Monthly Archives: May 2014

Turquoise Ice, Lake Baikal, Russia



Turquoise Ice, Lake Baikal, Russia

Frozen Lake Baikal

Turquoise Ice,Lake Baikal Ice,Russia

Turquoise Ice,Lake Baikal Ice,Russia

The ice ridges on Lake Baikal in Russia’s eastern Siberia is probably one of the most amazing and it adds upon the list of one of the natural wonders of the world.It is probably a wonder with residing at least for 20 million years holding one-fifth of the world’s fresh water.

Location:

 

Map to Lake Baikal

Map to Lake Baikal

Turquoise Ice in Northern Lake Baikal is located in Siberia of Russia which is the largest freshwater lake on the planet containing at around 20 percent of Earth’s freshwater.The surface of the lake is 31,722 square kilometers which is the size of both Denmark and Belgium while its shore length is 2000 kilometers and the maximum depth is about 1642 meters.Also,it is one of the oldest lake and home to thousands of varieties of plants and animals and about 1600 species are native to the lake.

Formation:

Frozen Lake Baikal

Frozen Lake Baikal

The water of Lake Baikal is a popular one as it is clear.In the winter,the lake freezes which results to a spectacular phenomena like large broken glass type of transparent ice forms are formed on the surface of the lake which appears to be very amazing.These strange ridges are bright turquoise ice formations from which it gets the name.Also,due to freezing,the ice layer expands and it cracks unevenly which results a splendid view.It looks like an artwork.

Highlights:

Turquoise ice

Turquoise ice

The appearance from above the water just looks like pieces of glass while from the bottom,it looks like it forms some mineral formations from another planet.These ice cubes are formed on the surface of the lake for four months from January to April.In March,the view is perfectly stunning as the water completely goes frozen.

Piled up ice hummocks

Piled up ice hummocks

We can see clearly 120 feet below from the surface.Mostly,this natural phenomena occurs at the time of March.Due to the intense pressure petrified  to the glacial ice,it is very dense so that there is no air bubbles present here.So,the natural blue color of water is visible in the ice.

Cracks of ice hummocks

Cracks of ice hummocks

The cracks and breaks in the ice ridges is due to the wind and temperature differences,frost and sun and it forms shiny and transparent in turquoise ice color which looks like broken ice rising up to the sky.

Walking in the Turquoise ice

Walking in the Turquoise ice

Lake Baikal is said to be the real jewel of the Planet.The lake can be crossed by foot easily when it freezes but if running ,sometimes it may lead to frostbite and hypothermia.Also,the photo shoots there is too difficult and dangerous and they need to be more careful.

Tourists are attracted to this Lake Baikal for its natural wonder and also for its special tours and some adventurous ones like going to subzero temperatures in a wet suit  so that we can experience the turquoise ice.

Baikal is also known as the Big Sea for its size and its popularity as it is 70 kilometers wide to the eastern shore while 30 kilometers to the western shore.From eastern shore,we can clearly see the ice formations while from the western shore,hills are perfectly visible.

Cave in Lake Baikal

Cave in Lake Baikal

Cape Hoboy covered with snow

Cape Hoboy covered with snow

A cave is seen in a waterfront rock where walls of the cave are covered with two meters of thick ice and hundreds of icicles hanging from the top which is an attracting beauty.There is a Cape Hoboy which has the largest ice hummocks.It is really amazing to imagine the way how the ice ridges have been piled one upon another.The breaking of one meter thick ice in Lake Baikal is magnifying and also terrifying sight.

Facts:

  • Lake Baikal is the deepest lake on the planet and also one of the prominent landmarks of Russia and also the world.
  • Lake Baikal is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.Lake Baikal is considered as one of the largest reservoir of fresh water.
  • Lake Baikal is used as a biological filter as water in the lake contains more oxygen concentration.
  • The lake has 336 flowing rivers into it through a single outlet  which is the Angara River.Scientists believe that if the rivers of this lake stops,even then,the River Angara has the ability to continue its flow for 400 years without any difficulty.
  • The interesting fact is that this lake shows any signs of aging but the depth does not decreases.
  • It is said that Baikal demands land of two cm every year and is believed that it is an emerging ocean.Lake Baikal is a home to around 2600 fauna with its unique biodiversity.
  • If the whole of Baikal water is freezed and cut into ice blocks of size 1 cubic kilometer ,the line stretches from North Pole to the South Pole and also 2.5 thousand kilometers from the South Pole.
  • No swimmer has ever crossed the Baikal lake due to its typical temperatures and  unpredictability.
The magnificient view of the Turquoise Ice

The magnificient view of the Turquoise Ice

The Lake Baikal totally is a beautiful and amazing one which has a special charm of attracting tourists due to its perfect landscape.The ice hummocks are the beautiful ones to view which is never found anywhere but here.

 

 

 

 

Green City in the Sun, Nairobi



Green City in the Sun, Nairobi

NairobiNairobi is a city in Africa and is also the capital of Kenya located on the Nairobi River. It is one of the largest and fastest growing cities in Kenya and also one of the largest in Africa. The city of Nairobi is known as the ‘World’s Safari Capital’ and ‘Green city in the Sun’ as it offers a range of wild creatures and vast stretches of dense forests. Some of the most excellent amenities in Africa are to be found in this city. Also, this city is the prominent hub or trade and culture as folks of all types are to be found here. It is one of the most attractive and beautiful city in the whole of Africa which is most famous for its spectacular sightseeing and beautiful landscapes. It is the heart of Kenya’s economic, administrative as well as cultural activities. It is one of the only places in the world that offers a full wildlife resort just outside the city borders. This place does not disappoint any of its visitors because of its marvellous enticements which are sure to put them under a spell.

GET IN

The main airport is situated 15 kilometres outside the city known as Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. This is the main arrival point of all the travellers. There is another airport called as Wilson Airport which is about 11 kilometres away from the city centre and is for the domestic flights. The bus system in Kenya is very reliable. There are many buses that are going to and from the country’s different cities including Nairobi. You can also arrive at this place by Matatus and shuttles which are not very expensive and also the only public transport that connects the other tourist destinations to Nairobi.

PLACES TO SEE

Nairobi National Park

This is a magnificent place located just outside the city centre of Nairobi. It is about seven kilometres away from the downtown area. There are very few cities in the world that boast of a national park full of wild animals just outside its city. It is spread over to 30,000 acres of land and is home to many wild animals and over 400 species of birds. You can find animals like giraffe, Lion, Zebra, Rhino, etc. You can take a drive in the afternoon through the park or also walk on foot and spot giraffes, rhinos. This park is a paradise for all the bird watchers as there are many endangered and magnificent birds to be found here. This is the most popular tourist destination and is sure to never disappoint you as it has a lot to offer.

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Nairobi National Museum

This is one of the must visit places in Nairobi as it displays the relics and artefacts of cultural and natural history of the country. There are many interesting and valuable cultural and ancient items on display in the museum. This museum represents the rich heritage of Kenya with four distinct themes namely nature, history, culture and contemporary arts. It has a wide spread ornithological collection of bird species which are thousands of years old. It is one of the most famous landmarks in the city.

Nairobi_Museum

Ngong Hills

This is one place where you can feel the adrenaline rush when you hike along the Ngong Hills. This place is about an hour away from the city located towards the southwest to the city. The peaks are a little steep but worth a hike. There is a walking trail along the tops of the Ngong hills where you can hike. When you reach on the top the view is mesmerizing. The stunning panorama is sure to take your breath away. On one side you have the view of the Great Rift Valley and on the other is the downtown area of Nairobi.

Ngong-hills

Jamia Mosque

This mosque in Nairobi is one of Kenya’s most well-known religious structures. It is also the most important mosque in the country. It was built in between the years 1902 to 1906. The mosque has been extended after its original construction. It has a classic Arabic Muslim architectural style. There are three silver domes and two twin minarets. There is also a library and a training institute where one can learn Arabic language and cloth making.

Jamia mosque

Lake Naivasha

This is a fresh water lake in Kenya which is towards the north west of the Nairobi city. It is about one and a half hour away from the city and is a retreat from the chaos of the city. This lake is a part of the Great Rift Valley. The lake is also home to many birds and animals especially Hippos. So it is a nice place to visit and also spot some wildlife and has a picturesque surrounding.

Naivasha_lake

Apart from the above there are many more places that you can visit like Tana River, Snake Park, National Railway Museum, etc. The city also has a very vibrant nightlife. From techno dance clubs to traditional bars playing the local tunes everything can be found here. . Thus the lively ethnic ambiance of this city, the mountains, national parks, museums all of this together make this place a must visit which has so much to offer for every tourist.

Small Population and Big Reputation: Berkeley, California



Small Population and Big Reputation: Berkeley, California

“The Weed Capital of America”, California is well known for the historic gold rush. However, that is not the single reason, celebrities, wine, beautiful beaches, Hollywood, Disney Land, San Francisco Zoo and other attractions make it one of the most visited state of America. Some of the most famous cities of California are Berkeley,San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, Fresno, Sacramento, Oakland, Santa Ana, Anaheim and others. In this article, Berkeley will be the center of attention. Berkeley is a beautiful city located on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in California. It is one of the less populated cities of California yet one of the most visited. There are around 1 million people residing here. Berkeley is mostly famous among tourists for University of California, parks, museums and gardens. The history of Berkeley gives the glimpse of 17th century when the site of Berkeley was a territory of Ohlone people. European people arrived with the De Anza Expedition in 1776 and established the Presidio of San Francisco at the entrance of San Francisco Bay. A part of Contra Costa County became the Berkeley city later. 19th century was the boom period for the city when private schools, colleges, hospitals, industries, railroad and farms were established here. After that, Berkeley fought the Great Depression of 1930 and some earthquakes. Today, Berkeley has grown to a great economy, a cultural place and a famous tourist attraction of California. Berkeley is the first city in US to proclaim a day recognizing bisexuals on September 23 and first city to mail education pamphlets on AIDS to every household of the city. Berkeley is named amongst the greenest and most sustainable cities in United States. Berkeley also won the Healthy Communities 2013 Achievement Award last year.

berkeley

Berkeley has a cool summer Mediterranean climate with quite dry summers. The temperature varies from -4 degrees to 30 degrees throughout the year. January is the coldest month and September is the hottest month. The weather gets cooler during July and August because of the breezes coming from sea. Most rain is experienced in January and precipitation is also high during that period. The city does not see snowfall easily but higher area like the Berkeley Hills experiences snowfall very often. The best time to visit Berkeley is between March to July.

How to get here?

Berkeley-California-signs

Berkeley does not have its own international airport but it is well served by some nearby airports. The nearest airport is Oakland International Airport, located just 15 miles from the city center, which receives international and domestic flights from all major airline carriers. Other airports are San Francisco International Airport, located just 25 miles from Berkeley and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport which is located just 48 miles from downtown. You can easily reach Berkeley downtown from any of these airports by taxi, cabs, rental cars or airport shuttle service.

Accommodation and Food

Accommodation

There is a long range of lodging options in Berkeley with affordable prices for every style, occasion and budget. From B&B and apartments to Hotel and resorts, everything is withing reach in the city. One of the best luxurious choices is Double Tree by Hilton Berkeley Marina at Marina Boulevard featuring a 5000 sq. ft. ballroom, Executive Meeting Center, two pools, two whirlpools, sauna, free internet, health club and more. Other high budget options include Downtown Berkeley YMCA hotel, Hotel Durant, Hotel Shattuck Plaza and Berkeley City Club. Some budget options include Blue Sky Hotel, Rose Garden Inn, The Brown Shingle B&B, La Quinta Inn & Suites The French Hotel, Barkeley inn, Berkeley Travelodge, Downtown Berkeley Inn, Easton Hall, Golden Bear Inn, Knights Inn Berkeley, Marinna Inn, Quality Inn, Rodeway Inn and Super 8 at University Avenue.

Food

Berkeley is simply a culinary wonderland and very famous for its tasty food. From epicurean and organic omnivore to authentic ethnic and vegetarian, every taste is easily available here. There are more than 400 restaurants around the city and some of the best choice include Au Coquelet at University Avenue featuring American food, Fatslice at Telegraph Avenue featuring nice lunch for vegetarians, HS Lordships Restaurant at Seawall Drive featuring great English cuisine and stupendous weekend brunch, Pyramid Alehouse at Gilman Street featuring fantastic beer and cocktails, Silver Pizzeria at Center Street with nice ethnic food and Top Dog at Durant Avenue featuring quality tube steaks.

The Attractions

Shattuck Avenue

Shattuck Avenue

The Shattuck Avenue is a large city street from north south through Berkeley and Oakland. This is one of the most visited shopping hubs in the whole country and features shops, restaurants and saloons from some international names. There are two centers of the Avenue, one near Bart and other at the upper area of city. The major attractions of Shattuck Avenue are Chez Panisse, Cheese Board Collectives, Stonemountain, ACCI Cooperative Gallery, Gourmet Cheese Shop, two cinema theatres, bookshops and splendid Berkeley Public Library.

University of California

University of California

The University of California is world famous public research University occupying 1232 acres of area. The University has some famous and historical landmarks situated on its campus. Some of the major attractions are the Lisa & Douglas Goldman Plaza, Haas School of Business innovation Lab, the Simpson Center, Water & Culture exhibits, Earth & Physical Sciences Building, the Hearst Memorial Mining Building, St. Mark’s Campanile, Sather Tower, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and California Institute for Quantitative Bioscience.

Scotland Of the East-Shillong, Meghalaya



Scotland Of the East-Shillong, Meghalaya

shillong-the-abode-of-clouds

The capital of Meghalaya, a home to the Khasi tribe, Shillong, populary known as the ‘Scotland of the east’, is one of the smallest cities in India. The 330th most populous city in India, is situated at an average altitude of 4,908 ft. above the sea level. The highest point of the city is the Shillong peak which is at a height of 6,449 ft.

Shillong has grown in size and significance since it was made the civil station of khasi and Jaintia hills by the British. Shillong remained the capital of undivided Assam until the creation of the new state of Meghalaya.

The city is situated on the Shillong Plateau, which is apparently the only major uplifted structure in the northeastern shield. The city lies in the center of the plateau and is surrounded by hills on all four sides.

The city of Shillong features a sub-tropical climate. The summers there are warm and it is constantly raining. Shillong faces vagaries of monsoons, that arrive in June and it rains almost until the end of August. The winters being cool and dry are the best time to visit Shillong, since the glowing green valley and iridescent flowers at their best are a real treat to the eyes and a balm to the sour soul. The months of October, November, April and March are the best time of the year to visit this abode of Gods.

The Must-visits in Shillong

Shillong is gifted with attractive tourist spots that possess the capacity to lure 100s of 1000s of tourists. These spectacular tourist spots either exist naturally or are manmade, but in both cases, they have the capacity to hold your attention and make you gasp in amazement and awe.

Elephant Falls are located 12km away on the outskirts of the city. The falls were named by the British and called the Elephant falls because they consisted of three sections in succession and also there was a rock that resembled an Elephant near the left side of the main falls. The walk around the falls would consume 30-40 minutes of the day. One can see the falls very closely and enjoy the coolness of the crystal clear waters.

shillong (1)

Lady Hydari Park, consists of neatly manicured lawns, with a mini zoo and a children’s playground attached to it. The park is nestled in the heart of the city and is managed by the forest department.

Wards Lake is one of the most popular manmade lake in the city of Shillong. The beautiful orchids, the picturesque bridge and the blue waters work as healing magical spells and effortlessly soothe the sore soul. The lake is in the shape of a horse shoe and is a treat for nature lovers. A lazy walk along the lake is a must-do in Shillong. The lake also offers boating facilities that seems to complete the whole endeavor.

Shillong Golf Course is one of the largest golf courses in Asia and is located in the scenic city of Shillong. The course is one of the few natural golf courses in Asia. The rests in the lap of a valley covered with the Pine and the Rhododendron, which makes it a scenic and an enjoyable get away. The Shillong golf course is considered to be the ‘Glen Eagle’ (a luxury hotel) of the east, at the United States Golf Association Museum.

Motphran, was erected in the memory of the 21st Khasi Labor Corps who served under the British in France during World War one. The ‘Stone of France’, locally known as ‘Motphran’, bears the words of the famous Latin poet Horace “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country”.

Shillong Peak is an ideal picnic spot located 10km away from the city. Being the highest point in Shillong, it offers a panoramic view of the countryside. The religious priest of the Mylliem State pays homage to the ‘U Shulong’ at the Sanctum Sanctorum situated at the peak, every spring. One must pack a decent amount of food and water with them and also wear comfortable shoes for trekking. The Shillong Peak is a paradise for avid photographers, as the view is clear during the day and at night; one can stare up at the sky and soak in the enchanting beauty of the sky that resembles a box full of glitter.

Captain Williamson Sangma State Museum is for those who are interested in ethnic tribal culture and tradition. The museum offers a glimpse of the lifestyle of the indigenous tribes of the region, as it takes one back into the past of the state of Meghalaya. It helps one to understand more about Meghalaya and its people, through the artifacts, that show the day to day life of the tribal people, displayed in the museum. It is located in the state library complex, where monuments for the great patriots of the state were erected besides the statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

Don Bosco Centre for the Indigenous Cultures, consists of research of cultures, publications, training, animation programs, which is a place of Knowledge sharing on the cultures of the north east in particular, and of other cultures in general. The place is run by the Silesian order of the Catholic Church and has a gigantic archive of information on the states of Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.

Apart from these tourist spots there are many other attractions in Shillong.

shillong

Shillong is very well connected by road, but railway and air connections are not all that great, as there are limited flights offered by the Shillong Airport.

Be it lovers of history or nature, botanists or photographers, Shillong has something to amaze and attract anyone and everyone. Take some time out and do visit Shillong, Meghalaya.

Kizhi island, Karelia-Russia



Kizhi island, Karelia-Russia


kizhiii
Kizhi is an island situated in Russia and is one of the 1650 islands in Lake Onega which is again the second largest lake in Europe. Lake Onega is found in the Republic of Karelia which is located in Russia. Kizhi is one of the oldest and largest outdoor museums in Russia as it shares it name with the island. The island is often included as a port. It is known as a port of call on Russian waterways cruises between St. Petersburg and Moscow. Kizhi focuses more on the lives of peasants which includes 83 wooden structures and most of which are established since 18th century and 19th century.

The island of Kizhi located in the northwestern region of Russia originates and acquires its name from Kizharsuari which in here means the island of games.  The island of Kizhi was located and established since 14th century trade route from the town of Novgorod to the White Sea. The museum of Kizhi has been a member of UNESCO world heritage since the year 1990 and has also been into the open air exhibition which includes churches, homes, and other wooden buildings. The museum has a space around where a visitor would love to stroll around and have a learning experience which would fascinate their journey to the museum.

kizhiiRussia is famous for its wooden architectures and it has a lot of them registered in the history of Russian architecture. Church of Kizhi of the transfiguration of savior is a supreme and selective example of the wooden architecture. This church was built in 1714 in the honor of Peter the Great’s victories the Swedes. There is already an existence of transfiguration church at Kizhi since the early 17th century. This church is located on open space in the southwest part of island and it forms the center.

kizhi churchThis church of transfiguration was initially used only for major church holidays especially in summer season. It was a common agenda in Russia of having paired churches for both summer season and winter season. The church has a bell tower with a tent roof between and in front of the church. It is an octagonal spruce and pine log framework with 22 domes covered with birch bark fewer than 30,000 carved shingles. The shape and size of the domes keeps on varying from tier to tier depending upon the lights and the shingles shimmer which resembles to silver.

kizhiVillages on Kizhi Island experience a rural lifestyle in Karelia. The houses or rather termed as huts are reconstruction. This reconstructed village on Kizhi Island demonstrates traditional crafts and tasks. The houses are still till date inhabited by local people. Except for in certain areas in Kizhi, smoking is strictly prohibited due to the delicate nature of the wooden architecture and structures. In the past, fire has destroyed and created havoc in this wooden paradise. The stay on Kizhi Island is prohibited if it is overnight so it is a better option to plan a trip in the day time or to follow the time table given by a specific tour guide nearby.

kizhi 2Kizhi Island as we know is the home to the oldest wooden church in Russia and one of the famous churches is the church of the resurrection of Lazarus which was built in the late duration on 14th century. Many of the buildings on Kizhi Island have stood on for years and years or its better to say centuries but not until the 1960’s when the soviets decided to make Kizhi into an open air museum as mentioned above. In the making of the wooden architecture of Kizhi island, no nails have been used rather wooden pieces have been notched together to form even the most intricate, attractive and beautiful structures.

kizhiiiThis area is extremely cold in winter and because of which it becomes possible to heat up the church sufficiently and adequately on to a large to perform the services in winter season without the parishioners and the visitors experiencing frostbites. Thus due to this reason it was decided to build as a smaller one rather than building a huge one. Earlier the names of the building were not recorded so because of that still today there is a hidden mystery with its real name and thus it is named as the Kizhi church upon the name of the island itself. It is said that the developer used a single axe throughout the construction process of the church till the completion of the work.

summer kizhiThis church of Kizhi of the Transfiguration is certainly an impressive structure. It is a tribute to their anonymous builders who struggled a lot for building the architecture. The amazing complex is a museum outdoor and two wooden churches and an octagonal tower which originated in 1862. There are findings of wooden buildings, mills and chapels. The architecture has stood up for nearly 300 years, pine with aspen covered domes. The church is built entirely on a strong stone base and is still standing still and would continue for several decades. Spectacular and magical works of art of great architectural and historical wealth is a symbolic representation and this leads to more number of visitors to the Island of Kizhi and increasing the visitors and making it as a famous tourist attraction in Russia.

Donuts: The Sweet Treat Everyone’s Mad Over



Donuts: The Sweet Treat Everyone’s Mad Over

donuts1

Nothing can be more delightful and fascinating than grabbing a donut during childhood. A sweet chocolaty treat which is more delicious than its attracting and tempting look, appeal everyone to indulge in the sweet sin. Donut is also known as doughnut and is a fried dough confectionery with different types and flavors of frosting which one can use for breakfast, snacks or desserts. The delicious treat of donuts is famous worldwide with all its different varieties available. A disc shaped fried dough with the chocolate frosting is kid’s all time favorite. The delicious chocolaty warmth of the donut just melts in the mouth with everlasting chocolate taste buds.

Though the origin of the donuts is still not clear, it is said that Dutch while making oil cakes in 19th century made the simple ball of cakes and fried to until it golden brown. They moderated the center of donuts with the dry fruits and other such fillings as it was difficult to cook the inner part and fillings like dry fruits and nuts don’t need to be cooked at that extent. In later years the shape was modified by punching a hole in the center of the dough ball. The origin and derivation of the name is still in debate.

Donut in today’s world is very famous since few decades. With unique toppings, frostings and flavors, donuts have gained vast popularity. Donuts can be easily made at home as it is easy to make. Crusty, fluffy and chocolaty donuts glazed with chocolate or cinnamon or other such ingredients always appeal everyone to grab it.

donuts 2

Recipe of eggless donuts goes with simple ingredients like fine wheat flour (maida) 2cups, milk 3/4th cup, sugar 2 tablespoons, dry  active yeast 1 tablespoon, butter 1/4th cup, salt half teaspoon and oil for frying. For glazing the donuts powdered sugar 1/4thcup, brown chocolate and white chocolate both 100gms is required. To start with, take a big utensil and add all the ingredients like sugar, salt, butter and dry active yeast, lukewarm milk and start kneading the dough for ten minutes until it gets soft. Later roll the dough by giving it a round shape and spread some dry flour on the surface and place the dough on it. Make round circles with the help of rolling pin with the thickness of around ½ to ¾ cm of thickness and cut the donuts in the round shape with the help of the glass or any such instrument. With the help of the small cap of any bottles make holes in the donut and place it on a tray for frying. Apply a little of oil to all the prepared donuts so that they don’t get dried and keep it aside for two hours. After two hours heat oil in the pan for frying. Slowly add donuts as according to the size of the pan in the medium hot oil and fry it till they become golden brown in its color. Place the fried donuts in a plate with tissue paper or any such absorbent paper. Dust the piping of donuts with the powdered sugar. Later for the glazing of the donuts melt both the white and milk or dark chocolate and place it in a bowl. Dip the donuts in the melted chocolate and keep it aside to set. One can garnish the donuts with other toppings like choco chips, milk chocolate, jams, jellies, crème and other such ingredients and thus the donuts are ready to serve.

process of making donuts

There are various variations and types of donuts available worldwide. A simple glazed donut, maple iced donut, glazed cinnamon, chocolate iced glazed, chocolate iced glazed with sprinkles, chocolate iced crème filled, glazed strawberry and raspberry filled, double dark chocolate donut etc are few of the common varieties out of the infinite types of donuts. Donuts glazed with white chocolate with the toppings of jelly, black-current, jams etc are also very common now-a-days. The rare variation is the cheese donut latest available in the outlets of M.O.D.

different types of donuts

There are many famous outlets serving the best donuts all over the world. Randy’s donut’s in Los Angeles has its outlet in every corner of the street. The outlet is famous since decades for its donuts. Buttermilk and crumb raised donuts are the popular one amongst the crowd. Blue star donuts outlet in Portland is also one of the famous place serving best donuts all over the world. World’s best donut is the other famous outlet in Grand Marais. World’s famous chain of donuts, the dunkin donuts is the global company which serves donuts all over the world. Started in the mid of 19th century, dunkin donuts have made its name worldwide for serving the best donuts all over the world. Dunkin donuts have recently opened its outlets in India. Mad Over Donuts it another popular outlet famous for its delicious donuts in all over India.

dunkin donuts

Donut in recent years has gained lots of popularity and has become an alternative over pastries and other sweet delicacies. With its deliciously tempting looks, donuts appeal everyone of all age groups to relish on it with a wide variety and chocolaty affair they offer.

Got Everything You Desire: Pretoria, South Africa



Got Everything You Desire: Pretoria, South Africa

South Africa has always been an unusual place to spend holidays and there must be no visitor who has not come satisfied from this amazing country. Famous for a lot of languages, plant diversity, some unique species of animals, Nalsen Mandela, Table Mountain, Soccer world cup, advanced technology, Apartheid and some fabulous cities like Johannesburg, Capetown, Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Nelspruit, Kimberley, Polokwane, Pietermaritzburg and more. Lets know about the city of Pretoria more and find out why this is one of the best tourist destinations in South Africa. Pretoria is one of the three capital cities of the country and located in the northern part of Gauteng Province. Pretoria was one of the host cities during 2010 FIFA World Cup. Mainly known for the home field of the Vodacom Blue Bulls rugby stadium, purple blossom bedecked trees, high literacy rate, some historic landmarks and some great pieces of architecture, Pretoria receives more than 4 million visitors every year. The origin of the city is from 1855, when its was founded by Marthinus Pretorius. There were a number of names given to the city at that time but finally settled for Pretoria. Pretoria is also called the Administrative Capital of South Africa. Pretoria has more than 40 embassies which is 2nd largest number in the world and it is the site of discovery of Cullinan Diamond in 1905. Pretoria has the world’s largest 50 ton soccer ball at the top of the Lukarsrand Telkom Tower and longest urban street, Church Street, in South Africa. The country first bullet train was started here which links Johannesburg to Pretoria and it also has the most famous Blue Train. There is no doubt that Pretoria has a very important role in the country’s historic, economic and financial growth.

Pretoria-2-450x337

Pretoria has a dry subtropical climate with fairly warm summers. The temperature varies from 17 degrees to 30 degrees throughout the year. The warm season does not go very hot but the winters are bone chilling at night. July and August are the coldest month and February is the hottest one. You can expect more than 240 days of sunlight per year and the precipitation is at its highest point during November. The best time to visit Pretoria is between December to March.

How to get here?

Pretoria_CBD

Pretoria does not have its own international airport but it is served by airports in Johannesburg. The nearest airport is OR Tambo International Airport, located just 50 km from the city downtown and receives flights from all major countries and cities with airlines like Delta, Frontier, US Airways, British Airlines and more. Another famous airport is Lanseria International Airport which is located just 66 km from Pretoria and also one of the busiest airports. You can easily take up taxi, cab, rental car or airport shuttle to reach downtown which usually takes less than 30 minutes.

Accommodation and Food

Accommodation

The administrative capital of South Africa, offers a great range of accommodation for its visitors, from luxury hotels and villas to cheap motels and boutiques. There are more than 100 hotels around the city and one of the best choices is Sun1 Hotel Pretoria where each room is designed uniquely and offers additional facilities like shower, free internet, pool, free parking, sauna and more. Other luxurious choice include Forever Resorts Arcadian Guest House, Tsibana Guest House, Hotel 224, Courtyard Hotel Arcadia, Touch of Glass, Voortekker Monument and Nature Reserve, The Elegant Lodge, Sable house, Ingaadi, Tuishuis, Pretoria Executive cottages and Abafazi Guesthouse. If you wish for a cheap but comfortable stay then there are some good options like Chez Coetzer Guesthouse, Edelweiss Corporate Guest House, StayEasy Pretoria, The Victoria Hotel, Aluvi House, Morning Star Express Hotel, Holiday Inn Express, Protea Hotel Capital, Brooklyn Lodge, Protea Hotel hatfield, Marvol Manor House, Protea Hotel Manor, Faircity Roodevallei, Premier Hotel, Meintjieskop Guest Lodge, Sheraton Pretoria Hotel and Town Lodge Menlo Park.

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Pretoria offers some fine dining spots to satisfy the taste buds of each and every visitor and this great food chain offers almost all international cuisines. You will just love the fusion, French, Italian and Mediterranean food of La Pentola at Riviera, Pan African cuisine of Baobab Cafe & Grill, continental food at Pachas Resturant & Cherry Room, pub & grill at La Bush Tavern, Belgian taste at La Madeleine, traditional South African food at Leipoldts Restaurant. Other good choice include Toni’s Pizza, Crawdaddy’s, Granita, Villa San Giovanni Ristorante, Orange at the Court Classique, Kream, Restaurant Mosaic, Mo Zam Bik and Harries Pancakes.

The Attractions

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

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The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is a zoo located at Boom Street in Pretoria. The zoo covers an area of 85 hectare and was founded by J. W. B. Gunning in 1899. This is the largest zoo and only national level zoo of South Africa. It is also called Pretoria Zoo and features more than 700 animals including reptiles, fish and birds. The main attractions at the zoo include Aquarium, Duku Duku, Elephant Indaba, Farm Lapa, Flamingo Terrace, Hippo Lapa, Mandrill, Waterhole and others. The zoo remains open daily and admission fee is R 75 for adults and R 50 for children.

Voortrekker Monument

Voortrekker Monument

The Voortrekker Monument is a giant granite structure located on Eeufees Road in Pretoria. The monument is located on a hilltop and was opened in 1949 for public. The monument is a great cultural and historic landmark for the city and receives more than 200000 visitors annually. There is Voortekker Monument Museum inside the Monument which tells the story of the lifestyle of Voortekkers. It is surely a must visit place of Pretoria.

Stylish, Beautiful and Romantic: Trieste, Italy



Stylish, Beautiful and Romantic: Trieste, Italy

There is a saying by Giuseppe Verdi, ‘You may have the universe if i may have Italy’. The Majesty and romantic environment of this country is only of its class. Gorgeous countryside, vineyards, crenelated buildings, snow capped Mountains, amazing architectural wonders, the massive Colosseum, ancient seaports, Greek Temple of Concord, fabulous food, wines and pastries, the national football team and countless beautiful towns like Rome, Florence, Venice, Paris, Genoa, Pisa, Naples, Siena, Clinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, Milan and more. But there is a city in Italy which has abundance of natural beauty and architectural buildings but is quite underrated. That city is Trieste, a seaport located in northeastern Italy, between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia territory. This fascinating city of Italy has a rich history to its discovery by Japhet, son of the Noah. It was a Roman Colony of Tergeste during 1202 when Venetians took over it. Trieste battled and won its independence. However, it accepted the overlordship of Austria in 1382 and Trieste was assigned to Italy after World War I. The economic boom knocked the doors of Trieste during 18th and 19th century. Today, Trieste is among the most unique cities of Italy and often overlooked by tourists but it is the perfect base for exploring the coast and its other gems. Trieste has the biggest Roman Theatre of the country and most number of zoological and botanical gardens in the state. It is also home of one of the greatest native writers in the country, Italo Svevo, who has written some comic masterpieces like The Confesstions of Zeno and Zeno’s Conscience. It also has one of the longest pedestrianized streets of the country named the Borgo Teresiano. So, next time when you are in Italy, don’t forget to keep space for Trieste on your ‘places to visit’ list.

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Trieste has a warm humid temperate climate with very hot summers. The temperature varies from 39 F to 85 F throughout the year and there are no dry seasons. July is the hottest month and February is the coldest. The weather remains clear most of the time with more than 250 days of sunshine. Precipitation reaches its highest during November and brings heavy rain with it. Moderate rainfall can be seen over the entire year. The best time to visit Trieste is between March and May.

How to get here?

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Trieste is well served by Trieste – Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport which is just 50 km from the downtown and receives numerous international and domestic flights from major airline carriers like Delta, Frontier, British Airlines and more. There are some domestic airports also near Trieste like Pula Airport, Venice Marco Polo Airport, Treviso Sant Angelo Airport, Klagenfurt Airport but Trieste Airport is preferred the most by the visitors because of its location. You can easily get cabs, taxis, rental cars or airport shuttles to reach the city center.

Accommodation and Food

Accommodation

There are more than 125 lodging options around the city, from luxurious hotels and apartments to budget inns and B&Bs. If you wish to have a luxurious stay then Hotel Miramare is the best option, located at Viale Miramare, featuring design interiors and stylish rooms with modern furniture and Tre Merli Beach Hotel featuring free internet, free parking and direct access to seaside. Other luxury options include Villa Bottacin, Starhotels Savoia Excelsior Palace, Residence Liberty and Sotto il Faro. Affordable and nice lodging places in downtown include House 5, B&B Gens Julia, Villa Fausta B&B, B&B Advantage Accommodation, Palace Sutie, II Borgo Residence, Le Vele, Casa Codorna, Casa Dolcecasa and Residence Contovel.

Food

Trieste is famous for its delicious food and offers more than 150 eateries around the city. You will surely love the Tea & Cakes at Ginger, Bar Buffet D.O.C. featuring great Italian food and Pasta, Street Food Trieste with its hamburgers and sandwiches, Pasticceria Penso featuring Dessert and central European food, Al Toscano featuring nice ethnic food, Gelato Marco featuring different unique ice cream flavors, Trattoria Nerodiseppia featuring great chowder, Tavernetta al Molo featuring seafood, Antica, Trattoria Suban featuring Austrian cuisine, Geleteria Bar Arnoldo featuring good traditional Italian Icecream, Chimera di Bacco with its contemporary and sea food, Caffe San Marco with its Italian, Continental and Contemporary food and finally Spaghettoteca Alla Penna Bianca featuring Pasta and Chicken Wings.

The Attractions

Stadio Nereo Rocco

Stadio Nereo Rocco

The Stadio Nereo Rocco is a football stadium located at Via dei Macelli in Trieste, holding seating capacity of more than 32000 people. The stadium was named after former football player Nereo Rocco. It was opened in 1992 and has been the scene of some important football matches, music concerts including Vasco Rossi and Zucchero. The stadium remains open for guided tours and you can explore the stadium, its dugouts, players’ dressing rooms, trophies and memories of golden era of the stadium.

Museo Revoltella

Museuo Revoltella

The Revoltella Museum is an art museum located at Via Armando Diaz in Trieste. It was founded in 1872 by Baron Paquale Revoltella and since than has been an important and historic landmark of the city. It houses the books, arts and paintings by Baron and main attractions include Ritratto di Pasquale Roveltella, Autoritratto, Donna che Trattiene il tempo, Barcarola, Principe Felice Baciocchi, La Vergognosa, Ricercarii and Paesaggio. There is a gallery on the 5th floor housing the work of arts by the artists of the early 20th century. You will be amazed to see the views of the city from the huge terrace of the museum and there is a cafe which runs till midnight.

Visit the Fascinating Palermo, Italy



Visit the Fascinating Palermo, Italy

Whether its the exotic food or the largest beer produce, elegant music or notable operas, the Colloseum or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, amazing pastries or great pasta & pizza, beautiful beaches or luxury cars, Italy has everything to offer that a tourist desires. Italy has a beautiful culture with rich history and some greatest artists and writers have been coming from this amazingly fabulous country. What makes Italy such a great tourist destination is the architecture of its buildings, abundance of tourist spots and some great cities like Venice, Verona, Bologna, Rome, Paris, Naples, Florence, Lecce, Lucca, Pisa, Perugia, Palermo and more. Let’s find out what the city of Palermo has special for the visitors. Palermo is located in Insular Italy and is the capital of two regions, Sicily and the Province of Palermo. It is located on the north western coast of the island and is one of the biggest cities in Italy with a population of more than 6 million. Palermo can be called economic, cultural and touristic capital of Sicily because of its nice culture, art, music, industry and many beautiful locations like Romanesque and Gothic churches. The history takes us to 8th century when it was founded by Phoenicians and named by the ancient Greeks as Panormus. There was a time when Palermo was known as the Garden Cities because of a number of parks and public gardens but today these places are part of private villas and not open for public easily.

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Palermo has a hot Mediterranean climate with quite hot summers. The temperature varies from 15 degrees to 40 degrees throughout the year and there are two dry seasons. The coldest month of the year is January and hottest one is July. You can expect rainfall at anytime of the year and there are almost 200 days of sunshine per year. Summer season lasts from June to September and the weather remains mild and enjoyable. Autumn season lasts from October to November with a lot of rainfall. The best time to visit is the spring season which is from March to May. It is the time when the climate remains temperate and fairly warm to enjoy peaceful days.

How to get here?

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Palermo city is served by the Palermo International Airport, located in west of the city and connects it to the city via bus, train and taxi. Other airport is located in Boccadiflaco which is a regional airport catering to independent pilots. However the international airport is preferred by the visitors because of its central location. The national rail service of Italy, Trenitalia, also connects the city to the rest of the country. You can easily get around the city by rental cars and taxis and most drivers speak some English here which will help you find your way.

Accommodation and Food

Accommodation

Palermo may not have an abundance of hotels and villas around the city but it offers enough and affordable accommodation options for you. You will be amazingly shocked after seeing the exterior and architecture of the places you will be lodging in . One of the best hotel is Hotel Porta Felice which offers great services like private spa, health club, free internet, LED TVs in every room and 24 staff assistance. Other great options include Villa Bonocore Maletto, Hotel Tonic, Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa, Ambasciatori Hotel, Excelsior Hilton, Palazzo Sitano, Hotel Vecchio Borgo, Massimo Plaza Hotel. You can find cheap but nice rooms at Politeam Affitti, Albergo Cavour, Hotel Italia, Baia del Sole, Hotel Regina, Hotel Cortese, Albergo Vittoria, Casa Marconi, Orientale, Hotel Europe Palermo, Rainbow Hotel, hotel Gardenia, Albergo Mediterraneo, Hotel Columbia Palermo and Hotel Alessandra.

Food

The Italian food is world famous and the cuisine is really to die for. Its not just Italian, you will find almost all international cuisines like Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Sushi or Thai. One of the best place to have great food is Lo Scrigno dei Sapori featuring delicious Mediterranean and international cuisine. Other restaurants with exotic food include A, Cuncuma Restaurant with Italian food, Mounir with pizzas & kebab, Trattoria ai Cascinari with local food, Badalamenti Cucina e Bottega with wine bar & chowder, Sesto Canto with nice fusion, L’Ottava Nota with great Spanish food and Sicillia e Dintorni with amazing traditional food.

The Attractions

Palazzo dei Normanni

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The Palazzo dei Normanni, also known as Royal Palace of Palermo, is a huge palace located at Piazza Indipendenza in Palermo. During Norman domination, it was the seat of the Kings of Sicily. It is one of the greatest attractions of Palermo and defines the cultural importance of Sicily. The palace was built in 9th century and the main attractions in the palace include the roof with unique structure with upside down wooden, great fusion of Catholic, Byzantine and Islamic culture fusion, the mosaics of Christ, chapel dedicated to St. Peter, Royal Hall for hearing and banquets and the four towers. The palace remains open daily and the ticket costs just €6.

Palermo Cathedral

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The Palermo Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located at Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Palermo. The architecture of the church is the main attraction which is a blend of Baroque, Norman, Neoclassical and Gothic architecture. The cathedral was built in 12th century and the things to check out are the facade between two towers with double lancet windows, the Duomo which is a royal pantheon, four bell towers, the dome, the treasury and a 12th century Crown of Constance of Aragon. The cathedral remains open daily and the admission is free.

Notre Dame, France



Notre Dame, France

Notre Dame Cathedral,Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral,Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral,Paris

Hunchback of Notre Dame,France is one of the popular and greatest monument in the capital of French and is recorded in the World Heritage list.It is a unforgettable masterpiece with gothic architecture.

Location and Architecture:

The Notre Dame is situated in the geographical and popular historical centre of Paris  at the edge of the Ile de la Cite.This is no doubt the symbolic centre of Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is designed by Maurice de Sully and the construction of this large church known as cathedral started in 1163 and the construction took bearly two centuries to complete which was in 1345.The Notre Dame cathedral was also made restoration in 19th century by the French architect-Viollet-leoDuc.Even after its restoration,the monument looks very splendid like the previous one. Notre Dame has been a target for the Parisian revolutionaries due to the good relationship existed between the French monarchy and the Catholic Church.

Christ's crown of thorns

Christ’s crown of thorns

In 1238,the Saint Louis King bought the Christ’s Crown of Thorns frim Constantinople and later in 1806,the Crown was transferred to Notre Dame where it can be viewed every first friday of the month.

Notre Dame is not only a masterpiece of the French Gothic Architecture but it is also the Catholic  ceremonial focus from since seven centuries holding the amazing interior which holds about 6000 people at a time.Also,there are many main entrances with each differently designed with statues which were once colored and later on lose its color.Also,the interior has the most amazing 7800 pipe organ which is not working properly after it has been restored.

The infrastructure of the Notre Dame

The infrastructure of the Notre Dame

The infrastructure of the cathedral is very innovative and modern.The architecture of the Notre Dame has five transversal parts.It has many glass window which are stained and also rose windows where two of them are 13 meter wide which makes them the largest one in the Europe.The towers of the cathedral are 69 meter high and many carved grotesques and bells which are inspired by many famous tales of Victor Hugos.

The two towers of the cathedral

The two towers of the cathedral

At the time of the revolution,the statues from Gallery of the cathedral which has Kings nd many major portals were destroyed by the people.Later,the cathedral have become the property of the civil authorities.

Cathedral Highlights:

The beauty of the interior cathedral

The beauty of the interior cathedral

This is a free visit to any tourists for the monument but a fee is collected for the great towers of cathedral which has around large 422 steps.The top view of the cathedral is really amazing which gives the visitors a view of the River Seine and also many bridges and also many number  of Parisian  gems like la Saint-Chapelle which is the Tower of Saint Jacques and the Sacre-Coeur.The tour to the Hunchback of Notre Dame,the Historical Paris is really an amazing one which is an unforgettable memory.

The church bells

The church bells

Notre Dame as known is an old historical monument which celebrates its birthday on March 23 which completes its 850 years of establishment with nine new bronze bells and an original bell.The new bells which replaced the original bells have been melted down and those were used to make cannons at the time of the French Revolution.The new bronze bells has been casted inn Normandy using Middle Age techniques.

The Rose Window

The Rose Window

The West Facade approach to the Notre Dame has two towers risen over 200 feet.The exterior appearance is famous for its simplicity which consists of extraordinary features like the large Rose Window which forms a surrounding statue of the Blessed Virgin holding the infant Jesus who is in conversation with two angels.

The gallery of Kings

The gallery of Kings

The Last Judgement Portal

The Last Judgement Portal

 

There is a gallery of Kings below the Rose Window and also some entrance portals with a central port known as Last Judgement Portal.Every portal has nice sculptures which is popular among the tourists.The stained glass is treated as a treasure of the Cathedral especially the West Rose window and the designs in  these glass windows are mostly dated from the 13th century.

The flying buttresses

The flying buttresses

The employment of flying buttresses is made by Notre Dame which is renowned as the first cathedral to pull up.These wing elevated curves are transferred from cathedral to the buttresses  outside the building.These flying buttresses can be viewed along the east of the Cathedral.

Notre Dame is working as a Catholic Church even now which helds many ceremonial and religious events and it is one of the famous attractions in France which constitutes nearly 13 millions of visitors every year.

Gargoyles of Notre Dame

Gargoyles of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Cathedral is known as Notre-Dame de Paris which is known as “Our Lady of Paris”.Also, a popular book which is known as “The Hunchback of  Notre Dame” is written based on the building history.Also,many statues are carved on the exterior walls of the Notre Dame and carved grotesques are added for the purpose of decoration of water spouts.

Notre Dame,France

Notre Dame,France

The Notre Dame Cathedral is really an remarkable monument mainly for history lovers.Photography is allowed here where visitors tend to take pictures as memories but not a flash one should be used.They will be out bound by its history,infrastructure,its attractions and everything.This is really an amazing experience to watch the cathedral.It is also very beautiful when the nine bells are ringing on religious events which is a sight to watch.Even though the line to the entrance is very long,it is worth to wait to admire its beauty later.