24 Hours in Barcelona, Spain

24 Hours in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is the most prosperous and cosmopolitan city in Spain. A replica of Columbus’ ship is in the harbor. Its most picturesque aspect is seen in the old Gothic quarter around the 14th century Cathedral. Midday sundays the traditional local dance, the sardana, is performed in front of the cathedral.

Close by are the Palacio de la Diputacion, seat of the ancient parliament of catalonia, the Ayuntamiento, and many other attractive old palaces and mansions. Barcelona’s 19th century architect, Gaudi, produced the large, but still unfinished Church of La Sagrada Familia, the weird structural decorative designs of which characterize Gaudi’s other major works, the two animal shaped houses in the Paseo de Gracia, his playground at Parque Guell and the Guell Palace (Museum of spanish Theater). A funicular rises to Montjuich Park, where the Palacio Nacional houses the Museum of Catalan art with primitive structed Spanish village.

24 Hours in Barcelona, Spain

Folk art is made and sold at the Pueblo and in summer there are folklore evenings. The Museum of Modern Art in the Parque de la Ciudadela has some of Salvador Dali’s works and Picasso is on show in his museum on calle Moncada. The Museo Taurino, in the Plaza de Torros, is a bullfighting museum. The Plaza de Cataluna is the city center. Barcelona’s major festival is Nuestra Senora de la Merced, celebrated 20-24 September.

The main excursion is to the mountain monastery of Monserrat, founded in 880 AD. The two prides of Montserrat are the Black Virgin, reputedly carved by St Luke, and Escolania, a children’s choir with a 700 year old history. The museum in the village contains works by El greco, Caravaggio and Corrigio.

24 Hours in Barcelona, Spain

Main Sights

The Barri Gòtic (Catalan for “Gothic Quarter”) is the center of the old city of Barcelona. Many of the buildings date from medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Catalan modernista architecture (related to the movement known as Art Nouveau in the rest of Europe), developed between 1885 and 1950 and left an important legacy in Barcelona. Several of these buildings are World Heritage Sites. Especially remarkable is the work of architect Antoni Gaudí, which can be seen throughout the city. His best-known work is the immense but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882, and is still financed by private donations. As of 2007, completion is planned for 2026.

Barcelona was also home to Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. Designed in 1929 for the International Exposition for Germany, it is an iconic building that came to symbolize modern architecture as the embodiment of van der Rohe’s aphorisms “less is more” and “God is in the details.” The Barcelona pavilion was intended as a temporary structure, and was torn down in 1930 less than a year after it was constructed. A modern re-creation by Spanish architects now stands in Barcelona, however, constructed in 1986.

Barcelona won the 1999 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for its architecture,[56] the first (and as of 2015, only) time that the winner has been a city, and not an individual architect.

Portofino: More than a small Italian fishing village

Portofino: More than a small Italian fishing village

Portofino is an Italian fishing village and vacation resort famous for its picturesque harbour and historical association with celebrity and artistic visitors. It is a comune located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town is clustered around its small harbour, and is known for the colourfully painted buildings that line the shore.

According to Pliny the Elder, Portofino was founded by the Romans and named Portus Delphini, or Port of the Dolphin, because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf.

The village is mentioned in a diploma from 986 by Adelaide of Italy, which assigned it to the nearby Abbey of San Fruttoso di Capodimonte. In 1171, together with the neighbouring Santa Margherita Ligure, it was included in Rapallo’s commune jurisdiction. After 1229 it was part of the Republic of Genoa. The town’s natural harbour supported a fleet of fishing boats, but was somewhat too cramped to provide more than a temporary safe haven for the growing merchant marine of the Republic of Genoa.

In 1409 Portofino was sold to the Republic of Florence by Charles VI of France, but when the latter was ousted from Genoa the Florentine gave it back. In the 15th century it was a fief of families such as the Fieschi, Spinola, Adorno and Doria.

In 1815 it became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and, from 1861, of the unified Kingdom of Italy. In the late 19th century, first British, then other Northern European aristocratic tourists began to visit Portofino, which they reached by horse and cart from Santa Margherita Ligure. Aubrey Herbert and Elizabeth von Arnim were amongst the more famous English people to make the area fashionable.[5] Eventually more expatriates built expensive vacation houses, and by 1950 tourism had supplanted fishing as the town’s chief industry, and the waterfront was a continuous ring of restaurants and cafés.

Main sights

Statue of Christ of the Abyss, placed underwater on 29 August 1954 in the inlet at a depth of 17 metres (56 ft). This statue was placed to protect fishermen and scuba divers and in memory of Dario Gonzatti. Sculpted by Guido Galletti, it represents Christ in the act of blessing while looking up towards the sky with open arms in sign of peace.

Castello Brown (16th century).

Church of St. Martin (Divo Martino, 12th century).

Church of St. George, housing some saints’ relics.

Oratory of Santa Maria Assunta, in Gothic style.

Greece and the Meditarrenean Sea

Greece and the Meditarrenean Sea

In Athens maps and informtion brochures are available from the National Tourist Organization. Bus tours can be arranged through hotels or travel agencies, and What’s On in Athens gives details of current events. Admission to the Acropolis and all other ancient monuments and museums is free on Thursdays and Sundays. Museum hours vary according to the season.

The most famous archeological site in the Parthenon, the sacred temple of Athena, and one of the most skilfully contrived pieces of architecture in existence. From here there is an excellent view of Athens, Piraeus and the sea. On the hill around the Parthenon stands the Erechtheion – famous for its porch of graceful Caryatids (maidens); the imposing Propylaea, the entrance gate to the Acropolis, built in 482 BC and the exquisite little temple of Athena Nike, also called Wingless Victory.

On the south eastern slopes of the Acropolis is the Theater of Dionysus built in the 5th century BC, where the plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles were first performed and on the south western slope the theater of Herod Atticus, built in 16 AD and now the site of summer events in the Athens Festival. See the soaring Arch of Hadrian and just behind it the temple of Olympian Zeus – one of the greatest temples of the Hellenistic world. The Temple of Hephaestos (Theseum) is marvelously preserved.

Directly north of the Acropolis is the Agora, the market place and civic center. See the remains of Hadrian’s Library and the Tower of Winds built to house a hydraulic clock and sun dial in the 1st century. Look at the Doric Gate, presented to the Athenians by Emperor Augustus in 27 BC and note the beautiful monument of Lysicrates – 334 BC. Relics of the Roman era are also to be found among the present day houses of the Plaka (old town) district. Visit the stadium, built into a hillside and restored for the celebration of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

Arizona: Hot climate, desserts and very mild winters

Arizona: Hot climate, desserts and very mild winters

Arizona is the 48th state of United States of America. It is located in the southwestern region of United States. The capital of Arizona is Phoenix which is the largest city of Arizona. It was the last state declared by the government of United States in the United States of America. Arizona does not have a very moderate climate and therefore it is liked by the people who are interested in spending their vacation in hot summers.

Arizona is known for its hot climate, desserts and very mild winters. It was also termed as the fastest growing state of United States of America in terms of population. It consists of about 4 million people. Phoenix is the most popular part of Arizona and also its capital. The other important cities in Arizona are Mesa, Glendale, Peoria, Chandler, Sun City, Sun City West, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Avondale, Tempe Tolleson and Scottsdale.

Arizona is a state which solely follows American culture. However, the weather affects its culture. The food pattern is the same as that of the rest of United States of America. Arizona is very famous for its cooking patterns. The tourists here can also enjoy desserts. Arizona is one of safest places in United States of America. The infrastructure is developed in a very good and secure manner. Arizona is also very famous for its sports. It has its own teams for different sports, just like the other States of United States of America. Arizona is a very wealthy state in terms of education and sports. People who like educational and sports activities come to Arizona to study and learn.

The top attractions in Arizona are Bisbee, Canyon de Chelly, Jerome, Lake Powell and Monument Valley. These are the most beautiful places to visit in Arizona. The most famous hotels in Arizona are Anthem, Bellemont, Page, Paradise Valley, Parker, Oak Creek Canyon and Oro Valley. These hotels are the best and most luxurious hotels in Arizona. They are very well developed and have the best and the latest amenities.

These hotels serve various types of cuisines to their guests. The hotel management takes care of maintaining different types of cuisines according to the type of the guests from different countries. The music is also very diverse in Arizona. It is based on the native English music which is followed all over America. However, it also contains some French and Spanish words in it.

As far as sport is concerned, there are many popular players who are now playing as professionals in the American teams. These teams play at the world level championships and leagues. Arizona is also famous for having the maximum number of female governors, than any other state in the country. It follows a very rich education pattern. The universities and schools are very sensitive about their education level and student management. The state government is also very active in maintaining law and order in the state to make the natives as well as the tourists feel safe and secure.

All About Famous Tahitian Dances

One of the most widely recognized images of the islands is the world famous Tahitian dance. The ‘ote’a (sometimes written as otea) is a traditional dance from Tahiti, where the dancers, standing in several rows, execute figures. This dance, easily recognized by its fast hip-shaking and grass skirts, is often confused with the Hawaiian hula, a generally slower more graceful dance which focuses more on the hands and storytelling than the hips.

The ʻōteʻa is one of the few dances which existed in pre-European times as a male dance. On the other hand, the hura (Tahitian vernacular for hula), a dance for women, has disappeared, and the couple’s dance ‘upa’upa is likewise gone but may have reemerged as the tamure. Nowadays, the ʻōteʻa can be danced by men (ʻōteʻa tāne), by women (ʻōteʻa vahine), or by both genders (ʻōteʻa ʻāmui = united ʻō.).

All About Famous Tahitian Dances

The dance is with music only, drums, but no singing. The drum can be one of the types of the tōʻere, a laying log of wood with a longitudinal slit, which is struck by one or two sticks. Or it can be the pahu, the ancient Tahitian standing drum covered with a shark skin and struck by the hands or with sticks. The rhythm from the tōʻere is fast, from the pahu it is slower. A smaller drum, the faʻatete, can be used.

The dancers make gestures, reenacting daily occupations of life. For the men the themes can be chosen from warfare or sailing, and then they may use spears or paddles.

For women the themes are closer to home or from nature: combing their hair or the flight of a butterfly, for example. More elaborate themes can be chosen, for example, one where the dancers end up in a map of Tahiti, highlighting important places. In a proper ʻōteʻa the story of the theme should pervade the whole dance.

The group dance called ‘Aparima is often performed with the dancers dressed in pareo and maro. There are two types of ʻaparima: the ʻaparima hīmene (sung handdance) and the ʻaparima vāvā (silent handdance), the latter being performed with music only and no singing. Newer dances include the hivinau and the pa’o’a.

Climate of the Pacific Islands

Climate of the Pacific Islands

One feature of oceanic islands which distinguishes them from continents and from many of the continental islands is the climate. The great body of water which surrounds oceanic islands never becomes so warm and never so cold as the land on and near continents.

Therefore the temperature of the air over the open ocean and around and over the oceanic islands does not rise so high or fall so low. For the same reason the winter and summer temperatures are not very far apart, and the climate does not differ much from month to month. Places in Mexico in the same latitude as Hawaii and places in Australia in the same latitude as Rapa have cold winters and hot summers.

Temperature

The average annual temperature of nearly all the Pacific oceanic islands is 70 degrees. Only in a region extending west from Fiji does the average reach 80 degrees, and only in the Aleutian Islands and in the islands lying south of New Zealand are the winters uncomfortably cold.

Winds

Because of the vast stretches of water over which they may blow without interruption, the winds of the Pacific are more regular and uniform than are the winds in any other part of the world. These winds blow in different directions in different parts of the Pacific. In the belt of ocean lying approximately between the parallel of latitude 3 degrees north, which runs through Midway Island, and the parallel of latitude 60 degrees north, near the Bering Sea, the winds come generally from the west and are known as ” westerly winds.”

From latitude 30 degrees north to near the equator the winds come from the northeast. For more than three hundred days in the year they blow so regularly and evenly that they have been called northeast trade winds (trade is the English form of an old word trod, which means path). Along the equator the winds blow feebly, generally from the east. From near the equator to latitude 30 degrees south are the southeast trade winds, and still farther south is the belt of strong westerly winds known to sailors as the “roaring forties.”

In the two trade-wind belts, the winds sometimes blow from a direction opposite to their usual course, bringing with them the kind of weather known in Hawaii as “Kona storms.” Sometimes the winds become hurricanes or typhoons. Most of these hurricanes occur in the region between the Marshall Islands and China and west and southwest of Samoa — in Micronesia, Melanesia-and farther west in the Indian Ocean.

But they sometimes occur in the winter months in Polynesia and are then very destructive. The houses may be torn down and. the trees broken and uprooted. The hurricane winds and the high waves which come with them have swept some low coral islands bare of trees, buildings, and men and have sunk the canoes along the shores. These winds and the ocean currents made by the winds have aided boats in sailing in some direoctions and hindered them in sailing in other directions.

A History of Travel in America

A History of Travel in America

The many years of early exploration throughout the whole extent of the continent, carried on by brave individual adventurers and trappers chiefly from Spain and France before the year 1620 had almost no effect in shaping the after-history and development of America’s travel system.

The significance of any discovery in its relation to the subject, whether of route or method of travel, did not lie in the earliest information respecting that route or method, but in the popular impulse which was later — sometimes much later — to recognize its value and demand its use. It was necessity or comprehension, not knowledge; the needs or desires of the people rather than the exploits and achievements of individuals that always influenced the progress of the system and led on, little by little, to what now exists.

Hence it was that definite and visible progress in creating established methods of getting about the country did not begin until several English colonies had found firm foothold along the Atlantic coast. There were three motives that caused the first travel movements among the early population. One was the natural wish of a settlement to get into touch with its neighbors; another was need of betterment and growth; and the third was an occasional impulse, due to differences of one sort or another, which sometimes caused part of a colony to separate from the rest of it and go elsewhere to set up for itself.

The five principal localities from which radiated the first travel movements of the country were the Chesapeake Bay region; eastern Massachusetts; New York Bay and the Great River of the Mountains; the Connecticut River valley and Long Island Sound; and Delaware Bay and the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers. Three of these, the Chesapeake, New York and Delaware Bays, are important among those gateways already referred to through which the interior of the country is accessible from the Atlantic seaboard.

But the two biggest entrances of all—the Mississippi River with its tributaries and the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes — were destined to play a much smaller part in the story than their importance warranted. For it so happened that the course of wars and politics in Europe produced conditions in America which deprived the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence River and the lakes of much of the influence they might otherwise have had in shaping the development of travel in America.

For generations five mutually jealous and conflicting groups were quarreling and fighting in an effort to get control of the continent. Each of three nations— France, Spain and England — was scheming to extend its own possessions and oust the others; the English colonies were trying to secure the administration of their own affairs; and the Indians were doing what they could to be rid of the lot or restrict their movements.

The continuous control of the St. Lawrence by the French for nearly a hundred and fifty years after the arrival of the first English colonies, and the similar uninterrupted holding of the Mississippi by France and Spain until some time after the Revolution, long prevented the use of those two gateways as factors in any progress in which the English speaking inhabitants were interested. And the impulse which was finally to result in giving the Mississippi a place in the free and unobstructed travel system of the country came, not from its mouth, but from the upper valley of the stream, where a vigorous English speaking population had become established and demanded the use of the river.

By about the year 1636, then, the movement of the population in and from all of the five regions named had already begun and some action had been taken, both by the guiding minds of the colonies and by the people on their own impulse, to make such travel as easy and rapid as was possible under the conditions that surrounded them. On order of the authorities of Plymouth Colony all creeks and rivulets were bridged by felling trees across them, and canoe ferries were established for the passage of the larger streams.

A few of the first canoes used by the people of Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth Colony were doubtless of the birch variety, bought from the Indians, but the prompt and unfortunate results of the unstable equilibrium of those canoes under the unpracticed guidance of the white pioneers quickly decided them to shift to the less graceful, but more calm and sedate type of craft such as was made by hollowing a log.

It is not difficult to picture the inward emotion of an Indian as he sold a birch-bark canoe to a high hatted Pilgrim, and then, standing on the river bank, watched his customer step into the craft, only instantly to leave it from the other side and disappear head first into the water. Having fished out the white interloper the red man would buy back his canoe, enter it, and depart. After the adoption cf log canoes became general, and as population increased, trees especially suitable for canoe making were often marked by the authorities and protected by orders which forbade their use for any other purpose.

Passion, energy and mystery all in Hawaii

Passion, energy and mystery all in Hawaii

Hawaii is incredibly romantic destination. Perfect for a wedding, honeymoon or dream away. The fabulous beaches and luxury resorts, combined with the tropical climate means that you’ll fall in love with the island almost as soon as you land. You’ll be forgiven if you stay in comfort and luxury of your resort, with all your needed. Although if you never leave the station, you’ll miss the inspiring fear Marvels Hawaii has to offer.

Whatever your stay on this island is worth jumping through the Big Island to visit the Parc National des Volcans. Hawaii has many active volcanoes and there are five on the Big Island. Only three of the five are active and Kilauea is most active. He is the youngest volcano on Big Island and appears to go through a growth spurt in adolescents. Kilauea has been erupting since 1983. Every day he vomited enough lava resurfacing of 20 mile long road. This enormous quantity of lava has added about 500 acres of the Big Island area. The volcano gives with one hand he takes the other. Big Island has lost more than 181 houses, a church and a number of other buildings in the lava flow.

You may wonder why on earth we suggest you visit the active volcano. The Volcano National Park is perfectly safe if you pay attention to the park rangers. So it’s an incredible opportunity to see firsthand one of the most powerful displays of natural materials and the planet. The eruption of Kilauea is not about quick violent, is a persistent rise of the lava. Forms lava tubes that directs much of the flow toward the sea of lava tubes are a fascinating formation created by the lava of contact with the air much colder island. As the lava flow increases the size of the tube forms a unique ecosystem. We suggest you take a tour of the tubes. As you’re standing inside a natural element created by a lava flow active, please pay attention to the Rangers!

Hawaii Volcanoes are an integral part of the mythology and legends of the islands. Pele is the goddess of Kilauea volcano and its domain is. If you want a spiritual protection of the raw power of the earth, it would be wise to take some pork and gin with you. This is not to strengthen you, but should be wrapped in ti leaves and left as an offering to Pele. This goddess of fire is tempered celebrated in local art and tearing down forms of lava are called “Pele’s tears”.

It is not wise to take one of the tears of Pele as a souvenir of your visit. Many of those who have had to mail the stone back to Hawaii in an attempt to appease the deity who has the misfortune visited upon them. A local superstition, perhaps, but it is wise to respect the landscape of national park in the same way you respect a coral reef. As for the offerings of pork and gin, while in the presence of an erupting volcano that has been for 26 years there is no harm in keeping the local goddess happy.

The Supremacy of Paris

The Supremacy of Paris

One of the most distinctive features of France is the great importance of Paris in the life of the country as a whole. The location of Paris is almost ideal. Orleans alone among the cities is more central, but it lacks the waterways of Paris and the surrounding fertile soil.

Located originally on an island where it is easy to cross the Seine River, Paris has become not only the capital of France, but also one of the world’s greatest cities. The term “greatest” applies not so much to the number of inhabitants as to cultural influence. In this respect no other city rises to such a level, and no other city attracts so many visitors, temporary as well as permanent, to enjoy that culture.

Paris exerts an almost mystical attraction not only on Europe but on the rest of the world as well. Its architecture may be rather oldfashioned, its general appearance far from clean, and its entertainments not always of the highest, but the visitor forgets all this.

The Supremacy of Paris

The wide tree-bordered boulevards with their sidewalk cafes, the crooked streets of the Montmarte, and the Latin Quarter, where little shops offer all sorts of products from paintings to bad-smelling cheese, the quiet border of the Seine River where open-air bookstalls invite the literary enthusiast, the public gardens and parks where children, guarded by uniformed nurses, sail tiny boats on the grass-bordered ponds, all this is the Paris which one learns to love.

Nevertheless, the educational, social, and political attraction of Paris has been a tremendous drain on the rest of France. No other city has had a chance to become even locally a cultural center. Today, as for many centuries, Paris is the focus of all ambitions, the magnet attracting the country’s brains and energy.

Welcome to Bora Bora Island

Welcome to Bora Bora Island

Bora Bora is a 30 km2 (12 sq mi) island in the Leeward group in the western part of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. The island, located about 230 kilometres (143 miles) northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the centre of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 metres (2,385 feet).

Bora Bora is a major international tourist destination, famous for its aqua-centric luxury resorts. The major settlement, Vaitape, is on the western side of the main island, opposite the main channel into the lagoon. Produce of the island is mostly limited to what can be obtained from the sea and the plentiful coconut trees, which were historically of economic importance for copra. According to a 2008 census, Bora Bora has a permanent population of 8,880.

Today the island’s economy is driven almost solely by tourism. Over the last few years several resorts have been built on motu (small islands, from Tahitian) surrounding the lagoon. Hotel Bora Bora opened in 1961, and nine years later built the first over-the-water bungalows on stilts over the lagoon. Today, over-water bungalows are a standard feature of most Bora Bora resorts. The quality of those bungalows ranges from comparably cheap, basic accommodations to very luxurious and expensive places to stay.

Welcome to Bora Bora Island

Most of the tourist destinations are aqua-centric; however it is possible to visit attractions on land such as WWII cannons. Air Tahiti has five or six flights daily to the Bora Bora Airport on Motu Mute from Tahiti (as well as from other islands). The island is served by Bora Bora Airport on Motu Mute in the north, with Air Tahiti providing daily flights to and from Papeete on Tahiti.

Public transport on the island is nonexistent. Rental cars and bicycles are the recommended methods of transport. There are also small, two-seater buggies for hire in Vaitape. It is possible to rent a motorboat to explore the lagoon.

Snorkeling and scuba diving in and around the lagoon of Bora Bora are popular activities. Many species of sharks and rays inhabit the surrounding body of water. There are a few dive operators on the island offering manta ray dives and also shark-feeding dives.

In addition to the existing islands of Bora Bora, the new manmade motu of Motu Marfo has been added in the northeastern corner of the lagoon on the property of the St. Regis Resort.