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Category Archives: Travel

The Best Honeymoon Ever Taken!

I did not get married until I was thirty six so I was not sure if I would be able to keep many traditions that a lot of my friends had when we were younger. I thought that it would not be wise to wear the traditional white gown and since I already have a teenage daughter. I was not sure if looking up the name of Hawaii big island was a good idea to find places for our honeymoon. I thought that only younger brides and grooms would celebrate their marriage by going to such a great place for their honeymoon.

Vacation Destinations for Couples

It’s quite natural to want for locations that promise you privacy and serenity at the same time. Well, I need not specify on vacation ideas for couples’ because the choice, whether you wish to spend time with each other or engage in a rocking adventure, is absolutely yours. Isolated beaches, islands, countryside, house boats, etc., make for ideal getaways for couples.

The ideal honeymoon destination for couples is Paris, having resources for every form of enjoyment. Enter into some vintage form of romance gazing the Eiffel tower in the evening and then enjoying wine and country music at the luxurious pubs and clubs. You can take interest in sensuous dance forms and good music with your beloved. How romantic! Isn’t it?

Book your tickets to Switzerland for enjoying the calm and serene beauty of the Alpine mountain range. Switzerland attracts millions of couples during winter and summer season. The view of the snow capped mountains at a height of 4000 m is simply amazing. Summers are also beautiful. Do not miss out Swiss wine and chocolates.

Florida has the most beautiful beaches in the world. The beauty of sun, sand and the sea is amazing. Boating, fishing, bird watching and a superb night life shall make your Florida vacation worth remembering. Enjoy some intimate moments with your partner in the secluded beaches of Florida. I’m sure you will enjoy the south beach, Miami.

You will lose your senses in the beauty of Caribbean islands. Enjoy the Bahamas and the Palm Beach. Have a luxurious stay at Romantic St. Lucia Resorts. The night life is simply rocking. The islands of Barbados and Tobago are enchanting. The white sands and azure blue water create a perfect ambiance for couples. The ultimate place for love, romance and happiness are the Caribbean islands.

A group of islands and beaches make Malaysia. The most beautiful beaches include Borneo, Pangkor Island, Tioman Island, Perhentian Islands and Redang islands. Apart from the beaches, you will also love to enjoy the natural beauty of the islands. Popular beaches in Malaysia include Tulai beach, Pasir Panjang, Teluk Dalam, Jetty beach, etc.

Las Vegas
If you love glamor, fashion, lights and fun, then Las Vegas is the perfect destination for you. One of the best vacation spots for couples wanting to spend the days in fun and entertainment, the city has everything to entertain yourself with. Discos, shopping malls, foods, music, drinks, restaurants, pubs and so on. It also has beautiful churches.

Romance will have a different dimension in Italy. The beauty and charm of Italy is unique. Traveling through the canals of Venice is an amazing experience. The best city is Florence. Experience the beauty of the sunsets over river Arno. The city has beautiful vintage style restaurants and churches. You can not only enjoy the historical beauty but also experience the beauty of the city. I’m sure Italy vacations will be cherished by you again and again.

Ways get into the Splendid Land of Maramures

Baia Mare, the county capital and most likely the town where you will first arrive whether by train, car, or plane, lies outside the Land of Maramures proper, that stretches beyond the 1000 meter high ridge of the Gutai mountains. There are several roads in this region, passing trough Baia Mare – Baia Sprie – Gutai Pass – Mara. The national road DN18 is commonly used to access the Land of Maramures over the Gutai Pass.

Unlike other access roads, even in the fiercest of winters, this vital road is well plowed and remains open to the traffic all year around. Regular long distance buses (marked as heading either Sighetu Marmatiei or Borsa Complex) leave every two hours from the terminal adjoining the railway station in Baia Mare. Baia Sprie, a mining settlement, 10 km from Baia Mare, is the last point to fuel your car, as the next petrol station is more than 30 km away.

As soon as the road leaves Baia Sprie, the forests that will accompany you for more than 20 km come into view. A signposted side road tempts you to make a detour either to the Suior youth hostel which has tennis courts, quiet location, basic comfort at affordable prices when the place is not used for camps; or to the more ambitious Mogosa chalet, with its rooms and terrace facing the scenic Bodi Lake that mirrors the 1246-metre high Mount Mogosa.

Back to the main thoroughfare, you will soon understand why this road is considered one of the most demanding track’s of Romania’s car racing championship which is held every year in the month of June. This road winds steeply in a breathtaking succession of dozens of hairpin curves.

You can catch your breath on top (Gutin Pass, 987 m), have some refreshment at the Pintea Viteazu Inn which is named after the legendary outlaw Pintea the Brave, and unless you don’t decide to spend the night at the Inn and eventually go on a 3 hour trip to the scenic cliff of Creasta Cocosului (1428 m high: the Rooster’s Comb), you can go on counting hairpin curves for the remaining 12 km to Maramures’s first village, Mara. Just before it, the brook bank offers a good location for camping in the wild, if you are not afraid of meeting the village’s domesticated buffaloes.

This national road as compared to the variant over Gutai pass described above is steeper and is stone paved for some 5 km. A further disadvantage is the absence of regular buses, except for miners’ shuttle buses or trucks, observing rather irregular timetables. However, this route has the major advantage of crossing a pass that is less thickly wooded, which will offer the tourists an outstanding panorama stretching to Ukraine’s Carpathian foothills. Immediately after entering the town of Baia Sprie, you should leave the national road and take the road marked DJ 184. The stretch between Baia Sprie and Surdesti is actually part of the Choir route. Don’t miss the unique church in Surdesti, which is one of the world’s tallest wooden structures!

The valley gets narrower and the road is now accompanied by the suspended pipes that carry fluid waste from the ore processing plant. With its houses packed one against the other in the narrow land, Cavnic is closely related to the ups and downs of the Romanian mining industry, whose perspectives are now particularly grim. This mining settlement is first recorded in a document from 1455. This was the place where the last Tartar horde to foray into Romanian territories was routed in 1717. A roadside memorial obelisk, called ‘the Tartar’s Stone’, bears a Latin inscription that recalls this event.

Gorgeous Islands of Greece

This island lies close to Athens. This is probably why Aegina is popular among locals as a way to beat the stressful routines of the week. The island is triangular in shape, and a visit would greet you with a busy port, fishing boats, stylish yachts, and a beautiful seaside. Tourists who visit the Aegina islands are known to flock to the Aphaia temple and the Agios Nektarios church. The island also has a rich history to its credit. There are even some prehistoric findings that denote the early inhabitation of this island.

Skiathos lies in the Aegean Sea, and falls in the Sporades group of islands. The amazing thing about the island is the 70 beaches of complete fun in the sun that includes a nude beach as well. This amazingly green and serene island sees a flurry of activity in the months of July through August. The golden sands and the inviting waters beckon people from far and wide. The busy town of Skiathos has a bustling nightlife for partygoers, and traffic-free shopping areas for shopaholics.

Santorini falls in the Cyclades group of Greek islands, and was formed due to a volcanic eruption. It consists of volcanic islands and is also known as the Thera or the Thira. Santorini offers spectacular sights, which can make anyone turn into a creative photographer. This island also proves to be a great bet if you want a holiday by the beach with some amount of action as well. Romantic sunsets and a pulsating nightlife makes this place a popular choice for many.

Andros lies on the northern side of the Cyclades. It also remains an ideal hotspot on weekends for locals. Green valleys and the hillsides attract many people with the love for hiking. This island is, therefore, recommended for those who love to walk and explore the countryside, since it has a fewer number of beaches.

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean. Although subjected to overcrowding due to commercial activities, this is surely the place to get that enviable tan. The spectacular island of Crete also has lots of things in store for the avid traveler. Secluded and sandy beaches, villages with traditional flavor, and various other places worth seeing makes this a most sought after destination.

Corfu is also one of the most-favored Greek islands among tourists, and is in the Ionian Sea. This island is known for its typical music flavor. The twangs of the guitar, and the chorus that accompanies it, add to the merry atmosphere of the island of Corfu. If Corfu is a destination on your list, be prepared for loads of sun and sand, with plenty of sea sports activities at this beautiful destination.

Mykonos rates very high among the top destinations all over the world. This is yet another island that is very popular for its natural beauty and the rocking nightlife. It lies in the center of the Cyclades group. Early years had seen Mykonos to be a controversial place with the kind of culture it propagated, but today, it is very cosmopolitan and offers a rather bustling kind of a holiday. It is no wonder that Mykonos is also famous as one of the top clubbing destinations in the Mediterranean. So if you are a party animal with the love for nature, you would surely know by now which destination you would need to head to.

Located in the Aegean Sea, it is one of the biggest islands that belong to the Cyclades group. The picturesque locations and the sandy beaches make Naxos a popular destination for many. The crystal clear water and the quaint towns of this island, along with sport activities such as windsurfing and kite surfing, makes it a complete fun package for all.

It lies in the central area of the Aegean Sea. The main characteristic feature of this island is the fine white marble. This island of Greece has many beaches along its borders. The sandy beaches and the cobblestone alleys all add to the charm of the island of Paros. Paros remains to be a particularly low-key destination although it has beautiful destinations and an atmosphere of complete tranquility. This is also one of the few islands that make large efforts to keep their beaches clean.

This is a small Greek island among the Saronic group of islands in Greece. It is also easily reachable by boat, which are called ‘Water Taxis’. Agistri proves to an ideal location if you are on the lookout for some peace and quiet. If you are planning for a lazy holiday, that includes rolling on silken sands and getting some tan, then this location is very apt because there is very little to do in terms of the nightlife or activities.

These are just a few of the islands of Greece, and these have already transported me to another world. Being a complete beach bum myself, I would not mind being marooned on these wonderful islands. Such is the beauty of the Greek islands.

Brazil Historical Landmarks

The Statue of Corcovado
Corcovado is a mountain in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Here, the statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the main tourist attractions that continue to attract millions of local as well as international tourists every year. The statue shows Jesus overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro with his arms outstretched. This is also one of the tallest statues in the world. It is designed in the Art Deco style by French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa. The structure was constructed between 1922 and 1931. Christ the Redeemer is the most recognizable symbols of Brazil, and any tourist visiting the country can’t afford to miss this iconic attraction.

Ouro Preto
This is a city that is located in the Minas Gerais in Brazil, known for beautiful Baroque architecture. Ouro Preto was the main destination of the gold rush in the olden days. Founded at the end of the 17th century, the current name of the city translates to ‘black gold’. It was originally called Vila Rica, or ‘rich village’. The beautiful colonial architecture has led it to be declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Manaus is a city located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, and can mainly be accessed by boat or airplane. The culture of Manaus has blended the old and the new, and is the best place to get a glimpse of the history and culture of Native Brazilian tribes.

São João del Rei
This historical city is also located in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. One can get a glimpse of some of the most beautiful churches and cathedrals out here. The city was founded in the 18th century and there are around 70 beautiful churches that are definitely worth a visit. At the beginning of the century, it used to be known as “Heart of the Amazon” and “City of the Forest”. The Solimões and Negro rivers meet in Manaus and together form the mighty Amazon River.

Congonhas is a beautiful Brazilian city that is the capital of Minas Gerais. The main attraction of this city is the Basilica and outstanding sculptures. UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site in 1985.

Olinda is another historic attraction located in the state of Pernambuco, on the northeastern Atlantic Ocean coast. Its historic downtown area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as are the city’s various churches and its annual Carnival.

5 Great Lakes Fact Sheet

The Great Lakes is the largest group of freshwater lakes on the planet, with a total surface area of 80,545 mi2 and total volume of 5,412 mi3. Around 21 percent of the total freshwater available on the surface of our planet is stored in these lakes, which makes them very important for the Great Lakes Region. More of such interesting facts about the geography of the Great Lakes are given below.

What are the Names of the 5 Great Lakes?

The Great Lakes have 9,402-mi long shoreline and a catchment area of 295,200 sq mi. Other than the 5 lakes, the Great Lakes Region also has several small lakes and around 35,000 small islands to its credit. The 5 major lakes, which are also referred to as the 5 Great Lakes of USA and Canada, are the Superior, Huron, Michigan, Eerie, and Ontario.

Lake Superior is the largest of the 5 major lakes, with a total surface area of 31,700 mi2 and total volume of 2,934 mi3. It has an average depth 489 ft., with its deepest point at 1,335 ft.

Lake Huron is the second largest of these lakes, but has the longest shoreline of the five (including the 30,000 islands in it). It has a total surface area of 22,973 mi2 and total volume of 850 mi3. While its average depth is 194 ft., the deepest point of lake Huron is 748 ft.

Lake Michigan is the third largest of these five lakes with a total surface area of 22,278 mi2 and total volume of 1,180 mi3. The average depth of lake Michigan is 279 ft., while its maximum depth is 925 ft.

Lake Eerie ranks fourth in terms of size. It also holds the distinction of being the warmest as well as the shallowest lake (with an average depth of 62 ft. and maximum depth of 210 ft.) of the lot. Its total surface area is 9,906 mi2, while its total volume is 116 mi2.

Lake Ontario is the smallest of the five North American lakes, with a total surface area of 7,340 mi2. Its total volume is 393 mi3. In terms of depth, Lake Ontario has an average depth of 282 ft. and maximum depth of 804 ft.

As Huron and Michigan are joined by the 5-mile wide Strait of Mackinac, they are at times considered a single water body and referred to as Lake Huron-Michigan. Going by this stipulation, Lake Huron-Michigan becomes the world’s largest freshwater lake with a total surface area of 45,300 mi2.

How Were These Lakes Formed?

The 5 Great Lakes were formed during the last ice age when whole of Canada and parts of northern United States were covered by the Laurentide ice sheet. As the ice sheet started receding, it pushed against the land and made huge hollow spaces in the Earth’s crust. The water left behind as a result of glacier melting, filled these hollow spaces and resulted in their formation. That being said, some experts in the field of geology are of the opinion that the actual base for the formation of these lakes was laid billions of years ago, with the formation of the Midcontinent Rift as a result of tectonic movement.

Lake Champlain (located within the US territories) was included as the sixth lake in the Great Lakes by the US administration for a brief period, but the decision was reverted following the outcry from the Canadian media. The existence of these lakes is a boon for various territories of the United States and Canada, as it provides drinking water to thousands of people from this region, facilitates fishing, and forms the backbone of water transport.

Facts about Tower Bridge

Along with the Kensington palace, British museum, Westminster bridge, the London bridge, etc., the tower bridge is also one of the best places to visit in London. Here are some interesting facts that you will love reading:

  • The tower bridge in London is one of the most popular bascule bridges in the world. A bascule bridge is the one that is made of two parts and can be opened exactly in the center. The London bridge is also a bascule bridge, and therefore, one may often get confused between the two famous bridges.
  • The construction of the bridge started in the year 1886 and was completed, after eight years, in 1894. 11,000 tones of steel was used for the construction of this bridge.
  • The total length of Tower Bridge is 244 m. It is divided into three spans and the longest span of the bridge is about 61 m
  • The bridge connects the Tower Bridge Approach, which is on the north bank of Thames with Tower Bridge Road, which is one the south bank of the river.
  • According to the history of this structure, the design of Sir Horace Jones was selected from among 50 designs for the bridge. Sir Jones’ engineer Sir John Wolfe Barry, designed the bascule bridge.
  • Being one of the best London’s bridges, from the walkways of the tower bridge, one will find beautiful views of the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Maritime Greenwich, and Canary Wharf.
  • The high level walkways were originally built for people to cross the river even if the bridge was raised.
  • However, these walkways were closed due to increased rates of suicides, robbery on the bridge.
  • The Tower Bridge Exhibition was opened in 1982 (and re-opened in 2002). One will find the entire story of the construction of the bridge in this exhibition. According to tower bridge facts, the walkways on the bridge can be rented for parties and private events.
  • Before the opening of this bridge, a pedestrian tunnel, situated below the Thames was used. This tunnel has turned into a passage for telecommunication cables since then.
  • There have been some accidental mishaps due to the bascule structure of the bridge. In the year 1952, a bus had to leap from one leaf to the other as it was caught on the road just when the bridge began to rise.
  • Similarly, in the year 1997, the motorcade of President Clinton (when on a tour to England) was divided into half as the bridge started to rise for a ship to pass.

Places having Warm Climate

Grand Bay, Mauritius
Located to the east of Madagascar, Mauritius is an excellent tourist destination. Surrounded by beaches and oceans, it attracts millions of tourists during winters. Grand Bay is a tourist village that has recently bloomed, and it is located on the northern side of the Island. The beach has been named after the village, and offers ample sources of amusement to tourists. If you have planned to stay at this place for a weekend getaway, then do not forget to enjoy the sea food of Thai, Spanish and Mauritian origin. While heading towards Mauritius, you can also plan a trip to Blue Bay, Le Morne and Tamarin. The city has great historical places that are worth seeing.

Pattaya Beach, Bangkok
Bangkok abounds with scenic beauty and is the perfect abode for nature lovers. You can spend your entire winter vacation along the coastal areas of the Pattaya beach. The limpid sea has many attractions to offer, and you can relax on the beach for a couple of days. Visit the islands Khao Sam Muk and Ko Sichang, that are located within a few kilometers from Pattaya beach. Exploring Bangkok in a short period is almost impossible, because the entire city is full of beautiful tourists spots. The Elephant Show in Thailand, the Buddhist Pagoda, and Kanchanaburi are worth visiting while going for a trip to Bangkok.

Global Village, Dubailand
It is the world’s largest entertainment sector, located on Emirates Road at Dubailand. This is the perfect destination for people looking forward to spending their holidays at exotic places. Global Village has all sources of entertainment. The Pavilions are a shopaholic’s delight, while the Fun Fair area provides all types of entertainment and sports. Enjoy authentic cuisines at the lavish restaurants and dining halls. Global Village organizes musical and dance shows throughout the year that are enjoyed a lot by tourists. If your stay lasts for more a couple of days, then you must visit Jumeirah beach, Dubai Maritime City and take a desert safari as well.

Eagle Beach, Aruba
This tiny Caribbean Island is located on the north coast of Venezuela and has some of the best warm beach vacation spots. Eagle beach is a hot spot in Aruba owing to its picturesque beauty and soothing weather. Eagle beach is situated exactly south of Palm beach, which is also a wonderful tourist spot. The sea side hotels and shades are perfect places to halt during vacations. The beach is mostly visited by tourists during winter months, and the balmy weather offers respite from chilly winters. The view of azure blue water, flocks of parakeets, white sands and rocks are spectacular. Phoenix Beach, Arashi Beach and Baby Beach are some of the other places also worth visiting.

Grand Canyon, Arizona
Who doesn’t know about the Grand Canyon? But viewing it in reality is indeed a different experience! So this winter finalize your plan to this awesome vacation spot. The canyon is carved by the Colorado river and its best viewed from the top. The stream of water flowing through the edges of the canyon has a spectacular beauty. Watching the sunset from Grand Canyon is a lifetime experience and you should never miss it. Plan your trip in such a way that you can also visit some selected tourists spots in Arizona. The Grand Canyon National Park is a fabulous location where you can experience the beauty of tropical forests. There are ample number of resorts and amusement centers for enjoying your vacation.

10 Beach Vacations in the World

  1. Aruba: This island is located off the coast of Venezuela. The beaches are white with blue waters. You can either indulge in fishing or adventure sports.
  2. The Seychelles: Located in the Indian Ocean, these islands are well-known for the marine life and clean pristine beaches.
  3. Anguilla: A part of the Caribbean islands. If you are interested in culture, then this is the best destination for you.
  4. Goa: A major tourist attraction in India. With its golden beaches and laid-back life, most people love to come here.
  5. Maldives: This country is well-known for its extensive beaches.
  6. Kerala: This is a coastal state in southern India. It is not for nothing that it’s known as ‘God’s own country’.
  7. Coronado Beach: One of the top vacation destination in California. There are various activities which can be undertaken on this beach like kite flying, beach volleyball, surfing, etc.
  8. Siesta Beach, Florida: The beaches here are white and sun-kissed. The name of the beach is apt as one can lie underneath a blanket of sun and enjoy many a ‘siesta’.
  9. Boracay: If all you want to do on your vacation is play, then Boracay in Philippines is for you. You can become a kid again there and do all that you wanted to do when you were a child.
  10. Bahamas: Can the list of top 10 vacation spots be complete without the mention of the Bahamas? If it has to be described in two words, then it has to be ‘pure bliss’.

Famous Places to Visit in Belgium

If you want to see modern life, Brussels is the place to be. The top attraction in this city is the Grand Place, surrounded by the Town Hall and is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another attraction in the city includes the Parc du Cinquantenaire; a large park spread across 30 hectares comprising beautiful gardens, waterfalls, and ponds. It even has the famous Cinquantenaire Art Museum, AutoWorld Museum, and the Royal Military Museum. And not to forget the famous Manneken Pis, Belgium’s famous little statue. It’s a statue of little boy peeing in a fountain, located on the corner of Rue de L’Etuve & Stroofstraat since 1619.

Bruges is the place to travel to if you are looking for a blend of early and contemporary life in Europe. The Groeningemuseum is a major point of interest that is a museum of fine arts holding artworks from the 14th century onwards. Another attraction is the Choco-Story Museum that gives you a glimpse about the making of chocolates. Similarly, The Frietmuseum shows the role and history of potato and chips. Don’t miss the Snow and Ice sculpture festival which displays exquisite ice sculptures.

A city just about 20 km east of the vibrant Brussels is Leuven. This is a city famous for the Hortus Botanicus Lovaniensis, a botanical garden known for possessing rare flowers and plants, ponds, greenhouses, etc. The city is mainly known for its student life, pubs, bars and busy markets. Other attractions include the Leuven Town Hall, Grand Béguinage of Leuven, and many historical churches like St. Peter’s Church and Church of Saint Michael.

This city boasts of one of the largest seaports in the European region. It is a metropolitan city with much to offer for visitors. Animal lovers would really enjoy the Antwerp Zoo which has around 6,000 animals. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp is for art enthusiasts, displaying a wide range of works by world-renowned artists. Other places for tourists are the Steen Castle, Antwerp Port, and many diamond shops, as this city is believed to be the world’s diamond capital.

This is referred to as the flower city of the country. It holds the Gentse Floraliën flower festival which is a once in five year event, displaying a variety of flowers and plants. You can truly enjoy the boat rides on the Leie river. Ghent is like a paradise to music lovers as well; with sporting festivals such as the Gentse Feesten, I Love Techno, and Festival of Flanders. Food enthusiasts can also have a good time in the multi-cuisine eateries of this Belgium city.

Tourists to Hasselt mark this place as a traditional European city. Though it is a small city, it is considered quite social. As being thought of as the ‘city of the taste’, there are many restaurants available around. Fashionable shoppers can have a good time owing to the designer brand shops in most of the streets. You can even enjoy the Plopsa Indoor amusement park. Other places to visit are the open air museum in Bokrijk, Municipal Fashion Museum, and National Genever Museum.

Usually, people traveling to Belgium are tourists who visit Germany, Luxembourg, and France. They are surprised by the cultural heritage the country possesses. An interesting fact is that the country is one of the finest manufacturers of chocolate and beer the world over.