The most visited tourist attraction in Paris, the Eiffel Tower also ranks high on the list of places to visit in France. It’s hard to believe that the structure was dismissed as a monstrosity when it was first unveiled. The iconic tower was designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel for the Paris Exhibition of 1889, which marked the centenary of the French Revolution. The tower consists of 18,000 sturdy iron sections (weighing over 10,000 tons) held together by 2.5 million rivets. This innovative structure is now considered a masterful architectural feat and is the most emblematic sight in Paris. From the Jardins du Trocadero and the lawns of the Champs de Mars, there is just the right distance from the Eiffel Tower for a picture-perfect photo-op. Reaching 324 meters in height, the tower was the world’s tallest building until the Empire State Building was erected.
Nepal is a a fabulous destination if you are looking for ancient history mixed with trekking and adventure exploration. The Bodhanath Stupa, just outside of Kathmandu, is one of the largest stupas of its kind in the world, and dates to sometime around the 6th century, possibly even earlier. Like Bhaktapur, it lies on the old trade route to Tibet and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stupa sustained minor damage during the 2015 earthquake but is otherwise in good condition. The stupa itself is a symbol of enlightenment but at Boudhanath the symbolism is particularly clear. Each different shape represents one of the five elements, earth, water, fire, air, and sphere, which are also the attributes of the five Buddhas. Brought together in the form of the stupa, their unity reflects in abstract fashion the structure of the universe itself.
Luxury travel discounts with membership. China is an awesome location if you are searching for adventure and ancient history exploration. Few cities in China can boast quite the same concentration of splendid historic sites and ancient temples as the city of Hangzhou (Hangchow), capital of Zhejiang province at the southernmost end of China’s famous Grand Canal. Much of this rich collection is gathered around lovely West Lake, a six-kilometer-square stretch of water in the heart of the old city, which is surrounded by numerous hills, pagodas, and temples. Divided into five distinct sections by man-made causeways dating back as far as the 11th century, it’s a marvelous area to explore on foot as you cross from one stretch of water to the next, only to be met with another cluster of fine old buildings (it’s particularly pleasant in spring when its many peach trees are blossoming). Part of the fun is lingering on the lake’s many fine old bridges, one of the best being the Broken Bridge (Duanqiao) linking the Baidi Causeway with the shore, and exploring Little Paradise Island with its four mini-lakes linked by the zigzagging Bridge of the Nine Arches. Be sure to hop aboard one of the many tour boats and small pleasure craft available to whisk you around the lake, and if time permits, stick around for the fun musical fountain show held each evening.
An awesome country : Austria! Eisriesenwelt could easily be described as an amusement park for nature lovers. Home to a complex of underground ice caves, Eisriesenwelt offers dozens of miles of paths through stunning caverns. After climbing down more than 700 steps, the Eispalast emerges. This is an enormous palace made from ice, and when light hits its walls it sparkles beautifully. The nearest city to Eisriesenwelt is Werfen, where visitors can catch a round-trip shuttle that departs regularly from the city’s train station.
Indonesia is an incredible country, so much history, a must see. Indonesia sits on the Ring of Fire, an area with some of the most active volcanoes in the world. Many of the country’s volcanoes, such as Mount Merapi, are famous for their violent eruptions and their stunning, but dangerous beauty. Mount Bromo is among the best known, thanks largely to its incredible views, particularly when seen standing over the caldera at sunrise. Bromo’s peak was blown off in an eruption, and you can still see white smoke spewing from the mountain. The volcano is part of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, which also includes Mount Semeru, the highest peak in Java. The park is home to the Tengger people, an isolated ethnic group who trace their ancestry back to the ancient Majapahit empire.
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