Archive for 04/04/13




Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a famous rope bridge near Ballintoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede, meaning "rock of the casting". It spans 20 metres and is 30 metres above the rocks below. The bridge is mainly a tourist attraction and is owned and maintained by the National Trust. In 2009 it had 247,000 visitors. The bridge is open all year round, subject to weather, and people may cross it for a fee. It is thought salmon fishermen have been building bridges to the island for over 350 years. It has taken many forms over the years. In the 1970s it had only one handrail and large gaps between the slats. A new bridge, tested up to ten tonnes, was built with the help of local climbers and abseilers in 2000. Another was built in 2004 and offered visitors and fishermen alike a much safer passage to the island.




The Saint Petersburg Mosque, when opened in 1913, was the largest mosque in Russia, its minarets attaining 49 meters in height and the impressive dome rising 39 meters high. The mosque is situated in down town St Petersburg, so its azure dome is perfectly visible from the Trinity Bridge across the Neva. It can accommodate up to five thousand worshippers. The founding stone was laid in 1910 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the reign of Abdul Ahat Khan in Bukhara. By that time, the Muslim community of the Russian capital exceeded 8,000 people. The projected structure was capable of accommodating most of them. The architect Nikolai Vasilyev patterned the mosque after Gur-e Amir, the tomb of Tamerlane in Samarkand. Its construction was completed by 1921. Worshippers are separated by gender during a worship service; females worship on the first floor, while the males worship on the ground floor. The Mosque was closed to worshippers from 1940 to 1956.


The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital Athens that was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD some 638 years after the project had begun. During the Roman periods it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world. The temple's glory was short-lived, as it fell into disuse after being pillaged in a barbarian invasion in the 3rd century AD.


Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir is the oldest and best-known Jain temple in Delhi, India. It is directly across from the Red Fort in the historical Chandni Chowk area. It is known for an avian veterinary hospital in a second building behind the main temple. Located just opposite the massive Red Fort at the intersection of Netaji Subhas Marg and Chandni Chowk, Digambar Jain Temple is the oldest temple of the Jain religion in the capital, originally built in 1656. An impressive red sandstone temple today, the temple has undergone many alterations and additions in the past and was enlarged in the early 19th century, Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir is popularly known as Lal Mandir "Red Temple".


Niagara-on-the-Lake is a Canadian town located in Southern Ontario where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario in the Niagara Region of the southern part of the province of Ontario. It is located across the Niagara River from Youngstown, New York, USA. It is also the only town in Canada that has a Lord Mayor. The town is home to the Shaw Festival, a series of theatrical productions featuring the works of George Bernard Shaw, his contemporaries, or plays about his era (1856–1950), running from April to November. The festival operates three theatres in the centre of town: the Festival, Royal George, and Court House theatres, and features one of a repertory acting company, scenic staff, and collection of resident and guest directors considered some of the best in the English-speaking world.


Fallingwater or Kaufmann Residence is a house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, 43 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The home was built partly over a waterfall on Bear Run in the Mill Run section of Stewart Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, in the Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains. Hailed by Time shortly after its completion as Wright's "most beautiful job", it is listed among Smithsonian's Life List of 28 places "to visit before you die." It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. In 1991, members of the American Institute of Architects named the house the "best all-time work of American architecture" and in 2007, it was ranked twenty-ninth on the list of America's Favorite Architecture according to the AIA.


The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English, later British and later still (and currently) monarchs of the Commonwealth realms. The abbey is a Royal Peculiar and briefly held the status of a cathedral from 1540 to 1550. Westminster Abbey is a collegiate church governed by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, as established by Royal charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1560, which created it as the Collegiate Church of St Peter Westminster and a Royal Peculiar under the personal jurisdiction of the Sovereign. The members of the Chapter are the Dean and four residentiary canons, assisted by the Receiver General and Chapter Clerk. One of the canons is also Rector of St Margaret's Church, Westminster, and often holds also the post of Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons.


Aspen is a town, city, and ski resort community in Pitkin County, Colorado, United States. It is the county seat of Pitkin County and is in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains' Sawatch Range, along the Roaring Fork River at an elevation just below 8,000 feet above sea level on the Western Slope, 11 miles west of the Continental Divide. As of the 2010 census, there were 6,658 permanent residents. Founded as a mining camp during the Colorado Silver Boom and named because of the abundance of aspen trees in the area, the city boomed during the 1880s, its first decade of existence. That early era ended when the Panic of 1893 led to a collapse in the silver market, and the city began a half-century known as "the quiet years" during which its population steadily declined, reaching a nadir of less than a thousand by 1930.


Kizhi Pogost is a historical site dating from the 17th century on Kizhi island. The island is located on Lake Onega in the Republic of Karelia, Russia. The pogost is the area inside a fence which includes two large wooden churches, the 22-dome Transfiguration Church and the 9-dome Intercession Church, and a bell-tower. The pogost is famous for its beauty and longevity, despite that it is built exclusively of wood. In 1990, it was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites and in 1993 listed as a Russian Cultural Heritage site. The Church of the Transfiguration is the most remarkable part of the pogost. It is not heated and is therefore called a summer church and does not hold winter services. Its altar was laid June 6, 1714, as inscribed on the cross located inside the church. This church was built on the site of the old one which was burnt by lightning. The builders names are unknown. A legend tells that the main builder used one axe for the whole construction, which he threw into the lake upon completion with the words "there was not and will be not another one to match it".


Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, also known as Strasbourg Minster, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Strasbourg, Alsace, France. Although considerable parts of it are still in Romanesque architecture, it is widely considered to be among the finest examples of high, or late, Gothic architecture. Erwin von Steinbach is credited for major contributions from 1277 to his death in 1318. At 142 metres, it was the world's tallest building from 1647 to 1874, when it was surpassed by St. Nikolai's Church, Hamburg. Today it is the sixth-tallest church in the world and the highest still-standing structure built entirely in the Middle Ages. The cathedral is visible far across the plains of Alsace and can be seen from as far off as the Vosges Mountains or the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine. Sandstone from the Vosges used in construction gives the cathedral its characteristic pink hue.

Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral, is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Cork city, Ireland. It is in the ecclesiastical province of Dublin. Begun in 1863, the cathedral was the first major work of the Victorian architect William Burges. The competition for the building of St Fin Barre's was held in 1862. In February 1863, Burges was declared the winner. His diary records his delight; "Got Cork!", whilst the cathedral accounts record the payment of the winning prize sum of £100. Building work took seven years before Divine Service was held in the catherdral in 1870. Building, carving and decoration continued into the 20th century, long after Burges's death in 1881.

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort certainly lives up to travelers' expectations that the brand is all about the ultimate in good taste and luxury: The property, which opened in 2006, features not only one of Bora Bora's best beaches and its largest overwater bungalows, but also Lagoon, the region's only restaurant by world-renowned Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. While the St. Regis hits all the right notes when it comes to five-star amenities (including butler service), it doesn't quite exude the authentic Polynesian ambiance and cheery "ia ora na" (the local greeting) ease of some of its competitors.


Kinderdijk is a village in the Netherlands, belonging to the municipality of Molenwaard, in the province South Holland, about 15 km east of Rotterdam. Kinderdijk is situated in a polder in the Alblasserwaard at the confluence of the Lek and Noord rivers. To drain the polder, a system of 19 windmills was built around 1740. This group of mills is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands. The windmills of Kinderdijk are one of the best known Dutch tourist sites. They have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.


Belém Tower or the Tower of St Vincent is a fortified tower located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the significant role it played in the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the era of the Age of Discoveries. The tower was commissioned by King John II to be part of a defense system at the mouth of the Tagus river and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. The tower was built in the early 16th century and is a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style, but it also incorporates hints of other architectural styles. The structure was built from lioz limestone and is composed of a bastion and the 30 m, four storey tower. It has incorrectly been stated that the tower was built in the middle of the Tagus and now sits near the shore because the river was redirected after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. In fact, the tower was built on a small island in the Tagus River near the Lisbon shore.



Eilean Donan is a small island in Loch Duich in the western Highlands of Scotland. It lies about 1 kilometre  from the village of Dornie, and is dominated by a picturesque castle which is familiar from many photographs and appearances in film and television. Eilean Donan is part of the Kintail National Scenic Area, one of 40 in Scotland. In 2001, the island had a recorded population of just one person. Eilean Donan, which means simply "island of Donnán", is named after Donnán of Eigg, a Celtic saint martyred in 617. Donnán is said to have established a church on the island, though no trace of this remains. The castle was founded in the thirteenth century, and became a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and their allies the Clan Macrae. In the early eighteenth century the Mackenzies were involved in the Jacobite rebellions, which led to the castle's destruction by government ships in 1719. The present buildings are the result of twentieth-century reconstruction of the ruins by Lieutenant-Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap.

Castle Duurstede is a medieval castle in Wijk bij Duurstede in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands.The castle originated in the 13th century. Around 1270, Zweder I van Zuylen van Abcoude built a free standing keep on a raised and moated site near the lost city Dorestad. Until the beginning of the 15th century Duurstede Castle was in possession by the Van Zuylen van Abcoude family, until they were forced to sell it to the bishops of Utrecht in 1449. Bishop David of Burgundy, who reigned from 1459 to 1496, completely rebuilt the castle. The old donjon was enclosed by new buildings. The still intact burgundian tower was also built around this time. His successors Frederick IV of Baden and Philip of Burgundy also used the castle as their residence, and Philip of Burgundy embellished the castle with renaissance features. Philip of Burgundy settled at Duurstede Castle when he became bishop of Utrecht in 1517. He was accompanied by his court painter Mabuse (Jan Gossaert), who helped to decorate the new palace of his master. At Philip's death, in 1524, Mabuse designed and erected his tomb in the church of Wijk bij Duurstede. 


Machu Picchu, "Old Peak" is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres above sea level. Machu Picchu is located in the Cusco Region of Peru, South America. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which is 80 kilometres northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often referred to as the "City of the Incas", it is perhaps the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham.


Italy's best-known hot spring is at Saturnia in the wild Maremma area of southern Tuscany, about an hour south of Siena. It is a dramatic landscape of thickly wooded hills and valleys, olive groves, rows of vines and acres of wheat fields, the horizon riveted by cypresses. Legend has it that the Roman god of the harvest, Saturn, lost his temper with war-hungry men and sent a lightning bolt that split the earth. Hot sulphuric water flowed from the rift over the people, calming them down. The main falls are easy to find: not far from the town's main spa, a dirt track brings you to a field where you can park and change before heading down to the springs – a series of rock pools that have been turned white by the minerals in the water, which falls in a succession of cascades into the pools. The water is about 37C and instantly relaxes the body, releasing aches and pains. The minerals here are sulphur, calcium and carbon, good for skin conditions and aching joints. When it gets too hot, there is the river Albegna alongside to dip into to cool down.



The Chapada Diamantina National Park is a 1,520 km² national park in the Chapada Diamantina region of the State of Bahia, Northeast Brazil. The park is about 400 kilometres inland from Salvador, the capital city of Bahia. Chapada is a Brazilian word that means a region of steep cliffs, usually at the edge of a plateau. Diamantina refers to the diamonds found there in the mid-19th century.




Located off the northwest tip of Bird's Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia's West Papua province, Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo, and the smaller island of Kofiau. Raja Ampat Regency is a new regency which separated from Sorong Regency in 2004. It encompasses more than 40,000 km² of land and sea, which also contains Cenderawasih Bay, the largest marine national park in Indonesia. It is a part of the newly named West Papua (province) of Indonesia which was formerly Irian Jaya. Some of the islands are the most northern pieces of land in the Australian continent.


Jacaranda is a genus of 49 species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Central America, South America especially Brazil and Argentina, Cuba, Hispaniola and the Bahamas. It has been planted widely in Asia, especially in Nepal. It is found throughout the Americas and Caribbean, and has been introduced to Australia, New Zealand, India, Fiji, Portugal and parts of Africa. The genus name is also used as the common name.The word jacaranda was described in A supplement to Mr. Chambers's Cyclopædia, 1st ed., (1753) as "a name given by some authors to the tree the wood of which is the log-wood, used in dying and in medicine" and as being of Tupi-Guarani origin, by way of Portuguese.

Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality. The municipality includes the island Corfu and the smaller islands Ereikoussa, Mathraki and Othonoi. Corfu is home to the Ionian University.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, about 2 miles west of Amesbury and 8 miles  north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Radiocarbon dating in 2008 suggested that the first stones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, whilst another theory suggests that blue stones may have been raised at the site as early as 3000 BC.

Klevan is an urban-type settlement in the Rivne Raion (district) of Rivne Oblast (province) in western Ukraine. Klevan lies on the Stubla River. A settlement on the current territory of Klevan was first founded in the beginning of the 12th century on the banks of the Stubla River, a tributary of the Horyn. At the time, the settlement was named Kolyvan or Kolivan. The first written mention of Klevan appeared in 1458, as a possession of the Czartoryski family. In 1654, the settlement was granted Magdeburg rights and in 1940, the town acquired the status of an urban-type settlement.


Honiara is the capital city of the Solomon Islands, administered as a provincial town on the northwestern coast of Guadalcanal Island. The eastern side of Honiara is a built up area while the western side along the coast line is well developed. Gifu, about 3.5 kilometres south of Honiara, named after a Japanese district, was the scene of fierce battle between Japanese and American Soldiers, when the Americans starved the Japanese soldiers to death by surrounding them. Mt. Austen is 1.5 kilometres to the south of Gifu, which was during the war a Japanese observation post. The Tenaru Falls can be found a one hour's drive and a three-hour hike from Henderson International Airport. There are also skull caves in the area and across the Solomons, which contain the remains of warriors and chiefs of the islands.

     



Trolltunga is a piece of rock that stands horizontally out of the mountain above Skjeggedal in Odda, Norway. Odda is a municipality and town in the county of Hordaland, Norway. Odda was separated from Ullensvang on 1 July 1913 and on 1 January 1964 Røldal was merged with Odda. The town of Odda is the centre of the landscape of Hardanger, located at the end of the Hardangerfjord. The present Odda is a modern town which grew up around smelters built at the head of the Sørfjord branch of the Hardangerfjord in the mid-twentieth century, drawing migrants from different parts of Norway. The carbide production and the subsequent production of cyanamide was started in 1908 after the water power plant was operational and provided the necessary electricity for the arc furnaces. The plant was the largest in the world and remained operational till 2003 shortly after the plant was sold to Philipp Brothers Chemicals Inc.

The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, officially known in Italian as Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within Vatican City. Designed principally by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St Peter's is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and remains one of the largest churches in the world. While it is neither the mother church of the Roman Catholic Church nor the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, Saint Peter's is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".


Fly Geyser, also known as Fly Ranch Geyser is a small geothermal geyser that is located approximately 20 miles north of Gerlach in Washoe County, Nevada. The Geyser is located in Hualapai Flat, about 1/3 of a mile from State Route 34. It is large enough to be seen from the road. Fly Geyser is located on the private Fly Ranch and is accessible only by a small private dirt road. The ranch is currently owned by Todd Jaksick. There is a high fence and a locked gate topped with spikes to exclude trespassers from this private property.
Fly Geyser is a little-known tourist attraction, even to Nevada residents. It is located near the edge of Fly Reservoir and is only about 5 feet high.





Sigiriya known as "Lion Rock" is located in the central Matale District of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The area gets its name from the massive column of rock nearly 200 meters high which was once the center of the royal capital built by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 AD). Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site and the most popular historic site in Sri Lanka. John Still in 1907 suggested, "The whole face of the hill appears to have been a gigantic picture gallery... the largest picture in the world perhaps". The paintings would have covered most of the western face of the rock, covering an area 140 metres long and 40 metres high. There are references in the graffiti to 500 ladies in these paintings. However, many more are lost forever, having been wiped out when the Palace once more became a monastery so that they would not disturb meditation. Some more frescoes, different from the popular collection, can be seen elsewhere on the rock surface, for example on the surface of the location called the "Cobra Hood Cave".




The Fountains of Bellagio, is in front of  Bellagio luxury hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. It is owned by MGM Resorts International and was built on the site of the demolished Dunes hotel and casino. The Fountain is a vast choreographed water feature with performances set to light and music. The performances take place in front of the Bellagio hotel and are visible from numerous vantage points on the Strip, both from the street and neighboring structures. The show takes place every 30 minutes in the afternoons and early evenings, and every 15 minutes from 8 pm to midnight. Before a water show starts, the nozzles break the water surface and the lights illuminating the hotel tower turn to a purple hue, or red-white-and-blue for certain music. Shows may be cancelled without warning because of wind, although shows usually run with less power in face of wind.


Trakai Island Castle is an island castle located in Trakai, Lithuania on an island in Lake Galvė. The castle is sometimes referred to as "Little Marienburg". The construction of the stone castle was begun in the 14th century by Kęstutis, and around 1409 major works were completed by his son Vytautas the Great, who died in this castle in 1430. Trakai was one of the main centres of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the castle held great strategic importance. During the 19th century, castle reconstruction plans were prepared. The Imperial Archaeological Commission initiated the documentation of the remaining castle in 1888. In 1905 the Imperial Russian authorities decided to partially restore the castle ruins.


The Casas Colgadas known as Hanging Houses is a complex of civil houses located in Cuenca, Spain. In the past, these kind of houses were frequent along the eastern border of the ancient city, located near the ravine of the river Huécar. Today, however, there are only a few of them remaining. Of all of these structures, the most well-known is a group of three with wooden balconies. Their origin remains uncertain, though there is proof of their existence in the 15th century. Throughout their history they have been refurbished several times. The most recent took place during the 1920s. They have been used as individual homes, council houses, and currently the host to a mesón, a type of restaurant, and TheSpanish Abstract Art Museum which  serve as the background of millions of photos made from the bridge of San Pablo, in Cuenca.

Are you traveling to Spain?
Do not carry large amounts of money with you, unless needed. Use your credit card Spain is the first country in number of cash points and most shops/restaurants accept it. Of course, use it with caution. If you report a thief, people are generally helpful. Don't hesitate to report crimes to local police. Arrange travel insurance before you visit any country. Insurance can be set to cover medical expenses, financial default of travel suppliers, and other losses incurred while traveling, either within one's own country, or internationally. Temporary travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of the booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip, or a "multi-trip" policy can cover an unlimited number of trips within a set time frame.




The Fountain of Wealth is listed by the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 as the largest fountain in the world. It is located in one of Singapore's largest shopping malls, Suntec City. During certain periods of the day, the fountain is turned off and visitors are invited to walk around a mini fountain at the centre of the fountain's base to collect coins for good luck. At night, the fountain is the setting for laser performances, as well as live song and laser message dedications between 8pm to 9pm daily. It is situated in such a way the fountain is the hub of the shopping mall. The Fountain of Wealth was constructed in 1995, together with the main Suntec City development. A symbol of wealth and life. The bronze ring of the fountain is designed based on the Hindu Mandala, meaning universe and is a symbolic representation of the oneness in spirit and unity and further symbolizes the equality and harmony of all races and religions in Singapore.

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