Category: World Travel

Buy a Home in Italy for Just One Dollar


Ollolai, Italy is a gorgeous little town in the Puglia region and one hour away from Sardinia beaches.
Ollolai is a small town nestled in the mountains of Sardinia, is selling historic homes for just one Euro and they already have 200 applicants from all over the world.

Sardinia isn’t just a gorgeous little island off of the Italian coast, It is also where people live statistically longest and it was one of five Blue Zones mentioned in bestselling author Dan Buttner. This where you find best cheese and wine for longevity.

Ollolai is in the center of the Sardinia and an hour away from the cliffs of Cala Gonone, in the mountain region of Barbagia, famous for hikes, it’s a historic town filled with romantic beautiful alleyways and tiny restaurants with the greatest food on earth.

Young people left this town to the cities in search of better financial opportunity and left the houses abandoned.The city’s intent is to revive its dying historic district by selling these houses for 1 euro and bring investors to the town with the provision buyer has 3 years to finish renovating them. According to CNN, the village has already sold three houses, and more than 200 application

The mayor, Efisio Arbau, has proposed a solution similar to the one in Gangi Sicily in 2014, Around 20 houses were on sale for one euro ($1.30), with another 300 or so for up to 15,000 euros in an initiative the village hopes will reverse decades of population decline and boost the local economy even as Italy falls back into recession.
Australian film director Dominic Allen is one of a crowd of buyers from the United States, Britain, Dubai and Sweden who have rushed to Gangi to take advantage of these bargains and transform living spaces and animal stalls into summer homes. See article written in 2014 by yahoo business about Gangi Sicily
Mayor Efisio Arbau has proposed to sell the homes for as little as a 1 euro, with the provision that the buyer has three years to refurbish the dwelling, a project that would likely only cost about $25,000.
This solution will create jobs and make young citizens stay with their loved elderly ones.
It sounds too good to be true and it is if you don’t have enough money to renovate these old properties and in some cases, they need to demolish them.

By: A.Dababneh

Hawaii

Hawaii Information

Hawaii is the most current of the 50 U.S. states, built entirely of islands. Hawaii is the northern island group in Polynesia, placed most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan and northeast of Australia. Owed to its mid-Pacific location, Hawaii has many North American and Asian influences along with its own vigorous native culture. Hawaii capital is Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The state comprises nearly the complete volcanic Hawaiian Island chain it encompass hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles. End of the southeastern archipelago, the eight “main islands” they are Kauai, Kahoolawe, Niihau, Hawaii, Lanai, Molokai and Oahu. Hawaii is largest and “The Big Island”. The archipelago is physiographical and ethnologically segment of the Polynesian sub field of Oceania. In United States the Hawaii is the 8th-least extensive, the 11th-least populous, and the 13th-most thickly populated. Hawaii’s coastline is nearly 750 miles long it is fourth in the United States after Alaska, Florida, and California. Hawaii has its own language. Hawaii’s different natural scenery, mild tropical climate, plenty of public beaches and oceanic surrounding, and active geology make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists alike. Hawaii Island has a remote climate. Hawaii has variety of environments like lush rainforests, volcanic deserts, and some of the world’s best beaches.

 

Hawaii Recreation Culture and Attractions

The earliest culture of Hawaii is Polynesian. Hawaii describes the northernmost expansion of the vast Polynesian triangle of the south and central Pacific Ocean. As Hawaii has become habitat to many different ethnic groups through the past 200 years, each ethnic group has further elements of its own culture. The culture of Hawaii is arguably one of the firm’s residual in the world and certainly within the United States. The roots of Hawaiian culture expand south to former areas of Polynesia and behind to the islands of the Western Pacific and the edges of Asia. Hawaii has two National Parks that is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaii and Haleakala National park on Maui, as well as the vacation U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately many of these heiau were demolished when the early kapu system was revoked in the 19th century and when the early missionaries arrived shortly hereafter. Music has major role played in Hawaiian culture. Steel guitars were basically invented and popularized in Hawaii. Hawaii is familiar to numerous cultural events; some of the events are the Merrie Monarch Festival is a biggest hula competition and celebrated in April, Lei Day is a lei-making competition and celebrated in May, King Kamehameha Day is state holiday with parades and celebrated in June, Aloha Festivals are celebration with parades, cultural events, canoe races and Hawaiian music and celebrated in September and the Quicksilver/Eddie Aikau Memorial Big Wave Classic celebrated in December.Hawaii Demographics

Hawaii total population - 1,360,000
Hawaii male population - 680,000
Hawaii female population - 680,000
Hawaii White population - 25%
Hawaii Black population - 2%
Hawaii American Indian population - 1%
Hawaii Asian population - 39%
Hawaii Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population - 10%
Hawaii Other race population - 1%
Hawaii Two or more races population - 24%
Hawaii Hispanic/Latino population - 9%

 

Hawaii Education

Hawaii education system is managed by the Hawaii State Department of Education. It is only statewide public education system in the United States. The department also prepares a system wide budget for the public school system to submit to the Hawaii State Board of Education, which submits a final planned budget to the Legislature. The department is supervised by the education board and run by the superintendent of education. The Department of Education is separated into seven districts, four on Oahu and one for each of the three other counties. There is growing demand for upper division and graduate teaching from the neighbor islands which may only have a community college or education center. Public elementary, middle, and high school test marks in Hawaii are below national averages on tests authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act. Hawaii educates more students in independent organizations of secondary education than any additional state in the United States. The University of Hawaii is the major university in Hawaii. There are many private universities in Hawaii. Some of the private universities are Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii Pacific University, Wayland Baptist University, or University of the Nations.Hawaii HistoryBefore 300AD Hawaii was feasibly used as a base for peoples with a trans-Pacific communication between Asia and the northwest coast of South America. The primary habitation held up by archaeological evidence dates to as ancient as 300 CE, expediently by Polynesian settlers from the Marquesas, supported by a second wave of voyage from Raiatea and Bora Bora in the 11th century. The first entered European contact with the islands was in 1778 by British explorer Captain James Cook, who called Hawaii the Sandwich Islands. In 1782 Kamehameha I was the ruler of the Big Island of Hawaii. In 1819 Kamehameha II takes control of Hawaii. The Kingdom of Hawaii was monarch from 1810 till 1893 when the sovereign was beaten by resident American businessmen. In 1820 enter two new teams Hawaii the Congregationalist missionaries of the Calvinist ideology and New England whalers. Kamehameha III declares the First Constitution which consit of freedom of worship. Hawaiian capital is changed from Lahaina to Honolulu in 1845. 1868 saw the first Japanese liability workers arrive in Hawaii. In 1879 the first Portuguese land. In 1900 Hawaii became U.S territory. In 1941 Hawaii was the objective of a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Imperial Japan. The human history of Hawaii includes aspect of first Polynesian settlement, unification, British arrival, Euro-American and Asian immigrators, the depose of the Hawaiian monarchy, a brief period as the Republic of Hawaii, and admission to the United States as Hawaii Territory and then as the state of Hawaii. Hawaii is a 1,523-mile chain of islets and eight main islands-Hawaii, Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau, 2,397 miles west-southwest of San Francisco. “The Merry Monarch” David Kalakaua was the first king in history to vacation the United States.

Hawaii Symbols

Hawaii State nickname -  Aloha State
Hawaii State bird - Nene
Hawaii State flower - Hibiscus
Hawaii State tree - kukui
Hawaii State Fish - The Reef triggerfish
Hawaii State motto - "Ua mau ke ea o ka aina I ka pono" - The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness
Hawaii State song -  Hawaii Ponoi 
Hawaii State mammal - Monk Seal

Hawaii Flag

image of Hawaii flag

 

Hawaii Tourism

Most of the popular tourist attractions in all of the islands are located on Hawaii Island’s southeastern regions of Kau and Puna. Hawaii is the name of different islands and is among the numerous Pacific Islands in the Pacific Ocean. In summer months the outside visitors are visited. The Hawaii tourism based economy and the genuine aloha spirit assures that tourism is held seriously in the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii tourism contains world class lodging and accommodations, couture shopping for the latest runway trends, upscale fine dining and an array of things to do in Hawaii and tours at various magnificent locales on the islands sure to impress any world traveler. Hawaii with a bustling downtown, fine art galleries, upscale dining, Honolulu offers travelers urban culture in a tropical setting, world class entertainment and a thriving nightlife, with rural, unspoiled. Hawaii has significant tourism attractions are Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii and Lanai.Hawaii Taxes

Hawaii State Tax Rate Range Low 1.4% High 11.00%
Hawaii State Tax Income Brackets Lowest flat rate 2,400 - Highest flat rate 200,001
Hawaii State Personal Exemptions Single 1,040 -  Married 2,080 -  Dependents - 1,040

Hawaii Transportation

Hawaii has bus, airlines, railway, boats and ferries transportation system. A Hawaii of state highways comprises each main island. Only Oahu has national highways and it is the only area outside the bordering 48 states to have signed Interstate highways. Travel can be slow due to narrow turning roads and every major island has a public bus system. The major air port is Honolulu International Airport, is the piloting hub of Hawaii, with transnational services to North America, Asia, Australia, and Oceania. In Hawaii some more airlines are there they are Hawaiian Airlines, Mokulele Airlines, Island Air and Pacific Wings. Private steamships and ferries were traveling between the islands from the 19th century till the 1950s. The Hawaii Super ferry maintained between Oahu and Maui between December 2007 and March 2009. Hawaii had a network of railroads on every larger island that helped move farm commodities as well as passengers. In World War II play important role moving troops and goods of OR&L, the mainline was abandoned in 1947.


Hawaii Universities and Colleges

University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, Hawaii, USA - 3,900 Students
University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu CDP, HI, USA - 20,000 Students
University of Hawaii - West Oahu, Pearl City, Hawaii, USA - 1,000 students
Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA - 2,000 students
Chaminade University of Honolulu, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA - 4,000 students
Hawaii Pacific University, Hawaii, USA - 9,000 students

Hawaii Tourist Attractions

Pele's Cursed Tourist Rocks
Polynesian Cultural Center
Hawaii FiveO Jack Lord Bust
Hawaiian Trading Post
Tsunami Clock of Doom
Puuhonua - Place of Refuge
King Kamehameha the Great

Hawaii Museums

Anna Ranch
Astronaut Ellison S Onizuka Space Center
East Hawaii Cultural Center
Greenwell Store
Jaggar Museum
Isaacs Art Center Museum and Gallery
Kona Coffee Living History Farm
Laupahoehoe Train Museum
Lyman House Memorial Museum
Mokupapapa Discovery Center
Nani Mau Gardens
Onizuka Center for International Astronomy
Pacific Tsunami Museum
Parker Ranch
Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site

Hawaii Parks

Akaka Falls State Park
Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area
Kalopa State Recreation Area
Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park
Kohala Historical Sites State Monument
Kona Coast (Kekaha Kai) State Park
Lapakahi State Historical Park
Lava Tree State Monument
MacKenzie State Recreation Area
Manuka State Wayside
Mauna Kea State Recreation Area
Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area
Wailoa River State Recreation Area
Wailuku River State Park

Hawaii Religions

Hawaii Percent Religious population is 34%
Hawaii Catholic population is 19%
Hawaii LDS population is 4%
Hawaii Baptist population is 2%
Hawaii Episcopalian population is 1%
Hawaii Pentecostal population is 4%
Hawaii Lutheran population is 1%
Hawaii Methodist population is 1%
Hawaii Presbyterian population is 1%
Hawaii Other Christian population is 5%
Hawaii Jewish population is 1%
Hawaii Eastern population is 0%
Hawaii Islam population is 1%

Hawaii Government

The Hawaii is an Island 3,300 kilometers long and the broad arc in the mid-Pacific. The Hawaii Island at 8,150 square kilometers encompasses approximately two-thirds of the state’s total area, and it is referred to as simply the Big Island. Honolulu is the state capital of Hawaii is 3,850 kilometers west of San Francisco, California, 6,500 kilometers east of Tokyo, Japan, and nearly 7,300 kilometers northeast of the Australian coast. Hawaii total area is 10,932 square miles and 4,508 square miles of water. Kingman Reef and Palmyra atoll are the boundaries of Hawaii. Hawaii’s Big Island features hardly lava landscapes as well as Kilauea Volcano, erupting to this day at Hawaii. Hawaii is the 43rd largest state. Hawaii’s climate is ideal for the tropics, despite temperatures and wet. Mount Waialeale, on Kauai, has the second highest rainfall on Earth, around 460 inches. Hawaii has mainly two seasons they are bare season from May to October and humid season from October to April.Hawaii EconomyThe Hawaii economy is depending on tourism, agriculture and industries. The history of Hawaii can be followed regular a succession of dominant industries they are sandalwood, whaling, sugarcane, pineapple, military, tourism, and education. In Hawaii tourism has been the largest industry. Hawaiian exports bear food and apparel. Food exports are coffee macadamia nuts, livestock, pineapple, and sugarcane. Hawaii has a moderately high state tax burden. Hawaii citizens had the highest state tax per capita because education, health care and social services are provided by the state. Hawaii was one of the states to control gasoline prices into a Gas Cap Law.Hawaii GeographyThe Hawaii Government is decided by its constitution, and it emulates a general republic model where the government is separated into three branches they are legislative, executive, and judiciary. In Hawaii the legislative branch for Hawaii is formed of 25 senators and 51 representatives across the various districts. The head of the Hawaii is the Governor it is running mate of a Lieutenant Governor and both are the only statewide elected officials in Hawaii. The Lieutenant Governor is also investigated the Secretary of State of Hawaii. The Hawaiian Government, the Governor has the power to select officials for the 20 departments set by the constitution. The Hawaiian Constitution states the Hawaii have one Supreme Court, circuit courts, an appellate court, and district courts. The Local governments of Hawaii are spilt into four counties, although these could also act as municipalities at the same time. The budget for each city council is minor representatives and the nearly made by the local senate for each location.

Hawaii Information Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii
http://media.gohawaii.com/statewide/hawaii-information
http://www.onlineatlas.us/hi.htm
http://www.hawaii.edu/henc/page3.html
http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Hawaii_school_system
http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/us/A0858561.html
http://countrystudies.us/united-states/geography-23.htm
http://geography.howstuffworks.com/united-states/geography-of-hawaii.htm
http://www.hawaiianair.com/hawaii-tourism/
http://www.city-data.com/states/Hawaii-Economy.html
http://www.waimea.com/government.html
http://www.hawaiian-roots.com/hawaiihistory.htm
http://www.deephawaii.com/hawaiianhistory.htm
http://hawaii-inns.com/history/index.htm
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/hawaii/history
http://www.pacificislandtravel.com/hawaii/about_destin/culture.html
http://www.hawaii-guide.com/content/posts/hawaii_culture_and_hawaii_heritage
http://www.hawaiihistory.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ig.page&CategoryID=305

 

 

 

Summer In Cyprus

 

For those seeking the splendour of the Mediterranean at its peak, summer is an ideal season to visit Cyprus.
From May to mid-October, in Paphos, temperatures are at a steady high, the sky is a cloudless azure blue and, when the heat gets too much, the sea is a stone’s throw away for a refreshing dip. It’s also the ideal season for a range of water sports activities such as scuba diving and sailing.
The early part of the day is perfect for exploring the exceptional local archaeological remains, including the Temple of Aphrodite, where the goddess of love was worshipped.
During the summer, visitors must get into the habit of wearing sunscreen and protective head-wear.
April and May bring in early summer when days are comfortably warm but the evenings are cool. Light daytime clothing and long sleeved cotton or thin woolies are recommended for this part of the season. Especially in April, the countryside is in bloom with wild flowers making it an ideal time for nature-walking.
June, July and August mark the height of summer when temperatures soar and the beaches are at their busiest. There is a selection of tourist and less well known beaches to enjoy in Paphos. The Cyprus Tourist Organisation can advise visitors on where it is safe to swim.
A day-tip to the Troodos villages in the mountains provide an opportunity for traditional dining, visits to UNESCO churches and welcoming cooler climes.

Climate
April
Day Temperature High: 22C
Night Temperature Low: 12C
Sea Temperature: 20C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 9
Humidity: 67%
Days of Rain: 3
May
Day Temperature High: 26C
Night Temperature Low: 16C
Sea Temperature: 21C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 10
Humidity: 68%
Days of Rain: 3
June
Day Temperature High: 30C
Night Temperature Low: 18C
Sea Temperature: 24C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 12
Humidity: 64%
Days of Rain: 1
July
Day Temperature High: 32C
Night Temperature Low: 21C
Sea Temperature: 26C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 12
Humidity: 60%
Days of Rain: 1
August
Day Temperature High: 33C
Night Temperature Low: 22C
Sea Temperature: 27C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 12
Humidity: 61%
Days of Rain: 1
September
Day Temperature High: 31C
Night Temperature Low: 20C
Sea Temperature: 26C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 11
Humidity: 59%
Days of Rain: 10
October
Day Temperature High: 27C
Night Temperature Low: 16C
Sea Temperature: 24C
Hours of Daily Sunshine: 9
Humidity: 64%
Days of Rain: 3

Original Story

 

The World’s Most Dreamy Beaches

Professional photographers know that when taking shots of beaches, there are some important rules and guidelines to follow, such as: looking for a focal point, not disconsidering the horizon, the importance of timing, the UV filters and many others. That’s why in today’s showcase we have decided to present 50 of the most beautiful photographs of shores, as a result of following such rules and applying the knowledge in this type of art.

Be amazed and impressed, dream far away at the sunny places and relaxing sounds of the tide and waves! Some of the most famous vacation destinations by the sea and ocean can be admired in this post: Hawaii, Bora Bora, Ibiza, Seychelles.

What we have learned, though, is that not only a beautiful shore can make a stunning photo. A talented and patient photographer csn turn the most dull beach into a breath taking landscape. There’s proof of that too, just look below, through the whole showcase!

Hanalei Mist – Kauai, Hawaii

Hanalei Mist - Kauai, Hawaii
author: Patrick Smith

Pearl Beach Resort Bora Bora

Birds

Beautiful Beach

Beautiful Beach
author: RAIS1

Beach

Beach
author: atoes

Sunset Beach Resort Seychelles

Indigo and Aqua

Indigo and Aqua
author: Dan Cabral

Sta Rita Island Beach Resort

Sta Rita Island Beach Resort
author: Lenareh

Anantara Dhigu Maldives

Anantara Dhigu Maldives
author: The Maldives

Aerial View of Riomaggiore

Waiting

Waiting
author: Terrance Lam

Boracay

Boracay
author: Daniel Go

Pigeons on the Beach

Pigeons on the Beach
author: Dexter Baldon

Six Palms

Jolly Beach Resort Antigua

Jolly Beach Resort Antigua
author: David Pollitt

Bentota Beach Hotel Sri Lanka

Beach Resort

Bali Resort

Bali Resort
author: alexhepburn

Coral Garden

***

Truly Maldives

Truly Maldives
author: Smokegreen

Komandoo Island, Maldives

Komandoo Island, Maldives
author: Tibor Mester

Paradise @ Sancho

Barbados Beach

Barbados Beach
author: p0p0c4t3p3t3l

Paradise

Paradise
author: André Landin

Tallows Beach, Byron Bay

Tallows Beach, Byron Bay
author: Kim Fong

Bora Bora – Tahiti

Bora Bora - Tahiti
author: Nanah66

Tahiti

Pearl Resort, Moorea, Tahiti

Pearl Resort, Moorea, Tahiti
author: Mark Watts

November-Daydream

November-Daydream
author: Klaus Wiese

Seychelles Islands

Seychelles Islands
author: Nanah66

The Emerald

The Emerald
author: Nanah66

Imbricated Turtle in Desroches Island

Intendance

Intendance
author: Viktoria-a

The Beach

The Beach
author: Viktoria-a

Baie Lazare

Baie Lazare
author: Viktoria-a

Four Rocks

Four Rocks
author: Juan F Ribas

Somewhere at Ibiza

Ibiza’s Spring

Ibiza Spring
author: eswendel

Whitehaven Beach 1

Whitehaven Beach 1
author: jdurbin

Purity

Purity
author: Jason Round

Whitehaven Beach

The Recipe

The Recipe
author: Jeff Jacobson

Tulum Dream

Tulum Dream
author: joseluisrg

Fraser Island

Fraser Island
author: Mike Hince

Datai Beach

Datai Beach
author: Jansen Tang

Haena Surf – Kauai

Haena Surf - Kauai
author: Patrick Smith

Napali Coast

Napali Coast
author: Dain Blair

Maya Bay – Koh Phi Phi

Sunset at Turimetta Beach

Sunset at Turimetta Beach
author: yury
Author: Giulia

World’s Best Places to Visit

 

Sometimes, when the travel bug strikes, the only cure is to pack your bags and go. But where to? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite spots from across the globe. Our list includes the most popular places and we’re adding new destinations all the time, so don’t worry if your favorite spot didn’t make the cut. Check back soon to see if your dream vacation makes the list.

 

 

 

Why go: Year after year, the magnetic City of Lights draws new travelers to its Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre Dame — but Paris also keeps experienced travelers coming back for more. See, there’s always a new Michelin-rated restaurant to try, a new exhibit to see at the Centre Pompidou or a new shop in which to swipe your credit card. And we can’t discount Paris’ je ne sais quoi charm that’s unexplainable but also unmistakeable.

#2

Why go: Known around the world for its legendary fútbol team, Barcelona boasts much more than just athletic talent. Touring the city is a feast for the eyes: Visitors walk past medieval architecture in the Barri Gotic and the innovative creations of Gaudi in Parc Guell. Matching Paris’ Notre Dame with its own Sagrada Familia, Barcelona puts itself near the top of this list with a fun-loving spirit and creative ambition.

#3

Why go: The United Kingdom’s capital city is a world unto itself. With eclectic neighborhoods and numerous landmarks, London requires several days (if not years) to get to know. That said, your inaugural visit (as you will certainly be coming back for more) should include trips to the Tower of London, the National Gallery, and the British Museum. But if you have more time, hit up Portobello Road and Borough Market to appreciate the local culture.

#4

Why go: Relaxed yet professional, classic yet innovative — San Francisco takes its paradoxical qualities in stride, boasting diverse cultural enclaves. Neighborhoods like Nob Hill, the Castro and the Mission District offer unique experiences for every traveler. Yet, there are several monuments that you can’t miss, such as the cable cars, Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz. And, of course, the city’s crowning architectural achievement — the Golden Gate Bridge — is unmistakable.

#5

Why go: Author Ayn Rand once wrote, “I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline.” While many disagree with her politics, her sentiment for the Big Apple is widely shared. America’s most populous city hosts infinite urban adventures. Enjoy an afternoon in Central Park or visit the exhibits at the MoMa or the Met. While new sites, like the National September 11 Memorial, are always popping up, the classics, like the Empire State Building, never get old.

#6

Why go: Of all the Hawaiian Islands, Maui might be the most beloved. The island encapsulates all that Hawaii has to offer: exotic beaches (like Kaihalulu), palatial resorts (like the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea) and lush terrain (as seen in the Iao Valley State Park). Maui can also cater to a range of budgets — the same cannot be said for some of its sister islands, like neighboring Lanai. Visitors regularly return to the mainland singing praise for Maui, but the smart few just put down new roots and pick up a Mai Tai.

#7

Why go: Here, it’s as if Paris migrated to North America. Montreal boasts elements of French culture with a friendly Canadian feel. Travelers adore the quaint cafés, bustling marketplaces and old-world architecture that characterize Montreal. To truly appreciate the city’s majesty, visit St. Joseph’s Oratory, next to Mont-Royal. This immense basilica crowns the skyline and provides an ideal vantage point.

#8

Why go: While it may not be as grand as New York City or as historic as Montreal, why Vancouver caught the attention of the International Olympic Committee is no mystery. This coastal Canadian city boasts a vast amount of outdoor activities that beckon to adrenaline hounds. Kayak in English Bay or test gravity on the Capilano Suspension Bridge before enjoying a scrumptious meal in the second-largest Chinatown in North America.

#9

Why go: Whether they’re swimming in Lake Zurich in the summer or skiing down the nearby Alps in the winter, travelers find delight in Zurich. Delectable pastry shops abound, as do museums and historic churches. Excellent shops reside in upscale Bahnofstrasse and more affordable Niederdorf. For fun, locals and travelers alike hit up the bars and clubs of edgy Zurich West.

#10

Why go: Renowned for the Edinburgh Festival in August, this Scottish city entertains guests year round. Set among steep hills like Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh impresses visitors with its historic sites along the Royal Mile and its casual pub culture. While you’re here, don’t miss Edinburgh Castle or Holyroodhouse Palace for a glimpse of the royal lifestyle.

#11

Why go: Pick a vacation experience you’re looking for, and Puerto Rico can oblige. An old town with historic architecture and cobblestone streets? Look no further than Old San Juan and it’s El Morro fortress. A beachside getaway with stunning vistas and miles of soft, white sand? Consider the bioluminescent bays of Culebra and Vieques. A cosmopolitan destination with high-end shopping and exciting nightlife? Head to the Isla Verde or Santurce neighborhoods of San Juan.

#12

Why go: The U.S. Virgin Islands offers a taste of home (non-roaming cell phones, U.S. dollars, and no language barrier), as well as a varied international vacation (lively Carnival season, reggae music  and clear Caribbean waters). For the best deals and weather, consider visiting in late spring or early summer.

#13

Why go: One of the most visited cities in the U.S., the country’s capital is filled with a huge number of postcard-worthy monuments and buildings. The White House and the Lincoln Memorial are here, as well as a variety of eclectic and walkable neighborhoods. Those on a budget will especially enjoy themselves here since the noteworthy Smithsonian museums are free.

#14

Why go: Budapest is sure to be a highlight of any trip to Central/Eastern Europe. The city has a lot to offer all types of travelers with all ranges of budgets. And Budapest will keep you occupied with its thermal baths, mellow coffeehouses, ridiculous nightlife and pretty much whatever else you can think of.

#15

Why go: Over the past decade or two, Prague has transitioned from a backpacker secret to the unquestioned tourist capital of Central/Eastern Europe. With well-preserved sites, such as the Charles Bridge and St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague retains its gothic mystique. You can spend the days taking in the architecture and the evenings enjoying local pilsners on a never-ending bar crawl.

#16

Why go: If you have to choose one island to visit in Greece, it’s easy to make a case for Crete. Its diverse landscape features everything from anicent ruins to gorgeous beaches, and you can spend a day doing anything from shopping in Agios Nikolaos to hiking the Samaria Gorge.

#17

Why go: If you’re looking for gorgeous weather year round and parties set against beautiful backdrops, look no further than Miami Beach. This Floridian city bursts with colors, crazy nightlife, an amazing coastline and intriguing Art Deco architecture. Head to South Beach’s Ocean Drive to reach the heart of the action.

#18

Why go: If you want a laidback, family-friendly vacation, San Diego should be a top contender. Here, you can sunbathe on Mission Beach, engage in some retail therapy in the Gaslamp Quarter, hike through Torrey Pines State Reserve or the San Diego Zoo, and dine at the historic Hotel del Coronado. There’s plenty to keep you busy, but the Southern California ambiance keeps the pace of life at a comfortable level.

#19

Why go: The Bahamas has so many islands that it’s hard to mash them all into one recommendation, compared to our other destinations. But that’s also part of their appeal. Airfare and hotel rates are generally modest year-round in the Bahamas, but you’ll get the best deals and have less crowds if you plan your visit for the summer or early fall. But take note: These islands’ atmosphere and activities largely cater to tourists, and you’ll be hard pressed to find an authentic Bahamian vibe during your getaway.

#20

Why go: Puerto Vallarta stands out for its outstanding cuisine, eclectic bars and clubs and breathtaking landscape. You could spend just a day exploring the cobblestone streets and art-laden Malecón (or boardwalk) of Zona Centro, or extend your trip for a few more days to try out the nightclubs and European cafés of the downtown area, as well as the hiking in the nearby Sierra Madre Mountains.

#21

Why go: You don’t need to be on a cruise vacation to experience two Caribbean countries for the expense of one. This dual-governed island nation offers chic dining and dazzling stretches of sand on the French side of Saint Martin, and animated nightlife, buzzing casinos, and some of the best duty-free shopping of the Caribbean in Dutch Sint Maarten. Consider visiting in late spring to cash in on the not-too hot weather and discounted hotel rates.

#22

Why go: Limestone-carved Aruba will appeal to the adventure junkie better than any of our best destinations. Dive into the depths of Hadicurari Beach to explore the island’s many shipwrecks, avoid the Aruban rattlesnake on an ATV tour of the Arikok National Park, or party hearty until the wee hours on a booze cruise. But you should be prepared to pay for the adrenaline rush, as Aruba is also one of the pricier vacations on our list.

#23

Why go: This notorious hedonist destination offers visitors every opportunity to make it or break it. Colossal casinos, like the Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace, beckon to travelers with neon light, fascinating shows and, of course, sprawling casino floors. But these mega-resorts offer guests more than just slot machines and drink. Spas, pools, luxury hotel rooms, elite clubs and exotic restaurants are now part of the allure.

#24

Why go: The City of Angels, La La Land, the Entertainment Capital of the World — Los Angeles needs no introduction. But its notoriety both help and hurt its reputation. The traffic on the “101” will tire you out just as much as an evening at a lively West Hollywood club. And your disgust at the thick smog over the city will negate your enjoyment of a sunset overlooking Santa Monica Beach. To appreciate Los Angeles, visit the area more than once and get advice from locals.

#25

Why go: When it comes to the best of the best, size doesn’t matter. Austin may be small compared to other capital cities, but its personality is overwhelmingly large, with citizens holding fast to the city’s mantra, “Keep Austin Weird.” Although home to vast green spaces, funky boutiques and cozy coffee shops, Austin really comes to life at night; the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World” boasts numerous live music venues and one of the largest music festivals in the U.S.

Also Consider…
Beijing

Why Go: With the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing officially debuted on the global stage and is quickly outshining its more modern brethren — Hong Kong and Shanghai — as a tourist destination. The city boasts world-class attractions, like the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, that showcase country’s past and present. Plus, the jaw-dropping Great Wall of China stands just north of the city, making Beijing a world-traveler must.

Sydney

Why Go: Sydney has more than just an opera house. At the sight of this famous white structure, outsiders quickly forget all the attractions of this world-class metropolis. You’ll find the bustling Sydney Fish Market and the striking Sydney Harbour Bridge, which stretches high above sailboats and azure waters. Plus, there are numerous beaches (Coogee and Bondi for starters) that draw locals and tourists alike. Also, in its rivalry with Melbourne, Sydney wins the weather battle with its warm, sunny climate.

Rio de Janeiro

Why Go: With its sun-drenched beaches and soothing samba rhythms, Rio jockeys with Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo as South America’s hottest destination — and not just with its temperatures. The famous Christ the Redeemer statue presides over Copacabana Beach and Lapa, a vibrant neighborhood. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more riotously fun event than Rio’s Carnival.

Tel Aviv

Why Go: While Jerusalem may be the old city, Tel Aviv is the trendy new one. Sitting along the Mediterranean, Tel Aviv boasts a broad, sun-drenched shoreline that lures both locals and travelers. And once the sun goes down, a pulsating nightlife erupts across the city. Foreign visitors savor the mouth-watering cuisine found at intimate eateries or street carts. Take your time with this metropolis: There’s a lot to surprise you.

US NEWS

 

Paris in Spring

Paris in spring:

Paris is popular year-round, as mentioned in my post “Paris the City of Love”, there is a low season as far as prices goes. In November you will find a lot of good bargains in Hotels and flights, you will find special discount on almost everything. So you’re more likely to save money on your Paris airfare by traveling in late summer and autumn.

Spring Weather in Paris

Paris in spring is a delight. After a few months of cold, and a little rain, the sight of new flowers and more consistent sunlight is always welcome – to Parisians and tourists.

canal-st-martin-spring1There is a chance of getting rain in early spring. But the average temperatures climb noticeably from February into March. The nights are still cool, so bringing warm clothes is good policy. Pay attention to current Paris weather forecasts as you’re coming up to your trip, as much of Europe has been experiencing unseasonably warm weather in the Spring in the last few years.

 

imagesGetting around Paris

France has a terrific rail network that reaches almost every part of the country. If you would prefer to navigate around Paris and France by bus, inter-regional bus services are limited but buses are used extensively for short distance travel within regions.

Having your own vehicle can be expensive and is inconvenient in city centers where parking and traffic is problematic. Renting a car is expensive if you book on the spot but pre-booked and prepaid promotional rates are reasonable.

marais-paris-shoppingThe Paris Metro or Metropolitan (French: Métro de Paris) is the rapid transit metro system in Paris. It has 16 lines, mostly underground, there are 300 stations. Since some are served by several lines, there are 384 stops in total.

Paris has one of the densest metro networks in the world, with 245 stations within 86.9 km2 of the City of Paris. Lines are numbered 1 to 14, with two minor lines, 3bis and 7bis. The minor lines were originally part of lines 3 and 7 but became independent.
Lines are identified on maps by number and color. Direction of travel is indicated by the destination terminus.

images-2

Paris is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow It carries 4.5 million passengers a day, and an annual total of 1.388 billion (2007). Chatlet-Les Halles, with 5 Metro lines and three RER commuter rail lines.
The Paris subway system is the second oldest in the world

2000047-460x686Why Paris in Spring?
I loved this poem by Sara Teasdale

Paris in Spring

Oh it’s Paris, it’s Paris,
And spring-time has begun.

I know the Bois is twinkling
In a sort of hazy sheen,
And down the Champs the gray old arch
Stands cold and still between.
But the walk is flecked with sunlight
Where the great acacias lean,
Oh it’s Paris, it’s Paris,
And the leaves are growing green.

The sun’s gone in, the sparkle’s dead,
There falls a dash of rain,
But who would care when such an air
Comes blowing up the Seine?
And still Ninette sits sewing
Beside her window-pane,
When it’s Paris, it’s Paris,
And spring-time’s come again.

Sara Teasdale

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