Ok, the Eiffel Tower is a cliche, but seeing it on TV doesn't count.
The Eiffel Tower is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the River Seine in Paris, France. The tower has become a global icon of France.
The Parisian landmark is the tallest structure in Paris and one of the most recognized structures in the world. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, 6,719,200 people visited the tower in 2006 and more than 200,000,000 since its construction. This makes the tower the most visited paid monument in the world per year. Including the 24 m (79 ft) antenna, the structure is 324 m (1,063 ft) high (since 2000), which is equivalent to about 81 levels in a conventional building.
The structure of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tons. Depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm (7 in), due to thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun. The tower also sways 6-7 cm (2-3 in) in the wind.
The first and second levels are accessible by stairs and lifts. A ticket booth at the south tower base sells tickets to use the stairs which begin at that location. On the first platform, the stairs continue up from the east tower. The third level summit is only accessible by lift. Once you are on the first or second platform, the stairs are open for anyone to ascend or descend regardless if you have purchased a lift ticket or stair ticket. The actual count of stairs includes 9 steps to the ticket booth at the base, 328 steps to the first level, 340 steps to the second level, and 18 steps to the lift platform on the second level. When exiting the lift at the third level, 15 more steps exist to ascend to the upper observation platform. The actual step count is printed periodically on the side of the stairs to give an indication of progress. The structure was built between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle, a World's Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. Eiffel originally planned to build it in Canada, for the Universal Exposition of 1888, but they rejected it. The tower was inaugurated on 31 March1889, and opened on 6 May. Three hundred workers joined together 18,038 pieces of puddled iron (a very pure form of structural iron), using two and a half million rivets, in a structural design by Maurice Koechlin. The risk of accident was great, for unlike modern skyscrapers the tower is an open frame without any intermediate floors except the two platforms. Yet because Eiffel took safety precautions including use of movable stagings, guard-rails and screens, only one man died.
The tower was met with resistance from the public when it was built, with many calling it an eyesore. (Novelist Guy de Maupassant — who claimed to hate the tower — supposedly ate lunch at the Tower's restaurant every day. When asked why, he answered that it was the one place in Paris where you couldn't see the Tower.) Today, it is widely considered to be a striking piece of structural art.
One of the great Hollywood movie clichés is that the view from a Parisian window always includes the tower. In reality, since zoning restrictions limit the height of most buildings in Paris to a few storeys, only the very few taller buildings have a clear view of the tower....(more on www.wikipedia.org)
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Ok, the Eiffel Tower is a cliche, but seeing it on TV doesn't count.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
And to conclude, the other five are:
6. Similan Islands, Thailand
Location: Nine islands with tropical jungles, and on each one of them there are numerous hidden untouched beaches and incredibly beautiful coral reefs. The visitors are barefooted pairs in love enjoying the natural beauty and their own company. Many scuba divers vanish from the sea surface in search for the underwater beauties.
Drink: Vine with the dinner while cruising through the islands.
7.Motu Tane, French Polinisea
Location: After a short trip with a boat from Bora Bora, this private island is available for those with seriously deep pockets. The french guru for interial design Christian Laigire designed the bungalows on the island.Private tours with a vehicle, watching dolphins and whales, having romantic dinner on the beach under torches are part of the activities you can do on this island. The visitors are fashion designers, super models and model photographers.
Drink: Anything you feel like.
8. Pink Sands, Harbour Island, Bahamas
Location: Is there any beach more beautiful then this one? I doubt it. Pink Sands is 3 miles (4km) long, with beautiful sand that's really pink. It's famous as one of the best places in the world for diving and probably the best location for re-filling your "batteries". The visitors are businessmen in linen suits and ladies with diamonds. Walking barefoot on the beach is part of the beach extravagance.
Drink: Local beer "kalik" or the "bahama mama" cocktail.
9.Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
Location:Bali is the ideal place to take a lying chair and an umbrella and sleep in the shadow away from the sun. That's the best way to "detox" your body after a night of karaoke, dancing and flirting on Kuta Beach in the southern part of Bali. The caffes , the bars and the night clubs are ideal for hedonists and young restless adventurists.
Drink: Bali is famous for it's sunset, so anything goes here while watching how the sun is setting down changing it's color from light orange to blood red until it fades away completely under the horizon.
10.Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Location: Settled in the north-east of Brazil, Salvador lies among green tropical hills and the wide beaches in the bay Todos os Santos. In the past this place had been a slave port, but today is a wonderful mixture of African and Brazilian culture and cuisine. That attracts many visitors with sense for sensuality, and in the background you can hear the deep sound of drums , while athletic guys are practicing capuera and there gorgeous girlfriends are watching them.
Drink: The classic capirinha is not "in" anymore, the hit for this summer is capirinha mixed with sake for a stronger taste.
So, check your pockets, bank account, credit cards, relatives for a loan, make your pick and pack your suitcases. Although I wouldn't hurry that much, off season is cheaper more relaxed and most of this places are warm as hell even in winter. Have a nice holiday!
Monday, August 27, 2007
The end of the summer is getting near, so for those who want to take the "last train" to paradise let's check out the options. Here are the Top 10 Beaches:
1. Bodrum, Turkey.
Location: Imagine relaxing , pleasant days and nights filled with "action". That's like the vacation in this little Turkish place on the Aegean Sea. People come here to relax and the beaches are full with beautiful people from all over the world.
Drink: After the night lights will shine on the castle in Bodrum it's time for "raqi", "which is also called "lions heart". Local say it has a lions effect over the libido.
2. Paradise Beach, Myconos, Greece
Location: Small and restless Greek island of the parties. From about ten fun places on Myconos, Paradise Beach is defenitly where everybody will be. Imagine a party in a night club whit many people dressed only in swim suits, it's a place where it doesn't matter if it's a day or night to party.
Drink: "Ouzo on the Beach"
3.Island Ihuru, Maldives
Location: In the Indic Ocean, southwest from Sri Lanka, this island offers anything a man can expect from a summer vacation. Palm beaches, white sand, blue lagoons and a reef with rich underwater life and corals in all colors. All visitors wear the national clothe "sarong", and even more wear scuba diving gear.
Drink:Coconut Milk. Logically.
4. Cousin, Seychelles
Location: This place is ideal for running away from everyday life. Cousin is a private island, home of alabaster beaches with small exclusive cottages. The place is a natural park with four villas. The visitors are just few chosen people.
Drink: Ice cold champagne.
5.Ka'anapali, Maui , Hawaii
Location: The great love romances happen only once in a lifetime, or twice. So use the Hawaiian sunset clische, fresh "aloha" flowers and the warm water on the west coast of Hawaii. Near there is a small town called Lahaina, ideal for walking, and looking through the art galleries.
Drink: "Tanned butt on the beach", with rum, kalhua, ice and milk.
to be continued...
Milford Sound, also known as Piopiotahi in Maori, is located in the south west of New Zealand's South Island. Although called Milford Sound, it is more accurately classified as a fjord. Milford Sound, the most famous tourist site of New Zealand, is situated within the Fiordland National Park which is in turn part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. The Maori name for the sound, Piopiotahi, means first native thrush.
Milford Sound runs 15 kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 1200 metres or more on either side. Lush rain forests cling precariously to these cliffs, while seals, penguins, and dolphins frequent the waters.
With a mean annual rainfall of 6813 mm on 182 days a year, a high level even for the West Coast, Milford Sound is known as the wettest place in New Zealand and one of the wettest in the world. Rainfall can reach 250 mm during a span of 24 hours. The rainfall creates dozens of temporary waterfalls (as well as a number of major, more permanent ones) cascading down the cliff faces, some reaching a thousand meters in length. Smaller falls from such heights may never reach the bottom of the sound, drifting away in the wind.
Accumulated rainwater can at times cause portions of the rain forest to lose their grip on the sheer cliff faces, resulting in tree avalanches into the Sound. The regrowth of the rain forest after these avalanches can be seen in several locations along the Sound..... (more on www.wikipedia.com)
Saturday, August 25, 2007
U.S. Route 66, (also known as Route 66, The Main Street of America, The Mother Road and the Will Rogers Highway) was a highway in the U.S. Highway system. One of the original federal routes, US 66 was established on November 11, 1926, though signs did not go up until the following year. It originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, before ending at Los Angeles for a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km).
Route 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime that changed its overall length. One of these realignments moved the western endpoint from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica. Contrary to common belief, Route 66 never ran to the ocean; it terminated onto what was at the time US-101 ALT, at what is today the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard (a segment of California State Route 1). It never went to the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard, even though there is a plaque dedicating Route 66 as the Will Rogers Highway there.
Route 66 was a major path of the migrants who went west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed. People became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway, and those same people later fought to keep the highway alive even with the growing threat of the new Interstate Highway System.
US 66 was officially decommissioned (that is, officially removed from the United States Highway System) on June 27, 1985 after it was decided the route was no longer relevant and had been replaced by the Interstate Highway System. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, New Mexico, and Arizona have been designated a National Scenic Byway of the name "Historic Route 66". It has begun to return to maps in this form.... (more on www.wikipedia.org)
Friday, August 24, 2007
Huanglong is a scenic and historic interest area in Songpan County in the northwest part of Sichuan, China. It is located in the southern part of the Minshan mountain range, 150 km north-northwest of the capital Chengdu. This area is known for its colorful pools formed by calcite deposits, especially in Huanglonggou (Yellow Dragon Gully), as well as diverse forest ecosystems, snow-capped peaks, waterfalls and hot springs. Huanglong is also home to many endangered species including the Giant Panda and the Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey. Huanglong was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992.
For a 360 Degrees view go here.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Bali is an Indonesian island the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country's 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island. The island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia's small Hindu minority. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music.
East to west, the island is approximately 153 km wide and 112 km north to south (95 by 69 miles, respectively), with a surface area of 5,632 km². The highest point is Mount Agung at 3,142 m (10,308 feet) high, an active volcano that last erupted in March 1963. Mountains cover centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Mount Batur (1,717 m) is also still active. About 30,000 years ago it experienced a catastrophic eruption — one of the largest known volcanic events on Earth.
The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west black sand. The beach town of Padangbai in the south east has both: the main beach and the secret beach have white sand and the south beach and the blue lagoon have much darker sand. Pasut Beach, near Ho River and Pura Segara, is a quiet beach 14 km southwest of Tabanan. The Ho River is navigable by small sampan. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, this is not yet a tourist area.... (more on wikipedia.org)
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Was Dracula a historicaly missunderstood hero? Or was he a bloodtursty tyrant? Or a vampire? Well, he was a little bit of everything, no wait, he was a little bit of the first two, but he certainly wasn't a vampire.
Commonly known as Dracula's Castle, Bran Castle was originally built as a stronghold by the Teutonic Knights in 1212. The building started in 1378 as a defense against the Turks, and later became a customs post on the mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. For a short period of time, the castle belonged to Mircea the Elder of Wallachia. From 1920, the castle became a royal residence until the expulsion of the royal family by the Communist regime in 1948. Today it functions as a museum of medieval arts.
The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, on Highway 73. In addition to its unique architecture, the castle is famous because of persistent myths that it was once the home of Vlad III Dracula; however, there is no evidence that he ever lived there. According to most accounts, Dracula spent two days in the Bran dungeon, as the area was occupied by the Ottoman Empire at the time.
Bram Stoker, who fashioned portions of his character Count Dracula based on aspects of Vlad the Impaler, allegedly used Bran Castle as his model for Dracula's Castle. Bran Castle was subsequently featured in multiple film adaptations of Dracula, and has informally become known as Dracula's Castle. The local economy has made use of the connection to boost tourism; a small market exists at the castle gates selling every imaginable article connected with, or depicting the portrait of, Dracula and vampires.... (more on www.wikipedia.org)
Oh, this is a BIG BTW, Bran Castle is currently on the market so if you are interested in becoming Count Dracula, this is your chance.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site and attraction in south-western Turkey in the Denizli Province. The ancient city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about 2700 meters long and 160m high. It can be seen from a great distance, eg. when driving down the hills on the opposite side of the valley to the town of Denizli, which is 20 km away. Pamukkale is located in Turkey's Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which enjoys a temperate climate over the greater part of the year. Pamukkale is a famous tourist attraction of Turkey. Tourists travel from the coast of Antalya and the Aegean Sea to Pamukkale as it is one of two World Heritage Sites in Turkey, together with Hierapolis. The underground volcanic activity which causes the hot springs also caused carbon dioxide to seep into a cave which as a result was called the Plutonium meaning place of the god, Pluto....
(more on www.wikipedia.org http://www.pamukkale.gov.tr/en/)
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Mont Saint-Michel (English: Mount Saint Michael) is a rocky tidal island in Normandy, roughly one kilometre from the north coast of France at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches.
The inhabitants of Mont-Saint-Michel are called the Montois.
Mont Saint-Michel was previously connected to the mainland via a thin natural land bridge, which before modernization was covered at high tide and revealed at low tide. Thus, Mont Saint Michel gained a mystical quality, being an island half the time and being attached to land the other: a tidal island.
However, the insular character of the mount has been compromised by several developments. Over the centuries, the coastal flats have been polderised to create pasture. The south coast of Mont-Saint-Michel has thus become farther to the shore and the mount. The Couesnon River has been canalised, reducing the flow of water and thereby encouraging a silting-up of the bay. In 1879, the land bridge was fortified into a true causeway. This prevented the tide from scouring the silt round the mount. There are currently plans to remove the causeway and replace it with a bridge and a shuttle.
On 16 June 2006, the Prime Minister of France, Dominique de Villepin, announced a €150 million project (Projet Mont Saint-Michel) to build a hydraulic dam that will help remove the accumulated silt and make Mont Saint-Michel an island again. It is expected to be completed by 2012.
Mont Saint-Michel was used in the 6th and 7th centuries as an Armorican stronghold of Romano-Breton culture and power, until it was ransacked by the Franks, thus ending the trans-channel culture that had stood since the departure of the Romans in AD 460.
Before the construction of the first monastic establishment in the 8th century, the island was called Mont Tombe. According to legend, the archangel Michael appeared to St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, in 708 and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet. Aubert repeatedly ignored the angel's instruction, until Michael burned a hole in the bishop's skull with his finger..... (more on www.wikipedia.org)
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Aya Sophia is a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, now a museum, in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. It was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Medieval Seville Cathedral in 1520.
The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, and was in fact the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site (the previous two had both been destroyed by riots). It was designed by two architects, Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. The Church contained a large collection of holy relics and featured, among other things, a 50-foot (15 m) silver iconostasis. It was the patriarchal church of the Patriarch of Constantinople and the religious focus point of the Orthodox Byzantine Empire for nearly 1000 years.
In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and Sultan Mehmed II ordered the building to be converted into a mosque. The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed, and many of the mosaics were eventually plastered over. The Islamic features - such as the four minarets outside, the mihrab and minbar - were added over the course of its history under the Ottomans. It remained as a mosque until 1935, when it was converted into a museum by the secular Republic of Turkey.
For almost 500 years the principal mosque of Istanbul, Hagia Sophia served as a model for many of the Ottoman mosques such as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque of Istanbul), the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, and the Rüstem Pasha Mosque.
Although it is sometimes referred to as Saint Sophia, the full name is Church of the Holy Wisdom of God - and it was dedicated to the Holy Wisdom of God rather than a specific saint named Sophia.....(www.wikipedia.org)
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Angel Falls is the world's highest free-falling, freshwater waterfall at 979 m (3,212 ft), with an uninterrupted drop of 807 m (2,648 ft). It is located in the Canaima National Park, in the Gran Sabana region of Bolivar State, Venezuela.
The base of the falls feeds into the Churun River, a tributary of the Carrao River. In the indigenous Pemon language Angel Falls is called Parekupa-meru meaning "waterfall of the deepest place". The falls are sometimes referred to as Churun-meru, an error, since that name corresponds to another waterfall in the Canaima National Park. Churun in the Pemon language means "thunder".
Although sighted in the early 20th century by the explorer Ernesto Sanchez La Cruz, the waterfall was not known to the Western world until it was visited in 1935 by American aviator James "Jimmie" Crawford Angel on a flight while he was searching for a valuable ore bed. In 1936, Angel returned and landed his plane at the top of the waterfall. The falls are named "Angel Falls" after him.
For the native Pemon Indians, the mesa on which the falls are located is called "Auyan-tepui", or "Aiyan-tepui". which means "Devil's Mountain"
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The Plitvice Lakes are a national park in Croatia, and in the Plitvice Lakes municipality, near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Plitvice Lakes national park is heavily forested, mainly with beech, spruce, and fir trees, and features a mixture of Alpine and Mediterranean vegetation. It has a notably wide variety of plant communities, due to its range of microclimates, differing soils and varying levels of altitude. The area is also home to an extremely wide variety of animal and bird species. Rare fauna such as the European brown bear, wolf, eagle owl, wild catcapercaillie can be found there, along with many more common species. At least 126 species of birds have been recorded there, of which 70 have been recorded as breeding there.
The Plitvice Lakes had became a major tourist attraction in the late 19th century. The first hotel was built there in 1896, and as early as 1893 it already had a conservation committee - the predecessor of today's national park authority. In 1949 the communist government of Yugoslavia nationalised the lakes and made them a national park. The park was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 in recognition of its "outstanding natural beauty, and the undisturbed production of travertine (tuff) through chemical and biological action".
Monday, August 13, 2007
"The 11th Hour" is a documentary on the effects of the global warming and the effect of mankind on Earth. The title signifies that the time has come when we can't prolong any more and take action, to save the earth as it is, and make it better for our children. Because "we didn't inherit the planet from our ancestors, but borrowed it from our children". Join in the action. The movie's premiere is on August 17.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Just when I thaught that Canada doesn't have much to offer. Ths isn't exactly an "advenure" but it's manmade and it looks beautiful. On the picture is the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal. Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal is a basilica in the historic district in Montreal. Specifically, it is located at 116, Notre Dame Street West, facing Place d'Armes, at the corner of Saint Sulpice Street in Old Montreal (Place-d'Armes metro station).
The church's architecture is among the most dramatic in the world; its interior is grand and colourful, its ceiling is coloured deep blue and decorated with golden stars, and the rest of the sanctuary is a polychrome of blues, azures, reds, purples, silver, and gold. It is filled with hundreds of intricate wooden carvings and several religious statues. Unusual for a church, the stained glass windows along the walls of the sanctuary do not depict biblical scenes, but rather scenes from the religious history of Montreal. It also has a Canadian-built Casavant Frères pipe organ, which comprises four keyboards, 97 stops, almost 7000 individual pipes and a pedal board.