The Virgin Islands – A Sailing Experience

The British and US Virgin Islands are an amazing tropical paradise that many Europeans overlook because of how easily we can get to our own paradises that are scattered all across Europe; including  places we love like New Zealand and the Greek Islands, and so much more.

Crossing the Atlantic on a Yacht

But after one sailing experience that took me there, I think it’s worth giving it some attention! Bring your passport and make sure to hit both sets of islands.  Trust me when I say one thing, this journey will be one of the most powerful sailing experiences of your life. You must leave in the winter season, to embark on this 4300 mile journey.

You will be downwind and even though most believe this not to be true, the majority of boats making this crossing are yachts with standard production kits. Very few changes needed to make this journey, in fact according to Yachtingworld.com which gives 15 amazing tips to help you it’s the Biscay that will be the most difficult part of the journey.

Sailing to the British Virgin Islands

 

Once you reach this paradise you’ll be living the dream and reaping the fruits of that voyage.  Road Town is the capital of Tortolla, probably the most popular British Virgin Island.  This set of islands was formed by volcanoes creating an archipelago in the Caribbean and the four main islands are part of a territory Britain overseas.  You must not miss what they call The Baths at Virgin Gorda and take time to enjoy yourself on some of the whitest sandy beaches in the world. The fish are as a bright and diverse as anywhere, and the turquoise waters are a sight to behold.

 

Tortola British Virgin Island View

 

 

Top Summer Vacation Spots in Europe

As you all know, I love travelling and I find Europe to be one of the most beautiful continents to explore the beauty of nature. Europe does not only have an astounding heritage, it also leads the world in terms of art, music, architecture, and even fashion. It is one of every traveler’s destination lists due to its wide range of exciting sights, people, and parties. Here are some of its top summer vacation spots, in no particular order.

Great Yarmouth, England

Great Yarmouth in England is one of the preferred summer destinations of families and solo voyager. You will love the endless attractions and activities that this town has in store. Taking a boat ride along the Norfolk Broads is a must do while you are here. And during the summer, a night filled with music entertainment will be highlighted with an extravagant fireworks display. Best viewing areas are anywhere along the seafront Esplanade, along Britannia or Wellington Pier are perfect spots. It will be ongoing for six weeks of July until August.

Great Yarmouth is one of the preferred summer destinations

The Cala Goloritze Beach

The Cala Goloritze Beach is located in Baunei on the east coast of the Island of Sardinia in Italy. It is surrounded by astonishing limestone walls and crystal clear blue green shallow waters, making it one of the top five European beaches for free climbing, snorkeling, diving, trekking, and bird watching.

Antwerp, Belgium

Antwerp Belgium is for the romantic traveler. You will find the well-known Het Steen Fortress and the stunning River Scheldt where you can take pleasure in a romantic dinner cruise. Nightlife is really dynamic. Bars and restaurants play live music outdoors during the summer. Shoppers can also have their bargain on the flea-markets during weekends.

Visiting Bora Bora

My latest visit to Bora Bora was an exciting one and here is my collection of information which can be useful for you. I personally would highly recommend Bora Bora as a tourist destination. The Bora Bora Island in French Polynesia is an ideal way to pamper oneself with luxurious resorts which offer lavishness and incredible scenery. The population of Bora Bora is 8,880 with tourism being the backbone of the economy. The major settlement here is the Vaitape which is on the western side of the main island. You will find abundant coconut trees on the island. The legal drinking age in the island is 18 years. The climate in Bora Bora and its neighboring islands is Tropical. The island experience wet and dry seasons. The Wet season begins in November and lasts till April. The island experiences heavy rainfall and there is also a predicament of storms during these months. The peak season, also the dry season initiates in May and goes on till October during which the temperatures are lower in the island. This is the high tourist season on the island. bora bora Local People & Language

The local people residing in Bora Bora are cultural and have a firm belief on their traditions and myths which comes from Polynesian Gods. The people are laid back and live by the philosophy “aita pea pea” which translates – not to worry. The local people are friendly and warm-hearted and are forthcoming enough to share their tradition with the visitors. The common language spoken by the inhabitants on the island is Tahitian and French. However, being an international tourist destination, many local people are well versed with English language. The reason local people are well versed with English is because of the fact that tourists visiting the island include majorly Americans, Europeans and Japanese.

Top 10 spots for snorkeling

Snorkeling is fun

Snorkeling is a fun sport, and does not require much of equipment. You just need to have a snorkel which is a hollow plastic tube, a mask and fins. Equipped with these you can enjoy the unseen world under water. The plastic tube remains above water and lets you breathe. You just need to know how to swim and have a basic training of breathing through the snorkel and you are good to go.

However without a spot for snorkeling all equipment is of no use. Today we will try to enlist 10 Top Spots to snorkel and enjoy the flora and fauna under water.

  • Lover’s Cove Catalina Island – The spot off the coast of Catalina Island near California is a snorkeling paradise. The spot has rock reef and kelp forest and home to many species of fish and Mollusca. The brilliant orange Garibaldi fish is the attraction here. The best time to go here is during summers when the water is warm and best for snorkeling.
  • Manchones reef, Mexico – It is a 12 kilometer long unique ecosystem filled with thousands of species of plants and animals. The clear azure blue waters are almost transparent. The species available here for you to see are unique to this reef only. Just drop in and enjoy snorkeling along with amazing Mayan culture.
  • Bimini Islands, Bahamas – The changing color of water from cobalt to aqua blue is unique to this place. Another attraction is the plentiful dolphins in these waters. You can take a boat ride and then go snorkeling with dolphins. The more you swim with them the more you will enjoy their company. Snorkeling is really enjoyable due to these creatures very friendly with us humans. You can go anytime during the year and experience the warm and serene Caribbean Sea.
  • Sipadan Island, Malaysia – This is a protected island not open to visitors. Visit here requires permit, and is a quiet spot away from the tourist crowds. Running for getting the permit is worth the hassle, as the marine habitat is home to over 3000 species of fish. The island being at heart of Indo-Pacific basin is rich with marine life. If you want to snorkel in a place with peace and also observe marine life this is the place for you.
  • Belize’s barrier reef – Explore the coral gardens while snorkeling in this small but rich spot. You can see the turtle in its natural habitat and also swarms of tropical fishes. But you need to be aware that the waters also have the sting rays which can hurt and even kill you.
  • New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea – New species are still being discovered in the shallow waters surrounding the island. The water is almost transparent with a greenish tinge. Snorkel in these waters and watch the unique spiny devil-fish, jewel fish and many unique and beautiful marine creatures.
  • Rurutu, Tahiti – It is the spot where humpback whales come for breeding during August to October. The water here is crystal clear and sometimes you will feel you are not in water. It is perfectly safe to swim near these gentle giants of sea.
  • Bligh Water, Fiji – One of the most beautiful reefs in the world is here. The region is known as Bligh Waters and is home to many multi colored invertebrates and soft corals. The current here is sometimes strong so god swimming skills might be essential for snorkeling in these sparkling waters.
  • Big Island, Hawaii – Just come to Kahului Beach Park and snorkel with the sea turtles. The green sea turtles are a tourist attraction. The abundant green algae on which turtles feed, draws them to this place and you can watch them feed.
  • Bay Islands, Honduras – Snorkel and swim with the whale shark. They are 40 feet long animal which is harmless. Yes it is true the whale shark feeds only on plankton and small marine life.

Make sure to visit these amazing snorkeling spots spread across the world and become addicted to this fun activity. You can start with learning to swim.

Visit to Venice (Part II)

I was back to this floating city and was looking forward to the places I had missed. This time I had come with a purpose to expore the beauty of the place. I decided to start with a boat ride in the grand canal.

Grand canal

Grand Canal

Grand Canal

It is one of the most picturesque location in italy. The waterway  in itself is a beauty to behold. I took the best way – a water bus locally known as the vaporetto. The buildings on both sides make it an absolute marvel. I even tried an italian restaurant along the grand canal. The food there was amazing.

 

Rialto Bridge

Rialto bridge

Rialto bridge

The first stop along the grand canal journey was the restaurant. The second one was the Rialto bridge. I alighted from the water bus here and spent some time on this ancient bridge. At one point in history this was the only bridge across the canal.The original bridge was burnt  in 1310 in the revolt led by Bajamonte Tiepolo and collapsed twice 1n 1444 and 1524. The current bridge was completed in 1591. It remains an architectural marvel till date.

 

Doge’s Palace

Doge's Palace

Doge’s Palace

Next stop over was the doge’s palace. The place is built in gothic style. The palace now a museum was the residence of Doge of Venice. The Doge was the supreme leader of the erstwhile Venetian Republic. The place is a piece of magnificence with the beautiful chandeliers and exquisite interiors.

 

Murano

Murano

Murano

The colourful houses along the waterway are a marvel. Murano is a series of islands linked by various bridges in the lagoon.Murano is famous for glass making.

While I was soaking in the beauty of Venice a call came from my office and I had to rush back for work to UK. After all work is worship.

 

Visit to Venice (Part I)

Venice the floating city is unique in its own right. With its arched bridges, beautiful waterways and historical monuments it is a delight for a tourist. The views are magical, and it can be regarded as one of the loveliest places in the world. There are many places to see, and you require at least 10 days seeing the major ones. But with busy life it is difficult.

I have visited this city many times, but discover something new each time. Venice is an enigma. This is an account of the first time I visited this city on 1st October 2001.

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marca

A UNESCO world heritage site, this is the main square in Venice. It is supposedly the most visited places of Venice. There is so much to see here that it will take more than a day to explore. The most imposing structure is the Bell Tower of St. Mark with the Saint Mark’s Basilica in the background.

Saint Mark’s Basilica

Sai8nt Mark's Basilica

The most famous church in Venice, Saint Mark’s Basilica is just beside the Grand Canal. The church has been rebuilt twice, but has not lost its glory. The exterior is built-in an ornate style, with carvings and frescos. The interior is intricately designed with arches and the golden canopy making it look grand.

Bell Tower of St. Mark

The Bell Tower St. Mark's

There is no better view than from the bell tower. You can see Venice in full glory atop this tower. A lift takes you to the top of this 100 meter tower.

This is just the first two days of my visit to Venice. I will be coming back with more the next time.This is the first in the series of write ups from my travel diary.

Switzerland – Paradise on Earth

The beautiful Alps make Switzerland one of the most sought after destinations for the tourists.

Matterhorn

We will be just taking a quick tour of some of the famous places to visit when you are in Switzerland.

  1. Aletsch Glacier – It is a world heritage site, and the largest glacier of the Alps. There is a wide range of rare flora and fauna which are rare. Lake Marjleen lies at the corner of the Glacier, and is ice-cold throughout the year.
  2. The Matterhorn – Matterhorn is the icon of Switzerland. It is one of the most difficult mountain to climb, because of the steep sides. If you are looking out for a photo of Switzerland, invariably it will feature the Matterhorn.
  3. Rhine Falls – The largest waterfall in Europe, it boasts of a breadth of 150 meters. The flow of water is a rapid 23 meter per second. The roaring water’s vibrations can be felt over the entire body. The mighty rock amidst the water pool is a natural miracle.
  4. Geneva – On the shores of Lake Geneva, it is the home to the tallest fountain and many museums and great restaurants.
  5. Chateau de Chillon – This eleventh century castle is located in the town of Montreux. There is a beeline of visitors around the year.

There are many other places which you can explore, when you are in Switzerland. This is the Paradise on Earth!!!!!