California: Much more than Hollywood

California: Much more than Hollywood

California is located on the Western Coast of the United States, and is home to hundreds of different attractions for tourists who want to experience a diverse period of leisure. There are twelve main regions of California, but California is mainly divided by North and South.

In Northern California, tourists can find winter and nature oriented activities, while in Southern California, are summer activities, shopping, and entertainment based things to do. The twelve main regions of California, from north to south, are the North Coast, Shasta Cascade, the Bay Area, the Central Valley, Gold Country, High Sierra, the Central Coast, the desert region, Orange County, the Los Angeles region, Inland Empire, and San Diego.

When most people think of vacationing in California, their minds usually take them to the busy streets of the L.A. and San Diego region, Hollywood, and Disneyland. Strolling around the busy streets of Los Angeles, shopping and perhaps catching the rare glimpse of a celebrity, or riding the world famous rides in one of the nation’s top theme parks at Disneyland. However, California has much more to offer.

There’s the wide expanse of beautiful desert in eastern California, stretching out for miles of flat, beautiful terrain, famous for the sunsets that take up the entire sky. For those who loves the beach, but prefer not to wade through heavily populated stretches of sand that are usually notorious in L.A. and San Diego, year round, there’s also the central coast, and the beaches of Santa Cruz, and Santa Monica. The Central Valley region boasts wide expanses of plains, and bountiful stretches of green hills; a perfect destination for those who would prefer a quiet, sunny vacation getaway in a country atmosphere.

California: Much more than Hollywood

In Northern California, the possibilities are even more variable for activities. In the Shasta Cascade region, there are majestic mountains, for skiing and snowboarding, or mountain biking. As well as wildlife preserves, and enormous natural parks, where tourists and vacations can see the beauty of nature preserved, and flourishing before their eyes. On the North Coast of California, vacationers can travel through wine country, and sample some of the finest wines made right there on the coast, from the freshest source available; acres of vineyards, and wineries.

As well as touring wine countries, travelers can also view one of the most famous attractions of that region; the Giant Redwoods found in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, or Del Norte State Park, hiking among some of the largest trees on the face of the Earth, as well as the oldest. Just standing beneath the Giant Redwoods, you can feel their ancient testimony of life, bygones past.

Cuisine in California is the probably the most diverse you’ll find in many places. In the urban areas you can find a melting pot of different foods and traditional dishes, such as a variety of Asian foods, sold from street vendors, as well as South American, Mexican, and Western foods. Because of California’s abundance of fresh fruits, and the perfect climate fruits and vegetables from around the world can grow here, whereas, in any other part of America, they wouldn’t be able to survive the climate. Not to mention other cultural foods such as Greek, Italian, German, and much more, available from all over the cities, as well as being prepared by the finest and most culturally diverse chefs. Eating out in California is a world tour for your mouth.

As far as getting around in California goes, traveling by car is the best way to go, either renting a car when you fly in, or driving there from wherever on the North American content you happen to be coming from. In the urban areas, such as San Francisco, San Diego, or Los Angeles, however, there is heavy traffic, and public transportation is cheaper and more reliable than waiting in traffic for hours. Taxis are also popular in urban areas, as well as renting scooters or motorcycles. Another popular choice for those visiting in California, more for the natural activities, and camping, are the RV rentals. Like a moving hotel, tourists can roam freely in Northern California, experiencing the best of both worlds; the hotel and the campfire.

Accommodations in California are numerous and very diverse as well; it all depends on what kind of visit tourists are planning to have. When it comes time to book and reserve a hotel, the choices are endless. Tourists can reserve campsites near the enchanting state parks, so that they’re close to their favourite activities. Those who prefer quiet vacations can book a reservation in a quiet lodge, or in a privately owned bed and breakfast in the Central Valley.

For those vacationing in the city, or planning to spend their time in California’s various theme and amusement parks, there are luxury hotels, teeming with different options to pamper themselves, and have a relaxing spa experience. Also, are resort hotels, provided by the amusement or theme parks, that can be purchased as part of a vacation package, which takes some of the stress off of finding perfect accommodations.

Uruguay is well worth discovering

Uruguay is well worth discovering

As South America’s smallest Spanish-speaking country, Uruguay is often overlooked by tourists visiting the region. However, with its vibrant nightlife and stunning coastline Uruguay is well worth discovering. Due to its strategic position on the north shore of the Río de la Plata, Uruguay’s territory was hotly contested from the first European settlements, initially by Spain and Portugal, then by the emerging regional powers of Argentina and Brazil.

A delightfully low-key, hospitable place, modern Uruguay enjoys a high standard of living but draws fewer tourists than neighbouring Brazil and Argentina. Visitors here can melt into the background and experience the everyday life of a different culture – whether riding horses under the big sky of Uruguay’s sparsely populated interior or strolling with throngs of mate-drinking locals along Montevideo’s 15km-long (9 miles) beachfront.

The three most popular destinations are the culturally vibrant capital Montevideo, the picturesque 17th-century port of Colonia, and the trendy coastal resort Punta del Este, which lures jetsetters from around the globe to its sandy beaches, fine restaurants and party-till-you-drop nightclubs. Visitors with more time should explore the dunes and lagoons of Uruguay’s long Atlantic coastline, soak in the hot springs near Salto, or spend the night at a tourist estancia amidst the wide-open grandeur of gaucho country.

Uruguay is well worth discovering

All About Uruguay

Uruguay, officially the Eastern Republic of Uruguay (Spanish: República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in the southeastern region of South America. It is bordered by Argentina to its west and Brazil to its north and east, with the “Río de la Plata” (River of Silver) to the south and with the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. Uruguay is home to 3.3 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Montevideo. With an area of approximately 176,000 square kilometres (68,000 sq mi), Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America after Suriname.

Uruguay was inhabited by the Charrúa people for approximately 4000 years before the Portuguese established Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest European settlements in the country, in 1680. Montevideo was founded as a military stronghold by the Spanish in the early 18th century, signifying the competing claims over the region. Uruguay won its independence between 1811 and 1828, following a four-way struggle between Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil. It remained subject to foreign influence and intervention throughout the 19th century, with the military playing a recurring role in domestic politics until the late 20th century. Modern Uruguay is a democratic constitutional republic, with a president who serves as both head of state and head of government.

Uruguay is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, lack of corruption, e-government, and is first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class and prosperity. On a per-capita basis, Uruguay contributes more troops to United Nations peace-keeping missions than any other country. It ranks second in the region on economic freedom, income equality, per-capita income and inflows of FDI.

Uruguay is the third-best country on the continent in terms of HDI, GDP growth, innovation and infrastructure. It is regarded as a high-income country (top group) by the UN. Uruguay is also the third-best ranked in the world in e-Participation. Uruguay is an important global exporter of combed wool, rice, soybeans, frozen beef, malt and milk.

The Economist named Uruguay “country of the year” in 2013 acknowledging the innovative policy of legalizing the production, sale and consumption of cannabis. Same-sex marriage and abortion are also legal, leading Uruguay to be regarded as one of the most liberal nations in the world, and one of the most socially developed, outstanding regionally and ranking highly on global measures of personal rights, tolerance and inclusion issues.

Climate of the Pacific Islands

Climate of the Pacific Islands

One feature of oceanic islands which distinguishes them from continents and from many of the continental islands is the climate. The great body of water which surrounds oceanic islands never becomes so warm and never so cold as the land on and near continents.

Therefore the temperature of the air over the open ocean and around and over the oceanic islands does not rise so high or fall so low. For the same reason the winter and summer temperatures are not very far apart, and the climate does not differ much from month to month. Places in Mexico in the same latitude as Hawaii and places in Australia in the same latitude as Rapa have cold winters and hot summers.


The average annual temperature of nearly all the Pacific oceanic islands is 70 degrees. Only in a region extending west from Fiji does the average reach 80 degrees, and only in the Aleutian Islands and in the islands lying south of New Zealand are the winters uncomfortably cold.


Because of the vast stretches of water over which they may blow without interruption, the winds of the Pacific are more regular and uniform than are the winds in any other part of the world. These winds blow in different directions in different parts of the Pacific. In the belt of ocean lying approximately between the parallel of latitude 3 degrees north, which runs through Midway Island, and the parallel of latitude 60 degrees north, near the Bering Sea, the winds come generally from the west and are known as ” westerly winds.”

From latitude 30 degrees north to near the equator the winds come from the northeast. For more than three hundred days in the year they blow so regularly and evenly that they have been called northeast trade winds (trade is the English form of an old word trod, which means path). Along the equator the winds blow feebly, generally from the east. From near the equator to latitude 30 degrees south are the southeast trade winds, and still farther south is the belt of strong westerly winds known to sailors as the “roaring forties.”

In the two trade-wind belts, the winds sometimes blow from a direction opposite to their usual course, bringing with them the kind of weather known in Hawaii as “Kona storms.” Sometimes the winds become hurricanes or typhoons. Most of these hurricanes occur in the region between the Marshall Islands and China and west and southwest of Samoa — in Micronesia, Melanesia-and farther west in the Indian Ocean.

But they sometimes occur in the winter months in Polynesia and are then very destructive. The houses may be torn down and. the trees broken and uprooted. The hurricane winds and the high waves which come with them have swept some low coral islands bare of trees, buildings, and men and have sunk the canoes along the shores. These winds and the ocean currents made by the winds have aided boats in sailing in some direoctions and hindered them in sailing in other directions.

Historical Origins of the Italians

Historical Origins of the Italians

Passing over the uncertain mysteries of the Stone Age and the Age of Bronze, it is no exaggeration to assert that already in the Greek civilization of Southern Italy one can divine the origin of some of the essential characteristics of the Italian of today.

Three or four centuries before Christ the way of life and of thought of the Siciliots and the Italic peoples, descendants of those Greeks who long before them had passed into Sicily and into the south of the peninsula, was entirely analogous to that of Hellas itself. The Polis, the city state, constituted the sole base of every political and social organism. One might say the same of Etruria, where between the Arno and the Tiber there was, until the Roman conquests, just a federation of twelve cities, a federation with extremely strict religious ties, but with a wide autonomy for each city.

When the dominion of Rome was extended over all Italy, things changed but little morally and socially; the civitas continued to be the base and the key to the life of all Italians. There is no other nation whose traditions, legends and popular epic are compelled so constantly to look to the city for their origin. Even in the Middle Ages while in France they sang the deeds of Roland, Italian poetry sang that Rome came from Alba Longa, Alba Longa from Lavinium and Lavinium from Troy through Aeneas. The perennial popular glory of Virgil among the Italians has depended upon this fact, that he sang the origins of their country in the one and only manner that they delighted in, that is, as the genealogy of the city state.

Even today the names of the Italian regions that we think so real, Piedmont, Lombardy, Liguria. . . do not belong to the natural use of the people. The native of a town, for instance, of that Ligurian bow that is bent from the French frontier along the sea to Genoa, and from Genoa to the south as far as the Magra, will never call his region Liguria, he will call it rather Genoa or perhaps Genovesato. It was always thus, contrary to what obtained in Gaul, where most often the name of the city is lost and that of the region has taken its place. Lutetia, the capital of the Parisii, became Paris, Avaricum of the Biturgi, Bourges, and so it is with Amiens, Reims, Rennes, and many other cities of France.

This voluntary binding of the peasant to the city, that exists almost everywhere in Italy, is one of the permanent strands of the Italian social fabric. In no other country is patriotism in its normal, healthy and fruitful form — not in the baseness of racialism and nationalism — so fundamentally bound to the city, to the town, as in Italy. Francesco De Sanctis in a speech to the Neapolitans in 1874 declared: “Italy is not an abstraction. She is the home (casa), the family, the commune, the province, the region. They who feel themselves bound to these, are the best Italians. . . I say to you: If you want to be good Italians begin by being good Neapolitans. Woe to those who only see an Italy of the Academies or Schools.”

Thus, fifty years before the Fascist adventure, De Sanctis condemned one of the most widespread, trumped-up and artful of Fascist devices: the attack on the ancient tradition of local patriotism. That attack ought to have been enough to expose how contrary all Fascist action was to the Italian character.

The secular bonds which bind our Italian generations were created by the city and the town. The history of the Italian cities is so long and tenacious that it often leads us back not only to Rome but to pre-Roman Italy. The small jealousies still alive today between Milan and Pavia, between Crema and Cremona, and the differences in the dialects, go back to traditions beyond the Roman Empire.

When Rome succeeded in imposing her dominion upon all Italy, almost every municipiam from the Alps to Sicily had to cede a part of its territory to a Latin colony which created around itself a circle of influences, imposing its own customs, its own manners, its own language, in such a way that the majority of the natives learned to speak in Latin, although they preserved their native accent. And even today, if you go from Rome to Florence, to Piacenza and on to Milan, you will find, in dialects very different, the notes never obliterated of ancient Gentes differing one from another.

This is not so north of the Alps in the Germanic countries. The frequent immigration of tribes without cities, the absence of precise frontiers between the regions they occupied, did not allow the formation of countrysides with characteristics of their own.

Under Republican Rome, Italy in reality was only an immense federation of cities, each free to administer itself in its own way within its own territory; something which reminds us of the British Empire in its most recent form, when the democratic term Commonwealth has been substituted for the haughty term Empire. The beginning of the decadence of the cities appeared in the Roman Empire in the time of Hadrian. Until then the municipia and coloniae had been governed by that wealthy and active citizen class out of which came the Fabii.

The decemviri elected from among the notables (people with very large incomes) carried out the administration from the Tribunal — the high court of Justice. But with Hadrian the officers of the Imperial administration progressively made themselves masters of all local affairs; and under Diocletian the Totalitarian State (as one might say today) was completely established.

The ancient courts, freely elected by the citizens, became corporations bound by numerous restrictions; they quickly lost all vitality; even the defensor civitatis became no more than a functionary to whom men looked — though it was but a pretence — for a denunciation of the errors of his superiors. And soon, whether by encroachment of the military or by reason of the distrust of the citizens, there remained only prefectures entrusted to comites sent from the Capital.

Under the Emperors of the East these comites, become even more corrupt, were called duces, whence came the title Doge which was for centuries the name of the head of the aristocratic Republics of Venice and Genoa. Thus, already under Diocletian, the Barbarians had invaded Italy; a work of the military anarchy of the third century rather than of certain starving tribes descending from Germany; out of which German vanity, and the desire of the Italians to attribute their ills to a foreign cause, have later made “the invaders” and their uncontrollable onrush.

The old and empty German boast became an official dogma under Nazism, which imposed on the schools of the Reich that to the new generation they should insist on the “fundamental part which the German emigrations had in diffusing the new civilization of the Middle Age, in northern Italy, in France and in England”.One might well ask what the few young Germans who seriously studied history thought, if they thought at all, when they discovered:

1. That the Goths did not know how to make their dominion in Italy last more than sixty years.

2. That in Spain they were defeated by those Semites who were the Arabs, and lost everything in a single day.

3. That the Lombards, although invited into Italy by a part of the population, never succeeded in occupying the coasts, never dared to measure themselves with the young and growing defences of Venice, nor with the ancient walls of Rome, and that their dominion ended in confusion and contempt.

Without the decomposition provoked by the Empire when fallen on the one hand into a military anarchy and on the other into a bureaucratic despotism, the German tribes would never have succeeded in establishing themselves here at all. The Italian cities would have opposed a sufficient resistance if the Empire had not broken their vitality.

Under Constantine, on the eve of the catastrophe, one might believe for a moment that the overflowing barbarism could have been dammed. The cities appeared about to renew themselves with fresh life, since they had acquired under other forms a certain autonomy chiefly through the action of the Bishops, elected, as they were, by the citizens; indeed, the nomination of a Bishop by acclamation was generally the result of an authentic popular movement. But it was too late. With their suffocating taxation and with foreign military chiefs, the Emperors had taken away every possibility of hope from the Italian cities.

They had become indeed Dead Cities, as the great capitals of the East appeared to our fathers of the nineteenth century, those for example of Turkey and of Persia; Istanbul and Teheran were once metropolises not less rich and not less fair than Milan and Naples in the Middle Age. There was a Turkish art and even more surely a Persian art. But the cities were without municipal liberty, without autonomous life and therefore servile. If Byzantium before becoming Istanbul succeeded in conserving a little of its life, it was because under its Basileus the municipal tradition was not utterly destroyed, as was that of the Italian cities by the Caesars.

The demi — comparable to the “contrade” of Siena — remained in Byzantium the focal points of municipal life as corporations, such as they are described to us in the Libro del Prefetto of the tenth century, with their relative freedom. The demi and the autonomous corporations offer us the keys of the real life of Byzantium, of its unexpected resistance and of its revolutions. But Byzantium remains an unique case, in the East; all the other metropolises, notwithstanding their occasional splendours, have been, if not inert masses, over disciplined, without an atom of the vitality that animated the anarchic Athens of Aristophanes even in its worst moments.

A History of Travel in America

A History of Travel in America

The many years of early exploration throughout the whole extent of the continent, carried on by brave individual adventurers and trappers chiefly from Spain and France before the year 1620 had almost no effect in shaping the after-history and development of America’s travel system.

The significance of any discovery in its relation to the subject, whether of route or method of travel, did not lie in the earliest information respecting that route or method, but in the popular impulse which was later — sometimes much later — to recognize its value and demand its use. It was necessity or comprehension, not knowledge; the needs or desires of the people rather than the exploits and achievements of individuals that always influenced the progress of the system and led on, little by little, to what now exists.

Hence it was that definite and visible progress in creating established methods of getting about the country did not begin until several English colonies had found firm foothold along the Atlantic coast. There were three motives that caused the first travel movements among the early population. One was the natural wish of a settlement to get into touch with its neighbors; another was need of betterment and growth; and the third was an occasional impulse, due to differences of one sort or another, which sometimes caused part of a colony to separate from the rest of it and go elsewhere to set up for itself.

The five principal localities from which radiated the first travel movements of the country were the Chesapeake Bay region; eastern Massachusetts; New York Bay and the Great River of the Mountains; the Connecticut River valley and Long Island Sound; and Delaware Bay and the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers. Three of these, the Chesapeake, New York and Delaware Bays, are important among those gateways already referred to through which the interior of the country is accessible from the Atlantic seaboard.

But the two biggest entrances of all—the Mississippi River with its tributaries and the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes — were destined to play a much smaller part in the story than their importance warranted. For it so happened that the course of wars and politics in Europe produced conditions in America which deprived the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence River and the lakes of much of the influence they might otherwise have had in shaping the development of travel in America.

For generations five mutually jealous and conflicting groups were quarreling and fighting in an effort to get control of the continent. Each of three nations— France, Spain and England — was scheming to extend its own possessions and oust the others; the English colonies were trying to secure the administration of their own affairs; and the Indians were doing what they could to be rid of the lot or restrict their movements.

The continuous control of the St. Lawrence by the French for nearly a hundred and fifty years after the arrival of the first English colonies, and the similar uninterrupted holding of the Mississippi by France and Spain until some time after the Revolution, long prevented the use of those two gateways as factors in any progress in which the English speaking inhabitants were interested. And the impulse which was finally to result in giving the Mississippi a place in the free and unobstructed travel system of the country came, not from its mouth, but from the upper valley of the stream, where a vigorous English speaking population had become established and demanded the use of the river.

By about the year 1636, then, the movement of the population in and from all of the five regions named had already begun and some action had been taken, both by the guiding minds of the colonies and by the people on their own impulse, to make such travel as easy and rapid as was possible under the conditions that surrounded them. On order of the authorities of Plymouth Colony all creeks and rivulets were bridged by felling trees across them, and canoe ferries were established for the passage of the larger streams.

A few of the first canoes used by the people of Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth Colony were doubtless of the birch variety, bought from the Indians, but the prompt and unfortunate results of the unstable equilibrium of those canoes under the unpracticed guidance of the white pioneers quickly decided them to shift to the less graceful, but more calm and sedate type of craft such as was made by hollowing a log.

It is not difficult to picture the inward emotion of an Indian as he sold a birch-bark canoe to a high hatted Pilgrim, and then, standing on the river bank, watched his customer step into the craft, only instantly to leave it from the other side and disappear head first into the water. Having fished out the white interloper the red man would buy back his canoe, enter it, and depart. After the adoption cf log canoes became general, and as population increased, trees especially suitable for canoe making were often marked by the authorities and protected by orders which forbade their use for any other purpose.

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Cyprus

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Cyprus

Cyprus is an island state in the eastern Mediterranean Sea 60 miles west of the coast of Syria and 40 miles south of Turkey. It has an area of 3,572 square miles. The island is 140 miles from east to west and around 60 miles from north to south. It is somewhat of a box shape except a long peninsula going to the northeast.


Cyprus consists of two mountain ranges and a central lowland. The Kyrenia Range lies close to the north coast and consists mainly of limestone. To the south is the Mesaoria Plain, in which the densest population is found. The southern half of the island is occupied by the rugged Troodos Mountains, composed mainly of volcanic and igneous rocks. They have a maximum elevation of 6,407 feet.

Temperatures vary with the elevation, but January averages are about 50 degrees F and those of July about 80 degrees F. Rainfall occurs mainly in winter, and is rarely more than 15 in. in the lowlands but is higher in the mountains. Surface drainage is by short, small streams that are usually dry in summer. The native vegetation is adapted to the climate and consists mainly of drought-resisting scrub and conifers including eucalyptus, pine, acacia, and cypress.

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Cyprus

People and Economy

The island includes both Greek and Turkish peoples. The Greeks make up about 77% of the total population, and 18% of the rest are Turkish. The Turkish people live mainly on the northern part of the island. In addition to the ethnic and linguistic differences, there are religious differences. The Greeks are primarily Orthodox Christians and the Turks are mostly Muslims. Hostility has always existed between the two groups. Much of the population is rural and agricultural. Apart from Nicosia, the capital, Limassol and Famagusta, the towns are very small.

The economy is mainly agricultural, with fruits and vegetables as the chief exports. Farming is highly mechanized, and irrigation is widely used. Since prehistoric times, Cyprus has been known for its minerals. In fact, the word copper is derived from the islands name. Although the island has copper, iron pyrites, chrome, and asbestos mining is no longer as important as it once was.

The construction industry, textile manufacturing and other light industries have expanded rapidly in recent times in the Greek sector. It has also become a banking, telecommunications, and trade center for corporations in dealing with the Middle East. The Turkish region has a shortage of skilled labor, trade, and diplomatic links to the rest of the world.

History and Government

Cyprus, having a good position in the Mediterranean Sea, affected. During the 2nd millennium BC, it supplied copper to the surrounding areas. In 709 BC, Cyprus gave in to the Assyrian king Sargon II. After the Assyrians lost power, there was a time of Persian Domination. When Alexander the Great conquered the

region in the 4th century BC, Cyprus was united politically with the rest of the Greek world. At this time Cyprus consisted mainly of city-states held together under the rule of Alexander’s successors. In 58 BC, the island was annexed by the Roman Empire.

Cyprus was Christianized early on when it was visited by St. Paul. Cyprus went under the control of the Byzantine Empire after the split up of the Roman empire. The Byzantine Empire continued to rule it until 1191 BC when Richard I of England conquered it. In 1192, the island was given to Guy de Lusignan, who founded a French-speaking monarchy. The island came under Venetian control in 1489. The ruined castles and Gothic churches of Cyprus date from this period.

Cyprus was subjected to many attacks by the Turks. In 1570-71 the Turks overran the island. It was under Turkish rule until 1878. During this time, many Turks settled there. In 1879 the British occupied Cyprus to aid Turkey against Russia. In 1914 it was annexed by Great Britain. Soon afterward a movement started with the Greek Cypriots for a union with Greece. This movement became stronger after World War II. At the same time Archbishop Makarios III became the leader of the movement for an independent Cyprus.

In 1959, after a time of guerilla war, Cyprus finally became independent. Despite this, Great Britain kept its military bases. Some people still wanted union with Greece, and other wanted the division of Cyprus along its ethnic borders. Fearing that the Greek government was preparing to annex Cyprus, the Turks invaded in 1974 and forced a partition of the island in 1975.

The Greek sector, known as the Republic of Cyprus, is led by President Glafcos Clerides, who was elected in 1993. The Turkish zone, under the leadership of Rauf Denktash, declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983 but is recognized only by Turkey. UN-sponsored talks on reunification were held intermittently in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Cyprus: The Divided Touristic Paradise

Cyprus: The Divided Touristic Paradise

Cyprus is a divided country, which is now split into two halves. On the south is where the Greek Cypriots live and on the north is the Turkish Cypriots. Turkey now owns the north of Cyprus.

In July 1974, the Turks invaded Famagusta situated on the north. The Greek Cypriots were given thirty minutes to leave their homes and all their belongings behind, whilst they quickly had to move to the south side.

Anyone left behind were put into prison camps by the Turks. Today, Famagusta has been left how it was since that day. Many tourists visit Famagusta by taking excursions. They go there to witness the state it has been left in. Cars are seen abandoned and left open, washing still left hanging on lines and hotels still not built. They call this area the ghost town.

The Turks invaded Nicosia and battled their way into Cyprus. Many people were killed. Greek Cypriots had to flea their homes and move into the south of Cyprus. Today, there is a divided line through Cyprus. This is known as the Green Line. After many years, tourists are now able to visit the north of Cyprus. They can go there on excursions or if they visit Nicosia, they can walk across by walking down Ledra street. T his is an area of many shops.

Cyprus: The Divided Touristic Paradise

In the north, there is unspoilt areas of beauty, such as Kyrenia. Everything on this side of the Island is far cheaper than it is in the south and there are no copyright laws, which means there are many clothe shops that sell designer copies, such as nike, addidas and many other expensive labels. There are, also, bargain markets over there and many people that live on the south visit them regularly.

There are a few excursions by Thomas Cook, Thomsons and First Choice that take tourists over to the north of Cyprus. One of them takes you to Nicosia, where you can walk over to the other side providing you have your passport with you. There is, also, in Nicosia, an eleven floor Debenhams. On the eleventh floor you can see the whole of Cyprus and into the north. This floor has been made into an observatory, where binoculars. It’s an experience to go there and see the magnificent views all around.

Santorini and the Legend of Atlantis

Santorini and the Legend of Atlantis

All of us have heard about the legend of Atlantis, that lost continent. There have been songs written about it as well as a motion picture dedicated to that legendary power.

There is a story thousand of years old about a lost island in the Atlantic Ocean. The story was told by the ancient Greeks, and had been handed down from father to son for many generations before the Greek philosopher Plato wrote a famous story about it, about 375 BC. The island of Atlantis, according to Plato’s story, was really a series of island. Imagine in the center a hill, surrounded by a ring of water; the ring of water surrounded by a circle island, then another ring of water and nine of land.

Neptune, god of the sea had created the islands, for Cleito, his beloved. From their children the king and people of Atlantis were descended. The islands were very rich, and the people content. The city was built of black and red stone; the roofs of the houses were of red copper and flashed in the sun; and there were two beautiful temples, one surrounded by a golden wall and the other with silver walls, golden pinnacles, and a roof of ivory.

Excavations on Santorini by the late Greek archaeologist Spyros Marinatos, which began in 1967, have brought to light many artifacts which point to a huge volcanic destruction some 3.500 years ago. The digging has revealed a kingdom of a highly civilized people. The Egyptian papyri which Solon and Plato translated describe Atlantis as a kingdom ruled by a central government.

This same system has already been proved to exist in Minoan Crete. The description of the island formation also corresponds to that of Santorini before the volcanic eruption. And speaking of the volcanic eruption, scholar Angelos Galanopoulos says that the energy created by the eruption in 1500 BC on Santorini was 700 times more than the electrical power used by the entire world in one year! The last eruption on the island happened in 1950 and lasted two months. Today the island is quiet.

Passion, energy and mystery all in Hawaii

Passion, energy and mystery all in Hawaii

Hawaii is incredibly romantic destination. Perfect for a wedding, honeymoon or dream away. The fabulous beaches and luxury resorts, combined with the tropical climate means that you’ll fall in love with the island almost as soon as you land. You’ll be forgiven if you stay in comfort and luxury of your resort, with all your needed. Although if you never leave the station, you’ll miss the inspiring fear Marvels Hawaii has to offer.

Whatever your stay on this island is worth jumping through the Big Island to visit the Parc National des Volcans. Hawaii has many active volcanoes and there are five on the Big Island. Only three of the five are active and Kilauea is most active. He is the youngest volcano on Big Island and appears to go through a growth spurt in adolescents. Kilauea has been erupting since 1983. Every day he vomited enough lava resurfacing of 20 mile long road. This enormous quantity of lava has added about 500 acres of the Big Island area. The volcano gives with one hand he takes the other. Big Island has lost more than 181 houses, a church and a number of other buildings in the lava flow.

You may wonder why on earth we suggest you visit the active volcano. The Volcano National Park is perfectly safe if you pay attention to the park rangers. So it’s an incredible opportunity to see firsthand one of the most powerful displays of natural materials and the planet. The eruption of Kilauea is not about quick violent, is a persistent rise of the lava. Forms lava tubes that directs much of the flow toward the sea of lava tubes are a fascinating formation created by the lava of contact with the air much colder island. As the lava flow increases the size of the tube forms a unique ecosystem. We suggest you take a tour of the tubes. As you’re standing inside a natural element created by a lava flow active, please pay attention to the Rangers!

Hawaii Volcanoes are an integral part of the mythology and legends of the islands. Pele is the goddess of Kilauea volcano and its domain is. If you want a spiritual protection of the raw power of the earth, it would be wise to take some pork and gin with you. This is not to strengthen you, but should be wrapped in ti leaves and left as an offering to Pele. This goddess of fire is tempered celebrated in local art and tearing down forms of lava are called “Pele’s tears”.

It is not wise to take one of the tears of Pele as a souvenir of your visit. Many of those who have had to mail the stone back to Hawaii in an attempt to appease the deity who has the misfortune visited upon them. A local superstition, perhaps, but it is wise to respect the landscape of national park in the same way you respect a coral reef. As for the offerings of pork and gin, while in the presence of an erupting volcano that has been for 26 years there is no harm in keeping the local goddess happy.

Vacation Days in Corfu, Greece

Vacation Days in Corfu, Greece

It is great good fortune to spend a week in Corfu on the way to Greece. Seeing it from one end to the other, wandering through its olive forests and vineyards, brings on a mild, or, in some cases, a wild, intoxication without wine. What words fit the surrounding beauty but “Islands of the Blessed,” “Elysium,” “Garden of Eden,” “Paradise”? It is not Heaven, after all, for one sees here the poor, lame, blind, begging for small alms; but, as long as earth holds such corners as Corfu, it is not all cursed.

To the traveller who has felt the intoxication of such a region, and is impelled to report something of it, the impotence of words comes home with special force. Naught but the painter’s art seems adequate to report Corfu. And, furthermore, painter as well as poet might here well feel the weakness of his art. It is a great boon to have had this realm of beauty brought upon the retina of the eye, and so communicated to the soul.

One may, perhaps, be allowed to group the impressions that Corfu makes, and report them with a plainness that aspires only to the office of a photograph, resigning the attempt at coloring.

Before the eye lies one Corfu–the Corfu of today; but before the mind are brought two others-the Kerkyra of Greek history and the Scheria of Homer. The two latter compete with the former, and refuse the present beautiful scene a monopoly of attention.

The vegetation here is also Oriental — oranges, lemons, figs, forests of cactus and giant aloes abound. The four or five million olive-trees, many sixty feet high, are the characteristic features of the island. They form a beautiful background for the tall, dark-green cypresses. But the vine presses hard upon the olive. It is great good fortune to be here in the time of the grape harvest, even if one must miss the oranges and the olives. One day in September I walked to Palæokastritza, an old cloister on a rock looking out on the Ionian Sea, sixteen miles from the city. The way was through a continuous vineyard full of laborers. At this season of the year there is hardly a drop of running water in the island.

There are places where springs and brooks and even rivers have been and will be again, but there are none there now. The water in the wells and cisterns looks suspicious. But one has a substitute for water that is just about as cheap. For copper coin of the value of two cents a woman gave me a pile of grape clusters, enough for four men. On my return I managed to signify with my poor Greek to a man riding on a load of grapes that I would like to change places with him. For three miles I rode stretched out on the top of crates full of grapes, resting my tired feet, eating, by the permission of the driver, from the top of the crates, while from the bottom the precious juice oozed out and trickled into the dusty road. I felt that I was playing Dionysos. Then it was that the vintagers, many women and few men, came trooping picturesquely from the fields. They looked so happy that it seemed as if the contagion of joy rested in the vine. It seemed as if a touch of music would have converted them into a Dionysiac chorus.

If Corfu had no classical history, it would still be historically interesting. It has been spared that curse which rested so long on the rest of Greece-Turkish occupation. The Turks dashed their forces in vain in two memorable sieges against its rock forts. The high degree of culture here, as compared with the rest of Greece, outside of Athens, is partly due to this exemption. But there have been stimulating influences from without. Rome, Byzantium, Naples, Venice, and England have held sway here. The rule of Venice, to which the Corfiotes gave themselves voluntarily, as they had formerly done to Rome, lasted nearly six hundred years, with the interruption of the Anjou episode. This rule was mild and beneficent.

But, sweeping away the name of Corfu, which arose in the Middle Ages, and transferring ourselves back of all this foreign occupation and centuries of semi-barbarism, let us introduce ourselves to the Greek Kerkyra of Thucydides. Passing southward, a half a mile or so from the esplanade of the present city, one comes along an isthmus between two old harbors to an elevated peninsula, on which now stands the King’s villa in a beautiful garden. Here one is overpowered by historic associations. Here lay the proud Greek colony established by Corinth in 734 B.C., a colony that first set the example of filial ingratitude, and, feeling itself stronger than the mother city, joined battle with her and defeated her in the first great naval battle of Greeks against Greeks, in 665 B.C.

From this rising ground the eye dimly discerns in the distance, near the mainland opposite the southern end of the island, the Sybota Islands, where the later great naval battle between mother city and colony in the presence of an Athenian fleet gave the occasion for the dreadful Peloponnesian war. From this inner harbor, now abandoned and still, nearly silted up and yearly submitting to the encroachment of vines upon its borders, the proud fleet of Alcibiades and Nicias sailed for Syracuse. It was the alliance with Kerkyra, the key to the voyage to Sicily, that lured the Athenians to that ruin.

Little of this Kerkyra remains above ground. Perhaps much may yet be found below. About twelve years ago excavations by Carapanos laid bare a great quantity of terra-cottas. Perhaps it was a terra-cotta manufactory that he discovered. The ruins of an old Doric temple lie on the surface of the ground near a spring in an olive grove on the side of the peninsula looking toward the mainland.

The situation, 100 feet above the strait, among the olives and near an ancient fountain, makes one feel that he could have joined in doing honor to the dryads and naiads with the throng that used to meet here. One of the antiquarians of Corfu has lately advanced the view that these remains are those not of a temple but of a bath. Blessed bathers!

One need not linger too long over Kerkyra. It is a state which we cannot love. We cannot forget that before Salamis it held its fleet off the southern point of the Peloponnesus, waiting to see which way the great struggle was going to incline. When Athens concluded the alliance with her at the opening of the Peloponnesian war, many at Athens felt it to be an unholy alliance, and that the burden of hatred thus shouldered was almost a counterbalance to the winning of the second navy in Greece.