Vermont Travel

Vermont is a state in the New England region of the United States. Montpelier is the capital of Vermont.

Montpelier is the smallest state capital in the United States.

It’s a small town with big city attractions – such as arts, music, restaurants, schools, recreational facilities, government facilities and churches.

Vermont is a Green Mountain State, great for outdoor activities.

The Killington Resort is one of those great outdoor places to visit; the terrain provides skiers different levels of excitement with a host of unique runs.

It’s serviced by 22 lifts and two express gondolas.

The resort also has six terrain parks which include snowboarders, free skiers snowmobile tours, sleigh rides, and snowshoeing.

One of these terrains is called The Stash: the stash is an all-natural terrain park with more than 50 features, as well as a 500-foot long Superpipe with 18-foot walls.

Killington is an all year around place – during the changing of the seasons Killington is known for being the hosts of festivals, competitions from Rails 2 Riches and Dirty Girl Mud Runs – these of course these are accompanied by great bands.

During the Spring and Fall after the snow melts, Killington features an 18-hole championship golf course as well as 35 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.

Vermont also has other great places of interest which include, Shelburne, Wilson Castle, Bunker Hill Monument, Walden Pond State Reservation, Hildene Farm, Deerfield, The Champlain Islands, Grafton, Stowe, Manchester, the Quechee Gorge and of course Burlington.

Shelburne is a town in Chittenden County, Vermont located along the shores of Lake Champlain.
Shelburne is a suburb of Burlington, the largest city in the state of Vermont.

Wilson Castle is a nineteenth-century estate built in 1867 in a mix of nineteenth-century architectural styles including Dutch Neo-Renaissance, Scottish Baronial, Queen Anne, and Romanesque Revival, it is now a museum.

The Bunker Hill Monument was built to commemorate The Battle of Bunker Hill, which was one of the first major battles between British and Patriot forces in the American Revolutionary War, fought June 17, 1775.

The 221-foot granite obelisk was erected between 1825 and 1843, there are 294 steps to the top.

Walden Pond is part of the Massachusetts Forests and Parks system. Walden Pond State Reservation consists of 335 acres of protected open space.

In summer the Reservation is a popular swimming destination. In the spring and fall, it’s a popular hiking trail that leads you to a replica of Thoreau’s one-room cabin.

Hildene Farm is in Manchester in the heart of The Shires of Vermont on the 412-acre estate of Robert Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln and wife, Mary.

Hildene Farm also connects the family’s legacy to the sustainable and green practices. It utilizes renewable energy resources from solar panels and wood fuel.

The barn is designed specifically to house Hilden’s herd of Nubian goats.

They have a public viewing of cheese production from milking to small batch processing, pasteurization, aging and packaging of Hildene Farm Artisanal Cheeses.

Deerfield is a museum with historic houses, villages and countryside. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark District.

Deerfield is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Champlain Islands of Vermont are five breath-taking lakeside communities, nestled into Lake Champlain between Vermont and New York.

The Town of Grafton is one of the smallest and most scenic towns of Windham County.

Grafton is one of New England’s prettiest villages, with many historic buildings.
It is wonderful town that still holds traditional Town Meetings.

Grafton is a great place to walk thru the forests, swim in the river, mountain bike, visit shops, galleries and museums.

Grafton is also known for having very friendly people. Great hospitality, place to just sit and relax in a comfortable atmosphere.

Stowe Mountain is a resort surrounded by Mount Mansfield; the highest peak in Vermont and Spruce Peak.

Stowe Mountain is known for good skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating.

Manchester is in the heart of the Green Mountains, this former iron-mining town today is an all-season destination.

In Manchester you can ski down the slopes, hike thru the mountains, fish in the river, canoe, ride bicycle thru scenic trails, go shopping, and enjoy great restaurants.

The Quechee gorge is home to the Quechee Lakes.

Quechee is known for a picturesque covered bridge at the site of the old Quechee Mill, which now houses the Simon Pearce glass-blowing facility and restaurant.

Woodstock is a town in Windsor County, Vermont. Some of the great tourist attractions in Woodstock are The Farmhouse; owned by Laurence Rockefeller and his wife Mary French Rockefeller, The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park , and the Appalachian Trail.

Burlington is the most populous city in the state of Vermont. It’s Church Street Marketplace – has a four-block pedestrian mall in the heart of the city, is the site of festivals year round.

Burlington is known for such events as the South End Art Hop, the Pine Street Art Works, the Festival of Fools, The Vermont Brewers Festival, the Giant Pumpkin Regatta and Festival, and for having the largest all year-round farmers markets in the state of Vermont.

Vermont is no doubt a great place to visit no matter what time of year you travel. Let me know if you decide to visit, have a safe flight.

Paris Travel

Paris is and always have been a great place to travel to,  it’s  history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them:

Paris, capital of France

It’s 105 square kilometres which is about 41 square miles, it was founded in the 3rd century BC by a Celtic people called the Parisii, who gave the city it’s name.

In the 12th century, it was the largest city in the western world, a prosperous trading centre. It’s also the home of one of the oldest Universities in history; The University of Paris.

In the 17th century Paris became one of Europe’s major finance, commerce, fashion, science, and arts center, a position that still keeps today.

Paris is the banking and financial centre of France, houses the headquarters of 29 of the 31 French companies ranked in the 2015 Fortune Global 500.

The city is also a major rail, highway, and air-transport hub, serves two international airports Paris-Charles de Gaulle which is the second busiest airport in Europe after London Heathrow Airport, and Paris-Orly.

The Paris Metro opened in 1900, serves 5.23 million passengers daily. It’s the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro.

The central area of the city along the Seine River is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site, and includes many notable monuments, including Notre Dame Cathedral (12th – 13th century); the Sainte-Chapelle (13th century); the Eiffel Tower (1889); the Grand Palais and Petit Palais (1900); and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre (1914).

Paris is also known for its fashion, particularly the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week, which includes Haute Couture, Paris Fashion Week for Men, and Paris Sping and Summer Collections.

Paris has alot of restaurants that are three stars or better, known for it’s fine food.


Most of France’s major universities and grandes écoles are located in Paris.

Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération are France’s major newspapers.

The association football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are also based in Paris.

If you are a sports fan you will like to visit the 80,000 seat Stade de France, which was constructed for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. It is located just north of Paris in the commune of Saint Denis.

Paris was also the hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros.

Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics – and is bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016 were all held in the city, and every July the cycling Tour de France finishes there.

The Louvre Museum has some 35,000 artworks. View the paintings, sculpture and architecture from 450 BC to the 19th century.

Among the most popular is Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa.

The museum has an English-speaking tour guide, with audio headsets, great for those who like to stand behind the crowd.

Enjoy a walking tour of the Palais Garnier, Paris’ premier opera house, it’s one of largest opera houses in Europe.

The Opera Garnier, as it is often called, inspired the setting for the famous musical, ‘Phantom of the Opera.’

There you will see the Grand Foyer, the main staircase (Grand Escalier in French).

The Neo-Baroque décor of this beautiful palace was designed by French architect Charles Garnier in the late 19th century. A guided tour usually takes an hour and a half to complete.

One of the unique things of France is that it offers you the opportunity to take to the skies in a hot air balloon ride, over Fontainebleau.

One of the highlights is watching the balloon inflation process, then taking a flight over the Fontainbleau countryside.

This was a former hunting ground of French royalty.

Once above you can view the whole town, the castle, and the wildlife of the forest.

When you land, you get to enjoy a glass of Champagne for the traditional toast des aéronautes, and then return by vehicle to the starting point.

Montmartre is the hilly part of Paris, decorated by a staircase that leads to the famous Sacré Coeur Cathedral.

There is another church on the hill, the older Saint Pierre de Montmartre, which is the founding place of the Jesuits.

The area is also famous for its nightlife and artists. The Moulin Rouge the cabaret that invented the can-can, a feisty French dance that put Montmartre on the map.

During sometime in their life artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, Modigliani, Renoir and Dali all lived and or worked for some time in the area.


The Dali Espace museum is also worth a visit. Then make your way into a different kind of Paris as you stroll along quiet country streets that will make you forget you’re in a major European capital!

At the highest natural point you can appreciate two stunning views: the magnificent Sacré Coeur basilica on one side, and a panorama of Paris on the other.

If you are about to travel to Paris, do not forget to pack the right adapters for your small appliances. Otherwise, you will get yourself into trouble.

Electricity in France—and more generally in Europe—comes out of the electrical outlets at 230-240 volts. In the US, the voltage is 110 volts.

The Paris train, metro, RER, tram and bus system uses a smart card called Passe Navigo Découverte for week passes.

These passes are open to visitors as opposed to normal Navigo passes which are for residents of Ile-de-France only.

The services included are any metro, RER (suburban) train, buses (RATP/Noctilien/Optile), and trams up to the zone limits of your pass.

You can buy a Navigo Découverte pass at nearly any Metro, RER, Transilien train ticket window that normally sells tickets and passes.

Have a good time in Paris, take lots of pictures and share some with us, bon voyage!

The Netherlands Travel

The Neherlands is a wonderful place to travel to. It’s history is full of interesting facts – here a a few of them.

The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest exporter of food, flowers,  and agricultural products, after the United States.

Holland is a word that is used to describe The Netherlands.

It’s readily associated with windmills, wooden shoes, beer, tulips, and cheese.

Old Holland consisted of The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. The three were once one country – generally known as Holland.

Between 1588 and 1795, the area currently known as The Netherlands was the Republic of Seven United Netherlands.

The republic was conquered by French troops in 1795 and became the Bat-avian Republic. Napoleon appointed his brother Louis as king in 1806, turning the country into a kingdom.

The Netherlands remained a kingdom after Napoleon’s defeat. At that time, the area called “Holland” made the biggest contribution to the entire nation’s economy and wealth.

As such the name Holland became the commonly used term to indicate the entire country.

Pay Bas is another name associated with The Netherlands.

The Benelux Union refers to the political, cultural, and economic union of three Western Europe states.

Namely Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

Benelux is a cobination derived from the first two or three letters of the names of each of these countries.

The Benelux Union is one of the oldest economic unions in the world.

The union was established to promote cooperation and economic integration within the member states.

The Benelux was established in September of 1944 at the London Customs Convention, and took effect until 1948 – when the countries economies stabilized from the consequences of World War II.

The member states agreed on lowering custom duties and import duties, eliminating import quotas, and easing other trade restrictions among the union members.

West Germany, Italy, and France joined the Benelux Union in 1951.

The union grew to become the European Economic Community and later the European Union.

The European Union took prominence over the Benelux union.

Nonetheless the Benelux Union continues to a strong pillar in the Dutch, Belgium, and Luxembourg culture, and a very important part of their history.

The three largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Amsterdam being the capital.

When the United States formed the government consisting of the first 13 states, English became the official language of the United States by one vote – Dutch in second place and French came close with fewer votes – took third place.

The port of Rotterdam is the world’s largest port outside East-Asia, and by far the largest port in Europe.

Most people to date call  The Netherlands; Holland.

The Netherlands means “lower countries”, influenced by its low land and flat geography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding one meter above sea level.

The Netherlands also counts with a active beach area.

Very close to the dunes (man helped mountains). The dutch built them to keep the sea from invading their land. A great place to ride bike. One of the nicest sites in the area is watching people of all ages ride bike.

It’s not rare to see someone in their eighties ride bike. A site that makes the human heart rejoice.

Have fun, take a lot of photos and let me know about your trip to The Netherlands.

Don’t forget to take a boat trip…. Let me know how it was……

 

 

Travel to Grand Canyon National Park

Travel  to the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a gift from the past, take the time to enjoy it. Walk along it’s trails, and feel the brilliance of the sun upon your skin; as the wind blows thru your hair.

Experience a sunrise or sunset in the Canyon, and feel the connection between the elements, as you gaze upon the shadows of time – as the sun sets or rises over different parts of the land.

The Grand Canyon is a great place to travel and it’s opened all year. The North End reaches a height-over 2,700 m (8,858 feet). It’s opened from May to October, if weather conditions allow it.

The South End, has an average altitude of 2,300 m (7,546 feet). Hiking from the South End to the river usually takes two days.

The Grand Canyon National Park encompasses more than 1.2 million acres, the vast majority of which are inaccessible due to the predominance of cliffs.

There are plants and animals in the area, mainly those who survive in the desert.

The Colorado River bisects the canyon; if you are a hiker and want to cross the river you can only do it at Phantom Ranch.

If you choose to hike from rim to river to rim, you will have to deal with an elevation differential of more than 10,000 feet from start to finish.

Recommendations

The Grand Canyon National Park is huge; plan the areas you want to visit – divide those by hours or days -then find out what tours are available.

I recommend the Grand Canyon Tour Company, they offer a large variety of tours, some of the more popular ones are:

Helicopter Tours, White Water Rafting Tours, Colorado River Float Trips, Jeep Tours, Bus Tours, Train Tours, Airplane Tours, and lots more.

Heights and Distances can be Deceiving –  play it safe. Take a tour. 

The Grand Canyon Tour Company has been serving Las Vegas visitors since 1982.

Driving

If driving keep your gas tank full the next gas station may be quite some distance down the road.

Carry water in your car, particularly during summer months.

Biking at Grand Canyon National Park

Bicycles are not available for rent at the park.  Bicycle riders in Arizona are subject to the same traffic rules as automobiles. Use extreme caution when riding on park roads; shoulders are narrow and vehicle traffic is heavy.

The West Rim Drive is open to bicycles throughout the year, but remember that during the summer months there is heavy bus traffic on the West Rim Drive. Use caution and do not obstruct the traffic.

Bicycles are not allowed on any park trails.
Mountain bikes are allowed only on those roads open to automobile traffic.

Photos

Don’t forget your camera – and take the best photos of your life. One idea is to take a picture of the same area at different times of the day.

The Grand Canyon is known for it’s pictures, by word of mouth – usually from friends and neighbors who been there.

Besides creating a beautiful site – the shadows create a world a within a world – like a natural clock. Can you tell what time it is by the shadows?

We must ensure that future generations have the opportunity to establish their own connections with nature and the Grand Canyon National Park is the place to do it.

Let me know how your trip went……………