Touristic Highlights of Marrakesh in Morocco

Marrakesh is considered the third largest city in Morocco in terms of population with more than one million inhabitants. The city was established in the 11th century by Yusuf ibnTashfin. Marrakesh today became one of the most favorite touristic cities that welcome numerous travelers who spend their vacations in Morocco.

Marrakesh became a wonderful cultural center where the Islamic and Andalusian civilizations melt together. This resulted in distinctive architectural elements and layouts, a large number of famous philosophers and authors, and a magnificent city that welcomes thousands of tourists every year who travel to Morocco.

The land of god, or Marrakesh, as its name refers to in the Amazeeg language, was the capital of Almoravids Dynasty. This is why the city enjoys hosting a large number of Islamic monuments and fortifications. When the French took control of Morocco in the beginning of the 20th century, Marrakesh received considerable attention from the French authorities. There are many French establishments that survived until today in Marrakesh and amaze tourists who come from all over the world to enjoy their trips in Morocco.

Today we would be highlighting some of the most remarkable touristic highlights of Marrakesh commonly visited by travelers who spend their holidays in Morocco.

Medina Souk

Medina Souk is the main market of Marrakesh. Located in the old district which is full of monuments and historical sites, the Medina Souk is characterized by its wonderful blend of narrow lanes, colors, and the marvelous smells of perfumes and various herbs. It is quite recommended for tourists who visit Morocco to explore the Medina Souk.

Many tourists who travel to Morocco pay this market a visit to buy some traditional Moroccan gifts and souvenirs including the traditional Moroccan shoes, perfumes, leather products, herbs, and many other wonderful products.

Almoravids Dome

Almoravids Dome is in fact the most ancient surviving monument in Marrakesh. This marvelous dome was constructed in the 12th century during the reign of Ali ibn Yusuf. The Almoravids Dome is commonly included in several travel packages in Morocco.

Although the layout and the design from outside are rather simple, the dome is quite interesting from inside. The inner part of the dome is featured with its distinctive stone decoration, one of the magnificent features of the Almoravids dynasty architecture. Some tourists who visit Morocco are interested to know more about the civilization of Almoravids dynasty.

The dome is a rare example of the architecture of Almoravids that was largely damaged by Almohads Dynasty that took control of this region of the country afterwards. This is the main reason why many tourists who travel to Morocco are interested to visit it.

Majorelle Garden

A magnificent place to explore in Marrakesh is the Majorelle Garden. This is where you find the fertile soil with many trees and plants including palms and cactus. This garden goes back to the middle of the 20th century when the famous French painter, Jack Majorelle visited Morocco for health reasons.

Majorelle started drawing many several paintings to reflect the life in Marrakesh. This is why travelers who tour Morocco visit the garden to enjoy the natural scenery blended with the French taste of art and how they viewed the life and the architecture of Morocco.

Right Travel is an organized travel agency which provides various packages for tours to Morocco, vacations in Morocco and travel to Morocco.

5 Awesome Places To Visit Near Bangalore For A One-Day Outing

Formerly known as the Garden city of India and now the Silicon Valley of the country, Bangalore is one of the most hunted after cities of the country. It is well-known for its pleasant weather which remains throughout the year. The Rock city of India is popular for its night life when the youth of the city come out and dance out the tiredness of the day.

Well, if the Bangalore natives want to have a one-day outing from Bangalore, here are the 5 incredible places to visit near Bangalore:

1. Ramanagaram
Who can forget this rocky adventure spot which was featured in the famous Bollywood movie Sholay? It is just 50km away from the city and is a perfect spot for a one day trip providing you with a seamless lush green view for trekking, cave exploration, rappelling and many other adventure sports. Well, the ones who have a love for silk clothing must pay a visit to the Silk town, Ramanagaram.

2. Bheemeshwari
Bheemeshwari is one of the most striking places to see in a day around Bangalore. By traveling for just 2 hours and covering a distance of 106km you get an exotic experience of trekking, fishing, boat riding, and camping. In addition to it, this place is popular for its bizarre wildlife and beautiful birds.

3. Nandi Hills
Drive through an amazing view via NH7 and reach a peaceful place located 60km from Bangalore. Those looking for a break from the hustle bustle of the city should visit Nandi hills and experience a warm and beautiful sunrise experience. The place derived its name from the gorgeous statue of Nandi at the doorstep of the Yoganandeeshwara Temple. You will experience a great peaceful trek towards the hill top.

4. Balmuri and Edmuri Waterfalls
Located at a distance of 136km, these waterfalls make a perfect picnic spot for the ones wanting a one-day outing from Bangalore. The water falls are surrounded by lush greenery. You can play around the water and take a serene walk in the green fields. A pleasant break from the cacophony!

5. Savandurga
Savandurga hills, situated around 50km from Bangalore, are one of largest monoliths in Asia. It is one of the paramount trekking destinations near the city. You will get a tranquil atmosphere to calm your nerves as well as a thrilling chance to experience trekking and rock climbing. If you are getting an amazing view, a good trek, and a serene atmosphere at the same place, is there anything more you would ask for?

Visiting these tremendously beautiful tourist destinations you can have a wonderful one day trip from Bangalore’s pace and technical lifestyle. Why waste a weekend in sleeping when you can surround yourself with the immense beauty of nature. Travel makes you discover your inner self and fall in love with you and the surroundings. Travel to the hot spots with your friends and family and calm your nerves from the mundane routine.

The Most Wonderful Museums of Alexandria

Serving as the capital of Egypt and an important commercial and cultural hub for hundreds of years, Alexandria, located to the North of Cairo, overlooking the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, is a city that possesses its own unique magic! Several travel packages in Egypt include a one or two-days visit to Alexandria

Established in the 4th century BC by Alexander the Great during his journey towards the Temple of the Oracle of Amun in Siwa, Alexandria has much to offer to travelers coming from various regions around the world to spend a vacation in Egypt.

In Egypt, a country that hosts a huge number of museums, Alexandria, with its old diverse history, has some quite magnificent museums illustrating different periods of the history of the city and various aspects of the life of Alexandria.

Today, we would be pointing out some of the most interesting museums in Alexandria that we recommend for tourists who travel to Egypt to visit and explore during their holidays.

The Greco Roman Museum

The Greco Roman Museum is perhaps the most interesting museum in Alexandria. Established during the Greek period and flourished under the rule of the Romans, the Greco Roman period witnessed the most glorious days of Alexandria. The museum hosts many displays illustrating this remarkable period since the establishment of the city and till the beginning of the Islamic era. The Greco Roman Museum is often included in many tours to Egypt.

Although the museum is closed for many years, the director of the Greco Roman Museum asserted that it would be officially reopened very soon. Many tours to Egypt, which include a visit to Alexandria, would have a visit to the museum scheduled for its notable historical significance.

The Greco Roman Museum was officially opened in October 1892 as one of the oldest in Egypt. However, due to the large number of displays and exhibits, the museums was transferred to its current location in Fouad Street during the reign of Khedive Abbas Helmi II. With 11 huge halls and 27 exhibition galleries, the Greco Roman Museum grab the attention with many tourists who travel to Egypt.

The Museum of the New Library of Alexandria

The ideas of establishing the Museum of Antiquities in the Library of Alexandria emerged when a group of historical pieces, dating back to the Roman and Byzantine periods, was discovered in the location were the new library of Alexandria was founded. Today, this museum welcomes many travelers coming from all over the globe to enjoy their vacations in Egypt.

The museum was officially opened in October 2002. The displays were carefully chosen to reflect the diversity of the history of Alexandria including displays from the Pharaonic, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, and contemporary periods. There is also a wonderful collection of antiquities that was discovered under the sea in and around Alexandria. A visit to the museum is quite recommended for any travelers spending his vacations in Egypt who is fond of history and art.

The National Museum of Alexandria

The National Museum of Alexandria is one of the most interesting in the city. Established in 2003 during the ruling period of former Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, the museum hosts around 1800 distinctive displays that tell the story of the city of Alexandria since its establishment and until the revolution of 1952. The museum welcomes hundreds of tourists who visit Egypt every day.

Right Travel is an organized travel agency which provides various packages for tours to Egypt, vacations in Egypt and travel to Egypt.

5 Updated Tips on How to Find Top Solo Travel Deals

For adults dreaming of relaxing quietly by poolside in summer, the two most dreaded words are “Marco Polo”. Why? The game never ends. While you try to nap, loud shouts volley back and forth from all sides.

For all of us solo travelers, the two most dreaded words are “single supplement”. In the past, 50% was common. Some trips could even be 100%. The worst I have seen was a tour I took. It started at a 50% single supplement at $7,500. Pairs were charged $5,000 each. Next, an advance sale offered pairs or couples “2 for the price of 1” or $2,500! The result? While they had 2 for 1 pricing, I paid for “1 for the price of 3”!

Here are our 5 updated tips on how to find top solo travel deals.

1. Consider a substitute destination. For example, if you are looking for castles and centuries-old history, compare prices in both Western and Eastern Europe. Dreaming of the South Pacific? Price the Cook Islands against the higher rates in Tahiti.

2. Travel off-season. There are two big mistakes here. First, many travelers don’t know that rates go down as fast as the second week in Sept. In the south of France, you can get up to 50% off that early. It is just before many hotels close for the season. Secondly, you must adjust off-season plans not only by time of year but for climate. For example, the Caribbean rates go down as the heat soars. As a result, beach lovers can find good prices in July and Aug. In contrast, Paris has top discounts of almost half in the midst of winter’s chill.

3. Get out your calculator. Compare every rate for which you qualify as most are not cumulative. So if you are a student or senior, government or corporate employee, see what is the lowest price that you can get. You may find that publicly available discounts can exceed some affinity programs.

4. Gift yourself. How does this work? Most travelers look right away at their rewards programs and frequent flyer accounts for flight deals or upgrades. Do take a look at the restaurant deals, but watch for geographic limits. Where those work, you can save a lot on trips since meal costs are often overlooked in budgeting. Last minute deals may still have a high single supplement but can have a low enough overall rate to be of interest.

5. Think like an international finance guru. Look to see where the dollar/your currency buys the most value. Canada and US exchange rates are a recent example. Although the dollar buys more in the UK than it did, the conversion is still a factor in already expensive London.

The good news is that as solo travelers increase more travel providers are adjusting prices to attract individual travelers. However, no single supplement specials go fast so do book early. Watch out for our updated tips on how to see the world no matter the size of your budget!

15 Things Not to Do in Japan

f you have plans to visit Japan, there are some things you need to know. Familiarizing yourself with some basic Japanese cultural practices will go a long way in making your trip there enjoyable. Also, you are not likely to get into trouble. Here are things you should not do based on Japan culture.

1. Don’t enter a house wearing your shoes

Are you used to walking around in your house in your shoes? Well, you might get yourself in trouble if you do that in Japan. There is a special place where you should keep your shoes before entering the house. Also, there are slippers for guests when entering a room.

2. Don’t shout on the train

Trains are very common in Japan. However, people don’t make noise while in trains. They are always silent. If you have to speak to someone, do it in a low tone. Use your earphones if you have to listen to some music.

3. Don’t use your phone on trains

As indicated earlier, Japanese don’t like any noise in the trains. You will rarely find someone using his phone to make a call in the train. If you have to use your phone, send a message or talk in a low tone so as not to distract other people.

4. Don’t eat on trains

Japanese do not eat when traveling on commuter trains. Drinking is okay unless the train is too crowded. However, in long distance trains, eating and drinking are allowed. Food and beverages are also sold in such trains.

5. Don’t forget to remove toilet slippers

Once you get to Japan, you will notice that there are slippers only used when going to the toilet. These slippers are easily noticeable since they have particular words or pictures. Always remember to remove them when entering your house or walking on the streets.

6. Don’t tip anyone

While it is common to tip anyone after an excellent service in many cultures, Japan is an exception. No matter how satisfied you are with their service, they never accept tips. In fact, someone will come running after you, returning the tip!

7. Don’t ignore someone you are speaking with

If you are talking with a Japanese person, always stay calm and attentive. You may sound impolite and rude by just failing to show that you have understood a point. Whenever speaking, show your attentiveness by talking back.

8. Don’t photograph everything

Despite Japan being a beautiful country, you are not allowed to take photos everywhere. It is advisable to always ask someone before taking photos. You must be granted permission to take pictures in museums, temples, and shrines.

9. Don’t hug anyone you meet

Hugging is common in western countries. However, in Japan, it is not. You don’t hug someone you come across in Tokyo streets. Most of the older folks don’t like the habit. If you want to hug someone, then it’s best to know their age group and whether they are comfortable with it.

10. Don’t eat or drink when walking

It is uncommon to find Japanese eating or drinking while they are walking. Even on the streets with food stalls they always find a place to sit. Now you know how to behave when you are on Japanese streets so you don’t look foreign.

11. Don’t receive a present with one hand

Whenever receiving a gift or a visiting card from a Japanese, use your two hands and bow. Then tell him thank you. On receipt of a gift, don’t open it until the person who has given it to you has left.

12. Don’t throw away trash haphazardly

Another thing you might find hard to get used to is how to handle your trash. In most cities around the world, there are a lot of trash cans however, Japanese cities are different. People are encouraged to carry their trash until they find a place to dispose of it.

13. Don’t fail to say “thank you”

The verb “thank you” is highly valued in Japan. Learn to say it after being served in a hotel or store. Familiarize yourself with how bowing is done in Japan. You must always bow and say thank you when you meet with elders.

14. Don’t write down a person’s name in red ink

In Japan, it is OK to write “goodbye” in red ink but not a person’s name. The Japanese consider it to be disobedient. Therefore, if you have to write down your Japanese friend’s name, you know which color to avoid.

15. Don’t be shy

It is common for tourists to ask for help from locals. When you get to Japan, don’t be shy or afraid of asking for anything. They are very friendly and helpful. Even when you accidentally forget something somewhere, go back as no one is going to take it away.

Solo Travel – 10 Ways to Save on Single Supplements

In your school days, you may have found, as I did, that economics really is the “dismal science”. However, I did learn one key fact. Supply and demand drive prices. For solo travel, the surcharge or “single supplement” does vary partly in keeping with this tried and true rule. The good news? If you prowl through the Internet, you can find ways to save on solo travel when demand is down. The bad news? Reduced or no single supplement offerings are limited in number and go fast.

Here are 10 ways to save.

1. Don’t ask for one room. Ask for a “room for one’. In Europe, lodging is often sold with solo pricing. Be sure to see if it is a solo price for a standard room or a small single room. Look at the size offered for single occupants. Then consider the amount of time you will spend in your room. I often take 10-12 hour day trips abroad with almost no time spent in my hotel room except to catch some sleep before heading out again.

2. Get there first. Book even one year ahead since few slots are reduced for solos. This is really important if you go in-season. Holiday resorts and hot spots in summer may have return visitors book the next year when they check out.

3. Head to the airport when everyone else is heading home. Off-season travel is the best way to get immediate 50% off reductions. In the south of France, rates go down as fast as Sept 9. Ski resorts, like the fabled Sun Valley Lodge, have specials just before Christmas. In winter and spring, European discounts can be half-price as well.

4. Get excited about rainy weather or extreme heat and cold. You will have to think how far you want to take this. I had a thrilling short term work trip one Jan. in Siberia. I also went on tour in India during the monsoons. In some cases, the negative pronouncements may not impact your trip. A good example? The risk of hurricanes each fall is less likely to touch the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) making for better pricing. In Africa, for example, safari rates are lower during the rainy or “green” season if you can get away, and don’t mind the possibility of short, heavy rains.

5. Look for new travel providers. Hotels that are just opening or reopening after renovations have specials to gain or regain market share. The Hotel Castille in Paris, for example, had short-term deep discounts when it reopened just steps from fashionable boutiques. Thereafter, the rates increased in keeping with other high-end small hotels

6. Be a contrarian. Don’t pay a premium for what’s currently trending. Prowl the Internet for undervalued regions. If it is all the rage, prices will soar. In the 1980’s, I somehow found a Montenegro resort right off the Albanian border. Since then, Sveti Stefan, where I stayed, has been updated as reflected in its 5 star pricing. The moral of the story is get there before the crowds discover a destination.

7. If you can’t pronounce it or spell it, you’ll love the prices! Substitute the road less traveled. If you have a dream to see the Parthenon you must go to Greece. (That is unless you live in North America and would like to see a perfect replica in Nashville, Tenn.!) Regional air carriers are a good way to find out great largely undiscovered places at low prices. One example: I dreamed of Tahiti in my early post-graduate days. When rates were high there, Air New Zealand suggested alternatives: Rarotonga and Aitutaki. I took them up on it and had the trip of a life time dining out on the stories for years.

8. Scour the Internet for national and regional programs offered by tourist boards. Check ahead as they may only be available abroad. One of the best deals I found in the 1990’s was with then “Lan Chile”. From the US, I purchased three stand-by tickets for a total of $200 to go anywhere in the country. At that price, I made my way to Antarctica Chile, at the end of the world!

9. Use flexible dates to grab week-day deals. Hotels and airline rates often go up and down together. Why is that? That takes us back to supply and demand. When planes and hotels have low load factors, prices are softer.

10. Share to save. Look for tours that have no single supplements by agreeing to share. The benefit to this approach? It is a way to save if your travel dates are not flexible, and no to low single supplement deals are not available.

In any case, before you give up on fitting solo travel into your budget, look at these options.