Posts Tagged 'Dutch'

Don’t Just Dance with the Penguins; Dive in and Swim – Cape Town, South Africa

Tranquillity, comfort and all you need in a vacation home

Tranquillity, comfort and all you need in a vacation home

Cape Town is beautiful city with a rich ethnicity, history and unique geography. Its inhabitants are made up of many cultures including Indonesian, French, Dutch, British and German as well as native Bushman, thus making up a motivating blend of heritage.

The city offers an appealing architectural legacy, fine cuisine and blooming gardens. The imposing presence of natural features such as Table Mountain towers above the city on one side as the sea does to the other. The range of museums are so vast, that you will never get to visit them all.

By heading just 15 minutes outside of the city limits, rows of picturesque towns will appear. You will find yourself in a paradise for nature lovers and hikers alike. Cape Town is also within ten minutes to vineyards of the acclaimed South African wines considered outstanding by many wine connoisseurs.

The surrounding mountains and forests will give immediate relief as you’re miles away from the stresses of modern-day life. The whole family can get in the spirit with a vacation rental that is little more than a stone’s throw away from some of Cape Town’s most popular tourist attractions. This three bedroom gem at Silvermist Mountain Lodge sleeps six.

The official National Park, Boulders Beach, is a forty minute drive from Cape Town but is well worth it.  This is a must on your itinerary. Located in a gorgeous haven between Simons Town and Cape Point, this world renowned beach houses something you would never come in contact with during any other seaside visit.

Once there, the cantaloupe-round granite boulders give shelter and affords interesting discoveries of one little cove after another. Boulders Beach is excellent for snorkeling and swimming.

If anyone told you that you could see penguins in the wild along the beach, you would come to the conclusion that maybe Antarctica is not too far away. Penguins are seen as a vulnerable species and can be seen in zoos throughout the world.

Silvermist Mountain Lodge is one of many to enjoy Cape Town

Silvermist Mountain Lodge is one of many to enjoy Cape Town

Instead, discover penguins first hand at Boulders Beach, allowing a real view of their colonies. With your camera in hand, you become completely charmed by their antics as they congregate on the beach. This is probably the only place in the world where you can actually swim among the penguins but keep your distance. Although they are not put off by tourists, let them do their own thing.  Just relish the once in a lifetime opportunity to see them in the wild. 

There are penguins at the aquarium in Cape Town too, but once you have seen them at Boulders Beach, anything else would appear secondary. So if the members in your party insist on heading to the aquarium; visit it first.

Boulders Beach is just one of the many sites to check out in Cape Town and its surrounding areas.  It is so easy to do so much when you stay at a vacation rental home.

Tortola is the New Zen!

Zen is all about relaxation and appreciation of the beauty that surrounds you. There are many private islands with villas abound in the Caribbean for those seeking their Zen, both with simplicity and splendor. Many believe that if you are not independently wealthy, the chances of a similar visit are null. Unless of course you consider this alternative solution; Tortola!

Live on a lush island with your own vacation rental

Live on a lush island with your own vacation rental

Appreciate much of its charm, rather than with a short visit, but by staying in a villa vacation rental instead. The beaches on the East End of the island are a lot less popular, not because they are any less beautiful, but they are developed to assure privacy. Have you independence and luxury with this wonderful two bedroom sleeping four. This villa allows you to have the convenience of a resort next door, if you hanker for some live entertainment or dining out.

There is never a long enough visit in Tortola to savor the beautiful scenery and get a feel of this lovely island. Here you can enjoy a fruity rum punch and lounge around in the ambiance of nature for awhile while listening to Calypso band playing in the distance. There are other things to see and do on this lush island.

The Sage Mountain Park

This is tallest mountain in the British Virgin Islands and a delight for hikers. There are remnants of the primary rainforest near its peak. You have numerous trails that will lead right to it. There are also placards that identify various vines, flowers, trees and several rare and endangered plant species that grow within Sage Mountain. If this your only chance to see a rainforest, visit it.

Dolphin Discovery

Yes, swimming and playing with the dolphins will create a fun and unforgettable experience. This is your opportunity to encounter these highly intelligent and friendly marine mammals.

Mount Healthy National Park

The sugar plantation era in Tortola was strong and the evidence was left behind of the windmill and old mill of this National Park. There are also other remains believed to be the Boiling House and the Overseer’s Quarters in the immediate area.

Now is the time for your visit.

Now is the time for your visit.

The Callwood Rum Distillery

Callwood is a historic rum manufacturer that has been in operation for over four centuries. Plan a visit while discovering the family behind the plant and how rum is manufactured. What’s more is that you get to sample the product. 

Fort Recovery

Fort Recovery was built by the Dutch colonists in 1648. The ruins are on the grounds of the Fort Recovery Estate. You are allowed to wander around the ruins and visit the lookout tower.

An open-air jitney bus is a great way to see most of the island’s beautiful beaches, coves, and bays. You will want to swim in them all and it is certain you can never choose a favorite.

Ride along a spiraling road down from the hills and the view as you approached magnificent scenery. Lots of small sailboats may be anchored in the bay making the view even more picturesque if that is possible. Often people sail around the island, anchoring for a night or two; but you have the advantage of a vacation rental villa in Tortola and can stay as long as you wish.

Bicycles, Cheese, Windmills and Volendam! – Netherlands

Be close enough to enjoy all of what a great city has to offer, while maintaining the country and seaside lifestyle. Sounds impossible?

Traditional ways are strong in Volendam.

Traditional ways are strong in Volendam.

You can actually have both with a visit to Volendam. Being only 20 kilometers away from the capitol of the Netherlands, Amsterdam; Volendamis a fishing village with the picturesque traditional Dutch architecture along the waterfront.

Among its bridges and channels, known as Doolhof(similar to a Labyrinth), this small village is an ideal holiday choice. Amsterdam can boast many activities but Volendam can take you away from the far and maddening tourists within the city and let you experience Dutch rural life. It is here where many of the natives actually still don traditional Dutch attire. 

Volendam, from its humble beginnings in 1462, began as the small rural borough and gradually developed into a prosperous fishing-village. The old village is left intact near the harbor, but to view what life was really about, a visit to the Volendam Museum located near the old quarter and the Volendam dyke. This small building is built on stilts at the edge of the main harbor. The stilts are there to protect the building from frequent flooding that occurred before the Zuider Zee was cut off from the ocean in the early 20th century.

Within its confines, the Volendam Museum offers exhibitions that include a wonderful display of traditional Dutch clothing, gorgeous original Dutch genre paintings, furnishings and interesting historical displays. 

A modern vacation rental at a Marinapark Volendam rowhouse.

A modern vacation rental at a Marinapark Volendam rowhouse.

Your accommodations of a vacation rental is a modern row house in Volendam, where you can enjoy all of Holland at its best. It is a perfect location to share with the entire family in a 3 bedroom at the brand-new Marinapark Volendam, located right on the water with its own marina and views of windmills in the distance.

Broaden your knowledge of Volendamand its history, not only at the museum but along the countryside and waterfront.  At the harbor, view the long-established fishing boats leaving in the morning and returning with their catch later on in the day. Purchase some before the catch heads to the market. Much of the attraction of Volendam is to sample fresh seafood, such as salted herring and smoked eel. The outcome is reminiscing of past centuries fishing atmosphere that you can not easily find elsewhere anymore.

Sample the very best of Dutch cheese on a traditional farm, in Edam, located only 2 km away. Of course you can always rent a bicycle, as biking is the preferred mode of transport. Go on a trip of discovery along scenic routes and if you happen to arrive in the spring, the colorful bulb fields are in full bloom. Don’t forget to balance your time with a visit to Amsterdam; its bustling city centre offers an abundance of culture with an air of cosmopolitan and is easily accessable by train.

Afterwards, it will be pleasure to return to the wholesome and hearty Volendam; where time seems to have stood still, except in your vacation rental.


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