November 29, 2018
Overhere- My Favorite Destination:
The Tatra National Park
Many people consider Tatra National Park to be one of the most beautiful regions in Poland. I am one of those people.
Tatra mountains are the highest and most amazing of them all in this part of Europe. They are divided into a few ranges, each of them different, which makes the area even more interesting.
These mountains are famous for their dramatic landscape – bare rocks soaring up into the sky, rumbling waterfalls doubling their volume after rain, deep post-glacial lakes which never get warm. Tatra National Park is simply a paradise for nature lovers, photographers, hikers, trail runners, and all the people who need to get away from everyday stress and big city’s hustle and bustle.
There are many hiking trails suitable for hikers of all levels of experience. We have via ferrata-like trails in High Tatras, long but nice and safe trails in Western Tatras, and picturesque valleys perfect for families with children, and hikers who want to warm up before bigger challenges.
The most famous places in Tatra mountains are:
- Five Lakes Valley (1,665m) – the most beautiful place in Poland, just a few hours hike from the parking lot.
- Kasprowy Wierch (1,987m) – popular peak in Western Tatras. There is also cable car, so that tourist who can’t or don’t want to hike also have chance to admire astonishing landscape.
- Giewont (1,895m) – characteristic mount with big cross at the top. Landmark of Tatra National Park.
- Kopa Kondracka (2,005m) – one of Czerwone Wierchy massif. Beautiful hike, must-see for all mountain lovers.
- Morskie Oko Lake (1,406m) – big post-glacial pond. Accessible also for the disabled thanks to asphalt road.
- Chocholowska Valley – about 10km long, it’s the longest valley in Poland.
- Zakopane – the biggest tourist resort in the area, offering variety of hotels, many SPA centers, shops and restaurants.
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November 22, 2018
Travel Collecting- My Favorite Destination:
The Grand Canyon
My favorite location and experience is river rafting in the Grand Canyon. Seeing the canyon from above is awesome, and hiking into the canyon is incredible, but travelling through the canyon on the river that carved it over millennia takes the Grand Canyon experience to a whole other level.
Imagine setting out in a tiny wooden boat with only small hills on each side and hour after hour, day after day, seeing the walls climb higher and higher around and above you as you proceed deeper and deeper into the canyon. Pretty soon, colored layers that were once beside you tower high above you. Or riding the rapids in that tiny wooden boat, thrashing wildly, waves crashing into the boat, frantically bailing the water out and holding on tight at the same time. Or camping on sandy beaches at night, sleeping under the stars, surrounded by the grandeur of the canyon. Or taking daily hikes into narrow canyons, dramatic in scale, awe-inspiring in their beauty, and only accessible by boat. Or hiking up a steep hill to an ancient native American granary, with sweeping views down the canyon of the river far below.
The six days I spent rafting down the Grand Canyon were pure magic. At the end? A night in Phantom Ranch, a long hike up Bright Angel Trail and three restful days at the South Rim. The perfect Grand Canyon experience!
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November 15, 2018
The Winged Fork-My Favorite Destination:
Igloo’s In India
Last winter, I stayed at a seasonal igloo camp in India. Can you believe it? Igloos in India! My friends can’t either when I tell them about it. But now, every year from late January through March there’s an igloo camp in Manali, India.
Many of us just dream of staying in an igloo or ice hotel but never get the chance. And getting there is a bit of a challenge, but the chance to stay in an eco-friendly and economical igloo in India was definitely worth it.
You fly to Chandigarh Airport and take an oh-so-long 10 or 11 hour drive to Manali in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The trip managers arrange for us to stay in a bed and breakfast that night.
The next day, they dress us up in snow gear and drive us to Sethan Valley in the hills near the famed Hamta Pass. Little hamlets, prayer flags and trees line the roads there. Once at the top of the valley, we get a glimpse of the camp below and then trudge and tumble through a foot of snow to get there.
We’re greeted with warm tea and soon start taking pics of the camp. Of course, those pics weren’t as good as the ones we took after breakfast the next morning when my friends were scrambling to pose atop the igloos. 😉 It really was an amazing experience spending a night in an igloo in the middle of nowhere. And waking up to see the sunlight filtering in to the snow. That was indescribable!
The igloo camp also has sleds and skis for some fun times. A bunch of us also walked almost halfway down to the river Beas nearby. Would have gone all the way if we had known it was there. Hmm… But we only found out about the river after we got back to the camp.
After a few more hours of communing with nature, it was time to pack up and leave. I wish we could have stayed longer. It was such an amazing experience!
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November 8, 2018
Tales From The Lens- My Favorite Destination:
Baños de Agua Santa
Baños de Agua Santa is one of our favorite places in South America for many reasons. First, this small Ecuadorian town is found at a much lower altitude than most of the country, which allows higher temperatures and no struggles to breathe. It is also an incredible place that is surrounded by rolling mountains and rushing torrents, ideal for adventure sports enthusiasts or nature lovers like us.
What we loved is that Baños is easily reachable from the capital Quito after a quick 4-hour bus ride across the gorgeous highlands of the country. And if you decide to continue a bit further down the road, you can even enter the Amazon and discover as part of a short trip, the jungle wildlife or visit remote communities living off the grid.
However, our favorite part would undoubtedly be the Swing at the edge of the World… A fun and affordable activity that takes you on a huge swing at the top of a mountain with nothing else ahead (or below) other than a gorgeous fertile valley and a smoky volcano! Finally, what ended stealing our hearts for good, were the several hot water springs that are a result of the local volcanic activity, in which we would relax at the end of each day filled with unforgettable adventures.
To read more about Baños, visit Tales From The Lens’ article: Baños de Agua Santa – 4 unforgettable experiences on a budget.
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November 1, 2019
Travels with Talek- My Favorite Destination:
New York City
New York City, The City of Dreams, The City that Never Sleeps, The Empire City, Concrete Jungle Where Dreams are Made Of. The self-declared capital of the world is called many things; but it is never called dull. There really is an electricity in the air in NYC. You really do feel the possibilities are endless.
This culturally rich gateway for immigrants is home to ethnic enclaves speaking every language on earth. The aromas of every cuisine from Albania to Zambia wafts through the city streets and the Statue of Liberty lifts her lamp beside the golden door.
It goes without saying there is something for everyone here. Are you’re a culture vulture? There are 113 in the island of Manhattan alone. Ballet, symphony, cinema as varied as the Bosnian and Senegalese Film Festivals. It’s all here.
New York is home to some of the most recognizable and iconic sights, think Times Square, Empire State Building, Lincoln Center and Central Park. The City’s true character, however, lies in its neighborhoods; SOHO, Chelsea, The Upper East and West Sides, Harlem, Little Korea, Chinatown and many, many more.
The clichés are true. You really CAN get a pastrami on rye with mustard at 2 o’ clock in the morning if you want. You can even get it delivered to your apartment which, if you live in The City, is probably a teeny, tiny studio apartment measuring 300 square feet. But you love it anyway because, hey! You’re in New York!
Important Note: Don’t forget all the wonderful Things to do in NYC for the Holidays
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