Posts for Lazy Destinations Category

Cusco Sights

Lazy Destinations - Shelia - May 12, 2014

For lovers of things ancient a trip to Cusco in Peru is definitely a must. Cusco acts as a fantastic jumping off point to explore the famous Inca ruins of Manchu Picchu which has quickly become one of the world’s most revered cultural sites. Not only a way station for Manchu Picchu Cuzco also has several wonderful sites and attractions to visit. Perhaps the single greatest tourist commodity that Cusco enjoys is the Peruvian people themselves who are selfless, kind and always provide fantastic hospitality to guests of their city. More things to do in Cuzco include.
Qorikancha (Temple of the Sun)
Pampa del Castillo at Plazoleta Santo Domingo
The Incas were one of the world’s largest and most well organized empires previous to the arrival of the Spanish upon their lands. No where is this better represented by Qoricancha (Temple of the Sun). An iconic monument for the Incan empire Qoricancha was decorated by more than 700 gold plated walls that allowed sun to reflect off the  temple’s many alters and statues. A massive complex, more than 4,000 priests and their attendants lived at the same time within the comfortable confines of this temple. Not surprisingly the Spanish looted all of the golden plates from the walls, but in modern times still  Qoricancha exists as an example of the intriguing Incan architecture and masonry work. The design techniques of this church became used in several of the Spaniards monuments and churches creating some of the first Andean and Spanish architecture. Qoricancha can be visited from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm daily at a cost of around $3.75 US Dollars.

Cathedral
142 Portal Espinar | Cusco, Peru
Amongst the wonderful buildings of the Plaza de Armas the Cathedral stands out as both one of its tallest and finest architectural displays. Originally constructed in 1550 the Barque design is still an awe inspiring sight. The interior is equally impressive having opulent ceilings, ornate oil paintings and alters made from gold and silver. Filled with wonderful works of art one of the most famous is a painting that depicts the earthquake that shook Cusco back in 1650. Connected to this tale, and also on display in the Cathedral, is Senor de los Temblores which is the crucifix that is said to have stopped the earthquake from destroying the whole city. Other works of art in the Cathedral exemplify both the Andean and Catholic cultural heritages of this region. The Cathedral is open from 10 am to 6 pm with admission costing around $3.75 US.

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Things to Do in Santorini

Lazy Destinations - Shelia - March 2, 2014

santorini-sunsetSituated in the heart of Mediterranean Sea, Santorini has long been seen as the must visit destination of the Greek Islands. Filled with picturesque beaches, beautiful sunsets, awe inspiring cliffs with vista sea views and sailing excursions that will showcase the wondrous beauty of the caldera bay Santorini is a joy to the senses. Also filled with wineries and varied historical sites there is more to do in Sanotorini than just enjoy nature and the warm weather. A few things to do in Sanorini include:

Ancient Thira

Ancient Thira is the main historical attraction of Santorini. Originally settled by the Dorians of the 9th century B.C. Thira has ruins from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras. A wander along what was once  the main street of Ancient Thira will lead you past old mosaic houses, Roman baths, and the remains of what was previously an ancient market place. Don’t forget to partake in the wonderful views from the Terrace of the Festivals, which was once a place of great religious significance and the site of ceremonies that honoured the Greek god Apollo. Ancient Thira is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:30 am to 3 pm and admission is around $5 US dollars.

Amoudi Bay

The most stunning views to be had on Santorini are overlooking the caldera bay in the tiny port town of Amoudi Bay. Surrounded by steep cliffs, that offset the beauty of the bay with their imposing aesthetic, Amoudi Bay has long been a place for visitors to Santorini to enjoy a meal and watch the sun set. People who have traveled to Santorini previously note this location as the best for views on an island that is reputed for wonderful views. While in the bay, also be sure to sample some of the delicious fresh fish on the menu in many of its restaurants.

Kamari Beach

The volcanic history of Santorini has led to some of the Greek Isles most lovely and unique beaches – Kamari Beach more so than any other exudes this. The black sands of Kamari create a unique aesthetic as contrasted to the crystal blue waters that run along them when the tide is high. Nearby to the beach is Kamari, the islands most developed resort area. In Kamari you will find shops, beachside bars, hotels and restaurants. Perhaps a little crowded, especially in peak season, still Kamari Beach must be enjoyed while on Santorini.

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Best Free Thing to Do in San Francisco

Lazy Destinations - Shelia - January 7, 2014

Haight-Ashbury_4742If you want to be in San Francisco and not spend money, which is hard as it has become one of the US’s most expensive cities, the answer is simple head down to Haight Ashbury to wander around. Once the epicentre of the hippy movement, Haight Ashbury still provides much diversion for visitors to the city as it doesn’t cost anything to enjoy its parks and green spaces. If you have a few dollars or you’re just an avid window shopper you can also do some great shopping down in this district too. After you have done that just zone into the areas great architecture too.

Parks of Haight-Ashbury

There are several great parks in near succession to each other in Haight Ashbury. The two that are most often enjoyed are Buena Vista Park – which is canvassed by sun in the summer and offers breathtaking views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge, and Golden Gate Park, a massive park that stretches from Haight Ashbury all the way down to the Pacific Ocean. If you’re hanging around Haight Ashbury be sure to spend at least a little time in and around hippy hill which is easy to hear, see and smell from the sounds of rhythmic drums and the notable aromatic smoke that emits from it and forms small hazy clouds above it. There’s always plenty of free things to do while in the park.

Haight Ashbury Architecture

One of the calling cards of Haight Asbury has long been the Victorian style architecture built from brick. One of the best examples of this is the Red Vic – which is a bed and breakfast, slash museum. Wandering ever so slightly up the street and you can find the Victorian style former home of the entire Grateful Dead at 710 Ashbury. This was the residence that housed the band and the varied and ever changing “friends” who stayed there too. Wandering the streets of Haight Ashbury is free and promises to be a very pleasing aesthetic experience.

Shopping in Haight-Ashbury

Haight Ashbury is a well known shopping locale and is famous for having several independent shops that specialize in various alternative items. Even if you don’t want to spend money just looking around, window shopping, and people watching will make it well worth your while to wander around the various shops. If you are at all a lover of books make sure to wander and read a little in the famous City Lights Book Store, which was a centre of the beat and hippy movements in its day.

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Lazy Days and Crazy Nights in Cyprus

Lazy Destinations - Shelia - November 22, 2013

One of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean, Cyprus is a rich tapestry of ancient art and natural beauty. You can explore Roman tombs and Byzantine art, take a traditional Turkish bath, or visit the largest Ostrich Park in Europe, depending on what mood seizes you. There’s a gothic castle on a hill and a speckling of monasteries, all of which make admirable daytime adventures. But as the sun sinks below the horizon, Cyprus crackles into an indomitable neon light-storm of thumping beats. Here’s an overview of the best places to be and things to do on Cyprus, whether the sun is coming up or sinking down…

Ayia Napa

Ayia Napa is one of the world’s liveliest clubbing destinations, and a popular choice among the 18 – 30 crowd. Clubs like Black N’White, Castle Club and Starsky’s bring the noise for dancing queens, and opportunities to spot reality stars and footballers abound. Organised bar crawls and fantasy boat parties – though not for the faint-hearted – are the order of the day, and when the hangover kicks in, there’s always the massive Waterworld Waterpark to get you rehydrated. If clubbing isn’t your scene, activities range from the enlightening to the bizarre. Explore Ayia Napa’s sea caves on a boat tour, head to the abandoned ghost town of Famagusta, or laze away in the Marrakech Spa accompanied by Moroccan tea and pastry.

Paphos

It’s the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, and there’s plenty to love in the pretty coastal city of Paphos. Historians will cherish the opportunity to explore Kato Paphos Archeological Park, an ancient ruin which includes Roman villas with original mosaic floors and an ancient Odeon carved from limestone blocks, while adventurers can learn to scuba at the Dive Point Diving Centre. Once you’ve worked up a healthy appetite, visit one of the many tavernas in Paphos to sample some freshly prepared Greek cuisine, then relax with a cocktail in Notos Café Bar, and look out over the Harbour as the clubs begin to throb.

 

Limassol

Cyprus’s second-largest city mixes beach life, activities and a fairly sophisticated night scene. With everything from paintball and off-road driving to archery and go-karting, start with Sayious Adventure Park for an action-packed day out. Animal lovers should visit the donkey sanctuary, where you can help care for the animals, or the Limassol Zoo, where you can see baboons, wallabies and lemurs. As night falls, whether your taste is in trance, rock or jazz, there will be a club to accommodate, or if you’re looking for something a little more mellow, check out Retro, a club for the over 30s, playing the hits of yesteryear.

Of course, outside the main hubs, there are plenty of picturesque spots you can include in your holiday itinerary, from hiking the remote Karpas peninsula to enjoying traditional Cypriot tavernas in villages like Tochni and Kalavasos. Whether you’re more active in the day or at night on holiday, you’ll find something to absorb, entertain and astonish in Cyprus.

Images by lix – and David Evers used under Creative Commons

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The Fashionista’s Guide to Rome

Lazy Destinations, Travel Tips - Shelia - September 17, 2013

Rome is one of the world’s most fantastic cities for art, culture, history and cuisine, but it seems like Milan gets all the fashion attention in Italy. Well, if you find yourself in Rome, rest assured that there is plenty of outstanding shopping for the fashion-forward traveller. Follow this guide for the best of high fashion in Rome.

spanish_steps

The Spanish Steps: In Rome, much of the luxury designer shopping is arranged in a three pronged formation called the Trident (made up of the streets Via del Corso, Via del Babuino and Via Ripetta – all of which lead to the Piazza del Popolo.) For the high-fashion-minded shopper, it’s straight to Via del Babuina where you will find the flagship stores of many of the world’s top brands. Check out the little connecting side streets to peruse independent shops that carry high quality merchandise and are famous for their window displays. You may be dodging tourists, but this part of town is definitely ground zero for the world’s finest fashion.

Piazza Navona and the Pantheon: This part of town is familiar to tourists because the streets are lined with towering monuments of the ancient world and Renaissance churches, but between these cultural tourist magnets the intrepid shopper can find unique small boutique shops that carry an eclectic array of fashions and accessories next to vintage shops, antiques stores and book sellers. Don’t miss SBU, Rome’s hippest jeans shop on Via di San Pantaleo.

Campo de’ Fiori: This bustling square hosts a fresh produce market every morning and in the evenings the nightlife is hopping. For shoppers this district offers small craft shops tucked into narrow Medieval streets – browse the furniture designers, antique shops, ceramics stores, and quirky housewares. You will also find hidden gems like Borini, a women’s shoe store that offers a huge range of high quality leather shoes for unthinkable discounts (just don’t be put off by its unassuming appearance).

Fashion Week: Even though it’s not as fashion-famous as Milan, Rome still has a pretty influential bi-annual fashion week called Alta Moda Alta Roma. The old and well-established (and some new) fashion houses of Italy take this as an opportunity to connect with international talent and opportunities while buyers, celebrities, journalists and socialites look on for the next season’s trends. Even if you can’t get a seat by the runway for a designer show, the city will be alive with fashion, designers and taste-makers, so go style hunting around the city and see which style icons and avant garde fashions you can find.

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