Posts from ‘August, 2007’

‘Diana’s Flame’ – The Flame of Liberty Paris

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The Flame of Liberty or Flamme de la Liberte is an actual full size replica of the flame held by New York’s Statue of Liberty. This beautiful gold leafed statue was erected in 1987 while the New York statue was undergoing restoration. The flame was given by the International Herald Tribune newspaper to mark its Centennial. Today the flame has become a focal point and shrine to Diana the Princess of Wales who died along with lover Dodi Al-Fayed when their Mercedes Benz crashed in the nearby Pont de l’Alma Road tunnel 10 years ago today.

Although not an official monumnet to the Princess, visitors flock around the world to lay flowers and messages to the much loved and remembered Princess, the Flame has become one of Paris’s most visited monuments.

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Want to buy a wild animal or some cheese?

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You can dream up just about anything and Harrods Department Store in Knightsbridge London will be able to source it, gift wrap it and even deliver it. The store is one of the worlds finest selling an amazing range of products. To shop in their store it is nothing short of an event they have seven floors and 300 departments packed with some of the finest products you could wish to buy. The food hall in the basement is extraordinary (and in many cases just like its prices) this beautifully tiled hall sells food from the four corners of the earth the range is incredible. Visitors beware there are doormen on every door ensuring no undesirables or badly dressed people enter, no backpacks, no torn jeans and no revealing skimpy costumes are just a few of the items forbidden. As tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of the tragic death of Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed (the son of Harrod’s owner) we must mention the moving shrine at the emporium dedicated to the both of them – this beautiful tribute is well worth a visit.

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B52 – It’s as big as a whale

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The Boeing B52 bomber is one of the biggest planes on in the US military fleet with a massive wing span of over 56 metres and a payload of nearly 30 tons this plan is an amazing engineering feet.

There are only three other B52 bombers on static display outside the USA, One in Guam, South Korea, England and at the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre in Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia.

The museum only minutes from Darwin’s city centre and close to the International Airport has a wealth of aviation displays including a very good World War II display with actual wreckage’s of planes shot down over Darwin during the war. The Museum is open 7 days a week and is well worth a visit.

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The Paddlesteamer Emmylou

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The Murray River bordering Victoria and New South Wales in Australia was once the country’s busiest highway with paddlesteamers shipping cargo up and down the mighty river system. Today the legacy continues with several paddlesteamers still sailing the river today cargo has been replaced with excited tourists. The Emmylou at Echucha is one of the more grand and popular of the vessels. This paddlesteamer dates back to 1906 and was beautifully restored during the 1980’s. She is in fact the only wood fired paddlesteamer in the world that offers overnight cruising. There is nothing more tranquil than standing on Emmylou’s wooden deck listening to the kookaburras, frogs and the spinning water wheel while cruising up the mighty Murray River at a leisurely pace. Read the rest of this entry »

88 Floors and nothing below

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The Eureka tower is a 92 story residential skyscraper which has just opened in Melbourne Australia. It now offer’s one of the worlds most scary experiences a walk in a glass cube 88 floors above the city. Called Skydeck 88, visitor enters a glass cube with opaque walls this is slowly extended out 3 metres from the building then with the magic of the latest LCD technology the glass becomes clear and there is nothing than glass holding you in 88 floors and 300 metres above Melbourne offering 360 degree views of the city. The ride is one of the scariest 5 minutes you will experience.

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They play both kinds of music… Country and Western!

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Well it might be more a kitsch souvenir shop than a full blow Willie Nelson museum but who cares it’s a lot of fun. Its one of the many some what half arsed attractions around the Opreyland in the Country Music capital of Nashville. Willie Nelson is one of Country music’s favorite sons with a list of amazing songs like On the Road Again, Always on my mind and of course his beautiful version of Georgia. Willie is a real colorful fellow and has been on the wrong end of the law quiet a few times for things like tax evasion and for smoking a bit of that green weed. Anyway back to the shop, I mean museum- There are quite a few good Willie Nelson displays and some of he other artists that Willie enjoys including Patsy Cline, Audie Murphy and of course Elvis Presley. You can pick up some pretty cool nick knacks including some of Willie’s trademark bandannas, fake Willie hair braids, musical instruments, photos, and other collectibles. The centre is just over the road from the Opryland Hotel at 2613 A McGavock Pike in Nashville and is right next door to a quaint little toy museum which will put a smile on any child’s face.

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Is the Pope a Catholic? You bet!

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The Vatican is the home of the Catholic Church and is part of the State of Vatican City which is in fact the smallest independent state in the world consisting of only 44 hectares or 107 acres. Vatican city is surrounded by Italy’s capital Rome. The head of state is the Pope who is also the head of the Catholic Church. The Basilica of Saint Peter is the huge domed church which sits in front of St Peter’s Square. This magnificent and huge basilica dates back to 1506. The church is open to the public and is home to many of the Pope’s masses. St Peter’s Square in the foreground of the Basilica dates back to the mid 1600’s and attracts tens of thousands if not hundred’s of thousands to the Popes outdoor ceremonies.

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The Moulin Rouge

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The Moulin Rouge is probably the most famous of all the world’s cabarets dating back to 1898 it is remembered for its legendary showgirls and more recently remembered in the Baz Luhrman film staring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman.
In the daylight the Moulin Rouge is a bit of a disappointment its a shabby old place and it sits in one of Paris’s seedier areas which is jammed packed with strip places and sex shops, but at night when the lights come on the Moulin Rouge building comes alive with it’s neon lit windmill and signage.
The show itself is really what people come to see, although expensive, probably pricing itself of its legend, the show really is spectacular and is well worth the fortune you pay for admittance tickets prices of 150 Euro are not uncommon. The easiest way to visit the Moulin Rouge is by subway, take the Blanche Metro station, the area is fairly safe but remember it is not Paris’s best side of town so keep your eyes open and keep an good eye on your valuables.

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Trespassers will be eaten

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Florida’s Gatorland has been entertaining guests for more than half a century, decades before Orlando became the theme park capital of the world. Opening in 1949 the family owned park has been at the forefront of Alligator preservation in the area. Now set on over 110 acres the complex is home to thousands of alligators and quite a few crocodiles as well as lots of other scaley reptiles, birds and other animals. One of the highlights of the park is the Gator Jumparoo show where huge alligators jump out of the water to snatch food of a handler. The giant reptiles jump nearly two metres off the surface of the water. There is also a gator wrestling show where some mad fool wrangles a 8 foot alligator in front of a full stadium- he must be mad. Gatorworld is open daily and is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of Disneyworld or Universal Studios for a few hours.

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King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle

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King Ludwig II was known as a bit of a nutter, but he had a lot of good things going for him, he was the guy who’s wedding celebration grew into Oktoberfest and he liked making grand and over the top castles for himself. His most famous is Neuschwanstein which is about 2 hours drive out of Munich and was the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Disneyland castles. The castle is open to the public and well worth the effort to visit. The castle is straight out of a fairy tale with gold, jewels and murals and King Ludwig’s signature swans prominent throughout the building. Poor King Ludwig didn’t get to see his finished work he and he nearly bankrupted the state, he ended up going a going over the edge and drowned with his friend in the nearby lake.

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