Monthly Archives: July 2014

Place of religious wonders, Kenrokuen, Japan



Place of religious wonders, Kenrokuen, Japan

the garden

Whenever it comes to Japan, the expectations soar to upto the uttermost sky. The Land Of Rising Sun has the most beautiful of the nature’s creation which one can observe till eternity.Here we are going to talk about Kenroku-en which has many attractions for the tourists across the world. All the tourist spots which are found here have some or the other religious story related to it’s conception. We have the Kanazawa well, the three famous gardens,  Shigure- tei teahouse and many more.

Shigure tei teahouse

Amongst this great list is the beautiful Kenrokuen Garden. Located in the Kanazawa area of the Ishikawa, Japan is this mind refreshing park. It is a private park which was built by the fifth lord of the Kaga Clan. It is supposed to have been built somewhere back in the late seventeenth century. The famous Kananzawa National Park is located just to the North- West of this garden.

kenrokuen

This garden is one amongst the group of three very famous gardens in Japan namely, Kairaku-en,  Koraku-en and this one, Kenroku-en. The completion of the Tsunami Water Channel in this region back in the seventeenth century is said to complement as well as prove the completion of this garden somewhere around this time only. The history of this place and the time of it’s creation has been put to debate a several times. There are many versions to the same.

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There is a very famous well located in Kanazawa. The version that the localites follow regarding Kanazawa well is that years ago a person called Togoro stopped washing his potatoes at the well and after that flakes of the metal aurum(gold) were seen bubbling out from the well. This is how Kanazawa, where the Kenrokuen garden is located, got it’s name. The meaning of Kanazawa is ‘ Marsh of gold’. There are many religious implications to it as well. The water from the well moves to the basin of purification which is located near the Shinto shrine. This well is a part of the religious belief because it is said that people used to come to draw water from this well for the tea ceremony; which happens even in the present days.

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Then after talking about this famous Tea ceremony, one cannot forget to talk about the famous Shigure tei teahouse. It was built by the fifth lord of the Kaga clan. It was then compacted by the sixth lord and kept on being renovated until the Meiji Period. At present the structure and the floor plan of the tea house is that which initially existed. This place is used to relax oneself and enjoy the tea at the tea ceremony and the beautiful garden all around it. There was a huge fire which took place somewhere in the 1750s but surprisingly it did not have any effect on the Shigure tei teahouse. Now this obviously is not less than a miracle.

autumn garden

The Kenroku-en garden is the central attraction. It is located just outside the famous Kanazawa castle. The Kenroku-en garden is said to have four seasons. The beauty of this garden keeps on switching from season to season and everytime to leave the tourists spell bound at it’s beauty.  The Kenroku-en garden is not an ordinary garden. It has more than two hundered trees roughly. In Spring, everywhere we will get to see lushing flora which are not green or yellow like many places but pink. The garden has somewhat around twenty different varieties of Cherry and around four hundred trees of cherry. Towards the end of the Spring, the beautiful azaleas start appearing.

winter garden

By the time Summers arrives, the gardens are full of azaleas. The vegetation that the garden has arpound this time is something which is very rarely seen. The sunshine just adds to the beauty of all of it. After the summers, autumn brings with itself even more beautiful shades of it’s beauty. The autumn foliage, the leaves falling and covering the garden is a treat to one’s eyes. In the winters the place is all covered with snow. Tourists get to see beautiful and splendid pines which are all covered with snow.

tea ceremony antique

This place cannot be missed. One has to go to this place to know what kind of packages the beautiful things come adorned it. It’s just called a garfen but it is definitely much more than that. The access to this place is also very easy and affordable. One just needs to board a bus from Kanazawa to reach Kenroku-en. It will hardly take about fifteen- twenty minutes. This place is must go place because it is one of it’s kind.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic



Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

punta-cana-playaPunta Cana is a name of the place situated in the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic. It is spread over an area of 1100 acres and is home to some beautiful white sand beaches and a town with the same name. It is situated in the province of La Altagracia and the region borders the Atlantic Ocean on the east. On the north side it borders Bavaro and El Cortecito beaches. It is pretty deserted an area but its proximity to other major resort areas like Bavaro and Uvero Alto make it one of the top Caribbean destinations. Punta Cana is one of the most beautiful places not only of the Dominican Republic but of the whole Caribbean. It is one of the fastest growing tourist destination in the Caribbean and also a very famous holiday destination among people from throughout the world.

GET IN

There are many flights reaching Punta Cana. It has its own airport called the Punta Cana International airport. It is one of the busiest and a very well connected airport in the region. It receives more flights at times as compared to the capital city Santo Domingo. Most people visiting this place stay at resorts and so the travel from the airport is generally provided by the resorts. You can also travel to Punta Cana by road via the recently built highway called Autopisa Del Coral. The highway starts from La Romana and ends at Punta Cana. It takes less than an hour from La Romana and about two hours from Santo Domingo.

Punta_cana_airport

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to visit Punta Cana is from December to April. It is also the peak season so the prices of airfare and hotels are pretty high. The weather is pleasant during these months however during the summer months from May to October it is very hot and the temperature rises to 35 degrees at times making it difficult to visit due to the immense heat. So the winter season is the best time to visit this place.

THINGS TO SEE

Playa Punta Cana

This long stretch of sandy coastline is the place where tourism first began in Punta Cana. The beach is covered with white sand and has clear blue water. You can also see coconut palms everywhere along the beach. Much of the beach still remains virgin as there are not many hotels built as they are towards the north in Bavaro. This beach is best for snorkelling, swimming and windsurfing.

Dominicana-Punta_Cana

Santo Domingo

This is just two hours away from Punta Cana and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city is the first European settlement of the Western Hemisphere and has preserved its colonial heritage for over five centuries now. You can also visit the first Cathedral of the Americas as well as Alcazar de Colon the palace of Diego who was the son of Christopher Columbus.

cathedral-of-santo-domingo

Altos de Chavon

This is a small village which is a recreation of the Mediterranean town. It is located on a spectacular hillside cliff which overlooks the Chavon River. It is very famous for its 5000 seat amphitheatre. You can also visit the archaeological museum and art galleries.

Altos_de_Chavon_amphitheater

Bavaro Runners

This is a very famous safari excursion in this area. You get a chance to experience the scenery and life of the Dominican Republic. You can also visit the typical Dominican Houses, sugarcane plantations and also go horseback riding on the beach.

Manati Park

This is a very good place to visit for all the animal lovers. There are many exotic fishes, parrots horses found here. You can also swim with the dolphins here. You can take a walk along the beautiful gardens and take pictures of the orchids and tropical plants.

Manati park

ACTIVITIES

This place offers some of the best water sport activities. There are racing speedboats, party boats, discovery cruises and floating spas here. You can also rent a private yacht. A short boat ride takes you to a floating platform where tourists can take a swim along with the trained dolphins. There are also many two passenger speedboats with which you can cruise along the coastline and there are snorkelling instructions and equipments included with it. Seaquarium is a unique tour which is scuba diving with a twist. It gives you diving helmets and allows you to walk at the bottom of the clear waters with a beautiful view of the coral reefs. This is definitely the best experience. There are many whale watching tours too. There is also rafting available for the adventure lovers and there are some of the most challenging courses too. There are also many helicopter tours to give you the view from the top of how Punta Cana looks. You can fly over the palm studded coastline with beautiful white sand beaches.

dolphin_island,_punta_cana

Just as the sun rises in the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana awakes to the lapping ocean which is clear and unspoiled with clear blue water and has gorgeous white sand beaches with swaying coconut palms in the background. And thus, with so many beautiful sights and numerous water sport activities, Punta Cana is a must visit for everyone who wants to relax and spend a peaceful vacation.

Wine Tourism of Nashik: Sula Vineyards and Resorts



Wine Tourism of Nashik: Sula Vineyards and Resorts

 sula vineyard   beyond sula resort

Class, sophistication and art are the three words defining the elegance of wine. Bliss of wine for all the wine lovers, Sula vineyards is the perfect place for leisure wine vacation. Industry pioneer, Sula vineyards is known as the biggest wine maker in India and is awarded for the same in recent times. Sula vineyard located in Nashik, Maharashtra is also India’s most popular and well accessed winery.

sula yards

Winery is open for all visitors to explore the fantabulous view of grape yards at the timings between 11.30 am to 5.30 pm with a particular charge of around Rs.150.  The package of the winery tour permits the visitors to check the processing rooms and later the tasting rooms, letting them taste six premium quality wines produced in the Sula vineyard. Tasting room is the main and significant attraction of the Sula vineyards which is spread over a total area of 2000 sq.ft. With the chance of tasting the premium quality wines, tasting room is also famous for it’s balcony which showcases the panaromic view of the vineyards with a beautiful serene bounded with good ambience. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful lush greenery accompanied with the hills and serene lakes while touring around the winery.

tasting room of sula vineyard   sula2

The place has so many things to do that one day is just not enough to explore the place. There is a resort along with the vineyards for a pleasant stay with so many activities to do around. Beyond Sula is the resort located in the Sula vineyard comprising of around 32 rooms is a perfect treat of peace and quality far from city’s hustle and bustle. It makes a perfect leisure trip to chill out with the perfect view of the serene lakes and the green hills along with the vineyards around. Resorts offers exquisite range of rooms with a private verandah or a balcony with a leisure comfort sitting along with the beautiful view of the land, green hills and the serene lake making it a perfect harmony of quality time with the loved ones. There are wide roads along the resorts just for bicycling and biking. Adding to the quality is the cool breeze of Nashik which penetrates the skin and refreshes the skin deep within, with a sip of wine which with every sip going down the throat relaxes the nerves and the mind instantly along with the great food available in the resort. The resort features facilities like café rose, restaurants with the a la carte dishes in which the ingredients used are from the their own organic farms. White room is a conference room and mind and body refreshing infinity pool. A gymnasium for the health freaks with a beautiful view. Vina spa is for the perfect relaxation of body with the aromatic oil massages and with a Jacuzzi and other relaxing treatments to pamper your mind, body and soul. Red room is a room specially for kids and youngsters consisting of all games like tennis, carom etc. resort also has two restaurants named little Italy and soma with all dining options and mouth-watering foods. There is an amphitheatre for organizing the events in the vineyards.sula resort  collection of sula wines

The other main attraction of the Sula vineyards is the Sulafest, which is the annual music festival held in the harvesting months of January. Sulafest attracts lots of people and tourist all over the country as it has become one of the popular and happening sensation and a music event amongst the youngsters. Sulafest is a two day musical event held in the vineyards of Sula. Around 8000 people are attracted during the sulafest and for the sulafest. During the sulafest, the visitors are accessed to great music carnival along with the winery tour, grape stomping and wine tasting sessions. Grape stamping becomes the reason of real fun and spirit in the fest. It brings smiles, fun and life in the fest. It’s one of the different type of activity altogether. With the electrifying atmosphere in the sulafest with good music and food, there are other activities like foot massaging, tattooing etc. Sulafest is flooded with super exciting activities all around for the two days fest. Its not only a treat for wine lovers but also for the music lovers. There are various performers who engages people’s mind with the music and performance like rock songs, electronic guitars, folks, blues and reggae music. The memories and experience one gets in the two days fest is incredible and for life long.

grape stompingsulafest1

The founder and the CEO of the sula vineyards, Rajeev Samant established  a reputation of India’s Leading Premium Wine Producer and was the first one to introduce varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Zinfandel and Riesling to India and the award winning wines of the Indian winery, sula vineyards are available in all the good well known hotels and restaurants all over the world.

Sula vineyard is located in the west of Nashik, which is 180km from Mumbai and and around 210km from Pune. Nashik is easily accessed by cars, bus and trains. From Nashik any cars or buses can lead to sula vineyards and it is 1.5 km from gangapur savargaon road.

wines

Sula vineyards and the sulafest is the best get way to nature and wine exploration which any wine lovers should go for!

Capital of the Alps: Innsbruck, Austria



Capital of the Alps: Innsbruck, Austria

Austria has been a very famous tourist attraction for visitors over the years because of its food, music, artists, exotic locations, architecture and skiing. It has some amazing cities Vienna, Graz, Linz Salzburg, and Villach but there is a city which is quite underrated but a hell of a tourist place. That city is Innsbruck, capital of federal state of Tyrol in Western Austria.  Innsbruck is fifth most populous city in Austria and has hosted the Winter Olympics twice and hosted some matches of 2008 European Football Championship. This city is marvelously designed with its historic structures, amazing scenery and snowy mountains which make it one of the most suitable places to visit in entire Europe. Innsbruck is also famous for its festivals like Igls Bobsleigh rides, New Year’s concert, Air and Style Snowboard Contest and many more.

Innsbruck.austria

Innsbruck has a continental climate because of its altitude. The summers are warm with no dry seasons. The winters go cold and snowy and coldest month is July. The humidity makes its mark during July and goes to a maximum of 96%. The best time to visit the city is from May to September when the temperature is little cooler and atmosphere remains pleasant.

How to get here?

reach

Innsbruck Airport is just 17 minutes away from the main bus stand of Innsbruck and receives flights from all around the world. Its main airlines are Air Berlin, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Easy Jet and NIKI bringing flights from Berlin, Hamburg, London, Bristol, Liverpool, London and many more cities. Outside the airport you will have a lot of options to reach downtown like Mein Fernbus, Airport shuttles, cabs, limos and Gangl Transfers.

Accommodation and Food

Accommodation

A long range of hotels, hostels, apartments, inns, villas ensures that your stay is pleasant in Innsbruck. You can also take the Guest Card right on the arrival which gives you access to holiday villages of the city along with free sightseeing tours. You will also be able to enjoy Golf, Tennis, cable rides and some evening Tyrolean shows at reduced prices thanks to the Guest Card. Best hotels in Innsbruck include Grand Hotel Europa, Romantikhotel Schwarzer Adler, Alphotel, Austria Classic Hotel and Austria Trend Hotel Congress. You can also find some budget accommodation around the city like Pension Amraserhof, Apartment Nice & Central, Apartement im Zentrum, Boardinghouse Innsbruck, Elisabeth Wild and more.

Food

Your dining & wining experience in Innsbruck is not going to be disappointing because it has abundance of restaurants, bars and cafes around the city. Some of the popular restaurants are Lichtblick Gastro GmbH famous for its risotto, creamy polenta and duck breast, Schwarzer Adler Restaurant for its potato soup, filler of salmon and perch on herb rice and Europastuberl famous for its Warm Bacon salad, Thyme sauce and cheese and Cheese Terrine. You also can enjoy some great range of cocktails at Babalon, Bar Plateau, Block 7 Diner, Boxernstopp, Café Bar Ischia, Café Bar Lounge Republica, Café Grand Prix and Café Piazza Bar.

The Attractions

Goldenes Dachl

Goldenes Dachl

Goldenes Dachl, also known as the Golden Roof, is one of the greatest tourist attractions of Innsbruck located right in the heart of the city. It was built in the early 15th century by Archduke Friedrich. It is a three story balcony on the central plaza with Gothic oriels capped with 2657 golden tiles. In 2003, International Alpine Convention’s Office was transferred to Golden Roof. There are some mural paintings and flags of the Province of Tirol are famous attractions of the Golden Roof.

Patscherkofel

Patscherkofel

Patscherkofel is a ski resort with 1 gondola, 3 chair lifts and 3 surface lifts with 1067 metres of vertical descent. It is also known as Home Mountain of Innsbruck which hosted the Winter Olympics for third time in 2012. Patscherkofel has a great sports history and famous for providing a unique panorama scene of the city from its top. It is located just 7 km from Innsbruck and can be reached by car, train or bus. You can directly reach Patscherkofel cable car from Innsbruck by the J Bus.

Hofkirche

Hofkirche

Hofkirche, which means Court Church, is a Gothic church, built in 1553, which features the tomb of Emperor Maximilian and Silver Chapel. You will see Emperor Maximilian’s black marble tomb which glorifies the Roman Empire right on the entrance and 24 marble reliefs surrounding the tomb. There are 28 large statues of the ancestors of Emperor Maximilan including King Arthur. When you reach upstairs, you will see the Silver Chapel, built in 1578, which has an altar with a silver wood Madonna.

Tivoli Neu Stadium

Tivoli Neu Stadium

Tivoli New Stadium is a sports stadium, mainly used for football matches, located at 1B area of Innsbruck. The ground was built in 2000 and is home ground of FC Wacker Innsbruck. The stadium has seating capacity of 17,400 persons which was once extended to 30000 to host some matches of Euro Cup in 2008. It is one of the famous landmarks in the city as it is always crowded with tourists taking the official tour of the stadium.

Herzsee

Herzsee

Herzsee is a beautiful lake located in the village of Aldrans in Innsbruck. It is 200m long and 50m wide and was once used for bathing by the local people. Today, the lake is used for hiking because it leads to many hiking paths around the place. It is a perfect place to relax and enjoy some scenic miracles of nature. It has proved to be a paradise for fishermen as there are a lot of fishes of many species in the lake but only the members of Fischerverein Tyrol Association are allowed to fish in Herzsee.

There are many other places to visit in Innsbruck like Brikkarspitze, Armoury, Arnspitze Group, Grand Pond and many others.