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Destinations

Destinations, Maity on the Go, Travel

A Hidden Treasure within the Arkansas Forest

The Crystal Bridges Museum was designed by the renowned architect Moshe Safdie.

Last year,  I had the opportunity to visit the city of Bentonville, Arkansas for the first time. An interesting fact about this city that many people don’t know is that it holds one of the greatest jewels among American art. So on this second  I decided to spend my free time exploring the magicalCrystal Bridges Museum.

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was founded by Alice Walton.

This museum is located in the middle of the Ozark National Park and has a peculiar history and a splendid collection of art. Here are some of my favorite artworks that hopefully will encourage you to plan your own visit.

Sculpture Fly’s Eye Dome by R. Buckminster Fuller manufactured in 1980.

Fly’s Eye Dome sculpture from its interior.

The Crystal Bridges Museum was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation and opened its doors to the public on November 11, 2011 (11/11/11). The idea of opening the museum came from Alice Walton, one of the richest women in the world, as she is the daughter of businessman Sam Walton, who founded the American multinational retail corporation, Walmart.

Architect Moshe Safdie’s design creates a connection between the museum galleries and the gardens that surround it.

Since its inauguration, the museum has received around 2.7 million people from different parts of the world, who are surprised not only by the artworks but also by the building’s architectural design constructed by the one and only Moshe Safdie. Through its design, Safdie manages to connect visitors in the galleries with the natural beauty of Ozark National Park.

For those who enjoy the outdoors, this property counts with 8 different trails that surround the museum. These trails are brimming with water springs and numerous flora and fauna creating the most breathtaking landscapes.

LOVE Sculpture created by the American artist Robert Indiana.

In the museum outdoors, you can also find a variety of sculptures such as the LOVE sculpture created by Robert Indiana and the Maman sculpture created by Louise Bourgeois, which represents a giant spider.

Another of my favorite pieces was this wall, which is full of objects creating a three-dimensional effect.

The Garden of Eden by Jim Dine.

The museum’s calendar of events features a variety of activities including concerts, conferences, family events, and new exhibitions each season.

Among the different exhibits of the museum you can find a great variety of art styles that go from realism to minimalism.

With the central sculpture in the picture above, Vanessa German wants to portray the 21st-century implications of psychosis as a public health crisis.

The museum has held countless fascinating exhibitions by artists of great caliber such as Samuel F. B. Morse, Stuart Davis, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Alfred Maurer, among others.

Evan Penny’s self-portrait combines traditional sculpture processes with state-of-the-art technology.

The artwork Man on a Bench reflects the sculptural response of Duane Hanson to photorealism.

One of the most important artworks exhibited in the museum today is Jimson Weed / White Flower No. 1 by the American artist Georgia O’Keeffe; work valued at $ 44.4 million dollars, becoming the most expensive work of art painted by a woman.

Jimson Weed / White Flower No. 1 by the American artist Georgia O’Keeffe.

Undoubtedly, the Crystal Bridges Museum is an exceptional place, recommended for all the art lovers out there. The museum opens Mondays from 11 am to 6 pm, Wednesday through Friday from 11 am-9pm, and weekends from 10 am to 6 pm. For more information, click here.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #TravelersOntheGo on your next adventure so you can share your experiences with our wonderful community of travelers.

Destinations

Five Destinations to Visit During the Holiday Season

Christmas time, as the song says, “is the most wonderful time of the year,” or at least for many of us, including myself. During this time of the year, a festive atmosphere is generated around the city. There is not one café, store, or business that you can go to which is not playing a Christmas song or has some type of decoration making reference to winter or Christmas time. Some of the things that I like about the holidays are the smell of pine when I get home, the ornaments and decorations, and of course, the yummy food that I get to indulge in. Besides being able to spend time with my family, my favorite part of the holiday season is that some of us often have time to travel and experience the different ways in which Christmas is celebrated in other parts of the world. For this reason, I thought I’d share a list of five destinations that you might want to visit during this season.

New York City

In addition to being known as The City that Never Sleeps, New York is popular for the dazzling Christmas decorations found throughout Manhattan. There is not a city in the U.S. that knows how to do Christmas  better than New York, at least, in my opinion.

Christmas Tree Rockefeller Center 2016. (Photo Credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

 The week after the Thanksgiving holiday, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting is the event that officially marks the beginning of Christmas for all New Yorkers. This year the gigantic 12-ton Christmas tree came from the state of Pennsylvania.

Saks Fifth Ave Holiday Light Show and fireworks (Photo Credit: Applesteve2017/Youtube)

The magic of New York Christmas can also be experienced just across the street from Rockefeller Center, at Saks Fifth Avenue, since the store produces a pretty spectacular light show in its storefronts. You can catch a glimpse of this stunning light show every day after 4:30 p.m. all throughout the Christmas season.

Furthermore, if you visit New York and do not get to do a little Christmas shopping yourself, it is probably because you got distracted by the amazing window displays around the city. Macy’s and mostly all the stores throughout 5th Avenue have the best displays in Manhattan.

One of the window displays at Bloomingdale’s New York City. (Photo Credit: Photoframd)

One of the window displays at Macy’s New York City. (Photo Credit: Pinterest)

Last, but not least, a must-do while visiting New York City during Christmas time is ice skating at Bryant ParkCentral Park, or most importantly at the Rockefeller Center.

Ice Skating rink at Rockefeller Plaza.  (Photo Credit: Traveling Europe)

Rovaniemi, Finland

If you want to experience Christmas like you have never done it before, we invite you to visit the city of Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland.

Santa Park in Rovaniemi. (Photo Credit: visitrovaniemi.com)

Rovaniemi is known as “The City of Santa Claus,” because it is located in the Arctic Circle, between magical forests covered in snow and sparkling frozen rivers.

Kids crossing the Arctic Circle. (Photo Credit: visitrovaniemi.com)

Some of the most popular activities to do in this city are, cross the Arctic Circle, observe the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis and visit Santa Claus’ village.

The Northern Lights in Rovaniemi. (Photo Credit: visitrovaniemi.com)

 A curious fact about this city is that during the summer you can experience the natural phenomenon called “Midnight Sun.” During this event, the sun remains above the horizon for a period of 24 hours, due to the summer solstice, which happens on July 21. However, this phenomenon can be experienced from June 6 to July 7 every year.

Midnight sun at Rovaniemi. (Photo Credit: visitrovaniemi.com)

Zermatt, Switzerland

For the ski enthusiasts and adrenaline lovers, we recommend Zermatt, Switzerland, as skiing in the Alps should be on the bucket list of every traveler who loves this sport.

Matterhorn mountain above the small city of Zermatt. (Photo Credit: myswitzerland.com)

Zermatt is a mountain resort renowned for skiing, hiking, and climbing. This town lies below Matterhorn, also known as the most photogenic mountain in the world. 

Matterhorn, the favorite place for many ski aficionados. (Photo: dailymail.co.uk)

 The Zermatt Matterhorn resort’s top-notch lifting systems, excellent restaurants, and the maximum elevation of 3,820 meters (12,532 feet) make it the crème de la crème of European ski resorts. Although the stays at this mountain resort make the list of the most expensive in all of Switzerland, you can find AirBnbs at reasonable prices if you prepare well in advance.

Prague, Czech Republic

If there is one magical city in all of Europe, there is no doubt that it is Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. With breathtaking landscapes, unique historical monuments, and streets that seem to be taken out of a fairytale, this city will amaze you. For this reason, Prague made the list of our favorite holiday destinations.

Old Town Square, Prague, during Christmas time.

In Europe, nothing says Christmas, like the Christmas markets, and in Prague, you can visit some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. The most popular ones in the city are: the Old Town Square Market and the Wenceslas Square Market.

Market stand with artisanal handicrafts and Christmas decorations. (Photo Credit: newsfour.ie)

In these markets, you can find from small souvenirs for your family and friends to typical Czech dishes such as barbecued pork, their famous sausages, or the delicious Trdelník.

The Trdelník is a pastry made with rolled dough, topped with sugar and walnut mix and filled with Nutella, ice cream, or your filling of choice. (Photo Credit: Pop Sugar)

Also in the Old Town Square, you can enjoy live shows of traditional Christmas Carols, while standing next to one of the biggest Christmas trees in all the Czech Republic.

Christmas tree in the Old Town Square, Prague. (Photo Credit: Utracks)

For a complete guide to the places you cannot miss, click here to read all about Maity’s adventures in Prague.

Maity enjoying the view from the Lesser Town Bridge Tower in Prague.

Quebec City, Canada

Another destination to visit during the holiday season is Quebec City, one of the oldest towns in North America. The festive atmosphere of the Petit Champlain District, make of  Quebec a unique place to spend this season. 

Petit Champlain during Christmas. (Photo Credits: Huffington Post Canada)

The snow-covered streets with small boutiques and bistros are brightened by Christmas trees and decorations that embellish each and every storefront.

Antique streets at Old Town Quebec. (Photo Credits: Justin Goes Places)

Due to its French and European roots, Quebec also has German-style Christmas markets where you can shop, enjoy live music, or drink some tasty mulled wine, to fight the cold weather. 

An activity that you cannot miss while visiting Quebec is going on the traditional toboggan run at Château Frontenac. The toboggan run is one of the oldest attractions of the city and will give you the best views of Quebec, though be ready to reach a speed of 45 mph. 

Whether you are a child or an adult, the toboggan run is a must in Quebec City. (Photo Credits: Pan-American World)

One of my favorite things about traveling is not only that I get to know different cultures and different places, but I also get to try the culinary delights of each of these cities. For this reason, on your next trip to Quebec, make sure to try the Poutine, which is a Canadian dish made with french fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy.

It is said that the Poutine originated in Quebec and according to locals, Le Chic Shack is one of the best places in town to try this tasty dish. (Photo Credit: Phanny S./ Trip Advisor)

Don’t forget to share your traveling adventures with all of us by using #TravelersOntheGO on your Facebook and Instagram pages. Happy Holidays!



Destinations

Flying over the Grand Canyon, Arizona

One of the places I had in my “bucket list” was the Grand Canyon. So during my recent trip to Las Vegas, I made sure to take a day off to get to know this impressive canyon measuring 277 miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide and one mile (1.6km) ) of depth.

My sidekicks for this adventure: Sharmil y Dani.

There are several ways to get to the Grand Canyon, but we decided to do this adventure aboard a helicopter. If you are in Las Vegas, I think the road trip takes between 3-4 hours and by helicopter, 40 minutes. There are several hotels around the canyon where you can spend the night and if you are a little more adventurous, you can even take your tent and camp.

For the most part, each helicopter carries between 6-7 passengers. You can ask to go in front but in reality the seat arrangement is determined determined by how they want to distribute the weight of the passengers.

There are several companies that offer this service that includes pick up at the hotel, taking you to the airport, transporting you to the Canyon by helicopter and a picnic with champagne once you land. On this occasion we used the company Papillon and the tour cost us $320.

Here with Capital Steve. Good guide and has a good selection of music to listen to during the ride.

Many of the companies offer a tours in the morning and in the afternoon. I recommend the afternoon tour so you can enjoy the sunset from above.

The Colorado River crosses the entire Canyon.

Before reaching the canyon you fly over the Hoover Dam, built on the border of the states of Nevada and Arizona.

I was very impressed to see all the different kinds of rocks, the different colors of the soil and see how the erosion of the river has created the canyon.

Wherever you want to see, you are in awe with nature.

Would I go back again? YES! Only next time I’ll spend the night in the Canyon and go hiking. Anyone interested?

Have you visited the Grand Canyon, what was your experience? Share your photos by tagging @MaityontheGO and using #TravelersontheGO.

Destinations

Unforgettable outdoor experience at the Florida Everglades

Florida is so much more than Miami , Orlando, and the Keys. If you are up for an unforgettable experience, you must visit the Everglades in South Florida.

After almost ten years of living in Miami I finally got the chance to have a risky but fun adventure into the Everglades with Dragonfly Expeditions, Johnny Tiger Tail, and an amazing crew.

The “brave”crew that survived the Everglades adventure (and the mosquitos).


The adventure begins aboard an airboat. The only transportation allowed in the Everglades.

Johnny Tiger Tail introducing me to some of the wild animals.

Close encounter with the wild pigs.

Listening closely to Charlie and Johnny Tiger Tail.

Getting used to my new friend: baby gator.

This is a real alligator! Check out video on this blog to listed how MamaGator communicates with Johnny Tiger Tail.

Welcome to Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park: One of the Everglades’ secret locations.

Paying close attention to Charlie from Dragonfly Expeditions.

Making sure Alex was “fine” from all the mosquito bites. Bug repellent is a must!

Girls that are always ready for an adventure! Wonderful experience with Gilcia and Sari.

Loved my Indiana Jones look!

Have you been at to the Everglades? What was your experience like? Love to read your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations. Don’t forget to tag @maityonthego and #travelersonthego in your next adventure.

For more information about Dragonfly Expeditions and their amazing tours, click here and make sure to mention you read about them in #MaityontheGo.

Destinations

What I found underneath Cappadocia, Turkey.

Cappadocia is more than its enchanting and unique moon-like surface.

In this remote region in Turkey not only can you fly up-high in an amazing hot air balloon but you can also explore the underground caves. Two years ago I lived this experience with two of my best traveling buddies. Here are my favorite pictures and some fun facts. Let’s dig in, shall we?

There are more than a hundred of underground settlements in the region but just a few are open to visitors. The underground cities, which are guessed to be used since the Bronze Age, used to be a settlement mostly in Byzantine period when residentes were forced to build underground cities for protection and religious purposes.

We visited Derinkuyu underground city which is located is located 40km from Goreme (30 minute drive). There are about 600 outside doors to the city, hidden in the courtyards of surface dwellings. The underground city is approximately 85m deep. It contains all the usual rooms found in an underground city (stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, churches, wineries, kitchen, classrooms etc.) Here you could find everything needed to survive several days without having to up into the mainland.

Derinkuyu is the widest of the underground cities. Here we are in one of the largest spaces with very little ventilation. Not recommended for those who suffer from claustrophobia.

Some of the tunnels are very very narrow and unlike many buildings now a days, there is no emergency exit in case you start feeling sick.

No windows, very little ventilation.

Interesting paints, drawings and scriptures in the wall of the main rooms in the underground city.

Although smiling, I have to confess that was short of breath at many points in the tour.

Besides being World Heritage Site, the rock sites of Cappadocia are described by UNESCO as “one of the world’s most striking and largest cave-dwelling complexes” and for those music lovers, it is highly recommended to plan your visit during the week-long Cappadocia Music Festival which showcases choirs and orchestras.

From Istambul you can fly to Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport, located 25 km far from city center. Keep in mind its a small airport so book your flight ahead of time and arrange transportation to and from your hotel, especially if you are flying in at night. There are not that many cabs at night and no Uber anywhere near (at least two years ago when we went).

To have a full Cappadocia experience make sure to book your hot air balloon ride and spend at least one night at a cave hotel. Check here for  more about this experience.

Have you been to Cappadocia? What was your experience like? Make sure to share your comments, suggestions, tips and recommendations.

Destinations

The Alhambra, Granada’s Jewel on the Mountain

This past April I got a chance to visit Granada, Spain for the first time and walk all around the impressive Alhambra palace and fortress.

I had read about it, heard about it, seen many pictures on the internet, but nothing could have prepared for this once in a lifetime experience. Now I understand why over 2 million people a year come to the Alhambra, making it one of the Top 10 most visited palaces and castles in the world!

Keep in mind admission is limited to 6,600 tickets per day, and they usually sell very fast, so when you are planning your visit, try to purchase yours ahead of time. Tickets in the main office can cost you anywhere from 15-20€ . Click here for more information.

Welcome to the Alhambra

One of the first things you see (and impressed me to most)  when you walk into the Alhambra are the gardens of Generalife. The Generalife was built between the 12th and 14th Century and it  was used by the Muslim royalty as a place of rest.

Walking through the Lower Gardens

If you love flowers, May and June are the best months to visit as the are fully bloomed.

The Alhambra is an awe inspiring blend of Moorish and Christian architecture and design.

The Court of la Acequia in Generalife.

Here some interesting historical facts of the Alhambra that will help you better understand its grandiosity and historical value:

? The first signs of construction date back to at least the Roman times.

? It wasn’t until the 14th century that the foundations of the Alhambra as it is known today were laid.

? In the mid-13th century the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar commissioned the palace’s construction, which was eventually turned into a royal palace by Yusuf I Sultan of Granada in the mid-14th century.

? 1492 the Emir of Granada surrendered the Emirate of Granada to the Catholic Kings of Spain, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, who soon made it the home of the Royal Court.

? Under Christian ownership the Alhambra grew into the large complex of rooms, palaces, courtyards, chambers and gardens that we can admire today.

The Arab influence  is evident in the horseshoe arches, arabesques and calligraphy.

View of the Alcazaba the residential area of the royal guard in charge of the security of the palatial city.

View of Albaicín, a painteresque neighborhood that maintains the layout of Medieval Moorish narrow streets and well-kept traditional houses.

The Court of the Main Canal.

Here with the two “sultans” Luis and Franz. ?

Things to keep in mind if you are visiting The Alhambra for the fist time:

? Ticket office opens from 8am-7pm during the summer season (March 15-October 14) and 8am-5pm in the winter period (October 15-March 14). The price of admission is €14 (£11) for adults and €8 for children aged 12-15. Visitors under 12 enter for free, but still need a ticket. The site is open 8.30am-8pm in summer and 8.30am-6pm in winter. Tickets are defined as “morning” or “afternoon” – with 2pm as the dividing hour.

? If you decide to go to Granada last minute and are unable to get tickets, you can have two options: 1. Try to make it out to the Alhambra as early as 6 am to buy one the 100 tickets that are held for early risers. 2. Hope there are cancellations and you get one of those tickets. 

? Get  a guide. You will find them in the main ticket office for an extra fee.  My amazing guide is called Luz and has been giving tours for over 20 years. If you are interested contact me and I will share her information.

? Wear confortable shoes because you will walking a lot. Expect to be there for at least 2 hours.

? There are four main places to visit: Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, Partal and Generalife. You should bear in mind that there is a specific time to access to the Nasrid Palaces, printed specifically on each admission ticket, when deciding the order of these places to visit.

? Unfortunately there is no international airport in Granada. You can either fly to Malaga, Madrid or Barcelona and rent a car and drive or get on the train. I took a bus from Malaga and was there Granada in 90 minutes.

Have you been to the Alhambra already? What was your experience? Tips and recommendations are always welcomed.

Destinations

Best way to explore to Machu Picchu, Peru.

More people than not, have Machu Picchu in their bucket list of places to visit. I was one of them, and luckily, I got the chance to fly out to one of the 7 wonders of the World, two years ago with a group of very special friends.

Say “Hello” to the “Machupicchers”.

Ana Beatriz, Tinti, Jona, Ahmed and I traveled to Machu Picchu in April 2015.

Our five-day trip started with a flight from Miami to Peru’s capital, Lima where we spent a night.

Peruvian “orange juice” to last all day.

The following day we flew to Cusco,a city that  was declared a  World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983 and has become a major tourist destination, hosting nearly 2 million visitors a year. The Historical Capital of Peru is know for its elevation of 3,400 m (11,200 ft) about sea level.

Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru.

After sipping plenty coca tea, we were off to explore the Cathedral, Korincacha, Ruinas de Sacsayhuaman, Kenko and the Tombamachay. Our day ended with the panoramic views of Cusco from Puca Pucara.

Walking the streets of Cusco.

Catedral Basilica de la Virgen de la Asuncion.

Although you can’t take pictures inside the Cathedral, I was able to take this one and not get in trouble. ?

Welcome to Cusco!

Ruin of Sacsayhuaman

Day three started bright and early. We took a bus to “Valle Sagrado de los Incas”, stopping by Pisaq to walk around the market. Got the chance to try some “cuy”, Peru’s roasted guinea pig, meet some llamas and enjoy the scenic views from Ollantaytambo. Very late at night we took a train to Aguas Calientes.

Anyone hungry for cuy?

Ready to board the Peru Rail. Make sure to book your ticket ahead of time.

On Day 4, we woke up around 4am to be one of the first groups to take the 30 min bus ride to Machu Picchu. We had previously booked a tour guide who waited for us at the entrance and walked us all around Machu Picchu. The tour lasted around 2.5 hours but we managed to stay a lot longer walking, hiking and taking as many pictures as we could of this amazing place.

Is it worth going to Machu Picchu? DEFINITELY!! If these pictures, which are just a few of the many we took are not enough to convince you to go to Peru, here are some other fun facts you should know:

? This “Lost City” is built over a series of mountains 10,000 feet above sea level! You might feel lightheaded and your change of breathing patterns will let you know you’ve arrived. Coca leaves anyone?

? It is believed that Machu Picchu was built for ceremonial purposes where the Incas carried out rites of sacrifice. You can feel the mystique of this place and the mystery that surrounds it.

?There is no evidence that wheels were used to carry uphill all those huge, heavy stones to make this “empire over the clouds”. Legends and stories tell that extraterrestrials helped out. What do you think?

? Architects and engineers are still analyzing how the walls in Machu Picchu were built. They never used mortar to connect the blocks, and each piece is so perfectly aligned to fit the next, that not even a knife blade can fit between the stones. It’s a fact.

? Are you looking for your next marathon achievement? Every year, Machu Picchu is host of a 26-mile marathon along the Inca trail. Some say it’s the most difficult in the world. Click here for more information.

Travelers FYI ?✈️

?The best time to visit Machu Picchu is from May to September. Although it is winter in Peru (because of its location below de equator), temperature is comfortable and it rains very little.

Destinations

Affordable and fun activities this summer in Lake Tahoe

Still juggling ideas on where to go with your family and friends for one last trip before the summer ends? Lake Tahoe is the place! My family and I went a couple of weeks ago and had an amazing time. We drove from San Francisco to North Lake Tahoe and spent three unforgettable days. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, (stay tuned for post very soon) but spent most of our time enjoying all the fun outdoor activities that Lake Tahoe has to offer in the summer.

?Full-Moon Kayak Tour

If you are seeking an adventurous outdoor activity, sign up for a full moon kayak tour! I had the opportunity to experience it first-hand and I can honestly say it’s one of those moments you want to live over, and over again. No previous kayaking experience is required, but be aware that you are in for a workout! If your dates do not coincide with a full-moon, there’s sunset and astronomy tours available and highly recommended.

Off shore, minutes before starting our kayaking adventure with Tahoe Adventure Company.

Although it gets really hot during the day, the temperature drops drastically once the sun sets.. Tahoe Adventure Company provides a full kayaking service that includes waterproof pants and jackets.

The Full Moon tour usually starts around 6:30pm and you can choose a single of double kayak.

Before you realize it, you are in the middle of Lake Tahoe witnessing a breathtaking sunset.

I was scared to drop my phone but couldn’t resist capturing this moment.

As the sun in setting, the full moon starts to rise. #AMAZING

The 2.5 hour tour costs between $65 per person and it includes the all the gear (kayak, paddle and lifejacket), snacks, photos and a hot apple cider or chocolate when you come back to shore.

? Emerald Bay State Park 

Although we stayed in North Lake Tahoe, it was in our list of things-to-do to drive on Highway 89 around the lake and make it to Emerald Bay.  Without a doubt one of the best places to enjoy the panoramic views of the lake and its mountains.

The drive from North Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay was around 40mins along highway 89.

If you are up for an adventure, hike up to Eagle Falls at Emerald Bay Park.

Hanging out in my siblings at Emerald Bay.

Vikingsholm – Tahoe’s Hidden Castle
Your trip to Lake Tahoe must include the famous Vikingsholm summer home, inside Emerald Bay State Park. Your day starts with a nice nature hike through the mountain and mesmerizing lake views. You can tour the “hidden castle”-considered one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the United States-  for a small fee of $10. Keep in mind that their visiting hours vary every month.  Click here for more information.

Emerald Bay and Fannette Island

Exterior view of Vikingholm. Amazing photo by travel blogger www.Californiathroughmylens.com Make sure to check out!

P.S.- I have to confess that I wasn’t able to go to Vikingsholom in this trip, but its my perfect excuse to come back…SOON!

?Catamaran Ride over the Lake

Cruise over the placid waters of Lake Tahoe aboard a Catamaran that takes you for almost two hours around the lake. Fresh fruits, beer and wine are complementary all throughout the ride. Perfect environment to capture breathtaking photographs, dream about one day owning one of the million dollar homes along the shore, and listening to the history of one of North America’s most amazing lakes. Costs for a Catamaran tour vary, but they start at $55 per person.

If you like a little more speed, you can rent a jet-ski.

Very friendly, fun and knowledgable crew was on board our Catamaran.

If you are not afraid of heights, definitely plan to parasail during your visit to Lake Tahoe.

One of the many million-dollar-homes at Lake Tahoe.

We used Action Water Sports for our Catamaran tour. Had we had more time, we would have done more of their activities. Click here for more information.

? Truckee River Rafting (and whitewater)
If your idea of summer is sunbathing and getting wet at the same time, no problem! Truckee River rafting is great to experience a scenic slow ride over easy floats, or you can choose more exciting whitewater action right where the Truckee and Little Truckee Rivers meet below Boca Reservoir, which is mostly Class II and III with one Class IV rapid. The water is liveliest when the California snow melts in May and June, but rafting is usually possible until early October.

?️ Travelers FYI:
✈️ Closest airport: Reno International
?  If you can, drive to Lake Tahoe and enjoy the scenic views along I80.

? If planning on going on a holiday…plan ahead of time as Lake Tahoe is becoming more and more popular to spend the long weekends and holidays.

? Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and bathing suit!

Have you been to Lake Tahoe? What was your experience? Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions and tag @MaityontheGo on your next adventure! 

Destinations

Manaus, the city in the heart of the Amazon.

Ever wondered what it would be like to get lost in the Amazon? Three years ago I got the chance to visit Manaus, Brasil and absolutely loved it. Very different than Rio,  Sao Paulo, Curitiba or any other cities in Brasil,  Manaus has a tropical climate all year around and is located in the heart of the Amazon River.

There is so much to see in Manaus and its surroundings. It is one of those port cities that I would definitely go back to.

Make sure to go the port and see all the different boats loading and unloading passengers and goods. I was impressed by all the trading and commerce.

A MUST SEE! “Encontro Das Aguas” (Meeting of Waters). Located just a few kilometers outside of Manaus is the site where two very different rivers meet and converge (but never mix together). Here, the dark waters of Rio Negro and Rio Solimões swim together and make an astounding unique natural wonder, one could describe this phenomenon as oil and water trying to combine.

Make sure to check out the floating houses found in the Amazon.


#MaityontheGo tips:
✈️ Arrive: Eduardo Gomes International Airport
? Currency:  Brazilian Real . $1US dollar = 3BRL (approx.)
? Most ATM’s are used exclusively by bank customers and can only be accessed with a specific bank card. So be prepared to
exchange your money in a currency exchange store.
? Accommodations range from cheap shared rooms starting at $20 and if you prefer a more comfortable stay, Manaus has 5-star
hotels starting at $300

Destinations, Tips & Recommendations

Mesmerized by the Cathedral of Toledo

This past April, I got the chance to live in Spain for three weeks. First two weeks I was working on a special assignment in Seville, and afterwards decided to stay an additional week to explore even more the Andalusia region.  In a week I visited Cordoba, Malaga, Granada and Madrid, but before arriving to Madrid made an unexpected stop by one of the most impressive medieval towns of the world, TOLEDO!

I only had a few hours in town so decided to spent them in the Cathedral of Toledo, the second richest  catholic construction in the world, after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo is open to the public Monday to Saturday from 10am-6pm, and Sundays from 2pm-6pm. Tickets range from 10€ – 12€ and it includes a guided audio tour.

Visit the Campana Gorda (Big Bell) and do not miss the splendid panoramic views of Toledo. Make sure to check ahead of time availability since there is a limited number of people allowed up to the tower.

The retable of the Cathedral of Toledo is an extremely florid Gothic altarpiece.

Interior of the Cathedral.

Impressive pipe organ in interior of Cathedral.

The most important object kept in the Chapel of the Treasure is the great Monstrance of Arfe, also known as La Gran Ostensoria de Toledo. Made of the finest silver and gold and bejeweled with gems, it measures over ten feet tall.

The monstrance is famous for being used in the annual feast of Corpus Christi of Toledo.

Catedral Primada: Choir stalls and organ pipes of Toledo Cathedral.

Painting in the ceiling of the sacristy by Luca Giordano

Painting by El Greco, Toledo’s most famous artist, in the Sacristy of the Cathedral

#TravelersontheGO tips:
? If your plan is to visit Madrid, your best option is to wake up early and take the high-speed train from Madrid’s main train station, Atocha. First train departs at 8:50am and from there, trains leave every half hour or an hour. It only takes 30 minutes to get there!
Make sure to check return times (and but ticket) if you are planning on doing a half-day trip to Toledo. Price: €14 each way

? There are cheaper ways to get to Toledo. You also have the option of taking a bus but it will take you about 1 hour and a half to get
there. It costs €5 each way, and besides taking longer, you also you need to get to the bus station in Plaza Elíptica in the south of
Madrid.

#SaltodeMaity from Toledo, Spain.

Have you visited Catedral of Toledo? What was your experience? Tips and recommendations for other #TravelersontheGo are welcome. ✈️

Click here to check out my post on Seville, Spain.