Archive for June, 2011

Dresden’s Most Popular Attractions

Located on the Elbe River, Dresden is the capital city of German state named Saxony. This city is considered among one of the top tourists destinations in Germany as it is an industrial as well as cultural center and boasts of having some worth-watching historical landmarks. Tourists’ attractions in Dresden come in all shapes and sizes meaning that there is something for everyone. If you are also interested in seeing some fascinating sights and attractions then you must visit this city. Here are some of its most popular tourist’s attractions.

Zwinger Palace

It is a beautiful place to spend a summer holiday as this is a magnificent palace having an open air gallery and stunning courtyard. To your surprise, you will find four museums within this palace so if you are a history lover; a visit to this palace will just be a treat for you. Constructed between 1710 and 1732, this palace is one of the prominent landmarks in Dresden as it features the most popular Crown Gate which you can see on travel photographs related to the city of Dresden. One more thing which I must tell you is that if you love to see German-Baroque architecture then you must visit this palace as it is a fine example of such architecture. Besides its beautiful and attractive exteriors, you can also find a number of features and attractions in its interiors including Old Masters Picture Gallery, Zoological Museum and Mathematisch Physikalischer Salon.

Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche)

Church of Our Lady is yet another example of German architecture in whole Dresden. It was built by George Bahr between 1726 and 1743. It is quite renowned for having hosted organ recitals by the legendary musician and composer JW Bach. This church was destroyed as a result of bombing during WW II but it was reconstructed which was completed in 2004. The current building of the church is quite similar to the older one and most of its internal attractions have managed to retain their magnificence and splendor.

Blue Wonder Bridge

It is a 620 feet bridge which crosses the River Elbe in the wonderful city of Dresden. It was built in 1893 and at the time of its completion, it was one of the longest bridges ever built without having pillars. This was the reason the bridge got such a unique name as it was considered as a technological wonder at that time. It is a bridge you must see during your visit to Dresden because the whole Elbe Valley was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 due to this bridge. Most of the attractions were destroyed in WW II but Blue Wonder Bridge is the only attractions which managed to survive. These days this bridge, painted in blue, is still standing over Elbe River allowing people to transport from one part of Dresden to the other.

Royal Palace (Residenzschloss)

Constructed in various stages between 12th and 19th century, Royal Palace of Dresden is also a popular attraction in Germany. It was former residence of Saxon royal family. Although this palace suffered a great loss in WW II bombing but still it has maintained its original magnificence and grandeur. The Royal Palace is also home to a number of museums. The most famous of them is Green Vault which is one of the Europe’s most beautiful treasure chambers having some 3000 treasures. The Coin Cabinet displays an exhibition of coins while another museum in the palace is Kupferstich-Kabinett exhibits a collection of drawings and photographs. One of the palace’s most recent attractions is Turkish Room which is also a museum and highlights a beautiful 20 meters long tent made of silk and gold.

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Top Three Attractions of Quebec City

Located within the Capitale Nationale region, Quebec City is the capital of Canadian province Quebec. After Montreal, it is the second most populous city in Quebec having a population of 491142. Like other major cities of Canada, Quebec City also has a lot of tourist’s attractions. Some of these attractions have become so popular that they have become a part of Quebec City’s life. Here are some of the major attractions of Quebec City.

Dufferin Terrace

Built in 1838, this terrace is next to Saint-Louis Fort but these days you can only see the remnant of this fort. This terrace is named after Lord Dufferin who was governor of Canada from 1872 to 1878. The Dufferin Terrace is the most visited attraction in Quebec City as from here; you can have an opportunity to see incredible view on the South shore, the Old Port. You will also be able to see the Chateau Frontenac which is one of the most popular and magnificent hotels in the world. The best time to visit this terrace is summer time because at this time of year, the terrace becomes full of life due to musicians, artists, mimes and many others. If you are interested to see some historical objects then you will be delighted to visit this terrace as some canons are also displayed here which were used to defend this city centuries ago.

Artillery Park

Artillery Park National Historic Site, which is located in the heart of this city, was once used as barracks for both French and British in mid-20th century. Here you can visit three patrimonial buildings named:

  • Dauphine Redoubt (Built in 1712 during French Regime)
  • Officers’ Quarters (dating back to 1818 When this site was owned by British)
  • Arsenal Foundry (Built in 1903)

In Officers’ Quarters and Dauphine Redoubt, guides in the characters of officers and soldiers will welcome you. These characters will show you military history of the site through three centuries. Here you will also find soldiers performing musket practice using real black powder.

Quebec Funicular Railway

Quebec Funicular Railway is one of the most famous and unique attractions of the city. Your tour to this city would remain incomplete if you will not get a ride on Quebec Funicular Railway. The special thing about this ride is that it operates throughout the year and is quite inexpensive. This railway is quite old but it was modernized at the end of 20th century with a gift shop and beautiful views of city. Although this attraction has been modernized, it still has its older charm and beauty.

These were top three attraction of the Quebec City which you should not miss at any cost when you visit this wonderful city.

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Places of Interest in Delhi

Delhi is the capital city of India. When this name comes to mind, we think about splendid mosques, Monumental forts and other buildings from the Mughal reign. But at the same time, there are modern attractions too so exploring this city is a great and wonderful experience. Let’s explore famous places of attraction in Delhi.

Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk is a main street of Old Delhi where you will see cars, rickshaws, cycles, carts and pedestrians competing for space with each other. Yes it is one of the busiest streets of Delhi which is chaotic and congested but still attractive. Since it is one of the oldest streets in India, you will find all types of shopping items here like jewelry, clothes and even electronic appliances due to which it has gained international fame and acknowledgment. If you are a food lover then your visit to Chandni Chowk will be quite enjoyable as you will find fruit chaats, kebabs and biriyanis here in this street. Chandni Chowk in Delhi is also considered important because of the holy places related to different religions like:

  • Jama Masjid
  • Gauri Shankar Temple
  • Sunehri Masjid
  • Baptist Church

Laxminarayan Temple

This temple has been dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi. It is one of the major temples in India containing idols belonging to different deities. This temple is also considered very respectable because Mahatma Gandhi was also a regular visitor of this temple. You can also see idols of some other gods and goddesses here in this temple like that of Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, Lord Ganesha and Lord Rama. This place has become famous on international level as scholars and students from all parts of the world come here to learn and study more and more about Hinduism. For such students and scholars, guest houses are also made so that they can stay here during their research. As far as architecture of this temple is concerned, you will be mesmerized to see its vast gardens and tall spires made of red sandstone. This temple also comprises Jali Work along with huge idols. The temple has also been made more beautiful with artificial fountains and waterfalls.

Humayun’s Tomb

The famous Humayun’s Tomb is the best architectural design of Mughal dynasty. This building took eight years to complete which shows how magnificently it has been made. This tomb is built with red sandstone but to give it a more unique look, yellow and black sandstone has also been used. This variation in colors is quite pleasing to the eyes of tourists and visitors. The tomb is located in the middle of a garden and is octagonal in shape. It is crowned by a double dome which is 42.5 meters high. This tomb clearly shows how much Mughal emperors loved gardens and fountain structures.

 Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observatory which was built by Raja Jai Singh II in 1710. He was so interested in astronomy and astrology that he established four other such observatories. In past, this observatory was used to observe the movements of moon, sun and other planets but now the instruments present in this observatory cannot make correct observations due to tall buildings. This observatory is established between lush green gardens so it is visited by people for spending romantic time or to see scientific constructions.

Purana Qila

Purana Qila which is also known as Old Fort is a testimony of Mughal art. Being one of the most loved tourists’ attractions, Purana Qila was built in 1538 by Mughal Emperor Humayun. It was actually built to protect Delhi but now in modern times, it has become a tourist’s attraction. At the foothills of the fort, there is a lake which is the main attraction of this fort. There are three gates of the fort which are made of red sandstones. Other attractions in this fort include the boating facility in lake. Here you can also do a lot of photography as there are attractive remnants of this fort. For the entertainment of tourists, a sound-and-light-show takes place every evening in the fort.

Lal Qila

Lal Qila which is also called Red Fort is the most popular historical landmark of Delhi. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan. It is called Red Fort because it has been made by using a large amount of red sandstone. It has octagonal shape and is popularly visited for the following attractions:

  • Diwan-e-Aam
  • Diwan-e-Khas
  • Rang Mahal
  • Shahi Burj
  • Chatta Chowk

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Florence- An Elegant City in Italy

Do you want to visit a city rich in architectural and artistic masterpieces? If yes then you should visit Florence. It is a city of wonderment where you can find a number of places of visitors’ interest. If you are planning a tour to Florence then make sure that you have included the following attractions in your list of attractions to see.

The Uffizi Gallery

It is one of the world’s great museums and a home to paintings made by renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. This building was formerly used to house administrative offices but later it turned into a museum. This museum is actually divided into two wings named East Gallery and West Gallery. Both of galleries have 45 rooms altogether which are filled with art collections which are about 1600 in number. The paintings which are kept in Uffizi Museum are from 14th and 15th century. Besides paintings, the Uffizi also boasts of having 16th century sculptures. True art lovers must see this museum at least twice as it has a lot more things to see.

Piazzale Michelangelo

It is the city’s best known attraction and it is recognized easily by the bronze replica of David.  It was designed in 1869 by Florentine architect named Giuseppe Poggi and provides magnificent views of the whole city so the best time to visit this place is in evening when it offers elegant views in bright lights.

Santa Croce

Located in Piazza Santa Croce, it is a church having a statue of Dante. This church is home of tombs of Italian innovators including Michelangelo and Galileo thus it is also known as Temple of the Italian Glories. The most notable features of this church are its 16 chapels which are decorated by Giotto and his pupils. Some of the other artists whose work has been displayed in church are:

  • Antonio Canova
  • Luca della Robbia
  • Masso di Banco
  • Giorgio Vasari
  • Antonio Rossellino
  • Taddeo Gaddi
  • Henry Moore
  • Andrea Orcagna
  • Santi di Tito
  • Donatello

Giotto’s Bell Tower

Giotto’s Bell Tower is 84.7 meters high and 15 meters wide tower which is one of the four principal components of Piazza del Duomo. It stands next to Santa Maria del Fiore and also known as Campanile. It is featured with different colored marble layers making it a worth-seeing place to see. This attraction is not only known for its architecture but also it is featured with work of arts which is incorporated to both outer walls and interior of the tower. If you want to see a grand view of city, you can climb the 414 steps after paying a nominal fee.

Ponte Vecchio

Ponte Vecchio which is also known as Old Bridge is located near Mercato Nuevo and offers an opportunity to see Florentine view. It is a medieval bridge dating back to 1345. It is an arch bridge which houses several shops including that of jewelry traders who have been working here since 17th century. This stone-made bridge has been destroyed and rebuilt several times but now, it is among one of the great places for tourists.

These were some of the major attractions of Florence. Visit these and have a wonderful and enjoyable time.

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Must-See Lakes in Pakistan

Pakistan is among those few countries where tourists can have an opportunity to see nature’s beauty at its best. There are high mountains, valleys, lush green plains, deserts, rivers and ocean. In between some high mountains of Pakistan, there are some spectacular and stunning lakes which add to the beauty of hilly areas. I have made a list of most famous and beautiful lakes in Pakistan and today I will share this list with you.

Saif ul Muluk Lake

You will find this lake in the northern end of Kaghan valley which is located at an altitude of 10578 feet. This fact makes this lake the highest lake in Pakistan. Lake Saif ul Muluk is located under the mighty Malika Parbat. The lake gives one of the best scenes in the world when reflection of mountains shines in its waters. You can reach this lake by a jeep but the best and most interesting way to reach this beautiful lake is through trekking. If you are also planning to reach this lake by training then let me inform you that it takes almost 1-2 hours to reach this lake from Naran. Waters of Saif ul Muluk are clear because water comes from the glaciers located all around this lake. An interesting story is also associated with this lake due to which people believe that fairies come down to the lake in full moon.

Manchar Lake

Manchar Lake is one of the largest lakes of Asia. It is a fresh water lake and is located west of Indus River in Dadu district. It is an important lake in this district because it provides livelihood to a number of fishermen and irrigates the crops as well. This lake is also a home to several aquatic plants like lotus. This lake was created in 1930 as a result of construction of Sukkur Barrage and since then it has been supporting thousands of people who depend on fresh water fish.

Keenjhar Lake

Keenjhar Lake is also known as Kalri Lake. Located in Thatta, this lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes of Pakistan. This lake is known at international level for breeding water birds as it supports about 140000 birds which include Black Coot, Common Pochard etc. Besides providing beautiful scenes of nature, this lake also acts as a source of drinking water.

Shangrila Lake

Being a part of Shangrila resort, this lake is located at a drive of 20 minutes from Skardu. The name of this lake comes from the Chinese word Shangri La which means “Heaven on Earth”. This can truly be called Heaven on Earth because of its spectacular and breathtaking beauty and quiet ambiance.

Haleji Lake

Haleji Lake is located in Thatta district of Pakistan where thousands of migratory birds come from different parts of world. These birds include European Wigeon, Black Coot and Dalmatian Pelican. The presence of these birds makes it a bird watcher’s paradise as you can see more than 223 species of birds here. Haleji is a saltwater lake which was formed by seasonal water and today this lake has become a major source of water supply to Karachi.

Lulusar Lake

Lulusar Lake is located near Naran Valley. The “sar” from the name of lake comes from the Pushto language which means “top” or “peak”. Actually Lulusar is the name of the mountains which are located around this lake that’s why it is the lake of Lulusar. This lake is bigger as compared to all other lakes in the valley. A thousand of visitors, both local and international come here especially in summer to see the reflection of mountains in sparkling water of lake. To reach this beautiful lake, you can hire a jeep from Naran to reach this beautiful lake in five hours. I will suggest you to leave Naran in morning so that you can come back before sunset.

Mohodand Lake

Mohodand Lake boasts of being the most beautiful lake around Swat and Kalam. Located close to Lake Saifullah and Naseerullah, this lake is accessible through a jeep. This is also a good place for fishing and watching beautiful scenes.

These were some of the most popular lakes of Pakistan. Some other lakes are:

  • Payee Lake (Kaghan Valley)
  • Dudipatsar Lake (Kaghan Valley)
  • Satpara Lake (Skardu Valley)
  • Hanna Lake (Quetta City)
  • Shonter Lake (Neelum Valley)
  • Rawal Lake (Islamabad)
  • Rama Lake (Gilgit)

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Striking Attractions in Pokhara

Pokhara is a captivating Himalayan valley that is about 200 kilometers away from the famous city Kathmandu.  Having a population of 146,000 this is the third largest town in Nepal. Pokhara is a favorite travel destination of tourists because of its rich culture and a number of mesmerizing attractions. If you have never visited this town then make a plan to visit Pokhara in these holidays and enjoy seeing these wonderful attractions described below.

International Mountain Museum

If you are an adventurer or a mountaineer then International Mountain Museum is the best place you can ever visit. This is not a historical museum as it has been opened recently in commemoration of 50th anniversary of first ascent to Mount Everest by Hillary and Norgay. It has been established with the kind support of many mountaineering clubs and association as well as individual donors from all over the world. The theme of this museum is to cover all information and exhibits relevant to mountain activities. Museum has been divided into different galleries like:

  • Mountain People Gallery: This gallery shows the traditions, culture, heritage and life style of mountain people.
  • Mountain Gallery: This gallery represents geological facts on world mountain system as well as this gallery displays and explains the subjects including glaciology and flora and fauna.
  • Associates’ Gallery: Here presentations are held about the activities carried out by different NGO’s around mountain areas.
  • Mountain Activities Gallery: This gallery comprises the historical ascents, explorations and trekking. This gallery is also interesting because it displays development of climbing gears and other equipment required for mountain climbing.

Mahendra Cave

It takes two hours to reach Mahendra cave from Pokhara. It is actually a limestone cave that is home to thousands of bats therefore it is also known as “House of Bats”. This cave is favorite attraction of tourists as it is full of stalactite and stalagmite formations. Visitors are overwhelmed with a great feeling when they see these formations along with a number of terrific looking bats. It is not only a natural attraction but also a religious site because its walls have images of Hindu gods and goddesses and people believe that these images have been appeared naturally. For tourists’ convenience, the cave has been fitted with a lighting system. Mahendra Cave is also popular for its stones which shine when a beam of light hits them.

Barahi Temple

Barahi Temple is an important monument of Pokhara as well as it is a popular tourist attraction. It has been built in the center of Pehwa Lake and is designed in traditional pagoda style. The design of this temple has been inspired from Bhutanese style of architecture. This two-storied temple has been dedicated to female goddess Ajima.

Pokhara Museum

Pokhara Museum exhibits photographs, clothes, maps, musical instruments and jewelry to show the life style, customs and tradition of the people belonging to this region. Especially the life styles of Gurung, Thakli and Tharu ethnic groups are shown here with the help of artifacts, models and images.

Phewa Lake

The center of all attractions in Pokhara is the famous Phewa Lake which is the second largest lake in Nepal. It provides the visitors with the best visual treat when light of sun falls on its waters. Along with the natural attractions, some attractions of modern life are also there on the side of Phewa Lake like pubs and restaurants. Other activities which you can enjoy on Phewa Lake are sailing, fishing, swimming, angling and birds watching. Bird watching at Phewa Lake is the most popular activity as you can have a chance to see numerous species of birds for which this lake is a habitat. In the center of this lake, there stands the Varahi temple which is dedicated to Varaha.

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Awe-inspiring Attractions in Galway

Located on the west coast, Galway is the fifth largest city of Ireland. Galway is an exciting holiday destination because it is a popular site where several festivals, fun-events and activities are held. This city is capable of capturing its visitors so beware of its beautiful attractions. Yes, Galway has a number of attractions that are marvelous and capture the person who pays a visit to this city. Some of its most popular and awe-inspiring attractions are as follows:

St. Nicholas’ Church

St. Nicholas Church is a place of worship that is located in heart of Galway. It is important and popular at the same time because it is the prevalent medieval parish church in Ireland. It dates back to 1320 but its building has been renovated since then. Most of the people visit this church because they believe in the story that Christopher Columbus prayed in this church in 1477 before sailing off to discover America.

Lynch’s Castle

It is a 16th century castle that belonged to the Lynch family. This building has now converted into a bank but its front part still amazes the visitors with carvings of gargoyles. Yes, this building is still quite impressive and is one of the most visited attractions of Galway. While visiting this building, you will find some genuine fireplaces that are still inside this castle. There is a special exhibition room in this castle which contains artifacts from the reign of Lynch family. This room is opened for visitors from Monday to Wednesday and on Fridays.

The Spanish Arch and Galway City Museum

Spanish Arch is located at a place where the river meets the sea. It also dates back to 16th century but still it attracts the visitors towards itself. It was originally called Ceann an Bhalla (Head of the Wall) but then its name was changed in the honor of Spanish merchant galleons which landed near it. The Spanish Arch now serves as the gateway to Galway City Museum. The Galway Museum is also an attractive place to visit as its galleries shows culture of Galway from 1800 to 1950. Some temporary exhibitions and events are also held here. From here, you can enjoy views of River Corrib, Galway Bay, Spanish Arch and Claddagh.

Salmon Weir Bridge

Salmon Weir Bridge shows cultural and historical aspect of Galway city. Crossing the River Corrib    from the Cathedral to the city’s courthouse, Salmon Weir Bridge is an exciting place to visit. People come here to see spectacular views extending up to Wolfe Tone Bridge. Summertime is the best time to visit Salmon Weir Bridge as at this time of year, you can see the shoals of salmon making their way to Corrib for spawning. You will also find anglers fish in the water below. But it does not mean at all that Salmon Weir Bridge is only visited by tourists in summer. Throughout the year, it remains the favorite place of tourists and locals as well.

Galway Cathedral

Galway Cathedral is such an attraction which should never be missed in a visit to Galway. It is one of the largest and most beautiful buildings of the city which stands on Nun’s Island. It is featured with an octagonal dome and reaches to a height of 145 feet. The striking interior of the building is adorned and featured with rose windows and beautiful wall paintings.

These were some must-visit and worth-seeing attractions of Galway. Visit this city in these summer holidays and have a wonderful time.

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