Travel Blog for Tri-State Region
Hotels, Restaurants, Casinos
Travel Blog for Tri-State Region
Hotels, Restaurants, Casinos
Hong Kong, with its islands, thousands of skyscrapers and divided identity, is a fascinating destination, and in my opinion, a must-see. An atypical blend of Chinese and British cultures, Hong Kong, appears to be both fixed in another era and forward-looking, at a pace superior to many other major cities. Density and pollution mix with many green spaces and an inspiring youthful and dynamic modernity. Although tentacular, it is easy to navigate, exceptionally cheap, and pleasant to walk (and also to eat!). Its cultural richness, night markets, opulence, and British heritage make Hong Kong a unique destination that immediately charmed me. The most vertical city in the world is a destination that I love and dream of returning to!
Everyone has their American dream. Mine was China! As far as I can remember, this civilization has always fascinated me. The number of its inhabitants, the thousand-year-old culture, the size of the country, the Chinese, the Great Wall, the rice fields, the population density in the cities, the architectural heritage, the temples, the cuisine, the politics, everything was so different from what I was living in my country. And when I was finally able to discover this incredible nation, I was not disappointed. The culture shock was intense! It is a destination that leaves no one indifferent. We’re out of our minds, we’re confused, and we love it, or we hate it. I was captivated! It is to this day the trip that has marked me the most, the inevitable destination of my life.
In June 2014, we discovered southern Armenia a little by chance, as we were invited to the wedding of an Armenian friend in Yerevan. We have to admit that we did not know what to expect at all and that the little information and guides on this destination had revealed to us at most that some names of monasteries.
After spending two weeks in the Armenian mountains, discovering the hospitality of the Armenians and their extreme kindness, visiting monasteries nestled in incredible landscapes and still preserved from tourism, we have inscribed Armenia on our list of countries to be seen absolutely.
Frida Kahlo and her strong personality. “Pancho” Villa and it’s so “Mexican” look. The delicious tacos. The blaring Mariachi bands. Damn big cactus. The all-inclusive luxury of the Riviera Maya. Mexico has been associated over the years with an impressive amount of clichés, rightly or wrongly (yes, tacos are delicious). But beyond these clichés, the country offers a lot to travelers: a myriad of pre-Columbian cultures (Aztec, Toltec, Olmec, Zapotec, Chichimec, Mixtec, Maya, Rarámuri and others).); a rich musical tradition that brings together artists as varied as José, Los Tigres del Norte, Maná, Paulina Rubio and Cenotaph; landscapes where volcanoes, deserts, beaches, jungles, and colonial cities intermingle; a cuisine where the piquant is matched only by the fiery power of tequila (the secret is in sauces, by the way); ruins nestled in the heart of Mexico City (the Aztec Templo Mayor), on the seaside (Tulum), in the jungle (Chichén Itzá) or in the mountains (Monte Albán); exceptional natural sites such as Hierve el Agua, the Bacalar Lagoon and Barrancas del Cobre.
As for the experiments, Mexico is full of them : the galas of “lucha libre” in the mythical arenas of Mexico City and Guadalajara; the train Chepe; the churches of Cholula; the outdoor rinks of the northern cities; the ” pulque “; the “moles” of Oaxaca; street cuisine; surfing on the Pacific coast; the pyramids of Teotihuacan; the Museo Nacional de Antropología de Mexico; the Blue House of Frida Kahlo; the museum Leon Trotsky; the surreal decor of Los Monjes; tequila distilleries; celebrations for festivals such as the Semana Santa and the Día de Los Muertos; the mummies of Guanajuato; snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea; walks in the historic centres of colonial cities; the cenotes of the Yucatán Peninsula. And so much more. Like poutine from Los Tabernacos restaurant in Playa del Carmen.
And these names with sounds as hot as the Sonora Desert: Hermosillo, Durango, Sayulita, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, San Miguel de Allende, Aguascalientes, Oaxaca, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Morelia, Guadalajara, Mérida, Chihuahua, etc. my favorite city? Guanajuato. Why? That would be a good topic for the next post. Beyond clichés, Mexico offers an immense variety of everything. Months are not enough to even scratch the surface. That’s why it’s worth going back. Over and over again.
Looking for an exotic and cheap destination, it was a bit of an accident that we ended up buying our tickets to Cape Verde. We went there with a bit of trepidation without really knowing what to expect and this far too short week was just a succession of good moments, nice surprises and nice meetings, real love at first sight!
After inquiring about the Internet, we chose to explore the islands of São Vicente and Santo Antão much more authentic and much less touristic than the very popular Sal and Boa Vista as soon as the plane left and the first moments in this new country, we were invaded by a kind of wave of serenity carrying away all the stress of city life in its passage. This was primarily confirmed when we arrived at our hotel. We put down our suitcases, admired the ocean view from our hotel room, we didn’t want to go back! Throughout our stay, we were particularly touched by the kindness and hospitality of the Cap-Verdians, and we soon felt at home with them. The best memory of the trip is undoubtedly our meeting with Arlindo, our local guide, and Marie, his wife. We spent two incredible days at their side where they made us discover with joy their peaceful life in the small village of Ponta do Sol on the island of Santo Antão. Swim in the ocean at sunset, laugh at the throat with locals despite the language barrier, taste delicious grilled lobsters, and remake the world over the glass by the sea — simple pleasures and magical moments that will remain forever etched in our memories. If there is a country to discover urgently, it is Cape Verde!