Facts About Using MapQuest to Get Maps and Driving Directions

map shotGetting from one point to another does not have to be daunting task. The reason for this is that you can use MapQuest to get detailed driving directions and maps to any place you wish to travel to. MapQuest is a free online web mapping service that is owned by America Online Incorporated. It offers street level details and driving directions for many countries. You can check if driving directions and maps of your country are available through the pull down menu on mapquest.com.

AOL also offers a yellow pages service that is MapQuest branded. The other services that this company offers include MapQuestMobile and a world atlas. MapQuest Mobile is a service that offers driving directions and maps to personal digital assistants and mobile phones that are web-enabled. MapQuest also has a customizable gas prices page, where you can type your address and compare the prices of gasoline at nearby gas stations. The gas prices page lists the dates that the prices were initially posted. Therefore, you can easily find the lowest prices of gasoline in nearby gas stations. However, this page is only useful for people in the United States.

In order to get directions to a place you want to travel to, you can enter an address, public landmark or business for your starting point and your destination. You may also add stopping points in between. After choosing the address you want to get to, you should click on the icon that says “get directions”. MapQuest will provide you with driving directions and a map.

You may also choose to have mapquest show you a reverse route or round trip so that you will not have problems getting back to your commencing address. You can use the advanced filters on MapQuest to get directions in either miles or kilometers, optimize your route for the shortest time or shortest distance and avoid tolls, highways, borders, ferries and seasonal roads among other things. After getting directions or maps from MapQuest, you may choose to print them out and carry them with you on your journey.

The Complete Travel Guide To Cholpon-Alta

glyph on rockIn the summer, the small city of Cholpon-Ata rises from its off-peak lull to become a haven of activity: fun-lovers soak at the beaches by day and open-air eateries and discos operate by night. This town of about 12,000 residents is located on the northern side of Lake Issyk-Kul in Kyrgyzstan. It is a popular resort town known for its mineral water springs and the beautiful mountain ranges of the Tian Shian located across the lake.

When should I go?

The best time to travel is during the summer months when you can get to fully enjoy the location and the facilities provided by the hotels. In the winter months of December to March the hotels are virtually empty. Most of the visitors who come during the summer are from Kazakhstan and Russia but you will also find lots of Westerners who are loyal travellers.

What are the top things to see and do?

The Issyk-Kul Museum is a popular attraction with collections depicting the history of the locals. You will get a feel of the way of life of the earliest inhabitants of the city, most of whom were nomads. The artefacts are quite unique, especially because some of them were pulled from the bottom of the lake.

The petroglyphs of the Cholpon-Ata are a must-see. These ancient pictures curved on boulders depict animals which were kept by the first inhabitants of the region such as goats, horses and ibex. These petroglyphs are treasured by the locals because they date from as far as 700BC.

Be sure to also sample the mineral waters which many locals and visitors say have many healing properties!

Where do I stay?

There are many hotels in the city, many of which are very affordable. It’s easy to book rooms online and most hotels will get their drivers to pick you from the airport. The more expensive resorts such as the Dolphin Deluxe Hotel are located on exclusive beaches and they are a bit far from the town.

If you are an active holiday maker, then make sure you visit this small town. The lake and the beautiful alpine meadows turn the place into a paradise. Make sure to travel only during the summer if you want to get the most out of your trip.

How easy is it to travel with a new born?

britaxSo you have a new born, congratulations! Firstly, travelling with a new born can be very easy as long as you follow a few tasks and make sure your baby is comfy, warm and entertained when driving long hours.

Most families tend to do very little travelling in the first few months but when you do eventually start getting out there to visit family or even get a small break away. The number one thing you need is a good baby seat.

A good baby seat is the one thing that can make or break your trip away. If you have a low quality one not only will it be unsafe but it might be uncomfortable for your baby and lead to aches and pains, especially if you are driving for a few hours at a time.

There are a lot of brands out there that will allow you to have peace of mind that your baby is sat in a very safe and very comfy baby seat. One of the leading brands in baby seats is Britax. You can compare Britax’s many models such as Marathon, Advocate and Pavillion, although the Britax Marathon is considered the best with any parents commenting on its quality and durability.

Other tips for travelling with a new born consist of having a passenger sit with the baby at all times, so when your baby wakes up you can instantly give them attention, feed them etc. Entertainment should be high on the plan list also, make sure you take toys and play some games to keep your baby amused to pass time.

If you have any tips of your own leave us a comment!

Enjoying a Journey in Kyrgyzstan

man in villageKyrgyzstan, or the Kyrgyz Republic, as it’s officially called, is a mountainous country in Central Asia. The various lakes and mountains in the area make it an attractive destination, although, due to little investment in the sector, the tourist industry has not been developed to its full potential.

So what can the Kyrgyz Republic offer to the world traveller? First and foremost, that’s the unique culture. Just like any other country in the world, Kyrgyzstan appeals tourists with its own distinctive cultural traits. Based on ancient nomadic traditions, even today, it’s possible to observe natives living in yurts with their domesticated animals. Several yurt camps, such as the one in Tash Rabat, offer food and drinks to tourists passing through the area. All this contributes to creating a memorable experience for the visitors. Speaking of food, another notable cultural attraction is the specific Kyrgyz cuisine, which resembles a little the one of the neighbouring countries. Most of the meals offered include mutton, horse meat, beef, and various dairy products. Traditional dishes are “beshbarmak”, and one called “paloo”, which is a localized version of pilaf. The last noteworthy aspect of Kyrgyz culture is the textile craft. Women in Kyrgyzstan produce various textiles, using the felt from the sheep. Particular carpets, called “shirdaks”, are present in most yurts and houses. Many wall hangings are decorated with ancient patterns that impress the guests.

But the rich culture is far not the only reason to enjoy a trip through the Kyrgyz Republic. The clean natural environment is probably the most appealing property of the country. In recent years, efforts are made to create eco-friendly kyrgyzstan tourist attractions and hiking trails, so that visitors can fully enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the natural landmarks in the region. Additionally, many locations provide outstanding photo opportunities and breathtaking views. One such place is the Tengir-Too (Heavenly Mountains). Near the country’s border with China, this mountain range is a popular destination for climbers, photographers, or explorers worldwide. The Issyk Kul, or “Hot Lake” is also a relatively popular vacation resort with long history, dating back to the Soviet era.

A journey in Kyrgyzstan would be complete if it’s made during one (or some) of the national holidays in kyrgyzstan. It’s no secret that the former Soviet Union has had some influence on the country, as some of the holidays are carried over from there. Such dates include the “Defender of the Fatherland Day” (February 23rd), and the “Great Patriotic War Victory Day” (May 9th). Also, several international holidays are celebrated in Kyrgyzstan aswell, like the “New Year’s Day” (January 1st), or the “Women’s Day” (March 8th). Of course, there are national holidays that are country-specific. These are the most important for tourists, as they present the traditions and history of the Kyrgyz people. Determined by the lunar calendar, the country celebrates Orozo Ait (Feast of Fast-breaking), and, respectively, Kurman Ait (Feast of Sacrifice), 70 days later, as influenced by the Islamic culture in the region. The Kyrgyz language day is on September 23rd, when the national language, written and spoken, is being honored. The country celebrates independence from USSR (since 1991) on August 31st. The constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic is respected on May 5th. And after the Kyrgyz revolution of 2010, the country adopted the day of its beginning, April 7th, as a national holiday.

Kyrgyzstan is truly a curious location with plenty of points of interests for tourists. Be it for the national culture, or the landscape diversity, that country in the heart of Asia offers an unique travel experience, accompanied by preserved nature and welcoming people.

Culture Spot: Islam

islamWhen discussing Islam, you often hear the question: do muslims believe in Jesus Christ? The simplest answer is yes, but not in the same way that Christians do. 

In the Christian religion, Jesus was the son of God. He was sent to Earth as a redeemer, to save the souls of all of God’s children. Through his eternal sacrifice of life, all of his followers sins are absolved. This leaves his faithful believers free to live their lives knowing they will have everlasting life in the kingdom of heaven. 

In the religion of Islam, he has a much different role. The religion of Islam itself will not allow anyone to be placed alongside God, as this would make him less than divine, and being formed long after Jesus was crucified, Islam places him in a much smaller position. He was a prophet, as were several important figures of his time from the Christian Bible, but not the son of God. He was sent to earth as a man in an age of turmoil and problems to help guide the people of Israel. Unfortunately, in the Israelite’s misunderstanding, he was brutally murdered while trying to teach repentance and the word of God. 

The Muslim people, however, do not believe he was murdered on the cross, they instead believe that he was taken by God into the kingdom of heaven, after fulfilling his duty to foretell the coming of Muhammad. The Koran states that both Jesus and his forbear Moses were messengers of God, and that he will return in the last days of this Earth. 

There are many interpretations of the stories of Jesus in the Koran, but it seems to be the general consensus that he was a very important figure, leading the way for Muhammad to spread the message of God and care for his peoples eternal souls.

Three Travel Tips for Those with Bad Backs

bad back on planeTraveling with chronic back pain can be extremely annoying and unpleasant. Improperly developed back muscles, a weak core, vertebral misalignments or a bulging disc are among the most common causes of back pain. Here are three simple and useful travel tips for individuals who experience back pain. 

Monitor Your Posture When Lifting Heavy Objects 

You may need to carry your backpack or lift your luggage when traveling. Bad posture during lifting is the primary cause of spinal problems because it results in an uneven distribution of the pressure exerted on the vertebrae when one bends his or her back. Physical therapists recommend to avoid bending forward as much as possible when lifting objects. Instead, bend your knees and adjust the position of your legs while keeping your back straight and do the lifting with your legs rather than your spine. 

Use a Yoga Ball Chair at Home to Strengthen the Core Muscles 

The abdominal muscles and the spinal muscles provide solid support to the vertebrae of the spine. When pressure is exerted on your back, the core muscles are stabilizing the individual vertebrae, which prevents discs from bulging and helps with back pain. A yoga ball chair (www.yogaballchairs.com) is perhaps the best way to strengthen your core before traveling. All you need to do is sit on a yoga ball chair while performing your usual activities, which works the stabilizing muscles of the core and the small muscles of the spine that are not activated when sitting on a regular flat chair. Read more about ball chair benefits here: www.yogaballchairs.com/ball-chair-benefits

Sleep on a Rigid Surface

Sleeping on a soft bed or mattress when traveling can worsen your back pain because it does not offer enough support to the spine. In fact, sleeping on soft mattresses causes the spine to bend and facilitates an uneven pressure distribution. If the bed in your hotel is too soft and you experience back pain, you can sleep on the floor with some blankets or padding underneath for comfort. Resting on a rigid surface or on orthopedic mattresses is recommended by physicians who treat back pain.