Top 10 places to see the Northern Lights

Who doesn’t have seeing the northern lights on their “kick the bucket” list?

If you’re wondering where on earth is the best place to see the aurora borealis, check out this list of TP bloggers who have successfully experienced the natural light show in the sky.

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Dc314 went on a Northern Lights bus tour in Reykjavik

Dc314 went on a Northern Lights bus tour in Reykjavik

“As we are heading back, and midnight approaches, the right side of the bus could see the northern lights. The bus pulls over in the middle of nowhere and everyone gets out in the street. We saw the dancing white light in the air, and it was actually pretty cool. We got to see it for about 30 mins. Then we drove a little more and hopped out of the bus again. I was able to take a few pics, but unfortunately I am not able to hold a camera still for 10 seconds without a tripod, so they are a tad blurry (you can get the idea). Interestingly enough, the lights are green in the pictures, instead of white. At about 1 a.m. we head back to the city. We finally went to bed and called it a night, very tired but very happy to have witnessed this natural phenomenon.” – Dc314

2. Svolvaer, Norway

Everardt snapped this picture while searching for Moelje in Norway

Everardt snapped this picture while searching for Moelje in Norway

“When I came outside I happened to look up in the sky and there were 2 pale green bands of light in the sky. All of a sudden there was some electrical activity and I just managed to get my camera out in time to photograph the northern lights.” – Everardt

3. Iqaluit, Canada

Yours truly in the northern tundra

Yours truly in the northern tundra

“On our way home, I look up in the sky and it is FILLED with green and grey colours. The northern lights! On my last night in Iqaluit, the sky is clear enough to see it! It’s not more colourful than in Yellowknife, but it’s a LOT more monstrous. It just fills up the entire sky with dancing light. It lasts for about 30 or 45 minutes and just abruptly as it began it stops.” – starlagurl

4. Tromso, Norway

Jimborussell in Norway

Jimborussell in Norway

One of the workers rushed into our tent and excitedly pronounced that the Northern Lights could be seen outside. I was outside in a flash and stood there gaping at the sky for about an hour. The lights were quite faint, but definately visable. They covered a third of the sky at their most intense, and fluctuated and moved slowly in large waves which seemed to point downward from the heavens in a way I find very difficult to explain. They didn’t last all that long, but were amazing. – Jimborussell

5. Fairbanks, USA

Margiewilson spent a week enjoying the wilderness in Fairbanks

Margiewilson spent a week enjoying the wilderness in Fairbanks

“The afternoon was great, but the evening was better than we could have ever have imagined. We were told that the night would be a good night for the Northern Lights, so we could hardly wait to see them. Around 9 p.m., the first line of Lights were showing but they came and went. We went outside and another band of light was showing around 10 p.m. A group of us were outside in awe of the lights and we were all trying to get pictures of the lights. The lights started dancing around in the sky and we were mesmerized by them. We watched for a while, then went to the room and watched from the balcony. The lights were very active that night, there were some other people watching from their balcony and when the lights went dancing again one man from Russia started screaming and jumping around on the grass saying it was a miracle. And I think it was. What a wonderful way to end the day. We will never forget the sight and we are so thankful that we were able to experience the colors in the lights.” – Margiewilson

6. Tok, USA

Neeterb and her dog in Alaska

Neeterb and her dog in Alaska

“As we prepared for bed, Warren came in and said he thought we were going to see northern lights. Back outside to stand with our necks craned to see the display that seemed just for us. To the naked eye, the lights appeared faint and white. I wasn’t able to get pictures with my camera, but Warren did. The lights, to the camera, were actually green. Absolutely astounding and another checkmark off my list of things to see in Alaska.” – Neeterb

7. Yellowknife, Canada

Lolly's fiancee proposed under the Northern Lights in Yellowknife

Lolly’s fiancee proposed under the Northern Lights in Yellowknife

“We found a dock on Great Slave Lake and watched the northern lights until they disappeared and the sky started to lighten again around 1am. It was then that Senica proposed to me on bended knee – how romantic!! What a beautiful setting on such an auspicious day – the highlight of the trip, literally!!” –

8. Cantwell, USA

Docn saw a glimpse of the Northern Lights amidst a herd of caribou

Docn saw a glimpse of the Northern Lights amidst a herd of caribou

“After cooking myself dinner and resting for a bit I headed back to the dog sled jump off point to check out the norther lights…which were amazing. Even cooler though was the fact that as I was standing there checking out the lights I started to hear what I thought were footsteps…quadraped footsteps…then out of the corner of my eye I saw what was making the noise…Caribou…they were all around me…apparently they were crossing the road where I was parked…I couldn’t get any pictures because it was pitch black…but they were everywhere!!!” – Docn

9. Edmonton, Canada

Nancydeb visited the West Edmonton Mall and saw the Northern Lights in the same day!

Nancydeb visited the West Edmonton Mall and saw the Northern Lights in the same day!

“We did get to see the green haze of northern lights one night when we were in Edmonton. I was surprised they were visible even in town with all the street lights but there they were, so that was pretty cool.” – Nancydeb

10. Isle of Skye, Scotland

Hannahfoster with the standing stones in Callandish, Scotland

Hannahfoster with the standing stones in Callandish, Scotland

“The second night we were high up on the hills on the Ilse of Skye and that view was pretty awesome too. The night we stayed there we could see the Northern Lights. They weren’t that spectacular because we werent quite far north enough but still it was a pretty glow in the sky.” – Hannahfoster

Featured blogs Hot places

Lonely Planet’s top 10 places to party

Another great list from Lonely Planet, the world’s top 10 places to party. I put the list to the test and found out whether TravelPod bloggers partied it up, or died of boredom…

1. Belgrade = Party Town

Some "barge-clubs" found in Belgrade, Serbia

Some "barge-clubs" found in Belgrade, Serbia

“This is a town that knows how to go out. There are bars everywhere, the river is chock-a-block with barge-clubs and apparently most of the ‘coolest’ venues are still hidden away in unmarked basements. With no budget airlines serving Nikola Tesla airport it is also pleasantly lacking in British stag dos.” – Jiewu

2. Montreal = Fun, but expensive

Goldenfrog88 at Sky Pub in Montreal, Canada

Goldenfrog88 at Sky Pub in Montreal, Canada

We went to the gay district again to a bar that was recommended. We started off on their third floor terrace and ordered Canada’s infamously weak and expensive drinks. April and I ordered cosmos and got vodka crans in a plastic cup with one once of vodka for $7 each. After an hour we went to the first floor where a drag-show was happening. The performances were excellent with impersenations of the slum dog dance, Tina turner, and Madonna. I was surprised there was no way to tip them! Lastly, we went to the second floor to dance. Griselda and Isabella left earlier than April and myself. I tried getting over the whole “I don’t belong in gay bars” and just started dancng by myself to see what happens. I ended up dancing with some guy who had had way too much with different intentions of my own but at least he was cute. – Goldenfrog88

3. Buenos Aires = so-so

Curtisejtaylor meeting Brazilians at a pool hall in Buenos Aires

Curtisejtaylor meeting Brazilians at a pool hall in Buenos Aires

I don’t know what it’s like to party in big cities, but Buenos Aires, I found, is nothing worth boasting about. Nothing out of this world, if you’re wondering. It was good. – Curtisejtaylor

4. Dubai = “a very fun time”

Tnowakow at a private New Year's Eve party in Dubai, UAE

Tnowakow at a private New Year's Eve party in Dubai, UAE

“The party was at a friend’s of Mona’s out in Jumeriah and we drove to a super market where he had cabs come and take us to the actual house (he didn’t want a bunch of cars at his place). It was a sweet looking villa with a pool outside and he had masks for everyone to wear before the New Year. He also had it catered with any kind of drinks that you would want. All in all it was a very fun time actually” – Tnowakow

5. Thessaloniki = “such a fun night”

Jhdavis' friend Allie, with her drink on the party boat in Thessaloniki

Jhdavis' friend Allie, with her drink on a party boat in Thessaloniki

“We sailed around the bay for 30 minutes and the boat took us down the other side of Thessaloniki and across the downtown area by Aristotle Square and the waterfront bars and cafes. The music was great and all the people abroad where so friendly. At the end, we made our way back down to the dock and left the boat. It was such a fun night.” – Jhdavis

6. La Paz = a little boring

Wadeoliver at the "green party" in La Paz

Wadeoliver at the "green party" in La Paz

“Boys with the booze arrived 8 with 1 10L bottle (looked more like a gas can) of rum and 20L of vodka plus mixers. Once everybody had a drink in their hand then the party really started. The arrival of 4 giant pizzas for dinner was fun (one slice = 3 normal) but because I wasn’t into the whole dance thing, I had had enough by 11:00. I had to unlock my door and leave it open while I went downstairs to give the key to Mike as the door can’t be left unlocked. Felt a little sick (ok, threw up a little), showered, bed 11:30. Mike woke me at 01:45 knocking on the door because he was too drunk to remember I’d given him the key! Then Jo is knocking on the door 5 minutes later and he’s having a conversation with her in his jocks out in the hall so not to disturb me more (he’s a nice guy) but as one of the guys chasing Jo passed by it must have been embarrassing!” – Wadeoliver

7. Cape Town = 24 hour parties!

Nat_yeo and her friends dressed up for a party in Cape Town

Nat_yeo and her friends dressed up for a party in Cape Town

“We gathered at Proc’s house for champagne and dress ups before heading off to the big party at Ratanga Junction Theme Park, where the party was kicking into full swing. It is quite a thing to arrive at the party. Each group crosses over a catwalk and is announced as they arrive with cameras clicking and video cameras recording – you really want to ensure you have put enough effort into your costumes! The atmosphere was fantastic, the crowd very friendly and the music was rocking! We had a great night partying hard until the early hours before sunrise when we made a brief visit back to Cinds and Sebs for a quick shower and change, then off to another party!

The other party was an outdoor trance party held in a secret location around Hout Bay. Soon enough, we were kicking up a dust storm at breakfast time. We had a load of fun – I made some new friends and met some old and even had a call from UK friends cracking on back home whilst I walked through the surrounding forest. We called it quits around lunch time for some much needed sleep – a fantastic way to end 2 weeks in Cape Town.” – Nat_yeo

8. Baku = giant wedding parties

Lok loved the dancing at a wedding in Baku, Azerbaijan

Lok loved the dancing at a wedding in Baku, Azerbaijan

“We then all drove to the village’s wedding hall (yes, weddings are the only events held here), honking all the way. Men and women were seated, at 20 long banquest tables, separately in the hall. It was packed with some 350 people. There were food, wine, vodka, live band and singers and a lot of speeches and dancing. They have a lot of arm movements when they dance – both guys and girls. I could not tell who are husbands and wives since they did not interact at all throughout the event.

After 4 hours, the party at the wedding hall came to an end at 12:30 a.m. It was only adjourned to the bride’s home for more drinks and snacks.” – Lok

9. Auckland = high class style

Andanddan ringing in the new year in Auckland

Andanddan ringing in the new year in Auckland

“An hour or so later we wandered back into the foyer area, which was by this time buzzing with people, and we made our way back to the original bar. Another band, comprising a male and female singer, were now in full flow and had the crowd rocking and the dance floor heaving. At this stage we decided not to move on to the Loaded Hog as originally planned – this was turning out to be a good night and the price was right too!” – Andanddan

10. Tel Aviv = Shabbat culture

Egsolove partied every night when he was in Israel

Egsolove partied every night when he was in Israel

“I still have another night in Israel, and its going to be a good one. It’s shabbat, the party night. Israelis stay up very late, starting to party at 12:30 and not stopping until 5 or 6 sometimes. I’ve done this pretty much every night I’ve been in Israel. It gets exhausting for an American boy. But the culture here is amazing.” – Egsolove

Featured blogs

TripAtlas’ 10 Safest Countries in the World

TripAtlas.com recently listed the 10 safest countries in the world.

“The Global Peace Index (GPI) moves beyond simple crime statistics alone, and looks at the actions of a government, the country’s relationships with the world at large, and the attitudes and demographics of its population.”

Let’s see what TravelPod bloggers had to say about that.

1. New Zealand

Kikiblogtrot in New Zealand

Kikiblogtrot in New Zealand

“I get to chat to local Kiwis who tell me about Christchurch and the life here, and not all of it is rosy and happy… far from it. They tell me about what they think of the racism and crime here. Something which I have to say I was surprised to hear about in New Zealand – it feels so much safer than some of the places I have been to before…” – Kikiblogtrot

2. Denmark

Pwong found the town of Christiana to be relatively safe

Twittg's friend Elisa on a trampoline in Norway

 

“Personally, I’d never live here, but the people seem to be happy and though crime has been on the rise in recent years, generally there is no trouble here.” – Pwong

3. Norway

Twittg's friend Elisa on a trampoline in Norway[/caption]“While traveling around Scandinavia, I heard people from most every country commenting on how crime has gotten worse with the influx of new immigrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East.” – Twittg

4. Iceland

Cariverga in front of a waterfall in Iceland

Cariverga in front of a waterfall in Iceland

“I was lodged not directly in the hostel (no places…or whatever the reason) but in a nearby home of an old man (possibly, they got an agreement with him to accommodate surplus guests).

– Man, would you give me a key?
– Why? The door is open. We never close it.

OK. So, this is Iceland. No-crime-country. Previous year there were 2 car hijackings. Period.” – Cariverga

5. Austria

Danschedler was told that Vienna is safer than Budapest

Danschedler was told that Vienna is safer than Budapest

“I had already decided by now not to go to Budapest, which had been my next tentative stop, due to the riots that had broken out there. It probably would have been fine, but Pippi told me Budapest was, “…just like Vienna, but with crime,” so I decided to skip it.” – Danschedler

6. Sweden

Monk-san at an underground restaurant in Stockholm

Monk-san at an underground restaurant in Stockholm

“Stockholm is a clean place. There’s not much grafitti and crime seems low. In fact, I noticed that the rows of bikes stood outside the central station were mostly not even chained to themselves (to stop the wheels moving) let along chained to an immoveable object.” – Monk-san

7. Japan

Sean of Seanandkat in Ueno-mura, Japan

Sean of Seanandkat in Ueno-mura, Japan

“The area is nice and there isn’t hardly any crime and so I really had nothing to fear.” – Seanandkat

8. Canada

Weilnau found Whistler, BC to be a dangerous place

Weilnau found Whistler, BC to be a dangerous place

“Left with few options, Jason went to park at the municipal lot, which was free. Free indeed, but loaded with crime. Broken glass from car windows being smashed in, littered the lot and made us feel completely uncomfortable leaving our car, with all of our belongings, in such a place.” – Weilnau

9. Finland

Whitefox2008 petting a hairy cow in Yllas, Finland

Whitefox2008 petting a hairy cow in Yllas, Finland

“Would we visit Lapland again? Most definitely, yes. The appeal of Lapland is based on nature and landscapes. The most significant experience for me is plenty of snow, the tranquility, tidiness, abundance of winter activities, uniqueness and safety. Crime rate is low… I would recommend a visit to the Lapland.” – Whitefox2008

10. Slovenia

Slipperycoconut eating horse in Slovenia

Slipperycoconut eating horse in Slovenia

“We were told that there is no crime in the country and we felt safe walking back through town late at night. I later read that there was not a single murder in Slovenia in all of 2008. That makes we want to move there. The people all seemed pretty happy.” – Slipperycoconut

Featured blogs

Chris Guillebeau’s 9 overrated tourist destinations vs. 9 alternatives

Chris Guillebeau came up with the 9 most overrated destinations and then offered alternatives to each of them.

I wanted to put them to the test, so I checked out what TravelPod bloggers thought about all 18 places.

1. Niagara Falls (Thumbs up)

Donhad thought Niagara Falls was "worth the trip"

Donhad thought Niagara Falls was "worth the trip"

“We had a whole day to do all the main tourist stops …..including a trip behind the falls, the Niagara experience (a movie in the round that rains and snows on you as you watch it). Up the space needle like tower for photos, a walk along the rapids, and of course the Maid of the Mist boat ride (WOW ….and in the front of the boat).” – Donhad

Alternative: Victoria Falls (Thumbs up)

Flolafol taking in the scenery of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

Flolafol taking in the scenery of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

“Swimming in Devil’s pool, a natural pool right by the edge of the Victoria Falls, white-water rafting the Zambezi, relaxing in a great chilled backpacker, spending time with wire Zimbabwean artists teaching me how to make my own wire baobab… the program in Zambia was hard !!!” – Flolafol

2. Grand Canyon (Thumbs up)

Jimandlaura thought the Grand Canyon was impressive

Jimandlaura thought the Grand Canyon was impressive

We entered the national park around 4pm, paying $25.00 for the privilege, and stopped off at ‘Grand View’ overlook for our first sight of the Canyon. Wow…it was as awesome as it looks on the telly! It certainly dwarfs the likes of Zion Canyon. – Jimandlaura

Alternative: Sedona (Thumbs down)

Bobnkaren thought the intense tourism in Sedona was "painful"

Bobnkaren thought the intense tourism in Sedona was "painful"

“It causes almost physical pain to see stupid retail shops built so near these breathtaking cliffs. It’s criminal. It just shouldn’t be. Arizona caved on this one–this should be a national park, not the purview of the wealthy.” – Bobnkaren

3. Bahamas (Thumbs up)

Hecqs really enjoyed Bahamas' Exuma islands

Hecqs really enjoyed Bahamas' Exuma islands

About 40 miles south of Paradise Island and an hour boat ride via IslandWorld Adventures….. We reached Saddleback Cay, a part of Exuma Islands. This is another out island adventure ….. I will say the best so far I had from Nassau. Lemon shark feeding shoreside in a clear aquamarine water… we were also greeted by the local stingray….. and a little historical tour of the island….. and a moment on a sandbar…. – Hecqs

Alternative: St. Kitts & Nevis (Thumbs up)

Ri-anne.cruz loved the seaside views at Frigate Bay in St. Kitts

Ri-anne.cruz loved the seaside views at Frigate Bay in St. Kitts

“First he showed us the town of Basseterre– a gracefully revived town and capital of St. Kitts. After decades of sleepy existence, this elegant and graceful West Indies town was restored from its shabbiness. Now with careful and sensitive restoration it revealed all the original charm and preserved its Caribbean architecture.” – Ri-anne.cruz

4. Paris in the summer (Thumbs up)

Gilmoregirls was impressed by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Gilmoregirls was impressed by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

“Arc de Triumph more impressive than I expected. Decided as this was our last nigh in Paris that we would have dinner on the Champs Elysse and this was a good decision. Waiter was the typical French stereotype, suggesting what Madam would enjoy and being very attentive. Happily food and atmosphere lived up to expectations.” – Gilmoregirls

Alternative: Paris in the winter (Thumbs up)

Clandybar found great discounts and shorter lines in Paris in February

Clandybar found great discounts and shorter lines in Paris in February

“We only stood in line for about 10 minutes at the tower, then we were up the elevator and on our way. It was just as exciting as I imagined it would be. Great views! We had sun for the first part of the afternoon but the sky got grey by about 2:30 p.m. We made it up to the very top of the tower – a bit chilly in February but totally worth it. We were lucky that we didn’t wait until Saturday as the top level was closed due to bad visibility.” – Clandybar

5. Las Vegas (Thumbs down)

Alvrez got lost amongst the Las Vegas lights

Alvrez got lost amongst the Las Vegas lights

“Afterwards we decided to show the kids the neon of the Las Vegas Strrip again, but instead got hopelessly lost (yes, even with the GPS working properly!!) and eventually gave up and went back to the hotel to bed.” – Alvrez

Alternative: Any American Indian casino (Thumbs up)

Modernoddyseus squinting at the bright lights of the American Indian casino

Modernoddyseus squinting at the bright lights of the American Indian casino

“Casinos are only fun if you make them fun. Or, if you win. Then they´re really fun. Otherwise, casinos are just a bunch of dull people who mistakenly think they´re not just throwing their money into a hole in the ground.” – Modernoddyseus

6. Dublin, Ireland (Thumbs up)

Magicwoman82 in Dublin with a Bulmer's

Magicwoman82 in Dublin with a Bulmer's

“I am just back from 6 days in Dublin and I had a wonderful time. Many of you might now that I am madly in love with Ireland (and yes with you too Fernando 😉 ) and that I have lived there for 6 months back in 2007.” – Magicwoman82

Alternative: Smaller towns in Ireland

Neason's friend, Elaine hanging around in Stewartstown, Northern Ireland

Neason's friend, Elaine hanging around in Stewartstown, Northern Ireland

“This weekend a guy in my class invited all the 3rd years up to his parents house in Northern Ireland for his birthday… The house was amazing, it used to be lord someone’s summer residence and was a very impressive Georgian manor. There were 11 bedrooms (used to be 16 but they merged some ’cause it just wasn’t necessary to have 16 bedrooms in a 5 person household), at least 3 kitchens, an indoor swimming pool, tennis court, 2 lakes, stables, gate house and a big fountain in the courtyard. And it was all furnished in antique/period furniture. – Neason

7. The Pyramids (Thumbs up)

Brianporter felt more than a sense of accomplishment in Egypt

Brianporter felt more than a sense of accomplishment in Egypt

“Few countries can match Egypt’s wealth of ancient monuments and temples; the relics of Pharaonic culture have been drawing visitors for centuries. On arrival in Port Said, we felt a sense of accomplishment, that we were about to set foot in a country that most dream of visiting. There is universal fascination with the ancient Egyptians who established a magnificent and enduring civilization that flourished from around 3000 BC to 30 BC, ruled by approximately 30 dynasties. Pyramids, pharaohs, mummies, King Tut and Cleopatra. How can you top that?” – Brianporter

Alternative: Jordan (Thumbs up)

Rose of Boydandrose floating in the Dead Sea

Rose of Boydandrose floating in the Dead Sea

“We arrive at the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea whose shores are at 420 m below sea level. It is now 3 PM and the sun is already starting to drop into the horizon. We change into our bathing suits for a quick dip in the Sea. It has a dark sandy beach leading up to the water, then a fairly rocky bottom for the first 2.5 m and then it is sandy again. We walk about 10 m into the Sea and then sit down in the water. Instantly, it feels like you are on a tire tube (except there is no tire tube). It is one of the most interesting phenomenons we have experienced. There is no way you can sink.” – Boydandrose

8. Singapore (Thumbs down)

Stevewade eating Indian in Singapore

Stevewade eating Indian in Singapore

“We are exhausted but the second we arrive we decide we need to explore. A bite to eat (tasty as fuck duck red curry!) and a beer (well a jug of tiger) later i’m down 80 quid. We decide to go to a bar full of hookers even though we’ve no money and no desire to shag hookers which was retarded. Cream’s bank card doesn’t work in any ATMs so I’m funding his trip it seems, the hookers wouldnt believe him when he said he had no money, but it was genuine. I didn’t realise Singapore was like that, the bars are full of them and they are mostly ugly and demand drinks (nae chance!). It was all a bit weird actually, I felt akward and just wanted to enjoy my pure blonde.” – Stevewade

Alternative: Malaysia (Thumbs up)

Stevewade enjoying a party in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur

Stevewade enjoying a party in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur

“This place was way off the beaten track not another tourist in sight and certainly no white people. On the way we came across this bizzare ‘shop’ which had a long rectangular pool, around this pool were families with fishing rods fishing for shrimp, what they catch they take home to eat. Was so surreal. We also saw lots of local eateries and what we’re told is a Malay pastime, lots of people gathered in a restaurant eating and watching a film. When we reached the house we found inside a multicultural group of people from all over the world who either lived there permanently or were stopping off on their travels including a couple who have been cycling round the globe for the past 4 years. We got everyone on the rum and cokes, got tanked, talked about shit, played a great card game that involved matching patterns and grabbing a stick which was rowdy fun and we found out what everyone’s favourite dinosaur was thanks to probably the strangest opening question from a newly arrived couchsurfer. An unforgettable night and then the couchsurfer stayed with us and this morning we had a traditional breakfast in china town, me eating fried duck and rice, G chinese rice porridge wqith chicken and spices then toured round KL seeing the sights, twin towers, KL towers etc, both mightly impressive.” –Stevewade

9. Dubai (Thumbs up)

Jring stretching to reach the top of the famous Burj tower

Jring stretching to reach the top of the famous Burj tower

“On the face of it Dubai is very materialistic with a strong divide between rich and poor but beyond that there is plenty of culture to be had away from the luxury resorts.” – Jring

Alternative: Oman (Thumbs up)

Tobyh on the edge of Wadi Ghul in Oman

Tobyh on the edge of Wadi Ghul in Oman

“Well, it turned out to be about three hours round-trip, but was one of the best hikes I had done for a long time. The trail almost immediately passed over the rim of the canyon, and then hugged the edge of the canyon as it slowly descended, with spectacular views of the other side of the canyon, and the peak of Jebel Shams itself above. Not for the faint of heart, the trail was barely more than a goat path about 30cm wide, with a sheer drop off to our right – looking down, the bottom of the canyon was about 1000m below! I kept my eyes on my feet. Eventually the trail ended at an abandoned village of primitive stone huts, where some adventurous people had, incredibly, created steep agricultural terraces on the canyon side. A bit ghostly in the absolute silence of the canyon, we then re-traced our steps back to the start, stopping frequently to admire the awe-inspiring views.” – Tobyh

Uncategorized

Tiger attack at the Calgary Zoo

Well, there’s been another tiger attack on someone who jumped into a tiger enclosure at a zoo.

Two men at the Calgary Zoo jumped over a metre high fence and ended up badly injured after the tiger swiped at his arms.

Lots of people visit the zoo in Calgary every year, and manage to safely observe the animals from a distance. Here are their stories:

A peacock attacked Kawaiguy at the Calgary Zoo, but he was OK

A peacock attacked Kawaiguy at the Calgary Zoo, but he was OK

The Zoo was awesome, they had tons of funny animals. I had a freakin’ peacock jump at me, and had to endure some really stinky primate-areas, but overall it was a blast just to watch Mia May point and the animals and try to name/imitate them. TOO cute.Kawaiguy

Milski thought the Melbourne Zoo was better...

Milski thought the Melbourne Zoo was better...

I always like the Canadian wildlife section, as you get to see local animals that are fairly elusive in the wild (such as mountain goats and moose). Most of the exhibits aren’t as impressive as the Melbourne zoo, but I guess it’s got to be hard to simulate the habitats of many species when it’s freezing and snowing much of the year! Milski

C.reynolds saw a timber wolf at the Calgary Zoo

C.reynolds saw a timber wolf at the Calgary Zoo

The zoo is one of Calgary’s main visitor attractions and it is easy to see why, it is well laid out, reasonable and has a strong emphasis on education and conservation.C.reynolds

TravelPod in the news

TravelPod bloggers victim of Kelowna fires

I’m putting a simple plea out to all travelers in the TravelPod network.

Arikandcharis are victims of the devastating fires in the Kelowna, B.C. area. The fires themselves have long since died down, but this traveling duo has lost everything they own.

uimg.arikandch2

Arik is not so worried about his personal belongings, but he does miss the knick-knacks and souvenirs he and his wife picked up along the way during their travels.

Here’s his story in his own words:

We returned home 2 weeks ago and this weekend the home we were staying in and everything we own except for our beach clothes burned in the West Kelowna forest fires. We’re not sure if anything we own is covered by the insurance of our familys home where we were staying short term.

The trip gave me a lot of understanding about the important things in life.

Personally I’m holding up good, but my wife, not so much. We spent years planning for our trip and then an entire year traveling. Along the way we picked up little insignificant knick-nacs, magnets, bowls, cups, postcards. It’s all gone.

I don’t know if you do this, or if travelpod would like to help but we’re asking for some help from the community. We were wondering if people could send us some little knick knacks or even just post cards from the countries we visited on our trip.

Sending out a little gift to the couple won’t solve all their problems, but at least it would make their transition in life a little easier.

So, how can you help? Send me a message on TravelPod and I’ll put you in touch with ArikandCharis

TravelPod Buzz

Where are the world’s most beautiful women?

Robin Esrock of MSN Travel has compiled a list of places where you can find beautiful women in the world. He’s got some strong opinions, let’s see if our bloggers found the same. We’ve got the real scoop on whether the women Robin picked are hot or not.

Philippines = HOT

One of the many beautiful women Aaronpolarbear noticed in the Philippines

One of the many beautiful girls Aaronpolarbear noticed in the Philippines


I decided to have another fun night out. I finished up the last few beers that we had stocked in our fridge earlier and by the night we went to another one of the big clubs (Atlantis) this time more sober and focused on taking pictures of the beautiful girls. Aaronpolarbear

Argentina = HOT

Pwong thought the women in Argentina were as beautiful as the women in Spain

Pwong thought the women in Argentina were as beautiful as the women in Spain

It was quite lovely sitting outside on the patio at Tito’s, under the shade, watching the beautiful ladies walk by. It didn’t take long for me to notice that compared to Chile, so far Argentina is a lot more like Spain 🙂Pwong

Brazil = HOT

Sinbadniz has a photo collection of Brazilian women

Sinbadniz has a photo collection of Brazilian women

I wanted to end this part of my travel diary with pictures of some of the Brazilian beauties I encountered. This mixing of migrants worked out well for the cariocas!Sinbadniz

Colombia = NOT

Jbs partied it up at Mango's in Medellin, Colombia

Jbs partied it up at Mango's in Medellin, Colombia

The performers consisted of street dancers, dressed up cowboy midgets and scantly clad girls made from more plastic than a Lego set. It was an odd mix but it seemed to work as the place was pumping. I’ve been told that Colombia has some really beautiful women. I’m still looking though.Jbs

Israel = NOT

Kristymatt thinks these women soldiers shouldn't be carrying guns

Kristymatt thinks these women soldiers shouldn't be carrying guns

This group of women soldiers were taking a field trip to the Israeli museum while we were there. I don’t know, but I think they just look tooooo young to be carrying machine guns.Kristymatt

Ukraine/Russia = ???

Lesliemac451 noticed this woman walking down the street in Kiev, Ukraine

Lesliemac451 noticed this woman walking down the street in Kiev, Ukraine

We have noticed that young Ukrainian women like to wear very short skirts with high heeled boots. (How they can walk on the many cobblestone streets is beyond me). The lady on the left was able to walk in that outfit, she passed us as if we were standing still.Lesliemac451

Romania = HOT

Mshields007's translator is a beautiful Romanian, inside and out

Mshields007's translator is a beautiful Romanian, inside and out

Romania has some of the most beautiful people in the world, both inside and out. I can’t say enough about all of them. My translator was Emma. She will be a model someday I assure you.Mshields007

France = HOT

Ericrg spent a lovely night out with some beautiful French women

Ericrg spent a lovely night out with some beautiful French women

Then we went out for a couple of more drinks and were just people watching when a hot French women comes up and asks if her two friends can join us. “Well, if you must” was our response. We spent the night hanging out with them and then went swimming in the Mediterranean at 4 in the morning. Not the most sober moments of my life but we had such a good time that even the wet shorts and shivers didn’t make me regret the late night swim.Ericrg

Japan = HOT

Fredtrip loved the women in Japan

Fredtrip loved the women in Japan

Most Japanese girls here are quite pretty and dress very sexy…Fredtrip

Canada = HOT

Rwk loves the beautiful women in Montreal

Rwk loves the beautiful women in Montreal

I love Montreal. In my mind you can’t pick a better place to party. Beautiful women, top notch bar service, French Canadian Theatre… what more could you want. Granted I could use a new liver by this point, but I was going to make due. – Rwk

Hot places

5 best nude beaches in the world

TripAdvisor recently released its yearly list of the best nude beaches in the world. Most of them are in North America, why is that? Surely there are other nudist beaches elsewhere in the world…

1. Haulover Beach, Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Yyztrvlr's friend blowing up an air mattress on Haulover Beach

Yyztrvlr's friend blowing up an air mattress on Haulover Beach

We spent little time lounging on Miami Beach but instead headed north to Haulover Beach where we were able to spread out and still be amid a huge crowd but didn’t feel as though we were going to be stepped on by every passer by. – Yyztrvlr

2. Wreck Beach, Vancouver, Canada

Deepfin went totally nude at Wreck Beach

Deepfin went totally nude at Wreck Beach

You can be nude at Wreck if you want, so I was. It’s actually kinda weird if you are dressed because so many people are in their birthday suits. And you get this guy walking by with nothing but a little hip sack and a cooler selling beer. And another person going by selling special cookies. It’s such a cool place. And there is so much to look at. Excellent for people watching. Deepfin

3. Paradise Beach, Mykonos, Greece

Lovin_apples swimming in the background, nudist in the foreground

Lovin_apples swimming in the background, nudist in the foreground

Everyone tends to kick back, have a couple of drinks, head down the beach, take their clothes off and laze around in the sun all day. Paradise beach especially has a really relaxed atmosphere, with tunes pumping out from the bars, beds and couches and deckchairs spread at different intervals along the high side, with loungers and thatched style umbrellas lined up closer to the sea. Lovin_apples

4. Orient Beach, St. Maarten, Caribbean

Advertisement for a nude beach in St. Martin

Advertisement for a nude beach in St. Martin

Orient Beach is the most famous NUDE beach on St. Martin and it is located at the Northeastern side of the island (French side by the way). The beach is okay but a little too crowded, the water is nicely blue but still a little muddy; however, people on the beach are not all that beautiful. While there are many bars and restaurants along the beach, they are all quite expensive. There was a band playing reggae music in one of the beach bars but songs they played are those cheesy Caribbean staples. I was sort of ready to leave after like, 40 minutes.Whk2006

5. Black’s Beach, San Diego, California, USA

Larrykrista exploring San Diego

Larrykrista exploring San Diego

We visited San Diego’s nude beach. How does a game of naked beach volleyball sound? Worn out from all the activities, we decided to head back to the hotel pad and relax before going out tonight. Larrykrista

Hot places

Top 3 naked parties around the world

If you love being naked and you love partying, here are the best events for you. I’m crediting TripAdvisor.com with coming up with the list, but there are lots more nudist events than this all over the world.

1. World Naked Bike Ride – Worldwide, June and July

The World Naked Bike Ride in Toronto

The World Naked Bike Ride in Toronto

I caught a glimpse of the World Naked Bike Ride as it passed through downtown Toronto last year.starlagurl

2. Nude Beach Olympics – Maslin Beach, Australia, January

Cathyandjohn about to go out to the nude beach

John of cathyandjohn about to go out to Maslin Beach

3. Burning Man – Black Rock Desert, Nevada, August – September

Jose nearly naked at Burning Man

Jose nearly naked at Burning Man

A cross between a refugee camp with an outdoor art museum with engineering exhibits with a rave with an adult playground with summer camp with a commune with a hallowe’en party with a bunch of other things.Jose

Hot places

25 most popular Canadian attractions

If there’s anything more Canadian than a summer roadtrip, I don’t know what it is. Here’s the country’s top tourist destinations, based on the number of visitors to each place:

1. Niagara Falls, more than 12 million visitors

Andy, one half of Rahall, on a "Journey Behind the Falls"

Andy, one half of Rahall, on a "Journey Behind the Falls"

We walked up to the top of the falls and went on the Journey Behind the Falls, which gets you behind the falls in tunnels to see the falls from a different perspective….so loud…and wet. – Rahall

2. Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, 12 million

Kitkatgo spent Canada Day at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto

Kitkatgo spent Canada Day at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto

We finally made it to the harbor. We got our Canadian flags and pins and went on a hunt for food. The best we could do amongst the throng of people and booths were free samples of milk and Fibre1 bars. Groan. – Kitkatgo

3. Granville Island, Vancouver, 10.5 million

Kwrona biking to Granville Island

Kwrona biking to Granville Island

We biked to Granville Island which has a huge public market. It’s full of stalls with food, produce, jewelers etc. Not much else to report but Jon wants me to let you all know that he’s appalled by the ridiculous beer prices, and astonished that they have dollar coins. . . – Kwrona

4. Stanley Park, Vancouver, 8 million

Thebardens biking in Stanley Park

Thebardens biking in Stanley Park

We took a long bike ride around Stanley Park and the shoreline of the city. – Thebardens

5. Vieux Port (Old Port), Montreal, 6 million

Ashleekt got rained on in Old Montreal

Ashleekt got rained on in Old Montreal

So afterwards je continue to wander around vieux montreal. I learned that I should do two things while travelling and walking, a) check the forecast and b) carry my damned umbrella!! So it started a nice steady rain while I was still wandering, and it got a little chilly considering I was down at the port. – Ashleekt

6. Exhibition Place, Toronto, 5.2 million

Lightweight in Toronto at The Ex on his Canada tour

Lightweight in Toronto at The Ex on his Canada tour

The Ex was a bit of a let down as it comprised of a fun-fair, stage shows and an indoor market. The fun-fair had all the staple rides; dippers, spinners, loopy-looper’s, along with the test your skill games that are so rigged their difficult to look at without feeling robbed. Saying this the Tom Bishop Trick Riders were impressive if brief and Alexander the Great was entertaining with his puppet show. – Lightweight

7. The Forks, Winnipeg, 5 million

Mady142 spent Canada Day at The Forks in Winnipeg

Mady142 spent Canada Day at The Forks in Winnipeg

We walked around the zoo for the morning and took a train ride in the early afternoon. Cecile brought us back to her place where we did some of our laundry and just relaxed until it was time to go back to The Forks for fireworks. The sun doesn’t set very early in Winnipeg so the fireworks got underway around 10:45 until about 11:15. Very nice!! – Mady142

8. Banff National Park, Alberta, 3.3 million

2jgstl at Lake Louise in Banff National Park

2jgstl at Lake Louise in Banff National Park

By getting to the lake early morning, we beat the crowds. It was everything that it is cracked up to be – a beautiful green lake, perfectly reflecting the glacier on the mountain above. – 2jgstl

9. Canada’s Wonderland, Maple, Ontario, 3.35 million

Emmab's favourite ride at Wonderland was Top Gun

Emmab's favourite ride at Wonderland was Top Gun

There were 2 highlights of the trip though. The first was a ride called Top Gun – and it really was like what you’d imagine flying a fighter plane would be like! – Emmab

10. Mont Royal Park, Montreal, 3 million

Rhender and friends at the top of Mont Royal

Rhender and friends at the top of Mont Royal

We hike through a pretty darn nice mountain-shaped park in the middle of the city. It was remarkably big and clean and covered with trees and not full of homeless people and beer cans. Stupid Canadians- having nicer cities than us is not fair! – Rhender

11. Le Vieux Quebec (Old City), Quebec, 2.8 million

Kalsi_kaur in Old Quebec City

Kalsi_kaur in Old Quebec City

The highlight of our Quebec City trip, other than of course the picturesque cobbled streets, artists and many cafes was the bike ride from our camp site to the old town. – Kalsi_kaur

12. Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler, more than 2 million

Thebardens in the mountains of Whistler-Blackcomb

Thebardens in the mountains of Whistler-Blackcomb

A great day, pretty drive up to Whistler. Took the Gondola to the top and hiked for a couple of hours then took the new peak to peak longest, highest,newest etc Gondola across to Blackcomb. – Thebardens

13. CN Tower, Toronto, 2 million

Goldenfrog88 and his new friends at the top of the CN Tower

Goldenfrog88 and his new friends at the top of the CN Tower

I went to the CN tower with my newfound friends Yana from Germany and Prue from down under. The sights were nice and in hindsight, $21 is too much to look at buildings from high up. – Goldenfrog88

14. Mont Tremblant, Quebec, 2 million

Mckelsos coming down the luge at Mont Tremblant

Mckelsos coming down the luge at Mont Tremblant

We decided to head out for the luge on the ski hill. The luge involves being brought to the top of a hill by ski loft and then riding down the hill on a weaving path on buggies. It was super fun! Dad and I went 4 times Heidi went 3 and Colette….went 0!!! She was too much of a wimp to go on the ski-lift…Heidi was making fun of her the whole way up haha. It was really cool and lots of fun. – Mckelsos

15. Jasper National Park, Alberta, 1.99 million

2jgstl on Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park

2jgstl on Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park

One of the must-dos is walking on Athabasca Glacier. You take a shuttle bus from the Icefield Centre to a transfer station close to the glacier, where you board the Ice Explorer. You immediately ride down a 32% grade, then up onto the glacier itself. At the turn around area, you get out and walk around for a little over 30 minutes. Then, it is back on the Ice Explorer and back up the 32% grade to the transfer station. – 2jgstl

16. La Ronde, Montreal, 1.3 million

Starlagurl (that's me!) at La Ronde in Montreal

Starlagurl (that's me!) at La Ronde in Montreal

When the gates opened, we headed straight to the Goliath coaster, which was awesome. Maybe the best one, there were lots of stomach gulping drops and heart pounding curves on that one, definitely a very unique yo-yo style rollercoaster, unlike anything I’ve ever been on before. And I’m quite the connoisseur. – Starlagurl

17. Centre Island and Centerville Amusement Park, Toronto, 1.2 million

Alicecrabtree's travel buddy on Centre Island

Alicecrabtree's travel buddy on Centre Island

One afternoon we took the ferry over to Centre Island, a residential island known for its old and eccentric houses and fantastic views of the city and Lake Ontario. The weather was unusually warm and very pleasant, but I still couldn’t see the appeal in the beaches. – Alicecrabtree

18. Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau, 1.3 million

Sanmutsch learning about the postal service at the Canadian Museum of Civilization

Sanmutsch learning about the postal service at the Canadian Museum of Civilization

We had been warned to plan an entire day for this museum – no kidding! It’s in Gatineau, QC, just across the river from Ottawa. We arrived shortly before lunch and were rushed to get through by 5:00 p.m. I’m sure we walked MILES – it was a massive museum, which contains over 4 million items (not all on diplay). – Sanmutsch

19. Toronto Zoo, Toronto, 1.3 million

Adawn loved the Toronto Zoo

Adawn loved the Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo was the stop for today and it was totally worth the train and bus ride. The zoo is huge, just walking all of the trails you would spend 4 hours there. They have the zoo set up like most in areas of habitat. I finally saw a Beaver, but they were hiding the their burrow and I only got crap photos of them. The Gorillas were pretty cool but the Polar bear was not too impressed with the weather. – Adawn

20. Ontario Place, Toronto, 1.2 million

James24 went to a wedding at Ontario Place

James24 went to a wedding at Ontario Place

We had a great day, both of them looking amazing, like straight out of the wedding catalogue. Brilliant! When I arrived at Ontario Place the venue of the wedding, I was greeted by the two of them, and WOW they both were fine! It couldn’t have been a better day, it went perfectly. – James24

21. Grouse Mountain Resort, B.C., 1.2 million

Laura-and-craig watched grizzly bears at Grouse Mountain

Laura-and-craig watched grizzly bears at Grouse Mountain

Then up to Grouse Mountain. No chance to join the Grouse Grinders (people that take the 1 hour hike up (1 km in height gained over 2.3 kms) as we took the cable car up. Checked out the grizzly bears up there, also saw a pretty cheesy lumberjack show, and then birds of prey show. – Laura-and-craig

22. Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, 1.2 million

Colin saw the tide go out at the "flower pot rocks"

Colin saw the tide go out at the "flower pot rocks"

The Bay of Fundy has the world’s largest tides, up to 16 metres (53 feet), depending on the phase of the moon and how close the moon is to the Earth, etc. They reckon 100 billion tonnes of water flow in and out of the bay during each cycle – more than all the world’s rivers. – Colin

23. Saguenay St. Lawrence Marine Park, Quebec, 1.07 million

Fwice went kayaking among the fjord in Saguenay

Fwice went kayaking among the fjord in Saguenay

Gorgeous. – Fwice

24. Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, 990,000

Kitkatgo saw an indoor rainforest at the Ontario Science Centre

Kitkatgo saw an indoor rainforest at the Ontario Science Centre

We saw bugs, illusions, a rainforest, a make-your-own tornado, everything you wanted to know about the human body (and more), and how annoying some of Toronto’s day care kids can be. – Kitkatgo

25. Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver, 928,000

Janmalc enjoyed the Vancouver Aquarium

Janmalc enjoyed the Vancouver Aquarium

The aquarium was stunning, and had great displays to interest all – once again, for some reason, an unseemly display of cock-roaches – even larger than those we saw at the Dinosaur Museum! Revolting!!! No sharks, but frogs, tropical fish, the whales, otters, dolphins (doing tricks too), seals, small aligators, butterflies, turtles, birds, small monkeys and a sloth were all on display. It was a great way to spend the day. – Janmalc

Hot places

8 More Quirky Museums Around the World

I enjoyed putting my previous list of wacky museums together so much, that I decided to create another one. Here are some more bizarre museums bloggers in the TravelPod forums, recommend.

1. Cumberland Pencil Museum, Cumbria, United Kingdom

Tomodea was fascinated by the pencil museum

Tomodea was fascinated by the pencil museum

Then on to Keswick to the Cumberland Pencil Museum which tells the story of the discovery of graphite and how pencils were developed. We saw the large range of products now produced – many more than we were aware of. We learned that during World War II there was a special section making pencils for British aircraft crews. These pencils also contained a compass and a map of the area the crews were flying over. They were a different colour than the other wartime pencils. – Tomodea

2. Teddy Bear Museum, Jeju Island, South Korea

Wjrohde and the political teddy bears in Jeju Island

Wjrohde and the political teddy bears in Jeju Island

Teddy bears were dressed up and displayed in all sorts of interesting, strange fashions. Some of my favorites were the renditions of Gandhi, the moon landing and Michael Jordan. – Wjrohde

3. Sex Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This lady frightened Amygz's friend at the Sex Musem in Amsterdam

This lady frightened Amygz's friend at the Sex Musem in Amsterdam

We stopped off at the Sex Museum which was … um … interesting but kinda gross! One place where i didnt take many photos! Just didnt seem right to take pics of photos of people having sex in so many different places and ways!! – Amygz

4. Devil Museum, Kaunas Lithuania

Pwong was disappointed in the Devil Museum

Pwong was disappointed in the Devil Museum

Part of coming to Kaunas was to see the Devil Museum – it sounded really interesting from the guidebook description but it turned out to be rather disappointing. I expected the focus to be more on the myth and folklore, rather than just one man’s collection of assorted Devil paraphernalia. A little more creepiness would have also been nice. Every piece in this museum was owned by a Lithuanian artist, Antanas Zmuidzinavicius. He lived until the age of 90 and believed that his longevity stemmed from his obsession with the Devil. – Pwong

5. Musee Mecanique, San Francisco, California

Cklenotic had her fortune told by "Grandma"

Cklenotic had her fortune told by "Grandma"

Then I headed over to Musee Mecanique on pier 43, a free, time-warped arcade with mechanical fortune tellers circa Big, nickelodeons and quirky games like an arm-wrestling machine (I ran out of quarters before I could beat that machine’s ass). I had Grandma “tell me” my fortune (a card popped out), and apparently I’m a virtuous person, but I have some trouble with the devil…”The devil will get you if you don’t watch. out.” I also had my next career predicted, and I guess it’s in the stars for me to practice psychiatry. And, I learned what my friends call me behind my back: wild (huh? I don’t think ANYONE has ever described me that way). – Cklenotic

6. Devil’s Rope Museum, McLean, Texas

Funkinthetrunk acting tough at the Devil's Rope Museum

Funkinthetrunk acting tough at the Devil's Rope Museum

It was a museum all about barbed wire. Now if your thinking, “Barbed Wire? What could there be to see?”. A LOT! I’ve never seen so many examples of barbed wire. There must have been thousands of examples of different ways to form this stuff. Not to mention several different sculptures made from barbed wire as well as the different machinery used to make the fences. Overall it was one of the most unique museums I’ve ever been to. – Funkinthetrunk

7. Glore Psychiatric Museum, St. Joseph, Missouri

A "coffin cage" at the Glore Psychiatric Museum

A "coffin cage" at the Glore Psychiatric Museum

We toured the Glore Psychiatric Museum. They attempted to keep me, but I escaped. The Museum showed how the mentally ill were treated before modern medicine. They were caged in coffin like devices and made to run on enclosed wheels. One woman swallowed about a thousand nails and screws. She died after surgery. – Leonardgrill

8. Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

Tanyabolt loved the Bata Shoe Museum

Tanyabolt loved the Bata Shoe Museum

I found my most favourite place in the world, The Bata Shoe Museum. With some 1200 shoes it was like a dream for me. Pitty you can’t buy any of them, but I found out that you can get married there. Always an option if I could ever find Mr Right. – Tanyabolt

Hot places

100 things to do before you die, TravelPod style (Part 5)

If you’ve got a life-goal, chances are, someone on TravelPod has already done it! Here’s part five of things to do before you die, as compiled by TravelPod members.

41. Go to the top of the Empire State Building in New York City

Twinkfran makes it to the Empire State Building

Twinkfran makes it to the Empire State Building

Day two I go to the top of the Empire State Building to see the amazing views over the city and then catch the circle line boat ride to see the Statue of Liberty. – Twinkfran

42. Feel the mist from Niagara Falls

Jtopping visits Niagara Falls on his Great American Road Trip

Jtopping visits Niagara Falls on his Great American Road Trip

The aura of the falls was present the moment we crossed the bridge into Canada. You could see the mist from the falls even when you could not see the falls themselves… We headed out to the falls around 10 pm, and got to see fireworks over the water and the light show that happens nightly at Niagara via the Canadian side. It was a spectacular sight to see, the water changing colors and the mist from the water all around you. I could have sworn that it was raining at one point, even though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky… The next morning, we did the journey beneath the falls where you can get within feet of the bottom of the waterfall. You could stand there for about a minute and be completely soaked, poncho or no poncho. – Jtopping

43. See rock band REM in concert, finally!

Giulianat got great shots of REM in Milan

Giulianat got great shots of REM in Milan

We had a great evening and after waiting three hours in the queue out the front we were rewarded with access to the mosh pit just 5 metres from the stage! I can tell you the lead singer Michael Stipe is a fantastic performer and it was great dancing around and singing with Alessia and the rest of the crowd to songs I knew and also the newer ones that I’m not so familiar with. – Giulianat

44. Enjoy writing more

Hsb deeply enjoyed writing her blog in Argentina

Hsb deeply enjoyed writing her blog in Argentina

I’m only here for a few days, and I’m obsessed writing this blog…! Well, it’s still time well-spent, as I enjoy writing, and I have definitely enjoyed reminiscing about Bolivia. It’s given me an opportunity to slowly re-live it, and has forced me to remember views and images that would have otherwise been relegated to the back of my brain forever. – Hsb

45. Start a travel club

Nancy.chappell attended a travel club meeting in Oxford, England

Nancy.chappell attended a travel club meeting in Oxford, England

Today we had a lazy morning and then they drove me to High Wickam at noon for my luncheon of Women Welcome Women Worldwide, the travel club I belonged to off and on for the last 20 years. There were about 122 of us there to celebrate the 25th anniversary – mostly from the UK, also France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and 4 of us from the states. – Nancy.chappell

46. Visit a Vineyard

Jimandnat sample wine in Argentina

Jimandnat sample wine in Argentina

We caught the bus about 45 minutes out of Mendoza to one of the main wine-growing regions to visit some “bodegas” (vineyards). So we decided to all hire bikes, and we chose to hire a tandem which added much hilarity to the whole experience. The afternoon was gorgeous, warm, blue skies and sunny and we were cycling along tree lined avenues in the countryside and then popping into vineyards in between so it was fabulous fun. We visited a few bodegas, La Rural which is the biggest wine producer of the area where we got to have a look at some of the old equipment, like old grape-presses and lots of other little quaint bits. And then we got a free tasting of a Malbec, which is the red wine which the region is famous for. – Jimandnat

47. Explore Australia in an RV

Serenitynow playing in a park in Perth, Australia

Serenitynow playing in a park in Perth, Australia

The magnificent Kings Park is described as the jewel in the city’s crown, and one of the largest inner city parks in the world. We spent the afternoon hear and wish we could have spent longer. The park overlooks the city and provides excellent views. It is meticulously maintained with cultivated gardens and natural bushland along with many grassy lawns, all featuring grass like that of a golf course. – Serenitynow

48. Go adventuring in New Zealand

Apoc100 boating around New Zealand

Apoc100 boating around New Zealand

On the way we were very lucky to see some wild dolphins swimming next to the boat and they got quite close the boat so naturally I had to take 100 photos in the span of a minute. We also saw several waterfalls such as the Stirling Falls which created a beautiful rainbow in the light, and many “temporary waterfalls” that appear only when snow melts. These temporary waterfalls look like veins on the side of mountains that fall slowly towards the lake, usually forming bodies of ice on the way. Apoc100

49. Trek The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

Jimmyandkristen hike the Annapurna Circuit

Jimmyandkristen hike the Annapurna Circuit

In a couple years, the circuit as we know it will be gone. The whole point is that it is a working road…but one without motorized vehicles. The only way to get to these places is to walk. The road will, as some bloggers have written, “ruin” the circuit. And I suppose for Trekkers it will. The road will make it so that you can pretty much drive almost all the way to the Throng La (Throung Pass), and will turn that achievement into a 3-5 day trek, not a 15-20. – Jimmyandkristen

50. Eat tapas in Spain

Jeffandash eat tapas in Barcelona

Jeffandash eat tapas in Barcelona

We just got back from a restaurant with some tasty tapas for dinner. Tapas are little appetizers and Jeff tried all kinds of new food…salmon eggs for example! Jeffandash

TravelPod Buzz

Canada’s Smartest Cities

The Canadian Council of Learning has released their annual list of Canada’s Smartest Cities. If you’re into culture, and are traveling to Canada soon, make sure you check this list out before you go. Rankings on the list are judged by the quality of cultural, sport and educational activities in each city.

1. Calgary

Rossport's friend Nancy at Fort Calgary

Rossport's friend Nancy at Fort Calgary

“We went inside the information hall and well I have to say this would have to be one of the best displays of old lifestyles I have seen on this trip. The entrance fee was for once well worth the money, it was not crammed so much that you soon lost interest. You actually enjoyed wandering around reading each section’s story and its relation to the fort and Calgary.”Rossport

2.Victoria

Tomdart07 learning about botany in Victoria

Tomdart07 learning about botany in Victoria

Today we visited the Butchart Gardens, a quite famous botanical garden established by a BC landowner over a century ago on the grounds of a quarry. The place is set up to be a gardner’s Disney World, with four main areas, restaurants, gift shops, and the like. Aside from that aspect, it is quite scenic, colorful, and fragrant.Tomdart07

3. Saskatoon

Mgraveli checking out the art scene in Saskatoon

Mgraveli checking out the art scene in Saskatoon

After food we started to wander around taking photos and then we ran into a random local gallery called the Art du Jus. It was an art gallery that was really abstract and played with a lot of different pieces of what normal people would think was garbage. But the greatest part of the gallery was a man by the name of Ric Pollock. An artist since a very young age and a native Saskatonian. Beth and I spent two hours just talking to him learning about the local art community and about his life. He is an artist who lives in a village of 8 people, in a house where he pays no rent or taxes and is a truck driver when he needs extra cash. After Art du Jus we went to the Mendel art gallery. Popular among locals here this gallery mixes modern art with recyclable art as well as what they called school art (art done by kids and teenagers) and a studio where we could create our own art. – Mgraveli

4. Guelph, Ontario

Wkfoster pulling pranks on the U of G campus

Wkfoster pulling pranks on the U of G campus

The study bit goes without saying. Lectures everyday with lots of exams and assignments to do. This semester alone I’ve ended up with 16 exams, so I’ll definitely be glad to see the end of all of them.Wkfoster

5. Barrie, Ontario

It's in French, but Pyg69 loved the mountain bike trails near Barrie, Ontario

It's in French, but Pyg69 loved the mountain bike trails near Barrie, Ontario

Belle petite découverte ces trails de Barrie (1h au nord de toronto).. Beau réseau de single tracks, ultra bien entretenu, plusieurs north-shores et bascules, et quelques descentes à faire.. marcher ou passer par dessus l’guidon. Définitivement un “Must” si vous passez dans l’coin…Pyg69

6. Ottawa

Danfa enjoying Spring, festivals and museums in Ottawa

Danfa enjoying Spring, festivals and museums in Ottawa

Last weekend we went to the Canadian Tulip Festival. And according to the fantastic and always true and accurate source wikipedia, it claims to be the biggest tulip festival in the world with 300,000 tulip bulbs throughout the city. It comes from Canada’s involvement in the Netherlands during WWII and their sheltering of the royal family in Ottawa…. We have also been seeing a fair few things lately we are doing the rounds of the museums, there are lots of really good ones here we have been to the Museum of Civilization which is on the Quebec side of the river in Gatineau and the Museum of Nature. We have really enjoyed them both and like learning about a different culture. Still to come is the Science and Technology Museum and a tour of Parliament Hill. Danfa

7. Regina

Scoonpooh at the RCMP Museum in Regina

Scoonpooh at the RCMP Museum in Regina

But the museum was so cool, we ended up spending most of the afternoon. It had history, artifacts, dioramas, and videos. The 30 min. movie was one of the best documentaries I have seen in a museum. Then we had an excellent one hour walking tour of the academy. The museum itself has 6 areas and each one took around 30 min. So if your ever in Regina, come here.Scoonpooh

8. Kitchener, Ontario

Jose at a Waterloo football game

Jose at a Waterloo football game

Football. My second game ever, I think. Really it was about the alumni tent and running into all kinds of random faces that we mostly recognized. Every now and again we’d look up to see the score. We knew enough to cheer when people in the stands were cheering.Jose

9. Edmonton

Mgraveli was shocked by the Wild Alberta exhibit at the Royal Alberta Museum

Mgraveli was shocked by the Wild Alberta exhibit at the Royal Alberta Museum

I was determined to see inside the museum after arriving too late the day before to see in. It cost me $10 dollars to go in. The museum was modern and the exhibits were OK till I got to the Aboriginal exhibit. It was so blunt about the current situation of the Canadian aboriginal people it took me by surprise. It talked about the drug and alcohol abuse along with the lack of education in the community. To think about it the Wild Alberta exhibit also talked about how it is difficult to balance the environment with the economy in Alberta. Welcome to Conservative country!Mgraveli

10. Kelowna, B.C.

Canadianjulie exploring Mission Hill Winery

Canadianjulie exploring Mission Hill Winery

I had come to Kelowna for one main reason: to visit a winery. Having missed the ones in California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys, I was comforted to know I could visit a local Canadian one instead. Amid the hundreds that are in the Okanagan Valley, I chose Mission hill based on several recommendations. But I soon discovered that getting there would be no easy feat without a car, not that this fact would stop me, especially because I had no other plans while I was here. So I rode the three necessary buses, waiting for the long connections between each, and walked 1.5 km uphill along Mission Hill Road. Two and a half hours later, I was there. Extremely picturesque, the Mission Hill Family estate winery sits atop a hill, looking out onto the Okanagan Lake and the mountains behing it. The architecture was rebuilt in the 1990s to mimic European styles and blends in perfectly with the surrounding landscape.Canadianjulie

11. Oshawa, Ontario

12. Winnipeg

13. Brampton, Ontario

14. Halifax

15. Mississauga, Ontario

16. Toronto

17. Gatineau, Quebec

18. Kingston, Ontario

19. London, Ontario

20. Fredericton

21. Hamilton

22. St. Catharines, Ontario

23. Thunder Bay, Ontario

24. Vancouver

25. Quebec City

26. Abbotsford, BC

27. St. John’s

28. Windsor, Ontario

29. Charlottetown

30. Sudbury, Ontario

31. Moncton, New Brunswick

32. Longueuil, Quebec

33. Laval, Quebec

34. Montreal

35. Saint John, New Brunswick

36. Sherbrooke, Quebec

37. Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

38. Saguenay, Quebec

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16 Most Livable Cities in the World… and more

Mercer releases its list of the most livable cities in the world every year. Here’s a list of the top selections, complete with thoughts from TravelPod bloggers who have been there. I went up to 16 because Ottawa is the city where I live!

You can click on the other cities and find more blogs about them on TravelPod.

1. Vienna, Austria

Llucas at Schonborn Castle

Llucas at Schonbrunn Palace

Today we visited Schonbrunn Palace, and tried to figure out just who was who. – Llucas

2. Zurich, Switzerland

Hardiek says "it's as cold as it looks"

Hardiek says "it's as cold as it looks"

The prices are stratospheric! That’s in the upper stratosphere, right at the stratopause, next to the mesosphere, where temperatures are supposedly about the same as on the ground here.Hardiek

3. Geneva, Switzerland

Megmary in Geneva

Megmary in Geneva

What I’m trying to say here is that Geneva is beautiful. And very clean. – Megmary

4. Vancouver, Canada

Beach near the city in Vancouver

Beach near the city in Vancouver

I checked out Stanley Park, it’s like a mini national park right next to the city. – Jess_stewart

5. Auckland, New Zealand

Jamesburford's friends at the docks in Auckland

Jamesburford's friends at the docks in Auckland

It has a similar feel to the Australian cities and is clean and modern but is just so much smaller. – Jamesburford

6. Düsseldorf, Germany

Jrutledge in the streets of Dusseldorf

Jrutledge in the streets of Dusseldorf

About 83 percent of Dusseldorf was destroyed in World War II. The parts they’ve rebuilt display beautiful modern architecture. – Jrutledge

7. Munich, Germany

Beer and pretzels with Sarahindenmark

Beer and pretzels with Sarahindenmark

All the sites in Munich are really really close together so it’s a great walking city. – Sarahindenmark

8. Frankfurt, Germany

Azcelt loves Frankfurt

Azcelt loves Frankfurt

The city nicknamed Mainhattan or Bankfurt holds a special place in our hearts as we lived here for many years. – Azcelt

9. Bern, Switzerland

Travelingdiva was a little cold in Bern

Travelingdiva was a little cold in Bern

It’s easy to get around, well signed, and a lot of the sights are fairly close together. The only problem was that it was incredibly cold there and I could have used a few more layers. – Travelingdiva

10. Sydney, Australia

Codownsean bridge climbin' in Sydney

Codownsean bridge climbin' in Sydney

It is a pleasant place full of character in spite of the teaming tourists – though market day today ensures that its busier than normal. – Codownsean

11. Copenhagen, Denmark

The devil frightening tourists in Copenhagen

The devil frightening tourists in Copenhagen

We rested up from the long train ride and then we went to the National Musset. They had a really great exhibition on the pre-modern peoples up until the Vikings and also on the history of the Danish people. – Deacnightowl88

12. Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington from on high

Wellington from on high

The next afternoon we had to scrape ourselves out of bed because we wanted to go to the National Museum, Te Papa. We weren’t disappointed. – Alandrach

13. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ninabrosig walking around in Amsterdam

Ninabrosig walking around in Amsterdam

Also on Saturday it was very warm and in the evening we had a lot of fun visiting the red light district and sitting at a coffeeshop. – Ninabrosig

14. Brussels, Belgium

Brittany-randy in Brussels

Brittany-randy in Brussels

The train/tram system here is quite confusing, made worse by the fact that paper maps of the system are (seemingly) impossible to find. – Brittany-randy

15. Toronto, Canada

Danfa at the top of the CN Tower

Danfa at the top of the CN Tower

After visiting the tower we headed down to an ice rink we had seen from the tower. We hired some skates and got down to the frozen pond. Dan got around several times but I only made it around once but with only 1 spill!!! – Danfa

16. Ottawa, Canada

Szm52 at Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Szm52 at Parliament Hill in Ottawa

I have walked along the ice canal and been Snow Shoeing (this is basically wearing tennis rackets on my feet), I tested out a night clubs (wherever you go the nightclubs are the same), I have also tried a local Canadian dish called Poutine (this is Chips. Cheese and Gravy) – Szm52

16. Berlin, Germany

18. Melbourne, Australia

19. Luxembourg, Luxembourg

20. Stockholm, Sweden

21. Perth, Australia

22. Montreal, Canada

23. Nuremberg, Germany

24. Oslo, Norway

25. Dublin, Ireland

26. Singapore, Singapore

26. Calgary, Canada

28. Hamburg, Germany

29. Honolulu, United States

29. San Francisco, United States

29. Helsinki, Finland

29. Adelaide, Australia

33. Paris, France

34. Brisbane, Australia

35. Boston, United States

35. Tokyo, Japan

37. Lyon, France

38. Yokohama, Japan

38. London, United Kingdom

40. Kobe, Japan

41. Milan, Italy

42. Portland, OR, United States

42. Barcelona, Spain

44. Washington, D.C., US

44. Osaka, Japan

44. Lisbon, Portugal

44. Chicago, United States

48. Madrid, Spain

49. New York, United States

50. Seattle, United States

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