Tag Archive | Travell & Leisure

One Mountain, Three Lakes, Three Colors

Kelimutu is a volcanic peak in Indonesia that has three crater lakes, each displaying water with a different color! The Lake of Old People (Tiwu Ata Mbupu) is blue, the Lake of Young Men and Maidens (Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai) is green, and the Enchanted Lake (Tiwu Ata Polo) is a dark murky color that sometimes appears red. The exact color of all three lakes changes somewhat, and the tints are thought to be the result of gasses released from the earth underneath, interacting with the ecosystem in different ways for each crater. Each lake has its own spiritual meaning as well. read about them and see more pictures at Kuriositas.

Bali’s Environmentally Friendly Modern Bamboo Homes

Green Village is a sustainable community of homes set within the river valley landscape along Bali’s sacred Ayung River. The living space was built in conjunction with the Green School, a place that defines itself as providing students with a “natural, holistic, and student-centered education in one of the most amazing environments on the planet.” The residential community is located within walking distance of the school and was created to blend naturally into the landscape without disrupting the surrounding beauty of the land.

Each completed home is constructed out of bamboo and was designed based on principles of durability. According to the CEO and lead designer, Elora Hardy, “Even sustainable timber can’t begin to compare with bamboo as a conscientious building material. With very few resources or attention a bamboo shoot can become a structural column within three years, and that house could stand strong for a lifetime.”

Living in one of these homes is like being on vacation every day of the year. Homeowners of the unique and environmentally friendly structures have access to stunning architecture, a community of Balinese cultural events, and even home delivery of some of the best organic products in the world. The development is also educationally aware, as a percentage of the profits are contributed to Green School’s Balinese Student Scholarship Fund which currently provides fifteen precent of the student body with a tuition free education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Spectacular Hotels That Make Us Say Wow

Though we focus primarily on houses here at Home Designing, it is impossible to overlook the steady stream of splendid hotels we come across on a regular basis. We decided to put together a list of ten of our favorites – places to dream about over and over, to get away from it all in the highest of style. Here they are…

Le Moulin Du Roc Hotel in France is simply a living fairytale, adorned in rich greenery that cascades like an emerald waterfall around peeping window shutters and romantic balconies, just blissful!
Majestically overlooking the ocean, the multilevel patios of Monastero Santa Rosa in Italy has views upon views.
Majestically overlooking the ocean, the multilevel patios of Monastero Santa Rosa in Italy has views upon views.
The Ladera Resort in St Lucia is a tropical island paradise, teeming with natural splendor.
The Ladera Resort in St Lucia is a tropical island paradise, teeming with natural splendor.
The Katikies Hotel, Santorini, hold a poolside patio hangout like no other.
The Katikies Hotel, Santorini, hold a poolside patio hangout like no other.
Though we focus primarily on houses here at Home Designing, it is impossible to overlook the steady stream of splendid hotels we come across on a regular basis. We decided to put together a list of ten of our favorites – places to dream about over and over, to get away from it all in the highest of style. Here they are…

The World’s Best Roads To Drive On

10 Gorgeous Roads For The Drive Of A Lifetime.

These spectacular paved tar creations from all over the world are an absolute pleasure to drive on!

Festivals of the world: where to go in October

Oktoberfest

Festivals are a living, dancing museum of cultures and traditions in an increasingly globalised world. There is no better place for travellers to understand a country than an event where it proudly celebrates its individuality, whether through music, camel races or monumental food fights. The top festivities for October are listed below. Location: Theresienwiese, Munich, Germany Dates: 16 days from late September to early October In 1810, a horse race was held to celebrate Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s wedding. The jamboree was such a rip-roaring success that it became an annual event and morphed into today’s famously large and ribald party. The horse race was dropped in 1938, because everyone was only interested in one thing: beer. Read more.

Combat des Reines (Fight of the Queens)

Location: Martigny, Valais, Switzerland Dates: first week in October Switzerland’s Valais region is famous for its pistes, but a far stranger sport than skiing takes place here every spring and autumn. Erdinger cows, diminutive but aggressive beasts, fight each other to decide which brown-coated contender will be ‘queen’ of the herd. The combatants snort and stamp their hooves before charging, locking horns and trying to force each other backwards. Read more.

Durbar

Location: Emir Palace Rd, Kano, Nigeria Dates: end of Ramadan Throughout the Islamic world, the Eid al-Fitr festival is celebrated in a variety of ways. It marks the end of Ramadan, the month when Muslims fast during daylight hours (in Arabic, eid means ‘festivity’ and fitr means ‘to break the fast’). In Nigeria’s Islamic north, the end of the testing month is celebrated with equine cavalcades called Durbars. One of the best places to see them is Kano, West Africa’s oldest surviving city and an ancient centre of Islamic learning.

Ghadames Date Festival

Location: Old city, Ghadames, Libya Dates: three days in October At the end of the date harvest in Ghadames, Libyans head to the city’s World Heritage-listed old quarter to eat dates and celebrate. Residents of the modern town return to their family homes in the old city, officially uninhabited since the mid-1980s, and throw open their doors for singing, dancing and public festivities. The shadowy old city has a network of covered walkways that provide shelter from the Saharan sun. Read more.

Vegetarian Festival

Location: Jui Tui temple, Th Ranong, Phuket Town, Phuket, Thailand Dates: first nine days of the ninth month in the Chinese calendar (late September/early October) Thailand’s largest island, nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the South’, is particularly spectacular during the Vegetarian Festival. Celebrated by Phuket’s Chinese community, the event marks the beginning of the month of ‘Taoist Lent’, when devout followers of the Tao abstain from eating all meat and meat products. Read more.

Matchmaking Festival

Location: Main St, Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, Ireland Dates: last Friday in August to first Sunday in October With its population of about 1000 Celtic citizens, tiny Lisdoonvara (Lisdoon for short) is famous for two things: its spas, which made it a popular Victorian resort, and its tradition of basadóiri (matchmakers). For a fee, these Guinness-swilling Cupids would help singletons find a partner. Read more.

Círio de Nazaré

Location: Praça Justo Chermont, Belém, Brazil Dates: second weekend in October The largest festival on the River Amazon, not to mention Brazil’s biggest hoedown after Rio’s Carnaval, Círio de Nazaré revolves around a small statue of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré (Our Lady of Nazareth). Supposedly sculpted in Nazareth (Galilee), the image is believed to have performed miracles in medieval Portugal before getting lost in Brazil. A humble cattleman rediscovered it in 1700 on the site of Belém’s Basílica de NS de Nazaré. Read more.

Entenrennen (Duck Race)

Location: Alleenbrücke, Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany Dates: early October It’s not exactly the Running of the Bulls. Indeed, the ducks involved in this bridge-to-bridge race aren’t even alive: they’re the yellow, rubber species whose usual habitat is the bathtub. Nonetheless, Tübingen’s annual contest is spectacular, if inexplicable. In a random, Germanic version of the ‘Poohsticks’ game enjoyed by Piglet et al in Winnie-the- Pooh, a truck dumps some 7000 duckies into the Neckar River from Alleenbrücke. Read more.

River Festivals

Location: LaosCambodia and Thailand Dates: full moon in late October or early November Also known as Ok Watsa, Laos’ Awk Phansa celebrates the end of Vassa, the Buddhist Lent. During this three-month period, monks sit out the rainy season in meditation, reviving their vows and fasting. Reaching the end of the challenging period is a cause for celebration for monks across Laos, and the rest of the country’s 6.5 million people grab the opportunity for a party. Read more.

Bridge Day

Location: New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia, USA Date: third Sunday in October It’s the world’s largest extreme-sports event. More than 450 BASE jumpers hurl themselves off a 265m-high bridge, watched by up to 200,000 spectators. BASE stands for ‘building, antennae, span, earth’, the fixed points from which the adrenaline-seeking jumpers leap. Every year since 1980, the steel structure high above the New River has proven to be a perfect launching pad. Read more.

El Señor de los Milagros (Lord of Miracles)

Location: Lima, Peru Dates: 18, 28 and 29 October This large procession celebrates a 350-year-old mural of the Lord of Miracles (Christ). Painted by a freed slave, the fresco has survived vindictive authorities, bumbling workmen and three earthquakes. The first procession took place in 1687, when an earthquake obliterated the chapel that housed the portrait, leaving only the altar and the miraculous mural. Read more.

Masskara Festival

Location: Bacolod, Negros Occidental, Philippines Dates: weekend nearest 19 October MassKara’s name is a fusion of the English word for ‘many people’ and cara, the Spanish word for face. It’s a perfect of this Philippino fiesta, in which Bacolod’s 450,000-plus residents take to the streets wearing masks with radiant smiles. Read more.

Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages)

Location: Kyoto Gosho, Kyoto, Japan Date: 22 October Compared with the former Japanese capital’s other major festivals, the Aoi and Gion Matsuris, Jidai Matsuri is a newcomer. It began in 1895 to raise the city’s morale after the Imperial Court shifted to Tokyo. The main event is the historical parade, featuring period costumes from eras dating back to 794, when the city began its 1000-year tenure as capital. Read more.

Halloween

Location: New York City, New York, USA Date: 31 October The shrill cry of ‘trick or treat’ from children on the doorstep, dressed as a blood-curdling gang of zombies and ghouls, is as synonymous with the States as baseball and Big Macs. It’s an important part of American family life and Hollywood slasher movies. Read more.

Moulid of Sayyed Ahmed Al-Badawi

Location: Tanta, Egypt Dates: end of the cotton harvest in late October One of Egypt’s most important moulids (religious festivals), held at Tanta in the Nile Delta, honours a Moroccan Sufi who fought the Crusaders in the 13th century. Some two million pilgrims arrive from across the Arab world to pay their respects at the main mosque, which holds al-Badawi’s tomb. Read more.

Diwali (Festival of Lights)

Location: Mumbai, India Date: fifteenth day of the Indian lunar month of Kartika (October/November) Having celebrated Krishna’s birth and Rama’s victory over the ten-headed demon-king Ravana at the Janmastami and Dussehra festivals, India’s Hindus now burn butter and oil lamps to lead Rama home from exile. Read more.

Fantasy Fest

Location: Duval St, Key West, Florida, USA Dates: ten days ending on the last Sunday in October One of the most outrageous parties in the lead-up to Halloween is this camp blowout in subtropical Florida. Started in 1979 as a ploy to liven up a quiet period for the local tourist industry, Fantasy Fest is a mind-bending series of fancy dress parties and parades.

Antidote to the Demands of Modern Life: Banyan Tree Ungasan Resort in Bali

Built on the edge of a cliff at a height of 70 meters above the Indian Ocean, Hotel Banyan Tree Ungasan in Bali, Indonesia commits to offering an antidote to the demands of modern life. In terms of architecture, the hotel has been conceived as a symbiosis of old and new, of classic and modern. Its exterior is said to be inspired by a traditional Balinese village, completely opened towards the pure beaches and blue waters. Here is an open invitation from the hotel staff: “Banyan Tree Ungasan will attend to your every need. Relax and unwind in your personal pool, taste the delicacies of our restaurants or make use of our fitness facilities. While you rest surrounded by the lushness of the Island of the Gods, we’ll make sure your stay with us is truly carefree. Retreat into a sanctuary for the senses amidst the lush tropics and experience Banyan Tree Spa’s signature range of Asian therapies within elegant treatment pavilions, adorned with distinct Balinese interior design. Choose from a wide selection of healing therapies“.  The plethora of services and amenities make this place an oasis of ultimate relaxation. Enjoy the photos!

Banyan Tree 19 Antidote to the Demands of Modern Life: Banyan Tree Ungasan Resort in Bali

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Banyan Tree 18 Antidote to the Demands of Modern Life: Banyan Tree Ungasan Resort in Bali

The Nabuyatom Crater

In Kenya lies Lake Turkana, the world’s largest alkaline lake. This is the Nabuyatom Crater, a geological marvel of that lake. It’s a caldera–the remnants of a collapsed volcano.

Conquering Cerro Autana

Houlding, Pickles and Leary climbed above the roof of the jungle and into the very rarely visited Autana Caves (Cuevo Autana), the highest elevated cave system in the world.

British rock climber Leo Houlding and a team of fellow climbers and local fixers have completed an ascent of the east face of Cerro Autana in Venezuela, one of the Amazon’s most remote and sacred mountains.

“It really was a journey into a lost world,” said Leo. “There were so many unknowns and hazards, once in a lifetime experiences and unforgettable moments.

Aerial image of tepuis showing Mount Autana (Cerro Autana), Amazonas territory, Venezuela, South America

Climbers tackle the Gouffre Berger limestone cave in south-eastern France

Climbers tackle the Gouffre Berger limestone cave in south-eastern France, which was once thought to be the deepest cave in the world at 3,680-feet deep (about two-thirds of a mile). It is now ranked the 28th deepest cave in the world.+

A caver ascends Puit Garby in the entrance series in The Gouffre Berger

Named after the man who discovered it in 1953, Frenchman Joseph Berger, the cave was once feared as a killer cave where all but the most daring feared to tread.

An inlet pours in  and forms a  turquoise pool of water in The Gouffre Berger

British photographer Robbie Shone said: “This cave used to be considered dangerous but is now far more accessible to cavers. Because of how significant Gouffre Berger is in the history of caving reaching the bottom is a rite of passage for many inexperienced cavers. It’s possible to get to the bottom in a day but I camped for three days so I could spend time on my pictures.”

James Alker swims through the Pseodo Sithon after a very brief trip to the sump of The Gouffre Berger

“There are the initials of the original explorers in the last flooded cavern. That’s the end for dry cavers – those who don’t cave dive underwater. After that if you want to go further you have to pull on diving gear and explore the totally flooded tunnels.”

James Alker tackles Pool Traverse

The cave has a rich history of British achievement with the world record for the deepest cave dive going to British diver Peter Watkinson and his team in 1967. Watkinson and other team members received international acclaim for reaching the deepest point possible on foot and then completing a perilous 130-feet underwater dive.

Sarah Payne of the Wessex Caving Club descends Claudine Cascade

The cave is liable to flooding after heavy rainfall, which caused five deaths, including Briton Nicole Dollimore from Oxford in 1996.

Matthieu Thomas and Sophie Anne pose for their photograph in the  Hall of the Thirteen a few days after Matthieu proposed to her at  the bottom of the Gouffre Berger cave
Matthieu Thomas and Sophie Anne pose for their photograph in the Hall of the Thirteen a few days after Matthieu proposed to her at the bottom of the Gouffre Berger cave
A caver stands on The Great Rubble Heap close to camp 1 in The Gouffre Berger
A caver stands on The Great Rubble Heap close to Camp 1 in The Gouffre Berger
Cavers climb along a short ledge in The Great Gallery of The Gouffre Berger cave
Cavers climb along a short ledge in The Great Gallery of The Gouffre Berger cave
Martin Holroyd tackles a narrow section called the Meanders
Martin Holroyd tackles a narrow section called the Meanders
Cavers crawl through a 10-metre-long section of the cave
Cavers crawl through a 10-metre-long section of the cave
Sarah Payne tackles the rope traverse at the head of Puit Aldo
Sarah Payne tackles the rope traverse at the head of Puit Aldo
Beyond the black space lies Hurricane Pitch, a 40m deep drop into the bottom of The Gouffre Berger
Beyond the black space lies Hurricane Pitch, a 40m deep drop into the bottom of The Gouffre Berger
Belgian cavers traverse technical rope work at the head of the 40m Puit Aldos
Belgian cavers traverse technical rope work at the head of the 40m Puit Aldos
Sediment deposit in The Grand Canyon in the Gouffre Berger cave
Sediment deposit in The Grand Canyon in the Gouffre Berger cave
Chris Blakeley climbs Puit Aldos at the end of the entrance series of the Gouffre Berger cave
Chris Blakeley climbs Puit Aldos at the end of the entrance series of the Gouffre Berger cave
HMS Badger 1 crossing the entrance lake in the Grotte de Gournier of the Gouffre Berger cave
HMS Badger 1 crossing the entrance lake in the Grotte de Gournier of the Gouffre Berger cave
British cavers kit up on the Sornin Plateau on the limestone close to The Gouffre Berger cave entrance

Unique Beachside Hotel For Demanding Travelers: JK Place Capri

Before summer ends, you might want to enjoy a trip to a unique place, where water meets the sky and the mountains in an almost suspended beauty. I’m talking about JK Place Capri – a luxurious hotel right on the beaches of Italy’s Capri Island.Welcoming guests with 22 spacious rooms, the beachside hotel combines historic inspiration with modern amenities in a breathtaking design. This island retreat extends its fascination on surrounding outdoor space, boasting a perfectly manicured set of outdoor spaces and an inviting garden. Lounge by the heated pool or enjoy a challenge at the gym, topping it all off with a visit to the spa. Serving traditional Mediterranean cuisine at the fine restaurant and displaying a sophisticated atmosphere at the bar, the hotel envisions a relaxing time away from home in an elegant natural and designed landscape. You will definitely look forward to coming back for another great vacation!

JK Place 2 Unique Beachside Hotel For Demanding Travelers: JK Place Capri

JK Place 3 Unique Beachside Hotel For Demanding Travelers: JK Place Capri

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JK Place 20 Unique Beachside Hotel For Demanding Travelers: JK Place Capri

JK Place 21 Unique Beachside Hotel For Demanding Travelers: JK Place Capri