Croatia: Small Country With So Much To Offer

Croatia is no doubt a beautiful country with excellent attraction sites second to none. It is among the top Europe tourist destinations that tourists from various parts of the world flock to enjoy their holiday. Croatia has outstanding natural attraction sites as well as old cities and other spectacular historical ruins. A Croatia sailing trip cannot be compared to any other. Below are five of the top attractive places, you ought to visit.

krka national park

Krka National Park

It derives its name from the Krka River situated along it. Krka National Park is an exact definition of nature. Its beautiful and numerous gushing waterfalls are what every tourist looks forward to seeing once they arrive. The waterfalls form beautiful pools of clear water which you can never get tired of staring at. If you love swimming, then these pools are a perfect place too. With the freshness and calmness of the water, you can be sure to enjoy the experience. There are also walkways and boat excursions just for you to have a perfect view around the park.

Zadar

This a very old city on the coastline of Croatia which has been in existence for over three thousand years. A visit to this place gives you a chance to swim, sunbathe or just relax. Zadar is a tourist destination for the people who want to have a glimpse of the history of Croatia. Tourists do not overcrowd it like most of the other places, and this gives you an excellent chance to see many things at your own pace as well as engage yourself in numerous activities. While in Zadar, you can also tour its Old town which is filled with fantastic attractions like beautiful old churches and medieval architecture.

Dubrovnik Croatia

Dubrovnik

It defines the height of touring Croatia. It has numerous eye-catching sites like old defensive walls, splendid palaces among other breathtaking sceneries. Dubrovnik is an ancient city that was started in the 7th century. Dubrovnik is located towards the south of Croatia. Its closeness to the well known Banje and Lapad beaches gives you an extra opportunity to visit more beaches. Dubrovnik is also near Lokrum island. Korcula

Korcula

This is an island off the Adriatic coast of Croatia. Its amazing green forests, sandy beaches, historic sites, charming villages are just but a few of the wonderful attractions in the area. Korcula is alleged to be the place of birth for Marco Polo, the famous merchant traveler. Visiting this site gives you an opportunity to experience and enjoy different views within the same area. Its beauty creates a memory that will linger around for many years to come.

plitvice national park

Plitvice National Park.

The most outstanding features of the Plitvice National Park are its numerous lakes, waterfalls in addition to the vast forest. The view of the park is impressive and spectacular. These features make the park unique and marvelous especially with the 16 lakes that interconnect. It’s a site to behold. It has wooden walkways which you can use to walk around. You can as well opt for a boat and enjoy the view.

Alex Dragas (Guest Writer)

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Top 5 Reasons Why Croatia Should Be Your Next Holiday Destination

Croatia is increasingly becoming one of the top travel destinations in Europe for many reasons. This charming country is situated on the Adriatic Sea in Eastern Europe and offers tremendous features and endless wonders that attract travelers from all walks of life. Statistics from Croatia’s tourist board indicate that visits from British travel enthusiasts rose in 2015 by more than a quarter.

Additionally, the same resource hints that Croatia records almost 26% increase in overnight stays annually. There are many reasons why Croatia has fast grown to become a travel hot spot, such as its unique location, legendary music scenes, beautiful architecture, unforgettable Game of Thrones scenery, incredible history, and the perfect climate just to mention a few.

These are the Top 5 Reasons Why Croatia Should Be Your Next Holiday Destination:

National Parks

Croatia is blessed with more than eight unique National Parks that offer several hours of walking and exploring. One of the renowned National Parks in this country is the Plitvice, which is mostly famous for its emerald lakes. It gets difficult to move around in summer as huge crowds jostle to snap the photos and videos of its beauty.

krka national park
Another popular option is the Krka National Park. This enticing destination is known for its winding boardwalks that criss-cross the river while flowing through the park in proximity to the spectacular waterfall. You can dip yourself in the crystal clear waters in summer to cool your body off after day-long exploration.

The Coastal Scenery

The Coastal part of Croatia offers another seamless reason to pay a visit to this country. The Adriatic coast waters are an appealing blue-green gem adjoining Europe’s best beaches. There are no crowds in spring, and the coastline seems quiet. However, you must bring a jacket with you to avoid feeling the breeze.

croatia coast

The Croatian pebbly shores create a fantastic picturesque location with the changing splutters of white pebbles. Dubrovnik is situated toward the southern section of the country, while the northern coastline is lined with Roman remains, villages, vineyards, and alluring beaches and coves.

Mljet Island

The Mljet Island is best known as a paradise on earth and suits anyone who yearns for a sense of heaven. This idyllic island goes utterly silent in spring. And that is the ideal time for relaxing on the island. There’s a ferry in Dubrovnik that will take you on a short journey as you leave the world of paradise behind and embark on your visit to the most southern island of Dalmatia.

The pine forest covers more than 70% of the island, which makes it verdantly amazing. The isolated salt-water lake is similarly an idyllic setting that is undisturbed. It absolutely creates a whole new experience for visitors.

Exquisite Cities

Although Croatia is a rather small country as regards to size, it is a home to major cities that provide unique urban landscapes for exploring. The capital city of this nation is called Zagreb. Its vibrant downtown region is a home to intriguing natural settings and Croatia property agencies covering Dalmatia and the islands.

Dubrovnik

These agencies specialize in the sales of International coastal property, traditional stone houses, and first line property. The city also accommodates dramatic landscapes that offer exceptional natural settings to explore.

Game of Thrones Appeal

A correlation exists between Croatia’s rising population and its starring role in the Game of Thrones series. Many attractions featured in the HBO series Game of Thrones, including Dubrovnik whose forts and city walls turned out to become the King’s Landing.

The magnificent Trsteno Arboretum located in the city suburbs became the Red Keep’s gardens. Additionally, the Fortress of Klis was used for the exterior shots of Mereen. St Dominic Monastery located in Trogir appeared in the series as Qarth. All these instances make Croatia special, unique and worth visiting.

  • Alex Dragas (Guest Writer)

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Why Is Hong Kong One Of The Best Destinations To Visit?

Hong Kong is one of the most exotic tourist destinations in the planet: it is amassed with all sorts of beautiful sceneries, one of a kind monuments, fun-filled activities found nowhere else in the world. In a bid to showcase its magic, today we shall be taking a look at what the city dubbed the “Pearl of the Orient” has to offer:

Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise
If you have a penchant for shopping, then Hong Kong is your equivalent of heaven on earth. The city has an abundance of major supermarkets with countless street markets and bazaars at the heart of all the buying and selling. Clothes, electronics, souvenirs, home furnishing, cosmetics you name it, anything you need you are sure to find it. Most popular shopping locations include the Temple Street and the kilometer-long market on Tung Choi Street.

Hong Kong SkylineUnrivalled sceneries
You’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of beautiful sceneries as the city has no shortage of them. First up is the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade that offers a breathtaking view of nature’s work at its finest. From there, the mesmerizing skyline of the Hong Kong Island is visible alongside many of the city’s glamorous architectural prowess.

Another that offers quite the vantage point of the city’s skyline in all its glory is The Peak in Mid-Levels. The anvil-shaped structure provides one of the best viewing platforms in the city from which to take in the amazing show put on by Hong Kong’s army of unbridled skyscrapers. The city truly comes into its own at night time with an array of all sorts of mesmerizing lights bringing it into life. It makes for a scene right out of the Cinderella movies.

Rich blend of culture
Hong Kong is a concussion of many cultures and as such the city is amassed with numerous fairs and festivals all year round; there’s never a dull moment. These include the Chinese New Year, sports, Halloween and general art celebrations which feature a display of ancient culture and tradition, eye-watering fireworks and the dance and routines to match. What’s more, these events feature a variety of delicious cuisines to keep your taste buds occupied.

hongkong buildingsHong Kong is the city of Stars 
Hong Kong’s is renowned for producing a great deal of talented martial art superstars who went on to cement their name not only in the sands of time but also in stone in the famous “Avenue of Stars.” Located in Tsim Sha Tsui, the avenue contains an assembly of legendary figures (Bruce Lee, McDull, Anita Mui among many others) of the country’s movies industry immortalized in artistic statues. The “Garden of Stars” also encompasses handprint plaques of the industry’s greats and classic movie scenes brought to life in a mural; all of which can be experienced from regular exhibition displays.

Unforgettable Disney Land
A marvel inspired ride, Star Wars theme experience and the ultimate Iron Man display all ensure that your night is as magical as it gets. The Hong Kong Disney Land is a captivating destination for children and adults alike puts on a light show second to none thanks to state of the art technology.

hongkong harbour

Timeless Monuments
The Clock Tower standing elegantly at a junction where the center of the former Canton Terminus used to be puts on dazzling display with the granite tower complimented beautifully by shades of red brick. The tower not only serves as eye candy but also harbours within its walls tales of a century-old past of the steam age.

Soothing massages
Well, if you’re wondering why you’d travel across borders just to get a massage, then you most certainly have not been at the receiving end of a naturist massage in Hong Kong. Naturist massages have featured in countless films about the city and that’s because they are simply heavenly. Executed by highly skilled professionals, the art has been honed over time to provide a mind-shattering unforgettable experience that’ll leave you begging for more. Hong Kong is flooded with parlors and spas providing naturist massages and offers a great way to bring the curtains down on a fun-filled day.

Final Verdict
Hong Kong is not called the “Pearl of The Orient” for no reason; it is a buzz of all sorts of marvels and unmatched festivals making it one of the best places to visit. If you haven’t quite put a finger on where to go on your next vacation, then think no further. Hong Kong is the place to be.

  • Alex Dragas (Guest Post Contributor)

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Navratri This Year Bigger Than Ever

It’s that time of the year again when skinny jeans and LBDs ( little black dresses) are replaced with chaniya cholis and ghagras, and city pubs are no longer the most happening spots as denizens flock to the various venues organising garba and dandiya nights. Navratri is no longer confined to the Gujarati or Marwari communities with Telugus, Punjabis, Sindhis and Bengalis here taking a keen interest in the festival and organisers of Navratri special events claiming that the budgets and the footfall have gone up by nearly 50 per cent in the past few years. Although the festival begins on Tuesday, the Navratri fever has already gripped the city with denizens enrolling themselves in dandiya and garba workshops and attending some special pre-Navratri events and contests.

Pic source: celebrity-days.blogspot.com

Organised at a budget of around Rs 1.5 crore, some of the biggest dandiya events in the city have managed to rope in big ticket sponsors and are expecting at least 12,000 people to visit the venue daily. Out of the total budget nearly Rs 3 lakh is spent only on the massive sound equipment while the orchestra costs another Rs 1.5 lakh. With such huge crowds, the tight security measures including multiple bouncers, CCTV cameras and guards too take up at least Rs 50,000. Mukesh Ojha, one of the organisers of Nandu Bilal Navratri Dandiya Utsav held at Malla Reddy Gardens in Bowenpally said, “Previous year, on the last day of the event around 18,000 people turned up at the venue and we were forced to close the gates as the area was packed.

“This time we are expecting even more people to come forward. The number of non-Gujaratis and non-Marwaris attending these events too has increased multifold.” He added that this year, the venue is being decorated in the theme ‘Brindavan’ centered around the Radha Krishna dieties and popular singers from singing reality shows will be performing at the event. Organisers of other events like the Naamdhari dandiya festival organised at Imperial Gardens in Secunderabad and Garbarass Ni Rumjhut, a garba competition held recently in the city too noted a increase in interest towards the festival among the people belonging to other communities.

Pic source: Yahoo

This is also reflected in the rising number of people enrolling for dandiya classes and garba workshops in the city. Ambika Jain, who has been organising a dandiya workshop in the city for the past 10 years said, “We got around 800 enquiries for the workshop and this is increasing by at least 20 per cent every year. The number of such classes and workshops too has increased from around two or three 10 years ago, to a minimum of 10 across the city now.” Owners of various stores in the city too reported a rise in sales during this period. Nimit Shah, proprietor of Kutch Kala Darshan, a traditional apparel store in the city said, “Sales increase by 50 per cent during Navratri and we get special stock of ghangras, chaniya cholis and kedias from Gujarat.

“For the past three to four years, we have more Telugus, Sindhis and Punjabis coming in to purchase the traditional dresses than Gujaratis.” Sandeep Agarwal, managing director of Ratnadeep stores too said that sales increase by at least 30 per cent during this time as this is considered an auspicious period to make any purchases, big or small. He added that at home, Navratri is celebrated by observing a fast for nine days, conducting puja at home and visiting temples.

News source: TimesofIndia

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Visa norms get easier for tourists from 18 countries

Am surprised that the only country in SE Asia that is among the ones given the waiver is Vietnam and not Singapore which is a heavy investor in India. Not to count Australia where thousands of Indian students go to study every year. Hmmm…

Foreign tourists keen on visiting incredible India may no longer have to do umpteen rounds of the local Indian embassy to get their tourist visas. The government is considering a proposal to provide visa on arrivals to tourists coming from 18 countries, which already get five-year multiple entry visas.

These 18 countries include

Argentina
Belgium
Brazil
Chile
Finland
France
Germany
Iceland
Japan
Luxembourg
Mexico
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Spain
South Korea
Switzerland
Vietnam.

Besides this, tourists from the United Kingdom also get a five-year visa while those from the United States of America get a 10-year visa.

Rest of the article here: Financial Express

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December music – Michael Buble, Chris de Burgh, George Michael

Ah, its December and am in the holiday mood. Listening to some great music as i do some spring cleaning. Quite a nice rendition of the song “Save the last dance” by Michael Buble. Am not a great fan of Buble, but i must admit that he did carry off the song pretty well.

Another favourite song of mine. Chris de Burgh’s “Lady in Red“.

and, last but not the least. George Michael with “Last Christmas“. Cheesy? But hey, its Christmas 😉

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