Know About Driving In Portland

About freeways

If you are in downtown, you will have to use I-5, or I-405 that also goes to the Pearl District. The Banfield (which is how I-84 is called by locals) starts at I-5 on the east of the city, goes to the Columbia River and on to Idaho and Utah. You can also use it to get to Portland International Airport through I-205.

Traveling westbound U.S. Route 26, also called Sunset Highway, can get you to Forest Grove, Hillsboro and Beaverton. And if you go eastbound, using so-called Mount Hood Highway, you can get to Mount Hood and on to Nebraska.

The speed limit for highways is 55 mph, and for interstate highways – 65 mph. Using a cellphone is prohibited while driving, except for hands-free accessories.

Driving in the city

When you are in the Pearl District, watch carefully for the sings as there are many one-way streets, and some of them change directions. On the West Burnside Street there’s two-way traffic but left turns are not allowed on most of the streets. To get to the left, make two rights to get to the cross street that goes in the direction you need.

On the Transit Mall you will have to share the road with buses, trains and bikes. So make sure to watch for bicyclists. Also, when you are at an intersection with a green bike box where you have to yield to bikes.

Also remember, that in Portland you can turn left and right on the red light onto one-way roads if you stop first and yield to upcoming traffic and pedestrians.

Parking

There are 9,700 metered parking spaces in the central city. There are two types of parking meters. One of them is coin-operated, the other one is SmartMeter which is a multi-space parking meter. There are also 6 SmartPark garages in downtown with 4,000 parking spaces. There are also privately owned parking lots with various rates.

Car Sharing

Portland is where car sharing has been founded in the United States. Today, there are five car sharing companies making it simple for anyone to get around the city without using their own vehicle.

Car Transport

If you are moving to or from Portland, you can move your car by using Portland auto shipping services. It is the most convenient way of transporting a vehicle around the country.

Wild Atlantic Way

Kinsale

A colourful village that worthy to spend a couple hours walking through the small side roads & alleys. Being located on the coast offers fresh fish to be had, check out Fishy Fishy restaurant or their takeaway.

Nearby is the Charles Fort which you could walk the coastal trail from Kinsale to the fort via Scilly Walk, a 6km round trip. The Charles Fort is a 17th century military based with a star-shaped fort on the water’s edge.

Mizen Head

The most Southerly point of Ireland looking out to the Atlantic seascape with an iconic Mizen footbridge which you can crossGreat clifftop scenery.

Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a 179km loop in the southwest of County Kerry, a popular route for visitors to take by a tourist bus or their own car. Commonly driven counter-clockwise to avoid being stuck behind a coach – an important note to take as you would want to see the beautiful views.

Skellig Ring & Islands

A detour off the Ring of Kerry drive, an 18km route taking in the views of the famous Skellig Michael islands which has recently been featured in Star Wars films. Do visit Valentia Island for 360 viewpoints from Geokaun Mountains.

Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey & Walled Garden is located on a beautiful castle grounds with a picturesque entrance. Located in County Galway in the Connemara National Park.

Sky Road

A small route with large scenic views, this is an 11km sky road touring route starting from Clifden in Connemara region. Follow the signs for Sky Road to enjoy fantastic views of the coastline, old coast guard, bays and more.

Slieve League

Actually higher clifftops than Cliffs of Moher and equally matching dramatic clifftops. This free clifftop attraction is one of the highest in Europe and worth a visit without the Cliffs of Moher crowds. Located in County Donegal.

Beautiful Mosques In The World

Faisal mosque Islamabad-Pakistan

It’s the fourth largest mosque in the world and the biggest in the south-east and southern Asia. From 1986 to 1994, it was the biggest mosque in the world before the completion of the Hassan II in Morocco. For many years, the worship center has been voted as one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Sheikh lotfallah-iran

It was constructed between 1602 and 1619 during the reign of Shah Abbas I. In addition to being a worship center, it has other roles. It also functions as a hospital, royal mint, royal caravanserai, and bath.

Taj ul mosque-Bhopal, India

Located in Bhopal, India, Taj ul mosque is also known as the crown of mosques. Featuring a pink façade, the worship center has two 18-storey minarets with marble domes. It also has a bulbous dome, marble flooring, and grand hallway. There is also a double-storeyed gateway that has four recessed archways. While its primary role is to serve as a mosque, it also doubles as an Islamic school during the day.

Wazir Khan-Lahore, Pakistan

It’s located in the northern city of Lahore in Pakistan on one of the busiest roads in the area. The mosque has been standing since the 17th century and is one of the most important landmarks in the city. What makes the worship center attractive is the colors and paintings. Both inside and outside the mosque are fresco paintings and tiles. The paintings feature a wide range of colors such as green, cerulean blue, yellow, purple, orange, and cobalt.

Blue mosque-Istanbul

It’s one of the landmarks in Istanbul. It boasts of six needle-like minarets and a series of domes and half domes. It was constructed during the reign of the Ottoman ruler Ahmed I between 1609 and 1616. In addition to the exciting domes, the mosque also has high ceilings featuring 20,000 blue Iznik tiles. The tiles have trees and flowers of differing patterns.

Ubudiah-kuala Kangsar, Malaysia

It prides itself of four minarets and a golden dome that was designed by a British architect, Arthur Benison Huback. Huback created the worship center at the command of Sultan Idris Mushidul Azam Shah who had vowed to construct a beautiful mosque as a thanksgiving after recovering from an illness.

Historical Mosques of Morocco

The Koutoubia Mosque

Constructed in 1147 by Abel Moe’men the Islamic Caliph of Morocco at the time, the Koutoubia mosque is the most interesting and remarkable historical mosque of Marrakesh that is commonly included in severaltravel packages to Morocco.

The mosque gained its name, Koutoubia because it was built near a large books market. Featured by its huge columns, large stone capitals, and decorated domes, the Koutoubia Mosque is the best example of the art and architecture of Almohad Dynasty that always amaze travellers who tour Morocco.

The Mosque of Al Quaraouiyine

One of the most and ancient and most significant mosques in Morocco, the Mosque of Al Quaraouiyine was built in the 9th century in the marvelous city of Fes, commonly included in several travel packages to Morocco.

Although the mosque was constructed during the ruling period of Almohad’s dynasty, many other dynasties including Almorvids added their contribution to the mosque renovating it and increasing its space. They even largely enriched the mosque’s decorations and constructed a notable Minbar that is still present in the mosque until today.

The mosque also had an Islamic teaching institution that is considered one of the most ancient universities in the world. While in Fes, it is always a good idea for travellers who tour Morocco to explore the Mosque of Al Quaraouiyine.

The Towering Minaret of Hassan

Constructed by Jacob El Mansour, the establisher of Al Rabat as the capital of the Moroccan Kingdom, the Sultan chose the location of his mosque carefully to be overlooking the Abi RekRak River, near the Atlantic Ocean. However, the mosque was never completed due to the problems that took place in Andalusia at the time. However, the towering minaret of the mosque remained as a clear evidence of how glorious it was. Today, the mosque is one of the most significant historical sites visited by numerous travellers who tour Morocco.

At the time, the Mosque of Hassan would have been the largest in Africa with a surface area that exceeds 26 thousand and 100 square meters. The towering minaret of the mosque, the only remaining part, is 44 meters high and it is richly decorated in the Andalusian style of architecture. Many tourists who travel to Morocco are usually amazed because of its impressive size and magnificent ornaments.

The Mosque of Hassan II

The largest mosque in Africa, the Mosque of Hassan II is located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The construction work took more than 14 years to be completed, from 1986 till 1993. The mosque is featured with its magnificent decorations characterized with its mosaics and wooden works. The mosque is one of the most popular monuments explored by several travellers who tour Morocco.

Consider Before Go on a Tour

Get paper copies

Of course, you need to keep your passport with you while you are in a foreign country. It’s better to keep a photo copy as well.

Inform your credit card company

You may want to let your credit card company know that you are going to use the card. This will help avoid any issues that may arise in case the company assumes your credit card is stolen.

Hold newspapers

It’s better to hold any newspaper that you may have subscribed to. This is to keep the burglars from knowing that you are away for a few days.

Consider a house sitter

When you are away, it’s better to have someone in your house. You can consider someone in your community for this job.

Look for a gardener

If you have a lawn in your house, the plants need to be watered and taken care of while you are away. Therefore, make sure you ask someone to do the job. You may even pay them for the service.

Remove the spare key

Some people have a spare key to their house in case they need it in an emergency. If you also have one, make sure you remove it or take it with you.

Drop the curtain

Burglars may look into your house if the curtains are not dropped. So, make sure you drop all of the curtains before you leave your house.

Activate a timer

To reduce the likelihood of burglary even further, consider installing a timer to turn on a few lights at night automatically.

Switch off water supply

You may consider turning off the water supply to different appliances in your house, such as ice-makers, dishwashers, washing machines and toilets.

Unplug other devices

Obviously, no one will be using the appliances when you are gone. So, it’s better to turn off your computer, toasters and ovens, to name a few.

Check your wallet

Make sure your wallet has only the times you will need while you are in another country.

Alleppey Houseboats

Alleppey is not short of houseboats meaning it is very possible to find one at any given time. They are modern luxuries that come at very affordable rates passing through tropical mangroves and other mesmerizing sceneries. I particularly love the coconut aroma that the trips are filled with as the boathouse wades through the waters. Saji Holidays Houseboat, B 4 You Houseboats, Alleppey Crystal Holidays Houseboats, Lake Pearl Houseboat and The Kerala Houseboat are some of the most popular houseboats but there is a long list of properties available for enjoyment. I have personally had a chance to enjoy a few of the facilities and I have a few favorites that while I am in Alleppey.

This beauty of a boathouse can be found at Zacariva Bazar a kilometer from the Alappuzha Railway Station. It is also a few kilometers from the KSRTC bus stand in Alleppey. The free breakfast here is a huge attraction for visitors and I like the fact that I can access assistance at the front desk round the clock. It comprises of two spacious guestrooms and ample amenities including makeup mirror, wardrobe, medical assistance, room service and laundry. Parking is available and the power supply is round the clock. The AC room can accommodate a total of 4 adults and 2 kids so I don’t have to worry even when I tag my family along for a deserved stay in this part of India. The attractions near this houseboat are Alleppey beach and the Mullackal Rajarajeswari Temple.

This magnificent houseboat is another of my favorites in Alleppey. It is in the Kumarakom area offering very comfortable accommodation. Notable is the suntan deck where the views of the backwaters can be enjoyed. I particularly find the wooden flooring appealing and the rooms are furnished beautifully featuring important amenities like music system, TV and a modern bathroom. Some of the rooms on this houseboat have seating area and from the dining area traditional dishes can be enjoyed. It is a few kilometers from the Cherthala railway station and the Kuamrakom Bird Sanctuary as well as Vembanad Lake. It is complete with smoking rooms, Ayurveda clinic and is child friendly too.

Burmese Bamboo

Contrary to e.g. precious stones and jade, which are not renewable, thus finite and teak wood (that to renew till it becomes commercially valuable takes between 20 and 30 years) and bamboo (that to renew till it becomes commercially valuable takes only 3 years) are infinite.

As a member of the sub-family Bambusoideae of the grass family Poaceae or Gramineae, bamboo is a perennial flowering evergreen that is said to be originated some million years ago in what is nowadays China from where it started to conquer practically the entire world and developed into more than 1.400 ground and above-ground growing species in 115 genera.

Should someone ever ask whether you know the fastest growing plant on this planet you can rightfully answer, “Yes, I know that is bamboo.”

Out of the in Burma recorded total of 97 bamboo species, 15 belong to the species ‘Dendrocalamus’ (the local names of the top-three of them are Hmyin, Wapyu and Wabo-myet-san-gye) and 11 to the species ‘Gigantochloa’. These bamboos are also some of the 10 most economical species and are members of the group of so-called ‘Giant Bamboo or Timber Bamboo’. They grow under favourable soil and climate conditions within one growing season of some 4 months (rainy season) from ground/shooting level to their full height of about 33 ft/10 m with a culm (also called pole or stalk) diameter of 12 inch/30 cm. At this speed you can literally see the bamboo grow; no joke. Although the first harvest is possible after 1 year, the best harvesting time is after 3 years when the culms are fully hardened.

There is no natural resource that is renewing itself faster and no plant that is more versatile, stronger and at the same time flexible than bamboo. Burma’s Bamboo forests cover about 4.000 sq mi/10.500 sq km) of its land mass, which makes Burma – after China, Indonesia and India – the country with the world’s 4th largest area of valuable wild bamboo forest. Additionally to the already existing bamboo forests large areas of idle land could be transformed into environmentally friendly and balanced bamboo plantations.

Bamboo is a very easy to grow and undemanding, environmentally sustaining plant that easily adapts to different or changing soil and climate conditions. This, in turn, has the potential of turning raw bamboo and moreover bamboo article into products that will significantly contribute to the county’s export income once the Burmese bamboo (and Rattan) industry is capable of producing top-quality bamboo article. This will put the country in a position to successfully compete in the global market with other bamboo and bamboo products exporting countries such as China, Vietnam, Thailand and India. Globally, bamboo and bamboo article are a multi-billion USD business and for Burma is a large chunk of it up for grasps.

Bamboo is put to many uses. It is a formidable alternative to wood and used to build complete houses, a large array of furniture, household article and utensils, to make paper and textile fibre and, last but not least, its shoots are a delicacy in many (predominantly Asian) countries and its manifold medicinal properties are highly appreciated in traditional medicine.

With increasing popularity of bamboo and bamboo products in the west the global demand for bamboo and high-quality bamboo articles is rapidly increasing what offers Burma the great opportunity to translate its richness in the natural resource bamboo relatively quick into urgently needed hard cash on national, regional and local level. It opens windows especially for SME’s in the Bamboo industry what includes local private bamboo forest owners.

Main bamboo article in the global bamboo and bamboo product trade are apart from 1st class top-quality culms, for instance, bamboo flooring, bamboo walling, bamboo plywood, bamboo charcoal (to be used as fuel and/or filter), bamboo pulp and paper-based articles, bamboo furniture, bamboo woven products, as food article, preserved bamboo shoots and as ingredients for traditional medicine (homoeopathy) liquid extracts and dried and pulverised parts of several different bamboo species. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Panda bears just can’t get enough of delicious bamboo leaves and tender twigs.

Monuments of Alexandria in Egypt

The Library of Alexandria

Considered as one of the largest reading institutions in the world, the Library of Alexandria hosts more than 8 million books. Constructed in 2002, the Library of Alexandria welcomes several travelers who tour Egypt daily.

The Library of Alexandria is actually the modern version of the ancient library of Alexandria that we established by the Ptolemies in the 3rd century BC that was damaged afterwards during the 1st century AD. The library hosts four museums for antiquities, the history of science, ancient manuscripts, and one museum dedicated to the former Egyptian president, Anwar El Sadat. While in Alexandria tourists who visit Egypt should always pay the library a visit.

The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa

The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa is in fact the largest and most mysterious Greco-Roman necropolis in Egypt. Discovered by coincidence in 1900, the tombs hosts hundreds of tombs that are featured by the interesting blend between the Roman and the ancient Egyptian arts and architecture. Travelers who spend their vacations in Egypt should never miss the chance to explore the secrets of this ancient burial site.

The Qaitbey Fort

One of the most remarkable landmarks of the city of Alexandria, the Qaitbey Fort is one of the items that are commonly included in all travel packages to Egypt. Constructed in the 15th century by the Mamluk Sultan Qaitbey, the fort is one of the best examples of military constructions during the Islamic period in Egypt. The fort is in a fine-preserved state. This makes the visit quite enjoyable for tourists and Egyptians.

The Roman Amphitheatre

The Roman Amphitheatre is the only example of its type in Egypt. Constructed around the 7th century AD, the theatre or odium to be more precise was discovered in 1959 by mere chance. The complex consists of 13 rows of marble seating that is able to accommodate more than 800 spectators.

There is also a small yet remarkable open-air museum and the Villa of the Birds that date back to the Roman period and it is popular for its wonderful mosaics art. Travelers who tour Egypt should always take the chance while in Alexandria and visit the Roman Amphitheatre.

The Mosque of Abu El Abbas El Mursi

The mosque is one of the largest and most popular mosques of Alexandria. It was constructed in 1775 over the place where one of the most important Imams of Alexandria, Abu El Abbas El Mursi, was buried. Featured with its marvelous facade, four ornamented domes, Mashrabeya screens and arts, and its distinctive minarets. Alexandria has some of the most notable Islamic monuments in that travelers who tour Egypt would love to explore.

Oklahoma Panhandle

No Man’s Land

The Oklahoma Panhandle once belonged to Texas. In fact, so did parts of what became New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.

When the pared-down version of Texas we know today petitioned to become a state, being a slave state, it could not include any area north of the 36th parallel.

To the east was Indian Territory-the main body of present-day Oklahoma. New Mexico Territory to the west of the panhandle was formed in 1850. The Kansas Territory was formed in 1854, and including part of that, The Territory of Colorado was formed in 1861.

This left an area of land called the “Public Land Strip,” also called “The Neutral Strip.” It was considered “neutral” because it was part of neither a slave nor free state.

Cimarron Territory

In the years following the Civil War, cattlemen established settlements in the area. The strip provided good grazing ground, and was not far west of the Chisholm Trail that cattlemen used to drive cattle from Texas, north to the railheads in Kansas.

Settlers surveyed the land themselves, and named it the Cimarron Territory, and in the 1880s, almost became part of the state of Kansas. Congress approved this move, but the proposal was not signed off on by President Grover Cleveland.

Settlers also tried to form the State of Cimarron, but Congress, at that time, considered the area too small to justify being its own state, even though it was larger than both Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

Oklahoma Territory

In 1890, the strip became part of the newly formed Oklahoma Territory. “No Man’s Land” became Seventh County, soon after re-named Beaver County with Beaver City as the county seat. When the Oklahoma Territory joined the union in 1907 as the State of Oklahoma, Beaver County was divided into Beaver, Texas, and Cimarron counties.

The Dust Bowl

The Panhandle was the area of the state hardest hit by the Dust Bowl conditions during the Great Depression decade of the 1930s.

During the decades prior, farming of land that had once been grazing land for cattle and buffalo created conditions that allowed for the Aeolian process-wind erosion of the landscape.

Farming methods, perhaps more than in other parts of the state, used deep plowing of virgin topsoil. When drought conditions occurred, the wind erosion kicked up tremendous dust storms.

Bank failures and foreclosures led to many farmers and other residents in Oklahoma and the surrounding states to migrate to California looking for opportunities to escape the severe drought conditions. Farmers became crop pickers, overtaking jobs once primarily taken by immigrants from Mexico.

Not everyone left the Oklahoma Panhandle and surrounding areas during the Great Depression. Some who stayed and endured the conditions showed incredible grit, strength, and determination.

The Oklahoma Panhandle Today

Today, many of the people who live in the Panhandle are survivors of the Depression, or the children of those survivors. Theirs is a rich culture of cowboys, farmers, and ranchers. Guymon is the Panhandle’s largest city with a population of 11,442 in the 2010 census, and is the home of Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

Today, tourists can visit the No Man’s Land Museum located in Goodwell. Tourists can also explore Oklahoma’s highest peak, Black Mesa, in the northwest corner of the Panhandle, see massive sand dunes at Beaver Dunes State Park, and visit the Optima National Wildlife Refuge in Texas County.

Benefits of Traveling by Charter Bus

Eliminate Stress

It may be stressful to drive to new places on your own. You may come across crazy drivers that always try to cut you off. Therefore, it’s hard to keep many cars together, blowing horns in traffic jams. In this scenario, you are more prone to accidents.

On the other hand, if you hire a charter bus, you will travel with an expert driver who has a better idea of the roads. So, your mind is at ease throughout your journey. Therefore, you can relax and enjoy your trip. After all, you don’t want to go through all the stress when going on a tour with a group. Your purpose is to have fun. So, hiring a bus is a good idea.

Higher Safety Rating

Compared to traveling alone, you may not be at a higher risk of accident when going with a group on a vehicle. The fact of the matter is that the drivers of chartered buses know the latest safety procedures, so they try their level best to follow the traffic rules and stay on the safe side.

Save Money

The cost of traveling by a charter bus is a lot less than traveling alone. The math is simple. The total cost divided among all of the passengers, so per head cost is significantly low. As a matter of fact, you will pay several times less with this method. The money you save can be spent on other things that you love to do. Therefore, this option is cost effective.

Enjoy the ride

Since there is an expert driver behind the wheel, it will be easier for you to enjoy the sites. Moreover, you will be able to get a chance to socialize with others instead of focusing on a lot of unimportant things. Actually, traveling with others can be a lot fun. You will meet with new people, develop stronger relationships and even connect with some old friends.