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Madison E. LaFond

I have a bachelor of arts in English with a minor in theatre. I love reading, writing, performing and traveling. My family moved a great deal when I was growing up and I think this is where my love for adventure and seeing new places and meeting people started. I have lived in seven of the United States. I really got the travel bug two years ago. I was finally able to go to Europe with my college English Department. I loved it so much as soon as I graduated I moved to Galway County Ireland. Where I am currently working, living and loving.

I am keeping up a blog about living and working in Ireland, and about my life in general:
I have been to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France, The Bahamas and almost all of the United States.


See Edinburgh in a Panoramic View from the Scott Monument

Created on September 23, 2012 by Madison E. LaFond

Scotland is a country of rich culture, inspiring beauty, and fascinating history. All these themes are masterfully captured in the books of Sir Walter Scott. The author of eleven poems and twenty seven classic novels, including Ivanhoe, Waverly, and Rob Roy. Given that Sir Walter Scott's monumental works of literature are such icons in Scottish literacy it is only fitting that he is attributed with a monument in Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh. The story of the Scott Monument itself is fascinating. The commissioners of the Scott Monument held a competition for architects, the winner would be given the honor of designing the Scott Monument. The winning entry was submitted under the name of John Morvo. The actual John Morvo had been a successful architect in ...

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Celebrate Carnival of Viareggio in Tuscany

Created on August 01, 2012 by Madison E. LaFond

If you've been fantasizing about traveling to Italy for years, why not make this the year you actually go? Or maybe you've been to Italy several times and can't wait to go back. Whether you are returning to Italy or finally going for the first time, add the Carnival of Viareggio to your "must see" bucket list. The city of Viareggio in Tuscany is renowned for its original Mardi Gras celebration. The Carnevale di Viareggio, or in English, The Carnival of Viareggio, is not only incredibly fun but full of cultural significance. This festival is certainly one of the best travel destinations to hit on your tour of Italy. This unique festival was founded in 1873 when the signori, decided to host a parade with ...

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Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, a real party this New Year's

Created on December 30, 2010 by Madison E. LaFond

Over ten thousand minstrels take over the streets of Cape Town where they put on parades, make music, and dance for the love of it. Music, dance, fantastic costumes, parades and culture all in one place. The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, or the Kaapse Klopse as it is known locally, is a spectacular festival and the perfect place to just relax and party on your African travels. There is some dispute over the origins of the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival. But, according to legend, in the 1800s a group of African American musicians made dock in Cape Town and entertained the sailors there with song and dance. However this day started it is still celebrated today. Every troupe takes their part in Cape Town Minstrel ...

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Longmen Grottoes: Human Ingenuity Meets Nature's Beauty

Created on July 02, 2010 by Madison E. LaFond

China has always been revered by world travelers as a beautiful and mysterious country. From its majestic wilderness, to its bustling cities, and it's fascinating history. In your world travels the Longmen Shan is a site not to be missed.It is the perfect, but rare, mix of human ingenuity and nature's beauty. Cut into the Xiangshan and Longmen Shan hillside above the Yi River, the Longmen, literally meaning "Dragon's Gate", is a complex of temple grottoes is an exquisite treasury of Buddhist carvings comprising 2,345 caves and niches, 2,800 inscriptions, and 43 pagodas, the earliest dating from the Northern Wei dynasty (493 A.D.). There are as many as 100'000 sculptures in theses Longmen grottoes, some as small as an inch and others almost sixty feet ...

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A Landmark in History and Conpemporary Dublin, St Patrick's Cathedral

Created on May 24, 2010 by Madison E. LaFond

We are all familiar with the Irish clichés. Little men dressed in green with gold-buckles on their shoes, pots of gold, rainbows, and shamrocks. One o these clichés you are probably familiar with is Saint Patrick. But hold on before you roll your eyes, Saint Patrick was an important figure in Irish history. In fact, the shamrock is associated with Ireland because St. Patrick used the three leaf clover to explain the idea of the Trinity to the Irish people when converting them to Christianity. As Saint Patrick started Christianity in Ireland he became patron saint. So, the Saint Patrick Cathedral in Dublin is the National Cathedral of Ireland and the largest Cathedral in Ireland. The cathedral stands in modern Dublin as a beautiful historical ...

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The Mehrangarh Fort, Feel the History of India in It's Walls

Created on October 23, 2009 by Madison E. LaFond

On your tour of India make sure you schedule time for the awe inspiriting Meghrangarh Fort. Never heard of it? Chances are you have probably seen it. The beautiful Mehrangarh Fort is a favorite sight of film makers and can be seen in several popular Bollywood and Hollywood movies including The Dark Knight Rises. The Meghrangarh Fort is located in the middle of the Indian city of Jodhpur. It is truly a magnificent sight, rising 400 feet above the city streets the fort spreads over 3.1 miles and has seven gates. The beginnings of The Meghrangarh Fort in Jodhpur can be traced back to Rao Jodha. Who choose to relocated the capital of his realm from Mandore India to Jodhpur. As the story goes Rao ...

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Catlins Forest Park a Natural Adventrue

Created on October 20, 2009 by Madison E. LaFond

One of the best things about traveling around the world is seeing the natural scenery and wild life of places all around the globe. We all love beaches, forests, rolling fields and stunning cliffs. What if you could see these all in one trip? The Catlins Forest Park, located on South Island, New Zealand, offers all that and more. Besides incredible vistas, scenic walks and lovely beaches the Catlins Forest Park is home of a wide variety of native wildlife. While touring Catlins Forest Park on your world travels you have the chance to see some truly amazing creatures. Catlins Forest Park is home to three endangered species; the Hector dolphin, the New Zealand sea lion and the yellow-eyed penguin. Let's face it, anywhere you ...

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Nimis Sculpture in Landonia: Modern Art Surrounded by Nature

Created on July 21, 2009 by Madison E. LaFond

As world travelers we all have a secret desire to get wonderfully lost in a new place. How about a site made just for people like us? An incredible work of art that is not listed on maps and can only be reached by hiking on foot through a nature preserve? You literally have to get lost to see The Nimis Sculpture. Nimis is a modern sculpture that was built by Swedish artist Lars Endel Roger Vilks. Vilks named the sculpture Nimis, which is Swedish for "too much." The Nimis Sculpture is constructed of 75 tons of driftwood and is located in the coastal Kullaberg Nature Reserve. Because of this location it was actually several years before the Nimis Sculpture was discovered. When the Nimis ...

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