Monthly Archives: April 2014




gorai beach sunset

Gorai is a typical Portugal village with the pleasant atmosphere, calmness along with beautiful beaches. Located a bit far away from the crowded city of Mumbai, Gorai is a small coastal village in Dharavi bhet located in the north western of Salsette island. Gorai has a beautiful village serene and greenery all over, a beautiful place just near the crowded city of Mumbai. The beautiful villages with ancient structure of homes, cottages and bungalows along with the narrow roads surrounded with the shades of the beautiful lush green trees and a cool breeze coming from the sea attracts anyone to enjoy the serenity and calmness of the place.

Gorai is known for its East Indian population who are Roman Catholics, baptized during Portugal’s rule over the place during 16th century. Gorai is surrounded by the villages like Manori, Uttan, Morva, Murdhe, Dongri, Pali Chowk etc. With beautiful palm trees and other trees, the typical Roman structured houses looks more pleasant to the eyesight. With the local boats and ferries around the beaches, Gorai was known as one of the famous and clean beaches of Mumbai. Though the beaches of Gorai are most clean than other beaches of Mumbai and thus is a weekend spot for holidaying.

gorai village

Manori, marve and aksa beach are three of the best beaches of Gorai with beautiful sunrise and sunset views. Manori beach is famous for it’s night beach parties. Beaches of Gorai is widely stretched, and looks more beautiful during the moonlight nights, when sky is clear along with the dazzling stars in the blanket of sky. During the moonlight nights the moonlight reflects in the water and thus shines with it’s reflection. Many tourists, visitors and locals prefer a night stroll at beaches during those times. There are various food stalls around the beaches set by locals. The places around the beaches offers a countryside feeling with the touch of Roman culture as the remains of the colonial times still remains.

Gorai also houses India’s most famous attraction Essel-world and water-kingdom. India’s first largest theme park was established in Gorai in 1986. Esselword and Water Kingdom is stretched over 64 acres of land in Gorai. Esselworld is known as India’s first largest amusement park attracting tourists and visitors all over and have managed with its international standard and Water Kingdom is known as Asia’s largest theme water park. The park consists of all famous and major rides which amuses visitors of every age. Rainbow, thunder, octopus, cup and saucer, dashing cars and many such other roller coasters and ride are the most famous and popular rides of the place. The experience of the rides and place will cherish forever in the memories of every Mumbaikars and most of the Indians. Water Kingdom too have such great rides and fascinating slides. Both are easily accessed by roadways or ferry from borivali. The experience of both the theme parks is just marvelous which includes every attraction.

essel world and water kingdomm

Global Vipassana Pagoda is a famous hall of meditation in gorai. The monument of pagoda is to serve harmony and peace and was built in the gratitude to Buddha. The traditional Burmese design is a copy of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. The complex consists of the dome containing relics of Buddha, vipassana meditation centre, museum, library and study rooms, two smaller pagodas, etc. people all over India and world come here for meditation purposes.

gorai pagoda

Since the Portugal has a great impact in Gorai and its culture, there are famous three churches in Gorai with roman architecture. Reis Magos or Three magi, newer Parish church, Jesus chapel are the three famous Church in Gorai with its historical significance.

pagoda gorai

Since the culture and beaches reminds of Goa beaches and its culture, Gorai is thus a famous spot of picnics and holidaying. There are various hotels and resorts in Gorai providing best accommodation and food and other facilities along the beachside to enjoy and explore the zeal of the place. Golden toff resort, The resort, The silverador resort club, hotel Maxwell cum holiday homes etc. are few of the best hotels in Gorai. The place away from all the pollution and chaos of city along with beautiful beaches and its serene becomes the great holiday and picnic spot. The place has something to offer to people of all ages. Like for kids and youngsters there are Indi’s famous theme parks and beaches with restaurants providing great night life and for elders there is meditation centre, which is a must watch if in Gorai. With great coastal and Indian food and resorts and hotels providing the best they can provide away from city life, Gorai is the best place to visit for short vacation or weekend trips.

Gorai is accessed by ferry or roadways. One can take a ferry from Marve beach, malad or Gorai creek, borivali to access to Gorai village and its beaches. Gorai is also accessed by roadways from Bhayender.

Thus one should not miss the chance of exploring mini goa to Mumbai and the best theme parks to enjoy the holidays to the core along with some meditation at Pagoda. Gorai is thus a beautiful colonial village with its roman culture and calmness with beautiful serene.



Queen of the Midlands: Nottingham, England

Queen of the Midlands: Nottingham, England

The city of Nottingham is laced in legend as its pavements are steeped in the history of Robin Hood. English folklore’s own bad boy with a heart of gold, Robin Hood is known world over for stealing from the rich to give to the poor. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, the medieval outlaw legend hailing from Sherwood Forest lives on today in books, movies and culture. But nowhere else can the sheer scale of his lore and fame be felt in greater bouts than in the English city of Nottingham.


Nottingham gained international repute during the Industrial Revolution particularly for its lace making, bicycle and tobacco industries. Its origins date back to 600 AD even though it was bequeathed its city charter in 1897 during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Being a major English tourist hub, it managed to rake in collective tourist revenue of 1.5 billion pounds in 2011. It features in the top ten English cities visited by foreign tourist.

robin hood

Getting Around

Besides London, Nottingham is said to have the best public transport system in the country. The entire city is well connected by extensive and accessible bus routes and tram limes. You can also catch a cab. The best way to explore the city is on foot. It’s great exercise and many historical sites have superb pedestrian access.


Attractions and Activities

First off, you must pay a visit to Nottingham Castle, where the Sheriff of Nottingham plotted, schemed and failed to deter Robin Hood. The castle today has been revamped showcasing a museum with collections of silver, glass, trinkets, visual arts, paintings speckled with the archaeology and history of the city. If all of this fails to charm you, remember that you are in the home of the fabled Sheriff of Nottingham.

Nottingham Castle

Travel beneath the city to see its caved alter ego. You can feel absolutely safe in the depths of the authentic Anglo-Saxon tunnels, which were used to take refuge from the world that saw the sun in times of bomb blasts and other emergencies.

Step into the home of the legendary Robin Hood. Sherwood Forest was once a royal hunting venue but has today been protected owing to its ecological importance. As you look through the sea of massive oak trees, each older than the next, don’t forget to spot Major Oak, a 900 year old tree that was believed to serve as a hollow hideout for Robin Hood and his men. It was voted Britain’s favourite tree in 2002.

Sherwood Forest

Take a Nottingham ghost tour to the oldest parts of the city. Try not to look over your shoulder when hearing tales of executions and death. There’s also a graveyard walk involved. For a real case of the spooks, visit the Galleries of Justice for a spine chilling experience. With spooky artifacts relating to crime, punishment and unsolved mysteries, be wary of creepy sounds, smells, sensations and apparitions.

Major Oak, Sherwood Forest

If you’re quite the literature aficionado, make sure you visit Nottingham Castle in August for the Shakespeare festival. Experience an evening with Shakespeare and watch some of the finest Shakespearean actors of the stage transport you into Elizabethan England. There’s sure to be live music, action, sword fights, comedy and tragedy.

Galleries of Justice

You could also pay a visit to Lord Byron’s home at Newstead Abbey. You can actually enter his home and feast your eyes on his quarters, his furniture, his belongings and correspondence.

Newstead Abbey

Take time to visit the charming Wollaton Hall with its gardens and deer park. Catch a Nottingham Forest Football Game. Watch a performance at the Lace Market Theatre. Feed your soul at St. Mary’s Church. Play a hand of Poker at Dusk Till Dawn. Check out the Ruddington Framework Knitter’s Museum.


Go ice-skating at the National Ice Centre and try and catch the Nottingham Panthers playing hockey there. Watch a bit of cricket at Trent Bridge, an international cricket ground. Lead up to Wimbledon with the Nottingham Open at the Nottingham Tennis Centre. There are plenty of places to try your hand at clay shooting, climbing, playing pool and snooker and cycling.

Accommodation and Dining

Accommodation in Nottingham is available for all budgets. For a budget holiday, Igloo Hostel, Midtown Hostel and Ibis Nottingham are good options. Days Hotel, Jury’s Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Rutland Square Hotel and SACO Apartments cater to a moderate budget. If you wish to splurge, Hart’s Hotel, Dave Hotel, Britannia Hotel, Lace Market Hotel and Village Nottingham are excellent options.

Nottingham Caves

For a budget meal, head to Gusto for simple Italian food, Wagamama for a bit of Japanese style noodles and rice, The Kean’s Head for simple British Pub food, the Alley Café for the vegan tongue and Desi Downtown. For a moderate budget, there are many options too. French Living offers Bistro style French cuisine. Las Iguanas is an excellent Brazilian option. Chai Yo offers Thai Food. Minton’s Tearoom maintains that British tea salon atmosphere with cakes, meals and drinks. The Ferry Inn is one of the oldest restaurants in the city and offers local specialties. For the large walletted, Hart’s Restaurant, World Service and Restaurant Sat Bains are excellent options.




gol gappe 3

Only by hearing the name of Gol Gappa, every Indians craves for the mouth-watering snack and to tingle their taste buds. Gol gappa also famously known as pani puri, pani ke bataashe, puchka etc. is a famous form of chaat available on the streets all over India. There would be no such Indian who do not know what gol gappa or pani puri is. Gol gappa is a favorite treat of snacks from kids to the elder one. The name itself brings water in anyone’s mouth for its khatta meetha flavor. Gol gappa consists of round hallow puri which is fried to make it crisp and is later filled with stuffings like mashed potatoes, chickpeas, boiled moong, boondi etc. along with the flavored water with the variety types like mint water, sweet water made of tamarind and dates and other such spicy, salty and tangy flavors.gol gappe1

Gol gappa is said to be originated in Bihar, Gol gappa is originated in India and is famous and easily available in the cities like Mumbai, delhi, kolkatta, lucknow, Chittagong, Jaipur etc. In Haryana gol gappa is known as pani ke patashe, in other states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal etc. it is famous as Gol gappa. In other states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka etc. it is known as pani puri. Puchka is the term in the state of West Bengal and the neighboring country Bangladesh. Gol gappa is also famous in neighboring countries like Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Gol gappas are very delicious in taste and fun treat to eat. With one bite of gol gappa lots of flavors immerse in the mouth at the same time. The tradition of eating pani puri is to eat the whole stuffed puri with paani at one go, thus the size of the puri is made accordingly. Gol gappa are presented with the crisp puri’s filled with the common stuffing like mashed potatoes, onions, boondi, moong, chickpeas etc topped with chaat masala and filled with waters like mint water(pudina water), tamarind water(khatta imli pani), sweet water(khajur ka meetha paani). There are many variations now-a-days in the stuffing and the flavored waters. According to the preference and the personal choice many prefer stuffing like boondi, boiled moong etc with water. Many prefer sstuffings like mashed aloos and onions topped with black pepper and chaat masala along with the flavored waters. Many add curd to the stuffing along with the flavored water and many add tomatoes and kacchi kairi(raw mangoes) along with dahi and sev with the flavored waters. In Lucknow there is a famous variation of paanch swaad ke bataashe, which offers five types of flavored waters for the servings. Now-a-days many restaurants serves gol gappa with the vodka water and many youngsters love to explore this options, this dish is thus termed as gol gappa shooters. Vodka water flavored gol gappa is not a common ingredient and is used at very rare places.gol gappa shooters

Gol gappas is a treat which is not so difficult to make. All you need for the filling is boiled and mashed potatoes, boiled chickpeas, boondi, boiled moong, minutely chopped onions, chaat masala and other spices and ingredients according to the need. For green pudina pani, you need ice cold water, green chutney of pudina and chutneys, lemon, salt, black salt, pani puri masala, roasted cumin also known as jeera and for meetha pani( sweet water) you need to make a paste of dates and tamarind and mix in the water properly and add salt and jeera. Once everything is perfectly ready, paani puri is a bliss of taste. Serving of pani puri is also different than any other food types. A hole is made big enough in the center of the puri to fill the stuffing by using the index finger, one should be very careful while doing this or the puri will break. Now one by one all the ingredients for stuffing is added and later it is immersed in chilled flavored pani made of mint and dates and thus one should eat the whole puri right away at one go. Puri of gol gappa is easily available in the market and one can even make it at home.gol gappe 2

Gol gappa has nutritional values like fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Since the amount of fat is low and the calorie content is minimal, gol gappa has nothing such for one should resist from having. One can have gol gappas in any quantity without the fear of weight gain or any other health issues like diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure etc. the ingredients used in the flavored waters are also good for health as it has many benefits and mint leaves,lemon, tamarind and dates are always good for health.

Gol gappas have gained its popularity all over the world. There are many restaurants across the globe serving the Indian cuisine Gol Gappa. One can make gol gappas in abroad as well as the ingredients like its puri and flavored water and other such materials are easily available in few of the shops selling Indian products and Indian ingredients. Gol gappa have gained more popularity after its use in lots of Bollywood movies and tele serials. Gol gappa eating challenge and competition has also gained its popularity.

gol gappe street vendorsGol gappa is thus a great Indian treat for snacks and dinner which is also fun to have with all yummy flavors and spices. It is famous all over and the best you get in India is on the street, it’s a treat which any Indians can’t resist.

The Land Of The Unknown, Jamaa el fna, Morocco

The Land Of The Unknown, Jamaa el fna, Morocco

The place that we are going to talk about today is not a beautiful place where one would just go to observe the beauty of it and be charmed with it. There is something different about this place and that is the reason why it being so off the beaten track is still able to attract tourists. I am going to talk about Jemaa el Fna, Marrakech located in Morocco. This place is just opposite to what an ideal tourist destination should be. What are the things which an ideal tourist destination is constituted of? Beauty and adventure at the most basic level. If seen directly, this place lacks both but still to a pagan eye it is the most beautiful and also the most adventurous place to hang around.


Nobody knows how or when did this market area in Morocco came into existence. Not just this, people have also not been able to decipher the meaning of this place’s name. The usual translation of Jemaa el Fna as people say is the ‘assembly of the dead’ or alternatively people also say the ‘mosque of nothing’. As the name suggests the place is very dilapidated and paradoxically on the other bright as well.

jemaa el fna souk

Located in Marrakesh, the place gets more than half of it’s identity from it. Marrakesh has been marked as one of the places for world cultural heritage by the UNESCO. What makes it so special and important? This place, Marrakesh, has been a center for most of the political, economic and cultural activities which took place long back during the rise and downfall both, of the Islamic religion. It has got a number of architecturally beautiful monumental doors, gardens, battlements, madarsas and many more in an unending list. Jemaa-el-fna is obviously one of them and is also quiet famous at the same time.


This is probably the only place in Morocco which does not even have to make any great efforts to attract visitors but still the visitors want to keep visiting again and again. During the morning and the afternoon hors one would find a plethora of vendors who basically do not sell any such good but provide remedial solutions to health problems. Some sit their to mend the teeth problems, acting as the yesteryears dentists and some simply to cure diseases. Besides this, one can also get to see snake charmers sitting in a row, performing shows with their elegant friends and partners, snakes.

snake charmers

The Jemaa el fna is basically a simple square piece of plain. The real fun does not begin until the night starts taking it’s toll and it becomes dark. As soon as the sun takes it’s refuge in the night sky the aura of this place gets transformed into a carnival celebration. One will be able to find  storytellers, acrobats, musicians and entertainers performing arts and shows one never must have seen before and probably this is the only place where one would get to see it again.

people dressed to attract tourists

Obviously where so much of entertainment is going on; food cannot be missed out. There is a myrioad collection of  harira soup, salads, fried fish, spicy merguez sausages or even the adventurously innovative stewed snails and sheep’s heads complete with eyes.  Just take a seat on one of the benches and place an order for food you would like to make. It’s always wise to check the price of a dish before you order because you might just be overcharged. On eshould try and go to a stall where the native moroccan vendors sell food because they do not make any manifestations with their food items and serve what is native to their culture.


Not only this; there is a whole row of fortune tellers who keep calling the customers, sitting with their  paraphernelia. Besides this, women for piping could be seen with bags of Henna. One thing that should be kept in mind as a preventive technique is that tourists should be aware of the pickpockets who are found at each and every corner of the market. The reason mainly being the not so good economy of the place and the kind of environment that is all around over there. You would just be roaming around being amused to see such a site and meanwhile your pocked might just get picked.

cooked snails

Jemaa el fna though not very beautiful, has it’s own charm which keeps on making news for itself. It has been featured in many of the movies, the most popular being Alfred Hitchcok’s ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’. UNESCO has declared it to be the masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. What else and more does it need to be recognized now? The othering of this place in itself adds to it’s beauty and the fact that it tantalizes the tourists to visit again and again.


Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Australia

Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Australia

Spread over several blocks in this prototype cosmopolitan city Melbourne, is the Victoria Market. The beauty of this market lies in it’s simultaneous simplicity and speciality that the land of kangaroos offer the tourists. The Victoria Market was set up long ago in 1878 and since then it has not only served to satisfy the needs and demands of the natives but also has been capable of attracting a good enough number of visitors every year.

queen victoria entrance

Victoria Market is also popularly known as Vic Market or Queen Vic Market. AS the name suggests, the market had been named after the much apotheosised queen, Victoria who ruled from 1837- 1901. Since then, the market has not only stood out as a market which provides commodities to peole but it is a cultural representation of what actually the Victorian Age was. Most importantly, this market is the oldest one which has been able to survive or so. It is said that even before th Victoria Market, two markets were opened simultaneously but then they had to be shut due to their low popularity way back in the mid twentieth century.


Stretching from block 65 to block 159 is this huge bustle of stalls found in the market. Remaining closed on the Mondays and the Wednesdays, the market usually opens around 6:00 a.m. In the morning, except on Fridays when it opens around 9:00 in the morning. It usually closes down around 3:00 in the afternoon, varying sometimes sooner or sometimes later. Other than being the fresh food shop of Melbourne and a historic landmark, the Queen Vic Market is also an institution in Melbourne.

-market-2- vegetables

There are many sections to the Victoria Market and all of them are distinct in their own manner. If we take, for an instance, the example of the famous Victoria and the Elizabeth stalls, then none other can beat them in the kind of eloquent goods that they provide. All of it looks so original and precious. String Bean Alley, on the other hand is as much new as the former stalls are old. It is the newest retail place and has used a very innovative technique of setting up artisan workshops and stalls by using re- purposed shipping containers.


Coming next to the Deli Hall, it is the most popular section amongst all the ones found in the Queen Vic Market. Bemusingly, it has got cabins made up of real marbles which act as the modern day refrigerators or perhaps even more than those. It is popular as a center of dairy products. Here we have shops which offer all kinds of meat of chicken, crocodile, kangaroo, rabbit and so on. Not only this, we also have many confectionary items which are sold in this section if the stall. The market is really famous for the Italian, Turkish, French pastries and sandwiches. This section is often referred to as the second food court.

Seafood Stall, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Next we have is the Meat Hall where one can get any kind of meat in any required shapes you want, be it offal or the sausages. It has perhaps got one of the best sea food markets. Besides this, we also get a taste of the different cuisine. Despite these cuisines not being the forte of the people here, they cook it as good as the people native to these food items do. Then we have the fruit and veg section where we can get the rarest of the rare species of fruit items not just from Australia but also from Asia.

items sold-decor

Next in the row is the section which has stalls that offer the best and the original biodynamic and organic produce. Be it fruits or the meat, everything sold over here is original and purely organic. Infact the butcher over here is the first organic one in the whole of Melbourne. Apart from these things, there is this general stall which provides goods of all kinda, be it the lifestyle products, décor, CDs, DVDs and many more.

properly slices organic meat

The Public Transport Victoria is the easiest way to get to the Queen Victoria Market. It is easily accessible. The Queen Victoria Market is one of the most popular markets in the world. It is not just a market but more than that. It is the representation of the highly respected Victirian Age, the preserver of the Victorian culture. So a visit to this place is a must.




The Center of the Silicon Valley: Santa Clara, California

The Center of the Silicon Valley: Santa Clara, California

California, also known as The Golden State, is well known for long beaches, Hollywood, home of many celebrities, artistic streets, the Golden Gate Bridge and its range of some beautiful and amazing cities. Santa Clara is quite underrated but this city, named after saint Clare of Assisi, gives everything what a tourist desires. It has beautiful locations, affordable accommodation, supportive people and delicious cuisine. Santa Clara, located in Santa Clara County and just 45 miles from San Francisco, is the ninth most populous city of the state. Santa Clara was incorporated as a city in 1852 and the economy was dependent on agriculture at that time but by 20th century, hospitals, schools, colleges were established in the city. The Agnews State Hospital, which used to be a mental health facility, is quite famous here and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Santa Clara has a subtropical Mediterranean climate with almost 260 sunny days during the year. July is the warmest month with maximum temperature of 82 degrees and coldest month is January with 39 degrees. The city gets an average of 25 inches of snow every year and 14 inches of rain. The best time to visit Santa Clara is between March and July.

How to get here?

How to get here

Santa Clara does not have its own international airport but there are three international airports within the range of 37 miles from the city. The nearest one is Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, located just 4 miles from the city and receives all domestic and international flights. Other airports are San Francisco International Airport, 33 miles from Santa Clara and Oakland International Airport which is 37 miles away. All the airports have cabs, rental cars, shuttles, train and bus services to reach Santa Clara comfortably. Sacramento International Airport, 124 miles, is also available as an option but it is not very much preferred by travelers.

Accommodation and Food


There is a long range of luxury hotels, cheap motels, bed & breakfasts, resorts, villas, apartments, boutiques around Santa Clara and you can easily find one which fits your budget. One of the best is Avatar Hotel located at Great America Parkway, offering luxury suites with private spa, free internet, LED TV, an outdoor pool, health club, bar and restaurant. Other good options include Mariani’s Inn and Bella Vista Inn at El Camino Real, Marriott at Mission College Boulevard, Biltmore Hotel & Suites at Laurelwood Road, St.Francis Motel at The Alameda, Embassy Suites at Lakeside Drive, Hyatt House at Rivermark Plaza and Woodcrest Hotel at Stevens Creek Boulevard.


Santa Clara offers some of the finest dining restaurants and cafes with some famous chefs of the state. Whether you like American or Chinese, fast food or seafood, French or Italian, Indian or Mexican, Irish or Japanese, Mediterranean or Mongolian, you are going to find every type of international tastes here. Some of the most famous places to eat in Santa Clara are, American food at Andy’s BBQ, Armadillo Willy’s, Birk’s Restaurant, Ice Creams at Mission City Creamery and Pinkberry, Indian food at Aachi Aappakadai and Mayuri Indian Cuisine and Italian at Mio Vicino, Fiorillo’s Restaurant and Piatti Restaurant.

The Attractions

Great America Theme Park

Great America Theme Park

The Great America Park is a theme park owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. It is located at Great America Parkway in Santa Clara and features some thrilling rides and special events for families and children. Main attractions of the park are Boomerang Bay Water Park, Planet Snoopy, KidzWille, Fast Lane and more. You can get a Gold Season Pass for only $14 and enjoy over 70 rides, shows along with new Gold Striker Coaster. You will get unlimited admission and free parking during entire season.

Mission Santa Clara De Asis

Mission Santa Clara De Asis

Mission Santa Clara is a Spanish Mission located at El Camino Real in Santa Clara. The whole campus of Santa Clara University includes the Mission Garden, the Center for Performing Arts and the de Saisset Museum apart of the Mission Santa Clara. It was founded in 1777 in the land of Ohlone people. The famous Church of Mission Santa Clara was built in 1825 and features a glimpse of amazingly unique architecture.

Intel Museum

Intel Museum

The Intel Museum is located at Mission College Boulevard in Santa Clara, and exhibits Intel’s products and historical artifacts along with semiconductor technology information. The museum covers a total area of 10000 square feet and welcomes the students and youth groups regularly to explore the complex and understand the silicon technology, the chip design and chip fabrication. A lot of interactive exhibits are also conducted for students from time to time. You can also become a part of the group tours and guided tours only with advance reservation.

Our Lady of Peace Shrine

Our Lady of Peace Shrine

Our Lady of Peace Shrine is a Roman Catholic Church located at Mission College Boulevard in Santa Clara. The iconic attraction of the Church is the 32 foot statue of Our Lady also known as Queen of Peace, located in front of the church. The Church was founded in 1961 and the people often come here for the communion and confessions. There is also a large gift shop near the church featuring books, tapes, movies, statues and icons and some other religious goods. The church also holds some events for children like High School Catechetical Program from time to time. The church remains open daily and admission is free.

Fiordland national park, New Zealand

Fiordland national park, New Zealand

Fiordland national park located in south west new Zealand is the largest national park in new Zealand and the largest among all the 14 national parks of the new zealand with an area of 12, 500 km square. Fiordland national park, one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of new Zealand, Carved by glaciers over 100, 000 years is a cherished corner of the world where mountains and valleys complete with each other for room with waterfalls tumble hundreds of meters into massive fiords, shimmering lakes, spectacular ice- carved fiords, lakes and valleys, rugged granite tops and pristine mountains to sea vistas. It is regarded as one of the notable natural wonders.  

Fiordland National Park - New Zealand 1

Most of the fiordland is dominated by the steep sides of the snow- capped southern alps, mountain, deep lakes and its ocean flooded, steep western valley and by number of fiords also known as sounds. The exceptional beauty of this vast landscape has long been recognized by declaring it as world heritage in 1986. In 1990 fiordland was linked with three other national parks, mount aspiring, westland and mount cook.

New Zealand South Island Fiordland National Park Milford Sound

It stretches from north to south on about 200 km and is surrounded by fresh water and salty fjord. Amazing features breathe taking beauty dominated by dense primary forest of beech from where emerge spectacular waterfalls and mountain peaks, enhancing caves and cliffs. Basically fiord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides, created by glacial erosion.  The national park is bounded on the north by the Darren mountains, which rises 2700 meters at mount tutoko. In the east number of large lakes and in the west the mountains fall steeply to the tasman sea, which lashed by roaring forties. Park has 14 fiords that fringe this south west corner of south island. On all sides of the fiords, spectacular waterfalls tumble incessantly as the region’s plentiful rainfall find its way to the sea. The one third part of the park covered with virgin beaches and forest. 500 km walking tracks allow visitors to explore the primeval world of mountain peaks, lakes and moss carpeted valleys. Visitors can stay at great walks huts founded on the milford, kepler and routeburn tracks and these provides higher than usual level of comfort


Te anau is the gateway of fiordland national park is located at the southern end of lake te anau. visitors can visit to Lake te anau and lake manapouri, nestled amongst mountains in fiordland national park. The most important sits are the milford and doubtful sounds are situated north of te anau are known for their hundreds of waterfalls during rainy season.Starting with te anau it takes you over 53 km through the most breath taking scenery, mountains, lakes and enormous valleys.  Autum season in fiordland markes the fall of first snow on the mountains. Visitor can first visit to the northern fiordland and can experience the beauty of fiordland’s ice- caves valleys, lakes and waterfalls on the stunning journey along milford road to milford sound. In hollyford valley visitors can explore the remote forested hollyford valley where the river flows from dramatic fiordland mountains to the west coast sea and can enjoy the hollyford tracking, fishing and climbing. Milford sound situatd at north side of fiordland breath taking location visitors can enjoy the tracking and walk over mountains. The 33 mile milford track hike and fjords, glacier carved long narrow inlets surrounded by steep mountains jutting out of water.


Fjordland is a home to a large undisturbed wildlife. The rainforest is intensely green and incredibly dense with vines, perching plants, tree and ground ferns and podocrap trees. It is also a home to native and rare species birds and animals. The water of fiordland, home to an amazing array of sea life because of the surface layer of dark fresh blue water that block the sunlight and allow corals and undersea life to grow much shallower than they normally grow. Visitors can get to see the whales, dolphins, molly hawks and royal albatross the fur seals, penguins and Many species of fish, sea anemones, starfish and coral with abundance of sea creatures. Among the birds the kakapo, the only flightless parrot in the world and kivi, the national bird of new Zealand.

Mitre Peak on Milford Sound at sunrise, Fiordland National Park

Southern fiordland includes lake monowai, lake hauroko and waitutu offers great ‘ off the beaten track’ tramping, hunting, boating and fishing. Western fiordland offers you the opportunity to explore the more remote areas of fiordland like milford sound, dusky sound from preservation inlet to doubtful sound which is of 421 meters, deepest of New Zealand’s fiords. Imagine standing high in the mountains, looking over a vast landscape of snow-capped peaks, glistening fiords, icy lakes in tussock and sheer, ice-carved valleys with rivers winding through the native forest all this view fell like a heaven.

New Zealand, South Island, Te Wahipounamu, Fiordland National Park, Milford Track, river Arthur

The most attractive geographical features of this park are Browne falls and Sutherland fall, counted among the tallest waterfalls in the world and the lake hauoko, lake manapouri and lake te anau regared as deepest of the new Zealand. The fiordland is one of the wettest place of the world with a mean annual rainfall of 6813 mm. The coldest months are may to august.


The park is popular for its adventurious acticities like climbing with milford, kepler, hollyford and routeburn tracks. It is a challenging tramping destination. At the end of the park, several peaks rise to over 2,000 meters. Rising above stunning milford sound is mitre peak, rising 1692 meter above the sea level provides the most amazing views of the park. Fiordland national park features three world class great walks tracks kepler track which takes around 4 days to finish tracking, milford track, takes five days to complet and routeburn track ranging from 2 to 4 day walks and all stunning scenery to take your breath away.

Cruise ship in Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, New Zeala

This place will make you fell as you are visiting in a magical world. The sound of falling water and sound of wild life brake the silence. The sun’s rays penetrate in the forest and by making shining view of the water make this place haven. During the rainy season hundreds of waterfalls transform the fjord into the giant wall of water. This park gives an unique opportunity to experience the beauty and strength of nature. Visitors can get the unforgettable experience It is one of the notable natural wonders of the world and a place you ought to travel before you die.



Of Opulence and Finery: Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna

Of Opulence and Finery: Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna

Are you dying to relive the moment James Bond and Kara ride through the magnificent gardens in The Living Daylights or Sophia Loren’s A Breath of Scandal? All you need to do is kill a day at the breathtakingly opulent Schönbrunn Palace in Austria’s capital, Vienna. It’s history and culture galore at this 1441 room Rococo regal palace, which is arguably the most popular attraction the city has to offer. A former summer royal residence, the palace and its gardens will leave you awestruck as they tell spell binding tales of the palates, lives and dreams of Hapsburg royalty.

Schönbrunn Palace

 Featuring prominently in UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage Sites, the baroque architecture and the exquisite décor of the Schönbrunn Palace makes it stand out as a major architectural marvel in the world today. The ownership of the palace was transferred from the Hapsburg dynasty to the Republic of Austria in 1918, marking the end of the Austrian monarchy. It was governed by a local government body called Schlosshauptmannschaft Schönbrunn until 1992. After that, the ownership was transferred to the Schloss Schönbrunn Kultur und Betriebsges, a government owned company.

Schönbrunn Palace Winter


 The estate where the Schönbrunn today lies belonged to the manor of the monastery at Klosterneuburg in the 14th century. Then called the Katterburg, the estate fell in to the hands of the Holy Roman Hapsburg Emperor Maximillian II in 1569. The Emperor aimed at expanding the hunting grounds of the estate to facilitate the breeding of native game and fowl. His successor Rudolph II failed to do much for the estate besides the required maintenance.

 It is believed that Emperor Mathias was hunting on the Katterburg estate in 1612 when he saw the Schöne Brunnen or ‘fair spring’ from which it later derived its name. His successor, Emperor Ferdinand II and wife Eleonora von Gonzaga explored their passion for hunting at this venue. After the Emperor’s death in 1637, Eleonora commissioned the building of a chateau de plaisance to house her art collection, hence renaming the Katterburg as Schönbrunn.

 Emperor Leopold I had supremely talented architect Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach design the preliminary Schönbrunn project, the forerunner of the Schönbrunn Palace today.

Schonbrunn Palace Finery

 The entire estate was renovated and redesigned post the Turkish occupation by architect Nicolaus Pacassi commissioned by Maria Theresia in 1743.

 Post the downfall of the Austrian monarchy and the two world wars; the palace was the setting for important world events, one being the 1961 meeting between J.F. Kennedy and Nikita Khruschev.


As you enter the main gateway guarded by two large obelisks on either side, you will be led into the expansive courtyard adorned with two huge fountains. One of the fountains bears emblematic figures illustrating the Danube, the Inn and the Ems, the all-important rivers of the region. The other fountain consists of representative sculptures depicting Transylvania, Galicia and Lodomeria. You will see the main palace straight ahead and the Schönbrunn Court Theatre to your right.

 Head to the garden for one of the best vantage points of the entire estate. Check out the Wagenburg or the Coach Room to feast your eyes on royal coaches, sledges and carriages. The Orangery is where vegetation was sheltered during harsh winters and inclement weather.

 The main palace with its 175-metre breadth is a testament to symmetry and Baroque art. The Baroque ensemble is painted light yellow and ochre, a colour scheme that later became typically Austrian. Forty of the 1441 palace rooms are open to the public including the grand state apartments and the rooms of Franz-Josef and Elisabeth. Built to outshine the Versailles, the Rococo interior of the palace is unsurprisingly opulent. The Millionenzimmer Room is unrestrainedly extravagant. The round Chinese Cabinet where Empress Maria Theresia held meetings is caked with porcelain embellishments.

Schonbrunn Palace Interior

 The transfer of ownership of the palace from the Austrian monarchy to the State was officially signed by Charles I in 1918 in the Blue Chinese Room decorated with blue Chinese patterns. The surprisingly dark Vieux-Laqcue room is where Maria Theresia spent her hours as a widow. The Spiegelsaal is where young Mozart and his sister performed before the King and Queen. The Rosa room is named after the artist who decorated the palace walls with landscape frescoes.

Schonbrunn Palace Room

 The gardens of the complex are as magnificent as the palace itself with the large sculpted garden, the Great Parterre stealing the show. Filled with sculptures, greenery, fountains and a maze, it was largely planned by Jean Trehet in 1695. Look out for Statue of Omphale, Artemisia II of Caria, Calliope, Brutus and Lucretia and other marvels of sculpture that adorn the garden.

Schonbrunn Palace Garden

 Don’t miss the monumental Neptune Fountain in the Schönbrunn Garden credited to Austrian sculptor Franz Anton von Zauner in 1780. It portrays a mythical scene where Thetis requests Neptune to allow her son Achilles a safe voyage to Troy. Atop the Schönbrunn hill, you will see the Gloriette, a neoclassicist arcaded structure. The uphill climb is well worth it, for the Gloriette offers a fantastic panorama of the park, the palace and the city of Vienna.

Neptune Fountain

 If nature is what you crave, pay a visit to the Palmenhaus, a sort of greenhouse for an astonishing variety of plants. You’ll also find the world’s oldest zoo, the Tiergaten in the complex dating back to 1752. Here, you’ll find elephants, apes, hippos, koalas and other animals.

The Gloriette

 Other attractions to look out for include the mock Roman Ruin, the obelisk, a Botanic Garden, a Japanese Garden, a dovecote called the Taubenhaus, the Najadenbrunnen fountains and a dairy farm called the Meirei among other attractions.

 If you get a bit peckish scouring this entire world in itself, fret not. There are plenty of restaurants to cater to your appetite within the estate itself. Some of them are the Café Restaurant Residenz and Court Backery, the Schonbrunner Schloßcafé, the Landtmann’s Parkcafé, Café Gloriette and Gasthaus Tirolergarten.

Schonbrunn Palace Autumn

Rich, Beautiful and Friendly: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Rich, Beautiful and Friendly: Ann Arbor, Michigan

City of Great Lakes and the birthplace of automotive industry, Michigan, is a famous state of United States located in the Great Lakes Region. If you are planning to visit Michigan then there is no better place than its beautiful city Ann Arbor which is also the county seat of Washtenaw County. It is also the 5th largest city of Michigan and a hub for tourists looking for some attractive places to visit, affordable accommodation, tasty food and healthy environment. The city was founded in 1824 and named originally as Annarbour but after some time the words were separated and it became Ann Arbor, making it only city with this name in the world. A number of bookstores, museums, art galleries, recreational activities, festivals, outdoor sports, University of Michigan make this city one of its kind and a joyful experience.


Ann Arbor city has quite a humid continental climate with no dry seasons. The summers go hot and the temperature varies from 15 F to 83 F around the year. The warmest month of the year is July with maximum temperature of 83 F and coldest is January with minimum temperature of 14 F. Little snowfall and light rain can be experienced during January and thunderstorms during June. Best time to visit Ann Arbor is from March to July.

How to get here?

how to get here

Ann Arbor is located just 25 miles from Detroit Metropolitan Airport which receives nonstop flights from all major countries and neighbor cities. There is also Bishop International Airport, just 51 miles from Ann Arbor which receives domestic flights from Flint, Michigan and other cities. If you are arriving to Ann Arbor from a nearby city then you can use the rail and bus services as the Amtrak station receives trains from all nearby cities. You can get around the city by Greyhound rail service or Megabus or taxis and cabs.

Accommodation and Food


For every taste, budget or interest, Ann Arbor offers some perfect places to stay. From Hotels and Rental Homes to Motels and B&Bs, you will find everything in affordable price range. One of the most famous is Burnt Toast Inn located at W. William Street offering 4 guest rooms with organic and healthy breakfast, free internet and a bar. Other good options in budget are Ann Arbor Courtyard by Marriott at Boardwalk Dr. , Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest, Ann Arbor Regent Hotel & Suites at Carpenter Road, Bell Tower Hotel at South Thayer, Candlewood Suites at Waymarket Way, Chelsea Comfort Inn & Village Conference Center at Commerce Park Dr, and Clarion Hotel and Conference Center at Jackson Road.


American, Mexican, Chinese, French, Indian, Japanese, Pan Tropical, Southwest, Sweet Treats, Deli, German, Irish, Thai, Caribbean, Continental, Mediterranean, Greek or Italian, you just have to name it and there you go. Ann Arbor is very well known for diversity of tastes with more than 250 dining spots offering unique and delicious tastes. You will surely love the tasty lamb chops, lamb shish cabob and dolmades of Parthenon Restaurant located at S. Main Street, Beer and wings at Buffalo Wild Wings, Burgers and sandwiches at Cleary’s Pub, authentic Mexican Food at Las Fuente Mexican Restaurant and some delicious pancakes at City Limits Diner & Pancake House.

The Attractions

Ann Arbor Hands On Museum

Ann Arbor Hands On Museum

Ann Arbor Hands On Museum is located on E Ann Street in Ann Arbor and features exhibits on science, math and technology, educational programs and special events for both children and adults. It was opened in 1982 and was visited by 25000 people in its first year of operation. Some more buildings were added in the museum in 1993 and today its presents more than 250 exhibits. The attractions in the museum are the All About You gallery, Michigan Nature room, an Interactive video screen and a CTN Television Studio. The museum remains open everyday and admission costs $11 for adults and $5 for children.

Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Matthaei Botanical Gardens are a group of some botanical gardens, natural trail areas and some habitats. It is located on N Dixboro Road in Ann Arbor and is a part of the property within the University of Michigan. The Gardens were established in 1907 with only 80 acres of land and today it has over 700 acres area with a complex of conservatory, greenhouses, laboratory and teaching spaces. Matthaei Botanical Gardens remain open everyday and admission is absolutely free.

Michigan Stadium


Michigan Stadium is a football stadium located in the University of Michigan. It is the largest stadium of US and third largest in the world. It was built in 1927 and today it has become world’s 31st largest venue hosting any sport. It has seating capacity of more than 100,000 fans and also used for main graduation ceremonies of the University. The stadium was designed by architect Bernard L. Green.

Michigan Theater

Michigan Theater

Michigan Theater is located at E Liberty Street in Ann Arbor and is a famous movie place of the city. Independent Films, stage productions and musical concerts are featured by this theater, making it a famous tourist attraction in Ann Arbor. The main attractions at Michigan Theater are the Family Friendly Film Series, Penny W. Stamps Series, Rock & Roll Concert, National Theater Live, Young Filmmakers Camp and Cinetopia Film Festival. The theater remains open everyday and entry ticket costs $10 for adults and $8 for kids. You can also watch a matinee show at the theatre for $7 only.

Gran Torre Santiago: Tallest Building in Latin America

Gran Torre Santiago: Tallest Building in Latin America

Gran Torre Santiago (Grand Santiago Tower in English) which was previously known as Torre Gran Costanera is a 64-story tall skyscraper located in the capital of Chile, Santiago. The building is currently the tallest in Latin America. The construction of the building began in the year 2006. The building is still under construction as of April 2014 and will be completed in the very same year. The estimated cost of the building is around US$495 million. It is estimated that once the building is complete it will be the tallest building in the whole of southern hemisphere with its only competition being the Q1 which is located in Gold Coast, Australia. The building upon completion would also just surpass the height of Eureka Tower situated in Melbourne, which is the second tallest building in Australia but the tallest building to roof in Australia.

Architectural Detail


Upon completion the Gran Torre Santiago will have 64 stories and will stand tall at an astounding height of 300 meters (980 feet) with additional 6 basement floors. Upon completion of the tower there will be nearly 700, 000 square meters of building space available which would have been built on 47, 000 square meters of land. The chief architect of this building is Cesar Pelli and the structural engineering is done by the Chilean company René Lagos y Asociados Ing. The building will have as many as 24 lifts or elevators. The building is quite resistant to earthquakes as the building is located in Chile which lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire and is quite prone to earthquakes. The building was successful in withstanding the powerful force of an 8.8 º Richter earthquake which devastated several parts of central and southern Chile, the tower did not face any structural damage as well in doing so.

Timeline of Construction

The construction of this building began in the year 2006 and the expected time of completion of the building was 2010 but the construction had to be put on hold because of the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. The construction then resumed in December 2009. In November 2010 when the building reached the 205 meters landmark the building became the tallest building in Chile when it overtook the neighboring Titatanium La Portada. When the building reached the 226 meters landmark it then became the tallest building in the whole of South America by taking over the twin towers of Parque Central Complex situated in Caracas, Venezuela which stand tall at a height of 225 meters to the roof.

Costanera Center


The Costanera Center is basically the center or region where Gran Torre Santiago lies or is actually a part of. The costanera center which aims to become a mini-city will have a mall and three other skyscrapers apart from Gran Torre Santiago. It will also have supermarkets, shops, 2 five-star hotels, a helipad, leisure places and a medical facility, making the center one of the largest commercial and business complex in Santiago. The complex is located in the commune of Providencia, Santiago, Chile, and is owned by the holding Cencosud. Another skyscraper in the complex will be 170 meters high. The construction of the whole complex came to a pause in the year 2009 due to the economic slowdown. The developers were worried that they will not be able to find tenants if the complex and Gran Torre Santiago in particular get completed by the originally proposed completion date.

The mall of this complex is the largest mall in South America. The mall opened on 12 June, 2012 and is Designed by Canadian retail agency Watt International. The mall has 6 floors and a supermarket by the name of Jumbo. Apart from the three Chilean departmental stores, namely, Paris, Falabella and Ripley the mall also has shops and showrooms of some of the top brands in the world like Zara, Hugo Boss and Guess. The mall also includes a variety of restaurants, ranging from Fast food restaurants to fine dining. The mall has a gym on its 6th floor. Apart from that the mall has a cinema theater and holds the tag of having the country’s first Hard Rock Café. The mall also brags of being the first mall in South America to use the “Find Your Car” parking technology by Park Assist. So all in all, the mall does have a lot of things to support its tag of “Largest mall in South America”.

Titanium La Portada

La Portada

Situated very close to the Gran Torre Santiago is another iconic landmark called as the Titanium La Portada. The building is located in the high-end financial district of Santiago and holds the record for being the second tallest building in Chile. The construction of the building started in January 2007 and the building was fully constructed by January 2010. Before November 2010 this gorgeous building was the tallest in the country until Gran Torre Santiago stole the title from it. The building has 55 floors and stands tall at a roof height of 194 meters. Like Gran Torre Santiago, this building has been made quite resistant to earthquake by anchoring it 50 meters below the ground.