EUROPE. I split my time between the Hotel Tropical’s Zoo and the larger Bosque da Ciencia, both ranked among the top local attractions. The latter is a rescue and research center set in a park configured as a natural wildlife reserve. The admission was under $3.00. Although I was told the #120 bus went there, having never made the connection after several conflicting directions, I opted for the more costly taxi for the 30 minute ride to the suburbs. When I had just arrived, a fast moving local inhabitant (a small rodent?) dashed across my path before I could whip out my camera. The key attraction near the entrance was a large underwater manatee pool with an observation window below ground. Harder to see were monkeys in the treetops overhead. At ground level, a number of curious rodents crossed my path, including one with bright red ears. For my return, there was a taxi stand outside, a welcome sight after hovering under a covered picnic table while a quick but heavy tropical rain fell. Although the center is technically closed to incoming visitors during lunch, those of us already inside were allowed to stay.

Travel tip number one would be to get good insurance, I haven’t been to Nepal but Tibet is very similar and health care is pretty basic by our standards in a lot of places and the altitude sure takes some getting used to if you are a coastal dweller :). Travel light and be prepared to enjoy the people and the country and you will have a ball especially if you make an effort to meet the locals. The next morning, after my travel companions and I had a tasty dinner down at the lodge and spent a night in the canoer cabins, we finished organizing our gear, transferring canned foods to reusable plastic containers (because cans aren’t allowed in the Boundary Waters-read the BWCAW rules ) and watched the Boundary Waters Leave No Trace video. Then Bonnie issued us our permit, fitted us for PFDs and paddles, and we loaded our gear and boats for the shuttle to our entry point on Bearskin Lake.

– Half and full day with whitewater raft – three hour long trip. The greatest islands, cities, hotels, cruise lines, airports, and more — as voted by you. The town has many beautiful art galleries. We toured the Wildlife of the American West Art Museum one day. We were genuinely impressed with the array of paintings and sculptures, all portraying western subjects. Each of the other art galleries is also worth a visit, and if western travel insurance art is what you desire, this is the place to find it! Much of it was museum quality, and pricing varied from affordable to dropping some significant investment dollars. There is something for everyone. Actually, it wouldn’t. That’s what the permit system is for – to limit the number of people in northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, so solitude is sure to be part of any BWCAW canoe-camping experience.