Sunday, May 26, 2013

North India Travel Destinations - Assortment of Landscapes and Seasons

India is one of the most beautiful countries on earth and attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. Among all the places, north India travel destinations have always been a hot favorite amongst the tourists.

North India by its immense geographical beauty and historical legacy is one of the most sought after destinations in India. If you are planning for a tour to India you must be aware of the various travel destinations. Right from the chilling Himalayas to the warm desert, showcases variety in landscapes and seasons. To define it clearly lets categorize the various north India travel destinations.

Forts and monuments of north India:

Agra: Anguri bagh, Macchi Bhawan, Mariam Tomb, Moti Masjid, Mina Masjid and Jhangir Mahal are few of the tourist destinations of Agra, but never to forget two important places of tourist visit is The Taj Mahal, one of the eight wonders of the world and the Agra fort; a gigantic fort of the reflecting the Mugal era.

Punjab: With number of forts and palaces Punjab also is an important north India travel destination. The main attractions of Punjab are Phillaur Fort, Qila Mubarak, Shahpur Kandi Fort, sheesh Mahal, summer palace etc.

Rajasthan: With it's a rich history behind it, Rajasthan remains the top most selection for lager number of tourists. Cities of Rajasthan such as Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur comprises in it large number of fort and palaces of the Rajput kings. To name a few, Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Jantar mantar etc are major places of tourist attractions.

Delhi: Being the gateway and capital of India, Delhi is also a hotspot of tourist visits and occupies an important place among all the north India travel destinations. Important tourist attractions of Delhi are the red fort, the Kutub Minar, Akshardham temple, India gate, Jantarmantar and a many more.

The Refreshing and chilling environment of the Himalayas:

If you are admirer of natural beauty then you can enjoy the mesmerizing scenic beauty of Kashmir comprised in its lakes and mountains, Kashmir is considered as paradise on earth. Shimla with its natural beauty is yet another popular destination and will comfort you by its cool environment.

The ideal time of visiting north India is from October to March when the weather is very pleasant and cool; you can have a perfect enjoyable holiday during this period.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

10 Most Profitable Trees To Grow

Growing trees for profit is an ideal part-time or full-time business for anyone who enjoys being outdoors and working with plants. Trees are a valuable and renewable resource that can be grown in a tiny backyard or on a 100 acre tree farm.

The most profitable trees for most small growers are those in demand by buyers, are reasonably easy to grow, and bring above-average prices when sold. Unlike traditional trees sold for saw logs and pulp, high-value trees are sold at retail prices to homeowners and landscapers, hobbyists who use the wood or tree shoots to make everything from baskets to guitar backs, or trees planted for their valuable fruits and nuts. Here are ten trees worth growing:

1. Instant shade trees. Landscapers and homeowners often want larger, more mature trees to provide "instant shade" in a year or two, and are willing to pay much higher prices for those trees. Most instant shade trees are sold in ten to fifteen gallon pots, with a well-developed root system to allow rapid growth once planted. Two popular tree species for instant shade are the Red maple and the American elm.

2. Flowering dogwood. The dogwood is on every landscaper's list of top 10 trees, proving both lovely spring blooms and colorful fall foliage. The Kousa dogwood is one of the most popular varieties, as it also produces a crop of sweet red berries, is disease resistant, and best of all, deer leave it alone.

3. Thornless locust. Common locust is widely used in restoration and erosion control projects. Newer varieties, such as the Shademaster and Sunburst locust, are thornless and fast growing, making them popular for landscaping projects. They are also a popular instant shade tree, growing to a mature height of about 25 to 30 feet in just six years. The small leaves break down quickly after they have fallen, and require no raking.

4. Heritage fruit trees. Today there is a renewed interest in the heritage fruits, primarily apples popular in the 17th and 18th century. Esopus Spitzenberg, for example, was Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple, and Calville Blanc d'Hiver was a dessert apple grown for King Louis XIII in the 17th century.

Other popular varieties include Baldwin, Blue Permain, Winesap and Winter Banana. Once you've tried these tasty antique apples, you'll be hooked, as they offer a range of flavors not found in today's bland commercial apple varieties, bred for their shipping qualities, not taste and flavor. New growers with an acre or more are growing them for fruit, as well as selling these proven varieties as dwarf trees, popular with homeowners who have only a patio or small yard.

5. Hybrid chestnut. Researchers have developed several blight-resistant chestnut varieties that combine the best qualities of American and Chinese chestnut trees that can be grown in most areas of the U.S. Chestnut trees can be grown on land too hilly or poor for other crops, and produce 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of nuts per acre. Another plus is the high timber value of chestnuts at maturity - almost as high as black walnut.

6. Black walnut. Walnut trees, like chestnuts, produce a double income, as the nuts can be harvested as the trees are growing to harvestable size for timber. Growers often call black walnut a "legacy tree" because it takes about 30 years to reach it's prime harvesting size of about 16 inches or so for a veneer log. Along the way, the walnut stand can be thinned to provide income, but the real payoff comes at harvest, as veneer logs bring between $4,000 and $5,000 each. An average stand of black walnut is 250 trees per acre, or $125,000 at harvest time, quite a legacy for the kids or grandkids!

7. Bonsai trees. The bonsai business is booming, as more and more people become collectors of these wonderful tiny trees. Bonsai trees allow city dwellers, who have limited yard space, or even no yard at all, to enjoy the beauty of trees in their homes. A bonsai business is perfect for small growers with limited space, as bonsai trees take up very little area, and can generate substantial profits. Some growers specialize in starter plants that are ready to train, while others prefer to sell trained plants, as the profits are higher. For bonsai growers with patience, mature "specimen" trees can bring hundreds of dollars from serious bonsai collectors. The internet has created even more interest in bonsai, and also provides a new marketplace for growers to sell their bonsai plants to a much wider audience.

8. Willow. The market for craft fibers, or wood that can be woven, has tripled in just a few years as more folks take up basket weaving and fiber arts. It is now possible to grow willow shoots, also called rods, in a rainbow of colors, which are in demand from florists and crafters. Willow is easy to grow and very prolific - one tree can produce hundreds of salable shoots each year. In addition, willow is used for restoration and conservation projects.

9. Japanese maple. These lovely trees are always in demand by homeowners and landscapers. It just might be the perfect tree for a small specialty tree nursery, as there is demand for both smaller trees for those on a budget as well as larger "specimen" trees for those with deep pockets. Also, there are hundreds of named varieties, in both red and green, and in the two types, broad leaf and cut leaf. The smaller size of most Japanese maples makes them an ideal tree for container growing, so hundreds can be grown for sale in even a small backyard nursery.

10 Christmas trees. For a while, it looked like "real" Christmas trees were an endangered species, losing ground to artificial trees. Now that has reversed, with artificial tree sales declining since 2007, and the number of real trees increasing every year, with over 21,000 small family growers across North America. For those with an acre or more of usable land, Christmas trees can be a very profitable choice, as prices for fresh-cut trees average about $42, and an acre can hold about 1,800 trees. Many who take up Christmas tree farming have found they make more money selling greens and wreaths every year that from cut trees!

Because small-scale tree growing takes just a few hours a week, most small growers are part-timers. Tree farming is a great way to earn extra income for those who enjoy seeing plants grow. If you've ever thought about starting a small tree nursery, or tree farming, read Growing Trees For Profit, which covers the essentials of growing and marketing high-value specialty trees. You'll find more information at

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Unmissable St Lucia Tours and Excursions

A lush, tropical paradise with perhaps the most striking scenery anywhere in the Caribbean, St Lucia is the ideal destination for travellers who want to experience both a typical Caribbean holiday and something that's a little more out of the ordinary.

Whether you're lucky enough to have a week or two to spend in this delightful destination, or are on a shore trip from one of the many cruise liners that dock in its capital Castries, you are spoiled for choice with some marvellous tours and excursions in St Lucia to discover the true heart of this Caribbean gem.

Adventures in paradise

Its volcanic past has left Ste Lucia with a stunning geographic legacy - extraordinary mountain peaks, dense tropical rainforests, healing sulphur springs, silver sands and striking cliffs. If all you need from a Caribbean holiday is a gorgeous beach, azure blue waters and a cocktail, then St Lucia will fulfil your every need. If, however, you like adventures on your vacation, once you realise all the things to do in Saint Lucia, you really will feel you are in paradise.

And perhaps the most adventurous of all Ste Lucia excursions is a hike in the Pitons. These twin volcanic plugs, Gros Piton and Petit Piton, dominate the south-western landscape of the island, their steep slopes packed with jungle and rainforest and dramatically looming above the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean. As one of the finest attractions in St Lucia, the Pitons take some beating - hike the slopes of Gros Piton through dense jungle and ancient Amerindian ruins and when you reach the peak, get ready for unforgettable panoramic views across the island and the Caribbean that will leave you breathless.

Zipline Across the Rainforest Canopy

For an adrenaline-fuelled St Lucia tour, reach for the sky on a zipline canopy tour. An aerial tram will whisk you to the launch point, hundreds of feet above the ground, surrounded by the imposing treetops of the rainforest. Take a moment here to survey your surroundings - a lush tropical landscape of such vibrancy and colour that it will take your breath away. And when you grab the zipline and step off into thin air, get set for the experience of a lifetime, landing on 10 different platforms as you whiz through the sky. A St. Lucia zipline canopy tour is the ideal way to enjoy some of the island's best natural attractions, flying through the air with the tropical birds that make their home here.

The Heat Is On

When you're looking for things to do in St Lucia, one excursion stands out above all other because St Lucia boasts the most unique attraction - the world's only drive-in volcano at Soufriere. Yes, you can indeed drive right into the crater of this active volcano. Even better are the volcano's Sulphur Springs, extraordinary hot mud baths packed with essential minerals. During daytime the springs, bubbling and belching out sulphur-laden steam, are far too hot for bathing but as night falls and the mud drops to a more manageable temperature, you can dive in for a healing mud bath. As Saint Lucia excursions go, there are none muddier but deliciously so.

Chasing Waterfalls

Its tropical and mountainous landscape means the island is blessed with some extraordinary locations and attractions. And one of the most delightful tours in St Lucia takes in Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, often said to be one of St Lucia's natural wonders. The gardens are a 6-acre site that incorporates fertile vegetation, tropical plants and flowers, and stunning native wildlife including birds and insects. A 45-foot waterfall is a stunning sight. And then there are the magnificent mineral baths, built in 1784 to refresh and rejuvenate the French troops who guarded the island for King Louis XVI. The therapeutic waters of the baths are said to be medicinal and can relieve aches and pains in joints and muscles. Visitors can enjoy a soak here after enjoying the beauty of the gardens.

Into the West

The island's capital, Castries, is a delightful location from which to start a tour of St Lucia's west coast. Cruise liners dock here for shore trips, making Castries convenient for day visitors. The city itself is a historic one with landmarks such as the "Massav", a 400-year-old Samaan tree and Government House, the seat of colonial power that overlooks the city and bay from the summit of Morne Fortune.

Nearby is Marigot Bay, a quite magnificent bay surrounded by lush rainforests and with white sandy beaches fringing crystal clear blue waters. A typical Saint Lucia tour should involve a trip to a banana plantation, one of the island's top exports. And then you can wander through the historic fishing villages of Canaries and Anse La Ray, with their brightly coloured cottages perched on hilly, winding streets.

With so much to see and so many things to do in St Lucia, you might find your only decision is when to return to this delightful destination to do it all over again.

To see this stunning Caribbean Island at its very best book with Real St Lucia Tours

Monday, May 13, 2013

Japanese Martial Arts, (Part 1 of 3)

Modern Japan brings to mind images of steaming noodle bars, teeming streets, cutting-edge fashion, world-class technology and innovation, and, of course, stunning natural landscapes. Beneath the surface of this diverse culture, however, there beats a very ancient heart. The battlefield arts that have existed in Japan for millennia have greatly influenced Japanese culture, thinking, and history but, in the context of martial-arts history, the permutations that have become incredibly popular around the world-such as karate, aikido, and judo-are relative newcomers.

Japan is one of the major regions from which most of the martial arts practiced today originate. Only China and Korea can boast a similar heritage. In addition to the influence of its ancient traditions and battlefield arts, Japan has also made many important contributions to modern martial-arts practice. Perhaps the most well-known and widely adopted is the colored belt system-used to grade students according to rank and experience. Belts range in color from white through the spectrum of the rainbow to black, after which different degrees, or "dans," are awarded. Devised in the 19th century by Kano Jigoro, the founder of judo, the system is now used in many fields of martial art.

Judo was also one of the first of the martial arts to be thoroughly codified. By combining the throwing and grappling aspects of jujutsu with elements from other wrestling arts, and standardizing the new art into a coherent system, Jigoro sowed the seeds for the sporting phenomenon that judo has become. Although many of the techniques were already prevalent in wrestling arts around the world, the standardization of the judo training syllabus allowed it to be taught easily, and to a good standard. This undoubtedly led to judo's widespread and rapid popularization.

Voices from the past

The ancient warriors of Japan left behind a fascinating legacy of literature devoted to the martial code and the philosophical thought of the warrior. Bushido: The Soul of Japan, written in 1899 by Inazo Nitobe, popularized the term "bushido," meaning "the way of the warrior." As a code, bushido cites seven virtues that are held in the greatest regard within the warrior culture: honor, loyalty, courage, benevolence, justice, veracity, and politeness.

The Forty-Seven Ronin, the true story of an event that came to represent the ideal of how warriors should behave, provides an earlier example of Japan's martial literary legacy and the ethical code of bushido. The story revolve; around 47 samurai warriors in the service of Asano Naganori, the Lord of Ako, on the island of Honshu. While on a visit to the court of the Shogun of Tokyo, Naganori was insulted by another Lord, at which point he unsheathed his sword and struck the man had offended him. It was considered extremely bad manners to draw a sword in the court of the Shogun, Naganori was ordered to commit "seppuku," a ritualized form of suicide. On his death the 47 warriors became ronin - samurai without a master - and vowed vengeance on the man who had insulted their master and provoked his suicide. They left their homes and families to enact a plan of revenge. To avoid raising suspicion, they posed as drunkards on the streets Tokyo for almost two years, until an opportunity arose on December 14, 1702. They crept into the Lord's home and killed him, immediately surrendering themselves to the authorities, even though they knew their actions were punishable by death. They then committed ritual suicide at the tomb of their late master.

Although today we may consider this to be an extreme example of loyalty, it highlights the tradition from which martial artists fashion their attitudes and underlying philosophical principles.

Martial Arts Equipment

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hong Kong Disneyland

In the early 1950s, Walt Disney dreamed of creating a place where children and grown-ups of all ages could have fun together. The result was the world's first theme park, a magical kingdom of fantasy, imagination and adventure called Disneyland, which opened in 1955 in Anaheim, California, U.S.A. Now, this world of Disney fun and family entertainment is coming to Hong Kong.

Opening in 2005/2006 at Penny's Bay on Lantau Island, Hong Kong Disneyland will feature classic Disney attractions, unique shops and restaurants, themed resort hotels, dazzling live entertainment and all the magic and imagination people have come to expect from Disney parks around the world. At Hong Kong Disneyland, you'll leave the world of today and enter magical worlds of imagination and adventure in which enchanting stories and timeless places literally come to life right before your eyes. Here, fantasy becomes real and reality becomes fantastic. You'll discover medieval castles and futuristic mountains, encounter jungle elephants and elephants that fly, hear snakes that hiss and bears that talk, and ride both old-time fire engines and space-age rockets. And, of course, you'll be able to meet all your favorite Disney characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Cinderella, Aladdin, Buzz Lightyear, Mulan and many others. Hong Kong Disneyland is modeled after the original Disneyland in California. It will also feature some of the best design elements from other Disney parks around the world, including the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida, U.S.A., Tokyo Disneyland in Japan and Disneyland Paris in France. The result is a familiar yet entirely fresh Disney experience. Hong Kong Disneyland is divided into four lands, each transporting you to another place and time. You can then continue your magical journey at two uniquely themed resort hotels.

Hong Kong Disneyland Fact Sheet

Facts and Figures for Hong Kong Disneyland:

Project Overview: The Hong Kong Disneyland project was announced in November 1999 as a venture between The Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong SAR Government and scheduled to open in 2005/06. The opening day program will include a 5.6 million annual visitor Disneyland-style theme park, two hotels and retail, dining and entertainment uses. The Phase I build-out includes a 10 million annual visitor Disneyland-based theme park, 2,100 hotel rooms, and a 28,000 square meters (300,000 square foot) retail, dining and entertainment complex.

Size: 126 Hectares (310 acres).

Location: Overlooking the water at Penny's Bay, and on a main transit route from the new Hong Kong International Airport, the project will position Lantau Island as a world-class tourist destination. The Disney resort site will take advantage of the location's easy access by rail, highway and ferry to attract guests to the park. It is located 10 minutes from the new airport (also on Lantau Island) and 30 minutes from downtown Hong Kong.

Current Project Status: Over the past 18 months, The Hong Kong SAR Government has completed the land reclamation and building the preliminary infrastructure work that will support the entire Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, including the roads and support systems to accommodate the thousands of workers and activity taking place on the construction site. Walt Disney Imagineers have been working on the theme park for the past two years with preliminary designs taking place at the Imagineers headquarters in California. The design work has been supported by local Hong Kong architectural firms and has recently been transferred to Hong Kong in preparation for construction.

Benefits and Employment Status: The project is estimated to create 18,000 new jobs at opening -- both from Disney and other employment opportunities, rising to 36,000 once the first park reaches build-out. The Government economist estimated that the first phase of the project will generate a present economic value of HK$148 billion (US$19 billion) in benefits to Hong Kong.

The tendering process for the development of the project has been underway for several months with three construction contracts already secured, and the remainder to be awarded over the next 18 months. In total, the project will award 15 to 35 contracts for large-scale and specialty work that will result in significant job opportunities in the construction industry throughout the two-year theme park construction process.

At the peak of construction approximately 4,000 workers will be on site to help build the theme park resort which does not include the thousands of jobs created industry-wide to support the logistics and production of this large-scale development project.

In preparation for the operations of Hong Disneyland, Disney is actively hiring for key management positions over the next six months and the vast majority of hiring of up to 5,000 Cast Members (Disney's term for employees) taking place in 2004.

Construction Fun Facts: In order to create this theme park resort, the site will contain the following:

* 57 kilometers (35 miles) of pipeline

* 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) of cable

* 1,000 manholes

* 2 million cubic meters (2.5 million cubic yards) of topsoil created solely to support the extensive landscaping on the site.

Walt Disney Imagineering: Walt Disney Imagineering is the master planning, creative development, design, engineering, production, project management and research and development arm of The Walt Disney Company. Its talented corps of Imagineers is responsible for the creation - from concept initiation through installation - of all Disney resorts, theme parks and attractions, real estate developments and regional entertainment venues. It is headquartered in Glendale, California.

Specifics of Hong Kong Disneyland:

Hong Kong Disneyland will be the fifth Disneyland-styled theme park in the world, the eleventh Disney park ever built and the first to recreate many of the exact designs of the original Disneyland in California including its Sleeping Beauty Castle. Guests visiting Hong Kong Disneyland will leave the world of today and enter a fairytale kingdom that celebrates the spirit of fantasy, the world of tomorrow and a sense of adventure.

Along with the classic Disney stories and attractions, Hong Kong Disneyland has the distinction of featuring original attractions designed specifically for Hong Kong, as well as entertainment and parades that will celebrate local culture.

Main Street U.S.A.: Guests will first enter Hong Kong Disneyland through Main Street, U.S.A., designed after quintessential small town America and evoking a time gone by when the gas lamps was giving way to electricity and "horseless carriage" was the latest novelty. Its nostalgic design will help transport guests from the real world into a "magic kingdom" where they can then venture into several different lands.

Fantasyland: Sleeping Beauty's Castle is to be the gateway to Fantasyland. Here the guests will find a magical place where their favorite Disney stories come alive; they can fly to Neverland with Peter Pan, take a spin in a teacup, or meet many of the beloved Disney characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Snow White and the head mouse himself, Mickey Mouse.

The centerpiece of Fantasyland will be the brand new, one-of-a-kind attraction, Fantasy Gardens -- unique to Hong Kong Disneyland.

Adventureland: In Adventureland, guests will begin a journey into the exotic regions of the Asian and African jungles. Adventureland will also showcase some of the most spectacular trees and plant life ever assembled in one place. Here guests can take a daring ride on a jungle river cruise, and explore many other attractions including a whole island devoted to the "King of the Jungle." Adventureland will also include one of the largest, in-door theaters in the world that will be home to a classic Disney live-entertainment show.

Tomorrowland: Tomorrowland will be a world filled with science fiction and soaring space adventures. Taking a whole new approach to Tomorrowland that will be different from any other Disney theme park, Walt Disney Imagineers have created and entire land that becomes an Intergalactic Spaceport - and every restaurant, shop and attraction will be filled with robots, rocket ships and floating planets. Guests will be treated to the warp-speed adventure of "Space Mountain," as well as fly their own flying saucer in the attraction "Orbitron."


Two themed hotels evoking the spirit of fantasy, excitement and adventure, will be built just minutes from the Hong Kong Disneyland theme park.

Hong Kong

Disneyland Hotel: Nestled along the waters edge, the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel recalls the elegance and romance of the hotels at the turn of the 20th century, but with all the advantages of the 21st century living. The luxurious six-story Victorian-style resort features 400 rooms and includes restaurants, lounges, a tea cafe, a retail shop, a "kids Club" child care facility, a full-service fitness center and beauty salon, a garden wedding gazebo and ample convention and meeting space.

Disney Fairytale Weddings will be a featured offering at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, allowing guests to host their wedding in true Disney fashion at the theme park resort.

Disney's Hollywood Hotel: Playing on the theme of Hollywood in the golden era of the 1930s and 1940s, Disney's Hollywood Hotel will capture the fun of movie-making with allure of Hollywood's famous Art Deco architecture and style. This stylish eight-story hotel features 600 guest rooms, dining, shopping, and a garden courtyard that unfolds like a map of Los Angeles with popular and well-known Hollywood streets, landmarks and icons.

Main Street, U.S.A., is a trip back in time to America at the turn of the 20th century. The United States was at the crossroads of an era as the discoveries of the late 1800s were changing people's way of life. The gas lamp was being replaced by the electric light, the newfangled automobile was challenging the horse-drawn carriage for the right of way on the town's roads and the slower pace of those times was gradually giving way to the hustle and bustle of modern life. This is the world that Walt Disney grew up in as a boy and it's the era that he looked back on fondly throughout his life as a time of carefree pleasures and happy memories.

Adventureland features adventurous journeys to mysterious, far-off places, both real and imagined. It is strange, exotic and unknown, giving people like you the chance to experience far away locales where "danger" lurks around every bend and surprises appear from every direction. Adventureland at Hong Kong Disneyland also finds inspiration in the world of modern-day Disney animated movies, such as Tarzan and The Lion King.

Fantasyland brings to life characters and stories from Disney's animated movies and television shows. This is literally the place in Hong Kong Disneyland, situated within the walls of a storybook castle, where childhood dreams come true. It's as if the classic stories of our youth have tumbled out of the pages of a storybook and come to life right before our eyes, bringing to reality the make-believe worlds of such endearing characters as Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and many other Disney favorites.

Tomorrowland serves as a space oasis, a curious, lighthearted look at what life might be like on an intergalactic outpost that will take you to infinity and beyond. Here, you'll get the very real feeling that you're blasting off into outer space, while nearby you can embark on fanciful adventures with superheroes like Buzz Lightyear. As Walt Disney once said, "Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Scientists today are opening the doors ... achievements which will benefit our children and generations to come." But tomorrow is also for dreamers, the people with big ideas and rich imaginations. Tomorrowland at Hong Kong Disneyland has room for both in its world of fantasy and reality.

This 400 room Victorian themed hotel is sited prominently between the sea and the Disneyland theme park near the center of the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. The hotel's gabled and turreted roof forms, balconied facades and lush landscaping with multiple garden courtyards will ensure an engaging, gracious and entertaining resort experience for all guests. The richly detailed exterior and gardens reminiscent of the bygone Victorian era are carried through into the soaring interior of the reception lobby and the major public spaces within the hotel. The subtle, and not so subtle, use of Disney characters, icons and artworks woven into the overall Victorian architecture and interior design themes create a one of a kind experience for our guests. Extensive conference, banquet, spa, pools and restaurant venues within the hotel and its extensive grounds will cater to every wish of the Disney guests choosing to experience this exclusive themed resort property.

This 600 room Art Deco themed hotel sits expansively on its generously landscaped site facing the sea. A legacy of art deco design icons drawn from the United States, southern California and Hollywood in particular, are combined with the rich resource of Disney icons and artworks from this period covering the early to mid 20th Century. These elements are melded together to create a distinctive "Disney Deco" ambience throughout the hotel and its grounds, with a little Hollywood playfulness thrown in for fun. Traditional strong horizontal and vertical art deco design elements are contrasted and softened by the use of an overlay of familiar and distinctive Disney themes. Dramatic lighting integrated into both building exterior and interior spaces is another attribute of art deco designs that is being incorporated into this hotel. A highly themed Chef Mickey buffet is the primary restaurant venue here. The adjacent Lobby Lounge provides sweeping views into a lushly landscaped courtyard and the sea beyond. This courtyard includes an outdoor pool, gardens and paths whose design theme is based on a playfully abstracted Hollywood street map with various Hollywood follies placed throughout to entertain our guests.

You can see photos of the Groundbreaking Ceremony and artists renderings of the park at []

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Snapshot Of A Village Life

In the sleepy village where I grew up there were interesting characters residing there also.

Although we had our ethnic differences, but we lived together as such in a close-knit community.

We had in the village, a variety of absorbing personalities that coloured the landscape. We were in a very rural part at the immediate foothills of the Northern Range in the East-West Corridor of our country.

Shockingly close to our homes were the cane fields of the conglomerate Tate & Lyle out of good old mother England.

There were in the village those that worked in the cane fields, and these were the times when they reaped the cane stalks after beautiful fires were lit. I can still hear the roar of the flames as they sped on down-wind through the fields.

Then came the time of merriment according to our village standards. There on the village green was played an intense battle of wits with some opposing side for supremacy. There was one fellow however who had a strange stance while batting, a sort of crouch, almost stooping down. It was rumoured that he was afraid of bouncers, as he was an astute short in stature batsman and was reluctant to be out. The opposition whether fellow villagers or from the outside repeatedly sent down bouncers at him in an effort to dig him out. It was very hard to dislodge him.

About three houses north of us resided an elderly gentleman who had a joke for every and any situation. I can see him in my mind's eye observing us one day as children playing cricket. We had lit a fire in the high grass to enable us to find the ball with ease. He came up to us and watched us for sometime, then asked us who lit the fire. We said we didn't know and he replied maybe it was the cricketers.

Then every village had a drunk whose antics would amuse us as children. Our own alcoholic was not so amusing, for he disrupted our sleepy village life. His high jinks were usually heard from about 01:00 or 02:00am. You could hear him from the top of our road about a 1/4 mile away as he staggered his way home. He would solicit fights from anyone he had a beef with. On the way down the street the village men who were just as foolish as he was always would pounce on him and beat him to a pulp. Sometimes he would come home quietly and begin beating the living daylights out of his family. They would run next door at us for rescue, for he respected my father so he did not follow the seven children and their mother.

Because it was in our village those many years ago that this little short man could get away with such atrocities and physical abuse to his family. The mental agony that he perpetrated on his family was one that had deep effect on all of them.

He the father committed suicide, one brother stabbed and killed another in a drunken rage. A sister was mangled by cars as she tried to cross the highway in an inebriated state. Another brother very drunk was dragged by a car about a 1/4 mile and left dead at the side of the road. The last brother died of fits from his endless bouts of drinking.

We should be EXTREMELY careful of the legacy we leave behind.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Angola - A Beautiful Country

Angola, located in south-central Africa is a destination with beautiful landscape immersed in shades of history. Even though Angola was involved in a very long civil war for 27 years, the past decade has seen tremendous efforts to rebuild the country. Through economic revival and tourism development, this nation is slowly inching towards prosperity. Angola has not yet made a very solid mark on the global map, but there are many things that can be done in Angola.

Over the past few years, Angola has prospered in various different ways. The beautiful landscape of Angola, such as Cabinda, Benguela, Bengo, Cabinda and many other provinces of Angola has helped in economic revival through tourism development. The charm and richness of Angola lies in the fact that the landscape and the buildings are deep rooted in history. Photos of Angola are breathtakingly beautiful and attract large number of tourists. As a tourist and visitor, Angola has a lot to offer. The rich flora and fauna of this country has brought nature lovers to its National parks such as Cameia and Iona. In addition to enjoying landscape and natural beauty, tourists can enjoy the rich musical legacy and of course the beauty of Angola. The traditional music of Angola is a fusion between African beats and Caribbean music. One can also find beautiful traditional handicrafts in Angola and pictures of Angola are spread everywhere, for you to get a small taste of the country.

As Angola was under Portuguese rule for a long time, the present country reflects a beautiful blend of African traditions with the Portuguese culture. As tourism in Angola is developing, the places to visit are not crowded or cluttered. Hence, it becomes the perfect destination for a peaceful and quite holiday.

In addition to being a growing tourism hub, Angola has much else to offer. There has been a rapid increase in investments in Angola, especially in sectors like oil, minerals, diamonds and agriculture. Luanda, the capital city of Angola has become a commercial centre of Africa and acts as a link between the East and the West. Even though oil and diamonds are the sectors that are prospering, the agriculture sector too is expected to take off and attract foreign investments in the near future. Products like tobacco, vegetables and sugarcane are already exported from Angola to different parts of the world. Apart from diamonds, this country also has rich mines of other gems and iron ore. There is a vast potential for investment in Angola in all these industries and to exploit the full potential of the country. With a high rate of development, Angola has become the fourth fastest growing economy in the world and it has shown sustainable growth in the past 6 years. The government of Angola has ensured that the infrastructural and regulatory climate is conducive to attract investment in Angola and now all the conditions are gathered to welcome travellers, photographers and investors from all over the world.