Tag Archives: Travel blog

Five Fairytale-like Towns in Mainland Greece you must check out!

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Five Fairytale-like Towns in Mainland Greece you must check out!

Everyone in the world knows that the Greek Isles are one of the most breathtaking places on earth!! So much so that the mainland gets completely overshadowed. I mean, why go there when you can go to Crete, Corfu or Santorini?!

Here is a list of some impressive towns on the mainland of Greece to change your mind, as well as your itinerary on your next journey to this Mediterranean gem!

PLAKA NEIGHBORHOOD in ATHENS

Although Plaka is set in the largest city in Greece, this neighborhood gives you a feeling of a small tranquil, cozy town.

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The narrow streets, cafes, restaurants, street artists and shops will provide a nice day in very picturesque surroundings!

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THE METEORA

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Part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thessaly region, the Meteora is an impressive monastery complex on the Mount Athos which actually forms an entire small town!

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Meteora means “suspended in the air” and it is obvious why.  The monastery is built on top of sandstone pillars (almost carved in them) and look like a natural extension of the rocks. It was built by the monks, who inhabited area in the 9th century.

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NAFPLIO

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Nafplio is a popular seaport town in Peloponnese expanding to the hillside near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. It is a popular day trip destination from Athens. Nafplio features traditional Greek architecture, although features from the days of Venetian rule can be found. Sights to see include the clock tower, churches dedicated to saints Nicholas and George and the brightly lit waterfront at night.

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Extremely picturesque, Nafplio definitely give you that Mediterranean holiday vibe with all of the cute cafes and colorful flowers painting the cobblestone streets!

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Nafplio features traditional Greek architecture, although features from the days of Venetian rule can be found. Sights to see include the clock tower, churches dedicated to saints Nicholas and George and the brightly lit waterfront at night.

PARGA

Who says you can only get prestige beaches on the islands?! Parga, located in the northwestern part of the regional area of Preveza in Epirus, boasts several sensational beaches with warm, blue waters. Lichnos and Valtos beaches are considered among the best in Greece, famous for their vast pristine coastline.

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Nestled atop the slopes of Pezovolos hill, one can also find beautiful homes with a Mediterranean/Greek Isle feel attracting vacationers by the loads in the region of Epirus. Among historic architecture, Venetian castles and cozy cafes are abundance throughout the town.

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METSOVO

Half hidden wrapped in a snow blanket as winter sets in, Metsovo practically looks like a painting! Situated in northern Greece, this popular winter destination is great for skiing.

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Although it is a popular winter destination, really, any time is a good time to visit this picturesque village. Start from central square and have a delightful stroll around the cobblestone streets. You can head up to the 15th century church of Agia Paraskevi, famous for its carved wooden temple. Or, you can visit a 17th century castle, a folk art museum or a monastery with a watermill or one with 17th century wall paintings. End the day by sampling locally made cheese and wine.

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I’m not trying to steer you away from the Greek Isles, but these are 5 among 500 astonishing places you might not have thought about checking out on your next voyage to Greece!

~Karen Bahri

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Trying to give Zaanse Schans a Chance….

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When I think of the Dutch countryside, I think windmills and tulips. I mean, it must be splattered all over books and the internet for a reason, because why else would I think that right?!

I imagined fields and fields of colorful flowerbeds. I saw it so clearly I could smell how fragrant it could have been! I was so excited to take picsssss and picsssss swimming inside those colorful, fragrant tulip fields with those big, huge windmill barns in the background.

I did a little research, but thought this is one of those things I want to go talk to locals about and have them direct me. This situation was like the biggest fail in life! The first piece of information person upon person told me (with smiley confusion on their faces, nonetheless – I must add here, Dutch people are extremely friendly!) was tulip season just ended. Literally by a day! My only thought was that it had to be impossible?!??! It was the middle of MAY! And you know….April showers, MAY flowers…..???????

So after tons of digging and chatting to locals etc, the whole deal is tulip season is basically only like a month and a half. After that, they cut the tulips and sell them all across Europe. And that is that. That is it. That is all. Go home stupid tourists, no flowers here. The reason the tulips get so much hype is that – for that month and a half – they are actually THAT beautiful! You just have to be there for that month and a half from around the end of March until mid-May.

The best place to go to see the tulips is in Lisse, which is in western Netherlands and considered in the Provence of South Holland. There, you will find the famous Keukenhof flower gardens (Don’t even ask me how to pronounce that, because the way I say it in my head, was NOT the way the locals pronounced it even to any degree! Dutch is an interesting language one may find entertaining if not familiar lol). I was told the best way to enjoy the tulip fields is if you bike through it! That would have been nice. Lisse was a bit far from Amsterdam, and since my schedule in the Netherlands was tight, it was a no-go. I figured if I go all the way over there, and it’s just a bunch of fields with no flowers, I would rather not waste the day traveling that far.

I ended up going nearby to Zaanse Schans, to take a chance to see the flowers (there were none!) but there were windmills!

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It was a cute little village with traditional Dutch style cottages. I’ll be honest, it looked man-made, but I heard it is not. I don’t know, that’s just the feeling I got. Maybe it would have not felt that way, had there been tulips. This place was filled with tourists as well.

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After taking a walk around for about 15 mins, I was pretty much done lol. None of my pics turned out nicely either. The sun was a little too bright, I was traveling with others who are not into photography and I didn’t have my selfie stick at that time.

I really did try to appreciate it but it just wasn’t for me. I think when you have a glorified image of a place in your mind, and it turns out to be not as magical, you can’t help feeling disappointed. In my defense, the way I see it, the world is humongous and every place you might end up traveling to and exploring may not be magical for everyone. There were some picturesque moments though….

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This is my favorite pic!

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I do have to note, as I looked out onto the open field (which should have been filled with tulips, and was the week before!) It totally reminded me of India! I have a fond memory of my cousins taking me for a drive in the countryside of Punjab on our way from picking up my nephew from his college (or “tuitions” as they call it lol) to show me the “real” pindh! Lol…

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DDLJ…? 🙂

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Sometimes you have to go to a place to understand these things so you don’t get so disappointed. Next time I go to Holland, I will know to go in April for the tulips. I will also try to research more villages I can go to any time, like Giethoorn, which I really wanted to go see but had no time. I wrote about it on my old magazine if you would like to check it out here:

http://www.hautedvie.com/discover-dutch-village-straight-storybook/

Anyways, Holland is beautiful, but you have to go on the right season if you want to experience the whole galore of swimming in tulips. That was a major thing I wanted to see. I’ll probably do some more research on some other villages besides Giethoorn to explore any time of year without the disappointment of no tulips. Europe is known for some exquisite countrysides!

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This guy made and sold fresh orange and apple juice. I posted a fun video on Instagram

Definitely on my bucket list is to tour around as many European countrysides as possible! You definitely need the time and also understand the best villages in Europe may not be the easiest to get to. Definitely do your research, plan ahead and accordingly and possibly rent a car.

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-Karen Bahri

Valletta – Malta’s Unique Capital City!

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Valletta is the Capital city of Malta, I’ve never experienced such an interesting city! You know a native Maltese person when you hear them talk. When they speak English (I actually can’t remember hearing many people speak Maltese, so I can’t speak for that, but I am sure it’s the same..obviously it has to be! lol), they talk in a sing-song style tone – which is the best way I can describe Valletta! It has steep sloping streets…so basically “sing-songy” streets! Baroque to Modern in it’s style and sooo beautiful!! The architecture here is like nothing I have ever seen either!

Valletta contains buildings from the 16th century onwards. The city is essentially Baroque in character with modern elements in selected areas. The Second World War left major scars on the city, particularly the destruction of the Royal Opera House (which I don’t think I saw). The City of Valletta was officially recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.

To be honest, I only decided to go because I felt I had to. It’s the capital of the island. A lot of reviews online say it’s worth seeing, but I wasn’t dying to go, so we went one evening thinking a couple hours would be enough. I definitely did not plan that accordingly! A city is a city was my ignorant New York mindset!

Once you arrive in, you are greeted with this big roundabout type thing with some cool art. As fascinated as I was with this big sculpture of a hand holding a bird…..

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And this interesting sculpture with description:

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I stopped everything as I noticed the sun setting behind this wall over a beautiful landscape!

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Definitely spent about 20 minutes there taking pictures and just taking in the view that I lost my travel partner lol.

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From there, there is a main street with tons of designer shops and cafes – many the typical global brands you are familiar with, and some you aren’t. There were musicians blasting loud tunes from their trumpets and various street performers. Something definitely gave this town a very Christmasy type vibe. Christmasy yet caveman lol.

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As I was walking, I kept looking to my left where I noticed through the intersections that if you went down that side you would hit the view of the ocean.

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So we decided to take a detour and check it out (and then get back on the main route and continue down) OMG – even more beautiful streets.

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These streets, all different but with a pattern of steep sloping roads. The architecture was so unique! Valetta is a city with so much character! You picture yourself in some old Kris Kringle meets Flintstones type town back in time, haha! That’s the vibe you get!

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Anyways, was hoping to get a close up, grand view of the sea – but realizing how slopy Valletta is; from the main street we could see the sea, but when we got to the edge there was a barrier that blocked the view, that we didn’t notice from the Main Street, because of the slopes!

We headed back on to the Main Street and found ourselves at a square with a fountain, and we noticed a bunch of cafes and a lively, floral, nicely decorated area to our left.

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We continued straight though because we wanted to go all the way to the end of the city hoping for a view of the sea. Once we passed the square the streets were quieter and more residential. I keep saying this but the architecture was so unique!

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The vehicles were a combination of modern, nice sports cars, classic, old school cars and stuff I have never seen before lol.

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At the edge of the road, there was a turn that sort of led to a wider street. We found the sea there!! The streets went on but we knew we would have gotten lost if we continued, and it was getting late.

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We headed back to the cafe area which was a nice, lively area! Hoping to try something different, perhaps local Maltese cuisine, which we were still trying to figure out what that was, beside Rabbit – yes, their most famous local dish is Rabbit! Italian food is quite common, as is American/British junk food. Unfortunately that’s all we pretty much could find. Don’t go to Malta expecting amazing cuisine. Ohhh, also, for some reason, the chicken is different there. I definitely could not eat it lol. I couldn’t even stand the smell! I don’t know how to explain it, but it just wasn’t right. I think all I ate in Malta was pretty much junky pizza and fries, ugh! Europeans also have a thing for mayonnaise. Mayo, bread and cheese. LOL. Very common in Europe. Finding food was pretty frustrating and being Indian, I need spice. Lots of flaming spice. A lot of places, when I asked for hot sauce, they gave me black pepper…..#fail. They did have good ice cream though!

As we exited, I noticed some ads for Malta Fashion week! I guess I was so mesmerized by the sunset I didn’t notice them when I arrived! Hosted by Mercedes Benz, so it’s pretty legit!

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Valletta is definitely a place I want to go back to and explore more than just a couple hours! I don’t think I would look for a hotel there, as I doubt there are any beach resorts, and thats sort of my thing. I def would go back to Malta, stay at a beach resort in a neighboring area and do a full day trip to Valletta again and get lost in those sloping streets!

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-Karen Bahri

Burano pt#2 – Colorful Canals!

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Burano pt#2 – Colorful Canals!

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-Karen Bahri

Burano, Veneto, Italia pt.1 – Street Beats

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Burano, Veneto, Italia  pt.1 – Street Beats

February 22, 2017 I wrote a post on a tiny little island which is situated not too far from Venice, Italy. Check it out here:

https://karenskaleidoscope.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/burano-italy-walking-through-a-kaleidoscope-of-colours/

A week ago – I was there! I actually almost forgot about it until this winter when my friend was doing this great, big Euro tour and she actually went to the island (assuming my article inspired her, I am sure it did 😁) She told me how magical this little place in the world is and how she would love to retire there – I completely agree with her!

You can check out my article above in regards to some facts and info about Burano. Since I probably took around 6748 pics, I’m going to try my best to categorize them as best as I can. I’ll start off with street pics and whatever randomness I can’t think of a category for.

The funniest part of Burano, is there is another neighboring island, known for its handcrafted glassware, called Murano. So when I was asking directions, etc, the locals would be like BOOOOrano? or (however you say “or” in Italiano. Note to those traveling to Italy, learn some Italian first. OMG!) MOOOOOOrano lol.

Burano is simply stunning and you honestly – HONESTLY will NOT find another place like this IN THE WORLD!!! The colors!! and just the character. You will find laundry hanging from ropes outside peoples windows, lovely flower pots outside windows, etc so Italian style!!! You will see bikes, and just households daily “things” but to us it’s so rustic, intricate and has so much character. When I first arrived, I caught myself at every corner shrieking because every corner was SOOO CUTE. I walked along quiet corners to hear TV’s blasting from inside homes. I was actually curious to know if people actually lived on this island or if it was just for show. Some little 20 year old kid at a shop told me yes, people live there. He lived there. So I asked to him, since he is only 20 and most 20 year olds I know like to go out, party, go crazy and live life lol.. he responded something, but like most people I ran into in Italy, their English wasn’t the best so I couldn’t understand him. So that’s still a mystery! I think he misunderstood me though and told me neighboring islands good for partying. Since that wasn’t what I asked and I wasn’t really bothered anymore lol I just nodded and said “that’s great!” 😝

Unfortunately I had to catch the boat back, because it takes about an hour or so to get back to Venice, so I couldn’t catch the sunset, which I hear is worth a view – but I WILL be returning within the next few years, and will catch it!

Burano was hands down my favorite part of my travels from the past two weeks!!!!

Enough words – let’s let the photos do the talking. Since I took around 39426 pics, I’m creating groups based on categories. Here are the ones categorized as “random/backstreets” – I will follow up with the others.

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view from the boat as we arrived onto Burano

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I learned how to use a selfie stick during this day as well! My life is complete LOL

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~Karen Bahri

Keukenhof – Welcome to the Garden of Europe!

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Hello Spring! I’ll be in Amsterdam soon, so let’s talk tulips!!! 🌷🌷

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Keukenhof, which translates from Dutch to “kitchen garden”, is one of the largest, most beautiful flower gardens in the world! Located in Losses, Netherlands, which is not too far from Amsterdam, Keukenhof Park is home to approximately 7 million flower bulbs covering 79 acres of land planted annually. The Gardens and pavilions display eye-catching collections of not only tulips, but daffodils, orchids, hyacinths, roses, carnations, lillies, irises and many more varieties of flowers! You would think you were swimming in a sea of flowers! Be ready to be overwhelmed with a spectacular array of colors and fragrance!

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Keukenhof does not contain the typical long, traditional fields of tulips one may expect. You can find those everywhere around Holland though; and there are many right outside the park, so you won’t have to trek far to find one! They are normally privately owned.

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Screenshot_20180321-132055The park has an indoor section as well as a beautiful fountain and let’s not forget the castle of Keukenhof! You can also take a boat ride around the lake to view the flowers and surroundings in a more scenic way.Screenshot_20180321-134354

 

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Screenshot_20180321-132215In Keukenhof, there are a variety of different gardens and garden styles you will find, such as the English landscape garden, the historic garden, the Japanese garden, etc. There is also a different theme each year, so you will never see the same setup twice! This unique space in the world attracts over a million visitors every year!Screenshot_20180321-132515

 

 

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Note: The park is only opened from the 22nd of March to the 13th of May (so go NOW!!) from 8am to 7:30pm daily. There is a Flower Parade as well, which will be held on the 21st of April.

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Unfortunately, I may actually miss it by just a day, or maybe I can try to make it my first day in Amsterdam, so watch this space!

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~Karen Bahri

Boulder Beach

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Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town, which is right outside Cape Town, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Ancient granite boulders protect from the wind (it gets a tad blowy in the middle of the day!) large waves, and soft sand make for the ideal swimming spot for adults and children alike.

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Because it falls under the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area, the beach is always clean and safe. It’s rarely crowded, which comes at the cost of a small conservation fee. This small fee is definitely worth it for the luxury of a clean, stunning beach! You don’t want to be disappointed on a beach day in this South African paradise!

Looks alone will definitely draw crowds to this beach, and yes, Cape Town definitely has no shortage of stunning beaches, but Boulders Beach in False Bay has an extra special treat for beach bums – PENGUINS!

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Yes! There is a colony of African Penguins in all their smartly dressed tuxedos, waddling gloriously on the white sand. In fact, they are the only penguins found on the ENTIRE continent and currently, there are only 26,000 breeding pairs left in the whole world!

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Unfortunately the African Penguin has been classified as an endangered species – due to over-fishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and irresponsible tourism activities. The Boulders Beach colony has also felt the effect, as numbers have been dwindling over the last couple of years.

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Unfortunately as well, they are also widely known as the “jackass” penguin for its donkey-like bray. I don’t know how you could have the nerve to call these cute little tuxedoed out creatures such a name! They only grow up to 4.9-7.7 lbs!!

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Another fun feature is they have pink (!) glands above their eyes, which are used for thermoregulation. The hotter the penguin gets, the more blood is sent to these glands so it may be cooled by the surrounding air, thus making the glands more pink!

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Something to keep in mind if you decide to go for a visit – do not try to feed or get too close to the penguins. Boulders Beach is one of the few sites where this vulnerable bird can be observed at close range, but they are wandering freely in a protected natural environment.

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While they may look cute, they’re still wild animals with razor sharp beaks. If you decide to approach them , they will think you are trying to harm them, so they will attack! Don’t risk it!

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Personally, I am not a huge animal fan at all lol (you are probably like “I do not understand why this girl is writing about animals, she hates them!” – haha) that being said, yes, to your surprise, I do think some animals are cute – FROM AFAR, but please don’t touch or come anywhere close to me!!! So these rules I appreciate 🙂 HA!

-Karen Bahri

 

When plans of a joyful Fun Park turns Eerie…

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I wish I discovered this around Halloween time – Although, any time of the year is a great time for a ghost story 🙂

Picture this : An empty castle, unfinished rides and an eerie fountain that still runs…

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There is an amusement park” nestled in a remote region of the Philippines. Initially created to bring over some Disneyland magic into the Philippines when it was built in 2001. But – it was never finished…

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Named Fantasy World and located on a hill overlooking the countryside of a town called Batangas, which is a four-hour drive from Manilla.

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It was once owned by a Japanese businessman who was forced to abandon construction when he ran into financial troubles. Its grounds are now maintained by a homeowner’s association.

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The park contains what would have been a beautiful medieval style castle; now empty with the walls somewhat peeling off. There is also a large central fountain and rides, currently of various faded colors, standing still surrounding the park.

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One of the highlights of the park is actually creaky, creepy treehouse with a spiral staircase wrapped with vines.

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There were big dreams for this park! Maybe one day it will come alive again – until then, it’s great for the spook-lovers; and interesting enough, the park IS open to visitors for a small fee. The lawns are kept perfectly manicured and lush in a somewhat ghostly fashion.

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-Karen Bahri

 

And the winner of the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2017 goes to….

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…drumroll…

JUMERIRAH VITTAVELI, MALDIVES!!!

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The 11th edition of the awards took place at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Jumeirah Vittaveli was named the 2017 Global Hotel of the Year. Winners are based on the votes of 300,000 travellers who were invited to vote for their favorite luxury hotel over a four-week period.

 

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Located a speedy 20-minute speedboat ride from Malé, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers supreme diversity and subtle luxury. The resort comprises 89 villas and suites each with their own swimming pool and direct access to the beach or lagoon.

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The resort provides extensive leisure and wellness facilities. One of the highlights is an award-winning Talise Spa, offering Asian inspired treatments in a lush, garden setting.

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The most amazing accent about the spa is that the team produces their own island-made 100% pure Coconut Oil! This luxurious oil is utilized in select signature treatments and available for purchase at the spa boutique. They also offer Coconut Oil making demos!

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The resort also offers complimentary bicycles, fitness center, kids club, yoga areas and four exquisite restaurants, a pool bar as well as a beachside cocktail lounge.

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All these amenities are great additions to the already naturally gorgeous atmosphere surrounding you on this beautiful island!

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-Karen Bahri

 

Happy Albanian Independence Day!

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November 28th, 1912 is when Ismail Qemali, founder of the modern Albanian state and its first head of state and government, declared Dita e Pavarësisë (“Independence Day” in English) from the Ottoman Empire!

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On this day the Albanian flag was raised by Ismail Quemali in Vlore, Albania to publicly proclaim the independence of Albania from its Ottoman authorities.

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In case you don’t know much about Albania or Albanians (You probably aren’t from New York ha!) – Albania occupies the southwestern portion of the Balkan Peninsula. It’s coastline extends along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas within the Mediterranean Sea. Despite its small size, Albania is home to the largest and most ancient bodies of fresh water in Southern Europe. Lake Shkodër is the largest lake in Southern Europe, sprawling out from Albania into Montenegro.  Lake Ohrid in the southeast is shared with Macedonia and is one of the most ancient lakes in the world and a very popular vacation spot!

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Some fun and interesting facts about Albania:

  • In the evenings, the locals like to walk.  But it’s not just a walk.  Known as xhiro, it’s an official evening walk where every resident comes out to get some fresh air and catch up with their neighbors.  In many towns, the roads close to cars for certain hours! Apartment blocks empty and everyone gathers at various places, walking and talking until nightfall. How nice!!
  • Kinda like our Indian head-bob – when an Albanian is agreeing with you, they will shake their head, and when they are disagreeing with you they will nod.  Be warned and avoid confusion – Yes means no and no means yes!
  • According to a 2015 World Risk Report compiled by the UN, Albania is one of the countries in Europe most at-risk from natural disasters – mainly from flooding. In 2010, the country was hit by major floods, forcing as many as 7,000 families to be evacuated.
  • Though small, Albania boasts more than 3,250 species of plants, which accounts for 30% of all flora in Europe.
  • The Albanian town of Berat, a Unesco Old Town, was rated as one of the most beautiful places in Europe!

One more quick amazing thing about Albania: Mother Teresa ❤

Many countries in Eastern Europe are starting to really trend lately in tourism. Albania is becoming a popular tourist destination and it’s easy to see why! The beaches are GORGEOUS!! Also, it’s Europe and what’s Europe most famous for? CASTLES!!!! 🙂

Some of the BEST places to check out in Albania:

BERAT

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Close your eyes and imagine a beautiful castle on a hill. Now book your flight! Located on a hill at the left bank of the river Osum in the middle of the country, you can find Berat Castle, (originally called Kalaja) a fortress overlooking the town of Berat.

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Berat is also called “ the city of a thousand windows”, because of the large window fronts on the typical house. Berat is a great destination for those who love history and culture.

TIRANA

Tirana is the capital city of Albania. Located on a river some 30 kilometers away from the coast on one side, and on the other it is enclosed by hills. The small cafés at the side of the roads are full of energy most of the times and the city has a really pleasant charm!

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Those who want to immerse into the culture of the country should go to one of the museums or to the Palace of Culture. The Skanderberg place with the famous equestrian statuette should definitely be on your list, as it is the town’s landmark. It actually forms the center of the city, from which roads go to all directions like a star.

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Another place to visit is the Et’hem Bey mosque with the clock tower of Tirana. The capital furthermore contains a castle, of course, which is a great tourist destination. The numerous political facilities, universities, the botanical and zoological gardens, as well as the numourous parks and gardens are all worth a visit, if you have time, as well.

ALBANIAN RIVIERA

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Perhaps the most popular tourist destination, the riviera has a growing reputation as an important music location. The Night life is very popular and draws young people from all across Europe! Beaches are truly inviting! Newly built hotels and attractions also allure tourists and promise a great holiday.

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Also, the countryside is unique and lays behind the beaches. Large, picturesque and dramatic mountain settings extend for miles; and within the mountains, hide numerous small fairytale-like villages!

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GJIROKASTRA

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This southern city was elected UNESCO world cultural heritage due to its unique Balkan-style architecture. It contains small castle-like houses made of stone and is located at the side of a hill connected with artisticly winding roads.

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Gjirokastra has also many cultural attractions, such as museums, theaters and religious places found in large numbers. Additionally every five years they celebrate the national folklore festival in the castle of the city!

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DURRES

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The STUNNINGGGG city, Durres, at the coastline of Albania is the most important harbor city in the country. Cultural events take place all over the year, particularly at the amphitheater, which is one of the most important attractions of the city! The impressive ancient building could provide place for about 20.000 people. Aside from culture and history, Durres is a top spot for beach days and it’s a fun name to say over and over! 😛

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KRUJA

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Kruja is located at the side of the Skanderberg-mountains. The most important building in the town is the Kruja castle, which is a national sanctum for the Albanian people. Further places next to the town are the tomb of Sari Saltiks and the national park Qafe Shtama. This small town has a large historical background and can also be visited as day-trip from the capital Tirana or from Durres.

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VLORA

Another fun name to repeat over and over (and yes, I am getting the correct pronunciation, my coworker is Albanian from Montenegro 🙂 ) Vlora, also known also as Valona, is located in south-western Albania where the two seas, Adriatic and Ionian, meet. Vlora enjoys a beautiful position because it is the gateway to the Albanian Riviera!

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Three stunning things to see in Vlora are the beaches, the port and the town centre.  The town, with its wide boulevards decorated by huge palm trees, has a real southern Mediterranean feel to it! Definately a place not to miss!

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Who would have thought this tiny Eastern European country would be filled with such beauty, history and energy! I’m planning my trip, are you?! Happy Independence day Albania!!

 

-Karen Bahri