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Temples, Shrines and Geishas – Kyoto

Temples, Shrines and Geishas – Kyoto

Next we take a look around the ancient capital city of Kyoto. Kyoto, in fact, means capital city. It was Japan’s capital for over a thousand years and was originally the country’s largest city. Located in a valley of the Tamba Highlands in central Honshu, Kyoto, with a population of around 1.5 million, is part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. The city, which was originally built using principles of Feng Shui, was destroyed in large part during the Onin War,…

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Things to See and Do in Corsica

Things to See and Do in Corsica

With over 1200 miles of nature trails, over 600 miles of stunning coastal scenery, including long stretches of white sand beaches, glitzy seaside towns, fortified cities built atop cliffs and hills and ancient villages dotting the mountains of the interior, Corsica promises to deliver much to the visitor or adventurer. From the sea to the snowcapped mountains, Corsica’s wide variety of landscapes knows few rivals. Almost half of the island is part of a nature preserve – the Parc Naturel…

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A Short History of Corsica

A Short History of Corsica

Corsica’s location in the Mediterranean Sea has blessed it with unusual rugged beauty and more sunshine than almost anywhere else in Europe. Its location has also guaranteed lots of fighting, conquest and bloodshed as various powers sought control of this beautiful, yet strategically located place. For much of its early history, one power after another arrived, seeking to overthrow the previous one. In fact, when Corsica declared independence in 1755 under Pasquale Paoli, it had never been a nation of…

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Nantucket Things

Nantucket Things

Today we take a look at some of the things most unique to Nantucket. Baskets, shorts, chocolate, bay scallops and sailboat races are on the agenda, followed up by our monthly celebratory cocktail. There is an entire museum dedicated to the baskets that originated on lightships in the 19th century. The lightships were floating lighthouses that provided much needed light to ships navigating the Nantucket Shoals. The shoals, which have caused numerous shipwrecks, are areas of shallow water which lie…

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Beaches, Lighthouses, Sights and Festivals – Nantucket Highlights

Beaches, Lighthouses, Sights and Festivals – Nantucket Highlights

A visit to Nantucket is very much like stepping back in time to a quieter, simpler existence. The relative isolation of the post whaling days left the island protected from encroaching commercial development and left original architecture intact. The iconic gray shingled houses, brick sidewalks, cobblestone streets and electrified ‘gas’ streetlamps lend emphasis to the atmosphere of bygone days. Although a year round destination, the island’s cranberry bogs, heathlands, moors, bike paths and limitless public beaches are more comfortably explored…

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Giant Clams, Lava Tubes and Miss Sadie Thompson- Exploring the Samoan Islands

Giant Clams, Lava Tubes and Miss Sadie Thompson- Exploring the Samoan Islands

The islands of Samoa offer stunning natural scenery, unique and unforgettable experiences and a welcoming culture that celebrates the fascinating traditions of  ‘fa’a Samoa’, or ‘the Samoan way’. Family, ancestry and tradition come first.  Strict religious traditions such as set prayer hours and everything closing on Sundays may require some adjustments for visitors, but they will be richly rewarded by getting to know the wonderful people of these islands. The country of Samoa is comprised of the two large islands…

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The Islands of Samoa

The Islands of Samoa

The next destination at Island Profiles is Samoa. Located south of the equator, halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, the beautiful Samoan Islands are split between the island nation of Samoa – formerly Western Samoa, and American Samoa, which is a territory of the USA. The two Samoas share a common language, culture and history, but have been governed separately since 1900. What is even more amazing about the two Samoas, is that the International Date Line separates them. Samoa…

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Grilled Meats, Old Wine and the National Cocktail – The Food and Drink of Cyprus

Grilled Meats, Old Wine and the National Cocktail – The Food and Drink of Cyprus

The continents of Europe, Asia and Africa are all within close reach of the island of Cyprus, located in the eastern Mediterranean. As one would expect, the cuisine and culture of the island draw from all three. The dominant influences, however, are Greek and Turkish. Many of the most popular dishes and beverages of Cyprus are nearly identical to, or are variations of the most popular Greek and Turkish fare. The flavors and aromas of cumin, coriander and mint characterize…

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A Selection of Videos

A Selection of Videos

Sounds of New Caledonia Here is a video with music by Australian band Crooked Colours. The video includes sampled sounds from around the islands and a glimpse of the food, culture and beauty of the islands as experienced by Crooked Colours while they were visiting the islands   Bocas del Toro Here is a video from 2014 set to the “Island Song” by the Zac Brown Band. Enjoy the crystal clear water, gorgeous beaches and sunsets and a bunch of…

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