Tuesday, June 28, 2016
The Yucatan is known for the Mayan ruins that blanket the region but cenotes, or underground freshwater pools,are another hallmark that I particularly love. I remember being dazzled by the sunbeams playing off the water at X-keken cenote near Chichen Itza so I was excited about exploring another one in Merida. The darkness of the surrounding caverns and the Mayan belief that cenotes are the entrance to the underworld really make it a special experience. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw the cenote topped by lily pads, above. Located right next to the stunning Mayan archaeological site of Uxmal,, I thought it was just a local pond. But I learned that there are actually three types of cenotes--open, closed and semi-closed. Each supplies a different kind of experience. I climbed down the rocks into the open pool and realized immediately that it was indeed different than my previous cenote dip. Tiny fish clung to my feet, nibbling at the dry skin! No matter where I moved, the fish followed. I know that some people pay money to get these "fish pedicures" in parts of Asia and big cities everywhere but that's not what I was there for. It felt weird to have the fish nuzzling my feet, like somewhere between a tickle and a rub. After 20 minutes of this, I climbed out of the water and admired the cenote from a nearby rock instead. My feet were smooth and I felt like I had learned an important lesson about just how different cenotes can be.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
One of my favorite regions of Mexico is the Yucatan Peninsula,which is brimming with vibrant history and a rich culture that's on display on every level, from the food, to the language and traditions. I'm excited to finally be visiting La Ciudad Blanca or the White City, as Merida is called because of the white limestone buildings. I'll be exploring the archeological sites of Dzibilchaltun, called the Temple of The Seven Dolls and one of the oldest Maya sites, dating from 300 BC and Uxmal, a Mayan town founded in A.D. 700 and declared a World Heritage Site. I'll also be dipping into a cenote or underground pool,which is a hallmark of the region and they always supply a magical experience. Of course, I'll sample the traditional food, music and fashion so look out for some interesting posts in during the next couple of weeks!
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
|What happens when you are stuck in a long TSA line.|
Airline travel has developed into a harrowing list of indignities and stupid regulations but no area holds more opportunities for agony than the airport security line. The lines are guaranteed to be long whenever you’re late for a flight. The TSA agents can be surly. You will most likely get stuck behind a family with five kids and multiple strollers. The possibilities are endless. But there are a few things that you can do to make the process easier. Here are my ultimate tips for a breezier airport security experience:
|What happens when you don't check in before you arrive at the airport.|
|The necessary liquid you will need, in the form of a strong mimosa, when you miss your flight because of TSA lines.|
I know that it’s a hassle to be at the airport at the crack of dawn. I know that you barely had
time to sleep and you just want to get to your destination. But please, pay attention to the
line and what you’re instructed to do. Have your ID and ticket ready, not buried in the bottom
of your bag. Take your laptop out of your bag, move your belongings on the conveyor and
move to the line that you’re directed to follow. If you don’t, you’re prolonging the process.
Just follow all the directions and you’ll be out of the security line and headed toward your
Monday, May 30, 2016
The striking structures of Dubai's cloud-topping buildings are one of the famous hallmarks of the city but I quickly discovered that the interiors are just as enthralling. Archways, geometric patterns and golden accents filled every hotel that I visited and I was captivated by the meticulous attention to detail.The cascading arches and bold colors against white walls above, was a stand out feature inside the Burj Al Arab, billed as the most luxurious hotel in the world and I have to agree with that description.
The unusual sail shape of the Burj Al Arab is reflected in the layered walls, above.
These rich golden designs adorned an elevator in the Burj Al Arab.
Inside the Madinat Jumeirah Resort, a swirl of marble staircase with finely etched gilded rails caught my eye.
I was struck by this pairing of an avant guarde lighting piece with a flowering arrangement in the Vida Downtown Dubai hotel.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
I happen to come from a city with one of the most beautiful,and architecturally striking skylines in the world so its rare that a skyline wows me. But Chicago's skyline and the rest of the world's, have nothing on Dubai. As the home of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest office building, the world's tallest hotel, the word's biggest mall and the world's tallest office building, over-the-top doesn't even begin to describe Dubai's skyline.
You don't really walk around Dubai because of the scorching desert heat but the few times I did stroll down a street, my jaws started to ache because I was gaping so much. Of course, the cloud topping Burj Khalifa dominates most views of the business district, as you can see from the above image.
But it's not just the Burj Khalifa,the distinctive sail-shaped design of the Burj Al Arab, the most luxurious hotel ever, is also an eye popper. Taking in the clusters of towering buildings felt like watching a sci fi movie. And walking by the soaring structures, there was always a construction site with another building soon to join the others. Dubai and its skyline is unlike anything I've ever seen.
Monday, May 9, 2016
Dubai is a fascinating city overflowing with larger than life sky scrapers and crammed with people from all over the globe. But Dubai is also located in the desert, with an ancient Emirati heritage that you can only glimpse if you search for it, since native Emirati's are only about 10 percent of the population. One of the liveliest demonstrations of the culture was watching the Ayala dance during a desert safari. Versions of the dance are performed by people across the Arabian Peninsula but the Emirati take involves sticks used to goad camels. Originally, the Ayala, generally known as the stick dance, was a battle dance performed with swords to celebrate repelling attackers from the camp. The formation symbolizes a battle, with the men facing each other and chanting stirring poetry. Today, the dance is performed at weddings and cultural events. A local told me that the dance requires a lot of leg strength because the steps involve flexing up and down, which you can't see under the robes. These robed men chanting and playing traditional instruments greeted me as I entered the safari camp and I found it to be an exciting display of elusive Emirati traditions.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
For the next week, I'll be exploring the quickly growing city of Dubai. I'm excited to learn about Dubai as well as different aspects of the business travel sector. My trip is sponsored by Dubai Tourism and the Dubai Business Travel Events team. I'll be visiting the famous buildings that dot Dubai's skyline, including the iconic Burj Khalifa, pictured above. I'll also be diving into the souks and learning about Emirati traditional dress. The highlight will probably be a desert safari and camel polo game but I'm sure the city has more adventures than I can imagine. Stay tuned for posts!
Posted by Fly Girl at 1:06 PM