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El Jadida – The Magnificent City

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The city is the oldest and the largest city among Morocco. The city more than being the holiday destination for the tourists is used as one for the residents around the country. My friend Mark who owns UJS Inc told me about the numerous beaches with sands so deep that you can feel it to your knees. He said I should consider visiting during the summer months but be warned that the beaches here get really busy and the streets of the town start getting bustled up with lots and lots of tourists. The city might seem like a poor city but is filled with welcoming and happy people all around. The city was designed in the early sixteenth century. Here are some of my recommendations for visitation in the city.

El Jadida Beach

This is the main beach in the city which is always bustling with either the locals or the visitors or both of them, the residents of the city are very keen of visiting the beaches even in the slightest of the winter season that falls upon Morocco. This is the prime attractions of the city, which brings almost half of the tourists here. The beach is really premier because of the sand here. The sand here is cool as ice, even in the summers when the sun is shining right upon them giving away all its heat with the mightiest of its power.

Portuguese Cuisines

If you have come to the city, you have to have the Portuguese cuisines that are offered by almost every restaurant here. The atmosphere in most of the restaurants is very gloomy and gothic given the atmosphere around the city. Several restaurants also offer you story reading shows where you can actually hear about all the spooky stories locals have to offer and you hear them from the locals itself. It is very fascinating and interesting.

Rio De Janeiro: Things You Should Not Miss Out on

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No doubt, Rio de Janeiro is the city with contrasting attractions. Starting from stunning monuments to the beautiful coastline, it has it all. You will be able to find so many things to do out there that you are never going to get bored. Here are a few attractions to include in your list when you plan to visit Rio de Janeiro.

Christ the Redeemer

The symbolic icon of the city, Christ the Redeemer is the first thing on my list. Obviously, I was not going to miss out on this. The monument overlooking the city is 700 meters tall. The peak is covered in jungle. There are many ways to reach the walk. I decided to hike but there are options to take a van or a train. The viewpoint from the top offers the most breathtaking view.

Sugarloaf Mountain

It is located in the neighborhood of Urca. The mountain is surrounded by the ocean and the view is a treat for the eyes.  You can travel to the top through the cable cars. This is going to be a unique experience. If you are daring enough you can go rock climbing. Hike through the Morro Da Urca. This is prior to taking the cable car. I loved the view that the hiking trail had to offer. The best time to visit is during the sunset. You can catch a glimpse of the red skyline.

Dois Irmãos

This city has no shortage of hiking trails. What’s great is that these offer some stunning views. One of the best trails in the Dois Irmãos. It starts at Vidigal Favela. This is considered to be one of the safest communities in Rio. The hike took me through vegetation and forest. The top is flat and rocky platform overlooking the ocean.

Vientiane: Exploring the Capital City

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Vientiane is a more a small village than a bustling city. It has a serene and relaxed vibe to it. I came across several attractions which makes it the ideal place to spend your weekend prior to heading off to the other parts of the country. The natural beauty and galore of Buddhist temples make it a must-visit destination. Here are some things that you can do when you are in Vientiane.

Check Out the Patuxai Victory Monument

It was my first stop in the city. It is one of the most well-known landmarks. The structure has been designed to resemble Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. I found the structure to be carved with Hindu symbols. You will come across 5 towers that resemble the makings of Laotian buildings. I loved walking through this serene area. Climbing to the top of the monument, I caught a glimpse across Vientiane.

Drop in at Xieng Khuan

About 25 kilometers outside the city, you are going to find Xieng Khuan. It is also known as Buddha Park. What surprised me was that this place harbors over 200 religious statues which are strewn over the green field. The piece to watch out for is the 40 meters high Buddha which had been created by a monk in 1958. The sculpture of Indra, the kind of Hindu God, is also quite unique.

Marvel at Wat Ho Phra Keo

It is a Buddhist temple I found in the city. This structure is simply spectacular. It has become popular since it used to be the place that had statues of Emerald Buddha that had been stolen from Laotian royalty of Thailand prior to being retaken in the year 1778 and then being returned. The temple is quite pretty in itself. It was worth a visit.

Vang Vieng: Spending Time amongst Nature

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Vang Vieng used to have a pretty wild reputation in previous times. The reason is it used to attract a young crowd that came in for a cheap drink and to take a swim in the river. However, in 2012, the government decided on renewing its image. Now, it is more focused on cultural activities rather than just partying hard.  It is the natural beauty of the city that attracted me here.

Here is my list of things to do when you are visiting Vang Vieng.

Go Rock Climbing

I love adventure. This is the reason I planned for a little rock-climbing. You can rent the equipment if you don’t have one. Also, if you are new to this, there is a school to train you. There are many options available. I went for a full day but there are half-day and multi-day options available. Keep in mind that some routes are going to be closed in the rainy season.

Tubing

Get an inflatable tube to go to the Mulberry Farm for some tuk-tuk. Floating down the stream you can catch a glimpse of the beautiful scenery. Make a pit stop to play volleyball. Make sure that you carry your sunscreen. I got a dry bag from the souvenir shop as it is important to keep your clothes and your phone dry.

Hiking

Go hiking on the flat land around the river. I simply fell in love with the natural beauty of the spot. You can also go for uphill climbing wading across the river and scrambling up rocks. I hiked to Phagern Mountain top. The clear blue sky against the white flag is just ethereal. It is actually a 30 minutes climb to the top against boulders and wooden ladders. However, the view makes the visit worth it.

Rigaud: Have Fun-Filled Holiday with Your Family

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Rigaud is not much of a touristy place. It is not frequented by people at large. However, it can be a great weekend destination. There are various things that will keep you engaged and you are never going to feel bored. Hence, if you plan to visit Rigaud, you need to include the following attractions on your list.

Arbraska Rigaud

You should definitely not miss out on this. I spend a few hours here. It is a fun-filled activity. There are different courses to climb the rope such as difficult, intermediate, and beginner. What’s best is you will be able to do it as many times as you prefer. It was an exhilarating experience. However, it is not recommended for children below 5 years of age.

Mont Rigaud Recreational Park

This is another great attraction in the city. As a matter of fact, it is the perfect place where you can spend some time with your family. In case you are visiting during the winter time, you will be able to go skiing. Nevertheless, since I visited during the summer months, I decided to trek my way to the top. The climb proved to be worthwhile. It offered a spectacular view. I spend a few hours just marveling at this view. Nevertheless, if you have to climb to the top, make sure that you are wearing hiking shoes. It is a great getaway from the busy life of the city.

Peppermaster

Traveling to Rigaud and not visiting Peppermaster would have been a mistake. The different flavor peppers that they sell are just magical. The owners of the store are really friendly. This is the perfect place to take back home some souvenirs for your loved ones. Sampling is offered at the right time of the year. It is open throughout the week.

Recife: Enjoy the Venice of Brazil

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The city gets its name from the reef that protects it. The city is built around many canals, inlets, and bridges. There are plenty of things to do out here. If you want to make the most of your visit, here are a few things that you need to check out.

Attend a Carnival

If you are in this city, missing out on the great carnival would have been a great mistake. Drop in on a Saturday to catch a glimpse of Galo da Madrugada.  This was something I had never witnessed before. It takes the goes through the bridge and is considered to be one of the largest party that takes place on the streets.

Relax at the Beach

Ask anyone who has visited Brazil as to what is the quintessential thing that they did and they would tell you, relaxing and sunbathing on the beach. Boa Viagem is one of the best beaches that I came across and many people will agree to this. The beach is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and shops. It served to be a great place to unwind.

Go Shopping

The affluent city has several shopping centers where you can shop to your hearts’ content. There are local stores and some designer stores. You get all kinds to stuff. One of the best shopping centers in the country is RioMar Recife.

Marvel at the Majestic Castle

Instituto Ricardo Brennand is worth checking out. Even though it is not medieval, it is spectacular. A stroll around the castle told me that is filled with armor suits, swords, and other knightly items. There are also some historical artifacts and artwork that are on display in here. It helped me learn about the history associated with the castle.

St. John’s, New Brunswick: Explore The European Town Of North America

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Most of the people tend to underestimate the town of St. John’s. However, tugged beneath the tough exterior of the city, are numerous cultural and historical sites. One of the oldest European Town that, you will find in North America. I took a weekend trip to St. Johns and a great time. I learned that more than half of the town had been burned down during the fire of 1877. Check out the things that you can do when you are in St. John’s.

  • Reversing Falls Rapids

Visit the Saint John River’s Reversing Fall. The rising tide forces against the flow of the river. This makes the water to surge upstream. When it is low tide, the sea level is about 4 meters below the river and you will find the water torrent pouring into the bay. With the rising tide, the river flow slackens and ultimately it becomes still prior to reversing. During high water, the water level rises over 4 meters above this river. I was lucky enough to visit during this time to witness the spectacular reversal flow. Visit the Reversing Fall Bridge to get a good view.

  • Irving Nature Park

The park covers an area of 600 meters. This a coastal terrain that has a volcanic rock, forests, long sandy beach, and salt marsh and mud flats. What I loved the most was watching the marine and migratory birds. There are many walking trails with varying difficulty and length.

  • Downtown Saint John

The city center is full of life and I had a pleasant experience exploring it on foot. I came across shopping centers, historic cemeteries, heritage buildings, and lots more. King’s Square, the center of the city has one two-stored bandstand. Check out the Barbour’s General Store which offers a lot of merchandise and you can buy some as souvenirs.

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