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Kumerland Travel : Destination Bangkok

Bangkok  main traffic arteries consist of elevated highway / toll roads, streets, lanes, and canals. The city lacks urban planning and zoning, as a result, commercial and residential areas are mixed together along the streets and lands. The lanes, or soi, are similar to small one-lane streets of alleys found in other countries. They lead into the major streets and are often iinked together in a maze of interconnecting lanes.

bangkok

Overview

Bangkok, or Krungthep as it is to local, is or things to all people.it offers great shopping in the form of mega malls, trendy boutiques or traditional local markets tucked away down side streets. Bangkok is also known for is superb nightlife, risque and otherwise, and is home to a host of great clubs, bar and live music venues, not forgetting hundreds of fantastic restaurants. Beneath the brash modern exterior and traffic-clogged streets lie pockets of calm and tranquility that reveal the more spiritual side of the people. With the advent of the sky train and the underground the inner city area is now the breeze to navigate. Bangkok is a city of many charms and the even those who are not easily seduced and up falling for the Big Mango.Continue reading “Kumerland Travel : Destination Bangkok”

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25 Essential Things You Should Learn If You Want To Be Successful

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Super Mario. The crazy little Italian-American plumber that shaped my childhood.

I used to spend hours and hours sitting in front of my TV, helping that little guy save his pixelated princess from the bad guys.

In case you played it, you might have noticed that it’s challenging to advance from one level to another if you don’t collect mushrooms that make you bigger and give you the ability to throw fireballs.

Life is like a game. Like a Super Mario game.

But in life, you are the character, and you need to find your own “mushrooms” that help you grow and excel. The trick is that they aren’t identically shaped and available in the same familiar places every time.

Your mushroom could be anything that helps you evolve as a person.

Your starting point doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have 24 hours in front of you and you need to use them in the best possible way.

But you have to keep one thing in mind:

The world is shifting and evolving rapidly. And if you are not changing or evolving with the times, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re stagnating, or merely going backward.

The good news is, for those who attempt to reach their maximum, the rewards are enormous.

The only problem is that ever since we were young, more attention was placed on knowing that mitochondria is a powerhouse of the cell, which didn’t help much in our adult life.

It’s never too late, so here’s a list of 25 essential how-to’s that will help you be more successful and grow exponentially.

1. How to Develop Self-Awareness

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung

To be “awakened,” you have to understand your life story and which events shaped you into the person you are today?

Gaining clarity on these crucial moments will help you learn more about yourself and why you behave in a certain way.

This will also help you find out when your core strengths came to life and how you can use them to grow as a person.

Not only that, but it will help you gain clarity on what direction in life you want to take.

2. How to Create a Personal Philosophy

“Your Personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out.” — Jim Rohn

We, humans, have some rules and norms that we grew up with. But as you gain self-awareness, you need to start relying more on your internal compass.

In the backstage of merely “feeling” that something is right or not, there is a conscious evaluation of your situation according to your values and previous experiences.

That’s why it’s essential to determine your values and beliefs toward the world, not only to understand how you make decisions but also use them to guide your life.

3. How to Create Your Vocation

I don’t think we are all placed on Earth with a purpose.

But, I do believe that throughout the life, we discover what we are good at and what we love to do.

If you are willing to put some effort into it, you can combine these two and find an opportunity out there, that will allow you to both enjoy something, and accomplish success.

So, vocation consists out of:

  • Your Talents — what are you good at?
  • Your Passions — what do you love to do?
  • World Opportunities — what opportunities are out there for you to take or create?

Play around, experiment, and you will be able to find yours. But understand that this is a never-ending process.

4. How to Set Goals

Goals work like a lens of a camera.

If you set the focus correctly, you will be able to take a clear picture.

If it is out of focus, your picture will be blurry.

That’s why:

“I want to lose 4 pounds (2 kg) of fat by June 15th.”

is far better goal than: “I want to lose weight.”

Even though it is positive, it’s not specific and focused.

All you need to do is set the goals that will indeed make the difference in your life and go one day at the time.

5. How to Visualize Your Path

“I keep having vivid dreams of success. Then it’s time to sleep.” — Connor McGregor

Goal-setting is something your “conscious brain” can do.

The conscious brain is great at imagining things and thinking them through, but it’s next to useless when it comes to getting things done because it is easily distracted.

The subconscious mind sees a complete picture of everything happening all at once and is aware of the input coming from all of your senses at every moment.

These two work hand in hand to help you out.

By adding details, a clear path, and emotion of how it would feel if you already achieved it, you trick your mind into believing that it is already capable of achieving it.

But, remember, visualization is one side of the coin.

Hard work and dedication is the other side.

6. How to Form and Break Habits

“I will form good habits and become their slave.” — Og Mandino

Just like math, we tend to have a negative connotation towards habits.

Because of that, it’s better to think of them as rituals or routines.

Define what your most essential habits are, something that will affect each area of your life (i.e., healthy diet & exercise).

Then start implementing one by one, as if they are part of who you are, and not something you have to do.

There is a big difference between wanting a summer body and exercising because that’s who you are.

It’s not easy; it will take some practice until you change your perception and start thinking this way.

But start small and start with one habit at a time.

7. How to Create a Healthy Regimen

If you want to achieve anything in life, everything starts here.

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First you have to take care of your health, and there are only two things you need to keep in mind:

  1. Healthy Diet
  2. Physical Activity

Your job is to find the right diet to get you to your ideal weight, and then learn how to maintain it.

While at the same time you should find the right physical activity to supplement your diet, and then fall in love with it.

Remember, the goal is to do this for life, because remaining healthy is something you are, not something you do.

8. How to Accelerate Your Learning

Everything we are and everything we’ve achieved thus far is because of our ability to learn.

People that operate on a high level, they are nothing more than extremely efficient at acquiring new skills and implementing them in their areas of focus.

The best way to accelerate your learning is to make it supplementary.

Learning is just a HOW-TO for accomplishing your goals.

Why?

Well, your goals are nothing more than activities you need to do. If you want to know how to perform those activities, you need skills.

All you need to do is define what goals you want to achieve, and what skills you need to acquire to make it easier.

9. How to Intentionally Consume Information

As I mentioned earlier, we are often over-cluttered with information, especially on what Kardashians have been up to recently.

Btw, did you know that Kylie is pregnant?!!

You get what I am saying?

Everywhere you go, you have information that is distracting you from the things you need to do, and things that you want to do.

So make sure to control how you search and use information.

Otherwise, you will wake up 3 hours later on Youtube watching a random cat video that has no use for your life.

10. How to Read Better

Everyone is focused on the idea of becoming a faster reader, while there are so many tips you should focus on, to become a better reader.

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When I say that I mean being able to apply what you have read, not just forget it or store it in the back of your head.

To become a better reader, you need to approach reading anything with a specific intent.

By defining your goals (personal or professional gain), establishing one thing that you are trying to get out of a book (or an article), and skimming through the table of contents and taking notes, you will be able to retain much more information than you ever thought possible.

11. How to Focus

Every person has something that can get them in the ZONE.

Oh man, when you’re there. Nothing exists.

Just you and your goal.

What majority of people seem to miss, is that this state is something you can learn to trigger on command. But first, you need to look back.

To determine how you’ve entered a state of flow before, just ask yourself a question:

When is the last time I was so deeply focused on what was in front of me?

Once you find specific activity. Ask yourself the following question:

Why was I so deeply focused? What helped me be that immersed?

For me, it takes playing good music on headphones and a goal I deeply care about to be fully immersed.

12. How to Be Productive

Maybe I have a professional deformation, but I profoundly believe that this skill is the most crucial of all.

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” – Bill Gates

Since the time you have is your most valuable resource, you need to learn how to use it in the best possible way.

To do that, you need to answer two questions:

1. What do I want to achieve in life?

2. How do I need to use my time to accomplish that?

You need to pay attention and figure out how you can get more time in your life, and use it in a better way.

One of the easiest ways to become better at this is to go one day at the time.

13. How to Be a Better Decision Maker

“The more decisions you make, the better you’ll become at making them. Muscles get stronger with use, and so it is with your decision-making muscles.” – Tony Robbins

The reality is not every decision you make will be a good one, but that should never stop you from taking action.

That’s why you should use your critical thinking skills to evaluate and analyze the situation you are in. Now you can be sure that every decision is heading on the right path.

Even if you make a mistake, draw a learning point out of it and use it for the next step.

You will become wiser on every step.

14. How to Manage Stress

To manage stress, you need to discover the sources of it.

Ask yourself a question:

“What are the most common and repetitive sources of my frustrations?”

Once you discover them, the next thing to do is to create strategies to deal with them.

  1. Long-term strategy — this strategy should be done upfront, in a way that allows you to organize yourself so you can minimize or eliminate previously mentioned sources (i.e. if you constantly get stressed about traffic on your way to work, find a way to fix it)
  2. Short-term strategy — it often happens that something unexpected arises that is out of your control, that’s why you need to have a list of possible activities you can do, to relax and reduce the overwhelm on the spot (i.e. your colleague pisses you off > immediately you stop talking, breathe and take a walk, or play your favorite music)

This approach will not only make you better at managing stress, but it will also help you be more problem solving oriented, because you will be able to pinpoint causes faster and relax much easier to focus on solutions.

15. How to Meditate

You are always on the move.

So much so that it feels weird if you stop and do nothing.

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“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” -Zen proverb

Because of this, it’s important to teach yourself how to make a pause in your day and life so that you could ground and calibrate yourself.

Meditation is one of the simple ways you can achieve this. And even though everyone seems to suggest another way of meditating, I suggest you follow one rule.

Do whatever suits you.

If you want to sit down for 2 minutes and breathe, do that. If you want to lie down for 15 minutes and think, do that. Just find something that suits you and try it.

16. How to Be Alone

“The person that you will spend the most time within your life is yourself, so better try to make yourself as interesting as possible.” — Unknown

Ever since you were born, you’ve been surrounded by people.

Because of that, we are not accustomed to moments when we are alone for a couple of hours, without human interaction.

In these rare moments, just try to be present and reflect on your inner thoughts.

You will be amazed, how much you will learn about yourself and how much it will help you crystallize certain things.

17. How to Be Creative

“Don’t die with your music still in you.” – Wayne Dyer

The majority of people don’t consider themselves traditionally creative.

However, I’ve come to realize that some people are different in non-traditional ways, and that if you experiment enough, you can learn to unleash your specific way of creativity.

The first step is to look back and see if you can find some pattern when your creativity was useful and when you did something and amazed not only yourself, but everyone else present.

18. How to Write for Pleasure

There’s a lot of incredible ideas just waiting to be materialized through the ink, or a keyboard. All you have to do is start.

You don’t have to become an author.

But just create a ritual out of putting your thoughts on a piece of paper. This will help you in more ways than one, and it will contribute a lot to understanding yourself better.

19. How to Tell a Story

This is probably one of the most useful skills you can ever develop.

You don’t have to be a professional storyteller, but you do need to learn how to get your ideas out there, and to do so in an interesting way.

There are some tips for this, but the golden rule is:

“People never know what you will say when you start speaking.”

So go on, tell a story or share an idea.

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You never know how it can change someone’s life.

20. How to Communicate with Other People

I hate chit-chat.

Nothing drains my energy like talking about the weather. And I know I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

So I decided to do something about it and created a sort of “How-To Guide for Creating Unforgettable Conversations.”

There are two parts to this:

What YOU are saying and what THEY are saying.

First, we will focus on what you are trying to say.

There are three important things here:

  • Message — What is the one specific message you are trying to transfer
  • Sequence — How do you want to present your message?
  • Emotion — What emotion do you want to leave your conversation partner with?

Even though I’ve covered what you will say first, I am sorry to disappoint you–it’s not the most important part.

The quality of your conversations depends on how well you can listen to your conversation partner and respond accordingly.

So let’s cover the second part: what are they trying to tell you.

Again, three important things here:

  • Story — What significant events happened in that person’s life that shaped them or lead them to engage in their career?
  • Next Chapter — What is the next step in their life? What is something they aspire to do?
  • Message — What message are they trying to transfer to you?

This might be a bit overwhelming. But just start simple, and it will become natural over time.

21. How to Be Persuasive (aka Sell)

Whether you like it or not, your success in your personal and professional life highly depends on your ability to sell yourself, your ideas, products or services.

The primary purpose of persuasiveness is to place the other person in agreement with your point of view. Without being a jerk in the process.

You will go a long way if you abide by the following: remain calm, strive for a win-win, and be sure to express the needs and benefits of the other party.

Remember that 90% of the quarrels erupt due to a wrong tone of voice.

Only 10% of the quarrels are due to differences in opinion.

22. How to Say NO

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.” — James Allen

How many times you’ve said yes to something (an event or gathering), even though you’ve seen no value in it?

Exactly.

That’s why you need to reframe the act of saying NO like this:

“You are not saying NO to others; you are saying YES to yourself and things that are important to you.”

The point is not to ever feel guilt-tripped into doing something you don’t want to do. Especially if it goes against your values, or if it doesn’t support your goals.

Always choose to focus on doing something you love.

23. How to Develop a Personal Brand

You are always telling a story of your life, through the things you choose to focus on a daily basis.

That’s why you need to think of yourself as a market niche.

There will be a lot of people who like that niche, and there will be individuals who don’t. And no matter what you do, you won’t be able to make the entire market like you.

This is entirely natural, and there’s no need to justify yourself.

The only thing you can do is to remain authentic, improve and provide value every day — while continuing to tell your story.

24. How to Create (and maintain) a Right Network of People

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ― Jim Rohn

Building a network is trying to find inspiring people that share the same values, beliefs, and interests as you do.

Where you can provide value to them and they can return the favor (value can be even food for thought).

The majority of success and happiness comes from interacting and working with amazing people that drive you to achieve more personally and professionally, and vice-versa.

25. How to Make Money Work for You

Earning money only to save it is like acquiring a skill, only to leave it in the back of your head for the next 20 years.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t save, but it means that you shouldn’t only save.

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Always be on a lookout for another source of income (ideally passive one), and investment opportunities — something that has a high chance to give a good return on investment.

Start small, and experiment.

Final Takeaway

Oh man, that was long.

If you are reading this, congratulations!

You must be wondering where you should begin?

Well, just pick one and start.

Some of these can be learned within several hours, while some require more than that.

But, you have to know that learning even one of these skills can help you grow exponentially and give you incredible results in every area of your life.

 

Next Step

If you want to increase your productivity and eliminate procrastination, check out my free guide called: “How to overcome fear in business”

Click here to get the guide right now!

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The Northen City of Thailand

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The northern city of Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s most distinctive provincial capitals, steeped in tradition and local culture.With is own direct, dilicious northern cuisine and unique architectural style, the former kingdom of Lanna – the land of a million rice fields – stands apart form the rest of Thailand. In recent years the city has undergone considerable change. Several leading hotel chains have established a strong presence inn the city within the last year, each following the style of the many successful boutique resorts and guesthouses by creating environment that reflect the regions rice cultural heritage.

Chiang Mai experiences cool season from November to January with morning and evening temperatures dropping as low as 60 C. During Febuary, March and April the level of pollution can be extremely bad in Chiang Mai and the north due to burning fields to clear land, and the hert. The region is best avoided during this period. The rainy season of June to October is a pleasant time to visit.

Just north of the city on the road known as the Mae Rim Loop are several orchid farms, Visitor can enjoy exotic year-round blooms. These farms also special butterfly nclosures where tropical species can be seen in a natural environment

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Also on the Mae Rim Loop is a Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden. Covering a mountainous area of 560 acres the garden was astablished to honour Queen Sirikit in 1992. It has a fine collection of Thai and Foreign plants. The garden is setup to exhibition plants according to species and climate. Visitors can drive around the area. Places to see include Thai Orchid Breeding Centre, Herbs Museum and Reserch Centre.

San Kamphaeng is famous for silk and cotton-weaving village 13 kilometers east of the city. Most of the visitor to Chiang Mai visit San Kampheang for souvenirs that are high quality but inexpensive. The village showcases a weaving factory as well as aweaving process. On the way from Cho=iang Mai to San Kampheang, there are fuctories and sovernir shop that sell woodcarving, Siverware, earthenware, lacqueware, and cotton fabrics.

Kao Soi

To sample the northern food dish Kao Soi. Exploring the local fresh food market in Chiang Mai is a great way to get a feel for the local way of life. Many are hidden away and are therefore often devoid os tourists.

Chiang Mai renowned as the location of many Thai festivals the year. The most exuberant annual Songkran New Year celebration. Thai tourists flock to the city from all over the country to expirience the grand celebrations and the mayhem of mass water fights! This year’s festival takes place between the 13th to the 15th of April. Unofficial celebations, however, cann last over a week.

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To get around Chiang Mai is in the Tuk – Tuk but fares can high and add up to a lot over the course of the holiday. Another option is hire a motorcyle or a car. The are many shops hiring vehicles in the city.

Chiang Mai lies 800 kilometer north of Bangkokand just over an hour away by air. Thai Airwatys fly direct whereas Bangkok Airways fly via Sukhothai. The overnight train from bangkok’s Hua Lompong station to Chiang Mai makes for an intersting and considerably cheaper travel option.

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Alcoholic drinks with rubber rings around

Because of alcohol, it is the source of the rubber ring around the belly


A new study from UCLA found that Men who drink 80 ml of alcohol (Or 8 shot glasses) In a single drink will have a larger waist circumference than a man who drinks the same amount of water But spend drinking time throughout the week This is because of heavy drinking in large quantities will stop the metabolism of fat in the body it self

What will happen … when you drink a big gulp?

  • Within seconds alcohol will flow into your stomach.
  • 20 percent of alcohol will be absorbed into the stomach the rest will be gathered in the intestine.
  • Alcohol will circulate with the blood stream to the liver then the liver cells will act to eliminate and change alcohol into waste like Acetaldehyde and Acetate
  • (Acetaldehyde) And (Acetate) will send a signal to your body stop burning fat at the same time, your body will start to create fat from waste Obtained from the removal of alcohol at Acetyl-CoA
  • Your body can eliminate alcohol only 15-30 ml per hour so the more you drink your body will stop burning fat. And also creating fat from Acetyl-CoA more (330 ml beer contains 17 ml of alcohol)

Ways to reduce belly

If you can’t really be patient, share the average to drink some other day. Try not to make every day a national liquor day.

Cold bath, lose weight

Our home is a hot city, and we are popular with cold showers rather than warm water. You did it right because the cold bath gave more benefits than the rest. That is to help burn excess calories by 500 calories per day. Study results in journals The New Enfland Journal of Medicine found making the body cool will help to stimulate “Brown fat” (Good fat that causes heat) which will help the metabolism process and burn white fat, which is a bad type of fat previously, researchers thought that only newborn children
with brown fat to help keep the body warm in the cold and prevent cold which is deadly in the newborn But now, researchers have found that adults have this type of fat and this type of fat will work when we are in a very cold place Dr. Mike Carthorn, head of the research team, author of the study report Advise that “Try a cold shower after the sauna is necessary that must stimulate brown fat to work and the work is very easy, just use cold water only” But it can be said thatEating cold foods such as ice cream do not count in this process.

Accelerate the metabolism by protein shakes

Drinking protein shakes before lifting can help accelerate fat burningBy reports from researchers from Syracuse University, New York discovered that people who drink amino acids with carbohydrates before weight lifting there will be more metabolism in the next day.Compared to people who eat only carbohydrates before going to work out ” Increased protein helps to reduce cortisol stress levels Cortisol hormone often to obstruct the metabolism After exercise” Dr. Hirra Hagney, research author, said “Drinking protein shakes and then go on to raise the body to help accelerate fat burning resulting in fat-free muscles (Lean muscle) quickly ” The amount of participants used and got satisfactory results 22 grams with 35 grams of flour but don’t forget that you should eat for 1 hour.

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The Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier reef

If the temperature of the coral reaches 31 degrees, it is under threat of overheating and dying. To help reduce its temperature, the reef releases a gas into the atmosphere that creates clouds and shade (how cool is that!) but more importantly it helps bring on the wet season.

Whitsundays

The geography of the rainforest draws this cloud to the mountains and provides rain that feeds its river systems. This process also aids in breaking the rainforest debris into the smallest possible particles. These particles flow into the mangroves where breeding fish/shellfish and organisms are diluting a lot of this matter.

The grass beds on the coast will offer the final filtration system so the reef gets the perfect amount of nutrient-rich water. This cycle promotes growth and survivals which also returns cooler waters to the reef. Amazing stuff.

Snorkel among the coral on the Great Barrier Reef on our 7-day Brisbane to Cairns Northbound trip.

Enjoy Queensland’s spectacular rainforests, islands and beaches on a road trip up the spectacular northern leg of Australia’s east coast.

Victoria has the Great Ocean Road, New South Wales has Bronte and Bondi, but head further north up Australia’s east coast and it’s a whole different kettle of fish. Queensland offers one coastal paradise after another: the atmospheric dunes of Fraser Island, the impossibly white beaches and blue waters of the Whitsundays, and the colourful coral tapestry of the Great Barrier Reef. But before you delve into that legendary world wonder, detour inland to discover Tully Gorge National Park, where the the Jirrbal and Gulnay people have nurtured the rainforest for thousands of years, and make tracks for the lush green hills of the Atherton Tablelands. With four-star accommodation throughout, this one is unforgettable east coast adventure.

Why you’ll love this trip

  • Bask in the beauty of Fraser Island on a 4WD adventure, visiting key panoramic lookout points, swimming in a clear lake, and searching for a dingo or two
  • Enjoy the stunning white beaches of the Whitsunday Islands. You’ll be left in no doubt that Whitehaven Beach is one of the finest slices of shoreline in the world
  • Follow Indigenous locals to a secluded swimming hole, prepare bush tucker, relax by the campfire and go spotlighting after dark – it’s all in a day’s work in the lush rainforest of Tully Gorge National Park
  • Swim in a plunge waterfall, visit a crater lake, and check out the Curtain Fig Tree in the Atherton Tablelands
  • Discover the beautiful coral and tropical fish of the one and only Great Barrier Reef. A day cruise includes snorkelling and a commentary about conservation efforts
  • Soak up the nightlife of lively beach towns along the way, with free evenings in Noosa, Airlie Beach and Cairns

Continue reading “The Great Barrier Reef”

Welcome to the Gutenberg Editor

Of Mountains & Printing Presses

The goal of this new editor is to make adding rich content to WordPress simple and enjoyable. This whole post is composed of pieces of content—somewhat similar to LEGO bricks—that you can move around and interact with. Move your cursor around and you’ll notice the different blocks light up with outlines and arrows. Press the arrows to reposition blocks quickly, without fearing about losing things in the process of copying and pasting.

What you are reading now is a text block the most basic block of all. The text block has its own controls to be moved freely around the post…

… like this one, which is right aligned.

Headings are separate blocks as well, which helps with the outline and organization of your content.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Handling images and media with the utmost care is a primary focus of the new editor. Hopefully, you’ll find aspects of adding captions or going full-width with your pictures much easier and robust than before.

Beautiful landscape
If your theme supports it, you’ll see the “wide” button on the image toolbar. Give it a try.

Try selecting and removing or editing the caption, now you don’t have to be careful about selecting the image or other text by mistake and ruining the presentation.

The Inserter Tool

Imagine everything that WordPress can do is available to you quickly and in the same place on the interface. No need to figure out ขHTML tags, classes, or remember complicated shortcode syntax. That’s the spirit behind the inserter—the (+) button you’ll see around the editor—which allows you to browse all available content blocks and add them into your post. Plugins and themes are able to register their own, opening up all sort of possibilities for rich editing and publishing.

Go give it a try, you may discover things WordPress can already add into your posts that you didn’t know about. Here’s a short list of what you can currently find there:

  • Text & Headings
  • Images & Videos
  • Galleries
  • Embeds, like YouTube, Tweets, or other WordPress posts.
  • Layout blocks, like Buttons, Hero Images, Separators, etc.
  • And Lists like this one of course 🙂

Visual Editing

A huge benefit of blocks is that you can edit them in place and manipulate your content directly. Instead of having fields for editing things like the source of a quote, or the text of a button, you can directly change the content. Try editing the following quote:

The editor will endeavor to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.

Matt Mullenweg, 2017

The information corresponding to the source of the quote is a separate text field, similar to captions under images, so the structure of the quote is protected even if you select, modify, or remove the source. It’s always easy to add it back.

Blocks can be anything you need. For instance, you may want to add a subdued quote as part of the composition of your text, or you may prefer to display a giant stylized one. All of these options are available in the inserter.

You can change the amount of columns in your galleries by dragging a slider in the block inspector in the sidebar.

Media Rich

If you combine the new wide and full-wide alignments with galleries, you can create a very media rich layout, very quickly:

Accessibility is important — don’t forget image alt attribute

Sure, the full-wide image can be pretty big. But sometimes the image is worth it.

The above is a gallery with just two images. It’s an easier way to create visually appealing layouts, without having to deal with floats. You can also easily convert the gallery back to individual images again, by using the block switcher.

Any block can opt into these alignments. The embed block has them also, and is responsive out of the box:

You can build any block you like, static or dynamic, decorative or plain. Here’s a pullquote block:

Code is Poetry

The WordPress community

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Castles and Cuckoo Clocks

On a Family Road Trip Through Germany: Fairy Tales, Castles and Cuckoo Clocks
Years after a magical solo trip through the Black Forest and beyond, the writer returns with her family. Would the magic hold up with three medium-size children?

Certain trips acquire an almost mythical quality over time: You leave home at the right moment and return just as it passes. You have friends to visit along your route, and all of them are delighted to put you up. You rent the right car, pack the right books, eat remarkably well and make your own discoveries, all roughly within your budget. Glowing memories ensue.

For me, it was southern Germany, circa 2003, and it was a solo vacation: route devised according to my whims alone; tiny car stocked with audiobooks entirely of my choosing; and a freelance assignment to help finance the thing. I flew into Frankfurt where I visited college friends, and continued to Heidelberg. Then it was all work in Baden-Baden, where I had been asked to compare the town’s famed Old World spa treatments with the latest high-tech spas in New York for a women’s magazine (a hardship assignment, to be sure).

Germany Castles and Cuckoo Clocks
A painted building on Mittenwald’s main pedestrian shopping street.

For nearly three weeks, I meandered through the Black Forest, across the Alpenstrasse where small woodland creatures seemed to frolic beside me Snow White-style, in the early October frost, into Munich and then up north through a landscape speckled with Germany’s famed castles and medieval cities (known as the Romantic Road) back to Frankfurt.

There was only one thing missing: children. The toyshops of Heidelberg, their wares clearly cobbled together by wood sprites with tiny hammers, begged for a child’s awed gasps. The Black Forest with its wooded peaks, signature cake and half-timbered houses wasn’t quite Grimm enough without them. Cuckoo clocks are not for grown-ups. The Deutsches Museum in Munich needed kids running around its trains; the night watchman’s tour of the walled city of Rothenburg was intended to spook.

These things were best appreciated by a family, and I didn’t have one.

Fifteen years later, I do, and the plan was to replicate, as closely as possible, my original itinerary together, a family of five. Would the magic hold up and perhaps acquire extra fairy dust in the company of three medium-size children? Was the timing right, or were we too late?

Now 9, 11 and 13, my children had graduated from wooden playthings, and left behind earlier days of reading Grimm, watching the Disney versions on repeat and memorizing the lyrics from “Into the Woods.” They’d moved on to Greek myths and J.R.R. Tolkien, Dungeons & Dragons and dystopian fiction. Though the source material was clearly the same.

Logistics first

The sumptuous Die Hirschgasse hotel in Heidelberg
The sumptuous Die Hirschgasse hotel in Heidelberg

Traveling with one or two kids is relatively straightforward: You can rent pretty much any size car. You can squeeze into a single room. Not so when you’ve overdone it with three or more. Everything is more complicated at hotels, especially with three children who are at an age when asking any of them to share a bed is like putting two cats in a bag. Verboten.

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Unless your children have the magical combination of age, gender and disposition to sleep peacefully in the same bed (hats off), you need a room with four beds, or better yet, a room with one bed and another with three.

[What should you read on a fairy tale vacation? We’ve got suggestions, for both classics and new takes.]

You also need a minivan. Not a stylish European minivan that could pass for a car if you squint. No, you need a big, dumb American version — and do not confuse that with an S.U.V., which has neither the legroom for five nor the trunk capacity for five suitcases. Car rental companies do not generally get into these subtleties, which is why we found ourselves staggering with jet lag at the Frankfurt airport, filling out forms to upgrade to a decent-size minivan, one that might even fit all our suitcases if we abandoned the concept of rearview vision.

We were tired. We were hungry. We set off to Heidelberg on a series of German autobahns, squeezed into what felt like a Beetle.

With one more challenge — or, as a fairy tale would have it, an obstacle: One of those three children is vegan and we were in southern Germany where vegetarianism is only lightly tolerated, and vegan (we tried out various pronunciations on our waiters) is understood mostly as an insult in the land of bratwurst and schnitzel. Menus had to be scrutinized, allergen lists examined. Waiters, stumped, retreated into kitchens to consult with chefs. At one Swabian restaurant, the waiter apologetically retrieved a bowl of noodles made with eggs. At another, when we asked if we could just please get a veggie plate, the owner threw up his hands. “Vegetables?” he huffed, motioning us out. “This is a traditional Bavarian restaurant; we don’t have vegetables!”

Driving was less challenging, despite kids prone to backseat nausea. We kept our rides under two hours. Remaining within two regions, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, we traveled from Heidelberg to Baden-Baden, through the Black Forest, down to the Bodensee and into Bavaria, upward to Munich and northward on the Romantic Road back to Frankfurt.

Our hotels began in jetlag-friendly luxury, before downshifting to more modest, but still spacious, lodgings and a three-day Airbnb in Munich, with a strategic happy ending at a castle stay outside Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Once in Heidelberg, we settled into the sumptuous Die Hirschgasse hotel,

just across the Neckar River from the city’s Fodor’s-friendly Altstadt (Old Town). It was Sunday, when — in southern Germany at least — most stores are closed. We made our way down the main commercial stretch, infusing ourselves with gelato and gummy candy at regular intervals while dodging a swarm of bees that had apocalyptically descended on the town (fairy tale reference point: “The Queen Bee,” Brothers Grimm, Tale 62)

A view of Schloss Heidelberg from across the Neckar River.
A view of Schloss Heidelberg from across the Neckar River.

Castles, clocks, baths and booksWe then set out for the local postcard attraction, the ruins of Schloss Heidelberg, best reached by a funicular tram (sit at the front of the head car on the way down for that vertiginous plunge kids can’t seem to get enough of). The castle is defunct; its trimmings and furniture, long gone. In many places, the stone-bare walls are barely standing. But a few key historical items remained in the interior. Our family favorite was the “Big Barrel,” which we imagined inebriating many a medieval castle dweller in its day, discovered Goldilocks-fashion only after following signs that led first to a deceptively large “small” barrel, then to a medium one (immense). It was hard not to imagine a giant of yore guzzling draft from its commodious spout.

The city’s most moving site betrayed a more recent devastation, one we came upon accidentally. Synagogue Square

a stark, near-empty anomaly in the crowded old city, marks the site of Heidelberg’s former Jewish house of worship, which was burned down by Nazi storm troopers in 1938. Its shattered congregants were forced afterward to pay for the building’s demolition. Today, carefully placed white marble squares represent the former pews and the 12 tribes of Israel.

The funicular tram is the fastest way to reach the the ruins of Heidelberg Castle.

In Baden-Baden, you take to the baths to relieve your pains. For families, that generally means the Caracalla Therme, which, unlike the more ornate Friedrichsbad, does not enforce nudity. My kids were all in. Prepaid entry is timed and I recommend overestimating your allotted stay; otherwise you pay by the minute, and, alas, we paid, in more ways than one. The bathhouse clearly expects theft and it gets it. No sooner had we tossed our rented towels onto a chaise than one was stolen. The cost of suffering a purloined towel and shivering child, according to the immovable staff, was 21 euros (about $24).

It was worth it, however, for the thorough soaking, frolic and relaxation of hours spent hopping from one pool to another, water in all its manifestations: bathtub-warm to Jacuzzi-hot to scented steam to icy cold. Steeped in chlorine, we washed off and settled in for a good night’s sleep at the modern fairy-tale themed Hotel Der Kleine Prinz.

A family can easily spend hours soaking and frolicking at the Caracalla Spa in Baden-Baden.

I had originally envisioned reading Grimm tales to my children at night as we roamed the Black Forest. But if I’d suggested “Hansel and Gretel” at their current ages, they’d have sent me off to Frau Holle to do her worst. Instead, to keep things at least somewhat within the spirit of the traditional German fairy tale, we listened to Edgar Allan Poe audiobook stories in the car. At night, my youngest read a series based on the Norse myths, but set in the Black Hills of South Dakota. My middle child picked up his first Stephen King and my eldest blitzed her way through an endless series of post-apocalyptic doom. I read a Jo Nesbo thriller to keep up the spirit.

Darkness truly descended in Triberg, a touristy slice of the Black Forest set on a hill under Germany’s highest waterfall. Here, I had promised my children a visit to the Cuckoo Clock Museum. I had such fond memories of the place! The museum’s main room was huge, cavernous, sunken, wood-paneled. Inside, Geppetto-style, was clock after chirping clock, each more wondrously intricate than the last.

But where was the museum? We visited many kitschy cuckoo clock stores, all apparently called “House of 1,000 Clocks,” and a very modern German Clock Museum, which had one singular and magnificent cuckoo specimen, but was otherwise a standard glass-displayed history of time-telling accompanied by all-German labels. We went to the Black Forest Museum, which had an excellent collection of “orchestriums,” mechanical machines that replicated the sound of a full orchestra. Yet the magical museum of my memory was not to be found.

Two parks

Park mit allen Sinnen, in Gutach, is designed for barefoot exploration.
And so we went to the park. Two of them. In recent decades, “barefoot parks,” public spaces specifically groomed to accommodate earthy types without their Birkenstocks, have sprung up around Europe, mostly in Germany and Austria. For a small fee, visitors are provided lockers for their shoes, before setting off on a path designed to heighten one’s attention to the senses, from the painful spike of walking across wood chips or on gravel, to the squishiness of traipsing through mud puddles. Along the way, visitors are encouraged to touch, smell and explore the outdoors and meditate in the shade.

Our chosen destination, The Park of the Senses, outside the small town of Gutach, felt like a tonic after the touristic onslaught of cuckoo chimes. We headed into the woods. On the far side of one especially sunny stretch was a dark, enclosed chamber; we plunged in through heavy flaps where we made our way along an uneven footpath through twisty corridors. Reaching for a child’s shoulder, I fumbled my hand into an unidentified body part of a fellow parkgoer, who let out a Teutonic yelp of disbelief.

Our second park was more conventional. Visiting an amusement park, with the exception of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli, has never been on the top of my European to-do list. But how could I deprive my offspring of Europa Park, billed as Europe’s second largest (after a certain American import in Paris) and conveniently situated on the edge of the Black Forest in the French-German border town of Rust?

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Europa Park is like Disneyland stripped of its commercial veneer. Organized nominally by European country, food and rides reflect each geographic region. Germany naturally covers the most territory and a lovely section is dedicated to Grimm’s Enchanted Forest, where the tales are fairly represented without cuddly bunnies to offset the fright.

Rather than dumping ridegoers into a character-ridden emporium after each 45-second ride, the park relegates stores largely to the background. Not once did I hear, “Can we get?” or “I want that!” The food was varied and halfway decent, but once my kids discovered the Food Loop, where patrons order by touch-screen and meals are delivered to your table via a massive marble mazelike contraption, further culinary exploration was put to a halt.

Throne Hall in Castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria.
There was already a lot to digest. The scares here were decidedly more bloodcurdling than their Disneyfied renditions. The Silver Star,which featured some kind of turbo engine built by Mercedes, whisked my intrepid 11-year-old to heights and at speeds I chose not to witness up close. Similarly, the Blue Fire Megacoaster (“powered by Gazprom”) made Space Mountain look like Alice’s Spinning Teacups. And all of us were impressed with the virtual-reality enhanced rides, in which you chose from a set of backdrops from a headset before boarding an old-fashioned roller coaster, imagining yourself instead recklessly sledding with a couple of German schoolmates and their dog down a treacherous mountain slope. It was hard not to shriek.

We explored a more reality-based alpine landscape during our drive from Lake Constance to Bavaria, where the road dipped back and forth into Switzerland and then Austria before we made the obligatory stop at Schloss Neuschwanstein, Walt Disney’s inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castle.

Violins, cellos and the thrill of deception

The violin-maker Anton Maller works on an instrument at his repair shop in Mittenwald.

A subtler fairy tale setting was found in the small town of Mittenwald, Germany’s center for violin-making, with its impeccably preserved pedestrian old town, canals flowing along the cobblestone streets. The exterior walls of its whitewashed buildings are painted Bavarian-style with biblical scenes and imagery depicting the varying trades of the shopkeepers and restaurateurs within. My two cello-playing sons were entranced by visits to the studios of the celebrated luthiers, Anton Maller, who allowed my trembling older son to play a $10,000 cello, and Anton Sprenger, who gave us an impromptu concert on his own violin. (A photo on the wall showed him in the company of Angela Merkel and a grinning Barack Obama. We were likewise dazzled.)

Then we entered into a story ourselves. Reunited with one of our former German au pairs in Munich, we bounded from museum to palace to platz to shopping arcade throughout the city until, near exhaustion, we happened on a temporary exhibition, “Thrill of Deception,” at the Kunsthalle. Inside, a series of rooms showcased the arts of optical illusion, trompe d’oeil and visual trickery from the ancient world to today.

Near the end, like a hidden treasure, we discovered Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang’s 2017 virtual reality installation, “Chalkroom.”(The exhibit is open through January 2019 and also viewable at MASS MoCA through 2019

The impeccably preserved Bavarian town of Mittenwald is a center of violin-making.
The impeccably preserved Bavarian town of Mittenwald is a center of violin-making.

The viewer, or more accurately, the participant, enters a dark room whose walls are covered with words scrawled in chalk. Wearing a virtual reality headset with attached remote controls, you’re offered various options (Ms. Anderson’s gravelly voice guides you) for exploring the virtual landscape. You can fly, for example, through swirling words or plunge yourself headlong into the text. Phrases rush by, occasionally forming sentences. You are fully immersed in — and only occasionally in control of — the narrative.

It’s a very contemporary form of storytelling, a technologically enhanced one, a kind of modern magic, a voyage of discovery where you are at once storyteller and reader. We emerged, all of us, flushed with enchantment.

Cr : The New York Times

Visit Finland in the Great Reasons

Finland is a little hidden gem located far up North.
While we might be small in size, we’re big in things to discover.

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Our air is one of the cleanest in the world and landscapes are second to none. We are a country of thousands of lakes and forests – which are never far away from wherever you are. Wish to pay a visit to Santa, admire the Northern Lights or experience the peace of the countryside & cottage life?

When you think you’ve seen and experienced it all, it’s time to explore us. as one of the TOP 3 travel destinations for 2017.

ABOUT FINLAND
Full of interesting contrasts, such as the four seasons, the Midnight Sun and winter darkness, urban and rural, East and West.
Finland believes in equality, democracy and taking good care of each other. Good education is the cornerstone of our society. These are the reasons why there are on the top of all kinds of country rankings from clean air to quality of life. The Finnish handshake can be viewed as the most reliable in the world. Finland is functional. They look for practical solutions and deliver innovations to both industries and everyday life of people.Finland is green. They have fresh air, pure water, green forests, clean energy and clean technology. Our Nordic nature has inspired us to look for well-designed and sustainable solutions. Finland is educated. All Finns have equal opportunities to study and learn. Thanks to our world class education system, They find joyful solutions to both local and global challenges.

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Centenary
Join us in Celebrating Finland’s Centennial in 2017. The theme for our 100 years of Independence is ‘Together’. What identifies us, what are we proud of – and where we are heading to.
Come along and explore all that Finland has to offer on this celebratory year, from diverse events and good vibes to experiencing the beautiful nature that is always close by.

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National Parks
There are 39 national parks in Finland, and in 2017, when Finland celebrates its 100 years as an independent country, the 40th national park will be inaugurated. They’re scattered around the country’s archipelago, lakes, forests, peat lands and fells, and showcase the areas’ various natural characteristics, such as rapids, rift valleys and eskers.

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Helsinki
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a vibrant seaside city of beautiful islands and great green parks. The city’s rhythm is laid back yet at the same time refreshingly active. Located between East and West, the northern capital of Helsinki is full of surprises just waiting to be discovered.The coast of Helsinki offers a new attraction this year, as the island of Vallisaari is finally open for public. With lots of unspoilt nature, the island is the perfect destination for a day out.The Helsinki shipyard, nowadays Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, has built more icebreakers than any other shipyard in the world. That is also where icebreaker Sampo was built in the 1960s. The latest vessel manufactured at the shipyard is Polaris, the world’s first icebreaker to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG). The goal of the 115-metre vessel is to offer more environmentally friendly service in the demanding conditions of the Baltic Sea for the next 50 years.

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Northern Lights
The thrill of witnessing the Aurora Borealis is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many. The Northern Lights are visible on roughly 200 nights a year – or every other clear night – in Finnish Lapland. Catching the magical phenomenon requires clear and dark skies and a viewing spot not affected by light pollution, like street lights and neon signs.
This year you can take admiring the Northern Lights to the next level, as several northern destinations will open new and unique accommodation options where you can admire spectacular views over the Northern skies in a nest-like atmosphere. Check out TreeHouse Hotel in Rovaniemi, Aurora Dome in Muonio and Glass Villas in Kemi.

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Santa Claus
Santa Claus is known and loved all over the world. But did you know he comes from Finland and that it is possible to meet him in person? Open each day of the year in the city of Rovaniemi, children and adults can visit Santa’s office, enjoy a private chat with him and revel in the enchanted atmosphere. As we all know, Santa’s annual mission is to deliver happiness around the world with the help of his team of furry reindeer friends.

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StopOver
Fancy a peaceful break while traveling between continents? In 2017 Finland is the best place to take time to stop and breathe.
Finland’s location in the crossroads of West and East provides a great opportunity for travellers to experience Finland en route to or from Europe. Our StopOver option provides passengers time to explore Finland from 5 hours to 5 days with endless possibilities to build your itinerary. Whether you prefer hiking in Lapland or spending a few hours shopping and checking the sights in Helsinki – everything is possible.

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Winter Activities
Finland is the ultimate winter wonderland with endless possibilities to quench your thirst for any kind of winter activity. Whether you prefer to cruise down the fells of Lapland, make your way through magical landscapes with a pack of huskies or taking a slow snowshoe hike in the forest – we got it.
In 2017 Lahti will organise the skiing Centenary World Championships, something that one-hundred-year-old Finland is very proud of. The centennial and the all-time seventh World Championships in the same location will be a true once-in-a-lifetime event.

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Sauna Culture
If you want to understand Finland and its people, getting familiar with the sauna is a good starting point. Sauna is such a big part of Finnish culture it can’t be compared to anything else.
The Allas Sea Pool is a new spa complex inspired by the historic spa heritage of the Baltic Sea. You can enjoy new sauna experiences beside the sea in a cool urban milieu all year round.
The Löyly Design Sauna was recently opened just a short distance from the city centre on the southern tip of the Helsinki peninsula. The modern complex also has a restaurant serving the finest Finnish cuisine, while the contemporary wooden building is an attraction on its own.

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Moomins
Moomins are probably the most known and adored Finnish icon, if not before, then right after Santa Claus. The white, hippo-like Moomins are Finnish literature characters created by the much‐loved Swedish‐speaking Finn, writer and artist Tove Jansson in the 1940’s.
A new Moomin Museum, maintained by Tampere Art Museum, will open at Tampere Hall on June 17th, 2017. It is the only museum of Moomin art in the world. It will have a unique collection of Tove Jansson’s works exhibited in a modern, multi-sensory way.

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Finnish Design
Finnish design isn’t just something you see — it’s something you experience. Finnish culture and a strong craft tradition have brought up some of the world’s most impressive designs, designers, and design-related brands.
In 2017 we will continue our love affair with Finnish brands such as Marimekko, Iittala, Arabia and Artek that have enriched our everyday lives for decades, without forgetting the nation’s fresh, emerging design scene.

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Wild food
The pièce de résistance regarding Finnish food products is the surprising fact that they are often completely free of charge and have grown in the wild. Finnish berries and fruits are packed with sweet flavors as well as healthy vitamins and flavonoids. Finns scour the vast forests for these delicious treasures along with tasty mushrooms and fresh wild herbs.
If you don’t have time to pick your own, you can tickle your taste buds in any of the numerous restaurants serving wild food on their menus.

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Silence and Peace
In the rush and crush of modern life, the rarities are what we value most, such as space, quiet and time. Space to breathe, time to dream. You can find these treasures in Finland, where the lakes are many and the people are few.
A handful of pure nature, a pinch of Finnish sauna, a spoonful of traditional treatments, serve with wild food and add light activities to taste – equals extreme relaxation.

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The Cleanest Air
The air in Finland is the third cleanest in the world, according to a recent study by WHO, and one of the very cleanest parts of the world can be found in Finnish Lapland. For example, the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI’s measurement station in Pallas (also a national park) is one of the places that measures the cleanest air in the world.

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Locals
If you’ve ever met a Finn, chances are they’ve mentioned the reserved nature of their countrymen. Fear not – we’re not taciturn brutes! Finns are talkative, hospitable and warm-hearted folks. We Finns are pretty peculiar people and secretly enjoy conveying that image of ourselves, even if it’s not always true. A Finn will tell tall tales with a straight face, giggle internally and go on until the stories just get too much for anyone to believe.

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Wildlife
These pristine and picturesque landscapes provide habitat for many wild animals and birds including magnificent bears, reindeer, lynx, eagles, and swans, as well as the world’s rarest seal. Birdwatchers flock to Finland to find species that are hard to spot anywhere else in Europe.
If you go to the woods today in most parts of Finland, a big surprise encounter with a bear is very unlikely. But for anyone keen to join an organised trip to see and photograph wild bears, the densely forested borderlands of Eastern Finland are an ideal destination in 2017.

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Culture
A packed nationwide calendar of cultural events and festivals add to the attraction of exploring Finland’s smaller towns and cities. Cultural festivals of every conceivable kind, held right across the country, are the perfect creative supplement to Finland’s prime asset – its expansive, unspoiled natural environment. Many festivals also use lakes, forests and seasonal extremes as an exciting backdrop.
Thanks to our Centennial celebration there will be no lack of cultural happenings and events across Finland.

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Finnish Theme Days
Finland is an innovative country where creativity meets proactivity. A great example of this is our globally known Restaurant Day, when anyone can set up a restaurant, anywhere. This means ordinary people get to play chefs and sommeliers for a change, resulting in a whole lot of fun for everyone.

Visa Information System (VIS)
With the introduction of VIS on 14 November 2013, all Schengen visa applicants must submit biometric identifiers – fingerprints of all ten fingers and a photograph – when filing an application. A photograph of the applicant is also taken at the Visa Application Centre. Biometric identifiers are stored in a common “Visa Information System” (VIS) database. VIS is an information system that helps Schengen States to share visa application data. More information is available at: Visa information

See you there at Finland. The city’s rhythm is laid back yet at the same time refreshingly active.Look no further than this iconic and colorful neighborhood for some of the best food and view in town

The one-stop shop for train travel


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The port city Bodrum of Turkey

The town of Bodrum is in its own rights, the true gem of the Aegean coast

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Modern architecture sits with ancient ruins, private yachts, Mediterranean houses and cobbled streets to highlight a destination that is renowned throughout Turkey as being the inspiration for artists and famous celebrities. Bodrum town can be anything you want it to be, lively, relaxing, luxurious or traditional.
Known in history as Halicarnassus, it can also claim fame as being the ancient home to the tomb of King Mausolus . Life in Bodrum town center revolves around the harbor front where narrow streets are lined with cosmopolitan bars, exclusive restaurants and traditional shops that are overlooked by the domineering appearance of St Peters castle. It is also the main hub for transport to other amazing destinations along the Bodrum peninsula such as beautiful Yalikavak, lively Gumbet and traditional Gumusluk. If you are looking for a holiday destination that will bring you fantastic memories and revitalize your energy for life, Bodrum town is the perfect place.

Continue reading “The port city Bodrum of Turkey”

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