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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Travelling to Mexico

Probably one of the places that people who travel to Mexico will surely enjoy are the beach resorts outside the capital city. At the top of the list is Acapulco, which is sometimes referred to as the Riviera of Mexico for its hotels, casinos and beach resorts. The Acapulco is a very popular tourist destination where one can also do deep-sea fishing as well as other water sports. Another haven for people who travel to Mexico is the Mazatlan, which frequently holds the international fishing tournaments as well as pre-Lenten carnivals. Hunting and fishing are also things that will interest people who travel to Mexico. One can also find in Mazatlan an observatory and one of the tallest lighthouses in the world. Other beaches that travelers in Mexico should not miss are the Cancun Island, the Puerto Vallarta and the Los Cabos.

Traveling to Mexico also opens the door to a world of arts and drama. With its many museums, Mexico is one of the most important museum destinations in the world. The Chapultepec Park houses several of these celebrated museums; the most important of which is the National Museum of Anthropology. Other museums that travelers in Mexico should also visit are the Museum of National History, Snail Museum, Technology Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art, which boasts of the finest collection of Mexican painting including those of masters such as Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo. Children will also enjoy the Mexico City Zoo and the Papalote, a children’s interactive museum.

Traveling to Mexico will not be complete without visiting the Basilica de Guadalupe, which marks the site of the Virgin Mother’s appearance in 1531. The Metropolitan Cathedral is another travel destination within Mexico. With its baroque and neoclassical fa?ade, the church is a great example of architectural art forms.

Another Mexican architectural masterpiece is the Chapultepec Castle, which once served as presidential residence. The castle also features the murals of Mexican painter Juan O’ Gorman as well as the Memorial to Infant Heroes. Los Pinos, which is the official residence of the Mexican President, is also on the grounds of the Castle.

Monuments abound in the Paseo de la Reforma, a tree-line boulevard that houses Mexico’s landmarks. Travelers will surely love the monuments such as the Angel of the Independence, the symbol of the country’s national identity, Cuauhtemoc Memorial and the Diana Cazadora, the statue of Diana the Huntress.

What is traveling to Mexico without shopping for souvenirs? The Zona Rosa or the Pink Zone is an ideal shopping paradise. Within the area are restaurants, boutique squares, shops and hotels. Another shopping district is the Alameda Park, which borders the Palace of Fine Arts.

History fanatics will also love traveling to Mexico’s famed religious city of Teotihuacan, the capital of pre-Aztec civilization. In Teotihuacan, travelers to Mexico will find the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, two pyramids that face each other, providing a great view of the surrounding regions from the top.

 

Volterra, Italy

In a country as steeped in history and culture as Italy, it would be impossible to overlook the importance of Volterra, one of the lesser known hilltop towns in Tuscany. Its rich Etruscan heritage and extensive collection of medieval and Renaissance art, sees this tiny Tuscan gem as a destination in its own right; and its close proximity to Siena, San Gimignano and Pisa makes it an ideal base from which to explore the rest of the region. Walking in Italy is practically a national pastime and the area around Volterra also offers some of the most beautiful hiking in the country.

A walled hilltop town, Volterra is set amidst the sunburnt rolling hills and deep valleys that typify this region of Tuscany. Surrounded by a landscape of vineyards, crop fields and forested tracts, it is a wonderful place to explore on foot. The area is criss-crossed with hiking trails and walking in Italy is the best way to get under the skin of this incredibly diverse country. There is nothing quite like a gentle hike through undulating fields splashed with poppies and sunflowers, to arrive at a vineyard for a welcome of the house vintage and a traditional Tuscan feast.

Volterra itself makes for a delightful sojourn. As was the practice of these medieval Italian hilltop towns, it is completely enclosed by a fortifying wall. If your accommodation is outside the walls you have a steep but short climb to enter the town through one of the “Porte”, but once within the cloistered walls its true charm is revealed. A stroll around the perimeter will afford you not only a great orientation, but you will also experience uninterrupted views across the surrounding countryside. And what views they are. Volterra can lay claim to some of the best vistas in Tuscany. For as far as the eye can see, the patchwork of rural land and ubiquitous Cypress groves stretches out before you like a painted canvas.

Known as a ‘citta d’arte’ for its wonderful collection of Renaissance artwork, Volterra is also renowned for its unique alabaster which is mined around the region. Soft and fragile to work with, it is carved into intricate art objects and sculptures. Volterra has been the centre of alabaster production for nearly 2,500 years and it has become a valuable and sought after medium. Although there are plenty of tourist shops selling alabaster, there are also many local artisans, that you can visit in their studios and workshops within the city walls. Walking in Italy around the hill top towns and villages of Tuscany is a charmingly authentic experience, and Volterra is no exception. It is a pleasure to wander the narrow cobbled streets and traffic is strictly regulated and kept to a minimum within the walls. Whilst Volterra has every facility, it has retained an historic village feel, with local businesses outnumbering tourist shops and the delightful Piazza dei Priori (the town square) serving as the hub of day-to-day activity.

You can sit quietly in the piazza sipping a coffee and watch the locals going about their business; or play your own part walking in Italy’s evening ritual of “la passeggiata” – the nightly parade as the Italians stroll through the streets, stopping for an ‘aperitivo’ in one of the town’s many bars or cafes. Take a walk at sunset around to the Roman Amphitheatre, one of Volterra’s most important historic sites; or marvel at the imposing exterior of the Fortress, the town’s original defence built right into the walls. If you get the taste for Italian history and you want to learn more about Volterra’s fascinating Etruscan and Roman roots, a visit to the Guarnacci Museum is a must. It is the jewel in this tiny town’s crown and one of the most comprehensive Etruscan museums in the country.

 

Top Beaches of Mauritius

Belle Mare Beach

Lying on Mauritius’ east coast, Belle Mare Beach is popular with locals and visitors alike. Thanks to the presence of a deep lagoon running along the shoreline and the coral reef which encircles the island, the waters of Belle Mare are calm and safe from strong currents. Like something from a picture postcard, the Casuarina fringed perimeter protects the fine ground coral beach from the bustle of the surrounding town and although very busy on the weekends, at times during the week it is possible to have the beach almost to yourself. If lazing on almost six kilometres of fine, white sand sounds like too slow a pace for you, then the water park just minutes away offers every type of water sport known to man. Belle Mare is also home to not just one, but two 18 hole golf courses; ideal for those who want to add a little sporting flavour to their Mauritius holidays. Spilling right down to the water’s edge, it is definitely one of the most picturesque places in the world to putt a golf ball.

Grand Baie Beach

One of Mauritius’ most popular and lively resorts, not all that long ago Grand Baie was a sleepy fisherman’s village. Recent development though, has transformed this gorgeous beach town into a resort with excellent facilities and a wide variety of activities from water sports to nature walks. The beach itself is breathtaking; wide, sandy shores are shaded by a frame of gently leaning Casuarina trees. The beach slopes gently down to a shallow shelf so the warm waters are ideal for young children to paddle in safety. Many fishermen still work the crystal waters around Gran Baie and the shoreline is dotted with gaily coloured, bobbing boats. To catch a glimpse of how fresh the seafood is on your Mauritius holidays, stroll down to the fish market at the very end of the beach and watch the restaurateurs haggling for tonight’s dinner!

Tamarin Bay Beach

Where the mountains meet the sea, Tamarin Bay Beach may not have the glamour of some of Mauritius’ other favourite beaches, but its location on the fringes of the volcanic landscape adds to its unusual and rugged beauty. Situated at the base of the magnificent Montagne du Rempart on the west coast, its geography makes it one of the best surf beaches in Mauritius and the surrounding landscape has some wonderful hiking paths to explore. For more low key and relaxed Mauritius holidays, a visit to Tamarin Bay Beach will offer you a truly authentic taste of this island paradise.

Sugestion Countries You Should Visit

Egypt

King Tut, The Pyramids, The Valley of the Kings. The list is endless. But it’s just not the history and the culture, it’s the people too. Egyptians are some of the kindest and most generous people on the planet. They will welcome you into their homes in a second and even if they have almost nothing, they will share it with you.

An afternoon on the Nile with an Egyptian felucca captain sailing your boat as the sun sets over the Nile in Luxor is a once in a lifetime experience not to be missed.

China

China is not somewhere people immediately think of when planning a holiday…but they should, and hopefully after the Olympics in Beijing they will. Even if you could only afford 7 to 10 days, an itinerary that takes in Beijing, Xian, a Yangtze River Cruise and Shanghai will be a great introduction.

And for an unforgettable experience, juts visit Guilin. Guilins landscape is amazing and totally unique. It can’t necessarily be called Mountainous as such, but the peaks that do rise, rise almost vertically up into the mist.

If you get a chance take a ski lift up to one of the peaks and just stare in awe at the view, and if you are feeing adventurous, take a kart down a toboggan style run (about 3,000 feet in length) !

Jordan

Handily located, if you plan it right you can visit Egypt and Jordan together to make a real trip to remember. Amman is a great city full of atmosphere, Petra is marvellous, but surely the can’t miss site is the Dead Sea. The only ocean in the world with so much salt in it, you actually float !

This alone makes Jordan a must see country and on top of what I have already mentioned, don’t forget the Wadi Rum, Aqaba, Jerash and the Kings Highway. A week in Jordan is good, but 10 days is better.

Hong Kong

Although there is much more to Hong Kong than just shopping, if you do love to shop, then Hong Kong is the place for you. A stroll along Nathan Road and a visit to the Temple Street market just HAS to be done. And make sure you have your bargaining hat on as haggling is as big a part of the experience as the purchases themselves.

There lots more to Hong Kong too. The great thing is that despite it being a modern city, there is tradition around every corner. Don’t forget to take a trip to Victoria Peak and enjoy the stunning views and remember that even if it’s misty, there are 2 guys at the top who will take your picture and transpose it onto a picture of what you should see if the weather where not so poor ! I also suggest a couple of half day visits out to Lama and Lantau Islands too. A great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the craziness that is Hong Kong.

Thailand

Thailand suffers a little from it’s reputation of being a very hedonistic destination and while it is true that the is a very wild side to Thaialnd (especially certain areas of Bangkok, Phucket etc) there is also an amazing culture to immerse yourself in.

There really is everything there, adventure, culture and even for the not faint hearted, a place about 1 hour north of Thailand where you can go in, yes go in, with real live tigers. No cages, no chains, just you and around a dozen tigers. For me it was a thrill of a lifetime and without doubt it is just one of the many reasons that Thailand is in my top 5 of places you need to visit in the world