Category Archives: General Reading
Believe it or not, the United States is one of the largest and most diverse countries in the world. During the festive season, it boasts of an amazing amount of tourist destinations ranging from the natural wonders of Arizona and Alaska, the skyscraper of New York and Chicago, the sunny beaches of California and Hawaii to the awesome casino lights in Las Vegas. With so many tourist attractions it’s tempting to list entire cities or even states. Should anyone be planning any family vacations, excursions or road trips in the near future or even planning ahead for the Christmas holidays, the US has all it takes to give you the best vacation ever.
Distances in the US are so great that it’s essential to plan in advance how you’ll get from place to place. The authorities provide quite a convenience rail service, and there are usually good bus links between the major cities. Even in rural areas, by advance planning, you can usually reach the main points of interest without too much trouble by using local buses and charter services.
If you really want to shake things up this Christmas holiday season, there is no better destination in Southern California than Big Gear Lake. Up until the New Years, thus welcoming mountain turns into a magical kingdom of fun and excitement. Also check out Long Beach California, a smaller city with unprecedented array of Cuisine. Have a whole of fun with the family at the Walt Disney Theme Park Florida. Christmas season is a special time of the year in Disney world. As early as November, each of the Parks in Walt Disney World has wonderful Christmas decoration in preparation of the series of events taking place during the holiday season. From the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT to the Disney Hollywood studio, the fun never stops. Make sure you have enough space in your camera or you will end up deleting pictures as you take new ones.
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to the United States, has welcomed new arrivals to the shores of America for over a hundred years.
Madame Tussauds Museum
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Washington DC is an interactive attraction that brings historical figures and events to life through wax figures that visitors can touch, see and hear.
Known colloquially as “The Crossroads of the World” and “The Great White Way,” Times Square NYC is one of the most popular commercial intersections in the world.
Opened in 1955, Disneyland in Anaheim, California has delighted visitors for decades with its eight themed “lands” of rides, shows and attractions.
The Brooklyn Bridge, built between 1869 and 1883, is one of the oldest and most recognizable suspension bridges in the world. It spans 5,989 feet and connects Manhattan to Brooklyn across the East River.
SeaWorld San Diego
Situated in sunny San Diego, SeaWorld is characterized by its theme of marine mammals, daring rides and live shows.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most visited tourist attractions in California and the US. Spanning over the San Francisco Bay for more than a mile, this famous landmark is one of the world’s most photographed bridges.
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort is the top ranked challenger to Disney, as the largest of the Universal Studios Theme Parks. The resort consists of two theme parks: The original Universal Studios Florida and the second theme park, Islands of Adventure.
Also don’t miss
- Kennedy Space Center
- Walt Disney World
- Sea world Orlando
- Discovery cove
- American Museum of natural history
- Museum of Modern Art
Travelling can lead to a wonderful experience and give you awesome memories if everything goes as it should be. To have a safe trip and a hitch free vacation you should know the guidelines on travelling. Do not let inconvenience discourage you from having a smooth journey. Here are some tips that can alleviate your worries when you are travelling.
Planning ahead.Whether you are booking your flight yourself or through your travel agent, be sure to make your reservations in advance. As soon as you know the date of your departure, don’t wait till the day before in order to validate your Visa or go shopping. Get everything ready before your departure date and confirm your resources.
Know your destination. Find out as much as you can about the location you going. Inform yourself about the destination’s history, culture, customs and government. You can find this information in libraries, bookstores, embassies, airports and tourist bureaus. Although English is spoken in most countries, it is practical to know what you can about the language of country to which you will be travelling. Knowing there greetingscan really come in handy.
Report to your embassy.It is advisable to register with your domicile embassy. In case there is an emergency, your home country can contact and get you to safety.
Bring copies of your passport. If your passport gets stolen or lost you want to be sure that you can still get back into the country, or be able to prove your citizenship.For extra backup, leave a copy of your passport at home or with someone you trust. Consider making an electronic copy you can store in your email account as well. Also have a way of communicating with those at home in case of an emergency.
Confirm the country’s entrance/exit fees. In addition to your airline ticket, some countriesrequire travellers to pay in order to enter or leave the country. Amount can range from $25 to $200.
Confirm your credit card works in your destination. To avoid financial inconveniences, make sure your credit or ATM cardworks in the country you are visiting.Time was when traveller’s cheques were the safest way to carry money overseas, those days are long gone. Some European banks have switched completely to the more secure chip-and-PIN technology and not many businesses accept the outdated magnetic-strip cards.
Always have local currency.In some countries, they don’t take credit cards especially for transport. Also look up the monetary conversion before you go.
Contact your doctor and insurance agent.Make sure you have the proper vaccination and necessary prescriptions to avoid any health hazard. Also, confirm with your insurance agent on the validity of your medical insurance policy, whether it applies overseas. If it doesn’t, be sure to make provisions for additional insurance.
Travel light.It is understable that you want to stay comfortable at your location, bringing your home with you but the weight might slow you down, not to talk of the extra baggage charges. If you travel light, you can move more quickly and will be more likely to have a free hand and less tired. Take the minimum amount of valuables necessary for your trip and prepare a safe place to keep them.
Safeguard your baggage.Tag your baggage with your name, address and telephone number. Cover these luggage tags and lock your luggage. Don’t bring anything you would hate to lose.
Find out about activities happening where you are going.Don’t miss out on events going on while you are there. Fun events like carnivals, ceremonies, festivals and so on. Research on their type of food so that you will get the feel and thrill of the country you are visiting.
Always have your charge adapter.It is true that countries have different size plugs and voltages so find out the type that is used at your destination and bring yours to avoid being stranded.
Dress properly.Don’t make your identity conspicuous.Everyone can recognize an American or African tourist on the street, before she or he even opens their mouth.To avoid being a target, dress conservatively.A flashy wardrobe or one that is too casual can mark you as a tourist. As much as possible, avoid the appearance of affluence.
Ever wondered why it is referred to as the land of a thousand hills? Blessed with rich views of undulating terrains and green vegetation, it is undoubtedly what its referred to. Rwanda is an extremely beautiful country with great variety and beauty. Of course its not everyone’s first choice destination for honeymoons, Rwanda offers a blend of green scenery coupled with luxury feeling that would surely strike ones thought.
Located in East Africa, Rwanda is bordered by beautiful lush green beaches giving honeymooners a chance to indulge in beach/water activities and also renowned for its freshwater, is Lake Kivu which houses three resort towns; Gisenyi, Cyangugu and Kibuye. The Gisenyi town resort provides some of the best sauna bath, sun tan, swimming and beach club facilities and every year thousands of tourists visit this place. No doubt honeymooners around the world are looking “eastwards” in the direction Rwanda.
Still on Lake Kivu, the more adventurous honeymooners often embarks on The Congo Nile Trail which is an exciting ten day hiking experience that covers a wide range of fascinating attractions on Lake Kivu shores. There are a number of hiking trails in the magestic Virunga Mountains or you can enjoy cycling the area, boating on the Twin lakes or even try your hand at fishing.
Things to do in Rwanda
Inema Arts Center
Inema Arts Center is a collective of Rwandan creative artists. Specializing in contemporary African Arts, Crafts, Music, and Dance, the Center provides a space to fuel creative expression.
Mamba Club is currently home to Kigali’s only Bowling alley. Besides the Bowling alley, Mamba club also offers plenty of recreational options that include Volleyball, Ping Pong, football, billiards and a swimming pool. The recreation center also has a full bar and restaurant that offers a variety of food choices.
Kigali Memorial Centre
Opened about ten (10) years after the genocide, the Kigali Memorial Centre was built to commemorate the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Since its opening, the Centre has welcomed over 100,000 visitors, including local Rwandans, young people and young leaders from around the Great Lakes region, politicians from the Great Lakes region and beyond — from countries throughout Africa and from the wider international community.
Kandt House Natural History Museum
The museum strives to represent the evolution of the ground, animals and plants, and to explain the interdependency between living beings and their environment. It attracts thousands of tourists yearly and is often used as an educational sightseeing for students.
Bird Watching and Gorilla Tracking
Amongst many available tours in Rwanda, Gorilla tracking and bird watching are most renowned. Rwanda house one-third of all the species of birds in Africa giving tourist a delicacy of view in the early hours of the morning along the sea shores. Getting close to the chimpanzee in their natural habitat is another adventurous experience tourists from all around the world are excited about.
The national carrier for Rwanda is RwandAir and they run direct flights from Lagos to Kigali, the capital and it takes about four (4) hours to fly. Other airlines that fly from Lagos includes; Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and Arik Air.
Nationals of Nigeria can obtain a visa on arrival at Kigali airport. Visitors are required to hold proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay, confirmed hotel reservation and documents required for their next destination.
Rwanda is currently Ebola-free. Nationals of Nigeria aren’t banned from visiting Rwanda.
Looking at the magnificent Zhangye Danxia landform for the first time, you might think your starring at an artificial painting by some art crazed person but sorry to burst your bubble, this layer cake of amazing colours is a real landscape located at Zhangye Danxia landform geological park in Gansu province a remote region in northern central china (Danxia is the name of a type of rock form, Zhangye being this particular location).
Otherwise known as the Eye Candy of Zhangye, these unique landforms have many artists envy its elegance as it appears to look like a perfect painting on canvas. Maybe the artists will feel better when they learn that the formation of these landforms was not for Mother Nature. It took about 24 million years of movement in the earth crust, arranging mineral deposits to form these rocks. Over centuries these weighty layers were compressed into rock and then buckled up by plates.
Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park
Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park is 40 kilometers from Zhangye County and 20 kilometers from Linze County. It is most developed and the most frequented one among the three.
Transportation inside the park
There are sightseeing cars available within the park where other tourist buses are not allowed to go inside. The distance between the four viewing platforms is around eight kilometers and it takes about one hour to finish the whole trip when taking the sightseeing cars.
The sightseeing cars go around these four viewing platforms, during which tourists can decide how long they want to stay at each viewing platform.
Given the time, you can select whether to take the internal sightseeing cars or have a hiking tour, but remember that the latest time for the sightseeing cars to be back from the fourth viewing platform is 20:30. It changes according to the season and the weather and the tour guide will ask the driver beforehand.
Location: Nantaizi Village, Nijiaying County, Zhangye City
Entrance fee: The entrance fee for Zhangye Danxia is 60 RMB, which includes the entrance ticket of 40 RMB and the sightseeing car cost of 20 RMB. People over 70 years old can enjoy free admission after showing their credentials. Children less than 1.2 meters in height can also enter it freely.
Price for powered hang glider: 200 RMB for 3-4minutes’ levitation, 300 RMB for 5-7 minutes, and 500 RMB for 10-12 minutes.
Opening times: 05:30-20:30 in summer, 08:00-18:00 in winter.
Here are 10 good reasons to put Portugal on a to-see list. Add to the reasons below friendly, helpful people, an excellent transportation system and a country safe for travel.
- Fabulous beaches
- Evora. An ancient town with its 16th century fountain in the main square, Evora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Fresh Fish and Shellfish. Seafood is abundant in Portugal, a land of fishermen and world sailors.
- Tavira. A picturesque seaside town in the Algarve, Tavira is famous for its many churches and offers several eras of history beginning with the Moorish occupation
- Monchique and Silves. One of the highest points in the Algarve, Monchique can be reached by hairpin, narrow roads. From this hill town, the view south is spectacular
- Good Wine and Pretty Pottery. Portugal produces a good selection of both red and white wines, starting at about $3
- Sintra. Close to Lisbon, Sintra is a UNESCO World heritage site named for its cultural aspects.
- Fado Music. Many hotels and pubs throughout Portugal host fado music concerts, a type of urban folk music with nostalgic, often mournful lyrics, accompanied by guitar
- Pousadas. While Portugal is noted for its affordable accommodation, particularly for long-stay winter vacations, a night in one of the country’s historic pousadas is an experience worth the extra money.
- Great Climate. Portugal enjoys good weather and especially in the Algarve, it’s year-round
It is not called a 7 star hotel for no reason. The birth of Burj Al Arab clearly redefined luxury and relaxation. Check out this video by Luciano Sestak and believe.
- The Palaces of Versaillesis one of the largest and most opulent castles in the world. This stunning historic castle with its beautiful architecture and gardens, and deep history is a must visit sight on a sightseeing trip to Paris.
- Take a relaxing trip down the River Seine onboard the Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise. A river cruise is a great way to see many of Paris’ famous landmarks and sights.
- The Arc De Triompheis one of the most iconic monuments in Paris and must for any visitor to Paris.
- The Louvre Museumis home to some of the finest art work in the world. Home to thousands of classic and modern masterpieces, the Louvre Museum is the jewel in the crown of French culture.
- A very popular attraction in Paris is the Cathedral of Notre Dame, with a Paris Pass you can take a visit to the top of the Towers of Notre Dame for free.
- Fancy trying some French wine? Then take a trip to O Chateau Wine Tastingwhere you can sample some exquisite wines from the vineyards of France.
- The Orsay Museumexhibits work by Delacroix, Manet, Guaguin, Cézanne, Monet, Renoir, Sisley, van Gogh and many more great artists.
- Discover Paris from the 56th observation floor of the Montparnasse Towerwhich offers visitors a stunning view of the city in all directions.
- Palais Garnier has been home toOpera de Parissince the 1600’s and is also home to a small gallery which hosts exhibitions as well as a permanent exhibition of the sets of operas from its history.
- Grevin Wax Museum features over 300 wax figures of the world’s most famous people dramatically posed in amazing scenes.
Welcome to Hamad International Airport
Comfort. Convenience. Choice. These are the things that matter most to today’s traveller and is at the heart of Hamad International Airport, Qatar Airways’ new home. The customer experience that the airport provides doesn’t just offer these qualities, it celebrates them.
1.Gain Perspective on Life – During day to day work our minds are caught up with the problems and activities of the job. Vacations are times for a change of pace. A great vacation might cause you to think, “This is what life is about!” Ask yourself – Do you live to work or work to live?
2. Wards Off Burn Out – Vacations give you timeto relax, de-stress and let go. Constant stress on the job can lead to burn out. Recovering from burnout requires lots on non work time.
3. Enhances Creativity – Any down time in which you let the daily worries go leaves room for new thinking and creativity. So many clients tell me that just as they are going to bed at night millions of new ideas pop into their heads. Vacations set the stage for letting ideas flow during and after your time off.
4. Family or Self Time – A vacation allows you to spend quality time with your family or by yourself. A trip to a spa or going someplace new alone can also be a renewing and exciting event.
5. A Rest for Your Body and Mind – How refreshing to let go of daily tasks and relax into something new! It gives your mind a rest and if you have strenuous work it gives your body a rest too. Even if your work isn’t physically strenuous it allows you time to listen to your body and pay attention. Many physical illnesses come from a lack of down time and stress.
6. Get Appreciation – It is nice to be missed and frequently when someone is on vacation those who work with him or her suddenly realize how much that person does and how valuable he/she is to the organization. Of course the reverse could happen too. If you discover that you were not missed, then you will need to work on finding ways to add value to your work or your job will be in jeopardy. A coach can help you!
7. Appreciate Your Job – Having unstructured time to do what you want to do is fun initially. At the end of my vacation however you feel really energized and excited to get back to the structured environment of my work. That’s if you love what you do. If you find yourself dreading going back to work, you need to find out what the problem is and get it resolved. A coach can help you here too.
8. Time to Think about Career -The Wisconsin Medical Journal reports on a study on 1500 women between 1996 and 2001 that shows that vacations help employees do a better job. Vacations give people time to think. Some employees might contemplate how to do a better job and others might think about how to get a better job! Thinking about what constitutes meaningful work might give some criteria for a new job.
9. Fewer Regrets – The late Paul Tsongas who was a Senator from Massachusetts once said “Nobody on his deathbed ever said ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office’. Now is the time to begin living the life you love. Vacations allow you to think about what makes you happy and what constitutes meaningful work.
10. Expands the Mind – Vacations give you time to see, hear or read something new. Whether you take a trip, go to concerts, or get caught up on your reading, vacations give you the space to do something that is different and new. A change in routine gives you all sorts of new possibilities.
Vacations are good for employers too. Joe Robinson, author of the book Work to Live, says that vacations improve productivity and profits. At one company he cited sales increased 15 percent, a staff turnover problem was eliminated, and performance improved so much that the company was able to get rid of overtime.