Archive | July, 2011
2011/07/29

My Seven Links

About two weeks ago, I was nominated to take part in the Seven Links Project by Natalie Sayin from TurkishTravelBlog.com. Unfortunately with the hecticness of school and life I seemingly forgot till I asked to be nominated by someone. Rightfully so Natalie is a great flinger and this time her reminder stuck. So what is ‘My Seven links’? Well it’s a fun project originally started by Katie at Trip Base, in a way to connect bloggers from around the www.

The Goal

“To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again”

THE RULES

1)   The Blogger is nominated to take part by another blogger
2)   He/She publishes their 7 links on their own blog. One Link for each category
3) They nominate up to five more bloggers to take part.

Simple enough right, so lets get flinging!

 

My most beautiful postMarriage is Forever!
I’d say this is a beautiful post because beyond all the worries and fears of marriage it boils down to one true point, I love my wife @(^_^)@

My most popular post – How to Write an About Me section – and Why Your Current One Sucks

I have someone stop by this post almost daily, and I’m sure it isn’t exactly what they are looking for but I still think the points I made then hold true today, especially for us travelers.


My most controversial postThe Travel Channel: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of TV Travel

OK, so I’m a monkey. You aren’t going to take me serious anyways but I lay the smack down on the Travel Channel, or fling down I guess.

My most helpful post – How To Pack: Roll vs Fold

In a world where space and weight make all the difference when traveling I wanted to see how we could get the most out of our luggage. Rolling vs Folding is a disagreement that’s probably as old as the Wright brother, I add one more into the mix and add small plastic individual container bags to help organize as well.


 

A post whose success surprised me50 Women Travelers – Eat Your Heart Out ‘Eat, Pray Love’

I came to the realization that of all the lists out there, there wasn’t one highlighting women travelers and travel bloggers so I did just that. I figured with highlighting so many great women it would be kind of popular but never to the extend that I would need to make a part II list.

 

A post I feel didn’t get the attention it deservedFalling Whistles – Will You Be A Whistleblower for Peace?

I was really moved by their story and mission and want to help in any way I can. I wear my whistle and that sparks some interest but I was hoping this post would cause a bit more of a stir than it did.

The post that I’m are most proud of – She Said Yes

OK the reason I’m proud of this post is not because of the post but what the post is about. Especially because it always tends to happen, the infamous question, “So how did you propose?” It is all about the story and I think that this is a great one, and the best part is it didn’t go at all with my original plan.

 

Drum roll please …………………….. Ta Da! I’d like to nominate these wonderful flingers to participate and share their 7 links. Are you up for the challenge? (Oh and I included Tripbase, I’m not nominating them since they are the ones who started but just wanted to add them to who I’m highlighting)

Chris Richardson

The Aussie Nomad.com
The amazing family
of three (A, M & J)

Got Passport.org
Ayngelina

Bacon is Magic.ca
Brittani

Brittani Photography.com
Caz and Craig

Y Travel Blog.com
 The creators of
My Seven Links

Trip Base.com

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2011/07/28

Prague; an exploration of Czech Culture

Image Property of Author: Alex Sayers

Having scoured the internet for my next destination to explore, I stumbled across mydestination.com/Prague and was immediately sold on visiting the city. Combining my love of history, traditional food and drink and the hundreds of fantastic sights, I set off, bound to have a fabulous time.

 

Image Property of Author: Alex Sayers

An absolute must see is Prague Castle. The castle itself is a huge complex, with lots of different rooms, palaces and churches dating from all different periods with diverse styles, something guaranteed to suit every taste. My favourite parts, which I’d thoroughly recommend, are the Lobkowicz Palace and the St. Vitus’s Cathedral. The palace houses a huge museum taking you through all of Czech history and also has a great traditional restaurant. The restaurant is on a balcony overlooking the castle district, a stunning view, and the palace also hosts daily concerts, the perfect setting to enjoy Czech food (which is amazing by the way) and well worth a visit!

The Cathedral is the biggest in the country and is hugely important in the country’s history, being the coronation and burial site of many kings and emperors. A great example of Gothic architecture, the cathedral draws thousands of visitors daily and once you see it you will know why. The cathedral, and the palace district in general, should certainly be on your to-do list if, like me, you’re at all interested in history or just immersing yourself in Czech culture. Hours, even days, can be lost wandering around the beautiful gardens, courtyards and palaces in this area of the city, and I really can’t recommend it enough – the perfect way to see most of the major sites of Prague in one convenient area.

Image Property of Author: Alex Sayers

Another fantastic area worth a visit is the Old Town Square, the centre of the city from the 10th to the 20th century. The square has many bars, restaurants and other shops, and though they are more expensive than other areas of the city, I think it is well worth eating outside in the square just to enjoy the scenery and watch the hustle and bustle of the city go by. Personally the highlight of the square for me was the clock tower where every hour a fanfare plays and colourful carvings of skeletons and other figures come to life to ring the bells. Climbing the stairs to the top of the tower also gives amazing views of the city- just don’t look down!

When looking for food and drink in Prague bars and restaurants are never far away. Prague has a growing reputation as a destination for stag weekends, and whilst I’m all for a wild night on the town, everyone needs down time, and Prague definitely caters for those looking for a more traditional or sophisticated time. The wonderful Vinograf Wine Bar in the centre of the city is a great example. The staff made me feel so welcome and obviously know so much about the wine they are selling and the bar itself is a small quaint little place, full of the character and charm that makes Prague unique. My nightlife highlight though has to be Stredoveka Krema, a fantastic medieval tavern complete with a roaring fire, sheepskin draped across the chairs and candles lighting all the old wooden tables. I honestly felt like I’d travelled back in time, sitting in a dark tavern in the shadow of the castle drinking traditional beers and eating national dishes of pork, duck and fish and I really couldn’t recommend this tavern enough.

Image Property of Author: Alex Sayers

All in all I can’t believe I never visited Prague before now. From beautiful architecture and amazing historical sites to fantastic traditional taverns serving great food and drink there’s something to suit every taste. Prague is perfect for anyone like me out for an adventure, with great food, great people and great sights; it’s definitely a place I’d recommend to anyone.

Meet the Author: Alex Sayers
Alex Sayers from England dreams of travelling the world on a cultural odyssey, seeking out new adventures, fantastic experiences and seeing all the sights one exciting country at a time!

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2011/07/26

New Brew Tuesday: Fuller’s Organic Honey Dew

Image Property of www.fullers.co.uk/

Type: BeerEnglish Pale Ale (Organic Beer)
Name: Fuller’s Organic Honey Dew
Price: $3.99
Made: London, United Kingdom
Alc/Vol: 5%

Now this isn’t my first dance with Fuller’s , honey beer or an organic beer so I was excited to see how this one held up to the competition. However it was my first Fuller’s Organic Honey Dew, which one thing I fancy from English imports is the fact that it comes in a pint sized class, which is a great thing if you like the beer. But on to the sampling…

Holy honey the smell is sweet on this one, if you let it set for a bit the malts fade away just leaving a sweet candied scent. The taste gives you a bit more malts than the scent, it is light and keeps that honey taste. There is only a slight carbonation that quickly dissipates. I want to say there is almost a caramel hint in the aftertaste but only ever so slightly. My wife says it has a bitterness to it, and seems as if it is still fermenting. Usually, we see pretty eye to eye on beers, that is except IPAs, yet on this one we are in a disagreement. Which, truth be told is perfectly fine by me for this lovely pint is mine…all mine….my precious….. ahem. I mean, I rather enjoyed the opportunity to partake in its consumption.

I’m proud to say my wife exclaimed my burps even scented of honey. I feel like this was what Winnie the Pooh would drink if he were a beer drinker. Plus their both English so cheers to that.

The only downside to this beer is that I don’t think it tastes overly beer like. It’s not malty, hoppy, grassy or any of those typical descriptors that one associates with beer. I think it has a great drinkable taste to it that is light and refreshing, all the while helping you ease that sweet tooth. I give this beer 4 1/2 out of 5 bananas. Truly the only thing keeping it from a perfect 5 is that for a true beer drinker they may question its beerness, if you get my drift. In other words, if I’m out on a bender in London I wouldn’t order one of these unless I wanted to look like a nesh wimp. (yes I had to look up some British slang to sound cool)

BananaBananaBananaBananaHalf Banana

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2011/07/19

New Brew Tuesday: Cucapá Honey

Type: BeerAmber Ale
Name: Cucapá Honey
Price: $1.69
Made: Mexico
Alc/Vol: 4.5%

The beer pours a nice copper color, with little head but lasting lacing. Not surprisingly it smells like honey. Yet, it doesn’t just smell sweet like most honey beers do. It has a soft subtle honey scent to it. The smell and the taste don’t match. While there is a slight of honey sweetness that comes through in the nose, there is a bit more of a bitterness in the tongue. It isn’t overly hoppy like an IPA would be but it has a slight bite to it like its nipping at the heels of one. I don’t think these brewers were trying to make a sweet sissy beer. No I think they wanted to make a quality beer with a quality natural ingredient to give it body, flavor, character, and yet keep it refreshing.

When you think of beers from Mexico you may think of skunky Tecate, or you may be duped in with those poor souls who truly think Corona is a Mexican beer. Either way you tend to think of lemon zesty beers, mass marketed to the young party goer beach vacationer. They see this and think, ‘Mexico….honey? Where is the lime?’ But alas honey is just as common if not more so than the lime when referring to traditional Mexican ingredients.

The beer leaves you with a dry finish, you get a tinge of sweetness leftover that resonates over the bitter hops. Which overall this beer left me surely satisfied. A craft beer from Mexico, you had me at caca or cuca…. cerveza? Either way this beer deservedly earns 3.5 out of 5 bananas. Don’t let the honey name fool ya, this beer is serious business.

BananaBananaBananaHalf Banana

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2011/07/16

Flinging Photos: Origami Cranes

In my TESOL class we had to teach a lesson that included both speaking and listening activities. I chose to do an activity where I paired up students, taught one how to fold an origami crane and then they had to turn around and teach their partner. I even stopped by the local library to pick up a few books such as The Paper Crane (Reading Rainbow Book) book and a cute story about a young girl in California called 1001 Cranes both of these books tie to the story of Sadako Sasaki. Sadako was a young girl who had been affected by the bombing in Hiroshima and wanted to fold 1000 cranes before she passed away from cancer. It truly is an amazing and somewhat heart wrenching story. Thus, I taught myself how to fold a crane and learned a little more about the history and culture behind a simple folded piece of paper.

There is another reason to fold cranes, when someone gets married, has a baby or if there is a death. It is as if each crane is a prayer or a well wishing hope sealed along the lines of each fold. You are supposed to fold 1000 cranes with the 1001st crane being red.

The other weekend my father came to visit me and told me about a coworker of his. They were driving home from a family picnic when a drunk driver hit them head on killing the wife and son, the daughter was seriously injured but was going to be OK. The father, they were unsure about the likelihood that he would survive and had been in and out of surgery for a week. He hasn’t been conscious long enough to find out that not everybody made it.

My wife was deeply touched by this story, and before I knew it came down with a stack of paper, on a mission to send a message of hope. So we folded, and folded and folded. Long into the night and into the next day. Truth be told we only completed 101 cranes, but we stringed them together and sent them home with my father the next day in hopes that things turn out better for the guy, and maybe to inspire others to complete the other 900 cranes. Who knows but you too can fold cranes for peace, for Sadako, for cancer, or just to spend time with your family.

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