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DIY Tours Travel United States of America

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is a beautiful park in Utah that can be experienced by anyone. Most of the park can be seen by car or shuttle bus.

If you have the energy for it, you can walk some of the beautiful hiking trails. One of its most famous is Angel’s Landing, which is quite a strenuous hike.

We were a little put off by the number of people when taking the shuttle, as well as the number of people hiking to Angel’s Landing, so we decided to do something a little different.

We drove the Zion Park Scenic Byway, and found some magical places with very little people around. Here are a few things you can find along the scenic byway:

Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs are rock carvings made by pecking directly on the rock surface using a stone chisel and a hammer stone. Random fact, rock paintings are called pictographs.

To find the petroglyphs travel down the byway you pass through two tunnels, one that is quite lengthy and a second shorter tunnel.

When you pass the second small tunnel, drive approximately 1.4 miles past it ,and you will see a small stone wall on the left; continue, to find a wooden fence on your right with a parking bay.

You can park by the wooden fence and walk back to the stone wall, just off the road behind it you will find a tunnel that passes under the road.

Don’t walk through the tunnel, if you stay on the stone wall side of the tunnel and walk you will find the petroglyphs. 

It is indicated that humans have occupied Zion for 7000 years. The age of the petroglyphs is unknown but could date back this long as well. 

I hope that people treat these with respect, as the more they are touched, the faster it is going to be damaged and worn down.

There is a barrier set around the carvings, and the petroglyphs really are beautiful to see.

I hope it will continue to be treated with respect and be preserved for many years more.

If you wonder through the small canyon here, you will find some beautiful walks and rock formations.

Wearing a pair really great approach shoes with climbing rubber on the soles, it will make it a lot easier to walk and scramble through the sandstone rock formations.

Small Slot Canyons

Continuing on past the wooden fence, to the next parking bay on the right. Here you’ll find some beautiful small slot canyons, and an approach to a climbing route just off the road.

Walking down off the road will bring you to a tunnel that runs underneath, you can walk through to the other side and find more crevices to explore.

It’s easy to wonder off and make your way back, you can always hear cars driving by. But, I promise you won’t find anywhere near as many people in this area.

Please experience the park in all its natural beauty and respect it. There is no place for graffiti or rubbish in Zion National Park.

Crystals and Gems

I absolutely love crystals and gems. When driving into Zion National Park you will find multiple gem shops scattered down the main street.

Even if you don’t want to invest in any, I highly recommend stopping in to have a look around at their spectacular pieces.

The prices are fair, and the shop owners are really friendly.

Art DIY Tours Spain Travel

The Dali Theatre Museum in Figueres

If you’re interested in art, surrealism or you are inspired by Salvador Dali’s work I highly recommend visiting his Theatre Museum in Figueres. You can get to Figures by the Renfe Train which takes about 2 hours from Barcelona. Barcelona is a beautiful city and a piece of architectural art in itself, but Dali’s museum is unlike any museum you would have ever seen before and is worth the trip. If you don’t want to stay in the beautiful city of Figueres, you can easily spend a day here and make your way back to Barcelona.

This museum is an amazing museographical model created by Dali’s specific design to enhance the semantic possibilities of his creations. It is a space that is full of impressions, authenticity and provocations that manage to captivate the interest of all of it’s visitors. The Dali Theatre Museum opened it’s doors in 1974 and was the location of the first Exhibition of Dali’s life. It was only fitting for him to build his Museum here; in his hometown and place of birth.

When you arrive at the Figueres Renfe Train station you will find it very easy to make your way to the museum, it is also quite hard to miss the stunning geodesic cupola pictured above. There are street signs that help direct you and I recommend getting there earlier as it is common to get stuck in the long lines.

Wonder around the city if you have time, Dali’s sculptures are also scattered around the city.  If you are lucky enough the local street market might be running, selling some amazing foods.

As you walk into the museum you will be greeted by the impressive central Courtyard is the old stalls section of the Theatre. It is dominated by the vertical installation and imposing Cadillac called Rainy Taxi. From the courtyard going up the ramp we reach the space under the Cupola.

As you work your way through the labyrinth you will come to Treasure Room upholstered in red velvet, this room contains some of the most important works in the Dali Museum.

You will then be lead through to the Fishmongers’ crypt where you will pass the feather collage on paper, Head of Beethoven (1973), a large work created by throwing live octopus on paper. Also exhibited is the Christmas Card series produced for the Hoechst company and the series of jewellery that Dali designed. The last room in this section is the crypt overlooked by Salvador Dali’s tomb stone where he is entombed.

Following this you come to the Mae West Room, this is one of the most popular in the Theatre where you can take in the three dimensional creation of the Face of Mae West apartment scene. Here you will find installations from floor to ceiling almost a forebear of popart.

Moving to the Second Floor we find a collection of engravings, continuing through to the spiral stairway displaying the Dior fancy dress.  Third Floor we can visit the Masterpieces room collected from different periods and by different artists displays with deliberate chronological disorder. Walk through the corridors and you will find more sculptures, paintings and silhouettes of the characters that appear in his oil paintings.

This will bring you through to the Palace of the Wind, Salvador Dali has a special fondness for this room as it was here in 1919 that he has his first exhibition at fourteen years of age. Sharing this room with two other painters if it dominated by the impressive ceiling painting from which it gets it’s name.

Torre Galatea, the last section in the museum is a more austere space and more in line with typical museum conventions. This is where you will find the optical illusions room. You will also find the shrine room which Dali intended to avoid natural light to create mystery by covering the windows with fabric.

Jewels is the new rooms of the Theatre-museum that displays the collection designed by Dali. The room has been deliberately darkened and each jewel is paired with a splendid preparatory drawing. “The pieces adorned the jewels, were created to please the sight, extol the spirit, awaken the imagination and express convictions. Without a public, without the presence of spectators, these jewels would not fulfill the function for which they were created. The spectator therefore becomes the final artist. Their vision, their heart, their mind; which are fused and captured with greater or lesser understanding that creators intention; gives them life.” – Salvador Dali.

 

 

DIY Tours Food Thailand Travel

4 Quirky Cafe’s In Bangkok

Care to have breakfast with the mad hatter? Or feast with heroes?
 
While I was in Bangkok I found these amazing cafe’s with some unique themes. So I decided to make an adventure out of it and infuse my life with a little nostalgia.
 

1. Perhaps Rabbits’ – “There is no one alive who is you’er than you”

If you couldn’t already tell this place has a gorgeous Alice in Wonderland theme. Join a Mad Hatter tea party and look around this quaint little cafe.

Perhaps Rabbits’ – Address: 5/1 Ekkamai 10 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Getting there: Take the BTS to Ekkamai station, exit 1, walk to Sukhumvit 63 and then take a taxi ride to Ekkamai soi 10. If you can access google maps on your phone it is very easy to walk from the BTS.
Contact: +66 96 616 3314  Facebook
Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 8pm

 

2. Hero Food & Gathering

If you’re a massive superhero fan, then you will love this neat cafe/restaurant. Full of Marvel/DC paraphernalia, you can also snap some creative action shots around the place. Even some of the menu comes with a superhero symbol.

Hero Food & Gathering – Address: 71 Sukhumvit 4 Alley, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Getting there: Take the BTS to Nana station, from here it is about a 5 minute walk to Hero Food & Gathering.
Contact: +66 98 940 4434  Facebook
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11:30am – 9:30pm

 

3. Cabbages and Condoms

This place gives you condoms with every meal. You will find anything and everything made of condoms, with a quirky shop attached to buy your friends a souvenir. It stands for a safe cause and all proceeds go towards The Population & Community Development Association (PDA)Where people can begin to think of condoms as casually as they do cabbages. 

Cabbages and Condoms – Address: 10 Sukhumvit Soi 12, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Getting there: Take the BTS to Nana station, from here it is about a 5 minute walk to Cabbages and Condoms.

You can also walk from Hero food and Gathering and Vice Versa while you’re in the area.
Contact: +662 229 4611  Facebook
Opening hours: Daily, 11am – 11pm

 

4. Mr Jones’ Orphanage

This enchanting place makes you feel like you’re dining in a toy factory. With cogs, train lines, teddies and rocking horses scattered throughout. It’s a magical place to let out your inner child with some pretty delicious deserts to suit.

Mr Jones’ Orphanage – Address: Various locations at Siam Centre, Empire Tower, Central World, Termial 21, The Mall Bangkapi, Megabangna, Bangkok, Thailand
Contact: +66 2 658 1163 Siam Centre, Empire Tower +66 2 286 1140, Central World +66 2 252 1895  Facebook
Opening hours: Daily, 10am – late

DIY Tours Hong Kong & China Travel

Breath of Fresh Air in Hong Kong

Lantau Island

Lantau Island is the home of the Big Buddha which has become a huge attraction in Hong Kong. Surrounded by wonderful walking trails, shops and restaurants. Walking trails are well signed and easy to follow. You will find one of my favourite tea houses here, try the blooming tea it’s out of this world.
 
Getting there; catch the Tung Chung MTR to Ngong Ping Village. At Ngong Ping Village follow the signs to the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car. This will take you to the Big Buddha.

Lamma Island

Lamma Island is a small island, off the main island. This little gem is a quiet little place with a few shops and restaurants. A nice escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and a great way to experience a traditional Hong Kong village. Lamma Island has family trails if you enjoy hiking.
 
Getting there; take a ferry from Central Pier 4 to Sok Wu Wan.

Sha Tin – Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

The 10,000 Buddha monastery is a beautiful walk. There are approximately 400 steps with paths lined by life size buddhas as you work your way to the temple. The temple also holds approximately 10,000 miniature buddhas, all in different poses. The monastery has free admission and is open daily from 9:00am to 5:30pm.
 
Getting there; MTR East Rail to Sha Tin. The monastery is not well signed and may be a little difficult to locate. When you arrive at the station which links to a shopping centre, do not enter the shopping centre. The monastery is easily found on navigation maps. See below map for directions.

Wong Shek Pier and Sai Kung – East Country Park

Sai Kung has some beautiful hiking trails and you could spend a whole day here if you have the time. It’s a nice get away from the the city and a great way to get some fresh air. There are short 30 to 45 minute walks as well as longer walks if you have the time. It is best to take food and water with you. There is a vending machine to buy something to drink with your octopus card but not much else.
 
Getting there; You can get to Wong Shek Pier by Bus Route 96R from Diamond Hill MTR Station.
 
If you are coming from Sha Tin you can catch Bus 299X from Bus stop B1. This is not a direct route and you will need to transfer at Mak Pin. Pay attention to your stops as the english description is very brief and easily missed. The stop before Mak Pin is Wong Chuck Wan. When you disembark at Mak Pin cross the road to the bus stop on the opposite side of the road. Then from here catch Bus 94 for Wong Shek Pier.

Wong Shek Pier

Wong Shek Pier is where you will find some of the most delicious seafood. All cooked fresh; you can order by choosing a fish from one of the fish tanks. Then decide how you want it cooked ie. steamed or fried. It is a beautiful walk along the pier and an experience that has to be had if you like seafood.

Getting there; You can get to Sai Kung by Bus Route 92 from Diamond Hill.
 
If you are coming from Wong Shek Pier to Sai Kung you can catch Bus Route 94.