The Highlight of Casablanca

download (15)With a population of around 4 million people, it is one of the largest cities located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Africa. It developed from a small fishing town at the beginning of the 20th century to a huge commercial and cultural center in Northern Africa. Many tourists who travel to Morocco would pay Casablanca a visit due to its marvelous blends of various architecture, culture, and artistic elements.

Today we will be pointing out to some of the most marvelous highlights of the city of Casablanca commonly visited by several tourists spending their vacations in Morocco.

The Cornish of Casablanca

One of the most distinctive features of the city of Casa is the Cornish, or this street that is attached with the coast of the Atlantic Ocean of the city. This is one of the most popular places for the locals and the tourists who travel to Morocco in the city of Casablanca. It is the place that never sleeps and that is vibrant with action 24/7.

Thousands of people would be around the Cornish of Casablanca in different times of the day. Some vacationers who spend their holidays in Morocco would enjoy some swimming, chilling out, and some water sports in the beaches of Casa. Moreover, there are dozens of nightspots including restaurants, discos, and nightclubs where guests can enjoy a drink or go dancing.

The Mosque of Al Hassan II

The Mosque of Al Hassan II is the largest mosque in Morocco and Africa, and the seventh largest mosque in the world. It is featured with its wonderful towering minaret that is 210 meters in height. Many travellers who tour Morocco would admire the mosque at least from outside.

The mosque, that is also considered the largest religious building in the world, was constructed in 1993 after six years of building processes during the reign of Al Hassan El II, the king of Morocco. The prayer area of the mosque can accommodate up to 25,000 worshipers. This is besides 80,000 other worshiper in the open courtyard of the mosque. Many travel packages to Marco include a visit to the Mosque of Al Hassan II in Casablanca.

The Mohamed V Square

The Mohamed V Square is the center of the city of Casablanca. The location of this famous square was never chosen by coincidence. This was where the first Europeans walked when they arrived in Casablanca in 1907. This is why the square has a Moorish Islamic feeling and mood. The Mohamed V Square is often included to many tours to Morocco.

The square is famous for its impressive European style buildings, the large fountain, and the pigeons that many tourists enjoying their holidays in Morocco commonly feed and take photographs with.

The Royal Palace of Casablanca

The Royal Palace of Casablanca is the residence of Mohamed VI, the king of Morocco and it is considered one of the most popular highlights of the country often explored by tourists who travel to Morocco. The palace is popular for its marvelous design and architecture.

The Old Medina of Casablanca

The City of Casablanca was surrounded by some fortified walls that were constructed at the end of the 18th century as the first section of the old Medina. However, many of the section we view today were constructed at the beginning of the 20th century. Today many travellers who tour Morocco would visit this section of the city to have a wonderful walk around the monuments and to buy some remarkable souvenirs.

 

The Most Important Attractions of Esfahan

download (14)Esfahan is half the world, except for Tabriz. This is the famous Iranian saying that glorifies the importance of Esfahan, a significant touristic destination that is often included in travel packages to Iran.

Situated at the heart of the country, Esfahan is located around 414 kilometers to the South Of Tehran, the capital of the country. Due to the wonderful weather of Esfahan, many travelers who tour Iran spend a couple of nights at least exploring the wonders of the city.

The Northern section of Esfahan is featured with its cooler weather. While in the South and the West, many mountains surround the city and the Eastern and the Northern sections of the city are linked together through a number of plains. Several travel packages to Iran would sometimes include a visit to the natural regions of Esfahan.

UNESCO considered Esfahan among the seven historical cities of the world. The international organization asserted how important it is to maintain the architectural and building patterns and style of the city that amaze many travelers who tour Iran.

Historians noted that Esfahan was built as early as Tahmures, the builder of Merv was briefly the largest city in the world in the 12th century. Esfahan was an important transit point of several caravans. Today many tourists who travel to Iran would usually visit Esfahan.

The spread of Islam in Esfahan in the 8th century AD and the influence of the Islamic civilization formed one of the most marvelous cities in the world. Esfahan today has some amazing mosques, Islamic schools, and other interesting historical sites that are commonly included in several tours to Iran.

Among the most popular and interesting sections of Esfahan is the old market of the city that is situated in the Northern section of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square, one of the world heritage sites of the UNESCO. The old market of Esfahan is one of the most appealing in the whole world and it welcomes thousands of tourists who spend their vacations in Iran.

The old market of Esfahan is the largest in Iran and one of the biggest in the whole world. It begins with a central market and then many smaller markets emerged that sell specific goods and products including handcrafts, golden and silver jewelry, rugs and carpets, shoes, and many other products. Travelers who tour Iran spend many hours in the market.

The Zoroastrianism Temple is one of the most remarkable monuments of Esfahan. It is located at the top of the Atshkah Mountain, more than 1680 meters above sea level. Constructed in the 13th century, the temple was made out clay and sand layers in one of the most unparalleled buildings in the world. Many tours to Iran include a visit to this matchless temple.

Esfahan is also famous for many Islamic monuments. There is for example the Monar Jonban. This complex consists of two minarets and an Iwan, or an open courtyard. The complex was constructed in the 14th century when the Mongols ruled over the country. The complex is characterized that if one minaret shakes, the other minaret, and the whole complex shakes in a reaction. Included in almost all travel packages to Iran, it is one of the remarkable Islamic monuments in the world.

 

Climate Makes Barcelona a Tourist’s Haven

download (13)What do you look for in terms of climate, when you select a destination to take a vacation? Is a pleasant climate an attraction for you? Alternatively, do you look for interesting things to see and do, on your vacation? If you are looking for a place that has a cold climate, then let me tell you that Barcelona has mild winters and warn summers. The Troll-Paffen climate classification has shown that Barcelona has a warm temperate climate. Because of its location, this city receives no rainfall. What is more, winter is experienced only during December, January and February. This city is summer dominant with July and August being the warmest months.

Talking of the seasons in Barcelona, Spring season in Barcelona occurs between March to May and during this period, average daily temperatures reach 12 degrees Celsius, but by May temperatures reach a high of 17-18 degrees Celsius. However, during the month of May, evenings are invariably cooler. This compels tourists to get their shawls or woolens with them, when moving out of their hotels. You should expect at least 5-6 wet days during each month in spring. On other days, the sunshine breaks through the fog created because of the cooler temperatures. This fog is a result of the low temperatures hovering around 12 degree Celsius.

Summer season in Barcelona lasts during the months June, July and August. These also happen to be the peak months for tourism in Barcelona. During this period, the city becomes very crowded. In fact, in August, you will experience quite a crowd of tourists. The city’s elevation and sea breezes make the weather in this city cooler than that in other Mediterranean resorts. This makes it an attractive destination during summer for tourists. Barcelona also has beaches, which hold watersports for connoisseurs. This is also another reason why summer is the favorite time to visit Barcelona. What is more, if you visit the city in summer, you will enjoy the city’s architectural and cultural side and its vibrant street life.

Autumn in Barcelona is quite different. October happens to be one of the wettest months of the year when there is rainfall for 7 days in a year. Many music and food festivals in Barcelona occur during the autumn days. Thus, if you are a gourmet or a musician, the best time to visit Barcelona is from September to November. In September, visitors can also enjoy the spectacle of Catalan Day apart from other attractions of tourist interest. You will be surprised to know that October is the wettest month of the year, with rainfall occurring for 7 days a year.

Winters in Barcelona are cooler with temperatures hovering at 11 degrees Celsius during the day and around 4 degrees Celsius during nightfall. This season is excellent for taking a leisurely walk along the architecturally rich structures including the cathedral, the Gothic quarter and Gaudi’s quirky architectural complex. It is said that you will receive 7 days of rainfall during each of the winter months. However, this fact is not proven yet. Thus, we can see that Barcelona is an attractive tourist destination what with its

 

Travel Deeper: How to Walk the Back Streets and Connect With the Locals

download (12)Walking the back streets can seem a little daunting. I know, I do it all the time. You find yourself in places that are a little uncomfortable, out of your comfort zone. In fact, it is a culture shock.

Usually, when people travel they go to tourist spots and focus on carefully pre-planned stuff to do. For example, on the main island of Bocas Del Toro, you walk down the strip, go to a nice restaurant, and buy a ticket to a boat tour that will take you to a nice beach. Thats fine, and you should do it because it is part of the experience.

But to get a little deeper into the culture, all you have to do is walk a few streets back into the neighborhood and you will see a different world. Yes, it is dirty, yes, it may not smell very good. But if you stop looking at the poor conditions and look at the people, your perspective will start to change.

You will see grandmothers sitting on porches watching the world go by. And if you smile and wave, they will wave back in a friendly way. You will see kids making games out empty plastic bottles and fishing line. Stop and watch for a minute. try to figure out the rules of the game and how to win. It puts you in a completely different frame of mind. All of a sudden you really “see” them. they notice you and all you have to do is smile. No need to even speak the language. People may look nervous about your presence at first, after all, you are in their “territory” But a smile seems to override any negative feelings. Soon you will find yourself forgetting about your own fears and getting out of your own head for a minute to actually connect with happy kids playing in the street. And that is when you realize, poverty is not what you think it is.

People are relaxed. They are living full lives. They have a lot of family and friends around. They take time to pat each other on the back and chat for a while. They don’t rush. They are not in a hurry.

It’s very refreshing.

Along the back streets you will see the places the locals shop. The grocery stores are small and dingy looking and they don’t have the selection of the ones on the main drag. But they do have the simple necessities for living and they are MUCH cheaper than the ones the tourists see. Stop and buy a bottle of water or candy bar. It gives you a moment to connect with the seller. They may look at you funny when you first walk in because you look different. But, again, just smile. If you know a few Spanish words, use them, even if you think you sound foolish (which you probably do) They are happy you are trying to communicate and it will immediately open doors for a better connection.

Take a look around the store while you are in there. take note of what is on the shelves. That gives you clues about what people live on in that area. Chances are you will find big bags of rice and lots of cans of tuna and sardines. You will find canned powdered milk and rotten looking bananas (that are actually perfectly ripe and very sweet) You will also find cleaning supplies, lots of bleach. In spite of the dirty living conditions, every kids goes to school in sparkling clean school uniforms.

You will also find candles with pictures of saints on them and incense marked with things like “prosperity, wealth and success”. This shows you the people are into alters in their homes. They take their mix of Catholicism and old religion very seriously. See how much you are learning?

Leave the grocery store and head further down the street and you will see barber shops for the men and beauty salons (very small and dingy) for the women. Stop for a minute to see whats going on inside and you will find guys having fancy designs shaved into their very short hair and women getting their nails painted in every color and design you can imagine. Again, these people are not as poor as you think they are. Personal grooming is extremely important to them. As you leave the shop, look in the street and see how people ar dressed. You will find fancy handbags and nice sneakers, high heels and jewelry. This is all part of learning to connect. In order to understand a people, you need to slow down and pay attention to the details.

Keep walking and you are bound to find some place to eat. Most likely it will be extremely small, like 2 tables and 8 chairs. It will probably be dark inside (that keeps it cool) and any menu will either be written on the wall somewhere or inside you server’s head.

If you are brave enough, stop and have something to eat. This is one of the BEST ways to experience another culture. My secret to not getting sick is to stop places that seem busy. No one wants to get sick and the locals know the best places to eat.

If you have no idea what to order and are very adventurous, just ask the server to bring you whatever they think is best. You may find yourself with a bowl of soup sitting before you that has bones of some unknown animal in it and huge chunks of root vegetable. Don’t worry, most of the food is either beef or chicken. It may look funny, but it is bound to taste good.

Walking the back streets may take a little bit of courage and I would not suggest it at night or in big cities. But small towns are full of people just like you and me. And in all honesty, you will never really see the people if you don’t go to where they live. All you will see is people trying to make a buck in a tourist town and that is not a very fair sampling of who really lives there.