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5 Awe-Inspiring Attractions Not To Be Missed

September 7, 2015

Darvaza Gas Crater | Photo credit: Stefan Krasowski

Some of the earth’s most spectacular attractions draw visitors from miles around – think, the Grand Canyon or the La Brea Tar Pits. But the world is full of odd and awe-inspiring mysteries, whether natural or man made, that are less well known but equally intriguing!

Here we’ve compiled 5 of our favorite oddities that you truly have to see to believe! (more…)

A Spa of unusual suds

August 24, 2015


Photo credit: Czech Tourism

From sporting events to lounging on the beach, people the world over love beer. Did you know, though, that not only is this universal drink of choice a party starter (the fun doesn’t begin until the keg gets tapped), but the foamy concoction has hidden secrets to make your skin glow from the outside in?

Select breweries across the United States and Europe are taking advantage of the beneficial side effects of their brews, and will let you take the plunge – literally – into a tub full of suds!

At the Chodovar brewery in the Czech Republic, one can relax as they recline for up to 20 minutes in a tub filled with a mineral water and a dark, specially crafted bathing ale. (Somehow it’s comforting to know they’re not using the same thing that’s poured into bottles and shipped around the world – so don’t try this at home!).

The hops act as an exfoliant, while the yeast fortifies skin with vitamin B, proteins, and those much touted antioxidants people can’t seem to get enough of. Better add that one to your Czech list!

And at the Ritz-Carlton in Denver, Colorado, spa therapists skip the soak and apply suds straight to the skin – they start with a scrub made from grainy beer malt mixed with rice ale, and then you rinse in a horizontal Vichy shower. After, the therapist paints you with an antioxidant-rich (magic words!) dark stout. Since this is not washed away, the vitamins have time to soak in and the skin is left feeling surprisingly silky. Once all is said and done, spa-goers get to sip on both types of leftover beer.

These special spa treatments have also proven successful therapies for conditions like psoriasis, cellutlitis and acne, along with anti-stress (which we totally believe), reducing blood pressure, and improving circulation in the periphery.

via bbc.com

Norway Aurora Borealis to be Intense

August 10, 2015


Photo credit: AuroraBorealis.no/www.visitnorway.com

If you happen to be in Norway this winter, expect to a sensational display of Northern Lights – Infact perhaps the most intense and colourful in 50 years, according to experts.

The Northern Lights is one of the major attractions in Norway, and people travel from all over the world to catch a glimpse of this famous phenomenon.

A large portion of the tourism in the North of Norway during winter is connected to the Northern Lights and related activities, says Per-Arne Tuftin, Director of Tourism in Innovation Norway.

The optimistic forecast came from NASA, the space administration in the U.S. This is the fourth year in a row that the Northern Lights have increased in strength.

Costa Rica is protecting itself!

August 8, 2015

Photo credit: Raphaël Fauveau

Costa Rica’s Blue Flag Ecological Program ensures ecological sensitivities

When visiting Costa Rica, you will be heartened to know that coastal environs are monitored monthly to ensure that areas adhere to The Blue Flag Ecology Program, which is a joint venture of several Costa Rican agencies, including the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, the Ministry of Environment and the National Tourism Chamber. Administered by the National Blue Flag Commission, the continued efforts of these organizations have resulted in a long list of beaches being awarded the Ecological Blue Flag.

Under the Blue Flag Ecology Program, Costa Rican beaches are evaluated according to strict criterion. The beaches are assessed on water quality of the ocean and the drinking water, waste disposal, sanitary facilities, signage, tourist safety, environmental education and involvement of the community in beach maintenance. Only beaches with a 90 percent score succeed in acquiring the Blue Flag. Beaches awarded the Blue Flag are then monitored on monthly basis for sustained maintenance.

The Blue Flag Ecology Program was founded for the purpose of improving education and information regarding the environment. Since then it has been helping to promote the protection of the natural surroundings and increasing public knowledge. The proof of this is that every year more and more beach communities of Costa Rica are competing for the Blue Flag and working for the purpose of the Blue Flag Ecology Program. The success of this program has inspired authorities to expand it to the non-coastal communities.

The livelihood of most Costa Rican coastal communities depends on its beaches. It is mainly due to the Blue Flag Ecology Program that visitors and local communities alike can enjoy the stunning beaches of Costa Rica without fear of contamination. This has led the resident community, tourism entrepreneurs and the entire coastal municipality of Costa Rica to participate actively in taking care of the beaches and contributing effectively to the various educational programs offered under the Blue Flag Ecology Program.

The Blue Flag Ecology Program has prompted many coastal communities into putting their resources to use for improving the environmental quality of life. Today Ecological Blue Flags fly proudly over many Costa Rican beaches in the Central Valley, Northern Plains, North Pacific, South Pacific, Caribbean Coast and the Central Pacific. Environmentally conscious tourists can now make a conscious choice and spend their vacations at the Ecological Blue Flag awarded beaches.

So when you are visiting Costa Rica, not only watch for the blue flag, but support this worthwhile program.

Cool 007 Cars on Display

May 12, 2015


Photo credit: Beaulieu Motor Museum – Bond In Montion

An exhibit of the largest collection of James Bond vehicles opened recently at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England.

The Bond in Motion show marks half a century of 007 films and you can view such cool classics as Bond’s Aston Martin DBS from Quantum of Solace.

Bond in Motion is the largest official collection of original Bond vehicles the world has ever seen. On display for one year at the Museum, this could be your only chance to see these vehicles on display together.

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series. Alongside these most famous of vehicles like the Aston Martin DB5 and the Lotus Esprit S1, there is a host of Bond vehicles dating back to From Russia With Love including the elegant Fairey Huntress Speedboat, Goldfinger’s 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III, the buzzing autogyro from You Only Live Twice and Octopussy’s screeching Acrostar Jet alongside cars, bikes, trikes, sleds and boats.

Cars used in films starring Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig are all featured in the exhibition, and there are a few record-breakers on display too including the Aston Martin DBS Stunt Car from Casino Royale.

Beaulieu is situated in the south of England, about two hours from London.

Cruising Caribbean breaks records

April 18, 2015

The Caribbean maintains its position as the most popular cruise destination in the world, capturing more than 40 percent of all the passengers, despite the build up in the Mediterranean, South America and Australia.

Caribbean port authorities and tourism officials have taken up the challenge by upgrading their facilities and building new ports to accommodate the largest of the new ships.

Across the Caribbean, destinations are responding to industry growth with improved and expanded infrastructure, although as one port official told Cruise Industry News, “cruise lines must remember that they (the island) are not Dubai.”

And that may be happening. Barbados is in the final stages of a bid for the expansion and redevelopment of its cruise pier. There are also plans to build new piers in St. Kitts and Nevis, Curacao and Aruba. Other upgrades are underway in Guadeloupe, Martinique, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

2010 broke both cruise passenger records and overall tourist arrivals in the Caribbean. With more ships, the trend continues up as Cruise Industry News estimates a record-breaking 7.5 million passengers in the region for the calendar year 2011, up 1.4 percent from last year. The bulk of the cruise business in the Caribbean occurs during just four months, which also raises the level of competition (and congestion) among the islands.

Did you know… Sweden

March 19, 2015

The strongest girl in the world is Swedish! Pippi Longstocking is the heroine of the most famous children’s books in Sweden. These books were written by Astrid Lindgren and are loved by children (and adults) all over the world. They have been translated into 76 languages.

The first book about Pippi came out in 1945 and was followed with many more books and eventually movies.

What other fascinating tidbits is Sweden hiding? Read on to find out!

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