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Experience the Halloween Tours in the US

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There are various tours you can do when you are in the US. You may have grown accustomed to the timeless drive-by types of tours or the hop-on and hop-off offers of many travel agencies and online tour operators. However, there are other tours out there that will make your hair rise, and let electricity run through your spine, and these are the Halloween tours! Are you brave enough to take some of these tours? Check them out!

 

Visit the Alcatraz Penitentiary Prison

photo credit: imgarcade.com

The Alcatraz is an island off the San Francisco Bay which housed the notorious criminals of the early 30s to the 1960s. Some operators offer a different kind of night tour for the daring. You catch the ferry off Fisherman’s Wharf late in the afternoon and  book tickets and day trips to Alcatraz  or take the night tour which is less crowded the the ones operated during the day. You will be going through areas that are usually not toured during the day.

 

Check out the Golden Stage Inn at Ludlow, Vermont

The Golden Stage Inn was once used as a stagecoach stop but was later converted into an Inn. However, owners would see a ghost in the attic who seem to be attached to the place. Previous owners of the Inn would experience uncanny things like some electrical appliances would go on and off.

 

Take a tour down Myrtles Plantation, St. Francisville, Louisiana

The famous Myrtles Plantation was build during the 1700s by General David Bradford and is one of the most well-known haunted places in the US. It is rumored that the house is built over an Indian burial  ground.  Many stories float around this area and one in particular is that of a slave named Chloe whose ear was cut-off by her master for eavesdropping. To revenge her fate, she poisoned the birthday cake that was served to the children of her master and 2 of the kids died. And because of that, she was hung by her fellow slaves. People say she still wanders the place wearing a turban to conceal her severed ear.

 

Visit the Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania

photo credit: scopify.org

If you know the US history then you should also know that the Gettysburg Battle was one of the bloodiest in American history with thousands of young men died over the course of three-days’ conflict. Since many of they brave, young men never received their proper burial, it is said that these soldiers still roam the field, looking for their weapons.

 

Try the Salem Witch Walk in Massachusetts

Salem has been known as the place of witches, and perhaps it is as there are plenty of stories around witchcraft in the area.  Visit enchanted sites and old cemeteries in Salem, and even join modern day rituals, and check out shops for some curious and oddities.

 

You can check out Viator for fun, spooky, educational, thrilling, and entertaining tours this Halloween!

 

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Spice Up Your Travel with a Bit of Activity

Photo credit: yahoo.com/images

Train Tour of India
Indian train tours have been a delightful source of inspiration for film makers, poets, authors and even just normal travelers seeking a charming break from boring routines. They offer an exclusive view of the Indian country side: from the tea estates in the Southern most point of India to the Western most corner of Gujarat.
You can fly cheaply into India with Go Air, and then hop on board The IndianMaharaja Deccan Odyssey which is commonly known as the Palace on Wheels as only the royalty of India travelled in this elegant train from Mumbai to Delhi.  Enjoy fascinating onboard activities as the scenic beauty of the Thar Desert passes by. This is just one of the 5 luxury trains that ply through India. For royal treatment, book early and relax deeply aboard these opulent trains.
The Toy train that connects New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling is a fascinating tiny steam train once used to transport potatoes. The hill railway is now considered as a World Heritage Site. The train trudges through the dense forests and vast tea plantations giving you a splendid close view of tea pickers with baskets strapped on their backs.


Photo credit: yahoo.com/images


Golf Holiday in Turkey

Turkey is a place of mysteries, a melting pot where the Middle East meets the Mediterranean. It has a fascinating heritage bragging of thirteen successive civilizations. Turkey also boasts of some of the finest golf courses in the whole of the Mediterranean region.
For a relaxing seaside Turkish golf experience, Belek is ideal located in the Antalya region. Antalya is also home to the PGA Sultan course curved through lush green eucalyptus and pine described as one of Europe’s finest and attached to Turkeys finestgolf resorts. The magnificent National Antalya is reasonably routed across gently rolling terrain and mature pine and eucalyptus trees. The Antalya Pasha winds its way through the trees and crowns the Sultan beautifully.
If you are awed and inspired by nature visit the Old Course at Gloria golf resort which lies at the beautiful forest at the feet of the Taurus Mountains. It is a challenging course: to score in this course you have to hit the ball well because of the tight tee shots and greens.  
Photo credit: yahoo.com/images
Surfing in Morocco

Morocco is a place where seemingly all adventures take place: surfing is still in its bucket list of exciting activities you can engage in. Agadir is endowed with some of the best waves and most diverse surf spots in the world.  From the most experienced surfers to the basic learner, Agadir is ideal for a memorable surfing holiday.
Essaouira beach has the perfect conditions for beginners, the excitement of catching your very first magical wave, the fear of the waters and the desire to become one with nature will hook you on to surfing forever. For experienced surfers theTaghazout region has more challenging spots like Sidi Kaouki, The Cave and Imessouane.
Imessouane is a small fishing village with two renowned surfing spots, the Bay and the Cathedrals. At the Bay you can catch a wave as high as 500 meters from the harbor all the way to the beach. You will also be fascinated by the goats climbing trees!
This post comes from Tom at Top BackpackingDestinations

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Tennis Events In Dubai To Watch

When you hear Dubai, you think of the magnificent infrastructures lining up the cosmopolitan are of Sheik Zayed Road, the huge and lavish malls burgeoning in the city, the well-manicured street plants adorning the pavements and islands, the man-made residential village called The Palm and the vast sandy desert that changes in color when you travel to the other Emirates. Surely, Dubai is very famous for those things but did you know that aside from those mega-infrastructure this place boasts of, it also hosts the biggest and well-known sporting events in the tennis world. 

One of the famous and well-celebrated tennis competitions is being held in Dubai annually. The Dubai Tennis Championships or now known as the Dubai Duty Free Men’s and Women’s Open attract a huge number of spectators from all over the world to watch their favorite tennis legends.

This tennis event is an open court competition held at the Dubai Tennis Stadium next to the Aviation Club. Tennis enthusiasts all over the world come to Dubai to enjoy the sporting event. Since this event falls during the winter season, watching it al fresco surely adds to the convivial spirit of the sports fans.

The world’s famous tennis players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena and Venus Williams, Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova, Andre Agassi, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Justin Hardenne and to name a few,  have all graced the sporting event and more powerhouse will join this tennis open next year.

Sports enthusiasts who wish to visit Dubai may plan their trip ahead since the Dubai Duty Free Open happens during the Dubai Shopping Festival that sees millions of travelers around the world. It falls during end of February to first week of March. Flights and hotel accommodations may be hard to obtain if you plan last minute. Also, do not worry about not bringing your tennis racket when you have the urge to let that sporty persona come to light. There are plenty of sporting goods in Dubai where you can find tennis rackets for perfect holidays situation.

Sporty travelers will surely find this tennis event experience a check on their bucket list!

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An Experience With Hurricane Sandy – Part 3

Posted in calamity, experience, Hurricane Sandy, JFK, NYC, personal, storm, travel, USA, weather
on November 8, 2012

We drove around town on 31 October to check the nearby areas in Brooklyn and Queens especially the ones battered by the water surge. Some of the areas didn’t have power and the gas stations were closed. We had to look for an open gas station to fill up my cousin’s distant relative’s SUV. It took us half an hour to find an open gas station and thankfully, the line was just about to pile.

We headed to Roosevelt and on our way, we saw plenty of small boats washed in the middle of the parking lot of nearby commercial places.  The sidewalk were lined with fallen trees and debris from the storm. Sand and mud were on the side and even on the middle of the main thoroughfare. The water level was still high 2 days after Hurricane Sandy battered NYC and nearby states.

See that mound? That’s sand near the highway going to Roosevelt. It was hard to snap pictures of other areas because we were moving.

Some of the bus operations resumed on the 29th in a limited scale. So, every passing bus we see are filled to the brim.  The subway opened on 31 Oct. in some parts of NYC but not Lower Manhattan due to the flood. Given the current situation around us, we were still left with uncertainties on when we could actually fly out of NYC.

We emailed our bosses about the situation as early as 28 of October because as soon as the flights were cancelled and the closure of airports and mass transit were declared, we knew for sure that we were going to wait the Hurricane out until everything became stable. That would be days!

So, as soon as the airports opened last 31 October, we booked our tickets with Delta Airlines from NYC to SFO. It was going to be a long flight from the East to the West but if it was the only way to get out of NYC then we were left with no choice but to do just that.

We left Brooklyn on 1 November around 4 a.m. The early drive to JFK Airport was a bit eerie. Some open gas stations have long queue of cars waiting to get their supply. JFK Airport was already open and we were glad to see many aircraft on the ground which was a complete contrast of the previous day when we drove around JFK Airport just to check. We only saw one Korean Air Cargo liner parked but no other aircraft was in sight last 31 Oct.

Our ordeal was not yet over. We were holding staff tickets so better pray that we get on board. Otherwise, we would have to wait for the next flight or the flight after that which would make us miss our flight back from SFO to DXB. We were already told in the counter that the flight was over-sold. I told the agent we didn’t mind waiting. We would try our luck. So we waited until 6:00 a.m. and checked the board. Blessings of all blessings! We got cleared from the stand-by list so we are definitely flying out of NYC that day.

It was a 6-hours flight from NYC-SFO. I didn’t even bother checking the snacks served. I just wanted to sleep and relax and pray that when we get to SFO, we would get a chance to board the SFO-DXB bound Emirates flight. Again, we were holding staff tickets so priority-wise we have the lowest.

We arrived in SFO around 10:05 a.m. few minutes ahead of time. We went to the international terminal as soon as we cleared our bags from the carousel. Everything was a blur from the time we got to the international terminal to the time we waited for our names to be called. Initially, there was a payload so we begged the kind Emirates Airline airport supervisor to request the payload to be lifted because there were available seats. We told him our situation and they knew that some staff stranded in NYC were flying to SFO to get back to Dubai. We were one of them. God is really good because he made some calls and next thing we knew, he told all the standby staff that we were all through in the flight.

Reaching for our  boarding pass was probably the cherry on top of the icing for our long and wearisome journey. I just didn’t expect that my much awaited vacation would turn out like this. We were just glad that we were going home. I thought I would never say this but I kind of miss Dubai!

And finally, we arrived on 2 November in hot and humid Dubai but I won’t complain about the weather anymore. Whatever weather we have here is fine by me!

So happy to see a patch of blue sky after the storm on the 30th of Oct.

The whole NYC trip we had recently is one in my greatest experience. I grew up in a place where typhoons and other natural calamities are regular occurrence but nothing prepares me in experiencing one of the worst storm/hurricane to hit the East Coast. At the same time, I am very happy that we are all safe and there is no damage to account for. However, the fear and uncertainties brought about by this experience is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

So, are we going back to NYC? Definitely! It’s still my favorite go-to place. But, not soon. And next time, we will check the weather forecast around NYC, the nearby states and countries just to be sure.

Thank God we are home.

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An Experience With Hurricane Sandy – Part 2

Posted in calamity, experience, Hurricane Sandy, NYC, personal, travel woes, weather
on November 7, 2012

My cousin’s place in Brooklyn was several blocks away from the waterfront. However, my cousin who has been in NY for the last 20+ years has never experienced worry and panic. This incoming hurricane was touted as the perfect storm, the one that would wreak havoc and casualties at its wake. True enough, a score of people in Haiti died because of Hurricane Sandy and the East Coast was bracing its tremendous and catastrophic impact on the highly populated NYC. We were already praying really hard that the communication lines and electrical supply would not be disrupted because it would be hard to keep tabs if we lose the power.

Some of my cousin’s neighbors already evacuated the evening of 27th. They were probably scared and in search of higher grounds. The wind was furiously blowing. It was very cold with less rain but more of some serious wind punch. The sky was an ominous shade of dark gray even when it was only 6pm. And the streets were empty. My cousin had briefed us on the possibility of mandatory evacuation so we kept our luggages ready just in case we had to leave for higher grounds.

Projection of the travel path of Hurricane Sandy initially showed NYC as part of the entry of landfall. However, towards the end of the day and early morning of 28th, it had moved towards New Jersey’s coastline. Gov. Cuomo. of NYC announced the suspension of all mass transit including buses on the 28th at exactly 7p.m.  My husband and daughter were still in Manhattan meeting with distant relatives and shopping for some stuff to bring home, not wary of the looming danger of the approaching hurricane.  Thank goodness they got home around 3 pm before the subway got congested. Another problem presented though, we were stuck in NYC! For how long, we really couldn’t tell.

So, come 28 October evening around 8pm, with a gust of 80-mph (from 90-mph clocked earlier), Hurricane Sandy hit Atlantic City in New Jersey. The Frankenstorm whipped surge of water in the Jersey shores and other low-lying and near the water areas in NYC like Lower Manhattan, Battery Park, Long Island Sound.

In NYC, Lower Manhattan got inundated and subway stations were not spared prompting the disruption of electrical power lines in the area.  Some areas in Brooklyn experienced power outage too. Several blocks from my cousin’s place were in the dark and I am very thankful that my cousin’s block in the 65th St. were spared. Most grocery marts have empty shelves. We were lucky enough to salvage some bread and canned goods in the nearby Walgreens as it was still stocked with water, soda and other ready-to-eat food.

Aside from the storm, a fire broke-out in the neighborhood of Breezy Point in Queens, burning hundreds of properties down to the ground.  Most of the residents have already evacuated so the area turned out to be an empty, smoke-filled community.

Flights were cancelled for both international and domestic. La Guardia, JFK and Newark airports had been shut as runways became flooded. We were stuck in NYC because of Hurricane Sandy and I was not very happy about it.

The storm has passed. We checked out the neighborhood on 30 Oct. and thankful that aside from fallen trees, damaged cars and slight damage to properties; there were no casualties around the vicinity of my cousin’s place. We saw part of the clear, blue sky peeping through the clouds on Tuesday morning. I am just happy that the hurdle through the Hurricane Sandy is over. However, people who lost their properties and probably even lost some of their loved ones in the hard-hit areas of New Jersey and other nearby states ravaged by Hurricane Sandy are still reeling up to this time.

(The pictures above were taken near by cousin’s house in Brooklyn. We’re glad it was just property damage and no report on lost life.)

— to be continued —
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