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Showing posts from August, 2012

Rapa Nui - Pacific Ocean

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Rapa Nui Island In the middle of the Pacific Ocean lies the island of Rapa Nui –  better known in the West as Easter Island. Rapa Nui has a remarkable collection of giant stone statues called “Moai” - which are found nowhere else on earth - one of the key reasons for it's UNESCO status .  For anyone interested in archaeology, geology or photography this place is spectacular. You can pick up a connecting flight from Tahiti, Chile or Peru – and there are currently about 10 arriving on the island.  Moai Statues The Moai statues have always created controversy and debate. It’s unclear to westerners what they signify and how these giant pieces moved across the island.   Genetic research has established that the carvings were created by Polynesians, but it is still unclear how these enormous pieces were moved to their current site – some of them weigh up to 80 tons! The stone would have been quarried on the island, but the final product was moved to the coastline (wit

Hot Spas And Hot Springs In Bali

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When you picture paradise, you might close your eyes and see palm trees gently rustling in a humid breeze, pristine beaches peppered with prostrate bodies and lush, exotic flowers blooming at every turn, set against a dramatic volcanic landscape. For sure, that’s Bali, part of the island archipelago that forms the nation of Indonesia. In fact, Bali is starting to become synonymous with the idea of paradise. Part of the reason for that – aside from the splendor of the surroundings, the friendliness of the locals and the laid-back lifestyle, of course – is the Balinese near-obsession with pampering the body, and so by extension, the mind and the soul as well. Bali has become renowned for its variety of spas and spa treatments, which range from beachside massages to upscale, body treatments. Incredibly, you can expect to pay as little as half the cost in a local business for the same services at your home spa – or even less (a two-hour massage with a yogurt body mask and scrub for $

The Best Festivals In Miami

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Millions of tourists find their way to Miami to enjoy the amazing weather, beautiful beaches and exquisite cui-sine (have you ever heard of “Florribean?”) These are all valid reasons, but look just beneath the surface and you'll discover there's more to Miami than the beautiful people and expensive real estate. The city's spectacular ethnic diversity has created an atmosphere of excitement and is celebrated throughout the year in a variety of festivals. When looking for things to do in Miami , plan your next vacation around any of Miami's best festivals. Art Deco Festival  The Art Deco style had a major influence on Miami's architecture, so it's only fitting this diverse city would de-vote an entire weekend to celebrating this eclectic design aesthetic. During this festival, a large portion of South Beach is transformed into a 1920s-era party, complete with jazz music, antique cars, street dances and live performances. The highlight of the festival is the p

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland

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Many know of the Seven Wonders of the World, but National G eographic decided to make a list of 25 world wonders. One of these is the famous Blue Lagoon in Iceland. It is somewhat amazing that this world wonder did not even exist fifty years ago. In fact it was not until the 1980s that people began using this area to bath in, rubbing the silica mud found here on their skin. People with psoriasis noticed improvement in their condition after bathing here. Now it is open to the public to enjoy the waters, there are treatment centers for psoriasis patients, massage and spa services, and a skin care line. The extensive list of services available at the Blue Lagoon does not fully explain why it was named a world wonder by National Geographic . The Blue Lagoon is located between the Keflavik Airport and the capital city of Reykjavik. It is a geothermal spa that resulted due to the neighboring Svartsengi geothermal power plant. This explains why it is relatively new in terms of existe

Cusco and Mancu Picu In Peru

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A Blend of Two Fascinating Cultures Anyone that has considered traveling to Peru has probably done so because they wanted to see Machu Picchu. Considered one of the wonders of the ancient world, Machu Picchu offers the breathtaking experience of exploring ancient ruins built atop a mountain ridge in the Andes Mountains of southern Peru. Most of us have seen pictures of Machu Picchu but, as beautiful as the pictures are, they do not compare to being there in person. But that is not much of a secret - thousands of tourists visit the ruins each year. What many of these tourists are missing out on, however, is another remarkable experience, located just 50 miles away. Cusco Peru - Part Of The Inca Empire Cusco, Peru was the capital of the ancient Inca Empire until European conquests disrupted the ancient kingdom. The city stands today as a fascinating blend of cultures, clearly representing the ancient Incan culture but with a heavy European influence.  Cusco is studded with a n

Lesser Known Facts About Greek Tourism

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Five Facts About the Greek Tourist Industry This article lists the top five lesser-known and quirky facts about the Greek tourism industry. Much is known and assumed about the tourism in Greece; however, these facts will surprise many. Mass Tourism Was Late While Greece is appreciated as a hotspot in terms of modern day “mass tourism,” it is not widely known that it was a popular tourist resort thousands of years earlier. When Greece was once a part of the Roman Empire, there was a huge sharing of beliefs and cultural values that occurred between the Ancient Romans and Ancient Greece. This saw the first real tourism in the modern world, with many Romans travelling to Greece, and particularly Athens, in order to sample the civilisation and culture they had heard about from returning soldiers. Surprisingly Popular If you were to sit down and think of the most popular resort in Greece, you would probably be quick to say Athens or one of the Greek islands, perhaps Rhodes or Cret

Volunteering Overseas

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Most Fun Places to Go Volunteering abroad is a fantastic way of travelling. You can combine your passion for seeing new things, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures with doing some real good in the world. Most guides for wannabe overseas volunteers will talk about visas, arranging accommodation and where volunteers are most in demand, but here we take a different approach: where are the best and most fun places in the world to be an overseas volunteer? Doing important work in developing countries is a great thing to do, but you need to have fun too, otherwise the experience won’t be as good as you’d hoped. Hopefully we can give you some ideas for organising your placement volunteering abroad! Volunteer in Nepal Nepal is a fantastic place to work, live and travel and, of course, to be a volunteer! The amazing atmosphere of the country, both spiritually and socially make this a wonderful place to spend time. And the sheer volume of schemes available for

Extraordinary Athens

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The Ancient Wonder If the city of Athens is like a siren calling to the Odysseus in you, you aren’t alone. It has for centuries stood as a symbol for the best in literature, art, philosophy and political thought. The Western world would not be what it is today if not for the people and culture of Athens, some thousands of years ago. Today, it is a thriving metropolis with 3.7 million inhabitants, making it the largest city in Greece, as well as its capitol. Yet Athens still pulses with the heartbeat of times long ago; for example, when the city went underground to develop a metro system for the 2004 Summer Olympics, even more centuries-old foundations were discovered, which today reside behind nonchalant glass walls, as if to say, “Ancient ruins…so what else is new?” Its many attractions draw thousands of visitors a year to plan their vacations in Athens . There are major high spots that most schoolchildren would recognize, as well as lesser-known gems worth discovering. Athens is a

Summer 2012 in London

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Traveller’s Guide You might not have noticed, but London is set to be a fairly busy place this summer, with the small matter of the Olympic Games coming to town. It’s set to be a showcase of everything British, cultures from all over the world to celebrate sporting achievement and more tourists than ever are expected to descend on the British capital anytime now! It’s a great time to be in London with everything that’s going on, so here are a few ideas about what you could get up to in London this summer. If you aren’t lucky enough to have tickets to the Games, don’t despair, there will still be something you can get up to! Free Events Across The Capital This summer there are a huge number of great free things to do in the city. Firstly, giant screens are being put up in every park and open public space you can imagine, so that we can all enjoy watching the Olympics even if we don’t have tickets to a stadium event. The atmosphere will be great here, so grab a couple of beers an