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I am firmly convinced the country of India was transplanted from another planet. You will find no other place like it on this world.

India The Country From Another Planet

India  The Country From Another PlanetI am firmly convinced the country of India was transplanted from another planet. You will find no other place like it on this world.India India is a country where you will see everything you can imagine. More importantly, everything you will see will be intense. You will not see a beggar, you will see millions of them. You will not see a beautiful beach, you will see the most beautiful beaches in the world. Places of wealth are so over the top youll be stunned. The shanty towns of the poor, on the other hand, will set you back on your heals. India is the one place you can visit and come away completely enthralled and disgusted at the same time. If your idea of traveling is sitting in a posh hotel, India has such resorts but youll be unable to avoid the less attractive areas. If you prefer to get out and take in a culture that is completely alien to your own, you will never find a better place than India. India is really a number of countries within a political boundary. The south of India is entirely different than the north. The same goes for the east and west. If you dont like the place youre in, just get on a train for a day or two and youll be in a completely different world. One of the biggest traveler complaints about India is the poverty. In truth, it is bad. There is simply no way around the fact. Whatever you have previously seen, wherever you have previously gone, nothing matches the poverty in India. The shanty towns are large cities and the conditions are less than ideal. To get a first hand account, I suggest you read the excellent book, Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts. Roberts lived in one of the shanty towns for years while on the run from the law. The book is tremendous and gives you a different perspective on the poverty situation. Regardless, you will have problems dealing with the poverty in India. It can ruin your trip if youre not careful. If youre considering visiting India, you need to accept the fact that life is different there and you need to come to grips with this before you go. In truth, India is an incredibly captivating country of beauty, stunning sites and incredibly funny people.

Discover Paseo Colorado In Pasadena California

Discover Paseo Colorado In Pasadena California

Just a few short blocks from famous Old Town Pasadena, California is the urban village of Paseo Colorado, a self contained residential apartment complex and shopping mall. According to Paseo Colorado's web site paseocoloradopasadena.com this development is "One of the largest concepts of its kind in the country, Paseo Colorado is an urban village featuring a unique collection of retail stores, fine and casual dining, luxury apartment homes, and garden promenades that restore vital links to the historic core of Pasadenas Civic Center and Old Pasadena."

"Paseo Colorado features Mediterranean architecture, heavily landscaped pedestrian promenades, courtyards, towers and terraces. The property features a variety of artistic detail from well-known and respected artists, including a fountain featuring hand-made custom-glazed ceramic tile created by artist Anne Marie Karlsen, a second fountain embellished with an Italian glass mosaic by artist Margaret Nielsen, and intricate iron grills and rails created by artist Michael Amescua." There are 391 luxury residential apartments and lofts, an upscale Gelson's Supermarket, a Macy's Department Store, over sixty five specialty and botique shops, including Coach, Ann Taylor, Tony Bahama, Hugo Boss, Bombay Company and Sam Goody, a Pacific Theatre with fourteen screens, seventeen (17) dining establishments, a fitness club, a day spa and much more.

This is an excellent place to spend time shopping and / or just relaxing. There is ample validated parking. There are plenty of places to sit and relax in the promenades, courtyards and restaurant patios, while watching people or listening to a live summer jazz concert. The shopkeepers and their employees are polite and helpful but not pushy. Everybody appears to be fairly laid back and nobody seems to be rushing you.

For more information about the city of Pasadena, California see http://pasadena.usacitydirectories.com, a directory of links to city of Pasadena, California guides and directories listing hotels, restaurants, churches, physicians, attorneys, information, resources, services, things to do, places to go, art galleries, service organizations, auto dealers, nursing homes, convalescent hospitals, antique dealers and more.

Overview of Spain for Travelers

Overview of Spain for Travelers

A land of romance and exotic tastes, Spain is a place to be taken in with great gulps. If you are planning a trip, here is an overview of the country. Overview of Spain for TravelersThe official name of the country is the Kingdom of Spain. It covers an area of approximately 194,000 square miles. This includes both the mainland and the Balearic and Canary Islands. This total square mileage makes Spain one of the bigger countries in Europe, approximately the size of the combined states of Arizona and Utah. The capital of Spain is Madrid, home to roughly 5.5 million residents. Other major cities include Barcelona with 4.9 people, Malaga with 1.3 million, Seville with 1.8 million and Valencia with just over 2 million residents. The terrain of Spain varies from flat to mountainous. Temperatures range from cool in the winter to baking hot in the summer, particularly in cities such as Madrid, which do not have access to costal breezes. Until 1975, Spain was a functional dictatorship ruled by General Francisco Franco. Following his death in 1975, the Prince Juan Carlos de Borbon y Borbon was named King and Chief of State. He subsequently moved to liberalize the country and assigned an independent head of state that is now an elected official. Spain has been in a near constant state of civil war for much of the last 100 years. Basque factions seek independence from the rule of the King and federal government. This has manifested itself in the form of bombings and such. Barcelona is considered a Basque city, which makes for a major rivalry between the city and Madrid. If you have an opportunity to attend a soccer game between the two, do so! Violence is rare, but the insults are definitely unique. The people of Spain are known as Spaniards or Spanish. The total population is just over 44 million and growing at one percent a year. Ethnic breakdowns are geographically oriented, but include Basques, Catalans and Galicians. The religious tendency of the country is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. The official language of Spain is Spanish. That being said, Catalan-Valenciana, Galician, and Basque languages form a prevalent minority. Education is compulsory through age 16 and literacy rates are in the 98 percent range. Spain is a unique country. Whereas much of Europe seems to be in a rush to mesh cultures, Spain stands uniquely apart.

Honolulu: Fit For A King

Honolulu: Fit For A King

Honolulu, the metropolitan and commercial heart of Hawaii, also encompasses the awe-inspiring natural beauty famous of the majestic island-chain. It is no wonder why, then, in 1809 King Kamehameha I moved his royal seat from the island of Hawaii to Oahus Honolulu, making the seaside port todays state capital and a world class city in the middle of the Pacific to boot.Temples, Tides, and Tankers: Travel to HonoluluHonolulu is laden with layers of conflicting histories. Palaces and temples of a traditional Hawaiian past make it easy to forget that these islands are not their own sovereign nation; but, turn a corner and more modern relics tell a recent story of United States history. Of course, all around there is the never ending tale of biological and geographic wonders that outlives any human history.Chinatown is tremendously influential to the cultural heritage of Honolulu. The Maunakea Marketplace and Chinese Cultural Center are filled with a sampling of immigrant life, featuring eastern herbalists, Shinto and Buddhist temples, island inspired pan-Asian cuisine and a handful of remarkable jewelers. Foster Botanical Garden is also a tranquil stroll away from Chinatowns center. Just west of downtowns skyscrapers and the airport, Pearl Harbor hosts visiting centers for the memorials of the Japanese attacks of World War II. A ferry can be taken to the USS Arizona Memorial, which was built over the hull of the sunken battleship. The public can also visit the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the historic site where the Japanese surrendered and ended the Pacific Theater fighting of WWII.Waikiki, Why Not?Waikiki may just be the most widely known beach in the world. This is the leisure, dining, shopping swimming and all around vacationing center of Honolulu. Aside from the ordinary, Waikiki offers a spectacular university-run aquarium located on the shore alongside a living coral reef where visitors can get a crystal clear view of sharks feeding and tropical fish swimming among anemone in the wild. Just to the south is Diamond Head Point where the rim of Leahi Diamond Head Crater looks out above the adjacent beach. A tough but rewarding hike to the summit will reveal an unbeatable panoramic view of Oahus south coast and the remains of a temple that was once used for human sacrifices. Stay for the golden sunset then make sure to stick around Waikiki for dinner, drinks and dancing.Although travel to Honolulu may not initially seem like a getaway experience, the bustling capital city is surrounded by some of the best outdoor excursions the Hawaiian Islands have to offer. The Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve lies just to the east of Waikiki and promises an unforgettable opportunity to scuba dive and snorkel the coral reef inside the crater of an extinct volcano! From the city, take a half-day hike up the Makiki Manoa Cliffs Trail and lose yourself among the soothing sounds of tropical rainforest and a number of rare bird species. You can be back for dinner, or choose to make a backpacking weekend out of it. These local and easily accessible adventures make a trip to Honolulu an all-in-one experience!For more information, visit http://www.cfares.com.

Best of Hawaii: Itinerary Ideas for the Traveler

Want to do specific activities in Hawaii but have no idea which island has the best of the best? Use these lists to get ideas and helpful tips about the best surfing, scuba diving, exotic beaches, and much more!This article is designed to help you choose which Hawaiian islands to visit if you have a particular activity in mind. Granted, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that all the 6 major islands of Hawaii have all of these activities in one shape or form. We have used a mixture of popular opinion and our own personal research and experiences for compiling these lists. An (s) indicates it may only be available during certain seasons. Remember to always check conditions & availability, especially for water activities.Best Nightlife1. Oahu - Waikiki2. Maui - Lahaina3. Big Island - Kailua KonaBest Hiking 1. Kauai - Na Pali Coast (s) 2. Kauai - Waimea Canyon3. Big Island - Mt. KilaueaBest Surfing (Advanced) (s) 1. Oahu - North Shore2. Kauai - Hanalei Bay3. Maui - Honolua BayBest Surfing (Beginner) (s)1. Oahu - Waikiki2. Kauai - Kalapaki Beach3. Maui - Launiupoko ParkBest Scuba Diving 1. Maui - Molokini2. Maui or Lanai - Lanai Coast3. Big Island - West CoastBest Windsurfing / Kite Surfing (s)1. Maui - Hookipa Beach Park (advanced)2. Maui - Kanaha Beach (beginner) 3. Oahu - Kailua BeachBest Snorkeling 1. Oahu - Haunama Bay2. Maui - Kaanapali (Black Rock)3. Kauai - Lydgate Beach & TunnelsBest Shopping1. Oahu - Aloha Market & Waikiki2. Maui - Lahaina3. Big Island - Kailua KonaBest Nude Sunbathing 1. Maui - Little Beach in Makena 2. Big Island - many locations 3. Kauai - Secret Beach in KilaueaBest Exotic Beaches1. Maui - Red Sand Beach (Hana)2. Big Island - Punaluu Black Sand Beach 3. Big Island - Mahana Green Sand (s)Best Nature Experiences1. Kauai - Na Pali Coast2. Big Island - Kilauea Volcano3. Maui or Lanai - whale watching (s)For even more Best of Hawaii lists, visit: (http://www.gladtravel.com/HI-info/bestofhawaii.aspx).

Visit the Catacombs of Ancient Rome

A visit to the catacombs is a fascinating part of any trip to Rome. The catacombs in Rome are a place where art meets history and religion in a very powerful way. There are several catacombs along via Appia Antica, but not all are open to the public.The catacombs are located on the ancient way that connected Rome to southern Italy Via Appia Antica. This ancient road was opened in 312 B.C. and went all the way to Brindisi on the Adriatic sea.At the time, there was a law against burying the dead inside the city, so Via Appia Antica became the place of choice for burials. The catacombs and fantastic burial monuments are located along the way from Casale Rotondo to Cecilia Metella's tomb.If by now you imagine yourself spending your day in dark, gloomy caves, staring at bones, you can forget about it. Via Appia Antica has a great view. It is one of the most luxurious areas in Rome. The rich people of modern Rome live nowadays next to the burial location of their ancient ancestors, so while you admire the art work of the tombs, don't forget to take a glimpse at the houses and gardens of the area.Inside the catacombs you will not see bones, but the work of art that decorated the ancient tombs of the rich and important.Entry to the catacombs is only possible with a guide, for safety reasons. The guide, a priest or friar, will explain you all about the history, art and symbolism of the place, and then walk you through the catacombs.The Catacombs of San Callisto (or Callixtus) The burial location of the Bishops and Popes, are named after Callisto who restored and enlarged them.Until the third century, Christians in Rome had no official grave yards. At the beginning of that century, the Pope nominated St. Callisto to be in charge of the burial lands on Via Appia Antica. This was the beginning of the custom of burying Christians in lands that belonged to the church. As time passed, these underground grave yards that were dug in a soft rock, evolved to a maze of canals, layer upon layer.Whenever the room in one layer was exhausted, another layer was dug, so the most ancient layer is at the top.Santa Cecilia was buried in one of the graves here. Later, her tomb was moved to the church of Santa Cecilia, and a copy of her statue now stands in the place of the grave.The tunnels here resemble a dark labyrinth, so stay close to your guide. The guides walk rather quickly through the place to make room for the next group. A tour takes about 40 minutes.Continuing on Via l'Appia Antica, we find the catacombs and church of San Sebastiano. There are four floors of catacombs here, and a statue of St. Sebastian by Bernini. These were the first to be named "catacombs" after the greek words "Kata Kymbas" that mean "by the graves". These catacombs are the only ones that are easily accessible to visitors. Of the four floors only the second is usually open.In the Tricila area of the catacombs there are hundreds of graffiti writings on the walls, mentioning St. Peter and St. Paul. Those are probably from the time their relics were kept here, until they were transferred to the Vatican. Christians used to gather here in order to commemorate them.

Summary

I am firmly convinced the country of India was transplanted from another planet. You will find no other place like it on this world.