Enjoy The Outdoors And More in Hood River Oregon

Posted on 20 June 2018 (0)

Hood River is a great place to visit in Oregon, especially if you are visiting Portland in this state. Among the attractions of this city is the great outdoors as well as great beer to be found in the varied breweries in this town. Among the less travelled cities in the country, Hood River can definitely come on your list.

One of the beautiful features of this region is Columbia River gorge. Located in the Pacific Northwest, it is a winding stretch that is sandwiched between areas of dense forests, waterfalls and towering cliffs. With this winding river in the vicinity, the town flaunts a hilly landscape and a Rockwellian flavor, akin to being a backyard in Portland. Indeed, after visiting the bustling city of Portland it would be an ideal spot to come to unwind.

The town is located on the shores of the river where the foothills of Mount Hood are found. As a result the outdoor recreational opportunities are several. Whether you love to hike, bike, kite surf or ski in winter, you can do all this and more in Hood River town. The town is not devoid of a bustling city center though. With traffic of Portland that infiltrates this region and a growing commercial district, it has the right mix of fresh air and a fraction of city life.  An old friend, Brandon, who runs www.southernstarroofing.com in Charlotte, has visited Hood River a couple times and has always commented that the outdoors and scenery here are among the best in the United States, a hidden gem worthy of visiting for sure.

As a visitor to this town, you will want to explore the several breweries around town, each offering unique flavors and brews to taste and savor. Double Mountain, Logsdon Farmhouse, pFriem, Full Sail are some of the several breweries in town.

Columbia River Gorge is worth discovering here, being a nature preserve that has a gorge, akin to a canyon to spans 80 meters is 4000 feet in depth.

Plan a visit to the History museum of Hood River County when you have time and wish to take a break from the outdoor activities. It is a relaxing place to check out the history relics and artifacts that reflect on the region, its history, culture and tradition.

Another delightful place to plan a day out with your friends and family is the Hood River waterfront park. This community area with a river beach is a perfect place to enjoy watercraft rides as well as picnic by the picnic tables as you spend your day here.

Esmeraldas: A Wonderful Beach Side City

Posted on 15 October 2019 (0)

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Esmeraldas is an Ecuadorian city that has a unique cultural vibe, even though it has faced some political disturbances from time to time. At the time I visited the city was in a peaceful state which makes it ideal for travelers to visit and take in the sights and experiences that the city offers.

Attractions of the City

This city is considered a hot spot, not only for the Afro Ecuadorian culture, it represents but also due to the cultural vibes, such as marimba and other dance performances that can be seen here or the waterfront at Las Palmas that offers great views along with eateries ideal for seafood lunch along with several cocktail bars.

Places to Visit

I discovered that Playa de Las Palmas is the best place to walk around and spend a day; the boardwalk by the beach is made attractive with several retail and restaurants. I also stopped by the Parque Infantil Roberto Luis Cervantes is a historic park here that is well maintained with several walking and hiking trails and activities for children and families.

I also took a trip to the Cloud Forest of Mindo. It is one of the most popular trips close to this city that is located in the northwest region of the Andes and is by the Nambillo reserve. There are several nature-based activities to do here such as enjoy a butterfly farm, taste chocolate that is made here, go bird watching, take a hike by the waterfall, go ziplining and visit a coffee museum.


I also stopped by several eateries here. One restaurant, Parrilladas El Toro is a steakhouse that specializes in chops and beef; Oh! Mar is an open beach side restaurant that has wonderful seafood dishes on the menu. La Tunda is another cafe which has an Italian menu as well as outdoor seating.

Nazareth – a City that Preserves the Jesus Era

Posted on 17 July 2019 (0)

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Nazareth was a city that I had to include in my list since it offers much insight into biblical history. This Israel city is an old one that holds onto to its historic past and has several landmarks and sites that reveal much about Mary’s bearing of her child, different places that Jesus was at, prayed, studied and how life was in that era.

Places to Visit


  • Basilica of the Annunciation


This was the church that I visited first, known to be the domed structure where many believe is where Mary was informed by angel Gabriel that she would be bearing a child. Built in 1969, it is where the Annunciation took place.


  • St Joseph’s Church


This was the next site which was an interesting place for me since it retains how the carpentry workshop of Joseph was. It was also built on a historical site, the Romanesque revival style that reflects the old churches and their architecture in 1914.


  • Mount Precipice


This place proved to be a scenic mountain tour as well as a historic religious site which is thought to be the place from where a mob planned to throw off Jesus. The peak is at a height of 395 meters and with panoramic views.


  • Nazareth Village


I enjoyed visiting this museum as well which retains a village scene depicting how people lived in the time of Jesus.


  • Greek Orthodox Church


This church is another landmark structure here that has a subterranean chapel; I was impressed with the architecture as well as the underground spring here that is a must-see for all travelers.


  • Eateries to Stop by


There are several places where one can stop by to enjoy local fare. Abu Ashraf is a coffeehouse that is an old timer here; enjoy sweet pancakes here that are with cinnamon walnuts, goat’s cheese as well as coffee that is made from a mix of different beans. Alreda is a restaurant that is housed in a mansion that is 200 years old. Avra was another café restaurant I visited that served Palestinian and Greek dishes.

Boulogne-Billancourt – Discover Unique Architecture all around Here

Posted on 07 April 2019 (0)

Discovering the different cities of France was a delight for me and one such city was Boulogne-Billancourt. This is located in the southwest part of Paris and you can get here easily by different kinds of the commute.

What I discovered about this town was its bourgeois history as well as an industrial past. At the same time, there is the architecture of the Avant-Gardist style that is well preserved around the city.

The Parcours Des Annees District

I took a walk around this area as the architecture here abounds of several modern landmarks that are unique. You will also find several buildings here that date back to the thirties; take a walk around Parc des Princes that is a football ground which now acts as a workshop for different architectural projects. Here you will also find examples of the works of several leading architects who have created unique studios and artist homes here.  

The Town Hall

Once you have walked around the district I mentioned above you can also take a trip to see the town hall. Known as Tony Garnier’s town hall, the way it is designed shows off the community wealth of the region.

Musée Albert Kahn

This is a museum I visited here and I recommend it to you as well. If you are here with family, they will particularly enjoy the gardens that surround this museum. I discovered that it was created and maintained by the Kahn family initially after which it became public property.

The Parc Rothschild

Last but not least, take a visit here as I did. I found it to be included in most of the local tour itineraries and hence, you will not have any problem finding this place. The chateau has expansive gardens around it and a lake that makes it a beautiful, outdoor space to be and relax in. At the same time, you get to see the mansion of the Rothschild family, one of the prominent families in this region.

Londrina – A Tranquil Winter Getaway

Posted on 20 January 2019 (0)

Londrina is a gem of a city located in the Southern Region of Brazil. From the earlier days, the city has been a major commercial center known for its German, British, and Japanese settlements. Agriculture is the major occupation in the city which is popular for its horticulture and diversified fruit plantations. Some of my best days in Brazil were spent in Londrina and the city has some great attractions for every type of tourist. Listed below are the 3 major attractions of the city.

  • Lake Igapo

Lake Igapo is the most beautiful site in the city. It is made of 4 man-made lakes that are connected with each other. There is a lot of greenery all over the place and offers a relaxing location for hours of hiking or a simple stroll by the lakeside. There are many biking trails surrounded by large trees. The place also offers some amazing views of the skyscrapers on the other side.

  • Godoy Woods State Park

If you enjoy natural scenic attractions like, you should definitely visit Godoy Woods State Park. Here you can find some forested natural trails that are undisturbed by man. It is a gem of a place for those who like to explore deep into the woods. Besides lush green paths lined by tree groves, the place has some well-kept landscapes with recreation facilities for tourists. We trekked for over an hour and came across some beautiful gardens and open spaces that are ideal for kids as well.

  • Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral


The cathedral to be one of the busiest churches in the city. The construction is fairly modern and has lots of woodwork. The glass facade is colorfully designed and depicts an image of Jesus. The interiors are made of shiny wooden structures and are quite different from the usual architectural techniques used for making churches.

Rio Never Gets Old For A Vacation

Posted on 24 October 2018 (0)

Definitely the beautiful seaside city in Brazil and 2016 Olympics took it to the whole new level. The beaches and hills with its tropical climate pull the tourists like a magnet. I have been there in the monsoon season and it felt like a paradise. Rio is also famous for its annual Carnival festival, which usually takes place in the month of February, which I missed, but gave me a new excuse to visit the city again. And this time it would be held from 1st March 2019 to 9th March 2019. The hills, beaches, architecture and its culture made me fall in love with it. It is the must visit place for every traveler, nature lover, an architectural fonder and photographers.

Places to visit

A 98 ft tall giant mountain top statue of the Jesus Christ is the most famous vantage point of Rio city. It offers the whole city view, so beautiful that I didn’t even want to blink.

  • Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain is a 396 m tall peak at the edge of the Guanabara Bay with the cable-way and breathtaking views. The cable-way ride at that height from harbor can give the goose bumps, but a must visit adventurous experience.

  • Corcovado

A 710 m high granite peak named after its hunchback shape often confuses the tourists with the Sugarloaf Mountain nearby it. Being one of the few highest peaks in Rio city, it provides mesmerizing views.

  • Copacabana Beach

Like every other beach Copacabana is the liveliest place in Rio city, and its crescent shape draws everybody’s attention. The atmosphere and surrounding can re-energize even a third person. Most of the people prefer playing football, volleyball on the shore, kids make sand castles and the joviality of the beach pulled me in the mood to swing along and enjoy the moment.

Apart from these there are many more places to visit like, the museums, art galleries, churches, national park etc. and the historic building dated from 16th century to 19th century. The city has different buildings influenced by French architecture, Portuguese Architecture and English architecture, which is a treat to every art and architecture lover.