Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Bucket List: New Orleans, Louisiana

Although there are many places that I would love to travel outside of the United States, there are also a lot of places here that I would like to visit. New Orleans is one of my top choices for cities to tour. While many flock there for Mardi Gras each year, my preference would be to go to see some amazing blues and jazz music! I would also love to be able to visit the French Quarter and take a tour through one of New Orleans many cemeteries. My sister, who has been to New Orleans on a few occasions, also recommends a ghost tour for those who like a taste of the supernatural. The city sports a variety of neighbourhoods to cover nearly anyones taste, from the Garden District to the Warehouse/Art District. I've also been advised to leave me diet behind as New Orleans is a favorite for foodies.
(Famous Bourbon Street)

(Some of the beautiful houses from the Garden District)

(The grave of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau)

With a collaboration of cultures and a variety of activities, art and music, I am sure that I wouldn't have a dull moment in one of the favorite cities of the South.

For more information, visithttp://www.neworleansonline.com/

Bucket List: Tulum, Mexico

One of the more affordable options on my bucket list, Tulum, Mexico is said to offer some of the most well preserved Mayan ruins in the Western Hemisphere. Tulum has a variety of activities to offer tourists including Cenote Dos Ojosa, a famous reef that is known for good diving and snorkeling. There are also a selection of wildlife areas and stables to choose from if guests would like to play with the dolphins or go horseback riding. Going to one of the areas local spas is also a relaxing option for tourists.

Less expansive then a lot of my other picks, and a little closer to home, Tulum, Mexico is a great addition to my travel bucket list!

Bucket List: Greece

Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Having had a dose of the Mediterranean, I can understand why. I would happily follow the masses to take in the sites of Greece, whether I was able to stay inland or take a cruise through the islands.

(Santorini, Greece)

(Mykonos, Greece)

(The Parthenon)

I would love to be able to see the Delphi Theatre, dine on the streets of Mykonos and gaze up at the Parthenon. Between the history, architecture, and beautiful beaches, I may never want to leave if I found a way to get there!

For more information, visit http://www.visitgreece.gr/

Monday, 23 April 2012

Bucket List: Switzerland

Moutains, blue waters, castles, and beautiful churches; Switzerland sounds magical. Known for being a peaceful country, Switzerland is a display of both nature and art. Not only is the architecture in Switzerland, with it's churches and monasteries, but all of the major Swiss cities have some kind of symphony, opera, or theatre.

(All photos by Google Images)

Switzerland offers attractions such as the Chillon Castle, Swiss National Park, the Altsch Glacier, and Geneva Jet D'eau, one of the tallest fountains in the world (shown below). Switzerland is going on my travel bucket list!

For more information, visit http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/home.html

Bucket List: Bora Bora

Another island that I would like to someday travel to, Bora Bora is about a one hour flight from the island of Tahiti. Bora Bora is a wedding and honeymoon hot spot and offers a variety of activities for tourists. Some of the more popular activities include going to a pearl farm or shop, snorkeling, diving, and shark feeding. Visitors can also take advantage of some of the more luxurious activities such as island picnics in one of Bora Bora's many lagoons, helicopter tours, cruises, or a trip to the spa.

(All photos by Google Images)

 Although I could see this being a very pricey vacation, going to Bora Bora would be something I would be willing to save up for!

For more information, visit http://www.tahiti-tourisme.com/default.asp

Bucket List: New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the many places that I hope to be able to travel to someday. I didn't know much about New Zealand until I moved to England and met a lot of people who had been. After hearing them rave about the scenery and tourist attractions, I started to do some research on the small country.

New Zealand is a small island, about the size of Colorado. The temperature is usually around 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit (20-30 degrees Celsius) year round, one of the many reasons that it has become a popular place for tourism. Another great reason? The exquisite landscapes.

(All photos from Google Images)

If I was able to visit New Zealand, I would hope to take advantage of the islands beautiful scenery and have a very active vacation. Diving, hiking, and kayaking are among the many activities to choose from on the island. New Zealand definitely looks like a great place to have an unforgettable vacation!

For more information, visit http://www.newzealand.com/us/

Istanbul, Turkey

My visit to Istanbul was more for personal reasons then it was for site seeing. My best friend from college, Akin, is Turkish and returned after graduation. As a surprise, his girlfriend and I planned a surprise visit for his birthday last June. Flying there by myself and trying to navigate my way through the airport to get a visa was a big challenge since I didn't know any Turkish. Waking up the next morning and looking over the city from the couple's apartment, I wouldn't have traded the frustration for anything. I woke to Call to Prayer and a breath taking view from their balcony.

Walking around Istanbul, I was able to explore the shops and markets. We bought fresh food every day from the local market to cook with or went out to a restaurant. The food was fresh and delicious, although I found raki to be a bit strong for my taste. Raki is often considered to be Turkey's national drink and is often referred as "lion's milk." I found that it definitely has a bite!

I was able to visit several famous mosques and churches while I was in Istanbul, the architecture unlike anything that I have ever seen before.
(St. Anthony of Padua)
(inside of St. Anthony of Padua)

(The Blue Mosque)

(The Blue Mosque)

While some of the customs there seemed strange compared to what I am used to in the States, I did my best to adhere to them. In the Blue Mosque, the women were required to cover their heads. We were also required to be covered to our ankles and our arms covered to the biceps.

(Sign at entrance for The Blue Mosque)

(From left to right: Wynter, myself, and Brockell at The Blue Mosque)

I really enjoyed my time in Istanbul. I'm not sure that I would have chosen to travel there if I hadn't had someone that I knew to stay with and show me around, but I am so glad that I did. Istanbul is one of the more interesting places that I have had the pleasure of visiting.

For more information visit http://english.istanbul.com/