A beautiful testament to travel from filmmaker Rick Mereki:
When I was a little kid, my Disney trips would always be filled with awe and magic. Meeting Mickey, Minnie, and friends, getting soaked on Splash Mountain, and enjoying the parks’ nightlife always made me want to come back. Every theme park was unique in its own way. The Magic Kingdom provided a trip down memory lane with our favorite childhood characters. Animal Kingdom let us meet the Yeti on Expedition Everest and come up close and personal to thousands of exotic animals. Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios) brought the magic of the movies into reality. But what about Epcot? What an odd little park; a blend of our future and our past, a celebration of human achievement, an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
Epcot is the crossroads of tradition and promise. It’s where the past meets the present, where cultures from around the world meet the innovations of tomorrow. Enter the park and you are warped into a 1970′s idealistic vision of the future. One of the most educational theme parks in the world, a single tour of Epcot lets you go behind the wheel of a prototype car, travel through the history of human communication and accomplishment, and take to the skies in a space simulator. The magic of Epcot isn’t an enchanted palace or a adventurous safari–it is the ability to peer into the future and experience it firsthand.
Then you enter the second part of the park–The World Showcase. Complete with a dozen countries to explore and cultures to experience, this attraction is a must-see pit stop for anyone’s Disney vacation. Celebrate Oktoberfest the German way or watch a Hibachi chef put on a show as he cooks your dinner with style. With cast members from around the world and food spanning six continents, there is no doubt your senses will be delighted at Epcot.
Epcot is sure to stir you and your family’s imagination. Be reminded of your ancestry on Spaceship Earth and be inspired to change the future at Future World. Relax and learn something from one of the greatest, most innovative theme parks in the nation.
A sidenote from Siddhi:
For me, the highlight of every Epcot visit is the “Reflections” fireworks show, which blows away anything I have ever seen (though Fantasmic comes close). A post will follow on this experience! But if you’re in the park, please, please check it out! It’s just beautiful on every level.
Who? Anyone who is visiting Istanbul, has a few hours to spare and wants to partake in this old-fashioned bath prevalent for many centuries.
What? A Turkish Hamam or bath which is both a deep cleansing and a relaxing experience.
How? There are many Hamams all over Istanbul. Many have been raved about in books and magazines and others are less known entities. For example, Cagaloglu Hamami is listed in the book, 1000 Things to Do Before You Die. We actually had read mixed reviews about some of the more famous ones and decided to indulge in our Hamam experience at our hotel, the Hotel Levni in Istanbul.
Why? We had spent an entire day walking around the historic sights of old Istanbul and were tired. So off we went to the spa at our hotel, ready to experience a Hamam for the first time. Since there were two Hamam rooms, my daughters decided to double up and I did one one my own. My Hamam room was absolutely gorgeous and laying on a giant slab of marble in this atmosphere transported me to a world gone by. My masseuse was a Balinese woman who had been working at Hamams for a couple of years. Over my treatments of a scrub and massage, she told me about her family in Bali, her siblings, how she got to Istanbul and of course her plans for the future. It was a surreal journey, taking about the beauty and life in Bali over a Hamam treatment in Istanbul. I don’t have other benchmarks to compare this to, but the experience was very good and we all emerged feeling squeaky clean. It was one more feather in the cap for this lovely property as well.
If you are in Istanbul and want to know more about a Hamam experience, this article by Lonely Planet is a good read.