Soul of the Mediterranean culture in Roman times found in the ruins of Hippo Regius in Algeria

Algeria is home to 36 million people, but occupies almost one million square miles, by far the largest nation in all of Africa, four times the size of Texas. It is a sparsely populated country, especially outside the main cities. Many Algerians are concentrated in large urban areas such as Algiers, which has a population close to four million.
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So Algeria is primarily a land of vast deserts, a Sahara nation that offers views from cities, large tracts of land with few people but lots of sky. The coast is wonderfully fertile and well watered, a magnificent country that was once the barn of ancient Rome.
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In many ways, it has the characteristics that would be instantly familiar to Californians who cultivate that fertile state: a plain towards the sea that leads inland to a wall of mountains that tend to keep the plain well retained by blocking ocean moisture so that Don’t travel over the mountains. . This is the same geo-climatological configuration along the southern Mediterranean coast and the California coast.
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The great Christian philosopher Saint Augustine was bishop of Hippo Regius, an ancient city whose modern name is Annaba, Algeria. The ruins of Hippo Regius bring me back year after year, decade after decade. I feel, somehow, that the soul of the Mediterranean is hidden among these ancient blocks of stone.
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They remember Rome when it entered the Christian era and they are among the best in all of North Africa, so it deserves a special trip. We can see why this land settled three thousand years ago with rich and undulating mounds covered with flowers, olive groves, rosemary beds, the home of the shepherds and their flocks, whose days are animated with the singing of birds.
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At the height of its activity a couple of millennia ago, the city of Hippo was considered part of Roman Africa, a kind of vassal of the great city of Carthage in present-day Tunisia. Today, Hippo Regius is part of Algeria, although not far from the border with Tunisia. St. Augustine was ordained a priest there in 391. He became bishop coadjutor in 395, then bishop a few years later, a position he held for almost three decades until his death in 430.
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The best way to see the ancient city is to approach it from the seafront, which today has moved a thousand feet away from where it used to be when the Romans stepped on these beaches and roads.
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Walk from the Mediterranean Sea down the small hill to the well-preserved Hippo Museum before touring the ruins, as the exhibits there will help put what you see in the right context, an investment worth doing. For example, the ground floor contains a good collection of sculptures in the Salle des Bustes , including a statute of Emperor Vespasian that was found in the forum. A special gift for me is a very strange armor, almost seven feet high, covered with a red cloak like blood. On the wall there is a meticulously detailed mosaic of four sea nymphs or water spirits.
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There is another collection of fine mosaics in the next room, my favorite is a hunting game from the time of St. Augustine in which lions, leopards and antelopes are chased in a trap.
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We easily forget that in those days the lions were not limited to Kenya and East Africa. They were common as far north as Hippo Regius. It was only the Mediterranean Sea that prevented the lions from wandering around Sicily and Italy. A third mosaic scene, this one of fishermen bringing home their catch, includes what I consider equivalent to an old postcard that shows Hippo Regius as it should have appeared two thousand years ago.
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The ruins of the ancient city occupy many acres of land. You will see that the best houses and the best residential area of ​​the city, in those days as in a modern city, were right on the ocean, where the sea breeze swept its open courtyards. What remains of half a dozen Roman villas of the well-to-do is evident here, their courtyards are marked by columns, some of the walls and floors still visible.
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Two houses especially worth seeing are the Villa del Laberinto and the Villa del Procurador, which I consider to be the most impressive examples of how the rich organized their private homes. Beyond these oceanfront villas, if you continue passing the southern baths where you will reach the edge of the Christian neighborhood and the 150-foot contour of the great basilica of the early Christian period where Augustine probably occupied the court as a bishop. The mosaics on the floor are quite beautiful.
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No modern visitor from Algeria should miss the opportunity to visit Hippo Regius and pay tribute to this vision of the past.


Death Valley in bloom

While Death Valley blatantly exposes its geology, it is shy in revealing its flora, both thanks to its average of 2 inches (5 cm) of rain per year. Death Valley is a land of extremes. In December, the air temperature can be 85 degrees F (29 degrees C) in Badwater, which is about 280 feet (85 meters) below sea level. And yet, 20 miles (32 km) away, Telescope Peak, 11,049 feet (3368 meters) above sea level: the highest point in the park can be hit by a snowstorm. In fact, Death Valley is the lowest, hottest and other places in North America.
Despite this dryness, this park is home to 1,000 species of plants, including 23 species that grow nowhere else. A couple of factors work in favor of Death Valley with respect to plant diversity. First is its wide range of elevations, which makes it attractive for a wide range of plant types.
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That change in elevation from Badwater to Telescope Peak is twice the change in elevation of the Grand Canyon. The other factor is that the park is so big. With 3.3 million acres (approximately 1.3 million hectares), it is 1-½ times the size of the state of Delaware.
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The typically dry environment of Death Valley is a product of the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west. When storms arrive from the Pacific through California, they generally travel from west to east. These mountains west of Death Valley squeeze most of the moisture from the clouds. After the storms pass through the Mount Whitney area, the western slopes of the Panamint Mountains squeeze even more moisture. On the east side of the Panamint Mountains, where Death Valley is located, the now dry air warms as it descends into Death Valley. This heating causes any moisture that reaches the ground to evaporate quickly and adds to the high temperatures of the Valley. Some estimates have an annual Death Valley evaporation rate of around 150 inches (381 cm), which means that a lake approximately 12 feet (3.7 meters) deep would dry in a year.
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Like the rest of California, Death Valley has a distinct winter rainy season and a dry summer season. This is known as the Mediterranean climate (similar to southern Italy, Greece and Spain, and the North African coast). And how rainy the winters of California can be deeply affected by a phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean called El Niño. This is when a large portion of the ocean is warmer than average, which leads to a higher than normal evaporation and, in turn, to a higher than normal rainfall in California. While that can cause flooding and landslides, it can also lead to spectacular displays of wildflowers in the Death Valley that park rangers call “superbloom.”

Historically, the winter of 1998 brought 5 inches (12.5 cm) of rain to Death Valley, which generally receives about 2 inches (5 cm) of rain in a year. Wild flowers that do not bloom every year appeared and the most typical were particularly profuse. It became known as the “flourishing of the century” and became national television news. Death Valley had many more visitors that year than usual. In fact, the 1999 calendar year has the highest record of Death Valley visits with more than 1.2 million.

How good a flowering season will be depends not only on the amount of moisture that the rainy season brings, but also on how nature distributes that moisture. The 1998 season was excellent, not only because it rained more, but also because the rain spread over time. The other determining factors for a good flowering season are sufficiently hot temperatures, but not too hot, and the lack of dry winds.

When you go, make your first stop at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, along State Route 190, where you can ask the rangers how well and where the wild flowers bloom. Since the visitor center is close to half of this huge park, you probably already have a good idea for when you arrive. The visitor center offers several field guides to help you identify desert wildflowers. A garden full of native vegetation in the front can help you see what flowers are blooming and how they look before embarking on your own search.

You can also learn how plants have adapted to this hostile environment. First, most species are annual, or more specifically, ephemeral ephemeral. They escape the dryness of Death Valley only when they grow and bloom when there is enough moisture available. They spend the rest of the year as seeds, until the humidity returns.

Second, the common creosote bush illustrates another desert adaptation. Less smaller leaves grow that have less surface area to lose moisture, but then cover the leaves you have with a waxy substance to further reduce moisture loss.

The cactus shows a third adaptation to desiccation, whose leaves have become thorns to deflect the sun’s rays and the mouths of thirsty and marauding animals. Photosynthesis takes place in the pads of a cactus, not in its “leaves.”

Furnace Creek Village would be a good base camp for your explorations. For motorhome travelers, connections are available here, as well as at Panamint Springs, a private hotel complex on the western edge of the park, and at Stovepipe Wells Village, a more centrally located motel complex north of Furnace Creek.

The flowering season in Death Valley begins at the lowest elevations at the southern end of the park. It begins in mid-February and continues until mid-April. The lowest elevations are the salt flats of the Badwater Basin, which was filled by Lake Manly 650 feet (198 meters) deep during the last Ice Age, but a warmer climate dried it. Salinas do not admit plants, but the adjacent valley floor and alluvial fans do. Alluvial fans are triangular deposits that wash from canyons and accumulate for eons. They are the desert version of a river delta.

The best areas to see this early flowering are near the visitor center along State Route 190 around the Furnace Creek Inn; in Jubilee Pass on State Route 178 at the southern end of the park; and on Daylight Pass, along State Route 374 that connects with Beatty, Nevada. Drive south from Furnace Creek on State Route 178, observing the color between the alluvial fans on your left and in the valley on your right. For a year of El Niño, fans both north and south of Furnace Creek turn a distinctive yellow of desert sunflower flowers (scientific name Gerea canescens ) Growing with desert sunflowers in alluvial fans is an interesting whitish flower commonly called gravel ghost ( Atrichoseris platyphylla ), although our field guides gave it the pedestrian name of tobacco grass. Its common name comes from the fact that its hirsute stems can give these flowers a disembodied appearance while floating on gravel.

Perhaps the most popular desert flower of all in Death Valley is the Desert Five-Spot. Its pinkish-purple petals form a balloon around a source of stamens. Each petal has a burgundy stain inside. We found them throughout Artist & # 39; s Drive, just south of Golden Canyon, and at the southern end of the park at the ruins of Ashford Mill and Jubilee Pass.

Don’t miss the other attractions near Furnace Creek. At the Borax Museum, learn about the history of the mineral for which Death Valley is most famous. The museum focuses on borax underground mining. It also contains exhibits of the famous teams of 20 mules that took borax from Death Valley. To get to know that time, visit the ruins of Harmony Borax Works, just north of the Furnace Creek camp. When you are ready to return to the main road, be sure to exit through Mustard Canyon, a one-way trip on small hills of yellow minerals.

From the beginning of April to the beginning of May, flowering progresses north and upward from 2,000 to 4,000 feet. The Mesquite Springs camp can be your base of operations at the northern end of Death Valley.

A pleasant walk at any time, especially when flowers bloom, is around the Ubehebe crater. The crater measures 490 feet deep (159 meters) and 2,400 feet (732 meters) in diameter. It was created by a tremendous explosion of steam heated by magma that dispersed debris for miles around. You can walk to the bottom of the crater along a path that basically goes down. A trail west of the parking lot leads around the crater and nearby smaller craters. We found a good variety of flowers, including the golden desert poppy, and some especially good specimens of desert trumpet. This member of the buckwheat family has an inflated upper stem, hence its scientific name, Eriogonum inflatum .

From a purely floral perspective, the most impressive sight we saw during our visit was at Scotty Castle, at a height of 3,000 feet (914 meters). The unfinished pool in front of this mansion was carpeted with golden evening primrose.

Scotty’s castle is named after Walter Scott, better known as Death Valley Scotty. He was a seeker and show pilot of the Wild West who spread rumors of a gold mine in Death Valley. He managed to interest Albert M. Johnson, a Chicago millionaire, to invest in his claim. When Johnson came to see the mythical mine, the dry air of the valley improved his respiratory ailment, and decided that he liked the area, gold mine or not.

Scott and Johnson became friends. Beginning in the late 1920s at the suggestion of Johnson’s wife, who also visited the area, they built a shelter in Grapevine Canyon called Death Valley Ranch. They chose the location due to the abundant spring water available there. The mansion cost more than $ 2 million but was never completed. The Park Service offers life history tours scheduled regularly throughout the home. Scotty Castle was flooded by a flash flood in 2015 and will not be open to the public until 2019.

The end of April at the beginning of June marks the last flowering period of Death Valley. These flowers can be found in areas of more than 4,000 feet (1219 meters), in the Panamint Mountains, the highest places in the park. At this time of the year, the weather is more comfortable in the mountains anyway, since valley temperatures can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), and average 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 Celsius) in summer.

Those in a four-wheel drive vehicle with ground clearance can extend their search for wildflowers to the many Death Valley crossing roads. Echo Canyon, from State Route 190 two miles southeast of Furnace Creek, and Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Road, which starts next to Stovepipe Wells, offer especially good wildflower displays early in the season. Greenwater Valley Road is a fun crossing road that is almost 30 miles (49 km) long; It connects the Dante vision area with State Route 178 near the Salsberry Pass.

Death Valley has five dunes within its limits. Take the road at the north end to Eureka Dunes to have the opportunity to see the highest sand dunes in the state and the second highest in North America. The dunes also house several unusual species of plants, including evening primrose Eureka Dunes. The most famous and visited dunes of Death Valley, since they are right next to the road and Stovepipe Wells, are the sand dunes of Mesquite Flats, often called the dunes of Death Valley. These dunes were used in the opening sequence of the old television series “Kung Fu,” starring David Carradine.

While it is true that any above-average rainy season can bring its share of problems, it surely brings its share of blessings in the form of a profusion of wild flowers. Seeing the normally scarce wild flowers of Death Valley that bloom between rocks and mineral deposits is special every year, but seeing it during a superbloom is very special. Be sure to check the alluvial fans and canyons, and head to the mountains. You will be rewarded with a colorful desert in bloom: the yellow of the sunflowers of the desert, the gold of the desert and the golden poppies; the white of the gravel ghosts and the spiny poppy; the red of the California hedgehog and fuchsia cactus; and the purple of phacelia and desert of five points.

Dubai golf courses: they offer real value for playing golf

Are you interested in having a golf break? Well, then is the right time to move to Dubai. It is an excellent place that is full of all the necessary aspects that travelers want from an exceptional vacation. The weather in Dubai is bright and you will get impressive golf courses here. Well, if you really want to have a good holiday, come to Arabia Horizons. It is the right destination that will provide real value for golfers. Every year, many people from all over the world come to play golf in Arabia Horizons.

It will definitely give you a wonderful experience and you will feel great playing golf here. The stadium is open 24 hours a day and will give you lots of fun. This would be just a trip for a lifetime. Many Dubai golf courses here are lit so it would be good to play golf at night. Playing golf at night gives you a different experience than playing during the day. Many people who come here choose the night to play golf. During your trip to Dubai, you can have good deals on the purchase of golf clubs, sportswear and other golf equipment.

Arabia Horizons offers you the best golf vacation that would meet your exact needs. Our pioneer visit operations will ensure you have a wonderful game of golf, an excellent hotel to stay, food to eat, places you want to see and nightlife that you want to enjoy. Travelers who come here get a wide variety of Dubai golf courses to choose from. Some of the excellent golf courses in Dubai offered by Arabia Horizons are:

o Arabian Ranches Golf Club
o Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
or Emirates Golf Club
o Four Seasons Golf Club
o Jebel Ali Golf Resort
o The Els Club
o The Montgomerie, Dubai
o Abu Dhabi Club
o Al Hamra Club – RAK
o Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club
o Towerlinks Club – RAK

All these golf courses are the best golf course in Dubai in Emirates and are ready to offer you the best golf game in the whole world. Here you will have the opportunity to have free time and parties and affordable rates. Arabia Horizons also offers you to choose different golf packages that start with bronze, silver and gold packages with overnight accommodations. Many famous and renowned golf players come here to try their swings. You can also spend a wonderful and memorable moment in Arabia Horizons.

You will surely have a great travel experience and have the opportunity to learn about the cultural history of Dubai. Well, if you are thinking of traveling to Dubai at your next vacation destination, don't forget to visit the famous Dubai golf courses in Arabia Horizons. All courses here will offer you an exceptional and challenging experience to drive your golf shot. So why are you waiting to pack your luggage and visit the vibrant city "Dubai"? Today!

The youngest solo ring road: Teenagers with a dream!

Three teenagers had a dream … a dream so big that it burned inside them and could not be denied! Could not stop!

The courts of the earth could not kill the dream, they tried, a large container ship could not plow the dream … being dismantled in wild seas and drifting in the ocean could not discourage the dream!

The parents were criticized and attacked for allowing … even encouraging and supporting their dream! The media questioned his dream … too young, too risky and irresponsible … the people of the world had mixed opinions!

These three teenagers came from different parts of the world, from Australia, Holland and California, USA. UU., All they had in common was that they all had the same dream.

What was your dream?

To sail alone around the world, go around the world! This is a massive trip even for a full-crew yacht, but these were teenagers who planned to circumnavigate the world alone.

Two of these girls wanted to sail alone without stopping and one of the girls wanted to stop and explore some of the amazing countries and cultures that this planet has to offer. What are your stories?

Jessica and her solo circumcision:

Jessica Watson:

Jessica had sailed in racing boats since the age of eight and dreamed of the solo trip at age eleven. I read books of people who had done it and how they managed … like Kay Cottee and Jesse Martin in two solo circumnavigations. This fueled his dream!

After convincing mom and dad and showing their determination and competence, he began to mentally prepare for this epic journey decided to go. Part of that was talking to a sports psychologist who was alone at sea for a long time, it is not something I can practice, but it was prepared in the best possible way.

Unlike many solo travelers before, its technology is now very advanced and had access to the Internet and the webcam to communicate with many other teams to make it easier and safer. There was also a good ground team with high tech support and information.

His yacht was an S&S 34ft just as Jesse Martin sailed to make his story by making a solo trip around the world at the age of 17. His plan to follow the rules of a true circumnavigation began in Brisbane, then sailed northeast through the equator to the island of Washington in the North Pacific, around Cape Horn under South Africa and Cape of Good Hope, crossing the Indian Ocean and finally going up the Indian Ocean. East coast of Australia back to Brisbane. This covers about 23,000 nautical miles and takes approximately 230 days.

Not everything was easy! In his test before his attempt to go around the world … he could not detect a 64,000-ton cargo ship on his radar. It was his first night at sea and he had just gone to sleep when he hit the ship. His Pink Lady yacht was dismantled and severely damaged.

There was a great protest that said he should not continue with his planned solo circumnavigation and a great discouragement from different sources, including the media.

Jessica hesitated and looked at giving up on her dream … in no way at 16 became the youngest person to sail alone without help and without stopping around the world. He obtained the record and in May 2010 he sailed to Sydney, Australia, received by a massive crowd on the beach and in the water. She triumphed … I saw it on TV and shed tears of happiness and pride for this teenager!
Jessica said & # 39; she was just an ordinary girl who had a dream! & # 39;

Teen with determination!

Laura Dekka:

A 14-year-old girl appeared before the courts of the Netherlands in the middle of a one-year battle with the Dutch authorities that triggered a worldwide media storm. Youth Care and other government organizations were involved in the first court case, in August 2009, they asked the judge to take her away from her father and lock her up in a safe clinic. They put her under the tutelage of Dutch protection agencies!

Why? Was she a delinquent girl … troublemaker … committed a crime?

Laura's crime was that she had a dream and was determined to fulfill it! His dream is to sail alone around the world! The courts argued that he was too young to take care of himself at sea! He finally won his battle with the courts in July 2010 and sailed from St Maarten on January 20, 2011.

Laura was born on a yacht near the New Zealand coast of sailing parents who lived aboard a sailboat and first sailed alone at age six. Her friends have described her as an intelligent, independent and disciplined girl. I dreamed of crossing the world since I was 10 years old.

Laura fulfilled her dream aboard her 38-foot Guppy sailboat exploring the world in search of freedom and adventure. Unlike other teenage sailors, he anchored in the ports on the way to sleep, study and repair his sailboat. He explored places like the Canary Islands, Panama, the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, Australia and South Africa. She went surfing, diving and discovering and meeting many new friends along the way.

Laura said: "There were times when I thought:" What the hell am I doing here? "But I never wanted to stop," he told reporters after fighting the high seas and strong winds from the Cape. City, South Africa "It's a dream, and I wanted to do it!"

She celebrated her 16th birthday during the trip, eating donuts for breakfast after spending time at the port with her father and friends in Darwin, Australia.

"Laura has tremendous strength of will and ambition," said lawyer Peter de Lange, who advised Laura and her father: "Her desire to do this was something that came from her heart and soul and nobody would stop her."

Laura sailed to the port at the St Maarten Yacht Club late on Saturday night, a year and a day since her epic journey of 16 years began; It was received by crowds of supporters! She had fulfilled her dream of a solo circumnavigation!

Laura sailed two months after Abby Sunderland, a 16-year-old American sailor who was rescued in the middle of the Indian Ocean during a similar attempt. Jessica Watson from Australia completed her solo trip at age 16, a few months older than Laura Dekker. The difference was that his trip was non-stop and without assistance.

Another teenager with a dream!

Abby Sunderland:

An emergency beacon signal was collected halfway between South Africa and Australia, was that of Abby Sunderland, a 16-year-old girl on her yacht & # 39; Wild Eyes & # 39; who was on the other side of the world in an attempt to circumnavigate alone. She had been on the satellite phone with her family when she died in a wild storm that shook her 40-foot yacht in 30-foot waves.

Fortunately, she was rescued from the Indian Ocean amid great debates about the wisdom of teenagers who make dangerous trips like this.

Michael Kalim, of a San Francisco Yacht Club, told reporters: "It is not something a 16-year-old can decide if he is capable of doing so. It is potentially irresponsible." to the parents ".

His father's response to this flood of criticism was "I never questioned my decision to let her go. In this day and age we become overprotective with our children," Laurence Sunderland continued, "Look how many teenagers die in cars every year. Do we let teenagers drive cars? I think it would be silly if we didn't do it. "

Abby succeeded in rounding the southern tip of South America, but then had equipment problems and had to stop for repairs in South Africa. She decided to continue her trip around the world anyway and had just reached the middle of the road when her ship succumbed to the severe weather conditions that led her to turn on the emergency beacon and was finally rescued.

Laurence Sunderland, her father is a boat carpenter, and said her daughter had thousands of miles of solo sailing experience before leaving and he had examined her skills.

He said: "This was not an impertinent decision. Abigail has been raised in the ocean all her life. She has lived more than half of her life on yachts. This is like second nature to Abigail."
He said the team of experts who worked on Wild Eyes and the circumnavigation project were "unsurpassed." The ship had already gone around the world and was equipped with sophisticated communications systems, navigation systems and backup systems. "

What was Abby's response to this shit storm of media? "It wasn't the time of year, it was just a storm in the Southern Ocean. Storms are part of the deal when you embarked to sail around the world. As for age, since when does age create waves and gigantic storms?"

She told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: "I will definitely sail around the world again or really try again. I've wanted to navigate around the world for years and I will definitely do it at some point." "He may have left a broken boat, but his determination is still intact! Abby was following the achievement of his brother, Zac, who successfully made the solo trip around the world at the age of 17.

In summary!

Sailing and life in general is dangerous! I have sailed alone … alone on the coast in my 40s and more and sometimes I have been in situations where I have questioned what I was doing and sometimes my judgment. My age made no difference and neither did my experience. For me, fatigue sometimes wreaked havoc on my judgment. Therefore, we can all have our opinions on the aspect of age and experience. For my part, I believe in following your dreams!

Safe travel tips to Mexico for the super paranoid, part 2

Part 2: Traveling to and around Mexico

Famous for its immaculate beaches, archeological ruins and charming colonial cities, Mexico has everything from stunning natural landscapes to romantic architectural landmarks. A fascinating town and a rich culture add to the irresistible charms of this great nation. Many historic sites in Mexico are maintained with world-class standards, but enjoyed at a fraction of the cost of European or American attractions. Unfortunately, many Americans and Canadians fear for their safety while traveling to Mexico, which prevents them from experiencing this exciting country. This misplaced fear stems from the fact that Mexico is a developing country that is quite different from the United States. But different does not mean insecure.

Statistically speaking, Mexico is a very safe country for visitors. Most of the crime in Mexico is related to drugs and is concentrated in some areas near the border such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez. Ninety-five percent of Mexico is as safe as ninety-five percent of the United States or Canada. Visitors to Mexico are not targeted by public violence. But as in other travel destinations, all visitors must be attentive to small crimes or property crimes. There are pickpockets in Mexico in the same way that there are pickpockets in Paris, the main travel destination in the world. As Edward Hasbrouck, author of "The Practical Nomad: How to Travel the World," says, the greatest danger to a law-abiding traveler in Mexico is probably the same danger in the United States: traffic accidents. Everything else it's insignificant in comparison. "

For a safe trip to Mexico, you should start by choosing a safe but exciting destination like the picturesque Mexican cities located in the heart of downtown. Unlike known beach destinations, these lesser known destinations offer you an authentic experience of the Mexican lifestyle. Best of all, these unusual attractions tend to be safer, cheaper and less crowded.

A good example of romantic "old Mexico" is the city of Guanajuato. Located in the rolling highlands of central Mexico, this UNESCO World Heritage site has one of the best preserved colonial architectures in the country. Guanajuato was built on the enormous wealth derived from huge deposits of silver extracted within its area in the mid-16th century. The traces of their opulence are still visible today in the baroque buildings, the aristocratic estates, a magnificent basilica and churches, impressive squares and colorful houses perched on the slopes or along the cobbled streets. These colonial elements combine well with organic urban structures such as narrow corridors, underground tunnels, an opera house, museums, art galleries and coffee shops. With friendly and helpful residents, Guanajuato is a pleasant and safe city for visitors.

Visiting Guanajuato guarantees that it will be an unforgettable and enriching experience for you. To keep it safe during your trip, you must plan properly before leaving and observe the following safety precautions while traveling in and around Mexico:

  • Travel during the day. As far as possible, schedule your departures and arrivals during the day. If you must travel at night, be sure to stay on the main roads and well-lit places.
  • Stay tuned for your luggage and bags at all times. If you need help from the doormen, make sure they have credentials and IDs. If your luggage is registered or stored, remember to get the luggage receipt. Never accept packages from people you don't know.
  • Use the official transport services. In major cities, use official taxis (Authorized Taxis) and avoid unauthorized taxis (pirates). There are official taxi counters at airports and bus stations. Within the city, refrain from marking taxis down the street. Ask your hotel or accommodation host to call a taxi by phone (radio taxis) for you and they can take note of the taxi license number and the name of the driver. Once inside the taxi, make sure the driver has his permission on display. For buses, they adhere to first-class lines, since they take the highways (quotas) that are faster and smoother. Second and third class buses run through free (free) highways that are slower, with more potholes and more exposed to misdemeanors.
  • Drive safely. If you drive your car or rent a vehicle in Mexico, remember that most Mexican roads do not meet US standards regarding softness, hardness, width, curvature, slope or safety marks. The Mexican driving style can be more energetic, so be very careful and strictly observe the traffic laws. Do not drive at night if possible. You don't want to get lost in an unknown area at night.
  • Stay in smaller inns, B & B and vacation rentals managed by the owner, as these establishments provide a more personalized service compared to the large hotel chains. In smaller establishments, hosts or owners will remember your name, your preferences, your schedules, etc. They will usually involve you in friendly conversations, and these are perfect opportunities for you to learn about the place you are visiting. Being local in the area, they can give you advice on places to avoid, the best possible routes, etc. They are the best updated source of advice in the area that guides cannot provide.
  • Inform your hosts about your expected arrival times. In smaller inns, hotel staff and owners tend to control better when leaving the hotel and the expected time of arrival. They can easily sound an alert and notify the authorities if they do not return when expected.

Throughout your trip in Mexico, you will be mobile most of the time. Mobility can expose you to some risks unless security measures are taken. With a well thought out itinerary, good preparation, alertness, caution and prudence, you will arrive at your destination and return home safely.

Tips for finding cheap discount air fares

Time is one of those things that are most valuable to us because we often discover that we don't have enough time during the day to do everything we have to do. With the evolution of technology, we have seen how time turns us into small pieces with communication, shopping and other things. Unfortunately, cheap discounts, etc., are not one of those things. It takes time to search all sites and determine where to buy the best tickets. Of course, there are things you can do to help reduce the time it takes to search and are listed below, as well as some tips for finding discounted discounts.

First, the use of keywords can eliminate the time spent searching. If you are looking for a particular destination and include that in the search engine keywords, then you can find special offers linked to cheap discount rates for that city instead of spending time looking at each discount website that appears. Other time savers include word of mouth, starting with newspapers or travel agencies. If you have a friend who recommends a site, try that first, try those advertised on television to see what they have. You can find them to save you time and get the best deal or you may find that they have nothing relevant and you need to do a more thorough search.

Things to keep in mind

o Some sites offer the best deals and then add exorbitant rates for buying them instead of the airline.

o Cheap discount prices are generally not refundable or transferable. Sometimes you can't change the ticket either.

o Be flexible on your dates if possible.

Check the websites to see the special offers that are offered at certain times of the week. Some websites offer great deals on Wednesdays during the weekend. Once you know what the website offers, you can always come back later.

Read the fine print for any hidden fees

Time is your best weapon to find cheap discount attempts. These special offers are available if you can spend a few hours searching the available websites. It is better to start looking for flights at the first opportunity to find the websites that will be most useful. This may change, of course, as you approach your departure dates, but you generally find at least three good sites that will be sufficient as backup if the offers you see six months in advance fail when you are about to finalize your plans.

Preparing for a summer of electronic music festivals

Summer is generally considered the best season for entertainment, particularly for music. Festivals for all genres are scheduled during this time and, for electronic music, this is no exception. While electronic dance music has evolved from the rave illegal parties of the 1990s to legitimate musical events (many even last two days), knowing which events to attend depends on where you are and where you are willing to travel.

A recent article in the New York Times discussed the phenomenon of technological tourism: travel to various musical events and festivals for DJs and favorite events. Although such habits and fandom are seen in many other genres, the most intense being fans of jam band music, this seems to be a recent development, or perhaps more visible, in electronic music.

In general, electronic dance music, for the average person looking from the outside to the genre, still focuses on clubs and a DJ is still someone who plays records. But, like jam band music in which guitarists can play a single one at each concert, mixing and production techniques for a good and reputable DJ will also vary with each concert. Essentially, this aspect is what drives fans to travel from concert to concert: what changes and new production will the DJ add every night?

When it comes to summer musical events, many of the most important begin in the spring and continue in the summer. Some are even scheduled just before fall begins.

In the United States, the calendar of the main summer festivals begins essentially at the end of March, the beginning of spring, with the Winter Music Conference and the Ultra Music festival that closes the week-long event. The Winter Music Conference, held in Florida, covers all aspects of electronic music through workshops, round tables and performances. DJ production and scratching techniques are covered during the event. The next electronic music festival reads like a who of electronic musicians, often with one of the best DJs leading the event.

Past this point, Coachella, in California, often has many known names for instrumental electronic music and DJ added. New Order, La Roux and Depeche Mode have acted on the bill in recent years, and a separate DJ store has music programming throughout the day. In addition, the end of summer brings Electric Zoo in New York, which has been offering two days of electronic music acts from DJs to instrumental music.

England also has its share of electronic music. The summer months will have some of the biggest festivals in the country, such as Creamfields and Global Gathering. Both festivals attract some of the best DJ names before making a trip to Ibiza. But, again, many who want a holiday combined with the rhythms of their favorite DJ will make a special trip to the Balearic paradise.

The crown jewel of the National Park Hotels

Stephen T. Mather was the first Director of National Parks in the United States. He accepted the position in 1915 when there were only 16 national parks; today there are 58. Mather used the iconic Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley to boost the success of the entire National Park System. This is how it happened.

The Ahwahnee Hotel

Mather built the Ahwahnee Hotel in her favorite park in Yosemite, California, in 1927. It would be the crown jewel of the National Park hotels, and for a very good reason.

Interest the rich and benefit the masses.

Stephen Mather wanted his hotel in Yosemite to be a wild destination for the rich. Not because I wanted to serve only the rich, but because I knew that if I could interest influential people in the National Park System, I could build better parks for everyone. His plan worked wonderfully.

The Ahwahnee was built with the best of everything, from freshly invented electricity to bathrooms in each room, and an elaborate kitchen that would provide an extraordinary dinner to the hotel's privileged guests.

Two electric elevators were installed and manned by personnel operators.

Noise reduction plaster was applied to the interior walls to ensure that guests were not disturbed by the roar of nearby Yosemite Falls.

Dining room

Dining was important to the rich, and at the Ahwahnee Hotel, lead architect Gilbert Underwood provided Mather with one of the world's most memorable dining rooms.

The dining room extends 130 feet from the elevator lobby to Yosemite Falls and extends 51 feet from side to side. Its vaulted ceiling topped with beams and stripped pine armor is 34 feet high.

Imagine the difficulty of transporting the 11 flat-glass windows of the dining room that are 24 feet high on California's furrowed roads to the Ahwahnee construction site. One can only imagine how many windows broke along the way. Consider also that once the windows arrived at the site, they had to be placed without the help of modern moving equipment, fascinating.

The large dining room beams are huge columns of bare pine that support a heavy lattice roof. The observer is unaware that the pine columns are actually steel pillars clad in hollow concrete. Once again, the architect's genius is shown. The rustic appearance of the dining room echoes the splendor of the forest in general of the plan. The immensity of this magnificent room eclipses the 350 guests it can sit on.

The dining room alcove: a magical place

Located at the far end of the dining room, the bedroom appears as a complement to the large main room in front of it. It has one of the glass windows 24 feet high, and in this case, the window offers a showcase for the upper Yosemite Falls and makes it an unforgettable environment.

The alcove has hosted many historical events, including a round table dinner with Queen Elizabeth and Price Phillip during their visit in 1983. The queen and the prince organized a small dinner in the bedroom after attending services in the small chapel of Historical wood of the park.

When they are not organized for special events, there are several tables for two installed in the bedroom. The central table of the window is often reserved by the newlyweds. Its authors had the distinction and privilege of dining at that special honeymoon table on their wedding night many years ago.

As we did that night, we have often thought of the destinies of hundreds, perhaps thousands of newly married couples who provided and celebrated their future in that same place for the past 85 years.

The beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel hosts around 200 weddings a year. If you are planning a wedding, it is an amazing place.

The design theme of the Ahwahnee hotel

The Ahwahnee has a Native American theme, and the chosen decorators did an excellent job of combining the furniture with the general character of the property. Much of the furniture in the Ahwahnee is original with only subtle changes in fabric and design to meet contemporary tastes.

Ansel Adam's years

When the stock market collapsed in 1929, the number of visitors to national parks declined, and the Ahwahnee fell in difficult times.

The president of the Yosemite and Curry Company (YP&CC) decided that advertising would increase Ahwahnee's occupancy rate and hired a young aspiring concert pianist, who was also a part-time photographer, to photograph and promote the hotel and the experience of Yosemite The young man was called Ansel Adams. The rest is history. His work, like that of John Muir, will live as long as there is a Yosemite Valley.

Adams was in love with Yosemite's beauty from an early age. He finally moved from San Francisco to Yosemite in 1937, and although he created visual masterpieces in other parts of the west, he remained intimately connected with the valley and the Ahwahnee Hotel for more than 40 years. He retired in 1972 and died in 1982. He left a treasure of photographs of natural wonders.

The war years

The United States Navy appropriated the Ahwahnee Hotel to be a convalescent hospital for sailors in June 1943. Before it was returned to the YP&CC in December 1945, more than 6,700 patients had been treated at the Ahwahnee.

When the Navy left, they left many buildings, including a bowling alley, gym, machine shop, billiard room and foundry. The buildings were quickly dismantled and the rescue was taken advantage of in the valley.

Other changes over the years.

The guest elevator was automated in 1963. A small pool was added in 1964 in a non-annoying space next to the bar. Air conditioning was added and all room windows were replaced in 1976.

There was a golf course, but it was removed before 1980 to preserve the primordial nature of the surroundings. The televisions made their first appearance in the rooms in 1989.

The Ahwahnee Hotel was included in the National Register of Historic Monuments in 1977.

If you go

There are several tickets to Yosemite and you can choose your route to the park on the Ahwahnee Hotel website.

While driving through the park, look for signs to the Ahwahnee Hotel. A magnificent stone entrance at the hotel entrance lets you know that you have arrived. Valet parking is always available, or you can auto park anywhere along the Sequoia coated parking area.

Happy trips

Attention wine enthusiasts! The Ahwahnee is now taking reservations for the Vintner & # 39; s Holiday 2012. There will be eight sessions this year, the first one starts on November 4. Visit the Ahwahnee Hotel website for more information about this exciting event.

Special thanks to Lisa Cesaro, of DNC Parks and Resorts in Yosemite, and Tami von Isakovics of Ellipses Public Relations for helping us with information about the Ahwahnee Hotel and Yosemite Valley.

If you want to read more details about the Ahwahnee Hotel, there are two short but excellent books on the subject … The Ahwahnee – Yosemite & # 39; s Grand Hotel, by Keith Walklet and The Ahwahnee – Yosemite & # 39; s Classic Hotel, by Shirley Sargent. Both books are available on Amazon.com.

How safe is Costa Rica?

A frequent question is: "Is Costa Rica safe?" The answer, to a large extent, is yes.

The crime rate in Costa Rica is the lowest in Latin America, and Costa Rica is undoubtedly the safest country in Central America. More than 1.5 million tourists, mostly Americans, visit Costa Rica every year and feel as safe as always exploring the country. Ticos in general are very friendly and warm people by nature, and live a simple life without all its excesses. There are no acts of terrorism in Costa Rica, and recreational drugs, apart from tobacco and alcohol, are illegal. And Costa Rica does not have a permanent army, and unlike all other Latin American countries, the country has not experienced any political struggle since 1949.

With the only exception of theft, the crime rate in Costa Rica is very low compared to other countries. For comparison purposes, according to the United Nations & # 39; Seventh Annual Crime Survey, crimes recorded in police statistics show that the crime rate for all index crimes (murder, forced rape, robbery, aggravated assault, robbery, theft and robbery of motor vehicles) in Costa Rica was 1208.2 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1999, comparing very well with 1529.75 for Japan (country with a low crime rate) and 4184.24 for the United States (country with a high crime rate).

The crime in Costa Rica is generally much lower and less violent than that in the United States, and the crime here tends to be opportunistic rather than violent. In other words, rapes and murders in Costa Rica are very few, almost unknown, compared to those in the United States, but minor theft, car theft and pickpockets are not uncommon here, especially in downtown San José and on the beach. . In smaller cities, the crime rate is much lower.

It is always better to be cautious at all times, not only when visiting Costa Rica, but also when visiting any other foreign country. Traveling to any country is not without risks. The good news is that you can enjoy a safe and wonderful stay in Costa Rica by following the simple commonsense safety tips listed below, which also apply to any other foreign country you wish to visit.

* Be careful when you step on nature, when you leave a beaten path or when you visit national parks. Pay attention to the warning signs and always check with your guide if there is any danger ahead.

* Be very careful with dangerous trails, volcanic areas, waves and waves.

* Do not swim in the ocean. There are few lifeguards, so always stay close to other bathers.

* Do not walk alone in remote areas or go to public parks late at night.

* Stay away from deserted side streets, undeveloped properties or land.

* Keep an eye on your luggage, never leave it unattended and write your name on it.

* Do not give your luggage to any stranger, except the airport porters who carry an official identification.

* Lock your doors and luggage when staying at a hotel.

* Do not carry much money or display large bundles of money, and remember to store your wallet in a safe place. It is also recommended to wear a money belt.

* Make sure your personal belongings (keys, laptop, cell phone, credit card (s), etc.) are within reach, in a safe place and never in the open.

* As a foreigner, your passport is your identification. Keep your passport in a safe place and always keep several photocopies of your passport, as well as your Costa Rica plane ticket and your insurance policy.

* Do not become a target for thieves and pickpockets: do not wear flashy jewelry or expensive watches.

* Do not hold expensive equipment, such as cameras, all the time while walking.

* Protect yourself against car theft: always close your car and do not leave your keys or anything of value in your car, even if you find a store or supermarket for a few seconds to buy something.

* Do not park your car on the street; Use secure private parking whenever possible.

* Use your common sense, do not trust anyone who approaches you and wants to act as your tour guide, and do not separate from your tour group.

If you are a victim of a crime, report the incident to the local police and contact the US Embassy or Consulate. UU. Closer to get help.

Do not be afraid! Remember that traveling to any country in the world is not without risks, and you must follow these safety precautions wherever you go. With a little common sense, no crime will ever occur to you and you will find that Costa Rica is a safe and wonderful country to visit or stay. Most of these tips are taken well in the United States.

We have not suffered any crime of which we have knowledge in the last two years (I touch wood), but that can happen in almost any community in the world. Remember, the crime rate in the US UU. It is approximately 4 times higher than in Greece. And in Dallas, TX, my Chevy Blazer was stolen twice (just to steal the radio) and they stole the house once, so things like this can happen here in the US. UU. Or anywhere else.

The 10 best beautiful countries to spend the holidays

The word & # 39; vacation & # 39; It is very favorite for all of us. That means a lot of pleasure and brings happiness to our normal life. We are all very busy on this earth with our daily jobs. There are many people around who don't even have time to spend time with their friends and family due to their hustle and bustle. That kind of situation can bring a lot of stress and unhappiness to your life. To overcome that boring life, people need a long break from the works. Taking vacations with friends or family can be the best idea and when it is possible to spend holidays in the most beautiful country or place in the world, nothing can be worth more than that.

There are many beautiful countries around the world where spending vacations will bring you a safe snack. Here are the 10 most beautiful countries where you can make your vacation memorable,

1. Switzerland

There is no doubt that Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries to spend the holidays, where there is an exceptional nature full of glass lakes and snow-capped mountain tops. Many people choose this country to visit for its fusion of culture. This country has sites of historical and archaeological value for modern humanity. The museums here are too unique as treasurer for art lovers and historians, which are a mixture of French, Italian, German and Swiss cultures. This country has more than enough attractions, which will keep you busy enough to enjoy your vacation. The Swiss National Park is a place where you can see many species of animals, plants and birds. You will have the opportunity to see how various types of birds live in their natural habitats. Some people choose this place to spend their honeymoon. Most people prefer to spend their holidays in Bern, the capital of Switzerland, because of its beauty and shopping experience. The shops in Bern are located in the medieval streets that run about six kilometers long. Here you will be presented with products from local and international fashion designers. Another important thing is that this city has some international organizations, including UNESCO. Chillon Castle is another important tourist attraction in Switzerland that will offer you a lot in terms of history and ancient culture. This oldest castle is located on the shore of Lake Geneva. There are about one hundred buildings, three elaborate courtyards, several dungeons and four large walls from which you can enjoy an amazing view of Lake Geneva. I recommend this place to which you should give first priority when you spend your holidays in Switzerland.

2. United State of America

Another important place of tourist attraction is the United States, where people come to enjoy wildlife, nature, fun and fun. There are many cheaper tours in the USA. UU. In Washington D.C., the capital of the United States, while living in New York is very expensive for people, but there are also some cheap tourist packages that people always look for. The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Times Square are the main attraction of New York City. You must visit Florida to enjoy the beautiful beaches, cities and also Disneyland. People really like to spend time here in water parks, restaurants, theme parks and resorts.

If you want to have fun with some movies, you must go to Hollywood in Los Angeles, where the main awards programs are held every year. Hollywood Wax Museum, Grumman's Chinese Theater, Walk of Fame and Ripley & # 39; s Believe it or not are the main attractions of Hollywood. Another city in California will give you much more pleasure with its Golden Gate Bridge, Alamo Square Park, the San Francisco Zoo, the Palace of Fine Arts, Fisherman & # 39; s Wharf and Alcatraz Island.

Las Vegas, one of the U.S. cities UU., It is known as the entertainment capital of the world, which is very popular for casinos. This city also features Golden Nugget, Flamingo Garden, Shark Reef in Mandalay Bay and Guggenheim Las Vegas In the Venetian.

3. Turkey

Turkey is another outstanding tourist destination where you will get a total snack during your vacation. Natural beauties will take you to the world of your dreams. The mineral pools there attached to people submerge and heal naturally and enjoy Dalyan's appeal for a perfect day on the river. You must visit the Lycian tombs of 2300 years ago on the hillside from where you can see sea turtles have fun and feed them if you are lucky. Paragliding is very popular there, which will make you feel weightless and the thrill of flying. You can also go fishing in the sea where you can find tuna, red snapper, Amberjack, Mahimahias, Barracuda and more. Here you have a great opportunity to catch those fish as much as you can. Diving and sailing are also a very popular hobby here that will give you much pleasure. If you want to see the real Turkey with your whole family, go to the Jeep Safari that will take you through various villages in the Turkish countryside such as Saklikent, The mud baths and Yakapark Trout Farm, etc.

4. Mauritius

Mauritius is one of the main tourist destinations in the world that is known for raising souls and giving visitors a moment of rest. It is very famous for its amazing landscapes. People who come to visit lose their heads in the landscapes. The Botanical Garden of Mauritius is one of the best tourist destinations in Mauritius and is known as the oldest Botanical Garden in the world. The main attractions of this garden are giant water lilies and a large collection of palm varieties. The beautiful beaches of Mauritius are the main attractions of this country. Gabriel Island is one of the main tourist places of Mauritius, known for its clean and beautiful beaches and perfect for snorkeling enthusiasts. If you are a bird lover, you can reach Aux Aigrettes, a small island where you can see some of the rarest birds in the world, such as Pink Pigeon and Kestrel. It is home to some of the rarest plants in the world as well. Another attraction of Mauritius is the Eureka Creole House, where you can enjoy the beautiful images of the interior of Mauritius. That is a great house museum and one of the best tourist attractions in Mauritius. The right time to visit Mauritius is between August and February, when it is a pleasant and cool temperature. So Mauricio is one of those places that fascinate you with its exceptional landscapes.

5. France

France is the most popular holiday destination, which has much to give you much pleasure. This country earns a lot of money from viewers every year. The Eiffel Tower is the main attraction here. It is located next to the Seine river in Paris. Visitors have to ascend 1665 steps to reach the top, as they are over 300 meters. Visitors can see about 67 km away through the French landscape from the top. Your tour of Paris will not be completed if you do not visit the Eiffel Tower. It is so popular that a long queue always awaits you before the entrance.

There are many places to camp in France, where you can set up your own tent. These camps generally provide some incredible services such as playgrounds, clubs, swimming pools, shops, bars and entertainment, while some of them offer more services such as rental cycles, fishing, tennis, billiards and French petanque, which are not expensive at all . Paragliding, rafting, hiking, canoeing, horse riding and rappelling are also available for adventure lovers.

There is a great facility for cycling in France. The extensive national network of veloroutes will take you to the canal's tow roads, the quiet rural paths and the converted rail lines will take you to the heart of the countryside through the use of voies vertes, which is known as green roads and which is totally Free of motorized traffic.

There are some excellent ski areas in France. The Alps and the Pyrenees are the main ski areas with many ski resorts. Trois Vallees is one of the best ski resorts in France. Therefore, this place will not disappoint skiers, as they have many things to do there.

Some more places that will give you unlimited pleasure, such as National Parks and wildlife reserves, the Pilat Dune, the largest sand dune in Europe, the Canal du Midi, the oldest canal in Europe, the viaduct of Millau, the highest traffic bridge in the world and hot springs, etc.

I think there is nothing else you need to make you happy during your holidays in the world as much as you are doing in France.

6. Maldives

This is one of my favorite places, where I like to spend my vacations very frequently. Not only me, but also many people come here to spend their vacations every year. As a result, it is very difficult to make an instant reservation in Maldives in a hurry. Therefore, you should book your vacation as soon as possible. The beaches here are really amazing, where you can lose your mind very easily. The main attractions here are beaches, crystal clear waters, coral reefs and marine life where you can enjoy boating, diving, snorkeling and living in the best resorts. The resorts have some services such as hot tubs, dazzling spas and personal pools. Indoor sports, windsurfing, diving and many more functions will enhance your excitement. Although some of the resorts do not have the diving function, be sure to verify this before booking a resort. The main transport system is the boat in Maldives and you should always take your jacket with you as the weather changes very fast.

One last thing, you must reserve a total package for your vacation, as it will be a fixed amount of money. Otherwise, it will be very expensive for you to only pay for food and entertainment with an additional 20% tax on food bills.

7. Australia

It is always a great experience to spend vacations in Australia. You will definitely get the true adventure of rainforests, beaches, cities and wineries in Australia. The cities of Australia offer all budget accommodations for visitors. Most of them are located near the Central Business Center, where you can also see cultural centers, shopping centers, nightlife and nearby restaurants. April / May and September / October is the best time to spend vacations in Australia, while the sunny weather comes with a low temperature and the perfect heat for swimming in the water. However, some of the states of Victoria and Tasmania may be a bit great, but in general they will be perfect for you. An island in Queensland called Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, which is approximately 1840 km long. Here you can enjoy mangroves, coastal heaths, peat bogs and wallum, rain forests, sand dunes and eucalyptus. Sydney Opera House is another tourist attraction in Australia. For rich Chinese visitors, casinos and shopping are the vital attraction card here. Harvey Bay is one of those Australian cities where you can see whales.

8. South Africa

South Africa is another beautiful country where you can spend your valuable vacations. Table Mountain is the biggest attraction in Cape Town, the capital of South Africa, which was selected to be the number seven natural wonders of the world. This mountain is about 1470 meters high from sea level, which looks like a table. Travelers can enjoy the natural views by riding a cable car from the top of the mountain for more than 750 meters. The Garden Route National Park is another tourist attraction to see rich wild animals such as elephants and many other species. If you want to see some historic buildings, different types of animals and birds, you can go to Robben Island approximately 7 kilometers from Cape Town, where Nelson Mandela spent most of his life. Another place of tourist attraction The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront will offer entertainment sections such as shops, restaurants, clubs, discos, resorts and some museums. Wildlife lovers should go to the Kruger National Park, which is about 18,000 square kilometers, where the park is home to around 2000 types of rare plants, 500 species of birds and a large collection of wild animals.

9. Wildlife vacations in Brazil

Brazil is another huge and beautiful country, considered one of the best tourist destinations in the world. The Amazon rainforest in Brazil provides 20% of the world's oxizen. This huge rainforest is native to at least 40,000 species of plants, 3,000 fish, 1,294 birds, 378 reptiles, 427 amphibians, 427 mammals, 2.5 million species of insects and 33% of the species known worldwide. This ecosystem always looks green, luxurious and full of animals and vegetation. There are many shelters in the rainforest from which you can see a lot of flora and fauna, some of which are also in danger of extinction. Another attraction is the Patanal Conservation Area, which is the largest wetland in the world and where you will have the opportunity to see swamp deer, giant river otters, hyacinth macaws, crowned solitary eagles and giant anthers. If you want to see some endangered species such as marmosets, spider spider monkeys and lion marmosets, then you must visit the Atlantic rainforest, considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The temperature changes here very quickly, especially in the north to the south, which shows more temperature variation.

So I will recommend that you visit Brazil if you love wildlife.

10. Wales

Wales is the best place to spend your Christmas holidays if you want it to be memorable. Here you can spend a relaxing time with your family and the holiday homes are the best place to spend your holidays that are surrounded by the beauty of the mountains and an amazing valley of the green river. This type of cabins can be found in a good unlimited number of the landscape motivated by some great artists and photographers. This place is a historic land of castle and mountains, you can also discover here some art galleries and amount of wildlife. Some people prefer to live in a beautiful cabin on their vacations and Wales is perfect to find such nice cabins, which are really outstanding and fashionable, at a very reasonable price. Most of the cabins are very close to beaches or beaches from where you can enjoy the beautiful view around you.

Ancient Rome

According to legend, Romulus and Remus, Roman twins, were separated from their mother and abandoned by the Tiber River to starve to death. However, a wolf mother found them and took care of them. Years later, Mars, the Roman god of war, ordered the children to build a city where they had been found. They built the city but declared war against each other. Romulus won and thus the city became known as Rome.

It is said that life in ancient Rome began in the eighth or ninth century BC. C. This happened when the warriors from the north moved to the Italian peninsula and rehabilitated around the Tiber River. For centuries, Rome was considered the most important city of the Roman Empire in constant expansion. Rome was the capital city and had all the seats of power.

In historical times, Rome was ruled by kings. These kings had the reputation of being extremely cruel. Because of this, the last king, Tarquin the Proud, was overthrown and Rome obtained the status of republic for the next four centuries. Rome was ruled by a Senate. The Romans chose senators who carried out administrative tasks. A distinctive feature of the Roman Empire was that only Roman citizens could vote during the elections. However, women, the poor and slaves were not considered citizens.

Rome also went through a phase where it was ruled by military generals. However, since these generals were many, decision making became a problem. The Romans needed an emperor to centralize power. This came in the form of Augusto César who came to power in 27 a. C.

When Christianity gained popularity, Rome became an important seat of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of the Pope. With the advent of the Middle Ages, humanity saw the decline of the Roman Empire. Despite an empire in decline, the city revived its fame as the political capital of Europe for several hundred years until the Renaissance. Even today, Rome remains powerful and prominent as the capital of Italy with its beautiful architecture and culture.

Survey 850 KOA "Bumper2Bumper"

In August of this year, a local radio station, 850 KOA, conducted the "Bumper2Bumper" survey that asked Colorado taxpayers what they thought about their daily commuting. The survey covered all aspects of driving:

Time spent in traffic
Road conditions
Number of miles commuted daily
Phone use while driving
Substance use while driving
And of course … Public transport

I imagine that no matter where you live, there will always be complaints about moving around the city. Californians certainly fear driving through Los Angeles traffic! I can't tell you how many times my driving friends talk about how people don't know how to drive in the snow. Both arguments make me sigh in relief, I don't have to endure that crap.

There were three aspects of the survey where people overwhelmingly agreed with each other. The first is about driving to the mountains. According to 850 KOA, "84% say they have avoided using I-70 in the mountains on weekends due to traffic problems." 84% is huge! Another huge amount said that the roads needed some love and care. Winter definitely overcomes the roads that do not make it easier to reach a fun place, such as the mountains.

When I moved here from California, I expected to do a lot of snowboarding. Every winter, until I moved here, my family and I went to Big Bear, sometimes Mammoth, to spend a fun day skiing. We always went to the mountains as a family, so not being able to drive was never a problem. The beautiful mountains here in Colorado were one of the main motivations for choosing CU Boulder for college. I thought I would meet many people who enjoyed skiing and would go snowboarding every weekend.

The bedroom where I lived in the first year was full of introverts like me. After a month at school, the women in my apartment finally opened their doors and I met some of them. No one skied or was interested in learning how to do it. I decided to venture out and find a group of people who would be interested in going to the mountains to spend a fun day skiing. I found some people, but there were some strong arguments not to go to the mountains every weekend.

First, it is the first year! No one has a car on campus! To get to where the good snow is, you need one. Second, when I finally met people who liked to climb the mountains, they liked to miss school on Friday to beat the traffic there. I was Miss Goodie Two Shoes and I never wanted to miss class, so I missed my trip there.

I was quite discouraged by all that. The traffic to get to Big Bear was also a pain, so I could see the reasoning behind the complaints about i70. It seemed that if you make the trip there, you mind doing a weekend and finding a place to stay. Broke, college students can't afford a cabin for the weekend. I realized that getting to the mountains for a day was harder than I had anticipated before moving to Colorado.

Speaking of missing a trip to the mountains, the survey also said that "traffic is affecting our quality of life in Colorado: 44% say that an important event was lost due to traffic." Skiing is not as important as a business meeting or taking a flight outside of the day, but it is something I enjoy. Unfortunately, my circle of support that helps me with the rides doesn't want anything to do with the i70 on weekends during the ski season. Even in summer, traffic can be bad with weekend campers.

If skiers and guests don't want to deal with i70, RTD has a bus that goes to Eldora, a local resort 20 miles from Boulder. But there is literally that one bus that leaves only downtown Boulder. Eldora is a great mountain, I went on a ski trip with the Alumni Association. However, it is very similar to Big Bear. There are no local RTD bus routes to reach the big resorts; Breckenridge, Aspen, Arapahoe Basin, etc.

There is a private transportation company, Colorado Mountain Express, that can take you to these important tourist centers. The ferry picks up at DIA, the downtown convention center, or mid-mountain on I70 at Wooly Mammoth Park-n-Ride. Trips to these resorts can cost between $ 39 and $ 49. But get this! According to the survey, "82% said they never used public transport. A little more than 3% said they used transport once a week or more. More than 2% used transport every day."

There you go, Colorado is full of complainers! It's a joke. If we are working together to create less traffic, less pollution and better roads, public transportation needs some face lift. Instead of personally fighting the traffic of the i70 from a car, taking a comfortable bus to the mountains would definitely motivate more people to use the i70, get up early and spend all day skiing exhausting! If I am always the passenger and never the driver, I must say that it feels pretty good to take a little nap on the trip back home.

I guess the point I'm trying to make goes back to the old saying: "You can't always have your cake and eat it too." Having a car is much easier than trying to discover bus routes. But it could be the same reason why you can miss an event or choose to miss an event due to traffic and bad road conditions. The bus is available, the survey has just confirmed that nobody uses it.