Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kabba in Saudi Arabia

=-=Kabba in Saudi Arabia:

The Kaaba (a square building) is the 'House of God', where the divine touches the mundane and it is toward the Kaaba that Muslims face during their prayers. The Kaaba is located in the courtyard of the Great Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. According to the Koran, the cubic-shaped structure was built by Adam according to a divine plan. When Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) was ordered by Allah to build a Shrine for worship he uncovered the original foundation of the Kaaba built by Adam. Ibrahim with the help of his son Ismael (also known as Ishmael) erected the new shrine on the original foundation. When the Prophet Muhammad began to preach to the people of Mecca the Kaaba was a shrine for the pagan deities of the Arabs. After the Prophet established control of Mecca, the shrine was rededicated to Allah. Around the Kaaba is a restricted area, haram, extending in some directions as far as 12 miles (19.3 kilometers), into which only Muslims may enter.

The actual structure of the Kaaba has been demolished and rebuilt several times in the course of its history and was originally four walls without a roof. The Kaaba is now a cubed shaped one room structure that is about 60 feet high (18.3 meters), 60 feet wide from east to west and 60 feet from north to south. A door is fixed about 7 feet (2.1 meters) above ground level facing north east.

The Black Stone, or the Kaaba Stone, is set on the outside of the eastern corner of the Kaaba and is about 5 feet (1.5 meters) above the ground. The stone is a dark reddish brown color and its diameter is about 12 inches (30.5 centimeters). The Black Stone is now in pieces, three large parts and smaller fragments, which are now encased in a massive silver band. It is presumed to be of pre-Islamic origin, possibly meteoric and has always been the dark color it is because it was burned as it fell through the atmosphere. Some Muslims believe that this stone fell from the sky during the time of Adam and has the power to cleanse worshippers of their sins by absorbing them into itself. For these, the Black Stone is believed to have originally been colored white, but it turned black because of the sins it has absorbed over the years. Others believe the stone was given to Ismael by the angel Gabriel in order to provide the cornerstone for the Kaaba. The Black Stone is kissed by all who can gain access to it but is not considered idol worship. The single most important reason for kissing the stone is that Prophet Muhammad did so. No devotional significance whatsoever is attached to the stone.

Friday, September 25, 2009


=-=Saudi Arabia:-The Land Of Culture And Peace:
A visit to the attractions of Saudi Arabia is a lifetime opportunity for all Muslims across the world. Home to Mecca and Medina, two of the holiest cities in Islam, Saudi Arabia is a country drenched in prayers and religious monotones.

=-=Top Attractions In Suadi Arabia:
Tourist attractions in Saudi Arabia are more about Arabic traditionalism than about modernity. Although the country has witnessed immense growth and has even adopted some of the aspects of Western sumptuousness, it remains deep-rooted in its culture.

*Al-Masjid al-Haram, Saudi Arabia:

Al-Masjid al-Haram, also known as the 'Sacred Mosque', is undoubtedly the biggest attraction of Saudi Arabia. The largest mosque in Islamic world, Al-Masjid al-Haram, Mecca is a must-visit religious center for all Muslims.
Situated in the holy city of Mecca, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Saudi Arabia, Al-Masjid al-Haram is simply matchless in magnificence. Sprawling across an area of 356,800 square meters, the Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca is capable of accommodating more than 820,000 pilgrims .

As per the Five Pillars of Islam, all Muslims are expected to make a Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime, given that they are in good health and can afford the same. The Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca is the mosque where Hajjis end their pilgrimage and pay respects to the almighty.
The Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca surrounds the Kaaba and Black Stone, the place to which all Muslims turn to during prayer time. In Islam, the Kaaba is also regarded as the holiest place on earth. Thus, the Al-Masjid al-Haram is the most important structure for Muslims around the world.

The Al-Masjid al-Haram is believed to have been built by angels even before mankind existed on earth. The mosque was destroyed and rebuilt a number of times. According to legends, Allah had ordered Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismael to build the mosque and Kaaba for the final time. The present structure of Al-Masjid al-Haram was refurbished after an extension in the year 1982.
Focal point of the Hajj pilgrimage, Al-Masjid al-Haram hosts more than three million visitors every year. Non-Muslims are not permitted entry into the mosque as well as the city of Mecca. In fact, non-Muslims caught in the city have the risk of being executed in public.

Apart from the Kaaba, the Al-Masjid al-Haram has a colossal courtyard wherein worshippers perform their prayers. The main mosque has been time and again renovated to suit the needs of pilgrims who come from faraway lands. The Al-Masjid al-Haram, Mecca has been provided with facilities like air conditioners, escalators and rest rooms.
A visit to the Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca is the most spellbinding experience for all Muslims around the globe.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

=-=St. Martin, Caribbean:

With an area of only 37 square miles, the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin is the smallest land mass in the world to be divided between two governments. Its dual owners are the Dutch and the French, who have shared the tiny and paradisical island more or less peacefully for almost 350 years. This understated absence of conflict testifies to one of the island's most precious and attractive characteristics--its unusual serenitySituated about 150 miles east of Puerto Rico, Dutch St. Maarten (the French spell it St. Martin) covers 16 square miles of the southern part of the island, an area marked by verdant, rolling hills that languidly rest above mile after mile of beach, salt pond, and lagoon.

Although the region falls under the government of Netherlands Antilles and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, its diversity and the strong influence of West-Indian traditions make its culture anything but exclusively Dutch. St. Maarten's atmosphere is a winning blend of Caribbean hospitality and European sophistication.

Philipsburg, the Dutch capital since 1768, is widely known for its colonial architecture. The town began as a Dutch trading center, and the forts around Philipsburg are haunting reminders of its one-time strategic importance. Traders from throughout the empire once sailed through the protective arms of its Great Bay, establishing the town as a lively center of international commerce. Although most of the vessels that arrive in the harbor today are cruise ships, international trade still thrives in St. Maarten thanks to its status as a leading duty-free port. To put it simply, St. Maarten is a shopper's dream.

St. Maarten is also known throughout the Caribbean for its eclectic nightlife. The evening ritually begins at sunset, when cafes and night clubs open their doors and the music of steel drum bands floats along the beaches. The island's festive spirit peaks during carnival, a vibrant, two-week festival of feasting, street dancing, parties, and parades. St. Maarten's dependable trade winds free the island from oppressive heat or prolonged leaden skies, and its temperate climate is consistently graced by the sun.
The island's sugary-white beaches are spiritually restive and abundant, and walkers who encounter them are often struck by their splendid seclusion. Off-shore, St. Maarten's life-rich waters provide superb boating and fishing, as well as excellent diving areas. The inland region, with its gentle valleys and hills, is ideal for biking, horseback riding, and exploration. All these offerings have made St. Maarten a famous tropical destination, and the island is dotted with world-class resorts. Private guest houses are also an increasingly popular form of lodging, catering to visitors seeking traditional Caribbean hospitality.

Friday, September 18, 2009

10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

=-=Mazatlan, Mexico:

Location: on Mexico's Gold Coast, Mazatlan is the closest Mexican resort to the United States, and it's been a favorite destination for those looking to soak up the relaxed pace of life along the Pacific Coast for decades.
Nicknamed the "Pearl of the Pacific," Mazatlan offers everything from full-service all-inclusive resort life to intimate villas, hotels and private residences available for short- or long-term rental. It is in every respect a top-notch vacation getaway, but without the relentless push to go, see and do present in so many places. Mazatlan embraces tourists, but is a full, rich city in its own right above and beyond its attractiveness

For golfers, courses designed by Lee Trevino and Robert Trent Jones, Jr., one of the world's foremost course designers, will challenge and delight with fantastic layouts and stunning ocean views.

If romance is in the air and you're in the market for a fantastic wedding destination or honeymoon, you can't go wrong with Mazatlan. With 10 miles of stunning Pacific beachfront and many picturesque churches and other historic buildings, you'll certainly find just the right spot to start life as a couple

For beer lovers, one of the largest breweries in Mexico, Pacifico, will give you plenty of reasons to smile with brewery tours and chances to sample brews that never make it north of the border. All the traditional amusements and diversions are here including some of the finest sport fishing on the Pacific coast, whether your desire is deep-water big game or the challenge of shallow-water predators.

Mazatlan is also a great family vacation destination! Visit Stone Island, with its horseback riding, boogie boarding and snorkeling. Go whale or dolphin watching. And don't forget the Aquarium, with hundreds of species of marine life and stunning sea lion shows!

10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

=-=Phuket and Pattaya, Thailand:

White shores and the most stunning aqua blue waters you'll ever see, Thailand and other coast-side spots in Southeast Asia such as Penang, Malaysia, are popular holiday destinations. They bring together cultural heritage, mountain views, elephant camps, ancient temples and palaces, stunning beaches, water sports, resorts, restaurants and nightclubs -- all in one place. Popular Phuket destinations include Karon, Patong and Kata Beaches. Hotels, resorts, B&Bs, or half/full board accommodation are all available.

Pattaya and Phuket are the most developed beach resorts in Thailand, and both receive millions of tourists every year. Phuket has some very nice beaches, but every year it is getting more and more crowded and is very expensive compared to almost anywhere else in Thailand. Pattaya is much cheaper, but has a mediocre beach and dirty water. Most visitors here come for the bars, discos and prostitutes for which Pattaya is internationally famous/infamous. Phuket's Patong beach seems to be rapidly developing into a mini Pattaya. Due to the amount of tourists there, both have developed into very good areas for all kind of watersports.

Pattaya is only 133 kms from Bangkok so it is easy to get to. Pattaya is best known for its bars and night life but as you say beaches aren't of much interest to you so that doesn't matter. There are many things to do during the day like go to Nong Nooch, the Tiger Zoo, Big Buddha up on the Hill, Koh larn (island) a 45 minute ferry ride away...etc etc... There is one big benefit of Pattaya over Phuket, it is less expensive and the entertainment offered is of high quality, there is literally 1000's of venues to choose from. Pattaya is not or prudes though, if you are offended by looking at bar girls working in open air bars then perhaps it may not be for you. It shouldn't affect you if you and your partner are broad minded.

Phuket is about 900 kms south. Will take you all night to get there by bus or you can fly in an hour. Phuket is a beautiful place with everything on offer for the tourist, trouble is it is expensive. The beaches are better but that does not concern you anyway but it is very beautiful. I always hire a motorbike and Phuket is an ideal place for riding around on. Plenty of bars and venues there too but just more expensive hope that helps.

10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

=-=BALI — THE "ULTIMATE ISLAND"(Indonesia): *In spite of many changes caused by the rapid development of Bali's economy, local and international tourism, and communications (television, fax, pagers, GSM hand phones, Internet), the influx of people from other Indonesian islands, and the strong influence of the government and "big business" in Jakarta, the island of Bali in Indonesia is year after year voted by the readers of all major travel magazines the most enchanting travel and holiday destination in the whole world.

*Bali's wide variety of attractions, the physical beauty of the island, and the year-round pleasant climate make Bali a place regarded by many visitors as the "Ultimate Island.
*The friendly people and the absence of any serious criminal activities guarantee visitors a totally relaxing stay – which is a very pleasant surprise for guests who repeatedly felt threatened in Barbados, Jamaica, and other "dream islands" in the Caribbean.

*Stay for a month in Bali to get the best of enchanting Indonesian culture, cuisine, and beautiful beaches. Popular spots in Bali include Benoa Beach, Legian and Sanur Beach. This region is known for water sports enthusiasts including honeymooners, scuba divers and surfers.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

=-=Canary Islands, Grand Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura:

Gran Canaria, sometimes called Grand Canary (older name) or even Grand Canaria is one of and is the second largest island in the Canary Islands, an archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean 210 km from the northwest coast of Africa and belonging to Spain. It is located southeast of Tenerife and west of Fuerteventura. The island is of volcanic origin.

The island was populated by the Canarios from 3000 BC, who called it Tamarán, but was claimed by Spain in the 15th century.
Gran Canaria's surface is 1,560 km2 and its maximum altitude is 1,949 meters (Pico de Las Nieves). It has a round shape, having a diameter of just about 50 km.Gran Canaria is divided into twenty-one municipalities:Agaete Agüimes Artenara Arucas Firgas Gáldar Ingenio Mogán Moya Las Palmas San Bartolomé de Tirajana San Nicolás de Tolentino Sta. Brígida Sta. Lucía de Tirajana Santa María de Guía Tejeda Telde Teror Valleseco Valsequillo Vega de San Mateo.

The island has a population of 789,908 with 377,600 (year 2003) of those in the capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is also the capital of the province of Las Palmas, and also the capital of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands.

Grand Canaria is called a "Miniature Continent" due to the different climates and variety of landscapes found.

Most tourists stay in the south of the island, which is sunnier and has less rain than the north. There is a large bird park, Palmitos Park, in the south of the island, as well as many beach resort communities. The resort communities start in the central eastern part of the southern coast in the Maspalomas area which includes the towns of San Agustín, Playa del Inglés, and Maspalomas where most tourists visit. The Dunes of Maspalomas, supplied by sands from the Sahara, are located between Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas. Another tourist attraction is the Lighthouse at Maspalomas.

Playa del Inglés is a popular destination for European gays with bars, restaurants and businesses centered primarily in the Yumbo Centrum shopping center. A gay beach is found near the Maspalomas Dunes.
Heading west along the southern coast is the fishing city of Arguineguin in the Municipality of Mogán. The market, which is held on Tuesdays, is the largest on the island.

Still further to the west along the southern shore, also in the Municipality of Mogán are the communities of Puerto Rico and Puerto de Mogán, a pictoresque village referred to as "Little Venice" on account on its many canals.

The capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, in the north of the island, has a vibrant city life and the beach Las Canteras is located in the heart of the city. Las Palmas is also known for its annual Carnaval.

The number of annual visitors is 2.2 million (2,200,000). Most of the tourists visit the southern part of the island.

Other attractions includes Banana Park. Roque Nublo (an 80m monolith), Dedo de Dios in Puerto de las Nieves, Cenebio de Valerón with about 290 caves, the botanical garden Jardin Canario in Tafira Alta and many more.

10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday


The author Budd Schulberg once quipped about Florida, "
...It's a melting pot, a frontier, a place to improve your health or your luck."

Florida, meaning "Land of Flowers." Florida has undergone many transformations since that time and is now one of the most popular vacation and retirement destinations in the world. This tourist magnet is known worldwide as the land of sunshine, orange groves, Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, and the Kennedy Space Center. Florida is home to the electric city of Miami, stylish beach communities such as South Beach and West Palm, the Florida Keys, the Everglades, and so much more to fill a lifetime of Florida vacations.

While Florida may not be the most exotic destination on the list, Florida is home to hundreds of thousands Canadian snowbirds each year. Stay in the Florida Panhandle area, which is less crowded, or the attraction-filled Orlando. Perfect your "Captiva Crouch" on Captiva Island or your golf game at the hundreds of golf courses throughout the Sunshine State. Many condo rentals, airlines and tour operators offer great deals.

*Florida Attractions, Vacations & Living:
The living is easy, scuba diving is spectacular, and it all feels good in Key West Florida, Southern most point of the nation and home of the most brilliant sunsets on the East Coast. The Tampa attraction page, as with all our city pages, features a map pinpointing the locale of all the activities discussed, including the world famous Busch Gardens Tampa.

Florida is the most popular retirement destination on the planet, so if you're searching for Ponce de Leon's legendary Fountain of Youth, Florida will surely end that search. For seniors or kids of all ages who want to play, live, and feel young, a Florida lifestyle has a whole lot to offer.

10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

=-=Goa India:

Those who haven’t visited Goa tend to imagine it as some kind of Indian Costa Brava but with more cosmic karma and, thanks to this image, many people vow never to set foot there. However, Goa, like everywhere in India, is never quite what you expect. In places the infamous hash-fuelled days of Goa’s golden hippy years are still alive and kicking, especially around Vagator & Chopora, while in others, like Calangute & Baga, the all-inclusive package holiday is king. But these are two very narrow sides of the Goan experience and anyone who spends much time here will discover that Goa contains more variety and vitality than almost anywhere else in India. Head into Panaji (Panjim), one of India’s smallest and most likeable state capitals, and, instead of self-contained tourist resorts and trinket-selling dreadlocks, you’ll discover a Portuguese pantry of flaking architectural delicacies spiced up with Indian exuberance. Inland, you can stand in greener-than-green fields picking vanilla pods, bathe with elephants or visit market towns like Mapusa.

The main draws of Goa are the beaches, such as Anjuna, which are every bit as cliché-beautiful as they’re supposed to be, but just as much of an attraction is its intriguing fusion of colonial Portugal and modern India. There is almost nowhere else in India where the influence of the former colonial overlords remains as strong as it does in Goa and it’s not at all unusual to find crucifixes hanging on walls next to posters of Shiva and groups of elderly Goan men conversing in Portuguese. Wander the majestic, time-worn cathedrals and basilicas of Old Goa, for a fascinating insight into this colonial legacy. Goa may not be as cool as it once was but it’s certainly just as magical.

10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

=-=Southern Spain: Costa del Sol:
The Costa del Sol stretches along just over 150 kilometres of Málaga province and is one of Spain's most popular tourist destinations. The area's mild climate is the root attraction that makes it possible to enjoy the beaches and a wide variety of outdoor activities year round.
*Eastern Costa del Sol*
This is the the 54 kilometre stretch of coast to the east of Malaga city (the capital of Málaga province). Though highly developed from a property point of view, it is not anything like the property development on the western Costa del Sol.
*From Malaga eastwards there are cliffs of up to 200 meters where the Sierra Almijara joins the sea. This section ends at a place called Mara, on a coastal plain. It has an urban landscape surrounded by traditional agriculture.

*Nerja is the most important urban centre on this end of the coast and has grown rapidly. Much of the eastern Costa del Sol's accommodation for tourists is found in Nerja, which is surrounded by tourist pueblos. This town also has one of this area's main tourist attractions - the Nerja Caves, a spectacular find that is open to the public and that hosts an annual music and dance festival within its famous caverns. At the foot of Nerja town a winding footpath joins several coves and there are some nice beaches to be found in this area.

*Western Costa del Sol*
This is the 100km of coastline that begins at Malaga city and stretches westward all the way to the border of Cádiz province. This part of the coast is highly developed in terms of both property and infrastructure and it attracts an important percentage of Spain's international tourism. Communications revolve around Malaga International Airport (8 km west of the city) and the N340 backbone coast highway. In the middle of the Costa the greatly improved district road from San Pedro de Alcantara inland to the historic town of Ronda is the most important inland connection.

10 best exotic places to take an extended holiday

Algarve, Portugal :

Situated on the extreme South of Portugal, this part of the territory was the last to be conquered from the Moors by the Portuguese king in 1292. Traces of the Moorish presence are still seen in its unique architecture - terraces, chimneys and whitewashed houses.
However, the distance that was difficult to cover back in the 13th century is no longer an obstacle thanks to the modern Lisbon-Albufeira-Castro Marim road (IP1) or Faro international airport. So why not visit this charming region, with its idyllic .
temperatures which are ideal for playing golf and other sports. In the northern part of the Algarve, the hills of Espinhação de Cão, Monchique and Caldeirão shelter the coast from strong winds. This brightly coloured region, with its fig trees, orange groves and almond trees in blossom, is also the most verdant and fertile. The southern coastline consists of a long stretch of fabulous sandy beaches, broken up by extraordinary rugged cliffs and fantastic grottoes.

Apart from the wealth of available water sports facilities (the marinas of Vilamoura and Lagos deserves special mention, amongst the various ports and harbours), there are other alternatives, such as tennis courts, famous golf`courses, luxury hotels or quaint holiday resorts and an exciting nightlife.




>Castro Marim






etc etc.........!