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Category Archives: Travel

Beaches of the Eastern Cape

Jeffrey’s Bay

Famous all over the world, at least amongst the surfing community, Jeffrey’s Bay has reputedly one of the best swells in the world. The annual international surfing competition the ‘Billabong Pro’ has been held here for many years. Walking South Africa’s most famous surf beach, you may catch sight of some well-known faces from the pro-surfing circuit and, for those with a taste for adventure, it is the perfect place to try out that long-held ambition to ‘hang ten’ with your ‘toes on the nose’! Popular sites for the more experienced surfers are Magna Tubes, Kitchen Windows, Boneyards, Supertubes and Tubes.

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth is another town popular with surfers, but don’t worry, if surfing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied. With over 40km of wide, sandy beaches, Port Elizabeth caters for pretty much every type of holiday maker. The warm, calm waters are tempting enough to entice even the most timid swimmer; and the seemingly endless stretches of golden beaches are ideal for leisurely walking. South Africa has a wonderful marine-life and Port Elizabeth is the ideal place to experience it; treat yourself to the thrill of a lifetime on a whale-watching cruise along the coast.

East London

No, this is not a misprint; the beaches of East London on South Africa’s Eastern Cape are renowned as amongst the world’s most sublime. Walking South Africa’s version of East London could not be more different than its European namesake. Many of the beaches are completely unspoilt in terms of development. Spend a day at the delightful Igoda Beach and, although you will need to take a picnic lunch with you, the experience of strolling along a deserted beach with only the waves to keep you company, can make you feel like the last person on earth.

Costa Tropical, Spain

Costa Tropical is the most ideal place to relax and holiday. It is not only its beautiful picturesque places, it is its weather, mild whispering wind and the warm Mediterranean water; it is something unique. Ah! There is the Sierra Nevada Mountain which enhances the beauty of this tiny village. Interestingly, the average temperature of this village and its surrounding places is 20 degrees, one will certainly appreciate it is a heaven. It is not just that, there are many places of interest in and around Costa Tropical.

Beaches

The most ideal place for a relaxing holiday; enjoy the beautiful surrounding, play water sports, walk, exercise, go fishing and what not. It is a wonderful experience. Of course there are many restaurants to relish as you relax and exercise.

Almunecar

This neighbor of Costa Tropical is a resort town which was once under the Phoenicians; now it is controlled by a Municipality. It is not only the beach; the city is rich in many monuments which have historic importance. The amphitheaters, churches and some historic buildings are some of the most interesting places of Almunecar. This city is rich in underwater wealth. It is one of the most ideal places for scuba diving. This agriculture dominant city is rich in vegetation and understandably has a cool surrounding.

Motril

One of the biggest towns of Costa Tropical, Motril is medium populated and is located to the East of Almeria. It has many places for shopping and is actively involved in commercial transactions. The town has two important beaches and they are Playa Poniente and Playa Granada.

Salobena

This is another neighboring town of Costa Tropical which is centrally located and is considered as a jewel town as well. Of course, it is an agriculture based town where custard apple, sugarcane, mangoes are grown prominently. Known for its famous drink Tapas and other great wine, it has many places for shopping. There are many shops, malls, supermarkets, etc. There are also banks and all facilities which a tourist requires.

Stay and food

Both these are no problem in Spain. Many villas and hotels are available on the entire stretch of Costa Tropical and its neighboring cities. These are luxurious villas and hotels. Many restaurants are also available along the entire coast and in the villages. They serve the local dishes and other continental foods.

New Zealand Walking Holiday

New Zealand is often described in terms of its two main islands. Many areas of the North Island have a distinctive ‘Pacific Island’ feel with beautiful beaches, luscious flora and a volcanic appearance to much of the countryside. It is home to the bulk of New Zealand’s population and is proud of its multi-cultural status, and has a strong Maori legacy and presence. Auckland and Wellington are two major cities well worth exploring, as is Napier. Rotorua is world-famous for its geysers, hot steam vents and bubbling mud pools. The Bay of Islands contains marvellous opportunities for exploring the multitude of islets and sandy coves. Not to be missed also is the Tongariro National Park which contains stunning scenery.

The South Island is different! Much more sparsely populated, the island contains a vast range of natural spectacles including mountains, glaciers and fjords. It is home to the Southern Alps and some of the world’s most breathtaking views of mountains, lakes and coastlines. The largest town is Christchurch and other major attractions include Mount Cook with its alpine scenery; Te Anau with its fjords; Queenstown with its scenery and adventure leisure opportunities; and the Fox and Franz Joseph glaciers. It’s also an ideal opportunity to see a wide variety of wildlife; including exotic birds such as the Albatross; and around the coastal areas, whales, dolphins and seals.

Both the North and South Islands received rave reviews for their stunning scenery when it was seen around the globe as the backdrop to the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. All these attractions are just a tiny sample of what a New Zealand walking holiday may be able to help you explore.

Why take a New Zealand walking holiday?

New Zealand is a beautiful country that has worked hard to keep its natural grandeur intact.
There are vast areas of nature that are relatively undeveloped and unspoilt by large-scale human encroachment. In some cases the only way to reach these magnificent sights is on foot. In other instances, you’ll be more likely to appreciate the locations ‘in context’ if you’ve walked to them. New Zealand walking holidays in general are also becoming more popular for environmental reasons; and if you need yet more convincing, they may also be better for your general health!

How does the holiday work?

A New Zealand walking holiday is fully guided by a tour leader that is an expert in the route and the attractions as well as the local history and culture. They are constructed for those with only a moderate degree of fitness and walking ability. It is a carefully and expertly crafted holiday experience and not a forced route march – so no need to worry if you don’t come into the ‘superfit’ category! Each guided walk is carefully planned to ensure that it is not overly demanding and that it concludes each day with the opportunity to relax and unwind in excellent accommodation. You can sample the excellent local cuisines while you reflect upon the sights you’ve seen during the day.

The holidays offer a variety of choices. So you may wish to be based in a single center or to vary between different locations. You can decide to explore only one of the major islands or spend time or both. That is one of the major attractions of a New Zealand walking holiday – you can select an option that suits your interests and then with the help of your tour guide, follow it. It really can be a different and more satisfying sort of holiday.

 

Madeira Beach

Nestled between Treasure Island and Redington Beach is a quiet Gulf Beach municipality known as Madeira Beach. Just two miles long, this beach community is perfect for families and couples longing for a peaceful tropical getaway on Florida’s Gulf coast.

While there are some hotels nearby, most people stay in vacation condos on Madeira Beach. Beachfront condos on Madeira Beach can be found relatively cheaper than waterfront condos on other beaches like St. Pete Beach and Clearwater Beach, and they offer a much more private, family-friendly atmosphere.

If you’re going to visit Madeira Beach, you have to check out John’s Pass Village. It’s an old fishing village that caters to both tourists and locals, offering an assortment of beach shops and restaurants like Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, The Hut, Gators, The Friendly Fisherman, and more.

You can also take a ride on some wave runners, go deep sea fishing for grouper, go parasailing, or look for dolphins with Hubbard’s Dolphin Watch, all at John’s Pass Boardwalk. Cool off afterwards with an iced mocha or a smoothie from Addicted to the Bean Coffee House, also located at John’s Pass.

You and the kids will love the Pirate Ship at John’s Pass, where you’ll board a cruise that’s an exact replica of a real pirate ship! Hear stories of pirate folklore and take part in a treasure hunt! They even offer face painting! The tours run 2-3 times daily, but sunset offers the most spectacular views.

When it’s dinner time, and you’re craving some seafood, just a short distance from the Pass is Middle Grounds Grill on Treasure Island. Their macadamia crusted mahi is so delectable and fresh! And you can’t go wrong with the Grouper – the area’s specialty! No visit to the area is complete without a trip to Middle Grounds.

The great thing about Madeira Beach, unlike other Gulf beach communities is the fact that everything is within walking distance, or just a short trolley ride down the street. Madeira Beach Rentals and even nearby Vacation Rentals on Treasure Island are all conveniently located where the action is, so you’re not searching for places to eat or things for the kids to do. There’s never a shortage here! It’s peaceful, relaxing, quality family time at its finest!

Top Lake in New Zealand

Lake Rotorua

The second largest lake on the North Island of New Zealand, Lake Rotorua was formed in the crater of a volcano. Tinged a slightly yellow colour by the sulphur for which the area is renowned, the lake is perhaps not too tempting for a swim. However, if you’re in New Zealand walking, you’ll find no better route than around a section of the lake. Once you’ve seen the water close up, you may like to get an aerial view by taking a trip on the Skyline Skyride gondola, where you can enjoy the phenomenal view and even do a little shopping in the souvenir shops and restaurants. From the top of the gondola, you will get a fantastic view of Mokoia Island, which Maori legend names as the setting of the great love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai.

Lake Taupo

Also found on the North Island, Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s biggest and most impressive lake. Created by the largest volcanic eruption that has been recorded within the last 5000 years, the freshwater lake is a beautiful shade of blue from which it is difficult to avert your gaze. One of the most popular havens of activity in New Zealand, walking around the lake you are likely to spot a number of parachutes floating above you as skydivers descend. However, if you prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground, there are some glorious hikes to be enjoyed, including the Great Lake Walkway between Taupo to Wharewaka Point, the Huka Falls Walkway, and even a wander around the Waipahihi Botanical Reserve.

Lake Wanaka

One of the jewels of the South Island, Lake Wanaka is estimated to be over 300 metres deep. The lake is overlooked by the Mount Aspiring National Park, allowing for beautiful reflections to be cast over the waters on calm days. In the winter months, these mountains are scattered with skiers, and in summer, walkers can rediscover the trails that have been hidden underneath the snow. Paths through the foothills will take you around the edge of the lake, passing remnants of Maori carvings and statues as you go. Whatever the season, Lake Wanaka is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places in New Zealand. Walking the shores of the lake with the backdrop of the mountains for company is a rewarding pastime whether there are autumn leaves on the trees, snow on the ground, or a warm sun beating down on your back.

Though for many, New Zealand walking is all about navigating glaciers and climbing mountains, some of the most beautiful views come from a slightly lower altitude. With some of the most impressive stretches of water in the world, there is nothing quite like walking the shores of New Zealand’s lakes.

 

Museums And Galleries in New York

The Museum Of Modern Art

Arguably the most popular and influential museum in New York, the Museum of Modern Art is packed full of modern and contemporary art which showcases a diverse range of talent from all over the world. Founded in 1929 and located in central Manhattan, the museum displays artwork in a range of different media, including photography, architecture and illustrated books, as well as paintings and sculptures, all of which date from the 1880s up until the present day. No matter how many times you experience sightseeing in New York, the ever-changing exhibitions and collections will ensure that there is always something new for you to see.

The Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney Museum of American Art, or ‘the Whitney’ as it is commonly called, focuses on 20th and 21st century American art and, in particular, the work of the nation’s living artists. For those who are looking to get a true sense of the country that they are in, this really is an essential experience as part of their sightseeing. New York saw the opening of the Whitney in 1931, when it was originally sited on West Eighth Street in Greenwich Village. After outgrowing this and other locations, it finally took over its present site on Madison Avenue at 75th Street in 1966. Rather than just concentrating on the more popular artists, the museum regularly purchases artworks within just a year of their creation. This is often before the artists have become at all well-known, thus allowing visitors the opportunity to experience the raw talent of some of the country’s up and coming stars of the art world.

The American Museum of Natural History

For those with an interest in any aspect of natural history, the American Museum of Natural History is definitely not to be missed off the agenda for sightseeing in New York. This is one of the largest and most celebrated museums of its kind in the world. Those who have seen the film Night at the Museum starring Ben Stiller, will be familiar with the facade of the building which featured in the movie. Founded in 1869, the museum’s collections comprise a breathtaking 32 million specimens which, despite the museum occupying 25 interconnected buildings, cannot all be displayed at the same time. Whether you have a fascination for human biology, minerals and gems, fossils, meteorites or dinosaurs, this exceptional museum will take your breath away. The dinosaur skeletons alone are worth making the trip for, as is the full-size model of the Blue Whale which is on show.

Endless Variety

With hundreds of museums, galleries and exhibitions to explore during your time sightseeing New York, there is no wonder that people return a number of times to visit as many of them as they can. The ever-changing ranges of collections and exhibitions add even greater variety, so no matter how many times you come back there will always be something different to see.

Stunning Tourist Sites in Russia

1. Palace Square : After the imperial squares of Moscow acquired significance, Palace square was soon created in Petersburg, Russia. The enormous and outstanding formal court attracts many of the vacationers because it depicts the ancient struggle of the terrific politicians of Russian Federation in the early twentieth century.

2. The Alexander Column : Auguste de Montferrand built the traditional Alexander Column in 1833. He had also built the well known St. Isaac’s Cathedral. This astounding column is placed so that it aligns to perfection with Winter Palace entry in addition to the triumph arch.

3. The General Staff Building : You should certainly go to this traditional monument the General Staff Building. It is ordered by Alexander 1 in 1819. This Historical monument faces the Winter Palace which also positions the wonderful triumphal arch that is the most crucial monument to war as opposed to the great Napoleon. Although, this monument is not open for holidaymakers and usual public, since they truly need to protect this architectural development created by the good people.

4. The Admiralty : In the year 1823, the Admiralty was made for administering the Russian Navy. Andreyan Zakharov built this extraordinary tower that’s centrally based with gild spire which caps this structure.

5. Decembrists Square : Decemberists square was made in remembrance of the regrettable day of revolt which is also regarded as 2nd square of St. Petersburg. This medieval memorial reminds of the tragedy of foretime where rebels were attacked, held captives and than exiled or executed.

6. Peter the Great Statue : Tsar Peter the Great, The Bronze Horseman sculpture looks incredibly attractive and symbolizes historic symbol of Russia. It had been commissioned by Catherine the Great and its creator was Frenchman Etienne Falconet. You definitely will find this amazing statue really sympathetic from wherever you look at it.

7. Peter the Great Cottage : This remarkable meek Cottage built from heavy good wood was the main dwelling of Peter the Great. This little house provided shelter for Peter when he was building this amazing city of Russia. It was constructed in 1703 and went on just three days for the army carpenters to make it.

8. The Peter and Paul Fortress : The largest project taken on in this traditional period was the building of The Peter and Paul Fortress. Subsequently as the castle was made, The Peter and Paul Cathedral was erected inside which could be the basic interest of the historical memorial.

9. Engineer’s Castle : Paul, Catherine’s son, made this striking and tough castle to guard himself from getting assassinated . But, sad to say he was murdered in his bedroom just in 3 days of getting there.

 

Treasure Island, Florida

Treasure Island Beach is a charming beach town right off the waters of St. Petersburg, Florida. It boasts some of the widest beaches in Florida, and its family-centered demographics make it an ideal vacation spot for families, and folks looking for a relaxing getaway. In fact, Babe Ruth owned a Treasure Island beachfront house after he retired.

Not too much has changed since the Babe lived out this way – it still attracts a number of tourists, but not the large crowds you see at Clearwater Beach. Treasure Island is actually one of the few places you can still enjoy ‘Old Florida,’ just as the Babe did, with an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and recreation activities.

Deep Sea Fishing – Enjoy a group fishing expedition with your family. Set sail from the docks of John’s Pass Marina and explore local area waterways in search of a big catch! There are several fishing charters in Treasure Island that offer affordable fishing expedition packages for the whole family.

Waverunner Rentals – You can rent waverunners on the beach and on Boca Ciega Bay. Most charge around $60 hour an hour rental, but you can typically fit two people on each one. That works out to be $120, although you can score a better deal if you rent during twilight hours.

John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk – Full of shopping and dining, this is a must-see for all those visiting the area. Check out the Friendly Fisherman Restaurant or Sculley’s Boardwalk Grille. The boardwalk is a great place to watch for dolphins, known to come out during twilight hours. A beautiful way to watch the sun set!

Hubbard’s Marina Ferry to Egmont Key – Take a ferry ride to historic Egmont Key, which was used by the military in the Spanish-American War and World War II. You’ll see the historic lighthouse, and tons of Florida wildlife including the seagrass beds, the gopher tortoise, and a seabird sanctuary. You’ll have the opportunity to snorkel and swim as much as you’d like. Tours last 3-5 hours.

John’s Pass Parasail – If you can brave the height of 1,200 feet, you’ll see the most incredible view of Treasure Island and the surrounding Gulf Beaches, all the way down to Sarasota. Stay perfectly dry or dip into the waters! You can even experience the rush with one, two, and even three people at a time!

At night, most people visiting will stay in Treasure Island Beach Resorts or Treasure Island Beach Rentals. They’re far less crowded than nearby hotels on St. Pete Beach, although there are some terrific St Pete Beach Vacation Rentals. Vacation rentals offer an affordable, comfortable, and convenient stay for the entire family, right in the heart of this spectacular beach, right where all the action is!

 

Popular Attraction in Vietnam and Cambodia

Archeologists date Vietnam’s genesis to approximately 300,000 years ago. Official history, however, dates Vietnam’s beginnings to about 4,000 years ago. Although the French governed Vietnam from 1858-1954, the name “Vietnam” conjures images of the war with the United States, which ended more than twenty years ago. Today, Vietnam welcomes tourists from many nations to its lush, green interior, where striking cultural sights and sounds abound. With tropical temperatures year round and the welcoming smiles of its people, the country is a popular destination for tourists seeking an off the beaten track” journey that artfully blends the physical with the spiritual.

Cambodia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand to the south, Thailand to the east, Vietnam to the West, and Laos to the North, was founded from 802 to 1431 A.D., stretching during its peak as far as the Thailand-Burma Border in the west and Wat Phou of Laos in the north. Ancient Khmer rulers enforced unity among and enhanced prosperity, leaving behind exceptional monuments such as Angkor Wat and numerous unique sculptures and artifacts, as well as a people who pride themselves on showcasing their country’s stunning contrasts.

The most popular Vietnam and Cambodian attractions include:
Vietnam Mount Fan Si Pan: the highest mountain in Indo-China, Fan Si Pan is located in the Lè o Cai province in Northwest Vietnam. Dubbed “the Roof of Indochina”, Fan Si Pan also boasts 2,024 floral varieties and 327 faunal species. Climbing Fan Si Pan is exhilarating and physical, a true once-in-a-lifetime experience not soon forgotten.

Angkor Wat: the best-preserved temple at Angkor, Cambodia, and the only temple to remain a significant religious center. A prime example of classical style Khmer architectural style, Angkor Wat has drawn high praise for the harmony of its overall design and the overarching sense of spirituality visitors experience.

Angkor Thom: One of the last and most enduring capital cities of the Khmer empire, Angkor Thom was established in the late twelfth century by king Jayavarman VII and is revered for its large scale construction, widespread use of special weatherized bricks known as laterite, and the “naga”, or cobra-carrying giant monsters on its towers.

Preah Khan: Another temple at Angkor, Cambodia, Preah Khan was also built in the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII and has remained largely unrestored, with vast trees and vegetation growing among its ruins. According to Wikipedia, “Since 1991, the site has been maintained by the World Monuments Fund. It has continued the cautious approach to restoration, believing that to go further would involve too much guesswork, and prefers to respect the ruined nature of the temple.” Preah Khan is a huge and interesting monastic complex that draws visitors from across the globe.

Neak Pean, an artificial island with a Buddhist temple also built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, was meant to represent a mythical lake in the Himalayas known as Anavatapta, where the waters were believed to cure all manner of illness. Neak Pean was originally designed as one of several hospitals built by the king. Based on the ancient Hindu belief of balance, four pools connect, representing water, earth, fire and wind, with a central water source in the middle. Stepping into these pools was thought to balance the bather’s elements and cure disease. A statue of the god Bahala stands guard to prevent drowning.

East Mebon: A 10th century temple in Angkor, East Mebon was built during the reign of King Rajendravarman and stands today at the center of the now dry East Baray reservoir, dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu god, and honoring the parents of the king. Exquisitely sculptured, this temple includes freestanding stone elephants, two meters high, at the corners and religious scenes of revered gods elegantly carved on lintels.

Most travelers will never have the opportunity to see these wondrous sites. But now, 25 fortunate participants can partake in a two-week expedition that will literally change their lives forever. Noble-Manhattan Coaching, one of Europe’s longest established coach training companies dedicated to transforming lives and helping others achieve their goals presents Noble-Quest. Founded by Noble-Manhattan CEO Gerard O’Donovan, Noble-Quest is offering this exotic Southeast Asian adventure during October 19th – 31st, 2009. The quest will raise money for a charitable business, The Noble Foundation, committed to helping men and women become self-sufficient through micro-financing, and offers participants an unusual glimpse into the Vietnamese and Cambodian cultures, and the extraordinary opportunity to walk amongst ancient structures and bask in the beauty of these distant lands. Joining the group is Scott Milway, trained by the Deepak Chopra organization in Primordial Sound Meditation and ready to lead daily meditations for the group.

If a stunning destination of natural beauty, rarely seen culture, and ancient artifacts intrigues you, and if the chance to commune with your peers in a deeply spiritual and physically active setting sounds like the perfect way to recharge your batteries, please contact Noble-Quest to reserve your special place for this momentous expedition.

 

Madrid, Spain

If you are visiting Europe for the first time, you should not miss Madrid Spain and its vibrant, colorful and very friendly atmosphere. Moreover, the cost of living in Madrid Spain is slightly cheaper compared to other parts of Europe so if you are on a tight budget, Madrid is a good option for you. This place can offer you a lot of things for less.

Getting Around and Enjoying Your Stay in Madrid

There are plenty of things to see and do while staying in this beautiful city. If you are staying for a few weeks, you will have the luxury of time to explore the city at a leisurely pace. However, if you cannot stay long and you only have a couple of days to explore the city, you need to make sure that you visit some of the most interesting places that Madrid Spain has to offer.

To be able to visit the most interesting parts of the city, you need to understand the general lay-out of the city of Madrid. It will be easier for you to get around the city if you know where the roads are heading. No, it is not difficult to get to know the general lay-out of the city. Just get a map or a GPS then use this tool to find your way around.

Exploring Madrid Spain During the Day

When exploring Madrid during the day, you should start with visiting the museums and galleries with the city. Since there are many museums and galleries around the city, you need to narrow your choices to at least two of the most interesting ones. Why only two? Museums in Madrid Spain are huge and they contain a lot of things that are worth seeing.

You cannot possible visit more than two of these places in a day without getting worn-out. Besides, if you only have very limited time to explore Madrid Spain, you need to go to places other than Museums and galleries. Remember that Madrid Spain is not just about museums and galleries.

Exploring Madrid at Night

Madrid Spain has some of the finest bars and restaurants in Europe. The nightlife in this part of the world is also spectacular. If you love to party, you have to check out some of the bars around Madrid before you leave the city.

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