Merida – A Modern City on the Ruins of Mayan


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Among the several cities of Mexico that I visited, Merida was one that had a long history behind it. It was interesting to go on a guided tour here of the different historical landmarks and get to know about the city’s history. I learned that the city was founded on top of Maya City in the year 1542 when Mayan buildings were dismantled and colonial buildings were built.

Exploring Historical Landmarks

If you feel excited to visit a city that was built on Mayan civilization remains, you will certainly like to look at the historical landmarks with close attention. Today the city is a modern cosmopolitan place that has architecture dating back to the colonial era. 

Places to visit here are the Casa de Montejo that is also located by the Paseo de Montejo, lined with several buildings of the colonial era. Another important landmark to visit is the cathedral here as well as the Government Palace.

Day Trips

There are several day trips that take you in and around the city. For instance, a trip to Celestun Biosphere is a good idea as this natural reserve has several unique species such as sea turtles, migratory birds as well as deer and jaguars in the surrounding forests. Many Mayan sites of archaeology such as Uxmal, Chichen are close by and are good trip ideas as well.

Other Activities

The modern city has several popular bars and clubs such as Tequila Rock, Mambo Café and others. For a unique culinary experience, you can stop by restaurants like Los Almendros or Nectar Food and Wine and learn and try different Yucatecan cuisine dishes that are native to this region. 

Getting Around

Merida is well connected with an airport and several highways. I traveled here by bus from a nearby city but you could fly in or drive in as well. There are several cheap accommodations here including bed and breakfast places that offer rates for modest budgets.

Hanoi – The Cultural Epitome of Vietnam


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Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam. It is situated on the Red River and has a population of over 7.7 million. The city is home to some of the most beautiful destinations in Vietnam. It is well known for its historic buildings, architecture, museums, and lakes. It also has a vibrant nightlife including entertainment venues and clubs. Overall, the place has lots of surprises for every kind of tourist. Some of the best sites in the city are listed below:

Old Quarter

The Old Quarter is located near the “Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long”. The historic streets offer a striking picture of Vietnamese culture. Here you can find several shops, night markets, restaurants, gift shops, and boutiques. It is a paradise for those who enjoy shopping as the markets offer amazing prices. The antiquity of the streets is well preserved and the people are quite friendly.

Hoan Kiem Lake

Your trip to Hanoi cannot be complete without visiting the legendary Hoan Kiem Lake which is popularly known as “the Lake of the Returned Sword”. The beautiful lake and its surrounds are quite peaceful and enchanting. The 17th century Turtle Tower that stands at the center of the lake on a small piece of land casts a captivating image. We spent an unforgettable evening at this historic lake. Our guide also mentioned a fairytale story that explains why the monument was named as Turtle Tower.

Vietnam Museum of Ethnology

A short journey to the Cầu Giấy district took us to one of the most versatile museums in the country. The place is dedicated to Social Sciences and numerous exhibits that speak about the ethnicity of Vietnam. Here you can find lots of artifacts and research works associated with the cultural history of the region. They also conduct puppet shows to illustrate folktales, history, and social life of various tribal groups. The entry fee was 40.000 VND per person.

Sydney: Discovering the New York of Australia


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The wild winters, the amazing beaches, and the excellent weather is all great reasons to visit Sydney once in your life. It is the largest city in Australia and also the most visited destination to be found in the country. This is a multicultural city offering delicious food and great shopping centers. The tourist paradise has something for everyone. Here’s my list of things to do when you are in Sydney.

Take a Walk around Darling Harbor

One of the most recreational complex around the city center is the Darling Harbor. It offers an awesome view of the river. You can have delicious food here. I loved the teahouse, Chinese Garden of Friendship. There I also came across a National Maritime Museum. The harbor also has a nightlife scene. I spent the entire to catch as much as I can of the iconic attraction in Sydney.

Visit Paddy Market

Believe it or not, this has been an institution of the city for more than 150 years. The biggest market in the city is Paddy. There are 1000 stalls in between Flemington and Haymarket location. I got some souvenirs that are reasonably priced. Also, the food stalls here serve delectable food.

Drop-in at Bondi Beach

Visiting Sydney and not visiting Bondi Beach would have been a mistake. This beach attracts a lot of tourists every year. I came across many international celebrities soaking in the sun on this beach. The beach is on the heritage list of Australia. Surrounding the beach are some excellent dining and retail option.

Climb Sydney Harbor Bridge

This is the most iconic attraction in the city. It is one of the few climbable bridges in the world. Like everyone else, I prepared with safety and health essentials. Also, you will need gears that are appropriate for the weather. The view that I got while climbing is breathtaking.

Montreux: Enjoy the Breathtaking Beauty of a Small Town


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Set against the backdrop of the Alps, Montreux is a small town of natural beauty. There are various attractions that you can check out when you visit the city. In fact, my friend Tracey and I feel every traveler should visit this city at least once in their life.   In case this is your first visit to Montreux, take a look at the places you can visit.  

Gorges Du Chauderon

When you wander through the old town of the city, make sure that you stop at Gorges du Chauderon. Baye de Montreux River flows to Lake Geneva through the chiseled gorge. I found marked trails that indicate path coming in and going out of the city. There are trails for exploring the woodsy enclave.

Montreux Noel

If you are visiting in winter, do not forget to visit Montreux Noel. You will notice that it transforms itself in order to prepare for the event. For the whole month, you will find the city to be decked up in order to celebrate. Caux nearby also transforms itself. It is a great portrayal of the Christmas village. This is something that I had never seen before.

Lavaux Vineyard

Visiting Montreux and not visiting a vineyard would have been a mistake. Lavaux Vineyard has been as the world heritage site by UNESCO. There are trails that you can take in order to explore this vineyard on foot. Wander around and marvel at the natural beauty. Stop at the wine cellars to taste some of the best wines that it has to offer.

Narcissus Trails

The mountains that surround the city have mesmerizing trails. However, this can be enjoyed if you are visiting during the spring. The Alps look beautiful during the springtime. There are some unique flowers that you will be able to check out. Do not forget to carry your camera to click some postcard-like pictures.

Montreuil – Discover Colors and Wonders of This Small Parisian Town


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There was something wonderful about this small town in France, maybe because of the weather at the time I visited. It was a warm summer week when I was there and it felt like it was a colorful and vibrant place to be in.

Being a suburban town, you can come here for a weekend and enjoy a stay with your family. I walked around and enjoyed the views, taking in both the cultural and local vibes before heading onto other destinations of the country.

Parc Jean Moulin Les Guilands

As with most towns in France, there are parks that stand out and so it is here. When you are at Montreuil come down to this park and enjoy the sights and wilderness, right in the middle of the city.  Found the long, thick grass and heavy foliage, especially the algae covered park pond a wonder to look at. It is unlike most of the well-manicured parks that modern cities have. Even the fences and furniture the park has maintained a rustic charm.

Rue Du Capitaine Dreyfus

As I mentioned before, this is a town I loved to discover while walking around and this pedestrian street makes it one of the reasons why. You will find this street running through the heart of town. There is a historic air about its name, having been named after a French hero. What I enjoyed here was browsing through the stores. There are several Chinese restaurants here to try as well.

Croix De Chavaux Shopping Center

This is another place I visited and I recommend that you do the same. It is a vintage mall which is also famous for a concrete structure here called École Nationale De Musique Et De Danse De Montreuil.

In fact, there are unusual architectural structures to find across the town as well as murals and graffiti that make this town a riot of colors and give it a unique cultural vibe.

Argenteuil – Here a World of Romance and Religion Awaits


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Argenteuil is a city that you can discover as you take a course by the river Seine. That is what I did with some local friends and came across this quaint commune in France.

It is one of the Impressionist centers that house many works of Claude Monet. I also discovered that the region was originally farmlands and a center of viticulture. Later on, it became industrialized, in the nineteenth century. Its history dates back to Gallo-Roman times. The tunic of Argenteuil which was originally sent to Charlemagne by Empress Irene is considered to be Jesus Christ’s tunic as per legends.

Saint-Jean Baptiste Chapel

This is one of the first historic sites we visited which dates as far back as 10th century. It is little wonder that you will find it listed among the Historic Monuments of the region. I found the Benedictine abbey beautiful to explore, its primitive architecture and settings. The guide books state that architecture is a reflection of the classic and Romanesque styles. There are burial grounds here as well. You will also like the covered walk of Deserts that showcases burials dating back to the Neolithic era.

Museum of Argenteuil

If you have come here with your family, ensure that you visit this place as it is an educational stop for this city’s history. The building itself was a hospital that dates back to the 18th century. You can spend your time here admiring different paintings and drawings that reflect the history and culture of this commune.

Saint-Denis Basilica

I discovered that Argenteuil’s historic highlight is all about the famed tunic of Jesus Christ and that is what you find here. The latter is placed in an altar with lava dating particulars mentioned. This religious building also finds mention among the historic monuments of the region.

I would recommend that you walk through the city and enjoy its cultural and romantic air. You will also discover here the house of the artist Claude Monet from where you get breathtaking views of the nearby city of Paris.

Monschau – A Cultural Hub in the German Eifel Region


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Monschau is a scenic ton by the German Eifel that I happened to stop by and I would recommend it to my fellow travelers as well. The town was built 300 years back and it is surrounded by green hills all around. Being a scenic destination with a small town charm, it acts as a romantic getaway for many. I also discovered that it is considered as a cultural hub of the region and there are different events that are held here.

Rotes Haus

This is also known as the Red House, made of the timbered architecture that characterizes many buildings in this town. This particular building of a cloth manufacturer was built in 1760 and it is now a building to showcase the luxurious furnishings of Louis XVI, Rococo and of the Empire era.

Burg Monschau

This is another local attraction which I stopped by. It is interesting to note that this castle, which was built in the 13th century, houses a youth hostel as well.

Open Air Music Festivals

This is another feature of this town. If you are visiting, make sure you come by in summer when the Monschau Klassik music festival is held, in the open courtyard of the castle.

Mustard Mill

This is another unique local attraction here. It was easy for us to get directions and come by this historical mill. This mill is now run on electric power but in olden times it used to work with a wheel run by water. The mill churns out about 19 different types of Monschau mustard.

We also visited the Glass Works that offers a demonstration of the old craft of blowing out different craftworks of glass; if you have time stop by the museum called Weiss Printers as well as the Felsenkeller Brewery.

Milan: Discovering the Fashion Capital of the World


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Milan, the city hat every fashion enthusiast dream to visit. This is a behemoth city has lot more to offer than just the designer shops. It is a sublime mixture of old and modern culture. Other than checking out the sites, There are a plethora of things that you can do and see in the city. Let’s take a look at few of them.

Milan Cathedral

It is a monumental structure which is famous for its extraordinary architecture. Believe it or not, it took 600 years to complete this cathedral. It had been established in 1386 but was only completed in 1965. The cathedral has a gothic-like architecture. I found the front façade to be excellent. The interior portion is highly decorated and the stained glass windows give an exceptional look to the interior décor. My trip to the city would have been incomplete without visiting this cathedral.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

When you walk into the grand gallery, it might give you the feeling that you are standing inside a hall of opera palace or house. It doesn’t at all appear like the shopping mall. However, this is actually what it is. The extravagant and opulent indoor shopping area is unique. I have never come across anything like this. It had been developed in 1877. You will find top-class designer shops in here.

Castello Sforzesco

This castle is centrally located in Milan. It is placed between gardens and grounds. Even though it has been constructed in 1370, the structure still retains its power and elegance. At the front of the castle, you are going to find the large brick walls which are lined by the central guard tower and the battlements. Other than the castle, I also came across some small museums which showcase different artifacts along with the historical facts of the castle.

This Capital City Will Mesmerize You


If you are looking for a complete vacation in a country that is not very common among tourists in general, I recommend you Costa Rica first up and mainly to start with your Costa Rica trip, I recommend the capital city of the country that is San Jose. This city is also known as one of the fastest growing capitals in the world thanks to the amazing infrastructure coming up and the best thing about this, is that the city is planned and well – constructed and not just jumbled with buildings and towers. The city gets most of its profits from the trade of coffee which is exported to every nook and corner of the world, and from that, there are plenty of museums, theatres, restaurants etc built regularly.

Let us look at the must-visit places in the capital city when you go for a vacation there,

 

  • The Costa Rica National Theater

 

If you are looking for the purest form of the country’s culture, then you must watch the plays and the dramas that happen in this theater. It is also one of the oldest in the country and also the most famous. Within the complex of this theater, there is a gift and a coffee shop from where you can get the local merchandise and then on, you can relax and also buy some memory items of the country.

 

  • The Gold Museum of the Pre-Columbian Era

 

If you are a fan of gold and want to know about the metal that existed from time immemorial, you can visit this museum which has artifacts that are more than 1000 years old. Another museum which is pretty famous is the coin museum which has the collection of coins dating back to the prehistoric era.

The trip to San Jose is definitely going to be one of a lifetime experience for you.