Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Royal Mile of Edinburgh


Torn Kirk Clock Tower

If you are a tourist visiting Edinburgh, the first place you should  head towards is the Royal Mile. This slightly over a mile long road starts from the entrance of the Edinburgh Castle and ends at the gates of Holyrood Palacehouse.
View of the pedestrian only area of the Royal Mile


Scotsman playing his bagpipes

The Royal mile is an eclectic mix of tourists, shops, restaurants, pubs and historic monuments and is probably one of the most famous streets in the world. This historic heart of the city is full of fascinating links to the history of Scotland which is very visible as one  walks down this beautiful cobbled street. 

This most famous thoroughfare which goes through the old city is made up of the streets of  Castle Esplanade, Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand.

 A series of narrow alleys connect to the  street from the north and south. Castle hill from where the Royal Mile originates was once an active volcano which subsequently  solidified into a volcanic plug that is now the castle rock on which sits the Edinburgh castle. It is believed that people have lived on castle rock for over 7000 years and the castle area has been a hill fort for over 2000 years.

The Royal Mile is bustling with life and it can easily take you more than a few days to really enjoy all that it offers. Sights like this Scotsman in his kilts playing his bagpipes can be seen on the streets. Be sure to explore the side streets and alleys - you will be pleasantly surprised by interesting small shops, cafes and tea rooms.

A walk down the royal mile will take you past some of the most popular tourist venues in this region. Some of these are 

1. Edinburgh Castle
2. Scotch Whiskey Heritage Centre
3. St Giles Cathedral
4. Mary King's Close
5. Scottish Parliament 
6. Palace of Holyrood                                
                                      
St Giles Cathedral

Anita enjoying a bite and chilled beer at one of the many eating places on the mile
My photographs are available as framed prints, posters, canvas prints etc. Please click on the image below to go directly to my art shop.
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Niagara Falls

For generations, the majestic Niagara Falls have evoked a sense of awe and admiration. This major tourist attraction offers spectacular scenery's, throbbing night life and miles of hiking opportunities. This is certainly a vacation destination that everyone can enjoy. The Niagara Falls are best viewed from the city of Ontario in Canada. The closest airports to the Falls are Toronto in Canada and Buffalo in the US. As we were travelling from New York city, we flew in to Buffalo and travelled by road ( a short 2 hour drive ) to Ontario. If possible, choose a hotel which offers rooms with a view of the the falls . Stayed at the Marriott which has some spectacular views of both American as well as the Canadian Horseshoe Falls
 The Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian Side
The Niagara falls are actually 3 falls – the main Canadian Horseshoe Falls falling on the Canadian side  and the adjacent American Falls falling on the American side along with the comparatively smaller Bridal Veils Falls .
View of the Horseshoe Falls
The Horseshoe Falls (right) and American Falls (left)

The Niagara Falls are believed to have been formed when glaciers receded at the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago resulting in the formation of the Great Lakes. The water from these lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. The Niagara Falls are very wide with more than 6 million cubic feet of water falling over the crest every minute The  Falls form the highest flow rate on any waterfall in the world and has a vertical drop of 165 feet. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall  in North America. The width of the Horseshoe Falls is about 790 mtrs while the smaller American Falls is 320 mtrs wide. The Falls are located on the Niagara River draining Lake Erie into Lake Ontario.

                          Another  Views of the Falls
Rainbow over the Horseshoe Falls

 These pictures were taken from our room which overlooked the Falls. Sunrise is a sight to be
experienced.
Sunrise at Niagara
Table Rock Welcome Centre
Ontario Skyline as seen from the Niagara Parks
The action at the Niagara Falls starts from the Table Rock welcome centre from where you get an awesome view of the majestic falls. This is the heart of the Niagara Parks where over 8 million visitors come during the year and experience the thundering water flowing over the brink of the Horseshoe falls. Be sure to experience 'Niagara Fury' - a show replicating the creation of the Niagara Falls. This is a show that will immerse you in a 4D style experience where standing on a large platform that will sway and roll,  you will experience water that will spray down and snow fall all around. This is Niagara's fury.
The Table Rock Centre has a well stocked food court with Tim Horton's, Niagara Pizza Co., Ah-So Sushi, Burger Town and other favourite options for a light meal or beverage.  The centre also has shops offering Canadian gifts and souvenirs. Be sure to pick yours from here.
Anita after a hectic day of sightseeing
Ontario is a true tourist spot and a very popular holiday destination. Accommodation options are many catering to the budget traveller as well as the well heeled ones. After a day of sightseeing, evenings can be enjoyable with a variety of dining choices and cuisines on offer. Night life too has much to offer - both for grown-ups as well as children. During the summer months, there is a spectacular fireworks display over the falls. Don't miss it if you are visiting in summer.
If you want to try your luck, visit the Casino Niagara with 1700 slot machines or the Fallsview Casino resort. For the die hard rock fan, there is the Hard Rock Club which has a dance floor with a view of the falls.

There is much to discover at Niagara Falls. You will enjoy this break.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

If you are visiting Prague, you will definitely be take a tour of the Tyn Church, the real name of which is Church of Our Lady before Tyn. The two spires of this powerful looking Gothic church (with a Baroque interior) dominate the skyline of Prague and  can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.
.The Tyn Church dominates the old city of Prague and has been the main church since the 14th century. If you look closely at the two spires, you will notice that they are asymmetrical, one being thicker than the other - something which is characteristic of the Gothic architecture of its time and is a representation of both the masculine and feminine sides of the world.
Some Highlights of the Tyn Church ( Source Wikipedia) : 
  • The northern portal is a wonderful example of Gothic sculpture from the Parler workshop, with a relief depicting the Crucifixion. The main entrance is located on the church's western face, through a narrow passage between the houses in front of the church.
  • The early baroque altarpiece has paintings by Karel Škréta from around 1649.
  • The oldest pipe organ in Prague stands inside this church. The organ was built in 1673 by Heinrich Mundt and is one of the most representative 17th-century organs in Europe.
  • The great Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who worked for Emperor Rudolph II, was buried in the church in 1601. His beautiful marble tomb slab is located inside.
  • The church appears in the start of the Revolution Films movie xXx


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Friday, January 20, 2012

My Art for Sale

My Photographs are available for sale as framed prints, canvas prints, greeting cards and much more at   http://pravinechester.artistwebsites.com/. Please do visit the website and have a look.

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