Daily Archives: 28.02.2014

Serenity in the Alps: Carinthia, Austria



Serenity in the Alps: Carinthia, Austria

Carinthia is the state located to the extreme south of Austria and is most known for the fantastically beautiful mountains and lakes. The language of the state is German but some few groups also speak Southern Bavarian. The state is important for Austria in aspects of the tourism industry, forestry and agriculture industry and also for the electronics and engineering industries of the state. But the greatest of all these is the tourism because of the very beautiful natural and man-made attractions.

The state of lakes:

worthersee

Carinthia is best known and famous for the beautiful natural lakes. The most famous one of the lakes are the Weissensee, the Worthersee, the Millastattersee and the Ossiachersee. The biggest lake in the entire state of Carinthia is the Worthersee and is the top tourist destination in the whole state. This place is usually visited in summers when the temperature of this place is around 20 degrees. Another important lake is Millstatter See which is also known as the “jewel” of Carinthia and is the destination visited mostly by families and those who love sports.

Experience world attractions by the miniatures:

Carinthia_Minimundus

The state of Carinthia has a park on the Worthsee, Klagenfurt called by the name Minimundus. This park has more than 150 miniatures of the architectural masterpieces all over the world. These models of the famous buildings and complexes are built at 1:25 ratio of size and are as accurate as the originals without missing a single detail. It was opened in 1958 and the area covered by this park is around 26 thousand square meters. This park is owned by the ‘Rettet das Kind’ or in English ‘Save Child’ which is a help organization for children and all the earnings are invested in the organization. Some of the buildings whose miniatures are modeled in the park are: ST. Stephen Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Sydney Opera House, Taj Mahal, Tower of London, Hochosterwitz Castle, White House, the Space Shuttle, etc. Many models are movable or transportable and are shifted during the off-season in winters of Austria.

Landskron Castle:

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In the northeast of the city of Villach, there is a ruined castle which is named as the Landskron. This castle has a long history of many generations of rulers and kings of various dynasties and during various periods in time of history. Very king and ruler of the kingdom used the Landskron caslte as their residential palace and made changes in the design and architecture of the building. But in 1812, a blaze destroyed this castle and it was never rebuilt. The falconry center of the castle makes it famous and this place is used to conduct flying demonstrations.

Know the reptiles on earth:

happ zoo

In Klagenfurt city of Carinthia, there is a zoo by the name Reptilienzoo Happ. It is a zoo which covers the land of 33 hundred square meters and houses more than thousand animals from all over the world. The specialty of this zoo is the reptiles. The zoo has a variety of crocodiles, tortoises and numerous kinds of snakes. This experience of the zoo is very true and you will feel as if you are interacting with the snakes. The zoo is built to educate people about the snakes, their habitat, their nature and their kinds. The zoo as the cobras, goannas, mambas, rattle snakes, domestic snakes, giant turtles, iguanas, etc. all lying in the open air terrariums. There is a dinosaur garden also to visit. Overall, you will be able to gain a lot of knowledge about the reptiles and snakes and their species which is very fascinating information.

Go back a thousand years in time:

Hochosterwitz

More than a thousand year ago, there was a beautiful castle built on the top of a hill. This is no fantasy story, and in fact, there is a castle in Carinthia which is dated back to thousands of years and is situated over a hill which was named as the Burg Hochosterwitz. This is a very impressive piece of architecture of the medieval times and is built over a Dolomite rock, laying to the east of Sankt Veit an der Glan, Carinthia. The rock is about 160 meters tall and the castle rises over it can be seen from about 30 kilometers away. The marbles of this monument are from 1576 and are still in good condition. Tourists are allowed to visit the castle and have a walk (620 meters long) around the 14 gates that lead to the castle. Each of 14 gates is designed with the diagrams of the defense techniques which were used to seal those gates. You may also visit the place via cars. The castle has not been changed or rebuilt and is mostly just as it was originally.

Ski and hike:

The state has a lot to offer to the tourists. Apart from the historical and natural places, there are adventurous spots in the state as well. Karnten is popular for the ski resorts, beautiful scenic lakes and mountains for hiking and climbing.  you can swim in the crystal-clear water of the lakes, go for skiing and with the mountains, you can hike and climb them to have some of the photographic views captured by your eyes.

The Vast Lands of Tunisia



The Vast Lands of Tunisia

For those who believe that holidaying on the hills or the seas is too mainstream, there is absolutely no reason to be disappointed. More than just the Sun and the sea, the country of Tunisia occupying a slim wedge in the north of the vast African continent is an abode of distinct cultures and incredible landscapes, smeared with the spices of ancient civilizations. From the northern lakes that teem with flamingos and forests that rise from the coast, to the majestic sands of the mighty Sahara desert, Tunisia is a land of varied colours and contrasts whose bounty is sure to astound any human soul. It is one such place on the face of Earth where history walks hand in hand with the present. Tunisia is a favourite tourist destination round the year, for the beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean and ancient culture the well preserved amongst the Roman ruins. Besides, for all the Star Wars fans out there, it is an opportunity to experience the underground dwellings and sun-baked landscapes of Tunisia, which were used by director George Lucas to depict the life on the fictional Planet Tatooine.

 Sidi Bou Said, Carthage

Sidi Bou Said, Carthage

This gorgeous town located on top of a steep cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, is the place to camp in for the best experience during the stay. It has one of the best boutique hotels in Tunisia, the Dar Said. The streets are cobbled and are thronged with art shops, cafés and souvenir stalls. A walk along the whitewashed houses framed by bright blue doors and window trellises, draped in fragrant, cascading flowers makes it a sight to cherish. The place gives an easy access to explore the Roman ruins of Carthage.

Kroumirie Mountains

Kroumirie Mountains

If you thought that Tunisia is all about the desert and its heat, then the Kroumirie Mountains is a must visit for you. Covered in moss, heather, chestnut trees, maritime pines and above all cork oaks, these lofty mountains provide an excellent invigorating climate to relax your mind and sooth your soul. The beds of the river, which remain dry during most part of the year, are covered with oleander and other floral delights. Visitors can enjoy the snowfall during their stay in the winter season in the small villages dotting the mountains.

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Ksar Ghilane

Located on the edge of the Grand Erg Oriental, Ksar Ghilane is a small oasis in southern Tunisia. From exploring the magnificence of the gold-coloured sea of sand on the back of a camel to living in Bedouin style tents and bathing in hot springs at Campement Paradis, one can delve into the desert life and enjoy the Sahara of his dreams. While there is an option to choose between a camel ride and a horse ride, the former is a better option given the cost and flexibility of the tour. One can trek on a camel long enough to enjoy the sunset across the orange dunes of the Sahara. For refreshments, there is always a café or a beer stall nearby. As a memento of the trip, one can always shop for a blue Touareg turban.

Kairouan, the Great Mosque

Kairouan, the Great Mosque

One of the most famous pilgrimage destination in North Africa, the Great Mosque serves the purpose of Mecca for those who cannot make a journey to Arabia. It is an exemplary piece of Aghlabid design. The inside of the mosque is astoundingly beautiful, with its courtyards and horseshoe-arched porticoes containing some four-hundred ancient pillars. Traces of Roman, Byzantine, and Latin Christian styles of architecture can also be spotted throughout. The courtyard also houses a three-story minaret on the northern side, that rises one-hundred and fifteen feet high.

red lizard train

Red Lizard Train

Starting from south-west of Gafsa, to the foot of the Tell Atlas to Metaloui, the centre of the country’s phosphate mining industry, the Red Lizard train ride is one of the must-do things in life. Developed by the French and later used by the Bey of Tunis to travel between Tunis and his summer palace at Hammam Lif, the train makes your sightseeing experience in the weird rocky landscape more remarkable and memorable.

Berber Village

Berber Village

The beautiful landscapes of Southern Tunisia, dotted with ancient hilltop Berber villages, multi-storied granaries and troglodyte dwellings are quite fascinating to explore. Zeraoua is one such village on a remote hilltop dating back to the Middle Ages. The route actually goes through Gabes to the Matmata area, famous for its troglodyte dwellings, and through Tatouine, Chenini, Ksar Hallouf, Ksar Haddada, Guermessa and Beni Kheddache.  The village of Tataouine is famous for its fortified Berber granaries, called ‘ksour’, including the picturesque Ksar Ouled Soltane, Chenini and Douiret. The greatest attraction of the region is the Star Wars Tour. Many of the robots and other paraphernalia used in the movies have been left in the area and form a huge tourist attraction. One can actually stay in Luke Skywalker’s home, which has been made into Hotel Sidi Driss, or sleep on a Tatooine Moon!

National Bardo Museum

National Bardo Museum

Tunisia has played a very significant role in history. Due to its strategic location in the vicinity of Italy and the Mediterranean, Tunisia has been home to a large number of civilizations including the Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, Ottomans and even the French. Located in the capital city of Tunis, the Bardo National Museum has the world’s largest collection of Roman mosaics among other antiquities of interest from Ancient Greece, Tunisia, and the Islamic period. The museum itself is a conglomeration of 17th and 18th century Moorish architecture.

The Intrinsically Romantic: Algonquin Island, Ontario



The Intrinsically Romantic: Algonquin Island, Ontario

Located just about ten minutes ferry ride from main city are the Toronto Islands, which constitutes of some 15 small islands. Algonquin Island is also a part of this complex. An island far removed from the constant hustle and bustle of a rapidly moving city life, Algonquin is a charming and serene retreat which offers all travelers with some spectacular and scenic delights. The Island is located in Lake Ontario’s western parts, and provides clear and photogenic views of the modern skyline of Toronto.

View of Toronto Skyline

The overall look and aura of the Algonquin is enhanced by the pretty and slightly fairy tale like cottages of the Island’s residents. A stroll amidst the lanes of this island, and observing these quaint cottages paralleling the pathways and tucked in between overflowing gardens provides one with an old world charm. The brightly painted houses and the profusion of blossoms and colors in the surrounding grounds all make up for a perfectly romantic setting.

Cottages on the Island

The island is a perfectly suitable place for all those who are looking for a beautiful yet serene place. As this island is not run over by flocks of tourists, it provides for a wonderful and meditative experience in nature’s lap. Initially known as the Sunfish Island, it saw people’s settlement here since 1938 when the first of the cottages were built here. The carpets of greenery and vivid and varied flora of this place can be credited to the residents’ efforts over many decades as at first the island was mostly covered with strips of sands.

Beautiful Lawns

Algonquin Island with the others in the chain of Toronto Islands together comprises North America’s largest community which is car free. This lack does not hinder the lifestyle of the islanders nor does it prove a deterrent for those who are willing to visit Algonquin. In fact it adds to the peacefulness and the picture post card quality of the island.

There are many recreational activities that one can indulge in while on the Algonquin Island. The island boasts of several neat and stunning beaches. The relatively less crowded beaches provide for a perfect romantic backdrop, and are a popular destination for couples on a date. The beaches are perfect for swimming or sunbathing. They provide stunning vistas, with endlessly stretching skies and clear blues of the sea. It provides for a break away from the noise and hum of cities. The silence and the natural settings hardly minutes away from Toronto’s busy life make it truly exceptional.

Scenic Algonquin Island

The island also provides a charming and dreamy wedding photography destination. The panoramic vistas on the island, the natural abundance, the wilderness, and the serenity make it a special place for a special occasion. And not merely in its splendor, the island is also equipped to deal with wedding preparations. From church, to catering, dresses, and decorations you can avail all these facilities within the island and it is bound to make any wedding much more unique and memorable.

During the Winters

Visiting Algonquin Island in any season is bound to leave you with worthwhile experiences. The beaches are perfect for summer swims and to simple laze around and cool off. You can take long walks through the islands and the lakeside views are amazing. Winter has its own advantage. The snow covered plants, and the pathways that have turned ivory make for dazzling surroundings. Ice skating during the winters when the Lake Ontario turns into a natural rink is an activity that adventure enthusiasts look forward to. Autumn brings with it its own charm. The leaves turning colors, the mellow shades, oranges and yellow peeking between the lush greenery make the island even more attractive.

Lush Vegetation, Algonquin island

It is very easy to reach the Algonquin Island through the ferry rides available from Toronto to the Centre Island. But if you want an authentic experience, then you must spend your time on the island, and experience an islander’s way of living. Several cottages are available on rent for travelers and several B&B facilities are also operative on the island.

B and B, Algonquin Island

To live in these cottages, with fire places, private porch, beautiful gardens, all come together to provide all who stay here with an unforgettable experience. To hear the birds cooing and the flowers blooming outside, to see the spectacular sunrise and sunsets, to eat around the fire place, or even open fires all these activities are bound to leave one with a sense of being in a paradise of sorts.

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Just a few minutes’ walk from Algonquin Island is the neighboring Wards Island with its own natural abundance and beauty. Crossing the Algonquin Bridge takes you to the Rectory Café, a famous eating joint purported to have the ‘best lakeside patio’. The many cafes and local diners on the island, with their lake facing setting, delicious culinary offerings, and beautiful ambiance are capable in themselves of providing remarkable experiences to all the visitors.

Houses

Algonquin Island has an eclectic setting with beautiful flora, equally colorful fauna, the fairy tale cottages, lush wilderness, stunning beaches, spectacular views of Toronto and Lake Ontario, the experience of living like an islander and the perfect setting for a romantic outing. All these and more bring out the intrinsically romantic spirit of Algonquin Island, and make it an enchanted place.

The Versatile Capital Of Uzbekistan: Tashkent



The Versatile Capital Of Uzbekistan: Tashkent

Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan, a country rich in its historical, archeological, architectural and natural treasures. One of the most beautiful capital cities, it holds its own history by being one of the main connecting points of the silk route connecting China to Europe. Tashkent displays a versatility of its own, with new office buildings, museums, beautiful, lush green parks, and mountain ranges. The city has great potential to extend its tourism industry.

Museums

Museum of History of Timurids

Tashkent is one of the oldest cities of Central Asia with a history of over 2000 years. The city constitutes the largest and most unique museums of Central Asia. A treasure chest for those interested in histories, arts and culture, Tashkent has around 100 museums and galleries.There are several types of museums you can choose from.The history museum takes you back in time with its unique collections. The Museum of History of Uzbekistan and Temurids’ History Museum are the two most famous history museums in Tashkent.Art museums in Tashkent have a huge collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture, ceramics and other beautiful and decorative art forms. The leading art museum of Tashkent is the Applied Art Museum in Tashkent, with more than 7000 works of art.

The Central Exhibitions Hall of Arts is one of the exhibition halls at the center of Tashkent, which holds timely exhibitions. It also has a souvenir shop that sells traditional handicraft products of Uzbekistan. There is also a famous Barxan restaurant and bar located in the building.Tashkent Art of Photography located opposite to the Congress Hall of Uzbekistan displays great works of Uzbek photographers.

Azia Art gallery is another art museum is first of its kind, featuring modern visual art. It displays original and unique works in visual art collects samples of the national culture, art and traditions of Uzbek people under the dome of the Centre of National Arts in Tashkent.Apart from that there is Museum of Astronomy, Museum of Geology, Museum of Natural History and other science centers.

Gardens and Parks

japanese botanical garden

There is a lot of greenery in and around Tashkent. There are several parks distributed across the city, bringing you close to nature. One of these is Japanese Botanical Garden, in the center of the city. A magnificent park and quite peaceful, Japanese Garden is one must place to visit in Tashkent.Eco Park is the first Ecological Park in Tashkent. Based on the ideas of ‘reduce reuse and recycle’, this park is built with all the scrap, plastic waste, rubber waste and metal pipes.

Independence Square is more like a park than being the largest square in the city. Public buildings surrounding several monuments and fountains, decorated by various trees and flowers makes this  look alive and refreshing. The monuments of the Sorrowful mother and the eternal fire at the end of the path enhance the beauty of this favorite recreational place. A tradition calls for the newweds to pay a visit to the Square on their wedding day.

Amir Temur Square lies at the center of the city, where stands the famous monument of Amir Temur with lush green trees doubling the beauty. Babur Recreation Park is another beautiful park in the center of the city. It splashes greenery in every direction with the collection of trees around a small pond in the center. Gafur Gulam is one of the greenest parks in the city, covering an area of 23 acres, and a small lake in the center. People of all ages visit here to spend quality time. Alisher Navoi National Park and Monument is the largest parks in the whole country. Right from canals to meadows to ornamental flowers and a tranquil environment, Alisher Navoi is one of the best parks in the country.

 Bazaars

alay-bazaar

In older times, bazaars were places for trade, for exchange of news, meeting friends, celebrating, sharing joys and even punishing criminals. They were meant to be full of life and hustle. Even today there exist many bazaars across Tashkent, reflecting the city life. Most of these old bazaars are located on the branches of the Silk Route and have an old history of their own. The Registan Square and Bukharan trade domes are some of the examples of these ancient bazaars

Alay Bazar is one of the oldest bazaars in Tashkent. It was initially a trade post lying on the trade route during 12-13th century, but now it is a fully fledged bazaar and one of the most happening and lively places in Tashkent. People keen on shopping can visit Alay bazaar, where they can buy variety of sweets, fruits. Alay bazaar is famous for its two story complex of jewelry in silver and gold. Such bazaars reflect the culture of the city in myriad forms.

Chimgan

chimgan

Located 85 km from the capital city, Chimgan Mountain, lies in the Chatkal Range which is at the height of 1600 meters, in the Western Tien Shan Mountains. The summit touches the height of 3309 meters, and is covered with white iridescent snow. The peak reflects the sunlight shimmering like a giant star at 3000 meters. The slopes of the mountains are best for skiing from the month of December until in March when the summer commences. For the adventure seekers, the range provides mountaineering and rock climbing. For the families, there are other interesting activities to indulge in like hiking, hang-gliding, climbing, horse-riding and mountain skiing.

Tashkent is a beautiful place that has got something for everyone, right from amusement parks and botanical gardens to mountaineering, skiing and rock climbing.

 

A Pearl on the Roof of the World – Potala Palace: Tibet, China



A Pearl on the Roof of the World – Potala Palace: Tibet, China

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The Potala Palace which is an administrative, religious and political complex is built on the Red Mountain in the centre of the Lhasa valley at an altitude of 3700 metres. It is named after MountPotalaka. The complex comprises of the WhitePalace and the RedPalace, with their ancillary buildings. The Potala, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century A.D., is the symbol of Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration in Tibet. The beauty and originality of its architecture and its cultural decoration adds to its historic and religious interest. The Palace covers an area of 130,000 square meters and stands more than 110 metres high. Because of its huge scale and magnitude, it is known as “A Pearl on the Roof of the World”. It is one of China’s most renowned ancient buildings. Now, Potala is a transliteration of Sanskrit language. Potala Place has been the site for Dalai Lamas to live and carry out political and religious activities. Viewed as a whole, the palace seems to sit high in the mid air surrounded by a steep cliffs and high clouds, just like a flying castle with a spectacular magnitude.

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As per historical records, construction of Potala Palace began in the time of Slon-Brtsan-Sgam-Po of the Thubet in the 7th century. It was called Red Mountain Palace at that time which was a massive complex which was composed of three outer city walls and 1,000 rooms. It was political center of the Tubo Dynasty. In 17th century, the 5th  Dalai Lama decided to rebuild Potala Palace on the Red Mountain. By 1934, Potala Palace grew to a scale as we see today.

 

The Composition

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Potala Palace is composed of palace halls, Buddha Halls and pagoda halls. According to their functions of use, its buildings can be roughly divided into the White Palace, the Red Palace and other buildings.

The White Palace

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The White Palace is the site for Dalai Lama to carry out political and religious activities. The palace got its name because of its white walls. There is a zigzag slope road in front of the Palace. Along side this road; there is an eastern platform on a vast level square in front of the main gate of the palace. The platform has a surface of more than 1,500 metres. The East Main Hall forms the central part of the White Palace. All major ceremonies including the inaugural ceremony of Dalai Lama are held here. The throne of Dalai Lama is located on the north side of the hall. At the top floor of the White Palace is the bedroom of the Dalai Lama. This set of buildings is made up of an audience hall, a sutra and Dharma Hall.

The Red Palace

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buddha hall red palace

The Red Palace is to the west of the White Palace. It is so called because its walls are painted red. It is located in the center of Potala Palace and center Red Mountain. The red Palace is designed to house pagodas holding the remains of Dalai Lama of each generations and it also has many Buddha and sutra halls.

The Holy Rooms

 holy rooms

There are more than 1,000 rooms in the Potala. Chogyal Drubphuk and the Phakpa Lhakhang are two rooms are considered as most holy of all the rooms. These rooms were kept as it is from the original palace of Srong-Brtsan-Sgam-Po. Phakpa Lhakhang houses the sacred Arya Lokeshvara statue. There are more than 200,000 statues and 10.000 altars are located within the sacred complex.

holy room

There is the Saint’s Chapel, the most holy of the Potala’s chapels. It is also the oldest part of the palace. Beneath the chapel is the Dharma Cave, believed to be the study retreat of the King Songtsen Gampo where he studies Buddhism.

Sculptures

sculptures  sculpturess 

There is a large and important series of sculptures in stone, wood, clay and metal in the Potala Palace, many from India, Nepal, Kashmir and elsewhere. They vary in height from over 10m to a few millimeters and many of them are gilded. Other treasures there are Tibetan carpets, kadian, sutra streamers, canopies, curtains, porcelain, jade, and fine objects of gold and silver, as well as a large collection of sutras and important historical documents. These collections not only are of great artistic value, but also tell the long history of the friendly contacts and cultural exchanges between the Tibetan and the Han people for more than 1,000 years. They also form a strong proof that Tibet is an inseparable part of Chinese territory.

sculpturesss

No doubt, The Potala Palace is the largest and the most complete ancient palace architectures in Tibet. Every stone, sculpture, metal smelting etc, all prove the hard work and wisdom of the Tibetan people in ancient times and the great achievements in Tibetan architectural art. It is included in the World Heritage List in 1994 as it meets all the standards and conditions. Literally no visit to Tibet can be complete without a visit to one of the world’s most famous and immediately recognizable buildings. Ciao.

Tallest Bungee Jumping Spot: Kawarau Bridge



Tallest Bungee Jumping Spot: Kawarau Bridge

Kawarau Bridge was made over the river, Kawarau River, in New Zealand. The bridge actually lies in the Otago Region in the southern region of New Zealand. There are many bridges that run over this Kawarau River. These bridges are Kawarau Bridge, Kawarau River Bridge, Kawarau River (Victoria) Bridge, Kawarau Falls Bridge and the Bridge of Goldfields Mining Centre. Among all these bridges, the Kawarau Bridge is the tallest and the most famous one. This bridge is known by a variety of names like Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, Kawarau Bungy Bridge, Kawarau Suspension Bridge, and only Kawarau Bridge.

bridge

About the Bridge:

This is a historic bridge which is at a height of 43 meters from the Kawarau River in Queenstown. The construction of the bridge was completed in the year 1880 and by that time it was used only as a route to Central Otago Goldfields.  When the new highway bridge was made on State Highway 6 in the year 1963, the bridge was no longer used as a route.  Later, the Bridge became a popular jumping spot and even the New Zealand Historic Places Trust classified this bridge in the category of I Historic Place. Today, the bridge was under the authority of AJ Hackett Bungy Company. They are using this bridge for the sport of Bungee Jumping. But still the bridge can be accessed by bikers or walkers to cross over the river. AJ Hackett opened this bungy jump commercial in the year 1888 and since then it was a big success. The Department of Conservation Reserve is taking care of the bridge.

bungee

Bungee Stats:

The most thrill-seeking sport in Queenstown is Bungee Jumping. This is known to be world’s best and most loved bungee jumping spot. This is the most popular bungee jumping spot from more than 20 years. It offers the first commercial bungee jump in the world. People have to cover the whole 43 meter height during their jump. Thus, it is the most thrilling experience anyone can have.  It is indeed the only Tandem Bungee in Queenstown. The participants get a Jumper T-shirt for free as a symbol of remembrance of this experience.

People can choose from the huge varieties of ways of bungee jumping.  Some of them are somersault, topple over backwards, with another person, forwards and spin. If you are nervous and you still want to take the jump, they can tie you up and will throw you down alone or with your friend.  People can also choose whether they want to just touch the water or they want to bob above the water level or they can be fully immersed in water.

bungy jump

Safety and Comfort:

The authorities in charge can ensure you that no harm will be done physically during the jump. They will attach a long elastic cord to your harness or you ankles. This elastic cord is very strong and can easily take the weight of even a very healthy person. The people in the system are very gentle and sweet towards the people who are jumping. People can take their time to make up their mind on spot also. People of all the ages come there to get this breathtaking experience. There is no problem with people of quite old age to have this jump as it is all about understanding a simple thing in your mind- ‘shoulders up, not down’ and overcoming your fear about the height.  The persons in the safety team are very trained and experienced. They are first bungy operators and are awarded the ‘S’ mark for safety and quality. They know thousands of procedures to notch millions of jumps.

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The Tremendous ZipRide

In addition to the Kawarau Bungee Jump, the Kawarau ZipRide is also appealing to the people. The Bungee pioneer’s latest invention is the ZipRide. This is a perfect ride for tour groups of friends and families.  There are three 130 meter long zip lines which will carry you to a speed of 60 kph. They offer two options for ride: either solo or tandem. Maximum 6 people can take the ride together and at the end return to the launch point. This amazing ride is new and that’s why less costly than the Bungee Jump. This ride is perfectly suitable to those who want to have a look at the panoramic sights around the Kawarau Bridge.

jump

Since 1888, this bungee jumping commercial of AJ Hackett is going strong as today it has become the most enlivening things to do in Queenstown. Inspired from the history of the land divers who used to tie a rope on their feet or ankles in order to jump from large platforms, this sport is now growing more day by day especially in Queenstown. People from all corners of the globe have already visited this place and those who haven’t are planning to do so soon. This is also the most visited tourist site as more than thousands of people are visiting this site every year. People even call it the World Home of Bungy Jumping. All the sporty, fun loving and strong people must visit Queenstown once; if not for anything else then for this sport only. If you are not brave enough to take the plunge, then you should join the excitement as a spectator. It may be possible that seeing the sights of people having the once in a lifetime experience will change your mind!

The Archipelago for the Fearless: Palawan, Philippines



The Archipelago for the Fearless: Palawan, Philippines

 

Relaxing on a banka

Relaxing on a’ Banka’

Ever wondered to take a trip of to the wild side of nature? Felt like experiencing the thrill of living off in dense jungles and hunting for your own meal and living off bare minimum resources.  Maybe you need to kick in your survival skills. An archipelago off the coast  of Philippine , lies Palawan.  Originally a province of Philippine’s but more variable in terms of landmass, demography, history and culture, Palawan Island covers roughly an area of 420 kilometers extending from South China sea to the Sulu sea touching the borders of Borneo midway.  The entire length  is a massive 2000 kilometers  of irregular coastline dotted with close to 1780 isles  with dense tropical forests with   white-sugar sand beaches and  shimmering waters. Added to that is a jagged mountain range extending for a good part of the coastline. For the adventure enthusiasts and ‘nature’  lovers there exists an underwater river system which snakes it way through a good 25 odd kilometers before culminating in South China Sea

Emerald Pool

The Palawan islands are situated more towards the Western Pacific region characterized by its warm  shallow waters in which a wide fauna of coral reefs and marine bio diversity thrive. Home to close to 2000 different  species of fishes, dolphins and sea turtles in  naturally preserved environments. Think tropical rain forests and images of lush foliage rush  to mind  and Voila, Palawan has dense jungles home to thousands of plant and animal species some of which are only inhabitants of this region.  A visit there and one can’t help but fantasize about Tom Hanks’s  famous movie, Cast away where he is left stranded in dense jungle island. Well a pure thrill seekers paradise. Many a travellers who have been here describe Jurassic landscapes of coves, lagoons, beaches and razor-sharp limestone cliffs which rise out of the waters like a majestic serpent. A trip through the sparsely populated jungles ensure sightings of some of the rarest species of animal kingdom, a very records also describe about a certain colorful butterfly the size of a grown up man’s hand. This wealth of flora and fauna  found in their natural habitats attracts a flocks of likeminded tourists . Palawan is a haven for wildlife buffs , warm shallow waters perfect for snorkeling  to see a glimpse of aquatic world to hiking through forests interspersed with creeks  and diving spots or a hiring a local boat to  explore the wide treasure of azure laying front.

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The capital of Palawan islands is Puerto Princesa, the main entry point for the mangrove islands of Honda bay and the mind boggling underwater river system which snakes it way through 8 kilometers of navigable waters winding its way under mammoth caves and underneath a mountain belt. A UNESCO world heritage site for its grandeur  since it also boasts of a wildlife sanctuary in it. A river takes one through the  municipalities of San Vincente  where one may have a problem in choosing between diving snorkeling or swinging  to sleep on a hammock, tourists are spoiled for choice here given the plethora of options to choose from. Palawan was an active site during the World War 2 era in the Pacific Theatre, Calamian group of islands  have a reputation of being the diving grounds of  old ship wrecks and sunken vessels.   Not a  big diving fan , you can head towards other lagoons and backwater spots and try a hand at fishing and interacting with the locals , who are forever welcoming towards the incoming flock of tourists. The El Nido  Marine Reserve Park  , don’t let the name mislead you , apart from being a reserve for endangered species of  marine animals (including the ever elusive ‘Sea Cow’ or Dugong) is a major crossroad of activities in Palawan. Hemmed with narrow lines of streets , it’s a junction for  island hopping, beaches , water sports, hiking and sightseeing  coupled with cheap accommodation in the  hotels nearby. Time flies as one experiences a new way of life away from home, choices aplenty  for recreation here. The beauty of this archipelago is surreal leaving one ridiculously happy for being in paradise.

Puerto Princesa underground river

Puerto Princesa underground river

Filipino cuisine is enticing all over the world and Palawan boasts of an authentic sea food safari , prawns marinated in vinegar and barbequed over charcoal, juicy lobsters caught fresh off the oceans  and prepared front of your eyes.  Stuffed squids  with liberally sprinkled portions of baked mussels and made to perfection. Sit back and feast your senses  on the plates offered.  Each and every dish has a signature flavor which tells the story  of its being ‘cooked to perfection’. No holiday goes without gastronomical delights and  Palawan ensures you have a stomach full of its food. Every restaurant  from the region , be it shacks on the beaches or star hotels in the mainland  offering  delightful cuisines throughout the year teamed with cheery hospitality and cozy ambience.

Succulent dishes

Palawan  has a rich cultural history too , with Japanese and Spanish invasions during the colonial era, the memorabilia is still housed in museums in the islands reminding its visitors the legacy of Palawan. Many of the caves discovered accidently by curious tourists and hikers point to early civilizations dating back thousands of years back which has left it with a varied demography of people , each bringing their additions to the place with their culture, cuisine and habits making a culminating nation of variety. Like ‘Lonely Planet’ puts it for the sheer caliber of the region “ it would take several lifetimes to explore the 6000+ islands that make up this region”. Head your way here to captivate your senses with  adventure and thrill and experiencing a post-apocalyptic fever.

Of Fields and Melodies- Mount Titlis, Switzerland



Of Fields and Melodies- Mount Titlis, Switzerland

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Exploring a glacier cave, chairlifts over deep crevasses, permanent ice and snow at the top of the world and a revolving gondola lift.. If all these sounds amazing then Mount Titlis is the place you are looking for. Even if you are hell prepared a magical world of ice awaits you and it will have your heads spinning and will set your pulse racing. The spectacular spellbound view, the surrounding peaks like shark fins, the glaciers, the cliffs and waterfalls, immersing ourselves in the fresh air of the Swiss alps would make us to forget any crass commercialism.

GEOGRAPHY

geography

Mount titlis located between the cantons of Obwalden and Berne is a mountain in the Urner Alps of Switzerland. This site is famous as the site of the world’s first revolving cable car connecting Engelberg to the summit of Klein Titlis through the three stages of Gerschnialp, trubsee and Stand. The Titlis cliff Walk is the highest elevation suspension bridge in Europe. This cliff gives the complete view of the Alps. Titlis shares the border between Obwalden and Berne and partially located in Nidwalden. Grassen east of Titlis is where the borders between the cantons of Obwalden, Berne and Uri coverge. Titlis is around 15 km west to the geographical centre  of Switzerland. The northern side of Titlis is covered by the Titlis Glacier.

HISTORY

Titlis was also known under the names  Wendenstock,  Nollen in earlier times. The Wendenstock and Reissend Nollen are the nearest western neighbours to the mountain Titlis, but with sharp rugged peaks. The first climb of Titlis was made in the year 1739  by IgnazHerz, J. E. Waser and two other men from Engelberg. The first written evidence of an ascent is found in the Engelberger Dokumente. This document states that a party of four men that reached the summit in 1744.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
TITLIS CLIFF WALK

CLIFF WALK

3,041 meters above sea level, 500 meters off the ground, 150 heart pounding steps, think you have a head for heights? Yes this is Titlis cliff walk, Europe’s highest suspension bridge. You will need nerves made of iron to cross this bridge. The path is just one meter wide and 100 meters long.The route leads you to through an underground tunnel to a viewing platform at the south wall window. The view into the chasm below is breathtaking. Entry to the cliff is completely  free of cost.

TITLIS ROTAIR

TITLIS ROTAIR

This is the world’s first revolving gondola. The Titlis Rotair gondola rotatesup towards the snow covered summit of the Titlis transporting you from the middle station at Stand up to the mountain station 3,020 meters above sea level. This five minutes trip treats to the panoramic view of the rock faces, deep crevasses and snow covered mountain peaks with a 360 degree view.
GLACIER CAVE

GLACIER CAVE

The Glacier cave is inundated with a dim turquoise blue light. The walls glisten with numerous crystals of tiny sparkling ice. The air inside the cave is so frosty that miniature white clouds appear when you breathe. This magical world of ice forms the icy heart of Titlis. It is believed that the ice here was frozen long before prehistoric man discovered the method of making fire using pyrite. The cave has a 150 meter long walkway branching out in several directions and descending 20 meters below the surface of the glacier. There are tiny air pockets in the ice resulting in a misty atmosphere, and a serene blue colour caused by the refraction of light. Exploring the glacier cave is a lifetime experience. The temperature inside the cave is very low grading to around -1.5˚C. Currently the cave is under renovation thus restricting the complete access to the public. Around one third of the cave remains open to the public and the entry to the cave is free of cost.

ICE FLYER

ICE FLYER

Ice Flyer promises you a magnificent view casting your eyes down to a fascinating glacier world below. The Ice Flyer chair lift sweeps you smoothly and safely over crisp, virgin snow fields and icy depths. This is the only place where you can expect such a breathtaking glacier experience. Only here on TITLIS can you expect such a fantastic glacier experience.

GLACIER PARK

GLACIER PARK

Dash through the snow and whisk quickly and get back to the top. The Glacier park at Titlis guaranties you all kinds of fun and snow activities you are craving for. Before reaching the end of the exhilarating ride you are sure to spin full circle several times through the glistening snow on a rubber tyre.

HIKING ON TITLIS GLACIER

HIKING

You will feel on the top of the world when hiking on Titlis glacier which provides a spectacular view of the nearby and distant peaks. From the TITLIS Rotair Cableways mountain station, it is only a short walk through the fluffy white snow to the vantage point at Stotzig Egg. In good weather, you can even see as far as the Bernese Oberland, the mountains of Canton Wallis and Schwarzwald.

 PHOTO STUDIO

PHOTOSTUDIO

The largest photo studio in the world offering traditional Swiss costume made to fit easily over your everyday attire. What’s more? Your photo will be ready in just three minutes, A photo with Mount Titlis in the background will serve as a token of remembrance of an unforgettable memory of your trip to Titlis.

 

 

Sicily – The Pearl of the Mediterranean



Sicily – The Pearl of the Mediterranean

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A gift of nature unlike any other, the great Mediterranean island of Sicily, is a treasure to behold in every which way. The largest island on the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily has been a center of power, history, culture, civilization and learning from antiquity. The island is located to the extreme south of the mainland Italy and is only separated by the narrow Straits of Messina just off the North African coastline. The island is today an autonomous state within the Republic of Italy and one of the major attractors of tourists in the world. Its culture, architecture, food, people, language and way of life differs in some ways from mainland Italy giving it its own unique identity which it has been able to conserve and propagate with success. The island is also hosting many volcanoes within its boundaries with some of them also being active including the biggest of them all, Mt. Etna.

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The island of Sicily is greatly endowed by Mother Nature with its landscape being full of green valleys, mountains, hills, and beaches. One can has so much to discover in this region of Italy that one visit will never be enough. Sicily has been brimming with human activity from as late as 8000 B.C when the area was largely dominated by the Sicani tribes who were later joined by the Elymians who were known to belong to the Aegean Sea. By the turn of the first millennia B.C, Greeks settlers began settling in the island forming many colonies and assimilating the Sicani tribes with themselves. The region thrived under the Hellenic culture of the Greeks resulting in the creation of many Greek temples such as those found in the Valley of Temples at Agrigento. The Island of Sicily came under the Roman control around the middle of the 3rd century B.C when the Greek ruler Syracuse asked for help from the Romans in defeating the Carthagian colonies in the westernmost part of the island during the longest battle of ancient times known as the Greek-Prunic wars. Following their victory in the war, the Romans annexed the island and made it their first province outside of the Italian Peninsula.

SICILY

After the decline of the Roman Empire in the 5th century A.D, the island saw many rulers rule its beautiful lands which included the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantine, the Arabs, and Normans who took turns to rule the island through most parts of six centuries after the decline of the Roman Empire and before the establishment of the Kingdom of Sicily in the 12th century A.D. The Norman King Roger II of Sicily was able to establish the Kingdom under the subordination of various other kingdoms such as Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Two Sicily which lasted for more than six centuries. It was annexed as part of the Italian state in the movement of nationalism in 1860 and finally given the status of autonomous state after Italy was declared a republic in 1946.

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Sicily has always been considered by Europeans as their paradise, a place which has inspired many artists, poets, authors with its rich color, great weather, breathtaking landscape and its amazing quest for culture. The island with its great shores kissing the clear, greenish water of the Mediterranean, Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas makes for some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Sicily’s geography is mostly mountainous with most of the parts dominated by some volcano or the other most amazing of them all being the great Mt. Etna which is the pride and symbol of Sicilian culture. The Region around the Mt. Etna, the largest volcano in Europe is full of rich biodiversity protected by various national parks which provide for great trekking experiences exploring the natural beauty of this humongous volcano. Sicily is a treasure bed of archeology with many remains and archaeological sites still intact in the island, the many caves of the volcanic mountains of the island provide for an exhilarating trip back in time of the first settlers on this island, the ancient monuments and the World heritages sites such as the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, Necropolis of Pantalica and the baroque cities of Noto Valley and Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina.

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There are many charming islets which satellite around Sicily but none of them is as charming and stunning as the World Heritage site of the Aeolian Islands with its beautiful archipelago of smaller islands, caves, small beaches with crystal clear water and amazing local cuisines. Sicily is a paradise for lovers of beaches and nature. Trekking is becoming a very popular activity in the island state as it allows adventure seekers to explore the beautiful region around the many volcanoes of the island including Mt. Etna which at over 3000m poses quite a challenge. Besides these natural extravaganzas, Sicily has also been home of learning, arts, culture and heritage. One can visit the town of Acireale to see the Opera of Marionettes or experience the joy of the people of Sicily during the Acireale Carnival. Sicily, it’s a treat, a treat of amazing freshness, richness and luxury a place that is as breathtaking in its landscape as it is in its cuisines and culture.

The Incredible Capital of Incredible India: Delhi



The Incredible Capital of Incredible India: Delhi

Delhi is the capital of India and houses the legislative, executive and judiciary bodies of Indian Government. But Delhi is not just the home for the Government but a lot of things. The Chandani Chowk, the main street of Delhi is most crowded, busiest street on Delhi which will show you that the city is alive. The Connaught Place, a British Shopping mall, is the heart of city and will show you the sophistication in the crowd. There are many other such places to tell you how advanced it is and at the same time how much history this place has.

Lal Qila (Red Fort):

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Lal Qila, also known as the Red Fort, is the most important monument of Delhi. It is a brilliant and marvelous work of red sand stones used to make a fort for Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor. The emperor Shah Jahan is one of the most famous rulers of India who is remarkably known for building the Taj Mahal. The Red Fort was completely constructed in 1648 and nothing was ever added to this monument after that. Inside the red fort, there are many sections and buildings: Chatta Chowk which is a covered market between the fort and its gate; Diwa-i-Am or the Hall for Public Audience has a marble floor and an emperor throne; Hayat Baksh Bagh which was a garden with fountains but is now dry; Rang Mahal or Color Palace was residence of Sultan’s main wife; Mumtaz Mahal or Jewel Palace which is a collection of six apartments used for Sultan’s harem and now a museum of court; Khas Mahal or Private Palace was residence of the King having a octagonal tower, Mussaman Burj used by the king to appear before the public every morning.

Humayun’s tomb:

Humayuns'tomb

It is a historically important monument which is also a World Heritage Site as declared by UNSECO. Humayun’s Tomb is a large Tomb with well-maintained gardens located in the Char Bagh that will you take you to the times where Mughals rules over India. The tomb was built in 1562 and is the first Mughal structure so major and so magnificent. Humayun was the second emperor of the Mughal Empire. This structure of this tomb is very much similar to that of the Taj Mahal of Agra with the difference of the color of stones used and the intention of building a monument; Taj Mahal is made up of white marbles while Humayun’s Tomb is made up of red sandstone and Taj Mahal was built to grieve for the wife’s death unlike the Tomb which was built to grieve for the emperor’s death. On the second floor of the monument, you can find the actual crypt where the king was buried.

As high as the sky:

Qutub-Minar-Delhi

Qutub Minar is one of the most loved attractions of the capital city of India. It was built during the rule of Slave Dynasty from 1206 to 1290 and is one the World Heritage Sites under UNSECO. The entire complex is full of surprises and beautifully designed architectures. At nights, there are light and sound shows conducted in the complex which is a must see. The Minar or Tower is 72.5 meter tall and was the tallest building in the world during its time. This giant structure is delicate and carved perfectly and is well preserved to our surprises. Look at this piece of architecture makes you inspired and hopeful. The complex also has a mosque called Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque and is the first mosque of Delhi and is also the biggest in the city. At the centre of the Mosque, there is an iron pillar which is 7 meters tall and was erected by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya. Then there are: Ala-i-Minar (which was supposed to be a replica of Qutub Minar but was left incomplete), Ala-i-Darwaza (gate to enter the mosque and behind the minar), and a Tomb of Imam Zamin in the complex.

Religious city:

MUSLIMS OFFERING NAMAJ ON THE OCASSION OF EID AT JAMA MASJID IN THE CAPITAL

Delhi was ruled by kings from distinct religions and each of them left a mark of their religion. Jama Masjid, built in 1650, is the largest mosque in the country and has space for more than 25 thousand devotees. The rooftops of the mosque will present a view of Delhi in the most amazing and stunning manner. There is a very unique structure that represents the shae of the national flower of India, Lotus. The temple is called Bahai Lotus Temple which is lotus-shaped monument with 27 petals and milky-blue ponds all around it. Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple is another bery large monument for Hindus made from red sandstone and without any steel. There are many other temples, mosques, gurudwaras, churches, etc. in Delhi which are very peaceful and beautiful at the same time.

The Official Monuments of Capital:

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India Gate is the first thing that anyone must see in Delhi. Which is a gate designed as a memorial for all the Indian Soldiers who proudly fought for their country in World War I and to respect that fact, there is an eternal flame burning always. Rashtrapati Bhawan is the presidential palace which is celebrated as greatly in India as the White House in America. The Rashtrapati Bhawan is connected to the India Gate through a route with grassy lawns on either side known as the Raj Path. Raj Path is used for the Parades during days of National importance. Apart from these, we have Raj Ghat where the Beloved Father of Nation – Mahatma Gandhi was cremated; Jantar Mantar which is science observatory; Old Fort or Puaran Qila which is an epic place in the legendary Mahabharat of Hindus.

Delhi is the heart of the country India and is the love of all Indian. It will leave a life long impression in you heart and mind as well.