Kerala Tourism Trip Tips coming soon!


The State of Kerala in Southern India is home to some of India’s most intriguing natural landscapes, animals, and people.

Kerala – meaning “land of coconuts”, which grow here in abundance thanks to the balmy tropical climate.  was formed in 1956 from the former states of Travancore, Malabar and Cochin.  Many here speak the Malayalam language.

Kerala’s Malabar Coast has been famous for spices for over a thousand years.

Kerala’s capital is Thiruvananthapuram at the southern end of the state. The other major cities are Kochi (formerly Cochin) and Kozhikode (formerly Calicut).

If all goes well we’ll be off to Kerala this spring on a blogging tour and will bring you pictures and stories from that region.  Stay tuned!

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Half Dome Hike Risk vs Driving to Yosemite Risks

National Parks, yosemite, yosemite half dome california

I have just  survived a top ten dangerous hike in the most dangerous National Park so naturally I’ve been wondering just how dangerous that hike was.  Typically we overestimate “dramatic” dangers like lightning strikes and hikes and underestimate the mundane, greater dangers of driving cars and riding our bikes around.

However in the case of Half Dome it appears there is a bit of death risk, albeit still pretty small in the scheme of things.

Our odds of survival were always good, but Yosemite has been a dangerous park, especially last year 2011 when  18 people (!)   died there :
Spooky description of a 2007 fall off the cables:
Book about Yosemite deaths.
Base jump off the place where we took pix:
Of course you have to compare the small number of deaths on that hike over many, many years (20 on dome, 60 on trail) with the huge number of people who *survived* their hikes, as I think we did (assuming no parallel universes where we didn’t survive), to get a reasonable risk calculation.   You also need to compare that risk to other risky things we do, such as *drive to Yosemite*.
I wanted to know which was more dangerous – the drive or the hike.   Obviously there are many confounding variables  (nobody was drunk driving, our hiking experience is higher than average, decisions vary with people, etc, etc, but here’s a shot at the answer  …..
Let’s assume that the  20 dome deaths are since cables were installed by The Sierra Club in 1919  (hey, THANKS Sierra Club!):
Now we need to estimate the number of people who have made it up there as we did.   Ranger guy below the dome and internet tells us it is now about “350-400 per day”.   That would be current high season with permit restrictions so hard to know the past until I can find more records.  But we know that the low season (winter) is about 0 per day.   Probably far fewer people in 1919 than now, so let’s *wildly guestimate* that on average, since 1919,  100 people per day go up, and that almost all that traffic is during the high season of June, July, August, September when cables are elevated with the metal rods  (in the past and in winter they lay flat on the surface).  100×120 days = 12,000 people up per year.  90 years of cables x 12,000 =  1.08 million ascents of half dome over 90 years.    ROUND THIS WILD GUESTIMATE to one million people up  half dome over all of human history.
We now have 1,000,000 people who went up and 999,980 people who come safely back down.  20 of the million, sadly, died on half dome.   Thankfully, every single one of us remains in the 999,980 group of happy Half Dome hikers.
Your chance of dying on the final half dome portion of the hike is, very very approximately, if our assumptions are reasonably accurate, about 20 / 1,000,000 or one in  50,000.    We could also state this in this fashion if our assumptions are correct:
“For every 50,000 people who go up the final portion of the half dome hike … one will probably die”.
For extra drama we might note that we had 6 people on the hike so the (pre-hike) odds that one of us would die were 6/50,000 or 1 / 8333.
Now we need to compare this to our 900 mile car trip home.   Car travel is one of the more dangerous things we do on a regular basis.   VERY ROUGHLY in California there are 1.21 deaths per 100 million miles travelled
We did not travel 100 million miles so we need this calculation to figure out deaths per Yosemite trip:
The chances of dying during 900 miles of car travel in California:  900 x  [1.21 / 100,000,000] =   .00001 deaths per Yosemite trip.
So, on average of all drivers and cars and circumstances, the chances that somebody will die on a trip of 900 miles in California are about one in 100,000.      Put another way this means that, very approximately:
” For every 100,000 people who take a 900 mile trip to Yosemite by car, one will die ”  
So if all these assumptions are pretty reasonable, than we can state that the half dome portion of the hike with its one in 50,000 chance of death, is about twice as dangerous as the car ride with its 1 in 100,000 chance of death.  

Washington D.C. Trip Tips


Washington D.C. Trip Tips

It is fun to be planning our July 2015 trip to Washington D.C.    I was born there and have visited several times, but D.C. offers a plethora of interesting and superbly iconic American attractions  (Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, White House, Capital, War Memorials, etc, etc).

This amazing city never gets old.

Some of the challenges I’m facing so far are high hotel prices in the downtown areas, though Hotwire has been good about cutting those into more accessible reasonable rates.  Unfortunately Hotwire reservations can’t be cancelled so you are to some extent gambling that your trip plans will not change. Check in our website for transport info.


coming soon…
Which Washington D.C. Hotel to Choose?

D.C. has over 100,000 rooms in the larger metropolitan area at about 660 hotel properties.   About 120 of these are located in the city itself.

For living large on a middle class budget we are considering The Savoy Suites, a premier hotel with lowered rates during their remodeling (July 2015).    As with most (all?) downtown nice hotels, parking adds another $30 or so to the daily tab in a city where you don’t really need a car to get around, assuming you are willing to walk a LOT as well as use D.C.s  great metro system.

Another possibility is  the option of staying outside the city, parking at the hotel or at the metro itself  (about $5 per day) and using D.C.s fantastic and cheap metro, an extensive subway network that extends well beyond the city in all directions.

D.C. Dining 

(more to come during the trip)




The Top Five Must See Historical Places in New York City

Food, new york, new york city travel, New York History, new york travel, restaurants, Uncategorized

The Top Five Must See Historical Places in New York City – By Ray Chin

Everyone knows that New York City is rich in history, and most realize that is an evolving city as well.  If you know where to look, you can still discover bits of NYC’s past.  From Fraunces Tavern to Grand Central Terminal, here are the top five must see historical places in New York City, you can read about this in travelling blogs as andersfogh online.

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal (89 E 42nd St) first opened in 1913 and it is still a major transportation hub.  Here is a fun fact: there is a hidden train track in Grand Central Terminal, Track 61. This track was used to transport President Franklin D. Roosevelt to NYC.  Also the famous constellations on the ceiling are actually reversed, so that one would see the ceiling as how the gods would view the stars. There are quite a few secrets about the Grand Central Terminal, such as the whispering gallery and a hidden bar —click here to see the interstate removalist in Canberra. To find out more about these secrets, we suggest taking a scavenger hunt or a tour of Grand Central Terminal.

Wall Street and The New York Stock Exchange

Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange (11 Wall Street) are the financial center of the world.  One of the more interesting facts about Wall Street is that back on September 16, 1920, Wall Street was attacked by terrorists and they were never caught.  If you are visiting the area today, you can still see some of the damage from this attack on 23 Wall Street, 95 years later.

Bloody Angle

Doyers Street is a quite unassuming street in the heart of Chinatown but it hides a dark history.  It was once the bloodiest street in the United States with more violent deaths occurred here than any other street in the USA.  The secret passageways that were once used as an escape route are now the location of a few small businesses. Today, Doyers Street is the home to the popular restaurant, Nom Wah Tea Parlor (13 Doyers St), the oldest tea parlor in Chinatown.  You can learn more about the fascinating history of Chinatown and Little Italy and sample some of Nom Wah’s delicious

 dim sum on a Chinatown and Little Italy food tour  from Ahoy New York Tours & Tasting.

 Fraunces Tavern

Fraunces Tavern (54 Pearl St) is the oldest bar in New York City.  It played an important role before, during and after the American Revolution.  It served as the headquarters for George Washington and it was a venue for the peace talks with the British.  Today it is a restaurant and museum and visiting Fraunces Tavern is truly a blast from the past. We recommend hiring, because there are very long distance destinations.

Cleopatra’s Needle

There is an obelisk on the east side of Central Park on 81st Street that seems out of place in New York City.  The obelisk actually has nothing to do with Cleopatra and it was originally built in Heliopolis in 1450 BC.  Cleopatra’s Needle is in fact the oldest man-made object in Central Park. The obelisk was a gift from Egypt to New York/US to increase trade between the two countries.  The New York obelisk is part of a pair with other obelisk located in London.

This is a guest post written by Ray Chin, a blogger for Ahoy New York Tours and Tasting, a walking food tour of two historic neighborhoods Chinatown and Little Italy.  With tastings ranging from creamy mozzarella from the oldest Italian cheese shop in America to the delicious original egg rolls from the oldest dim sum parlor in Chinatown, it is a ton of fun!

Top 5 Historic Forts In India

asia, history, india travel

India is a land that has been ruled by various kingdoms and dynasties. Most capitals and cities India were traditionally built inside the ramparts of a strategically located fort. While there are many forts that date back to the ancient era of the 4th century BC, most of the old forts have now either been abandoned or have become an important historical monument. The Forts in India due to their distinctive architecture are revered by tourists and attracts millions of visitors. Here are the top 5 historical forts that you must visit in India.

1. Red Fort, Delhi

Red Fort, Delhi

Red Fort, Delhi

Image Credits @ Deivis

The Massive fort is located in the national capital Delhi and is also considered as one of the revered historical monuments in India. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1648. Red fort is considered as the prime example of Mughal Style architecture and combines the various architectural styles of Persian, Turkish and Hindu Architecture. The various apartments in the fort are connected through a centrally running canal also known as the ‘Stream of Paradise’. The massive fort is built in red sandstone and spreads across an area of 254.67 acres of land. The brilliant architecture and the various artifacts the fort houses has made it a UNESCO world heritage and also the spot where the prime minister of India hoists the National Flag every year on 15th of august which is India’s Independence Day.

2. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Image Credits @ beech_design

Situated in Jodhpur, the capital of the Rathore Rajputs of Marwar, the fort is situated 122 meters above the city on the top of a hillock known as ‘Bhaurcheeria’ or the Mountain of Birds. The fort was built in the 15th century by the Rathore Ruler Rao Jodha who decided to move the capital of Marwar from Mandore to a strategically secure location of Jodhpur. The fort is exemplary of the fine craftsmanship and architectural prowess of the Rajputs and is considered to be one of the unconquered forts in India. The various apartments and galleries often leave the visitors awestruck and mesmerized. The fort also contains a museum where several historical artifacts, paintings, handicrafts, armor, weapons and firearms are displayed.

3. Agra Fort, Agra

Agra Fort, Agra

Agra Fort, Agra

Image Credits @ jackfrench

This fort is another UNESCO world heritage site in India. The fort is situated near the Yamuna River, the water from which was used to feed the moats around the citadel. It was originally built in the 11th century and was ruled by the Sikarwar Rajput clan. The fort as we see today was built by the Mughals as Agra was one of their capitals. The site was captured several times and was renovated on by various rulers; it was however, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan who is credited for the fort’s current monolithic structure. It is built in red sandstone which is a trademark of the region. The fort contains various structures which were built to commemorate the various victories of the Mughal Rulers. The architecture of the fort is unparalleled and attracts a huge number of visitors.

4. Gwalior Fort, Gwalior

Gwalior Fort, Gwalior

Gwalior Fort, Gwalior

Image Credits @ iamrawat

The fort is popularly called the ‘Gibraltar of India’ and is one of the most structurally sound forts in India. The fort was built in the 8th century by the rulers of the Tomar Dynasty and is located in Gwalior. The site currently serves as an archeological museum and houses few of the most exquisite collections of historical paintings, handicrafts and artifacts from the various clans that ruled the fort from time to time. The fort complex contains several palaces, temples and water tanks. There are also 11 temples that are dedicated to Buddha and Jain. The fort is also one of the very well maintained historical forts in India. The fort is also famous for being the last stronghold of Rani Lakshmi Bai who achieved martyrdom fighting the British occupation of India.

5. Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad

Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad

Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad

Image Credits @ iamrawat

Fort is known for being the capital of the medieval kingdom of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty and is situated in Hyderabad the state capital of Andhra and the newly christened state of Telangana. The region is also known for its mines that has produced world famous gems like the Koh-I-Noor and The Hope Diamond. The fort is built on a granite hill that is 120 meters above the city. It was originally built by the Kakatiya between 945- 970 AD and flourished under the rule of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty. The fort complex comprises of 4 forts that are interconnected and contain various palaces, temples, halls and gateways etc. The architectural style is unique as compared to the other hill forts found in India as it has traces of Persian, Turkic and Dravidian style of architecture with the majority of structures built in Turkic style.

Being a country with more than 4,000 years of ancient history, India has been blessed by various historical forts and monuments. The 5 forts mentioned above are examples of the finest architectural styles prevalent in India. A visit to these will definitely help you experience the vast history and experienence the times when the illustrious dynasties ruled the lands of India.

Author Bio:

is an avid travel blogger and a traveler who likes to experience and discover new cultures in India. He is also a blogger at Trans India Travels, a website that provides information about the various travel destinations in India.

Top 5 Historical Monuments In India

asia, history, india travel

The tourism industry of India is considered to be among the top 20 out of all the countries in the world. India is a historical country with a vast and deep rooted culture and has seen the reign of various ancient and historical dynasties and kingdoms. Each dynasty and kingdom that ruled the land brought with them a distinctive style of arts, crafts and architecture. India is a home to a huge number of cultures which are strikingly distinctive from each other. The ancient and historical architecture in India has always been popular and attracts millions of tourists from all over the world each year. Here’s a list of the top 5, must-visit historical monuments in India. Follow some top tips for exploring Durban

1. Taj Mahal, Agra


Image Credits @ Ashutosh

The most famous and elusive of all the monuments in India, the Taj Mahal is one of the most brilliant pieces of Mughal style architecture in the world. Located in the city of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, the building is a mausoleum which was built in the memory of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s late wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is built entirely out of carved white marble and the craftsmanship of the various decorative murals and marble carvings is totally unparalleled, in the inside has decorating their hand knotted tradition rugs that are famous around the world. The structure is also a part of the 7 wonders of the world and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The Taj Mahal has been covered in various documentaries and books, which explain the details of its design and the story of how it was constructed.

Built on the banks of the river Yamuna the white as pearl structure is a symmetrical marvel and is one of the top tourist attractions the country has to offer. Apart from Taj Mahal, there are a few other tourist attractions in Agra which should not be missed on your visit.

2. Gateway Of India, Mumbai


Image Credits @ DewDreams

The monument was built during the British Rule in India and is located in the economic capital of India, Mumbai. The building marks the arrival of the British Majesty King George V and Queen Mary, in December 1911 in India and the reason for the name of the structure. The construction however began in 1915 and the Royal Couple only saw a cardboard model of the structure upon their arrival. The massive gateway is located at the end of the Mumbai Harbor and was opened for public use on the 4th of December 1924 by the Earl of Reading the then viceroy of India. The architecture is a marvelous cross between the Roman arch designs and the architecture of Gujarat in the 16th century. The building is 25 meters in height and 48 feet in diameter and is build from yellow basalt and reinforced concrete. Gateway of India is surely the focal attraction of this city; but you can also checkout other places to visit in Mumbai if you want to get the true picture of this city’s history.

3. Red Fort, Delhi

Red Fort

Image Credits @ Aneta & Mark’s

Situated in the Capital city, Delhi, the Red Fort exemplifies the pinnacle of Mughal Style Architecture in India. The Fort’s design was a template that was used in building various other forts in the country and especially in the north Indian region. The fort was built by the Mughal Ruler Shah Jahan who wanted to move his capital to a more strategic location of Delhi. The Fort housed the Mughal Rulers for a period of 200 years and is a national symbol. The architecture is a cross between various styles of Hindu, Rajputana and Persian style of architecture and is built in Red Sandstone. Located by the river Yamuna, by which the moats around the castle were fed. Every year on the 15th of August, the Fort is used by the President of India to hoist the national flag to commemorate India’s Independence. Apart from Red Fort, there are many more historical places in Delhi.

4. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur


Image Credits @ RussBowling

Considered to be the finest specimen of Rajputana style of Architecture, Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds is located in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan. The city was the capital of the Majestic Kachwaha Rajputs and is also the capital of the state. The Hawa Mahal is a part of the Royal City Palace and formed the Zanana or the Women’s chambers. The design is inspired by the crown of the Hindu deity Lord Krishna and has an astonishing 953 small windows called ‘Jharokhas’ which are decorated with the most intricate latticework. The place was intended to be the viewing spot for the ladies of the royal family where they could view the world outside. The rooms are of various colored marble stones and the scientific design provides a natural air-conditioning effect in the structure keeping it effectively cool during high temperatures. Apart from Hawa Mahal, the famous forts such as Amer Fort, Nahargarh Fort etc. are among the top tourist destinations of Jaipur for its historical importance.

5. Fatehpur Sikri


Image Credits @ Dan Arif

The now abandoned town of Fatehpur Sikri was once a bustling and glorious capital of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and is considered to be the best preserved collection of monuments from the Mughal Era. The entire city is a larger than life monument built by the majestic emperor and the architectural prowess is simply brilliant. We recommend Hema maps, you can buy one online with free delivery, to avoid getting lost in this or any country. The massive Buland Darwaza is the gateway that welcomes you into this wonderful work of art. The various inscriptions on the monuments exemplify the religious tolerance during Akbar’s reign and the various buildings have distinctive influences of various Indian styles of architecture. The complex contains several buildings including mosques, tombs, assembly halls, living chambers of the Royal Family and is mostly built in red sandstone and concrete.

In a land where you can experience a new culture every few miles you cover, it is certainly a monolith task to make a list of the top monuments in the country. However, this is a humble attempt at compiling the best of the preserved architectural monuments in the culturally diverse land of India.

Author Bio:

is the owner of Trans India Travels and and an Architect by profession. Rohit is on a constant search for new places and enjoys exploring the architectural marvels of India and the world.

History Buff Cruises – guest post from Cruise Web

asia, cruise ships, cruises, europe, shanghai, southeast asia

3 Cruise Destinations for History Buffs

By Austin Gambino, The Cruise Web Team

As vacations go, cruising offers a lot of diversity. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re interested in kicking back on the beach, ready to go on a culinary adventure, or intrigued by the depths of a destination’s history. Let’s take a look at three cruise destinations that are just perfect for history buffs.

Asia/Southeast Asia

Whether you are cruising to China, Japan, or Southeast Asia, there are some unbelievable sites and attractions for those who love to learn about a region’s history. Beyond the classic trips such as the Great Wall, Angkor Wat, and The Forbidden City, there are plenty of options to explore for even the most jaded travelers of Asia, such as the Sultan Mosque (Singapore), Celuk (Bali), or the Usuki Stone Buddha Statues (Beppu, Japan).

Phenomenal Ports-Of-Call

Ayutthaya (Thailand), Tianjin (China), Singapore, Bali (Indonesia), Bangkok (Thailand), Busan (South Korea), Yokohama (Japan), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Port Kelang (Malaysia), and more.

Extraordinary Excursion

Trek into the Batu Caves while at port in Kuala Lumpur (Port Kelang) in Malaysia. This location is a sacred Hindu temple with incredible statues and vibrant wildlife (such as the macaque monkeys) with some equally amazing history. Keep in mind there is a 272-step climb to reach the cave complex, so you’re sure to work out your body and your mind on this excursion.

Northern Europe

Cruising to Northern Europe is well-known to be a history buff’s dream. Castles, museums, and churches can be found all over Ireland, Germany, Northern France, Norway, and other countries you will encounter on a cruise to Northern Europe. In addition to the traditional options, river cruises are a superb option to get acquainted with the historic wonders of the Danube, Main, Rhine, and other European rivers.

Phenomenal Ports-Of-Call

Copenhagen (Denmark), Bergen (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Southampton (England), Tallinn (Estonia), St. Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Hamburg (Germany), and more.

Extraordinary Excursion

Certain cruise lines offer a unique excursion while cruising through Russia that allows passengers to become a ‘Cosmonaut for a Day’ at Moscow’s Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. This is a special excursion for history buffs because this base was used as a secret training base for Soviet Cosmonaut candidates and had a direct connection with the ‘space race’ between the USSR and the United States during the cold war.

Canada and New England

Cruises to Canada and New England are an intriguing vacation option for history buffs because of the diversity of history you can experience. In New England, there are attractions and deep rooted cultural and historical influences from the United States’ early years (pilgrims/indians, Yankees, and Industrial Revolution). In Canada, you can find French and British influences dating from the 15th century, Post-Confederation Canada, and more (quaint villages, landmarks, and historic forests).

Phenomenal Ports-Of-Call

New York City (New York), Newport (Rhode Island), Boston (Massachusetts), Bar Harbor (Maine), Halifax, Novia Scotia (Canada), Quebec City (Canada), Montreal (Canada),  and more.

Extraordinary Excursion(s)

If you want to try something different than the classic ‘Lexington & Concord’ in Boston or Quebec City walking tour, you may want to check out the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow House in Portland, Maine, which was once the headquarters of George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Or, visit the picturesque ‘Peggy’s Cove’ tucked into the eastern shore of Halifax, which boasts a pedigree of fishing excellence since 1811, and has a wonderful lighthouse to explore (Peggy’s Point Lighthouse). Peggy’s Cove is a picturesque fishing village. You can charter a boat to go fishing or simply drop a copolymer fishing line from one of the four wharfs to fish for mackeral.

As you can see, history buffs can enjoy history and cultural influence while cruising to the myriad of destinations served by cruises, such as Canada and New England, Northern Europe, and Asia. Remember, this only scratches the surface of history while traveling by sea.   Many other cruise destinations are ideal for historical vacationing, such as the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Africa. Which history buff cruise destination seems like the most intriguing? Let us know in the comments below, or tell us about your historical cruise vacationing experience!

The Gettysburg Concordance – a richly detailed mobile application guide to the battle of Gettysburg

Civil War

July 1, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary the battle at Gettysburg, one of the Civil War’s most famous  andmost significant fights.   Here on northern soil, we find the “high water mark of the Confederacy” – the northernmost point at which significant fighting occurred between the north and south.

The Gettysburg Concordance is being released in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.  It is a comprehensive and interactive digital reference to the most significant battle ever fought on American soil.

… From the Gettysburg Concordance Press Release….

Follow every regiment, brigade, division, corps, and army across the campaign area and battlefields in the month leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg, the historic battle itself, and the subsequent retreat.

The Gettysburg Concordance follows the entire campaign from June 3 to July 14, 1863 and includes over 1,000 events, drawn from over 150 primary and secondary sources. The app covers the order of battle, including over 1,300 individuals who held command at Gettysburg. It is a visual database as well, showcasing over 700 images � photos and sketches of the officers and battlefield in 1863 and today.

Each event is geo-referenced. You can use it as a guide on the battlefield, within the campaign area, or as an armchair general at home. Backed by rigorous scholarship, each entry includes at least one, and sometimes as many as four or five references.

Track Joshua L. Chamberlain, Robert E. Lee, John F. Reynolds and over 1,300 other individuals. Read the orders they gave and the letters they wrote. See images of them as well as the engagements in which they participated.

Data is displayed on scalable maps, which can be zoomed in or out with a simple pinch or swipe, and on easy to search tables. With a few taps you can search and restrict events to a range of dates, one or more units (over 800), an individual or any combination thereof.

Download from the Apple App Store

Despite the large volume of data contained in the Gettysburg Concordance, it is fast, easy to use and provides an enjoyable experience for the amateur historian, re-enactor, educator, researcher or tourist. You can even walk the battlefield with a GPS enabled iPhone or iPad and watch your user position change as you intersect the location of important historical events.

The authors of the Gettysburg Concordance continually expand the content as new research comes to life. Users are encouraged to contribute photos and additional detail to be considered for inclusion in updates. To join the discussion, visit them at Facebook.

If you are interested in the American Civil War and the most significant battle ever fought on American soil . . . you need the Gettysburg Concordance.


A Historical Experience on a Road Trip to California National Parks

american history, National Park, National Parks, Travel, travel and history, travel and leisure

A Historical Experience on a Road Trip to California National Parks

 Joe Laing, El Monte RV

What a perfect way to spend a vacation – traveling in an RV on a tour of California’s National Parks! This is truly a unique way to experience California and U.S. history as well as amazing people from our past, for this the use of this Guide to Digital Nomad Rving is really useful in these road trips. Explorers, adventurers, artists and Native Americans – all sorts of folks savored the beauty and also some of the adversity of California as they arrived year after year, century after century. Many stories are told within California National Parks.

Let’s start in Southern California and work our way up to the northern reaches near the Oregon border. We will move not only through the deserts of the southwest where archeologists find historical treasures, but also through wild lands of rugged mountains and tall trees where American Indians hunted and gathered for their families. We’ll visit Gold Rush Country where miners laid down their lives for riches beyond measure. As you travel in an RV you will never lack for a place to stay, as there is an abundance of RV parks everywhere you go. By the way we recommend you to check out Used RV for Sale? Here’s How You Can Be Sure It’s Worth It to get more information.

At Channel Islands National Park, off the coast in Southern California, you will be visiting five amazing islands that have been the subject of many years of research by scientists and historians. Each island has its own story. The Chumash inhabited the islands for thousands of years, yet were decimated when traders and explorers brought in disease. These same traders exploited resources as they hunted seals and otters. Because the islands are so isolated, they have a wealth of unique plant and animal life which creates in itself a wonderful reason to visit.

Heading east now, you will want to visit Joshua Tree National Park next. This desert park offers views into a rich history, with a fascinating story set in an almost surreal environment. There are numerous archeological and historic sites to explore. It is imperative you stop at the museum to see the Campbell Collection which consists of numerous artifacts, notes and photos which tell the story of early cultures.

On north now to Death Valley National Park! You simply cannot visit California without stopping here. You may not believe how much history this park can contain. However, you can’t deny that the Twenty Mule Team wagons have made an impression on young and old ever since they entered the history books. You have the opportunity to visit a long list of ghost towns such as Chloride City, Greenwater or Harrisberry. And to get a look into the life in this desert area in the 20s and 30s, be sure to stop at Scotty’s Castle.

Again heading northward, you will come to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks where the breathtaking beauty of the giant trees and rugged mountains will encourage you to get out in the fresh air and get some recreation time in. These side-by-side parks lie in the San Joaquin Valley and have a six thousand year history at least, with hunters and gatherers living in this Southern Sierra wonderland. More came in later years – the trappers and miners, the sheepherders and the loggers. Learn the story of Walter Fry, who arrived as a logger, but after counting the growth rings on one of the trees he cut, decided he wanted no part of ending over 3,000 years of growth.

Don’t miss Yosemite National Park and learn all about our well-known John Muir and all he did to have this area protected as a national park. Experience the views as did Ansel Adams through his camera lens. This park is filled with history and you should allow many days to take it all in. There is so much about this park that can be said, that we’ll leave it at – GO!

Finally you will come to your last two stops, very different from each other – Lassen Volcanic National Park in north central California and Redwood National Park on the coast. Lassen is filed with meadows, lakes and, of course, volcanoes. More than one! Discover the wild stories of the Native Americans who lived and raised their families in the Lassen area. Find out all about the effect that American Indians and the loggers had on Redwood National Park. The wildlife and beautiful coastline at Redwood National Park are some of the main attractions here. As you explore either park, you will learn so much about this region of California and how natives and European explorers came and forged out a living. Although your tour is now at an end, the memories will last forever!

About the Author

Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV, your nationwide source for RV rentals. El Monte RV also sells used motorhomes through eight different locations across the United States. For more information on purchasing a used motorhome see

Camino de Santiago from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela – Pictures

Camino de Santiago, Spain

The Camino de Santiago is an ancient Christian pilgrimage to the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Although there are many possible routes to take, the most popular are the stages starting at the French Border town of  St Jean Pied-de-Port or at Roncesvalles Spain.   The journey from these cities is about 680 kilometers.

Here, from this excellent site about the Camino, are pictures from the various stages of the trip.   If you’re interested in the trip you’ll also want to visit the Facebook discussion page to read information about the Camino and ask questions.

Buen Camino!

The stages of the Camino Francés
Stage 1 25 km – 58 pictures
Stage 2 26 km – 76 pictures
Stage 3 15 km (to allow sightseeing
in Pamplona) – 36 pictures
Stage 4 25 km – 40 pictures
Puente la Reina
Stage 5 21 km – 24 pictures
Stage 6 22 km – 22 pictures
Torres del Rio
Stage 7 21 km – 28 pictures
Stage 8 29 km (+40 km detour
to Clavijo) – 44 pictures
Stage 9 21 km (plus a 40 km.
side trip to Yuso and Cañas
monasteries)- 28 pictures
Santo Domingo de la Calzada
Stage 10 23 km – 23 pictures
Stage 11 24 km – 29 pictures
San Juan de Ortega
Stage 12 27 km – 24 pictures
Stage 13 39 km – 30 pictures
Stage 14 25 km – 28 pictures
Stage 15 19 km – 20 pictures
Carrión de las Condes
Stage 16 38 km – 30 pictures
Stage 17 18 km – 10 pictures
El Burgo Raneros
Stage 18 19 km – 10 pictures
Mansilla de las Mulas
Stage 19 17 km – 16 pictures
Stage 20 22 km – 12 pictures
Stage 21 26 km – 34 pictures

Stage 22 21 km – 32 pictures
Rabanal del Camino
Stage 23 33 km – 50 pictures
Stage 24 23 km – 38 pictures
Villafranco del Bierzo
Stage 25 28 km – 65 pictures
O Cebreiro
Stage 26 39 km – 29 pictures
Stage 27 21 km – 46 pictures
Stage 28 24 km – 36 pictures
Palas de Rei
Stage 29 29 km – 42pictures
Stage 30 39 km – 42 pictures
Santiago de Compostela
Page 31 42 pictures
The extension to Finisterre
Page 32 48 pictures
The city of Santiago de Compostela
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