Travel

Travel to the Heart of Australia: Canberra

There are limitless options in travelling. One could opt to go to Europe and experience a sophisticated lifestyle or immerse in Mediterranean culture. Or they could visit Asia and take a unique experience in the Himalayas or bask along the shores of Thailand and the Philippines.

The Pacific region is also a perfect place to go for relaxation. And there are so many more places to visit. But for now, we shall travel to the land down under.

In the previous articles we have mentioned about Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth. Now we will visit the capital of Australia: CANBERRA.

CANBERRA

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Parliament House (1)

Canberra was assigned as the capital of the whole country to address the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne. Being the capital, it houses important buildings and landmarks such as the Parliament House, High Court, government offices, schools, universities, museums, and library.

The city caters mainly to politicians, government officials, and students. The importance of the city could not be underestimated.

Aside from its political and academic contribution to the country, the city is important to tourist. Annually, there are thousands of locals and foreigners visiting the capital.

There are guided tours in and around government buildings, fall in love with art galleries, get inspired with nature including the man-made lake, and of course no tourists should miss the famous Floriade Festival.

LOCATION

Canberra is the capital of Australia which is located at New South Wales. It is approximately 280 kilometers southwest of Sydney and 660 kilometers northeast of Melbourne. The city occupies a total area of 814.2 square kilometers.

CLIMATE

The experiences a dry continental climate which is characterized by warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters.

The hottest months are from December to February with temperatures ranging from 26 to 28 degrees Celsius. The coldest months are from June to August in which temperature drops to 0 degrees Celsius. The outskirts of the central business district experiences snow during winter which quickly dissolves.

TRANSPORTATION

Canberra is connected to other cities in New South Wales via plane, buses and trains.

Canberra International Airport serves as the easiest thoroughfare to the city. It serves domestic flights to and from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast, and Perth. There is little difference in time travel between air and land transportation. it takes approximately three hours by road from Sydney and seven hours by road from Melbourne.

Once in Canberra, the main means of transportation is via buses, bicycles, and car.

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Canberra International Airport (2)

WHAT TO SEE

Unlike other cities in Australia, the city of Canberra was planned: the buildings, monuments, museums, galleries, and even the man-made lake in the center. It was built and design as a fusion of esthetics and functionality.

Aside from the planned community, other amenities that tourists could enjoy are the garden, parks, and nature reserve. The garden city movement influenced the design and layout of the city of Canberra earning the title “bush capital.”

Here are a few of the must-see places in Canberra.

LAKE BURLEY GRIFFIN

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Lake Burley Griffin as seen from Black Mountain Tower (3)

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Hot air balloon flying over Lake Burley Griffin and National Carillon (4)

As mentioned earlier Canberra is a planned city with an artificial lake at the center known as Lake Burley Griffin. The artificial lake measures 11 kilometers long by 1.2 kilometers wide.

The lake’s depth ranges from 4 to 18 meters. Water flow is regulated by the Scrivener Dam. The lake is popular for activities such as rowing, fishing, and sailing.

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL

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Australian War Memorial (5)

In honor of their fallen heroes the government built the Australian War Memorial. It showcases gallery exhibits, memorabilia, personal stories, combat displays, research facilities and a sculpture garden. The memorial is divided into three: the Commemorative Area or shrine, Memorial’s galleries or museum, and Research Centre or records.

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

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Parliament House (6)

Perhaps the most prominent facility in Canberra is the Parliament House. The shape of the building was inspired by two boomerangs and an 81 meter flagpole at the center. There are guided tours that allow visitors to enter inside the parliament and see some of the rooms.

NATIONAL GALLERY OF AUSTRALIA

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National Gallery of Australia (7)

The National Gallery of Australia, formerly known as Australian National Gallery is the country’s national art museum. It is the home to at least 166,000 artworks making it the largest art museum in Australia. Some of the collection includes Australian art, western art, eastern art, modern art, Pacific art, photography, crafts, and a sculpture garden.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIA

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National Museum of Australia (8)

Another museum worth visiting is the National Museum of Australia. As a matter of fact, in 2005 and 2006 the museum was names as Australia’s Major Tourist Attraction by the Australian Tourism Awards.

The museum is all about Australia’s social history including 50,000 years of indigenous heritage, and key events such as Federation and the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Other exhibits in the museum include Aboriginal bark paintings, stone tools, bushrangers, and surf lifesaving.

QUESTACON – THE NATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER

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Quastacon (9)

An attraction fit for children as well as those young at heart is the Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre. The exhibit here include 200 interactive displays all connected with science and technology.

NATIONAL CARILLON

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National Carillon (10)

At the center of the artificial lake, Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial island known as Aspen Island. The most prominent and notable landmark of the island is the National Carillon. The National Carillion has a total of 55 bells each weighing seven kilograms and six tones.

BLACK MOUNTAIN TOWER

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Telstra Tower (11)

Telstra Tower or Telecom Tower is now known as Black Mountain Tower. Aside from being a telecommunication tower, it is an observation deck. Situated atop Black Mountain, it offers a panoramic view of the surroundings.

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL BOTANIC GARDENS

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Australian National Botanic Gardens (12)

If one wants to experience and see nature including Australian flora, one must visit the Australian National Botanic Gardens. It occupies a total of 90 hectares with over 5,500 species making it the largest collection of Australian vegetation. Aside from showcasing plants, the botanic garden is also used as a research and cultivating facility.

COMMONWEALTH PARK

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Commonwealth Park (13)

Another famous and loved attraction is Commonwealth Park. It occupies a total area of 34.25 hectares, including ponds, bike trails, sculptures, and more. It is famed for the annual spring Floriade festival.

FLORIADE FESTIVAL

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Floriade Festival in 2001

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Floriade in 2013 (14)

Canberra receives thousands of visitors annually especially during mid-September to mid-October which coincides with the Floriade Festival. Floriade Festival is also known as “Australia’s Celebration of Spring.” The first Floriade festival started in 1988, and since then, there had been an annual celebration at Commonwealth Park. The park is filled with flowers, sculptures and artistic features.

See more:

Canberra
http://www.visitcanberra.com.au

Canberra Tourism:
http://www.canberratourism.com.au

Explore:
http://www.australia.com/en/places/canberra.html

Ecstatic Globetrotter

RESOURCES:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canberra
http://wikitravel.org/en/Canberra
http://www.canberratourism.com.au/
http://www.floriadeaustralia.com/
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/australia/australian-capital-territory/canberra/sights
http://www.australia.com/en/places/canberra.html
http://www.australia.com/en/places/canberra/top-10-things-to-do.html

IMAGES:
1. JJ Harrison. Parliament House Canberra, Australia. July 2009. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
2. Bidgee. New terminal building at Canberra Airport. January 2011. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
3. JJ Harrison. Canberra from Black Mountain Tower. August 2009. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
4. Magnus Manske. Balloon and National Carillon. March 2007. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
5. Magnus Manske. Australian War Memorial. April 2008. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
6. Jjron. Parliament House, Canberra. September 2008. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
7. Nick-D. National Gallery of Australia. October 2012. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
8. Politas. National Museum of Australia. January 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
9. Bidgee. Questacon. January 2009. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
10. Bidgee. National Carillon. January 2009. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
11. Bidgee. Telstra Tower. January 2009. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
12. Fir0002. Rainforest walk national botanical gardens. December 2005. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
13. Magnus Bot. Commonwealth Park. August 2005. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.
14. Ashishlohorung. Floriade Canberra 2013. October 2013. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 4, 2015.

The Ultimate Euro Trip

Europe is swiftly becoming the most popular and most visited tourist destination in the world. In ancient Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess whom Zeus abducted after assuming the form of a dazzling white bull. So, Europe was a mythological queen of Crete, and not a geographical designation.

This great continent is endowed with its world renowned cities, with hundreds of years of history rubbing shoulders with modernism.

London is the capital and most populated city of England and the United Kingdom. London has so much to offer to tourists that one visit may not be enough to admire its beauty and splendor. The best way to go around this city is using the Tube.

The rapid transit system connects the entire city and you can use it to go from one attraction to the other easily. Here are a few of the popular attractions in London.

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The Buckingham Palace (1) is the London residence and primary workplace of the monarchy of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is frequently at the midpoint of state junctures and royal hospitality.

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British Museum (2)

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Churchill War Rooms (3)

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Tower of London (4)

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The London Eye (5)

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St. Paul’s Cathedral (6)

Rome, universally known as City of Seven Hills, is the capital of Italy and has a history that dates back to Julius Caesar. This city can indisputably enchant visitors with its enigma and magic. It is both transcendent and modern with museums and churches alongside designer storefronts and lustrous hotels.

The best way to go around this city is by foot as most of the tourist attractions are bunched together in areas that are at liberty of traffic. You can also use the metro or taxi to tour from one place to another. Tourist attractions in this city include the following:

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The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre is the largest amphitheater in the world, and is considered one of the paramount works of structural design and engineering. (7)

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Trevi Fountain (8)

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St. Peter’s Basilica (9)

Further captivating spots in Rome include the Basilica di San Clemente, Church of San Luigi dei Francesi, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Trastevere, Gianicolo Hill, Appian Way, Piazza Navona, Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, Campo de’ Fiori, , Roman Forum, Spanish Steps, Galleria Borghese, and Porta Portese.

Paris on the other hand is recognized as the City of Lights which entices millions of tourists each year. The city is renowned for fashion, food, world class museums and art collection. The popular attractions include :

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The Eiffel Tower

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Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris (10)

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Luxembourg Gardens

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Versailles Palace (11)

Aside from these, we also have Paris Catacombs, Centre Pompidou Musee du Louvre, Le Marais, Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre, Musee d’Orsay, Arc de Triomphe, Palais Garnier – Opera National de Paris, Pere-Lachaise Cemetery, Musée Rodin, and Champs-Élysées.

Amsterdam is tagged as the ultimate destination for romantic getaways, and the best way to get around this city is by using bicycles. The city includes the State Museum, Van Gogh Museum, Artis Zoo, The Resistance Museum, Nine Little Streets, Red Light District, Science Center NEMO, Zandvoort, and Museum Het Rembrandthuis. Amsterdam also showcases Vondelpark, the famous Anne Frank House, and the Heineken Experience.

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Vondelpark (12)

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Anne Frank House

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Heineken Experience

Berlin is a city that sprawls in an artistic renaissance. The immense architectural, historical and natural sights make it one of the most fascinating tourist spots in Europe. Attractions in this city include Viktoriapark, Berlin Zoo, Parliament Reichstag Building, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Tiergarten, Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz, Pergamonmuseum, TV Tower, Checkpoint Charlie Museum, East Side Gallery, and Charlottenburg Palace.

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Viktoriapark (13)

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Parliament Reichstag Building

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TV Tower

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Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Europe is a continent of dreams, and complete your Euro trip with these spectacular destinations.

See more:

Visit Europe
http://www.visiteurope.com/en/

Best Places to Visit in Europe:
http://travel.usnews.com/Rankings/Best_Europe_Vacations/

17 Most Amazing Places To Visit in Europe:
http://allwomenstalk.com/17-most-amazing-places-to-visit-in-europe

Raphy Salvador

Images:

1. http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/united-kingdom/images/36330804/title/united-kingdom-buckingham-palace-photo
2. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Museum
3. Churchill War Rooms http://eugene.kaspersky.com/2013/04/30/the-smell-of-history/
4. Tower of London en.wikipedia.org
5. London Eye sebizacharia.wordpress.com
6. St. Paul’s Cathedral www.boomsbeat.com
7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colosseum#/media/File:Colosseum_in_Rome,_Italy_-_April_2007.jpg
8. http://www.trevifountain.net/description.htm
9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Rome
10. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cath%C3%A9drale_Notre-Dame_de_Paris_2011.jpg
11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Versailles
12. https://cityguide2011.wordpress.com/tag/vondel-park/
13. http://www.snipview.com/q/Viktoriapark

Washington DC: the Capital of the United States of America

I have always dreamed of travelling, meeting new people, admiring their architecture, and immerse in their culture. And one of my dream vacation spot would be Washington DC.

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The most famous spots in Washington DC all in one shot: Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the United States Capitol

We have constantly seen Washington DC in movies and television as an icon and symbolism of the United States of America. These movies and shows have influenced majority of the people to visit such a strong and powerful nation. And I am no different from the rest of the crowd. I want to witness and admire the place that is an emblem of a great country.

So now, let me introduce to you, Washington DC.

WASHINGTON DC

Washington, District of Columbia or commonly called Washington “the District” or DC is the capital of the United States. Being the capital of a great nation, it is the seat of power. One could find historic buildings, important landmarks, monuments, and a lot more.

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The shot was taken in 2003 showing Washington DC with the Washington Monument in the foreground and the White House in the upper right

The capital district was established in 1790 under the Residence Act. According to this act, “a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is not part of any U.S. state.”

Thus, it was decided that the district was established in the East Coast. Both Maryland and Virginia gave a portion of their territory to establish the capital district. The newly established district was named Washington in honor of George Washington. Currently the total area of Washington DC is 68.3 square miles.

The city experiences a humid subtropical climate with four seasons: spring, fall, winter, and summer. During the winter season from December to February the city experiences snow with an average temperature of 3.3 degrees Celsius.

Summers occur during June to August with an average temperature of 26.6 degrees Celsius. Spring and fall are typically warm with temperatures averaging 15 degrees Celsius.

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Spring time by Washington Monument (1)

As mentioned, there are a lot of things to see in Washington. Listed below are some of the most popular places.

IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS

WHITE HOUSE

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The White House
Top: Northern façade; Bottom: Southern façade (2)

To top the list of important government buildings in Washington DC is the White House. This is the official residence and office of the President of the United States. The infrastructure was inspired by the neoclassical style. Throughout years addition and extension of the original building commenced and certain restoration were done.

The whole property is declared as a National Heritage Site.

UNITED STATES CAPITOL

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US Capitol at Washington DC

Aside from the White House, another famous attraction is the United States Capitol. The said building is the office of the legislative branch or the US Congress. Similar to the White House, the US Capitol was inspired by the neoclassical style.

WASHINGTON DC CITY HALL

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Washington DC City Hall (3)

Washington DC City Hall is also known as John A. Wilson District Building or simply Wilson Building, JAWB, or District Building. The building is used for municipal offices, office of the mayor and district council. It is one of Pennsylvania Avenue’s National Historic Site.

NATIONAL MONUMENTS AND MEMORIALS

WASHINGTON MONUMENT

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Washington Monument (4)

The most famous landmark aside from the White House and United States Capital, and a favorite background in movies is the Washington Monument. It is an column built on the National Mall (a national park) in honor of George Washington, the first American president.

The monument was built from marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss at a height of 554 feet and 7 and 11/32 inches or 169.045 meters making it the tallest obelisk in the world; it is also the tallest stone structure in the world. Having these two recognitions makes the column noteworthy of a visit.

LINCOLN MEMORIAL

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Aerial view of Lincoln Memorial

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Lincoln Memorial (5)

Right across the Washington Monument and on the western end of the National Mall one could find the Lincoln Memorial. It was built to commemorate President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the country. This had been the site of well-known speeches such as Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

The exterior of the building was inspired by Greek Doric temples. And inside one can see “a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln.” Also displayed inside are inscriptions of two of Lincoln’s most famous speeches: The Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address.

THOMAS JEFFERSON MEMORIAL

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Jefferson Memorial (6)

America would not be America if not for the Declaration of Independence which was drafted and written by Thomas Jefferson. Because of this important contribution, a memorial (Thomas Jefferson Memorial) was erected in honor of him. The said building followed a neoclassical design and was built on the Tidal Basin. In the middle of the building is a bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson.

VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial (7)

Aside from honoring precious presidents, America also honors those who fought hard during the war. The government built national memorials in the city, one of which is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial It spans a total of 3 acres which is divided in three parts: three soldier statue, the Vietnam Woman’s Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Among the three, the most famous is the latter.

NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL

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World War II Memorial (8)

Another famous memorial place, which is also located on the National Mall is National World War II Memorial. This was built in honor of the American members of the armed forces and civilians who served during World War II. The memorial consists of 56 pillars and two triumphal arches built around a plaza and fountain.

PARKLAND

About 19 percent or 7,464 acres of the city are parks.

NATIONAL MALL

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Aerial view of National Mall including the Lincoln Monument, Washington Monument, and US Capitol

For several times the place National Mall had been mentioned. It is well known to be the location of Washington Monument, Lincoln Monument, the Reflecting Pool, National World War II Memorial,and the US Capitol. Annually it receives about 24 million tourists.

ROCK CREEK PARK

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Beach Drive in fall

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Rock Creek

The most famous is Rock Creek Park which occupies 1,754 acres. The said park is an urban forest at the northwestern region. One could find various species such as the raccoon, deer, owls, and coyotes. Tourists could enjoy various recreational activities including golf, tennis, walking, hikes, and picnics. This is the fourth-oldest national park in the country.

MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES

A city is not complete without museums and libraries that showcase the rich historical past and the visions of the future of the city. Libraries were also built to help young minds learn. Lucky for Washington DC, there are a number of museums and libraries, most of which have free entrance fees. Here we have listed a few of the museums that are a must see.

NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART

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The West building of the National Gallery of Art, with the East Building and the United States Capitol visible behind and to the left

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

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National Museum of Natural History (9)

NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM (NASM)

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National Air and Space Museum (10)

NATIONAL ARCHIVES

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National Archives

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

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Library of Congress (11)

See More:

Official Tourism Site:
http://washington.org/

Washington D.C.
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/washington-dc

Washington D.C. Travel Guide:
http://www.fodors.com/world/north-america/usa/district-of-columbia/washington-dc/

Ecstatic Globetrotter

References:
Lonely Planet
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/washington-dc
Trip Advisor:
http://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/Attractions-g28970-Activities-Washington_DC_District_of_Columbia.html
Washington DC
http://washington.org/
Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_D.C.

IMAGES:
1. Patrick Neil. Cherry Blossoms and Washington Monument. April 2007. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 12, 2015.
2. Agnostic Preachers Kid. White House north and south sides. 2008/2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 12, 2015.
3. UpstateNYer. Wilson building. May 2007. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 12, 2015.
4. Diliff. Washington Monument. January 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 12, 2015.
5. Rocket000. Lincoln Memorial. August 2007. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 12, 2015.
6. Jovianeye. Jefferson Memorial. October 2011. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 12, 2015.
7. SreeBot. Vietnam Veterans Memorial. May 2004. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 12, 2015.
8. Sharnnielsen. World War II Memorial. February 2013. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 12, 2015.
9. National Museum of Natural History. December 2008. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 12, 2015.
10. Cybjorg. National Air and Space Museum. May 2005. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 12, 2015.
11. Carolhi. Library of Congress. June 2011. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 12, 2015.

TASMANIA: Paradise Down South

Get ready to go on an epic adventure down south – Australia.

As mentioned in previous articles, Australia is a go to place for relaxation and fun. But unlike previous mentioned Australian cities, the next place we would tour is an island just south of the mainland – TASMANIA.

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Tasmania highlighted in red (1)

TASMANIA

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Cradle Mountain as seen from the north across Dove Lake (2)

How do you feel after seeing the above photo? For me, I feel relaxed and relived. And that is just what Tasmania offers its tourists: a uniquely relaxing and breathtaking place. But there is much more that the island has to offer. Tourists would definitely be dazzled and fall in love for the unique charm the island has to offer.

GEOGRAPHY

Tasmania is one of the states in Australia, and the only one not on the mainland. It is situated 240 kilometers southeast of Australia’s mainland being separated by the Bass Strait. Surrounding the island are the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The state includes 334 smaller islands plus the main island which occupies a total of 68,401 square kilometers making it the 26th largest island in the world. The northernmost islet of the state is Boundary Islet, a nature reserve. And the southernmost island of the state and country are Bishop and Clerk Islets.

The island state has many jagged peaks and mountains. The highest peak is Mount Ossa with a height of 1,617 meters. As a matter of fact, it is the most mountainous state in the country. Within the island one could get to admire the forests and rivers.

CLIMATE

There are four distinct seasons in Tasmania: summer, autumn, winter, and spring. Summer occurs from December to February with temperatures reaching 24 degrees Celsius. Autumn is from March and May. Winter occurs from June to August which is the coldest months in the state. And lastly, spring which happens from September to November; these months are the windiest in the whole year.

TRANSPORTATION

The best way to enter the state is via air. There are a number of airports within Tasmania namely Hobart International Airport, Launceston Airport, Burnie, King Island, and Devonport. The following airlines have daily flights to and out of the city: Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, Qantas QantasLink, and Regional Express Airlines.

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Hobart Airport (3)

Another mode of entry is via sea ports. There are several cruise ships that sail to the port of Hobart. Other sea ports on the island include Burnie and Devonport. Passenger vehicles are also being serviced to and from Australia’s mainland via the Bass Strait.

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Spirit of Tasmania at Port Melbourne on route to Tasmania (4)

Once within on the island the main mode of transportation is via road. Rail road transport is also available.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO

Almost half of the state, 45 percent, is considered reserves, national parks, and World Heritage Sites. Here we have listed a few tourist places that visitors should not miss. So sit back, relax, and let us take you to a paradise down south.

HOBART

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Hobart (5)

Travelling to Tasmania, one could not miss Hobart, the capital of the state. Hobart is the second oldest city in Australia. Aside from being a financial and administrative city of Tasmania, Hobart is a tourist destination.

The city itself has a lot of activities that tourists could enjoy. These include a trip to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, a hike to Mount Wellington, and see the famous Tasman Bridge.

• Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
The botanical garden is the second oldest in the country. It is the home a wide variety of plants.

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Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

• Mount Wellington
A prominent feature and the backdrop of the city is Mount Wellington. It has a height of 1,271 meters. This mountain range has attracted a number of mountaineers all across the globe.

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Mount Wellington (6)

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Organ Pipes in Mount Wellington (7)

• Tasman Bridge
Aside from being an important landmark and attraction, Tasman Bridge links the two shores of Hobart, crossing over Derwent River. The bridge spans a total of 1,395 meters.

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Tasman Bridge (8)

CRADLE MOUNTAIN-LAKE ST CLAIR NATIONAL PARK

125 kilometers northwest of Hobart one could find Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. The place is well-known for the walking trails and hikes. The said national park is famous for the Cradle Mountain, Barn Bluff, Mount Pelion East, Mount Pelion West, Mount Oakleigh, Mount Ossa, and at the center is Lake St Clair.

Of course there are a number of different plant and animal species living in the area. Due to the uniqueness the park was declared a Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

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The Pelion Range from Mount Oakleigh, Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair National Park (9)

SOUTHWEST NATIONAL PARK

Another national park in Tasmania is Southwest National Park. As the name implies the national park is at the southwest of the main island.

With an area of 6,182.67 square kilometers, it is the largest national park. It is also declared as one of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The park is best known for its wilderness and remoteness.

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Southwest National Park (10)

TARKINE

On the northwestern part of the island, one could see Tarkine. Tarkine is the largest temperate rainforest in the country occupying 3,800 square kilometers. The park is being taken care of by environmental non-government organizations. According to the Australian Heritage Council, it is “one of the world’s great archeological regions” due to extensive Aboriginal sites.

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Tarkine (11)

FREYCINET NATIONAL PARK

Another national park worth mentioning is Freycinet National Park. The said park is on the eastern coast. Included in this national park are Coles Bay and Wineglass Bay. As a matter of fact, Wineglass Bay is known to be one of the world’s best ten beaches. It is also well-known for the “Hazards” – red and pink granite formations and a series of jagged granite peaks.

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Wineglass Bay (12)

FRANKLIN-GORDON WILD RIVERS

Tasmania is filled with national parks. To the west of Hobart is Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers. This national park is known due to the two bounding rivers: Franklin and Gordon River.

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Nelson Falls in Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers (13)

TAMAR VALLEY

Since you are visiting Tasmania, do not forget about Tamar Valley. The valley is located on both sides of Tamar River. The most famous attraction is Tamar Valley Wineroute wherein visitors have a rare opportunity to tour the vineyards. Tamar Ridge Wines is the most distinguished vineyard in the area.

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Tamar River (14)

HASTINGS CAVES STATE RESERVE

Aside from mountains, rivers, bays, and forests, Tasmania also has caves. The most prominent set of caves are Hastings Caves State Reserve situated 125 kilometers south of Hobart. This is actually a complex of caves with a number of hot springs. The largest dolomite cave that is accessible to the public is Newdegate Cave. The said cave is 5 kilometers away from Lune River (a fossil and gem center).

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Hastings Caves (15)

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Newdegate Cave (16)

See more:

Website:
http://www.discovertasmania.com.au/

Tasmania:
http://www.australia.com/en/places/tas.html

Quick Facts and Images:
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/583912/Tasmania

Ecstatic Globetrotter

REFERENCES:
http://www.discovertasmania.com.au/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmania
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/australia/tasmania

IMAGES:
1. TUBS. Tasmania in Australia. October 2011. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
2. Bjorn Christian Torrissen. Cradle Mountain as seen from the north across Dove Lake. December 2008. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
3. YSSYguy. Hobart Airport. November 2008. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
4. JJ Harrison. The Spirit of Tasmania at Port Melbourne on route to Tasmania. N.d. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
5. Ian. Hobart. March 2014. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
6. Aaroncrick. Mount Wellington. July 2008. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
7. Graeme Bartlett. Organ Pipes in Mount Wellington. August 2008. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
8. Ian. Tasman Bridge. April 2011. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
9. JJ Harrison. The Pelion Range from Mount Oakleigh, Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair National Park. N.d. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
10. JJ Harrison. Southwest National Park. December 2009. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
11. Seeboundy. Tarkine. May 2007. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
12. JJ Harrison. Wineglass Bay. December 2009. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
13. JJ Harrison. Nelson Falls. January 2010. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
14. ScottDavis. Tamar River. September 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
15. Magnus Manske. Hastings Caves. January 2012. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.
16. Poco a poco. Newdegate Cave. December 2010. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. March 8, 2015.

Prayer warriors in pink

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The Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters are publicly known as The Pink Sisters. They are fondly termed as the Pink Sisters because of their rose pink-colored habit, which they wear to honor the Holy Spirit, although they can only be seen behind the iron grills of the altar.

The nuns’ presence in the chapel gives the place an even more revered ambiance. It further influences visitors to bow their heads and kneel before God. If you feel like rushing and you want the nuns to help you pray, there are boxes on both sides of the chapel where you can drop a piece of paper of your prayer intentions.

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Their convent was established by St. Arnold Janssen together with Mother Maria Michael and Blessed Maria Virgo on 1896 in Holland. The Adoration Chapel of the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters is famous in Tagaytay because of their frequent visitors, from priests, seminarians, nuns and thousands of pilgrims and adorers of the Blessed Sacrament from all over the Philippines and even other Catholic nationalities.

The Pink Sisters Convent is located at the Holy Spirit Drive in Barangay Maitin, Tagaytay City. The Pink Sisters first came to the Philippines via the invitation of Bishop Alfredo Versoza, who is considered as the first Filipino bishop of Lipa, 10 pioneer sisters, 5 Germans and 5 Americans from Philadelphia, who arrived in Manila in 1923.

They stayed in the convent of the “Blue Sisters” (Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit), which they consider as their “sister order”, before going to their convent in Lipa, Batangas.

The humid and inconvenient weather of Batangas didn’t suit the Pink Sisters and many of them got ill. Because of this, the Pink Sisters were relocated to Baguio City which is the Summer Capital of the Philippines, currently one of the many convents of the Pink Sisters in the country.

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The convent was established through the Society of Divine Word, Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters and Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters all founded by Saint Arnold Janssen.

Also, the best contribution visitors can give to the monastery is the act of purchasing their souvenir items and the must-have Pink Sister Cloister Cookies which happen to be their trademark delicacy. The cookies are personally made by the sisters and they really taste divine.

One thing to keep in mind when entering the Pink Sisters’ Convent in Tagaytay is that, it is a holy place. The sisters live a life of silence and contemplation and it is disrespectful if you are boisterous or cause disturbance.

Phones should be turned off or be on silent mode and taking of photos are also discouraged. You should also wear modest clothing.

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Silence fosters prayer and allows us to contemplate deeply. The Pink Sisters Convent is a good place for prayer. Another plus is that you are praying in front of the Most Holy Eucharist.

Thus, you are praying directly to Jesus Christ when you pray inside this convent. Another reason why many people flock to Pink Sisters’ convent is that many people say that it is a miraculous place and that their personal intentions were answered after they prayed with the Pink Sisters. The Convent has daily masses and Sunday masses.

Daily masses: 6:30 AM
Daily vespers or benediction: 5:00 PM
Sunday mass: 7:30 AM. and 5:00 PM (with Vespers)
First Saturday mass: 4:15 PM

See More:

Adoration Convent Of Divine Mercy Tagaytay, Philippines
http://www.generalatesspsap.com/convents/17tagaytay.htm

General Information:
http://pinksisterstagaytay.freehostia.com/founding_generation.html

Raphy Salvador

The Scenic View of Batanes, Philippines

When visiting places, it is not enough that we see the city – the tall skyscrapers, hustle and bustle of people, and man-made architectural beauty. We should try to immerse ourselves in the rural landscape – mountainous tops, hospitable native tribes, and natural beauty.

And in the Philippines one rural landscape that should be seen by both Filipinos and foreigners is Batanes.

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Hill in Batanes (1)

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Cows roaming the green hills in Batanes (2)

PROVINCE OF BATANES

The northernmost and smallest province in the Philippines is BATANES. It is an island province consisting of ten islands. Out of the ten islands, only three are inhabited which happens to be the largest islands in the area; these include the islands Batan, Itbayat, and Sabtang.

The islands are approximately 162 kilometers north of Luzon Island (one of the three main islands in the Philippines) and 190 kilometers south of Taiwan.

CLIMATE

Batanes experiences a fair share amount of rain. The rainiest month is during August, while April is the driest month. Temperature ranges from 22 to 28.5 degrees Celsius.

DEMOGRAPHICS

The natives of the province are known as Ivatan – a mixture of Babuyan (natives from the Cagayan Valley, Philippines) and Tao people (natives from Orchid Island, Taiwan).

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An Ivatan woman wearing a vakul, an abaca fiber-made headgear for sunlight and rain protection (3)

There are two main languages in the province. Ivatan is used on Batan and Sabtang Islands, while Itbayaten is used in Itbayat Island.

Traditional homes in Batanes are made out of limestone. These are sturdy materials that could withstand extreme environmental conditions in the province.

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An Ivatan house: walls made of limestone and coral while rood is made from cogon grass (4)

TRANSPORTATION

The best way to reach the province is via place. There are two airports in the province: Basco Airport and Itabayat Airport. However there are limited number of flight from Manila (the country’s capital) and Tuguegarao.

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Basco Airport (5)

PLACES OF INTEREST

BASCO

Basco is the provincial capital of Batanes and located on Batan Island. One of the domestic airports could be found here. It is a main entry and exit point to the province. Majority of the people live here.

BASCO LIGHTHOUSE

The most notable landmark in Batanes is the Basco Lighthouse. The beauty of the surrounding blended with the magnificent lighthouse makes it a picturesque scene. The lighthouse itself stands at 66 feet or six-story.

The fifth floor is used as a viewing deck for tourists. From the viewing deck one could admire the scenery of the ocean, hills, as well as neighboring islands. Surrounding the lighthouse are Ivatan houses.

Basco Lighthouse is just one of the three lighthouses built in Batanes to guide seafarers and serves as an attraction sight. The other two lighthouses are located at Mahatao (Tayid Lighthouse) and Sabtang Island (Sabtang Lighthouse).

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Basco Lighthouse (6)

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Basco Lighthouse (7)

SANTO DOMINGO CHURCH

Aside from the city proper and the lighthouse, tourists should not miss Santo Domingo Church or Basco Cathedral. The church was built in dedication to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception but the name of the church was obtained from the patron saint of Batanes who was Saint Domingo.

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Sto. Domingo Church (8)

MOUNT IRAYA

Mount Iraya on Batan Island is one of the active volcanoes in the country. The place is perfect for mountaineers and adventure seekers.

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Mount Iraya (9)

SAN JOSE DE IVANA CHURCH

A famous church in Batan Island is San Jose de Ivana Church or simply Ivana Church. Spaniards had a large impact in Christianity to the province. Because of this influence, a roman catholic church in dedication to Saint Joseph was established. In 2008 the church is a National Historical Landmark.

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Ivana Church (10)

SAN CARLOS BORROMEO CHURCH

Another church in Batan Island is San Carlos Borromeo Church, also known as Mahatao Church. The church is dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo whose feast day is celebrated every Fourth of July. In 2001, the church was declared a National Cultural Treasure.

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San Carlos Borromeo Church (11)

SABTANG

Sabtang is the southernmost island municipality in Batanes Province. Well-known attractions of the municipality include the lighthouse, churches, and white beaches.

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San Vicente Ferrer Church (12)

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White sand beach in Sabtang Island, Batanes, Philippines

VALUGAN BOULDER BEACH

Aside from fine white sand beaches, Batanes also offers a unique beach front. Instead of the usual fine white sand, tourists are greeted by boulders of igneous rocks. Swimming is not advisable in this part of the beach but, taking photographs during sunrise is perfect.

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Valuga Beach (13)

See more:

It’s More Fun In The Philippines – Batanes
http://itsmorefuninthephilippines.com/batanes/

Beautiful Batanes: 10 Things To Do
http://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/30732-batanes-10-things

Batanes Islands
http://www.philsite.net/batanes.htm

Ecstatic Globetrotter

REFERENCES:
“15 Must Visit Spots in Batanes.” Of Trips and Travel Notes. 3 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <https://banebanerbanest.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/15-must-visit-spots-in-batanes/>.
“Batanes.” Its More Fun in the Philippines RSS. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://itsmorefuninthephilippines.com/batanes/>.
“Batanes.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batanes>.
“Pinoy Adventurista : THINGS TO DO IN BATANES: Batan Island North Tour – “Amazing Places to Visit, Tourist Spots and Attractions in Basco, Batanes”” Pinoyadventurista.com. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://www.pinoyadventurista.com/2014/01/things-to-do-in-batanes-batan-north-tour.html>.
“Places to See | Your Personalized Tour Operator for Batanes. ” We Make Everything Affordable” | BCTA.” Your Personalized Tour Operator for Batanes We Make Everything Affordable. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://batanestravel.com/discover-batanes-2/places-to-see/>.
“Province of Batanes Tourism.” And Vacations: 19 Things to Do in Province of Batanes. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/Tourism-g1189840-Province_of_Batanes_Cagayan_Valley_Region_Luzon-Vacations.html>.
“Twelve Sights in Batanes You Shouldn’t Miss.” GMA News Online. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/224115/lifestyle/twelve-sights-in-batanes-you-shouldn-t-miss>.

IMAGES:
1. Bingbing. Hills in Batanes, Philippines. April 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.
2. Bingbing. Cows roaming the green hills in Batanes, Philippines. April 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.
3. Jimenez, Anne. An Ivatan woman. April 2007. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.
4. Jimenez, Anne. Oldest house in Ivatan, Batanes. April 2007. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.
5. Tharty. Basco Airport. June 2010. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.
6. Bingbing. Basco Lighthouse, Batanes, Philippines. April 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.
7. Bingbing. A lighthouse in Basco, Batanes, Philippines. April 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.
8. KisekiLacroix. Sto Domingo Church, Batanes. May 2014. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.
9. Davocol, Ardie. Mt. Iraya Batanes, Philippines. September 2012. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.
10. Ivana Church. September 2013. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.
11. KisekiLacroix. San Carlos Borromeo Church. May 2014. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.
12. Rjruizii. San Vicente Ferrer Church. September 2011. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.
13. Jimenez, Anne. Rocky shore in Valuga Beach. April 2007. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 22, 2015.

Green Pastures in New Zealand

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Milford Sound in New Zealand – a famous tourist destination

From time to time, New Zealand has been named as a must-visit country. There are a lot of different reasons to come and visit this place. There are limitless green pastures that can take ones breath away.

The coastlines are stunning and give a panoramic view of the exquisite beaches and crystal clear seas. Other sights to see are the extraordinary geysers and majestic snow-capped mountains. Let us not forget about the forests, oceans and all its inhabitants including but not limited to the penguin, whales, and seals.

The citizens show great discipline that they can maintain cleanliness and preserve the natural beauty. It is a tourist-friendly country. The people are very welcoming and accommodating to anyone.
So come, let us travel to a beautiful country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean named NEW ZEALAND.

OVERVIEW of NEW ZEALAND

GEOGRAPHY

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Whanganui River on the North Island (1)

The beautiful island country of New Zealand could be found in southwestern Pacific Ocean. It is approximately 1500 kilometers east of Australia. It is a long and narrow island, about 2,000 kilometers long and a width of 400 kilometers at the most.

The total land area is 268,000 square kilometers; and the coastline extends up to 15,000 kilometers. There are two main islands: North Island or Te Ika-a-Maui and South Island or Te Waipounamu.

These two islands are separated by Cook. There are also surrounding smaller islands such as Stewart Island, Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island, d’Urville Island, and Waiheke Island. The islands compose of mountains, volcano, lake.

CLIMATE

The best time to travel to New Zealand is the months October to April which is considered summer. Winter time in New Zealand is also popular due to winter sports and activities such as skiing and snowboarding.

DEMOGRAPHY

Majority of the population, 74 percent are European descendants. The remaining percentages are Asians and Pacific peoples. The citizens are called New Zealander or Kiwi.

Almost all could speak English, with a few who can speak and understand Maori and Samoan. Other languages spoken include French, Hindi, Yue, and Chinese.

The predominant religion in the country is Christianity including Anglicanism, Presbyterianism, and Methodism. The minority include Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.

TRANSPORTATION

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Transport infrastructure from Wellington, New Zealand (2)

The best way to get in is via plane. There are a total of 113 airports in the whole of New Zealand. The main airport is at Auckland Airport which is an international airport that serves millions of tourists annually. Other main airports include Christchurch Airport and Wellington Airport. The national airline and flag carrier of the country is Air New Zealand and caters to flights to 15 countries.

New Zealand is an island country with a long coastline, due to this water transportation is very common. One example of water transportation is between the two main islands: North and South Island. Although the Cook Strait measures 24 kilometers wide, this would require a 70 kilometer ferry trip to transverse.

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Cook Strait ferry (3)

Ferries are also available at the Bay of Islands, Rawene, Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Marlborough Sounds, Lyttelton, Bluff, and Halfmoon Bay.

Railroad system in the country is comparable to other first world countries. Trains in New Zealand can travel from one city to another.

But for those under budget, travelling by buses is the most affordable and easiest.

PLACES TO SEE

Tourism is very important to the government of New Zealand. The tourism slogan of the country is “clean, green” adventure playground. With all the green pastures and panoramic scenery, the slogan is apt. A few of the beautiful and must see places are listed here.

MILFORD SOUND

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Mitre Peak, Milford Sound (4)

On South Island one could find Milford Sound a fiord. It encompasses Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi Marine Reserve, and Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. Peaks can reach as high as 1,500 meters. A few of the wildlife that could be found in the area includes seals, penguins, dolphins, whales, and birds. In 2008 it was awarded by TripAdvisor as Travelers’ Choice Destinations.

TOTARANUI

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Totaranui, Abel Tasman National Park (5)

New Zealand has a few of the best coastlines in the world, one of which is Totaranui. This is a one kilometer long beach and a popular campsite. Tourists love the beach due to the sands golden color.

BAY OF ISLANDS

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Dolphin watching by the bay

Bay of Islands could be found on North Island. It is very famous a fishing and sailing area. It is also a popular destination to see and watch dolphins.

TONGARIRO ALPINE CROSSING

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View from the summit over the Emerald Lakes, across the Central Crater to Blue Lake (6)

Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the tourist destinations in Tongariro National Park. It is one of the most popular hiking areas. Hiking on this area can lead tourists to the multi-cratered active volcano in Mount Tangariro. One must be physically fit when taking this hike since it is 19.4 kilomters long.

WAITOMO CAVES

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Ruakuri Cave entrance at Waitomo (7)

Another attraction on North Island is Waitomo Caves. It is a popular place for those seeking adventure and willing to climb through caves.

MOUNT COOK

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Mount Cook (8)

The highest point in New Zealand is at South Island and named Mount Cook with a height of 3,724 meters. It is a perfect place for mountaineers.

LAKE TEKAPO

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Lake Takapo (9)

Another must see at New Zealand are the lakes. There are three parallel lakes in South Island; the second largest lake is Lake Tekapo measuring 83 square kilometers. The hotels and resorts surrounding the lake give a perfect and relaxing view of the place.

NINETY MILE BEACH

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Ninety Mile Beach (10)

The country also offers numerous beaches, one of which is the Ninety Mile Beach in North Island. The actual length of the beach is 55 miles or 90 kilometers. Tourists visiting the beach would love the sand dunes.

See more:

New Zealand Travel and New Zealand Business
http://www.newzealand.com/

New Zealand Official Tourism Site
http://www.newzealand.com/us/

New Zealand Travel Guide
http://wikitravel.org/en/New_Zealand

Ecstatic Globetrotter

References
“New Zealand.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 21 Feb. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand>.
“New Zealand Travel | Places to Visit in New Zealand.” Places to Visit in New Zealand. Web. 21 Feb. 2015. <http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/australasia/new-zealand/>.
“Places to Visit in New Zealand – Plan Your New Zealand Vacation.” New Zealand Destinations: Auckland, Wellington. Web. 21 Feb. 2015. <http://www.newzealand.com/int/destinations/>.
“Touropia.” Touropia. Web. 21 Feb. 2015. <http://www.touropia.com/tourist-attractions-in-new-zealand/>.
“Tourism in New Zealand.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 21 Feb. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_New_Zealand<.

Images:
1. Shook, James. The picture shows the Whanganui River on the North Island of New Zealand. January 2005. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 21, 2015.
2. Capper, Philip. Transport infrastructure from Wellington, New Zealand. April 2005. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 21, 2015.
3. Dignan, James. The Cook Strait ferry. February 2000. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 21, 2015.
4. Maros Mraz. Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, New Zealand. January 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 21, 2015.
5. Hillebrand, Steffen. Totaranui, Abel Tasman National Park. 2007. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 21, 2015.
6. Yogi de. View from the summit over the Emerald Lakes, across the Central Crater to Blue Lake. 2004. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 21, 2015.
7. Shook, James. Ruakuri Cave entrance in Waitomo. October 2005. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 21, 2015.
8. C.M. Lynch. Mount Cook. N.d. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 21, 2015.
9. Price, Adrian. Lake Tekapo. January 2009. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 21, 2015.
10. MartinRe. Ninety Mile Beach. May 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 21, 2015.

Adirondack Park

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The Adirondack Park is a openly shielded, oval-shaped field including much of the northeastern lobe of Upstate New York, United States. It is the biggest park and the largest state-level protected area in the contiguous United States, and the largest National Historic Landmark. From sparkling sunrise to alpenglow sunset – experience one of the most action-packed winters on the East Coast in New York’s Adirondacks.

This is where rolling fields and wooded trails are second homes to cross-country skiers and snowshoers, where snowmen are made, and snowball battles waged. This is where, regardless of skill or experience, you can become the skier or rider you were meant to be.

Adventure awaits on the slopes, on the ice and at festivals long-cherished and much anticipated. The Adirondack Park is the only wild lands preserve in the U.S whose fate is decided by the voters of NY, the state which it resides in.

History

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Native American Tribes, such as the Iroquois, Huron, Algonquian people, and Mohawk people, hardly occupied the Adirondack Mountains for most of the 1500-1700s, battling for authority of the land particularly for hunting intentions.

Even though there is a proof to back up the European associate with nationals through the fishing trade, the first documented European contact with a native group was a French trailblazer by the name Jacques Cartier in 1534. The Adirondack Park is a very exclusive parcel of land, and has been for a couple of years.

The Adirondacks are the only mountains in the eastern part of the United States that are not geographically Appalachian. In the late 19th century, it was acknowledged as the most distinguished resort field in the country.

In the 1900s, the Adirondacks evolved into the only area in the western hemisphere to anchor two Winter Olympic Games. The first gathering of the Adirondack forests started quickly after the English replaced the Dutch as the landlords of New Netherlands and alternated its name to New York.

Deforestation movement produce resources, opened up land for agriculture, and detached the lid that brought a sanctuary for Indians. This devastation of Adirondack forests became a growing concern after 1850, as the continued depletion of watershed woodlands reduced the soil’s ability to hold water, hastening topsoil erosion and exaggerating periods of flooding.

Lumbering was not alone in depriving the forest: the tanning industry exhausted the hemlock; the paper industry used spruce and fir; and the charcoal industry absorbed wood of all sizes and shapes. 1885: The Forest Preserve “Had I my way, I would mark out a circle of a hundred miles in diameter, and throw around it the looking after protection of the nature.

I would make it a forest forever. It would be an offense to hack down a tree and a crime to clear an a piece of land within its borders.”

Climate

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the Adirondack Mountains screens 6.1 million acres of densely forested tops, sweeping valleys and charming lakefront locals. The region has four different periods and though the weather can be cool during much of the year, inhabitants and guests don’t let cold temperatures keep them off the backpacking tracks.

The weather alters related with climate change — a more unpredictable but normally warmer climate year round in the Adirondack Park — put at risk ecological processes, usual neighborhoods and local worldly and marine groups in the Adirondacks. Summers in the Adirondacks are warm but not hot.

What to do in Adirondack Park

The Adirondack Park presents brands of recreational and amusing leisure which can additionally discovered in Tourism and recreation in the Adirondack Mountains.

• Museums

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• Mountain Biking to Micro-Breweries

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• Coast Regional Attractions

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• Lake George Regional Attractions

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See more:

Official Adirondack Region Tourism Site
http://visitadirondacks.com/

About the Adirondack Park
http://apa.ny.gov/about_park/

Adirondack Park – National Geographic magazine
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/09/adirondack-park/klinkenborg-text

Archie Fegidero

Visiting Melbourne, Australia

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Night skyline of Melbourne (1)

There are a lot of beautiful places to see in the “land down under.” In two previous articles we have mentioned Sydney the central business district as well as the surrounding. Now we would proceed a little bit to the south of New South Wales to the state of Victoria.

VICTORIA

Victoria is located on southeast of mainland Australia. With a land area of 237,629 square kilometers, making it the smallest state on the mainland. Despite the size Victoria is a state packed with a lot of adventures, attractions and cultures. There is a lot to do, from the beaches, national parks, forests, lakes and many, many more.

With all these, it is no wonder that there is a sudden population increase in the state. In 2014, the state had a total population of almost 6 million, making it the second most populated state. Majority of the people could be found in MELBOURNE, the capital of the state.

MELBOURNE

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Melbourne Central Business District (2)

Melbourne is a city well-loved by both locals and tourists. It has a huge impact in terms of culture; Australian dances, film industry, impressionist art, and television industry began here.

UNESCO declared Melbourne a City of Literature which is only one of five in the world. Aside from art, Melbourne is a colorful community, lined with delectable restaurants, relaxing cafes, fashionable clothing stores, and hip bars.

Melbourne is a city like no other. So get ready to immerse yourself into something unique.

OVERVIEW OF MELBOURNE

TRANSPORTATION

The city could easily be accessed by tourists through Melbourne Airport also known as Tullamarine airport. The said airport is the second busiest in the country. Other airports in the city that tourists could fly in and out are Moorabbin Airport, and Essendon Airport.

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Air traffic control tower of Melbourne Airport (3)

Another point of entry is at the Port of Melbourne.

Getting around the city is easy, thanks to the broad and extensive transport network. Trains, suburban stations, trams, and buses are located across the city that makes commuting in the city easy.

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Tram on Swanston Street

CLIMATE

Melbourne generally experiences oceanic climate. There are sudden whether changes from time to time; be prepared and bring an umbrella and jacket.

The hottest months are from December to February with an average temperature of 18 to 20 degrees Celsius. The coldest months are from June to August with an average temperature of 10 degrees Celsius.

DEMOGRAPHICS

Majority of the residents (63.3%) in Melbourne were born in Australia. The remaining residents are from United Kingdom, India, China, Italy, and New Zealand.

Aside from English, residents speak other languages such as Greek, Chinese, Italian, and Vietnamese.

There is no specific religion in the city. Although majority of the population are Catholics followed by Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox, Buddhist, and Muslims.

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St. Paul Church (4)

PLACES TO SEE

MELBOURNE MUSEUM

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Melbourne Museum (5)

One could appreciate natural and cultural history at Melbourne Museum. Construction was finished in 2001. The museum is a place for learning about Melbourne’s history, culture and society.

To date, the museum is the largest in the southern hemisphere. There are a total of seven main galleries, a children’s gallery, and a temporary exhibit gallery. Aside from these galleries there is an amphitheater, theater, discovery center, café, and souvenir shop.

ROYAL EXHIBITION BUILDING

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Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building (East Side)

The Royal Exhibition Building is located adjacent to the Melbourne Museum. It was built in 1880 to hold the Melbourne International Exhibition. In 1901, it served to host the opening of the first Parliament of Australia. UNESCO declared the building as a World Heritage Site in 2004.

NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA

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National Gallery of Victoria (6)

The National Gallery of Victoria was built in 1861 making it the oldest public art museum in the country. Art collections came from all across the globe: both donated and bought. There are more than 70,000 artworks exhibited here.

AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART

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Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Malthouse Theatre on the right (7)

Aside from classical art pieces, Melbourne showcases contemporary art as seen in the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA). This one of a kind architectural building was completed in 2002. ACCA is used for various performances and exhibition spaces. In 2003 the building was awarded with the Institutional Architecture Award and National Award.

SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE

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Shrine of Remembrance from the north displaying the eternal flame

The Shrine of Remembrance was built in 1934 in memory to those Victorians who died in World War I. It is one of the largest war memorials built in Australia.

In front of the memorial is an eternal flame which signifies eternal life. It is permanently lit whole year round. Twice a year (ANZAC Day on April 25 and Remembrance Day on November 11), citizens are gathered at the site in remembrance of those who died.

SEA LIFE MELBOURNE AQUARIUM

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Melbourne Aquarium (8)

Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium is an attraction in Melbourne that is suitable to all ages. There are more than 550 species with at least 10,000 sea animals.

QUEEN VICTORIA MARKET

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Façade of Queen Victoria Market

There are a number of shopping destinations here in Melbourne. One of which is Queen Victoria Market or the locals call is Vic Market. The market covers a large area of seven hectares making it the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere. The marketplace was built in the 19th century and still stands to this date. The market is listed under the Victorian Heritage Register.

PRINCESS THEATRE

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Princess Theatre (9)

Another prominent attraction is the Princess Theatre along the East End Theatre District. It was built in 1854 and has a seating capacity of 1488. This building is listed in the Victorian Heritage Register and National Trust of Australia.

Ecstatic Globetrotter

References:
“Home – Tourism Victoria.” Home – Tourism Victoria. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <http://www.tourism.vic.gov.au/>.
“Melbourne.” Travel Guide. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <http://wikitravel.org/en/Melbourne>.
“Melbourne.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne>.
“Melbourne, Australia – Visitmelbourne.com – Official Travel and Accommodation Site.” Tourism Victoria Home. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <http://www.visitmelbourne.com/>.
“Victoria (Australia).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_(Australia)>.
“Victoria (state).” Victoria Travel Guide. Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <http://wikitravel.org/en/Victoria_(state)>.
Web. 18 Feb. 2015. <http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/>.

Images:
1. Glickman, Alfred. Night skyline of Melbourne from Brighton marina. April 2013. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 18, 2015.
2. Donaldytong. Looking across Hobsons Bay towards the Melbourne central business district. May 2007. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 18, 2015.
3. Wongm, Marcus Wong. United Airlines Boeing 747 taking off at Melbourne Airport in front of air traffic control tower. June 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 18, 2015.
4. Woozifi. St. Paul Church near Flinders Station. March 14. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 18, 2015.
5. Melbourne Museum. N.d. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 18, 2015.
6. Donaldytong. National Gallery of Victoria. September 2008. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 18, 2015.
7. Donaldytong. Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Malthouse Theatre on the right. November 2008. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 18, 2015.
8. Corneschi, Christopher. Melbourne Aquarium. January 2005. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 18, 2015.
9. Connolley, Mat. Princess Theatre, Melbourne, Australia. August 2006. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 18, 2015.

Bangalore, India: a Pensioners Paradise

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Bangalore (1)

Bengaluru, most popularly known as Bangalore, is a place worth exploring in India. It was once known as the city as the “Garden City” and “Pensioners Paradise.” It was once the greenest city in India; it had numerous spacious gardens, parks, and, natural landscapes.

However, in recent years things change. From being the greenest city in the country, it became a city of high-tech industry. For gadget lovers this is a “techie’s paradise,” “Silicon Valley of India,” and “IT capital of India.” There are a number of IT (information technology) companies based in the city. Today there are museums and temples within the area that stood the test of time.

OVERVIEW of BANGALORE

GEOGRAPHY

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Hesaraghatta Lake (2)

Bangalore could be found at the southern region of India in the state of Karnataka. The city is located on top of Deccan Plateau which is at 900 meters above sea level. It occupies a total of 721 square kilometers.

There are no major rivers in the city. Lakes were constructed in the 16th century to contribute and meet the city’s water requirement.

CLIMATE

According to the Koppen climate classification, Bangalore experiences a tropical savanna climate. The warmest months occur from March to June; while the coolest is from December to January. Rainy season occurs from August to October.

DEMOGRAPHICS

In 2011, Bangalore had a total population of almost 8.5 million people (the third most populated city in the country and 18th in the world). Majority of the population, 79.4%, are Hindus. It is followed by Muslims (13.4%), Christians (5.8%), and Jains (1.1%). Languages spoken in the city are Kannada, Urdu, Indian English, Tamil, Telugu Malayalam, and Hindi.

TRANSPORTATION

Getting In

By plane

KempeGowda International Airport, formerly known as Bengaluru International Airport is the nearest airport in Bangalore. This is approximately 40 kilometers from the central business center of Bangalore and 30 kilometers from Bangalore City Railway Station.

The said airport is one of the busiest and most modern airports in the country. Ten (10) domestic airlines and 21 international airlines operate in the airport and could reach 50 different areas in the world. Some airlines include Air India, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Thai Airways, AirAsia, Dragonair, and many more.

By train

Despite the low cost of travel, the trains in Bangalore are efficient. Just take some patience since travel is slower.

By bus

Another way to reach the city is via bus. Without traffic, buses can travel at a faster rate compared to trains. There are a number of buses (government and privately owned) that travels in and out of the city and connects Bangalore to neighboring towns and major cities. Bangalore bus stands serves as the official terminal for all intercity buses.

Getting Around

By bus

The most common and most affordable way to travel the city is via bus. Bus fares vary in price depending on comfort (air-conditioned vs non air-conditioned and seating).

By auto-rickshaws

A travel to India would not be complete without trying their native ride – auto-rickshaws. It is a three-wheeled vehicle that can comfortably accommodate three persons.

By taxis

Taxis are also available but for a higher cost.

WHAT TO SEE

CUBBON PARK

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Cubbon Park (3)

The park originally opened in the year 1870 and had a total land area of 100 acres. In succeeding years, the land area expanded to 300 acres. Within the park are different flora and fauna – natural rock outcrops, trees, bamboos, and flowers.

To allow tourist to explore the park freely, walkways were built to cross the park; making it a perfect jogging area. There are also a number of buildings within the area and at the sides including Central Public Library, Government Museum, the Indira Priyadarshini Children’s Library, Venkatappa Art Gallery, Aquarium, YMCA, Yuvanika — the State Youth Centre, Century Club, Press Club, Jawahar Bal Bhavan, Tennis Pavilion, Cheshire Dyer Memorial Hall, and Ottawa Chatter. Statues in the area are the statue to King Edward and Chamarajendra statue.

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Karnataka High Court (4)

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Library Cubbon Park (5)

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Sheshadri Iyer Statue (6)

BANNERGHATTA NATIONAL PARK

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A Bengal tiger in Bannerghatta National Park (7)

Bannerghatta National Park was declared a national park in 1974, three years after its foundation. Inside the park one could find a zoo, petting corner, animal rescue center, butterfly enclosure, an aquarium, a snake house, and a safari. The national park is also used as a trekking site.

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A leopard in Bannerghatta National Park (8)

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A Bengali white tiger (9)

FREEDOM PARK

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Entrance to Freedom Park (10)

In November 2008, the former Central Jail was converted to the Freedom Park. Inside one could see statues of people known as Freedom Fighters.

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Sculptures of Freedom Fighters at the Freedom Park (11)

THOTTIKALLU FALLS

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Thottikallu Falls or TK Falls or SwarnaMukhi Water Falls

Thottikallu Falls is often referred to as TK Falls or SwarnaMukhi Water Falls. It is a well-known trekking and mountain hiking place. There is also a temple in the area.

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The Muneeshwara Swamy shrine near TK Falls

ULSOOR LAKE

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Ulsoor Lake (12)

Another natural landscape that should not be missed is Ulsoor Lake – one of the biggest lakes in town. The lake measures at least 50 hectares and includes several islands.

BANGALORE PALACE

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Bangalore Palace (13)

Bangalore Palace was built in 1862 and was headed by Rev. Garrett. The palace had a total floor area of 4200 square meters and grounds measuring 454 acres.

British officials bought the palace in 1873 and the palace undergone renovation. The palace was inspired by Tudor architecture; fortified towers, battlements, and turrets were added.

Tourists are allowed to enter the palace for a fee. Palace rooms are currently used to display clothes of the royal family. The ballrooms could be rented for private functions.

The outside palace grounds were used for performances such as Aerosmith, Backstreet Boys, Enrique Iglesias, Elton John, The Rolling Stones and many many more.

HALASURU SOMESHWARA TEMPLE

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Halasuru Someshwara Temple (14)

Halasuru Someshwara Temple was built in honor of the Hindu god Someshwara. The temple dates back to the Chola period, making it the oldest temple in the city.

SRI RADHA KRISHNA TEMPLE

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ISKCON Temple at Bangalore (15)

Sri Radha Krishna Temple is one of the largest ISKCON temples in the world. Construction and inauguration was finished in 1997 and officiated by Shankar Dayal Sharma.

BAGMANE TECH PARK

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Bagmane Tech Park

Bangalore is the IT capital of India. It is only natural to see international IT companies here. At Bagmane Tech Park, a software technological park, one could find the companies Informatica, Cypress Semiconductor, Motorola, Yahoo!, Lenovo, HSBC, and so on.

Ecstatic Globetrotter

References:
“Bangalore.” Travel Guide. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. <http://wikitravel.org/en/Bangalore>.
“Bangalore.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangalore>.
“Bengaluru (Bangalore) Tourism and Vacations: Best of Bengaluru (Bangalore).” , India. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. <http://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/Tourism-g297628-Bengaluru_Bangalore_Karnataka-Vacations.html>.

Images:
1. Karim, Muhammad Mahdi. Bangalore City as viewed from a vantage near the Corporation Circle. 2011. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
2. Nikkul. Hesaraghatta Lake. June 2007. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
3. Binu, Augustus. Cubbon Park. October 2013. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
4. Karim,Muhammad Mahdi. Karnataka High Court. April 2010. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
5. Binu, Augustus. Library Cubbon Park. February 2013. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
6. Binu, Augustus. Sheshadri Iyer Statue. January 2013. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
7. Karim, Muhammad Mahdi. A Bengal tiger in Bannerghatta National Park. May 2010. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
8. Karim, Muhammad Mahdi. A leopard in Bannerghatta National Park. May 2010. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
9. Karim, Muhammad Mahdi. A Bengali white tiger in Bannerghatta National Park. May 2010. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
10. Diham. Entrance to Freedom Park. September 2009. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
11. Diham. Sculptures of Freed Fighters at the Freedom Park. September 2009. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
12. Ramesh NG. Ulsoor Lake. March 2014. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
13. SMit224. Bangalore Palace. November 2009. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
14. Dineshkannambadi. Halasuru Someshwara Temple. June 2012. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.
15. Svpdasa. ISKON Bangalore Temple. April 2007. Commons.wikimedia.org. Photograph. February 8, 2015.