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You’ve seen pictures of them online; you’ve heard about them from your friends; you’ve read about them in travel books. “Destinations you must see,” but which don’t have quite a stellar reputation behind them for whatever reason.

Fellow travelers Agness and Cez of eTramping.com will present you with six such locations. We just need to make an important note beforehand.

eTramping Agness and Cez

Agness and Cez

The truth is that every country has some skeletons in the closet if we’re to put it that way. Well, we’re here to prove that each and every one of these places is worth the trip. Read the rest! \(^u^)/ →

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This is a guest post from Arpi.

Like any mountain, it's attractive here

Mount Aragats

Are you a fan of extreme tourism? Then welcome to Armenia!

Due to the mountainous terrain, favorable climate, and amazing natural attractions such as extinct volcanoes, cliffs, and mountain lakes, Armenia is one of the most suitable countries for adventure tourism. Moreover, the world-renowned National Geographic Traveler magazine has included Armenia in the list of the top three countries in the nomination “Active and extreme tourism”. At the moment, the country’s tour operators are working on the developing of this kind of tourism creating tours to the best spots throughout Armenia. So, if you cannot imagine your holiday without a portion of adrenalin consider Armenia as your next travel destination. And in this article, you can get acquainted with the country’s best options.

MOUNTAINEERING AND CLIMBING

Photo from Arpi

Khustup Climbing

Armenian reliefs are ideal for climbers. There are not so many specially equipped climbing routes, but all of them will fully satisfy lovers of climbing.

Noravank gorge. The gorge is located 80 km south-east of Yerevan. The steep limestone cliffs are ideal for rock climbing, and the surrounding nature with its vegetation and a river are indescribably beautiful. There are several climbing routes equipped with station hooks and jumpers in the gorge.

Garni Gorge. At a distance of 30 km from Yerevan, there is a Garni gorge with its rocky basalt columns. Due to its uniqueness, the gorge was called “the symphony of stones” – a beauty beyond words. The basalt columns emerged because of the eruption of volcanic lava. If you look from a distance, the valley reminds of a huge organ (musical instrument). The gorge stretches along the River Azat, with a total length – 55m. Tourist buses stop far away from the gorge, so you will have to go there on foot or you can take a taxi or rent a car in Yerevan which will take you directly to the gorge.
Mountain Khustup. One of the most popular destinations for mountaineers is a peak of Khustup Mountain – the highest peak (3206 m) in Khustup-Katari range. Climbing to it is rather difficult, but you will get experience and impressions for a lifetime.

Mount Aragats. One of the four peaks of Mount Aragats is the highest in the country and if you are a professional climber, you should definitely conquer it. The height of the lowest peak is 3879 m, and the height of the highest one is 4090 m. If you want to get more information or professional advice on mountaineering in Armenia you can contact the Armenian Federation of Mountaineering and Mountain Tourism.

SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING

Man on a slope

Skiing in Armenia

Tsakhkadzor. For winter recreation, Armenia invites fans of adventure tourism to the ski resorts. The most popular resort of Tsakhkadzor is located 60 km from Yerevan. It is located on the slopes of Mount Teghenis which are perfect for skiing and snowboarding. The resort town has all the necessary equipment for these outdoor activities: three-stage cable car corresponding to the highest standards and the ski tracks with a total length of 7200 m. The highest point for skiing which is 2819 m high offers a magnificent view of Mount Ararat and surrounding beauties. In the town, you can rent skis, snowboards, and snowmobiles as well as use the service of instructors.

Jermuk. Another great place for outdoor activities – Jermuk resort, which is located at a distance of 180 km from Yerevan. The resort town has a modern double chairs cable car and two tracks for skiing (1400m and 1300m).

PARAGLIDING

Paragliding

Paragliding, also popular

The climate and the reliefs in Armenia are also suitable for paragliding flights. In recent years, this kind of activity is becoming more and more popular and the tour operators in Armenia started to develop special paragliding tours in various places.

Hatis Mount (starting point at an altitude of 1890 m). Hatis Mount is located about 25 km away from Yerevan, it is of volcanic origin, and its height is of 2520 m. The terrain has plains for planting, and moreover, here you can fly at any time of the year. The best season is spring and autumn. It is an ideal place for beginners.

Aparan (starting point at an of altitude 2450 m). The mountain range is 60 km away from Yerevan. The area has a smooth take-off area, but the winds here are frequent and strong. Take into account that you can reach this place only by off-road car as there is no asphalt route leading to the flying area. An appropriate car you can rent in Yerevan.

Tsovagyugh village (starting point at an altitude of 2300 m). The village is located at a distance of 75 km away from Yerevan, on the shore of Lake Sevan – the pearl of Armenian nature. The flight over the lake and the mountains will give you unforgettable impressions. In addition, the area is ideal for long-term soaring. The weather here is capricious: frequent fogs, strong winds, and high humidity. The best season for flights is from July to September.

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Sausalito, San Francisco

November 9, 2014 · 2 comments

After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, we decided to continue our bus tour to the end before returning into the city centre. The bus continued in an extended part of the tour to Sausalito, somewhere I’d never heard of or planned to visit, but thought we should as it was part of the tour so had free transport there effectively. The tour used a separate smaller bus for this, as the main tour bus turned around and went back across the bridge and into the city.

Sausalito had a similar vibe to SF but on a smaller scale, and more themed around the bridge and sea, mostly noted by the sea food restaurants, some of which were on their own raised platforms over the sea. It was late morning for us, so we stopped in a cafe and enjoyed the view al la carte, something well worth doing after a long walk across the bridge.

Sausilito backstreet

Backstreets of S Sausalito with art galleries

There isn’t a whole lot to do in Sausalito besides a couple of art galleries and tours, so I wouldn’t recommend going there for long or putting it on a bucket list, but what it does offer is a welcome break from the city and walking or cycling across the bridge, it makes a decent lunch break, although if you’re not into sea food then the choices are limited especially compared to SF’s usual foodie choices. What you do get however is a nice overview of the city, and the bridges crossing into it. Maybe it can’t be appreciated as much on a typical SF foggy day, but I can’t find much reason to complain on a clear day. I don’t think I’d make my way there again without a good reason but wouldn’t advice against it for people who have never been before.

Another view from the GGB

Sausalito Port from the Golden Gate Bridge

Before we set back on the bus into the city, we got to walk right at the bottom of the bridge and look up at it. It seems that at any angle this bridge is viewed, it’s impressive. Even the ducks seem to think of it as a nice place to live.

Golden gate bridge in a blue tone.

Ducks under the bridge

 

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This post is brought to you by Julie.

Are you looking for a unique way to spend your holiday? A cruise vacation may just be what you are looking for. Cruise vacations that are offered by P and O cruises and other reputable companies offer exceptional service which means you just have to sit back, relax and enjoy the attractions. Here are a few more reasons why going on a cruise vacation would be a preferable option:

You get one ticket that covers most of your basic expenses

Cruise Ship

Cruise Ship

The ticket for a cruise vacation covers accommodation, entertainment, meals, laundry and transportation. If you are looking for a customised holiday package, a luxury ticket will be ideal. It mainly includes extra privileges such as a seat an the VIP section during theatre performances, chauffeur services once you reach stopover cities, a wider range of meal-choices, exclusive services such as relaxing massages at the spa, you get to choose from a wide variety of richly elegant and spacious rooms, and more. Ultimately, the one-ticket-covers-all feature gives you greater peace of mind as you don’t have to worry about having cash on you all the time or your expenses on the trip eating into your essentials budget.

You get visit various destinations in one trip

A cruise vacation enables you to visit numerous assorted exotic destinations in one trip. This means that you may get to visit several countries, experience different cultures and enjoy meeting and mingling with people from different backgrounds both in the ship and at the port cities. This is a huge plus, especially if you like networking or meeting new people. You may never know, one might even find a life-long friend or partner on one of these trips.

Cruise ships offer a variety of activities for the whole family

A cruise vacation enables you to enjoy the holiday whether alone or as a family. This is because there is usually a wide range of activities for everyone to enjoy. If you have kids for example, kid shows such as magic show performances are likely to be there, while fun-filled structures such as bouncing castles and water-slides are usually available. Adults on the other hand can enjoy swimming, dancing lessons, aerobics, and more. One can also relax with a cold beer at the bar or take a chance at a lucky bet at the on-board casino. For couples, a romantic dinner out on the deck under a clear sky with a full moon out into the sea is likely to be a memorable one.

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Ferry Building

February 25, 2014 · 0 comments

I previously mentioned the Ferry Building of Pier 1/2 in San Francisco, but I feel it needs more coverage as it’s a destination in itself. I don’t think the name of the building needs explaining, but the contents is all about food. The famous Vietnamese restaurant needs to be booked ahead if you plan to go there (something I didn’t realise until I walked up and enquired. But I did manage to time the date I visited to a Wednesday, when the farmers market is open from 10AM to 6PM. If you happen to be in San Francisco on a Wednesday, then definitely go and indulge in the organic food.

SF Ferry building

The Ferry Building

Read the rest! \(^u^)/ →

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