All About Kauai The Colourful History Of Fuerteventura Discover Norton Simon Museum In Pasadena California Hec Montreal Peru Holidays In Arequipa The White City

Kauai, most appropriately nicknamed the Garden Isle, is the Hawaiian vacation destination treasured for its lush tropical greenery and sparkling sand beaches. The tropical paradise of Kauai basks amidst the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, about 20 minutes by air from Honolulu. Formed some six million years ago, the island encompasses roughly 550 square miles and is the oldest and northernmost of the eight major islands of the Hawaiian chain.

For vacationers who want to avoid the crowds of Oahu and Maui and see Hawaii in a much more natural setting, Kauai is the perfect alternative.

Visitors to the island worship not only its postcard-perfect beauty, but Kauai’s diversity of cultures, activities, shopping, and dining.

If ever an island was made for adventure, it’s the Hawaiian island of Kauai, owing to its extraordinary and diverse natural environment. Verdant rainforests, sparkling sand beaches, impressive golf courses, vibrant scenery, friendly faces, blissful breezes, and striking waterfalls are just a few of Kauai’s spectacular offerings to its guests.

– The busy harbor at Port Allen is the launch pad for a fleet of pleasure boats that take to the seas for whale watching, dinner sails, dolphin encounters, charter fishing, snorkel and picnic trips and cruising beneath the stunning green palisades of the Napali Coast.

– Hiking trails head into Waimea, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” or along the Napali Coast to breathtaking valleys unreachable by road. There are coastal hikes across high sand dunes, and rain forest treks among the oldest flora in Hawaii. Ferns reach up to eye level and tropical hibiscus and ginger blossoms measure the size of ones fist. Waterfalls and cool plunge pools, hidden shoreline coves and glorious mountain vistas heighten the whole experience.

– The only navigable rivers in Hawaii flow through Kauai. Paddlers can explore placid river reaches by kayak, gliding silently through sanctuaries for the rarest birds on planet Earth.

– Real horseback riding will take one into forests, canyons and mountains for picnics, waterfall swims and glorious ocean vistas.

– Kauai’s award winning and highly popular Movie Tours offers visitors the opportunity to visit the places of breathtaking scenery where some of the most popular motion pictures and television series have been filmed. These hits include Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, South Pacific, Blue Hawaii, Gilligan’s Island, Fantasy Island and about 30 others.

– Kauai is known as the Garden Isle because it’s so green and the flora and fauna so profligate. One can wander through botanical gardens chartered by the U.S. Congress and encounter some of the rarest living things on Earth. At Limahuli Gardens, native Hawaiian plants are arranged around ancient taro terraces carved into the base of the mountains where the Napali Coast begins. The scenery is dramatic, the air tranquil. Ninety percent of Hawaii’s native plants are unique to the Islands and half are endangered. At Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens, the Garden Isle’s newest garden, whimsical sculptures and a maze full of surprises are woven into a landscape of ponds, gardens, waterfalls, lagoons and streams. Kauai’s glorious weather provides the just right amount of sun and rain to nurture kiawe trees, blackberries, java plum, guava, eucalyptus, bamboo, sandalwood, pineapple, and sugarcane, to name just a few. One of Kauai’s specialties is the indigenous mokihana vine and berry, found only on the island. Other great finds include orchids, coconut palms, plumeria, hibiscus and other tropical plants throughout the island, with its arid to lush climate enhancing the beauty and fragrance of Kauai’s flowers and vegetation. One can anticipate the opportunity to see a variety of unique and distinctive animals and birds on this tropical island, which includes the likes of, dolphins, monk seals, sea turtles, reef fish, coral reefs, whales, and so much more. Native birds include the iwi and the State bird, the nene goose; other birds on the island are doves, cardinals, egrets, roosters.

– Kauai is a great place to learn a new sport or hobby, one that may light up a lifetime. There are schools for surfing, SCUBA diving, tennis and golf. Golfers can tee off at one of nine golf courses, many of them championship links set amidst spectacular scenery. There are also several tennis courts.

– Some of the most authentic lu’au in Hawaii happen on Kauai. No one should go home without enjoying this traditional feast with Hawaiian food, hula and fun.

It may surprise some of the most frequent tourists but the island of Fuerteventura is actually thought to be the oldest island in the Canaries. Below we take a closer look at Fuerteventura’s colourful history and how you might discover it on your next trip to the island.

When you mention Fuerteventura, most people think of wonderfully sandy beaches and lots of glorious sunshine. You may be surprised to hear that there is actually a lot more to Fuerteventura. Not only is Fuerteventura the closest Canary Island to the African coast, allowing it to bask in almost year-round sunshine but it’s also believed to be the oldest Canary island.

Historians have traced the first settlers on the island back to 200BC. There is a certain amount of mystery surrounding their exact origins but most historians agree that they were probably of African, possibly Egyptian descent. These first inhabitants were thought to use shoes made of goatskin. In fact, islanders today still refer to themselves as Mahorero or Maho which is thought to come from an ancient word which relates to this goatskin.

Excavation of caves on the island has revealed tools and pottery used in the everyday lives of these settlers. This evidence points to very primitive people who were pastoral and certainly had not yet discovered the wheel. This basic form of life continued to exist until around the beginning of the 15th Century when the Canaries were invaded by the Spanish. Despite an attempted island uprising, the Spanish were successful in the invasion of Fuerteventura and continues to be a Spanish island to this day.

Little really changed on this island over the centuries since the Spanish invasion until tourism hit about 20 years ago. Even now, Fuerteventura is not as developed as the other Canary Islands of Tenerife and Lanzarote and for those who do visit, it is this tranquillity which remains a large part of its charm and appeal. Fuerteventura provides holidaymakers with the chance to take in the wonderful scenery and explore the colourful history which is attached to it.

The Norton Simon Museum sits on 9.5 acres, is housed in an 85,000 squrare foot structure and is located in the beautiful city of Pasadena, California at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. right across the street from where the television cameras are set up every year for the Rose Parade. Therefore millions of people view the front of the museum each year as they watch the Rose Parade. What most of these viewers do not know is that “The Norton Simon Museum of Art holds one of the world’s finest and most prestigious private collections of European, American and Asian art.”

The collection, which includes works by van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt, Rodin and Fragonard consists of over 1,000 works, including paintings, etchings (by Rembrandt, Goya, etc.), sculptures, photographs (Ansel Adams) and other mediums spanning a period of over 2,000 years. The museum also hosts lectures, gallery talks, family programs, musical performances, dance performances, films and tours.

The museum provides both private tours and monthly free public tours of their collection conducted by Museum Educators.

The museum’s store features a large selection of books on American, Asian and European art along with posters, prints, slides and stationery goods as well as books on photography, gardens and architecture.

The museum is closed on Tuesdays, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s hours are 12:00 noon – 9:00pm on Fridays and 12:00 noon – 6:00pm all other days. Admission fees are adults $8.00, seniors $4.00 and patrons under 18 years of age, students with valid id and museum members free.

Montreal, Quebec is the second biggest city in Canada. It is a multi-cultured city and ranks second in the highest proportion of students per capita in the whole North America. Having four universities, Montreal is considered as the leader in university research and development in Canada.

HEC Montreal is located within the vicinity of the business center of Montreal. HEC Montreal was established in 1907 and is considered as the oldest management school in Canada. It is the first school in North America to receive three accreditations including the AACSB International, EQUIS and AMBA. It is the first non-European school to be given an EQUIS accreditation. These are recognition are proofs that HEC Montreal had passed strict quality standards to be able to be awarded such accreditation.

The school accommodates thousands of Canadian students as well as students from all over the globe. The school has about 12,000 students, 2,800 of which hold non-Canadian student visas and permanent residents. There are about 55% of international students in the school. It is among the top 100 business schools in the world according to the Wall Street Journal in 2004 edition of the Guide to the Top Business Schools. The HEC Montreal has stunning facilities and has one of the leading bilingual business libraries. It houses the finest equipped trading rooms that students would find very useful. It has the progressive management teaching and study.

The HEC Montreal MBA Program is offered in two languages, in English as well as in French. The MBA 2004 Classification of BusinessWeek considers HEC Montreal among the 10 best MBA Programs outside United States. Its MBA program has about 60% of international students from about 20 countries all over the world.

The innovative MBA program offered as full time and can be completed in a period of 53 weeks with 5 weeks of project consulting. And as of part time, it can be completed in a span of 3 years. There are about 100 selections of different specializations that students can choose from in phase three of the course. Different methods of teaching such as case studies, debates and discussions are being utilized. Students can get first hand knowledge when the school conducts various seminars where business managers themselves give out lectures. All of these teaching methods are what make learning in HEC Montreal MBA program effective for its students. All programs are technologically advanced giving graduates an edge in the job market. The school also provides scholarships of about $175,000 that are available to outstanding and deserving international and Canadian applicants.

The guide in landing a career does not end after graduation in HEC Montreal, graduates can access a personalized career management service and a very effective interactive web-based job-hunting tool.

It is the main objective of the school to promote international head in management principles. It is committed in preparing students for their future jobs as managers and specialists who contribute to the progression of the society. The diversity in cultural backgrounds and professional backgrounds experienced in HEC Montreal takes the learning process to a global scale. It is the school’s commitment to promote global and multilingual form of teaching and molding future leaders.

Nestling in the shadow of El Misti – a snow-capped volcano which towers above it – lies the city of Arequipa. Known as La Ciudad Blanca (‘the White City’) because of the local white volcanic rock, it is one of the jewels of Peru. Combining modern amenities with a laid-back lifestyle, stunning scenery and beautiful colonial archictecture, it is somewhere everyone should try and visit while on holiday in Peru.

The Plaza de Armas is the heart of the city and is a peaceful, beautiful square – the perfect place to sit and wonder where to visit next on your Peru holiday! It is surrounded on three sides by colonial arcades and on the fourth by the beautiful white cathedral. The cathedral itself is open to the public in the morning and the evening and is well worth a visit. There are also several other colonial-era churches close to the Plaza that are fine examples of the elegant mestizo style.

As well as the kind of facilities and culture you’d expect from a major city, the people of Arequipa are justly proud of the amazing sites the city offers for tourists. Probably the main attraction in Arequipa is the convent-city of Santa Catalina, 2 blocks from the Plaza. It really is a city in miniature and housed over 200 nuns and 300 servants until it opened its doors to the public in 1970. It was a closed convent and today the nuns live in a small closed area while the miniature streets and houses which were previously the nuns’ cells are open from 9am-4pm. It’s an amazing place and you can really feel the history as you walk around.

If the sun is shining (which it always is here!) then there are some nice bars and restaurants in the Pasaje de la Catedral – a pedestrianised street which lies just behind the cathedral from the Plaza. It’s a lovely, tranquil place during the day and at night, and is a great place to unwind and send home those postcards making everyone feel jealous of your Peru holiday!

Outside the city itself, Colca Canyon is one of the undoubted highlights of many peoples’ Peru holidays. It is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and is 163m short of being the deepest in the world – all this at 3,500m above sea-level! It offers almost unparalleled views and is also probably the best place to see the famous giant Andean Condor. The sides of the canyon are lined with pre-Inca terraces, lying inbetween tiny villages clinging to the precipitous sides. You’ve got to see it to believe it!

And when you think that Colca Canyon was only 163m shallower than the deepest canyon in the world… it’s because a few miles away is Cotahuasi Canyon! Similarly an area of more than outstanding natural beauty, Cotahuasi canyon is slightly more remote and harder to get to but is all the more breathtaking because of it. It was declared a Zona Reserva Turistica in 1988 and is only slowly opening up to tourists.

There’s so much to see and do in Arequipa and the surrounding areas as part of your Peru holidays that your only problem is likely to be wanting to spend too long here!

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