Day: May 25, 2021

    Enthrall the Kids With These Exciting Times Square Activities

    No Comments

    Whether you live in or are visiting New York City, there are plenty of kids’ activities in Times Square. You don’t need an excuse such as a birthday or other celebration, either. Rather make a list of things to in Times Square with the kids and set off on weekend or summer vacation adventures. Most of these activities are not only fun, they are educational, too, although your kids won’t realize it.

    1. Discovery Times Square

    If your children are Discovery Channel junkies, they’ll love Discovery Times Square. Filled with unique and interactive presentations, DTS, as it calls itself, is “New York City’s first large-scale exhibition center.” You and your kids will love Harry Potter: The Exhibition, Marvel’s AVENGERS S.T.A.T.I.O.N., The Hunger Games: The Exhibition, and many other cultural and historical gems.

    1. Hershey’s Times Square

    Who doesn’t love Hershey’s chocolate? This American icon has crafted confections since 1894, and Hershey’s Times Square must be added to your list of things to do in the Times Square area. You and the kids can create your own custom mix of your favorite Hershey’s Miniatures from the unbelievable selection inside the store. There is probably Hershey candy you didn’t even know existed!

    Categories: attractions, attractions1

    Shore Excursions in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

    No Comments

    Tourism in Nicaragua is on the up.

    Every year, more and more people are visiting this beautiful country. Nicaragua has stepped out of the Cold War shadow and is fast becoming the hottest destinations in Latin America.

    It’s not hard to see why; Nicaragua is blessed with amazing natural landscapes. There are pristine beaches, huge lakes, and stunning volcanoes (both active and dormant). There is also an abundance of flora & fauna, wildlife, and culture.

    Another selling point is its relative lack of development. Events in recent history have meant that Nicaragua has not been Westernised in the way that Costa Rica, it’s neighbour to the South, has. Instead, Nicaragua has held on to it’s unique charm (and low prices).

    However, things are changing fast. People are beginning to recognise the opportunities that Nicaragua offers, and investments are being made across the country. This is most notable in San Juan del Sur, where a new $3 million cruise port was opened last year.

    Categories: attractions, attractions1

    A Perfect Day In Prague

    No Comments

    With castles, cathedrals, palaces, gardens, and cobbled lanes aplenty, it’s difficult not to have a good day in Prague. However, many visitors never leave the well-trodden route running from Wenceslas Square, through Old Town Square, across the Charles Bridge, and up the hill to Prague Castle. To locals, Prague is so much more. Here’s one perfect day that helps keep you clear of crowds and selfie sticks.

    Rise and Shine

    Perched high on a bluff over the Vltava River, the seventeenth-century Vyšehrad Fortress is one of the Czech nation’s spiritual homes: Its cemetery is the final resting place for some of the country’s most beloved figures, including composers Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, and Alphonse Mucha. Seen from atop the fortress walls, the sunrise reflects beautifully off the river as it burns through the mist and is worth waking early for.

    Stretching along the river from Vyšehrad to Šítkov Water Tower, the one-mile pedestrian-only Náplavka riverbank thrives in early evening, when locals come down to unwind and sip cold suds. In the morning, it’s almost all yours, with the city’s famous skyline rising higher on the horizon with each step. Cross Legií Bridge to the west bank for coffee and breakfast on the outdoor patio of Café Bella Vida.

    Categories: attractions, attractions1

    Todos Santos, Guatemala

    No Comments

    Todos Santos, Guatemala

    Todos Santos is a small village hidden high in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes. Guatemala is a mountainous country with no shortage of dramatic mountain ranges. The Cuchumatanes, however, are in a league of their own; stretching up to 12,500 feet, they are the highest non-volcanic mountain range in Central America and a sight to behold. The Cuchumatanes rise from skirts of humid jungle that gives way to pine forest as they climb upward; near the top, the trees thin into sweeping grasslands, shrouded in cloud as often as not.

    There, in a steep valley parceled into fields for subsistence farming, is the Mam community of Todos Santos. The men wear traditional traje, or Mayan costume; the most striking feature is their red and white striped trousers. If a man is married, he wears a pair of shorts over his trousers. Married and unmarried men alike also sport hats, traditional shirts, and colorfully embroidered jackets.

    Todos Santos is quiet for most of the year – it is as quaint as it is isolated, a Mayan community that forges on without the money and attention that come from being a tourist attraction. At least once a year, however, Todos Santos plays host to a do-not-miss event. It’s the villages feria, or annual festival, which takes the form of a drunken horse race on the day of the dead.

    Categories: attractions, attractions1

    Where to swim in Athens

    No Comments

    Athens is not only a capital, a large city with important museums and amazing historical sites, elegant shops and vivid nightlife. Although the ancient Athens was not built by the sea, today a big part of the city is located by the sea. The nearest beach is only 15 km from Athens centre. That means you can easily spend a day on a beach, swimming and sunbathing in the crystal waters of the Saronic Gulf, the Euvoic Gulf or the Aegean Sea. Especially if you go 30-40 km from the centre, the sea waters are so clear and blue that you feel like swimming on an island. Here, you can find the best regions to do so.

    In the Saronic Gulf

    Alimos and Faliro

    The beach of Faliro is located at the point, where Athens Riviera begins. Only 15 km from Athens centre, it is the best alternative to sightseeing during a hot day. It is organised, family-friendly, and Faliro is a nice suburb, where after swimming, you can eat in a tavern or drink coffee. The same applies for Alimos, a few km from Faliro. The beaches are organised with sunbeds and water sports facilities, and the impressive thing is that you are so close to Athens and you can go there by tram in less than half an hour!

    Glyfada and Voula

    Glyfada is one of the most popular seaside districts of the capital, and it has also wonderful and cosmopolitan beaches with clear water, sunbeds, water sports facilities and elegant beach bars. You can spend your day in the area because Glyfada is also a perfect spot for shopping, bar-hopping and eating, things you can do after swimming and sunbathing on the beautiful beach. Voula is the suburb near Glyfada, is located at the end station of the tram, and you can find there a nice, organised beach.

    Vouliagmeni and Varkiza

    When you go further to Athens Riviera, 25 km from city centre, two wonderful and organised beaches are among the best choices for swimming in a close distance. Asteras Resort and Plage of Vouliagmeni have clear waters and facilities for water sports, such as ski, surf, kite surf, canoeing and water games. They are family-friendly thanks to their activities and their shallow waters. The entrance fee in Asteras Resort is 30€, but in Plage Vouliagmeni only 5€. You can go there by bus. Varkiza Resort is located next to Vouliagmeni, and it offers a beautiful shore with two beach bars, water sports facilities, taverns and luxury restaurants. The route from Vouliagmeni to Varkiza by bus is just breathtaking.

    Lagonissi, Anavyssos and Saronida

    From this point, as you go to Cape Sounio, the beaches are more beautiful and the waters clearer and more attractive. These areas are the places where Athenians have their summer residences. Organised beaches with vivid beach bars as well as undiscovered caves all over the coastline are the main characteristics of this area. During summer, the region is full of beach bars, taverns and clubs where you can have fun until late at night. You can go there by public road transport.

    In the Aegean Sea

    Categories: attractions, attractions1

    Life at Cape Flattery Lighthouse

    No Comments

    In March of 1778 Captain James Cook sailed the waters of the North Washington Coast where there was an opening along the coastline. He named the place Cape Flattery because he thought he had been flattered into thinking it was a passage into The Strait of Juan de Fuca. In his logbook he wrote “In this very latitude geographers have placed the pretended Strait of Juan de Fuca. But nothing of that kind presented itself to our view, nor is it probable that any such thing ever existed.”

    Ten years later Captain John Meares managed to confirm the existence of the Strait of Juan de Fuca when he visited a small island that sits about a half mile off Cape Flattery. There he met Tatooche, chief of the Makah Indians. He named the island after Chief Tatooche. The chief used the island as his base during summers when he hunted whales and caught salmon.

    In 1850 William McArthur had just finished surveying the west coast and recommended a lighthouse be established on Tatooche Island. In this way the vessels could enter the strait at night and not have to wait until daylight. In 1854 Congress was convinced to allocate $39,000 to build lighthouses on Tatoosh Island and on New Dungeness Spit. The government had paid $30,000 for all of the Makah’s traditional lands except for a small reservation at Neah Bay.

    The Makah Indians were quite angry with the white people who purchased their land and gave the construction crew a hostile reception. This was because several hundred of the Indians had been killed by an outbreak of smallpox in 1853 brought on by the disease bearing “Bostons”. During the summer the Indians continued to use the island for fishing and whale hunting. In order to protect themselves the construction crew built a blockhouse of rough-hewn timbers before they started construction on the lighthouse. There was always one member of the crew on guard duty but there were no more issues with the Indians other than a few missing tools and supplies.

    On December 28, 1857 the first-order Louis Sauter Fresnel lens light was first illuminated in the sixty-six foot tower of Cape Flattery lighthouse. This tower was taller than most of the Cape-Cod-Style lighthouses. Its white light had a focal plane 162 feet above the sea. Cape Flattery lighthouse was the fourteenth established on the west coast.

    The pay for a lighthouse keeper was poor and the weather conditions were miserable.causing many keepers to resign. In 1861 there was a visitor to the island who saw the rundown condition of the lighthouse. He saw the leaky roof and the moss growing on inside walls. Wind even blew across the chimney causing smoke to invade the living quarters. The keepers were provided with extra fuel and the district engineer was commanded to find a permanent solution.

    In 1873, after several years of deplorable conditions and inept keepers, the lighthouse dwelling was declared “not fit to be occupied” as the walls were moldy all year long. Congress appropriated $18,000 to build a new duplex with six rooms on each side. The rooms in the lighthouse which were formerly keepers quarters were now being used for storage.

    Some very interesting things happened on this island. Francis James was the first principal keeper. One day he became angry with an assistant and threw coffee in his face. The two men decided to settle the argument with a gunfight. They took three shots at each other, called it a draw and shook hands. Later, another assistant confessed to removing the bullets.

    Due to the “frollicking” nature of the bachelor keepers it was decided that keepers with families were more dependable and in 1894, with families coming onto the island, it was determined that more living space was needed. and the lighthouse was once again made livable.

    October 27,1900 assistant keeper Nels Nelson and Frank Reif lost their lives in a small boat during a storm. Their bodies were found over a week later on Vancouver Island.

    In 1900 John W Cowan and his wife and seven children arrived at the lighthouse and stayed on for 32 years experiencing many exciting times. The children attended school in Portland while staying with relatives. They spent the summers at home on the island with their parents. Eventually there were enough children on the island to warrant a school.

    On February 18, 1911 Cowan saw a vessel struggling in angry seas between Tatoosh Island and Neah Bay. He was able to rescue two navy radio men, but was unable to save three others including his own son Forrest.

    There is a story, not verified, that a seventy-mile-per-hour gale hit the island in 1921. It blew Mr. Cowan across the island for about 300 ft while he clung to vegetation before crawling to safety. The family’s bull was listed as “lost at sea”. Everyone was very surprised and plied him with extra rations when he swam asho

    The Cowan family was evidently much beloved . When they left the island after retiring in September of 1932 their fellow islanders were in tears.

    Second Assistant Keeper Ole Rasmussen was another casualty while returning to the island in a small boat. Heavy swells capsized his craft and he was struck in the head.

    The weather station was closed in 1966. 1977 brought automation of the light station. A modern beacon was installed to replace the tower’s Fresnel lens in 1996

    The Makah Indian Tribe now controls the decommissioned Cape Flattery Lighthouse and the island.

    It is well worth the trip to drive to Neah Bay, get out of the car and hike the o.75 miles to the tip of the cape where you can view Tatoosh Island and the lighthouse. This happens to be the western most point in the continental US.

    In Port Angeles you can visit the Museum at 207 South Lincoln Street where you can see the fourth-order Fresnel lens that was used at Cape Flattery. The museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

    Categories: attractions, attractions1

    Where to Stay in Santorini the Best Towns & Hotels

    No Comments

    Spectacular Santorini shines like a glamorous jewel in the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Completing the set of Cyclades islands, Santorini itself is set on the site of a submerged volcano and is home to the famously breathtaking caldera which gives the island its distinct shape. Life on the island itself is pure luxury; secluded villas with infinity pools, private Cliffside suites and honeymoon hideaways create an upscale vibe infused with a divine decadence.

    The island has a distinct culture and a depth of history, and the local settlements are made up of villages, each of which vary in architecture and development and have their own unique charm. The romance of Santorini shines through with the sublime nature of its sunsets; as the sun sinks it illuminates the ocean and lights up the caldera, a spectacle which draws thousands of visitors daily.

    Santorini is a luxury destination: some of the places to stay in Santorini are fantastically opulent and cater to a glitterati of chic visitors from across the globe. Whatever the budget, traveler who come to Santorini’s shores will enjoy the evenings watching in awe as the sky changes colour and bask in extravagance of the Greek holiday haven. Days on the island are filled with delicious dining and the chance to recline on your own private terrace among the jigsaw of quintessentially Greek white block buildings, as the sun washes over you and you indulge in the delights of life on Santorini.

    Spend balmy evenings in buzzing Fira, the biggest town on the island and the lively heart of Santorini. With its abundance of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, Fira is where you should stay on Santorini if you want to party until the early hours and then spend your days exploring the island, and browsing the many shops in the town in the shadow of the beautiful volcano in the distance.

    Fira is the perfect place to base yourself in order to explore all that Santorini has to offer. All of the bus routes that traverse the island begin and end in the town meaning that you can travel all over the island. If you don’t fancy catching the bus then it is simple to rent a scooter or even your own car and travel at your own pace. Hotels in Fira town are more expensive than neighboring villages but there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from.

    Close to Fira, quiet and placid Imerovigli is the dream spot for honeymooners. The village is one of the most expensive places to stay on the island, but with breathtaking views of the caldera lagoon and romantic luxury love nest hideaways, it offers a perfect slice of secluded Santorini.

    The charming town doesn’t have a beach but does have awesome 4 and 5-star hotels to choose from, many offering beautifully designed private suites, some of which are built into the cliff and have views of the volcano. From Imerovigli it is easy to travel to nearby towns; a lot of hotels offer a free shuttle bus, although local busses also connect to busy Fira.

    Kamari is considerably cheaper than villages with views of the Caldera, but what it lacks in famous views it makes up for in its beautiful beach. If you are visiting Santorini with children then staying in Kamari is a great choice of location. The family friendly village boasts an expanse of sandy beach dotted with little local bars and restaurants, supermarkets and shops, meaning long days spent playing on the shoreline and evenings enjoying delicious meals with your family.

    This is the place to stay in Santorini if your budget is a little tight, and the best priced hotel rooms are usually found outside of the peak summer season. With most of the accommodation in easy walking distance to the beach, there is no need to take a bus or taxi to reach the water as in other towns on the island.

    Categories: attractions, attractions1

    Alki Point: From a Kerosene Lantern to Lighthouse

    No Comments

    A wedge shaped piece of West Seattle stretches into Puget Sound forming the southern boundary of Elliott Bay, the first settlers of which were Duwamish Indians. It was first named New York by Charles Terry who operated a store in that location. The place was later named Alki Point.

    In 1868 Hans Martin Hanson and his brother-in-law Knud Olson purchased the 260 acres of land from Dr. David Maynard. The purchase price was $450. Later Hanson and Olson divided the property with Hanson’s portion being the point.

    Legend has it that sometime during the 1870s farmer Hanson hung a brass kerosene lantern from a post. He did this in order to mark the dangerous shoals of Alki Point for the mariners of Puget Sound who were increasing in numbers.

    In 1887 the Federal Lighthouse Board decided that Alki Point was extremely hazardous to marine traffic and they replaced Hanson’s kerosene lantern with a “post lantern”. “Post lanterns” were used at many locations until a lighthouse could b e built.

    Categories: attractions, attractions1

    Marrowstone Point Light and the “Triangle of Fire”

    No Comments

    Near Port Townsend, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula extends a piece of low level ground known as Marrowstone Point. The point was named by captain George Vancouver after visiting the site in May of 1792 and spotting the clay that can be seen in the bluffs above the point.

    About October 1 1888 a lens lantern with a red light was mounted on a pole to mark the eastern entrance to Port Townsend Bay. In 1892 the Lighthouse board recommended a large fog bell be installed to warn of the sharp turn in the course when entering for leaving Puget Sound. $3,500 was allocated by Congress on March 3 1893 and a one and one half story six-room keepers house with a fog bell tower was built and put into operation on April 7, 1896. The huge 1,200 pound bell would strike twice every fifteen seconds during periods of fog or low visibility.

    Seventy-year-old former sea captain Osmore H Morgan was the first keeper. He had spent the prior fourteen years as head keeper at the New Dungeness Lighthouse. His daughter, Nettie Race took over after his passing in 1907. A few months later Axel Rustad was appointed keeper and he and wife Karen took over. They stayed for ten years raising four sons in the keepers quarters. The only water for the family was rain water collected and stored in a 5,000-gallon redwood tank which was located in a shed behind the house.

    In July 1903 the North Pacific, a side wheel steamer struck Craven Rock off Marrowstone Point in a dense fog. The steamer had 14 passengers aboard who were taken to shore by lifeboats and the tug boat C. B. Smith. Lighthouse keeper Morgan fed and sheltered them until they were taken aboard the steamer Mainlander which had run aground on Marrowstone Point that same morning but was afloat again at high tide. The North Pacific was a total loss as it sank in deep water.

    In 1907 construction of Fort Flagler was completed. Fort Flagler joined with the guns at Fort Casey on Admiralty Head and the guns at Fort Worden near Point Wilson to form a “Triangle of Fire” to prevent enemy vessels from entering Puget Sound

    Dense fog caused another mishap in August 1908. The 502-foot-long armored cruiser USS Colorado ran aground on Liplip Point the southeast tip of Marrowstone Island. This incident cast light on the need for more navigational aids in Puget Sound. On October 22, 1913 Congress appropriated $30,000 for improvements.

    Marrowstone Point received a new fog signal and light in 1914. An experimental acetylene gun was installed in a wooden building thirteen yards northeast of the bell tower and took the place of the fog bell. Mariners were asked to report the efficiency of the gun to the lighthouse inspector in Portland.

    A new acetylene gun was installed atop a concrete structure just two months later. At the same time, the light was changed from a fixed red to a quick two red flashes every six seconds. The acetylene fog gun was the first of its kind to be used in the United States.

    Several improvements were made over the years until 1962 when it was automated. In 1972 the Coast Guard transferred the property to the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be used as a research facility. The keepers house is now used as a guest house for scientists who visit the Marrowstone Marine Field Station.

    Still standing at the waters edge are the structure that held the light and fog signal and the light tower. The flashing white light is still functioning but the fog signal is no longer being used. The station is now being used as a marine ecosystem health and marine fish health research facility.

    Fort Flagler is now Fort Flagler State Park . A military museum is located in the park. The Marrowstone Point Light is visible from the park’s beach but it is not open to the public.

    Categories: attractions, attractions1

    Short break to Dubrovnik

    No Comments

    Dubrovnik is a magnificent walled Croatian city located in the southern part of the Adriatic coast. This small city is the most popular Mediterranean short break destination. It welcomes thousands of visitors each year who come to enjoy its medieval charms and the Mediterranean sun. What makes Dubrovnik ideal for short breaks, is its small size but with so much to enjoy. The people here are very friendly, and the city is also very clean with no hawkers congesting the city. It’s very accessible and easy to navigate by foot. There is also an extensive public bus network to ensure less hassle exploring the city. Whether you are a history fan, foodie or a cultural nomad this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site has plenty to offer. Here are some of the things you have to do and see while on your short breaks to Dubrovnik.

    Things to see

    Walk on the Walls of Dubrovnik

    You can take a walk along the series of defensive stone walls of Dubrovnik. The walls are only 2 kilometers long and you can walk them easily. The view from the Walls is truly breathtaking. These include the amazing views of the Stradun, the bell tower, the beautiful view of the Adriatic Sea and the St. Johns fortress. You can also get a chance to take photos of Lokrum Island.

    Strut along the Stradun

    Another important thing you should never miss while in Dubrovnik is the promenade Stradun. Stradun is the main street in Dubrovnik and it stretches through the Old Town. The best time to take a stroll in the city’s main thoroughfare is in the evening when most locals come out. You can walk up and down the street of Stradun as you explore the architectural treasures of Dubrovnik. There is a lot to enjoy ranging from fountains and statues to stone houses and palaces.

    Visit the Rector’s palace

    To make your short break memorable, visit the Rector’s Palace. The Palace was used by the Rector of the Republic Ragusa (when Dubrovnik was a Republic from 1358-1808). Today, this fascinating Renaissance palace houses a museum, with an art gallery containing beautiful portraits, coins, and coats of arms that evoke the history of Dubrovnik. This palace is mostly used for concerts because of its beautiful acoustics.

    Don’t miss Fort Lovrijenac

    This recognizable fortress is a must visit. It has been used to defend the western part of the city since the 11th century. This impressive 37meter high is a beauty that overlooks the sea. Today it is often used as a theatre, especially during Dubrovnik Summer Festival. The Game of Thrones fans recognizes it as the Red Keep in King’s Landing.

    Take a Cable car to Srd

    There is no better way to enjoy in panoramic view of Dubrovnik than riding with the cable car. The cable car was built in 1969 and on a clear day, you can see up to 60 kilometers. Besides a truly amazing view, you can also have a drink or a snack while enjoying the view. Adult round-trip costs 19€ and it can only be paid by Croatian currency (kuna) or by credit card.

    Be the part of Dubrovnik Summer Festival

    If you are a history buff, then this festival is a must attend. This is the largest and most representative cultural manifestation in the whole of Croatia. It is held from 10 July to 25 August every year. At this event, you will get to enjoy theatre, classical music, and opera and dance presentations.

    Take a short trip to Island Lokrum

    Take a short ferry ride to the Island of Lokrum and get to enjoy the grotesque views on the way. Day trips to this island are very common and popular. Being there is truly a refreshing experience with its pine and olive trees. The trip lasts only 15 minutes and it costs around 5€. While on the Island, check the Botanical Gardens and the ruins of the Benedictine Monastery. During summertime, you can enjoy swimming and sunbathing.

    How to get to Dubrovnik

    The most practical way to reaching Dubrovnik is by air. Because of the very good frequency of flights it is convenient to visit Dubrovnik during the summer. There are many direct routes from Europe or with a possible stopover. Another option is to get to Dubrovnik is with a cruise ship.

    Categories: attractions, attractions1