Exploring Hong Kong Prior to the Takeover by China

 Guest Post: Ruth Elayne Kongaika

On Friday, May 24, 1996, I set out on a journey to the Far East. Never having been there before, I did not know what to expect. My husband had gone ahead two weeks earlier for business. I was comforted to know that he would be there waiting for me in Hong Kong.

I traveled together with a group of people in my church from Laie, Hawaii. They were all going for the purpose of attending the Hong Kong LDS temple dedication. My husband and I would attend the dedication, but spend the rest of our time away from the group exploring Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Mormon TempleMy daughter dropped me off at the Honolulu airport to pick up a flight on China Airlines. I sat by an older couple and next to the toilet. It was hard for me to rest because of all the passengers making their way to relieve themselves. When I tried to start up a conversation with the elderly man beside me, he told me that he was hard of hearing. I spent the majority of the flight reading my Reader’s Digest and any other reading material I could find. I dozed on and off a couple of times and watched the movie “Sabrina” with Chinese subtitles appearing across the bottom of the screen.

Japanese Squat ToiletThe jet took us to Tokyo, Japan for our first layover. We had flown for eight hours. My first time in Japan, and all I got to see was the airport. We were there for nearly an hour. I located a toilet facility and there were two stalls. One had a conventional toilet, although it was child sized. The other stall had a Japanese toilet, which was just a hole in the floor. You were required to squat down to use it. This was my first experience with this sort of convenience.



I spoke to my husband on the phone and he told me “don’t be scared”, which left me wondering what there was to be scared of. Again, we boarded an airplane and were headed for Taipei, Taiwan, where we would have a longer layover. Right after our take off, we were able to see Mt. Fuji on the right side of the plane. It was very majestic and snow covered. We were served attractively prepared Japanese food, but I ate very little as it smelled unfamiliar. We arrived in Taipei three hours later and we got to know the airport very well.


We gained five hours, but lost a day on our trip. The sky was very dark as we made our final approach into Hong Kong. There was quite a storm, rainy and windy, and there was a great deal of turbulence. I became alarmed and started praying that we would be able to make it. I was sitting by a lady from Hong Kong told me that Hong Kong was one of the hardest airports to land at! She said that we had to land right in the middle of the big city, where there were sky scrapers all around. Just at the time she said that, I looked out the window to see tall buildings, and then the plane suddenly dropped, almost like a roller coaster ride. Then it picked up speed again, and I no longer saw the skyscrapers. I figured we were going to try to make another approach from a different direction.

To be continued……

Ruth Elayne Kongaika was raised in the mainland, USA, and has been living in the South Pacific for the past forty years. She enjoys trying to capture the beauty of the islands through her photography, painting and writing. She has a blog which shares some of her art and favorite subjects at:


email: kongaikr@byuh.edu

- See more at: http://www.euroradialyouth2016.com/travelogue/category/guest-post/ruth-elayne-kongaika/


Tips for Visiting Sedona, Arizona


Guest Post By: Margie Miklas
Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Famous for its red rock formations and natural beauty, Sedona is a popular travel destination in the southwest United States, with over four million tourists each year.  Known world-wide as a spiritual and natural healing center, Sedona attracts tourists throughout the year. Its many art galleries, boutique shops, fine restaurants, wineries, and film festivals provide plenty to do when visiting this Arizona city.

Oak Creek Canyon Sedona, ArizonaKnown as "Red Rock Country," Sedona is surrounded by mountains of stunning red-rock.  Just north of the city is beautiful Oak Creek Canyon, a river gorge known for its picturesque scenery. Second to the Grand Canyon, the Sedona-Oak Creek canyon area is the most visited destination in Arizona.

Oak Creek CanyonSlide Rock, Sedona Arizona

The steep walls of red rock make Oak Creek Canyon a gorgeous site to enjoy just while driving the corridor between Sedona and Flagstaff. Numerous hiking trails and campsites exist along the way, as well as other recreational opportunities. One of the most fun activities for people of all ages is Slide Rock, a natural water slide in Slide Rock State Park.  Swimming is available here as well for those not so adventurous. Very popular on weekends during the summer, if you do not arrive early, you may have to wait for a parking spot.

Spiritual Mecca and Natural Healing

The natural beauty here inspires many to seek   holistic healing and therapy here. Considered to be the new age and metaphysical center of the southwest, Sedona draws thousands of tourists each year to experience inner tranquility through meditation, retreat, and other encounters. Since 1987, Sedona became known for inner healing and spirituality.  One reason for this is the belief that vortexes exist here. Vortexes are spiritual locations permeated with energy which facilitate prayers, mediation and healing.

Art Galleries, Wineries, Shopping, and more

Art is a main focus in Sedona and over forty art galleries and art studios exist in this city of just 10,000 residents. To the south and southwest of Sedona, in the Verde Valley, nine or ten wineries are located in the Arizona Wine Trail, and many offer tours and wine tastings. Some of the finest restaurants and boutiques are located here, and the Native American influence is felt with the selection of jewelry, sand paintings, candles, and more. To shop and in this upscale area is enjoyable. I had some of the best Italian food from a restaurant which, unfortunately, no longer is here. The chef was even kind enough to e-mail me his special recipe for meatballs.

Each year at the end of February Sedona hosts a nine-day-long international film festival, with a reputation as "The Fest to Impress." Always a big hit, the Sedona International Film Festival already is taking ticket orders for the 2014 event, which will be its 20 year anniversary.

I have been to Sedona several times and look forward to a return visit. I highly recommend Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon as a must-see on your next trip west.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Follow Margie on her blog at margieinitaly.wordpress.com

- See more at: http://www.euroradialyouth2016.com/travelogue/2013/06/06/a-day-at-the-beach-in-northern-italy/#sthash.S4ueduUP.dpuf

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Follow Margie on her blog at margieinitaly.wordpress.com


Exploring Cairo and Memphis Egypt

Guest Post: Ruth Elayne Kongaika

I never in my lifetime imagined I would find myself in Cairo, Egypt, but it has happened. My husband, my 86-year-old father and myself traveled to Northern Africa to be with our son and his family who are stationed there.

Egypt is a mysterious country we read about in the Bible and listen to news bytes about on the nightly news (and not always in a positive light). Self absorbed Pharoahs have left colossal monuments to themselves, which have made them unforgettable.

The extensive Nile River seems to defy nature by flowing northward towards the Mediterranean and giving life to a stretch of parched sandy covered Sahara. Gliding on a falucca guided by a toothless navigator up and down the Nile stands out as one of the favorite things we did in Egypt. The city lights of Cairo belied the impoverished state of much of the massive capital. Over 12 million people call it their home making it the most populated city in Africa.Sailing the Nile near Cairo, Egypt 2013

My son attempted to educate us on Egyptian history and culture by filling our days with trips to museums, citadels, mosques, pyramids, temples, as well as cities of the living and dead. It was like having a whole textbook full of Egypt stuffed into one week.

We had begun training for our trip to the land of sphinxes by biking and walking as often as we could, but nothing could have prepared us for the intense heat of the noonday sun in April. Unless you have very thick hair, you might want to don a hat to avoid getting sunburned on your bald spot like my husband did. There are only two seasons in Egypt with November through March usually cooler than the rest of the year. Warm winds from the desert whip fine dust around which clouds the air.

Our family live in a suburb of Cairo where many expats live. Bougainvilleas and palm trees colorize the monochromatic landscape.

One of the first places we visited was The Triad of Memphis. This is the ancient capital of Lower Egypt. I thought Memphis was only in Tennessee, but I was wrong. Few ruins of what used to be a prosperous dynasty still remain. The prophet Jeremiah had prophesied that Memphis would be desolate. Prepare your baggage for exile, daughter living in Egypt, for Memphis will become a desolate place. It will become a ruin without inhabitant. Jeremiah 46:19. 

Ramses II at Memphis, Egypt Copyright REK

And here we were! I wondered if I was at risk, since many people had expressed their concern before I left, knowing I was headed for Egypt. Fortunately, we had a great tour guide who was a good friend to my son. We learned that many chariot factories were anciently located in Memphis as well as richly decorated edifices adorned with gold and precious stones.Head of Goddess Hathor, Memphis, Egypt (Limestone) Copyright REK

The temple of Ptah, where many pharaohs were crowned, was built by Seti and remnants are in Memphis. Colossal statues of Ramses II once stood in front of the temple, two of which still exist. We were fortunate enough to see one of them. It now lays horizontally inside a protective building where you can look down on it. The statue has a cartouche (emblem identifying the image) engraved on the right shoulder, on the belt and on the breast.

Not too far from Ramses II is a sphinx carved from a single block of alabaster weighing eight tons. It is believed to have flanked the entryway to the temple of Ptah.Sphinx at Memphis, Egypt


I plan to write much more about our amazing trip to Egypt, so stay tuned.


Ruth Elayne Kongaika was raised in the mainland, USA, and has been living in the South Pacific for the past forty years. She enjoys trying to capture the beauty of the islands through her photography, painting and writing. She has a blog which shares some of her art and favorite subjects at:


email: kongaikr@byuh.edu


A Day at the Beach in Northern Italy

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Italy has miles of coastline and naturally miles of beach. Not all coastline in Italy is amenable to a beach because some is more amenable to harbors or jagged cliffs. I had the good fortune to be able to enjoy some of the best beaches in northern Italy and they were in San Remo, Levanto, and Rimini.

San Remo is in the northwestern area of Italy, in an area considered to be the Italian Riviera. Very near to France, San Remo has a temperate climate and wonderful beaches. In the month of June the Mediterranean Sea was warm enough for me to swim there. Known as a resort city, San Remo has wonderful beaches and hotels, and many of the hotels have private beaches. Use of these beaches, which are called lido, usually is included with the price of a hotel reservation. This typically includes two lounge chairs and a beach umbrella, and sometimes a cabana as well. A public beach area is always available in addition to the private beaches.San Remo, Italy Beaches

Levanto is a family friendly town which makes a good base for visiting the Cinque Terre in Liguria. The train runs through Levanto and it makes for easy access, while not as expensive as staying within the Cinque Terre villages. The beach at Levanto is great not only for swimmers but for surfers as well. Its length is a plus and the sand at Levanto is not full of stones. The clean water and the giant waves make Levanto a favorite for surfers. Recently a world surfing championship was held in the waters of Levanto. I found the crescent shape of the beach to be a perfect spot for sunset photos, and I enjoyed watching the surfers as they rode the waves in to shore.

I visited this beach just before the summer season began, so things were fairly quiet. In season the beach is filled with chairs and umbrellas as sunbathers soak up the hot sun. Above the beach is a promenade and shops and restaurants are easily accessible.Levanto, Italy Beach

Rimini has long been considered one of Italy's favorite beaches. In the summer months it is also one of the most crowded. Rimini is located on Italy's eastern coast, and its beaches sit on the Adriatic Sea. Because of its nine miles of sandy beaches, Rimini attracts Italians and European travelers all summer.  When I spent an afternoon on the lovely beaches of Rimini, I spent four euros for a beach chair and an umbrella. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.

Italy has many other beaches, some smaller and some larger. These are just a few of the beaches in the northern part of Italy. A day at an Italian beach was the perfect reprieve for me after walking around in the hot sun exploring ancient ruins and architecture.Rimini, Italy Beach

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Follow Margie on her blog at margieinitaly.wordpress.com


Enjoying the Journey to Hana, Hawaii

Guest Post: Ruth Elayne Kongaika

Amidst controversy and against my better judgment, I boarded a red minivan headed on the Road to Hana, Hawaii. Just a month earlier, I had heard on the news that a tourist had taken an unexpected fall off a cliff in Hawaii. An acquaintance had also tried to dissuade me by sharing how car sick his wife was on the road to Hana. All this negativity just made me want to go more to see if it could possibly be that bad.

Armed with a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts, suntan lotion, a map, and my camera, my son, my daughter-in-law, my husband and I bravely began our journey. The road suddenly turned from a straightway to a very windy paved path. It hugged the undulations and furrows nature had carved into the lava mountains of the Ko’olaus. We wondered how the road construction workers had managed to keep their equipment from plunging into the sea that eerily waited below. Luckily for us they had installed guardrails to keep us from plummeting to our demise along the way.

On the road to Hana (you can see where we had driven)

The road narrowed as we approached one of over twenty bridges over the chasms between the cliffs. We captured a few glimpses of waterfalls and I had to remind my son, the driver, to keep his eyes on the road rather than on the scenery. He mentioned that he loved driving on roads like this, thankfully.

One of the many waterfalls along the road to Hana. This one you could see from the main highway

I tried to keep track of where we were on the road to Hana by scanning the map. With the twisting road, it didn’t take long before my stomach started to feel queasy. My daughter-in-law had taken Dramamine and she seemed to be doing fine, while she dined on potato chips, Snickers and other delights.


I had read that it “is the journey and not the destination” that is important on the road to Hana. The mountains are covered with trees, ferns, and plants of all kinds. It was a photographer’s heaven for sure. My artistic mind went into overload and I had to make my son stop, especially when we reached the bamboo forest. It was simply magical.

Bamboo forest on the road to Hana       Copyright REK

Quite a few tourists had made the journey, and where the road narrowed, either they or we had to pull over to let the other one go. People are so kind. Locals dwelled in the small valleys between the waterfalls. I’m sure they do not appreciate all the traffic, but some of them have seen the great opportunity to open up little shops and sell local fruits, ice cream and banana bread at highly inflated prices. My favorite was a little place called Harry’s that left the goods out by a sign that said, “Honor System.” My husband picked up a small loaf of banana bread, dropped his money in a box, and we left. No one was around! Local style!


Just when we thought we could not go on, we took a left turn down a road towards the ocean. At the end we were greeted by the most amazing panorama, we felt like we had stepped into a dream. It was nonstop beauty for 360 degrees. Breathtaking! It made the whole trip worthwhile.

A small part of the panoramic view we enjoyed near the end of our trip

Ruth Elayne Kongaika was raised in the mainland, USA, but has been living in the South Pacific for the past forty years. She enjoys trying to capture the beauty of the islands through her photography, painting and writing. She has a blog which shares some of her art and favorite subjects at:


email: kongaikr@byuh.edu


Blowing Rocks Beach in Hobe Sound, Florida

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Florida is known for its beautiful beaches and one of the best is Blowing Rocks Beach in Hobe Sound. I honestly never knew that Florida had beaches with giant rocks like these. After living on Florida's east coast for more than twelve years I can't believe that that I didn't know this beach existed.

Located on Jupiter Island along AIA, Blowing Rocks Beach is reached through Blowing Rocks Preserve, operated by the Nature Conservancy. This beach was named because of the rocky shoreline consisting of Anastasia limestone. It is the largest on the east coast and actually looks live lava rock only the color is brown. Anastasia limestone is a type of sedimentary rock that was likely formed in the Pleistocene Age, approximately 120,000 years ago.

Surf and lighting Hope Sound FloridaAlthough this type of rock extends from St. Augustine to Boca Raton, the amount at Blowing Rocks is the largest on the entire Atlantic coastline. What is so unusual about it is the fact that usually this type of rock appears underwater or underground rather than on land. This rock is also known as coquina, named for the Spanish word for cockleshell. If you look at the rocks closely you can see fragments of shells, coral, and small fossils.

Cave Rock Hope Sound FloridaThe beach here is particularly magnificent during high tide when waves crashing against these rocks can cause the surf to rise up to fifty feet heights in the air. A friend had recommended that I go at high tide and I am so glad I stayed for it and was able to witness first had these incredible sights. I even got wet trying to set up my tripod in just the right spot. I will definitely be back here especially when the winds are even stronger and the tides even higher.

Access is though a path at the Blowing Rocks preserve where there are no more than twenty parking spots. A request for a $2 fee by the honor system is listed on a sign indicating to deposit the fee inside a metal tube. The preserve is open from 9-4:30 at which time an attendant comes and closes the access to the beach.

I loved being there and loved the opportunity to capture some of the beauty of nature with my camera. Walking on the rocks can be treacherous and there areas where you do not have to actually go on the rocks. To get to where I wanted to be though I was on the rocks and you can assured I was treading very carefully.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Follow Margie on her blog at margieinitaly.wordpress.com


On Location: 10 Famous London Landmarks You’ve Seen in Movies


Even if you’ve never been to London before, you’ve seen it on film. London is a popular setting for movies and television shows by British and American producers. Continue reading for ten famous London landmarks you’ve seen on the silver screen and how you can find them in real life.

Piccadilly Circus, London, EnglandThe London Eye
This majestic addition to the city’s skyline is a Ferris wheel located on the bank of the Thames. London Eye was built in 2000 for the millennial celebrations and had a major role in “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” when the four have to work together to keep it from being destroyed. “Wimbledon” also has a scene in one of the capsules.

In “The DaVinci Code,” the action should have taken place at Westminster Abbey, near Westminster tube station. However, due to filming restrictions, the moviemakers shot some important interior scenes at Lincoln Cathedral, which is in Lincoln, north of London. The exterior shots, however, are of this famous London landmark. It is where Sir Isaac Newton is interred.


Portobello Road Market
Made internationally famous in the film “Notting Hill,”starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, the Portobello Road Market is truly located at Notting Hill and runs daily except for Sundays. It features a plethora of items, from food to antiques. If you’re searching for the blue door Grant’s character lived in, it’s rumored the current owners have repainted it. 


Harry Potter’s Platform 9 ¾
There wasn’t a Platform 9 ¾ until someone decided to install one after the wildly successful J.K. Rowling tales about the boy wizard and his pals, but you can see it at the King’s Cross Station.


The Tube
London’s Underground is featured in plenty of movies — including some of the late “Harry Potters”— but many horror movie buffs remember it best from “An American Werewolf in London.” When the backpacker werewolf attacks a London commuter, he does it at Tottenham Court Road, an easy place to find using a transport map.


The London house in “Sense and Sensibility”
Located on Queen Anne Street, the Chandos House still looks the same now as it did on the set of the movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s book. It isn’t open to the public, but is available for private functions. The house has also been a set in older films; “Reds” and “The Big Sleep” both shot scenes here.


Tate Modern
The Tate Modern gallery is mentioned in many films, Woody Allen’s “Match Point” among them. Its restaurant provides a few scenes for the “Bridget Jones” series when she gets together to eat with her smug-married friends.


Regent’s Park
A backdrop for many films, notably “The King’s Speech,” Regent’s Park is located in central London. The park’s zoo was the setting for the scene in the first “Harry Potter” movie, when Harry frees a giant boa constrictor to the horror of everyone around him. Hugh Grant fans will also notice it’s where Grant’s character in “About a Boy” hoped to pick up single women.


Picadilly Circus
In both “The Day of the Triffids” and “28 Days Later,” one of the first signs humanity has ended is when the camera reveals this hotbed of activity to be lifeless and barren. It also marks a turning point in Batman’s love life, when Bruce Wayne discovers Rachel dining with Harvey Dent at a Picadilly Circus restaurant in “The Dark Knight.”


Borough Market
Near London Bridge, this market plays an important role in the setting of Renee Zellweger’s “Bridget Jones”movies.“The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus” also filmed here, as the site where the imaginarium was set up.



About the Author: Cherry Santiago has worked in the film industry for 15 years, first as a make-up artist and then as a set designer. If you’re going to London for the first time, she advises there are many hotels in London on Venere.com near these attractions.


The Best Day Trips From Adelaide, Australia


While other cities in Australia may be better known or more popular among tourists, Adelaide is growing and becoming a more popular spot for travelers. Known as the “City of Churches,” Adelaide is the capital of South Australia and the largest city in the otherwise sparsely populated state.

Like many major cities, Adelaide proper has plenty to offer visitors and locals alike. With the Adelaide Zoo, several museums and a number of parks and historical sites, there’s enough to do and see to fill any visitor’s itinerary. However, there’s even more to see outside of the city. Within a short drive of your Adelaide accommodation, you can experience everything from world-class wineries to up-close encounters with native wildlife.Remarkable Rocks at Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Wine Tours

Just about a half hour from Adelaide’s city centre, the Adelaide Hills wine region is home to more than two dozen wine cellars, ranging from small, family-run vineyards to large corporate wine producers. This is one of the largest and most diverse winemaking regions of Australia, meaning you’ll find everything from light sparkling wines to dense, flavourful cabernets. The Adelaide Hills Wine Region organisation offers several itineraries for visitors to explore and experience specific types of wine on their own. If you aren’t much for going out on your own, you can join one of the wine tours that leave from Adelaide each day.

Kangaroo Island

A 45-minute ferry ride from the mainland, Kangaroo Island is an unspoiled natural paradise. With several national parks and conservation areas, this is the place to catch a glimpse of native wildlife, including koalas and kangaroos. In addition to the extraordinary living creatures, you’ll want to make a point to visit the Remarkable Rocks, a conglomeration of large rocks aptly named for their peculiar shapes.

Visiting Kangaroo Island requires a bit of preparation to visit, as you either need to bring your car on the ferry or join an organised tour. The island does not offer public transportation, nor can you rent cars when you arrive. If you do head to the island, though, make a stop at Flinders Arch National Park, where you can get fairly close to New Zealand Fur Seals in their natural habitat, or catch a glimpse of a platypus out for a stroll. If you don’t manage to see any animals in the wild, head to Parndana Wildlife Park where you can feed kangaroos right from your hand.

Cleland Wildlife Park

If Kangaroo Island is a little farther than you’d like to go, head 20 minutes out of town to the Cleland Wildlife Park where you can wander among the animals in their natural habitats. From here, it’s also an easy trek to Mt. Lofty, where you can take in spectacular views of Adelaide from the summit.

Victor Harbor

About 90 minutes from Adelaide, the small town of Victor Harbor is popular with locals on the weekends. Easily explored on foot, the town itself is lined with shops and cafes, but the real attractions are Granite Island and, from May to October, the whale watching off the shore. Granite Island is accessible via a bridge (cross on foot or by horse-drawn tram); you walk the entire perimeter of the island in less than an hour, taking in view of sea cliffs, rock formations and fields of wildflowers. During the winter months, it’s common to see right whales from the shore during their migration.

Yorke Peninsula

Ninety minutes west of Adelaide, Yorke Peninsula is similar to Victor Harbor, but less driven by tourism. The peninsula has more than 700 km of coastline ripe for exploration; you won’t see it all in one day, but you can still explore some of the small towns, museums, and historical sites and dine on fresh seafood in one of the hundreds of restaurants and cafes.

Port River Kayaking

If you’d rather be on the water than lookat it from a distance, rent a kayak and spend the day paddling the Port River. Several hundred bottlenose dolphins call the river home, and you can also explore mangroves and spot shipwrecks from your kayak.

From wildlife to wine, there is plenty to do in the area surrounding Adelaide. Don’t forget to add some time for exploring the areas outside of the city, which might wind up being some of the most exciting and memorable hours of your holiday.


About the Author: Adelaide native Marina Douglas loves showing visitors her hometown. She covers local events and activities for her blog and is working on a novel set in turn-of-the-century Australia.


Visiting Milos, The Island of Aphrodite

Guest Post By: Maria Papadopoulou

Emerging from the depths of the sea, a well-known symbol of beauty and charm, Milos, an island of Greek Cyclades, adorns the azure, Aegean waters.

In antiquity, Milos was very prosperous because of its mineral wealth. During the Neolithic Era, it was inhabited and quite soon it became prosperous due to a black volcanic rock that the inhabitants used for their various tools and weapons. Dorians moved to the island of Milos in 1000 BC.  Milo’s residents sided with the Greeks in the battles of Salamis and Platea. In 415 BC, the Athenians defeated the islanders and destroyed the city.

Paleochori, Milos island, Cyclades, GreeceIn the centuries that followed, Milos, like the rest of the islands in Cyclades, belonged at first in Macedonia, then to Egypt, however, thanks to the safe and free sea the island’s economy was boosted. An interest for the arts was triggered leading to their development.  The statues of Aphrodite and Poseidon were the perfect examples of that development.

During the Roman rule, Milos was adorned with even more monuments, the most famous of which was the marble theater.  After the end of the Roman rule, the Catacombs became the symbol of Christianity.

During the Venetian, Turkish and German rule, the residents tried their best to achieve freedom. After years of painful effort, they accomplished their goal, and Milos, like the rest of the Cyclades return back where they belonged, to the Greeks.

I have visited the island of Milos several times and each time I feel as if it is the first. Every time I discover something new that surprises and impresses me at the same time.

The Agia Triada Church, built in 1600 AD, is one of the most special churches in the island both because of its unique architecture and old age. At present, it is used as an Ecclesiastical Museum.

The Museum of Minerals, another famous museum in Milos, displays rocks, minerals as well as tools that were created on the island of Milos.

The  world-wide famous Catacombs, the symbol of Christianity, are the place where Christians used to meet for their various religious duties.

In the north part of the island, there is the beach Sarakiniko, my absolute favorite beach to go to in Milos, because of its unusual setting. The white rocks and the strange rock formations make this beach look as one of a kind.

A great travel destination, especially during summer months, Milos is an island you have to visit!

Guest Post By: Maria Papadopoulou


A Day At Avalon Beach on Florida’s Treasure Coast

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

The water is that magnificent shade of turquoise green, the waves are rolling in one after the other, and the wind is so strong it knocked down my beach umbrella twice. I love the beach and today I am at Avalon State Park on North Hutchinson Island, Florida along Florida's Treasure Coast This beautiful place has over a mile of undeveloped natural beach.

The soft light brown sand feels good on my toes and the beach here is wide even at high tide.    A few feet higher than the beach high on a ledge above me, the sea oats are blowing in the wind. Not many people are here today although the temperature is 78 degrees and the sun is shining without a cloud anywhere on the horizon.  A couple of fishermen are here and a few groups of senior citizens who are either retired or on vacation. One is using crutches and another has one of those beach wheelchairs with the large inflatable grey wheels.Avalon Beach Hutchison Island, Florida

I could stay here all day listening to the waves with my eyes closed and feeling totally relaxed. This is the next thing to Paradise and I am fortunate enough to live here, only about a half hour away.

Avalon Beach Hutchison Island, FloridaThe beach at Avalon State Park is part of Florida's state park system, so there is a fee to park here in one of the forty parking spaces and use the beach. It goes by the honor system according to a posted sign on a metal post. The sign indicates to take a blue envelope from inside this metal "station" and insert $2, then tear off the section designated to hang from the rearview mirror of your car. The envelope then gets deposited into a slot in this station.

Covered Shade Area Avolon Beach Hutchison Island, FloridaNext to the parking lot is a covered pavilion and under it are four picnic tables. Two charcoal grills are also here. Restroom facilities are located at the other end of the parking lot, and although there is no lifeguard here today, a red flag is posted warning of strong surf. Avalon State Park in Fort Pierce is located in St Lucie County Florida on Florida's scenic Highway A1A, four miles north of the north causeway.

How nice this is in the second week of February when I know that the northern part of the country is dealing with snow and cold temperatures. Since I grew up in Ohio I understand only too well about northern winters. I'll take this Florida beach any day of the year.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Follow Margie on her blog at margieinitaly.wordpress.com

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