Trip To Amazon

The great thing about the Amazon River is that its tributaries flow through eight different nations. The main source of the river is located in Peru and on its way to the Atlantic Ocean located in the northwestern coast of Brazil, the river flows through the Brazilian rainforest. The major tributaries of the river flows through the Guyana, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela and so most of the trip organizers offer the opportunity to the tourists to explore these waters too. Depending on the package selected by the travelers, the Amazon River Cruise might include visit to one country or many countries as well. Generally, these tours begin in one of the larger riverfront cities like Belem or Manaus in Brazil or from Iquitos in Peru. Even some organizers offer transfers by road or air from major hubs like Rio De Janeiro or Lima.

According to a Survey, it was found that one-third of the species in the world is living in the Brazilian Amazon, forests and wildlife are among the important reasons attracting tourists to this wonderful place of the world. When traveling through Amazon River Cruise, there are great chances of people exploring dolphins and their beauty and generally female dolphins are known to be in grey color, while male dolphins are known to be in pink shades. It is believed that some unidentified species are living in this part of the world in the dense forests of Amazon.

A number of vessels are taking tourists to explore the beauty of Amazon River. While smaller vessels travel close to the floor in such a way that people can explore the rainforests, larger cruises offer wider lodging options and they can also accommodate a number of tourists in the same trip. All it takes to enjoy the best trip to the Amazon is selection of the right tour organizer.

Visiting Amsterdam

The Amsterdam-Zuid district lies in the south of the capital’s centre and is the perfect area to stay when visiting the Dutch capital; it has excellent tram connection (routes 2 and 16) and is also within walking and/or cycling distance from the Museumplein (Museum Square), where three of the city’s main museums are located – the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum – as well as the world-famous neoclassical concert hall, Concertgebouw. The area also includes Amsterdam’s largest green space, Vondelpark. This public urban park has an area of 120 acres and facilities include an open-air theatre, a playground and several eateries. Vondelpark provides the perfect place for a relaxing break from the city’s hustle and bustle or a leisurely stroll onto some of the city’s attractions.

Amsterdam has a thriving accommodation market to cater for its visitors, which includes the usual well-known chains (Holiday Inn, ibis, Best Western, NH… ), as well as more personal and often smaller boutique-style hotels. There are two boutique-style hotels that are located in the Amsterdam-Zuid district, directly on the middle to east side of Koninginneweg (Queensway) street. Koninginneweg was named in 1888 after Queen Emma and it is a quiet street to the west and becomes busier the further central you reach. The area is one of the most affluent in Amsterdam and was mainly developed at the end of the 19th century, offering some remarkable architecture in what is generally known as the Amsterdam School style. This architecture style arose from 1910 to about 1930 in the Netherlands and is characterised by brick construction with complicated masonry with a rounded or organic appearance.

Travel Destinations in England

  • The London Eye, London: 
    Big fan of panoramic views? Then this is the place for you to go to. This exaggeration of a Ferris wheel literally takes you on the ride of your life. Taking you to a height of 440 feet, the London Eye gives you a look at the whole of London city along with its everyday hustle and bustle. The passenger capsules which carry you up are made of glass thus providing you with the opportunity to have a great 360 degree view of everything. What more do you want?
  • The City Of Bath: 
    You know how they say that good things come in small packages? Well, the city of Bath is the perfect example of this situation. Though small, this city still has a lot of things to offer to its tourists. The Romanian baths, after which this city is named, are the perfect place to relax if you’re looking into getting away from everything. That combined with the Georgian Townhouses all around town will give you the lightheaded experience that you’re looking for.
  • The Buckingham Palace, London:
    One of the few palaces that are in working condition till today, The Buckingham Palace will give you the chance to take a look at the Queen’s guard all dickered out in their finest red and black livery. Do they really not move no matter what happens? Well why don’t you go yourself and find out.
  • The Tower Of London:
    The Tower of London is basically a historic castle that is located on the north bank of the river Thames. This tower of London houses the largest diamond in the world, so even if you’re not a big fan of heights or castles I would still suggest you go there to get a good look at that beauty.
  • The Stonehenge, Salisbury:
    This historical monument located in Wiltshire is popular for its apocalyptic description in pop culture. This ring of stones has so many theories about its origin that hearing them alone wants you to go and see what all the mystery is about. And once you go there, you will be spellbound. That I promise. So plan your trip to the Stonehenge now and just remember that in order to save money all you have to do is Buy British Airways Miles

Trip To Historic City Athens

A trip to Athens or Greece is nothing less than a trip to the pages of history. The ancient architectures are still present, many of them partially demolished, but still bearing the message from the past. The major construction, such as the Parthenon, which happens to be one of the iconic constructions of Athens, speaks of the rich history and culture of the city. The most interesting part about visiting Greece is that there is no specific attraction within the country. When you are in Athens, you will be able expecting various archaeological and historical museums which will speak about the history of the place and also about the various aspects of their art, culture and lifestyle. What really sets Athens apart from the rest of the world is that, even though there are museums and various other places to visit within the city, the city as a whole is living museums in itself. Numerous constructions and various designs can be found all across the city. They have their own story to tell and add to the pages of history of Athens. Make sure you plan your trip long enough to soak up all of it, or as much as it is possible.

Athens has played an important role not in the medieval times; the city has contribution to the modern world as well. One of the most remarkable of all contributions is the Olympic Games. The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in the year 1896. Let us not forget the fact that the English that we speak and the alphabets that we write have major contribution from Greece. It is in fact the Greek alphabets that are in use in English in the modern times. Even the word “alphabet” is combination of the words “alpha” and “beta”, the first two Greek letters. It simply shows ho greatly the Greek civilization influenced the development of the western civilization, art and culture.

While planning a trip to Athens, remember that not all that seems old happens to be old in this city. The medieval style and the contemporary designs were very much in use till much later in time. Even when the new city of Athens was built, the contemporary architectural style was followed.

Cuba

Besides Lázaro, we were fortunate to be accompanied by Miami resident Annie Betancourt, founder of Sisters Across the Straits, a Board Director of the League and a member for more than three decades. We were the twenty-sixth group Annie has taken to Cuba. She later explained that ‘it’s complicated’ is the standard response Cubans use to describe any difficult situation. It’s a diplomatic way of saying there is no answer to your question or perhaps there is no solution. ‘It’s complicated’ became the password for our six day adventure in Cuba.

Annie was born in Cuba and lived there with her parents until she was thirteen years old. That was when the revolution occurred and Fidel Castro came into power. Her father, an engineer, understood the changes that were coming and, like hundreds of other Cubans, moved his family to Miami, hoping that their time in that city would be short. But Fidel remained in power and the family soon realized that Miami was their new home.

Annie’s hope is that these visits will improve mutual understanding after decades of isolation and distrust between the US and Cuba. The itineraries, as you will see, are designed to provide League members with opportunities to learn about Cuba’s history, culture and society and to meet both academic experts and ordinary Cuban citizens.

Day 1.

Our flight from Miami to the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana was just 45 minutes long, a reminder that Cuba is only 90 miles from the United States. As soon as our group passed through customs, we boarded the bus and started our tour with a ride through central Havana and the Plaza de la Revolucion. Annie had warned us that we were going to a third world country but it was still a shock to see so many buildings that looked as if they had been bombed. Other buildings appeared very fragile, as if they might collapse at any moment. However, they were obviously inhabited, with people going in and out of the entrances and others hanging wash from balconies ten or fifteen stories high. The American embargo and a failing economy had obviously had a huge impact.

After a lunch stop at an outdoor restaurant in a garden setting, we stopped at the Jose Fuster Studio, the home of a ceramist who has changed the area where he lives. The entire street looked like an immense modern painting with bright colors imbedded in every yard. But as I got closer, I could see the designs created with vibrant ceramics, each one different from the one before. The artist had begun this project by transforming his own gate into an elaborate scene created with ceramics. When neighbors saw the effect, they asked him to do the same to their homes. He never asked for money, always raising funds through donations and by selling his own work. Finally, he transformed his entire courtyard into a ceramic masterpiece. Because the American embargo had made ceramics and just about everything else difficult to obtain, he has been forced to travel great distances to find the tiles he needs.

After we checked in to our temporary home, the Hotel Sevilla, and had a short rest, we joined Annie and most of our fellow travelers for a walk through the Plaza and Calle Obispo – a pedestrian street in Haban Vieja (Old City). Our walk ended at a hotel where Annie had planned to have us eat dinner at its roof-top restaurant. However, like much of Cuba, the elevator was not working. A hotel employee invited us to use the service elevator which was located around the corner. It turned out to be a small, dark box that held five people including the elevator operator. Our group went up in shifts; I went up with my eyes closed and my fingers crossed, convinced that each bump meant we were about to plunge to the ground. However, the view of the city from the top made it all worthwhile. The food was another story.

After dinner, four of us walked down six flights (thank goodness there was a bannister) and made our way through the plaza, looking for a taxi. Finally, we found six of them, all 1950’s automobiles, patched up and roaring to take us back to the hotel. We were herded into the backseat of one and enjoyed a bumpy, breezy and gasoline infused trip back to the hotel. As we were getting out, I noticed that much of the ancient upholstery was held together by tape.

Day 2.

At breakfast, I heard about a lot of problems with the rooms. One of our group had hit the jackpot: her window wouldn’t close, the air conditioning didn’t work, and the door wouldn’t lock. My traveling companion, Pat, and I had been lucky. Although the room was basic (we weren’t expecting anything else), everything worked. In fact, the air conditioning was too cold and we couldn’t seem to turn it down but we weren’t going to complain. The hotel had a lovely swimming pool which we enjoyed almost every afternoon; except for the last day when it was closed down at 5:00 pm for mosquito spraying!

Our first stop was the Cuban Embassy to meet women who were members of the Cuban chapter of the United Nations. The Embassy building had been the home of one of the wealthy Cuban families who had left during the Revolution and it was still in good shape. Soaya E. Alvarez, Director of ACNU Associacion Cubana de las Naciones Unidas, spoke to us about Cuba and the United Nations and the importance of lifting the embargo. The Cuban people are suffering; salaries are $15 to $20 a month; Lázarus (who has a master’s degree) left a government job to become a guide because he could earn more money. Although health care is free, gas and some food is rationed and there is not much left over for luxuries. The Cuban dream is to come to the US; in 2015/16, 153,000 Cubans arrived in the US. People are leaving now because they are afraid the Cuban Adjustment Act, which allows a path to citizenship, will be repealed. Thus, the Cuban workforce has been diminished and the population is aging.

Our next stop was a visit to El Quitrin, a women’s clothing shop sponsored by the Federation of Cuban Women. Annie had suggested we bring thread and needles as gifts for the women working here as these items, like everything else, are in short supply. At the time of our visit, most of the finished dresses and shirts in the shop were white cotton. The work on the clothes was amazing but I didn’t find anything to buy (for a change).

Later in the afternoon, we visited a conservative synagogue and heard about the Jewish population in Cuba from a young woman. There are 1200 Jews in Cuba and three synagogues; a typical situation for Jewish people in any location. But in Cuba, they are either conservative or orthodox; the modern reform movement has not reached Cuba. However, I was glad to hear that girls are having Bat Mitzvahs.

That evening, three of us took a taxi to a restaurant for dinner and made the acquaintance of a young driver who spoke excellent English. The taxi was brand new, had leather seats and purred as it made its way through town. Our driver told us it was made in China and purchased by the Cuban government. He was leasing it from the government and sharing it with another driver; each had three days on and three days off. He was married and had a toddler. When we asked him about President Obama’s visit, he said, with emotion, “Obama is our hero.”

Day 3.

Annie had arranged a visit to the newly opened U.S. Embassy. I was surprised at the amount of security – our passports were carefully examined and our bags were checked. We entered through a turnstile and were seated in a room right off the entrance. An embassy director who had been sent to Cuba to prepare for Obama’s visit gave us an overview of our country’s situation and answered all our questions. It was thorough and interesting. She encouraged us to interact with Cubans to dispel any negative impressions they might have about Americans.

At the end of the sidewalk in front of the entrance to the American Embassy, there is a football field of very tall black poles that look like they had been planted. Annie told us that, right after the Revolution, the American Embassy began running a ticker tape with a message about freedom along the top of the building. To retaliate, the Cuban government put up the poles and topped them with the Cuban flag to block out the tape.

Our next stop was Finca Vigia, the home of Nobel Prize laureate Ernest Hemingway who lived in Cuba from 1930 to 1960. Pat and I had seen the movie “Papa Hemingway in Cuba” just a few days before our trip so it was exciting to look in the windows and doors and see where the movie had been filmed. His fishing boat Pilar has been restored and is on display at the property.

We had lunch in Cojimar, a fishing village that was the backdrop of Hemingway’s novel, “The Old Man and the Sea.” I looked out at the water and could almost see the old man rowing the boat. Lunch was at a privately owned restaurant run by young local entrepreneurs and it was delicious. Many restaurants in Cuba are owned and operated by the government but more and more people are getting permission to open their own restaurants, a very good sign.

Day 4.

Breakfasts at the hotel were enormous; five large tables filled with everything from fruit to meats to pancakes or eggs and sweet breads. By now I knew our lunches would be huge – at least four courses – so I stuck to cereal, fruit and yogurt (at least I think it was yogurt) for breakfasts. I also decided I would not weigh myself for a week after I got home.

We walked through Old Havana and visited the plazas. There were dozens of stands selling books and street artists were everywhere, displaying their work on boards and boxes. One young man followed our group, drawing quick profiles of a few women and then trying to sell the sketch to the owner. He was remarkably good and we later found out he was an art student. One woman bought her sketch; then discovered that it looked more like another member of our group. Then we visited an artisans’ cooperative and I bought a small painting to take home (my first purchase).

In the afternoon we visited the Museum of Fine Arts- Cuban Collection and I was so awed by the art that I kept moving even when my body was telling me to go back to the hotel and take a nap. Of course the elevator was out here also so we did a lot of walking.

Day 5.

A day in the country! The bus took us through the countryside for over an hour and Lázaro kept us awake with a lesson on Cuba’s history. Now and then, Annie took over the microphone, giving Lázaro a rest and us some background from the American point of view. We arrived at lookout point in Valle Vinales in Pinar del Rio Province which is west of Havana. The unique hill formations (known as mogotes) are gorgeous; unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Then we moved on to a rum distillery (not sure that’s what it’s called) and then a tobacco farm. We watched a man actually roll cigars which almost made me want to smoke one. Of course I bought some for my husband; he smokes one occasionally but only when I’m not home.

Lunch was on the porch of a charming country restaurant. Annie warned us there would be a lot of courses and there were; one after another, each one better than the last. Dessert was the best flan I have ever eaten.

I thought I’d never eat again but by 7:30, I was at yet another restaurant eating the best eggplant lasagna I’d ever had.

Day 6.

Time to pack our suitcases for our trip back to Miami that evening. But in the meantime, we were still moving. We visited a local arts and craft market where I searched for (and found) a humidor in which to put my five precious cigars. I also bought a beautiful, hand-made white cotton dress for my granddaughter which will probably not fit but I couldn’t resist it. Next, our group visited an art community project in inner city Centro Habana. An artist named Salvador Gonzales Escolono first started developing art from graffiti until galleries opened and it became a street of art celebrating the African/Cuban experience. Salvador, who was leaving for Washington and New York the next day, was at his gallery and he told us to “enjoy my country but don’t try to understand it.”

Lunch was at an organic farm that also provides meals for people in need, painting and environmental classes plus classes for single mothers and seniors. When the government gave the land to the family that has produced all this, it was a swamp area. Now they grow 150 different varieties of fruits and vegetables (plus a little dog that kept getting underfoot). The lunches help pay for the free food and classes.

Next stop: The airport and the end of our adventure in Cuba. But first, I and several other travelers checked out all the duty free shops, trying to spend what was left of our Cuban money. I settled on two bottles of vintage rum which my husband tells me tastes like smooth bourbon.

Travelling Tips Suitable for Couples

Decide and agree as a couple with your itinerary

Before proceeding with your trip, it would be advisable to agree with an itinerary for your trip. Decide as a couple on where to go, what activities to do, hotels to book, flights to take as well as your seats on the plane. It would be advisable to agree on the schedule for your trip because some people are comfortable traveling at night time or some with day time. Have your whole trip planned, even the possible side trips so that both of you would enjoy and would be less stressed during the trip.

Decide and agree on mutual expenses

Whether you are travelling with a friend or with a love one, it would be best to agree on who will shoulder the expenses or how much the both of you are capable of spending for your trip. Money can destroy friendships and relationships, let alone if you travel with a mere acquaintance. Decide on what, where and how much both of you are willing to spend for the trip. Have a budget and stick with your budget as much as possible.

Allow “me” time during your trip

Even though you are traveling with a partner or a love one, it would be best to have alone time for each other. One might enjoy a walk on the beach alone during day break while the other one might prefer meditating inside the hotel room before going to bed. Respect each other’s “me” time so that both of you get to enjoy and reflect individually during your trip.

Places To Visit In City Avignon

Avignon became the official residence under Pope Clement V in 1309. His successor, John XXII, made it the capital of Christianity and transformed his former episcopal palace into the primary Palace of the Popes. It was the official residence of seven popes from 1309 to 1377. Nowadays, 25 rooms are open to the public and although most of the furnishings have disappeared, one can still see how vast the place was.

Go to Place de l’Horloge to have a cool drink at a café and watch the world go by. This is a very beautiful square and is the centre of life in Avignon. On one side is the theatre and the Town Hall. The Town Hall itself was built in 1845 and incorporates a beautiful 14th century clock tower with life-sized figures on top.

The Musee du Petit Palais is an art gallery and museum. It houses an exceptional collection of Renaissance paintings of the Avignon school as well as art from Italy and is in a 14th century building at the north side of the square.

Another place well worth a visit is the Rocher des Doms. These are beautiful leafy gardens set on a hill, with views of the river and surrounding countryside.
For those interested in art, a visit to the Musee Angladon is not to be missed. This museum contains paintings and furniture and it is enjoyable to wander around if you have the time.

Or those interested in natural history, don’t miss a visit to the Musee Requien which is named after the French naturalist, Esprit Requien.

The Jewish community in Avignon goes back as far as the first century after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. However, there aren’t any written records of Jewish culture and history before the 12th century. The first Jewish quarter faced the Palais des Papes on Rue de la Vielle Juiverie. By the early 13th century, the Jewish quarter was on Rue Jacob and Place Jerusalem. Today, this is where the shul is located. It is a tiny area, about 100 square yards and it was home to more than 1000 people. It was forbidden by law for Jews to live outside the designated area, which was surrounded by walls. They had to have permission to leave this site for religious tours in France and three locked gates kept them from leaving.

Argentina Valley

Campo Marzio is a small mound in the most accented bottleneck of the river, marked by remains of a pre-Roman town and by its subsequent Roman fortifications. The first town of the Valle Argentina is Badalucco in a crossroad position for itineraries from the bottom of the valley towards the mountain. The village throngs its rough-hewn stone houses on the hill in front of Mount Faudo. In the village, made of stone, to invade every corner and take advantage of every cleavage, one finds imposing arcane figures nested in frescoes and, in the damp and silent alleyways, a permanent art gallery in the open exhibits sculptures ceramics and sculptured slate. The “sagra du stocafissu a baiicogna” is the colorful touch that attracts to the village, during the month of September of each year, throngs of tourists and “gourmets”.

Following the provincial road, but turning right and after some short bends, you meet Montalto Ligure in a panoramic position. The legend has it that, around the year one thousand, a young married couple who escaped from the “jus primae noctis” (the right of the first night), established this village. Here the Romanesque parish church of San Giorgio preserves valuable frescoes; the baroque parish church is rich of prestigious paintings, such as polyptych by Ludovico Breashed this village. Here the Romanesque parish church of San Giorgio preserves valuable frescoes; the baroque parish church is rich of prestigious paintings, such as polyptych by Ludovico Brea.

Carpasio is a mountain village, with its low houses with slate roofs, impressive because of the suggestion given by the overlapping of its alleyways and its covered passageways, dominated by the majestic bell tower of the church of Sant’ Antonino. Returning on the provincial road, going up the valley, the traveler meets the village of the twenty-three watermills, Molini di Triora, with its fifteenth century origin baroque parish church and the sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Month. Here, every year in September, vacationers from the coast, converge for a meeting of great gastronomy, the “sagra delle lumache” (the snail festival). Also worthy of being visited, are the neighboring hamlets of Andagna and Corte.

In the past it was the granary of the Republic of Genoa and Podesteria, today Triora is known as the “town of the witches” owing to a trial held in 1588 and concluded, with a sentence of guilt for witchcraft of a group of local women who, because of their meeting in a secluded place (the Cabotina), were deemed guilty of the impending famine. There is memory of that event in the local ethnographic and witchcraft museum, for the luck of shops and handcraft workshops that display funny sorceress dolls and sell liquor of the witch and snail milk, well-mixed together concoctions of grappa (distilled liquor) and aromatic herbs. The medieval village is an art jewel, steep, rough, built without obstructions, whole in its defense system of gates, arches, alleyways and fortressed-houses.

Beautiful Mosques In The World

Al Haram Mosque-Mecca, Saudi Arabia

It’s the most famous worship mosque in the world. According to the Qur’an, it’s the first house built for humanity to worship Allah. It’s the world’s largest mosque and surrounds Kaaba, the holiest places for the Muslims. The current structure covers an area of 99 acres and includes both indoor and outdoor praying spaces. During the period of Hajj, it can accommodate up to 4 million people.

Faisal mosque Islamabad-Pakistan

It’s the fourth largest mosque in the world and the biggest in the south-east and southern Asia. From 1986 to 1994, it was the biggest mosque in the world before the completion of the Hassan II in Morocco. For many years, the worship center has been voted as one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Sheikh lotfallah-iran

It was constructed between 1602 and 1619 during the reign of Shah Abbas I. In addition to being a worship center, it has other roles. It also functions as a hospital, royal mint, royal caravanserai, and bath.

Blue mosque-Istanbul

It’s one of the landmarks in Istanbul. It boasts of six needle-like minarets and a series of domes and half domes. It was constructed during the reign of the Ottoman ruler Ahmed I between 1609 and 1616. In addition to the exciting domes, the mosque also has high ceilings featuring 20,000 blue Iznik tiles. The tiles have trees and flowers of differing patterns.

Ubudiah-kuala Kangsar, Malaysia

It prides itself of four minarets and a golden dome that was designed by a British architect, Arthur Benison Huback. Huback created the worship center at the command of Sultan Idris Mushidul Azam Shah who had vowed to construct a beautiful mosque as a thanksgiving after recovering from an illness.

Wild Atlantic Way

Kinsale

A colourful village that worthy to spend a couple hours walking through the small side roads & alleys. Being located on the coast offers fresh fish to be had, check out Fishy Fishy restaurant or their takeaway.

Nearby is the Charles Fort which you could walk the coastal trail from Kinsale to the fort via Scilly Walk, a 6km round trip. The Charles Fort is a 17th century military based with a star-shaped fort on the water’s edge.

Mizen Head

The most Southerly point of Ireland looking out to the Atlantic seascape with an iconic Mizen footbridge which you can crossGreat clifftop scenery.

Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a 179km loop in the southwest of County Kerry, a popular route for visitors to take by a tourist bus or their own car. Commonly driven counter-clockwise to avoid being stuck behind a coach – an important note to take as you would want to see the beautiful views.

Skellig Ring & Islands

A detour off the Ring of Kerry drive, an 18km route taking in the views of the famous Skellig Michael islands which has recently been featured in Star Wars films. Do visit Valentia Island for 360 viewpoints from Geokaun Mountains.

Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey & Walled Garden is located on a beautiful castle grounds with a picturesque entrance. Located in County Galway in the Connemara National Park.

Sky Road

A small route with large scenic views, this is an 11km sky road touring route starting from Clifden in Connemara region. Follow the signs for Sky Road to enjoy fantastic views of the coastline, old coast guard, bays and more.