Category Archives: Travel

Travel to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian controlled museum maintains the largest and most comprehensive collection of aviation and space artifacts, covering the many aspects of human flight, as well as many pieces of related art. The museum operates two landmark facilities that welcome as many as 8 million visitors each year, which make it the most visited museum in the US.

The museum features two buildings that maintain thousands of artifacts which are showcased in exhibitions on space exploration, aviation, and planetary science. At either of the locations, guests can find many programs, lectures, performance, and education activities that represent the history, technology, and science of flight.

The Washington, DC museum was officially opened in 1976 and is located in the heart of the Smithsonian complex. Here, guests can marvel at some of the most awe-inspiring icons of flight. The Chantilly, Virginia based Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is a massive museum with a hangar-like feel which can support many large space crafts and aircrafts. This site also contains the entire collection of space artifacts and aviation.

The National Air and Space Museum is the largest of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums and the Center for Earth and Planetary studies, which also serves as one of the Smithsonian’s 9 research centers.

There are more than 60,000 objects in the Museum’s collection which range in size from small microchips all the way up to Jetliners and Saturn V Rockets. More than 33% of the aircraft and spacecraft in the collection are one-of-a-kind pieces or they have been associated with a major milestone in flight.

The museum’s archives houses more than 12 thousand cubic feet of documents that record “flights” history, technology, and science. The museum also holds more than 14,000 film and video titles and more than 1.75 million photographs in the most complete collection of aviation and space images.

The museum in Washington, DC features 21 exhibit galleries, which include exhibits on the history of astronomy, the world wars, the Wright Brothers, the Apollo Space Program, and an exhibit on the relationship between time and navigation.

At the Udvar-Hazy Center, there are 3 connecting hangars that hold hundreds of aviation and space artifacts, which include the Space Shuttle Discovery; Charles Lindbergh memorabilia; astronaut gear and equipment; the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress; and a NASA android.

The National Air and Space Museum hosts numerous lectures, family days, and special events that feature aviation and space pioneers, including scientists, astronauts, and pilots. Many of the exhibits have been put online, with most of the lectures being broadcast online. The Public Observatory often streams live images of the Sun.

Travel to the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower is Paris’s most famous landmark and probably Europe’s best known landmark. You would not visit Paris, France without seeing or taking note of the Eiffel Tower. You will be able to see the top of the tower from nearly every part of Paris, even if you do not plan to visit this famous structure. Once the tallest tower of its kind built in the world, it raises a total of 984 feet high or 300 m. When it was completed at the end of the 19th century, it was as twice as high as the Washington monument, which was the tallest structure built at the time.

The World Exhibition 1889

The Eiffel Tower was the key feature built for the World Exhibition in 1889, which was held in celebration of the French Revolution in 1789.

The construction of the tower was only meant to last for the duration of the exhibition, yet it still stands today. Contemporary artists of the time feared that the structure would lead to more structures without “individuality,” while many other Parisians feared that the structure would not fit into the architecture of the city.

Nowadays, the citizens of Paris do not have such an aversion to the structure as it has become a prominent world symbol and the key symbol for the City of Light.

Gustave Eiffel – Gustave Eiffel was the man behind the building of the Eiffel Tower. Eiffel was well known for his building techniques, as he took part in the building of the great viaduct at Garabit in 1884. He was also well known for the construction of the iron framework of the Statue of Liberty.

The entire structure took more than 2 years to complete, with each one of the 12,000 iron pieces being designed separately to give them the exact shape they needed. Using nearly 7 million nails, all the pieces were prefabricated to fit together.

The tower is roughly the size of an 81-storey building, which made it the largest man-made structure in the world for some 41 years until it was bested in 1930 by the New York City Chrysler Building.

The tower features 3 levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second level. The upper level is an observatory located some 900 feet or 276 m off the ground. Tickets can be purchased to ride the lift up the tower; however, patrons can ascend the tower by way of steps up to the second level. Typically, the third level is inaccessible by stairs and can be reached by an elevator.

Travel to Everland Resort, Yongin, South Korea

Located in the city of Yongin, South Korea, Everland Resort is South Korea’s largest theme park. With more than 6.6 million visitors in 2011, the Everland Theme Park was the 13th most visited amusement park during that year. Everland is operated by a subsidiary of the Samsung Group, Samsung Everland.

It is interesting to note that “Everland” is an English term. In Korean the closest approximation is “Ebeoraendeu” – though there is no authentic Korean name for the park. The original name for the park was “Jayeon Nongwon” which means Natural Farm.

The Everland Resort has been designed with 5 distinct zones: Zoo-Topia, Magic Land, American Adventure, and Global Fair.

Zoo Topia – is the animal themed portion of the park. Zoo Topia features animal shows, pony rides, a petting zoo, and a small zoo that features penguins, sea lions, primates, polar bears and tigers. There is a safari bus ride that takes visitors on a ride through a contained habitat featuring bears and ligers. Guests can take a raft ride on the Amazon Express, where most visitors get wet to varying degrees. Zoo-Topia’s petting zoo has many animals such as goats and sheep to pet.

American Adventure – This part of the park features themes from American history, with 2 Wild West rides: the Rodeo and the “Eagle’s Fortress” thrill ride. Another part of the park includes Rock Ville, based on the 1950s and its music. The main attraction of Rock Ville is the Double Rock Spin which plays live bands near the Rolling X-Train, a roller coaster located within the American Adventure Park.

European Adventure – The architecture in this theme park imitates many different European styles, with numerous restaurants set in various European styles. Located in the European Adventure section also features a flower garden that is encircled by a train, many games, and arcades. The Mystery Mansion is one of the key attractions, where guests can shoot at the ghosts. The T-Express roller coaster made its debut in 2008, as South Korea’s only roller-coaster to be constructed out of wood.

Magic Land – Magic land features many elaborate rides and buildings, including a log flume, a robot ride, and a futuristic flying ride. Also located in Magic Land is a portion of the park set up called Aesop’s Village where the characters and the themes have been set around the fables of Aesop.

Global Fair – The Global Fair is a great area for food, for souvenir shopping, and for taking pictures as the visitors make their way out of the park. Here the guests are able to find restaurants, shops, lockers, and strollers.

Travel to the British Museum, London, England

Located in London, England, the British Museum is a large scale museum dedicated to human history and culture. It houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in the world. Numbering more than 8 million works, their permanent collections include pieces from all continents, documenting the story of human culture from its earliest beginning up until the present day.

Established in 1753, the British Museum was at the time largely based on the collections of scientist and scholar Sir Hans Sloane. Since the site opened in 1759 on the site of the current museum building, in Montagu House in Bloomsbury, the museum has overseen many renovations and expansions over 250 years. Many of the expansions were largely due to the expansion of British Colonial Movement, which resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, including the British Museum of Natural History, located in Kensington in 1881. Some of the particular objects have been subject to controversy, with many countries calling for restitution for their lost items.

The British Library moved to a new site in 1997, from its previous location in the Round Reading Room. Previously, the British Museum housed the national library and the national museum in the same building. Like all other national museums in the United Kingdom, there museums are sponsored by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and it charges no admission fees, except for its loan exhibitions.

Currently, the British Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Egyptian Antiquities outside of Cairo’s Egyptian Museum. With over 100,000 pieces, this collection is immense in its range and quality, offering many great pieces from the various locations and periods of Ancient Egypt. These pieces cover all the cultures of the Nile Valley, from the Predynastic Neolithic period all the way to the Christian times, which is a time-span of more than 11,000 years.

The Egyptian collection by 1924 consisted of nearly 57,000 pieces. Through the Museums support of excavations in Egypt, they continued to bring in many useful acquisitions throughout the 20th century until Egypt started enforcing new antiquities laws that led to the suspension of exporting antiquities. Today, the collection of Egyptian antiquities now number more than 110,000 objects.

In 2001, the museum was able to add to its collection of 8 million objects in its permanent collection with 6 million additions from the Wendorf Collection of Egyptian and Sudanese Prehistory. Professor Fred Wendorf of Southern Methodist University in Texas donated his entire collection of remains and artifacts from his excavations between 1963 and 1997.

Key Elements of the Egyptian Collection include:

Colossal red granite statue of Amenhotep III (1350 BC)

Colossal head from a statue of Amenhotep III (1350 BC)

Colossal limestone bust of Amenhotep III (1350 BC)

The Rosetta Stone (196 BC)

Colossal bust of Ramesses II, the “Younger Memnon” (1250 BC)

Limestone false door of Ptahshepses (2380 BC)

Mummy of Cleopatra from Thebes (100 AD)

Amarna tablets (1350 BC)

The Meriotic Hamadab Stela from the Kingdom of Kush

Limestone statue of a husband and wife (1300 BC)

The Battlefield Palette, (circa ~3500 to 3000 BC)

List of the kings of Egypt from the Temple of Ramesses II (1250 BC)

Granite statue of Senwosret III (1850 BC)

Obelisk of Pharaoh Nectanebo II (360–343 BC)

Travel to Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong

Hong Kong Disneyland is the first theme park located inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, which is managed by the Hong Kong International Theme Parks. Hong Kong Disneyland is located on Lantau Island on reclaimed land in Penny’s Bay. Together with Ocean Park Hong Kong, it is one of the largest theme parks in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Disneyland was opened to visitors on Sept. 12th 2005. Disney has attempted to avoid any negative cultural backlash by trying to include in this park and equal amount of Chinese culture, traditions and customs, when designing and building the resort. They tried to adhere to the rules and principals of Feng Shui; which included adding a bend in a walkway near the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort entrance so that they would not loose qi or Chi energy flowing into the South China Sea.

The theme park consists of 7 themed areas, including: Adventureland, Grizzly Gulch, Main Street, USA, Toy Story Land, Fantasyland, and Mystic Point. The cast members working at the theme park are able to speak Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. Guide maps have been provided in Chinese, Japanese, and English.

Toy Story Land

Toy Story Land is exclusive to Asia, bringing a wide variety of attractions for people of all ages. You can join the toys from your favorite Toy Story Movies; spend some playtime in Andy’s backyard where everyone can explore an oversized world with many larger than life attractions. The Three most promising adventures include the Slinky Dog Spin, the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop, and the RC Racer thrill ride.

Mystic Point

Mystic Point is the parks’ newest and most exclusive attraction, with many amazing mysteries to unlock during your visit. The park is hosted by, Lord Henry Mystic, an eccentric explorer. Visitors of this park are able to view his many acquisitions from around the world and ride his latest invention: the Mystic Magneto-Electric Carriage. You can’t always trust your senses at Mystic Point.

Grizzly Gulch

This original and entirely new theme park is exclusive to Hong Kong Disneyland. Journey through an amazing wilderness landscape aboard the Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars or join in the fun a Geyser Gulch. To complete your adventure, take in the Grizzly Gulch Welcome Wagon Show and Wild West Photo. Look out for tricky water hazards and mischievous grizzly bears.

Travel to Lotte World Adventure, Seoul, South Korea

Lotte World Adventure is a major recreational complex located in the heart of Seoul, Korea. The park opened in 1989 and consists of the world’s largest indoor theme park called Indoor Adventure, along with an outdoor theme park called Magic Island. Also located in the recreational complex are the Korean Folk Museum, department stores, shopping malls, a movie theatre, a luxury hotel, and a sports facility.

Magic Island

Magic Island is Lotte World’s outdoor theme park, located on an artificial island located in the middle of Seokchon Lake. The park has been designed in a medieval European style featuring a spectacular magic castle located in its center. On Magic Island, there are 17 different thrilling rides, including the Gyro Drop, a high-altitude free-fall thrill ride.

Lotte World is located in the heart of the city, making it a great spot for sightseeing and entertainment. There is a folk museum, the lake, many thrilling rides, an ice rink, and many different parades for patrons to enjoy. The park hosts roughly 6 million visitors every year with approximately 1 million being foreigners. The building inside makes use of the natural sunlight, and is open for visitors all year round.

Indoor Adventure

Indoor Adventure is the world’s largest indoor theme park and is home to many seasonal festivals and parades, including: the Rio Samba Carnival, the Masquerade Festival, the Christmas Festival, and the Halloween Party. The Indoor Adventure’s theme is “Little World Village” and features 22 different rides; which include the French Revolution, the Flume Ride, the Camelot Carousel, the World Monorail, and the Conquistador to name a few.

The Folk Museum is located on the 3rd floor of the Indoor Adventure Park. The museum features many exhibits featuring the history of Korea and its culture. A popular highlight for international visitors is the animation and scaled models that are used to illustrate the history of the country. Visitors can browse the stalls at the Jeojageori traditional market or take in historic performances at the Norimadang Performance Hall.

Lotte World Adventure has certain districts that represent many foreign countries and cultures with numerous facilities and souvenir shops. At Lotte World, visitors can enjoy watching films, watching parades, laser shows, and eat at a variety of international themed establishments.

Travel to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a large park that features a gorgeous contrast of water features and desert, numerous mountains and canyons, a busy marina for lake boating, and some primitive backcountry areas. Dams located on the Colorado River have backed up the flow of the water creating Lake Mojave and Lake Mead.

The Lake Mead area is a major summer destination for millions who flock to one of the hottest, driest regions on the planet. Here, they are able to enjoy boating, swimming, water-sports, and fishing. Located in the heart of the Mojave Desert, visitors are attracted to the refreshing water parks; however, they find many other unexpected rewards. The amazing beauty and geology of the desert features many specially adapted plants and animals that provide numerous exciting attractions for its patrons.

Lake Mead

Lake Mead is the largest man-made lake in the country. It is located along the Colorado River in Nevada and Arizona, some 30 miles east of Las Vegas.

The Lake came as a result of the Hoover Dam, which was completed in 1935. The entire Lake Mead National Recreation Area includes these waters, in addition to the surrounding 1.5 million acres of land encompassing them. The area provides tourists with numerous outdoor recreational opportunities from water-sports all the way to back country exploration of the unique and isolated countryside.

Visitors to the recreational area will be able to fine many deep canyons, sheer cliffs, distant mountains, colorful soils, vegetation, and scenic backdrops, in addition to the warm-water of Lake Mead.

The lake is home to many fish species such as: Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Striped Bass, Channel Catfish, and Crappie. Thanks to the desert climate, fishing is good throughout the year, with excellent Crappie fishing during the winter months. Crappie, Catfish, Bluegill, and Green Sunfish are more prevalent on the upper Overton Arm of the lake, while Stripers and Largemouth Bass can be fished anywhere on the lake.

The location of Temple Bar Marina is great for weather all year ‘round. It is a great spot for many of the popular activities in the area, including: hiking, boating, fishing, and mountain biking. The clear waters of Lake Mead provide an excellent venue for watersports, including: tubing, waterskiing and wakeboarding. Temple bar is a skier’s dream with many miles of unobstructed of about 20 miles or more in each direction.

Lake Mead also features hundreds of beautiful shorelines set within the red rocks of America’s southwest. Find a houseboat rental from Temple Bar Marina on Lake Mead; it’s a great way to put yourself in the middle of all the lake action.

Travel to the Universal Orlando Resort, Florida

The Universal Orlando Resort is a theme park and resort located in Orlando, Florida. Commonly called Universal Orlando, the theme park is wholly owned by NBC Universal. Universal Orlando is the second largest resort in the Greater Orlando, Florida area after Walt Disney World. It is considered the largest property operated by Universal Parks & Resorts.

Universal Orlando consists of two main theme parks: the Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure and the Universal CityWalk Orlando entertainment complex. Additionally there are four Loews Hotels on the property.

Universal Islands of Adventure

Opening in May 1999, Universal Islands of Adventure is a theme park that consists of “7 islands” that are themed to various adventures. Visitors will begin at the Port of Entry and will make their way through the various themed islands. The islands include: Toon Lagoon, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Lost Continent, Jurassic Park, Seuss Landing, and Marvel Super Hero Landing. The newest island, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, based on the popular book and movie franchise, was recently added to the original islands on June 18, 2010.

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida is a theme park that was officially opened on June 7th, 1990. The parks’ theme is that of the entertainment industry, in particular movies and television. With its “ride the movies” theme, the park features numerous live shows and attractions.

The park has ranked as high as eighth most-visited theme part in the US, hosting more than 5.9 million guests in 2010.

Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk was officially opened to the public in 1999, as an expansion to the Universal Orlando Resort. Guests will arrive to the resort park from one of the two multi-story parking structures, where they will travel along moving sidewalks that lie over Universal Boulevard. Once in CityWalk, guests can move between both theme parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. Merchandise for both theme parks can be purchased at the Universal Store.

Located in CityWalk are numerous nightclubs, shopping, restaurants, the Blue Man Group show, and the AMC Movie Theatre. The many nightclubs located in CityWalk including: the Red Coconut Club, the Bob Marley-A Tribute to Freedom, Groove, and the Latin Quarter. Other notable locations include Margarita Ville, NBA City, Pastamore, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Emeril’s, NASCAR Sports Grill, and Hard Rock Café. More Family oriented and casual dining spots include: Burger King Whopper Bar, Fusion Bistro Sushi & Saki Bar, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Panda Express.

Wet’n Wild Orlando

Founded in 1977 by SeaWorld founder George Millay, Wet’n Wild is one of the first major water parks. Wet’n Wild was acquired by Universal Parks & Resorts, which has been added to Universal Orlando. The park features 18 water slides and attractions at the water park. The major attractions of the park include: Disco H2O, the Surge, Bomb Bay, and the Storm. Wet’n Wild is located nearly a half mile south of the Universal parking garage, at the intersection of International Drive and Universal Boulevard.

Travel to the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

The Lincoln Memorial is a national monument built to honor former US president, Abraham Lincoln. He was the 16th President of the United States. It is located in Washington, D.C. across from the Washington Monument. Henry Bacon was the chief architect of the monument, while Daniel Chester French served as the primary sculptor of the statue. Jules Guerin served as the painter for the interior murals. The Lincoln Memorial was officially dedicated in 1922, and is one of many monuments built to honor a former US president.

The Lincoln memorial monument is located on the National Mall on its west end. When standing on the front steps of the monument, visitors have a great view of the US Capitol and the Washington Monument.

The monument is built in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains the famous seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln. Also, the building features inscriptions of two famous Lincoln speeches; Lincoln’s Inaugural Address and the Gettysburg Address.

The Lincoln Memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, none more so than Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which he delivered on Aug 28th, 1963. This speech marked the end of the March in Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The Lincoln Memorial is one of many monuments located in the National Mall – including the nearby Korean War Veterans Memorial, the National World War II Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The memorial is administered by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial group. The monument is open to the public 24 hours a day.

Lincoln Statue

The large sculpture of Abraham Lincoln seated in a chair is located inside a 30m tall marble temple. The original sculpture being designed by Daniel Chester French was intended to be 10ft/3m tall. Architect Henry Bacon saw that the statue may be dwarfed by the large building structure, so the statue was resized to nearly double at 5.8m.

Construction of the monument was started in 1914, with a base design of a Greek Doric temple and 36 Doric columns. At the time of Lincoln’s death, there were 36 states in the union. When the memorial was completed in 1922, 12 more states had been added to the union, so the names of all 48 states were carved on the outside of the memorial’s walls. Later on, the last two states, Hawaii and Alaska were added with the other names of the new states.

Travel to Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Met is the largest art museum in the United States and one of the ten largest in the world. Located in New York City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art consists of many significant art collections totaling more than 2 million works of art. These are divided amongst its 17 curatorial departments. Located on Manhattan’s Museum Mile, on the eastern edge of Central Park, the main building is home to one of the largest art galleries in the world. “The Cloisters” is a much smaller second location in Upper Manhattan that features many great works of medieval art.

The Met maintains an extensive holdings’ of Asian, African, Islamic, Byzantine, and Oceanic art to go along with its permanent collection of American and Modern Art, works from Ancient Egypt and classical antiquity, and many sculptures and paintings from nearly all the European masters. The Met is also home to massive collections of costumes, accessories, musical instruments, armors, and antique weapons from all around the world.

The met was founded in 1870 by a group of American businessmen and financiers, including many of the days leading artists and thinkers, who wanted to bring art and art education to the people of America. Located originally at 681 Fifth Avenue, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was opened on Feb 20, 1872.

Today’s Museum houses more than 2 million objects in its two-million-square-foot building. Tens of thousands of which are put on display at any one time.

A comprehensive architectural plan for the museum was devised in 1971 and finally completed in 1991. Notable additions to the museum after the redesign included: the Sackler Wing, which is home to the Temple of Dendur; the Robert Lehman Wing, which houses many great works from Old Masters; the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, which displays many works from the Americas, Africa, and Oceania. The American Wing showcases a diverse collection that includes 25 renovated period rooms. As well, the Henry R. Kravis Wing features many great works of European Sculpture and the Renaissance period arts.

After finishing the expansion of the building and the renovations, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has continued to reorganize, refine, and build its collection of works. The Arts of Korea was opened to the public in 1998, which was the last phase of galleries devoted to the arts of Asia. Following a renovation in 1999, the Ancient Near Eastern Art Gallery was reopened to the public. In 2007, many major projects were completed, including a 15 year renovation of the Roman and Greek period Art Galleries.