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World Travel

Streets of Havana
Ashley Cruising Kary World Travel

Port of Call: Havana, Cuba

Whenever we would go on a Caribbean cruise that passed Cuba, the captain would usually make an announcement saying that we were passing by the island. For us, Cuba was an elusive place that US citizens were not allowed to go. We were always so curious to see it for ourselves, and when the travel restrictions were eased we booked a cruise as soon as we were able to. Because we love Royal Caribbean, we chose their cruise on the Empress of the Seas that was brought back to the fleet specifically for these cruises to Havana, Cuba. While the cruise also stopped in Key West and Cozumel, Havana was the main attraction and focal point of the cruise.

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World Travel

7 Quick Tips For A Safe First Time Traveling

Are you thinking about heading off on an adventure for the first time ever? It can be an overwhelming and sometimes reasonably scary experience, leaving home to see another part of the world. As such, we thought we’d help out any would-be travelers with these seven great tips for any newbies to jet setting.

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Sunsets Around the World - Booti Booti National Park, Australia
World Travel

10 Spectacular Sunsets Around the World

Who doesn’t love watching the sunset? No matter where we are in the world, we sunsets are always so beautiful to watch. Here in Florida we have some great ones on the coast. We also love to watch the sunset from a cruise ship. It is so peaceful and relaxing. We asked some bloggers to share their favorite sunset photos with us.

Without further ado, here are 10 spectacular sunset around the world from some of our favorite bloggers.

From a Caribbean cruise we went on aboard the Empress of the Seas. We love sunsets at sea!

~

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Cruising World Travel

Photo Essay: Havana, Cuba

We had the opportunity to visit Havana, Cuba with Royal Caribbean aboard their ship, Empress of the Seas. Havana was a really interesting place to visit. Obviously there is a lot of history here, and it was a great experience to be able to see Havana in person. Here are some of our favorite photos from our day there:

Sunrise over Havana, Cuba

Sunrise view from the ship

 

San Francisco Square - Havana, Cuba

San Francisco Square

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10 Things to do in Accra, Ghana
Ashley World Travel

10 Things To Do In Accra, Ghana

10 Things to do in Accra, Ghana

Accra is certainly not the most glamorous city, but there are lots of interesting things to see and do during your stay here. You may not see a lot of tourists while in Accra, but there are plenty of business travelers and expats who are enjoying their time here. Accra is considered one of the safer cities to visit in western Africa.

Between the shopping, food, nightlife, historical sites, and friendly people, you will have a great time in Ghana’s capital city. Here are 10 things you definitely should check out during your stay.



10 Things to do in Accra

1.       Flagstaff House: Completed in 2009, the Flagstaff House is known as the Presidential Palace. The architecture is based on the Asante Golden Stool.

2.       Jamestown Lighthouse: Jamestown is one of Accra’s oldest districts. The lighthouse was built in the 1930s and offers a nice view of the harbor and city (depending on the level of pollution that day.) Be prepared the navigate up a tiny ladder.

3.       Labadi Beach: Labadi Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the coast and is often crowded on the weekends. It is located east of Accra.  If you are not staying at one of the hotels on the beach, you will have to pay a small entrance fee of 5 Cedi.

4.       Accra Mall: The Accra Mall was the first large scale shopping center in Ghana. It has 65 shops and 9 restaurants. According to their website, 30% of the stores/eateries are operated by Ghanaians. This is a nice upscale retail space with a food court and cinema. It is a great place to walk around and enjoy the air conditioning.

5.       Independence Square/Black Star Square: Independence Square contains monuments to Ghana’s struggle for independence. It is the second largest city square in the world.

6.       Champs Sports Bar & Grill: Champs is like an American sports bar, but with “Ghanaian excitement.” This is a really fun place to watch sporting events, listen to music, enjoy good food and drinks, and participate in different events throughout the week like trivia.

7.       Holy Trinity Cathedral: Holy Trinity Cathedral is an Anglican Church that was completed in 1894.

8.       Centre for National Culture: Known as The Arts Centre, this is where you can get some great arts and crafts made by locals. Be prepared to haggle.

9.       Jokers Night Club: Jokers Club is a restaurant/nightclub that makes for quite an interesting and entertaining night out. Enjoy the food, drinks, music, pool tables. Mingle with locals and expats. Just be warned that this place is where prostitutes like to hang out (unless that’s what you’re looking for!)

10.   University of Ghana: This is the oldest and largest university in Ghana. It was founded in 1948. The main campus is in Legon, northeast of the city center. It is a beautiful campus to walk around. You can also stay here in one of the three hostels at the university.

[Read next: 5 Things I Learned Traveling Through Ghana]

Have you been to Accra? What were some of your favorite things to do? Let us know in the comments!

The Traveling Gals

 

 

 

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World Travel

Bloggers Share Breathtaking Places from Around the World

While there are many beautiful places around the world, sometimes you visit a place that really takes your breath away. Without further ado, here are some of those breathtaking places. Thank you to all of the bloggers who participated!

The Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx - The Traveling Gals

Giza, Egypt from The Traveling Gals: “Seeing the Pyramids and Sphinx in person was an amazing experience we will never forget!”

Bora Bora

Bora Bora – Toniya from The Travelling Panda: “Our trip to Bora Bora was something that completely took our breath away. The beauty of this small gem in such a vast ocean is just indescribable.”

Neuschwanstein, Bavaria

Neuchwanstein, Bavaria – Amy from Sass and Shamrocks: “It may be over done but Schloss Neuchwanstein in Southern Bavaria took my breath away. Whether under a blanket of snow in Winter, the bright sun of Summer or in the stunning colors of Autumn the castle is surreal and utterly fairy tale like!”

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14 Romantic Destinations: Tahiti - The Traveling Gals
World Travel

14 Romantic Destinations to Visit

14 Romantic Destinations to Visit

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which means lots of pictures of flowers on Facebook. Even if you don’t have a significant other, these destinations are still great to visit with friends, family, or even for a relaxing solo trip!

We personally would love if someone handed us a plane ticket (and their credit card) to one of these romantic destinations:

Paris.

14 Romantic Destinations: Paris - The Traveling Gals

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Beach - The Traveling Gals
Ashley World Travel

5 Ways to Fight the Post-Vacation Blues

Tips for Fighting the Post-Vacation Blues

You get home from the airport. It feels so great to use your own bathroom and sleep in your own bed. You head back to work, get back into your routine, and all of a sudden it feels like you never even went anywhere.

Anyone who has been on a trip, particularly a long trip, knows this feeling. It is kind of strange when you are sitting work thinking, ‘Wow last week at this time I was snorkeling/hiking/lounging next to the pool drinking a Mai Tai.’

Beach - The Traveling Gals

Would rather be here.

While this may seem like a ridiculous problem to have, post-vacation blues (or post-vacation depression) is actually considered a real psychological thing that people experience.

Here are some tips that we use to try to not get so dang depressed after coming back from a trip.

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Alesund, Norway
Kary World Travel

Norway: Land of the Midnight Sun

Norway is known for its world famous fjords, majestic mountains and spectacular glaciers.  Norway encompasses a beauty so stunning it almost does not feel real.  The other two gals and I were lucky to visit Norway as part of a trip to Northern Europe.  We visited Bergen, Alesund and Geiranger.  Cruising the fjords to Geiranger felt like I was part of a movie.  The scenery was unbelievable.  When we arrived at the bottom of Geiranger fjord we embarked on the most memorable hike of our lives so far. The climb to the top was steep and physically demanding, but entirely worth it.  You could drink the crisp, cool glacial water streaming the waterfalls.  The view from top evoked a feeling that our small group was the only people in the world.  It was July so it was misty, but warm enough to wear pants and a light jacket.  The hike down was the most treacherous part as the mist created a slide of mud and foliage.  It was thrilling, exhilarating and unforgettable.

Geiranger, Norway Waterfall

Waterfall on Geiranger Fjord

TTG Tip: Bring appropriate clothes if you are going to hike up a fjord. The youngest had to throw away her shoes and pants after hiking up Geiranger Fjord! So worth it though!

Our next stop was Alesund and even thought it was after 11 p.m. it was bright as can be outside.  It is a very interesting sensation when the sun ever fully sets.  Alesund is the gateway to the fjords and appropriately named the “adventure capital”.  After taking the 418 step walk to the top of Mount Aksla the next morning, we were not only rewarded with a picture perfect view but a huge troll!

Alesund, Norway

Kary and the troll in Alesund, Norway

The last stop in Norway was Bergen where we spent time at the Fish Market.  I love visiting markets when I am traveling.  It is like an education in local culture.  We also went into local shops and grocery co-ops while walking through streets lined with vibrantly colored wooden houses.  We sailed out of Norway on the North Sea and saw all the oil rigs.  They were fascinating to see working oil rigs first hand.

Alesund, Norway

Queen Mary 2 docked in Alesund, Norway

After visiting Norway, I am so impressed with the authenticity of the Norway pavilion in EPCOT.  The details and atmosphere are spot on with our experience.  It was sad for us to see Maelstrom close because it was such a true representation of everything we saw in Norway.  Several times in the country of Norway, much to other people in our traveling group’s dismay, we kept saying…wow this is just like EPCOT!

Norway pavilion at EPCOT

Norway pavilion in EPCOT

(photo credit)

While they do not have a booth for the Food and Wine Festival, there is a great restaurant and bakery at the pavilion. The restaurant, Akershus, has character dining with the Disney Princesses for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We enjoy this restaurant very much, but make your reservations far in advance! The bakery, Kringla, serves sandwiches, pastries, and specialty treats.

Have you traveled to Norway before? Where did you go? Let us know in the comments!

The Traveling Gals

 

 

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More photos from our trip:

Alesund, Norway

Alesund, Norway

Geiranger, Norway

Grass roof house in Geiranger, Norway

Geiranger, Norway

Queen Mary 2 anchored in Geiranger, Norway

Nangodi, Ghana
Ashley World Travel

5 Things I Learned Traveling Through Ghana

While I was in school I had the opportunity to travel through the beautiful country of Ghana. I visited Accra, Kumasi, and Bolgatanga. I also crossed the border into Burkina Faso. If you don’t know where any of these places are, it’s okay. They are not well known countries. While I was going through airport security the TSA officer had never even heard of Accra. I hope to inspire some to at least learn more about Ghana and its culture!

This trip quickly became one of the most interesting I have ever been on. Traveling through a developing country, meeting and working with locals, and really getting to experience a culture is a truly remarkable experience.

[Read next: Ghana In Pictures; 10 Things To Do In Accra, Ghana]

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