Bangor – An Unforgettable Holiday Experience


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Bangor is a friendly city in Maine that has a continental climate with warm summers and snowy winters. It is an ideal tour destination for those who prefer a tranquil atmosphere. The city has beautiful parks, gardens, and riverside walkways that can offer a relaxing holiday experience. Located on the Penobscot River, the city also has some waterfront attractions. Our trip to Bangor was quite short but still, we could make it to some of the prominent sites, a few of which are described below,

Mount Hope Garden Cemetery

This historic cemetery which was built in 1834 is a major attraction of Bangor. The old cemetery is a resting ground for many elite citizens and aristocrats. Owing to its immense historical significance the place was selected to be listed on the NRHP (National Register of Historic Places). However, more than its historic value, it is the enchantingly designed garden that brings visitors to this spot. The place has attractive paved roadways, carved stone structures, statues, colorful trees, shrubs, and creepers that make the entire place look quite heavenly.

Bangor City Forest

The place offers a natural recreation area that spans over a vast area of 650 acres. Here you can find beautiful long trails that stretch as far as 10 miles. People from neighboring towns and cities visit the place for cycling, hiking, and cross-country skiing. The forest area comes with a parking lot located on Kittredge Road. There is also a large area arranged for picnicking. The forest is also well known for its Orono Bog Boardwalk.

Cascade Park

Cascade Park is an ideal location for enjoying a day-long picnicking in Bangor. With long trails through groves of pine trees, the park offers a natural surrounding for a perfect family picnic. There is a waterfall and a small fountain that has become the center of attraction. The park also offers ample recreational facilities for the visitors to rest and relax.

Bakersfield: What to do and Where to Go?


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Bakersfield has a rich history of agriculture and soil. Even though a large part of it is still on display, you will also come across some modern attractions. It is my love for the countryside scenery that took me to Bakersfield. If you are a nature lover, this is the perfect getaway for you. Sierra-Nevada forms the backdrop of the city. Listed below are some of the attractions you can check out when you are in this city.

Hart Memorial Park

This park contains attractions which make north-east Bakersfield so popular. It is nestled at the foot of the Sierra-Nevada Mountains and along Kern River banks. The park covers an area of 370 acres. The scenery of this park mesmerized me as I took a walk around it. The entire park has trees shades where you can sit down and have a picnic with your family.

Kern County Museum

If you are looking to learn more about the history of the countryside city, you should definitely visit Kern County Museum. What surprised me was this museum has more than 60 historical structures forming the Pioneer Village outside the museum. Here, I learned about the different musicians who had started their musical journey from Bakersfield. The Haggard House present inside the museum will tell you about Merle Haggard.

Riverwalk Park

This is connected to the Parkway Trail of Kern River. It has two lakes where you can indulge in some fishing. The park covers an area of 32 acres. Its footbridge is set against great scenic beauty and you can click great photos here. Inside the park, I found Spectrum Amphitheatre where you can be a part of live music events and festivals all throughout the year. The park is a great place to relax amidst nature.

Tianjin Attractions That You should Not Miss


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Tianjin is a very good city to visit when traveling to China. It is about 125 kilometers from Beijing and is known for its attractive coastline, cool sea breeze, attractive mountain views, European style buildings, and the Chinese streets.

The following are the major attractions that I recommend to people visiting Tianjin.

 

  • St Joseph Cathedral

 

The cathedral has a Roman architectural touch to it and was built by a French missionary, Paul-Marie Dumond, in 1916. It is a very huge church that can accommodate 1500 people at one go. I happened to be there for the early mass at 6 am. 

 

  • Huangyaguan Great Wall

 

The Great Wall is located in the Jizhou mountain range. It was built by the Qi Dynasty and the attractive brickwork was reinforced during the rule of the Ming dynasty. This is about 42 km long and has 14 beacon towers and 52 watchtowers. 

 

  • Jinmen Shijing

 

Love to shop during my travel as I like to collect the arts and artifacts of the place I visit. This business street has a lot of stores that sell traditional handicrafts, jewelry, antiques, Weiji kites, etc. This is also the street where I got to taste some of the best local cuisine and snacks like tea soup, stuffed buns, and Fried Glutinous Cakes.

 

  • Ferris Wheel

 

It is a landmark sight of the city of Tianjin. This wheel is about 120 meters tall and is located over the Yongle Bridge. It is a great spectacle at night and gets on top of it to enjoy the massive sprawling acres of Tianjin metropolis. 

 

  • Water Park

 

You have children traveling with you, and then visiting this amusement park is a must. This is a modern park that houses 9 islands and three lakes. It has everything from gardens to pathways and pagodas. The recreational activities offered here include the Ferris wheel, spaceships, water boats, and trains.

Puebla: Discovering the True Gem of Mexico


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Puebla is only a few hours’ drive from Mexico City. The stunning architecture, the colorful streets, and the delicious food surely took my breath away. Make sure that you have this city on your list when you visit Mexico. My friend John, who works at Alaska Back Care in Anchorage told me that there is so much to do and discover here.  He made many recommendations of places to visit. If you are planning a trip to Puebla, here are some of those places you can check out.

Museo Amparo

This is the most prestigious museums in the city. It displays the history of Mexico that dates back to 2500. There are two colonial complexes in the museum along with contemporary apex. I came across some pre-Hispanic collection. What got me interested was that there were displays showing what is happening in the world as these cultures prospered.

Cathedral

The cathedral of the city had started being developed in 1575 and was completed in 1690. It has been declared as a World Heritage site. The Herrerian Style building shows the transition from Renaissance to Baroque. I was mesmerized by the magnificent altar. I came to learn that the altar is the burial site of several bishops of Puebla and had been designed in the eighteenth century by Manuel Tolsa. The dome preserves one of the most valuable tempera paintings by Cristóbal de Villalpando from 1688.

Estrella de Puebla

Travel downtown to find Estrella de Puebla. It is an iconic part of the skyline of the city. This is a large observation wheel that offers a stunning view of the whole city. As I climbed it, I got a panoramic view of the city.  This was put up in the year 2013 and is 80 meters high. Sit in the sealed gondolas to catch a glimpse of the city. It is going to 20 minutes to go round once.

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.