A Unique Confluence of Natural Highs, Wild Cannabis, and Mind-blowing Adventures: Kullu Manali, Indi

India Unveiled: A warm up, a teaser following up to your adventure in Kullu ManaliIndia offers an alluring invitation for every traveler to indulge in its charming views of snow-clad Himalayas in North, swirling sands in Rajasthan play a charismatic veil of monuments and forts waiting to seduce a lonely traveler with their incredible beauty and artistry of bygone era, sandy dunes along the crystal clear waters of beaches in south provide an ultimate source of Vitamin SEA. And after you are finished up with your adventures in north set yourself free on a peaceful trail in a canoe moving swiftly on the pristine backwaters of Kerala.An Ultimate Adventurer’s Trove: Kullu ManaliBut if you are a crazy adventurer then please pack-up your adventure gear and board a bus plying to Kullu Manali in North India. Kullu Manali is a comfortable 10 hours journey from New Delhi. It is well connected to the rest of India with smooth National Highways; making the journey for travelers hassle free. These are the twinlet towns in the mesmerizing land of gods “Himachal Pardesh, India”.Manali, situated at an altitude of 6000 feet, is a renowned hill station in India. According to a fabled story, when whole world drowned in the catastrophic floods, arose a place of unparalleled natural beauty? It was Manali here the life prospered again.Manali offers a rare treat for your eyes as every shot of its natural beauty presents an ultimate picture. Miles away from those busy streets of city life, here’s a chance for you to walk through the narrow alleys in dense forests, exotic flowers and gurgling streams. Manali is also a vital transcending point for interesting trek routes to places like Rohtang Pass, Lahaul and Spiti.Hassle FreeManali seems to be a natural beauty embellished with all the sophistications of modern world. You can avail the rare comfort of venturing without a wallet, just use your plastic money at any of the nearest ATMs or swipe your credit card as all the leading stores, hotels and luxury resorts accept the VISA cards here. While loitering on the streets in Manali everything seems to be so spontaneous and hassle free, there’s no hiccups or hurdles getting anywhere around the town. It is well networked with the rest of region through its perennial flow of taxis, buses, and flights. Manali offers an exquisite claque of hotels and stays that blends both luxury and affordability for travelers. At high end, you can embrace the luxuries of a five star hotel, for shallow pockets there are much cheaper rooms available at a price of Rs 700 a night. The forest cottages provides a unique option for traveler’s looking to spend a night talking to stars in the piercing scents of deodar trees amd the prices also staggering low at Rs 1500 a night.In the Search for Peace and SolitudeYou can search for solitude in its tranquil forest resorts that offers complete seclusion from outer World. May be that’s the reason writer’s find a mystic solace in its mesmerizing deodar forests that ignites oodles of literary wonders. The towns nearby embraces a rich elegance in their laid back culture, these regions looms around a mysterious lifestyle, by living a self contented life totally unknown to the modern world’s. Just follow a lonely path through a forest near your resort and it will lead you to a quaint village, spend some time talking with local people and you will feel their intense warmth and gesture for outsiders. The people here treat their guest’s like gods.Kullu and CannabisKullu is well known for its temples, rich crafts, finely embossed shawls and cultural festivals that enliven the intense fervor of localites for their respected deities and age old customs. You can feel the chilling winds whistling across the vergant expanse of apple orchards and fruit gardens nearby. Kullu is also called “The Fruit Basket of North India” for its abundant produce of apple and plum. But one thing that adds an illicit profanity to Kullu is “Cannabis” or Charas. It’s easy and it’s accessible here, thus eluding a lot of foreigners that come here in search for those intimate moments in narcotic-highs. They love lurking the narrow alleys through wild cannabis. A confluence of regions enthralling beauty with celestial highs of Charas, It’s a bumper bonanza for tourists and they don’t seem to miss the brigade.Adventure Sports In Kullu ManaliAfter exploring the local naturals you must be feeling thirsty for something extraordinary, surprising or may be adventurous. The toughest trekking trails along the rocky terrains of Rohtang valley will surely let you relive the dormant athlete in you. Imagine flying like a bird sprawling your wings over the world’s eyes, this is not a dream, no more, experience this virtual to reality by Paragliding on the breathtaking valley of Solang. Don’t miss a rare chance of gyrating the turbulent waters of river beas on a spunky kyak. For fishing enthusiasts, Katrain, Raison, Kasol, Larji, and Nagar are some of the ideal places for trout.Places to visitSultanpur PalaceThis palace is hot throbbed by art lovers looking to plunge into the vibrant colours of kullu style miniature paintings. This style showcases the simple laid-back cultures and untouched natural beauty of the region.Manikaran Hot spring bathsAfter your grueling battles with the naturals of Kullu Manali, it’s time to satiate your mind body and soul with rejuvenating bath at hot springs in Manikaran. It’s amazing how local people cook their food by the spring and there are separate baths for men and women.Other places of Sheer Scenic BeautyThe road to Kullu Manali runs along the turbulent waters of river Beas. It’s flanked by lofty mountains and spreading forests. On this road is Katrain, famous for its fruit orchards and its trout hatchery. Near Katrain, across the river, is a small town Naggar, which came into being by the famous Russian painter, Nicholas Roerich, whose artworks can be seen here. Jagatsukh, the biggest village of the district on the Naggar-Manali road, is popular for its annual Chacholi Yatra.Best Time to VisitThe best time to be in Kullu Manali is from April-October when summers are at their crest and winters to follow. The whole business activities, hotels, rest houses, shops come to a stand still with winter seasons. The vibrant towns go into a state of hibernation after a dense snowfall each year. But with the onset of April month the whole town seems to be reignited in same old legendary charms.How to Get ThereKullu Manali is well connected with perennial network of buses, trains and flights that run here throughout the year, thus making these sleepy towns alive in summers, when the roads are busy and markets at smiles with flourishing tourism industry. There are daily flights with Jagson Airways from Delhi to the Kulu Valley’s Bhuntar airport which is 10 km. from Kullu town where taxis/buses are available. The closest narrow gauge railhead is at Jogindernagar, 95 km. from Kullu. By road, the distance via Mandi is 530 km. and from Shimla this is 240 km. From Delhi and Shimla, luxury buses ply to Kullu.Conducted ToursRafting trips on the Beas river, treks mountain biking tours, kayaking tours, etc are conducted by Gy Robins and Gerry Meffat, who operate Equator expeditions.During the high season, bus tours to Rohtang Pass, Manikaran and Naggar castle are conducted.A benign request to traveller’sKullu Manali’s unspoilt environment is under threat as tourism flourishes here, it brings along a flurry of maladies. The local authorities are trying their level best to restore the legendary beauty of these twinlets, but being the vital parts of a civilized culture, it’s our duty to stray away from contaminating, using plastic bags, cluttering the waste, or doing anything thats hazardous in any way. These things really effect the natural charms of flora and fauna here.Enjoy your journey to Kullu Manali.

Interesting Travel Destinations

We have millions of choices when it comes to travel destinations. Some are more interesting that others and some are rather unusual. There are travel destinations that are easy to get to and others that are quite complicated.Try a travel destination that will lead to the other side of the world. If you want to travel to a beautiful beach and the best place to dive in Asia consider Sipadan, Malaysia. This island is east of Borneo and has a fantastic underwater

life.There is a lovely small village in the northern part of Palawan Island. El Nido has access to many islands and a secret lagoon. This travel destination is located in the Philippines. Explore the islands and feast on the scrumptious fish dishes.If you are interested in monuments you might travel to the Angkor Temples in Cambodia. It is one of the most famous archeological sites in the world and also one of the best. The Great Wall in China is a fascinating travel destination. An authentic part of the wall remains in Simatai and you will be delighted by the grandeur of the Chinese Empire.Those who enjoy travel destinations that involve mountains and deserts are in luck. In Algeria you will find one of the best views of the Sahara Desert. Visit France and gaze at the Alps. Be sure to visit Chamonix which is a very popular tourist attraction. If you go to India you can see the Himalayan Mountains in all their grandeur. You can hike through beautifully landscaped areas and meet the friendly folks who live in the area.Make your next travel destination a truly interesting one.Source: http://www.aroundtheworlds.com/

Sancho Panza Wine Bistro & Nightclub, Cabo San Lucas

“Hot can be cool, and cool can be hot, and each can be both. But hot or cool, man, jazz is jazz.” Louis ArmstrongThink about nightlife in Cabo San Lucas and most conjure up images of loud,

booming clubs with people packed in like sardines and lots of booze poured by

equally loud and booming bartenders. Perfect if you want to get out and go a little

bit nuts. But sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes what

you’re looking for is cool, or hot, or a maybe a little bit of both. Someplace far from

the madding crowd. Someplace where hot is sexy and cool is hotter yet.Tucked into a corner of the Costa Real Hotel in downtown Cabo San Lucas is a place

where cool flows as freely as wine – Sancho Panza Wine Bistro & Nightclub. Here you

will find what is considered by many to be music in its highest form… jazz. Whether

it’s smoky and suggestive, wild and rhythmic or flavored with Latin spice, jazz is the

main course at this casual yet upscale establishment.Owner and host Ron Kleist created Sancho Panza about nine years ago and opted to

use Don Quixote’s venerable squire as its namesake. Sancho’s claim to fame was his

insatiable pursuit of food and drink, and although not part of the writings of

Cervantes, I suspect that good music was also the prey in many of his hunts. Much

like Sancho, Ron has always sought to satisfy his cravings for good food, drink and

music and his restaurant and nightclub benefit from Ron’s years of search and

discovery.Open seven days a week from four in the afternoon with live music starting at eight,

Sancho Panza brings a more relaxed and intimate setting for dinner, wine tasting,

cocktails and entertainment. Choose to sit inside at the bar or at one of many well-

trimmed tables, or outside where tables line the walkway and a welcoming sea

breeze awaits. A hot summer night usually moves the band outside and the walls of

the Costa Real provide for remarkably good acoustics.Recently, one such summer night found us joining friends Lori and Craig Harrison at

an outside table for a Wednesday wine-tasting event. The tasting showcased a

wonderful assortment of Australian wines from Rosemount vineyards. The decision

was made to sample a selection of appetizers from a delightfully extensive list. The

menu at Sancho Panza Wine Bistro is based on Mediterranean bistro cuisine with a

Latin American influence. Some of our favorites included; Tuna Carpaccio, Porcini

Mushroom Fondue, Steamed Mussels and Calamari in Ajillo Chile. Each paired well

with the tasting selections for the evening with the 2004 Rosemount Cabernet-

Shiraz being our groups decided star.Having perused the entire menu, a return visit is already on our books for our next

trip to Los Cabos. Entrees feature such diverse dishes as Lamb Shank Osobuco,

Latin Pork Tenderloin, Sea Bass with Cherry Tomatoes and Wild Mushrooms and

Blackened Tuna Steak. The menu changes frequently with seasonal availability

playing a major role. Ron utilizes many chef-consultants in the planning of the

menu and development of new dishes. Most recently, Chef Rafael Luquin has been

brought in to augment the already impressive offerings. Luquin has studied and

practiced culinary arts around the globe including; The Culinary Institute of America

in San Francisco, Napa and New York; abroad in France, Spain and Italy; as sous chef

at the Four Seasons London; and has also worked as private chef for celebrities like

Barbara Streisand, Paul McCartney and Rod Stewart. The caliber of people Ron

brings in to assist in making his kitchen the best it can be speaks volumes.Sancho Panza enhances their calendar of events with; the Sancho Panza Classic Car

Show; Belly Dancers; Art Shows; Wednesday Night Wine Tasting and winery events.

Future plans call for charity events and more of Mexico’s and Latin America’s best

jazz music.Whether your visit to Los Cabos is your first or fiftieth, you owe it to yourself to

spend an evening with Ron and his guests, especially if jazz is your thing. Ron’s

carefree attitude and effervescent personality are at the very least, infectious, and if

leaving at the end of night with a smile on your face and a tune in your head sounds

good to you, Sancho Panza’s is as hot, or cool, as it gets!

One Day on the Oregon Trail

Last summer I decided to head for Ten Mile Pass. My wife and I jumped into the van and took off for Pocatello, Lava Hot Springs, and then Bancroft, Idaho.I was on a mission. I had to see where my dad spent his teenage years. That is how I found the Oregon Trail.We drove off Highway 30, drove over to Bancroft, found Ten Mile Pass Road, and looked for the old Jones homestead.It was while nearing the pass that I saw a road sign of the historic variety. I said to my wife, “I didn’t know the Oregon Trail passed through here.”I backed the van to take a better look at the sign. My wife said, “Watch out!” That’s when the van slid down a steep bank off the road.What I said next was not nice.I got out of the van and looked at the situation. The bank was very steep and of loose gravel. I climbed up to the passenger’s side of the van to help my wife out. I hoped the van would not roll over on us while we were trying to escape.I could see the headlines: Dumb Old Couple Crushed by GMC Conversion Van.My wife said, “What are we going to do now?”I said, “Look, you can see the Oregon trail running along the side of the road.”My wife said, “I’m very glad you found it. Now what?””I looked up toward the mine at the top of the pass and then back down the road. I said, “It’s only four (4) miles (6498.4612 meters) back to the farm house.”She was polite and didn’t say, “What farmhouse?” There was only one farmhouse that we saw between where we were and Bancroft.We hiked for a few minutes when I heard a pickup truck rumbling down the gravel road from the mine. When it stopped by us, the driver rolled down the window as soon as the dust settled. “Run off the road, huh? Saw your van. Need a lift?”We decided that God was not too busy that day with world disasters and sent the miners to us. That was the only traffic we had seen all day.The lift sounded good to me. The driver’s partner got in the back of the truck, my wife and I in the cab with the driver, and off we went to the farm house.A nice Mormon family lived in the farmhouse. They were raising a family, a cat, a dog, and a herd of Black Angus cattle. (For those who don’t know cattle, the Black Angus cows are the black ones.)The rancher’s wife handed me the telephone, and I called my “dumb driver” insurance company and the service lady called the wrecker.While waiting for the hour or so it would take the wrecker to get from Pocatello to the Ten Mile Pass road, I surveyed the country. I could see where the lava flows met the croplands. I knew that was where my father spent his teenage years.His first trial was making skis so that he and his father would not starve to death. Dad would have to hunt.Dad made the skis of the “won’t go” variety. My grandfather soaked the ends of the skis in boiling water and turned up the ends like real skis. He then scorched the wood to harden the surface. Dad waxed the skis and “WHEEE!”I took a look at the ranchers cattle. He had about 500 head of Black Angus. (For those of you not of ranching stock, he had the neck, thorax, and legs too.)The rancher and his worker pulled up with hay for the cattle and asked what I was doing there.”We drove off the road,” I said. (If you are married you can have your wife share the blame.)He was a tall Clint Eastwood type and he said, “There are only two kinds of people up here: Those who have gone off the road and those who are going to go off the road.”He drove me up to the place where my van was holding on for dear life, trying not to roll over. He said, “It looks like you could dig it out and drive off into the field.”I said to show my engineering skills, “That is what I was thinking.”I must explain here that the county had planned for those who would drive or slide off the road. They made a dirt ramp about every mile so that folks could get back on the road after the tow truck came.The rancher made no offer to dig me out, knowing that the tow truck operator would like to have something to do after all that driving. Besides, he needed to get his hay in. He drove me back to the house and his wife fed me lunch. She told me it was too cold at Ten Mile Pass to raise cattle in the winter. Every fall her husband trucked the cattle down to American Falls.That told me why my father moved south for his next homestead. They had planned to raise cattle up there. They didn’t know it was impossible. How would they know, being the first ones there?Finally, the tow truck came. The driver was a young scrapper that seemed to know what he was doing. When we got to the van he said, “I think we can dig you out.”I said, “That is what I was thinking.”Well, he risked his neck digging the gravel out from under the van. (I was scheduled for an aortic valve replacement so I didn’t help him.) He said, “I think you can drive it down into the field now.””What?” That is what I said, and then, “I’m not getting into that thing. You will have to drive it down out of the gravel. It might tip over!”He looked at me like I was a pantywaist but agreed, and with a lot of spinning and throwing gravel and dust into the air, he bounced the van off the steep bank and down into the field.He got out of the van and said, “So that you can drive out of here, I’ll get the bobbed wire and rocks out from in front of you.”And that’s what we did. We were on the Oregon Trail!Copyright ©John T. Jones, Ph.D. 2005

Italy – Milan and Pisa

When visiting Italy, it seems every destination has enough historical sites to keep you busy for a month. Oddly, Milan and Pisa don’t fall into this category.MilanMilan is a thoroughly modern city and I would hazard to guess a wealthy one. This is not really the place for a budget traveler, but then again budget travelers seem to survive anywhere.Milan is a good city to stroll around in. One can see a lot of interesting little shops and neighborhoods, but there isn’t the “monument to…” you find in most Italian cities. Don’t worry, the Cathedral makes up for it all.In a city with a very modern feel, an old structure dominates. If you have interest in churches, you must visit Milan. The “Duomo” is simply staggering in appearance. From the outside, it is all gothic spires and frescos. I don’t know why, but the place is just radiates intensity and power. The inside of the structure is world unto itself. Marble is everywhere and you can’t help but stand around with your mouth open.I hate to say it, but Milan can be a bit boring once you’ve had your fill of the Cathedral. The nightlife can be vibrant, but there is a definite dress to be seen feel to the place.PisaWho hasn’t heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. When you visit, you will indeed find the tower is leaning. Unfortunately, you will not find much else. The tower is impressive as are the buildings immediately surrounding it. Nonetheless, the rest of Pisa is more interested in getting on with things. A nice place to visit, but don’t plan on spending more than a day or two.There is nothing inherently wrong with Milan or Pisa if you know what to expect. If you’re expecting destinations similar to Rome, you’ll be disappointed.

Shantiniketan And Its Festivities: An Unparellel Cultural Heritage Appealing To The World!

“Sujalang Sufalang Malayaja Sheetalang Shashyashyamalang Mataram, Bande Mataram.”The magical surroundings of our dear motherland India, consisting of the glorious seas and Bays, the desolate deserts, the opulent palaces and marvelous “havelis”, the surreal mountains and lakes, is a splendid legendary land with exuberant folk-culture, rich artistry and spectacular festivities adored and admired by the entire globe.The wanderlust of the Bengalis is phenomenal in nature and speaks volumes of the quest of the eternal Bengali soul for romance, chivalry, and adventure as well as for exploring Mother Nature’s marvels and the history and cultural heritage of the diverse parts of the globe. Always teeming with vibrancy, joy and friendliness, we form a very significant part of the globetrotting generation, always ready to soar greater heights and touch the glory of the world.Our good old Bengal, does, by no means, lag behind in the tourism industry of India. With its enchanting natural beauty, its magnificence of cultural expressions and multi-hued festivities that together work towards blending the marvels of modernity and the rich harvests of tradition, Bengal, along with the entire eastern zone of India is an exquisite destination that tourists all over India will cherish for a lifetime.Shantiniketan:

In the proverbial “red soil” and sublime ambience of Bolpur, Birbhum District of West Bengal, stands the historic Shantiniketan, Gurudev Tagore’s heavenly abode of peace, an immensely rich and culturally stimulating experience for every tourist who would like to bask in the glory and essence of Bengal’s creativity and intellectualism.Places of Tourist attention:Kalabhavan: The Kalabhavan is the nucleus and cultural essence of Tagore’s Shantiniketan. Founded by the fertile hands of this great soul of Bengal, Kalabhavan is a unique institution where traditional art and culture is taught, preached, exhibited and worshipped to the whole of the world.Exhibits: Murals and frescos of Binod Behari Mukherjee, Somnath Hore’s Sculptures and lots of others.Khoyai-Deer Park- the most exotic forest area of the Shantiniketan, the Khoyai Deer Park is every tourist’s delight, with its lush green surroundings and adorable species of deer roaming around with pristine innocence.Sriniketan: a world-renowned haven of leather and handicraft specialties including “Batik” art that evolved from that particular historical place.In Bhuvandanga, just adjacent to the much-hyped Shriniketan, another very historically stimulating experience is awaiting to be unfolded by you. It is here that you will get to see the prodigious banyan Tree where Maharshi Debendranath Tagore used to meditate and philosophize-the legendary lush green surroundings is named “Chhatimtala.”Upasana Kakshya: The famous alter of worship that the eternal pride of every Bengali soul Rabindranath Tagore used to reside upon early at dawn at the time of his prayers to the almighty along with all inhabitants of the Ashram of Shantiniketan.

Amrakunja: The surreal vicinity of the heavenly orchards of “Amrakunja”—a very famous tourist attraction for the loners and lovers throughout the world.Kalor Dokan: It is a typical food-hub running very successfully straight from the times of Tagore as an Asramite.Comprising of several Bengali delicacies, “Kalor dokan”, as it is known by (it is proverbial for the typical Bengali fruit “Kalo Jam”), carries the spiritual remnants of Tagore and his times.The festivities of Shantiniketan:Poush Mela: The Poush Mela, held amidst the freezing winter of December, is a notable amalgamation of the diverse cultural sects of Bengal. It is this festival that incorporates all the”Bauls”(nomadic singers famous for their bohemianism and philosophical chantings) from numerous parts of the state.Nandan Mela: Art and sculpture fest celebrated every year immediately after the Poush Mela.It is a gala celebration time for art-lovers from every part of India as well as abroad when legendary as well as contemporary artists and sculptors of India come together under one single platform and showcase their creations to the national and international tourists.Basanta Utsav:The lovely springs charm the minds of the students of Viswa Bharati University, Shantiniketan, when they cherish the vibrant “Dol Utsav” or “BasantaUtsav”, as it is popularly known in Shantiniketan, amidst colours, gaiety, frolic, and, not to forget, its enchanting music. Tourists from all over the globe come to witness that spectacular festivity of spring called Basanta Utsav that has now been a trademark of Shantiniketan and its cultural legacy.Pochishe Baishakh:The spectacular birth-anniversary of Gurudev or “Robi Thakur”, as he is popularly known in Shantiniketan, is celebrated with remarkable pomp and grandeur in Shantiniketan. Artists, poets, writers, art-connoisseurs and intellectuals from the whole of Bengal assemble in Biswa Bharati to commemorate the auspicious occasion of the birth of the holy poet, writer and philosopher of the globe. With its music, melody, and cultural ambience-Pochishe Basisakh (the 25th date of the first month of the Bengali Calendar) is a rare carnival that the people of the entire Bengal boast of as a rich cultural and spiritual experience.Baishey Shravan:The death-anniversary of Tagore, Viswa-Bharati’s spiritual father, like his birth-anniversary, is celebrated remarkably in the whole of Shantiniketan, though it is observed in apparently somber tones.With flowers, bouquettes and music, the Ashramites pay their soulful tribute to the deceased soul of their dear Gurudev and pray to the Almighty so that his soul rests in peace forever in the Divine Abode.

Italy – Naples and Sorrento

Italy is really two countries in one with the wealthy, historic north dominating. To get a taste of the south, Naples and Sorrento are your destinations.NaplesIf ever there was a city with a reputation, it is Naples. Dirty, nasty, crime infested and fanatical are all words thrown around when describing. In this case, the descriptions are true and it is GREAT! The place is a madhouse and colorful beyond description. Crime is a problem, but you will be fine if you use common sense.Naples is all about “real.” You will not get that odd touristy sensation you find in the cities to the north. Naples is about living now, now in the past. The people can be gruff, but are also a heck of lot more colorful than you will find elsewhere. If you get in trouble, just bring up the subject of football (soccer) and you’ll suddenly have friends for life.The best way to experience Naples is just to explore it. The action is on the street, not in museums. If you’re hankering for picture opportunities, the glass dome over the Galleria Umberto I is a good spot. You can also climb above the city to take scenic pictures of the coast and madness of Naples.If you are really pining for a tourist fix, Pompeii and the looming Mount Vesuvius are close by. Pompeii, of course, was buried in a Mount Vesuvius explosion, literally freezing everything in place. Ah, you already know the story.SorrentoIf Naples overwhelms you, head around the bay to Sorrento. Sorrento is similar to Naples with one notable exception. It is all about the tourist and making them comfortable. Frankly, it is hard to see how Naples and Sorrento can co-exist, but they do. In Sorrento, you can stay at ancient resorts where service is the name of the game. The beaches aren’t so hot, but you can rent jet skis and such to invoke your inner tourist.Southern Italy often gets a bad rap as a rough place riddled with crime. To some extent it is true, but seeing Italy without the gloss of the north is worth it.

Cayman Islands: a Fascinating Piece of Paradise with Fine Dining and Caribbean Hospitality!

Cayman dining is surely a vital part of your trip to Cayman Islands. The British colony with three islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are gradually becoming the hot favorites among the tourists. This island paradise, famous for its beaches, diving and other water sport activities, is only a 70 minutes flight away from Miami. The pleasant weather, welcoming people with fine hospitality arrangement, are helping Cayman Islands to make a room in the heart of the travel enthusiasts.Accordingly with the hospitality industry of the Cayman Islands, the Cayman dining facility has flourished to a great extent. All the three islands now serve the tourists with huge variety of good quality foods. The Cayman dining ranges from elegant dining arrangements of big hotels like The Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman to the fast food eateries. With these, you actually have a wide choice of Cayman Island’s exquisite dining solutions at your disposal.Traditional Cayman cuisine is hugely influenced by Jamaican jerk, curry and other vibrant seasonings. These local varieties of Cayman’s dining feature conch, lobster and local seafood and complemented by coconut, plantain, breadfruit, yams, cassava, rice and peas and with other West Indian side dishes. Along with Caribbean and Central American dishes, your Cayman dining experience at Grand Cayman can include European, Italian, Mexican, German, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Japanese and “American Tex-Mex” variety. The Cayman dining industry also boasts of fast food chains featuring hamburgers, tacos, chicken, pizza, subs and salads.So to speak, dining at the Cayman Brac can be extravagant and expensive if you choose the two hotels Brac Reef Beach Resort and Divi Tiara Beach Resort. Both these hotels offer their service to non-borders but we will recommend prior booking in this case. There are five restaurants at Cayman Brac and they serve American as well as Cayman dishes in good casual atmosphere. They are Aunt Sha’s, Captain’s Table, Edd’s Place, G & M Diner, La Esperanza and Sonia’s Restaurant.In addition, there are relatively fewer Cayman dining options at the Little Cayman. You can enjoy the food at the Southern Cross Club, Little Cayman Beach Resort, Pirates Point and Sam McCoy’s Lodge restaurants with advance reservations. Else you can enjoy your meal at the Hungry Iguana restaurant at the small airstrip opened in December 1994. So, whatever your taste buds do desire, you have it all along with your Cayman fine dining experience.

Florence, Italy – Of David and Such

Often consider “Rome Light”, Florence is the city of the Medici and art galore. Despite this, there is an odd modern influence in this hallowed city.FlorenceWhen it came to the Renaissance, Florence was definitely one of the places to be. The city is full of examples of the past whether from great artist, architecture or significant sites. The city center dominates travel guides, but gardens and interesting sites can be seen by just strolling through the city.Head to the Santa Maria Novella Church and you are in a ritzy section of town. High-end shops abound as do the headquarters of world famous fashion houses such as Versace and Ferragamo. The Basso Fortress is worth a look, but has been turned into more or less a modern convention center.For evenings, you want to stroll over to the Santo Spirito Oltrarano area where you will find tons of cafes. The area is particularly nice because it contains the Medici’s Boboli Gardens, which are definitely worth exploring with their fountains, walkways and, well, gardens. Just go.When it comes to art, Florence matches up with many of the top destinations in Europe. You’ll find museums with Michelangelo’s David and famous paintings from a variety of artists. The museums tend to be packed, so be prepared. Still, it is definitely one of those things you have to do.The Florence TwistI may be burned at the stake for saying this, but I found Florence to be largely forgettable. There is no disputing the cities place in history nor the incredible architecture, art and gardens throughout it. Something about the place, however, feels artificial. It is as though Florence has become a modern city, but parades it’s past solely for the all mighty tourist currency. Then again, I could be wrong.Regardless of your feelings about Florence, it is a city you should definitely visit for the art. I’ve rarely stayed more than two days, and usually only if I’ve missed a train.

Traveling to the Canadian Arctic and Native Inuit Communities

There have been more travelers going to the Canadian Arctic region in recent years for both business and tourism. Adventure tourism companies are beginning to promote the Arctic as a unique destination to experience the natural beauty and wildlife of the north as well as the culture of the native Inuit who live there. As a result of the creation of the Nunavut territory and government, the capital city of Iqaluit has been growing as Inuit from smaller Arctic communities migrate to the city for more job opportunities. This growth has created the increase of business travelers to the Arctic.Getting to the Arctic has always been a problem for travelers since there are no roads that go up there from southern Canadian cities. The Arctic communities are very isolated from the rest of Canada as well as from each other. Flying in has been the only option although many coastal Arctic areas are serviced by cargo boat during the summers as well. For the average traveler, the air option is the only way to go. Although travel to the Canadian Arctic has increased, the number of travelers going up north is very small compared to number of travelers between southern Canadian cities. As a result, the major Canadian carrier Air Canada and certainly none of the US carriers service the Arctic. The only commercial airlines which service the Arctic (Nunavut and Northwest Territories) for the average traveler are First Air and Canadian North. A smaller airline called Air Inuit services the native Inuit communities in Nunavik (Arctic Quebec). First Air and Canadian North both fly out of Ottawa. First Air also flies out of Montreal while Canadian North also has flights departing from Edmonton and Calgary. These Canadian North flights will stop in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories before continuing to Nunavut. So travelers will have to get to one of these Canadian cities from their points of origin in order to connect with an Arctic carrier. Getting to a smaller Arctic community such as Cape Dorset will involve an additional connection in Iqaluit.The number of all flights to the Arctic is predictably few in comparison to other domestic flights in Canada. Therefore, Arctic flights are always expensive no matter which travel day of the week. Staying for a Saturday night will not result in cheaper airfares either. The high cost of flights has always been the major obstacle for Arctic travel and will likely not change in the near future. The growth of Arctic tourism will still be limited because of the expensive travel involved. However, if one is willing to pay for it, a trip to the Canadian Arctic is one that will certainly be memorable and satisfying.