado State Fair is a place where everyone wants to try everything. The three children of State Rep. Thomas Farley, D-Pueblo, show how it's done. John Farley, 5, samples Mike's candied apple as Kelly Kathleen, 2, enjoys a cola. Mike is 4. The annual fair at Pueblo continues through Saturday. 6 OCT 26 1958 - The Magic Mountain Stagecoach, which made a cross-country run from Chicago without any problems, rests ignominious along U.S. Highway 40 on Saturday as dignitaries from Golden scramble out. The coach, on its way to Magic Mountain Park for ceremonies to make the park a part of Golden, skidded off road as its six-horse team swung into a turn. No one was hurt and ceremonies went off as planned. 7 NOV 7 1952 - Police and fire department rescue crews were called Tuesday afternoon to extricate construction worker Lyle Zigler after he was trapped under several hundred pounds of earth while working on a sewer excavation project at Smith road and Grape street.

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Santana, Madeira

  Santana, Madeira        Santana is a city of the island of Madeira. Its population is 8804 inhabitants. Santana has a school, a high school, a gymnasium, banks, a small harbour. The Theme Park of Madeira (in Portuguese Temático Parque da Madeira) is located in Santana in the north of the island, map out three-7 acres of gardens, landscapes and pavilions where visitors can discover the history of Madeira and Porto Santo, as well as the local culture and traditions. They can eat in restaurants in the park and make a boat ride on the artificial lake or a small train ride. There are more attractions and parks for children.           

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Cascate del Mulino’s Waterfall Terraces in Saturn

  Cascate del Mulino’s Waterfall Terraces in Saturnia Italy        Legend has it that when Jupiter and Saturn were at war, Jupiter struck a patch of ground with his thunderbolt, and beautiful thermal springs burst out.    Those springs are now called Terme di Saturnia. Ages ago, they were a secret spa getaway for the luxurious Romans of ancient past, and now they remain

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Iceland - 10 Must See Places

      Iceland - 10 Must See Places  Hi everyone I am Kaelene from Unlocking Kiki where you will find me blogging about my life in Iceland and the adventures it throws my way. Iceland, random right? Don’t worry I have perfectly good reason for moving up to almost the North Pole. I fell for a Viking, end of reason. Now that I have been living in my Vikings homeland for almost a year I have learned one very important thing, Iceland is a stunning country! So if you have made the wise decision to give my isolated adopted home a visit here are 10 places you won’t want to miss! 1. The Golden Circle The Golden Circle is one of the most popular tourist routes and for good reason! An easy day trip from Reykjavik, the 300 km loop has three main stops. The national park Þingvellir, Gullfoss one of the most beautiful waterfalls you will ever see, and my favorite stop, the Geysir! This trip is a perfect sample of Icelandic nature and great for those who are short on time and want to pack the most into their trip. 2. Landmannalaugar      If you are a hiking enthusiast you will want to be sure to pack your hiking boots and spend a day exploring Landmannalaugar. By far my favorite place

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Liechtenstein: The Strange and Beautiful

  Liechtenstein: The Strange and Beautiful     When you read about Liechtenstein, you hear about its many quirks.  Like the fact that Liechtenstein is the world’s top producer of dentures and dental fillings.  And that you could fit six Liechtensteins into one Andorra.  And the prince is just a regular guy who does his own grocery shopping. Yes, the principality is definitely strange.  But it’s also beautiful. As I toured Liechtenstein, I got to see a lot of interesting parts of the country — both strange and beautiful.  And many of them are hardly known. Here are my favorite highlights of Liechtenstein: The Royal Family On Liechtenstein Day — August 15 — the Royal Family invites the entire principality into its castle grounds to have a picnic and celebrate.  It’s such a nice tradition, and everyone gets excited for it. The strange part?  The Royal Family is scandal-free.  Can you believe it?  Just about every royal family has had a regular spot in the tabloids.  Not the Liechtensteins.  They’re content to live quiet lives behind the scenes. The Wedding Spot

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Porto on the Douro

  Porto on the Douro   Porto, also known as Oporto in English, is the second-largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon, and one of the major urban areas in Southwestern Europe. The urban area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, has a population of 1.8 million in an area of 389 km2  making it the second-largest urban area in Portugal. Porto Metropolitan Area, on the other hand, includes an estimated 2.4 million people. It is recognized as a Gamma-level global city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group, the only Portuguese city besides Lisbon with such recognition.   Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The western part of its urban area extends to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. Its combined Celtic-Latin name, Portus Cale, has been referred to as the origin of the name "Portugal", based on transliteration and oral evolution from Latin. In Portuguese the name of the city is spelled with a definite article ("o Porto"; English: the port). Consequently, its English name evolved from a misinterpretation of the oral pronunciation and referred to as Oporto in modern literature and by many speakers.                          

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Island Sainte Marie, Madagascar

  Island Sainte Marie, Madagascar   The island of Sainte-Marie, is an island in the region Analanjirofo, whose coasts are distant from May to December 5 to 12 km northeast of Madagascar shores, in the Indian Ocean. Île Sainte-Marie is known for its authenticity and preserved its groups of humpback whales, its romantic history and hospitality of its inhabitants. Very elongated island measuring 49 km long and 5 km wide, the south, the island with mats is separated from the island of St. Mary by a stretch of sea of ​​about 400 meters wide. A lagoon surrounds the two islands. he main village is Ambodifotatra, about 10 km south of the island. The airport is located at the southern tip of the island and is served by Air Madagascar in Antananarivo etTamatave. Many hotels are located mainly between the airport and Ambodifotatra.   The island is in the vicinity of coves and bays remarkable. The famous bays Antongilet of Tintingue were pirate hideouts in the South Seas, the activity of pirates and buccaneers are experiencing growth in the classical period between 1620 and 1680. Sheltered from sharks, the lagoon of the island of Sainte-Marie is endowed with important coralline constructions. Its fauna and underwater flora constitute a preserved natural heritage and a prime diving site in the Indian Ocean. Because of a constant micro climate throughout the year, Sainte-Marie has a remarkable plant luxuriance. If the various pepper coffee vanilla cinnamon clove spice crops proliferate, Sainte-Marie has also retained a wide range of different tropical Woodland existing in Madagascar, a real primary forest.

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Popular Korean Street Foods You Should Try

  Popular Korean Street Foods You Should Try   South Korea, just like any other country, is a great foodie destination, especially for those who want to get away from luxurious restaurants and get the food hunt happening in the streets where everything is like a movie – full of action and sizzling sounds. How can you start though? Here’s 15 of the most popular street food items you’ll find when you’re curious enough to peek inside the small food tents and stalls of South Korea called pojangmacha.   1. Tteokbokki   These long slimy-looking creatures will surely catch your attention first when you go for a Korean street food tour. They may look like a threat but fear not they’re just soft rice and fish cakes, all swimming in a spicy orange-red sauce. If you’re not familiar with the Korean type of spiciness, then a serving of tteokbokki is a great introduction for you. 2. Soondae     Soondae is a Korean type of blood pudding made of beef or pork intestines filled with beef or pork’s blood, sweet potato starch vermicelli, barley, and other ingredients to flavor. 3. Odeng   Known to be the cheapest of them all, Odeng are skewered fishcakes usually seen soaking in a big pot of broth based on turnip and leeks with crab or dried seaweed. The broth may vary from place to place as some use more special ingredients to be different among the other sellers. The broth is often free, so don’t hesitate to ask for more. It is actually good for a bad hangover. 4. Hotteok   Any form of pancake will most likely make a hit on the streets. Hotteok is a flour dough pancake with sugar syrup inside. It’s so simple but it’s surel

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Africa by Zlatko Miko

  Africa   Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.2 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers six percent of Earth's total surface area and 20.4 percent of its total land area. With 1.1 billion people as of 2013, it accounts for about 15% of the world's human population.                            

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My Summer Travel Plans in Europe

  My Summer Travel Plans in Europe    The late springtime weather hasn’t been great since I got home from Central America. Though there were one or two beautiful days (thankfully, my friend Lisa’s wedding was one of them!), it’s been mostly grey skies and drizzles following me from Boston to Milwaukee to Chicago, where I am now. I really hope it doesn’t turn out as bad as “the summer that never was” —Boston in 2009. The weather was so bad, we were still wearing jackets in July. I actually went to Cancun that August just to get a bit of sunshine! And once again, I’m booking a flight to someplace I hope will be warmer: Europe. A few weeks ago, I had no plans beyond my flight; today, Most of it has already been booked, transportation-wise, so there’s not a lot of wiggle room. And believe it or not, this is all going to take place over a very busy two-month period!   THE NORTH Scandinavia is one of my favorite regions in the world. I love how clean and well-run it is, not to mention beautiful, and summers in Scandinavia and the Nordics are absolutely magical. So northern Europe is a priority this summer. Here’s where I’ll be visiting in this region: Copenhagen My first stop! If you’re crossing the Atlantic, Norwegian Airlines’ nonstop flight from New York to Copenhagen is just about the cheapest flight out there these days. You can actually get a one-way flight for under $300 if you book a few months ahead. Copenhagen looks like a beautiful city and I might do a day trip to Helsingor. I’ve also got travel blogger meet up plans with Alex from Virtual Wayfarer, who has lived in Copenhagen for years, and Ali from Ali’s Adventures, who is just passing through. Iceland I visited Iceland in May 2012 and had a rocking time. On this trip, I’ll be passing through for a few days (it’s a necessity for flights), but hopefully that will give me the time to do a few things I missed the first time around, like the Golden Circle and parts of the south coast. Latvia

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Island Beachcomber

  Island Beachcomber Travelers love this little corner flooded with sun and come to spend full days of activity. Beachcomber Island is part of the Mamanuca island chain and is located northwest of the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu. This is one of the smaller islands of the group; she has only one hotel, the Beachcomber Island, home to young travelers looking for the most fun for the least amount of hassle. Three meals are served daily, and the rest of the time, tourists do what they want. You can snorkel off any part of the island. Just wade in the water to discover a colorful garden of corals and fish. Ride with dive boat to the outer reef to swim with rays and reef sharks. Those who love the thrill can make the watercraft, wakeboarding and parasailing to fly over this small island. For a more quiet day, go kayaking with a friend and let you rock the clear waters. One thing is certain, you will not be bored on the island. Have fun climbing the coconut trees, make a mini-golf, see turtles. The island is small enough to walk around easily on foot, a great way to end the day. After sunset, the beach hosts all kinds of shows: concerts, dance, fire eaters ... there is a bar provides drinks throughout the evening. Island Beachcomber is perfect for budget travelers. Island Beachcomber is one of Fiji's most easily accessible, just a short ferry ride from Port Denarau.              

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India’s Holy Men

  India’s Holy Men            It can be difficult to imagine living a life devoted to asceticism,a lifestyle characterized by its lack of indulgences and worldly pleasures, often adopted to pursue spiritual goals. Many are accustomed to living a relatively cushy life, with flat screen TVs, smart phones or, at the very least, food and shelter. But a talented Brooklyn-based photographer, Joey L, has taken several photos of religious ascetics, all devoted to lives in pursuit of spiritual liberation. He’s managed to capture the essence of people living lives we can barely imagine, and the result is astounding. Joey started his collection of holy men in Northern Ethiopia

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Chubby Puppies Mistaken For Teddy Bears

      Chubby Puppies Mistaken For Teddy Bears             Chubby little puppy dogs are so very cute, but sometimes they don’t look like dogs at all! In fact, some chubby puppies are being misidentified as sweet and cuddly teddy bears. Some of the “puppies” on this list might not even be canine at all. Some people believe bears have been sneaking out of the woods and imitating dogs to get lots of free treats and love. Get ready for some serious cuteness overload… if this list of chubby puppies doesn’t make you want your very own canine teddy bear I don’t know what will! 1. Newfoundland Puppy Looks Just Like A Little Black Bear    2. Alaskan Malamute This adorable Alaskan malamute looks like a little bear ready for a cold winter snow.    3. Fuzzy Chow Chow Puppy …Or is he a baby black bear?    4. Poodle Puppy Which cutie is the stuffed teddy bear and which is the poodle?!

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Bike Ride through Yogyakarta

  Bike Ride through Yogyakarta              If Jakarta is the financial capital of Indonesia, Yogyakarta is sort of its spiritual heart: a hectic blend of old and new, cyber cafes and temple sites, surrounded by some of the most beautiful rural scenery you’ll find in the country.   Cycle ten minutes out of the city and you’re surrounded by little villages, green rice paddies and swaying palms (are there any other kind?). From harvesting rice to making bricks, getting involved with the friendly local community is a unique experience not to be missed in Yogyakarta. Here are a few of the things you might see on your journey through the countryside. Rice – it doesn’t just grow in packets. Who knew? 1. Paddy fields (of course) Rice is big business in Indonesia, so it’s no surprise that when heading out to the rural communities you are likely to come across the kind of scenery your camera’s panorama function was made for. Endless rolling rice paddies dotted with palm trees along the border, little rivers and locals tilling the fields with teams of oxen. Cue awe inspiring landscape photographs… 2. Brick making This is the thing about Yogyakarta: one minute you’re in the city eating your breakfast, and the next minute you’re in a field with a man and his wheelbarrow

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Tokyo the Capital of Japan

  Tokyo the Capital of Japan Tokyo is the administrative capital of Japan since 1868, as a place of residence the Emperor of Japan, the Prime Minister, the seat of the Japanese parliament, Cabinet, all departments that constitute the and of all foreign embassies. However, that status is not defined by the Constitution of 1947. It is the main political center of the archipelago city is characterized by its skyscrapers, its stores of electronics and high technology, but also by its many shrines Shinto and Buddhist temples, and its neighborhoods and streets with unique atmospheres. Tokyo is situated in Tokyo Bay, which is the sea opening of the Pacific Ocean from Japan's largest plain, that of the Kanto, on the east coast of Honshu the island, at the mouth of several coastal rivers. The Tokyo prefecture is surrounded by Chiba prefecture to the east, that of Kanagawa southwest, that of Yamanashi to the west and north of Saitama. Southeast is Tokyo Bay. Tokyo lives under a humid subtropical climate regime. The city enjoys relatively mild winters with little or no snow, however, the summers are hot and very humid. This is mainly due to these high temperatures a multitude of drink dispensers are present everywhere in the city. Tokyo has developed without centralized government planning. The plan of the city is thus very complex and seems to lack unity. Its streets to the heterogeneous aspect, and no name for the most are a mixture of ultra modern buildings and shacks ageless. All boroughs are divided into neighborhoods that intersect, each with a very specific atmosphere. The planning of the city is the synthesis between contemporary design and historical heritage. He reigns in this vast agglomeration an impression of disorder where glass and steel buildings alongside houses frail paper, and where the suspended highways form an inextricable tangle of asphalt. Tokyo's most fashionable neighborhoods, and planted densely populated skyscrapers are located

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World’s Most Impressive National Parks

  World’s Most Impressive National Parks   For those who would like to embark on a national-park hopping around the world, take a look at our list of the Top 15 Most Impressive National Parks. Make sure to include all of them in your bucket list and visit them one by one and be swept away by the natural beauty that this earth holds.   1. Iguazu National Park, Argentina Be mesmerized by the beauty that is Iguazu. This national park boasts of its massive waterfalls that is picture-perfect at anytime of the day. Situated in the northeastern point of Argentina and closely bordering the state of Parana, Brazil, the Iguazu National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the world. Due to its impressive natural landscape and the obvious romantic affair between land and water, it is no wonder that it made its way and landed a spot in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984. The dense forest that covers most of Iguazu National Park holds a balanced affair of natural flora and fauna. The park holds more than 2000 plant species together with almost 400 bird species including the evasive Harpy Eagle.   2. Canaima National Park, Venezuela The Venezuelan Canaima National Park was first established in 1962. Currently it occupies an area of over 3 million hectares in the south-eastern part of the country, bordering between Guyana and Brazil. It is also the second largest part in Venezuela and the sixth biggest national park in the world. Almost 65% of the national park is filled by plateaus of rock, often referred to as tepuis. Teuis are a type of plateau which are million years of age and are considered as interesting geological objects.   3. Banff National Park, Canada Being the first Canadian national park, established in 1885, Banff never fails to impress and move its visitors to tears due to its natural splendor and exquisiteness. Spanning a vast expanse of 6,641 square kilometers of stunning mountains, valleys, forests, glaciers, rivers and meadows, Banff National Park is considered one of the world’s outstanding destination sites. Located in the Rocky Mountains, western part of Alberta, Banff National Park can be reached via private car, bus, train and even by plane. Banff is also widely known as a wildlife sanctuary where Grizzly and black bears inhabit its dense forests. Its valley is inhabited primarily by mule deers, white-tailed deers and elks while the alpine region is occupied by goats, big horn sheep, pika and marmots.   4. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia Plitvice Lakes National Park is considered to be a natural gem that is tucked and hidden in the mountainous karst region of central Croatia, located at the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Listed as one of UNESCO World Heritage sites, this Croatian national park draws millions of visitors each year. The national park caught the eyes of many for its stunning and world-renowned lakes harmoniously arranged in cascades. As of the moment, 16 beautiful lakes can be seen from the surface which are all interconnected and follow the current/ water flow.

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Scotland - The Most Breathtaking Country on Earth

  Scotland - The Most Breathtaking Country on Earth?    

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Canada by Zlatko Miko

  Canada Canada is a country, consisting of ten provinces and three territories, in the northern part of the continent of North America. It extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres in total, making it the world's second-largest country by total area and the fourth-largest country by land area. Canada's common border with the United States forms the world's longest land border. The land now called Canada has been inhabited for millennia by various Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French colonies were established on the region's Atlantic coast. As a consequence of various conflicts, the United Kingdom gained and lost North American territories until left, in the late 18th century, with what mostly comprises Canada today. Pursuant to the British North America Act, on July 1, 1867, three colonies joined to form the autonomous federal Dominion of Canada. This began an accretion of provinces and territories to the new self-governing Dominion. In 1931, Britain granted Canada near total independence with the Statute of Westminster 1931 and full sovereignty was attained when the Canada Act 1982 severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II being the current head of state. The country is officially bilingual at the federal level. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many countries, with a population of approximately 35 million as of 2015. Its advanced economy is one of the largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. Canada is a developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world, with the tenth highest nominal per capita income globally, and the eighth highest ranking in the Human Development Index. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education. Canada is a Commonwealth Realm member of the Commonwealth of Nations, and is furthermore part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G8, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.    

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Ottawa, Canada

  Ottawa, Canada Ottawa is the capital of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; the two form the cores of the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area (CMA) and the National Capital Region (NCR). The 2011 census reported a population of 883,391 within the city, and 1,236,324 within the CMA, making them the fourth-largest city and the fourth-largest CMA in Canada respectively.  Founded in 1826 as Bytown, and incorporated as "Ottawa" in 1855, the city has evolved into a political and technological centre of Canada. Its original boundaries were expanded through numerous minor annexations and were ultimately replaced by a new city incorporation and major amalgamation in 2001 which significantly increased its land area. The name "Ottawa" is derived from the Algonquin word Odawa, meaning "to trade". Initially an Irish and French Christian settlement, Ottawa has become a multicultural city with a diverse population. The city is among the most educated in Canada, with several post-secondary, research, and cultural institutions. Ottawa has a high standard of living and low unemployment. It ranks 2nd out of 150 in the Numbeo quality of life index, 14th out of 221 in the Mercer Quality of Living Survey, and it contains a UNESCO World Heritage Site.           

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Vancouver, Canada

  Vancouver, Canada Vancouver is a port city of Canada, the largest in Western Canada, in the province of British Columbia. It is from 12 to 28 February 2010, host the XXI Olympic Winter Games. Vancouver is the third largest metropolitan area in Canada and the economic capital of British Columbia. Located at the extreme southwestern Canada Vancouver is built on the delta of the Fraser River and is bordered by the Strait of Georgia and the Coast Mountains. The mountains rise to over 1,500 meters along the Howe Sound The abundant rainfall have made Vancouver a place where the lush vegetation where trees are huge and where multiple gardens bloom. However, the elements that make up the region restrict the space available for urbanization what is now Vancouver a compact city, centralized and where the density of downtown is one of the strongest of the continent north US. Currently, more than 600 000 people have taken up residence in Vancouver. The agglomeration exceeds two million The town joined the border with the United States which is located 38 km from the city center.  It is adjacent to the Georgia Strait that separates Vancouver Island and is connected to the Pacific Ocean.      

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Drinking Snake Blood in Vietnam

  Drinking Snake Blood in Vietnam Hanoi is well-known for its snake restaurants — restaurants that serve every body part of the snake. If you’re lucky, the snake will be a cobra; if you’re the guest of honor, you’ll be served the heart. I could not imagine a better adventure in Hanoi! Hanoi Backpackers Hostel runs trips to Snake Village most nights.  For $15, you get to visit a traditional snake restaurant on the outskirts of Hanoi and enjoy the full snake dining experience.  There’s a snake buffet, plenty of rice wine, and since it’s organized through the hostel, you know that there will be a great group of people. Also… You can help kill the snake. You drink the snake’s blood and bile. And if you’re truly adventurous, you can bite the heart out of the living snake, feeling it beat in your mouth for a few moments before you swallow it. BEYOND badass! When we arrived, we chose five snakes.  These wouldn’t be the ones we would eat, but they would definitely be the ones that we killed.

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Palma De Mallorca

  Palma De Mallorca Palma is the main town on the island of Mallorca, the capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain, It has about 413,781 inhabitants or almost half of the total population of the Balearic Islands and is located on the south coast of the island in the Bay of Palma.  Despite tourism and concrete, the old town has retained its soul. Were allowed to build, in a beautiful anarchy, high and medium residential standing on the hills and neighbourhoods dormitory suburbs. And at a breakneck pace, to accommodate lovers of Palma in fancy buildings. Who were they? Wealthy Europeans, but also Argentine or wealthy Moroccans, attracted by the prosperity of an island where the per capita income remains above the Spanish average. Result: the population has quadrupled since 1950. Palsemanos find the pride of owning one of the largest Gothic complexes in Europe, to see the colossal project silhouettes Cathedral and Almudaina, former Arab palace, carved in bright ocher Mallorcan sandstone. That of grip in dark alleys churches or basilicas austere yet welcoming. prosperous city during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries as the summer capital of the Kingdom of Majorca, part of the crown of Aragon. Much of the most important historic buildings date from this period and show the characteristics of the style of Gothic architecture, including the Cathedral (built from 1230 to 1600) and the composite style, Moorish and Catalan Palau Almudaina. The archipelago of Cabrera, though widely separated from Palma, is considered by the administration as part of the municipality. Palma has a typical Mediterranean climate with an annual mean temperature of 16.6 ° C.   In the blog you will see photos of the Bellver Castle. Bellver Castle is a Gothic style castle on a hill 3 km northwest of Palma. It was built in the 14th century for King James II of Majorca, and is one of the few circular castles in Europe. Long used as a military prison throughout the 18th to mid-20th century, it is now under civilian control, being one of the main tourist attractions of the island, as well as the seat for the city's History Museum.           

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Ibiza, Spain

  Ibiza, Spain Ibiza  with 132,650 inhabitants is a Spanish island of the Balearic archipelago in the Mediterranean. Ibiza is located south of the main island of Majorca. It is located a hundred kilometers east of the Cape of La Nao and Valencian coast in the Iberian Peninsula It is also relatively close to the Algerian coast. Pitiusan Archipelago includes the island of Ibiza and the Formentera and with Mallorca and Menorca, it forms the province of the Balearic Islands. Its area is 572 km2 Ibiza is served by ferry and airplane. The airport is located 7 km from Ibiza and is used by airlines to lower prices for domestic, international and transcontinental. The Ibiza Airport has a single terminal. Inland transport to the island are by road: bus, taxi, private vehicle or rental. Ibiza is well known for its summer club scene which attracts very large numbers of tourists.                                &nbsp

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Tenerife, Spain

  Tenerife, Spain Tenerife is an island of Spain part of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. This is the more largest island of the archipelago but also the highest, Teide constituting more the culmination of Spain with 3718 meters of altitude. Its 906,854 residents make it the most populated island of Spain and the most urbanized and cosmopilite of Canary Islands. Its capital and largest city Santa Cruz de Tenerife is co-capital of the autonomous community of the Islands. Its economy is mainly oriented towards tourism with over five million visitors a year. It constitutes one of the top tourist destinations in Spain. Tenerife has two sites inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage: the National Park Teide and San Cristobal de la Laguna.                      

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Torremolinos, Spain

  Torremolinos, Spain   Torremolinos  with 60 000 inhabitants is a Spanish city located in the province of Malaga, Andalucia, Costa del Sol, which is 15 kilometers from the provincial capital to the west, east and Benalmadena Alhaurin de la Torre in the North . In the south you will find the Mediterranean Sea. Torremolinos is named after the towers and mills that existed in the past but this fishing port has become very quickly marina, nevertheless retains its pristine sandy beaches. The many restaurants offer mainly seafood. The pescaíto frito is the specialty of raw fish but many other recipes exist. Obviously the AOC of Malaga provides the accompaniment of the many seafood grill offered in these rooms. Torremolinos is a villeTorremolinos, one of the most famous cities on the Costa del Sol, has a density of 60 000 inhabitants, and it is a town known as a symbol of tourism on the Costa del Sol, especially in the 60s when Torremolinos was a reference of international tourism. With the extension of the Costa del Sol with cities such as Fuengirola, Estepona or Benalmadema, this continues to increase. A pleasant town or many foreigners come to live in the favorable climate and

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Canary Islands

  Canary Islands The Canary Islands are a group of seven islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest of Spain facing North Africa. The seven islands are Lanrazote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, Tenerife, Hierro, La Gomera and Gran Canaria. Always beautiful never below 18 degrees in winter, making it a mecca for European vacationers who can not go very far from the sun and looking for their end of year celebrations. There are fabulous beaches, the Sahara desert identical, volcanoes, and stunning cacti that are found elsewhere.        

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Nerja, Costa Del Sol, Spain

  Nerja, Costa Del Sol, Spain   Jackpot! We NAILED it with our weekend in the Costa Del Sol in Nerja, Spain. I had wanted two very basic things: sunshine and water. What we got was: a charming Spanish town, stunning views, ridiculously yummy tapas, culture, AND a sunny beach. A blissful weekend before our final days in our wedding countdown (ONE month from today I’ll be a Mrs., ah!). Here’s the deal. Getting to Nerja is actually a CHEAP cake walk. We flew via RyanAir into Malaga, took the train to the city center then hopped a local bus for 4E to Nerja. (Yes, yes, that’s already three forms of transportation but I swear it’s straightforward!) Upon arrival, we checked into our hotel right in the town center (highly recommended, only 75E/night with breaky and a gorgeous rooftop deck & pool), changed and headed down to the beach! A beach cabana and cushy chair for 4 euro a day? Yes, please! If it’s not obvious, all of these pictures were been taken in between beach-side naps… 

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Nice Places in Clouds

  Nice Places in Clouds               Some people want to travel east, others west, others simply to various parts of the world. Some people want to dive deep and discover what lies underneath the blue waters. Of course, some would like to go high in the sky and feel like they’ve become cloud conquerors. Is heaven real? We’re not ready to make that call here, but if you consider cloudy towns to be heaven then read on to know where you should be heading.   1. Machu Picchu, Peru       Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most important archaeological sites, lying on a high mountain ridge surrounded by the Urubamba River some 610 meters below. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru. It’s an Inca-style complex of palaces, plazas, temples, and homes, all made of dry-stone walls.   2. Nagarkot, Nepal       Nagarkot is a village located 32 kilometers east of Kathmandu, Nepal in Bhaktapur District. The village which stands approximately 2000 m above sea level creates an idyllic setting for sunrise views over the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest.   3.  Cordes sur Ciel, Tarn Valley, France  

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Best Places to See the Midnight Sun in Norway

  Best Places to See the Midnight Sun in Norway        The midnight sun, also known as the polar day, is an unusual phenomenon that you can experience depending on how close you are to the Arctic Circle. It only happens once a year wherein you’ll be just in awe while watching the sun giving off a reddish-yellow brightness and a brilliant soft radiance in the sky. In Norway, you can visit during the peak months of June and July if you want to see the midnight sun. You can even experience it from May to August if you travel further north.   Where are the best places to experience the midnight sun? Here are the 9 spots you can check out: 1. The North Cape   A spectacular midnight sun can be viewed from the coast but it can be foggy, so it’s better if you travel inwards away from the coast to see a better view in summers. 2. The Svalbard Islands

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Benalmadena, Spain

     Benalmadena, Spain    Benalmadena is a town in Andalusia in southern Spain, 12 kilometers west of Malaga, on the Costa del Sol between Torremolinos and Fuengirola. It caters for a large number of tourists, and is also home to the 33 meter tall Buddhist Benalmadena Stupa. The area of Benalmadena is rich in nice beaches, interesting places like the Colomares Castle, the biggest buddhist stupa in Europe, the Benalmadena Marina (it has been awarded twice 1995 and 1997 as the "Best Marina in the World" award granted by specialized international magazines) and other amenities.Benalmadena covers an area of just over than 27 km2 that extends from the summits of the Sierra de Mijas to the sea, falling in some places as a cliff. The territory is crossed from east to west on Highway A-7, which connects with the provincial capital and other centers of the Mediterranean coast.With 61,383 inhabitants, Benalmadena is the eighth most populous municipality in the province and the third largest metropolitan area, behind Malaga and Torremolinos. The population is concentrated in three main centers: Benalmadena Pueblo, Arroyo de la Miel and Benalmadena Costa, although the high urban growth and demographic tends to unify the three cores. Benalmadena has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Benalmadena experienced a remarkable development during the period of Muslim domination. Its development was paralyzed after joining the Crown of Castile in 1485 due to various natural disasters and the intensity of the activity of privateers in the area. The paper industry and vineyard cultivation reactivated the local economy during the 18th and 19th centuries. In the early twentyfirst century Benalmadena is one of the main tourist destinations on the Costa del Sol, with leisure facilities including an amusement park, two aquariums, a casino, a cable car and one of the largest marinas of Andalusia.                        

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Photo Diary: Bellagio, Italy - My Most memorable

  Photo Diary: Bellagio, Italy - My Most memorable Dinner in Europe    The petite, yet world-famous, town of Bellagio sits on very end of a peninsula jutting into the crystal clear Lake Como. A favorite of the Rockefeller’s, Madonna and Donatella Versace, we (Dan and I along with our dear friends, Lucas and Lisa) knew that our visit there would be a memorable one. What I didn’t realize though is that in 3 short days we’d all grow to love Bellagio so much that we’d cancel plans to go to Milan and see the World Expo just so we could stay another night longer. Bellagio is amazing and unlike anywhere else that I’ve ever visited. While visiting I compiled 400+ images as I wondered the streets… and I swear, it’s not all that big! After our stormy start, lasting over 24 hours, when the skies finally cleared the town beamed to life with locals pouring into the streets along with tourists, all rejoicing with the sun. As I often do, I took a few solo ‘photography walks’ (read: not suitable for companionship while I painfully 1-2 step down the street) over the course of our stay. Vespas buzzed through the alleyways while along the lake sleek wooden water taxis zipped luxury travelers to their villas. The scene in Bellagio is straight out of a James Bond movie, so you’ll have to pardon me while I unload a heap of photos that I’m convinced you all MUST see.

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Private Islands Owned by Rich and Famous

  Private Islands Owned by Rich and Famous     The obvious benefit of being a celebrity is the truckloads of cash from all the movies, ads and endorsements. However, being famous means you have to sacrifice one thing – privacy. But if you’re confident about your unlimited amounts of money, then there’s a solution to that problem — buying your own private island. For your personal inspiration, here are some of the islands owned by famous celebrities who’re lucky to have their own paradise they can call home. 1. Tetiaroa Atoll Owner: Marlon Brando   Tetiaroa, an island in the French Polynesia, was once an inaccessible place only visited by the former chiefs and kings of Tahiti as a summer destination. After many years, it became open to the public as a luxurious – super luxurious – and eco-friendly resort called The Brando. The atoll located 30 miles north of Tahiti had lured the late Marlon Brando’s eyes when he was looking around the islands of French Polynesia for his 1962 movie, Mutiny on the Bounty. 2. Mago Island Owner: Mel Gibson   Mago Island is a 22-square-kilometer volcanic island located in the northwest sector of Fiji’s northern Lau Group of Islands. Mel Gibson purchased the island in 2005 for about US$15 million. There isn’t anyone living on the island for now except for a few caretakers, and there’s nothing to visit here too since the island is left in its untouched state. 3. Little Hall’s Pond Cay Owner: Johnny Depp

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Brazil by Zlatko Miko

  Brazil Brazil officially the Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country in both South America and the Latin American region. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population. It is the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world, and the only one in the Americas. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 km. It borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and occupies 47.3 percent of the continent of South America. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats. This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, and is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection. Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing of traveler Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro after French forces invaded Portugal. In 1815, it was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. Its independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system. The country became a presidential republic in 1889, when a military coup d'état proclaimed the Republic, although the bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress, dates back to the ratification of the first constitution in 1824. An authoritarian military junta had led the nation from 1964 until 1985. Brazil's current Constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a federal republic. The Federation is composed of the union of the Federal District, the 26 states, and the 5,570 municipalities. The country's economy is the world's eighth largest by nominal and seventh largest by GDP as of 2015. A member of the BRIC group, Brazil until 2010 had one of the world's fastest growing major economies, with its economic reforms giving the country new international recognition and influence. Brazil's national development bank plays an important role for the country's economic growth. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Unasul, Mercosul, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States, CPLP and the Latin Union. Brazil is a regional power in Latin America and a middle power in international affairs, with some analysts identifying it as an emerging global power. Brazil has been the world's largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years.       

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Most Charming One-Room Hotels Around the World

    Most Charming One-Room Hotels Around the World Luxury doesn’t only come in high-rise buildings and large hotel areas. It can also be summed up into a small hotel that is entirely no one else’s but yours. You could be missing the usual hotel facilities but being with someone you’d love to be with in an amazing room that’s only yours is something worth to try for the first time – or maybe 10 times if you checked-in in all these listed one-room hotels around the world. 1. The One Hotel Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia     In the heart of an old town, the One Hotel Angkor is a lavish shelter that’s entirely yours and also nearby Siem Reap’s hotspots. From the ground floor, you’ll already feel your money’s worth as you enter the designer lounge. Beyond the lounge, you can wander around the hotel’s art gallery, relax in the shaded roof terrace, or hangout in its Jacuzzi while listening to the music from its surround sound system or to the random sounds of the city.   2. Eh’häusl, Amberg, Germany     The Eh’häusl was built in 1728 as a clever business for young couples who want to get married but can’t provide a proof of landownership to the city council. This house was built between two existing buildings in the Seminargasse. So it’s a buy, marry, sell cycle during that time, but since 2008, it has become a fully renovated luxury hotel for two.   3. Central Hotel & Café, Copenhagen, Denmark     A single 12-square-meter-room above a tiny café turns into an another home because of its coziness and the matching aroma of

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Cuba’s Alternative Beach Stays

  Cuba’s Alternative Beach Stays Beautiful beaches are as iconic as cocktails in the Caribbean, but in Cuba only a handful of coastal destinations are well known. If crowded resort-lounging in Varadero isn’t your thing, there are plenty of equally stunning, secluded sandy strands for independent travellers. Often these lesser-known beaches will reveal a dose of the real Cuba. Occasionally just lazing on the beach might give a glimpse of the island's interesting past, too. Here's our pick of the gems just waiting to be discovered. Cayo Guillermo, Ciego de Ávila Province Tourist brochure? No, just Hemingway's favourite fishing spot, Cayo Guillermo. A favoured fishing spot of Hemingway’s, this sand-rimmed key seduces visitors today with beaches pretty enough to grace the front pages of tourist brochures. The most outstanding strand, Playa Pilar, is a short bus ride from the Guillermo hotel strip, with powder-puff white sand bolstered by extensive dunes. Where to stay and eat: Iberostar Daiquiri is the best hotel; chowing down on fresh fish at gorgeously positioned Ranchón Playa Pilar will be nigh-on your number one lunch out in Cuba. What to do: Most people are here for swimming and sun-bathing, but there’s also flamingo-watching in the mangroves, fishing trips to make you feel like a latter-day Hemingway (it was a favourite sport of his) and, at Playa Pilar, a variety of local boat trips: out to former Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista’s summerhouse, for example. Cayo Guillermo is also one of only a few locations in Cuba where visitors can partake in the recent craze for kite-surfing. Bahía de Cochinos, Matanzas Province Forget the historical controversy: Cuba's Bay of Pigs is now a legendary dive spot. Related articles: Cuba with kids Exploring Viñales, Cuba's scenic backyard Top 10 things to do in Trinidad, Cuba It’s tough to resist a beach vacation in the location that was at the epicentre of some of the most infamous episodes of the Cold War. The Bay of Pigs, as it is known in English, is the theme of a riveting museum in the village of Playa Girón here.

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Pictures of the Week: July 11, 2014

  Pictures of the Week: July 11, 2014   Lightning strikes early Monday morning, July 7, 2014, north of Gillette, Wyo. According to the National Weather Service, the forecast is predicting more showers and thunderstorms throughout the week.   A bull jumps over revelers on the bull ring at the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Revelers from around the world in Pamplona take part in an eight-day event of the running of the bulls glorified by Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises.”     Ema Hasanovic, 5, a young Bosnian Muslim girl, pays her respects near to the coffin of her uncle, in the Memorial center in Potocari, 200 kms northeast of Sarajevo, on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Hundreds of people turned out in Sarajevo’s main street to pay their respects to 175 victims of the Srebrenica massacre ó Europe’s worst since World War II ó as a truck carried their coffins to a final resting place. The remains of the men and boys, found in mass graves and identified through DNA analysis, will be buried in Srebrenica on Friday, the 19th anniversary of the massacre, next to 6,066 previously found victims.   1 A bull jumps over revelers on the bull ring at the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Revelers from around the world in Pamplona take part in an eight-day event of the running of the bulls glorified by Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises." 2 Ema Hasanovic, 5, a young Bosnian Muslim girl, pays her respects near to the coffin of her uncle, in the Memorial center in Potocari, 200 kms northeast of Sarajevo, on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Hundreds of people turned out in Sarajevo's main street to pay their respects to 175 victims of the Srebrenica massacre ó Europe's worst since World War II ó as a truck carried their coffins to a final resting place. The remains of the men and boys, found in mass graves and identified through DNA analysis, will be buried in Srebrenica on Friday, the 19th anniversary of the massacre, next to 6,066 previously found victims. 3 Buddhist devotees and others watch an Indian man perform bike stunts on the fifth day of Kalachakra near Leh, India, Monday, July 7, 2014. Buddhist devotees from across the globe have arrived in this Himalayan region of Ladakh to attend the ëKalachakraí or Wheel of Time initiations by the Dalai Lama that began Thursday. 4 Lightning strikes early Monday morning, July 7, 2014, north of Gillette, Wyo. According to the National Weather Service, there was about of 0.08 inches of precipitation and the forecast is predicting more showers and thunderstorms throughout the week. 5 A flaming fake bull "Toro de fuego" runs after revelers during the 2014 San Fermin

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Korcula, Croatia – The Land of Marco Polo

  Korcula, Croatia – The Land of Marco Polo  One of my most delightful surprises of the Dalmatian Coast was lovely Korčula — the home of Marco Polo. Korčula?  But I thought Marco Polo was from Venice! True.  Marco Polo was born in the thirteenth century, back when Venice was a Republic spanning from the canal-filled city to what is now Turkey. No one knows his birthplace for sure, but many historians believe it to be the Croatian island of Korčula (KOR-chu-la). The locals have adopted Marco Polo as their own, and like every destination with one major claim to fame, half the stuff in town is named after him! If you like to photograph architecture, flowers, and little details, Korcula is the Croatian island for you!  The island is fairly large with lots of private beaches and hidden getaways, but Korcula town is where you’ll find the beautiful buildings.

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10 Stunning Travel Destinations You Might Not Kno

  10 Stunning Travel Destinations You Might Not Know Your husband's cousin's girlfriend won't stop talking about her fabulous vacay to the Maldives (automatic eye roll). And although it really does sound amazing, sometimes the best trips are the ones less traveled. Here are ten off-the-beaten-path getaways that make for way cooler stories. (Take those vacations days--it's for your health.) MAURITIUS Maldives, schmaldives. This tiny island just east of Madagascar is the new secret gem of the Indian Ocean.   AIX-EN-PROVENCE, FRANCE Sure, Paris is great. But tacking on an extra couple of days (when the lavender is in bloom) to bike through Provence is très "you've got to be kidding me." AEOLIAN ISLANDS, ITALY The Amalfi Coast is unbeatable (you know this), but it’s not the only chain of amazing islands in town. For a more under-the-radar Italian experience, visit the UNESCO-protected Aeolian archipelago--a cluster of seven small spots wh

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Sveti Stefan: A Travel Dream Fulfilled

  Sveti Stefan: A Travel Dream Fulfilled It was several years ago when I first began reading about the Balkans.  I immediately became a Balkans junkie, dreaming of sailing Croatia’s islands, hiking Slovenia’s Julian Alps, partying on Belgrade’s river barges. But the place that captured my imagination the most was a little island off the coast of Montenegro called Sveti Stefan. Look at that island.  How could you not be captivated by it?  But it was also its history that charmed me — it had been a chi-chi resort from the 1950s through the 80s, hosting stars like Elizabeth Taylor.  But like many other places in the Balkans, it fell into disrepair during the war and remained shuttered for a very long time. I dreamed of visiting Sveti Stefan for years, and it had always been lurking in the corner of my mind of the places in the world I wanted to visit the most.  When Dave and I added Montenegro to our Balkans itinerary, I hoped that we would make it there after all. And on our final full day in Montenegro, we did! It’s easy enough to get there from Kotor or anywhere else on the coast — Sveti Stefan is technically the name of the town, not the island — and the hourlong bus journey cost us 4 euros each. The bus left us perched on the top of a hill overlooking the town and the island. Sveti Stefan is a tiny, sleepy town.  There are lots of condos and hotels, but it doesn’t have a busy, touristy feel to it.  There are a few stores and most of the beaches are open to all. Finally, we landed on the beach, the island in sight.

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Uruguay - the Coastline and Montevideo

  Uruguay - the Coastline and Montevideo Uruguay's population of nearly 3.3 million inhabitants is concentrated mainly on the coast. The capital is Montevideo. The majority of Uruguayans are descendants of Europeans arrived in the nineteenth century, most of which were from Spain or Italy. The descendants of Europeans represent 88% of the population. Uruguay's economy is characterized by agriculture and especially by livestock, since the country is in line with the Argentine pampas grasslands. Follow the industry, mainly food processing, and tourism, which is developing more and more. Uruguay is in the geographical continuity of the Argentine Pampa, that is to say that the country consists mainly of large plains. There are also low mountains but very steep, like the Cuchilla de Haedo and Cuchilla Grande. The highlight of the country is the Cerro Catedral. Rainfall is generally constant over the year, which does not prevent droughts or, conversely, very heavy rainfall Relief is linked in the southern lands of the Pampa and consists of vast rolling plains and crossed by low-lying hills called cuchillas. The most important are the Great and Cuchilla Cuchilla Haedo.Avec of its hot summers and mild winters, subtropical climate in Uruguay average is 17 ° C and rainfall is fairly plentiful and more or less uniform throughout the year. The coast is experiencing a maritime climate, with a certain amplitude, due to the warm current of Brazil, which increases the temperature of the Atlantic coast.           

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Morro de Sao Paolo

  Morro de Sao Paolo, Brazil   Morro de Sao Paolo is a village in the northern tip of the Tinhare Island in Bahia. Reachable only by boat or plane, the village has no paved streets or car traffic. There are, however, lots of hotels, pousadas and restaurants, as well as a few ATMs. The island's beaches are nice and imaginatively named First, Second, Third and Fourth beach. Here are pictures of this place that might be able to make you dream.    

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World's Longest And Highest Glass-Bottom Bridge

  World's Longest And Highest Glass-Bottom Bridge   China Set To Open World's Longest And Highest Glass-Bottom Bridge. A bridge too far? China set to open the most terrifying walkway in the world, stretching a quarter-of-a-mile across a canyon at a dizzying height of 980 ft... and it's made of GLASS The Zhangjiajie skywalk is set to open in July hovering over a 980 ft drop If you are terrified of heights you would be advised to stay well away from China's latest attraction. ​ The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon skywalk will hover over a nail-biting 980 ft drop and is set to smash records to be the world's longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge. The dizzying footbridge, which spans between two cliffs in the national park of Zhangjiajie, will be open to brave tourists in July. If you have vertigo look away! The world's highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge is set to open in China in July The dizzying walkway is suspended between two cliffs in the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon

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New Zealand’s SPA Beach

  New Zealand’s SPA Beach     Spas are crazy expensive these days, and getting a hot tub is a cost way over the top. But if you happen to live around Hot Water Beach, northeast of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, you got a relaxing weekend resort right at your doorstep, absolutely free of charge. DIY is the trend in Hot Water Beach. Before you go, make sure you bring a shovel and a bucket with which to dig yourself a spa of your own. Make sure you get there in between hours of low and high water tide reaches at which the water is calm and best for relaxation. Once high tide ticks in, water would rush in and reclaim the beach, tearing down your personal spa while at it. The Hot Water Beach featured as the Top 3 Mineral Bath in the World by Lonely Planet originates from underground hot springs and is rich in volcanic minerals good for the skin. The water’s temperature can get as hot as 64 degrees Celsius (147 degrees Fahrenheit), so beach goers are advised to neutralize the heat by pouring in buckets of water from the ocean. Visitors are also prohibited from straying far as 50 m in the waters from the shore as the waves and rip currents are notoriously dangerous. Approximately 130,000 tourists fill the beach every year. So if you’re planning to go, you better be punctual to claim a good spot for your “spa”. The Mercury Bay website provides a calendar with time schedules of low and high tides by the hour, so you can plan your visit in advance. Enjoy!

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New Zealand's Aquatic Adventures

  New Zealand's Aquatic Adventures With the world’s tenth longest coastline and an interior riven with more than 180,000km of charted rivers, it’s no surprise that New Zealand’s cup is overflowing with watery adventures. Surfing, kayaking, rafting, diving, snorkelling, sailing, and even swimming with dolphins or seals, there’s plenty to immerse yourself in. Bobbing on the rapids as spray whips your skin... few thrills can beat rafting down the Tongariro River in New Zealand. Diving the Poor Knights Poor Knights marine reserve, off Northland’s east coast, was rated by aquatic legend Jacques Cousteau as one of the word’s top 10 diving spots. The island’s underwater cliffs drop steeply through crystal waters to form a maze of archways, caves and tunnels adorned with sponges and a vivid array of underwater vegetation. Rays, and a variety of colourful fish not present elsewhere in New Zealand, can be spotted here thanks to the subtropical current from the Coral Sea. Submerge yourself in a marine wonderland on a dive in New Zealand's Poor Knights reserve. Surfing Raglan Sweet and salty little Raglan is surfing central, with serious waxheads heading to Manu Bay, rumoured to have the world’s longest left-hand break. Mere mortals are best kicking things off at beautiful Ngarunui (raglan23.co.nz), with less forbidding waves and lifeguard patrol (October to April). Hang ten with the friendly Raglan Surfing School (raglansurfingschool.co.nz), where they pride themselves on getting 95% of first-timers standing during their lesson. The beach is also great for swimming and sunsets. Related articles: Ten of New Zealand's most scenic day hikes Ten unforgettable New Zealand beaches New Zealand in winter Sailing Auckland

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Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

  Brazil, Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, is a metropolis located in the southeast of Brazil. With its 6.1 million inhabitants including Leonora and France intramural and 11.35 million in the urban area, Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city behind São Paulo. It is world famous for its carnival, beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and its statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado. It was capital of Portugal, following the flight of the Portuguese court during the Napoleonic invasion and the Empire of Brazil Most of the city is part of a geological structure called the "Brazilian crystal". Numerous rocks and granites, forming the basis of this crystal, are the oldest of the Brazilian territory. This structure has undergone several tectonic upheavals which resulted in hills, mountains and valleys that characterize the coast of Rio.                        

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Busabout Croatia Sail

  Busabout Croatia Sail The Most Fun Ever   When it came time to take my first vacation in the last two years, I wanted to do something I’ve dreamed of for years — sailing the islands off the coast of Croatia.   Dave and I joined up with my frequent and much-loved partner Busabout on their One-Way Croatia Sail.   And the result?   This trip was amazing!   Cruising Croatia with Busabout was the perfect combination of relaxation and exploration, a new and interesting but not difficult destination, with tons of new friends.  And Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen!   Each day had a comfy routine.  We would set sail early in the morning, and stop for a swim en route to our destination.  Sometimes it was jumping off the boat into the middle of the Adriatic; sometimes we’d stop at an unfathomably gorgeous beach.     We’d have lunch on the boat, and then we’d pull into our destination for the day: piratey Omiš, low-key Makarska, party-happy Hvar, gorgeous Korčula, otherworldly Mljet, and finally, the Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik.   Our guide, Adam, would give us a discreet tour (unlicensed tour guides aren’t permitted in these towns, so Busabout guides have to be on the DL), and we would either join the afternoon activity or go exploring or beach-hopping on our own.  We would all meet up for dinner at a restaurant, then go out for drinks — sometimes just a few, sometimes quite a few.   My highlights of the week:     Sitting in the Sun and Enjoying the Cruise   The best part of the trip was also the simplest — just sitting on the deck, catching rays, and reading.  We spent every morning this way and it was supremely relaxing.     Wine Tasting in Stari Grad   This wine tasting at Marinero’s in Stari Grad, Hvar, was a lot of fun and great value, with four full glasses of wine for 110 kuna ($18).  The red was absolutely sensational and tasted of vanilla and smoke and spices.  But the biggest highlight was the bread — this may be the most delicious, juiciest bread I have EVER tasted!     Nightlife in Hvar   One of our biggest nights out was in Hvar Town, where we went to Kiva Bar to do Tequila Boom Booms.  What are Tequila Boom Booms?  You put on a helmet, they take a glass filled with tequila and I don’t know what else, and then they SLAM IT ON YOUR HEAD TEN TIMES before you drink it.  Weird, dizzying, and not painful.

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Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge – Kenya

  Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge – Kenya If you are a nature-lover and you want a vacation close to your heart, then the Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge in Kenya can be your best option. The safari experience together with great accommodation and service will surely give you an amazing time. Sarova Salt Lick is located in a private sanctuary at the foot of Taita Hills. The 28,000 acres of this place borders the Tsavo West National Park. This exclusive wildlife conservancy is a six-hour travel from Nairobi and a three and a half hour drive from Mombasa.    

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IBM Engineer Quit His Job To Travel The World

  IBM Engineer Quit His Job To Travel The World As An Instagram-Famous Photographer       Being an IBM engineer comes with security and financial stability, which is exactly what all humans crave. Yet, one IBM engineer was willing to give that up to pursue a bigger dream of his own. Eeico Roos worked as an IT specialist at IBM Amsterdam for 10 years before he put in his two weeks to become a world traveler with a famous Instagram profile.   It all started when the engineer started taking on freelance photography jobs in 2011, but when these jobs started calling him away from his regular

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Breathtaking Satellite Photos

  Breathtaking Satellite Photos Daily Overview is a fantastic new project that shares one satellite photo from Digital Globe each day.   They’re goal is try to change the way we see Earth by providing amazing views of the world in which we live in. It’s no doubt that they provide some stunning photos that give viewers an alternate way to look at the world. 1. Bourtange, Vlagtwedde, Netherlands This small village has a population of 430 people and lies in the region of Westerwolde. 2. Barcelona, Spain Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia, the country’s 2nd largest city, and the largest metropolis in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s rich with cultural history and amazing architecture. 3. 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group Often called the boneyard, this site acts as an aircraft and missile storage and maintenance facility for the US Air Force.

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Crazy Facts about the World

  Crazy Facts about the World   Sound fake but facts are totally true [Infographic] Did you know that Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined? How about the fact that Libya

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Pokrivenik Bay, Island Hvar

  Pokrivenik Bay, Island Hvar The Hvar Tourist Board have been out and about to improve your choice of places to visit this summer. Some great photos from relatively undiscovered eastern Hvar. The pictures tell their own story, and so we will keep words to a minimum and let you enjoy.  The bay is called Pokrivenik on the northern coast. To get there from Jelsa, head along the main road to Sucuraj, turning left at the sign for Pokrivenik on between Zastrazisce and Gdinj.       

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The Magical Gdinj Bays, Croatia

    The Magical Gdinj Bays, Croatia  I decided to head east, and start a programme of discovery for the rest of the year. We headed off to the supermarket to buy supplies for the beach picnic and then set off towards Gdinj, which is a village I have always liked. The superior stone and buildings there suggest that it was once an important and glorious place. One of the most interesting modern sights in Gdinj is this map showing information on the so-called Gdinj Bays to the south, which are accessed by a winding descending road from the village by the church. There are I think seven in all, ea

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The Danube Delta, Romania

  The Danube Delta, Romania The Danube Delta is located three quarters north of the Romanian province of Dobrogea and fourth in the Ukrainian province of Odessa, in the Boudjak region in southern Bessarabia. It is the largest of the European deltas, with an area of ​​3,446 km². The Danube delta is home to over 1200 varieties of plants, 300 species of birds and 45 species of freshwater fish in numerous lakes and marshes. In 1992, following the efforts of Romanians and Ukrainian biologists and media encouragements of French explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, small Romanian and Ukrainian local reserves were established as biosphere reserve on the list of UNESCO World Heritage . 2733 km² delta are classified as protected areas, but the Romanian scientists and Ukrainians have difficulties to work as they wish, because of geopolitical issues, especially since the Ukrainian Romanian border became, in 2007, the eastern border 'European Union. Danube waters flow into the Black Sea, form the largest and best preserved of Europe's deltas. Its countless lakes and marshes are home to over 300 species of birds and 45 species of freshwater fish. The mouths of the Danube welcome during migration, millions of birds from different places of the Earth (Europe, Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean), some come to nest there and are extremely fish zone.   

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Photos of Alaska: Then And Now

  Photos of Alaska: Then And Now   Photographer Bruce Molnia fell in love with taking shots of the stunning Alaskan landscapes since he first visited the state in the 1960s as a Cornell University grad student.   He used the following set of photos, taken by photographers like John Muir, later explorer William Field, and National Geographic’s Bradford Washburn, when asked in 1999 by then Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to find “unequivocal, unambiguous” proof that climate change was real. Here is what he came up with. MUIR GLACIER & INLET Muir Glacier is located in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska and is named after the naturalist John Muir. Since the late 1700’s, it has undergone a very rapid and well-documented retreat, as seen from the below comparison of pictures. Muir Glacier & Inlet (1895) In this photo, the glacier stands at over 300 feet high, and there is a visible lack of vegetation on the mountain slopes. Muir Glacier & Inlet (2005) Over a century since the first photo, its terminus (essentially the end of a glacier) is no longer visible. There is also a lack of visible floating ice and an abundance of vegetation. Muir Glacier and Inlet (1890) Another set of photos, with the same visible differences as the previous shots. Muir Glacier and Inlet (2005)    Muir Glacier Inlet (1896) Again, an abundance of glacial ice in the early picture… Muir Glacier Inlet (2005) …but a lack of it in the later shot, combined with a great increase of vegetation. Muir Glacier and Inlet (1880-1890) This photo was taken as several tourists were exploring the icebergs in the Muir Inlet. The glacier in the background rises over 300 feet out of the water, and several icebergs are grounded on the tidal flat, some more than 6 ½ feet in diameter. Muir Glacier and Inlet (2005) Over a century later, the glacial has retreated over 30 miles and is completely out view. The beach in the foreground is now covered by cobble and pebble lag deposit, winnowed from the sediment deposited by the Muir Glacier and melting icebergs. Muir Glacier & Inlet (1950) In this photograph, despite having retreated nearly 2 miles since 1941, Muir Glacier is still connected with the tributary Riggs Glacier. Muir Glacier & Inlet (2004) By 2004, the glacier has completely retreated out of view and is located over 4 miles to the Northwest. Muir Inlet (1976) Aside from algae growing on the lighter colored dike, there is no visible vegetation is this photo. Muir Inlet (2003)

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The Fierce Temples of Luang Prabang

  The Fierce Temples of Luang Prabang       The main thing I remember about Luang Prabang, Laos was that it was HOT. So very, very hot. Visiting South East Asia during the hottest month of the year (March) may not have been a brilliant strategy, but it did decrease the number of other tourists wandering, dazed by the heat.   Luang Prabang is a city of temples. It’s the old capital of Laos (before the commies moved it down to Luang Prabang), and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unlike other communist countries, religion has been allowed to continue and thrive here and monks in bright saffron robes wander the streets.   One hot dusty day I set off to explore the temples of the city.     Once again I discovered that the best temples all require a bit of strength and dedication

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Amsterdam Canal Cruise

    Amsterdam Canal Cruise    I had a really over-the-top summer. I got married (!), hiked the Austrian Alps, drank wine in Paris, went boating in Cinque Terre and cheered Germany on in a World Cup victory. I’ve now set an unattainable bar for all future summers, haven’t I? One of my favorite evenings this summer though was spent on the canals of Amsterdam. I realize at this point it’s apparent that I can’t quite keep my mouth shut about one of my favorite cities in Europe. It is SO much more than an ultra-liberal/red-light-district-tooting destination, I can’t speak highly enough about how great this place is. The FOOD, the architecture, the people, everything in Amsterdam is memorable. Now, about that canal cruise… Last time we were in Amsterdam Dan and I went on a guided canal cruise along with a mass of other tourists. Dan tried his best not to fall asleep to the drone of the automated English guide blaring his headset while I had naively attempted to take pictures of the canals through the scuffed glass windows. It wasn’t very fun and certainly not worth 15E per person. This visit though, I had something completely different in mind. Enter: Boaty Rentals. For 89E you can rent zippy little 6 passenger boat for up to 4 hours, following any one of the recommended routes or create your own.

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Awesome Foods from Central America

  Awesome Foods from Central America          Rice, beans, plantain, tortillas, quesadilla, guacamole, salsa, tequila…need we go on? Food in Central America is one (very prominent!) reason we love this part of the world so much. Here, we share some cuisine which may have gone under the radar in the past. Move over Mexico, your neighbours have some pretty sensational tastebud pleasers of their own.   1. Guatemala: desayuno chapin en Guatemala   That’s ‘traditional breakfast in Guatemala’ to you and I. And it could well be the best breakfast you’ll set your tastebuds on in Central America. A plate of frijoles (red kidney beans) (whole, not ground to a paste), fried plantain, egg (fried or scrambled to your desire) and your choice of soft corn tortillas or bread, this is a metabolism booster. It won’t overfill you, but will fill you up just right so as not to get off to a sluggish start. Whether you’re climbing a volcano or soaking up the local cultural sights – it’s a perfect start to your each day of your holiday in Guatemala. Add a cup of fresh Guatemalan coffee to your desayuno chapin and you’ll be basking in food glory. Fill rating: 3/5 2. Honduras: baleadas

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Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

     Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar Gleaming with gold and diamonds, the Shwedagon Pagoda is a spectacular architectural work and the holiest Buddhist shrine in Myanmar. Visible from almost anywhere in Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda, a cone-shaped Buddhist monument, is actually a solid brick stupa that is entirely covered with gold. Also known as Shwedagon Zedi Daw and the Great Dagon Pagoda, the gilded temple is situated on Singuttara Hill, dominating the Yangon skyline. What the Legend Says The pagoda is believed to have the relics of four previous Buddhas of the current kalpa. The relics are eight hair strands from Gautama’s head, Koṇāgamana’s water filler, a piece of Kassapa’s robe, and Kakusandha’s staff. According to folklore, two merchant brothers named Bhallika and Taphussa from what is currently known as Afghanistan met the Lord Gautama Buddha and he gave them eight strands of his hair to be enshrined in Myanmar. They traveled to Myanmar and found Singuttara Hill, which had been believed to contain th

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Saint Vlas, Bulgaria

  Saint Vlas, Bulgaria  Saint Vlas is a village of 3889 inhabitants, located 35 km north of Bourgas, between Sunny Beach and Elenite holiday village on the coast of the Black Sea. Appreciated for its climate the village is at the seaside and at the foot of St. Vlas is located directly on the coast of the Black Sea. The town is just 4 km north of Sunny Beach, the biggest Bulgarian seaside resort, overlooking the bay and the entire sea ancient town of Nessebar. Saint Vlas, Sunny Beach and Nessebar together form the largest summer tourist megapolis in Bulgaria, where all kinds of entertainment and services are available, and every taste is catered for. Its mixed Mediterranean climate mountain air flows and the sea combine in a specific circulation, which clears the air and make the climate very suitable for the treatment of respiratory diseases .. St.Vlas has a superb panoramic view - it is in front of Sunny Beach on the Gulf same sea and the twinkling lights of the station light by night, The village of Sveti Vlas was founded by the Thracian tribe of Larisi the 2nd century BC. It was renamed 'Sveti Vlas in the 14th century St.Vlas has two public beaches, wide and sandy, located around a beautiful marina area - the largest in Bulgaria. The marina, with two beaches, promenade along the sea and its various entertainment venues that form a vibrant area with 7 restaurants, 2 nightclubs, shops and entertainment. The restaurants at the marina are a truly international collection of tastes - Greek, Italian sushi and piano, Bulgarian and European cuisine will spoil you for choice. - Pier Yacht 350 yachts, administrative building with video surveillance, warehouse, cabins, workshop, guesthouses and accessories Yacht Shop.          

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Isola La Gaiola

  Isola La Gaiola   Isola La Gaiola Island, or simply Gaiola Island, is one of Naples’ minor islands in the Campania region in Italy. A look at this island and you will see a cool place where you would possibly like to spend your vacation. It features a magnificent villa and is bounded on all sides by crystal clear waters, giving stunning views almost everywhere you look. But the Isola La Gaiola Island may be a perfect example of the statement that looks can be quite deceptive. It is steeped in tales of misfortunes and deaths that many people now consider it a cursed island.   Description The island of Isola La Gaiola is situated only a few meters away from the coast of Posilopo in the Gulf of Naples. It is so close to the shore that people can easily swim to it from the mainland. La Isola Gaiola Island is actually made of two peaceful islets, which are connected together by an arch-like bridge. It is on one of these islets that you will find the imposing villa while the other islet is virtually uninhabited.   History Originally known by the name Euplea, protector of safe navigation, Isola La Gaiola Island used to be the site of a small temple erec

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Socotra Island – Home to the World’s Most Extra-

  Socotra Island - Home to the World’s Most Extra-terrestrial Adventure       Do you have any experience on off-road enduro motorcycles and love seeing amazing sights? Yes, yes? Well, there’s something that you should know ASAP before someone else reads this and your chance to bike around this odd island slips away. We all know no one wants any time wasted so read on. Here’s what you need to know: Socotra Island is odd and you really should go there Does the name “Socotra” ring a bell? If it does, you deserve a high-five for knowing the most alien-like place on Earth. If you haven’t heard or read the name before, you better write this on your travel bucket list right now. The reason? This isolated island has been hiding a unique ecosystem, from weirdly-shaped trees to never-before-seen animals.   Socotra Island is an offshore territory of Yemen which lies at the crossing of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. You can notice this island near the “horn” of Somalia when you look closely at the map.      What shouldn’t be missed in this UNESCO-certified World Natural Heritage Site are the bottle trees, the cucumber trees, the various types of frankincense, and the iconic Dragon’s blood trees. Also see the terrestrial reptiles, birds, spiders and scorpions. Dare yourself to see all of these — even if you fear some — for everything’s worth the trip and you’ll never see any of these unique flora and fauna anywhere else but in Socotra. &nb

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Giethoorn, Netherlands

  Giethoorn, Netherlands Giethoorn is a village in the province of Overijssel, the Netherlands. It is the agglomeration of Steenwijkerland and has about 2620 inhabitants. Giethoorn is named after the Dutch word "geitenhoorns" which refers to wild goat horns found in the region by the peat. Giethoorn is a lakeside village, often called the "Venice of the North" like Amsterdam, Stockholm or Bruges. It lies at the heart of a natural park, peat swamp region called "De Wieden". Giethoorn is traversed long canals dug in the last centuries for the extraction of peat, the origin of creation activity to many lakes in the east and south of the village. The village straddles the Dorpsgracht long canal near 7 km. Its location makes it inaccessible by car: it is a pedestrian town. Giethoorn you can visit on foot, by bike or boat, boats, river boats or sailboats. Farms, cottages and other houses connected together by small bridges are particularly known for their curved thatched roofs, called "Camel roofs Giethoorn was a separate municipality until 1 January 1973, when it merged with Vollenhove, Blokzijl and Wanneperveen to form the new municipality of Brederwiede. Nowadays Giethoorn part of Steenwijkerland                          

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Where You Can Experience Voodoo

  Where You Can Experience Voodoo   When you hear the word “voodoo”, Hollywood’s version of cult and horror could be the image that automatically strikes in your mind with matching scenes of unearthly creatures crawling up from the Earth’s core. But if you’re going to West Africa and interested in doing a Voodoo tour, clear up your head with those unreal scenes and open up to a Voodoo that is a religion and a part of people’s lives. So if you want to witness and understand the real voodoo, head to these three towns that started and preserved the religion: Lome, Togo If you’re curious about what Voodoo “doctors” use in their rituals, head to Lome to witness its popular fetish market. It serves as a huge pharmacy that sells ingredients for a special medicine that you just can’t get from any doctor. When you visit, you’ll see different kinds of animal heads from crocodiles, owls, monkeys, snakes and more. There’s a unique recipe for every illness or need and they do it by cooking ground animal heads and herbs until it turns into a black powder. The healer cuts the patient’s chest or back three times and rub the powder into the flesh.

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Bagan, Myanmar

  Bagan, Myanmar   Bagan is a magical place, simply climb on one of the 2000 temples Site at sunset, to understand. Over 4,000 pagodas, stupas and temples built between the eleventh and twelfth centuries, enough survived to enable us to enjoy this fabulous architectural heritage. Bagan offers a real show every hour of the day an artistic shock ...   An inventory of site monuments was compiled later by Pierre Pichard of the French School of the Far East with the help of several local employees. As part of this inventory in eight volumes published between 1992 and 2001, monuments were measured, photographed and drawn their planes each, besides the name he can possibly carry, receiving a number. This inventory lists 2834 monuments, including many in ruins. Several monuments have been restored after the 1975 earthquake, but as early as ninety, a wave of restorations undertaken under the aegis of the Burmese government and the construction of a golf course and a tower observation in the middle of the site have attracted many often very critical comments on the part of art historians and Western archaeologists. These restorations, often liken to reconstructions, are funded by donations from Buddhists. The occupation of the site by Pyus seems to have started around the middle of the seventh century AD. Some very rare vestiges of the time survived, sometimes hidden in later monuments built around them, or as perhaps the Bu-hpaya a stupa whose bulbous shape reproduces that stupas built in Pyay by Pyus . The greatest period of architectural activity took place between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. This period marks the hegemony of the Burmese power in the region is the plain of Pagan's largest Buddhist archaeological site in Asia, rich in thousands of monuments. The historical events that shook the thirteenth century coincided with the decline of the city and moving the capital to Ava, northeast, marks the end of this long period. Bagan was nevertheless never completely abandoned, remained a pilgrimage site. He lived a period of renewal in the eighteenth century; several monuments are built so as thein-Upali, a hall built for the ordination of monks in 1793-1794. The monuments are built of brick or, more rarely, partly excavated, partly built. They are completely covered with stucco white coating which has often disappeared; door frames and window knowing a particularly refined treatment with wide legs sometimes decorated scrolls decorated with animals and flowers and a lobulated tympanum inserted into the representation of a tower. Built mostly between the tenth and thirteenth centuries, they have very different types and styles, which do not always follow one another in chronological order.                       

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Island Hvar - Pokojni Dol Beach

    Island Hvar - Pokojni Dol Beach A magnificent bay with the biggest cobble stone beach in Hvar besides plenty of sunshine and crystal clear sea offers delicious dishes in the nearby restaurants. Equally it is equipped with canoes and pedal boats to visit nearby bays, and with conveniences such as deck-chairs and parasols on the very beach. You can reach Pokonji dol either on foot or by car. Bathers at Pokojni Dol bay got rather a shock last summer, when a 40 metre yacht ran aground in the bay, having hit the picturesque island of the same name. Fortunately there was no environmental damage of one of Hvar's prettiest bays. Pokojni Dol has it all - a great beach, wonderful view to over the island with the lighthouse, and Mustaco, an excellent waterfront restaurant with accommodation toboot. A nice family beach and very popular - many thanks, again, to our colleagues over at Visit Hvar for the pictures, who offer a great selection of Pokojni Dol and Hvar accommodation.

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Larnaca, Cyprus

  Larnaca, Cyprus   Larnaca approximately 100,000 inhabitants is a Cypriot town located in the district of Larnaca. Under antiquity, it is also known under the name of Kition in Larnaca Greek or Latin. The city is served by Larnaca International Airport. It is crossed by the A2, A3 and A5 and national roads B2, B3, B4 and B5. Larnaca or Larnaka is often the first Cypriot city that is discovered on arrival, the airport opened in late 2009 is the main island. Lined with tall palm trees, its seaside promenade is probably one of the most beautiful of Cyprus. In the evening, it is good to walk and relax in one of the many taverns in the old Turkish quarter. To the west of the city is a fort built by the Turks in 1625. It now houses the local Medieval Museum. Larnaca is a pleasant seaside town and port. Palm-lined promenade along the beach where is concentrated the influx of tourists, modern marina for boaters, former Turkish quarter to the lively waterfront of friendly taverns, is in fact a city where the pedestrian appeal . After this alignment with palm trees, is a 17th century fort which houses the Museum of Medieval Larnaca. It is also possible, from this fortress, heading towards the center of the city is one of the favorite places of the inhabitants, which is none other than the church of Saint Lazarus. After his resurrection granted by Jesus, Saint Lazarus chooses to live his new life as Archbishop of Cyprus. According to him, he would rest under the altar of the church. St. Lazarus Church which dates from the late ninth century, was built on the site of the tomb of Lazarus of Bethany, who, after his resurrection, was ordained bishop by St. Barnabas had traveled to Cyprus where he exercised his Ministry Synagogue Larnaca You can visit the old mosque of Al Kebir and walking still in the shady streets where the crowds and street vendors mingle. Like most resorts on the island, the resort is outside of town, in the direction of Ayia Napa. Massive buildings, bars, restaurants and shops line up charmless and form a discontinuous set that resembles a kind of tourist suburbs. Some institutions are spared the game by achieving create a quiet space, and sometimes intimate, facing the Mediterranean. The reception could not be more sunny. From the air, this city has everything to seduce: a deep blue sea and white sand beaches in bright sky. At the marina, yachts and boats from all over the world dancing on the shimmering water and along the perimeter of the port emerges the famous promenade of palms. Originally called Kition, the city of Larnaca peaked as a commercial center in the 17th century when the consulates were established there. One of the oldest inhabited cities in the world has always Larnaca abounds in sites like these wonderful museums: the Ayios Lazaros Byzantine Museum and the Museum of the Pierides Foundation. Both contain exceptional Mediterranean art pieces.                

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A Town Called Tequila

  A Town Called Tequila    “Where IS everybody?” Mike and I asked ourselves this again and again during our weekend stay in Tequila. For a town with one of the most recognizable names in Mexico, there were remarkably few tourists for a Saturday in April. Did you know Tequila is not just a drink, it’s a place? I suspect a lot of people do not, otherwise many more would be making pilgrimages to this town, just 45 minutes outside of Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city. It’s an easy day trip, although we opted to spend two nights in a dingy hotel the overlooked the main square with its enormous 16th century Spanish church. Tequila is the town that gave tequila its name, like champagne from Champagne or parmesan cheese from Parma. As such, it’s very much a one industry town, home to Jose Cuervo of course but also Sauza, La Rojeña and about 15 other distilleries. Oddly, even the crowds at the World of Cuervo tour experience were sparse. Which isn’t to say the town wasn’t full of life. In 36 hours we witnessed not one, but two major parades, a concert and a wedding. By day we wandered from distillery tour to distillery tour to get out of the heat. In the evening we hung out in the town square eating street food, drinking beer (we were sick of margaritas by then) and people watching with the locals. A town like this should be a major tourist attraction, with theme bars, pesky vendors and Disney-fied Mexican restaurants. And I for one, was really glad that it wasn’t.

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Shanghai, the Largest Megacity in the World

        Shanghai, China Shanghai's 17 million inhabitants the most populous city in China It is also one of the largest megacities in the world. It is located on the Huangpu River near the mouth of the Yangtze River, east of China. and thus consists of two distinct parts. The city developed initially exclusively in Puxi under the leadership of the government, Pudong has become a high-tech construction area where companies and other skyscrapers multiply The emergence of the city as a financial center of Asia Pacific, nineteenth and twentieth century, was made in pain, with the foreign occupation of the city for several decades. In the 1920s and 1930s, Shanghai has witnessed a tremendous cultural boom that has contributed much to the fantasy and mythical aura that is associated with the city ever since. The avenue five kilometers Nanjing was once the main thoroughfare called the foreign concession. It is considered now as the true center of Shanghai and it often provides in its western part, near the river, the performance of indescribable rush of pedestrians. The urban landscape is changing rapidly in recent years. Entire neighborhoods, like the Dun Hui Fang, are shaved to be rebuilt. Shanghai is located in a vast delta, formed by the mouth of the Yangtze River, which empties into the East China Sea. The lowlands are located on both sides of the river are composed of alluvial loess, which is formed by sediments of the Yangtze. Built of mud, crisscrossed by canals and dams, the Delta is one of the most fertile areas of China, and also its main cotton supplier. The formation of the land is likely due to the filling of an old part of the sea and the many small mountains on the islands in the region were at the origin of true islands. The formation of the delta returned Shanghai, a port city originally built on the sea, 30 km inland. Shanghai has a humid subtropical climate.                   

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Palmizana, Croatia

    Palmizana, Croatia Hvar is one of the most popular Croatian islands. Also very popular is neighbouring archipelago Pakleni Islands ( Hell islands ). There are many stunning bays on the Pakleni Islands which can be accessed by water taxi, and Palmizana is probably the most famous, and certainly the most developed in terms of tourism. The Meneghellos opened their doors to tourists way back in 1906, five years before the first hotel in Jelsa was built. It is divine.

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Morocco by Zlatko Miko

  Morocco Morocco, 35 million inhabitants capital Rabat is a country located in the northwest of Africa and part of the Maghreb. This country is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, by Spain, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Algeria to the east and south by the de facto Mauritania beyond Western Sahara Morocco has political regime to a constitutional monarchy. Morocco is a member of several organizations including the Arab Maghreb Union, the Francophonie and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Morocco is the only African country that is not part of the African Union, but it seeks to consolidate its relations with the European Union. In 1987, May 15, 2009, he joined the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe. In 2004, in recognition of the close links between the two countries and in appreciation of the strong support of Morocco in the war against terrorism, US President pointed to Morocco as a major non-NATO allies According to historian Bernard Lugan, among others, the lure of wealth from the South to the North Sahara trade the West will attract the desires of various tribes with the crossroads city Marrakech gate of the desert that will naturally become the capital from various dynasties especially those from South Almoravides, Almohades, Saadian is why, throughout the history of Morocco Idrissid the Alawites was marked by South riches of trade to the north. The history and origin of Morocco were, are and will be marked by the link with the Sahara               

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Etara Museum, Bulgaria

  Etara Museum, Bulgaria The Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex ( usually referred as Etara) is an open-air museum and a neighbourhood of Gabrovo (8 km south of its center) in northern Bulgaria. It is located on the northern edge of the Bulgarka Nature Park, between the park and the city of Gabrovo. It presents the Bulgarian customs, culture and craftsmanship. It spans over an area of 7 ha and contains a total of 50 objects, including water installations and houses with craftsmen's workshops attached. As a whole, the complex's goal is to illustrate the architecture, way of life and economy of Gabrovo and the region during the Bulgarian National Revival.     Water mill The museum's construction started in 1963 under the direction and project of Lazar Donkov. The pre-existing Karadzheyka water-mill, built around 1780, was thoroughly reconstructed, with the other objects being constructed later. The complex was opened on 7 September 1964 and proclaimed a national park in 1967, as well as a monument of culture in 1971. The park features typical Bulgarian revival houses with two floors, bay windows, a clock tower, and a beautifully decorated house by Saakov featuring 21 windows. Using original instruments and following the old traditions, locals represent around 20 characteristics of the regional crafts such as wood-carving, pottery, coppersmith crafts, furriery, cutlery making, needlework etc. There are shops for souvenirs. There are numerous restaurants in the park where tourist could consume local Bulgarian cuisine. There are visitors to the park, from all over the world, all the year round, especially during the annual Christian festivals celebrated in the park, namely, Palm Sunday and Easter. Sokolski Monastery is situated several kilometers away from Etar.            

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Lake Ohrid: Macedonia’s Summer Beauty

  Lake Ohrid: Macedonia’s Summer Beauty If you’re familiar with Lake Ohrid, one image probably comes to your mind: a tiny red-brick church overlooking the vast expanse of blue lake, faint mountains in the distance. This church is Sveti Jovan, and it’s probably the most famous image in all of Macedonia. As soon as you arrive, you’ll want to photograph it from every angle. Every evening, I made the 20-minute trek to Sveti Jovan from central Ohrid, crossing over docks on the way there and climbing hills through the town on the way back. With a west-facing view over the lake, it’s a wonderful place to watch the sunset. Still, Sveti Jovan is just one tiny corner of the Ohrid region, and you could stay here for weeks just photographing the beauty around this part of Macedonia. My plan had been to spend my two weeks in Eastern Europe traveling incognito — no comps, no special treatment, no fielding endless questions about how I make money. I would be just another anonymous backpacker for the first time in years. That plan was foiled a few hours into the trip when I walked into my Ohrid dorm and saw a girl sprawled out on one of the beds. “I know you!” she exclaimed. “You were shipwrecked.”

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Kingdom of Spain

  Kingdom of Spain   Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain is a sovereign state located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean. Along with France and Morocco, it is one of only three countries to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. Spain's 1,214 km border with Portugal is the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union.   Spanish territory also includes two archipelagos; the Balearic Islands, in the Mediterranean Sea, and the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast; two major exclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, in continental North Africa; and the islands and rocks of Alborán, Alhucemas, Chafarinas and Vélez de la Gomera. With an area of 505,990 km2 , Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, and the fourth largest country in Europe. By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union.  

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New York - Walk in the City

    New York - Walk in the City   New York City to distinguish it from the State of New York, is the main city in the United States, with a population of 8,143,408 inhabitants. Its agglomeration is also the largest in the country, before those of Los Angeles and Chicago, Located in the state of New York, on the east coast of the United States, it is one of the great megalopolis BosWash New York, Big Apple frequently nicknamed "The Big Apple" now includes all criteria characteristics of a global city, ie a fully integrated city in globalization. Indeed, New York is now a decision, economic and cultural leading, thanks to the power of its institutions such as the New York Stock Exchange or the UN headquarters, but also thanks to the many seats companies located in the city. The history of New York began in the sixteenth century, with the arrival of the first Europeans. When Giovanni da Verrazano browser, sent to explore the New World in the name of France passed off New York Bay in 1524, the island of "Manhattan" was inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans. Verrazano christened the area "New Angouleme." In 1609 it was the British navigator Henry Hudson who explored for the first time, on behalf of the West India Company of New York harbor and the river was named in her memory, Hudson River The twentieth century marked the true ascension from New York to the role of world city, in the sense that the city is a cultural, financial and decision foreground. The extraordinary architectural adventure started at the end of the nineteenth century laid the foundation stone for the development of modern architecture, including the beginning of the era of skyscrapers, which bloom today literally in all major cities of the world . In the political and economic field, the domination of New York was manifested with the Exchange and the rise of Wall Street and with large financial companies based in the city. Obtaining the UN headquarters in 1949 also played a key role in development But the modern history of the city was also marked by the attacks of September 11, 2001, which struck just as the city of New York that the United States, for the first time attacked their territory. The destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, as well as many surrounding buildings, remains a traumatic episode for the inhabitants of the city, which has however recovered from its pre-crisis prosperity.                                            

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Impressive Walled Cities in the World

  Impressive Walled Cities in the World Throughout history city walls were made as protection from the enemy. From very early history to modern times, they have been a near necessity for almost every city. The walled cities could only be entered through city gates which were often closed after a certain curfew each night. Today well preserved walls bring tourist from the whole world to wonder around these medieval walled cities. York York is an ancient city in the north of England. The city was founded by the Romans, taken over by the Angles, captured by the Vikings and finally incorporated in the Kingdom of England in 954. It boasts the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe. Since Roman times, the city has been defended by walls of one form or another. The majority of the remaining walls, which encircle the whole of the medieval city, date from the 12th – 14th century. Harar Harar is an ancient walled city in eastern Ethiopia. For centuries, Harar has been a major commercial center, linked by the trade routes with Africa and Arabia. With 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and 102 shrines it is one of the most important cities of Islam. Harar was part of the Adal Sultanate, a medieval muslim state located in the Horn of Africa. In the 16th century the city was encircled with a wall including five gates. This wall, called Jugol, is still intact, and has become the symbol of the city. Taroudant Taroudant is a fascinating and authentic Berber town in the heart of the Souss Valley, with the best preserved city walls in Morocco. It is often called the “Grandmother of Marrakech” because it is a scaled down, slowed down town that resembles Marrakech with its surrounding city walls. The walls were constructed in the 16th century under the Saadi Dynasty. Today the town is a market town and has a souk near each of its two main squares. Toledo  

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Day Trips from Sydney

  Day Trips from Sydney   Boasting one of the most scenic harbours in the world, sophisticated Sydney lets visitors to Australia know they’re entering someplace special from the moment of arrival. From the unfurled sails of the Sydney Opera House to the soaring arc of the Harbour Bridge, the city’s architectural gems are nothing short of astonishing.   It’s perfectly possible to spend an entire vacation in Sydney without running out of things to see and do, but there’s an abundance of sights and attractions to enjoy within a short drive of the city as well. Day trips from Sydney offer visitors the chance to sample the best of Australia, from lush green parks and vineyards to wide stretches of sun-kissed sand.   Wollongong     Nestled against the Illawarra Escarpment on a coastal plain south of Sydney, Wollongong is best known for its many fine beaches, all of which boast free parking and easy access by public transportation or bicycle. Popular beaches like North Beach One and Austinmer feature nearby cafés, kiosks and barbecues with shady parks bordering the sand. With its caravan park, Windang on the south side of the city is a family-friendly beach that’s perfect for an overnight adventure.   Royal National Park     Only an hour’s drive south of Sydney lies the Royal National Park, a sprawling nature reserve that stretches from the rugged coastline to the inland rainforests. Walking and biking are the favorite activities in the park the locals call “Nasho.” There’s an extensive network of trails to explore, including the self-guided tour along the Lady Carrington Walk, which features historical markers and crosses more than a dozen streams. Located inside the park is the town of Bundeena where a 30-minute walk leads visitors to the ancient Aboriginal rock art at Jibbon Head.

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Copenhagen’s Freetown Christiania

  Copenhagen’s Freetown Christiania      In 1971, at the height of the hippie revolution, an abandoned military area was taken over by locals who declared it “Freetown Christiana” in protest against the Danish government. In response to public pressure, the government allowed the community to grow, but constantly monitoring it as a social experiment. As a free state, Christiania is independent from the city of Copenhagen, governed by its own set of laws apart from the Danish law. The citizens of Christiania maintain a free-spirited culture, practicing meditation and Yoga, caring for the environment, sharing the love, and of course, doing light drugs. Drug practice in the Freetown has always been a controversy. It took some time before Christiania legally banned commerce of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. There’s a street called “Pusher Street” where until 2004 drugs like marijuana and skunk weed were openly bartered before the Danish government took action and forbade it. Other laws forbid violence, stealing, and bringing of weapons such as knives and guns. Aside from these laws, pretty much everything else is permitted in Christiania. In 2011, the government took action and proposed a real estate deal with the inhabitants of the Freetown: By 2018, the residents must officially ‘buy’ the land for DK 76 million. Today, the inhabitants of Christiania are raising funds through bank loans and events for locals and tourists alike. While its history makes Christiania unique in the world, its environment is just as fascinating. In its 41-hectares, the Freetown is dotted with colorful, artistic houses, cozy gardens, some craft shops, eateries, and a small community market. Tourists are most certainly welcome to visit this town that the Danes proudly call their own. Surrounded by controversy, due to its set of permissive laws, Christiania is unique in the world, and many Danish take their foreign guests here to show them something they can’t see anywhere outside Copenhagen      

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Maldives Archipelago

  Maldives Archipelago The Maldives are a group of islands, lost in the Indian Ocean, about 675 km southwest of Sri Lanka's coastline. Maldives are a vast chain of underwater mountains, on the crest of which is located a coral reef. The Maldives form a double line of twenty-six natural atolls spread over 820 km from north to south and 120 km from east to west. Each atoll is naturally hollowed out in the centre to form the lagoon. It is surrounded by a ring of coral reef pierced several natural channels, allowing boat traffic between the ocean and lagoon.   Originally, only seabirds populated the islands. Hundred species listed, 50% is estimated the proportion of those residents, the others are migratory. Maldivians, as many peoples of the Indian Ocean, especially like the colourful birds and singers, they collect in large aviaries, particularly in Malé. Sea turtles belong to the family of Cheloniidae and are well represented in the Maldives, with no fewer than five species come to lay their eggs The animal population of Maldives has a majority of crabs. They play an important role in maintaining the cleanliness of the islands, the beaches rid of dead animals and plant debris. Regarding marine life, Maldives offers a variety rarely found in other parts of the world. At least 1 000 fish species, 400 molluscs, 300 crustaceans and 209 coral species have been identified in the Maldives. The coral reef is extremely fragile, both as regards its calcareous skeleton for polyps that are the living part. More than a thousand species of fish inhabit the seabed of the Maldives and over half of them can be seen at every dive in the reef. On the first dive we are struck by the abundance and variety of colours and shapes. Then will come the inevitable encounter with sharks, moray eels and, for the lucky ones with the beautiful manta ray. We talk much, but the Maldives are also a destination for spot twenty species of whales and dolphins. These species are more easily observed when the sea is calm, The majority of species is by far the coconut fact became the national emblem. It represents 90% of the trees present in the Maldives Among the tree species naturally come to the Maldives are also found in quantity breadfruit, pandanus palm gaits and the banyan fig. The brackish waters of coastal regions are the mark of mangroves, impenetrable vegetation composed of mangroves whose roots, say stilts, form tight networks, above the surface of the water.            

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Russia - Things that Shock First-time Visitors

  Russia - Things that Shock First-time Visitors     Interested about Russia? If you expect to see bears, women, and political riots in here, sorry to disappoint you. There’s more to see and know about the Russian culture and you might find one that’ll interest you or even shock you more. You’ll even know why most Russians don’t smile. So read on to know the 10 things about Russia that shock first-time visitors. Cheers!      1. Customer Service Russians are known for their almost nonexistent customer service. If you lived in a society wherein the saying “The customer is always right.” is always used, then better leave it for a while if you’re going to Russia because if Russians say they can’t help you – they really can’t help you. It’s said that it’s in the Russian culture to be pervasive and live daily with a “That’s not my problem.” attitude. If they don’t know the answer to your question, they’ll say it and that’s it. Don’t expect an apology. 2. Russian is Not the Only Language Spoken   Russia is so vast that it should probably be expected to have more than one official language. In fact, Russia has 35 official languages considered in various regions along with the Russian language. Even locals can be surprised by this fact. 3. The banya culture The Russian bath or sauna which the locals call “banya” is an essential part of living in Russia. From Tsars to peasants, everyone use it for relaxation, health concerns, religious ceremonies and more. Unlike Finnish and Turkish Saunas, banyas have the same level of humidity as the air we breathe everyday with temperatures that don’t exceed 80C because Russians believe that hot and dry sauna will just dry your throat and skin.

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Tennessee State Museum

  Tennessee State Museum   Tennessee State Museum is a large museum in Nashville depicting the history of the U.S. state of Tennessee. Starting from pre-colonization and going into the 20th century, the museum interprets the Frontier, the age of President Andrew Jackson and the American Civil War. The museum includes an area of more than 5,600 m2 of permanent exhibits and a hall with changing exhibitions covering 3,000 m. The total ground area of the museum is 37,000 m on three floors. The museum's collection of uniforms, weapons, and battle flags from the Civil War is one of the largest in the nation.   The museum is situated in the bottom floors of the James K. Polk building in downtown Nashville, a building shared with the Tennessee Performing Arts Centre. In 2013 a state building commission was formed to commission planning for a new building to house the museum near the Bicentennial Mall State Park and a proposed ballpark.            

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Kayaking Lake Como

  Kayaking Lake Como At 9:45AM we were half-trotting up the walled pass from the touristy village over a small ridge to the lesser-known Eastern side of the peninsula. While Vespas had been buzzing through the main artery of Bellagio, here we were greeted by silence. Following our instincts, we found our way to the tiniest of harbors. Swans nosed at our shoes as we took seats along the three small concrete steps at the waters’ edge. The lake before us was totally placid and breathtaking. Mich, the owner and lead guide from Bellagio Water Sports, arrived shortly after and greeted us warmly, obviously just as excited as we were about the hours ahead. After a brief introduction and chat about the morning route, we each lowered ourselves into neon kayaks- mine a blazing yellow. It felt as though we were paddling on glass as we skimmed past a row of sailboats and set of buoys.

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Chile - Natural Swimming Spots

Chile - Natural Swimming Spots        Sometimes, it takes a bit of caution before you can swim in Chile’s natural swimming sites. From beaches to lakes, you’ll surely dip your toes with hesitation in the waters that may not get warmer than 15 °C (59 °F) in the summer. But no one can stop the adventurous, the courageous, and the “bey this happens once in a lifetime, right?” traveler from jumping in and shooing some blues away despite the coldness. But it’s not only about the water, it’s also about the scenery. Read on to discover the 10 swimming spots in Chile where you can play, relax, and enjoy nature’s raw beauty. 1. El Tatio Geysers   El Tatio which means The Grandfather is a geyser field considered as the largest in the southern hemisphere, the third largest in the world, and among the highest elevation fields in the world with an altitude of 4,200 meters. Visitors, who are encouraged to visit during daytime, are greeted with columns of steam and pools with warm waters. El Tatio is located within the Andes Mountains, Northern Chile. 2. Laja Falls   Between the cities of Los Angeles and Chillan in the Bio Bio region, lies Laja Falls, which was once a site of worship for the Araucanos. Laja Falls is made up of four horseshoe-shaped falls that may be accessed by foot. The tallest fall is the easternmost fall with a height of 35 meters. Beyond swimming, visitors can also try river rafting, hiking, horseback riding, or just relaxing in their chosen accommodation surrounded by majestic sights. 3. Los Molles

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Key West, Florida

  Key West, Florida   Nestled in a tropical setting, Key West is entirely south of the Florida Keys, 253 km south of Miami. It is the southernmost city in the United States  It is located at the western end of the archipelago of the same name. The city occupies the whole of the last islands while a set of islands just east has been transformed into an international airport. A railway and a highway were built on a succession of bridges from Miami almost 200 km .The Key West architectural heritage has been preserved: many streets have kept their colonial appearance with their wooden houses and Caribbean Georgian style.  In olden days, these tropical islands were the refuge of pirates, commercial fishermen, treasure seekers and reclusive civilization. Today you can visit it, jumping from island to island over a hundred bridges and roads pillories before reaching Key West  this weird old town with its distinctive Caribbean flavor is a thriving arts community and a popular tourist destination.              

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Los Angeles - Hollywood - Universals Studios

  Los Angeles - Hollywood - Universals Studios   Los Angeles is the second largest city in Usa. It is located in southern California, on the Pacific coast. It is bordered to the north by the San Gabriel Moutains, west and south by the Pacific Ocean. Los Angeles offers a wide variety of landscapes. The shore consists of long white beaches of Santa Monica and San Pedro bays that make Los Angeles the largest metropolis built on a coastal site, The city occupies part of the Los Angeles basin, a coastal plain rugged, and much of the San Fernando Valley, which it is separated by high hills, the Santa Monica Mountains. The main Los Angeles river is the Los Angeles River, a small river which rises in the San Fernando Valley and through the city to the ocean. The Los Angeles area has a remarkable number of species of native plants. Poppy "California, toyon, and hundreds of others With its beaches, dunes, hills, mountains and rivers, it is rich in various ecosystems. But some species are rare and endangered, such as the Los Angeles sunflower. The city has 379 parks. Griffith Park is the largest urban park in the world. The oldest city park was established in 1781 and is located in the El Pueblo Historic Monument in Los Angeles, near Union Square. The city enjoys a semi-arid Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and warm dry summers. It enjoys 320 days of annual sunshine. The winds coming from the Pacific Ocean tend to cool off the coast in summer and warm in winter. In inland, maritime influences are less felt, so that the thermal amplitude increases. Rain falls mainly in the winter months of January and February are the wettest.                                                   

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Bazaruto Archipelago: The Pearl of the Indian Oce

  Bazaruto Archipelago: The Pearl of the Indian Ocean     In Mozambique, there’s a group of islands that is one of the most beautiful destinations on the African continent. Coral reefs surround the area together with the large population of dugongs and Nile crocodiles. You can also see flamingos walking around, eagles soaring high and a variety of other exotic animals while standing on any of the sandy beaches of the Bazaruto Archipelago – the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.   Bazaruto archipelago consists of five idyllic islands: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and Bangue. The area is protected as a conservation area and national park for its coral reefs, home of the over 2000 species of fish, whales and dolphins, which makes it the only official marine reserve in the country. The five types of turtles that swim through the waters of the Indian Ocean are also found here. With all these marine creatures found around the islands, there’s no doubt that this archipelago is a diver’s paradise.   The deserted sandy beaches of

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Las Vegas, Nevada

  Las Vegas, Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada is a city full of excitement and holds first place in the world the largest city in adult games and shows. It is a city built on wasteland desert in Nevada. Everything was done or overdone in Las Vegas on a large scale. Along the main boulevard of Las Vegas strip, a black glass pyramid rises over 100 meters with a replica of the Sphinx at its entry. Nearby is a life-size castle with turrets painted in garish colours. Opposite is a full-scale building of the city of New York City with Brooklyn Bridge Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. Later a replica, two times smaller, the Eiffel Tower, Piazza San Marco in Venice almost life-size and a huge volcano that emits a huge ball of fire every 30 minutes Mirage. Do not forget the Fremont neighbourhood of 8 km with a small station.      

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Isolated Beaches of Dhermi, Albania

  Isolated Beaches of Dhermi, Albania   In a not-so popular and rather mysterious Albania, a line of coastline villages, also called the Albanian Riviera, possesses isolated sand and pebble beaches with pristine and crystal clear waters. Dhermi is a local fave and a must-see for travelers who’re looking for a valuable spot with an expensive-looking scenery. Dhermi is located at the Himare municipality, Vlore. The place is convenient for it’s easy to get there by bus and a selection of affordable hotels and restaurants are all right there near the beach. Moreover, the distances aren’t that far so you can just simply go around the village by foot. There are walking trails available to other secluded beaches like the Drymades and Perivoli so if you’ve found one, you can have the beach all for yourself. Nightlife options and water sports are limited so this place is perfect for the total beach bums.  

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Piran, Slovenia

  Piran, Slovenia   Piran is a beautiful city with special characteristics, and whose urban heritage is the best preserved of the entire region. It is the nearest town of Portoroz. The view of the city, whether by far, near and air, is magnificent. She is admired by visitors and appreciated by photographers. The typical architecture shows a strong Venetian influence, which is also found in other cities of the Slovenian coast. The city has preserved its medieval town: narrow streets that rise to the enclosure, which houses "shake" "one against the other, many squares and churches, all within walking distance of the sea that bathes this little "tongue of land". The Tartini Square in the center and is named after the famous violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini who introduced the name of his hometown in the world. His statue is the central point of the square . The city is surrounded by outer walls allowing Piran to join the European Circle of cities with outer walls (WTFC). The esemble of the city is a listed building. This is why its inhabitants live especially tourism throughout the year. Open-air shows are held all through the year in different locations with famous men of culture names. The Church of St. George, protector of the city, overlooking the city. From the hill where it was built, you have a beautiful view of Piran and its surroundings that stretch until the Croatian and Italian coast. The town, with an area of ​​44.6 km², marks the southwest corner of Slovenia. It is bordered by Croatia to the south, to the east by the municipalities of Izola and Koper. To the north it faces Italy across the Gulf of Trieste. The city is located on a narrow peninsula, while the seaside resort of Portoroz is located 5 km to the south in the Gulf of Piran. The localities that make up the city are Dragonja, Lucija, Nova vas nad Dragonjo, Padna, Parecag Piran, Portoroz, Seca, Secovlje, Strunjan and Sveti Peter Piran city and its medieval architecture is one of the main tourist destinations of the Slovenian coast. Portoroz is the largest resort in the country. The Portoroz airport, attached to the Croatian border, is the third largest international airport and serves not only the Slovenian coast but also the neighboring Croatian and Italian cities.                

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Playa de Gulpiyuri – A Sandy Beach in the Middle

  Playa de Gulpiyuri – A Sandy Beach in the Middle of a Meadow   If the next time you go for a tranquil walk down a meadow and find yourself at a beach, it could be that you stumbled onto Gulpiyuri Beach aka Playa de Gulpiyuri. This little beach in the town of Llanes in Spain seems to appear out of nowhere, in the middle of a grassy field. It’s about 40 meters in length and it appears that there is no sea, lake, or ocean nearby.   In actuality, the beach is a connected to the Atlantic Ocean through intricate underground waterways that flow from the Bay of Biscay right into this beach-cove.  

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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam   Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon until 1975, is the largest city of Vietnam.  Ho Chi Minh City is divided into 19 districts and 5 districts covering an area of ​​2090 km2 and 7,400,100 inhabitants. Ho Chi Minh City is located on the banks of the Saigon River. R Located near the Mekong Delta, this city is the metropolis of the south. Grand Khmer harbor until the seventeenth century, its original population was quickly outvoted by Viet settlement colonization. During the French colonization it was the capital of French Indochina  Officially, Saigon is only part of Ho Chi Minh City. It is still, today, the country's economic powerhouse. The Khmers, first inhabitants of the place, the city designated by the name Prey Nokor (the city of the forest). This name is still used for Cambodians and for the Khmer Krom minority living in the Mekong Delta. Today, Ho Chi Minh City has lost most of its colonial heritage monuments outside and totally lost its character of "urban park". His reputation is that of a city on-active and noisy, which abandoned the palm of colonial charm r cities like Phnom Penh, Vientiane and especially the much smaller Luang Prabang. Among the most famous monuments of the city include:   The Notre Dame cathedral, red brick imported from Toulouse, on the model of the Notre-Dame de Paris but smaller in size. The many pagodas that make up the city: the pagoda of Emperor Jade Pagoda Giac LRM, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda ... the Hindu temple Mariamman Indian mosque Cha TRM Church in Chinatown Cholon whose interior is a mixture of Gothic and Chinese. Christ is greeted by gongs.    The city's ports have a total of 50.5 million metric tonnes of cargo, representing one third of the national total.   There are many bus R Ho Chi Minh City with many courses. However, in some quarters, there is no visible bus stop, we must pay attention to the markings on the road or on poles along the sidewalk, and he must be called the bus that s' stopped. The ticket is bought on the bus Taxis there are many channels of taxis in the city, more or less reliable in terms of price. These are the main R 4-wheel vehicles that circulate in the city. There are still rickshaws in the city, but are not as popular with tourists. The most memorable image of this metropolis is probably moped traffic. With an average per adult moped, vehicle density is extremely high and the air pollution is related.               Cathedral   Saigon                    

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Texas, USA

  Texas, U.S.A. Stroll across the state Abilene, Laredo, Odessa Texas 25 million inhabitants is a state of the Southern United States, the largest in the country after Alaska and the second most populous after California. Its capital is Austin while Houston is its largest city and Dallas-Fort Worth's most populous metropolitan area. Four Texas urban areas have more than one million inhabitants: Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin. Texas is bigger than France and has diverse landscapes they live in the plains of the American Deep South to Southwest deserts. Natural environments are of great variety, tidal marshes, subtropical forests, grasslands, semi-arid and arid zones, mountains stretch over several hundred kilometres from east to west. Located north of the Rio Grande River, Texas was first a Spanish colony before becoming part of Mexico. After a short-lived independent republic, it was attached to the US in 1845. He enjoyed a boom during the years of racing oilfield.  Its dynamic economy is based on farming, oil and gas, petrochemical and aerospace Advanced technologies, biotechnologies, supported by a dense network of universities. Texas is the second richest state in the country after California. The identity of the state is based on a living folklore rodeo, western, country, associated with the mythical image of the cowboy. Until the mid-twentieth century, the Texas economy was based mainly on farming and oil. The State subsequently experienced significant urbanization and diversification of its activities Texas is the first national ranking for the number and size of farms The state ranks first in the US for the cultivation and production of cotton . The diversity of climates and domination plains or plateaus allow to grow various plants: wheat in the Great Plains, cotton is in the subtropical crops on the coast rice, sugar cane, fruits and vegetables in the valley Río Grande, ranching in the west and the Panhandle. Sheep farming is practiced meanwhile the Edwards Plateau. Wood is operated in the forests of the east.                              Leswisville   Amarillo       Ballinger   Bastrop   Albuquerque      

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Tourist Attractions in Naples

    Tourist Attractions in Naples With a history that stretches back to the Bronze Age, Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places on Earth. The city boasts the largest Old Town district in Europe and has more historic churches than any other city in the world. There are plenty of cultural tourist attractions in Naples, often hidden behind the dirt, noise and chaos of everyday life in Italy’s third largest city. From impromptu arias in cafés to domestic squabbles in the streets, Neapolitans aren’t shy about expressing their feelings. Built around the beautiful Bay of Naples, the city sits under the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, which perhaps explains why residents embrace life with such unpretentious and uninhibited attitudes. While it’s not as polished as other tourist destinations, Naples offers every visitor a rich and authentically Italian travel experience.   Via San Gregorio Armeno Located in the city’s historic district, this street is the best place in Italy for “presepi,” Italian nativity displays. Using wood or clay, street artisans create manger scenes here that range from the traditional to the deeply personal, often crafting figurines to represent family members or people from popular culture. While the Neapolitan style of presepi began in the 18th century when Charles III commissioned woodcarvers to depict the royal family, the tradition dates back to a time when the street was home to a Greek temple to Ceres where devotees offered figurines made of clay. Sansevero Chapel Located near the city’s Archaeological Museum is one of the most unique attractions in Naples. Originally built in 1590 as a chapel for the Sansevero family, the structure was remodeled in the Baroque style in the 18th century by Raimondo di Sangro, the seventh prince in the dynasty. An eccentric aristocrat, inventor, alchemist and freemason, Raimondo commissioned the artist Giuseppe Sammartino to craft a series of sculptures full of symbolic meaning and mystery, including a statue of Christ covered with a transparent veil made from marble. Beneath the chapel is a room where the prince is said to have conducted experiments on his servants. The preserved bodies of two of his presumed victims are on display.

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Quebec City, Canada

  Quebec City, Canada     Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. In 2011 the city had a population of 516,622, and the metropolitan area had a population of 765,706, making it the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about 233 km to the southwest. The narrowing of the Saint Lawrence River proximate to the city's promontory, Cap-Diamant (Cape Diamond), and Lévis, on the opposite bank, provided the name given to the city, Kébec, an Algonquin word meaning "where the river narrows". Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. The ramparts surrounding Old Quebec are the only fortified city walls remaining in the Americas north of Mexico, and were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 as the 'Historic District of Old Québec'. According to the federal and provincial governments, Quebec is the city's official name in both French and English, although Quebec City is commonly used, particularly to distinguish the city from the province. The city's famous landmarks include the Château Frontenac, a hotel which dominates the skyline, and La Citadelle, an intact fortress that forms the centre-piece of the ramparts surrounding the old city. The National Assembly of Quebec (provincial legislature), the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec, and the Musum of Civilization are found within or near Vieux-Québec.    

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Best Places to Visit in Southern California

    Best Places to Visit in Southern California Year-round sunny weather, gorgeous beaches and an abundance of family-friendly attractions make Southern California one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. Encompassing the southern third of the Golden State, SoCal stretches west from the inland deserts and mountains to the temperate shores of the Pacific Ocean. Many of region’s cities and communities have enough sights and activities to serve as a travel destination in their own right, but it would be shame to visit the Southland without hitting the highlights. Thanks to an extensive freeway system, getting around is relatively easy, despite the occasional traffic jam. It’s possible to spend the morning surfing the waves and the afternoon skiing or hiking in the mountains. From its beautiful beaches and national parks to its world-class cultural attractions and amusement parks, here are some of the best places to visit in Southern California. Channel Islands National Park The eight islands that lie off the coast of Southern California offer visitors a wealth of island adventures. Five of the islands are uninhabited, preserved for the public to enjoy as part of the Channel Islands National Park. Half-day and full-day excursions to Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara are available through several park-appointed boat concessionaires. Visitors can camp overnight on the island of their choice as well. The sea caves and kelp forests around the island offer great opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. Boating excursions that combine whale watching with non-landing tours around the islands are a popular option. Santa Monica Best known as the setting for the television show “Baywatch,” Santa Monica offers everything travelers want from a Southern California beach town, including great surfing and swimming, wide stretches of sand and plenty of sunshine. Developed as a seaside resort in the early 1900s, the city has grown into an upscale community filled with designer shops, tasty restaurants and unique art galleries. The old-fashioned amusement park at the Santa Monica Pier is home to the city’s most recognizable landmark, a solar-powered Ferris Wheel illuminated with LED lights. Visitors can rub elbows with the rich and famous at the Third Street Promenade, one of the region’s premier shopping destinations. Joshua Tree National Park

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Boston, Massachusetts, USA

      Boston, Massachusetts Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Founded in 1630 on the Shawmut Peninsula, at the Boston Harbor background by English Puritans fleeing religious persecution in their country, it has grown rapidly since the seventeenth century the urban landscape of Boston does not resemble other American cities: the center has kept many buildings from the colonial era, its streets are not straight and the city holds many axes to pedestrians or bicycles. The city is divided into many neighborhoods. Boston is located in the north of the metropolis of the North-eastern United States called BosWash. It is the largest city in New England and is located on the eastern coast of the state of Massachusetts. It is surrounded by the cities of Revere, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville, Cambridge, Watertown, Newton, and Quincy. Several other cities in the periphery are the Greater Boston. Boston has long enjoyed a very favorable location on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean: closer to Western Europe than its rival New York, Boston is the capital and largest city in the state of Massachusetts, in the northeastern United States. The city was called Baston by the French in the seventeenth century. The city has 617,594 inhabitants according to the 2010 federal census, and the metropolitan area of ​​Boston-Cambridge-Quincy concentrates approximately 4,588,680, making it the tenth agglomeration of the United States. It is the north of the American megalopolis, also known BosWash, and is crossed by the Charles River. Economic and cultural center of New England, Boston is known for its excellent universities, including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, located in nearby Cambridge.                        

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Kayaking Alongside An Actively Erupting Volcano

  Kayaking Alongside An Actively Erupting Volcano If you’ve already gone shark diving, skydived from the top of Mt Everest, edgewalked the CN Tower, did some death-defying ironing, slid down this insane waterslide–and you’re still looking for new thrills, here’s a crazy idea. Follow after Pedro Oliva, a professional kayaker, who kayaked the raging river that surrounds an actual erupting volcano. With his team including  extreme sports photographer Alexandre Socci, they took on the rushing waters that was almost boiling hot, braved through the blinding steam, and risked some scalded equipment as they rowed along Kilauea,

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Annapolis, Maryland

  Annapolis, Maryland The city of Annapolis just over 38,000 inhabitants is the capital of the State of Maryland, USA. Located beachfront on the Chesapeake Bay, it is an integral part of the greater metropolitan area that includes Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland's largest city. The city is home to Annapolis Naval Academy and St. John's College. In this institute of higher education of a particular kind, learning is free, guided but not directed, based on discussions with scholars and research and personal reading .Today, Annapolis is famous for its Georgian architecture boating and sailing in the Chesapeake Bay. In 1649, Puritan exiles from Virginia and led by William Stone founded the Providence colony on the north bank of the River Severn. It was not until 1694 that Annapolis is named in honor of Princess Anne, having been first named Providence by its founding Puritans and Anne Arundel's Towne in honor of the wife of Lord Baltimore . The city remained until 1808un slave port where slave land their slaves, subsequently sold to tobacco growers or Southern cotton. This is what happened Annapolis Harbor Gambian ancestor of the writer Alex Haley Prosperous fishing port, Annapolis became the temporary capital of the United States after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. But in spite of his candidacy, the city did not maintain that role permanently. Instead, it was decided to create a city from scratch in Washington, DC                 

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Cats With Their Adorable Mini-Me Kittens

  Cats With Their Adorable Mini-Me Kittens              Last week we shared some adorable dogs with their mini-me puppies, and now we present to you adorable cats with their mini-me kittens. Dogs are known for being big-hearted and loving, but cats make great parents too.   Despite their ‘evil’ reputation, cats are very sweet and protective towards their little ones. These photos also prove cats feel a great deal of pride over their furry bundle of joys.   Kittens need socialization after 2 weeks but they should spend the majority of time with their mom and littermates. All of this time with mom creates quite a special bond to form, not only do cats and their kittens look alike but they often act alike too.   There’s nothing much cuter than kittens, except maybe seeing the love of mom and dad as they look after their adorable mini-me kittens.   1. I Got It From My Mama     2. Teaching Kitten How To Get What She Wants  

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Crete, Greece

  Crete, Greece Among the Mediterranean islands, Crete is special as its geography as by its identity! She enjoys the sunniest climate and its location, the island is a crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. The nature is beautiful: a sea of ​​azure, stunning coastline with bays and sandy beaches, impressive mountain ranges inland ... Crete differs from other islands in the region by its stretched shape from east to west and its location which is the extreme southern point of Europe. Its climate is exceptional. In area (8400 km2), it is the fifth island of the Mediterranean after Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica and Cyprus. For Cretans, what counts is the freedom, patriotism and defence of the national heritage (including dance and music). Crete is also the cradle of the Minoan civilization CNOSSOS which is the heart and the most important archaeological site after the Acropolis. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is full of art objects discovered on the island! And nearby is Santorini, the volcanic island!                                      

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Art Created With iPhone

  Art Created With iPhone   Melissa Vincent is a stay-at-home mom in Mississippi who says she found a “passion for creating art” on her iPhone after discovering Instagram in 2011. Today, she creates some rather stunning surreal art, simply by using her smartphone. She started out exchanging photos with her sister at the time, but Instagram allowed her to tap into a creative side that she hadn’t been able to give voice to before. She fell in love with the possibilities and honed her craft – and, now, she got more than 400,000 followers who fell in love with the photos she’s posted as “misvincent.” Melissa wrote on Bored Panda, “The social network was new and I loved it immediately. I’ve always been a creative person, but only truly explored that side of myself when I began playing around with apps on my iPhone. My total immersion into all things (iphoneography, Instagram) became an obsession and now in 2015 400K people are following me. I am humbled!” That in turn caused companies like National Geographic and Dos Equis to come calling, asking her to tag along on trips and post photos of what she saw. Melissa says she’s frequently

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Pico Island, Portugal

  Pico Island, Portugal The Pico Island is the main island of the central group pf the Azores archipelago. It owes its name to the volcano that dominates rising to 2351 meters. The island's territory is divided between three cities: Lajes do Pico capital Madalena main port, facing Horta and São Roque do Pico. The island of Pico is distant about 8 km from the island of Faial and 15 km from the island of São Jorge. Its area is 444.8 km² and a population of 15,500 inhabitants. Its length is 42 km and its width of 15.2 km. Discovered before 1439, it was first known as the São Dinis. The first inhabitants settled from 1460 and its settlement was finally established in 1482 with the founding of the city of São Mateus. In the western region of the island is cultivated grapevine giving birth to the famous Verdelho do Pico, which had its heyday in the Russian court, planted in terraces built of basalt. The Pico island still preserves the remains of a long tradition of hunting for whales with the whaling industry. After the integration of Portugal in the European Union, Pico residents had to develop another economic model. If fishing, especially tuna, are still strong, a significant proportion of resources now comes from agriculture and agri-food: fruits, wine, milk, cheese.                                                                         

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Harbin, the Ice Sculpture Festival

   Harbin, the Ice Sculpture Festival   The Sculpture Festival Harbin Ice and Snow is an annual event since 1963 but was interrupted between the beginning of the Cultural Revolution and 1985. The festival starts January 5th and lasts at least a month. However, often the attractions open their doors before the official start and continue after the end, if the weather permits. Ice sculptures are traditional subjects of Chinese folklore, such as lanterns, more modern scenes incorporating lasers. They are found in several city parks, and guided tours are organized. The festival also includes activities for everyone, from downhill skiing at Yabuli, to a competitive swimming in the frozen river and exhibitions ice lanterns in Zhaolin Garden. Launched in 1960, the festival has taken off only recently, with the economic reforms and the will of the town, once an industrial stronghold of collectivist economy to modernize and open up to the world. The festival welcomes every year some 800 000 visitors                      

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Cappadocia Cave Suites

  Cappadocia Cave Suites   The “fairy chimney” rock formations in Cappadocia are attracting huge numbers of tourists and you could be one of them. If you wonder how you could savor each moment and have a memorable stay in Cappadocia, why don’t you book a room in one of its amazing chimneys? Yes, it’s possible! Check out Cappadocia Cave Suites, choose a room that fits your personal style, and ta-da. Cappadocia trip rating: 5 over 5.   The cave suites are in fact carved in the otherworldly conical rock formations and not in some type of replica. So how did this happen? Bora Özkök thought of creating a world-class hotel from three of the “fairy chimneys” so in 1998, he bought his first chimney. He waited for the other chimneys to be available and when he was able to purchase the next two, the total reconstruction began.

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Rhodes, Greece

    Rhodes, Greece Rhodes is a Greek island in the Mediterranean. It is located southeast of the Aegean Sea, 17.7 km of Turkey, between Greece and Cyprus. The population is estimated at 100,000 inhabitants.  Rhodes is also the name of the main city inhabited between 50 000 and 60 000 inhabitants. The Colossus of Rhodes, gigantic statue at the entrance of the port of the city of Rhodes was one of the seven wonders of the world. Rhodes is one of the golden Dodecanese who cultivate their originality Located at the border of the West and the East, Rhodes has experienced multiple intermingling of culture, turn to dramatic and harmonious cohabitation turn.      

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Amazing Views on the Earth

   Amazing Views on the Earth     Whether it’s civilization or serene nature, there’s nothing like stopping to enjoy the view. From Hong Kong’s famous Victoria Peak viewpoint to the amazing temples of Bagan in Myanmar, we searched the entire world for seven views that will make you stop, think, and appreciate life.     1. Grand Canyon, Arizona   Whether you choose to view it from the glass-bottomed skywalk or the numerous great walking trails in Grand Canyon National Park, there’s no denying the Grand Canyon is an incredible sight.   At over 277 miles in length and as much as 18 miles wide, the Grand Canyon puts other river valleys to shame. It also offers some of the most spectacular views that travelers can enjoy of anywhere in the world.   No skyscrapers, no commercialization, no civilization whatsoever – the view from the edge of the Grand Canyon is truly nature at its finest. Bring your camera – and some binoculars – to capture this view as it’s meant to be seen.   What makes it amazing: Beautiful nature stretching for hundreds of miles into the distance. Nowhere else in North America can you feel so isolated and in touch with nature.   How to get there: The Grand Canyon is easy to access. Board one of the many tours departing Phoenix or Las Vegas, or drive there yourself for a more exciting (and less crowded) adventure.   2. Milford Sound, New Zealand   Visit Milford Sound as the sun rises and you’ll feel like you stepped right into Middle Earth. This incredible fjord is located on the southwest coast of New Zealand’s South Island – a region known for some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.   Four hours from civilization, getting to Milford Sound is a journey in itself. Visitors need to travel through the ultra-isolated Homer Tunnel and pass some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in New Zealand.   Get the best experience by arriving early and boarding one of the tour boats before other visitors get there. There’s nothing quite like seeing the sunrise illuminated on the deep, perfectly blue water.

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Island of Re, France

  Island of Re, France Re Island is a French island in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Vendee coast. As part of the Charente archipelago, it is the fourth largest island in France, behind Corsica, the island of Oleron and Belle-Ile. Formerly part of the province of Aunis, it is now attached to the department of Charente-Maritime and the Poitou-Charentes region, is divided into two cantons. The capital of the island is Saint-Martin-de-Re, which together with the neighbouring municipality of La Flotte an urban center but the most populated municipality is now Sainte Marie de Ré Ré Island is separated from the mainland by the Pertuis Breton north and Aix and Oleron islands by the sluice of Antioch to the south. Since May 19, 1988, it is connected to the mainland by bridge to the island of Re. Very touristy, the island is nicknamed "Re la blanche" because of the characteristic color of its traditional houses. The island of Re is located on the west coast of France in the mid-Atlantic coast, off the coasts of Charen te-Maritime and south of the Vendee, opposite the port of La Pallice, near La Rochelle, nearly two kilometers of the continent. The island of Re, stretches over a length of about 26 km and its width varies from 70 m to 5 km. It has a total development of almost 100 km of coastline, half of which consist of beaches, especially the south-west coast.      Saint Martin de Re The island has other monuments of Vauban at Saint-Martin-de-Ré, listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, the speaker and his two doors, its citadel, built to protect the English, the hospital many guardhouse, a powder keg In St. Martin, the hotel Clerjotte, current Ernest Cognacq Museum, built in the fifteenth century, remains one of the most remarkable monuments of civil architecture of the island. The city consists of many beautiful old houses and some of which are already on the terrain expensive plan to Louis XIV.    

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SAIL Amsterdam

  SAIL Amsterdam   SAIL Amsterdam is one of the biggest attractions in Amsterdam and the greatest nautical spectacle in the world where scores of tall ships and hundreds of other historical ships gather along the river IJ for an amazing parade. The event is organized once every five years, usually between August 19 to August 23, during which the ships take part in various events such sailor choirs or re-enactments of naval battles. On the wharfs, the SAIL program organizes music and sporting events and children’s activities, and spectacular fireworks shows at night. Aside from the participating ships, thousands of smaller yacht and boats filled with spectators join them creating a unique sight.   The event was first held in August 1975 under the name 'Sail Amsterdam 700' to celebrate the 700th anniversary of Amsterdam. At that time, interest in tall ships, which had sunk to a low since the 1930s when the last commercial tall ships had been built, was starting to rise. The success of Sail Amsterdam 700 led to the establishment of the Stichting Sail Amsterdam (SSA, Foundation Sail Amsterdam). Since then the SSA has been organizing the event every 5 years.     As many as 8,000 boats gathered during SAIL Amsterdam 2000. SAIL Amsterdam is believed to be inspired by the Eerste Nederlandse Tentoonstelling op Scheepvaartgebied  — literally, “the First Dutch Exhibition in Shipping Technology”,

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French Islands in Pacific

      French Islands in Polynesia Rangiora, Tahiti, Bora Bora French Polynesia is a country overseas of the French Republic, made up of 5 islands, totaling 118 islands, 67 inhabited Located in the southern Pacific Ocean, about 6000 km east of Australia: the Society Islands with the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands Leeward, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier, the Austral Islands and the Marquesas Islands. It also includes the huge maritime areas French Polynesia had 259,706 inhabitants, French is the only official language of French Polynesia is a community of overseas territories. The currency is the CFP that is not listed on the exchange market, its course being fixed relative to the euro: 1 euro is worth 119.3317 Pacific Franc French Polynesia has a moderately developed economy, dependent on tourism and financial allocations of the state, including DGDE. It is essentially a service economy, with limited industrial and agricultural sector in difficulty. Most of the goods consumed are imported. The culture of the black pearl for jewelry is very developed, but this sector is in big trouble, and knows a recurring problem of overproduction. This phenomenon also concerns the production of Tahitian vanilla, whose quality is known, but is also the most expensive on the world market. This territory includes several groups of islands and atolls, the most important and most populated is Tahiti. Polynesian cuisine is characterized by a wide variety of dishes based on seafood and exotic fruits and influenced by French and Chinese cuisines. Of course there are clear differences according to the archipelagos. The Maa Tahiti means the traditional meal usually eaten on Sundays and feast days in the Society Islands and the Tuamotus. In the Marquesas, it will taste more the kaikai enana.      Rangiora                         Rangiroa-Farm-pearl the lagoons               Rangiroa-Tiputa   Rangiroa-Tiputa

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Women That Changed The World

  Women That Changed The World Amelia Earhart Was The First Female Aviator To Fly Solo Across The Atlantic Ocean (1928) source Maud Stevens Wagner Was The First Known Female Tattoo Artist In The United States (1907) source Margaret Heafield Was A Director Of Software Engineering For Nasa’s Apollo Space Program (1969) source Kathrine Switzer Was The First Woman To Run The Boston Marathon (1967). When Organizer Jock Semple Realised A Woman Was Running He Tried To Tackle Her source Leola N. King, America’s First

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Why Your Next Camping Trip Should Be In Antarctic

  Why Your Next Camping Trip Should Be In Antarctica   Venture to “the bottom of the Earth”, to a land of subzero temperatures, blindingly icy terrain, rumbling glaciers, shattering icebergs, and the enigmatic midnight sun. Shun the cold and get ready for an eye-opening adventure. Here are some reasons why camping in Antarctica should be the next thing to cross off on your bucket list. 1. Only a few people has ever camped in Antarctica, including the early explorers who visited hundreds of years ago.   2. You’ll be sleeping literally under the stars, using nothing but a bivy sac and a cozy thermal sleeping bag.   Unless you want a tent. In that case…  3. Waking up to a flock of penguins peering inside your tent is the best thing ever.

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Society Islands

    Society Islands The most visited archipelago in the French Polynesian Islands, the Society Islands lie halfway between Australia and California in the South Pacific. The islands are divided into two groups: the windward islands, which include the archipelago’s largest island, Tahiti, and the leeward group, which is home to the popular honeymoon island Bora Bora. Settled by seafaring Polynesians before the 9th century, the Society Islands have attracted visitors ever since English explorer Captain James Cook first landed on the shores of Tahiti in 1769. The 1935 classic film “Mutiny on the Bounty” and its 1962 remake cemented the archipelago as the quintessential island holiday destination. Formed by volcanoes eons ago, the Society Islands are steeply mountainous, covered in lush jungle greenery and surrounded by crystalline beaches and turquoise lagoons. Tahiti The largest island in the Windward group of Society Islands, Tahiti is also the most developed. Most visitors arrive at the island’s international airport and either head towards their resort on another island or Tahiti’s bustling capital of Papeete. The party-loving city has a vibrant nightlife scene with venues that range from rustic bars to private nightclubs. Whether it’s black pearls and shell jewelry or traditional “pareu” clothing, Papeete is the best place in the Society Islands for shopping excursions too. Cultural points of interest include the Paul Gauguin Museum and the Museum of Tahiti. Scenic mountains, tumbling waterfalls and black sandy beaches are the island’s star natural attractions. Tetiaroa Marlon Brando, starring as Fletcher Christian in the 1962 version of “Mutiny on the Bounty,” fell in love with French Polynesia while scouting

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Haute Savoie, France

  Haute Savoie, France Haute-Savoie is a department in the Rhone-Alpes region of eastern France, bordering both Switzerland and Italy. Its capital is Annecy. To the north is Lake Geneva and Switzerland; to the south and southeast are the Mont Blanc and Aravis Mountain ranges. The French entrance to the Mont Blanc Tunel to Italy is in Haute-Savoie. It is noted for winter sports; the first Winter Olympic Games were held at Chamonix in 1924. Haute-Savoie has significant freshwater resources. Lake Annecy is a major attraction, along with the town of Evia-les-Bains, perhaps the best-known town on the French shore of Lake Geneva, and known worldwide for its Evian Mineral water. Haute-Savoie is entirely within the watershed of the Rhone.                       

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Belle Island, France

  Belle Island, France Belle Island 4738 inhabitants is a French island in the Atlantic Ocean in the Morbihan department of Brittany. It is the largest of the Ponant Islands, is located 14 km from Quiberon and near the islands and Houat Hœdic. It forms the canton of Belle Isdland with four municipalities, partners in the community of communes of Belle Ile en Mer. Belle Island is the largest of the Breton islands. It comes in the form of a plateau 17 km long and 9 km wide, with an average altitude of 40 meters notched by many small valleys. The coast of the island, consisting of a loose rock made of schist and quartz mica schists mingled under intense sea erosion especially on the West facade facing the Wild Coast. The result is a very indented coastline, consisting mainly of cliffs. Witness this rapid erosion, Lonegues island, which in the Middle Ages extended the tip of Foals, has now virtually disappeared under water. The northeastern end of the island extends islet connected to the main base by sandbanks where the sea creeps in at high tide. On the coast exposed to the North East, facing the mainland and therefore more sheltered, open two estuaries that have allowed the creation of the two main ports of the island: Le Palais and Sauzon. On this same façade there is the beach of the island. The climate of Belle-Island is very oceanic and enjoys a particularly important sunshine. Frosts are rare, it rains less often than on the mainland and mild winters which allows Mediterranean plants such as palms, vines, fig, thrive in sheltered valleys. He no trace of the original vegetation has been a vast wooded heath. A forest of pine and chestnut trees was replanted on land uncultivated heathland. Agriculture has truly become prosperous in the nineteenth century century sheep and cattle farming, growing vegetables, but also wheat requiring the activity of five windmills, thanks to the strong demand of the people working for the merchant navy, sardine canneries and shipyards. She is now in sharp decline, while retaining several cattle and sheep farms, with associated crops of barley and maize and vegetable production. The ribs Today tourism is a major source of income for the island. By 1890, steam navigation company "Belle Iloise" establish regular relationship with Auray. Today is the Ocean Company that performs services to the island from Quiberon in 45 minutes with five round trips out of season, brought to ten during the summer.              

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Marseille, France

  Marseille, France   Marseille is a city in south-eastern France, capital of the region Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur and Prefecture of the Bouches-du-Rhône. Located in the southeast of France, 775 km from Paris, 316 km from Lyon, 204 km from Nice and 506 km from Barcelona, ​​it is bordered by the Mediterranean to the west, enclosed by massive Estaque north of the Star and Garlaban to the east and south of the Creeks rising to over 700 meters. Founded around 600 BC by Greek from Phocaea sailors in Asia Minor under the name of Massalia, the "Marseilles City" benefits from its maritime location: Marseille is the first French port and the Mediterranean as well as the fourth European port Internationally Marseille is the second consular representation in France with more than seventy consulates The Euromediterranée business district or obtaining the rank of European Capital of Culture for 2013 are all assets supporting the role of the Mediterranean in Marseille . Marseille had a population of 839,043 inhabitants according to the census INSEE making it the second most populated town in France. It also applies its urban unit which is the second in France with 1,418,482 inhabitants Its urban area, which is centered on the towns of Marseille and Aix-en-Provence, included 1,601,095 inhabitants in 2006, which is the third largest urban area in France after Paris and Lyon. Since 2000, Marseille is the head of the Marseille Provence Metropole Urban Community which includes 1,023,972 inhabitants. Marseille enjoys an exceptional period of sunshine, with over 2800 hours of sunshine a year, thanks to the mistral blowing an average of 93 days a year. There is an average of 570mm of rainfall per year and 81 days of rain (39 mm above 2.5), mainly in autumn-winter. The average temperature in Marseille is 14.6 ° C.                     

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Iran Before the 1979 Revolution

     Iran Before the 1979 Revolution    Those who aren’t familiar with how Tehran or the whole country of Iran looks might imagine it as a land with people and culture similar to its neighboring countries in the Middle East. But for those who’ve always thought of Iran as your typical Islamic country, you might be shocked to see its “Westernized” past. Decades before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the country was run by King Mohammad Reza Pahvali, more known as the Shah. Besides political restrictions, he turned the whole look of the country and its people 180°, adopting the Western ways from fashion to education. In the 1960s, the Shah launched programs that included land reforms, the development of commercial and industrial infrastructures, and education. The results were evident during his regime such as the establishment of Tehran’s longest avenue, the Valiasr Avenue, to connect the Pahlavi complexes, including palaces and luxury houses to the city’s railroad station. Aerial view of Vali Ahd (Valiasr) Square in 1971   Pahlavi Avenue to Vali Ahd Square   Queen Elizabeth Boulevard in 1971   Mixed reactions go along during the time of the Shah – even until now. Some say living in Iran was better before the revolution because basic needs such as flats were affordable for the majority of Iran’s population. Disagreeing opinions point out that only those who are connected to the royal family received benefits. Delivery camels in Tehran

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Milos Island, Greece

  Milos Island, Greece Milos is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea belonging to the Cyclades archipelago. From west to east, it measures 23 km, against 12 km from north to south, for a total area of 151 km2, about 500 inhabitants.    It is an island of volcanic origin. Adamas is the main port, the Plaka is the capital.            Milos         Klima

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Rethymno, Crete

  Rethymno, Crete     I ended up in the small town of Rethymno, Crete only by chance. Between the persistence of a front desk associate at my hotel in Chania, convenience of a stopover en route to the Herkalion airport (the largest on the island), and a casual “oh, alright”, there we were in a little Cretian seaside village seemingly stepping right into the heart of a modern-era Greek island community. Being totally honest, my short visit entailed a quick, unmemorable lunch and a lot of picture taking. I couldn’t get enough of the picturesque alleys that jutted from the main pedestrian artery through town.   Our visit ended with coffee by the tiny harbour and a long chat with the waiter who shared his take on tourism in the town. Apparently this little harbour is a popular stopover for summer sailing charters, the local population raising and falling in cadence with the tourists and a handful that still fished year-round.Once again, I was struck by the absurd clarity of the water in the harbour. Supposedly it’s common to see octopus skim across the bottom, feasting on crabs and small fish. I looked but only saw a large school of glimmering fish. The waiter handed me a slice of crusty bread and 15 minutes quickly flew by while I tore off pieces and watched them slowly dissipate into their hungry mouths.    Two hours passed as we made our way back to the rental car and onwards to the airport. While I can’t recommend trekking the globe to see this little village, just remember that sometimes it’s the unplanned stops and conversations that can leave the greatest impression on a journey – whether it be on a Greek Island or the next town over.   

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Belgium – Beautiful Cities

  Belgium – Beautiful Cities   Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts several of the EU's official seats and as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO. The capital, Brussels, is also the capital of the EU. Belgium covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Please see here some beautiful cities in this wonderful country.       Belgium Damme - De Haan Blankenberge Furnes Veurne De Haan Dutch Haan De Haan, also called Le Coq-sur-Mer is a municipality located in the Belgian region of West Flanders Province. This is a resort on the North Sea. The municipality has about 12,000 inhabitants, including about 5200 in the seaside resort of De Haan, about 4000 in Wenduine and the rest Klemskerke, Vosseslag, Harendijke and Vlissegem. King Leopold II had to Klemskerke - Le Coq a hundred hectares he has given in concession to a private company to develop a new resort primarily intended for Francophone Brussels. On July 22, 1888, the resort was officially inaugurated and opened its first hotel.   Legend The crew of a sinking ship has found its way from the mainland and was saved by hearing the powerful singing of a rooster who, having provided a great effort, died.                

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Town Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer, France

  Town Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer, France The Domaine du Rayol is a protected natural area of ​​20 ha, the Coastal Conservancy property, located in Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer, at the foot of the Massif des Maures and facing the Iles d'Hyères, in the Var, between Lavandou and Saint-Tropez. The landscaper Gilles Clement has designed the Mediterranean Gardens, an invitation to travel through the Mediterranean landscapes of the world and the climate more arid landscapes or subtropical. Discover this garden is to feel some of the emotions felt by a botanist explorer who roams the planet The field of Rayol - Méditerranées garden is a botanical garden located on the Corniche des Maures, in the town of Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer, in the French department of Var. This is a garden with essences of all areas of the world Mediterranean biome. The history of the area is old, it begins in the 1910s when the rich Parisian banker Theodore Alfred Courmes there built a beautiful Art Nouveau villa surrounded by an exotic garden and a monumental pergola. The villa is in 1925, she enrolled in the supplementary inventory of historic monuments June 29, 1994. Meanwhile, the garden is the subject of particular attention: pre Inventory under the outstanding gardens, and award of the Label "Heritage Twentieth century ". The whole covers an area of ​​seven hectares and was saved from property speculation in 1989 by the Conservatory of the coastal areas and lake shores. The garden has been completely redesigned since then by landscape architect Gilles Clément. Consistent with its principle of "global garden", it has developed in this privileged area a patchwork of Mediterranean-style gardens: California (cacti, etc.), South African, Australian (eucalyptus, etc.), New Zealand (ferns tree, etc.), Chile (cacti, etc.); species that given the climate, coexist and thrive without difficulty. The site (fee) is publicly available. It is accessible to all types of public and enters awareness programs and training of educational institutions. The small area of ​​beach is the starting point of an original and exciting discovery of the marine life in the Mediterranean. The visit, accompanied by instructors of the Conservatory, is preceded by a presentation of the main marine species likely to be encountered, their specificities and the best way to recognize in their environment.               

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Province of Bavaria, Germany

  Province of Bavaria, Germany Forggensee Schwangau, Neuschwanstein Castle  and Castle Hohenschwangau Schwangau, overlooking the castle Neuschwanstein, the world famous, 50 m from the edge of Forggensee and 4 km from the beautiful city of Füssen. Schwangau consists of several parts: Waltenhofen, Horn and Hohenschwangau. This is a beautiful flower village, Bavarian Neuschwanstein Castle, the most famous German castles Seven weeks after the death of Louis II in 1886, Neuschwanstein was opened to the public. The king, unsociable, had built this castle to get away from the crowds. His refuge is now becoming a big attraction. Neuschwanstein is one of the most visited castles and fortresses in Europe. About 1.3 million people a year visit it. 6,000 visitors on average per day, jostling in the halls once planned for one man. The castle is situated in a unique idyllic landscape. But we must constantly monitor the underbody and consolidate the rock face at the peak. The harsh climate attacks the limestone facades, which always requires new remediation Neuschwanstein Castle at the foot of the Bavarian Alps. The lake Forggensee was developed in 1954 as an artificial lake and pond fills normal. Therefore it has such a line normal range. Hohenschwangau Castle is about three kilometers from Fussen. Located close to the Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau was built on a rock that rises 890 meters. The photograph below is a view taken in one of the rooms of the castle Neuschwanstein. Construction of the castle began in 1832 from the ruins of an old castle belonging to the Lords of Schwangau, then to Augsburg Paumgartner, and was purchased in 1567 by Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria. The reconstruction in 1832 was the initiative of Maximilian II of Bavaria, Ludwig II of Bavaria father. Hohenschwangau Castle is open all year. The castle tour is guided exclusively. It takes about 30-40 minutes for the visit. The entrance fee but the prices are reasonable. The pictures inside the castle are not allowed Castle Hohenschwangau which adjoins the beautiful castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria and built on the same architectural model straight out of a fairy tale gives a ghostly appearance in this vision of what beautiful location. One likes to call Louis II., The king of fairy tales Bavaria. Never was there a sovereign as much as he liked. Especially in Schwangau. No other place is as close to her beloved castles and nowhere one can admire with so much emotion, if only by their wildly romantic construction. Schwangau is a sunny holiday resort with beneficial health effects.            

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Banyuls at Sea, France

  Banyuls at Sea, France Banyuls at Sea 4700 inhabitants is a French commune, located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of the Pyrenees-Orientales and the district of Ceret. Banyuls is situated in the Pyrenees-Orientales on the Vermilion Coast south of Perpignan. The town is adjacent to Spain. She is very famous for his vineyard, and hosts an oceanographic observatory. Pictorially, we can say that Banyuls, the most eastern part of the Pyrenees, the Massif des Alberes flows into the Mediterranean Sea, are drawing a landscape of ridges and creeks. Viticulture is the main activity and reported 15 million euros of turnovers every year. "Banyuls" AOC 1936 is limited to four towns of the Côte Vermeille, or 1800 hectares of vineyards. Banyuls wine is known to be gentle and natural, from old vines grown on terraces on the steep slopes of the Pyrenees. The vines, mainly grenache are harvested until October to get overripe grapes, high sugar content. Marine Nature Reserve extends over 6.5 kilometers and covers 650 hectares of sea between the communes of Banyuls and Cerbère. It is the only exclusively marine reserve in France. To admire, an underwater trail was created with a marked course. The idea of ​​the creation of the Marine Reserve of Banyuls Cerberus goes back to 1969.                 

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The Shortest War in History

  The Shortest War in History         The world has witnessed many wars – some were fought years after years, some were notorious for their violence and huge number of casualties, and some were important for changing the course of world history. However, the little-known Anglo-Zanzibar War has also claimed a spot in the war history of the world, not for any important reason or for carrying any historical value but for being the shortest war in the history.    A Map Showing Locations of Zanzibar Town and Zanzibar. The Anglo-Zanzibar War in 1896 took only 38 minutes! It started at 9:02 in the morning EAT (East African Time) and the fire ceased at 9:40 a.m. EAT. Historical Background of the Shortest War In 1890, the Heligoland-Zanzibar treaty was signed between the United Kingdom and Germany. It outlined the specific regions of influence for the imperial powers in East

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Tyrol, Austria

  Tyrol, Austria Rugged mountains, tranquil valleys populated splendid villages, the Tyrol is a surprising destination. Mountains where every meadow, even steeper, is still mowed by hand, where women carry their "Dirndl" and men their leather breeches and jackets "Austrian", where cows are ubiquitous and delicious milk ... villages that seem ancient but which are new because the old architecture survived in the new, painted houses, carved balconies. Tyrol is an active and vibrant region that knows more welcome guests. The walks are all the more delicious, in a divine landscape for beautifully maintained by farmers who make hay and every early summer, rising young cattle to the pasture. The villages are also exciting: houses with Gothic portals decorated with stucco dating from the seventeenth century, painted facades of the Renaissance, and beautiful churches, crammed with works of art, impressive at times like this, furiously baroque, Zell am See. And that's Tyrolean church Fügen that set the Christmas song "Stille Nacht" ("Silent Night" in French), launched by the Rainer family in the nineteenth century ...            Passenger Train Baroque Cathedral Tour on the Lake Achensse Carriages   Paragliding on Lake Achensee

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Weekend Web Finds

  Weekend Web Finds       Got something interesting to share? We do! Here are the 10 things we’ve found in the internet for this week: 1. Daily Life in Cambodia   Curious what Cambodians do and see everyday? From lotus flowers to the sunrise behind Angkor Wat, these photos surely captured the simplicity and beauty of Cambodia. See the whole gallery here. 2. Monkey Selfie   A photographer went to Indonesia, took photos of the crested black macaque and let it play with his camera. The result? A selfie! Copyright issues between the photographer and Wikipedia have been buzzing this week, but never forget a monkey took a selfie and it’s just adorable. 3. What’s in a Korean High School Student’s Bag?   South Korean high school students are known to be studious to the point that they can study for up to 15 hours a day. It’s pretty normal and finding blankets and neck pillows in their backpacks is not a surprise for them. Read more here

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Lion’s Head in Cape Town, South Africa

  Lion’s Head in Cape Town, South Africa      Of all the great nature destinations in the world, one that should not be overlooked is the Lion’s Head in Cape Town, South Africa. A natural preserve that is rich in culture, history, and activities for the adventurous types, Lion’s Head stands 669 meters above sea level. At this height, the view of the city of Cape Town is breath taking. It is also a great spot to snap a few impressive vacation photos to share with your friends.     The name was originally given by the Dutch in the 17th century who named the peak Leeuwen Kop (Lion’s Head) as a counterpart to Leeuwen Staart (Lion’s Tail) which is now known as Signal Hill. Signal Hill and Lion’s Head are both part of the Table Mountain Chain, which is part of the Table Mountain National Park. Established in 1998 to protect the ecosystem, Table Mountain National Park consists of this mountain chain and the Cape of Good Hope.

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Floral Park

    Floral park, St Cyr en Talmondais, France     Saint-Cyr-en-Talmondais is a commune in the Vendee department in the Pays de la Loire region in western France.                    

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Cuckoo Clocks

  Cuckoo Clocks A cuckoo clock is a typically pendulum-regulated clock that strikes the hours with a sound like a common cuckoo's call and has an automaton cuckoo bird that moves with each note. Some move their wings, open/close the beak while leaning forward, whereas others only the bird's body is leaned forward. The mechanism to produce the cuckoo call has been in use since the middle of the 18th century and has remained almost without variation until the present.   It is unknown who invented it and where the first one was made. It is thought that much of its development and evolution was made in the Black Forest in Germany, the region where the cuckoo clock was popularized. The cuckoo clocks were exported to the rest of the world from the mid 1850s on. Today, the cuckoo clock is one of the favourite souvenirs of travelers in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. It has become a cultural icon of Germany.                                

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Nice Celebrates

    Nice Celebrates 150 Years of its Attachment to France    County of Nice, was finally annexed to France by a plebiscite, under the Second French Empire in 1860, as part of a political agreement (Treaty of Turin) brokered between the French emperor Napoleon III and King Victor Emmanuel II of the Kingdom of Sardinia.                          

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Nice, Walking Tour

    Nice, Walking Tour Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, and it is the capital of the Alpes Maritimes departement. The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of about 1 million on an area of 721 km2 Located on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast and the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region after Marseille. It is located very near the principality of Monaco, and its airport is a gateway to the principality as well. The area of today's Nice contains Terra Amata, an archaeological site which displays evidence of a very early use of fire. Around 350 BC, Greeks of Marseille founded a permanent settlement and called it Nikaia, after Nike, the goddess of victory. Through the ages, the town has changed hands many times. Its strategic location and port significantly contributed to its maritime strength. For centuries it was a dominion of Savoy, then became part of France between 1792 and 1815, when it was returned to Piedmont-Sardinia until its reannexation by France in 1860. The natural beauty of the Nice area and its mild Mediterranean climate came to the attention of the English upper classes in the second half of the 18th century, when an increasing number of aristocratic families took to spending their winter there. The city's main seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais (‘the Walkway of the English') owes its name to the earliest visitors to the resort. For decades now, the picturesque Nicean surroundings have attracted not only those in search of relaxation, but also those seeking inspiration. The clear air and soft light has been of particular appeal to some of Western culture's most outstanding painters, such as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle and Arman. Their work is commemorated in many of the city's museums, including Musée Marc Chagall, Musée Matisse and Musée des Beaux-Arts. Nice has the second largest hotel capacity in the country and it is one of its most visited cities, receiving 4 million tourists every year. It also has the third busiest airport in France after the two main Parisian ones. It is the historical capital city of the County of Nice.           

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Japanese Garden in Germany

  Japanese Garden in Germany Japanese gardens are traditional gardens that create miniature idealized landscapes, often in a highly abstract and stylized way. The gardens of the Emperors and nobles were designed for recreation and aesthetic pleasure, while the gardens of Buddhist temples were designed for contemplation and meditation. Japanese garden styles include karesansui, Japanese rock gardens or Zen gardens, which are meditation gardens where white sand replaces water; roji, simple, rustic gardens with teahouses where the Japanese tea ceremony is conducted; kaiyū-shiki-teien, promenade or stroll gardens, where the visitor follows a path around the garden to see carefully composed landscapes; and tsubo-niwa, small courtyard gardens. Japanese gardens were developed under the influences of the Chinese gardens, but gradually Japanese garden designers began to develop their own aesthetics, based on Japanese materials and Japanese culture. By the Edo period, the Japanese garden had its own distinct appearance. Since the end of the 19th century, Japanese gardens have also been adapted to Western settings. Here you can see one of the Japanese Garden in Germany.                                 

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Salzburg, Austria

    Salzburg, Austria   Salzburg is an Austrian city of 150,000 inhabitants and the capital of the Land of Salzburg. Old Town is included in UNESCO's Heritage. Located near the German border, the town is famous for being the birthplace of Mozart. The music festival is one of the most prestigious. But what gives all its charm in Salzburg, are the streets of the old town, maze consisting of old houses and old shops quite remarkable. The only cars that we came across are cabs the west side, between the Salzach River and the Monchsberg hill is the old town that is particularly interesting because it has preserved its Gothic and Baroque character.                             

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Beaches You’ve Probably Never Heard About

  Beaches You’ve Probably Never Heard About   Just about everyone has heard about beautiful beaches like Makena Beach on Maui in Hawaii, and the pristine sands of Bora Bora, but these unspoiled, amazing beaches you’ve probably never heard about are well worth planning a vacation around. Pictured above, while most envision the most perfect stretches of sand to be in the tropics, Scotland is actually home to some of the world’s most stunning beaches like the one at Bosta Great Bernera on the Isle of Lewis. The Outer Hebrides of Scotland is home to magnificent Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris, pictured below. Luskentyre Beach

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Traveling in Sicily

  Traveling in Sicily    Sicily kicked my ass and nearly destroyed me. I did not expect that. Italy is my zone. I go to Italy once or twice a year. I lived in Florence for four months. I speak Italian (not as well as I used to, yet more than enough to get by). As a result, Italy is one of the countries where I’m most comfortable. I understand how things work. I know what to eat, what to wear, what to do at different times of day. I’m well versed in the passeggiatta and penalties of not validating your train ticket. I thought I knew Italy — and then I got to Sicily. The Wild Part of Italy Sicily was my tenth region to visit in Italy (after Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio, Campania, Liguria, Lombardia, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, and Puglia). I would immediately designate it the region that has the least in common with other regions. Sicily had a wildness in the way the overgrown plants spilled onto the highway, in the way gargoyle-like rocks rose out of the sea, in the way children rode their bikes around piazzas at 1:00 AM. But most significantly, I had a lot of communication issues. English was only spoken in the most touristy areas, and in the more rural areas, the locals spoke Sicilian dialect. As a result, even when I spoke Italian, we could barely understand each other. I would understand maybe one word, tops, out of the whole sentence. I’ll admit that this was overwhelming and embarrassing for me on many occasions. Traveling seamlessly in Italy is a mark of pride for me, and I hated feeling so helpless. I’m not the only one who felt this way. Amanda of Farsickness wrote in a comment on one of my earlier posts: In a weird way I am so glad you felt that way about Sicily. I spent 2 weeks there in May and found it to be way more difficult than I imagined. I speak Italian and have lived in Italy and I felt lost and confused so, so, so many times. I kept thinking about how I wouldn’t recommend it as a destination to newbie independent travelers or anyone who doesn’t know at least some basic Italian. A beautiful island with killer food and wine, but easy and often, not relaxing. I am so glad that Amanda said that. It made me feel like I wasn’t crazy after all. That said, in spite of the difficulties, Sicily is an incredibly rewarding destination. It’s filled with so much natural beauty and so many cultural destinations. The people are warm and friendly. The food is delicious. Everything looks and tastes like sunshine. Tips for Traveling in Sicily If you’re planning a trip to Sicily, get ready to plan more than you would for a trip elsewhere in Italy. Here are my top recommendations for Sicily: Stick to the Beaten Path Unless You’re an Experienced Traveler If you stay on the beaten path for foreign travelers, you won’t have most of the challenges that I had. In Eastern Sicily, that means the Aeolian Islands, Taormina, Mount Etna, Siracusa, and the Baroque cities (Ragusa, Modica, Noto). In Western Sicily, that means Trapani, Cefalù, Erice, and the western islands like Pantelleria. In popular tourist destinations, Italian was spoken (not the dialect that I found in other places) and English was often spoken as well. They also had a more developed infrastructure for travelers and it was a less harried, more relaxed atmosphere. Off the Beaten Path Has Its Own Challenges and Rewards You absolutely can get off the beaten path if you’d like to. Just know that you’ll be dealing with things including but not limited to: People speaking only the local dialect and not Italian, let alone English. Limited tourism infrastructure. Roads in very poor condition.

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Tuscany, Italy's Gem

  Tuscany, Italy Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants (2013). The regional capital is Florence.  Tuscany is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its influence on high culture. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science, and contains well-known museums such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is sometimes considered "a nation within a nation". Seven Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Florence (1982); the historical centre of Siena (1995); the square of the Cathedral of Pisa (1987); the historical centre of San Gimignano (1990); the historical centre of Pienza (1996); the Val d'Orcia (2004), and Medici Villas and Gardens (2013). Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence became the world's 89th most visited city, with over 1.834 million arrivals.  Roughly triangular in shape, Tuscany borders the regions of Ligur to the northwest, Emilia-Romagna to the north and east, Umbria to the east and Lazio to the southeast. The comune (municipality) of Badia Tedalda, in the Tuscan Provinze of Arezzo, has an exclave named Ca' Raffaello within Emilia-Romagna.  Tuscany has a western coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea, containing the Tuscan Archipelago, of which the largest island is Elba. Tuscany has an area of approximately 22,993 square kilometres. Surrounded and crossed by major mountain chains, and with few (but fertile) plains, the region has a relief that is dominated by hilly country used for agriculture. Hills make up nearly two-thirds (66.5%) of the region's total area, covering 15,292 square kilometres, and mountains (of which the highest are the Apennines), a further 25% (—5,770 square kilometres ). Plains occupy 8.4% of the total area 1,930 square kilometres, mostly around the valley of the River Arno. Many of Tuscany's largest cities lie on the banks of the Arno, including the capital Florence, Empoli and Pisa.  The climate is fairly mild in the coastal areas, and is harsher and rainy in the interior, with considerable fluctuations in temperature between winter and summer, giving the region a soil-building active freeze-thaw cycle in part accounting for the region's once having served as a key breadbasket of ancient Rome.                  

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Lake Maggiore, Italy

  Lake Maggiore, Italy   Lake Maggiore Italian: Lago Maggiore, is a large lake located on the south side of the Alps. It is the second largest lake in Italy and the largest in southern Switzerland. The lake and its shoreline are divided between the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy and the Swiss canton of Ticino. Located halfway between Lake Orta and Lake Lugano, Lake Maggiore extends for about 65 kilometres  between Locarno and Arona.   The climate is mild in both summer and winter, producing Mediterranean vegetation, with many gardens growing rare and exotic plants. Well-known gardens include those of the Borromean and Brissago Islands, that of the Villa Taranto in Verbania, and the Alpinia botanical garden above Stresa.          

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Elba, Italy

     Elba, Italy This island is a jewel. Corsica in miniature. Everywhere you look is beautiful, eyes fill with pictures forever. Italian villages with narrow streets and ocher houses with green shutters small friendly ports, beautiful beaches with turquoise water (but difficult to access and the few car parks), rocks of all colors, the seabed, the flowers on the rocks, ... in short a destination jealously guarded secret.   What must be said is not easy going. The ferry from the mainland with car is expensive and discourages many visitors who make a tour in Tuscany. Some embark on a day trip, but it's a shame because the tour is then at a run. We must take advantage of this gentle island that has definitely a lot to offer. Elba is the largest island of the Tuscan archipelago. 29 km long and 18.5 km wide, is located between Corsica and Tuscany, on the border between the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian seas. It is separated from the Italian mainland by the Piombino channel, off a dozen kilometers. It is a protected site a national park, Elba consists of granites and sedimentary rocks, limestone and marl. Metal deposits exist there, including especially copper and iron. The park is a sanctuary for dolphins and Mediterranean whales. It also observed many sea birds, seals and turtles few ... Some large Posidonia meadows are well preserved, including housing seahorses, octopus and cuttlefish and there are also small populations of Posidonia very close to shore, but only two Sea small portions are closed to fishing, one north and one south of the island. The foreshore consist mainly of leaves of Posidonia, sometimes more than 40 cm thick. French Emperor Napoleon I was exiled to Elba after his forced abdication in 1814 and arrived at Portoferraio on May 30, 1814. He was allowed to keep a personal guard of six hundred men. Although he was nominally sovereign of Elba, the island was patrolled by the British Royal Navy. During the months Napoleon stayed on the island, he carried out a series of economic and social reforms to improve the quality of life, partly to pass the time and partly out of a genuine concern for the well-being of the islanders. Napoleon stayed on Elba for 300 days. He returned to France on February 26, 1815 for the Hundred Days. After his defeat at Waterloo he was subsequently exiled again, this time to the barren and isolated South Atlantic island of Saint Helena.            Porto ferraio Porto ferraio Porto ferraio Porto ferraio

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Torino Di Sangro, Pescara, Lake Casoli – Italy

  Torino Di Sangro, Pescara, Lake Casoli – Italy          Torino di Sangro, 3100 inhabitants is a town in the province of Chieti in the Abruzzo region in Italy. Torino is in the middle of a picturesque vegetation, one of the few vestiges of the old Lecceta Litoranea which once occupied the entire Adriatic coast. The territory located along the Valle dell'Osento has in the past often experienced landslides. The economy is bustling with agricultural enterprises producing oil and quality wines, construction companies, there is also a small beach where people can swim and lie in the sun parish 18th century church restored in the early 20th century Palazzo Priori Palazzo Priori The Bosco di Torino di Sangro, a forest that stretches 3 km along the coast, which, due to the very low tourist exploitation and the region, has survived almost intact aggression urbanization. The Commonwealth cemetery with the graves of British soldiers from the Second World War, with trees and beautiful gardens Beach Torino di Sangro, with typical sand dunes of the Macchia Mediterranea, where with some attention lilies and wild poppies can be seen in early summer the Abbey of San Giovanni in Venere, among Fossacesia and Torino di Sangro, a Benedictine monastery from the 8th century with major works of art in the lowrelief portal and the frescoes of the crypt, and an amazing view of the Adriatic coast.               

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Tourist Attractions in London

  Tourist Attractions in London There are so many attractions in London – here are the 5 BEST that you just have to see! Hey y’all! I’m Sara from Bristol In My Pocket. Born and raised in Texas, I packed my bags and moved to England a year ago to fulfil my crazy travel fantasies! Over the past year I’ve discovered something many people might not agree with: The best way to understand a destination is to visit its biggest tourist attractions. I know, I know. Most travellers will tell you the best way to understand a destination is to ‘do as the locals do’. Which is also true! But tourist attractions are tourist attractions for a reason. They are there to showcase the best of your destination’s history, culture, and pride. So why avoid that? London has so much to offer. From food to theatre to shopping, it can get pretty overwhelming. Over the past year I have visited countless attractions in London, some of which I was impressed with, others not so much. So here is a list of my top 5 favourite tourist attractions in London, and why you should visit them! 1. Tower of London     Built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, the Tower of London has been a palace and a prison for almost one thousand years. The Tower is home to some of England’s most fascinating history. Not only is it the execution site of Anne Boleyn, it’s also used to house the monarchy’s crown jewels today! Personally, the Tower of London is MY favourite attraction in all of London. With almost a thousand years of history, there’s bound to be something there that catches your fancy! 2 The Shard  

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Spectacular Beauty of Greenland

  Spectacular Beauty of Greenland     Russian photographer Daniel Kordan recently returned from a sailing expedition to Greenland. Kordan spent two months sailing on a yacht through the Atlantic from Saint Petersburg to Greenland as part of a photo workshop for photographers. He brought back countless breathtaking images that reveal the beauty of their natural surroundings on the journey.   According to My Modern Met, Kordan and his fellow voyagers spent their days exploring “magnificent icebergs, glaciers, caves, and cliffs at each landing,” with each day promising new discoveries as he continued to discover hidden gems in the icy wild. He told the site, “Our Greenland expedition reminded me of Jack London stories which I admired so much in my childhood.”     Kordan said it was their first time exploring Disko Bay and the islands of Baffin Bay. He had a desire

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Vernazza, Italy

  Vernazza, Italy Vernazza 982 inhabitants is a town in the province of La Spezia in the Liguria region of Italy. This is one of the towns that make up Cinque Terre Continuing eastward, after Monterosso, Vernazza is reached. The site is perched on a small rocky promontory, and once the most prosperous of the Cinque Terre. The castle of the Doria family and other medieval remains remind its rich economic past. Near the small port, the church of the parish of St. Margaret of Antioch, flanked by a high octagonal tower, overlooking the sea. The village is inaccessible by road. The main means of access are the train and coastal paths, extremely steep. Typicality of Vernazza actually yet a top tourist attraction in Liguria. On October 25, 2011, Vernazza was hit by torrential rain, flooding and massive flows of mud that left the city buried in more than four meters of mud and debris, causing more than 100 million euros of damage. The town was evacuated.       

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A Beginner’s Guide to Dubai

  A Beginner’s Guide to Dubai When I went on vacation this past November, people were surprised at my chosen destination. Instead of picking a European adventure or another trek in South East Asia, I chose to go to Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates or what some may have dubbed as the Las Vegas of the Middle East. I never thought I’d have any interest in going to Dubai but then the more I read up on it, the more interested I became and then one little movie came into theaters – Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – and yes silly as it sounds, seeing Tom Cruise scale the tallest building in the world solidified my decision – my next vacation will be in Dubai. With that said, here are my favorite places during my visit: BURJ KHALIFA It goes without saying that one of the must-sees in Dubai is the world’s tallest building in the world – the building that was featured in Tom Cruise’s film – the Burj Khalifa. Standing over 2700 feet, this structure dominates the Dubai skyline and remains very prominent from every view in the city. To visit the top, one must reserve a ticket

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Kangaroo Island Safari

  Kangaroo Island Safari When people hear the word “safari,” destinations like South Africa and Kenya usually come to mind; however, Australia is home to its own opportunities for unique wildlife spotting, most notably on South Australia’s Kangaroo Island. Because of its isolation from the mainland, the fact it hasn’t been affected by introduced species and that 1/3 of the island is considered a conservation or national park, the destination remains an untouched wildlife sanctuary. To help you make the most of your time of the island, here is a photo guide to the wildlife of Kangaroo Island. Tours Because there are no taxis on Kangaroo Island, booking a tour is necessary. While there are many excellent operators on the island, I went with Exceptional Kangaroo Island, as they allow travelers to mix and match experiences and will plan tours based on your interests. As Managing Director Craig Wickham explains, “We don’t have an itinerary, we have a conversation.” When To Go While you can see wildlife in the summer, particularly at dawn and dusk, you’re most likely to get the best experience in the winter. Moreover, much of Kangaroo Island’s wildlife is nocturnal, so a night tour is often a smart option. 1. Kingscote Little Penguin Colony Aptly named, Little Penguins are the world’s smallest penguins, and can be found along the foreshore and wharf in Kingscote on Kangaroo Island. These penguins usually grow to be about 13 inches in height and 17 inches in length. To help protect themselves from larger predators they only come on land at night, so this is when you’ll need to visit. You can also see Little Penguins in Penneshaw, along the shore of Hog Bay Beach. While you can head to these areas on your own, taking a tour with the Kangaroo Island Penguin Centre in Kingscote or the Penneshaw Penguin Centre will allow you to go right into their colonies. 2. Whale Watching Between June and October, visitors can take a tour with Kangaroo Island Marine Tours

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Sicily, Italy - Another View

    Sicily, Italy Sicily is an autonomous region of Italy. It is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Its capital is binding on the city of Palermo. The flag, the gorgon Trinacria 3 legs represent the three peaks of the island: Trapani, Messina, Syracuse. Sicily is an island south of Italy, a little over three kilometers of the peninsula which it is separated by the Strait of Messina. Localized to meet the Eurasian plate and the African plate, Sicily is famous for the Etna volcano, but there are other volcanoes in the Aeolian Islands north-east, Stromboli (which still smokes his little pipe!) i and Vulcano. Sicily is also exposed to earthquakes Sicily has a rich cultural heritage, a legacy of its history with many influences.   Lipari Island The Aeolian Islands or Lipari Islands named the main island is a volcanic archipelago north of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea. For more than two centuries and still today, the islands are an ideal site for the study of volcanology and geology. They are on the list of World Heritage of Humanity established by Unesco in 2000. It is a popular tourist destination  In total, this archipelago contains seventeen islands, but only seven are inhabited. Only three islands are accessible to automobiles. All the islands are of volcanic origin, but only Vulcano and Stromboli still an active volcano. The seven main islands of the archipelago are inhabited: Lipari, It contains pumice quarries Salina is the second largest island of the archipelago Vulcano, whose dormant volcano since 1890 emits fumaroles. At the seaside, the sulfur mud baths relieve various ailments Stromboli, with the famous volcano activity Panarea, Filicudi, Alicudi has 6 extinct volcanoes, is the westernmost island of the archipelago.                          Giardini Naxos and Cefalu  2 Italian municipalities in the province of Messina in Sicily.

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The World’s Most Beautiful Book Store

  The World’s Most Beautiful Book Store    Argentina can boast of many things – the widest river Rio de la Plata, the longest street Avenida Rivadavia, success in football, rich literature and cultural scenarios, beautiful natural wonders, and many more. However, the country can also boast of having a very beautiful as well as luxurious bookstore – the El Atenneo Grand Splendid! As the name suggests, the bookshop is really a splendid place. In 2008, The Guardian has given it the second place in the list of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. Architects Peró and Torres Armengol designed the building for Max Glücksmann, a pioneer of the country’s music and film industries.   History Located in the capital city’s 1860 Santa Fe Avenue, the building was first opened in May 1919 as a theater called Teatro Gran Splendid, which was the foreground of the country’s artists and performers, especially of the tango artists. It was turned into a cinema theater in the late twenties where Argentina’s first sound movies were displayed. Grupo Ilhsa leased it in February 2000 and renovated it into a bookshop under the supervision of architect Fernando Manzone. Currently, it is one of the biggest bookstores and possibly the most luxurious one in South America.

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Florence, Italy

  Florence, Italy      Florence is the capital of the Italian region and the Province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with a population of 367 569 inhabitants 1.5 million in the metropolitan area. The city is located on the Arno River and is known for its history and its importance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, especially for art and architecture. A medieval trade and economic center, is one of the wealthiest cities of the time, Florence is considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, in fact, was called Athens of the Middle Ages. It had long been under the direction of family physicians. From 1865 until 1870 the city was also the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. The historic center of Florence attracts millions of tourists and has been declared UNESCO World Heritage in 1982. Florence is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and art, historical and cultural heritage remains a major impact in the world today. The city also has Europe a major impact in music, architecture, education, cuisine, fashion, philosophy, science and religion. The historic center of Florence contains numerous elegant piazza markets, palaces from the Renaissance palace of academies, parks, gardens, churches, monasteries, museums, art galleries and workshops. The city has also been nominated, according to a 2007 study, the most desirable tourist destination in the world. The city offers a wide range of collections of art, especially those hosted by Palazzo Pitti and the Uffizi, (which receives about 1.6 million tourists a year). Florence is arguably the last preserved Renaissance city in the world and is considered by many as the capital of Italian art. It has been the birthplace or home of many historical figures such as Dante, Boccaccio, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Machiavelli, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo Donatello, Galileo Galilei, Catherine de Medici, Antonio Meucci, Guccio Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci and Florence Nightingale. Florence had a long and checkered history, being a Roman city, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance (or "Florentine Renaissance") is considered, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica in terms of political, economic, cultural, of the most important cities Europe and the world for about 250 years. from 1300-1500. Influence of Florence in the arts and culture was so strong that the dialect spoken in the fourteenth century was and is the basis of Italian literature.  Almost all the writers and poets of Italian literature are somehow linked to Florence.        

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Inside Lisbon’s Incredible Mercado da Ribiera

  Inside Lisbon’s Incredible Mercado da Ribiera I have seen heaven, and it is a food market in Lisbon. Imagine: a vast cafeteria, the size of a football field, serving up nothing but unique local food items at affordable prices. Imagine most of the vendors here speak English, for ease of ordering, and you can just wander from stall to stall sampling all kinds of dishes. The Mercado da Ribiera is the answer to your local food hunting dreams. The market itself has roots daying back to 12th century and has long been Lisbon’s central market. The current building was erected in 1892, and in 2010 Time Out Magazine bought out the rights to manage the main food hall, and turned it into a food court for foodies. Each wall of the massive marketplace is lined with shop fronts serving up different kinds of food. There are your typical food court type items: hamburgers, sushi, ice cream, along with Portuguese specialties like steak sandwiches, local cheeses and all kinds of seafood. You can try traditional Portuguese foods alongside local ingredients served with a modern twist. One wall has several wine bars serving neat little petiscos (the Portuguese version of tapas). Another wall was devoted to upscale offerings from 5 famous Lisbon-based chefs. In the centre are the beverages: a smoothie bar, a beer stand, a gin and tonic booth and more. There are plentiful huge wooden tables and benches to sit and enjoy your finds. Tourists and locals, couples and families all eat together.

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Ravello, Italy

  Ravello, Italy Ravello is a town in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of Italy. it has about 2500 inhabitants. The luminescence of the water, air, the fragrance of wild Mediterranean scrub, the lush gardens and rigorous at once, this is Ravello. Founded in the sixth century, it was populated by a significant group of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi. These latter made a happy choice taking this site to create their own shelter: indeed the town of Ravello sits on top of a buttress. The city quickly prospered, particularly through the establishment of prosperous wool draperies called in seniority "Celendra", which was ceded to the Bishop Giovanni Allegri by King Charles II of Naples, April 23, 1292, through its flourishing agriculture and thanks to intense trade on the roads of the Mediterranean. The following century Ravello was confirmed as authentic and even military power. In 1137 Bernardo da Chiaravalle defined the city ... very old, heavily fortified and impregnable, but also very opulent and beautiful to be easily counted among the most important and most noble cities ... The history of Ravello takes place in close connection with the history of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi. Its economic and political decline began in the Norman period. Having lost economic wealth, its people are being reduced to a few thousand, Ravello remains only ... with all that is left to him, that is all that we appreciate most today: an incomparable habitat by its nature and its architectural and artistic wonders.           

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Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

   Luxembourg City, Luxembourg One perk of living in Europe: going to another country for day, or even a meal. Ridiculous, I know. We’d done this before on day trips to Strasbourg, France, which is about an hour and change from Heidelberg, but after two years abroad we still hadn’t made it to the tiny country of Luxembourg and knew we wanted to get in a visit there before repatriating. With our final days dwindling into single digits, we sprang for one last day trip. We ended up spending the better part of 6 hours in-country so I can’t say our visit was in fact extraordinary but pleasant enough and a great stopover for travelers passing through (but honestly not worthy of a trans-Atlantic flight). The country is beautiful, clean, and has a colorful history. Our Rick Steves Guide to Germany has a tiny section devoted to Luxembourg and we used this as our resource for the day. Following Rick’s request, we spent our time at the Casemates, Luxembourg’s famed catacombs, and were surprised by how impressed we were with the underground passages that seemed to go on forever. Nowadays the route is 17 km but at it’s peak the fortress continued on for 23 km (!) making it one of the most impenetrable forts in all of Europe, aptly nicknamed ‘the Gibraltar of the North’.

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Minsk, Belarus

    Minsk, Belarus Minsk 1.9 million inhabitants in Belarus is the capital of the Republic of Belarus. Minsk is located in the central part, in the Dnieper River Basin, the river Svisloch Minsk is 690 km from Moscow and 2300 km from Paris Minsk is located on the southern foothills of the hills of Minsk. The overall height is fixed to 220 m above the sea level, the city is higher in its west parts. At thirty kilometers in that direction rises Mount Dzerzhinsky, that is, with its 345 meters, the highest point of the country. The surrounding countryside is covered with temperate forests, typical of the country; some are still visible in the city itself, to the state parks. The city gives an appearance of space, its 305 square kilometers, but also by the many large buildings that release the ground rising to the sky. Minsk has a variable continental climate and softer than the Russian climate. The average temperature in January is -5.4 ° C and 17.4 ° C in July. The weather is often overcast, Minsk is crossed from north-east to south-east by the Svisloch which forms several lakes with dams and flows further into the Berezina. This river flows into the valley of a former .Minsk river is along the highway linking Berlin to Moscow is the only city .Minsk Belarus to have a metro system. The latter, built in 1977, opened its first line in 1984. Since then, the first line has created two new, long of 12.2 and 18.1 kilometers. Minsk is the most important railway junction of Belarus. The town is in fact located at the junction of the line linking Moscow to Warsaw .The new airport is located 42 kilometers east of the city. Opened in 1982 it connects Minsk to many European countries like The upper town, that is to say, the city center, includes the major administrative buildings, ancient churches, but, above all, has the only area that remained intact during the Second World War. This district, Faubourg Trinity was actively renovated in the 1990s and became one of the most esteemed locations in the city. The typical houses of varying colors, are reflected in the waters of Svisloch Not far away is the town hall, copy Block XIX century, destroyed during the war. The current building was completed in 2003. In the upper town, you can also see the only Minsk wooden house that survived the wars. Very renovated, it also hosted the first Party Congress and a museum is now located.            

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Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

  Maspalomas, Gran Canaria Maspalomas is a tourist town in the south of the island of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, stretching from Bahía Feliz in the east to Meloneras in the west, including the resort towns of San Agustín and Playa del Inglés. Maspalomas constitutes the southernmost part of the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. This resort is one of the most significant tourist attractions of the island. It takes its name from the large amount of doves (palomas) coming from the African continent to get to the Charca (mare) to feed on seeds and quench their thirst. Then, in the afternoon, they return to their place of origin. Many of these birds are néamoins remained on the island and today are part of the fauna that characterizes the archipelago Canarie.Le landscape is mainly formed Maspalomas dunes which change with the wind, giving an appearance and always different forms. Palmitos Park offers visitors the chance to admire fauna and flora from around the world s' is adapted to existing privileged climate. On the most prominent part of the litoral is the lighthouse whose signals are of paramount importance for all those who travel these transoceanic routes. Around this natural beauty lies a whole infrastructure with hotels and modern and comfortable apartments, in order to accommodate and ensure the welfare of the tourists come for the greater part of Europe.          

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Bus Ride Trough Tuscany - Italy

    Bus Ride Trough Tuscany   Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants (2013). The regional capital is Florence (Firenze). Tuscany is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its influence on high culture. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science, and contains well-known museums such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is sometimes considered "a nation within a nation". Seven Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Florence (1982); the historical centre of Siena (1995); the square of the Cathedral of Pisa (1987); the historical centre of San Gimignano (1990); the historical centre of Pienza (1996); the Val d'Orcia (2004), and Medici Villas and Gardens (2013). Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence became the world's 89th most visited city, with over 1.834 million arrivals.               

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The Island Mallorca

  The Island Mallorca Majorca or Mallorca is the largest island in the Balearic Islands archipelago, which are part of Spain and located in the Mediterranean Sea. The capital of the island, Palma, is also the capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. The Balearic Islands have been an autonomous region of Spain since 1983. The Cabrera Archipelago is administratively grouped with Majorca (in the municipality of Palma). The anthem of Majorca is La Balanguera. Like the other Balearic Islands of Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera, the island is an extremely popular holiday destination, particularly for tourists from Germany and the United Kingdom. The international airport, Palma de Mallorca Airport, is one of the busiest in Spain; it was used by 23.1 million passengers in 2014. The name derives from Latin insula maior, "larger island"; later Maiorica, "the larger one" in comparison to Minorca, "the smaller one".          

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Cabo Polonio: Sand Lover’s Paradise

  Cabo Polonio: Sand Lover’s Paradise Somewhere up the coast of Uruguay, about halfway between Punta del Este and Punta del Diablo you will find the tiny caserio of Cabo Polonio. Or maybe you won’t. No roads go to to this laid back beach town, it’s separated from the main highway by several miles of mud dirt and sand paved roads. You have two options to get there really: 1. Walk. It’s only 4 hours from Punta del Diablo on foot I’m told. 2. Catch one of these hilarious looking pick up truck buses:

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Corfu, Greece

  Corfu, Greece    Should I have allotted more than two nights for Corfu, the largest Ionian island off the coast of Greece? Of course I should have! For me, Corfu was meant to be a stopover en route from Santorini to Albania. I flew there via Athens with two intentions: to see the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town and to get the ferry to Albania. I had spent the last eight nights in hostel dorms in Barcelona and Santorini and was desperately craving privacy — a place where I didn’t have to sleep with my valuables in bed with me, where I didn’t have to wait for the bathroom, where I could chuck my earplugs and sleep peacefully without interrupting snores. I found a Corfu apartment on Airbnb and it looked great — pretty close to perfect, even. Modern, great reviews, wifi, very good price, right in the old town. Sadly, it was only available for two nights. Hmm. You know what? I thought to myself. You want to get to Albania soon anyway, and it will be much cheaper there. You can just explore Corfu for a day and move on. And so I booked it for two nights. Right away, my Airbnb host admonished me. “Such a pity that you’re only staying for two nights! It’s not enough to enjoy this beautiful island!” “Well, that’s all you had!” I pointed out. My host’s father picked me up at the airport and dropped me off at the apartment. Finally alone for the first time in over a week, I cranked up the AC and took off my pants. I was HOME! (Seriously, in the 36 hours I spent in that apartment, I think I spent a grand total of two minutes wearing pants.) It was a short visit — but very sweet. In between receiving Airbnb message from my host (most of them reading, “You should have spent more time here!”), I explored the pretty and historical old town.

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Skellig Michael, Ireland

  Skellig Michael, Ireland    I hate to say it, but after nearly four years of near-constant travel, it’s becoming harder and harder for me to be impressed. Of course, I love places and I appreciate them and I enjoy almost every place I visit — but being knocked over in marvel, so impressed I can barely speak? That’s incredibly special and incredibly rare. Some of those destinations that have impressed me that much? The Alhambra. The Faroe Islands. Shetland. Everything in Japan. But in Ireland, I experienced the single most impressive place I’ve seen in years: Skellig Michael, a rocky island off the southwest coast of Ireland that was home to monks for several centuries. Getting to Skellig Michael is not an easy journey — due to rough seas and a challenging spot to moor the boats, boats are able to make the trip only about half the time. I had one chance to make it to Skellig Michael — which, in retrospect, was poor planning on my part — but I lucked out. On the morning I was to head out, I called the captain whose boat I had booked,Eoin Walsh, and he verified that although it was a borderline day, it was still safe to go. Fantastic! The Journey There aren’t ferries to Skellig Michael — you need to book a spot on a private boat, and most transfers cost €50 ($68 USD). I wasn’t alone on Eoin’s boat, though — my fellow passengers were three very friendly fifty-something men from County Cork who had been friends since high school. “We’ve always wanted to go to Skellig Michael, but it was so close by, we always thought we’d go someday. And it took us this long!” one of the men told me. “I completely get that,” I told them. “I’m from Massachusetts, but I still haven’t been to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket.” “Martha’s Vineyard?” one of the others asked. “I’ve been there.” “Exactly,” I replied. Eoin handed me some photos of Skellig Michael dating back decades. And that was the only time I looked down, because this was an extremely rough 90-minute journey to the island. I held tightly to a tire on the edge and wondered if we were going to be washed overboard! The men were fairly nonplussed, and Eoin was calm. This was the wild north Atlantic; conditions were normal. We first passed Small Skellig, the tiny island next door that is known for being a major ornithological habitat, and soon Skellig Michael came into full, beautiful focus. We docked and scrambled up the landing to the base of the island. Eoin wasn’t coming with us — we had a few hours to explore on our own and he’d wait in the boat until we got back. I couldn’t imagine staying on those crazy waves for so long, but if you’re a sailor, I’m sure it’s nothing at all.

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Puy du Fou, France

  Puy du Fou, France The Puy du Fou is a historical themed amusement park in Vendée, one of the four largest theme parks in France. The park also hosts Cinéscénie a night show supported by volunteers tracing the history of the Vendée through the eyes of a family: The Maupilier family. We find in this show a mythologized vision of a social consensus that would have characterized the historical Vendée.   The Puy du Fou is not a village but a locality of the municipality of Épesses northwest of the town, located in the country of Vendée, near Les Herbiers and Cholet, 45 minutes from La-Roche sur-Yon and just one hour from Nantes and Angers. In 1989, a leisure park of 50 hectares is created near the Cinéscénie no real connection to local history. This is a commercial activity, unlike Cinéscénie Puy du Fou, which mobilizes volunteers. Now part of the tour operators of the programs (second French park through its daily attendance behind Disneyland Puy du Fou is becoming commonplace from the late 1990s by always approaching more the profile of a single theme park . As Jean-Clément Martin points out, "this has contributed to changing their meaning to the point of blurring the image, including among staff involved in the adventure. The Grand Puy du Fou Park hosted twice in July 1993 and 1999 the Tour de France and the Miss France 2009. Now the Puy du Fou will be displayed as a real must-world destination.                    

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Things You Didn’t Know About Uruguay

  Things You Didn’t Know About Uruguay Quick, name 3 things about Uruguay. Name even one thing about Uruguay. If you’re like most people, including myself up to a couple weeks ago, I doubt you can. Before I came down to South America I’m not even sure I could find this tiny country on a map, let alone tell you the difference between it and Paraguay. Now, after a week exploring this wonderful little country, I have a lot to say. I have the knowledge now and I can tell you that you are missing out. If you come to South America and ignore Uruguay for it’s flashier neighbours Brazil and Argentina, you are missing out. Here are some things you probably didn’t know about Uruguay: It’s the Most European Country in South America This title usually goes to Argentina, and it’s true that Buenos Aires does have an elegant old world feel. Uruguay is similar to Argentina linguistically and culturally, with a large percentage of the citizens having emigrated from Europe in the past couple of centuries. You can see it in the cuisine, in the plentiful bakeries and the architecture. Uruguay however has that more modern, socialized Europe vibe going on. It’s super clean, it’s super organized

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Haute Savoie

  Haute Savoie      Talloires 1629 inhabitants is a French commune in the department of Haute-Savoie and Rhone-Alpes region, canton Annecy-le-Vieux, Annecy district The common situation is unique and charming, it is bounded on one side by the lake and on the other by mountains. The climate is of mountain type, but softened in winter by the presence of Lake Annecy The abbey was founded around 1016 by King Rudolph III of Burgundy, and the monks of the abbey of Savigny and Lyon. The first prior of the Abbey lived as a hermit in 1033-1060 in a cave above Talloires, his time dates the Priory. Existing Abbey buildings began to be erected in 1681 and included a hospital and leper on the site Angon. In 1902, the first color photographic plate was made in the cloisters of the abbey by the French physicist Gabriel Lippmann. View of the castle of Duingt on the other side of the lake   View of the castle of Duingt on the other side of the lake   View of the castle of Duingt on the other side of the lake   Bay of Talloires   Bay of Talloires   View on the rock of Dear  

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Annecy, France

  Annecy, France Annecy located in Haute-Savoie is a city between lake and mountains. It is an exceptional landscape, composed of blue, green and white, with clear water, forests and snow. Lake Annecy, considered "as the purest in Europe" offers landscapes of legendary beauty, surrounded by equally majestic peaks. Today, its turquoise waters are of impeccable quality.      The bridge of love on the channel VasseAmour   The bridge of love on the channel VasseAmour   Channel Vasse Annecy old city

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Ride through Corsica

        Ride through Corsica Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and a local authority, composed of two French departments. It has just under 300 000 inhabitants and two large villles Ajaccio and Bastia   Corsica is a land of contrasts, true "mountain in the sea" - The Monte Cinto culminates at 2706 meters - the island with over 1,000 km of coastline form a castle freshwater in the Mediterranean; it is located about 200 km southeast of the Riviera, west of Tuscany she is near and north of Sardinia. Wooded mountain, the south coast is formed high cliffs Bonifacio. Corsica lies with Sardinia on a micro continental plate separated from that of France or Italy called block corso-Sardinian.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

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Brantome, France

  Brantome, France Brantome 2200 inhabitants is a French commune located in the department of Dordogne, in the Aquitaine region. It is the capital of the canton of Brantome. This is one of the six city-gates of Perigord Limousin regional park and a step on the road to Vezelay the Pilgrim. Brantome is a town north of the Dordogne crossing northeast to southwest by the Dronne, the main tributary of the Isle, itself a major tributary of the Dordogne. Located 21 km north-northwest of Perigueux and 18 km south of Nontron, the city is located at the intersection of roads leading to Perigueux and Angouleme town center fits on an island about 300 meters diameter formed by the Dronne, originally the nickname Venice of Perigord Brantome assigned.   Brantome is surely the only Perigord village built on an island. Such singularity deserves an explanation. The original town was built in a loop of the river Dronne. A channel dug by the monks came to complete the device. This very exceptional configuration combined with a rich heritage is important for much of the charm that emanates from this small town. On the other side of the river, backed by the cliff, the imposing Benedictine Abbey gives its disproportion to the site. Founded under Charlemagne, destroyed by the Normans in 849, rebuilt in 1075, rebuilt, refurbished, this building was home to Pierre de Bourdeilles, man of war, and Abbot of Brantome. Finally, one can not leave without a little Brantome meditative walk on the old angled deck, or in the halls of the monks very soothing garden.                     

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Corinth Canal - Greece

  Corinth Canal - Greece   As a land rich with mythical and historical vestiges, it is not rare to find renowned and legendary sites, landmarks, and architectural structures in Greece. The Corinth Canal is one of them. Since its opening, the Corinth Canal has been proving itself as a labor- and time-effective route for an uncountable number of sea-going vessels. Being the connecting link between the Gulf of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf and the separator of Peloponnese from mainland Greece, the canal provides a short-cut nautical route for the vessels sailing from Athens and the port of Piraeus – Greece’s most important and largest port – to the west.

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Cassis Region, France

  Cassis Region, France Cassis fishing port of 8500 inhabitants about 25 km from Marseille and 50 km from Aix en Provence. Cassis is located between the Cap Canaille, whose cliffs are the highest in Europe, and Calanques. The charm of this corner of Provence are the fabulous landscapes and beaches. It is a small Provencal town on the Mediterranean. The climate is Mediterranean, is influenced mainly by the north wind, the mistral.

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Bride in Old Wedding Dress

     Bride in Old Wedding Dress      Abigail Kingston is set to walk down the aisle on October 17, 2015 in a dress that has been worn by 10 of her ancestors, including her great-great grandmother and mother. The moment her soon-to-be-husband proposed she knew she wanted to wear the old wedding dress that had been in her family for so many years. 30-year-old Abigail’s first hurdle was tracking down the dress. The keeper of the dress is always the mother of the last bride that wore it. Turns out, Sara “Sally” Seiler Ogden, the fourth bride to wear the dress, was the current keeper as her daughter, Abigail’s aunt, wore it in 1991. She happily shipped the dress to the Kingston’s address. When Abigail excitedly opened the box she was instantly disappointed. The dress was full of holes and the delicate silk had turned funky shades of yellow and brown. Not to mention, Abigail is taller than the other women who have worn the dress so it was much too short. Regardless, the Pennsylvania-native knew the historically rich old-fashioned gown was the perfect “something old” for her big day, and she decided to stop at nothing to make it work. Abigail had her doubts but Wilson Borough bridal designer Deborah LoPresti’s salon came to her rescue, taking many trips to New York City’s garment district and completing over 200 hours of carefully conducted alterations.

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Department of Ariege, France

  Department of Ariege, France The department of Ariege with its 148,567 inhabitants is a French department of southwestern France named after the Ariege River. It borders the departments of Haute-Garonne, Aude and Pyrenees-Orientales, and Spain and Andorra. The department is stepped from north to south into three distinct geographical areas: The Ariege plain to the north of the department consists of plains, hills and low valleys where agriculture is very present. Part of Lauragais covers the northeast of the department. Two major rivers, Ariege and Leze from south to north across the plain. The landscape of cereal plots dominates with maize and sunflower and grasslands. The Pyrenean foothills brings massive Plantaurel and prepyreneennes hills below 1000 meters. Various geological structures form contrasting landscapes such as the Foix valley in its granite massif or Lavelanet area with marl and limestone. The top ariégeois countries is the high Pyrenees mountains exceeding 1000 meters. The pic d'Estats, Montcalm and peak port Sullo are the highlights of the department respectively. The forest dominates the landscape where coniferous species coexist with hardwoods such as chestnut, acacia, ash and beech. In 2009, the Regional Park Ariege Pyrenees is created, covering about 40% of the area of ​​the department of Ariege. Cescau is a small French commune in the department of Ariege and Midi-Pyrenees                         Castel Couseran         Mirepoix 3259 inhabitants Mirepoix is a French commune located in the department of Ariege and Midi-Pyrenees. Dependent county of Foix, the city was won by the Cathars in the late twelfth century. A council in 1206 it gathered 600 Cathars. The town was captured in 1209 by Simon de Montfort he gave to one of his lieutenants Guy de Lévis, where the family of Levis-Mirepoix.

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Journey Trough Croatia

  Journey Trough Croatia    Two years ago, I visited Croatia for the first time. I spent two weeks in the country in total, the first week on a road trip from Pula to Split, and I was blown away — first by how madly I fell in love with Croatia, and second, by how it had been the easiest road trip of my life. It’s incredible — Croatia could not be more perfect for a road trip. But while I want to sing this from rooftops, the truth is that nobody has a clue about it. Croatia is a dream destination for lots of my friends back home in America — so much that each of them might as well have Croatia Pinterest boards for all the dreamy photos of Adriatic coastline that they post! They love Croatia. They dream about Croatia. They’ve bookmarked Croatia as a “someday” destination. But when it comes time to actually book a trip to Europe, they don’t choose Croatia. They go to more popular countries for Americans to visit like Italy and France, Ireland and the UK, Spain and Germany and Iceland and the Netherlands. For the few who do decide to visit Croatia, they usually take a fully organized tour. Or a cruise on a major cruise line departing from Venice, taking in one day in Split and one day in Dubrovnik before heading on to Montenegro and Greece. They never go on their own. I think Croatia intimidates a lot of people and keeps them from traveling independently. People think of an Eastern European country at war, when in reality Croatia is much more similar to Western Europe than Eastern Europe, is a member of the EU, and there hasn’t been a war for nearly 20 years. The country is incredibly safe, English is widely spoken, and it’s outfitted for all kinds of travelers, from adventurous backpackers to sun-seekers who don’t plan on leaving their resort. The truth? I think Croatia is a lot easier to travel independently than Italy, France, or Spain. Let me be clear: there’s nothing wrong with taking a tour or a cruise if that’s what you want to do. Both tours and cruises have their advantages and can be a ton of fun. I went on a sailing cruise from Split to Dubrovnik two years ago and loved it (though I wouldn’t do it again — I think I’m past backpacker cruises now!). But I do have a problem with the idea that taking a tour or cruise is the only way to explore Croatia, because it couldn’t be less true. The Ease of Traveling in Croatia

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Island of Oleron, France

  Island of Oleron, France The Oleron Island 20 950 inhabitants is located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Charente-Maritime. It is the largest metropolitan French island after Corsica, with its 30 km long and 8 km wide Administratively, the island of Oleron belongs to the department of Charente-Maritime, which depends on the Poitou-Charentes region . it is connected to the mainland by a road bridge, It is called the Luminous Oleron because of its high rate of sunshine throughout the year. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the island of Oleron is bounded by two straits The Oleron island is also located in front of two river estuaries, Charente and Seudre. These play a significant role in its economic activities, have promoted the development of oyster farming through their intake of fresh water. From north to south the municipalities are: Saint-Denis, third marina in Charente-Maritime, La Bree features a long sandy beach on the northeast coast, St. George, medieval town with numerous architectural remains Eleanor of Aquitaine and one of the finest Romanesque churches of France, Saint-Pierre, city and main commercial center of the island services, Dolus shares with St. Peter's strong commercial activity, the Castle was named after the seventeenth-century fortress designed by Vauban, the Grand-Village-Plage home to great beaches on the west coast, and finally Saint-Trojan is a pleasant seaside resort at the foot of the largest pine forest of the island. The most extensive towns also have other villages and localities, as Chaucre, there or a fault is located, and Boyardville Le Douhet, the latter two are home to marinas, they are located in the municipality of Saint-Georges The Cotinière Menounière and are located in the municipality of Saint-Pierre. The old salt marshes were transformed into refined clear where the famous Marennes-Oleron. On the island, early vegetables are grown while the vine produces Pineau des Charentes, a fortified wine, appetizer served in white or rose on the east coast, facing the forest Saumonards and two kilometers theft bird, lies the famous Fort Boyard, which is a strong maritime old whose construction was decided by Napoleon. Begun in 1804, during the First Empire, to protect the mouth of the Charente and the military arsenal of Rochefort, it will be completed in 1859 under Napoleon III. At the northern tip of the island, in the municipality of Saint-Denis-d'Oleron, stands the famous lighthouse Chassiron. South of the island, Saint-Trojan-les-Bains is famous for its forest. Its tourist train, its vast beach on the west coast are certainly the best beach of the island. The place also marks the start of the wide sandy coast of accumulation which then extends south along the Landes coast to the foothills of the Basque Country, barely interrupted by the sluices of Maumusson and the mouth of Gironde. The climate of the island of Oleron, its sandy beaches, numerous bike paths, its foreshore for shore fishing, make it a popular destination for vacationers in the summer. La Cotiniere is the only fishing port on the west coast of the island. Nearly a hundred trawlers are returning every day to the auctions 5h and 16h. This is the first fishing port in the Charente-Maritime and the 8th of France and specializes particularly in the wedge sole, seasonal fish.            

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Southern Colombia in Photos

  Southern Colombia in Photos We breezed through the South of Colombia pretty quickly, which is a shame because it is, in my opinion, the prettiest part of the country. Here are the highlights: Salento Salento is in the heart of the Zone Cafeterra, the coffee region of Colombia. It rained most if the time we were there so we never did get to see a coffee plantation, but I still enjoyed the gorgeous scenery and the colorful town.

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Life in Nepalese Himalayas

  Life in Nepalese Himalayas         It’s a long uphill climb but smiles are back on innocent faces and time it seems has healed. Despite houses fallen by shelters, schools reduced to utter ruins and loved ones lost, people have readily accepted the devastation brought on by the earthquakes and moved on. Shock, grief and disbelief has waned with the passing of time. During my post-quake assignments with initiative Eutai Mala Nepali, I was touched by the heightened spirits and perseverance of individuals I met along the way. Their stories of putting on a brave face and working as a team was particularly inspiring, which I’ve documented here in words and photographs. Despite losing all her belongings and narrowly evading death that fateful day, the Tamang lady that offered me stay at her makeshift shelter in Nuwakot’s rural village remains calm and composed. Her hospitality is second to none – quite evident from the onslaught of food she puts on my plate for dinner, turning a deaf ear to my pleas to stop. She makes light of her ordeal as she exuberantly recalls how she jumped off the second floor balcony to the ground and walking away from her collapsed home unscathed. The confined space of her small shelter she now calls home barely fits her family and the stockpile of grains and food for reserve. But she

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Bambouseraie de Prafrance, France by Zlatko Miko

    Bambouseraie de Prafrance, France  The Bambouseraie de Prafrance (34 hectares) is a private botanical garden specializing in bamboos, located in Generargues, near Anduze, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France. It is open daily in the warmer months; an admission fee is charged. The garden contains one of Europe's oldest bamboo collections, established in 1856 by amateur botanist Eugene Mazel (1828-1890), who had made his fortune in the spice trade, and who continued to build the collection until he encountered financial problems in 1890. Although the garden subsequently changed ownership several times, it has continued to be a showcase for bamboos, and today contains around 300 bamboo species and cultivars, as well as other plantings of Asiatic shrubs and trees, Gingko biloba, sequoia, Trachycarpus fortunei, a replica of a Laotian village, and some 5 km of water canals.     

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Lake Chagan – The World’s Most Radioactive Lake

  Lake Chagan – The World’s Most Radioactive Lake          Lake Chagan is the result of a thermonuclear explosion that happened in 1965 at a nuclear test site in Semey in Kazakhstan. It was part of a program to examine the possibility of creating and developing a peaceful purpose of nuclear technology for things like making canals and reservoirs, drilling for oil or moving large masses of earth.       A device was placed in a deep hole 178 meters deep in the Chagan river bed and when detonated it created a crater 400 meters wide and 100 meters deep, then a channel was created to allow it to fill up with water.       The program was called “Nuclear

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Beautiful Camargue, France

  Beautiful Camargue, France The Camargue is a wetland formed by the Rhône delta. According to most of sedimentologists, geologists and scientists, the Camargue delta would have formed there about 5,000 years. It is the result of the meeting of the Rhone waters, sediment laden and the Mediterranean. The successive deposits of river alluvium, marine and wetland have shaped the basement. Since ancient times, the Camargue is a gateway to Gaul to all foreign influences. But like all then known deltas, Hesiod called it one of the three mouths of hell with the Rhine and the Po. The occupation of the Camargue is earlier than the Romans. The Greeks and the Ligurian colonized places before. The Saracens had settled in the ninth century but no historical record would remain of their passage. After this period, attests to a population of 170 heads of families in the Villa de Mar (Saintes Maries de la Mer) in 1286. However, the village built of wood would have burned the fourteenth century. It is a land space of 145,300 ha in the south of France, geographically located between the two main arms of the Rhone delta and the Mediterranean Sea. It can be extended in the east to the plain of the Crau, west to Aigues-Mortes and north to Beaucaire. The Camargue therefore extends over the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône and Gard. The Camargue is a site of European importance and major national to local birds, especially for migrating to wintering in 2000-2005 because it was the first French site number of wintering welcomed each year (122 000 birds, before the Arcachon Basin which hosts 105,000). The Camargue is also known for hosting the flamingo. . In 1928 was created the botanical and zoological reserve. The Camargue regional park was created in 1970 by private actors. The herdsmen are committed to promote the breed of Camargue horses and the AOC Camargue Bull; Camargue found, among other livestock fruits, enhancement of two breeds: the Camargue bull and Toro Bravo (in Spanish literal sense). Rice is an integral part of agriculture "Camargue".               

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Iguazu Falls in Argentina & Brazil

  Iguazu Falls in Argentina & Brazil      About This Adventure Located along the Iguazu River on the border between Argentina and Brazil is one of the most breathtaking collections of waterfalls in the entire world. Spanning 2.7 kilometers in length, Iguazu Falls is comprised of up to 300 waterfalls reaching heights as tall as 82 meters. One look at these falls and it’s obvious why travelers from all over the world come here to soak up this natural wonder. Traveling There There are two Iguazu Falls national parks – one in Argentina and one in Brazil. You can access both from either Argentina or Brazil, but you need to make sure you have the correct documentation to get into each country. Below is how I accessed both sides from Argentina. Travel Tip – If you’re a U.S. citizen entering Argentina for the first time from another country, you need to pay a $160 USD reciprocity fee by credit card online at the Provincia Pagos website. Once registered, print your receipt for the immigration officer at the border. The fastest way to get to Iguazu Falls while traveling in Argentina is by air. Depending on where you’re coming from, book a flight to Iguazu (IGR) connecting through Buenos Aires (AEP). I flew Aerolineas Argentinas which offers daily flights from Buenos Aires to Iguazu. From the airport I hopped in a shared van to a town called Puerto Iguazu, the most popular homebase in Argentina for checking out the falls. (The most popular place to stay in Brazil is a town called Foz do Iguacu.) If you don’t want to fly (or are looking to save some money), buses are the next best option. Just be aware that taking a bus comes with a trade-off: you’ll save money, but end up sacrificing a lot of time. Getting to the Argentine Side: From Puerto Iguazu it is really easy to take a bus (AR$40 one-way) or hire a taxi (AR$100 one-way) to the entrance of Iguazu National Park (Parque Nacional Iguazu). Travel Tip – Some travelers who need a visa actually enter

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Baule, France

  Baule and Pornichet, France Baule. 16 720 inhabitants is located in the Loire-Atlantique department and the Pays de la Loire. Seaside resort on the Cote d'Amour, it is known for its long stretch of almost 15 kilometers at the bottom of the bay of Pouliguen and boasts the title of being the "most beautiful beaches in Europe". This qualifier, admittedly subjective, is probably responsible for the popularity of the stations along and are among the busiest on the Atlantic coast, attendance figures being demonstrated every year by the number of overnight stays during the period estivale. Baule is located on the Atlantic coast 77 km west of Nantes. The city is located in the bay of Pouliguen. Until 1900, Escoublac extended to the commune Pornichet (located on the site of the current boulevard Pornichet of the Republic) where she was bordering Saint-Nazaire; during the creation of the town of Pornichet, it has received 97 hectares of the territory of Escoublac, or the portion of the beach to Mazy bridge. The climate is oceanic because of the presence of the Atlantic Ocean. It is characterized by mild, rainy winters and cool, relatively humid summers. Snow is rare and frequent rain.         

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Street Art of Bogota: A Photo Essay

  Street Art of Bogota: A Photo Essay In many cities, ugly scribbles of graffiti are a sign of decay and neglect. This isn’t true in Bogota, where dozens of colorful “street artists” are repainting the city in creative ways: The street artists of Bogota all have serious day jobs. They are college professors, graphic designers and authors. They don’t always work under the cover of night- many have permission by the owners to use a building as their canvas.  Some of their designs are political, some are funny and some are just beautiful: Many of the graffiti artists in Bogota are well known for their distinct style and subject matter, such as Pez, who always paints big smiling bird-type creatures:

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Calvados, Normandy, France

  Calvados, Normandy, France The department of Calvados is the French department of the Lower Normandy region.   The department of Calvados is surrounded by the departments of Eure, Orne and Manche while the sea of ​​the Channel, her borders its northern coast. Calvados, prefecture Caen. The "Côte Fleurie" dotted with seaside resorts, is one of the strengths of Calvados, with many beaches, the most famous are those of Honfleur, Deauville, Cabourg. Tourism is one of the strengths of the department of economy. The development of the rail network as well as the geographical proximity of Calvados with Paris on the one hand and Britain on the other, have assured a well deserved success to its 120 kilometers of beaches. Seaside tourism being understood, it should not forget the historical tourism. It is on these beaches the landing of June 1944 took place. That is why there are many memorial, museum and other historical sites related. On landing and the Battle of Normandy, still in 1944, the department of Calvados has been hit hard. It still retains a whopping 900 historical monuments, making him one of the richest historical heritage departments.                                  

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Buenos Aires like a Local

  Buenos Aires like a Local When I first announced I was moving to Buenos Aires, people got so excited! General consensus seemed to be that it’s a beautiful, awesome city, and that many people would love to live there. “It’s one of the few international cities I could see myself living in,” one travel writing friend told me.  It is a beautiful, awesome city, but after three months of living in the city, I’m not so sure I’d pick up and move here permanently. Argentina is a difficult place to live for a lot of reasons (see: inflation, absurd import taxes, ridiculous bureaucracy etc.). For a few months, awesome, for a lifetime, no thanks. That being said, I can definitely put the experiences of the last few months to good use and share with you my wisdom on how to enjoy Buenos Aires like a Porteño (a local). Rent an Apartment If you’re going to be in the city for at least a week I strongly recommend renting an apartment. You won’t regret it. Hostels in Buenos Aires are overpriced and not very nice. Two people can rent a very comfortable studio apartment for a week for nearly the same price. You may even save money since you’ll have the ability to cook your own food. Eating out in this city is crazy expensive. More importantly, renting an apartment will give you a local experience you might not otherwise get. You’ll be in a neighborhood, all the better for establishing your local bakery, wine store and pizza place. Your experience will be influenced by the area you stay in: most expats and visitors find places in pricey Palermo or working class San Telmo, but we thoroughly enjoyed living in Monseratt, near the city center. Forget Healthy Living Argentinian food can be really delicious, but healthy it is not. Forget salads as you once knew them (anything other then limp lettuce, tomatoes and onions with a little bit of oil). On the off chance you do see a local tucking into a salad it’s most likely been drenched in salt (I am not exaggerating, I once saw a woman pour salt into her salad for 5 seconds straight). It’s not worth it. So spend your time eating pizza, pasta, ham and cheese sandwiches and meat. Lots of meat. It’s not the healthiest existence, but if you can survive, it’s pretty tasty. Especially that meat, everything you’ve heard is true. SO good.

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Esterel, France

     Esterel, France The Esterel is a mountain lowland lens, located in Provence on the edge of the Mediterranean near Cannes, between the Var and Alpes-Maritimes, in the southeast of France. It is crossed by the road of the Corniche However, the A8 motorway and the railway line Marseille - Toulon - Nice - Ventimiglia. Between the Mediterranean and Provence limestone, Esterel is a volcanic massif low altitude, in tormented and deeply furrowed terrain. These peaks, dark red, violently contrast with the sky and the transparent water of the Mediterranean that enters the Massif and offers creeks with steep walls, spikes, caps, coves or beaches in fine sand. Very difficult to access, long isolated and avoided, Attraction brigands and former convicts, Esterel will charm you with these diverse landscapes, mountainous, forest and sea, calm ... and sunshine. This is a primary volcanic rock mass, composed of Porphyry in its central part, doubled and sandstone layers clay on its coastal part. Its highest point is Mount Vinegar (616 meters). Originally the solid was completely covered with oaks and oaks, but repeated fires destroyed much of the vegetation. Note that in the warm period, many roads are closed to limit the risk of fire. The mild temperatures allows tropical plants thrive next to local plants (Palm, Eucalyptus, Agave Mimosas - Olives Lauriers, Heather .....). Le Massif is spread over three cities: Frèjus, St Raphael, Les Adrets. Many excursions await you, for example: Le Perthus valley, the valley of evil Infernet, Mt. Vinegar and peak Aurelle (Panoramic), the cave of Sainte Baume, beaches and coastal bays Le Massif de l'Esterel is nevertheless a fragile nature under the high protection of the National Forestry Office. No one has forgotten here wildfires that ravaged Massif in 1943.1964 and 1986. Wild camping is not allowed inside the massif and less than 200 meters from any forest And it is of course recommend not smoking and staying on hiking trails.                 

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Dordogne Region, France

  Dordogne Region, France The Dordogne region of south-west France is one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in the country. Visit this beautiful region of France and discover the chateaux, beautiful medieval towns and villages, unspoiled countryside and prehistoric caves - just some of the many reasons why the region attracts visitors.                        

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The Real Story of Evita

       The Real Story of Evita    Before I met Mike and tackled this whole “learn spanish and move to Buenos Aires” project, my only frame of reference for Argentina was the movie Evita. I loved that movie when I was 12; I listened to the soundtrack over and over. When I arrived here in Buenos Aires I was thrilled to see that yes, Evita love is a real thing here. It’s a bigger deal than I could have guessed really. Her picture is plastered around the city, her name is glorified and major political parties still invoke her name. Before we visited Mike’s grandmother in the suburbs he warned me, “Don’t bring up Evita to my grandmother. She’ll cry.” So who was Evita, and why do the Argentineans love her so much? How does someone go from a poor peasant to a political leader to an immortal legend? I went on a dedicated Evita tour with Viator to find out. It was very nearly a private tour, just myself and an older woman from Brazil. Our guide, young and beautiful like all Argentine women, switched easily back and forth between English and Spanish as we drove across the city. Over the course of several hours we visited several of the locations best associated with the woman behind the legend. Like all good legends Eva Peron came out of nowhere. She was born in 1919 as an illegitimate child in a very poor family. She moved to Buenos Aires and steadily worked her way up the fame ladder, first as a broadcaster and then as an actress. She wasn’t particularly good but she became quite famous anyways. At a fundraiser one night she

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Etretat, France

  Etretat, France - the Cliffs     Etretat is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in north-western France. It is a tourist and farming town situated about 32 km northeast of Le Havre. It's located on the coast of the Pays de Caux area.   Etretat is best known for its cliffs, including three natural arches and the pointed "needle". These cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted artists including Eugene Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet, and were featured prominently in the 1909 Arsene Lupin novel The Hollow Needle by Maurice Leblanc.   Two of the three famous arches are seen from the town, the Porte d'Aval, and the Porte d'Amont. The Manneporte is the third and the biggest one, and cannot be seen from the town.               

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The Truth About Kava in Fiji

  The Truth About Kava in Fiji Before I left for Fiji I heard plenty about kava: that fijians were obsessed with drinking it, that I would make you hallucinate, that it tasted terrible. Some of this was true, some of it was a flat out lie. So I thought I would set the record straight. Also known as Yaqona, kava plays a huge roll in Fiji’s culture and day to day life. It’s popular across the South Pacific but it is a particularly big deal in Fiji. Here is the down and dirty on Fiji’s “national drink:” Kava is NOT a Psychedelic Drug People tend to confuse kava with Ayuhuasca, the hallucinogenic ceremonial drink from the Amazon. Kava on the other hand, is not intended to give you visions or to put you into a trance. It’s effects are mild: one or two cups will make your face numb, a large amount will make you feel relaxed and sleepy. Drink too much and you might fall asleep, but that is the limits of it’s power. The majority of Fiji islanders drink kava on a daily basis with no ill effects. It might help to account though, for the slow and relaxed pace of the islands and the popular concept of “fiji time.”

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Pisa, Italy

  Pisa, Italy Pisa is an Italian city of about 86,000 inhabitants, Tuscany. It is famous throughout the world mainly for its Leaning Tower. It is crossed by the River Arno and located on the Via Aurelia. The authors of ancient Rome also speak of Pisa as an old city. Servius wrote that the city was founded in the thirteenth century BC. BC Strabo attributed the foundation of Pisa hero Nestor king of Pylos, after the fall of Troy. As for Virgil in his Aeneid, he writes that Pisa was already, at the time, an important center. The Leaning Tower is actually the bell tower of the Cathedral. 58 m high, it is composed of eight floors supported by columns Blind in Carrara marble. The tower leans from the early years of its construction, which began in 1173, due to subsidence. Piazza del Duomo is a vast esplanade, covered with grass and bordered on one side by medieval walls, which form the religious and monumental heart of the city. It was classified a UNESCO World Heritage in 1987. Pisa Cathedral Duomo started in 1064 and completed in mid-twelfth century, it is characteristic of the Pisan Romanesque style. The exterior is covered with green and white marble facade and is remarkable for its four rows of blind arches.  The Baptistery: circular building of 110m in circumference and wearing a dome 55 meters high, the largest baptistery in Italy. The Camposanto is the monumental cemetery. It consists of a cloister stretched lengthwise with Gothic windows four windows. The church San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno: built from the tenth century, it was enlarged in the twelfth century on the model of the Duomo. Its facade, with three levels of blind arches, was completed in the early fourteenth century by Giovanni Pisano. The church Santa Maria della Spina: a small highly decorated Gothic church was built between 1323 and 1370 to house a thorn from Christ's crown. Built on the banks of the Arno, it was dismantled stone by stone and rise to a higher level above the river. Santa Caterina d'Alessandria church. The San Francesco church, built in the late thirteenth century and with a simple marble facade of the seventeenth century. The San Frediano church. The San Zeno church. The church of San Sepolcro, which contains the tomb of Marie Mancini. The Santo Stefano Church: built by Vasari in 1569, its façade is made of white Carrara marble .. The Palazzo della Carovana: built by Vasari. The Palazzo dell'Orologio: it is an ancient medieval building, the residence of the captain of the people. Transformed in the seventeenth century. The Medici Palace, built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, is the seat of the Prefecture .. The Palazzo Agostini red brick Gothic palace of the fifteenth century. The Palazzo Gambacorti: City Hall. Dei Banchi the loggia. The collegio Puteano. The Archbishop's Palace. Guelph Tower: it was built by the Florentines in 1406. Destroyed in 1944, it was rebuilt in 1956. The Tuttomondo by Keith Haring. Piazza dei Cavalieri was the political heart of Pisa in the Middle Ages. Piazza delle Vettovaglie: rebuilt under the Medicis, it welcomes the horticultural market .. The piazza Garibaldi. Stretto Borgo: the main street of the medieval heart of Pisa, characterized by its arcades .. The Tuttomondo: large mural created by Keith Haring in 1989 on an outside wall of Sant'Antonio Abate Church. Museums Domus Galilaeana. Museo delle navi antiche. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. Orto Botanico di Pisa. Palazzo Blu. Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Reale .. Museo Nazionale di San Matteo. Museo delle sinopias. Museo nazionale degli strumenti per il calcolo. Museo di Storia Naturale e del territorio dell'Università di Pisa                                  

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Guadalajara in Photos

  Guadalajara in Photos You know how sometimes you just don’t, or can’t, click with a city? Mike and I both felt this way about Guadalajara. I was excited to visit: it’s the second biggest city in Mexico, the artsy alternative to Mexico City and the center of Mexico’s tiny microbrewery scene. In reality though, it was huge, it was scorching hot, it probably has a great personality somewhere, but I  just couldn’t get a foothold to understand or enjoy this place. There were a couple of bright spots though. The food was great, with some new Jalisco-centric specialties to try. The small town of Tlaquepaque was delightful: it’s  basically a cross between a city suburb and a small artist’s village. Here were the highlights of three days in and around Guadalajara: Guadalajara’s enormous cathedral, completed in 1854 The Palacio de Gobierno

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Rome Vatican,

  Rome Vatican, St. Peter's Basilica St. Peter's Basilica, or rather St. Peter the Vatican is the largest religious edifice of Catholicism. Its external dimensions of 219 m long and 136 m high and internal dimensions 188 m long, it is located at the Vatican, on the right bank of the Tiber, and its facade opens on the Place Saint-Pierre. Listed as World Heritage of Humanity established by UNESCO, the Basilica of St. Peter is considered the largest architectural design of its time and remains one of the most visited monuments in the world. Its construction, on the site of the old basilica built under Emperor Constantine, beginning April 18, 1506 and was completed in 1626. Its most important architects Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini. The St Peter's Basilica is an important place of pilgrimage that gathers on its site at least 150,000 Catholics every Sunday at the papal Angelus. This is not the cathedral of the diocese of Rome, as the bishop of the city office in Saint John Lateran, but it is the church of the pope and the Papal State. It is also one of two parish churches of the Vatican City. Although the New Testament does not mention the presence of the Apostle Peter, the first head of the Christian Church in Rome or his martyrdom in this city, the Catholic tradition says Saint Peter's Tomb is located under the main altar, the center of the church, beneath the Baroque canopy. St. Peter's Basilica is the second of the four major basilicas of Rome, after Saint John Lateran, before St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls. With an area of ​​2.3 ha and a capacity of over 20,000 people, it is the largest church in Christendom. It is also one of the holiest places of Christianity because it houses the tomb of St. Peter, which, according to Catholic tradition, was the first bishop of Antioch and Rome, so the first pope.              

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Talloires, France

  Talloires, France While in Annecy a few months ago we hopped a ferry and spent a day wandering the lakeside village of Talloires, France. It was early fall and absolutely everything was in bloom. Lake Annecy, renowned for it’s amazingly clean waters (the cleanest in all of Europe, in fact), dazzled with blues against the green peaks of the Alps above. The most convenient method for visiting Talloires is via ferry. The picture perfect boat dock seals the deal on the charm ahead. Le sigh, you know where this post is headed…   Strolling to town, we found small motor boats and dinghies bobbing in the harbor, a cute little beach and a luxurious swimming lakeside pool in front of Hotel Cottage Bise.  

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French Pacific Islands

  French Pacific Islands French Polynesia is a country overseas of the French Republic, made up of 5 islands, totaling 118 islands, 67 inhabited Located in the southern Pacific Ocean, about 6000 km east of Australia: the Society Islands with the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands Leeward, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier, the Austral Islands and the Marquesas Islands. It also includes the huge maritime areas French Polynesia had 259,706 inhabitants, French is the only official language of French Polynesia is a community of overseas territories. The currency is the CFP that is not listed on the exchange market, its course being fixed relative to the euro: 1 euro is worth 119.3317 Pacific Franc French Polynesia has a moderately developed economy, dependent on tourism and financial allocations of the state, including DGDE. It is essentially a service economy, with limited industrial and agricultural sector in difficulty. Most of the goods consumed are imported. The culture of the black pearl for jewelry is very developed, but this sector is in big trouble, and knows a recurring problem of overproduction. This phenomenon also concerns the production of Tahitian vanilla, whose quality is known, but is also the most expensive on the world market. Polynesian cuisine is characterized by a wide variety of dishes based on seafood and exotic fruits and influenced by French and Chinese cuisines. Of course there are clear differences according to the archipelagos. The Maa Tahiti means the traditional meal usually eaten on Sundays and feast days in the Society Islands and the Tuamotus.  This territory includes several groups of islands and atolls, the most important and most populated is Tahiti.                    

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Stunning Fairytale Architecture of Norway

  Stunning Fairytale Architecture of Norway     When most people envision Norway, they picture breathtaking landscapes like deep coastal fjords, soaring mountains and glaciers, but the country is also home to some magnificent fairytale architecture, including Borgund Stave Church and this barn in Valldal, pictured above. The stave church can be found in the village of Borgund, and is classified as a triple nave stave church of the Sogn-type. It’s the best preserved of Norway’s 28 extant stave churches. Barns are an important part of Norwegian history. Lars Petter Olsen Valldal spent years building this functional and picturesque barn bridge in the Valldal Val

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Noirmoutier Island, France

     Noirmoutier Island, France The island of Noirmoutier is a French island in the Atlantic located in the department of Vendee. It is since 1971 connected to the mainland by bridge. It consists of four municipalities grouped in a Community of communes of the island of Noirmoutier. Its length is approximately 18 km, its width varies from 500 meters to 12 km and covers an area of ​​49 km2. Noirmoutier is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, located in the northwest of the Vendee, on the northern part of the Bay of Biscay. It is located south of the Loire estuary, northeast of the island of Yeu and southeast of Belle-Ile-en-Mer. Separated from the mainland by the Strait of Fromentine, located at the south end, it closes the Bay of Bourgneuf or "Bay of Britain" in its western and southern part. The island is often called the "island of mimosas" for its mild climate allows mimosas to grow and bloom in winter. His landscapes are dominant salt marshes, dunes and forests of oaks.             Wood La Chaize  

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Rescuing A Drowning Duck

  Rescuing A Drowning Duck   When you think of animals in danger of drowning, you likely don’t think of ducks, after all these adorable birds make their life on the water. Yet, one duck living in Norway nearly did drown, but thanks to one kind-hearted, and very brave man, the duck got another quack at life. 36-year-old Lars Jørun Langøien is a bearded hero in the animal community. The Norwegian ice bather is now being hailed the new King of the Ducks. When he arrived at the partially frozen lake, Lars was already wearing his swimming gear, as he was planning to get in the freezing cold waters, but he wasn’t expecting to see a duck in trouble. What Lars, who is clearly not afraid of a little cold water, does next will warm your heart! The afternoon started off  innocently enough, with Lars planning to take an ice bath just about the same time a sweet little duck was taking a walk across the

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Guedelon, France

     Guedelon, France Guedelon in Treigny, Yonne or Guedelon Castle is a historical reconstruction site of a medieval-castle, started in 1997, according to the techniques and materials used in the Middle Ages. Architectural project to improve our knowledge castellologie, the construction method is that of castles built in the thirteenth century from the medieval period (late twelfth century to the early fourteenth century, consistent with the architecture type Philippian) , starting from a greenfield site and using only techniques of the time as known Puisaye in Yonne. Based on an idea of ​​Michel Guyot, owner and restorer of the castle of Saint-Fargeau, this project sees its foundation stone laid in 1997 and is expected to last 25 years. The site of Guedelon, made on an old wooded career, has several aspects:  The tourist, teaching: project open and adapted for school and group tours. It allows to discover the working conditions and trades of the Middle Ages; science: the project can implement some theoretical historical knowledge of the art of building castles; The human: the site has created jobs and forty five two hundred people volunteer reinforce the teams; Social: Employment on the youth camp who have failed can train them. In 2004, two of them have passed the CAP stonemason. Known throughout Europe for testing of experimental archeology, approaches to better understand the processes of the past. Rather than comply with schematic or hypothetical models, archaeologists have tried to recover the technical materially relearning gestures. These are pre-historians who first abandoned the practice of speculation for making real flint tools. For many surveys, ethnographic surveys were of great help, but for most others, only the archaeological evidence and the writings of ancient authors, with all the vagaries of interpretation, could serve as sources. This required an additional exploration. Understanding the movement of the tool and reproduction performances in the former is imposed so as unavoidable as the reconstruction models or by computer graphics, or actual size. We saw a lake reborn and village and the Roman fortifications; we redid medieval war machines. The interest is not only to replicate the object but its operation or use; we tested the effect of swords and armor strength; was launched bullets and fired from crossbow deadly. But all this relates to isolated objects, to particular functions, one-off sequences. Guedelon offers a completely new experiment: the analysis of the complexity of the site in action, continuing a global operation. Guedelon started as a medieval site on a concept that most difficulties are considered only as and when they arise. The initial project has not solved all of the plans and the masses nor the timeline web work. We first dealt with the most immediate: the manufacture of mortars and size and supply of stone. The purpose could have turned into Conservatory and presentation of trades. The definition of an era, the mid-thirteenth century, and the staging of an unfolding strategy gave the site its true dimension. Already in this, because the share of improvisation causes inevitable 'manufacturer's remorse ", the company is representative of the medieval path. The client and the contractor know that every new problems will arise. Not only this is not surprising, but it is the interest of such a work. And the merit is to be alert, to watch as a promise, every complication or frustration because it is part of the reason for the site of Guedelon. Guedelon is not primarily a place to do demonstrations of tools and skilled craftsmanship. Of course there is also this, and much more because it wants an educational tool, a place to reflect as much as interest in the professions. But ultimately, it is not so much to build a castle that to experiment, to rediscover, to check and find answers to the obstacle course of such attempt. In 1997, while the plans of the castle are made by the chief architect of historical monuments Jacques Moulin, the site of Guedelon is cleared. Two years later, the court is backfilled and the first walls rise to a half meters high; the tower of the chapel and the West Curtain gradually take shape. In 2001, the perimeter frame mounted to three meters. While the construction of the stone bridge ends, those of the spiral staircase in the tower of the chapel (setting up of twelve steps) and crawling stairs of the main tower are continuing. The bridge was completed in August 2002, consists of 57 oak trunks and 670 hand-forged nails. The tower of the chapel now has a ribbed cross vault and 12 more steps on its spiral staircase. It is also the beginning of the construction of the gate. The year 2003 was marked by the construction of the stately home and the loading of the roof of the main tower. The next two years saw the development of the ground floor of the main tower: the ground is paved, we construct the door, the stunner, archers. The construction of the creepy staircase continues and we finally started building the tile which ends in 2006. The stately receives its frame. During the 2011 season, the roof cover is performed, the curtain is dealt two squirrel cage to mount the material on the main tower. 45 workers can already admire up to the force of arms, the walled enclosure, indoor ranges and their vaults ...                       

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Stunning Photos Of Starry Skies

  Stunning Photos Of Starry Skies     The night sky is a truly beautiful thing, a window into the world beyond planet Earth. Starry skies have remained a part of cultures all across the world since the beginning of time as we make wishes on stars and feel inspired by the beauty above. Stars are powerful forces that go through many different stages of life and can survive for thousands of years before eventually burning out. Some stars are so massive they are larger, more brilliant and capable of outputting a million times more energy than our sun. Different parts of the world offer a unique vision of starry skies. The darker it is on the streets the brighter the sky shines from above. The stunning photos on this list offer some of the most beautiful images of the night sky in all its glittering glory, enjoy! 1. Bright And Brilliant Above The Clouds 2. The World Beyond 3. Desert Starry Night Sky

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Vaucluse, Gordes, Abbey Semanque - France

  Vaucluse, Gordes, Abbey Semanque - France The village of Gordes Gordes 2060 inhabitants is a village and a French commune, located in the department of Vaucluse, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. This is one of the most visited villages of the Luberon Regional Park. Perched on a rock, the village is classified among the most beautiful villages in France with its rich and varied heritage: two abbeys, very many old hamlets, several water mills and windmills and hundreds of dry stone huts or bories . Gordes is located in the center of the department of Vaucluse, on the southern flank of the mountains of Vaucluse, dominating the top of a rocky outcrop Calavon valley and facing the Luberon mountain. The town of Gordes is bordering on those of Venasque, Le Beaucet and north walls, Joucas and Roussillon, east, Goult, St. Pantaleon, and Beaumettes Oppède south and Cabrières-d'Avignon and Saumane-de-Vaucluse West. It is located halfway between the road from Cavaillon to Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt. The village of Gordes is meanwhile at the boundary between these two reliefs, on a limestone promontory of Vaucluse mountains, overlooking the plain of Calavon 120 meters rising to 370 meters.                                      

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It is the Time to Drop Everything and Visit Alask

  It is the Time to Drop Everything and Visit Alaska   With summer in full swing, for those who want to experience spectacular wilderness scenery there are few better places in America than the 49th state. Now truly is the time to drop everything and visit Alaska, where you can enjoy longer days with more sunlight than any other state – and, many other places in the world. Pictured above, Bald Mountain Air takes visitors to Brooks, the most famous place in Katmai to see bears. While relatively few people live in Alaska, significant populations of wildlife do exist here.

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Mont Saint-Michel, France

     Mont Saint-Michel, France Mont-Saint-Michel is an island commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre  off the country's northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. 100 hectares in size, the island has a population of 44 (2009). The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times and since the 8th century AD has been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name. The structural composition of the town exemplifies the feudal society that constructed it: on top, God, the abbey and monastery; below, the great halls; then stores and housing; and at the bottom, outside the walls, fishermen's and farmers' housing. Its unique position of being an island only 600 metres from land made it readily accessible at low tide to the many pilgrims to its abbey. Equally, this position made it readily defensible as an incoming tide stranded, drove off, or drowned, would-be assailants. By capitalizing on this natural defence the Mont remained unconquered during the Hundred Years' War with a small garrison successfully defending it against a full attack by the English in 1433. The reverse benefits of its natural defence were not lost on Louis XI, who turned the Mont into a prison. Thereafter the abbey began to be used more regularly as a jail during the Ancien Regime. One of France's most recognizable landmarks, Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and more than 3 million people visit it each year.                     

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New Zealand, the Most Amazing Adventure Country

  New Zealand, the Most Amazing Country for Adventure Lovers New Zealand is a country on many traveler’s bucket lists – and, for outdoor adventure lovers it should be No. 1. It offers adventure experiences that are as varied as the landscape whether on land, in the sky, underground or on water. Pictured above, New Zealand is a hiker’s paradise, with treks like the one to Mount Roy with a summit that towers nearly 5,200 feet above sea level. From the top, you can take in a breathtaking 360-degree view of most of Lake Wanaka, Mount Aspiring, Matukituki Valley, the Wanaka township, and see even as far as Hawkdun Range in Central Otago. Sky diving    You’ll get the best views from above so may want to make the

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Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer

  Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. It comprises two small villages: Le Rayol and Canadel. They are situated along the D559 which goes along the coast at an average distance of approximately 200 metres from the sea. Rayol-Canadel-Sur-Mer is in between Cavaliere and Cavalaire-sur-mer. There are villas above and below the road on the hillside facing the sea and there is a view of L'Ile du Levant and L'Ile de Port-Cros. It has one beach at Canadel and another at Le Rayol. Carla Bruni, model, singer and wife of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, visited the beach at Canadel before she became famous. For many years until 2007, there was a swimming race around the headland from one beach to the other but it was stopped after health and safety concerns. Every year there is a fireworks display on 15 August to celebrate when Allied troops landed on the beaches during World War II to liberate France in Operation Romeo. The Domaine du Rayol is the most popular attraction in the village and contains gardens of plants from around the world.      

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Best Croatian Islands

  Best Croatian Islands Just off the coast of Croatia, you will find a stunning array of beautiful islands, each offering its own unique array of attractions and sights. There are over a thousand Croatian islands varying in size from small rocks in the sea to Cres island, which is the 20st largest island in the Mediterranean. An overview of Croatia’s most sought-after islands. Krk Often referred to as the ‘golden island,’ Krk is the nearest of the Croatian islands to Western Europe. It is actually connected to the mainland via a bridge, making it easily accessible. Visitors to Krk will find that this delightful island boasts a wide array of landscapes. While the northern end of the island is almost barren, the southern tip of the island offers gentle bays. In the inland area, rocky hills and fertile fields provide the ideal backdrop for cultivating grapes. Popular activities on Krk include scuba diving, jet skiing, waterskiing, and paragliding.  Rab The island of Rab is situated just off the northern coast of Croatia. One of the most densely wooded of the Croatian islands; Rab is home to a wide array of botanical life, including non-native plants. Among the most popular attractions on Rab is Komrcar Park, home to numerous plants and trees, including a 100-year old agave. Due to the presence of more than 300 freshwater springs on the island, Rab is one of the greenest islands in the Adriatic Sea. The warm summers and mild winters make Rab an excellent place to visit any time of the year.  Kornati Comprised of approximately 130 islands, reefs, and islets, the Kornati Islands are sprinkled with a breathtaking array of vineyards, olive trees, and fig trees. Mediterranean scrubs and rare trees complete a landscape set against chalk limestone. Tourist can take a stroll along the meandering pathways to enjoy a view of the open sea from one of the massive cliffs rising up from these islands. Human presence on the Kornati islands dates back to the Neolithic Age, but due to deforestation and subsequent erosion the islands are now uninhabited. If you are looking to get back to the basics and enjoy simple beauty of island life, the Kornati Islands are a great option.

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Champagne Avenue, Reims, France

  Champagne Avenue, Reims, France Reims, a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies 129 km east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire. Reims played a prominent ceremonial role in French monarchical history as the traditional site of the crowning of the kings of France. The Cathedral of Reims (damaged by the Germans during the First World War but restored since) played the same role in France as Westminster Abbey in the United Kingdom. It housed the Holy Ampulla (Sainte Ampoule) containing the Saint Chrême (chrism), allegedly brought by a white dove (the Holy Spirit) at the baptism of Clovis in 496. It was used for the anointing, the most important part of the coronation of French kings. Some sources regard Reims as the de facto capital of the province of Champagne because it is the most populous city in the region. The 2008 census recorded 188,078 inhabitants in the city of Reims proper (the commune), and 291,735 inhabitants in the metropolitan area. Reims, along with Epernay and Ay, functions as one of the centres of champagne production. Many of the largest champagne-producing houses, known as les grandes marques, have their headquarters in Reims, and most open for tasting and tours. Champagne ages in the many caves and tunnels under Reims, which form a sort of maze below the city. Carved from chalk, some of these passages date back to Roman times. The Champagne Avenue is a famous street located in Epernay, the 'Capital of champagne', in the Champagne-Ardenne Region of France. Its name derives from the presence of many leading champagne producers such as Moët et Chandon, Mercier and De Castellane. Residents say that this avenue is the most expensive in the world, more so than the Champs-Elysees in Paris, because of the millions of bottles of champagne stored in the kilometres of chalk cellars beneath it. It has become a tourist attraction for Epernay and the Region; the biggest champagne producers organise visits to show how the drink is produced and stored.                  

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Tourist Attractions in Croatia

  Tourist Attractions in Croatia    With its rocky, indented shore and more than a thousand islands, Croatia boasts one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline that Europe has to offer. In addition, many of Croatia’s coastal towns and cities have a fascinating history and are filled with the historical remains of Roman and Venetian times. A list of the top tourist attractions in Croatia. Gornji Grad Gornji Grad is the medieval core of Zagreb and translates as Upper Town. It developed as two separate towns, Kaptol, the seat of the Bishop, and Gradec, the free town where tradesmen and artisans lived. The towns merged in the 1770s to form the northern section of historic Zagreb. The focal point of Gornji Grad is the square around St. Mark’s Church, the parish church of Old Zagreb.  Euphrasian Basilica The 6th century Euphrasian Basilica is the top attraction of Poreč, a 2,000 year old town in Istria. It is one of the best examples of early Byzantine architecture in the Mediterranean region and, for the most part, has retained its original shape, though accidents, fires and earthquakes have altered a few details. The present basilica was built on the site of an older basilica during the period of Bishop Euphrasius. The wall mosaics were executed by Byzantian masters and the floor mosaics by local experts.  Mljet The island of Mljet is one of the larger islands off the coast of Southern Croatia. With 72% of the island covered by forests and the rest dotted by fields, vineyards and small villages, Mljet is a perfect place to relax. The island contains two salt lakes, Veliko and Malo Jezero, that are located at the western end of the island. In the middle of Veliko Jezero, there is a small island with an old Benedictine monastery. Diocletian's Palace Diocletian’s Palace in Split was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian in

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Rotheneuf, Carved Rocks, France

  Rotheneuf, Carved Rocks, France     A 5 km from Saint-Malo 5 towards Cancale, the Rotheneuf Carved Rocks are a strange world populated by characters from another time: the grimacing faces shaped by human hands evoke medieval gargoyles and beings phantasmagoric of our cathedrals. These rocks are carved of Rotheneuf a spontaneous environments among the best known of art brut. They were made in 1894-1910 by Father Adolphe Julien Fouere, said the priest Foure born in 1839 in Saint-Thual Ille-et-Vilaine and died in 1910 in Rothéneuf, as he signed himself on postcards he was signing his visitors. It was at the age of 55, he reached seems deaf, and afflicted with speech problems, the abbot Fouré is forced to abandon his ministry and retire on the Emerald Coast at Rotheneuf, 5 km from Saint-Malo. Rotheneuf is now in the suburbs of the city, but in 1900 it was only part of the municipality Parame seaside resort in vogue. The priest then began a monumental work directly carved on the rocks, sculpted outdoor mural, thank you to the sea erosion. For fifteen years, from 1894-1910, he sculpted dozens of statues this remarkable set of granite rocks overlooking the sea. The figures were carved bas-relief faces with completely cleared. They were the original polychrome, the features of some of its figures being underlined tar. The inspiration of the Abbot Foure is varied. It does not represent as has often said, the legend of an imaginary family of smugglers or pirates of the coast, but rather known figures relevant to current events of his time ... The Boer War and is the subject of a famous skit camping men, President Krüger, Colonel de Villebois-Mareuil ... The colonial news of his time seems to have plenty busy. In militant Catholic, nationalist and patriot, perhaps royalist, he seems to have wanted in many places these sculptures make propaganda for the evangelization of peoples submitted by France. The abbot also sculpts legendary Breton saints like Saint-Budoc represented twice in the rocks in a stone trough and lying on her. The famous man of Rotheneuf, Jacques Cartier, is one of the favorite themes of the abbot who represented not only in the rocks but also of wood in the hermitage he lived in the village a few miles from the coast Visitors have always been many to come and visit the carved rocks. (Note that the entrance fee: € 2 50) Even today it is a very popular curiosity, alas increasingly eroded by time, the spray, the runoff. Researchers recently revealed new sources of information that allow to revive the memory of Father and know him better, the "museum guide" published in 1919, for example, or the articles published in his lifetime in newspapers such as "L'Eclair", "The Emerald Coast", "The Hi", "Reading for All", etc.              

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Mysterious Lost Worlds On Planet Earth

  Mysterious Lost Worlds On Planet Earth   It seems like every square inch of planet Earth has already been discovered, observed and thoroughly analyzed. Luckily, there are many places around the world that remain largely uncharted and full of mystery. Here are 9 of the most mysterious lost worlds on planet Earth just waiting to be explored. 1. Mount Roraima, Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana 2.2 million years ago this massive mountain formed on the border of Guyana, Brazil and Venezuela. The most intriguing part of the mountain is the large plateau at the very tip top, 9,000 feet up in the clouds where it rains nearly everyday. The sheer height of the plateau has inspired writers, explorers and many others throughout history. A wide variety of unique wildlife thrives here, although few will ever have a chance to see. 2. Lake Vostok, Antartica Lake Vostok is huge; in fact it’s one of the largest lakes in the world. Lake Ontario is close in size, but Lake Vostok is double its depth. The deepest portions of Lake Vostok, from 2.5 miles down, have been sealed off by ice for the last 15 million years. Samples taken from deep within the lake contained the DNA of unrecognized species, meaning science has much to discover isolated beneath this ice. 3. Sin Doong Cave, Vietname This expansive cave

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Saint-Ceneri-le-Gerei, France

    Saint-Ceneri-le-Gerei, France Saint-Ceneri-le-Gerei 128 inhabitants is a French commune in the Orne department of Basse Normandie region, Saint-Ceneri is a bastion of Normandy on the border of the departments of Orne, Sarthe and Mayenne. In a meander of the Sarthe Alençon happens and flows to Le Mans, Saint-Ceneri is hoisted on a granite rock and irregular pito. The houses overlook the R is the Sarthe when they are superimposed on the terrace on the west side. R ten kilometers southwest of Alencon, Saint-Ceneri is located northeast of the Alps Mancelles in the park   Normandie-Maine Regional Nature. Saint-Ceneri-le-R is connected Gerei the nearby town of Alençon, head of the department by the provincial road 101.Saint-Ceneri-le-Gérei located r the southern boundary of the department of Orne and Basse-Normandie region is part of the Regional Natural Park Normandie-Maine, and is at the heart of the natural region of the Alps Mancelles essentially characterized by the collection of the Sarthe Valley. From its rich past,   Saint-Ceneri-le-Gerei has retained a heritage that earned him to be included among the most beautiful villages in France. Its rich built heritage and its natural setting make Saint-Ceneri-le-Gerei is a place of walks and discoveries.                    

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Washington One of America’s Most Spectacular Stat

  Washington One of America’s Most Spectacular States If you’ve traveled the entire U.S. you probably already know that Washington State is one of the country’s most breathtaking of all – and, if you haven’t, here is a look at why it’s surely one of America’s most spectacular states. From impressive wildlife, countless waterfalls and turquoise lakes to towering mountains and a rugged coastline, Washington has it all. Orcas Washington is one of the few states where orcas can be seen in the wild. The majority of sightings occur along the extreme western edge of the San Juan Islands, where they do nearly all of their playing and hunting for salmon. Here, Mount Baker looms over the water in the background. Waterfalls

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Ecuador, South America

     Ecuador Ecuador, and the Republic of Ecuador is a country in South America, south border of Peru and Colombia to the north, bathed in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Its inhabitants are Ecuadorians. Country divided into three major regions: the Pacific coast, where the country's main city Guayaquil is located, the Andean part of the country, where the capital Quito and the Ecuadorian Amazon, east of the country. The first two of these areas concentrate most of the population and economic activity of the country, while the Amazon region, less populated, contains significant hydrocarbon resources and an extremely high biodiversity. To these three continental regions, add an island region formed by the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean to a thousand kilometers west of the coast.    

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Crazy Photographers

  Crazy Photographers   Really great photography takes skill, dedication, perseverance, and a little bit of crazy. In order to get just the right angle, lighting, and perspective you’ve got to think, plan and then stop at nothing to make it happen. Some of the world’s craziest photographers won’t let anything get in the way of a perfect photo opportunity, even if that means defying gravity or risking their own safety. At the end of the day it was all worth it so long as they captured the perfect shot. The devotion photographers give to their trade is truly inspiring, as well as a bit jaw dropping at times. Case and point, check out these crazy photographers who will do anything, and we mean ANYTHING, to capture the perfect picture. 1. You Say His Feet + Tripod Are On Fire, He Says He’s Capturing The Perfect Photo    2. Brutal Attacks Do Happen, The Strong Get Up And Keep Shooting Photos    3. Scaling Buildings Like A Superhero    4. Bend It Like A Photographer    5. Great Photography Takes Many Skills, Like Building Camouflage Snow Huts   6. The Other Swans Were A Tad Bit Suspicious, But This Took A Lot Of Planning   7. And You Think Your Selfies Are Cool…   8. Which One Do You Like Best? Sometimes being great at your craft means asking others for their opinion.

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Cuba, Caribbean Paradise

  Cuba, Caribbean Paradise   Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country in the Caribbean comprising the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud and several archipelagos. Havana is Cuba's capital and its largest city. The United States is to the north of Cuba 150 km away, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands to the northeast, Mexico to the west 210 km away, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica to the south and Haiti to the southeast.   Cuba was inhabited by Amerindian tribes before the landing of explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492, who claimed it for the Kingdom of Spain. Cuba remained a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, after which it gained nominal independence as a de facto U.S. protectorate in 1902. The fragile republic endured increasingly radical politics and social strife, and despite efforts to strengthen its democratic system, Cuba came under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Growing unrest and instability led to Batista's ousting in January 1959 by the July 26 movement, which afterwards established a government under the leadership of Fidel Castro. Since 1965 the country has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba.

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Mu Cang Chai District in Vietnam

  Mu Cang Chai District in Vietnam The magnificent scenery and breathtaking beauty of the Mu Cang Chai District in Vietnam may very well and truly be the most heart-stoppingly exquisite beauty our incredible world has to offer. The Mu Cang Chai District, located in the northeastern part of Vietnam and some 1000 meters above sea level, is perhaps more unique than any other destination in the world because of its terraced rice field treasures.  That, along with its beautiful, humble, and authentic culture, make it a destination that will forever live in the heart of the traveler.     Mu Cang Chai is mainly composed of terraced rice fields that travel down the mountainside.  The natives created this ingenious way to grow and harvest rice, and thus create a way of life for themselves and families, when normally rice is grown more easily on plateaus.  The natives found that by growing their rice in these terraced ways, it prevented water from trickling down the mountain, which would have resulted in their rice crops not receiving enough water.  The result is astonishing.

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Tunisian Republic

  Tunis Tunis is both the capital and the largest city of Tunisia. The greater metropolitan area of Tunis, often referred to as Grand Tunis, holds some 2,700,000 inhabitants. Situated on a large Mediterranean Sea gulf (the Gulf of Tunis), behind the Lake of Tunis and the port of La Goulette, the city extends along the coastal plain and the hills that surround it. At its core lies its antic medina, a world heritage site. Beyond this district lie the suburbs of Carthage, La Marsa, and Sidi Bou Said. Just through the Sea Gate (also known as the Bab el Bahr and the Porte de France) begins the modern city, or Ville Nouvelle, transversed by the grand Avenue Habib Bourguiba (often referred to by popular press and travel guides as "the Tunisian Champs-Elysees"), where the colonial-era buildings provide a clear contrast to smaller, older structures. As the capital city of the country, Tunis is the focus of Tunisian political and administrative life; it is also the centre of the country's commercial activity. The expansion of the Tunisian economy in recent decades is reflected in the booming development of the outer city where one can see clearly the social challenges brought about by rapid modernization in Tunisia.    

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10 Things About Canada that Shock Visitors

     10 Things About Canada that Shock First-Time Visitors   Canadians are known to be well-mannered, nice and don’t mind being out of the spotlight – but not today. Sorry! Canada isn’t all about maple syrup, the Double-Double at Tim Horton’s, killer bears, snow, and loads of poutine. There’s more to know about this huge country and whether it’s weird or not, you better be informed. So let’s start now, eh? 1. Milk in Bags   Before someone mentions “Bagged milk? That’s not true!”, let’s be clear that most Canadians drink milk from jugs – but that’s not the case when you step in Ontario and Quebec. These regions get their milk packed in liter-sized plastic bags. In 1967, DuPont brought the idea of using a milk bag in Canada using equipment developed in Europe. The local dairy made the change because using plastic bags was more convenient than using breakable glass bottles. People in the said regions still use bags because they preserve the milk well and individual bags are lighter to carry than three to four liter milk jugs. The use of milk bags puzzles most people outside of Ontario and Quebec and the issue about Jugs vs. Bags has been a debatable topic among Canadians. Which one do you prefer? 2. Eh?   Just like the milk in plastic bags, the expression “eh” is also a regional thing. “Eh” is used widely in Central Canada but less frequently in the prairies and Atlantic Canada (though some say that it is also used in British Columbia). However, this expression seems not to have originated in Canada and may have been derived from the native French “hey” or the Scottish “eh”. What’s unique to Canada’s “eh” is its ability to take on different meanings depending on where it is interjected and the expression with which it is delivered. “Eh” can be used in different ways: for statement of opinion, statement of facts, commands, exclamations, questions, to say “pardon”, in fixed expressions, insults, accusations, or in a narrative. Too many, eh? Nowadays, it’s seen that the use of “eh’” in Canadian cities has been declining and the word “right” enters as its replacement, popularly used by young, urban speakers of Canadian English. 3. Moose Alert It’s not uncommon to find road signs on highways warning every passing vehicle about possible moose encounters. Moose (Meese, Moosi?) aren’t underestimated in Canada and you should watch out too if it’s your first time driving through the country’s highways. A male moose has

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Ferrara, Italy

  Ferrara, Italy Ferrara  with 134 600 inhabitants is an Italian town in the province of Ferrara in Emilia Romagna. Located in the Po Delta on the arm named Po Volano, the present city dates back to the fourteenth century, when it was ruled by the Este family. Its historic center a World Heritage Fig. The most important monument is the Este Castle, also known as Castle of St Michael, in a square brick building with four defensive towers, located in the city center. It was built from 1385 and partially restored from 1554. The Palazzo del Municipio, or town hall, rebuilt in the eighteenth century, was the first residence of the Este family which is also behind the construction of the Palazzo Schifanoia Alberto V d'Este in 1385. Near the city hall is St. George Cathedral, built by Guglielmo degli Adelardi and consecrated in 1135 when were finished the main facade and the Romanesque side façades. The arcades of the upper part of the façade are from the thirteenth century and the interior was restored in the Baroque style from 1712. The bell tower, of Renaissance was realized in 1451-1493 and completed in the late sixteenth century. Opposite the cathedral is the Palazzo della Ragione, built in brick in the Gothic style in 1315-1326. Close by is the current headquarters of the University, while his former seat, Palazzo Paradiso houses the Biblioteca Civica Ariostea in which is the most complete collection of editions of the Orlando Furioso and Tasso few letters and the Bible that belonged to Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican friar. The city is proud of its important municipal collection of works by local painters Giovanni Boldini and Filippo de Pisis City appreciated directors Italian and foreign, it was the setting, among other films, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Vittorio De Sica, 1970 The Long Night 43 Florestano Vancini, 1960, Beyond the clouds Michelangelo Antonioni - Wim Wenders 1995 The Profession of Arms The city is today an important university center, a hospital complex and a minor art cities most visited in Italy. Its walls of Renaissance walls, over nine kilometers long, can be entirely covered on foot or by bicycle.                  

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Castelrotto, Italy

  Castelrotto, Italy   Castelrotto 6170 inhabitants is a town in the province of Bolzano in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy.  Every year in October, takes place the traditional "Spatzenfest" gathering around the "Kastelruther Spatzen" (group volksmusik very popular in German speaking countries, from Kastelruth - German Castelrotto) other stars of volksmusik. This 3-day festival, held under a giant tent, attracts many spectators.              

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Seychelles, Fauna and Flora

  Seychelles, Fauna and Flora Real natural living museum, Seychelles is a sanctuary for many rare species of flora and fauna on earth. Half of its land area is devoted to national parks. The local vegetation is one of the greatest assets of the country. The vegetation is particularly rich in species not widespread throughout the world. More than 600 rare species and more than 75 of them there are, the coco de mer palm trees and different varieties, grown exclusively on the Seychelles granitic islands. Sea coconut palm produces the largest seed in the world, it can reach more than 15 kilos. 11 species of birds, including Pie singer Seychelles Warbler swallows the black paradise fly and the little Duke bare legs, live only in granitic islands of the Seychelles. Aldabra serves as a natural refuge at the last flightless bird of the Indian Ocean, the "Sacred Rail Aldabra". Isolated for millions of years for a variety of predators, Seychelles could keep unique flora and fauna. The Seychelles natural environment favored the development of virgin forest and incredible biodiversity. The abundance of virgin forests and vast marine parks make Seychelles a sanctuary for fauna and flora. Seychelles flora now account for more than 70 endemic species and fauna of about 80 species. To name a few: the tortoise that lives up to 300 years, the Aldabra Rail and the enigmatic Seychelles scops whose song earned him the name of sawyer bird, bat Giant, the frog sooglouss Reserve Morne Seychellois, lizards ... There is also a large amount of land birds or sea tail straws, terns which besides the company logo Air Seychelles, puffins, frigate, black parrot Mai on Praslin Valley and the widow the dike, over 200 species for nearly 7 million birds (a large amount of camp are on Bird Island). Lush, fragrant and flowery. It is marked by its beauty and wealth (nearly 2000 plant species): Mangrove, Tamaka, coconuts, palm trees, sandragons, lataniers, chalices Pope, flamboyant, orchids, hibiscus, mango or cinnamon are all exotic touches and colorful.             

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The Montoire Festival

  The Montoire Festival Montoire-sur-le-Loir is a French commune located in the Loir-et-Cher region is a rural town Centre. For over 30 years, the festival committee invites many folk musicians and dancers from around the world. Performances take place each evening in churches, castles and palaces as a canvas. Large flower parade in the streets of Montoire and painting exhibition in the cloister of the Augustinians. Every August, the festival receives a dozen troops from around the world, such as China and Bolivia. Montoire is a very old city. The church Saint Gilles was on its vault of Romanesque frescoes, which still bear witness by the drawings that has made Mr. Launay, his former religious influence. The house Montoire ensures its renowned warrior. The city and its countryside, bordering the Blaisois and Perche, are integrated in County Vendome. During the war being fought Henry II of England and Philip Augustus, Richard the Lionheart takes, in 1188, the castle Montoire then goes on Lavardin.                                        

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Meet The Saddest Cat On The Internet

    Meet The Saddest Cat On The Internet      She’s pretty and popular but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a sadder looking cat! This adorable feline truly looks like she’s having the worst day ever, but really she was just born with a sad face. Luhu is an adorable tabby cat taking the Internet by storm with her ‘resting sad face’. The saddest cat on the Internet has earned a lot of popularity thanks to her adorable and rather misleading frown. Despite what her face looks like, Luhu lives a happy life in Bejing with two older tabby cats, Barher and Bardie. It’s hard to compete with a face that cute, making Luhu the most popular cat in the house. In fact, Luhu has over 70,000 followers on Instagram. Luhu’s owner, Maggie Liu, frequently shares pics of Luhu on her Instagram. Don’t forget to follow along for a dose of cuteness served with a frown. Due to Luhu’s face shape it always looks like she’s a bit sad, even when she’s having a great time. It’s kind of like those people that look really mean but then you get to know them and realize they just have a ‘resting bitch face’. Looking at Luhu you’d assume she has serious issues with depression, but no, not so much. Just goes to show, you can’t judge a book by its cover!

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Laos - Natural Places You Must Visit

  Laos - Natural Places You Must Visit   When in Southeast Asia, you might have always expected all lands to be filled with islands and beaches, but there’s one underrated country you’d probably cross when backpacking through the wonderful countries of Southeast Asia – Laos. It may be landlocked but it isn’t closed at all from being blessed with different natural wonders you should definitely visit. So what’s good to see in Laos? 1. Khong Lor Cave   An almost 8-kilometer cave, Khong Lor Cave is an underrated cave known for its length and the river that runs through it. The river’s width is more than 20 meters that you can sail a boat through it to view the different spectacles inside the cave. The roof of the cave is more than 50 meters high from the river which guarantees you a long but amazing cave tour seeing all cave formations such as stalagmites, stalactites, columns, and more. 2. Kuang Si Waterfall   Visiting Luang Prabang won’t be complete without stepping in the blue waters of Kuang Si Waterfall. In Kuang Si Waterfall, a large cascade feeds a series of pools and falls where you can swim or just be amazed by its turquoise waters. The waterfall flows year round with less water from March to May. 3. Mekong River

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Hiva-Oa, French Polynesia

    Hiva-Oa, French Polynesia    Hiva-Oa is the second largest island in the Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. It is the largest island of the southern Marquesas group. According to local religion, the gods created the islands as their home. Therefore, all islands have names that are related with the building of a house. Hiva-Oa means long ridgepole. Administratively, Hiva-Oa is part of the commune of Hiva-Oa, itself in the administrative subdivision of the Marquesas Islands. Atuona, on the coast of Hiva-Oa island, is the administrative centre of the commune. Atuona was formerly the seat of government for all of the Marquesas Islands, but it has been replaced by Taiohae on Nuku Hiva island. The island is famous as the final home of French painter Paul Gauguin and Belgian singer Jacques Brel, both of whom are buried in Calvary Cementery, overlooking Atuona. It is also home to the largest tiki sculptures in French Polynesia. In late pre-European times, the island was nearly evenly divided into two provinces - Nuku in the west, and Pepane in the east.       Papeete Air Transfer   Temetiu     Village   Temetiu   Village   Papeete   Hiva-Oa---Excursion-Tiki   Hiva-Oa---Excursion-Tiki

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Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

  Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland The Most Beautiful Place in the World? We couldn’t believe our eyes. As we drove into the small Swiss town of Lauterbrunnen it was unlike anything we’d ever seen before. In traditional Swiss fashion, cross-timbers mark the facades of the village and it’s adorable… but comes standard in the old-country. The village setting is where the magic lies. Lauterbrunnen is positioned along a crystal river in the center of a U-shaped valley with the mighty Alps raising dramatically on all sides. Nearby one of 77 waterfalls pours, seemingly directly on the main drag. It’s an incredible sight. Dan and I initially stopped for a few hours but quickly became so engrossed in our surroundings that we scoured the town for wifi and booked a night the cheapest room we could find (albeit rather pricey but worth every franc).  Our first day entailed a breathtaking 3 mile walk through the valley in which we passed through pastures of grazing cows (trusting farmers leave their gates open to let visitors cut through) and drank water straight from the river. That night we had a long, slow dinner at hotel in town, not much was said other than rehashing for the 100th time our good fortune in being able to stay. The next day we boarded a wildly scenic alpine train up the soaring Kleine Schidegg and trekked our way down, passing the perfectly picturesque village of Wengen. Wengen, seated at the top of the cliffs seen below, is car-free and only accessible by foot or cable car and left us feeling especially small and moved by the beauty of the world we live in.  Of course I feel rather presumptuous in calling this place the most beautiful place on the planet, there’s so much of the world I haven’t seen! But, unequivocally Lauterbrunnen deserves to be thrown in the hat. Not far from Interlaken, if you find yourself in central Switzerland you must go. You must see this for yourself.        

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Hot Amazonian Warriors

  Hot Amazonian Warriors   Defenders of the Amazon forest, strong and dangerously beautiful, paradise for the men and the greatest and hottest travel legend for the Amazon rain forest.      

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Festival Elda Alicante, Spain

    Festival Elda Alicante, Spain   The festival of "los Moros y Cristianos" that mimics the occupation period Maure Arabic and the "Reconquista" that followed, orchestrated by the Catholic kings. The Moors and Christians in Elda, is an important festival of the city of Elda Alicante in Spain. Take place between the last week of May and the first week of June for 5 days per year. Said "interest", commemorating the feast of San Anton, the patron of the holidays. Moros y Cristianos The festivals, popular in the Spanish Levant, commemorate the reconquest of the lands of the region by the Christians, their former occupants, the Moors. The festivities in Elda, as in other parts of the environment took place in an informal and popular way for centuries. The first mention who documented holds, dating from 1754. However, the festival is organized formally, with the current structure formalized with official acts and troops established since 1944. Originally, festivities were held in January, celebrated in honour of St. Anthony. However, two years later and sit in the model in winter, the holidays have been moved to the spring. Since held each year, at a time that is allocated each year from the last weekend of May and first of June. The festivities last for five days, I always begin on Thursday and ends on Monday. Nevertheless declared open with the pronunciation of the opening on Wednesday night. The spectacular Moors and Christians in Elda is reflected in the amount of training party groups, some with more than 1,000 members. The parade of the shrine of the saint with the image in procession in Santa Ana is one of the central events of the festive program. The Battle of the shooting and the assault of the castle is expected by the inhabitants of the city of Alicante, attend their entries. All the festivities take on a colourful show                      

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Beaches in Mexico

     Beaches in Mexico A visit to Mexico is a popular choice for many reasons. It is a country of great ruins, culture, food, and especially beaches. In fact, beach lovers usually find that the beaches are enough of a reason to visit Mexico all by itself. Its extensive coastlines include the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Depending on the region of Mexico that you choose, the beaches and the water around it will be different. Some of the species of whales, turtles, and other large animals also differ between the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the country. Here is the lowdown on the best beaches in Mexico:      Playa de Akumal This fabulous snorkeling region near Playa Del Carmen has a reef that stretches from 20-300 feet offshore, offering views for all different levels of swimmers. Turtles, tropical fish and more are common sights here, and the water is safe and calm enough for even the young snorkelers to enjoy. For those who aren’t into snorkeling, the sand is white and the water has no waves, so it is lovely for swimming and relaxing too. Bahia Balandra This is the premier family beach in the Baja region of La Paz. Perhaps best known for the rock formation called Diamond rock, Bahia Balandra is a mix of sand and beautiful wind and water-worn rock formations. It is sheltered in almost every direction for safe swimming, and the location is shallow enough that the chilly Pacific water warms early here. Because amenities are not beachside, it is often not as busy as other local beaches. Playa del Carmen       The beach here is lovely- for those who like to relax, the sand is clean and the water calm. Though often jammed with Europeans, in many ways Playa del Carmen still feels like the sleepy fishing village it once was. A mixture of large resorts and small hotels, cruise ship visitors, and easy boat access to Cozumel and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef make this a favorite location to be able to venture to other ports, while still enjoying the best of the Mexican water, sand and hospitality.

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Interesting Stories of the World’s 10 Micronation

  Interesting Stories of the World’s 10 Micronations. A micronation is not a country. It’s an entity that claims to be an independent nation or state but is not recognized by world governments or major international organizations. However, being unrecognized doesn’t stop them from doing what they plan for their community. Some micronations have already established their own currency, flags, passports, and stamps. Some have stayed only online without any physical activity and some continue to fight for their vision. Some have become popular among tourists and some stay to be funny and weird stories that makes the world a more quirky place to live in. Here are 10 of the self-declared micronations around the world: 1. Kingdom of North Sudan (2014)   The Kingdom of North Sudan was established by Virginia resident Jeremiah Heaton in the land of Bir Tawil, a land unclaimed by bordering countries, Egypt and Sudan. The reason for claiming this land is undeniably sweet (or maybe eye-rolling?). Heaton – who we may call King Heaton – searched for an unclaimed land to grant his daughter’s wish to be a real princess. On July 16, his daughter’s birthday, he planted a homemade blue flag in Bir Tawil’s land (top photo) and declared it as the “Kingdom of North Sudan”. But of course, it’s not yet a happily ever after moment and there are still legal processes to take care of. 2. Naminara Republic (2006)   Naminara Republic was the birth name the island of Namiseom used when it declared its cultural independence. Namiseom is a tiny half-moon shaped island located in Chunchon, Gangwon Province, 60 km from Seoul. After being “Naminara”, it began to have its own national flag, anthem, currency, passports, phone cards, stamps, orthography, and certification of citizenship. 3. Acting Witan of Mercia (2003)   The original Kingdom of Mercia was centered on the valley of the River Trent in the region now known as the English Midlands. It dominated most of England for 300 years until it was annihilated by the Norman invaders and absorbed into the Danelaw together with London and northern England. Mercia was already history but for the Acting Witan of Mercia, it isn’t and should be recreated. The group wants the area

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Sao Jorge, Portugal

      Sao Jorge, Portugal Sao Jorge is one of the five islands of the central group of the Azores archipelago. It is separated from Pico Island only 15 km. Its length is 55 km and its maximum width is 7 km. Its area is 237.59 square kilometers and some 10,500 people live there. Administratively, the island is divided into two municipalities: east Calheta, with five parishes, and west, Velas with six parishes. The coast of the island is very difficult to access, reaching the cliffs several hundred meters high in places. The collapse of these cliffs have given birth to low terraces close to the sea, called Fajas the Azores. These are particularly fertile and microclimates allow very varied and exotic crops such as coffee on the Fajã dos Vimes. The island has more than two hundred nature of basaltic volcanoes, aligned faults. The oldest area is the Topo complex and lies southeast of Sao Jorge. The most recent part located center island includes the Pico da Esperanca, the highest point at 1053 m, the Morro Pelado, Pico do Carvao, Pico das Caldeirinhas, The island has experienced two historic volcanic eruptions, An eruption submarine was reported in southwest São Jorge was discovered in 1439, but was not populated than twenty years later when settlers from the north of Portugal came to settle there. The most favorable areas of the island consist of Fajas on the north coast, some of which have long been accessible only by sea. The main resources are breeding, growing grain and fruit. Other important productions are fishing, wool and dairy. The cheese of the island is the best known of the Azores            

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New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park

  New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park       Occupying the southwest corner of the South Island in New Zealand, the Fiordland National Park is the largest of the fourteen national parks located in New Zealand.   The administration of the park is by the Department of Conservation as it comprises a large part of the world heritage site, Te Wahipounamu with an area of 12,500km.   This place can also be described as being a cherished corner of the world where valleys compete with mountains for space, where scale is pretty much beyond grasp, where meters are used to measure rainfall and scenery that incorporates with the widest width of emotions.    The Fiordland National Park was founded in 1952 and reaches over 1.2 million hectares in size. The multiple habitats of Fiordland support an assorted range of fauna and flora with many emerging in a virtual separation to a high rate of endemism or animals and plants that have progressed to be entirely exclusive to this zone.

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Cute Villages in Europe

  Cute Villages in Europe     Get off the beaten path and head to one of these darling villages for a true taste of the charm of Europe!  abroad.    1 | Chania, Greece   With some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen, the small port town of Chania is beautiful with it’s harbour promenade, bustling with cafes and maze of narrow winding alleys. After spending the day on a glass bottom boat or swimming at nearby Balos beach, eat at Tamam for the best Greek meal of your life.      2 | Taormina, Italy   Imagine spending the day exploring the blue grottos and sunbathing on the tiny island of Isola Bella. In the evening, take a seat here (below) at il Barcaiolo for a fresh seafood platter. The village of Taormina also offers an Ancient theater, dating back to the 2nd (!) century, with sweeping views of smoldering Mt. Etna and the Sicilian coastline.      3 | La Turbie, France   While petite, the tangle of cobbled alleys with hanging laundry are a refreshing glimpse at the authentic French Rivera. Stop by Trophee D’Auguste for impressive views of Monaco and the stunning coastline.  

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Varenna, Italy

  Varenna, Italy The sun was out and by 9AM the lake was buzzing with glossy wooden motorboats. The storms had passed and all of us were ready for the sunshine and wide brimmed hats (maybe the latter was just me?). After drooling over Bellagio for the past few days, we opted to board the ferry towards the dreamy little town of Varenna – just visible from the northernmost rip of Bellagio. The ride was less than 30 minutes and watching the pastel lake towns reflect off the turquoise water made for a pleasant little scenic start to our day.  As Varenna grew closer we were all a bit surprised but just how petite the town actually was. Considering that it’s the easiest town on the lake to access from Milan via train and supposedly Rick Steves’ favorite base for exploring Lake Como, it’s pint sized. Upon arrival we strolled to the center of town and embarked on Rick’s guided walk around the perimeter. Dan patiently read each paragraph while I dove in, lens first. It’s no surprise why Varenna is the most popular Lake Como location for fabulous celebrity weddings. 

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The Thousand Islands of Ontario

  The Thousand Islands of Ontario The Thousand Islands are an archipelago on the border between the United States and Canada, the St. Lawrence River, where it emerges from the northeast corner of Lake Ontario. The islands lie about 80 kilometers downstream from Kingston, Ontario. The Canadian islands are in the province of Ontario, and US islands are in the state of New York. There are a total of 1865 islands; some have more than 100 km² area while others are tiny and are home to only migratory seabirds. The number of islands was determined using the criterion stating that any island must be above water level for 365 days a year, it has to accommodate at least one tree or shrub.        USA...CANADA                       

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Bali Island, Indonesia

    Bali Island, Indonesia     Bali is an island and province of Bali Indonesia. The province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. It is located at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Its capital of Denpasar is located at the southern part of the island.   With a population of 3,890,757 in the 2010 census, and currently 4,225,000 as of January 2014, the island is home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. According to the 2010 Census, 84.5% of Bali's population adhered to Balinese Hinduism, 12% to Islam, and most of the remainder to Christianity.   Bali is a popular tourist destination and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including traditional and modern dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking, and music. The Indonesian International Film Festival is held every year in Bali. Since the late 20th century, the province has had a rise in tourism.   Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. There is a wide range of dive sites with high quality reefs, all with their own specific attractions. Many sites can have strong currents and swell, so diving without a knowledgeable guide is inadvisable                                            

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Vintage Photos of Crimea

  Vintage Photos of Crimea Back When It Was Just A Soviet Vacation Spot     In 1920, Vladimir Lenin announced a decree “On the Use of Crimea for the Medical Treatment of the Working People” which endorsed Crimea’s development into a recreation territory for hard-working Soviet proletarians. Since that time, Crimea has seen it’s fair share of turmoil during the WWII, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the more recent annexation by the Russian Federation, but for many former Soviets, it’s also served as the setting for careless summer adventures and nostalgic memories. The resort status of Crimea came into the mainstream when the Livadia estate became a summer residence of the Russian royal family in the 1860s. The Lividia Palace would later gain notoriety as the summer retreat of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II. After Lenin’s 1920 decree, Numerous workers’ sanatoria (resorts) were constructed around Crimea.   &

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Cancun’s Underwater Museum

  Cancun’s Underwater Museum  What’s the first thing you think about when you hear the word “Museum”? If the answer isn’t “fish”, you’re not visiting the right museums. The underwater mus

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Veleka River, Bulgaria

  Veleka River, Bulgaria   The Veleka is a river in the very southeast of Bulgaria (Burgas Province), as well as the very northeast of European Turkey. It is 147 km long, of which 123 km in Bulgaria and 25 km in Turkey, and takes it sources from a number of Karst springs in the Turkish part of the Strandzha mountain to flow into the Black Sea at the Bulgarian village of Sinemorets. Veleka is situated in Strandzha Nature Park.   The river's width near the mouth is from 8 to 10 m and its depth ranges from 2 to 4 m. At its mouth, the Veleka is 50 m wide and 7 to 8 m deep, overflowing shortly before making a turn and pouring into the sea.   The waters of the Veleka are rich in flora and fauna, with more than 30 species of freshwater fish being present, the most frequent one being the chub. Five endangered animal species inhabit the river, as well as important regional plants.                 

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Heidelberg After Dark

        Heidelberg After Dark The temperature gauge flashed 34C on my way to work this morning while hot air blew from the vents. Heidelberg does cobble stone and Christmas markets well, heatwaves though, not so much! It’s been absolutely boiling in Heidelberg this summer with temperatures in the 35s more often than not. Dan and I have been going to the local pool frequently and trying in vain to find the cold spots in the deep end. There’s literally no reprieve with the lack of air conditioning at my gym, office or apartment. In desperation, I googled ‘how to stay cool without air conditioning’ and the only resolution that seems to work is to channel my inner Cleopatra and drape washcloths all over myself in front of our one precious fan. (This is really what the Egyptians did!) With my abnormal disdain for the sun, all my pictures of the city recently have been from the evening, where we all huddle around the Neckar river and cross our fingers for a breeze. Of course, the city is still beautiful under the lingering humidity, and especially dazzling during the big firework show that happens 3 times each summer. The heat combined with our repatriation to-do list (like trying to sell everything with a funny plug) has been, to say the least, consuming. But, to come totally clean, it’s been a looming life decision that has occupied my thoughts most. After weeks of procrastinating, Dan and I finally sealed the deal this afternoon and bought our tickets… Instead of going back to the US and starting jobs right away, we’re going to go backpacking in Southeast Asia for two months! After returning to DC for a few weeks we’re going to stuff our lives in a few book bags and head off to Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia with plans to return in mid-October, just in time for

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The Mysterious Plain of Jars

  The Mysterious Plain of Jars    Some people come to Laos for the partying. Others are drawn by it’s rural charm, or it's violent history. None of these things were the main attraction for me. I came to Laos for the Jars. The Plain of Jars. Have you heard of it? Maybe not, if you’re not an archeology nerd like me. But they are a mysterious rock formation on the level of Stone Henge in their epic mysteriousness. Strewn across central Laos, near the town of Phonsavan, are hundreds of enormous stone containers. Big ones, small ones, fat ones and skinny ones, just strewn haphazardly across the landscape. They have no makings on them (save one), and no lids, but are thought to date back to the Iron age- meaning they are roughly 2000 years old! And there’s barely any evidence to explain who put them here, or why. And then there’s this: Don’t see it?

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South East Asia

  South East Asia There’s something about South East Asia that backpackers just love. The combination of easy tourist infrastructue, low prices, friendly people and great food is just irresistable to budget travelers. If you have travelled around the world, or if you are planning to, chances are your trip includes a substrantial amount of time in this part of the world. As it should, although I struggle a bit with the tourism industry here, South East Asia is fantastic. Where else can you find such a dazzline array of settings and details that make travel so worthwhile? The Beaches Ko Samui, Thailand Sihanoukville, Cambodia   Phuket, Thailand The Food

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Taveuni Island, Fiji

    Taveuni Island, Fiji Taveuni is the third largest island of Fiji after Vanua Levu and Viti Levu with an area of ​​435 km2. Taveuni is located 6.5 km east of Vanua Levu in the Pacific Ocean. It is part of the Northern Division of Fiji. It has a population of around 9,000 inhabitants, nearly 75% are indigenous Fijians. The abundant flora of the island earned him his nickname "Garden Island of Fiji '. It is a popular tourist destination. This tropical paradise is a little rainy. But all this vegetation needs water to thrive on this island where beautiful flowers grow in abundance. Its black sand beaches contrast with the explosion of colors offered by the decor. The nature lovers will be able to observe many species of Fiji, especially Bouma National Park ... Taveuni Island you can spend beautiful vacation in harmony with untouched nature, far from the usual tumult ... The 180th meridian passes through the island of Taveuni, making it one of only two places on Earth where the line of date change goes into dry land.                 

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Balchik, Bulgaria

  Balchik, Bulgaria Balchik is a Black Sea coastal town and seaside resort in the Southern Dobruja area of northeastern Bulgaria. It is located in Dobrich Oblast and is 42 km northeast of Varna. The town sprawls scenically along hilly terraces descending from the Dobruja plateau to the sea. During Romania's administration, the Balchik Palace was the favourite summer residence of Queen Marie of Romania and her immediate family. The town is the site of Marie's Oriental villa, the place where her heart was kept, in accordance with her last wishes, until 1940 (when the Treaty of Craiova awarded the region back to Bulgaria). It was then moved to Bran Castle, in central Romania. Today, the Balchik Palace and the adjacent Balchik Botanical Garden are the town's most popular landmarks.      

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Milna Beach, Croatia

  Milna Beach, Croatia    A short drive from Hvar Town is the coastal fishing village of Milna. Famous for its excellent fish restaurants, child-friendly beaches and Henry VIII Tudor legend, Milna is simply one of the nicest places on the island, with its south-facing views towards Vis and relaxed restaurant and beach atmosphere. Start with Milina or walk the extra yards to Moli Onte at the end, where Dobrila while give you a dining experience to remember. It is the perfect combination for a family day out -  good food and wine, two great beaches for the kids, fantastic views.  Missing the sound of the beach on Hvar? Watch the video on Visit Hvar page. With thanks to Visit Hvar for the excellent photos - check out more photos and their substantial accommodation offer in Milna.   

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Island of Migingo

  Island of Migingo   It’s hard to believe that a piece of land that barely covers half an acre would be a topic of much dispute, but Migingo Island, a tiny fishing island in Lake Victoria in eastern Africa, does just that. Both Kenya and Uganda have claimed it is within their own territory, which causes a lot of tension, especially between the fishermen from each country who believe they have the right to use it to fish. Most, if not all, maps will show that the island is just barely within the Kenyan border, but Ugandan fishermen are adamant that they deserve the right to fish there, especially since Ugandan waters come within nearly 500 meters of the island. It’s just a blip on a map, but it causes quite the uproar.    

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The Kingdom of Norway

    The Kingdom of Norway Oslo: The capital is nestled at the bottom of a fjord, in a large bay dotted with islands and forested islands separating the city from the open sea. Three quarters of its surface is occupied by green areas and water basins, making the city a human face ... Norway, at the northwest end of Europe. The country shares borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia. To the west, it is open from north to south over the Atlantic Ocean. The country has the official name "The Kingdom of Norway." Besides the mainland, it encompasses Svalbard and Jan Mayen Island, located in the Arctic. The Bouvet Island and Peter I, located in Antarctica are linked to the Norwegian Krone. Norway is long - 1750 kilometers from north to south. Its surface is very nearly equivalent to that of Great Britain, Italy and Japan. Its population not exceeding 4.3 million people, you will understand that, compared to other countries, it is not lacking space. Form of government: Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system Population: 4.3 million Area: 386 958 km2 (including Svalbard and Jan Mayen) Coastline: 2,650 kilometers (about 22,000 kilometers, fjords included          

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Panama Canal by Zlatko Miko

  Panama Canal The Panama Canal connects the Gulf of Panama in the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic. The canal can accommodate vessels of various sizes, ranging from private yachts up to large commercial vessels. The canal consists of two artificial lakes, several improved and artificial channels, and three sets of locks. An additional artificial lake, Alajuela Lake, acts as a reservoir for the channel. Since the buoys that mark the entrance to the Gulf of Panama to the Miraflores locks, ships traverse 13.2 km in the canal, passing under the Bridge of the Americas. The most spectacular parts of the channel are the locks Although surrendered in Panama, the channel is still considered an inland waterway by the United States: there is thus provided in the treaty of surrender that the US-flagged vessels have a right of way over the other. The Panama Canal is one of the wonders of the world.        

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Shocking Facts About Air Travel

    Shocking Facts About Air Travel       More than 100 years after the Wright Brothers' first flight, flying is quotidian. Getting on a plane these days is as common as getting on a bus, even if the security procedure for the former is significantly more complicated than for the latter. The next time you board a plane, it might never occur to you that you're inside a pressurized tube traveling at hundreds of miles per hour though air that's too thin to breathe and so cold it would free you in seconds if you were exposed to it – and that's just one example of the many truths about air travel we take for granted.   Here are 20 more. 1. There are around 7,000 flights in the air at any one time (And that's just over the U.S.) 2. There are no less than 20 flights per day between New York and London And that's just if you use JFK and Heathrow as your airports. If you add in Newark and London Gatwick, the figure balloons to more than 30. 3. But that's not the world's busiest international air route Not even close. The busiest, between Hong Kong and Taipei, Taiwan, carries 680,000 passengers per month, or more than three times as many as travel between New York and London. 4. More than a million people fly the world's busiest domestic air route every month (From Tokyo-Haneda Airport to New Chitose Airport in Sapporo, Japan.) 5. Whereas only 350,000 people fly the busiest U.S. domestic route

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San Diego, California - Postcards

  San Diego, California – Postcards    San Diego is a major city in California, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 190 km south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico. Here, please, enjoy in some awesome postcards from this beautiful city.         San Diego,  California - Postcards    

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A Quick Guide to Amsterdam

    A Quick Guide to Amsterdam   One of the most photographed and loved cities in Europe, Amsterdam has it all. Architecture, culture, food, you could spend weeks exploring the city. For those that don’t have that kind of vacation time, here are 9 quick and easy items for your Amsterdam to-do list: 1 | Explore the Jordaan District. Noted for its architecture and beautiful canals, spend at least a few hours wandering the area (like I did), picturing life as a resident in one of the gorgeous row houses. In fact, go ahead and book your accommodations here. The convenient location and charm will make a delightful base during your visit.    2 | Saddle up. Biking is the notorious mode of transit in Amsterdam with 600k+ bikes in the city limits. The team at Mike’s Bike Tours provide a super fun and informative tour on wheels. We chose the ‘Countryside’ tour and loved getting out of the hustle and bustle to the lovely polder land along the Amstel River. Our tour included a stop at a cheese farm that also made traditional Dutch clogs, bingo!

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10 Reasons To Visit Norway

  10 Reasons To Visit Norway      Hi everybody! My name is Melanie and I’m a travel and lifestyle blogger with constantly restless feet and a huge desire to explore the world that I love to share on my blog, Melanie Fontaine. Margo and me live in the same town now (and she’s just as sweet in real life as on her blog!), but I’ve spent ten months studying abroad in Norway from August 2013 to June 2014 and have definitely lost my heart there. I’m convinced that it’s one of the most  beautiful countries in the world and should be on everyone’s travel bucket list, so I’m excited to share 10 places with you today that will definitely make you want to visit this amazing Scandinavian country.     1 Bergen I may be biased because Bergen was my home in Norway, but I honestly believe that this is one of the most charming cities in Europe – if you get to see it in the sun, that is. Often called the gateway to the Fjords, Norway’s second largest city lies on the country’s west coast and boasts an incredible array of outdoor-based activities. Take the iconic Floibanen up the Fløyen for a great aerial view of Bergen, go for a hike on one of the other seven mountains that surround the city and enjoy a delicious mixed seafood platter at the famous fish market.       2  Nærøyfjord This wouldn’t be a post about Norway without mentioning a fjord, would it be? The Nærøyfjord is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the narrowest fjords in the country. The towering mountains create a mystical, at times gloomy, atmosphere, but in the best way possible – this is exactly the type of landscape Norway is famous for! As part of the popular Norway in a Nutshell Tour, the ferries can get super crowded, but the landscape still feels ethereal and incredible pristine.

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Patagonia - Breathtaking Images

  Patagonia - Breathtaking Images   These breathtaking images are sure to prove you’ve got to visit Patagonia. This sparsely populated region located at the southern end of South America, shared by Chile and Argentina, has become a popular bucket list destination with its amazing scenery and the opportunity for all types of outdoor recreation. El Chalten, pictured above, is located in the riverside of Rio de las Vueltas, within the Los Glaciares National Park at the base of Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy mountain. Laguna Torre Patagonia is legendary for hiking. The hike to Laguna Torre sets out from El Chalten, winding through Patagonia’s distinctive beech forests before turning towards the lake itself. Against the backdrop of the jagged mountains, small icebergs can be seen floating in the crystalline lake. Penguins  

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Europe Cools Down as Temperatures Soar

  Europe Cools Down as Temperatures Soar A host of European countries were hit by a heat wave that sent temperatures into triple digits. Despite the dangerous heat, people found ways to enjoy the weather. 1. Boys play in the fountain of the Trocadero gardens, in front of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, on July 1, 2015. A mass of hot air moving north from Africa has driven up temperatures in Spain, Portugal, Britain and France in recent days.  2. Under a sweltering heat, an agricultural worker controls water sprinklers in a salad field, in the countryside of Geneva, Switzerland on July 1. The European weather forecast is predicting high temperatures for the next few days.  3. Residents at the Ter Biest house for elderly persons refresh their feet in a swimming pool on a hot summer day in Grimbergen, Belgium on July 2. The United Nations warned on Wednesday of the dangers posed by hot weather, especially to children and the elderly, as much of Europe sweltered in a heat wave.

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Top 10 Things To Do in Trinidad, Cuba

  Top 10 Things To Do in Trinidad, Cuba   The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trinidad, Cuba, was built on the back of the 19th-century sugar and slave trade. At its zenith, in 1827, one of the 56 sugar mills in the region harvested the biggest cane haul in the world — just under a million kilos of white pressed crystals. This enormous, conspicuous wealth shaped the town and no expense was spared in fashioning the finest Spanish colonial mansions, plazas and churches, which still stand testament to the vainglory of this profiteering era.   North of town, higgledy-piggledy cobblestone streets peter out into the Escambray mountains, where nature beckons the adventurous traveller; to the south, the road leads straight to the sun loungers lined up on the baking white sands of the Caribbean. New private restaurants fuel the town's nightlife, which happily parties through to the early hours as Afro-Cuban moves, disco, salsa and son compete for an audience — and participants — in Trinidad’s cluster of busy evening haunts. It's an intoxicating mix — here’s how to get the most out of your trip to Trinidad.     Trinidad backed by the Escambray mountains.   Cultural walking tour   Plaza Mayor is the town’s pivot, around which sit the 1892 honey-hued La Parroquial Mayor church, the sherbet-shaded Palacio Brunet (home to Museo Romántico), the turquoise-blue sugar-baron Sanchez Iznaga mansion (Museo de Arquitectura) and the frescoed gallery of Casa Aldemán Ortíz. Just south is the former 1830 Cantero sugar palace (Museo Histórico Municipal), whose interiors are embellished with Baccarat crystal, frescoed walls, marble statues, handsome furniture embedded with delicate mother-of-pearl imagery, ostentatious Sèvres vases, vast flower-frilled English porcelain canteens and exquisitely embroidered lace. The iconic attractive bell tower of the old San Francisco Convent (now the Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos) dominates the town.

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La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain

  La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain La Palma is an island of the Canaries. It is mountainous, and it is the most wooded island of the archipelago. With 85,000 inhabitants La Palma is located in the northwest of the Canary Islands, an archipelago of Spain in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast. It is surrounded by the islands of La Gomera and Tenerife. Administratively, the island is part of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. La Palma is a concentrate of several continent: the colourful houses and the lush surroundings are reminiscent of South America, other places are deserts, forests are dense, the beaches are black sand The city of Santa Cruz is charming. The colourful wooden houses, flowered balconies and squares. Even the shopping is simple: no billboards, no department stores, a long street with shops hidden behind wooden shutters. This is the island walkers. Everyone walking shoes on, disembarking from the plane. The walks are "beefy" even when the score guides the walk is easy! The uneven wear, but the scenery reward efforts. The trails go through not to reach places other than on foot. In January the almond trees are in bloom ... a sublime spectacle. Those seeking a holiday place to stroll on a pier and make the terraces ... go elsewhere       Santa Cruz         los cancajos los llanos

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Ball’s Pyramid

  Ball’s Pyramid      A remote island located in the Tasman Sea, approximately 20 kilometers southeast of Lord Howe Island in the Pacific Ocean (over 644 kilometers northeast of Sydney, Australia), has been an almost off-limits location. However, it is unexpectedly becoming a significant site when it comes to diving, climbing, and weird-insect searching. This iconic pyramid-looking site called Ball’s Pyramid is part of the Lord Howe Island Marine Park, which is known as a UNESCO-certified World Heritage Site of global natural significance. This odd-looking pyramid is also known as the world’s tallest volcanic stack.         The Ball’s Pyramid is an erosional remnant of a shield volcano and caldera that formed about 7 million years ago, according to potassium-argon dating. It has a height of 562 meters (1,844 ft), a length of 1,100 meters (3,600 ft) and width of 300 meters (980 ft). The pyramid is made up of horizontally-bedded basalt lava flows, which came from a volcanic plug formed in a former volcano vent. Basalt, a common

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Lanzarote, Spain

  Lanzarote, Spain   Lanzarote, with a total population of the island is 141 938 inhabitants is a Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean and part of the Canary Islands. The island is part of the province of Las Palma Populated by 141,938 inhabitants, its capital is Arrecife. The island's name comes from marine Lancelot Maloisel who visited the island in the fourteenth century Arrecife, its administrative and commercial center. It is a port city with great commercial activity. It is a bustling city with modern buildings to current party and his former neighborhood with its beach and palm maritime boulevard. Arrecife has 30,000 inhabitants. Most commercial streets or street Real León y Castillo and surroundings. The neighborhood of Charco de San Ginés are the origins of the city and has grown to the Church of San Ginés. Now it is a quiet neighborhood where you can walk. Lanzarote, known as the island of 300 volcanoes is the easternmost island of the archipelago, off the African coast. The island is 1,000 kilometers from the Spanish mainland to the northeast and 140 kilometers of côtesmarocaines southeast. the island rises to 670 meters above sea level to. Of volcanic origin much of the surface rocks are fresh. The Atlantis tunnel located near the coast of Lanzarote is lava tunnel longest submarine nationnal Timanfaya monde.leparc, is a biosphere reserve Maximum temperatures in Lanzarote oscillate between 22 and 25 ° C while the minimum does not drop below 12 ° C in winter. The average Lanzarote is in the hot and dry climate zone Lanzarote is in the hot and dry climate zone It is not just a holiday island, hotels and nightlife. Lanzarote is rich in agriculture and cities, towns in the countryside, lunar landscapes, museums and monuments ... Lanzarote is well connected with the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of the world through its International Airport San Bartolomé located 5 Km from Arrecife. also its Port. The island has a good network of roads to visit by bus or car. The island was inhabited by aborigines or gouaches from the II-I centuries BC until 1312 when a Genoese navigator called Lanceloto Molocella occupied it. In the year 1402 would begin the conquest of the Canaries by the Spanish and they became part of the Spanish kingdom of rapid and peaceful manner. The Spanish have advanced in a peaceful manner and slowly managed to conquer all. The battles lasted 100 years.                

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Sailing Down the Coast of Belize

    Sailing Down the Coast of Belize      I didn’t think that Central America could get any better — and then I got to Belize. I’ve never really dreamed about Belize as a destination. I knew I’d like it, but it didn’t occupy my imagination the way Nicaragua did. In this country, I found a land of Mayan ruins and caves filled with human sacrifices, of laid-back Caribbean islands and the most turquoise water you’ve ever seen. The culmination of my trip was my favorite adventure of the year so far: sailing down the coast of Belize for three days with Raggamuffin Tours. I was talking to my friend Alex about Belize a few months ago and he suggested this cruise, saying he did it a few years ago and had an incredible time. I Googled it — it looked fantastic. But a bit steep at $350 for three days. Erisa and I decided to travel to Belize together after our tour, and while I was looking forward to Belize, it was a much bigger travel dream for Erisa. I knew this cruise would be right up her alley. “Should I pitch them?” I asked her. “See if they’ll give me a comped trip? I’ll split it with you.” “YES!” she exclaimed. “Why wouldn’t you?” “Eh. I don’t mind paying.” You might have noticed that I rarely do comps or advertising on the site these days. I used to do a ton, but it’s a lot of pressure. I know that you guys prefer when I pay out of pocket, which I do about 98% of the time these days. I can’t stand travel blogs that are nothing but comp after comp after comp. I prefer to go where I want, do what I want, and write about whatever I want. But…if I went on this trip, I would be writing about it anyway. Why not pitch them and see what they say? I pitched Raggamuffin Tours by email and they offered me a complimentary cruise in exchange for a post. I accepted their offer and split the value of the comp with Erisa, each of us paying half. From the Caribbean island of Caye Caulker, we set off for three days in paradise. A Day on the Boat Our boat was an elegant white catamaran that had lots of space to chill out on board, including a net above the water. Each day would begin with a few hours of sailing through fluorescent turquoise waters. The water around the reef is quite shallow and you could almost always see the bottom. Our first snorkel and swim break took place mid-morning. The crew would take us out on a mini-tour and show us the wildlife. Later on, they brought out the spear gun for fishing. Lunch was next. The food was universally delicious. Dinners had tons of dishes from which to choose; lunches were more simple but hearty and filling. Cookies and chips would make their way out in between meals. And unlike other similar trips I’ve taken, we didn’t have to do any dishes. Yay! After sailing a bit more after lunch, we stopped for another snorkel tour. By the time we finished, out came the rum punch. And I was glad it didn’t appear until then. It would be easy for this cruise to turn into a crazy drinking-all-day adventure, especially since it was open bar, but I think it was so much better that we stayed sober for most of the day. We would then set up camp for the night on an island, have a delicious dinner, and keep the drinks flowing until we fell into bed, exhausted.

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Beautiful Island Castles Around the World

  Beautiful Island Castles Around the World            Castles are strategically placed on cliffs or islands to protect against invaders. Some of the castles however were built as luxurious gifts to occupy the rich’s privately owned island. Whatever the reason for building these castles, they surely look good standing on small islands making the territory look like a different world to live in. 1. Trakai Castle, Lithuania   Trakai Castle is a Gothic castle built on the small island in Lake Galve between the 14th and 15th century and was once the summer residence of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. Now, it is one of Trakai’s popular tourist destinations and an ideal location for conferences and cultural events. 2. Boldt Castle, New York, USA   In 1900, the general manager of Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City and manager of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, George Boldt, had initiated the construction of six-story castle as a present for his wife. The construction slowed down and later abandoned after his wife died, leaving it exposed to the harsh weather and vandals. The island where the castle stands, Heart Island, was later bought by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority to restore the island – but not the castle. Boldt Castle may be unfinished but it was furnished with modern pieces in 2011 to perhaps complete what it may have looked like if it was fully done.

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The Wife-Carrying Championship in Finland

  The Wife-Carrying Championship in Finland          Are you a real man or are you the real man? Quit taking those “Are You a Real Man” quizzes in the internet, grab your wife or any female volunteer, and carry her to Finland’s Wife-Carrying Championships. Okay, you don’t really need to carry any woman, you can just go there and watch the hilarious yet serious race that has even conquered other parts of the world.       Wife-carrying has its roots in the late 1800s when a gangster named Rosvo-Ronkainen living in Sonkajärvi, Finland accepted only men who can go through and accomplish a challenging race – stealing women from neighboring villages. Stealing women isn’t a practice anymore in the Finnish villages but the sport that emerged from it has become a tradition that’s been annually done since 1992.     There are certain rules to follow during the competition as stated by the International Wife Carrying Competition Rules Committee:   The length of the official

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Sail the World With the Cat

  Sail the World With the Cat    

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A Mini Guide to Bavaria, Germany

  A Mini Guide to Bavaria, Germany        Since moving to Germany in 2013 we’ve been traveling around Europe nearly nonstop. There’s so much to see! One of our favorite destinations to explore though is not far from our front door: Bavaria! Home of BMW (Bavarian Motor Works), Oktoberfest, and Bayern Munchen (the Yankees of European soccer clubs), the German state of Bavaria attracts visitors worldwide who come to enjoy it’s culture, food and stunning scenery. Here’s a quick guide to Bavaria covering all you need to know: Must Go Munich The vibrant capital of Bavaria, Munich (or Munchen) is considered to be one of Europe’s most livable cities. In the city center, visitors find countless pedestrian zones engulfed in cross-timbered architecture, and littered with historic watering holes, like the Hofbrauhaus. Apart from touring the famous Residenz Palace, be sure to check out the surfers in the English Gardens and grab a beer from one of its many beer gardens. Neuschwanstein Castle Perched in the Alps in southern Bavaria, mad King Ludwig’s dramatic royal residence was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s castle. During the summer, around 6,000 visitors stop by daily, so be sure to make reservations to tour the castle in advance. Less stressful and just as enjoyable, skip the tour inside and stroll to Mary’s Bridge for stunning Instagram-worthy views. Berchtesgaden National Park Heading south, not far from the Austrian border, lies one of Germany’s most celebrated national parks- Berchtesgaden. Named as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, expect the pinnacle of natural beauty with the crystal clear Lake Konigsee and towering Mount Katzmann. Scenes from The Sound of Music (you know the one – Fraulein Maria spinning in the meadow) were filmed here and nearby Salzburg, Austria, with it’s pastel old town, is a delightful day trip.  Garmisch One of Germany’s most popular outdoor-oriented destinations, a storybook old town sits at the base of the mighty Alps. Winter is a hit for skiiers and summer brings endless hiking trails

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Places to Visit in Mexico

  Places to Visit in Mexico   Our motto is “Travel more. Create better memories” and one of the best ways to inspire more travel is through photographs.   It happens every weekend and each week is a different theme!   In this post we share 11 photos of places to visit in Mexico to inspire a visit. Check them out and then share your thoughts in the comments down below.   Mexico City   The Statue of Charles IV in Plaza Manuel Tolsá in Mexico City, one of the world’s largest cities with an estimated 20 million people living in the region.     Isla Mujeres   Isla Mujeres is an island in the Mexican Caribbean Sea, located 8 miles off of the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.     Oaxaca   The city of Oaxaca is the capital city of the Mexican state of the same name. It is located in the Centro District in the

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Owls Can Swim Now

  Owls Can Swim Now         Owls are often seen as mysterious creatures, largely because they don’t come out during the day. Yet seeing an owl in broad daylight is less rare than seeing an owl SWIM! In fact, many might assume owls can’t swim even if they had to, but think again. Apparently, owls have a hidden talent when it comes to swimming the breaststroke. Talented photographer and bird-lover Steve Spitzer recently captured footage of a great horned owl swimming across Lake Michigan. Spitzer originally saw the beautiful owl jump into the water in order to escape being attacked by two Peregrine Falcons. Assuming the bird might drown, Spitzer rushed over to help. He was surprised to see the owl didn’t need his help at all, as he

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What to Do to Blend in as an American

  What to Do to Blend in as an American       The United States is a major tourist destination. Millions of people visit each year. New travelers are always shocked at how different the nation’s culture and customs are. The United States can be a very eccentric place that does things differently. Anyone who plans on spending time in the colonies will want to prepare themselves first. Below are 15 tips to help tourists blend in as Americans.    1. Use the English system for measurement.   While most of the world uses the metric system, Americans find it to be too difficult. Having 100 centimetres equal a meter, or 1,000 grams to a kilogram would be confusing. Instead people who live in the United States use a different system. English measurements don’t use easy numbers like 10, 100, or 1,000. In America 12 inches equals a foot, three feet equals a yard, and 1,760 yards equals a mile. Ask any American and they will tell you that this system is a lot simpler. 2. Eat giant meals.   When it comes to food Americans always prefer quantity over quality. All across the land are cheap buffets and restaurants that promise unlimited portions. While these places generally don’t have very good food, Americans still flock to them. Paying $6.99 for endless servings of macaroni, chicken wings, and gravy is the epitome of fine dining. Even places that don’t provide unlimited food still dish out massive portions. Tourist who eat at an American restaurant will be blown away by the size of every meal. 3. Own lots of cars.   Almost everyone in America owns their own car. A family with two children will usually have at least two cars. If the kids are old enough to drive, they will probably own four vehicles. Carpooling or taking public transportation isn’t something that many people do. Despite having so many cars, Americans still love to complain about how soaring gas prices and air pollution are ruining their lives. This is an issue that many citizens are passionate about and it is not uncommon for them to drive their massive gas guzzlers hundreds of miles in order to attend the latest environmental rally. 4. Brag about being dumb. Nobody in America will ever say that they are a bad driver or terrible at sports. However, most people will be more than happy to talk about how bad they are at math or geography. Anyone who is in school will likely brag about how little they study and how often they skip class.

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Zanzibar, Tanzania

  Zanzibar, Tanzania Zanzibar is a Tanzanian archipelago located in the Indian Ocean along the eastern coast of Africa, at the height of mainland Tanzania. Accompanied by several other small islands, islets and coral reefs three main islands make up the archipelago: Unguja, Pemba, Mafia. The islands are small, and are partially surrounded by coral reefs forming lagoons. Their coastline is sometimes extremely cut into peninsulas and bays, forming numerous natural harbors and bays The biggest islands are Island Prison, Bawe, Chapwani, Chumbe, Mnemba and Misali Island. the archipelago is the scene of one of the shortest wars in history, it lasted thirty-seven minutes and opposed the British soldiers with soldiers on the island of Unguja. Archipelago is subject to an equatorial climate with two rainy seasons and a dry season mainly from June to October. February is the hottest and the coolest August. The islands are too close to the equator, they are not subject to hurricanes The main crops of Pemba islands are Unguja clove trees in the western islands, rice and coconuts only in Unguja. The east of the islands is unfavorable because of the presence of a shallow soil allowing only the formation of savannahs and scrub. Clove of processing industries and coconut are on Unguja.                   

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Algarve Coast – Part II

  Algarve Coast – Part II        Portugal The geography of Portugal  (10,335,084 inhabitants) is divided into two parts separated by the Tagus. In the north the highlands and southern plains. The Portuguese terrain is not still very pronounced; the highest point (on the mainland) will culminates at 1,993 m (Serra da Estrela). Capital: Lisbon Principal cities: Albufeira, Bragança, Faro, Funchal, Porto Atlantic climate, holy, tonic. Never in sweltering heat, even in summer except south of the Tagus; on the coast the winds are fresh. Very mild winters (except in the mountains). In the Algarve, spring begins in January and late season (summer of St. Martin) is sunny until November.  The Algarve region extends along the southern coast of Portugal, 50 km to the south-west coast and 150 km from the south coast to the natural boundary of the river Guadiana with Spain. With its 428,000 inhabitants, the Algarve is divided into 16 municipalities whose capital is Faro. It includes a totally Atlantic coast and is divided into three main regions: the coastal region, the mountainside area and the mountainous region with 3 mountain ranges, the Monchique, Espinhaço de Cão and Caldeirão. The Algarve coast is very diversified. The west coast, facing the Atlantic Ocean and is characterized by high and rugged escarpments and wilder and windier beaches. Bypassing the Cape of St. Vincent, the coastline gradually loses its high cliffs framing its beaches reaching the expanses of sandy beaches to the east. In addition to the long beaches, interspersed with small sheltered coves, there are 2 important protected marshland areas, the Ria Alvor and Ria Formosa, because of its geographical location and its relief, the Algarve has a Mediterranean climate with long hours of sunshine Situated in the extreme southwest of Europe, the Algarve shares its eastern border with the Spanish Andalusia, the Algarve is the smallest of the regions of Portugal.                                    

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Huacachina – Peru’s Secluded Oasis Village

  Huacachina – Peru’s Secluded Oasis Village         Located in Peru’s Ica Province, near the city of Ica, Huacachina is a small village (population 115) built around a small natural lake on the edge of the Atacama Desert. Historically, the town served as a resort for locals of Ica, but with the growth of the information age, this hidden gem became harder to hide. Today, more visitors are flocking to this destination to catch breathtaking views of the desert sunset from the rims of nearby sand dunes and to get their adrenaline fl

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North Korea – David Guttenfelder Photos

  North Korea – David Guttenfelder Photos   While threats of a missile launch have renewed tensions with North Korea, photojournalist David Guttenfelder has returned to continue documenting life there. As the world watches to see what North Korea’s next move will be in a high-stakes game of brinksmanship with the United States, residents of its capital aren’t hunkering down in bunkers and preparing for the worst. Instead, they are out on the streets en masse for the birthday of national founder Kim Il Sung — the biggest holiday of the year.   U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a stark warning to North Korea on Friday not to test-fire a mid-range missile, while rejecting a new U.S. intelligence report suggesting significant progress in the communist regime’s nuclear weapons program. 1 North Korean soldiers stand together along a street in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Friday, April 12, 2013. 2 An apartment block stands among the buildings at dawn in central Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, April 10, 2013. 3 North Korean commuters ride on a trolley car in Pyongyang, North Korea on Friday, April 12, 2013. Reflected in the window is a roadside propaganda banner that reads: "Let's follow the example of the space conquerors,"referring to the country's rocket launch program. 4 North Korean men walk along a street in front of a clothing store in Pyongyang on Friday, April 12, 2013.

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I Still Don’t Know How I Feel About Antigua

  I Still Don’t Know How I Feel About Antigua       I’m the kind of person who connects with a destination in two ways: fiercely, or not at all. Which is why I felt bewildered after my two trips to Antigua, Guatemala, over the past few months. I’m still not sure how I feel about this city. I like it very much. And I also don’t. Antigua feels more like a collection of little feelings. I love the hole-in-the-wall eateries. I don’t like how it doesn’t feel safe at night. I love the colors and architecture. I don’t like the roughly cobbled streets. I love how it both feels so Guatemalan but you can get a bowl of kimchi stew if you feel like it, and I don’t like how the tourism seems dominated by big bus tours.   I had such a great time there, and yet I have zero urge to return.   Antigua was the shortest destination stop on our tour — we spent only two nights there as opposed to three or four in the other towns. We spent our one full day with a packed itinerary: touring the whole town, eating in a secret restaurant, taking salsa lessons, hitting up the nightlife. Leif gave the tour; I gave photography tips.   My friend Alex wrote about feeling a general malaise in Guatemala. I understand where she’s coming from, but I was blown away by Lake Atitlan and Semuc Champey — clearly it wasn’t a Guatemala thing for me, but an Antigua thing.   Should you go to Antigua? Of course you should! I wouldn’t tell anyone not to go. It’s an important destination in Guatemala, and who knows? You might love it. But I’d caution against making it the centerpiece of your trip. Plan a lot of time on Lake Atitlan instead.   Months later, I’m still not sure quite how to put Antigua into words. So I’ll let my pictures do the talking.     Antigua is famous for its architecture, and here’s the best known landmark in the city: Santa Catalina Arch. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call this the most photographed spot in Guatemala.     Antigua is a city built for wandering. There aren’t so many must-see destinations to check off; just meander around the city, checking out churches and parks and pretty streets.

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Salina Turda – Beautiful Underground Place in Rom

  Salina Turda – Beautiful Underground Place in Romania         Salina Turda is known as a historical colossal underground salt mine, located at Turda, the second biggest metropolis in Cluj County, Romania. History buffs and travelers alike are mesmerized by Salina Turda’s beauty, and there’s no doubt why it has been ranked as one of the most beautiful underground places in the world.     Historically speaking, salt was first extracted during the ancient times in Salina Turda. Aside from this, the salt mine was also recorded to have continuously supplied table salt during the Middle Ages up to the early 20th century. Rich in history, it is no wonder why millions of people visit Salina Turda since the day it was opened to public in 1992.

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The Unexpected Benefits of Beer

  The Unexpected Benefits of Beer     You read that right, beer does have health benefits. As long as you drink this popular alcoholic beverage in reasonable amounts, you will reap the following benefits: Packed with Fiber That’s right, beer is one of the few drinks that contain fiber. Beer is derived from fermented malted barley and wheat. These are whole grains packed with fiber. The end result of fermentation is a fiber-rich (alcoholic) beverage.  Fiber binds with fat and acts as a natural laxative. It protects from cardiovascular disease and even promotes weight loss. In addition, fiber also makes you feel fuller for longer. This prevents over-eating. Relieves Stress Nothing like a tall glass of ice cold beer after a particularly brutal day at work, eh? If you drink beer to relieve stress, science can back you up. Moderate alcohol consumption (up to 12 ounces per day for women and 24 ounces per day for men) helps alle

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The Top 8 Water Activities of Australia

  The Top 8 Water Activities of Australia   The summer in Australia is raging hard, fast and hot at the moment. The beauty of the glorious Aussie summer brings the stereotypical care-free and sunshine drenched beach lifestyle, but there’s no time to beach bum around. With the temperatures soaring, don’t waste time lying on the beach topping up your tan. Get involved with the hundreds of water adventures available and indulge your inner explorer with some out-of-this–world underwater experiences!       SURFING (of course!)   When you think “Australian water fun”, surfing is one of the top activities that spring to mind. Don’t wave it off  (excuse the pun) as being an obvious and overdone water sport though. To try it in Australia means you will get some of the most quality waves and top notch surf lessons. Not to mention you’ll see the most amazing unspoilt sights! The best thing about Australian surf though, is that there are waves for every type of surfer. Whether you’re a novice, a touch inexperienced or a pro; there’s something for everyone.       Byron Bay, on the East Coast, is a renowned area to learn to surf due to Cape Byron protecting The Bay and providing smaller safer breaks. You’ll be spoilt for choice for surf schools as there are a ton of them. Another great place to learn is over in Western Australia on Ocean Beach in Denmark. The gentle rip means it’s perfect for learning basics, and South Coast Surfing Lessons is a good school to help you get to grips with your board. Margaret River (also in WA) provides some serious waves, especially at Prevelly Park. If you venture a bit further to Yallingup, you won’t be disappointed by their waves either.       Sydney’s Manly Beach provides good breaks for surfers, but as summer comes rolling in on the East Coast, so do the tourists by the hordes. Be prepared for very busy surf, which can sometimes be frustrating for a surfer who knows what they’re doing. If you’re based in Melbourne, head down The Great Ocean Road for Bells Beach in Torquay for some famous waves.   SNORKELING   Don’t fancy getting caught in waves and prefer a calmer ocean? Well, check out some of the awesome coral reefs that exist around Australia. We’re all familiar with the famous Great Barrier Reef that stretches for over 2,600 km off the coast of Queensland, and it should definitely be on your Bucket List. A large part is protected from tourism as it’s become badly damaged over the years, but it should definitely be witnessed while in Queensland!   Other snorkelling spots to check out include Clovelly in Sydney, which is sheltered enough to provide serenely calm waters that are full of fish and underwater life.       SUBMARINES   Desperate to see the corals but don’t fancy getting your hair wet? Never fear, it’s still possible and you get to do it in a kitschy unique way.

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World’s Tiniest Rodeo

  World’s Tiniest Rodeo            Yee-haw! Welcome to the world’s tiniest little rodeo featuring Mr. Beetle the rodeo bull and Mr. Frog the champion bull rider. You have never seen a show quite like this before, and it’s all thanks to talented wildlife photographer Hendy Mp, and the two adorable subjects he happened to stumble upon. Hendy Mp lives in Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia, and he wasn’t far from home when the rodeo-crazed wildlife captured his eye. He saw the Reinwardt’s Flying Frog approach the giant horned wood-boring beetle, and climb right on top. Lucky for all of us, he captured the incredible sight on film for the world to see. 25-year-old Mp says, “’It was such an amazing moment, the frog just saw the beetle and decided to crawl on top.” He adds, “The frog was on the beetle for five minutes and the insect was just happily running around.” Hendy Mp specializes in macro photography, striving to highlight the beauty in small creatures we often fail to notice, such as insects, reptiles and amphibians. The beauty of this little frog and his beetle friend

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How to Help Nepal

  How to Help Nepal   “Tourism creates jobs, jobs support families.” All your Nepal questions answered by our man on the ground             Nicholas Cowie lives with his wife and children in Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu. He was there when the earthquake struck on April 25th, when pictures fell from the walls and the ground snaked and shook beneath his adopted hometown.   He is Intrepid’s General Manager for Nepal, the man who oversees all our treks and itineraries through the Nepalese Himalayas. We sat down and asked him what’s next for Nepal, its people and Intrepid’s adventures on the ground.      1. What were your experiences of the earthquake? When the initial earthquake hit, my family and I had just returned from the ANZAC commemoration at the Australian Embassy. We could hear the earthquake approaching and felt the initial shakes. Being from Christchurch, New Zealand, we weren’t overly concerned. However, the quake rapidly became more violent and we – myself, my wife and our two sons – came

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22 Photos from 22 Days in the Balkans

  22 Photos from 22 Days in the Balkans   I AM BACK!  After a 22-day break from the site — my first non-working vacation in years — I’m ready to share my adventures from Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro with all of you. It was SUCH a good trip.  I’ve been yearning to visit this region for years, and the Balkans didn’t disappoint whatsoever.  I’m convinced that these are some of the most beautiful (and most fun) countries in the world! For now, a picture from each of the 22 days I was away: Day 1: Pula, Croatia How’s this for an airport arrival?  Dave and I later learned that we happened to be on Jet2’s inaugural flight from Manchester to Pula, and they welcomed us with wine, pastries, and lavender sachets. Day 2: Labin, Croatia On our first full day, we decided on a whim to drive to the village of Labin.  Labin turned out to be a beautiful and colorful town with some of the cheapest truffle pasta dishes we found! Day 3: Rovinj, Croatia I’m not usually a fan of very touristy towns, but there was something different about Rovinj.  Maybe it was that underneath the tourist-filled town, Rovinj is a genuine Mediterranean fishing village.  Or maybe I’m getting old and increasingly liking nicer places.  Either way, Rovinj was simply delightful, and I loved it. Day 4: Kamenjak, Croatia Four days into our trip, we made our first foray to the beach — specifically, the wild beaches of Rt Kamenjak, south of Premantura.  It’s the bottom tip of Istria and well worth a trip.  Just don’t expect to lie on any sand! Day 5: On the Road to the Plitivice Lakes, Croatia One of the best things about renting a car in Croatia was getting to see lots of unexpected sites along the way — like this church, somewhere between Rijeka and the Plitivice Lakes.  We drove by and I yelped, “I have to take a photo of that!” Day 6: Plitivice Lakes, Croatia This is one of the natural wonders I had been looking forward to the most — and although we had to deal with a thunderstorm, insane crowds, and a guy who just started randomly peeing in the middle of a cave, we had a great time exploring the green lakes and white waterfalls of Plitivice.

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Mitsui Garden Hotel Yotsuya: A Hotel in Tokyo wit

  Mitsui Garden Hotel Yotsuya: A Hotel in Tokyo with Rooms that Will Make You Cry     Is there something in your heart that is breaking you apart? Can’t contain all the things in life anymore that you just want to kneel down and cry until you can’t anymore? Definitely there are many people out there who wanted to do this due to the stress brought by work, family, relationships, and more. The problem however is the search for a place where you can pour your heart all out wearing your black mascara and eyeliner smudges all over your face without worrying about someone watching or hearing you. So if you want to spend some me-time and cry out in a private and luxurious way, there’s a hotel in Japan that’s just right for you – the Mitsui Garden Hotel in Yotsuya, Tokyo.

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World Painters – How To Identify Authors

  World Painters – How To Identify Authors   How to immediately identify the authors of some of the most famous works:        If everyone has a huge ass that's Rubens   If all men look like not just a beautiful woman with curly hair, it is Caravaggio     If anyone is seriously lacking something that's Picasso

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Castelfranco, Italy

  Castelfranco, Italy       Castelfranco is a town and commune of Veneto, northern Italy, in the province of Treviso, 30 kilometres by rail from the town of Treviso. It is approximately 40 km inland from Venice.     The town originates from a castle built here by the commune of Treviso in the course of its strife against Padua.   The older part of the town is square, surrounded by medieval walls and towers constructed by the people of Treviso in 1211 (see Cittadella). The massive castle is noteworthy.   Castelfranco Veneto was the birthplace of the painter Giorgione, and the Cathedral (1723) contains one of his finest works, the Madonna with St. Francis and Liberalis (1504), but more commonly called Pala del Giorgione. In the background, the towers of the old town may be seen. The painting was being restored in Venice, Italy; however, ceremonies were held for the return of 'La Pala' near the end of 2005.   The Cathedral itself was designed by Francesco Maria Preti, over an ancient Romanesque church. Other art pieces include seven fragments of frescoes by Paolo Veronese.           

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Pictures of the Week: October 10/2014

  Pictures of the Week: October 10/2014     Malala Yousafzai acknowledges the crowd at a press conference at the Library of Birmingham after being announced as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, on October 10, 2014 in Birmingham, England. The 17-year-old Pakistani campaigner, who lives in Britain where she received medical treatment following an assassination attempt by the Taliban in 2012, was jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize with Kailash Satyarthi from India. Chair of the Nobel Committee Thorbjorn Jagland made the announcement in Oslo, commending Malala for her ‘heroic struggle’ as a spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.     A woman crawls towards the body of her sister as Ebola burial team members take her for cremation on October 10, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. The woman had died outside her home earlier in the morning while trying to walk to a treatment center, according to her relatives. The burial of loved ones is important in Liberian culture, making the removal of infected bodies for cremation all the more traumatic for surviving family members. The World Health Organization says the Ebola epidemic has now killed more than 4,000 people in West Africa.   1 Malala Yousafzai acknowledges the crowd at a press conference at the Library of Birmingham after being announced as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, on October 10, 2014 in Birmingham, England. The 17-year-old Pakistani campaigner, who lives in Britain where she received medical treatment following an assassination attempt by the Taliban in 2012, was jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize with Kailash Satyarthi from India. Chair of the Nobel Committee Thorbjorn Jagland made the announcement in Oslo, commending Malala for her ‘heroic struggle’ as a spokesperson for girls' rights to education. 2 A woman crawls towards the body of her sister as Ebola burial team members take her for cremation on October 10, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. The woman had died outside her home earlier in the morning while trying to walk to a treatment center, according to her relatives. The burial of loved ones is important in Liberian culture, making the removal of infected bodies for cremation all the more traumatic for surviving family members. The World Health Organization says the Ebola epidemic has now killed more than 4,000 people in West Africa. 3 Members of the Castellers Joves Xiquets de Valls try to complete their human tower during the 25th Human Tower Competition in Tarragona, Spain, on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. The tradition of building human towers or ìcastellsî dates back to the 18th century and takes place during festivals in Catalonia, where ìcollesî or teams compete to build the tallest and most complicated towers. The structure of the ìcastellsî varies depending on their complexity.

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Hiking the Overland Track in Tasmania

    Hiking the Overland Track in Tasmania There are few walks I have wanted to do quite as much as The Overland Track in Tasmania. For a long time I’ve had my sights set on embarking on this trek, yet until now have never had the chance to do so. As with most things in life, we tend to crave the foreign pursuits – those as far away from what we know as possible. Thus a walk in my own backyard (home being Tasmania) was always one of those “I’ll do it someday soon” type deals I had made with myself. But alas, the day finally came and I set a date to walk The Overland Track with the Tasmanian Walking Company and Mountain Designs Clothing. There are two ways you can experience this 6-day hike through the Tasmanian Wilderness. The first of these is to go on your own accord and stay at public huts or pitch a tent (or a combination of both). This option is great for the adventurers who are looking to walk to the beat of their own drum, take their time on the track, or those travelling on a budget. The second option is to book a guided private tour with the Tasmanian Walking Company. This option is better if you’re looking for a more comfortable experience – complete with three-course meals in the evenings and a comfy mattress to sleep on. These are luxuries for anyone embarking on a 6-day trek in the wilderness, but if you have a choice between the two it is certainly a more comfortable way to experience this semi-challenging hike.

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America in Colour from 1939-1943

  America in Colour from 1939-1943       These images, by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, are some of the only colour photographs taken of the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations. The photographs are the property of the Library of Congress and were included in a 2006 exhibit Bound for Glory: America in Colour.  1 Faro and Doris Caudill, homesteaders. Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940. Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 2 Connecticut town on the sea. Stonington, Connecticut, November 1940. Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 3 Farm auction. Derby, Connecticut, September 1940. Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 4 Children gathering potatoes on a large farm. Vicinity of Caribou, Aroostook County, Maine, October 1940. Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 5 Trucks outside of a starch factory. Caribou, Aroostook County, Maine, October 1940. Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 6 Headlines posted in street-corner window of newspaper office (Brockton Enterprise). Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1940. Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 7 Children in the tenement district. Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1940. Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 8 Going to town on Saturday afternoon. Greene County, Georgia, May 1941. Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 9 Chopping cotton on rented land near White Plains. White Plains, Greene County, Georgia, June 1941. Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 10 Barker at the grounds at the state fair. Rutland, Vermont, September 1941. Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 11 Backstage at the "girlie" show at the state fair. Rutland, Vermont, September 1941. Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 12 At the Vermont state fair. Rutland, Vermont, September 1941. Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 13 Couples at square dance. McIntosh County, Oklahoma, 1939 or 1940, Reproduction from colour slide. Photo by Russell Lee. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

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Singapore – Where To Go

  Singapore – Where To Go       Singapore is a thriving metropolis filled with skyscrapers, high-rise buildings and offices amidst apartment homes. But its also the garden city. Driving down any one of Singapore’s freeways you will soon notice the many trees and shrubbery that line the streets. Everywhere, it seems, is an open garden in Singapore. If you love nature and cities simultaneously, here’s where to go in Singapore for nature lovers… Palau Ubin Just a 10 minute ferry ride from the mainland, nature lovers will have love hearts pouring out their eyes when they discover Palau Ubin. This is the old Singapore you think you can only now read about. It is untouched and rustic, a complete contrast to the present day thriving metropolis that seems a world away once you step foot on Palau Ubin. Once here be sure to rent a bike and cycle around this little slice

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Sleeping in an Aquarium at the Equarius Hotel Sin

  Sleeping in an Aquarium at the Equarius Hotel Singapore    There are few times I have walked into a hotel room and found myself buzzing around the room like a child brimming with excitement – but it should come at no surprise that this was my reaction to the moment I stepped inside my room at The Equarius Hotel in Singapore. Resort World Sentosa have cleverly created the ultimate resort experience by swapping different room types for different room experiences to their guests. You can find yourself sleeping in an aquarium, a treehouse or swimming around your lagoon, all in the same resort.

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Visiting Prague Castle

  Visiting Prague Castle Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world.  Since the 9th century, it has been home to kings, emperors and presidents.  Now tourists can wander this fortified town and experience Czech history first hand.  Here’s what to see in Prague Castle…  Passing through the Castle Gates sets the tone for a trip back into the tumultuous past of the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia).  The gate displays statues of the Fighting Giants, with one man about to shank some guy prison style, the other man about to bludgeon some poor shmuck Sammy Sosa style. Matthias Gateway, built in 1614, leads into the main courtyard where there’s a fountain and… well, that’s about it.  We did catch people surveying the top bank of windows in hopes that the President might be taking a coffee break to stare out the window. The Picture Gallery of Prague Castle is a small museum that would display many more paintings had the Swedes not looted most of Rudolph II’s collection in 1648. The most exciting site in Prague Castle is also its largest and most famous: St. Vitus Cathedral.  Not only is this the biggest and most well-regarded church in the country, it’s also one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in the world.  The bronze doors, twin spires, flying buttresses, intricate statuary, stained glass windows, soaring gargoyles, tall portals, the massive rose window, the mosaic of The Last Judgment above the Golden Portal — the exterior is remarkable.  It’s easy to grasp the immense scale of the cathedral when standing in the courtyard, looking at it tower over the castle walls. The richly decorated interior features the colorful St. Wenceslas Chapel (unfortunately off-limits to the public, but you can look in from the doorway), the tomb of St. John of Nepomuk (the most famous saint of Czech origin), the Royal Crypt, St. Vitus’ remains, and an 18th century organ.  The Czech Crown Jewels are also kept in a vault in the cathedral, but they only go on display during special occasions. Just outside the cathedral is a monolith dedicated to the memory of the victims of World War I.  This courtyard also provides entry to the Royal Palace and Vladislav Hall, which contains an extensive and exhausting museum dedicated to historical artifacts and essay-length writings about the history of the castle. Across the way is St. George’s Basilica, a church that once competed with St. Vitus Cathedral.  Today it is part of the collection of the National Museum, hosting an exhibition of Bohemian Baroque artwork.

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Wine Spa in Japan

    Wine Spa in Japan   

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The Mushroom Shakes of Koh Phangan, Thailand

  The Mushroom Shakes of Koh Phangan, Thailand             As seen with the third installment of the Hangover movie franchise, Thailand is seen as a good place to have a good time. Thailand is party central. With loose drug laws and exploitation of risqué behavior, it’s a place where people from all over the globe come to let themselves go. Although in 2011, the youngest (and coincidentally the first woman) prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, intended to strengthen Thailand’s drug policy, the campaign has amounted to no more than a joke.  

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Paro Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan

  Paro Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan         Bhutan is a small country but is the home of many sacred sites and monasteries associated with Buddhism. One of those sacred monasteries is Tiger’s Nest, which is known as Paro Taktsang or Taktsang Palphug Monastery in Dzongkha (Bhutan’s official language). Tiger’s Nest is quite similar to the other monasteries in Bhutan, but it has two unique features – the trek leading to the monastery and the tiger nest cave. Its spiritual significance and natural beauty are also worth to mention. When the Monastery was Built? Built in 1692, Tiger’s Nest is situated in upper Paro Valley’s cliffside. The monastery was built around the cave where Guru Padmasambhava, who is also known as Guru Rinpoche, meditated in the 8th century. The Himalayan Buddhist monastery has gradually become the cultural icon of the country and is considered to be the holiest site in Bhutan. What the Legend Says? Guru Padmasambhava is a literary character of terma. He is believed to be an emanation of Amitabha, the principal Buddha in the Pure Land sect. He is a focus of Tibetan Buddhist practice and is said to appear to tertons in visionary encounters.

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The Towns of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

  The Towns of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala     One thing I’ve noticed about Guatemala guidebooks and tours is that they tend to label Lake Atitlan as a singular destination. “Spend a few days exploring Antigua before a few days on Lake Atitlan, then move on to Semuc Champey…” By the sound of that, you’d think that Lake Atitlan is tiny, maybe with one town and a public beach or two. Not in the least! It’s huge and there is so much to see! I feel like these guidebooks and tours really do travelers a disservice — they convince people that the lake is only worth a few days at most. I couldn’t disagree more. First of all, Atitlan is one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen. Imagine an immense lake, sparkling in the sunlight, surrounded by mountains and volcanoes covered with blooming wildflowers. The weather is absolutely perfect — temperatures hover around 70s-80s (21-27 C) during the day and 50s-60s (10-20 C) at night. No need for heating or air conditioning. The clearest weather is from December to February; dry season runs from November to April. Second, it’s home to a primarily indigenous community. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the Mayans, it’s not that they disappeared — come to Lake Atitlan and you will be surrounded by them! And each town has its own signature style of clothing. Third, it’s home to more than a dozen different towns. Tiny villages, big cities, Gringo heavens, indigenous villages. Each place is so different than the last and it’s worth exploring as many as possible. Our Central America tour spent a full week on Lake Atitlan with stays in Panajachel, Jaibalito, and San Pedro, plus visits to surrounding towns. I feel like a full week on the lake is enough time to get a good sense of the many different communities that call it home. Here are the top towns to visit, located counterclockwise from the lake’s main hub of Panajachel. Which Lake Atitlan town is best for you? Read on! Panajachel Known as: the tourist town. Panajachel, a.k.a. Pana, is the most popular town for tourists to visit, and if you’re going to visit only one town in Lake Atitlan, it will probably be here. You’ll find a well-developed town with a lot of resources for both locals and expats. Panajachel’s main drag is Calle Santander and it’s here that you’ll find the best shopping in Guatemala. There are plenty of tour agencies offering day trips and tours around the entire lake. If I were to live anywhere in Central America, it would be Panajachel — but that doesn’t mean it’s my favorite place in Central America! Pana has the perfect mix of natural beauty, resources, good prices, easy travel connections, and an expat community. All important things in choosing a place to live. Best Things to Do in Panajachel Shop for EVERYTHING! Pana has the best selection and prices in Guatemala. If you’re looking to buy souvenirs, I recommend waiting until you get here. Jewelry, textiles, leather goods, artwork — they’ve got it all! Visit Crossroads Coffee. This is more than just a coffee shop. The beans are obviously amazing (it’s Guatemala, after all!), but the true highlight of this place is Mike, the owner. He is the kindest, friendliest, most interesting man, he will talk your ear off in the best way, and I promise that you will feel so happy and light after having a conversation with him. Take a sunset cruise. Of all the towns on Lake Atitlan, Panajachel has the best views of the sunset. There are regular weekend cruises (ask when in town); if you’re adventurous and speak a bit of Spanish, bargain with a captain at one of the docks! You’ll find the best sunsets from December to February; other months of the year, it’s rainy or it gets cloudy by late afternoon. Where to Stay in Panajachel Hotel Playa Linda is a find: super-cheap, adorable, and very Mayan. You might be the only non-Guatemalan staying in the neighborhood! Doubles from 300q ($39), triples from 450q ($58). Where to Eat in Panajachel Chez Alex is the fanciest and most expensive place in town — but let me tell you that at low Guatemalan prices, it’s so worth it. I had a fantastic steak with green peppercorn sauce along with plenty of red wine. If you’ve been craving sushi after weeks on the road, Restaurant Hana has nice Japanese food. Circus Bar has great pizza and live music on the weekends. We ordered from them for our pizza booze cruise! Street tacos are abundant on Calle Santander and elsewhere. You’ll also find GFC (Guatemalan fried chicken) if you’re up for an indulgence. And if you’re looking to drink, Gringos Locos has a very colorful cast of regulars. They serve food as well. Santa Cruz Known as: the nearly-vertical town. Want to develop huge muscles in your calves? Come to Santa Cruz! I say this in jest, but seriously. Most of the villages in Lake Atitlan are built onto hills, but Santa Cruz is the steepest one of all. Santa Cruz is a traditional Mayan town and though there are several expats living here, there’s hardly any influence. Most of the Gringo-oriented businesses are right down at the lake’s edge; once you climb into town, it’s purely local. I liked Santa Cruz for a day trip; anything longer than that would be a bit excessive. Make sure you don’t miss the area down by the docks as well as the town itself. Best Things to do in Santa Cruz Go diving! Lake Atitlan’s one dive shop,

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Pensacola Beach — The Best in America?

  Pensacola Beach — The Best in America? Which country has the best beaches? From what I’ve seen, Australia leads the pack and wins in terms of consistent high quality. The littlesliver of the Philippines I saw certainly delivered. And I can’t talk about beaches without talking about Thailand... So where does America fit into all of this? My trips in the US have never been centered around beaches. Hawaii? Never been. California? Only saw some urban beaches. Even my few trips to Florida (now more than 20 years ago!) were centered around Disney and seeing family, rather than relaxing on the sand in the sunshine. Couple that with a few years of beach-centric travels in Asia — and America’s beaches nearly dropped off my radar entirely. But then I found Pensacola Beach. Pensacola had nice beaches — that much I had heard. I drove to the island of Pensacola Beach, heading eastward past high-rise hotels and chain restaurants until coming to a mostly residential neighborhood, ramshackle bungalows sharing space with modern behemoths. I parked in front of a tiny green house, double-checking to see if street parking was legal (believe it or not, it was), then cut through a driveway and climbed a dune-protecting deck onto the sand. White sand.

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Camels at Festival in Bikaner, India

  Camels at Festival in Bikaner, India        Who says camels can’t celebrate? There’s one city in India named Bikaner that’s famous for its Camel Festival lead by these humpback stars. Prepare to get stunned by colors, sweets and the beauty of these camels that look like A-listers walking on the runway. Bikaner city is right at the northwest of the Rajasthan state in India. The fact that it has the only camel breeding farm in India makes the celebration important and popular enough for locals and tourists. Moreover, the city is also known for its rich crop farms, wool production and mining. During the festival, different camel competitions take place. There are the best decorated camel, fur cutting design, camel milking, camel race and the best camel hair cut competitions. Besides watching the competitions, be amazed as you watch the camels dance gracefully while enjoying the sweetness of their delicacies all made from camel milk with matching tea. Also notice how beautiful the people are, all dressed up with bright and colorful clothes and jewelry just like the eye-catching camels. This colorful event is celebrated for 2 days every January. After that, visit the Rat Temple also located in the state of Rajasthan.

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Utrecht, the Netherlands

      Utrecht, the Netherlands   Utrecht is a city about 40 minutes south of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. A fairly large city (population 250,000) with a university

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Aruba - Wonderful Caribbean Island

  Aruba - Wonderful Caribbean Island Aruba is an island in the Caribbean Sea, part of the Lesser Antilles and situated off the coast of Venezuela. Aruba forms a state of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in its own right since the island was separated from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986. Located in the Caribbean, a few kilometers from the Venezuelan coast, north of Falcón State, the island of Aruba has few tropical greenery and white sandy beaches that make its reputation with tourists. As the metropolis, Aruba is a flat country whose highest point is Mount Jamanota to 188 meters. The tropical climate is cooled by winds from the Atlantic Ocean. Temperatures are almost constant around 27 ° C. Very dry, it includes only a small part of the tropical flora that can be found elsewhere in the Caribbean. Before the Spanish arrived, Aruba aloe cultivated mainly but not much is known of the economy of that time. In 1825, the Dutch discovered gold. This is the first age of prosperity of the island with the opening of mines and the influx of gold miners. In 1924, Aruba advantage of his position at the end of the oil Gulf of Venezuela to open an oil refinery, the second age of plenty to Aruba.  Tourism. Aruba with its stable political system, its near-perfect climate and beaches gives tourists USA, Venezuela and the Netherlands a destination that corresponds to the request for interpretation of an island "paradise". But the government is looking for other resources to an island that only exports its refined oil. It sets its sights on the highly profitable "offshore financial services" that can be translated into everyday language by tax haven.  

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Guayama, Puerto Rico

  Guayama, Puerto Rico Guayama, officially the Autonomous Municipality of Guayama is a city and municipality on the Caribbean coast of Puerto Rico. Transformed into town since 1736, Guayama derives its name from the word taína "Guamaní" which means "Our Way". The beautiful Church of San Antonio de Padua in the square is one which is rich in Port neon-romantic style. You will notice a hand-painted clock in the tower that reads 11:30 am, the exact time when the church was "baptized". The campanas (donate by Mrs. Catalina Algarin) were cast in Germany in 1835 in bronze and gold. The Museum Marie Cautiño, built in 1887 is wonderful. This town has 44,000 inhabitants. About design of the flag: in the canton of the flag is the old Torre del Molino [Mill Tour], known as the Molino de Vives. The black stands for the black community and the African race in Puerto Rico. Yellow represents the economic benefit derived from sugar cane in public relations. = The red symbolizes the blood shed by Indian slaves in their struggle against foreign invaders.                      

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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

  Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Punta Cana is part of the Punta Cana-Bavaro-Veron-Macao municipal district, in the municipality of Higuey, in La Altagracia Province (the easternmost province of the Dominican Republic). The area has beaches and balnearios which face both the Caribbean and Atlantic, and it has been a popular tourist destination since the 1970s. The name Punta Cana refers to the cane palms in the region, and literally means "Tip of the White Cane Palms" The Punta Cana area has an estimated population of 100,000, with a growth rate of six percent. To the north, it borders the village and beach of Cabeza de Toro, and then the Bavaro and El Cortecito beaches. The nearest city, the 500-year-old Higuey, is 45 kilometres  away, and it takes about an hour to drive there. Europeans, particularly Spanish hotel chains, own all but two of the 50+ megaresorts of the Punta Cana tourism destination. Punta Cana features a tropical wet and dry climate. The weather is fairly consistent all year, with an average temperature of 30 °C. The hot and humid season lasts from May to October, and during the day temperatures might reach 35 °C.  From November to March, temperatures during the evening are around 20 °C. Very little rain falls around the area, primarily because of the mostly flat landscape, a combination of savanna and mountains. Please enjoy here in some beautiful pictures of this area.                                                          

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Paris' Latin Quarter

Paris' Latin Quarter Paris’ 5th arrondissement, on the left bank, is commonly known as the “Latin Quarter.” But the name is a little deceiving. You won’t find Latin dancers performing the samba in the Latin Quarter. You won’t find restaurants serving Latin food. You won’t even find many Latin people. Instead, you’ll find a young, lively district filled with bistros, nightclubs and bookshops.  The district became known as the Latin Quarter back in the Middle Ages when universities taught students using only the Latin language. Today, the area is still teeming with college students, but they no longer only speak Latin. Regardless of what language you speak, a walk through the Latin Quarter can be one of the most enjoyable in Paris (as long as you don’t mind small spaces and heavy crowds). Here are the highlights: Place Saint-Michel This square is a big draw for 2 reasons: 1.) The St. Michel Fountain, depicting the Archangel Saint Michael striking his best superhero pose while the dragons flanking him gargle water. 2.) The names of French citizens who died fighting Nazis in this area are etched on numerous plaques around the square. Rue du Chat-qui-Peche

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Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska The City and Borough of Juneau  is the capital city of Alaska. It is a unified municipality located on the Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan panhandle, and is the second largest city in the United States by area. Juneau has been the capital of Alaska since 1906, when the government of what was then the District of Alaska was moved from Sitka as dictated by the U.S. Congress in 1900. The municipality unified on July 1, 1970, when the city of Juneau merged with the city of Douglas and the surrounding Greater Juneau Borough to form the current home rule municipality. The area of Juneau is larger than that of Rhode Island and Delaware individually and is almost as large as the two states combined. Downtown Juneau 58°18′07″N 134°25′11″W is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau and across the channel from Douglas Island. As of the 2010 census, the City and Borough had a population of 31,275. In July 2013, the population estimate from the United States Census Bureau was 32,660, making it the second most populous city in Alaska after Anchorage. Fairbanks is however the second-largest metropolitan area in the state, with more than 97,000 residents. Between the months of May and September, Juneau's daily population can increase by roughly 6,000 people from visiting cruise ships. The city is named after gold prospector Joe Juneau, though the place was for a time called Rockwell and then Harrisburg (after Juneau's co-prospector, Richard Harris). Please enjoy in some beautiful pictures.

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Prague’s Old Town

  Prague’s Old Town   A walk through Prague’s Old Town is like watching a good movie: it gets better and better the further you get into it.      First stop is the Municipal House, a paradigm of Art Nouveau architecture.  Usually artwork is inside the building; not at Municipal House.  The half-dome features a mosaic called “Homage to Prague,” accentuated by the opulent rust-green dome and flanked by sculptures on either side.  In 1918, the treaty to make Czechoslovakia an independent nation was signed here.  Today, Municipal House is famous for its Smetana Hall, home to the Prague Symphony.     The warm cream colors of Municipal House contrast with the dark, Gothic sight next door: Powder Gate.  Since 1475, back when Prague was a walled-in city, Powder Gate served as one of the only access points into the city (and it happens to look a lot like the Old Town Bridge Tower).  In the 17th century, the tower was used as a storehouse for gun powder, hence the name “Powder Tower.” A short walk leads to the Church of St. James, which harbors two big sites: an opulent Baroque organ built in the 18th century, and… a 400-year-old severed arm.  Supposedly, the arm belonged to a thief that tried to steal jewels from the church.  Now the blackened arm dangles from a chain in a hallway as a morbid reminder not to break a commandment and steal. An archway across from the church leads down Tyn Street into a fascinating courtyard that no guidebook told us about.  There were unique sculptures, interesting stores and buildings covered in ghostly religious imagery.   After passing through another archway, we’re suddenly in the historical center of Prague: Old Town Square.  It can feel a bit overwhelming with so much to see, especially with the Christmas Market congesting the square.  The square is home to many major sights, and it’s best to take it one by one. The 14th century Gothic steeples of the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn create an ominous mood that’s washed away by the square’s many brightly-colored, richly-decorated buildings.  The large pink building with the Rococo stucco is the Kinsky Palace, home to part of the National Museum’s modern art collection.   The Ministry of Development building is a golden yellow

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Gyula, Hungary

  Gyula, Hungary The town is best known for its Medieval castle and a thermal bath. Ferenc Erkel, the composer of the Hungarian national anthem, and Albrecht Dürer the Elder, the father of Albrecht Dürer, also were born in Gyula. Gyula is located in the Great Hungarian Plain up on the River Fehér-Koros, 235 km  southeast from Budapest and 5 km  from the border with Romania. Gyula is named after the Medieval Hungarian ruler Gyula III. Gyula was also a title among the Hungarian tribes and still a popular given name for boys. The first recorded reference to Gyula was in a document dated 1313 which mentions a monastery called Gyulamonostora (Julamonustra in Latin). By 1332 the settlement around the monastery was being called Gyula / Jula. The construction of Gyula Castle began in the 14th century but finished only in the mid-16th century. It was the property of the Marothy family and later John Corvinus, the illegitimate son of Matthias Corvinus. Turks conquered Gyula in 1566 and remained the part of the Ottoman Empire until 1694, when Christian troops liberated the area. Due to the wars, native Hungarian population fled from Gyula, Bekes County became near uninhabited. The landlord János Harruckern invited German, Hungarian and Romanian settlers, who re-established the town in the early 18th century. Gyula became a popular tourist destination in the 20th century, the thermal bath was established in 1942 and expanded in 1959. The castle was restored in 1962.   According to the 2011 census the total population of Gyula was 31,067, of whom there were 25,895 (83.4%) Hungarians, 974 (3.1%) Romanians, 971 (3.1%) Germans and 102 (0.3%) Romani by ethnicity. In Hungary people can declare more than one ethnicity, so some people declared Hungarian and a minority one together. Gyula is the center of the small native Romanian community in Hungary. Please enjoy in some selected photos.        

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New Zealand by Zlatko Miko

  New Zealand       New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga

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Geneve, Switzerland

  Geneve, Switzerland    Between the Alps and the Jura, in the South West of Switzerland, Geneva enjoys a temperate climate very pleasant. The township, with an area of 282 km2, crossed by the lake and the Rhone, offers visitors a breathtaking spectacle where Alpine peaks stand out against the green of the surrounding countryside. The City and Canton of Geneva have a population of 180.000 and 400.000 respectively. The official language is French, but many Geneva's speak English and German.            

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Annecy Haute Savoie, France

  Annecy Haute Savoie, France Annecy  is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.   A magical staging on bridges and in the streets forChristmas Alpes Annecy. Be surprised by the magic of Christmas,and especially the romance of this "Venice of the Alps". Sound and light on the front of the town hall. This new show sublimate new architecture by providing a tone travel glamor in the universe and the romantic fantasyinspired by Annecy. Illumination Loves bridge and water jet on LakeAnnecy. A new challenge poetic counterpoint to the harshwinter and chaotic echoes of the world, a show for all ages, by or elsewhere!    

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Paris By Night by Zlatko Miko

  Paris By Night       Place Vendôme   Place Vendôme     Les Galeries Lafayette        

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Carnival of Venice by Zlatko Miko

  Carnival of Venice   The Carnival of Venice  is an annual festival, held in Venice, Italy. The Carnival ends with the Christian celebration of Lent, forty days before Easter on Shrove Tuesday , the day before Ash Wednesday. The festival is famed for its elaborate masks. It is said that the Carnival of Venice was started from a victory of the "Serenissima Repubblica" against the Patriarch of Aquileia

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Saint Tropez, France

  Saint Tropez, France Saint-Tropez with 5650 inhabitants is a French commune located one hundred and four kilometres east of Marseille in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, the capital of the canton of Saint-Tropez. Internationally known resort thanks to the enthusiasm of New Wave artists then Yéyés and finally, a resort of the jet set as European and American tourists looking for authentic Provencal or celebrities. Saint-Tropez is located on the southeast coast of the Var on the peninsula of Saint-Tropez that closes the gulf of the same name. The town is part of a growing around the bay Canebiers on the whole of the peninsula, which may be included in a rectangle four miles by four. It occupies an area of ​​1118 hectares. The territory of the municipality is almost completely occupied by built properties on large plots, giving it a relatively unspoilt environment appearance. However, construction concentrations appear around the old village on the coast, especially between St. Peter and St. Tropez caps and between Pinet course and the long beach of Pampelonne. The town is built into the territory Golfe de Saint-Tropez by the General Council of the Var On its twelve kilometres of coastline, the town has six beaches in the west to the border with Gassin, the beach of Bouillabaisse in the old town, the beaches of La Ponche and La Fontanette after the marine cemetery, Graniers beach, in the eponymous bay, long beach Canebiers and at the end of the peninsula, the beach of La Moutte and that of Salins In addition to these public beaches many small private beaches, natural or artificial incorporated properties, despite the coastal law. Saint-Tropez is located seven hundred and four kilometres southeast of Paris-Notre Dame, zero roads of France, one hundred and four kilometers east of Marseille, forty miles northeast of Toulon, and four- twenty twelve kilometres south-west of the Italian border. Besides the village of Saint-Tropez, the town consists of the hamlets La Bouillabaisse Le Pilon and near Gassin, on the massive going towards Ramatuelle are the outlying

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Cinqueterre, Italy

  Cinqueterre, Italy   Cinque Terre form a part of the coast of the Italian Riviera in Liguria, in the west of the city of La Spezia. The Cinque Terre include five villages from west to east, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The Cinque Terre occupying a hilly and rugged landscape, which were built over the centuries terraces for agriculture. The villages are built on the Mediterranean coast, in coves and cliffs. Despite the construction of a road and a railway track in the twentieth century, access remains difficult. The Cinque Terre are composed of a narrow strip of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the ridge separating the Val di Vara and the Gulf of La Spezia. The mountainous area is parallel to the coast and includes low altitude peaks such as Mount or Mount Malpertuso Vè but close to the sea, the coastline is bordered to the west by the Mesco course and continues in a south-easterly direction to Porto Venere, including numerous bays and capes. The coast is rocky and steep, and in some cases almost vertical. Sandy beaches and pebbles are present near Monterosso, Corniglia and Riomaggiore. The Cinque Terre experience a Mediterranean climate. Like the rest of the Riviera, it is a region of Liguria where winter temperatures are milder than average, with average around 9 ° C. The landscape of the Cinque Terre is characterized by the presence of thousands of kilometres of terraces, supported by dry stone walls, which are grown mainly vineyards, olive groves, citrus, basil and herbs. In total, these walls form a length of 6729 kilometres. This excavation work, sheer to the sea, was built in the eleventh century with the stones and the dust found on site. The built on the terrace area is approximately 1400 ha and occupies the coastal face up to 450-500 meters above sea level, sometimes starting close to the shore. To reach the Cinque Terre territory, the simplest way is definitely the train from Genoa and La Spezia. And as the train remains the most convenient way to travel between the five villages in the national park. There are also hiking trails between villages.          

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Lake Constance, Germany

Lake Constance, Germany Mainau Island is a small island in the north western part of the Ueberlinger, Lake Constance. It can be reached by its southern shores on a bridge or boat. The island is part of Litzelstetten-Mainau Constance district of the city. The island of Mainau is also described as flower island.                    

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Cuba by Zlatko Miko

  Cuba    

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World Locations That Inspired Disney Movies

  World Locations That Inspired Disney Movies      The magical worlds inhabited by Disney characters have inspired children for generations, but did you know that the creative teams behind these visions were often themselves inspired by authentic villages, castles, and vistas? We took a journey through the Disney film archives, matching up enchanting fairy tales with their real-world locations. 1. Disney location: The castle from Tangled Real-life location: Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy French artist Laurent Ben-Mimoun looked to the romantic oil paintings of 18th-century artist Fragonard to create the concept art for Tangled. He started with the vision of a Renaissance castle from which Rapunzel could let down her hair, recalling Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy. As production progressed, he added medieval and French Renaissance influences–like small round towers inspired by Château de Chenonceau–as well as hints of modern architecture, like the triangular composition of the Century City Twin Towers in Los Angeles. 2. Disney location: Sleeping Beauty’s castle Real-life location: Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany   One of Germany’s most famous landmarks also served as the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle, both in the 1959 film and at Disneyland itself. Before construction began in Anaheim, Walt Disney visited Neuschwanstein Castle, a 19th-century Romanesque Revival structure, on a European tour. He was inspired by the bright

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Hidden Gems of Kyoto, Japan

  Hidden Gems of Kyoto, Japan I never had intentions to visit Japan. It just wasn’t a place on my “must see” list. But when my best friend (Sara) moved there for two years after college to teach English to elementary students I felt the need to visit her.  To this day, I will never forget that trip.  It was life changing in ways that I never expected it to be The Golden Pavillon in Kyoto  As I began to plan my trip Sara asked what I wanted to see.  Having no background on Japan, I remember Googling “Cool things to see in Japan.”  I told her that I wanted to go to Kyoto to see the Golden Pavilion.  Apparently that was the thing to see in Japan. I will admit, it was quite stunning, but I think the build up of the Golden Pavilion wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be, you weren’t even allowed to go inside.  Kyoto was home to many amazing sites other than the infamous Golden Pavilion.  We were lucky to find some amazing hidden gems along with other more famous landmarks during our two-day stay. The morning of the first day Sara and I decided to try to a place less well known.  We jumped onto a crowded bus that offered no English-speaking guides.  Sara tried her best to use the little Japanese she had picked up since living there and we got off the bus when we thought we arrived at our destination.  Luckily, her Japanese lessons paid off and we ended up where we needed to be.  We sat down for some breakfast and to map out our morning.  Sara taught me some Japanese and I practiced saying “ohayo gozaimasu” or “Good Morning” to people coming in and out.  Immediately, I was in love with the friendliness of the Japanese people.  Their warm smiles and politeness made me feel good about being there.  Our first stop in Kyoto was to Mount Takao, a very secluded district that is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city and home of three temples; Jingo-ji, Kozan-ji, and Saimyo-ji.  This was a place not many tourists travel to and exactly what we wanted. We quickly found out the reason it is not a big tourist spot.  After hiking up hundreds of stairs, in skirts and sandals no less, we arrived at our first destination.  Jingo-ji, a Buddhist Temple that dates back to the 9th Century. There were several buildings to look at in this area and we made our way in and out of each marveling at the beauty of them all.  Jingo-ji is set up over the Kiyotaki River

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Paris in a Week

  Paris in a Week I have visited Paris a couple of times by now and have never stopped being amazed whenever I return; each time, it is as if a whole new city is coming alive in front of my eyes, over and over again. Since I have friends who live in Paris, I have never stayed at hotel. Nevertheless, I can recommend staying at a rented apartment near the main attractions of the city, or a student residence near the Jardin du Luxembourg. To get into town, I mainly used metro and RER. The price ticket depends on where you travel. For areas 1-3, the ticket is 1.70 Euros, but when purchasing 10 tickets at once, I just paid 12 Euros. At one station, I also picked up plan of the metro and RER stations, which is a useful for getting around the city. During the first 2 days, I decided to see the city from above: Tour Eiffel. The unpleasant part was that I had to stand in line for about 30 minutes just to get a ticket. Afterwards, I discovered that tickets can be bought online from the site: http://www.tour-eiffel.fr. This way, you avoid the crowds. I took the elevator to the top of the tower and even though I am not fond of height, the amazing views made me forget about the tower as it swung in the wind. I admired the tour, also during the night, when the twinkling lights make it a magical sight. Tour Eiffel at night Tour Montparnasse. In just a few seconds, the elevator took me up the 56 floors. Though it was not as high as the Eiffel Tower, the view was beautiful nevertheless. Arc de Triomphe. Even though there are elevators, I preferred to take the stairs, like most of the visitors. The view of Champs Elysées during the evening is just stunning and the pancake I had after getting down made that day an even more beautiful memory.

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Dingle, a Jewel of the Dingle Peninsula

  Dingle, a Jewel of the Dingle Peninsula    Among the many things that make the town of Dingle, Ireland, special are the friendly, smiling people, the knock-your-socks-off scenery and the music.  Asking directions invariably leads to genuine help, delivered with a big grin and almost always a question from your guide as to where you are from.  Wherever your eye lights, be it towards the tiny town of Dingle with its brightly painted buildings or seaward to the Atlantic, you are greeted with an eyeful of charm.  Apparently to be Irish is to be musical because all around, people are singing, playing the fiddle or simply beating out a rhythm on the steering wheel. Dingle, the only town on the Dingle Peninsula.  Dingle, the only major town on the Dingle Peninsula, faces a harbor out of central casting.  Fishing boats depart with regularity, returning with a catch so fresh you can almost taste the ocean on your plate.  The tiny town is home to roughly 1200 people although in summer months the population increases dramatically with an influx of tourists. Strand Street faces the harbor and connects with the other three main streets: Green, John and Main. The town is a hotbed of pubs with something like twenty-five that range from modern to straight out of a James Joyce story. A walk around the town and its environs is a good way to get oriented.  As I strolled, the mountains were to my back while the streets were full of local shoppers toting net bags for daily groceries. For some retail therapy, I stopped in at Lisbeth Mulcahy’s on Green Street where I fingered lush throws and beautiful table linens made of cotton and Irish linen. There are many places to pick up Irish souvenirs including the Dingle Shop although, as I’m not a souvenir girl, I mostly browsed quickly through, thanked and departed.  On a more upscale note, I visited the modern shop owned by Brian de Staic who makes stylish and fairly expensive Celtic-inspired pins, bracelets, rings and earrings, working mostly in silver or gold. De Staic also makes crosses and pieces of jewelry based

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Christmas in Peru

  Christmas in Peru Exploring the Inca Trail, the Amazons, and Arctic Beaches    Upon our arrival to the city of Cuzco, the abrupt increase in altitude to 3,400 meters was immediately felt in my protesting lungs as we trudged up the sloping streets, past women slinging babies in colorful papooses and children peeking out from doorways. We were on our first South American adventure, and as we sat waiting in the open courtyard of the Hostel Qorichaska, the kind receptionist brought us our first infusion of coca leaves, of many to come: a bit bitter, yet warm and soothing for the head, perfect for a quiet moment before the journey started. Arrival at Macchu Picchu on the fourth day of the Inca Trail. Cuzco is a bustling city with many remnants of its colonial history; taking a stroll through its grand plaza, I was reminded of Spanish cities as I observed the elegant architecture of the buildings and churches. Throughout the streets the colorfulness of woven textures on dresses, of street vendors and markets, stood out brightly against old stone walls. With a tourist ticket in hand, which provided access to over 16 different historical sites ($43), we traveled more deeply into the city’s remote past on a visit to Saqsay

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Venice Italy

  Venice Italy       Venice    

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CROATIA by Zlatko Miko

                                            CROATIA         

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A Sunday morning walk around Split

  A Sunday morning walk around Split This entry was posted on June 28, 2014 by Mara, in Architecture, Beyond and tagged architecture, culture, Dalmatian coast, garden, history, klapa, music, Split.    One of the great benefits of catching the early morning ferry into Split, is the opportunity to wander around the backstreets when they’re not so busy.  On this particular Sunday, we had a plane to catch, but that wasn’t until lunchtime. In the meantime, we could have a tasty breakfast on the Riva, and explore the old town. Street lamps in Veli Varos Just for a change, we headed over to the western end of the waterfront, and into the maze of twisty little passages known as Veli Varos. This is where the fisherfolk and farmers built their houses when they arrived in the city, as opposed to all the grand palaces within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace. 11th century church of Sv Mikula The old church of Sv Mikula (local dialect for St Nicholas) is today set in a perfect little paved courtyard.  Back in the 11th century, this was the centre of an old village named Stanja, which derives from Stagnum, the latin for wetlands or marsh. The church has been restored multiple times, most recently to be close to its original pre-romanesque facade, and a later unsuitable belltower was removed. Beautifully restored house The house next door has been rather beautifully restored, with freshly pointed stonework and traditional dark green shutters. These look to be real wooden grilje, which have slats that open to allow in the light. Very nice!

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Dogon

  The Dogon, The Nommos and The Sirius Stars    Far off in the brush of the West Africa there lives a tribe of people that have stirred up a lot of interest in their mythology. The Dogon, from Mali, have some interesting beliefs, elaborate rituals and myths. They believe that they are descended from ancient Egyptians and their story goes back further than 5000 years. But do their stories contain actual facts about the solar system and ancient history? It all started when a couple of anthropologist began studying the Dogon and became very interested in the astronomical information their stories seemed to tell about Sirius (The

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One Month in Stone Town, Zanzibar

  One Month in Stone Town, Zanzibar   One year and five months have passed since I traveled to Zanzibar. The journey was part of the study abroad program I attended and during which I traveled around the world, to Tanzania, India, New Zealand, and Guatemala. I traveled to immerse and experience. I traveled to learn. Learn about the “other,” about myself, and about connections between us, the humanity. And so I lived eight months that profoundly changed who I am and the way I perceive the world.   Zanzibar was our first stop. The island reached its independence from Great Britain in 1963, which led to the bloody Zanzibari Revolution and, consequently, the establishment of the People’s Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba. In 1964 the republic joined Tanganyika, located on the mainland of East Africa, and the two came to form the United Republic of Tanzania, with Zanzibar being a semi-autonomous part with its own representative government.   During our one-month stay we were based in Stone Town, located on the west coast of the island. We had an opportunity to undertake classes that explored a great variety of topics focusing on political, economical, environmental, anthropological, and social aspects of the island.     Food Market in Stone Town | Photo: Liza Nagode   Swahili culture and cuisine   Perhaps the most fascinating was to learn about Zanzibari turbulent history, which tells the story about an island that was strongly marked by century long trade. Its strategic position in the Indian Ocean allowed it to become a host of diverse cultures, such as Arab, Indian, European and African, which contributed to the creation of the unique Swahili culture.   The visit to the House of Wonders, a museum of Swahili history and culture, greatly contributed to my understanding of the island’s past, as I was able to connect all the facts learned in the classroom to the various historical artifacts. Located between the Old Fort and the Palace Museum and overlooking the Forodhani Gardens, the museum is known to be the tallest building in Stone Town and thus I was able to obtain

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Porec - Paradise City On The Adria Sea

  Porec - Paradise City On The Adria Sea   Istria in Western Croatia: pictures from Porec.

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Central Dalmatia in Croatia: by Zlatko Miko

  Central Dalmatia in Croatia: Sibenik and Split.   Sibenik in Central Dalmatia, Croatia. Sibenik is a historic town located in central Dalmatia in Croatia. It is the administrative, economic, and cultural center of the County of Sibenik and Knin which extends along the 100-km long coastline between the Zadar and Split Rivieras, and up to 45 kilometers into the hinterland area. Sibenik is probably the oldest native Croatian city on the Adriatic. The main attractions of the city include the Cathedral of St James, the St. Nicholas Fortress, the Krka National Park, and the Kornati archipelago. The Cathedral of St James has been inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list since 2000. It is a triple-nave basilica with three apses and a dome. It is entirely built of stone, no other material was used. The Cathedral was constructed over a period of a century. It was completed in 1536. St. Nicholas Fortress was built at the entrance of Sibenik port in the middle of the 16th century as defense from Turkish attacks. In addition, Sibenik has three fortresses on land. St. Michael’s Fortress was built in the period from the 15th to 17th century at a height of 70m above the sea behind the old city. St. John’s Fortress was erected in 1646 on a 115-m high hill on the northern side of the historic city. The Subicevac Fortress was built in the same year as St. John’s Fortress, on a somewhat lower height. The Sibenik Museum was founded in 1925 in the former Prince's Palace, just near the Cathedral. The Kornati is a dense island group (140 islands in a sea area of about 320 km²) in the Adriatic, with hidden oases of pines and olive trees as well as quiet and sheltered bays. Kornati National Park is the southwest part of the Kornati. It includes 109 islands.

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Beautiful Islands In Croatia

    Beautiful Islands In Croatia Cres and Krk are beautiful islands in Kvarner Gulf, Croatia. Here you can see pictures from Cres Island and from Malinska and Baska in Krk Island.   Old fortress in Cres Island, Kvarner Gulf in Croatia. The Kvarner Gulf is a bay in the northern Adriatic Sea, located between the Istrian peninsula and the Northern Croatian Coastline. It includes islands such as Cres, Krk, Pag, Rab and Losinj. Cres is located in the northwest part of the Kvarner Gulf. With Krk, it is one of the largest islands of that Gulf. It can be reached via ferry from the island Krk or from Brestova in the Istrian peninsula. Cres and the nearby island of Losinj are connected by bridge. The eponymous city of Cres is located on a bay in the northern part of the island. It is the largest town of the island and its administrative center. It has a modern blue-flag marina. The old city center is a typical example of medieval architecture. From the walls and the three gates of the old city, only a defense tower in the north-western part and a city gate have been preserved

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Colorful Chania

  Colorful Chania  Soooo I'm skipping over like.... 5 other trips to write about one of the most beautiful places in the entire world (but seriously), GREECE! So, why don't you dollop a few scoops of Greek yogurt into a bowl and drizzle generously with honey? It's gonna be a long one!     I went to Greece with my best blogger friend, Courtney. We started reading each other's blogs in January, met up for a few glasses of wine later that month, and booked a trip to Greece together in February. We had no idea if we'd still be buddies 5 months later when we bought those tickets, but luckily we never even had to worry about that at all. Bloggers make for the best travel partners. We love to wander aimlessly through cities and take photos of ALL THE THINGS OMGZ. What else could you want on vacation? ;)   We ended up in Crete because we found really cheap RyanAir tickets from Athens to Chania, and like every other English teacher abroad, we chose to go to the island that was cheapest to get to. I am so glad that we found those inexpensive tickets, because we both absolutely loved wandering around the old town of Chania. Sights & Activities: One tip I hope to pass along to you if you ever find yourself in Chania? Book a room with a view of the Venetian Harbor, even if it is the absolute most touristy area of Chania. It's all worth it because then you get to wake up and look at this every morning. And that is pretty awesome. Venetian Harbor: This harbor was built by the Venetians in the 1300s for trade purposes and to protect the port city from pirates. It is completely worthwhile to spend a good chunk of time walking along the water until you reach the lighthouse at the end of the harbor. Beware though, you will definitely be dodging restaurant promoters left and right. Because Greeks speak English SO FREAKING WELL, we decided to go with the Spanish right. Lo siento, no entendemos. Worked like a charm. Below: the view from our room at Loukia Hotel.

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Travel Paradise Is A Beach In Greece

  Travel Paradise Is A Beach In Greece I have always been fascinated by landscapes and climates that are completely the opposite of Florida. Who needs to travel to a place with a beach when you've spent your entire life tanning on the white sand beaches on the west coast of Florida? I always find myself much more in awe of Mountains! and Valleys! and Snow! But then I went to Greece. Let's just say that the inner beach snob in me was cured. Warning: This is a photo heavy post. Prepare to feel the desire to book a ticket to Crete directly after viewing.  

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5 Great Restaurants To Try In Hong Kong

  5 Great Restaurants To Try In Hong Kong   As Asia’s world city, Hong Kong is a crossroads for many different cultures, which makes it a melting pot of choices when it comes to different types of cuisine.  With over 10,000 restaurants, the variety of dining options available can be quite overwhelming. If you’re in Hong Kong on vacation or a business trip, here are five of my favorite places to eat. 1. Tsui Wa Restaurant – Diner style with traditional Chinese breakfast items. 5 Great Restaurants To Try In Hong Kong       Locally called Chaa Chan Ting, this fast-paced diner is where people go to grab a quick breakfast or lunch when they’re in a hurry. On the menu you’ll find comfort foods such as macaroni with ham, a cup of milk tea, or a toasted bun with sweetened condensed milk. I recommend trying a hot coke with lemon and ginger. Address:  Multiple Locations.  Check website below for one nearest you. Website:  Tsuiwah.com   2. Little Bao! – American comfort foods with a creative Asian twist.     This little restaurant has a lot of spunk, and it was probably my favorite meal in Asia. The menu is a collection of American comfort foods with a fun gourmet Asian twist (and vice versa) that makes it pleasing to all palates. From young-to-old, from locals to expats, this one is a big crowd pleaser. On the menu you’ll find creative burgers and sandwiches made with a bao, an Asian rice bun. Everything from pork belly sliders to a toasted bao and green tea ice cream sandwich. It’s like a kid’s meal that’s made for adults.

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How To Do Chinese New Year In Hong Kong

  How To Do Chinese New Year In Hong Kong   There’s nothing like celebrating Chinese New Year in Hong Kong.  I had the opportunity to visit during this festive time of year and out of all the things we did that week, I’ve narrowed it down to 5 activities not to miss while in Hong Kong for Chinese New Year. 1 – Visit the Lam Tseun Wishing Trees to make a New Year’s Wish. We all have wishes and dreams for the new year, right? Well, in Hong Kong, everyone goes to the Lam Tseun Wishing Trees to cast their aspirations for luck.   Located near the Tin Hau Temple in Fong Po Village, there are two banyan trees where locals would hang their wishes. Writing them down on a piece of red joss paper (red is auspicious), they’d tie the paper to an orange and throw it high into the branches of the trees.   It’s believed that if your paper stayed put on one of the branches and didn’t fall, your wishes will come true.  And, the higher your note landed, the more likely all your wishes would come true.   The tradition still continues today, but in order to conserve the aging banyon trees, an artificial tree is created to bear the wishes.  It’s just as leafy green and as big as originals.  For a small fee, you can buy the joss paper and mandarin orange to toss your wishes onto the tree.

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Steps by Zlatko Miko

        Steps   1.Wurzburg, Germany     2. Pailon del Diablo, Equador     3. Chand Baori fountain in India. These steps lead to a huge fountain built in the tenth century to collect rain in the region and accumulate them in temporary lakes. The structure has a total of 3,500 steps and down to a depth of 30 meters.     4. Elbsandsteingebirge stairs in Schsische Schweiz, Germany. Some steps are cut directly into the rock of these mountains. Dating from the thirteenth century and were eroded by wind and water, but it remained being used daily by tourists. 487 steps, which have been restored in the eighteenth century to facilitate transit.     5. Crack of Guatape in Antioquia, Colombia.

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Croatia entering in EU

    Croatia entering in EU   Croatia today on first July/2013 became the 28th member of the European Union ( EU ). Congratulation to Croatia, Croats but also to European Union! After the war in Croatia, after more then 10 years negotiation with we succeeded!! What that’s mean for us, we shall see, but most of people are optimistic! My optimism is great too!  

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Amazing Fails Compilation

  Amazing Fails Compilation   Hi my dear friend!   As my first video I want to show you amazing compilation of

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Switzerland is so Beautiful

  Switzerland is so Beautiful         Everyone knows Switzerland has an abundance of chocolate and mountains. But it’s not until you visit that you appreciate just how chocolatey the chocolate and how mountainous the mountains. In some cases you just have to look at a snow-capped vista complete with obligatory wildflowers and people yodelling and say ‘Oh, stop it, Switzerland’. This week we’re featuring shots on our instagram from photographer Kris Dobie, who recently spent a few weeks hiking, eating and snapping his way through the Swiss Alps (the lucky devil). Here’s a handpicked selection of some of his best shots. Warning: may include dangerous levels of natural beauty. Consume at own risk. Hiking near Gstaad “A gondola ride from Zweisimmen to the top of Rinderberg Peak brought us to the beginning of the hiking trail, which led along the ridge to Schonried, near the famous ski town of Gstaad.  The hike offered panoramic views of high alpine peaks in all directions, and grazing cattle in the meadows below.  Their bells provided a nice soundtrack.”

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Aswan, Egypt

  Aswan, Egypt Aswan is a city in Upper Egypt located about 843 km south of Cairo, on the right bank of the Nile, near the first cataract. Today it is a city of nearly 250,000 inhabitants At the time of the Ptolemies, it was divided into highly differentiated neighbourhoods, Elephantine enjoying a residential character and the eastern side constituting an agglomeration of workers and artisans. This city, the southernmost of Egypt has long been one of the main entrances and exits of black Africa, giving rise to a thriving trade on the caravan route. This city is also known as Syene. In the Christian era, Syene was the seat of a bishopric. It was made famous by the experience of Eratosthenes to determine the circumference of Earth. This city was chosen by Eratosthenes because of its proximity to the Tropic of Cancer, the Sun is then at the vertical of the city during the summer solstice. One of Aswan wealth came from the Nile, which provided, in addition to sediment, his fish, before the Aswan dam will disrupt the ecology of the river. Another Aswan wealth in antiquity was the quarrying of granite, which could be transported by the Nile. The obelisk is a remnant unfinished. The city derives much of its economic activity of tourism, including cruises on the river from Luxor or Lake Nasser. Aswan is also known for its dams, the first built in 1908 and the High Dam inaugurated by President Sadat in 1971 creating a large reservoir, Lake Nasser. In Nasser's time was fulfilled the old dream of the Pharaohs: controlling the flow of the Nile god.               

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L'Isle sur la Sorgue, France

    L'Isle sur la Sorgue, France L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue with 19000 inhabitants is a town and commune on the Sorgue river southeastern France. Politically, the commune is in the arrondissement of Avignon within the department of Vaucluse and the region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur. The small town is famous for its many antique shops and hosts antique markets most Sundays. It has many waterside cafes and restaurants, all within walking distance of each other. Its many attractive water wheels throughout the town are still in working order. Keith Floyd, the British TV chef and bon viveur established a restaurant there during a lengthy sojourn in France. L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is twinned with the towns of Penicuik in the UK, and Anagni in Italy. Originally known as "Insula", the town officially adopted the name of "L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue" on 18 August 1890, taking the latter part of its name from the river Sorgue, to which it owed much. As early as the 12th century, the river served defensively as a moat around ramparts which surrounded the town until 1795. The river also served as a source of food and industry: fishing and artisan mills for oil, wheat, silk, paper, woolenry, rugs and dyeing. A busy commerce developed until there were two annual fairs and two weekly markets. The current Sunday open-air market originated on 9 November 1596.                  

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Hoi An, Vietnam

  Hoi An, Vietnam I was SO nervous. Invasive, inconsiderate and rude were the first words that came to mind. Wouldn’t they be so annoyed? Last week during our visit to Hoi An, Vietnam I signed up for my first-ever photography walk with a professional photographer. I love landscape photography but candid people photography (outside of those goofy Instagram-oriented portraits that I sometimes try) makes me so anxious. I just really didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable by my putting a big lens in their face. Wearing my hesitations loudly on my sleeve, I headed to class hoping for some solid tips on how to capture people in natural but pleasant way. That was the goal. After a 30 minute boat ride to a remote village my instructor, Etienne, gave us a pocketful of tips for candidly capturing people.The most important method for documenting people naturally: engagement. Whether someone is cutting, cooking or cleaning something, ask them what they’re up to and how they are doing it. The idea is that this will make a person feel more comfortable with you and eventually your lens. Another practical tip: turn the camera around and share the shots you’ve taken and even offer to share over email. Despite the helpful tips, I still found the project a difficult one. Approaching a group or individual one of two things happened: a. I’d smile excessively, feel inclined to ask to take a picture then end up getting a Sears Portrait gallery non-candid shot. or b. After displaying interest in their activity, I’d get distracted and join in, totally missing the opportunity to take a picture but enjoying myself nonetheless. (I actually lost the tour group for 30 minutes while I got stuck in a card game with 10 year olds.) While I wouldn’t call it a soaring success, I really loved spending time exploring the countryside, meeting locals and learning photography techniques along the way. Have you tried documenting people and cultures on your travels? How’d it go?

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Kerlouan, Commune in France

    Kerlouan, Commune in France Small town in Brittany, France, Kerlouan with 2350 inhabitants is part of the township of Lesneven. Located 10 meters above sea level and adjacent municipalities of Guisseny and Plounéour Trez, The most beautiful monument of Kerlouan is its natural site.Home of churches and chapels: the parish church St. Brévalaire, chapels St. Anne, the Croazou, St. Egarec, and St. Guenal Saint-Sauveur. In the town area there are 58 crosses and crucifixes at cross roads. Some fountains are also remarkable: the black fountain, two fountains Saint Égarec and the fountain of Saint Sauveur. There are still three mansions in the municipality: Kerivoas, Kerenez and Pen ar Méas. That of Kerivoas Ultimately with Plounéour Trez is a center of military transmissions, with a tower 300 meters high, serving among others for the transmission of information to the French submarines. This pretty town of North Finistere is famous thanks to its body guard nestled between two huge rocks that sea monster would have torn the sea. The 14 kilometers of coastline are divided between beaches and rocks PS: But here you will see mostly angry sea, on a stormy day.  

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Maine et Loire, France

  Maine et Loire, France The Maine-et-Loire with over 780,000 inhabitants is a French department in the region Pays de la Loire. Created in 1790, it is a large department in rural and agricultural dominance, as it largest urban center in the city of Angers, prefecture and county seat, supported by three sub-prefectures that are Saumur, Cholet and Segre. The territory is crossed from east to west by the Loire which pours numerous tributaries making him one of the most drained of France departments. Its temperate oceanic climate, its geological diversity and its many wetlands promote biodiversity and make the first horticultural region of France. Economically it is the second industrial center of the Loire Valley and a leading French departments in value and agricultural diversity, including hosting the most extensive vineyards of the Loire Valley. The Maine-et-Loire is the second French departments in many departments as are bordering with eight neighbouring departments. These are eight departments Mayenne, Loire-Atlantique, Vendée and Sarthe for the Pays de la Loire, the Indre-et-Loire in central France, Deux-Sèvres and Vienna for the region Poitou Charentes and Ille-et-Vilaine in the Brittany region.                                  Castle Saumur

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Santiago de Chile, Valparaiso, the Andes, Chile

  Santiago de Chile, Valparaiso, the Andes, Chile Santiago de Chile, is the capital of Chile The town has more than 5 million inhabitants. To the east, the city is dominated by the Andes and west the city is approaching little by little from the Cordillera de la Costa that separates the Pacific Ocean from Santiago and Valparaiso Region. Valparaíso is a major city, seaport, and educational center in the county or commune of Valparaíso, Chile. Greater Valparaíso is the second largest metropolitan area in the country. Valparaíso is located 111.8 kilometres northwest of Santiago and is one of the South Pacific's most important seaports. Valparaíso is the capital of Chile's third most populated administrative region and has been the headquarters for the Chilean National Congress since 1990. The Andean Cordillera varies throughout the country. In the far north, it is very affected by volcanism that blanketed forms of powdery layers of lava, in northern Chile, although this is less volcanism, the considerable heights of the Andes (6000m. Offers an imposing landscape. One can also enjoy foothills that detach from the Andes mountain range and are moving towards the west. The terrain is rugged and mountainous. The Andes is the eastern facade of the territory. Its average height is 5000m to Santiago. above the sea level. It starts decreasing south of Santiago and until the far southern continent. It reappears in the Antarctic as the Antartandes. In the north and center of the country, the highest peaks are: the Llullaillaco volcano, incahuasi, Ojos del Salado, Very Cruces and Tupungato.      

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Ride through South Portugal

  Ride through South Portugal The geography of Portugal 10,335,084 inhabitants is divided into two parts separated by the Tagus. Mountainous areas north and south plains. The Portuguese terrain is not still very pronounced; the highest point (on the continent) will culminates at 1993 m (Serra da Estrela). Capital: Lisbon Principal cities: Albufeira, Bragança, Faro, Funchal, Porto. Atlantic climate, holy, tonic. Never in sweltering heat, even in summer except south of the Tagus; on the coast the winds are fresh. Very mild winters (except in the mountains). In the Algarve, spring begins in January and late season (summer of Saint Martin) is sunny until November.       Tavira Island is part of the National Park of the Ria Formosa. It is a sandy island with nearly 15 km of coastline where you can enjoy the sea and waves. It is located 3 minutes by boat from Santa Luzia. This is the ideal place to enjoy swimming and vacation, a place with pleasant temperatures thanks to the sea breeze and beautiful benefits and services. Tavira Island consists of 3 ranges: -Plage of Tavira Island with access by boat from the center of Tavira. This one takes the Gilão River to arrive on the platform of the Island of Tavira and drop off passengers. The trip takes 15 minutes. You can also take the boat at 4 Aguas and in this case the trip will take 5 minutes.                   The island da Culatra or "Ilha do Farol" is a Portuguese island, situated between Faro and Fuzeta at Ria Formosa in the Algarve, facing Olhão.Elle is equipped with electricity for 19 years, Although it belongs administratively to the city of Faro, it is part of the set of barrier islands that define the Ria Formosa lagoon largest Portugal.L'île coast has a few kilometers of beaches. The Lighthouse of 42 meters high watching over the island. It is a very peaceful island which has no motor vehicle. The only noise you can hear is the sound of seagulls.                               Monchique       Luz - This lovely coastal town whose name means "light range" is a choice destination for beach tourism. The beaches, sand or rock, washed by the waves of the Atlantic, abound around the city. As you walk into Praia de Luz, you can take a trip in the history of this ancient city. The historical center is home to ancient ruins, especially Roman baths and medieval monuments like the church Nossa.               Santa Luzia Located 2 km from

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Lorca - Holy Week

  Lorca - Holy Week   Easter in Lorca is one of the most important celebration of events of Holy Week in Spain having been declared of International Tourist Interest in 2007. Currently on offer intensive to be shortlisted for the declaration and the Intangible Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. Regardless of the existence of religious processions in the traditional way, dotting the Easter lorquina a unique and distinct personality, with representations from the Old Testament or the Christian symbolism or with the participation of horses and chariots floats and huge dimensions. silk embroidery are also an important feature of Lorca processions, marked by an extraordinary rivalry between two fraternities or its steps, blue and white. While many of their processions are older, biblical history shows the passion that we know goes back to the late nineteenth century, more and more since the splendor today. Although some of their purely religious processions span several streets of the city, the four major biblical processions Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday have a framework Avenue Juan Carlos I, the most important roads in the city. Because it is packed in the days before Easter with placement on the asphalt a layer of soil that allows the passage of horses safe. Access to these required steps for the two main biblical passion shows on Thursday and Friday of the previous acquisition of the fertilizer. The decoration of the stands and many balconies with white or blue flags are completed with handkerchiefs waving participants to make the scenario of processions Lorca moth with two colors with Holy Week. Besides the parades and processions Bible, some Easter Lorca acts are also very important. The first of these, the Serenade to Our Lady of Sorrows, held on the eve of Good Friday, when at the last minute of it, gather thousands of blue at the door of the Church of San Francisco , home of the Brotherhood to congratulate her way bearer in which there will be at noon on his birthday.                            

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Palatine Hill, Rome

  Palatine Hill, Rome The Palatine is one of the seven hills of Rome. Irregular quadrilateral of about 2 km in circumference and a height of 70 meters, the Palatin consists of two summits: the Germal west and Palatual east, and occupied a central position in ancient Rome . overlooking the Roman Forum to the north and the south Circus Maximus. Under the Empire, the Palatine was occupied by large houses built for emperors, which gave birth to the word "palace".   Today their ruins occupy a large part of the hill.   Legend   the foundation of Rome has its origins on the Palatine. Indeed, the legend says that it was under a wild fig in front of the entrance to the cave of Lupercal located at the foot of the hill that Romulus and Remus were discovered by the she-wolf that feeds them. The shepherd Faustulus then found the two children abandoned in the forest along a riverbank and with his wife Acca Laurentia, raised them. Later, it was on this same hill that Romulus decided to found the city. This is one of the oldest parts of the city. The emperors of Rome build one after the other their palaces on the Palatine Hill.      

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Cascais and Fatima, Portugal

  Cascais and Fatima, Portugal        Cascais is a town in Portugal. It is located on the front of the Atlantic Ocean, 30 kilometers west of the capital Lisbon This is a Portuguese coastal town rather touristy, belonging to the district of Lisbon, with 6 parishes. It is located next to the town of Estoril, famous for its casino and motorcycling circuit. Favored by the mild climate which combine the safety of the sea air and the cool winds from the massif of Sintra, a beautiful sandy beach hemming harmonious Bay Coast Sun Cascais is both a traditional fishing harbor and a lively resort. ancient times men have enjoyed the Cascais site. In prehistoric peoples were followed by lesWisigoths Romans and became independent Moors along Lisbon, Cascais acquired from the mid-fourteenth century the title of "vila", but in 1580 and in 1597 it was sacked by the troops of Alva then by those of Mary Tudor 1755 earthquake that destroyed the then resumed its growth.

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Places That Are Off-Limits for Most Tourists

  Places That Are Off-Limits for Most Tourists There’s some places in this world that simply don’t want to be seen. Here’s our top 10 list of places that you can forget about visiting….but mad props if you do.   Heard Island Volcano, Australia Have you ever heard of Heard Island Volcano (pun intended!)? Hearing about this island will probably be the closest you’ll get to Australia’s highest mountain – Mawson Peak. Why would you want to go there? This is where you can see penguins, marine birds, glaciers, and even lava flows. Why can’t you go there? The volcano is active. You are highly unlikely to get permission from Australian Antarctic Division to visit the island. Also, in order to see cute penguins, glaciers, and if you’re lucky lava flows, you have to convince a crew to take you there. Why a crew won’t take you there? Let’s just say that they would have to travel the sea for two weeks, and the waters are far from ideal for sailing. Maybe if they have a death wish, or are bored as no man has ever been before…   North Sentinel Island, Andaman Islands Why would you want to go there? The North Sentinel Island, located in the Bay of Bengal, is a perfect vacation spot known for its clear, blue water and miles and miles of forest. Why can’t you go there? North Sentinel Island is more famous for people living there than its beautiful nature. The Sentinelese are a small tribe that has been isolated from the rest of the world for more than 60.000 years, and they don’t plan on changing their minds and give you a warm welcome when you come to the island. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a government official, journalist, or just a tourist – the Sentinelese will not hesitate to use their spears and arrows to make sure they stay isolated from the rest of the world.   Surtsey, Iceland

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Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

  Kaieteur Falls, Guyana    Kaieteur Falls is a single drop waterfall located at the central Essequibo Territory in Guyana. It is particularly located on the Potaro River in Kaieteur National park flowing over a series of steep cascades. This isn’t really a popular site compared to Niagara and Iguazu Falls, but if you like discovering treasures in an underdeveloped yet more-in-touch-with-nature setting, Kaieteu Falls is the treasure you should look for.   The Kaieteur Falls has a drop of 226 meters making it one of the highest waterfalls in the world. Moreover, it has a height of 251 meters and a width of 122 meters during the rainy season. It is among the most powerful waterfalls too with an average flow rate of 663 cubic meters per second.

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Sunsets in Alabama, USA

  Sunsets in Alabama, USA Alabama is a state of 131 443 km² of the southeastern United States, bordered on the south by Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, to the east by Georgia, to the north by Tennessee and west by Mississippi. The state capital is Montgomery.          

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Los Angeles, USA

  Los Angeles, USA Los Angeles is the second largest city in Usa. It is located in southern California, on the Pacific coast. It is bordered to the north by the San Gabriel Moutains, west and south by the Pacific Ocean. Los Angeles offers a wide variety of landscapes. The shore consists of long white beaches of Santa Monica bay and San Pedro, which make Los Angeles the largest metropolis built on a coastal site, The city occupies part of the Los Angeles basin, a coastal plain rugged, and much of the San Fernando Valley, which it is separated by high hills, the Santa Monica Mountains. The main Los Angeles river is the Los Angeles River, a small river which rises in the San Fernando Valley and through the city to the ocean. The Los Angeles area has a remarkable number of species of native plants. Poppy "California, toyon, and hundreds of others With its beaches, dunes, hills, mountains and rivers, it is rich in various ecosystems. But some species are rare and endangered, such as the Los Angeles sunflower. The city has 379 parks. Griffith Park is the largest urban park in the world. The oldest city park was established in 1781 and is located in the El Pueblo Historic Monument in Los Angeles, near Union Square. The city enjoys a semi-arid Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and warm dry summers. It enjoys 320 days of annual sunshine. The winds coming from the Pacific Ocean tend to cool off the coast in summer and warm in winter. In inland, maritime influences are less felt, so that the temperature difference increases. Rain falls mainly in the winter months of January and February are the wettest.           View on the hill Universal studios Venice Beach Venice Canal view

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Peru - Land and People

  Peru - Land and People             Notes to Peru is a heartfelt visual dedication to the people and animals who have shaped the land of Peru. Moved by the spirit of the country, San Francisco-based photographer Brian Flaherty created this series of portraits during a recent trip with his wife. Forgoing a road-map and plans, the pair roamed the country and were delighted with the natural wonders of the land, and the overwhelming warmth of its people. The photographer and his wife took a guided trek through the Andes, stopping in small, remote villages along the way. They found that the local people offered a wealth of hospitality, welcoming the pair warmly despite language barriers. The faces seen within Flaherty’s portraits are well-weathered and marked, showing generations of people accustomed to conditions that seemed extreme and unfamiliar to the traveling couple. Flaherty was particularly touched by the overwhelming sense of community he felt, with a palpable sense of “togetherness and selflessness evident throughout the trip." Throughout his journey, the photographer was continuously moved by the country and its people who put their “bodies, hearts, and souls into

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