Around the World: Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park

Surabaya, Indonesia

The journey from Surabaya is just under three hours by car. However, it is well worth the drive. There are few places on Earth where you will find a landscape as diverse as this national park. Within the park borders are mountains, volcanoes, waterfalls, and jungles. Mount Bromo, one of the most famous areas of the park, is an active volcano. Though it erupted as recently as 2015, locals brave the inside of the volcano to collect sulfur to sell.

Unbelievable Greenery

There are three distinct climate zones within the park including rainforest and mountainous region.

One of the highlights of visiting this green paradise is the Madakaripura Waterfall. The mists cascade between the greenest jungles. It’s hard to believe what you’re looking at is not photoshopped. Not only does this spot serve as a great photo op, but you will have the chance to cool off after a long hike.

There are over 1,000 species of plants within the park, including endangered and rare varieties. 158 different types of orchids alone are found within the park borders.

Keepers of the Forest

In and around the park live ancient inhabitants known as the Tengger people. The Tengger are one of the few significant Hindu populations in Indonesia. They are believed to be descended from the Majapahit empire. For important festivals, the Tengger make offerings to the gods by throwing goods into the mouth of the volcano.

This national park is a great way to take in the biodiversity and splendor of Indonesia. There are a variety of ways to see the park from hiking, biking, or a simple stroll. Don’t miss this incredible place on your next trip to Indonesia!

 For more information, visit the park website: http://bromotenggersemeru.org/

 Looking for something off the beaten path? Not interested in tourist traps? Stay tuned for our Around the World series. Several times a week, we share interesting things to do in exotic places. Give your clients a new experience in old places!

Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Waterfall_Madakaripura_B.JPG#/media/File:Waterfall_Madakaripura_B.JPG

 

 

 

Around the World: Gamla Uppsala

Stockholm, Sweden

Walk in the footsteps of Vikings at this archaeological site. Early written sources show that this was well-known as the residence of the Swedish kings. It was the location of the Thing of All Swedes. And no, we don’t me a thing as in an everyday object. A “thing” is a Norse word that means a general assembly of members of a Nordic tribe. Things were held from pre-historic times until the Middle Ages.

Legend claimed the Norse god Freyr lived at Gamla Uppsala. Because of this existing belief in Gama being sacred grounds, when Christianity arrived, the first Archbishop was established there in 1164.

Gamla Uppsala is home to the famous Royal Mounds. These three large barrows house the remains of ancient Viking royalty. They have become an important symbol of Sweden’s history.

Pathways allow visitors to walk atop these incredible structures and contemplate what life was like over 2,000 years ago.

For more information, visit the museum website here: http://www.raa.se/upplev-kulturarvet/gamla-uppsala-museum/

Looking for something off the beaten path? Not interested in tourist traps? Stay tuned for our Around the World series. Several times a week, we share interesting things to do in exotic places. Give your clients a new experience in old places!

Photo credit: By OlofE [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Around the World: Turku Castle

Helsinki, Finland

This fortress dates back to the 13th century, with construction beginning around 1280. This castle is one of the oldest buildings still in use within Finland and is the largest surviving medieval building in the country.

Originally, the castle was only to have a military purpose. However, during the period of Swedish rule, the castle was expanded to provide living quarters for nobles. The last additions were made to the building in the 16th century and the castle has remained untouched since.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the building had fallen into some disrepair and was no longer used as a noble residence. Instead, it was converted into a prison. Renovations had been underway before the onset of World War II, however, two subsequent wars with the Soviet Union prevented these restorations from being completed. Thankfully, they were finished in 1987 and the castle was finally able to be turned into a museum.

The main collections of the castle feature historical relics including: ceramics, jewelry, costumes, textiles, furniture, and toys. Visitors can also explore the dungeons of the round tower.

This museum is an excellent way to experience Finnish culture through the ages. For more information, visit the museum website here: http://www.turunlinna.fi/en/index.html

Looking for something off the beaten path? Not interested in tourist traps? Stay tuned for our Around the World series. Several times a week, we share interesting things to do in exotic places. Give your clients a new experience in old places!

 

Photo credit: http://i.imgur.com/pPs9m.jpg

Selling Skiing on the Summer Solstice

Die-hard skiers and snowboarders are always looking for bragging rights when it comes to hitting the slopes. It’s hard to brag about skiing when summer arrives and ski-able snow is practically non-existent in the continental United States.

If you have booked ski trips in the past, get in touch with those customers and tell them about where they can ski and snowboard in the summertime. Continue reading “Selling Skiing on the Summer Solstice”

Around the World: Open Air Museum

Reykjavik, Iceland

The Reykjavik Open Air Museum is perfect for anyone looking to experience the traditional days of Iceland. With over 20 buildings, this living museum offers an interactive exposure to history. Since 1957, the local historical society has strived to keep alive the “old Reykjavik.” Around that time, concern grew that the city of Reykjavik was losing its customs. Many artifacts, including whole buildings, were collected and moved to what is now the Open Air Museum.

The museum has numerous special exhibitions and presentations. Many of these exhibitions highlight specific periods of Iceland’s history and aspects of culture from toys to painted houses.

Costumed presenters bring history to life as they demonstrate homesteading activities and explain traditional farming practices.

For more information, visit the museum’s website here: http://borgarsogusafn.is/is/arbaejarsafn

Looking for something off the beaten path? Not interested in tourist traps? Stay tuned for our Around the World series. Several times a week, we share interesting things to do in exotic places. Give your clients a new experience in old places!

 

Wine Lovers Rejoice: New Wine Museum Opens

Bordeaux, France

As if you needed another reason to visit France, a new museum dedicated to wine has just opened on June 2nd in Bordeaux. Titled “Le Cité du Vin” (City of Wine), this 10-story museum explores wine culture and its 7,500-year history.

The building design was created by architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières. In a statement given on the museum’s website they said: “This building does not resemble any recognizable shape because it is an evocation of the soul of wine between the river and the city.” And indeed, the building’s shape is one-of-a-kind. It can seem out of place until you realize the inspiration behind it: The swirl is meant to mimic the curves of a wine glass, a grapevine, and the waves of the nearby Garonne river.

Bordeaux is considered by many to be not only the best wine region in France, but also the best in the world. It’s unique wine history dates back 2,000 years to Roman times. The marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine opened up the region to the English who began importing the new wine which they commonly refer to as “claret.”

This museum features 20 themed spaces with all manner of interactive, digital tools to educate visitors. Guests are even treated to a virtual boat tour simulating a merchant’s ship traveling the world. Visitors may access audio guides in 8 different languages for individualized experiences. The audio guides will play content based on whatever room guests are exploring. In addition to tours, visitors may also participate in tastings, classes, and workshops. A 250-seat auditorium will play host to some of these classes and film screenings. A museum of wine would hardly be complete without an area to sample wine and the designers have not let us down. There is a 2-story wine bar as well as a store which boasts 14,000 bottles of wine from 80 different countries.

Le Cité du Vin is expected to host 450,000 visitors a year. 2017 will see the arrival of a high-speed train connecting Paris to Bordeaux. Those wishing to make the trip from Paris to Bordeaux will be able to do so in as little as two hours.

Bordeaux has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007 and it’s not hard to see why. Bordeaux wine has remained a staple of the wine scene for centuries and this new museum will bolster that reputation. Though Le Cité du Vin has only been in operation for a week, it has already achieved a 4-star rating on Google and mostly positive reviews.

For more information, visit: http://www.laciteduvin.com/en

American Tourists Still Traveling to Europe, Just Different Cities

You may be surprised to find out that, regardless of the recent terror attacks and threats, American tourists are still flocking to Europe.

Continue reading “American Tourists Still Traveling to Europe, Just Different Cities”

British Airways to Launch Longest Flight

London – Santiago

British Airways has unveiled its longest flight ever. The new route will launch in January 2017 and run between London and Santiago, the capital of Chile. At 14 hours and 40 minutes, this new route will become the longest direct flight British Airways offers. The London – Santiago route will be one hour longer than the current longest flight, which runs from London to Buenos Aires and is 13 hours and 50 minutes.

The flight will run four times a week and use British Airway’s newest aircraft, the 787-9 Dreamliner. The 787-9 is 20 ft. longer than the previous model allowing for a new First cabin making those long haul flights more enjoyable. The First cabin hosts a private eight-suite space with additional storage areas, a locker for small belongings, and a special storage area for devices that includes charging capability. In-flight entertainment is shown on a 23-inch fixed screen and a smart ‘jog-dial’ manages the seat recline, headrest, and lumbar inflate. A ‘global’ lighting control can be used to set both ambient and reading lighting. The new 787-9 Dreamliner is the most technologically advanced aircraft in the British Airways fleet.

The addition of this new route is part of an ongoing expansion to Latin America by British Airways. They recently added Lima, Peru and San Jose, Costa Rica to their list of destinations. Additionally, they offer service to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil. Of the increase in Latin American routes, Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways stated: “In recent years we have been increasing our services to South and Central America reflecting the area’s continued growth in both business and tourism. This year we’ve already launched flights to Costa Rica and Peru, and the addition of Santiago will secure another important link between the UK and the region. Equally, Chile is of enormous appeal to leisure travelers, especially those looking for adventure, exploration and experiences, thanks to its outstanding and diverse natural beauty and attractions and its great food and wine.”

Santiago, Chile offers many interesting attractions including the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Chilean Museum of Fine Arts. Santiago also serves as a gateway to many natural wonders in the surrounding countryside.