Naucalpan – A City by the Hondo River

Image result for naucalpan mexicoEvery city of Mexico has a distinct history about its formation that also has left effects on its culture and the people. When I visited Naucalpan, located in the valley of Mexico, I discovered that this place had been populated by humans over 20,000 years. Naucalpan’s history starts with the Tlatilca group that first settled here, by the edges of Hondo River, between 1700 to 600 BCE.

Historical Landmarks

Based on its ancient historical roots, you can find several prehistoric remains here such as the Pyramid del Conde that was built here and now lies in the neighborhood area of El Conde. I would advise you to take a guided tour when you are here to get the interesting historical facts as you explore the city. For instance, you will discover that the Tlacopan or Tacuba area that was governed in the pre-Hispanic era has ethnic dominance of Otomi people. I also saw the site of the Noche Triste tree or Night of Sorrows that lies by the foot of Otocampulco Mountain

Tourist Places

Other sites of tourist interest here that I also visited are the Soumaya museum, known for European works of art; Museo Jumex has contemporary art exhibits while Acuario Inbursa is an aquarium that is an interesting visit for families. 

Kids will also enjoy visiting the Parque Bicentenario which has play areas and park trails. An unusual place to visit here is Quetzalcoatl’s Nest that is modeled after a snake god of Aztec religion. I also came by Nautilus House here which has an aquatic unique design as its architecture.

Eateries

I stopped by Romano’s Macaroni Grill which has Italian cuisine while Lagrange is known to offer Brazilian fare. Most casual places had a local fare that I liked to sample. I also stopped by Cafebreria El Pendulo that has open outdoors with a café and bookstore in its premises.

Barranquilla: Spend Your Vacation at an Off-Beat Destination

Image result for BarranquillaBarranquilla, the city with rich Caribbean culture and beautiful people, is a destination that is often neglected by tourists. What’s got me more interested in this city is the nightlife where you get to see and take part in traditional salsa. Visit the beach for relaxing and surfing. Try out the local food such as coconut rice, fried fish, and arepas. There are so many things to do that you are never going to get bored. Take a look at some of the best things you can do when you are in Barranquilla.

Museo Del Caribe

This was the first stop I made in the city. Here, you will be able to explore the history and culture of the city. I got an insight into the part of the country that is unknown to foreigners through the displays. There are many floors and rooms in the museum. The different videos, photos, and artifacts will tell you about the biodiversity. I took a guided tour to get detailed information about the Caribbean coast.

Carnival of Barranquilla

The colorful celebration of the city comes second to the one that is celebrated in Rio de Janeiro. The party is continuous for 4 days. In fact, this city is popular for. The preparation for it starts one month ahead. The wild and vibrant festival is something that I haven’t seen before. It starts 40 days before Easter with elaborate costumes, local food, and different dance troupes, bands, and performers.

Zoológico Barranquilla

This is a small zoo but houses over 500 animals of over 140 species hailing from various continents. I visited with my entire family. This is a great place to be if you are traveling with your kids. Walk around the enclosures which are filled with zebras, monkeys, tigers, elephants, and snakes.

Adelaide – A Captivating Summer Destination

Image result for Adelaide is the capital of South AustraliaAdelaide is the capital of South Australia. It is one of the most populous cities in the country and is known for its outdoor activities, fine arts, restaurants, and shopping streets. The place is renowned for its opal industry that produces some of the finest opal stones and jewelleries.  Including beaches, gardens, and wildlife areas, the place has many sightseeing attractions that can keep you engaged for several days. Our short holiday in Adelaide was quite adventurous. Mentioned below are the best places in the city that can offer lasting memories.

South Australian Museum

Located in the city center, the South Australian Museum is a well-known attraction in Adelaide. Besides a natural history museum, the building also has a research wing. The place was established in the year 1856 and has multiple galleries for exhibiting various types of artifacts. Here you can see a detailed presentation of Australian Aboriginal Cultures and Pacific Cultures. The exhibits generally relate to the cultural development and evolution of the region.  It took us almost a day to tour the entire museum including the library wing. The entry fee for every adult is 15 AUD.

Adelaide Zoo

Founded in 1883, the Adelaide Zoo is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in Australia. The place serves as a natural habitat for over 2500 animals that includes nearly 300 exotic species. Tasmanian devils, wombats, and kangaroos are some of the native species you can see in here. The zoo also has giant pandas, gibbons, orangutans, bears, and Sumatran tigers. The entry fee is around 37 AUD.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=py7lKOstZsQ

Adelaide Botanic Garden

Our next destination was Adelaide Botanic Garden and the place offered a relaxing experience. The garden spans over an area of 51 hectares and houses a beautiful botanic park. The top attractions of this spot are a bicentennial conservatory, a rose garden, and a tropical house. The place offers free entry in addition to guided tours.

Naperville: Experience the Best of the Suburb

Image result for naperville illinoisThis summer I took a drive to Naperville from Chicago. No doubt, it was one of the best suburbs that I had visited till now. As soon as you leave Chicago, you will be able to see covered bridges, color local shop, public art, and restaurants. There are so many fun things to do in Naperville. Check out the list of the best attractions in the city.

Naperville Riverwalk

This is to be found at the center of the downtown area of Naperville. It is two miles long along the DuPage River. There are pedestrian paths, aesthetic pleasures, and cultural attractions. What amazed me was the music of the 72 bells from the Millennium Carillon. I also found a place to swim, Centennial Beach. The path along the water offers a picturesque view. You will get a glimpse of the entire city. If you want you can rent paddle boats to have a great time. The decorative fountains are some things to look out for.

Cantigny Park

This attraction is about 10 miles from downtown and used to be the estate of Robert R McCormick. He worked as the editor of Chicago Tribune. It had been opened to public viewing in 1958. At present, it has over 500 acres of education and natural landscape. I had fun exploring the formal gardens. Do not forget to visit the First Division Museum. It is known to be one of the best military museums.

Centennial Beach

Along the shaded Riverwalk path, a swimming pool had been developed from the leftovers of the historic stone quarry. The swimming space goes as deep as 15 feet. The rides on the waterslides are super fun. You will be able to find many other floating attractions close to the water. Build a sandcastle on the beach or play some volleyball. It is the perfect place to relax.

Yekaterinburg: What to Do and Where to Go?

This summer, I decided to take a tour of Yekaterinburg, one of the biggest cities in Russia. I was told many times that it is filled with rich history and culture. It is home to some of the important buildings and sites. You will are going to be thrilled by the vibrant nightlife that it has to offer. The city has a plethora of things to do. Here are my top picks.

Red Line Walking Tour

The Red Line Walking Tour will take you around the 35 attractions that are popular in the city. I love self-guided tours. The best part about them is that you can explore the city at your own pace. You can catch a glimpse of the city. There are also some historical sites along the way, starting from the Square traverse through the ballet theatre of the city.

Keyboard Monument

There is an art piece along the embankment of Iset River. It is a tribute to computers and technology. Anatoly Vyatkin is the one behind the creation of Keyboard Monument. I was surprised to discover that there are about 100 stone blocks around the monument. It stretches across sixteen meters.

Vysotsky Viewing Platform

Do you want to gaze at the skyline of the city? Climb up to the Vysotsky Viewing Platform. Do not forget to carry your camera. This was surely a sight to behold. You catch a glimpse of the entire city.

Victory Park

In case you want to spend some quiet and relaxing time, you can visit Victory Park. It comes as a respite from the bustling life of the city. There are gazebos which you can hire for a picnic or barbeques. I hired a bike to take a ride through the trees. You will also be able to hire a horse for a ride. Children can enjoy themselves in a trampoline or with the paintball game facilities.

Takamatsu: Explore the Best of the City

Being one of the biggest cities of Shikoku, it attracts more visitors than the rest of the island. In case you are planning to visit the Shikoku in Japan, this can be a good place to start with. The scenic port town has made it more convenient to visit. I came across many interesting attractions throughout the city. To plan your itinerary and make your list, check out a few things you can do.

Drop in at Ritsurin Park

This is one of the primary attractions. Trust me; it is one of the prettiest gardens that I came across in this region. It was a visual treat for sure. The place had been built for the Sasu Ma and Sanuki warlords to relax. As a matter of fact, it is so beautiful that this has been designated as the National Treasure of Japan. Walking around the park, I came across Engetsu-Kyo Bridge. The park is most famous for this. There is also a lotus pond here.

Try out Udon

The Udon noodles is might be one of the iconic dishes of Takamatsu. It is the most popular noodles in Japan. It is thick and chewy. The dish is prepared in different ways and is just a unique thing to have. Drop in a restaurant to have this iconic dish.

Visit Sanuki Takamatsu Festival

If you are visiting in the month of August, you will be able to be a part of this festival. The festival grabbed my interest because of the various attractions it has to offers. Starting from firework display to traditional dance, you get to see it all. Go to the central park to catch a glimpse of this festival. Stroll around and take some photos. You are surely going to remember this for a lifetime.

Yiwu – Explore Lakes and Temples Here

This Chinese city is known to haveinspired several musicians and poets and when I came here you will quickly realize why. Today the city has a modern landscape as well with a centralized business and commercial district, some buildings dating back to the seventeenth century even. The city has a uniqueness that is unlike any new city of the modern world.

The other thing I enjoyed here was visiting the local markets. Here you will find stalls that sell anything, from extension cords to clothes. You can negotiate with the traders, marveling all the time of the ancientness of the region, it being a place of trade of the Middle East for several centuries.

The place has a subtropical humid climate with four distinct seasons. I would recommend that you come here in autumn and spring; every year the October and April months have several events.

Stop by Shuanglin Temple

This is the main cultural and religious landmark to visit so I made it the first stop on my travel tour itinerary. The architecture of the temple and iron tower is a wonder to behold.

A Rocky Wonder – Desheng Yan

Did you know that this name translates as thick rocks? This place is a dense rock mountain that is a must visit. I clicked on countless photos here.

Stop by the International Exhibition Center

This place is opposite the Meihu exhibition center which is in the northern part of the city. The landscape is nice to check out as well as the conventions and trade fairs that are held here at different times of the year. When I was there the exhibition center had a cuisine fair on and it was fun sampling food of the different Chinese cuisines.

Plan a Day Tour at Xiuhu Lake Park

This is a scenic lake that you will find surrounding the Da’an temple tower. The tower was built around 960 AD during Song dynasty reign. The park is popular and you can spend time here as I did. It houses coffee and tea houses, supermarkets and shopping malls as well. There is much to do and is ideal to spend a day here, especially when the weather is pleasant.

Yokohama: Enjoy a Short Trip from Tokyo

When I took a trip to Tokyo, I decided to visit Yokohama during the weekends. This is the perfect place for a short trip. The city has a seaside vibe that is relaxing. There are a plethora of things to do and see. If you are planning to visit Yokohama any time soon, here are a few things that you need to check out.

Hara Railway Museum

I have always loved trains and a visit to this museum topped my list. Here you will find more than 6000 train models. I got to learn about its history and the different types of trains that are there. To make it more convenient they provide you with a tablet that reads QR Code so that you can choose to learn about the history from 8 different languages.

Anpanman Children’s Museum

Are you traveling with your kids? Then this is just the place to be. Anpanman Children’s Museum was actually a series that had been developed for adults. However, it became an anime series from a picture book one. I came to learn that it is largely popular among Japanese children. You are going to find the characters of the anime in the museum.

Bashi Shōtengai

The shopping street of Yokohama is just charming. Starting from deli shops to public theatre, you will find it all. Here are some amazing restaurants and I tried out the food there and I have to say that is simply amazing. There is no better place to catch a glimpse of the lives of the local people than in Shōtengai. I also collected some souvenirs from here.

Zo-No-Hana Terrace

This structure had been developed in 2009. It had been created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the port of Yokohama. It is an incredible place to relax. There are cafes and plazas. I loved the view of the port area.