Monthly Archives: January 2011

UNESCO World Heritage SIte #125: Cape Floral Region Protected Areas

Posted by on January 11, 2011

UNESCO World Heritage SIte #125: Cape Floral Region Protected Areas

UNESCO World Heritage SIte #125: Cape Floral Region Protected Areas

From the World Heritage inscription:

A serial site – in Cape Province, South Africa – made up of eight protected areas, covering 553,000 ha, the Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world. It represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa but is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora. The site displays outstanding ecological and biological processes associated with the Fynbos vegetation, which is unique to the Cape Floral Region. The outstanding diversity, density and endemism of the flora are among the highest worldwide. Unique plant reproductive strategies, adaptive to fire, patterns of seed dispersal by insects, as well as patterns of endemism and adaptive radiation found in the flora, are of outstanding value to science.

The Cape Point of South Africa could be a World Heritage Site just for its beautiful views alone. The amount of flora diversity which this tiny region has makes it one of the most important biological places on Earth.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

UNESCO World Heritage Site #124: Rideau Canal

Posted by on January 10, 2011

UNESCO World Heritage Site #124: Rideau Canal

UNESCO World Heritage Site #124: Rideau Canal

From the World Heritage inscription:

The Rideau Canal, a monumental early 19th-century construction covering 202 km of the Rideau and Cataraqui rivers from Ottawa south to Kingston Harbour on Lake Ontario, was built primarily for strategic military purposes at a time when Great Britain and the United States vied for control of the region. The site, one of the first canals to be designed specifically for steam-powered vessels, also features an ensemble of fortifications. It is the best-preserved example of a slackwater canal in North America, demonstrating the use of this European technology on a large scale. It is the only canal dating from the great North American canal-building era of the early 19th century to remain operational along its original line with most of its structures intact.

The Rideau Canal is actually an enormous structure which goes from the Rideau River to Lake Ontario, however, the most famous part lies just below Parliament Hill in Ottawa. It is easy to see and explore if you are visiting Ottawa, but it can also be seen in many other places in Ontario as well. In the winter the frozen canal is plowed to create the world’s largest ice rink.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

This Week In Travel – Episode 67 (2011 Travel Predictions)

Posted by on January 7, 2011

This week’s guest is Johnny Jet.

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  • Gary – 1) Google will keep moving into travel, as will Apple, 2) TSA will pull back, 3) Big year for travel bloggers
  • Chris – 1) American will come back to Expedia and Orbitz, 2) Liquids ban will go away, 3) Will still make big cruise ships
  • Johnny – 1) Airlines remove from booking sites like Expedia, 2) More airlines will move staff on Twitter, 3) More hotels offer free internet
  • Jen – 1) There will be a rise of a middle luxury industry, 2) Spirit and Ryan Air will keep annoying people, 3) More travel website startups

Favorite Places of 2011

  • Gary – South Africa, Spain,
  • Chris – Egypt, Colorado
  • Johnny – Estonia, Bora Bora, Oman
  • Jen – Lake Como, Namour, Belgium

My multilingual summer in Barcelona

Posted by on January 4, 2011

This guest post is written by Benny Lewis who blogs at FluentInThreeMonths.com where he encourages and helps people learn to speak foreign languages. I met Benny earlier this year in Bangkok and again in Las Vegas for BlogWorld Expo, where we took a side trip to visit the Hoover Dam. Benny currently speaks English, Esperanto, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Gaelic, Hungarian and is now is the Philippines to learn Tagalog.


“So, how long have you been speaking Catalan?”

“Actually, this is my first ever conversation in the language…”

It was Susanna, a potential landlady, who had asked me the question. Since the initial Hola, com estàs? the conversation had continued, albeit slowly, just in Catalan. She didn’t realize until this last question that it really was the first time I had ever used the language.

She had already shown me around the beautiful two-bedroom house near downtown Barcelona, but we stopped here in the garden.

“Què?? Parles molt bé el catalá!

…Merci!”

This impressed reaction was something I would see many more times in future when trying to speak a language for the first time. Despite doing poorly in languages in school and only speaking English when I was 21, soon into my travels I had figured out the secret: speak it from day one, no matter what. Study quickly and use the little you know quicker.

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2010: My Year in Travel

Posted by on January 3, 2011

Visiting Spain was one of my highlights of the year

Visiting Spain was one of my highlights of the year

2010 is a year I am looking forward to putting behind me. The passing of my father was the single biggest event of the last year, which left a scar on everything. It will be difficult for 2011 to be worse.

It was also a year in which I traveled both the more and less than I did in any of the previous four years. Here is a quick summary of the places I visited in 2010:

  • Fiji
  • Australia
  • Thailand
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Canadian Atlantic Provinces
  • South Africa
  • Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City
  • Aruba
  • Bonaire
  • Curacao
  • Las Vegas
  • Honolulu

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