6 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Ireland

The Emerald Isle Ireland is an ideal blend of rolling hills, green valleys, medieval castles, and delicious cuisine with its outstanding stew. Cozy Dublin, Cork nightclubs, pubs, Kerry Way, horse riding, outdoor activities and language tours can all be part of your Ireland vacation ideas.

Ireland has been a popular tourist place for years. It is famous for its extended excursions, tasty beer, original nature, and impressive history. As for the beauties of the country, the loneliness of Connemara, wild spaces of County Donegal, cool waters of the Atlantic, and majestic beauty of Glendalough are just a small part of what the country has reserved for its visitors. The fans of the art of all styles and directions will not be disappointed too as Ireland is remarkable for brilliant theatrical performances in Dublin and conceptual rock parties in Limerick.

Ireland is characterized by its fantastic hospitality of local people. They won’t only help a foreign guest but get ensured that he doesn’t experience any difficulties. The secret of the national character is simple – the Irishman is comfortable when everyone around is happy. Before planning a trip, learn several phrases in Irish to show your respect to the country and people.

If you decide to visit this beautiful place of the globe, you have to be familiar with some Ireland travel tips. Here are the most important tips you should know when visiting this great country.

The climate

The climate is temperate oceanic. The western and northwestern coast is washed by the Gulf Stream, so the climate here is warm and humid. In general, the local weather is unpredictable – as the Irish joke “four seasons in 24 hours”. Rains are not strong, but frequent, the downpour can be replaced by the sun several times a day.

The best time to travel to Ireland is in July and August. A visit to Ireland in June or September also has many advantages – the weather is still (or already) quite warm, all the sights are open to visitors, but there are fewer tourists.

Your umbrella and raincoat are an absolute “must have” there at any season of the year.

Banks and exchange offices

The monetary unit of the country is Euro (EUR). Currency can be exchanged in the exchange offices, hotels and travel agencies, but the best rate is traditionally offered in the banks. Banks work on weekdays from 10:00 to 16:00 (on Thursdays – from 10:00 to 17:00). With international credit cards, you can withdraw money at any time of the day. Credit cards and traveler’s checks of the world’s leading payment systems are widely used.

Educational institutions

Young people visit this country to enroll in an English course to enhance foreign language skills and explore its history, culture, and traditions. Many of them decide to enter higher educational institutions after visiting Ireland.

Many universities outstand at international level, and the country is a popular choice for international students. The variety of higher education institutions in combination with gorgeous cities, wonderful countryside and unique culture makes the isle an attractive academic destination. If you’re one of those choosing to get a degree in Ireland, navigate to this assignment writing service to get help with your college application essay and to find out more about Irish universities.

National cuisine and restaurants

The national cuisine of Ireland is quite simple, but it is also unique. Many local cooks are still frying meat according to the traditions of their ancestors: on an open flame using peat instead of firewood. The main ingredients are lamb, pork, potatoes, and cabbage; the method of preparation is long stewing. Spices are practically not used, except for salt and black pepper. Your Ireland travel guide will show you the route to the best restaurants that serve traditional dishes.

Attractions

A lot of stables and equestrian clubs can be considered a kind of sightseeing in the country. In addition to amateur riding, you can enjoy the spectacle of professional horse racing.

You can walk along the famous walking trail Kerry Way in County Kerry, the Iveragh Peninsula. The route begins in Killarney near the national park with beautiful forests, lakes, and waterfalls. Many tourists are attracted by the famous steep cliffs which are almost two hundred meters high on the Atlantic coast of the country, as well as dull but no less impressive hills – the scene of all local legends.

Castles

Ancient castles are preserved in every county, such as Belle Isle, Bunratty, Blarney, King John’s Castle in Limerick, Doe, Cahir, Ashford and dozens of others, no less remarkable. Many of them have been converted into the first-class hotels.

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The Charm of Sharm…El Sheikh

There are few locations as steeped in history and romantic mysticism as Egypt. Most of us, as children have been enthralled by the tales of Egyptian mythology and thus, visiting the country as an adult, we tend to retain a sense of wide eyed mysticism when feasting our eyes on the wonders of this historically and culturally rich civilization. From the pyramids to the Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt is steeped in exotic history that has captured the hearts and imaginations of Western visitors for generations. The beauty of Sharm El Shiekh is its ability to combine this sense of vivid and romantic history with peerless luxury so that one can explore or relax in this divine city while experiencing a vacation that is unique and full of character.

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Sun, sand and sea

If you want to take your sandals for an airing, you can hit one of Sharm El Sheikh’s many wonderful beach resorts and enjoy the uniquely arid beauty of the coastal regions.

Naama Bay is the epicenter of the region’s resort life, boasting ultra-luxurious hotels like the Sharm El Sheikh Marriott Resort and the Royal Savoy. Each offers a subtly different but undeniably luxurious stay from which you can begin your journey across the windswept sandy vistas.Naama Bay is famous for its expansive beach with its pedestrian only promenade ringed with profuse cafes and restaurants.

If, however, you’re looking for something more sedate and solitary, we recommend a trip to the Nabq Protectorate 20 km north of Sharm El Sheikh proper. Here you can spend a whole day without seeing another person, although you’ll find plenty of examples of the region’s exquisite wildlife. You’re likely to encounter gazelles and ibexes, and you can even explore the world’s most northerly mangrove forest which is also in the region.

Under the sea

For those with a restless sense of adventure, Sharm El Sheikh has a plethora of opportunities to scuba dive or snorkel among the region’s bountiful sea life. The Gardens Reef at the northern end of Naama Bay offers three different snorkelling and diving sites that can be accessed either off the shore or by boat. There’s a richly diverse palette of sea life to be found here to suit veteran divers and neophyte snorkelers.

Seasoned divers, however, will be drawn to the vivid coral of Thomas Reef where you can explore the spectacular underwater vistas amidst schools of fish.

Step back in time

A trip to Sharm El Sheikh isn’t complete without sampling some of the ancient wonders that give the city and its surrounding regions so much of their character. Take a coach trip to St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai, where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments. The ancient site is home to a still functioning Greek Orthodox monastery and is home to the legendary “burning bush” of the old testament.

The bustling streets of the Sharm Old Market are also a must for those whose trip is not complete without some friendly haggling. Here you can shop, eat and drink in the unique atmosphere that one would not expect to be able to experience without a time machine.

THE MOST SHOCKING FACTS ABOUT EVERYDAY INDIA LIFE FOR A TOURIST?

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Have you been curious about seeing this historic nation filled with priceless traditions, lifestyle, spices, and amazing festivals and attractions? Well, why not? One way or the other, you must have seen and heard about this iconic country. Hence, you decided to have a firsthand view of this place, to share their lifestyle and rich heritage. We believe your position is right; this is why this article focuses on bringing to tourists awareness, interesting facts on nations that will help them better adjust, and appreciate the country they wish to explore. Today, we bring to your awareness daily facts that will shock your mind. These are happenings you never knew occurred in India.

FACTS ABOUT INDIA

  1. LEFT HAND IS CONSIDERED UNCLEAN

When you get to India it is important you do know which hand is appropriate to eat with. For those who love to use the left hand when dining, these action is frowned upon. Traditionally, the natives perceive their left hand unclean and never uses it to eat. This action is as a result of their preference in utilizing their left hand to clean up themselves by utilizing the toilet.

  1. KILLING COWS IS A TABOO

During your stay in India, you will find a lot of cows walking freely on the streets. This occurrence is as a result of the high value placed on cows. In India, cows are seen as one of Humans seven mothers. This perception lies in the fact that we thrive on cow’s milk as we survived through our mother’s milk. Hence, cows are not killed, they are rather reverenced and worn the Tilak for good fortune.

  1. SHAMPOOING BEGAN IN INDIA

Yup, the word shampoo was derived from the Sanskrit word Champu; this word means to massage, and before the world developed their shampoo products, India has been making use of their herbs to clean the hair. Hence, one of the things to do when you get to this beautiful land is to try their herbs shampooing. Indian herbal medicine called Ayurveda has been a subject of numerous studies of modern western scientists. If you are willing to research this topic further, you can check custom essay writing Eduzarus to get professional assistance.

  1. THE LARGEST POSTAL NETWORK

India, till date, remains the country with the largest postal network. As a tourist, you will be amazed by the amount of functioning post office settled in the country. Some of these offices float above water, which is one of the beautiful things to see when you get there. These postal offices serve an average of 7175 people each per day.

  1. THE WETTEST PLACE IN THE WORLD

The wettest place in the world is housed in India. When you get to the country, you should check the Mawsynram village on Khasi Hills, Meghalaya. This village is recorded to have the highest rainfall average in the world. If you decide to check out Mawsynram, endeavor to go with your umbrella.

  1. THE LARGEST NUMBER OF VEGETARIANS

Indians have the numbers for the largest population of vegetarians in the world. When you arrive at the country, you will find out that 20-40% of the people resident there are vegetarians. This surprising occurrence does not stray away from religious beliefs and personal choices. Hence, the land remains the most vegetarian-friendly country in existence.

  1. A SPA FOR ELEPHANTS

As a tourist in India, you might be unaware of this unless you are looking. India treasures elephants, if not more than the same way they treasure their cows. Hence, it is not far-fetched to come across an Elephant Spa in the country. One of these Spa establishments is Punnathoor Cotta Elephant Yard Rejuvenation Centre, located in Kerela. Elephants receive food, bath, and massage in this establishment. You seeing it, will not will not only be a fun thing to experience but one of the things you should do when you get there.

  1. THE LOTUS FLOWER IS SACRED

The lotus flower is a sacred symbol in the Country. When you get there, you will find its design on some Hindu and Buddhist temples. Currently, the Lotus Temple also known as Baha’i, situated in Delhi, is built to look like a lotus flower. The Temple has a 27 mammoth lotus petals structure covered in marbles. It is a fantastic sight to behold.

  1. LOTS OF SPICE

Spice is integrated into everyday India life. Currently, the country produces 70% of the world’s spice consumption, which makes it the highest spice producer and exporter in the world. When you get there, certainly you will see lots of stuff to buy when it comes to spices.

 

 

 

Chinchero, Maras Salineras, and Moray in Peru

CHINCHERO, MARAS SALINERAS, and MORAY: This was our first day-trip in Peru after spending a night in Lima and landing in Cusco the following morning. These small villages are not so touristy but has magnificent Incan sites. While the highlight of Chinchero is its colorful outdoor market, Maras Salineras is an awe-struck site of thousands of years of salt fields, and Moray Terrace displays the innovative and scientific minds of the Incans.

Moray Terrace surrounded by Andes, in Peru

Moray Terrace surrounded by Andes, in Peru

The cab drive/tour guide was reserved before we reached Cusco airport. It was relaxing but once we were near Moray and Maras, I felt the altitude sickness little bit with dizziness and light-headed feeling. My girls and I fell asleep during our drive from Maras Salineras to Moray because we were feeling really dizzy.

Also, if you are going to be in Peru for few days and are planning to visit multiple Inca sites, it’s cheaper to buy the Boleto Turistico pass for 130 Sols for adult and 70 Sols for kids, which gives you free access to many ancient sites for 10 days.

Scenic drive to Ollantaytambo at the end of the day

TIME of TRAVEL: We visited Peru end of August, 2017. It was winter there and very pleasant for us. We did carry sweaters for all of us since it can get a bit windy in the mountains and chilly at night.

OUR HOTEL: We really didn’t stay in any of these places, since it was just a day-trip on our way from Cusco to Ollantaytambo. Please check my upcoming post on Ollantaytambo to see our hotel. Tourists don’t usually stay in these places and I’m sure there aren’t many options here either. Ollantaytambo is within an hour drive and has lots of choices for lodging.

EATING and SHOPPING: We had lunch in the open market of Chinchero before visiting Santa Cataline Monastery on the hill. The food in Chinchero market were all street foods and women were cooking right there…openly. Food was very cheap with a nice big portion. We had fried trout with rice and potatoes. I also ordered a stuffed bell pepper with vegetables (deep fried). Don’t expect nice sitting arrangements and cleanliness, but it’s an experience we loved. We were just happy to actually get a table with 4 plastic chairs and sat down with few other locals and tourists.

Fried trout with rice, boiled potato, and veges in Chinchero market, Peru

Fried trout with rice, boiled potato, and veges in Chinchero market, Peru

Chinchero is a good place for buying small trinkets and hand craft items. You can find jewelries, home decors, wall hangings, shawls and sweaters, potteries, stuffed llamas, and lots of local goodies here. But do bargain, especially if you are buying multiple items from one vendor. When you are in Maras Salineras, buy few packages of natural salt from the mine at the entrance.

Vendors at Chinchero open market with their crafts

Vendors at Chinchero open market with their crafts

PLACES WE’VE VISITED: As I mentioned before, we were picked up from the Cusco airport in the morning by a previously appointed tour guide and went off to explore ancient and present Peru with all the luggage and backups. We reached our hotel in Ollantaytambo in the evening after visiting the below sites. It was not packed or tiring at all. We took it slow and enjoyed every bit of these country-sides and majestic Peruvian Andes.

Just one thing to remember is that, some people may get mild to severe altitude sickness in these areas. So, it’s better to drink some chlorophyll or coca tea right from the beginning of your trip. We got ours from the Vitamin World and coca leaves can be found in all the hotels or departmental stores near Cusco. I even saw free coca leaves in the airport also. It’ll help a lot, better to be feeling good than drowsy in your trip.

  1. CUSCO TEXTILE: It’s called Figueroa Alpaca Textile. As we entered the complex, we were greeted by llamas, baby alpaca, and guinea pigs. There was a small shaded area with all the materials to demonstrate how alpaca wool get processed into making different items. A lady in traditional Peruvian clothes walked in and introduced herself with her broken English. As she started to demonstrate the process, another lady walked in with 4 cups of mint tea in beautiful blue and white clay-made tea cups (which inspired me to buy those tea cup from Chinchero market). One thing that was really remarkable is that they use all natural product starting from cleaning the alpaca wool (juice from a plant) to dying them in different colors (all natural colors), to weaving them into different products.
A weaver working with alpaca wool at Figueroa Alpaca Textile in Peru

A weaver working with alpaca wool at Figueroa Alpaca Textile in Peru

After the demo, we were taken to a lady who was knitting a shawl from the alpaca wool. I was just eager to get to their store and explore some goodies. We ended up buying ponchos, shawls, sweaters, table clothes, and few small things for really good price. Items made with baby alpaca are very soft (softer than lamb wool) but can be expensive depending on location and complexity of the design.

An alpaca in Figueroa Alpaca Textile, Peru

An alpaca in Figueroa Alpaca Textile, Peru

  1. CHINCHERO: Chinchero is situated on higher ground than Cusco at almost 12,500 feet elevation. The Inca ruins here consist of nested terraces rising up to a plateau which can be viewed from the Santa Cataline Monastery. This is a church that was built in the early 1600s. We didn’t go inside and not sure if it’s even an active church or a museum. The site is included in Boleto Turistico pass.
Santa Cataline Monastery in Chinchero, Peru

Santa Cataline Monastery in Chinchero, Peru

Before climbing the hilly path to the monastery, we stopped at the open market area which is a heaven for souvenir hunters. Prices are not necessarily cheap here, but most of these items are hand crafted by the surrounding villagers. You can find potteries, shawls, table clothes, and other decors. I bought two traditional tea cups (without handles) for 20 USD both…not that cheap.

A lady in Chinchero market selling street food

A lady in Chinchero market selling street food

  1. MARAS SALINERAS: About an hour drive from narrow mountainous roads of Chinchero was the Salineras. This is a natural terraced salt mine in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We could see the salt terraces from far as we were passing thru the mountains. Once you are at the gate, you have to walk for few minutes to get to the site, which I couldn’t do because my exhausted girls fell asleep in the car. You have to see the nestled salt pans in the canyon to understand how the salt from water at the Salineras spring has been transformed into salt crystals for thousands of years.
Driving to thru Andes towards MARAS SALINERAS in Peru

Driving to thru Andes towards MARAS SALINERAS in Peru

Salineras can be done in less than an hour.  Enjoy the high mountains and the drive to get here, it looks dangerous being so high up on the mountains and driving by the edge. But breathe in and trust your cab driver/tour guide and enjoy the peaks, cliffs, valleys, and fresh air.

Salt pans of MARAS SALINERAS in Peru

  1. MORAY TERRACE: Moray is very close to the town of Maras and sits in the Sacred Valley of the Incas about 3500 meters above sea-level. This was more like an experimental site for different types of produces for the Incans. Other than this archeological site of Moray, enjoy the surrounding giant Andes Mountains and small farms.
MORAY TERRACE in Peru, sits in the Sacred Valley of the Incas about 3500 meters above sea-level

MORAY TERRACE in Peru, sits in the Sacred Valley of the Incas about 3500 meters above sea-level

We stayed in Moray Terrace about half an hour. We didn’t go down to the terraces, but there are stairs for that. The site is included in Boleto Turistico.

The Czech Republic For Those Into History

Steeples of St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle from Charles Bridge in Prague

Steeples of St. Vitus Cathedral and Prague Castle from Charles Bridge in Prague

Slap bang in the middle of Central Europe, if there we had to describe the Czech Republic in just one word it would have to be ‘cocktail’. No no no. This has nothing to do with its fame and notoriety among stag parties or thirsty backpackers but rather its history. You see, the Czech Republic is a cocktail made up of its Bohemian past, Moravian splendor and Slavic charm. It is a city that celebrates the historic diversity that blends all things Gothic and Baroque and that is what makes it an absolute must see nation for anyone that has even the slightest interest in what came before us.

St Vitus Cathedral

There is only one place to start your cultural exploration and that is the St Vitus Cathedral, so get book your cheap flights to Prague, pack your camera with plenty of films and then head to this magnificent structure that has been built over a 600-year span. Hidden within its thick walls you will find a mosaic of The Last Judgement and the tombs of people you have heard legends about, like Charles IV and St Wenceslas, among many more.

Veletrzni Palac

If you are caught in the tough decision over which Prague museum you absolutely must explore, you’d do well to find a better contender than this National Gallery. The collection is just a mind-boggling array of art that stretches back as far as the 1800s, including pieces from little-known artists like Van Gogh and Picasso and Klimt. What’s more, there are four floors for you to wander about with your mouth as wide as it has ever been.

Charles Bridge

If you were to stop a local on the streets (hopefully one that speaks English) and asked them what their most savored simple pleasure is in life, they will tell you it is the eight o’clock stroll across the Charles Bridge. It is just the most stunning place in the city; fresh snow at your feet, a sea of pastel-coloured buildings stretching as far as the eye can see and architecture of every kind. The reason they say eight o’clock, however, is because the circus comes to town at nine and by circus we mean tourists.

Prague Castle

When you are a kid and you imagine what a fairy-tale castle to be like, chances are it was something akin to this. It is magnificent. The ranks of tall spires and enchanted towers and palaces that could melt your heart a thousand times over. But it isn’t just something nice to look at from the outside, for within the walls lay galleries and museums and buildings of old. This place is celebrated by the locals as being one of the greatest treasures in all of Central Europe and for good reason too.

Old Town Hall

If it is old that you are after then you need to carve out time to see the Old Town Hall, which was founded in 1338. It is a patchwork of medieval buildings that have been sewn together over a series of centuries, each adding their own eclectic charm. In terms of the centerpiece, that title definitely goes to the Gothic tower that looks over it all with a salute, not least because of its Astronomical Clock.

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