Robert Q Travel Byron's Blog

Islay: Home to the Peatiest Single Malts on the Planet Islay's delicious single malts. read more
Scotland, the home of Golf A few facts about Scotland and why it is the Home of Golf. read more
A Wee Dram or Two at Glenmorangie Distillery, Tain The beauty of distillery’s whiskies and their distinctive taste and style. read more
Eilean Donan Castle King of the Highlands The history behind Eilean Donan, one of the most famous and beautiful castles in Scotland read more
History of Reggae Music

I am going to share a secret with you about the history of Reggae Music. I think now is the opportune time as I think you are at a place that you can handle it. This genre did not originate with Bob Marley nor his world renown song One Love.

The term reggae was derived from rege-rege, a  Jamaican phrase meaning “rags or ragged clothing,” it is used to denote a raggedy style of music. The  reggae genre  came into to being in the 1960’s as an evolution of the Rocksteady and Ska musical styles.  Reggae music is a soulful entertainment in Jamaica. It expresses in words the pain, struggle, hope and emotion that is felt by the average person.

Reggae music is recognized by its lament-like chanting and emphasizes the syncopated beat. It is distinguishable from other genres in the heavy use of the Jamaican vernacular and the African nyah-bingi drumming style.

Reggae began to rise to international acclaim as the 1970s progressed. A seminal moment for the genre was the release of the 1973 movie The Harder They Come starring Jimmy Cliff. The movie soundtrack consisted of only reggae hits; this contributed in elevating the music to a internal platform.

Of course, Bob Marley is the world’s best known and loved international Reggae ambassador. Marley’s career spanned more than a decade, beginning in 1963 with Rocksteady band, the Wailers, and culminating in the release of his 1977 solo album, Exodus, which achieved international acclaim. Marley was not only a Reggae singer, but a committed Rastafarian and a political activist. Through his music, his words and his actions, he earned forever a place in Reggae fans hearts around the world. Marley’s music was first popularised in the Wes by Eric Clapton performing a cover of Who Shot the Sheriff.

Since the 60s and 70s, Reggae music has spread and developed in many different ways around the world. Reggae is still going strong in its pure form around the world too, with many modern Reggae bands achieving success in the mainstream.

For authentic reggae experience you can visit the following places for a reggae cultural experience.

  1. Visit  Nine Mile which is the birth place and final resting place of reggae legend Bob Marley. Listen to the knowledgeable guides tell stories of Bob’s childhood! Stand on Mount Zion Rock, where Bob used to meditate and rest your head on ‘the pillow’ that was made famous in the song ‘Talking Blues’.

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  2. Take a family-friendly tour of Bob Marley museum. The Museum is the former home of the reggae legend. Bob’s home is filled with rich memories and treasured mementos, which seek to preserve the life and accomplishment of this great Jamaican and outstanding musician.

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  3. Participate in Sumfest Reggae Festival. This is Jamaica’s biggest reggae festival, It is a three-day festival in Montego Bay is a three-day extravaganza (from July 12 through the 18th. It features internationally known music acts and contemporary takes on reggae alongside more tried-and-true originals.

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  4. For Beach Lovers – To experience reggae in its most relaxing setting, nothing beats the soft, welcoming vibes of a sea-lapped Caribbean Beach. In Ocho Rios, you’ll find the appropriately named Reggae Beach, with the notes of improm ptu jam sessions (and the scent of jerk chicken) emanating from small beach bars, and late-night bonfires with DJs supplying the sound track. This quarter-mile beach is small but secluded, and you won’t have to battle huge crowds for beach real estate.

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  5. Visit Horace Andy Record Studio – Horace Andy is best known for his 1973 cover of “Ain’t no sunshine,” Take the opportunity to explore this famous record studio, and access a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a studio session with Andy personally.

  6. Visit Randy’s Records – This record shop was opened in  1958 by Vincent”Randy” Chin; a legendary record producer. Although Mr. chin is deceased the shop is still heavily visit from persons from all across the world.

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  7. Visit Tuff Gong International Recording Studio – a visit to Jamaica would not be complete without stopping by this world renown studio that contains Bob Marley’s original recording equipment.

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North Coast  Highway 500 Travel Itinerary Spending five days driving around Scotland’s north coast, taking in beautiful sites and visiting magnificent places. read more
Visit the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in Fife An exquisite museum dedicated to Andre Carnegie. read more
Get on your bike and cycle Scotland! Mountain biking is hugely popular in Scotland and the country is home to some of the best cycling ranges and trails in the UK. read more
Duart Castle, Argyll: Home of the MacLean Clan Explore the historic Duart Castle which has been the base of the McLean clan for over 400 years. read more
Get Thee to a Convent in Old San Juan El Convento, originally a 17th century Carmelite convent, has been listed as one of the world’s best places to stay by both Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines. read more
Marrakech: Feast for the senses Marrakech is an ancient caravan town, a gathering place where Arabs and Berbers mingle with Sahara nomads and mountain people. read more
The Ultimate Operatic Experience in Venice Live opera in the 12th century Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto on the Grand Canal read more
Meet the Tequila Goddess and Beware of the Snake Bite The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, a tequila bar in Scottsdale. read more
Chihuahua: Take a stroll down memory lane in Batopilas

By Anita Draycott

Batopilas, a small town nestled in the Western Sierra Madre at the bottom of a cliff has tales to share. It’s home to beautiful plazas and bridges built of rope and river rocks, but the main surprise is a beautiful aqueduct built in the 19th century.

Walk its streets and Batopilas will reveal stories about the discovery of silver deposits and its glory days during the Porfirio Diaz era when its most notable buildings were erected, such as the impressive City Hall, built around 1890 and the San Miguel and Shepherd Haciendas. Visit La Bufa mine, where the mining entrepreneur Alexander Robert amassed a fortune.

Saint Michael Archangel Temple is another emblematic building with a triple dome that dates back to the 17th century. To reach the temple, you need to travel 8 km on foot from the town to the Satevo Valley. It’s a bit of a hike but the views are worthwhile.

The warm climate of Batopilas is ideal for the tropical and semi-tropical vegetation. Expect to find orange, mango, avocado and papaya orchards. Likewise, it is not uncommon to find bougainvillea, tabachines and ceibas along the streets.

From La Bufa viewpoint, located in the surrounding area of a Tarahumara community called Quirare, you’ll get a fantastic view of the canyons, the Batopilas River and the minerals at La Bufa. Another viewpoint is Piedra Redonda, where you can admire the Banana Canyons.

Along the Batopilas River you can set up camp and take a refreshing dip. Close by, the La Bufa bridge, which crosses one of the canyon’s deepest sections. You will soon discover that Chihuahua, the largest Mexican state, has a multitude of charms, attractions and surprises.

That’s Entertainment in Myrtle Beach Myrtle’s plenty of theatre venues. read more
Boo! The Ghosts of Charleston The Ghosts of Charleston. read more
Top ten reasons why you must visit the Philippines.

With 7,107 islands comprising the Philippines Archipelago, you know you are in for a treat when you visit the Philippines.  There is so much to see and do in this country located in Southeast Asia.  Here are the top reasons why you must visit the Philippines.

  • One of the friendliest and hospitable people in the world. Everyone will welcome you with a smile, and will not hesitate to help you out.
  • You do not need an English-Filipino to travel around the Philippines. Although the Philippines has about 175 languages and dialects, English is widely spoken and understood.
  • The Filipinos love to eat, and if you are a foodie, you will love Filipino food. You must try lechon, adobo, kare kare, sinigang, kinilaw, and crispy pata. For those who enjoy unusual food, you must have your fill of dinuguan, balut, kwek kwek, adidas, and isaw.
  • Trek to Mt. Pinatubo’s crater. A dormant volcano until it erupted in 1991, Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption was felt worldwide. After it eruption, its caldera was filled with water from monsoon rains, forming a crater lake. It has since become a tourist attraction especially for hikers and trekkers.
  •  Spend a few days in Boracay Island. In 2012, Travel + Leisure magazine named Boracay “the best island in the world”. Its white sand beaches will lure you, and its night life will make you want to stay forever.
  • Fly to Palawan which will awe you with its natural wonders, pristine white beaches, and unique flora and fauna. El Nido, Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park and Coron are a must visit.
  • Enjoy the cool breeze when you visit Banaue Rice Terraces that were carved into the mountains by the Ifugao tribe about 2,000 years ago. Filipinos claim it to be the “8th Wonder of the World”.
  • Be up close and personal with a whale shark in Donsol. Whale sharks converge in the Donsol bay from November through June, the best time to snorkel and say hello to whale sharks! Don’t forget to take pictures.
  • With more than 1,260 hills looking like chocolate mounds, the Chocolate Hills of Bohol is a sight to behold. You can also enjoy activities such as bike zip lining and ATV rides.
  • Partying in Manila. There are so many bars and clubs where you can party in Manila. Get ready to dance, groove or drink up! You can also sing your heart out in one of the Karaoke bars that dot the city.

Get ready to have fun in the Philippines. It is an amazing country with 7,107 reasons why you must visit it soon! 

Welcome to Claxton Georgia, the "Fruit Cake Capital of the World"

Attention fruit cake lovers, please proceed to Claxton, Georgia, where you can have some finger licking good fruit cake!

The county seat of Evans County, Georgia, Claxton is a small city with a few thousand inhabitants, and covers a total area of 1.6 square miles. Blessed with a humid subtropical climate, the city will appeal to travelers who want to enjoy a small town atmosphere, or those who are craving for one of the best fruit cakes in the world. Known as the “fruit cake capital of the world”, the city is also home to the largest poultry and beekeeping industries in the state. The city is 127 miles to Jacksonville, Florida, 221 miles to Charlotte, North Carolina, and 182 miles to Atlanta, Georgia. You can spend a day or two in Claxton, or pass by on your way to other destinations.

There are two world-famous fruit cake companies in Claxton, the Claxton Bakery and Georgia Fruit Cake Company. Both companies trace their roots to Savino Tos, an Italian immigrant and a master baker.   These two companies are just blocks away from each other, yet each one has its own market. Claxton Bakery bakes more than five million pounds of fruit cake annually, while Georgia Fruit Cake Company bakes more than one hundred thousand pounds of fruit cake a year.  Claxton is where you can have a taste of a variety of fruit cakes in just one sitting! You can buy one, two, three, five or ten pounds of simple or supreme fruitcakes, and other sweets such as chocolate-covered fruit cake nuggets, pastries, and fruit cake and Georgia pecans combination.

With Christmas just around the corner, you have to visit Claxton and buy as many fruit cakes as you can!

Guilin, China, one of the favorite tourist destinations of the locals

The city of Guilin was the first city in China which was developed for tourism purposes after 1949, and is still the favored vacation spot of the locals. It was such a popular tourist spot that children’s textbooks would often mention the city for its beauty. It was also the choice destination of Chinese politicians. Although the city might have been surpassed in terms of tourists arrivals by bigger cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, and Shenzhen, it is one city that has not lost its old world charm and charisma.

Located in Southern China on the west bank of Li River, the city of Guilin has one of the best landscapes in China. It is surrounded by unique hills brimming with bamboos and conifers, crystal clear lakes and rivers, which make the city different from the other cities in China. The city covers a total area of 27,800 square kilometers and is inhabited by about 850,000 people. You can take the train, car or bus from various cities in China, but the fastest way to get into the city is via the Guilin Liangjiang International Airport which is served by a number of international carriers. The airport is 28 kilometers from the heart of the city.

Guilin is known for its natural wonders and historic landmarks such as the Reed Flute Cave, Elephant Trunk Hill, Folded Brocade Hill, Jingjiang Wangcheng City, Jiangtouzhou Ancient Dwellings, Daxu Old Town, Jingjiang Royal Residence, Ancient South Gate, and Mulong Lake.  It also has a number of resorts including Guilin Chuanshan Scenic Resort, Yingwu Mountain Scenic Resort of Guilin, Guilin Yaoshan Mountain Scenic Resort, Guanyan Scenic Resort, and Zizhou Scenic Resort. Your days will be filled with visits to numerous attractions, parks, shopping areas, and places to eat!

It is no wonder that the city is a favorite tourist destination of the locals, and it will be your too! Consult your travel agent and start planning your trip to the city of Guilin. 

Explore the Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations in Jamaica

When going to Jamaica, most vacationers think about the resorts that line the island's northern coast. It's not surprising that most travelers will head to that direction because Jamaica is known for exactly that: lounging in the pool, basking in the sun, or enjoying the buffets. But if you're tired of the usual Jamaican scene, why not try exploring the off-the-beaten-path destinations in the island?

It takes an adventurous spirit should you want to explore the other side of Jamaica. However, we can assure you that it's an adventure worth taking! Here are some of the destinations you can visit:

  1. Port Antonio: Located in the eastern side of the northern coast, you can enjoy a slow-paced stay in this local secret destination with lush and green secluded beaches. But, Port Antonio is not just about the beaches. You can try waterfall hikes here or go bird watching. You might also want to try dining on authentic jerk cooking.
  2. Southwestern Jamaica: Just a 90-minute drive from Montego Bay, Southwestern Jamaica is less isolated than Port Antonio, but can still offer you a less crowded vacation spot. Some of the activities you can join are a safari excursion on the Black River, a tour of the historic Appleton Rum Estate, and a relaxing dip at YS Falls. You might also want to visit Treasure Beach, which is the site of Lovers Leap where two Jamaican slaves were said to have leapt to their deaths.
  3. Pelican Bar: A 20-minute boat ride out on the sea, Pelican Bar stands on stilts. Guests can enjoy a frosty Red Stripe and some fresh-caught seafood here.
  4. Mandeville: When you think of Jamaica, you think of beaches. However, land-locked Mandeville is something else. Here you can find the Caribbean's oldest golf course, the Manchester Golf Club, which dates back to 1868. Expect an English vibe when you visit this place, with cricket games and English-style pubs all over the place.
  5. Flower Forest and River Head Adventure Trail: Go to this ecotourism attraction and enjoy a 130-acre tropical forest and 40 acres of landscaped gardens. Follow a hiking trail along Little River and feast on the beautiful sights that include dozens of tropical plants, flowers, and birds. At the end of your hike, you will find yourself in a 14-foot deep pool where you can relax and enjoy the view.

Experience Jamaica differently by exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations. Book your holiday with a travel agent today and get the best deals!

The City that has it all, Brisbane, Australia

The hippest and coolest city in Australia, Brisbane has it all! There is no shortage of fun activities you can enjoy in Brisbane, day or night. It is also your gateway to Queensland’s numerous attractions. If you are planning to take a trip to “Down Under”, make Brisbane your first stop, it will make you not want to leave!

Packed with 2.2 million people, Brisbane boasts of a whopping $146 billion economy with tourism playing a major role. It is the third largest city in Australia, and the most populous city in the state of Queensland. Located on the banks of Brisbane River which snakes though the city, Brisbane is a melting pot of numerous culture and ethnicities, making it a city where anyone can feel at home.

Often called “Brisvegas”, a nicknamed coined after Elvis Presley’s tribute CD and the city's thriving live music scene, Brisbane has a dazzling array of attractions that will keep you busy. Have you ever wanted to see a live koala, the country’s iconic marsupial?  Head to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary where a number of wildlife endemic to Australia are kept and cared for. Other attractions you should not miss include the Eat Street Markets, Brisbane Lookout, XXXX Brewery, Roma Street Parkland, Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park, and Mt Coot-tha Reserve. Reserve some time to enjoy activities such as river cruises, Brisbane story bridge day and night climbs, tandem sky diving, city cycling, whale watching and Segway tours, just to name a few.

Brisbane’s charm and energy can be seen and felt wherever you go. Join in the bandwagon and book a trip to Brisbane now!

Mount Carmel's Caves, a Study into Human Evolution The four caves of Mount Carmel include Tabun, Jamal, El-Wad and Skhul. The cave’s terraces are clustered next to each other on the southern side of Nahal Me’arot Valley which opens to the coastal plain on the western end of the Carmel range. read more
Canals, Vineyards & Paris read more
Best Beachfront Restaurants in Myrtle Beach Marina Inn is Myrtle Beach City's premiere dining destination. It is ideal for both family nighouts and romantic dinners. It is popular for its Fish Tacos that are served with a Mango Margarita. read more
Experience a Life of Luxury at Hotel Estherea This is a blog about one of the best hotels in the world - the Hotel Estherea. That the hotel is located on Singel, Amsterdam's oldest canal, makes it a must visit for those intent on seeing what Amsterdam has to offer. read more