Want to go far, far away from the madding crowd? Have been stuck in the maddening ruckus of the city and just want to spend time with your family on the golden beaches of the Caribbean? Well, you don’t need to look any further because Virgin Gorda has you covered. One of the biggest islands in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, this place is sure to soothe your mind and soul. Spread over an area of about eight and a half square mile, you can do many things, with the option of getting homes with a private pool in Virgin Gorda. Often described as “The rich, plump beauty of the British Virgin Islands”, this place is also a home to many famous personalities like Morgan Freeman.
So, in case you are ready to pack your bags and catch the next flight to the Caribbean dream, here’s a list of things to do and see when you get to Virgin Gorda:
- The Baths
Probably the most famous spot in Virgin Gorda, this beautiful place is a result of the formation of a series of caverns created by volcanic lava over 70 million years ago. These caverns are flooded with seawater and give you a chance to experience the most unique swimming and snorkelling experience. That’s not even the best part, though. It also offers you the chance to take a trek that may as well change your life. In this trek, you trail through the deep, dark caverns, climb boulders, wade through tidal pools and pass through narrow passages to reach the Devil’s Bay, which is a breathtakingly picturesque bay on the south-western tip of this island. Grand and sparkling, Devil’s Bay has quiet beaches and views that have been known to inspire goosebumps in every first time traveller.
- Savannah Bay
This exquisite site is at a very short distance from the main city, towards the north of the valley. With more than a mile-long route of white sand, Savannah Bay offers you one of the most exhilarating walks you might take in your life. The water is a lustrous and calm shade of blue. If you want some solitary time and take in the rhythm that feels the Caribbean, this is where you would want to be at. But, keep in mind one thing. This peace comes at the price of facilities and the company of people so one must come fully prepared.
- Spring Bay
This one is situated pretty close to the Baths. Spring Bay offers you the beauty of the Baths but without all the people around. If you have been craving some solo adventure, this is the place you want to go to. The white sand lies strewn with humongous boulders that you may take your time climbing and exploring. And while the crystal-clear waters are popular with swimmers, the best thing about this place is the area called the Crawl. The Crawl is a clear blue pool protected from the sea by the boulders strewn around it and offers one of the best snorkelling experience you can have in the entire Caribbean. As for facilities, again this does not have much, just some picnic tables lining the shade of the sea-grape trees.
- Gorda Peak National Park
Situated at a height of 1359 feet, Gorda Peak is the highest point on this island. There are two trails that lead you up to this point through the national park (East side and West side). It is one of the last remaining examples of the Caribbean dry forests in the whole region, making it a really special site. As you hike your way to the peak, you can find many endangered plant species strewn on the way. You can also find the Virgin Gorda geckos who are the smallest lizards in the world. Once you reach the peak, you can find the watchtower from where you are rewarded with an exquisite panoramic view of the whole British Virgin Islands and the peninsula. The picnic spots offer good places to rest once you return from your hike. The spots tends to attract zebra butterflies and hummingbirds in dozens, making this land seem like something out of a book.
- The Copper Mine
If you are a history buff or just intrigued by the cultures of the world, the Copper mine is a place that you will definitely love. Situated at the South-Eastern tip of this island, this place plays a very important role in shaping the history of this island. Amerindians use this place as a copper resource before the Spaniards passing through the British Virgin Islands found it. After the Spaniards, Cornish people used this place for mining. The slopes are still scattered with the ruins of their homes, mining shafts, engine houses, cisterns, operation centres. You’ll also find granite rock outcroppings with deposits of feldspars, tin copper, quartz and other clay minerals surrounding the copper mine. But that’s still not all. The Copper mine is also an abode of the white-tailed tropicbirds who nest here in in the nooks and crannies of the rocky cliffs by the sea. If you’re lucky, you can watch them dive from incredible heights to feed on the marine life here.
Obviously, there are a lot of names missing from this list. Bays, beaches, ponds, peaks with a panoramic view of the archipelago, rare species of flora and fauna, this island is a heaven for everyone coming here. But whether you can fit it all into your plans depends on the dreaded return date. Do not worry if you miss out on anything, though, because once you set foot on this charmed land, you will be sure to keep returning here again and again.
7 Things that you need to do in Portland, Oregon
The largest city in the state of Oregon in the United States sure has a lot on offer for you to do.
With that thought in mind, we have zeroed in on what we think are 7 key things that you surely MUST do while in Portland, Oregon.
Visit Portland Japanese Garden
The inspiration to setup a Japanese Garden in the city came once Sapporo in Japan and Portland became sister cities. Today, this is a sprawling area spread over 12 acres with truly well-maintained and beautifully laid out gardens that are pleasing to both the eyes and the mind.
Once here, you will enjoy visiting each of the 8 gardens within the entire Garden complex as well as the Cultural Village that has been made within it.
Check Out Pittock Mansion
A trip to Portland, Oregon will simply be incomplete if you fail to check out Pittock Mansion. Almost a century old Victorian Mansion, the charm here lays in the way the building has retained its old world charm, complete with original artworks and furniture dating from way back in time.
If a trip down memory lane is what you seek, then checking out Pittock Mansion has to be on your Portland itinerary.
Visit Portland Art Museum
Portland Art Museum is privy to one of the finest art collections you are likely to come across among cities on the US Pacific Coast. Besides its permanent collection of artworks from around the world, a fascinating feature of this particular art museum is the manner in which temporary showcases of artworks from various parts of the world are featured periodically.
As an arts buff, you simply cannot afford missing out on a trip to Portland Art Museum.
Go to Oregon Jewish Museum
This is the only museum of its kind on the Pacific Northwest. It serves as a memorial to one of the foremost immigrant groups that came to settle down in the city. Once at the museum, you will be able to trace the journey of Jews to Portland, including the arduous efforts many of them made to escape persecution back in Europe.
If an insight into Jewish life in Portland – both past and future, is what you are after, then a trip to Oregon Jewish Museum should definitely be on the cards.
Making the Most of Visa Free Travel to the United States
While on the subject of traveling to Portland, Oregon and making the most of things to do there, it would only be appropriate that we bring the aspect of ESTAinto the picture.
ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. This is a special privilege granted to citizens and eligible nationals of select countries, mostly in Europe along with a few others in Asia-Pacific. Chile is the only Latin American country that finds prominence on the list.
The conditions to avail ESTA are fairly basic; besides being from one of the nations on the list, you need to ensure:
- You do not have a visitor’s visa already
- The duration of your planned trip is up to 90 days
- You intend to travel to the United States for either leisure or business
Typically, once you go through the ESTA application process successfully and pay the requisite $14 fee that applies, you will get a confirmation on your status quite quickly.
Yet, there are many applicants who seek frequent confirmations along the lines of, “Is my ETA still valid”? Well, the answer to that is really simple; once successfully granted, your ESTA is valid for two years or till your passport itself is valid, whichever happens first.
Therefore, once you have ESTA approval in place, you do not have much reason to constantly reconfirm as to “Is my ETA still valid” or not.
Continuing with our listing of 7 things that you need to do in Portland, Oregon, Number 5 on our list would be seeing Portlandia, which is a statue quite similar to Statue of Liberty in New York. The lady in this statue clearly comes across as warmly welcoming visitors to Portland.
When it comes to hammer-crafted copper statues in the United States, Portlandia is second in size only to the Statue of Liberty, further accentuating its prominence.
Go to Portland Rose Festival
Held in early June, this festival is an apt tribute to the city’s stature as “Rose City”, given the ease with which roses grow in Portland. As the largest festival in Portland, and with a large number of events planned during this time, make this a “must do” on your list.
Eat and Drink!
Last on our list, we highly recommend checking out the vibrant food and drink scene in Portland, especially its numerous microbreweries frequently coming out with delicious beer, its numerous food carts that dish out cuisine from just about all parts of the world, as well as its plentiful specialty coffee offerings.
There is clearly so much to see and do in Portland. As an international visitor from an eligible nation, you will enjoy hassle-free travel thanks to ESTA. Moreover, once granted, you will not have to frequently wonder, “Is my ETA still valid”!
Indian Railways: Why Should You Be Proud of This Transportation?
The way you keep on working you and improve yourself with time, so does Indian Railways. Many folks have an impression that Indian railways are stuck and no growth is taking place in that area. If you think that way then your thought process is certainly conventional and information is outdated.
You have no idea that there have been tremendous progresses that have taken place in the domain of railways in India. Plenty of facilities, new trains, features and schemes came into existence for the ease and comfort of passengers. Just because you have no idea about these lately provided facilities or emerging options; you cannot blame the Indian railways.
An important role to play
You know Indian Railways in the present time play a significant role for the entire lower and upper middle class sectoral travel section. The medium serves as the most low-cost mode of transport among the chief travel modes in the country. With a humble beginning in India since 1853, the Indian Railways has emerged in the present time as the main vehicle for socio-economic development of the nation.
It might add on to your knowledge that railway in India is a labour intensive industry and it has a workforce of more than 13.6 lakhs staffs. Indian railway is one of the hugest employment providers in the nation. Employment generation has been one of the chief purposes of development planning in the nation. Indian railway is contributing significantly to employment generation. Speaking of its facilities and features like Pnr check, ticket availability facilities, tracking system and toll free numbers and so on; these features have emerged as assets to Indian Railway. Even if you want to get fresh food while you travel, you can get it from Railway Restaurant. You can order the food of your choice and it gets delivered to you while you are travelling.
Why to choose railways over road in India?
It is true that rail transportation has some positive characteristics when compared to road transportation. Railway is six times much more energy-efficient if you compare it to road and four times much more low-cost. The social price in terms of environment injury or any kind of degradation is absolutely lower in rail. The costs of railway construction are nearly six times lower than compared to road for comparable degrees of traffic. It is the only chief transport mode that is proficient of using any type of main energy. It might also come as a surprise to you that Indian railways are not just generating formal employment but also a large scale of informal employment through its forward and backward links. And you cannot deny the fact that Indian railways transfer lakhs of passengers every single day. Whether you speak of a simple slow train, super-fast trains such as Rajdhani express or any other kind of train; passengers are all over the place.
Thus, the bottom line is that Indian railways are a great mode of transportation. You not just feel comfortable in trains but you should also be proud of the train facilities by Indian Railways.
Make The Most of a Trip to Grapevine Texas
Grapevine is a timeless Texas city that has a reputation for historic structures. These structures have been in existence since the 1800s and 1900s. If you’re looking forward to an upcoming Grapevine getaway, then you should prepare meticulously for the trip because the community has so much in store for you! It’s near both Fort Worth and Dallas. If you’re anticipating spending time in Grapevine, then you have the opportunity to see the best that Texas has to offer..
Places to Visit
Grapevine trips can be fulfilling for many reasons. If you’re fond of learning about aquatic life, you may want to think about going to the SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium. This aquarium is part of Grapevine Mills and gives visitors access to countless sea animals. If you want to get caught up in rays, sharks, seals, sea turtles and even seahorses, you won’t be able to refuse a trip to this renowned destination.
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad is another gem in the community. If you want to gaze at trains that were in operation in the twenties, then there’s no Grapevine spot that can please you like this one can. If you’re in the mood to go on an authentic steam locomotive journey, you should head downtown to the Main Street station without any hesitation whatsoever.
Grapevine Mills can be a pleasure for eager shoppers. It’s a vibrant shopping center that presents people with many options. If you visit this mall, you can go to Banana Republic Factory, Express Factory Outlet, Papaya, Guess Factory Store, Gap, J. Crew Factory, and H&M. Grapevine Mills is optimal for people who want to save a lot without sacrificing style through outlet shopping. It has many dining establishments as well. People who visit this mall can eat at Ruby Thai Kitchen, Kelly’s Cajun Grill, Kimu Sushi, Rainforest café, and Steak ‘n Shake.
Picking a Hotel
Picking a fantastic hotel in Grapevine is all about putting in a bit of time for research. Since there are so many options in the area, be certain to comb online reviews, read local tour guides, or get suggestions from people who are familiar with the area. One of the most widely-recommended hotels is the Hyatt Place Dallas/Grapevine. This hotel is just a couple of miles away from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Guests at Hyatt Place can get to the airport using a complimentary shuttle service. Some of the many amenities that are offered by this hotel are complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access, 42-inch televisions, irons, sofas, coffee machines and even small refrigerators. People can dine without worries at the hotel as well. Breakfast is made up of tasty items such as Greek yogurt, sausages, bacon, oatmeal, and eggs.
If you’re trying to reserve a room at a budget-friendly Grapevine hotel, you can look to the Comfort Inn. This Capitol Street option makes guests feel terrific with complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access, complimentary parking and even complimentary breakfast. The morning meal is nice and hot, too. The units all have flat-panel televisions, desks, coffee machines, refrigerators and microwave ovens. The hotel is also within close proximity to the Delaney Vineyards.
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