• Life’s amazing on the Galapagos Islands

    The Galapagos Islands are known for many amazing things – from their flora and fauna to their geology. The islands’ territory belongs to Ecuador and most of it is a national park. It is considered that the first of the islands was created 5–10 million years ago by tectonic activity. As a result, islands with frequent volcanic activity and constantly changing geology were created. The oldest of the islands are gradually sinking back into the Pacific Ocean.

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    There are so many things to be inspired from on the Galapagos Islands!

    The islands’ territory is a chain of 20 islands, 42 islets and over 250 rocks. 97% of the Galapagos Islands’ territory is a national park. Actually, the islands are more than just a national park of Ecuador – in 1979 UNESCO declared the Galapagos Islands Natural Heritage of Humanity.

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    You can swim with ancient species! Researchers believe that the Galapagos green sea turtle has swum the ocean and walked the beaches along with dinosaurs.

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    Another rare species is the giant Galapagos tortoise, which is the largest living species of tortoise; it can weigh up to 417 kg. An interesting fact is that the name of the islands comes from the name of the Galapagos turtles.

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    The Pacific Ocean near the Galapagos Islands also gives the opportunity to meet the local Marine Iguana – it is the only swimming lizard, which can be seen only in Ecuador and Tanzania.

    The island of Floreana has an unconventional post system, located on the so-called Post Office Bay. It is a wooden barrel, placed on a coastline of the Floreana Island in the 18th century. Back then, the barrel was used as a post box by whaling ships that came through the area and it is still an active post office – each year thousands of letters and tourist postcards pass through the Post Office Bay.

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    Already excited to visit the islands? 😉

  • The most extravagant swimming pools

    Having a swimming pool in your backyard is tempting and useful for sunbathing, swimming and cocktail parties. But when you don’t have a swimming pool (or even a backyard), you should find the perfect place according to your needs.

    Evidently, some people’s needs are much more sophisticated than ours. Let’s see some of the most extravagant swimming pools in the world.

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    Ubud Hanging Gardens, Bali

    You have probably come across those gardens at least a few times while browsing on Instagram. Ubud Luxury Resort is one of the most romantic places in Bali. Or on Earth, your call.

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     SkyPark – Marina Bay Sands hotel, Singapore

    The pool itself touches all three buildings of the hotel and is longer than the Eiffel Tower laid on its side. No wonder they call it “Infinity pool”! Oh, and it’s on the 57th floor.

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    Y-40 Deep Joy pool, Italy

    Enough about heights. Let’s talk depths. Y-40 Deep Joy in Montegrotto Terme, Italy, is the deepest pool in the world. Make a guess. Wrong! Over 40 metres, which places it in the Guinness World Records.

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    Blue Lagoon, Iceland

    Man-made geothermal spa? You’ve got it! The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular attractions. Imagine 39 degrees during the whole year and you will instantly understand why.

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    Crocosaurus Cove, Australia

    Also called The Cage of Death, Crocosaurus Cove is a very extreme experience in Darwin Town, Australia. Visitors are allowed to swim with 5-metres long saltwater crocodiles (behind a thick tube, of course). What a thrill, right?


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    Starkenberger Brewery Castle, Austria

    For a happy cheer at the end of the list, we have the beer pool in Starkenberger Brewery Castle in Austria. Thousands of litres of brew + healthy benefits such as increased blood circulation and softer skin? Yes, you can have it.

  • New Zealand – a place of wonders

    New Zealand is a paradise on Earth – a place with long coastlines, untouched beaches, spectacular mountain scenery, magnificent lake views and world-class hiking trails. And this is just a small part of the country’s wonders, see what else you can find traveling around the islands:

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    The wildlife of New Zealand is incredible

    There are so many things you will be surprised to learn about the wildlife in the country, such as the fact that New Zealand is home to the world’s only flightless parrot, the kakapo; the kiwi is another flightless bird which has also become a national symbol – most New Zealanders call themselves kiwis. Another interesting fact about New Zealand’s wildlife is that bats are the only native mammals on the islands and the rest were introduced to these lands by Maoris and Europeans.

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    New Zealand has the highest animals to human ratio

    New Zealand’s population of 4,885,300 people make up 5% of the country’s human population, the remaining 95% are animals.

    3 official languages

    There are three official languages in the country – English, Maori and New Zealand sign language.

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    The country has one of the lowest corruption levels in the world

    For years New Zealand and Denmark occupy the first two places in the ranking for least corrupt countries. In 2016 and 2017 New Zealand was in the first place, but after dropping its score with a single point in 2018, the islands took second place in the ranking for the least corrupt public sectors and judiciaries in the world.

    128 km is the farthest you could be from the sea

    Wherever you are in New Zealand, you will be close to the sea. The islands cover an area of 268,021 km2and there is no place in the country farther than 128 km from the sea.

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    Natural glowing caves

    The glowing caves in Waitomo are inhabited by glowworms, which are glowing through bioluminescence. These glowworm species are found exclusively in New Zealand.

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    The longest place name belongs to a hill in New Zealand

    Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahuis the name of a hill in New Zealand. The 85 characters name came from the Maori language – an Eastern Polynesian language spoken by the Maori people, who are the indigenous population of New Zealand. The name of the hill is translated as “Тhe place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as the land-eater, played his nose flute to his loved ones”.

    New Zealand’s landscape is a place from fairytales

    New Zealand’s fairytale landscape is the place where the Lord of the Ringstrilogy was filmed. There are 150 real locations used for key scenes in the movies. Don’t hesitate to visit them.

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  • 30 years pyramide du Louvre

    The Louvre museum (Musée du Louvre) is the world’s largest art museum in Paris, France. This landmark was established in 1793 and it displays more than 38 000 pieces of art.

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    The Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre) – this glass structure that marks the museum’s entrance – was built from 1988 till 1989. At first, local people were shocked by the revolutionary design, it was even considered an architectural joke.

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    The pyramid consists of 70 triangular and 603 diamond-shaped glass panes. It’s 22 metres tall. In 2018, more than 10 million people passed through the museum’s doors. Today, 30 years after the end of the construction, Parisians woke up to see a beautiful optical illusion: a ground collage made from paste and 2000 paper strips.

    The opticalillusion is a project by street artist JR and was completed with the help of 400 volunteers. It “reveals” an image of the courtyard foundation and resembles an archaeological dig.

    The artist believes that this project is about presence and absence, about reality and memories, about impermanence.

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  • Sri Lanka: the best destination for 2019

    2019 officially became the year of Sri Lanka according to Lonely Planet. After long hours of hard work – comparing national and natural wealth of countries all over the world, the travel guide has pronounced the pearl of the Indian ocean the best destination to travel to in 2019. Here are some of the reasons why Sri Lanka got the first place:

    Sri Lanka’s nicknames

    Thepearl of the Indian oceanand teardrop of India are two famous nicknames of Sri Lanka. The country deserves the first one because of its incredible nature and biodiversity. The second one – because of the island’s shape. But you could also hear Sri Lanka called “the gemstone island” – you’ll find a great quantity and variety of gemstones there (sapphire, ruby, aquamarine, topaz, amethyst and many more).

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    1/13 from Sri Lanka’s land is covered by national parks

    The 65 609 km² landscape of Sri Lanka is home to 123 species of mammals (such as leopards, elephants and crocodiles), 227 species of birds, 122 amphibians, 178 reptiles and others. Many of them can be found in the 26 national parks which together spread over an area of 5734 km2.

    Train rides with amazing views

    A very easy and lovely way to explore Sri Lanka is to use the country’s improved train services. One of the best train rides you could ever take is from Kandy to Ella. The seven hours long ride takes you through green fields, lush tea plantations and breathtaking mountain views.

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    Are you a tea lover? Plenty of choice in Sri Lanka.

    Sri Lanka (formerly called Ceylon) is a leading producer of tea. The tea production contributes approximately 2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. While traveling around the island, tea enthusiasts can visit the Ceylon Tea Museum and learn about the history of the tea in the country and taste a cup of authentic Ceylon tea.

    Paradise beaches

    Sri Lanka has many nice places to try diving, surfing or to just relax on a secluded beach. You can enjoy long walks along the quiet Tanggalle beach, see turtles’ nests on the golden Rekawa Beach or admire the beauty of Marakolliya Beach’s tropical flowers.

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    The world’s oldest human-planted tree

    Sri Lanka is home to the world’s oldest human-planted tree. The sacred fig– Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, is 2300-year-old and can be found in the Mahamewna Gardens of Anuradhapura. It’s named after the historical Sri Maha Bodhi tree, located in Bodh Gaya, India. Rumor has it that, the spiritual teacher Buddha reached enlightenment under that tree.

    The local markets

    Don’t forget to visit the local markets – there’s no better way to taste and feel the abundance and diversity of the local flavours.

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  • 6 extraordinary museums you should visit

    When traveling you probably find it a little boring to walk around all the mainstream museums that tourists’ guides recommend. That’s why we decided to show you the museum walk can be an exciting thing if you find the right places for you. We’ve collected some of the world’s most extraordinary museums that you probably would be interested to visit someday.

    Cancun Underwater Museum, Cancun (Mexico)

    The underwater museum of Cancun is a place you should definitely visit when traveling to Mexico, especially if you like diving. You will find it near the city of Cancun, on Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc. The MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte – Underwater Museum of Art) shows a collection of over 500 sculptures, such as “The Silent Evolution”, “Inertia”, a man sitting on a couch in front of the TV.

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    Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb (Croatia)

    This is probably one of the quirkiest museums and some of you may wonder what is displayed there. Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić are Zagreb-based artists – а film producer and а sculptor – who saw the human relationship and the things it “produces” like a cult of love. Three years after their love relationship came to an end, joking about how many things are left behind, they decided to open a “Museum of broken relationships”, which collects selected memories of theirs, their friends and hundreds of other pieces, anonymously donated by the residents of Croatia.

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    Museum of Bad Art (MOBA), Dedham, Massachusetts (USA)

    Maybe you’ve watched the film “The disaster artist” – this museum is something similar and the main idea behind this place is “to celebrate the labour of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum”. You will find over 700 pieces of “art too bad to be ignored”. Apart from Dedham, the museum has a few more branches, located in Somerville, Brookline and South Weymouth.

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    Torture Museum, Amsterdam (Nederland)

    In the heart of Amsterdam, among the lively surrounding of bars and shops, you can find the sinister museum of the medieval torture. This place walks you through the dark history of Europe when torture and execution were commonplace. From the decapitation swords to the spike-covered inquisition chair, this museum shows over 40 instruments of torture for suspected criminals, witches and political prisoners.

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    Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum – food-themed park in Yokohama (Japan)

    This is a museum and amusement park devoted to the Japanese ramen noodle soup. Its building was designed in a 1958’s aesthetic – the year ramen was invented. As all regions of Japan have their own ramen flavors, this place was intended to collect the variations of the national dish, so you wouldn’t need to take several trips all over the country to taste them. The Ramen Museum is located in Shin-Yokohama District of Kōhoku-ku, Yokohama, Japan.

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    The Mini Bottle Gallery, Oslo (Norway)
    The Mini Bottle Gallery holds the world’s largest collection of miniature bottles with over 53 000 examples from all over the world, exhibited in 50 interactive installations, each with its own theme and story and purpose, holding things like liquids, fruit, worms and mice.

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  • Liechtenstein – visiting a country without an airport

    There are 5 countries in the world where you can’t go by airplane because there is no airport. All of them are located in Europe and one of them is Liechtenstein. Although the country is known mostly for its small size – 160 km2 (it’s the 6th smallest country in the world) – Liechtenstein has many other things to surprise you with.

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    Everyone can visit the royal family

    People in Liechtenstein can celebrate the country’s National Day, on August 15, with the royal family. On that day every year, the royals open the doors of their castle to every citizen or tourist who wants to visit it.

    Liechtenstein is one of the safest countries in the world

    Liechtenstein is a country where crime rate is so low that they have a prison capacity of 20 inmates and usually only 10 inmates are behind the bars. That’s why people in Liechtenstein feel very safe and often leave their homes unlocked.

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    You most likely have never heard of the most populous city of Liechtenstein

    The biggest town in Liechtenstein is not the capital Vaduz, which has a population of around 5 400 people, but Schaan – with its nearly 6 000 people.

    Rent-a-country

    In 2011, you could rent the whole country of Liechtenstein for EUR 50,000 a night. The offer included accommodation for 150 people, a symbolic key to the state, wine tasting with Prince Hans-Adam II and personalized currency for the duration of the stay.

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    Liechtenstein is one of the two doubly landlocked nations in the world
    The country borders Austria on the east and on the north, and Switzerland on the south and on the west.

    The county has no armed forces or border protection

    In 2007, Swiss soldiers accidentally invaded the country. And this “invasion” went completely unnoticed, because Liechtenstein has neither an army, nor border protection since 1868.

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    Liechtenstein is the world’s leading manufacturer of false teeth

    A company called Ivoclar Vivadent, based in Schaan, leads the world’s false teeth manufacturing, with 20 percent of the total sales worldwide.

  • Catch the last sunny days travelling

    If you already miss the warm sunny days, the good news is you can still catch them in some parts of Europe. So grab a pen and make a plan for the next warm, sunny trip. Here are some ideas for locations:

    Sardinia, Italy

    Sardinia is an attractive destination not only because you wouldn’t have to wear a scarf and mittens, but also because of its annual festival “Autunno in Barbagia” (Autumn in Barbagia), continuing till 16th December. During the festival, the villages’ streets are transformed into markets, where you could join the local craftsmen’s workshops, taste traditional dishes in the locals’ homes and be a part of the preparation of local cheese, bread and pasta. Meanwhile, you can observe spectacular autumn scenery in the mountains and go for a walk to the beach, enjoying the sunny and still warm enough weather.

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    Lanzarote, Canary Islands

    Another island – another sunny autumn destination. Lanzarote is a must-see summer location, but its autumn identity has a great potential too. In the autumn months you can enjoy 15-20°C temperatures while discovering the volcanic landscape of the unforgettable island. If you are a cactus lover, you will enjoy walking through the Cactus Garden (Jardín de Cactus) in Lanzarote. The garden is a work of the famous architect, artist and environmental activist Cesar Manrique and gathers around 1500 specimens of 450 different species from all over the world.

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    Saint-Tropez, France

    Saint-Tropez is not only a top summer destination, in autumn temperatures can still reach around 20°C. Also, during this time the crowds are long gone, leaving behind a more laid-back town and beaches, where you can enjoy some solitude and a quiet vacation with a beautiful scenery.

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    Rhodes, Greece

    Travelling around the Greek islands during the autumn months is a fairytale. At this time of the year they are a lot more peaceful and quiet destinations with calmer streets and beaches, lit by the warm golden autumn sunlight. If you are wondering which island to choose, you definitely have to go with Rhodes! The island is located near the Southwestern part of Turkey and even in December it’s warmer than other parts of Europe. It is also a place with ancient history. You could visit its medieval Old Town, explore the Palace of the grand master of the knights of Rhodes – one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in Greece.

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  • Bhutan: the happiest place on Earth

    Bhutan is a country well-known for two major things – its unspoiled nature and the high gross national happiness index. Maybe you would wonder if there really is such a thing as gross national happiness (GNH) – well, there is. In 1972 the 4th King of Bhutan – Jigme Singye Wangchuck, declared: “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product”. This idea combines sustainable practices with a holistic approach towards the notions of success and suggests giving equal importance to the non-economic sides of wellbeing, as well as the economic ones.

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    Gross national happiness values collective happiness as a main government goal and it relies on sustainable and equitable socio-economic development, environmental conservation, social justice and preservation of the cultural heritage. The GNH index includes 9 measures of happiness in a person’s life: health, psychological wellbeing, education, time management, cultural diversity and resilience, good (effective) governance, community vitality (a community, which relies on strong relationships and trust in a safe environment)ecological diversity and resilience, living standards.

    An interesting fact is that during each national census in Bhutan residents have to respond to the question: “Are you happy?”. In 2017, 45.2% of the population defined themselves as “very happy”, 51.6% as “happy” and only 3.3% as “not very happy”.

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    Have a look at some of the measurements introduced in Bhutan in the last 40 years to help achieve its goal of national happiness:

    Health: Thursdays are walking days – every fourth day of the week is declared a pedestrian day to reduce traffic, noise, pollution and to maintain an active lifestyle.

    Cultural conservation: Bhutanese people still wear their national costume – kho.

    Environment conservation: More than a half of the country’s area is declared a national park.

    Self-development: learning English is a must – everyone in the country is obligated to learn the language.

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    Visiting Bhutan is not as easy as you may think: the number of people visiting Bhutan is increasing every year. Due to this tourist interest the government introduced the so-called Minimum Daily Package of $250 per day in high season and $200 per day in low season. The package includes: a 3-star accommodation, all meals, a Bhutanese tour guide for the extent of your stay, all internal ground transport, camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours, and a $65 Sustainable Development Fee (SDF). This is how the government keeps the country clean and controls tourism.

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    Spirituality: Buddhism – the major religion in Bhutan, is also one of the main reasons for the Bhutanese to feel happy and in balance with themselves and nature. A few years ago, Bhutanese found that people meditate less often, so they introduced compulsory meditation in schools – 10 minutes each day.

    Bhutan is a non-smoking country since 2010 and is also the only country, where the smoking and trading of tobacco are banned.

  • 5 ways to rediscover your hometown

    Bratislava, Slovacia

    Bratislava, Slovakia

    We know that traveling around the world is pretty exciting and also that it costs a lot. Well, even if your bank account doesn’t support your adventure ideas for visiting the Canary Islands or Peru, you could still plan a weekend trip and rediscover your hometown. We know there is so much left to be explored!

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    Salzburg, Austria

    Every traveller is inspired by the charm of the yet unknown countries and cities, but there is also an opportunity to travel and explore even without leaving your own hometown.

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    Athens, Greece

    To be a tourist in the city you were born in is much easier because you don’t have to worry about your language skills, carry heavy luggage, buy a new SIM card or search for free Wi-Fi to browse the internet for places to visit. So start with your imagination and follow these 5 steps for a fairy city trip:

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    Sofia, Bułgaria

    Step 1: The plan

    Every trip starts with the plan. As a local person, you are familiar with a lot of places in your hometown, so you’ll need to step out of the routine, skip the well-known spots and search on the internet for unknown exciting places in your city. If you haven’t visited already all of the most famous sights of the city, you could just go to the local tourist office, take the brochures you like and start the plan for the weekend.

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    Prague, Czech Republic

    Step 2: Explore new areas

    Rediscovering the hometown is a pretty interesting activity for the travel-minded people, the main idea of which is grounded in the fact that no matter how long you have lived in the city, you still have a lot to learn about it: from the small streets in the centre of the city to the Moroccan restaurant, located in a district you have only heard about and ending with an art gallery in the building of an abandoned railway factory.

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    Warsaw, Poland

    Step 3: Go to the top

    The highest point of your town is the place where you could see the city from a different perspective, enjoy the view and locate new unexplored areas. But most importantly – fall in love with your city again!

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    Munich, Germany

    Step 4:  Back in time

    An important part for sightseeing is the town history. Search for interesting museums, read books about the culture, art and society related to the history of your city and take a tour.

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    Budapest, Hungary

    Step 5:  Get a souvenir

    And of course, what is a trip without a souvenir? As a local person, you are probably not familiar with the tourist gift shops in the city, so search for the little ones, where you can find the authentic experience and the vibe of your city.

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    Cluj-Napoca, Romunia