Showing posts with label holiday destination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday destination. Show all posts

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The 10 Most Popular Travel Destinations for Christmas


Christmas
Christmas is the festival of merry-making. All over the world, it is celebrated with much enthusiasm. People are in high-spirits and the only thing that they focus on is to have a gala time with their friends and relatives. For over a month, everyone remains in a mood of festivity.

The 10 Most Popular Holiday Destination Are: 

  1.  New York – Winter is the exact time for visiting this place. Since, Christmas comes during this time so it is the best time to investigate this spot as the city gets chilly accompanied by several activities of like ice-skating, perusing holiday markets. Many hotels also grant free packages and perks to the travelers. 
  2.  Cancum – Christmas time is the best time to seek for this top beach destination when people are ready to trade with the snow. The turquoise waters, beautiful stretches of sand and night-long parties are the main extractions. The archaeological sites of this place are also worth visiting. 
  3.  Dominican Republic – The beautiful landscapes, soothing weather, huge discounts on flights and hotels makes this place one of the popular places for Christmas vacation. 
  4.  Jamaica – Those who want to feed themselves by planning a vacation down to the Caribbean then Jamaica should be your top island pick. It has a traditional appeal. You can also enjoy along the beautiful beaches with rum, street dance, and the delicious fresh fruitcake, which is the specialty of this place. 
  5.  Hawaai – For experiencing world’s most beautiful beaches, natural wonders, well-organized tourism infrastructure you surely need to plan your Christmas vacation in Hawaai. The island of this place also arranges for a famous Christmastime spot, which is worth viewing. 
  6.  Las Vegas – Though Las Vegas is known as the Sin City. But, it is the most popular holiday destination to visit during the time of chilly Christmas eve. The whole city seems to be going through a festive mood. Everywhere you can have the smell of gay and charm. 
  7.  Barbados – Barbados is the most frequently visited Caribbean island. You will be mesmerized by the coral reefs and the white and pink beaches of this place. During the Christmas time you can avail huge discounts on flight tickets and hotels. It is the apt time for experiencing such a different spot. 
  8.  Miami – For spending Christmas vacation till the New Year’s eve Miami is a great spot. Anyone visiting Florida should for once embrace the beauty of this place. Top-notch clubs, famous art galleries and excellent cuisine will force you to visit this heavenly resort again and again. 
  9.  Los Cabos – Christmas is the time for partying and Los Cabos located on the southern tip of Mexicos Baja Peninsula is the most suited place for party seekers clubbed with culture, elegance and natural heritage. 
  10.  Puerto Vallarta – It is a panoramic beach spot with ancient buildings and rugged mountains. The place is surrounded with ocean and hence it supports a wide variety of water sports all the year round.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Boiling Lake in Dominica


Boiling Lake in Dominica
Boiling Lake – Dominica’s World Heritage Site

The Boiling Lake in Dominica is located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park which is considered as Dominica’s World Heritage site. Located in Dominica, it is a beautiful Caribbean island and is the second largest natural hot spring on earth.The lake’s cool outer areas maintains temperatures which are between 180 and 197 degrees Fahrenheit and no one till date has made any attempt to measure the temperature at the centre of the lake which seems to be actively boiling.

The lake is around 200 feet to 250 feet across and the recorded depth is said to be greater than 195 feet.It rests at the bottom of a huge sinkhole type of a basin and is a flooded fumarole which has an opening, hole or a crack in the earth’s crust within the area of a volcano that emits steam and gas from molten lava below. Presently this lake can only be viewed from a broad, cliff-top ledge which is around 100 feet above its shore. It has high rocks that surround it, creating the basin.

Water Temperature – 180 to 197 Degree Fahrenheit

The lake is filled with bubbling greyish blue water which is enveloped in a cloud of vapour. The basin’s water is filled with rainfall with two other small streams which drain in the area where the water seeps in the lava and gets heated to the boiling point.

The first records of the lake by Mr Watt and Dr Nicholls, two Englishmen who had been working at that time, were in 1870. Mr H. Prestoe, a government botanist together with Dr Nicholls was commissioned in 1875 to investigate this natural phenomenon wherein they measured the water temperature, finding it in the range of 180-197 degree F. all along the edge though could not measure the temperature at the centre which was actively boiling as portrayed in photographs taken at the site. Moreover, the temperature cannot be controlled due to the cracking in the lake bed through which molten lava erupts.

Unique Natural Phenomenon

The Boiling Lake is a unique natural phenomenon and the largest of its kind in the world after Rotorua in New Zealand’s north island. The way to reach this site is on foot, where the trail from the village of Laudat covers an area of approx. 7 miles which should not be attempted without the guidance of an experienced guide.

The hike comprises of 3 hours either way to complete, with trail climbs and descends done through forested highland through Titou Gorge, Breakfast River, Panorama viewpoint as well as the Valley of Desolation where one comes across steam and boiling water surfacing through various vents. The steaming Boiling Lake can be seen from a distance.

The trail also leads to another volcanic area known as the Valley of Desolation where the air around the area seems to be hot, steamy and moist with a sharp acrid smell of sulphur. The area is also know be filled with vapours and gases which escapes from the bubbling sulphur water, small sprays and hissing geysers, cracks and holes as well as from the small stream which runs through and below the terrain. It is said that the tiny invisible sprays of steam could also burn an ankle or foot, easily.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Warsaw Old Town


Warsaw Old Town
Warsaw Old Town - Oldest Historical Centre of Warsaw

Warsaw Old Town is the oldest historical centre of Warsaw which dates back to the 13th century. It is bounded by Wybrzeze Galanskie along the bank of the river Vistula, the streets of Grodzka, Mostowa Podwale and is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Warsaw.

At the centre of the town is the Old Town Market Place, a beautiful market square with several restaurants, shops and café while the surrounding streets comprises of medieval architecture like the City Walls, the Barbican and St. John’s Cathedral.

The largest part of the Old Town had been destroyed at the time of the Second World War but was thereafter reconstructed. The construction was done is such a precise manner that it left no traces of the war or that it had been rebuilt.

The Old Town is also a great location to purchase souvenirs since most of the souvenirs stores are located here in Warsaw. This town has been honoured by UNESCO in 1980 who added the Warsaw Old Town to its list of World Heritage Sites.

Gothic Style to Renaissance Style

The Old Town Market Place the main centre of the Old Town dates back to the end of the 13th century and till the end of the 18th century was the heart of the whole of Warsaw where the representative of guilds as well as merchants assembled in the Town Hall and where fairs and some execution took place.

This Hall was built prior to 1429, though it was pulled down in 1817 and the houses which surrounded it represented the Gothic style till the great fire in 1607 which was thereafter built according to late Renaissance style.

The Royal Castle is an excellent example of the Baroque style which was built in the 14th century. King Zygmunt III Waza, in 1569, shifted his residence there when Warsaw was the capital of Poland and between 1598 and 1619; he had the caste restyled as a polygon by an Italian architect. Towards the 18th century, King Augustus III revamped the east wing to Baroque style and King Stanislaw Poniatowski added the Royal Library.

The Royal Castle - Museum

The Royal Castle was a residence as well as hosting session location for the kings of the Sejm – Polish Parliament. Presently it serves as a museum with display of furniture, famous paintings together with several great works of art and its amazing interiors contain various original furnishings, paintings, statues and other objets d’art.

One will also find works of Bernardo Bellotto and Marcello Bacciarelli among the several paintings. Most of the buildings in the Old Town are a blend of various styles from Gothic to Baroque, a unique and old style of architecture. Other attractions are the various churches, Fukier House, Pelican House, Pod Blacha Palace, Salvator House, besides the City Walls and the Barbican.

The Barbican which was built in 1548 is located where the Old Town merges into the New Town and serves as an access gate for the Old Town. It is amalgamated directly into the Warsaw City Wall surrounding the Old Town. Most of the Warsaw Old Town Wall survived since it was built in the 14th century and it took the workers around 200 years for completion.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Puerto Iguazú, Argentina


Puerto Iguazú
Puerto Iguazu – Tourist Destination in Northeast Argentina

Puerto Iguazu is a tourist destination in the Northeast of Argentina towards the Triborder with Paraguay and Brazil with the Iguazu Falls in the vicinity which are the most amazing falls in the world. It is surrounded by subtropical vegetation which is part of the Iguazu National Park.

The Iguazu National Park was established in 1934 by the national government and the town was then renamed Puerto Iguazu in 1943. This site has been listed as World Heritage site by UNESCO which is made up of 275 falls reaching up to a height of 70 meters that are scattered in a semi-circular shape, providing an amazing spectacle with its natural scenery, where the traces of ancient Jesuit missions are still appreciated.

This waterfall can be explored on foot since there are easy accessible circuits with footbridges meant for such purposes. Crossing stairs, bridges and trails together with the vegetation around, provides the most awesome views which can be enjoyed from the lower ground as well as from the heights where one can reach the highest point of exhilaration at `The Devil’s Throat’.

Spectacular Falls with Rainbow Formation 

Though the visitors tend to get a bit wet at a point at that spot, it is worthwhile exploring this place to witness the beauty of the waters with their fall. Its 80 metres high cliff has one of the most spectacular falls together with the rainbow formation which portrays an amazing view.

Besides the Devil’s Throat, Bosetti, Two Sisters, San Martin, Tres Mosqueteros Adam and Eve and Rivadavia are the other best known falls and during nights at the time of full moon, there are special tours that are conducted to have glimpses of the rainbow formed in the moonlight.

With the high temperature together with the moisture in the environment, this area is turned into a large greenhouse which provides the appropriate condition to accommodate above 400 bird species, with 2,000 vegetable species together with a large diversity of orchids, ferns along with typical type of pala rosa.

 Numerous insects like the outstanding colourful and large butterflies are also found here which forms this park into one of the richest biomass on the planet earth.

Several endangered species like the jaguar, alligators, monkey, snakes, tapirs as well as the funny coatis also tend to approach the tourist for some fruits.

Economy Based on Tourism 

Its economy is based on tourism and with the several hotels in the city, the principal source of jobs has been provided for the inhabitants with several international hotels being constructed all along the banks of the Iguazu River. Other attractions include Three Frontiers wherein Argentine, Brazilian and Paraguayan borders meet.

 It is also a home to a community of active artisans, the La Aripuca resort, the Museum of Images of the Jungle – a collection of woodvarvings, the Mborore Museum, the Guira Oga Centre for Bird Rehabilitation, the Luis Honorio Rolon Municipal Nature Park, the Hotel Esturion, the Lguazu Grand Hotel and Casino to name a few.

The Wanda Mines in the nearby area also draws gemstone and geode collectors whereby the mines are the site of some of Argentina’s best agate, quartz, amethyst and topaz lodes which have been operative since 1950s.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fraser Island – World Heritage Site


Fraser Island
Fraser Island is perched along the southern coast of Queensland, Australia and is about 200 km north of Brisbane and is within the Fraser Coast Region. Its length is 120 km and 24 km wide. It is a wonderful beach and is a heritage listed island in 1992.

Fraser Island is also considered to be the largest island in Queensland and Australia’s sixth largest island as well as the largest island on the East Coast of Australia. This Heritage site is an ecologist dream having around 640 square miles of natural paradise which is untouched.

One will find amazing remnants of tall rainforests with 1,000 years old trees growing on sand with half of the world’s fresh water dune lakes on the inland from the beach. The combination of shifting sand dunes, lakes and tropical rainforests has made it an exceptional site to explore.

The island is filled with eucalyptus woodland, mangroves forests, rainforests, wallum and peat swamps together with sand dunes and coastal heaths which have originated due to the accumulation of around 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock which has provided a natural catchment for sediment carried by strong offshore current along the coast towards the northern area.

From Great Sandy Island to Fraser Island

The island is also a home to a small section of mammal species together with a diverse variety of birds, amphibians and reptiles and also includes the occasional saltwater crocodile. Being a part of the Fraser Coast Region, it is protected in the Great Sandy National Park.

The island was inhabited by aboriginals for around 5,000 years. For a short period of time the island was known as Great Sandy Island and came to be known as Fraser due to the stories from a shipwreck survivor, Eliza Frazer.

Fraser’s discovery has been credited to Captain Cook who had named many of the landmark features and its European name is the outcome of the shipwreck incident and the capture of the captain and his wife by local aborigines, the ordeal of which drew worldwide attention to the island, which was renamed in her honour and is now a popular tourist destination.

A Paradise with Fauna/Flora/Fish/Fruits/Nut – Fresh Water

This island is more than a unique location for visitors, being a home to aboriginal tribes who had used it like a paradise with its fauna and flora with endless bounty in fish and seafood, fruits, nuts together with an abundant supply of fresh water.

As amazing as the coast, the waters which border the island coastline has been the site for over 50 shipwrecks, the most notable one being the Maheno, a former trans-Tasman luxury line as well as a World War 1 hospital ship.

Till date, one will find the remains of the ship lying on the beach north of Happy Valley, which is also an added attraction for tourist, visiting the island. Being listed as a World Heritage site, the island also joins the ranks of the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Parks and Uluru, as a unique environment.

From the archaeological site, their heritage is evident, together with midden heaps, ceremonial bora rings and stone implements which can be seen while touring the island. Fraser Island is a wonderful destination to explore with its amazing beauty which has been untouched

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Channel Islands – Chain of Eight Islands


The Channel Islands
The Channel Islands also known as Santa Barbara Islands, are a chain of eight islands spreading over 150 miles long and about 12 – 70 miles off the Pacific coast of Southern California along the Santa Barbara Channel in United States of America.

The island has two groups, the Santa Barbara group towards the north which is separated from the mainland by the Santa Barbara Channel, including San Miguel Island, Santa Rosa Island, Santa Cruz Island and Anacapa, a group of three small islets. Santa Catalina group is divided from the mainland by the San Pedro Channel and the outer Santa Barbara Channel, including the islands of Santa Barbara, San Nicolas, Santa Catalina and San Clemente.

It’s size ranges from Santa Cruz – 98 square miles, which is the largest, to the smallAnacapa islets and together cover around 1 square mile. Five of the islands form part of the Channel Islands National Park while the waters around these islands make up the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

The island with its isolated chain off the Southern California coast has a splendid natural beauty with half of the Channel Island National Park covering an area of 49,354 acres which is underwater and is a home to 2,000 species of animals and plants.

Wild Selections of Organisms

Tourist while visiting the Park can explore the water around the island and check for some of the best sea kayaking and diving or trek through the park’s remote islands in California. One will also find wide selections of organisms on and surrounding the Channel Islands, like bald eagles, sharks, to intertidal species like sea stars and barnacles to the miniature parasites living on plants and animals.

The Channel Islands supports few native animal species than the similar habitats on the mainland due to the isolation and its remote nature. Around 23 endemic terrestrial animals are identified in the park which includes eleven land birds which are Channel Island subspecies or races.

There is a lot of weather variation in the Park and visitors to the islands need to dress in layers with short and long pants, along with fleece jacket or sweatshirt, windbreaker, hat, sunscreen together with waterproof outer garment.

Besides this, with regards to the footwear, visitors should wear sturdy hiking shoes which would be comfortable for hiking expedition. Since there are no supplies on the island, visitors need to carry water, food supply along with other necessities.

Site of Earliest Paleontological

The Channel Islands have provided the earliest evidence of human seafaring and is also the site of the earliest paleontological evidence of human in North America. The Northern Channel Islands on the other hand indicate the settlement by maritime Paleo Indian people around 13,000 years ago.

Some unique and invaluable record of human interaction with Channel Island marine and terrestrial ecosystems from the late Pleistocene to historic times have been found from the archaeological sites on the island.

The northern islands historically, were occupied by the Island Chumash and the southern islands by the Tongva. The Chumash with the Tongva were removed in the early 19th century from the island and taken to Spanish mission while the pueblos on the adjacent mainland and the Channel islands, for century was used mainly for ranching and fishing activities.

This had a tremendous impact on the island ecosystems, in the local extinction of sea otters and other species. With the management by federal agencies, or conservation groups, restoration of the island ecosystems has made remarkable progress.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lord Howe Islands – An Island Paradise


Lord Howe Islands
Lord Howe Islands in Australia is one of the world’s most famous tourist destinations, an island paradise which is situated 660 km from the east coast of Australia and is way out in the middle of the Tasman Sea.

The duration of travel to the island by a short flight is less than two hours from Brisbane,Port Macquarie or Sydney. Private planes fly from all parts of the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia and the island’s cargo ship leaves from Port Macquarie every fifteen days. It has been named after a British admiral, Lord Howe and around 350 inhabitants have made it their home and several have descended from families who had settled on the island in the 18th century.

Its tropical ambience with breath-taking view is a sheer delight to any tourist visiting this location which will give one the understanding of why this island has been called Australia’s last great paradise. Lord Howe Island has been listed as a World Heritage site for its remarkable natural beauty, geology together with rare collection of birds, plants and marine life and is surrounded by the world’s southernmost coral reef.

Lord Howe Island Marine Park

The translucent waters with the combination of marine life as well as the rare coral make up Lord Howe Island Marine Park which is one of the largest in New South Wales. The island is the remnants of a large volcano that erupted from the sea floor for about 500,000 years in the late Miocene.

The island group represents the exposed peaks of the large volcanic eruption that is about 65 km long and 24 m wide rising from ocean depths to over 1,800 m. There are also four separate ranges of volcanic rocks which are recognized on the main island group namely, tuffs, breccia, and basalts with widespread traces of basaltic dykes.

The main land forming process on the island from the last volcanic eruptions was marine erosion which has cut and maintained major cliffs.

Blinky Beach/Neds Beach/Mount Gower/Valley of Shadows

The island is an apt location for those interested in fishing as well as for snorkelers and scuba divers. Blinky Beach is the most appropriate place for Australian salmon while Neds Beach would be good for snorkel and also the opportunity to hand feed fish here.

Tourist could also enjoy a variety of other water sports like kayaking, surfing, stand up paddle boarding, kite surfing and windsurfing. One can have a relaxed stay here and getting around the island can be done on foot or by bike with plenty to explore.

The island is famous for its twin peaks together with its natural forest, which is an awesome experience for hikers and walkers. It is also one of Australia’s amazing bird watching locations where you get the opportunity to glimpse the island’s 130 permanent and migratory bird species or 64 species of flowering plants.

Tourist could also contemplate on a guided climb of Mount Gower of 875 m which is considered as one of the world’s best hikes or one could take a serene leisure walk under the evergreen forest canopies in the Valley of Shadows.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Versailles, Paris


Versailles, Paris
Versailles Known for its Site – Chateau de Versailles 

Versailles, a city on the western edge of the French capital city of Paris is now part of the metropolis in the Ile de France region and is well known for its site of the vast royal palace and gardens built by King Louis XIV which was earlier a royal hunting lodge. Besides this, it was also one of the wealthiest cities near Paris.

 The Palace of Versailles, known also as the Chateau de Versailles had many historical events, one being the signing within the Hall of Mirrors on June 28 1919, of the Peace Treaty between defeated Germany together with the Allies which brought the First World War to an end officially.

This signing at Versailles brought about the proclamation in 1871 within the same long hall, the establishment of the German Empire under the Prussian king, the Kaiser subsequently, Earlier where the palace had started as a hunting lodge which was built by Louis XIII and thereafter Louis XIV build the palace which is known presently. Towards 1789, the palace had lost its power though currently it hosts the Museum of France’s history.

Originated in 1631, Epicentre of French Power till 1789

The former home of the French kings contains royal elegance of Old Europe. Versailles which originated in 1631, remained the epicentre of the French power and home to government offices as well as courtiers till 1789 when it evicted Louis XVI with his queen Marie Antoinette by a group of hungry and agitated crowd of mainly female revolutionaries who stormed the palace and sent the royal couple back to Paris which eventually led to their execution.

The sprawling and amazing palace of Versailles is matched to the splendour of the gardens where it is situated and one can experience a pleasant time by following its paths while admiring the fountains and the splendid view of the flowers without getting into the palace or other buildings in Versailles.

The queen, Marie Antoinette had an attachment to these grounds where it is said that she had created her own private estate here which comprised of rural homes and building along the lines of a Norman village and to escape the atmosphere of the palace would seek her own privacy here. Her estate operated as a working farm with peasants and livestock that produced fresh products for the palace.

Famous Room at Palace – Grande Galerie/Hall of Mirrors

Visitors are permitted to visit the Palace of Versailles and explore the intimate chambers including the king’s grand apartments and the most famous room at the palace is the Grande Galerie or the Hall of Mirrors which is said to have been haunted by courtiers playing politics or awaiting an audience with the monarch.

The best way to get to Versailles palace and avoid lengthy queues is to buy the ticket directly from the Chateau de Versailles website which would cost a bit more than the usual entrance amount though it includes the return railway as well as the metro tickets with an audio guided tour of the Chapel and Opera House, together with the Dauphin’s and the Mesdames’ apartments, the King’s and Queen’s State apartment, the Coach Museum and Trianons accompanied with all the temporary exhibitions.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Nicaragua – Largest country in Central America

Nicaragua
Nicaragua is a country which is officially the Republic of Nicaragua and the largest country in Central America. It has coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea in the east and the North Pacific Ocean towards the west with Costa Rica to the southeast together with Honduras to the northwest.

It has an area of 130,373 square km and has the largest freshwater body in Central America, which is Lago de Nicaragua or Cocibolca. Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua where around one quarter of the nation’s population reside in the capital city thus making it the second largest city and metropolitan location in Central America.

The physical geography of the country divides it in three major sections namely the Pacific lowlands, the wet cooler central highlands and the Caribbean lowlands. Towards the Pacific area of the country, are the two largest fresh water lakes. These are surrounded and extended towards the north western side along the rift valley of the Gulf of Fonseca with fertile lowland plains. The soil is highly rich with ash from nearby volcanoes of the central highlands.

Tourism Growth from 10% to 12%

In the early 16th century, Nicaragua was taken over by Spanish conquistadors and this civilization got somewhat destroyed by population losses due to infectious diseases, deportation and enslavement and was made a colony. The oldest colonial cities in the American continent was founded in Granada during which period Nicaragua became part of the Capitania General based in Guatemala.

With regards to tourism, Nicaragua has grown from 10% to 12% yearly where several tourists visit this destination for the richness and the beauty of the country. Nicaragua has been receiving a large number of tourists coming from all over the world due to its low cost of living, beaches, colonial cities, nightlife, eco-tourism and much more. One will find most of the tourists in the colonial cities of Granada and Leon, in the mountainous region of coffee farm of Matagalpa, the Pacific Coast, in the Caribbean coast in the Corn Islands and hiking on the volcanoes.

Culture with Strong Folklore

There is plenty to explore in Nicaragua and could be a budget paradise since Nicaragua is not too expensive due to which tourism in this country has increased over 300% in the last seven years. This has given rise to discotheques, bars, restaurants and hotels opening up at amazing speed in Granada, Matagalpa and Leon while San Juan del Sur has been facing a huge increase in surfing tourism with surfers from across the world as well as an increase in service tourism.

 Matagalpa on the other hand is also going through a process of its own surge of tourism with its booming shade grown and organic-eco-friendly coffee bean production. One will find an abundant supply of cloud forest with local lush estuaries where monkey, bird together with other exotic natural wildlife can be envisaged as well as protected nature reserves which are amazing.Their culture has strong folklore accompanied with religious tradition, music which has been influenced by European culture inclusive of American flavours.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece
Santorini – Largest Island of a Circular & Small Archipelago

Santorini, an island in the southern Aegean Sea is around 200 km southeast towards Greece’s mainland and is the largest island of a circular and small archipelago bearing the same name as well as the remainder of a volcanic caldera. Santorini has been named by the Latin Empire during the thirteenth century which is referred to Saint Irene, from the old cathedral’s name in the village of Perissa, a contraction of the name Santa Irini.

Prior to this, it was known as Kalliste – `the most beautiful one’, Strongyle, `the circular one or Thira and while Thira was used in the nineteenth century as its official name of the island as well as its main city, the name Santorini continues to be in popular use.Santorini is also a name for a group of islands encircling Thira which once formed a single island before a major volcano had occurred around 1628 BC.Forming the southernmost link of the Cyclades group of islands, it comprises of an area of around 73 square km with a population of around 15,550 as of 2011.

Santorini municipality consists of the islands of Therasia and Santorini together with uninhabited islands of Aspronisi, Nea Kameni, Palaia Kemeni and Christiana and is also a part of the Thira regional unit.

Natural Beaches/Amazing Views – Traditional Architecture

Being a volcanic island in the Cyclades group of the Greek islands, it is situated between Ios and Anafi islands and is popular for its amazing views with beautiful sunsets from Oia town, the strange white aubergine, town of Thira and its own active volcano.

There are some natural beaches like the Perissa beach which is one of the best beaches in Santorini, together with Kamari, the black pebble beach, as well as the white and red beaches.Its main island has a variety of villages and landscapes and in the small village of Mesa Gonia, one can get the opportunity of glimpsing traditional architecture with a mixture of ruins from the earthquake of 1956 together with the restored villas and winery at the foot of the settlement.

Another remarkable village is the Pyrgos which comprises of old grand houses, the remains of a Venetian castle together with some Byzantine churches which are worth exploring. Its natural source of fresh water in the form of a small spring coming from a cave behind a small chapel is located halfway up the steep footpath between Kamari and the entrance of Ancient Thira.

Water from Local Desalination Plant

Though this source provides a small quantity of water, the quality of water is quite good since it comes from the remaining limestone outcrop of pre-volcanic island and in the early 90s, it was essential for water to be delivered through tankers from Crete to the island.

Now water is provided to most of the homes and hotels by local desalination plant and though this water is potable, it is a bit salty and hence most of them tend to drink bottled water on their visit to Santorini. It is an adorable destination of unique natural beauty where several Greek singers who chose this island as a setting for their videos.

Some of the Brazilian and Greek TV series have also been shot at this location together with many other Hollywood movies such as Tomb Raider II.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sky Bridge, Langkawi

Sky Bridge, Langkawi
Langkawi Sky Bridge – Highlights of the Island

Langkawi, an island with several myths and legends is also an island of fun, sun, sea and beaches. It is one of those popular holiday getaways for locals and tourist alike and for those who would like to experience nature without the hustle and bustle of life, could visit this amazing destination for peace and serenity.

Langkawi being the main island amongst ninety nine tropical islands off the north western coast off Peninsula Malaysia is a good 6 hours journey by road from Kuala Lumpur, which is the capital of Malaysia, to Kuala Kedah and then a one hour 1 and 15minutes ferry ride from one jetty to the other.

The Langkawi Sky Bridge is at the end of the Cable car ride and the island’s highlight is its 410 feet long curved pedestrian cable stayed bridge in Malaysia.This suspended bridge was completed in 2004 which is built on the Machinchang Mountain.

For a spectacular view of Langkawi, one could take the cable ride to the summit of Gunung Mat Cinchang and get a view of the emerald waters that surrounds the various islands with dotted boats and vessel together with the Datai Peninsula.

The Sky Bridge can be accessed by Langkawi Cable Car

Located at 2,300 feet above sea level, the Sky Bridge can be accessed by the Langkawi Cable Car and the journey to the top begins at the Oriental Village in the upper northwest of the island near Pantai Kok.

As the cable car begins to climb it tends to get a little cold when the air flows in through the ventilation openings at the top.One can experience an amazing thrill as the cable ride ascends the steep slope and the entire ride last for about ten to fifteen minutes. The cable cars halt at two stations with each station, a circular structure to move around and have a good view of the panoramic scenery of Langkawi.

The sight on the way to the top of Langkawi’s second highest peak comprises of theTelaga Tujuh Waterfalls and the rainforest and travelling for a few hundred feet above, it levels out and stops at the Sky Bridge, which is the final station.

World’s Longest Curve Suspension Bridge

One will find many stalls selling souvenirs snacks, drinks and toys. The bridge has followed safety norms with double steel railings and enclosures of wire mesh for the safety of the visitors.

Measuring 125 metres in length, this structure ranks among the world’s longest curve suspension bridge. Its construction was not easy since a lot of critical factors had to be considered like the structural balance from single point, which was the top of the pylon, optimal weight management and load distribution, pre-fabrication of the bridge and on-site installation.

Besides this the complete bridge had to be lifted in all its elements, to the top of the mountain by helicopter which was later on assembled to its present location. The last scene of Indian movie Don, The Last Chase Begins Again, was filmed here on the bridge.Presently, the Sky Bridge at Langkawi is closed for maintenance and repair work

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakech – Land of God

Marrakech or Marrakesh is a major city in the northwest African country of Morocco. Marrakech is derived from the Amazigh – Berber words mur (n) akush meaning `Land of God’, and is the third largest city in Morocco after Casablanca and Rabat.

 It is located near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and by road is placed around 580 km southwest of Tangier, 327 km southwest of the Moroccan capital of Rabat, 239 km southwest of Casablanca and 246 km northeast of Agadir.

It is also a few hours on foot of the Sahara Desert and is an awesome destination in Morocco mingled with its location and contrasting landscape. This city is divided into two sections namely the Medina which is the historical city and the new European modern district known as Gueliz or Ville Nouvelle.

While the Medina is full of intertwining narrow passageways with local shops, Gueliz has modern restaurants, fast food chains together with huge brand outlets.

Major Economic Centre/Tourist Destination 

Marrakesh is one of the busiest cities in Africa which is a major economic centre as well as a tourist destination which was advocated by the Moroccan reigning monarch Mohammed VI with the intention of increasing the number of tourist in their country to twenty million by 2020.

The real estate and hotel development in this city has improved to a great extent in the 21st century in spite of the economic recession. It has the largest traditional markets (souk) of Berberin Morocco with some 18 souks selling wares which ranges from traditional Berber carpets to modern consumer electronics.

Marrakesh is very popular with the French and one will find a large number of French celebrities owning property here.

Several Universities/School

This city is served by the Marrakesh railway station and Menara International Airport connecting thecity to Casablanca and northern Morocco with several universities and school which includes Cadi Ayyad University. Besides this, one will also find a number of Moroccan football clubs here which include Najm de Marrakech, KAC Marrakech, Chez Ali Club de Marrakech and Mouloudia de Marrakech.

The Marrakesh Street Circuit hosts the World Touring Car Championship, FIA Formula Two Championship races and Auto GP World Series. There is much to explore in Marrakech and a whole day can be dedicated in visiting interesting places in and around Marrakech which offers many historical and architectural sites together with some interesting museums.

Interesting Sites to Explore 

Palmeraie, the green lung of Marrakech is a real oasis on the edge of the city and is a perfect setting to take a few hours of camel ride and enjoy the surrounding of peace. The square of Djemaa El-Fna, the highlight of Marrakech night has musicians, dancers and story tellers crowding the square, filled with drum beats and plenty of noise. Many stalls are lined up selling a variety of Moroccan fare.

The Souks or markets are adjacent to Place Djemaa El-Fna, where most of the things can be purchased. The Majorelle Gardens in Gueliz is more expensive than other interesting sites and is somewhat priced too high for a modest size attraction of half an hour though it provides an excellent viewing from the everyday life. Marrakech is an amazing destination with many more sites to explore which are worth visiting.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Capri – Isle of the Sirens


Capri
Capri, an island is situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrentine Peninsula, on the southern side of the Gulf of Naples in Campania region of Italy. Capri, the main town has been a resort since the Roman Republic till present times.

Capri is known in the Greek mythology as the isle of the sirens and was a favoured resort of the Roman emperors. The interesting features of this island are the Marina Piccola which is the small harbour, the Belvedere of Tragara, a high panoramic promenade which is lined with villas, the limestone crags known as sea stacks which projects above the sea, the Faraglioni, the town of Anacapri, the Grotta Azzura – Blue Grotto and the ruins of the Imperial Roman villas.

It is a part of the Campania, Province of Naples, region and is the island’s main population centre with two harbours namely Marina Piccola and Marina Grande, the main port of the island. Anacapri, the separate commune is placed high on the hills towards the west.

Interesting Sites to Explore

Faraglioni, rock formations are one of the natural wonders of the island. The Faraglioni beach is one of the most beautiful beaches with many unusual rock formations in the sea surrounding the island which includes a natural arch.

Anacapri which is the highest town on the island has amazing view of the harbour which is at a lower level. There is a chair lift to Mount Solaro near the central square and a street with many shops some of which offer limoncello tasting - limoncello is lemon liquor.

 Items made with lemon are also found in several shops with handmade sandals, ceramics as well as perfumes which are specialities of the island. Capri’s fashionable shopping street, Via Camerelle is the place where one will find exclusive luxury boutiques and fashion.

Grotta Azzura, The Blue Grotto is the most amazing site of the islands’ several caves where the refraction of sunlight in the cave gives it an iridescent blue light in the water. Entry to the cave is done with the guidance of small rowboatswhich are available around the cave entrance and once inside one gets the opportunity of seeing the most spectacular sight of the blue water.

Capri – Picturesque – Island of Limestone Rock

Capri is a very picturesque and an interesting island made of limestone rock. Tourist reach by boat at Marina Grande being the main harbour of the island, with beaches scattered all around the island, with only two towns, namely Capri which is above Marina Grande and Anacapri, the highest town. One will find lemon trees, birds and flowers in plenty here.

The island can also be reached through frequent ferries and hydrofoils from the city of Naples as well as from Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast. One will find a range of hotels in Anacapri and Capri and though Anacapri is more peaceful at night, Capri has more nightlife being the main centre of the island.

The Grand Hotel Quisisana, an exclusive hotel with a spa and baths since 1845 is one of Capri’s most excellent hotels while the luxurious Capri Palace Hotel and Spa in Anacapri is a member of the Leading Small Hotels of the World.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Timbuktu - African El Dorado


Timbuktu
Timbuktu is a word which is often used in several languages to denote a faraway place but in reality it is an actual city in Mali in the African country. It is located at the gateway to the Sahara desert, in the confines of the fertile zone of Sudan near the edge of the Niger River.

The legend of Timbuktu as a rich cultural centre spread during the 14th century throughout the world and the beginning of the legend is traced to 1324 when the Emperor of Mali went on his pilgrimage to Mecca through Cairo.

It was at Cairo that the merchants and the traders were impressed by the quantity of gold which was carried by the emperor who claimed that the gold was from Timbuktu. Moreover, the great Muslim explorer, Ibn Batuta, in 1354, wrote about his visit to Timbuktu and also about the gold and wealth of that region.

Hence Timbuktu came to be recognized as an African El Dorado, a city made of gold. During the 15th century, Timbuktu became very important and produced some of its few goods but served as a major trading centre for salt trade across the desert.

A Centre of Islamic Study/Home of University & Library    

Timbuktu also became a centre of Islamic study as well as the home of a university and extensive library. During the 1400s, the maximum population numbered between 50,000 to 100,000 with approximately one quarter of the population comprising of students and scholars.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988 and in 1990 was added to the list of world heritage sites of being in danger which was due to the threat of desert sands. A program was then set to preserve the site and it was taken off the list of endangered sites in 2005 but re-added in 2012 after the Islamist Rebels took to arms.

The city is a contrast to the rest of the country’s cities due to the fact that it has more of an Arabic flair than the African.

Mosques/Grand Marche/Well of Bouctou/Timbuktu Museum

Interesting sites to be explored in Timbuktu are the Mosques which remains closed at hours of prayers. Major mosques are closed to non-Muslim visitors as of April 7. There are three main mosques here, the Djingereiber Mosque, which is a world heritage site and probably the largest and the most impressive one.

The Sankore Mosque is another impressive minaret which is worth visiting and the Sidi Yehia Mosque. All of which are within walking distance of each other. The Grand Marche, a two storey market with stalls and shops sells all types of things and is worth visiting just to get an incredible view from the roof across the city of Timbuktu to the desert.

The original well of Bouctou, which is presently dry, is in some back garden along with the Timbuktu Museum having a mixture of interesting artifacts and contemporary folk art. Timbuktu which has come to symbolize back of beyond remoteness is not an easy place to reach.

The drive from the capital of Mali, Bamako, takes around 20 hours which is mostly off road journey. A new airport has now eased the travel to a great extent with several flights now operational to and from Bamako.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hobart,Tasmania


Hobart
Hobart – Popular City of Australian Island State of Tasmania

Hobart is the capital and a popular city of the Australian Island state of Tasmania. It was founded in 1804 as a penal colony and is Australia’s second oldest and southernmost capital city after Sydney, New South Wales. It offers a blend of heritage, scenery and culture with plenty of attraction and activities.

Situated amidst the foothills of Mount Wellington, Hobart is filled with heritage charm with modern lifestyle together with exceptional beauty and is considered as one of the top ten spots in the world to be explored.

It is located at the entrance of the Derwent River and its harbour forms the second deepest natural port in the world and is surrounded by well-preserved bushland which reaches close to the city centre with the beaches trimming the shores of the river and beyond the estuary.

Hobart has an area population of 217,973. Hobart is also the financial and the administrative centre of Tasmania, a busy seaport and serves as the home port for French Antarctic and Australian operation wherein it loads around 2,000 tons of Antarctic cargo every year for the Australian research vessel Aurora Australis.

In 2009/10, the Antarctic industry was worth over AU$180 million to the Tasmanian economy. Besides, this the city is also a hub for cruise ship in summer with around 40 cruise ships docking at the time of the season.

Hobart with many Industries

Hobart also has many other industries, like shipbuilding which includes high speed catamaran factories such as the world renowned Incat as well as ore refinement zinc smelters which are operated by Nvrstar, huge breweries like Cascade manufacturers of different beers exported nationally with premium and boutique beers found in Europe together with smaller breweries in the city.

Another well-known business in the city is the Cadbury chocolate factory manufacturing most of the Cadbury’s chocolate for Southern Hemispheres. Besides this the city also supports a light industry manufacturers.

It also supports a large tourist industry wherein tourist visits the city to explore the historic suburbs and nationally known restaurants and cafes together with its vibrant music and the cultures of nightlife. Visitors also come in to see the massive weekly market in Salamanca Place and to use the city as base to explore the country of Tasmania.

Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens/Mount Wellington/Tasman Bridge/Hobart Synagogue

A popular recreation area which is a short distance from the City centre is the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens and is the second oldest botanic gardens in Australia which has extensive plant collections.

Mount Wellington can be accessed while passing through Fern Tree a dominant feature of Hobart’s skyline and at 1,271 metres, the mountain has its own ecosystem which is rich in biodiversity and has a very important part in determining the weather.

Another unique feature of the city is the Tasman Bridge which connects the two shores of Hobart and is visible from several locations. The Hobart Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in Australia and is also a rare example of an Egyptian Revival synagogue. Hobart is a likely destination which is filled with historical charm mingled with modern lifestyle which is worth exploring.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sydney Opera House


Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House – Architectural Work of 20th Century

The Sydney Opera House is an amazing architectural work of the 20th century which brought about multipleamounts of creativity and innovation to architectural form as well as structural design. It is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales in Australia and located on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour which is close to Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Its facility is adjacent to the Sydney central business district together with the Royal Botanic Gardens which lies between Sydney and Farm Coves. It was inaugurated in 1973 and is a wonderful urban sculpture, set in awesome waterscape at the tip of a peninsula which projects into Sydney Harbour where the building had an enduring influence on architecture.

It comprises of three sects of interlocking vaulted `shells’, that roof two main performance halls together with a restaurant where the shell shaped structures are set on a vast platform, surrounded by terrace areas which function as pedestrians concourses.

Designed by Jorn Utzon – Danish Architect

It was designed by Jorn Utzon a Danish architect and the facility were formally opened on 20 October 1973 beginning with Utzon’s 1957 selection as a winner of an international design competition. Premier Joseph Cahill of The NSW Government authorised the work to begin in 1958 under his direction for the construction.

It was the government’s decision to build Utzon’s design which was often overshadowed by circumstances which was due to cost and rescheduling overruns and the architect’s resignation. The project consists of several performance venues, though its name indicates single venue, which when combined are the busiest performing art centres in the world, accommodating over 1,500 performances each year with 1.2 million people attending it.

 These venues present and produce a variety of in house productions accommodating various performing arts companies which include four key resident companies namely Opera Australia, The Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and The Australian Ballet.

An UNESCO Heritage Site 

Being one of the most popular tourist attractions in Australia, there are over seven million people visiting the site every year with around 300,000 people taking part annually in guided tour of the facility.

The Sydney Opera House had been listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site on June 28, 2007. It has also been identified as the most distinctive building of the 20th century as well as one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world where the facility is handled by the Sydney Opera House Trust under the auspices of the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts.

It was presumed to be constructed in three stages which were helpful in understanding the history of the three key elements of its architectural composition namely the podium –

Stage 1, the vaulted shells –

Stage 2 and the glass walls and interiors –

Stage 3. Architect Jorn Utzon conceivedthe design as well as supervised the overall construction of the podium and the vaulted shells while the glass walls and interiors were designed and construction supervised by architect Peter Hall together with Lionel Todd and David Littlemore accompanied with the New South Wales Government Architect at that time, Ted Farmer.

Peter Hall was in contact with Utzon on several aspects of the design for eighteen months after his departure, with Ove Arup & Partners providing engineering expertise in construction of all three stages.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Krivoklat Castle,Prague


Krivoklat Castle
Krivoklat – Oldest & Important Castles of Czech Republic

Krivoklat is a market town in the Central Bohemian Region of Czech Republic and also a place where the Krivoklat Castle is placed. The market town is one the most popular tourist location as well as the seat of the Krivoklatsko Landscape Protected Area.Krivoklat Castle is located 40 km west of Prague and was built in the late 13th century and belongs to the oldest and the most important castles of the Czech Republic.

It was built as a hunting lodge, the seat of the royal Master of Hounds and a weekend getaway for the Premysl Princes. The original gothic castle was discovered during the reign of Premysl Otakar II and later on was rebuilt by king Vackay IV and then enlarged by king Vladislav of Jagellon during the 15th century who built the vaulted Gothic hall having several resemblances with the famous Vladislav Hall at the Prague Castle.Several times the castle got seriously damaged after which it was turned into a dreadful prison and its importance reduced to a great extent. In the 19th century during the Roman times, the castle was reconstructed.

Used as Prison by Habsburgs

The early childhood days of Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV were spent here before they were sent off to France. The Krivoklat Caste was used as a prison by Habsburgs and in its round tower, Edward Kelley; the English alchemist was imprisoned for two and a half years since he refused to reveal the secret of the philosopher’s stone to Rudolf II.

Its historical interiors comprises of the chapel, the Knight’s Hall, the Furstenberg library, the Royal Hall, the jail and the Furstenberg museum while its cylinder shaped tower housed an exhibit on hunting weapons. Another amazing fact regarding a trip to Krivoklat is the surrounding countryside along with various trails which are apt for hiking, biking and much more.

The Huderka tower too offers an awesome view around. It present appearance dates back to 1826 when the Furstenberg family had extensively restored it after it was damaged by fire and the reconstruction was done by Joseph Mocker and Karel Hilbert, the Czech architects.

Tourist Destination/Museum/Theatrical Exhibition 

Currently the Krivoklat castle is used as a museum, a tourist destination as well as a place of theatrical exhibitions with gothic paintings and books which are stored here. Since the 14h century, the village Krivoklat gradually developed under the castle. During the 14th and 15th centuries, the first cottages developed below the castle and the hamlet came to be known as Budy. Camrdoves, a nearby hamlet grew and towards the 17 and 18th centuries they combined into a single village.

In 1886, the hamlets of Amalin Budy, Camrdoves and Castonice had a single administrative unit – the village of Krivoklat. In 1851, a post office was opened under the German name, PURGLITZ. The village was part of the Austrian monarchy till 1918, in the RAKONITZ – RAKOVNIK district which is one of the 94 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in Bohemia.

It is easy to reach Krivoklat from Prague. A train can be taken to Beroun which needs to be changed thereafter for a local train that stops in the village of Krivoklat. The duration of the journey is around 83 minutes. Above the castle, one will find beautiful carp filled ponds with the reflection of the church which makes the view amazing. Krivoklat is an interesting destination to explore with its beautiful scenery around it.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Liverpool, England



Liverpool
Ian Moran/Getty
Liverpool – The Most Splendid Setting of English City

Liverpool, a city in Merseyside, England lies on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. The Mersey Estuary which divides Liverpool from the Wirral Peninsula and the boundaries of Liverpoolare adjacent to Bootle, Crosby and Maghull towards south, Sefton to the north and Kirkby, Huyton, Prescot and Halewood in Knowsley towards the east.

It was a borough from 1207 and a city from 1880. Towards 2011, the population was 466,415. Liverpool is described as the most splendid setting of any English city, at 176 miles towards northwest of London and situated on the Liverpool Bay of the Irish Sea, it is built across a ridge of sandstone hills which rise to a height of about 230 feet above sea level at Everton Hill.

It represents the southern boundary of the West Lancashire Coastal Plain, Being a historical part of Lancashire, Liverpool’s urbanisation and its expansion enhanced its status as a major port which included the participation in the Atlantic slave trade. Moreover, Liverpool was also the port of registry of the ocean line, the RMS Titanic together with several other Cunard and White Star ocean lines like the RMS LUSITANIA, Olympic and Queen Mary.

 Liverpool’s status as a port city has been responsible to its diverse population which historically came from a wide range of people, religious as well as culture, especially those from Ireland.

Home to Ancient Black African/Chinese Community

Liverpool, England
Image credit:travelviauk.com
Besides this, the city is also a home to the ancient Black African community as well as the oldest Chinese community in Europe. The natives of Liverpool are called Liverpudlians while colloquially as Scousers.

The word Scouse seems to be a synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect. Liverpool’s wealth as a port city helped in the construction of two major cathedrals which dates from the 20th century namely the Anglican Cathedral, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott which played host to the annual Liverpool Shakespeare Festival and has one of the longest naves, the largest organs, the heaviest as well as the highest peals of bells in the world.

The Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral on the other hand, which is on Mount Pleasant, near Liverpool Science Park was first planned to be much larger, according to the original design of Sir Edwin Lutyens, though only the crypt got completed and the cathedral was finally built in a simple design by Sir Frederick Gibberd.

Though it is built on a smaller scale than Lutyens’ original design, it is capable of incorporating the largest panel of stained glass in the world. Hope Street, the road that runs between the two cathedrals is a pleasing coincidence to believers and the cathedral is colloquially referred as Paddy’s Wigwam because of its shape.

The World Capital City of Pop

The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007 and held the European Capital of Culture title with Stavanger Norway in 2008. It has also been listed as `the World Capital City of Pop’ by Guinness World Records, by the popularity of The Beatles as well as the other groups from Mersey beat period and much later who have made their contribution to its status as a great tourist destination. Tourism is the main economy of Liverpool.

 Many areas of Liverpool city centre were listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004. Liverpool is also the home of two of its Premier League football clubs namely Liverpool and Everton where matches between the two are known as Merseyside derby and the world famous Grand National also takes place annually, on the outskirts of the city at Aintree Racecourse.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Almaty, Kazakhstan

Almaty
Almaty – Largest City & Capital of Kazakhstan 

Almaty the former capital of Kazakhstan is still its largest city having a population of 1,421,868 by August 2010 with 9% of the country’s population located in one city.Almaty means `city of apple tress’, and due to its relatively mild weather, it has a wide range of apple trees. Moreover, the Almaty area is considered to be the genetic home of a variety of apples which is often visited by scientists as well as researchers from all over the world, to get to know more above the complex system of genetic as well as to discover the origin of the domestic apple. Almaty is also a financial as well as a cultural centre of Central Asia and takes pride in its moderately sized tourist as well as expatriate communities. It is also one among the top 50 most expensive cities worldwide for expats according to Mercer Human Research, to live in.

Stock Exchange – Largest in Central Asia 

This destination is an awesome gateway to distinctive and an undiscovered country where the Kazakh people are very pleasantly hospitable, kind and welcoming. Almaty still continues to be the centre of commerce for Kazakhstan with the stock exchange together with the largest banks that are located there, including Kazkommerts bank, the largest bank in Kazakhstan as well as one of the largest players in Central Asia. Its Stock exchange is one of the largest in Central Asia which is responsible for a major proportion of the economy of the country. New developments to increase the financial facilities are in the pipeline and presently Almaty Financial District and Esentai Park is under construction.
Centre for Asian Winter Games – January 2011

Almaty is a city with amazing beauty and is situated in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau towards the extreme south-east of Kazakhstan making the backdrop of mountains with the taller buildings a dramatic and an impressive sight. It was also the centre for the Asian Winter games in January 2011. On a clear weather, one will see the beautiful rugged snow-capped mountains at the city’s doorstep towards the south and since the city slopes from south to north, navigating the streets tends to get a lot easier. If one is travelling uphill, then they are heading towards the south. One will find a small mountain range which borders the city towards the east.

Kazakhstan’s Main Transport Hub

Almaty is also Kazakhstan’s main transport hub where most of the travellers pass through instead of lingering. Should one decide to stay on for some days, they can enjoy the various green parks with colourfully illuminated fountain, the excellent museums, theatres, markets and shops. Some of Central Asia’s best selections of restaurants, clubs and bars are available for eating, drinking as well as dancing. Besides this, it is also the starting point for great hikes, treks, drives as well as skiing in the Zailiysky Alatay and Kyrgyzstan and is a short distance for the central Tian Shan in Kazakhstan’s further south-eastern point. The most appropriate time to visit Almaty is during mid-April to late May and mid-August to mid-October where the climate is not too hot or too cold and is very pleasant.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Tube -London


The Tube -London
The London Tube or the Underground is a rapid public transport system serving a large part of Greater London as well as parts of the home counties of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex where it serves around 270 stations and 402 kilometres of track out of which 55% is above ground. Its history dates back to 1863 when the Metropolitan Railway, the world’s first underground railway opened between Paddington and Farringdon serving six intermediate stations.

The Underground network, which has been nicknamed The Tube’, by generations of Londoners, has now increased to 270 stations and 11 lines stretch deep into the Capital’s suburbs and further on. The network incorporates one of the world’s first underground railways, which is now part of the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines as well as the first line in 1890, to operate electric traction trains, the City & South London Railway which is now part of the Northern line and in 2012/13 has carried around 1.23 billion passengers all across the various stations.

Tunnel Constructed Using the Cut & Cover Concept

The system’s first tunnel was constructed below the surface using the cut and cover concept. Later on circular tunnels were dug through the London Clay which was much deeper and the former lines were marketed as the Underground in early 20th century on maps as well as signs at central London stations. Private companies which owned and operated the railways were merged in 1933 and formed the London Passenger Transport Board.

 London Underground Limited – LUL, the prevailing operator is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London TfL, which is the statutory corporation that is responsible for several elements of transport network in Greater London. The idea of constructing an underground railway was proposed in 1830 to link the City of London with some of the railway termini in the urban centre with the Metropolitan Railway permitting to build a line in 1854.

Underground Railway Opened in January 1863

The underground railways was opened in January 1863 using gas lit wooden carriage hauled by steam locomotives which was a success serving 38,000 passengers on the first opening day which was done by borrowing trains from other railways to provide service to the passengers. The Metropolitan district Railway which is also known as the District Railway opened in December 1868 from south Kensington to Westminster as a part of a plan for an underground inner circle which connected London’s main line termini.

The Circle line with the Metropolitan and District railways was completed in 1884 with the cut and cover concept.Both the railways expanded with the District building five branches towards the west which reached Ealing, Hounslow, Uxbridge, Richmond and Wimbledon while the Metropolitan extended towards Verney Junction in Buckinghamshire which is over 50 miles from Maker Street and the centre of London.

The Tube or Underground in the city of London is one of its kinds and London would not exist without the tube and the visitors would not want to leave the British capital without the `Mind the Gap’ image, which is the first underground railway system in the world.