Posts from ‘February, 2008’

The Leningrad Zoo


Located in Alexander Park in St Petersburg is Russia’s oldest zoo. It was founded in 1865 by Sophia and Julius Gerhardt and is today home to over 400 species of animals. The Zoo has had a bit of a sad past, in the early 1900’s the zoo was very run down and closed to visitors. But in 1918 the zoo was restored and hunting expeditions were sent out to capture animals from around the world. But the Second World War brought more problems the poor old hippos had to eat sawdust porridge to survive the city’s siege by the evil Nazis. And although the people of Leningrad were starving the treasured elephants were kept fed and happy until they were sadly killed by bombs in an air raid in 1944. The city’s people were devastated, and the zoo closed for a while before re opening with a new elephant and some other exotic animals. Today the zoo is back to its former glory and a favorite for young and old. Read the rest of this entry »

Fishy smells in Tokyo


The Tsujiki Fish market in Tokyo is biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and strangely and is a major attraction for foreign visitors who get up as early as 5:00 AM to come to the market. The highlight of the market is the daily auction which kicks of about 5:20 and runs through to 7:00 here wholesalers who are called nakaoroshi gyousha sell their fish to agents who are acting for restaurants, fish processing companies and retail outlets. Once the auction is finished the fish are either cut up and transported or transported whole to their next destination. It is amazing to see the knife action on the huge frozen tuna and swordfish, some of the blades are over a metre in length. The market closes at 11:00 to give them time to clean the place and get ready for the next shipments. The market is also home to the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market which sells about everything it is the largest wholesale market in the world. The markets are open six days a week being closed on Sunday and is only a short distance away from Ginza. Read the rest of this entry »

Wangfujing Snack Street


Wangfujing in the centre of Beijing is home to many of the worlds’ best brands and a haven for shopping but it is also the best place to try traditional Chinese snacks. Snack Street is exactly that a street that sells snacks, there is just about everything available and quiet a few things you wouldn’t imagine like silk worms and tasty scorpions. But the dim sims and noodle dishes are just amazing and with the amount of people visiting this street the food is just so fresh. The street is jam packed with small stalls down each side of the road selling dumplings, interesting things on skewers and some real specialties including luzhohuoshao which is stewed pig intestine with wheat cakes and another favorite zhaguanchang which is a fried sausage which is served in garlic sauce- they are actually very tasty. If you would like something a bit more interesting you will be sure to find a boiled sheep’s head or even some tasty tripe- but trust me the dim sims are good and the good bits of the animal would surely go in them? There is a huge variety of foods something and there is something to suit everyone. Read the rest of this entry »

Fatso the Fat Arsed Wombat


During the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Fatso the Fat Arsed Wombat became the unofficial Olympic mascot and was caused quiet a stir doing it. The official mascots were Syd, Ollie and Mille they were a Platypus, an echidna and Kookaburra but they got overshaddowed by Fatso. Fatso was the creation of a Sydney cartoonist and featured on Sport’s comedians Roy & HG’s nightly show The Dream he overshaddowed the real mascots to the point the Australian Olympic Committe tried to ban him or stop their athletes getting seen with him.. Fatso survived and won the day he even ended up standing on the dias during a medal presentation. Fatso eventually got auctioned for charty reaching over $80,000, now living in a glass box in a TV executives office. But Fatso lives on and has been imortalised right outside the Sydney Olympic Stadium where a lifesize model of the fat arsed wombat appears on a pole showing all his glory. A must for anyone visiting the home of the best Olympics Games ever.

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Levi Strauss & Co visitors centre


Way back in 1853 a Bavarian immigrant called Levi Strauss and his tailor Jacob Davis designed his first pair of riveted blue jeans. Little did they know they were making what would become the most recognisable and one of the most loved clothing brands of all time. Today Levis is sold in over 160 countries and are the no 1 brand for jeans and casual pants, and the company is still privately owned by descendants of Levi Strauss. On Battery Street, San Francisco, the home of Levis is the Levi Strauss visitors center. The complex has six pavilions each showing a different aspect of the companies business. The display was opened to celebrate the company’s 150 anniversary and has proved very popular. The centre houses many historic jeans including many very rare and historic examples. There is heaps of advertising material including print, film and video from the 150 plus years of trading and a great insight into how jeans are made. The best thing about this centre is its free.

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Tom’s Restaurant


You might not recognize the name Toms Restaurant but I’m sure the picture looks familiar, does Monks Cafe bring back memories. Well Toms or Monks was the restaurant used in the hugely successful Seinfeld TV show of the 1990’s It is actually a real restaurant and can be found at 2880 Broadway in Manhattan, New York on the corner of 112 street. The outside street scape was used in the TV show but a studio was used for the inside shots. Now Seinfeld wasn’t the first time Tom’s Restaurant became famous, it featured in a Susan Vega song a few years earlier, and has since appeared in a novel and is often seen in some of the New York police dramas shot in the city. The restaurant has been ran by the Minasizoulis family since the 1950’s.

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Destination Moscow

YouTube direct

After decades of being just too hard for visitors, Moscow is starting to become a popular destination for tourists. Things still are not as easy or as safe as the other big cities in Europe but things are changing and the city has so much to offer. Magnificent architecture, lovey parks and gardens and friendly people are only some of the what this amazing city has to offer. Today’s You Tube video gives you a few tips for visiting this former Soviet capital which for so long the West was nervous of.

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Plenty of trolls and a fairytale palace


Hunderfossen Park in Norway’s Lillehammer is fun for all ages with over 50 activities and attractions. One of the highlights is Troll Park where a huge Troll guards the activities including Norwegian themed water rides and other amusement rides. The park also features and Eldorado which features a petting zoo, car rides for the young and even a gold digging area. There is a great 4D theatre experience based around Petra the bug and her creepy beetle friends and for the bigger kids some great rafting attractions. The centre of the park has a huge fairytale palace set in a magic forest where traditional Norwegian folk stories are told here you can meet the Hunderfossen king and queen and plenty of trolls. Kids love it!

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The giants causeway


The Giant’s Causeway is located in County Antrim in Northern Ireland and is one of the most amazing natural features on this planet. Protected by Unesco’s world heritage listing this 40,000 or more black basalt columns are believed to be the result of volcanic activity some 50 million years ago. The tones are an incredible hexagonal shape- which really do look as if they are man made. Well maybe they were there a local legend that suggests the stones were placed there by Finn MacCool who was a giant who roamed the north coast of Ireland. The story goes that he built a bridge to Scotland so another giant Benadonner could walk across the bridge to Ireland for a battle. Looking at the striking shapes and patterns of these rocks we think this is probably the best explanation of their existence. Read the rest of this entry »

Whos that bafoon in sector 7G?


Idaho not only holds the proud title of the 13th Largest State in the U.S. it is home to the worlds first nuclear reactor and you can visit. It is located about 15 miles from Arco which was the first city to be lit by atomic energy way back in July of 1955. The reactor opened in 1951 and was also the site of the first nuclear meltdown, but Idaho dosn’t mention that on it’s world firsts lists. The tours of the complex are self guided and you get a good insight into the early nuclear age, you can even see the famous hot cell where the plutonium 239 was produced behind 34 layers of oil seperated glass which is about 29 inches thick. One cool place to visit is the reactor core where you can actually stand on a platform and view into the huge stainless steel core tank. There’s a few control desks you can sit at and pretend to be Homer, so bring your own donuts.

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