Here in Eastern France summer should have arrived - but for some reason (maybe global warming!) we've had wintry weather, with coats and scarves and everything, right until the end of May.
That kind of weather makes me think of... chocolate. So - calling all chocolate lovers!
Kaleena Quarles (you'll remember she guest edited the newsletter issue on Becoming an Expat two months ago) clearly agrees and has prepared an amazing list of chocolate-themed travel fun in case you're craving some.
If these brilliant ideas don't make you run out and search for something chocolaty, then you're not a true chocoholic, are you? Kaleena is also responsible this time around for our Cause of the Month on Saving Aceh's Rainforests (see further down).
If you're dreaming of traveling but you haven't yet left home yet, is it because you don't know what to do next? Is fear holding you back, or what others are saying? Is it money?
If you plan on being away any length of time, find out how fellow bloggers Pete and Dalene Heck saved more than $30,000 on accommodation by housesitting. They document it all in How to Become a Housesitter and See the World and give away all their secrets! So if you've ever wondered how you can travel and live in the lap of luxury at the same time, you have to read this.
If you're in your 20s or 30s and planning to travel solo, one book you should read is The Art of Solo Travel. It's snappy and vivid and fun and shows you the way if this is your first time...
If you're in your 40s and beyond, then my own Women on the Road: the essential guide to baby boomer travel will demystify travel for you. In this book I take you by the hand and help you decide where to go, how to save money, what to take and when to go, how to stay healthy and safe - and pretty much everything else you need to know to see the world. (If you've already read it I would love it if you could leave a review over on Amazon.)
Women on the Road NEWS: Contents for Issue #64
- Chocolate Travel
- Connecting with Women on the Road
- Travel News from Across the Web
- Cause of the Month: Saving Aceh's Rainforests
Chocolate Boutique Hotel
This hotel on the southern coast of England, with chocolate themed rooms like the Chocolate Truffle Suite, offers chocolate art and cooking classes, has a chocolate themed cocktail bar, and provides chocolate fountains in every room. It may well be the only chocolate themed hotel in the world.
For a more tropical and luxurious chocolate vacation, this high-end hotel in St Lucia, Virgin Islands is set high among the rainforest and cocoa groves of Saint Lucia’s oldest plantation, Rabot Estate. You can treat yourself to a soothing Cocoa Juvenate spa treatment, walk the cocoa trails, and taste the array of chocolates found in your room.
Chocolate Themed Cruises
Chocolate Connoisseur’s Cruise
What’s better than a luxurious cruise down the Danube? A chocolate themed cruise down the Danube, of course! AmaWaterways’ newest cruise, Romantic Danube, will offer you a variety of ways to indulge in chocolate cravings while sailing down the scenic river.
Chocolate and Wine Cruise
Float through France’s Burgundy Canal on the newly renovated barge, Elisabeth. The six-night Chocolate and Wine trip includes plenty of onboard chocolate desserts, a chocolate and wine pairing, and a stop for lunch in the village of Flavigny, where the movie Chocolat was filmed.
For more information on chocolate themed cruising, click HERE.
Chocolate Museums and History
Because chocolate originated in Central and South America where the cocoa bean grows, the founders of Choco Museo decided to open this chocolate factory and museum in Peru, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. Their locations offer cocoa farm tours, chocolate workshops, and a museum of chocolate.
The Chocolate Museum
Located on the island of Jeju, South Korea, this is the second largest chocolate museum in the world (the largest is the Lindt Factory & Museum in Cologne, Germany). Found in a building made of local volcanic rock, the three floor museum houses a gallery, a theater, a café, a workshop on the chocolate making process, and a chocolate store, all amid the tropical island beauty of Jeju.
Named by National Geographic as one of the top 10 places for chocolate, Tabasco, Mexico boasts a rich history and culture of chocolate. Small cocoa farms deep in the forest offer tourists the unique experience of visiting cacao haciendas to learn more about the "food of the gods".
Chocolate Factory Tours
Hershey’s Chocolate World
There may not be oompa loompas, but at this factory in Pennsylvania, USA you’ll take a ride that tours through the factory, create your own candy bar, experience the Great Chocolate Factory Mystery in 4D, and sample chocolates. You also won’t want to miss nearby Hershey Park, with over 65 rides and attractions.
No chocolate enthusiast will want to miss the world’s largest chocolate factory and museum in Cologne. Learn more about the history of cocoa and how their delicious chocolate is made—and, of course, complete the experience with a chocolate tasting.
Theo Chocolate is proud to be the only Organic and Fair Trade chocolate factory in the US. Committed to both creating amazing flavors and making a difference in the world, the factory in Seattle offers tours where you can learn about the creation of chocolate from a sustainable standpoint and, of course, sample their confections.
Located in Gruyères, the historic Swiss village also known for its cheese, this chocolate factory provides a complete immersion into the brand, history and products of Cailler of Switzerland, complete with a tasting of their chocolate specialties.
If you’re in New Zealand you can tour one of the world’s largest chocolate factories. Learn about the history of chocolate since its discovery, see how Cadbury chocolate has evolved over the years, view popular Cadbury television advertisements, learn about the chocolate-making process, visit the kitchens and see the chocolate being made, and finally head into Liquid Chocolate Tasting to enjoy chocolate in all its melted goodness.
UK: The Chocolate Festival takes place throughout the year in London, Bristol, Brighton, and Oxford. With over 40 exhibitors, the festival provides a chance to learn about the history of chocolate, learn to make your own chocolate, and sample a variety of chocolate foods.
San Francisco, CA: The Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival includes fun-filled activities like chef cooking demonstrations, live music, chocolate tasting, and ice cream sundae eating contests.
Paris, New York, Tokyo, and more: Supported by the French government but hosted by countries around the world, the Salon Du Chocolat is one of the world’s largest trade fairs for the international chocolate industry. Watch the Cocoa Show, a performance that celebrates all that is unique about chocolate culture and features dance, songs, rituals and traditions of cocoa-producing countries; attend chocolate conferences; visit the chocolate book shop; and even view a chocolate fashion show.
And now I'm off to find some!
If you enjoyed this newsletter, then please tell a friend about it!
Hello ladies, Leyla here. (Thanks Kaleena for the chocolate temptation - I'm rummaging through the cupboard as I read).
I finally finished my Istanbul stories and posted two fun stories. One is about Arzu, a very modern Istanbul woman who runs a great restaurant - women like her are particularly aware of the struggles their city has been experiencing in the past few days.
My other post on Istanbul is about the Grand Bazaar - I'll give you a few pointers on bargaining and introduce you to a great Texan lady who has adopted Turkey and helps shoppers get the best prices in the city.
And you were all very PROLIFIC this month with your submissions - thank you!
Here's what we added:
- Nicole Connolly tells us about the good and bad in housesitting
- Selah shares an interesting idea - a homemade urinary device
- Jeanie Hore went to China
- Rosa tells us how to have fun when things go wrong
- and Svetlana Rubejov is all about travel to Las Vegas for solo women.
Many of you are joining me on Facebook and Twitter - almost 5,000 so far - so if you haven't clicked LIKE yet please wander over to facebook.com/womenontheroad or Twitter at @womanontheroad and join me!
And if you love beautiful photos, come on over to my Pinterest page!.
Travel News from across the Web
How to Avoid Getting Robbed When You Travel to Dangerous Countries
20 Office Moments that Make You Want to Quit Your Job and Travel
5 Year-Round Spanish Destinations
18 Moments Every Backpacker Experiences
Things Americans Do that Look Odd to Others
The Amazing Diversity of the Peruvian Amazon
The Galapagos Islands: Like No Place on Earth
Top 5 Things to Do in Cappadocia
What's There in Kyrgyzstan
48 Hours in Contradictory Bangkok
Travel in Tokyo: 3 Personal Challenges and How to Overcome Them
Banaue Rice Terraces: The Eighth Wonder of the World?
An American's Guide to Visiting Cuba
5 Foods Not to Miss in Sweden
Solo Travel to Jordan (photos)
20 Breathtaking Lakes
Saving Aceh's Rainforest
Aceh, on the tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, has one of the country's most pristine and untouched rainforests. It is in grave danger as a local politician wants to allow mining and palm oil companies to mine areas the size of a million football fields.
Aceh's rainforest is a unique habitat: it is the last place on earth where endangered orangutans, rhinos, elephants, and tigers still roam together. If the rainforest is allowed to be bulldozed for logging, thousands of endangered animals will be killed and the orangutan population will be brought to the brink of extinction.
How can you help?
By showing our disapproval, we can pressure Indonesia's President to forbid logging companies from cutting down the rainforest and save the endangered orangutan’s precious habitat.
For more information on the situation, read this article
Avaaz, a global civic organization and powerful online activist network, has launched a petition to demonstrate the world’s desire to save the Indonesian rainforests from logging. To sign the petition, click here: Petition.
If you’re on Twitter, send this or a similar tweet to the Indonesian President: "Tell President @SBYudhoyono of #Indonesia to stop the plan to kill orangutans and #SaveAceh"
We welcome back Amber Lamboo with... countries that aren't really countries!
© Leyla Giray. All rights reserved. Women on the Road™ News is published monthly. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.