Thursday, May 2, 2019

Uluru in the Northern Territory, Australia


Uluru in the Northern Territory


Uluru(Ayers Rock)

Uluru/Ayers Rock towers above the surrounding landscape. It is one of the great natural wonders of the world. Uluru is a large sandstone rock formation. It is the formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia. It lies 335 kms to the southwest of Alice Springs 463 kms by road nearest large town, Alice Springs.
Uluru in the Northern Territory

Name

The local Anangu, the Pitjantjatjara people, call the landmark Uluṟu. Geologists say their genesis, began about 550 million years ago. With no further specific meaning in the Pitjantjatjara dialect. Although it's used as a local family name by the senior Traditional Owners of Uluru. Uluru is not only a glorious natural formation. But it’s an extraordinary theological place.
On 19 July 1873, the mapmaker William Gosse sighted the landmark.  And named it Ayers Rock in honor of the then Chief Secretary of South Australia,
Geologist of Uluru
In 1993, a dual naming policy was adopt that allowed official name. That consist of both the traditional Aboriginal name. And the English name on 15 December 1993. it's renamed "Ayers Rock / Uluru". And became the first official dual-named feature in the Northern Territory. The order of the dual names was official reversed to "Uluru / Ayers Rock".

Geology

Uluru is an inselberg, verbatim "Island Mountain". The region’s climate is hot. And dry for much of the year, with considerable diurnal (day-night) temperature variation. Winters (May–July) are cool. And low temperatures at night often drop below freezing. Daytime highs often exceed 105 °F (40 °C) during the blistering month (December).

Five seasons
Local primordial people recognize five seasons:
Geology of Uluru

"Wanitjunkupai (April/May) – Cooler weather
Wari (June/July) – Cold season bringing morning frosts
Piriyakutu (August/September/October) – Animals breed and food plants flower
Mai Wiyaringkupai (November/December) – The hot season when food becomes scarce
Itjanu (January/February/March) – Sporadic tempest can roll in sudden."


Top things to do


Enjoy a sunset & sunrise 

Enjoy a sunset & sunrise
Uluru is famous the world over for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Whatever you do. Don’t miss a sunset or sunrise at Uluru. When the light turns its massive surface from ochre brown to burnished orange to intense red. And all the coolers between. There are over five viewing areas. You don’t forget to pack your camera to experience the landscapes of Uluru.

Walk around the base of Uluru

Walk around the base of Uluru
The Uluru Base Walk is one of the nonpareil ways to exploitation in the beauty and get up close to Uluru. Follow the Aboriginal predecessor’ footsteps on one of six consecrated walks. You can circumnavigate the 9.4 km base. And relax beside tranquil waterholes. Take a break under a spectacular She-oak tree and peer into hidden caves. There are plenty of walking trails at the base of Uluru and most are wheelchair accessible. By choosing to walk around the base instead of climbing. You will be respecting the wishes of the local Aboriginal people. You’ll see all Uluru’s natural and cultural beauty on the full base walk.

Flying, riding & cycle

Flying, riding & cycle to explore Uluru
Walking isn’t the only way to explore Uluru. Join a sunrise or sunset camel tour. See the icons from above in a helicopter. You can jump on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. If you think about more adventurous - take a tandem skydive! or Three wheel strike for a quick 30 minute spin or the greatest sunset tour. Glide your way around Uluru on a Segway or hire a bike and cycle around the monolith at your own pace.


Dine under a canopy of stars

Take a dinner with your partner, under the stars and deep in the desert. Against the backdrop of Uluru, tucking into gourmet outback fare.
What better way to enjoy iconic landscapes than by assembles them. With world class dining acquaintance.
With Sounds of Silence. And Tali Wiru dinner packages available from Voyages. There is a dining experience to suit all budgets and tastes.
Uluru in the Northern Territory
Uluru in the Northern Territory

Uluru in the Northern Territory
Uluru in the Northern Territory




Saturday, April 13, 2019

Acropolis of Athens, Greece

Acropolis of Athens, Greece

The Acropolis of Athens and its monuments are universal symbols of the classical spirit and civilization and form the greatest architectural and artistic complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity to the world. In the second half of the fifth century bc, Athens, following the victory against the Persians and the establishment of democracy, took a leading position amongst the other city-states of the ancient world. In the age that followed, as thought and art flourished, an exceptional group of artists put into effect the ambitious plans of Athenian statesman Pericles and, under the inspired guidance of the sculptor Pheidias, transformed the rocky hill into a unique monument of thought and the arts. The most important monuments were built during that time: the Parthenon, built by Ictinus, the Erechtheon, the Propylaea, the monumental entrance to the Acropolis, designed by Mnesicles and the small temple Athena Nike.

The Acropolis of Athens is the most striking and complete ancient Greek monumental complex still existing in our times. It is situated on a hill of average height (156m) that rises in the basin of Athens. Its overall dimensions are approximately 170 by 350m.

 The hill is rocky and steep on all sides except for the western side, and has an extensive, nearly flat top. Strong fortification walls have surrounded the summit of the Acropolis for more than 3,300 years. The first fortification wall was built during the 13th century BC, and surrounded the residence of the local Mycenaean ruler. In the 8th century BC, the Acropolis gradually acquired a religious character with the establishment of the cult of Athena, the city’s patron goddess. The sanctuary reached its peak in the archaic period (mid-6th century to early 5th century BC).

 In the 5th century BC, the Athenians, empowered from their victory over the Persians, carried out an ambitious building programme under the leadership of the great statesman Perikles, comprising a large number of monuments including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaia and the temple of Athena Nike. The monuments were developed by an exceptional group of architects (such as Iktinos, Kallikrates, Mnesikles) and sculptors (such as Pheidias, Alkamenes, Agorakritos), who transformed the rocky hill into a unique complex, which heralded the emergence of classical Greek thought and art. On this hill were born Democracy, Philosophy, Theatre, Freedom of Expression and Speech, which provide to this day the intellectual and spiritual foundation for the contemporary world and its values. 

The Acropolis’ monuments, having survived for almost twenty-five centuries through wars, explosions, bombardments, fires, earthquakes, sackings, interventions and alterations, have adapted to different uses and the civilizations, myths and religions that flourished in Greece through time.

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Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany
Built between 1788 and 1791 by Prussian King Frederick William II as a key entry point to the city of Berlin, Brandenburg Gate was topped off with a statue known as the “Quadriga,” which depicted a statue of the goddess of victory driving a chariot pulled by four horses. The statue remained in place for just over a decade, before falling into the clutches of Napoleon Bonaparte and his Grand Army. After occupying Berlin that fall and triumphantly marching beneath the arches of the Gate, Napoleon ordered the Quadriga dismantled and shipped back to Paris. The horse and goddess were hastily packed up in a series of crates and moved across the continent. Napoleon, perhaps preoccupied with the crumbling of his recently established empire, appears to have forgotten about the statue, and it languished in storage until 1814, when Paris itself was captured by Prussian soldiers following Napoleon’s defeat. The Quadriga was returned to Berlin and once again installed atop the Brandenburg Gate, this time with one change: As a symbol of Prussia’s military victory over France, an iron cross was added to the statue. The cross was later removed during the Communist era, and only permanently restored in 1990 during the unification of Germany.

Agia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

Agia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

Agia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

Much of the Hagia Sophia’s edifice evident today was completed in the 6th century (primarily from 532–537), during the reign of Byzantine Emperor 
Justinian I. The original church to occupy the site (called the Megale Ekklesia) was commissioned by Emperor Constantine l in 325, razed during a riot in 404, later rebuilt, and destroyed once again in 532 before Justinian commissioned the building that exists today. Since then, mosaics were added throughout the Byzantine period, structural modifications were made in both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods, and features important to the Islamic architectural tradition were constructed during Ottoman ownership of the structure.
The structure now standing is essentially the 6th-century edifice, although an earthquake caused a partial collapse of the dome in 558 (restored 562) and there were two further partial collapses, after which it was rebuilt to a smaller scale and the whole church reinforced from the outside. It was restored again in the mid-14th century.
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Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania

Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania





Surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend and perched high atop a 200-foot-high rock, Bran Castle owes its fame to its imposing towers and turrets as well as to the myth created around Bram Stocker's Dracula.
Built on the site of a Teutonic Knights stronghold dating from 1212, the castle was first documented in an act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) the privilege to build the Citadel.
Narrow winding stairways lead through some 60 timbered rooms, many connected by underground passages, which house collections of furniture, weapons and armor dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries.
Although the famous Wallachian ruler might have passed several times near Bran, there is no historical document attesting that he ever visited it. His visits to Transylvania were usually related to the boyars of Brașov. After his first reign, when he was sent into exile, he wanted to settle in Brașov, but John Hunyadi forbade them to provide him with shelter.
The castle is owned by the descendants of Queen Marie, to whom it was given 1920 as a token of appreciation for her efforts to unify Romania. After her death, Bran Castle was inherited by her daughter, Princess Ileana, who ran it as a hospital during World War II. In 1948 the castle was seized by the Communist regime, but it was returned to Dominic von Habsburg, Princess Ileana’s son, in 2006.
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Friday, April 12, 2019

Mont St. Michel in France

Mont St. Michel in France















Le Mont-Saint-Michel is an island and mainland commune in Normandy, France. The island is located about one kilometer off the country's northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches and is 7 hectares in area.

Loch Ness in Scotland

Loch Ness in Scotland


Journey from Edinburgh up into the beautiful Trossachs National Park with its rolling hills and stunning views. After passing through Glasgow and crossing the River Clyde you will arrive in the enchanting village of Balloch. We join Sweeney’s Cruise Co. for an hour long cruise on the legendary Loch Lomond. While you sail, a commentary by renowned historian Neil Oliver will guide you through the history of the land and those who have shaped the landscape over the centuries. Alternately, there is also plenty to explore in Balloch with nearby Loch Lomond Shores home to shops, cafés and the Sea Life Loch Lomond Sanctuary, where there is a huge collection of exciting species to discover.
Continuing north, it is just a short journey to the traditional highland town of Aberfoyle. A community that has a strong connection to the land and the fairies that live in the trees around. Stopping at the Scottish Wool Centre, there are a variety of places to get lunch, and an opportunity to browse the local shops. Be sure not to miss the sheep dog display to see the art of sheep herding in action in a surprising way.
Next we take you to marvel at the splendour of the medieval castle of Doune. Built in the 13th century as the home of the Duke of Albany.
Take the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Kings and Heroes both real and fictional. The castle has been used in film and television for many productions such as Game of Thrones, Outlander, Outlaw King and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Explore the ancient architecture and learn how people lived over 700 years ago.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Big Ben in London

There were two bells cast as the clock tower's hour bell. A first, sixteen ton weighing bell was cast by John Warner and Sons in 1856. Since the Clock Tower was not yet completed, the bell was hung temporarily in the Palace Yard. The bell soon cracked so it was recast in 1858 in the Whitechapel Bell Foundry as a 13.5 ton bell. Unfortunately soon after this bell was placed in the belfry in July 1859, it cracked as well. This time, instead of yet again recasting the bell, the crack was repaired and a lighter hammer was used to prevent any more cracks.

Big Ben’s four-faced clock is set in a 23 feet (7m) frame on all sides of the Tower and was completed in May 1859. It has become one of the most recognisable British icons and its chimes are broadcasted by BBC radio every day.

It is one of the world’s most reliable clocks, withstanding rain, wind and snow. It even kept chiming during the bombing attacks of World War II. 

Although there are few occasions when Big Ben has suffered punctuality incidents, Londoners will never forget 1962 New Year’s Eve, when the clock chimed the new year 10 minutes late due to the harsh weather conditions.

For more information click here.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Machu Picchu in Peru

Initial Period: 1300 AD
Classic Period: 1400 AD
Imperial Period: 1533 AD
Transition Period 1533-1572 AD
Most modern archaeologists and historians agree that Machu Picchu was built by the Inca Pachacutec, the greatest statesman of Tahuantinsuyo, who ruled from 1438 to 1471. Archaeologists assume that the construction of the citadel would date from the fifteenth century approximately chronological date given by the carbon-14 or radiocarbon.

When the explorer Hiram Bingham III encountered Machu Picchu in 1911, he was looking for a different city, known as Vilcabamba. This was a hidden capital to which the Inca had escaped after the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1532. Over time it became famous as the legendary Lost City of the Inca. Bingham spent most of his life arguing that Machu Picchu and Vilcabamba were one and the same, a theory that wasn’t proved wrong until after his death in 1956. (The real Vilcabamba is now believed to have been built in the jungle about 50 miles west of Machu Picchu.) Recent research has cast doubt on whether Machu Picchu had ever been forgotten at all. When Bingham arrived, three families of farmers were living at the site.

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The Taj Mahal in Agra, India

The Taj Mahal is more than just a mausoleum - it is has been described by the poet Rabindranath Tagore as a "teardrop on the cheek of eternity". As an expression of the height of the Mughal dynasty's architectural genius in the Indian subcontinent, as the symbol of a bereaved emperor's love for his empress, and as an inspiration to countless photographers and artists who have tried to capture its many subtle nuances of light and shade, the Taj Mahal continues to captivate people worldwide with its history, its design, and its symbolism of eternal love.

eauty lies in the eyes of the beholder! Probably for Taj Mahal, the axiom is just the other way round.The Taj is the beauty personified! The Taj displays its different moods through its varied shades. The Taj has as many shades as any kind of beauty can ever have! The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening, golden when the moon shines and the intermediary variants during different hours of the day and during different seasons in a year.

A look this time at the Taj will keep you indulged with thoughts superimposing your sight and would make you feel the presence of Shah Jahan, the Maker and Mumtaz Mahal, the Reason, as though walking along with you.

For more information click here.