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

 

 

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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!!!!!

Best International Trips – Leisure & Travel’s Opinion

So a new article from leisure and travel that has their opinion on some of the best international trips to take and I have to tell you some of them look pretty appealing to me. I am wondering though what kind of cost each of these trips would take because it seems like some of them are pretty expensive areas. Some of their choices are: Bali, South Africa specifically Johannesburg, Lake Como in Italy, and Greece. I know that one of my friends went to Greece and said it was unbelievably beautiful and was the best part of his all over the place trip also I went to Athens and some other places, mentioned in a previous post and it was a wonderful time. So that is definitely a good start to the list. I’ve always wondered about Bali because it’s a little exotic but also beautiful and the place is used to tourism. It would be a relaxing place to visit. They sell it pretty well in the article too: “First-time visitors to this enchanting Indonesian gem may be surprised by its small size – you can drive the entire gorgeous coastline in one day – but Bali certainly isn’t short on places to explore. Visit ornate Hindu temples, majestic volcanoes, see fine Balinese art at the Museum Puri Lukisan, hike by waterfalls and vanilla plantations, or simply find nirvana at one of Bali’s pristine beaches.”

Sounds lovely. Looks lovely.

lake como - a beautiful destination in Italy

Penang island, Malaysia

Penang island in Malaysia is a fascinating place. There is a whole mind-boggling history to this tiny island which has been a hotspot for trade, imports, exports and a melting pot for Chinese, European and Indian cultures as well as the local Malays of course. Nowadays, the main city on the island, Georgetown, is a UNESCO heritage city which boasts impressive and treasured graffiti, distinct neighbourhoods belonging to each of the island’s ethnic groups, a massive range of temples, mosques and churches, and a vibrant nightlife and tourist scene.

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When I went there I stayed in a beautiful hotel called the Yeng Keng hotel which boasted a distinctly Chinese oriented theme, incredibly friendly staff, a pool, comfortable beds and an incredible breakfast. It’s a modest price but when you compare the price to what you’d get back in Europe… the facilities here win hands down. Also, the location is incredible convenient with all the city’s attractions being within walking distance from the hotel.

The city itself is clean and full of life. One thing that always amazes me about Malaysia is the close proximity with which people live alongside other races and cultures. It’s fantastic and I love seeing such an integration. That being said, after spending some time mixing with local people, it seems there are many troubles and cultural barriers which exist beneath the exterior of integration and peaceful cohabitation. This story shows how the mixing of cultures can leave the population with a feeling of detachment and disembodiment – no fixed identity to call their own. I hope this feeling will give rise to further artistic endeavors in the future.

Penang island really is a wonderful place where so many great people mix, a true microcosm of the world.

This post was made possible by Ferratum UK. Basically, I had to get out of the country but was completely stuck for cash while I waited for my next pay day to arrive. Sometimes itchy feet just can’t be satisfied and Ferratum provided a hassle free way for me to get my hands on some cash in order to make the trip I needed so much. It’s a great, quick, stress-free service and I’d urge anybody with similar itchy feet to use it.

About Me

I’ve been traveling since I was a little kid. Growing up in London, my parents both loved to sail. Every summer, we’d leave the dirty, noisy confines of the city and take to the sea in a boat we shared with friends. I learned valuable lessons during those summers – hot to sail, how to take care of myself, how to meet new people, and above all, the value of seeing different parts of the world. I think it’s hard for us to truly know ourselves until we’ve been taken out of our familiar context, and dropped into a strange setting and forced to adapt. Can it be lonely? Sure! But once you get the hang of it, you learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible. My passion for travel has only increased as I’ve gotten older. Now, I’ve got my own kids – and trust me, they’ll be growing up out on the sea, too! I’m blessed to have friends scattered all over the world. If there’s one thing better than meeting unexpected, new friends in a strange place, it’s meeting very old friends in a strange place. This blog will be about some of my favorite places and experiences, with a little bit of advice for you travelers out there – novices and experts alike. I hope you’ll enjoy. Image