My Travel Resolution.
discover hidden myths, taste diverse food and sleep below a sky full of shooting stars and galaxies every night
It's early in the morning. Everything outside is still very quiet. On the horizon, the first dim light is visible. I quickly slip into my warm clothes and go outside. I want to welcome the new day above, in the small stupa with colorful prayer flags. It is a wonderfully clear morning and the mountains emerge slowly from the darkness.

I'm on a ridge about one and a half hours east of Kathmandu. The physical conditions constantly change, and the experiences go flying on the bumpy ride on the longest but most comfortable route from Kathmandu to Sindhuli. Now that I'm here, I feel my breath and listen to the birds. The prayer flags flutter in the wind. A reddish glow appears slowly on the horizon that bathes the mountaintop in a golden red light.

I watch this fascinating spectacle of nature. As the first rays come forth, I enjoy the warmth and feel connected with the mountains, humans and the universe. It is another one of those magical moments for which I love to be on the road. The Himalayan mountain range lies in front of me, almost close enough to touch. The mountains seem to float on the horizon with its snow-capped peaks.

I was there in the mountains. I get happy to be away from everyday life as the fresh air fills my thoughts and actions. Memories of the last few days pass through my mind of the ups and downs of the hiking trails, small mountain villages, and my cheerful Nepali companion.

This was my first big self discovery trip. I always wanted to travel far away. My parents were less than thrilled with my travel plans. Therefore, this trip for me was not only a detachment from their protection but also the limitations of staying with parents. It was an important step in my independent life as for the first time I took my "own decision" and dared to realize my desires against objections from the outside.

The time in Nepal was really a journey into me. There were ups and downs, moments of enthusiasm and also silent and lonely moments. As I walked around with open eyes through the world, many things became apparent to me, where I learn more about what actually constitutes myself. Because I gradually learned how relative that may be what is considered "normal".

I had to find my way every new day as nature also took some "tests" on me. One of the most impressive moments I experienced on the trip, was when I caught a cold after washing my hair at 3,500 meters with ice-cold water. Then for the whole day, I sat in a heap at the table and my Nepali friend forced me hot soup after soup.

I had no idea how I would survive the next day's tour. But there was no turning back. At four o'clock in the morning the alarm went off - and after a short feel in my body, I suddenly knew that I can do this. I was still shaky, but after a few hundred meters, my body started to work. My abdomen felt like a slow machine that ran steadily forward. My body showed me exactly what my speed was.

I just listened to myself and went quite into my own rhythm. The climb went on but I was connected to myself that lifted me in the vastness of the mountains around. Up at 5,200 meters, I was overjoyed and extremely grateful for what my body has done for me. I was even one of the first to reach one of the cliffs. I never thought that I can mobilize such forces in me.

I eat very little. Moreover, I undertake hours of endurance until the pain in the limbs become almost unbearable. It was an incredible challenge! In addition, I controlled myself throughout the time of the trail to be consistently silent. I keep walking with a tent on my back through beautiful landscapes, streams, and forests, over mountains and past crystal clear lakes. Hiking through the remote mountains broadened my horizons and the way I looked at myself as I get fascinated by the majestic mountain scenery, Buddhist culture and friendly people.

I see poignant beautiful landscapes. Every second house in Nepal is like a temple and everywhere the belief of the people was palpable. These people were just so incredibly nice, that I cannot but be happy as people walk around with a smile on their face. It was the joy and attitude of the people which give me strength and courage to go on and on in a search for myself.

In the evening as I sit by the fire, I look in the vast starry sky as people talk about their experiences about how they live in a friendly way with wild animals before I lie down in my tent amidst the roar of the fox perhaps from afar. Here l learn not only a lot about nature but also a lot about me after an encounter with a wild yak that was certainly very close.

I made some wonderful friendships with local villagers and realize the grandeur and glitz of modern cities bound by time are all superficial. When I danced with locals full out, I get answers to my questions and best of all I almost answer it myself, because only I know in the end what is really good for me!

Through all the experiences I found more security and joy in myself. The impressive thing I felt was that as if I am in the home even though in a foreign country. I felt my heart was "here" and everything else was far away.

Somehow I "arrived" in this once alien world. I spent a week in an almost lonely cabin in the mountains and pure nature to find complete solitude and understand myself. I had enough time to think without distraction and I became slowly aware of what I really need in life to be happy.

Self-discovery Trip

This place is almost unreal with extreme colors of yellow, to orange to red, depending on the time of day and lighting conditions. This almost paradoxical contrast makes me speechless. I learn if it is not done today, then maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow - or next week. Getting upset does not help here. Things are not always so important in life, as I thought earlier. Much more important is to live in the present and enjoy the moment.

Equally impressive was when I got back home. I remember those faces again and again who make me forget my worries and problems at home. In this day and age, we often care too much about others than to ourselves. We forget who we are, what we really want out of life and what makes us really happy. The newfound fitness gives me the drive for my future!

This trip was like a door opening into a colorful, fascinating world to me. On this journey, I found true freedom because I lived for months only with the essentials. I played with my body to excel and grow not just once beyond me. It helped me get out of my comfort zone. I recognized that a lot of things in life are important but not as I thought before.

Life is an adventure, but the question is what you make of it! Up there, the world is still OK!
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  • Saturday, December 23, 2017
Kalyan Kalyan Author
Are you an avid birder who is tired of going on a birding spree to only your countryside? If your answer is a yes, then I can give you a suggestion. How about packing your bags and going for a birding tour to some other country. There are numerous countries all across the globe that has amazing bird watching spots. But amongst all those countries, there is one that has managed to stand out and is claimed to be a birding paradise.

Qinghai Birding Tour

Wondering, which country am I talking about? Well, it is none other than China, the home of the biggest dam of the world. Yes, you read that right! Being a birder, I have visited each and every one of these provinces. But, if I had to choose one amongst the three, I would choose Qinghai. Why? It is because I found this place magical while traveling China.

The scenic beauty of the plateau region, its climate and of course, its bird species has seriously stolen my heart. That's why I am planning to travel to China once again. But, don't try to go alone for a birding spree in this region. Instead, book a Qinghai birding tour package because there will be someone to guide you throughout the journey.

To find an agency that provides this service, it will be the best if you browse the internet as you will come across numerous of them, that too without putting much effort. And before going for a birding tour in Qinghai Province, here are a few things that you must do. Take a look.

Whether you are going for a Qinghai birding tour, the first and foremost thing that you need to do is research about the Chinese towns. Some of the major things you need to research include the climatic condition of the region during the month you will be visiting. In case you find it difficult to research about this, simply ask the travel agency from whom you will be booking the package.

And if they cannot tell or inform you about the climate, it will be wise that you reject that company and move on to another one. Among the popular birding spots in Qinghai the best bird watching spots in this province are Qinghai Lake Nature Reserve, Longbaotan Reserve, Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve and Huzhubeishan Reserve. If the birding tour package that you are about to purchase doesn't include these hot birding spots, then refrain from booking it.

Not really aware of the endemic birds you will find in this region? You can get Black-necked Cranes, Black Stork, Lammergeier, White-Tailed Eagle and much more. Even though you will be having a guide who would stay with your throughout the trip yet, it will be better if you research a bit about the people living in this province so that you can get a fair idea whether the place is safe or not.

The good news is that this place is sparsely populated and the people living in these areas are absolutely harmless. So, you can undoubtedly visit this place. So, these were a few important things that you must do before you visit Qinghai for a bird watching trip. Why just Qinghai? Even if you are going for Yunnan or Sichuan birding tours, please research about the place thoroughly before you visit the place.
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  • Friday, December 22, 2017
Kalyan Kalyan Author
I am sure you hadn't even considered this possibility. If you think Greece is just a summer destination, let me show you another aspect of this beautiful country. Surprise your friends and try something new during the spectacular festivals. Greece has a lot more to propose than a summer cliche and Christmas time is best time to travel Greece and discover that it is also the perfect winter holiday destination.

Actually, Greece has it all and you can organize any type of winter break you wish. If skiing is a must for you, did you know that more than 25 very good ski-resorts are waiting for you? Their assets? There are much cheaper than the overcrowded ski-resorts you will find in France or Italy, all have breathtaking views, some of them to the Aegean sea. Here are the reasons to go to Greece and best places to visit in Greece.

1. Crete


Crete is the largest Greek island. Full of legend and mythology is the land of the Minotaur, the land of Zeus and its beauty is incomparable. Halfway between Asia, Africa and Europe is the cradle of European civilization. The people of Crete will tell you that it is cold, but you will always find it to be above 15 degrees in winter, it will be quite pleasant.

And there is so much to see on the island that you would never be able to discover in the summer because of the heat and the tourists! You will be in the cradle of Ancient Greece, so you will get sick of seeing museums, temples and ruins, which you can combine with hiking or cycling routes through the beautiful and green hills of the island.

The blue of its waters contrasts with the white of its mountains. The sun is the best of its claims but the possibilities that the island offers the traveler are endless. Do not forget to visit the Balos beach, considered the most beautiful in the country, or the Samariá Gorge, the largest in Europe.

It has a length of 16 kilometers and an altitude of 1200 meters and can be visited from mid-April to the end of October, it will delight lovers of nature and hiking.

2. Heraklion


You can find around 10 archaeological sites in Crete, the most famous being Knossos in Heraklion, the capital. You can visit the Venetian fortress that is preserved in perfect condition and protects the entrance to the port, the medieval Agia Ekaterini Church, which displays a large collection of icons, the archaeological museum in Eleftheria Square.

You can visit the center of the city that houses pottery, miniatures, jewels and frescoes of the Minoan culture, the Historical Museum, to the west of the port, where you can admire the view of Mount Sinai.

3. Rethimno


The province of Rethymnon, situated between the area of ​​Chania and Heraklion, is bathed, to the north by the Cretan sea and to the south by the Libyan sea. The small town of Rethymno keeps much of its Venetian, Byzantine and Ottoman past on the one hand through its small Venetian port and on the other hand visiting the multitude of small Byzantine churches there.

And of course, do not stop tasting the Greek food. For something it is said that Cretan cuisine is the kitchen of the gods. You can taste the virgin olive oil and the Cretan wine of Manoliopulo and Kissamos, in Xamoudochori, Omalos and Sfakia, enjoy the local liquor Tsikoudia, taste the aromatic honey and traditional Xirotigana breads from Sirili or walk through the picturesque chapels and stop to rest in the cool Dere.

4. Chania


Chania occupies the western end of Crete and is the second largest city of Crete. At the western end, next to one of the most beautiful beaches of Crete are the extraordinary ruins of ancient Phalasarna. It is safe behind the strong Hellenistic walls and has a protected harbor that transformed it into one of the largest naval forces and a city of corsairs of Crete.

You can make the excursion to the beginning of the Samaria gorge. You will reach the picturesque village of Omalos and visit the lake Agia, Alikianos and from there you can explore the beginning of the Samaria gorge.

5. Dodecanese


Karpathos or Carpathos is the second largest island of the Dodecanese. It is located between the island of Crete and Rhodes in the southwestern part of the Aegean Sea. You will find white beaches in uncontaminated landscapes, quiet and silent rocky coves, beaches equipped for lovers of relaxation and comfort dedicated to windsurfing, kite surfing and other water sports.

Olympos is one of the most beautiful villages in Greece, a place where folklore and popular traditions manifest themselves in all its authenticity. Walking through the streets of this small town, among women dressed in traditional clothes, is a trip through time, in a past that is still alive and pulsating. Even today in Olympos one speaks a unique language in Greece that derives from the ancient Doric dialect.

From Olympos, taking a paved road that descends towards the northeast coast, you reach Diafani, another town that has been able to preserve folklore and local traditions. From the dock of Pigadia sail several boats take tourists to the beaches of the east coast and the village of Diafani. Another recommended excursion is to the island of Saria, which is a handful of nautical miles from Karpathos.

Pigadia, also called the city of Karpathos, is the capital and the main port of the island. Today it is the most popular tourist center of Karpathos, full of hotels, apartments, taverns and commercial activities. It is worth a visit to the Archaeological Museum. In its three rooms are exhibited from prehistory to the Middle Ages.

Nearby is the Eparchiou, a palace built by the Italians during the occupation of the island and used as administrative headquarters. In the Bay of Vrontis, of which Pigadia occupies the extreme south, there are three wide beaches. In the Afoti you can admire the remains of the Basilica of Agia Fotini, built on the remains of a Greek temple.

You may be disappointed by what little remains of the Acropolis of the ancient city of Potideon or Poseidon, but from the hill overlooking the harbor you can admire and take beautiful panoramic pictures of the city. From a distance, Menetes looks like a pretty pastel painting. Its colorful houses, typical of the Dodecanese architecture, cling to the northern slope of Mount Profitis Ilias.

Arcesine (Arkaseia) is a small town on the southwest coast of the island. You can visit the Archaeological Museum with findings found in the area, in particular the remains of the church of Agia Anastasia and the Acropolis of Arkesia, one of the ancient cities of the Tetrapolis of Karpathos.

In the area of ​​Lefkos, another small and picturesque town in the interior, is the Old Cisterns, a system of galleries and rooms used for the collection and conservation of water. Archaeologists are convinced that it is only a small part of the treasures still buried in this region of Karpathos.

Aperi is one of the largest and richest villages of Karpathos. Its position hidden among the hills, at an altitude of 320 m, at the foot of the high mountains, made it choose as the capital of the island in 1700. Mesochori is located on the mountainous slopes of Karpathos, immersed in the cultivated countryside with olive groves, vineyards and fruit trees.

6. Santorini


Also known as Thera, Santorín and Thira, Santorini is the destination of thousands of travelers who seek the spectacular views and the atmosphere of its bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Santorini is a name of Italian origin given by the Venetian merchants to Thera, the Greek name of this island steeped in history.

Santorini is the two-sided, mysterious bay, island of calm and blue waters and ancient volcano that boils the night of partying, where everything is possible. Travel through the hidden places of a piece of land that has marked the destiny of Europe and the Mediterranean. You can also visit Anafi, Ios, Amorgos, Naxos or Paros and Mycenae or nearby Turkey.

The island was the immersed cone of a volcano of the same type as the Krakatoa and its explosion destroyed the entire center of the island, making its current orography form a kind Half-moon cut over the flooded caldera. The Cretan civilization and the Minoan, in the Greek peninsula, entered a time of decay because of the tsunami. In any case, you will have no problem choosing the best Santorini hotels.

Names such as Perivolos, Red Beach, Pori with its harbor and colorful houses are names that should not be forgotten. The center square of Fira and the beaches of Kamari, Perivolos and Perissa are the liveliest and most fashionable places. Santorini is a spectacular stopover for dozens of holiday tourist cruises and hundreds of sailboats that lie in their small coves.

Ideal anniversary or wedding gift, many couples visit the island after meeting or getting married for honeymoon. The Santorini Wine Route has its white wines and the famous Vinsanto, one of the most traditional wines in the world. Akrotiri is the main one and has been reopened recently, but there are others such as Vlihada, Arhea Thira, Pyrgos, Profitis Elias and Thermi.

7. Thera


Thera is, at the same time, the Greek island that has served the fabulists to imagine myths like that of Atlantis. Names such as White Beach are names that should not be forgotten.

8. Oia


One of the most recommended is the route from Imerovigli to Oia. Go on a small cruise on a schooner by the Caldera leaving Thirasia, Palea Kameni or Nea Kameni, or diving in the sea thanks to the rental of diving equipment. Armeni village has a seabed accessible only with diving goggles and is ideal for snorkeling. Names such as Baxedes are names that should not be forgotten.

9. Nafplion


Nafplion, one of the most beautiful cities of the area of ​​Argolis (in the Eastern Peloponnese) and one of the most romantic cities of all Greece. According to mythology, the city was founded by Nafplios, the son of god Poseidon and the daughter of Danaus Anymone. The history of the city goes back to the prehistoric era in which soldiers from here participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War.

The city declined during Roman times and flourished again during the Byzantine era. The Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors left their mark on the city and strongly influenced its culture, architecture and traditions over the centuries. Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian or neoclassical buildings fascinate visitors with their unique architecture and beauty.

In the heart of the city is two Turkish mosques, the first now works as a cinema/theater, while the second was the seat of the first Greek Parliament, the Archaeological Museum with important artifacts from the prehistoric and Mycenaean era. Akronafplia is the historic rock at the foot of the Palamidi hill.

Christmas Holiday: Greece In The Winter

10. Delphi


Arachova, a picturesque cosmopolitan village clung to the mountain. Arachova is one of the most cosmopolitan destinations and popular with Athenians to spend a weekend during the winter months. At any time of the year is the right time for a trip to Arachova. In winter, you can ski in the ski center, while the forest paths, trails and unique natural landscapes make mountain biking and hiking very exciting in all weather conditions.

Very close to Arachova is its prized archaeological site, Delphi, the mythical archaeological site dedicated to Apollo that can be visited from Arachova to Kalambaka. It is about 180 kilometers northwest of Athens and is another of the traveling destinations par excellence of the Hellenic territory. It is a small town on the slopes of Mount Parnassos, and next to the Gulf of Corinth, with a great history behind it.

For many centuries Delphi represented the spiritual and religious center of ancient Greece, which the Greek mythology identified as the center of the world and the the navel of the earth and which was the famous Oracle of Delphi. According to Greek mythology, Zeus released two eagles from the ends of the universe so that, wherever they crossed their flight, they showed the center of the world.

It was during the 8th and 7th centuries BC when its sanctuary began to take shape with the construction of the first temples dedicated to the cult of Apollo and Athena. The tour of the site begins with Kastalia Krini, the source where Pythia, the high priestess, her subordinates and others washed before consulting the oracle.

After admiring the beautiful surroundings, the archaeological museum, the second most visited museum in the country, has a relief that represents the history of the Sanctuary of Delphi and the famous oracle.

There are places like Mount Parnassos, Kalavrita in the Peloponnese mountains, Karpenisi in the Pindus Mountains, Mount Olympos, Mount Pelion. Enjoy about 200 kilometers of slopes for all levels. In my opinion, Mount Parnassos has another great asset. There is located the Parnassos ski resort, the largest in Greece.

Where can you ski in the morning, have lunch along the shore, visit an archaeological site in the afternoon, party in a trendy bar in the evening and sleep in a boutique hotel in a picturesque village all in the same day? The answer is Mount Parnassos.

Its stunning views to the Gulf of Corinth and to the Gulf of Euboea make it one of the most spectacular mountains in Greece and it is very close to Delphi. Mount Parnassos has many attractive points. It is located near Athens (about 2 hour drive) and therefore, easily reachable. It ranks among the highest mountains in Greece with an altitude of 2260 meters.

Its steep narrow cobblestone streets, its grey stone houses with their red tile roof, its dozens of steps leading to spectacular views, but also its trendy bars, its traditional restaurants, and its boutique hotels make it the place to be for an exciting after-ski or even non-ski life!

The Parnassos Ski Center, located on the peaks of Kelaria (1750 m), Fterolakas (1950 m) and Gerondovrachos, operates from December until the beginning of May. It is probably the biggest and best-organized ski-resort in the country with nineteen runs, named after Greek Gods like Hermes or Aphrodite.

With a total of 36km, there are seven ski routes, ten trails and three mini beginner runs, two cafe-chalets and a restaurant, ski and snowboard schools, stores for ski and snowboard equipment rental and a playground for children. Who could ask for more to fully enjoy a ski holiday in the country of Gods!

Here some other ski resorts are Tymfristos in the Karpenissi area, Helmos in the town of Kalavryta, Mainalos in Vytina, Peloponnese, Vasilitsa in Grevena and Kaimaktsalan in Edessa. Lovers of great landscapes and natural corners will be able to enjoy a place of interest for tourists like Cave Spileo Limnon, and a landscape environment like Lake Tsivlou.

Naupactus or Naupactus as the English say, or Nafpaktia as the Greeks say is a locality in Greece that lies on the periphery of Aetolia-Acarnania. The strategic location of Naupacto at the entrance to the Gulf of Corinth, formerly known as the Gulf of Lepanto, has given the town a special historical significance and made it for a long time an important shipyard that served generations and generations of Greeks, as well as like all the foreign dominators he has had in his history.

Already in the myths of Heracles it is mentioned that this demigod built in Naupacto a fleet to undertake the invasion of the Peloponnese. Later, for example, during the Peloponnesian War it was a very disputed port between Athenians and Spartans and the scene of the Battle of Naupact.

Christmas Holiday: Greece In The Winter

11. Agios Nikolaos


A quiet city in the center of Greece, hidden deep in the Gulf of Corinth, on the coast of Krisaikos Bay, Galaxidi is protected from the wind by the reassuring presence of the mountains that surround it. A short distance from Athens, Galaxidi lends itself to a short, pleasant and quiet holiday, as well as excursions in the surrounding area.

Start with a walk through the first port, the Agora, up the lanes of the traditional city. In the sacred temple of Agios Nikolaos, admire the two bell towers, the imposing dome and the masterpiece of an emblematic wooden frame, while in the temple of Agia Paraskevi.

Christmas Holiday: Greece Winter

12. Ionian Islands


Corfu is one of the most beautiful islands and the second largest in the archipelago of the Ionian Islands, at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea off Albania. It is the second largest island of the Ionian group after Kefalonia. If you travel to Corfu in winter, it is best to bring a coat or thick jacket, a raincoat or umbrella, lip protection and shoes with non-slip soles.

The Greeks know her as Kerkyra and her name is related to the Greek legend that when the god Poseidon fell in love with Korkyra. He abducted her and took her to the island, baptizing her with her name. The island is mountainous and in the northern center rises Mount Pantocrator, the highest mountain in Corfu.

The island is rich in history as it participated in conflicts between Athens and Sparta and was under the control of Venetians, Ottomans, French and English. It was the latter who left Corfu its architectural heritage which can be seen in its monuments and buildings. The island was the target of battles and conquests which led to the construction of the fortresses that surround Corfu, making it the only fortified city in Greece.

Kythira is one of the most isolated islands in Greece where the tourism industry is still in development; what makes it an ideal destination if you are looking for peace and tranquility. Located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Ionian Sea, Cythera is characterized by an idyllic landscape of wild nature and natural waterfalls.

A morning dip in the cold, clear waters of the Fonissas waterfall in Milopotamos will leave you feeling as good as new and will fill you with energy to explore. If cold water is not your thing, on the other side of the island you can find dreamy beaches to relax and relieve stress. The most famous are Lagkadia (awarded the blue flag for its waters), Kalami and Palaiopi.

A summer in Greece is not complete without tasting the local cuisine. You can visit some of the many taverns on the island or buy fresh fish from local fishermen and cook it at home. Do not forget to try the Fatourada, a cinnamon liqueur typical of the island. Before leaving, make sure you have tried the ladopaksimadia, a kind of toast, and to buy seeds of siempreviva, a yellow flower that only grows on the island and stays fresh for a long time after cutting it.

13. Corfu


Corfu is characterized by its exuberant vegetation and beautiful beaches bathed by the Ionian Sea giving it the nickname of Emerald Island. Corfu was the first island to open its doors to tourism offering important sites such as the Basilica of Paleopolis, one of the most important Byzantine monuments, as well as the church of Agios Spyridonas which is one of the best known on the island.

Spianada is a French-style square cataloged as one of the largest in Greece where you can see Liston, a building built during the French occupation which houses the best known restaurants in Greece and cafes. In this square you can also visit the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, known as Palaia Anaktora, dating from the time of the British occupation.

Corfu has narrow streets, squares, shopping streets, Venetian fortresses and museums such as the Archaeological Museum and the Asian Art Museum, among others. For these historical attractions, Corfu was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The cuisine of Corfu is very famous for the numerous and tasty dishes it offers, excellent combination of Greek cuisine and Venetian cuisine. Sample of it are Strapatsada scrambled with tomato, butter and a little brandy. It is served hot. Sofrito is a venetian dish of beef with a sauce of garlic, salt, pepper, white wine and vinegar.

Pastitsada is the most famous dish on the island. It comes from the Venetian Spezzatino. Kumquat is the fruit of a Japanese tree similar to lemon and is very popular in Corfu.

Only 218 km from Athens you can find an exotic paradise known almost exclusively by locals. Lichadonisia is located next to Evia, the second largest Greek island, only three and a half hours drive from Athens. Lichadonisia is composed of a group of uninhabited islands of volcanic origin, making it an even more exotic and exclusive destination.

To get there you must take a boat in the port of Kammena Vourla, which will take you to the beaches full of sun beds and umbrellas. Some call them the Maldives, Seychelles, Bahamas of Greece for its transparent colors and, although it is not so easy to arrive, the effort is worth it. On the way see seals and if the time allows dolphins. After spending the day on the beach, return to Kamena Vourla.

14. Meteora


Meteora Monasteries with its colossal rocks and monasteries seem to be suspended in the air over the Meteora valley, in the region of Thessaly. Meteora is a set of sandstone boulders formed under the sea 30 million years ago. These fascinating sculptures formed throughout history were discovered when the sea level dropped. The nearest towns where you can stay are Kastraki and Kalabaka.

And then, I could not miss Game of Thrones. Once again, after Northern Ireland and Girona, we saw a location of the famous series. Meteora appears in the landscape that Tyrion Lannister sees from his cell in the prison in the Eagles Nest, in the first season. Actually, it is a digital reproduction of Meteora's landscape, since they were not allowed to record there.

15. Thessaloniki


Uranópolis is the nearest city and port to the monasteries of the monastic republic of Mount Athos. The easiest way to get to the Sacred Mountain is to travel to Thessaloniki. At first glance Uranópolis looks like a typical Greek Mediterranean spa with traditional taverns, sandy beaches and many water sports.

In the Dionysiou monastery, on the west coast, the few visitors arrive with little luggage and spend the night in a small room, equipped with the most elementary. From Uranópolis there are several ferries and boats to Dafni, which is the port of the Sacred Mountain. In high season (Easter and summer) it is advisable to book in advance and marvel at the many monasteries before spending some time exploring Chalkidiki.

Edessa is located about 100 km from Thessaloniki, in the Pella prefecture of Macedonia, north of Greece. Maybe you have not heard much about the Greek waterfalls but they exist. One knows more about the Greek islands or the Greek ruins but there are also waterfalls if you know where to look. Among the most impressive are the Edessa Waterfalls. Actually more than a single waterfall is a series of waterfalls, it seems seven.

The fall is 70 meters in total so they are undoubtedly the main attraction in Edessa, beyond the ancient ruins that are located nearby. It is the waters of the Edessaios River that run through here even in the hot Greek summers. There are trails and ladders that allow you to cross the different highs. There are observation platforms and unless there is a lot of flow or it has rained all the trails and bridges are open.

In the lower part are the so-called Twin Falls, in the upper part there is a green garden with mini waterfalls everywhere and paths surrounded by flowers, and you also have the main fall, Karanos.

16. Naxos


No matter how long your stay in Naxos lasts, you'll want to stay forever. On the greenest island of the Cyclades you can get the perfect balance between an adventure and relaxation holiday. The capital of the island is a small coastal town with a vibrant atmosphere and interesting places to visit, including archaeological sites.

Naxos is known in Greece for its cheeses, potatoes (yes, they are incredible) and the Kitron, a local lemon liqueur perfect to finish a good banquet. This island is bigger than many of the others and is lucky to have some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. It is best to rent a car and travel the coast looking for the most beautiful and hidden golden sand beaches of Greece.

Naxos is also a perfect place for lovers of water sports such as kite surfing, windsurfing or even for a horse ride. But, if you are one of those who want to enjoy the sea from the depths, then book a diving expedition and watch the planes killed during the Second World War and that were left there submerged.

17. Ithaca


Visit the island to which Ulysses tried to return for almost 20 years. When you see the emerald color of the water and beaches so beautiful that they seem to lie, you will understand why Homer decided to turn Ithaca into a mythical and symbolic place. Its charming capital, Vathí, is full of small shops and restaurants of excellent quality.

If you prefer something more modern, visit the beach of Schinos. Here is the famous Villa Schinos, which has hosted celebrities such as Madonna, The Beach Boys and the cast of Mamma Mia. Ithaca is a paradise for diving lovers. If you are lucky you may find the Mediterranean monk seals resting on the rocks.

18. Samos


Ikaria is an island that fascinates both foreigners and the Greeks themselves. Perhaps it is due to the lifestyle of its inhabitants, who refuse to incorporate the word "stress" into their vocabulary, or the fact that life here is based on enjoying the small details. Some even say that by following this lifestyle you can find the true meaning to it.

It is not surprising that Ikaria is one of the five blue zones of the world; the places where people live longer. Whatever the reason, Ikaria represents a unique adventure that will surely change your outlook on life. The whole island is a succession of impressive landscapes, but here are the beaches that surpass reality. The best beaches to visit are Seychelles, Nas and Agios Georgios.

On the north coast of the island you can find white sand beaches and perfect waves for surfing. The most famous beach in this area is Mesakti, near the village of Evdilos. There are many accommodation options to choose from in the two largest towns on the island; Agios Kirykos (the capital) and Evdilos.

19. Paros


Samothrace is an island that will awaken your most intense feelings and that you must accept if you want to discover it in conditions. If you're looking for an environment and parties on the beach, then change your destination. Samothrace is a place for trekkers, explorers and those wanting to get away from the typical Aegean islands.

One of the hallmarks of Samothrace are the natural pools that form waterfalls between the rocks. These small lakes are pools of crystal clear water. If you dare to swim in these cold and refreshing waters, then visit the most famous: Gria Vathra and Fonia. Of course, we also have recommendations for beaches for those that are more salt water: Paxia Ammos, Kipos and Valtos.

Chora is a traditional village that rises on Mount Fengari at 300 meters altitude. Take a walk through its picturesque paths to travel back in time or have a coffee in the main square with extraordinary views of the Aegean Sea. Sanctuary of the great Gods is one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Greece.

The ruins were excavated in 1863 by the French and it was here that one of the most famous pieces of the Louvre was found, the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
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  • Thursday, December 21, 2017
Kalyan Kalyan Author
Are you just a week away from boarding the flight to your next destination? Are you planning to explore a place that is not always frequented by the tourists? If yes, then you must know that you are in for some amazing experiences. Are you fond of Indian street food photography? There are amazingly photogenic regions all over the world.

The abundance of raw nature and all its wilderness will be waiting for you to come, visit and leave with a heart full of memories. So, when you are going on a trip to a beautiful place, don't you think of eternalizing the moments? If yes, then you must take the best camera for travellers with you.

In fact, if you are thinking of spending this vacation in a different way, going for a photography tour with your camera can be a good idea for you. Instead of visiting the places and then thinking of clicking pictures, plan to go for a photography tour, where your urge and interest regarding photography will take you to different places.

Some of our most exciting moments in life come out of travel experiences. This is when we become unhinged from our normal lives, take a break from the monotony of our workweek, and embark on a mysterious and unpredictable journey. These are the moments we want to remember, the moments in which we'll want to capture and keep forever. And below you will find some quick and handy tips for creating a memorable travel video for your next adventure.

But, when you are preparing for a trip, you must do everything in the right order. How can that be possible? Here, we have put together a few points that will surely help you in planning the photography trip perfectly. Take a look.

Tips to Enhance Your Skills and Confidence for Photography Tour

1. Getting the Right Camera Gears


You must get the right kind of camera gears for your trip. Since you will be exploring the wilderness, it is necessary for you to get the best camera for travel and the right equipment so that every shot you take becomes glorious. Frankly, photography is not just about capturing a moment. It is telling a story through photo while bringing out a character.

It is possible only when the composition is flawless. And such flawless photography needs the help of a tripod, right lens, and proper flash. Research about the area you are visiting so that you get an idea about which gears will be perfect for you.

2. Don't forget the Camera Accessories


While you are going for the photography trip, you need to take a few accessories with you. Camera charger, batteries, memory card, hard drive and laptop, all of these are essential for your trip. Make sure that the memory card and the hard drive are clear of all files so that you can have enough space to create backup while on the go. Since you will have to click a lot of photos, a backup will be necessary so that you can sort the images later on.

Tips to Enhance Your Skills and Confidence for Photography Tour

3. Do Your Research


Research properly before you set out for the trip. Get to know about the areas you are visiting so that you can get into the mindset. It is necessary for you to know about the areas. It will not only tell you how to plan the trip but also, help you know what to expect in the course of your journey. Though I would say once you reach the place, you must communicate with the people around to know more about the place; yet, getting some basic knowledge beforehand is never a bad idea.

4. Finding the right agency


Get in touch with a reputed tour organizer who will perfectly coordinate the trip for you. Getting guidance from an experienced photographer is also necessary, especially if you are going for a photography trip for the first time. Make sure you find out such an agency before you set out for the trip.

Tips to Enhance Your Skills and Confidence for Photography Tour

5. Prepare for the trip


Know what kind of gear you are going to want to take with you. If you are going on a 3-4 week backpacking trip across Europe, you may not want to hull around a bunch of camera equipment. A convenient little GoPro or Handycam would help save your back, and create more room for other belongings.

But if you are weaving in and out of cities and hotels, then you could think about hauling around something a little bigger. Don’t forget about your phone camera. Almost all new phones come with advanced cameras, and the footage can be indistinguishable from the more expensive DSLRs.

6. Research Your Destination Beforehand


Be sure to research the popular sights and attractions beforehand. If you know you are going to be in a specific city, try to find some less frequented areas, or even talk to some locals and ask them about some very scenic parts of the town/countryside.

Sometimes, the most frequented spots aren’t the most picturesque. Do not be afraid to leave your comfort zone. Traveling is an adventure, and some of the best adventures are unpredictable. This, in turn, could produce some of your most awe-inducing footage.

7. Learn Video Techniques


Touched upon in our Videography Tips, a couple different approaches to holding the camera can make all the difference. Keeping the camera static could get a bit dull, so move it around a bit. Try panning the camera around an urban scene to get the full effect. Walk up a hill that leads to an amazing view, so as to surprise the viewer when you get to the top.

Get on the back of a moped and shoot some fast moving scenery. Or walk with your phone held up above you on a densely populated sidewalk. The possibilities are endless, and there isn't a wrong way to film, as long as you don't have your finger over lens!

8. Join a basic photography and videography course


Join a basic photography and videography courses to give a head start to your career. To attain technical specialization there are basic and advanced photography courses. Along with your regular classes these basic courses can be pursued or even avail a part time course. For higher level of qualifications you can apply to a photography institute of repute. If your background is in computers then acquiring technical skills is expected to be considerably easy.

Personally introducing your video can add a familiar element to it. Try getting yourself in front of the camera and setting the preface to your travel story. Bring in some of your family members or traveling cohorts. You may feel a little uncomfortable, at first, but after a few takes it will become as natural as talking on the phone. Make it fun! Experiment with backdrops, write a silly script, or bring in the family pets.

These skills help you to pose the right set of pictures, what your client looks upon. This would mean a concise view of the technical knowledge about your equipment, lighting or camera skills and even digital imaging skills.

9. Get a Mentor


In the starting phase it is better if you work with a seasoned photographer as you can gain valuable inputs from them. This is going to provide you with valuable insights on what a photographer can come up during their job. Business acumen and how to handle clients would be part of the on job training.

10. Attend Photography Workshops


By these workshops you gain hands on experience. Even your works can be showcased on such work place platforms. As regular visitors would provide true feedback about your album you can enhance your skills in a positive direction. Undertaking freelance work would also help. A sense of confidence is provided when you are approaching other organizations or fellow photographers for work. Availing photography courses will take your career to a different level.

Now, you must be confident enough after reading these four tips, isn't it? So, don't wait any more. Board the plane and get ready to experience the best time of your life.
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  • Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Kalyan Kalyan Author
Eternal Mayhem by Aniruddha Bose can be considered a science-based thriller that puts before the eyes an unreal story (or almost). But at the same time, the book makes me shiver and makes me reflect a lot because it deals with a theme of considerable importance. The story is concerning the creation of a new super-race by genetic manipulation. The arc of suspense is consistently built on, until the big resolution at the end.

How far can science go? What is the boundary between a form of research focused on the good of humanity and one that allows itself to be exploited by the desire for racial supremacy? What is the limit beyond which the thirst for knowledge can become a source of danger? What are the ethical implications of genetics, of cloning, of experimentation on human beings?

The focus continues to be the eternal rivalry between the good and the evil. Here the difference is that the book focuses more on the evil ones. Everything seems to be going according to plan in the beginning. But the true danger is not apparent until the end. To these and other questions Aniruddha Bose does not only try to give answers but raises questions. The book focuses on issues of burning actuality, even within a conventional narrative framework.

The plot takes place over a period of many years. The characters are partially predictable, but some are surprisingly different. Also very nice is the scenery. One travels through different places such as Bali, Fiji, Hawaii, Maldives, Bora Bora, Punta Cana, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

What I have read is much more than a suspense-thriller. It is an outrageous vision of a good author. He shows us how small and sensitive our earth is and how little we know about the vast, wide universe.

Aniruddha Bose is a Plastic Surgeon, and you can tell that on every single page. The author has tried to reread the canons of one of the most codified genres - the thriller. He enriches it with nuances of science. He makes a psychological dig as intense as possible of the complex figure of the protagonists but also of the other side characters.

The story sometimes appears a little predictable but is still quite intriguing and pleasant. The plot is varied and evolves on different levels because it is told from the point of view of different characters. This gives a far-reaching overview of all the events that are related to the protagonists.

Overall, there is a multi-faceted and well-structured plot over a long period of time. There are interesting characters and many backgrounds to the motives alternated between exciting moments. The compelling thriller is able to show the reader how often science can go against ethics if its reins are in the hands of men without scruples.

A captivating narrative style and a lively, as well as careful psychological construction of each character that animates the whole story, contribute to make this work by Aniruddha Bose a pleasant reading and a starting point for interesting reflections.

Even the writing, which is thick and sharp at the beginning becomes more and more relaxed and traditional. It intends to reflect the psychological process of the main character. The novel is also dotted, from the titles of the chapters, some of which are more immediately understandable. Others stimulate interaction with the interested or passionate reader.

The current novel like the previous ones is based on an entertaining mix of suspense and action. In this case, it is augmented by historical and scientific aspects and an Indiana Jones-like search for the antidote. One action sequence follows the next. There is hardly any time to catch your breath in this fast-paced thriller between science and mysticism and facts and fiction.

Aniruddha Bose knows how to keep his reader on the hook with an exciting, and nerve-wracking experience that follows. Maybe some elements are a bit obvious. But in the end, everything fits well enough. So, as a whole, I can claim to have enjoyed a good thriller! It is a must-read but not only for suspense-thriller fans!
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  • Friday, December 08, 2017
Kalyan Kalyan Author
Australia offers vibrant beaches, vast open spaces, delicious cuisine, affable locals, and some of the most exotic animals in the world among plenty of other things. You can explore some of the most stunning attractions this incredible country has to offer. It is not just a dream destination for many backpackers who book the cheapest flight to Australia but for other travelers around the world as well.

And without leaving the antipodes, we find Australia. This immense country, which almost serves as a continent, is another clear example that shows that in nations dominated by nature, people usually live well. Australia is a country with very low population density, in which frictions typical of countries where human beings have had to dispute land and limited possessions do not occur.

It has safe, clean air, wild, modern nature, with well-structured cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth where unemployment is virtually non-existent. With the healthy lifestyle of people, Australia brings together many reasons to be on the list of best countries of the world in which to live.

Australia is a huge nation with many different sides and is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. It has large cities with soaring skyscrapers, but it also has vast swaths of undeveloped land in the outback. And if you are looking for a serene trip then you should definitely explore some of the natural beauty that this fantastic place has to offer.

You could check out Uluru if you are looking to see an iconic natural monument. Known also as Ayers Rock, this sandstone rock formation is absolutely breathtaking. Its size alone is boggling, but it is the beauty of the location that really makes this such a serene experience.

Make sure you visit the Great Barrier Reef too. It's a spectacle unlike any other. Being the largest coral reef system in the world, it is also home to some of the most incredible sea life in the world.

You should find the time to go diving if you can. Getting up and close to some of the stunning creatures that live there will really put things into perspective. You will definitely want to protect beautiful natural places such as this once you see it for yourself. All in all, this is definitely one of the most mesmerising destinations that should be in the Australian bucket list.

But statistics do show the increasing trend of family travelers exploring more offbeat destinations in Australia among other places. If you happen to be one such traveler, here is a list of some of the best offbeat destinations you can explore in Australia.

1. Broome


Broome, located in the Kimberley region is one of the few civilized destinations that this desert region has. The place where red sand joins the sea, the slogan of this city can not be more appropriate. Broome was once the center of the world pearl industry. Nowadays, you can buy pearls there, as well as visit a dedicated museum.

Cable Beach is worth it for watching the sunset from there. There is also the possibility of riding a camel on the beach. There are many things that can be done in the Northern Territory of Australia! Fly over the horizontal waterfalls of Talbot Bay by seaplane. It is about impressive rock formations, but both the views and the contrasts of color are wonderful there.

2. Flinders Ranges National Park


Mountain range located to the north of Adelaide, the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park constitutes one of the most beautiful natural spaces of Australia, in the border with the Simpson Desert. The truth is that it is an area not very far from Adelaide, with forests, mountains and the beginning of a desert of red sand that extends to the north of the mountain range.

The Flinders Mountains should be considered a mandatory stage in any trip to Australia. If you are lucky enough to spend a night in the heart of the natural park, do not miss the sunset that inks the skirts of the mountains of an absolutely unforgettable red color.

Continue to the Yourambulla caves to appreciate the aboriginal art and then advance to Wilpena Pound, located in the center of the Flinders Rangers National Park. Afterwards, you can go to Quorn, known for its steam train trips to and from Port Augusta. Travel to the Barossa and Clare Valley Wine Region. This region is located in the beautiful north of Mount Lofty Ranges and is nestled between wooded hills and extensive vineyards.

You can visit the neighboring towns of Burra and Kapunda. Do not miss the oldest winery called Sevenhill, a historic and beautiful winery founded by the Jesuits.

3. Great Ocean Road


In the state of Victoria is one of the most beautiful and famous coast roads, the Great Ocean Road, where we can visit the concocted limestone pinnacles of the Twelve Apostles. We can see whales, stroll along its beaches, enjoy its national parks and visit its fishing villages. Melbourne is a city with great cultural, sports and gastronomic diversity.

At Phillip Island observe each night as hundreds of penguins come out to take refuge in their caves, a spectacle of nature worth observing. If you are a lover of good food, we recommend the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley wine region.

4. Canberra


One of the most popular cities and the glorious capital of Australia, Canberra is a fantastic place to explore. Lying only on the border of being an offbeat destination, there are scores of attractions to enjoy here. It is best to give a day or two just to explore Canberra and its many attractions which include some of the best and most spectacular Australian festivals.

The fabulous city witnesses a lot of tourist traffic many of which happen to be repeat visitors who can't seem to get enough if this amazing place.

5. Jarvis Bay


Also spelled Jervis Bay, this offbeat yet spectacular place is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations in Australia. Offering crystal blue waters along with shimmering sandy beaches, the beauty of the place cannot be described in enough words. Adventure lovers will enjoy the watersports opportunities here while animal lovers will immensely be enthralled by indulging in a bit of Dolphin spotting.

There is also the Booderee National Park you can explore whose top attractions include Bristol Point, Murrays Beach, and Greenpatch among others.

Australia tourism

6. Blue Mountains


Rising above Sydney and located within a World Heritage Site, the Blue Mountains of Australia offer a very distinct perspective than busy city life. Apart from the scenic beauty of the place, top attractions you can enjoy here include day spas, shopping markets, golf courses, dining areas, and galleries among several other things.

For trekkers, there are bushwalking trails like the Three Sisters at Echo Point. The massive and spectacular Blue Mountains obtain their name after the stunning blue tinge they display from a distance.

7. Port Stephens


Popularly considered as a blue water paradise owing to its vast stretches of clean, white sandy beaches, Port Stephens is a breathtakingly beautiful place to visit. Offering some of the most delicious and fresh seafood in the region, the tourism industry here is fast becoming one of the most lively ones in the country.

A fantastic alternative to those who have been to Sydney too many times, Port Stephens does not disappoint with its spectacular beauty and lively ambiance.

8. Hunter Valley


With an increasing number of Indians exploring more offbeat destinations in Australia, Hunter Valley has proved itself to be worthy of a visit as well. A paradise for wine lovers, this is where you will find the vineyards and wine cellars of the famed De Luliis, McGuigan, Tyrell's, and Briar Ridge among others.

The Hunter Valley Wine School is a fantastic place to visit and learn all you possibly can about wine. The restaurants here serve only the best when it comes to wine and it’s coupled with delicious food made from fresh local produce.

9. Gold Coast


A spectacular place to visit, Gold Coasts popularity seems to be soaring even more after the Commonwealth Games since it was the host city. Offering top attractions such as splendid beaches, intriguing theme parks, and awesome rainforests among plenty of other things, the place is popular not just with foreign tourists but even the locals are flocking to the place in increasing numbers every day.

Its sunny beaches are by far its top attraction and major draw where you will find lots of people spending quality time together.
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  • Friday, December 08, 2017
Kalyan Kalyan Author
A Hundred Little Flames by Preeti Shenoy is a delightful story of a bond across generations. It also takes a contemplative look at the matters of old folks. Without any assessment, the book encourages us to question our own life plan.

26-year-old Ayan is sent to live with his ill-tempered old grandfather Gopal Shanker in a small settlement in Kerala. But he is clearly upset. To make matters worse, Jairaj, Ayan’s authoritarian father has his individual ideas. He is resolute to have his way. Quickly, Ayan has to come to terms with the tough truths of life and the rashness of greed. He and his grandfather learn that life can sometimes untangle by surprising means.

An eye-opening as well as an inspiring book, the book is actually more of a dialogue. Again and again, I wished that I myself could sit opposite the author over a tea and share my thoughts. Preeti expresses interesting ideas that provide a good basis for discussion and leave you satisfied.

I am sure that every person in the book will discover one or the other truth about himself. In addition, the book gives you a great opportunity for self-reflection. Or the reflection of friends or people in general. You get ideas, which you then have to continue or may.

The author creates a pleasant mood for reflection with irony and charm. I was a bit sad at the end that it's over. She does not shy away from honesty and presents the reader with truths. It resonates with humor, but also with criticism. The book encourages one to think without having a moral nerve.

She meets the core of our generation and addresses problems of our society today. It addresses more serious issues that we should address outside our comfort zone. In general, the book convinces us.

Preeti Shenoy has created a great work for young and old with this book. It shows the different problems and possible obstacles of relationships. The book clearly encourages reflection on one's own actions or relationship. I can only recommend the book to anyone. And I can say for myself that I am able to relate, even though some points in the book have reminded me very much of myself.

Overall, I like the book very much. From beginning to end, the author has a gift to describe and illustrate the story very well. Sometimes I find things seem a bit exaggerated. But this also allows the author to put a well-dosed irony into the book. I have often recognized myself in his texts, often in places where I least expected it. It stimulates reflection without lecturing. The book can bring something to one or the other that he or she may not know about.

A Hundred Little Flames Preeti Shenoy
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  • Saturday, December 02, 2017
Kalyan Kalyan Author

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