Anchorage: Alaska’s largest city

21 September, 2007

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When people think of Alaska, they visualize, snow peaks, skiing, polar ice caps, frozen tundra, frozen lakes, etc.

But that is now the whole picture of Alaska, especially, if you visit Anchorage, Alaska’a largest city, which surprisingly, is quite warm. Though, the winters can be harsh, but summer time, when it is the prime tourist season, the temperature falls to 65 degrees F, ideal for all those touristy activities.

With its rich culture and tradition, the city offers a good opportunity to learn about the history of its natives Indians as well as history of the city itself. There are museums, and events take place regularly to enthral the visiting tourists.

Then there are the outdoor activities such as visits to see the fjords, glaciers, and or viewing the local wildlife in their local habitats. No matter, what you choose to do, there is something for everyone at Anchorage, Alaska.

Hence all those visiting this city, can choose from any one of these hotels:

Homewood Suites by Hilton Anchorage:
140 W Tudor Rd, Anchorage, AK 99503

Anchorage Grand Hotel:
505 W 2nd Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

SpringHill Suites Anchorage Midtown:
3401 A St, Anchorage, AK 99503

Dimond Center Hotel:
700 E Dimond Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99515

Voyager Hotel:
501 K St, Anchorage, AK 99501

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Joshua Tree National Park – California

24 May, 2007

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One of the newest parks – if it can be called that – is ‘Joshua Tree National Park’ in California. It is basically a desert park that incorporates two American deserts – Mojave and Colorado.

Before 1994, when it achieved the special status of a park, it was more of a monument, and not very known among the more famous natural treasures such as the Grand Canyon or the Great Mississippi Basin.

Joshua National Park has some ancient petroglyps and is home of endangered desert tortoise and bighorn sheep. For some night time stay, there are about nine campyards, which can accommodate around six people, two tents and two cars each.

The ‘national park’ is open all year round, but this being a desert, it is advised that the best times to visit is either spring or fall, when the temperatures are bearable. It can be reached via Highway 62 or Interstate 10 towards the south. The paved roads leading towards the park are narrow but well maintained.


Wonderful resorts at Little Corn Island

24 May, 2007

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Lying about 45 miles off the east coast of Central American country of Nicaragua, is a drumstick-shaped island called Little Corn Island, which forms a part of a group called Corn Islands.

Though, why is it called that, remains a mystery, but this little piece of real estate is so isolated that is literally unspoiled. With less than a hundred people, many of whom are not even permanent residents who call this island home, this island is truly a tropical paradise.

With no shoppers areas, no nightlife of whatsoever, just a few resorts and miles of unspoilt forest and sandy beaches, this little paradise is yet to be discovered.

With easy access from Nicaragua, this island can only be reached via ferries or a high-speed boat.

For tourists, there are many resorts that can offer a relaxing stay. These are:

Casa Iguana:
Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Hotel Los Delfines:
Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Sunshine Hotel:
50 minutes north of the Fresh Lobster Company, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Lobster Inn:
Pelican Beach, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua


Cape Breton (Canada) – Final resting place of Alexander Graham Bell

22 May, 2007

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Cape Breton Island, a part of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, lies at the northeastern tip of the province. The province, itself lies at the east –northeast side of the mainland Canada, touching the Gulf of St. Lawrence on its northern and western coasts.

The Cape Breton Island is separated from the larger Nova Scotia Island, by the Strait of Canso, a thin, strip of causeway, and is also connected to the mainland by the’ Canso Causeway’. Though, the island is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, its eastern side is the Northumberland Strait, while on the western front is situated the Cabot Strait.

Measuring a good 10,000 sq km, the island is the 75 largest in the world and Canada’s 18 largest. It is basically composed of rocky shores, glacial valleys, woodlands, plateaus and farmlands. Geologial studies have shown that the island may once have been part of the Scanadavian peninsula, millions of years ago.

Cape Breton is also famous locally for being the final resting place of the inventor of phone, Alexander Graham Bell and his wife.

After his successful invention of the telephone, Alexander, being quite wealthy, purchased some land, in the island, whose surroundings, reminded him of his homeland – Scotland. It is here, that he established his series of laboratories and worked with deaf people, one of whom was Helen Keller.

His newest inventions included the AEA Silver Dart, a powered flight; an iron lung; and the world’s first genetically modified sheep.


Puerto Rico – A typical Caribbean destination

19 May, 2007

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One of the many island nations occupying the Caribbean Sea region, Puerto Rico is one of the larger ones.

Part of the Greater Antilles Group, Puerto Rico is also its smallest island nation. Itself an archipelago, the island nation contains various large and small islands, called the keys.

Apart from the main island of Puerto Rico, the other significant ones are Mona, Viegues, Culebra, Desecheo and Caja de Muertos. Other than the main island, only the Culebra and Viegues are inhabited year-round. All the others are basically populated during the tourist season.

Lying south of the mainland US, with Miami being the nearest US port, some 2000 kilometres away, Puerto Ricans are US citizens by birth. This is due to the reason that their country is an ‘Unincorporated Territory’ of the US Government, meaning that only certain US Government rules and regulations apply to the locals.

Being in the Caribbean region, Puerto Rico is virtually a tourist paradise. And believe it or not, here, you can literally, travel on a road towards Paradise.

Puerto Rico offers the best of both worlds – natural, such as scuba diving among some of the world’s richest underwater flora and fauna. They can visit coffee plantations, go off the beaten track on various hiking or biking trails along the coast, visit a few of many waterfalls.

Those seeking the more urbane kind of pleasure, well, they can taste some of the wonderful local cuisines at roadside cafes; visit the local bazaars for those charming little trinkets to take back home.


Island of Newfoundland (Canada): Home to world’s largest estuary

15 May, 2007

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One of the largest islands off the eastern coast of world’s second largest country by mass – Canada – is the Island of Newfoundland.

Not to confuse it with the state of Newfoundland, which is a separate administrative region, the island is Canada’s forth largest and world’s 16 largest.

Separated from its namesake region on the mainland by the Strait of Belle Isle, it is situated at the head of Saint Lawrence River, creating the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, which is the world’s largest estuary.

It’s small capital city, St. John is one of the oldest inhabited places on the Northern American continent. It was already established port and a commercial city, long before, New York, its’ closest commercial neighbour to the south, was even registered as a settlement.

Being able to boast of having one of the oldest English speaking settlements in the region, the island of Newfoundland is also home to some of the worlds’ finest natural sites.

The ‘Gros Morne National Park’, located on the west coast was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its rich and diverse geological formations and remarkable scenery.

The ‘Terra Nova National Park’ on the island’s eastern side is home to the Bonavista Bay, a region diverse range of flora and fauna.

Then there is a major hiking trail that winds all along the eastern coast. The so-called hiking trail extends for 215 kms taking in some of the beautiful scenery that nature has gifted to this island.

Though, the main centre of the island is St. Johns, its capital, but there are other smaller towns like Cappahayden, Fort Amherst, Stephenville, Corner Brook and Sandy Point.


‘Bon Bini’ – or “Welcome to Bonaire”

10 May, 2007

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Bonaire is an island in the larger group of Netherlands Antilles, which themselves are governed by Netherlands. Within the larger group, Bonaire, together with Aruba and Curacao, forms the sub or lesser Antilles, called locally, ‘Leeward Antilles’.

Situated at the southern part of the Caribbean, though much closer to the South America, it was also inhabited, initially by the local indian tribe, Caiquetios, a sub-tribe of the larger nation of Arawak Indian who were also the main settlers of nearby islands.

Bonaire, among other activities, has been ranked, consistently, as the finest snorkelling and scuba diving destination in the Caribbean. And all these lie in the Bonaire National Marine Park that hugs the island from almost all sides.

But there are other activities to do as well. The fast winds over the island, provides ample chance for the daredevils to thrill themselves with windsurfing. For the other mortals, there is an assortment of wildlife and natural landscapes to enjoy.