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Though Curacao may seem like your average Caribbean island, this vacation hotspot has inherited a cosmopolitan sensibility unlike any other destination. Though colonized by the Dutch, Curacao boasts an incredibly diverse population, with 45 distinct nationalities represented in its modest population. Over the years, these diverse groups have had an incredible influence on the local culture. In the world of food, ethnic traditions have blended with local cuisine to create one-...

The Sweet And Spicy Sides Of Curacao

The Sweet And Spicy Sides Of CuracaoThough Curacao may seem like your average Caribbean island, this vacation hotspot has inherited a cosmopolitan sensibility unlike any other destination. Though colonized by the Dutch, Curacao boasts an incredibly diverse population, with 45 distinct nationalities represented in its modest population. Over the years, these diverse groups have had an incredible influence on the local culture. In the world of food, ethnic traditions have blended with local cuisine to create one-of-a-kind recipes. With the culinary styles of locations as diverse as South and Central America, Southeast Asia and the haute cuisine of Western Europe represented on the island, Curacao may boast some of the most delicious and provocative food in the world. Additionally, as the namesake of the popular sugary liqueur, Curacao has certainly grown a sweet tooth best represented by the islands original dessert recipes.Despite the influence of so many cultures on Curacaos cuisine, there are plenty of popular recipes that pre-date the islands cosmopolitan development. The best example of this unique Caribbean style is iguana stew. Prepared just as you would imagine, the dish is a favorite of locals (who say the meat greatly resembles chicken), though it often takes an adventurous tourist to have a taste. Traditional Dutch recipes dating to the early colonial period such as keshi yena a baked dish with plenty of Gouda cheese, meat and other fresh ingredients are also popular in many of Curacaos restaurants.Much to the surprise of many visitors, Indonesian cuisine plays an important role in Curacaos culinary scene. Brought to the island by the Dutch after establishing colonies in Southeast Asia, Indonesian ingredients and cooking techniques have found their way into many favorite local recipes. One such dish is rijisttafel (Dutch for rice table), a combination of rice, vegetables, meat or seafood and the hearty kick of chili peppers. Asian seasonings and preparations are also commonly used in Curacao when serving fresh local seafood such as mahi mahi and red snapper.Despite the fascinating culinary atmosphere on the island, Curacao is certainly best known as the namesake of a popular liqueur. As the story goes, Curacao liqueur was an accidental creation. After establishing the first colony on Curacao, the Spaniards attempted to grow Valencia oranges. However, the oranges reacted to the vastly different climate, dramatically altering the fruits distinctive citrus flavor. Over time, the Valencia became the sour Lahara. Years later, growers realized that the peels of Lahara oranges contained sweet-scented oils. Through experimentation, the sugary exterior of the Lahara orange along with a number of unusual spices found its way into the recipe for Curacao liqueur. Today, the orange-flavored drink named for its birthplace is enjoyed throughout the world.If you try some of the islands namesake liqueur, you might also want to keep some dessert nearby. While Aruba might hold claim to the best beer of the ABC Islands, Curacao definitely cooks up the most distinctive sweets. One of the most popular desserts is a luxurious Caribbean take on the fruit cake known as bolo pretu a rich, dark cake stuffed with Caribbean fruits.As might be expected in the Caribbean, coconut finds its way into a number of recipes. A simple dessert known as djente kacho or dogs tooth is merely fresh coconut cooked in a sugary syrup. The confection known as kokada finds the coconut cooked flat in patties, the result bearing some similarity to the macaroon. In the bakeries and restaurants of Curacao, you will also find sunchi (bite-size meringues), panseiku (pralines made with toasted peanuts, prepared with almond essence and brown sugar) and tentalaria (finely ground peanuts and cashews served in a fresh sugar cream).Even some traditionally savory items served at lunch and dinner are prepared with the sweet tooth in mind. For instance, a dish called ayaka is cooked like a traditional meat tamale, yet banana leaves are used in lieu of cornhusks to lend a bit of sweetness to the dish. Likewise, one of the most popular appetizers in Curacao is a sweet soup composed of plantains and vegetables, seasoned with cinnamon and peppers.For those wondering about the best Caribbean destinations to visit, the diverse culinary traditions of Curacao certainly give travelers one more reason to visit this unique island paradise.

Costa Rica Caribbean Travel

Costa Rica Caribbean Travel

If you're considering where to go on your next vacation, try the world of great tropical adventure called Costa Rica.A "Costa Rica" Caribbean vacation lets you explore active volcanoes, see wild animals, see lush rain forests up close, and swim and lounge on great beaches. Costa Rica is one of the few ultimate paradises that have been left untouched on planet Earth. There are no military bases or nuclear power plants, and Costa Rica has lots of culture. In addition, Costa Rica is a tropical climate, so there's no winter to contend with. Costa Rica is a democratic society and is one of the most peaceful in the world. Its last civil war occurred in 1948. Since then, it has abolished armed forces and has also avoided despotic dictatorships, military coups, terrorism and any other forms of conflict so common in other parts of the world.In addition, Costa Rica has a very friendly country. Costa Rica Caribbean travel provides a friendly, warm welcome no matter what part of the country you wish to visit.Costa Rica means "rich coast," but Caribbean Travel has far more to offer than just its coast. "Caribbean Travel" is a country of incredible natural beauty and it contains many species of animals not present in many other parts of the world. Some of these animals are very rare and can only be seen if you go to Coast Rica.In addition, plants are very diverse and beautiful as well. There are well over 10,000 species of vascular plants and many gorgeous flowers. In addition, almost 2000 tree species have been recorded in this beautiful Latin American country. Visiting this astonishing country should give you an incredibly exciting Caribbean Traveln Caribbean travel vacation, with such unusual and innumerable flora and fauna to view in its natural habitat.In addition to land mammals and birds that anybody interested in ecology would love to see, Caribbean Travel also has approximately 835 species of fish. 700 of these are saltwater fish. Anglers and fishers should have a wonderful time fishing in Coast Rica's clear blue waters, as they challenge themselves to see if they can catch any of these unusual fish species.Now, let's focus for a minute on the northwest region of Coast Rica, called Guanacaste. Most Caribbean Traveln Caribbean travelers go there these days because of its ever-changing scenery and the many activities offered. There are many tours you can take; no matter what your interests, you should find something you like. With these tours, take an close look at all of its exotic trees, plants, flowers, animals and fish. For an experience you'll never forget, a Coast Rica Caribbean vacation is just the ticket for you.Whatever your interests, you should find something you like to do on your Coast Rica Caribbean travel. Some of these will depend on the region of the country you go to. In the rain forest, bird watching walks with English-speaking guides who are experts in identification themselves should let you see exotic species up close, while horseback riding provides another view of your Caribbean Traveln Caribbean travel vacationAnother option is to take a canopy tour, which is a popular tour in every region of Coast Rica. However, to best experience Caribbean Travel's precious rain forest, avoid tours that go through areas from the north towards the west. In these areas, climates are drier so that vegetation is not as lush as it is in other areas.

Visiting Spain And Finding The Perfect Hotel

Visiting Spain And Finding The Perfect Hotel

When you travel, you want to be sure your accommodations are comfortable and the best choice for you since that, hotel, villa or apartment is your home away from home. Torrevieja hotels can provide you that home away from home. You can easily find the property to meet your vacation or business needs, offering you all of the amenities and conveniences you want. Torrevieja is nestled in the popular region of Spain in the Costa Blanca and is conveniently located between two airports. The larger airport is the Alicante (ALC) airport and is roughly twenty-one miles from Torrevieja. The Murcia San Javier (MJV) airport is a smaller airport but is closer than Alicante at approximately sixteen miles from Torrevieja. After arriving at one of these airports, you can take a taxi or bus to your hotel. You can also use car hire services available at the Alicante airport or you can pick up your rental car from a company within the Torrevieja city limits. Whether you prefer a beach front hotel or a city hotel, you will not be disappointed in the selection of hotels available in Torrevieja. If you seek luxury accommodations, there is a high rise luxury in the citys centre. These hotels offer views of the nearby and beautiful Mediterranean Sea with all of the modern conveniences and amenities you desire. The hotel lobbies offer amenities specific for the tourists as well as pools, restaurants, conference facilities and may even provide entertainment or amusement for adults and children for those on a family-style vacation.There are many quiet, relaxing resort properties available on the coast of Torrevieja. For example, the Marine 2 Torrevieja Internacional is located in a quiet residential area yet very close to the coastline. Luxury accommodations such as this have many of the same amenities of the high rise hotels found in the city, including pools and restaurants, but with an entirely different atmosphere. You should also look into the Club Aldea Del Mar at Playa de los Locos, another great beach front hotel. These resort-type properties near the coastline are only minutes from the downtown area of Torrevieja, but allow for quiet strolls along the boardwalk, spa treatments, massages and general relaxation and rejuvenation. You can always head into the nearby downtown for some fun and nightlife. Relax during the day and dance the night away. With the many property owners in Torrevieja, extended stays are easily accommodated. Property owners will rent apartments by the week, month or even an entire season which is often popular with retired visitors who may stay during the off season. The availability of such properties makes extended stays more affordable and comfortable. You can stay in a one or two bedroom apartment, with a living area, laundry facilities, dining room and kitchen for example. Many apartment properties have amenities similar to hotels, such as swimming pools, shopping and restaurants on the apartment premises.

Hello From Nova Scotia: The Lighthouse Trail From Shelburne To Lunenburg

Hello From Nova Scotia: The Lighthouse Trail From Shelburne To Lunenburg

This morning I had left Yarmouth, and after a minor accident with my rental vehicle, I had explored the Lighthouse Trail and made a stop in the historic Loyalist town of Shelburne. By about 4 pm I still had quite a drive left to Lunenburg, and I wanted to make sure I would get into town before 6:30 so I would still have some daylight left for my first impressions of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.From Shelburne I went straight east on Highway 103. Had I had more time I would have explored the coastal peninsula south of Shelburne which features small villages such as Sandy Point, Jordan Bay and Jordan Ferry. On the other side of Jordan Bay, a long inlet, I continued past East Jordon on to Sable River. Lockeport, a small village on the waterfront, dates back to the 1760s.The Seaside Adjunct of the Kejimkujik National Park used to provide pasture land for sheep and cattle. Some families actually lived on the land all year while others brought their cattle to summer pasture here. Overgrown rock foundations, old clearings, broken fences and cattle trails remain from that era.The Kejimkujik Scenic Drive a little further east is a major connector between Liverpool and Annaopolis Royal on Novascotias northwestern shore and features a drive right through Kejimkujik Park.Port Mouton, a little town located inlands just off Summerville Beach is actually named after a sheep that fell overboard in 1604 from Samuel de Champlains ship. This entire area features many scenic islands and beaches. The town of Summerville was founded in 1784 by Captain John Grant, a United Empire Loyalist, and was one of the major shipbuilding centres in the area. Just south of Summerville Centre on the coast is Summerville Beach Provincial Park whose highlights include a white sand beach with sand dunes. The park is wheelchair accessible and features picnic areas, washrooms and changerooms.Liverpool further east was founded in 1759 and is steeped in history. It was a centre of the privateering area between 1749 and 1812, when privateers (licensed pirates) were permitted to seize enemy ships and valuable cargo. Liverpool features seven museums including the Sherman Hines Museum of Photography, the largest museum of its kind east of Montreal.Medway Harbour is punctuated by a number of interesting attractions: the Port Medway Lighthouse Park features interpretive panels that depict the rich maritime history of this area. The lighthouse was built in 1899 and was decommissioned in 1987. Some of the other lighthouses along this stretch of shoreline include Coffin Island, Medway Head, Spectacle Island and Western Head.Several major beaches can be found along this southern stretch of Nova Scotia: from Summerville Beach and White Point Beach west of Liverpool, to Rissers Beach and Crescent Beach, located close to the mouth of the La Have River. This beach is the most famous one in the area and even used to be featured on the Can$50 bill. Crescent Beach also features the Lost at Sea Quilt, designed by renowned Canadian fabric artist Laurie Swim. It pays tribute to seventeen fishermen who lost their lives in one storm, which left a devastating impact on this community. One example that fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations on the planet.I then stopped off at the La Have River Lighthouse which was actually relocated to this location from another place. And then five minutes later I got ready to cross the La Have River on the car ferry so I would not have to drive all the way up to Upper La Have and come down again on the east side of the river. It took about five minutes as well as $5 to cross the river. Lunenburg was not far any more and I was on the home stretch now.Finally, just as it was getting dark, I arrived in Lunenburg. I came over the top of a hill and saw the town spread out in front of me. Several main streets run east and west parallel to the shoreline with a few fairly steep north-south streets providing connectors. To get the lay of the land, I drove through all the major streets and got a good orientation of this unique town, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being the best example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America.Lunenburg was officially established in 1753 as the First British Colonial settlement in Nova Scotia outside Halifax. The original inhabitants of Lunenburg were Foreign Protestants, immigrants from Germany, Swiss and France which came to North America at the same time as Pennsylvania Dutch. The economy was mainly based on farming, fishing, ship-building and ocean-based commerce. Many of the descendents of these original settlers still live in town.Todays main industry is tourism and I could see a wide range of restaurants, B&Bs and inns ready to serve tourists in need. On the highest elevation of town, on Gallow's Hill, I saw a stunning building: the Lunenburg Academy, still an elementary school, teaching children from grade 1 to 5. In town, and one of the squares in town features St. John's Anglican Church, Lunenburg's most famous church.After a very brief introduction to the town I finally checked into my abode for the night: the Lunenburg Inn where I was welcome by owner Don Wallace. Since I had had nothing to eat since breakfast this morning at the MacKinnon-Cann Inn in Yarmouth, my stomach was absolutely growling, and I was extremely exhausted. It had been a very long day and I was ready for a nice relaxing dinner. Thankfully, the Lunenburg Inn had provided a basket of home-made cookies for the guest, a sweet treat I could not resist.Don was so kind as to give me a few dining suggestions in town and provided me with a few menus from various local establishments. I decided to head down to the Rumrunner Inn right along the waterfront and left my car in the parking lot. About five minutes later I had arrived at my destination and settled in for a satisfying meal. After a delicious house salad I continued with absolutely scrumptious Linguine A La Gorgonzola which satisfied my overwhelming craving for carbs. But Nova Scotia is obviously the domain of the seafood eaters and all the restaurants in this area feature extensive seafood menus. The Rumrunner Inn, for example, offers a Lobster Bisque Napoleon, a Lobster Dinner with rice and fresh vegetables, Surf and Turf including a sirloin steak and a Lobster Thermidor, featuring chunks of lobster in a creamy sauce with mushrooms and a touch of cognac. Nova Scotia is a paradise for seafood lovers, and many travellers buy entire boxes of Nova Scotia lobster during their vacations.After a very satisfying meal I dragged my tired body back to my cozy room the Lunenburg Inn, downloaded my photos and dropped into the comfortable bed like a bag of potatoes. It had been a really eventful day and tomorrow I would get a better chance to get to know this scenic town of Lunenburg before heading over to Halifax via Peggys Cove.

Virginia Travel

Virginia - named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was known as the Virgin Queen - resides in the southern part of United States with greatly varying geography. It stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. It is one of the country's most scenic States. From the amazing Blue Ridge Mountains to the sandy beaches on the coast to the vivid activity in its cities, Virginia has much to offer. It is a great place to live, the state has a growing real estate market.Richmond, Virginia's capitol, was founded in 1607 and is located centrally - a convenient distance from many of the Commonwealth's sites. The Richmond metropolitan area is home to approximately one million citizens and is described by Style Magazine as "a beautiful and graceful southern city, that it is hopelessly mired in tradition, that it is a vibrant center of commerce and arts." Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy in the Civil War, has numerous fine old buildings and cultural options.Virginia is perhaps the most historic of all the 50 states. Some of the most important events in American history took place here. It was one of the first places to have live history reenactments. In Northern Virginia, you can visit the homes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Robert E. Lee, James Monroe, and many other prominent figures in American history. If you go to Arlington National Cemetery, you'll walk among headstones that chronicle American history and you have opportunity to remember and honor the nation's war heroes. In the Visitors Center you'll find maps, guidebooks, exhibits, and information services that include grave locations. Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown (the birthplace of the USA) are three of Virginia's most historic sites, don't miss them if you are interested in American history. Shenandoah National Park lies high above the classic American panorama, 300 square miles stretched out along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a precious reminder of the great hardwood forest that once blanketed the northeastern United States. This area is full of trails for biking and hiking or even a nice drive along the Blue Ridge mountains.The oceanfront of Virginia Beach has many things to do and discover. The hotels are directly on the beach here, and all of the junk shops are set back on the street. This leaves pleasant views directly from many of the hotels on the beach. There are some nice beaches nearby that are much less crowded. There are also a lot of great restaurants and stores at the oceanfront.Don't forget to visit the East Coast's pretty beach: Virginia Beach. Touted by the Guiness Book of World Records as the "Longest Pleasure Beach," Virginia Beach is a family-friendly travel destination, it offers the classic beach vacation. The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is the states largest and one of the most-visited aquariums in the nation, it should not be missed.

Atlanta Aquarium

Want to make sure your next family vacation is a real splash? Take your family for a cool and educational adventure at the Atlanta Aquarium.Some people call aquariums "the new zoos" and without a doubt, they are some of the hottest lures. The recently opened "Atlanta Aquarium" was created to draw visitors to the city. Developed in part by the city of Atlanta, this titanic aquarium draws in travelers, who are then enticed to visit other destinations within the downtown entertainment zone.The original idea for opening the Atlanta aquarium, also known as Georgia Aquarium, was developed by Bernie Marcus. In November 2001, Mr. Marcus announced his plans to donate the funds required to build an aquarium in downtown Atlanta. From that idea, the Atlanta Aquarium was born.The Atlanta Aquarium is a half-million square foot facility housing, more than 100,000 animals in 8 million gallons of fresh and salt water. From project groundbreaking to the grand opening, the entire construction process took only 27 months to complete. The Atlanta Aquarium is located on 9 acres of land adjacent to the Centennial Olympic Park in the downtown area.When you visit the Atlanta Aquarium, you'll notice the unique appearance of the building's exterior. The facilities were designed to look like a giant ship breaking through a wave. As visitors move forward to the large atrium inside the building, they are led into the facility by "a wall of fish" guiding them inside. Once inside, guests are given the option to choose from five main galleries. Each gallery is easily distinguishable with a sign and icon at the entrance.Take time to visit each of these fascinating galleries housed within the Atlanta Aquarium:Cold Water Quest -- shows items covered in iceGeorgia Explorer -- identified by a light houseRiver Scout -- displays a cascading waterfallOcean Voyager -- offers a peephole into the huge habitatTropical Diver -- with two video screens representing fish on a reef.After visiting each exhibit, guests return to the main atrium to visit the next gallery.Visitors to the Atlanta Aquarium will enjoy about 60 habitats through 12,000 square feet of viewing windows. The windows are made of a durable acrylic with a total weight of 328 tons. The largest of the habitats is a massive 263 feet long by 126 feet wide, with a depth of 33 feet. This giant carries 6.2 million gallons of water. This display, specially designed as a habitat for whale sharks, is also home to tens of thousands of other animals that commonly thrive amid coral reefs and open ocean waters.As you continue to explore the Atlanta Aquarium, you'll find a 100-foot long tunnel and one of the world's largest aquarium windows, giving a glimpse into the whale shark habitat. The second of the largest habitats in the [*_*], it holds 800,000 gallons of water, and was specifically developed to simulate the natural habitat of beluga whales.Anyone with an interest in nature and oceanic life will marvel at the [*_*]. Spend the day viewing 100 thousand creatures representing 500 species from around the globe living in over 8 million gallons of fresh and salt water. The [*_*] is a true ocean jewel, right in the middle of Georgia.

Summary

Though Curacao may seem like your average Caribbean island, this vacation hotspot has inherited a cosmopolitan sensibility unlike any other destination. Though colonized by the Dutch, Curacao boasts an incredibly diverse population, with 45 distinct nationalities represented in its modest population. Over the years, these diverse groups have had an incredible influence on the local culture. In the world of food, ethnic traditions have blended with local cuisine to create one-...