I’m Off Again Soon


I am off travelling again soon. Like in 3 days soon! I’m very excited to head off to London and then the Canary Islands. I call it my City & Sun trip. As a result Sunday Special won’t be posted until I get back. But I will post photos of some of my travels so keep an eye out. I will also be posting in Instagram @wanderstheworld and on Facebook.

Time to fly away.

Photo taken & owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders the World.

Sunday Special – Turks and Caicos Islands


Found basking in the sun of the Caribbean’s West Indies is a group of islands known as the Turks & Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory. Not as well known as other Caribbean Islands it seems to be a hidden gem for those who do discover it. Made up of nine inhabited islands and a multitude of smaller ones it is home to over 30, 000 residents. The island of Providenciales is the largest and most highly populated with Grand Turk Island coming in second.

Turks and Caicos Islands – Photo credit:
Jonathan PalomboTurks & Caicos (12122034006)CC BY 2.0

Luxury Tourism is the name of the game in Turks & Caicos with resorts and hotels dotted along the shores. Known for its outstanding beaches and clear waters it certainly attracts sun-lovers. Amazing coral reefs are found here and contribute to the beauty of the sea. SCUBA Diving and snorkeling are popular pastimes, along with other water sports. Though it seems there is more than just beaches and water in the islands. It was once a main salt exporter prior to the arrival of Europeans. And there are both underwater cave systems and dry caves, some of which can be explored. It appears you can do as much or as little as you would like on these sun-kissed isles.

Marine life in Turks & Caicos – Photo credit:
Dameon Hudson, Duke St, Cockburn Town TKCA 1ZZ, Turks and Caicos Islands – panoramio (3)CC BY 3.0

Sunday Special – Busan, South Korea


Today we’re going to check out South Korea’s second largest city and the world’s ninth busiest port: Busan. Located on the southeast coast this urban centre of 3.6 million residents has plenty to offer. Being a seaside port it is has beaches where you can relax and then take to the nearby mountains for some views and hikes (or tram car if you get tuckered out). With food markets a plenty this city is also a haven for food lovers and seafood would be high on the list. This is what I have found out about intriguing Busan:

  • Beaches – Recognized for its beaches Busan is not lacking in available sand-time. Some of the notable beaches include Haeundae Beach (very popular in summers and this site of the yearly Polar Bear Swim in the new year) and Gwangalli Beach (which has golden sands and a view of Gwangan Bridge that lights up at night).
  • Hiking – With the mountains as natural artwork it is not a wonder that plenty of people would want to connect with nature though hiking. Do remember to research the trails and the levels of difficulty so you won’t be surprised. Some popular areas to hike are Jangsan Mountain which has two points you can trek to; Geumgang Park which is home to the Geumgang Fortress; and Seunghaksan that offers some very pretty views.
  • Food – Food is one of my favourite topics and Korea does have some tasty dishes (as I learned when I was in Seoul many many years ago). With Busan being a seaside city it is naturally a delight for seafood lovers. Be it renown markets like Jagalchi Fish Market or cafes and restaurants serving up local specialties such as seafood pancake (dong-nae pajeon) to gourmet restaurants, Busan will no doubt impress many a foodie.
  • Sights – There are plenty of areas to see and wander about in Busan. Among them are the  Gamecheon Cultural Village, a family friendly area where you can see the colourful buildings holding much history. It does have plenty of stairs and alleyways that will give you a different viewpoint on every turn. Youngdusan Park Tower offers a view from its perch at 118 m /59 ft and a park that you can relax in. Set in the backdrop of the mountains, Beomeosa Temple is considered one of Busan’s top-rated. And it’s location offers some great vistas of the city.
  • Busan International Film Festival – Held every October since 1996 it runs for 10 days showcasing both international and Korean films. A popular event, tickets sell out quickly.

Haeundae_veiw_from_Gwangalli

Busan at night – South Korea. Photo credit: RsmokovHaeundae veiw from GwangalliCC BY-SA 4.0

Haeundae_Beach_in_Busan

A sunny day Haeundae Beach – Busan, South Korea. Photo credit: StephNurnbergHaeundae Beach in BusanCC BY 2.0

Sunday Special – Cape Verde (Cabo Verde)


Now this week I did pick an island nation! And why not? Today we will check out Cape Verde (or Cabo Verde) which lies 570 km / 350 miles west of Africa in the central Atlantic Ocean and is made up of 9 inhabited volcanic islands and 8 islets. It had been isolated and uninhabited until the 1400s CE when it was colonized by Portugal. In later centuries it was, sadly,  a major port in the slave trade due to its location. After the end of slavery the island saw a marked decline in economics until it became another popular port and stop in the shipping industry. The Portuguese then incorporated it into an overseas department in 1951. Seeking independence, Cape Verde gained it peacefully in 1975. Today it is a stable, democratic, liberal, and among the highest developed countries in Africa.

The capital city of Praia is located on the southern tip of the island of Santiago, which is also the largest. Santiago is where most of the population lives though the other islands do offer activities and interests such as hiking, beaches, snorkeling, surfing, culture. Here are a few more bits of info:

  • Santiago – The landscape is varied and ranges from beach to mountain, steppes to valleys. The capital city of Praia offers plenty.  The plateau area contains many older buildings and architecture such as the old city wall, the Presidential Palace, and Praia Cathedral. Rumour has it that some of the best waves are found around Praia so this makes it a good location for surfing. 
  • São Vicente – This island is home to the town of Mindelo which is considered Cape Verde’s cultural capital with traditional music being played regularly at cafes and restaurants along with modern pop music. Meandering around town you can take in the Mercado de Peixe (fish market) and a local market. Windsurfers and surfers can take to the water on beaches.
  • Boa Vista – The third largest island it is renown for its sandy beaches making it a paradise for sun worshippers looking for quiet getaways. The Cape Verde music of Morna originated on this isle. It is also a protected haven for loggerhead turtles as a result of the work of The Turtle Foundation which also looks for volunteers to help protect these gentle creatures.
  • Sal – Once a spot for the mining of salt this now small and flat island is building its tourism industry. With barely any cloud cover this island is perpetually sunny. Trade winds provide impressive conditions for surfing and windsurfing for much of the year. 

The remaining island all have something to offer, even if for a short duration. Cape Verde strikes me as a place where you will not be bored yet still retain a relaxed vibe while visiting.

Chaves_Beach_in_Boa_Vista

Beautiful Chaves Beach on Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde – Photo credit: RomazurChaves Beach in Boa VistaCC BY-SA 3.0

Cape_Verde_Sal_kitesurfing

Catching some wind on Sal, Cape Verde – Photo credit: CayambeCape Verde Sal kitesurfingCC BY-SA 3.0

Órgãos,_Santiago,_Cape_Verde

A misty day on the island of Santiago, Cape Verde – Photo is Public Domain (XanduÓrgãos, Santiago, Cape Verde, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons)