Category Archives: International

Maine Attraction: Four Things to Love About the Pine Tree State

Think of Maine – the largest and northernmost of the New England states – and for many people all that comes to mind is Stephen King. This is a real shame, as “Vacationland” boasts attractions that rank with any other state in the union. Here are just a few of these.

Fall

Fall on the University of Maine campus

It’s the one cliche everyone knows about New England, but it really cannot be overstated: their autumns are beautiful. About 90% of Maine is covered in thick forest, and this results in a dazzling orange-red hue wherever you look once the fall rolls around.

Acadia National Park

A view from Mount Desert Island, heart of Acadia

Centred on Mount Desert Island (basically the Maine version of Cape Cod – think rich summer houses and tourist traffic in the busy season), Acadia hosts the highest point on the east coast in Cadillac Mountain.

Moxie

The famous (north of New Hampshire) Moxie logo (Image: Moxie)

Originally from Massachusetts but now the state drink of Maine, Moxie is Mainers’ version of Marmite – you either love or hate it. It’s difficult to compare it to anything else – almost bitter, it really offers a unique flavour – but no visit is complete without a sip.

Portland

Fine words at Portland harbour

Voted as one of the best small cities in the US, Portland is Maine’s largest town. The city enjoys a quiet pace of life, cultural events and most importantly, a renowned local shop that sells maple bacon doughnuts.

The best $2.31 you’ll ever spend

So if you ever find yourself in New England, be sure to head due north. Just try to avoid the occasional ice storm!

Why not Macron as French president?

Unknown to the public until two years ago, Emmanuel Macron is a 39 years old former investment banker and economy minister who could become the next president of France. Last November, he took the decision to run for French election independently. Not identifying himself as both right and left on the spectrum, Macron is against the political system. Some people consider his policies as all over the place, while others see him as the leader to take the country in a new direction, with 15,000 people attending his campaign launch.

According to Macron, it is a mistake to believe that an election platform is the heart of a political campaign. He said, “Politics is a style, a magic”.  In his book,  ” Revolution “, Macron presents himself as a social democrat wanting that wants to maintain a capitalist economy with more social justice. Here are the most popular ideas promoted by Macron:

-Decreasing the gross and net income gap by removing health and unemployment contributions. This reform will allow couples to  get a guaranteed minimum wage and earnings of at least 500 euros.

-Create 15,000 additional places in jail during his five-year term. He wants zero tolerance with delinquency.

-Maintaining the 35 hours a week for young workers, but decreasing to 32 hours for elderly persons. Introduce freelance benefits in order to increase entrepreneurship.

-Increasing the retirement age from 60 to 67 years old.

-Creation of a cultural pass for 18 year olds in order to develop the artistic access to the youth of France.

See you on April 2017,

En Marche !

My first impression about England

 

 

 

 

Dear all,

I could not do a blog without sharing my own experience in the UK. So I would like to take this occasion to talk about it.

I landed at Manchester airport, my first view from the plane was football fields which was fitting of what I knew and heard about the UK.  From my understanding, football is considered like a religion in this country, and it turns out I was right.

I felt welcomed, which was important, as it made me feel very comfortable in a country I was not too familiar with. Being in a part of the world where weather is not the best, with a culture that is different to the one you know, I was comforted.

What I like about the UK is how differently they do certain things compared to other countries I have been to. One of the examples coming to my mind is the famous red double-decker bus, I have never seen buses like that somewhere else in the world.

An other thing I like is the pub culture, the atmosphere inside is very hearty and friendly with cheap  pints. Watching a rugby game in was a great thing to do, and you can feel a strong passion of English people, particularly, during a crunch day.

In my experience, the hardest thing is eating my dinner very early, I guess it means that everything is going well for me! I look forward to discovering more the land of Shakespeare!

Keep Calm

When in Rome…

Although I had been to Rome before, I have recently gained a close friend in Milan. So naturally I put down my pencil at Uni and grabbed my passport. She packed her bags and met me in the beautiful city of Rome for an incredible ‘girls day out’.

The Colosseum 

Upon having incredible history behind the Colosseum, the area surrounding it is beautiful. Of course this area was a prime place to take pictures and enjoy a glass of Italian wine under the sunset. Remains of the Colosseum make for a great walk to and from the next site. 

The Vatican

Since we were visiting at the beginning of January, all Christmas decorations were getting taken down including the large tree in the middle of the square. This required a crane and several people to help take down hundreds of ornaments. Although we did not have time to go through the church, I would recommend having a ticket prior to visiting in order to skip the line and pay a more reasonable price.

The River Tiber

One of the longest rivers in Italy is the Tiber and along this river holds some of the most magnificent views in all of Europe. History fills the street from B.C. to today. Live entertainment is in the air and varies from pianists, to guitarist and singers to violinist surrounding the church. The entrance fee is very reasonable and the view from the top is over the entire city center.

Trevi Fountain

Of course visiting the Trevi Fountain was mandatory. After tossing a euro in the fountain, we were able to find a ‘hole in the wall’ Italian restaurant with homemade noodles, freshly made sauce and great red wine. Overall the trip to Italy was ‘magnifico’!

Let me know your experiences and suggestions below!

Bahamas on a Budget

    View from my window of Nassau port

 The Bahamas really is heaven on Earth and the great thing is it’s so cheap! Here are some amazing things to do when you’re on a budget…

                                                   Junkanoo Beach 

An idyllic beach situated just a 10 minute walk from the city centre. Its pure white sands provide a comfortable place to lay and bask in the hot temperatures. When you’ve had enough of relaxing, the turquoise waters await to help you cool down. Drinks can be brought to you; we got a selection of 4 beers for $5 served in ice. We were lucky enough to catch Junkanoo festival too, which was fun!

A hidden gem, cheap drinks and away from the tourist areas.

      A stroll

A stroll costs nothing and the Island of Nassau provides plenty of beautiful scenery to take your breath away. Stopping for the occasional swim at one of the picturesque shorelines can help relieve your feet.

Cute little boats we came across on our walks.

       Window Shopping

Okay maybe you’d be tempted to spend money but honestly Nassau hosts some beautiful shopping outlets. It is more than possible to walk down the colourful streets and look at the bespoke jewellery, homemade cigars and local rum without buying it. And if you do have some spending money, you’ll be sure to catch a bargain with its duty-free prices

Source: Cruise Critic

You could step on this island with nothing in your pockets and still have the time of your life.  Discover more. 


 

Spain in One Day!

Between a hectic schedule, assignment due dates, and being on a students’ budget…traveling is nearly impossible. Luckily I have put my time studying in England to good use and have managed to visit many countries without breaking the bank. One of the most memorable places I have been to was Barcelona, Spain.

Cathedral of Barcelona

We woke up in the morning and walked out to this beautiful church. This is in the middle of the city across from the Gothic Quarter and markets filled with the Spanish culture surround the area of the church. Everything from this church was accessible via foot or metro. We had the perfect Airbnb location!

Sagrada Familia Basilica

One site that was considered a ‘must see’ was the Sagrada Familia. I have never been a fan of museums or tours, but prefer to see as many places as possible while experiencing the culture of the destination. However, this is a place I would love to go on a tour of in the near future. I couldn’t capture how large this church was in a photo, but simply seeing the size was breathtaking.

Santa Maria de Montserrat

Santa Maria de Montserrat was almost an entire day worth of beautiful views. A cable car was taken to the top of the mountain where a variety of hikes were taken, a informative museum was found, and several monuments were on display. The photo above was the main reason for visiting the Montserrat and upon arrival the monument had a 7 foot tall fence surrounding it with a police officer keeping watch. With a lot of dedication, a little creativity and a ton of speed the photo was able to happen behind the officers back. Below are a few pictures taken at the Montserrat as well.

Let me know your experiences and suggestions below!

Doing Disney Grown-Up ♛


As an adult, “I’m off to Disneyworld!” is typically met with “but you don’t have kids, it’ll be full of them” paired with skewed faces. Truth is, it’s massive myth that Disneyworld is just for children.

My first trip to Florida to visit ‘the most magical place on earth’ was in fact for my 21st birthday and it certainly offered a lot for adults. 

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Standing on the beach at Disney’s infamous Boardwalk Lake……not a child (nor adult) in sight!

Disney hotels can be found in every theme imaginable.

Disney’s Art of Animation Hotel….very popular with children.

Trick is to stay at one in which doesn’t boast massive statues of the Little Mermaid or Nemo and you’ll be sure to avoid an abundance of little ones.

Disney does well to provide adult-only sections and smaller pools dotted around the resorts to avoid overcrowding at the main ones.

Enjoying turning 21 poolside in the adults-only section; Saratoga Springs Resort.
The main pools stayed open till midnight, way past most children’s bedtimes. Which meant us adults could have a cheeky go on the slides without queuing.

Never once was my sleep disturbed by screaming babies, my breakfast ruined by unruly toddlers or my precious sunbathing time cut short by disruptive teens.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom before the crowds…this park opens an hour early for people who are staying on Disney property. You can get on all your favourite rides before it gets manic!

Parks were of course busy, it’s impossible to hide from 1000’s of prams!!! However the rides that interested me were often too “grownup” for children and therefore the only time I heard “I want to get off, I don’t like it” was when I was screaming it.

The famous Hollywood Tower, didn’t have the guts to ride this one.
Expedition Everest… the world’s most expensive rollercoaster. I am on this picture somewhere screaming!!

I can’t deny that my inner child didn’t awaken when spotting some of my favourite characters and I may have hopped on the cup and saucers whilst stuffing my face with candy floss once or twice!

I can see why Peter Pan never wanted to grow up.


 

Why visit the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria?

Abuja, located in the northern part of Nigeria, is the federal capital territory of Nigeria and is widely regarded as one of the more tourist-friendly cities in Africa. Here are the top places to visit in Abuja, if you’re looking to spend a relaxing few days or weeks in the capital.

Dunes shopping centre

Feeling homesick? Dunes shopping centre is an ultra-modern supermarket, with a wide range of imported products. It also houses premium designer labels e.g. Armani and its various indoor cafes make it a must visit while in Abuja.

Abuja Arts and Crafts village

Looking for excellent authentic Nigerian artefacts? Look no further, this literal village sells a variety of cultural artefacts e.g. leather goods, clothing, jewellery etc and it’s perfect for picking up a few souvenirs

Thought Pyramid Art Centre

This gallery is home to many interesting pieces, portraying everyday Nigerian scenes. The pieces are affordable and the friendly atmosphere makes it the perfect place for curious tourists wanting to experience Nigerian art.

Beauty Addict

Need a bit of pampering after a long day of sightseeing? Beauty Addict is where you need to be, they provide much-needed cosset services such as manicures and pedicures, and have excellent customer services.

 

Kryxtal Lounge

Looking for something to do during the weekend? Or a place to let lose?  Kryxtal Lounge offers excellent entertainment, food and it’s the place to be if you want to experience nightlife in the capital.

Found this guide useful? Leave a comment or share your experiences touring the capital.

Photo Credit: Jumia travel, Booking.com, Travelstart Nigeria, Hotels.ng, Imgrum, H-Group.

 

 

Must-try cuisines for the curious tourist in Nigeria

Nigeria, a country rich in its cultural diversity, as well as a rich and colourful history it is no wonder that it is a popular destination for tourists. To fully embrace its culture diversity, one must indulge in its local delicacies and as such this blog will give the curious tourist a brief but helpful insight to some of the food that should be eaten whilst touring the giant of Africa.

Soups

Ogbono Soup

The wild African Mango seed soup commonly referred to as Ogbono soup, is one of Nigeria’s richest and most popular soups. The assorted meats (Ponmo, Shaki, Bokoto, Beef, Goat meat and Offals internal organs), garnished with smoked catfish/dried stockfish and cooked together with a variety of traditional seasoning and vegetables produces a soup rich in proteins and can be eaten with a combination of various foods e.g. rice or local swallows i.e. pounded yam.

Street food

Suya

This spicy skewered chicken or beef delicacy is a Northern Nigerian classic. The insanely spicy meat, seasoned with onions, tomatoes and mostly eaten on its own or with Masa (Rice cakes), is an affordable treat that is easily found either being prepared in small stalls on the street sides or in restaurants.

Staple food

Jollof rice

The most popular staple food and a must have for any curious tourist, is the boiled rice cooked in stew popularly known as Jollof rice. This African dish is rooted in the hearts of every Nigerian household and is a dished cooked with pride and served with assorted meat or chicken. It can be purchased in practically any restaurant and is a must try for anyone wishing to have a taste of Nigeria.

Have you tried any of these beauties? Leave a comment below.

Photo credit: Nairaland.com, Keywordsuggest.org, Nigerianfoodtv.

Berlin – A Winter Excursion

People tend to travel even between their heavy schedules. But, they prefer short distances and economically saving trips. Berlin is undoubtedly a good option for a winter excursion for its many attractions and places to visit. Walking through the massive skyscrapers to the memorial attractions that are part of the city’s history.

Visit Berlin is the most accurate tour guide that someone can use to plan a successful trip in the city.

Vising the Parliament is a fascinating experience, especially about the laws that are existing before and after you enter it.

Reichstag Building – Parliament of Berlin

Before facing the Brandenburg Gate, you will see the famous Platz des 18. Marz, a large square. One of the most unique monuments, internationally known as the symbol of Berlin among the Wall.

“Platz vor dem Brandenburger Tor” – Square in front of Brandenburg Gate

 

The Brandenburg Gate

The Berlin Wall is the ultimate historical sightseeing after its demolition.

The Berlin Wall

The Dark restaurant (Unsicht-Bar) was the most extraordinary experience that I ever had. Being into the position of a total blind person who tries to enjoy a wonderfully made meal.

Unsicht-Bar Berlin – Dark Restaurant Berlin

The Berlin Cathedral, it is worthy to be visit due to its monumental architecture.

Berliner Dom – Berlin Cathedral Church

Another sightseeing that its worthy to be visit, the Berlin Cathedral, which it has a monumental architecture.

Olympiastadion Berlin

The Olympiastadion  has a long history as a venue during the Olympic Games, but also nowadays it is used for famous artists’ concerts and also as a museum.

Olympiastadion Berlin

Berliners are daily using bicycles and the Underground services to travel within the city, eco-friendly lovers.

Kurfurstendamm Underground services

A museum that has a multi-culture heritage in it, different historical elements from all around the world.

Exterior of Pergamon Museum