Holland – The Keukenhof Gardens

Holland is the land of tulips. When it comes to seeing tulips, no place in the world outdoes the Keukenhof Gardens.

Keukenhof Gardens

The Keukenhof Gardens are located to the southwest of Amsterdam. I know this because I was visiting Amsterdam with an old friend and his wife. He and I had talked about taking the tour at the Heineken Brewery for days. Unfortunately, we only had two days in Amsterdam and had missed the tour on the first day. This was due to his wife having wet hair because of a blow drier, which meant we had to sit around until nature ran its course. This was not a woman willing to rough it.

I arose on the second morning with visions of beer mugs in my mind. I knew that I was in trouble as soon as he walked through the door. He had that look. You know. The one that says I have bad news, but am going to try to make it sound like good news. The powers that be wanted to go to the word famous Keukenhof Gardens.

This was disappointing for two reasons. First, I had never heard of the “famous” Kuekenhof Gardens, thus bringing into doubt the claim in my mind. Second, the weighing of the scales of justice were producing results decidedly in favor of a location that encompassed the word “beer” versus one that highlighted “gardens.” For the love of God, we were in Amsterdam!

An argument ensued and, of course, I lost. Off we went for a day in the gardens. Oh, fun.

As happens more often than not, I was wrong in my assumptions. In a one in a million occurrence, “gardens” definitely outweighed the “beer” option. The Keukenhof Gardens definitely deserve the fame moniker, even if you’ve never heard of them.

Keukenhof is perhaps the biggest collection of flowers I have ever seen. Located on 70 acres outside of the town of Lisse, the gardens are surreal. There are over 7 MILLION flowers on the grounds with Tulips in full display. The location was previously the home of a castle and accompanying lands, which gives you an idea of the layout. Essentially, you pay $20 to enter and just start strolling. It is like standing in the middle of a landscape painting. The place is so big, you can rent bikes to put around the grounds. To this end, the best time to go is in April when everything is in bloom.

Against all my inherent male attributes, I have to admit visiting the gardens outdid anything the Heineken Brewery could offer. I also felt a heck of a lot better the next morning!

Halstatt, Austria – Scoffing At The Sound Of Music

Set in Austria, the Sound of Music is an epic film spurring dreams of a heavenly land in every child that sees the movie. In truth, they should have filmed the movie in Halstatt, Austria.

Halstatt

I had been in Salzburg for four days and was growing restless. The city was an eyeful with beautiful garden areas, architecture and plenty of sites to see. At the end of the day though, it was still a city. And an expensive city at that!

Flipping through my guidebook, a local I had made friends with suggested I take a day trip to the little town of Halstatt. As I looked under “H” in the index, he told me I wouldn’t find it in the book and I should just trust him. Off to the train station we went.

Sitting on the train, I soon met a fellow traveler heading to Halstatt. We chatted as the train puttered up into some of the most impressive mountains I’d ever seen. Soon we were running between the face of a mountain and a deep blue lake. The train stopped and he indicated this was our stop. There was a small shack, but no other buildings much less a small town. I began to suspect my buddy in Salzburg had pulled on over on me.

Out of nowhere, a small ferry pulled up to our shack. On we hopped and off we went across the lake. As we closed in on the far shore, a small town began to take shape. Swiss chalets, swans, cobble stone streets, outdoor cafes and…no cars. None.

Halstatt turned out to run about a mile along the shore of the lake. It was like something out of heaven. It is amazing how quiet things are when there are no cars, mopeds, trucks and other vehicles. Frankly, it was surreal.

I rented a room in a chalet directly on the shore of the lake. My window looked out over the lake. As the evening wound down, it was hard to imagine a more peaceful place in the world. The morning was more amazing.

Halstatt is located at a very high point in the Alps, which had a surprising effect. Lying in bed, I stared out my window into what looked like a television set gone bad. It was totally grey. Walking to the window, I was stunned to realize we were so high the clouds had settled roughly 20 feet above the lake. Words fail me, but it was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen. There was total silence, a slowly swirling cloud cover being reflected by the lake and swans floating around. Truly a site to behold.

Halstatt is a difficult one-day excursion from Salzburg? The difficulty lies in leaving. I stayed for a week!

Lagos, Portugal – Casa Rosa And Joe’s Garage

If you’re a budget traveler or backpacking Europe, Lagos is a cheap slice of paradise. Casa Rosa is the place for general sustenance, while Joe’s Garage is a place to let go.

Casa Rosa

Casa Rosa claims to be the haven for backpackers in Lagos. The more you travel, the more you know such claims are rarely true. With Casa Rosa, however, I can confirm the claim is true. This hole in the wall served heaping mounds of the food of the day for really cheap prices. It was packed with backpackers, which made it a good place to meet people and exchange war stories.

I haven’t been to Portugal for four years, so I have to attach a caveat to recommending Casa Rosa. When I first visited Casa Rosa in the 1990’s, it was owned by a couple of Brits, who were apparently trying to sell it. I dropped in twice in subsequent years and they were still there and still trying to sell it. Whether this ever occurred, I can’t really say so keep in mind there may be a new owner or the place may not exist at all.

Joe’s Garage

In every town or city, there is one “underground” night spot you just have to visit. Of course, you first have to find out about it and then figure out where it is. People “in the know” typically heavily guard this information. For years, Joe’s Garage has been such a place in Lagos.

The recommend attire for Joe’s Garage is a bathing suit, t-shirt and flip flops. The place appears to have no ventilation whatsoever and is insanely hot. Turning a negative into a positive, the owners have a strong water policy. Water shoots out of the ceiling, mouths of statutes on the wall and water guns expertly aimed by bartenders. If you were glasses, just leave them at home.

Joe’s is open from around ten in the evening until the hour you stagger out. It is located on Rua Primiero de Mayo, but don’t bother writing that down. The place has so little signage that you could be standing in front and completely miss it. The best way to find it is to follow the late night crowd as they begin filing out of the bars around midnight.

Lagos is an ideal spot for budget travelers. The town is has beaches, nightlife and is cheap. Enjoy!

How To Generate Passive Income From A Photo Blog?: Some Ideas For Travelogue Owners!

Have you ever thought about making money from a photo blog? Did you ever know that you can make passive income from a blog that only has images on it? Well, there are thousands of such blogs making a decent passive income for the bloggers. These blogs often refer to a specific category – travelogues! Though there are numerous other blog genres that can also follow the same concept. However, the travelogues work better with this concept than any other types. If you love to travel a lot and snap photos, you will be able to generate decent income just by publishing your captures on the blogs. Here, you will discover how to generate passive income from a photo blog! The method is pretty simple, however, you will explore some ideas that worth your time and money!

How to generate passive income from a cool travelogue using photo content only!

Setting up a travelogue is fairly simple; with the basic knowledge about coding and the popular blogging platforms, anyone can easy create a cool travelogue in a few minutes. However, the biggest challenge is to make the travelogue popular and get visitors for the blog. Once you have started getting some traffic from different sources, you can easily monetize the traffic and start making a decent income from the travelogue.

#1 advertising revenues

First of all, you can make money from the advertising units shown on the pages on your blog. You can use different types and styles of advertising units and can embed them inside your blog posts if you prefer. You have to do some research to get better click through rates. However, you should include a few lines or sentences to get relevant advertisements and make more money from relevant traffic. You can make a decent passive income from the advertising revenues!

#2 donations

Many travelogues make a lot of money from donations. You may find there are lots of travellers who get financial support from the followers. These donations come from their travelling blogs. They can make a decent amount of passive income just by sharing the glimpses of their journey around the world. For some of them travelling is not only their passion, but also their way to make money. They have taken travelling as their job! Yes, they make money just for travelling around the world! Just put a donation button on your website and there you go!

#3 premium members’ section

Finally, there is always an option to start a premium section for your members. You can share the best images with your premium members who would pay you a regular fee. This can be also a very powerful method to monetize the travelogues. However, you have to be very professional and focused towards your visitors and explore what they’ve been looking for. And at the same time, you have to make sure that you are highly skilled for the photography niche you’ve chosen. This way, you will not only make passive income online, but will also be able to brand yourself and make more money as a professional photographer specialized in travelling shoots!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8424590

Travelogue Mystery Showing the Beauty of the South Pacific

Green Pearl Odyssey by Reilly Ridgell ISBN 978-4-902837-23-4

Ridgell is an author with a mission. He has composed a travelogue of Micronesia while throwing in some adventure and thrill. The intriguing descriptions of the culture, the politics of several different islands, and living the life of an American in the South Pacific provide a rich tapestry upon which the author weaves his story. Beautiful islands, wonderful natives and restful beaches and seascapes mark this murder mystery as so much more.

Scott Taylor, a former Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV), married an island native. They returned to the U.S. and tried to start a new life there. All these plans were cut short by a drive by shooting aimed at Scott’s brother, and Scott’s wife was killed as collateral damage. Scott’s mind is numb with the pain and loss. He executes the killer who happens to also be the son of a Mafia boss.

Scott runs away from the consequences of his actions and attempts to hide with relatives and friends throughout Micronesia. On the way he rediscovers himself, his love of the islands and the islanders as well.

Although character development is lacking in all but Scott himself, the breathtaking vistas and relaxing island culture make this indeed an odyssey worth following. There is a great development in Scott’s character and maturity as he lucks out time and again in being pursued by various lackeys and hit men.

There are several conversations where philosophies and reasons for service in the Peace Corps; in Micronesia and the effect of American Manifest Destiny on the islanders as a whole are discussed and very reasonable arguments are made. The Peace Corps do seek to meet the needs of the people they help and advance without changing the basic culture and society of those same people. Here is a shining example of this.

The secondary characters are present only to fill the space between encounters and personal turmoil that Scott discusses at length. The dialogue is well-carried and required for the ideas presented. The plot primarily supports the travelogue nature of the story.

Recommended for those with a desire to learn about and perhaps travel to Micronesia. Readers should be warned about adult content and discussions. Definitely good for those who dream of vacations and relaxation in the South Pacific and Micronesia.

Published by blue ocean press, 2010. ($16.95 USD SRP/Amazon $2.69 USD) Reviewer received book from author.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6617483

Orchids & Onions] Life is a journey: enjoy (or loathe) the ads

There is something about travel and the way it has to transport you – and not just physically…
One of the things psychiatrists and neuroscience experts tell you is that taking your young children away – anywhere out of their normal environment – has the effect of turbocharging their young brains.

And, when we’re older, travel for pleasure or to explore also has the ability to expand or alter your mind. People who love to travel have never lost that childhood sense of wonder, of adventure, of wanting to experience and see new things.

That is the emotion that Emirates Airlines taps into neatly with its latest TV commercial.

It starts off by saying that the world today seems like a more familiar place – but then wonders if those travelogues you read, those beautiful scenes you have as a screensaver on your PC, are real. Is it really that stunning?

It answers the question by saying: There is only one way to know. Be there.

Be there – from the African savannah watching the King of Beasts; to a tai chi class high above a city skyline; a snowcapped rugged mountain range; a European city fountain; a cruise ship passing under Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The images are brilliant and alluring. But, cleverly, the producers also touched on the other sense that works overtime when we’re travelling – taste. Be there, it says, to taste their cheese, their steaks, their pies (“and look at that crust!”).

It wraps up with the exhortation to fly Emirates to “countless destinations” and has one of the better punchlines around today: “Going is Believing.”

If your travelling shoes don’t start twitching after you’ve seen this ad, then you must have one foot in the grave.

It’s a great piece of marketing from an organisation that does marketing at the highest level, so it gets an Orchid.

What is interesting is that the TV execution and associated print campaigns are running in parallel with a PR offensive by the airline to fight possible legislative changes in the US that would make it more difficult for state-backed foreign carriers like Emirates to operate there. That’s because the airline has been the biggest growing business in the skies in the past two decades… and many other players are getting worried as it gobbles up their market share.

The PR campaign points to the impressive economic benefits the airline has brought to the US and says restrictions on it will compromise the “Open Skies” policy that has seen a global expansion of air travel. Interesting – and something to watch.

One last comment on the ad, though: I don’t know whether the media planners did their homework properly. To flight an airline ad in a re-run of an episode of Aircrash Investigation does seem a bit odd.

While on the subject of flying, I couldn’t help but notice that there are few spaces that are not occupied by a marketing message. The latest is the “hangers” on airport buses – you know, the things you hold on to as you stand.

One bus had one that caught my eye. It was for Cell C and I read it as we waited – and waited – for the bus to leave the terminal building for the aircraft.

It said something about “With data costs from 10c per MB, you’ll be happy to wait”. It neatly utilised an opportunity to connect with someone’s down time and make the point about its cheap data. And you couldn’t miss it. So an Orchid for you, Cell C.

Apostrophes: tricky punctuation © Brad Calkins –
Apostrophes: tricky punctuation © Brad Calkins – 123RF.com

However, on the return flight, there was a similar ad – but one that just made me mad, because it’s the kind of thing that leaves a brand looking dumb or sloppy or both. It was for McCarthy, the car seller, which, we were told, was “Proudly Bidvest”. It was the main line that got me: “Keeping South African’s on the road since 1910.”

“South African’s” what?

What glaring fault is there in our education system that an adult (or at least three in this case, because one assumes someone checked it and another signed off on it) wants to chuck an apostrophe into a word in every instance where there is an “s” at the end of it?

It’s (see that, McCarthy?) not just because it is a grammar horror, it’s because this basic mistake makes you wonder about the competence of the company.

Especially because this should have been checked and signed off. And it is the gift that has the power to carry on giving because it is at eye level, in front of hundreds of passengers a day.

I don’t know who is responsible, so the Onion goes to McCarthy. Remove those eyesores before you damage your brand further.

I’ll bet my bottom dollar that Bidvest founder Brian Joffe knows how to use an apostrophe. And this sort of thing would not make him proud…

SABC3 hunts for fresh faces

SABC3 has launched a new reality TV show, ‘Presenter Search on 3’, looking for three new faces to join top shows in 2015 as presenters on the station.
SABC3 hunts for fresh faces
Based on the successful Top Billing presenter searches held in 2010 and 2012, the station went on a countrywide search looking for three candidates from its pick of young hopefuls in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg.

From thousands of entries, it has whittled it down to a Top 30, from which it will pick a Top 10 who will face the ultimate presenting challenges. This year there will be three winners; one will join Top Billing, another will present on the Expresso Breakfast Show and the third will be the co-host of a new SABC3 show, still to be announced.

From 3 April, fans can watch the show, dedicated to the memory of Simba Mhere, every Friday on SABC3 at 7.30pm. From 3 April, the 30 finalists from around South Africa are mentored by presenting greats, such as Ursula Chikane, Minnie Dlamini, Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu and Leanne Mannas. They will then implement what they have learned in mini-challenges. The main panel of judges – Bonang Matheba, Jeannie D and Phat Joe – then determine who has what it takes to be in the Top 10.

The real challenges begin on 24 April, where under the watchful eye of the judges (Bonang, Jeannie D and Phat Joe), the finalists endure presenting tests such as researching and delivering fascinating inserts ranging from travelogues on local tourist destinations to cooking and DIY.

New online South African destination guide, travel magazine

Nightjar Travel has launched an online destination guide that lists over 1500 things to do and places to go to in South Africa. It covers day walks, mountain biking, fly fishing, paddling, scuba diving, 4×4, rock climbing, horse trails, adventure activities, parks and reserves, regular ‘mom & pop’ attractions and more in one integrated website.
New online South African destination guide, travel magazine
click to enlarge
Contributors from the South African travel industry have written fresh news for the site. The founders believe that this will assist in pushing both domestic and international tourist numbers and seeks to add to incomplete and fragmented information on the internet.

Browsing through the destination database is made simple with a completely new approach to navigation and mapping. The site is fast, uncluttered and vividly illustrated. It has one of the best mapping tools and allows users to publish their favourite journeys for others to read.

To round off, it offers a travel magazine with the site. The magazine runs weekly travelogues and photo galleries.

Holland Travel – Amsterdam, Van Gogh, Anne Frank

Holland certainly has a reputation with travelers. Known for having a very liberal attitude on social issues such as prostitution and drugs, the reputation is not always deserved. Yes, marijuana and prostitution is legal, but there is so much more to the country. Many look at Amsterdam as Holland, but visitors know there is much more. If you desire to travel to Holland, also known as the Netherlands, don’t miss these attractions.

Amsterdam

Simply put, Amsterdam has something for everyone. The city is an incredibly beautiful collection of old world European architecture elegantly partitioned by canals. In truth, the city is built on roughly 90 small islands, although you can hardly tell. Transportation is best undertaken on foot or by bicycle. With a cool climate, you’ll barely break a sweat.

Contrary to popular opinion, Amsterdam is not just a city of liberal policies. Yes, coffee bars sell things other then just coffee. Yes, there are women in windows that are awfully friendly. Still, there is so much more to experience in the city.

Van Gogh Museum

The Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh houses the world’s largest collection of the work of Vincent van Gogh. From his early work, the museum contains 700 artistic works and 850 letters. After moving to Paris in 1886, van Gogh entered an impressionist period, of which the museum contains a large collection. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the collection is the organization. The entire collection is arranged chronologically from the first to last work. As you walk, you can clearly see the evolution of this master’s skill.

Anne Frank House

Who hasn’t read the intense diary of Anne Frank? Hiding from the Nazis, she and her family lived in an annexed section of an apartment in Amsterdam for two years. In 1957, the house was donated to the Anne Frank Foundation and turned into a museum. A visit will send chills through your spine. The museum contains films, the annexed area and the original notes of Anne Frank. A must see for anyone traveling to Amsterdam.

Beyond Amsterdam

For those needing a break from Amsterdam, there is much to be seen in Holland. If you are looking for a color explosion, consider taking the bulb cycling tour out of Noordwijk. Windmills your thing? Head to the De Zaan district to see them in action. Prefer to spend a night in a castle? Try the Castle Hotel Engelenburg, which even lets you ruin a good walk by playing golf.

Travel to Holland and you won’t regret it. Whether you want to “investigate” the countries liberal policies or simply bike through fields of tulips, Holland will satisfy.

Holland certainly has a reputation with travelers. Known for having a very liberal attitude on social issues such as prostitution and drugs, the reputation is not always deserved. Yes, marijuana and prostitution is legal, but there is so much more to the country. Many look at Amsterdam as Holland, but visitors know there is much more. If you desire to travel to Holland, also known as the Netherlands, don’t miss these attractions.

Amsterdam

Simply put, Amsterdam has something for everyone. The city is an incredibly beautiful collection of old world European architecture elegantly partitioned by canals. In truth, the city is built on roughly 90 small islands, although you can hardly tell. Transportation is best undertaken on foot or by bicycle. With a cool climate, you’ll barely break a sweat.

Contrary to popular opinion, Amsterdam is not just a city of liberal policies. Yes, coffee bars sell things other then just coffee. Yes, there are women in windows that are awfully friendly. Still, there is so much more to experience in the city.

Van Gogh Museum

The Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh houses the world’s largest collection of the work of Vincent van Gogh. From his early work, the museum contains 700 artistic works and 850 letters. After moving to Paris in 1886, van Gogh entered an impressionist period, of which the museum contains a large collection. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the collection is the organization. The entire collection is arranged chronologically from the first to last work. As you walk, you can clearly see the evolution of this master’s skill.

Anne Frank House

Who hasn’t read the intense diary of Anne Frank? Hiding from the Nazis, she and her family lived in an annexed section of an apartment in Amsterdam for two years. In 1957, the house was donated to the Anne Frank Foundation and turned into a museum. A visit will send chills through your spine. The museum contains films, the annexed area and the original notes of Anne Frank. A must see for anyone traveling to Amsterdam.

Beyond Amsterdam

For those needing a break from Amsterdam, there is much to be seen in Holland. If you are looking for a color explosion, consider taking the bulb cycling tour out of Noordwijk. Windmills your thing? Head to the De Zaan district to see them in action. Prefer to spend a night in a castle? Try the Castle Hotel Engelenburg, which even lets you ruin a good walk by playing golf.

Travel to Holland and you won’t regret it. Whether you want to “investigate” the countries liberal policies or simply bike through fields of tulips, Holland will satisfy.

Memories Of Shell’s Wonderful World Of Golf

Televised golf has had many high moments over the years, but in my opinion none better than that outstanding production, Shell’s Wonderful World Of Golf. The program didn’t invent the format, but it certainly raised the approach to a new standard of excellence.

In the early television days, All Star Golf was an attempt to bring the game into living rooms all across America. The Golf Channel still runs many of those early programs and it’s interesting to see the contrast in the state of the art of TV then and now. You can see an old station wagon following the players around, carrying camera gear. For the most part, just one camera was used and you rarely saw a player tee off. Stark diagrams of the holes were used both to condense the telecast and to allow time for moving equipment around.

The year was 1957. The show’s original host, Jim Britt, had been a baseball broadcaster for both the Boston Braves and the Boston Red Sox and later in his career for the Cleveland Indians.

All Star Golf lasted three years and was responsible for the birth of Shell’s Wonderful World. It was in 1960 that the president of Shell USA, Monroe Spaght, watched an episode and became extremely interested in the possibilities of golf on television. But he envisioned a much larger universe than that which All Star Golf encompassed. The older show filmed most of its matches around Chicago and then later some other cities around the country.

Spaght had bigger ideas. Shell was, of course, a worldwide corporation and Spaght wanted a show that crossed the globe in its scope. The result was Shell’s Wonderful World Of Golf. Gene Sarazen was hired to host the show and he went on to take viewers through nine years and over ninety matches at some of the world’s most beautiful spots.

Indeed, one of the major features that made the program so unique was the time it devoted to mini-travelogues devoted to the area in which the matches took place. It was a program that not only concentrated on golf but also opened up worlds of beauty to its wide audience, taking us places we’ve never been and educating us to the variety of locations where golf is played.

The program was also notable for its breadth of commentary from many different sources. From Sarazen to Dave Marr to George Rogers, the commentary was always relevant and informative. But perhaps the highlight of it all was the eloquent contributions served up by Jack Whitaker, whose mastery of the spoken word and the images created by it were second to none. Whitaker could sum up in thirty seconds the spirit and the character of the game and the locale in which it was played. He lent and air of authority to the program as a whole and especially to the wrap up following the match.

I would love to see the program return featuring today’s stars. The Golf Channel does show the older programs regularly and they are cherished memories, indeed. Nonetheless, it would be terrific to see today’s players in a similar situation. Probably it’s too expensive an undertaking these days, but it sure would be nice.