La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

Looking for a day trip while visiting Barcelona, Spain? La Sagrada Familia, unfinished yet after 100 years of construction attracts almost 3 million visitors a year. Close to many Barcelona Apartments and hotels, La Sagrada Familia makes for a great afternoon or just a stroll by to admire the architecture.

Formally known as the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, this iconic Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Spain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Though still incomplete, it was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI and named a minor basilica in 2010.

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, SpainConstruction on this unique structure began, amazingly, in 1882. Architect Antoni Gaudi joined the project in 1883, and commenced transforming it into his own interpretation of a combination of Art Nouveau and Gothic styles. While Gaudi himself died in 1926, his life’s work has continued, with one notable hiatus during the Spanish Civil War in the 1950s. Construction reached the halfway mark in 2010, and the goal is to complete the basilica by 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.

La Sagrada Familia was one of the beneficiaries of the financial boon provided by the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. This has allowed for accelerated construction, as has the development of computer-aided design technology. In addition, stone is now milled by machine rather than by hand.

Gaudi’s design specifies a grand total of 18 spires: these represent the Twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus Christ. Upon their completion, topped by traditional symbols of the individuals represented, the spires will make La Sagrada Familia the tallest church in the world, surpassing notables such as Ulm Minster in Germany, Lincoln Cathedral in England, and Estonia’s St. Olaf. The peak is deliberately designed to be just 1 meter shorter than the highest hill in Barcelona – Gaudi didn’t want his masterpiece to surpass those of God.

When complete, the church will have three facades: the Nativity facade, the Passion facade, and the Glory facade. First to be constructed, the Nativity facade celebrates the life of Jesus, and depicts life in the form of countless animal sculptures along with the Tree of Life. Its three east-facing porticos represent the virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Gaudi envisioned the sculptures as painted in a lifelike fashion.

The Passion facade appears austere in comparison – lacking the ornamental sculpture and detail of the Nativity facade, its resemblance to the bare bones of a skeleton is intended to evoke Christ’s suffering during his crucifixion. The Glory facade represents the path to God via death and final judgment.

Currently visitors may access the nave, the crypt, and the Passion and Nativity towers. They’ll have to wait several more years before attending mass.

Enjoy a afternoon visiting La Sagrada Familia before heading back to your hotel or  Barcelona Apartment to plan your next adventure in Barcelona.

Sikinos, Greece


Sikinos Greece is a small Cyclades island that is often overlooked as a tourist destination. There has been no development of a tourist industry, so there are few accommodation or activities made just for visitors. It is an unspoiled environment where the people still live in the traditional manner of their ancestors.

Visitors interested in the long history of the island should begin their tour at the Monastery of Episkopi. It’s an important historical site that dates back at least to the Roman era. It’s an hour away from the village of Chora on foot. While you are in Chora, you can also visit the Folklore Museum. It’s actually the home of an expat who is an expert on making olive oil. The museum itself is an old olive oil press and holds artifacts that help you understand the history of the island. If you are here in the summer, you can also visit the Byzantine Museum and see their collection of items.

Sikinos GreeceThere are a number of beaches on Sikinos, and the beach near the port of Alopronia is a favorite for those who like to swim. You can catch a tour boat at the harbor if you want to find the more remote beaches. The rocky landscape of Sikinos has many paths where travelers enjoy walking and discovering the island. The path from the beach at Agia Marina to Santorineika beach leads you by the ruins of an ancient village.

The people of Sikinos mostly make their living from the Aegean Sea. The 300 permanent residents continue with their lives in the same manner as they have for centuries, but they are very receptive to visitors and are known for being helpful and friendly. There is little in the way of agriculture here with only a few fig or olive trees remaining, but the locals continue a tradition of wine-making on the island.Sikinos has warm Mediterranean weather beginning in early Spring, and the island grows hotter during the summer months. A northern wind the locals call Meltemia blows hard here, and it helps make the hot season more bearable. In late September, the weather begins to grow colder. Snow is very unusual here, but the winter months bring rain and the wind blows even harder.

In the past, locals made their way around the island by riding donkeys, but this practice has mostly died out. There are still only a few buses working here, and the best way to see the island is by walking. There are tour boats that can help you explore and find some of the hidden beaches.


Sea Life London Aquarium

The Sea Life London Aquarium appeals to all types of visitors. The aquarium owned by Merlin Entertainment holds the title of having the largest collection of global marine life in Europe. Over 500 unique species are on display throughout 14 themed zones. Exciting opportunities to encounter rays, seahorses, crocodiles, penguins, sea turtles and sharks await visitors to the aquarium.

The Ray Lagoon is an interactive experience that is literally allows visitors to pet a live sting ray except during feeding times. People from all walks of life enjoy the dazzling sea horses in the Seahorse Temple. The Rainforest of the World area delights guests with lush landscaping and fierce piranhas. A highlight of the exhibit is seeing the vicious toothy fish in action during feeding time. Cuban crocodiles also draw crowds at the rainforest exhibit. Adjacent to the rainforest is the River Thames Story themed after the famous river located across the street from the aquarium.
Sea Life London Aquarium, London England
The Penguin Experience is a popular locale for aquarium guests to explore. The aquarium has painstakingly recreated the Gentoo Penguins Antarctic Habitat to provide them with the most comfortable home possible as well as supply guests with the feeling of being transported to the icy region. The exhibit also boasts a meet the handler program and displays retracing the penguins’ journey from the wild to captivity.

The Pacific Wreck exhibit is home to the Green Sea Turtle as well as a great location to view the many magnificent coral colonies at the aquarium. Guests are immersed in the reef environment as they are surrounded by the Pacific Wreck which leads them to Nemo’s Caves. The caves are another reef exhibit high-lighting the famous clownfish and many other reef species.

In February 2012, the aquarium welcomed even more sharks into a re-designed shark encounter. The new exhibit allows guests to be closer than ever before to many of the world’s most awe-inspiring species of sharks. The attraction starts with a bird’s eye view of a group of reef and brown sharks from a walkway above the habitat. The crown jewel of the exhibit is pacific display which spans three floors and is decorated with mysterious looking Easter Island Heads.

Fun specials features of the aquarium include an interactive Shark Academy, feeding times, shows, and meet the keeper events. More in-depth hands-on programs include snorkeling with the sharks, behind-the-scene tour, and Biologist For A Day for an unforgettable personalized memory.

The Sea Life London Aquarium makes for a popular London Attraction anytime of the year.


Greenwich, London, England

Greenwich, London, England is a locality that is located in southeast London, England. It is situated on the south bank of River Thames. The city originated with the Saxons and was named the green village. It was the site of the Palace of Placentia from the 15th century and was the birthplace of Elizabeth I and Henry VIII. In 1873, the buildings of the rebuilt palace became the Royal Naval College. In 1998, the buildings became a part of the Greenwich Foundation. The historic rooms are open for public viewing and Trinity College of Music and the University of Greenwich use other buildings of the palace. Greenwich is well known for astronomy and the Asteroid 2830 was named Greenwich because it is home to the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
Greenwich Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London
Greenwich is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and was given the designation in 1997 for its historic buildings and architecture. The Old Royal Naval College is at the centre of the site and it explains the history of the city as a maritime centre and residence for royalty.

There are a variety of sites of interest located in Greenwich. The riverfront includes the dry dock preservation of a clipper ship called the Cutty Sark. The entrance to the Greenwich foot tunnel that was opened in 1902 is located near the site of the Cutty Sark. The tunnel connects Greenwich to the Isle of Dogs.

Greenwich is the most known for its maritime history and the National Maritime Museum is located within in the city in the former building of the Royal Hospital School.

Greenwich Park is a Royal Park that is located in the southern park of the city. It was formed from the hunting grounds of the Palace of Placentia and is 183 acres. The park includes historical buildings such as the former Royal Observatory, Greenwich. The Prime Meridian passes through the observatory and Greenwich Mean Time was originally based on observations at the building. The town centre of Greenwich is dominated by Victorian and Georgian architecture.

The town centre’s oldest surviving building is the Trinity Hospital almshouse, which was founded in 1613. The centre also includes the Greenwich Cinema and Greenwich Market. The Fan Museum is the only museum in the world that is dedicated to fans. Greenwich Heritage Centre is run by the London Borough of Greenwich and includes local history. Alongside the river runs the Thames Path National Trail that is popular among many pedestrians and cyclists.

It was recently announced that the London Borough of Greenwich would become the fourth Royal Borough in 2012 due to its status as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, location of the Prime Meridian, and historical connections with the Royal Family.


Blythe California

When we think of California, we generally think of sandy beaches, vineyards, Disneyland, and Hollywood. No one ever really wonders or thinks about the smaller towns and cities within this beautiful state. Blythe California is a small town in California with some of the most amazing sites you have ever set your eyes upon.

Incorporated in 1916, Blythe California is a General Law City. Located a little over 200 miles from the Great Metropolis of Los Angles, lies this quaint community. This city reaches across a little over 26 miles. The population of this city is just at around 8500. The climate reaches between 70-75 degrees which makes it almost perfection. The weather for this city makes it ideal for a winter vacation for those who enjoy sunshine and warmth. Hate a lot of rain? Well this great city of Blythe only obtains about 3" of rain a year.
Mountains North of Blythe California
Blythe is a part of the Sonoran desert, located near the Colorado River Valley. Just when you think how such a small city could have anything to offer for enjoyment, well you are wrong there are many enjoyable things to do in this beautiful desert city. Enjoy golf? Well Blythe is home to an 18-hole public golf course which is surrounded by some of the most beautiful and quaint mountain ranges. This small city has over 15 RV Parks, and campgrounds. Everything that travelers could ask for this fine city has to offer, such as hotels and restaurants. Have children who love parks? Blythe offers 7 different parks such as: Appleby Park, Avenue A Park, and more. Miller Park features a wonderful RV area and a ton of recreational enjoyment such as: Swimming, fishing, horseback riding, camping and hunting are just to name a few. Enjoy extreme sports? Well Blythe is home to “Big Foot Skate-board Park”

There are many photographic opportunities for those who enjoy the wonderful hobby of photography on some of Blythe's nature trails and scenic mountain ranges. Each year the city of Blythe holds its annual Southern California Blythe Bluegrass Festival. This event lasts for 3 amazing days of country and bluegrass music for your enjoyment, along with food as well as art.

You see California Inland Empire has so much more to offer than just the norm. Why not make a plan to visit this quaint, but exciting City of Blythe California. We promise you won’t be disappointed.


Fort Lauderdale, Florida

One of the longest-reigning premiere spring break and summer vacation destinations in the United States is Fort Lauderdale, Florida
. Know for its miles and miles of beaches as much as its nightlife, Ft. Lauderdale is "the" place to go to lie on the beach, play in the water or dance the night away. The beach itself is likely the biggest draw to Ft. Lauderdale, but today the area has something to offer for everyone from the spring break student to the vacationing family.


No matter who you are or why you're there, you will likely visit one of Fort Lauderdale's more than 4,000 restaurants. You will find everything you could possibly want, from small, quaint cafes to big name fast food joints, fast-casual dining establishments, ethnic restaurants and date-worthy steakhouses. For obvious reasons, seafood is a specialty.
Ft. Lauderdale Gold Coast, Florida
Once you get tired of the beach, venture inland for a whole lot of culture. Ft. Lauderdale is a hot spot for music, performance art, shows, galleries and more. Many art galleries are located on Las Olas Boulevard, and you may also choose to peruse the offerings at the world-famous Museum of Art. Take children to hands-on experiences at the Museum of Discovery and Science. For performance art, you can't beat the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in the downtown district.

You may also want to experience the wonders of nature. Take a guided tour into the everglades and learn about the Seminole Indians who call them home. Visit the biggest indoor butterfly collection in existence at Butterfly World or see birds, bobcats, panthers and more at Flamingo Gardens. A simple way to see the breathtaking sights of the sea is to dive or snorkel along the miles of coral reef at Ft. Lauderdale.

When night falls, it's time to have a little more fun. Visit one of the more than 100 nightclubs for an evening of drinks and dancing, or hit the tables at a casino and take your chances on winning a fortune. Horse racing is also a popular draw in Ft. Lauderdale. Get some laughs at a comedy club or learn to dance with Latin flair.

No matter who you are or what your goals may be, you will find something exciting in Fort Lauderdale. Check event schedules before planning your itinerary, because there's always something new and different happening in this Florida hot spot.



Piazza Navona ,Rome, Italy

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

One of Rome’s most popular places is Piazza Navona. At any given time of the day this large piazza is filled with people, both tourists and local Italians. Unlike most round or square piazzas in Italy, Piazza Navona is long and narrow and somewhat oval shaped. This space is actually the former site of the Roman circus and was more of an arena, known as the Stadium of Domitian dating back to the first century.

Piazza Navona, Rome Italy

Piazza Navona Musicians, Rome, ItalyFull of restaurants and clubs, Piazza Navona is always very crowded and a great place for pizza, dinner, entertainment and people watching. On a recent trip there I was entertained by an outdoor jazz group in the middle of the day. At any given day artists are painting portraits and street vendors are trying to entice with the newest games that light up or objects that can change shape before your eyes.

Located in the center of the historic district of Rome Piazza Navona is close to Campo de Fiori, and the Pantheon, and within walking distance of the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Vatican and the Colosseum.

Fountain of Four Rivers

Fountain of Four Rivers Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy

Aside from the impressive Baroque architecture found in the buildings which line Piazza Navona, several famous monuments which are largely works of art are part of this piazza. Three famous fountains grace this piazza, the largest being Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or the Fountain of the Four Rivers.

Designed by Bernini in the 17 th century, this fountain was actually commissioned by Pope Innocent X and is made of travertine marble featuring four figures. Each figure represents one of four rivers, the Danube, the Ganges, the Nile and the Rio della Plata. On the top of the fountain is a huge Egyptian obelisk which is made of red granite and stands 54 feet high.

Neptune Fountain

Neptunes Fountain, Piazza Navona, Rome Italy

Fontana del Nettuno or Neptune Fountain which is at the northern end of Piazza Navona. Designed by Giacomo della Porta in the 16 th century this statue is also called the Calderari and features the god Neptune surrounded by sea nymphs.

Moor Fountain

Moor Fountain, Piazza Navona, Rome Italy

Located at the far southern end of the piazza, Moor Fountain or Fontana del Moro was also designed by Giacomo della Porta and features a Moor who is holding a dolphin, which was originally one of Bernini’s designs.

It is interesting to note that beneath the piazza some of the ruins from the original Domitian stadium can be found and tours are available to view these for those archeology and history aficionados.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

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San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Searching for a vacation spot with the climate and environment of Cabo San Lucas but with more of a low-key vibe? Then San Jose del Cabo is the ideal destination for an upcoming vacation. Located in beautiful Mexican State of Baja California Sur, Mexico, San Jose del Cabo has something to offer for both the young and the young at heart.

A city steeped in tradition and a rich history, San Jose del Cabo was originally established as a mission in 1730 after being initially discovered by the famous Spanish conquistador Cortés in the 1500s. The architecture of the older buildings such as the Parroquia San Jose Church speaks silently of another space in time, attesting to the inherent presence of the past among the norms and social mores of the present. The traveler looking to walk along historic pathways where native Indians staged uprisings against the Spanish Jesuit missionaries and where pirates once roamed will not be disappointed.

Beach at San Jose del Cabo, MexicoIn addition to the various historic and educational opportunities, there are also a number of ways to relax and take in the ambience of San Jose del Cabo. Take a romantic or solitary ride by horseback along the shoreline of one of the beaches, or just lie out and watch the sun set while sipping a glass of wine. A new marina is projected in the future, creating further opportunities to take advantage of the magnificent ocean. A number of fine restaurants create the perfect environment for dining and socializing with loved ones.

For those with more adventurous tastes, sport fishing or an ATV rental may prove satisfying. A number of water sports such as parasailing jet skiing, snorkeling, sea kayaking, and wind surfing are popular in San Jose del Cabo. If these sports are too adventurous, then whale watching, glass bottom boat cruises, and swimming are also some of the options available for those seeking activities of an adventurous nature.
San Jose del Cabo is also home to some of the most delightful golf courses in the world. It boasts at least 5 world class courses with more projected in the near future. Take advantage of the ocean course at Cabo del Sol, and golf along the mesmerizing shores of the Sea of Cortez.

San Jose del Cabo is a multifaceted travel destination for those seeking a more laid back vacation than its sister city, Cabo San Lucas.



Wyoming, United States

Wyoming,  was the 44th state and is one that offers an incredible assortment of natural resources, including mountains, forests, valleys, bodies of water, plains, ranches and activities such as fishing, camping and rafting. Wyoming is a state of mountains, as its mean elevation of 6,700 feet is the second-highest in the United States. Each of its three largest cities, Cheyenne, Casper and Laramie, are located near or above mile-high elevation. The state is the smallest by population with 563,626 residents, while it is 10th in area at 97,814 square miles.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, United StatesYellowstone National Park possesses perhaps the most impressive assortment of natural wonders. The world’s first national park consists of 3,472 square miles and is located predominantly in the northwest corner of the state with some portions extending into Idaho and Montana. The park, designated as a national park in 1872, is home to wild animals, picturesque scenery and beautiful geysers, including Old Faithful, which sprouts boiling water on average every 90 minutes 145 feet into the air.

Devils Tower National Monument is located in the northeast portion of the state. It is home to a volcanic rock formation that was utilized in the film, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” in its climatic scene. Also located within the state is Grand Teton National Park, situated adjacent to Yellowstone, and Fossil Butte National Monument, which possesses fossils that date millions of years.

Cheyenne is the largest city with a population of 59,466. This city, the state’s capital, is situated 100 miles north of Denver. The Wyoming State Museum is located here. Casper is the second-largest city with 55,316 residents. It is located closer to the middle of the state and is home to National Historic Trails Interpretive Center. Here, visitors may learn about the area’s historic trails and their respective places in American history.

Laramie, at 30,816 residents, is the state’s third-largest city. It is 100 miles north of Denver and home to the University of Wyoming. At 7,200 feet, the university is the highest that sponsors NCAA Division I athletics. The city is home to the start of Snowy Range Scenic Byway, a 29-mile road that possesses several recreation opportunities. It is one of 20 Scenic Byways located in Wyoming.