Snowdonia National Park
Across the United Kingdom there is not „a place more varied , focused in an area as small as Snowdonia National Park’ , the largest and the most important reserve in Wales. Here, in Snowdonia, or Eryri, as it is called in Gaelic, there are many natural monuments and many tourist and cultural objectives . Lakes , castles , waterfalls , mountains and railways - all create an enchanting atmosphere , the story looking like being taken from the Lord of the Rings. Signs and names everywhere are imprinted both in English and Welsh , and the Welsh traditional aspects of life such as gastronomy , clothing and crafts are still alive . The region is also a popular destination for nature hikes , kayaking and many other sports and activities in nature. Snowdonia National Park was founded in 1953 and was then the third largest reserve in the UK and the first national park in Wales. It has an area of 2 142 square km , includes a coastal zone of 60 kilometers on the Atlantic coast , and it is located in the region with the same name in north west Wales. It is a place bathed in ancient legends and true stories , and it was a natural fortress of the nobles of Gwynedd 's house and Llewellyn , the last true Prince of Wales. Interestingly , unlike national parks in other countries , Snowdonia ( like other British reservations ) consists of land belonging to both authorities and individuals . Thus, about 69% of the area is made up of private lands which belong to people who have accepted to establish a reserve with full protection and conservation regime . The entire coastal area of the park, along the Llyn Peninsula is a Special Area of Conservation, with numerous dune ecosystems . The forests in the park are composed of evergreen and deciduous species, like the birch , oak and hazel Welsh . Gwydir Forest near Betws -y- Coed is composed only of conifers. Most part of Snowdonia is under strict laws of protection and conservation of the local ecosystems, very important for the biodiversity throughout the UK.
Elba Island Italy
Elba is an island in the Mediterranean Sea in Tuscany , Italy , about 20 km from the coast of Grosseto. It is the largest island in the Tuscan Archipelago and the third largest of the Italian islands . Elba and the other islands in the Tuscan Archipelago ( Pianosa , Capraia , Montecristo , Giglio and Giannutri ) are protected in the Tuscan Archipelago National Park. Elba Island is the largest remaining stretch of land from the portion of land that connected the Italian peninsula to Corsica. The Northern coasts are bathed by the Ligurian Sea , the eastern coast by the Channel waters of Piombino, on the south coast borders the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Corsica channel. The landscape is quite varied and divided into several parts , depending on the conformation and geology. The mountains are in the west , where there is Mount Capanne ( 1018 meters ( 3340 m ) ) , also called the " roof of the Tuscan Archipelago " . The mountain hosts many species of animals, including wild boars and mouflon sheep and theses are still breeding despite the continuous influx of tourists visiting the mountain. The central part of the island is flat with only four kilometres width. Here are the major shopping centres : Portoferraio , Campo nell Elba . To the east , it is the oldest part of the island , which was formed 400 million years ago . In the hilly area , dominated by Monte Calamita , there are deposits of iron that made Elba a famous area. The climate is predominantly Mediterranean , with the exception of Mount Capanne where winters tend to be moderately cold . Precipitation falls mainly during fall. Winter temperatures are around 12-13 Celsius degrees , while in summer they are between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius.
Popular and rustic sea lounge in Anfeh
The Anfeh sea shore became quite popular when the Fisherman's barracks were painted in white and blue "Santorini style" and transformed into sea lounges and fish restaurants. Do not expect a Fancy-Shancy place like the luxury resort in Jiyeh - South Beirut, but rather quite simple and rustic place. It is mainly nice to go for a drink, a shisha and enjoy the sea. If you are picky on confort and cleannes, you should avoid;
Abraham Lincoln Memorial , Washington DC
In a city full of important monuments, the Lincoln Memorial is truly special. One can not visit the US capital and not admire the imposing statue of the sixteenth President of the United States. If that is not enough, even the stairs of this building have made history after Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his famous speech " I have a dream" . Lincoln Memorial was built between 1915 - 1922 in honor of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States . The monument project was drawn up by the architect Henry Bacon. The 36 columns in Doric style which are surrounding the statue of Lincoln symbolize the 36 states of the United States of America , as it was in the time of Lincoln's presidency . Later, on the wall of the monument appeared the other 12 states which have subsequently entered into the union membership . The walls have inscriptions with speeches of the US President. Thus, on the north wall is Lincoln's speech since his selection as president in 1865 , and on the south wall can be read his speech at Gettysburg . The imposing statue made of white marble, opera of sculptor Daniel Chester French, presents President Lincoln sitting and has a height of 5.80 meters . The construction began in 1914. The project, chosen by the New Yorker architect Henry Bacon, was based on an ancient Greek temple with 36 columns . When the monument was completed in May 1922, the Union had expanded with another 12 new states, so on the outside walls of the monument were carved the names of the 48states. After the admission of Alaska and Hawaii states in the Union , a new plaque has been added with the names of the new states.
Duomo in Milan, Italy
The Duomo in Milan, also known as Duomo di Santa Maria Nascente in the Italian language, is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milan. With an area of 1,200 square metres , the Milanese cathedral is one of the iconic images of Italy and Europe and it is the third largest Roman Catholic church edifice in Italy, after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and Florence's Santa Maria Cathedral . A totally unique treasure of the Gothic architecture, the cathedral of Milan has a capacity of 40,000 seats and a length of 157 m. The Milan Cathedral is one of the occidental cathedrals that was built over several centuries. Commenced in 1386 and finished in 1892 due to delays, it dominates today the central square of Milan, being a symbol of the economic power that this capital of Lombardy, gateway to trades that cross the Alps, has been for centuries. The majesty and the esthetic forms of the cathedral are talking for themselves: the sculptural details of the 135 towers , of which the highest reaches 109 meters , and more than 2000 statues are carefully executed , as well as the large windows of the building, considered to be the largest in the world. The construction of the cathedral began in 1386 at the initiative of Archbishop Antonio de Saluzzo and it has a late Gothic French style rather than Italian . Work has continued for centuries, the main tower adorned in 1762 with a polychrome statue of the Virgin Mary, to whom it was dedicated from the beginning dome Milan . The interior is not any less striking . Five gigantic naves separated by artistic carved stone pillars are framed by stained glass windows made with great craftsmanship. The apse, the oldest part of the cathedral includes three windows in the shape of roza , made by Filippino of Modena , in a way that reveals the complexity of the XIV-th century. The middle window is one of the largest apse windows in the world.
Costa Caribe Aquatic Park, Tarragona, Spania
How does a freefall from a 31 meters high sound? Exciting or scary? In any case, hist is what is waiting for you in Costa Caribe Aquatic Park if you choose to be one of the brave people who venture on the King Khajuna slide - the highest slide in Europe. The Caribbean theme park is located a little bit more than one hour distance away from Barcelona, by car or train. It’s hosting thousands of tropical plants, palm trees and sand beaches and is part of the huge theme park PortAventura, one of the most popular on the continent. PortAventura is an amusement theme park located on the Costa Daurada, in the Tarragona region, about 100km south from Barcelona. It is the most visited park in Spain and the sixth most visited theme park in Europe. The park is divided into five areas: Mediterranean, Polynesia, China, Mexico and the Far West. The complex includes five hotels, PortAventura Park and Costa Caribe Aquatic Park. Only a few minutes walking distance from the park there is the train station that connects PortAventura and Barcelona. PortAventura theme park is a resort in the south of Barcelona, in Tarragona, Spain; Costa Dorada. It attracts about 4 million visitors per year, which ranks it among the most visited amusement theme parks in Spain.
Berlin's Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate, also called the heart of Berlin is one of Berlin's most famous monuments. The Brandenburg Gate is a monumental gate built in the 18th century as a symbol of peace. During the Cold War, when the gate stood right on the border between East and West, it became a symbol of a divided city. The magnificent monument was designed by Carl Gotthard and commissioned by the Emperor Wilhelm II. The project of the 65 meters wide and 28 meters high gate is inspired by the Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens. The Brandenburg Gate was built between 1778 and 1781, replacing another ancient gate. The decorations include reliefs representing scenes from the Greek mythology and it took another four years to be fully completed. The Brandenburg Gate, which until the Second World War had all the time to become a symbol of Prussian militarism, was badly damaged during the war. After the war and after the division of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate was found right on the border between East and West Berlin, exactly in the Russian sector. In 1958 the gate was restored by the East Berlin while West Berlin funded the reconstruction of the Victoria statue. The Brandenburg Gate is certainly the most important modern European symbol of peace, the triumphant goddess’ entry into the city signifying the end of all conflicts. It is at the same time a symbol of division and reunification , a monument under which marched the Nazi torch-bearers who dragged Germany into the darkest period of history , but they overcame it , weeping for joy , people separated by arbitrary decisions for more than 50 years. Today, the Brandenburg Gate is no longer considered a symbol of division, but a symbol of a completely new era in the history of the extraordinary city. It is definitely one of the best known symbols of the city. The “Brandenburg Tor“ design was inspired by the Acropolis located in Athens. At the top of the gate there is a statue depicting the famous Victoria, the goddess of Triumph, who is driving a chariot pulled by four horses. It was sculpted by Gottfried Schadow. In 1806 the sculpture was taken to Paris by Napoleon’s troops as a trophy of war. It was brought back to Germany when the French lost the fight against them.
Biking around 30 miles down the most dangerous road in the world was one of the most exhilerating things I have ever done. The scenery is absolutely incredible - starting the journey at 15,400 feet in the foothills of some snowy mountains, you proceed to decend 1,200 metres along one of the most beautiful/terrifying roads in the world. One bit of advice would be to go for back and front suspension on the bike - we only paid for back suspension and could hardly feel our arms by the end. I would recommend it to anyone adverturous that likes living life on the edge - quite literally. WARNING : Very dangerous, 200-300 people die on this road every year.
Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic
Dubrovnik is a port city and one of the most prominent tourist resorts in the Adriatic Sea, in the extreme south of Croatia and it’s the centre of Dubrovnik - Neretva canton. In 2001, it had a population of 31.756 inhabitants. The fortress’ walls were built between the thirteenth and the sixteenth centuries and they are very well-preserved. ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic’ used to rival Venice economically and commercially in the XV, XVI centuries. A monument-city, part of the UNESCO world heritage, Dubrovnik has an unique architectural style due to the Turkish and Venetian influences. The most attractive part is the old town of Stari Grad, with paved streets, fountains and museums. The hospitality base is extremely generous and the nightlife can satisfy any demands. Also, we must not lose the opportunity to reach the island of Mljet, which is one of Croatia's national parks. Dubrovnik is also host to a festival of drama, music and folklore which is certainly the largest and the most remarkable cultural event that takes place every year between July 10 and August 25. On this occasion, the whole city turns into a huge stage, which represents an extra stimulus for artists and an additional reason for delight and pleasure for the spectators. The Medieval walled city is a luxury destination. Southern Dalmatia boasts with Croatia's main tourist attraction , one of the most beautiful cities in Europe , often called ,, the pearl of the Adriatic ' , one of the few medieval city- state that has rejected all the attackers and kept its walls intact , one of the most appreciated town – fortress, recognized around the world, joining the UNESCO world Heritage list in 1979.
Sistine Chapel in the Vatican
The Sistine Chapel is one of the most visited places in the Vatican Palace, Rome, Italy. The Sistine Chapel is found on the right side of St. Peter's Cathedral. This is the papal palace chapel, being built as a place of mystery and silence, between 1472-1483, during the pontificate of Pope Sixtus I, and it was painted by the renowned artist Michelangelo Buonarroti, in 1510. The Sistine Chapel is a parallelepiped shape with a length of 41 meters, a width of 13.41 meters and a height of nearly 21 meters. It is said that these were the dimensions of the temple built by Solomon in the Old Testament period. The person who designed this building was Baccio Pontelli, a renowned architect of the time, and the one who oversaw its building was Giovannino Del Dolci. The chapel is divided into two parts: at the eastern end is the altar and in the west there is a space for the believers. The chapel’s ceiling is vaulted in the western style and the side walls, in their upper part, are illuminated by a series of 12 large windows. The floor of the chapel presents a particularly colourful terrazzo. The Sistine Chapel is the place where the next pope is chosen. The first service was celebrated here on the 9th of August 1483, when the chapel dedicated this occasion for the bodily Ascension into heaven of the Virgin Mary , a Roman Catholic celebration and dogma. A major tourist attraction , the world's smallest country , the City of Vatican occupies an area of 0.44 square kilometres and serves as a spiritual centre for millions of Roman Catholics worldwide. The Sistine Chapel is a must see for tourists arriving in this part of the world.
Istanbul Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, also known as Kapali Çarsi of Istanbul is a mystery for some and an unknown and closed box for many others. To really enjoy Istanbul, you should definitely lose yourself in the city or to become one with it, and one of the most handy ways to do this is a visit to the Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar is actually a separate world in the Istanbul city. It is active, busy, indispensable for Turkey's largest city. In this location which attracts tourists from around the world and hundreds of thousands of daily visitors, one discovers not only a glorious history but also antique merchants , jewellers , tanners , carpet sellers - in a word , everything one needs . As the oldest and largest bazaar in the world, Grand Bazaar was built on the orders of Sultan Fatih, to ensure the financial stability of the Hagia Sophia museum. In this historic bazaar, located between the Nuruosmaniye and Beyazıt mosques, there are two domes called "Bedesten", Cehavir and Sandal” - the heart of the Turkish market. Beginning with its establishment and until now, the bazaar has remained the most important shopping center in Istanbul. It consists of 61 streets whose names generally describe the different businesses that are undertaken throughout the areas of the market: Fesçiler (caps sellers) Kalpakçılar (fur sellers) Aynacılar (mirrors sellers) etc. The 1500 square meters area called İç Bedesten, and the 1,300 square meters area called Sandal Bedesten can be considered half outside the bazaar itself. Around the Grand Bazaar there are inns which, again, are actually part of the bazaar. Today, there are over 4,000 shops in the Grand Bazaar. Most travelers who visited the Grand Bazaar in the past, portrayed it as a quiet and solemn place. Now is just the opposite. Wandering in the bazaar, you hear vendors inviting the potential customers in their stores. With these invitations, you can recognise words in maybe 10 different languages. The old style of treating customers is still valid. On the other hand, bargaining remained the basic ritual when shopping in the Grand Bazaar. This ritual is enjoyed by both the seller and the buyers. The Grand Bazaar is also the largest bazaar of jewellery in the world. To see it all, you would have to spend at least three days in there.
Almost halfway between Mérida and Cancún, on the airy esplanade from the low jungle of the Yucatán Península, the Kukulkan pyramid represents the centre of the architectural complex Chichen Itza, an ancient Mayan city, invaded by the Toltec warriors from the tenth century, coming from their capital, Tula - central Mexico today. In the sun or in the shade of clouds, the harmony of this pyramid in steps, with a height of 24 m, seems really perfect: the four -sided stone tilts with finesse to the horizons and the small platform top is a temple (with height 6 m) dedicated to the cult of the god Kukulkan - the feathered serpent or Quetzalcóatl. The faces are made up of nine terraces, each with 52 boxes decorated flat, rectangular. A series of 91 steps cut narrow middle of each of the four sides of the pyramid, sandwiched between linear rails. The North side of the building, however, has a particularity: at the encounter with the earth, the two rails end in two large statues carved in stone, the snake heads representing the god Kukulkan. The composition of the pyramid determines the start of the count: 18 sections of an upper terraces - the 18 months of the Mayan solar calendar ; 52 boxes for what the Mayans considered " century" by combining the sacred with the solar calendar ; 364 steps ( 91x4 ) plus platform - number of days in the solar calendar. Although the pyramid served to the Kukulkan cult, the numerological interpretations and the very clear data about the Mayans’ knowledge of astronomy, put it directly related to the sun worship. Access to the pyramid was banned a few years ago to avoid irreversible damage. However, because of the slight distance from the square base, the proportionality of the architectural elements is best admired. But what turns out to be the highlight of the pyramid gathers twice a year thousands of visitors to Chichén Itzá: the symbolic lowering of the feathered Serpent, an extraordinary effect of light observed for ten minutes in the days of equinox, March 20 and September 21 at around 3 pm. The sunlight gradually forms off the northwest face, a sequence of seven triangles of light that fills gradually the descending line, like the body of a snake. Once it arrives at the base, this "snake" is completed by the union with the carved head Kukulkan, likely to play the leading role in agrarian rituals, deeply connected to the rhythm of nature. Another great detail of the pyramid, still the subject of scientific controversy, impresses the audience: the echo formed on the north side of the row of steps. If one claps, it feels like the sound hits the stones and generates the cry of the Quetzal bird, symbolizing the Mayans’ creative force, uniting with the serpent god Kukulkan personification.