Thursday, September 14, 2017

European Ghost Towns



Ghost Towns: Sites To Give You The Creeps In Europe

As Halloween slowly approaches, we may think of all the creepy places we can visit in America to get us in the spirit of this ghoulish holiday. But what if we want to get spooked outside of the country? Are there other places we can visit that may put the thrill of fear in us? You may be surprised to hear that there are many ghastly ghost towns in Europe that will keep you up at night. Whether it is due to war, or natural disaster, or refuge for the sick and dying, these European ghost towns are sure to send chills down your spine.

What could be creepier than an abandoned leper colony? You can visit one in Greece, on a remote island in Spinalonga. At one point, this island was home to a military fort, but at the turn of the century, the island was used to house leprosy patients. These patients were neglected and shunned around the world, but in Greece, they were sent to this island to live out the rest of their days in a gloomy and isolated existence. However, once a cure was discovered, the surviving patients were treated and left the island, leaving it completely abandoned and untended. But today, visitors can take a guided tour of the island, and even spend part of the day enjoying the scenic beaches.

War has often left behind torn-up country sides and cities alike. But in Spain, there is a town that never rebuilt after the Spanish Civil War. In Belchite, Spain, the battles tore up the city so badly that is was left completely unattended, leaving the desolate, creepy area uninhabited for almost 90 years. Today, it is fenced off for safety, but visitors can take an inexpensive guided tour of the ruins.

War has certainly taken its toll on Italy, too, but for over 20 years, natural disasters had their way with the city of Craco. In the 1960’s many residents of this town relocated because of the many floods, earthquakes, and landslides, leaving the city currently vacant. The city looks so isolated that many filmmakers use it as an opportunity to produce movies that need a lonely, isolated feel. The city is fenced off, but tours are available.


So start making your Halloween plans with a trip to Europe. There are many disturbing sites to see that will provide you with a bone-chilling experience. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Serbia





Serbia: Traveling For Those Who Love to Eat

Traveling brings with it many benefits; meeting new people, seeing new sights, trying new activities, and more. But for some, the best benefit of traveling may be the great food from ethnic countries. While the cuisine may not be the main reason to visit a specific country, it can be a great perk to doing so.

Like many other countries in Europe, Serbia offers a delectable assortment of cuisine. In fact, much of the foods you will find in Serbia are influenced by other European countries. For example, visitors may find that much of the common food found in Serbia revolves around pasta and pastries, as well as other starchy treats that are typically thought to be of Greek, Hungarian, or Bulgarian origins.

But carbohydrate-based delectables are not the only foods you will find in Serbia. Many meats fill the plates of the Serbian people, including grilled meats, minced meats, meatballs, and eggplant stuffed with meats. And if these proteins aren’t enough, sausages, chops, and kebabs are sure to delight. The rural area around the Mlava and Krupajsko rivers produce fresh honey that is popular for Serbians.

There are different types of places in which visitors can enjoy these fine foods. Some restaurants in Serbia are over 200 years old, and offer an historic d├ęcor with the character of the country’s heritage. For a more modern twist, chic restaurants with a minimalist vibe can be found. Many restaurants have live music to enhance your dining experience. See your travel agent for a list of popular dining establishments.

Besides fantastic food, Serbia offers visitors many delicious beverages. Serbia’s wine region runs along the Romanian and Bulgarian borders, in the Negotin area. Many vineyards and wine cellars are available for tours, and to purchase wine by the glass or bottle.


For foodies around the world, Serbia may be the right destination. There is plenty to do and see, but for those who delight in cultural food, Serbia is a must for your bucket list.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Croatia







Croatia: A Country Loved By Travel Agents

When travel agents love a vacation destination, you can be pretty sure that it’s a great place to visit. It may surprise you that Croatia is just that place. If you ask travel agents about Croatia, the chances are they will sing its praises. But don’t take our word for it. Here we have several reasons to consider this beautiful Eastern European country.

Located on the Adriatic Sea, the coastline of Croatia is breathtaking in its own right, but there is more to this country than its coastline that allows for fishing, scuba, swimming, and even yachting. The Dinaric Alps are sure to impress hikers and photographers of all levels. The landscape of Croatia will not leave sightseers disappointed.

In addition to its natural beauty, Croatia offers many attractions to satisfy just about any interest. Golfing, shopping, nightlife, and art galleries are all available, and that doesn’t even include the historic attractions, that include Roman ruins.

Restaurants and cafes are everywhere in the cities, and most are locally owned by families who genuinely love to greet their guests. But don’t expect the hurried lunch styles of America. This country loves to relax and enjoy their food and conversation. From coffee to food to drinks, Croatia’s cafes offer something for everyone.

Perhaps you want something a bit stronger to drink. Croatia has many beers and wines at local cafes, and many are sold at the morning markets found in most cities and towns.  These markets also offer pastries, olive oil, prosciutto, fruits, vegetables, and more. These local vendors offer a variety of items, many of which can be sampled.

Don’t worry about your safety in Croatia. Travel agents felt very safe in Croatia, whether taking walks and hikes alone, or enjoying the nightlife with friends. And English is widely spoken there, so English-speaking visitors will have no problem getting directions or asking for help.


WiFi seems to be available everywhere, from bus terminals to inside the buses themselves, even in the parks. But you will want to put your phone away to enjoy the natural sights of this gorgeous country. So, ask a travel agent, and find out for yourself if Croatia is the destination for you. We think you will be glad that you did. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Chile



Chile: What Will You Find?

There are many legends of the ancient times of Chile. Researchers have found man-made mounds in the sand between the ocean and the mountains, and it is still unclear why they are there. As travelers, we are intrigued about this thin strip of mountainous land called Chile, and we want to get to know it as well as possible. Luckily, there are many adventures to be had in this small country, so maybe it’s time to get an itinerary started. Travelpulse.com has many ideas that can help Chile’s travelers cross items off their bucket list.

So, what is there to do in Chile? More than you may know. Of course, the Pacific coastline offers parasailing and coastal fun, but Chile has other waterways that thrill-seekers and leisurely floaters alike will enjoy. The Futaleufu River in Patagonia is sure to provide a list of adventures. The high-speed rapids make for exciting rafting trips, and the river even has Class 5 rapids that are only for the bravest of heart. But for those who desire a more relaxed river experience, the Futaleufu does have a less dramatic section that offers a “lazy river” experience.

But there is more to Chile than awesome water-filled experiences. Skydiving may be perfect for checking out the Chilean scenery from a bird’s eye view. And for those who want to do more than just view the country, the diverse terrain offers many exciting activities to keep you busy. For example, you can create your own personal X Games on a mountain bike with several routes to choose from. Paths vary in difficulty, from a scenic stretch near the Pacific coastline, to the rougher paths that run through steep mountains and foothills. It’s time to get on your bike and ride.

It may be unexpected to find ice in a tropical country like Chile, but there is an actual glacier nestled in an ice field that provides breathtaking views. On the way to the glacier, you can find many ice formations and frozen caves to discover.

Then, of course, there are the mountains. Chile has many mountains, and even boasts the highest volcano in the world. With incredible views and various photo opportunities, this is every mountain-climber’s dream.


So get started on an outdoor adventure that brings you both fire and ice, mountains and oceans, and adventure and awe. The time to visit Chile is now!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Colorado







Colorado Fun: Don’t Overlook Summer


Colorado gives us images of snow-capped mountains that make for great skiing, with visions of renowned ski lodges and resorts. While this image is accurate, there is more to Colorado than just winter activities. The Centennial State can be a summer playground as well. In fact, travelagewest.com claims that more guests visit Colorado in the summer than they do in the winter. So maybe it’s time to see what Colorado can offer us in the summertime.

Those beautiful mountains are for more than just skiing, Visitors to the state can have fun hiking, climbing, ziplining, and even explore the adventure of alpine slides. In addition, the state’s picture-perfect scenery provides us with memorable sight-seeing.

According to travelagewest.com, the U.S. Forest Service finalized a policy which allows ski areas the access of natural resources for summer activities. This has resulted in more year-round tourism, and gives visitors much to do.

These summer activities include The Aspen Snowmass. Originally open for skiing, this area will begin an outdoor adventure in 2018, and will offer ziplining, naturalist walks, and many photo opportunities of the area’s breathtaking scenery.

The Breckenridge Ski Resort has been an established family ski resort for decades, but in 1979, it introduced the Alpine Slide. In the interest of expansion, it now offers zipline tours, climbing walls, and a challenge course.

Copper Mountain has many activities for families, such as minigolf, bumper-boat rentals, go-karts, and much more. There are also many local events in the area for kids and adults, and more are added all the time.

Steamboat Springs has so much to see and do, they offer a bucket list for guests to help plan their adventures. Roller coasters, steamboat boat adventures, hiking and more will entertain visitors, and the list of experiences are sure to keep them coming back.


With all there is to see in do, we’re sure you will agree that Colorado is not just for winter anymore.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ho Chi Minh City




Ho Chi Minh City: For Those Who Love The City Life

For those who like the hustle and bustle of city life, Ho Chi Minh City may be for you. Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is, unsurprisingly, the largest city in Vietnam. There is so much going on here, visitors may feel overwhelmed upon arrival. But once the shock of motorbikes passing by and cars with drivers who seem to really like honking their horns wears off, there is much to appreciate in this metropolitan area.

Finding something to do and see is no problem in Ho Chi Minh City, nor is finding trendy eateries, pubs, and coffee shops. In an article by travelweekly.com, we see that this Vietnamese city has much to offer the curious traveler.

Where to eat: There is no reason to be hungry in Ho Chi Minh City, as the city explodes with the tastes of not only Asian food, but many other ethnic eats. Of course, traditional Vietnamese fare is abundant, but other pan-Asian food is available, as well as Italian-style small plate fare, Dutch-inspired cafes, and American and European favorites.

Perhaps something to drink: Just like other parts of the world, Ho Chi Minh City has a Starbucks on every corner, but there are several other coffee shops to enjoy, including smaller, local shops located on the streets, tucked in corners, and one located on the fourth floor that boasts an adventure just to get there.

What to see: There is much to see in this city, including the War Remnants Museum that features photos and other displays from the Vietnam War. Many river cruises offer excursions that showcase unique views of the city and surrounding areas. Independence Palace, also known as Reunification Palace, offer midcentury design, unchanged since the 1970’s.

Things to buy: Local produce and other food items, as well as keepsakes and souvenirs of the city can be found at the Ben Thanh Market. There are also several storefront shops throughout the city.

How to get around: When visiting this fast-paced city, travelers may decide to take a break from walking and rent a scooter or take a cycle rickshaw tour around the city.

Stay awhile: No need to leave Ho Chi Minh City too quickly, as there are hotels for every budget, including the Reverie Saigon which has an upscale, European feel.

Visiting Southeast Asia shows visitors how diverse the area can be, but once in Ho Chi Minh City, there is no doubt that you are no longer in a quiet rural area. Take in all the city has to offer, and enjoy the sights and sounds of this amazing place.



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Normandy



Normandy: A Place of Remembrance



Most of us think of World War II when we hear the name Normandy, and with good reason. Home to the largest amphibious assault in history, the invasion of Normandy will forever be a large part of history. But this region in Northern France offers more than just a rich history; it offers a magnificent present that respects its past. Travelweekly.com sums up why Normandy is the perfect vacation destination for history buffs and modern day travelers alike.

With Normandy’s extensive history, it is no wonder there are so many museums. The Archbishop’s Palace in Rouen is best known for the palace in which Joan of Arc was sentenced to death. Today, it pays tribute to the saint with tours that include audio guides, prearranged tours, film clips, and actor portrayals of the trial. In addition, art work can be appreciated as visitors tour the palace.

For those who like more recent history, two museums offer visitors history and experience of D-Day at Normandy. Dead Man’s Corner Museum opened in 2015 in a hanger to house the artillery, aircraft, and machinery used in the campaign. Visitors can get a first-hand feel of the aircraft, as “rides” mocking paratroopers on a C-47 are available.

The Civilians in Wartime Memorial in Falaise opened in 2016 and displays scenery of the war from a civilian’s point of view of WWII. Ruins of houses that were bombed by allied forces are open for touring.  

Besides the historical sites, Normandy offers visitors modern day activities as well. The Lawn Tennis Club of Deauville opened in June of 2016, and is home to the first grass court tennis club in France. Deauville also offers the 1912 Normandy Hotel, which reopened in 2016. This luxury hotel now accommodates 271 guests after its renovation.

Fishing boats in the harbor give visitors of Normandy a modern day feel and the nostalgia of years past. Be it history or outdoor activities, this coastal area in Northern France may provide a vacation to be remembered.