Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

download (29)“Es complicado,” our Cuban guide, Lázaro, said in response to a question from one of our group

I was in a bus on a busy street in Havana with fourteen travel companions (thirteen women and two men) who were touring Cuba with Sisters Across the Straits, a group organized and sponsored by the Florida state chapter of League of Women Voters. Our purpose was not only to visit regular tourist stops but to become more knowledgeable about Cuba, the Cuban people and the country’s history.

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

The Advantages of Nile Cruises in Egypt

download (30)Among the most important reasons why tourists who travel to Egypt love to go on Nile Cruises is that the ride includes all the important historical sites in the cities of Luxor, Aswan, and even between the two cities.

In Aswan, the guests enjoying their vacations in Egypt would visit the High Dam, the most significant architectural achievement of modern Egypt. The High Dam was constructed in the 1960s to control the water of the flood of the River Nile and to generate electricity. After a long story of struggle to collect the money to fund such a huge project, the Egyptians were able to do it!

The other visits tourists who travel to Egypt enjoy in Aswan are the Philae Temple, one of the finest Greco Roman temples of ancient Egypt. The temple was relocated after the construction of the High Dam. The water reserved due to the dam exposed many historical sites to drawn in the River Nile. The rocks Philae temple were divided, numbered, transferred, and then assembled it its new location in Agilika Island.

One more historical site

The Zen of Travel

download (28)A few years ago I was in Las Vegas on my way home from teaching a seminar. When I got to the airport, I found out that my flight had been delayed which caused a bunch of us to miss our connecting flights. Ah well! I tend to be calm about these sorts of things because there really is no use getting mad about it. In fact, I was cracking jokes to the woman in back of me to lighten the mood a bit.

The gentleman in front of me, however, was different. He was so mad that I could almost see steam coming out of his ears. He was yelling and screaming at this poor young girl behind the counter. It wasn’t her fault that our flight was delayed, but he didn’t seem to care about that. He spent about 10 minutes banging the counter with his hand and yelling at her in loud tones, and then stormed off. As I watched him go, I wondered why on earth would you yell at the person who has the power

Benfits of Metro Transportation

download (27)Transportation in India is one of the major issues which rested from many decades. People who are living in the megacities like Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai suffers less, in comparison to those cities which still not have sufficient infrastructures. These megacities sustain various means of transportation such as Auto rickshaw, Bus and rapid transit system such as Metro.

Due to increasing rate of the population in these cities, Metro is one of the major transport systems which provides better options to the inhabitants. Do we ever think why this rapid system is beneficial for most crowded cities like Kolkata, Bangalore, and Delhi? To know an answer you have to understand, various viewpoints of Kolkata metro report which is as follows:

Fuel cost saving: The yearly saving due to minimum fuel utilization will be Rs.180.89 crore in 2009, more than twofold from Rs.73.22 crore two years prior.

A Number of vehicles off the street: Since the Metro started operations in December 2002, there has been a dynamic reduction in the day by day vehicle demand because of the people moving to Metro for

Climate Makes Barcelona a Tourist’s Haven

download (26)What do you look for in terms of climate, when you select a destination to take a vacation? Is a pleasant climate an attraction for you? Alternatively, do you look for interesting things to see and do, on your vacation? If you are looking for a place that has a cold climate, then let me tell you that Barcelona has mild winters and warn summers. The Troll-Paffen climate classification has shown that Barcelona has a warm temperate climate. Because of its location, this city receives no rainfall. What is more, winter is experienced only during December, January and February. This city is summer dominant with July and August being the warmest months.

Talking of the seasons in Barcelona, Spring season in Barcelona occurs between March to May and during this period, average daily temperatures reach 12 degrees Celsius, but by May temperatures reach a high of 17-18 degrees Celsius. However, during the month of May, evenings are invariably cooler. This compels tourists to get their shawls or woolens with them, when moving out of their hotels. You should expect at

How to Walk the Back Streets and Connect With the Locals

download (25)Walking the back streets can seem a little daunting. I know, I do it all the time. You find yourself in places that are a little uncomfortable, out of your comfort zone. In fact, it is a culture shock.

Usually, when people travel they go to tourist spots and focus on carefully pre-planned stuff to do. For example, on the main island of Bocas Del Toro, you walk down the strip, go to a nice restaurant, and buy a ticket to a boat tour that will take you to a nice beach. Thats fine, and you should do it because it is part of the experience.

But to get a little deeper into the culture, all you have to do is walk a few streets back into the neighborhood and you will see a different world. Yes, it is dirty, yes, it may not smell very good. But if you stop looking at the poor conditions and look at the people, your perspective will start to change.

You will see grandmothers sitting on porches watching the world go by. And if you

Amazing Gardens From Around The World

download (24)As spellbinding as flowers could be, it may not be your thing. This is especially true when you can’t even grow a single plant during your science class.

Let these gardens prove you wrong. Ladies and gents, it is time to let go of your grudge with your science professor for taking away your playtime. It is time to take a refreshing stroll into the world’s most grandiose bed of flowers.

Dubai Miracle Garden (UAE)

What we know about Dubai and the Middle East are the vast desert land and very humid climate. Who would have thought that the place grows the largest garden on record? But, we can always expect grand and extravagance in Dubai. Miracle Garden’s magic will truly change your love for flowers. It houses more than 45 million floral varieties in vivid colors and fun shapes. The garden arrangement will change from season to season. You will definitely enjoy an assortment of flowers shaped into stars, arches, and hearts.

Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha (Australia)

Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, established in the 70s, has become more breathtaking if that

The History of Zanzibar

download (23)The beaches and the coasts of the island, or let us say the islands of Zanzibar are quite awesome. Situated across the Pemba Channel, there is the Pemba Island. This is another larger island of Tanzania. However, quite a few numbers of tourists who travel to Tanzania explore Pemba.

Although the beaches of Zanzibar are calm and relaxing, the heart of the island is vibrant with life and many activities. This is in fact where almost all travelers who tour Tanzania and visit Zanzibar begin their tour of the island.

Zanzibar is the first millennium when the tribes that used to speak the Bantu language resided in the main land that was once called Tanganyika started sailing towards Zanzibar and Pemba. Today many tourists who spend their vacations in Tanzania would mainly explore Zanzibar and the main land of the country.

Traders and fishermen from Arabia also started visiting Zanzibar since an early age. This was as early as the 1st century AD when primitive yet well established settlements emerged in Zanzibar that turned into one of the most popular touristic detonations

The Sardine Run

download (22)Each year between May and July, countless millions of sardines begin their annual migration, dubbed the “sardine run.” The sardines, also called pilchards, spawn in the cool waters off of South Africa and then migrate northward along South Africa’s east coast. The run is sparked by a cold current that travels from the Agulhas Bank northward to Mozambique, where it veers away from the coast and east to the Indian Ocean. Visible even by satellite, researchers estimate that the sheer biomass of the sardine run easily rivals the East African wildebeest migration. This seething mass of sardines can be up to 15 km in length, 3 ½ km wide, as well as nearly 40 m deep and it sparks a feeding frenzy all along the coast.

As if the spectacle of the sardine run isn’t enough, predators arrive en masse to dine on the sardines and the result is an extravaganza that rivals any of Africa’s great migrations. The sardines shoal together tightly to minimize their risk of being eaten by predators. Birds by the tens of thousands plunge from

Ways You Can Enjoy Better Taxi Fares

images (12)Taxi travel is very convenient and quick and the fact that now you can hail down a cab right from your smartphone takes the convenience to a much higher level. But even with all the convenience of using a taxi to get to where you want to be, you want to make sure that you get affordable and reasonable fares depending on the distance. If you are conscious about saving some money even as you enjoy taxi service, there are different ways you can make sure that you save some good amount every time you use a taxi.

Compare taxi fares – This is not very hard to do especially now that there are very reliable taxi fare estimators. Using the estimates you can compare between service providers and the travel options they have so you choose what works for your financial abilities at that current time. With so much competition and taxi travel packages, you will most definitely find reasonable fares that work for you.

Use new user promo codes – To encourage new users, taxi service providers offer discounts

The Whale Migration in South Africa

download (21)Beautiful South Africa. Africa is home to many wonderful cultures and experiences. One such sight to behold is the migration of the whales along 1,200 miles of coastline. Where two oceans meet at the southern tip of Africa, you will find a vast array of cultures that only the Western Cape can offer. This is where you can watch whales from both land and sea.

Every year Southern Right whales move through the waters in a mass migration. This is where you will be able to bear witness to the calving and feeding of their joyous and playful young. These beautiful creatures can be seen scant meters from the shore. Because the whales venture so close, this allows for some of the best whale watching in the entire world. When can you see this miracle take place? The best times to witness this event are between June and November. You can see other beautiful whales in the Western Cape as well. Humpback whales migrate through the same area between May and December and Bryde’s whales can be seen a bit

Where You Should Travel and the Five Things to Bring With You

download (20)One of the most common questions I hear when talking with people who are looking to travel is “where should I go?”. The answer I give them is a very simple one and that is “anywhere!”. What I’ve found to be consistently true with nearly everyone I’ve known that has traveled is that they’ve loved every place they’ve gone. Now, that’s not to say that some didn’t have a few rough experiences, but the consensus is that you’re traveling to see different parts of the world, every country has it’s positive aspects just like every country has some negative aspects. The first thing I would do is throw away every preconceived notion you have in your head about different countries. Now, that’s not to say go to places that are potentially dangerous, that’s common sense. But to really find out where you truly want to go I would look at why you’re interested in traveling. Are you looking to go to site see? Are you looking for a more natural travel experience I.e hiking, mountain climbing, etc.? Or are

The Millennial Traveller

download (19)In the travel section of my library, skimming books on Costa Rica and Central America, I came across a book- misfiled I guess. Stuck amidst the vacation guides was “Travels with Charlie”, by famed novelist John Steinbeck.

Pulling it out, I retired to a corner chair. 1962, middle aged, renowned, Steinbeck had dropped everything to take a cross country trip, incognito, accompanied by his little dog.

Thumbing through, I noticed, wherever he roamed, the reactions were the same. “Take me with you” whether voiced or not. Why do we dream about getting away, the further the better?

Sites, tastes, lifestyles, travel in the past signified glamour, intrigue. Today, from the farthest outposts, innumerable videos exist on the internet. Why does it still excite so?

I think about people who quit jobs to travel. What did they hope to find? It couldn’t have been for just stories to tell.

I’m guilty of wanderlust myself, same desk job, activities, meeting new people but never deeper conversations. We live in the predictable, passive, commute to work, go out with friends, spectator sports, maybe jogging or to the

Advantages Of Choosing The Right Relocation Services Companies For Home Or Office Relocation

download (17)If you are currently prepping or are ready to relocate to your new home or office but aren’t eager with the hassles of moving, hiring the right relocation services company is the ideal solution for you. When picking the right service providers, taking note of their experience is vital. However, what matters most is their dedication in serving you all throughout the journey. This will in turn alleviate an otherwise stressful relocation for you.

Advantages of hiring the right relocation service provider for homes and offices:

When relocating, whether it’s a home or office requires a lot of attention and effort. From smaller logistics (paper works, building inspections and furniture delivery) to the bigger tasks like home finding, property management and setting-ins, outsourcing the relocation responsibilities to relocation services companies will help you lighten up your hands and focus on other tasks that truly require it.

Home

Packing and unpacking – While the notion of relocating to a new environment is exciting, the packing process on the other hand is long and tedious making it everyone’s least favorite activity. However, when hiring movers

Adventures on the Beach

download (16)In the winter, Florida’s beaches are filled with snowbirds enjoying sand and surf while they escape snow, ice and freezing temperatures. In fact, I used to be one of them. But now that I’m a year-round citizen of Florida, I’ve discovered the best time of year to enjoy the beaches is summer. The crowds are gone and the Gulf waters are as warm as an August rain. Most importantly, the turbulent surf transforms into a gentle lullaby, easy for a lake swimmer like myself to handle.

My husband and I drive to the beach which is only ten minutes from our home, two or three times a week after dinner when the sun is low on the horizon and a delightful breeze keeps us cool. We take a long walk along the water’s edge and then I swim while my husband watches the setting sun from a beach chair. I usually join him in time to watch the sun disappear on the horizon and the sky fill with a spectacular panorama of colors.

We do go to the beach in the

Chota Char Dham – The Hindu Pilgrimage Circuit

download (18)Char Dham‘, also written as ‘Chardham‘ is a pilgrimage circuit, consisting of four sites, (‘Char’ is Hindi for four) very important to the Hindu community. The four sites are, namely, Badrinath in Uttarakhand, Puri in Odisha (Formerly Orissa), Dwarka in Gujarat and Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. There is also a smaller circuit of Char Dham sites, known as ‘Chota Char Dham’, with ‘Chota’ meaning small. All these four sites of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath (Badrinath is common to both the circuits) are located in the state of Uttarakhand alone. In this article, let us visit each one of them.

Yamunotri: This village marks the source of the Yamuna river. To the Hindus, it is the seat of Yamuna, the Hindu Goddess, who is depicted as having black complexion, and over a tortoise, having a pot of water in her hand. (As described in the Sanskrit Agni Purana, one of the eighteen major Puranas of Hinduism)

The temple here, housing a shrine to the Goddess, opens in the month of May and closes the second day after Diwali.

Gangotri: While Yamunotri is

My Top 3 Favorite Grand Canyon South Rim Helicopter Tours Ever!

images (11)The South Rim is considered the most scenic portion of the Grand Canyon, and it is a fantastic place to view on a helicopter tour. These flights depart daily and they are easy to fit in your budget. Booking the perfect tour can be confusing, so this article will reveal the top three helicopter tours you should consider.

Top Tour #1: The Longer Flight Option

The National Park is huge, and the only way you can see so much of it on a single tour is to fly over it in a helicopter. The longer, 50-minute tour is a great choice because it allows you to fly over 75 percent of the entire National Park. The flight takes off from Tusayan, AZ, and then it flies over remote wilderness areas as you get to see the North Rim and the scenic grounds all the way to the eastern border of the National Park.

Although this tour costs more, it is still the number one tour since you get to see so many amazing sights during your flight. For example, two notable landmarks

The City of Marrakech in Morocco

download (15)Marrakesh is the largest Moroccan city in terms of population and it is located in the center of the kingdom. The population of Marrakech was estimated to be around 900 thousand inhabitants in 2012. This is in addition to a large number of tourists who visit the city as part of their travel package to Morocco.

There are no historical records, in fact, that explains the name of the city of Marrakesh. It was described as the red city, the vast destination that blends the heat, the shades, the ice, and the palms all together. This distinctive ambience of the whole country grabs the attention of several vacationers to spend their holidays in Morocco.

Perhaps the most interesting sight in Marrakech is the Jemaa el-Fnaa Arena. This is where travellers who tour Morocco watch snake charmers, story tellers, musicians, in addition to many other types of Moroccan folklore that represents the traditional heritage of the country.

The Jemaa El Fnaa was added to the UNESCO world heritage sites in 2001. In fact this square was established with the foundation of the city

My Top 3 Favorite Las Vegas Helicopter Tours to the Grand Canyon

download (14)Vegas is the ideal starting point for a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. It only takes an hour to get to the West Rim from Vegas, and because the tours are so popular, there is a wide choice in tour packages available. To help you choose one of the best tours, I’ll list my top three favorites below.

About Helicopter Tours Of The South Rim

At this time, all helicopter flights out of Vegas go to the West Rim, so if you want to tour the South Rim, you’ll want to keep that in mind. The way around this is to book a tour that comes with a one hour airplane flight to the small airport in Arizona where the helicopter tours of the South Rim depart.

Also, if you want to take a helicopter tour where the aircraft sets down inside the Canyon, you’ll have to do that at the West Rim. The option to land is why the Vegas to West Rim flights are in such demand. Helicopters aren’t permitted to land at the South Rim, but you can

The Most Interesting Visits of China

download (13)Today, we will be highlighting some of the most interesting places that travelers who spend their vacations in China explore and enjoy. If you go on a tour to China, never miss visiting these attractions.

Away from the famous monuments almost included in many travel packages to China like the Great Walls of China, the Terracotta Soldiers, and the Forbidden City, we will be shedding light on more and more monuments that are quite remarkable and are always worth a visit.

The Potala Palace is located on the top of the Huangshan Mountain in the city of Lhasa in the Chinese Tibet and it is among the monuments that are often visited by a large number of travelers who tour China.

Established as early as the 7th century AD, the Potala Palace is located around 3700 meters above sea level. The palace extends for a distance of 360 meters from South to North. The main building of the palace consists of 13 floors with a height of 117 meters.

There is also the Victoria Port located at the Hong Kong Island that is