Friday, January 15, 2021

Egypt

Egypt Flag

Why visit Egypt?

The destination for immersion into past times while enjoying ancient temples, bazaars, birdwatching, churches, culture, desert, history, monastery, monuments, museums, monastery, mummies, nightlife, pyramids, river cruises, shopping, scuba diving, tombs, and water sports.



Great Sphinx of Giza (

Giza Plateau)

Giza, Egypt.
 Photo Credit: Cesar Salazar/Pixabay 


At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Brassware, carpets, clothing, copper ware, leather goods, mother-of-pearl inlaid wood, paintings, rag rugs, soapstone carvings, stationery, and water pipes.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Duqqa (condiment). Eish Baladi (pita bread). Falafel (deep fried breakfast ball). Fateer (oven-baked pancake). Feteer Meshaltet (pastry dessert). Kofta (meatball). Kushari (street meal). Mulokhaya (soup). Offal (organ meat). Rumi Cheese. Shwarma (sandwich).
  • Local Drink to Try: Janzabil (spicy ginger). Sobia (sweet coconut milk). Tamr Hindi (chilled tamarind).

Kom Ombo (Ombos), Aswan Governorate, Upper Egypt. Photo Credit: DEZALB/Pixabay 



Fun Facts
  • During 2700–2200 BCE, many pyramids were constructed.
  • During 1st Century (1 AD-100AD), Saint Mark, Evangelist brought Christianity.
  • In 1517, conquered by the Ottoman Turks.
  • In 1798, invaded by the French forces of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821).
  • In 1854, sent their first telegram from Cairo to Alexandria. 
  • Since 1865, Egypt Post is the country's oldest government institution.
  • In 1869, the Suez Canal was completed after 10 years of building.
  • In 1923, became independent from Britain.
  • Largest  Arab country.
  • Nearly 95% of the population lives within a few miles of the Nile's River.
  • In ancient Egyptian, the country's name means black land suggestive to the fertile black soils of the Nile flood plains.
  • Considered the driest and sunniest country in the world.
  • Rise in sea levels due to Global Warming threaten Egypt's future coastal strip.
  • Has the oldest continuous parliament tradition in the Arab world.
  • United States provides them military assistance costing around  $1.3 Billion USD annually.
  • Popular attraction, Giza Necropolis (Cairo) is only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence.
  • Russia is financing ($25 billion) their first nuclear power plant (El Dabaa). 
  • Cairo Metro was the first of the metro systems in Africa and Arab world costing $12 billion EGP.
  • EgyptAir is owned by the Egyptian government.
  • Languages taught in school are English, French, German and Italian.
  • Largest Christian population in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Considered the home of belly dancing.
  • Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) has the largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts in the world.
  • For thousands of years natives have celebrated the ancient Spring Festival, Sham en Nisim.
  • Their teas are exclusively imported from Kenya and Sri Lanka.
  • Wines are made from grapes sourced from vineyards in Alexandria and Middle Egypt.

Mosque Madrassa of Sultan Hassan, Cairo Governorate, Egypt. Photo Credit: Pixabay



Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (February) Abu Simbel Sun Festival, Aswan International Women's Film Festival, (March) Cairo Jazz Festival, (April) Sham al-Naseem, (June) Leylet en Nuktah, Sandbox Music Festival,
    (August) Arab Music Festival, (October) Siyaha Festival, Wafaa Al Nil, (November) Alexandria International Film Festival, (December) Cairo International Film Festival, and Sphinx Festival.
  • Holidays: Christmas Day, Islamic New Year, Revolution Day, National Police Day, Sinai Liberation Day, Sham El Nessim, Labour Day, 30 June Day, Revolution Day, Armed Forces Day, Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha.
     

Valley of the Queens, Luxor Governorate, Egypt. Photo Credit: DEZALB/Pixabay 


Good to Know
  • U.S. citizens should maintain a high level of vigilance throughout the country due to the threat of terrorism.
  • Do not travel to Sinai Peninsula.
  • High concentrations of World War II-era unexploded landmines still exist (Eastern Desert between Cairo and the Suez Canal, West of Alexandria, and Sinai Peninsula).
  • Harassment of women with gestures to inappropriate physical contact, indecent exposure, and lewd comments are known to occur.
  • A tourist scam is being offered a“free gift", however once accepted they demand money. 
  • Local police or security forces do not require probable cause to detain, stop or question individuals.
  • On days of worship (Friday and Sunday) business may have restricted hours or be closed.
  • Public affection is not welcomed.
  • Shopkeepers often reject faded, torn or wrinkled currency bills.
  • Alcohol-free restaurants are common amongst strict Muslims.
  • Local customs, one's left hand should never accept goods.
  • Beyond tourist areas women should not wear short sleeve shirts. Dress modestly in loose fitting clothing. 
  • "Upper Egypt" refers to the southern and "Lower Egypt" to the north of the country.
  • Homosexuality is illegal, up to 10 years in prison.
  • Drones are strictly prohibited.
  • Local law prohibits the unauthorized removal of archaeological property sites and antiquities.
  • Due to parasitic disease Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia) do not stand or swim in the Nile River or its canals.
  • Do not drink tap water.
  • Sanitation is often considered below our standards.
  • Ambulance services are not widely available. Emergency and intensive care facilities are limited. 
  • Driving is extremely hazardous with disabled vehicles, impatient drivers, lack of working traffic lights, and respect to driving rules. 

Aga Khan Mausoleum, Aswan Governorate, Egypt. Photo Credit: Klaus Dieter vom Wangenheim/Pixabay 


This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Sharm El-Sheikh (Beachfront Resort Town Area)Egypt. Photo Credit: koko sdcsdc/Pixabay 


Prone to 
sand and dust storms (March - April).

  • Best Time to Visit: October - April
  • Coolest Months: November - March
  • Hottest Months: April - October
  • Peak Season: December - February

Sinai Desert, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. Photo Credit: Sabine Kulau/Pixabay 


Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Abu Mena, Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis, Historic Cairo, Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur, Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae, Saint Catherine Area, and Wadi Al-Hitan (Whale Valley).

Nile River, Egypt. Photo Credit: Tamás Juhász/Pixabay 


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals



Medinet Habu Temple, Luxor, Egypt. Photo Credit: DEZALB/Pixabay 


Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Slack  Twitter 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine



Bazaar (Street Market), Egypt. Photo Credit: Ron Porter/Pixabay 


All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Ecuador

Ecuador Flag 

"Ecuador Ama la Vida" 



Why visit Ecuador?
Known for adventure sports, beaches, birdwatching, cathedrals, colonial architecture, festivals, hiking, historical sites, horseback riding, markets, folk music, mountain biking, mountain climbing, museums, rafting, rain forests, snorkeling, thermal springs, volcanoes, and water sports.



Quito (Capital) Ecuador. Photo Credit: DEZALB/Pixabay 



At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Amerindian belts, handwoven shawls, Panama hat, ponchos, pottery, silver jewelry, straw goods, wood carvings, and wool sweaters.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Fanesca (soup). Hornado (roast pig). llapingachos (potato ball).  Seco de Chivo (goat stew).
  • Local Drink to Try: Canelazo (hot cocktail). Pinol (hot drink).


 

Pichincha, Ecuador. Photo Credit: DEZALB/Pixabay 


Fun Facts
  • During 17th Century (1601-1700), a few slaves swam to shore from a shipwreck migrated through the jungle where they lived freely and practiced their culture of origin.
  • In 1797, the Riobamba earthquake killed 40,000 people.
  • In 1820, became independent of Spain.
  • In 1832, defeated by New Granada since Armed Forces since militants were rebellious angry unpaid veterans from Venezuela and Colombia.
  • In 1851, abolished slavery and freed them.
  • In 2003, Jefferson Leonardo Pérez Quezada (1974), Race Walker Atlete set the World Championships.
  • In 2019, during the Giro d'Italia race Richard Antonio Carapaz Montenegro (1993), Professional Cyclist won.
  • Juan José Flores y Aramburu (1800-1864), a Venezuelan born Military General served as their first, third and fourth President earning the nickname, "The Founder of the Republic".
  • First South America country to adopt the U.S. Dollar as its official currency.
  • Chimborazo Volcano is the closest spot on Earth to the Sun.
  • Citizens between 18-65 are required to vote by law.
  • Has four main geographic regions: La Costa ("the coast"), La Sierra ("the highlands"), La Amazonía ("the east") and La Región Insular (comprising Galápagos Islands).
  • Cotopaxi is one of the world's highest active volcanoes.
  • First country to constitute and recognize the rights of nature.
  • Largely exports bananas and cocoa.
  • Children are required to attend school until achieving a "basic level of education" (roughly nine school years).
  • Quito Astronomical Observatory (Quito) is South America's oldest observatory.


Cotopaxi (Stratovolcano), Andes Mountains, Ecuador. Photo Credit:  Marisa04/Pixabay 


Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Jondachi Fest, (February) Carnival, (March) Mushak Nina, (April) Fiesta de KasamaFiesta Agricola, Fiesta de Chonta, (May) Fiesta de la Chirimoya, Battle of Pichincha, (June) Fiestas de San Juan, Fiestas de San Pedro, Inti Raymi, (July) Founders Day, Paseo de Chagras, (September) Fiesta del Yamor,  Fiesta de Jora, Fiesta del Maiz, Fiesta de Mama Negra, Tarpuy Raymi, (October) Cacería del Zorro and Dia de los Difuntos.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Carnival, Good Friday, International Workers' Day, Battle of PichinchaDeclaration of Independence of QuitoIndependence of GuayaquilAll Souls' Day, Independence of Cuenca and Christmas Day.

Puerto López (Ecuadorian Manabí Province), Ecuador. Photo Credit: David Mark/Pixabay 


Good to Know
  • By law, you are required to have possession of your passport at all times with you.
  • Law prohibits articles and media messages which favor or disfavor political messages or candidates.
  • Public protests are subject to eight years in prison.
  • Colombian Guerrillas are known to infiltrate themselves.
  • Credit card “skimming” is known to occur.
  • Crime is a widespread problem.
  • “Spiritual Cleanse” containing dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a strong hallucinogen, is illegal in the United States.
  • Limited decompression facilities for scuba divers.
  • Prevalent diseases: Chagas Disease, Chikungunya, Dengue, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Yellow Fever and Zika.
  • Avoid drinking tap water.
  • Armed criminals are known to board public transportation buses and rob passengers.

CuencaEcuador. Photo Credit: Herbert Bieser/Pixabay 


This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.

Peguche Waterfalls, Otavalo, Ecuador. Photo Credit: Felipe Lopez/Pixabay 


  • Best Time to Visit: June - September 
  • Coldest Month: March
  • Hottest Month: September 
  • Peak Season: December - January & June - September


Malchingui, Ecuador. Photo Credit: Alejandro Miranda/Pixabay 


Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: City Museum (Quito), Cuenca, Galápagos Islands, Inca Road System, Quito, San Juan de Dios Hospital (Quito) and Sangay National Park.

Ibarra (Imbabura Province), Ecuador. Photo Credit: Marcelo Trujillo/Pixabay 


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals



Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Slack  Twitter 


"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine


All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Djibouti

Djibouti Flag



Why visit Djibouti?
Known for beaches, culture, desert landscape, duty-free shopping, historical sites, petrified forests, scuba diving, snorkeling and volcanic formations.


Ras Bir Beach, Obock, Djibouti. Photo Credit: Joëlle Ortet/Pixabay 



At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Amber jewelry, hookah pipes, knives, leather goods and wood sculptures. 
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Dromedary Tibs (camel hump). Garoobey (porridge). Lahoh (spongy bread). Sambus (fried pastry).  

Fun Facts
  • Palaeoloxodon Recki Elephant remains have been discovered dating from 1.4 million years BCE.
  • Tools used to open shells have been discovered dating from 6,000 years ago (Devil's Island). 
  • Antelopes and giraffe rock art has been found (Balho and Dorra).
  • Historically traded hides and skins for perfumes and spices of ancient China, Egypt, and India.
  • Projected over the next few million years, a new sea could divide the Horn of Africa (South of Djibouti) from the main continent.
  • Home to the saltiest bodies of water in the world (Lake Assal).
  • Port of Djibouti is the largest refueling station (Red Sea and Indian Ocean) used by U.S. Naval Ships.
  •  United States Central Command leases Camp Lemonnier for $63 million annually until 2034.
  • Fruits and vegetables are imported due to the lack of rain.

Lac Abbe, Djibouti. Photo Credit: Lesly Derksen/Unsplash 


Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (July) Ramadan and (December) Fest’Horn.
  • Holidays: New Year, Labour Day, Independence Day, Birthday of Muhammad, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Islamic New Year and Christmas Day.

Good to Know
  • Their Infrastructure makes it difficult to travel independently.
  • Arabic and French are the official languages.
  • Weekends are considered Friday and Saturday.
  • Most souvenirs are from Ethiopia and Kenya.
  • Airport criminals are known to use travelers' luggage tag information to present themselves as pre-arranged drivers. 
  • Healthcare and medical care facilities are limited. 
  • It's illegal to photograph bridges, government buildings, infrastructure, military installations, military personnel, mosques, public buildings, religious sites or seaports.
  • Sanitation is considered below our standards.
  • Do not drink the tap water!
  • Poverty is relevant and visible.
  • Never use your passport as a security deposit. Avoid photocopy requests.
  • Prevalent diseases include: Cholera, Chikungunya, Dengue Fever, Hepatitis A, Malaria, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Typhoid. 
  • Avoid wearing shorts in public. Dress conservatively.
  • Land mines are known to exist.
  • Security Forces are known to make illegal arrests.
  • Tensions along the Eritrea border are known to exist.
  • Keep your credit card in sight at all times especially while being processed.

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months validity upon return and two blank pages for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination required from select countries. 

Subject to hot khamsin winds (July).

  • Best Time to Visit: October - April
  • Coolest Month: November - April
  • Hottest Months: June - September
  • Peak Season: November - January

Lake Abbe (Lake Abhe Bad), Djibouti. Photo Credit: Andromachos Dimitrokallis/Pixabay 



Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals



Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Slack  Twitter 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine


                                                               All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Denmark

Denmark Flag



Why visit Denmark?
Art, architecture, beaches, canoeing, castles, culture, cyclists, fishing villages, forests, gardens, golf, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, legoland, museums, nightlife, sailing, scuba diving, surfing, Viking history, water sports and wildlife.



Nyhavn (District in Copenhagen) Denmark. Photo Credit: Kevin Schmid/Pixabay 


At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Amber, butter cookies, cheese, crystal, elf, fairytale books, furs, legos, licorice, marzipan, porcelain, scarves, silver jewelry, silver tableware and sweaters.  
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Boller i Karry (curry dumplings). Brændende Kaerlighed (fried mashed potatoes). Brunkål Med Flaesk (browned cabbage). Frikadeller (meat balls). Hønsekødssuppe (chicken soup). Koldskål (summer dessert). Risalamande (rice pudding dessert). Rødgrød Med Fløde (red berry dessert). Smørrebrød (sandwich).
  • Local Drink to Try: Carlsberg (beer). Faxe Kondi (soft drink). Gløgg (mulled wine). Hyldeblomstsaft (sweet elderflower). Mjød (alcohol drink)Tuborg Squash (orange soft drink).

Egeskov Castle, Kværndrup, Denmark. Photo Credit: Steen Jepsen/Pixabay 


Fun Facts
  • In 1834, first factual newspaper was published.
  • In 1849, became a constitutional monarchy.
  • During 1850, railways were constructed.
  • In 1944, Iceland became independent from them.
  • In 1969, first country to legalize pornography.
  • In 1973, founded Environmental Law, the first in the world.
  • In 1989, permitted same-sex marriages (Church of Denmark).
  • In 2016, Faroe Islands and Greenland permitted same-sex marriages.
  • Since 1971, hosts the largest Music Festival in Northern Europe (Roskilde Festival).
  • By 2030, to dissolve the official use of the word 'ghetto' in the media.
  • Birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), Author of over 27 fairytale books, most popular: The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling and Thumbelina. 
  • Has approximately 406 islands the largest is Funen, Zealand and North Jutlandic Island. Around 70 are uninhabited.
  • First country in the world to legalize same sex marriage.
  • Amber is known to wash up on select beaches (Jutland).
  • Largest beer exporter in the world.
  • The Älvsborg Ransom forced Sweden to pay them one 1 million silver riksdalers.
  • Kingdom of Denmark includes Faroe Islands and Greenland.
  • Has the highest minimum wages in the world, fast food workers earn approximately $20USD/hour.
  • Exports dairy products, fish, furniture, instruments, machinery, meat products, pharmaceuticals and wind turbines.
  • There's no employer restrictions on overtime.
  • Pioneer leader converting waste to cellulosic ethanol.
  • High taxes on new cars is a deterrent design.
  • Population is known to be "happiest" in the world.
  • Danish language is distantly related to German.
  • Final Exams are only required if considering to pursue your education.
  • Home of the world's oldest orchestra (Royal Danish Orchestra).
  • Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Drummer and Co-Founder became the first Danish musician to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Lyngvig Lighthouse, Hvide Sande, Denmark. Photo Credit: Erik Lyngsøe/Pixabay 


Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Danish Football Player of the Year, Danish Men's Handball Cup, Danish Women's Handball Cup, Winter Jazz Event, (February) Copenhagen Democracy Summit, Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, (May) Aalborg Carnival, Copenhagen Carnival, Copenhagen Distortion, Copenhagen International Literature Festival, Olfestival, Spot

    Festival, 

    (June) NorthSide Festival, Tinderbox, Viking Festival, (July) Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Danish Air Show, Maribo Jazz Festival, Opera Festival, Rebild Festival, Rock Festival, Skagen Festival, Sorø International Music Festival, Vig Festival, Viking Moot, Vinter Jazz, Xtracon Chess Open, (August) Aarhus Festuge, Aero Jazz Festival,  Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix, Copenhagen Pride, HC Andersen Festival, MAD Symposium, Odense Blomster Festival, Odense Film Festival, Skanderborg Festival, Strøm Festival, Tønder Festival, (September) Aarhus Food Festival, Århus Festival Week, Copenhagen Blues Festival, Copenhagen Half Marathon, Fastaval, Miss World Denmark and (October) Night of Culture.
  • Holidays: Crown Princess Mary's Birthday, Princess Marie's Birthday, Fastelavn, German Invasion of Denmark, Birthday of Queen Margrethe II, International Workers' Day, Liberation Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Constitution Day, Birthday of Prince Joachim, Day of Valdemar and Reunion Day, Saint John's Eve, Halloween, The Eve before Saint Martin's Day, Saint Lucy's Day, Christmas Eve, First Day of Christmas, Second Day of Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Sand Sculpture Festival, Denmark. Photo Credit: Frank P/Pixabay 


Good to Know
  • Bicycles have the right-of-way. 
  • Offers around 5,000 shipwrecks for Divers.
  • Most locals speak English and German.
  • Smoking is prohibited in indoor public areas.
  • Christiania Residents impose a strict no photography policy.
  • Pickpockets and purse-snatchers are known to occur in tourist areas.
  • Law prohibits the removal of gemstones, natural resources, semi-precious metals and stones (Greenland). 
  • Carrying pocket knives could result in criminal penalties.
  • Driver’s Licenses can be confiscated for driving under the influence.
  • Greenland has no established road system. 
  • It's illegal to make a right turn on a red light. 

(Cyclist), Ansager, Denmark. Photo Credit: Karsten Madsen/Pixabay 


This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000EUR.

On 8/6/20, a Level 3 Travel Advisory to reconsider Travel due to terrorism.

  • Best Time to Visit: May - September
  • Coldest Months: December - February
  • Hottest Months: June - August
  • Peak Season: June - August

Amalienborg (Danish Royal Family Home), Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo Credit: Bente Jønsson/Pixabay 


Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Aasivissuit – Nipisat. Inuit Hunting Ground between Ice and Sea, Christiansfeld a Moravian Church Settlement, Ilulissat Icefjord, Jelling Mounds Runic Stones and Church, Kronborg Castle, Kujataa Greenland: Norse and Inuit Farming at the Edge of the Ice Cap, Roskilde Cathedral, Stevns Klint, The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand and Wadden Sea.

Holbæk, Denmark. Photo Credit:  Pixabay 


Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel?

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals


Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Slack  Twitter 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine

                                                 All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Egypt

Egypt Flag Why visit Egypt? The destination for immersion into past times while enjoying ancient temples, bazaars, birdwatching, churches, c...