REPORT FROM MEXICO by MARIBETH MELLIN
Things change, but beauty remains down in Los Cabos
Is there serenity in the midst of the busy tip of Baja? There is, if you know where to find it.
The newish toll road from the Los Cabos airport to the Corridor is a marvelous shortcut past rolling hills covered in cactuses and boulders. During a recent quick getaway, I chatted happily with a fellow passenger and was merrily raving about the sushi at Nik-San when the road ended at the entrance to San José del Cabo.
"Goodness gracious, what in the world could that be?" I cried (a rough translation of my Spanish exclamation). We faced a massive, humongous brown building behind a vast black parking lot. I spotted a patch of blue sea beyond a sidewalk as we sped by. Commercial Mexicana, a grocery store chain, had claimed the prime entryway to the San José hotel zone. Ah yes, I was back in Los Cabos...
casa del mar website:
their photo galleries:
why posted here? we're looking for possible vacation spots. this one's on the list. & comes with recommendations.
pretty, no? ; )~
Merry Xmas everyone and Happy Holidays. :)
Amsterdam is always worth a trip but it's especially nice in this season.
Christmas in Amsterdam is truly a season of celebration, whether or not you celebrate the day itself in its traditional, religious sense.
The Dutch holiday season started weeks ago, November 14, with the arrival of Sinterklaas and all his Zwarte Pieten (Black Peters). The story says that naughty children will be whisked off to SPAIN by these helpers of Sinterklaas, but there were no signs of missing children on the day of the parade. The Pieten received far more attention from the throngs of children than did the Sint himself, perched atop his white horse (perhaps this was due to the fact that they carried candy and cookies, which they gave out to the children by the handful!).
The celebrations continued on the weekend of 5 December, when Sinterklaas (originally the holy day of Sint Nicholaas) is celebrated each year. On the eve of the 5 December, the children leave their boots by the fireplace, hoping to wake up to find them filled with sweets. On the day itself, families gathered to exchange gifts and (traditionally) insulting poems and to eat lavish holiday meals.
For visitors to the city, who are more used to the Anglo-American Christmas held on the 24 and 25 December, there is till plenty of fun left to be had. Although the majority of Dutch people have adopted similar traditions of gift exchange and family celebrations during this time, many businesses remain open. Tourists are a welcome sight in the city any time of year, and businesses have learned to cater to the many that choose to spend their Christmas holidays here.
Source - Christmas article:
Amsterdam Architecture & Heritage info:
Amsterdam General & Tourism info:
The Kempinski Resort Saint John on the Greek Island of Mykonos.
Hotels and villas of this kind can be found in many places around the Med but the pool area is quite unique so the Saint John's definitely deserves a closer look. Mykonos itself is beautiful, as most of the Greek Islands, and is said to have the best nightlife of the isles.
From the hotel's website:
The newly built Kempinski Resort Saint John is a 5-star deluxe complex of Superior rooms & Suites, Villas and Standard hotel rooms. The resort extends on 20,000 sqm of land in the area of Agios Ioannis, in one of the best locations on the island.
Saint John offers a variety of 136 rooms, 9 suites and 6 villas -equipped with their private swimming pool- to choose from. Among Saint John's prominent characteristics are the privately owned 200 meter long beach and the 2,000 sqm pool area which includes 600 sqm of swimming pools.
Hotel info & rates:
3 different views of the Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in Brunei.
Named after the 28th Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin and designed by an Italian architect, this mosque was built in 1958 in the city of Bandar Seri Begawan in the country of Brunei. The golden-domed structure has Italian marble floors and walls. A stone replica of a 16th-century barge rests in the Brunei River in front of the mosque.
One of the most spectacular mosques in the Asia-Pacific region it is a truly magnificent sight. The mosque, which is said to be a symbol of the Islamic faith, dominates the skyline in the capital. The golden dome stands 52m (171ft) high and can be seen from virtually anywhere in the city. It is another impressive example of Islamic architecture, featuring exquisite mosaics and stained glass as well as countless arches, domes and columns. Marble from Italy, granite from Shanghai and chandelliers from England were used in the construction of Brunei’s most ornate building.
Brunei is a Sultanate on the Northern coast of the island of Borneo, located in SouthEastern Asia. Its current ruler Hassanal Bolkiah Muizzaddin Waddaulah, who is both Sultan and Prime Minister, has a sizable private fortune. He was considered by Forbes Magazine to be the world's richest man in 1997, with a net worth of almost US$ 40 billion and has been in the news for "importing" beautiful women to the palace from all over the world.