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Black Tie International Travel  1
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Black Tie International:  Travel - Bob Nicolaides Destinations 2012

Travelogue…with Bob Nicolaides

Destinations 2012


 Cappadocia to Restore Churches & Mosques?

Millennia-old structures-and some newer ones-all tied-in with different aspects of history from Byzantium to Islamic Turkey, in an area covering 27 hectares (20.2 acres) will undergo thorough refurbishing with an end to boosting cultural tourism in this remote corner of Central Anatolia’ Cappadocia region, the birthplace of Saint Basil in Christendom and an extremely popular tourism site.

Called the Kayakapi Cultural and Natural Environment Protection and Revival project, it envisages the restoration of twelve hundred fifteen houses carved out of rock, historic mansions, churches, mosques as well as the historic Kayakapi neighborhood, the area in which Saint John the Theologian’s home is located.  Urgup town’s mayor Fahri Yildiz in conjunction nwith Kayakapi Tourism Investment’s General Manager Mustafa Dinler have set up a press tour of the area which happened on January 30th of this year. Speaking at a press conference organized immediately after the tour, Dinler revealed that the project is focusing around Goreme Natural Park, on the list of UNESCO’s cultural heritage, as well as Kayakapi. The bulk of the project is concentrated around a rural area which contains 20 historic monuments, such as fountains and baths of the Byzantine era. The estimated cost of this project totals upward from $30 million. 

Dinler also announced that the first stage of the project will target mosques, rock churches, St. John’s Church, a handicraft center, cafes, restaurants and several agricultural fields in the outskirts of Kayakapi. “these monuments will open to the public as soon as the refurbishing takes place., he continued. “It will not only be a profitable tourist investment but it will also contribute to the socio-economic and cultural well being of Urgup and in a grander scale, of the whole Cappadocian region. Notwithstanding the employment possibilities and the heightened volume of Tourism.” Mayor Yildiz pointed out that the region had been left to its own fate, after the 1970s earthquakes, when it was declared a disaster area.  “The declaration” the mayor continued, “was because of the dangers posed by falling rocks of considerable size. The inhabitants of this section eventually were moved to another area in state-built homes and the area was left to its fate,” the mayor said.

“Christians and Moslems both trace their heritage in Kayakapi, which yields centuries’ old history, and where traces of Roman, Byzantine to
Selcuk civilizations, which account for age-old baths, to mosques and churches craved out of the rock,” he concluded.

The Other Russian Federation

Cyprus is transformed into a tiny swath of the Russian Federation, as thousands of Russians settled on this Medierranean island. Limassol (Lemessos) an attractive major port city with a medieval Crusader castle, has been unofficially dubbed as Limassolgrad!

Not only there is a Russian language newspaper edited by a Greek-Cypriot, but there are two schools teaching that language, as well as a radio station using only the Russian language. On any given Sunday, Debenham’s, a resort strip in the outskirts of the city, is teeming with Rushkies shopping for fur coats-which are in no way needed in Cyprus’ climate, but they may be bought at a more reasonable price than that f at home, sitting at the cafes enjoying a native dink made of yogurt, or downing litters of Baltika, the beer that reminds them of home.

Many of these Russians are actually Greek descent Pontians uprooted from the Pontus area that is today part of northwestern Turkey during the Moustafa Kemal upheaval and transplanted a century ago in the Crimean peninsula, the north end of the Black sea , directly opposite from their former home on the south shore.  

The New American in Paris

How does the current euro crisis affect you and your travels? The politicians and bankers are all worked up, but will the euro zone's current economic turmoil have any significant impact on visitors from North America? Certainly, the euro is under threat, and because Europe is such an important destination for visitors from North America, what happens to the currency is important. But few analysts are looking into the possible impacts on visitors—a void we'll explore, if not completely explain, right here.

Decisions by tourists whether to visit a given country or area are much more affected by what happens in the streets than by what happens in the banks. Staying informed and purchasing trip insurance are smart ways of making the most of a good deal. EnlargeClose

Decisions by tourists whether to visit a given country or area are much more affected by what happens in the streets than by what happens in the banks. Staying informed and purchasing trip insurance are smart ways of making the most of a good deal.

Euro 101:For anyone who needs a quick primer to bring them up to speed: The euro is the multinational currency in use throughout the euro area or euro zone. Current membership consists of 17 member states of the European Union (EU) that have adopted the euro as a common currency: Austria, Belgium, Southern Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Although not official members of the EU, Kosovo and Montenegro have also adopted the euro as their currency. And several but not all 10 non-euro members of the European Union plan to join the euro zone within the next few years.

Vacations-Coming & Going, for 75% off!

When it comes to cruises, there is something for everyone: from classic destinations like the Caribbean, Mexico and Alaska, to global destinations like the Mediterranean, Hawaii, or more “exotic” locales such as Africa, Antarctica, or the Galapagos Islands. With the convenience of a modern cruise, the world literally awaits you…

However, in these difficult economic times, there is something that can make even the most spectacular cruise even better: up to 75% off its price!

There is one service that is committed to helping you save—big—on cruises around the globe. Founded 25+ years ago, Vacations To Go has saved millions of dollars on discount cruises for thousands of travelers.

That’s because a quarter of a century ago, Vacations To Go innovated a way for the cruise lines to sell unsold cabins close to departure at huge last-minute discounts without affecting the overall market. Rather than offering “sale” prices to the public and upsetting full-fare customers buying in advance, cruise lines allowed Vacations To Go to market unsold cabins to their confidential, exclusive client list at huge savings.

As a result, Vacations To Go has now provided hundreds of thousands of their members with great cruise vacations at huge savings—often as much as 75% off! The company partners with the world’s largest cruise lines and receives high praise for its outstanding customer service.


Something Outtasite-$12 A Person All-Inclusive?

A $12 dinner would be a good deal these days, which is why this $12-per-person offer for all-inclusive accommodations, including meals, drinks and activities will be one of the hottest offers of 2012. CheapCaribbean.com slashed rates by 85% for this well-reviewed 3-star beachfront resort.  

This deal at the Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, is valid for four- to seven-night stays May 1 - Dec. 23. Travel Jan. 5 - April 30 for just $12 more per person per night. This deal also upgrades guests to VIP status at the resort, which grants them access to a private beach area where waiters deliver premium drinks to those lounging in sun beds. This perk also includes admission to exclusive parties on Sunday and Thursday nights, featuring live music and fireworks. Non-motorized water sports and free scuba lessons are also built into the rate.

Guests looking to stay longer than seven nights can book additional nights at discounted rates by calling Travelzoo Staff, Los Angeles. Flights are not included but can be added. 

The Girl-and Boy-from Ipanema

Owner description: Popularized by the song "The Girl from Ipanema," this world-famous beach gives foreign visitors a sense of life in Rio, displaying a cross-section of different lifestyles, chic boutiques and eateries and luxurious apartment buildings.

Useful information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children. You see, Ipanema is surely one of the best beaches in Brazil and in the world. It has been even appointed by several guides like Lonely Planet and The Guardian. What I like about it, it´s that Real Rio people go to Ipanema...its not just for tourists...Great beach! true it's a bit dangerous for bathing, but you just have to be careful. The view from Posto 9 is amazing!I personally have an issue with dirty sticky sand, but in Ipanema sand is amazing...it has this beautiful light beige color and great texture! it feels like salt...really nice beach! Ask BrazilCarnivalcomBR about Ipanema Beach. Rio de Janeiro: Great Prices, Great Rooms. . Click or call Skype now: 1-800-914-6835

UK: 20 million potential cruise travelers in 2012

Ongoing demand for cruise holidays is set to take annual passenger numbers to a record high of 20.3 million next year, according to a new trends forecast. The figure, from Industry Analytics Market Watch, would represent  a 5.6 % increase from 2011. Positive developments that point to this increase is the launch of new ships such as the Carnival Breeze, MSC Divina, Costa Fascionosa and Disney Fantasy, while another eight vessels are due to enter the market by 2015.


The Roar of the Niagara Lion

You can't take a boat ride into the roar and spray of Niagara Falls in the winter, but this time of year offers a different spectacle: Nighttime illumination of the falls in a changing array of colors - red, white, blue, purple, orange, amber and green. The tourism season at Niagara Falls is slowing, but December started the busy season for those who light the falls in colors every night.

In spring and summer, the colored lights shine for just three hours, but with less daylight in winter, splashes of color wash over the falls each night for up to seven hours. Crowds gather along the sidewalk and railing on Niagara Parkway to see the show as mist rises from the falls and basin in front of them; others watch from the windows of hotels and restaurants on the Canadian side. The display starts with patriotic themes - red, white and blue for the American Falls, red and white for the horseshoe-shaped Canadian Falls - and frequently includes colors to honor a cause.

Two dozen hotels get star rating in Rwanda

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) for Tourism and Conservation, has concluded the first phase of the East Africa-wide grading and classifying of hotels, resorts, lodges, and other hospitality businesses. Thirty hotels in Kigali were awarded their ‘stars’ during a ceremony held at the Kigali Serena Hotel this past month , itself a recipient of a 5 stars.

Rwanda, second only to Tanzania to hold such a ceremony, is one step ahead of Burundi, Uganda and even Kenya where the present system of rating will have to give way to community-wide, new system.


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