How to find the best tent for camping?

Camping,Travel & Tourism
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Whether you camp alone, or with a large group of friends, or with your family, this fun activity can become even more enjoyable if you pick the right kind of tent. You can find different types of tents for camping in the market. And this can really put you in a state of confusion. Well to avoid this, here are some essential tips and guidelines that will assist you in making the best choice of a camping tent. Take a look.

Check for the seasonality of the tent
If you are new to camping and will definitely not choose the winter season for camping, then a simple three-season camping tent will serve your needs. This one can manage all weather conditions during spring, summer, and autumn. The three-season tent is light in weight providing good ventilation to keep out the summer heat. For keeping away rains, this tent type is equipped with a canopy.

However, if you happen to be an avid camper and enjoy camping in the snow too, opting for a four-season camp is worthy. The ventilation can be easily closed in this type of tent. The material used for its fabrication can withstand extreme wind and snow.

Check for the type of camping you often go on
If you often drive to campsites with your family, then a family tent would be a great choice for you. You can opt for a family tent that provides adequate space, or can go with the one having multiple rooms offering both comfort and privacy. Although such family tents are quite heavy, since you would be driving to the campsite, it is always a good option.

However, if you will be camping while hiking or walking on long treks, then a backpacking tent is a great choice. It can shelter just one or two people at a time and is made of good quality materials.

Check for the shape and capacity of the tent
Consider the number of people who will be camping with you and also how long you will be camping. Make sure that the tent that you choose offers a space of 30 square feet per person.

If you don’t want to spend a huge amount on tents for camping, then you may go with a simple A-frame tent. This kind of tent is less costly as well as lighter. But it offers limited space and cannot withstand harsh weather conditions.

You can also go for a dome shape tent for a decent amount of headroom and because this tent type is much more stable than A-frames.

Check if the tent can be easily set up
Camping provides you the opportunity to spend quality time with nature if camping alone or enjoyable and fun time when camping with the family. You would certainly not want to waste it in setting up the tent. Therefore you must choose a pop up tents or instant opening tents that can set up easily and quickly.

These were a few tips that can help you figure out the best outdoor camping tents for you.

Препоръчително е да се извърши технически преглед от квалифициран механик преди покупка. Това може да разкрие потенциални проблеми, които може да не са очевидни при първоначалния оглед. В България има голямо разнообразие от марки български и чужди употребявани трактори Трактори втора ръка в България: Ръководство за покупка и предимства Покупката на трактор втора ръка е все по-популярен избор сред фермерите и земеделските производители в България. Това се дължи на множество фактори, включително по-ниската цена
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Camping,Recreation & Leisure,Hobbies

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We live in a world marked by modern conveniences, which is really great. Modern technologies allow us to find our way, stay warm, find shelter, and even get the food and water our bodies need. While this is totally fine, have you ever thought of uncertainties that nature may present?
What if a heavy storm knocks power out? What if your phone battery dies in the middle of nowhere? Definitely, you need a few skills to survive these inevitable life moments.

There are plenty of basic survival skills that everyone needs to know and practice. While most of them look less important to learn, they can potentially save your life, depending on the situation. This post will cover some of the basic survival skills you need to learn.

Of importance, until you get out into the field and practice any survival skills, all you have is a false sense of security.

Survival skills everyone should master

To prepare yourself for whatever might befall you, here are basic skills you can learn on your own to prepare yourself to handle most survival situations:

1. Finding water

When it comes to surviving, water is often the first thing that people look for. After all, nothing is more critical to survival than clean, drinking water.

Finding food and water is a skill that people used daily for survival that has since been forgotten. While there is no guaranteed way to look for water, it is obvious that streams are found downhill or in crevasses where hills meet. If you can’t find a water source, you will need to explore the area further. Lush areas with green vegetation and animals are likely to have water.

Rain, snow, and dew are other reliable sources of clean water you can collect. In extreme conditions, you can squeeze water from vines and thistles.

Most importantly, don’t drink any water you find. Make an effort to purify or boil it. This takes us to the next survival skill.

2. Starting and tending to a fire

Even if you find a flowing stream with what seems to be clean water, make an effort to make it safer for drinking. In the wilderness, you will need to know how to start a fire to boil your water. Fire will also give you life-saving warmth, help you cook, scare predators away, and even other people notice your location.

While starting a fire with a lighter can be easy and quick, you need to learn how to start a fire from scratch, which requires practice and patience. One of the techniques is making a flint that can generate sparks. You can also short-circuit your battery to create sparks.

The most important thing is to practice and master how you can start a fire in different weather conditions. There are a whole lot of effective techniques to create fire by friction.

3. Foraging for food

While you can survive for a few weeks without food, as long as you have clean, clean drinking water, having the skill to hunt and forage for food is critical.

There are lots of edible wild plants that you can eat while in the wilderness. However, you need to be super keen; otherwise, you may find yourself feasting on poisonous fruits.

You will also need to learn and master hunting, trapping, fishing, and any other technique you can use to get food.

4. Building a shelter

Once you have water and food, the next most obvious basic thing you want is to find somewhere you can hide from the elements. The type of shelter you can build and how to build it depends entirely on where you are, how long you will stay there, and the available resources.

Basic requirements are branches for poles plus some clothing, a tent, or leaves to cover the finished structure. There are a lot of factors to consider as well. For instance, walking distance to water source and chances of immediate surroundings catching fire.

5. Basic first aid

There are times when it is difficult for emergency services to reach you when you are sick or injured. Being able to administer first aid may save a life at such critical moments.

Apart from knowing how to use a first aid kit, you should be able to come up with creative ways to offer first aid using what is readily available. For instance, creating a brace with tree branches and harvesting natural medicine.

Final thoughts

Learning basic survival skills is a great way to prepare yourself for uncertainties. Practicing and mastering these skills can bring you closer to nature and help you save your life should things go wrong.

If you want to go beyond being just a beginner at this or any other skill, and work toward developing a real mastery, then you are going to need a deeper and more powerful strategy. What you need is a way to hack your brain so you can develop a winning mindset.

A winning mindset is a state of mind that allows you to enter a flow state at will. You do this by programming your subconscious mind.

Believe it or not, most of what you do throughout an average day is NOT freely chosen by your normal waking consciousness even though it may seem that way. The truth is that most of what you do on a day-to-day basis is done on autopilot. An example of this would be when you’re driving your car and as you do so you get bored and begin daydreaming. Before you know it, you find yourself several miles further down the road with absolutely NO memory of having driven those last several miles.

So, who exactly was driving while your waking consciousness was in la-la land, and how exactly did you manage to avoid an accident? Your subconscious mind was in control. You already spent years programming your subconscious with how to deal with a broad range of possible driving scenarios and thus it had no trouble taking the wheel while your waking consciousness took a little break. In other words, you were able to take effective actions without having to THINK about them.

The same way you programmed your subconscious to drive, you can also program it to automatically take succe

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Cruise Ships – Unearthing The past, playing the present, watching for The future?

do not forget buying yourself and the circle of relatives one luxury cruise excursion. Over a specific departure date, you’ll embark any individual of the first-elegance, motel-like cruise ships for every excursion of would serve as the sailboat, a transient home, shopping centre, massage parlour, entertainment centre, and many greater.A cruise ship would possibly house these types of and different sort of services in some urban areas. sure, it can. It makes a few cruise on a holiday now not only for an escapade to not to overlook but also as one amazing choice for the next vacation.Cruise ships, are called a few cruise or luxurious ships, are passenger ships which might be used for going pleasure voyages. This voyage itself and their services, which might be located over the board, are the vital components of 1 cruising experience.The unexpected increase of cruises in a journey industry made cruise lines to make some modern-day ships which could cater the wishes of developing cruise passengers.It has itineraries for beautiful destinations, in which sailors and engineers design cruise ships that could live on various sea-related elements.improvement and HistoryThe huge is the prime ancestor of the cruise ships gift these days, which has exceptional ingesting areas, properly-appointed staterooms, and additionally different amenities which might be needed by using some passengers who are on-board.during nineteenth century, one Director Albert Ballin of Hamburg-the usa changed into the very first man to conduct one ordinary practice of permitting a transatlantic deliver on southern journeys at the very worst longer simplest as one ship, it’s also used like a propaganda for selling the cruising excursion. A Love Boat– one 1970′s television series– had Pacific Princess,a cruise of a named Princess Cruise.It has raised recognition of numerous cruises like one vacation opting simplest for extremely wealthy men however additionally for very regular people in US.Cruise Ships -PresentIn 2004, there’re loads of cruises, which have a first rate wearing capacity of 3000 passengers and more, displacing a whole lot extra than 1 million lots. as a result, it is the biggest ships which had been ever is able to cruise to destinations like Antarctica. contemporary ships too are considered as a “floating inn” having one complete personnel in addition with a ordinary deliver team.those cruises are designed for coping with ok provision of food. Cruise ships are serving heaps of eatables at every putting. garage facilities for plenty uncooked substances and many drinks are constantly with the modern technology.Queen Mary 2 is the most important deliver in operation now. It has 151,four hundred gross heaps and is owned with the aid of Cunard Line, one of those subsidiaries in Carnival enterprise, the big cruise business enterprise in operation nowadays.Queen Mary 2 has 5 on-board pools, sweeping stairs, one ballroom, a 360-degree deck, and numerous distinctiveness shops. it’s constructed for reviving the glamour of the sea liners, the enterprise would sink as jet tour began the prominence over the Atlantic.Cruise ship- FutureJust now, Royal Caribbean worldwide advised closing February 6, of 2006 that they might be releasing inside the autumn of 2009 the very huge and the luxurious cruise ship on the globe, which amounted to $1.24 billion. it is named project Genesis. it is able to additionally maintain 6,400’s anticipated to possess a gross ton of round 220,000. One gross check in ton is the simplest preferred dimension for a deliver’s size, which is equal to a hundred toes cubed. The $1.24 billion pay would cowl every expense required for the indoors completing of a ship.Now, what else might you assume from those type of cruise ships?

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Is a Cruise ship holiday For You?

Cruise holidays are quite a few fun and a exceptional fee, however they’re not for every person, so I need to discover what to anticipate on a cruise ship holiday and assist you determine what sort of cruise is right for you. I genuinely suppose almost all and sundry will love cruise vacations, however you need to determine what sort of a cruise is for you – a brief four-day cruise, a protracted 14-day cruise, a Caribbean Cruise, a Mediterranean Cruise…well, you get the picture. I must confess that at one time i used to be not a fan of cruise vacations. As a matter of truth, I could not think about a worse manner to spend a vacation than on a deliver. however inside the past few years, i’ve come to be a transformed fan to cruise vacations and had been on 3 very appropriate (and very specific) cruises (often due to the fact i used to be chasing a reasonably-priced tour deal) and i’m able to now truly say that i like a cruise deliver holiday! however let’s move over some questions you have to ask your self to determine if a cruise is for you or if a cruise isn’t always for you.1. Do You Get Sea sickness or movement sickness effortlessly?The number one reason many human beings suppose that they’ll no longer like cruise holidays is because they’re at risk of getting motion illness or sea sickness. I for my part apprehend this as i’m able to get very sea unwell while i’m a passenger on velocity boats, small boats or catamarans if I do not take the vital precautions. For me, those precautions involve taking a movement sickness prevention product referred to as Bonine (for adults and youngsters) that you can purchase at any drugstore or department store like goal or Walmart (however use only as directed). individually, i have never had any issues with sea illness on cruise ships (even when we’ve experienced very high winds or swells and the boat turned into clearly rocking). 2. Why Do You want to Take a Cruise deliver excursion:A. due to the fact You need to enjoy a Cruise?pros: Cruise ships are like four-big name floating resorts and they’re an awful lot extra than a holiday. they are an experience like no other vacation you may ever have. Cruises are a remarkable fee considering that they may be “all-inclusive” holidays that include your transportation to exceptional ports (when you’d in any other case ought to e-book extra airfares), your inn (since you continually have your cabin), and your meals (presented 24/7 on many cruise ships). they may be one of the excellent journey offers you can get for a cheap excursion while you add up what it would price you to do a similar excursion with additional airfares, motels and meals, no longer to mention the pleasant of the may make your cruise ship holiday some thing you want it to be. Your days on a deliver can be packed with activities from morning till night or you may just spend time relaxing, go shopping and sunbathing by way of the pool, or simply hold out on your stateroom. And while you arrive in every port, there are dozens shore and land tours if you want to do as properly.CONS:in case you’re single or a couple and not using a kids, then you can want to keep away from taking cruise holidays at some point of a season whilst school is out (particularly in the course of spring breaks) or travelling on a cruise line that heavily caters to families. when you have a family, ensure you don’t select a cruise line that caters to older adults (inclusive of senior residents) and is not youngster-friendly. several cruise traces have youngsters journey loose programs (or offer this discount periodically, like MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises) and these are accurate cruise lines to be able to inspect.B. due to the fact you want the Cruise Itinerary and Ports of call?professionals: one in all my favorite things about a cruise ship holiday is that you’re capable of go to many exceptional locations all on one cruise, with out ever having to repack and interested by one extraordinary charge! On a current 10-Day Western Caribbean cruise, I had a balcony stateroom and went to the Cayman Islands, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico for a complete of $535 in line with man or woman (along with port charges and taxes)! This cruise itinerary was best due to the fact I had just the proper amount of time at each port town and usa that we visited.CONS: Now from the best to the horrific and the unpleasant with regards to deciding on cruise holidays based totally on the cruise ship itinerary. I took an great 8-Day Mediterranean Cruise out of Barcelona with ports in Naples, Rome, Florence, best and Marseilles. I had never been to Spain, Italy or the South of France so this become a tremendous itinerary in precept. What i found — and what you need to be aware of — is how limited time can be while you port. generally port time is not any greater than 10-12 hours. as an instance, by the point I truely got into Rome from port (a 60-90 minute train ride), I best had seven hours to surely sight see. You simply need a whole lot extra time than that to peer all of the town of Rome has to provide and hit the highlights (the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel & The Coliseum).On cruise holidays, you furthermore mght need to be prepared that you could from time to time be unable to port due to inclement weather situations. that is what befell with Florence so I did now not get to get my proverbial photograph protecting up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. With all that said, I had weeks of excellent studies packed and condensed into four days on shore consisting of being blessed via the Pope in St. Peter’s square in Rome and status simply 12 toes faraway from him as he came by using within the famous “Pope cell.”C. both A & B. due to the fact You want to experience a Cruise and you like the Cruise Itinerary?execs & CONS:there may be one hard a part of planning cruise holidays if you need to enjoy a cruise and exquisite ports of name and this is wherein inside the world do you want to go? With masses of various ports to select from, you may find your dream cruise deliver holiday with cruises all over the international together with Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Bermuda, Hawaii, New England and Canada. however regardless of in which you make a decision to go, seeing the world on a cruise ship excursion is unlike some other experience.

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Outdoor Cooking Station for your Camping Trip

What to see in Puglia: the 10 unmissable places in the heel of the boot

Travel & Tourism,Art and Culture,Camping
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Sun, sea, beaches, trulli and centuries-old olive trees. Puglia, a beloved region and a favorite summer destination in Italy and abroad, is certainly all this. But the heel of Italy has an added, intangible value.

It is that strong experiential element that it offers to all its visitors. It is, in fact, a region to be explored with all five senses in order to capture its shapes, sounds, smells and flavors and fully understand the traditions linked to the art, history and culture of this territory.

There are so many places to visit in Puglia, ( cosa vedere in Puglia for Italian People) but if you want to get an idea of ??what it can offer you, we will help you. This land of a thousand faces will involve you in a well-rounded journey through all kinds of settings. From the paradisiacal beaches of Salento to the wild hills of the Itria Valley, passing through the green Foresta Umbra and the Tremiti archipelago, here are the 10 places to absolutely see during a holiday in Puglia .

1. Bari
Your tour of Puglia cannot but start from its capital: Bari .

The first destination to reach in the historic center is the Basilica of San Nicola , the patron saint of the city. Magnificent example of Romanesque-Apulian architecture, in its crypt it houses the relics of the saint and is a pilgrimage destination for the Christian and Orthodox faithful: it is, in fact, one of the few Italian places of worship where the functions of both rites are celebrated .

From the Basilica of San Nicola, enter the narrow streets of Bari Vecchia , the beating heart of the city.

Stroll through this maze of alleys where, especially in via Arcobasso , at the doors of the houses women armed with water, semolina and pastry boards are intent on preparing the famous “stracinet” (orecchiette).

While walking on the “chianche”, the massive stones that pave the lanes of Bari Vecchia, you will come across numerous churches including the Cathedral of San Sabino .

Here, every year, on 21 June (the day of the summer solstice), the sun’s rays pass through the rose window of the facade and illuminate the identical marble rose window on the floor of the nave with 18 petals: a truly unique spectacle.

Do not miss the Fortino di Sant’Antonio Abate with the wall, one of the favorite meeting places of the people of Bari for walking along the Lungomare where it is possible to admire the late Art Nouveau buildings and, at the same time, enjoy an extraordinary view of the Adriatic.

But Bari is not only this: it is a city that will capture not only your eyes, but also your palate with its very tasty food: between panzerotti, fava bean puree, orecchiette with turnip tops and other delicacies you will only be spoiled of choice

2. Lecce
Defined “the Florence of the south”, Lecce is certainly one of the most popular cities for those who decide to take a tour of Puglia.

A real open-air museum, one of the most fascinating in Italy, rich in monuments and works of art from the Roman, medieval and Renaissance periods.

But it is above all the city of stylistic excess and Lecce baroque that finds its maximum expression in the Basilica of Santa Croce .

Its exuberant facade is a riot of decorative patterns and ornaments unique in the world. Admire the large central rose window profiled by bay leaves and berries and, inside, the richly decorated altars and the sumptuous coffered ceiling: you will be amazed!

After visiting the Basilica, continue towards the scenic Piazza Duomo to contemplate the other jewels of the Lecce Baroque: the Duomo (Cathedral of SS. Maria Assunta) with its 72-meter high bell tower, the Bishop’s Palace and the Seminary .

From the Baroque to Roman art: there are 2 main monuments dating back to this era, the Roman theater and the Roman amphitheater , from the 2nd century, which with its elliptical plan was able to accommodate up to 14,000 spectators.

Both the amphitheater and the cathedral are located in the most important square of Lecce, piazza Sant’Oronzo , where the patron saint’s column stands out.

In this square, buildings from different eras and styles coexist harmoniously, such as the Palazzo del Seggio , better known as Sedile, and the churches of San Marco and Santa Maria delle Grazie .

3. Salento peninsula
Located in the southernmost part of Puglia, Salento is one of the most popular seaside destinations for the inhabitants of the beautiful country, a popular destination for summer holidays, chosen every year by thousands of Italian and non-Italian tourists. A condensation of majestic historic buildings and paradisiacal beaches that have nothing to envy to those of the Caribbean.

The Salento peninsula is also an ideal destination for road trips : the best way to explore it is by car, so you can stop in the most suggestive places. A stop not to be missed during a trip to Salento is Santa Maria di Leuca . Located in the southernmost area of ??the peninsula, it is the favorite place for those who want to relax on unspoiled beaches and shores and offers incredible attractions such as the Devil ‘s Cave or the Three Doors Cave .

Did you know that to reach the Maldives you don’t necessarily have to go to the other side of the world? You can find them a stone’s throw from Santa Maria di Leuca, and more precisely in Pescoluse . This stretch of coast is defined as the Maldives of Salento : fine white sand, crystal clear water and an infinite horizon in which to lose your thoughts. What more could you want?

Continue your journey, climbing towards Gallipoli , the ” pearl of the Ionian “, a favorite destination especially for young people as the undisputed queen of the Salento nightlife. If you want to alternate moments of relaxation with unbridled fun, all you have to do is go to one of the many beaches in the city. They are real natural wonders and every year they are confirmed at the top of the Legambiente rankings. Among the most famous beaches are Baia Verde , Punta della Suina and Punta Pizzo .

4. Tremiti Islands
San Domino , San Nicola , Cretaccio and Pianosa and Capraia – not to confuse the last two with the homonymous islands of the Tuscan Archipelago – are the five islands with a wild soul that make up the Tremiti . Turquoise waters, unspoiled nature and spectacular backdrops: these are the main ingredients of the only Italian archipelago in the Adriatic . Of the 5 islands, San Domino and San Nicola are the only ones inhabited; Cretaccio and Capraia can be visited on foot, while Pianosa is part of an Integral Marine Reserve and can only be visited if in possession of special authorizations.

The seabed around the islands is considered a true paradise by diving and snorkeling lovers : they are teeming with fish of all races and sizes and offer extraordinary scenarios made up of underwater caves, inlets and even wrecks. Several underwater itineraries wind through the waters of the archipelago, which is a Protected Marine Reserve of the Gargano National Park , but it is around Capraia that some of the most spectacular diving spots are concentrated, such as Punta Secca and Cala dei Turchi .

Most of the Tremiti beaches are made up of pebbles and rocks, so before setting out for a swim among the steep slopes in the Mediterranean scrub, don’t forget to bring sun protection, shoes and a hat. And why not even a camera, to capture the most beautiful views.

Among the beaches not to be missed in San Domino are Cala Matano and Cala dei Benedettini , while San Nicola offers few rocky areas on which to sunbathe. Capraia boasts pristine coves to be reached by boat or raft: Cala dei Turchi , Cala di Sorrentino and Cala Pietra del Fucile . All the coves and bays of the Tremiti overlook Caribbean waters and the best time for a dip in the sea of ??the archipelago is from May to the end of September – less recommended is the month of August, when they are very crowded.

5. Alberobello
Located in the province of Bari, in the Itria Valley, Alberobello is a place where it is absolutely worth stopping off during a holiday in Puglia. Because in this village with an esoteric charm you can breathe a timeless atmosphere.

Trulli and Alberobello, an inseparable pair. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996, here these buildings form a unique agglomeration in the world. They consist of a cylindrical base in limestone, whitewashed and surmounted by a conical roof, also in stone. The palette of colors that will open before your eyes will leave you breathless: the white of the walls and the gray of the roofs that stand out against the blue sky.

Most of the trulli are concentrated in the Rione Monti : there are 1030 of all types, all lined up along the edges of the streets. Between one district and another, stop in one of the trullo-restaurants in the city, to taste the typical products of the area. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a truly unique experience, you can spend the night in a trullo and experience the true essence of the region.

6. Ostuni
Set like a white pearl between the sky and the blue sea, Ostuni remains in the hearts of its visitors for the whiteness of the houses that populate its streets. Among the most popular destinations of the Salento peninsula, it is known throughout the world as the ” white city ” for the lime roof that characterizes most of its homes.

Stroll through the historic center, a labyrinth of winding alleys and a succession of squares that climb up the sides of a hill, until you reach the lower part of the village, surrounded by an ancient wall with two doors that have remained intact: Porta Nova and Porta San Demetrio.

In the upper part of the city visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta , one of the major attractions of Ostuni. Built in 1400, it features a finely decorated facade and a central rose window which is the second largest in Europe . Ostuni is also synonymous with sea and relaxation: Torre Guaceto , Torre Pozzelle , Rosa Marina and Creta Rossa are just some of the beaches that you can find in the city and its surroundings.

7. Caves of Castellana
We move to the south-eastern Murge, to go to the Castellana Caves , one of the main attractions of the Apulian hinterland. Located in the homonymous municipality of Castellana Grotte, a few kilometers from Alberobello, they are one of the most amazing caving complexes of karst origin in Italy .

The entrance to the caves, called Grave , is a cavern about 60 meters deep formed about one hundred million years ago, during the Cretaceous era. At that time Puglia was submerged by the sea and what we see today are the rocky layers that were once on the surface, shaped by rainwater over the centuries.

The Castellana Caves offer two different itineraries : one shorter, of about a kilometer and a half, and the other longer, of 3 kilometers. In addition to the huge chasm called the Grave, along the way you can visit many other caves, all with fantastic names, children of the legends that are told about these places. Walking among stalactites, stalagmites and limestone concretions with the most bizarre shapes, you will pass through the Black Grotto , the Cavern of the Owl , the Cavern of the precipice and many others. Also worth seeing are the crystal pond , the Grand Canyon room and the Leaning Tower of Pisa cavewhich has a stalactite similar in shape to that of the Tuscan monument.

8. Gargano
Stretching out towards the Adriatic, in the northern part of Puglia, there is the Gargano , the promontory also known as the “ Sperone d’Italia ”. What is most striking in this area is the immense variety of landscapes that include forests, mountainous areas, lakes, a coast full of white cliffs, long sandy beaches and villages overlooking the sea.

To protect the territory, the Gargano National Park was established , covered by a dense network of paths and areas equipped for excursions and trekking. In the area there are also two UNESCO sites : Monte Sant’Angelo and the Umbra Forest . The latter is one of the symbolic places of the Gargano, the green lung of the park, which extends over about 10,000 hectares at an altitude of 800 meters. In this nature reserve you will be able to observe a luxuriant vegetation composed mainly of beeches and oaks and specimens of native fauna such as roe deer, foxes, badgers, wild boars, owls and many other species.

Monte Sant’Angelo , on the other hand, is a village located in the southern part of the Gargano and is known above all for the Sanctuary of San Michele . When you have reached it, do not be fooled by appearances: going down a few flights of stairs, in fact, you will be able to access one of the most beautiful sacred caves in the world , the vault of which acts as a ceiling for the great nave and on the sides of which there are several altars, including “The altar of the footprint” whose stone would bear the footprint left by the Archangel.

9. Valle d’Itria
Expanses of centuries-old olive trees on red earth, cacti dotted with prickly pears, dry stone walls, rows that follow one another as far as the eye can see: this and much more is the Itria Valley . It is an area of ??central Puglia between the city of Bari and the provinces of Brindisi and Taranto. The area largely coincides with the southern portion of the Murge plateau and includes Locorotondo, Cisternino and Martina Franca.

Locorotondo , a real jewel with white houses with sharp roofs (called cummerse ), stands on a summit overlooking the Itria Valley. Go to the Villa Comunale to enjoy a spectacular view over an expanse of trulli and olive groves and visit the majestic Church of San Giorgio Martire with its bell tower almost 50 meters high.

Cisternino is one of the most fascinating villages in Italy. Here, too, the municipal villa offers an incredible view of the valley, while on the opposite side you cannot miss the Mother Church of San Nicola and, in the main square, the clock tower. Having an aperitif in the Piazza dell’Orologio is a must and also stopping for dinner: here almost all butchers are transformed into small restaurants and resisting the heady smell of grilled meat will be practically impossible. Absolutely to try the Apulian bombette and local sausages.

The last unmissable stop in the Itria Valley is Martina Franca . The first thing to see is the church of Sant’Antonio and then arrive in the historic center dominated by the Baroque style ducal palace and the Basilica of San Martino . Before leaving the city, don’t forget to taste Martina Franca’s flagship: the capocollo .

Finally, for an even more authentic experience, we recommend staying in the typical buildings of Puglia: the ancient fortified farms often used as hotels. In the Itria Valley, in fact, the watchword is only one: masseria . You can opt for a luxurious masseria or a more traditional one: all of them will immerse you in the most absolute peace among figs, cacti and olive groves.

10. Otranto
Otranto is the easternmost city of the boot . The strength of this charming seaside village is the excellent mix of art, history, culture and nature. Let’s go find out! One of the reasons to stop in Otranto is undoubtedly the Aragonese Castle . Surrounded by defensive walls that protected the city from invaders, it can be visited in the internal parts that include the ramparts, the basements and the towers.

Stroll through the historic center made up of white houses leaning against each other overlooking the cobbled streets between hanging clothes and shops. While you are in the center, allow yourself some time to visit the Cathedral which dates back to the second half of the year one thousand. It is partly dedicated to the memory of the 800 Christian martyrs who, in 1480, were killed during the Turkish invasion – Otranto, in fact, is also known as the “city of martyrs”.

A few kilometers from Otranto, reach the Alimini lakes and let yourself be captivated by the natural beauty of this protected natural park. Here you can observe many species of migratory birds and other animals that inhabit the waters of the lakes. Moving on the coastal side you will find one of the most famous beaches in Otranto: the Baia dei Turchi , so called because it seems to be the place where the Turks landed before invading the area in the 15th century. This uncontaminated area is endowed with an inestima

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Cruise Ships Offer Love – Boat Style Romance For Couples

Think about taking a cruise if you and your partner are searching your next romantic adventure. Many couples need a break from their daily routines filled with large workloads, hectic schedules, and children. This break often comes in the form of a romantic getaway on a variety of cruise ships.

Many people don’t even consider a cruise ship as an option when it comes to romantic getaways. However, there are others who literally live for cruises and are likely to take two or more cruises each year. Whether you’ve been on a cruise ship before or not, it is possible for you and your partner to have a romantic cruise ship getaway.

You are encouraged to consider a number of factors before booking a cruise vacation getaway. These factors are important when planning a romantic getaway aboard a cruise ship. There are many different cruise ships and cruise lines to choose from.

Cruises ships are often viewed as large, oversized vessels. However, the size of the cruise ship you are interested in vacationing on is also likely to determine the level of intimacy on board. A smaller cruise line may be your best bet if it is intimacy that you want. More passengers often make it difficult to have on board, private moments and larger cruise ships have more passengers. A number of romantic cruise lines target their smaller cruise ships to couples looking to vacation alone.

In addition to the size of the ship, the style and décor of the ship may determine whether or not you can experience romance on board. As previously mentioned, there are a number of cruise lines that target couples looking to vacation alone. Part of that targeting may include creating a romantic environment. You may find romantic cabins, room service, and other similar services on romance-themed cruise ships.

If it is an intimate, relaxing, and romantic cruise you are after then you are encouraged to search for a cruise ship that has an age limit for passengers. These cruise ships often restrict children from coming aboard. After all, you may be unable to enjoy a romantic vacation if you are on a cruise ship that is overrun with kids. Many times, cruise ships with a passenger age limit target their voyages specifically to couples looking for romance.

While it is possible to find a cruise ship with an age limit for their passengers, you may find it a bit difficult. If you are unable to find one, inquire as to where couples with children will be placed on the ship. A number of popular cruise ships work to keep families and individual couples separated. If this policy is in place, a cruise line is likely to state the policy on their website. The same information can be obtained by directly contacting a cruise ship representative.

Vacationing aboard a cruise ship is a great way for you and your partner to spend quality time together. The intimacy of the ship is just as important as on the ship when selecting a vacation on a cruise ship. Almost all extended cruise ships dock in a port and these ports are often located in another country, but not always. You will want to consider a cruise line that offers stops in exotic and romantic ports to make the most out of your vacation destination. These ports may include, but are not limited to the Hawaii, Mexico the Bahamas, or other parts of the Caribbean.

Hawaii, Mexico, the Bahamas, and the rest of the Caribbean all have a number of cruise ship ports. Additional ports can be found in the Untied States and overseas. What many passengers enjoy most about these particular ports is their climate. Because the climate and the overall weather could have an impact on the romance aboard your ship since tropical weather tends to add to the romance in the air.

In addition to traditional cruise ships, it is possible for you to take a local cruise. If you are looking for a romantic getaway on a cruise ship, but you fear the cost of an expensive ocean cruise, you should look into local cruises offered near your home. These cruises often involve dinner, dancing, and sometimes an overnight stay. They most often occur on much small cruise ships on a large river or a lake.

Now that you know what to look for when booking reservations for a romantic getaway aboard a cruise ship, you can st

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Norwegian Epic Cruise Ship Review

I was invited to attend the exclusive 2-night (July 2 – 3, 2010) pre-inaugural sailing for NCL’s newest and largest ship, the Norwegian Epic. Departing from NY City, the sailing began with the ship’s naming ceremony, which was hosted by comedian Jeff Garlin and featured the ship’s godmother, Reba McEntire. Adding to the festivities was the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show which was broadcast live from the Epic on national television (WNBC). It included musical performances by Justin Bieber, Enrique Iglesias and LeeAnn Rimes. As I have experienced many times in the past, the folks at NCL really know how to throw a party! But let’s focus on their new ship, the Epic.

The “Hardware”

When discussing the physical attributes of a cruise ship (i.e., it’s layout and appearance), industry professionals often refer to the ship’s “hardware”. So, let’s start there.

At 153,000 tons with a passenger capacity of 4,100 (based on double occupancy), the Norwegian Epic is, by far, the largest ship in the NCL fleet. In fact, with the exception of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas (which was launched in December 2009), NCL’s Epic is among the largest cruise ships at sea. It is also one of the most uniquely designed cruise ships that I have ever been on (… and I’ve been on quite a few). In most cases, that “uniqueness” is a very positive attribute which reflects the thoughtfulness and attention that the Epic’s designers must have paid to maximizing the use of space to achieve a much bigger, wide-open “feel” to all of the ship’s public areas. And, the way that one area just seemed to “flow” into the next (without the “cookie-cutter” rigidity sometimes found on cruise ships) was truly remarkable. But, in a few areas, I did not perceive the unique design of the ship to be an advantage. For instance, the exterior shape of the ship seemed a bit “odd” to me. The bow is somewhat “stubby-looking” and the stern is “squared-off” so that the ship does not have a “sleek” appearance from the outside. Adding to the irregular look is a massive 3-deck appendage that was seemingly “plopped” on top of the front section as an afterthought (or, more likely, to further maximize the ship’s interior space). Obviously, the ship’s designers had to make some “trade-off’s” to accomplish everything they did inside the ship and, after all, from a passenger’s perspective, the interior design is far more important.

The decor of the Epic is modern and somewhat more “toned-down” than other NCL ships. Getting around was not quite as easy because of the ship’s unique interior design. Rather than having its public areas running at a uniform width through the center of the ship, the Epic’s interior gave the illusion of being designed that way but, in several different places, the interior width of the ship would seemingly vary and you would go to the right or to the left to enter another venue. So, just when I thought I had seen the entire ship, I would discover a new area. Having been on over 50 cruise ships, I found the layout of the Epic to be very interesting and “refreshing”.

The Food

Since all restaurants offer a variety of culinary choices, any evaluation of food is influenced not only by personal taste but also by what items are selected from the menu. For example, on the first night, my wife and I ate at the Manhattan Room, one of the ship’s main dining areas. She had a chicken dish, which she evaluated as “OK”, while I had scallops which were very good. Like all public areas on the Epic, the layout and décor of the Manhattan Room was a tribute to the ship’s designers. Wide open and “airy”, the Manhattan Room had the look and feel of a fine dinner theater. In fact, I was somewhat surprised when our dinner host (one of NCL’s executives) informed us that the Manhattan Room was not a specialty restaurant. The other main dining room, appropriately called “Taste”, was also extremely well laid-out and pleasing to the eye. At the center of Taste is a beautiful chandelier (claimed to be the largest at sea) that spirals down from the deck above. Although I did not eat in Taste, I am told that the menu is the same as the Manhattan Room, so I would assume our assessment of the food would have been about the same (i.e., “OK” to “very good”, depending on the entre’ selected and, of course, personal taste).

One of the hallmarks of NCL’s acclaimed “Freestyle Cruising” is the choice of dining options and, not surprisingly, the Epic takes this feature to a new level. In addition to the two main dining areas, the Epic offers 17 other dining venues, each with its own cuisine and ambiance. This includes the spacious main buffet area (the “Garden Cafe”), in which the food was consistently fresh and of high-quality (albeit with somewhat less variety than we’ve experienced on some other ships). It also includes the poolside grill (“Spice H2O”), “O’Sheehan’s” (a huge, sprawling pub that became the meeting place and “social nucleus” for many of the ship’s guests) and several specialty restaurants such as La Cucina Italian restaurant (which was even more attractively decorated on the Epic than on other NCL ships), Tepanyaki Japanese grill (much larger than on other NCL ships) and Le Bistro French restaurant just to name a few. Each of the specialty restaurants has a “cover charge” (which ranges from $10 to $35 per person) but, in my opinion, they are all well worth the money.

On this pre-inaugural cruise, I tried two of the specialty restaurants, Cagney’s steakhouse and Moderno Churrascaria, a Brazilian “all-you-can-eat” barbeque in which guests signal their servers with a green card (“OK, I’m ready for more”) or a red card (“No more, please. I’m stuffed”). My wife and I have raved about Cagney’s steakhouse on several other Norwegian cruise ships (e.g., the NCL Dawn, the NCL Gem and the NCL Jewel) and we enjoyed it just as much on the Epic. On the other hand, we were not nearly as impressed with the Epic’s Moderno Churrascaria, which is the first such restaurant on any cruise ship. The salad bar was absolutely fabulous (especially the plump shrimp and fantastic gourmet cheeses) but, other than the sirloin (which the servers cut right in front of you), my wife and I were both disappointed with the quality of the meats. Ironically, my son Greg (who is CEO of Direct Line Cruises) and several of our staff members tried Moderno Churrascaria and really liked it. So, don’t take my word for it.

The Service

A cruise passenger’s perception of onboard service is so often dependent upon who their stateroom attendant was and which waiters / waitresses served their meals. Since my wife and I started Direct Line Cruises, there have been several instances in which different clients on the same exact cruise would report radically different service levels. So, at best, any evaluation of service should be taken only as a generalization based on limited individual experiences while onboard.

Having prefaced this part of my review (to “cover my tail” in case the reader has a different experience), my wife and I found the service on the NCL Epic to be consistent with what we’ve experienced on other NCL cruise ships (i.e., very good with only minor exceptions).

Entertainment And Activities

It may be hard to believe but the show by the Blue Man Group actually exceeds NCL’s hype! It was the most unique (… yes, I’m using that word again… ) and professional act I’ve seen on any cruise ship. Thoroughly funny and entertaining, I would rather see that show night after night than to sit through some of the same old “Broadway song-and-dance” shows I’ve seen on so many other cruise ships. The Blue Man performance was in the ship’s main theatre which, considering the size of the Epic, was relatively small (with a seating capacity of under 600 people). However, despite that fact, the theatre was not “packed” because, consistent with NCL’s concept of “Freestyle Cruising”, the Epic was designed with multiple entertainment venues, each offering a different show.

In addition to Blue Man Group, the NCL Epic showcased “Legends In Concert”, which featured impersonated performances by Elvis, Madonna, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson and other “super-stars”. If you like this sort of thing, you will probably enjoy it very much. Otherwise, you may find it to be “OK”, as I did.

Another Epic “first” is Cirque Dreams and Dinner which is performed by an exceptionally talented group of acrobats in a special theater-in-the-round called the Spiegel Tent. Several of our staff members saw this show and said that it was very good but, perhaps, a bit too long. My wife and I saw a very different show in the Spiegel Tent. Our 3-year-old granddaughter, who we were able to bring with us, is a big fan of “Dora the Explorer” and “Diego” and she just loved the Nickelodeon character breakfast which, in addition to Dora and Diego, also featured “Sponge Bob Square Pants”, “Jimmy Neutron” and others. In an exclusive deal with NCL, the Nickelodeon characters are presently appearing on the Epic and the NCL Jewel (which now sails year-round out of New York City) and will eventually appear on several other NCL ships.

Another featured act on NCL’s cruise ships is the Second City Comedy Troupe. Although I did not see their show on the Epic (… there just wasn’t enough time to do everything… ), my wife and I have seen them on several other NCL cruise ships. In general, we found their “rehearsed” skits to be very funny, and their “ad-libbed” routines very “un-funny” (but, then again, I never really enjoyed watching Jonathan Winters, who was regarded by many people as an “ad-lib” comedic genius).

Activities on the ship were plentiful. Unique to the Epic were the “Epic Plunge” (a massive 7-deck water slide), 6 bowling alleys and the SVEDKA Ice Bar (which NCL touts as the first ice bar at sea) in which the entire contents (including the bar) are made of ice and the venue is maintained at a “toasty” 17-degree temperature to keep it from melting. Now, that’s “really cool”! Patrons are provided with heavy jackets before entering and vodka is clearly the beverage of choice.

The Staterooms

Like every modern cruise ship, the NCL Epic offers a wide variety of accommodations, ranging from lower-priced interior cabins (with no window) to huge luxury suites with personal butlers. Obviously, a guest staying in one of the large suites would have a different stateroom experience than one staying in a much smaller interior cabin so, once again, I must preface my stateroom review by cautioning the reader that it is based on my specific experience (which may or may not hold true for other types of accommodations on the Epic).

My wife and I were in a standard stateroom with a balcony (one of the “Category B” staterooms on the ship). Upon entering the stateroom, we had two initial impressions. First of all, the curved walls gave the room a very “unique” look (unlike typical cruise ship staterooms which are almost always rectangular with straight walls). The second thing we noticed is that the stateroom didn’t have a bathroom… well, at least, not in the traditional sense. You entered the stateroom through a door between a shower stall and a toilet stall (each with a heavily “frosted” enclosure). A curtain separated these areas from the main part of the stateroom which, among other things, included the bed, a couch, storage closets / cabinets and a sink. The advantage of having the sink outside of the toilet and shower area is that one occupant can use the sink while another is using the shower or toilet (a convenience that you don’t often find in traditional cruise ship staterooms). In addition, the unique design of the stateroom provided much more storage space than is typically found in a conventional stateroom of similar dimensions. However, despite that, I found the stateroom to be very “tight” (particularly in the cabins that have the bed nearer to the entrance door than to the balcony door) and, overall, I must admit that I would have preferred a more conventionally designed stateroom configuration or one of the larger deluxe balcony (“Category D”) staterooms on the Epic).


While onboard, one of NCL’s executives asked me what I thought of the ship and what type of client it would be best suited for. Without hesitation, I responded that the Epic would be most appreciated by the client who has been on many cruise ships and now wants to experience something truly unique. Consistent with that, it’s no coincidence that my wife booked the 15-year anniversary cruise for Direct Line Cruises’ staff on the NCL Epic and, now that we’ve gotten a small “taste” of it, we can hardly wait until September when we set sail on the Epic for 7 nights.

This article was written by Thomas Coiro, Vice President of Direct Line Cruises, Inc. Direct Line Cruises is a cruise-only agency that has been in business since 1995 and is located in Long Island, New York.

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