I don't know about you, but when I hear about Sapporo, the first thing that comes to mind is beer. I'm a long time Sushi eater and Sapporo is my beer of choice when eating. What you might have not known is that there's an actual city in Japan called Sapporo. In fact, that's where the beer comes from. Sapporo is a perfect place for making beer. The hops are excellent and it's cold.Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido Islandlocated in the West. It's the fastest growing city in Japan. At last check, there were more than two million living in Sapporo. It is the 5th largest city in Japan.When many think of Japan, they think of the over crowded life in Tokyo. Life in Sapporo is much different. First of all, the island of Hokkaido is covered with forests. Many Japanese escape to the island and Hokkaido attracts millions of visitors annually. The summer is the peak time.Earlier I mentioned the beer they make here. Sapporo has been making beer since 1891. If you visit Sapporo, you can take a tour of the facility. It's one of those must-see attractions. There's nothing like a fresh Sapporo beer.Sapporo is also famous for its snow festival, Yuki Matsuri. It takes place for one week each year in February. It continues to grow each year. It started out as a couple of snow sculptures and has now grown to a main event held at multiple sites. Many come for the international snow sculpture competition.Perhaps the most interest aspect of the Yuki Matsuri is the community effort given to one giant statue each year. If you arrive in Sapporo just before the festival, you can participate in the creating of this statue. It's advised that you book your stay ahead too. More than two million tourists flood into Sapporo for the Yuki Matsuri.Another aspect I find interesting about Sapporo, as someone that doesn't speak fluent Japanese, is the fact that the tourist information centers are English-friendly. They are always staffed with personnel that speak English well. At the International Information Corner, they have maps and information handouts in English. This makes any English-speaking travelerthat doesn't speak Japaneseat home.Another great first stop is the Sapporo International Communications Plaza. It's just across the street from the Tokeidai Clocktower and right by City Hall. It has more literature in English, including newspapers and magazines. You are bound to meet Japanese people there who know English as well. There is so much more to talk about, but this article was meant to wet your whistle for Sapporo, Japan.
What is it like to stand in the shadows of or with your hand on the oldest living non- clonal organisms ever known? Awe inspiring! Incredible experience! It definitely is something near impossible to put into words. Great Basin National Forest is one home to these living ancient wonders. Its remoteness assures a private connection. If you are traveling east or west via U.S. 6 and 50, take Nevada State Highway 487 to Baker, Nevada. It will be a quick 5 miles and then another 5 miles on Highway 488 to the park.From southern Utah travel north on Highway 21 and when you cross the Utah-Nevada border 21 becomes 487. Turn west on Highway 488 in Baker for the last 5 miles to the park. From southern Nevada travel north on Highway 93 to the junction of U.S. Highway 6 and 50 and drive east to Nevada State Highway 487 and then it is 5 miles to Baker and another 5 miles to the park via Highway 488.Just for reference, Ely, Nevada, is 68 miles distant, Delta Utah, is 106 miles, and Cedar City, Utah, is 142 miles. This area is off the beaten path! You wont have cell phone service or the Internet. Fill up the gas tank before you venture into this remote area.So again, tell me, why are we are going to Great Basin National Park? Oh, thats right the bristlecone pine. Get directions at the Park Visitors Center to the Bristlecone Pine Trail. Take your hiking shoes, appropriate clothing depending upon the season, water and a lunch. Its only 2.8 miles round trip on a moderate, well-marked trail. If you have more time and energy, continue up the trail to see Nevadas only glacier at the foot of Mt. Wheeler (13,063 ft. elevation), Nevadas second highest peak.The Lehman cave tours, either 60 minutes or 90 minutes, are well worth the fee of $8 and $10 respectively for adults and $4 and $5 respectively for youth 5-15 years of age. Infants and toddles are free but are not permitted on the 90 minute tour.Limited camping is available during the summer and holidays, so make arrangements ahead of time.
Chicago, Screenz Internet Cafe, Saturday, October 21, 2005, 9:15 amYesterday I woke up at 5:00 am Chicago time and I figured I might as well get ahead of the crowd at the Arlington House Youth Hostel and take an early shower. At 6 am I was already on the Internet, recording my first impressions of this exciting city and by 6:30 am I had left the hostel. It was still pretty dark outside and the sun was just slowly starting to come up.I walked through the quiet Lincoln Park neighbourhood all the way to the Lake Michigan Shoreline where the cool wind was just howling off the lake. Joggers, bicyclists and power walkers were already out in full force. I strolled around for about 15 minutes, but when the wind got too strong I decided to take a bus and head south to a neighbourhood called "Old Town", near North Street and N. Wells Street. It's a tidy, well-kept neighbourhood of historic homes and the location of the Second City Comedy Club, a place that has spawned so many comedic talents.After a brisk morning walk around Old Town I hopped back on the el-train and went to check out downtown. I got off in the Loop and headed out towards the openness of Michigan Avenue and Grant Park. Interestingly the wind in between the buildings in the Loop was much stronger than in the open areas just off the Lake Michigan Shoreline.Michigan Avenue and "Grant Park" are one of the areas where Chicago's beauty is most striking. Daniel Burnham's city plan of 1909 that preserved a huge amount of green space right on the shoreline of Lake Michigan was a brilliant decision, and visitors and local residents alike benefit from the huge green zone between the Loop and the lake. Grant Park's beginnings actually date all the way back to 1835, when foresighted citizens, fearing commercial lakefront development, lobbied to protect the open space. Burnham's vision of the park as a formal landscape with museums and civic buildings became reality: today Grant Park holds 3 of the city's most distinguished museums: The Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planterium.The Buckingham Fountain is the centerpiece of Grant Park, the city's grand "front yard," and it is set within a handsomely landscaped garden, one of the city's finest examples of a Beaux-Arts-style landscape design. It is an exact replica of the fountain in Versailles, just twice as large, and with those measurements it is one of the largest free-standing fountains in the world.At the north end of Grant Park is Millenium Park, at an investment of $495 million Chicago's most ambitious public undertaking. Unsightly railroad tracks and parking lots were turned into a multi-media outdoor entertainment area during the last few years. Among Millennium Park's prominent features are the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States; a winding mirror clad bridge over Stetson Street, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry; and "Cloud Gate" ("The Bean"), a hugely popular sculpture inspired by liquid mercury, designed by British artist Anish Kapoor. On this beautiful sunny morning, the reflections of the city's skyscrapers had an almost surreal feel to them.I still had about an hour and a half before my friend Linda would arrive at the Randolph Street Station, so I decided to head north on Michigan Avenue towards two of my favourite buildings: the Wrigley Building and the Chicago Tribune Tower. The Wrigley building serves as the headquarters of the Wrigley (chewing gum) company and was built in 1920 by the company's founder, William Wrigley Jr. It was the first of a series of landmarks at the southern end of the Magnificent Mile.The design of the Tribune Tower was the result of an international competition for "the most beautiful office building in the world," held in 1922 by the Chicago Tribune newspaper. The various competition entries proved extremely influential for the development of skyscraper architecture in the 1920s. The winning entry, with a crowning tower with flying buttresses, is derived from the design of the French cathedral of Rouen and gives the building its striking silhouette.The area around the Michigan Avenue Bridge and Esplanade looking westwards along the Chicago River is an absolute mecca for an architecture buff like me. You'll find a mixture of classic skyscrapers, many of them built in Art Deco Style, as well as more modern skyscrapers built over the last 30 years. This has to be one of the most impressive urban vistas in existence anywhere.I continued to walk west on Wacker Drive and walked past a number of the north-south streets that connect the Loop with the areas north of downtown. I wanted to capture another fascinating building: Merchandise Mart, an impressive building at the north bank of the Chicago river between Wells and Orleans street, was built in 1931. At that time, when it was constructed by Marshall Field and Company to replace H.H. Ricardson's Marshall Field Wholesale store, it was the building with the largest floor area in the world and today it is the second largest building in the United States after the Pentagon.A short hop on the el-train later I got off at Randolph Street to pick up my friend Linda who was scheduled to arrive at 10:25 am on the South Shore Railway Line. We have known each other since we are 10 years old (almost 30 years!) and grew up in Austria, and Linda herself moved to the United States a few years ago. We hadn't seen each other for 2 years and this was the time to reconnect.Linda arrived a few minutes late and after a heart-felt greeting we headed off to the Chicago Cultural Center to try to pick up a 3-day transit pass. Much to our surprise we were told that the closest location for multi-day transit passes was the Marriot Hotel at 549 North Michigan Avenue, about 20 minutes walking north of where we were. We were a bit surprised that it would be so inconvenient for visitors arriving in the Loop to purchase transit passes, but off we went with Linda's suitcase in tow and we were finally able to pick up our coveted 3-day transit pass at the 2nd floor gift shop of the Marriot Hotel.We decided to get rid of Linda's luggage and headed north towards the youth hostel on the bus. By that time it was about noon and we were both voraciously hungry. So we plunked ourselves down at a cozy spot called the "Pasta Bowl" on Clark Street and I had a really delicious gorgonzola pasta that I absolutely devoured.From there we went back to the Arlington House, dropped off Linda's luggage and rested for a bit since we were both pretty tired after this hefty lunch. At 4 pm we got going again and headed down to the Golden Mile, Chicago's main shopping area along Michigan Avenue, north of the Chicago River. The place was absolutely hopping with people. We picked up a little gift for Linda's daughter at H&M and then headed up into the John Hancock Centre, Chicago's third highest building.The view from the John Hancock Centre was amazing and the sun was just getting ready to set. Chicago's skyline is impressive, crowned as it is by the Sears Tower. After our high altitude excursion we strolled along Michigan Avenue and for dinner we headed back into the "Lincoln Park" area where we had a very filling Mexican vegetarian burrito dinner on Lincoln Avenue.Exhausted from all this exploring and eating, we went back to the Arlington House to crash in our bunk bed...
There are various packages available for tourists who want to visit the Caribbean during vacations. Among these, many travel agents offer the All-Inclusive Caribbean Vacation packages. You need to select the one which suits your needs. The normal costs range between $700 and $1,000 per person, say for four nights. PackagesThese all-inclusive packages come as part of promotional activities undertaken by travel agents. Not only that, they are announced during holidays and the fall season. You need to book your tickets and plan your trip smartly to cover as many places as you can.Different packages offer different concessions and facilities. Some include sailing, snorkeling, kayaking and tennis. Others include entertainment for kids, swimming, casinos, golf, spa, etc. Additional features like fitness centers, swim-up and piano bars, wild water sports and excellent dining attract more visitors. Of course, the more features, the more expensive the vacation package will be.There are excellent all-inclusive resorts too. Some packages offer unique features like a family ski vacation, all-day dining, nightly entertainment and so on.Additional FacilitiesMost importantly, you need to find (sometimes in the fine-print) any hidden charges. Usually, these packages consist of the best flights and hotel stays. You can also opt for additional features like sightseeing tours, all-inclusive meal plans, rentals and insurance.The all-inclusive resorts offer many facilities like pools, kids entertainment, etc. The major attractions in these are the beaches, golf, spa, beautiful surroundings, fitness center, water sports like sunfish sailing and wind-surfing, family activities like evening parties and entertainment, kids activities organized by clubs, and more.Choosing a ResortBefore you choose a resort, check the facilities offered. Remember that an all-inclusive vacation will cost you a tidy sum. So choose a resort that will be just right for your family.The most important aspect of the vacation is the safety of the travelers. It is good to note that most of these resorts are enclosed in a safe environment so that the tourists are not deterred from moving freely and enjoying their vacations. Another advantage of choosing an all-inclusive resort is the round-the-clock snack and cool drinks facility. This is especially welcome in a hot country.
The city of Dallas offers a rich southern culture that is one of a kind. No matter what your reason for visiting, it promises to be an amazing trip. With its contemporary architecture, downtown Dallas has a unique feeling, everywhere you go. True to the Texas attitude, Dallas displays a swagger that is all its own. For sightseers, the options are nearly unlimited. You can take in an afternoon at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza that was dedicated to the late President in the 1970s. Bid D also offers some of the best nightlife around. If youre looking to have a great time, look no further than Deep Ellum. Some of the best bars and taverns are located in this district. Large concerts and festivals are held in Dallas that can fit anyones musical taste. Greenville Avenue is a cultural hotspot with its many stores, bars, and restaurants. No trip to Dallas is complete without a meal at the world-famous Abacus. This popular restaurant offers a look into the world of the chef. You can actually watch from a theater style seat. Besides the show, you will enjoy some of the most unique food in the world. Be sure to make reservations for dinner at this cant miss destination. If youre traveling to Dallas be sure to put a trip to the downtown area on your itinerary. For the outdoorsman Dallas offers some of the best parks and lakes in the country. A very popular attraction is the White Rock Lake Park. This 1000 acre tract is home to some amazing hiking trails. Camping and fishing are also prime activities in this natural beauty. For the traveler, Dallas offers something that will please every kind of person. Whether youre an outdoorsman, club-hopper, socialite, sports fan, or anyone in between, you will love a trip to Dallas.