Call It Spring

11 Dec 18
Spring of Knowledge

Do not conform to world standards And you will know that I am the Lord, for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.” – Ezekiel 11:12 God raised a nation called Israel, redeemed her from slavery in Egypt and entered into […]

11 Dec 18
Site Title

Every morning I wake up to the same sound. The nerve wrecking  sound of my alarm which jerks me out of my deep slumber, sometimes from beautiful dreams where I would be speaking to my father (which is a rare treat) , but mostly from disturbing and scary ones, which gets me all sweaty ever […]

11 Dec 18

R4, which Mr Toad likes to have on while he’s absorbing his early-morning tea, was still on when I went up to dress.  Brexit, inevitably, was under discussion.  The problem, the interviewee was saying, is that each member state of EU has the power of veto over whatever agreement is ratified by the UK parliament […]

11 Dec 18
Thoughts by Chloe

When I was a child, around the age of ten, I began to really develop my sense of intuition and deep thinking about the world around me. I was surrounded in everyday life by parents, teachers, and workers who were adults, and seeing them in their daily professions made me very excited for college in […]

11 Dec 18

There are more than 5 people in front of you in the queue….. Words we all love to hear when ringing the doctor the second the clock turns to 8am…..  Fifteen minutes later, gladly, I am speaking to someone. Yesterday (and most unfortunately) I was told there were people more suitable than me for an […]

11 Dec 18

A boost in charisma can do wonders for your career, your relationships and your confidence. Read on to learn 5 unusual ways to boost yours.

11 Dec 18
Portaliz Virtual Reality

VR Landing Pages

A perfect place to send your web traffic are web-based VR pages. To develop a wonderful place to enrich the user experience for your Email, Social, & SEO web traffic, VR web pages are the way to go. You should strive to constantly deliver unique content to users in attempt to keep them highly-engaged with content that is enticing, informational, & unique.

Elegant Style

Here at Portaliz we like to help businesses realize their vision, as well as, expose them to ideas they may not have thought about. We develop virtual worlds every day and our dream is to produce a world for you.

Seize the chance and become the first in your industry.

This is your chance to plant your flag, don’t miss it. Virtual Reality websites ensure companies a chance to re-portray themselves to their clients and to their industry overall as well.

Display Your Products

Employ VR as a means to display your goods and services in a notable mann

11 Dec 18
James Common

As part of celebrations to mark its centenary in 2019, the Forestry Commission has launched a new writing competition to diversify nature writing. From Wordsworth to J.K Rowling, England’s forests have inspired characters and chronicles that have shaped the nation’s literary history for centuries. Now, for the first time, the Forestry Commission is opening applications […]

11 Dec 18
Jorge Miroslav Jara Salas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to visit a museum! With central heating, cafes, book stores, and art, you can get a dose of culture while you buy holiday gifts—and keep every visiting family member occupied. Whether you’re traveling to New York for the yuletide season, entertaining visitors from various generations of the family, […]

11 Dec 18
The Journey.

DAY #50 Woke up early to rain, and we’re talking a lot of rain.  I felt satisfied with the rain and how it was impacting the other campers around me, who last night made me feel like I was living in some Section 8 apartment complex (Man, I’m really kind of a snob).  Freaking noise […]

11 Dec 18
‘Once a bear tastes the blood, he will always come back,’ says park ranger Gavrilas Benone. ‘It’s the same thing with honey – if someone has hives, he will come and he will repeatedly come until he is chased away.’ We are driving up a bumpy, spruce-lined road, the ground between the trees bright with moss and ferns, and talk has turned to the creatures that call Suceava their home. This is Calimani National Park in northern Romania, home to 60 brown bears, 40 wolves and seven lynx. There’s no fence to keep them in, and last year, 20 cows were eaten by bears alone. We drive further up Mount Retitis and snow starts swirling around us. We stop to look at a huge chunk cut out of the hillside – an old sulphur mine – before continuing up to rockier ground, where snowflakes start to whirl among the mist. The old sulphur mine (Picture: Getty) At the top, the snow is thick and we make out footprints left by rabbits and mountain roosters, but the bears and the wolves are asleep. ‘Two weeks ago, we saw two little wolf cubs,’ says Gavrilas – a man so into nature his whole left arm is tattooed with ferns, a wild pig, a deer and a beetle. ‘It was about 10 or 11pm. They don’t like to come out in the daytime. At night time it’s quiet, with no one around, so it’s easier for them to come out.’ When they do, the wolves hunt in packs of five and they feed on the roe deer and red deer also in the park – or, sometimes, villagers’ sheep on the hills below. ‘It’s very hard to see them,’ he adds, ‘You have to be in the field all day and probably all night too.’ It’s more likely you will hear them – howling to warn others off their turf, find their pack, or to chat – there’s different types, if you understand wolf. Grey wolves live in the Carpathian mountains (Picture: Getty) The next morning, I’m up at 5am with local hunters in their camo and caps to hopefully spot Carpathian deer frolicking. I’m still holding my breath in the hope of seeing a bear, lynx or wolf, all of which are now protected species. The hunters tell me about the years before – trophy hunting was only banned here in 2016. They laugh when I ask if the animals are ever a threat to humans – they see them more as a pest to the farmers or, in the case of the bears, to people whose rubbish bins are plundered. It reminds me of the way many Brits regard foxes. ‘Wolves and bears don’t take humans – they run away. It’s only occasionally if an animal feels threatened there could be trouble,’ they tell me. We drive up Mount Usuru. I’m wearing thick layers but it’s still freezing and, as much as I’d love to see a wolf, the idea of sitting here for days and nights is growing less appealing by the minute. The snow-covered peaks of the Calimani (Picture: Getty) Dawn breaks and we walk across the cow pat-spattered hillside – pines above us and wooden shacks, ribbons of mist, orange-pink light and more pines below. We listen for the stags’ mating calls. I hear a few – something between a grunt and a cough. A thick fog descends and we can’t see more than a few yards in front of us. ‘Now it’s like England, right?’ they joke. As we drive back down the mountain it finally happens – we spot a lonely stag with one antler. He looks straight at, or through, us. Wolf country (Picture: Yvette Caster) We continue and see does in groups of two or three, then another lone stag, then another group of does, the latter in a field beside our track. In the end, the closest I come to their predators is pictures of a mother bear with her cubs taken from a night vision camera on a tree and my companions’ shots with a wolf before the ban. For all their tracking techniques, they admit getting near a wolf, for whatever reason, is usually a result of patience and luck. The animal is huge. It is not like a big dog, as I’d imagined. If it gets into a sheep yard, the men say, it will kill them all – sometimes hundreds – only eating a few. I don’t like hunting. I’m glad wolves are protected by law and their elusive natures but I see why they’re the fairytale villain. My, what big teeth. [metro-fact-box title=”Other stuff to do in Suceava County:” colour=”grey” icon=”exclamation”] Visit Voronet Monastery Voronet Monastery (Picture: Yvette Caster) This painted monastery was opened in 1488, commissioned by Stephen the Great, a Moldavian prince who marked his victories in battle with new churches. It’s been branded the Sistine Chapel of the East for its artwork – depictions of biblical stories cover every inch inside and out. You don’t need any interest in religion to appreciate its colours – including a unique Voronet blue – or cartoonish saints, sinners and demons. There’s also a tiny gift shop manned by nuns – about 30 ladies live in the monastery and you’ll also see them inside, chanting prayers, or outside bashing a plank with a mallet (called a semantron or toaca) as a call to prayer. Fall in love with the food and drink View of the Paltinis region (Picture: Getty) Menu highlights here are borscht, stuffed cabbage leaves, springy mounds of polenta and all things pork. For dessert, try warm Romanian doughnuts with jam and cream. Direct from the wild hills I’ve been trekking on comes Aqua Carpatica water (whose springs and factory I also visited). It comes from the protected Bajenaru and Paltinis springs – the former still, the latter sparkling. Water sommelier Martin Riese is a fan and it’s won three gold stars at this and last year’s Superior Taste Awards. It tastes pretty good to me too but then I’m already a weirdo who prefers drinking water to almost everything else. If booze is your thing, try Romanian rose Domeniile Samburesti and palinca – a plum brandy so powerful it may singe your eyebrows off. [/metro-fact-box] [metro-fact-box title=”Where to stay” colour=”grey” icon=”no-icon”] I stayed at Hotel Dorna in Vatra Dornei – popular in the ski season as it’s right next to a slope. In the spring and summer, it makes a good central base camp for hikers, and has a basement spa and swimming pool. The rooms are spacious if a little austere, with beds low to the floor. Pack miniatures as there’s no shampoo or conditioner. The best part of my stay here was the dinners – the duck with raspberry sauce was outstanding and there’s local game and wild boar on offer. Rooms cost from £36 per night including a buffet breakfast. Hotel tax of about 30p a day is also charged. [/metro-fact-box] [metro-fact-box title=”How to get there” colour=”grey” icon=”no-icon”] Wizz Air flies from London Luton to Suceava – the journey takes about three hours. Flights cost from £80.98 return – be flexible on your dates when booking to bag the cheapest deal as some one-way trips currently cost less than £25. You can book a free talk and tour via the Calimani National Park Facebook page, or here. There’s more on the park at the Romania Tourism website and seasonal ecotourism tours, including an eight-day bear, lynx and beaver watching adventure costing £807 via Eco Romania. A day’s trek in Calimani National Park with Dornelor Country Ecotourism costs £95. [/metro-fact-box] [metro-link url=”” title=”Design in Italy: How to see Genoa through Renzo Piano’s architecture”] [metro-link url=”” title=”Cliff camping – the ideal Christmas gift for an adrenaline junkie or the height of eccentricity? I slept on a ledge 10 storeys up to find out”] [metro-link url=”” title=”Winter in Morocco: It’s time you tried a crash course in kitesurfing on the windy beaches of Essouaria”]
11 Dec 18
Rainne's Ramblings

  Angel For Christmas by Caroline Clemmons When a dot com billionaire crashes his sports car into a tree, he wakes up in heaven facing angels Gabriel and Michael. He’s given a chance to redeem his carefree ways by helping an orphanage avoid foreclosure and regain a sound financial picture by midnight on Christmas Eve—or else. To […]

11 Dec 18
Marianne Sciucco

It’s the Christmas season! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to curl up with a Christmas-themed book, a steaming cup of tea, and a sweet treat. I can’t send you tea and cookies, but I can send you some great book suggestions. Throughout the month I’ll be featuring DOZENS of books. […]

11 Dec 18
International Experiences & Advice from San Francisco State University

We all have stories to tell and experiences to share. We can learn so much from other people’s stories and gain so much knowledge that could help us with making personnel decisions. Different experiences lead to different perspectives and that is why I believe debates exist. Anyway, I’m Rashid, former ENG 208 student, who would […]

11 Dec 18

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to meet the REO Brothers band as they provided the dance music for our 1960’s Beatles-themed village party. The four-man band members are Reno (drummer), Ron Joseph (lead singer), Raymart (rhythm), and Ralph (bass). Raymart (named after Raymart Santiago) spoke on behalf of the band on this [English translation] […]