Monthly Archives: May 2014

Sea of stars, Vaadhoo Island, Maldives



Sea of stars, Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

Sea of Stars,Vaadhoo Island,Maldives

THE SEA OF STARS

Sea of Stars,Vaadhoo Island,Maldives

Sea of Stars,Vaadhoo Island,Maldives

Map of Maldives

Map of Maldives

 Maldives

Maldives

The Vaadhoo  Island is located on the equator to the south west of Sri Lanka in Indian Ocean of Maldives which is a unique place for an unforgettable experience which is inhabited in the Raa Atoll Island.This contains of many  number of islets which spreads over 900,000 square kilometers and they are decorated with white sand and surrounded  by  warm waters with rich marine life.This island has a beach which is famous through out the world for its glow in the dark.This is an spectacular scenery to watch which may never disappoint the visitors in Maldives.These beaches are the main reason that this country has been considered as one of the hottest tourist destination in the world.

Glowing blue in the Sea of Stars

Glowing blue in the Sea of Stars

The glowing in the dark is generally an natural phenomena which is very rare.The water in the beach looks like a mirror for the stars and sky where it glows in blue from bio luminescence.The bacteria in the sea gives a beautiful visual effect that mirrors the sky with stars at night.
Phyto plankton bodies in Sea of Stars

Phyto plankton bodies in Sea of Stars

This natural and wonderful phenomena is due to a species of plankton names dinoflagellates which emits the blue light because their cell membranes which has the ability of responding to the electric signals and glow which offers a good mechanism for how the algae can create their unique illumination.The light created by planktons are concentrated in the beach edges and they are big enough to view from distant.
Sea of Stars

Sea of Stars

Practically,due to the bio luminescence,the night is never seen in the beach of Vaadhoo Islands.It is a joy that such a natural wonder exists on earth which is commonly seen at sea,and from the ships which stir the oxygen up in the water so that the micro organism in the water is disturbed by the oxygen  and this makes the bio luminescent bacteria to glow.When billions of cells are disturbed ,the wave breaks up which results it to a splendid flash of light.This view is normally just seen away from land when ships stir up the sea bed.The glow known as ‘micro flash’ is similar to that of the fireflies which are in need to attract their preys or mates.
Illuminating light in the shores

Illuminating light in the shores

Blue light due to the pressure of walking

Blue light due to the pressure of walking

The Sea of Stars is just such a rare sight to view from the shore.Also,some organisms under the sea also glow due to this mainly some creatures which live at depths where light from the surface has less chance to penetrate there.Every wave coming to the shore is lit up like lighting sheets.The view may look like an alien has washed up on a beach but the case is entirely different as it is a natural phenomena.When people walk across the sand near the shore of the sea,due to the pressure,the light glows in shore also which gives an amazing feeling.

 

Sea of Stars

Sea of Stars

Due to the glow during night time.there is also a side effect which affects in blooming of red algae also known as red tide.It turns the entire beach into red and somewhat dim during the day time.The chemical process in this beach is used as a defense mechanism to distract or confuse the predators.
This glowing effect usually occurs in the end of spring and summer and sometimes it has a milky sea effect in Arabian Sea also.Here,the bacteria caused is known as Vibrio Harveyi.
Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Wind Surfing

Wind Surfing

The beaches here gives the chance to enjoy the magnificient beauty of the nature and enjoy the charm.Also,we can enjoy there by involving in some adventurous activities like wind surfing,diving and snorkeling.Also,this type of phenomena is viewed in other places like Belgium, Japan,Indonesia,UK,Bali and so on.This phenomena is used in the “Life of Pi” movie  by the director  Ang Lee who got an Oscar Award for the best visual effects.

Sea of Stars from the upper view

Sea of Stars from the upper view

The beach in Maldives gives us an experience in which no other one can match its level of incredibility and specialty.A long stroll in the beach is a perfect one with partners which makes a romantic night.Most visitors are honeymoon couples as they seek specialty.Many tourists worldwide come from different parts to visit this sea.There are perfect beach resorts available for tourists to stay.It is considered as a paradise of the Earth.The visit to the Sea of Stars is never ever forgettable and it will be the best one for its beautiful natural specialty.It is a wonder created by the mother earth.The visit is really worthy for its spectacular beauty.

 

 

 

Bahamas, Copperfield Bay – Musha Cay



Bahamas, Copperfield Bay – Musha Cay

Musha-Cay sand bar and beaches on islands of Copperfield Bay

Musha Cay Resort in Islands of Copperfield Bay is the most luxurious private resort island in the world.It has spread over 150 acres of sparkling white sugar sand beaches.The crystal clear beach waters and the unpolluted heavenly environment filled with exotic flowers,palm trees all these combined together brings more and more attraction to this Musha cay and Islands of Copperfield Bay.During day the sunshine falls on these soft ocean and looks like a perfect scenery and often has gentle and cool ocean breezes,while at nights the sky looks amazing with full of stars with pleasant ocean breezes.The Musha Cay is a place where we can find peace and is well explained as privacy redefined.This Musha Cay is featuring five spectacular guest houses each having its own private beach.

Islands of Copperfield Bay

Islands of Copperfield Bay

Location:

The Musha Cay and Islands of Copperfield Bay occupies 150 acre,the private Island is is located at a distance of 137 km southeast of  Nassau.It is owned by a person belong to United states of America David Copperfield who is a illusionist.This Island consists of several small islands,it has 40 spectacular beaches and five beautiful houses of total.These houses and the whole Island can be reserved for one party at a time and can have an access of up to 24 guests.This Island is meant for luxury with all the facilities available in it.The Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay are approximately 90 minutes by air from Miami.This Island has a small airport,flights from Miami land at Georgetown Airport on the island of Great Exuma.After landing in Exuma it takes a 20 minute flight or a 45 minute boat ride to Musha Cay.

Musha-Cay_Island Layout Map

Musha-Cay_Island Layout Map

Activities:

We have many things to do in Musha Cay and Islands of Copperfield Bay.Here we can have endless adventure things to do in these Islands.Many of the adventures center around water sports as it is being a Island.Many activities like snorkeling,windsurfing,paddle boarding,skimming the translucent waters in sailboats,runabouts or wave runners,island touring, water skiing and many more interesting and adventurous things can be done.One who enjoys fishing can also have a great time in these islands.With additional cost we can also enjoy deep sea fishing and scuba diving.For swimming purpose and sun bathing purpose we have a ocean front pool.One have a choice to visit seven sugar sand beaches circling the island,which collectively span three miles.Many of the people who visit this Musha Cay the guests are drawn to the sand bar that emerges for a few hours each day.They can enjoy the sand bar with natures presence,the only sound is the quiet lapping of water on both sides of this beautiful stretch of sand like a mark drawn by pencil art.

Musha-Cay sand bar and beaches on islands of Copperfield Bay

Musha-Cay sand bar and beaches on islands of Copperfield Bay

This is a land where people can experience hiking, jogging on the tropical paths that surround the island which is about 3 miles of arch or circle.People who are interested in playing tennis can enjoy a game of tennis on the championship lighted tennis court with a thatched roof gazebo for shaded relaxation between sets.they can also participate in other games like volleyball,badminton in respective courts during any time of day,there is air conditioned fitness center and steam room located on Coconut Beach.Also a massage therapist,yoga center,pilates instructor are also available.

Gorgeous Private Island in Copperfield Bay

Gorgeous Private Island in Copperfield Bay

musha-cay-and-the-islands-of-copperfield-bay

Musha-Cay-and-the-Islands-of-Copperfield-Bay

Guest Houses in Musha Cay:

PIER HOUSE:

The cottage pier house is designed wonderfully in a systematic art manner,it is spread over 3,2000 square feet and it features all the facilities.It offers two luxurious suites rooms a wonderful dining room with great interior.In this house the design is such that when we open the front door we can directly have the access to a private beach and a pier that runs straight to the ocean.

Musha-Cay-at-Copperfield-Bay-Musha-Cay-pier-house

Musha-Cay-at-Copperfield-Bay-Musha-Cay-pier-house

BLUE POINT:
This is also a great looking guest house spread over 3,200 square feet,As the pier house it also consists of two luxurious bedrooms,It looks quite spacious with two suite rooms and a vast dining room.It looks like it is been situated on the rock.The Blue point gives a mountain house feel being on on a rocky outcrop.From the living room of this blue point guest house we can easily have the access to its own private beach.

Musha-Cay-at-Copperfield-Bay-Musha-Cay-Blue-point-living-room

Musha-Cay-at-Copperfield-Bay-Musha-Cay-Blue-point-living-room

Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay

Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay

BEACH HOUSE
This guest house is the most romantic with all the accommodations of all the remaining houses.This beach house has a good open air bedroom,a thatched roof cottage and a luxurious living room too it is also located on the wonderful view spot.This excellent beach house is opens by a small gate,it provides excellent scenery and can also have a night swim under the shining stars.

Musha-Cay-at-Copperfield-Bay-Musha-Cay-Beach-House

Musha-Cay-at-Copperfield-Bay-Musha-Cay-Beach-House

PALM TERRACE
It is one of the largest Guest house of all the four.This Palm Terrace is spread over an area of  4,500 square feet,it is a five bedroom home which is perfect for families.It provides two suites upstairs and three bedrooms in downstairs.it is more spacious and looks nice and decent with the wooden crafted interiors and the luxurious bedrooms.It provides a outlet from the main door to access its own private beach.

Musha Cay and Islands of Copperfield Bay Palm Terrace

Musha Cay and Islands of Copperfield Bay Palm Terrace

 

Feel the Charm of Namur, Belgium



Feel the Charm of Namur, Belgium

Belgium is a great destination for visiting and we all know that but there are many hidden gems in this country that are still very little known and quite underrated. However, Belgium is mainly known for its food including waffles, chocolates and french fries, great beers and wines, humorous people, small but excellent army, famous statue of little boy peeing in a fountain, exotic location and some other wonders. You will be amazed to know that almost 220000 tons of chocolate and 800 different types of beer is produced in Belgium every year. Belgium has one of the most educated country of the world because it has made education mandatory for every child upto 18 years. Oil painting was invented here and saxophone was also first made in this amazing country. What makes Belgium a great tourist destination and a successful economy is its fabulous cities like Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Liege, Namur, Antwerp, Leuven, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant, Hainaut, Limburg, Walloon Brabant and more. Lets know more about its one of the most beautiful but quite underrated city Namur. Namur is more of a municipality in Wallonia and capital of the province of Namur and Wallonia. Namur is perfectly located in Southern Belgium, not very far away from Brussels. Namur was used as a strategic military location by Celts and Romans during 15th century and a great castle was built on the rocks overlooking the rivers. Later, the castle was shattered and rebuilt many times during Spanish  rule and then Dutch military. The town was bombed hard during World War I but it recovered from the injury slowly. Today, Namur may not be the largest city of Wallonia or most visited one but still it holds a major role in economic and industrial growth of the province. There is a lot of stuff to see, do, eat, drink and stay here in this dynamic city of Belgium.

namur_belgium

Namur has a typically warm temperate climate with mildly hot summers. There are no dry seasons and the city experiences significant rainfall throughout the year. The temperature typically varies from 1.8 degrees to 18 degrees during the year. The warmest month is July and January is the bone chilling month. The precipitation reaches its highest point during June with thunderstorms and heavy rainfall. The best time to visit Namur is from March to May.

How to get here?

Pilatus-Aircraft

The city of Namur is served by Namur Suarlee Airport, which is a regional airport located just 5 miles north of the city downtown. The airport receives numerous flights from many major airlines like Delta, Speed, Frontier, US Airways and others. Nearest international airport is Brussels South Charleroi Airport, located just 42 km from city center and another one is Brussels Airport, located just 64 km from the city downtown. All the airports provide shuttles to get the passenger to Namur. You can also take cab, taxi, rental car, limo, bus service or train to reach the city comfortably. You can also reach Namur by the highways connecting it to the nearby cities.

Accommodation and Food

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You will absolutely have no problem finding a suitable accommodation for you as there is a number of hotels, villas, apartments, resorts and boutiques to choose from in every price range. If you would like to make your stay luxurious then La Maison Contemporaine is the best choice, located at Rue Haymont in downtown Namur. This hotel features modern accommodation with outdoor swimming pool, large garden, spa, health club, free parking and free internet. Other luxury options include Le Chateau de Namur, B&B Manoir Lvoire, Peniche d’hotes MS Elisabeth, Auberge de Jeunesse de Namur, Ibis Namur Centre and Hampton’s Hotel Namur. If you wish to stay at a cheap but comfortable hostel or motel then you will have some good choice like Namur Energite, Hampton’s Hotel Namur, Hotel Beauregard, Grand Hotel de Flandre, Auberge de Felicien Rops, Hotel the Royal Snail, Gite Villa Leanne and La Maison Contemporaine.

Food

There are more than 150 eating spots including restaurants, cafe, and bars around the city featuring almost all international cuisines like Mexican, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai and Sushi. Some of the best choices include L’Essentiel featuring French cuisine, Agathopede featuring contemporary food, L’air du Temps featuring great delicatessen, Attablez-vous featuring good American food and Gastropub, Chez Chen Wepion featuring great Chinese food, La Maison des Desserts with its nice bakery, LEs Embruns featuring exotic seafood, Bienvenue Chez Vous with its French & contemporary choices and L’Entre Sambre et Mer featuring great French cuisine, seafood and Oyster Bar.

The Attractions

Accueil General, Culture, Musee de Groesbeeck de Croix

Musee de Groesbeeck de Croix

Musee de Groesbeeck de Croix is a museum located at Rue Saintraint in Namur. The museum features various decorative arts, sculptures, works of cabinet makers, goldsmiths, watchmakers and glassmakers. You will be amazed to see the deep highlights of every details of the artistic collections here. The museum is one of the most important historic landmark of the city. It remains open every day except Mondays and admission costs € 3 per person.

Terra Nova

Terra Nova

Terra Nova, also known as Citadel of Namur, is located at Route Merveilleuse in Namur. The main attraction of the Citadel include the Underground Passages, The Medievale, The little Train, beautiful gardens, Guy Delforge Perfumery and segway. The citadel has a rich history of more than 2000 years and it is one of the biggest citadels of Europe. It remains open daily and you can take a guided tour if you wish to explore this historical place.

Have an Unforgettable Trip to Utrecht, Netherlands



Have an Unforgettable Trip to Utrecht, Netherlands

Netherlands is a hub of style, fashion and beauty but this is not the only reason why it attracts millions of tourists every year. It is also famous for its tulips, wooden shoes, dikes, windmills, drug liberty, canals, churches, high quality lifestyle, museums, stadiums, outdoor sports, parks and much more. It is a great blend of art, culture and fun. Netherlands has the highest population density in Europe and was ranked as the best country for children to live in 2007 by UNICEF. The national anthem of Netherlands is the oldest in the world and it is one of the few countries of Europe having two capitals. Soft drugs, prostitution, abortion on demand, same sex marriage and euthanasia are legal here for decades. There are the most number of windmills, world class painters and inventions of the microscope, pendulum clock, mercury and the telescope in this country. It has achieved its current status because of some fantastic cities like Amsterdam, Delft, The Hague, Lisse, Haarlem. Rotterdam, Utrecht, Masstricht, Hoorn, Enkhuizen and more. Lets dig down deep about Utrecht and find out why this is one of the most preferred destination for the tourists from around the world. Utrecht is capital of Dutch Province of Utrecht and fourth largest  city of Netherlands. This city has its unique charm and exotic locations like Railway Museum, Central Museum, Kasteel de Haar, Dom Tower and Museum Speelklok. Featuring some world class festivals, modern architecture, stylish shops and interesting hotels, Utrecht is surely a city to die for. The Maliebaan is the first bicycle path of the city which appeared in 1885. The history of the city gives a glimpse of 50 B.C. when Roman army built a fort in this area and slowly, houses were built around the fort over the years. Finally, it became a city with all ingredients like hotels, colleges, universities, colonies, industries, historical buildings and a famous tourist location off course.

utrecht-netherlands-03

Utrecht has a mild warm temperate climate with not so hot summers. The temperature varies from -1 degrees to 22 degrees around the year. January is the coolest month with a lot of snowfall and June is the hottest month with mild weather. You can expect almost 200 days of sunshine per year and the rainfall is so common here that you can expect it anytime. The precipitation reaches its maximum in November and December bringing thunderstorms sometimes. The best time to visit Utrecht is between April to August.

How to get here?

utrecht-netherlands-38

Utrecht may not have its own international airport but it is well served by some nearby major airports. The first one is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, located just 53 km from city center and receives lots of flights daily from all major carriers like Delta, Frontier, Kingfisher and more. Other nearby airports include Rotterdam The Hague Airport, located just 63 km from Utrecht and Eindhoven Airport, located 89 km from the city. All the airports receive international and domestic flights from most of the countries and nearby cities. You can easily reach the city from airport by taxi, cab, rental car, limo, bus service or airport shuttle.

Accommodation and Food

Accommodation

Utrecht, one of the oldest gems of Netherlands, offers more than 50 lodging options around the city in almost every price range. If you wish to make your stay luxurious then Grand Hotel Karel V is the best option because it is located just 10 minutes from the central station and very near to some important landmarks of the city. This 5 star hotel features spacious rooms with great architecture, free internet, free parking, gym, outdoor pool and 24 hour staff service. Other luxurious options include Nh Centre Utrecht Hotel, Malie Hotel at Hampshire Classic, Park Plaza, Hotel Mitland, NH Utrecht, Hotel De Adimraal, Mary K Hotel, Beurs Hotel, Hotel Dom, Hotel Oorsprongpark, HOtel Nieuwegracht and Apollo Hotel Utrecht City Centre. If you want a cheap accommodation then there are choices like Stayokay Utrecht Bunnik, The Hostel B&B, Hostel Strowis, Stone Hotel & Hostel, Badhu Hostel and Het Gooi Hotel.

Food

There are more than 300 eating spots available in Utrecht featuring all international and regional cuisines in all price ranges. Some of the best restaurants are De Keuken can thijs offering very nice cafe & contemporary, Meneer Smakers with delicious burgers, Restaurant Podium featuring great contemporary and international cuisine, American Steakhouse Broadway with nice steaks, barbecue and grill, India Port Tandoori Restaurant with exotic Indian food, Blauw featuring Indonesian food, Hooi with Belgian food, Cest Ca with French & Italian cuisine and Bond en Smolders with nice bakery.

The Attractions

Railway Museum

Railway Museum

The Railway Museum is the Dutch National Railway Museum located at Malieban Station. It was built in 1927 and features some historical equipment from the Dutch national railway. It is also known as Het Spoorwegmuseum and can be accessed easily by car, bus or even on foot because it is located at just a 20 minute walking distance from Utrecht CS. You will see an extensive collection of trains, carriages, scale models, railway materials and paintings inside the museum.

Dom Tower of Utrecht

Dom Tower of Utrecht

The Dom Tower is a 112.5 meter high church tower located at Domplein 21 in Utrecht. It is the tallest church tower in Netherlands and its Gothic Style architecture always get visitors’ attention towards the tower. It was built in 1382 and features 465 steps to reach the top of the tower. You can see the skyline view of the city Utrecht from the top. The tower remains open for public to explore and take some photographs.

Mount Sanqingshan, China



Mount Sanqingshan, China

sanqingshan

Mount Sanqing is located at the northeast of Shangrao city in Jiangxi Province, China. Sanqing in Chinese means “Three Pure Ones”, as mount Sanqing is formed by the Taoist Trinity. Sanqing is 1817mts above the sea level and has been famed as Taoist sacred mountain. In 2008, Mount Sanqing was inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage site. The total area of Sanqing is 756.60 square kilometers and in 2005, it was classified as the National Park of China. Mount Sanqing is a shelter for many animals, containing about 800 different species of Fauna and 1000 species of Flora with fantastically contoured granite pillars and intricate rock pattern combining with regularly changing weather creates exquisite scenery.
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featured

featured

Location and Transportation:
Mount Sanqingshan is 78km west of Shangrao city, 115km south of Wuyishan City, 144km east of Quzhou city and 263km north of Huangshan city. To get to Sanqingshan, take a train to Shangrao station in Jiangxi Province. Many cities including Shangai, Changsha and Kunming operate direct train service to Shangrao station. From there the tourist can travel by bus to the mountain. Pericab is the most common way to get around the city and cable cars are available to the scenic area.

History:
Mount Sanqingshan is made up of three main crests Yujing, Yuxu and Yuhua peaks which appears as the “Three Taoist Gods” Yuqing, Shangqing and Taiqing of Taoism resting in a row and hence describes why it’s named as “Sanqing”. The Yujing peak is the highest peak with an altitude of 1819.9 meters and it has a reputation of “Best Spirit Mountain in the World”. During the Eastern Jin dynasty (AD 317-420) mount Sanqingshan was regarded as the sacred place of Taoist because of Ge Hong, a famous Taoist who built a Taoist temple at foot of Sanqing. He also cultivated vital energy in his body and made pills of immortality about 1,600 years ago. During Song dynasty, Wang Lin invested to build Taoist temple, making Sanqing Mountain a major destination for Taoist. The footprints of famous people like Xu Xiake, a traveller of Ming dynasty and Anshi, politician and reformer of Song dynasty are left in the mountain. In biological terms, it harbours rare plants that evolved through 200 million years, creating a natural paradise for a great diversity of plants and animals.

Places to Visit:
1. Nanqing Garden: The Nanqing garden is situated in the centre of the Sanqingshan. It is about 1577 meters above the sea level with most spectacular natural scenery. There are wonderful sceneries such as vigorous mountains, picturesque peaks and rocks and it also includes several symbolic landscapes of Sanqingshan. The circular travelling route passes through the Liuxua Terrace, the Yuhuang Peak, “Great Python” coming out of the mountain, “Goddess Sinchun” and “Line sky” to Youxiangu valley.
2. West Coast Scenic Spot: It is located in the west of mount Sanqingshan with an average altitude of 1600 meters. It is a scenic spot of the most open terrain and the West Coast is a coastline as Mount Sanqingshan used to be submerged by the sea for three times. In the West Coast along the precipices, the cloud sea, the afterglow, the mountain peaks as well as the valleys can be seen. The travelling route is the highest and longest high-mountain plank road and the route is about four kilometres long.
3. Yujing Peak: Yujingfeng is the highest and the mid-most peak in Mount Sanqingshan measuring 1816.9 meters in altitude. Yujing Peak is a magnificent scenic spot with a sight of Cloud Sea, fog wave and an ideal place to view sunrise and sunset. Yujing has the distinct cold and warm seasons, like cold winters and warm summers. The landscape is mostly covered with closed needle leaved evergreen forest. The Yujing peak is also called as “The endless boundary of the sky, the highest peak” and only standing on top of Yujing peak, the mountains and valleys under can be viewed, which will completely show the magnificent display of Mount Sanqingshan.
3. Sunshine Coast: Sunshine Coast scenic spot also called as “East Coast” is located in the east of Mount Sanqingshan with an average altitude of 1600 meters. A newly developed suspended plank road along the cliff with an overall length of 3600 meters is built to the Sunshine Coast. Spectacular scenery of High Mountain and stone forest can be viewed from the Sunshine valley. Apart from walking on top of Sunshine Coast, with its broad horizons, several great wonders such as thrills of the rope bridge, transparent glass viewing platform and deep canyons can be experienced.
4. Sanqinggong Scenic Spot: The Sanqinggong is located in the north side of Mount Sanqingshan with a collection of the cultural scenery and an “Open-Air Museum” of ancient Taoist buildings. Sanqinggong enjoys a history of over 1600 years possessing ancient buildings like Taoist temple, pool, tomb, mansions etc which are built according to the elaborate layout of “Prenatal Eight Diagrams”, layout of ancient Taoist buildings in China.
5. Xihuatai: The Xihuatai Scenic spot is located in the northern foot of Mount Sanqingshan. Since Song and Ming dynasty the Xihuatai has an ancient stone pair path to the top of the mountain. The Xihuatai is reputed as “Green Kingdom” and “Cool World” and “Flower Garden”.

Visit the Oldest City in Poland: Krakow



Visit the Oldest City in Poland: Krakow

The 9th largest country of Europe, Poland, is one of the most preferred destination for tourists from around the world. It has charm, intensity and beauty that a visitor desires for. Poland is a blend of some very beautiful cities with some exotic locations, tasty food, affordable accommodation and smiley people. The name Poland originated from the name of a tribe, Polanie. An interesting fact is that if you would press the button 1 in the lifts of Poland then you will end up at the ground level only because here 1st floor is considered as floor 0. It is also one of the most educated countries in the world with 90% literacy rate. This is the only country with 17 Nobel Prize winners and the home of oldest restaurant of Europe, Piwnica Swidnicka which is opened since 1275 till date. These qualities are possessed by this single country just because of its cities like Krakow, Warsaw, Gdansk, Zakopane, Pozman, Wroclaw, Karpacz, Sopot, Gdynia, Auschwitz, Lodz, Swinoujscie and more. Lets know, what the city of Cracow has to offer. Krakow, also known as Cracow, is the second largest and one of the oldest city of Poland and located on the banks of Vistule River. This city is also called the European Capital of Culture, because of its amazing arts, architectures, festivals, events, museums, rich nightlife and friendly environment. Krakow’s roots come from 7th century when it was just a little community with few people living in it. By 12th century, Krakow became a boom town with some historical monuments, building projects, Jagiellonian University, schools and some other landmarks. Today, Krakow has become a tourist and economic hub with a great nightlife. It has the highest number of pubs per square km in the world in the Main Market Square. You will leave this city after visiting but this city would never leave you.

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Krakow has a humid continental typical climate with hot summers. There are no dry seasons and the temperature varies from 40 F to 75 F throughout the year. July is the hottest month and January is the coolest one. You can expect more than 250 days of sunshine per year and the precipitation is at its highest point during April. This is the time when you will see some major rainfall and thunderstorms sometimes. Snowfall is not so common here but can be seen during April rarely. The best time to visit Krakow is from August to December.

How to get here?

krakow-s-market-square

Krakow is well served by John Paul II International Airport Krakow-Balice, located just 11 km west of the city center. The airport receives flights from all major airline carriers like US Airways, Delta, Frontier and more. There is also another major airport named Katowice International Airport, just 101 km from Krakow, which receives both domestic and international flights. However, John Paul Airport is preferred by visitors because of its central location. You can easily reach downtown from both of these airport by shuttles or other means of transport like cab, taxi and rental cars.

Accommodation and Food

Accommodation

Krakow is one of the most visited cities of Poland and a great range of accommodation is also a big reason of that. You can find every choice, from luxurious to affordable, around the city. If you would like a luxurious stay then the best option is Hotel Elektor, located at Ulika Szpitalna, featuring king size rooms, free internet, free parking, swimming pool, health club and other amenities. Other luxurious choice include Metropolitan Boutique Hotel, Crystal Suites, Cracowdays Apartments, Queen Boutique Hotel, Hotel Wentzl, Hotel Grodek, Hotel Senacki, Sodispar Serviced Apartments, Venetian House Aparthotel, Hotel Columbus, Domus Mater, Wielopole Hotel, Amber Hotel, Hotel Pugetow, Sheraton Hotel, Red Brick Apartments and Farmona Hotel Business & Spa. If you want an affordable hotel fitting your budget then there are some good options like Leaba Hostel, Hostel Faust, Felix Hotel, The Secret Garden Hotel, optima Osrodek Hotelowy, Ibis Budget Bronowice, Honey Hostel, Hotel Artur, Krystyna Hotel, Hostel 70s, Quality Hotel, Peregrinus Rooms & Apartments, Hotel Lipsk and Hotel Panorama.

Food

Krakow has always been famous for its exotic food and more than 100 restaurant, cafe and bars. You will easily find lots of international cuisines handled by experienced and famous chefs. Some of the best choices are Bon Appetit Restaurant featuring French cuisine, Introligatornia Smaku Restaurant and Cyrano de Bergerac featuring seafood and burgers, Zielona Kuchnia featuring Central European and Organic food, Trzy Kroki w Szalenstwo featuring international fusion and Pod Baranem Restauracja featuring delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

The Attractions

Wawel Cathedral

wawel-cathedral

The Wawel Cathedral, also known as The Royal Archcathedral Basilica of Saints Stanislaus and Wenceslaus, is a cathedral located on the Wawel hill in Krakow. It is one of the most important and historical landmark of the city of Krakow. The history of cathedral is little known but it is believed that it was built in 1000. The main attraction of the cathedral is the dark interior, religious art like Kaplica Zygmuntowska, the chapel, sculptures, paintings, stuccos and the Royal Tombs. It remains open everyday and entry is free for everyone.

Main Square

Main Square

The Main Square is an urban space located right at the center of the city. It is the largest medieval town square in Europe and also known as Rynek Glowny. The interesting fact is that the square is accessible via 11 streets and two passages. You will see people sitting on benches, eating in cafes and hanging out. The location seems to be very strategic as it is located at a walking distance from many museums, university facilities, theaters, cinemas, clubs, galleries and some other famous public facilities.

East Asia – For the Love of the Orient



East Asia – For the Love of the Orient

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The Orient as it was known in Europe has been the epitome of culture and human civilization; place full of diversity yet with so much in common is perhaps one of the most mysterious cultural conglomeration known to western civilizations. East Asia was largely known to the world as the land where a race of tea-sipping Orientals lived. The region which is geographically as large as almost two-thirds of Europe has played a major role in the development of human thought, culture as well as the propagation of one of the greatest religion in the world – Buddhism. The region though was and has been largely influenced by the largest country in the region, China. China as being the most technologically, culturally, and historically advanced country has had major influence in the writing, language, mannerism and though process of the people in the region. The region’s countries though influenced by the Chinese culture have managed to carve out their own identities which are reflective in the divergent cultures seen today in the form consumerist Japan to the austere, communist North Korea.

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From the beginning when Man first started to civilize with the development of agriculture East Asia came out as a civilization and cultural powerhouse of the world with the main role being played by China. China was able to develop into a thriving civilization at the same time as India, Babylonia and Egypt. It developed many ingenious techniques of agriculture, construction and languages which were developed in western civilization many centuries later. The Chinese Golden Age came during the period of Hang and Tang Dynasties which established it not only as a military powerhouse in Asia but also as a technological and cultural one too. It was during this time that Chinese cultural influence started spreading to various corners of East Asia such as Vietnam, Korea and Japan. Even though Korea and Japan started out under Chinese influence in later centuries they were successfully able to develop their own unique cultural identity which is evident today.

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By the time 19th century came many European powerhouse became imperializing the region with colonies in Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea and regions of China and Japan. Japan was able to adopt a westernized model of developed which helped it become an Imperial force in its own right within half a century on the other hand centuries of corruption had left the world’s greatest civilization in a sorry state leading to defeats at the hands of Western and Japanese imperial forces. China had seceded Hong Kong and Weihai to Britain while Manchuria, Korea and Taiwan was captured by Japanese while France grabbed hold of Vietnam marking the beginning of the Colonial Age. After the Second World War, East Asia was left ravaged by the war but most of the countries especially China had regained control of their territory from the European countries with exception of Vietnam which gained independence in the 1970s. Japan was the first country to embark on the path of rapid development which saw it emerge as the second largest economy in the world; its success was followed by the economic success of the Asian Tiger Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong. In the last two decades after the death of Mao Zedong China embarked on an unprecedented path of development which has seen it now overtake their eastern Japan to become the second largest economy in the world.

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East Asia is wonderful confluence of many culture, dialects and styles of life which presents itself in the most beautiful of ways. Traveling to this most populated region of the world one can only be amazed at the beauty of human life and that of the region’s geography which ranges from the barren highland of Mongolia to the deserts of South West China, from the sun kissed beaches of Japan to the green rice fields of Vietnam. Getting into East Asia is no hassle at all as there hundreds of international airports at different cities of the region although you are recommended to start your journey from China moving onto Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and finally culminating in Japan. Getting around within specific countries should not be a problem as all the countries are extensively connected with railways, roadways and airways with the most high-end transportation networks in place.

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East Asia is full of wonders both architecture-wise and geography-wise which will keep you entertained and involved all throughout your journey. In China, you can visit the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden Palace; enjoy the natural scenery at Guangxi province. In Japan, visit the site of the nuclear bombings and the memorial of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, ride also the Bullet Train from Osaka to Tokyo. In South Korea, see the natural beauty of Seoraksan the highest peak in Korean Peninsula, Seongsan Sunrise Park, Yeojwa Stream and Bulguksa temple. In Malaysia, you can enjoy the beauty of the countless beaches which are just mesmerizing to be at other places to see include the My Son temple in Vietnam, Mekong Delta and the Taipei 101 tower. East Asia is a treasure which is just waiting to be unraveled.

Yeoor: A mini hill station of Thane



Yeoor: A mini hill station of Thane

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A beautiful hill of yeoor in the vicinity of Thane itself offers the visitors a beautiful blend of nature, wildlife, nightlife and meditation. Yeoor hill is also known as ‘Mama Bhanja hill’ and serves as the best get away in Thane. The beautiful hill is located in the district of Thane in the Indian state of Maharashtra and lies in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Yeoor hills fascinates wildlife enthusiast as there are various flora and fauna found.

Yeoor hill is located on the outskirts of thane with the distance of few kilometers and from the centre of Mumbai around 30-40 kilometers. Around 80% of the land is under the forest conservative department.  Yeoor hills are home to many birds, insects, reptiles and mammals. There is a chance to explore and have a glimpse of the wildlife in Yeoor hills if you are lucky, as the place has high density of leopards, pythons, cobras, bamboo pit viper and other such other such man-eater creatures. There are range of birds and butterflies too and often there are various school trips and other trips organized in Yeoor hills to see the types of snakes and reptiles and other parts of nature.

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Portions of Yeoor hills are under army base. It is said that Indian Air Force station is located here and is strictly controlled under the forest department and thus the entry is strictly prohibited. A firing range is also placed within the hills of Yeoor. Other things about and inside the air force base is thus not reveled to public.

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Apart from the wildlife, the lush green greenery of the place also fascinates the visitors. Away from all the city life and its pollution, the greenery of the hills and the misty air soothes the body and soul of the visitors and thus is perfect weekend get- away and a picnic spot for the Thane localites, Mumbaikars and the nature lovers. There are various tree plantations like bamboo, nilgiri, red pine, boar, apple, mango, almonds, sandlefruit, jackfruit, lotus, tamarind, chasheco, turmeric, seasen, amla, bohini and many more. Thus with the various trees and greenery there are various birds and the chirping of the rare and exotic birds is just pleasant to ears. Bird watching is also the main activities in Yeoor hills.

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There are various activities and things to do in and around Yeoor hills. There is a jungle camp organized in the Yeoor hills which organizes various activities for the city goers and brings them close to nature.  Activities like trekking and hiking is very famous in Yeoor hills to explore the nature trails and the flora and fauna of the place. Mountain climbing and bird watching is another popular activity carried out in Yeoor hills. With the proper trainers and guide, one gets a good chance to explore the chance to learn mountain climbing and to gain more information about the birds. Jungle camp organizes star gazing and a visit to nearby waterfall during the limited and seasonal time. One gets a beautiful and rare experience of star gazing in the lush green nature with fresh air all over. Tree plantations, warli painting and pottery making is another activities they offer to indulge in. Doing creative stuff along with the nature has its own benefits to the mind and body. Rifle shooting, archery, commando obstacle course and treasure hunt are other rare activities to indulge in and to explore the scope in those fields. A bit of these activities and training is fun to do and learn. Other from all these activities there are yoga and meditation scope available. The chance to meditate along with the lush green nature is just mesmerizing.

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With various activities to do and with the beauty of nature, there are various good restaurants and resorts located in the Yeoor hills. Mumbai’s first country club named Golden Swan country club is located in Yeoor hills at 1300 feet above the sea level. Nine- hole golf course, good restaurant and AC cottages are the famous attraction of the club.

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Exotica resort and restaurant is other good option with good ambience and good food. The place which is surrounded with beautiful nature and greenery all around provides most of the facilities. The place has a great bar menu and has live music during weekends. Exotica is perfect get away during weekends to enjoy the greenery and nature and to lazing around with the live music and cool atmosphere. The place offers great cuisines, splendor views, facilitated rooms, pool side restaurants, music evenings and many more to enjoy the nature and to explore them.

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Other from these two famous resorts and clubs in Yeoor hills, there are various restaurants like Garava garden restaurant, Sai dhaba, Gulmohar, etc. Yeoor hills are accessed only by roadways and there are some prohibitions with the timings and entry is closed after around 8pm as the place has a threat of man-eaters due to high density of leopards and panthers.

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A visit to Yeoor hill is thus fascinating with various activities it offers to explore the flora and fauna of the place, with good restaurants and resorts to relax along with the nature.

Positano, Italy



Positano, Italy

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An important port of the Amalfi Republic in the past, Positano is today a sophisticated resort set amidst the rocks on the central Amalfi coast in Campania, Italy. It is a small picturesque village with splendid coastal views. The coast’s most photogenic town is a magical world with peach, pink and terracotta coloured steeply stacked houses tumbling down into the sea. A relatively poor fishing village of the past, Positano caught the attention of millions after John Steinbeck’s article on Positano came published in Harper’s Bazaar. He called Positano ‘a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone’. One of the most romantic and luxurious spots of Italy, Positano is today every traveller’s dream.

If you’re driving from the west, eastbound, Positano is the first town you will come across on the Amalfi Coast. Taking a Sita bus from Sorrento or Salerno also drops you at the top of the town. You can also book a private airport transfer from Naples or even rent a car. The town is approximately a 75 minute drive away from Naples and twenty minutes from Sorrento. Though expensive, by taking the ferry especially during the summer months you can get some truly amazing views of the cliffs on the Amalfi Coast. Getting around Positano, however, is not difficult. There are a number of stairs and lanes connecting places. If you are a nature lover you can walk the entire distance and ravish in the glory that Positano never fails to promise. Others who would love to save time stair climbing can take the local bus that runs services back and forth; up and down the hill. The nearest airports are the Napoli-Capodichino and the Salerno-Pontecagnano airport.

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Like the legendary Sirens of Li Galli, Positano is to sea voyagers an incredibly amazing panorama of colours. According to legends, Positano was founded in the 9th century. It was the ancient Romans who built a number of sumptuous villas on the coast of Positano. The steep narrow roads, massive fortified walls and the series of watch towers that mark the present Positano were built only after the town was pillaged by Pisa in 1268. Positano enjoyed a period of prosperity during the 18th century as a major port and a trading hub. However, it was the construction of the road that connected the town to Sorrento and Naples that allowed the first tourists to reach Positano.

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The town also has a lot of amazing sights in store for the tourists. The Moorish-style architecture of the houses by itself is a pleasant sight to the visitors. The Santa Maria Assunta church is also always frequented by visitors because of its majolica tiled dome and a 13th century Byzantine icon of a Black Madonna. Positano is also famous for its pebbled beaches. The glamorous Spiaggia Grande is the heart of sea edge Positano. This 300 metres long beach is one of the largest on the Amalfi Coast. The Fornillo Beach on the other hand offers a peaceful spot for visit to bask in the Mediterranean sun. The sea taxi services running from the Marina Grande beach takes the tourists to magnificent bays like Remmese, Clavel and Cavone. The three islets of Li Galli that were inhabited by the Sirens in the past is also a popular destination.

Taking a boat trip to Capri (which includes visiting the famous Blue Grotto) and Paestum during the summer months is a common leisure activity. You can also enjoy the splendour of Italy’s heritage by going on private excursions under the guidance of a tourist guide. Taking one of the paths leading to the little mountain districts above Positano is also a great way of exploring the area. The Montepertuso footpath which leads to the ‘Oasis of Vallone Porto’ is rich in waterfalls and rare plant and animal species. Just beneath the Montepertuso summit is the hamlet of Nocelle, a fraction of Positano. Nocelle, until recently was reachable only by a flight of 1500 steps from the beach of Arienzo. The spot also offers one of the most beautiful views from the Amalfi Coast.

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Grottino Azzurro is a reasonable local restaurant in Positano offering local food. Da Constantino on the other hand is located on the summit and also offers a mystical view of Positano in addition to providing delicacies like cheese crepes, gnocchi and Bolognese. For those who would like dinner on a candlelit yard, I would suggest Al Palazzo, a reasonable outdoor restaurant surrounded by the cliffs. The place is also famous for its lemon alcoholic drink, Lemoncello. However, stay at Positano can be a little costly as Brikette is the only low budget hotel in the area. Some mid-range hotels include Mamma Rosa Bed, Nocelle and Casa Celeste. Positano is also the land of high-end fashion boutiques. It is also famous for its sandals and footwear.

This magnificent place has a lot to offer to its visitors. Every Positano tourist can take back home memories of a mesmerising day at the paradise on earth. There is certainly something special about this place which keeps the travellers wanting to take a second journey to the land of Neapolitan nativity!

Lot of Variety in Small Package: Haifa, Israel



Lot of Variety in Small Package: Haifa, Israel

Israel, also known as the Homeland of the Jews, may not top the list of most visited tourist attractions of the world but it surely has some spark in it that makes it a country worth visiting. It is mainly famous for holy places, being home of Christians, Muslims and Jews at a place, some high tech achievements and patents and birthplace of Jesus Christ. It also has some wonders like Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Western Wall, Dome of the Rock, Masada, Yad Vashem, Temple Mount, Terraces and Mount of Olives in cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Tiberias, Herzila, Eilat, Netanya, Ein Gedi, Ramat Gan, Nazareth and more. Lets dig down deep about the city of Haifa and its offerings for the visitors. Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel and 3rd largest city of Israel. Mainly known for the University of Haifa and Port of Haifa, this city is located on the shores of Mediterranean and ends up at the slope of Mt. Carmel. The history of Haifa is very little known but it is believed that it was taken over by the Crusaders in 1099 and cleaned the place off from the Jewish people. Mamlukes took over the place in 1265 and by Bedouin in 1750. It remained under Turkish control till World War I and the Jews came back to the city in early 19th century. It properly became a Jewish city in 1948 when it was taken over by the Haganah. Today, Haifa is playing a great role in Israel’s economy because of its major productions in cement, electronic equipment, glass, steel, textiles and chemicals. It is also one of the most progressive cities in Israel and only place where Arabs and Jews are making efforts to maintain coexistence. You will be amazed to see a cultural blend of communities, museums, orchestras and businesses here.

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The Mediterranean climate of Haifa makes the summers quite hot and dry. The temperature varies from 52 F to 90 F throughout the year and the winters go fairly mild. July is the hottest month and coldest one is January. You can expect more than 290 days of sunshine per year and rainfall is not too common here. Precipitation is highest during February and thunderstorms can be experienced during this period. Best time to visit Haifa is from February to May.

How to get here?

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Haifa is served by the Haifa International Airport, located in the eastern part of the country which receives numerous flights from all major airlines. It is one of the busiest airports of the country. Other airports also serve as alternatives to Haifa airport which are Sde Dov Airport, Ben Gurion Airport, Queen Alia International Airport, Damascus International Airport and Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport. You can easily reach downtown from any of these airports by taxi, bus, train, rental car or airport shuttles.

Accommodation and Food

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Haifa has a number of accommodations around the city and you will be satisfied with the price range and services provided. One of the best options is Dan Carmel Haifa, located near Louis Promenade, featuring luxury rooms with private spa, health club, free internet, 24 hours staff service, free parking, swimming pool and tennis court. Other high standard options include Dan Panorama Hotel , Nof Hotel, Theodor Hotel, Dan Gardens Haifa, Leonardo hotel, Art Galley Hotel, Crowne Plaza, Marom Hotel, Villa Carmel Boutique Hotel, Eden Hotel, Bay Club An Atlas Boutique Hotel, The Colony Hotel, Loui M Apartments, Rothschild Mansion and Sea Plaza Hotel. If you would like to have affordable but comfortable place then there is G38 Boutique Apartments, 1926 Designed Apartments, Zimmer Near the Baha’i Gardens, Port Apartments, Suite on the Beach, Sea Plaza Residence, Yafo 82 Guesthouse, Dan Yishay Resort Near PRC, Haddad Guest House, Haifa Guest House and Holiday Express Inn & Suites.

Food

Haifa’s cuisine is famous nationally and internationally because of its 214 eateries featuring all tastes to make you belly happy. You will absolutely blown away by delicious vegetarian food of Falafel Ha Ezkenim, traditional Israeli food at Kelein’s Cafe, nice Italian food at Pasto, European and French food at Hanamal 24, unique cocktails at Sinta Bar, Lebanese food at Douzan, Baked things at Shemo Bakery Haifa, noodles, Asian fusion and soups at Giraffe, icecream at Leggenda, Middle Eastern food at Fatoush, Swiss and Bistro at Voila, sandwiches at Ha Sandwichim shel Bracha, Central European food at Ma’ayan Habira, Japanese food at Japanika and nice Arabic food at reasonable prices at Al Diyar.

The Attractions

Port of Haifa

Port of Haifa

The Port of Haifa is the largest seaport of Israel and serves both passenger and merchant ships. The port is owned and operated by Haifa Port Company Ltd and provides it with cargo, container handling, towing, tugboat, dock and pier operations. More than 1000 people are employed here and it is capable of servicing many ships at a single time. You can take a guided tour of the port and observe how it works.

Haifa Museum of Art

Haifa Museum of Art

There are three leading museums in Haifa which are The National Maritime Museum, The Haifa City Museum and Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art. Haifa Museum of Art is one of them and is located in Wadi Nisnas in downtown Haifa. It was established in 1951 and today it features international and local contemporary art exhibitions. There are more than 7000 Israeli and other works of art, an interactive children’s wing, lecture and conference hall which is used for cultural events, shows and concerts.