Travel

A Visit to the Only National Park in a Town – Nairobi National Park

For the better part of last year I had been working hard providing homework help services and wanted to reward myself with a great vacation.

I didn't have any idea where I would travel to until I came across this funny YouTube video by Trevor insinuating how a government official in a small East African country recommended that two male lions be taken in for counselling after being photographed in compromising positions.

Thats how I ended up in Nairobi National Park in Kenya and here are a few highlights of my tour.

 

A Visit to Nairobi National Park

Location

Nairobi National Park is located about 15km from Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. In case you haven't heard of Kenya, it is the mother country of Barrack Obama's Father. That should ring a bell. It's located less than 10 km from the JKIA, which is most likely the airport that you will use should you arrive in Nairobi.

 

Pricing

The entry fees are favourable and pocket friendly.

 

How you tour the Park

There are two options. You can go in with your car, preferrabley an all weather road vehicle or pay for a trip using the Parks Tour vehicles. Every tour is conducted by a tour guide who takes you to the best places to locate different animals.

 

What animals can you see

Ever heard of the big five? The elephant, the rhino, the buffalo, the Lion and the Leopard? This is where you will find each of these. There are still other animals but these impressed me the most. To make it even better they still have a zoo within the game park where you can see Lions, Leopards, Hyenas, Warthogs and a large number of birds. In the simplest words, you will have fun.

 

This was my first time in Africa and I sure had a lot of fun. The people were friendly and my one week vacation was perfect. If you are looking for a place to visit, this is a good place to check out.

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5 Most Popular Places to Visit in Yercaud

Yercaud is a beautiful Indian hill station in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu.

The misty hills, spectacular viewpoints and abundance of tourist attractions making this sleepy hill station a mesmerizing holiday destination and also one of the popular tourist places to visit in Tamilnadu.

Yercaud is known for its plantations of coffee, orange, jackfruit, guava, cardamom and black pepper. Yercaud is a destination that can be explored during a romantic honeymoon, family vacations, or while vacationing with friends.

As part of the Shevaroy range of hills in the Eastern Ghats, Yercaud has several tourist places to explore.

 

Here are some of the best places to visit in Yercaud:

Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is a picturesque well laid garden in the Yercaud town of Tamil Nadu. Housing various exotic species of flowers and plants, the Botanical Garden is a must visit place for nature lovers and also one of the top places to visit in Yercaud.

The garden is divided in to different sections like foliage garden, topiary garden, bonsai garden, butterfly garden, herbal garden, rock garden, water garden and sensory garden. 

The garden houses an Orchidarium and a green house. This Orchidarium showcases 250 different species of orchids. Of these, about 30 orchids has been declared as endangered by the Indian Horticulture Department. It is the third largest Orchidarium in India and also one of two Orchidariums run by the Botanical Survey of India. 

Apart from orchids, there is also an amazing range of rare plants and flowers in the garden. The spectacular ‘Insect Eating Pitcher’ plants and the ‘Neelakurinji’ plants that bloom once in twelve years, are the pride of this orchid garden. 

 

Yercaud Lake

Big Lake or Yercaud Lake is a natural lake situated in the heart of Yercaud town. Popularly known as Emerald Lake, this lake is the only natural lake among all the hill station lakes in South India and also one of the best Yercaud tourist places.

Flanked by lofty hills and natural shores, the Emerald Lake is a wonderful site and provides stunning, panoramic views of the hills and lush green lawns of this quaint hill station. 

The lake is surrounded by gardens and well wooded trees. There is also a floating fountain in the lake which increases the appeal of the garden. Apart from this, tourists can also enjoy a wide range of activities at the lake, including boating. 

The boat ride on the quaint waters of the lake is a memorable experience. The Deer Park and Leisure Park located on the banks of the Big Lake also attract a number of tourists to enjoy some peaceful moments in serenity.

 

Lady’s Seat

Lady's Seat is a cluster of rocks formed naturally in the shape of a seat on the South West of Shevaroy hills in Yercaud. Located very close to Pagoda Point, Lady's Seat is one of the best places to visit in Yercaud.

There is a watch tower equipped with a telescope so as to enjoy the beautiful view of Mettur Dam and Salem town. The view from Lady's Seat is more spectacular at night with thousands of lights twinkling in Salem town. Lady’s Seat also offers the stunning views of the sunset.

 

Servaroyan Temple / Shevaroy Temple

Shevaroyan Temple is a famous Hindu temple situated atop Shevaroyan hill in Yercaud town of Tamil Nadu. Built by the ancient tribes of Yercaud, this cave temple is dedicated to Lord Shevaroyan and Goddess Kaveri.

It is a common belief among the locals that Goddess Kaveri is believed to be the guardian deity of the 67 villages located around Yercaud. 

Believed to be 2000 years old, Shevaroyan Temple is a serene, pious and one of the most beautiful places of interest that will instantly fill your heart with its captivating structures, fringed with historical and religious significance.

As the temple is situated at the highest point of the Servaroyan range, it offers the most pristine view of the Mettur Dam and its surrounding plains. The path leading to this holy Servaroyan temple is awe-inspiring and extremely enthralling.

 

Pagoda Point

Pagoda Point is one of the popular viewpoints located in Yercaud.  The place has got its name due to the presence of four piles of stones that have been arranged in the shape of a pyramid which resembles the temple tower and is said to be built by the local tribes.

Also known as Pyramid Point, Pagoda Point is the perfect getaway to embrace the mind with solace and tranquility.

Pagoda Point offers the most sprawling outlook of Yercaud and its enchanting surroundings. There is a Sri Rama Temple situated near the Pagodas which is an important pilgrimage site for the locals. The viewpoint offers amazing sunrise and sunset views. Tourists can enjoy beautiful views of the town of Salem along with Kakambadi village from this point.

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8 Tips for Traveling to Europe

Planning to travel to the Europe for the first time or have you already visited Europe multiple times?

There are some common mistakes that we all make.

However, avoiding these common travel mistakes will make your trip all the more enjoyable. All you have to do is plan in advance and these 8 tips will lead you to a relaxed and peaceful tour of Europe.

 

1.    Enquire About the Visa Requirements

You might be refrained from entering the country if you have not checked the visa requirements.

Try to avoid this as it will surely ruin your trip if you do not have a tourist visa. Most of the European countries do not require a visa for short visits, but there is no harm in finding out which countries do.

Once you have finalized your Europe trip dates, make sure you do a quick search and find out which countries in Europe allow visa on arrival and which need a visa prior to arrival. A lot of agents and websites fulfill the visa requirements. Find out the visa requirements ahead of time.

 

2.    Try Not  to Plan Your Trip in Peak Season

Summers are usually crowded in Europe. Tourists often visit the Mediterranean beaches during summers hence the beaches and tourist attractions will be overcrowded.

In order to avoid the peak season chaos and save money on stay, transportation and airfares make sure you travel during off-season.

Almost all the tourist spots are open throughout the year, however, to be on the safer side make sure to check the closing time for a few have shorter hours.

 

3.    Travel Through Low-Cost Carrier

Flying with budget airlines is one of the most important ways to save on your travel cost, as more than 50% of your trip cost is spent only on flight tickets.

Alternatively, you can  and make your flight booking in advance so that you can book your flight for cheap and ultimately you will be saving a huge amount.

While searching online, you will find numerous flight deals claiming the best price, make sure to check for additional fees and taxes which are mostly excluded from the offer rates. When you book your flights also check the baggage allowance. It is advisable to pack lighter to avoid any baggage fees and you can easily pass through the airport.

 

4.    Travel by Train

Trains in Europe are considered to be the most cost-effective option to travel. Traveling by train obviously depends on your destination however whichever destinations are covered by train routes should not be avoided as they are easier and efficient than air travel.

 

5.    Reserve Your Accommodations in Advance

Since traveling in off-season is advisable you are bound to get good deals in some of the best hotels in Europe.

To avoid any last minute chaos and panic of not getting the accommodation make the reservations in advance so that you get the best hotel deals. Booking flights, trains, sightseeing tickets in advance will help you save.

 

6.    Leave Your High-Heels at Home

Since you are on a holiday and plan to explore the city, you will have to do lots of walking. So having a pair of walking shoes will be of great help and your feet will not get tired even after walking throughout the day.

 

7.    Explore the Unseen

As tourists, we all wish to explore places that are most popular however you should make it a point to visit the lesser known site.

Locals are one of the best sources for recommendations which will give you a glimpse of the local culture. To explore the offbeat paths you can research online or refer travel books.

 

8.    Avoid Using Credit Cards Everywhere

It is a great idea to use the credit card. A lot of places in Europe still accept only cash hence a hand full of cash will useful for taxi rides, shopping at local markets, paying at restaurants etc. Using cash will make your payment transaction smoother and help you save money on foreign transaction fees.

Before you embark on your flight to Europe get the currency exchanged locally in your country or right at the airport upon arrival.

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Best Things to Do in Prague

If you have never before been to Prague, this year is your chance to remedy that.

The city itself has so much to offer, from history, to adventure, to food and beer and some amazing wines. It is easy to get around town, and you can get practically everywhere on foot, which makes this the perfect city to explore during an extended weekend. Naturally, you will not be able to see everything you need to see about Prague in three days or so, but it is a great start.

Prague is also famous for hosting some amazing events all year round, and if you are looking for the location of your next big conference or business meeting, the city is your playground. You should make sure to use the expertise of a DMC company to help you plan this event. You will surely be able to plan an unforgettable time in the Czech Republic.

Here are some of the things you need to do while visiting this glorious city.

 

General facts about Prague

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, and as such, it is visited by most tourists who come to the country. This is mostly true during the Christmas market, in the winter, and in spring, when city breaks are popular and affordable from most European countries. There can be quite a crowd in the streets at times, but you will always be able to get around just fine. The prices are fair and you can find a meal and accommodation to fit any pocket. The pub scene in the city is one of the very best on the continent, and the local dishes are great. What is even better is the beer, and you can easily find a pub that will cater to all your taste buds.

If you are arriving by plane, you can grab a cab or a bus from the airport – both are rather affordable. Buses also arrive from most European capitals, so you can choose to see some of the country on the road, or arrive by car and explore even more of the Czech Republic that way.

 

Places to visit in Prague

Our advice is to start your exploration at the Old Town, and the Old Town Square, where you will see the famous Astronomical Clock, which is undoubtedly one of the most famous landmarks of the city. The streets around the square are lovely, as are the pub and restaurants, and you can enjoy a day of strolling around and getting a real feel for the atmosphere of the city and mingle. You should also use the opportunity to take some great pictures.

From the square, you can walk down to the river and bask in the view of its wonderful bridges. You will also be able to take some great snaps of Prague Castle while there. You can take the opportunity to pop into a pub for another pint, and mix with the locals.

Another section of Prague to explore is the Lesser Town, where you will find the Church of Our Lady Victorious, and the Infant of Prague. Another great area to keep exploring on foot. Naturally, you need to visit the Castle too, where you can climb either by funicular or elevator. The view from up top is breathtaking, and you should also make sure you go on one of the guided tours of this landmark.

The history of the city is captured in many guidebooks, and you could only benefit from taking one with you. An even better option is to explore yourself, and learn everything you feel curious about.

If you are visiting the city in wintertime, you need to visit the Christmas market, where the true spirit of Prague comes to life. Try some of the delectable food bites from one of the stalls, or enjoy some more of the local beers and wines. You can easily do all your Christmas shopping here, but don’t go overboard and remember that you still need to take all of those things home with you.

 

No matter what time of year you visit the city, you will surely be able to enjoy its history, its culture, and the hospitality of the Czech people.

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Unique Things to do in Thailand

Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Ayuthaya, Kanchanaburi - there are so many places to see and things to do in Thailand.

That’s right, Thailand has it all - beautiful beaches, stunning waterfalls, gorgeous National parks, and anything you could ever want in a tourism destination.

But let’s be honest, there are many other places around the world that offer the same things.

So why choose Thailand? Because there are a few things you can do in Thailand that would be hard to find anywhere else.

 

Unique things to do in Thailand

1) Sleeping on a River Bed

Should you choose to forgo your regular hotel accommodations, you can set up shop on the river. This extremely unique accommodation is offered by the Bangkok Treehouse company and is known as the “River Nest” accommodations. It is advertised as being extremely spacious and with a “high probability” of getting wet!

 

2) Spend the night in a float house

If you’d like to spend the night on the river (but not in it!), Thailand offers a variety of float house accommodations. Most of these houses are found in Kanchaniburi’s wilderness and require a boat or bamboo raft to reach.

 

3) Bathe with elephants

If you want to add a little wildlife to your Thailand trip, you can book an experience at one of Thailands elephant sanctuaries. While many of Thailands animal experiences come along with a bad reputation, elephant sanctuaries are dedicated to the humane treatment of retired elephants. And in these sanctuaries, the elephants don’t work for you - you work for them! Here you can work closely in line with elephants to help prepare their meals, feed them, and even give them a mud bath!

 

4) Explore ancient temples and ruins

Thailand is full of beautiful temples and ruins where you can go to learn about faith, culture, and history. And if this sounds of interest to you, you can’t pass up visiting one of Thailands most ancient cities - Ayutthaya. With a history dating back to 1350, Ayutthaya is a city full of ancient ruins and historical memories. Because of its popularity, many Thailand packages offer day tours to the ruins of this beautiful ancient city - and its not to be missed!

 

5) Have breakfast - with an orangutan

This once in a lifetime experience is offered by the Khao Kheow forest and wildlife park. The jungle will come alive as you join Suriya for his first meal of the day. Watch as he showcases and shows off his amazing aerial feats, and then enjoy your experience as he comes down and greets you for breakfast.

P.S. do you think you are stronger than an orangutan? Put your muscles to the test in an arm war - it’s man against monkey!

 

Of course, the list of amazing and unique things to do in Thailand goes on and on: Spend a morning with monks, go bamboo rafting, visit a 3D art museum, explore a beach full of monkeys, meet the Karen people, shop at a floating market, and even learn about strange coffin sleep rituals!

One things for sure, when visiting this amazing place you will never run out of unique and exciting things to add to your Thailand travel itinerary.

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Experience the Best of Kerala

Life is to be lived and not taken seriously. Maybe you are having a bad time in the office, tough moments in relationships or simply living a dull routine; but the good news is that you can do something about this.

Yes, what you need is fresh air. Take a holiday, go on a vocation and revitalize yourself. Allow the beautiful destinations to fill you with rejuvenation.

 

Where to start from?

To start with, you can explore some extremely gorgeous destinations of Kerala. This is the Lord’s land and has some spectacular tourist destinations to turn the heads of both domestic and universal tourists. There are lovely hill-stations, commercial cities, backwoods, villages and much more to explore.

The rich culture and heritage of Kerala also attract nature lovers from all over the world. Once you step into this charming paradise, all other things will appear dull and fading. The good part is that you can enjoy all this abundance without making any big hole in your pocket.

 

Experience the best of Kerala

Since Kerala has so many tourist destinations for its visitors, how about having a look at some of them? Yes, just dive into some of the most popular and enjoyed places of this paradise!

 

Munnar: a Combination of gorgeousness and Calmness

One of the most popular hill stations in Kerala is Munnar. It is one of the finest spots to visit in Kerala. With about eighty thousand miles of tea plantation, equal measures of aromatic vegetation, valleys and low-hovering clouds, Munnar is a hill station that has come up as one of the finest destinations to visit in Kerala for exploration and mainly for a romantic honeymoon. There are sweet bungalows, comfy homestays and comfy lush hotels and resorts in Munnar (look for accommodation in Munnar).

 

Kumarakom: Loaded with outstanding Sceneries

Mapped near Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a peaceful little hamlet along with interesting sceneries, ever pleasant weather and arresting flora and fauna. You can experience a mix of everything here: authentic Kerala cuisines, backwoods, fresh gusty air, warmness of Keralite and delicious fresh coconuts. There are also loads of accommodation options in Kumarakom.

 

Alleppey: ruler of Boondocks

Alleppey enjoys a prominent place in the list of the finest tourist places in Kerala. The houseboat stays, backwoods tours and peaceful beauty of this place fascinate a good number of people to its land. In fact, it will not be wrong to say that it is one of the most famous spot to taste Kerala’s backwaters.

The depiction of Lord Curzon about this place Alleppey as Venice of East is not at all an overstatement. A houseboat holiday is what tourists look for on visit to this land. Different areas of lovely paddy fields, old-fashioned sanctuaries, lakes full with water lilies and interesting fishing hamlets make Alleppey one of the finest places to visit in Kerala.

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The Manaslu Circuit Trek – It’s the New Annapurna Circuit Trek

Almost everybody will have heard of the Annapurna Circuit - the legendary 3 week circuit of the enormous snow-capped massif of the Annapurna Himal.

It came to the fore in the 70s as an adventurous extention of the hippy trail. Then the airport at Pokhara was just a farmer's field, and Pokhara lakeside was just that, a side of a lake with no hotels!

As much has changed on the Annapurna Circuit Trek as has changed in Pokaha itself. From just a handful of trekkers here and there staying in small tea-houses, numbers have ballooned to hundreds per day in peak-season.

Robin Boustead, the architect of the Great Himalaya Trail makes his views clear, "For the last five years I have received many emails from people asking me where would I recommend to go trekking. I have not sent a single person to either the Everest or the Annapurna Region because I don’t feel that they are authentic trekking experiences."

He repeats the adage "You come for the mountains, but return for the people," and states, "If you are trekking along trails [with] 1000s of other westerners and ... in teahouses that are run by frantic overworked people, who cannot spend any time with you – how authentic is that?"

There has been much mentioned about the road building eating up the trails, and around half of the circuit is rough track or work in progress. While it initially seems like a shame, it's simply progress. Roads are the biggest factor in alleviating poverty, getting access to health care and cheaper goods and services.

 

So what to do!? Three things spring to mind.

  • Firstly is to trek out of peak-season (March / April / October). When you have the trails, views and lodges to yourself, then you can spend more time appreciating the place and the experience. And you can spend more time getting to know the local-locals which is a big part of that experience.
     
  • Second is to get a little bit off the beaten track, and it is not hard in Nepal. Do a little research and check-out the side routes. Find out about the amazing, hidden villages of Naar and Phu, the side trips up to Buddhist Gompas from Manang, or the ancient villages in Lower Mustang (Tirigoan, Lubrak and Phalyak) which can be reached easily from the main route with little effort.
     
  • Or, thirdly, you can go somewhere else and the timing is perfect to do just that. Just an hour or two to the East is the Manaslu Circuit Trek. For years this had to be done carrying tents and food, and consequently visitor numbers were tiny compared to the tea-house-able neighbour.

 

Just last year two more lodges were completed which filled the voids where previously only camping sites stood. You might not find the familiar Lavazza coffee, apple pie, hot showers and movie-nights, but you will find the fabled authentic Nepali trekking experience of decades past, along with similar stunning mountain views, raging rivers and Buddhist culture.

Many will not be able to do without comforts, but for the few adventurers wishing to spend two weeks in the real mountain culture of Nepal, perhaps this is the trek to do now before it too changes for ever.

 

Travel tip shared by Richard Ball
www.thegreathimalayatrail.org

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Stateside Trips to Consider for Spring Break

You and your buddies are tired of being trapped inside, and you are even more tired of the endless hours of studying.

Then, you realize that Spring Break is just around the corner.

Use these ideas to decide where you will go this Spring Break.

 

Stateside Trips to Consider for Spring Break

Volunteer around the world

There are many opportunities for college students to volunteer around the world, and an overseas experience often helps increase your worldview. It often looks great on resumes as it shows that you care about the world. Numerous opportunities exist, so it is easy to find one that you are interested in pursuing.

There are also many opportunities in the United States including helping restore the Appalachian Trail, help fight legal battles in New Orleans, help at a special needs camp in Texas or help with recreational activities in Wyoming.

 

Party it up!

There are many destinations where college students go to party during Spring Break. While Key West, Orlando Panama City Beach and Miami, Florida, are perennial favorites, there are others in the United States that are very popular. Denver, Los Angeles and Las Vegas are also hotspots for partying during spring break.

The chance to meet people from other colleges in a relaxed atmosphere is enjoyed by many college students. Many of whom also often enjoy playing beach volleyball, working on their suntans and drinking - always make sure to take precautions and drink safely, though!

 

Take a Motorcycle Trip

There are countless highways that are perfect for a Spring Break motorcycle ride as long as you remember to watch for traffic and wear a helmet. Riding along the Pacific Coast Highway allows you to hear the crashing surf, feel the cooling breeze as it blows through the towering redwood forests and enjoy watching marine life play on the sandy beaches.

Alternatively, consider riding along the Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado since by Spring Break many of the wildflowers should be starting to bloom while snow may remain at the higher elevations. The 105-mile Skyline Drive through Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park may be the perfect getaway for Spring Break with its many historical sites. Just make sure to always have good travel insurance, like from WorldNomads or SafetyWing.

 

Regardless of what you decide to do on Spring Break, remember to make the most of your time. Each day is a precious gift that should be enjoyed completely. Use these ideas to plan your Spring Break adventure before it is too late.

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A Day in Barcelona for Under €15

Barcelona, one of the best cities in Europe, is also one of the most expensive.

We are aware that sadly it can cost a lot to visit the Catalan capital - even for a weekend - so we came up with two simple day plans complete with activities and food stops guaranteed to cost you €15 or less. 

Heads up! These plans don't include traveling costs, so get yourself a T10 travel card (10 journeys on all public transport for only €10.20) or another type of city travel card. 

 

1) Active Itinerary: Montjuic Hike and Mountain Views

Breakfast: 365 Café

365 Cafe is one of our favourite bakery chains in the city and offers those with a sweet tooth an incredible selection of delicious pastries for under €2. 

Better still, there are over a dozen 365 Cafes in Barcelona so you won't have to walk far to find one!

While you’re here, don’t forget to pick up some fresh bread for lunch later in the day.

Money left: €13

 

Day Excursion: Montjuic

Jump on the metro and head to Espanya (L3). On your way out, go to a supermarket and pick up some aioli (Spain’s famous garlic mayonnaise), snacks, and a drink, to go with your lunch.

Money left:  €9

Spend the day exploring Montjuic mountain by climbing to the top and experiencing all that this beautiful place has to offer.

 

Some Suggestions:

• Montjuic gardens (in particular Mossen Costs i Llobera Garden, a green space containing plants from desert, sub-desert, and tropical climates.) Free.

• Montjuic viewpoints, a selection of spectacular viewpoints that showcase the city (particularly its coastline) from above. Free.

• Montjuic Castle, an old military fortress from 1640 also with breathtaking views of Barcelona. Free (Sundays after 3pm/all day on the first sunday of the month)

 

Dinner: Poble Sec

Head down the other side of the mountain into Barcelona’s Poble Sec, one of our favourite local neighbourhoods in the city. Here you'll be able to spend the last of your €15 by sharing a selection of tapas or pinxtos.

Poble Sec is home to many local bars and taverns so you’re guaranteed to be able to pick up some dinner within budget. 

Finish off your day by heading back over to Montjuic fountain to see the impressive light show free of charge. 

Show times are:

1st April- 31st May: Thursday – Saturday 21:00- 22:00

1st June- 31st September: Wednesday- Sunday 21:30- 22:30

1st October- 31st October: Thursday- Saturday 21:00- 22:00

1st November- 31st March: Thursday- Saturday 20:00- 21:00 

 

2) Relaxed Itinerary: Parc de la Ciutadella Picnic and Bunkers del Carmel

Breakfast: 365 Café

Like in the first plan, we recommend indulging in the pastries and cakes from 365 bakery, satisfying both you and your wallet.

As this plan includes a picnic, pick up some readymade sandwiches from the bakery or some fresh bread, for your lunch later. 

Money left:  €11

 

Day Excursion: Parc de la Ciutadella

Take the metro to Arc de Triomf (L1) and head in the direction of Parc de la Ciutadella.

There are plenty of things to see and do in the park such as:

• Castell dels Tres Dragons, an impressive castle built with a modernist style and home to Barcelona’s Zoology museum. €3 entry. 

• The Umbracle, a tropical greenhouse with a variety of shade loving plants. Free.

• Fountain of Parc de la Ciutadella, a breathtaking fountain designed by Josep Fontserè and his prodigy a young Antoni Gaudí! Free.

You can also rent boats and sail around around the park’s very own lake. Prices start from as little as €6 for two people for 30 minutes in the water.

Money left:  €5

 

Evening: Bunkers del Carmel

Take the bus or the metro up to the Bunkers of Carmel for the best (and often unknown) viewpoints of Barcelona.

On your way, pick up some drinks and some food for dinner from a local supermarket using the rest of your day’s budget. 

If you fancy something hot we recommend finding one of the many takeaway noodle bars in the city that cook fresh and delicious noodles for as little as €5. You can also take this up to the bunkers with you!

 

How to get to the bunkers:

Take the V17 bus and walk 8 minutes uphill, or head to Guinardo metro station and take the 30 minute walk uphill.

€15 for a day in Barcelona? Game on.

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Delicious Food to Try When You Visit the Greek Capital, Athens

Contemporary Greek cuisine makes use mostly of vegetables, olive oil, fish, grains, and some meat.

Rabbit and beef are popular occurrences, while pork is not used as much. The local cheeses and olives also make up a big part of the diet, as well as yogurt, greens (horta), and herbs (oregano, rosemary).

The cuisine in Greece varies from region to region, and island to island. The country’s capital, Athens, is a vibrant city and this is certainly reflected in its unique cuisine. Here, locals usually skip breakfast. My ‘food guide’ in the city recently told me that the “standard” breakfast is usually coffee and a cigarette. Though lunch is also not treated as a big deal, dinners are regarded as the day’s main meal and are often enjoyed with family and friends.

If you happen to visit Athens, I’m sharing with you a list of delicious foods to try while strolling through Greece’s capital.

May they inspire you to plan a scrumptious food tour in this stunning Meditteranean destination!

 

Food to Sample When Visiting Athens

Koulouri Bread

The equivalent of the New York bagel, koulouri bread can be found all over Athens.

They are eaten before going to work, on lunch break, or even after work, on the way home.

While there are various versions of it, in its simplest form, the bagel is covered with sesame seeds. And yes, a cup of frappe usually accompanies the snack. Koulouri has ancient origins and they have come to Athens by way of Thessaloniki. The word itself is linked to “kollyra”, the round bread served to the slaves.

 

Horiatiki

The traditional Greek salad, Horiatiki is a dish well known all over the world.

There are certain things that make it a “proper” salad (and not a variety for tourists). First of all, the Greek salad has no lettuce in it. Secondly, feta (or a local cheese) comes on top in a big slab (not small pieces). Horiatiki consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, green bell peppers, red onions, Kalamata olives, feta, olive oil, and a sprinkle of oregano. You can order Horiatiki as part of a shared meal of mezedes. Or as a side dish alongside grilled fish, for example.

 

Musaka

Musaka (or moussaka) is an eggplant based dish which includes ground meat.

In Greece, that meat is beef (or lamb). The dish can be found all over the Levant, Middle East, and Balkans, but of course, each country has its own variation.

The bottom layer is sliced eggplant sautéed in olive oil; the middle layer is the ground meat lightly cooked with tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spices; the top layer is the béchamel sauce. The dish is typically served warm. Enjoy it for lunch at a traditional taverna.

 

Tzatziki

The classic yogurt dip, tzatziki can be found in the “mezedes” (appetizers) part of the menu.

The Greek yogurt dip is thick. The yogurt and the grated cucumbers are both strained overnight before they come together with garlic, salt, and sometimes dill. It is a great meze to order but you can also pair it with meat, especially lamb.

 

Spanakopita

Another filling meze, spanakopita or spinach pie, is a Greek savory pastry.

The traditional filling comprises feta, spinach, onions, egg, and seasoning.

It is layered onto filo pastry and then baked to perfection. There is even a lent (vegan) version which excludes cheese and eggs.

In this version, other green herbs are added into the mix, such as dill or parsley.You can also find spanakopita served as a snack in a calzone-like shape.

 

Saganaki

Fried cheese or saganaki is a dish best enjoyed warm – exactly when it comes to the table- and as part of the shared mezedes.

The perfect one has a crisp golden crust, while the interior remains soft and slightly melted.

 

Greek Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

The stuffed zucchini blossoms come with different fillings depending on where you try them.

They can be stuffed with a mixture of feta and herbs, or with rice. There are lent varieties – which exclude cheese and meat – but there are also recipes which include meat. The meatless ones are served at room temperature.

 

Loukoumades

The Greek honey balls are commonly spiced with honey and cinnamon.

The puffy dough is deep fried and the golden balls are served hot. In ancient times, they were the prize given to the Olympic games winners. Nowadays, they are a very popular dessert and one of those foods that need to make your bucket list.

 

Yogurt and Honey

On the islands, this is your typical Greek breakfast: yogurt and local honey, together with the Greek coffee, of course.

But the dish also morphs into dessert, often offered on the house. And no, there is no such thing as “Greek yogurt”. The yogurt in Greece is thick, creamy, and made from a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk.

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