Daily Archives: 04.04.2014

The Steeltown of Hamilton



The Steeltown of Hamilton

The port city of Hamilton lies in the Canadian province, Ontario. The city is very much industrialized and is quite densely populated. The city is actually situated on the shore of Lake Ontario, also known by the name the Golden Horseshoe. The city was resurrected on January 1st in the year 2001. The inhabitants of this old city call themselves as Hamiltonians. Now, the city is the third largest city in Ontario and stands 9th among the largest cities in Canada. The main source of economy of Ontario is manufacturing and the most industrialised regions of Ontario are Hamilton and Toronto. 60% of Canada’s steel comes from Hamilton and thus the city is known as the Steel Capital of Canada. As the city is a working city crimes are very less likely to happen there.

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The city of Hamilton is very beautiful. The city shines by the presence of Royal Botanical Gardens, McMaster University, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Mohawk College and the Bruce Trail. The famous Hamilton City Hall is accompanied by the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in the eastern part. The Tim Hortons Field is also being resurrected for the 2015 Pan American Games. Many film and TV productions are being filmed in Hamilton. Even work is being done on promoting the art scene in Hamilton.

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The main tourist attraction in Hamilton is the Royal Botanical Gardens. It is located in Burlington but also includes some land in Hamilton. The place is also a significant regional as well as local horticultural, conservation, scientific and educational resource for people. This plane owns a land of 980 hectares and includes large varieties of Canadian wild plants, a bird area and a plant biodiversity hotspot. Royal Botanical Gardens has a collection of almost 1,000 different species of plants within its boundaries. The Bashful Bulrush plant is a very rare plant that is available there and can be found in Canada only. The most endangered tree of Canada- Red Mulberry can be found in this garden. The Royal Botanical Garden is a spectacular treat to the eyes of the visitors.

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The next most visited place in Hamilton is the Dundurn Castle which is a neoclassical historic mansion. The Dundurn Castle covers an area of 18,000 square foot. It took three years to construct the whole castle which was started in 1832. In the year 1900, the city of Hamilton purchased this Dundurn Castle for $50,000. About 3 million dollars are spent on the renovation of this castle and from the original 72 rooms 42 rooms are open to public access. Inside this Dundurn Castle there is a museum named Hamilton Military Museum which include displays from the Rebellions of 1837, the War of 1812, World War I, the Boer War and World War II. Numerous photographs, military uniforms, weapons, medals and other stuff are also on display. There is a separate section of library with Canadian military history and thus is not open to all and can be visited on appointment only.

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The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum is also one of the main attractions of Hamilton. This Canadian Aviation Museum is actually situated in the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. This museum has many different kinds of aircrafts used for military purposes on display. In total there are 36 military jets, helicopters and propeller-driven aircraft which are on display. Among these many aircrafts many are still in the working condition. Even some aircrafts are restored during the times of Cold War and the Second World War. Some main attractions of this museum are the S-2 Tracker, a Bristol Boilingbroke and the TBM Avenger. The one among the only two existing airworthy Lancasters in the entire world is also on display in this museum. The name of this Lancaster is “Avro Lancaster”.

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A very famous family owned safari park is the African Lion Safari which is located in Flamborough in Hamilton. More than 1000 animal species and about 100 different species of mammals and birds around the entire world also are available in this park. There are tour buses available for the visitors to travel across the 740 acres land of this park. Visitors who want to travel from their own vehicle are allowed to travel in their own vehicle but in some not so restricted areas only. People can see some animals roaming freely in some large but contained areas only. The African Lion Safari is indeed also an accredited member of the following organisations: World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), CAZA, the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators (IAATE) and also the International Elephant Foundation (IEF).

Another happening place in Hamilton is the FirstOntario Centre which was originally named as Copps Coliseum. The FirstOntario Centre has a large ice hockey arena having a capacity of almost 19,000. Victor K. Copps, the former Hamilton mayor, was the original founder of this FirstOntario Centre and that’s why the centre was originally named after him. Today, the FirstOntario Centre is the home of many junior and senior ice hockey championships. Apart from these famous places there are many other interesting places to visit in Hamilton. The names of some of them are the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton Harbour, Spencer Gorge/Webster’s Falls Conservation Area, Bruce Trial and the Westfield Heritage Centre. All these places are also great places to visit when on a tour of Hamilton.

Amazing treat to the eyes : Botanical Gardens, SIngapore



Amazing treat to the eyes : Botanical Gardens, SIngapore

Defining the word ” Botanical Garden “

Botanical garden is a wide area in which a diverse varieties of plants and flowers are displayed for scientific purposes . Basically , in the botanical garden , each plant and flower is labelled for the easier understanding of the visitors as well as for the students who come to botanical gardens for their research work . Botanical garden contains plants and flowers from specific parts of the world and they contains a wide variety of plants and flowers such as tropical plants , alphine plants or other exotic plants .Earlier , the role of botanical gardens was limited to books only , but nowadays , people actually pay a visit to botanical gardens for their art exhibitions , tours , education  and for the research .

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Location

There are many Botanical gardens in the whole world but Singapore’s botanic garden is considered as the biggest botanic garden in the city. It is located in 1 Cluny Rd , Singapore 259569.  This garden was established in 1859 and it has remained Singapore’s most prized charisma . It is a blossoming garden which consumes  63.7 hectares of the land . One can easily reach botanical garden by taking a bus from Changi Business park and going straightaway to Cluny road.

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History

The very first botanical garden got established in the year 1822.Its main engagement was to access the cultivation crops that were of utmost economic importance and a part of our livelihood such as spices , fruits , vegetables. Then , 32 hectares of land was been granted to the Agri Horticultural society by the colonial government  , then as a consequence , the biggest garden  was established in 1859. The main highlights of the garden is that it is largely based on Niven’s design .The garden indeed has played a paramount role during the “greening singapore” campaign . During the early independence days , it has also played a very significant role during the Garden City Campaign.

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Attractions of the garden

1. National Orchid Garden

Located on the mid-western side of the garden , National orchid garden has been labelled as the favourite attraction within the botanical garden . This garden is rich in beauty and consumes only 3 hectares of land .This garden  has more than 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchids .This park holds special significance as the Singapore’s national flower is Miss Joaqim , a hybrid orchid. People like Nelson Mandela , Princess Diana also had orchids after them.The opening hours of National Orchid Garden are from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm . Entry charges are $5-00 for adults and $1-00 for students and senior citizens of above 60 years . Entry in this garden is absolutely free for children below 12 years of age .

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2 .Rainforest

The tropical rainforest is even older than the botanical garden itself .It consists of 6 acres of land and it is a very attracting forest within the botanical garden .

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3.Ginger Garden

This one hectare garden is located next to the national orchid garden which was opened officially in 2003 .

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4. Evolution Garden

Located within the central core area of the garden . This garden has a collection of the plants throughout the ages .

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5. Jaccab Ballas Children garden

The donar of this garden was Jaccab Ballas and the name of this garden was also named after his name .The National Parks Board claims it as the first children garden as it was opened on children day . Water play area,tree houses , a small playground adds to the beauty of this garden and children love to pay a visit to Jaccab Ballas Children garden . The opening hours of Jaccab Ballas Children Garden is from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm daily . This park remains closed on mondays .Entry of children is absolutely free of cost in this garden as the name suggests , it is a garden absolutely for children .

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Highlights of the Botanical garden

This is the most amazing and absolutely free of cost botanical garden except the National Orchid Garden .This place is very well brushed  and it is very popularly known as the ” star visitor attraction “.It consists of numerous heritage trees , more than 10,000 plants from different parts of the world  . Saraca stream is on  of the most visited attractions of the botanical garden . This garden opens at 5 am to 12 pm .

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As it is a well known fact that Singapore is a small country . But , in the contradiction , this botanical garden of singapore is the biggest and attractive destination for the locals and tourists .  This garden has an array of botanical and horticultural attractions . It is rich in history . The most amazing and phenomenal thing about the garden is it has tons of mini parks inside it . It can be said that it has ” many gardens within a single garden “.  If you are in singapore , Botanical Gardens of the Singapore should be your first choice .They are so much rich in beauty that the beauty of each and every garden should be admired . The botanic garden is a civic and community space . This entire garden seems to people very nice and easily accessible . One should carry a bottle with him because it will need a lot of patience to walk through this entire park . But , even carrying of bottle will not work because one gets so lost in the beauty of the gardens that he forgets where he is ! One feels completely into a different world after entering in the world of the gardens , that is , ” The Botanical Garden “.

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The Crossroad of the Pacific: Honolulu, Hawaii



The Crossroad of the Pacific: Honolulu, Hawaii

There is a saying that “Honolulu has everything. Sand for the children, sun for the wife and sharks for the wife’s mother”. You will realize that it is quite true when you will visit this amazing city. The Honolulu city has it all. Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii State of United States and located in the south eastern shoreline of the island of Oahu. It is the most populated city in Hawaii. This city is mainly known for the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941 by Japan near the city. However, it is also famous for its beauty and variety of its ethnic groups. It has abundance of places to visit and delicious food to eat. There is Honolulu beach also which offers activities like Surfing, Diving, Boating and more.

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The climate here is semi tropical and remains comfortable usually because of the trade winds. However, southerly winds blow for a few weeks in the summer. There is only a few degrees difference between winter and summer and the weather in Honolulu shows the least variation than any other city in the United States. It is hard to pick the ideal time to visit Honolulu because the weather remains perfect nearly year round.

How to get here?

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Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is the main airport of not only Honolulu but also of Hawaii. HNL receives flights from a lot of countries and remains busy all the time. The bus is the official transit service of Honolulu and you can reach downtown from outside of airport by buses. You can also get a lot of cabs and limos outside the airport.

Accommodation and Food

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There are hundreds of hotels and resorts to choose from in Honolulu and it is quite hard for visitors to make a choice. Still there are some popular places where you can enjoy your stay, like Coconut Waikiki Hotel, with rates starting at just $110 a night and a perfect location so that you can roam around the city easily. There is Hilton Hawaiian Village, where you will experience a clean, comfortable and special place to stay. If you wish to stay near the Waikiki Beach then there are Sheraton Waikiki, Royal Hawaiian, Outrigger Waikiki and Halekulani as options.

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Honolulu has a variety of excellent restaurants to choose from. Here, you can eat like a local in small places like Kapahulu or Haleiwa or dine in style at some of finest restaurants here like Waikiki and many more. There are Marukame Udon, Sushi Lzakaya Gaku, Sweet Home Café, Helena’s Hawaiian food, Ono Seafood who offer every meal from Japanese to Italian. There are a lot of restaurants, street food corners and cafes around the city and the beach.

The Attractions

Diamond Head

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Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone on Hawaiian island and most recognized landmark known for its historic hiking trail and some amazing coastal views. You can find a lot of restrooms, vending machines, lunchwagon, trash cans, and lookouts to make your visit easy and comfortable. You can enjoy hiking here everyday till 6:00 pm with an entrance fee of just $5 per car or $1 per person for pedestrians.

USS Arizona Memorial

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The USS Arizona Memorial, located at Pearl Harbour in Honolulu, is final resting place for many of the ship’s 1177 crewmen who lost their lives on December 7, 1941. The whole structure is 184 foot long and spans the mid portion of the sunken battleship and consists of three main sections i.e. the entry room, the assembly room and a central area. You will be able to view many memorials dedicated to preserving the memory of those lost in World War II.

Honolulu Zoo

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The Honolulu Zoo is located between the slopes of Diamond Head and Waikiki at the corner of Kapahulu Avenue. It remains open everyday except Christmas Day. This Zoo is home to 905 different animals and covers an area of 42 acres. You will get a chance to see some amazing animals from the tropics, Komodo Dragons to primates and amphibians here.

Waikiki Aquarium

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The Waikiki Aquarium is situated on the shoreline of Waikiki Beach next to a living reef. It was founded in 1904 which makes it the second oldest public aquarium in the United States. The Aquarium will enter its 110th anniversary year in 2014; it will undergo facility improvements, exhibit revitalizations and welcomed additions.

Hanauma Bay

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Hanauma Bay is the most famous of all Hawaii’s snorkeling beaches as it has huge fish population, calm shallow water and white sand. Hanauma Bay was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967. It is a perfect place for Scuba Diving and surfing.

Bishop Museum

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Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in honor of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. It houses a great collection of Hawaiian artifacts and royal family heirlooms of the Princess, documents and photographs about the island cultures. It also has one of the largest natural history specimen collections in the world. The museum remains open from Wednesday to Monday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and charges $19.95 as entrance fee.

Haiku Stairs

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Haiku Stairs, also known as Stairway to Heaven, is a series of approx. 4000 concrete stairs that climbs 2800 feet from the valley Haiku to the peak of PU’u Keahi A Kohoe in Honolulu. At the top of the peak, you can see a great skyline view of the Hawaiian island and the sea. It is not one of the most difficult hikes on the whole island but the amazing view at the top makes it a journey worth going on.

The excitement remains at its highest level when you are hanging out in Honolulu, Hawaii. So, just plan a trip and gather some breathtaking experiences here in Honolulu.

Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh



Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

tawangTawang is a small town situated in the northwestern part of Arunachal Pradesh. It is located at a height of 3500 meters above the sea level on the Northern Himalayas. It is surrounded by Tibet in the north and Bhutan in the south west. It is spread over an area of 2172 sq. kms. It is very popular as it is known to be the birth place of the sixth Dalai Lama, Nagwang Lobsang Gyatso. The largest Buddhist Monastery in India is situated in Tawang.Thus, it is also a very important pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Buddhists. Tawang has some of the most beautiful lakes, snow capped mountains, remote villages and ancient monasteries. Tawang is therefore both historically and naturally endowed.

HOW TO REACH?

By Air

The closest airport to Tawang is Tezpur which is connected by flights to the cities like Guwahati and Kolkata. From Tezpur you can hire a Taxi to reach Tawang. It takes about 10 hours to reach there.

By Road

You can take a bus from Guwahati and reach Bomdila. There are regular buses from Bomdila to reach Tawang. It is almost an 11 hour journey from Bomdila by road. There are also many taxis or rented cars available. You can travel by car from Guwahati to reach Tawang which takes almost 16 hours.

By Rail

Tezpur is the closest station to Tawang which is about 160 km away. There are also many trains like the Rajdhani Express which go up to Guwahati. You can take this train and then from Guwahati plan a road journey as many options are available for that.

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BEST TIME TO VISIT

Tawang has a moderate climate for most of the time during the year. However, it gets really cold during the winters. So the best time to visit here would be from April to October when the temperature is relatively more compared to the winter season

PLACES TO SEE

1. Tawang Monastery

Tawang Monastery is one of the biggest Monastery in India and second biggest in Asia. It is also known as Tawang Ganden Namgyal Lhatse. It was founded by Mera Lama Lodre Gyasto in the year 1680-81 in accordance to the wish of the fifth Dalai Lama. It is located on a hill top. It is known as an important seat of Mahayana Buddhism. There is an 8 metre high statue of Lord Buddha here. There is also a residential building for the monks. It also has a library, a museum and a school for the basic education. This is also the place where the fourteenth Dalai Lama had fled from Tibet to escape the Chinese Army. He later again visited this place in November 2009 where around thirty thousand people attended his religious discourse.

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2. War Memorial

This war memorial is built to commemorate the bravery of thousands of Indian Soldiers who died fighting a war against the Chinese in the year 1962. Around 2420 brave soldiers lost their life in this Sino Indian war.

3. Urgelling Gompa

Urgelling Gompa is a monastery situated at a distance of 5 km in the south of Tawang. It is regarded as the first of the three monasteries built by Urgen Sangpo. It was built in 1489 AD. This is also the birth place of the Sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso.

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4. P.T. Tso Lake

This is situated 14 kms from the Tawang town. The lake water is clear blue in colour. However, for four to five months the lake water is frozen during winter season. The lake is beautiful and the view from the lake is splendid as well.

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5. Jang Waterfall

It is also known as Nuranang Falls. It is 2 km away from the Town of Jang which falls in between the way while going to Tawang. There is also a small hydel power plant located at the base of the falls which provides electricity to the local people. It is a spectacular site and a must visit.

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Apart from these major tourist attractions you can also visit the Sela Pass, Chagzam Bridge which is an iron bridge built over the Tawang- Chu River, Gorzam Chorten Zemithang, Taktsang Gompa, Lama Zabshe whic is believed to have the foot print of the sixth Dalai Lama on one of the rock, Khinmey Gompa, etc. Tawang is also known as a Trekker’s Paradise as much of the land remains undiscovered. With the beautiful mountain views, chilling weather and challenging treks, a trekker is sure to have an amazing time here. However, along with the challenging treks there are some easy treks too. And some of the treks also take you a little close to the Chinese border.

Tawang is one of the unexplored beauties with not much of tourists visiting which makes good accommodation a little difficult to find. But there are many mid range accommodation options available. And most of the hotels here are situated in the market area. There is also a Government Tourist Lodge and a Circuit House where permits are required for staying. However, you might require certain permits to enter Tawang and some places here. Thus, the snow capped mountains, mesmerizing lakes, amazing climate and the hospitality of the people here continue to attract people who visit this place. So make sure you visit this place once to experience the enchanting beauty of Tawang.

Queen of the West: Cincinnati City, Ohio



Queen of the West: Cincinnati City, Ohio

The first thing that comes into mind is Baseball when we hear the name of Cincinnati city but it is not the only thing it is famous for. Yes, it is home to the Major League Baseball team the Cincinnati Reds but Cincinnati is also known for its amusing beauty, amazing nightlife, Ohio River, delicious food, historic architecture, the Bicycle Community, music and much more. There are enough reasons for you to visit this underrated city. Cincinnati is a city located in south western Ohio, United States. The city has medium population and the city has a stunning skyline overlook. One of the founders of Cincinnati, John Filson, gave the name, Losantville, to this city in during 1790. Cincinnati was incorporated as a town on January 1, 1802. It became a city on February 5, 1819. According to a popular belief, Cincinnati was built on seven hills like Rome. But it is just a belief and nobody known what the original seven hills were.

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The climate of Cincinnati is quite continental and produces a wide range of temperatures from winter to summer. Extensive cloudiness is seen in the winters which are moderately cold and the summers are quite warm and humid and the temperature reaches almost 90 degrees for about 19 days every year. The best time to visit the city is late spring and the period from September to October is ideal.

How to get here?

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Cincinnati is just 14 km away from the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Airport and there are almost 46 airlines which operate out of this airport. Just outside the airport you can find a lot of cabs, limos and local buses that will take you to downtown. There is also Cincinnati metro train services by which you can wander around the city.

Accommodation and Food

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There is a long range of places to stay in Cincinnati from Luxury hotels to hostels and inns. If you wish to stay at a luxurious place then 21c Museum Hotel, Cincinnatian Hotel, Garfield Suites Hotel, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza etc will be a good choice as these hotels have private Spa, free internet, Pool and restaurant facility for you. There are many affordable hostels which offer discounts for groups and are in the center of the city so that you can get access to a lot of places around easily. Jefferson International Hostel might be a good choice as it is located right in the heart of the city.

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Cincinnati has some of the best unique and tasty dishes, you can’t find anywhere else in the country. It is not only known for its famous Cincinnati style Chili, super thick Graeter’s and United Dair Farmer’s ice cream but also one of the best food markets, Findlay Market, which was opened in 1972. it sells some of the freshest meat, fish, poultry produce, flowers, cheese and some ethnic food. You can have some delicious pizza at Dewey’s or Adriatico’s and Burgers from Arthur Café or Terry’s Turf Club. You will find Indian, Italian, Thai, Japanese and almost all other tastes of the world in this city.

The Attractions

Cincinnati Zoo

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Cincinnati  Zoo is the second oldest Zoo of the country and was founded in 1873. It features more than 5000 animals and 3000 plant species which makes it one of the largest Zoo collections in the country. This amazing zoo sets the standard for conservation, education and preservation of wild animals and wild spaces and over 1.2 million people visit the zoo annually. The Zoo is located on Vine street and can be accessed by local buses or other transport means.

Great American Ball Park

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The Great American Ball Park is home of the Cincinnati Reds which was Baseball’s first professional franchise. It is located on the winding banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati. The Ball Park was opened for the 2003 season and now, going to make 2014 its 12th big league season. You can take a special VIP tour which includes a visit to the clubhouses, dressing rooms, Crosley Room, Press Box and dugouts. You can enjoy some baseball action also if you are at the right time in the city.

Paul Brown Stadium

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Paul Brown Stadium is a sports stadium and home to Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. The stadium has 65,515 seats on three levels, including 7600 club seats and 114 private suites. There are Fan Information Booths on Gates A and D, where you can get a Fan information card with full information about the stadium along with directions. There is Stadium tour available from Monday to Friday costing only $ 7 per person.

Carew Tower

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Carew Tower is located on Vine Street of Cincinnati and is the second tallest building in Cincinnati. It is home to 25 shops, restaurants and other amenities including the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza and offices. It was completed in 1930 and today it stands 48 stories tall in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. You can enjoy a 360 degree view of Cincinnati from the top of Carew Tower.

Coney Island

Coney Island is an amusement park which includes 50 separate rides and attractions. It is quite a seasonal center operating between Easter and Halloween. Here are some attractions like Sunlite pool which is 200 feet wide, 401 feet long and holds more than three million gallons of water. There are some classic rides here and live shows and that make your visit amusingly enjoyable.

John Roebling Bridge

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The John Roebling Bridge is named after designed John A. Roebling, a civil Engineer and designer of Bridges. It was really a groundbreaking achievement, controlling the suspension of the bridge. The bridge spans the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio and  Covington, Kentucky.

These attractions are just a glimpse of this excellently blessed city so, just plan a trip and come to experience the “Queen of the West”.

Winter sports in Austria



Winter sports in Austria

Fancy to do some winter sports? So, do you love to do some fancy skiing and yet you don’t want to be in the middle of all the hustle-bustle with people going gaga over the snow and skating stuff? Then the one stop destination that you are searching for is Austria! Austria is the country that is famous for these winter sports, standing next to the ever beautiful heaven for winter sports, Switzerland. Though it is not very populated with people, the facilities for winter sports in Austria are second next to Switzerland and France, which by itself is an astounding fact to know. This place is also known for the cheap beer that it provides.

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Over time, the sporting facilities have increased and now it has become a booming market in the country. It is said that the country make over a billion euros every year just through this, which not only helps the economy to grow but it also helps the GDP of the country to grow up as well due to the wealth that is attained by the citizens in the nearby areas as well. Formerly farming towns were grazed and converted into these wonderful ski resorts over time and the fact that these were done in the small time gap of 10 years is an astounding thing to hear as such. However, these towns haven’t lost their charm of being an Austrian old town and it stills throws light into the way Austrians originally live.

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Another interesting point to note here is that in spite of have warm winters, the skiing industry hasn’t gone down due to the heavy investment that the companies have made on artificial now generating machines. Facilities such as this have made sure that even in the most adverse conditions, wherein the snow cover is very less, they can come up with facilities that can run the industry for an entire season and that too without incurring much of a loss. Due to the facilities that have been maintained over the past few years, the cost of the ski passes have gone up considerably over time, but it is true to say that its work the buck to visit these skiing resorts.

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The ski resorts that are present near the Italian frontier is open year round though the recommended time to visit these ski resorts is the end of December to the end of March. However, the middle period between these two periods, that is mid-January is the best time to catch up with the best skiing actions. Skiers are advised to keep away from the Christmas and the New Year holiday season as it is supposed to be filled with people and the slopes are too congested to be enjoyed to the maximum. However, towards the end of January, it is safe to assume that it is a good period to enjoy the snow and the coldness of the Austrian Mountains. It is an advice given to the tourists to avoid February as it is the time when the schools and the universities closes for vacation and the slopes are crowded again.

Packaged holiday tours are always the best option available to travellers as they arrange almost everything that the traveller will require. Starting from the hotel needed for accommodation to arranging for the equipment required for skiing, everything is provided by the holiday providers and the travellers need not go in search for the required materials, which reduces the time and cost of travel. It is also a known fact that higher the elevation of the hotel, the more it is going to cost. However, with travel agents, this can be ignored as they pre-book the hotel rooms that you will need.

It is always better if you go for a smaller ski resort as there is a chance that you will be given more attention there than in other huge establishments. The fast chairlifts provide in of a kind experience and there are also the dreaded T bar Lifts and the Slow Lifts. Your ride in one of these lifts depends upon the money that you offer to pay. Low black slopes are always better for the beginners and it is a general advice that is given to the amateur travellers to avoid high black slopes. At the end of the day, there is always the Apres Ski in the pubs and bars on top of the mountains. The evening get-togethers happen at around 5 pm and then extend till late night after having some traditional Austrian cuisine.

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The food on the mountains is often not great and is overpriced most of the times. A high number of large restaurants mass produce the food and is given at an affordable cost, though the food is not of great quality. However, the Hotel food is normally good and you can always find a Hotel that serves tasty Pizzas or Kebabs, which are mostly Italian by nature. So, if you want to enjoy some quality time with your loved ones in the Austrian mountains, and that too on an affordable rate, then Austria is the best place to have such luxuries.

Coral atolls in New Zealand-Tokelau



Coral atolls in New Zealand-Tokelau

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be in an Island with a meagre population of friendly people? If not, then its time you visit the beautiful island of Tokelau in the mid-way between the Islands of New Zealand and Hawaii. To be precise about the exact location of the island, it is located about 500 Km north of the island of Samoa. With a meagre population of about 1500 odd people, the culture followed here is mostly Polynesian and the people here are proud about their rich cultural heritage. History reckons that the island was settle about 1000 years ago and the archaeological evidence that was found in the island supports these evidences. The tradition of Tokelau is still maintained and even today the only way to reach the island is by a ship which runs to the island every two weeks. Yes, I said that right, there are no harbours, no ports and the only possible way of reaching the island is the above mentioned ferry service every 2 weeks. Although it is famous for the tradition that they follow, many of the people have moved to the mainland of New Zealand in search for a living.

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Regarded to be the country with the smallest economy in the entire world, the Central Intelligence Agency’s report also shows that the average annual purchasing power per capita of the people living in the country is about US $1,000. Because transportation is such a problem, most of the food items and the drinks that are needed for everyday activity is provided by the ships that visit the island to provide them with the essentials. The coral atolls that add to the beauty of the island is the sole reason as to why food cannot be grown aground on the island. Flora and fauna on the island is meagre as there is hardly any land to raise crops or other trees. Common reptiles such as the lizard are found in plenty and there are the migratory seabirds that visit the island of Tokelau in quick succession. Also, the geographic feature of the island is prone to sea level rises as the entire island lies about 3 to 5 m above the sea level.

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The people who live in this island worship the god Tui Tokelau, after which the island is named. Earlier ruled by a group of clans, Tokelau is now a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand. The main source of food in the island is the fish and the coconuts, which is the stable food for most of the islands around the world. The islands disputes were primarily governed by the Administrator, who was in turn appointed by the Minister of External Affairs. However, in the year 2004, the powers went to the hands of Village councils, accounting to a total number of three, who were appointed under the power of the Administrator himself. There is also a legislative council in Tokelau, known as the General Fono council under which the village heads are elected once in every three years. As a matter of fact, the mayor comes to power in the legislature and the laws in New Zealand are not applicable to this territory. Development assistance is provided to the island by the government of New Zealand as the island comes under its supervision. It is a matter of fact that the funding that is provided by the New Zealand government is enough to fund the entire island, which shows the low GDP of the island.

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The culture of Tokelau Island is one that has to be talked about. The culture is famous for its ethnicity and traditional way of living. The way people take food is also an aspect that has to be looked into. Home grown food such as taro root, breadfruit, sweet potato and coconuts are mostly consumed and meat in the form of poultry and pork is taken. The handicrafts that are available in the island such as bags, fans and hats are pretty famous in the mainland of New Zealand. An example that presents a perfect example of the Tokelauan music and dance is the music group known as Te Vaka, which is also known as the “the canoe”.

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Tourism is not prominent in the island of Tokelau. However, the silent nature of the island and the culture has started to pull more people towards the island. There is only one hotel in the island, known by the name of Luanaliki. There is also a resort by the name Fale Fa. These two places provide the only options for stay in the island. To get to the island, the ferry service from Apia is the only cheap option available to the tourists. The ferry takes about 24 hours one way and food is complementary during the journey. The main activities that can be done after reaching the island are swimming for long hours in the sparkling blue waters of the sea and the coral reefs provide a major option for the travellers to snorkel in the island. Evenings are entertaining with the local tribes providing excellent entertainment with some wonderful music and dance.

The Philly Cheesesteak



The Philly Cheesesteak

Let me tempt you to indulge in a little food porn now. The kind that gets you all excited. Imagine a loaf of bread, slit from the side and stuffed with barbecued meat. It has cheese overflowing from inside and the golden brown onions sautéed in butter covers all the meat and cheese you wanted to see. The bread itself is soft and the taste of barbecue meat inside adds the zing you would expect from quality food. This little piece of beauty, my friends, is called the Philly Cheese-steak.

It’s hard to think of Philadelphia without thinking of the cheese-steak, a sandwich containing chopped steak, melted cheese and sometimes peppers and onion. It is a very popular local fast food and is famous all over the world for the ease with which it can be made. This happy sounding food makes you just as happy as you would expect from something that has cheese and onions in it. The fact that it comes from Philadelphia also helps in the happiness part.

Overflowing goodness

Overflowing goodness

The cheesesteak was developed in the mid-20th century “by combining frizzled beef, onions, and cheese in a small loaf of bread,” according to a 1987 exhibition catalog published by the Library Company of Philadelphia. It was meant to be a fast and easy food that is tasty and quick at the same time. The result of course, is a craze that we know today. Philadelphians Pat and Harry Olivieri are often credited with inventing the sandwich by serving chopped steak on an Italian roll in the early 1930s. Legends say Pat and Harry Olivieri originally owned a hot dog stand, and on one occasion, decided to make a new sandwich using chopped beef and grilled onions. While Pat was eating the sandwich, a cab driver stopped by and was interested in it, so he requested one for himself. After eating it, the cab driver suggested that Olivieri quit making hot dogs and instead focus on the new sandwich. They listened to the cab driver and the sandwich we love today so much became a trend then. They began selling this variation of the sandwich from their hotdog stand and when demand surpassed the size of the hot dog stand, pat decided to open up a restaurant. The happy part is the restaurant is still in operation today as Pat’s King of Steaks. The sandwich was initially prepared without cheese but later, provolone cheese was added to it. It has been a classic since then.

Many variations of the Philly cheese steak exist. There is actually a huge debate raging over rival restaurants Pat’s and Geno’s whether provolone or American cheese should be used in a typical cheesesteak. The debate is about which tastes better. The meat in a cheesesteak is traditionally rib-eyed or top-round. The steak slices are quickly browned and then scrambled into smaller pieces. Slices of cheese are then placed and allowed to melt over the meat. This mixture is then scooped and placed inside a slit bread. Sautéed onions, mayonnaise, ketchup etc. are usually added to add flavor and taste and that you will find hard to let go. The bread itself is usually Amoroso or Vilotti-Pisanelli rolls. One account actually tells how the use of Amoroso bread brought tears of joy to his eyes. While the type of cheese is still a topic of debate, the use of Amoroso is universally accepted. Cheese Whiz, American cheese and Provolone are the commonly used types of cheese for the cheesesteak. The proper combination of bread, cheese and rightfully cooked meat can indeed make anybody’s day.

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The cheesesteak goes best with a man-sized pitcher of lager beer. Nothing else can wash down the taste of meat and make you feel good about it. A large, cool lager beer is what you would want with you when you sit and indulge in all the beauty of the philly cheesesteak. The beer itself has to be a quality one. After all, quality food goes down with something of equally good quality and nothing gets better than crisp, light and cold beer.

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Somebody surfing the net would be surprised by the kind of attention this food gets from the media. Such attention to food is mostly associated with something gone wrong. But not in this case. Google cheesesteak in the news section and chances are, you are going to find something very recent about cheesesteak. And almost all the articles you are going to come across speak volumes about just how awesome the feeling of cheese melting in your mouth, along with chewy beef and crunchy vegetables, can be. Take for example the recently launched Kimchi, Dallas’ newest Korean fusion food truck. It specializes in what it calls the CupBop rice; a tasty mixture of rice, chewy meat and chopped vegetables. However, the cheesesteak sales outnumber the CupBop rice sales. Their cheesesteak is of course a little different from the original, being Korean and all. But the reviews I came across said they never want anything to do with rice anymore when such a sandwich is within their reach. And who wouldn’t? The philly cheesesteak is the kind of food that I’ll make the national food if I had my way with the country! Well, am gonna go have mine now. When are you getting yours?

 

Amalfi Coast : Italy



Amalfi Coast : Italy

Amalfi Coast

Location

Who would not want to pay a visit to the one and only sizeable coast of Italy that is actually worth a visit . Located on the southern coast of the sorrentine peninsula , that is one of the most popular town of Italy .   The Amalfi Coast offers some of the most angelic scenery that is beyond human imagination. Amalfi has gained it reputation and it has been able to attract thousands of tourist every year .It is generally accepted that Amalfi is the combination of history and nature . Basically , there are so many things to be discovered in Amalfi coast. Amalfi coast is the scenic landmark of Italy.

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History

Amalfi is a very astounding town of Italy whose name the coast has been blessed as ” The Amalfi Coast “.   The town of Amalfi is the capital of maritime republic , that is very vastly came to be known as the Duchy of Amalfi . Initally, the whole of Malfi was prevailing upon Barter system but some of the merchants of malfi were in the favour of purchasing land by making use of the gold coins . The town is actually very famous for its flourishing schools of the law and mathematics . It has a very long history of catering of the visitors.  The town is actually located in the region of Campania , and only from the name of that town , the entire Amalfi Coast has been given name as ” Costiera Amalfitana.”It can be said the actual town of Amalfi is a great of physical beauty while the Amalfi coast has lot to discover and diversity prevails within Amalfi Coast .

Amalfitana is an marvellous example of mediterrean landscape. There are around thirteen municipalities that are pinpointed on the Amalfi Coast . All of them are very popular tourist attractions that very easily attracts many tourists .

Amalfi Coast has been able to acquire utmost importance as a maritime power. Amalfi tables provided a maritime code that was very widely used in port cities by the christians.

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Highlights of the coast

The blue sea , green of mediterrean maquis , citrus fruits add to the beauty of the entire coast . It has been known as the one of the most beautiful coast which the visitors love to visit and the amazing reaction of the visitors after visiting the coast is always ” WOW”. Amalfi has spectacular colours which mirror the enchanting landscape of Amalfi, the beautiful town.

Amalfi has engaged a very high and reputed position in the gothic archiecture The area of Malfi is known as the producer of liquer . The Amalfi is also known as the cultivator of the lemons . Amalfi is also known as the producer of very thick paper which is very popularly known as bambagina .

It is adviced that the best time to visit the Amalfi Coast is in the summer or early autumn . The prices get inflated in the summers and the coast gets very busy in the summers . You can easily get to Amalfi coast by boat . One can also take ferries from Capri , or you can easily reach to Amalfi by taking the bus from sita coach to see the beautiful and enchanting sight of Amalfi .Also , there are two train stations also that will get you to the coast : Salerno and the local circumvesuviana .Both the stations are very affordable and they will easily get you to the one and only popular destination in the Italy ” The Amalfi Coast “.

Sights in the Amalfi Coast

There are many spectacular sights in the Amalfi Coast . No one can afford to miss even a single one of them .

1. Ravello

Ravello is very prepossesing town that is located in the Amalfi coast which a perfect mix of culture. Ravello has many spectacular churches and thus , it is known as very suitable for wedding purposes. Ravello has big villas , exorbitant gardens , very magical restaurants . This town is very small but beautiful town . It is adviced to travel to this town by your car because of the less parking space. Ravello offers intact composure as it is dwelled with delicious meals with restorative sea views.

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2. Positano

Positano is a faultless town of the Malfi that attracts many tourist only with its single sight . It has great shopping malls and restaurants . Just a 10 minute water taxi will get to the beautiful town ” Positano’. Sometimes , traffic can occur in the town “Positano “, but there is something about the malfi that makes visitors to let go of the traffic and to enjoy only the beautiful sights of the coast . But , it is said that “Positano” is a little bit expensive town . But , inspite of being expensive , it has always been in the top list of the tourist.

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3. Capri

It is a very beautiful island .The food of Capri is also very delicious which the visitors love to taste every time they visit Capri. From Capri , one can have a beautiful sight of the whole town Sorrentine peninsula .

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Thus , Amalfi coast is one of those places with ” a must – see ” tag on it . It is a flawless place for romantic break . It is known as a complete package in one .It offers you with beautiful sights , delicious food , history places , beautiful restaurants , magical places , and even churches for wedding purposes also .Paying visit to Malfi is actually worth it .

 

 

 

Of Thai Silk Industry: The House of Jim Thompson, Bangkok



Of Thai Silk Industry: The House of Jim Thompson, Bangkok

The fabric ‘silk’ needs no introduction. Capturing the hearts and imaginations of couturiers, weavers and fashion lovers the world over, this natural fabric has managed to associate itself with luxury, glamour, mystery and royalty. Pondering on the origins of the threads of royalty for generations will most definitely take you all the way back to the Far East. The coveted fabric enchanted patrons from all over the world and served as an all important link between the Orient and the Occident. This connection was earmarked geographically via The Silk Route.

Thai silk

If your next holiday wish list includes a little bit of history and culture, an air of mystery and a hankering for some silk souvenirs, look no further than Thailand. The hand woven silk of Thailand is noted for its sheen, remarkable texture and strong, contrasting jewel tones complementing each other in perfect harmony. Its capital city Bangkok is home to the Thai Silk Company founded by Jim Thompson better known as the Thai Silk King. This man almost single handedly revived the silk weaving industry in Thailand, an ailing indigenous craft that fed a substantial percentage of its population. Also known for his charismatic personality and enviable social skills, the American entrepreneur was touted the best known foreigner in Bangkok and perhaps, in all of South East Asia. Despite his mysterious disappearance in 1967, he left behind a ‘legacy en soie’ for Thailand and the world through his architectural masterpiece and museum, The Jim Thompson House.

Jim Thompson: The Silk King

Born in Greenville in the United States in 1906, James Harrison Wilson Thompson was educated at St. Paul’s boarding school and Princeton University. Putting aside his love for art, he chose to study architecture at The University of Pennsylvania and was a practicing architect in New York until 1940. With the increase in US involvement in World War II in the 1940s, Thompson enlisted for military service the same year. He was assigned to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) which allowed him to travel globally and opened his eyes to the world. His duties had him travel to Africa, Italy, France and the Far East, for which he underwent rigorous jungle and survival training.

On travelling to Thailand, he developed a sense of deep love and affection for the country and its people and considered settling there permanently. Following his discharge from the army in 1946 and his divorce from wife Patricia Thraves, he returned to the country and devoted his life to reviving the indigenous Thai hand woven silk industry.

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Thompson and his colleague George Barrie founded the Thai Silk Company valued at $25000. They each owned 18% of the company’s shares and sold the rest to Thai and foreign investors. Thompson was an art aficionado and was enamoured by the quality and beauty of Thai silk. Weaving of the hand woven fabric was a cottage industry but was on the verge of extinction, a threat to a large number of families dependent on the trade. The demand for silk was low as it was a fabric used occasionally and ceremonially. The industrial revolution created a massive setback to the slow, hand woven silk industry which couldn’t compete with mechanized markets. The decline of the industry seemed unavoidable and irretrievable. However, Thompson had faith that the product would do well in the country and overseas.

Thompson worked hard to customize his product in so as to enhance the quality, consistency and marketability according to international market preferences. The fruits of his labour extended far beyond international acclaim and astounding profits. He invented the distinctive jeweled tones and contrasting colours synonymous with Thai silk today. He uplifted the poor, especially the women of Thailand who formed the bulk of his workforce by allowing them to work at home.

Thompson was also a renowned antique collector and used old properties to create his magnificent architectural masterpiece to showcase his enviable collection. Now a museum, the Jim Thompson House is open to the general public and is widely visited.

In 1967, Thompson disappeared from Moonlight Cottage in Malaysia where he was holidaying with his friends and was never seen again. A number of theories attempt to explain this disappearance but none of them are conclusive or definitive. He was declared dead by absentia and his life and death were bound together by legend.

The Jim Thompson House, Bangkok

Started in 1958, this phenomenal project is a mere glimmer of Thompson’s legacy. At first glance, all you will see is a seemingly dense jungle elegantly cluttered with green flora. On closer inspection, a Thai style house comes into view. Thompson built this ‘House on the Klong’ using dilapidated country properties to form a six house complex on his estate. Preserving the nostalgic appeal Thomson so greatly revered, the house has been maintained just the way he designed it.

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A fitting abode for his antique treasures dominated by Buddhist art collections, sculptures and paintings The Jim Thompson House is a must visit on your trip to Bangkok. On visiting the museum, you can see the eccentricities and perfectionism Thompson employed in his endeavours in the units from Ayutthaya and Bangkrua, the indoor staircase and the reversed wall panels. Keep your eyes peeled for Chinese Ming pieces in blue and white, Belgian glass, Cambodian carvings, Victorian chandeliers, Thai stone images, Burmese statues and a dining table once used by royalty. There is also a retail store selling Jim Thompson brand products and a museum of silk treasures.

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This enchanting attraction is accessible by both public and private transport and is open between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. There are guided tours around the property with an admission fee of 100 baht for adults and 50 baht for students.