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Archive for August, 2009


Burgas, or Bourgas, is the second largest city in Bulgaria. It is located on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast near the Burgas Bay, so it is referred to as a seaside resort. However the city also is an industrial center and main port. The city is surrounded by three lakes, Vaya (the Burgas) lake, Atanaskovsko lake and Mandrensko lake. Burgas has a population of almost 300 thousand people.

From Burgas it is easy to explore the southern coast of Bulgaria and its beach resorts and more historic towns, such as Nesebar and Sozopol. The city itself also offers enough things to do and see. It has luxury holiday resorts as well as campsites on beaches for nature lovers. Burgas has an uncrowded beach and bossy sea side park, the Maritime Park. The city has a nightlife with bars, clubs and theaters.

The city was founded by Greek colonists who named the town Pyrgos. The old town shows some of its history as well as the Archaeological Museum. Other museums are the Ethnographic Museum, the Burgas Regional Historical Museum and the Museum of Nature and Science. If you like art, the city has one of the oldest art galleries in the country in the form of the Burgas Art Gallery, located in a former Jewish Synagogue.

Travelers to Burgas need a valid passport. A visa isn’t necessary for a stay up to 90 days. The best time to travel is in the summer, when the city is most lively. There are more activities to do, surfing and kite-surfing for instance. Be aware of pick pocketing, beggars who follow you around, scam-taxi drivers and drunk people during summer months.

Somerset Village

A small unincorporated village and nearly untouched by tourism, that is the beauty of Somerset Village. It is the heart of Somerset Island, the largest island in Sandy’s Parish, in the northwest of Bermuda. It is located on the northern half of Somerset Island and lies on the southern shore of Mangrove Bay. The settlement has existed for centuries, but the exact date is not clear.

Somerset Village used to be a minor, useful port. The village is small, but it has the necessary facilities in the form of a bank, a police station, library, post office, a number of shops, small hotels, pubs and water view restaurants and a boat club. At the west of the village there is a small beach to relax. You can also go to the Somerset Long Bay Beach and Park. Here you will find a good beach and shallow waters. It is a good place for a nice picnic. Nature is being preserved by the Bermuda Audubon Society and the pond attracts lots of migrating birds.

There is a ferry station on the Great Sound from were you can go to the city of Hamilton or the Royal Naval Dockyard on Ireland Island. Somerset Village also has a bus depot that connects the village to other places including the city of Hamilton. When traveling by bus ( 7 or 8 ) or ferry you should notice the destination. Some ferries will take up to 1 1/4 hours depending on the stops.

American travelers to Somerset Village and Bermuda need a passport that is valid for al least six months. A visa may not be necessary, but you do need an onward or return ticket.


Monterrey is the third largest city in Mexico. It is the capital of the state of Nuevo Leon in the northeast of the country. The city is located at the foothills of Sierra Madre Oriental mountains. After the Mexican Independence War Monterrey became an important business center. The city also experienced industrial growth over the years. It has a population of around 1.3 million people.

Most tourists come to Monterrey for business purposes. The city is full of life and vibrant, far Americanized. It enjoys high standards of living and has emerged into a progressive, modern city. It is however more than just a commercial and industrial center. Tourists can enjoy a wealth of cultural and entertainment attractions. There are restaurants, hotels, shopping malls and bars where travelers can taste some of the city’s famous beers. The Gran Plaza has modern buildings, gardens and monuments.

Enjoy the cutting edge contemporary architecture of buildings as the Puente Atirantado, the Puente Viaducto de la Unidad or the new circular TEC business school. If you like arts, visit the The Museo de Artes Contemporaneos (MARCO) with many temporary exhibitions. History is shown in the Mexican History Museum where you can look at the times the Maya, the Aztec, the Olmecs, the Toltecs and other civilizations ruled the lands. Monterrey has parks to every taste, such as the urban oasis Park Fundidora and the rugged mountain oasis the Chipinque Mesa.

Travelers to Monterrey need a valid passport and visa. American and Canadian citizens can also use a birth certificate with photo ID. Any traveler to Cancun needs a Mexican government issued tourist card (Mexican Tourist Permit), which is free of charge upon arrival. Don’t forget the beautiful surroundings of Monterrey. Take some days to visit the wildlife safari park, the Prese de la Boca dam or climb the saddle-shaped mountain Cello de la Silla. There are excellent opportunities for outdoor adventures.


Vratza, or also spelled as Vratsa, is a city in the northwest of Bulgaria. It is located at the foothills of the Vrachanski Balkan Mountain. The Leva River runs through the city. It is a commercial, administrative, crafts, tourist and cultural center. It has a population of almost 69 thousand people. Vratza has a rich history and it is one of the most picturesque cities in Bulgaria.

Vratza attracts tourists with its wealth of history and culture. The Vrachaski Balkan offers many active activities such as hunting and fishing, skiing, speleology, delta-gliding and aplinism. The mountain and its environment also attracts photo-tourism. Enjoy the real beauty of Ledenika cave or Mountain Passage ‘Vratsata’

Within the city there are many monuments as a reminder of the rich and glorious history. One of the symbols is the tower of the Meschii. Museums are the Museum of History and Ethnographic and Revival Complex. There have been three of Bulgaria’s biggest Thracian treasures unearthed in the region. Relaxing is possible in swimming pools, water cycles, discos, bars and restaurants. The hotels offer excellent facilities and good service.

Travelers to Vratza require a valid passport, but don’t need a visa. Your stay is valid for up to 90 days. Vratza is an important railway station which connects the city to other cities, including capital Sofia. The city has regular bus transport to move around. Most sights in the center are walkable.


Esquel is a town in the Argentine Patagonia in the northwest of the province of Chubut. It was only founded in 1906 and is now the main livestock and commercial center of the region. Esquel got its name from the language of Mapuche, from a term meaning ‘quaking bog’ or ‘place of the thistles’. It is located is located by the Esquel Stream and surrounded by the mountains La Zeta, La Cruz, Cerro 21 and La Hoya. La Hoya is a popular ski resort.

For most travelers Esquel is just a quick stop over on their way to the Los Alerces National Park, 31 miles northwest of the city, and other recreation areas. The city is at the southern end of the narrow-gauge train line of The Old Patagonian Express or La Trochita. This train now takes tourists in the summer from Esquel to the volcano and settlement Nahuel Pan, and the other way around.

Esquel is foremost an easy-going and exceeding friendly base camp for activities in the surroundings areas. Possible activities are path hiking, river rafting, fly fishing, horse riding, tours around ranches, climbing and lake circuits. It can be the perfect place to chill for a few days as it rests on a green mountain range valley. The city has two museums, different restaurants and hotels.

Travelers to Esquel need a valid passport. American citizens don’t require a visa for stays up to 90 days. The weather can be pretty cold. The best time to travel depends on your purpose. For other purposes than skiing on La Hoya the best time is from December till March, as there is little rain and temperatures are around 50 Fahrenheit.

Sao Paulo

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and its economical and cultural center. It is the capital of the southeastern state São Paulo It has a population of more than 10 million people and offers a great diversity. The city is nicknamed “Sampa” and its motto is “I am not led, I lead”. Locals call themselves paulistanos.

Cities as Rio de Janeiro and Salvador are more popular tourist destinations, but São Paulo has just as much to offer. The city offers world-class restaurants and diverse regional and international cuisine. The variety of cultures is probably the most attracting feature of the city. Its multi-ethnic society includes Italians, Portuguese, Africans, Arabs, Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Jews, Bolivians, Greeks and Koreans. The main religion is catholic.

The cultural events in São Paulo are diverse. They include the Art Biennal, Fashion Week, Gay Pride Parade, March for Jesus, International Film Festival and other events. The city has many museums in a variety of subjects, a great number of theaters and some buildings with observation checks. Go to Banespa Tower, Restaurant Skye in hotel Unique or the Jockey Club. Things to do are going to the park, exploring the city and its sightseeing, going to the zoo or visiting a theme park. Tourists can also take the Historical City Tour.

Travelers to São Paulo require a valid passport and visa. For most countries this visa is only issued overseas before departure to Brazil, this includes America. Tourist visas are valid for 90 days. Traffic in the city is complicated due to certain regulations. The safest and cleanest way to travel around this big city is by metro. The city has its crime problems, so always watch out for theft. Avoid extravagant or expensive-looking clothing to stand out in the crowd.


Haifa is the third largest city in Israel and situated in the north of the country. It is located on the Mediterranean shoreline of Israel below the Mount Carmel. It has become a major seaport. The city has a population of approximately 300 thousand people and is a multicultural melting pot of Arabs and Jews living here. 

Haifa is all about working and praying. The city itself is therefore not designed for tourists. Still, there are lots of interesting sights and entertainment for tourists. Haifa has developed into a hi-tech industry, bringing many theaters, cinemas, hotels and shopping malls to the city. Arab and East European influences combine traditional, contemporary, sophisticated and relaxed atmospheres together in one city. Within Haifa lies the village Kababair, home to Muslim inhabitants belonging to the Ahmedi sect.

One of the main attractions in Haifa is Mount Carmel. Here you can enjoy breathtaking panorama views. On the mountain are the Baha’i Holy Shrines, visited by pilgrims, with the Shrine of the Bab, seat of the Universal House of Justice and the Terraces. Also located on the mountain is Gan Ha’em park which is home to a small zoo and the Druze villages. Within the grounds of the zoo you can visit three museums. Other attractions are the caves of Elijah, the Old Testament prophet, the church Stella Maris and Haifa University, open to visitors. You can relax at one of the beaches on the southwest side of the city.

Travelers to Haifa require a valid passport and return ticket. American citizens don’t need a tourist visa. Haifa has a Mediterranean climate, so hot dry summers and cool rainy winters.


Adelaide is the capital of the state of South Australia and is the fifth largest city in the country. It is a coastal city  situated on the eastern shores of Gulf St. Vincent. Its population is over 1 million people. This lively city was founded in 1836 and is now the government and commercial center of South Australia.

Adelaide offers so many options for travelers. There are beach fronts with sandy swimming beaches, beautiful architecture, boutique shops, a sparkling nightlife, fine multicultural dining and fabulous art events. The city has an attracting and relaxed atmosphere. You can walk over The North Terrace Boulevard or have a picnic in the nearby Park Lands. Or, if you like the outdoors, visit the Adelaide Hill Wildlife Parks or other national parks. Relaxing is easy in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Surrounding Adelaide are many famous wine districts worth checking out.

The city is home to many festivals and sporting events. Locals and tourists come to Festival of Arts, Fringe Festival, Comedy Festival, WOMA Delaide, Bay to Birdwood with vintage vehicles, the V8 super car race Clipsal 500, and so much more. Adelaide is home to teams that play Australian rules (AFL) football, Association football and cricket. There are plenty of museums around, such as the Art Gallery, the South Australian Museum, the Migration Museum and The South Australian Maritime Museum. There are also plenty of statues and memorials.

Travelers to Adelaide need a valid passport and visa. Citizens of America, Canada and Europe will automatically after application receive a tourist visa that is valid for 12 months. It permits multiple entries into Australia for a stay of up to 3 months on each visit.


Luxor is a city in the south of Egypt with a last know population of 377 thousand people. The city is an area of 161 square miles. Luxor is a very popular travel destination in southern Egypt and the Nile Valley. It is known as the world’s greatest open air museum as it holds so many treasures of ancient times. The city lies on the banks of the Nile River.

Luxor was once the ancient city of Thebes. It was the glorious city of the God AmonRa. In the 11th Dynasty the town grew into a thriving city. It became a center of high luxury, wisdom, art, religious and political supremacy. Later it rose to the major political, religious and military capital of Ancient Egypt. After it had been attacked by an Assyrian emperor the city of Thebes fell in significance and ruins. It did remain a sight of spirituality.

The city of Luxor is a relatively small town for Egyptian standards. The center on the East Bank holds restaurants, hotels and shops. Within this modern city stand the ruins of the temple complexes of Luxor, built by Armenhotep III, and Karnak. The Luxor Temple is a beautiful complex with four pillared courts and hypo style halls and holds some colossal statues of Ramses II. Most of the ruins and tombs of ancient Egypt are located on the West Bank of the Nile River. Here tourists can find The Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens and the Tombs of the Noble.

Travelers to Luxor require a valid passport and visa. A 30 days visa can be obtained upon arrival for $15 US. Most tourists stay on the East Bank and travel to the West Bank to visit the tourist sites. In recent years there have been built hotels on the West Bank where many independent travels find their place to sleep.


Melbourne is the capital and largest city of the southeastern state of Victoria. It is also the second largest city in Australia. It has a population of approximately 3.9 million people, who are multicultural and sports-mad as well. The city is located at the head of the Port Philip Bay. Melbourne is often regarded as the cultural capital of Australia.

Melbourne has everything on the area of arts, commerce, education, industry, sports and tourism. It features Victorian and contemporary architecture, expansive parks and gardens, extensive shopping, museums, galleries and theaters. The soap Neighbors is filmed in this city. The multicultural society offers a great diversity. They share a common love for sports, as the city is home to Aussie Rules (AFL) Football, the Australian Tennis Open, the Australian Formula One Grand Prix and the Melbourne Cup and the national horse event Spring Racing Carnival. This last event evens stops the whole nation.

The city center is of most interest for tourists. It offers bars, cafes, boutiques and department stores. Nice green parks are around to flee the busy life. You can’t miss the Eureka Tower, Rialto Towers, Parliament House of Victoria, the prominent Southgate with its lively restaurants and bars and the Queen Victoria Market. Almost everything in the center is accessible by foot. Other interesting activities are visits to the Comic’s Lounge, the St Francis Church, Grampians National Park, The Great Ocean Road and Philip Island.

Travelers to Melbourne are required a valid passport and visa. Citizens of America, Canada and Europe will automatically after application receive a tourist visa that is valid for 12 months. It permits multiple entries into Australia for a stay of up to 3 months on each visit. As for the weather, Melbourne is known for changing weather conditions.