Daily Archives: 09.02.2014

Charleston – the Holy City of US



Charleston – the Holy City of US

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Charleston is the city of south-eastern state of South Carolina. It is the oldest city of the state. In terms of area it is the second largest city in Carolina. The city is located on Charleston Harbor which is a small inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. Originally, this place was named Charles Town to honor the King of England – Charles II. But the name ‘Charleston’ was adopted in the year 1783. It is known to be the most famous and polite city in the whole America with a great level of hospitality. It has been titled as “America’s most friendly city” in 2011 and 2013 by Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler, respectively. Being near to the sea makes it a seaport city. It was built on the peninsula land formed by Ashley and Cooper, the two rivers which end up merging in the Atlantic Ocean.

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The city is very well known for its rich historical places. There is a park on the southern tip called ‘the Battery and White Point Gardens’ is a beautiful one and have an elegant, rich Battery Promenade along the River Cooper. There are historical mansions all the way along this Promenade which are worth more than 20 million dollars. The city has a Charleston Museum which very well defines the history of this city. There is Fort Sumter Island in the city which is National Monument as the Civil War was started on this site. To go to this island, you must take a ferry from either Liberty Square or Patriot’s Point. This place is now in ruins but speaks a story about how things used to be in the past with the help of markers and museum. Patriots Point Naval is the place that has an amazingly well-organized and beautifully portrayed the warfare such as USS Clagamore submarine, USS Yorktown aircraft, USS Laffey, etc. some of which are of the Vietnam era. Also, once in the history of this city, there stood English Colonial Walled Town which includes the French Huguenot Church, St. Philips Church, art galleries, etc. and is now known by the name ‘The French Quarter’. If it is Friday, you must visit ‘the Citadel’ which is a military college formed in 1842 because they have dress parades organized every Friday afternoon. The oldest college of the South Carolina is ‘The College of Charleston’ is also an historic attraction of the city. The ‘Randolph Hall’ in this college is a popular site and is used in popular war movies as a war-site. Other historical places to visit are the Logitude Lane, Fort Moultrie, Gibbes Museum of Art, The Market, etc.

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Charleston is nicknamed as ‘the Holy City’ of South Carolina because of the fact that the city delivered religious tolerance to all those who fled persecution. The very first monuments for worshipping were built in the late 17th and 18th century at the old-walled town which is now called the French Quarter. ‘French Huguenot Church’ was formed in 1687 by the Huguenot refugees who came from the Protestant persecutions at France. There is ‘Circular Congregational Church’ also known the ‘Independent church’ was formed in 1681 by the Congregationalists, French Huguenots, Scotch and Irish Presbyterians. This church is very beautiful and one of the oldest in the city which makes a holy symbol and an historic symbol. The oldest Catholic church of Charleston is ‘St. Mary’s Catholic Church’. The oldest Baptist church in the whole state is in this city which is ‘First Baptist Church’ and is also famous by the nickname – the mother church of all Southern Baptists. There are many more churches in this place which are all founded in the early 18th century and late 17th century.

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Apart from the historical and religious monuments, the city has got a lot more. The longest bridge with cable-stay in the whole North American continent is built on the Cooper River in Charleston whose construction was completed in 2005 and this cable-stay bridge is named Arthur Ravenel Bridge. Another site is the oldest fire proof project in the whole country of United States. This building is simply called the ‘Fireproof Building’ and is a national monument now. It was designed by architect Robert Mills along with a local native architect. It has the style of Greek Droic construction with an oval hall, cantilevered stone stairway. The building is currently the headquarters for the non-profit organization called the South Carolina Historic Society. Tourists must have a tour of the city. This city offers guided bus tours on mini-buses for having a tour of the preserved past, historical and charming Charleston which is called the ‘Gray Line of Charleston’. For tours, one can also use Carriages drawn by horses and take you to the historical city in the historic manner. These carriage rides are fun and will take you in the past. Apart from buses and carriages, walking tours are equally fun. The city of Charleston also has very nice beaches as it is a coastal city. Folly Beach is the most famous in Charleston with a very casual environment for the tourists. To have the complete experience of the city, eat seafood at the Bowen’s Island near this beach. Other options for trying the best seafood are ‘the Wreck’ located on Mount Pleasant and the Hyman’s Seafood located in the South Market Street. Then there are Sullivan’s Islands as well as Isle of Palms which are equally popular among the tourists. The trip to Charleston will definitely give you an insight of the past history of the country and the beautiful holy churches will give you blessing in their own way.

Universal Studios, Florida – Ride the Movies



Universal Studios, Florida – Ride the Movies

Ride into the world of Harry Potter in the Hogwarts express, play, smile and fool around with the minions and go crazy with the craziest family, The Simpsons. Need more? How about a wild ride with the Mummy and the complete package of Men-in-Black experience? Tired, are we? How about grabbing a cup of tea with Barney and friends or a chilled one with Spiderman? No, this isn’t a dream sequence, well not a dream technically, it is dream quiet literally.

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Time for some straight talk, this is the Universal Studios, Orlando Florida. The place where you can ‘ride the movies’. A larger than life model of Hollywood’s finest and most awesome productions. Here you can be one with your favorite hero’s and anime. The awesome combination of the technology and creativity combine to give you a real life simulation of the world of your heroes. This wonderland is wholly owned by NBC-Universal and is a toughest competition for the Walt Disney World. The land contains two theme parks namely Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. It has a night time entertainment complex called Universal City-Walk Orlando (this again competes with Walt’s Downtown Disney). To give you reprise from the long hard day of fun, they NBC guys provide you three Loews Hotels. The resort started in 1990 and has since made history with its real life 3-D effects. It boosts to be the only park to have marked an increased attendance after September 11 attacks.

Let’s take a distant tour of this world.

Universal studios

The resort of complete entertainment provides you with thrilling rides, lovely dining options and 3-D tours of the world of your fantasy land. Let’s take a look at few of the popular attraction. The rides and shows combine creativity with advanced technology taking you to the top of the world and pushing you overboard, giving you a free-fall with your hero swooping in to save you in the last minute . Now the trick is you do not move from your seat, it’s just the effects!

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Do not be disappointed there are real life hard core roller-coasters that will have you flying through the skies. The beloved Simpson family takes you to their crazy Springfield world, Shrek gives you a 4-D experience and Revenge of Mummy will have bugs crawling on you! Delightful! Take the adrenaline rush offered from the most technologically advanced ride of the world, the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit which gives you a 17 stories fall ride at the music of your choice! That is one slick way to fall. The Minion Mayhem is a treat for whole family.

The Simpsons Movie

Now the rides are sure to make you hungry and the Universal provides well for you from themed hotels to on the go chains the options are many and varied, The Springfield’s (the home of Simpsons) most famous dishes are on the menu for the guests to enjoy (although some may not be edible for everyone).If enjoying the Tinsel town dinner is your dream then head for the themed restaurants it has everything from snooty waiters to valet parking. Paparazzi may not be present though.  There is New York dinning, San Francisco dinning, Woody woodpecker’s lovely kid zone.

For the movie buffs there is option to see how the movie is made, even be a part of one of them. Head for the studios and check out the effects, makeups, dialogues and music that go into a movie. Be a part of the crew and live the Hollyood dream.

Island of Adventure.

Jurrasic Park

The theme of this land is to give you an epic adventure at every turn, every bend of the road. The thrill is a result of rides and shows combined to ring to life fairy tales, cartoons and comic books among a plethora of joy. For every comic book fan to a comic book nerd, this is nerd-vana for the epic details captured will make you swoon. Right down to the Marvel Shield welcoming you to the universe, this will take your breath away. Every character you grew up with is present and they will invite you with them on a quest to defeat evil. And yes, you will win! The toon lagoon allows you to splash your cartoon pals with water. The idea of living the Jurassic park maybe terrifying but hey, this is the adventure Island, you need to have the adventure. The life size dinos may not terrify you in their normal form, but wait for them to turn their eye on you, and then you will scram!

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The newest addition to the Universal family is the Wizarding world of Harry Potter. Every Harry Potter fan should see this for is as real as it can get. Right from the Pumpkin juice to butter beer, the high tower of Hogwarts to the Dining Hall, the HoneyDunkes to three broom sticks, from Dervish and Banges to Ollivanders the world is replicated to the last detail. Who wouldn’t want a sneak-peak into Filches Emporium of Confiscated Goods? The Universal studios offer you a flight on a hippogriff and the forbidden journey through the castle. After this journey board the Hogwarts express and ride to the Station nine and three quarters, it is a park to park express which will take you to your next adventure. Do not miss the after ride store and pick a souvenir  toy, the world will envy you for sure!

 

Head to this place for a mind blowing experience. Cheers!

Oregon Coast, the Coast of North America



Oregon Coast, the Coast of North America

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Oregon is a city in the United States and one of its most visited places is Oregon City. It is situated near the north-south region of the Pacific Ocean, which make the western boundary of the state. It is Oregon Coast Range in the east of the Oregon Coast; around 590 km there is Columbia River in the north and the place has the state California in the south. In 1967, the beach is freely accessible to everyone. But after the Oregon Beach Bill, it is retained by certain land owners and contractors who privately charge fee for visiting the place. Well the positive aspect of this is that, the land owners take care of the place and grants pedestrians’ an easement passage. Also the bill endows the land owners not to build any sort of buildings over the place and leave the place only for scenic beauty.

Initially, the Oregon Coast is surrounded by three distinct regions, where each of it has its own local beauty and regional features. The North Coast extends from Columbia River to Neskowin; whereas the Central Coast extends from Florence to Lincoln City and the South Coast stretches from the Oregin Californian boundary to Reedsport.

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Coos Bay is the largest city of the Oregon Coast in the Coos Country which has a population of around 16000 on the South Coast. Other famous cities of Oregon Coast are Tillamook Country, Lincoln Country, Curry Country, etc. Every city is famous for its own local and traditional features. Over 80 to 90 recreational areas and state parks are situated along the Oregon Coast. However, very little highways cross the range of Coastline.

Because of the ecological complexity of the Oregon Coast, a variety of species have their shelter here. Many different marine and terrestrial plants and animals can be found here. Nevertheless, human interaction at the place declines its physical complexity of animals, like at the Sea otter. The Oregon Coast is also the location of National Wildlife Refuge Complex of the Oregon Coast that consists of wildlife refuges spread over 371 acres near a distance of 320 miles.

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The Oregon Coast is number one visitor’s destination of Oregon. People come from all parts of world to enjoy the historical sites, wide variety of recreation opportunities and the beautiful scenery of the place. The increasing tourism and recreation replaces the fishing and logging industries of the place. Tourists of the place get amused by the sandy beaches, abundant attractions, moderate temperature, etc. The beautiful coast of Oregon has something for all ages of people.

The Oregon Coast is easily accessible and entire coast is stretched by highway 101 which is at a distance of 363 miles from California to Washington. Along the way we go through the beautiful Cannon Beach, different tourists cities like Coos Bay and different minute communities similar to Manzinta.

There are various type of amusing recreation activities happens in the Oregon Coast like sport fishing, camping, cycling, hiking, scuba diving, surfing, boating, sand-boarding, kite flying and performances of all terrestrial vehicles. It is allowed to drive through the sea coast but four wheelers are prohibited. The Oregon Beach Bill of 1967 gives the access to general public to each part of the sea route. Sinking the toes in the cool and moist sand will present you with an amusing spa. People say that the Oregon Coast of North America is the best place all over the world for flying kites. Another inexpensive sport is sand boarding which also bought fun and delightment.

There are many natural and scenic places in the Oregon Coast for tourists’ attractions along with the man made ventures. Some of the famous man made attractions are West Coast Game Park where we will find pet wild animals, Oregon Coast Aquarium, a location in Newport, another location of Oregon’s Rain Forests i.e. Prehistoric Garden. The Game Park of Oregon Coast is the America’s largest petting park of wild animals. Also the Prehistoric Garden demonstrates the actual size model of various prehistoric animals like dinosaurs.

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Other then the natural and scenic beauty of the Oregon Coast, other visiting places of the coast is lighthouses and shipwrecks. The Lighthouses of the Oregon Coast is itself a great experience and the coast is sunken by unforgiving waters with numerous ships. Oregon Coast also has various historical places like Clark Expeditions Winter stay, Clatsop, Fort, and the site of the Lewis; military blimp hangar; Fort Stevens; Battle Rock and plenty of light houses.

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Oregon Coast is the shelter of numerous flaura and fauna such as sea otter, sea lions, birds, Black-tailed Deer, spotted Owl, the Roosevelt Elk and the harbour seals. For marine species, there is Pacific Ocean on its sea coast; one of the known fish of the coast is the famous gray whales.

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One of the best things about the coast is the interaction of sky, land and sea. The ocean serves as the big engine of the rail of the river feeding the creeks and streams in its way. When we are finished with exploring the major exhibits, then comes the turn of two terrestrial ecosystems; the Aquarium Gardens provide the plant species of native coastal forests and another natural site of the nearby Estuary Trail provide the skill of Yaquina Bay in its ordinary site.

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Moscow – The Whitestone of England



Moscow – The Whitestone of England

Moscow is the capital of Russia and the commercial, political, economic, scientific and cultural centre of Russia and also in Eurasia. Moscow has the biggest community of billionaires of the world as stated in Forbes 2013. It is most populous city on the entire continent of Europe and fifth largest in the world. The city is 860 years old and is now one of the most iconic cities in the global world. It is located on the river Moskva and is thus named Moscow. It lies in the Central Federal District of Russia. The place has acquired a number of nicknames over time: the Third Rome, the Whitestone One, the First Throne, the Hero city, etc. The city is called Forty Forties which means 40 churches.

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When you visit Moscow as tourist, you must know that the heart of the city is ‘Red Square’. It has St. Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, State History Museum and Kremlin’s Long walls of bricks in the four directions around it. The name does not imply that the cobbles of this square are in; in fact, they are black in color. The name red Square is taken from a gloss of the word “Krasniy” which means beautiful. In the centre of the Red Square, we have Lenin Mausoleum which was built in the honor of Vladimir Lenin who insisted on not making any monuments for him.

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The St. Basil’s Cathedral is a very famous landmark in Moscow. This is the first place that any tourist must go to. It looks like a place from some fairyland and seeing stand in front of you will take your breath away. It was built under Emperor Tsar Ivan IV in 1554-1560 to honor the Kazan Khanate. According to a legend, the king Tzar ordered to blind all the architects because he did not want them to build this beautiful thing anywhere else on this earth. The Cathedral is a masterpiece in itself and is the most beautiful place in Moscow. There are in all nine altars laid on a single foundation which is incredible. After the cathedral, you should go to “The Kremlin”. It is the symbol of whole Russia and is one of the oldest parts of the city. It is literally the centre of the Russian State as the President lives here. It is a part of the UNESCO world heritage and so is the Red Square. These places were added to the list of world heritage in 1990. It is a giant site and worth all your time. A lot of museums and cathedrals are located inside the Kremlin. There is a Diamond collection inside the Armory Chamber looking at will make you stunned. There are many churches around this place which are very beautifully constructed such as Cathedral of Annunciation, Cathedral of Archangel, Patriarch’s Chambers, Cathedral of Assumption, Church of Deposition of Robe, Archeology of Moscow Kremlin, etc. make sure you visit this place on days other than Thursday.

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Bolshoi Theatre is a very famous place and most popular theatre in Moscow. There are around 3 to 4 different operas and 2 to 3 different ballet shows every year. The most presented are the classical masterpieces of Verdi, Wanger, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, etc. This place represents the world famous Russian Ballet which is the core of Russian culture. If you want to visit only one museum in Moscow, then go to the Tretyakov Gallery which is one of the greatest museums of the world. This place has a collection from worldwide but mostly Russian art, icons, pieces and antiques with an overall collection of 130,000 art works and Russian antiques. Another museum in Moscow is Pushkin Museum which is dedicated to the western art and all the Impressionist or post-Impressionist art having more than 500,000 art pieces since the opening of the museum in 1912. Apart from art and architecture, the true spirit of old Moscow can be seen in the streets around the Arbat. The Old Arbat Street is the street with a lot of vendors, tourists, artists, cafes, lousy restaurants, etc. offers you to see the old Moscow and how things worked during that time.

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The most interesting thing you will find in Moscow is the metro station. All the metro stations of Moscow are referred to as ‘The Underground Palaces’. Metro stations have become a tourist attraction monument and no longer for travelling from one place to the other. There are some stations which were built before war and they prove the industrialization of Russia and the ones that were built post-war are a sign of victory and pride for Russia. The metro stations were started in 1935 with first one at Sokolnicheskaya. The metro stations were built by thousands of people some of whom were labourers and others were patriotic citizens who used to dig tunnels with shovel and pickaxes which are now-a-days replaced by modern machinery.

Ostankino TV Tower

Another most beautiful landmark in Moscow is the Ostankino Tower which is the television and radio tower and is a free standing structure. It is the tallest structure in complete Europe with a height of 540.1 meters and it is ranked 8th in the world’s tallest buildings. The tower was built in 1967 to mark the 50th anniversary of the historical October Revolution. For 9 years, it was the tallest building in the world which was then changed in 1976 after the construction of CN Tower in Toronto, Canada. Other places are the Novodevichiy Convent which is a UNESCO heritage site, Kolomenskoe Estate which was residence of Ivan the Terrible, and there are many other historical places, many parks and many churches.

Rome : The Eternal City



Rome : The Eternal City

Rome is not only the capital but also the homonymous province of Italy. This special city covers 1,285.3 km2 areas with 2.7 million people living there. Thus, the city stands fourth in terms of the most populated city in the European Union. The central western region of the Italian peninsula comprises this city. The ravishing Vatican City lies in Rome thus making the capital the only city in the entire world which contains a state in its interior. 753 BC marks the origin of Rome. By then the city is referred to as “The Eternal City” by the ancient poets and writers. The capital is regarded as the birthplace of the so called Western Civilization. Until 1870, Rome was the capital of the Papal States. And in 1871 Rome became the capital of Italy and the capital of Italian Republic in 1946. Roman is known as the global city.

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After the end of the middle ages, rulers from Alexander VI to Leo X ruled and transformed the whole city into one of the supreme centers of the Italian revitalization. The historical centre of the c Rome is listed as the 3rd most visited city in Europe and the 11th most visited city in the entire world in the year 2007. In terms of reputation as well as assets Rome is the most victorious city brands of Europe. The city has earned the “World Heritage Site” title by UNESCO. Colosseum monument and the Vatican Museum are the most visited sites of Rome. The city also hosted the Summer Olympics in the year 1960. The historic centre of Rome is not very large as it comprises of only 4% of the total city area but this is the place which attracts most of the tourists of Rome. There are several districts in Rome.

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The names of the central districts are Old Rome, Modern Center, Colosseo, Vatican, Trastevere, North Centre, Aventino Testaccio, Nomentano and Esquilino San Giovanni. The Old Rome is the main city area which has the Pantheon, cathedrals and stunning squares; Modern Center is the home to many shopping centres and hotels; Colosseo is the place where the famous monument, the Colosseum, is situated. The presence of the Markets of Trajan, the Imperial Fora and the Capitoline hill makes it the heart of Rome; Vatican is filled with museums as well as neighboring Italian districts; Trastevere is the place for artists and is known as the centre of Rome’s artistic life; North Centre is the domicile of Villa Borghese, Parioli, Salario and the Spanish Steps; Aventino Testaccio is famous for its delicious food; Nomentano is the place for night life; And Esquilino San Giovanni is the place where the ancient Cathedral of Saint John is situated.

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The lovely piazza della Republica is worth your time. You can have a great time while wandering around the old city of Rome. The old city looks like a medieval village not like a capital city. While roaming around you can have the view of all sorts of paintings, sculptures, religious icons on the walls and astonishing roof gardens; have a view from the second and third floor of an old building. You will find many artists playing their trade in small shops near the Piazza Navona and the Tiber River. Veneto in the Modern Center is the place for film lovers. Now coming back to the city, one of the well-liked sites in the city is the Trevi Fountain. Piazza della Minerva is a unique place with an elephant statue. At Campo de Fiori there are two beautiful fountains. It is place for flower sellers. The entrance of the city is Piazza del Popolo in the North Center. Another fascinating fountain is on the way to Piazza di Spagna which is in the city area. This beautiful background was used in the 1953 movie “Roman Holiday” which features Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

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The Fascist structural design of the Palazzo della Civilta Italiana is the much talked thing. It is also well known by the name “the Square Colosseum”. The Palazzo della Civilta Italiana was designed in 1942 by the famous architects: Ernesto Lapadula and Giovanni Guerrini. This structure was designed initially for the Universal Explosition as a element of its building programme. But later the programme was cancelled due to the entry of the country into WW2. The square in Trastevere, named the “piazza di Santa Maria”, is a fancy place to watch and it attracts many street people. Another place piazza Barberini has a beautiful Bernini fountain. There are many overlooked places in Rome which offers one of the best views is the Vittoriano. You have to climb on the top of the Vittoriano to have the best sight of your life.

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There are many hills including the famous ‘Seven Hills’ of Rome to climb. From the edge of the Borghese Gardens, a spectacular view can be seen by looking from the Janiculum hill towards the Trastevere and the Pincio. The Seven Hills of Rome is indeed very difficult to identify for new visitors as there are many neighboring hills in Rome. Buildings were built as a stack on each other and even their construction made the hills look less prominent than they were in the beginning. Originally from the Roman days there were more than seven hills and most of them were outside the boundaries of the city. The Seven Hills were not recognized as a city for some time but now it is a part of the city of Rome. This ancient Rome must be in the list of one’s must visit place. The spectacular view and the superb environment that Rome provides its tourists can’t be seen in any other city.

Savannah- The Oldest City of US



Savannah- The Oldest City of US

Savannah is the historic riverside hometown of Georgia. Two leaders, namely Colonel William Bull and General James Oglethorpe, who were the British Colonists, settled this place in 1733. In 1864, the mayor of Savannah made a deal with the General William Tecumseh Sherman. The deal was to give up Savannah in exchange for leaving Savannah unforced and untouched. Thus, Savannah is among those few cities whose architecture and antebellum appeal is still intact. The city is among the largest historic districts of Georgia. The party image of the city keeps the city alive and full of tourists. Many people living in south joke about the city as the very first thing that people will ask you in Atlanta is your Business; people will ask your mother’s maiden name in Charleston but people will ask you about the drink you want to have in Savannah.

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Savannah offers horse and carriage ride to people across the streets. The City Market is the one place which is always full of people. The City Market is located in the northwest corner of Savannah. It has become the frequent destination of people who search for dining, retailing and entertainment in downtown Savannah. The market was established in 1985. To gain more tourists attraction the market has been grown over the years. And now the place offers much more viable food and in retail business. The total space used by the market is 11,000 square feet and it has three apartments. In March 2010, a new store named Ellis Square was opened in the west area of the City Market. The store has underground parking facilities and an attractive fountain to grab the attention. The whole market has some other good shops in store also.

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A one way street, known by the name River Street, across the banks of the Savannah River is a famous paved street. Many shops and restaurants are located along the River Street. On the east end of the River Street there is a beautiful statue of a Waving Girl. The remaining district is joined with the River Street by stairs or ramps and is above the riverfront.  Another beautiful place in Savannah is the Forsyth Park. The park is huge and is situated on the southern rim of the district. The garden has an attractive fountain and is ringed with Breakfast and couch. A movie named “The Movie” was filmed in this garden. This movie was very popular as it was an adaptation of “The Book”. People can even imagine themselves sitting next to the very smart John Cusack. A very famous major league baseball stadium “Grayson Stadium” is located in this district only and is the home of many baseball aspirants.

SCAD

For art lovers, there are some places in store. Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) is a non-profit, independent and recognized school in Savannah. The school offers major in performing and visual arts, building arts, design and the history of arts and architecture. The school is a collaboration of students from 100 countries and almost 50 states. The famous Savannah Film Festival of SCAD is organized in Lucas Theatre every year. More than 1000 people visit this theatre every week as the theatre is very popular because of its top-line entertainment. Some of these are the opera from Italy and London, film series, country stars, European orchestras and the traveling repertory companies. Another Museum which offers history Art ashes is the Telfair Museum. The museum is named after its founder, the “Telfair family”. It is a public art museum which has three buildings: the “Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences”; “Jepson Center for the Arts”; and the “Owens Thomas House”.

Telfair-Acadamy

The Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Owens Thomas House both are the History Landmarks whereas the Jepson Center for the Arts is a recently finished project designed by the famous architect, Moshe Safdie. This single building covers 64,000 square feet and includes sculpture gardens, café, expanded educational resources, museum store and expanded gallery spaces. “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and “Little Sacrifices” are the great books set that can be found anywhere in Savannah. Some must see events of Savannah are the Savannah Film Festival (October or early November), Savannah Music Festival, Sidewalk Arts Festival (held in spring), St. Patrick’s Day (17th of March) and Savannah Tour of Homes (spring event). Visiting the city on these days will be like icing on a cake.

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Originally Wright, Ellis, Telfair and Johnson were the only public squares in Savannah. But now there are almost 24 public squares in Savannah. Because of modern construction there squares, namely Ellis, Elbert and Liberty, were lost and only Ellis was restored later. Calhoun Square which was named after the famous Politician “John C. Calhoun” and Chatham Square which was named after the Earl of Chatham “William Pitt” are the well known public squares in Savannah. The first one was built across the Abercorn Street in 1851 and the later was laid across the Barnard Street in 1847. Columbia Square, Chippewa Square, Elbert square, Crawford Square, Ellis square, Greene Square, Franklin Square and Johnson Square which is the first square of the city are the other famous squares of Savannah. Savannah is full of historic sites and is definitely a must visit place for every sort of peoples. This place is irreplaceable!

An Excursion to the Bluebell Woodlands, Britain and Ireland



An Excursion to the Bluebell Woodlands, Britain and Ireland

A bluebell wood is a land of wood which has a beautiful carpet of flowering bluebells (Hyacinth ides non-scripta) in the spring season. It actually forms under the shelter of newly forming leaves. The more ground is covered up as the thicker summer canopy is formed and that actually promotes a dense carpet of bluebells and the bluebell leaves mature and die down by near the beginning summer.

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The blue bell woods are actually the indicator species for ancient woodlands as the woods actually had a great history behind from at least 1600. They will be easily founded in whole Europe and especially in all the parts of Great Britain and Ireland.

Literature belongings to the beautiful Bluebells

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Gerard Manley Hopkins, who was one of the most romantic poets of all the times, was great fond of all the plants around. And he had beautifully described his love for the bluebells in his poem “May Magnificat”.

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes

In his few lines of poem he has beautifully express the view of the bluebells woods. He described them as the stunning spots on the snake. He also expressed his feelings in the poem when he ran his hand over them. He says that when you touch them they baffle you with their stiff wet heads and with the crush on them they make a noise of a hurdle and leaves behind the beautiful fainting smell of honey in your hands and when you bite them they give you taste of the sweet gum.

 

Hyacinthoides non scripta- a beautiful bluebell

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The stunning bluebells is the inhabitants of the Europe among which the Hyacinthoides non scripta a beautiful member of the bluebell family has a corm and drowsy heads of blue flowers which is indigenous to the Western Europe. It is mainly found in deciduous woodlands, and when the whole woodland is covered with the little bluebells flowers in the late April or beginning of May gives mesmerizing view of the sight and it actually forms a trendy seasonal tourist attraction. In earlier literature the Hyacinthoides non scripta were known as Scilla nutans and then later came to known by Endymion non scriptus. The Bluebells flowers contain the poisonous glycosides and spreads intoxication in the human body if they have been eaten as the spring onions mistakenly. Due to glycosides many cattle, horses and dogs have suffered digestive problems upon eating bluebells leaves. Bluebells best grow at the places where the soil remains undisturbed and the plants can have bounty of sunlight in the early spring season. The nectar of these plants is a source of food for butterflies and other tiny insects.

 

How bluebells look??

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A rhizome with the flower trail upto 50cm tall and its 3-6 linear leaves stalk upto 25 mm wide and 50cm in length. The stem of the plant is bowed downwards towards the tip and have 4-16 flowers along its one side. The beautiful flowers grow in the various stunning colors like violet-blue, pink or white.  The flowers are so called as bluebells because of its tubular-bell shaped petals and sepals which is about 14-20mm long with the free lobes coiling at the tip of the flower. The three outer stamens are compounded with the perianth about 3/4th of its length. The anthers of the flowers are beautiful cream colored.

Threats and Conservation:

In Europe, the bluebells native family members that is Hyacinthoides non scripta is protected by the Wildlife and the Countryside Act (1981) that restricts the landowners to cut down the bluebells for the sale and it also forbids other people from digging the corm from the countryside. Under the Schedule 8 Act in 1988, the trade of wild bluebells corm or seeds is illegal and consider as an offence unless the special licenses are granted from the UK government for the traders. Presently the threats to bluebells embrace the threat to the loss of the ancient woodland habitat along with this it is also has a threat of illicit collection of corm and cross breeding seeds with non native bluebells.

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Exploitation of Bluebells

The Bluebell flowers can make attractive ornaments for the ladies along with making the woodland gardens mesmerizing. In spite of being a environmental indicators of ancient woodlands that have been in subsistence since at least 1600 AD they are great contributors for the formation of glue. As the glue obtain from the flowers was used for sticking the flights to arrow shafts  and in book binding and this tradition of using glue for such things was a tradition for the Europeans. Because of its corm’s diuretic and styptic properties, the bluebells is also used for medicinal purposes. They are used to make medicines that help in treatment of leucorrhoea (discharge of mucus from vagina). And also its starch secretion is used for laundering purpose.

In fact in the early 20th century the government of UK had started a special train called “Bluebell Trains” that took tourists on the visit through the bluebell woodlands of the Chiltern Hills in southeast England.  Though that special train services no longer run, but yet the bluebells woodlands display are designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AOBN). But yet there is another thing that has linked the flowers, tourism and railways together and that is flowers has lend their name to the “Bluebell Railway” in East Sussex and these railways are considered to be world’s first protected standard gauge passenger line that runs through mesmerizing wooded scenery where in the spring season, you can see stunning bluebells.

 

The Rain Capital of India – Cherrapunji, Meghalaya



The Rain Capital of India – Cherrapunji, Meghalaya

Seven Sisters, as the North Eastern states of India are popularly known, are home to some spectacular tourist locations. Submerged under constant rain is the town of Cherrapunji in Meghalaya, one such location. Home to clouds and the raindrops, the town of Cherrapunji is often referred to as the rain capital of India. The place is locally and historically known as Sohra, and this scenic town also has to its credit the world record for most rainfall in a calendar month and a year.

cherrapunji landscape

The city whose name means “land of oranges” is inhabited by the Khasi tribe. Their tribal history extends as far back as 16th century. In the latter half of 19th century the place came under British rule. The history of the place, the Welsh influence that can be detected here, and the matriarchal system of the society make this a fascinating place. The abundance of natural beauty, the gorgeous green landscapes, and the rainfall make it a traveler’s delight.

Location of Cherrapunji- amidst the Khasi hills, overlooking the fields of Bangladesh and surrounded by blankets of greenery and waterfalls- provide some awe inspiring views.  With an average yearly rainfall of 463.7 in, the place counts among few of the most wettest places on earth, and gives the place a rich and diverse flora, fauna as well as landscapes.

The Living Bridges

The Living Bridges of Cherrapunji are a famous tourist attraction. Living bridges involve development of techniques for growing roots of trees into usable bridges. People of Meghalaya have been developing and employing these techniques for the past many centuries. The trees used in Cherrapunji for building these living bridges are a type of Indian rubber tree owing to their strong root system. It requires 10–15 years to build such a bridge and they last for hundreds of years. The oldest bridge that is still in use is some 500 years old. These Living bridges provide an extraordinary sight nestled between picturesque places.

Root bridge

Situated in the Tyma village is one such root bridge, its specialty is its double-decker nature. Known as Umshiang Double-Decker Root Bridge, it has two bridges stacked over each other. It is a unique structure even among the living bridges worldwide. It is a hundred feet long bridge, capable of carrying around 50 people at the same time. It is a marvel of the mingling of human creation and nature.

Religious Sites

Reverend Thomas Jones is credited with first introducing Christianity in the area. He established the famous church, the Nongsawlia Presbyterian Church, which is another popular tourist site. Nongsawlia also has the Cherrapunji Theological College. It was established by Welsh Presbyterian Missionaries in 1888. A visit to Nongswalia then also allows for the exploration of Meghalaya’s religious historical trajectory. For the spiritually inclined, there is also Rama Krishna Mission, which organizes “Dance of Joyous Heart” during the month of April, a special performance worth attending.

Waterfalls

water falls , cherrapunji

Cherrapunji and the surrounding areas also boast of several magnificent waterfalls. Dainthlen waterfall is one such place. This waterfall is famous as a picnic spot and for sightseeing. The drive down to the place is also lined with beautiful vistas, making the entire journey an experience in itself. Not just the natural beauty, the falls also have legendary importance. There are local legends associated with its origin. Village of Rangjyrthej lies nearby and is also worth a visit. Other examples are Kynrem waterfall and Mawsmai waterfalls (which are among the highest falls in India, with an estimated height of 1035 feet.)

Nohkalikai falls

Nohkalikai waterfalls are very popular among visitors. Its height, some 1100 feet, and the water cascading down from such heights provide a treat to the eyes. The view of these waterfalls, especially during monsoons, is breathtaking.

Waterfalls and rains are not the only thing that Cherrapunji has to offer. Around 12 km from Cherrapunji is the Thangkharang Park. It provides a marvelous view of the fields of Bangladesh. Some distance from this park is the Basket of Giant. It is a huge stone similar to a Khasi basket in structure. Local folklore states that the stone was carried around by a giant, which gave it its name Basket of Giant or Khoh Ramhah.

khoh ramhah

Caves

There are additional options for more adventurous travelers. Cherrapunji has some Caves that provide ample opportunity for exploration. The Krem Mawmluh Caves are situated at a height of 4503m. The main entrance is some 10km above sea level. It is also the fourth longest cave in India, made more popular as it includes a pool formed by five rivers which enter this cave. Krem Phyllut Cave is another tourist site. Located in the Mawsmai village, it is a 1002m long cave. It has three entrances and two river passages. Much of these caves are as yet unexplored. Expeditions of cavers from other continents visit here to explore and map these caves. It brings the caves among Cherrapunji’s major attractions.

limestone caves

For those travelers who are more interested in exploring the historical or architectural aspects of any place, Cherrapunji also has Khasi monoliths in addition to these caves. These monoliths were built in the memory of the ancestors of people of Khasi tribe. They can be found scattered throughout Cherrapunji. Some of them are exceptionally intricate and beautiful structures.

khasi monoliths

Meghalaya government has established an Eco park in east Khasi hills district. It houses various hybrid and indigenous orchids. It also provides spectacular view of the Sylphet plains of Bangladesh. In a nutshell, the place provides different avenues for travelers.

Cherrapunji has escaped mindless urbanization and is a place blessed with enormous beauty and an abundance of nature. The rivers, the waterfalls, the caves, the constant rains, and the typical flora and fauna of the place provide stunning vistas. Cherrapunji will charm even the most demanding of travelers.

Monarch flies high- It’s all About Butterflies



Monarch flies high- It’s all About Butterflies

The lovely colorful creatures with pretty little wings, the delicate features and the pitter-patter of the tiny wings that sway with the winds. The butterflies fascinate us all and rightly so. They are adorable. Now who wouldn’t love to be around one, two of them? Well how about tens, hundreds or thousands of them? Why stop there how about millions of butterfly to walk with you? Maybe even a billion? Well this is not a cartoon show for the butterfly to be at your beck and call, so how do you gather a billion beautiful butterflies around you? Simple, head to Mexico

Monarch butterfly

The World Heritage site, the Bio reserve of Monarch Butterflies is one place where you can be surrounded by butterflies. They are so huge in number that the trees in the bio reserve become orange and the branches sag by the weight of the migrated butterflies. And when they all take flight! God’s creativity can make you cry. Spending a day with them, walking and cycling by will make you feel one with nature and in presence of beauty of a different magnitude all together. The butterflies mate during their time at the reserve, the view is simply gorgeous.

The beauty of the place lies in the journey of 4000kms that these tiny creatures make all the way from United States to Mexico. The annual winter migration was discovered in 1970s leading to series of protective steps leading to its declaration as World Heritage site. No single butterfly could cover a round trip in their single life span, the two generation combine together to complete this journey. How the butterflies know the place their ancestors visit is baffling and is generally associated to their hereditary, say it is hot-wired in their brains.

butterflies

The Biosphere is located on the mountain forests of far eastern Michoacán state. The Mexico City is 100km northwest of the reserve. This is the highest altitude of the region and has a temperate temperature. Sometimes the morning temperature is so low that the butterflies die of the cold weather. This is one reason why they crowd on the trees, to conserve heat. And come the first rays of sunshine, the butterflies stretch out their wings to welcome the heat, the sky is covered with orange speckles.

The biosphere is made of 56,000 hectors of land, the butterflies cover only a fraction of it but they have become a part of ecosystem which has to be supported and tended to. The reserves are open to public; however two guided tours are most popular, El Rosario or Sierra Chincua reserves. Though the government of Mexico encourages tourism, some parts of the biosphere are closed to public as they are important for the survival of the ecosystem. The park is open from 6 am to 6 pm all seven days, the months of November-march are apt and January -February are most recommended.

biosphere

The butterflies arrive at the biosphere in late October. The place is open to public for next five months, from November to March. The butterflies mate during this season and their young-lings are born here. The arrival of butterflies coincide with an important Mexican Festival, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). During this day the deceased family and friends are said to return home where they are welcomed with feasts and celebrations. The butterflies arrive about this time making the day more special for the locals.
The biosphere has created a tourism industry in the local area. The options are from horseback rides or hike to buses cars to take you up to the reserve and back  the accommodation facility etc. have cropped up to compliment the growing interest in this slice of natural wonder. There are other attractions in the area enabling you to make an interesting itinerary for the trip.
The festival de la Maripose Monarca (Monarch butterfly festival) is held in February each year. This is done in part to boost the popularity of the reserve and in part to celebrate the butterflies. This is one of the most popular attractions of the region and combines regional food, music, arts together. The local economy gets a boost here

Flight

The reserve is generally well protected now but the forest fires, the deforestation and illegal poaching are serious threats to the ecosystem. The local public, authority and the butterfly lovers lock horns occasionally for the vested interest of each party doesn’t overlap at all. The cameras are fitted all over now for the protection of the region, the temperature is also checked regularly to keep the atmosphere just right.

The world has taken notice of the world of butterflies now. As the popularity increases the curiosity follows. The tourism is increasing with people coming all the way from Japan to witness this gathering. Keep this in mind if you visit the city of Mexico, for a day with butterflies is hardly a day wasted.

Butterfly

The winter migration sees butterflies travel across the physical boundaries. It is a part of their life, their heredity. It surely makes one think of the majestic beauty that lies hidden in nature. Only need is to find the location where beauty unleashes itself to the world.

Lake Majesty : The Crater Lake



Lake Majesty : The Crater Lake

The Crater Lake is situated in Crater Lake National park and is deepest lake in United Nations and seventh largest in the world. Besides this, its introduction includes the most important part of being most clear and deep blue color water. It is situated in western United States in south-central Oregon. It was formed by the eruption of a volcano about 7700 years ago named Mount Mazama and is given the title of most clearest lake of the world since the lake is away from human interaction but is filled by the rain and snowfall and this is compensated by evaporation. Beneath this fascinating beauty, it has CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK which has an architectural building and landscaping to make anyone fall in love with this place.

Defining Name

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Crater Lake is having a old full grown tree in the middle of the lake which has been there from centuries. The highly warm and comfortable water of the lake help this tree to grow and live highly uncountable years. Due to this old tree which is known as the “Old man of the Lake” and the lake is famous with this name too.  Besides the Crater Lake comprises of various mountain peaks, forests and parks which give habitat to various diverse birds and animals and secures the wildlife of the world.

The very first time when the non- Native American explored this beautiful lake of clear, deep water was in June 1853, and he immediately named the place Blue Lake. But this was not the final name and the name was changed to Lake Majesty and then finally to Crater Lake.

Climate

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The climate there is different for summers and winters as for all regions. The summers there are placid and dry making the region drought but the winters are cold and snowy with the average snowfall of almost 488 inches. This snowy season continues till mid-July and this is the sole reason for heavy glaciers there. The heavy snowfall and frost are common even in summers and in fact the most probable months for freezing temperatures in this area is July to August. This type of climate that is usually encountered in Crater Lake is termed as sub-alpine climate.

Scenic Beauty

The beauty that personifies itself is the beauty of all times and this forever beauty is encountered in Crater Lake. This place is full of natural beauty and heritage that it has lured its audiences from ages. It almost attracts half million visitors from all over the world and praises its uniqueness of clearance in water, its geology and its wildlife.

The Crater Lake in turn consist of two islands Wizard Island and another Phantom ship which contributes to great variety of flowers, shrubs and lichens of seven different types of violet green swallows. But the beauty of the Lake is not restricted to these Islands but the other nature’s mesmerizing work such as the Pumice Desert, Rogue and Umpqua rivers or the rocky and feral forests of Mount Theilsen.

 Visit to Crater Lake

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This is advised from the experienced one that if you want to enjoy the Lake at its fullest, try to go in summers. This is because the trip to Crater Lake includes going through the beautiful neighborhood of road-less trail which led to Rim Village. This Rim drive includes many hiking trails and natural beauty which is stretched till 33- miles of area. The drive to Crater Lake includes going around it and enjoying skiing which is another way of attracting visitors to this place. The place is preferred in summers because this blissful drive is sometimes closed in winter due to heavy snow. But if you are highly nature and wildlife loving person, then all the related stuff like the wildflowers and lichens are found in July or in the first week of August.  The whole drive covers almost 1 day of your tour but try to keep one complete day for the main site seeing. Take a narrated boat which will take almost two hours to complete the full visit of the lake. Spend some time on the Wizard Island which is again a blissful place and taking time and climate into consideration choose your return trip.

Sacred Crater

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The place has sacred significance too. A local tribe of the place i.e. Klamath of Native America says that the place have some sacred power. They believe that the battle between the god Skell (positive sky God) and the evil one Llao smashed the volcano Mount Mazama which led to the formation of the place Crater Lake. The Lake now includes a scary quest wall which is used for doing some dangerous tasks. If a person climbs those caldera walls with success they are believed to have spiritual powers. No one knows that this is a myth or not but the place, in this way holds spiritual value in its own terms.

In all, the place has not only earned its name in the field of scenic beauty or natural wildlife but also the place has wildflowers and a sacred story attached to it. Furthermore, the title of seventh deepest in the world and the renowned lake known for its clear water and freshness is well known in this world of beauty.