VISIT THE OKINAWA ISLAND IN JAPAN WITHOUT A CAR: STORY, GOOD ADDRESSES AND PRACTICAL GUIDE

After almost getting crazy in Tokyo, after choking, after really feeling like a fish out of the water, after a violent cultural shock , after the beginnings of a burnout trip , I really needed to fresh air. I needed to escape the winter, to discover a place of Japan more relaxed and especially to live a very old dream. Head to Okinawa Island, some 2,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, to discover a completely different world. I was told that Okinawa was South America from Japan. It was exactly what I was looking for, although I might not go that far.

Visit the Okinawa Island in Japan without a car: story, good addresses and practical guide

Okinawa is actually the southernmost prefecture of Japan. It includes three archipelagos, Okinawa-Honto, Miyako and Ishigaki, the latter being 110 km from the coast of Taiwan. By distance, climate and history, Okinawa is a world apart and far from Japan that we know. It is only since the end of the 19th century that Okinawa is part of Japan and even if many historical testimonies disappeared during the Second World War, language, gastronomy and culture are good clues of what was Okinawa. Even today, it is a world apart and the archipelagos themselves are distinct from each other. We have the strange feeling of being in a sort of strange mixture between cultures of the Pacific islands, China and Japan. And this clever mix seems to work perfectly!

VISIT LONDON IN WINTER

Visit London in winter

As winter arrives, I tend to hibernate and wonder if it is worth traveling and exploring the country. Inevitably, the risks of rain and cold always discourage me a little at first. And then, I say myself too bad and reminds me with pleasure of all my winter escapades. Of course Lapland in January is the first winter trip that comes to my mind, but there were also Dublin, Brussels, Edinburgh, Glasgow … It was cold, yes it did, but those trips were have not been less magical. On the contrary. In two weeks by the way, I’m going to Geneva … We’ll see what time will bring.

I wanted, by this article, to encourage you to travel in winter and not be afraid of bad weather. So why not London in the middle of winter?

So what to do in London in winter?

Visit museums and galleries

It’s not a winter-specific activity, but there are enough free and non-free, zany or serious museums and galleries in London to keep you busy for days. The Tate Modern and its unique architecture, the British Museum and its impressive history, the Museum of Science and the Museum of Natural History for the whole family, the Saatchi Gallery, the National Gallery and all the impressionist painters, the zany, but amazing Victoria and Albert Museum, the Greenwich Observatory and so much more … There’s something for everyone and even if you’re not a fan of long afternoons at museums, like it’s free, nothing prevents you to go for a ride and leave whenever you want …

The charm of ballads in winter

Greenwich in winter

Greenwich in winter

Life does not stop in London in winter. Finally, it’s not that cold, and here you’re too used to bad weather, to stop living with every drop of rain or ice. The parks and streets are just as charming in winter and the ballads are equally enjoyable. Greenwich and Richmond under the snow are for example more than romantic …

Christmas decorations

The Parisian windows are known, but in London, the decorations

Carnaby Street Christmas Decorations

Carnaby Street Christmas Decorations

Christmas are all so magical. Oxford Street, the most commercial street is a thousand colors, the tree is erected in Trafalgar Square, Carnaby Street becomes a magical world, Covent Garden is decorated with giant Christmas balls … Here people are crazy about Christmas and it shows !

CHINA TRAVEL: FIRST STEPS IN SHANGHAI AND BEIJING

Prepare for your trip to China

China is one of those countries that I absolutely wanted to visit during my world tour . It is also a country that we hear a lot of good and a lot of bad. Before I arrived, I decided (even more than usual) to silence all my prejudices, to show superhuman patience and not to judge. Culture is so different that it can sometimes be difficult to understand. You will see it in all my stories about China, it’s a country I loved, but I hated it at times. It is a country of contrasts, an extraordinary and rich country with very friendly and surprising locals, but it is a country where I pushed a big sigh of relief when I left. I would return with great pleasure, but not for too long periods.

Since I did not apply for a visa before leaving, I had it done in Hong Kong thanks to this agency . I just had to wait 4 days on the spot. I entered by sea , from Japan through Shanghai, without any worries and no exit ticket. I left by land on the border with Laos.

Shanghai, first step

Freshly landed from Japan, I realize that we speak even less English here. I ask Chinese-speaking Japanese to do the translation to find the subway. They accompany me there and so begins my Chinese adventure. The subway is very modern, well signposted and easy to understand. I struggled to buy my first ticket, but then getting to my destination was very easy. I lodge for the next few days at a friend’s house in the French Quarter. She prepared videos, plans and drawings for me to find her studio, otherwise I would probably shoot again. The residence, where she lives does not pay mine, locals shout at me (probably they said hello …) and I finally reach the studio where I rest a few hours. This first contact was strange and exhausting.the French Quarter , an expat district ‘very green, very chic and very little Chinese. In the evening, I meet my friend Renée, who is none other than a Dutch woman she met in Colombia a few months earlier. She will explain to me the basics to survive in China and Shanghai and will help me set up my VPN to have uncensored Internet access in China.

DISCOVERY OF THE COTSWOLDS

The Cotswolds are a hill range in the south of England . With its hilly landscape, the source of the Thames and the small, unspoilt villages of thatched houses and ocher brick cottages, the area is classified as an area of ​​outstanding natural beauty.

Even though the Cotswolds is not necessarily easy to get to without a car, it’s definitely worth a visit, or even spending a few days hiking. I had the opportunity to go there last Sunday with my family. We chose to go to Chipping Campden , known for the beauty of the village. After a nice car ride in this beautiful country, we arrived just at lunch time and we settled directly at the table in a very warm pub ( The Eight Bells ) to enjoy a delicious meal, finished in beauty by a Sticky Toffee Pudding (the best English dessert that can exist, all members of my family will testify!).

Once satiated, we go to discover this cute little town and its houses some of which Chipping Campdeneven date back to the 14th century . The houses are ocher in color and some even have a thatched roof. The gardens are blooming, life seems peaceful and skin merchants rage in the halls and even sell reindeer skins. Chipping Campden is supposed to be very touristy, but we are not too bothered and we enjoy with pleasure the calm and the warmth of this beautiful English summer.

CotswoldsOnce our exploration of the village is over, we decide to take a breath of fresh air and go for a walk in the countryside . We take the height and admire the village from the top of the hills. We reach Dover’s Hilland gambol a little with the sheep while admiring the view. Green hills and mountains of Wales are offered to us.

I found paradise in Indonesia

I found my little paradise in Indonesia. My paradise is on the island of Flores, west of the island around Maumere. My paradise is called Coconut Garden Beach Resort and it’s nothing like an ordinary resort !

Let me count you Coconut Garden Beach Resort , my paradise in Indonesia

The Coconut Garden Beach Resort in Maumere on the island of Flores: my little piece of paradise in Indonesia.  Discover a peaceful eco-resort like no other, which will delight lovers and solo travelers in search of heavenly beaches and tranquility

The arrival in paradise

Climb a volcano at sunrise , hike to the discovery of multicolored craters, escape the threats of monkeys, survive the convoluted roads of Flores, frolic in the waves of a paradise beach in Koka … so many classic activities for a trip to Indonesia, so many activities that tire a lot, especially when we connect the discoveries and trips for 10 days. After a trip to Indonesia and many adventures around the country from islands to islands, it’s time to take a few days of vacation and rest on a paradise beach in Flores.

The Coconut Garden Beach Resort in Maumere on the island of Flores: my little piece of paradise in Indonesia.  Discover a peaceful eco-resort like no other, which will delight lovers and solo travelers in search of heavenly beaches and tranquility

After leaving Maumere, the car launches on a sand track, through a jungle of palm trees. This last stretch of road seems endless and we do not yet see the sea. The palm trees seem denser, darker, more threatening than ever. And then suddenly, an opening in the vegetation, a parking lot of sand and a wedge of sea. We jump out of the car, happy to stretch our legs and to have arrived in a place which seems splendid.

There is no point in running, we have arrived, we are on vacation, and it is time to eat a bit before taking possession of our rooms. Life is good ! I whisper in my ear that for once, I have the right to the best room: the bungalow for honeymoons! I can not believe it! There is a frustrating side of being always the single solo traveler … we are always fed the least nice rooms, the couch in a corner, the rundown single bed, as if I had not reached the status of couple, I was not allowed to enjoy good things! But not this time, I hit the jackpot!

Travels and Wanderings on the Road

Travel itinerary in March 2018

In March, I continued my improbable trip to Europe through two countries, before returning to France, a little earlier than expected.

  • Switzerland –  5 days
  • Berlin – 10 days
  • Paris – 7 days
  • Charente-Maritime – 15 days

My favorite place in March

It already seems a long way off and I already have the impression that 1,000 things have happened since I was there, but I can only mention the terraced vineyards of the Lavaux which have been for me real slap. It was freezing cold (felt 17 ° C), we had already walked miles with my friend Sophie, but landing in front of this view, I could have stayed there in the cold, frolicking between the vines. The view of the lake, the side cut, the colors of winter and of course the fascinating geometry of the vineyards I was blown away and I hope to return when it will be a little warmer!

The vineyards of Lavaux in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland - Trips and Vagabondages over the months - Bilan voyage monthly - February 2018 in Switzerland

Under the snow, in the rain

At the end of February and the beginning of March, snow is flowing in Switzerland. The landscapes are grandiose, but I find myself a little blocked. When the owners of my houseitting, Jasmine and Alex, come back from their trip, it’s a snowy epic waiting for them to get back to their destination. They generously invited me to stay a few days and I take this opportunity to finally visit Lausanne. It is snowing that day and I discover with pleasure the city under a particular atmosphere. I will end the day on the shores of Lake Geneva in Morges. The clouds are always present and I will not have the chance to enjoy the famous view of the mountains.

The vineyards of Lavaux in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland - Trips and Vagabondages over the months - Bilan voyage monthly - February 2018 in Switzerland

It’s already time to fly to Berlin, a city that I have already had the opportunity to visit several times. This time, it is a tourism show that brings me and the opportunity to see friends bloggers franco and anglo and meet new bloggers. It was cold in Berlin and we walk on the frozen channel in the sun. And then, the rain invites itself to the stay and will not leave us really anymore. It’s not a big deal, because we spend our time between lounge, parties, meetings and good food. I finish on the kneecaps, because I’m not really used to go out every night for 6 days in a row! Phew, I’m no longer young, but it was worth it to spend time with everyone! I could not mention them all and I do not have any pictures of everyone, but they will recognize themselves, they made my stay in Berlin unforgettable!

Where to Stay While Traveling in Austria

Austria is a small German speaking country that has some worth exploring tourist spots in Europe. You can travel like a king in this country or have a budgeted travel with the most flexible accommodation facilities. Irrespective of whether you are traveling as a family or a loner, you can get the right kind of stay.

The accommodation options range from Baroque places, independent villas with picturesque mountains, and spa hotels to private room rentals, inexpensive hotels, and guesthouses in every part of the country. It is noteworthy pointing that it is required to book in advance as the country is cramped with tourists in the peak seasons due to the presence of many scenic mountains, lakes, and rinks.

Spa Hotels

Spa hotels in Austria comes with fresh air and high altitude views of the Austrian Alps and can be the best place to rejuvenate and relax both body and mind. They offer holistic massage treatments to stimulate skin and nerves with the best herbs having their origin only in the Austrian Alps. Some hotels offer thermal pools both indoor and outdoor with pristine environment that warms the body and melts your stress away. They also offer guided travel programs to villages, nature trails, and night hikes with lights. A few handpicked best spa hotels in Austria are Hotel Hochschober, Alpenrose, Schwartz Alpenresort, Der Engel, and Hotel Post Lermoos.

Austrian Hotels

Hotels in Austria range from modest one star accommodation to contemporary luxurious ones with the astounding Austrian architecture. The architecture ranges from chandeliers in the restaurants to deer antlers in the lobby and in rooms. English language proficiency and efficient hospitality are the trademarks of Austrian hotels. There are many private hotels with best personalized service all located at strategic points, which helps the tourist a lot in getting around the country in a better way. Some authentic hotels in Austria include Hotel Wolf-Dietrich, Novotel Wien City, Seelos, Hotel Zach, Hotel Stadt Kufstein, and more.

Palace Hotels

Austrian imperial history has produced many fortresses, lakeside manors, and Baroque palaces, which have now been transformed into luxurious accommodations. Some of the standouts are Schloss Fernsteinsee, Castle Hotel Mittersill, Castle Hotel Leonstain, and Seeschlossl Velden.

Vacation Homes

For those traveling with their family or friends, vacation homes or summer homes are there throughout the country, a few of which are even refurbished with alpine backdrops. There are thousands of such traveler rentals available round the year that are suitable for itineraries and long stays. A range of options include apartments, cottages, ecofriendly patio houses, farmhouses, and homespun huts. Some villas are divided as apartments fully equipped with modern amenities for travelers who want service-style apartments.

Budget Accommodations

Most budget accommodations are on the outskirts of the popular tourist towns. Since the public transportation system in Austria is very well connected, tourists need not always book luxurious hotels in the place of visit. Budget lodging amenities are available in the form of classic 1-star hotels, private boarding houses, mountain huts, and pensions. They are thrifty but well maintained catering the basic requirements of travelers. Half-boarding facilities may also be enabled with such services. The only consideration is that the rooms may or may not include private bathrooms. Other than these, you may also make best use of some backpacker hostels near recreational areas.

Indoor Places in New York City

Indoor Places in New York City

The city of New York has many entertaining indoor centers that offer an assortment of events for kids and adults. There are even free scoop of activities in certain public places including gardens, parks, atriums, museums, and zoos & aquariums. The others include event centers, shopping centers, game centers, road shows, clubs, workshops, exhibitions, circuses, escape the room nyc, theatres, rinks, and nightlife spots.

There are lots of whimsical NYC activities, including fireworks, lighting, arts & crafts, virtual reality, and more.

Indoor Atriums

One Bryant Park

Located at the 42nd Street and the Avenue of the Americas, this skyscraper is ecofriendly and has many infrastructural features suitable for entertainment. It has wide walkways and more circulation space. So, one can walk around, romp in the playground, and enjoy scenic beauty of trees and quivering flowers in wind. The pavilion, walkways, and the inside amenities of this building will be your good outing.

The infrastructure features daylight dimming, night cooling, fresh air, and ventilation. A theatre, an auditorium, a cafe, and a restaurant are within the facility. They are much spacious and can accommodate a large number of people.

60 Wall Street Plaza

Hit 60 Wall Street Plaza in Lower Manhattan, a cultural community center and an atrium. It has been built in postmodern style and has exquisite features like garden porches, interior decors, palm trees, striped Egyptian balusters, and four cliff stone fountains. It is a good place to stay for a long time with peaceful ambience.

Brooklyn Heights

Stroll the promenade of Brooklyn Heights and cross over Squibb Park Bridge to reach Brooklyn Bridge Park. Pier 1 through Pier 6 include activities like boating, skating in Roller Rink, swimming in a pool, grilling and eating, and playing in playgrounds and volley ball courts. Do not miss the street festival and children events in Atlantic Antic every fall. From the park, Plymouth Church, New York Museum, and Fulton Mall are nearby places to visit.

Botanical Garden Train Show

You can saunter through New York Botanical Garden, which conducts Holiday Train Show, to see iconic landmarks and many train models. Here are just a few things to do before visiting. Get tickets earlier and try heading to it in the start of the fall, in the evenings, or on weekdays to get away from the crowd. Carry a camera to shoot the magnificent trains and embellished NYC skyscrapers and landmarks. If you have toddlers, park the strollers outside.

You can even watch other train shows at Transit Museum in Grand Central Terminal or at the New York Historical Society.

The Manhattan Plaza Health Club

It has an atrium pool with retractable glass roofs, a rock climbing gym, a fitness center, a spa, a sundeck, and tennis courts. Either you want to lounge or play sports, this is a great place to hit. When you are in the atrium, sit relaxed, nosh on snacks, and gawk at the pool.

Chelsea Market

It is a lovely place to linger with your kids. There are a food court, a mall, and a large lobby within the building. You can enjoy plentiful of food or snacks, watch baking, and stare at wall sculptures or arts.

Ocean Odyssey

This is a great treasure of underwater that takes you through a 3D VR environment providing stunning and sparkling views of the Pacific Ocean, sea mammals, coral reefs, and kelp forests. It is so vivid that you feel the dolphins, turtles, and fish swimming past you. Despite age groups, all contemplate the vivacious scenes of wildlife and water bodies.

NYC Lego Store

The store at Rockefeller Center is amazing with brick designs, 3D animation, play areas, in-store family events, and family entertaining stores. So, this is a place for family members apart from tots to spend more time.

Let your indoor visits in NYC be the best vacations. Happy outing!

 

Why You Should Travel to China This Year

Why should we travel to China? Is it an itinerary to Asia? China is the foremost of all other tourist countries in Asia. Tourists of China feel the serene vibe and find the good hospitality of the people.

Special about China

The grandeur of China cannot be expressed in words. It is the land of long history with countless generations and dynasties. The country is itself the trove of history, arts & crafts, and exotic culture. The Chinese opera, calligraphy, painting, acupuncture, and porcelain are unique. The ancient most fighting arts “kung fu” and “tai chi” had its origin in this land. Chinese food is one of the most popular culinary styles.

The Great Wall

It is the topmost destination in the Seven Wonders of the World. It is the most striking architectural feat. The total span of the wall is around 8,500 km. You can trail over the rugged mountains and pitch a tent in the Great Wall to enjoy the site.

It is the land of ancient most civilizations of the world with the longest history. Though it is proclaimed that the first emperor of Qin built it, its origin is quite before his period. It was built to prevent conquer and improve silk road trade. It was the army defense system with surveillance towers, garrison forts, and beacon towers for communication.

The Terracota Army

This is the best known greatest archeological site in Xi’an, China. Terracotta sculptures show the vigor and eternity of the army troops and horses of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, placed inside the pyramid shaped burial tomb. It was constructed with the purpose of protecting the emperor’s afterlife. The splendor of the site is that even after 2,000 years, around 40,000 weapons of his regime have been preserved.

The Forbidden City

It is the most spacious imperial palace of China. There are 90 palaces and 980 buildings with a spectacular view of the Outer Court and the Inner Court. The former and the latter consist of three main halls and three main palaces, respectively. The Outer Court is the gateway to the Inner Court, where the emperors would prepare presentations prior to going to the Temple of Heaven. The Inner Court consists of the living rooms, inner treasuries of the emperors, and the Imperial Garden. One would be amazed even skimming through the complete sketch of the Forbidden City.

Temple of Heaven

As per the name, it is the imperial temple of China with a park structure offering oasis of tranquility. It is regarded as the symbol of Beijing. It is unique and more than any other temple spanning 270 hectares. The primary buildings are the Altar of Prayer for Good Harvests, Imperial Vault of Heaven, and Circular Mound Altar. Chanting mantras or performing prayers inside the square produce resonance, which is a charm for worshippers.

The Bund

The Bund in Shanghai is a waterfront esplanade along the Huangpu River. The attractions in the Bund are the buildings of versatile Roman architectures, Aster House Museum, and the Lovers’ wall. Sunrise, sunset, and nightlight views of Shanghai from the top of the buildings and along the side of the river will be awe-inspiring.

China is a lovely place with endless awe-inspiring sites. But never miss out these top 5 attractions to go. Happy traveling!

Reasons why so many people prefer going to London

England isn’t the warmest place on earth with the best weather, however this is still one of the most popular countries to visit. There are hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting this country each year. And, many people want to know why. These are some of the reasons why so many people prefer going to London, even if the weather isn’t that great:

London Theater

The number one reason why so many tourists are visiting London, is because of the London theater. Not only is this the most popular theater in the world, but this is the best theater as well.

You will be able to see famous faces on stage when you are going to see a show. The best part is that the tickets are affordable for most people, and is going to give you the experience of a lifetime.

Different types of accommodation

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for 5-star accommodation or if you are looking for cheap affordable accommodation. You will find it in London. And, you will be able to choose between a large variety of accommodations that you can afford.

Because of the high tourist attraction in London, there is not a shortage of accommodation there. With a bit of research, you will find a place that is perfect for you.

Free museums to visit

You don’t need to have a large budget to visit London. With a limited budget, you will still be able to visit a couple of museums. This is because there are a large number of museums that are free for tourists to see. And, don’t think that this is going to be the uninteresting museums that are going to be free.

Some of the most popular museums are free in London.

Variety of shopping available

We know that it doesn’t matter where you are, you will want to do some shopping. And London will not disappoint. Many people are visiting London for the shopping centers that are available for shopping. There are a large variety of things that you can purchase and you can spend the whole day just doing some shopping.

You don’t need to worry that everything is expensive. There are some great bargains in London if you just know where to look.

London, England. The one city that everyone knows and everyone wants to visit. But, did you ever wondered why there are so many tourists visiting London each year. These were a couple of the reasons why London is such a great place to visit and why you should consider visiting this place as well. You will not be disappointed and you will have a variety of activities to choose from.