My amazing weekend in Cracow

That wasn’t my first trip to Poland as a teenager, I have an opportunity to visit this country if I remember correctly that was the summer in 2000 so it passed almost twenty years! There were three main reasons why I choose Poland, and to be more precise Cracow for my trip. First of all, as I mentioned I have some memories from this country and I taught that it will be a great opportunity to refresh my associations connected with this country. Another one is the fact that currently, I’m living in the place where I can buy really cheap flights to Cracow. The last one is “pierogi” It’s been almost twenty years since my last visit in Poland but I still remember this taste. Of course, you can get them in Manchester too, for example in this amazing restaurant –   Staropolska Restaurant but pierogi is like with pizza – no matter where you will be eating them the best you will find in a local restaurant. I hope that you have been interested in this short introduction because you will find the story of my trip below.

Three steps to Cracow

Before whole travel, I have to make some preparations. First of all –  flight, which was one of the main reasons why I decided to go to Cracow. Nowadays finding the really cheap flight is easier than ever you have dozens of sites where you can find them, personally, I use global.cheapflights.com this is the simplest and the fastest way to find a flight. Last but not least step which I have done to prepare my trip was booking a transfer from and to the airport. In this case, I use quicktransfer.com  Not only in case of saving time but primarily to save some money – booking transfer in advance is much cheaper than taking a taxi from the airport. Finally the most difficult part of the preparation for the trip – booking hotel. Of course, the choice was really hard because I have to decide whether I wanted to stay close to the city center or maybe have a better hotel but placed outside the main square. Of course, I choose the first option, I need a room only for two nights so it is really important to have main monuments as close as it possible. After that, I have to pack my case and wait for the amazing trip.

Day one – travel and arriving

The flight was good, luckily without delays or any other troubles – less than 3 hours and I was in place. The driver from the Quicktransfer was waiting for me so I don’t have to worry about the transfer, my limousine drove me to the hotel. The driver was really kind and he gave me some bits of advice about the city or attractions but of course, I have a plan for whole my trip. As a place for my short stay a choose palace-apartment reasonable price nice room and great location that’s everything I need. When I arrived and unpacked my luggage it was almost 6 PM so, to be honest, I have time only for the walkthrough Main Square which is the heart of this beautiful and historical city. The atmosphere on the square is amazing, you can find there a lot of performers and street musicians. However, if you decide to go to Cracow during the Christmas holidays you will surely fall in love with this city, the smell of the mulled wine and flavor of polish cuisine will take care of that. On the square, you can also find “Sukiennice” which is the cloth hall and impressive Town Hall Tower. After this pleasant, it was time for a dinner. As you know I’m big fan of dumplings so I can’t miss this opportunity.

Day two

Cracow is a beautiful city with amazing history, After breakfast, I went to learn this history. My first steps were directed to the Kazimierz district which before XIX was a separate city. For many years Christian and the Jewish community are coexisting together. During this walk, I can’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the most important museums in Cracow – Old Synagogue. Inside this building, you can find an exhibition dedicated to Jewish holidays. Another part of my tour leads me to the Oskar Schindler factory. This place has a long story – during WWII it was the shelter for many Jews, furthermore in 1993 famous director – Steven Spielberg filmed Schindler’s List there. Nowadays the building is transformed into the museum. Another step of our tour will be a st. Benedikt castle. This is a really unique fort in European scale. It is part of the fortress of Cracow, this building was designed by famous architect Feliks Ksiezarski. Now It’s time for the main attractions of the day and the whole trip – the Wieliczka salt mine. This small village is placed only 14 km on the southeast of Cracow. The mine has more than 300 km of tunnels even 327 m underground. The whole mine have 22 chambers which are open to public tours, believe me, this is an unforgettable trip. 135m underground you will find sanatorium where allergic diseases are treated by overnight stays! After this tour, I have get back into the Cracow city center. It was pretty late when I got to the place, but it was only a beginning of my adventure. Believe me, night life in this city is really intensive.

Departure day

That will be the last day of my trip I have time only for early dinner and walk along the Wisla river. After this refreshing walk driver from Quicktransfer comes for me and I went to the airport. Of course, flight to my home city was quick and safe. That was a really amazing trip, unfortunately too short so I definitely return to this City.

3 Things You Shouldn’t Forget When Going Fishing With Your Husband

Whether you’re into angling as well, or you’re just looking forward to your next fishing trip with your special someone, the fact is that you can’t leave home without putting together a list of things you should take with you. Let’s forget about the actual gear and tackle that anglers use regularly and that they make sure to pack whenever a fishing opportunity arises.

 

To make the most of your angling adventure, we’ve put together a list of three things you should never leave behind.

  • Safety-related items

If you intend to go boat fishing, you need to make sure that you have two things with you. One of them is a first-aid kit and the other is a marine fire extinguisher. Most people will be surprised, but the incidence of fires on boats is rather high, which is ironic in a way given that boats are surrounded by so much water. Nonetheless, fire extinguishers for marine use have special substances in them that can put out a fire way faster than water ever could.

As for first-aid kits, their presence on the boat is self-explanatory. Even when fly fishing, you need to ensure that you and your hubby’s skin is protected at all times, which is why we recommend keeping some sunscreen at hand. If you’re going fishing with the kids, make sure to bring along personal floatation devices or life vests for them.

  • Proper clothing

While some rookies might argue that there’s little to no point in investing in quality fishing clothes, this issue is still debatable. Sure, some things like fishing t-shirts might make little to no sense as they do not come with a good deal of pockets to store your gear in. However, a fishing vest or jacket can mean the world to an angler who wants to know that all the tackle is easily reachable.

If you want to stay close to your partner and assist him or her in their fishing endeavors, perhaps you need a pair of nice-looking fishing waders for women. These can be waist or chest-high, made from neoprene or rubber, and might come with integrated boots or not. Some fishers tend to think that those models made specifically for women have to be pink or brightly colored, but we’ve seen that the design matters less when it comes to getting a functional wader.

Hats and sunglasses are great, as well, especially if you’re going to spend a whole day under the sun.

  • Food and water

If you plan to spend a whole day on the water, it stands to reason that you should be properly hydrated and have enough nourishment with you. The least you could bring along is some beef jerky, chopped carrots, sunflower seeds, sandwiches, chips, or just some light snacks that can withstand the heat. In a worst case scenario, if you’re left with no water, we recommend getting a filter like LifeStraw, which is basically a portable bottle that can filter water from any potable source. Stream and river fishers are going to love this product, without a doubt.

Merken

What To Do When You Are In Japan

Taking a trip to Japan was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life and it truly is a land filled with history, culture and everything that you could possibly want from a country. I love the culture especially and wanted to talk about a few of the things that you need to do whilst you are there.

Japan
Japan

I hope you enjoy reading about it and I hope that you will love Japan as much as I do.

Eat sushi

Everyone knows and loves sushi, but the thing is that it isn’t something you can truly appreciate until you have actually been to Japan. The Japanese pride themselves on the finest fish and the most meticulous preparation to make sushi great. You will never try sushi as good as you can in Japan, so you absolutely need to eat as much sashimi, nori rolls and nigiri as possible.

Visit mount Fuji

Mount Fuji definitely is one of the most iconic sights of Japan that you could think of. It is a beautiful place and definitely something that you should see, even better is climbing the mountain and it may sound like a challenge at 3776 metres high, but it is relatively tame in comparison to other high mountains, especially due to the lack of actual climbing (with your hands and feet) and the good paths that exist on the mountain. The view from the top is amazing and is something that you truly will now forget. The mountain itself is seen to be rather holy in Japan and has been the site for pilgrimages for hundreds of years.

Visit the beautiful Kyoto

Kyoto is one of the most beautiful places that you could imagine, especially with the huge number of temples that you can visit there. If you have ever considered Japan road trips, Kyoto would likely be on the best places to put on your list. You could endlessly explore the area and go from temple to temple. Zen Buddhism is also very fascinating and you can naturally learn a lot about it in Kyoto.

Enjoy the atmosphere of karaoke

Karaoke is a fun pastime that we have all tried at one point or another, but wouldn’t it be great to try it in the place where is was invented? The Japanese truly love to sing and they are fanatics about karaoke. They love to have themed rooms that are so well designed and thought out that only the Japanese could have built them!

Enjoy the sights and sounds of Okinawa

Japan is an otherworldly kind of place and Okinawa is the most curious and interesting part of Japan in my mind. It really does not look or feel like anywhere else in Japan, especially due to its hot and tropical climate and stunning beaches. It is only when you hear the people speaking Japanese that you will realise that you are still in Japan. This is an amazing destination for diving and swimming and is a great way to catch some sunshine whilst in Japan.

Merken

Merken

Merken

Merken

Applying for an Indian Visa? Things you should know!

The charming and delightful India!  

India is a beautiful and fascinating country full of history and ethnic diversity. It is famous for its centuries-old temples, the remarkable Taj Mahal, and contemporary skyscrapers. Its geographical features consist of breathtaking hill resorts, majestic Himalayan mountains, frozen glaciers, fertile valleys and beautiful beaches. It has a rich history and a large number of historical sites dating back to the Mughal empire. The British rule also left an everlasting imprint on this great country. India’s fascinating cultural heritage and popular hill resorts make it one of the most popular tourist destinations. Apart from tourism, a large number of people visit India for numerous other reasons such as education, religious pilgrimage, business, and much more. Anyone who wishes to visit India is required to first apply and secure a valid Indian visa and have a valid passport of the country they belong to.

Requirements for Indian Visa

Generally, there are four main requirements for a valid Indian visa. You will need to complete the necessary documentation which includes a completed and signed application form, passport number, visa fee, and a recent photograph and submit the documents on time.

There are different types of visas and the applicant’s nature of the visit and the number of days the applicant will stay in India will determine the type of visa he or she requires. For example, a tourist visa can be valid for 6 months to 10 years, depending on the requirements of different visa applications. Student and business visas are both valid for a minimum of 1 year.

Steps for applying for an Indian visa

The first step when applying for an Indian visa application is to fill out the form. This form can be obtained from the Indian Consulate or the Indian Embassy. This form can also be obtained online but online applications can take more than 1 day to process. Indian visas are issued by the Visa and the Consular Passport Division of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to tourists from different countries. Two passport size photos are also required. These photos should be colored, the applicant must be facing front and should have the photograph taken without wearing any glasses. The applicant must also complete other standard requirements, if any, and attach all the documents with the application.

You should also have a valid and current passport before applying for an Indian visa. The passport should have at least two or more blank pages where the visa can be stamped. A copy of your birth certificate should also be submitted with the application. This acts as confirmation of your nationality, date of birth and your parent’s name. In addition, a photocopy of your driver’s license, state identification card, or a current utility bill (water, electricity, gas, sewage). Visitors to India can get their visa extended for a further three months. For this purpose, you will need to visit a Foreigner’s Registration Office which can be easily located in all the major cities in India such as Calcutta, New Delhi, Chennai or Mumbai.

Feel Great Experience Vacation with Royal Caribbean Baltimore Cruising Program

The Royal Caribbean Baltimore offers cruise trip to the great Port Discovery, National Aquarium or Baltimore Zoo in the city, and the baseball adventure Inner Harbor.

royal Caribbean Baltimore If it is your first experience, having a journey on a cruise ship is indeed a popular option to spend the holiday time. People can enjoy their time at the sea and visit the most popular cities and destinations around the world. In this case, the royal Caribbean Baltimore is an option where people will be brought to the famous city of Baltimore in Maryland. The city has a lot of attractive things to explore.

There are many things to see and to do for those who join the royal Caribbean Baltimore. The city offers everyone in the family some attractive places to visit. The kids can enjoy their time in Port Discovery. They can also check out the amazing collection in National Aquarium in the city, or visit the Baltimore Zoo that has more than 2000 animals.
Continue reading Feel Great Experience Vacation with Royal Caribbean Baltimore Cruising Program

Five “I Will Not Travel Without” Items

Travel items
Travel items

Everyone has a security blanket.  No, not some warm piece of fabric that we’ve been carrying around since childhood.  In this case, the security blanket is the item(s) that you simply won’t leave behind because they either mean that much to you or they are really that practical.  Doesn’t matter if I’m hopping flights, camping out or simply visiting family, there are five items that I won’t travel without.  Want to know what they are?

1) Towel.  Scoff and mock all you want, but I will always have some form of towel on me when I travel.  Doesn’t need to be huge, just a hand towel will do (a washcloth is too small).  Why?  The best reason is because of a book called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  I won’t spoil anything.  Other reasons are because it’s great to dry off with, wrap fragile items in, use as an emergency “here I am!” beacon and you never know what kind of scuzzy hotel you could end up in.

2) Harmonica.  Small, simple and easy to carry, these little guys have never led me astray.  I’ve kept myself occupied during layovers, played for change to get to the next bus station and sat in with incredible musicians all over the world.

3) Swiss army knife.  A bit tougher to travel with in recent times, the knife is always in my pocket or in my bag (unless I’m doing carry-on).  The reasons are many and range from the ability to open wine and cut cheese on a Paris bound overnight train to fixing a bike that has a few screws loose.  If it was good enough for MacGyver, it’s good enough for me.

4) Pad and pen.  This one should be fairly obvious.  I like making paper airplanes and shooting spit-balls.  Clearly.

5) Baby powder.  Sure, laugh it up, but I always travel with a small bottle of the stuff.  Great for masking the “I’ve been stuck on a plane for hours” stench, for freshening up clothes that may have gone a touch stale and, forgive me, it keeps things from chaffing if you’re walking around for hours or days at a time.  You feet will thank you, your traveling companions will thank you and then you’ll thank me.  Simple as that.

See?  A few simple and relatively cheap things that I won’t walk out the door without.  Feel free to steal from this list.  Feel even more free to add your own “must haves” in the comments section or on my Twitter.  What won’t you leave home without?  Watches, wallets, spectacles?

Steve Zimmermann has drank with Aussies in Italy, danced on floating stages in Austria, sailed with dolphins in St. Vincent and pulled boats through creeks in Ireland.  He is a Lancaster, PA based writer who worked on the PR side of travel tourism before embarking on a career as a copywriter who happens to do a lot of traveling.  Follow him @zedcreative and say hello.

4 Things to Do in Dublin at No Cost

Dublin is a fascinating city, also from a tourism point of view. Unlike many other cities in Ireland, and also UK, which usually get a very specific visitors, Dublin tends to get a mix of them all. If you go to Liverpool, you will see a lot of people traveling there to party. Manchester is technology and history, and it is often visited by families, whereas Dublin gets a total mix of everyone.

I believe that part of this is because of such a multitude of various things to do in the city. From Temple Bar, a cultural district, where you can immerse yourself in a famous Dublin’s nightlife to great museums as well as landmarks, often standing as a commemoration of important historic facts that shaped the city and Ireland as a whole.

Dublin is also a great place to visit on a budget. Even though it is usually considered a fairly expensive city, there are plenty of things you can do there at absolutely no cost. In this post I want to highlight some of them to you.

1. Trinity College Grounds

One of the finest landmarks in the city centre is this Ireland’s oldest university, operating from 1592, when it was founded by Queen Elizabeth I. Without a dount, Trinity is one of the most fascinating tourist attractions in the city.

The grounds of the college are opened to the public and offer plenty to those interested in architecture. Once there, you must see the Chapel and the Examination Hall. The Museum Building is another one not to miss. You can also visit the Trinity College Library, which is also the largest research library in the country. One of the highlights of its collection is the Book of Kells, the oldest printed book in Ireland.

Trinity College is fairly easy to fine. It’s located at the start of the famous O’Connell Bridge and another well known street, Dame street.

2. Grafton Street and St. Stephens Green Park

Right off Trinity starts another important landmark in the city, Grafton Street. This is one of the two top shopping streets in Dublin. Major brands like Brown Thomas have their retail outlets there. The street is bustling with life, and if you are tired of browsing through the shops, you can relax in one of the many cafes or restaurants there.

On top of Grafton street sits a gem of Dublin’s city centre, St. Stephens Green park. This large green area is a perfect escape from the busy Grafton street. You can enjoy walking in the part alleys or, in the summer stumble upon a jazz concert in the parks alcove.

3. Phoenix Park

And, if you want to escape the city for longer, then Phoenix Park, one of the largest city parks in Europe is certainly the best place to do so. The park spans over 1750 acres, incorporating walking paths, bicycle tracks, monumements you can visit as well as Dublin Zoo.

One of the highlights of the Park is the residence of the President of Ireland, which you can actually visit, the Papal Cross, erected to commemorate the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979 as well as the Deerfield Residence, the home to US Ambassador in Ireland.

4. National Gallery Of Ireland and Modern Art Museum

For those of you who are interested in art, not only from Ireland, there are two amazing places to visit. National Gallery of Ireland, located on Merrion Square, which houses a large collection of Irish and European Art.

The Museum of Modern Art, which is not far from Phoenix Park is, as the name suggests, dedicated to the contemporary art and offers exhibitions that stimulate and intrigue.

Thomas writes about interesting things to do in various European cities and by day, works for a leading Dublin Apartments provider in Ireland.

Maldives Holidays – Heaven on Earth?

What is it about the maldives? It only takes a few holiday reviews, a little bit of background research, and a glance at some typically jaw-dropping pictures to realise that people just love the Maldives. Anyone even vaguely aware of the place is likely to go ‘Ooooohhh…’ at the very mention of the islands, a sentiment echoed by the ‘Ahhhhhh…’ people emit when they arrive there and the majesty of it starts to sink in.

Palms in the Maldives

Visitors return with overwhelmingly good feelings for the Maldives, to the extent that most customer reviews of holidays there are so bursting with happiness that readers could suspect they were written by a travel rep. But no, look around, and the evidence mounts for my case – are the Maldives really heaven on Earth?

Whether you call it a tropical paradise, the perfect island fantasy or a picture-postcard dream, everyone can relate to these powerful mental images.

Shipwrecked in the Maldives? Yes please

For many people, finding heaven on Earth is all about peace and quiet, solitude, and getting away from the stress, dirt, pollution and chaos that characterise our surroundings in modern life. Just like the classic Robinson Crusoe adventure, the Maldives are a place where you could be shipwrecked forever and never miss home. Your supermarket would be the bountiful seas, coconut palms and fruit-laden branches. The odd barrel of Rum would float ashore, and who knows, maybe even a companion.

Relaxing Indian Ocean luxury

Other kinds of traveller can think of nothing more heavenly than lounging year-round in the perfect tropical climate, with kind, attentive hotel staff bringing fine food and drinks at the ring of a bell. Days would pass in bucolic satisfaction, gazing at the sparkling sand and glittering waves, taking a dip, reading, living like royalty might in a better world. As the sun sets over a calm ocean, fine dining, flickering candles and good conversation feels all the more natural knowing that your refuge is just metres away, and there is no work in the morning.

Coconut on beach

Intrepid adventures in the Maldives

For those with a more adventurous spirit, all 1000sq.km of the Maldives island chain becomes a sun-drenched tropical playground. Exploring the hundreds of uninhabited islands by boat could be a lifetime’s work, and no-one can claim to have seen every spectacular reef, teeming as they are with tropical fish and exotic sea life. In their vision of heaven on Earth, days are filled swimming with Dolphins, scuba-diving into the fantastical submerged realms of the Indian Ocean, claiming undiscovered coves and sunken ships.

Boat and Atoll

Are the Maldives all things to all people?

Whichever of these visions of a Tropical heaven might suit you best is largely unimportant; most travellers to the Maldives enjoy a combination of all of them. The luxury market orientated, high-quality resorts and facilities in the Maldives are testament to the local understanding of why we love their islands; tourism is by far the largest industry, and with the ‘high season’ being almost all year round, providing a great experience for visitors is at the heart of many people’s lives.

As for what kind of package – the choices are vast. I for one love the freedom of live-aboard accommodation; waking up to a new view every morning, navigating the reefs and lagoons, and putting ashore wherever catches your eye is a fine way to experience the stunning beauty of the Maldives. If a resort, well-appointed villa or even a private island is more your style, all inclusive packages can be a great idea as you never have to count your pennies.

After all, who needs their wallet in heaven?

 

Gerry Bern is an independent writer who loves travelling, music, food and all the finer things in life. Gerry is currently getting excited about getting away this year, watching out for the best Maldives holidays deals, and counting the days…

The Biggest Ships Ever to Set Sail

When the subject of the big ships is raised it is generally assumed that we are talking about the modern era. Nothing that sailed before the year 1900 came close to rivalling the massive super tankers or warships of the 20th Century.

Which Ship is the Largest?

500w-knock-nevis

Ships are measured in three categories. You can look at the length, the weight, or the displacement, which is the amount of water that a ship has to displace in order to be able to float. Ships also fall into three categories: warships, cargo ships, and passenger ships. All of the top ten longest and heaviest ships ever launched are cargo ships. Topping this list is the Knock Nevis, a super tanker owned by Norway’s Fred Olsen Productions which is 458.5 metres long and displaces 564,763 DWT (dead weight tons).

Rounding Out the Top Ten

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Eight of the remaining top ten longest ships made are super tankers. The only exception in the top ten is the Emma Maersk, a container ship that is 397 metres long. She ranks number four on the overall list. The tenth ranked ships on that list are the Jarmada class super tankers which measure out at 373.5 metres, just 13.5 metres longer than Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis of the Seas” and thirty-one meters longer than the Enterprise Class aircraft carriers in service for the United States Navy.

Largest Warships on the Seas

500w-nimitz

Ships of war have been responsible for the testing and implementation of new technology for centuries. The military always seems to get the best of everything before the private sector even knows it exists. The technology needed for GPS navigation and wireless signals has been available far longer than average people have had access to it. Shipbuilding is no different. The top ten largest warships are all aircraft carriers, eight of which are operated by the United States, one by Great Britain, and one by Russia.

Tough Luck for Eleven through Twenty

500w-bismarck

The aircraft carriers in the top ten are all fairly new, but if you go back a little further to the ships ranked eleven through twenty you’ll find an interesting statistic. Of those ten ships, seven of them have been sunk. Two of those are actually rather famous: The Akagi, a Japanese aircraft carrier that was involved in the attack on Pearl Harbour; and the Bismarck, the famous German warship sunk by the British Navy in 1941.

Top Ten Cruise Ships

500w-queen-mary-2

The longest cruise ships in the world are the “Oasis of the Seas” (360 metres) and her sister ship the “Allure of the Seas” (launching in 2010).  The “RMS Queen Mary 2” ranks third (345 metres) and Royal Caribbean’s “Freedom of the Seas” and “Liberty of the Seas” (both 339 metres) round out the top five. Numbers six through ten are the “Independence of the Seas” (339 metres), MSC Splendida (333 metres), MSC Fantasia (333 metres), Celebrity Solstice (315 metres) and Celebrity Equinox (315 metres).

Where would the Titanic rank today?

500w-titanic

The Titanic was 268 metres long and was considered unsinkable. Obviously that was not the case. Today’s ships are sturdier and the technology used to navigate them is far better than it was in 1912. The iceberg that was the bane of the Titanic would have been detected with today’s equipment and the accident could have been avoided. All of the larger cruise ships on the water today are equipped with the best tracking and navigation equipment on the market.

A Floating Resort Island on the Sea

500w-oasis-of-the-seas

The “Oasis of the Seas” carries over 5000 passengers and houses a shopping mall, a park with over 12,000 plants and trees, and a sports deck with a full basketball court, flow-riders, and an eighteen hole miniature golf course. There are staterooms available that overlook either the park or the ocean and there are Jacuzzis that hang over the side of the ship fifteen decks up. This massive floating city is most likely the most impressive shipbuilding creation yet. Can someone come up with something bigger and better? If they do it may not fit into a harbour or dry dock anywhere. They may have to install helipads to get passengers on and off the ship.

ISLAND PALAU – South Pacific Island

Beleuu er a Belau or the Republic of Palau is an island nation that very few people have heard about. It is a chain of about two hundred islands, located in the Western Pacific Ocean about 650 kms to the Southeast of Philippines. Only about eight of the existing two hundred islands are populated. It is a constitutional republic and Babeldoab or Babelthuap is the capital city, having a population of about 12,000 people. It became a capital from Oreror or Koror in 2006. Administratively, the nation is divided into 16 states, and has a bicameral legislature or two houses of parliament.

The nation has a high literacy rate of about 92% and the majority of the population is Roman Catholics, followed by Protestants. The people mostly are of the Palauan, Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Carolinian or other Asian ethnicity. Babelthuap is the largest island and is very mountainous. Other important islands are Arakabesan, Malaka, Peleliu, Angaur to the South and Kayangel and Ngeruangel islands to the Northeast. The other islands are mostly coral islands encircled with barrier reefs. This island country is truly virgin and unspoilt. Continue reading ISLAND PALAU – South Pacific Island