Travel

Travel

Why Taking a Portable Generator on Your Road Trip is the Best Decision You’ll Ever Make

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Making the decision to head out on a road trip, whether it’s for one week, one month or one year, is a hugely exciting experience no matter how young or old you are, as is the idea of exploring unknown places, whether that’s at home or abroad. From deciding what clothes to pack, how much food you’ll need to take and whether you’re covered by your current motor insurance abroad, there are a huge amount of considerations and preparations you simply must think about.

No matter if you’re a weathered adventurer or you’re setting off on your very first road trip, there are always items you’re going to forget, but one thing you simply must not overlook is a portable generator. A portable generator is just that – portable – and takes up very little room when travelling around. As well as this, they have a whole host of practical uses – here are just a few:

Practicalities

Whether you’re sleeping in a tent or you’re in something a little more luxurious, like a campervan, there are certain things that will make a road trip just that little bit easier. From hair dryers to portable freezers, a portable generator will allow you to power all of those essentials you simply cannot go without. Being able to generate power for a portable freezer or fridge will mean that you can travel around more freely and eradicate the worry of having to plan your days around finding food and drink.

Portable Generator
Portable Generator

Entertainment

A portable generator, like the ones sold by SGS Engineering, are a necessity if you want to use any sort of electrical items whilst you’re away. If you are road tripping for longer than a week or two and especially if you’re camping or spending the night in the middle of nowhere, then you’ll no doubt go a little mad if you’re left with no entertainment. A portable generator can power a television set and a radio, allowing you to catch up on your favourite shows or news whilst you’re away.

Keep in Contact

Modern technology is everywhere these days, and whilst you may want to appear the reckless, un-contactable type, especially if you’re travelling alone, at some point you’re going to want to let someone know you’re okay. As well as this, it’s important for emergency purposes too. A portable generator gives you the opportunity to charge your phone, but it’s entirely up to you whether you switch it on.

Before you hit the road, ensure you spend time researching which generator will suit the jobs you want it to do, as well as emitting little or no noise when you’re using it.

A small town inside a baseball court

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The story starts with an impressive baseball stadium in the center of Osaka in Japan to become the headquarters of the famous Japanese baseball team Nankai Hawks. The capacity of the land reached the 31.380 people and created based on all the new technologies and included the most modern construction. The fans, in fact, thrilled with the impressive result of step, but their joy did not last long.

baseball court town
baseball court town
baseball court town
baseball court town

In 1998 the company who build and operated the stadium decided to sell the site to a Japanese group of companies and transferred to the city Fukuoka, which built the new baseball stadium. To result was that stage to fall into disuse and be left unused for a long time. By the time it was decided to construct houses in the interior, while parks and green flower beds filled soon the scene.

baseball court town
baseball court town
baseball court town
baseball court town

This created a strange little town on the court, in the center of Osaka, where residents had the privilege to say, and not without a reason, that baseball is deeply in their heart!

By Nicole P.

A luxury hotel recreates poverty conditions for tourists

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In the South African city of Bloemfonteine​​, a hotel chain called Emoya Luxury Hotel & Spa has adapted an apartment complex to simulate the South African villages where they live in misery. This complex, called The Shanty Town, has adopted the “Play to be poor for a while” slogan, and it’s designed for upper-class tourists who want to feel poor for a few days without sinking their feet in the mud.

Shanty Town scenario
The Shanty Town scenario

The “poor village” has 12 cottages that keep a poverty facade (with wood and tin houses), so that those ones who fantasize about being homeless for a few days don’t stop feeling the comfort. The surroundings and the history of the place were reconstructed following business purposes: the cabins are immersed in an waste environment (placed there as the attrezzo), the bathroom is out of the houses and tourists are encouraged to heat water in street bonfires.

The Shanty Town website says: “Now you can experience how it is to stay in a hut inside a private reserve. It is the only village in the world equipped with heating and Wi-Fi … The huts are ideal for teamwork, luxury themed parties or for havig a life experience. Our theme park is completely safe and child friendly.”

Slum-themed huts
Slum-themed huts

For an estimated per night of about $80 (150 thousand pesos), equivalent to half the South African average monthly salary, adults and children can spend a night in a similar cabin to the ones in poor areas of the country. The idea, according to Emoya Luxury Hotel, is to put the tourists in contact with poverty in South Africa.

But the experience is not quite complete because the cottages are located in a private space that belongs to the hotel. Here guests have electricity, internet access, heating, bathroom with shower, and other facilities.

Obviously, this kind of fiction meant for the rich to experience life like the poor got several criticisms. In particular, considering that in Africa the majority of the population lives in extreme poverty.

Why Fall Isn’t All About Leaves Changing Colors – A Guide to Seeing the Best Wildlife

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When we think of fall, we almost always think about the beautiful colors that dot the landscape. It’s incredibly beautiful, to be sure, but that’s not all there is to this time of year.

When the leaves fall and the air gets crisp, you have the chance to get up-close and personal with wildlife that remains fairly secluded during other months of the year. From bull elk to bighorn sheep, the opportunities for viewing wildlife are nearly unmatched.

The key is getting to the places where wildlife viewing is at its best. Let’s take a look at a few of the best places to do just that this fall across the American West.

Glacier National Park

Located in the extreme northwest corner of Montana, Glacier is a bucket-list park for anyone who loves the outdoors. For those who love wildlife and an incredible landscape, you can’t afford to miss a visit here in the fall.

source: here

Glacier is home to one of the Lower 48’s largest grizzly bear populations – without the crowds of tourists that Yellowstone commands – in addition to elk and mountain goats.

Fall in Glacier means very chilly weather though, so you need to be prepared for a random snowstorm. Hiking through the park is unpredictable as well, thanks to the weather, but if you’re experienced enough with the climate of the American West, you’ll be just fine.

Zion National Park

While they used to be scarce, bald eagles are now plentiful out West. Seeing one of these majestic birds is a privilege.

source: here

At Zion National Park, bald eagles use the park as a place to winter over. In the late fall, you’ll likely be able to spot them moving into their winter nests. Zion is home to Rocky Mountain Goats, bighorn sheep, and mule deer, too, so you’ll see plenty of other animals aside from the bald eagle.

Katmai National Park

If bears are on your list of must-see wildlife, then Katami National Park is a place you can’t afford to not visit.

source:here

The park is home to over 2,200 brown bears, and in the fall they’re getting ready for hibernation. This means a lot of eating – and a lot of opportunity to see one of North America’s most majestic animals.

Rocky Mountain National Park

If high altitude doesn’t concern you, then a visit to rocky mountain national park rv rental is a great way to get up close to wildlife without going too far away from the accoutrements of civilization.

The park is home to elk, bears, mountain lions, moose, and deer. The best part though, is that during the fall the elk and deer are especially active.

In Moraine Park – a section of RMNP – multiple pullouts along the road exist solely for people to stop and observe the elk that so often congregate there. Colorado’s elk herds are among the largest in the country, and their moose herds are fairly healthy as well. Your chances of seeing both of those animals is very high.

Fall is one of the best times of the year to get out and enjoy nature. The crisp air rejuvenates the soul, and seeing animals in the wild is an awe-inspiring experience. Don’t settle for other people’s pictures this fall – go out and get your own.

5 Hidden Treasures of New York

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New York is undoubtedly one of the world’s most significant tourist destinations, and much like any hotspot, it has countless “must see” attractions that everyone knows. However, although these landmarks deserve all of the attention that they get, sometimes it feels better to discover something a little out of the ordinary.

image source: here

New York, being the expansive metropolis that it is, still has a plethora of unique and interesting spots that are yet to be discovered by the rest of the world. For every towering skyscraper, there’s a quirky museum or a hidden bar just waiting to be found. Therefore, we’ve put together a list of our top 5 hidden treasures in New York, so that you too can enjoy some of the city’s most charming secrets.

1 – Mmuseumm

Mmuseumm is the well hidden modern history museum created by entrepreneur Alex Kalman. Located in a converted freight elevator down an alley in Chinatown, the eclectic selection of exhibits that occupy MMuseumm’s walls make it one of the most uniquely intriguing places to visit in the city, as well as a polar opposite to the more traditional museums that call New York their home. Planning ahead is advised as it’s only open Thursday through Sunday, but if you can get there, it’s definitely worth a visit.

2 – Fragment of the Berlin Wall

Although not many are aware of this, there is in fact 5 panels of the iconic Berlin Wall situated inside the lobby of 520 Madison avenue, just a short walk from the Museum of Modern Art. Segments of the legendary wall can be found in various locations all over the world, but this particular slab is one of largest sections that has been kept intact, thus making it particularly significant.

3 – City Hall Station

Originally opened as part of the cities inaugural subway line in 1904, the City Hall station is now inoperative, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t witness its spellbinding beauty. Closing in 1945, the stations distinctive architecture and design is an absolute treat that can only truly be appreciated in the flesh, however, doing so can be difficult. There are guided tours provided by the New York Transit Museum, but these are infrequent, so if you want to make this visit a part of your trip then it would be advisable to book in advance.

4 – Staten Island Boat Graveyard

If you’re willing to go a bit further afield, then Staten Island’s Boat Graveyard is one of the most undeniably interesting places in all of New York. This Salvage Yard is home to a mass of decommissioned ships, many of which hold significant historical importance. Whether you’re a ship enthusiast or you’re just looking for a truly unique experience, the Boat Graveyard is undoubtedly one of the eeriest yet most powerful sights that the city has to offer.

5 – PDT (Please Don’t Tell)

PDT is one of many hidden speakeasies that can be found around New York City. Now infamous for it’s attempts to stay hidden, the bar is located behind a vintage telephone booth in Crif Dogs, a hot dog restaurant in the East Village. The atmosphere in PDT really makes it feel like you’re part of an exclusive group, predominantly thanks to its smaller size, ‘hidden’ entrance, and traditional 1920’s style.

If this has got you planning your next trip to New York, then you’ll want to check out the competition by  tombola bingo, to be in with a chance of winning a trip to Big Apple. You’ll be able to put visit our very own hidden treasures yourself!

The Joys of Melbourne

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Although the landmarks of Sydney; the Opera House, Harbour Bridge etc., appear on most Australian postcards, it is surprisingly not the city to visit, should you be planning on venturing Down Under. The city that you should travel to, is Melbourne and if you can only go to one Australian city, then it should definitely be the bustling metropolis of Australia’s ‘Second City’.

Established on August 30, 1835, Melbourne has come a long way since John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner agreed to share the territory. What was once a village is now a city of 4,347,955 people; second only to Sydney in regards to population – largely thanks to mass exponential growth following the gold rush of 1851. The former tented village that was built upon the embankments of the River Yarra is now the most liveable city in the entire world – a position it has held for the past four years. In the recent Economist Intelligence Unit report, the city was handed perfect scores of 100 in education, healthcare, infrastructure and in the sub-category of sport.

Melbourne
Melbourne

By Yasser

So what makes Melbourne such a great city?

Sport

As you may have guessed by the perfect score, Melbourne is a city that is absolutely loves sport. In 2006, 2008 and 2010 the Victoria state capital was proclaimed the “World’s Ultimate Sports City”. Before we go onto the actual sports in Melbourne take a deep breath.

Aussie Rules is the most popular sport in Australia. The game itself originated from Melbourne, in 1858 and before the Aussie Football League (AFL) was founded in 1990, the game was exclusive to Victorian territory – namely Melbourne. As a result of the sport having its roots in Melbourne, the city has an absurdly large amount of teams, nine to be precise. In a league made up of 18 teams it is crazy to think that half of them can come from just one city. The fact that a city can sustain nine teams pays testament to Melbourne’s sporting appetite.

Believe it or not, Melbourne was not too interested in either format of rugby. In 1997 the Melbourne Storm were founded and within two years they had won the Australian Rugby League title. They won it again in 2012 and Betfair have them as one of the favourites for success in 2014 – at a price of 3/10 to advance from the Telstra Premiership Qualifying Finals when they face the Canterbury Bulldogs on Sunday. In Rugby Union, the city has the Melbourne Rebels.

The definitive sporting landmark of the city is without question the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which at 100,024 is the largest cricket ground in the world, not to mention the 13th largest stadium in the world. The MCG is referred to as the “Spiritual Home of Australian Sport” and is included on the Australian National Heritage List. This gargantuan stadium plays host the world-famous Boxing Day Test in the Ashes Series between Australia and England in the cricket. It hosts the final of the AFL, Australian football matches, the Rugby League State of Origin match and was the stadia used for the 1958 Olympics. The MCG is so much more than a cricket stadium, it is a sporting institution, its Australia’s home.

Cricket Stadium
Cricket Stadium

By sufw

Melbourne represents Australia on the international stage with the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit used in Formula One and Melbourne Park hosting the Australian Open in tennis. Now these sporting events are not small by any means: the Australian GP is the curtain raiser for the F1 season while the Australian Open is one of just four Grand Slam tournaments in tennis.

There are two football teams: Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, the latter is owned by the same family that own Manchester City and due to this new found financial clout they have been able to acquire Spain’s all-time record scorer, David Villa.

And just because they were feeling greedy; Melbourne natives are very much into their open air swimming.

Few cities in the world are so intertwined and synonymous with sport like Melbourne is. The city has premier sporting events from practically every popular sport on the planet. It literally appeases nearly every sporting desire, and that for one, makes it absolutely brilliant.

Culture

Those have little interest in sport usually get their kicks out of literature, music or film and well guess what? Melbourne is a world leader in the arts as well!

Let us start with film. The city plays host to the Melbourne International Film Festival and the Melbourne Underground Film Festival. Both of these festivals are in the right place as the first ever feature films were made in Melbourne, while the city was also the location of the world’s first religious epic, the 1900 Soldier’s of the Cross. The city has given the cinematic world Cate Blanchett, Rachel Griffiths, Olivia Newton-John, Eric Bana, Guy Pearce and Geoffrey Rush – making it very much Australia’s Los Angeles.

Performing arts in Melbourne are in the abundance. The Australian Ballet Company is based in Melbourne, while the National Theatre in the St. Kilda suburb is the oldest ballet school Down Under. In 1853, the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic was formed; not only is it the oldest of its type in Australia, it is also the only to be bestowed “Royal” status. The Philharmonic was also the home of the first orchestra in Australia. You may be slightly sick of the term ‘oldest’ by now, but – as stated – the city has a plethora of performing arts and also plays host to the oldest art gallery in Australia. There are more theatres and performing venues in Melbourne than anywhere else. Melbourne comedy is renowned, while the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is the third largest in the world and is considered to be one of the international centres of comedy.

The city was the second in the world to be awarded as a UNESCO City of Literature.

Musically, it has given us Kylie and Dannii Minogue, Jason Donovan, Crowded House and John Farnham. A Music Victoria study found that on a typical Saturday night in Melbourne, 97,000 patrons attend a live music venue to see as many as 900 musicians and 740 DJs perform in their respective locations. The music scene in Melbourne is worth more than $1bn per annum to the Australian government.

There is such a dynamic culture in Melbourne, one that is considered separate from the rest of Australia. Of course, there is some influence from Australian culture but more often than not Melbourne is culturally ahead of the rest of the country and they are playing catch up. No city in Australia can stand up to Melbourne when comparing culture.

Landmarks

The aforementioned MCG is one of the cities biggest landmarks, as to the previously mentioned National Gallery.

Sydney Opera House gets a lot of attention but the Arts Centre in Melbourne is just as much of an architectural triumph, with fabricated steel sprouting off in all directions and looking simply magnificent when lit up in the evening. On the other end of the performing arts spectrum you have the Princess Theatre. Opened in 1857, the theatre is a vision of grandeur and Victorian class; in a city that has rapidly modernized this theatre still manages to hold its own in aesthetics.

Do people enjoy going to the train station: probably not. However, if you are a less-than-frequent visitor to Melbourne, the chances are that you will love going to Flinders Street Station. Like the Princess Theatre it is an old-timey construction, complete with a dome and sweeping arches.

Princess Theatre
Princess Theatre

By Public Record Office Victoria

Then there is the other side of Melbourne; the part that looks forward. This is never more evident than with Federation Square. The public space very much fits the modernist mantra that makes up half of Melbourne. The paving is unique whilst the sandstone facades on the building are both innovative and breath-taking.

There are numerous other landmarks in Melbourne; practically everywhere you turn there is a particular building that is the oldest of its kind.

The beauty of Melbourne is that it has managed to assimilate modern architecture into a city with so much revered landmarks. The stark contrast from modern to old is seamless and feels natural. Few places in the world – let alone Australia – can have such a transition.

Even better than the city are the locals. Australians, especially Victorians, love a joke and the atmosphere in Melbourne is jovial at the worst of times. So if you were thinking of vacating, backpacking or relocating, give Melbourne some serious consideration, because it really is one of the best cities on the planet.

The last meteor shower of the year is not lost | The Ursids

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Although the Geminids are the most famous star rains of December, the last event of this type really are Ursids that come this weekend at their peak. These are not so famous because they are not as intense as other famous showers. Observers usually see about 10 shooting stars per hour. However, sometimes the Ursids increase their activity to more than 100 meteors per hour. In order not to miss this event near the end of the year and in order to know how to observe the Ursids this time, you can follow the live streams that guide people.

Ursids
Ursids

The Ursids are named after the constellation from which the shooting stars seem to come: the Little Dipper which is Ursa Minor in Latin. The radiant which is the point where the effect seems to converge to the perspective trajectories of shooting stars, of this shower is the Little Dipper bowl, where the orange star is Cochab. The Ursids originate on the trail of dust left by the comet 8P/Tuttle.

Meteor Shower Time
Meteor Shower Time

5 of the Most Haunting and Breathtaking Shipwreck Destinations Around the World

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The United Nations report that there are around three million shipwrecks dotting the ocean floor. These were most likely caused by abnormal weather conditions, poor craftsmanship or sea battles. A huge percentage of the total number of the wreckage are still unaccounted for, but there are remnants that have been spotted, photographed and visited by daring divers for many years.

If you’re one who’s looking for a different kind of adventure, these are some of the most hauntingly beautiful shipwrecks you can dive into.

The Lina

Believed to have sunk in 1914, The Lina was once a cargo ship transporting lumber between Italy and Croatia. But a devastating storm brought it to its early demise and sunk it down in the Adriatic near Cres Island. Since then, it has become a favorite diving spot in this part of the planet.

PICT0090

The Russian Wreck

It remains unknown when this ship sank, but was discovered some time in 2003 in the Southern Red Sea. Initially, many believed it was a trawler, a boat that pulls a large net for catching fish, but experts say it’s a Cold War-era Russian spy ship.

The Mars

This was one of Europe’s first generation three-masted ships, which is now well-preserved. The Mars is a gorgeous Swedish warship that went down with its crew in 1564 after losing a naval battle against the Germans on the Baltic Sea.

The Umbria

This massive cargo ship was built by the Germans but was later taken over by the Italians. It was carrying loads of bombs and other weapons to the coast of East Africa when it sank after its captain intentionally sunk it upon learning that Mussolini announced Italy was going into war in World War II.

Dunnottar Castle

Experts believe that this 258-foot iron-hulled cargo ship was built in 1874 and was on its way to Australia from California to deliver a coal. Unfortunately, it hit a reef off the Hawaiian coast while travelling at full speed. Researchers have only discovered this wreck less than a decade ago.

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Wreck diving is one of the most exciting and adrenaline-pumping adventures you can do. So, if you’re looking for the thrill of a lifetime, then check out these shipwrecks and more.

Tips on experiencing the magic of London on a budget

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London’s aura is unlike any other city’s on the planet. From the gorgeous Georgian townhouses in the west, the jaw-dropping royal palaces and residences in its centre, to the magnificent London Eye to the south, every area of London offers a little slice of magic for anyone who visits it.

But glitzy-ness and glamour usually comes at a high cost, especially where London’s landmarks are concerned; (just taking a ride around the London Eye costs around £33!)  Nevertheless, if you still want to experience London in all its glitzy, magical glory there are a few tricks you can try so you don’t end up overspending during your next trip to the English capital:

Visit Westminster Abbey or St. Paul’s Cathedral during mass or choir performances

Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral are two of the most visited landmarks in London – but visitors on a strict budget can’t help but be spooked by their £20 to £29 ticket costs. Luckily, however, there are a few hacks you can try in order to visit either of the landmarks (or both!) for no cost at all.

On selected Sundays throughout the year, St. Paul’s Cathedral hosts a free Sunday Organ Recital, and visitors can even see its interior for free by heading there during church mass on Sundays. You can also enter Westminster Abbey for free by visiting during Evensong and listen to the Abbey choir perform in the dazzling interior; (click here to see a list of their upcoming performances).

Walk on a picturesque trail through London’s royal parks

It’s not mystery why London’s royals parks are some of the most famous in the world – and best of all, they’re free! So if you’re only in London for a few days but still want to see the city’s most spectacular parks fit for a royal, follow the seven-mile-long Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk which leads visitors through Hyde Park, Green Park and St. James’s Park to enjoy unspoiled views of the remarkable Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, St. James’s Palace, and more.

Follow the footsteps of Harry, Hermione and Ron around London

When it comes to experiencing the magic of London, it doesn’t get more literal than visiting all the Potter-inspired locations in the English capital – and luckily you can see a majority of them for no cost at all.

From posing underneath the Platform 9 3/4 sign in King’s Cross Station, or going on a free Harry Potter walking tour around central London (so you can see the “real” Diagon Alley, Ministry of Magic and Gringotts Bank), seeing all the major Potter-related places in London could cost you less than a pint of Butterbeer!

And let’s not forget the famous London landmarks which were used as filming locations in the films, such as the Millennium Bridge (as seen in the opening scenes of The Half-Blood Prince), or Piccadilly Circus, which Harry, Ron and Hermione ran through to escape a group of Death Eaters in the Deathly Hallows (Part 1).

Head to Soho’s clubs extra early

Want to party it up in the most party-happening area of London? (Who doesn’t, right?) Well as glitzy as the streets of Soho are, unfortunately its countless clubs, bars and venues come with high entry costs – unless you head there extra early, that is.

Ronnie Scott’s at 47 Frith Street (Soho’s most historic jazz and blues venue) offers free entry before 7 p.m., and the Ain’t Nothin But Blues Bar at 28 Kingly St. has free admission before 8:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. And of course if you’re on a super-strict budget, you could always go out on a Monday or Tuesday to snag some discounted drinks, or even go on a London pub crawl so you can see a handful of Soho’s best clubs for a fraction of the cost!