From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, we have public spaces onboard the ship ideally suited for each and every need. A separate bar and lounge, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading.
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page. Augustine Whether traveling alone, with family or friends, on a girl-getaway or with a love -- just go! Here we offer solo travel trends, great destinations, interviews, and smart deals and ideas.
As Mark Twain a sometimes solo traveler observed, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness. Or blog with longer opinions, journals, anecdotes, email pass-alongs and travel stories.
Many solo travelers in these uncertain times look for ways they can do good along the way. Here are four ideas on visiting Portugal with an eye toward supporting our planet, saving endangered species and just doing the right thing.
How can spending time in Portugal make our world a better place? Portugal has made some important choices in its economic development. They include deciding not to build a dam, but rather to take a huge loss and save important cave paintings in a remote valley; Ripping down modern beach hotels to rebuild with an environmental resort that is smaller and more balanced; Visiting a place where the delicate balance of nature and humanity is vital to those who live there.
And, supporting the largest forest in southern Europe that might help stop the effects of climate change. How is that for a good time! However, the construction process revealed a vast amount of prehistoric cave paintings that needed to be saved, at the recommendation of archeologists.
The Portuguese government then made a difficult and expensive decision.
The dam project was abandoned and, in its place, a heritage park was created. Today it's quite a drive to get to the park, but many do it to see the cave paintings of mountain goats, horses, aurochs wild bulls and deer.
These species are all typical of the large herbivores that were part of the ecosystem in the region during the Upper Paleolithic Age. Engravings of fish are also among the collection, along with one image of a human form. The engravings were etched using quartz or flint, the images being scratched into the rock walls using straight lines or zigzags.
The Quinta da Ervamoira museum stands at the center of the heritage park, offering interpretations of the region and its customs. The museum shows the art of bread-making and wine production through the ages. Throughout the area surrounding the park, new inns are opening to cater to guests. Drink wine and save the Iberian Lynx Next time you open a bottle of wine that has a cork in it, think of the Iberian lynx.
The Alentejo region of Portugal is home to the largest cork forests in the world, and those cork forests have served to protect all the species of plants, birds and animals that dwell within them. In more remote parts of these protected lands, the rare Iberian lynx can still be found.
Cork forests are protected by law. Cork is a totally natural product. It is environmentally friendly, renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable.
Portugal has enough cork forests to last more than years and, under a reforestation program, they're growing by four percent a year on average. The forests produce more than half the world's total cork supply.
The cork industry also sustains more than 15, employees in remote areas. To produce cork, a cork oak Quercus Suber, or Sobreiro in Portuguese must be at least 25 years old.
To harvest the cork, the outer bark is stripped from a cork oak once every nine years. The tree is protected by an inner bark, which is always left on the tree. The harvested bark is boiled and purified A cork oak tree can live as long as two centuries.
According to a recent study by The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the use of natural corks by the world's wine industry sustains a variety of rare wildlife in the cork forests of southern Europe. Forty-two bird species depend on the cork forests, including the endangered Spanish imperial eagle with a global population down to pairsas well as rare species such as the black vulture and black stork.
Smaller birds, such as robins, finches and song thrushes, migrate to the Iberian Peninsula's cork forests from northern Europe, along with blackcaps from the United Kingdom. In spring and summer, the cork forests are home to a rich variety of butterflies and plants, with more than 60 plant species recorded in just one square meter.
One particular tree in these protected lands is known as the "Whistler Tree" because of the many singing birds attracted to it. It is said to be years old.
This tree alone may have produced 1 million corks. So, skip that petroleum-sourced "plork" or aluminum twist top for your own bottle of wine. By choosing a wine with a cork, you're supporting these forests, which are supporting the planet.Singles Chat.
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