Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Today I’m longing for a tropical getaway (spring classes are almost out!) so I’ve decided to go to Bermuda. Bermuda is a British territory located west of South Carolina and northeast of Miami, Florida. With its subtropical climate, the islands attract massive amounts of visitors, causing tourism to be a huge driver of their affluent economy, following finance as its largest sector of its economic success.

Ever since its discovery by the Spanish in the 16th century, Bermuda was always frequently visited but never permanently settled because many believed it was haunted. In fact, for this reason, it was called the Isle of Devils!

The islands are divided into nine parishes and two municipalities: Hamilton, Bermuda’s capital, and St. George’s. As mentioned before, the economy is booming in Bermuda. Its per capita income is approximately 20% higher than that of the United States and has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Many international businesses are based in Bermuda, primarily insurance, reinsurance, investment funds and special purpose vehicles businesses.

Bermuda’s pink sand beaches with clear cerulean waters are extremely popular among the tourists. Scuba divers and snorkelers are also attracted to Bermudian waters for its breathtaking sites of old underwater shipwrecks and coral reefs. Bermuda’s most popular attraction is the Royal Naval Dockyard, which includes the Bermuda Maritime Museum. There are also many golf courses and beautiful resorts you can relax and vacation at.

Although Bermuda may be small, it is an amazing place to visit. I know I want to!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cairo, Egypt

Traveling to an ancient city, I decided to take us to Cairo, Egypt today! Cairo, or Le Caire, literally means “The Vanquisher” or “The Conqueror.” The names given by the English and French languages are only corruptions of the Arabic name for the city, which is “Al-Qahira.” This city is the largest in Africa and the capital of Egypt, and ranked as one of the densest cities in the world with almost 7 million people in the metropolitan area and an addition 10 million surrounding it.

Cairo and its surrounding areas, especially Memphis and Giza, were the focal points of the ancient Egyptian civilization. This area was strategically located for it was right around the Nile Delta. In the 4th century, the Romans established a fortress on the bank of the river and called it Babylon, which still stands as one of the oldest structures in the city. The Muslim influence first arrived in Cairo in 641. Saladin became the first Sultan of Egypt around 1170 and based his dynasty in Cairo.

Right across the river from Cairo, there are over 100 ancient pyramids scattered along the western bank of the Nile. The biggest site to see is the Pyramid of Giza, formally known as the Great Pyramid of Khufu. This is the sole surviving Wonder of the Ancient World at 4,500 years old! The size of this pyramid is absolutely mind boggling: it covers 13 acres, stands at 483 feet high, and is made up of 2.3 million stone blocks. The pyramid was the tallest man-made structure for over 3,800 years, the longest period of time held for this record. You can also check out the Sphinx of Giza right near the pyramid. The Sphinx, a large stone statue, has a lion’s body, wings of a bird and the face of a man. It still stands as the largest monolith statue in the world and is known as the oldest monumental sculpture, built around 2558 B.C.

Check out these awesome sites in Cairo:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Big Things, Australia

Today I’m not covering just a city, but a whole country! These places are loosely related and are incredibly unique. Remember my first blog about the Big Chair in Gardner? In Australia, there are over 150 “Big Things” you can visit!

This phenomenon all began in 1963 with the Big Scotsman, followed by the Big Banana in 1964. Since then, towns left and right in the country have been building big statues. Some interesting things found in Australia are an orange, a boxing crocodile, a PLAYABLE guitar, an olive and my personal favorite: the Big Penguin (I’m somewhat obsessed with penguins).

Check out these awesome pictures!

Every big thing has its own unique story to it. For example, the “Big Cigar” was built to represent Winston Churchill’s cigar and is located in Churchill, a town named after the British Prime Minister.

These big things were first made as traps to attract tourists along major roads between major destinations in Australia. Sometimes the big things are used as an excuse for a road trip for Australians. What’s your favorite “Big Thing”?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Island

To start off the Easter weekend right (weekends start on Thursdays at Babson Park), I think it’s fitting that I talk today about Easter Island. The real name to its original natives, Rapa Nui is a territory of Chile and is located in the southern Pacific and is the southernmost point of the Polynesian Triangle. The name was given by the first recorded European visitor, Jack Roggeveen, who came across the island on Easter Sunday in 1722 while searching for David’s Island. Easter Island is most known around the world for its magical beauty and monumental structure.

The first settlement was approximately between 400 and 700CE. Natives to Easter Island lived in clans and were governed by a high chief, who was known to be the eldest descendant of the legendary founder of the island, Hotu Matu’a. These people built stone statues called Moai, which were made to represent their defied ancestors. There are over a thousand Moai statues all over the island and the largest one recorded is 10 meters tall and weighs around 75 tons.

Another interesting fact about Easter Island is that it is the very origin of sweet potatoes! While most believed that these tasty veggies were from South America, it was actually transported from Easter Island to different parts of the world. Natives of the island were very dependent on sweet potatoes and were considered the “fuel of the moai statues.”

The Moai statues aren’t the only attraction to Easter Island. The island offers beautiful beaches and snorkeling and scuba diving sites are very popular among visitors. Because the island is so small, it’s quick and easy to get around. There are many lavish resorts and cute restaurants where you can try Polynesian seafood.

There’s a lot you can find out on Easter Island on the PBS Nova’s documentary: Secrets of Easter Island. Check it outtt:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Seoul, South Korea

For this blog post, I’m going to my true hometown, my birthplace. Although I left the place at the young age of nine, I still have so many memories and I had the privilege of visiting just last summer.

Seoul, the capital city of South Korea is a megacity and the second largest metropolitan area in the world with over 24.5 million people. It is known as one of the ten global leading cities of the world as a financial commercial center. It’s also a world leader of industrial design and technology. A major settlement for over 2,000 years and a history leading back 5,000 years, Seoul is rich in history and absolutely fascinating for its embracement of ancient monuments with high skyscrapers.

Seoul is divided into 25 “gu”, or districts, which are divided into “dong”s, or neighborhoods. That being said, there are many interesting places you can visit in Seoul. In the heart of the city lies Dongdaemun Gate and Market. Dongdaemun means “Great East Gate,” and was named so because it served as a main gate that surrounded the city during the Joseon dynasty. The area around the gate is now known as the Dongdaemun Market, which includes upscale market districts, as well as underground shopping districts which are more reserved for bargains. The area also includes an amateur baseball stadium.

Seoul Tower, better known to residents as Namsan Tower, was built in 1980 as a symbol for the city. It stands at 777 feet tall and has four observation decks to which visitors can get to by cable cars. The fourth observation deck revolves at 48 minutes per revolution and includes two restaurants and gift shops. Most of the city can be seen from this tower because it is located in the center of Seoul.

Yoido Full Gospel Church is located on Yoido Island in Seoul. This is a huge financial and governmental district, including the National Assembly Building, Korea Financial Investment Association, Korean Exchange, 63 Building, and the headquarters of LG and big broadcasting network companies, KBS and MBC. This church currently has over 1,000,000 members and is the largest Protestant Christian congregation in South Korea and the world. It was built in 1958 and founded by Pastor David Yonggi Cho. The church holds 7 Sunday services, with each service holding about 12,000 people and available for instant translation in 16 different languages.

Seoul is most definitely dear to my heart for many reasons and is a fascinating place to visit with breathtaking views of the city that intertwines modern technology with ancient art and monuments. Check out other sites in Seoul at this website:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Algorrobo, Chile

I’ll be writing this blog post by request from a good old friend of mine. Thanks Jon!

Algorrobo is located on the central coast of Chile and is a popular summer location for the people of Santiago, the capital of Chile. Although the city itself is relatively rural and only has around 8,000 people, it’s got a jewel you just cannot miss.

The San Alfonso Del Mar Resort in Algorrobo has an incredible pool called the Saltwater Lagoon. It is widely known as the largest and deepest swimming pool in the world. The pool is 1,000 meters (about 0.6 miles) long and gets up to 35 meters (115 feet) deep.

The pool is maintained and set to have fresh saltwater coming in from the ocean right next to the pool and give off a beautiful turquoise color. The pool is also kept at 26oC (78.8oF) and achieves the atmosphere of a Caribbean beach on the Chilean coast. The pool is so large, taking up about 190 acres of land, it took the workers over 6 days just to fill the pool with water!

The lagoon also has private white sand beaches that visitors can enjoy and relax in peace. On these beaches, the sand is heated and beaches are roofed to maximize comfort of those staying at the resort. So you’re probably asking from looking at the pictures: why is this necessary right on a beach? The water of the ocean on the coast which the pool is located is extremely cold and the waves are harsh and large, making it almost impossible to relax and swim in.

Because the pool is so large and gets deeper than any other pool in the world, visitors can not only swim but sail in the pool. If you ever get a chance to visit Chile and want an adventure, be sure to visit Algorrobo to see the San Alfonso Del Mar Resort!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

I haven’t been writing on my blog because I’ve been so incredibly busy this weekend! Thursday was my sorority’s philanthropy event, Nacho-Average-Sorority Nacho Bar, KE$HA Concert on Friday, and then on Saturday we had our formal, the Sapphire Ball. Both events were so much fun: check out these pictures!

Nacho Bar


Sapphire Ball 2011

Hyatt Regency in Cambridge

Anyway, back on subject, because we had our formal at the Hyatt Regency by Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I’ve decided that I should write a little about it for today’s post J

Cambridge, Massachusetts was first settled by English colonists in 1630. It was part of Newe Towne, which was founded by Puritan colonists of the Massachusetts Bay Colony under Governor John Winthrop. The town’s name was changed to Cambridge in honor of Cambridge University in England.

There’s so much to do in Cambridge; the incredible amount of history will mesmerize you. The most historical and unique places in the city include Harvard Square (primary site of Harvard University), Leonard P. Zakim Bridge (known around the world for its asymmetrical structure), and all the pieces of architectural art you can find on the MIT campus.

Cambridge has so much to offer from cuisine and history to education and art. Every corner is always bustling with tourists and visitors from all over the world. Bordering the Charles River, you’ll be sure to always run into a beautiful view. Go visit this unique place today!

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