Visiting Vienna Austria The Life Of Luxury In Dubai Regional Indian Cookery The Punjab Venice The Floating City Bawling Colombia

Vienna Austria is the country’s capital and is located on the scenic River Danube. This city was the political center of the Austrian Empire and is home to ornate palaces and museums. Many of these were built for or by the Hapsburg family and trace the family history as well as the country’s history.

Visiting Vienna

The city has many hotels and other accommodations near the airport and in surrounding areas. There are hotels in every price range. The inner city is home to monuments and parks that are popular tourist attractions. Old, ornate churches can be found here as well as other building such as Parliament, the University and Opera house.

When planning your trip, be aware that most attractions are closed on public holidays in the city. Public holidays include: January 1, January 6, the Monday after Easter, May 1, Ascension Thursday, The Feast of Corpus Christi, August 15, November 1, December 8, December 25 and 26. Just about all museums, palaces and many shops are closed on these days.

Museums

o Kuntshall Wien is a museum with a collection of modern and contemporary art. The artists are both Austrian and International artists. This museum is run by the city of Vienna.

o The Sigmund Freud Museum is dedicated to the Father of Modern Psychology. It is run by the Sigmund Freud Society and traces the doctor’s life and work.

o Austrian Gallery Belvedere was built for Prince Eugene of Savoy as a summer home. It is now open for tours and contains art work and historical information. The gardens are spectacular and are also open for touring.

Palaces in Vienna

Vienna is home to several palaces built for the Hapsburg family. The Imperial Palace is located in the inner city and it was from here that the Hapsburgs ruled for seven centuries. It was constructed in the early 13th century. The Gothic chapel on the site is still open on Sundays for services. The Vienna Boy’s Choir sings here. The palace is open for tours during the week.

The Gothic Cathedral of St. Stephens is located near the Imperial Palace. Construction on this ornate cathedral was started in the thirteenth century and completed in the fifteenth century. The steeple of St. Stephens can be seen from all over the city.

Schonbrunn Palace was built as a summer residence for Empress Sisi. The grounds include a park, zoo and large labyrinth that are open for tour as well as an ornate, Baroque style palace. There is so much to see at this palace that you should plan an entire day here.

The Belvedere Palace is also built in the Baroque style. This palace was the heart of the former Hapsburg empire. The Austrian Gallery Belvedere is located here. In addition to viewing the artwork, you can tour the palace and gardens.

The Imperial Burial Vault is located below the Capuchin Church and is open for tours. This was the burial place for members of the Hapsburg family. The vault contains 146 aristocrats, 12 emperors and 19 empresses.

The United Arab Emirates are a prime tourist destination because they stand out as a remarkable example of how petrodollars can be used to improve the lives of Arabs. In contrast to the poverty for which so much of Arabia is renowned, Dubai features skyscrapers and futuristic amusement parks. Modern Dubai is the product of 20 years of intensive planned development; prior to this, it was a small fishing port of little importance.

The United Arab Emirates, or UAE, is 32,000 square mile political union of seven sheikhdoms, formed when the British left the Gulf region in 1971. The total area of Dubai is approximately 1000 square miles, and it is the second largest emirate in the UAE, after Abu Dhabi. In addition to a federal president and prime minister, each emirate has a separate ruler who oversees the local government. Dubai, a small fishing settlement, was taken over around 1830 by a group of Bani Yas tribesmen from the Liwa oasis, led by the Maktoum family which still rules the tiny nation today. For most of its history, main economic activities were agriculture, fishing and pearl production.

The ruling clan of Dubai was exceptionally progressive, and did their best to make their tiny nation attractive to traders from nations including India and Persia. These businessmen settled in the growing city of Dubai and made it a leading entry port for trade goods. In 1971, the independent emirate joined with the other small sheikhdoms of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and, in 1972, Ras Al Khaimah to create the federation of United Arab Emirates.

The discovery of oil in 1966 transformed the region by providing funds for the development of a modern, western infrastructure. The Maktoum family, unlike many middle eastern rulers who hoard oil wealth for their private use alone, ensured that the oil revenue was deployed in national development. Much of the modernization is due to the efforts of Sheikh Rasid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who ruled from 1958 to 1990.

Well informed of the risks of oil-dependency, Sheikh Rashid actively promoted industrial ventures to build his nation’s infrastructure. The Aluminium and Cement factory are the result of this endeavour. He also establised the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone, the fifth largest free trade zone in the world. Within 10 years of its inception, it attracted over 900 international companies that include global giants such as General Motors, AEG, Aiwa, BP, Ciba, Geigy, Daewoo and Heinz.

Dubai is appealing to tourists as well as business executives. Like the rest of the U.A.E., it has also been actively promoting itself as a vacation destination. In June 1996 World Travel prizes ceremony held in Las Vegas, USA, it won the gold prize for the best destination in the Middle East.

Dubai features the annual Dubai Shopping Festival, the Dubai World Trade Center which hosts innumerable international events and fairs, the Dubai Air Show, the Dubai Summer Surprises, the world’s tallest skyscraper, an undersea hotel and even indoor alpine skiing at the Ski Dubai Dome.

The Dubai International Airport is reputed to be the world’s second best transit airport. It currently handles 7.3 million passengers per year with a growth rate of 12% that is double that of any other airport in the world. The emirates, which will begin receiving Airbus A380 superjumbos starting April 2007, will hire 8,000 new staff members as cabin crew for its rapidly expanding air fleet. It is investing $20 million to expand its crew training facility at the Emirates Training Center in Garhoud.

The Punjab is situated in eastern India and is divided by the Indian/Pakistani border. It is very fertile because of the rivers that cross here and as a consequence, agriculture is central to the economy. Wheat accounts for a large proportion of the crops, along with corn, mustard greens, sugar cane and rice.

Buffalo milk which is 3% higher in fat than cows milk, is also important to the Punjabis, who are not prey to worries about cholesterol. Every bit of the buffalo milk is used in some way or other. Some is used in tea or evaporated into a much thicker richer milk known as bhadoli, which in turn is set into yoghurt. The thick cream will be removed from the top of the yoghurt and churned into butter. Some of the butter will be saved as is and the rest will be warmed slowly and turned into ghee (clarified butter) by pouring off the clear butter and discarding the solid sediment. Yet more of the milk will be made into paneer, the Indian equivalent of cottage cheese. The milk is boiled then curdled by adding lime juice then strained of whey, leaving the curds which can be shaped into solid rounds.

The Punjab is predominantly Sikh, being the home of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, central to the Sikh religion, thus more than half of all Punjabis are vegetarian. No one goes hungry here and Sikh temples always offer simple free meals of bread and vegetable curry to all who turn up.

Bread is the most important part of the Punjabi diet. Rotis are made from wholewheat flour and water, formed into balls and flattened into discs which are then slapped onto the site of a tandoor or onto a tava (a flat griddle pan like a flat frying pan). Rotis are commonly eaten for breakfast with butter, fresh yoghurt and pickles, while for lunch or dinner there will be parathas which are much richer, being brushed with ghee, folded and rolled again before being cooked and brushed with more ghee.

Unlike most of the rest of India, rice in the Punjab is for special occasions only or for making rice pudding.

Lunch in the fields will often consist of paratha and a curry made from onions fried with garlic, ginger, green chillies, cayenne, garam masala, tomatoes, turmeric and salt. Potatoes are stirred in and coated with the spices before adding water and cooking slowly.

Breads may also be served for dinner with small black beans and kidney beans cooked with onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes and garnished with butter. Another favourite is paneer bhaji – tomatoes, chillies and ginger quickly fried with crumbled paneer added – or the same basic mixture with pure
For a millennium, Venice has provided inspiration for artists and writers. This coveted city is made up of 118 islands linked by 453 bridges. Each corner of town exhibits individual architectural magnificence, the city combining as one to form a spectacular theatrical stage set.

Beautiful churches adorn the banks of the Grand Canal as she snakes her way through the city. This main artery is at the centre of a myriad of canals running throughout the town.

The lifeblood of Venice is its tourism, a magnet for over 12 million visitors a year. Catering for this influx of visitors, the cities population of 70,000 people continue their daily lives, working the bars, cafes and restaurants.

Despite all this however, it seems that Venice is slowly sinking at the rate of approximately 2 inches every century. Terrible floods in 1966 caused much doom mongering and many people feared that Venice was about to be taken off the map.

The threat to remove funding for vital restoration projects gave serious cause for concern and prompted an urgent response to save the city. It was feared imminent flooding could completely destroy the city; preventative measures were high priority.

The efforts of the past two decades have had considerable success. Reduced pollution, shipping and the restoration of natural sandbanks have all contributed to the cause.

The first settlers of Venice were those fleeing the Barbarians around 400 AD. To create solid foundations for their buildings they drove timber into the mud and began creating a community for their people.

The city’s emblem, the winged lion, derived from Saint Mark the Evangelist. The first significant church of Venice was built in the ninth century to house the relics of Saint Mark, and his emblem was soon adopted.

Venice’s trade brought great wealth and prosperity to the city and for many centuries it continued to grow. The city thrived on its colonies and invested its riches wisely. Churches and palaces became commonplace, as were museums to house many newly acquired works of art.

For the past couple of centuries however, the obvious lack of development space meant the city found it difficult to advance further. Wars with Turkey were a drain on the resources and so Venice was content to consolidate.

Despite this, Venice does not rest on its laurels. Every visit offers something new, a fresh experience to take home. Each region of the city has an individual charm, giving the sense there is always something special around each corner.

Colombia, the Republic of Columbia is a country in the north west of South America. The country of Colombia is bound to the north and north-west by the Caribbean Sea, to the east by Venezuela and Brazil, to the south by Ecuador and Peru, and to the west by Panama and the Pacific Ocean. The official language in Colombia is Spanish. The capital city of Colombia is Bogotai, with an estimated population of 44,000,000.

Colombia with a total area of 1,138,910 sq km is the fourth biggest country in South America. This rank of fourth comes after Brazil, Argentina and Peru. This area can be devided up into land, 1,038,700 sq km, and water, 100,210 sq km. Although it is in the Tropical area The Colombian climate, is made different by the influence of the Andes mountain range. Colombia is tropical in the coastlands and lowlands and can get very cool in the mountains.

The eastern half of Colombia, which is more than half its total physical size, is plain and composed by rainforest. Colombia is crossed by rivers which belong to both the Amazon and Orinoco basins. The northern part of Colombia is called “Los Llanos”, it is a savanna region. Colombian Pacific Plains at times of the year are among the most rainy parts in the world!

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