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: Roads

Cee’s roads challenge this week, had me searching through a few of my albums for something different. I’ve travelled many roads, in many countries, and I do try not to snooze, just in case I miss something.

This long, narrow and very winding road up to Machu Picchu really kept my heart in my mouth. Not a chance I was going to fall asleep on that coach, as I had to keep breathing in every time I saw another vehicle coming towards us down the hill.

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This is the road through the town at the bottom of the hill, also very narrow.

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A dusty, stony road through Bolivia, made for quite a bumpy ride.

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Another sand road through a Bolivian town. Tarmac would be a real luxury.

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Back to the USA, and a drive down the highway in Montana under clear blue May skies, was far less stressful. We could see Yellowstone in the distance.

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As we travelled through Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming the weather became less Spring-like, and the road was quite slippery.

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Back to civilisation, and Times Square is much more populated of course. You can hardly see the road for cars and people. 🙂

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Here’s the Lincoln Tunnel, as we sped our way out of the city. No stopping allowed of course. 🙂

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Hong Kong roads are also very busy, and quite hair-raising to cross.

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In Xian, the roads were extremely congested, even though there weren’t many if any cars around.

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Of course what ever road you may be travelling on, it’s always nice to ride in style, so from the ridiculous to the sublime. I was most impressed when our New York taxi arrived. I was expecting one of those yellow cabs.

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To see more interpretations of Cee’s theme, just click here.

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The city that never sleeps.

“And because no matter who you are, if you believe in yourself and your dream, New York will always be the place for you.” ~ Michael Bloomberg, 108th mayor of NYC.

Jake’s theme this week is ‘City’, and I immediately thought of one of the most famous cities in the world. I first visited New York in 1996, and fell in love with it. It certainly did feel like a big apple, just waiting for me to take a bite. There is so much to do and see, and everywhere you look, there are people busily scurrying to and fro about their business, and tourists just like ourselves, map in hand, just standing getting their bearings before the next onslaught on the city’s attractions.
One of the first things we did, was to take the ferry across to Liberty Island, to see the grand old lady who has greeted visitors and kept watch over the city since 1924.
 We just had to go right up inside this iconic symbol. It was so much bigger than I’d ever imagined, and we climbed right up into the crown. I lost count of how many steps it was, but I read that there are 354 steps and 22 storeys. It was quite some climb, and the stairs are so narrow as you pass people on their way down.

We marvelled at the lovely architecture of the New York Stock Exchange. I’d never seen a yellow cab before, except in the movies, and there were so many of them, everywhere.

The famous old buildings down near Wall Street, were a sight to behold.

It was difficult to get far enough away to get a good pic of the Empire State building, without standing the chance of getting run over by a cab.

Central Park, which had only been a name to me, now became a reality, with delightful little surprises around every corner.

The Disney Store was a treasure trove of souvenirs and we spent a good hour in there deciding what to buy.

The Rockefeller Centre was everything I’d ever imagined and more, and the beautiful golden maquette of Prometheus, one of the most famous statues in the world, did not disappoint.

Everything seemed bigger and better in America, especially our limo ride to the airport.

On a subsequent visit in June 2001, we took the ferry across from Hoboken to Lower Manhattan. (Our son had emigrated from South Africa in 2000, and was now working in the city).

We rode the elevator to the top of the World Trade Centre. It was such a beautiful morning as we sat way up there, enjoying our breakfast of hot coffee and bagels loaded with Philly cheese.

The view over ‘The Big Apple’ was truly breathtaking.

As I stood there in the morning sunshine, with not a breath of wind, I couldn’t ever have imagined that in less than three months time, this wonderful structure would be raised to the ground.

In May 2008, we took both our mothers over to see our son and family, and we all went into the city. Here is hubby’s mom who was then only 95-years-old, standing in the middle of Times Square. Both our mom’s had never been to America before, and they had the time of their lives, walking their legs off all around the city, and shopping up a storm in Macy’s. 🙂

Last year in May, we took a cruise out of New York, and got this shot from the ship, looking straight up 42nd Street where most of the theatres are situated.

New York is truly the most amazing city; it’s not beautiful, shiny  and clean; far from it, but it throbs with a vibrancy that is difficult to describe, and has an allure which is hard to resist. You really have to go there and experience it for yourself.