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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Wampanoags, Whalers and the Wealthy – Some Nantucket History

Wampanoags, Whalers and the Wealthy – Some Nantucket History

The first sighting of the island of Nantucket was reportedly in 1602, when Captain Bartholomew Gosnold of England sailed past it. He did not stop there nor even set foot upon the island. If he had, he would have found about 1600 Wampanoag inhabitants. The Wampanoags were able to live on the island undisturbed until 1659, when a group of English settlers arrived on the island which had been purchased by merchant and missionary Thomas Mayhew in 1641. When the…

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Nantucket

Nantucket

This month we will spend a little time exploring the small island of Nantucket. The name, which is said to be a Native American word meaning ‘That Far Away island”, refers simultaneously to the island, county and town.  Located about 30 miles south of Cape Cod, it is part of the state of Massachusetts. Once considered the whaling capital of the world, the island had a booming economy in the 18th and early 19th centuries until a fire, which started…

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Eating and Drinking the Samoan Way-The Food and Drink of the Samoan Islands

Eating and Drinking the Samoan Way-The Food and Drink of the Samoan Islands

It’s time to wrap up our exploration of the Samoan Islands with a look at the islands’ traditional food and drink. First, we will start with some terms. Fiafia is a word that means get-together or celebration. At many of the hotels, guests may participate in a fiafia night, which involves a large buffet of traditional foods followed by entertainment. Story telling, dancing in traditional costumes (may include fire knives!) and singing are all part of the evening that celebrates…

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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 Samoan Islands – A Short History

The Samoan Islands – A Short History

There are different theories about when the first inhabitants of the Samoan Islands arrived and where they came from. The oldest artifacts date back 3,000 years to about 1,000 BC. The first settlers arrived somewhere around this same time, leaving stone pyramids and star shaped mounds on the island of Upolu. Samoan legends maintain that the earliest settlers descended from the heavens. It is likely, however, that were of Austronesian origin and arrived in canoes. Samoa is often called the…

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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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Exploring the Island of Love – A Quick Tour of Cyprus

Exploring the Island of Love – A Quick Tour of Cyprus

The island of Cyprus is a mind boggling mixture of cultures. The Greek, Assyrian, Persian, Roman and Turkish cultures have all left an imprint on this beautiful and intriguing island. Its ancient history, dating back centuries, can be experienced in the ruins, ancient villages and medieval castles that dot the landscape. At the same time, one can experience all the luxuries and amenities of modern times. Since the financial crisis that shook the island in 2013, Cyprus has not only…

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Relics, Ruins and Riches – A Short History of Beautiful Cyprus

Relics, Ruins and Riches – A Short History of Beautiful Cyprus

The history of Cyprus can be traced back as far as 10,500 BC! This was the Stone Age! They could be off by about 1,000 years,  but archaeologists have discovered some of the oldest water wells in the world on Cyprus, which definitely proves that people have been there for a long, long time. The earliest known lasting settlements date from around 6,000 BC. Pottery fragments, burial sites and such, have been discovered belonging to this time period. Around 3,000…

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