Wonderful resorts at Minorca Island (Mediterranean Sea)

26 September, 2007

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The lesser known but equally famous, Minorca Island is the second largest of the Balearic Islands, the autonomous island group of Spain.

Famous for its many pristine beaches, both of sandy and rocky nature, as well as several sites of prehistoric, monolithic stone monuments, it isn’t require any sense of brilliance as to why this small island (only 15 km wide and 52 km long) is chock-a-block full of visitors all-year round.

With over 60,000 permanent inhabitants, Minorca plays host to a half a million visitors every year. But even with such large numbers, it is not as overrun by them as its nearest neighbours, Ibiza and Majorca are.

Apart from its beaches, there are various sites and monuments for those interested in history, archaeology, music and art. It also has a great nightlife too.

For all those thinking of making a beeline to Minorca, can stay in either one of these hotels:

Hotel Princesa Playa:
Gran Via Son Xoriguer 17, Minorca, Balearic Islands 07760, Spain

Hotel Sant Ignasi:
Carretera Cala Morell, Ciudadela, Minorca, Balearic Islands 07760, Spain

Sol Menorca:
Playa de Santo Tomás, s/n | (Re-opens April 27, 2007), Migjorn Gran, Minorca, Balearic Islands 07749, Spain

Blanc Palace Aparthotel:
Urbanización Sa Caleta | Menorca, Ciudadela, Minorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Menorca Sea Club Apartments:
La Mar s/n | Cala’N Forcat, Minorca, Balearic Islands 07760, Spain

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Australian Bush tucker: Lets put on a barbie

22 September, 2007

Australians are very fond of their ‘bush tucker’. Bush tucker is associated with food cooked outdoors either on camping sites or at out-of-station trips.

These usually include cooking or rather, barbequing meats of their iconic animals such as Kangaroos, Emus (a flightless bird), Barramundi (fish) and yabby (crayfish).

The famous Aussie slogan, ‘Let’s put on a barbie’, cannot emphasize their love of cooking outdoors anymore than this.

Their modern-day, but traditional food items include vegemite (a black yeast spread); meat pie (minced meat pie); Tim Tams (chocolate coated biscuits); Anzac Biscuits (large wheat biscuits).

Then there Vanilla Slice (a custard pie slice topped with vanilla icing); Lamingtons (pieces of sponge cake coated with chocolate and any other flavoured icing and coconut); and Peach Melba (slices of peach served with whipped cream and sometimes with a scoop of ice cream).


Minorca Island: Small in size, but more beautiful

22 September, 2007

One of the major tourist attractions in the Mediterranean Sea is the island of Minorca.Part of the greater Balearic Islands group, Minorca belongs to the Spanish nation and lies not far from another of Spain’s island attractions – Majorca.

The name, Minorca comes from the Latin term, Minorca, meaning small or not so significant. The name corresponds with the size of the island, as it is just 15 km wide and 52 km long.

Though, it is the second largest of all the Balearic Islands, Majorca being the larger one, it is the most beautiful of them all. With miles of beaches, it has more beaches, than those of Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera combined. These beaches range from miles-long silver or golden crescents of sand to rocky bays.

The island itself is a set on a rocky bluff, overlooking an ancient port, which was a reason that saw French, Spanish and even British fighting over the island, and hence, for the control of the Mediterranean region (the island lies near the entrance to the Med. Sea).

Minorca Island is famously known for its large collection of megalithic stone monuments, including navetes, taules and talaiots that speak volumes of its early, prehistoric human settlement.

Though, tourism is a major industry at this island, it, unlike its nearby neighbours it not completely dependent on it. It’s other industries include leatherwork, costume jewellery production, dairy farming and gin manufacturing.


Yap Islands: Where giant stone money rules the roost

21 September, 2007

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One of smaller islands of the Caroline Islands, Yap Island lies in the western Pacific Ocean. It is part of a cluster of islands that collectively called Yap Islands. These four islands are though, appear as separate islands to a naked eye but are joined together underwater as a large coral reef.

The islands are mostly covered with local flora, dotted with mangrove swamps and surrounded by reefs. It encloses a lagoon that is part of the giant coral reef on which the islands are based.

Though, it is one of the most traditional of the four main states of Micronesia, it is popular in the region for its one unique item – stone money. Giant, hollow, carved stone disks are used as currency in this tiny nation.

These ‘stone money’ are like every other world currency includes different sized-disks indicating different denominations. Not only the size but the stone and the age of the disk also determines its worth. And like everywhere else on earth, the more disks a person or a family posses, the higher is his status among the locals.

The islands’ locals called Yapese are one of the most expert navigators of the Pacific region. There are legends of locals travelling in canoes thousands of kilometres navigating only by starts and patterns in ocean waves.


Gotland Island (Sweden) – ‘Pearl of the Baltic Sea’

21 September, 2007

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If anyone ever wishes to cycle along the coast during night-time at 10 pm in the shade of the setting sun, all the while enjoying the solitude of the serene environs, then Gotland Island is just the place to be at.

Often called the ‘Pearl of the Baltic Sea’, Gotland is truly a magical place. It is a natural wonder, with miles long bicycle tracks, limes gravelled road, dramatic coastlines, sandy beaches and flowery meadows.

Part of Sweden the island is about 75 miles long and 35 miles wide at its widest point and it boasts more sunny days in the year than the whole of Scandinavian region.

For those interested in history, would be happy to note that it is rich in historical monuments including magnificent stone churches from the 12 & 13 centuries that bear testament to the islands’ once glory.

According to a local legend, a man named ‘Tjelvar’ discovered the island. At the time of discovery the island was jinxed, such that that it used to sink into the sea at day and rise out the water at night. The man, Tjelvar on discovering it, brought back ‘life’ into the island and it never sank again.

Gotland gained a lot of prominence during the Viking age, when it became a major trading port of the region. There are boulders marking graves in the shape of old Viking Ships visible even today along the roadsides.


Homely tourists’ destination at Mafia Island, Africa

21 September, 2007

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One of the major islands off the eastern coast of Tanzania in Africa is the Mafia Island.

Mafia Island is a cluster of islands, one major island and numerous islets. Apart from the main one, only a few islets are inhabited, with approximately 41,000 locals calling these islands home. Many of which are fisherman and others subsistence farmers cultivating various spices.

With its deep-water anchorage and numerous sandy beaches, the Mafia Island cluster is an excellent place for scuba diving, game fishing and other water sports.

For all those thrill seekers and active gamer fishing enthusiasts, these islands provide the ultimate experience. These visitors on arrival can find these great accommodations:

Pole Pole Bungalow Resort:
Mafia Island, Tanzania

Kinasi Lodge:
Mafia Island, Tanzania

Mafia Island Lodge:
Mafia Island, Tanzania


Some of the Iceland’s beautiful waterfalls

21 September, 2007

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Iceland, the island literally, middle of nowhere, is ideally suited for waterfalls. The rocky island, which is home to countless glaciers that melt, in summer, feeds equally countless rivers and streams, it is only natural that somewhere along the routes of the river, there will be ravines, and hence, a waterfall.

Some of its spectacular waterfalls are:

Dettifoss: Located in the northeastern Iceland, Dettifoss Waterfall is one of the largest waterfalls of in the country. It is situated on the Jokulsa-a-Fjollum River, which flows from the Vatnajokull Glacier. The Glacier, which itself is the largest glacier in Iceland is situated on the southeastern coast of the country.

It is also said to be the most powerful waterfalls among all of its mainland European counterparts.

Selfoss: A few hundred meters downstream from Dettifoss lie the Selfoss Waterfall whose width is 100 meters and the fall, 44 meters. The water comes from the Jokulsa-a-Fjollum River that originates from the Vatnajokull glacier. After passing through a gorge, it flows into the Artic Sea.

Gooafoss: One of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland is the Gooafoss Waterfall. Located in the north of the country, in the Myvatn district, the water of river Skjalfandafljot falls from a height of 12 meters, spread over range of 30 meters.