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What Are These Obsolete Antique Items Called Again?

Since the dawn of the earliest civilizations, humans have been discovering and inventing things. Many of these inventions have been replaced by modern technology but some of them are still used in society today in some form or fashion. 

A perfect example is scissors. Dating all the way back to ancient Egypt, scissors have stood the test of time. Their design really hasn’t changed much over the centuries either. Another example would be the printing press. Although they are now automated the main mechanics are still the same.

Other inventions were helpful at the time they were created but have since been replaced with much more sensible versions of their former selves. Things like chamber pots and gas lamps are no longer as useful as they once were but they paved the way for more modern technology.

So, can you tell your spinning wheels from your fabric looms? Take our vintage item quiz and see how many of these historical items you can name.

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Destinations

A Quiet Bethlehem This 2020 Christmas Celebration

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Sans the influx of tourists in the historical birthplace of Christ, a quiet Bethlehem community gets to experience a renewal in faith over a boom in business.

Prior to the pandemic, the Palestinian city located in occupied West Bank was always filled with visiting tourists who wanted to experience walking in the land of Jesus Christ’s official birthplace. In the past, those who wanted to visit the Church of the Nativity were forced to maneuver through the crowds teeming the streets of Bethlehem. This year, however, a quiet Bethlehem becomes largely part of the massive lockdown and quarantine restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Nevertheless, the absence of tourists is an opportunity for renewal, says Father Rami Asakrieh, the parish priest of Bethlehem. “Sometimes there are more than half million people who arrive in this period to visit the Nativity Church,” he recounts.

During the days leading to Christmas, however, the Church of the Nativity has been so silent, devoid of the yearly visiting faithful who traditionally visited Bethlehem from all over the world. A quiet Bethlehem, then, is a new thing for the community as locals are used to the noisy throng of commuters and visitors who annually arrived during the holiday season.

Armenian prayers are recited by four (4) monks below the Grotto of the Nativity, echoing through the typically crowded vicinity. Even during this year’s Christmas Eve, the most essential part of the celebration, the church was closed to the public. The lack of yearly visits from Palestinian authority representatives starkly reiterated the difference of this year’s celebration, as well.

“It has never happened before,” contemplates Asakrieh, as he mentions that the only times that the church was forced to close its doors were during periods of uprisings and Palestinian intifadas that were done in protest against Israel’s continued occupation.

“I think that this Christmas is different because people are not busy with the external manifestations of the feast,” the priest shares, referring to the customary purchasing of gifts and the conduct of extravagant get-togethers that have long been linked to Christmas celebrations.  “Now (people) have the time, and they are obligated, to concentrate on the essential… the theological spirit of Christmas,” he expressed. “Less business, but more religion,” Asakrieh continues.

During the days leading up to Christmas, the chapel of Saint Catherine, a small one that is next to the Church of the Nativity was made open to the local Bethlehem public. Amid a distinctively quiet Bethlehem atmosphere, many of the local faithful turned up as they donned their Sunday’s best.

One of them was Nicolas al-Zoghbi who mentions that the usual joy of the Christmas season was replaced by the overall feeling of depression. He shares that his son is among those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. “We hope the Lord will destroy corona, just get rid of it so we can return to our previous life,” states al-Zoghbi who is now in his 70s.

The city’s economy is hugely reliant on the annual influx of visitors who purchase items like rosaries and other Nativity-based trinkets from the shops and stands that pepper the place. Thus, a quiet Bethlehem during this holiday season signifies a highly decreased income for those who rely on the earnings that used to be generated from these yearly tourist visits.

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9 of the Best Places to Visit in Florida

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Florida is a hotspot for Americans traveling domestically and for international travelers as well. It’s home to some of the biggest theme parks like Universal Studios and Disney World. 

Plus, it offers some of the most incredible beaches in North America. How can you be that? But the most amazing thing about Florida is that there isn’t just one or two cities that have something to offer.

In fact, there are multiple cities that are great for vacation, and there’s something for everyone. On that note, take a look at this list of the best places to visit in Florida:

1. Miami

Everyone knows that Miami is one of the best places to visit in Florida. It’s one of the top hotspots for vacationers looking to live it up with their hair down.

If you want to sit on a beautiful beach, Miami’s got it. If you want fine dining, Miami’s got it. When you’re trying to figure out where to go in Florida, Miami is the answer.

This city is known for being flashy, and if you want to do a big vacation, this is the place to go all out.

2. Orlando

Orlando is another one of the best places to visit in Florida. How can anyone say no to Disney World and SeaWorld? If you’re looking for the ultimate vacation, Orlando is the spot.

With all the theme parks and water parks that this city offers, you’ll never get bored. Even if you’re not into big parks, they also offer fun activities at Universal CityWalk.

Also, Orlando isn’t just for little kids. This is also a great place for a group of teenage or college kids to visit for a fun getaway.

3. Naples 

When you’re thinking about visiting Florida, don’t forget about Naples. It’s one of Florida’s gulf coast cities, and it’s located in an upscale region. It’s adorned with a nice stretch of beachfront that accompanied by elaborate houses and luxurious resorts.

When you and your lover want to get away, this is the place to go. Not to mention, the beaches in Naples offer some of the best in the entire state. The warm waters provide a nice soothing feel that vacationers can’t deny.

Also, if you want to do something out of the box, check out the best Florida helicopter rides to book an exciting excursion!

4. Tampa

There may not be much sand and water in Tampa, but it’s still one of the best places to go in Florida. It’s filled with famous attractions like Busch Gardens and the Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park.

If you have children, they’ll also love visiting the Tampa Aquarium and taking a walk through the Big Cat Rescue. When you’re not in the mood for the big theme parks of Orlando, Tampa is an awesome alternative.

5. Key West

Key West sits at the southern tip of Florida, and it provides visitors with an island feel. It’s one of the best places to visit in Florida because of its beautiful water. It’s the perfect alternative for travelers who want the experience of an island getaway without leaving the country.

However, if you do decide to take an international trip, Key West is one of the main cruise ship ports for cruise lovers. You can always spend a few days in Key West, hop on the ship, and come back. It provides the perfect getaway.

6. Fort Myers

When you’re thinking about visiting Florida, Fort Myers might not be one of the first places you think about. however, it shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s known as the River District, and it provides travelers and residents with a lot to do.

There is plenty of dining, shopping, and sightseeing. Plus, Fort Myers is home to the IMAG History and Science Center which allows visitors to experience the city in 3D virtual reality.

This town is also situated on the shores of Estero Island, which is slightly separated from the mainland. It’s a hotspot for honeymooners and celebrities.

7. Sanibel Island

If you don’t know where to go in Florida, check out Sanibel Island. It’s just off the West coast of Florida and it’s home to many high-end resorts. There are also numerous water activities for visitors to get into, as well as incredible shopping boutiques and galleries for guests to enjoy.

Although this city is popular amongst tourists, it’s not as famous as some of the other cities in Florida. So if you want a nice getaway that’s not too crowded with tourists, this is it.

8. Pensacola

Pensacola is known for its awesome beaches and laid back, down-home environment. This is an area that many college students like to visit on the weekends or for a spring break vacation. It’s also a nice escape for the surrounding Florida towns that don’t have a beach.

If you’re a local resident, Pensacola is the perfect place to go for a weekend beach vacay.

9. Daytona Beach

Chances are you’ve heard about the Daytona 500 NASCAR race that’s held every year in Daytona. But outside of the big races, many people decide to go to Daytona for the beaches. It too is a hot spot for spring breakers and other visitors who want a fun time.

Daytona Beach spans over 23 miles of the Atlantic ocean, and it’s accompanied by a pier filled with games, restaurants, and amusement park rides.

The Best Places to Visit in Florida

If you didn’t know before, now you know that visiting Florida is a smart choice. It works well for couples who want to get away, a girl’s trip, and a family trip. This list of the best places to visit in Florida has something for everyone.

If you enjoyed reading this article, feel free to read more of our blog posts. We cover content relating to different destinations, the best ways to travel, food, and much more. You’ll love it!

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Top Transport and Travel News in the Year of COVID-19

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The year of COVID-19 has brought so many changes in our lives. The coronavirus has altered so many areas of our routines including traveling within our borders and abroad.

This, perhaps, should be the year we can all forget. With the multitude of disruptions, challenges, and restrictions, this unforgivable year of COVID-19 is, thankfully, about to end. We’re on to the next one.

Among the many areas that were heavily affected during this year of COVID-19 is the transport and travel sector. Below then is a rundown of the highlights.

Worldwide traveling came to an abrupt standstill

During the start of this year of COVID-19, travel to and from Wuhan, China—the origin of the coronavirus—was halted. Eventually, countries closed their borders to all other countries especially those that had numerous cases of the disease. To control widespread transmission, lockdowns and quarantine protocols were initiated, as well.

Airlines suddenly had to stop their daily trip schedules. Maritime travel followed suit as cruise ships slowly became teeming grounds of infection. Experts posit that the travel industry will take years before it gains back the losses it incurred during this year of COVID-19.

Micro-transport began to emerge

Due to the necessity of controlling the spread of the virus, regular public transportation had to be stopped. People had to make do with other travel alternatives. Those who had private vehicles got to rely on them while others who had scooters and bicycles were forced to rely on these implements.

People who did not have their own vehicles had to walk on foot as not many were open to sharing their private rides to strangers. This abrupt change in commuting trends heavily resulted in heavier road traffic and the government must find a way to ease this problem.

The increase in border checks

Because of the increased need to halt the spread of the coronavirus, another trend that emerged during this year of COVID-19 is the increase in border checks. Be it domestic or abroad travel, borders were tightened and various requirements emerged. Several areas within the country required COVID-19 testing for visitors and some kind of quarantine protocols. Many countries adopted the same safety protocols especially in their maritime ports and airports.

Better equipped communities.

Around the world, people experienced the lack and insufficiency of supplies. Disinfectants, medications, and food implements became increasingly unavailable as people flocked to the stores, draining them of the much-needed supplies. Panic-buying became a worldwide phenomenon. Thus, governments had to encourage and limit the number of products allowed per individual so that more people can benefit from the stocks available. There is a need for communities to become more self-reliant in terms of produce so that during such instances of emergency, residents are assured of food security, among others.

Increase in cashless transactions

During this year of COVID-19, people became even more dependent on the internet for purchases. Due to the need to follow social distancing mandates, people were forced to rely on the internet, prioritizing cashless transactions or online purchasing. Businesses had to limit their opening hours, as well, as many employees were instructed to do work-from-home (WFH) arrangements. In effect, WFH arrangements and internet purchases are both due also to the lack of ready public transportation.

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