NOVEMBER 2015

Trekking in Tibet Takes You to Adventure Holidays on Top of the world

(reading – 5.10. - 11.10.)

If you are looking for an adventure that you'll never forget then Tibet travel tours are for you. For most people simply reaching the roof of the world will suffice, but for the really energetic trekking in Tibet will be the cherry on the cake.

Tibet is termed the roof of the world because it sits on the Tibetan plateau which means it is the world's highest country with an average elevation of about 16,000 feet. It's a fine example of a high plateau and has something in common with the Altiplano of Bolivia. Towards the south are the mountains of the Himalayas with many of the world's highest peaks, which include Mount Everest on the border with Nepal. The views are spectacular.

The Weather

The climate is modified by the height and it can be rather cold high up even in summer. Surprisingly there isn't a lot of snow due to the fact that the bulk of it falls on the southern part of the mountains. So, with the exception of a few mountain passes you'll find no problems travelling around even in winter months. In the east you get some of the Indian monsoon weather while in the north you get a more Chinese climate with hot summers but cold winters.

What this all means is that it's a place you'll be able to visit pretty much any time of the year. Spring, early summer, and autumn are perhaps best, but some travellers prefer the the winter because there are considerably fewer tourists and it's the time of the amazing New Year festival.

Travel in Tibet and Great Things To Do

Adventure holidays in Tibet offer a great deal to see and do, and you can find tours of different lengths to fit all pockets. Even a long holiday of 3 weeks could be quickly filled, leaving you with difficult decisions about what to cut out. Tourists are encouraged since tourism is now an important element of the local economy.

The capital city is Lhasa, which means 'place of the gods', and it is an extremely sunny place. The locals also call it the 'sunlit city'. A number of the monasteries of Tibet were unfortunately vandalised during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, yet there is really a good deal remaining of great interest, particularly the iconic Potala Palace. Tibet's other main towns namely Shigatse and Gyantse are well worth a visit with important monasteries and also bustling bazaars.

Trekking In Tibet

Everywhere you go you'll have fabulous views of the mountains which include Mount Everest. You'll be able to even trek to Everest base camp if you are fit enough. The very important religious festival of Saga Dawa takes place at Mount Kailash, which is a sacred site for Buddhists and Hindus. The locals make a 53 kilometre circular trek, some in a single day, as part of the celebrations. You can find tours you can join which will take you on this route, but they take you a much more leisurely two and a half days to complete. It really is still a hard trek with the highest point just over 17,000 feet.

Tours of Tibet

Tours of Tibet start out from different places. Most begin in China leaving from Beijing or Xi'an and finishing at Kathmandu in Nepal. They are great for giving you a flavor of all 3 countries. You will find some that commence and end in Kathmandu with the journey to Lhasa by airplane. If you prefer it it is possible to go by rail and take 2 days on the journey from Beijing to Lhasa. There is certainly a considerable number of tours to choose from, but they all involve the fabulous scenery, great trekking along with a fascinating insight into Tibetan culture that you are only able to get through travelling there.

They're mainly small group tours and a few of them start with as few as four people. They're excellent for individuals seeking adventure holidays for singles, because you will become friends really quickly. From time to time the accommodation is pretty basic, but that all adds to the feeling of adventure, and the little hardships you endure on the way bring the group closer and help you establish enduring friendships.



History of Archery

(reading – 12.10. - 18.10.)

Many people would claim that bows archery is obsolete today, because a lot of modern weapons are available nowadays, which are easy to use and are more effective as compared to bows and arrows. Archery is a very thrilling activity and its craze can’t be removed from our minds because it’s in our blood, and that’s the reason we love to discuss about archery more than any other activity.

Let’s look at the brief history of archery. Bows and arrows are as old as sixteen thousand years, and oldest arrowheads were found in the caves of South Africa, it’s safe to say that man has inborn talent of archery. First actual bow fragments were discovered in Germany and they were dated to 8,000 BCE, and the second oldest bow fragments were discovered in Denmark, which were dated to 6,000 BCE.

Men have used bows and arrows for various purposes, their primary purpose was hunting and self protection, but these were also used as currency. Yes as currency!! In ancient times people used arrows as the medium of exchange, and arrows were the inception of modern currency.

Archery is a very fascinating activity and man has made it even better with the help of technology, though technology has been used for creating more lethal and effective weapons, but it is also used in improving bows and arrows.

There is an old relationship between man and archery that is why this activity is still very famous today. Today bows and arrows are used for different purposes, some people enjoy archery for hunting (as it was done for some thousand years ago); some people have made it a sport and now it is very famous in international sporting events like Olympics, therefore, bows and arrows are serving different purposes.

The people in Special Forces like Army widely use bows as one of the most lethal weapons. Mostly, they use crossbows because crossbows are deadly accurate and easier to use than a longbow. Crossbows have a firing range longer than a traditional longbow. With the help of technological advancements, man has made crossbows as effective as modern guns, but crossbows are somehow more effective than guns because of their accuracy and stealth attack.

Archery is not associated with any particular culture, but there are few geographical locations which have become famous for archery. There are famous stories about Brazilian archers, West German archers, English archers and Chinese archers.

Archery has also played an important part in literature and there are many fascinating stories about extraordinary archers. People all over the world admire great legendary folk heroes like Robin Hood and William Tell and tell their stories to each other, as these characters became famous for their archery skills.

Making and selling bows and arrows has become a big industry in America and now there are many brands which are making bows and arrows of different sizes and designs, and using different materials for manufacturing them in order to serve their valuable consumers. Bear Archery Bows are the leading ones available in the market, and Primos Archery is famous for making archery accessories.

Archery bows is a very fascinating activity and is full of adventure. Enjoy your outdoor activities with archery; it’s an adventurous activity with lots of fun and learning.



10 Must See Attractions in Rome, Italy

(reading – 19.10. - 25.10.)

Rome, the Eternal City, a place full of history and culture. Everywhere you step you are walking through some point in the timeline of the last 2500 years. It is a city to be lived and loved by everyone through its beautiful architecture, food, art and romance. Every world traveler has Rome on their list of must see destinations, and most start their tour of Italy here.

1. Capotoline Hill
This is one of the “Seven Hills of Rome” and is considered to have been the most sacred, as it originally was the site of the Temple to Jupiter and the Capitoline Triad, and also the city archives. It was also the site of several important events in Roman History. Very little of the original Roman ruins remain, as the current buildings were constructed there during the Renaissance. Designed by Michaelangelo, these buildings combine as the Capitoline Museum and contain a lot of great pieces.

2. Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
At Piazza Venezia is the magnificent Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. Though not very well liked by Romans, and not seeming to have any real purpose, I found the grand architecture of the monument to be an amazing site. Climb up the stairs and walk to the top of the monument to get great views of Rome.

3. Roman Forum
Dating back over 2000 years, the forum was the center of the ancient Roman Empire and wandering around the ruins is a great experience. Much is ruined beyond recognition however there are a few ruins that have been well preserved and reconstructed such as the Temple of Saturn.

4. Colosseum
Probably the most well known landmark in Italy and one of the most well known in the world, the Colosseum is a must see for all travellers. Built in the year 80AD, it is an amazing piece of architecture and a site to behold. Wander inside and out of the building and find yourself in awe.

5. Trevi Fountain
Built in the 1700's, the Trevi Fountain is the largest and most impressive fountain in the city, and probably the most famous in the world.

6. Spanish Steps
Built in the 1700's the Spanish Steps climb from the Piazza di Spagna up to the Trinita dei Monti church at the top. From here you can get great views across Rome.

7. Pantheon
One of the most well preserved Ancient Roman buildings, The Pantheon was built as a temple to all of the gods, and has since been used as a catholic church. The building is architecturally incredible, and the interior is spectacular. It is the tomb of many important people, including the famous Renaissance artist, Raphael.

8. Piazza Navona
Built in the 17th Century, Piazza Navona has some beautiful fountains in the center and the Sant’Agnese Church. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants as well (though with tourist prices) and there are usually some actors and musicians performing around the Piazza.

9. Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo is a large square with an Egyptian Obelisk in the center, it also has some more fountains and the twin churches of Santa Maria in Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli. The piazza has some nice cafes to have a cappuccino and a bite to eat while watching life go by.

10. The Vatican City
I saved the best until last. Although technically the Vatican City isn't a part of Rome, it is a must see when visiting the city. The Vatican is full of history and the best way to see it is to take a tour of the Vatican Museums, Raphael's Rooms and the Sistine Chapel before exploring St Peter's Basilica and Square.



A Quick Guide to Cyprus

(reading – 26.10. - 1.11.)

Located strategically in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is the third largest among all the Mediterranean islands. It offers easy access to Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Rhodes and Turkey, among other countries. Cyprus is mainly divided into the Republic of Cyprus in the south and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the north. There’s a buffer zone which separates these two segments and two bases, namely, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, are under British Sovereignty.

The climate in Cyprus is described as subtropical so rains are expected in the winter and summers are usually dry. It has a total land area of 3,572 square miles and total population of 1,088,503 according to 2010 estimates. The majority of the population is Greek (77 percent) and the minority is composed of Turkish (18 percent) and others (5 percent). It follows that the official languages in Cyprus are Greek and Turkish. The currency used in Cyprus is the Euro. If you are planning to visit Cyprus, you will be pleased to know that it has a lot of great attractions. Here’s a quick guide to the best things to do in Cyprus.

Sun and Sea
If you love the sun and sea, you will surely fall in love with Cyprus’ vast array of magnificent beaches and coasts. Whether you want to go snorkelling, scuba diving, jogging or just spend some quality time with your family, there’s a beach where you can fulfil all your desires. One of the most popular beaches in Cyprus is Phinikoudes Beach. Measured at 500 meters in length, the sand of the beach is described as fine grey. There are lots of amenities at or around Phinikoudes such as mini markets, shopping centre, restaurants, showers, toilets, changing rooms, umbrellas, and water sports. For a more secluded beach, try Kapparis Beach, which is frequented by the locals. The beach is characterized by clear shallow waters and golden sand. Basic facilities are available but they are not as plentiful as what you will find at Phinikoudes Beach. Another interesting beach is Pachyammos Bay located at the Pafos tourist area. This is a very good place to swim because there are very few rocks on this narrow sandy beach. There are lots of accommodations, restaurants, bars and facilities at Pachyammos Bay. All these beaches hold the Blue Flag accreditation.

Paphos Harbour and Castle
It’s no wonder that Paphos Harbour and Castle is one of the most visited places in western Cyprus. At the harbour, you will get a sense of life in Cyprus as you dine in one of the fine Mediterranean restaurants or lose yourself in the many cultural and musical events. It’s a good idea to try to time your Cyprus holiday so that you can take part in the Paphos Aphrodite Festival, which is the most anticipated event in the region. The most imposing structure at the harbour is the Paphos Castle so it’s almost compulsory to pay a visit to this historical building. A fort guarded the entrance to the harbour since the times of the Byzantines. After the Ottomans invaded Paphos, they rebuilt the fort which was destroyed by the Venetians in 1570, culminating in its present form. Today, Paphos Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Troodos Mountains
Located in central Cyprus, the Troodos Mountain range offers an intoxicating dose of Byzantine churches and monasteries, picturesque mountain villages, pristine wonders of nature, and lots more. Some of Byzantine churches listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Troodos Mountains are Assinou, Tomiou Stvrou at Pelendri, Panayia Podithou, Panayia tou Araka, Panayia tou Moutoula, and Stavros tou Ayiasmati. As for the mountain villages, you can visit Galata, Arsos, Kourdali, Agros, Pelendri, Omodos, Marathassa Valley, Dora, and others to gain a perspective on the unique lifestyle of the people. During the winter, you can go up to Mount Olympus for some skiing fun. In the summer, you can take a hike on one of the trails to experience the diverse natural beauty of Troodos Mountains.

Cyprus Museum
Possibly the most important museum in the country, the Cyprus Museum is located in the Nicosia, the capital. In the museum, you will find the world’s largest collection of Cypriot antiquities. From the Stone Age, Bronze Age through to the Byzantine Empire, these artefacts provide a vital glimpse into the history of Cyprus. Some of the notable exhibits are the Status of Zeus, Neolithic artefacts, Enkomi treasures, Mycenaean bronze and pottery, Statue of Spetimius Severus, and Lambousa treasure.

Kyrenia Harbour and Castle
No holiday in North Cyprus can be complete without a visit to Kyrenia Harbour and Castle. Here, you will drink the rich, flavourful Turkish coffee, and dine in restaurants with a distinctive Turkish influence. It’s always a great pleasure to sit at the harbour and enjoy the scenery, waiting for the sun to set. Once the sun sets, Kyrenia Harbour bursts into live with live music and lots of activities. Then, there’s also the Kyrenia Castle which was believed to be originally built by the Byzantines to ward off the Arabian invaders in the 7th century. Between 1208 to 1211, John d’lbelin expanded and improved the castle by building a new entrance, dungeons, embrasures for archers, and towers. When the Venetians conquered Cyprus in 1540, they made additions, culminating in the present form. Inside the Kyrenia Castle, you can visit the Shipwreck Museum and the Church of St. George.

St. Hilarion Castle
Another top attraction in North Cyprus is St. Hilarion Castle, located at the Kyrenia mountain range. According to legend, the name of the castle was derived from a monk who lived at the spot where the castle was built. During his time, the mountain was infested with demons that tempted him from day to night. However, their attempts fell on deaf ears because he was stone deaf! Greatly discouraged, the demons left the mountain in peace. After his death, St. Hilarion was buried at the site and a Byzantine chapel and monastery was constructed around the 10th century. St. Hilarion Castle is also famous because it was rumoured that Walt Disney used it as a model for his rendition of the castle in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. As you climb towards the castle, you may understand why he would do such a thing.