Thursday, March 31, 2016

Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park

Estes Park – Heart of the Rocky Mountains

Estes Park, located around 90 miles towards the northwest of Denver at 7,522 feet above sea level is in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Estes Park towards its eastern entrance is bordered by the Rocky Mountain National Park which is home to 300 miles of hiking trails in the 415 square miles of protected mountain wilds. This destination has been welcoming guest with amazing scenery and hospitability since the late 1860s when Griff Evan had established a dude ranch here.

 Almost 50 years later, F.O Stanley of steam car fame had further preserved the reputation of the town as a resort destination when he had opened his sophisticated namesake hotel and its rich history and the remarkable legacy tends to continue by offering guest with an amazing experience which is not found elsewhere.

The mountain explorations seem to be the backbone and outdoor adventures ranges from hiking to snowshoeing to rock climbing. Scenic drives tend to show off the area with Trail Ridge Road that rise through the national park to over 12,000 feet together with many others progressing through the valley, ancient historic landmarks and parallel to the fish filled scenic rivers

A Getaway & Vacation Destination

Estes Park Colorado is the precise getaway as well as a vacation destination on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park. One can enjoy great lodging, shopping and adventures here. In the village and towards its edges, restaurants, merchants and accommodation recognize their Colorado surroundings by selling products that are made locally, serving regional fare and decorating in ranch, of western or lodge styles.

 The Estes Park is said to be always open and one can enjoy astounding scenery, tubing or any number of winter activities. As spring tends to draw near, the park becomes more outstanding. Besides this, visitors also get the opportunity of seeing more of the native animals like elk, deer, coyote, big horn sheep and various types of birds.

Very soon more Estes Park road would be opened with the opportunity of more hiking trails as well as nature area. Wildlife is so abundant here that elk often tend to wander downtown streets. Visitors could come across them while wandering the path around Lake Estes, driving towards the Historic Fall River Hydroplant or while touring Estes Park’s final remaining working cattle ranch, known as MacGregor Ranch.

Offers Unlimited Variety of Activities for Tourists

The less athletic visitors could opt to spend the day shopping, or take a day trip and drive through Rocky Mountain National Park or undertake short hike to see some of the remarkable mountain lake or better still to enjoy wildlife and bird watching.

There are thrilling attractions and tours conducted to entertain visitors of all ages. Estes Park is particularly amazing to families with children since the town tend to overflow with fun for kids with stimulating day time activities ranging from slide to go-carts.With all its amenities and adventures inclusive of the bench-lined Riverwalk as well as the charming sculpture garden, Estes Park had earned recognition as one of the top destination.

Moreover it has also earned awards from TripAdvisor, Colorado Parent, the Weather Channel together with several Colorado newspapers. Estes Park takes pride in offering unlimited variety of activities for tourists to indulge in from heart stopping to relaxing and also in its rich history together with arts and cultural event. One can take the opportunity to experience the seasonal events from music festivals to crafts fair to their Christmas Parades which are mind blowing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Ashford Castle, Ireland

Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle – Medieval Castle – Converted into Five-Star Luxury Hotel

Ashford Castle, a medieval castle has been expanded over the centuries and converted into a five star luxury hotel near Cong on the Mayo-Galway border on the shore of Lough Corrib in Ireland. Placed in the heart of the County Mayo the luxurious castle dates back to the 12th century and is a romantic place to spend their vacations. It is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World organisation and was earlier owned by the Guinness family. A castle had been built in 1228 by the Anglo-Norman House of Burke on the perimeter of a Monastic site.

 Thereafter over three and a half centuries under the de Burgos, whose surname was Burke or Bourke, Ashford had been passed into the hands of a new owner after a violent battle between the de Burgos and the English officials of Sir Richard Bingham, Lord President of Connaught, where a truce was agreed and in 1589, the castle eventually fell into the hands of Bingham who added a fortified enclave within its boundaries. The estate in a Royal Grant in 1670 or 1678 was received by Dominick Browne, of the Browne Family. Thereafter in 1715, the estate of Ashford had been established by the Browne.

Received Top Honour – Virtuoso Hotel of the Year

Towards late 18th century, the castle was inhabited by a branch of the family and in early 19th century, Thomas Elwood became the agent for the Brownes at Ashford and in 1814 was recorded living there. Ashford which is one of the oldest castles of Ireland takes pride in its elegant designs and had recently been opened to the public after a €67 million restoration. Set on an area of 350 acres of land, the five-star Ashford Castled received the top honour at an annual awards event that was held by Virtuoso, a network of international travel agents.

Ashford Castle’s general manager, Niall Rochford had mentioned in a statement that `on behalf of Ashford Castle and Red Carnation Hotels, we are thrilled to have been awarded one of the luxury travel industry’s top awards, virtuoso Hotel of the Year. It is fantastic recognition of the exciting journey Ashford Castle has been on over the last few years and all the hard work has gone in the $75 million restoration by the Tollman family as well as the team of at Ashford. The three year programme, most of which had been carried out by local craftspeople has seen Ashford Castle restored as Ireland’s most luxurious hotels and one of the best in the world’.

Home to Ireland’s First Falconry School

He further added that it is also an endorsement of the training, development as well as investment of the support of the staff that enabled them to provide greater attentive and highly personalised services. The castle has 82 excessive guest rooms and is a home to first falconry school in Ireland. Standard guest rooms can be hired from €500 for a night’s stay during peak season and presidential suite can be availed at €2,500 a night. Stars like John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara had stayed at the turret rooms of the castle as well as other guest comprising of King George V, US President Ronald Reagan, Beatles star John Lennon and actor Brad Pitt.

How to Start a Travel Blog

Several users would prefer sharing their information on travel with other users to keep them updated on their travels as well as to keep them knowledgeable and if one would want a great audience, the content needs to be appealing and interesting. There is also the possibility of getting some revenue with travel blog. The initial step would be get hosted which is like renting a little space of the web for your site. There are several hosting companies and one in particular is Hostgator india, an Indian division of Hostgator Inc. They have made provision for all kinds of Hostgator India coupons to enable their customers to benefit on their services.

Hostgator India tends to sell server space under various plans wherein users could opt from the unlimited plan with limited power for their website. The website will be hosted on a server where the space would be shared by several other customers. Users could select a dedicated server with total control as well as privacy for higher price. Moreover Hostgator also tends to sell various other add-ons to its server space like SSLs and security tools.The company is aware that several of its customers tend to have problem with technicalities with regards to setting up a server as well as to maintain it.

Setting Server/Hosting Site

Since most of the customers tend to be small businesses, they may not be in a position to hire a dedicated server administrator in managing their hosting. It is for this purpose that the company had made provision for a free unlimited customer support which can only handle issues as well as guide the customer in setting up the server and hosting the site.

Users can avail their support over the phone, email or a live chat for 24 hours a day. Bluehost India another hosting company based in USA offers various kinds of web hosting services especially to Indian users. They provide Bluehost india coupons to enable their customers to save more on their hosting packages. The parent company of Bluehost is based in Utah, USA that is owned by Endurance International Group which owns several other hosting businesses all over the world.

Pioneer of Web Hosting Industry

Bluehost, being the pioneer of web hosting industry, tends to provide exclusive customer support in various channels. Bluehost India customers having good technical knowledge could visit the `Knowledge Base’ page on its website to search, locate and execute solutions from the information provided there. The page also answers every difficulty faced by the customers.

Bluehost India provides a return period of 30 days for all its annual plans and customers can cancel any of the services during this period for any reason and receive a full refund to the original mode of payment. Regarding its monthly plan, there is no return period though in event of accidental orders, one could contact the customer support for return of the order within a reasonable period of placement of the order. Bluehost India may not accept some items like domains and security products for returns.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

NamibRand Nature Reserve Namibia


Africa’s Largest Private Nature Reserves

Africa’s largest private nature reserves, Namibia’s NamibRand Nature Reserve is located in one of the naturally darkest places on Earth. It had been established to support protection and conserve the unique ecology as well as wildlife of the southwest Namib Desert. Conserving the pro-Namib, the area along the eastern edge of the Namib Desert seems to be important to facilitate season migratory wildlife routes as well as to protect biodiversity.

It is possibly the largest private nature reserve in Southern Africa that extends over an area of 202,200 ha. The Reserve tends to share a 100 km border with the Namib-Naukluft National Park towards the west and is bordered in the east by the imposing Nubib Mountains. Almost all the features of the Namib Desert are represented on the Reserve, namely sand and gravel plains with stretches of savanna alternating with mountain ranges together with vegetated dune belts. Its mission comprises of preservation of the area’s starry night skies.

The central of the reserve is the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust – NaDEET Centre that runs environmental education programs teaching about the Earth and sky. Overnight visitors, generally groups of school children tend to have the opportunity of sleeping in the `open air’ units where they can view the night sky from the comfort of their beds.

NaDEET Centre’s Programs

The NaDEET Centre’s programs are available to all Namibians as well as visitors from across the globe. The NamibRand Nature Reserve, in Southern Africa, is a model for reserved conservation since it exhibits holistic biodiversity conservation balanced with financial sustainability.Low effect ecotourism is a means towards supporting the conservation efforts through park fees.

The five tourism concessions awarded by the reserve, each pay per bed fee to the Reserve and the funds gained through these park fees helps in sustaining the Reserve, financially. The Reserve is said to be initiated in 1984 as a dream of J. A. Bruckner to expand desert frontiers by assimilating a huge number of former livestock farms and creating a wildlife sanctuary. Presently thirteen former livestock farms are reformed in an individual continuous natural environment.

Non-profit Private Nature Reserve

The NamibRand Nature Reserve had been registered as a non-profit private nature reserve in 1992. The landowners which belonged to the Reserve had signed agreements and had adopted a constitution setting the land aside for conservation, now and in the future. The Reserve seems to be financially self-sustaining due to the high quality, low impact tourism.

The NamibRand Nature Reserve is said to be a member of the Greater Sossuviei Landscape Association – GSNL. The Association’s vision is to collaboratively manage the Greater Sossusvlei-Namib Landscape to enhance the landscape and biodiversity conservation as well as the socio-economic development for the continuous benefit of the people in the Landscape and the Region.

Visitors can undertake a full day drive and explore the various parts of the reserve. Choices of properties are also available on the NamibRand and two or three days night stay would be perfect.The private reserve has been named recently as Africa’s first international Dark Sky Reserve which means that it is one of the least light polluted spaces in the world.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Bodegas – Popular for Its Dwellings

Setenil de las Bodegas, a town which is in the province of Cadez, Spain, is popular for its dwellings that are built in rock overhangs above the Rio Trejo. This small town is situated 157 kilometres northeast of Cadez and has unique setting beside a narrow river gorge. The Setenil de las Bodegas tends to extend along the course of the Rio Trejo where some of the houses are built in the rock walls of the gorge itself which have been developed due to enlarging of natural caves or overhangs, adding an external wall.

According to Messy Nessy Chic, several of the houses are built in and under the walls of the gorge itself, eliminating the need to build the whole house and live in the contorted caves, just building a frontage. The sheltered caves seem to be perfect for blocking the hot and cold temperatures that tend to sweep the country. Though the residents live under the rock, they are evidently in touch with their surroundings. The bars, food shops and restaurants are considered to be the best in the region and prized delicacies like chorizo, olive oil, honey, jam and Andalucía wines are sold in the town.

Town’s Name – Mixture of Two Defining Features of History

The Setenil de las Bodegas town’s name is a mixture of two defining features of its history and Setenel is derived from the Latin septem nihil which meansseven times nothing’.This refers to the Moorish town’s resistance to Christian assault apparently captured only after seven sieges. This took place in the last years of the Christian Reconquest. In 1407 surrounded unsuccessfully, Setenil eventually fell in 1484 when the Christian forces excluded the Moorish occupant.

 Utilising gun powder artillery, the Christians captured the castle after fifteen days, whose ruins dominate the town presently. Owing to the planned position of Setenil, the victory was widely celebrated in Castile and is the source of many legends in local folklore. Setenil de las Bodegas, unlike several of the cities tend to continue to flourish and home to over 3,000 inhabitants. The houses seemed to be built directly in the stone walls, not completely underground but in the mountains of the Spanish town. Most of the town is constructed out in the open areas and is considered to be an amazing destination to visit and explore the unbelievable carved structure.

An Antipodal City

As per the 2005 census, the Setenil de las Bodegas had a population of around 3,016 people and has a precise antipodal city, Auckland, New Zealand. The full name of Setenil de las Bodegas dates back to the 15th century when the new Christian immigrants besides maintaining the Arab olive and almond groves, had introduced vineyards. It is said that the first two crops had flourished in the district though the once flourishing wineries, the bodegas had been wiped out by the phylloxera insects’ infestation in 1860s resulting in damage of most of European vine stocks.

Taking into account the nearby cave dwelling societies like those at the Gueva de la Pileta, west of Ronda, where the habitation is tracked to over 25,000 years, there is a possibility that Setenil could have been occupied much earlier. Much of the evidences could havebeen wiped away due to continuous habitation.

Unexplored Travel Destinations around India

India is an incredible country and the cultures and traditions vary a lot from one place to another. There are a lot of tourist and travel places to visit in India, and most of these places are crowded with travelers all around the year. At such times, the need for lease explored places take prominence and are considered a wonderful treat since very few visit it.

There are some places in India which are unexplored and waiting to be discovered all the more. Check out this compilation of a few places that can be visited for an elevating experience.

1. Daringbadi, Odisha

Daringbadi, a hill station in Odisha is one of the least explored places in India and is at an elevation of 910 meters. Located in the Kandhmal district, the hill station receives a decent amount of snowfall during winter.
Considering the fact that most places in Odisha have temperatures over 50ºC, this is quite a surprise indeed. The place is surrounded by thick rain forests that have a lot of wild animals in it. You can use redbus coupons from CashKaroto save money on your bus trips to the place.

2. Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim

The Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim is one of the highest lakes in the world. The lake is believed to be the place where Guru Nanak Dev who was on his way to Tibet, rested for some time and quenched his thirst with the lake water.

There are sayings that it was Guru Nanak Dev who used his stick to crack open the ice and hence the Gurudongmar Lake was formed. There is also another belief that even during the harshest of winter, some part of lake remains unfrozen and water is always available.

3. Garamur, Assam

Garamur was a cultural center of the Ahom Kingdom in the past. However, the place is losing its charm with constant erosion of soil and the flooding of certain areas. You will have to make a concrete effort to visit the place before all charm and glory gets wasted.

Make use of uber coupons to visit the place and experience the dance forms, culture, mask-making and more. The North-eastern state of Assam comes to life with Garamur.

4. Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh

Gandikota in Andhra Pradesh is an amazing place to visit for a spectacular time. The place has fort, temples and even a Jama Masjid. There is the Pennar River that cuts through the region which forms the giant canyon that is in the place.

It is a quiet place to visit to have a fun time with family and friends. The huge potential for tourism has been realized by Andhra Pradesh Government recently.

5. Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu

Once a vibrant coastal town, Dhanushkodi remains as a ghost town after being swept by a cyclone in 1964. The town was designed by Edgar Allan Poe and there is nothing visible except for a lonely church which stands in the middle of the devastated town.

The super creepy place is beautiful and has a lot of history behind it. The eerie setting will surely excite you.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hamburg, Germany


Hamburg-Famous Tourist Destination for Domestic/International Visitors

Hamburg the second largest city in Germany and the eighth largest city in European Union is a famous tourist destination for domestic as well as international visitors and ranks 16th in the world for liveability in 2015.It is the second smallest German state in terms of area having a population of over 1.7 million inhabitants. The Hamburg Metropolitan Region comprising of parts of the neighbouring Federal States of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, tend to have over 5 million people.

The city is located on the river Elbe. The city of Hamburg has earned a well-deserved reputation as Germany’s Gateway to the World and is the biggest port as well as the second busiest in Europe, inspite of being placed across the River Elbe which is 100 kilometres from the North Sea. Hamburg is full of pride of its status as a `Free and Hanseatic City’ and tends to share the same status as a province, making it one of the 16 federal states or Bundeslander of Germany.

The official name Freie and Hansestadt Hamburg – Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg reflects its history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, as a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, a city-state as well as one of the 16 states of Germany.

Transport Hub & Affluent City in Europe

Earlier to 1871 Unification of Germany, it had been a fully sovereign state and preceding the constitutional changes in 1919, the severe civic republic had been ruled by a class of hereditary grand burghers or Hanseaten. Hamburg is said to be a transport hub and an affluent city in Europe and has become a media and industrial centre with plants as well as facilities belonging to Airbus, Blohm + Voss and Aurubis.

Hamburg is also an important financial centre for centuries and the seat of the second oldest bank in the world namely Berenberg Bank which is second to Berlin in size and population. It is also a home to one of the biggest harbours in Europe. With one of the most important harbours in Europe as well as the world, Hamburg takes pride in its mercantile background that had been responsible for the wealth of the city in ancient times.

From 1241 onwards, it had been the member of the Hanseatic League, a medieval trade monopoly through Northern Europe. Towards the 19th and start of the 20th century, millions of the inhabitants had left Europe while on their way to the new world via the Hamburg harbour. Presently the harbour ranks second in Europe and eleventh in the world.

Richest Metropolitan Region – European Union

After experiencing its several waterways as well as canals, one would get to know why it has been called the `Venice of the North’. The Fischmarkt, the local fish market should not be missed at this destination together with the Merchants District which has been marked by its imposing red brick architecture.

 An amazing dining experience beside the river of a night out in the university quarter should also not be missed. Being a major port city in northern Germany, it is connected by the Elbe River to the North Sea and is crossed by hundreds of canals as well as contains large spaces of parkland.

 The central Junfernstieg Boulevard tends to connect the old town – Altstadt and the Neustadt, passing Binnenalster Lake scattered with boats with cafes and restaurants around it. The local specialities are oyster and traditional Aalsuppe – soup. Hamburg is said to be one of the richest metropolitan region in the European Union in the company of Brussels as well as London.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Corcovado, Cristo Redentor


Cristo Redentor – Art Deco Statue of Jesus Christ

Cristo Redentor is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil which was created by French Sculptor Paul Landowski. It was built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa in partnership with Albert Caquot, the French engineer. The face had been developed by the Romanian artist Gheorghe Leonida. The statue is said to be 30 metres tall excluding its 8 metres pedestal and its arms stretch 28 metres wide.

The statue tends to weight 635 metric tons and is placed at the peak of 700 metres Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park which overlooks the city of Rio. Being a symbol of Christianity all over the world, the statue has become a cultural icon of Rio de Janeiro as well as Brazil and has been listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It has been made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, constructed between the period of 1922 and 1931.

The Statue of Christ the Redeemer or Christo Redentor tends to keep a watchful eye over the people of Rio de Janeiro and sits on top of Corcovado 2,300 feet above the city and had been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.

Cog Train to Reach the Statue

It is one of the largest art deco statues in theworld and the statue had been unveiled in 1931. The views from the base of the statue on a clear day seems to be amazing and at night the statue is lit up and seemingly hovers over the city as the mountain it stands on is dark. If it tends to be cloudy, the clouds light up and the effect of it seem ethereal and remarkable.

In order to reach the statue one needs to take the cog train to the top of Corvado and the train offers some amazing views if one is on the right side of the train which leaves from Rua Cosme Velho 513. Taxis are also available to visit the statue and if travelling with a group, it tends to get easy to negotiate the cost for a return trip as well as waiting time which could be economical than the cog train.

Perched atop Corcovado, meaning the hunchback, Cristo Redentor gazes out over Rio with calm expression on his well-crafted face. The mountains seems to rise straight up from the city to 710 m and at night the brightly lit high open armed statue, all of 1145 tons, is visible from almost every part of the city.

Located – Parque Nacional da Tijuca

Corcovado is located within the Parque Nacional da Tijuca and the most popular way to reach the statue is to use the red narrow-gauge train which departs every half hour, taking around 20 minutes to reach the top. In order to reach the cog train, one can take any Cosme Velho bus.

 One can take bus 583 from Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon. One can also travel by Parque da Tijuca; the authorized van for visiting the monument which tends to depart from three locations around the town namely Copacaban in front of Praca do Lido from 8 am to 4pm and the price for adult/child is R$62/40, Largo do Machado from 8 am to 5 pm – adult/child R$62/40 and Paineiras which is a few kilometres north of the statue, from 8 am to 6 pm, adults/child R$35/free.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Tower Bridge Glass Floor, London


Tower Bridge – Britain’s Most Familiar Landmarks

Tower Bridge is one of Britain’s most familiar landmarks offering visitors a spectacular view of the bridge lifts with the newly installed glass floors across high level walkways of 138 ft. above the River Thames in London. It is one of the most impressive structures and sites in the capital that stands over the River Thames since 1894. It is also one of the most visited attractions in London and seems to be a working bridge till date. The Tower Bridge Exhibition enables the visitor to discover the history of the Bridge and how it had been built through the interactive displays as well as videos regarding the landmark it has placed in the history of the River Thames. The highlights of the Bridge comprise of:
  • The Glass Floor walkway for a unique experience of the bridge
  • The `bascule’ bridges that means a see-saw in French, are lifted till date on a schedule to permit boats and barges to pass through
  • Remarkable panoramic glimpses over the river
  • Tower Bridge Exhibition explores the history of the Bridge as well as the development through its time as a totally functioning bridge, offering a high level walkway across the two towers.

Initially the Only Crossing over Thames

When the London Bridge had been built, it was initially the only crossing used over the Thames. It is said that more than 50 designs had been submitted for consideration of the winning design. The construction of the bridge took around 8 years to build with about 432 workers. Prior to 1977, the bridge had been brown in colour till it was painted red, white and blue in celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee.

The Tower Bridge Exhibition launched its most momentous development since 1982, the glass walkway and housed in the West Walkway, visitors get the opportunity of admiring the tower Bridge from an exceptional perspective, looking down on the passing boats and pedestrians underfoot as well as catch the bascule rising if one is lucky to witness it. A London bus driver once had to jump between the two raising bascules when his number-78 bus seemed to be caught on the bridge while it was being raised. The glass walkway is an opportunity one should not miss out which is 42m above the river and the glass is made up of five thick layers which can hold the equivalent weight of an elephant and two taxis which seems to be quite safe.

The Victorian Engine Room

The Victorian Engine Room tends to hold the coal driven steam engines which was earlier used to power the bridges. The interactive information panels support visitors in learning about the development of technology that was utilised years ago to keep the bridge active, complete with sounds and smells which takes one back through time. One can also get the experience of a virtual Bridge lift demonstrating how the bascules are elevated.

The East Walkway provides breath-taking views from the high level walkway with the museums and historic buildings surround the Thames comprising of the HMS Belfast together with the Tower of London. It also houses the exhibition `Great Bridges of the World’ portraying more than 20 bridges of exciting manufacture. The glass floor scheme was known internally as the `wow project’ and also ensuring that there is not the slightest chance of the glass cracking wherein engineers had to contemplate in making it anti-slip and easily reversible if the future generation oppose it. Specially installed lighting will ensure that all modesty is secure.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Quito, Ecuador


Quito – Capital City of Ecuador

Quito officially San Francisco de Quito is the capital city of Ecuador. It is situated at an elevation of about 2,850 metres above sea level and is said to be the highest official capital city in the world. It is placed in the Guayllabamba river basin towards the eastern slopes of Pichincha which is an active stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains.

According to the last census – 2014, it had a population of around 2,671,191 and is said to be the second most populous city in Ecuador after Guayaquil. Besides this it is also the capital of the Pichincha province as well as the seat of the Metropolitan District of Quito. The city had been designated as the headquarters of the Union of South American Nation in 2008.

The historic centre of Quito is one of the largest, unchanged and best reserved historic centres in the Americas, Together with Krakow, Quito is said to be the first World Cultural Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO in 1978. The central square of Quito is situated around 25 kilometres south of the equator and the city tends to extend within a kilometre of zero latitude.

Quito Founded on the Ruins of Inca City

Museum as well as monument marking the common location of the equator is locally known as la mitad del mundo – the middle of the world, to avoid confusion as the word Ecuador is equator in Spanish. Quito was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of Inca city. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo together with the Church and Jesuit College of La Compania with their rich interiors are examples of the Baroque school of Quito that is a blend of Spanish, Italian, Flemish, Moorish as well as indigenous art.

Quito tends to provide unusual surprises and being the capital city is located closed to the sun. The Quito area seems to be the only place in the world where one can put one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and the other in the Southern Hemisphere simultaneously. One can feel the pure energy of the centre of the world while walking the Equatorial Line, which is an imaginary line drawn in the 18th century by the Geodesic French Mission.

Quito Centre Biggest/Best Conserved In Latin America

The precise point where the equator tends to pass through Ecuador was later discovered to be about 240 metres north of the line at Mitad del Mundo though that should not discourage anyone from visiting this complex which is some 14 miles north of Quito, towards San Antonia de Pichincha.

The Centro Historico combines the daily life of traders, public servants and religious people with visitors from all over. The Quito centre is said to be the biggest as well as the best conserved in Latin America. The most recognized sites are Palacio Carondelet, La Compania de Jesus, a Baroque-style church, La Plaza Grande, the religious complex of San Francisco together with La Ronda which is a street having diverse workshops and traditional trade.

Quito itself is an amazing destination though due to its strategic location and well developed tourist infrastructure, it is also the departure point of the main tourist destinations of Ecuador and one can leave from here to the Pacific Coast with fishing towns, beaches and great gastronomy, to Los Andes with the path of volcanoes, to the Amazonia with it strange vegetation together with ancestral towns.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Grote Markt, Antwerp


Grote Markt – Antwerp – Heart of the Old City Quarter

Grote Markt of Antwerp is located in the heart of the old city quarter and the compact main square is pedestrian where one can admire the monumental fountain as well as the magnificent buildings surrounding the square in peace. The amazing 16th century city hall tends to dominate the moderately small Grote Markt. The square’s triangle shaped originated from the municipal ground developed during the Franks era.

At Antwerp’s Grote Markt one will find the City Hall, build on the fundaments of the burned down earlier city hall, the guildhalls Sint-Joris at Grote Markt 7 and de Valk at Grote Markt 11, the Brabo fountain, statue sculptured by Jef Lambeaux about a city legend and the tourist office. Surrounding the market place there are several restaurants and cafes and in winter it tends to house a Christmas market and an ice arena.

The centre-piece of the square is the huge fountain built in 1887 and depicts the character of Antwerps’ famous legend, the mythical hero Brabo. As per the legend, the giant Antigoon had demanded a high toll for each ship that desired to enter the city and if the crew of the ship did not want to pay the toll, their hands would be cut off. The hero Brabo had fought the giant and had cuts its hand and head and had thrown the hand in the river.

The Fountain’s Statue Depicts Brabo

The fountain’s statue depicts Brabo throwing the giant’s hand in the river Scheldt, symbolizing the free passage through the river. It is a political jab at the Dutch as such who had long blocked free traffic on the Scheldt. Grote Markt is perhaps known for the beautiful houses of the Guilds that tend to align the square which are relatively new.

 The original houses had been destroyed in 1576 by fire and were rebuilt in Flemish Renaissance style. However they were revamped again in the 19th century resulting in the present lavishly decorated houses. But the most appealing building on the Grote Markt is the magnificent Stadhuis – City Hall that was built in 1565 in Flemish Renaissance style and lavishly decorated with ornaments and claims a luxurious interior which was redecorated in the 19th century.

Port of Antwerp – Inland Seaport/Second Largest Port in Europe

The port of Antwerp is the inland seaport as well as the second largest port in Europe following Rotterdam. One third of entire Belgian exports travelthrough the Flemish city. Antwerp is also considered to be the world’s second petrochemical port after Houstan in USA. Half of the world’s top 20 chemical companies tend to have offices in Antwerp.

Besides this, Antwerp is also known to be the world’s main trading centre, cutting and polishing diamond where 85% of the world’s rough diamonds and half of the polished diamond seems to be negotiated in the city. However, Antwerp is not only a big industrial port but since 1990 has been recognized as a fashion design city. Having 29 theatres, 6 concert hall and 35 museums, Antwerp has one of the highest densities of cultural venues per capita in Europe and boasts as the third largest zoological garden in Europe with regards to species.

The city has also been a stronghold of Flemish nationalism for two decades with the pro-independence extreme right Vlaams Belang Party that haddemanded one third of the votes at the last two municipal elections.

Taking Your Date Night to the Next Level

Whether you've been with your partner for months or decades, it is easy for dates to get stale and predictable. You love spending time together, but it's hard to get excited about another dinner and a movie. If you want to really make your partner feel loved, consider implementing one of these creative ideas for your next date!

Use the Element of Surprise

You get bogged down with the monotony of day to day life, but date night is the perfect time to surprise your loved one! Let him know that he doesn't need to do any planning this time because you are taking care of all of the details. There is something very relaxing about just showing up to enjoy instead of planning and coordinating.

As you plan your date, consider your partner's interests. Maybe he would love for you to join him for a round of golf, or perhaps you two have always talked about taking a cooking class together.

Hit the Town in Style

When it comes to date night, getting there can be the most memorable part when you arrive in style. Imagine the surprise on your partner's face when you pick her up for your date in a gorgeous Rosedale limo. This is an especially good choice if you are celebrating a special event, such as a birthday or anniversary.

Revisit Special Spots

Taking a trip down memory lane is a special idea for date night. Regardless of how long you have been together, there are some spots that have unique meaning for your relationship. During your date, you can eat at the same restaurant where you met, stop by the bench where you shared your first kiss, or spend a few minutes at the spot where you got engaged.

If you no longer life in the same area, you can still utilize this idea with a little creativity. Perhaps you could enjoy the same types of foods that you ate on your first date or start the date by bringing her the same flowers.

Whether you use one of these ideas or come up with something creative on your own, remember that it is the thought that counts! Consider what makes your partner feel loved, and do your best to ensure they feel pampered and appreciated on this special date night.