Monthly Archives: March 2016

Japan Travel Destinations

Japan Travel Destinations

The Peace Museum in Hiroshima, dedicated to the promise of peace that Japan made after the devastation of World War II, is a beautiful park and museum that serves as a reminder of the horrible deaths that Hiroshima residents experienced in the nuclear bombings. The Peace Museum is also a reminder of the beautiful war-free history that Japan has preserved since that terrible experience.

The Museum

There are two main areas of the museum. The East building contains information about Hiroshima before the attack, the attack and atom bomb itself, and the strive toward peace after the nuclear demolition. The main building is dedicated to what survived the attack – both artifacts and people. Survivors of the Hiroshima bombing drew and painted numerous pieces depicting their experiences on August 6, 1945 that are now displayed with captions telling their memories of that day. Special exhibits also alternate throughout the year.

The Park

At one end of the long park are the very tall “Gates of Peace” that contain the word “peace” in a myriad of languages. Continue from there to the large “Fountain of Prayer” that is constantly shifting and stands in front of the museum. Beyond the museum are several rectangular pools and a monument with an eternal flame dedicated to the victims. The magnificent Ota River marks the outer boundary of these pools. Across the Ota River stands the one building that survived the bombing, now known as the A-Bomb Dome. Every year on August 6, a ceremony is held at the A-bomb Dome to commemorate those who suffered. Throughout the park there are many memorials and monuments to individuals and groups affected by the bombing.

In the spring, the park in Hiroshima comes alive with cherry blossoms, and the A-Bomb Dome is surrounded by cherry trees, their blossom reflecting on the Ota River, giving visitors a bitter-sweet and serene atmosphere for some reflection of their own. It is a beautiful park that has sprung from the ashes of a now buoyant city, and a beautiful endeavor for peace that has sprung from the ashes of a shattering war.

Feature Student Travel Destination Romania

Feature Student Travel Destination Romania

Romania: land of the Dracula myth; home to the mysterious Transylvania region, where vampires are said to appear from fog-covered castles set high in the desolate mountains towering above rural villages.

There are few places in the world as mesmerizing and charming as this beautiful European country. The enchanting landscape is spotted with picturesque windmills, articulate monasteries, and ornate churches, all perched in an untamed, mountainous terrain that rolls across Eastern Europe.

In May of 2007, I embarked on this Romanian student travel journey with eight of my peers from the University of South Carolina. We would be participating in a three-week English Immersion Camp with five high schools in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, teaching a variety of business and cultural courses. After 35 hours of traveling, we finally landed in Cluj’s humble airport, nestled in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. We loaded into a cramped Renault mini-van and pulled onto the crowded city streets. We were passed by dozens of miniature vehicles, zipping between lanes and around corners. To my surprise, we also shared the road with men inching along on horse-drawn carriages. Modern day innovations exist harmoniously with Old World ways of life. It was absolutely fascinating.

As I would soon discover, the country’s splendor is both amplified and haunted by the remnants of a fierce era of communism. Under communist control for more than 40 years, the cinder-block buildings still fill Romanian cities, but the preservation of Moldavian and Gothic architectural styles give the country a timeless feel. Over the next few weeks, I became engrossed with the Romanian culture. The students, who were incredibly warm and generous, welcomed us with open arms. Their enthusiasm, both in and out of the classroom, demonstrated their passion for academics and life. With flawless English grammar and speaking skills, I soon learned that there would be little about this modest country that didn’t impress me.

Romania is not for the timid student traveler. The people are extraordinarily hospitable, but the tourism industry is underdeveloped; once you’re out of the larger cities such as Cluj-Napoca, Bucharest, Sibiu, and Brasov, you’re in for an adventurous journey into the past. In some spots, modern day luxuries such as indoor plumbing and air conditioning are non-existent. So, if you’re feeling courageous and willing to temporarily part ways with common amenities, a rewarding and eye-opening experience is soon to follow.

Now, what about this Dracula stigma? Did such a person ever exist or was he simply a fictional character of Bram Stoker’s famous 1897 novel? In short, yes, he existed. However, the vampire notion is entirely fictional. Stoker’s inspiration for the Count Dracula character came from Vlad Dracul, a fifteenth century Romanian prince known for his exceedingly cruel punishments imposed during his reign. The most famous of these punishments was impalement, which earned Vlad the nickname “the Impaler.” Unfortunately, Vlad the Impaler’s original castle is nothing but a pile of rubble. However, Dracula’s “unofficial” castle can be found in the town of Bran, about 20 miles south of Brasov.

Bran Castle’s towering white walls, red-hued shingles, and threatening towers combine for a truly breathtaking site. The mystery and folklore surrounding Vlad Dracul’s involvement in the castle’s history add a sense of intrigue that will leave you hanging on the tour guide’s every word. You’ll climb through secret passageways, hear tales of violent battles and brutal impalement, and stand atop soaring turrets. Romania’s most famous fictional citizen, Dracula, has certainly become a key promotional tool for the Romanian tourism industry. Even with the fallacy surrounding the Dracula myth, Romania’s tourism industry would be foolish not to use the legend of Dracula to attract visitors.

Times have changed. Communism is dead, the borders have been opened, and Romania is now a member of the European Union. So why should you visit Romania? The best answer is because it is one of the most beautiful countries in Eastern Europe, and its charm and mystique will leave you awestruck. During the two weeks I spent in this country as a student teacher, I learned much more than I taught. I was greeted with warmth and generosity wherever I went, and I strongly encourage anyone with a passion for student travel [http://studenttravelblog.wordpress.com] not to leave Romania off their list.

Top Vancouver Travel Destinations

Top Vancouver Travel Destinations

As one of Canada’s most populous cities, Vancouver offers visitors and tourists a unique and exciting experience. There are many attractions and activities that will please even the most discerning of tastes. Be sure to include some of these activities in your itinerary for a trip you won’t soon forget.

· Stanley Park: An oasis in the middle of the city; over 1000 acres of lush forests, beaches, lakes, hiking trails, gardens and more. Stanley Park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium, another must-see attraction.

· Fraser Canyon: Ride the Air Tram over the Fraser River, or take the suspension bridge; explore the seven mountain tunnels, or just take in the amazingly beautiful view. This is definitely not something to be missed.

· Science World: Explore and experiment the world of science; fun for the whole family. You will learn all about things as large as outer space, to things as small as molecules in your body.

· Whale Watching: Take a guided tour and watch these majestic animals in their natural habitat. Many tour companies offer free pick-up from your hotel.

· Gastown: Named after Vancouver’s first settler, “Gassy Jack.” Stroll down the cobbled streets as you browse art, souvenirs, and antiques from over 150 vendors. Take in the quaint Victorian architecture and courtyards. Visit the micro-brewery and enjoy a beer.

· Classical Chinese Garden: These can be viewed in any kind of weather, all year round. Have a complimentary cup of Chinese tea, as you view the majestic design of the gardens and grounds.

· Burnaby Village Museum and Carousel: You will feel as though you’ve stepped back in time as you are greeted with period-costumed townsfolk. Visit the general store, or the blacksmith’s shop.

· Robson Street: A popular film location shoot, this is European-style street is teeming with sidewalk cafes, coffee shops, bookstores, restaurants and more. It’s also a great place to people watch as you sit and have a cup of your favourite coffee.

Vancouver has so much to offer it can be difficult to decide what to do first. Talk to your travel agent and see if any of the above attractions can be included in an all-inclusive package. You’ll want to see as many things as you possibly can. Do some online research to see if any of the attractions have discount coupons you can purchase beforehand; a word of caution though – make sure when you buy online, you are buying from a reputable company. You don’t want to find out later that you’ve been scammed.

Brazil Travel Destinations Must See Places in Brazil

Brazil Travel Destinations Must See Places in Brazil

Entertainment would be the exact term for identifying Brazil. A country in South America, Brazil has miles of coastline, brilliant sunshine, joyful nightlife, relaxation, kinds of beaches, historical places and various activities, festivals and much more. The country Brazil offers lifetime experiences. Brazil is also known as the land of contrasts. The hospitality of Brazilian people make the place more attractive. The country has always been a popular tourist destination.

Among the cities of Brazil, there are Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador, Manaus, Florianópolis, Galinhas, Recife, Buzios, Natal, Brasilia, Belem, Buzios. The Capital of Brazil is Brasilia. Previously, Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil however due to the position of Brasilia, it has become the capital.Brasilia has an architectural spectacle. In Brazil, each city has its own beauty.

Rio de Janeiro has one of the most beautiful settings in the world. Rio de Janeiro is the home of world-famous Copacabana beach which is a must see place. Also Rio de Janeiro welcomes visitors with that big statue of an open-armed Jesus on top of Corcovado, – the Christ the Redeemer statue- and this is also world famous. Rio de Janeiro is totally a mustsee place. It is a fantastic city. Rio also has some wonderful museums such as the Museu Historico Nacional and the Museu da Republica. Tijuca Forest, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Jardim Botânico are places to see, too. Rio’s famous glitzy Carnaval is fantastic and very famous all over the world.

São Paulo is Brazil’s largest and most cosmopolitan city. The city owns famed nightlife and offers shopping opportunities. Some of the attractions are Teatro Municipal, Casa do Grito e Capela Imperial, Memorial da America Latina, Niemeyer’s Edifício Copan, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Patío do Colégio, Santa Fe Plaza etc.

Some of the most interesting places to visit in and attractions to see in Brazil are Fernando de Noronha Island, Ouro Preto, Olinda, Iguacu Falls, Colonial Towns of Minas Gerais, Pantanal, Aquario Natural, Chapada Diamantina, Ubatuba, Rio Novo, Aeroporto de UFO, Cidade Alta, Reserva de Desenvolvimento Sustentável, Cidade Alta, Encontro das Águas, Fernando de Noronha, Igreja de Santa Efigênia dos Pretos, Parque Estadual do Caracol, Parque Nacional Sete Cidades, Bonito, Manaus Opera House and much more.

The sunshine with warm weather, brilliant sunshine call the visitors to the world famous beaches of Brazil. Brazil’s coastal cities are well known for their beautiful beaches, mainly Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian Carnival, The Amazon Rainforest, Capoeira are also most pronounced words about Brazil.

The Carnival occurs annually as a festival and continues for 40 days before Easter. The streets become lively as the people dance and play music. Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is known worldwide for its parades staged by the city’s samba schools in the Sambadrome. Sambadrome is one of Rio’s major tourist attractions. Also in Brazil, there are several carnivals and these hold some important carnival parades.For example, Minas Gerais Carnaval, Pernambuco Carnival, Bahia Carnival etc.The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. The forest still has its own secrets and is a house for thousands of species.Capoeira has originated in Brazil.It is regarded as a kind of dance, game, sport or martial art. As a visitor, one can even learn Capoeira.