The Northern archipelago – Svalbard

Polar-bears-Svalbard-Norway-740

In the north part of Norway is the archipelago of Svalbard, a group of islands located in the Arctic Ocean. Even with the arctic climate and the higher attitude the Svalbard islands have milder climate than most arctic locations. Great part of the archipelago territory is under glacier and there are many fjords and mountains here. The arctic climate and the ocean are reason why the islands are highly populated with seabirds and marine mammals, Svalbard is the realm of the polar bear. Most of the tourists come to experience the raw and pure nature of the islands. Through the summer season you can go hiking or go on a trip with a boat, during the winter you can go on a trip with a snowmobile or go dog sledding, there are also beautiful areas where you can go cross country skiing.

lights

Although it is consisted of many islands, only one is inhabited by man, Spitsbergen, the biggest island in Norway. There are boat trips cruising by the coast of Spitsbergen, and with 3000 polar bears roaming the archipelago you will surely spot one amidst the beautiful arctic forms and fjords. The largest settlement here is Longyearbyen. There is accommodation in guesthouses in this small city, but the costs are even higher than the mainland of Norway.  Here you can visit the northernmost church in the world or the few museums. There are also settlements from the Soviet era and abandoned gold mines, reachable by snowmobile. On the food menu you can see local specialties, such as dishes of reindeer meat, seal and whale, sometimes even polar bear meat. Svalbard is duty –free zone, so alcohol and sports apparel are much cheaper than Norway. There are souvenirs and gift shops offering items of gold, silver and fur.

24.09.12-Aurora-Svalbard

What to do and where to go in Madagascar

Nosy_Iranja_Madagascar_2

Madagascar is probably of the most interesting countries in the world, because of its specific flora and fauna that is one of the reasons for so many visitors, including scientists. The islands offer the adventure of the rainforest to those who love hiking and trekking. While hiking you may see the unique fauna of the islands, lemurs and sifakas are certainly most famous. Although it is harder to spot them while in the rainforest,they can easily be seen in the drier places of the island. You may also see many species of amphibians and lizards and many birds. Of the flora there are many things to see, like the great variety of palms, the endemic baobab trees and the plenty of orchids.

Once you are tired of hiking, you may go down the trail and end up on some of the islands beautiful beaches with gentle sands and clear waters. There are many deserted beaches, with only the wildlife around you will relax and enjoy. On one of the most famous parts of Madagascar, the tropical island of Nosy Be, are many beautiful beaches, and a wide range of hotels and restaurants. While in Nosy Be you can go scuba diving or snorkeling, wind or kite surfing or deep sea fishing. The capital city of Madagascar is Antananavario and it is the largest city, this is a city with unique architecture mixing the old stylish wooden houses with modern architecture and colonial buildings in French style. There are many churches to visit, and many open air markets known by the name Zomas. In Madagascar one should try the bananas, there is a huge number of varieties, there is also plenty of tropical fruits you can try and off course the coffee, which is handmade and irresistible.

ring-tailed-lemurs-madagascar_1

Sacrofano

237

As if Rome does not have enough to satisfy the hungry populace, many small towns within easy driving distance lure Romans into the countryside to dine.  One such town is Sacrofano about 25 miles north of the capital where  a handful of restaurants vie for  customers.

Da Tonino is a charming, traditional restaurant with local dishes; RistoranteFinamore offers excellent fish; La Scaletta  exudes the atmosphere of a house in the country; I Due Archi is a warm, friendly traditional trattoria while L’altroPosto is located in a 16th century palazzo and includes a cave dug into the tufo which stays at a constant temperature of  16 °C.

The name of this last restaurant means The Other Place, and one can only think that they are comparing themselves to the restaurant that put Sacrofano on the map some time in the 70s: Il Grottino, or the (not so little) cave.  This too is built into the side of the hill and it consists of an enormous fireplace and a number of small rooms.

On one’s first visit, one was charmed by the casual atmosphere and the way in which the host made suggestions – the antipasto, a  mezzo (half) portion of pasta for the foreigners, perhaps something from the grill accompanied by a baked potato, beans and salad, and if you still had room, the rather plain cake dipped in Vin Santo for dessert.

SfondoSacrofano

On the second visit, one realized that there really was no choice: this was the menu, day in and day out.  But who would have it any different?  From the bruschetta, made as it should be over an open flame, and accompanied by finely chopped well-cooked mushrooms, through the grand assortment of salamis, pork chops, bits of beef, liver, sausages and more off the grill to the last drop of digestive, it was just perfect.  Wine and water flowed constantly, and the bill was also always the same.

These days reviews are mixed, but a visit to Sacrofano is still a culinary treat.

Top Three Cheap European Destinations

If you are planning on a European tour but you do not want to go bankrupt at the same time, you should be happy to know there are great yet cheap destinations in Europe.

europe

1.       Bulgaria

Bulgaria is one European nation that is currently undergoing a pre-communist period, which means that it is on a transitional stage. This also means that going here will provide you with the chance to enjoy the sumptuous Middle Eastern and Greek cuisine, magnificent sceneries and stunning seaside resorts without the need to spend too much, as you would in other European countries.

2.       Berlin, Germany

Berlin may be one of the most infamous cities in Europe, but it is still a cheap destination when compared to other key cities. This German city is alive with history – being the epicenter of the Third Reich – in such a way that no other European city is. Despite the history, Berlin is still young because it is full of students and young artists. The best thing about visiting this city is that you get to experience an unpolished culture due to its past.

3.       Turquoise Coast, Turkey

This Turkish destination offers some of the best Mediterranean sights and excitements without having to spend too much as you would do in other locations like the Greek coast and the Italian Riviera. This destination boasts of a magnificent stunning 1,000-mile shoreline that can rival any of rivals its Mediterranean neighbors for exquisiteness, beauty and rich ancient history, but definitely not for the costs.

Know Basic Air Traveling Tips with Kids

Vacationing with your kids shouldn’t be as stressful and as disastrous as portrayed on movies and television shows. If you want to enjoy the holidays from the moment you lock your front door to the time you have to enter your home again, you should keep this basic tips that could help you get that stress-free vacation with your whole family.

air travel1

Educate the Kids

It is important to talk to your kids before the departure date. You should know that most kids are uncontrollable when they are clueless as to what is happening around them. If you can discuss with them all the things and happenings that will happen, especially at the airport, then there is a big chance that will behave.

Bring all the Essentials

It is important as well to make sure that everything your kids will need are included in the baggage. If you want to save some money, it is best to have packed snacks, because easily get hungry especially if they have to wait in the airport. If you are bringing an infant, you should know how many feeding bottles you are allowed to carry with you at the plane.

air travel3

Keep the Kids Entertained and Occupied

The best way to keep the kids occupy is to either feed them or let them play. If they have some electronic gadgets that they can play with, it is best if you can let them play with.

You have to keep in mind that sometimes, no matter how hard you try to keep the kids occupy, they will be bored and will look for other things to entertain them. You should let them know the high security being observed in the airport, so that they will understand the need to stay close to you.

An Bang Beach, Vietnam – Discover This Spectacular Asian Destination

An Bang Beach was voted as one of the world’s top 50 beautiful beaches; and the award was definitely fitting as this Vietnam destination offers long seaside, white-sandy beaches and gentle waves.

An Bang Beach

An Bang Beach Location

 

An Bang beach is ideally located near the Hoi An’s former trading port and is situated on the South China Sea coast and in the South Central Coast of Vietnam. An Bang Beach is part of the ancient town of Hoi An, which was a recognized World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. History has it that this town used to be the largest Southeast Asian harbor in the first century.

When is the Best Time to Visit An Bang Beach

 

Just like the rest of Vietnam, Hoi An has tropical climate and it means that the months of May up to August could be ideal to visit as the weather will be mild and calm. This also means that the sea is definitely calm while the wind comes from the south.

Months of February up to April cover the dry season and the temperature is warmer with lost of glorious sunshine. This means that during these months, you can expect the beach and the rest of the town to be a little crowded with both tourists and locals.

Aside from enjoying the cool waters and the white sandy beaches of the An Bang Beach, there are other things to do in Vietnam like sampling the fresh seafood dishes. You can start your Hoi An experience by exploring the town and then taking the much need break at the beach.

Travel Dining- Learn a Few Tibetan Food Facts

If you have the inclination to visit Tibet, there are a lot of things that you should know first. Tibet can provide a very exhilarating and exciting traveling experience for everyone. It is a place of old customs and traditions and the people here value their rich history so much.

Tsampa

In a way, walking through Tibet could be compared to a pilgrimage as this location can be considered a very sacred land.

Aside from the mountains and the culture of the people of Tibet, food is also something that this land is proud of. Here are some facts that you may need to know about Tibetan food before you embark on your journey.

Tibetans are not necessary vegetarians. They are Buddhists, but they also eat meat. It is difficult to actually raise vegetables in this country. That is why meat, barley and dairy products can be commonly seen served in households.

Tibetans like hot sauce, and they use it on almost anything they eat.

Butter tea or po cha is the common drink in Tibet, which is black tea mixed with salt, butter and milk.

Tibetans also live on rice, highland barley, mutton, chicken, potatoes and carrots. Most of the meals are cooked very greasily and they are very much into the use of seasoning.

Tsampa is Tibetan staple food, which is flour made from roasted barley and is commonly served with butter, sugar, tea and dried cheese. It is very easy to prepare and it is popular as convenience food by travelers because it is easy to carry around. Just mix tsampa with dried cheese, butter and tea, and you have created a refreshing and energetic meal.

Plan a Vacation to Magnetic Island Reef Region in Australia

Visiting Australia does not necessarily mean seeing the Sydney Opera House or having a close encounter with the koalas and the kangaroos. There are more to Australia than that. If you are heading north, one of your best options for exciting adventure could be the Magnetic Island. This island is unique in a sense that it is the only one of its kind in the coast of North Queensland that possesses a wonderful fusion of untouched National Park, 2500 residents and several holiday resorts.

MagIsland01

An Island of Unspoiled Beauty

If you have never been to the Magnetic Island or you have not had the opportunity to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef, this is about time to go and have that wonderful new experience. This island is just 20 minutes away from the northern capital of Queensland, Townsville. The exciting thing about it is that despite the fact that Townsville offers everything that a modern capital has, reaching the island is like entering a new world. A world more expected to be seen in far away lands.

Tropical Lifestyle to the Max

Those who have experienced the charm and beauty of Magnetic Island have attested that this is definitely an island like no other. It offers the most ideal tropical lifestyle where everyone can be lazy, relaxed and comfortable, while the rest of the world hurries to and fro.

Magnetic Island is that perfect place where the rocky peninsula meets the sea, and where the secluded beaches were formed. And just imagine, within just 20 minutes you can be easily and quickly transported from a busy capital city into this island paradise.

 

 

 

Cruise Guide and Useful Tips

Booking for a cruise could be an exciting thing to do and once you have completed all transactions, you will surely be a lot more excited with anticipation regarding the upcoming sea voyage. The best thing about cruises is the idea of seeing more than one specially chosen destination. The next best thing is the thought of being pampered and spoiled while on board the cruise ship.

Cruise Ship

Preparations

Preparation starts at home and this should be all about what to bring. Smart packing is important. In most cases one carry-on bag should be enough, but if you are going on a month-long cruise, this may not be possible – still, less means ease and comfort.

If you require more than one bag, make sure that your documents, money, traveler’s checks and other personal items are in your carry-on. It may take a while before your check in luggage could be delivered to your room and it is always better if your personal essentials are with you every time.

Essential Cruise Outfits

When it comes to the clothes to bring, swimsuits are very important as well as a few casual outfits like shirts, shorts, cotton pants and even light weight jeans. Dinner clothes are a must as well, as cruise dinners can be remarkably memorable.

Don’t Forget the Camera

Forgetting your camera could mean disaster, but then, if you have the money you can always buy disposable cameras either on-board the ship or from one of the souvenir shops in any of your destinations.

All in all, going on a cruise even once in a lifetime should be experienced by everyone. This kind of holiday activity beats all other kinds of vacationing options. Seeing multiple placed in one booking allows you to witness different cultures and taste different cuisines that you may not experience from a single-destination traveling option.

 

The Mustang Kingdom of Nepal

Mustang Kingdom is a part of Nepal, politically. But it also called Tibet as this kingdom’s culture is mostly Tibetan, and the people here have managed to foster that culture even after the Chinese invasion in 1951.

Mustang Kingdom

Brief History of the Mustang Kingdom

Mustang Kingdom was formerly known as the Kingdom of Lo and it measure 85 km long and 45 km wide. Livelihood here is mostly trading and animal husbandry.

The region of this kingdom is easily accessible from the Himalayas side and due to its strategic location; this location has served as battle field during many wars. And because of such wars and invasions, different religious practices and cultures have thrived in this kingdom.

Before the Nepalese government gained full control in the 18th century, Mustang Kingdom used to be a very sovereign kingdom. Culture and language here are closely related to Tibet’s and trading here during the 15th to the 17th centuries was actually extremely thriving because the people of Mustang have the advantage of having easy access to India and the Himalayas.

The Kingdom Opened its Gates to the World

It was in 1970 when the kingdom welcomed the world inside their community, but it was not until the 1990s that tourists were allowed to enter this tightly sealed kingdom. Despite such tourism liberty, there are still some strict rules that are being maintained in upper Mustang. Tourists must first secure a special permit in order to gain entry to the kingdom; ten days of stay inside the kingdom will cost roughly around 500USD.

Mustang Kingdom Now

Mustang Kingdom is now known by the world as the Kingdom on the Edge. Visiting this kingdom will allow visitors to; see the great palace where the King still reside and experience culture that is more Tibetan than in Tibet.

 

Pitcairn Island – population 48 or thereabouts

Rikitea

Even the government of Pitcairn is a little unsure of the population, listing it on their website as about 50.  Pitcairn does have compulsory education between the ages of five and sixteen, and in the year 2000 all 7 children on the island were attending school.  You would think that one of them had learnt to count. (At the age of 16 they are required to perform Public work to ensure the ongoing maintenance of the island’s roads and paths.)

Pitcairn is the only permanently inhabited island of a group of five volcanic islands in the south Pacific.   Anyone who has ever heard of it knows that it was originally settled by Christian Fletcher and other mutineers from HMAV Bounty and their Tahitian “companions” – the men were no better than slaves, and the women concubines.

The island is approximately 3 square miles (think 12 Manhattan blocks)and is accessible only by sea through Bounty Bay and up the steep “Hill of Difficulty” to the capital, Adamstown. The population has risen and waned – at one point all 200 odd Pitcairn Islanders accepted the offer to be relocated to Norfolk Island, a veritable metropolis more than 13 square miles housing about 2000.  Incredibly, a few years later, some of them chose to return to Pitcairn.

A British Overseas Territory, Pitcairn is governed from New Zealand, and the Queen is Head of State.  Supply ships call in regularly, and tourism brings around ten cruise ships a year.  Although they only stay a few hours they contribute to the island’s economy by buying locally made souvenirs including stamps.  MV Claymore II, operated by the government, is the island’s only vessel. It brings tourists to Pitcairn for adventure tourism visits.

The climate is kind and the soil fertile.  The Islanders are able to grow enough produce to feed themselves and export dried fruit including papayas, pineapples, bananas, and mangoes. Their honey is sold in London.There is one licensed cafe and bar,and alcohol and cigarettes are available at the Government.

Pitcairn_Island

finasteride