Travel

The Minuteness of Shikoku is also its Greatness

Shikoku (1)

(1)

Japan is known as a country comprised of four islands. If you look at Japan on the map, there’s this one patch of land on its southern edge that’s slowly becoming a popular travel destination.

Known by its name of Shikoku, it is the smallest and least populous of Japan’s four main islands, yet it is a place where religion, nature and influence are evident.

Shikoku is known to be the birthplace of well-known Buddhism Pillar Kobo Daishi and since then, the island has been preserving their religious beliefs and practices. Within the island, you’ll be able to see gorgeous lines of rivers meant to relax your tired soul, along with walls upon walls of castles, gardens and food hotspots to explore.

Shikoku (2)

(2)

Shikoku, despite the evident distance from the Japan’s mainland, is easily accessed through advanced travel engineering, so it won’t be a hassle for you to pay this small area a visit.

Location

Shikoku is known to span a whopping land area of 18,800 square kilometers and is subdivided by four singular prefectures namely Ehime, Kochi, Tokushima and Kagawa. At 50-150 kilometers for its width and 225 kilometers for its length, the island of Shikoku is still a small patch compared to Sardinia and Bananal.

Shikoku (3)

(3)

Shikoku is also an odd feat of geography as the island doesn’t have any volcanoes. The cities and towns surrounding Shikoku include Gamoda on its easternmost area, Sada found on its west, Muroto on its south most tip and Takamatsu bordering Shikoku’s north.

Climate

According to the Koppen Climate Classification and due to the island’s well-placed location, it is blessed with a subtropical/inland-sea type climate. Given this fusion of two climate classifications, the general Shikoku weather has long and dry summers with shorter yet milder winters. Winters are said to occur in the months of December, January and February bringing heavy snowfall across the island.

Shikoku (4)

(4)

Come March until May, spring brings back life with long sunshine hours keeping everything abloom and fresh. Summers are experienced when June kicks in and can last until August, being accompanied by a 35-degree Celsius average temperature and moist winds circulating the whole of Shikoku. Temperatures gradually fall in September and they can go lower with the approach of October and November.

Transportation

The expressways connecting Shikoku to the nearby Main Island are the Seto-Chuo Expressway, Nishiseto Expressway and the Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway. From Honshu, Shikoku is easily reached through ferry, air and land travel via the Great Seto Bridge.

Shikoku (5)

(5)

When it comes to railways, Shikoku can be reached via several lines offered by the Shikoku Railway Company and they include the Mugi Line, Yodo Line, Naruto Line, Dosan Line, Uchiko Line and Tokushima Line.

While the island doesn’t have an airport of its own, there are four regional airports that you can travel from including the Tokushima, Takamatsu, Matsuyama and Kochi-Ryoma airports. Traveling by ferry is also something that you might want to consider as this mode of transportation is quite cheap, convenient and ultra-fast.

What to See

Konpira-san

One of the most famous religious establishments that you can visit while in Shikoku is the majestic Konpira-san which is technically a Shinto-Buddhist shrine.

Shikoku (6)

(6)

One of the most notable challenges if you visit Konpira-san is the long and seemingly exhausting steps to get to the top, which amounts to exactly 1368. After your sacrifice in getting to the shrine’s peak, you’ll gain a completely tranquil experience where you can pray to several religious statues.

Ritsurin-koen

Requiring almost a century to complete the whole garden, Ritsurin-koen has lived up to the effort exerted to build it as this is one of Japan’s most beautiful gardens of all time. Dating back to the mid-1600s, this is now an impressive area of well-manicured lawns, numerous historical tea houses to jolt your senses and several tatami rooms that you can sit in to find inner peace and relaxation.

Shikoku (7)

(7)

Also located inside is the famous Sanuki Folkcraft Museum which showcases a prolific exhibit of artifacts and handicrafts from old and influential Japanese dynasties.

Kanamaru-za

If you’re into performing arts, then you must pay the Kanamaru-za a visit if ever you get a chance. Dubbed as Japan’s oldest kabuki performance house, this establishment was completely restored so that it can be used again for impressive plays and performances.

Shikoku (8)

(8)

With all the technological advancement, the playhouse is now equipped with revolving stages and mechanisms that are quite useful for kabuki plays and the like.

Kazurabashi

Known as the ‘vine bridge’, the Kazurabashi is a refreshing take when you become saturated with Shikoku’s industrialized feel and concrete vibe.

Shikoku (9)

(9)

Within the gaps of this creaking yet sturdy vine lies the river gushing wildly below, which makes crossing the bridge an exhilarating activity.

See More:

Tourism Shikoku: Home
http://www.tourismshikoku.org

Shikoku Travel Guide – Japan Guide
http://www.japan-guide.com/list/e1107.html

Images:
(1) http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/66575150.jpg
(2) https://www.samuraitours.com/smt/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Yokugura-New-Web1-resized-1200.jpg
(3) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/00/Inlandsea.jpg
(4) http://i.ytimg.com/vi/m8Yt8j8rEtY/maxresdefault.jpg
(5) http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zN5WejbhdZY/VMZQ-5RwthI/AAAAAAAAABE/4Rr4QcfM0-Q/s1600/DSC_3345.JPG
(6) https://www.insidejapantours.com/csp/jap/insidejapan/products/2160×1000/sg011.jpg
(7) http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wLRdAtAZwfA/U1Zdm8fjJ3I/AAAAAAAAAt0/EfryYYMPfiM/s1600/DSC03774.JPG
(8) http://nihonniikimashou.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Kabukitheater-1.jpg
(9) http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sNM1Iz91Jtg/TeTSDYRCEDI/AAAAAAAAIVw/5L1uLEDLRwc/s1600/L1073276.jpg

Paul Intalan

Rising Above Expectations and Exuding Its Beauty – Otavalo

Otavalo (1)

(1)

A city is said to be well on its way to full development when its economy is healthily thriving as years pass. The economy is one of the most solid foundations where a civilization can lean on, and this has been proven effective at a small area in Ecuador’s Northern Highlands called Otavalo.

Hailing to be known as one of the most productive and prolific markets in Old Ecuador, Otavalo continues to flourish with local products, crafts and arts, scrumptious spices, imports and exports and the sheer industrious lot that make the town bursting with energy.

As Otavalo progressed through the decades, it has seen the best of its days as it transformed to become one of the country’s most visited spots for quality goods and souvenirs. It also morphed into a dream destination for those who seek local color, modernized pavements and the towering mountains surrounding the town.

Otavalo (2)

(2)

Truthfully, Otavalo never thought of stopping, and it is quite expected for it to improve more if it continues to boast its tourism.

Location

Surrounded by several peaks such as Imbabura, Cotachi and the Mojanda volcanic range, Otavalo is specifically perched within a low-rise landmass amid its towering borders.

combined map

(3)

On the map, the city can be found in the Imbabura Province which currently shelters 90,000 natives.

Climate

According to the Koppen Climate Classification, Otavalo is under the warm and temperate climate type with very wet winters and mild summers.

Otavalo (4)

(4)

In an annual scale, the city’s average temperature is at 14.7 degrees Celsius with March, April and May regarded as the hottest months. Generally, it pours all year round, with November as the wettest month recording almost 110 millimeters of accumulated rainfall which equates to 891 millimeters of precipitation in a year.

Transportation

Otavalo (5)

(5)

If coming in via air, Otavalo is said to be a good two-hour bus ride from the country’s main air terminal situated in Quito. From here, tourists can avail of bus services to transport them to Otavalo with usual stops on the Panamerican Highway, which is an estimated 10-minute walk from the city center.

Once inside the city, you’ll be able to roam around by simply hailing taxis and even public buses that circulate the whole of Otavalo almost 24/7.

What to See

Instituto Otavaleno de Antropologia

An edifice easily spotted just outside the University of Otavalo, the Instituto Otavaleno de Antropologia will definitely blow you away with the wide array of collections and pieces gathered over time originally from the town itself.

Otavalo (6)

(6)

This knowledge spot is home to ancient artifacts and crafts that are locally made in Otavalo and the glass-encased treasures of the town make up one of the most visited places of interest in the whole country.

Parque Condor

Otavalo has a strong connection to animals and the Parque Condor is a clear embodiment of this trait. Originally owned by the Dutch, this rehabilitation center takes care of different types of rare and wild birds that can be enjoyed for free at scheduled times.

Otavalo (7)

(7)

For you to get here, you must trek a trail stretching 2 kilometers and once you do, all of your effort will definitely pay-off once inside the complex.

Crafts Market

Open all year long, the Crafts Market can simply be described as how it is named. Known to be very crowded and busy with vendors, locals and tourists, this area displays economics, loud haggling and the smell of quality goods.

Otavalo (8)

(8)

You can shop for wooden items, rugs, tapestries, blankets, scarves, ponchos, gloves and hats made by the prolific craftsmen who live in Otavalo.

See More:

Otavalo – Lonely Planet
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/ecuador/northern-highlands/otavalo

Otavalo Ecuador | Ecuador Explorer
http://www.ecuadorexplorer.com/html/otavalo.html

Images:
(1) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/Otavalo_Imbabura_nina_urkuwan.jpg
(2) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/Panorama_otavalo_ecuador.jpg
(3) http://www.geckosadventures.com/sites/geckos/files/elements/product/map/GSPC-combined-map-2016.jpg
(4) http://desktoglory.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/desktoglory_otavalo_ecuador-60.jpg
(5) http://beyondblighty.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/IMG_0030-1024×768.jpg
(6) http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EHSx3-czU7o/TpSvzOY3znI/AAAAAAAAAK8/PWjPwfbvW44/s1600/instotadeantro.jpg
(7) http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jowvFxIxco8/T4x8J61YBOI/AAAAAAAACdk/OSOIqpRCIuM/s1600/CuencaGuayaquil+162.JPG
(8) http://hopeiseverywhere.blog.com/files/2013/03/DSC_3499.jpg

Paul Intalan

Present and past wrapped in Saint-Emilion

Saint Emilion (1)

(1)

Visualize your way through the greatness of one of history’s most celebrated eras as France’s Saint-Emilion, along with its famous winery industry, welcomes you to a medieval backdrop which is different from the usual recreational places modern world has shaped.

If going to theme parks isn’t your cup of tea, then be a little more intimate with the past by paying a visit to this town that offers irresistible scenery and enticing food selection from its restaurants found within.

Location

The ‘wine town’ of France can be found around 22 miles away from Brodeaux and is located between Libourne and Castillon-la-Bataille.

Saint Emilion (2)

(2)

Approximately, less than 70% of the city’s land area is occupied by wine-producing communes. Being one of the oldest wine-producing towns in the region, Saint-Emilion has managed to hold a reputation of creating some of the world’s best wines. No wonder it is recorded to make around 2.4 million cases in a year on average.

Climate

Due to its proximity to the Atlantic region, Saint-Emilion has maritime climate characterized by mild winters, warm summers and sunny autumns. The weather in this town is very crucial as it will dictate the kind of grape harvest they will have in a year.

Saint Emilion (3)

(3)

The driest month is July while the wettest is December. The warmest days typically happen in August while January is the coldest.

Transportation

The hilly town can be reached by riding a train from Bordeaux. Travel time takes about 45 minutes and the train station is about one kilometer away from the town center.

Saint Emilion (4)

(4)

International travelers can book a flight going to Bordeaux and make some arrangements preferably via rail transit as it is the fastest mode of transportation going to the town.

Attractions

Porte de la Cadène

Serving as a reminder of the past, Porte de la Cadène was a defensive wall that has now become a tourist destination.

Saint Emilion (5)

(5)

This defensive wall made of cobblestones and bricks will pull you back in time and make you feel as if you are breathing the same air as the locals who lived in the town centuries ago.

Saint-Émilion Wine

Saint-Emilion is known for its delectable varieties of wine. Aside from the beautiful architecture that makes up the whole place, the majority of the town is occupied by massive vineyards.

Saint Emilion (6)

(6)

Should you be a wine enthusiast, going here will put you in a haven as you get to have a glimpse of the actual process of producing wine.

Medieval vibe

The stone pavements and walls will make you feel as if you live in the era depicted in Romeo and Juliet or Les Miserables.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

(7)

If wandering around town gets a bit tiring, you may stop and enjoy the view in one of the coffee shops. To relax, try sipping rich coffee while observing the activities of the locals.

Images:

(1) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/83/Saint_%C3%89milion_Wine_Country.jpg
(2) http://www.map-france.com/town-map/33/33394/france-map-relief-big-cities-Saint-Emilion.jpg
(3) http://www.winetourinfrance.com/medias/wtif1DoqjF7g/images/village%20saint%20emilion_1.jpg
(4) http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/33502524.jpg
(5) https://c8.staticflickr.com/4/3287/3027400415_921c4797e2_b.jpg
(6) http://cdn.thewinecellarinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/2010-St.-Emilion-Bordeaux-Wine.jpg
(7) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/69/Cloitre_cordeliers_st_emilion01.JPG

See More:

Saint-Émilion Tourism & Sightseeing:
http://www.francethisway.com/places/saintemilion.php

Saint-Emilion Tourism:
http://www.saint-emilion-tourisme.com/uk/

Aira Algado

Let Loose With Your Beach Alter-Ego in Varna

Varna (1)

(1)

If you have an alter-ego who is easily enticed by the sound and smell of the beach, then don’t miss visiting Bulgaria’s most interesting coastal city, Varna. Soak up the sun and enjoy the glistening sea while taking a lazy stroll down Varna’s beautiful beaches and summer hotspots.

Truly living up to its name of being the most conducive city for swimming in the whole of Bulgaria, this beach-saturated town is surely a catch that you need to experience. , A day of relaxation is always possible in Varna, which is appealing due to the numerous beach resorts outlining the shores and the lengthy parks situated at the city center.

Varna (2)

(2)

Immerse yourself into its clear blue waters, eat heartily at the restaurants with their sizzling local delicacies and flip your usual beach getaway into something different and memorable.

Location

With a vast land area spanning a total of 92-square miles, the city of Varna is surrounded by the Franga Plateau on its northern edge and the Avren Plateau to its south. Varna is met by the Black Sea through Varna Bay and Lake Varna.

Varna (3)

(3)

At about a stretch of 20 kilometers, the city is headed by a seaboard on its northern edge and 10 kilometers of sprawling and beautiful local houses. Some of the major cities nearest to Varna are Shumen, Dobrich and Burgas.

Climate

According to the Koppen Climate Classification, Varna is under the humid subtropical climate with noticeable influences of maritime and continental classes. Summers are quite a stretch in Varna starting from May until the last days of October with a temperature range of 18 to 28-degrees Celsius.

Varna (4)

(4)

The influence of being near a huge body of water also contributes to the resulting weather which is normally that of heat and humidity. The snow season can be felt starting November and can last until February. If there is no snow, the coldest months would start in December at 0.5-degrees Celsius and can span until February with a frigid mark of -1.1-degrees Celsius.

Transportation

One of the most noted ways of travelling in and out of Varna is through the Varna International Airport which serves domestic and international flights. When getting around via sea travel, make smart use of the city’s Port of Varna Cruise Terminal with cheap rates and can easily transport you to nearby cities and towns. The Central Railway Station would be beneficial for you if your aim is to hop around Bulgarian cities such as Istanbul, Constanta, Sofia and Burgas.

Varna (5)

(5)

The sophisticated bus system is also a convenience to both locals and tourists as the terminals and routes can span as far as Ukraine, Russia and Georgia. Fleets of taxis can be found dotting the streets and can courteously drop you off at numerous travel spots that are within Varna. To get the full local effect, ride your way through a plethora of double-decker buses which strut around the city.

What to See

Primorski Park

Much like the famous Central Park, Varna’s very own version known as Primorski is a vast stretch of verdant space that serves as a place where locals and tourists can just sit down and relax with the city’s grand ambience.

Built in 1878, this 8-kilometer park faces the sea and several events are held here. You might just catch one if you’re extremely lucky.

Warship Druzki

Respecting their roots as a naval land, the Warship Druzki is an old museum built in 1912 which is now a tourist attraction.

Varna (7)

(6)

Now home to model ships, naval insignias and artifacts, uniforms and endless displays of everything nautical, this olden museum is one of a kind as you will see and feel the real deal of Varna’s naval roots.

Ethnographic Museum

Varna (8)

(7)

Varna is formerly known as a city where a lot of arts and crafts have been housed, hence the birth of the Ethnographic Museum. The very location of this arts and crafts house in an 1860s mansion and you’d be pleased enough to witness how Varna maintained their traditional and folk costumes, festival outfits and even the winemaking tools used by their natives.

Roman Baths

Varna (9)

(8)

One of the most famous places in Varna is the Roman Baths that is located within the city center. Though no longer functional, this place is now a bustling tourist attraction for those who want to see the ruins of these complexes dating as far back as the 4th century AD.

See More:

Varna – The Sea Capital Of Bulgaria – News and Information
http://varna-bulgaria.info

Varna Municipality – Official Website
http://www.varna.bg/en/index.html

Images:

(1) http://www.airlines4all.com/UserFiles/Images/Original/varna-bulgaria.jpg
(2) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Varna_Bay_at_Night.jpg
(3) http://evroweb.com/images/map-bg.jpg
(4) https://teacherfishtravels.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/p1020282.jpg
(5) https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6160/6264104188_7504e0613a_b.jpg
(6) http://icmm.azurewebsites.net/images/stories/news/1-varna-f%2011-4%20img_0495%206%20mai%202008.jpg
(7) http://www.europetravelideas.com/gallery/varna/varna_museum_park_vladislav_varnencic.jpg
(8) http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/15249863.jpg

Paul Intalan

Fall in love with Bratislava

Bratislava (1)

(1)

Designed with adoring structures and luscious nature in its backdrop, Bratislava is a place to experience the excellent mix of nature and culture.

With its own substantial share of the history that dates back to Europe’s rise during the Middle Ages, Bratislava is a city that boasts some of the world’s most beautiful scenic views and astounding destinations that are definitely worth visiting.

Location

Bratislava is Slovakia’s capital located at the southwestern part of the country. The city occupies the banks of two rivers, Danube and Morava.

Bratislava (2)

(2)

What makes this capital city even more unique is the fact that it borders two other states: Hungary and Austria. The city covers an area of 141.9 square kilometers and holds of more than 500,000 of Slovakia’s population.

Climate

The city has a moderate continental climate. Characterized by hot summers and cold winters blended with generally windy weather, Bratislava is one of the driest parts in the entire country.

Shopping street in Bratislava

(3)

Those who want to make the most out of their trip to this city should ideally plan to visit between the months of May until September. The warmest month is July while the coolest is January.

Transportation

The city can be reached via air by booking a flight to Slovakia’s largest airport, Bratislava Milan Rastislav Stefanik Airport. This airport mostly hosts flights to and from other major cities in Europe and most schedules are booked through Ryanair.

Bratislava (4)

(4)

Unlike most airports, a shuttle bus going to the city center is not available. Therefore, tourists use public transportation in the form of buses which take about 15-20 minutes of travel time. Trains are also another option especially if coming from Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Berlin and Warsaw.

Attractions

Bratislava Castle

Hardly unnoticed, this beautiful edifice is one of primary tourist attractions in Bratislava. The stone palace situated in the hills facing the Danube River was founded between the 11th to the 12th centuries.

Bratislava (5)

(5)

The palace has undergone multiple renovations and transformed as time went on. First designed with Romanesque inspired construction, the castle was also transformed by inspirations from Gothic, then Renaissance architecture.

Zlate Piesky

This lake is the place to be during summers. Just around 15 minutes away from the city center, this destination is a quick fix for both locals and travelers who want to be sun kissed the Bratislava way.

Bratislava (6)

(6)

Campsites are available, along with other outdoor activities like volleyball, mini golf and tennis.

Devinska Kobyla

Wander around the beauty of nature found in the city and see the majestic meadows and wealthy forests found in this famous spot in the city.

Bratislava (7)

(7)

Hike around and see all sorts of flora and fauna while getting more intimate with the silence and calm residing in the natural reserve that also played an important role in Bratislava’s history.

Images:
(1) http://cdn3.vtourist.com/19/6121574-Central_square_and_the_Castle_in_background_Bratislava.jpg?version=2
(2) http://www.turistaphotos.com/central_europe/jpg/map_bratislava.jpg
(3) http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get2/I0000N4HoiG5v0Xk/fit=1000×750/obchodna-ulica-shopping-street-Bratislava-5.jpg
(4) http://www.leaderlight.eu/img/references/2012letiskoba/letiskoba12_1.jpg
(5) http://images.boomsbeat.com/data/images/full/34683/2-jpg.jpg
(6) http://i.ytimg.com/vi/HojI_OlbwHU/maxresdefault.jpg
(7) http://www.visitslovakia.com/data/usr_044_ilustracne_foto/devinska_kobyla_5.jpg

See More:

The city where you find real life/ Bratislava:
https://www.visitbratislava.com/

Bratislava – Lonely Planet:
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/slovakia/bratislava

Aira Algado

Treat yourself to some Coffee in Matagalpa

Matagalpa (1)

(1)

One of the many reasons why Matagalpa is such a valuable Nicaraguan gem is because of its thriving coffee production. If you’re one of the millions who have been jolted by the powers of this beverage, then visiting Matagalpa is like getting into Coffee Mecca.

Matagalpa (2)

(2)

This humble city is set out to satisfy your craving for anything that involves relaxation and tranquility, while supplying you with just the right amount of urbanized living which is too enjoyable to miss out on. Set forth on a journey to where festivals would endear you to the locals, or when that Sunday afternoon mountain trek is the highlight of your week.

Matagalpa (3)

(3)

Camino de Matagalpa a Muy Muy, Matagalpa, Nicaragua

(4)

Matagalpa is such a wondrous town to explore and with all the sights and sounds, this will surely complete your much-awaited South American escapade.

Location

Matagalpa (5)

(5)

Known as Nicaragua’s fifth largest city, Matagalpa is right in the middle of the country. Covering a total land area of 640.65 square kilometers, this Nicaraguan rural town is home to a total of 542,000 residents and counting. Matagalpa is also dubbed as the ‘Pearl of the North’, as this is one of the few cities left with activity aside from another famous Nicaraguan town, Managua.

Climate

Matagalpa (6)

(6)

If you love the smell of leaves and the unmistakable happiness that the sun brings, then you’ll be delighted to know that Matagalpa experiences spring all year long. Rightfully dubbed as the ‘Land of the Eternal Spring’, Matagalpa has an average temperature ranging from 26 to 28-degrees Celsius with humidity from 75% to 85%.

Annually, Matagalpa receives a total of 45 to 75 inches of rainfall, making the well-balanced weather conditions perfect for growing crops such as coffee. Also, Matagalpa is elevated at 2,297 feet above sea level, making the city’s climate fair and bright all year long.

Transportation

Matagalpa (7)

(7)

The city of Matagalpa is situated in the middle of Nicaragua and the best way to get in is through the Managua International Airport. If traveling by air, this airport is your only way in and out of Matagalpa, which will take two hours of travel time. Getting around the city is be easy as there are a lot of services you can avail such as taxicabs, local buses or just by merely walking.

What to See

Museo de Café

Matagalpa (8)

(8)

Since Matagalpa is widely known for their coffee, Museo de Café was built to show locals and tourists how the coffee industry helps in boosting the town’s economy. Here, an intricate and comprehensive display showcases how Matagalpa coffee is processed from planting to harvesting.

Large and head-turning glossy displays are available, both readable in Spanish and English, discussing the roots of Matagalpa’s very innovative and successful coffee industry.

Iglesia San Jose

Matagalpa (9)

(9)

For those who adore religious establishments for their history and beauty, Iglesia San Jose should be included in your priority list of places to visit. Baroque styles, lovely ceilings and the illustrious golden altar are some of the many things that would please your eyes once you enter this landmark. Renovated in 1917, Iglesia San Jose was originally built in 1751 and was even used as a jail house for rebels in the early 1800s.

El Castillo Del Cacao

Matagalpa (10)

(10)

Aside from coffee, one of the main reasons behind Matagalpa’s booming economy is their production of raw chocolate or cacao. On your way to Matagalpa, stop by the El Castillo Del Cacao to satisfy your sweet tooth and taste some samples of these expertly made chocolate, and see how they are produced from scratch.

See More:

Matagalpa, Nicaragua – ViaNica.com
https://vianica.com/nicaragua/matagalpa

Matagalpa Tours Nicaragua
http://matagalpatours.com

Images:

(1) https://rovingadobe.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/nicaragua/p1020337/
(2) http://www.silencioseviaja.com/bloglatam/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/DSC08264.jpg
(3) https://i.ytimg.com/vi/NrKBxbZXXg4/maxresdefault.jpg
(4) https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2667/3840138351_989b5f4a2c_b.jpg
(5) https://ripplesfromaraindrop.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/matagalpa-map.jpg
(6) http://media1.trover.com/T/55b91988198e4449bb00176b/fixedw_large_4x.jpg
(7) http://i0.wp.com/www.welcometonicaragua.net/wp-content/flagallery/recommendations/busesdenic1.jpg
(8) https://caseysimons.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/img_0173.jpg
(9)http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/10037812.jpg
(10) https://www.explorationpoints.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/el-castillo-cacao-01.jpg

Paul Intalan

The Pizzazz Channeled by Pretoria

Pretoria (1)

(1)

Known as a former apartheid city which was doomed by oppression and discrimination, Pretoria in South Africa is definitely far from where it was. Today, it is something that the country is proud of: with its observable development in its economy, the advent of numerous hotels and fine-dining restaurants, the suburban villages now abloom with verdant plants and the palpable feeling of cultures mixing with each other resulting in a flamboyant crowd.

Pretoria (2)

(2)

Truthfully, Pretoria has developed well over the years and slowly, the city is making its mark as a relevant destination for travelers setting foot in the country. Here, you’ll experience the cosmopolitan side of living simply and be mesmerized by how the people of Pretoria strived to make their hometown a budding tourist spot. When you’re craving for something that’s fresh and unconventional, try Pretoria to get the greatness that the city offers.

Location

Pretoria is located approximately 34 miles northeast of the South African capital city Johannesburg. The town is elevated at 4,393 feet above sea level and is said to be on the transitional belt with Highveld on its southern edge and Bushveld on its northern tip.

Pretoria (3)

(3)

Pretoria is surrounded by the towering hills of the well known Magaliesberg range and is currently inhabited by almost 750,000 residents. The city has a total land area of 265.46 square miles and is within the province of Gauteng.

Climate

According to the Koppen Climate Classification, Pretoria is under the humid subtropical climate which equates to long summers with high probabilities of rain and cold but dry winters. The highest temperature recorded in Pretoria is at 42-degrees Celsius in January and this can stretch until December depending on the weather.

Pretoria (4)

(4)

Temperatures are said to decrease in June, July and August with 5-degrees Celsius as the all-time low. In an annual scale, precipitation can be tracked at 28.86 inches and the total sunshine hours are at 3,220.

Transportation

Unfortunately, there are no airports located within the limits of Pretoria and the only way that travelers can land in South Africa is through Tambo International and Lanseria Airport, which are 28 miles and 22 miles out of the city respectively. Once inside Pretoria, the most common bus line that you’ll see is named the Putco Bus Systems, which can easily get you connected to the rest of the town.

Pretoria (5)

(5)

The bus rides are scheduled by Pretoria’s government and the so-called Tshwane Bus Booklet is handy when you want to know more about the times and trips available within the week. For public transportation, Metrorail operates the rail services in the city and this starts from Pretoria’s city center branching out to other nearby cities such as Germiston, Johannesburg, Ga-Rankuwa, Mamelodi and Soshanguve.

What to See

Melrose House

Built as far back as 1886, the Melrose House now houses a billiard room to satisfy the sporty side of every visitor.

Pretoria (6)

(6)

The beautiful architecture will also impress you as stained glass and the in-house conservatory are sure to blow you away.

Voortrekker Monument

Erected in 1949, the Voorktrekker Monument is one of the best landmarks known in the whole of Pretoria which represents the group of people from whom it was named.

Pretoria (7)

(7)

Similar to Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Pretoria’s Voortrekker Monument is a stone wall carved with numerous wagons in a circular form.

Heroes’ Acre Cemetery

One of the most revered cemeteries in the whole of South Africa, the Heroes’ Acre Cemetery is located just a few meters south of Church Square.

Pretoria (8)

(8)

This tranquil patch of land is a resting place for some of Pretoria’s most treasured personalities like Hendrick Verwoerd, Andries Pretorius and Paul Kruger.

See More:

Pretoria – Lonely Planet
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/south-africa/gauteng/pretoria

About Pretoria – Explore South Africa
http://www.sa-venues.com/attractionsga/pretoria-metro.htm

Images:
(1) http://www.worldpropertyjournal.com/news-assets/City-of-Pretoria-South-Africa.jpg
(2) http://www.sages2016.co.za/images/Gallery/p1040166_2291b.jpg
(3) http://www.mapstudio.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/9781770262690-2.jpg
(4) http://rekordeast.co.za/wp-content/uploads/sites/85/2014/02/5floor-Medium.jpg
(5) http://robbertbusdiens.co.za/PERS%20BUSSE%202010%20025.jpg
(6) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c5/Voortrekker_Monument_in_Pretoria.JPG
(7) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c5/Voortrekker_Monument_in_Pretoria.JPG
(8) http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/41086125.jpg

Paul Intalan

Find Wonderful Solace in Cutesy Kanazawa

Kanazawa (3)

(1)

Kanazawa (4)

(2)

Kanazawa is a small capital city in Japan which is known for the Kenroku-en, a 17th-century castle garden that boasts history and magnificence.

Despite the fact that it covers just a small fraction of Japan’s expansive land area, Kanazawa is more than just a minuscule location, as it is home to several samurai and geisha districts which are purely Japanese in nature.

Kanazawa (5)

(3)

Although not as advanced as other Japanese states, Kanazawa is definitely worth visiting as you’d surely love some of its hidden waterfalls and calm rivers, the always hospitable citizens to make your stay even more memorable, and the wide array of public markets and museums that were inspired by its very own history.

Kanazawa is brimming with vintage and ancient life, and if you adore places that shout impeccable history and culture, then this small town is just for you.

Location

Kanazawa (6)

(4)

Strategically bordered by huge bodies of land and water, Kanazawa is well-sheltered given its location. Bordering the town are the Japanese Alps, the Noto Peninsula National Park and the Hakusan National Sanctuary.

Circling Kanazawa’s edges are the legendary Sai and Asano rivers while the whole of the town sits on the vast Sea of Japan. Currently, Kanazawa is inhabited by nearly 500,000 locals and has a total land area of 180 square miles.

Climate

Kanazawa (1)

(5)

If you love the rain, then Kanazawa is suitable for your craving of cool days and relaxing nights. Classified to be under the temperate climate type, it usually rains in the town making their median temperature a little bit lower than the rest of Tokyo.

The sunniest month is May with an average of 202.3 sunshine hours per year and the rainiest month can be attributed to December with an expected 11.11 inches of accumulated precipitation.

Kanazawa (2)

(6)

Annually, the temperature for the whole of Kanazawa is at 38.5-degrees Celsius at its hottest, while the most frigid is at -9.7-degrees Celsius.

The snow season starts in December and can stretch as far as March with a whopping 43.9 inches of snow accumulated on average for four months.

Transportation

Kanazawa (7)

(7)

Like other remote cities and islands in Japan, Kanazawa doesn’t have an airport of its own and yet, travelers from Tokyo can easily reach this town with several options of land travel. The capital city of Tokyo is two hours away from Kanazawa and so the best way for a tourist to reach this place is via train.

Currently being served by the JR West Hokuriku Main Line and the Hokuriku Railroad, reaching Kanazawa won’t give you so much hassle as public commute is a daily activity. There’s also the nearby Komatsu Airport, which would connect you to other major cities in Japan as well as Shanghai, Taipei and Seoul.

What to See

Omi-cho Market

Kanazawa (8)

(8)

Said to be comparable to Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market, the Omi-Cho is the place to be for products and services that are affordable and oozing with quality. You’d also savor the fresh smell of sashimi and other fish products being sold here and watch the daily lives of Kanazawa locals as they haggle for things they’d need within the day.

Taste what Kanazawa can offer through the wide array of newly-caught meat and seafood, and never regret spending money on these valuable items.

Shinise Kinenkan

Kanazawa (10)
(9)

More on souvenir shopping, the Shinise Kinenkan is a dwelling for you to get your hands on local products and handicrafts sold at very reasonable prices. You’d be immersed in local shops that sell anything from candies and chocolates, to pastries and miniature geisha statues.

You’d also find it enjoyable to lay your eyes on several samurai items being sold at this complex, and gain the ability to distinguish between which ones are legitimate and fake.

Seison-kaku

Kanazawa (9)

(10)

Built by the Maeda Lord in 1863, the Seison-kaku is found within the realms of the Castle Park. Now functioning as a retirement villa, this edifice is now a collection of chambers and rooms that serve as a museum.

Here, you’d be able to personally see the furniture, clothing and armaments that have been present since its erection, and be mesmerized by how well they are preserved.

See More:

Kanazawa Travel Guide – Japan Guide
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2167.html

Kanazawa Tourist Information Guide
http://www.kanazawa-tourism.com

Images:
(1) https://www.insidejapantours.com/csp/jap/insidejapan/images/gallery/IJT/72.jpg
(2) https://cheaphotelsme.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/kanazawa-castle.jpg
(3) https://wanderinghokies.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/kanazawa-garden.jpg
(4) http://www.abiertoporvacaciones.com/japon/kanazawa/kanazawa.jpg
(5) https://odorunara.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/img_4105.jpg
(6) http://cdn2.vtourist.com/19/7117773-Irises_are_soon_to_bloom_Kanazawa.jpg?version=2
(7) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/86/Ishikawa_Railway_IR521_Kanazawa_201503151841.JPG
(8) http://www.yokossushi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/vegetable_stall_omicho_fish__vegetable_market_kanazawa_japan1.jpg
(9) http://traverseworld.com/img/sights/519/00519_0008_Kanazawa%20Shinise%20Memorial%20Hall_The%20display%20of%20old%20Kimono_sub_pc_mini.jpg
(10)http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/11008385.jpg

Paul Intalan

Keeping it Classical and Relaxing in Salta

Salta (1)

(1)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(2)

Aside from the festive aura that Argentina shows to the world, the country is also a great tourist destination for those who want to please their eyes through architecture and romantic scenery.

The country leans on their unmistakable hospitality towards travelers, extending their culture in all possible ways to make their stay worthwhile.

Salta (3)

(3)

Salta (4)

(4)

It is through their vibrant tourism that their economy is flourishing, and there’s no denying that Argentina as a whole enamors people through its sheer beauty and rich history.

If ever you’d set foot in Argentina, ensure that you’re itinerary will take a side-trip to a town called Salta: a place where architecture and culture meet.

Location

Salta (5)

(5)

Salta is located in the famous Lerma Valley, positioned in the northwestern tip of Argentina. The town is placed 3,780 feet above sea level and is known to be the capital city of the Salta Province.

The town is divided into a metro and city area, which is currently home to 535,303 and 619,000 inhabitants respectively. Salta is dubbed as the second most populated area northwest of Argentina’s.

Climate

Salta (6)

(6)

According to the Koppen Climate Classification, Salta is blessed with a very beautiful weather, fit for travelers anytime of the year. In general, Salta experiences four seasons annually and each season comes is very mild, which is perfect for exploring.

The hottest temperatures are experienced in the months of September until December, while the rainy and wet seasons are felt in January until March. Temperature can go as high as 39.9-degrees Celsius and accumulated rainfall is at 754.70 millimeters for the whole year.

Transportation

Salta (7)

(7)

The main modes of transport in Salta are rental cars and taxicabs, since more and more people treat this town as a feisty tourist destination and convenient travel around the city is necessary.

If you want to experience traveling with Salta locals, bus lines are present that connect the town to nearby places such as Buenos Aires, La Quiaca, Formosa and Cordoba. If traveling by air, the main aviation terminal is a good 5-kilometer distance from Salta’s city center.

What to See

Museo de Arquelogia de Alta Montana

Salta (8)

(8)

If you’re into history and would want to know what Argentina and Salta are comprised of, then paying a visit to the Museo de Arquelogia de Alta Montana will satisfy your craving for information.

Here, you’ll see displays portraying the ancient Inca civilization and the famous Andes Mountain’s monumental glory.

You’ll also be introduced to a mummified human being found in the freezing Andes Mountains, and some traditions of Salta and Argentina for occasions involving death tributes.

Iglesia San Francisco

Salta (9)

(9)

Staying true to what Salta is known for, the towering Iglesia San Francisco is an eye-catching landmark found in the town. This place of worship has been widely known for its striking facade and intrinsic attention to architecture.

Be thrilled to know that there’s also a part of Iglesia San Francisco meant for religious art and treasures, even a maintained garden cloister for when you want to relax after roaming the church tediously.

Valles Calchaquies

Salta (10)

(10)

Dubbed as one of the country’s most well-preserved and well-attended tracks, adventurous travelers should set their gears and trek the so-called Valles Calchaquies. Here, you will witness how Salta locals and Argentinian people took care of their history and influence as can be seen through the houses lining up the path.

Expect to notice that houses follow distant Moorish arches and neoclassical columns. Also, immerse yourself into taking the greenery in as tall flora and bountiful fauna are what make Valles Calchaquies one of a kind.

Images:

(1) https://perpetualnomadconfessions.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/img_2970-copy-1_2_3_tonemapped.jpg
(2) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/27/Quebrada_de_las_Conchas,_Province_de_Salta,_Argentine..JPG
(3) http://volker.umpfenbach.de/bilder/reisen/2003suedamerika/high/dq-salta-ueberblick.jpg
(4) http://www.explora.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Travesia-Salta-explorations-in-the-Andes.jpg
(5)http://3.bp.blogspot.com/CF51uZEpdrc/UB1ol4msilI/AAAAAAAAC7A/5n0PoRg08o/s1600/Provincia%2Bde%2BSalta%2BMap.jpg
(6) https://bohotel.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/salta-0731.jpg
(7) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2b/Buenos_Aires_Metrobus_Av_9_Julio_2.jpg
(8) http://w5000225.ferozo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/cabildo-de-salta1.jpg
(9) http://silviamagnoturismo.tur.ar/wp-content/uploads/turismo_iglesia_san_francisco.jpg
(10) https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3267/2577296797_103d12467e_b.jpg

See More:

Visit Salta, Argentina – Salta Tourism & Travel Guide
http://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/LangRedirect?auto=3&origin=en_US&pool=B&returnTo=%2FTourism-g312822-Salta_Province_of_Salta_Northern_Argentina-Vacations.html&m=12082

Road Trip: Salta, Argentina | Travel + Leisure
http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/road-trip-salta-argentina

Paul Intalan

Give In to the Call of the Sun in Negombo

Negombo (1)

(1)

Sri Lanka is known to be a nation full of surprises and unmistakable beauty. Despite the fact that it is actually Colombo that takes the center stage when it comes to tourism, the small town of Negombo is slowly crawling it’s way up as a tourist destination as well. Here, you’ll be exposed to beautiful sandy beaches dotting the town, with all the hospitality and air of camaraderie provided by the locals themselves.

You’ll be pleased to know that there is a long list of accommodations to choose from, lines of restaurants serving only the most scrumptious meals and loads of outdoor activities for you to try. Negombo is a virgin paradise waiting to be discovered. With all the life and flamboyance that this town holds, it is an appropriate place for you to spend your next summer trip. Get in touch with Negombo with all that British flair, and you’ll be scrambling to plan for a return trip.

Negombo (2)

(2)

Location

Negombo (3)

(3)
One thing that Negombo is known for is the mix of land and water comprising its totality. Known to be 2 meters above sea level, travelers will be introduced to a place where the sea and the metro areas meet. Specifically, Negombo is part of the Gampaha District and also within the larger Western Province.

The urban and metro areas differ in land scope, with 11.58 square miles for the former and 13.13 square miles for the latter. Currently, Negombo is home to roughly 293,000 residents, with a rush of tourists during the peak season, which is summer.

Climate

Negombo (4)

(4)

Due to its positioning on the map, Negombo is classified to have a tropical rainforest climate according to Koppen. Simply put, the town is perfect for your dream summer escapade as most of the year is spent with the sun ablaze. Annually, Negombo has a temperature range from the lowest at 22-degree Celsius and shoots up to 31-degrees Celsius.

The breeze blowing from the sea balances the temperatures, paving the way for a more enjoyable stay in the city. Rainfall is also quite common in Negombo, with a total accumulation of 92.32 inches every year.

Transportation

Negombo (5)

(5)

If you’re coming in from the capital city Colombo, you’d be delighted to know that it would just take a 20-minute drive to get to Negombo via the government-initiated project called the Airport Expressway. From Colombo, you can start your luxurious summer vacation by using sophisticated bus services for a fee.

Travelers may also travel from one Sri Lankan province to the other by means of the Bus Terminal Complex of Negombo. With this very systematic concept, you can easily roam around the town and even open options for you to be transported to cities such as Kandy, Balangoda, Chilaw, Ampara, Mannar, Galle, Kegalle, Ratnapura, Kurunegala and so much more.

The closest aviation terminal is the Bandaranaike International Airport, which caters to both local and international flights.

What to See

St. Mary’s Church

Negombo (6)

(6)

For those who would wish to see how religion affects the town of Negombo, go to the illustrious St. Mary’s Church for your dose of divine intervention.

Be amazed that aside from the fact that this a place of worship, many people are attracted to its fading pink chambers, a feat pf architecture so appropriate for old churches. The interior is even better as travelers will be able to look at intricate ceiling paintings that are just marvelous.

Main Fish Market

Negombo (7)

(7)

Due to its proximity to the beach, it is quite expected that a Main Fish Market would be a tourist attraction in Negombo. As with other conventional markets, people and sellers have created a daily buzz at the beach’s outskirts, selling the freshest produce from the sea.

Here, you will be able to get items at a fraction of the cost such as crabs, prawns, lobsters and so much more. Haggling and selling at the Main Fish Market starts at 6AM and past visitors note that the earlier you get here, the better the products you’ll be able to buy.

Dutch Fort

Negombo (8)

(8)

After being colonized by Britain for a couple of years, it is not surprising to see that British culture is strongly embodied in Negombo.

One of the best historic sights you’ll be able to see is the Dutch Fort and its ruins, hinting at the town’s culture and history. The Dutch Fort stands at the seafront just at the outskirts of the lagoon, and some of its parts are still used nowadays.

Images:

(1) http://welkin.co.nz/Portals/7/neg1.jpg
(2) http://www.heritancehotels.com/negombo/files/2014/10/heritance-negombo-banner41.jpg
(3) http://www.sri-lanka-roads.fr/images/map-carte/carte-detaillee-negombo.jpg
(4) http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ARV9PX984IQ/USX1YDvqfnI/AAAAAAAAEUY/5UMrgpy2Vz4/s1600/P1110063.JPG
(5) https://www.lanka.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/busses-in-sri-lanka.jpg
(6) https://srilankangreenway.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/catholic-church-negombo-sri-lanka.jpg
(7) http://flashpackatforty.com/wp-content/gallery/negombo-revisited/basket-of-fish-negombo-market.jpg
(8) https://linnkf.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/the-dutch-canal-in-negombo-sri-lanka.jpg

See More:

Negombo | Colombo and the west coast Guide
http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/sri-lanka/colombo-west-coast/negombo/

Our experience about: Negombo
http://ineedtoiletpaper.com/tag/negombo/

Paul Intalan