Author: Richard Telling

Truly Relaxing Vacation on an Island Cruise

On an island cruise you will be able to relax in style. You will sail off in a luxurious ocean liner where the ship’s crew will attend to your every need. Imagine being on that ship, perhaps lying on a deck chair beside the swimming pool, getting a tan under the warm sun with a paperback in your hands and a drink at your side. And you won’t have work and family around to distract you from just relaxing and having a good read.

On the ship, you can feast on the excellent buffet and enjoy all kinds of entertainment on board. You could visit the shipboard casino and roll the dice or sit in a card game or two. You may not only have fun but even come away a big winner. At night, there are usually dinner shows performed by skilled singers, musicians, and comedians. You may even get to see a magician perform. And if that’s not for you, you can stroll around the ship, enjoying the ocean breeze and the beautiful view. It is an especially good way to take in a lovely sunset, or the sight of a full moon above the water.

And of course, the ship will take you to faraway places that you had only ever seen in books. Be it in Tahiti or Tawi-Tawi, you will get to experience island life first-hand, and have the chance to soak up the sun on lovely white sand beaches, or enjoy the adventure of snorkeling and skin diving in beautiful reefs and sea sanctuaries. You may even get to see whales or dolphins, and see many more of mother nature’s wonders.

In time, you will even forget about the stress of your life back home and sink into the relaxation of cruise living. You will be fully refreshed when you return and see your kids again. Not only will it be great to see the people you missed on your trip, but you will have something new you can share with them. Sometimes you really do need to get away from things and going an island cruise is a great way to do just that.

Nelis Dutch Village

Most theme parks are all about the rides, while Nelis’ is really all about the overall experience of learning about the Netherlands without actually enduring a long plane ride. Guests have the opportunity to watch and learn authentic Dutch dances during their visit. The Dutch are famous for their wooden shoes, and Nelis’ is no exception when it comes to continuing that tradition. You can take in one of the demonstrations on how the “klompen” or wooden shoes are made throughout the day.

There’s no need to leave the park if you get a bit hungry. The Hungry Dutchman CafĂ© is an excellent place for lunch. Although Dutch foods are on the menu, they understand that little ones can sometimes be picky eaters and offer American choices as well. As much as I love food, I love sweets even more! Thankfully the theme park has an ice cream shop on the grounds. You can have some before or after your meal. You can continue exploring the park after lunch but if you feel that a snack is in order, there are cheese tastings that highlight the imported Dutch cheese. If you start to get intrigued by these delicious cheeses, the village has a farmhouse that showcases the process of cheese-making.

If you visit the park between the last week in April and mid-May, you’ll have more of a chance of seeing the theme parks’ beautiful and famous tulips. If you happen to fall in love with these lovely flowers, the staff at Nelis’ Dutch Village can help you order tulip bulbs and have them delivered to your home which would make for a beautiful reminder of your time there.

While this may not be a theme park where you center an entire trip around, it is still a good addition to a well-rounded trip to Michigan. It is about 2 hours away from Detroit and about an hour from Ann Arbor. This gives you plenty of other sights and activities during a trip!

About Fashion For Cruises

How many times have you tried to shut and zip up an overflowing suitcase only to be denied at the port or airport because your luggage is at least 20 pounds overweight? Dressing up on cruise does not mean that you have to pack your whole wardrobe. Cruise fashion means smart and practical packing. Being stressed out because of too much luggage makes us look haggard even in our best evening dress. Before you pack, it is important to be familiar about your cruise’s itinerary. This gives you a general idea what clothes, accessories, and shoes to pack. Since the itinerary and dress code of the cruise is usually printed with the brochure, you should have no problem with this. If you like to be sure, call the travel agency that promotes the cruise. In general, cruises often require that you attend three kinds of activities: a formal social, smart casual affair, and a casual/sporty activity.

Since you won’t be spending the day locked up in your cabin, remember to pack good day wear aside from your stilettos. Day wear can mean anything from swimsuits, shorts, t-shirts, and jeans depending on wear you are going. Bahamas cruises certainly merit good swimsuits, sarongs, and other breezy wear. If you are thinking of a Scandinavian tour, hiking boots, jackets, hiking clothes, and gloves are must-haves. Bring sweatshirts, wraps, or lightweight windbreakers for sudden changes in temperatures.

Nighttime aboard on the ship usually involves socials that require dressing up. If your itinerary specifies several strictly formal events, just bring a formal dress or two and key pieces of jewelry. There are dresses that are designed to function in multiple ways: asymmetrical, tube, halter, or with straps. You could buy and pack one of these and save on luggage space. Your staple black dress is fine as long as you change the accessories that go with it. Wraps, shawls, earrings, and necklaces are good additions to your outfit. If you prefer pantsuits, bring a pair of versatile dress slacks and several tops to go with it. Cruise Diva editor Linda Coffman actually advises concentrating on the waist up. People hardly notice what pants or shoes you wear as long as they notice change on your tops and accessories.

Snorkeling Spots at Boracay

Boracay island has some of the most amazing spots available for snorkeling enthusiasts.

  • The Bulabog Beach: One of the best places to indulge in snorkeling at is the Bulabog Beach of Boracay. This is just on the opposite side of the White beach. You can find plenty of colorful reefs (though not as good looking as those at Palawan) and corals here. You can rent snorkeling gear, life vests and other supplies directly from the boatmen there. When you are at the Bulabog Beach, you won’t have to look too hard to find your snorkeling spot because there are plenty of them! One of the best things you can do here is to feed bread to the fishes here; they are not shy really and would grab the bread from your hand even before you realize it!

One great thing about the Bulabog beach is the easy availability of transportation: any boat you hire, it is sure to take you to this beach! The bad thing is that since a lot of tourists come here for snorkeling, you may feel the pressure of the crowd and may not always have the snorkeling spot to yourself; in those times you can get some ice cream and other delicacies from the shops nearby, like I did! Don’t forget to take photos: these beautiful fishes deserve it! The weather around the beach is mostly warm and pleasant. One of the most easily available drinks there is the coconut juice; the juice is so delicious that believe me, you would want a sip even if you don’t feel thirsty, but be prepared to pay more than the market price! Still, I could not help but grab a couple of them every time I got a little tired of snorkeling; the juice has something magical in it: it enlivens your spirits!

  • Tambisaan and Ilig-Ilig beaches: Apart from Bulabog beach, these are yet another two beaches where you can indulge in snorkeling. The Tambisaan is a good and attractive beach on its own but is not as suitable as the Bulabog beach as far as snorkeling and diving are concerned. On the Ilig-ilig beach however, the case is just the opposite: you get to see a variety of aquatic life here and you will also find plenty of corals at that beach! There are also eateries along the Ilig-ilig beach and you can order food there before going for snorkeling; this is optional of course, but I am sure you will enjoy the delicacies cooked there! It was funny really when I realized that I was having all the fun and those poor cooks were cooking my ordered food!
  • Crocodile island: A fourth good spot for snorkeling is the famous Crocodile island. You won’t find any live corals here however, but the diversity of fishes I found at the island more than satisfied me. Bring your underwater camera as well as some bread and bananas with you. You would find it amazing how these fishes can consume a banana faster than we humans can! These strange aquatic creatures, needless to say, deserve to be clicked!

Ubatuba Brazil

Praia do Cedro is definitely one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in Ubatuba. Part of Cedro’s appeal is its pristine rainforest landscape and abundant marine life. The consistent presence of various fascinating underwater creatures makes Praia do Cedro an ideal place to dive or snorkel.

Praia do Centro can be reached by walking from the Praia da Fortaleza. This journey in itself is a hiking adventure as it takes about an hour to walk all the way to Cedro. If the laid back surfer in you wants to get out there and try out the waves, head out to Felix, Itamambuca and Praia Vermelho, which are widely known as surfing beaches. Vermelho Beach is conveniently close the city center.

Ubatuba is also the home of the State Park of the Serra do Mar (Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar). The park is one of the biggest areas protected by the state. At the center of the park, you will find the much quieter beach of Picinguaba. For years, Ubatuba has been welcoming visitors from all over, offering a large collection of restaurants, shops, hotels as well as guest houses locally called pousadas. At the seaside, the local government runs a turtle preservation program called Projeto Tamas. The project site is definitely worth visiting especially if you are an animal lover or simply a fan of turtles. Close to the city center, you will find the ruins of a large old farm called the Ruinas Lagoinha, which has become one of the city’s iconic landmarks.

Just off the shore of Ubatuba lies the historical island of IIha Anchieta. The ideal time to visit the island is during early morning. There are schooners that run back and forth the island. IIha Anchieta is known for the ruins of an early 19th century prison. But the island does not only hold important historical value, its surrounding waters are excellent attractions. Diving experts consider these waters to be the most beautiful diving sites in all of Brazil. Another popular island to visit is Couves Islands, which is home two beaches. Aside from doing the usual beach activities, the island is also great for trekking trips.

Benefits and Obligations of Travelling

Travelling takes you away from your tense daily routine life and lands you at an exciting new place, much different from yours. You spend some time in a totally new environment, meet people from a different cultural background, visit places that you have never seen, eat food that is of a different taste and experience lot of other things. All that excites you and takes away all kind of tensions from your mind. You feel relaxed, start realizing new realities, accept cultural differences in living styles and come closer to other people. This brings international harmony, friendship and cooperation in many fields, useful for the mankind. Travelling also expands your mental horizon and increase your knowledge. You cannot learn from the books what you learn from your own experience.

Apart from pleasure travelling, people travel abroad for various other reasons. Students travel abroad to get admission in the institutions of their choice. Some people travel for business purposes while others travel for health reasons and medical checkups. The young people mostly travel for seeking employment or getting married. People also travel for professional requirements and family reunion, etc.

Some countries are much cheaper than your own country so visiting and spending some time in one of those countries actually saves you money which you can use for travel expenses.

Some countries need your services and, therefore, offer you better wages and other benefits. If you are a multi-lingual and have experience in teaching a language then you can become a language teacher and earn good money. You can also work as a translator or interpreter.

For whatever purpose you are travelling make sure that you possess proper travel documents and endorsement of visas for the countries you want to visit. It is also important to respect the law of the land you are visiting. Never engage yourself in any illegal activity.

Cruise Ship Activity

Most cruise lines have a children’s program, divided by age group. Games and activities are age appropriate. Children can participate as much as their parents want them to. These generally include games, physical activity like using a playground or pool, and arts and crafts. Sometimes there are dances and social activities for the teen group.

Some activities involve more physical activity than others. There are ships that have pools, water parks, ice skating rinks, climbing walls and areas for golf (lessons or miniature golf). Skeet shooting off the deck is another option.

Arts and crafts are usually available for all ages. Some ships even have art fairs!

The on board theatre will run movies, both general and adult oriented. Board games, bingo and keno are examples of more sedentary activities to engage in.

Some cruise lines feature lessons, all sorts. You can learn a foreign language, how to cook foreign fare or gourmet meals, how to play golf, poker or dance.

Spas provide massages, hair care, manicures and pedicures and other special types of treatments for the body. Think how good that would feel after dancing in the disco all night!

If you have a special interest or avocation there may be a cruise with it in mind. The sounds of the blues, or a family oriented cruise, or special cruises for singles.

Cruise Planning

The first think you need to find out is what children facilities are available on the cruise vessel that you are thinking of booking your holiday for. If you have infants you may need to ensure that there are cribs or that there is a menu that caters for infant food as well as that of small children.

Because a cruise trip is something for the parents to also also enjoy you ought to seek out a cruise that has proper baby sitting facilities. That way you can take the odds spa bath or other various relaxing treatment that adults can enjoy. Most cruises will have these facilities but always best to ensure that these are available and highlighted in your brochure so you know that is something which the cruise ship really cares about.

Each family bases cruised should have programs which cater both for the enjoyment of adult passengers and young. In most cases each may also over lap so that adults and children can enjoy these activities together if one wanted to. To this end most cruise ships have activities ranging from sports activities like water polo, to leisure ones like treasure hunts or video games and educational talks. Basically anything that can keep children occupied.

Cruise ships have different types of cabin depending on your budget. A standard cabin normally has 4 beds which is suitable for most average size family. If your family is larger you may need to consider booking another cabin. This is certainly something you need factor in when you budget for your holiday.

The one thing that you need to do when you book a cruise is making a medical appointment in case you have some ailment that may prevent you from making a trip over water. Also because often cruises stop over in countries where some diseases have a high risk of being contracted you will need to get proper immunization so that you do not end up having the worst holiday combating a nasty tropical disease etc.

Ultimately the best tip is to find a cruise ship that gives you the best experience for you and your family. It is also always best to sometime spend a little bit more and go for a recognised cruise liner than opting for a less expensive one that may turn out to give you an inferior vacation cruise experience. Looking at what kind of cruise ship you will travel on will go along way towards ensuring that is indeed the case.

About Cappadocia Turkey

Millions of years ago, the volcanos of Erciyes, Hasandag and melendiz mountains erupted and covered Cappadocia with a layer of tuff. Over millennia, this tuff layer was eroded, producing earth formations that, in turn, inspired cave art that has carried the imprint of ancient civilisations to our times. The earliest human settlements in Cappadocia date to the Palaeolithic Period, and the written history of the region goes back to the Hittites. Throughout its history, Cappadocia has served as an important trading post and bridge between the various lands of the Silk Road.

In the Upper Miocene epoch, the volcanos under the lakes erupted and spouted lava. The lava formed a plateau, a landscape that smaller eruptions constantly altered. During the Upper Pliocene epoch, the Kizilirimak River, together with lesser streams and lakes, cut deep into the tuff plateau, and the region gradually began to take its present shape.

Wind and rainwater flowing down the sides of valleys eroded the tuff structure, and sculpted the formations known as “fairy chimneys”. The principle type of “fairy chimney” in Cappadocia is the conical rock structures topped with a hat, either a cone or a mushroom shaped cap.

The cultures of the Prehistoric Period of Cappadocia can best be seen in the following formations; Kosk Mound in Nigde city, Asikli Mound in Aksaray city and Civelek Cave in Nevsehir city. The human settlement in Cappadocia began during the Prehistoric Period, and the era of Assyrian Civilisation in the region began during the Early Bronze Age. Trading reached its zenith in that era, and it is to this period that the first examples of writing in Anatolia date. The Cappadocia Tablets written in Old Assyrian cuneiform script, deal with methods of taxation, interest rates, and marriage contracts.

The early Hattian settlers were followed by the empires of Hittitei Phrygian, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman, and each left its mark on the enchanting landscape of Cappadocia.

Cappadocia, situated on the principal trading routes of the Silk Road, was a meeting place for different philosophies and religions each of which left a historical and cultural impression on the region. Christians who had left Jerusalem in the 2nd century AD passed through Antakya and Kayseri to arrive in Central Anatolia, and settled in the vicinity of Derinkuyu.

These early Christians, facing the oppression of the Roman Emperors, found refuge against raids in the subterranean cities of the region. Here the soft rock allowed the excavation of elaborate dwellings, food stores, water wells and cisterns, wineries and places of worship, enabling habitation for a prolonged period.

Monemvasia of Greece

Monemvasia’s history goes all the way back to the time of the Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman rulers. The town had become a flourishing port during the reign of these empires. Today, the old city remains, even though only a few people live here year-round. But during its heyday in the 12th century, thousands chose to live in this Greek town to take advantage of its huge shipping and trading industry. But Monemvasia is not forgotten. During your visit, you will be among the many who will come here to uncover its dramatic past.

The old section of Monemvasia is often called Kastro (castle), while the New Monemvasia is known as Yefira. A causeway links the sections to each other. A number of bars, taverns and accommodation facilities in Monemvasia are situated in the newer town, while the Kastro section has kept its traditional appearance.

The Kastro is further divided into two; the lower and upper town. It is in the lower town where you can find the ruins of 800 traditional houses that were originally built here. There are also four original churches that are still standing today. Previously, there were around 40 churches that occupied the town! Don’t miss the opportunity to explore and experience these important pieces of architecture. The oldest of these churches is named St. Paul’s, built during 956. Aside from being a place of worship, this church also maintains a museum. The other churches to explore are the 16th century Our Lady of Hrisafittisa, St. Sophia and Church of the Elkomenos Christ, located in the city central square.

St. Sophia Church (Aghia Sophia) is a well-known 11th century Byzantine monument, situated in the upper town, nestling dramatically on cliffs. One reason why St. Sophia is unique is its octagonal shape, which was a direct result of the architectural influence from Constantinople. It also dazzles visitors with its exquisite marble reliefs and sculptured door. From the upper town, you will find a zigzag road that leads you to the Fortress of Goulas. This impressive castle sits on a hill and gives an outstanding panorama of the entire town.

After seeing the ruins and churches, take your time to drink in the exceptional views of the Aegean Sea. If the day is clear and you get lucky, you may even see Crete from afar. If you like hiking, then go ahead and conquer the lush trail to the highest peak in the upper town measuring approximately 656 feet above sea level. To cool off, make your way to the rocky beaches with clear water and take a short dip or a long relaxing swim, your call!

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