Visit the Gobustan petroglyph reserve in Azerbaijan

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Visit the Gobustan petroglyph reserve in Azerbaijan

Visit the Gobustan petroglyph reserve in Azerbaijan

In a magical hilltop landscape of giant boulders with views across the opal blue Caspian, the Gobustan petroglyph reserve is home to rock drawings
dating back almost 15,000 years. These remarkable open-air ‘gallery’ and interactive museum provide a veritable archive of mankind’s cultural evolution and attracts visitors and researchers from across the globe.

The Unesco-listed Qobustan Petroglyph Reserve protects thousands of stick-figure stone engravings dating back up to 12,000 years. Themes include livestock, wild animals and shamans.

The images were carved into what were probably caves but over time they have crumbled into a craggy chaos of boulders. Even if you have no particular interest in ancient doodles, Qobustan’s eerie landscape and the hilltop views towards distant oil-workings in the turquoise-blue Caspian are still fascinating.

A visit starts 3km west of Qobustan at a state-of-the-art museum, which gives context to what you will see on the mountain ridge 2km above. 

Comparing this with similar ancient designs in Norway led ethnologist Thor Heyerdahl to speculate that Scandinavians might have originated in what is now Azerbaijan.

Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape covers three areas of a plateau of rocky boulders rising out of the semi-desert of central Azerbaijan, with an outstanding collection of more than 6,000 rock engravings bearing testimony to 40,000 years of rock art.

The site also features the remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials, all reflecting an intensive human use by the inhabitants of the area during the wet period that followed the last Ice Age, from the Upper Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. The site, which covers an area of 537 ha, is part of the larger protected Gobustan Reservation.

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Adventures in the Azuma Mountains in Japan

Adventures in the Azuma Mountains in Japan

Adventures in the Azuma Mountains in Japan

The Azuma Mountains are located on the border of Fukushima prefecture, which takes about 2 hours from Tokyo by bullet train.

The mountain range provides attractive hiking trails up to its various peaks and across its breathtaking volcanic landscapes that offer craters, marshlands, and ponds. The most popular hiking trail in the Azuma Mountains is called the Azuma-Kofukuji peak, which draws many climbers from spring to autumn each year with its great nature view.

Not only hiking but the area is also known for skiing. The area has a ski resort named Tengendai Kogen Ski Resort, where the visitors have a chance to experience Yonezawa’s puffy, weightless snow.

Channel Square, a company based in Fukushima with rich local contents, provides various guided activities such as snow trekking, powder surfing, extreme sledding, riding in a snowmobile, etc. The guides and instructors are very ready to open the area’s secrets to the visitors who venture off the regular tourist trails!

Since the mountains are series of volcanic mountains, they of course have Onsen (hotspring) in the area. Healing and relaxing your body in Onsen after enjoying the activities in Azuma will be the perfect itinerary for you.

Are you seeking for adventure in nature in a not-very-crowded areas close to Tokyo?

Perched between Yamagata and Fukushima, the Azuma Mountain Range is a powder-snow heaven dotted with indulgent hot springs. Popular with hikers in the warmer months, come winter the area is transformed into a magical place, home to steaming snow-surrounded baths, pristine slopes and the region’s legendary snow monsters. Embracing local wisdom and knowledge and part of a region still in recovery, there are local hosts, guides and instructors ready to open the area’s secrets to the visitors who venture off the regular tourist trails.

Washikura snow mountain white field experience Channel Square.

An indoor park hosting countless activities and events since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Channel Square has a firm place in the hearts of Fukushima residents. Now offering guided adventures in the local area, the Channel Journey project has everything from kayaking on a private lake to snow surfing on the stunning Adatara Mountain Range. Snow surfing is a fun alternative to snowboarding, a great way to make the most of the incredible powder snow and a unique sport.

For adventurers, there’s a one-day package that’s guaranteed to keep the adrenaline flowing, combining snow-surfing, trekking, extreme sledding and snowmobiling. With a specially cooked hotpot lunch to refuel in the middle and ending in the secret local hot springs, it’s a dream day in the snow.

For those focused on skiing, the 100% powder snow of Tengendai Kogen will transcend expectations. Located on the slopes of Mt. Nishi-Azuma, the region’s highest mountain at over 2,000m, the resort has 10km of slopes to choose from, with the highest course stretching 1,820m.

There is an even spread between intermediate, beginner and expert slopes, with non-groomed courses offering a taste of the wild side. Snowboarders have plenty of options here too, and with the extra-long season, there are adventures to be had for months.

Snow Monsters

As well as being great for snow sports, the incredible snow conditions of the Mt. Azuma area also create some otherworldly sights. Juhyo, known as ‘snow monsters’ are a rare and breath-taking highlight, created by snowstorms blanketing trees with layers of snow and ice.

Creating impossible forms on the mountain slopes as the season deepens, each monster has a unique and unusual form.

Often found in remote areas, a locally-guided trip from Grandeco Snow Resort can combine monster-hunting with local outdoor hot springs. Using a gondola and later snowshoes, the group can enter the world of juhyo on the slopes of Mt. Nishi Azuma.

After bidding the creatures farewell, it’s time to warm up in the beautiful baths of Nakanosawa Onsen. The hot spring town was founded nearly 400 years ago and the source is known to produce the most water in Japan, spouting 13,400 liters per minute. Known for its high sulfur levels, it’s a healing spring and allows bathers to relax deeply into its waters while surrounded by snow.

With a dozen Japanese inns to choose from, staying a little longer in Nakanosawa is a temptation visitors couldn’t be blamed for giving in to.

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Stilt fishing in Sri Lanka

Stilt fishing in Sri Lanka

Stilt fishing in Sri Lanka

You will be taken to Mirissa fishing village where you will be able to witness stilt fishing. In chest-deep water on the beach, just a few meters off-shore, are the stilt fishermen perched on a cross bar fixed on a single pole planted into the sea-bed.

If you are brave enough, you will be able to join with them for fishing and get a real experience of the work they do. You will be able to see them fishing and learn how they do it by speaking to one of the fishermen.

The practice started during World War II when food shortages and overcrowded fishing spots prompted some clever men to try fishing on the water. At first they used the wreckage of capsized ships and downed aircraft, then began erecting their stilts in coral reefs.

Two generations of fishermen have eked out this physically demanding existence at dawn and dusk along a 30-kilometer stretch of southern shore between the towns of Unawatuna and Weligama.

“It’s more or less impossible if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Müller says.

The meagre returns these fishermen pull from the sea are dwindling and may well disappear entirely. The tsunami that devastated much of the Indian Ocean coastline forever altered the Sri Lankan shoreline and reduced access to fish using this method.

Stilt fishing in Sri Lanka

Fishing stops entirely during the annual monsoons, so nowadays it often makes financial sense for fisherman to rent their stilts to people who pose as fishermen for tourists.

“When we were sent, no one really knew if there are still fishermen or not, or if there were only these tourist fisherman, not even the Sri Lankan tourism board were able to tell us where we could find these people,” he says.

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Marble Arch Mound closed after 6 months

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Marble Arch Mound closes after 6 months

Marble Arch Mound closes after 6 months

A new tourist attraction in London that was mocked from the second it opened is now closing to visitors.

The Marble Arch Mound is closing just six months after it first opened, CNN reported, ending a saga of ridicule and confusion that has followed it since it started welcoming visitors.

The attraction, which reportedly cost £6 million (about $8.1 million) to build, was billed by the city of Westminster as a temporary and “unique opportunity to look out over the area from a new perspective as the Council and its partners start to transform the District.”

But from the moment it opened, the public was confused.

Marble Arch Mound

The Marble Arch Mound promised visitors a lush, green hill that would rise more than 80 feet high, providing visitors with sweeping views of Hyde Park and bustling Oxford Street. But in reality, those who showed up were greeted with what appeared to be an unfinished project and an absence of shops and a cafe that were advertised but nowhere to be found.

Crowds queue to see the Marble Arch Mound on the final day before its closure. The artificial hill in central London has been called “London’s worst tourist attraction” and is closing down permanently.
 
In July, a spokesperson for the architecture firm that built the attraction told The New York Times that changes in the planning forced them to make the mound smaller and steeper, making it harder to plant the vegetation they had envisioned.

Ahead of its closure, Twitter came out in full force, taking one last opportunity to mock the failed project.

“Excellent horticulture is not easy, but makes all the difference. For the price of this ‘attraction’ we could have funded a generation of world class horticulturalists, who might just make things like this actually work,” one person, who said they were a curator at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, tweeted over the weekend.

Another man tweeted: “went to pay my respects to the Marble Arch Mound before it closes – rip you big lump of mud, still not quite clear why you were built.”

While travellers to the UK will no longer be able to visit the mound itself, they can still seek out greenery in England’s many picturesque small towns.

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Mercedes Benz World Driving experience

Mercedes Benz World Driving experience

Mercedes Benz World Driving experience

Set within the famous Brooklands motor racing circuit
in Weybridge, Surrey, Mercedes-Benz World is the perfect location for a thrilling Driving Experience.

On our purpose-built Under 17s driving facilities, Handling Circuits, Wet Skid Circle, Wet Straight and 10- acre off-road course, you can enjoy some of the most exhilarating driving available in the UK.

Now everyone can experience the excitement of
driving with a Mercedes-Benz Driving Experience. Get
behind the wheel and find out what makes Mercedes Benz so special.

9:00 -10:00am – Group Track Safety Briefing
10:00am – 12:00pm – 2 Hour driving experience
12:00 – 14:00pm – Private lunch in S-Class suite
14:00 – 15:00pm – Guided Tour of Mercedes-Benz
World
15:00 – 16:00pm – 1 Hour exclusive hire of Driven and
Innovation simulator zone

Mercedes-Benz World is within easy reach of the M25, making it an ideal venue for those in the south-east and London looking to hold a corporate event.

Once at the world-famous venue located on the iconic Brooklands site in Surrey, the pinnacle of German engineering awaits for your driving pleasure, whether that’s on the purpose-built circuits or the off-road course.

Mercedes Benz Driving experience

Among the awesome three-pointed cars to drive on asphalt are the AMG GT and CL AMG V8 – both packing a punch that will test the driver’s handling abilities to the limit around a variety of tracks, including the handling circuit and long straight.

You’ll also be accompanied by an expert instructor to help you get the most out the car, while ensuring safety is paramount. Indeed, at Mercedes-Benz World you’ll find the ultimate corporate driving experience, where everything is taken care of by trained professionals so your team or clients can relax and enjoy their time to the utmost.

However, if the lure of a German supercar isn’t enough then TrackDays.co.uk is also proud to offer a 4×4 corporate driving experience.

This is your chance to get behind the wheel of the incredible GLE 4×4, a critically renowned SUV that can trace its roots back more than 20 years.

The off-road area at Mercedes-Benz World is also equally impressive. It is spread over 10 acres and offers everything you’d expect from a specially designed, and in parts, technically challenging course.

Just make sure your seatbelt is nice and tight as you take on steep inclines and declines, water crossings and a variety of other challenges. Again, you won’t be expected to tackle the course alone as an expert instructor will be by your side, offering hints and tips as you go along.

Booking an experience to enjoy the excellent Mercedes-Benz World and its incredible facilities is easy to do. Simply book a voucher and then look forward to rewarding your staff or entertaining customers with an unforgettable corporate driving experience.

Mercedes-Benz World also has plenty to offer aside from fantastic driving experiences, including three floors of attractions and exhibits, plus a café and a restaurant. What are you waiting for?

Book your travel to Mercedes Benz World

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Pope John Paul II route through Krakow

Pope John Paul II route through Krakow

Pope John Paul II route through Krakow

The greatest citizen of Krakow, Poland resided in Vatican from 1978 to 2005. Before having taken over the Holy See as Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla had lived in Krakow for four decades – practically through his entire adult life until his assumption of the papacy. Here he spent his formative years as a student and then as a young priest, a theologian and a philosopher, a playwright and a poet. And here he made most of the breathtaking ascent from the position of a humble curate at Krakow’s church of St. Florian’s to university professor to Krakow bishop to cardinal to the Vicar of Christ. 

Sightseeing, the most famous place linked with a history and life of the Pope John Paul II: Before having taken over the Holy See as Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla had lived in Krakow for four decades–practically through his entire adult life until his assumption of the papacy.

Here he spent his formative years as a student and then as a young priest, a theologian and a philosopher, a playwright and a poet.  The visit starts with the Holly Mass in the Archbishop’s Palace which is Wojtyła’s last residence before leaving for the Vatican in 1978. There one can see the famous “papal window”, where John Paul II used to show up to chat and chant with the youth of Krakow during all his visits and where thousands of people lit candles and prayed during his last days.

Next visit in Krakow is of the Francis Basilica located just in front of the palace.

Discovery of the Jagiellonian University where John Pail II studied Polish language, literature and drama. Guided tour of Collegium Maius.

Finally The Main Market Square, the biggest medieval square in Europe and St Mary’s Church – one of the finest Gothic structures in the country  where John Paul II gave sermons and heard confession. And at the end: St. Florian Church in Kraków – in this church during a period from August ’49 to September ’51 Pope John Paul II served as a chaplain to the students of university and to health workers. Dinner and overnight in Krakow.

Continue the Krakow’s route of Pope John Paul II “:the  Wawel Hill  – the monument of Polish history and culture including:. * The Gothic Cathedral – the sanctuary of the nation * The Royal Castle  a long-time center of political and cultural life of the country,  decorated by the best artists from all over Europe like Bartolomeo Berecci etc.

The centerpiece of the art collections is splendid assembly of Flanders tapestries.   The most important is the cathedral where Pope John Paul II said his first Mass in the 12th-century Crypt of St. Leonard’s.  Then Kanonicza street where Father Wojtyla resided at 19 Kanonicza street from 1951 till 1958, when he became bishop;  Now both those houses are turned into the Archdiocese Museum which exhibits the church art. In the museum you can see the flat where Karol Wojtyła lived while working as a lecturer of theology.

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Check out the Guggenheim Art Museum in Bilbao

Check out the Guggenheim Art Museum in Bilbao

Check out the Guggenheim Art Museum in Bilbao

Did you know that there is a famous modern art museum in the world, built in an industrial port city in 1997? , which has been called “the most important piece of architecture since 1980? The architect drew his inspiration from the famous painting by Picasso “The Accordionist”.
 
Amazing, right?
 
Shimmering titanium Guggenheim Art Museum in Bilbao is one of modern architecture’s most iconic buildings. It played a major role in helping to lift Bilbao out of its post industrial depression and into the 21st century – and with sensation.
 
It sparked the city’s inspired regeneration, stimulated further development and placed Bilbao firmly in the international art and tourism spotlight.
 
Some might say that structure overwhelms function here and that the museum is more famous for its architecture than its content. But Canadian architect Frank Gehry’s inspired use of flowing canopies, cliffs, promontories, ship shapes, towers and flying fins is irresistible.
 
Gehry designed the Guggenheim Art Museum with historical and geographical contexts in mind. The site was an industrial wasteland, part of Bilbao’s wretched and decaying warehouse district on the banks of the Ría del Nervión. The city’s historical industries of shipbuilding and fishing reflected Gehry’s own interests, not least his engagement with industrial materials in previous works. The titanium tiles that sheathe most of the building like giant herring scales are said to have been inspired by the architect’s childhood fascination with fish.
 
Guggenheim Art Museum in Bilbao

Designed by Canadian American architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Art Museum in Bilbao building represents a magnificent example of the most ground breaking 20th-century architecture. With 24,000 m2, of which 9.000 are dedicated to exhibition space, the Museum represents an architectural landmark of audacious configuration and innovating design, providing a seductive backdrop for the art exhibited in it.

Altogether, Gehry’s design creates a spectacular sculpture-like structure, perfectly integrated within Bilbao’s urban pattern and its surrounding area.

Frank Gehry is considered one of the most relevant and influential architects in the world. He is internationally renowned for his unique designs that incorporate new shapes and materials, and is especially sensitive towards his buildings’ surroundings. The Guggenheim Art Museum in Bilbao is one of Frank Gehry’s most celebrated works.

Set on the edge of the Nervión River in Bilbao‭, ‬Spain, the Guggenheim Museum is a fusion of complex‭, ‬swirling forms and captivating materiality that responds to an intricate program and an industrial urban context‭. ‬With over a hundred exhibitions and more than ten million visitors to its recognition‭, ‬Frank Gehry‮’‬s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao not only changed the way that architects and people think about museums, but also boosted Bilbao’s economy with its astounding success‭.‭ ‬In fact‭, ‬the phenomenon of a city‮’‬s transformation following the construction of a significant piece of architecture is now referred to as the‭ ‬‮“‬Bilbao Effect‭.‬‮”‬‭ ‬Twenty years on, the Museum continues to challenge assumptions about the connections between art and architecture‭ today.

In 1991‭, ‬the Basque government proposed to the Solomon R‭. ‬Guggenheim Foundation that it fund a Guggenheim museum to be built in Bilbao‮’‬s dilapidated port area‭, ‬once the city‮’‬s main source of income‭. ‬Appropriately‭, ‬the museum became part of a larger redevelopment plan that was meant to renew and modernize the industrial town‭. ‬Almost immediately after its opening in 1997‭, ‬the Guggenheim Bilbao became a popular tourist attraction‭, ‬drawing visitors from around the world‭. ‬

The riverside site is on the northern edge of the city center‭. ‬A road and railway line is to the south‭, ‬the river to the north‭, ‬and the concrete structure of the Salve Bridge to the east‭. ‬Making a tangible physical connection with the city‭, ‬the building circulates and extrudes around the Salve Bridge‭, ‬creates a curved riverside promenade‭, ‬and forms a generous new public plaza on the south side of the site where the city grid ends‭. ‬The building alludes landscapes‭, ‬such as the narrow passageway to the main entrance hall reminiscent of a gorge‭, or the curved walkway and water features in response to the Nervión River‭. ‬

Although the metallic form of the exterior looks almost floral from above‭, ‬from the ground the building more closely resembles a boat‭, ‬evoking the past industrial life of the port of Bilbao‭. ‬Constructed of titanium‭, ‬limestone‭, ‬and glass‭, ‬the seemingly random curves of the exterior are designed to catch the light and react to the sun and the weather‭.  ‬Fixing clips make a shallow central dent in each of the‭ .‬38mm titanium tiles‭, ‬making the surface appear to ripple in the changing light and giving an extraordinary iridescence to the overall composition‭. ‬

Because of their mathematical intricacy‭, ‬the twisting curves were designed using a 3-D design software called CATIA‭, ‬which allows for complex designs and calculations that would not have been possible a few years ago‭. ‬Essentially‭, ‬the software digitizes points on the edges‭, ‬surfaces‭, ‬and intersections of Gehry‮’‬s hand-built models to construct on-screen models that can then be manipulated in the manner of animated cartoons‭. ‬

The building‮’‬s walls and ceilings are load-bearing‭, ‬containing an internal structure of metal rods that form grids with triangles‭. ‬CATIA calculated the number of bars required in each location‭, ‬as well as the bars‮’‬‭ ‬positions and orientations‭. ‬In addition to this structure‭, ‬the walls and ceilings have several insulating layers and an outer coating of titanium‭. ‬Each piece is exclusive to its location‭, ‬determined by the CATIA software‭. ‬

The large‭, ‬light-filled atrium serves as the organizing center of the museum‭, ‬distributing 11,000‭ ‬square meters of exhibition space over nineteen galleries‭. ‬Ten of these galleries follow a classic orthogonal plan that can be identified from the exterior by a limestone finish‭. ‬The remaining nine galleries are identified from the outside by swirling organic forms clad in titanium‭. ‬The largest gallery is 30‭ ‬meters wide and 130‭ ‬meters long and houses a permanent installation called‭ ‬‮“‬The Matter of Time‮”‬‭ ‬by Richard Serra‭.‬

The socio-economic impact of the museum has been astounding‭. ‬During the first three years of operation‭, ‬almost 4‭ ‬million tourists visited the museum‮—‬generating about 500‭ ‬million in profit‭. ‬Furthermore‭, ‬the money visitors spent on hotels‭, ‬restaurants‭, ‬shops and transport collected over 100‭ ‬million in taxes‭, ‬which more than offset the cost of the building‭. ‬‬However‭, ‬the‭ ‬promise of the ‮“‬Bilbao Effect‮”‬‭ also ‬sparked a building boom in “statement” architecture across the globe, one which proved imprudent in the wake of the recent economic crisis. Nevertheless, the Museum remains an iconic structure renowned for its complexity and form.

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Visit the Pagan Temple of Garni

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Visit the Pagan Temple of Garni

Visit the Pagan Temple of Garni.

Enjoy a full day out from Yerecan to Geghard and Garni in the beautiful Armenia.

Breakfast at the hotel. Proceed to the cave monastery of Geghard. The spear, with which the roman soldier killed Jesus Christ, was kept here and hence the name of the monastery was taken (Geghard means Holy Spear).

This prominent work of architecture, partially carved in the rock, is listed in the UNESCO world heritage list. Departure to pagan Temple of Garni (1st c. A.D.), which is a vivid example of Hellenistic culture on the territory of Armenia.

Here the ruins of a bath (3rd cent) and a palace (2nd cent. B.C.) can be seen. Garni is located on a deep canyon of Azat river. One can enjoy a panoramic view over the river gorge.

Here we will have a lunch and enjoy demonstration of few master – classes as carpet working, woodworking, Traditional bread ‘’ Lavash’’ baking and making dried fruits We will arrange jeeping (4X4) in Azat River gorge to get acquainted with inspiring composition of stones called: ‘’ Symphony of stones’’. 

Drive back to Yerevan and enjoy evening vibrant city Yerevan.

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The Dancing house

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The Dancing House – Amazing Travel Facts

Did you know that there is a famous building called the Dancing House, or also “Ginger and Fred”? The towers remind people of the famous dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair. The male part of the dancing couple is the rock tower (covered with imaginary hair) and Ginger is symbolized by the glass tower. The top floor houses a restaurant.  Amazing, right?

Do you know where we need to travel to dine at the Dancing House?

The answer, more about The Dancing House

The building is metaphorically called the Dancing House or also Ginger and Fred. It is named this way because of the towers reminding of the famous dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair.

The male part of the dancing couple is represented by a rock tower and the woman is symbolized by a tower made of glass. famous dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair The Dancing house was built in the years 1992 – 1996.

The house that stood there before was destroyed during the American air bombing of Prague on the 14th February of 1945. In 1992 the land was bought by the Netherlander insurance company Nationale Nederlanden.

They selected the building project from the architect Vlado Milunic and the worldwide acknowledged architect and designer Frank O. Gehry was invited to cooperate. This co-operation gave birth to a unique deconstructive building with plastic elements, which at the same time harmonizes with the surrounding buildings.

It is one of the few Prague houses that dynamically enters the space of the street. The building is metaphorically called the Dancing House or also Ginger and Fred. It is named this way because of the towers reminding of the famous dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair.

The male part of the dancing couple is represented by a rock tower and the woman is symbolized by a tower made of glass. The top of the male tower is covered with imaginary hair.

The author is Frank O. Gehry. The interiors were partly designed by the British architect of Czech provenience Eva Jiřičná. Nowadays, there are hotel in the building, gallery and a luxury restaurant with a terrace and a beautiful view.The building was awarded the prestige prize of the American Time magazine – it won the category of design in 1996.


Travel news Czech Republic

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More Amazing Travel Facts

Amazing largest stone railroad bridge in the world! built in 19th century

Amazing largest stone railroad bridge in the world!

Amazing largest stone railroad bridge in the world!

Did you know that the world’s longest stone arch railroad bridge has a span of 85 meters? Built in 1905, it was demolished during WWII. However, they were able to rebuilt it following the original plans. It is now a protected monument. Amazing, right?

Amazing largest stone railroad bridge in the world – where is it?

Amazing largest stone railroad bridge in the world is in Slovenia.

The Solkan bridge is the world’s longest stone-arch bridge railway Slovenia has more than 1200 km of railways. The main railways crossing Slovenia connect Austria and Italy, Austria and Croatia, and Italy and Hungary. Regional railways lead to all regions of Slovenia, and the most attractive ones are surely those connecting the Julian Alps and the Adriatic coast. Special experiences are offered mainly by e.g. the Bohinj Railway, which runs through no less than 28 tunnels, 5 galleries, and over 65 bridges!

Travel news Slovenia

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Bike tour of La Candelaria the historical centre of Bogota

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Flight over the Himalayas

Bike tour of La Candelaria

Bike tour in the historic centre known as La Candelaria.

This antiquated barrio is of great architectural and cultural heritage and is made up of old “stately homes” or large Spanish colonial buildings with iron windows, thick and sturdy wooden doors, balconies and internal patios with beautiful yet hidden gardens.

Visit the Plaza de Bolivar, where a statue of the great liberator Simon Bolivar is located.

Enjoy a half day visit to the historic centre of Bogotá
known as La Candelaria. This archaic suburb has great significance in the country´s history due to its cultural heritage and is also a great example of Spanish colonial time architecture. Visit the main square Plaza de Bolivar, where a statue of the great emancipator Simon
Bolivar is located.

Bike tour of La Candelaria

The plaza, originally called the Plaza Mayor, was used for civil and military purposes such as a marketplace, a bullring and it was also the place where many executions were held.

The Cathedral, on the eastern side of the plaza, is constructed on the same spot where the first church was built in Bogotá in 1539 and houses an important
collection of religious artefacts such as textiles and artworks, collection that has been built over four centuries.

The Capilla del Sagrario is located just beside the Cathedral and is a gem of religious architecture, it houses valuable pieces of colonial religious art by Gregorio Vasquez de Arce y Ceballos.

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Take a helicopter flight over the Himalayas

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Flight over the Himalayas

Take a helicopter flight over the Himalayas

Soar across the Himalayas on a helicopter flight from Kathmandu to Mount Everest Base Camp, touching down for an optional breakfast at a hotel with spectacular mountain vistas. Along the way, you’ll get aerial views of glaciers, camps, mountaineering routes on the world’s highest mountain.

A stop to refuel at Lukla offers a glimpse of the mountain town where trekkers set out for Mount Everest.

Transfer to the domestic airport for the exhilarating Everest helicopter sightseeing. (Capacity of each chopper is 5 passengers)

On this trip you will fly over the Everest Base Camp
(5364m/17595ft.), from where the views of Mount Everest (8848m/29029ft.) and other peaks like Lhotse
(8516m/27940ft.), Ama Dablam (6856m/22493ft.) etc. along with the Khumbu Glacier (7600m/24900ft.), Gokyo Lake etc can be seen. The helicopter will land at a selected spot (depending on the weather).

Flight over the Himalayas

Land in Syangboche at the Everest View Hotel for a light breakfast and return to Kathmandu.

11:30 am – Helicopter lands directly in Dhulikhel.

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Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua are known as 3 cities in 1

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Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua are known as 3 cities in 1

Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua are known as 3 cities in 1

Picturesque streets and stunning views in Malta

Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, known as the Three Cities of Malta, are pieces of living history kept alive by hundreds of years of preservation, and the occasional miracle. The fortified cities sit like a trio of villages in the heart of Malta’s historic centre, directly across the Grand Harbour from Valletta.

Vittoriosa, the oldest of the 3 fortified cities collectively known as The Three Cities is only 800m long and 400m at its widest and best explored on foot.

The small winding streets, spectacular views of Valletta and The Grand Harbour and it’s off the beaten track atmosphere will leave a lasting impression on that visit.

Picturesque streets and stunning views in Malta

Vittoriosa is a very old locality with its origins reaching back to medieval times. Military powers that wanted to rule the Maltese islands would need to obtain control of Vittoriosa (at that time known as Birgu) due to its significant position in the Grand Harbour.

In fact, it served as the base of the Order of Saint John and de facto capital city of Malta from 1530 to 1571. Fort St Angelo, on the tip of Vittoriosa’s peninsula, has been restored and is now open to the public.

The promenade stretching down from Vittoriosa’s Cottonera Waterfront has been revamped and offers a variety of restaurants and cafés.

Cospicua is the largest of the Three Cities of Malta. Originally known as Bormia, the city was awarded the name Cospicua (meaning conspicuous) by the Knights in honour of the brave people who inhabited it during the Great Siege.

While much of the city was destroyed during numerous battles over the course of Malta’s tumultuous history, it has been proudly rebuilt and visitors can explore a series of charming, winding streets studded with historical and cultural sites. A more modern Cospicua can be found along the coastal part of the city, where the old dockyard is being redeveloped into a beautiful marina.

One of the highlights of Cospicua for most visitors is The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Many people consider the collegiate church a miraculous site after it survived WWII, a battle that flattened most of the city around it.

Nowadays, it’s filled with exquisite works of art, including a stunning painting of The Madonna and Child by Italian painter Polidoro Veneziano, which rests above the high altar.

Another major landmark is the defence fortifications on the edge of the city. Visitors can discover two sets: the Firenzuola Fortifications, which were built around the Three Cities of Malta in 1638; and the more localised Cottonera Lines, which surround Cospicua and were introduced in 1670.

It’s thanks to these walls that the cities didn’t endure further damage during Malta’s many battles, so they’re an integral part of the island’s history.

Senglea is a small, fortified city on a peninsular parallel to Vittoriosa. A pedestrian bridge connects it to its larger neighbour and two grand forts – Fort St Michael and Fort St Angelo – stand guard either side of the city. Unlike the other Three Cities of Malta, Senglea escaped from the Great Siege relatively unscathed, thanks to protection from the forts. The city was renamed from L’Isla (meaning ‘the island’) to Senglea, after the man who fortified it in 1551, Grand Master Claude de la Senglea. It’s also commonly known as Citta’ Invicta (the invincible city). However, Senglea’s luck unfortunately ran out during WWII, when a staggering 75% of its buildings were damaged. In the years since, many key sites (such as the Our Lady of Victories Parish Church) have been restored to their former glory.

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Tour the amazing Riviera Maya including Rio Secreto 

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Tour the amazing Riviera Maya including Rio Secreto 

Tour the amazing Riviera Maya including Rio Secreto 

The wonderful nature reserve of Rio Secreto is home to a cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites, hidden for centuries. As the story goes, a local farmer found the entrance while chasing an iguana, discovering a dazzling series of chambers, with rock formations dating back 2.5 million years.

Come with us on a magical journey through the crystal museum that is Río Secreto, where the history of our planet is written on the myriad geological formations, and where floating in its clear fresh water your life will change forever.

Tour the amazing Riviera Maya including Rio Secreto 

Río Secreto could very well be one of the great world wonders. Experience this stunning underground river with thousands of dramatic stalactites and stalagmites. It’s like stepping back in time to witness something mysterious and truly spectacular.

We will walk, swim and rapel through the cavern. At times, it is so dark you feel like you’re totally blind.

Often lauded as one of the best kept secrets on the Yucatan Peninsula, Río Secreto (or Secret River) is an underground river and collection of caves. The bright turquoise water contrasts with the caramel- and mocha-colored rock formations within the caves, which include stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors can swim in the river, climb through the caves and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Recent travelers said this adventure was the highlight of their trip to Playa del Carmen, noting that the tour was fascinating and that they learned a lot about the Mayans and the land’s natural history. Many also said this is a great rainy day activity since most of the exploration occurs underground. One gripe among reviewers: Visitors are not allowed to bring their cameras. Though a staff photographer is following you around and you have the option to purchase photos at the end of the tour, travelers said the photos are overpriced. If you don’t have a wetsuit or water shoes, you can rent them through the company that runs the attraction.

Río Secreto is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. 

Finally, we’ll enjoy a cocktail in the breath-taking Salon de la Paz cave.

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Amazing travel facts Saudi Arabia

Amazing Travel Facts Saudi Arabia

Amazing Travel Facts Saudi Arabia

 
Did you know that the largest continuous sand desert is 650,000 square kilometers? It is larger than Holland, Belgium and France combined. Sand dunes can get up to 250 meters high! Amazing, right?

Amazing Travel Facts Saudi Arabia

Rub-Al Khali is the largest continuous sand desert in the world. It measures a vast 650,000 square km – largest than Holland, Belgium and France combined. Sand dunes reach a stagging 250 metres high too.

Saudia Arabia is also the largest country in the world without a river. Just over 95% of the country is desert or semidesert. But while there aren’t any rivers to speak of, it does have a sprawling coastline along the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.

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More Amazing Travel Facts

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canada-lake

60% of the lakes on earth are located in Canada

canada-lake

Amazing Travel Fact – 60% of the lakes on earth are located in Canada 

 
The second largest country on the planet is home to 60% of the planet’s lakes. Still not amazed? How about we rephrased: the number of lakes in Canada is bigger than the rest of the lakes on the planet combined! The largest lake in Canada is the Great Bear Lake, spreading over 31,153 km² and going as deep as 435 meters.  
 
Amazing right?

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Cliff diving is spectacular and dangerous

Cliff diving is spectacular and dangerous

Amazing Travel Fact – Cliff diving is spectacular and dangerous.

But did you know that there is a famous place in the world that has been known for cliff diving since the forties? Not only that, at one time it was The party destination for celebrities – John F Kennedy and Jackie and Bill and Hillary Clinton even honeymooned here.
 
Do you know where we need to travel to find this?
 
Cliff diving has been a tradition in Acapulco since the forties and it is currently one of the most famous cliff jumping locations in the world. The jump is off a 45 foot cliff into the ocean. Divers must consider the wind and the timing of the ocean waves to hit the water when there is at least four and a half meters of water covering the jagged bottom. Cliff divers can be watched by paying an entrance fee to gain access to a viewing platform.
 
In the 1930s, John Wayne and Errol Flynn purchased Hotel Los Flamingos to use as a home base for social events and fishing trips. Acapulco became the party destination of Hollywood’s A-list celebrities, attracting the likes of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Delores Del Rio, Rock Hudson, Debbie Reynolds and Orson Welles.
For her 28th birthday, Rita Hayworth celebrated in Acapulco Bay aboard Errol Flynn’s yacht. Elizabeth Taylor married Mike Todd in Acapulco, and John F. Kennedy and Jackie honeymooned in Acapulco, as did Bill and Hillary Clinton.
 
In the 1960s, moviegoers got a taste of Acapulco’s frolicking beach life in Elvis Presley’s hit movie, “Fun in Acapulco.”

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Electric air taxis

Electric air taxis for SkyWest

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Electric air taxis

December 29, 2021 – Electric air taxis

The two largest U.S. regional carriers have made a commitment to buying electric air taxis. 

On Tuesday, Indianapolis-based Republic Airways said it has signed a nonbinding letter of intent to purchase up to 200 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Embraer-controlled Eve Air Mobility. 

Electric air taxis for SkyWest and Republic Airways

In addition, SkyWest announced that it has signed a nonbinding letter of intent for the purchase of up to 100 Eve aircraft. 

Both airlines said the partnerships will also focus on the development of air taxi networks in key U.S. markets.

Republic said it will focus on developing such networks on the East Coast and in the central U.S., with an initial emphasis on Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. 

SkyWest was less specific, saying only that it and Eve had committed to optimizing eVTOL service in key cities that are early adopters. In so doing, SkyWest and Eve plan to focus on airport specifications and a roadmap for certification of Eve’s eVTOL craft.

Financial muscle for eVOTL

Tuesday’s announcements came as Eve revealed that it will take the company public on the New York Stock Exchange in combination with Zanite Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The public company will trade as Eve Holding and Embraer will have an 82% equity stake.

Eve has provided few details on the eVTOL craft it has under development. But Republic and SkyWest are far from its lone airline partners. The company has lined up 15 other launch partners, including Fort Lauderdale-based aircraft lessor Azorra, which also announced its intent Tuesday to purchase up to 200 Eve craft. 

SkyWest operates regional flights for Delta, United, American and Alaska Airlines, while Republic operates regional flights for Delta, United and American. Among U.S. carriers, they join United, American, JetBlue and regional carrier Mesa Airlines, each of which has invested in eVTOL craft, made tentative purchase commitments or both. 

Airlines that are supporting eVTOL development tout its possibilities for easing commutes to and from major airports, as well as the environmental benefits of electric-powered transport.

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The longest architectural project in the world – Amazing Travel Facts

the longest architectural project in the world

Amazing Travel Fact

Did you know that there is an unfinished masterpiece in the world which is one of the longest architectural projects in the world? Construction has already taken approximately 140 years.

the longest architectural project in the world

Completion of  the longest architectural project in the world is now estimated in 2030, but surrounding apartments might need to be demolished in order to finish it. Amazing, right?

It is La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. The date of completion of the Sagrada Familia has been postponed many times. It is one of the longest architectural projects in the world and if the finish date is met, construction will have taken 147 years. The main facade and its crypts, where Gaudí himself is buried, are listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.

Municipal authorities expect to collect €36 million, about $39 million, from the foundation over the next decade to help pay for improvements, maintenance and other costs in the surrounding area.
The year 2026 will mark the centenary year of the death of Gaudí and they want to celebrate this anniversary by completing the Sagrada Familia. However, there are two things which won’t be finished by 2026: the artistic part and the surroundings of the Basilica.

The next phase of construction might mean the demolition of people’s homes to make way for a sprawling new staircase and a grand surrounding area, up to 200-feet wide and stretching across two blocks, leading up to the main entrance 16 feet above the sidewalk.

In Barcelona, visitors to Sagrada Familia pay between $22 and $36 each to take the tour, generating 95% of the foundation’s revenue. The foundation had revenue of $113 million last year, up from about $87 million in 2018. Residents estimate about 1,000 homes would be demolished to make way for the expansion.

The city says no final plans have been made and all options are on the table. The city’s master plan currently allows for demolition of buildings in the two blocks south of the main entrance.

 
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Amazing Travel Facts Argentina

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Amazing Travel Facts Argentina

 
Not sure if there are beautiful dunes in the country you live in, there is even one in France! But did you know that the highest sand dune in the world is 1234 meters high?
 
Can you imagine going sandboarding on it?
 
Amazing, right?
 
It is indeed in Argentina.
 
A sand dune is, more or less, a giant lump of sand. Like a mountain… but sand. That’s it. A sand tune is literally any huge mound or hill of sand. They are formed from large masses of sand blown by the wind, and are most common in deserts, but also often appear near beaches.
 
When sand is blown by the wind into a sheltered area, behind an obstacle, where it then becomes sheltered from that wind, the sand accumulates and forms a dune. They can make for quite a miraculous sight – and real adventure playground. Think hiking, fat biking or sandboarding.
 
The highest sand dune in the world is named after Federico B. Kirbus, the journalist who discovered it. As well as spanning 1230m from base to peak, it also reaches 2845m above sea level. The dune sits in front of beautiful mountain views.
 
The Federico Kirbus dune is a dune located near the town of Tatón , in the Bolson de Fiambalá , in the department of Tinogasta in the province of Catamarca , in the northwest of the Argentine Republic.

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