Istanbul: A fascinating City Full of History & Culture

Istanbul is a fascinating city full of history and culture; its strategic location made it attractive to many roaming armies over the centuries with the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians and the Venetians all attempting to rule before finally, it was conquered by the Ottomans.

 

Magnificent Hagia Sophia in Istanbul Turkey
Magnificent Hagia Sophia in Istanbul Turkey

Evidence of these different periods of rule is scattered all about this romantic city; in the architecture, the cuisine, and the local customs and traditions.  It is a city where East meets West and this refers to more than just the fact that the city straddles two different continents, although certainly this was why so many nations had their eye on holding it as their own.

 

A visit to Istanbul could not fail to inspire:  from the stunning Topkapi Palace to the colourful Grand Bazaar, here is a city you could fall in love with.  Stroll hand in hand through the bustling markets and try your hand at some bartering, taste the local cuisine which is a tastebud-bursting combination of fine fresh fish and aromatic dishes or simply stand and admire the magnificently decorated mosques and minarets which adorn this Turkish delight.

 

WOW Topkapi Palace Turkey
WOW Topkapi Palace Turkey

By night the city really comes alive; the sparkling stars illuminating the Byzantine buildings, reflecting beautifully on the Bosphorus river which winds its way past the city.  The culture of the local people is to be warm and open and you see no greater evidence of this than in the Turkish taverns which are ideal for whiling your evening away, appreciating the real sense of heritage which surrounds you. Enter the magical world of Istanbul and be introduced to the remarkable city with the film A Postcard of Istanbul. Take a look at the captivating trailer for the film below –

Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations in India

India has always been a great place for newly wedded couples. The geographical diversity and climatic variations of the different regions of India make it even more beautiful and inviting. From the snow clad  mountains of Kashmir till the spectacular sunrise and sunset of Kanyakumari – the southernmost end of the Indian Peninsular mainland, India has lot more to offer to honeymoon couples.  It has some of the best beaches where you can experience the warmth of your relationship, some magnificent hill stations for taking your love story to next level and some improbable deserts and adventurous places which you will cherish forever!

Here are the top 5 Honeymoon Destinations in India which you should certainly explore if you and spouse are not being able to zero in down to one destination;

 

  • Lakshadweep Islands-building the bond forever!

 

If you want your honeymoon trip to be on a beach, where you can spend the most precious romantic moments of your life in the midst of the shining sun, sun kissed breeze, crystal clear sea water, scintillating white sand till the blue horizon of the sky, then Lakshadweep Islands is the place which you will remain in your memory forever. Here you will also get a good amount of privacy which is very much required for love birds.

 

  • Goa- as much beautiful to take your breath away in the first glimpse!

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Goa is always regarded as a great honeymoon destination for newlyweds due its night life, shimmering sandy beaches of Calangute, Anjuna, Vagator. Its picturesque beauty and breath taking adventures makes it a perfect honeymoon destination in India. Some of the must see places of Goa  are Baga Beach, Casino Cruise, Anjuna Flea Market, Bom Jesus Basilica (one of the oldest Churches in the country), Tito’s Street, The Baga Deck, Curlies, Fort Aguada, Goa state Museum, Mollem National Park. Given the plentitude of options available, Goa is certainly a place of multitudinous attractions.

 

  • Coorg in Karnataka-An excellent Honeymoon destination in the lap of Nature!

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This place has really many things to offer to you, from picturesque landscape, beautiful natural scenery, and woody slopes. What you should not miss is Madikeri, the picturesque town of Coorg. It is situated on an extremely wonderful natural hilly setting in the midst of forest slopes of Western Ghats. Situated at a height of 1525 m above sea level, here life seems, to stand still in the glorious past of Lingayat Kingdom.

 

  • Kodaikanal in TamilNadu-One of the finest Hill Stations in India!

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The beauty of Kodaikanal as a honeymoon destination lies in its glittering lakes and picturesque parks which are bound to bring your partner closer to you! Moreover there are many hidden romantic spots in Kodaikanal which you can’t explore if you don’t have enough time. So plan accordingly.

 

  • Kerala-Also called as God’s own country!

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Kerala is known for its plenty of lakes, lagoons, interconnected islands; Comfy house boats, sparkling backwaters and beautiful hill stations of Kerala makes it a dream honeymoon destination for couples. The natural scenery in Kerala is stunningly attractive and worth dying for! The coconut trees with swaying their heads against the blue sky scattered with white clouds will make you feel really happy with the love of your life!

Hotels: Corporate vs Private

When planning a holiday in England for a week or two, a short break or a business weekend trip, there are two different types of hotels in which you can choose to stay at.

You can choose to stay at corporate hotels which are usually national or international chains, or you can choose to stay at privately run local hotels.

Staying at local private hotels in England

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One of the options available to you is to stay at privately run hotels, there are a whole host of benefits available to staying at this type of hotel.

 

There are many prime examples of privately run hotels in England, such as Panfield House in Braintree, Essex.

 

Private hotels are perfect for business trips and holiday lets due to their convenience, as they are privately run you talk directly to the owners of the hotel, as opposed to a customer service representative.

 

This means that you can easily request any requirements that will make your stay more comfortable.

 

These hotels will have excellent knowledge of the local area, which enables them to suggest activities and points of interest that are nearby that will either be of convenience to you on your business trip or will be fun or interesting for your family to do on your holiday.

 

Staying at a private hotel offers a more personal experience than staying at a corporate hotel as the staff of the hotel are usually the people who own the hotel themselves.

 

This means any problems you have, should you find some, are addressed immediately and you have a more comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Corporate hotels

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Corporate hotels are big national chains that you will probably be familiar with, such as Premier Inn.

 

Corporate hotels tend to be a cheaper alternative, as they tend to be a national company they can afford to offer cheap rates to offer to people.

 

Also, these hotels tend to have more rooms readily available, meaning that it is easier to find a room for the length of time that you need within short notice.

 

However, there are some downsides to staying in a corporate hotel, you don’t get the personal touch that you experience with a private hotel.

 

This is because the staff that work there are doing so on the basis of the fact that it is just their job, and not because it is their own business.

Enjoy A Complete Holiday And Energize Yourself

When you are working hard to make life a little more affluent for your family, the intention is extremely fine, but eventually it turns out to be the worst decision one can take. It is mainly because; if your zeal to earn more, the family ends up being completely neglected. That is not an ideal situation and should be corrected immediately. Going for a vacation is one of the best options of spending time with one’s family and if that vacation turns out to be one of the family vacations in west coast usa packages, then things are bound to get excited.

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There are loads of travel companies and agencies in the market and they are providing with such packages. All one needs to do is to visit the official website of any such a company and go through the packages they have to offer, then choosing one which seems to be most suitable. In this context, one also needs to remember that these packages have different time limits and they cost different too. For instance, a package which covers most of the tourist spots and takes more time is to cost more and vice versa. So, knowing about family vacations in west coast usa will help.

If you are wondering about getting the information and are getting confused, then the internet is capable of helping. All information along with websites is available in the internet and can make things easier than ever before. A tour of the websites will be enough to tell if the company you are choosing is reliable and repute enough or not. Along with that, it will also become clear if the travel agency has something which fits your requirement and affordability completely. These family vacations in west coast usa packages will allow you to enjoy the holiday completely and won’t put a hole in your pocket.

In this context, you also need to know all these family vacations in west coast usa packages offered by travel companies are not complete. Most of them are made generally to fit the requirement of most of the clients. If you do not want to have such a package which is lousy enough to cost more than it’s worth, then there is always the freedom to get one customized. It may seem like too much to ask, but in reality, it is amongst your rights. Any travel agency is bound to provide best services.

Finally, it can be said that, if you are really interested in having an energizing holiday that will revitalize everyone, then knowing about various family vacations in west coast usa will be able to help. It is quite true that, there are loads of choices available regarding both the packages and travel agencies. One is free to choose any one which will be most suitable to one’s affordability choice and convenience. This will ensure a holiday which everyone will be able to enjoy and cherish for a long time. So, gathering information on these packages will prove to be rather beneficial.

If you are looking for some information on family vacations in west coast usa or vacation tour in Beijing china, then internet should be the choice, but having the help of an expert like Alice will be required.

Holiday Ideas For The New Year 2014

As the year draws to a close, many of us spend time thinking of New Year resolutions that will help us feel happier, gain new experiences, and hopefully change our lives. For some, resolutions come in the form of quitting vices and career progression, but for others, resolutions come from a desire for new experiences and exploration. For those who are considering a New Year’s resolution that includes travelling more and seeing the world, now is the perfect time to start putting ideas into plans and booking a winter holiday to take in the New Year. Here are some amazing holiday ideas that will quench the thirst of those after new experiences and increased travel in 2014.

Australia

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For many, there is no better adventure than Australia. With its vast expanses and beautiful oceans, those wishing to holiday here will want to take a longer break than if visiting other locations. Due to the country lying south of the equator, Australia is currently experiencing its warmer months so those heading down-under during January will have no need to back their winter coats.

Those visiting the country may want to make the most of the weather, and spend their time relaxing on Australia’s many sanding beaches. With beautiful natural highlights and Lizard Island lying off the North-Eastern coast those who are after an active holiday will love a ‘winter’ trip to Australia.

French Ski Trip

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Lovers of outdoors sports should really make advantage of the snowy peaks offered by many ski resorts before the end of the season (usually mid-spring). With plenty of Alpine resorts in Europe, a winter sports holiday is accessible to those of all abilities and tastes.

From quiet, more romantic hotels, to family orientated slopes, there really is something for everyone in a ski holiday, and those who are festival lovers could go to Ibiza Rocks The Snow in Merible for musical entertainment at night and hitting the slopes during the day.

Relaxing Tuscan Break

 

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For many, winter is a time to relax and get cosy, and Tuscany is the perfect location for those looking for a less active holiday. The Tuscan countryside transforms in winter with some parts covered in snow, so those wanting to experience picturesque nature and do some gentle exploration should hire a car, stay in a luxury villa, and take their time seeking areas of interest.

With cities being quieter, winter is the perfect time to visit tourist attractions in Florence and its neighbours, as the queues and crowds will be significantly shorter, but make sure you check opening hours beforehand to avoid disappointment.

Barcelona

Barcelona is another location that is beautiful year-round and filled with activities to do and sights to see. Visit the city in early January to experience the Epiphany and Feast of the Three Kings celebrations. On January the 5th, a procession fills the streets with sweets being handed out to children and is the city’s biggest Christmas celebrations. The local children will then leave their shoes out overnight to be filled with gifts.

Of course, the climate in the city does change during the winter, with temperatures dropping to around 9°C, so make sure that appropriate winter clothing is packed so that you can enjoy exploring Barcelona’s sights.

 

Choosing A Fishing Tournament That Is Right For You

In ancient Greece, to celebrate victory over a foe in battle, soldiers would set a cross into the ground at the point where the enemy’s formation broke. Here, where their adversaries turned and ran in surrender, they removed the armor from a dead enemy soldier and placed the helmet, chest plate, and shield upon the cross as a monument to their triumph. The name they used for this monument? Tropaion – the root of the English word, trophy!

Nowadays we may have evolved beyond showcasing the bloodied garb of our slain nemeses on the battlefield, but we are far from being any more sophisticated when it comes to immortalizing our conquests. Our tropaion, however, are made of cheap shiny plastic molded to form the shape of a golf club, baseball glove, or, if you’re an angler, a sailfish, perhaps. Our trophies have metal plates glued on the front, engraved with a message somewhere along the lines of “Bob is better than his friends at X.”

When it comes to boasting, it really just doesn’t get any better than catching a bigger fish than your buddies. There were probably Neanderthals clunking their mates upside the head with a floppy salmon just to let them know who was the better angler. In modern times, however, we show our angling superiority in a different way, by plopping our catch down on the scales at tournament headquarters.

If you’ve never been in a fishing tournament, I can’t even put into words the excitement. Hundreds of boats and thousands of fishermen, all gearing up to take to the seas in their quest for the tropaion. If you have been, then you know what I am talking about, and you’re probably getting goose bumps just thinking about it.

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So I’ve got you hooked. You’re ready to pack your tackle box, book your flight, and head to Key West. Just hold on a tick and let me finish this article before you run out the door and forget to grab your sunscreen.

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It turns out that you´ve made a good choice in Key West. There are so many different tournaments to choose from and so many different species to fish for, that you are sure to find something that suits your needs. But no matter the destination, picking a tournament is not a decision to be taken lightly. I’ve put together a short guide here to help you choose a fishing tournament that is right for you:

First and foremost you need to think about what kind of angler you are, and what your primary goals are and what you’d like to get out of the tournament experience. Are you the kind of fisherman that spends the entire off-season tying jigs? Or are you the type that finishes half of the beers in the cooler before you haul in the first catch of the day? It’s OK to be either of these guys, it’s just important to realize which you are before choosing a tournament. Some people just want to have a good time and get out on the water, and some people take fishing very seriously and want to be around others who do, too. Then there are even those who enter tournaments as a way to make money. Some purses in Key West can reach $50,000 or more!

How much money do you want to spend?

Monetary restraints are certainly a factor when choosing a tournament. Naturally the events with the bigger prizes cost more to enter. Make sure you know what the entry fee is ahead of time as to avoid any big surprises when you arrive. Check to see what the fee is per boat, and how many fishermen are allowed to enter for that price.

What species do you want to target?

It only makes sense that if you are going to enter a tournament that you at least have some experience fishing for that kind of fish. Don’t just assume that because you’ve trolled for dolphin that you’ll be able to figure out sight-fishing permit on the fly. If you do want to enter a tournament that targets a species that you are not familiar with, plan on rocking up a week earlier and at least head out a couple days ahead of time for practice.

Call ahead and ask questions.

All tournaments will have a tournament manager listed with a phone number so that you can call and ask any questions that you might have. The average fisherman probably only gets to enter one big deep sea tournament a year, so it is worth your time to clear up anything that you need to know ahead of time before booking your flight.

Find your captain well in advance.

Last year’s tournament winning captains will probably already be booked for this year, but any well-seasoned captain with experience and success catching your targeted species can be this year’s winner. Check the local captain’s association to learn who catches what. For example, on the website for Key West’s Charter Boat Row you can get learn about more than 30 charters and captains.

Weight versus length.

Some tournaments hand out cash and prizes based on the weight of your fish, and others by length. Some tournaments only want to see your one big daddy, and others add up your total catch over 2, 3, or even 4 days. How the winners will be judged is certainly something worth considering before signing up.

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One last thing that I’d like to mention is that along with tournament details, you should also research into the area where the tournament is being held. Most likely you’ll be spending a week, but only fishing for 2 or 3 days, so make sure that there are other fun things to do around to fill up the rest of your vacation.

That’s another reason why Key West is such a great place to hold tournaments, there really is something for everyone, even for those who are crazy enough to not want to fish!

Seven Places To Take Kids In Florida

Finding the perfect family vacation in Florida is not a difficult task. Florida is a state packed with natural and manmade wonders for kids and adults alike to enjoy. Get ready to pack your bags, because I’m convinced you’ll be dying for a Florida vacation after reading these kid-friendly options.

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Walt Disney World

Okay, okay, this one may almost seem too obvious to list. Walt Disney World is not for everybody, but some people like seeing their favorite movies come to life in one of the most interesting theme parks in the world. I recommend getting a park hopper pass, so that you can jump from the Animal Kingdom, Fantasyland and the Magic Kingdom. Make sure to see the spectacular fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. To save money stay off of the Disney property, because there are plenty of family friend joints surrounding Disney World.

Butterfly World

Butterfly world is home to thousands of exotic butterflies. The property consists of acres of waterfalls, orchids, tropical gardens, birds and insects. I have to say when I went alone as an adult I really enjoyed this park, but when I brought my niece to it a few years later she absolutely loved exploring the park. If you find yourself in Southern Florida this is definitely a good stop.

Everglades National Park

Alligators, crocodiles, turtles, birds, panthers and more, if you love wildlife Everglades National Park is a must see. The 1.5 million acres of the park should be enough to keep you busy for at least one trip. There are plenty of tours and parks to explore along the main highway that goes through the Everglades. Make sure to break for wildlife, but don’t swerve into the swamps!

Kids explore fountain at Disney World

Busch Gardens

If you want the joy of a theme park without the price tag of Disney World, Busch Gardens is a safe bet. Every Busch Gardens is themed with a culture, and this one’s particular theme is Africa. It is not an authentic African experience, but it gives your little one a tiny taste of the African experience through food, architecture and wildlife. Also, if you love roller coasters, you are going to love the selection of roller coasts available at Busch Gardens.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

If you want to see manatees in the wild, Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is your place. You also may catch a glimpse of black bears, crocodiles, deer, alligators and river otters.   Manatees can be seen every day of the year from this park. There is a manatee program that runs three times daily for you and your kids to enjoy. In addition to this program there are many other child-oriented programs at this part to truly make this a hands-on learning experience for you little one.

Museum of Science & Industry

Do you have the next little Einstein in training? Well look no further than the Museum of Science & Industry. This is a museum really aimed towards kids that gives them lots of chances to get hands-on learning.  The IMAX and planetarium exhibitions are also fun for adults and kids alike.

Oleta River State Park

This is a beach with gentle waters that you can enjoy without worrying the surf or sharks are going to be a danger to your little one. There is also a café with reasonably priced food located near the beach where you can grab a snack. As a bonus there is a lighthouse with free tours that run every day. After the beach you can explore the kid friendly trails to see raccoons, fish, birds and tame wildlife that dwell in the park. From the trails you can see Stiltsville, a township of houses on stilts out in water.

Why Vancouver’s All About Coffee

Vancouver is just one of those Pacific Northwest cities that oozes laid-back charm from every pore and if you’re thinking about checking out the sights then one thing is for sure: you’ll need plenty of fuel to keep you going.

Thankfully, the locals love their coffee and as you might expect, there’s a wide range of cafés, houses and artisan stores offering all manner of ground and roasted goodies.

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So, if you’re looking for the ten best coffee outlets in Vancouver, read on and add a little perk to your Pacific experience.

Agro Coffee

With a wide range of food on the menu as well as plenty of upstairs and ground floor space, Agro Café is perfect after a morning spent shopping amongst the artisan institutions of Granville Island. Local art work, friendly faces and fully licensed, this is much, much more than just ground beans.

Bump n grind

Situated on Commercial Drive and featuring a rich variety of Canadian coffee, this independent store is a firm fixture on the locals’ list and an honest to goodness café that leans towards take away rather than stay put. Great deli options, funky tunes as well as some pretty cool art installations make Bump n Grind a simple yet effective caffeine haven and well-worth a flying visit.

Caffe Artigiano

With several outlets across the city Caffe Artigiano is well-worth looking out no matter where you find yourself in Vancouver. Specialising in Italian style and taste this is a great place to come to if you’re hankering for great coffee, noisy (but friendly) staff and tasty titbits which is exactly what a typical Italian coffee house should be offering, right?

Kafka’s Coffee

More like an art exhibition space than an actual coffee shop, Kafka’s can be found on Main Street and is well-known for its regular art events as well as some darn fine mugs of joe. Open until fairly late (10pm) during the week and using some pretty sophisticated methods of brewing (pourover, aeropress and syphon), it’s no wonder that this one is totally for the purists.

Caffe Citadella

Situated at the corner of 7th Avenue and Ash Street, Caffe Citadella occupies a converted heritage house and is perfect on a sunny day thanks to a conveniently placed patio area. With a sneaky second level, vegan options and local roasts this is a real find if you’re hoping to compliment your caffeine fix with bucket loads of ye olde worlde charm.

Matchstick Coffee

Single origins on E 15 Avenue makes the visit to Matchstick totally worthwhile and if you’re looking for an organic and local bite to eat then this place really fits the bill. Clinical care and clean décor incorporating communal conversation is exactly what this community coffee parlour stands for and with a brew by the cup quality there aren’t many better options.

Elysian Coffee

With a couple of coffee shops in Vancouver (Broadway & Ash and Fifth Ave) Elysian is ideal if you’re looking for an outdoor area to enjoy one cup drip coffee on a sunny day in Canada. Large portions of both pastries and beverages, means lots of the good stuff and although not much in the way of seating you’ll find a clean and expert dedication to coffee which is perfect if you’re on the go.

The Buzz

Raw brickwork, spot lights and awesome sandwiches all go towards making the Buzz a great little coffee shack especially if you find yourself on Homer Street in the Yaletown district. Strong coffee is always on the cards as is fine art as the Buzz can be found on the lower floor of the Harrison Gallery which all adds up to a sophisticated and special venue especially if you’re heading downtown.

Revolver

Yeah, this place is pretty cool and with all drinks made on an individual basis as well as an ever-changing world beverage menu, you’ll pretty much find something fresh and new on every occasion that you’re strolling down Cambie Street in Gastown. Don’t be fooled by the slight pretence as staff are generally relaxed and friendly although there aren’t that many arm chairs and sofas to get cosy.

Finches

This pretty piece of happiness harks back to the old country and from the European style salads and truly enlightening Brie baguettes, you may as well be in Paris or Nice as West Pender Street in downtown Vancouver. Can get busy but then that’s a good sign, right? Outstanding food, great coffee and Continental service so make of that what you will.

Chris used to live in Vancouver and firmly recommends lazy days sampling the coffee and the cakes at the majority of the above venues.

A worthwhile volunteer experience in Catalina Island

Service offered to fellow human beings or to nature is one of the most treasured gifts on Earth. What better way to kill two birds with one stone than to visit Catalina to volunteer while enjoying your holiday at the same time? Check out some of these wonderful volunteer vacation programs that will enable you serve with a smile in Catalina;

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Catalina Chamber

This conservatory volunteer project was designed by Hotel Villa in conjunction with Catalina Island Conservancy. For just $179 per person, you can get accommodation at Hotel Villa Portofino as you relax and perform volunteer tasks on every Thursday. The nature of the tasks involves horticultural activities aimed at restoring Catalina’s majestic flora. Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old and no special skills or experience is required.

One-world 365

One-world offers volunteers a chance to serve for two weeks and is open to all. Volunteers will put in eight hours of service each day and enjoy kayaking and snorkeling during their free time. It is one of the best volunteer programs since it offers a lengthy duration to volunteer for just $755. Participants need to be above 18 years and avoid alcohol during working hours. Tasks carried out include

  • Planting organic gardens

  • Controlling spread of hostile plant species

  • Learning the history of the island

  • Marine life conservancy

    Catalina Conservancy

This program will require you to clear your schedule on the fourth Wednesday of each month for you to begin voluntary service. Catalina Island Conservancy and Hermosa Hotel founded this volunteer vacation program with the aim of returning Catalina’s ecological state to its former glory. Volunteers spend time in the James H. Ackerman Native Plant Nursery to learn about the indigenous plant species and how to discern invasive plants from harmless beneficial flora.

  • The program costs $249 and volunteers will spend three days and two nights in the island

  • Need to be at least 18 years old

  • No experience or special skills required

Tall-ship Catalina Island Sea Adventure Camp

Have you ever wanted to learn how to kayak? What about sailing? This volunteer program is for you. Tall-ship American pride is a member of American Sail Training Association (ASTA) and the sea camp’s goal is to teach children sailing, kayaking, fish dissection and Catalina’s deep ecological heritage. For hikers, this will be a thrilling experience to enjoy Catalina’s scenic environment as you enjoy lengthy island discovery walks. This sea camp is hosted by the nonprofit organization, Children’s Maritime Association (CMS). Because of the detailed information taught to campers, it is highly recommended for one to have knowledge in the following areas

· Marine biology

· Anthropology

· History

· First Aid

Volunteers are advised to keep off alcohol during trips, nature walks or class sessions because of the children’s presence.

 Notice to non US citizens

These volunteer programs are open to everyone who meets the required criteria however it is important for any tourist to visit the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website in order to meet eligibility requirements that will grant permission to visit the United States of America.

 

Unravel Ladakh – The Unparalleled Paradise

Ladakh is located in Northern India and part of the state Jammu and Kashmir. It is located between the Karakoram mountain range and the Himalayas and known for its spectacular scenic beauty. The largest town in Ladakh is Leh, which is a very popular tourist destination. Due to its mountain ranges its popular for adventure tourism along with its well-preserved history of Tibetan-Buddhist culture. Most of this place is above is over 3000m above sea level.  Ladakh is sometimes also known as ‘Little Tibet’ due to its Tibetan linage. The locals even resemble the Tibetans.

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Ladakh was once a very important trade center, however after the border differences with China in 1960 the international trade has suffered. Since 1974, Tourism forms a vital source of income for them and major part of their economy too. Ladakh is also rich in some minerals such as gold, copper and some semi-precious gems.

Best time to Visit

Ladakh is known for its cold temperature throughout the year. However the best time to travel is from June to September when the temperature ranges between 20-30 degrees. During this time one can experience paradise on earth here with some most wonderful and breath taking views and the slightly warm and sunny weather.

Culture of Ladakh

Ladakh is heavily influenced by the Tibetan culture. Most of its population comprises of Buddhists than Muslims. Ladakhi food, too have much in common with the Tibetan food. The architecture of Ladakh has lots of Tibetan and Buddhist touches to them and reflects deep rooted Buddhism. This place is dominated by Buddhists and remaining very small percentage of Hindus, Muslims and other communities. With the vast number of monasteries, also known as ‘Gompas’ having a touch of ancient Ladakh speaks volumes of its rich culture with a history attached to each. They are so picturesque like pictures cut from a fairytale book so serene giving complete peace to the mind and soul.

Festivals

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The people of Ladakh celebrate a number of festivals on several occasions such as harvesting, monastery, New year and they even have carnivals such as the sacred drama of life wearing facial masks and colorful robes etc.

Food

The local food here, too have the Tibetan touch in them and have a lot in common. Some of the common and prominent food here is thukpa ( noodle soup), ngampe (roasted barley soup) and skyu ( a heavy pasta dish with root vegetables).

Sports

The locals here enjoy playing ice-hockey which is generally played in January. Archery is another traditional sport and many villages even conduct archery festivals where people get together for gambling, singing, playing folk dances etc. together. Polo is also one more common game played by the locals.

Occupation

The main occupation here is sheep-rearing. People are mostly nomadic going from place to place in search of pastures. They rear long-haired goats and sheep and the furs and fleece from these animals are used to make the famous Kashmiri Pashmina shawls.

It is truly a place to be visited and for memories to be etched for a lifetime. The spectacular views right out of an artists painting, the beautiful carvings on the rocks, hugs pillars of the gompas, the local markets thriving with life and colorful local attractive stuff like Buddhist bells, lamps, handmade rugs, shawls, coats etc. the serenity of the monasteries, and the lifestyle of the people depicting their simple and peaceful living yet happy lives leaves a deep impact in the minds of the travellers making them wanting to come to this place again and again. The warmth and affection of the local ladakhis adds to its further charm and makes the place even more beautiful.