Beautiful Vancouver, City of the Sea & MountainsWritten by Clint Leung
As one flies over Vancouver during decent into Canadian cityís airport, surrounding beautiful natural scenery is already noticed with mountains on one side and sea on other. Once inside baggage claim area of international airport, visitors are greeted with large Pacific Northwest Coast Indian art carvings. This adds to overall flavor of nature and environment that makes Vancouver so different from other major cities. When driving along Granville Street towards city center, one canít help but notice that trees and hedges in residential areas are so much larger and taller than ones we normally see elsewhere. One of locals claims that superior growth of areaís plant life is due to huge amount of rainfall. Vancouver is close to both ocean and mountain range so lots of rain is expected. In fact, rain here can actually be a problem as grey skies, especially during winter months, are one of few negatives of living in Vancouver. Fortunately, there is very little snowfall within city so for Vancouverites, it is a trade off of some sort to have to deal with rain rather than shoveling snow during their winters. As for tourists, best time to visit Vancouver is least wet season which is during summer months. Iíve been told by another local that September is one of best months to visit. When sun is shining in Vancouver with both ocean and mountains as background, it really doesnít get any better.
Stanley Park on west side of downtown Vancouver is most visited attraction. A drive around island will reveal great photo spots of both city and ocean. Vancouverís Aquarium is also on site in Stanley Park as well as a magnificent collection of Pacific Northwest Coastal Indian art totem poles. Of course, one can always marvel at tall trees which seem to touch skies here. The Lionís Gate Suspension Bridge connects Stanley Park with North Vancouver on other side of harbor. On north side is Grouse Mountain, areaís closest ski resort to city that has turned into an all year round attraction. During non-winter months, one can take gondola up Grouse mountain for some wonderful hiking and views of Vancouver skyline. The Capilano Suspension Bridge which visitors walk across to a nice nature area is another must see nearby. One of cuisine highlights in British Columbia province is salmon and one of best restaurants to sample it is Salmon House in adjacent West Vancouver. Dinner there with Pacific Northwest Coast Indian art dťcor and spectacular nighttime views of city is one of best ways to finish off a day of sightseeing.
Kyrenia: The Jewel of Northern CyprusWritten by Rhiannon Williamson
With 340 days of sunshine a year and perfect Mediterranean climate itís no wonder thousands of visitors flock to Cyprus every year to escape sometimes less forgiving Northern European climate.
Northern Cyprus has all of prerequisites for perfect summer break: sunÖlots of! Beautiful sandy beaches, warm turquoise blue waters to bathe in and a sumptuous mix of best of Eastern and Western cuisine. And Northern Cyprus is able to offer its many visitors far more than a perfect climate and fine food; one of highlights of a visit to Northern Cyprus is a trip to ancient and beautiful harbour town of Kyrenia (or Girne).
The town of Kyrenia, or Girne as itís called in Turkish, is jewel in Northís crown; a fine old harbour town with a beautiful horseshoe shaped harbour which is lined with waterfront restaurants where youíll be able to while away a lazy afternoon watching fishing and sailing boats going about their business.
Anyone lucky enough to enjoy a stay in North Cyprus should never miss opportunity to see Kyrenia harbour at night. Hundreds of candles gently light waterside restaurants and flicker and dance off waterís edge creating most perfect ambience in which to dine anywhere in world. If youíre a lover of freshly cooked seafood youíll be spoilt by huge array of seafood dishes on offer at specialty fish restaurants which are pride of Kyreniaís harbour.
To side of old harbour sits magnificent Byzantine Kyrenia castle, once used during colonial times as a prison by British itís now home of Kyrenia shipwreck museum which houses one of oldest trading shipwrecks in world. The ship sailed Mediterranean at time of Alexandra Great and it sank around 300BC when it was already of quite an age! Many of objects ship carried on its voyage over 2300 years ago are now also on display at shipwreck museum including perfectly preserved almonds which were stored in around 9000 jars held under sea until ship was recovered in 1969.