Dubai has a lot of big things. At 688 feet, the Dubai Eye will be the tallest Ferris wheel in the world and part of the $1.5 billion Bluewaters Island entertainment project. At almost 12 million square feet, the Dubai Mall sits in the shadow of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Now, a multi-national company plans to build the world’s largest man-made lagoon to the tune of $7 billion.
The yet to be named project will be nearly four times bigger than the current largest lagoon and have swimming, water sports and other water based leisure activities. If all goes as planned, developer Crystal Lagoons Corp that holds patented technology for building giant crystalline lagoons, hopes that their project will quickly become a popular warm weather destination.
“Caribbean landscapes are no longer exclusive to tropical destinations,” said Crystal Lagoons CEO Kevin P. Morgan in an Economic Times report.
Crystal Lagoons has bigger plans, too. “Based on our track record in the Middle East, we have proven that our technology can add value to a top destination, making beachfront real estate a reality anywhere in the world,” said Morgan.
When a CNN writer published a piece on CNN Travel on why hotel sex is better, editors later went into the piece and changed her name and removed her picture. And that makes perfect sense to me -– sex lives, including where they flourish, are usually classified as private information. But talking about sex publicly can make for good advice, or at least a decent read.
With a pen name for a byline, the author’s list of reasons why sex is better in hotels is good. As a regular traveler, I agree with the romantic novelty the author places on hotels. Bland as they can be, they’re not home. Her reasons why hotel sex is better include the ability to engage in wild(er) sex, get a better night’s sleep, enjoy a “dignified” breakfast in the morning, eye sexy strangers in the lobby while working, and not feel obligated to engage in the domestic volleying that often overwhelms the atmosphere of a home. Read the full story here.
NYC happy hours that provide food for free were an essential survival tool for me when I was younger and in college in New York. Notoriously an expensive city, New York isn’t without its budget secrets. Happy hours that will feed you for free are among those secrets. Whether you’re visiting or living in New York, if you’re trying to make a little bit of money stretch while still having a good time, these 10 NYC happy hours that provide free food will help you to accomplish the seemingly impossible: to eat and drink incredibly cheaply in New York City.
1.Agozar, 324 Bowery
Buy a drink between 5 p.m.-8 p.m. and get free tapas.
2.The Charleston, 174 Bedford Ave. (Brooklyn)
Free personal pizza with a drink purchase between 12 p.m.-8 p.m.
3.Aurora Soho, 510 Broome St.
Puff pastries, flatbreads, tomato paste and cookies are put out between 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
4. Tarallucci E Vino, 15 E 18th St.
Snacks like quiche and pizza are put out for drinkers on weekdays between 4 p.m.-close.
5.Crocodile Lounge, 325 E 14th St.
Free personal pizza with the purchase of a drink.6.Levee, 212 Berry St. (Brooklyn)
Free cheese balls or Twizzlers available for drinkers upon request.
7.Yum Yum 3, 658 9th Ave.
Free appetizer with drink purchase between 4 p.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays.
8.Keen’s Steakhouse, 72 W 36th St.
Free snacks like Swedish meatballs, shrimp and wings at the bar between 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
9.The Watering Hole, 106 E 19th St.
Free food buffet between 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. on weekdays.
10.Darbar Grill, 157 E 55th St.
Free appetizers in the bar between 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
At one point on her trip-of-a-lifetime to Peru, Rochelle Harris swatted a fly out of her ear and thought little of it. On the flight home, however, she began to hear “scratching sounds” and feel excruciating pain on the side of her face. Then, the next day, fluid leaked out of her ear onto her pillow. After tests at the doctor, it was revealed that maggots had chewed nearly a half-inch hole in her ear canal (ew!). Turns out that pesky fly that laid eggs in her ear was a New World screwworm fly, a species whose larvae feeds on the tissue of its host.
Harris’ story will be featured on Discovery Channel’s upcoming series Bugs, Bites and Parasites. To make sure you don’t end up on the show (seriously, you don’t want to earn your five minutes of fame this way), make sure you study which animals and insects to be aware of before setting off on a trip. From yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria (all transmitted by mosquitos) to the pneumonic plague (transferred person-to-person), don’t let an experience like Harris’ ruin your vacation. Be prepared by getting the appropriate shots and by keeping antibiotics in your first aid kit. And please, watch out for those flies.
Every now and then in my travels I find a spot where I want to stop for a while. Damascus, Harar and the Orkney Islands have all captured my imagination because of their rich culture and laid back atmosphere.
Damascus is lost, sucked into the maelstrom of a country intent on destroying itself. Harar and Orkney are far away. So I’m lucky to have discovered Tangier, Morocco, less than an hour’s flight from my home base of Madrid.
Set in a broad bay next to the Strait of Gibraltar, it’s been an important spot since ancient times. On a high hill stands the Casbah, once the domain of the Sultan but now an exclusive neighborhood for rich Moroccans and an increasing number of expatriates. Below lies the medina, a jumble of houses and labyrinthine streets that are home to shopkeepers and laborers. There’s also a sprawling new city thanks to the booming port.
Tangier is a fascinating city. You can see all the tourist sights in two days and spend the rest of your life figuring the place out. Tangier has one of the most mixed populations I’ve seen. Arabs rub shoulders with Berbers from the Rif, Sahrawis from Western Sahara, and an increasing number of Senegalese and other migrants from sub-Saharan Africa. The men dress in everything from the traditional djellaba to T-shirt and jeans; the women in everything from the niqab to miniskirts. There’s also a long-established expat population of French, Spaniards and British.
This ethnic alphabet soup means you hear half a dozen languages as you walk down the street. The local Arabic is called Darija and is distinct enough that my rusty Levantine Arabic is almost useless. Berber is often heard too. If you don’t speak either of these languages, chances are that any individual Moroccan will speak French, Spanish or English, or perhaps all of them. I’ve never met an African who spoke fewer than three languages.
It’s often hard to know which language to use first. I generally start conversations in Spanish because that’s more widely understood than English, although one young guy immediately switched to English and asked, “Why are you speaking Spanish if you’re from an English-speaking country?” Conversations often slide from one language to another. This is a place where you can end up using four languages just asking a waiter for a cup of tea!
Speaking of tea, sitting in a cafe with a cup of Moroccan mint tea (cloudy with sugar and with the mint leaves still floating in the water) is the best way to see Tangier. The locals love to relax with friends and watch the world go by. My favorite place to sit is the Petit Socco, a small square in the center of the medina through which everyone seems to pass. Not far off and outside the old city walls is the Grand Socco. It’s even more lively but the blaring traffic makes it less relaxing.
You won’t have to sit long before you’ll get in a conversation with someone. Moroccans are very social and you can learn a lot about life in their country by spending a couple of hours lounging in a cafe. I’ve been treated to everything from Berber tales of spirit possession to catty gossip from longtime expats.
Tangier used to have a bad reputation for hustlers and touts. They’ve been mostly cleaned out in recent years although you’ll still have young guys coming up to you asking to be your guide. A polite “no” will work if repeated two or three times. This doesn’t work in Marrakesh or Fez! Once you’ve been around a couple of days they’ll all recognize you and stop asking.
There are other advantages to staying for a while. Most visitors spend only a day or two in Tangier, or come as day trippers from Gibraltar or Tarifa and disappear after a few hours. The locals quite understandably see these people only as sources of money. Once the folks in Tangier have seen you around for a few days they start getting curious. Soon you’ll get to know the people who hang out at your regular cafes. The kids will start following you to get English lessons. You’ll start getting invitations for lunch or parties or day trips.
This, of course, works most places. What makes Tangier special is the diverse range of people to meet and the vibrant feel to the place. It’s a place of constant movement. People come here to make their fortunes or to use the city as a launchpad to get to Europe. It’s welcoming to newcomers because so many people are newcomers. You’ll meet a lot of interesting people with interesting dreams in Tangier and to become part of the scene in this endlessly interesting city requires only a bit of time and an open mind.