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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A day in Bonn by Anna

Hello friends, 

I hope you all are working towards your new year goals, But don't forget to explore new places and share your experience. Today we have a beautiful guest to share her experience in Bonn, Germany. She is Anna and sharing her experience living abroad and exploring Germany. Let's check out her experience and learn about the new place.

My first time living abroad was in London, England when I studied abroad at King’s College. After that, I realized how much I loved living abroad and there was no turning back. Since then I’ve lived in Germany, and Dubai. I’m originally from the USA (Connecticut), but I love being an expat. Currently I am living in Bonn, Germany. I started writing as a travel blogger in 2014 when I realized I could combine my passion for travel, with my love of writing. I also run a personal blog which you can read about here:


Bonn Germany


Bonn was the former capital of Germany from 1949-1990 It is located in the West of Germany and has many historic buildings dating back to the Roman empire. There are many beautiful places to visit while here both in the city and in the countryside.

How to get there


By flight

The closest airport is the Cologne/Bonn airport, located just 30 minutes from the Bonn city center. From this airport, there is a bus that brings you city center of Bonn. Most international flights arrive from Düsseldorf airport (approximately 1 hour away) and Frankfurt airport (approximately 1.5 hours away). 

There are plenty of train connections from Düsseldorf and Frankfurt that will bring you directly to the Bonn center train station. Bonn has only one main train station called Bonn Hauptbahnhof.

Tips to explore Bonn


  • Bonn is definitely a walking city. For most places, you can easily walk. Alternatively, there are buses and trams that can be taken to destinations located all over Bonn. There are also trains that connect the neighboring countryside areas to the Bonn city center. The public transportation in Germany is amazing.
  • Do be aware, that Bonn can be particularly rainy especially in the winter and spring months. As a tip, you should always carry an umbrella. On some days it can be sunny, then suddenly start to rain. 
  • Bonn is a great city to visit all year round. The summers are very lovely, because you can sit outside at all the restaurants and cafes. Alternatively, if you would like to experience the Christmas Markets of Bonn then you can do so in December, usually up until December 24th.


Places to visit in Bonn


A Visit to the  Rhine River:


A visit to Bonn won’t be complete without a visit to the Rhine river. The Rhine river is still used as a shipping route from the Netherlands to Switzerland. In the distance, from Bonn you can see the famous Siebengebirge (Seven Mountains). There is a large walkway for taking a stroll along the Rhine. Alternatively, you can choose to take a boat tour and see many ancient ruins along the way, including the famous Drachenfels (Dragon’s Rock”, which is an old fortress from the 1100’s.

 
Rhine river

Ratshaus

The Ratshaus is the Old Town Hall of Bonn. It is located in the city center of Bonn, in the Marktplatz. The building itself is stunning and was built in the late 1700’s. There are many great places to enjoy a meal or coffee in the surrounding market square. During the week, there is a local market selling fruits, vegetables, and local meats and cheeses. It’s a great place to sample some delicious local delicacies.

 
Ratshaus
  
Botanical Gardens

The Bonn Botanical Gardens has around 8,000 plant species. There trees and flowers from all over the world. There is even a beautiful tropical garden located inside of a greenhouse, that has several small lizards running around. The gardens are a quiet reprieve from the bustling city center. There are plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the afternoon sun.


Bonn University

The University of Bonn founded in 1818. One of the main buildings of the campus is an impressive building that has beautiful architecture. Located outside of the main University building is a huge garden area, where during the warmer months where the locals hang out.

University of Bonn

Dinner at Im Stiefel

One of the best restaurants you can enjoy traditional German cuisine as at Im Stiefel in Bonn. There you can have wonderful items like Schitzel or pork knuckle—which are a favorite of Germans. If you are a vegetarian, don’t worry, there are several items on the list to accommodate you as well. If you are beer drinker, you can have a Kölsch, which is a beer brewed in Cologne the neighboring city to Bonn.





Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter gateway vacation places

In US there are plenty of area in North, East and Midwest covered with snow. Some people enjoy snowy weather and some don't. So i decided to share some of the places where you can go over the weekend or take vacation and enjoy few days in warmer weather.


Miami, Florida 


Miami is great place if you are looking for budget travel on beach destination. South beach is very famous in Miami. You can stay in beach front hotel or rent a vacation home and get relax. There are ample of places to visit and you can do water sports as well. You can take Caribbean or Bahamas cruise from Miami. Except beach there are plenty of options for nightlife and roof top restaurants with great ocean view.

Miami


Phoenix, Arizona


Arizona is a dessert of USA. Great thing about Arizona is even in winter temperature stays in 60s and 70s in day time. In Phoenix you can explore museums, zoo, south and north mountain, science center etc. Even kids can enjoy as there are plenty of stuff to do with kids. 

Phoenix, Arizona


Hawaii


Hawaii is combination of different islands. You can choose on which island you want to spend your vacation according to your interest in activities. Some of them are Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Lanai and Honu lulu. Either you can relax at the beach or you can hike the Volcano. There are many state parks and water falls if you love hiking.

Hawaii


Puerto Rico


Puerto Rico is collection of islands which includes main island of Puerto Rico and few smaller islands. Puerto Rico is great place for vacation either you want to relax at the beach or explore the architecture and art of old town. You can also explore rain forests, rum distillery and rich cuisine of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico



Mexico


In Mexico winter time is great to get cheaper Flights and hotels. There are different places where you can spend your vacation. Los Cabos, Jamaica and Cancun are famous among the tourists. In Mexico you can do adventure sports like scuba diving, river tubing, wind surfing and canoeing. If you are not much in to adventure than just relax at the beach and enjoy the sun.

Mexico


Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

History of Ireland 1916 -2016

Hello friends, Today i am introducing Ciara an Irish girl, living in Dublin with a massive love for Travel and Tourism , who will share history of Ireland. Let's here her story. 

My name is Ciara. I am passionate and interested an Irish girl who likes to travel and play with dogs and maybe save the world one day. Based in Dublin, Ireland. You can check my blog irish travel key

Ireland 1916 -2016


Outside of Ireland, many may not know the importance of 1916 and what part that year shaped what the country it is today. Ireland is country is a million tales, stories and history that falls deeper than the foundations of a fancy building.



As country struggling from independence from British rule, 1916 told a dramatic and different tale. Events constantly happening, then it was Easter Rising or the Easter Rebellion known to many. The rising organised by the Irish republicans to gain independence for Ireland. The rising began on Easter Monday, April 24th and lasted for six whole days. There was almost 500 people killed and over 2000 civilians wounded.

This year across Ireland, a country honors the events which unfolded in 1916 and the people behind it all. From events taking in the Role of Women in the Rising, and showing what part they played? What is epic in this gathering? It is showing the strength of our people and how the Irish come together in understanding?




In Dublin, on Easter weekend events take place Saturday 26th of March to Tuesday 29th, admission is free. Come and explore, breath in some history. The opening ceremony takes places Easter Rising Centenary Visitor Facility at the GPO. More information can be found at: http://www.ireland.ie/ 

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Traveling Solo - Pros and Cons by Tamshuk Saha

I hope everyone had a great last year and ready to achieve new goals with new year of 2016.
Today i am so glade to introduce Tamshuk Saha as my guest blogger. He is solo traveler so lets check out his story for pros and cons of Solo traveler.

I am from India, presently spending my last two months as an IT professional in Singapore. Last month I quit my decent-paying job to get out of a routine and safe life. More than the satisfaction of leaving my job, it is the excitement of my upcoming experiences that keeps me on my toes.In 2015, I have been on 6 trips across Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Indonesia. I plan to travel and live in the entire south-east Asia over the next one year and taking up volunteering gigs at every opportunity. I started my blog in June 2015 to share my travel experiences with folks out there. Travel, food, marine life, mountains, ocean and beaches - the six elements that define my passion for life. You can check my blog tamz explores


A few lines of this article might stand out like a sore thumb, especially when it is coming from an ardent solo traveler himself. I have been traveling alone, been on several trips by myself for over a year now and I personally have felt an entire range of emotions during each and every trip of mine. There are several blog posts out there that highlight the beautiful myriad that is Solo Traveling. However, very few of them say things about the other side – the not-so-rosy part of solo travel and there is good reason for it which you will find in the concluding parts of this post. For now, let me start with the difficult aspects of traveling by yourself. 

You are alone out there


This is probably the most telling drawback of traveling solo. You go out there to places, see people around - couples, group of friends and families - and you miss a company. To be honest, quite a few times on my trips, I have felt the absence of a companion - be it a friend, girlfriend or family - and it is not a nice feeling to have when you are on your travels. The wish to have friends around when you take that jump off a cliff into the sea or explore the beautiful life underwater with a beloved is truly very compelling.


You feel self-conscious


For people like me who are quite introvert by nature and have probably lived a life within a cocoon of a self-designed safety net, going out there just by yourself and opening yourself to new experiences can be quite unnerving. You feel too much self-conscious thinking that people are watching or even worse - judging you for traveling alone. You feel apprehensive to sit at a restaurant and eat alone. I’ve been asked “just you?” several times by waiters at restaurants when I said “table for one”. You feel awkward going on a island hopping trip where you know you will be surrounded by traveling couples/groups/families.

Safety


This is a far more significant aspect which even seasoned solo travelers are always wary of. When you are traveling alone in an entirely different country/city, walking among strangers and different cultures, there is always a risk of running into troubled waters. Mishaps, accidents, sickness strike you in a foreign land and there you are fending for yourself. I’ve been robbed in Jakarta once in broad daylight in a part of the city that I later found out was shady. In times like these, a companion is so much welcome.

Now to speak of the better parts of traveling solo, I am just going to turn around the above three points and portray a completely different picture.



We are NOT alone out there


No you are NOT alone at all. As Bob Dylan once sang “The times they are A-Changin”, the times have changed and people are moving over the conventional travel norms. Scores of folks all over the world are traveling around and going places by themselves. The freedom to just walk/run/drive/ride/swim wherever you want and whenever you want is something most people crave for. The thrill of having an endless journey on the road or the sea, without complying to the entirely different needs/wishes of a companion is what drives people like me to travel on our own. On the road, I have met so many solo travelers, made wonderful friends and created some of the most unforgettable moments. It just needs a smile and “where are you from?” to break the ice and get things going.


We are NOT self-conscious


Not anymore. After my first travel, I realized a few things. Most people are curious about you. They look at you and wonder what’s your story. They don’t judge you as much as we used to assume. Nobody is going to throw you off the boat if you take a snorkeling trip by yourself. Nobody will throw their food at you if you are eating alone at a restaurant. On the contrary, people love to hear your stories and they love to share theirs with you. And if I am hungry, I am going to eat -alone or not. So to the guy who asked me “Oh, just you??”, I would say “Nah, I have an invisible girlfriend who is right now showing you one certain finger”.

We are never safe


This is the eternal truth. Doesn’t matter wherever we go, whenever we go and with whom we go, we are never safe enough. If something bad is meant to happen, it will happen and there is no stopping it. Traveling solo or not, there is always a risk of an unfortunate moment when you are in a new place or different surroundings. However, on our part, like every normal and sensible human being, we need to take precautions to AVOID getting into sticky situations. The rocks on the shore look slippery? Don’t step on them. Poking a snake or a jellyfish? Not a good idea. Disrespecting and mocking local culture or people? A big NO. Pack basic medical aids, travel insurance, share your itinerary with at least one trusted person and the list goes on.




So, traveling solo - Yay or Nay? Yay of course. Solo travel is amazing. It has given me some of the most memorable moments of my life - night long conversation with Scottish doll Sascha (who is a friend now of course) sitting at a bar in Sihanoukville, bonding with a group of friends from Australia and Hong Kong on a snorkeling trip in Gili Islands or making new friends while dancing the night away and gazing at fireworks on the beach at New Years Eve - this is what I have got. People travel on their own for many reasons - rediscover oneself, take a break from routine life, get over a painful heartbreak, start a new journey or to just see the world. That is why there are so many few articles on the internet that speak of the drawbacks of solo traveling because the magnitude of those drawbacks are nowhere near to the sheer joy and ecstasy we experience on our journey. So,to all the solo travelers out there who are exploring the world on their own, we  are exactly what Barney Stinson said - “Awesome”.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Monday, January 04, 2016

New year's Eve at Navy pier Chicago

Happy new year everyone !!!!



Hope you had enjoyed New year's Eve. In Midwest December is freezing month every year. But still people are excited to say bye to old year and welcoming new year with fun and celebration.



Last year I was traveling to India so I missed the opportunity to experience how Chicago welcomes new year. So this time we decided to go to the Chicago. I heard lot about Navy Pier fireworks. So I wanted to see it. We went to Devon Ave directly and had yummy South Indian dinner in the Udupi Cafe.



After dinner we head to the Navy Pier. There was plenty of traffic in downtown. Navy Pier parking was already full so we parked four blocks away and walk to the Navy Pier. You will see excitement in the crowd. There are bars, restaurants and pubs if you want to go. We preferred to take walk along the side of lake and enjoyed cold breeze. 



Fireworks started exactly at midnight. Fireworks with the background of high rise buildings was looking so beautiful. Simply amazing.


So how you celebrated your New Year's Eve ???