One spirit makes the cold, dark winters of Scandinavia considerably warmer and more festive. Known variously as aquavit, akvavit, or akevitt (from the Latin aqua vitae, or “water of life”), this translucent grain- or potato- based alcohol is flavored with herbs and spices, most notably caraway and dill. Similar in alcohol content to vodka, aquavit is heady stuff that should be consumed with respect.
Though Scandinavia enjoys dozens of varieties, U.S. imports of Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian aquavit have dwindled. Fortunately, North American craft distillers have begun producing their own versions of the spirit.
Traditionally, aquavit is sipped either chilled or at room temperature or taken as snaps, a quick shot during the appetizer course of a meal.
Before downing it from raised glasses, courtesy and custom dictate that you look your companions squarely in the eye, nod, and propose the age-old Scandinavian toast: Skål! Another nod before placing the glasses back on the table seals the timeless ritual.
Adapted from virtuoso.com
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Read more on "Reasons to Visit South Africa Right Now" »
South Africa is one of the favorite destinations for tourists. Though most Canadians prefer to visit South destinations in the winter, we will explain to you why now is a perfect time to visit South Africa and enjoy its fantastic weather and gorgeous beaches.
Remember that visiting South Africa can be just as amazing, if not better!
And we know why!
– Visit Northern Cape’s stunning national parks, where you can see black-maned lions. In winter, you can also enjoy animal tracking activities with the Kalahari Bushmen.
– Cape Town has been named the ‘Best City in the World’ in ‘The Telegraph Travel Survey’ in 2016. The significant number of Telegraph readers made this choice for a reason.
– Because of the “big five;” i.e. lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhino. And then there’s hippo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, meerkats, wild dogs, kudu, hyena, and ostrich (including the ones you can ride at Outsdhorrn).
– Here, the Safari is special. Since the Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in the world, you can drive through the park all alone or join guided tours. The possibility of staying overnight turns out to be a perfect chance to do many game drives and see some of the magnificent animals on safari like those in the Big Five.
“The famous Blue Train is famous among all the tourists”
– Here, you can take a 27-hour train ride from Pretoria to Cape Town, or in the other direction. The famous Blue Train is famous among all the tourists. The rooms either have single beds or full beds and some even have full-sized bathtubs. Each section of the train has its butler, and there is also a turn-down service. Here, you can even buy diamonds in the gift shops or relax in the special atmosphere of the open bar.
– Here, you can experience a large variety of attractive destinations: Cape Town, with its beautiful nature and stunning design scenes; the classic Garden Route, with its breathtaking lakes and beautiful lagoons alongside the Indian Ocean; a coastal city Durban, with its seafront promenade; unforgettable Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves where you can see the animal of the legendary Big Five.
– Impressive African cuisine is becoming highly popular in the World. It can be divided into regions, including the Northern, Southern, Central, Eastern, and Western Africa. With the most popular dishes, such as Pap en vleis, piri piri chicken, jollof rice and egusi soup, bunny chow and kapenta with sadza, African cuisine will not leave you indifferent.
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White sandy beaches and crystal clear waters make this destination a true paradise for all beach and water sports fans. Few destinations on earth can amaze you in the way as Riviera Maya does.
Nowadays Riviera Maya in Mexico is an international resort destination. Many visitors come here for the stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife and intriguing Mayan ruins located within easy reach of the resort. Riviera Maya is one of the Mexico´s most popular tourist hot spots. However, a few decades ago it was a tiny and calm fishing village with no tourists coming for vacations. In fact, Riviera Maya is best known as a family, sporting and wedding resort where everyone can choose his own holiday style.
Riviera Maya extends 24 miles from Punta Brava
Riviera Maya extends 24 miles from Punta Brava, south of Puerto Morelos to the fishing village of Punta Allen inside the Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka’an.
The official language of Riviera Maya is Spanish, like in all the Mexico. Don’t be afraid to be misunderstood or not being able to express yourself. In the tourist spots, the greater part of the local population speaks English, and sometimes even French, German and Italian, due to a large number of tourists from those countries. However, some locals trace their heritage to the Mayans who settled the area before the arrival of the Spanish. The present-day Mayans tend to live inland and speak little Spanish.
After the construction of Cancun International Airport, this destination has gained even more popularity due to fairly inexpensive prices. You can find here all kinds of tourists, from independent explorers to those who booked all-inclusive packages. The destination has it all to please the tastes of even the most fastidious travelers. It is an amazing place for both families with kids of all ages and single visitors. Tourism is the main industry and visitors are treated very well (even too well). You will be quite happy even if don’t leave the resort. If you choose to explore, you will stay stunned with the beauty of the area.
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Read more on "10 Facts About Cuba That You Didn’t Know" »
Cuba is the largest Caribbean island, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. It is located 145km (90 miles) south of Key West, Florida, between the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas, to the west of Haiti, east of Mexico and northwest of Jamaica.
10 – Cuba is also called El Caiman or El Cocodrilo (Spanish for alligator), which is what the island looks like from an aerial view. It consists of the island of Cuba, Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth), and several minor archipelagos. There are unique crocodile species on the island called the “Cuban crocodile,” that can be found nowhere else in the World.
9 – March 12, 1857, was the only time it has ever snowed in Cuba. That was an extremely unexpected and surprising phenomenon. It took place in Cárdenas, to the North of the island. For a tropical country, with the warm and humid weather year round, snow is the most unusual event you can ever imagine. However, it never snowed again, but the mercury dropped dramatically to 35.9 F (1.9 C) in 2010 in Matanzas, located right next to Cárdenas.
8 – Cuba obtains the highest doctor to patient ratio in the entire world! It has also ranked in the top 2 for physicians. Cubans may be low on the basic goods, press freedoms, and smartphones, but they’ve got world-renowned health care.
7 – Christopher Columbus came on Cuba’s northeastern coast on October 28, 1492, near what is now Barry in the Holguin province. Columbus named the island the new Kingdom of Spain.
6 – Up until 2008, it was completely illegal for Cubans to use computers. In fact, they could only use them in the offices with a proper permit. Internet activity is under the strict control until today. Emails and web pages are monitored, and some of them are banned altogether. So, only 5% of Cubans have access to the uncensored, open Internet today.
5 – The only cars that Cuban citizens can own legally are those which were made and bought before 1959. After this year, the Cuban government seized all of the cars and owns them all to this day. Most of the pre-1959 cars in Cuba are from the United States.
“Internet activity is under the strict control until today”
4 – In Cuba, the profession of ballet dancers is the most popular due to the high salary and large popularity. In fact, ballet has an immense popularity in the country; it is just as popular as baseball. Moreover, ballet dancers often earn more money than doctors.
3 – Cuba is the birthplace of such world famous dance styles as the Bolero, Mambo and Cha Cha. Each has its own ancestry and cultural importance. Son is a major genre of Cuban music. Cuba possesses a privileged place in Latin America on the dance.
2 – A drink of rum and coke and lime is called a “Cuba Libre” everywhere in the World. Everywhere except Cuba. In this country, it’s called a “mentality,” literally a “little lie” in many exile enclaves, meant as a commentary on the revolution.
1 – Found in Cuba, the Manjuari is a fish not found anywhere else in the world. Moreover, Cuba is the natural habitat of the bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world.
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