Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana also named Lubiana, is the main city and the capital of Slovenia at 298m altitude in the valley of the river Ljubljanica. Its central position between Austria, Hungary, the Venetian region in Italy and Croatia have influenced its history having different cultures: Germanic, Latin and Slavic. In 1991, she became independent of Yugoslavia. Located 140 km west of Zagreb, 250 km northeast of Venice, 350 km southwest of Vienna and 400 km southwest of Budapest. Its historical centre is intact and we find baroque and art nouveau styles, strongly influenced by Austrian cities like Salzburg. There is a headquarter of town district with the main architectural buildings and the headquarter of the Knights of the Cross where we find the Cankar House, the Church of the Ursulines and the building of the society Philharmonic (1702). Unfortunately, the city is in a seismic zone and it has experienced several earthquake quite important spetially one in 1511 and another in 1895 who forced to rebuild the city fthat’s why we found different styles. To see: the Ljubljana Castle (12th century), which dominates the hill, Saint Nicolas Cathedral, Saint Pierre church, the Franciscan church of the Annunciation, the Robba fountain, the Dragon bridge, the Triple bridge, Cobblers bridge, the National Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art among others.

Tips

To visit the Castle you have a funicular. Alternatively, you can consult the calendar of cultural events that take place in the castle to enjoy your visit twice.
A nice stroll throughout the market of Plecknik is nice. It is built on two floors, one of them dedicated to the stores, the other just to stroll beside the river. On Sundays in the old town there is an antique market.
There is also a zoo of about 20 hectares.
Depending on the season of your visit, you will find excursions on boats who go on the Ljubljanica River, giving you the possibility to see the city from another angle. There are also terraces with cafés, bars, restaurants that invite you to take a pleasant break.

Bucerias, Mexico

Bucerias is located towards the North shore of Banderas Bay at about 20 minutes from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was just a fishing village but nowadays many people choose this place for a quiet vacation. It has sandy beaches, cobblestone streets and people are really kind. You can also find restaurants of any kind along or near the beaches. There are a lot of activities to do in the village like whale watching (November to March); sea sea turtles (June to December); do deep sea fishing (all year long); see the Blue Footed Booby ( a special bird found in a few places in the world); see the iguanas of different colours and sizes, and more. Only 20 minutes by boat is full of underwater caves, reefs and neat tunnels. On your way there you can see dolphins, whales, sea turtles, manta rays, sea snakes and jumping fish.

Tips

You can find lots of accomodation: hotels, appartments, houses to rent for short or long periods and you can also invest if you prefer. Lots of American and Canadian use to spend their long holidays there.

There is a small open market in the town centre to buy local crafts and souvenirs.

 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second largest city after Sao Paulo, world famous for its carnival, beaches (Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon) and the statue of Christ the Redeemer on the Corcovado. 20% of its inhabitants, the cariocas, live in favelas (poor district on the slopes of hills (morros) and unfortunately it is the serious urban problem of the city. Rio has more than 90% of its territory covered with tropical forests and the best known is the Foresta de Tijuca which is even inside the city.

Tips

If you want to have a wonderful view of the beaches and even of the Christ, go to the Pao de Açucar (Sugar Loaf; rocky peak of almost 400 meters).

If you want to do a little road to get a good view, cross the Rio-Niteroi Bridge (13 km) you will see the Guanabara Bay and the city of Rio and its beaches. If you have a little time, Nitéroi has also beautiful beaches to spend the day.

Even though there are 2 subway lines, the best way to get around is by bus or taxi. Always ask the driver for the price because they will usually charge you a fixed price for tourist destinations. For safety, ask a taxi in the reception of your hotel. Generally, you can arrange with the same taxi to pick you up at the end of your visit.

If you like the beach, Ipanema and Leblon are more beautiful than Copacabana and a little quieter.

If you want to know a favela there are guided excursions that will allow you to know a little more of the inhabitants of the city. For your safety, do not try to go alone.