Top Cultural Festivals to Attend in Kenya

Do you enjoy experiencing diverse cultures? Festivals are a great place to start and this article will sample four festivals that should be in your bucket list.

Top four cultural Festivals to attend in Kenya after the Coronavirus pandemic

Kenya is well known for its breathtaking sandy beaches and wildlife.

Little is known about its cultural diversity.

The Maasai people are worldwide known, nonetheless, we have 41 other tribes in Kenya. These tribes have cultural festivals that they celebrate annually. Attending festivals is a great

way to connect with the local communities, contribute to the preservation of culture and get to experience a different way of life.

However, today I will highlight the top four cultural festivals that you must attend in your lifetime.


Rusinga Island Festival

Rusinga Island is one of the gems of the Great Lake Victoria. It lies on the Eastern side of the lake and it has the most stunning views of the sunsets.

Rusinga Island Festival is among the famous events in the Western region of Kenya. It is usually held annually on the last Thursday and Friday before Christmas.

If you want to experience the authentic culture and traditions of the Suba community, this is a perfect place to start.


Here you get to experience two days of:

● traditional music and dance

The traditional dancers usually exhibit their passion and skills by dancing their waists and hearts out. You will get to feel the thundering beatings of the drums, echoed by voices that seem to appease the gods.


● Art and Fashion

Unique art and fashion pieces are visible on their traditional attire, the jewellery that adores their bodies, the pottery and not forgetting the carvings. You can't miss a beautiful and valuable souvenir for friends and families back home.


● food delicacies

The staple food of the suba community is "kuon anang' a"(traditional ugali prepared using ghee) with fish I.e Nile perch or Tilapia(omena & Mbuta). This is a delicacy.

A visit to the lakeside is not complete without devouring the fresh savoury fish.


● sports

There are different sports activities to participate in during this festival. We have a tag of wars, whereby different groups test their strength and resilience. 

The Luo and Suba community had a significant cultural sport of wrestling. It allowed the young, we'll build and able fishermen to earn bragging rights in the community.

The match is not violent. It's purely meant for entertainment purposes and a great chance for the young men to attract suitors.


● Boat races and Fishing

The people in the Island are super friendly. Occasionally you will find them fishing, drying their fish(dagaa, omena) and going about their business.

Fishing is the primary source of livelihood for the community. The festival also organises boat races among the local people. They get to compete on which team will win the race

Most hotels and lodges along the Island arrange for boat rides and fishing on request.

I found this interesting enough to try, I hope you will too 



You will get to hear interesting stories, folklores and conversations that take you back in time into the wealth of the Abasuba culture.

The festival is run by different themes each year. In 2019 the theme was "The Island Remembers". This made us remember, reminiscent and connect with the Island through culture, art and

celebrating heritage. The festival unites people from different worlds to appreciate and enjoy the heritage of the Suba people.


Maralal International Camel Derby

Kenya's Northern Frontier is a wild and untamed region.

The locals have retained their traditions.

Most of them are pastoralists, with Camels being an important element of their wealth. Maralal Camel Derby is one of the most celebrated events in Kenya. It takes place in the Yare Camel Club In Maralal Town, Samburu County.

The derby involves cycling, Camel racing and cultural performance from the Samburu people. Both the communities and visitors join in the festivities and races.


● Sports

The Camel Derby is graced by both amateurs and professional Camel racers. Most amateurs are usually first-time foreigners who have never taken part in the Camel races.

You will definitely have a fun laugh at the amateurs who can't control the camels. Most times the camels move in whichever direction away from the race. A funny scenario it is. Watching the races struggling to steer the camels to the right path.

However, this gives room for the professional racers to get to the finish line first.

There are also bicycle races. For those who prefer this, they get an opportunity of challenging themselves. Some cyclists, who are greenhorn, don't get to finish the race. It is a demanding task.

The two races usually start in Maralal town, and they take place co-currently.


● Music and Dance

The mood in Maralal town during the early is usually electric and fun. The music and dances from the Samburu people lighten the atmosphere.


● Art and Fashion

If you are a lover of art, fashion and handicrafts, there are curio stalls where these artefacts are displayed. You have a lot of choices to choose a souvenir from.


Maralal Camel Derby is not just a competitive race but brings this desert town to life and showcases its cultural heritage.


Kilifi New Year Festival

Kilifi New year festival is held annually from 30th December to 2nd January.

This festival is perfect for all those who are lovers of contemporary, African and electronic music. It is a melting pot of varied cultures and allows for freedom of expression.

The music festival is held under the shade of thousand-year-old baobab trees. It is set on a 20-acre field, home to wild orange and lemon orchids and bamboo forest in

Takaungu creak of the Indian Ocean.

The aim of this festival is supporting conscious living and sustainability while appreciating different cultures. Blending creativity with nature to show a connection with each other, the environment and the community.

Everyone is free-spirited expressing themselves through fashion, dance, art and music. The die to moment happens when a huge wooden sculpture is set ablaze symbolising new beginnings and shared hope for a promising future.

During the 2019 festival, a huge sculpture was burnt in honour of the last male Northern White Rhino - Sudan. A symbol that species extinction is a reality and it is up to the human race to value and protect its wildlife.


● Camping

Camping buddies, this is a great festival for you.

You are allowed to carry your own camping gear. The 20-acre piece of land has enough spaces for pitching tents.

There is also adequate space for parking vehicles, enough showers, toilets and shade to relax and unwind.

There is ample security for all those in attendance.

Moreover, boutique camping is also available during the four days of stay. You will just have to arrange for the bookings earlier enough.


● Beach Activities

There is a beautiful coastline a few meters away. You can go for an early morning jog, a swim, yoga or participate in beach ball games.

The refreshing breeze, combined with spectacular sunsets and free spirit around, makes this festival a bucket list.

Moreover, you can also plan to go for a boat ride on Watamu beach after the festival. Here you can do for snorkelling, explore the bottom world of the ocean.

You will discover colourful fish species, turtles and seagrass. With the help of trained tour guides, you can sail deeper to get a glimpse of the whales.

This is a fantastic way to end your new year celebration in Kilifi.


Lamu cultural festival

Lamu cultural festival is held in Lamu Island, a world heritage site.

This old town has retained it's Swahili culture over the years not giving in to pressures of the modern culture. The town is characterised by narrow streets, while its main transport means are donkeys.

The three-day festival is meant to give visitors a taste of the Swahili culture and lifestyle.

During the Lamu Cultural Festival, you get to experience dhow race, donkey races, competitive bao games, Swahili Henna paintings and traditional artefacts.

The bao games have existed for years in the East African region. Archaeological evidence shows that it has been played for thousands of years.

The dhow sailing races are executed by the locals. The racers are usually well prepared ready to showcase their skills in manoeuvring through the tides.

On the other hand, other people prepare to take part in a swimming competition. They will have to face the rough waters steering towards the other Island known as Shela and then swim back. With the scorching sun, Swimming race is ideal and a big relief.

The highlight of the festival is the donkey races. Residents, as well as the visitors, can participate. This sport is fun to watch. Steering a donkey needs natural talent, practice and skill. For

amateurs, some end up going towards the opposite direction from where the race is. Donkeys are the main means of transport owing to the city's narrow and meandering streets. Donkeys have been used for ages by the residents.

For those who thrill in a shopping spree, there are lots of products to choose from. Toys, jewellery, clothes, toys and artefacts. You will find unique Swahili pieces to add on to your adventure collection.


● Street Food

What a better way of knowing a towns delicacies than sampling the street foods. Lamu has a vibrant, welcoming relaxed old town vibes. Like most Coastal towns, the street food culture is active.

You will find an array of street foods lined up on the streets early in the morning and in the evenings at around 4:00 pm.

There is a variety of finger-licking snacks and drinks to choose from. Most of them are Swahili dishes prepared from coconut milk, flour and with lots of sugar and spice. They include bhajia, vitumbua, jalebi, mitai, kaimati, mkate was Sinia, Mahari and mbaazi ya nazi. I know these are foreign names but when you get there you can surprise the locals a bit. 

If you are a foodie this would be paradise.

It is good for one to loosen up once in a while and enjoy the abundance of life



Life is full of abundance. If you don't travel and experience what other places have to offer then you are missing a lot.

"The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page." -Saint Augustine.

I hope these four incredible festivals in Kenya have inspired you to travel, explore alien culture, interact with different people and live a free life.

For each time we travel we see the world with a set of new eyes, become more conscious about our relationship with nature and fellow human beings.


Travel tip written and shared by Delinah Mijide

Delinah is a champion for sustainable tourism and conservation practices. She has the passion to highlight businesses and brands that support community empowerment, environmental and

culture preservation. Let's travel,be responsible and have fun.

Wants to know more about sustainable tourism visit The Eco-traveller.


My trip to Lanzarote, Canary Island, Spain – Travel in Covid-19 Times

I've just returned from a trip to Lanzarote, an island located on the Canary Islands of Spain. 

After self-isolation in Llandudno, North Wales for three months due to coronavirus, COVID-19, I was ready to travel again once it was safe to do so. 
On Monday 6th of July, the Welsh Government lifted the 5-mile stay local rule, and I could finally travel outside of my local community again. 
At this point, I would like to highlight that everything mentioned within this blog post is based on my personal experience, and you should seek government advice from the correct sources. 
The reason why I mention this is because the rules are changing all the time and I wanted to share how my trip went to help paint a picture of what your trip could be like so you can make an informed opinion on if you should travel at the moment. 

Why did I choose Lanzarote, Canary Islands  

At my time of flying, Spain was on the list of countries you could fly to from the UK without the need to isolate for two weeks after returning from your trip. 
Of course, this could change, but this was one of the reasons why I choose Spain. 
I didn't fancy flying to a Spanish city due to crowds, but Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands has direct flights from the UK and felt like a better option due to the current situation. 
Plus the sound of the stunning volcanic landscape, hiking trails, sunny sandy beaches and locally sourced food all tempted me to visit the island of Lanzarote. It was just what I was looking for after being at home for so long. 
With my bags packed and passport in hand (don't forget your passport, it's been a while!) I was ready to travel and explore the Canary Islands. 
Around Lanzarote, not all businesses were open for tourism as visitor numbers are still operating on low capacity.
However, businesses are slowly opening up again for tourism, and many restaurants, visitor attractions, rental cars and a select number of resorts were open for visitors on the island. 

You should book travel insurance before you travel around Europe

Please make sure you arrange suitable travel insurance for your trip before you depart. Some travel insurance providers have changed their policy to adapt to coronavirus COVID-19 so please read the small print and make sure that you have a cover. 
Proper guidance is to check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website for up to date travel advice for UK travellers, and typically your travel insurance will follow along the lines of the FCO. So, if the FCO says not to travel, then your travel insurance usually is not valid, so please check the FCO website frequently for the latest travel advice. 
Also, for those within the EU, make sure that your E111 card is up to date before you depart. For those within the UK, you can still travel and use your E111 card until the end of December. Remember that the E111 doesn't replace travel insurance, but it's good to have it with you at all times when travelling around the EU, especially at the moment. 

Do you have to wear a face mask in Spain at all times? 

Do you have to wear a mask all the time? This was a question I had before travelling to Lanzarote. 
Of course, this advice will differ from other countries in Europe. But in Spain and on the Canary Islands, the simple answer is yes. You do have to wear your mask at all times. 
After gathering some local advice, wearing a mask is not only to protect yourself from spreading germs but as a courtesy to protecting others. 
Any situation where you're unable to keep your social distance is when you should wear your mask in Spain. 
This would be any place where social distancing is challenging, such as within shops, restaurants and public transport. 
You can remove your mask when you sit down to eat or have a drink. You can withdraw your face cover while on the beach or when going for a swim in Spain, as long as you can keep your social distance. 
Within your hotel room or rental car, you can remove your mask. If you're going to the hotel breakfast buffet, you should wear your face mask. 
I hope the above information clears up some questions you might have. 

What is it like to fly at the moment? 

It was a bizarre feeling only seeing five flights on the departure board of Heathrow terminal 5, usually the busiest airport in Europe. It did come as a shock. 
Heathrow felt like a ghost town with limited passenger numbers flying on the day. 
Throughout Heathrow, you will have to wear a facemask at all times from the entrance until you've exited at your arrival destination. It's advised to swap your face mask every few hours, so you should pack a selection to use throughout your travels. 
My temperature was checked as I entered Heathrow airport and I found hand sanitizer located all around the airport. 
Check-in was rather swift, and many airlines are allowing free baggage check-in to free up space in the cabin, which is worth taking advantage of. 
Security has never felt so fast; it was a swift experience and didn't take much time at all. 
Once airside, in regard to places to eat, I could only find one Pret open, which was enough to grab a coffee and a bite to eat before the flight. 
Most airlines are not allowing food and drink service at the moment. 
I did notice that a passenger requested a cup of water which was allowed but generally, nothing will be served on the flight unless you're travelling business. 
At the boarding gate, passengers were boarding individually based on row numbers, starting from the back of the aircraft towards the front. 
At the check-in desk, the staff said to allow an extra hour due to additional boarding time. Be patient as it will take more time to board the flight, but you could always book your seat at the back if you wish to board sooner. 
Once on the flight, cabin crew informed us that the aircraft used an advanced air flow filtration system that kills most germs. This, combined with a face mask and limited contact, helps to reduce the risk. 
Once I was at my seat, I noticed that the airline had used empty seats to keep travellers at a safe distance from each other as best as they could. 
They also blocked off and limited access to the number of toilets you could use. You can still use them but not as many so you might have to wait. 
Generally, I found the flying experience rather relaxing and pleasant, indeed longer than usual, but the additional steps gave me reassurance rather than worry. 
I wouldn't want to take a flight with a connection due to the extra time it takes to board and go through the airport, but one direct flight wouldn't be an issue. 

What was your hotel resort like in Lanzarote?  

I stayed at the Sands Beach resort located in Costa Teguise on the island of Lanzarote. 
They had self-catering options for families with a large selection of swimming pools to choose from, which was great for social distance swimming. 
Swimming is one of the things I missed the most, so it was a much-welcomed joy to have a few laps in the pool each morning. 
The breakfast buffet was open, and you had to order each item individually. This will take some additional time, so be sure to arrive early to allow your choices to be accommodated. 
I would visit the local supermarket and stock up on breakfast items to make in your room so you can relax in the morning and take the stress out of breakfast. 
Not all resorts are open yet in Lanzarote, and some have chosen to stay closed until September so your choices will be limited. 
The Sands Beach Resort chose to open early to learn about the extra steps needed to open up. The Spanish government have issued rules that resorts must follow to remain open to meet the health guidelines and create a safe environment for guests. 
Another issue is staff. The resort is running at low capacity and it's been tough getting the team back to work as some have chosen to wait until it's safer to return to work while others are happy to get back to work again. 
Rooms are required to undergo additional cleaning after each guest which is why I would recommend staying for 1-2 weeks. 
Also, the stock has been an issue as the supply chain for resorts has not been open on the island since lockdown and resorts are having to use supermarkets to purchase items they need to operate. 
It will take some time for resorts to open up again but those that have chosen to open up as soon as possible will learn from the experience and adapt to the guidelines, which will take time for some resorts to adjust to. 

What is it like going to a restaurant on the Canary Islands?

After cooking for myself for three months, I've simply run out of hot pot recipes and I’m also getting a bit bored of baking banana bread. 
Being allowed to visit restaurants again and not have to do the washing up was one of the most enjoyable moments from the trip. 
Getting to taste the local flavours again was an absolute pleasure. Enjoying fresh seafood and a glass of white wine that's made on the island was pure joy. 
If you wish to dine out, it's best to call in advance to book a table as space within the premise is limited due to schedules and social distance. 
I noticed that temperature checks took place before entering the restaurant, and hand sanitizer was always found at the entrance. 
You must wear a facemask until you have taken a seat at your table, then you can take it off to enjoy your food and drink. 
Also, I noticed that the menu could typically be found by using a QR code to access on your smartphone. Make sure you have your Roam Like at Home data turned on while travelling around the EU as it will come in handy. 
If you can pay for your meal by using contactless payment, this would be the best method rather than using cash. 

Do you need to fill out health forms before you travel?

Spain requires you to fill in a health form before you arrive. Once the form is completed online, you will get a QR code which will be scanned on arrival.
You must be checked into your flight and have your seat number before you fill out the form. This information helps with track and trace, and you will be contacted if needed. 
Also, when returning to the UK, you must fill in a form explaining where you've been and where you will be going to in the UK.
After filling in the UK form and placing my address in Wales where I will be, I instantly got an email from the Welsh government asking me to quarantine and stay at home for two weeks. I was not aware that the rules in Wales required two weeks quarantine, but not a problem as I have been home for the past two weeks and will follow the guidelines as instructed. Something to think about as I was also aware that those from Scotland had been advised not to travel to Spain altogether. So, the rules are different depending on where you live. 

Did I enjoy my trip to Lanzarote, Canary Islands? 

The most important question. Did I have a great time going to Lanzarote? Were all the extra steps worth it? 
My answer is for the most part yes. I do have mixed opinions about it though, as I enjoyed the trip, but travel is no longer normal like it used to be and some fun has been sucked out the experience. 
But I do understand that this is for my own and others’ safety to allow tourism to open up again so I would say that it was worth it. 
My issue was the length of the trip; I wish I could have stayed longer to justify the extra time you need to go through all the additional safety steps. 
So, If I were staying in Lanzarote for two weeks, I would have said that it was worth it. 

My advice at the moment to make travel safer during COVID-19 

I would recommend only taking one direct flight to reach your destination. Avoid having to take connection flights as this increases your risk of a possible infection. 
Stay in one resort and try to find a self-catering option so you can prepare breakfast and lunch from your room as buffets are not a safe environment at the moment. 
Book ahead to reserve your table if you wish to dine out at a local restaurant. 
Book a rental car to explore your surroundings and avoid public transport. 
Use contactless payment and avoid cash when possible. 
Stay for 1-2 weeks. Travel to your destination will take more time so you should allocate this time into your holiday to make it more rewarding. 
Don't forget to relax and enjoy your holiday. You will have to go through many additional steps to make your holiday safe so please have patience, remain calm and take your time.
 For this reason, a weekend city escape might not be ideal at the moment as you won't have enough time to enjoy the actual holiday. 

Thank you for reading my blog post about my trip to Lanzarote  

I hope all the above information helps you understand what travel and tourism are currently like in Europe at this moment in time, and I wish you a pleasant future trip!  
This blog post was put together in collaboration with the UNWTO and the Canary Islands as part of the #RestartTourism campaign to help tourism recovery on the islands. I hope you've found this blog post informative.
Travel tip shared by Dave


Finland: Bucket list of the most beautiful views in Ruka-Kuusamo

Kuusamo is a paradise for outdoor lovers and nature photographers. It is full of beautiful places in the national parks, on the Lappish fells and at the banks of the wildly roaring rivers.


Here is your bucket list to the prettiest spots!

Valtavaara fell

There are no real mountains in Finland, but it is still far from being flat either! Finnish mini mountains are called fells (“vaara” or “tunturi in Finnish). One of the highest fells in Kuusamo is Valtavaara, located near popular Ruka Ski Resort. An old fire guard’s hut on top of Valtavaara offers the most spectacular views to all directions. 

One of the most popular long hiking trails in Finland, 80 km long Karhunkierros Trail, goes through the top of Valtavaara on its way to the ending point at Ruka. Every May thousands of trail runners rush through Valtavaara while competing in NUTS Karhunkierros Trail Run, running 30-160 km almost non-stop. Depending on the varying spring weather and snow conditions, their conquest is done in either warm sunshine with try feet or through piles of snow and puddles of swamp water. You just have to take your hat off to these adventurous athletes!

Valtavaara is a great place to visit around the year. There’s a 5 km snowshoe trail and a 6 km hike trail from the nearest parking lot to the top of Valtavaara and back. The hut at the top works as a shelter to hikers and there are also a couple of campfire sites along the trail. You may also spot rare birds such as Red-flanked Bluetrail along the trail to Valtavaara. 


Konttainen fell

Konttainen fell is part of the fell range formed by Pyhävaara, Rukatunturi, Valtavaara, Konttainen and Kumpuvaara, remnants of the ancient Svekokarelid Mountains. Only the hardest rock types at the foot of the mountains have remained until this date. As the rock bed in the area is calciferous and the area's microclimate is extremely damp, vegetation is surprisingly lush and versatile. The mix of northern and southern species is unique within Finland.

Konttainen is a popular spot for photographing sunrises and sunsets due to an easy and short 2 km hike to the top of the fell and of course due to the great views one can admire at the top towards Riisitunturi fell and Kitka lakes. 

The parking spot at the foot of Konttainen is also a popular site for spotting and photographing Siberian Jays while handfeeding them. 


Päähkänäkallio cliff at Oulanka National Park

Finns are usually very precise with names, but for some odd reason they do not seem to be able to decided how to call this cliff. Päähkänäkallio, Pähkänäkallio, Päähkänänkallio, Pähkänänkallio… Nonetheless, the view from the edge of the cliff is one of the most instagrammable spots in Lapland year round.  The winding river with lush, green banks and untouched forests charms during summer. The changing appearance of the trees along the river create a great mosaic if colors in autumn. Winter scenery along the river is a calming mix of the different shades of white and grey. 

Päähkänäkallio area is somewhat difficult to access unless you are prepared to drive along small forest roads or hike along the 80 km long Karhunkierros Trail. But this place is definitely worth visiting! There are no railings at the edge of the cliff and visitors are advised to stay far away from the edge due to the crumbling rock bed, so be careful out there! 


Pyhävaara fell

"Pyhä" means sacred or holy, and it is known that Pyhävaara has been a sacred place for Sami people, the indigenous people of the north. Until year 1830, a sacred stone called "seita" was located in the top of Pyhävaara. Pyhävaara consists of two peaks and due to the vulnerable nature and the ancient Sami sites access is only allowed to the lower Pikku-Pyhävaara peak. 

Pyhävaara is located near Ruka Ski Resort and is a popular day trail hike spot for guests around the year. A popular ski trail goes through Pikku-Pyhävaara peak. Keep in mind though that Finns are born with skis (at least in Lapland) so we suggest giving a go for some easier trails before attempting to conquer Pyhävaara. You might also consider wheels over skis for admiring the snow crowned trees, since Pyhävaara can be accessed with electric fatbikes during winter.  


Myllykoski rapid at Oulanka National Park

Kitka river in Oulanka National Park has several great location for admiring whitewaters. Myllykoski is one of the most popular places due an easy 1 km hike to the edge of the river near on old mill. Myllykoski is also located along Pieni Karhunkierros Trail, one of the most popular daytrip trails in Kuusamo. This place is so popular you don’t even need snowshoes to access the place during winter. And due to its popularity it tends to get a bit crowded during June-August. 

Part of the popularity is the possibility to get very close to the water at the wooden deck next to the mill and on the hanging bridge leading hikers over the rapid. If you are aiming to hike the whole 12 km long Pieni Karhunkierros Trail, you must cross over four hanging bridges. The bridges are well-maintained and safe to cross, but they may cause some chills if you are suffering of fear of heights. 


Värikallio rock paintings at Hossa National Park

Hossa is located in Southern Kuusamo, a bit over an hour’s drive from Ruka village. Värikallio consists of 60 different rock paintings and it is the biggest collection of prehistoric rock paintings in Finland. The cliff itself is a steep wall rising from Somerjärvi lake and the paintings must have been made either from a boat or by walking on ice during winter. Rock paintings are appr. 3500-4500 years old. 

We can only guess the reasons the ancient people have had for creating Värikallio rock paintings. Hossa used to be a junction for water routes so the paintings may have been used for marking a route or describing events. The pictures in rock paintings can also be linked to hunting magic and the painted rock walls can also have functioned as cult places of shamanic worship. Pictures may also have been painted in order to guarantee fertility, since many of the human figures portrayed in Värikallio may be women, some of them in labor. 

Värikallio rock paintings are different from the other prehistoric paintings in Finland since the small, stick-like elk figures are not actually known elsewhere, and the human figure with a triangle-shaped head, eyes and nose is unique. The lack of boat pictures is also exceptional. All of the pictures found in Finland dating from the Stone Age have been painted (there are no drawings engraved in rock). Red and yellow ochre - obtained by heating iron-bearing clay - were used as coloring agents, and blood, grease or egg yolk as the mixing agent. 


Ikkunalampi pond at Riisitunturi National Park

One of the most enchanting summer views at Riisitunturi is Ikkunalampi pond that seems to be hanging on the edge of the hill. It is an infinite pool created by nature at the edge of a hanging bog. Usually bogs are formed in natural depressions where water gathers, providing a growth platform to peat moss. The abundant precipitation and thin soil of the Riisitunturi area enable bogs to appear even on steep slopes. Riisitunturi’s western slopes are covered by Finland’s most impressive and also some of the world’s steepest hanging bogs. In addition to its bogs, Riisitunturi is also a popular place for photographing slow-loaded trees during the winter. 


Kiutaköngäs rapid

Kiutaköngäs is one of the most famous whitewaters in Finland mainly due to its size and length and the impressive red rock wall at the background of the rapid. Well-marked, short trail leads all the way to the roaring stream. The spring flooding of Oulanka river is a remarkable sight. During winter freezing temperatures create an incredible bridge of snow and ice on top of the rapid.


5 of the World’s Most Amazing Architectural Gems

It’s hard to underestimate the power of humanity’s ability to create when seeing a massive structure that is still standing after thousands of years.

These structures make you stand in awe, wonder how it was done and wish you could relive the moment over and over. The following five structures are a bucket-list must-have for visiting if you want to seek out some of the most incredible structures on earth.


Barcelona Gaudi

Admired by architects around the world, the buildings in Barcelona, Spain have been dubbed some of the most unique buildings in the world. Built by Antoni Gaudi, most of his buildings have an organic look, as he used nature as his primary influence. The buildings can be located all over the city and are easy to spot with their curved stones, twisted sculptures and multi-colored tiles. The Sagrada Familia Basilica is probably the most visited attraction in all of Barcelona and the magical park, Park Guell, is filled with amazing tile work. Gaudi received his architectural degree in 1878 and started his famed works shortly after.


Empire State Building

This Art Deco skyscraper, located in New York City, is one of the tallest buildings in the world and has been declared by the American Society of Civil Engineers to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. It is probably the most iconic building in the city. It stands at 1,454 feet tall, has 102 stories and has been in over 90 films. It was completed in 1931 under direction of famed architects Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates.

Book your Empire State Building entrance ticket before you go with GetYourGuide.


The Colosseum

Located in Rome, this is one of the most visited architectural marvels in the world. The construction of this huge amphitheater started in 72 AD by architect, Vespasian. The purpose of the build was to change the relationship between the poor people of Rome and their powerful counterparts. It was used for gladiator fights and hunting simulations. It could hold around 70,000 people and features hoists, ramps and trapdoors. Given the time period in which it was built, the Colosseum is certainly a engineering wonder.

Book a 'skip the line' VIP tour of the Colosseum before you go with GetYourGuide.


Taj Mahal

This example of Mughal architecture has been named "The jewel of Muslim art in India" and was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan alongside a number of hired architects. It is a complexity of structures and began being constructed about 1631 AD. Built in the Mughal style, it combines beautiful elements from Persian, Indian and Islamic styles. The Taj Mahal is an experience of its own breed, a truly awe-inspiring structure.

Make a day of it and join a full-day trip to the Taj Mahal with GetYourGuide.


The Guggenheim Museum

Located in New York City, this museum opened in 1959. The commission to design this building was won by famed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. It took 16 years to build due to various complications. The architect died before seeing his work finalized, but the end result is breathtaking. It is unique looking and truly captures the art that resides within it. One critic stated that the museum "has turned out to be the most beautiful building in America".

Book a 'skip the line' day ticket for the Guggenheim Museum before you go with GetYourGuide.


It is truly incredible to see what people can do with their ideas. Even in times before adequate technology, man has always pushed the limits of possibility.

These amazing architectural structures are absolute must-sees that will leave you mesmerized and captivated for a lifetime.


Amun Ini Beach Resort & Spa Anda Bohol


Amun Ini Beach Resort & Spa is a beautiful upmarket resort in Anda Bohol Philippines.

In this video I check out if it's worth staying at.


Amun Ini Beach Resort is one of the top resorts in Anda Bohol. The resort is located on a beautiful sandy beach cove, that is just picture perfect.

The resort is an upmarket 16 roomed dive resort and spa. It has a gorgeous infinity swimming pool and a restaurant which serves up some of the best food in town.

I show you how to get there and where the resort is located. For best rates I looked at the Amun Ini Beach Resort & Spa I looked at its own website as well as Agoda, TripAdvisor and Trivago. You will see where you can get the best deals in the video.

I loved my stay here and I think it's one of the best resorts in Anda Bohol to stay at. It is one of the most luxurious resorts in the area although it is rated as 4 star.

I also looked at some of the best things to do in Anda including beaches, caves and the popular Lamanoc Island.

For more reviews and travel vlogs please subscribe to my channel.

*All rates and conditions subject to change. Please check directly with the resort.

9° 43' 36.426" N, 124° 31' 38.7192" E

There’s A Place Called Manzanita

Manzanita, Oregon is a small town located on the northern coast of Oregon...

And it has a big piece of my heart!

I’ve always greatly enjoyed the sunny beaches of southern California, but for me, nothing beats the foggy, golden coast-line with just enough of a cool breeze to make a hoodie or jacket the ideal attire.

Manzanita has a popultaion of about 600 residents. During the time I spent in Manzanita (July) it was prime tourist season, and I was able to meet many people from all over the state of Oregon who came to experience this charming town for the weekend.

The main street which leads toward the beach was filled with people walking, visiting shops, and were quite friendly and readily open to conversation.


I camped at the Nehalem Bay State Park, about 1 mile south of Manzanita.

I love how easy it is to camp along with the Oregon Coast, with many "Hiker-Biker" campgrounds which only charge $5 per night for hikers or bikers.

Once morning came I began my day with a shower in their above average facilities (by camping standards) and as I walked by the campsite office I was offered coffee by the park rangers. This was a first experience in camping and I heartily accepted the offer for a little added boost to my mile-long-walk into town. When I arrived to town my initial search, as usually is the case when traveling, was to find a place to order coffee, place my laptop, and communicate with the world via WiFi. This task proved to be a difficult one to accomplish.  The local library did provide wireless internet; however, they did not provide any power outlets. Unfortunately for me, my laptop’s battery charge had been fully used the evening prior. I stumbled upon an internet cafe and searched for an employee to discover who to pay in order to use the internet; but only an empty shack was to be found.


I returned to my campsite in anticipation of the sunset.

I walked for several miles south alongside the assuring waves of the ocean, found a secluded log to sit, and prepared myself for ending of the day's light. As the sun neared its' complete submersion into the groundlevel of earth, I began walking slowly toward the campgrounds.

As I approached the entrance to the State Park, I found a crowd of people, all gazing in wonder at the magnificent beauty that such an everyday occurence never fails to insprie awe. I'm not sure if I have ever been within a crowd of so many people who were all practicing the art of silence while observing this day's end.

On my second night of camping at Nehalem Bay State Park, I met a woman who was moving from Vancouver, B.C. to San Francisco where she would begin a new job as bio-tech researcher. Unlike most people who would be moving 1500+ kilometers, she was making the move on bicycle, while a moving company packed and shipped her things to where she would be living San Francisco. We shared a great conversation about technology, web design, philosophy, and music; before retiring to our respective tent-dwellings.


My two night stay in Manzanita was a small aspect of my two month hike from Los Angeles through Oregon. Although there were sights along the journey where I might say the natural beauty would surpass Manzanita (Big Sur comes to mind), the peace I found and accessibility of seclusive spots to contemplate and simply "be" are what make Manzanita one of my favorite places on earth.

Thank you for reading this story.

Ljubljana: A Perfect Place for Active Holidays in the City

When you hear the country's capital city you probably think about stunning architecture, numerous museums and galleries, churches, delicious food in the restaurants, but you probably don't think about hiking.

Well, Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a green gem of Europe offering active and unique opportunities to embark on hiking trips inside the city area.

There is no doubt Ljubljana is one of the greenest cities in the world. The city boasts an astounding per capita green space provision of 542 square metres, some of which can even be found in the heart of the historic city centre. Lush green and wooded areas offer a perfect opportunity for active holidays in the city.

It is a green and active city with a vibrant culinary scene, wealth of museums and galleries to explore, and tours and trips to take within the city or nearby. Time to make you plan for the future travels!


We’ve collected the TOP 10 activities in Ljubljana to have the ultimate active holidays in the city:

First Impressions of the City

When arriving in Ljubljana make sure to stop by Ljubljana Tourist Information Center (Adamič-Lundrovo nabrežje 2, 1000 Ljubljana), take the city map, say hi to the welcoming staff, get all the tourist information you need, buy Ljubljana Card and book a tour to get to know the city.

Purchasing a Ljubljana Card will help you save on entrance prices to over 20 of Ljubljana’s top attractions as well as cover a bicycle hire, access to wi-fi, bus transportation costs around the city and to the airport. All major things to do in Ljubljana will be covered.

To get familiar with the city's streets it is best to book a guided tour in the begining of your trip. Would you rather explore the city on foot, by bike, perhaps by boat? Ljubljana offers many interesting options which are thematically different and tailored to different interests. Check the guided tours here and let the pleasant stroll through the city begin!


Get to Know the City's Main Attractions

The picturesque image of the centre of Ljubljana has been marked by different historic periods and most notably by the works of the world-famous architect Jože Plečnik. Take a walk through the Ljubljana Old Town, be amazed by the Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings and visit Ljubljana Castle, the city's main attraction. You can reach the castle by funicular railway or climb it on foot. The castle's tower and ramparts offer the most beautiful views of the city.

Get your cameras ready while visiting the Prešernov trg Square, the heart of the historic Ljubljana. It includes three of the most recognizable images of Ljubljana: the pink facade of the Franciscan Church, the monument to the Slovenian poet France Prešeren, and the Plečnik`s Triple Bridge.

Another picture perfect spot is the famous Fountain of the Three Carniolan Rivers (Robba Fountain) standing in front of the Town Hall. The baroque masterpiece is the work of the renown sculptor Francesco Robba.

And last, don’t forget to meet the dragons on the Dragon bridge and find out why Ljubljana is also called the Dragon City. It is considered that if you did not take a photo with the dragon, you were not really in Ljubljana.


Cycle Around the City and Chill in Park Tivoli

Ljubljana is the cyclists’ idea of a city. Its' centre is car-free and the network of bike paths and circuits is constantly expanding. No bike? No problem! Bikes can be rented literally all over town. You can join the locals and rent one from Bicikelj, the city's bike sharing system or you can hire one in the Ljubljana Tourist Information Center for a very affordable price. Ljubljana Card holders are entitled to free four-hour bicycle hire.

Make sure to make a stop in the largest city park, Tivoli. Ljubljana’s central park is a popular place for socialising and relaxing. There you will find joggers, walkers, slackliners, yoga practicioners, kids enjoying the playgrounds, mini golfers, and people taking rests on the grass enjoying the parks’ charming tranquillity. You can also sit down in a popular café called Čolnarna next to the park's pleasant green fish pond area.

Tivoli Park is crisscrossed with walking and recreational paths that continue into the slopes of Rožnik hill and allow an escape to nature from the centre of the city.


Hike in the City

There are not many cities where the old town centre offers you a hike through the woods to the top of a hill, but Ljubljana has it all.

The network of hiking trails starts spreading out from the city centre and becomes more and denser as we move outwards. The green hearts of the city are the Rožnik and Šišenski hrib Landscape Park, Golovec, Rašica and the popular Šmarna gora (Mt. Saint Mary), the scenic "roof of Ljubljana" with the city’s favourite viewpoint. At the summit of Šmarna gora you can indulge in a snack or lunch at Gostilna Ledinek, with a menu consisting of traditional Slovene dishes.

However If you are more into mountaineering it is best you visit Ljubljana Region and explore the mountain trails there such as Grintovec or Kamniško sedlo.


Visit Central Market and Have a Picnic

The central market is the heart of any city. This is certainly true of Ljubljana market, which was designed by renowned architect Jože Plečnik. It is more than just a place to shop. Traditionally, it has also been a place for the locals to meet and enjoy themselves together. Taste some seasonal produce from local farmers and growers, have a little chat with them and buy the ingredients for your picnic.

Luckily Ljubljana has plenty of relaxing hidden spots for treating yourself to a picnic. You can relax on the Trnovski pristan embankment, up on the castle hill, in the Tivoli Park or park Špica, etc.



Paddle Through the City Center

The river Ljubljanica, with its interesting bridges and picturesque old city centre embankments, is one of Ljubljana's most notable landmarks. The heart of Ljubljana's social life are the Ljubljanica river embankments, densely scattered with lively cafés offering outdoor seating. A good way to see the old city centre and its famous bridges, picturesque buildings and vibrant embankments from a completely different angle is to join a tourist boat cruise along the river.

However, the Ljubljanica with its bridges is much more than just photogenic. It offers unique experiences which you simply must try. In the summer you can treat yourself to an exciting water session in the very centre of Ljubljana and see the city from a different angle by taking a sup or a kayak tour.


Jog Through the City Center

Believe it or not, SightJogging is a real thing and is getting more popular year by year. Ljubljana with it's wide streets and squares is perfect for a pleasant run.

If you’re a runner you can combine your morning run with exploring the streets of the city. No worries, the lovely Ljubljanica River will show you the way. If you’re in good condition you can also run up to the castle hill. You can also take your run on the Path of Remembrance and Comradeship, which encircles Ljubljana, symbolizes dedication to a healthy lifestyle while at the same time serving as a reminder of the city's history. It runs along the 32.5-kilometre long course of the military barbed-wire fence which surrounded Ljubljana during the Second World War. We assure you that if you complete the whole circuit, you will be ready to participate in Ljubljana Marathon in autumn.

According to our calculations, during a one hour jog you will burn off 803 kilocalories, which equals about two cakes. Speaking of cakes, make sure reward yourself with Stolp cake in Lolita. You deserve it!


Don't Forget to Explore the Ljubljana Region

If you have any time left we suggest you don't just enjoy the city but instead take a trip off the beaten path and discover the surrounding Ljubljana Region. The city of Ljubljana is surrounded by fascinating smaller cities, lush nature and many, many opportunities for unforgetatable adventures.

You’ll wonder if you landed in Hobbit’s kingdom in the truly unique traditional herdsmen’s village on Velika planina. If you're more into adrenaline adventures we suggest you visiting the Geoss Adventure Park in the village of Slivna, which offers treetop climbing adventures, a giant zip line and a unique opportunity to spend a night in the treetops. Cave enthusiasts will be able to admire the beauty of the Mayor's Cave (Županova jama) located near the village of Cerovo. It consists of six chambers and a wealth of marvellous stalagmites, stalactites and other typical karst features. If you like hiking and cycling make sure to visit Polhov Gradec Dolomites as well and embark on exploration of the most photogenic hill in the Ljubljana area - Sveti Jakob or the hill once visited by royalty, Polhograjska Gora. If you're there, make sure to stop by the Polhov Gradec Mansion. You will not return empty-handed as the hosts will not let you leave without a Bundle of Delights from Count Blagaj’s land. If you are interested in history and the pile-dwellers unique culture, Ljubljana Marshes are the place for you. Due to its amazing natural diversity and rich heritage it is listed as UNESCO World Heritage.


Explore the Vibrant Culinary Scene

Ljubljana is full of surprises not the mention their splendid culinary scene. The city's culinary offer is strongly characterised by seasonal, locally produced ingredients. Culinary adventurers can find a rich and diverse range of foods to suit all tastes and all pockets.

We suggest you go for the local flavours and taste traditional dishes with a modern make-over represented by the Taste Ljubljana brand. Renowned Ljubljana chefs such as Igor Jagodic (Strelec), Jorg Zupan (Atelje) and Bine Volčič (Bistro Monstera), among others, have creatively adapted old recipes to contemporary trends.

For trying some local street food we suggest Klobasarna where you will be able to try a a traditional Slovene speciality – Carniolan sausage. Another affordable way of trying Slovenian cuisine is visiting the Moji štruklji Slovenije, where they serve up a daily range of more than 20 different types of štruklji – boiled strudel – with creamy or classic fillings and toppings.

To start your day healthy, we are sure Ljubljana breakfast will get you ready for your long day of exploring the city. Check Bistro EK or Slovenian House and try the most important meal of the day from top quality local and seasonal ingredients.


Take a Look at the City's Top History and Art Museums

Last but not least, mix up your active adventure with visiting at least one museum or if you are more into arts, a gallery. Trust us, you will not regret it.

In the National Museum of Slovenia you will discover the rich heritage of diverse history, and see the 60,000-year-old Neanderthal flute, which is the oldest musical instrument in the world. You can check the permanent exhibition of the City Museum of Ljubljana which shows the development of the city of Ljubljana from the prehistoric period to the present day. In the museum are especially proud of two findings – the world’s oldest wooden wheel and a wooden arrow that is about 40,000 years old. Exceptional collections of technical heritage are on display at the Technical Museum of Slovenia in Bistra plus you can admire Tito's limos there.

Ljubljana is also the city of an exceptional artistic life. Its rich legacy is complemented by a lively contemporary art scene. The National Gallery holds mainly older iconic works of art, such as works of Baroque artists, the Slovenian impressionists, and paintings of Ivana Kobilica and Zoran Mušič. The adjacent Museum of Modern Art represents artistic phenomena of 20th and 21st century, if you like to meet Eastern European avan-garde artists check the Museum of Contemporary Art (MSUM) Metelkova.


There you have them, the top ten activities for the unforgettable adventure in a beautiful city of Ljubljana. The city is maybe one of the smallest capitals of Europe, but it’s huge in terms of the variety of what you can do, see and taste there.

If you are looking for an active holidays combined with rich gastronomic experiences and a thriving cultural scene Ljubljana is with no doubt the right place for you.


Top 10 Cycle Routes of Great Britain

Green, cheap and great exercise, not to mention enormous fun, cycling is becoming ever more popular. London has just launched its own cycle hire scheme and more of us than ever are exploring Britain by bike.


We’ve got hundreds of cycle routes to choose from but here are 10 of our favourites.

Millennium Coastal Path, Llanelli, Wales

The Millennium Coastal Park is a 12-mile stretch of coastline on the Burry Estuary which features a purpose-built traffic-free path following the coastline along the park's entire length. Previously an area of industrial wasteland, the park has been transformed into a tranquil green corridor offering superb views of the Gower Peninsula and a variety of attractions both natural and man-made.


Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland

For a unique cycling experience complete a circuit of Lough Neagh, the largest inland water in Britain and Ireland. The 113-mile, bi-directional Loughshore Trail (Route 94 of the National Cycle Network) is ideal for enthusiasts, novices and families alike. The route mainly follows quiet, country roads close to the lough’s shoreline and consists of mostly flat terrain – apart from a couple of short hilly sections which provide fantastic views over this huge expanse of water.


Limehouse to Little Venice, London, England

London’s network of canals make for great traffic-free cycling and a scoot from riverside Limehouse in the east to Little Venice along the Regent’s Canal is a great way to see London from a new perspective. Explore Limehouse, once the centre of London’s working docks and now home to upmarket flats and yachts, cruise through cool Camden and check out some of London Zoo’s

inhabitants en route. At 8 miles it’s easily achievable in a few hours.


Richmond to Hampton Court, London, England

Wind your way along this photogenic section of the Thames from villagey Richmond to the glorious Tudor palace, Hampton Court. There are some great pubs along the way and even a sandy beach or two. For more information and other routes along the River Thames check out the Waterscape website.


Bristol and Bath Railway Path, West Country, England

Linking the twin West Country jewels of Bath and Bristol, this 13-mile stretch of disused railway track begins in the historic port of Bristol and passes via Mangotsfield, Warmley and Saltford before arriving in the heart of Bath.


Chocolate Tour, Birmingham, England

The crucible of the Industrial Revolution is famous for many things – canals, engineering, curries but most mouth-wateringly, chocolate. Cycle along the Rea Valley out from Birmingham city centre along the towpath of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. If you’re hungry take a detour to Cadbury World, the factory and interactive experience dedicated to the world’s best-loved chocolate.


Marin Trail, Conwy, Wales

This mountain bike trail near Llanrwst has big climbs, steep descents and truly awesome scenery. Long challenging climbs lead to miles of technical singletrack weaving through trees and boulders, across streams and down tricky gullies. Have a break for a moment to take in the views across Snowdonia National Park.


Wastwater, Lake District, England

The 12-mile cycle from Wastwater to Santon Bridge via Gosforth is said to have the best view in the Lake District. Wastwater is the deepest lake in England and it’s surrounded by some glorious scenery including Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.


Crab and Winkle Way, Kent, England

The Crab and Winkle Way links the cathedral city of Canterbury with the harbour in Whitstable. On the way you travel through Blean Woods, one of the largest areas of ancient broadleaved woodland in southern Britain, where you can find the rare heath fritillary butterfly. Don’t forget to pop into Canterbury’s magnificent cathedral, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Cairngorms, Scotland

The uplands of Scotland are famed for their rugged beauty and these days, their excellent mountain biking terrain. Trails in the Cairngorms National Park are rarely waymarked - instead, bring a map (there are good mountain biking route maps available locally) and go and explore.


Top 10 Attractions of Great Britain You Didn’t Know Existed

Dig a little deeper and you’ll uncover some of Britain’s lesser known attractions ranging from eccentric fruit-shaped houses to murky underground caverns and exquisite small art galleries.


Here are top 10 attractions you didn’t know were there…

Tower of Threave Castle, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Standing isolated on its very own island on the River Dee is the foreboding 14th-century Threave Castle. Only accessible by rowing boat you must ring a bell to summon the boatman to take you across the water. The stronghold of the Black Douglases, it incorporates a rare artillery fortification built before 1455 when James II besieged the castle.


Westminster Cathedral, London, England

Did you know there are two magnificent cathedrals in this part of London? Westminster Abbey couldn’t get much more famous but just around the corner is the lesser known Westminster Cathedral. The extraordinary Byzantine façade of domes, towers and balconies is matched by a unique and sumptuous interior, clothed in vivid mosaics and with marbles that echo those of ancient Greece and Rome. In fact the interior is so darkly exotic it stood in for the 16th-century Spanish Court in the film Elizabeth: the Golden Age.


Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, England

The architect of the Bank of England’s London home is one of London’s most delightful small museums. As well as a visionary architect, Soane was a compulsive collector. Every inch of his handsome townhouse is crammed with art, artefacts and architectural treasures collected from around the world. Don’t miss the full cycle of Hogarth’s A Rakes Progress or the Egyptian sarcophagus in the basement. The whole building was designed to show off his collection with cleverly top lit rooms, hidden panels holding more art and mirrored walls. Go on the first Tuesday of each month to see the collection by candlelight.


78 Derngate, Charles Rennie Mackintosh House, Northampton, England

The master of British art nouveau did almost all his best work in Scotland but his last commission was to remodel this unassuming Georgian house in the English Midlands. And his only surviving domestic project outside Scotland is a gem. Despite being nearly 100 years old, the interior is boldly modern with Mackintosh’s trademark flourishes including striking geometric patterns and daring modernist designs. 78 Derngate also incorporates a gallery with regularly changing exhibitions and events.


Kettle’s Yard Gallery, Cambridge, England

If you’re ever in Cambridge and have had your fill of graceful quads, ancient colleges and grandiose libraries, walk north to Castle Street and restful Kettle’s Yard. This charming gallery has a superb collection of modern art including pieces by Ben Nicholson, Joan Miró, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. The former house of Tate Gallery curator Jim Ede is a beautifully lit space that still feels like a home – sit in the chairs, read the books and enjoy the artworks at your leisure.


Corris Mine Explorers, Machynlleth, Wales

Delve deep into Wales’ industrial past and explore the mines of Braich Goch which were closed in the 1960s. Kitted out with a miner's cap lamp, helmet, lamp belt and safety clips you’ll discover miles of tunnel on your journey down into the darkness. See what the miners left behind from tools to cigarette packets and discover this important part of Wales’ social and economic history.


Royston Cave, Royston, Hertfordshire, England

Royston Cave in Hertfordshire is unique in Europe. Believed to date from the 14th century, it’s a man-made cavern in the shape of a beehive, with a small aperture at the top for ventilation. Its most remarkable feature is an extensive range of crude wall carvings representing the Crucifixion, the Holy Family and several saints, among them St Katherine, St Laurence and St Christopher. It lay undiscovered for centuries until a workman in the 18th century unearthed a shaft that led to the cave. Nobody really knows the cave’s origins or purpose but its eerie atmosphere and deep sense of history are well worth experiencing.


Dunmore Pineapple, Falkirk, Scotland

This stone pineapple built in 1761 as a garden summerhouse is a strong candidate for one of Scotland’s most bizarre buildings. You’ll find it in the grounds of Dunmore House, the ancestral home of the Earls of Dunmore. It’s part of walled gardens that were once used for the growing, of among other things, pineapples. Standing at around 14m high the pineapple is intricately carved and is an eccentric delight. And if you can’t get enough of this fruity fancy why not stay? The Landmark Trust rent it as accommodation.


Marble Arch Caves Geopark, Fermanagh and Cavan, Northern Ireland

Discover the rugged uplands of Fermanagh and Cavan then find out what’s underneath. The fantastic show caves deep below this Geopark with their fascinating, natural underworld of rivers, waterfalls, winding passages and lofty chambers are a must see. Take a boat along subterranean rivers to explore spectacular caverns lit to reveal their scarred walls bristling with stalagmites, stalactites and weirdly shaped deposits formed over 600 million years ago.


The Egyptian House, Penzance, Cornwall, England

You wouldn’t expect to find a slice of ancient Egypt in Cornwall but this is exactly what you’ll get if you explore the backstreets of Penzance. Sprouting with flamboyant detail this 19th-century fantasy takes the Egyptian brief and expands it to something so exuberant that historical accuracy is joyously sacrificed for something altogether more fun. You can stay in this gorgeously garish confection through the Landmark Trust.


Written and contributed by Visit Britain


Photo credit:
Biepmiep Dunmore-Pineapple
Jim & Claire Threave-Castle
James Stringer Westminster-Cathedral


10 Interesting Facts of the Temple of Heaven

Welcome to China's Temple of Heaven!

1. Many books, magazines, and travel websites prefer to use the photos of the triple-gabled circular temple in the Temple of Heaven to represent Beijing. It has become one of Beijing’s truly prized landmarks.
2. Together with the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven is another supreme example of the imperial architecture in Ming Dynasty. All the architectures were decorated with colorful red to represent the dignity of the imperial court in ancient China. 
3. Occupying an area of 2,700,000 square meters (3,529,412 square yards), the Temple of Heaven is 4 times larger than the Forbidden City.
4. The main structures in the Temple of Heaven lie along the south-north axis as with all temples in China.
5. The most striking building in the Temple of Heaven is the tall, circular Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. Its location was determined by the emperor’s Fengshui masters as the exact point where heaven and Earth met. 
6. Seen from above, all the temple halls round and the base square, shapes also respectively symbolizing the heaven and earth. The wooden pillars support the ceiling without any nails or cement. 
7. In the south of the park lies the Imperial Vault of Heaven. It’s a round hall tiled in blue and standing on a white platform. Just north of the altar is the Echo Wall. Here, a whisper can travel clearly from one end to your friend’s ear at the other.
However, the Echo Wall will not work if there’s a bellowing tour group in the middle. Make sure to get here early if you want to experience it properly. 
8. The Circular Altar to the south was for astronomical use in ancient China. It also served as the sacred place to hold the annual winter solstice ceremony. The mound consists of 3 tiers that represent Earth, the mortal world and heaven.
The upper tier in the Circular Altar is adorned with 9 stone rings. the number 9 has special significance in Chinese cosmology, for there are 9 layers to heaven.
9. The temple park is generally accessed via its west gate. However, there are 4 gates at each side of the place. The traditional ceremonial route approached the altar through the south gate.
10. The Temple of Heaven used to served as the sacred place where emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) held the Heaven Worship Ceremony. First built in 1420, it is China's largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China’s ancient sacrificial buildings.
Together with the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Summer Palace, The Temple of Heaven is the must see in Beijing. It offers you a great chance to learn about the Chinese ancient philosophy, history and religion.

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