5 Adventurous Cities No One Else is Visiting

Are you the kind of person who likes to explore the road less traveled? Are you also the type to crave an abundance of exciting activities to choose from when on vacation? If so, then you might want to consider a new destination rather than the one your friends talk amicably about. Here are five adventurous cities no one else is visiting — yet.

Constantine, Algeria

Bridge connecting hills with building on top
Credit: Mltz/ Shutterstock 

Located next to the rugged Rhumel Gorge, Constantine is one of the most stunning cities in North Africa. Thousands of years ago, the Oued Rhumel river carved the gorge around a craggy outcrop, where Constantine sits today. Constantine is known as the “City of Bridges” due to its architecturally impressive structures connecting the nearby ravines and valleys. Spend time drinking with viewpoints of Bay El Kantra Bridge, Mellah Slimane Bridge, and Sidi M’Cid Bridge for a cocktail hour experience like no other.

The Phoenicians founded Constantine and it was later ruled by the Berbers, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and French. Delve into this history by walking through the archaeological exhibits at the Cirta Museum. A walk around the La Medina neighborhood is a window into daily life in the city. Visit the Ottoman-era Palace of Ahmed Bey, catch a show at the elegant Theatre Regional de Constantine, and relax in the El Kantara Garden on the cliffside. There’s even more adventure at the ruined Roman town of Tiddis, which is less than an hour away.

Dili, East Timor

Aerial view of Dili with boats in the harbor
Credit: Jack Nugent/ Shutterstock

East Timor (Timor-Leste) only regained its independence in 2002 — making it one of the youngest nations on the planet. Although it’s probably one of the last world capitals that you’d think about visiting, Dili is a cultural and coastal wonder for intrepid travelers. A blend of Portuguese and Indonesian buildings line the streets and stand as reminders of past struggles. Head to the Timorese Resistance Archive and Museum to learn more about the country’s history. Browse stalls packed with brightly-colored textiles at Tais Market and try local, tasty cuisine at Taibesi Market.

Dili is a paradise for beach lovers and water sport enthusiasts, too. Stroll along the waterfront to the hilltop Cristo Rei statue of Christ the Redeemer. Kick back on the golden sands of Areia Branca beach and Jesus Backside Beach. Plunge into dive sites within the Coral Triangle, which is often called the Amazon of the Seas for its incredible diversity. Laidback bars and restaurants line Avenida de Portugal on the seafront. Even better, East Timor uses the U.S. dollar and there are direct flights from Bali.

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor Bay and Old Town with mountains in the background
Credit: emperorcosar/ Shutterstock

As far as settings go, the Adriatic village of Kotor has some of the most stunning coastline in all of Europe. Perched on the Bay of Kotor and overlooked by limestone cliffs, this UNESCO-listed destination features medieval preservation at its best. Within the walled Kotor Old Town is a labyrinth of alleyways home to café-framed squares, palaces, museums, and theaters. The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, Kampana Tower, and Maritime Museum of Montenegro are major highlights.

Later, strap on a pair of comfortable walking shoes and climb the steps up to the Castle of San Giovanni for glorious views of the bay. Further inland, Lovcén National Park wraps around 5,738-foot Mount Lovcén. Hike the trail through the rugged landscape to the mausoleum of revered poet Petar II Petrović-Njegoš. Of course, you won’t want to miss taking a yacht cruise around the bay to villages such as Perast. Afterward, make sure you return to the Old Town to enjoy the lively pubs and live music venues.

Surabaya, Indonesia

Mount Bromo volcano surrounded by clouds in Surabaya, Indonesia
Credit: lkunl/ iStock

While many visitors to Indonesia rush to the beaches of Bali and Lombok, the island of Java is home to cities that showcase both old and new architecture. One such destination is the port city of Surabaya. Here, glitzy skyscrapers rise above canals once used as trading routes by Dutch colonists. The markets, shops, restaurants, and religious landmarks of the Arab Quarter and Chinatown are the epitome of old-world charm. The Cheng Hoo MosqueHouse of Sampoerna art gallery and museum, Majapahit Hotel, and Sunan Ampel’s Tomb are all worthy of your time. You’ll just need to battle the pandemoniac traffic to reach them.

When the chaos becomes too much, the city has some inviting beaches nearby. Kenjeran Beach is right on the doorstep of the city and is loved for its stunning sunrises and amusement rides. Just a two-hour drive away are Bentar Beach, Delegan Beach, and Nepa Beach. Thrill-seekers can travel south to trek around the Gunung Arjuna stratovolcano and the active volcanos in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.

Vaduz, Liechenstein

Town of Vaduz with mountains in the background
Credit: Magone/ iStock

Only San Marino and Vatican City rank as smaller capital cities than the tiny city of Vaduz. Yet, the capital of Liechenstein packs a heavy punch in terms of things to see and do. There’s Vaduz Castle, the 900-year-old residence of the Prince of Liechenstein, perched on a hill with a backdrop of delightful mountain scenery. There are the excellent Art Museum LiechensteinLiechenstein National Museum, and Postage Stamp Museum to visit. There are also landmarks such as the neo-Gothic styled St. Florin Cathedral and modern Parliament Building, where the principality’s 25-member parliament meets.

Although the city is situated in a landlocked country that’s only 15.2 miles long and 5.8 miles wide, Vaduz isn’t far from anywhere. Rent a bike and pedal along the scenic road that follows the banks of the Rhine River or travel inland into the postcard-perfect Liechenstein Alps. Breathe in the crisp air while traversing hiking trails around Fürstensteig, Schönberg, and other mountain peaks. Powder hounds will delight in the groomed pistes and family-friendly runs at Bergbahnen Malbun ski resort.

From as early as he can remember Bradley was road-tripping across the UK, France and Spain with his family. Since then he’s visited 40-plus countries and lived on four continents. Today he divides his time between Buenos Aires and the beaches of Punta del Este, Uruguay and puts his wanderlust to good use by writing about his travels.

INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH

  INSTMarch 3, 2020
Let Him Hear
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:22)

This is the final exhortation in Christ’s letters to His seven representative churches. It is the seventh such exhortation, one addressed to each church, so must be unusually important. The emphasis, obviously, is not merely hearing with the physical ear, but hearing with an obedient heart.

Such hearing is necessary first of all for saving faith, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Jesus said: “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

In our day, however, probably more than in any previous age, there is a cacophony of voices of all kinds that are seeking listeners. In fact, Jesus Himself cautioned: “Take heed what ye hear” (Mark 4:24). There are multitudes of false teachers today—evolutionary humanists, religious liberals, “New Age” mystics, and others—all very articulate and often winsome, but speaking false doctrine. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

It is important not only to hear the right words, but also to hear the right way. “Take heed therefore how ye hear,” also said Jesus (Luke 8:18). Even if we hear the pure Word of God, it will accomplish nothing of value in our lives unless we hear with due reverence. “To this man will I look, even to him that…trembleth at my word” (Isaiah 66:2). And we must also hear with faith. “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2). He that hath an ear, therefore, let him hear with reverent faith the true Word of God. HMM

 

Jehoshaphat’s Story – Daily Treasure – March 3

  • 2020Mar 03
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A Pilgrimage Fueled by Hope: Jehoshaphat’s Story

By Sharon W. Betters

TODAY’S TREASURE

The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father and walked in His commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel. Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. –2 Chronicles 17:3-5 ESV

At thirty-five years of age, Jehoshaphat follows in his father’s footsteps and becomes King of Judah after his father’s death. He also follows his father in the way he immediately takes steps to fortify the country and continues to build a strong spiritual foundation. Jehoshaphat takes stock of the weak spots along Judah’s border and loses no time in sending troops to all the cities of Judah, placing garrisons in Judah and in the towns his father, Asa, had captured.  Jehoshaphat:

Walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father and walked in His commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel

In response to the commitment of Jehoshaphat to walk in obedience to the Lord God:

Established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor.

Like so many, Jehoshaphat started a new chapter in his life with a heart “devoted to the ways of the Lord.” He didn’t just “put on” godly behavior, he put off the symbols of rebellion against God when he removed the “high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.” In so doing, Jehoshaphat sent a loud message the people of Judah were to worship only the one true God.

Repentance means putting off sin and putting on holiness. For example, a thief is still a thief until he gives back what he has stolen. A liar is still a liar until she starts telling the truth.  By removing the idols, the king calls for repentance from the people who worshipped at these places. Yet the king knows it is not good enough to remove the idols, that is only half of repentance. Transformed hearts lead to obedience so the king charges his officials and priests with the task of teaching God’s Word (the Book of the Law) to everyone, in every town.

This is a man on a mission. His heart belongs to God. He loves God’s Word and wants the people to love it as well. He fully embraces his role as king and his job to protect God’s people.

God blessed Jehoshaphat’s obedience and leadership by instilling the fear of the Lord in all the surrounding lands. Their enemies brought them priceless gifts and Jehoshaphat became more powerful, building forts and store cities in Judah. He prepared for the future with storehouses full of grain and supplies. He kept a strong military force in Judah and his fighting men grew to over 1,000,000 strong. Imagine the size of this army – just as large if not larger than the military of modern-day China.

But was it enough? He served God; he did everything he knew to protect the people of God. God showed His pleasure over the king by making him prosperous, powerful and the cities well-fortified. But was it enough?

Do you resonate with the behavior of Jehoshaphat as he takes on this new responsibility? Remember when you started a new job, a new year, or a new relationship and you were determined to “do it right” this time. Do you see yourself in his commitment to leading God’s people to “turn over a new leaf” or start over in their pilgrimage of knowing and trusting God? Such a commitment requires a dying to self and humbly relying on the love and grace of God to flow out of your life, from a heart committed to a life of obedient worship. Like Jehoshaphat our intentions are good, but the pressures of life sometimes take us to that place of inadequacy and the questions, “Am I enough for this task, this role, this job, or this relationship? What else can I do?”

Is there anything wrong with wanting to be strong, to fulfill our responsibilities with courage and strength? Of course not, but there is something wrong with believing if we only dig down into our souls deep enough, we’ll find the strength and wisdom we need. As we often do, Jehoshaphat seems to ask himself these questions and answers them with choices outside of God’s plans. Each misstep becomes a teaching moment that helps prepare him for that crushing day when he cries out, “Lord, we do not know what to do, so our eyes are fixed on You!” Jehoshaphat’s story reminds us that our weakness draws God to us, that it is in our weakness that we experience His strength.

PRAYER

Oh Lord, someone reading this may be struggling with their own ability to not just muddle through life, but to walk by faith in the pathway You have marked out for them. I pray Your Holy Spirit will transform the words of Scripture into a better understanding of Your grace and power.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sharon W. Betters is author of Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness and co-author of Treasures of Faith. She is Director of Resource Development and co-founder of MARKINC.org, a nonprofit organization that offers help and hope to hurting people. Sharon enjoys quality time with her husband, children, and fourteen grandchildren