Archive for May, 2007

Travel to Greece

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Greece is a wonderful country that has a very rich history of culture as well as values and is home to the earliest civilizations and it also is the birthplace of the Olympics. The art, philosophy, drama as well as science that emanates from Greece is without a doubt of the very highest quality and this is still to be found in modern day Greece, with old values and culture embodied in its traditions, which is something quite unique in the modern world of today.

Athens Greece

Greece is a popular tourist destination that sees more than fifteen million tourists visiting the country every year to discover Greece for themselves. Greece has much to offer to those seeking something that is rich in culture, as well as has other beautiful splendors of which Greece has much to offer. No visit to Greece would be complete without first visiting the Acropolis, which is not only the most famous but also symbolizes everything Greek. There is a sense of awe felt when one views the intricacy as well as majesty of the Parthenon and the nighttime provides tourists the opportunity to hear about Olympic legends through the medium of a light and sound presentation.

Another interesting place to visit while in Greece is the Ancient Agora, one of the plentiful Greek ruins that are located in a valley beneath the Acropolis. This is the place that about two thousand five hundred years ago hosted famous philosophers such as Plato and Socrates who taught as well as deliberated their philosophies to their attendant disciples. Close at hand is the Temple of Hephaestus that is another attraction worth viewing.

For more adventure, why not plan on a helicopter tour of Athens, the capital of Greece. It will afford you with a panoramic view that only takes about half an hour and you can enjoy the skyline of Athens in all its glory and also get a chance to see the many splendid landmarks as well. It would also make for some excellent photographic opportunities as well.

Besides the many other things to do in Greece, a visit to the National Archaeological Museum would also be worthwhile where you can view the Schliemann’s Agamemnon, which is part of the collection at this museum. In case you don’t know what this is, it is a sixteenth century historical artifact that was given the name because it was supposed to be a death mask of ancient kings.

Other interesting things to do on a Greek vacation include hiking to the Vindos Gorge, hitting the beaches of Crete and attending the Rockwave festival that is among the most popular festivals anywhere in the world. You can also learn the culinary arts in Greece which will teach you to prepare the fancy foods from this part of the world. Also, you will find Greece an excellent destination for your sailing needs.

Visiting Cayman Islands Underwater World!

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

The Cayman Islands have overcome hurricanes as well as changes in government and are still capable of providing the most relaxing as well as memorable holiday experience. This wonderful cluster of isles lies in the West of the Caribbean Islands and is the destination for many millions of tourists that visit here every year and there are many reasons that can be attributed to why its popularity never seems to wane.

Cayman Islands

To begin with, the beaches at Cayman Islands are very attractive, as you would expect from any one of the many Caribbean Islands’ beaches having a shoreline that stretches on and on. The Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach is really a wonderful example of what a great beach can be and there are many enthusiastic beach bums that find this to be among the best beaches in the world having many resorts as well as activities to make it the number one tourist destination for many.

The conditions for diving as well as snorkeling are also par excellence and you will find many hardened underwater explorers that find the Grand Cayman to be ideally suited for their activities. The waters here are wonderfully clear and with plenty of marine life it is hardly surprising that this place attracts so many tourists. A visit to Stingray City is worth your while and here are also plentiful stingrays that float about in the shallow allowing visitors to interact with them.

Other hotspots that are high on every tourists’ itinerary is Hell, which has captivating beauty seen in the black rock formations and a postcard from Hell or a T-shirt is sure to make a good buy as well as novelty item worth paying for. The Cayman Turtle Farm displays thousands of turtles, which is why the Cayman Islands were once known as “Las Tortugas” or the turtles.

If you want more secluded beaches and fewer crowds, you should visit the eastern part of the Cayman Islands where you can experience small adventures as well as relax on a quiet stretch of beach. The Cayman Islands are also rich in history, and you will find the Cayman Islands National Museum as well as Fort George examples of historic importance. So, too is the Pedro St. James Castle as well as the Cayman Maritime Treasure Mountain that would we worth visiting if you are seriously interested in knowing more about the islands’ history. There is a pronounced colonial influence, which blends well with the indigenous personality to add more flavor and give a new dimension to your holiday.

You will find many interesting properties to live in and included are small as well as modest sized cottages near the beaches as also villas and condos that provide you with the best amenities.

The Green Heart of Italy – Umbria

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

If you are interested in the center of Italy, you will find Umbria that is located between Tuscany and Le Marche to be especially appealing. The capital of Umbria is Perugia that was a city that owes its origins to the Etruscans. This is a region of Italy that does not have a lot of available space and in the confined spaces are found some of the best in Italian life, culture as well as history. As communications with the outside world improves, this region is becoming more popular to other visitors who are looking for art as well as culture, which are embodied well in the heritage of Umbria. A holiday here would provide peace as well as a chance to enjoy outdoor sports, all set in very appealing settings.

Umbria Italy

Here are hills where there are many oak evergreens, which is why this part of Italy has been called the ‘the green heart of Italy’. You will also find some very appealing wooded hills that lie between the Tiber Valley as well as the Tuscan towns of Arezzo and Cortona. There is also the Lake Trasimeno, which is the biggest expanse of water in Umbria and the place where Hannibal fought as well as vanquished the Romans way back in 217 B.C.

Towards the south of this lake there is a noticeable change in landscape with the hills and mountains giving way to undulating plains dotted with houses made of terracotta bricks. In the capital of Umbria, you will find the National Gallery of Umbria complete with a wonderfully rich collection of paintings that are the works of Renaissance artists including Duccio, Giotto, Fra Angelico as well as Gentile da Frabranio as well as Pinturicchio and Pierro della Francesca.

You can also visit the birthplace of ‘Il Perugino’ that lies in Citta della Pieve and another place worth visiting in Umbria would be Assisi where lies the Basilica of Saint Francis whose claim to fame is the wonderful set of frescoes by Giotto. If you are interested in sports, then you can visit Monte Cucco as well as Monte Vettore where are found excellent hang-gliding opportunities, and you will find at Gubbio the annual international Arab horse endurance riding event taking place.

There is also a good deal of excellent food as well as wine here in the Umbrian region with the truffles of Val Nerina and the fresh as well as smoked trout good examples of its culinary delights. There are also plenty of olives with the Umbrian olive oil enjoying good reputation given its low acidity as well as wonderful flavor. Also worth trying out is the Montefalco red wine and Grechetto white wine.

Umbrians are genial as well as hospitable and the population also holds a good many tourists with many of them enjoying the country life and settling in the old farmhouses.

Thailand Holidays

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Thailand that was once known as the Kingdom of Thailand lies in Southeast Asia and it has been home to many indigenous cultures. The major influences in Thai culture are those of India and China as well as some of the other cultures from countries neighboring this beautiful country. It is almost as large as Spain as also the state of California and is home to several distinct geographic regions and the climate is mainly tropical with plenty of monsoons.

Bangkok Thailand

Thailand is quite prosperous and its newly industrialized economy has at one time enjoyed the highest growth rate during the decade between 1985 and 1995. The population is mainly Tai speaking and among them is the Central Thai who are most numerous followed by the Northeastern Thai and the Northern Thai as well as Southern Thai peoples. As you would expect, the Thai language is the national language having its own alphabet though there are many ethnic as well as regional dialects as well. English, though taught in schools is of a low proficiency.

Thais are mainly Theravada Buddhists, which has evolved over time with many regional beliefs having been incorporated and Islam is prevalent in the South of Thailand. The culture is like that of other Asian countries and respect of elders as well as ancestors is part of the Thai spiritual practice. In addition, the Thais are very hospitable people who are also known for their generosity, with a pronounced sense of social hierarchy.

The famous sport of Muay Thai or Thai boxing is Thailand’s national sport as well as a native martial art, which has grown in popularity throughout the world, especially during the 1990s. You would also like the Thai cuisine that has five basic tastes, which are sweet, sour, and spicy as well as bitter and salty.

Tourism is a major attraction as well as a major industry in Thailand with people from all parts of the world coming here including many Germans and Scandinavians. The best time to visit this wonderful country would no doubt be during February and March months when the weather is at its kindest and the beaches too are fun to be at. Besides Bangkok, the Capital of Thailand, there are also many other places to visit once you come to Thailand.

Of special interests to tourists are the Island of Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, and of course the capital Bangkok. In fact, Phuket Island prides itself on being Asia’s most popular tourist and holiday resort and it is ideally suited for a perfect holiday. You will find plenty of entertainment in Patong Beach, Kata as well as Karon where the bars, restaurants as well as exciting seafood and explosive night life will keep you interested well past the wee hours of the night.

Vacations & Holidays in Antigua & Barbuda

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Antigua and Barbuda are one of the more exciting islands in the Caribbean and are thus much sought after getaway islands that attracts more and more tourists who find in these islands much energy as well as plenty of peace and harmony. The island of Antigua owes its discovery to the world famous explorer Columbus and it later got its independence from the United Kingdom in 1981. It has now an aura that attracts worldwide tourists and is a hub of tourist activity. You will also find the local dialect quite rough, which many times appear like people are arguing about something though in reality it is nothing more than expressions of energy.

Antigua & Barbuda

The islands of Antigua and Barbuda have no mountains and there are also no rivers or springs though there are certainly high rocky coasts with bays as well as arms of sea that make for excellent harbors such as at St. John’s. Reaching the islands of Antigua and Barbuda is easy and you can arrive using regular flights as well as arrive on the lovely cruise ships like the Royal Caribbean as well as Disney Cruise Line.

The islands of Antigua and Barbuda make for excellent scuba diving and tourists gush about the fantastic array of fish of the reefs. In the clear waters you can also go snorkeling and sailing too is excellent. The parties at Shirley Heights accompanied by blasting of Antiguan music that is certainly very enjoyable and the awesome sunset over English Harbor is on everybody’s lips.

There are many activities that you will find especially appealing including seeing the folk pottery of present times that are found in many places around Antigua though the center is located in Sea View Farm Village. You may also want to check out the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, which tells you of the story of the place right from its geographical birth up to the present.

For those with a culinary bent of mind, there are many restaurants in Antigua that provide varied cuisine including local fare as well as Italian and Mediterranean fare. Some of the better-known restaurants include Admirals Inn, Bay House Restaurant and Fisherman’s Wharf. Besides, there are topnotch hotels as well with the best in comfort and exotic fare, which keeps the tourists flocking here year after year.

As for communicating with the rest of the world, you can call the U.S. easily and most hotels will have USA Direct calling service. Tipping is the same as is the custom in the US and you can tip ten to fifteen percent depending on the quality of service. Dressing here is usually informal though on the conservative side and beach attire is common on the beach and not meant to be worn in the town, shops or in restaurants.

Goa – The Beach Paradise

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Goa, with its charming beaches, thrilling nightlife, exotic cuisines, and historic edifices, and a unique blend of Konkani and Portuguese, it is one of the much sought after anytime summer holiday destinations in India. Another aspect you may note about Goa is the carnival atmosphere it wears all the time. This is a phenomenon you cannot sense anywhere else in India. For a vacation with a difference, this is the place you should visit.

Goa Beaches

If there is anything that Goa is synonymous with, then it is its many stunning beaches, which are interestingly markedly differ from one another – in the nature of the sand, crowds, or depth. Anjuna is one such sea coast known for its shingle-sand and sixties-style flower culture. Agonda is ideal for a peaceful beachside stroll, while adventure enthusiasts may feel at home in the rocky and sandy Arambol. Further, Baga is quite popular, Polem and Palolem are unspoilt and lack crowds, and the enchanting Colva is a must-visit. Not to mention are the charming red sand Calangute and Vagator beaches. In fact, there are still more unexplored beaches in Goa, but it’s your job to find it out.

However, it is not about beaches alone as Goa has still much more to see and experience, like the enchanting backwater cruise in Zuari and Mandovi rivers, dolphin cruises in the high seas, adventure sports like waterskiing, parasailing, and wind surfing, and dancing by the fireside to the tunes of a strumming guitar, especially if you are there with your partner. A guided trip that takes one through the colonial past of Goa, through its old cathedrals, temples, and forts, is also a good option if you love visiting heritage sites. For wilderness seekers, there are some exciting forests and rivers in the outskirts of Goa.

But, no visit to Goa is deemed complete without tasting the delicious Goan and Mediterranean cuisine and sea food, something for which its roadside restaurants are famous for. If you are not a teetotaler, also add port wine, local feni (a cashew brew), and passoa – a passion fruit derived liquor – to the list. Finally, there is this pomp and splendor of the various Goan carnivals and festivals, which you simply cannot afford to miss. There will be some festival being organized all the time, and for tourists, it’ll be a nice experience to be in the thick of the things as the excitement unwinds around them.

Goa has a lot to see; hence it is advisable to hire a vehicle as it would save your time. Motorcycle taxis are popular, but bus services are quite erratic and hence not so reliable. Goa’s Dabolim Airport has connections to all major cities in India.


Monday, May 21st, 2007

This is a Vacations aound the world    blog featuring the beautiful places around the globe.