VISITING THE ANCIENT CITY – PETRA

My trip to Petra turned out to be shorter than I planned, but a fantastic experience. No surprise that Petra was named “one of the greatest wonders ever wrought by Nature and Man!” I was completely possessed by Petra’s beauty.

 

Petra is a unique city, carved into the sheer rock face by the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled there more than 2000 years ago, turning it into an important junction for the silk, spice and other trade routes that linked China, India and southern Arabia with Egypt, Syria, Greece and Rome. Petra is also sometimes called as the ‘lost city’, as it was completely lost to the western world, in spite of being such an important city in ancient times.

 

Petra lies on the slope of Mount Hor in a basin among the mountains that form the eastern flank of Aravah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.

 

We had planned a hike to the Monastery, one of the major buildings in Petra for the day. It was truly spectacular, much larger than the Treasury and well preserved, because of the walls on both side and a facing mountain protected it from the wind. In front of the Monastery was a restaurant with shade where we stopped for a break.

 

Then the next day we planned to visit the Treasury. Wow, I am still just a little amazed as I write this. You walk down a gravel slope, where guides are trying to sell you a mule or carriage ride in. Nope, we preferred walking. Then you pass the start of this amazing society – there are caves, tombs, and funeral blocks along the pathway, where I believe the poorer members of the culture were buried. There were some carvings along the wall, and limestone blocks that supposedly were part of the initial road. Then, you see the glimpse of the treasury – a little bit of a pink structure peaking in through the shadowed Siq walls. This was an incredible experience.

 

Diving in the spectacular Red Sea, jeep safari driving in the desert, absorbing the enchanting Petra and floating in the Dead Sea, amazing sights, surprises and barbecues in a cave, hiking in Dana Biosphere Reserve, everything… Everything is so perfect there. It was a lot more challenging than I expected. I am extremely happy, proud and humbled by the entire experience.

The best things to do in Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the best countries in Africa and that is why it attracts hoards of tourists year after year. The country is situated in East Africa, it has been blesses with some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet and has something for every holiday and every interest. If you haven’t been there yet it’s time to start thinking about it right now!

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Deciding to go is the easy part, the difficult part is figuring out what it is that you will do when you get there because there is just so much to see and do! Here are my 3 things that you shouldn’t miss, if you’re heading to Tanzania then do at least one of them and I promise you will not be disappointed. Have you been to Tanzania before? If you have I would love to hear about your experiences and places that you think a re a ‘must see’, all you have to do is put your thoughts in the comment section below this post. I love to read about your travels and it’s also a great way for us, as a travel community, to share ideas with others.

So here’s my list of 3 TOP places not to be missed in Tanzania:

A visit to Mount Kilimanjaro

When people think of Tanzania one of the first thing that enters their mind is Mount Kilimanjaro, this iconic symbol of Tanzania is a must see for everyone! You can do do many things here, either climb the dizzy heights or marvel at it’s beauty from the national park whilst you watch the wildlife roam free. It’s the tallest mountain in Africa and a site that knocks everyone for six when they first lay eyes on it.

Take the dive on Mafia Island

If a place is thought to be the best diving location in Africa then you know it’s going to be a knockout! You’ve all heard of the Spice Islands I’m sure, well, Mafia Island is probably the most stunning of them all. I think those last two sentences really tell you who amazing this place is! If you want to have a holiday in a location blessed with crystal clear water, white sandy beaches and stunning marine life then go here now!

Take a safari

Yes, you have to do it! Yes, everyone does it! But guys, there’s a reason everyone does it and that is because it’s one of the best experiences you will ever have! You can’t go all the way to Africa and not go on a Safari, it just wouldn’t be right. With the amazing national parks in Tanzania you are never short of options. If you want to see elephants, lions, rhinos and buffalos in their natural habit then book one straight away – hands down one of the best things I have ever done!

Monteverde Cloud Forest: a highlight of Costa Rica

Costa Rica should be at the top of must-visit lists of those of you who are interested in flora and fauna. While the Central American country takes up just 0.03 per cent of the world’s surface, it’s home to five per cent of the planet’s biodiversity. The Monteverde Cloud Forest is a good place to begin your adventure tour around Costa Rica, especially if you want to see flora and fauna.

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Straddling the Continental Divide, the cloud forest lies at 4,662 ft above sea level, with this high altitude meaning its biodiversity is even more impressive than what a rainforest offers. I think the fact it has around 400 species of bird, 100 types of mammal, 2,500 plant varieties and 30 types of hummingbirds alone speaks for itself, and you’re bound to spot an array of creatures when you explore Monteverde Cloud Forest.

One of the most unique ways to get a fantastic view of the flora and fauna is to go on a zip-line canopy tour. It’s exactly as it sounds – you’ll whizz by the tops of the trees of the cloud forest on a zip wire. This is certainly an activity with a difference and one you’re bound to still talk about when you land back at home.

I’d advise you to keep your eyes peeled for the Resplendent Quetzal. If you don’t know what one of these is, it’s basically a colourful bird that lives in the Monteverde Cloud Forest and is a stunning green, white and red. It’s one of the most popular and famous creatures that lives here, so perhaps start a competition with your fellow travellers as to who can spot one first!

If you’d prefer your feet to be firmly on the ground, there are lots of hiking trails you can follow on your quest to soak up the stunning scenery and spot as many animals as possible. The Cloud Forest Trail – also known as Sendero Bosque Nuboso – spans 1.2 miles and, with an elevation of around 213 ft, should take you approximately 1.5 hours to finish. Strangler fig plants can be seen along the way, so make sure you take time to stop and admire them.

Another route that covers a similar distance is the River Trail, and if you choose to follow this you will walk along the Quebrada Cuecha. However, I’d strongly recommend you take a slight detour off the main track along the short side trail that leads you to a stunning waterfall. As well as gazing at the cascading water, you can also see a number of zapote trees.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when hiking around Monteverde Cloud Forest, but I don’t think you’ll have any trouble sticking to these rules. You cannot collect any animals or plants you come across – not that these would fare very well in your backpack even if you tried! Smoking is also forbidden, and you mustn’t leave the signposted trails. Flash photography is also not allowed, but these regulations are easy to follow and designed with the protection of the fragile biodiversity in mind.

The Sky Walk should also be on your itinerary, especially if you decide against the zip wire. This tour sees you exploring all of Monteverde’s suspended bridges, providing you with brilliant views of the canopy. You don’t need to be super fit to complete this experience, either, making it suitable for backpackers of various abilities.

 

Things that you can’t miss in Barcelona

I have been fortunate enough to visit Barcelona on several occasions, it’s such a magical place I just can’t get enough of it! Not only is the weather great, food delicious and people friendly but it also has so many things to see and do there. It really is very difficult to get bored in Barcelona.

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The first thing that you have to do is sort out your travel and accommodation, you can find some great deals out there for flight if you look hard enough. For accommodation the good news is that HCC Open in Barcelona you will be able to find some amazing hotels at great rates, it’s such a great site and it offers all of us some affordable accommodation in one of the world’s best cities. So once you’ve got your travel and bed sorted it’s time to plan what you are going to see and do!

Here are my two favourite things to do in Barcelona, I know they may not be the most ‘touristy’ things in the world but trust me when I say that they are definitely worth doing!

Hit the beach

That’s right! It might be a city but there are some fantastic beaches just waiting for you to relax on. So grab a beer, pack a picnic and head to the beck for a day of lazing around and doing very very little! Barceloneta is probably the most popular beach in town, it can get crowded so head there early. You can sip on Mojitos, dance to the loud reggae music that is being pumped out and admire the beautiful people of Barcelona strut their stuff.

Head for the roof

You cannot go to Barcelona and not check out one of the rooftops, of which there are many, that will give you amazing views of the city. You can usually find them on top of some of the most luxurious hotels. Now, they do like to try and keep the bars only for their guests but if you’re nice enough and dressed well then you won’t have any issue at all. If you’re with a big group of guys or are a little loud then I am sorry but you have no chance at all! These rooftops are there to relax, watch the sunset and marvel at Barcelona in all its glory.

Best Places to Visit in Israel

Israel is one of the most culturally and historically rich places in the world, a fascinating destination to visit on your holiday. It’s a perfect destination for anyone interested in a variety of cultural and adventurous activities on their trip. With so many incredible things to see and do here, it can be hard to choose how to spend your days here, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the places you absolutely can’t miss!

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Jerusalem

While you’re in Israel, you cannot miss the chance to visit one of the most sacred cities in the world to three different major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Marvel at the ancient sites here encircled by stone walls that will bring you back to biblical times. The ancient holy relics here include the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall.

The Dead Sea

The lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea is so salty that nothing can live here, at 10 times saltier than the ocean! Go for a swim in the Dead Sea and see how you can float effortlessly here. The water is so mineral-rich that it’s great for your skin, but watch out for getting the salty water in your eyes!

Tel Aviv

For a modern city experience, Tel Aviv is the place to visit in Israel. It’s the country’s cultural and commercial center with everything from buzzing nightlife to museums, international restaurants, beaches and so much more. It’s an exciting city with so much to offer so make sure to give yourself a few days to explore!

Eilat

This seaside resort town on the Red Sea is an absolute must-visit for anyone looking for a great summer holiday on the water. You can participate in all sorts of activities here like snorkeling, scuba diving, and even swimming with dolphins. Eilat hotels in Israel are luxurious and will help create a perfect experience for your holiday. Enjoy world-class dining and spa treatments while gazing out over the gorgeous scenery and beaches.

Masada

In the southeast of Israel stands this majestic mountain fortress overlooking the famous Dead Sea. It’s got a fascinating history which you can learn when you visit, and find some unforgettable photo opportunities here as well. Walk up the Snake Path to visit the fortress for an adventurous and scenic hike.

6 Reasons Why You Should Immigrate To Canada

Ever since 1994, Canada has topped the list of best countries in the world to live in! Cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary were voted 3rd, 4th and 5th best to live in by the Economist Intelligence Units report in 2012.

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It’s rumoured that about 250,000 people per year are moving to Canada in search of a better life.

Why move to Canada you may say? Well here are a few reasons:

1. Voted the best country to live in, as stated above.

2. It has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, with the average expectancy of 79 years.

3. Canada has one of the cleanest environments on the planet. This is a pretty amazing fact, considering it is the second largest country in the world and has a population of over 30 million. Some of the purest water, natural resources and air in the world can be found there.

4. It’s health care system is without a doubt one of the best. A monthly fee will allow all Canadians to have access to the best medical care possible. Permanent residents will also have this option.

5. Canada has an amazing educational system that is free until 12th grade.

6. Cultural diversity in Canada is like no other country on earth. The country embraces people of all nationalities to come a live there. Because of this, it has a very multicultural society in which Canadians are very proud of.

This has meant that there are equal business, political and academic opportunities for anyone that has a permanent residency there.

Asians have played a massive role in developing and shaping Canada over the years. They have actually been established there for more than 100 years. Outside of Asia, two of the largest Asian communities can be found in Toronto and Vancouver. It’s very common to spot plenty of Chinese newspapers as well as Chinese television channels there.

With the recession not letting go of it’s stranglehold for the majority of countries around the world, more and more families are uprooting and setting sail for Canada.

In countries like Ireland, the focus is slightly shifting away from immigrating to Australian, and more so towards Canada.

To sum up, if you want to live in arguably the best country in the world for a variety of reasons, then Canada is the best option for you and your families future.

Gambling through Paddy Power Mobile Casino

Playing cards and table games is more than just a means of earning a little money on the side. It is a hobby. Most people play these games to unwind and relax after a busy day at work or after a long, hard meeting. By playing these games, they get to think of other things other than work and responsibilities. This way, when they go back to work, their minds are completely rested and they can concentrate and work properly. Other people use them as pass time activities. You know, instead of watching TV to pass time, they pay card and table games. It helps keep the brain active thus making those fast thinkers as opposed to staring at a TVInitially, people used to go to casinos to play these games. Alternatively, one would buy the game and play it in their houses. The only problem with this is that you would have to call your friends over just so you can play. With the development of technology, most casino owners have come up with online branches of their casinos.

This allows lovers of the games they offer to play at the time of their convenience. They can play from anywhere; bathroom, work at the beach?. The beauty of these online games is that you do not have to move an inch to enjoy your favorite game; all you have to do is connect to the internet.

It gets better. Paddy power casino has a mobile version of their casinos; paddy power mobile casino. Thus gives you the pleasures of card and table games from your mobile phone. You do not have to have a computer to enjoy your games. The software for this game is small enough to be downloaded to your phone without worrying about the phone slowing down. It is easy to use and the games are much more fun. It has a large variety of games and all of them have bonuses. The beauty of playing these games via mobile is that the payment mode is very simple; they use credit cards, debit cards, master cards, PayPal among others. This makes it easy for you since you have the chance to choose the mode that suits you best.

By playing your games at paddy power mobile casino, you are able to play your games without attracting outside attention to yourself. Playing card and table games just got easier. Play card and table games on the move with Paddy Power mobile casino, you will never want to stop.

Top 5 Attractions in Atlantic City

Atlantic City is a great travel destination. Besides being the ultimate casino and hotel destination on the east coast, the shore has many other entertainment and leisure activities.

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Hotel casino and resorts

Atlantic City is home to some of the most famous hotels and resort names, such as the Golden Nugget and Harrah’s Resort. These resorts have marvelous casinos, making Atlantic City the ultimate casino destination, on the East Coast. These resorts are known for wonderful hospitality.

1. Golden Nugget

Try out the Golden Nugget, known for its stunning suites. The Golden Nugget also has five distinguished restaurants. Cuisine ranges from traditional American fare to Italian cuisine. There is also the 24-hour operational Bean & Bread shop packed with scrumptious snacks, brewed coffee, salads, bagels, pastries, and fresh fruit. Personally, my favorite attraction is the Farley State Marina and its water activities and traditional dock amenities, 630 floating ships, and access to the pool and bar. Finally, end your day by attending a live show at one of two entertainment venues, The Grand or The Showroom.

2. Harrah’s

Harrah’s is known for some unique activities. I enjoyed taking a cooking at the Viking Cooking School. It was great to take a break from lounging around the hotel and learn something new! The Viking Cooking School combines hands-on teaching with a “gourmet toy store” filled with fine culinary tools. You can attend a class alone or with some friends. You can also shop for cookware and cutlery at the retail store, and enjoy 25 wines all under $25. Then head down to the pool for some relaxation. On Thursday the pool hosts the Thursday Night Swim which runs from 18:00 till midnight. I recommend you grab a bite to eat that pool bar, because they have delicious snacks and meals. If you want to get into shape, attend an Aquatic Aerobics class. If a trip to Atlantic City is not in your budget at the moment, you can gamble online. New players receive a first deposit bonus at Euro Palace Casino.

Atlantic City Boardwalk

The Atlantic City Boardwalk is a 4 mile long seaside promenade. It was the first boardwalk to be built in the United States and it was opened in 1870. In 2012 the northern part of the Boardwalk fronting Absecon Inlet was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Some famous shopping destinations are located in this vicinity, including The Pier Shops at Caesars.

Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum

I was eager to visit the museum that inspired the hit TV show. The Museum consists of 14 galleries and 12 000 square feet of exhibit collected by traveler Robert Ripley.

Atlantic City Nightlife

Atlantic City is also famous for spectacular night time entertainment. From, stylish restaurants to trendy bars and Salsa dancing, the choice is endless! The Quarter at Tropicana Casino & Resort offers great night entertainment, including sports bars and live music. Also head down to one of the seasonal beach bars, such as the Beach Bar at Trump Plaza or Bally’s Atlantic City Bikini Beach Bar.

Cruises

Atlantic City has daily sightseeing cruises. I think this is a different and fun way to do some sightseeing. There are different cruises to choose from, including the dolphin Watching Adventure, Happy Hour Cruises, and private parties.

Royal Vegas – The Top Down Under Online Casino

There are many choices you can make when deciding on an online casino, especially when you are traveling. One problem is whether the casino can be accessed from your location. From the available choices, you want to be sure that you have a high quality, dependable, and secure casino to play at. In that list will be Royal Vegas, one of the top online casinos Australia has to offer.

With a number of table games, slot machines, and one of the best and most exciting progressive play game rooms on the Internet, there is enough variety and excitement for any player anywhere around the world. But instead of a boring site that is just a copy of other online casinos, Royal Vegas offers weekly prize drawings where you can win everything from a iPod to a 7 day Caribbean cruise aboard a luxury liner. Even better than that is your chances for the best prize increase the more you play. That gives the player the opportunity to win in more than one way.

Royal Vegas has the expected new player and first time deposit bonuses, and a VIP Club for its loyal players. These are expected features in the best online casinos. What Royal Vegas beyond the expected is a licensed and regulated casino which uses one of the premier developers of online casino games – Microgaming. All of our games are guaranteed to be virus-free, adding to the level of safety and security provided to the players.

If you are ready to play immediately, you can start by using their Flash-based casino games. Simply open up an account, make your first deposit, and you are ready to play. But don’t forget to also collect your new player and first deposit bonus money. Whether you are using a mobile device or playing at home, the casino action and entertainment is waiting for you to enjoy. It is important to note that the progressive jackpot games are not available unless the player downloads the software on to their computer.

Choose Royal Vegas because it is the safest, most secure, and most exciting online casino. Not only do you get rewarded for simply playing and enjoying your stay, you also have the chance to win one of many great prizes. And you may find yourself traveling to a Caribbean port, or becoming a winner of many other prizes just by playing.

Best Things to Do in Cyprus

You might not find Cyprus at the top of more western Europe itineraries, and this is because it’s a destination a bit more off the beaten track. So for travelers looking for a unique experience, it’s the perfect place to visit. Cyprus is an island nation in the Mediterranean, a great stop if you’re already visiting Italy or Greece. But it offers its own unique flair, and is definitely worthy of more than just a few days stop-off if you have the time. With fascinating ruins, gorgeous coastlines and incredible food and wines, you’ll enjoy a luxurious vacation with plenty to see and do in Cyprus. The range of holidays available is nearly endless, so take advantage! Check out our list of things to do here:

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Gorgeous natural landscapes

Cyprus is one place that nature lovers will absolutely adore. Here you’ll find the Caledonia Falls located in the Troodos Mountains, a breathtaking waterfall that is best to visit in the springtime when the water runs the fullest. It’s a great visit for anyone who loves hiking and outdoor activities. For the more laid back types, chill out at Chrysochou Bay and gaze out at turquoise waters all day long. The beaches here have some great cafes and even a forest of eucalyptus trees right nearby.

Check out the sights

In Cyprus you’ll find not only stunning beaches and natural scenery, but an abundance of interesting cultural sites as well. Explore the ruins at Kourion and marvel at the ancient Roman stadium and the gladiator fights that once occured there. Experience the Temple of Apollo and even visit the houses where some of the gladiators lived. Then, go for an afternoon tour of the winery and brewery at Limossol. You can taste some great wines and brews on Cyprus and even see how they’re made here.

Eating and nightlife

Since Cyprus is right in the Mediterranean, you’ll have the chance to eat some incredible seafood here. Try moussake or meze, two local specialties with a Greek influence, at a beachside restaurant overlooking the water. You can sit on a terrace sipping wine and enjoying the local specialties while watching the sun set. Later, if you’re up for it, check out the night life in Agia Napa, which is laid back yet lively for a diverse crowd. It attracts many young people but is welcoming to all, and is also a place with some great beaches for the daytime.