Jake’s Sunday Post: Attraction

Here I am squeaking in at the last minute for Jake’s Sunday Challenge ‘Attraction’.

I’ve shown you many of the places which have attracted me to travel to different places, The most memorable in my mind, being the amazing sight of Machu Picchu. This 15th century Inca site is to be found in the Cusco region of Peru, and is almost 8,000 feet above sea level.

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Egypt had long been on my bucket list, and one of the attractions I really wanted to see, was The Great Sphinx of Giza, situated on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile River. The head of the Great Sphinx is believed to be that of the Pharaoh Khafra.

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The fallen and badly damaged limestone statue of Ramesses The Great, near Memphis, would have stood over 13 metres high. He was the most powerful Pharaoh of them all, and ruled Egypt from 1279 to 1213 BC.

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The famous Terracotta Army in X’ian, dates back to 210-209 BC. These soldiers and their horses were buried with the Emporer Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, supposedly to protect him in the afterlife.

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Another attraction in China, is the Li River in Guangxi Zhuang. We did a cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo, and the scenery was truly breathtaking.

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The USA has many attractions, and the most amazing place I’ve ever visited is Yellowstone National Park. Something we had to see, was the Old Faithful cone geyser, which shoots 3,700 to 8,400 US gallons of boiling water to a height of 106 to 185 feet. The average height of an eruption is 145 feet, and occurs roughly every hour and a half.

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Something else I’d always wanted to see was the huge bronze Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.It was inscribed with the words, “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” It dates back to 1752 and in its early years, was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens to public meetings and proclamations. It acquired its large crack some time in the early 19th century.

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A well-known attraction in San Francisco, is the iconic trolley bus, or tram. The first ones were pulled by horses, who managed with great difficulty to climb the city’s steep hills, until the electric tram was tested and brought into service in 1873.

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Of course, you can’t go to San Fran without visiting Fisherman’s Wharf, the most popular tourist attraction there.

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I was so excited to see the Statue of Liberty on my first visit to New York. Lady Liberty is located in New York Harbour, and was a gift of international friendship from the people of France, in 1886.

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So many attractions, so little time, but to end off, I just have to include another photo of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. This is one of the most photogenic attractions I’ve yet to see.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my pics. To see more attraction, visit Jake’s Sunday Post. He has already posted the next challenge, so why not have a go at it?

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Steps or Stairs

Another Which Ways Fun Foto Challenge from Cee, and this time it’s ‘Steps or Stairs’. My legs have climbed up and down so many steps and stairs on my travels, and here are just a few of them.

Let’s start with Venice. To me it is the city of a thousand and more steps. We were constantly walking up and down the sets of steps. All the bridges had their own steps, and in the shopping streets, we were always going up and down like Yo-yos. It’s a perfect way to keep fit, but not good for mothers with baby carriages, or wheelchair bound people. I did wonder about that.

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In Barcelona, the steps up to the main terrace which is the focal point of Park Güell, are divided by the famous Gaudi lizard covered in a kaleidoscope of brightly coloured mosaics. I would think it’s almost impossible to get a photo of this tourist attraction, without lots of people in it.

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The number of steps along Great Wall of China, has never been documented, but I read that it’s about 3700 miles long, and there are maybe 2,000 steps per mile. Do the math. 😉

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Machu Picchu is also a place of many ancient stone steps, estimated at around 3,000 in all.

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There’s an awful lot of climbing to do if you want to get to the top.

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Isle Del Sol, which we stopped off at on our trip across lake Titicaca, has no roads, and the only way to get up to the restaurant where we were to have lunch, was to climb the Inca steps.

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It was a very hot day, but the view from the top, across the terraces and the lake, was definitely worth it.

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Another Inca archaeological site we visited between Cusco and Machu Picchu, is Ollantaytambo, which is in Urumbaba, 9,160 feet above sea level. This is a religious temple site, and one gets to the top of the terraced complex, via a series of stairways.

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Bali is known as the ‘island of a thousand temples’, and we saw quite a few on our tour. This one had very steep steps to reach it.

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I suppose some cultures think that the higher you climb, the closer you are to your particular god. The Mayas also had so many steps to their temples too, as in this one at Lamanai in Belize.

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I can’t do a stairs challenge without including my spiral staircase pic from the Cabiria Restaurant in Rome. We were taken up to the roof deck by elevator, but after dinner, some of us decided that this was a far more exciting way to get back down to ground level. I counted 186 steps.

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Last but not least, is this unique staircase in London’s Regent Street, ‘Anthropologie’ store, which has a three storey,  200 sq metre living wall, aligned with the staircase. It’s filled with lush green plants, which are irrigated by rain water collected from the roof.  I thought this was such a brilliant idea.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my steps and stairs. If you want to see more, just click here.

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Word a Week: Clouds #2

One of my favourite songs is this one, and it seemed rather apt for Sue’s challenge.

Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all  ~ Joni Mitchell

Here’s my second take on Sue’s ‘Word a Week’ Cloud challenge. Yesterday I got a bit sidetracked by the sweet little love birds, but today I’ve decided to give you some serious clouds. Just click on any photo to get a slide show.

I hope you enjoyed my cloud pics. To see more, just visit ‘A Word in Your Ear’, by clicking here.