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August, 2016

 

Cruise The Amazon River in Peru

World Travel

Open Eyes Opinion

Peru

 

Amazon River Cruises in Peru

 

 

 

 

 

‘Rainforest Cruises’ are the Amazon River Cruise and Galapagos Cruise specialists.
South America is a massive continent, and it is nearly impossible to know the ins and outs of each country.


‘Rainforest Cruises’ knowledge and honest approach will help you maximize the potential for your well-deserved vacation. Their goal is to match their customers with the riverboat or cruise that best suits their interests and budget, and give them all the information, expert advice and excellent customer service they need to ensure a wonderful travel experience and an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.

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‘Rainforest Cruises’ offers a variety of options including last minute cruise deals. Many of their clients not only book cruises with them, but cruise packages with custom land tour extensions before or after their cruises to popular travel destinations in South America such as: Rio de Janeiro, Iguazu Falls, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Amazon Treehouse Lodges and more. 

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Rainforest Cruises is Offering Exclusive End-of-the-Year Luxury Cruise Deals in Peru

Amazon cruise specialist Rainforest Cruises is offering a series of exclusive end-of-the-year cruise deals on select Amazon River cruises in Peru. Guests booking the deals below will save up to $1,000 per person on their luxury cruisevessels, Amazon Discovery and Zafiro.

The stunning Amazon Discovery riverboat.

Amazon Discovery Luxury Cruise

Amazon Discovery is one of Peru’s most luxurious riverboats. The 22-suite ship has five-star features including a spa, plunge pool and gourmet dining, yet it is small enough to reach deep into the tributaries of Peru’s Amazon. Four-day and seven-day cruises visit Peru’s largest wildlife reserve, the Pacaya Samiria, home to monkeys, pink dolphins and three-toed sloths. On-board naturalists lead skiff-excursions including a visit to the very start of the Amazon River. There are on-land tours through the jungle with a chance to visit local communities.

Prices for 4-day cruises start from $1,329 per person and $2,679 per person for 7-day cruises. These cruises include a private cabin, meals, excursions, on-board entertainment and airport transfers. Departing on select dates in October and November.

To book visit Amazon Discovery Luxury Cruise Deal or call +1 888 215 3555.

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Zafiro Wildlife Luxury Cruise

The 19-cabin luxury riverboat Zafiro is small enough to cruise deep into the Amazon, exploring creeks and tributaries off the main river for bountiful birdwatching and thrilling wildlife expeditions, with caiman, giant snakes and tarantulas all likely to be seen. Numerous activities are on offer including fishing for piranha, kayaking, nature walks, a village visit and even Peruvian cooking classes.

Prices for 4-day cruises start from $2,119 per person and $2,699 per person for 7-day cruises. These cruises include a private cabin, meals, excursions, on-board entertainment and airport transfers. Departing on select dates through September to December.

To book visit Zafiro Wildlife Luxury Cruise Deal or call +1 888 215 3555.

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The Expert

“Peru’s Amazon is often overlooked by travellers, but most of the country is covered by jungle and the vast Pacaya Samiria is a protected area of flooded forests that is home to pink river dolphins, macaws, sloths, and caiman, making this the ideal destination for Amazon tours.”

— Jeremy Clubb, Director
 
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About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises and tours, providing the finest collection of cruises, at unbeatable prices in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, the Galapagos Islands and Panama. As South American travel experts, Rainforest Cruises has been featured in Fodor’s Best Cruises for 2015, as well as many other top news sources: USA Today, NY Times, Travel & Leisure, Bloomberg, among others.
Contact: cruise@rainforestcruises.com or +1-888-215-3555.

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[Source: Rainforest Cruises-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest, near Manaus – By Neil Palmer/CIAT (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]
[Intext photos: inserted by openeyesopinion.com (credits embedded)]

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Fiji International Golf Tournament 2016

World Travel

Open Eyes Opinion

FIJI 

Enjoy your golfing while visiting one of the world’s premier exotic travel destinations.

 

 

 

 

Bula Bula

Located in the South Pacific, Fiji is an archipelago comprised of approximately 300 islands.
The islands of Fiji were created 150 million years ago by volcanic activity.
Viti Levu is the main island of Fiji. 

Now In its third year, the Fiji International Golf Tournament continues to grow

Held at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course, the event is co-sanctioned by the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and the European Tour.  

DATES:   6TH – 9TH OCTOBER, 2016
VENUE:  NATADOLA BAY CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF COURSE, CORAL COAST

The PGA of Australia is supporting initiatives to introduce and grow the sport in Fiji and it is through this that the Fiji International aims to leave a lasting legacy for golf in the Pacific region.  

Tickets can be purchased at the gates or online, simply visit this page http://www.fijiinternational.com/tickets/ 

For more information on the tournament visit www.fijiinternational.com

[Source: Tourism Fiji-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Taveuni, Fiji looking toward Matagi. – By Barry Peters` [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]
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The White Mountains – New Hampshire, USA – Attracts International Tourists

World Travel

Open Eyes Opinion

White Mountains, New Hampshire USA

 

Take a hike in the Appalachian Mountains

 

 

 

The White Mountains are located, for the most part, in the State of New Hampshire, USA and a lesser part of Maine.These rugged mountains are located in the northern part of the Appalachian Range.
There are forty-eight peaks in New Hampshire, the highest being Mount Washington – 6,288-foot (1,917 m).
The Appalachian Mountain Club has built a system of alpine huts for hikers.

NORTH WOODSTOCK, NH – Sunny summer days, low gas prices and the strong U.S. economy are among the factors keeping New Hampshire’s White Mountains on the itineraries of visitors from around the world, according to the association that promotes the region.

“We started off the summer season with terrific weather over the Memorial Day weekend and that set the tone for the weeks and months that followed,” said Jayne O’Connor, president of White Mountains Attractions, which operates the visitors center at exit 32 in North Woodstock. “Our attractions report strong attendance and they expect that to carry through the fall.”

The White Mountains have long been a destination for visitors from southern New England, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as Europe and Canada. This year, following marketing efforts in Australia, New Zealand and Japan in the past several years, the region is seeing more visitors from these areas.

The Hobo Railroad in Lincoln reports it had a strong summer season and fall is shaping up better than expected.

“Reservations are well above where they were last year at this time and there has also been significant interest for our foliage celebration, the Hobo Harvest Time Express, running Sept. 17 to Oct. 16,” said marketing director Paul Giblin.

At Santa’s Village in Jefferson, spokesman Jim Miller said the attraction “has been having a terrific summer with a strong start in May and June and very solid and consistent attendance in July and August.”

The White Mountains continue to be a popular destination for European visitors, but the region is gaining popularity further abroad.

“We’ve expanded the White Mountains National Scenic Byways brochure to six languages – English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese and Hindi,” O’Connor said. “That reflects our international visitor base and this is a way to enhance their experience.”

Anecdotally, a bus carrying Australian visitors stopped at the visitors center and O’Connor said travel writers from that region are exploring the area for future articles.

For many attractions, post-Labor Day will mean a change in operation schedules moving into fall; visitors should be sure to check ahead for dates and times.

About White Mountains Attractions Association

The White Mountains Attractions Association was founded in 1958 as a co-operative marketing association for the region and the 17 attractions within the White Mountains region, including Alpine Adventures; Attitash Mountain Resort; Cannon Mountain; Clark’s Trading Post; Conway Scenic Railroad; Cranmore Mountain Resort; Flume Gorge; Hobo Railroad, Loon Mountain, Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves;  Mount Washington Auto Road; Mount Washington Cog Railway;  Polar Caves Park; Santa’s Village; Story Land; Whale’s Tale Water Park and Wildcat Mountain.

For information about the White Mountains, the visitors’ center is located off exit 32 on Interstate 93 in North Woodstock;  Please visit www.visitwhitemountains.com or call 800-346-3687.

 

[Source: White Mountains Attractions Association-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Abies balsamea, White Mountains, New Hampshire, USA. – By eric from USA (IMG_2559) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]
[Intext photos: inserted by openeyesopinion.com (credits embedded)]

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Enjoy Forty-Eight Hours in Bristol England

World Travel

Open Eyes Opinion

Great Britain

 

Things to do in Bristol on a short stay

 

 

 

 

Nestled between the Cotswolds and rural Somerset in South West England, the city of Bristol has a rich history and a wealth of visitor attractions to match. One of Europe’s most fascinating and historic maritime cities, Bristol’s Harbourside was once a busy dock where sailors and merchants would trade goods and set sail on voyages of discovery.

Today, this redeveloped quarter is abuzz with restaurants, bars, museums and a lively Sunday market. One of the greatest Britons ever to have lived, the renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel left his mark on the city: with his iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge and his revolutionary steam ship ss Great Britain.

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Bristol is also a hotbed of artists and activists. There’s a vibrant street art scene, led by now world-famous street artist Banksy, born in Bristol in 1974. A number of Banksy original pieces are located throughout Bristol – and another could pop up at any time! Alongside street art, Bristol developed a thriving underground music scene throughout the 1990s, becoming especially associated with trip hop, acid jazz, and electronic artists including Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky.

A culturally diverse city, major annual events include Bristol LGBT Pride, Upfest(urban paint festival), Bristol Harbour Festival, Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol Shakespeare Festival and Make Sunday Special – so there’s definitely something for everyone, with many events free to attend.www.visitbristol.co.uk

Hotel du Vin Bristol Suite Big Loft

Time to Check in:

Set in a collection of restored 18th-century sugar warehouses, 4-star Hotel Du Vin Bristol has 40 loft-style rooms with industrial features such as exposed brickwork, high ceilings and roll top baths. There’s also a cosy bar and an informal French-style bistro. www.hotelduvin.com

Housed in a 1970s listed building on the redeveloped Harbourside, The Bristol is a contemporary boutique hotel with 187 stylish rooms and a popular River Grille restaurant overlooking the quay. www.doylecollection.com/hotels/the-bristol-hotel

An affordable waterfront option, YHA Bristol is a stylish hostel with a bustling bar in a restored redbrick grain house. With 133 beds, there’s a choice of dorm rooms or private rooms, some of which are en-suite. www.yha.org.uk/hostel/bristol

Day One

10:00 Step back in time onboard an epic and historic ship

Bristol’s redeveloped Harbourside is home to numerous visitor attractions. Dominating this waterfront quarter is Brunel’s ss Great Britain. The largest ship in the world when launched in 1843, this impressive feat of engineering by Isambard Kingdom Brunel is a forerunner of all modern shipping. Designed for the emerging trans-Atlantic luxury passenger trade, she now lies in the original Great Western Dockyard where she was built. Exploring the ship is a real step back in time: the cabins have been painstakingly restored to recreate life on the world’s first great luxury liner, while the engine room retains the evocative smell of oil and coal. www.ssgreatbritain.org

11:30 See more of Bristol’s maritime heritage

Continue your voyage through Bristol’s seafaring history with a visit to Underfall Boatyard. This historic working boatyard is home to a number of thriving businesses. It’s part of a trust whose aim is to preserve Bristol’s maritime heritage, and is fascinating to explore. A new visitor centre and café opened March 2016. Another maritime attraction, The Matthew is a full-size replica of John Cabot’s ship that discovered North America in 1497, offering popular harbour tours.www.underfallboatyard.co.uk www.matthew.co.uk

Bristol’s Harbourside attractions are easy to explore on foot, but to truly immerse yourself in the waterfront experience why not travel between attractions using Bristol Ferry Boat. www.bristolferry.com

13:30 Enjoy an award-winning pie for lunch

You’ll find their award-winning pies for sale throughout Britain, but the very firstPieminister pie kitchen and shop opened in Bristol in 2003. A real Bristol institution, their newest eatery in Bristol opened in March 2016 on Broad Quay. For a quicker lunch, grab a tasty pie to go from their stall on Bristol’s Harbourside Market.www.pieminister.co.uk/restaurants/bristolbroadquay

14:30 Take a glimpse underwater – or into space

With Britain’s only 3D planetarium, At-Bristol Science Centre is a family favourite. Located in Bristol’s Harbourside, this hands-on science centre has interactive exhibits, live science shows, plus a gift shop stocked with gadgets and quirky curiosities. Another popular family attraction hereabouts is Bristol Aquarium. A finalist for the ArtFund Prize for Museum of the Year 2016, Arnolfini is Bristol’s centre for contemporary arts, and a must-see for art lovers. www.at-bristol.org.ukwww.bristolaquarium.co.uk www.arnolfini.org.uk

18:00 Refresh your taste buds with the best locally-made cider

Named Britain’s Independent Cider retailer of the Year 2015, Bristol Cider Shop is a specialist cider and perry shop – everything they stock is made within 50 miles of the shop by the very best craft cider makers. Book a tasting session and sample 10 different ciders, from traditional ‘scrumpy’ to champagne-style cider to cider brandy.www.bristolcidershop.co.uk

19:30 Grab a slice of British pizza plus local cider

Specialising in British pizza and craft cider, The Stable has over a dozen pizza, pie and cider bars throughout Britain – but their Bristol venue is the biggest. Housed in a Harbourside warehouse with exposed brick walls, they bake pizzas with inventive, locally-sourced toppings. Try a West Country Porker (award-winning local chorizo, tomato sauce, mozzarella, rocket) or Avonmouth Angler (smoked mackerel, smoked salmon, marinated spinach, fresh parsley). www.stablepizza.com/locations/the-stable-bristol

21:00 Feast your ears with an array of live music

Bristol has a thriving music scene. Number 1 Harbourside is an excellent choice for food and top-notch live music. For live jazz and blues, seek out the legendary Old Duke – other pubs along King Street are also worth checking out for their real ale and ambience. Afterwards, enjoy a gig or club night at Thekla, an award-winning music venue on a boat. www.no1harbourside.co.uk

www.theoldduke.co.uk www.theklabristol.co.uk

Day Two

9:30 Visit a holy landmark – and an iconic filming location

Dramatic Bristol Cathedral was a filming location for the television series Wolf Hall, adapted from Hilary Mantel’s bestselling historical novel. Visitors to the cathedral may follow the Wolf Hall Trail – download this and other suggested trails from the website. Sherlock is another popular series to be filmed here. www.bristol-cathedral.co.uk/visit-us/wolf-hall-trail

11:00 Get inspired by street art

Bristol has developed a vibrant street art scene – it is, after all, the city where Banksy hails from. WhereTheWall offer Bristol Street Art Tours every Saturday and Sunday at 11am. Lasting 2 hours, this informative guided walk tells the story of Bristol’s incredible creative culture and art scene from the 1980’s to the present day. www.wherethewall.com

13:00 Eat healthy and ethically in Bristol’s alternative quarter

Known as Bristol’s creative quarter, Stokes Croft is anchored by the independent cafés and shops of Gloucester Road. Dining options here include Café Kino, an community space and workers’ co-op that serves tasty vegan food such as homemade burgers, falafel, fresh salads and cakes. Another ethical organisation, The Arts House Café is an arts space and café serving panini’s, salads and shareable platters. Try the “Banksy” Panini (Serrano ham and mozzarella) – others are named after iconic artists from Bristol’s electronic music scene such as Massive Attack, Portishead, Kosheen and Tricky. A place to enjoy pub food as well as gigs by up-and-coming bands, The Full Moon is also a 70-bed backpacker hostel. www.cafekino.coopwww.theartshousecafe.org www.fmbristol.co.uk

14:00 Go swimming in a restored Victorian lido

Located just a 5 minute drive from the centre, Clifton Village is a charming suburb of Bristol, tucked away from the hubbub of city life. One of its many Victorian treasures isClifton Lido. Dating from 1850, it’s one of Britain’s oldest surviving lidos and is a wonderful place for a swim. Re-open to the public since 2008, this beautifully restored lido retains its Victorian charm, with the addition of modern floor to ceiling windows allowing great views of the outdoor pool. Its restaurant and poolside bar serve breakfast and a la carte lunch and dinner. Spa treatments are also on offer. www.lidobristol.com

16:00 Take afternoon tea overlooking a spectacular suspension bridge

As well as providing unbeatable views of world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge,Clifton Village boasts many independent shops, cafés and delis, and a Victorian shopping arcade, so it’s a great area to explore. For afternoon tea with a view, head forBridge Café. Located within the Avon Gorge Hotel, it has floor to ceiling windows opening out onto a terrace, providing excellent vistas across the gorge to Bristol’s landmark bridge. www.discoverclifton.co.uk www.theavongorgehotel.com

16:45 Traverse an iconic and historic suspension bridge

Spanning the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, the world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge dates from 1864. Considered one of the world’s greatest bridges, renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel began building it when he was just 23 years old. A brand new Visitor Centre (admission: free) tells of its fascinating history, including the daredevil bridge builders who worked 75 metres above the high tide mark to secure its vast suspension chains across the Gorge.www.cliftonbridge.org.uk

19:30 End the day with steak and classic cocktails

A bastion of top-notch British fayre, The Ox is considered Bristol’s best steak and cocktail restaurant. In addition to the original Ox in the city centre, a new branch opened in Clifton in November 2016. Afterwards enjoy more classic cocktails at the vintage, speakeasy-style Hyde & Co. www.theoxbristol.com www.theoxclifton.comwww.hydeand.co

How to get there:

Bristol is in South West England, just 1hr 45mins by train west of London. Bristol Airport is served by low-cost airlines including easyJet, Ryanair, Wizz plus international airlines including KLM and Aer Lingus.

[Source: Visit Britain-Media Relations]
[Photo credits: featured image: The River Avon flows through the centre of Bristol, England. – By Adrian Pingstone (Photographed by Adrian Pingstone) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]
[Intext photos: inserted by openeyeopinion.com (credits embedded)

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Monday’s Quote – 29 August 2016

Monday’s Quote

Start the week thinking

 

 

Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.
– Mary Ritter Beard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Photo credits: Photograph shows Mary Ritter Beard (1876–1958), an American historian and archivist – wikimedia commons]

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Experience The Natural Escapes Of Malta

World Travel

Open Eyes Opinion

Malta

 

The Natural Escapes of Malta

 

 

 

 

 

The Republic of Malta consists of six islands forming an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea – The largest Islands being Malta, Gozo, Comino and the uninhabited Islands of Cominotto, Filfla and St. Paul’s Island.
Malta is situated north of Libya, east of Tunisia, and south of Sicily.
The population is comprised of approximately 450,000 citizens and has two official languages – Maltese and English.
The beautiful walled city of Valetta is the capital of Malta and has one of the most alluring harbors in the Mediterranean.
Over the years, the Tourism infrastructure has been enhanced and a number of good-quality hotels are present on the island.

Natural Escapes

Due to the undoubtedly great advantage of fair weather, the Maltese Islands lend themselves well to outdoor activities.

Away from the hustle and bustle of village cores, the Maltese Islands offer various natural spots to be explored and admired, some left almost untouched by modernity. Much of the countryside is dotted with the world’s oldest free-standing structures, so a stroll could prove to be most interesting.

The first rains after the long, hot summer brings the landscape to life with an astonishing variety of wild flowers and plants. From mid-November until mid-May, the Islands are green and lush with fields full of vegetables and waysides carpeted with fennel, clover, wild iris and myrtle.

The Islands offer walkers some of the most stunning views anywhere in the Mediterranean. The first thing to do is to decide what sort of view you prefer – dramatic cliffs plunging into waves, the rocky, scrubland of the garrigue or hidden, lush valleys. En route, you’ll come across mysterious prehistoric sites, medieval chapels and secluded palaces of the Knights.

Gozo is extremely popular with both locals and tourists alike for its serenity and quiet beauty. Often referred to as “the land where time stood still”, Malta’s sister Island is excellent walking country.

 One of the best walks is along Dingli Cliffs. It’s truly spectacular to watch the sun set over the sea from the highest area in Malta where the land falls away at a spectacular 220m height. These cliffs offer remarkable coastal views.

The island of Comino was once reportedly the hideout of pirates and smugglers and is only 2.5km by 1.5km in size, so it’s ideal for a good day’s hiking and the ultimate in solitude and views.

 For those who are up for a challenge, the Islands offer some testing scenery to tempt the avid rock climber.

Put on walking boots, hire a mountain bike and head out from the village squares on the narrow farmers’ tracks. You’ll find yourself in a timeless landscape, quite alone even in peak season.

There is plenty to discover, from ancient farmhouses and wayside chapels to spectacular seascapes.

The Islands are hardly large enough to ever really get lost in and there’s always a friendly face to guide you.

[Source: Malta Tourism Authority-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: The Blue Lagoon and Cominotto island – By Erik1980 (Own work) [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]
[Intext photos: inserted by openeyesopinion.com (credits embedded)]

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U.S. Air Carriers To Begin Service to Cuba

World Travel

Open Eyes Opinion

Cuba

 

JetBlue to begin service to Cuba 31 August 2016

 

 

 

 

With August Launch of Flights to Santa Clara, JetBlue Ushers in Affordable, Customer-Friendly Travel to Cuba

 NEW YORK–JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU)  announced it will launch flights to Cuba on August 31, 2016 (c). The airline said it is aimed at removing the high costs and complexity of travel to Cuba so that customers can instead get the most of their time visiting loved ones, arranging a unique cultural experience, taking care of business opportunities, or organizing their educational or not-for-profit organization group trip.

“It’s a new day for Cuba travelers and one we have thoughtfully prepared for,” said Marty St. George, executive vice president commercial and planning, JetBlue. “We are proud to usher in a new era of Cuba travel with affordable fares and great service.”

JetBlue will initially operate flights on three routes between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and:

  • Santa ClaraAbel Santamaría Airport (SNU)
    • Monday, Wednesday & Friday flights starting August 31, 2016
    • Daily flights starting October 1, 2016
  • Camagüey Ignacio Agramonte Airport (CMW)
    • Daily flights starting November 3, 2016
  • Holguín Frank País Airport (HOG)
    • Daily flights starting November 10, 2016

JetBlue’s fares start at $99 one-way (a), include Cuban government-required health insurance and will be offered on an ongoing basis. JetBlue’s fares to Cuba offer the same amenities – like free seatback entertainment, free Fly-Fi wireless internet (d), unlimited complimentary snacks and soft drinks, and the most legroom in coach (e) – that have made the airline a leading carrier in the Caribbean. Seats on the three routes are available for purchase beginning today for customers who meet government travel requirements.

Removing Cost & Complexity for Customers

True to its customer focus, JetBlue is taking a number of steps unique to its Cuba launch to set it apart from competitors known for offering high prices and inferior service:

  • Affordable fares: JetBlue is introducing a low starting fare to make Cuba more accessible to those visiting family members or traveling to Cuba for cultural, business or group travel.
  • Health insurance included: JetBlue will include Cuban government-required health insurance coverage for all travelers on all Cuba-bound flights so that customers do not have to worry about obtaining the insurance separately.
  • Affidavit in a few clicks: Under U.S. regulations, every customer traveling to Cuba must complete an affidavit affirming the customer is going for one of 12 reasons of approved travel from the U.S. Department of Treasury. JetBlue has built the completion of the affidavit right into the booking process so it can be finished in only a couple of clicks.
  • Day-of-travel Cuban Tourist Visa (Tourist Card): Separate from the U.S. regulated 12 categories, visitors must also obtain an entrance visa into Cuba. For customers who qualify for a Cuban Tourist Visa (Tourist Card), JetBlue will make those visas available for purchase upon check-in at one of its gateway airports or at the gate for connecting customers on the day of travel. All travelers to Cuba should contact the Cuban Embassy in Washington to determine the appropriate type of visa required by Cuba for their purpose of travel.
  • First bag flies free (f), 1+1 carry-ons: To make travel more affordable than it is today, JetBlue will include at least one free checked bag, up to 50 pounds, in all of its fare options to Cuba. Normal carry-on regulations will apply: one carry-on and one personal item.
  • Breeze in, breeze out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood:Broward County’s Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is considered South Florida’s most convenient airport, centrally located just 30 minutes north of Miami, and 45 minutes south of Palm Beach. With convenient parking located a close walking distance from the terminals, travelers can breeze in and clear security within minutes.

“We are honored to partner with JetBlue as they launch this historic inaugural service to Cuba for Broward County residents and the South Florida Community,” said Mark Gale, CEO/Director of Aviation for the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). “We are very pleased to be offering the region’s first regularly scheduled commercial flights to the island nation in more than half a century, and providing our passengers with a wonderful and economical air service option between JetBlue’s gateway at FLL and Cuba.”

In addition to the service that is out for sale, JetBlue was also tentatively awarded flights between Havana and three U.S. cities (g) – for a total of up to seven daily roundtrips between the countries – and will announce a start date and fares for Havana later this year.

When service to Cuba begins JetBlue will operate in 22 countries and the new routes will further grow JetBlue’s presence in the Caribbean and at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood where the airline is the largest carrier, flying to more than 50 nonstop destinations by the end of the year. Customers across the JetBlue network may also take advantage of JetBlue’s convenient connections to and from Cuba through its South Florida focus city.

Flights between the U.S. and Santa Clara, Camagüey and Holguín will be operated on JetBlue’s Airbus A320 aircraft offering the airline’s award-winning service, featuring the most legroom in coach (d); free Fly-Fi, the fastest broadband internet in the sky (d); complimentary and unlimited name-brand snacks and soft drinks; free, live DIRECTV® programming and 100 channels of SiriusXM® radio in every seatback.

Schedule Between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) and Santa Clara (SNU)
Monday, Wednesday & Friday Flights Starting August 31, 2016(c)
Daily Flights Starting October 1, 2016(c)

       
FLL – SNU Flight #387     SNU – FLL Flight #388
11:00 a.m. – 12:12 p.m.     1:15 p.m. – 2:35 p.m.
       

Schedule Between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) and Camagüey (CMW)
Daily Flights Starting November 3, 2016(c)

       
FLL – CMW Flight #2327     CMW – FLL Flight #2328
10:35 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.     1:01 p.m. – 2:33 p.m.
       

Schedule Between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) and Holguín (HOG)
Daily Flights Starting November 10, 2016(c)

FLL – HOG Flight #2033 HOG – FLL Flight #2032
11:30 a.m. – 1:04 p.m.     2:05 p.m. – 3:46 p.m.
       

Additional information on traveling to Cuba will be posted at jetblue.com/flights/cuba as it is available.

About JetBlue Airways

JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline™, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 35 million customers a year to 96 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 925 daily flights. For more information please visit jetblue.com.

(a)

Blue fare only. Fare is subject to availability; may not be available on all flights; may change without notice; must be purchased at time of reservation; and is one-way, nonstop, nonrefundable and nontransferable. Reservations made one week or more prior to a flight’s scheduled departure may be canceled without penalty up to 24 hours after the reservation is made. For Blue and Blue Plus fares to Cuba, first checked bag is included and second bag is $35. For Blue Flex fares, two checked bags are included. Customers traveling on flights to or from Cuba and the USA may not check more than two bags, and oversized and/or overweight bags are not accepted. Fares do not include other fees for products/services sold separately, to view these click here. Cancellations/changes must be made prior to scheduled departure (otherwise all money for fare is forfeited); up to $150 change/cancel fee per person will apply, and for changes, there may be a fare adjustment. Cancellations receive JetBlue travel credit, valid for one year. Proper documentation required for boarding. Other restrictions apply. The Cuban Government requires visitors to have health insurance that covers the territory of Cuba and for U.S. citizens, this means local Cuban health insurance. When purchasing your JetBlue ticket to Cuba, Cuban health insurance provided by ESICUBA and administered by Asistur is automatically included in the cost of your fare. Terms and conditions can be accessed from the ESICUBA website: http://www.esicuba.cu/ProdPersonas.html.

(b)   JetBlue will offer Cuban Tourist Visas (Tourist Cards) for purchase only. Other Cuban Visas, such as Press or Business Visas, must be obtained directly from the Cuban Embassy.
    (c)   Subject to receipt of government operating authority.
    (d)   Fly-Fi is not available on flights operating outside of the continental U.S. For flights originating outside of the continental U.S., Fly-Fi will be available once the aircraft returns to the coverage area. Fly-Fi is available on most JetBlue-operated flights, with fleet-wide installation complete by the end of 2016.
    (e)   JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach, based on average fleet-wide seat pitch for U.S. airlines.
    (f)   Each checked bag must not exceed 62 inches (157.48 centimeters) in overall dimensions (length + width + height). Baggage dimensions are determined by adding the length, width and height together. Additional baggage and bags that exceed the overall dimensions or weight will not be allowed onboard flights to/from Cuba.
    (g)  

Havana routes subject to final government approval (see DOT Order 2016-7-4, July 7, 2016, Docket DOT-OST-2016-0021) and subject to receipt of Cuban government approval.

[Source: JetBlue Airways-Media Relations (Businesswire)]
[Photo credits-featured image: Fishing at the Malecon at sunset. At the back, the Hotel Nacional in Vedado. Havana –  © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar, via Wikimedia Commons]
[Intext photos: inserted by openeyesopinion.com (credits embedded)]

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Travellers Enjoy The Beauty Of Nature In Austria

World Travel

Open Eyes Opinion

Austria 

 

Explore the beauty of nature in Austria

 

 

 

 

The beauty of the Austrian Alps lies not only in the scenery, but in the fact that you can spend as little or as long as you want walking, hiking, or strolling through the mountains of Tirol and Salzburg. We gathered scenic hikes and true nature wonders for you in the Austrian Alps.

Adlerweg /The Eagle Trail  (Tirol; long- distance trail) Enjoy an eagle’s-eye view of Tirol’s most beautiful Alpine scenery. The aptly named Eagle Trail runs through Tirol –from east to west.  Though developed as one of the most fascinating long-distance trails in Europe, it is easy to pick individual stages for a stunning day hike. Hiking time on individual stages varies between three to nine hours with 24 stages to choose from between the Kaiser Mountain Range in the East to the Arlberg in the West. The 24 stages have a total elevation gain of 23,000 meters / 75,000 feet and a total elevation loss of 20,000 meters / 70,000 feet.

Hahnenkamm Hike (Tirol) For skiers, the Hahnenkamm mountain in Kitzbuehel is the holy grail of ski racing, home to the world’s most famous and most challenging downhill course, the Streif. You will likely never have the chance, or possibly the desire, to ski down the celebrated race course, but during the summer season, a marvelous hike down the course will be an exhilarating experience. The day’s hike starts with a comfortable ride up the famous Hahnenkamm cable car. Once you stare down the first few yards of the course you will likely change your definition of steep. From here on it is an extremely scenic and exhilarating hike down the famed race course, section by section, all of 3,312 meters / 2.05 miles long.

(Salzburg): A visit to the 7000 year-old salt mines is part intriguing adventure, part cultural experience. The tour of the Salzwelten Salzburg starts in the tiny village of Bad Dürrnberg, with a small train ride that takes you deep into the mountain. A fun ride down long, polished, wooden slides leads to where the salt was mined. The environment down here is damp, the air tastes salty, and the tunnel walls are slick with moisture. You wonder about the lives of the miners who used to work here over the millennia, and there are great exhibits along the way to satisfy your curiosity. One of the highlights is a boat ride on a spectacular underground lake, lying deep and silent within this ancient mountain. You end the tour with a new-found appreciation of the tasty condiment and a lasting memory of this mystifying underground world.

World of Ice Giants (Salzburg): High above the village of Werfen, amid the magnificent mountain world of the Tennengebirge, we find the entrance to the world’s biggest ice caves with a length of almost 30 miles. The last remnants of the Ice Age in Europe! The first stop is the Poselt Hall, with the magnificent Posselt Tower stalagmite. Marvel at the greatest area of ice growth, the Great Ice Embankment, a massive formation rising up to over 75 feet. Stalactites in Hymir’s Castle created the so-called “ice organ.”  For an even more stunning effect, the ice formations are sometimes highlighted with magnesium lighting. The caves are open May to October and you will need to be dressed for the cold, even during summer months.

[Source: Austrian Tourist Office, New York (Teresa Faudon)-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Oberlech is a district of Lech (Vorarlberg) . – By böhringer friedrich (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons]
[Intext photos: inserted by openeyesopinion.com – courtesy of Austrian Tourist Office (credits embeddded)]

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China To Provide Training To South Pacific Tour Guides Who Cater To Chinese Travellers

World Travel – Tourism

Open Eyes Opinion

South Pacific – China

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tourism Training for Chinese Market Tour Guides in the South Pacific

The peak tourism body from China’s Guangdong Province has shown a keen interest in providing training for local tour guides in the region who cater to Chinese travellers.

The training, which would focus on capacity building of local tour guides, will help Pacific island countries improve on their product and service delivery to the growing inbound Chinese tourism market.

A nine-member delegation from the Guangdong Provincial Tourism Administration met with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) this week to strengthen ties between the two organisations and explore opportunities for collaboration, specifically in the provision of training and capacity building of tour guides in the region.

This follows an official partnership agreement signed by the two parties last year, which SPTO hopes will increase the awareness and visibility of Pacific island destinations in Guangdong Province and attract more outbound tourists from the province to the region.

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With over 104 million residents, Guangdong is the most populous province in China. If a fraction of this population visits the South Pacific, the region could benefit tremendously from the economic activities generated by the boost in Chinese visitor numbers.

The World Tourism Organization predicts that China will become the largest travel destination and the fourth largest source country by 2020. In that year, there will be 137.10 million international travellers to the country, taking up 8.6% of the global share, and 100 million outbound Chinese visitors, 6.2% of the worldwide outbound visitors.

Based in Suva, SPTO works with 17 Pacific island countries to market and develop tourism in South Pacific region.

About SPTO

Established in 1983 as the Tourism Council of the South Pacific, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is the mandated organisation representing Tourism in the region. Its 18 Government members are American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the People’s Republic of China. In addition to government members, the South Pacific Tourism Organisation enlists a private sector membership base.

[Source: South Pacific Tourism Organization-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Sofitel Motu in Bora bora with Mount Otemanu in background – By tensaibuta AKA User Tensaibuta on English Wikipedia (Bora Bora) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]
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UNWTO Is Organizing A Global Conference On Wine Tourism

World Travel

Open Eyes Opinion

UNWTO Wine Conference

 

Wine Tourism Conference in Georgia’s wine region gathers experts from around the world

 

 

 

 

The Kakheti Region is located in Eastern Georgia. It is bordered by the Georgian Regions of Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Kvemo Kartli to the west, Azerbaijan to the Southeast, and the Russian Federation to the Northeast. Tourism has increased over the past few years due to developing infrastructure, new traveler accommodations and the Travel Trade Industry promoting the Region.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration, is organizing the 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in the Kakheti wine region of Georgia on 7-9 September 2016.

“Georgia’s unique wine-making traditions date back 8,000 years and are considered by UNESCO as intangible heritage, making the country an ideal host for the Global Conference on Wine Tourism. The country’s recent success in attracting a growing number of tourists, and its development of tourism products, branding and marketing, combine to present an excellent platform for sharing best practices, experience and knowledge,” said Dimitry Kumsishvili, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

“Wine tourism is a growing segment with immense opportunities to diversify demand. In the case of Georgia, the segment’s potential is well known and we are very pleased to be holding the first UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in the country”, added Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General.

Gastronomy and wine have become key components of a culture and lifestyle experience of any destination, and a growing travel motivation. To foster the development of this segment, in September 2015 UNWTO launched the UNWTO Gastronomy Network.

In this context, UNWTO is currently developing a Wine Tourism Prototype in Spain. The Prototype includes an analysis of wine tourism, in comparison with other tourism segments, and the design of an innovative product development model focused on the integration of the wineries into the cultural, economic, social and environmental heritage of their area of influence. The final results of this project will be presented at the conference.

The Conference will have a unique and dynamic format with three sessions to be held in different wineries across the Georgian region of Kakheti.

Speakers at the conference will include:

Mr. Giovanni Mantovani, CEO, VeronaFiere and creator of VINITALY, (Italy); Ms. Janet Dorozynski, Trade Commissioner, Canadian Wine, Beer and Spirits and Tourism, Trade Sectors Bureau (BBI), Global Affairs Canada (Canada); Mr. Mike Veseth, Wine Economist, Professor Emeritus of International Political Economy, University of Puget Sound (United States); Mr. Gabriel Fidel, Wine Tourism Consultant (Argentina); Ms. Ayana Mizawa, Chief winemaker, Chuo Budoshu Co., Ltd., Grace Wine (Japan); Mr. Pedro Vargas, International Projects Director, Leading Brands of Spain Forum (Spain); Mr. George Chogovadze, Head of Georgian National Tourism Administration (Georgia); Mr. Levan Davitashvili, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Georgia (Georgia); Mr.Patrick Honnef, Winemaker, Viticulturist, CEO of Château Mukhrani, Georgia (Georgia); Mr. John H Wurdeman V, Owner of Pheasant’s Tears (Georgia); Mr. Santiago Vivanco, Director, Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture (Spain); Mr. Donald Hawkins, Eisenhower Professor, George Washington University (United States); Ms. Paula Sousa, Marketing & Tourism Sales Director, Quinta Nova N. S. Carmo (Portugal) andMs. Zaida Semprun, Wine Tourism Commercial Manager, Freixenet Group (Spain).

Useful Links:

Registration for the conference

2nd UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

UNWTO Wine Tourism Prototype: The Joyful Journey

Global Report on Food Tourism- Affiliate Members Reports: Volume Four

[Source: United Nations World Tourism Organization-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Grapes: Alvani, Republic of Georgia –  By Donovan Driver from Texarkana, Texas, USA (Alvani-112) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]
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Experience The Epicurean Delights Of Chiang Mai Cuisine

World Travel

Open Eyes Opinion

Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

Fill your belly while exploring the highlights of Chiang Mai’s culinary and cultural treasures

 

 

 

 

Chiang Mai, located in Northern Thailand, is the capital of Chiang Mai Province. It adds cultural and historical significance to the Region. It is positioned in the highest mountains of Thailand. Chiang Mai is situated approximately 435 miles north of Bangkok. Several Thai cooking schools call Chiang Mai their home.

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Thai people have always known that their nation’s dishes are tasty, distinctive and special; it has just taken the rest of the world a little longer to catch up. But the past two decades have seen Thai flavors explode onto the world’s culinary consciousness, and Thai food is loved for its blend of sweet, sour and salty dishes, fiery flavurs and coconut creamy curries, and zesty sauces.

Explore the cuisine and culture more deeply and you’ll discover that the different regions of Thailand boast their own distinctive flavors and flare. The Central Plains, Thailand’s rice bowl, are characterized by freshwater-fish recipes, sour soups and curries, while the tropical South with its Muslim traditions offers bountiful seafood and dishes enriched with coconut, cardamom and cumin. I-san of course, is influenced by Lao PDR., so here you’ll find hot papaya salads, cured and raw meat and simple, tasty soups, perfect for filling the bellies of the region’s hardworking farmers.

Chiang Mai (14) 500x300
Local Hors D’oeuvres – chili dip, crispy pork, fried chicken sausage and vegetables, lightly boiled in the Northern Thai way.

But it’s the food of Thailand’s North that attracts the most culinary converts. This region has long been influenced by Myanmar, China and Lao PDR., not to mention the kingdoms of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya. And, as kingdoms have risen and fallen, they’ve all left their mark on Chiang Mai’s cuisine. The countryside and climate too have shaped the region’s food. Cooler Northern climes mean hot chili is seldom used to disguise spoiled food – a more warming heat comes from galangal and peppers. Fewer palm trees in the region mean coconut dishes are traditionally rare while many Chiang Mai dishes have a distinctive bitter element, thanks to shoots and leaves collected in the local forests.

You don’t have to stay in the city long to understand why the local pork, fermented, fried or cured is so famous. Nearly every Thai visitor to Chiang Mai comes home laden with bags of crispy pork rind to share with friends. Pork fat is also used for frying, though the health-conscious, if not the traditionalists, can usually request that vegetable be used.

Food culture in Chiang Mai is eclectic. The city is a culinary sponge with chefs and foods from around the world finding a home here, and blending in with the region’s long-standing traditions. Even the city’s most famous dish, Khao Soi, with its rich curry sauce is thought to have originated with Sino-Muslim traders. It’s this internationalism in Chiang Mai’s food that makes it so approachable to this day. The city boasts sublime international restaurants alongside the family-run snack shops and street stalls selling tasty Northern treats – indeed the food is one of the things that makes a trip to the northern capital so memorable.

Visitors short on time, or seeking specialized knowledge about the city’s cuisine should join one of Chiang Mai’s food tours. Among the best-known of these is the Chiang Mai Night Food Tour, an off-shoot of the award-winning BangkokFoodTours.com. You’re driven around the city’s best food eateries and stalls, accompanied by guides who can explain not only the ingredients and cooking methods that of each dish, but also provide a potted history of the city’s landmarks.

The tours start by the historical Tha Pae Gate and attract a range of participants, from full-on foodies to people seeking a new way to see the city. As you set off past Wat Mahawan, the evening chanting of the monks is heard in the wind; after all, Chiang Mai is a religious as well as culinary city. There are distinctive Burmese elements in the ornate architecture of Chiang Mai’s temples, a reminder that the kingdom of Lanna was influenced by the Burmese for over two centuries, a period that has left its mark on the food as much as the buildings.

Chiang Mai (5) 500x300
Aunti Dae’s roti stall is always busy with customers

Just around the corner of the temple, stop off at the little roti stall of Auntie Dae, a famous Chiang Mai resident of Pakistani origin who, for 30 years has sold freshly-made, sweet and savory roti with cheese or condensed milk and sugar from her little stall. These tasty snacks are both a treat and an energy boost while touring the city.

The favorites are always the popular. Phat Thai may not have originated in the north of Thailand, but if you’re doing a Thai food tour, this much-loved dish can’t be missed, and Chiang Mai has stalls that cook Phat Thai to perfection. So don’t worry when your guide takes you down a little alley crammed with people. They’re all waiting to enjoy delicious noodles served piping hot on banana leaves and covered with a thin layer of egg.

Of course, where food comes from is as important as how it’s prepared. This is why the tours visit Chiang Mai’s Warorot Market, the oldest in the city. Chefs come here to stock up on ingredients, and you can snack on freshly-made treats, experience the scents and sights of a bustling market, and pick up tips on choosing herbs, spices and fruits.

The tour is great for first-time visitors, as they enjoy a guided expedition of some of the city’s best sites including cultural as well as culinary attractions. Most memorable is the amazing Wat Suan Dok, founded in 1370, and home to the cremation urns of Chiang Mai’s old royal family. The amazing statues of King Mengrai the Great of the Lanna Kingdom, King Ramkamhaeng the Great of the Sukhothai Kingdom and King Ngam Muang of Phayao Kingdom, pivotal characters in Thailand’s history also create an impression.

Chiang Mai (17) 500x300
The main Buddha image at Wat Suan Dok

The highlight of the trip in terms of Chiang Mai’s culinary culture is Heun Muan Jai (The Happy House) restaurant, which specializes in traditional Lanna dishes. It is recommended to start the meal with local Hors D’oeuvres – chili dip, crispy pork, fried chicken sausage and vegetables, lightly boiled in the Northern way. Visit in the rainy season, and you can try the tasty local het pho mushroom, abundant in the local hills and here prepared in a delicious soup. Meals are served in the Northern Khantoke style, a platter which people sit around to share dishes – a lovely way to enjoy a communal meal

And the communal feel of the tour is what appeals to visitors. You explore the city knowing you’ll learn something, make friends and enjoy some tasty treats along the way. This is why evenings end with a drink in a rooftop bar with a city view. It’s a great chance to further friendships with fellow foodies and plan further culinary adventures.

For more information about the Chiang Mai Night Food Tour please visit www.chiangmaifoodtours.com

[Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: fireworks explode up in the skies above Chiang Mai on the Sunday after the Loi Krathong (locally known as Yi Peng) festival. – By Takeaway (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons]
[Intext photos: inserted by openeyesopinion.com (credits embedded)]

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Monday’s Quote – 22 August 2016

Monday’s Quote

Start the week thinking

 

 

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.
And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless.
We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. 

– John Steinbeck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[photo credits: John Steinbeck – By Nobel Foundation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

 

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