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Posts Tagged ‘water’

Lake Atitlan

This picture was taken on Lake Atitlan, in Guatemala. The lake is accessible by bus or shuttle from Antigua, and probably other nearby cities. The lake is surrounded by towns that can provide you with plenty of places to stay and plenty of shopping. Santiago de Atitlan also has a very cool tourist attraction. If you are looking for an authentic experience here this is the place to go. Ask any tuk tuk driver to take you to see Maximon (pronounced Mashymoan). He is the patron saint of gamblers and drunkards, and going to see him in the house where he is currently being hosted is quite an experience. The room is usually decorated with streamers, lots of fruits hanging from the ceiling, and bottles of Quetzalteca rum around on the floor. The room will also likely be filled with smoke from the cigars that are burning away in the statues mouth, and maybe some incense. It’s really cool to see, and I would highly recommend it. All the towns have shopping and places to stay, but I’d recommend Panajachel.

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Amazon Shore line: Adventures in the Flooded Forest

This picture was taken in the Amazon Rainforest somewhere on the Juma River. The Juma is one of the many offshoots of the Amazon and the Rio Negro. Taking boats along any of these river areas gives you an opportunity to see birds, monkeys, and sometimes Caimans or Iguanas; all of which are pretty difficult to see when hiking through the dense forest. Boats are also a pretty good way to stay cool and still cover a large area. It’s a fun, not stressful, way to spend a day!

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Boat on a River

This picture was taken from a boat on the Mekong River in Myanmar. You can take a boat on the Mekong to go see the sunset, and I’ve got to say, it’s really beautiful. I like boats, and taking the boat trip gave me a slightly different perspective of the area than walking around did. The view is really cool, and it’s also pretty interesting to see people in different types of boats doing different things. These men were fishing with a net, which was interesting to watch. We also saw passenger boats carrying tourists, Buddhist monks, and locals who were just getting from one side of the river to the other. Also visible from the boat are the many pagodas in the area, their mountain-like shapes and spires make for a really cool horizon. You can also see people on the banks, just going about everyday life; planting or harvesting, collecting shells, kids play and bathing in the shallows near the rivers banks, it’s a good way to get a better idea of what life is really like here. If you are interested in arranging a boat trip for an hour or two, you can probably do so at your hotel, or you can just head over to the banks and see if there are any boats taking tourists/ travelers out.

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These pictures were taken at the amazingly beautiful Tat Kuang Si Waterfall, just outside Luang prabang, Laos. The waterfalls are absolutely gorgeous, and, you can swim in any of the pools that are marked for it (there are signs to tell you which pools you can or cannot swim in). The you can find a place in town to set up a visit here, and often the trips are a joint package with some of the other sight seeing stuff in the area. Just outside of the waterfalls there is an area where you can see asiatic black bears (in captivity); this area is a rescue center through Free the Bears. The group rescues bears that were captured for use in traditional medicine. The area is really cool, and the waterfalls are just stunning. Absolutely worth a visit!

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These pictures show the Basilica Cistern (the Turkish name is Yerebatan Sarayı) in Istanbul, Turkey. This beautiful underground structure was built by Justinian in 532 C.E., and it’s a really interesting place to visit. Not only is it pretty, but it’s really an amazing architectural feat when you think about how long it’s been standing and how good it looks despite its age. This is a great place to escape the heat on a summer day, and it’s just a really neat place to hang out for a little bit. Not pictured here (but i’ll put it up soon) are some very cool pillars with statues of Medusa’s head supporting them. This is one of the main attractions in Istanbul, and it’s within walking distance of the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. Just a heads up, it is a bit dark in here and it tends to be damp, so if you’re planning on visiting have appropriate footwear and be sure to watch your step.

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This picture was taken just outside Krakow, Poland in the Wieliczka Salt Mine. The mines are pretty cool, the tours take you through the old mines, but it’s more than just a historic site. The mines are also home to a myriad of impressive statues carved from the salt, as well as a beautiful underground chapel complete with salt crystal chandeliers. When we were in Poland it was absurdly hot (91 degrees Fahrenheit on our first day) so we retreated to this underground system for some cooler (in the temperature sense) sight seeing. The mines are a little chilly, so maybe bring a sweatshirt! If you’ve never been to a mine it’s interesting, I thought it was pretty neat, and it’s an unusual thing to have an opportunity to visit. Also, you can get to the mines by taking a bus from Krakow, which doesn’t take to long.

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This photo was taken in Vienna, Austria. This is a pretty easy city to walk around in, and in walking you find lots of beautiful things. we found this particular fountain while on the way to an ice cream parlor called Zanoni and Zanoni (side note: if you are a fan of incredible deliciousness then you should find Zanoni and Zanoni’s somewhere around Vienna, and try it. Everything there is wonderful) Vienna, like a lot of cities in Europe is just a great place to walk around, but if you want to see a lot without all the walking they also have a really great public transport system

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