Saturday, May 11, 2013

Things to See and Do in Washington DC: Travel Blog plus 2 more

Things to See and Do in Washington DC: Travel Blog plus 2 more

Link to Travel Blog

Things to See and Do in Washington DC

Posted: 10 May 2013 09:12 PM PDT

1. Visit the Smithsonian
This institution has 19 museums, 9 research centers and one zoo. Some of the museums include Air &space museum, African Art Museum, American Indian Museum and the American History Museum. This institution contains more 130 million works of arts, artifacts, specimens and displays. When you tour this place, you get a chance visit all the museums free, there are also many groups tours available everyday. Smithsonian institution also offers many restaurants, shops, IMAX theaters and a planetarium.

2. Visit the Lincoln Memorial
This memorial plays tribute to the 16th president of the USA Abraham Lincoln. This is one of the best places to visit in Washington DC; with more than 3 million people visiting this memorial every year. It’s listed on the National Register of the Historic places and was formally dedicated in 1922. This monument at the National Mall is open 24 hour everyday; it’s constructed of marble and sits nearly 20 feet high and twenty feet wide. Lincolns Gettysburg address is also engraved on this monument.

2. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
This memorial was established in 1982, it’s a tribute to the Americans who served in Vietnam War. More than 3 million visitors tour this memorial every year. It’s made up of three distinct parts: the Vietnam Women’s memorial, three soldiers statue and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall which is the most famous part of this tribute. This memorial has a length of more than 250 feet and is made up of reflective black granite which chronologically lists all the names of service members who died or mission in action during the Vietnam War.

4. Tour the three Houses of the U.S. Government
You can explore the U.S. Capital Building, U.S Supreme court and the white house. Here you will gain a better understanding of power division within the U.S. democratic government. Remember to plan ahead since some tours need to be scheduled early in advance through a Congressional Representative.

5. Bike, walk or kayak along the C & O Canal
Washington DC region is very lucky to have a wonderful park; this park will offer a quick relief from the hectic life of the city. You can take your whole family for a walk and get a chance to learn about the history of C & O Canal, spend time kayaking, explore this regions bike trails and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

6. Explore Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon has now become a full day excursion especially with the addition of an education center and a new museum. Explore the state of the art theaters and galleries and tour around the 5000 acre estate of George Washington. This is located just a few minutes from Washington, DC.

7. Take a walk through George Town
Georgetown is bustling with activity and is the capital’s historic waterfront. For those who love shopping, this is your paradise. The streets are lined with all types of restaurants and several historic sites where you can shop around and enjoy one delicious meal at a local restaurant

For a sweet treat, you can stop at Georgetown Cupcake which was the best in 2008 cupcake wars for its delicious chocolate.

8. Laogai Museum
This is the first museum in the U.S. to address the human rights in China. Laogai is the system of force labor prison camps in China. The museum was founded by Laogai Harry Wu to educate people about the atrocities of the Laogai.

From the selected highlights there is more to Washington DC than politics. DC is well served with flights across the US and internationally so check out for flight deals to Washington DC.

Things to See and Do in Washington DC is a post from: - Travel Directory

Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya – India

Posted: 10 May 2013 02:17 AM PDT

Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya - India

Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, India.

Travel Photos: Bodhgaya Photo Gallery

Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya – India is a post from: - Travel Directory

Florence – Tuscany At Its Finest

Posted: 09 May 2013 02:21 AM PDT

The city of Florence (Firenze in Italian) is renowned as being the birthplace of the European Renaissance era. Florence is the capital of Tuscany and was one of the richest cities in medieval times. Seeing firsthand the cradle of Renaissance is a vivid and memorable experience which interweaves ancient Italian history, art, culture, architecture, monuments with modern streets, fashion shops, parks and squares.

The most visited place in Florence is, by far, the domed cathedral Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, situated in Piazza del Duomo, a famous square which also includes Giotto s Campanile and the Baptistery, all three Gothic Renaissance style buildings being part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site which covers the historic centre of Florence. The dome of the basilica is the largest brick dome ever constructed.

Another building that should be visited is the Basilica of San Lorenzo, which contains the chapel of the Medici family, the most influential family in Florence from the 15th century to the 18 the century. The political dynasty known as the House of Medici founded the Medici bank, a respected and prosperous European institution and the Medici was the wealthiest family in Europe. This church is considered the oldest church in Florence, whose patrons were the Medici family. The structure called the New Sacristy was designed by Michelangelo.

While you are exploring the history of Florence, you should also visit the 14th century Palazzo Vecchio, the city hall of Florence which overlooks the Piazza della Signoria, an L-shaped square which represents the origin and history of the Florentine Republic and to this day, it is still the political hub of the city.

Other favorite sights include the basilicas such as Santa Maria Novella, the first great basilica in Florence and Santa Croce, the main Franciscan church in Florence. Santa Croce is also famous for being the place where Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Niccolo Machiavelli and Rossini are buried and hence it is called the Temple of the Italian Glories. Cultural tourism is highly important for Florence, a city which is considered to have the largest concentration of art. The Uffizi Gallery is the most visited museum in Florence and one of the oldest art museums in Western Europe. It displays impressive collections of famous paintings from Italian artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Botticelli, Giotto, Caravaggio, Piero della Francesca and also Rembrandt, to mention just a few.

Tourists also love to take a walk around the city or sip a cup of coffee in one of the many cultural cafes or feel the vibrant Italian atmosphere in the famous Florence piazzas or squares, such as the Piazza della Republica, Piazza Santa Croce, Piazza Santa Trinita, near the Arno river, Piazza San Marco and Piazza della Liberta. On the side of Boboli Gardens, a famous park in Florence, home to Florentine sculptures from 15th to 18th century, lies Palazzo Pitti, the Medici residence, which was also used by Napoleon as a power base. Nowadays this is a museum complex housing over 500 Renaissance paintings.

Another Florence icon is the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), which overlooks the Arno river and where you can find a large number shops held up by stilts, as well as Vasaris elevated corridor which connects the Palazzo Pitti to the Uffizi Gallery. This bridge in the only one in Florence which was not damaged during World War II.

And since you are in the very heart of Tuscany, one of the great wine-making regions of the world, you should not pass the opportunity to taste the Chianti wine at its home. The region of Chianti is south of Florence and the Sangiovese, Sassicaia and Ornellaia red grapes are renowned worldwide for their strong aroma and herbal and bitter cherry notes.

Florence well connected to flight around Europe from its airport, but you will find cheap flights from Rome or Milan, which are the biggest hub airports in Italy offering international connections.

Florence – Tuscany At Its Finest is a post from: - Travel Directory