Friday, August 28, 2009

Ice Hotel - Arctic Circle, Sweden

Near the Arctic Circle in Sweden you’ll find the famous Ice Hotel. The hotel is, for the most part, made of ice but you really don’t have to sleep on a slab of the frozen stuff if you don’t want to. You can either sleep in a “cold” room with reindeer skins on the bed or you can sleep in a “warm” room with start contemporary designs.

If you choose the cold room you’ll be greeted in the morning by a delivery of hot lingonberry juice to warm you up - much needed after sleeping in a 5 degree room.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oculus : A Luxury Yacht Inspired By A Whale

If you love collecting yachts or simply looking at them, just check out the “Oculus”. It’s far more different than anything we’ve ever seen floating before. Inspired by an oceanic fish, the Oculus is a 250-foot luxury yacht designed by E. Kevin Schöpfer for Schöpfer Yachts LLC.

The exterior styling resembles the jaw and eye socket bone structure of a large oceanic fish. Featuring a reverse bow configuration, the Oculus’ armature offers a perfect blend of symmetry and structure. The most fascinating aspect of the Oculus is the fact that the backside of the yacht can open up resembling the hungry jaws of a whale.

The luxury yacht can accommodate 12 guests in great comfort and style and can rip the waters with speeds upwards of 25 knots.

The interior features of Oculus focus on a 12 foot high ceiling in the main salon, a cylindrical double height dining room, central stair and elevator tube, and seemingly anatomical ceiling and floor lighting extensions giving definition to the seating areas. The second level is the dedicated Owner’s suite.

The Oculus certainly is one unique yacht !

Saturday, August 22, 2009

-Best Train Journeys in the World-

Glacier ExpresS:

Arguably the slowest ‘express’ on the planet, the 180 mile ride on this delightful route takes a good 8 hours. Not that we are complaining about the pace as this offers you loads of time to catch a glimpse of the magical panorama that lies on its path, which links the two mountain resorts of St. Moritz and Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. 291 bridges, 91 tunnels and an altitude of 6,670 feet make this train ride similar to an expedition through fairyland.

Spectacular, stunning and picture perfect, this is a trip that the shutter bugs will really love!

Pride Of Africa:

The Pride Of Africa is a train journey that no nature lover should ever miss if they wish to explore the beauty, majesty and the hidden grandeur of the spectacular Dark Continent at a leisurely pace. Apart from the impeccable comfort it has to offer, the once in a year trip planned on the ‘Pride of Africa’ will take you on a 14-day epic expedition through Cape Town, Dar Es Salaam, Kimberley, Pretoria, the Kruger National Park, Beit Bridge, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Lusaka and through Tanzania to Dar Es Salaam.

Billed as the most luxurious train in the world, you’d better not lose the opportunity if you’re planning a romantic vacation through the heart of Southern Africa.

Eastern And Oriental Express:

Stretching between the ultra-modern Singapore and Bangkok, and traveling through lush green tropical forests, the Eastern and Oriental
is modern, stylish and comfortable.

Apart from all the delights it offers in terms of cuisine and hospitality, the train journey presents a perfect window into South-East Asia, its changing topography and the contrast between its urban present and its naturally-endowed past.

Royal scotsman:

If you are getting on board the Royal Scotsman, then you must have really deep pockets - it’s the most expensive train ride on the planet. Just consider the fact that a 4-day trip on the Royal Scotsman costs more than an entire 19-day first-class trip on the Trans-Siberian, and you will get the idea. The observation car accommodates 36 passengers (yes, only 36 passengers allowed) in comfortable armchairs along with cabins specially designed for dining and other purposes.

The train pulls over at night when you need to sleep and while the trip offers a great passage through little known waterfalls, mountains and valleys, it is obviously not for everyone.

-5 Most Beautiful Castles in Asia and the Middle East-

Himeji Castle:Japan

Known also as White Heron Castle because of its beautiful white exterior, Himeji is the most visited castle in all of Japan and the first national landmark to be added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list.

Himeji Castle started as a fort in 1331 but over the centuries, the warlords who ruled over the land enlarged it and left their mark on the structure. The Himeji Castle complex that we see today was finally completed in 1609 and unlike other Japanese castles has never suffered serious damage due to earthquakes, fires or wars.

The best time to visit Himeji Castle is in the first half of April, during the cherry blossom season.

Mehran Garh Fort:
Built atop a 125-metre high hill, Mehrangarh Fort lies in the centre of Jodhpur, one of India’s greatest cities. Construction began in 1459 by order of Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur, but most of the structure was completed during 1638-1678, in the time of Jaswant Singh.

Inside the 36-metres high, 21-metres wide walls of Mehrangarh fortress lie some of the most beautiful and historical palaces in India, all known for their impressive carvings and lavish courtyards.

Kark Des Chevaliers: Syria

Described by Lawrence of Arabia as “the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world”, Krak des Chevaliers was the headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades. It was used by King Edward the First as an example for his castles in Britain and is one of the few places where Crusader art can still be observed.

Krak des Chevaliers was a virtually impenetrable fortress and made the Knights Hospitaller a force to be reckoned with in the Holy Land, until the year 1271 when Mameluke Sultan Baibars finally captured it.

Krak des Chevaliers suffered serious damage from repeated Israeli aircraft attacks since 1948.

Matsumoto Castle: Japan
Built in the city of Matsumoto, Nagoya Province, Matsumoto Castle lies very close to Tokyo, making it a popular attraction for both Japanese and foreign tourists. It is a great example of Japanese flatland castles, not being built atop hills or cliffs.

Surrounded by a moat with swans and ducks, the black exterior of Matsumoto Castle earned it the nickname Crow Castle. However the best time to visit this masterpiece of medieval Japanese architecture is in winter, when the dark walls are covered by pure white snow.

Although Matsumoto Castle was never attacked because the civil wars ended, the Ishikawa clan rebuilt it in anticipation of gun warfare. The walls were reinforced to resist bullets and gun-slots were installed.

Arg-e-Bam: Iran

The fortress of Arg-e-Bam is considered by many to be the biggest most beautiful mud-brick structure in the world. Its origins date back to 500 BC, during the Ashkani era and it was inhabited until the year 1850 when for unknown reasons it was deserted.

Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Arg-e-Bam was severely damaged by a powerful earthquake in 2003. Practically 80% of the citadel complex collapsed, but now countries like China, France and Italy are helping Iran rebuild Arg-e-Bam in the name of historical preservation.

-5 Tourist Attractions Affected by Global Warming-


Global warming is leaving its mark on the frozen lands of Alaska and tourists from all around the world are gathering there to watch it at work. Glaciers are crumbling into the water, the tundra is melting and the wildlife is trying to adjust to all the changes. Alaska is a preview of what’s going to happen soon if we don’t start taking things more seriously.

Polar bears are now an endangered species because they simply can’t cope with the climate changes, they’re simply not built to withstand such an increase in temperature. Food is harder to come-by and the melting ice caps cause them to drown.

Glacier National Park:

Glacier National Park in Montana, USA is in danger of losing all its glaciers by 2030 scientist predict. Some of the park’s glaciers have melted to less than half their original size while other, smaller ones have melted completely.

Just so you can better understand how serious the problem is, you should know that in 1850 there were 150 glaciers in Glacier National Park, only 35 exist today

Carribbean coral Reef

Many coral reefs have already been destroyed because of global warming and things aren’t looking too good for the surviving ones. Carbon dioxide is absorbed by ocean water just like it is absorbed in fizzy drinks, making it more acidic and rendering corals unable to calcify their skeletons.

Marine specialists say corals and the species that inhabit them could be extinct by 2050 if a practical solution to global warming isn’t found really soon.


Often called the most beautiful mountain in the world, Kilimajaro may lose its beautiful white cap. The data gathered in recent years shows that the glacier on top of Africa’s highest mountain will disappear in the next 10 years. The people living at the base of Kilimanjaro will suffer greatly since they depend on the melting ice flowing down the mountain.

Aerial photos prove that ever since the global warming problem has become a real issue, a massive amount of ice, from the Kilimanjaro glacier, has been lost.

The Maldives:

One of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, the Maldives is a tropical paradise that will soon disappear if the carbon dioxide emissions continue at the present rate. Scientists say that in roughly 100 years the 1,200 islands archipelago will be swallowed up by the Indian Ocean unless the world’s governments can find a way to fight global warming.

The Maldives are very low lands, the highest of the islands lies just 7.8 feet above the level of the ocean, making them very vulnerable to the rising sea levels. The locals will soon start to artificially raise some areas, but this is just a short term measure, in the long run they will probably be forced to abandon their homes and relocate.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kjeragbolten, Norway

Kjerag is a Norwegian mountain, located in Lysefjorden, in forsand municipalty, Rogaland. Its highest point is 1110 m above sea level, but its northern drop to Lysefjorden attaracts most visitors . The drop is 984 m 3,228 ft and is just by the famous Kjeragbolten a 5 square meter boulder stone which is pluged between two rocks.

Kjerag is a popular hiking destination, many travelling there to stand on Kjeragbolten while others travel here for its good conditions for base jumping and popular climbs up its many step faces.

The Kjeragbolten boulder wedged in the mountains crevasse is quite easy to walk not withut any equipment However, there is a sheer drop of over 1000m to Lysefjorden below.

-Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil-

Iguazu Falls are one of the most spectacular sights in the world. Taller than Niagara falls, twice as wide with 275 cascades spred in a horsehoe shape over nearly two miles of the Iguazu River, Iguaza falls are the result of a volcanic eruptions which left yet another large crack in the earth.Iguaza falls is undoubtedly the most visited place in Misiones and one of the most imposing natural attractions in Argentina, and why not in south America.

The waterfall system consists of about 270falls along 2.7 km 1.67 miles of the Lguazu River. The average drop from the top of the falls to the narrow canyon below is 240 feet by contrast, Niagara falls drops 170 feet on the canadian side and only 110 feet on the American side. Iguaza river is born in Parana state in Brazil and after crossing 1,200 km. on a plateau where it receives several affluents , t reaches a fault forming a crack in the interleaved layer of sandstone and basaly where the river runs.

-Uluru / Ayers Rock, Australia-

Uluru, also referred to as Ayer Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the northern Territory, centrall Australia. it lies 335km 208 mi south west of the nearest large town, Alice springs : 450km 280 mi by road.

Uluru is one of Australia's most recognisable natural icons. The world renowned sandstone formation 348 m 1,142ft high 863m/2,831 ft above sea level with most of its bulk below the ground, and measures 9.4 km 5.8 mi in circumference.

Uluru is scared to the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, the Aboriginal people of the area. it has many springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings, Uluru is listed as a World Heritage site..