Category Archives: Out and About

Soneva Fushi, Resort and Spa, Maldives

Soneva Fushi is a luxury resort and spa on an island with a coral reef and surrounded by lush jungle, facing the Indian Ocean. It is 6 km from the inhabited island of Maalhos. It was opened in 1995 and resides on a private island. It is the largest given for tourism in the Maldives and is also the largest in the Baa Atoll territory. Here you can relax, letting your worries melt away in the sun, participate in water sports, use the wonderful Six Senses Spa which offers a variety of rejuvenating, pampering and holistic wellness treatments to calm mind and body, there is also a cinema and an observatory, go on nature walks to tucked away picnic areas conveying a Robinson Crusoe atmosphere, wander through nature with discovery excursions on the resort island and neighbouring island villages with the soft white sand underfoot continuously, go scuba diving, dine in one of the 6 restaurants at the resort – choose from ocean or jungle views… this place will fulfil your most romantic dreams.

When approaching Soneva Fushi by air, the unfolding view of your final destination will take your breath away. You will see atolls in the turquoise sea, fringed by sand giving way to amazing coral reefs guarded by lagoons.

The décor of the resort preserves the rustic theme of a designer tropical island. There are 65 rooms and villas, all with garden bathrooms, as well as 13 now having the additional delight of a private pool.

Dining is diverse, from BBQs on the beach to gourmet banquets combining a variety of cultural cuisines, and of course fine wines.

A little off the beaten track, the resort/spa is situated 61 nautical miles, or a half hour seaplane transfer from Male International Airport.

FACILITIES

– Six Senses Spa
– Diving School
– Fishing
– Snorkelling
– Water Sports
– Gym
– Tennis
– Cycling
– Jogging Trail

ATTRACTIONS

– Fishing and Diving Excursions
– Eydhafushi Fishing
– Maahlos Cultural Villages
– Private Picnic Islands
– Wine Tasting

Find out also about Soneva Jani, the brand’s newest luxury resort offering. Inspired by a word that means ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani encompasses a collection of Water Villas and Island Sanctuaries set within a lagoon of crystal clear waters, fringed by pristine beaches and blanketed in lush tropical greenery. The highlight of the islands that the resort calls home is the 5.6 kilometre private lagoon that surrounds it; an awe-inspiring azure spectacle that inspires a sense of calm.

AND Soneva Kiri residence

FINALLY Soneva in Aqua

Related link:

Soneva Fushi, Resort and Spa

Skiing, Snowboarding in Furano, Central Hokkaido, Japan

Each year when winter comes to Hokkaido, it brings with it some of the finest whitest snow in the world, as well as incredible winter festivals and fun activities. Each morning friendly locals look for visitors to show around, just to ensure that they enjoy Furano to the max. A great opportunity to make new friends and find out more about this town and local culture. Amazing blue skies and beautiful mountains surround Furano. There is an active volcano only 30 miles away.

Watch the skiiers and snowboarders with graceful ease and expertise descend down the mountain in awe, spraying diamond like snow in their wake. Becone one of them 🙂 You can also go dog sledding, tubing and x-country skiing, snowmobile-ing and snow rafting. There is no off piste skiing. Furano has a cable car (Furano Ropeway) capable of transporting 101 people. The ski area has 10 lifts.

Relax in Nowaza Onsen (Hot Spring), located in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture, is a hot spring and ski resort village. It is specifically renowned for its Onsen with more than 13 public hot spring baths that can be used free of charge. Visit Ninguru Terrace (Arts and Crafts Village). Here there are handmade crafts for sale. Visit the Goto Sumio Museum. Wine and dine in Sohs Bar for Miserable Smokers. Or at the top of Furano sit in the glass window in the Furano Prince Hotel Cocktail Bar, drinking cocktails and eating wonderfully presented dishes, some of them Japanese style. In downtown Furano, there are over 200 bars and restaurants to choose from. So take your pick!

Ski resorts Japan find Furano as well as Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Tomamu, Sahoro, Hakuba, Nowaza Onsen, Appi Kogen, Myoko Kogen, Shiga Kogen .

Quite an old one. I hope you like it 🙂

Singapore’s Top 5 Museums

Author: varun

Fashionistas and shopaholics have been trooping to Singapore for years, lured by its many shopping malls that offer every brand, and labels that fulfill the (shopaholics’) hearts’ desires. But while I do enjoy shopping, I don’t relish the idea of going to penury just to pay for a huge credit card bill. There are other ways of enjoying Singapore.So instead of heading to the malls, I often go to Singapore’s museums.They are the best in Asia, benefiting not only from the government’s vast resources (this wealthy country is competing with Hong Kong to be Asia’s art center) and the the city’s state fondness for organization and efficiency. That may be boring, but it has nevertheless produced well curated art spaces. All of Singapore’s museums are accessible through public transport, air-conditioned, and have wheelchair accessible facilities, restrooms and souvenir shops.Best of all, given that Singapore is one of Asia’s most expensive cities, . And some days, you can even go to the museums for free!So when you’re in Singapore, try visiting:

1 – The Peranakan Museum

The only museum that showcases the arts and culture of a distinct ethnic group that was shaped and continues to influence Southeast Asia. The Peranakan, which means “locally-born” in the Malay language, usually refers to the descendants of Chinese traders who settled in the straits Settlements of Singapore, Malacca and Penang in the 14th century and married Malay women. The Peranakans also include those who descended from unions between Indian merchants and local women during the 15th century. This intermarriage produced a fusion of cultures, and is reflected in the colorful cuisine, architecture and fashion that form the multicultural mix of Singapore and Malaysia.

2 – Singapore Art Museum (SAM)

With over 7,000 Southeast Asian pieces of artwork in its permanent collection, SAM stands as the region’s repository of visual art. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, multimedia installations, drawings, prints and photographs – eye candy for those who can’t get enough of modern and contemporary art.

3 – National Museum of Singapore

This is custodian of the 11 National Treasures – the most important artefacts in Singapore’s history. It includes the Last Will and Testament of Munshi Abdullah, the Father of Modern Malay literature, the 1930’s era Chinese glove puppet theater stage and a collection of watercolor paintings of local floral and fauna commissioned by William Farquhar, the First Resident of colonial Singapore.Visitors interested in Singapore’s history should also go to the museum’s Four Living Galleries – a showcase of artefacts, replicas, pictures, costumes and even old films that document the history of Singapore fashion, performing arts, photography and cuisine.

4 – Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM)

This is a must see for those who want to backpack around Asia. A visit to the ACM is like going through a crash course on Asian studies. It is the only museum that’s dedicated to present artifacts and collections representing different regions of Asia including China and the Middle East.

5 – Singapore Philatelic Museum

The museum that appeals to the child in us, as who after all didn’t have a stamp collection when they were kids? The museum’s collection includes stamps and archival philatelic material of Singapore from the 1830’s to present day. The museum also encourages philately in Singapore, with its permanent galleries not only dedicated to the global history of stamps, but also organizes workshops and talks on how stamps chronicle Singapore’s history.

Article Source: Singapores top 5 museums

Singapore Tour packages: www.travelchacha.com

The Beaches of Ilhéus, Bahia in Brazil

Beaches central to Ilhéus

The beaches located in the centre of Ilhéus such as the Praia da Avenida, Praia do Cristo and, on the north side of town, Praia do Malhado and Praia do Marciano are not as attractive as they used to be due to the effects of the construction of the new harbour.

itacare    bahia 4

                                        bahia 2

Praia de Avenida – this is central to Ilhéus – featuring a waterfront park with ball courts, cycling circuit and an open air theatre. It is advised not to swim on the right hand side of the Sao Sebastiao Cathedral. The water used to be far closer to the “boulevard”. Nowadays one must walk through some small sand dunes, grassy land or football fields before getting to the slightly polluted water.

Cristo Beach – this beach is central to Ilhéus, located at the foot of the Christ Statue near the old harbour at the mouth of the Rio Cachoeira River and close to the Santana River also. Where the sea and Pontal Bay meet is the perfect spot for sailing, jet skiing, canoeing, and hobby-cat as well as other water sports.

Praia do Malhado – 3km – located at the north side of the city in front of an oil refinery, swimming here is not advised. the beach has some barracas at the beach where you can drink, eat snacks and listen to music.

Praia do Marciano – 4km – a popular hangout for the locals and here you can go swimming, but there are reefs and at the most extreme rocks, so beware! There are a few barracas that play loud music, which doesn’t seem to bother the visitors who are generally fairly young.

Related links:
Beaches of Itacare 

Images for Ilheus

Images for Morro de Pernambuco

Ilheus, Bahia,

 

Vacation Inspiration: 4 weeks backpacking in the Middle East, part 2

Aqaba: From Wadi Musa (the town to use as base for visiting Petra), head by bus to the Jordanian Red Sea resort of Aqaba. From here, you’ll have access to some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world and the timeless crimson beauty of the Wadi Rum natural landscape. Wadi Rum is virtually untouched by humanity and can be explored by 4×4 vehicle or camel. You can arrange to stay with the local Bedoiun people, spending a night in a tent after a traditional campfire meal.

Into Israel: Allow plenty of time for the border crossing into Israel. It can be helpful to have a clear idea of where you’re heading in Israel and what you hope to do there. Be patient and polite and once the border formalities are done, you’ll want to jump in a taxi and head to the Israeli resort of Eilat.

Eilat: After a couple of weeks in the Arabic countries of Jordan and Syria, Eilat will be a major culture shock. You can see the Jordanian flag and the town of Aqaba from the beach in downtown Eilat but it feels like a different world. Eilat is an Israeli beach resort, with westernised restaurants, bars and nightlife. If sun, sea, sand and partying is your thing, you’ll want to linger for a few days in Eilat.

Jerusalem: The centre of three major world religions, Jerusalem is like nowhere else on Earth. The old city contains sites of huge historic and cultural significance to Jews, Christians and Muslims. A visit to Jerusalem provides an opportunity to explore sites of historic and religious interest, while also gaining an understanding of the background and the issues surrounding the present-day conflict.

Dead Sea: Easily accessible from Jerusalem, Ein Gedi is an Oasis on the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. Due to the salt content, the human body will float on the Dead Sea, an experience not to be missed.

Galilee: Travelling around Israel is comfortable and straightforward and a trip north to Galilee provides opportunity to explore the area where Jesus lived and taught, including the Mount of Beatitudes (where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount) and the Sea of Galilee.

Tel Aviv: Known as ‘the city that doesn’t stop’ because of its reputation for partying, Tel Aviv is the heart of secular Israel and the economic and commercial centre. The highlight is the sandy Mediterranean coastline and the fantastic beach scene where you can relax for a day or two before boarding your flight home.

Assuming you travel independently as a backpacker, this 4 week itinerary through the Middle East is likely to cost in the region of $1500-$2000 if you travel and share rooms with a partner and in the region of $2400-$2700 if you travel on your own.

Article Source: articlesbase.com – vacation inspiration 4-weeks backpacking in the middle east

About the Author:

Travel writer and researcher for Roam The World. Andrew caught the travel bug somewhere between riding a motorbike in the mountains of Northern Thailand and venturing through the souks of the Middle East. He now travels to far-flung destinations as often as possible.

Vacation Inspiration: 4 weeks backpacking in the Middle East part 1

Vacation Inspiration: 4 weeks backpacking in the Middle East – part 1

Author: Andrew Marsden

A backpacking adventure in the Middle East can be eye-opening, exciting, and at times challenging. As you explore sites of immense religious, cultural and historical significance, you will further your education and gain insights into other less familiar cultures and ways of life. Backpacking through the Middle East is never short of an adventure and you’re likely to experience some incredible hospitality, sample some delectable cuisine and meet some fascinating people along the way.

Fly into Istanbul in Turkey, a city at the crossroads of East and West. The perfect introduction to the Middle East, Istanbul is both westernised and familiar, while at the same time it’s exotic and enchanting. After a good few days haggling in the grand bazaar and marvelling at the architecture, head by comfortable overnight bus to Cappadocia.

Cappadocia: The natural beauty of Central Turkey is breathtaking. Goreme is a good base for a few days sampling delicious Turkish cuisine, walking through the spectacular landscape of ‘fairy chimney’ rock formations and exploring churches cut in rock by the early Christians.

From Cappadocia, head to Antakya for your final night in Turkey before heading over the border by bus to Aleppo in Syria.

Aleppo: Syria probably contains almost everything that comes to mind when you think of the Middle East: Legendary Arabic hospitality, mouth-watering mezze, conservative Islam and rich history and culture. The people here are some of the friendliest in the world, and to really get a feel for the place, spend some time in the cafes and markets (souks). Around every corner, there seems to be a point of historical interest, but just observing the culture and chatting to the locals can be an experience in itself.

Damascus: A must on any Middle Eastern traveller’s itinerary. A few days can be spent in the coffee shops and souks of Damascus, sipping intense Arabic coffee to the sound of the Muslim call to prayer. The Umayyad Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in the world and the architectural beauty is awe-inspiring.

Palmyra: If you’re into ruins, you won’t want to skip Palmyra. These ruins of one of the ancient world’s most important centres of culture are located at an Oasis in the Syrian Desert, and you can get there by bus or taxi from Damascus.

From Damascus, head south and cross into Jordan. Sharing a taxi is relatively easy in Damascus and is a great opportunity to make friends with the locals. Catch a ride in Damascus heading for Amman in Jordan.

Amman: After a day or two exploring this fascinating, hospitable city of contrasts between old and new, continue south by bus to the UNESCO world heritage site of Petra.

Petra: Jordan’s greatest tourist attraction is the vast rock-carved Nabataean city of Petra. Marvel at the awe-inspiring carvings, dazzling red colours and beautiful rock formations as you explore the Petra valley on foot, or on horseback or by camel.

PART 2: Vacation Inspiration: 4 weeks backpacking in the Middle East, part 2

 

Walks Worldwide – The Walking Holiday Specialist

Walks Worldwide is a unique specialist travel company. They are able to offer an unusually broad range of walking holidays to suit the needs of virtually anyone of any age through their guided group fixed departures, self-guided trips or tailor-made tours. Walks Worldwide can cater for old and young, individuals and groups, couples and charity organisations.

The Team has spent years travelling the world in search of exciting and new destinations – a passion they endeavour to share with their clients alongside of their knowledge of the world. The Team all turn their hands to all aspects of the job, they love to travel and research new destinations and they love chatting to clients about their destinations with first hand knowledge.

For more information, to sign up for a newsletter or to look at the new brochure click or to find your unique adventure go to – Walks Worldwide

“Walks Worldwide specialise in walking and trekking holidays to all of the world’s great trekking destinations. You can join small group guided treks, be independent and flexible on a self-guided walking holiday, or enjoy your own privately guided walk which can be tailor-made especially for you.”

Mark Wright, Walks Worldwide Managing Director

Sand Cliffs in the Sun and Snow

FROM March 2013 – Moved over from old website for memories sake ….

We went to one of our favourite new haunts a couple days ago. Roughly a half hour drive away there are some awesome sand cliffs/dunes/hills backed by ancient woodland and the local brooks. We had the most glorious weather for a change and around 7 home ed families turned up. Some we hadn’t seen for a couple years, ‘twas lovely catching up in the genuinely warm sunshine, with the kids running around barefooted. So relaxing and chilled, listening to them happily playing made up games and sometimes arguing but generally sorting it out amongst themselves with minimal adult intervention 😉 and making as much noise as they wanted to out in the open. Made me think how lucky they were to not be in a classroom, looking out at the sunshine, wanting to go out but not being able to. Another plus of home ed is we are able to get out in the sunshine when we are lucky enough to be graced with her presence. Especially as we only seem to have had 1 or 2 sunny days a month over the winter season!

Our first visit just 2 weeks ago, it was lightly snowing and f-reezing! Inky ended up crying cos she was so cold, although we tried warming up around a fire-bowl my friend brought along

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Our most recent visit

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ALSO:

Summer camping at the stables

The New Arrival – nope, not a baby, a hamster…

HES FES 2012 Day 1 – New Arrivals

Sitting down for too long is damaging our children

I HAVE to share this. My mum always says kids sit too long and need to move to build calcium naturally. It makes them fidget and get labeled ADHD or ADD. Sometimes they are medicated. It is unnatural to sit for so long. So glad we are able to home educate and that our two children have the freedom to move around as they want. We get outdoors a lot and they love being out in nature running around :0)

balanceandbarefoot

Summer camping at the stables

Sharing from my old website – I am currently moving content over to this new one….

Sunday August 11th 2014, we spent the night camping on a field at the stables where Inky has her riding lessons. After torrential rain in the morning the sky luckily cleared up to gorgeous sunshine. I was so relieved that I wasn’t going to be putting the tent up in the rain. On the other hand, at 5 months pregnant and still suffering from all day sickness part of me wished I could just stay at home and my partner was unable to come along and help that night due to work. Yet I persevered….

Inky’s friend N came along and we met her other friend R and her family there. Our tents were next to one another and the girls were very excited at the prospect of staying up late, sitting around the bonfire and eating toasted marshmallows. Yum. Inky was especially excited over staying in our tipi tent as we haven’t used it for well over a year. It was a very mild warm evening. Inky was only half dressed until about 2230 when I insisted she put a jumper on as it was getting damp and slightly chilly away from the fire – much to her disappointment. When the few clouds which had crept over after the sunny afternoon had disappeared, we could see thousands of stars and familiar constellations. No street lights here, just the bonfire giving off its warm light (my ideal way of life!). I suddenly remembered that the perseid meteor shower was due over the next couple of days and a minute later I saw my first shooting star followed by at least another 20. Inky and N weren’t overly interested (feeding the fire wood was far more interesting, and themselves trifle :0) ) but some of the older kids and us adults were. ‘twas so awesome.

We went to bed around 23:30 and woke at 07:00. Jewels who owns the yard booked a table for us all (30ish kids and maybe 15ish adults) to go and eat from the breakfast buffet at the Premier Inn down the road. So we all walked there, Inky and N still half in their pj’s with black soot on their faces and ate LOADS of food before heading back to take the tent down at a very leisurely pace. It was lovely camping with our friends and the girls had an amazing time – N ended up staying another night at ours, but they had a much earlier night this time round :0)

a bit of a grainy photo…girls reading before lights out 🙂

camping

I came across this link showing full length BBC programmes on astronomy and nature/our planet. Looks very interesting – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00yb434

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Inkys Gymkhana