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There’s no better place for Americans to visit an Islamic country than Turkey My first cruise vacation

The most attractive Theme Parks in the USA


CONTENTS My first cruise vacation Ah, your first cruise! How exciting! The first thing to do is figure out how much you want to spend and where you want to go. Do you want to go to the islands and bask in the sun? Do you want to go to Alaska and walk on glaciers? Page 8 The most attractive Theme Parks in the United States

Universal Studios in Orlando is one of the magical places to visit when you plan a trip to Orlando. Universal Studios is divided into two parks and you will need two full days to visit these parks.

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In this issue

Nepal -A country sandwich between India and China

Cover Story

Page 24

There’s no better place for Americans to visit an Islamic country than Turkey

Turkey has more historic sites than the rest of Europe combined. There are more places mentioned in the Bible than any other country except Israel. Turkey has some of the world’s most renowned cuisine. It’s a shopaholic’s paradise because prices are low for even handmade merchandise and Turks expect you to bargain. The Turkish Riviera along the Mediterranean has year-round bustling tourism for its beaches, skiing in nearby mountains, innumerable shops and restaurants open late, and many historic sites.

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Nomad Day Festival in Mongolia Mongolian's nomadic culture and lifestyle is preserved in an annual two-day festival that features importantly on the country's event's calendar.

Brazil

A huge, colorful and exotic country

The glitzy spectacle of Carnival, beautiful girls on Copacabana or exploring the Amazon jungle - whatever draws you to Brazil, it's a huge, colorful and exotic country but as with most Latin American countries it pays to do your research before you leave.

The best family destinations in Alabama Alabama is a wonderful state with a variety of things to do for the whole family. Alabama is not a state that immediately brings the word "vacation" to mind. However, it is a state with many unique destinations and should not be overlooked, especially by those who live nearby.

America's best kept secretsca's best kept secrets Considered an economically deprived state where educational and career opportunities are a bit behind the times, Southern and Eastern Kentucky are two of America's best kept secrets. Page 89

The picturesque port village on Long Island, NEW YORK

GREENPORT How many beautiful and historical places can you think of that you would like to visit on the east coast of this country? I am sure that places like Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. come to mind. These are probably the top three places that you can think of. Page 89 TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

Page 55 The Native American Story

As Native American history grows and continues to capture the interest of travelers around the world, the South Dakota Native American experience provides some of the best travel opportunities and destinations in the world. The prairies and rolling hills of South Dakota provide a home for nine Native American tribes and serve as a backdrop for a history layered with a rich texture of tradition.

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TRAVEL INDUSTRY NEWS Seychelles sees rebranding of its New Allamanda Beach Resort and Spa

Accomodation

Important changes happened effective November 1, 2010 at the newly-rebranded Allamanda Beach Resort&Spa (formerly TClub Allamanda Resort). The new Allamanda Beach Resort&Spa is Seychelles' newest Boutique Hotel offering guests attentive service in a relaxing atmosphere at affordable prices. Situated on one of the most beautiful locations in the South of Mahe at Anse Forbans, the resort is comprised of 24 standards, 2 standard, and 4 superior jacuzzi rooms all offering guests panoramic views of the ocean.

OASIS rolls out new affordable marketing plans

Business Travel

BOCA RATON, Florida - OASIS (Outside Agents Sales Integration System) which has doubled membership in less than a year, rolled out 3 new membership plans last month. OASIS agents saw a preview in November at their 1st Annual Sales Meeting, which was held at the Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel. The meeting took place a day prior to Signature Travel Network’s 2010 Sales Meeting & Tradeshow. Kelly Bergin, Vice President of Business Development for OASIS, said: “Our new turnkey OASIS Pro and Elite plans will give OASIS agents the tools they need to not only retain the clients they have, but to find new clients as well.

Active Scotland year launched

Destinations

Scotland has launched a year of exciting activities and events with the announcement of Active Scotland. The year-long program of events, festivals, and activities will outline Scotland as a must-visit active and adventure destination and showcase the best of Scotland to the world. Active Scotland appeals to everyone, from gentle walkers to adrenaline junkies. Moreover, Scotland’s diverse landscapes and cities make a fantastic destination in which to be active, while a growing reputation for adventure sports has put Scotland on the map as Europe’s Adventure Capital.

Emeraude marks 105th anniversary on the waters of Ha Long Bay

Cruise Industry

HA LONG BAY, Vietnam — In a year that could see Ha Long Bay designated one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, the Emeraude will mark the 105th anniversary of its original launch with new customized programs that allow guests to spend one more day on the bay’s jade-green waters and embark on cultural excursions and outdoor adventures. This summer, the 105th anniversary celebration of the Emeraude’s original launch kicks into high gear with a series of special rates and packages that make the ship’s vintage standard of luxury more affordable than ever.

Airworld Alliance celebrates 30 years as GSA for airline passenger sales

Airline Industry

LOS ANGELES, California - Airworld Alliance, a division of the SITA World Group, is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a General Sales Agent for airline passenger sales in the United States and Canada. Airworld Alliance’s President, Mr. Mok Singh, stated: “Our company has come a long way since 1981 when we signed our first international airline account as GSA. We now have six strategically placed sales offices throughout North America, employing 55 full-time staff and a call center in Delhi, India, supporting our principals with another staff of 130. Currently, we are generating revenue in excess of US$126 million on an annual basis for our 15 airline principals.”

Mr. Singh continued, “Our ongoing strategy as a company for the future is to expand our client list and enhance revenues for our existing principals with new strategic and tactical initiatives. We are aggressively pursuing new business opportunities and enhancing existing client synergies.” Airworld Alliance is an airline representation firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with additional sales offices located in New York, Toronto, Chicago, Houston, and Vancouver. As GSA, the company provides strategic and tactical cost effective solutions for the maximization of passenger sales revenues in the North American market. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

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My first cruise vacation Ah, your first cruise! How exciting! The first thing to do is figure out how much you want to spend and where you want to go. Do you want to go to the islands and bask in the sun? Do you want to go to Alaska and walk on glaciers? Research the different cruise lines and ports of call. When you have decided where you want to cruise, call your travel agent and they should be able to recommend the best cruise for you. Now let me share some of my secrets on how to make the most out of your first cruise.

Tips for your first vacation cruise by Pam Hectorne

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First and foremost, PACK LIGHTLY! Cabins on cruise ships are smaller than your average hotel room, so don't pack your entire wardrobe. Most cabins come with soap, shampoo and a blow dryer, so leave those at home too. When you get to the terminal, you will be checking your luggage, so you will need to take a carry on with any medications you may need, a sweater, your camera, and all of your documentation (tickets, passport, etc). You won't see your luggage until later that afternoon and if your tickets are in your luggage, you are in trouble. If you suffer from motion sickness, there are several over the counter pills you can take (Bonine or Dramamine) or talk to your doctor. If you do get the over the counter pills, make sure you get the non-drowsy ones. I made that mistake once and slept for several hours after boarding our ship and missed leaving port. If you find you do suffer from motion sickness once out to sea, the ships doctor can give you a shot (for a fee) or you can go to one of the shops on board and purchase an over the counter pill.

dessert or even your salad, ask for another one! They don't mind at all. And once you have eaten your weight in food, there is an exercise room and jogging track to work off the extra pounds! Most, if not all cruise ships, offer room service for free. We usually order a pot of coffee and some sweet rolls to be delivered each morning. This way we can be lazy, get dressed at our convenience, and head up to the top deck for breakfast when we are ready. One of my favorite things to do is after breakfast is to grab my coffee and head up on deck towards the back of the ship. There is nothing like a fresh cup of coffee and the cool salt air first thing in the morning. Coffee, milk, tea and juice is free also. Sodas and alcoholic beverages do cost and will be charged to your card. You can purchase a soft drink card which will allow you to drink all the soda's you want during the entire cruise. I don't recommend this on shorter cruises, since you can bring a 2 liter bottle with you in your luggage. Whatever you do, don't bring alcohol. They check all baggage and will remove your bottle and return it to you at the end of the cruise.

When checking in at the desk, they will ask for a credit card for all expenses while on board. DO NOT use your debit card from your checking account. The cruise line will freeze a certain amount of money (more than you will use) and you don't want to come back home and find out checks have bounced. I usually take 1 credit card for my expenses on board the ship and will use cash for shopping while at port. If you don't have a credit card, they will accept cash or if you plan well enough ahead of time, you can get a pay as you go credit card, such as a Green Dot card. They will give you a card at check in. Keep this with you at all times. This gets you on and off the ship (on port days), into your cabin and all of your purchases will be charged onto that card.

Most activities are free, except for Bingo and the casino. You will need cash for these. When you get to your room, you will have a newsletter that will list that nights activities as well as the next days. Check this out and pick which ones you want to attend. Do take advantage of some of the activities. This is a great way to unwind, have a good time, and meet some of your fellow passengers. If you like to be up front close to all the activity, then arrive early. If you want to just lay by the pool and catch some sun, get there early and find you a deck chair. If you wait until lunch time, you may not be able to find any chairs available in the area you want to be.

Your tips are charged daily to your card also. Talk to your travel agent or the cruise line and find out how much per day is being charged. If, during your cruise, you find the service was horrible, you can challenge the amount of the tip being charged, although I have never had to do that. But if you are happy with the service you receive, which I have been, you can leave a little extra for your waiter or your room steward on your last night.

Shore excursions are great, but can be expensive. There is no rule that says you have to go on a shore excursion sponsored by the cruise line. Do your research though. There are sites online, such as cruisecritic.com, where people will post their experiences on cruises and excursions. If you want to, you can either stay on the ship or head out to shop and explore the city. There are always shops very close to the docks. Their prices are a bit high, so if you want to save money, head further into town. Also, and this is very important, keep in mind when the cruise is ready to leave. DO NOT miss your ship.

Once on board, your food is free, although there are smaller, upscale restaurants for an additional cost. One thing you will do during the entire cruise, is eat. For all meals, you have your choice of the formal dining room, smaller upscale restaurants and the buffet. While having dinner in the dining room, you will have your choice of several soups, salads, entrees and desserts. If for some reason, you really don't like your food, let your waiter know. They will bring you something else. Remember, you are paying for this, so why eat something you don't like. Along the same line, if you really, really enjoyed your soup or 10

Cruising, like anything, is as fun as you make it. I have heard stories of people who said they felt "trapped" with nothing to do. There is always something to do aboard the ship. The staff plans so many things, that you will have to find the time to sit back and relax. My next cruise is coming up in a few months, and I can't wait! Bon Voyage! TRAVIDITION / travidition.com


A SHORE THING Many of Royal Caribbean International’s Thousands of Shore Excursions Cater to Adventurers Who Want to See More Than the Inside of a Tour Bus Miami – Being active and getting involved are big draws for many of Royal Caribbean International’s fans.

Whether peddling a bicycle, tasting tapas or paddling a kayak, Royal Caribbean offers endless ways to explore the world’s most exciting ports in some pretty innovative ways. No one knows the active tour terrain better than Patrick Schneider, Royal Caribbean’s director of Shore Excursions & Explorations! “Over my 16-year career with Royal Caribbean, I’ve been to more than 200 ports and sampled more than 2,000 shore excursions,” says Schneider. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. What Schneider loves most of about his job is offering guests a variety of different ways to experience different cultures around the world and gain new perspectives in the process.“Our shore excursions have evolved along with the lifestyles of our guests, who have become better informed and more active,” says Schneider. There’s more demand for active tours worldwide and Schneider says Royal Caribbean has increased its adventure tour program to keep pace. Also, more boutique-style tours catering to smaller groups and focused on specific activities, such as food, have been added to the repertoire.

about touching, tasting and getting your feet wet. A new tapas tasting tour in Barcelona, for instance, truly gives guests a delicious sampling of the local flavors with stops at three different “tascas” or restaurants to nibble on local snacks.

“Hands-on, active excursions offer a fantastic opportunity for our guests to experience thecutural texture of the destination,” says Schneider. It’s all

For additional information or to makereservations, call your travel agent, visit www.royalcaribbean.com or call (800) ROYALCARIBBEAN

In Ho Chi Mihn City, guests get the chance to prepare their own lunch in a cooking class with a local sous chef. In St. Maarten, drive a two-person motor boat and zip around the coast, or while in Phuket, paddle a canoe along the shore. From Juneau, zipline over the rainforests or go dog sledding. If biking’s your bag, Royal Caribbean offers guided bicycle rides in ports all over the world, from the countryside near Dubrovnik, Croatia to the bustling streets of Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Helsinki and Copenhagen and even to the edge of a glacier in Alaska. No matter your particular passion, there’s no better way to live, breath and connect with a destination than getting up close and personal. Here’s a sampling of Royal Caribbean’s active excursions in ports around the world.

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The most attractive Theme Parks

in the United States

Disney World

Busch Gardens

Knott's Berry Farm

Universal Studios

Sea World

Six Flags Great Adventure


A magical place to visit

Universal Studios Florida, Orlando Universal Studios in Orlando is one of the magical places to visit when you plan a trip to Orlando. Universal Studios is divided into two parks and you will need two full days to visit these parks. Naturally if you are a group of around 12 people you could choose their VIP service which is fantastic. You will get a guide for the full day and since you will not have to wait in line at all you will be able to do one park in the morning and the other park in the afternoon and go through the main rides that exist. When you arrive to Universal Studios naturally you want to start your visit with the Studios and only if you have time you go to the Islands of Adventure. One important advice, buy your tickets in advance, you will be happy to avoid long queues that may exist. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

Universal Studios Florida, Orlando, Florida by Henri Zimand

A

t the studios you have a variety of rides and shows, depending on the time you have available, prepare yourself in advance with your map and decide what you really want to see and make sure you turn from one side to the other. Remember that certain rides require the kids to be from 40" or 42" at least in height. The classical rides are of course E.T. Adventure where you board a cycle and are carried away in a dream world of

ET, Back to the Future where you enter a car that takes you for a fantastic ride. Earthquake is a fantastic ride where you go through a real earthquake, and Jaws where you sail on a ship and find somewhere along your route Jaws. The newer rides are the Twister where you take part in a real twister, Men in Black where you are in carts and have to shoot down the aliens and the Revenge of the Mummy which is a roller coaster. 13


Remember that you have some excellent restaurants around and if you are lucky you will even see crews making a film in one part or the other of Universal Studios. hen you finished the Studios, you can walk across to the Islands of Adventure, where you will find many thrill rides that are magical. This park is divided into five main parts, Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, the Lost Continent and Seuss Landing.

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In Marvel Island, you will find two amazing rides the Dr. Doom Fearfall and the Incredible Hulk Coaster. In Toon Lagoon Dudley ride where you hop into a log over water rides and falls and Popeye barges where you will have an incredible barge ride. In Jurassic Park take the River Adventure, in the Lost Continent Dueling Dragons are two amazing roller coasters and you have Poseidon Fury an ancient temple adventure. Last but not least Dr Seuss where all the children's tale come to life. Now all you have to do is just have a magical ride and enjoy Universal Parks.


SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Florida by Can Tran

SeaWorld Orlando, Florida There are four rides total as SeaWorld's main focus isn't geared towards the rides. Instead, the focus is towards learning more about the sealife. The four rides are "Journey to Atlantis", "Sky Tower", "Wild Artic", and "Kraken". Each of these rides are interesting in their own rights. Journey to Atlantis takes guests to a similation to the mythical lost city of Atlantis. It's still uncomfirmed whether or Atlantis exists or not. Wild Arctic takes visitors on a simulator mimicing a helicopter ride to a base at the North Pole. It's a good ride to go on if you're interesed in the wildlife that the arctic has to offer. If you love roller coasters, then ride on Kraken. Though they are the four man TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

"SeaWorld" in Orlando, Florida happens to be one of the many Anheuser-Busch theme parks in the United States let alone in the state of Florida. I have been to SeaWorld a few times in my life and preferred the place over Disney World. While Busch Gardens Africa located in Tampa focuses on African wildlife, SeaWorld focuses on aquatic and marine wildlife. This is one place where you can observe all sorts of sealife ranging from dolphins, whales, orcas, turtles, etc.

rides, there are plenty of kiddy rides in the Happy Harbor section of SeaWorld. Happy Harbor is one place you can go around and take your children to have fun. When I went to SeaWorld at the age of nine, that was one of my favorite places of the theme park. It was great. As an adult, I want to explore that large obstacle course that was an important part of Happy Harbor. But the main focus is on the sealife. There's the Dolphin Cove and Dophin nursery where you can look at the adult dolphins and the baby dolphins. If you're fond of dolphins, check out those two areas. I enjoyed those exhibits because I heard about how dolphins are extremely intelligent. That very much appealed to me. One of my favorite animals happens to be a dolphin.

There is the Shark Encounter where you can check out the sharks. I remembered that they showed films about how sharks can get very hungry. As a boy, I found it to be pretty cool to watch sharks tear up all those fish in the sea. It's no wonder that sharks in the sea are equivalent to the lions in the jungle. There's Manatee Rescue where guests can look at the manatees. This attraction appealed to me a lot because I've been living in Florida for quite a long time. Anybody that's lived in Florida for a long time and are familiar with the wildlife can tell you how Manatees are extremely important. Manatees happen to be one of the most peaceful and friendly creatures in the entire world. 15


The only non sealife attraction is the Clydesdale Hamlet where you can check out the horses. One would ask what does horses have anything to do with SeaWorld? They don't. Remember that this is an Anheuser-Busch themepark and they make beer. The Clydesdale happens to be the mascot of Anheuser-Busch. Whenever you see some of the commercials, you get to see the clydesdales moving the carriage. Asides from the rides and attractions, SeaWorld has brought more shows. One thing most appealing to kids would be "Elmo and the Bookaneers" which is a Sesame Street themed event. Interestingly enough, there's a Sesame Street themepark called "Sesame Place" not far from Philadelphia. Also, Anheuser-Busch also owns Sesame Place. The park is very great overall. But in the past there has been plenty of criticism from animal rights' activists that SeaWorld owns over half of the captured whales. Many trainers were hurt in the process as they were equipped to handle wild orcas. As a result, SeaWorld obtains their sealife through breeding, loans, and purchases. It's not different from numerous aquariums across the world. But if you're ever in the Orlando area, give SeaWorld a chance.

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Six Flags Great Adventure Jackson, NJ

If you are in the area of Jackson, New Jersey, Six Flags Great Adventure is not to be missed. Great Adventure is arguably on the world's top amusement parks, and has a great selection of rides for enthusiasts and families alike. There are a lot of aspects that make this park great. The Roller Coasters. Six Flags Great Adventure has some of the worlds best and most exciting roller coasters. The feature coaster is El Toro, new for 2006 season, it was immediately given the title best wooden coaster in the world, hands down, by park enthusiasts. Another major addition to Great Adventure came in 2005 with the addition of Kingda Ka, the worlds current tallest and fastest roller coaster.

A guide to Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ by Lakeccrunner Kingda Ka rockets riders from 0-128 mph in less than 3.5 seconds, then shoots them over a 456 foot "tophat" element and rockets them back down to earth over a 129' tall airtime hill. Kingda Ka lasts just 28 seconds, but is sure to give you the thrill of your life. Other major coaster attractions include Batman: The Ride, Great American Scream Machine, Medusa, Nitro and Superman: Ultimate Flight. Park Layout, food and facilities. The park is very easy to navigate, and it is very easy to find your way from attraction to attraction. There are also many places to grab a bite to eat and enjoy a great dinner for the whole family. The facilities are well kept and extremely clean, it is very rare to walk in to a dirty restroom. The parks surroundings The park is built on a very nice looking piece of land. The scenery is great. There are trees and gardens all around and the park doesn't have the traditional amusement park feel of just being around pavement and in the open. The park has a really great, unique atmosphere that you have TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

to experience to appreciate. My Suggestions to visitors of Six Flags Great Adventure. 1. Plan ahead and buy tickets online at http://sixflags.com/parks/grea tadventure, there is a &15 discount when you buy tickets online. 2. Take the whole family. There is plenty for children to do at the park as well. There are numerous children's areas and even a few roller coasters built specifically for families and children 3. If you are big on coasters and don't think you will be able to get back to the park in the near future, buy the Flash Pass. The flash pass is an electronic pass that you can scan on certain ride entrances that hold your place in line for you without you actually being there! The flash pass then notifies you when it is your time to ride. I would recommend the Flash Pass Gold, it will get you on the station for most rides. Even though the flash pass is expensive, you will be glad you have it if it is a busy day. I hope this travel guide helps you have a great time and a lot of fun at Six Flags Great Adventure! 17


Why visiting Busch Gardens is a good family vacation by Karla Perry

There is truly something for everyone at

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a most delightful family vacation having entertainment for all ages. The prices are right, the atmosphere is family friendly, the rides fun, and the shows enjoyable. Busch Gardens offers relatively inexpensive admission especially for Virginia residents. For the last few years the Gardens have offered Virginians a special rate by purchase of the Fun Card. Basically, where one pays for the admission costs of a single day and gains the bonus of being able to come back for free all spring and summer. 18

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Busch Gardens provides a wonderful family atmosphere as you travel through the European countries of the Old Country This is quite a deal for anyone planning to go more than once in a summer to the park. Busch Gardens also offers family seasons passes which may be more cost effective depending on your families needs. With the seasons pass, discounts are included for call food and merchandise purchases in the park as well as the perks of free VIP parking. Busch Gardens provides a wonderful family atmosphere as you travel through the European countries of the Old Country. Each country's atmosphere is culturally depicted with all park employees being dressed in the clothes of the nation while music from that country floats through the air. In Germany, there is a building called the October Fest which offers family dining, festive dances, and music for entertainment while you eat. In Ireland, there is a most fantastic show, Emerald Beat, in full Irish style complete with dancing and singing. All the rides are fashioned after the appropriate style of that country such as the Escape from Pompeii or the Roman Rapids. Rides range from kiddy swings to go karts, to water rides and on up to roller coasters of various levels of thrill. Every age group has plenty to enjoy. There is a wonderful water park full of dragons spitting fountains of water for young children to splash around in just before Mother Goose comes out to tell the children a story. An ice cream parlor is adjacent to the water park for a sweet treat to complete the cooling off process. Currently, Busch Gardens is having a series of Christian TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

concerts entitled Glory at the Gardens on Sunday evenings. On any given day, there are plenty of shows including puppet shows, 3 D adventures, pirate shows, magic shows, Irish dancing, Polka dancing shows, American classic rock shows, pet shows, etc. Also, there is always an exhibit of Clydesdales to view along with old fashioned fire trucks and wagons. Large vats of grapes in huge barrels are on display showing the methods of making wine in the olden days. Everywhere one goes there is some exhibit of a historical nature. Moreover, one can take a boat, train, or sky ride around the park. The boat captain will give you a history of the park as you travel as will the train conductor. There are also leather shops, glass shops, marble shops, candle shops and more where one can come in out of the sun and participate in designing a special craft. The park also offers many places to eat a meal as well as allowing you to get your hands stamped and leave the park for a meal. Many fast food restaurants are available just outside the park. Some choose to save money by packing a cooler and leaving it in their trunk for a picnic lunch in the parking lot before returning to the park. Busch Gardens is certainly a memoriable family vacation that will keep the family returning again and again for more fun. Whether your family is into rides, shows, or enjoyable atmospheres, there is truly something for everyone at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. 19


SIDE Turkish Riviera

Travel experience: Side, Turkey by Marie-Luise Stromer Side (pronounced See-da, stress on the first syllable) is a small seaside resort of about 10,000 inhabitants on the south coast of Turkey, the so-called Turkish Riviera, 75 km east of Antalya where the international airport is. We chose a hotel about 3,5 km west of Side for our hols last October, the idea was to not only lie on the beach or swim but also take in the culture the town has to offer. 3,5 km isn't far, I've walked longer distances in my life, but due to a health problem I wasn't able to cover even this distance, so I can tell you that a one-way trip by taxi from our hotel was 7,50 Euro (5,90 GBP, taxi drivers want Euro), a trip by dolmu (pronounced 'dolmoosh', stress on the first syllable) a mini van with 14 seats 1,50 Turkish Lira (56p). The dolmu constantly cruise up and down the big streets, one doesn't have to wait longer than ten minutes to find one. When all seats are taken, the dolmu isn't full by Turkish standards, I haven't made any exotic experiences, but have heard strange stories from experienced travellers. I knew that there was a lot of old stu to see but when we approached the town and suddenly were in an area full of ruins, standing columns, lying pieces of columns, stubs of columns before we had passed a normal house, I was dumbfounded. And then the Roman amphitheatre came into view which once seated 15,000 spectators. Wow. When I was younger, I prepared my travels more thoroughly, nowadays I only have vague ideas and superďŹ cial knowledge of the places I'm going to visit and I avoid looking at too many photos before departing. In this way I'm still able to be surprised which is a 20

good thing. If you have too much information beforehand, your only reaction after reaching your destination is to compare, "Oh, I thought the statue was much bigger." etc. The dolmu stop in front of the old town wall, the taxis beside the amphitheatre. Tourists can go through the site by a mini-train pulled by a tractor (I don't know the price) or walk around individually, only small areas are fenced in, excavations are still going on. Unfortunately my imagination isn't vivid enough to see Side as it was thousands of years ago, I'd be grateful for some reconstructed houses to help me along. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com


I knew that there was a lot of old stuff to see but when we approached the town and suddenly were in an area full of ruins, standing columns, lying pieces of columns, stubs of columns before we had passed a normal house, I was dumbfounded. And then the Roman amphitheatre came into view which once seated 15,000 spectators. Wow.

When I was younger, I prepared my travels more thoroughly, nowadays I only have vague ideas and superficial knowledge of the places I'm going to visit and I avoid looking at too many photos before departing. In this way I'm still able to be surprised which is a good thing. If you have too much information beforehand, your only reaction after reaching your destination is to compare, "Oh, I thought the statue was much bigger." etc. The dolmu stop in front of the old town wall, the taxis beside the amphitheatre. Tourists can go through the site by a mini-train pulled by a tractor (I don't know the price) or walk around individually, only small areas are fenced in, excavations are still going on. Unfortunately my imagination isn't vivid enough to see Side as it was thousands of years ago, I'd be grateful for some reconstructed houses to help me along. We visited the amphitheatre, a ticket costs 10 Turkish Lira (~3,70 GBP). Pity that its con-

dition is too bad so that it isn't used any more like the one in Aspendos (about 40km away) which is 1,800 years old and the biggest Roman theatre in the Eastern Mediterranean, in summer concerts and operas are performed there for about 15, 000 spectators. But tourists don't go to Side to see only ruins, what else is there? Just in front of the entrance of the theatre modern Side begins, a bustling seaside resort. I'd advise visitors to turn left and walk along the narrow street (no cars) parallel to the coast, it's full of shops and restaurants on the right side which have their tables outside on the left side of the street meaning that you're looking at the sea while you're eating. Is Side full of touts hassling tourists? Full of touts, yes, but I don't feel hassled, my husband does. I don't react when they talk to me, I don't look at them or only with a cold, vacant, outer space stare, I'm deaf mute, I never answer a question, don't shake out-

stretched hands which turns them off. My husband is too friendly and communicative, if a tout asks him if we want to eat / buy XYZ, he says no and explains why not, the guaranteed beginning of a conversation which can be difficult to get out of. Of course, many tourists like being addressed, if that weren't the case, there wouldn't be any touts, but if this is not your thing: Do. Not. React! The street ends in front of the remains of the Apollo temple from the 2nd century AD, five columns are still standing or have been put up again. To the right are ruins of Roman buildings and behind the temple is the marina, a pretty sight. It's enclosed by a mole with many benches facing the sea as well as the town. From there it's possible to see the coastline in the direction of Antalya and how Side has grown. The mole is the southern point of the peninsula - about 1km long and 400m across - on which Side is built, please have a look at the photo at the top of the site to get an impression.


Modern Side sits on the remains of the antique settlement which was founded in the 7th century BC, the name Side means 'pomegranate' in the language of the first settlers and tasty, healthy pomegranate juice is offered everywhere (one glass 1,50 Euro). In ancient times Side was an important port, the Persians, the Greek, the Romans, Cilician pirates, who established their chief naval base and a slave-trade centre there, and Arabs fought for supremacy. In 333 BC Alexander the Great conquered the place, the invasions of today come from tourists from central Europe and Russia. According to my guidebook the streets are packed with tourists and it's hardly possible to move and at night the whole town is a party zone. Well, deffo not in the second half of October, the number of tourists was just right, one wouldn't like to see a seaside resort without any tourist, would one? I can't comment on the night life, sorry. From the central square at the marina, dominated by a more than life-size bust of Mustafa Kemal Atatrk (18811938), the founder of modern Turkey, the main shopping street (reduced traffic) leads up to the entrance of the theatre where we started the tour. You can either walk straight up or zig-zag up through some side streets which also have shops and restaurants but are a bit quieter. I visited Side twice because I liked the town so much the first time, on my second visit I went to the museum in the old Roman bath house which I hadn't been to before. The entrance fee is 10 Turkish Lira (~3,70 GBP), no concessions, an impudence for what is exhibited if you ask me. Two 22

rooms full of Roman sarcophagi, statues and heads, some well preserved, some not, and remains of columns and more sarcophagi in a garden beside the building. Each artefact has a short description in Turkish, German and English, but the leaflet lying at the entrance is only in Turkish, two showcases have texts in Turkish and English (kind of) which are so high up the wall that even tall people have problems reading them. Not good. On the other hand, if a museum offers only few artefacts, one looks closely at them which is a good thing. When I see a piece of a column with chiselled ornaments, I imagine the craftsman doing the job and I'm deeply impressed. No matter where the piece was, maybe high up where it couldn't even be seen by the onlookers standing in front of the temple, it's perfect, line upon line of floral ornaments without a flaw. So, all things considered, a visit to the museum may be recommended if you've got an artistic or historical vein. It's forbidden to take photos using a flash inside the museum, I know that flashlight can destroy paintings but have never heard that it can damage stone so I took some photos inside without qualms of conscience. Should you ever visit the South coast of Turkey in spring or autumn, include a visit to Side, I don't think you'll be disappointed. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com


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Nepal

a small, landlocked country sandwiched between India and China

For the longest time I have been hearing about my family and friends travels and trekking adventures to Nepal, the place where Everest, also known as Mount Sagarmatha in the Nepali language, at 8,848 meters above sea level, the world’s highest mountain is located. Nepal is a country sandwich between India and China, and it is landlocked, with a population of about 30 million. Nepal is a newly formed republic of which the tourism industry is the main contributor to its economy. Nepali is the main language whilst English is widely spoken in the main cities to accommodate the 350,000 odd tourists that visits annually. Hindu is the main religion, whilst the minority faith is Buddhism. In order to revive its tourism industry after many years of strive and conflict to change its national governance structure from monarchy to republic, the government has declared 2011 as Visit Nepal Year-hoping to draw back the much needed tourist dollars to revive its economy and to provide employment.

I was deciding whether I should go during spring, which is from March to May or autumn from September to November. Both are the peak months for trekking in Nepal. I was told that if one plans to travel and trek in spring, then the Annapurna Region would be a good choice, whilst in autumn, the Everest Range would be better. In spring in the Annapurna Region one would be able see the blooming of the Rhodendoren, Nepal’s national flower. One could practically see whole snow-capped mountain ranges awashed in red, pink and purplish flowers in full bloom. During autumn, when the skies are clear the mountain ranges of Everest is a sight to behold and it’s great for photography.

Travel experiences: Nepal by Elle Morena As it happened, I was invited to join a group of 22 people who wanted to trek in spring in the Annapurna Sanctuary region and I took this chance of a life-time without a second thought. The itinerary and adventure trek for our 10 days trip was as follows: Day 1 We arrived at Kathmandu via Royal Nepal Airlines from Kuala Lumpur, where we stayed for one night in the Thamel area of the city. Thamel is noted for the many stalls and shops selling all kinds of trekking and climbing gears, religious items, sweaters, food, medicine and souvenirs. It’s a good idea to buy all the necessities for the trekking trip in the mountains. Power cuts are the norm in Nepal, as such one should be prepared to get extra batteries, torches, etc. for the entire trip. Day 2 The group traveled by bus from Kathmandu to Porkara, which took us approximately 8 hours. The bus route is the one used by transport lorries and trucks that were ferrying goods from India. The road for the entire journey was bone shaking and very bumpy. 24

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Day 3 The group together with our porters proceeded by bus from Porkara to Nayapool, which took us about 2 hours, and at Nayapool we commenced our 4 days circuit trek in the mountains. The trek from Nayapool to Tikedhunga (1,577m) took us about 5 hours. It is advisable to pack luggage in back packs, haversacks or canvas hand carry bags. Those using suit cases were asked to transfer their 4 days mountain necessities into rented canvas bags for the porters to carry. As the porters proceeded at their own pace it is good that we carry our own necessities in a small back pack for the 5 hours trek. The trek trail is mostly man made stepped river rocks. The steps height were comfortable, neither too low nor high and were wide enough for donkeys and people to pass through both ways. During the trek we encountered donkeys, transporting all kinds of items from chickens to leaves, grass and furniture up and down the mountains. If you see donkeys passing, keep to the inside as there is a chance that the donkey may kick you down the mountain if one is on the wrong side. Along the trails, there are many wooden blue painted tea houses, where one could use the toilets, get a drink or just rest our tired feet. Remember that water and power are scarce resources up there so the facilities are minimally basic and not what you may be used to. Day 4 We got up very early at 5am and started after breakfast to trek from Tikedhunga to Ghorepani 2,834m which took us approximately 8 hours.


As power and water are scarce resources, to ensure that 22 people commence the trek at the same appointed time is a feat in itself. Most of these tea houses have only one or two toilets, freezing cold water with almost nil hot water, and food preparation takes ages. As such we all have to order our food one meal ahead, i.e. after dinner we order breakfast and after break fast we order lunch. One porter will carry our orders to the next tea house to ensure that food is on time. We were told that in the mountains we must keep to similar orders, so that the cook does not have too many varieties to prepare, thus expediting the whole eating process. For me, I will always remember our guide, cum waiter, porter, complaint centre, taking 22 orders, 3 meals a day, for 4 days. He always ends up with either more orders or is short, and he has to start all over again, counting the heads for-coffee with milk, coffee with out milk, eggs one side cook, eggs two side cook, black tea, black tea with milk, ginger tea etc. On the 4th day, as long as he gets more than 22 orders he is a happy man. We started at 4am from Ghorephani to Poon Hill 3,210 m, which took us approximately 2 hours just before sunrise. Poon Hill at 4am is very cold, so it is advisable to dress appropriately. After the amazing sunrise overlooking the snow capped Annapurna mountain ranges which include Fish Tail mountain and the many photo shoots, we trekked back to Gorephani and on to Tadapani, 2,680m, which took us about 8 hours. This part of the trek was amazing, as we had hours of the best picture post card view of snow capped mountain ranges right in front of us fringed by blooming red and pink Rhododendron in the fore ground in a cool temperate ambiance amidst a peaceful quiet trek. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com


At this point almost 60% of the group is down with stomach ailments. Most of the time our conversation centers on who ate what, and as such that must be the cause of the ailment. The guesses range from the fried rice, the eggs, water, tea, oil, the unhygienic way or preparation, expired food, etc. What ever our complaints, we ought to spare a thought that maybe we ourselves are too clean and have thus become “soft”. But what ever it is, we should not disparage our host and blame them for their food being dirty. Just be prepared and bring whatever medicine you may need for food poisoning, buy travel insurance and tell your guide if you feel like dying! Day 9 We took an early morning bus ride back to Kathmandu scheduled for 3 hours but eventually took us 11 hours. This was due to the unforeseen strike and road blocks that was organised by Maoist rebels. We were escorted by police along the way and were not harmed in any way. We reached Kathmandu at nearly nightfall with a sigh of relief.

Many of us had to use the wild, natural surrounding when “nature calls”. I myself had to run off to the bushes to relief myself. As such be prepared and expect the unexpected. It will make your trip so much more enjoyable.

most eliminated by malaria. After that we walked to the elephant museum, experienced sunset at the river side and then proceeded to dinner and cultural dance by the Toro Tribe.

Day 6 This is the 4th day of our mountain trek from Tadapani trek back to Nayapool which took us approximately 8 hours, and finally back to Pokhara by bus. This final part of the trek took us through paddy fields and mountains side where vegetables are cultivated. We had a fantastic view of the river long the way which lead us back to Nayapool.

Day 8 We visited the Elephant training centre, where we were treated to an Elephant safari for almost 2 hours and saw rhinoceros, deer, peacocks, monkeys and birds. After lunch, some of us went for a canoe ride on dug out canoe via the peaceful shaded river, where we saw huge crocodiles.

After 4 days of mostly vegetarian mountain food, were we glad to be back at Themal, Kathmandu where we could order what ever we wanted. I was told that the steak in Thamel is really good.

Day 7 We took a 3 hours bus ride from Pokhara by bus to Royal Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. We visited the site of the Taro tribe once al-

Thereafter we proceeded to the elephant breeding centre, to see how elephants breed and the training centre where elephants are trained.

Most of us also did our last minute shopping, of jewelry, stones, hats, tea, carving and souvenirs of all sorts for family and friends. Remember to bargain!

Day 10 We had a day tour around Kathmandu and the sites visited were Dhurba Square, Monkey Temple and Bodhinath, the biggest Buddhist temple in Nepal. We finally caught our flight back at 11 pm to Kuala Lumpur. Wasn’t that a fantastic holiday? Yeah!


Traveling overland in Mongolia

by Rensina Van Den Heuvel

Crawling out of my tent in the early Mongolian morning, I look across a vast steppe covered in a colorful carpet with intricate patterns. There are chives growing, as far as the eye can see and they're all in flower. Literally millions of mauve and white heads bobbing gently in the morning breeze. A delicious, heady scent of herbs permeates the air as I move around our Land Rover, searching for my red tin mug.

We're camped on the edge of an enormous open valley. It's like a giant basin, rimmed with dark towering mountains. Sentinels in the early morning light. Mongolia, the Land of the Great Blue Sky is indeed living up to her name on this crystal clear day. "People pay squillions to wake up to a 360 degree view like this" I think, as I take in the beauty which lies before me and languish in my chair, sipping my steaming coffee. It's an idyllic scene and as I absorb the smells, sights and sounds, I wonder 28

how long it will be till the wind wakes from her nightly slumber and begins to roar. I think back to two nights ago when we were camped in the Khongoryn Els Sand Dunes. Our nice little dome tent with the "cute little vents and lots of netting for great airflow"...just didn't cut it! A wind from hell blew in during the night and hammered us for over six hours. I felt as though someone was

standing over me with a giant pepper shaker, spilling it over my face all night. I'm sure the wind speed was over sixty kilometres per hour because most of the time my tent was so bowed in that it was touching my face. I could hear the gusts coming through the dunes, like roaring waves or is it, a screaming banshee? I spent most of the night cowering into my sleeping bag to keep the sand from getting in my eyes, nose and ears. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com


In the morning I was literally laying in a sandpit. What a night! The sandman really did show up! And speaking of tents, if you're coming to travel in Mongolia, forget about bringing a tall one. Once you step out of it, in one of those winds, say goodbye to it, as it tumbleweeds itself all the way to the Russian border. Mongolia really is a magnificent country to travel through and driving overland at our own pace, in our Land Rover, is allowing me to truly immerse myself into some of the most spectacular landscapes I have ever set eyes upon. I love the great expanse of space and being able to interact with the local people in the towns, the markets and the herders, sharing a tiny part of their traditional nomadic lives. Mongolia with all her beauty has indeed dazzled me but I am acutely aware of becoming complacent. She is a land of temperature extremes and can change dramatically within a few hours. I have heard reports of local folk who are aware of these extremes, having been caught out. Frozen dead bodies of unprepared herders have been found, out on the steppe in these circumstances. These extreme temperatures are far more prevalent in Spring and Autumn. It's not often that two days are alike and I'm learning to expect the unexpected. From sweltering in a pair of shorts one day, to twenty- four hours later when I'm pulling on all my winter woollies including my knitted beanie. Traveling in Mongolia was an eye opener. A real shift from my western lifestyle. I only got a diminutive taste of what this country has to offer and I was here for eight weeks. But what I saw, smelled, heard and tasted tantalized all of my senses. Mongolia is indelibly imprinted in my mind. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

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Mongolia is not for the faint hearted and if you're looking for a five star type, cushy, comfortable holiday, then forget it. Mongolia is probably not for you. It's challenging, both emotionally and physically. If you decide that you'd like to experience a Mongolian adventure, it is in your best interests and safety to be fully prepared. Take the time to plan your Mongolian holiday and have an unforgettable time.

Nomad Day Festival in Mongolia Mongolian's nomadic culture and lifestyle is preserved in an annual two-day festival that features importantly on the country's event's calendar. Nomads' Day festival is one of the biggest and most colorful activities in the country and showcases various aspects of the nomadic way of life to tourist, while giving nomad families the opportunity to pass on generations of skills required surviving on Mongolia's vast steppe regions. The festival, held in Gun-Galuut Reserve, a two-hour drive from Ulaanbaatar on 17 and 18 September each year, was initiated to encourage local nomadic families to revive their traditional nomadic culture and heritage and preserve and pass on their traditions to the younger generation.

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The festival also gives tourist on opportunity to experience Mongolian nomadic culture and traditions and meet real nomads by participating in competitions during the festival. Tourist meet nomads in traditional costumes and take part in traditional activities, witness nomadic children showing off their mental abilities, observe the contest of the most beautiful, traditionally -dressed nomadic groups and try mouth -watering steppe delicacies. Tourist also take part in mini-Naadam featuring traditional Mongolian sports of archery, horse racing and wrestling.


Brazil

A huge, colorful and exotic country

A first-time traveler's guide to Brazil by Elaine Seager

The glitzy spectacle of Carnival, beautiful girls on Copacabana or exploring the Amazon jungle - whatever draws you to Brazil, it's a huge, colorful and exotic country but as with most Latin American countries it pays to do your research before you leave.

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s a first time traveler here are some key tips and information which will help prepare you for the cultural onslaught that meets you on arrival in Brazil.

Before you leave Assuming you already have a passport that's valid for at least 6 months, US citizens need to obtain an entry visa prior to departure or risk being sent straight back. You can apply for a 90-day tourist visa through local consulate offices or online at www.visahq.com. You will need a passport-sized photo and a return ticket as proof of you temporary stay. General information including addresses of consulate offices, other types of visa requirements and customs regulations for those wishing to take things in to the country beyond normal tourist baggage can be found at the embassy website: (www.brasilemb.org).

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s far as vaccinations are concerned you are not 'required' to have any unless you have recently traveled to a Yellow Fever zone in which case you'll need proof of vaccination. However, whilst vaccinations are not required most sources recommend that you are current with your shots for tetanus, polio, typhoid, Hepatitis A and Diphtheria. These are all a precaution and should be seriously considered if you're venturing outside major cities. Likewise, anti-malaria tablets are really only necessary if you're going off the beaten track.


What to take

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ince 90% of Brazil is tropical most visitors only need pack very lightly with cool casual clothes. You can easily buy clothes there if necessary which has the added advantage of making you look less like a tourist and therefore less of an obvious target for theft. Crime is something to be wary of so leave all your valuables at home and always hide your money around your body (don't use money belts because thieves have got wise to them) and take care not to wander

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in to the poorer outlying areas of cities. Beaches and the crowds of Carnival are notorious for petty thefts so only take what you need in terms of cash and put the rest in the hotel safe. Just in case, take photocopies of your travel documents with you on your trip but keep them in a separate place to your actual documents! Also, if you do become a victim of theft remember you are in a country where authority is corruptible - even the local police have been known to bribe tourists.

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raveling - Brazil's main language is Portuguese and English is still not very widely spoken, especially outside of touristy areas. Learning a few key phrases beforehand will help you get around and

knowledge of Spanish is an advantage since many Brazilians can understand Spanish even if they don't speak it. Traveling around is fairly easy but tourists are advised against hiring cars because Brazilian roads are perilous -

road signs are largely non-existent and Brazilians all drive like Formula One driver Ayrton Senna and unfortunately many of them suffer the same fate each year. Taxis, planes and buses are the best and safest way to travel.

Summertime (December-March) is when most Brazilians take their holidays so it's also the busiest and most expensive time of year to travel.

tion well ahead of time because they get booked out months in advance. After Carnival in February it begins to quieten down and you can haggle more effectively for hotel rooms and taxis. The only other thing you need to know

about Brazil is that if you go out for dinner before 10pm you'll be dining alone! Like Europe, in Brazil the nightlife starts late in to the evening so get in to the habit of having a siesta, stay safe and enjoy all that this fabulous country has to offer.

If you're going at Carnival time book any internal flights and accommoda-

Photo credits: Embratur 36

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TRAVEL INDUSTRY NEWS Anantara Kihavah Villas in Maldives certified Green Globe

Accomodation

LOS ANGELES, California – Green Globe Certification today announced the certification of Anantara Kihavah Villas, Maldives. Located on the Baa Atoll island archipelago, Anantara Kihavah Villas is on the frontline of ecological preservation, battling against the effects of rising sea temperature and climate change. Mr. Guido Bauer, CEO Green Globe Certification said, “On no other location on Earth, can the impact of climate change be seen so dramatically.

World Travel Market voted UKinbound industry event of 2010

Business Travel

World Travel Market (WTM) 2010 has been voted UKinbound’s Industry Event of the Year at the association’s annual convention Gala Dinner. The awards, which took place at Alton Towers, Staffordshire on February 10, were voted by UKinbound members only, with one vote per member company. World Travel Market triumphed in the Event of the Year category beating Best of Britain and Ireland, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the Encore WTM Party. The event had 150 new exhibitors, including many in the UK and Ireland region.

Zagreb - the most promising new desitination

Destinations

ZAGREB, Croatia – The Zagreb Tourist Board presented Zagreb at the TTF&OTM (Travel Tourism Fair&Outbound Travel Mart, www.ttfotm.com ) fair, which was held in Mumbai (India) from February 18–20, and it's proud to announce that Zagreb won the “Award for Excellence - the most promising new destination" award. agreb was presented as the Croatian capital and its tourist and cultural capital, and the interest in it was outstanding. TTF&OTM is India's largest tourism fair, and the only trade fair that focuses on traveling outside of India.

Norwegian Cruise Line to call on Saint Lucia CASTRIES, Saint Lucia - New cruise ship calls will be made to Saint Lucia in the 2012-2013 season when Norwegian Cruise Line makes regular visits to the island.

Cruise Industry

Saint Lucia's Tourism Minister Senator Allen Chastanet announced the top cruise company has added Saint Lucia to its itinerary for the new season. "This is incredibly exciting news for our tourism sector. Saint Lucians are thrilled to welcome Norwegian," exclaimed Senator Chastanet.

Miles & Smiles NEW YORK - United States - There could never be a better time to join Turkish Airlines Frequent Flyer Program 'Miles&Smiles'. Simply collecting miles as you travel opens offers and opportunities for passengers, and as we are a member of Star Alliance passengers can also earn miles as they travel on 27 other airlines who are also part of the Star Alliance family.

Airline Industry Garuda Indonesia continues fleet expansion” JAKARTA, Indonesia – Garuda Indonesia and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) today announced the signing of an operating lease for six Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft and three CFM56-7B engines. The agreement was signed in Jakarta by Emirsyah Satar, President and CEO of Garuda Indonesia, and GECAS Executive Vice President, Mike Jones. Three aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in June, September, and October, 2013.


Backpacking in Fiji Although Fiji is not generally considered to be a budget destination I found when I travelled to this beautiful island in October of last year that it is a back packers paradise. From the incredibly friendly locals to the beautiful locations, from the amazing under water playgrounds to the pristine beaches. Fiji is somewhere that is obviously geared towards tourism but manages to retain so much of its own cultural values and charm, it really does offer the best of all worlds.

Backpacking in Fiji by Tamfra


As a female travelling alone I decided that the best course of action was to initially book myself onto a tour so that I could get a feel for the island before branching out on my own. So, arriving in Nadi airport, I was met by a friendly face and a chain of shells around my neck. The tour I chose to begin my travels was the Fiji experience, having been on the Oz experience before I knew I was in for a good time and could relax knowing that they would book my hostels for me and take care of all the activities. In fact, in the end, the Fiji experience turned out to be vastly superior to it's Oz counterpart with a real Fijian flavour and some awe inspiring activities. The tour lasted 6 days in total (though there is a hop-on,

hop-off option if you have more time) and took in the whole main island as well as the small party island Beachcomber. Most of my group decided to stay on the tour the whole way around so we were able to bond as we took part in such activities as trekking, river tubing, sand boarding, visiting local schools, bathing in mud pools and soaking up the sun at the beautiful Natadola beach. I really would recommend this tour to anyone with limited time in Fiji, you feel assimilated very quickly as the bus heads down Fiji's roads with locals smiling and shouting Bula everytime you pass. The only slight downside was my stay on Beachcomber that, although it certainly had its highlights, felt a little constrained for someone like myself who likes to be active all of the time.


Having finished the tour I found myself back in Nadi and on my own. I booked into Horizon hostel which was cheap but certainly didn't give the picture postcard view of Fiji I had become used to. Witnessing a group of somewhat bereft travellers who had just arrived in Fiji I took them under my wing and assured them that this wasn't the best that the country had to offer. I persuaded them to come with me to a hostel I had stayed at on my tour located on the East Coast of the main island. So the next morning myself and my group of new found friends headed off to Mango Bay Backpackers Hostel'. I really cannot praise this hostel highly enough, the accommodation is simple but clean, the gardens beautifully maintained with a beach, swimming pool and restaurant. However what really makes Mango Bay excel are the staff who are enthusiastic and so friendly, one particular staff member, nicknamed crazy' really made our holiday.


There are all kind of organised activities including sunset booze cruises, trips into the local community, bonfires on the beach, sea kayaking, snorkelling (I saw sharks!) and really anything that you want to do as the staff are so accommodating. I particularly enjoyed galloping down the beach on horseback and sea kayaking over to the set of Celebrity love island. I only meant to stay at Mango Bay for a few days but ended up staying for almost all of the rest of my stay.

photo credits: fiji.com

I finally managed to pry myself away by promising myself a couple of days shopping in Nadi. I was able to pick up some bargains, including some gorgeous pink pearls, however the prices were a little higher than you might expect if you

have travelled in places such as South America or Asia. It was really only worth purchasing things unique to Fiji or something that would remind you of your trip. Overall my trip to Fiji was an amazing experience. It is probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. If I had to use one word so sum up my experience it would be Bula the locals shout it at you wherever you go! I really was amazed that for a country with so much tourism they had really managed to negotiate it on their own terms and this meant that they were genuinely happy to meet visitors. As a tourist the fact that the Fijians had managed to retain their own way of life meant that it felt all the more special to share it with them.

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THE BEST BEACHES IN

The best beaches in Jamaica by Shannon Boone

JAMAICA

The Caribbean island of Jamaica is surrounded by over 200 miles of beaches. With so many beaches, it should come as no surprise that some beaches are better than others. However, a large majority of the beaches, especially the best beaches are either privately owned by individuals or resorts. There are some public beaches, and some of them charge for admission. When looking for the best beach on the island, you must find yourself traveling to Negril home of the famous "seven mile beach". Negril Beach is completely covered by white sand, and this stretch of beach is not only the best on the island, it has also been voted as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean region. Though a lot of this area is monopolized by some of the islands many all-inclusive hotels, there are still a few areas that have not been developed thus far. On the main stretch of beach, you will find many, many vendors selling anything from souvenirs to local cuisine. There is also a nice amount of open air restaurants and open air bars on the beach. Also on this beach is the world famous Hedonism beach, which is also a nude beach. If you are interested in visiting this beach but are not staying at this resort, you can purchase a day pass, and enjoy the beach for the day. 42

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A large majority of the beaches, especially the best beaches are either privately owned by individuals or resorts. There are some public beaches, and some of them charge for admission.


Treasure Beach, located on the South Coast, is very, very far from the touristy world of Montego Bay and Negril.

Though there are still hotels here, from all-inclusive to boutique, the area has a sort of feel that makes you feel that you are visiting the "real" Jamaica. Though the fur stretches of beach on Treasure Beach may not be as pretty as some of the country's other beaches because the sand is darker and rockier, the seclusion that this beach provides certainly makes up for it.

Dunn's River Falls Beach, located in Ocho Rios is one of the Islands most crowded and popular beaches, but for good reason as you can view the beaches waterfalls from up above or below.

This is just a small sampling of the islands beaches, a few others to take note of are the Blue Lagoon in Port Antonio, Doctors Cave Beach in Montego Bay, and Puerto Seco Beach in Runaway Bay.

Visitors of this beach have an opportunity to literally climb the waterfalls, so that you can admire the view, while surrounded by not only a beautiful beach, but also a lush jungle.

Regardless of which of Jamaica's beaches you do visit, you are bound to have an amazing time because overall, the country and it's beaches are simply breathtaking.


TOP BEACH EXPERIENCES Get to know the diversity of Jamaica through its beaches, from intimate coves between cliffs to bustling miles of sand and crystal blue sea. Three Quick Tips * Choose the right beach for your vacation needs. Are you a family looking for a safe beach with lifeguards and water sports? Honeymooners dreaming of sharing the sunset on a secluded beach? Whatever kind of beach experience you fancy - Jamaica has a multitude of them. Research our beach properties before you go. * Pack smart. Along with your sunblock, don't forget to pack a cover-up, hat, and sunglasses. The beautiful sunshine of Jamaica is very strong, even when it's hiding behind the clouds. * Cover up before you leave the beach. Although Jamaicans generally accept casual dress, we're more conservative when it comes to beachwear. Unlike many beach communities in the US and Europe, it's not typical to wear bathing suits off the beach, not even at nearby restaurants or shops. So when you leave, be sure to throw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt or a sundress. Credit: visitjamaica.com

photo credits: visitjamaica.com

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Special Advertising Section

MOZAMBIQUE A country of natural beauty, wildlife, and historic heritage Mozambique has excellent tourism assets. The country's natural beauty, wildlife, and historic heritage provide excellent opportunities for beach, cultural, and eco-tourism. Despite its tourism assets and its nearness to South Africa, one of the world's top tourist destinations, Mozambique has the lowest tourist numbers of all its neighbours except Malawi. After independence from Portugal in 1975, the Mozambican Civil War that took place in the newly-independent country between 1977 and 1992 decimated the tourism industry and wildlife conservation in Mozambique. Organized tourist travel in the country had ceased by 1978. The confidence of tourist operators has been growing since the end of civil conflict in the country, and the country now has the opportunity to revamp and further develop its tourist industry. Inadequate marketing budgets and a lack of tour operators limit the growth of the tourism industry. 46

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Azura Imagine an unspoilt island within a National Park, deserted beaches of pure white sand, sparkling turquoise seas crisscrossed by local dhows plying their trade, swaying palms, sunny days and star studded nights…and you have Azura... Azura is located on Benguerra Island within the Bazaruto Marine National Park. Benguerra Island lies 14km north east of Vilanculos, the nearest town and site of the international airport. You’ll have a dedicated Mozambican host to look after you during your stay. They’ll take care of all your needs, including serving your meals, ar-

ranging activities and joining you on excursions . They are part of Azura’s commitment to the community and upliftment of the country’s people.Many of them have very little in the way of formal education, but they have a genuine warmth and friendliness, and will delight in looking after you.

Flamingo Bay This Stunning resort is located on the southern section of the Barra Peninsula in the palm fringed Inhambane Bay, 25 km from Inhambane city 485km north of Maputo.

Flamingo Bay Water Lodge in Mozambique is built on stilts in the water – creating a tranquil, romantic atmosphere. The main building at this lodge in Mozambique is set apart from the rooms, and is connected by a wooden walkway. The main building houses the reception, restaurant, bar, lounge, pool and curio shop. This Mozambique lodge has a circulating golf cart which will transport you to your room and back if you don't feel like walking. Activities at Flamingo Bay Water Lodge in Mozambique include scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, horse riding and guests can also explore the historical Inhambane City. Flamingo Bay Water Lodge is situated only 25km from Inhambane City and 485km north of Maputo. 47


Indigo Bay Indigo Bay is located on Bazaruto Island, in the Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique. The Archipelago comprises a group of small islands situated approximately 25km off the coast of Mozambique.

Bazaruto is the largest (approximately 37km long and up to 7km wide) and northern-most of the five islands. Indigo Bay is situated +/- 750km north of Maputo on the western side of the Island. The luxury is understated, yet elegant and the emphasis is on making the most of the superb location on the golden shores of Bazaruto Island. All chalets and the main living areas are constructed of natural materials like reed, thatch and wood so as to blend harmoniously with the perfect surroundings. Bazaruto Island is one of 5 principal islands in theBazaruto Archipelago, which lies just 30km off the coast of Vilanculos in the Inhambane Province. It is the largest of all the islands, approximately 37 km long and up to 7km wide. Bazaruto Island in Mozambique is the furthest away of all the islands in the archipelago, but despite its remote location, it has a history that goes way back. The island is one of Africa's premier scuba diving destinations. There are a number of incredible reef dive sites around this exquisite island resort in Mozambique. 48

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Vamizi Island Arching out of the Vamizi seas - twelve kilometres long and a kilometre wide - this whale-shaped curve of beach and bush is drenched in sunshine and breezes. Thick forests of Acacia, Hibiscus and Casuarina trees cover Vamizi Island. Vamizi Lodge is located on the northern side of the island on the edge of an indigenous tropical forest and looking over a white beach onto the Indian Ocean. Conservation plays a vital role at Vamizi and it’s easy to understand why. It’s a significant wildlife refuge in Mozambique, with 112 different bird species so far recorded. Samango monkeys, Giant Coconut Crabs and 4 turtle species also call Vamizi their home. The untouched underwater landscape with some of the world’s last unbleached coral reefs adds to the beauty of Vamizi Island. The miles of unpadded white sand and wild bushy interior are also a sanctuary for samango monkeys, coconut crabs and the 112 species of tropical birds that live here, as well as being a haven for the more landbased creatures amongst us. Like the 100 turtles that nest on Vamizi's empty shores and are irresistibly drawn to its peace, solitude and perfect harmony year after year, intrepid travellers and rarified pleasure seekers find it’s just the place to rest their weary fins. Vamizi Island is much more than vacation Nirvana for the privileged few – it is also a home and a community for the 1,000 people who live in three villages on the eastern tip of the island. Life in the villages is basic and remarkably traditional. Most people survive by trading fish, caught from dugout canoes, small local sailboats (dhows)or picked off by hand from the island's reefs. There has never been fresh water on the island, so every drop the community uses is brought in by sailboats to the thatched villages twice a day from the mainland. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

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Ibo Island Set on the historic Ibo Island and surrounded by pristine beaches in Mozambique lies the idyllic island paradise of Ibo Island Lodge.

Ibo Island is a luxurious paradise like no other Idyllically set on the Indian Ocean paradise of Ibo Island, this Mozambique lodge is situated north of Pemba in the beautiful Quirimbas Archipelago in Northern Mozambique. Making up just one of a string of 32 lusciously tropical islands, here you will be encompassed by vast stretches of powder beaches and rich coral reefs. The sparkling coastlines of the Quirimbas are fringed with tropical islands creating a paradise experience like no other. Guests at this Mozambique lodge can partake in various Ibo island tours, while learning about the fascinating cultures and traditions of its people. Interact with the wonderful and hospitable islanders and enjoy a world of beauty, friendship and simplicity. 50

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Pemba Pemba is a port town located on the south side of the world's third-largest natural bay, with a population of around 100,000. It is the most important center in Northern Mozambique, with banks, patisseries, supermarkets and restaurants, though it retains a rundown feel with its potholed streets. The town was built over rolling hills, and most people live in wooden huts set amongst the numerous thick baobab trees. The history of the people of the Cabo Delgado province weaves throughout many centuries of African, Arab and Portuguese sailing, trading and settling. The town was founded by the Niassa Company in 1904 as Porto Amelia, after a queen of Portugal. It was renamed Pemba at the end of Portuguese rule, in 1975. Pemba is renowned for its Portuguese colonial architecture, and is a prime destination for water sports and diving enthusiasts as a coral reef lies close to the shore. Pemba has increasingly become a tourist destination, particularly for upper-middle class Mozambicans and South Africans, and international flights and new facilities are emerging steadily.

Photo & Text credit: www.mozambiquetourism.co.za wikitravel.org, en.wikipedia.org

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Pennsylvania Farm Stays Did you ever think of waking up on a family farm to a rooster crowing, fresh eggs from right out back, local milk, vegetables, berries?

these agritourism experiences even allow visitors to get their hands dirty by helping out with family farm chores or taking part in picking this year’s harvest.

If sampling at farmers’ markets and touring local wineries doesn’t quite fill that harvest appetite, you can even experience Pennsylvania’s agriculture product in a handson way by staying overnight at a local farm. Many of

There are many activities on a farm, besides taking care of the animals. Horse riding, fishing, biking, hiking and boat trips are often offered. Here‘s a list of farms offering accommodation and/or farm activities.

Berry Fields Farm - New Albany Berry Fields Farm is located in the beautiful Endless Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania, a location chosen for its seclusion and unspoiled simplicity. Visitors may stay in the guest house, shop in the farm store, eat a meal in the dining room, or tour the grounds.

www.berryfieldsfarm.net

Eby’s Pequea Farm

Dutch Country Roads

Gordonville

Elver Valley Farm Bed & Breakfast and Cabin It is located between the Brandywine Valley and the Lancaster County Dutch country. Nestled among woodland, the streams and greenery provide a relaxing atmosphere overlooking water gardens, and miniature railroad gardern.

Between Paradise and Intercourse in scenic Lancaster County is this 7th generation, family owned dairy farm where guests have been entertained for 32 years. Milk a cow, feed a calf beside covered bridges and water gardens and visit in the home of Amish neighbors in a farm that has operated since 1814.

www.ebyfarm.com

From the breakfast table, observe a dozen varieties of birds feeding, and squirrels as they scamper across the lawn, up and down the tall trees and hide amongst the ferns.

www.pafarmstay.com/elvervalley/

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The best family destinations in Alabama by Debby Regan

A L ABAM Alabama is a wonderful state with a variety of things to do for the whole family. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

A

labama is not a state that immediately brings the word "vacation" to mind. However, it is a state with many unique destinations and should not be overlooked, especially by those who live nearby.

The state is roughly the size of England and each region of the state is unique. Some readers of "To Kill a Mockingbird" will remember how weirdly the character Scout viewed the young visitor from South Alabama who put maple syrup on his food. As a Birmingham native who now lives in Huntsville, many regional differences have become apparent to me between these two important Alabama cities. From accents to tastes in barbecue, the contrasts between these destinations are vivid. 55


H

ere is a list of the top 5 destinations for family vacations in Alabama:

1. Gulf Shores Gulf Shores (and Orange Beach) has one big advantage compared ot other Alabama destinations: the ocean! There is a laid-back atmosphere that contributes to the fun. Although shaken up by recent hurricanes, this area is still a great place to be. Ice-cream shops, minigolf, awesome souvenir shops and great seafood contribute to the fun. Staying at resort is a great choice, but shop around for the best price. 2. Mobile Another South Alabama location appears high on this list and that is the city of Mobile. Younger children may not be ready for the historical sites, but preteens will enjoy attractions like the Mardi Gras Museum. Mobile also offers a more familyfriendly choice for Mardi Gras festivities than New Orleans. Mobile Bay is a beautiful asset to this city and be sure to visit the Mobile Museum of Art. 56

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3. Birmingham

B

Birmingham is the hub of Alabama with a big population, great restaurants, impressive sky line and great attractions. The city boasts a free Museum of Art and Botanical Gardens, both of which are highly recommended. The many outlying suburbs also contain hidden treasures, such as Irondale's Whistlestop Festival. The Birmingham Zoo, adjacent to the Botanical Gardens, is worth a look but not highly recommended. Great places to eat include The Fish Market (downtown) and Nabeel's Cafe and Market in Homewood. Birmingham also boasts an extensive downtown library, but parents should keep a close eye on children during a visit due to neighborhood concerns. Tannehill Historical State Park is a short drive from Birmingham and is a wonderful side trip for children interested in history. 4. Huntsville

H

untsville is a growing metropolis in North Alabama and boasts the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center, an informative attraction with great rides for the kids. A hidden destination in Huntsville is Peggy Ann's Bakery where kids can enjoy the best frosted cookies ever made. Early Works Museum is a historical children's museum downtown the small children and infants can both enjoy. Downtown also boosts Santa's Village during the Christmas season. The Huntsville Botanical Gardens is a bit pricey, but boasts many special, seasonal events like the Scarecrow Trail.

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5. Tuscaloosa

labama boasts a huge rivalry between two college football teams: the University of Alabama and Auburn University. While both universities boast beautiful campuses, the town of Tuscaloosa is somewhat of a destination in itself and a wonderful asset to the University of Alabama.

Moundville, a historic Native American site, makes for an interesting side trip. Tuscaloosa has all of the benefits of being a college town and may be more fun for older kids who can certainly consider attending the University. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

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Cost-Cutting Tips to Beat The Business Travel Blues Business travelers often find themselves sweating under their suits, increasingly being asked to generate sales despite tighter travel budgets that could reduce face time with clients.

(NewsUSA) - Travel managers at companies across all sectors are mandating that their employees analyze the purpose and "return on investment" for each trip. Even when travel is approved as a revenue-generating activity, travelers are being asked to reduce costs. Instead of flying, for example, many employees are being asked to drive. Similarly, rather than book high-end hotels, these "road warriors" are increasingly required to find equally functional, comfortable and more budget-friendly accommodations. Choosing a hotel that's easy on the wallet doesn't have to mean giving up comfort or convenience. Many hotels offer amenities that appeal to business travelers on limited budgets, including Best Western, a chain that offers free high-speed Internet and oftentimes free breakfast and parking. The bet for these chains is that customer care does more than frills to make every guest encounter meaningful. "Road warriors need their business travel to be a cost-effective and rewarding experience," said Chris McGinnis, business travel expert and blogger for the Best Western Web site, www.youmustbetrippin.com. "Keeping a few TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

things in mind can make business travel easy and enjoyable -; even when it's done on a budget." McGinnis suggests the following simple tips to get the most out of their travel experiences: - Don't leave luggage or equipment in the car, even if it's not visible. You don't want the expense of replacing lost items or repairing broken windshields. - If you'll be working from your hotel, request a room away from elevators or windows that face potentially noisy areas. - If you get placed in a room near the ice machine or a loud group, feel free to request another. The hotel wants to keep everyone happy, so unless all rooms are booked, you should be able to find something more suitable. If you need silence to sleep, consider packing earplugs. - Sign up for a hotel's loyalty program, which rewards you with perks like newspapers or room upgrades. Also, keeping your business with one hotel chain gives you the ability to redeem the loyalty points earned for free nights in the future -; even for personal travel. - Watch for hidden fees. The room rate might seem reasonable, but if you are paying additional fees for parking, breakfast and Internet access, your bill could increase significantly. 59


,

discover

Turkey’s

ski resorts

If you want a perfect travel service filled with memorable ski experience Turkey is the ideal contry to visit. Once is only known for its beautiful beaches now offers world class ski resorts. Althogh it is one of the latecomers to skiing, Turkey boasts a number of good quality ski resorts. In fact Turkey’s skiing sector is developing rapidly. The number of ski resorts has multiplied rapidly over recent years. More and more people are discovering the country's excellent collection of high quality ski resorts each year.

There are several ski resorts in Turkey, which offer skiing facilities spanning from November to May. Most of these resorts are in the forest areas on mountains of moderate height. Nevertheless, they are great places to visit, no matter whether you are a novice, an amateur or an expert. There are slopes of different ranges - with baby slopes for beginners to the more difficult slopes at altitudes of 2200 to 3100 meters for professionals. Expert ski instructors are available at all resorts to teach the beginners on the lower slopes. Shops abound in Turkey where skiing gear can be bought. Most hotels also have facility for hiring skiing boots, skis and even clothes. In addition, the hotels also have ski lifts and teleskiing for its guests. During the normal winter conditions the height of the snow reaches approximately 3 meters, and covered with forests, the natural beauty of the mountainous areas is stunning.

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BURSA - Uludag Uludag, 36km south of Bursa, is one of the country's favourite winter sports centres and as well as skiing, its richness of flora and fauna has made it into a National Park and summer activities like trekking and camping are also popular. Uludag was previously known as Olympos Misios in ancient times, and is known in mythology as the place where the gods watched the Trojan war. Plans have been confirmed for a development project, which will offer a huge increase in accommodation and skiing facilities. Its geographical conditions mean that Uludag Ski Resort can also offer heli-skiing, snow boarding, ice-skating and snow biking. Arrival: Uludag National Park can be reached both by highway and cable car. The Ski resort is 40 minutes away from Bursa by road and 60 minutes from the airport. By private vehicle, the Cekirge road is the easiest. Drivers must keep wheel chains, wedges and heavy ropes during winter, which are available for hire or sale along the roadside. There are also minibuses going to the top of Uludag which leave every hour during the winter, and takes around 90 minutes from Bursa. There are four sections of the cable-car route to reach Uludag, two between Bursa and Kadi plateau (1235m) and

two between Kadi and Sari Alan (1621m). Each line has a cabin that can fit 30 people, although it is prohibited to carry ski equipment, and depart the district of Teleferik every 20 minutes. The journey, which stops at Kadi and then changes car, takes around 25 minutes. From the Sari Alan, there is a minibus service travelling the last 7km to the hotel area. In the summer season, there is a chairlift from Sari Alan to Coban Kaya (1750m) Geography: Uludag is the highest mountain in Western Anatolia, with its peak at Kara Tepe (2543m). It is covered in forests, and the region has a partially temperate climate with a dominant wind direction of south-west/south. The altitude of the skiing area is between 1750 - 2543m, and the best season is from late December to late March. The snow at the beginning of the season is powdery, getting increasingly slushy towards the end. Facilities: There are 27 hotels, 15 of which are privately owned, with a total of over 3000 beds. The area also has shopping halls, restaurants, cafes and bars, entertainment and health centres. Ski equipment, rental and instructors are all available here. There are eight chair-lifts, seven T-bars and 13 different ski runs.


Erzurum - Palandöken Palandoken mountain has an altitude of 3185 m, and is south of Erzurum. This was the area of the first extensive study in the country looking at a master plan for tourism potential, which concluded that the area has the necessary potential and qualities to be a major international resort. Given the right facilities, it is estimated that 32,000 people could ski per day and could be the venue of international competitions and even Winter Olympics, giving job opportunities to around 6000 people. Arrival: There are daily flights from Ankara and Istanbul to Erzurum. The ski resort is 5km from the city centre, and 10 minutes from the airport. During the winter season, there are public buses from the ski resort to the city centre. Geography: Erzurum is one of the highest and coldest cities of Turkey, with a harsh terrestrial climate and covered with snow 150 days of a year, and an average annual snowfall of 2-3m. The dominant wind direction is southerly and westerly. The skiing area is at an altitude of 2200m - 3176m, and best time to ski is between 10 December - 10 May. Facilities: There are 4- and 5-star hotels with restaurants, and ski instruction and equipment rental services are available. The slopes here are among the longest and steepest in the world, each one up to 12km, giving a total length of

around 28 km. With the altitude difference of 1000 metres between the start and finish line, Palandoken has two registered tracks for competitions of Slalom and grand Slalom. (Ejder Track and Kapikaya Track). There are five chair-lifts, one T-bar, two baby lifts and a gondola lift. Kars- Sarıkamış Sarikamis ski center is located near Sarikamis, 60 km from Kars In Eastern Turkey. The nearest airport is 50 km away. The duration of the skiing season is 120 days a year. The altitude in the skiing area of Sarikamis is 2200-2634 m and covered by pine forest. The most suitable skiing conditions are between 20 December and 20 March. The average snow fall is 1.5 m in normal winter conditions. Sarikamis and the surrounding area have suitable conditions for Alpine skiing, ski touring and cross country skiing. This center is equipped with 2 chairlifts and 1 T bar. Qualified skiing instructors and equipment for hire are available. The center has first aid facilities and medical facilities. The slopes and mechanical equipment are under surveillance of experts. Accommodations can be booked directly. Sarikarmis Ski Center is being developed rapidly. Four hotels with a total bed capacity of 1040 are under construction and are expected to open in 1999.


Bolu-Kartalkaya The Kartalkaya Skiing Resort is in the Western Black Sea Region, southeast of Bolu, in the Koroglu mountains. The mountain has appropriate conditions for Alpine and crosscountry skiing. Arrival: The distance from Bolu city centre is 54km, and 28m to the Ankara highway. It takes around 45 minutes by road from the city centre and in addition to public buses and minibuses, most of the hotels organise this service for visitors. Geography: The ski area is at an altitude of 1850-2200m, and the region has semi-temperate climate. Kartalkaya and surroundings are covered with forests, and has a dominant wind direction of west/north-west. The best season for skiing is from late December and late March, with an average 3m snowfall. The snow at the beginning of the season is powdery, getting increasingly slushy towards the end. Facilities: There are two hotels with a total bed capacity of 1005, plus restaurants, swimming pools, discos and bars. Ski equipment and instruction is available. There are two chair-lifts, six T-bars and three baby lifts, with 12 ski runs around 20km long. Kayseri - Erciyes Erciyes Dagi (3916 m.), the highest peak in Central Anatolia, rises 25km south of Kayseri. The peak of the mountain, an extinct volcano, is covered with snow throughout the year, and there is a 1km-long glacier in the northern region of the mountain. The ski resort is at the Tekir Plateau, on the northern slopes of the mountain and in addition to skiing, Erciyes is one of the most important mountains of the country for mountaineering. Arrival: Erciyes is 40 minutes by road from Kayseri airport, and 30 minutes from the city centre. Most hotels organise transport to the ski area for their visitors. Geography: The skiing areas on the eastern and northern slopes of the Erciyes Mountain are between the altitudes of 2200 -3100m. The best season for skiing is between late November and late April, with an average depth of approximately 2m of very powdery snow. The region has a terrestrial climate and the dominant wind direction is southerly and westerly. Facilities: There are four government guest-houses and a private hotel, plus restaurants, bars, swimming pool, large cafĂŠ and medical facilities. Ski instructors and equipment rental are available. There is one chair-lift and two T-bars. Other Ski centers The Ilgaz Mountain ski center at Kastamonu situated at the junction of Istanbul - Ankara roads is another center you may like to try. Besides the ski slopes at1820-2000m, the place also has a beautiful National Park with picnic facilities and a good hunting area. There are other ski centers in Kayseri, Erzincan, ElazÄąÄ&#x;, which are good and offer similar facilities for skiing in Turkey. The hotels and chalets in all these places are comfortable and well equipped. Therefore, you should not hesitate to choose any of them for your skiing holiday in Turkey. Photo and text credit: Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, Wikipedia


ingsto do in

Sacramento, CA

Things to do in Sacramento, CA during the fall by Elizabeth M. Young

Sacramento is at the center of the agricultural, cultural, and social life of the north central Sacramento Valley. Fall is a time of harvests, the sweetest and last of the fruits, farmers markets, and festivals! It is generally still hot or at least shirt sleeve weather, and the rains are usually not due to arrive until late October or November. Whether near, in or around Sacramento, there is more than enough to keep the whole family and any out of town guests happy with things to do.

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The farmers markets are at the end of their season in September. Fall is the time to go to the Certified Farmers Markets, and to collect all of the goodies of the summer, then to can, freeze and dry those wonderful fruits and veggies for a Winter that will be filled with wonderful tastes of Summer! In the fall, it is also time to gather up all of those expensive Sacramento Valley nuts that will cost a bundle at the supermarkets. Fall is a great time to visit all of the tourist destinations, the Land Park Zoo and Fairytale Town, too. As the blistering heat begins to die down, these venues become wonderful places for a day long excursion with the children. Sacramento also hosts over twenty museums, to provide a wonderful range of experiences from science and local history to art.

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For art appreciation: Second Saturdayis a great Sacramento tradition all year. This art walk flows through downtown Sacramento, and allows strollers to sample the great restaurants, bakeries, and small parks as they view the street and gallery exhibits. The Sacramento Arts Festival is a major convention of art that is held at the Sacramento Convention center in Downtown Sac in October. The Annual California Brewers Festivalwill keep the beer hounds happy! This festival features food from the best local restaurants and chefs, great music, and the best product from local, regional and micro breweries. This festival is held in Mid September. The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission hosts the Sacramento Heritage Festival in October. This is a great way to sample the food, music and culture of the region as the bands are plentiful and the food stalls go on forever! In the Fall, Old Sacramento is just a great place to be! There are river cruises, the starting point of the 32 mile long American River trail, Gold Rush Days in September,

the Heritage Holidays in November and December, and there is the spooky goodness of the Old Sacramento Ghost tours and Fall Harvest days in October. Finally, Sacramento has no shortage of beautiful river front and valley parks for a great way to have a barbecue, a great picnic of fresh California produce, and beautiful weather! Sacramento Parks and Recreation has an extensive program of classes, events, and facilities that are available for every age group. The Fall is a good time to explore the benefits of the Park and Recreation programs. Included in the programs are permits and help with neighborhood block parties! If you can get 80% of your


Living the nature on Turtle Beach, Turkey The closest beach to Dalyan is Izutzu Beach, which is more affectionately known as "turtle" beach since it is a nesting site for the rare loggerhead turtle("Caretta Caretta"). Being used by loggerheads the beach and its surrounding area remains un-developed, despite numerous planning applications to get the site developed to cater for tourists. During the last planning application the development opposition included David Bellamy, who fought for the logger head’s safe haven. A compromise was struck allowing the turtles to keep their nesting place and tourists to use the beach, and this arrangement appears to work very well. There are two ways of getting to the beach from Dalyan. The first is by bus, which leaves regularly from the centre of town. A return trip will cost around 5 TL, which for a 50 minute round trip is very reasonable. The other way is to catch a boat from the river side. At 45 minutes each way the trip is slightly longer but the views are so much better and it is an ideal time to kick back, relax, take some photos and enjoy the scenery. The boat is a little more expensive for a return trip, but the additional cost is so much worth it. 66

Down the riverside of Dalyan you will be touted for boat trips to the beach. Many owners will give you private hire but this is very expensive and I would avoid this at all costs. The best way is to look for the Coop boats. These are public and cost 8 TL return. The public boats to the beach run every half an hour and return on the hour. If you take the boat you will not be able to catch a return any earlier than 1.00 pm. The boats then run hourly from then with the last one leaving at 6.00 pm. The beach is prohibited from 7.00 pm and is reserved solely for the logger heads. If you take the boat trip to the beach, the views are stunning. Along the way you will see the rock tombs, Kaunos and the reed beds. In addition, you will see plenty of ‘pretty’ boats, river side restaurants and lots of wildlife. There is so much to look at. Once at the beach there is a boardwalk from the quayside to the sun loungers. It is geared up for tourism. In the middle of the beach there is a ‘no sun bath’ area situated between the sun loungers and parasols, and the sea.

Travel destinations: Turtle Beach, Turkey by Edward James


This is the area where the loggerheads lay their eggs and in order to ensure the nests (and more importantly the eggs) are not damaged tourists are only allowed to walk through this area to get to the sea. This rule is strictly enforced, although 99.9% of people do not break this rule anyway. One thing I did notice in the "no go" area whilst walking to the sea was little "scratch" lines. These are the marks left by the baby turtles as they drag themselves to the sea for the first time, hence proving logger heads really do

breed here. Lined along the beach are the typical sun loungers and parasols that you find on most touristy beaches. For 6 YTL you get two sun loungers and a parasol for the whole day, which is cheaper than many beaches I have been on and is great value for money. Whilst the loungers are quite close together, they are far enough apart not to be too cosy, unlike other beaches I have been on. For those true sun worshippers there is always the beach beyond the "no go" area, which is quite narrow. Strangely enough, on the three occasions we went

to the beach there were loads of unused sun loungers as all the tourists were crammed on to the beach. The phrase "mad dogs and English men" springs to mind, but each to their own. One thing I should point out is the heat of the sand, which I found to be almost unbearable on bare feet. Despite the sand being golden, I can honestly say it was hotter than the black sands of St Vincent by a long way. Consequently, the hottest sand is in the "no go" area so there was no getting away from it when going for a dip.


The sea in this area is gorgeous. It is crystal blue and very warm, although it is very salty. This beach is ideal for children and those people who aren’t confident in the water because the beach is a long shelf that gradually goes down deeper, with no sudden holes or dips. There are no strong under currents, or rib tides, the waves are small (making it useless for surfing or body boarding) and the sea is almost like glass. Underfoot is pure sand with no rocks, little weed and few creatures. There are sea creatures in the area but you actually have to go looking for them, which suits me down to the ground. The view around the bay is stunning as all around are mountains and lush green forests. Out to sea are rocky bays and islands and over to the horizon you can see other parts of the land. I found the views breath taking and a camera is a must have. One other thing I noticed was how clean the beach is compared to others I have been on. There are plenty of rubbish

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bins about, like there are on many other beaches, however, people at Turtle Beach actually use them. I would even say the beach is immaculate. *Conclusion* If you are staying in Dalyan a trip to Turtle Beach is a must do and I would advise going by boat to really appreciate the experience. Taking a bus is OK, but it is nowhere near as good as taking the public boat, and at a couple of TL more the price differential is tiny. The views to the beach, at the beach and surrounding the beach are breath taking and you have to experience it to really get a feel for it. No photo can do this type of scenery justice, no matter how expensive the camera or good the photographer.

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Four seasons are four more reasons to visit Maine Maine’s seasons are as unique as the state itself. With attractions and activities for anyone’s taste, Maine is truly a four-season destination. Winter Winter in Maine is a wonderland of excitement. If you’re looking for a thrilling ski run, a leisurely cross-country ski trail, or the seat of a snowmobile ready to follow a 100-mile trail, you’ll find it during winter in Maine. Our lakes and ponds become popular spots for ice fishing and skating, and a walk in the woods becomes a whole new adventure when you do it on snowshoes. For unique adventure, don’t miss: Maine Huts & Trails, Camden Snow Bowl and Toboggan Run, Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude, Can-Am Sled Dog Races and big mountain fun. Spring Springtime in Maine showcases the state’s natural beauty, along with local and statewide 70

events. Maine Maple Sunday, held annually in March, marks the beginning of spring. Maple syrup, maple sugar candy, and handmade maple ice cream make mouths happy at sugar houses. Maine’s abundant rivers and streams are known for a long-standing tradition of salmon and trout fishing which begins each season on April 1st. Maine is home to 97 percent of the wild brook trout in the United States and the Penobscot River is renowned as one of the best salmon fishing rivers in the Northeast. Maine’s diverse habitat creates a unique stop for early spring bird migration. Worth a mention: Acadia Birding Festival www.acadiabirdingfestival.com or DownEast Spring Birding Festival, Maine Restaurant Week, Northern Forest Canoe Trail, and Maine Wildlife Park. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com


Summer Lie on a white sandy beach, visit one of 64 lighthouses, hike a 4,000 foot mountain, or board a historic windjammer and let the wind set your course. Summer in Maine offers a range of activities for those seeking adventure or respite. Sea-kayaking is an ideal way to explore off-shore islands and view maritime wildlife. Downtown art walks abound as well as outdoor dance and musical performances. Unique festivals celebrating everything from moose to hot air balloons are held annually. There’s so much to do and see, but here are a few suggestions: Whitewater rafting, American Folk Festival, Maine Art Museum Trail, Maine Fiber Arts Studios and Farms Tour, Appalachian Trail and Mt. Katahdin. Fall Maine has the longest foliage season in the nation – almost six weeks from first color to past peak from Ft. Kent to York. Experience the vibrant colors and you’ll understand why many Maine residents consider fall their favorite season. Fall is a great time to experience the beauty of the outdoors by bike and no trip to Maine during fall is complete without attending a traditional agricultural fair. Maine has some of the longest running agricultural fairs in New England. Other fall fun not to miss: Sunday River Chondola Rides, Harvest on the Harbor, Maine Wine Trail, heritage trails and scenic byways.

Only in Maine

Old Sow Whirlpool – This tidal whirlpool, which can be seen from ferries near the harbor of Eastport, is the largest of its kind in the western hemisphere.

The Virginia – In 1607 members of the Popham Colony built a 30-ton pinnace named Virginia, the first English ocean-going ship built in North America. A replica of the ship is being constructed at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath.

100-mile Wilderness – The 100 mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail between the town of Monson and Abol Bridge at the southern entrance to Baxter State Park is the longest section of uninterrupted wilderness on the 2,175-mile footpath.

Cribstone Bridge – This bridge connecting Orr’s Island and Bailey Island is constructed of granite blocks laid in a latticed “cribwork” formation to allow the movement of the ocean tides through the structure. It’s the only design of its kind in the world.

Pownalborough Court House – This 1761 landmark along the Kennebec River in Dresden is the only remaining pre-Revolutionary War court building in Maine.

Aroostook Valley Country Club – A passport is not necessary to play at this golf course with a parking lot and pro shop in Fort Fairfield, Maine, and 18 holes and a clubhouse in Grand Falls, New Brunswick Canada.

The Old Gaol – The original jail at this York site was built in 1656. The 1719 structure open to visitors today is the oldest standing prison in the United States and one of the oldest British-built public buildings in the country. One of 10 historic properties maintained by Old York Historical Society. Seashore Trolley Museum – This Kennebunkport museum contains the world’s largest collection of trolleys and electric streetcars. Tours, trolley rides, and special events throughout the summer. Eartha – The world’s largest revolving and rotating globe (41’ 1.5” in diameter) is on display at the headquarters of the DeLorme mapping company in Yarmouth. Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village – New Gloucester is home to the world’s only active Shaker religious community. Members of the United Society of Believers, known as Shakers, established a community beside Sabbathday Lake in 1783. The village, its museum buildings and the Shaker Store are open to the public.

Photo & Text Credit: Maine Office of Tourism TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

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America's best kept secrets Southern and Eastern Kentucky Travel destinations: Kentucky - by Barbie Perkins-Cooper

Considered an economically deprived state where educational and career opportunities are a bit behind the times, Southern and Eastern Kentucky are two of America's best kept secrets. Embracing the borders of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Tennessee, Kentucky is a state filled with the richness of family values, country but classic culture, and arts and crafts that could easily decorate, or cover, every mountain top and tree. 80

Even though the southern region is rich with old fashioned values, there isn't enough here to attract people to stay because we are still economically deprived, said Cathy, a nurse who has lived in the state since her marriage to her husband, a doctor. The beauty of the state sketched within the Appalachian Mountains is breathtaking. Simply designed mountain homes blend into the natural settings of nature. Antique horse drawn carriages travel at a relaxed, slower pace on the scenic back roads. Draped in a sea of bluegrass, majestic horses prance gracefully in fields lined with white fences and mansions in the background. Many of the estates contain private family graves sitting on hill tops. General stores still cater to a population enjoying a life of simplicity, or refinement. Bluegrass music, hand stitched quilts made from intricate fabrics of their life, wood carvings, blacksmithing, hand designed walking canes, photographs taken from the back hills of Kentucky, all of these are only a sampling of the quality of life illustrated by the artists of Southern and Eastern Kentucky. The building housing Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum, located off I-75 in Renfro Valley, originated from horse stables. Music artists from all varieties, including the blues, jazz, mountain, bluegrass, and country, are displayed for all to enjoy. The significance of African American music, church revivals, minstrels, and song books dating back to the 1800's, teach us how the passion of music continues into the twenty-first century. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com


Promoted as one of Kentucky's national treasures, Renfro Valley is a relaxing and fun park in the valley where time stood still. Located near Cumberland Falls, Renfro Valley offers variety shows, comedy, barn dances, and entertainment the entire family can enjoy. The emphasis is down home family fun. Each show has a theme. Renfro Valley's goal is to provide the audience an event to remember. Family style dinners, complete with fried chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, rolls and delicious country cooking tease the taste buds at Lodge Restaurant. The table is set with plates turned upside down, and if you leave hungry, it is no fault of the restaurant. Contrary to popular myths, Kentucky is not a state filled with stereotypical hillbillies, moonshine, and illiteracy. In a totally modern world, southern and eastern Kentucky overflows with passion for not only arts and culture, the areas embraced within the Appalachian Mountains build a visual bridge to the past and the future. Touring Chrisman Mill Vineyards is an educational event for all who enjoy the history of Kentucky wine. Located in an area

traditionally known for the first commercial vineyard in the United States, Chrisman Mill Vineyards has a gift shop filled with unique gifts for the wine connoisseur, epicurean, and the hard to please. Lunch may be served, catered by Denise Nelson. When visiting, don't forget to taste the fruits of their delicious wines. While in Nicholasville, visit the Old Jessamine County Jail, Camp Nelson Heritage Park, and be certain to dine at The Three Suns Restaurant. Chef Sherrie KellerPauley prepares the best pecan crusted chicken you will ever taste. The love for wood carving is more than a passion for the Money Family, Kentucky folk artists. Lonnie and Twyla Money work as a team, carving and painting gourds and wood into creative works of art imagined from less complicated times. Money's workshop is divided into organized bins with numerous gourds ready for construction. He grows most of his gourds, shaping them into carvings of lizards, dogs, poodles, turkey, and other ideas from his imagination.


One of his most interesting pieces is a worm sitting in a rocking chair, holding a collection of Readers Digest books. I call him the bookworm, said Money, smiling. Mostly, I use poplar wood from Kentucky. I like working with gourds because they make shapes easier. Some of my work is displayed in art galleries, museums, and we take them to arts and crafts shows. Phyllis George and Ted Turner are only two of the celebrities who collect the Money's award winning folk art. Pottery is another art of refinement in Kentucky, especially near Berea College. Sarah Culbreth and her husband, Jeff Enge, are proprietors of Tater Knob Pottery and Farm. They attended Berea College, a four year liberal arts college. Berea College is the arts and crafts capital of Kentucky, said Jeff Enge, who worked as ceramic labor in the ceramic apprenticeship program at Berea. Originally from Minnesota, he stayed in Kentucky because he likes the atmosphere. A pottery artist since 1975, Enge enjoys the smell of a small town. One of the most successful pieces, and a bestseller at Tater Knob Pottery, 82

is the spoon bread dish, gift boxed with the recipe for one of Kentucky's favorite dishes, spoon bread. When visiting Tater Knob Pottery be certain to look for the outhouse. Still in working condition and set on a hill to the left of the entrance, the outhouse is a nice topic of conversation and something that most of us living with modern conveniences take for granted. Adventuring into a remote area of a few country miles east of Berea is a cozy, eclectic log house with a large, comfortable family room with a warm fireplace serving as the focal point. Snug Hollow Bed and Breakfast is etched on 300 acres of farm land, complete with mesmerizing views and a melodic creek. The bed and breakfast offers guests a tempting front porch with a view of mountains, horses, and tranquility. High on a hillside is a private family cemetery. Owner Barbara Napier prepares organic vegetarian dishes amongst the setting of a main house with a comfortable loft upstairs. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com


Young said, Quilt making is more than an art form, it is a part of our family heritage. Young has several pieces displayed in museums and he has won several awards.

he said. So I went to a pawn shop, bought a camera, and started taking pictures of the back roads. Coal miners and their families consolidated Johnson City, Kentucky.

Coal mining inspired many coal miners to tell the stories of Kentucky visually and creatively including a successful photographer who travels the back roads of Kentucky for his muse. He discovered his eye for photography while recuperating from a serious injury at the mines. I just wanted something to do,

Peering inside the narrow entrance to mine number five, you get a creepy feeling of claustrophobia, along with a vivid image of what coal miners experienced in the tomb like environment. Water drips inside the blanket of darkness of the mine entrance, echoing with hazardous sounds of doom.

Photo credit: www.kentuckytourism.com

The farmhouse has an antique piano downstairs, breathtaking views of landscapes and nature, providing guests a venue of country life befitting simpler times in a relaxing, sophisticated manner. Snug Hollow offers a taste of simplicity and charm at its finest. Quilt making is an additional art form still in existence in Kentucky. Homer Young, a retired coal miner, has been a quilt maker since childhood, learning the art of hand stitch quilt making from his mother. Patterned with passion from the designs he and his wife create,

Driving along the roads to Butcher Hollow is a fascinating adventure. Butcher Hollow is the number one tourism spot in Eastern Kentucky. The roads are narrow with modern homes located next to shacks and dilapidated buildings. There is a rustic atmosphere driving along the one lane dirt roads leading to Butcher Hollow. The simplistic childhood home of Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle paints a visual impression of a coal miner's family life to visitors of the area. Guests must stop at Webb's Grocery to arrange a tour. The grocery store looks like a general merchandise store of the 1950's era. Novelty license tags hang on the walls, an old Pepsi Cola ice box and penny candies are only a few of the reminders of life and pride in a coal mining town. Russell Rice, a soft spoken retired man of Kentucky heritage, hand carves walking canes made from Kentucky sassafras, dogTRAVIDITION / travidition.com

wood, maple and beech woods. Designed with twisted snake designs, faces, the Kentucky Derby, Presidents, and other ideas, Rice said, Everything on my sticks is from my mind, heart, and my hands. I look for just the right piece of wood with a shape I can use. If the handle doesn't grow on the wood, I don't use it. Word of mouth has been his best advertising. Southern and Eastern Kentucky, kissed with views of mountains, the Kentucky Apple Festival held in Paintsville, bluegrass music, coal mining history, hand stitched quilts, arts and crafts, and songs like the Blue Moon of Kentucky, or the State song, My Old Kentucky Home, are only a taste of the richness of culture and art offered in Kentucky. Why not plan a trip today and step back into a state where simplicity and charm are the ultimate ingredients for the appreciation of life, family values, 83


The Seychelles Islands... Noah’s Ark of Natural Wonders

“Story courtesy - Seychelles Tourism Board” Cast like precious stones upon the waters of the western Indian Ocean, Seychelles’ 115 islands have slumbered in splendid isolation from the rest of the planet since the breakup of the giant continent of Gondwana some 150 million years ago. Like a Noah’s Ark of miniature worlds, this sublimely beautiful archipelago still shimmers with its first brilliance. It remains an untouched, pristine, masterpiece of Nature and a sanctuary, not only for some of the rarest species of flora & fauna on the planet but, increasingly, for discerning travellers weary of the tired clichés and humdrum experiences served up by run-of-the mill-tourism destinations. Here, amid the almost surreal natural beauty of the islands, their enviable lifestyle TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

and the opportunities they offer for once-in-alifetime vacations, the words ‘unique’ and ‘authentic’ reclaim their original - and proper meaning. Meditation techniques invite us to close our eyes and imagine Shangrila, a secluded refuge offering ultimate harmony, a place where tired spirits can be refreshed and the stresses of the modern world washed away. Somewhere with the space to breathe the purest air and ample room to stroll trackless, powder-soft sands of breathtaking beaches. A place for the senses to feast on the endless delight of genuine experiences. 85


Seychelles has been blessed with all of this…and more. Against the backdrop of its legendary island beauty, this is where Man’s timeless yearning for harmony folds seamlessly into reality and where there is always ample time and space to enjoy life the way Mother Nature intended – soulfully.

utes within an environment where almost half of a limited landmass has already been set-aside as nature reserves and sanctuaries for an astounding array of flora & fauna amongst which may be counted some of the rarest species on earth.

In an overcrowded world that is, in so many cases, becoming more polluted by the day, Seychelles is fast gaining recognition for the enormous potential of its tourism industry.

Seychelles Tourism’s slogan, ‘The Seychelles Islands...another world’, is the embodiment of the concept that Seychelles remains one of the most other-worldly, environmentally-intact destinations on earth with only 160,000 visitors a year.

There are several excellent reasons for this awakening of interest and each of them points to a unique treasure that Seychelles possesses, treasures that together place it head and shoulders above rival island destinations. Seychelles’ dynamic new promotional initiatives, ‘From the Big Five...to the Best Five’, and ‘Wonders of Seychelles’, reflect, among other things, the long-standing national pride in conservation. They display the uniqueness and pristine nature of its many natural attrib-

Certainly, one of Seychelles’ greatest assets is the exotic diversity of its multitude of islands and the variety they offer to visitors wishing to take in a selection of islands during the course of their stay. Each isle has its individual geography and character extending from granite boulders to coral reefs, from untouched forests and bird sanctuaries to private resorts and hideaways and, in this respect, never has the visitor been more spoiled for the sheer choice of unspoiled island venues.

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Today, Seychelles boasts a wide range of accommodation options ranging from the opulence of 5-star resorts with their vast choice of amenities to the authentic - and affordable - charms of smaller local hotels, picturesque Creole guesthouses and self-caterings, each occupying their own special niche and each a perfect stepping-stone for exploring the numerous wonders of the destination.

Among all of Seychelles’ islands currently only 16 host hotels, several of which offer the most luxurious amenities and all of which possess their own natural charm. The islands of Bird and Denis located to the north of Mahé, Frégate to the west and Desroches and Alphonse to the south each offer diverse and unforgettable, getaway-from-it-all, experiences. Those fortunate enough to travel to the islands of the far south will be rewarded by the heart-stopping beauty of Cosmoledo, Farquhar and the jewel in Seychelles’ crown, Aldabra, with its magnificent lagoon and teeming wildlife. An efficient network of inter-island ferry, plane and helicopter transfers will accommodate almost any itinerary affording the visitor the opportunity to explore and discover the unique features of each island. Equally, the wonderful variety of Seychelles’ flora & fauna with its high proportion of endemic species nurtured within one of nature’s last pristine sanctuaries makes it an exciting destination for naturalists, ornithologists and eco-tourists alike. Nowhere else on earth are to be found unique specimens such as the jellyfish tree, with only eight surviving examples; the wondrous Coco-de-mer; TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

the Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, and thirteen species and seventeen subspecies of bird life. The Vallée de Mai, once thought to be the original site of the Garden of Eden, and legendary Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll, are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From the smallest frog to the heaviest land tortoise and the only flightless bird of the Indian Ocean, Seychelles boasts an amazing array of endemic and indigenous species waiting to be discovered. With 115 diverse islands spread across an area of over 1,300,000 sq. km. of sparkling waters, one can well understand seafarers who believe that God created Seychelles with the sailor in mind. Chartering a yacht provides perhaps the most rewarding way of discovering the hidden treasures of the archipelago at one’s own pace and whim, cruising in cyclone-free waters and enjoying a dazzling array of inner islands with golden beaches fringed by warm, turquoise waters. Further afield, the virgin territories of the Amirantes and the southern island groups offer unparalleled opportunities for biggame fishing, diving and island adventure amid turtles, mantas, dolphins and whales in places where few have gone before. 87


It should not be overlooked that Seychelles has some of the richest fishing grounds in the world and you do not have to venture far from the shoreline to break fishing records. Cast your fly-lines on the magnificent shallow flats of Alphonse or one of the islands in the Amirantes group and chances are you will land several energetic Bonefish to challenge the record books. The outer islands of Seychelles have become the epicentre of saltwater fly-fishing. International sport and recreational fishermen enthusiastically return to Seychelles’ waters that already boast several world records for Pacific Bonito and Dogtooth Tuna. The abundance of Wahoo, Bonito, Dorado and several species of Tuna make a day’s fishing trip an unforgettable experience, allowing you to savour the finest tasting fish on offer anywhere in the world. With so many islands scattered across the Indian Ocean between 4º and 10º south of the Equator, it is little wonder that another of Seychelles’ outstanding resources lies in the impressive diving opportunities it offers to experienced and novice divers alike. Myriad dive sites promise a marine extravaganza as diverse and vibrant as it is unique. This living aquarium enjoys comfortable year-round temperatures of between 24º and 30º Celsius and lies outside the cyclone belt. Colourful reef fish, octopus, lobster and turtle flash in the shallows surrounding the inner islands, while more adventurous dives offshore include the ‘Ennerdale’ wreck and rocks that are the playground for larger groupers and stingrays. Imagine the thrill of swimming with whale sharks, those gentle giants of the sea that are regular visitors to Seychelles’ waters, or diving the spectacular coral walls of the outer islands. The dedicated and accredited diving centres of most hotels and island resorts offer everything from one-day introductory courses to international diving instructor certificates.

No account of Seychelles’ riches can be considered complete without mention of its reputation as ‘the islands of love’ and it is little wonder that that lovers are inspired to take their vows and wed in this gentle and romantic atmosphere. Sensual Seychelles creates the idyllic ambience for an unforgettable wedding day or honeymoon beneath swaying palms alongside silken waters fringed by the silver-soft sands of discreet island hideaways.

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All in all, you can’t get much further away from the Madding crowd. And it’s amazing how blue skies and white beaches can clear the mind and inspire the imagination. That is why as a venue for small conferences and select company incentives, Seychelles represents a powerful partnership of business and pleasure. Its excellent communications infrastructure and reliable air links to Europe, Africa and Asia, Seychelles can offer environmentally-

friendly corporations rewarding investment opportunities. Seychelles has all this to offer and more but perhaps its most enduring attraction is the security it offers and its enviable pace of life amid the beauty, tranquillity and multi-racial harmony of the islands. Here, cocooned within the reassuring atmosphere of a large family, there is still ‘time to enjoy’ the finer things of life and to appreciate the elements of a truly refreshing Creole culture and rejuvenating island lifestyle.

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The picturesque port village on Long Island,NEW YORK

GREENPORT

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Travel destinations: Greenport,Long Island, New York by Theresa Wind

ow many beautiful and historical places can you think of that you would like to visit on the east coast of this country? I am sure that places like Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. come to mind. These are probably the top three places that you can think of.

would be the picturesque port village on Long Island's north shore called Greenport. Greenport is located on the beautiful north shore of Long Island just a stones throw away from Long Island's now famous wine country. Greenport is a thriving tourist location in the spring, summer and autumn months greeting thousands of visitors every year.

Depending on what state you live in they can be considered day trips, but for most of us the best way to see these places are on overnight trips or long weekends.

Greenport was originally given the name Winter Harbor by the original inhabitants of this port village. It is a maritime community that at one time was a busy whaling community and one of Long Island's major port cities.

If you happen to live in New York or Connecticut there is one place that you may not have ever heard of that is a ferry or car ride away and can be done in one day. That place

Greenport still boasts the deepest natural harbor on Long Island and is still a bustling marina.


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n any given day you will find boats from all over New York and Connecticut tied up at the Marina at Mitchell Park. Mitchell Park has docking space for up to 60 transient boats a day. There is also a ferry station in Greenport that is home to the ferry that shuttles people back and forth from Greenport to Shelter Island many times a day. Greenport is the perfect place for day trippers to visit, although it is rapidly becoming a nice place for an overnight or weekend away visit. There are so many things to do and see in the Village of Greenport. Greenport like some of ther other port villages on Long Island offers something to do for everyone in your party. There's fishing for dad, shopping for mom and a carousel ride for the kids. If you are coming to Greenport from New York City and points west you must take the Long Island Expressway until the end and then get off at the exit for Roure 25 east and follow the signs to Greenport.

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ou can also take route 25A east or Route 48 to Sound Ave and follow the signs for Greenport. You can also get to Greenport by the Long Island Railroad and of course by the Orient Point ferry if you are coming from Connecticut. Once you get there, there is so much to do. In fact there really is something for everyone. Greenport is best experienced by strolling the streets of this quaint village so wear comfortable shoes. The main part of town is home to Main Street where shopping is at it's best. While you stroll along the historic streets you will find specialty shops that specialize in everything from Irish goods at Curran's Irish Shop to the eclectic art work of local artisans at Bay Bliss. There is also a 6 acre lavender farm where you can pick differ-

There is so much more to Greenport than shopping, as mentioned before you can take a peaceful ride on a warm summer day over to Shelter Island so that you can explore and experience the beauty of Shelter Island.

ice skate (in season), take a ride on a historic carousel or ride a miniature train. Greenport is also home to the east end RailRoad Museum as well as a maritime museum. If you happen to have a car there is even a miniature golf course about 10 minutes west of the village on Route 25 at Drosso's Snack Bar. Who can resist miniature golf and ice cream?

During the summer there are also boat excursions to study the harbor and see the eight lighthouses in the waters around Greenport. If your passion is for tall ships there is one docked there every summer offering the experience of spending a day out on the water in a beautiful sailboat. If you are a landlubber do not worry there are things in Greenport for you too. Head on over to Mitchell Park where you can

If wine tasting is your thing boy are you in luck! There are at least 4 award winning wineries within 10 minutes of the village. Just hop in your car and head west on route 25 and watch for the signs for each vineyard. These vineyards are indeed the home of many award winning wines and tasting is available at most Long Island vineyards for a small fee. (Just make sure you have a designated driver!).

ent varities of lavender and purchase all things lavender including bouquets.


Whatever your wine preference is from Chardonnay to Syrah you will find it at one of our many vineyards. If you truly enjoy wine tasting and have decided to spend a weekend in Greenport than there are more than 30 vineyards to visit. Here are a few of the vineyards that you will fnd closest to Greenport. 1). Pellegrini Vineyards in the surrounding community of Cutchogue. 2). Pindar in Peconic. 3). Laurel Lake in Laurel and 4). Osprey's Dominion.

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pending a day exploring Greenport can make you very hungry and there is no shortage of great places to eat. There is something for just about every appetite including an old fashioned luncheonette serving burgers and ice cream sodas. There is barbeque at BBQ Bills that offers bbq ribs and produce from local farm stands. If seafood is your thing then head on over to Claudio's! Claudio's was established in 1870 and it is the oldest and longest same family run restaurant in the United States. Claudio's offers a harbor side restaurant, a clam bar and a serve yourself crab shack called Crazy Crabby Jerry's Shack. If you are looking for something a bit lighter you can have lunch at the Greenport Tea Company. The Greenport Tea Company also serves high tea every day. Of course if

you have saved room for dessert then you must go to the luncheonette for a good old fashioned ice cream soda. If you are planning a romantic weekend away or a weekend away with the family then Greenport is the ideal place to go. Lodging includes everything from a wonderful seaside resort, to a quaint bed and breakfast and a brand new condominium resort. The Soundview Inn is perfect for that family weekend get away. It is located on Route 48 or Sound Ave. just a bit west of the village of Greenport. The Soundview is a true beach resort with rooms that have a view of the Long Island Sound and access to a private beach. The Townsend Manor Inn is perfect for that romantic getaway. Located on Main Street it is a wonderful B&B type resort located in the heart of the

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village. Finally there is the brand new Cliffside Resort and Condos on Route 48/Sound Ave. offering multi bedroom home away from home lodging. If you are looking for something to do this summer in lieu of an expensive family vacation, and let's be honest in this economy who can afford that, then taking a day trip is a great experience for the family to share. Spending a day in a seaside community like Greenport can provide you and your family with fond memories to last a lifetime. For a small town there is so much to do in Greenport and if you are lucky enough to have a car and time on your hands plan to explore the small villages neighboring Greenport. They all offer historic buildings, great antique shopping, great food and Oh Yeah who can forget the wine tasting.


The Native American Story

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s Native American history grows and continues to capture the interest of travelers around the world, the South Dakota Native American experience provides some of the best travel opportunities and destinations in the world. The prairies and rolling hills of South Dakota provide a home for nine Native American tribes and serve as a backdrop for a history layered with a rich texture of tradition. For many travelers, the allure of the Native American experience stems from its rich heritage, historical significance, colorful culture and role in the modern world. One of the most visual and moving ways to experience this tradition up-close is to attend a powwow or to visit a location significant to the Native American culture. Tradition reigns supreme at these events with a mixture that blends the traditional ways with the new. Powwows also allow visitors to sample Native American foods, music and atmosphere. “South Dakota wouldn’t be the state that it is without the significant Native American influence on our culture, and we welcome people from around the world to share that part of our history,” said Richard Benda, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism and State Development. “Visitors have a unique opportunity when traveling to South Dakota to see the places where American history was made and experience the past and the present of Native American culture.” TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

“Story courtesy - South Dakota Department of Tourism 93


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The Black Hills Powwow is one of the largest cultural events of the year in South Dakota. This three-day festival is held in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, October 9-11. Festivities include: dancing, eating, an art show and much more. “The Lakota culture is one that is best experienced in person,” said Tina Merdanian of Red Cloud Indian School. “Guests will see the merging of our traditional past with our exciting future at any number of powwows, events or culturally significant destinations. Our culture is stamped and ingrained in both the history and the future of South Dakota.” Popular Destinations: •Oyate Trail: A 388-mile cultural route that leads from the eastern part of South Dakota to the west, covering the cultural heritage and diversity of people who have lived and live in South Dakota. •Native American Scenic Byway: This path cuts through the heart of South Dakota’s prairie and follows the Missouri River, extending through the heart of the Great Sioux Nation. •Crazy Horse Memorial: A sculptural depiction of the legendary Lakota 94

leader, Crazy Horse, emerging from the side of a mountain in the Black Hills. •Native American Art: One of the most significant pieces of the Native American culture is the artwork that its people produce. Visit a number of art galleries and museums to see it in person. Fast Facts: •Today, more than 62,000 Native Americans live in South Dakota where the historic Dakota, Lakota and Nakota culture is prominent. •Shannon County, located along the state’s southern border, has the highest Native American population of any county in the United States. •At most powwows, visitors will see competitions featuring categories such as traditional, fancy and jingle dress dancing. •The Lakota word for powwow is “wacipi,” which means dance. •Many of the tribes of South Dakota believe the story of their creation stems from the “Paha Sapa” or the Black Hills – found in western South Dakota. •The buffalo was historically one of the most important things in the culture of Native American tribes, and many of the tribes still maintain herds. •Wounded Knee can be found in South Dakota and is the site of the last major conflict between the Great Sioux Nation and the U.S. Army. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com


Turkish Airlines' brand ambassador, Kobe Bryant’s commercial has been completed...

In a competitive exchange, Kobe and the chef dare each other to switch roles—Kobe as chef and chef as basketball player. The result is a light-hearted competition in which both realize the skill required of each other’s professions Filmed at Southbay Studios in Los Angeles, the commercial was directed by Laurance Dunmore. The narrative focuses on Kobe’s interaction with Turkish Airlines’ famed “Flying Chef” aboard a long-haul flight. In a competitive exchange, Kobe and the chef dare each other to switch roles—Kobe as chef and chef as basketball player. The result is a light-hearted competition in which both realize the skill required of each other’s professions. The commercial was developed by Alametifarika Agency and produced by Depo Film and Ridley Scott Association, with music by Massive Music in Holland. The commercial is one component of a larger campaign which will TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

include billboards, print and online components. Kobe Bryant has been named Most Valuable Player of the NBA finals for the past two years, and has won five NBA championships in his career. He has twice been the scoring champion of the NBA and was part of the gold medal winning U.S.A. Basketball Men’s National Team at the 2008 Olympics. Mr. Bryant ranked number fourteen on Forbes Magazine’s “Celebrity 100,” which lists the world’s richest and most powerful celebrities. The TV commercial is slated to run in the U.S., the Far East, and in more than 80 countries worldwide. 95


Turkish Airlines wins the “Market Leadership Award 2011”… “Air Transport World“, the leading monthly magazine covering the global airline industry, today announced that Turkish Airlines is chosen to receive the “Market Leadership Award 2011”.

And in one of the clearest indications that this view has been further consolidated, Air Transport World (ATW), one of the world’s leading international publications in the aviation sector, has given the airline its ‘Market Leadership’ award. This

year’s 37th annual ATW Airline Industry Success Awards found their recipients at a ceremony held recently at the Renaissance Hotel in the American capital, Washington, D.C. The ‘Market Leader’ 2010 award was presented to the Turkish Airline’s CEO, Temel Kotil, by the magazine’s senior editor and European Bureau Chief, Cathy Buyck. Speaking at the ceremony, Kotil said

that he was honored to accept the award on behalf of the airline’s 16,000 employees. A video presentation promoting the successes that won Turkish Airlines the award was also shown at the ceremony. The video described how the airline sustained its rising success curve despite the global financial crisis and cited examples of its initiatives. Turkey’s Ambassador to Washington, D.C. Namık Tan, was also present at the ceremony.

Turkish Airlines will add new destinations on its network this year

The Europe’s fastest growing airline company, Turkish Airlines will add new destinations on its rapidly expanding network this year. The world’s eighth-largest carrier by number of destinations, Turkish Airlines is planning to launch flights to 11 new destinations.


Cover Story Travel experiences: Western Turkey by Scott Smith

Turkey has more historic sites than the rest of Europe combined. There are more places mentioned in the Bible than any other country except Israel. Turkey has some of the world’s most renowned cuisine. It’s a shopaholic’s paradise because prices are low for even handmade merchandise and Turks expect you to bargain. What follows are some highlights of our experience.

There’s no better place for Americans to visit an Islamic country than Turkey There’s no better place for Americans to visit an Islamic country than Turkey. Several years ago, my wife and I met Bora Ozkok, a dynamo whose zest for his native country and three decades of experience have made his Cultural Folk Tours www.boraozkok.com America’s leading specialist in Turkey. He led us on his “Best of Turkey” tour.We joined our fellow travelers for the welcome dinner in the capital of Ankara in the center of the country. The next day we went to the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which has won a European Museum of the Year Award, with its well-organized, priceless treasures, and informative displays.

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They included the oldest-known statue from the world’s first city 9000 years ago at Catalhoyuk, the world’s first peace treaty (made between Rameses II and the Hittite nation), and inlaid tables from Gordion (the city King Midas was said to have ruled, also famous for the Gordian Knot, which Alexander the Great cut). Afterwards, we went through the Ataturk Memorial and Museum of Independence, which was surprisingly fascinating displays about how Mustafa Kemal Ataturk saved his country from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire after World War I (he was the commander who repulsed the eight-month Allied siege at Gallipoli and then he drove the Greeks out after the post-war occupation). That night we entered Cappadocia, hills of soft rock that have been carved first by nature into fantastic shapes and then by man into ancient underground cities that were dug as deep as eight storeys. We stayed in the charming, 5-star Cave Suites and spent the next two days discovering remarkably-preserved, 1000-year-old Byzantine church frescoes. We also toured a government-supported center that keeps alive the vanishing art of hand-weaving the famous Turkish carpets and saw astonishing artistry for a fraction of the price one would pay in the U.S. One of the highlights of Cappadocia was seeing the Whirling Dervishes, Sufi mystics whose dance and music are mesmerizing. The Turkish Riviera along the Mediterranean has year-round bustling tourism for its beaches, skiing in nearby mountains, innumerable shops and restaurants open late, and many historic sites. Moving up westwards along the Aegean, we saw the unique calcium deposits from hot mineralized water at Pamukkale, which make it look like a frozen Niagara Falls. At Sardis, where rich King Croesus ruled, we saw the oldest surviving synagogue (and Sardis is one of the seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation). At Ephesus we saw the stone house where tradition says Mary spent her last days. Ephesus’ marble Temple of Artemis was one of the Seven Wonders of the World and St. Paul spent two years preaching in the city before being driven out by the silversmiths, whose idol sales were being affected.

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing the remains of Troy. There were nine cities built on top of one another and the one Turkish archaeologists have identified as the object of the Trojan War is VI, from the 13th century B.C. It had a population of 400,000 and 60-foot-high walls, according to Homer (the ruins are still impressive at 20 feet). We experienced classic Islamic culture when we arrived in Bursa, the lovely, tree-filled original capital of the Ottomans, where we toured a dazzling mosque of white marble and elaborate tombs. Afterwards, we shopped at the famous Silk Bazaar before retiring to our hotel to experience a very relaxing traditional Turkish Bath and massage. If you ask almost anyone who has ever been to Istanbul, it ranks as one of the world’s great cities. The dynamic metropolis of 13 million has stunning architecture (remarkably free of urban ugliness) and a hot nightlife. The city was founded in the 7th century B.C., renamed Constantinople in A.D. 330 when it became the capital of the Eastern Roman (later Byzantine) Empire, then was conquered by the Ottomans in 1453. Over the next few days, we toured the Topkapi Palace of the sultans, with its incredible treasures, the Versailles-like Dolmabache Palace that succeeded it (with a staircase of crystal), St. Sophia (beautiful mosaics in the most important church in Christendom for 1000 years, before St. Peter’s Basilica was built), the massive Blue Mosque (famous for its stained glass and tiles), and the Istanbul Museum (with some of best ancient Greek statuary extant anywhere). We’d rate Turkey as one of our favorite destinations and as word spreads, more Americans will be eager to experience it. TRAVIDITION / travidition.com

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