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Photo of the Day – Toronto Canada

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Toronto Canada

Home to more than 2.6 million people, Toronto is Canada’s largest city and the 6th largest in North America. In addition to being one of the world’s major financial centers, Toronto is also an engaging international tourist destination. The CN Tower dominates the skyline as both the city’s most prominent architectural feature and most-visited tourist sight. At just over 1,800 ft it was the tallest free-standing land structure in the world for more than 30 years (until the completion of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa). For a real adrenaline rush, try a walk on the wild side with the CN Tower’s new EdgeWalk. Other top tourist sights include the Royal Ontario Museum, the Toronto Zoo and the scenic Harbourfront area. While Toronto is definitely well-known as a hockey town, it is also considered one of the world’s best sports cities with team representation in seven major league sports from the NBA to Major League Soccer.

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Photo of the Day – Bascarsija Sarajevo

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Bascarsija Sarajevo

My visit to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina was a real eye-opener for me. Rarely has a city had so many highs and lows in just a 30-year time period. From the high of the 1984 Winter Olympics to the low of the Balkans conflict in the early 90′s, Sarajevo has had a difficult road. Today, though expansive cemeteries surrounding the city are a constant reminder of its troubled past, Sarajevo is experiencing a rebirth. The bustling old Turkish quarter of Bascarsija Sarajevo is the heart of city’s old town. With its marble-flagged streets, expansive courtyards full of cafes and an open space nicknamed “Pigeon Square” for its proliferation of the birds, it was the perfect place to get a glimpse into the city’s Ottoman history. Wandering the narrow alleys of Sarajevo’s Bascarsija neighborhood was a highlight of my visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina and why Sarajevo comes in at #3 on my Top 5 list from my summer trip around the Balkans.

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Photo of the Day – Koh Samui Thailand

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Koh Samui Thailand

Located just off the east coast of Thailand’s Kra Isthmus, the island of Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest after Phuket. But with 1.5 million annual visitors and the recent openings of several international luxury resorts, it seems Koh Samui Thailand is well-positioned to compete with perennial tourism powerhouse Phuket. Before tourism dollars began to trickle into Koh Samui in the late 70’s, the economy of this island in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand mostly revolved around coconuts. Samui, as the locals call it, is home to more coconut-palm varieties than any other place in the world thanks to ideal weather and good soil. Today, though the island’s interior is still largely devoted to agriculture, the coast is lined with luxury resorts and beachfront bungalows with more on the way. For the ultimate in Koh Samui luxury, try the spectacular W Retreat Koh Samui, a highlight of my visit to the island on Round the World #7.

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Photo of the Day – Lake Geneva Switzerland

Posted by on Aug 14, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Lake Geneva Switzerland

Situated along the banks of Lake Geneva Switzerland at the foot of the majestic Alps, Geneva is one of the world’s most international cities. Home to the European headquarters of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the Red Cross, Geneva is truly a global city and has even been referred to as the world’s “Peace Capital.” World famous as a banking center and the undisputed watch capital of the world, many of the city’s best sights center around expansive Lake Geneva. Erupting from the center of the lake is the massive Jet d’Eau, the world’s tallest fountain. Nearby, the extravagant streets of Rue de Rive and Rue du Rhone offer first class shopping. Whether you spend your time cruising the lake or wandering the maze of cobbled streets in the Old Town, Geneva is a city that will delight and inspire.

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Photo of the Day – BridgeClimb Sydney

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – BridgeClimb Sydney

Soaring high over magnificent Sydney Harbour, it’s one of Australia’s most recognizable symbols. But the world’s largest steel-arch bridge is more than just a beautiful backdrop. BridgeClimb Sydney has been named one of the “Top 10 Biggest Adrenaline Rushes” in the world by Lonely Planet. Opened in 1932, the arch-shaped bridge is nicknamed “The Coathanger” by Aussie locals. In 1998, the opening of BridgeClimb Sydney made it possible for anyone to experience the thrill of a three-hour round-trip climb to the bridge’s summit and the most spectacular view in Sydney. Climbs take place every day of the year except New Year’s Eve (when the bridge serves as the base for a massive fireworks display) and in all weather except electrical storms or extremely high winds. If you’re planning a trip to Sydney, book your Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb well in advance as it’s been known to sell out daily. On my trip, I was lucky to get a mostly sunny winter day and my climb was the experience of a lifetime and easily earns a spot on my list of 30 Extraordinary Travel Experiences.

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Photo of the Day – Discoveries Monument Lisbon, Portugal

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Discoveries Monument Lisbon, Portugal

Built along the banks of the River Tagus to honor the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator, the Discoveries Monument Lisbon is one of the city’s top visitor attractions. Completed in 1960, the monument is a larger-than-life, stone tribute to some of the world’s most famous explorers. It’s design depicts a three-sailed ship departing for parts unknown, its bow adorned with the sculptures of King Manuel I, Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, Magellan and many other relevant heroes of Portuguese history. The lone female shown riding is Queen Felipa of Lancaster, mother of Henry the Navigator. Visitors to the Discoveries Monument can explore the exhibits inside and take the elevator to the viewing platform for some of the best views over the city of Lisbon.

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Photo of the Day – Machu Picchu Peru

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Machu Picchu Peru

Located on a mountain ridge soaring almost 8,000 feet above sea level, the “Lost City of the Incas” is considered one of the world’s most enigmatic ancient sites. The cascading terraces of perfectly-cut stones at Machu Picchu Peru stand as a legacy to the architectural genius of the Incas. A completely self-contained city, invisible from below, the cloud-shrouded ruins managed to remain undiscovered for hundreds of years. Take the challenging hike up nearby Machu Picchu mountain for a view of this ancient masterpiece from above. A journey to Machu Picchu easily makes my list of “30 Extraordinary Travel Experiences” and whether you make the arduous, 4-day hike up the Inca Trail or simply take the train from Cuzco like I did on RTW #2, your first glimpse of Machu Picchu is likely to be a magical experience.

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