If you are looking for the perfect city to party in, there are quite a few locations around the world to consider. There are some places that are better than others for those who enjoy the night life, so it is important to find out as much as possible about what each of these cities has to offer before deciding which one to visit.
The pinnacle of urban art is undoubtedly found in graffiti – the art form is now considered as carrying bonafide cultural value, with talented graffiti artists colouring the world with unique works that you won’t find in your average art gallery.
If you’re a budding graffiti artist and looking for a little inspiration or simply an admirer of street art, then the following cities are not to be missed. Be prepared to lift your jaw off the floor.
We live on an old planet and as such, there are some really interesting and fascinating places to see if you look closely enough. Of course, there are very popular historic sites established around the world but if you want to have a little historic moment of your own, follow these handy hints…
Try a moonlight drive to see the remains of your choice. Not only can you guarantee that the tourists have shuffled back to karaoke night at the hotel but that many ruins can look astonishingly beautiful at night. For instance, grab your Cinquecento and head for the Coliseum in the moonlight. The building throws a mysterious form in the night light. Although it is not permitted to enter this fantastic arena at night, the haunting shapes that are seen from certain angles make this trip a definite when in Rome.
The Mayan ruins in Tulum, along the Caribbean coast is like a honey pot to the red faced lobster tourists that pop a bit of culture into their sunbathing week in Cancun. These are the jewel in the crown of Mayan ruins, perched aloft a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The drive is simple and well marked along the highway. When the sun is looking like it’s just getting up , take a walk a through the ruins until the perfect breakfast spot reveals itself. Imagine sharing the same view with those ancient warriors. It is a truly breathtaking experience.
Hampton Court Palace
Staying in England gives a great opportunity to get some wonderful historic experiences under your belt. One fabulous monument to history is Hampton Court, just outside of London. Easily accessible by car or train, the amazing former residence of the rotund red haired King Henry the eight is worth the effort. It is a magnificent account of opulence and luxury. However, a boat upon the river Thames is often how Henry would travel and if it good enough for a king…Take a boat when the light is starting to fade a little and admire the architecture of this amazing piece of history. Close your eyes and try not to think too much about all of those ladies who lost their heads over King Henry the eighth.
South London is not the place where most history junkies would choose to head for in search of a historic fix. However, Blackheath offers rather interesting venue for a piece of history. There is nothing much to see, just a green expense in a rather lovely enclave of London. It’s what’s going on underneath that surprise the visitor. In the 1600’s the Plague or “Black Death” swept through England, killing thousands. The cemeteries and churchyards simply ran out of space and so great pit were dug and the bodies were thrown in. Blackheath is one of these venues and the atmosphere at sundown is rather spooky. It is simple enough to drive around the Heath and take in this morbid slice of unusual English history. Blackheath is adjacent to Greenwich which is packed full of wonderful historic streets, often used in period drama. Combine a visit and enjoy these alternative history venues.
The vast expanse of the 50 states harbors a total of 59 national parks. Each park contains unique scenery, campgrounds and hiking trails along with other recreation areas. Take a look at some of these unique locations in the United States
Petrified Forest National Park-Arizona
This park lies in the southwest in an area known as the “Four Corners.” The unusual landscape found here often reminds one of the lunar terrains of the moon. Petrified wood lays strewn across the expansive acreage. Popular hiking destinations include the Blue Mesa Trail and the Painted Desert Rim Trail, which both have a myriad of animal and plant fossils.
Yosemite National Park-California
Millions journey to this location every year, which encompasses over 760,000 acres along the slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Highlights of the park include an array of granite cliffs, crystal clear streams and a variety of waterfalls. The Yosemite Falls cascade from a height of 2,425 feet above ground.
Haleakala National Park-Maui
This national park spans from the coast to the peak of Mt. Haleakala. Follow the Haleakala Kuapo Gap Trail and encounter everything from the rainforest along the coast to the barren desert terrain that lies within the crater of the peak. Take a break and a fast dip in one of the local swimming holes. Scale the summit and pass through the clouds at the upper most elevations.
White Sands National Park-New Mexico
Located in the Tularosa Basin of the state, the unique but stunning destination features expansive sand dunes comprised of white gypsum that span 275 square miles. Here, visitors have the chance to tour the desert by night along with a park ranger. Other tours include a venture to Lake Lucero. The massive hills of sand also attract boarders who enjoy surfing down the peaks.
Chickasaw National Park-Oklahoma
This destination contains two parks in one with the Lake of the Arbuckles and the Platt Historic District within its confines. Guests enjoy a number of recreational sports here including boating, cycling, fishing and hiking. The area has a variety of unique flora, fauna and geological formations.
Big Bend National Park-Texas
Covering more than 800,000 acres of natural landscape, the park features desert, river and mountain terrain. The Rio Grande flows through the area providing the perfect environment for water sports. Hiking trails take guests through various unique features from the bottom of canyons to mountain peaks. Big Bend regularly attracts bird watching enthusiasts, as hundreds of species reside here along with numerous animal species.
Arches National Park-Utah
The park features the largest number of sandstone arches on the planet. A 40-mile trail meanders through the area offering the opportunity for seeing the unusual formations that span millions of years in age. Some of the more popular sites include Delicate Arch, Devil’s Garden and Double Arch along with Fiery Furnace and the Skyline Arch.
Lying nestled within the Olympic Mountains, the park has everything from cliff-lined beaches and hot springs to lush rainforests. Explore the many hiking trails, take a whitewater rafting trip or relax in the springs.
These parks offer something for everyone whether looking for the perfect campgrounds or unusual terrain. Enjoy the sights that the country has to offer and plan a trip to one of the many national parks this summer.
Travis Means has been a National Park Ranger for the past 5 years. For more information on the beautiful national parks in Oklahoma, he recommends checking out http://chickasawcountry.com.
p>There’s nothing quite like the thrill of the shopping on your travels. In far flung places it is usually the bargains that you snap up that are the best souvenir of your trip. Shopping whilst abroad is also a really good way to connect with local people. Try some of the following places and enjoy the experience!
This is a market that is in Guatemala that should be explored as it is a unique place to shop. Set in the charming provincial town of Chichicastenango, the market is a three hour drive north west from Guatemala city. It is a riot of colour as most of the sellers wear traditional dress – many different groups from Guatemala congregate for the market and it is possible to pick out the different indigenous costumes that reflect that.
This is a market that sells an enormous range of goods. There is traditional pottery, fruit, vegetables, plenty of livestock such as chickens and tools. The brave might snack on a tortilla made in front of them or simply but some of the fruit from one of the stalls. This is a fantastic place to photograph as well as shop. Getting to the market is another adventure on public transport but drive yourself for comfort if possible.
Stone Town, Zanzibar
Wandering through the winding maze of ancient streets of Stone Town, you could be forgiven for thinking that you had gone back in time. The structure of Stone Town has remained the same for over a thousand years There are fantastic and ornate wooden doors everywhere you look. The smells from the traditional bakery make your mouth water and it is a full on sensual explosion walking around.
The market is a bustling, rowdy affair filled with great buys that are really affordable. The wooden carvings make excellent presents, local jewellery will certainly make a statement at home and the fabric on offer will be unique back at home. Zanzibar is a wonderful place to shop.< a title=”Mercado Stone Town Isla Zanzibar Islas Molucas Tanzania 18 by Rafael Gomez –
Mutrah Souk, Oman
Souks are always rabbit warrens of noise and chaos but usually give some shelter from the heat of the sun. Mutrah Souk is a typical Arab souk in the structure, trying not to get lost is a challenge. The smells are evocative as Frankincense burns in copper stands throughout the souk.
The traditionally dressed market sellers offer a good mixture of new and old. It is the kind of place where it is possible to buy some hair dye or a beautiful gold necklace. Bargains to be found here include kaftans made from fine cotton and incense. If you have a strong stomach a visit to the nearby fish market is also a good experience. look out for the majestic Tuna fish or the Sword fish on offer. The locals stream here in the mornings for a chance to buy the best catch.
Shopping in markets is always better than shopping in the usual retail outlets. They are often living history, look at the architecture around them as it is as old as the markets themselves. The art of haggling is a scary prospect if you have never attempted this before but local etiquette often demands this. Good luck and happy shopping.
Summer is almost upon us and what better way is there to enjoy the sunshine than at a music festival, surrounded by your friends and the dulcet tones of your favourite singer. From Barcelona to Budapest, we’ve got the lowdown on all of the very best music festivals worldwide.
Coachella | California | April 12th-14th/19th-21st
You’ve probably seen many a photo of scantily clad celebrities wandering around the Coachella Festival in the media lately and you could be forgiven for thinking you had missed out this year, but, fear not! The festival duplicates its lineup for two weekends so festivalgoers don’t miss a beat and this year their headliners include The Stone Roses, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Blur. Born from simple pop concerts Coachella is now a firm favourite and has become infamous for bringing Tupac Shakur back from the dead last year in the form of a hologram.
Sonar | Barcelona | June 13th-15th
If partying from dusk ‘til dawn is your thing then this is the festival for you! Split into two parts; Sonar by Day and Sonar by Night, the festival showcases emerging artists during the day and come nightfall international headliners are just a 10-minute shuttle bus journey away. Headlining this year are Skrillex, Two Door Cinema Club and Pet Shop Boys. Make the most of Barcelona by hiring a car to explore the city or hit the beach.
Don’t fancy Barcelona? Don’t worry, Sonar is also held in Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Cape Town and Reykjavik, so take your pick.
Glastonbury | England | June 26th – 30th
A long-standing festival legend, Glastonbury Festival has been running since 1970 when the Michael Eavis charged £1 entry to a music festival held on his 900-acre farm in Somerset. The festival has grown on an epic scale since then and has seen headliners including David Bowie, Oasis, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and more!
Bring your wellies and a tent, this is one often gets pretty muddy!
Sziget | Budapest | August 5th – 12th
For a music festival that offers a whole lot more than music, head to Sziget in Budapest. The festival is dubbed ‘7 days of non-stop partying’ and this year features music from Hadouken! Azelia Banks and Blur as well as bungee jumping and belly dancing lessons! There’s plenty to explore in Budapest, including some fantastic beaches, and many festivalgoers end up staying long after the festival has ended.
Fuji Rock Festival | Japan | July 26th – 28th
Nestled on the slopes of Mount Takenoko’s Naeba Ski Resort (see map below) the Fuji Rock Festival is the Mecca of die-hard lovers of music. Although the lineup for this year is yet to be confirmed, last year the festival featured Jack White, The Shins, and Radionhead on their open-air stages. If you’re a lover of world cuisine you’ll love the festival’s hospitality area, the Oasis, where you can savour dishes from across the globe.
There are some venues on this planet that really are crying out for a hammock. The simplicity of swinging in a hammock in a fantastic venue, daydreaming whilst listening to the local sounds is a classic travelling experience. So, if you are new to the world of the hammock, then find one of your choices, throw it in the boot of your car and try one of these hammocklicious venues…
Brazil is a great country to explore. It is so big that it offers the traveller some diverse and very interesting experiences. Praia de Rosa is a place that attracts two distinct kind of traveller – wildlife enthusiasts and some of the world’s best surfers. The beach offers a beautiful and dramatic setting for a hammock. It is pristine and wild with waves crashing on the shore. The surfers give good entertainment to hammock dwellers. Simply swing and watch. The other breed of traveller that heads down to this magnificent paradise is the whale watchers. The Southern Right whales commute to here give birth, preferring the dramatic seas around Brazil. If your timing is on there is every chance that once your hammock is positioned, produce a pair of binoculars from your beach bag and watch a show provided by Mother Nature. This is hammocking at its finest.
Mexico is the home of the hammock and there are some great bargains to be found here when buying a hammock. Sizing is important to Mexicans – there is something a little sad about the amigo swinging in his own hammock when family size hammocks are available! Buy a big, colourful statement making hammock to represent your time in the hammock loving capital of the world. The Caribbean coast of Mexico is prime hammock territory. The crystal clear Caribbean Sea with its hypnotic azure hues can provide the traveller with many an hour’s hammock time. There are palm trees everywhere; many of the trees have hooks already in place to sling your hammocks and, of course, a nice cold beer. Pick anywhere along the highway that has a beach – secluded or busy, there is definitely a tree with your name on it.
Miami Beach has the kind of reputation that attracts a great crowd and hosts and for the beautiful people of the world. The great expanse of sand is prime people watching space and swinging from a hammock always feels right here. Drive along the beach road until the perfect view comes into sight. Hanging a hammock may invite some difficulty if you are not au fait with the knots required to stop said hammock falling from the tree. However, there is nothing cooler than someone who knows the ins and outs of hammock hitching. Jump in, grab a coconut and enjoy.
Enjoy your swing time…