Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The DHL Balloon's

The DHL Balloon's lease on its site on Tan Quee Lan Street expired in August 2008[5], and URA has terminated the lease as it has plans for the site. Singapore Ducktours was considering three alternative sites: Beach Road near Park View Hotel, Clarke Quay near Novotel Clarke Quay Hotel, and Gardens by the Bay at Marina Bay. Other plans included relocating the balloon to Kuala Lumpur or Johor Baru in Malaysia. Terminating the venture will cost the company S$1.2 million.

The DHL Balloon is relocated to Gibraltar, which is south of Barcelona on 3 October 2008 for cleaning and servicing, because it earmarked for the Bugis MRT Station. Formerly it was based at Paris, and then it moved to Valencia, Spain after a few weeks, and then in Barcelona. For a tour, it went to Tangiers, Morocco. It went to London which is after cleaning and servicing, then moved to Glasgow, then Belfast and then Toronto, Canada, briefly kept. It went there to Boston, USA and thereafter to New York City, USA

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Bavarian palace on a rugged hill near Hohenschwangau and Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner, the King's inspiring muse. Although public photography of the interior is not permitted, it is the most photographed building in Germany and is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Ludwig himself named it Neue Hohenschwangau; the name Neuschwanstein was coined after his death.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Downtown Core

The Downtown Core is a 266-hectare urban planning area in the south of the city-state of Singapore. The Downtown Core surrounds the mouth of the Singapore River and southeastern portion of its watershed, and is part of the Central Area, Singapore's central business district. It is one of the most dense areas in Singapore, even more than other divisions in the Central Area, to the extent that much of it is filled with skyscrapers.

As its name implies, it forms the economic core of Singapore, including key districts such as Raffles Place and key administrative buildings such as the Parliament House, the Supreme Court and City Hall as well as numerous commercial buildings and cultural landmarks.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Himeji serves

Himeji serves as an excellent example of the prototypical Japanese castle, containing many of the defensive and architectural features most associated with Japanese castles. The tall stone foundations, whitewashed walls, and layout of the buildings within the complex are standard elements of any Japanese castle, and the site also features many other examples of typical castle design, including gun emplacements and stone-dropping holes.

One of Himeji's most important defensive elements, and perhaps its most famous, is the confusing maze of paths leading to the main keep. The gates, baileys, and outer walls of the complex are organized so as to cause an approaching force to travel in a spiral pattern around the castle on their way into the keep, facing many dead ends. This allowed the intruders to be watched and fired upon from the keep during their entire approach. However, Himeji was never attacked in this manner, and so the system remains untested.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mt Roraima - Adventure in Venezuela

Arthur Conan Doyle populated the tepui Roraima with dinosaurs, strange vegetation and animals in his book, The Lost World, based on the accounts of British explorers Everard IM Thum and Harry Perkins who were the first Europeans to ascend Mount Roraima in 1884.

Subsequent explorations and modern day climbers and trekkers find no dinosaurs, fossils or traces of prehistoric life on the top of the tepui, but they do find a fantastic world of cystal valleys, gorges, sandy beaches, mists and fog, fissures, rock formations, pools and waterfalls. Mount Roraima is the tallest of the table mountains called tepuis and is located in the southeastern corner of Canaima National Park, near the borders of Brazil and Guyana.

Paraitepui Peter and Jackie Main

This is the land of tropical savannahs, cloud forests, tepuis, rivers and waterfalls. Roraima is one of the most recommended climbs in South America, and most people allow eight days for the trip. However, this allows only one day on the top of the tepui, which isn't enough time to properly explore all the nooks and crannies. Unfortunately, backpackers are limited by what they can carry.

Roraima River Crossing Peter and Jackie Main

Getting There
There are no direct flights from Caracas or other large cities to the closest town with an airport, the border town of Santa Elena de Uairén. Many visitors fly to Ciudad Bolivar and take a smaller aircraft there. Some come in from Brazil.

Check flights from your area to Caracas and Ciudad Bolivar. You can also browse for hotels and car rentals.

The border with Guyana is closed due to a territorial dispute.

From Santa Elena, it's about a two hour drive to the small Indian village of Parai Tepui, or Paraitepui, where you'll pay an entrance fee to climb the tepui, arrange for guides and porters (who are limited to 15 k), if not already provided by a tour agency. You can also arrange for a guide and porters in San Francisco de Yuruaní, about 69 km north of Santa Elena on the main road. If you're on your own, arrange for transportation back to Santa Elena at this time.

Roraima Ramp Peter and Jackie Main

Plan to be in Paraitepui before noon, since no one is allowed to leave after two PM, as it's at least a five hour trek across the sabana to the first camp site. You can camp overnight in Paraitepui, but buy all your food in Santa Elena.

It's about a 12 hour trip to the top of the tepui. The trip is broken by an overnight camp either along the Río Tek or the Río Kukenan, 4 1/2 hours from Paraitepui. If you have enough time, you can also push another three hours uphill to the base camp.

Roraima Waterfall Peter and Jackie Main

The next day is the four (or more) hour climb up the ramp, through cloud forest, waterfalls and rock formations to reach the top of the tepui. You'll camp in one of the sandy areas called hoteles protected from the weather by rocky overhangs. Everything you take up, you must bring down, including used toilet paper. However, you may take no souvenirs from the tepui.

If you have only a day, you can take many of the trails leading from the camps, but to properly explore the black, craggy surface of the tepui, you should allow yourself at least an extra day. Your guide will lead you to the Valle de los Cristales to see the colorful crystals; through gorges and fissures looking like alien worlds; to pools called jacuzzis, but don't expect hot water. You'll see strange plants, birds and animals, even a tiny black frgo that protects itself by curling up into a ball. You can hike across the tepui to

Rio Kukenan Peter and Jackie Main

The descent from tepui Roraima takes about ten hours to reach Paraitepui.

An alternate way to see tepui Roraima is by helicopter, allowing two - three days on the summit.

When to Go
You can climb Mount Roraima any time of the year, but most people prefer the dry season between December and April. However, the weather is changeable at any time, and rain and mist are a constant. With rain, the rivers swell and crossing may be difficult.

Roraima Tepui Crystals Peter and Jackie Main

What to Take
Be prepared for hot, steamy days and cold nights on the top of the tepui. You'll want reliable rain gear, tent, and sleeping bag, if not provided by your tour company. A foam mat adds comfort. Additionally, you'll need good walking shoes or boots, sneakers, a bathing suit, sun protection/sun blocker, hat, knife, water bottle, and a flashlight. A camera and plenty of film is a must, as is a cooking stove and food. If you're on your own, take more food than you'll need in case you want to spend an extra day on the tepui. Take plastic bags to carry your garbage out. Take a big supply of good insect repellant. The sabana is home to a biting gnat, jején. commonly referred to as la plaga, the plague.

Take an online, photographic climb up Mount Roraima with Climbing Roraima in Canaima National Park .


Friday, December 18, 2009

The Monument to the Great Fire of London

The Monument to the Great Fire of London, more commonly known as The Monument, is a 202 ft (61.57 metre) tall stone Roman Doric column in the City of London, England near to the northern end of London Bridge. It is located at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill, 202 ft (61.57 metres) from where the Great Fire of London started in 1666. Another monument, the Golden Boy of Pye Corner marks the point near Smithfield where the fire stopped. Monument tube station is named after the monument. Since its construction (between 1671 and 1677) it has been the tallest isolated stone column in the world.

The monument consists of a fluted Doric column built of Portland stone topped with a gilded urn of fire, and was designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. Its 202 foot (61.57 metre) height marks the monument's distance to the site of Thomas Farynor, the king's baker's shop in Pudding Lane, where the fire began.

The top of the monument is reached by climbing up the narrow winding staircase of 311 steps. A cage was added in the mid-19th century at the top of the Monument to prevent people jumping off, after six people had committed suicide between 1788 and 1842.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Olympiaturm

The Olympiaturm in Olympiapark, Munich has an overall height of 291 m and a weight of 52,500 tons. At a height of 190 m there is an observation platform as well as a small rock and roll museum housing various memorabilia. Since its opening in 1968 the tower has registered over 35 million visitors (as of 2004). At a height of 182 m there is a revolving restaurant that seats 230 people. A full revolution takes 53 minutes.

The tower has one Deutsche Telekom maintenance elevator with a speed of 4 m/s, as well as two visitor lifts with a speed of 7 m/s which have a capacity of about 30 people per car. The travel time is about 30 seconds. The tower is open daily from 09:00 to 24:00 hrs

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The largest park

The largest parks in the central area of London are the Royal Parks of Hyde Park, its neighbour Kensington Gardens at the western edge of central London and Regent's Park on the northern edge.[95] Regent's Park contains London Zoo, the world's oldest scientific zoo, and is located near the tourist attraction of Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Closer to central London are the smaller Royal Parks of Green Park and St. James's Park

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of the eight sites from Peru to be included on the 2010 Watch List.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Haiti - La citadelle - touism

Haiti officially the Republic of Haiti, is a Creole- and French-speaking Caribbean country. Along with the Dominican Republic, it occupies the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago. Ayiti (Land of high mountains) was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the mountainous western side of the island. The country's highest point is Pic la Selle, at 2,680 meters (8,793 ft). The total area of Haiti is 27,750 square kilometers (10,714 sq mi) and its capital is Port-au-Prince.

Haiti's regional, historical, and ethnolinguistic position is unique for several reasons. It was the first independent nation in Latin America, the first post-colonial independent Black-led nation in the world, and the only nation whose independence was gained as part of a successful slave rebellion. Despite having common cultural links with its Hispano-Caribbean neighbors, Haiti is the only predominantly Francophone independent nation in the Americas, and one of only two (along with Canada) which designate French as an official language; the other French-speaking areas are all overseas departments or collectivities of France.

Haiti is divided into ten departments. The departments are listed below, with the departmental capital cities in parentheses.

1. Artibonite (Gonaïves)
2. Centre (Hinche)
3. Grand'Anse (Jérémie)
4. Nippes (Miragoâne)
5. Nord (Cap-Haïtien)
6. Nord-Est (Fort-Liberté)
7. Nord-Ouest (Port-de-Paix)
8. Ouest (Port-au-Prince)
9. Sud-Est (Jacmel)
10. Sud (Les Cayes)

Below are some pictures from Haiti and Guadeloupe.

La citadelle

Departments of Haiti

Mangrove forest in Haiti


Friday, December 11, 2009

Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower

Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower is a tower currently under construction near Chigang Pagoda, Haizhu District, Guangzhou, China. It is due to be completed at the end of 2009, in order to be fully operational for the 2010 Asian Games.

The TV & Sightseeing Tower is the first significant XL project designed by the Dutch architects Mark Hemel and Barbara Kuit. Their company Information Based Architecture, based in Amsterdam is at the forefront of architectural design creating innovative and highly artistic architecture using the state of the Art technologies and materials.

The practice collaborated with Arup, the global design and business consulting firm headquartered in London, UK. The design was awarded first prize in a competition that was also joined by, among others, Coop Himmelblau, Richard Rogers Partnership, Cannon and KPF. In 2004 the IBA - Arup team in Amsterdam developed the concept design. In later stages IBA cooperated mainly with the local Chinese offices of Arup and a Local Design Institute. The tower is due to be completed in the beginning of 2010.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Burj Dubai

Burj Dubai is a supertall skyscraper under construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the tallest man-made structure ever built, at 818 m (2,684 ft). Construction began on 21 September 2004, and the tower is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy on 4 January 2010.

The building is part of the 2 km2 flagship development called "Downtown Burj Dubai" at the "First Interchange" along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai's main business district. The tower's architect is Adrian Smith, who worked with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) until 2006. The Chicago-based architecture and engineering firm SOM is in charge of the project. The primary builders are Samsung Engineering & Construction and Besix along with Arabtec. Turner Construction Company was chosen as the construction manager.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Burj Al Arab

The Burj Al Arab is a luxury hotel located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At 321 m (1,050 ft), it is the second tallest building in the world used exclusively as a hotel.The Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. It is an iconic structure, designed to symbolize Dubai's urban transformation and to mimic the sail of a boat.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Milad Tower

Milad Tower is the tallest tower in Iran. Built in between the Shahrak-e Gharb and Gisha districts of Tehran, it stands 435 m high from base to tip of the antenna. It's named after engineer Heydari's son which he owns 25 percent of the building in 2005. The head consists of a large pod with 12 floors, the roof of which is at 315 m (1,033 ft).

Below this is a staircase and elevators to reach the area. Milad Tower is the fifth tallest tower in the world after the Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower in Guangzhou, CN Tower in Toronto, Ostankino Tower in Moscow, and the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai. It is also currently (in early 2008) the 14th tallest freestanding structure in the world.

Milad Tower is part of The Tehran International Trade and Convention Center. The project includes the Milad telecommunication tower offering restaurants at the top with panoramic views of Tehran, a five-star hotel, a convention center, a world trade center, and an IT park.

The complex seeks to respond to the needs of business in the globalized world of the 21st century by offering facilities combining trade, information, communication, convention and accommodation all in one place.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The World Trade Center

The World Trade Center (WTC) was a complex in Lower Manhattan in New York City whose seven buildings were destroyed in 2001 in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with six new skyscrapers and a memorial to the casualties of the attacks.

The original World Trade Center was designed by Minoru Yamasaki in the early 1960s using a tube-frame structural design for the twin 110-story towers. In gaining approval for the project, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed to take over the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad which became the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH). Groundbreaking for the World Trade Center took place on August 5, 1966.

The North Tower was completed in December 1970 and the South Tower was finished in July 1971. Construction of the World Trade Center involved excavating a large amount of material which was used in making Battery Park City on the west side of Lower Manhattan.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Shaklee Terraces

The Shaklee Terraces, Market Street, One Front Streetis an office skyscraper rising on San Francisco's Market Street in the Financial District.
The building, completed in 1979, stands 538 feet (164 m) tall and has 38 floors. The composition of the façade closely resembles that of the Shell Building by Emil Fahrenkamp, which was built in Berlin in 1931. The Shaklee Corporation used to be headquartered in the office tower until the company moved to Pleasanton, California in 2000. In 1999-2001 Scient Corporation, a dot-com era consulting firm, had its head office on the upper floors of the building, prior to its move to One Market Street.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

11 Diagonal Street

11 Diagonal Street is a skyscraper in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was built in 1984 to a height of 80 metres. It is designed to look like a diamond as it reflects different views of the Central Business District from each angle of the building.