Snapshot of Iceland, PT. 1

Sorry friends, family and followers!

I’ve neglected my blog for some time (life gets busy…you know) but you’ll start seeing posts more frequently with images from my recent travels – starting with Iceland.

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Skógafoss, Southern Iceland

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Typical picturesque views from Ring Road

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Fun street art in Reykjavík

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The clear and very cold Silfra water that you can snorkel or scuba dive in at Þingvellir National Park

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Check out all of those stars!

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Farm along Ring Road in South Iceland

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Solheimajokull Glacier hiking

Stairs in Peru

 

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TBT Snapshot of Hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro

 

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Mt. Kilimanjaro

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Iceland’s most “SCENIC” hotels!

ion hotel

ION POOL

ION HOTEL 1

ION HOTEL 3

Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel

HOTEL GLYMUR

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Hotel Glymur (Villas)

Hotel Buoir 1

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Hotel Budir

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Brimnes Hotel & Cabin

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Hotel Hellnar

NECESSARY advice when traveling in Pune!

“Situated in the West Indian state of Maharashtra, Pune (assume an accent on the e) is a city for those who enjoy a lively nightlife, hiking, and spicy and delicious street food. It is an important city to me because I’ve spent many summers with my grandparents here, and I’m back again for a six month internship with a human rights law firm.  I’ve had more time to try the street food, find the best places to shop, and discover where to get the best views of the city, which, in my opinion, is the best part of traveling somewhere new.

I can offer you clichéd advice (“Take an auto rickshaw everywhere!” or perhaps “don’t drink the water”), but there are so many other things that are worth mentioning! I am hesitant to offer advice because when I travel, I do what I want. I look at a map and I simply go exploring. I firstly recommend to never buy a single guidebook, especially with an ever-changing, growing country like India. I also don’t like having a packed schedule during my trips where I’m running from one supposedly must see attraction to the next. Take it easy when you’re here. Don’t be impatient, don’t plan your trip hour by hour; you will get absolutely exhausted. India is for the adventurous open minded soul, so the best way to enjoy Pune, or any Indian city for that matter, is to just go with it!

Yet I realize that this spontaneous way of traveling can lead to missed specialties that can only be found in that city. So I should probably give you something to start with. Let’s make this short, sweet, and to the point.

First thing first. The best time to come here is between November and February, as those are the coolest months. I was here during the summer and it reaches 105; if you’re planning to travel around India rather than stay only in Pune, you’ll bake from April to the end of May. Then, the monsoons start in June, so you’ll drench until September.

Once you’re here, take a moment or two to just soak it all in. The sights, sounds, probably not the smells; it will be like no other city that you’ve ever been to, and I can guarantee that.

Regarding the food, ease yourself into it. Don’t get the pani puri first. Pune is for foodies, and those who enjoy high end dinners will get what they want in the Kalyani Nagar and Koregaon Park areas. But street food is the real forte of any Indian city. The local specialty is the vadaa pav, a spicy potato sandwich, which I’ve literally been obsessed with. It’s doused in oil, so I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who is health obsessed, but still, try it just because you might just have a foodgasm (“I’ll have what she’s having!”). It can be found anywhere in the city, but the best ones are in the Camp area, on MG Road. With your vada pav, have some chai. I can’t imagine it getting any better than that combination.

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(left, chai at Vohuman Café. Right, vada pav from Karve road, served with green chilies)

If you’re into hiking or just want to give it a try, check out Sinhagad, which has literally been a tradition for me for years. It has really nice views of a few rivers, and if you’re coming anytime between July and August during the monsoon season, then the greenery of the surrounding mountains is pretty amazing. Other than Sinhagad, there’s Parvati, with a sweeping view of the city at sunset.

Or, if you’re not into the hiking thing and simply want to enjoy rooftop bars and classy evenings, visit the Pashaa lounge at the top of the Marriot. 

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(Temple on Parvati)

And finally, shopping. On Lakshmi Road in Old Pune, you can find everything from precious metals to stores filled with random knick knacks. MG and FC Road street shopping can get you a shirt and shoes for less than five dollars total. Lastly, for those who want the international brands, there are the malls of Viman Nagar. But come on! Forget about huge malls! Street shopping and haggling are the proper way to shop here. 

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(Lakshmi Road at night)

Let me once again emphasize how important it is to take it all at your pace. Don’t think that I’m underestimating you, it’s just that you’ll be pushed in crowds and note the aggression on the roads with apprehension. Yet Pune is a city with beautiful people, savory foods, and scenes of daily life that will absolutely amaze you.

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(Street corner flower shop)

This post was written by Kanan Gole, if you are interested in checking out her other travels, and/or GAINING helpful advice, check out her blog & leave a comment!

kananabroad.wordpress.com

Why should you go visit Utah?

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Two best friends, Lauren, a fellow on the entertainment team for Huffington Post, and Kellie an assistant for Alain Pinel realtors & O’dette mortgage group decided to take a road trip across the United States shortly after they had both received their undergraduate degrees.  Although the adventurous duo had experienced many states (road-tripped all the way from New Jersey to California), a favorite destination of theirs was Arches National Park in Utah.

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Lauren described herself as originally not being the most outdoorsy person, but explained that it “All changed when my friend Kellie and I stopped in Arches National Park in Utah this November. The landscape is truly unlike any other in the world. There are thousands of natural red rock formations throughout the park, but the big “must see” is the 1.5 mile hike to the Delicate Arch. Kellie and I were blown away by its size and beauty. I’m truly at a loss for words to ever do Arches justice.”

In addition, a short drive from Arches National Park and a nice way to end your day is at Moab Brewery a great place for “cheap burgers and craft beers.”

Breathtaking Photographs of Iceland

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All of these photographs were taken by a relative of mine- Philip Witt – I’ve provided his Flickr account below

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Where can you take a car ride into the clouds?

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Guanabara Bay, (Rio de Janeiro), Brazil

This cable car ride provides magnificent views of Rio’s bay, city, and beaches. 

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“The Sugarloaf cable car in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one of the world’s best known attractions, has received over 37 million visitors since its opening in 1912.

The ride is divided into two stages, each lasting 3 minutes. The first stage goes from Praia Vermelha (Red Beach) to Morro da Urca (Urca Hill), at an altitude of 220 meters. The second stage goes from Morro da Urca to Sugarloaf Mountain at an altitude of 528 meters. Cable car speed varies from 21 to 31 kilometers per hour. Each car has a capacity for 65 passengers.”

http://gobrazil.about.com/od/riodejaneiro/ss/sugarloafcablecar.htm

Every tourist attraction has a cost: Adults= $27 , Children ages 6-12= $16 , Children under 6= No charge

Where can you comfortably swim into snow-capped mountains?

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The Cambrian Hotel, Switzerland

This heated pool is both beautiful by day and night with it’s magnificent location in the Swiss Alps.  While the outdoor pool features unique views where you feel as if you’re swimming into these snow-capped mountains, The Cambrian Hotel also offers an array of award winning spa services (among the top 20 swiss wellness hotels) that combine intriguing treatments like their mountain herb massage and blackberry wrap in conjunction with their relaxing atmosphere.  While the boutique hotel is fully loaded with all relaxation tools, you can escape outdoors to enjoy the more adventurous seasonal activities such as skiing (Winter), hiking, and biking (Summer).

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“We have 71 rooms altogether. All of them are en-suite and many of the suites have more than one shower or bathroom. Containing furniture from the likes of B&B Italia, Porada and Knoll International, as well as what was made locally, our bedrooms are the ultimate in comfort and style. All come with a flatscreen TV, DVD player and WiFi. The views from all our rooms are superb, particularly those facing south.”

If you’d like to learn more about The Cambrian Hotel take a look at their website – http://www.thecambrianadelboden.com/en/18/hotel.aspx

A unique & historic home rental in Italy

Civita di

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Located in Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy “a unique destination that is a pristine Medieval village on a promontory set in a vaste valley carved into volcanic rock by two rivers. Its only connection to the modern world is a footbridge by which you will travel the last half mile of your voyage into another world, virtually untouched by modern life”.

The home rental was designed by Studio F and is called Domus Civita.

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Studio F was careful to preserve the historic charm this house contained through careful renovation.  This 3 bedroom/ 3 bathroom rental home has all the essential amenities for one to feel extra comfortable and relaxed throughout their stay while also providing an aesthetically pleasing modern interior and a historic and beautifully decorated exterior.  Each bedroom has their own unique and beautiful views of the town and surrounding landscape for one to feel truly at peace.

If you’d like to check out some more pictures, or learn more about the rental check out their website http://domuscivita.com