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

Monday, October 8, 2018

Best Weekend Trips On The West Coast This Fall

Best Weekend Trips Port Land
Everyone needs a break. Whether you love your job or hate your job. Whether you are in middle of searching for employment or are comfortably employed. The cure for this feeling is Weekend getaways. Simple and fun weekend trips that will help refresh you. The west coast boasts some of the most stunning landscape in the world. The Best Weekend Trips are to spend your holidays on Beaches, vineyards, mountains and parks. If you are living within driving distance it saves your time of travelling.

People getting restless in the city should venture to an incredible weekend destination such as charming village at the base of a mountain. Villages are nature paradise on earth. Hikers and people who love outdoor will enjoy their weekends.

Portland always comes with something new. Portland transformed the historical carriage and baggage building into Pine Street market, the first food stall in Portland. Portland still has all of its classics. The largest used bookstore in the world, Powell’s city of books continues to impress. The Portland Japanese Garden is a haven of tranquil beauty in all four seasons. The Portland Saturday Market is also a favourite place to shop.

Scottsdale has earned its reputation over the last few years as a luxurious destination. Luxury hotel, high ends spas and a fair share of wine bars have cropped up throughout the area within the past several years. This small sleepy city has turned into a tourist destination with a vibrant nightlife and plenty of opportunities to pamper yourself. The W. Hotel Scottsdale is lively during weekends, while the Moroccan inspired Montelucia is perfect for rest and relaxation. During the day, Old Town Scottsdale is another favourite for history buffs looking to learn more about the city.

Ventura California: if you decide to go to Ventura as a last minute, spur of the moment trip you don’t need to worry about not knowing what there is to do. Just visit their local visitor’s centre to find out what you can do and what is good to do. Ventura offers a wide variety of activities for you to occupy your weekend with. You could go biking on the Ventura to Ojai paved Bike path. You could go kayaking or check out the Channel Islands national marine sanctuary. Whatever your interest is there is something for you in Ventura.

Arches National park is one of Utah’s most popular tourist destination and for good reason. The park is a home to some of the most famous rock formation in the United States including over 2000 jaw dropping amazing sandstone arches. These arches and expansive park are overwhelming. Hikers are allowed to hike for three hour through the region led by knowledgeable park rangers. Some part of the hike can be strenuous, but the sights and landmarks you visit are well worth the extra sweat.

Walla Walla Washington: Starting towards the top of the west coast there is the beautiful town of Walla Walla . It is filled with all sorts of interested wineries, but that is not all they have to offer. There are beautiful parks, museums and art galleries. This area is perfect for the wine lover who wants to taste in a not well known area.

Jackson Hole Wyoming: it is an outdoor adventure’s paradise. Stay at Amangani or Teton Mountain lodge and Spa. Explore the foliage in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. There is no longer any majestic fall foliage in the region. Paddle the Snake River or head out on a wildlife safari. Horseback riding, white-water rafting and blue ribbon fly fishing are other favourite activities.

Hood River Oregon is a small adventure town and having recreational activities. This is perfect for a weekend getaway. While mountain biking experience the jaw dropping scenery, valleys and Columbia’s River George. Hood River is just about an hour away from Portland.

These are the place for a best weekend trips.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I Bet You Didn’t Know These Six Amazing Facts about Moldova

Bordered by Ukraine on the north south and east, and by Romania on the west, the landlocked country of the republic of Moldova remains influenced by Soviet Union and unfortunately the poorest European country. However the country is a store-house of wonders, and here is taking an extensive look at six amazing facts that sets this country apart from every other country:
  1. Hear me roar: It’s not just the official motto of house Lannister in the very popular television show Game of Thrones, the official currency of Moldova is Leu, which is the same as that of Romania. And interestingly the word Leu translates to lion in English. So be careful during monetary exchanges because, you might just confuse between the Romanian Leu and the Moldovian leu. And even though, most if not all Moldovians are trilingual speaking Romanian, Russian and Gagauz, most of them definitely are bilingual speaking the first two languages effortlessly. And not only does it share its currency with Romania, it also shares its language. 
  2. They sure like their booze: On October 3 and 4, wine producers open their homes and vineyards for the masses for the celebration of National Wine Day. Not only can you taste the wine at super cheap rates, they also have transportation facility ferrying you from one site to another to continue your wine revelries. What’s interesting perhaps is that despite being riddled with poverty, with its wine export being thwarted and its wine banned in Russia, Moldovians quickly aim to surpass even Belarus in its alcohol consumption. According to World Health Organisation, inhabitants of Moldova, consume around 17 litres of alcohol each year. No wonder it is the home of the first and second largest wine-cellar in the world. 
  3. Home of the cow and the birds: The beefy and protein filled bovines might now be not that conspicuous, but they are sure immortalised albeit on the national flag as the emblem of the country. It features the head of an auroch mounted on a shield placed strategically on the bosom of an eagle holding a cross. Moldova is also the home of over 300 different species of birds. While some reside permanently year-round, some simply pass the country while migrating to warmer climates. Nonetheless it is a pleasure dome for bird watchers. 
  4. Eat-drink- and be merry: Moldova might be impoverished, but it knows no bounds when it comes to eating, drinking and being merry. Unlike its neighbour, Russia, which celebrates Christmas in January, Moldovians commence their celebrations from November and celebrate the main event from December 24th to 26th with parties, revelries and gift givings. The moldovians love their music, so much so, that a Romanian ballad about a sheep known as miorita’s first two verses are printed on bank notes. 
  5. Home of the gypsies: Soroca is the gypsy capital of the world and if you want the taste of real Moldova get off the cities and explore the countryside. 
  6. A relatively new nation: the country found its independence in 1991. And its capital Chisinau was bombed in 1940 by the red army in October 1940. Still it has not been pushed under the radar, rather has emerged as a strong progressing European country albeit not a part of the European Union.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Visiting Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent

The Beauty of Lake Crescent: 

Any body in search of a natural beauty must visit Lake Crescent because of its pristine deep waters and glacially carved lake. It is nestled in the northern foothills of the Olympic Mountains. It is a popular recreational area where no one can deny the facts about its beauty. Along with its beauty there have been some mysterious stories of this lake. This lake is considered to be one of the Crown Jewels of Olympic National Park. Lake Crescent is suitable for family vacations, romantic holiday and awe-inspiring hikes, camping, lodging and unforgettable day hikes making this park popular.paddleboarding, snorkelling and freediving take place also. This lake is a unique lake.

This lake with crystal clear waters appears to be of various shades, a beautiful blues depending on the light. There are plenty of stopovers where one can take a beautiful snap.

Putting Up At The Lodges: 

The lodge at crescent lake has the most adorable little cottages and a wonderful beach area. A gift activities shop is also available in the cottages. Fishing in this gorgeous lake, swimming and other water are also there. Lake Crescent Lodge is the oldest of the parks. It is located at Barnes Point on lake Crescent road. Here the oxygen levels are quiet low .Because of the great depth the water seems to be deeply turquoise that almost one must see it to believe. One can enjoy picnic around the lake. Fairholme, Bovee’s Meadows, LA Poel and north shore all have tables so that everyone is comfortable.

The Cities near Lake Crescent are Forks, Port Angeles, Sequim, and Port Townsend.

In the West end of Lake Crescent, there are 87 Fairholme campgrounds.This campground is situated in a wooded area, and the ground is very rocky. They have a lot of trails.

Things to Do Near Crescent Lake: 

One can visit these falls and also get a better view of Lake Crescent from the mountain top.

Right from Mary Mere Fall and Devils Punch bowl to Mount Storm King and spruce Railroad Trail each and every moment in Lake Crescent area of Olympic National Park is rich in beauty.

While hiking some climb the surrounding mountains and some explore the lowland forest and creeks. Many of them enjoy going into the water during the summer. Rowboats are available for rental. Hiking along the lake on the spruce Railroad Trail is a wonderful experience .One can stroll along Barnes creek up to Mary Mere falls. For more adventurous trip hike the steep switch back trail to storm King Mountain.

For an Appetising Meal: 

Restaurants in Olympic national park: Lake Crescent lodge Restaurant, Kalaloch Lodge Restaurant, springs restaurants are some of the famous eatery joints.

Come And Experience This Lake As Words Cannot Explain The Beauty Of This Lake But Seeing It Believes.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Sardinia: The Island of a Thousand Beautiful Beaches


Know More about Sardinia:

If you feel like taking a break from the busy world then Sardinia is a beautiful place to unwind yourself. It is the largest island in the Mediterranean. Though it is away from Italy but it lies much closer to Corsica in France. SARDO is the native language .People mostly earns their livelihood from the sea. This place is known as “ISLAND OF WINDS” or “WHERE THE WIND LIVES” because this place enjoys offshore breezes throughout each season, which reduces humidity and therefore they have many wind sports.The sea is beautiful with clean waters and different variety of colours with different shades of blue and green shimmering like precious stones.

Sardinia presents a huge range of activities for a family holiday. Many Northern Europeans flock to Sardinia in summer. There are many caves and grottoes. For the first time you will encounter the island night or day, a magnetic glow seems to illuminate Sardinia across the island lie the dark slopes of the Gannargentu which are covered with snowfall all year long.

Wonderful Attractions of Sardinia:

There are many sightseeing and adventure places where you get yourself involved in making your trip a successful one.

The Costa Smeralda is one of the most exciting natural environments. it consist crystal clear emerald green water, Innumerable gleaming white coves and bays, granite rock formations carved by the wind. Porto Cervo is the nerve centre of Coasta Smeralda, one can enjoy on the beaches camping,nightlife, largeparks, Elegant Boutiques golf and honeymoon couple can have a memorable and a peaceful holiday.

GrottadiIspinigoli is spectacular for caves. This Cave has the second largest column Joined stalagmite and stalactite. The Stalagmite is the largest in the world. There are 100 of steps down to the bottom of the cave. This is a dry cave and the growing of thisparticular structures created by nature.

MaddalenaArchipelago is close to Costa Smeralda. The cluster of rocky islands lies in the beautiful waters. There are fine sand beaches, some are romantically isolated and the islands are popular for boating, swimming and sunbathing holidays. The scenery here is a memorable, a striking land and seascape whereGranite outcrops enclose patches of turquoise sea as blue as the mantle of the Madonna.There are also Beaches,boat ride, hiking and parks to enjoy.

Santa Cristina Nuraghe and the holy well is one of Sardinia most atmospheric and diverse archaeological attraction, where one can see a remarkably preserved holy well and a Nuraghe tower where you can climb to its open wildflower strewn roof for view down onto the prehistoric stone village.

Adventure Games in Sardinia:

Sardinia is blessed with rugged coastline, sandy beaches and deeply rooted tradition. It is also a haven for adventure seekers.

7 days journey through Istria’s best wine country where you get the full story about how the grapes grow and the making of wine takes place. Tasting of wine authentic gastronomically experience and immersion into culture and historical heritage makes this tour a lifetime experience.

Rock climbing, Sea Kayaking, Cycling, Trekking, KiteSurfing, ScubaDiving, Boatexcursion, Horseback Riding and Bird watching are more adventure where one can try this.

CalaGoloritze is best for hikers and climbers. The Aguglia a 148m high needle of rock that towers over the beach is a magnet for climbers.

Sardinia Beaches:

There are Top5 beaches where you should not miss out, they are

Su Giudeu Beach, Is Arutas Beach, La Pelosa Beach, Spiaggia Rosa-Pink Beach and Porto Giunco-Notteri Beach .All these beaches are different in their own ways. Do not miss out on visiting these beaches.

Throughout the years they celebrate different festivals where you come across traditional customs and local handicrafts, hear local music with singing and dancing. And also taste local and typical food. This place is also a land of ancient flavours and recipes handed down through generation.

There is one golden rule that you should avoid going in August .The best time is to go in May or June. So please come and discover the most beautiful landmark.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Kish Island


Kish – Beautiful Island & Tourist Attraction

Kish Island, a beautiful island and a tourist attraction is located towards the north east of the Persian Gulf around 17 km from the southern offshore of the mainland Iran. The island is frequently called the Pearl of the Persian Gulf and has an area of 90 square km.The tiny island of Kish off the southern coast of Iran bears a resemblance to a building site. It is said that five thousand people tend to work in the night for the completion of Padide Legend City which will be housing a shopping centre, five star hotels, amusement park and the largest anchor of the world.

The castle shaped 11,000 square metre restaurant had been completed in only 110 days. A local contractor had commented that they could rival Dubai. Kish is also known for its beautiful resort in the Middle East as well as the Persian Gulf. The island tends to have relaxed laws when compared to the rest of Iran and the people of Kish are hospitable and friendly. Entry visa is not essential for Kish and foreign nations do not need entry visa at the authorised arrival and departure point in Kish Island.

Participated First time in Arabian Travel Market

At Kish International Airport, officials tend to take your photograph together with your fingerprints and stamp the passport enabling one to stay up to 14 days on the island. If the traveller happens to be a western, they may be asked about the reason of their visit and one should ensure to carry all the verification papers inclusive of the hotel reservations together with the phone numbers, etc. On arrival at Kish Airport, the female passengers are instantly escorted to a room and are requested to wear headscarves with appropriate clothing.

These clothing are made available at the Airport and the passengers are expected to return them when they leave Kish. The staffs seem to be polite but tend to speak little English so it is best to learn some of the Persian phrases. For the first time in eight years, this year the authorities of the island had participated in the Arabian Travel Market, which is a trade fair in Dubai and have been forceful for more publicity. An advisor to the Kish authorities, Ahmed Tabrizi, claims that investors are coming knocking after a week talking to investors from Japan and China.

Country’s Free Zone

Kish had been a playground for Iran’s Shah, with its spotless beaches and later on had been designated as one of the country’s free zones in 1989. Though visitors can enter without visa with no taxes charged by the authorities, this has failed to entice tourist and businessmen. Presently only 20% of the companies in the free trade zone in Kishtend to involve foreign partners and the visiting foreigners seem to be mainly migrant workers form the United Arab Emirates – UAE. They tend to make the half-hour plane hop to renew their visa and are not big payers, staying generally in cheap hotels.

The best hope for Kish in increasing visitors could be tourist on their way to mainland Iran. The government has started introducing visas on arrival for some nationalities. The Americans and Brits needing visas in advance could use Kish in obtaining one in two days. Mr Tabrizi adds that `Kish is going to be the gateway to Iran’.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Subway, Zion National Park, Utah

The Subway

The Subway – Famous Backcountry Hikes in Zion

The Subway is one of the most famous backcountry hikes in Zion which is one of the most varied and beautiful canyons. It is a short and the most spectacular section of the Left Fork of North Creek. The canyon system is known as the Great West Canyon which comprises of the Left and the Right Forks.

The Subway section has not been marked on the maps though it is where the Left Fork tends to tighten up and twist sharply between the North Guardian Angel and Guardian Angel Pass and the hike is known as `The Left Fork’.The route begins at the Wildcat Canyon Trailhead and slopes down a steep gully.

The Left Fork is followed via The Subway and then down canyon a few miles and a short steep trail then ascends the road ending at the left Fork Trailhead.To explore The Subway, permits are essential regardless of the direction of travel and the trip involves extensive routing finding. Those undertaking the trip are encouraged to do so with an experienced hiker of The Subway or attain a detailed route description. The Subway is said to be a day use area only.

Semi-Technical Canyoneering Adventure

Owing to its popularity, The Subway is accomplished under a quota system and reservations are distributed by lotto several months in advance which is highly recommended. After the lottery assignments have been done, the remaining reservation spots can be booked through the internet, one week in advance and thereafter, a new `Last Minute Drawing’, tends to allocate remaining spots through the internet.

Last minute drawing applications are considered between 2 days till noon and 7 days in advance of the date of the trip for Slot Canyon Day Trips which have been filled by reserved allocations. Last minute drawing tends to run two day before the requested trip date at 1 pm MDT.

After the last minute drawing, there could also be some walk-up permits that may be available a day in advance or the day of the hike. One need to be flexible and planning should be done in advance to avoid disappointment. The Subway – Left Fork of North Creek is a semi technical canyoneering adventure and the routes need to be undertaken only when it is led by an experienced hiker.

The Subway – Rated 2B III – Canyon Rating System

The route can be completed within 7 to 9 hours and it is worth the effort and time in visiting some of the most spectacular scenery in Zion National Park without the inconvenience of a busload of visitors. A car shuttle or hitching a ride would be appropriate in completing the trip down adventure. While undertaking the adventure, one would need a 60 foot rope for hand lines, lowering packs and possible emergency use, belays and the use of a dry bag for keeping essentials free from moisture.

 The Subway tends to contain many cold swims and miles of wading. The Subway has been rated 2B III utilising the Canyon Rating System and navigation for this hike is moderate because there is no trail. The Guardian Angels is the USGS 7.5 minute typographical map showing the Subway.

A GPS tends to work in his canyon in identifying all major route junctions as well as the exit trail and most of the waypoints and maps for this route tend to use the WGS84 datum. There is a serious flash flood danger for The Subway and the Zion Narrows and one need to check the weather report at the Visitor Centre while picking up your permit.

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.

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.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Paris 'Pont de l’Alma

'Pont de l’Alma

Pont de l’Alma – An Arch Bridge in commemoration of the Battle of Alma

Pont de l’Alma, an arch bridge in Paris is across the Seine and was named to commemorate the Battle of Alma during the Crimean War on September 1854, wherein the Franco-British alliance had gained victory over the Russian army. The Parisians seems to be very fond of the Pont de l’Alma with its popular statue that represents a Zauave soldier.

Built on the orders of Napoleon III in 1854, the Pont de l’Alma is towards the western area of Paris and became a household name all across the globe in August 1997 after the heart-breaking death of Princess Diana. The ordinary Tunnel du Pont de l’Alma that runs beneath the Place de l’Alma on the Right Bank became popular since it was the theatre of the most high profile tragic events of the late 20th century, the car accident where Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed had been killed 31st August 1997.

 The scale of the emotion caused by the tragedy was such that the monument which had already existed on the Place de l’Alma, the Flame of Liberty became a makeshift monument to Diana’s memory, overnight. Several people came to the site of her death and laid flowers at the foot of the sculpture as a mark of respect to Princess Diana.

Pont de la Tournelle – To Gauge the Water Level

It tends to lead from the Paris Sewer Museum and the Musee du Quai Branly towards the Left bank to the reputed brasserie Chez Francis on Place de l’Alma where one can locate a reproduction of the flame of Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty. Since then, the Flame of Liberty has become an unofficial memorial to Princess Diana.

 It is said that the Pont de l’Alma is decorated with four huge statues inclusive of the French soldier that used to measure the level of the Seine when it had been flooded. The Zauave statue was traditionally utilised as an unofficial standard of indicating the rise of the water level of the Seine till it was moved to this new pier that was slightly elevated.

The Parisian would know that the river was flooding when the water would reach the foot of the statue. The present Pont de la Tournelle is utilised to gauge the water level. From the bridge, one can get remarkable glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. France had received a sculpture of the Flame of Liberty as a sign of gratitude from the U.S.A. in 1989 for the restoration work that was done on the Statue of Liberty.

Donated on the Occasion of the Centennial of the International Herald Tribune

It was created with the donations that were raised by readers all over the world on the occasion of the centennial of the newspaper’s publication in Paris. It is said that the 3.5 m tall Flame of Liberty of the Place de l’Alma is a full sized copper replica of the torch of the Statue of Liberty that guards the entrance of New-York Harbour.

It tends to stand on a grey and black marble pedestal that is placed just above the exit of the tunnel and was presented by the International Herald Tribune. The commemorative plaque which is placed at the foot of the Flame has the inscription `The Flame of Liberty – An exact replica of the Statue of Liberty’s flame offered to the people of France by donors throughout the world as a symbol of the Franco-American friendship. On the occasion of the centennial of the International Herald Tribune.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Hokkaido, Japan


Hokkaido – Second Largest/Northern/Least Developed Island of Japan

Hokkaido is the second largest, northernmost and also the least developed of the four main islands of Japan. Hokkaido means Northern Sea Circuit and was formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso or Yesso. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu though the two islands are lined by the underwater railway called Seikan Tunnel.

 The Seikan Tunnel is the world’s longest rail tunnel which is the only land link that Hokkaido has to Japan’s main island of Honshu. The trains through the tunnel, ferries and airliners seems to be the only means of reaching Hokkaido and the only way to enter Hokkaido by car is to ship it across one of the various car ferries. The train network of Hokkaido is said to be limited though it is more than sufficient for travel between the main cities.

Access, however to several of the interesting places like Hokkaido’s various national parks would require either depending on infrequent and expensive buses, renting your own car or trying luck at hitchhiking.Its capitalSapporo is the largest city of Hokkaido which is also the only ordinance designated city. The weather is harsh in winter with plenty of snowfall below zero temperature and frozen seas.

Extensive Vistas/Untouched Wilderness

The summer is not as hot and humid as in the other areas of the country. With its unchanged nature, Hokkaido tends to draw several outdoor lovers comprising of skiers and snowboarders in the colder seasons as well as hikers, campers and cyclist during June to September.

Hokkaido is frequently considered to be the country’s last frontier by the Japanese and unlike Japan’s other islands, is a place of extensive vistas and untouched wilderness. Being the second largest island of Japan, less than 5% of its population tend to live there inclusive of most of the country’s lasting native inhabitants, the Ainu. Hokkaido provides an appealing range of riches which establishes a rarely seen side of Japan for foreign as well as Japanese tourists.

 Moreover, it also offers a seductive variety of onsen or hot spring baths with facilities of lavish luxurious modern resorts as well as simple hot spring pools deep in the mountains. Hokkaido continues to represent the natural wilderness together with several great national parks.

Ever Present Hot Spring

For most of the tourists, the scenery looks like northern Europe with rice paddies together with concrete burrows that is characteristic of the rest of Japan replaced by rolling field as well as faux-German cottages. But the ever present hot-spring resorts in most of the island are a reminder that one is still in Japan.

Hokkaido is Japan’s largest region comprising of Japan’s total northern island together with its surrounding islets. It is cooler than the rest of Japan and the lack of Japan’s humid and rainy season tends to make it a popular national location between May and August. Some of the inland areas of Hokkaido have a continental climate with daily large and yearly temperature variation.

Most of Hokkaido had been settled by the Japanese during the last 100 years when compared to the thousands of years of Japanese history and pre-history. Prior to that it was inhabited only by the hunter gatherer Ainu culture owing to which its architecture as well as the cities was much more modern and was based on western-like grid layouts.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Beto Carrero World, Brazil


Beto Carrero World – Biggest Theme Park – Latin America

Beta Carrero World is considered to be the biggest theme park in Latin America which is located in Pehna Estate of Santa Catarina, about 200 km from Curitiba and in the vicinity of the best beaches of Santa Cartarina, Brazil. The park was opened on December 28, 1991 and is the sixth best amusement park in the world, having a complex of fourteen kilometres divided into nine theme areas.

Presently it is the biggest and most complete park in Brazil with 15 million sq. m surrounded by Atlantic Rain Forest in are markable area of the coast. This amazing location is a destination for people of all ages. Besides the fundamental attractions there are also theme areas such as Wild West, Pirates Island Zoo with shows like Magadascar, Fast and Furious and Monga which are quite well-known.

The show tend to take place at different times and are an opportunity to relax between the various attractions available. The park comes with a complete infrastructure to enable the tourist with leisure moments of relaxation. Besides this there are several other options of restaurants, coffee shops, snack bars and ice-parlours.

Theme Park/Zoo/Shows

There are also huge parking lots, lockers, found and lost departments, drugstore, medical services, changing rooms as well as a Bradesco bank branch. Tourist could take some of the souvenirs available from the various shops available.Beto Carrero World opens at 9 am and the attractions can be enjoyed till 6 pm where travellers could purchase their tickets and explore the place.

Beta Carrero World was the vision of Joao Batista Sergio Murad who had grown up in rural Sao Paulo. He was a smart businessman and after careers in radio, rodeo promotion and marketing, eventually made his dream come true when he had inaugurated Beto Carrero World at the age of 54.

He had adopted the name of Beto Carrero as a stage name owing to his cowboy character which had been featured in some of the Brazilian movies. Beto Carrero World comprise of the theme park, a zoo and shows. Similar to the Disney World, the theme park comprises of various different locations like the Avenue of the Nations, Radical Adventure, Pirate Island, the Wild West, and Animal World, fantasy Land and the German Village. Besides this the attractions comprise of huge roller coaster, a Ferris wheel and a huge castle.

Radical Adventure – Hotspot for Thrill Lovers

The Radical Adventure for instance is a hotspot for thrill lovers, which offers a collection of exciting rides like the nauseating FireWhip, which is a suspended looping rollercoaster that reaches over 60mph. More serene attractions are in Fantasyland, Pirate’s Island, Old West, German village Nation’s Avenue and the Animal World where the latter is a big hit with the youngsters due to its 171 species, 700-animal zoo and the world class primate centre.

Beto Carrero World had not yet launched its latest rollercoaster, The Chiller, till the time of going to the press, but is likely to open very soon. Beto Carrero World tends to have plenty of competition in Brazil with other main theme parks which include Playcentre and Hopi Hari both of which are in Sao Paulo.

 Besides these, other options are Six Flags Mexico, which are the only Six Flags Park in Latin America and Fantasilandia in Chile which features not less than 18 high adrenalin rides.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

City Guide: Luanda, Angola


Luanda – Capital & Largest City in Angola

Luanda was formerly known as Sao Paulo da Assuncao de Loanda, the capital as well as the largest city in Angola. It is the country’s most famous and important city, major industrial, cultural, urban centre and primary port. It is situated on the coast of Angola with the Atlantic Ocean and is both the chief seaport of Angola as well as its administrative centre.

It is also the capital city of Luanda Province and the third most populous Portuguese speaking city in the world after Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, both in Brazil. Besides it is also the most populous Portuguese speaking capital city in the world ahead of Brasilia, Lisbon and Maputo. It has metropolitan inhabitants of more than 6 million. Luanda is divided into two sections, the Baixa de Luanda – lower Luanda, the old city and the Cidade Alta – upper city or the new city.

The Baixa is located near the port, having narrow streets together with old colonial buildings, though huge new constructions have now covered huge spaces beyond these traditional limits, together with various previously independent centres like Viana have been unified in the city.

Seat of Roman Catholic Archbishop

Luanda is considered to be the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop and is also the location of several of Angola’s educational institutions inclusive of the private Catholic University of Angola as well as the public University of Agostinho Neto. Moreover, it is also the home of the colonial governor’s Palace and the Estadio da Cidadela, the main stadium of Angola having a total seating arrangement of 60,000.

A totally new satellite city known as Luanda Sul has been built and the capital city of Luanda is constantly growing. The inhabitants of Luanda are mainly members of African ethnic groups, generally Ambundum Ovimbundu and Bakongo. The official and the most extensively used language is Portuguese though many Bantu languages are also used mainly Kimbundu, Umbundu and Kikongo. There is substantial minority population of European origin, particularly Portuguese together with Brazilians as well as other Latin Americans.

A significant community of Chinese has been formed over the last decades and a smaller Vietnamese community. There are few immigrants from other African countries also comprising of small expatriate South African community.

Luanda – Mixed Race

Several people of Luanda are a mixed race of European/Portuguese and native African. Since the mid-2000s, immigration from Portugal seems to have increased owing to the recession and poor economic situation of Portugal. The port of Luanda functions as the largest port of Angola, connecting Angola to the rest of the world. Major expansion work of this port is also in progress. A new port is being developed at Dande around 30 km towards the north.

Luanda is the beginning point of the Luanda railway which goes east to Malanje. Civil war has left the railway non-operative though the railway had been restored up to Dondo and Malanje. In recent years, the population of Luanda had grown tremendously owing to large part to war-time migration to the city that tends to be safe when compared to the rest of the country. In 2006, however, Luanda has envisaged an increase in violent crime especially in the shanty towns which surround the colonial urban central.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Minoan Palace of Knossos, Greece


Palace of Knossos Constructed by Minoans

The Palace of Knossos is placed south of modern day Heraklion towards the north coast of Crete. Constructed by a civilization known as the Minoans, it covers an area of 150,000 square feet which is the size of over two American football fields and was surrounded in ancient times by a town. Knossos is the ancient Minoan palace.

King Minos who was famous for his wisdom and later one of the three judges of the dead in the underworld would give his name to the people of Knossos and through addition, the ancient civilization of Crete – Minoan. The settlement had been established much before 2000 BCE but destroyed probably by fire. Some claim that it could be tsunami. Knossos has been recognized with Plato’s mythical Atlantis from his discussions of the Timaeus and Critias.

It is also known in myth as the most legendarily, through the story of Theseus and Minotaur. As per the myth adjoining the ancient city, King Minos had hired the Athenian architect, mathematician as well as inventor Daedelus to design the palace and the palace was constructed so smartly that no one who entered in could find their way back without a guide.

Knossos Flourished Through Maritime Trade/Overland Commerce

Other versions states that the palace itself had been redesigned in this way though the labyrinth in the palace which had been built to house the half-man/half-bull, the Minotaur. To keep Daedelus from disclosing the secrets of the palace, Minos had him and his son Icarus locked in a high tower at Knossos as prisoner. However, Daedelus had fashioned wings made of wax and bird’s feathers for him and his son and managed to escape from the prison.

But Icarus flew too close to the sun and his wings melted and he fell to his death.Minotaur, the monster-child of the wife of Minos flourished on human sacrifice with Minos making demands on the gallant youth of Athens to feed the beast. It was Theseus of Athens who with the help of Minos’s daughter Ariadne killed the Minotaur and freed the young people, returning triumphantly to his home city.

Under the rule of Minos, Knossos seemed to flourish through maritime trade and overland commerce together with the other great cities of Crete, Kato Sakro and Mallia. The city was destroyed and then re-built, twice.

Ceremonial & Political Centre of Minoan Civilization/Culture

The site gained importance when it had been excavated and restored by a team led by British archaeologist Arthur Evans, in the early 20th century. The palace of Knossos had been the ceremonial as well as the political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture.

 The palace had been abandoned at some unknown point of time towards the end of the late Bronze Age, ca. 1380-1100 BC. The abandoning inhabitants were possibly Mycenaean Greeks who could have earlier occupied the city-state and were utilising Linear B as its administrative script opposed to Linear A, the earlier administrative script.Based on the excavation at the site, the first palace had been massive in size having very thick walls.

The ancient pottery that were discovered throughout Crete at several sites, portray that the island was not united under a central culture at this time and hence the walls of the palace were probably constructed to this size and thickness for the purpose of defence.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Gradara, Italy


Gradara – Medieval Village of Italy

Gradara one of the medieval villages of Italy is situated along the border of Le Marche and Emilia Romagna. It is a famous destination for day trippers and provides some of most amazing historical attractions, comprising of the imposing fortress which is considered to be one of the best preserved monuments.

One can catch incredible glimpses of this village which has a castle placed on the hill overlooking the waters of the Adriatic Sea. Towards the opposite end one can see olive groves as well as farms with fields and vineyards which are eye catching. The entire village arouses a feeling of serenity and tranquillity with rows of cypress trees and farm cottages that are gracefully lined all along the hillside.

 In 1150 during the Middle Ages, the nobles Pietro and Ridolfo De Grifo had begun building the main part of the caste and over the years the ownership of this land had been transferred to the Malatesta family. This medieval village has a natural beauty in the midst of pristine surroundings.

Castello Malatestiano should not be missed and the best attractions are the glimpses of the history with plenty of fascinating facts. Besides this one can visit the historical museum and the Olive Trees Garden, the Church of Saint Giovanni which has the lovely wooden crucifix.

Fortress of Gradara – Best Preserved Medieval Structures

People who intend on recalling some of the stories of the past could visit the amazing destination where the internal rooms of the castle reminds you of the powerful families who had ruled there in the past. The beautiful castle was constructed around the 11th century by Pietro and Ridolfo De Grifo.

One can view the brilliance of the architecture design of the castle and its intricate details comprising of the three polygonal tower blankets. Besides this, one can also see the double wall as well as the drawbridges which tend to define the majestic fortress.

The fortress of Gradara together with its town signifies the best preserved medieval structures in Italy with the two surrounding walls protecting the fortress and makes it one of the most fascinating destinations. Around 1150, it is said that the donjon had been constructed by the De Griffo family. However, it was the Malatesta family who had built the fortress together with the two surrounding walls between the 13th and the 14th centuries which gave Gradaraits current appearance.

One of the Prime Art Centres

Gradara is also said to be one of the prime art centres that had a theatre in 1289 which recounts one of the heart wrenching stories of the ill-fated love between Paola Malatesta and Francesca Polenta. Besides this, one can also go on a tour of the Granada castle which will take you on a historic journey from the heart of the village to some of the historical attractions of the amazing location.

One can also get the opportunity of seeing some of the best paintings and attractive architecture of the interior design and furnishing that were used there in those times. The town has been distinguished for its outstanding reliability and density of the ancient living centre.

 The management of the road system in the historic centre provides enjoyment and visiting by foot with a great experience while exploring the attractive sites of this amazing destination.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Kaaba -Masjid Al-Haram

Masjid Al-Haram

The Kaaba – A Cuboid Shaped Building

The Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is a cuboid shaped building which is the most sacred site in Islam as well as the oldest and the most Famous Cultural monuments in the world. According to the Quran, the Kaaba had been constructed by Abraham – Ibrahim in Arabic and his son Ishmael – Ismaeel in Arabic, after the latter settled in Arabia.

The building is said to have a mosque constructed around it known as the Masjid al-Haram. Muslims all over the world face the Kaaba while praying irrespective of where they are. This is known as facing the Qiblah. The Kaaba is also known as Kaaba Muazzama. Being the most sacred site of the Muslims it is considered the `House of God’ just like the Tabernacle and Holy of Holies in Judaism. The present height of the Kaaba is 39 feet, 6 inches with the total size amounting to 627 square feet.

 The interior of the Kaaba is 13 x 9 meters and the walls are one meter wide. The floor inside is 2.2 meters higher than the place where the perform Tawaf. The ceiling and the roof are two levels made of wood and were reconstructed with teak capped with stainless steel. All the walls are made of stone where the interior stones are unpolished and the exterior are polished.

Subject to Danger – Natural Disasters/Human Attacks

The Kaaba had been reconstructed recently as close to four years ago and had been subjected to danger by natural disasters like floods as well as human attacks. One of the Five Pillars of Islam wants every Muslim who is capable of performing the hajj pilgrimage, at least once in their lifetime.

Multiple parts of the hajji need pilgrims to make tawaf, which is the circumambulation seven times around the Kaaba in a counter clockwise route. During umrah or lesser pilgrimage, tawaf is also performed by pilgrims but the most amazing times are during the hajj when millions of the pilgrims assemble to circle the building on the same day.

The total number of pilgrims from outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform hajj in 2013 was officially reported as 1,379,531. Saudi Arabia had reported in 2014, of having completed Hajj permits for 1,389,053 international pilgrims and 63,375 for residents.

The Holiest Shrine in Islam

Pilgrimage to holy site is main principle of all faiths and the Kaaba which means cube in Arabic is a square building which is gracefully draped in silk and cotton veil and is the holiest shrine in Islam. The Muslims in Islam tend to pray five times a day and these prayers after 624 .C.E had been directed towards Mecca and the Kaaba instead of Jerusalem.

 This direction or qibla is marked in all mosques enabling the faithful to understand in which direction they need to pray. Most of the Muslims tend to undertake the hajj or the annual pilgrimage to the Kaaba at least once in their life if they are in a position to do so. On arrival at Mecca, the pilgrims draw together in the courtyard of the Masjid al-Haram around the Kaaba and the circumambulate or walk around the Kaaba where they hope to kiss and touch the Black Stone or al-Hajar al-Aswad that is embedded in the eastern corner of the Kaaba.

Amman, Jordan


Amman – Modern City with Various Ancient Ruins

The capital of Jordon – Amman, is a modern city having various ancient ruins. On the top of Jabal al-Qala hill one will find the historic Citadel which comprise of the pillars of the Roman Temple of Hercules together with the 8th century of Umayyad Palace complex which is known for its amazing dome.

The Roman Theatre, built into a different downtown hillside, has a capacity of 6,000, 2nd century stone amphitheatre providing occasional events. Amman the most popular city of Jordan is the country’s economic, cultural and political centre and also the administrative centre of the Amman Governorate. Presently, Amman is said to be among the most liberal as well as westernized Arab cities.

 It is a main tourist destination in the region especially among the Arab and European tourists.The city is built on the rolling hills towards the eastern boundary of the Ajlun Mountain on the small partly perennial Wadi Amman together with its tributaries. The focus of settlement of Amman during history has been the small high triangular plateau towards the north of the Wadi.The royal palaces are placed towards the east, with the Parliament in the western area.

Main Transportation Centre of Jordon

The main industries comprise of food and tobacco processing, production of cement, together with the manufacture of textiles, paper products, and aluminium and plastic utensils. It is the main transportation centre of Jordon, with two highways leading west to Jerusalem and one of the city’s main thoroughfares is the road to Al-Salt to the northwest.

Amman is comparatively a small city and exploring the city is easy. Hotels and tourist attractions are very popular and can be reached either by taxis that are metered and economical or by private transport. Some of the places of interest are Jordon Archaeological Museum which is a small museum at the Citadel that houses an amazing collection of antiquities from prehistoric times to the 15th century. The four exhibits which should not be missed are:

  • Collection of Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1952, which tells of hidden treasure on the west bank of the River Jordon 
  • The Neolithic limestone statues of Ain Ghazal that are connected to advances in pro-technology 
  • A copy of the Mesha Stele or Moabite Stone which had been erected in 850 BC by the Moabite King, Mesha as a celebration to his various victories over the Israelites 
  • Four rare Iron-Age anthropomorphic sarcophagi of striking cocoon like design that provides an understanding of the ancient burial practises.

National Gallery of Fine Arts

Besides this there are others like Jordan Museum of Popular Tradition which displays the traditional costumes of the people of Jordon, inclusive of the attractive embroidery with beautiful antique jewellery accompanied with the domestic utensils. Moreover, it also has a collection of mosaics from Madaba as well as the other Byzantine churches of Jordon.

The University of Jordon has many small museums of various subjects, which include archaeology, anthropology, medicine/biology and folklore. Jordon National Gallery of Fine Arts has a collection of paintings, ceramics and sculptures by fashionable Jordanian and Arab artist and work by artist of other Muslim regions.

A monumental building at Sports City has a chronological display of military history together with memorabilia from the Great Arab Revolt of 1916 to the present-day.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Banff, Alberta


Banff Town – Member of Calgary Regional Partnership

Banff a town within Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada is located in Alberta’s Rockies beside the Trans-Canada Highway around 126 km west of Calgary and 58 km east of Lake Louise. At a height of 1,400 m to 1,630, it is a community which has the second highest elevation after Lake Louise, in Alberta.

The Town of Banff had been the first municipality to have been incorporated within a Canadian national park and the town is said to be a member of the Calgary Regional Partnership. Banff a resort town and one of the most popular destinations of Canada is known for its mountainous surroundings together with the hot springs. It is a location for outdoor sports, featuring great hiking, scrambling, biking and skiing areas.

 The three nearest ski resorts located within the national park are Sunshine Village, Ski Norquay and Lake Louise Mountain Resort. This town site had been developed as a service centre near the railway station for tourist intending to visit the park and was administered by the Government of Canada’s national parks system till 1990 when the Town of Banff had become the only included municipality within a Canadian national park.

Series of Natural Hot Springs – Sulphur Mountain

Banff had first been settled in1880 after the transcontinental railway had been constructed through the Bow Valley. Towards 1883, three workers of the Canadian Pacific Railway had stumbled on a series of natural hot springs along the side of Sulphur Mountain and in 1885, Canada had established a federal reserve of 26 km2 surrounding the Cave and Basin hot springs.

 The area was promoted as an international resort as well as a spa in support of the new railway. The reserve area had been increased to 673 km2 in 1887 and was named `Rocky Mountain Park’ which became the beginning of Canada National Park system. Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada which was established in 1885 in the Rocky Mountain and the park is located 110 – 180 km west of Calgary in Alberta covering 6,641 square km of mountainous landscape with various glaciers and ice field, dense coniferous forest together with alpine landscapes. Extending from Lake Louise is the Icefields Parkway connecting to Jasper National Park towards the north.

Popular UNESCO World Heritage Site

Provincial forests and Yoho National Park lies towards the west while Kootenay National Park is located to the south with Kananaskis Country to the southeast. The town of Banff is the commercial centre of the park in the Bow River valley. It is said that the Canadian Pacific Railway was influential in Banff’s early years, constructing the Banff Springs Hotel as well as Lake Louise Chalet.

This drew the tourists through wide advertising. Roads were built in the early 20th century, at times by war captives from World War I and through Great Depression-era public works projects. As the first national park established in Canada and a popular UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banff National Park is very appealing with its combination of vast unchanged wilderness, accompanied with mountain lakes – Lake Louise and an amazing destination to enjoy nature and all that it offers for a relaxed stay in the Town of Banff.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Skyscraper Museum, New York


Skyscraper Museum – Architecture Museum

The Skyscraper Museum, located in Battery Park City, Manhattan, New York City is an architecture museum, founded in 1996. The museum tends to focus on high rise buildings as `products of technology, objects of design, as well as investments in real estate, sites of construction and place of work as well as residence. The museum also celebrated the architectural heritage of New York together with the forces and people who had created the skyline of New York.

The museum was a nomadic institution holding pop-up exhibitions in four temporary donated locations around Lower Manhattan since 1996, prior to moving to the present and permanent location in Battery Park City in 2004. The Skyscraper Museum is said to be founded and directed by a professor of architectural history and urban studies at Columbia University, Carol Willis.

 It comprises of two exhibition locations for permanent as well as temporary exhibitions, a mezzanine and a bookstore with its office situated above the bookstore. Reaching the museum can be done by a ramp starting in the basement. Original site of the museum was very close to the World Trade Centre and after the attacks on September 11; the museum had been compelled to close temporarily since its space had been seized as an emergency information centre.

Light Box Design – Entrance to the Museum

The museum had been reopened in March 2004, in its new permanent home at 39 Battery Park Place in the vicinity of Battery Park City towards the southern area of Manhattan. After the September 11 attacks, it was the first museum that was opened in Lower Manhattan occupying an area of 5,800 square foot on the ground floor of mixed use building, donated by the developer.

The new site had been designed by Roger Duffer of Skidmore, Owings Y Merrill, working pro bone. The architect had attempted to amplify the indoor height of the museum that was 10 foot which was done by using polished covers of stainless steel on the floors as well as the ceilings providing the impression of an infinite vertical space.

Besides the ultra-contemporary in design and the stainless steel floors and ceilings, it featured display cases which soared from the floor to the ceilings. A Light Box had been designed by artist James Turrell which served as the entrance to the museum.

Permanent/Temporary Exhibitions

Permanent exhibits at the museum comprise of `Manhattan Mini Models’ which is a display of two extremelydetailed hand carved minute wooden models of Downtown as well as Midtown Manhattan that had been donated by Mike Chesko, an amateur model maker from Arizona, to The Skyscraper Museum in 2008. Besides these, there were other exhibits of maps and photographs of Manhattan down the years, enabling visitors to path the extent of building in the city.

From time to time, temporary exhibits were also put up and the Skyscraper Museum also presented special programs for the audience, which included book talks, public art tours, videos and much more. Besides this, an on-site gift shop also provided prints, together with architectural books and some souvenirs too.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Corsica, France


Corsica – Island of Beauty

Corsica an island in the Mediterranean Sea belongs to France and is located towards the west of the Italian Peninsula, southeast of the French mainland and towards the north of the Italian island of Sardinia. Two-thirds of the island is made up of the mountains which forms a single chain. Corsica is said to be one of the 18 regions of France but by law is designated as a territorial collectivity through which Corsica tends to enjoy some superior powers than the other French regions.

However, it is referred as a region in common speech and is always listed among them. The island had formed an individual department till it was divided in 1975 in two departments – namely Haute Corse or the Upper Corsica and Corse-du-Sud, the Southern Corsica having its regional capital in Ajaccio, the prefecture city of Corse-du-Sud.

The second largest settlement in Corsica is Bastia, the prefecture city of Haute-Corse. Mountain in the sea, Corsica is also referred as the Island of beauty due to its diversity of its scenery and its preservation from the violence of development and tourism, which has made it one of the pearls of the Mediterranean Sea.

Largest Island in the Mediterranean

Corsica being one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean off the south coast of France is a scenic island with plenty of tourists visiting this destination during summer. The villa holiday rentals with good facility are ideal for those intending to visit this amazing destination.

Corsica has some great and famous beaches like the Palombaggia which is one of the top beaches in Europe with golden sands and crystal clear water. The beach is excellent for water sports like jet-skiing, wind surfing, kayaking together with diving. Beside the Palombaggia coastline one will find various villa holiday rentals within distance of the beach.

Moreover, Corsica is also known to be a holiday destination for golf with the Golf de Sperone overlooking the Mediterranean, which is considered as one of best courses of Europe that is regularly ranked among the top 100 golf courses. Corsica also tends to have some small nine-hole golf courses like the Gulf du Reginu together with Bastia Golf club. Corsica also has plenty of family beaches such as the Golfe di Sogno Beach and Santa-Giulia Beach in the proximity of resort towns like Porto-Vechio.

Great Sport Destination/Variety of Museums

It is also a great sport destination with a variety of museums for families to explore. Family holiday rentals and family villas in Corsica are an excellent choice for family holidays at Corsica. These villas seemto be large and flexible with adequate facility like the Wi-Fi, Jacuzzi, swimming pool, BBQ and covered terrace. Day trip to Gulfe De Porto which is a UNESCO heritage site should not be missed.

Regular boat trips are available from the town and one can also visit the eroded rock formation of the Les Calangues from here. A trip to the unique fortress town of Banifacio with its historic buildings like the Banifacio citadel and the large marina can also be undertaken. Ajaccio is the largest city in Corsica comprising of the Casa Buonapate, various Genoese towers as well as Fesch Museums that have one of the most extensive collections of Italian art in France.

French is the official language of Corsica though it tends to have its own languages, Corsican. Owing to the French state’s verbal strategies it is assessed that around 10% of the population of the island speak Corsican as a native language with 50% having conversational knowledge. In tourist area, Italian is also spoken.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Gatlinburg, Tennessee


Gatlinburg – Mountain Resort City

Gatlinburg a mountain resort city is in Sevier County, Tennessee, United States and is thirty nine miles southeast of Knoxville. At the 2010 census, the population was around 3,944 and as per the 2012 Census estimate it was about 4,047. It is a famous vacation resort which rests on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the U.S. Route 441, connecting Gatlinburg to Cherokee, North of Carolina via the national park.

Being surrounded by the Smokies, the community of Gatlinburg is two miles long by five miles wide and the people call the mountain burg home. The 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was celebrated in 2009 which surrounds Gatlinburg on three sides and has changed over a period of time into a mountain resort destination combined with various local to national restaurants together with other attractions.

Besides the National Park, Gatlinburg has the largest attraction comprising of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, the phenomenal 1.3 million gallon saltwater aquarium which has been recently voted `#1 Aquarium in the U.S’, by the travellers of Trip Advisor.

Vacation with Action Packed Fun for Family

Year round ice-skating together with outdoor family fun is provided by Ober Gatlinbug Ski Resort & Amusement Park together with a great winter snow sports that takes you to the summit, through the 120 person Aerial Tramway.

Vacations at Gatlinburg are full of action packed fun for the entire family. Gatlinburg, Tennessee takes pride in its mountain heritage together with the crafts and arts with the retail shops reflecting the heritage to a great extent. Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge as well as Sevierville offer uniqueSmoky Mountain attractions which will very soon become a favourite vacation for family.

The main parkway is trimmed with over 75 family fun Smoky Mountains attractions, with Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Die Stampede, Wonderworks, Zorb, miniature golf courses, NASCAR SpeedPark, a jungle boat ride, go-cart race tracks, movie theatres, indoor skydiving, museums, souvenir shops and various places to dine. Family entertainment theatres showcase acrobats, cowboys, comedian, together with musical entertainment and magic.

Calendar of Events – Full of Seasonal Specials

Gatlinburg is a walking community where the Downtown Parkway provides various things to see and do. If one desires to get around town on one of the city’s trolley, you can ride unlimited times with the new All Day Trolley Pass. Tourist could stroll along the river walk on the River Road which echoes the wistful sounds of the Little Pigeon River with gazebos and benches placed along the walkway.

Towards the corner of the East Parkways and Glades Road, one will find the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community which is home to more than one hundred craftspeople and artists alongside the eight mile loop. It is the largest collection of its kind in North America and one will certainly find a one-of-a-kind craft or work of art being crafted during one of the visits.

Throughout the season, Gatlinburg tends to celebrate with parties, craft fairs, concerts and festivals and Gatlinburg’s calendar of events is full of seasonal special events like Gatlinburg Winter Magic, the nation’s first 4th of July Parade, Gatlinburg’s Fine Arts Festival together with the Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales. It is an amazing destination full of fun and entertainment