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A trip North up the Bruce Highway to Bowen takes about an hour. The approach to the town from the South has the usual Information centre, with a feature of the Big Mango. The pleasant staff at this centre, are very helpful to visitors. On first sight the big mango looks like an Easter egg, but becomes more realistic from a different angle. The next thing we noticed going into Bowen was the BOWENWOOD sign on the water tower above the town, in the style of the HOLLYWOOD sig...

Not The Whitsundays, Australia, Part 4

Not The Whitsundays, Australia, Part 4A trip North up the Bruce Highway to Bowen takes about an hour. The approach to the town from the South has the usual Information centre, with a feature of the Big Mango. The pleasant staff at this centre, are very helpful to visitors. On first sight the big mango looks like an Easter egg, but becomes more realistic from a different angle. The next thing we noticed going into Bowen was the BOWENWOOD sign on the water tower above the town, in the style of the HOLLYWOOD sign in that location.The reason for the sign, we discovered when we were in Bowen, was that part of the town was roped off as a set for the Baz Luhrmann movie "Australia" with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. There were sandbagged buildings, red dirt streets and an army tent camp. The idea is to represent Darwin during the war. It all looked very effective. The crew were due to move on to Kunnanurra in Western Australia - over 4000km, 2500miles, for the next shoot - maybe we would see them over there.Bowen brings more golden beaches within reach. There are several in town, and further up the coast, with island views and tideless clear water, snorkelling and coral, close to shore. Stinger nets are provided in a couple of places - do they work? We will stick to the lagoon and the park pool.A feature of the main town beach, is the golf course laid out along it, making a beautiful location for the golfer. What a great excuse for an afernoon stroll in the fresh air.Other noteworthy features of the town are a series of beautiful murals, one by Pro Hart, depicting trains, planes, ships, wagons etc. There are a total of twenty-two murals in all. A historical record of the area can be visualised with this series. There are a couple of high points with lookouts to the islands, and a museum. As Queensland's oldest town, founded in 1861 Bowen was once under consideration as State capital.Inland you can visit Colinsville, a coalmining town and see the "Coalface Experience", an audio-visual presentation to show the workings of the mine. (Having had a couple of "school visits" to working coalmines in England - "Doon the Pit", I did not partake).On the way back to Airlie, you can take a side trip to Dingo Beach, said to be white sand, a beachcomber's delight, and Cape Gloucester. The latter is one of the few places on the East coast to see a sunset over the sea, although Airlie can be almost as good.So there you have it plenty to do on the Whitsunday Mainland!

Hello From Toronto: Exploring Chinatown And Kensington (Part II)

Hello From Toronto: Exploring Chinatown And Kensington (Part II)

Captivated by the colourful and unusual variety of stores we walked through narrow streets filled with a jumble of vintage clothing stores, bakeries, restaurants, shops selling anything from fish, cheese and meat to dry goods and assorted merchandise. At about 7:30 pm most of the stores had closed or were in the process of closing, but the diverse and unusual storefronts and murals illustrate the Bohemian flavour of this area. Bruce pointed out numerous favourite hangouts: places such as Cobs Bread, Graffitis Bar and Grill, My Market Bakery, the Chocolate Addict and many other unique nooks and crannies illustrate the free-spirited character of this unusual neighbourhood. At the intersection of St. Andrew and Augusta we stopped to admire a half a house that was attached to some flat-roofed houses and the complex was then capped off on the other side by another half a house.One of the most poignant symbols of Torontos multi-ethnic mixing is a restaurant called the Hungary Thai, an eatery that surprisingly combines European and Asian culinary traditions originating in Hungary and Thailand. There is no better area than Kensington Market to come face to face with Torontos culturally diverse makeup. Today's Kensington features residents and merchants from all over the world, including people of Latin, Carribean, European and Asian origin.Southwest of Augusta Avenue we turned onto Bellevue Square Park, a green space that is frequented by a very Bohemian crowd of people, representing some of Torontos artists and counterculture. Kensington Market is one of the few areas that features Cannabis cafes and products, and there is a distinct marijuana culture that pervades the area, particularly on Bellevue Square Park. The northwest end of the park features a statue of Al Waxman (1935 to 2001), a Toronto actor who starred in a popular television series The King of Kensington and was involved in numerous charitable organizations and events. Bruce pointed out that Als wife Sara is immortalized on a bench right next to the statue in a carving that says Sara loves Al.Avenue is another relic from Kensingtons Jewish history. The Kiever Synagogue on Denison Square was built in 1912. Its twin towers are crowned with Stars of David which give it a distinct middle-eastern or Byzantine feel. Although many Jewish residents have left the Kensington area over the last few decades to move further north in the City, the Kiever Synagogue continues to be active and to offer religious services every Sabbath as well as educational services to the remaining Jewish population.We proceeded southwards on Augusta Avenue until we reached Queen Street. At the corner of Augusta and Queen we stopped and Bruce made us aware of one of the emblematic statues guarding the entrances of Kensington: an oversized cat prancing on a globe, an appropriately offbeat symbol of this colourful neighbourhood.Across the street Bruce pointed out the former Alexandra Park public housing complex that has been renamed the Atkinson Housing Co-op. Bruce explained that this residential complex was a major urban planning mistake and had become one of Torontos most crime-ridden areas. In 2003 the former Alexandra Park became Canadas first public housing complex to be converted into a tenant-managed, non-profit housing cooperative, a move which has greatly improved the safety in this area.At the intersection of Dundas and Queen Streets, right in the heart of Chinatown, Bruce stopped again to show us the Art Deco Victory Theatre, a former vaudeville theatre. He also explained that this theatre had at some point morphed into the Victory Burlesque, home of famous Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous burlesque dancer who became known for putting the tease into striptease.The history of the Spadina area is colourful indeed. Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe settled in the area from 1832 onwards, but major immigration got into full swing in the 1890s. Many of these poor Jewish immigrants had little language skills and began to work in low-paying jobs in the garment factories that had sprung up near Spadina.Numerous Jewish delicatessens, tailors, cinemas, Yiddish theatres, synagogues and other political, social and cultural institutions developed in the area. Indeed, as Bruce pointed out, Spadina Avenue became the centre of the Garment District which still survives on a much smaller scale today even today there are numerous fashion and fur stores that sell their merchandise to the public at wholesale prices. Bruce also elaborated that many of the buildings and warehouses became gradually higher, a direct result of the invention of the Otis safety elevator which made it feasible to carry out industrial manufacturing on higher level floors.Our group then stopped at the Glen and Paul Magder Fur Store which was a pioneer in reforming Torontos Sunday shopping laws by staying open on Sundays, despite heavy fines. Right around here we also got to admire the former location of a theatre owned by the parents of Mary Pickford, the famous Toronto born-actress, Americas Sweetheart who became Hollywoods biggest star of the Silent Era. Together with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford was a cofounder of United Artists film studios.We then walked east on Queen Street which features a whole stretch of eateries, restaurants and eclectic bars and taverns, including the Rivoli, an extremely popular bar, restaurant and pool hall. At the Horseshoe Tavern Bruce explained that many famous music acts of Toronto, including Blue Rodeo, got their start at this tavern.Boyd Gang, a 1950s gang of bank robbers led by Edwin Alonzo Boyd. The gang garnered a lot of media attention due to its sensational actions, including bank robberies, jail breaks, liaisons with beautiful women, gun fights and daring captures. Two of the gang members were captured and hanged for the murder of a policeman in 1952 while Edwin Boyd, by then a Canadian folk hero, was sentenced to eight life terms plus twenty seven years concurrent. He was paroled in 1966, relocated to British Columbia and died in 2002.Just steps further east is the Friendship House, where Russian refugees were taken in, it is also the centre of the Communist League of Toronto and the former location of the 1980s television series Street Legal.A few steps east is a series of Victorian townhouses that, as Bruce explained, were owned by two sisters who had had a serious falling out. Although the buildings were symmetrical in appearance the sisters did their best to modify the architecture to ensure that each of their sides would look different from the other sisters property. Bruce pointed out a couple of former vaudeville theatres, explaining that in the era before cinemas and podcasts, almost every city block had one or more of these theatres which were popular entertainment spots for the locals.At the Corner of Queen and Soho is the Black Bull, a decades old hotel and tavern that features a spacious outdoor patio. Bruce explained that in the 1800s Toronto's city limits extended to Peter Street, and the tavern housed in this building was the last tavern on the way out of town. This was at a time when a horse and carriage ride to Niagara Falls could take two days, so a final watering hole on the outskirts of town was important.Another significant Toronto landmark rose up impressively in front of our eyes: Torontos CHUM City Building, the main studio complex of CTV Globemedia. The building houses City TV and its famous Speakers Corner video booth (which allows members of the public to voice their opinions on any topic), Cable Pulse 24, MuchMusic, Star! and the Fashion Television Channel. Its 1914 Neo-Gothic terra cotta faade make it an instantly recognizable landmark in downtown Toronto, and the news truck with the turning wheels that is built into the eastern faade make it a real icon of the downtown core.Well, our informative and entertaining Chinatown-Kensington Tour had come to an end. Bruce, with his dramatic abilities, was able to educate us and entertain us at the same time, introducing us to historically significant parts of the city that we had never seen or simply walked by without noticing.Although a relatively young city, Toronto has a fascinating history, and Bruce Bell is just the guy to open our eyes to it.

Choose A Cruise That Best Suits You

Choose A Cruise That Best Suits You

Cruises may still be associated with older travelers, but the times when older travelers are the only ones enjoying a cruise vacation are long passed. A cruise is an extremely attractive option for anyone seeking to escape from the demands of work and everyday life. Fortunately, cruise lines now offer a variety of programs allowing them to meet the holiday needs of any travelers lifestyle and preferences. Cruising is no longer about simply showing off your new wardrobe, playing shuffleboard or socializing in the lounge. These may all be great parts of a cruise vacation, but there is a wide range of activities and amenities perfect for every traveler. A new trend in cruising is the celebrity cruise which is perfect for anyone wanting to be pampered and feel like a celebrity. These luxury ships offer a range of services on board. Maids and butlers are ready to serve the passengers once on board. There is, of course, plenty of time for relaxation that can include massages, lounging or swimming, for instance. With the extraordinary catering, this entire cruise can become a fabulous treat for any passenger. Families with children will need to find a babysitter, but once that is taken care of, they will have a wonderful ocean vacation to look forward to. Family cruises are a great option for families desiring to spend their holiday with their kids. Activities are geared for both adults and children. Theme cruises such as Disney, for example, offer even more specialized activities and fun with some of the famous animated characters the kids will surely enjoy. A benefit to these cruises is that the programs and activities planned for the children keep them busier for longer periods of time allowing the parents to spend a little more time together and relax away from the hassle of everyday life onshore. At night, entertaining events bring the family back together and provide the opportunity for fun as a family all evening. If your children are older, they will probably like the idea of an adventure cruise even more. This is a great way to explore new areas and experience trips where your kids can feel like they have discovered new, exciting places and different cultures. There is possibility for this travel all over the world, whether Antarctica, the Costa Rica rainforests or the ancient ruins of the Incas in Mexico. Adventure cruises offer a good balance of exploration and time for relaxation since there are still plenty of opportunities to recreate the adventures once on board. Finally, there are even ships designed especially for those travelers tired of the single life. Going on a singles cruise just might be that turning point in your love life. They offer a good combination of socialization, relaxation and planned activities. There is an even number of men and women on board providing even more opportunity for you to meet your partner. But, even if you do not meet your dream partner on board, you will surely find many new friends to socialize with and enjoy the many activities offered.

Moments In Moraira

Moments In Moraira

If you are planning a holiday to a luxury villa in Moraira you may want to know more about the resort youll be visiting that you might not otherwise find from a brochure.Here are some interesting facts and helpful points about the resort of Moraira. There are 9500 Inhabitants in Moraira and Teulada combined - Teulada is the municipality and Moraira is the coastal village. Moraira can be accessed by the A7 Motorway: exit 63 Benissa. National N332 Valencia, Calpe, Alicante, Altea - Alicante. Alicante airport "El Altet" 59km. Moraira is situated on the coast with two long sandy beaches (Moraira and Portet) and 8km of rocky bays and cliffs. Moraira is renowned for its terraced vineyards that produce the sweet Moscatel, used to make the local Moscatel dessert wine. Moraira and Teulada were founded in 1386 after the Christian recon quest and was the property of the Marqueses of Ariza and the Dukes of Gandia among others until it passed to the crown in the 19th century.Things to do in Moraira (if you ever do want to leave the luxury of your villa!) Golf - Club de Golf Ifach provides beautiful panoramic sea views from the clubhouse. 3406m, 9 holes, par 60. Urbanizacion San Jaime. Sailing - Moraira Sports Harbour and Yacht Club with 620 berths, sailing school and shops etc. Mountain Walking - The "Costa Blanca Mountain Walkers" trek twice a week with an easier walk on a Saturday for those who arent so brave. Fiesta calendar for Moraira and Teulada:January 5th - Arrival of the three kings with the children's presents.February 3rd - Fiesta de la Dama. Cakes shaped after the female figure.First Monday after Easter Monday - San Vicente Ferrer, Patron Saint of Teulada, bull running, firework display and processions.Second weekend in June The Moors and Christians parade. 15th/16th July - Nuestra Seora de los Desamparados y La Virgen Carmen.First Saturday in September - Moscatel fiesta in Teulada with a competition for the best bunch of grapes. Autumn - International Gourmet Festival.24th November - Santa Catalina and the Cultural Week.All year round the locals celebrate various occasions in their calendar, they welcome all visitors to join in and enjoy the festivals with them. Moraira is not just a tourist location it is home to friendly locals who enjoy having a party and making the most of the fiestas. Moraira Market: There is a traditional weekly market which takes place every Friday morning in Moraira. You can buy fresh vegetables, fruits and fish and theres a large selection of clothing, textiles, plants, bags, belts, shoes, crafts, sewing and knitting goods, jewellery, toys, souvenirs and much more! The market is the perfect opportunity to buy gifts for people back home or to grab yourself a bargain.Luxury villas in Moraira are perfect for you to fully enjoy your time abroad and make the most of all the local amenities.For more information on luxury villas in Moraira please visit the Villas of Luxury website at http://www.villasofluxury.com

End Your Tropical Honeymoon Vacation In The Mafia Archipelago Off Tanzania

Many young couples have a tropical honeymoon vacation, and some take an African Safari Honeymoon to Tanzania or Kenya, and then urgently seek a peaceful quiet escape for the last few days, and this is where an Indian Ocean Island in the Mafia Archipelago off Tanzania called Chole comes in.There are few better places to finally end up in than Chole Mijini Lodge which is the epitome of a romantic honeymoon getaway. This is never more true if you are very conscious of the damage that new holiday developments can do to the local environment or population, because Chole Mijini Lodge has developed with the best principles of echo tourism and benefiting local communities.Chole Mijini Lodge is on a tiny fertile island called Chole, some twenty minutes sail from Mafia. It has been set up as a partnership with the owners Jean and Anne de Villiers and the people of Chole Village. In fact $10 per night per guest goes to resource community development projects, and this is working extremely well.This has so far resulted in the Community having, and more importantly being able to afford to run a primary school, a kindergarten, an adult learning centre with computers and English classes, and a clinic and a market.Chole Mijini Lodge is very close to the village, and is unfenced, being situated amidst the ruins of an old town that was heavily involved in the slave trade two centuries ago.There are six tree houses high up on stilts, and a large suite on the ground. The tree houses are quite superbly designed and extremely unusual, with the whole effect being one of a tropical garden amidst the ruins, and it is spectacularly effective.The tree houses all have a view over the mangroves to the sea, and contain a bathroom at ground level with a long drop composting loo, which although it sounds pretty basic, does work very well. If Chole is to be part of your honeymoon, and you dont like the sound of this, then book the ground level suite which boasts the only flush toilet on the island!There are hot showers for all the accommodations, and there is a dhow where you can spend a night away from the lodge.Mijini Lodge has a very comfortable main lounge with lots of large colorful cushions to lie about on, with loads of books and games.This really is an escape and a romantic getaway destination.It is also fair to point out that Mijini Lodge has no electricity supply, and it is full board, with dining at a large family style dining table, and only water is included in the full board rate, although alcoholic drinks can be purchased. You will find the the food simple imaginative and superb, with different dishes to tempt even the most jaded palate!The service is excellent throughout the lodge, always there, and very discreet. If you are worried about security, there are guards around all the time especially at night so so feel safe at all times.In terms of what you do at Mijini Lodge, there are sailing trips, forest walks, and general exploration of the historical ruins, and general history of the area, snorkeling, and diving. There is everything from shallow lagoons to deep dives, and a fully set up PADI center.Tanzania, and the Mafia Archipelago makes everyone think of white sand beaches, and they are easily accessible by dhow, if not quite on the doorstep. Some of the beaches you will be taken to are so remote, utterly untouched and beautiful.What you absolutely must do is to take the unique opportunity to see how the local village lives, and to experience it. Majini gives you a unique opportunity to do this, and gives you an insight into everyday African life.Without wishing to be negative, the biggest drawback to Chole Mijini Lodge is the heat normally an advantage during the day, but at night when the breeze drops, the lack of a fan, and the ever present malaria mosquitoes means that the bed enclosed by nets becomes an oven. Now this is also the case at many safari camps in Africa, but is something to be aware of here.Notwithstanding Chole Mijini Lodge is a completely unique spot to end an African safari honeymoon, but not for people who need all the luxuries of the 21st century. If it is for you, then the experience you will have will make this a romantic honeymoon getaway you will never forget.It isnt really a base for a complete Tanzania vacation, but a great place for two or three days, hidden so to speak, amongst the islands in the Mafia Archipelago.

Oahu Vacation Rentals: The Importance Of Proper Booking

Are you interested in taking an Oahu vacation? If you are, have you already started to make your travel arrangements, namely your vacation reservations? If this is something that you have yet to do, you may want to get started right away. Hawaiian vacations are rapidly increasing in popularity. To ensure that you have the vacation of your dreams, you will want to make all of your Oahu vacation reservations as soon as possible.Although you are urged to make your vacation reservations as soon as possible, you also want to proceed with caution at the same time. Yes, you may want to make your vacation reservations before someone else ends up with what you want, but you want to do so at the right pace. As you likely already know, you have a number of different options, when it comes to vacationing in Hawaii. Making your travel arrangements, namely your overnight accommodation reservations, in a hurry, could result in mistakes.Once you decide that you would like to book a stay at an Oahu vacation rental, such as an Oahu vacation home or an Oahu condo, you will want to start examining your options. This is nice and easy with the internet. There are a number of websites online that are devoted to connecting hopeful travelers, like you, with Hawaii vacation rentals. In fact, you can even find websites that specialize in Hawaiian vacations!To ensure that you choose to stay at the Oahu vacation rental that is best for you and your needs, you will want to closely examine all of the information that you come across. It is important that you read through all descriptions, as they often contain important information concerning the rental properties. For instance, you should be able to tell how many bedrooms a vacation home or condo has, as well as any other onsite features, such as a swimming pool, hot tub, or laundry room. Also, be sure to examine all Oahu vacation rental pictures. You should never agree to rent a vacation home without first getting a good look at it.Once you have found an Oahu vacation rental that meets or exceeds your expectations, you will want to start making your reservations. The sooner, the better. This is important, especially if you are interested in renting a vacation home, as they are increasing in popularity. The longer that you wait the make your Oahu vacation rental reservations, the bigger the chances are that someone may make those same reservations.In keeping with making your vacation reservations, for an Oahu vacation rental, it is important that you do business with a reliable and trusted online website. It may be within your best interest to book your Oahu vacation rental reservations through a website that deals specifically with Hawaii vacations. Although this may sound silly, it is important to quickly review the vacation rental in question and all rules and restrictions. This is important, as you will want to make sure no changes have been made, particularly concerning the cost of the rental.Once you have examined that the Oahu vacation rental is as it was when you first viewed it, you will want to officially make your reservation. When doing so, it is important to double-check your reservation dates. Many dates are typed in or selected from a dropdown menu. This is convenient, but it also leaves room for error. Before paying for your Oahu vacation rental, verify that the selected dates are the correct ones. This is important, as not all vacation rentals are refundable or transferable. If you would feel more comfortable, you may want to consider making your Oahu vacation rental reservations over the phone.The above mentioned factors are just a few of the many that you will want to take into consideration, when it comes time to book your next Oahu vacation rental. As a reminder, it is important to double-check everything in terms of your reservations. This will prevent any errors or misunderstandings come vacation time.

Summary

A trip North up the Bruce Highway to Bowen takes about an hour. The approach to the town from the South has the usual Information centre, with a feature of the Big Mango. The pleasant staff at this centre, are very helpful to visitors. On first sight the big mango looks like an Easter egg, but becomes more realistic from a different angle. The next thing we noticed going into Bowen was the BOWENWOOD sign on the water tower above the town, in the style of the HOLLYWOOD sig...