Jardin Scullion, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec, Canada

By buying abandoned land in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in 1985, Brian Scullion had begun the development of his business, a production nursery and in 1999 he decided to diversify his activities by creating the Scullion Garden. This garden has a little more than 2,000 species of plants from around the world, many of which have had to adapt to the harsh climatic conditions of the region. This place is a pretty important tourist attraction in the area. You will find beautiful landscaping, buildings and infrastructure, several trails, streams, a mini farm, games for children, an ancient forest camp, picnic areas and several animal species. There is also a new development of 12 hectares with nearly300 species of conifers.

Tips

A very important detail is that all signs are in three languages (French, Spanish and English) and everything is well indicated.

If you want to visit the area of the new coniferous garden project, you can rent an electric cart.

Several packages are available to visitors and children under 5, accompanied by an adult, enter for free. For groups of 30 people and over, there’s a guide service.

Pets on a leash are allowed on the site, except at the restauration service.

Karlstein Castle, Czech Republic

Karlstein Castle (Hrad Karlštejn), located 30 km from Prague, is one of the most important castles in Bohemia. It was founded by Charles IV to preserve the jewels of the Imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire, the royal crown of the Bohemian states and the various holy relics. The original castle was of Gothic architecture but after being abandoned for over a century, many Gothic elements were replaced by others of the Renaissance type. It is known as the most visited castle of the Czech Republic. It has 5 levels with several towers and the large dungeon has 60m.

Tips

Prepare for a walk of about 20 minutes to get there, as the access by car stops in the parking of the main road, the rest of the ascent must be done on foot.

Do not miss the Saint Croix chapel in the upper tower. Generally it is necessary to make a reservation to visit it because of the great affluence of tourists. It has 4 partially glazed windows of gems, a cross of ogives and frescoes illustrating the life of Christ and 129 paintings representing saints signed by Theodoric.

You will also find a well with a depth of 80m where the bucket is raised and lowered by a wheel once driven by people who walked.

It is possible to book a guided tour in different languages. For visits in Czech, German or English it is not necessary.

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.