Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England

The Victoria and Albert Museum (“V & A”), is a large museum of arts and sciences in the heart of London’s South Kensington in a place known as Albertopolis. It was created in 1851 as the South Kensington Museum. It was built on land acquired through profits had during the 1851 World Fair, designed to resemble several museums and educational institutions aimed at converging education, industry, science and art, mainly dedicated to industrial goods and crafts. In 1880, the collection of the India Office was incorporated into the museum. The decorative arts are the specialization of the museum collection with a wide variety of objects from different periods. Also included in the crystal, pottery, high fashion dresses and accessories, furniture, tapestries, silverware, toys, statues, etc .; with approximately 4.5 million objects.

Tips

It is open daily and admission to the Museum is free but sometimes there are exhibitions that require paid access.
You can get there by public transport to Earl’s Court Station with the subway and then you have a regular bus with a frequency of 3 minutes that leaves you at the door or you can also make a walk of 20 minutes.
If you plan to spend the day at the museum, you have two cafeterias, one inside and the other in the garden (closed in December and January) where you can have a hot or cold complete meal or just a drink and a snack.
You can bring your camera and make pictures almost throughout all the museum except for temporary exhibitions.

 

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Sugar shack, Quebec, Canada

The sugar shack or ‘sucrerie’ is the place where it manufactures the maple products. It lies within the wood where they collect the sap of maples in spring. This sap (or maple water) is discharged from the cells of the tree in autumn to allow it to survive the winter freeze. This is not the pure sap, there should be a transformation into maple syrup using a system of kettles and vessels where the sugar concentration increases at each stage. These shacks date from the beginning of the 19th century, with their craft and a popular tradition. It is a typical activity of Quebec but there are some other Canadian regions and even in the United States where you can find them. There are commercial or family shacks. From maple syrup, producers make toffee, caramel, candies, sugar bread, syrup, jelly and also alcoholic drinks.

Tips

You can taste a good meal or just simply visit the sugar shack, see the production of its products and buy on-site. A traditional meal usually has an omelette, ham, with potatoes, beans, etc, and for dessert, you will find the sugarpie, all with maple syrup.
You will also find animations and activities on-site. It is a good activity for the family, with children or friends.
The time to make your visit is from March to April.

Special thanks to the artist Cristina Benevidez Legault who let us have a picture of a sugar shack made by her.

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The Blue Hole, St. Ann and St. Mary, Jamaica

The Blue Hole is a place hidden up in the mountains with waterfalls and natural swimming pools, on the border of the parishes of St. Ann and St. Mary, at about 25 minutes from the town of Ocho Rios, in Jamaica. You can find two sections; the main Blue Hole and the waterfall of about 20 feet in height. You will find a path going along the river and you can walk from one to another. You can jump into the Blue Hole or just walk around if you prefer; the only thing is that you must be very careful because the rocks could be very slippery. The best thing to do, specially if you are there for the first time, is to hire a guide, he could tell you where it is better to walk or jump. Remember you are in a place that isn’t too commercialized yet and there’s no first medical aid nearby if something happens to you. On the other hand, the good thing is that you are really visiting a place in nature.

Tips

The site is open form 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM.

You must pay the entrance (15,00U$) and provide some extra money for your guide’s tip. If you are going with a group of 10 people or more, you can negotiate the price of the entrance.

Don’t forget to bring your water shoes, your swimsuit, a towel and a waterproof camera.

If you feel adventurous, there is a Tarzan swing you can use to jump into the hole.

Try not to visit the place when the cruise ships are docked in Ocho Rios, you’ll be better when there are a few people visiting the place.