LAND OF MOZART, SALZBURG, AUSTRIA

LAND OF MOZART, SALZBURG, AUSTRIA

Famously known as the birthplace of Mozart, one of the greatest composers of all times, Salzburg is among one of Europe’s most beautiful and Austria’s fourth largest city. Situated on the border of Germany, Salzburg provides a splendid view of the Eastern Alps.
HOHENSALZBURG CASTLE: Sitting atop the Festungsberg, a small hill in the Austrian city of Salzburg, the Hohensalzburg Castle, is one of the largest and undoubtedly the most beautiful medieval castles in Europe. The Salzburg Fortress standing tall over the city of Salzburg was erected on the behest of Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg, is the main tourist attraction in Salzburg.
The ancient fortress has on display some fascinating medieval princely chambers, fortress museum displaying some amazing pieces collected from the era, Rainer Military Museum, and an extremely popular and creepy Marionette Museum known for its historic puppet display.
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 HOHENSALZBURG CASTLE  (image courtesy myitteadventure.es)
HELLBRUNN PALACE: Enchanting its visitors for over a period of 400 years the Hellbrunn Palace is a Baroque villa in Salzburg, Austria.Enticing its visitors with the trick fountains, the Hellbrunn Palace was the pleasure abode of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg. 
The three storey structure built between 1613 and 1615, divided in the facade by the “Kordongesimse” decorations also has the immensely popular grotto fountain.
Related imageFOUNTAIN AT HELLBRUNN PALACE (image courtesy pinterest.de)
The first floor of the Hellbrunn Palace comprises of the “Prince’s chambers”. Some of the main highlights of the magnificent Hellbrunn Palace is the painted walls and ceilings with street scenes and twelve very plastic, golden Caesars.
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HELLBRUNN PALACE  ( image courtesy Expedia )
MOZART’S BIRTHPLACE: Once in Salzburg how can a trip be complete without a visit to the iconic Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace at No.9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg, Austria. Mozart was born here on 27th Jan 1756 and his family resided on the third floor here.
Image result for image of mozart birthplace in salzburgMOZART (image courtesy The Gisborne Herald)
The residence of the prodigious composer was later converted into a museum in 1880 , which holds some of the original and priceless artifacts which provide a beguiling insight into the musical legend’s upbringing, his life and talent. Expect to see the violin that Mozart played as a child, his costumes, models of Mozart’s most valued operas and some well preserved furniture.
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MOZART’S BIRTHPLACE  (image courtesy  Flickr)
NONNBERG ABBEY: The oldest monastery in Salzburg, Austria, the Nonnberg Abbey is a nunnery lying a little above the city of Salzburg, at the foot of the Festungsberg. Famously known for its Gothic architecture, its murals and small works of art is a picture of serenity at 6:45 am every morning when the sound of singing nuns fills the church premises and keeps everyone rooted to the spot. 
The other very significant connection of the Noonberg Abbey is with the filming of the classic movie ‘The Sound of Music’ . The ever-imposing convent includes the church of St.Maria Himmelfahri, the cloisters, a hall, dining hall, the old abbey, St. John’s Chapel, Pieta Chapel and private quarters for the nuns which have intricate wooden carvings.
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NOONBERG ABBEY  ( image courtesy  Wikipedia )
SCHLOSS MIRABELL & GARDENS: A historical monument in the city of Salzburg in Austria, the Schloss Mirabell and Gardens is a Baroque masterpiece. A symbol of love it was built by the Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich for his beloved Salome Alt. 
Badly damaged in the great fire of Salzburg in 1818, the Mirabell Palace was rebuilt and decorated in the Neo-classical style in the following years and renamed as “Schloss Mirabell”.
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SCHLOSS MIRABELL AND GARDENS  (image courtesy  Salzburg.citysam.de)
Some of the features of the Schloss Mirabell which are a major attraction for tourists is the Marble Hall, which is still used for concerts, numerous statues and the SMB Museum which is housed in the Gardener’s Building, has on display exhibits from the European art of the 17th and 18th century.
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MARBLE HALL  (image courtesy  flickr.com)
On the southern side of the Schloss Mirabell stretches the excellent Mirabell Gardens with its amazing Baroque landscapes, along with many terraces, marble statues, colorful flowerbeds and beautiful fountains. Apart from this the ” Do – Re – Mi ” song from the classic film The Sound of Music was filmed here.
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MIRABELL GARDENS (image courtesy saaih.com)

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CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA

One of the largest inland city of Australia, Canberra the capital city of Australia is surrounded by native bush-land and is often referred to as the “bush capital”. Canberra being one of the most modern city in Australia is home to almost 400,000 people and is rated as a highly educated and the eighth largest city in the world, which truly makes it a star in its own right.
PARLIAMENT HOUSE: Representing the robust development of the city of Canberra from a remote bush-land to an urban democratic capital of Australia, the Parliament House gives an introduction to the House of Representatives procedures. Opened on 9th May 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II, the queen of Australia, it displays some of the finest historical treasures and contemporary art of Australia. Designed in the shape of two boomerang it is topped by an 81 meter or 266 ft flagpole and contains 4,700 rooms.

Parliament house Australia

PARLIAMENT HOUSE
AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL: A landmark memorial in Canberra, to commemorate the sacrifice of the members of its armed forces and supporting organizations who served or died in the wars of Australia. Comprising of a shrine, a world-class museum and an elaborate archive, the main aim of the Australian War Memorial is to give a first hand experience and educate the Australians into understanding the long lasting effects of the war on the Australian society.

Australian war memorial

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL
LAKE BURLEY GRIFFIN: Named after the creator of Canberra, this jewel of a lake was created in 1963, when the 33 m high Scrivener Dam was erected on the Molonglo River. Attracting tourists and locals at the same time Lake Burley Griffin ensures that you loose yourself in its picturesque surroundings. Once at Lake Burley Griffin one is spoil for choice as it provides many opportunity for recreation, whether its enjoying a picnic at one of its numerous gardens and parks , or simply taking a walk or cycling along its 40 km shoreline, if you prefer adventure just opt for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or simply get onto a boat or a cruise for a leisure trip.
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LAKE BURLEY GRIFFIN  (image courtesy Traveljee)
MOUNT AINSLIE: Known for its breathtaking panoramic view of Canberra, Mount Ainslie is a hill with an elevation of 2,766 ft. Located in the northeastern suburbs of Canberra, Mount Ainslie with its picture perfect scenery is a treat for its visitors especially at sunrise and sunset. It can be easily reached by cycling, driving or simply walking while capturing the different scenic magnificence of the mountain ranges. Mount Ainslie is like a clinging tendril of happiness for its visitors looking forward to an amazing view of the city and its surrounding areas along with sighting of some rare birds and kangaroos.
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MOUNT AINSLIE  (image courtesy  Wikimedia Commons)

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The Shining Jewel Of QATAR, DOHA

The Shining Jewel Of QATAR, DOHA

Located on the coast of the Persian Gulf , Doha is the capital of Qatar. A fast growing modern and multicultural city, Doha is known as the shining jewel of Qatar. Accommodating most of the population of the country, Doha’s biggest attraction is its Corniche.
DOHA CRONICHE: Undoubtedly one of the most attractive features of Doha, is the Doha Croniche, a seven kilometer long waterfront promenade along the glittering Doha Bay.
The Doha Croniche is surrounded by lush shades of greenery and impressive architecture. A very pleasant and beautiful view of the harbor awaits you  where the dhows are docked or simply be entranced at night by the colorful lights on the boats and along the boulevard.
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DOHA CRONICHE (image courtesy Doha Life)
MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART: Located on one end of the seven kilometers long Croniche in the capital city of Doha, Qatar, is the Museum of Islamic Art. A building of architectural wonder, the museum is built on an island off an artificial peninsula. Representing Islamic art from three continents, the museum houses some amazing masterpieces of Islamic art dating from the 7th to the 19th century including some fascinating metalwork, jewelery, ceramics, glass, woodwork, and textiles. The pieces collected over the years from personal homes of ordinary people as well as from the prince’s treasure have an enticing story to tell about its origin.
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MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART (image courtesy Destination Amari)
SOUQ WAQIF: A major attraction in Doha, Qatar the Souq Waqif or the “standing market” is the oldest Souq dating back to atleast hundred years. Its Qatari Architectural style was renovated in the year 2006 for conservation. Highly recommended , the Souq  Waqif is always bustling with with tourists who come here for an authentic taste of the Qatari culture and enjoy some shopping of traditional garments, spices, handicrafts and souvenir. One of the best places in Doha, for a mouth-watering culinary experience, the Souq Waqif houses shisha lounges, restaurants and cafes. It is a wonderful place to explore the beauty of Doha.
Related imageSOUQ WAQIF (image courtesy qatarliving.com)
THE PEARL QATAR: Spreading for nearly four million square meters, the Pearl Qatar is a man-made Island off the West Bay Coast. Exuding with intoxicating ambiance the marinas of the Pearl Qatar are lined with Mediterranean style yachts, cafes, restaurants and some of the best hotels in the business, which gives an amazing culinary experience. The Pearl Qatar is also known for its malls with the best brands in the market having outlets there. Being the first land of its kind, the Pearl Qatar is available for freehold ownership by the foreign nationals and once completed it will create over 32 kms of new coastline.
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                                          THE PEARL QATAR (image courtesy urwallpapers.com)
ASPIRE TOWER: Built to house the symbolic Flame of the 15th Asian Games in the year 2006, the Aspire Tower is a 300 meter tall skyscraper hotel in Doha, Qatar. Built by architect Hadi and AREP the Aspire Tower is built in a modern architectural style. The flame was placed atop a tower with a unique design during the Asian Games was later replaced by a laser beam. The 36 storey landmark happens to be the world’s tallest to be clad with woven wire cloth and accompanied by LED lights which light up the tower at night.
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ASPIRE TOWER (image courtesy nido5 – DeviantArt)
AL WAJBAH FORT: Situated 15 km west of Doha, Qatar, this historic landmark stands witness to the important battle fought by the army of Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohammed, who defeated the Ottoman army in 1893. Considered one of the oldest forts in Qatar, the Al Wajbah Fort was built in the late 18th or early 19th century. The most prominent features of the fort are its four watchtowers placed at each corner and the slits from where the arrows and the bullets could be fired.
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AL WAJBAH FORT  (image courtesy worldtimezone.com)

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SOARING HIGH IN ALBUQUERQUE INTERNATIONAL HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL

SOARING HIGH IN ALBUQUERQUE INTERNATIONAL HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL

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Blowing hot , but definitely not cold is the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival. A yearly extravaganza of hot air balloons taking place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States, the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival is the largest fiesta of hot air balloons with over 500 plus balloons taking part in the event.
Started first time in the year 1972 to celebrate the 50th birthday of KOB Radio, it was later taken up as an annual event of hot air ballooning .
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                                                                              (image courtesy Dan Chemistruck)
Promoting great camaraderie between the participants, the 9 day fiesta brings to the fore people from all over the
world on the same platform for whom sky is the limit.
Held each year in the month of October the skyline of Albuquerque becomes a canopy of colorful soaring balloons.
A favourite with the artists and the shutterbugs , the dawn and the dusk are the best time to explore their passion.
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                                                                                            ( image courtesy TLC Plumbing )
The Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival showcases not only the traditional balloons but also some
uniquely shaped balloons including the twin bees , cow , wagon coach , and piggy bank to name a few .
Taking place at the Balloon Fiesta Park , located at North Alameda Boulevard , the Fiesta Park can accommodate
54 football fields .
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       (image courtesy Pinterest)
Pilots compete in Balloon Fiesta Hold ’em, Key Grab, Balloon Fiesta Golf, Multiple Judge-Declared Goal, Fly-in Task, Minimum
Double Drop and a Prize Grab. All competitions are based on flying accuracy rather than speed. With so many interesting events lined up the favourite with the crowd is the Mass Ascension event , when 500+ balloons are launched from the Balloon Fiesta Park and thousands of upturned faces are transfixed as if looking forward to discovering the world above.
As there are no stands or gallery at the Fiesta Park , only a limited number of benches , and picnic tables are available
so try reaching a little early to grab a seat  and see the balloons up close and speak to its pilots as well .
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(image courtesy Pinterest)
  *Tickets to the Balloon Fiesta can be purchased by calling ( 855 ) 725 – 1824 , at Balloon Fiesta Gift Shop at 4401
    Alameda Blvd, or online at www.balloonfiesta.com
  *Parking is available at the venue.
  *Smoking is a strict NO inside the Balloon Fiesta Park.
  *Food is allowed inside but glass and alcohol is restricted.
  *The Parking and the Grounds both are Handicap Accessible.
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(image courtesy Pinterest)

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RENDEZVOUS With ANTALYA, Turkey

RENDEZVOUS With ANTALYA, Turkey

Fondly called the pearl of the Mediterranean, Antalya is a fast expanding city in Turkey. Also known as a resort city, Antalya is a cluster of some stunning beaches and bobbing yachts at anchor. Its Turquoise coast with glistening blue water, ancient ruins, and culture are a major attraction for the tourists. A haven for tourists Antalya, is one of the most beautiful province of Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast in the South of Anatolia.
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                                ANTALYA  (image courtesy go2festival.com)
OLD HARBOR: The atmosphere of the Old Harbor with its picturesque surrounding cliffs is a always a welcome sight. This peaceful and pleasant harbor was once the major economic hub of Antalya which brought trade and prosperity to the region. The Old Harbor is now a leisure destination with exotic Mediterranean excursions on boats. The citadel surrounding the Old Harbor attracts the maximum number of footfall as it provides a breathtaking view of the harbor with lots of other amenities like shops, pubs, cafes, restaurants, discos to choose from.
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OLD HARBOR (image courtesy pamarys.kvk.it)
KONYAALTI BEACH: An immensely popular beach among the tourists visiting Antalya, the Konyaalti Beach is located on the western side of the city stretching for 7 kms from the cliffs to the Beydaglan mountains. Preferred by tourists for sunbathing and a rejuvenating dip in the warm Mediterranean Sea the Konyaalti Beach is patrolled by life guards and offers free changing rooms and shower areas. It has a blue flag status signifying that the water is clean and safe for swimming The authorities have chipped in some interesting watersports activities for fun and adventure to make your trip memorable.
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KONYAALTI BEACH (image courtesy propertyturkey.com)
DUDEN WATERFALLS: One of the most captivating natural wonder in Antalya, the Duden Waterfalls is a mesmerizing landscape of cascading waterfalls. Existing in two different locations in Antalya, the Duden Waterfalls share the same underground river.
* THE UPPER DUDEN WATERFALLS – 10 kms from the city of Antalya on the Duden River lies the mesmerizing Upper Duden Waterfalls also called the Alexander Falls. Located in a place where the river has carved a deep gorge, the waterfall with its picturesque surrounding is a sight to marvel. The Upper Duden Waterfalls is a perfect place for picnickers with a penchant for photography.
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UPPER DUDEN WATERFALLS (image courtesy dreamstime.com)
* LOWER DUDEN WATERFALLS – Located in the Old Town in the suburb of Lara, the Lower Duden Waterfalls can be best experienced from a cruise. Falling from around 40 m drop height into the sea, the Lower Duden Waterfalls give a panoramic view of the crashing waters.
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LOWER DUDEN WATERFALLS (image courtesy tripadvisor.com.tr)
ANTALYA MUSEUM: Covering an area of 7,000 m there are around 5,000 works exhibited in the Antalya Museum or the Antalya Archaeological Museum. Portraying the rich archaeological history of Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast, the Antalya Museum is a treasure house with some of the finest collection of artifacts from the alluring history of Antalya. Comprising of 13 exhibition halls and an open art gallery it has won the prestigious “European Council Special Prize” in 1988.
Storing some of the priceless exhibits from the Neolithe, Calcolithic, and Bronze Age, with some earthenware, wine bowls, and figurines it showcases Mythological statues dating back to the 2nd and 3rd century gracing the exhibition halls. One can just go on praising the grandeur of the exhibits at the Antalya Museum but words fall short.
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ANTALYA MUSEUM (image courtesy expedia.ca)
ASPENDOS THEATER: An absolute contrast from the fast growing modern economy of Antalya, Turkey, is the ever-impressive Aspendos Theatre.
Holding a capacity of around 15,000 spectators the majestic amphitheater was mainly used for gladiator and  wild and wild animal shows, which was the main highlight of the social life of the people from Aspendos. The iconic Aspendos Theatre was built by the Romans in the ancient city of Aspendos, located 49 kms west of Antalya.
One of the most well preserved theatre, it was built by local architect Zenon, the massive theatre was presented to the emperor and the Roman gods.
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ASPENDOS THEATRE

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