Travel

X’mas Celebrations: Places To Visit!

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X'mas

X’mas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” Norman Vincent Peale

Come December, and world awaits Christmas and gifts. X’mas is celebrated on December 25th every year and continues till New Year. Living in India and having an unseasonably hot November, you may have almost forgotten that we’re actually inching close to the winter break. That’s one time of the year when everyone is ready to pack their bags, put on their luggage tags and fly off far away from reality. It’s the celebration of the coming year and with it, the possibilities of a more prosperous and happier future ahead.

As the holiday season approaches, many cities across the world transform themselves into winter wonderlands, straight out of Disney fairy tales. A white X’mas is the romance of winters that we have seen so many times on screen and trust us, it’s not overrated. Let me paint you a picture: a hot cup of cocoa, snow-clad streets, warm fireplaces, cozy blankets, and X’mas trees decorated with twinkling lights and baubles. Doesn’t that sound idyllic?

Unfortunately, the prices of flights and stay also surge this time of the year so you have to think ahead and plan your holiday. So, if you and your beau are planning a romantic, snowy getaway, now would be the perfect time to make your bookings.

We’ve selected eight cities, where you’ll be able to celebrate X’mas and New Year’s Eve by making snow fairies and romancing under the glimmering lights.

 

Lapland, Finland

In winters, you will experience polar nights in Finland, when the sun doesn’t rise at all. As soon as you cross the Arctic circle, you’ll be able to witness this phenomenon and it’s a once in a lifetime experience. If you’re lucky, you’d be able to catch the breathtaking Northern Lights (aurora borealis) and enjoy the magical views when the sky is all shades of green, purple, soft pink and blue. The temperatures are freezing and are usually between -5C and -30C, so carry all the down-feather jackets you own.

X'mas

Credits: bruissedpassports.com

 

Salt Lake City, United States Of America

Spreading Christmas cheer and holiday joy in the States is also a great idea. Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah, is the place to be if you want to sing carols, go for plays and enjoy ballet. Go on the Heber Valley Railroad North Pole Express, a historic train ride through the Heber Valley while sipping hot chocolate and munching on cookies and visit Santa. You should also not miss out on on the Festival of Trees that happens at that time of the year, where over 1,000 Christmas trees get decorated in beautiful wreaths, laurels, lights, and baubles.

X'mas

Credots: tripsavvy.com

 

Reykjavik, Iceland

The temperatures in Iceland fall to -2C at night, so if you want to feel like you’re in a snow-globe, then Reykjavik is the place for you. Here, too, you can catch glimpses of the Northern Lights and enjoy a White Christmas. Take a dip in the man-made pools near Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier for a spectacular view. You have to eat at the award-winning restaurant Grillmarkaðurinn that only serves food made from the organic produce from close-by framers’ market. Meat lovers, the beef, trout, and quail are must-tries here.

X'mas

Credits: pinterest.com

 

Quebec City, Canada

Canada is another option to consider for a White Christmas with your loved ones or even as a solo traveller because it’s a safe country. Go on a shopping spree at the German market and devour all the rum cakes and cinnamon rolls you can get your hands on in Quebec. A must-visit for drinks is the Christmas themed pop-up bar Miracle, which serves holiday-centric cocktails. You can even go ice-skating at the rink in Place d’Youville. For an authentic Qubecean meal, go to La Bûche and have their Christmas buffet – their pie is all the Christmas goodness you need

X'mas

Credits: youtube.com

 

Salzburg, Austria

While many people miss out on the quaint town of Salzburg for Vienna, this place should definitely be on your bucket list for a snowy holiday vacay. It’s romantic and stunning and the baroque old town is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s the birthplace of Mozart, so music and culture lovers will find plenty to do around here. It’s a cultural capital defined by music, theatre, and there is a whole lot to do here. Visit the Christmas markets in winding roads of the city and sing Do-A-Deer while you’re at it because The Sound Of Music was hot completely here.

The holiday celebration is a sight to see especially because there was a time the city was a part of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by archbishops. Look out for mangers and representations of the Nativity scene in the charming lanes and sip hot chocolate to get the full wintery feel.

X'mas

Credits: theblondeabroad.com

 

Moscow, Russia

If you want to go somewhere in Russia, Moscow would be the best bet for a holiday. The entire city is blanketed with white cover like whipped cream on the hot chocolate you’ll be drinking. You have to take out a day to witness the famous Moscow Christmas Festival, where Christmas trees are decorated, street art is displayed, and plays are performed. Don’t miss the ice ballet because it’s enchanting. For New Year’s Eve, you can also join the cheerful crowd at Moscow’s central Tverskaya Street to count down the seconds to 2020. Dance and celebrate because the party carries on till 3 a.m. on the streets. Sounds fun, right?

X'mas

creidts: expatica.com

 

Tallinn, Estonia

Arguably one of the most gorgeous cities in northern Europe, the capital of Estonia could be your holiday getaway if you don’t want to spend as much. The medieval stone walls, sky-scraping church bell towers, and cobblestone roads are every traveller’s dream. Go to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral or St Olaf’s Church for Christmas mass and have a holy experience. Compared to western Europe, the food and nightlife are cheaper; try out the local beer and Baltic cuisine at Restaurant Ribe and Rataskaevu 16.

X'mas

Crediys: visitestonia.cm

So ready to enjoy the X’mas like they’re supposed to be?

Click here to know best New Year destinations.

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Travel

Unlock 5 Guidelines: What’s Allowed, What’s Not

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Unlock 5
Credits- Livewire (Instagram)

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued another set of guidelines for the next phase of relaxation. It includes reopening of cinemas and theatres. Schools and colleges may also reopen in Unlock 5, but it has been left on the state governments to decide

The Instructions for Unlock 5 will come into effect on October 1 and will run until October 31. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the national lockdown in March, all public activities were banned by the government. Though India now has over 62 cases of lakh coronavirus and 97,000 deaths, Unlock 5 is being used to encourage further activities.

Unlock 5 guidelines in 10 points:

1. Outside containment zones, cinemas, theatres and multiplexes will reopen with up to 50 percent seating capacity as of 15 October. Since March, the cinemas have been completely shut down. Also, their owners have been seeking reopenings as the losses have escalated for more than 7 months.

2. The state and UT governments might decide to reopen schools after October 15, but in a graded manner. Decisions on the reopening of schools will be made in consultation with schools and institutional administrators. Moreover, on the basis of their evaluation of the situation and subject to certain conditions.

3. However, even though schools can be reopened, the main form of teaching will continue to be online or distance learning. Where schools conduct online classes, they may be able to do so if certain students choose to attend online classes instead of physically attending school. Only with the written permission of their parents can students attend schools and institutions. The guidelines for MHA Unlock 5 have also specified that attendance will not be enforced and must depend entirely on parental consent.

4. The opening of higher education institutions dedicated to research scholars (Ph.D.) and postgraduate students in the field of science and technology involving laboratory and experimental work will be allowed from 15 October onwards. The head of the institution would have to convince themselves that there is a clear need for research scholars (Ph.D.). Also, for the postgraduate students in the science and technology stream for laboratory and experimental work students mainly for centrally funded higher education institutions.

5. All other institutions of higher education, including state universities, private universities, etc., may only be available to PhD students and postgrad students. Moreover, only for those in the field of science and technology who need laboratory and experimental work. But the decision will be made by the respective governments of the state and the UT.

6. Exhibitions for Business to Business (B2B) will be allowed. Also, the Department of Commerce will release the guidelines for this.

7. Swimming pools used for training sportsmen will be permitted to reopen. Further, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports will issue guidelines for this.

8. From October 15, amusement parks and similar places will also be allowed to reopen. In that respect, the guidelines will be released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

9. The Unlock 5.0 guidelines have also made it possible for states to loosen the cap of 100 individuals at public meetings. Also, at functions outside containment areas. States will encourage an increased number of individuals to attend a public meeting from 15 October onwards. The decision comes before the beginning of the festivities of Dussehra, Diwali and Durga Puja across India.

10. Restrictions on International travel would continue.

Read: Countries where indians cannot travel to.

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Travel

Most Beautiful Places To Visit In Oregon

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Via Pinterest

Before admitting to the union in February 1859, the only state in the United States of America to have two different designs on each side of its flag was Oregon. Situated on the West coast of the country, was called the Oregon Territory.

Oregon is America’s ninth-largest state. Moreover, home to a vast range of geographical diversities, including forests, deserts, volcanoes, shrublands, and plentiful bodies of water.

Find below a few hidden gems of Oregon city:

Sweet Creek Trail

Via Pinterest

A simple 2.2-mile ride that takes in about a dozen spectacular waterfalls is the Pleasant Creek Trail. The best time to visit the trail is maybe April and May, as this is when numerous woodland wildflowers burst into full bloom. Look out for especially rare pink fawn lilies. Just a few miles inland from Florence, at the mouth of the Siuslaw River, the trail is located.

Yaquina Head Light and Cliffs

Via Pinterest

Yaquina Head Light, the tallest lighthouse in the state. Also, it can be located near the mouth of the Yaquina River, near Newport City. The lighthouse is known for its presence when it stood as the Moesko Island Lighthouse in the 2002 film The Ring. Lighthouse tours are available and it can also take time for tourists to take a stroll along the cliffs.

Thor’s Well, Yachats

Oregon

Via Pinterest

A giant hole in the rock on the side of the Oregon Coast is Thor’s Well. The void appears to swallow the surrounding seawater. It may seem like a giant, bottomless gap to a normal eye, but, in fact, it does have a bottom.

Though it is unknown, researchers believe that the pit is only about 20 feet deep, but Thor’s Well manages to produce some of the most spectacular sights in the state, especially during high tide, regardless of its insignificant depth.

Enchanted Forest, Turner

Oregon

Via Pinterest

The artist who began to create characters and attractions based on fairy tales such as Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, and Humpty Dumpty created the Enchanted Forest exclusively.

In 1971, the park was opened to the public and has been attracting families since then.

Chocolate Waterfall, Portland

Oregon

Via Pinterest

A massive 21-one-foot chocolate waterfall stands inside the Candy Basket Shop in Portland, Oregon. It throws a gobsmacking 2,700 pounds of chocolate over a huge waterfall-like structure. This towering cascade, constructed from sculpted bronze and Italian marble, has been in operation since 1991 and is the world’s tallest and oldest waterfall of its kind.

Tillamook Air Museum, Tillamook

Oregon

Via Pinterest

The Tillamook Air Museum houses a vast private collection of ancient and unusual aircraft. In addition, some of them are stored to be a part of the museum.

The “Flying Museum” is painted on one of the exterior walls after the discontinuation of its use by the military. It also contains many unusual and different planes which are not in use by military.

Silent Rock, Rhododendron

Via Pinterest

While no one seems to know the true roots of the belief, when approaching the mound, it is considered that one must be as quiet as possible or suffer the consequences.

Read: Disgusting food museum opens in sweden!

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Travel

‘Disgusting Food Museum’ Opens In Sweden

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We are not oblivious to fact that each country has its own cuisine and culture. What we might find disgusting and intolerable, they may actually love it. The ‘Disgusting Food Museum’ Opens in Sweden. However, to limit the spread of COVID-19/Corona virus, the Disgusting Food Museum will temporarily be open only on Saturdays and Sundays. They will reassess the situation every week and determine if the closure will still be in effect. The food items are as such disgusting as it can get. You literally need to have guts to fathom whatever food items that are in display.

The Disgusting Food Museum’s exhibit has 80 of the world’s most disgusting foods. Adventurous visitors will appreciate the opportunity to smell and taste some of these notorious foods. Do you dare smell the world’s stinkiest cheese? Or taste sweets made with metal cleansing chemicals? Nonetheless, the museum isn’t trying to make visitors lose their lunch; instead, it hopes to highlight the cultural subjectivity of food.

Here are a few items on display:

Surströmming – Fermented herring from Sweden

 

Small Baltic herring are caught in the spring, salted and left to ferment at leisure. Through the process of fermenting or souring. The aroma is pungent, and the taste is rounded yet piquant with a distinct acidity.

Cuy – Roasted guinea pigs from Peru

peru eats

The people of Peru love this delicacy. The roasted guinea pig recipe called Cuy, although it is a permanent part of Peru’s Andean diet for thousands of years.

Casu marzu – Maggot-infested cheese from Sardinia

Acer Image

 

The traditional dish of the people of Sardinia known as Casu marzu. Also known as, Fly larvae cheese, the cheese prepared by live Maggots; The flies transform a good traditional cheese by eating and digesting it, and the larvae STAY in the cheese and get to be eaten with it. According to Delish, the cheese “develops when cheese fly larvae are introduced into Pecorino to promote advanced fermentation. As the larvae hatch and eat through the cheese, it softens. Diners have to dig in before the maggots die.”

Stinky tofu – Pungent bean curd from China

A stinky tofu, there is a recipe from China and Taiwan that is on exhibit at the museum. It is made by fermenting the bean curd, and then the tofu is soaked and the pungent bean curd extracted from it. Furthermore, Stinky tofu is one of the most popular snack foods in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.

Hákarl – Well-aged shark from Iceland

Known as Hákarl, the Greenland shark is fermented and hung to dry for up to five months to remove the acid from the meat. It is the national cuisine of Iceland.

Durian – Infamously stinky fruit from Thailand

A fruit weighing two to seven pounds, Durian is one of the worst smelling fruits in the world. Moreover, it is forbidden to eat in many countries like Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand. The odour of the fruit is described as pig-excrement, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. Can be smelled from miles away, it a popular fruit.

 

Address: Caroli city, Östergatan 12, Malmö, Sweden
Timings: 12 pm to 6 pm
Ticket Price: KR 185 (Rs. 1,340)

Read: The Best Jazz Cafe/Restaurants To Visit In India

 

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