Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Larger Than Life Travel Destinations

Larger Than Life Travel Destinations

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Some places are simply marvels of the power of human ingenuity, perseverance, and engineering. These are the monuments that you can stare at with awe. These places let you know that humanity can overcome even the most difficult obstacles, once minds are set to accomplishing the goal. It’s simply mind-boggling to look at these wonders, proof that mind can certainly triumph over matter.

The Pyramids of Giza

Located at the west bank of the Nile River, the Pyramids of Giza are defiant, symmetrical monster structures that rise up out of the sea of sand all around them. The Great Pyramid, which is probably the oldest of the grouping, is the last Ancient Wonder of the World that is still standing. And if you think they are impressive now, imagine how they would have been at the apex of their beauty, encased in limestone plates. The real mystery, though, is how the Egyptians actually built them, as it would have required mastery over many scientific and construction disciplines, and to have the project laid out as practically a multi-generational goal. Think of them as among the grandest public works projects ever made in the ancient world.

larger than life travel destinations Larger Than Life Travel Destinations

The Taj Mahal

Built by the Emperor Shah Jahan to commemorate his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died trying to give birth to their child in 1631, the Taj Mahal has become a symbol of romantic love. Located by the Yamuna River, this remarkable edifice is visited by three million or so visitors a year – and unfortunately, the site did deteriorate over time. Thankfully, restoration efforts are being done, and the plans include the restoration of the original hardens in full. Access is now given through timed tickets.

Easter Island

Fourteen miles long and seven miles wide, Easter Island was, until recently, a mystery in terms of history. It’s now known that the creation of the famous megalithic statues probably contributed the how barren the island is today, as many of the island’s resources were used for the creation and transportation of the large stone statues to various parts of the island.

But even then, many mysteries remain. How did 10 or 12 tribal groups work in unity to move each statue, given that each statue was around thirteen feet tall and weighed about fourteen tons? And why make them at all? Although some researchers say that these statues represented ancestral tribal chiefs, the excessive production of these statues – nearly 1,000 statues – stripped the island of many of its natural and renewable resources. Still, the sight of a line of these statues looking out to sea is still breathtaking.

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a 4,500-mile long network of walls that served to define the border of ancient China. But the truth is, it isn’t just one Great Wall. It’s a network of many walls, some of which date back to the 7th century. Other parts of the Great Wall, on the other hand, have been built as recently as the 17th Century. In all one great way to appreciate the Wall is to go to one of the tourist-accessible segments, and walk a little, to appreciate just how big this construction project was.

Jordan loves to travel and has been to over 15 countries worldwide, and has seen every state in the USA. Much of his travel is thanks to Sundance Vacations. Visit Sundance’s twitter!



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Top 10 Winter Vacation Destinations

Top 10 Winter Vacation Destinations

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Some people limit themselves to travelling during the summers, but they truly are missing out on some of the most unique experiences the world has to offer. There is such a variety of places to visit during the winter, it was hard to pin down just ten, but I did my best to choose a wide variety of destinations that are particularly awesome during the winter.

Prague

Prague

This city is a year round destination that is popular every month of the year, but things slow down as the temperature drops. Not everyone is prepared to face an Eastern European winter for their vacation, but it isn’t anything a heavy winter coat, boots and gloves can’t handle. If you don’t mind the cold, Prague is quite festive on the off season. Between the Christmas markets, The Devil’s Sack and New Year’s Celebrations there are a wide variety of cultural experiences to explore. There is also nothing quite like walking the deserted streets of Prague at dawn when everything is covered in a thick layer of snow.

Taos, New Mexico

Taos, New Mexico, 1996

holiday season take on a unique cultural twist with Hispanic and Native American influences. Everything down to the Christmas tree has a touch of something just a tad bit different from what many of us are used to seeing for the traditional commercial Christmas decor. After you explore Taos, you can hit one of nearby Taos Ski Valley for some of the best skiing in the country.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

No one does the holidays like Las Vegas, who glitz up the holiday just like they glitz everything else up. The Holiday shows and Christmas décor take on an extra blingy twist in this famous city. Go explore outside of the city with just a short 30 minute drive into the desert for refreshing warm and sunny air. There are also bus tours available to take you to the nearby parks. Vegas can be a bit quiet at this time of year, but during New Year’s Eve hotels fill up. Make sure to plan your trip accordingly to your crowd tolerance!

Palm Springs, California

San Jacinto Mountains, Palm Springs, California

The sun shines 350 days a year in Palm Springs, so it is perfect for people who live in a dreary climate during the winter. Palm Springs daytime highs average in the 80s during the day. An interesting place year round, but during the winter Palm Springs truly shines, and it offers a little something for everyone.  Joshua Tree National Park or the San Andreas Fault are perfect for outdoorsy folks. For those who like interesting architecture, the city offers the largest collection of Modern Style buildings in the world. The golfer of the family will be amazed by the world class Palm Springs golf course that has the perfect weather for golfing during the winter.

Montreal

Montr?al

Before you call me crazy for suggesting actually going to Canada during the winter as a vacation, let me tell you one thing about Montreal: they know how to stay warm. Montreal is set up for cold weather, so once you are indoors it is actually warm. There are coat checks everywhere the heat is turned up, and it actually is quite comfortable. Also, the prices during the winter are a lot more affordable, so you can get some really great deals on some fine digs for your stay. This is a great choice for snow lovers, even the ones who, like me, prefer admiring it from indoors with a delicious micro-brew from Montreal.

Venice, Italy

Venice

A spooky mask of fog falls over the city during the off season to give everything a gray and haunted feel. To experience Venice at its best during the winter, I recommend going to one of the city’s famous winter festivals like Venice’s Carnevale or the Venetian Winter Festival. Make sure while you are there to try the decadent Venetian-style hot chocolate, but just as a warning, every other hot chocolate experience might seem a disappointment for you after you experience Venetian hot chocolate.

Dubai

Entering new Dubai

Who says you can’t ski in Dubai? The Mall of the Emirates opened up an indoor ski resort, so you can actually ski in the Middle East. This is really a unique experience folks! When you hit the outdoors you can enjoy the average of 70 that we all love. Enjoy the local festivals, The Mall of Emirates, The Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world), the beaches, the people and the cuisine this winter in Dubai!

Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece 2007

Everyone has read about the recent economic struggle in Greece that has been hard on the locals. Fortunately for travelers, it has lowered the prices of this once expensive destination. It does get cold and rainy through December through March, but that makes the temperature perfect for exploring on foot. Great for people who don’t mind dreary days, and love the idea of travelling on shoulder season.

Guatemala

Guatemala 2007 Xela

How do you like the idea of celebrating the holidays in the rainforest full of exotic creatures and plants? How about a stop by the ancient Mayan cities to honor the cultures that came before ours. I’m of the humble opinion that there is no wrong time to go to Guatemala, so just add winter to the list. It doesn’t help the warm temperatures during the summer can be quite refreshing if you live in a chilly climate.

Yellow Stone National Park

Yellow-Stone-National-Park

Choose between snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snow mobiling across this world famous national park. The winter is actually the best time to spot the wolves in the park, so canine lovers you’ll love it here during the winter. With the small crowds it can almost feel like you have the whole 3,468 sq miles of national park to yourself. Yes, old faithful still goes off during the winter months!

Holly Williford is a freelance writer and lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. In her free time she plays with her cats, plans her next trips and reads too many books. Currently she is planning another trip to Montreal for this December.

Photo Credits: image 1 image 2 image 3 image 4 image 5 image 6 image 7 image 8 image 9 image 10



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The Most Beautiful Lesser Known Mediterranean Destinations To Explore By Boat

The Most Beautiful Lesser Known Mediterranean Destinations To Explore By Boat

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Yachting is an amazing way to explore some of the world’s most interesting and beautiful places, and if you want to take in some European culture while also taking advantage of great weather and beautiful sailing conditions, the Mediterranean is the perfect place to take your next yachting vacation.

With all of the modern facilities and cultural similarities you need to feel at home, but the exotic intrigue of foreign lands with their own customs, languages and style, Southern Europe offers you a chance to take a yachting trip that takes in several completely different countries. Here are some of the best places to see by yacht, which don’t tend to come up on most bloggers’ lists:

Portugal – Lisbon and the Algarve

mediterranean destinations The Most Beautiful Lesser Known Mediterranean Destinations To Explore By Boat

While many people extol the virtues of Spanish cities like Madrid and Barcelona, Lisbon in Portugal often gets overlooked in our travel plans. This is a shame because it is an absolutely stunning coastal city, perfectly suited to a yachting stop. Its Southerly location means that in the summer season beautiful weather is almost guaranteed, and its culture, architecture and great shopping and dining make it a classy, elegant place to spend a few days. If you don’t care for cities so much, then take a look at some of the lovely beach towns in the Algarve region, another area of Portugal that is perfect for a visit on your Mediterranean yacht vacation.

Sicily

mediterranean destinations1 The Most Beautiful Lesser Known Mediterranean Destinations To Explore By Boat

Aside from the larger towns of Catania and Palermo, Sicily is a very traditional place with its own rustic charm. While it seems in many ways very classically Italian, it has a clear and unique identity all of its own that means no matter how much time you have spent in Italy, Sicily will offer you something different and new. With great beaches and world famous native food, Sicily is a beautiful place to add to any yachting itinerary in this part of Europe.

Gibraltar

mediterranean destinations2 The Most Beautiful Lesser Known Mediterranean Destinations To Explore By Boat
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While you may not fancy putting Britain on your list of exotic, sunny places to visit in Europe (because of the unreliable weather and the fact that London doesn’t really work as a yachting destination); you can get a slice of British life by visiting the famous rock of Gibraltar. This British owned country had particular historic significance as a military post, because of its views and position, and as such is full of history. It is also known for its unique native wildlife – especially its monkeys! Culturally, the British influence is clear, with English style shops and restaurants to explore.

Corsica

mediterranean destinations3 The Most Beautiful Lesser Known Mediterranean Destinations To Explore By Boat

Another place shrouded in historical importance is the French owned island of Corsica. It is also a place that sees a lot of tourism, including from yachts and ships, yet retains its mystique as one of Europe’s less well known island destinations. It can be a great place to venture out to if you are planning to start you vacation in France, or are getting a yacht rental from a French company.

Include some or all of these fantastic European coastal destinations in your plans for your next yachting cruise around the Med, and you are certain to have a vacation that is relaxing, inspiring and fun.

Today’s featured contributor, Robin Ding, is a cruise and water sports expert. Robin is a frequent blogger and likes to share his love for the boating lifestyle in his blog. He personally recommends his readers to rent Azimut yachts to make the most of their vacation.



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Top Travel Destinations for the Year 2011

Top Travel Destinations for the Year 2011

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Every year comes with a new travel destinations but some used to be stable. The following list contains some of the favorite ones all over the world. If you did not set your travel destination for this year yet, you can get some inspiration now.

top travel destinations Top Travel Destinations for the Year 2011
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

top travel destinations1 Top Travel Destinations for the Year 2011
Santiago de Chile

top travel destinations2 Top Travel Destinations for the Year 2011
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

top travel destinations3 Top Travel Destinations for the Year 2011
Taipei, Taiwan

top travel destinations4 Top Travel Destinations for the Year 2011
Hokkaido, Japan

top travel destinations5 Top Travel Destinations for the Year 2011
Ponza, the Pontine Islands, Italy

top travel destinations6 Top Travel Destinations for the Year 2011
Kent Coast, England

top travel destinations7 Top Travel Destinations for the Year 2011
Stockholm, Sweden

Photo Credit: MorgueFile



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