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Photo of the Day – Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland

Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland

After the obligatory visit to the Blue Lagoon and a thorough exploration of the colorful capital of Reykjavik it’s time to hit the road for a look at the Iceland’s stunning geothermal interior. Get your own wheels for the day and drive the 180-mile loop into the center of the island and back known as the Golden Circle. The three primary stops on the route are the national park Pingvellir, the waterfall Gullfoss and the geothermally-active valley of Haukadalur, home to the geysers Geysir and Strokkur. On first approach to Gullfoss, the impressive falls are almost hidden from view. But once you step closer to the edge you’ll be wowed by the rushing Hvita river as it flows down into a wide, three-step staircase before plunging abruptly in two stages into a crevice 105 feet deep. Its prominent position on the Golden Circle tour makes the Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland’s most popular with visitors.  

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Photo of the Day – Story Bridge Brisbane, Australia

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Story Bridge Brisbane, Australia

While many people have heard of Sydney, Australia’s adrenaline-inspiring Harbor Bridge Climb, most may not be aware that there are just two other places in the world where you can experience a similar lofty urban climb – and both just happen to be Down Under. Auckland, New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia also offer their version of Sydney’s popular tourist attraction (I’ve done two out of the three climbs). Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge spans the Brisbane River and is the longest cantilever bridge in Australia. Named for prominent public servant John Douglas Storey, the heritage-listed bridge boasts 360 degree views over all of Brisbane and offers group climbs, educational climbs and even twilight “get engaged” climbs.

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Photo of the Day – Pamukkale, Turkey

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Pamukkale, Turkey

Its name translates as “cotton castle” in Turkish and you’ll quickly understand why when you get your first look at the billowing travertine terraces of Pamukkale. Though they have the appearance of salt, the scalloped terraces of Pamukkale are actually made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by the thermal waters of 17 hot water springs. The temperature of the water ranges from 95 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Up until the mid 20th century, hotels were located at the top of the terraces and some siphoned water from the pools. A road was also used for vehicle traffic to the top. The hotels, the road and just too many people in the pools, caused a big environmental problem. In 1997, UNESCO came in and took down the hotels and converted the road to a walking path. Today, a channel system keeps some pools dry for several days while water flows to others. This changes frequently and since the system was put in place the site has been slowly recovering. The entire site also includes the ruins of the ancient Greco-Roman and Byzantine city of Hierapolis and it’s a must-see when visiting southern Turkey.

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Photo of the Day – Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Colorado

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Colorado

The Colorado Springs area offers a wide variety of incredible natural and historical attractions for visitors. When I visited recently, I headed straight for several of the region’s top sights including Garden of the Gods park and the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. But a quick stop at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings proved to be one of the area’s most unique sights. A rare historical treasure from the American Indian culture that roamed the Four Corners area of the Southwest from 1200 B.C. o A.D. 1300, these authentic Anasazi cliff dwellings were carved into a protective red sandstone overhang. I’d seen expansive cave dwellings on my recent summer trip to Cappadocia, Turkey and was surprised to find a smaller version of these intricate caves my own country. Constructed more than 700 years ago, the Manitou Cliff Dwellings are one of the United States’ most unusual archaeological wonders and a must-see when in the Colorado Springs area.

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Photo of the Day – Berkeley California, USA

Posted by on Oct 17, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Berkeley California, USA

The ESPN college football tour rolls on this week and for the first time this season I find myself on the west coast in the college town of Berkeley California. Named for Bishop George Berkeley, this hillside town overlooking the San Francisco Bay is home to the oldest campus in the University of California system – the University of California, Berkeley. Founded as a college town in 1873 when the University of California relocated from Oakland, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that Berkeley gained worldwide notoriety as a hotbed of free speech and flower power that defined the decade. Today’s Berkeley is still known for its counter-culture ideals but it’s also renowned as a cultural and culinary destination, thanks to the local, sustainable and organic food movement that has its roots here. It’s an eclectic and historic college town and well worth a trip across the bay from nearby San Francisco.  

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Photo of the Day – Bodrum Castle, Turkey

Posted by on Oct 16, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Bodrum Castle, Turkey

Once called Halicarnassus of Caria, the city of Bodrum was famous for housing the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Today, it’s Bodrum Castle that welcomes maritime visitors to this Turkish resort town. In fact, the castle was the first thing that caught my eye from the ferry when arriving from the Greek island of Kos last summer. Built by the Knights Hospitaller in the 15th century, Bodrum Castle overlooks the harbor and the marina and its grounds also include the Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Over its colorful history, Bodrum Castle has been used as a military base and even a prison but today it’s most commonly known as the location for several of Bodrum’s popular cultural festivals throughout the year.

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Photo of the Day – West Bay Beach Roatan, Honduras

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – West Bay Beach Roatan, Honduras

Located just 30 miles off the coast of Honduras, the island of Roatan sits atop the world’s second-largest coral reef making it an ideal destination for divers. Often called the most perfect stretch of sand in Honduras, West Bay Beach Roatan rivals many of the Caribbean’s most phenomenal beaches. It’s also a great spot to try your hand at diving for the first time, like I did on my 30-day trip around Central America. Not only is Roatan one of the least expensive places in the world to become a certified diver, the reef is just a short swim from shore allowing rookie divers like myself to reach it comfortably while also providing easy access for snorkelers. West Bay Beach is lined with a relaxed blend of casual beach bars and high-end resorts but it’s the reef system and the crystal clear turquoise waters that will leave most visitors wanting more.  

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