Category: Travel

Isla Mujeres Mexico

This former fishing island stretches to only about 5 miles, and is half a mile wide. You can reach it by traveling 8 miles across the Bahia de Mujeres from Puerto Juarez in Cancun. Because of its small size, it is easy to navigate around the island, including the downtown area. Even though people have a tendency to make Isla Mujeres just a day trip destination, the island can actually hold its own as the prime tourist island.

Those who are seeking for a quieter, more serene yet beautiful environment will absolutely adore Isla Mujeres. An added plus is that the island is actually more affordable than Cancun. The highlight of the island stay is definitely the beaches. Most of these sandy stretches feature crushed corals and turquoise blue waters. Some travel experts even argue that these beaches are better than those found at other premier Mexican vacation spots like Holbox or Cozumel.

Some of the best beaches on the island are on its northern most tip. The sandy stretch at this area is called Playa Norte (North Beach). This popular white sand beach is equipped with bars, restaurants and hotels. Playa Sol is the less-crowded neighbor to Playa Norte and is known for its stunning sunset views. When you head out to the southern end of the island, you will find Punta Sur beach with its old lighthouse, modern art sculpture park and Mayan temple.

There is also no end of activities to keep you entertained while on Isla Mujeres. Scuba diving and snorkeling are highly enjoyable activities as the waters surrounding the island are teeming with tropical marine creatures and colorful reefs. Some of the best places to dive include the reefs of Manchones, Punta Norte, the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks and two sunken ships. On top of this, you can also go sailing, kayaking, take fishing excursions, or arrange a trip to see up close the marvelous underwater sculpture museum of the artist Jason de Caires Taylors. This underwater display is the largest of its kind in the world. On dry land, one exciting thing to do is to rent a bike, a golf cart or scooter and drive around the island.

If you are visiting with small children; they also will love experiencing the Isla Mujeres Turtle Farm, an endangered sea turtle hatchery and rehabilitation center, run by the government.

About Sunken Ships

A lot of sunken ships explored in the recent years have provided a glimpse at the lives of a by-gone era. The Mary Rose, a ship that sailed in the 1500’s offered valuable information regarding seafaring, warfare and life itself during that time. The SS Thistlegorm, aside from being an interesting dive spot provide a habitat for many types of marine life and actually supports the ocean’s ecosystem. And the universal appeal of pirates’ treasures buried in the ocean together with the sunken ships. Because of the rich history and valuable treasure that may be acquired in sunken ships, more and more organizations are seeking to protect sunken ship sites, however, the fact that these lie on the oceans signifies that no country or no one has jurisdiction over sunken ships. Thus, anyone who has the resources may actually just dive and loot sunken ships. The Sub-Aquatic Cultural Heritage Protection Convention ratified stricter measures in preserving and protecting sunken ships which are proven to be rich sources of historical and cultural information.

Sunken ships are actually the remains of a ship that has sunk because of a crisis at sea. The reasons behind the ship’s sinking vary, of course, and may include equipment failure; capsizing due to the instability of the ship; navigations errors resulting to collision with rocks, ships, reefs or icebergs; bad weather; violence such as wars, mutinies or pirate attacks; and quite ironically, fire.

Mountain Region of Svaneti Georgia

This region is absolutely so stunning you may not want to leave – ever. Its natural gifts, which include Europe’s highest mountains and incredible glaciers, are well complemented by the presence of medieval villages, old houses and towers. Svaneti is home to the Svans, known for their chivalry and bravery. The whole mountain region covers an incredible amount of land. So much so, it is divided into two regions: Upper Svaneti and Lower Svaneti. It will take multiple days to satisfactorily enjoy both subregions, but the time spent here is well worth it.

Svaneti has earned the World Heritage Site distinction of its magnificent landscape that features well preserved human settlements built way back during the medieval times. You can begin your journey around Svaneti in its capital Mestia, which also has it fair share of the iconic stone house towers. These house towers were built in such a way as to not only act as homes to villagers but also as defense posts against potential invaders. If you want to see almost 200 hundred of them up close, head out the village of Chazhashi and you will not be disappointed. Make sure to have your camera with you.

Hiking is one of the main activities in this mountain region. Hardcore trekkers travel from one town to another on foot. This is a great way to really enjoy the scenery. The most popular hiking path has got to be the one starts from Mestia and ends at Mazeri. Along the way, you will pass through several villages, some of which are situated on the Dolra River basin. While conquering this track, you will be visually rewarded with the sight of the Ushba-Mazeri massif, considered to be one of the most inaccessible mountain massifs in the Caucasus.

Take note that although you get some information at Mestia about this path, there is no guarantee that you can get a copy of the map. The mountain village of Mazeri is known for its beautiful natural landscape. The village is the usual gateway to Mount Ushba, which is a prominent trekking spot and is one of the highest mountains in Europe.

Tviberi River Valley is another popular hiking route in the Svaneti region. This route starts from the Zhabeshi village and goes all the way to two spectacular glaciers, the Qvitlodi and Tviberi. The trail is perhaps one of the easiest, featuring a length of 5.5 kilometers but with elevation of only 730 meters. Because of the relatively level elevation, it usually takes 6 hours to walk it.

John Muir Way Scotland

John Muir Way starts in the west from Helensburgh and goes all the way to the east coast, finishing at Dunbar. Named after a man who is widely known for his conservation efforts, John Muir gives an unbelievable perspective of the country. Dunbar was actually the hometown of the great John Muir, who is also the founder of America’s National Parks.

John Muir Way was built to join the already established network of hiking trails across the country. John Muir is actually part of the North Sea Trail. It is also linked to the West Highland Way, which showcases Scotland’s magical countryside. This new soon-to-be-iconic Scottish route is broken into ten sections to help travellers calculate and organize their trekking journey.

The sections makes it easier. It takes approximately 7-12 days to complete this trail. If you decide to cycle, it will most probably take you half of the estimated time. But the presence of the sections allows you to decide on day-long trips and partially trek the route easily. In addition, there is available public transport, usually in the form of buses and trains, that can bring hikers to many select points along the route. Thus, there is no real pressure to walk the entire way.

As you make your journey along John Muir, a diverse set of gorgeous landscapes will unfold. The route leads you through hills, old roads, railway lines and rural regions. You have the opportunity to stop by castle ruins and stay at quaint farmhouses. One of the famous spots along this route is the Blackness Castle, whose history goes all the way back to the 15th century.

Another interesting landmark that will greet you on your journey is the Roman ruin called Antonine’s Wall. Falkirk Wheel makes an interesting stop as it represents the look and feel of the modern architecture of the 21st century. If picturesque mountain and lake views are what you are looking for, make sure to stop by Stoneymollan Road, which reveals the outstanding landscapes of Loch Lomond. Other captivating spots along John Muir Way include the Strathkelvin Railway Path and Campsie Fells.

As you go further, the route will them bring your to more industrial and urban settings at the heart of Scotland. After going through significant places like ancient Linlithgow, Forth at Bo’ness and the Forth Bridge area, it eventually winds down to vibrant Scottish capital of Edinburgh. Although the route goes through major parts of the capital, it does not run into its central district.

Traveling With Comfortable Suitcases

Carry-on bags

These bags are small and compact in size. They are a little bigger than hand bags but still can be carried as a hand baggage. The carry-on bags come with 4 heavy duty wheels which enable users to move them comfortably in all directions. A good carry-on bag consists of many exterior pockets for last minute packing. It should also be made up of durable and shock resistant material for long lasting use. Good carry-on bags are multi-purpose and often more useful than suitcases.

Personal items bag

A personal items bag is like a backpack, laptop bag or vanity bag which contains ones personal items like books, laptop, tablet, hand towels, magazines,toiletries etc. It is one of those bags which cannot be missed. These bags are very useful and can be carried around anywhere. They easily fit into the overhead compartments in flights. Even a college bag can be used while traveling.

Duffel bags

Duffel bags are big handbags which are slightly different from suitcases. It is a big yet lightweight handbags which can be used as a last minute resort to keep extra items. While we are on tour, we purchase several things which requires an extra luggage bag and at that time duffel bags come handy. These bags too come with wheels for a comfortable use.

Wheeled suitcase

A 26 inch wheel trolley bag is more than sufficient. It has space and is durable as well. It comes with four heavy duty wheels which not only carries the load of a filled suitcase easily but also moves conveniently.

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!

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.

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.

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