Brand New Tourist Spots: 2018

There’s a lot to look forward in 2018, and here are some of the coolest attractions  from family theme parks to excellent museums.  😊😊 Let’s check out……

Aerospace Bristol, England

Bristol, is the home of Concorde. The supersonic passenger jet was largely developed here, and the UK assembly line was located here and all UK Concordes made their maiden flight from the city’s runway – so the last Concorde ever to be built takes pride of place. In 2017, a new £19 million state-of-the-art museum dedicated to Bristol’s airspace heritage opened to the public.

Concorde Bristol, AerospaceAerospace Bristol

Human Tower Museum of Catalonia, Valls, Spain

Valls, 65 miles west of Barcelona, is the place of origin of the Catalan tradition of building castells – human towers of up to ten stories, with the strongest forming the pinya, or base. In 2018, the town is set to open a museum dedicated to the 200-year-old feat of strength and teamwork, and nearby Tarragona will host its biannual human tower competition, with the best teams (colles) in the country competing.

Human Towers, Catalonia, SpainDavid Ortega Baglietto/Shutterstock

Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, USA

Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove reopens this spring after a long three-year project to give more protection to the 500 giant sequoias that grow here. These ancient trees that can live for up to 3,000 years. Many of the roads have been converted into hiking tracks, and new accessible trails provide universal access for all visitors and all commercial activities have been removed from the area.  🏞🏞

Mariposa Grove, Yosemite, USAturtix/Shutterstock

Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon, Portugal

To revitalize Belem’s historic district, to the west of the city centre, Lisbon’s sensational new museum and exhibition space, MAAT was officially completed and opened in 2017. It occupies the renovated Tejo Power Station, as well as a new futuristic building, where the galleries are sunk into the ground so that the roof forms part of the pedestrian route along the riverfront.

MAAT, Lisbon, PortugalFernando Guerra/EDP Foundation

Olympia Aqua Park, The Peloponnese, Greece

Located at the heart of the Riviera Olympia Resort in the Peloponnese, Olympia Aqua Park  is Europe’s biggest water park in a hotel complex. Families with children of all ages are catered to with water slides, plunge pools, “flying boats” and the hair-raising Looping Rocket. 🏄‍♀️🏄‍♀️

Olympia Aqua Park, GreeceRiviera Olympia Resort/Grecotel

Copenhill, Copenhagen

With typical Scandinavian cool, Copenhagen is building a ski run on top of a waste-to-energy plant close to the city airport. As part of the city’s intention to be carbon neutral by 2025, the plant will generate clean energy – when 500 pounds of carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere it will blow out giant smoke rings that are visible across the city.

Copehill, CopenhagenSteve Heap/Shutterstock

HM Bark Endeavour, Whitby, England

2018 marks the 250th anniversary of explorer Captain Cook’s nearly three-year voyage aboard the Endeavour to the Pacific, when he charted New Zealand and the east coast of Australia. The original Endeavour was built in Whitby and a full-size replica is to be refurbished and transferred to this salty port town in the northeast, where it will open as a historic attraction.

Whitby, EnglandWhitby Marina/Shutterstock

Route of the Parks, Chile

Ruta de los Parques (Route of Parks) is an extended and re branded section of the iconic Carretera Austral, Chile’s iconic Southern Highway. The 1,500 mile road cuts through classic Patagonian wilderness from temperate rainforest to ice fields and will link seventeen new and existing national parks (it will expand Chile’s national park system by more than 10 million acres). 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♀️

Patagonia, ChileK_Boonnitorod/Shutterstock

Hayward Gallery, London, England

The Hayward Gallery – distinguishable on London’s Southbank because of its 1960 s Brutalist architecture marks its fiftieth anniversary by reopening after a major two-year renovation. A fundraising drive raised £35 million to overhaul its iconic pyramid roof lights, and in January 2018, the lighter, brighter arts space will host the first major UK retrospective of the work of renowned German photographer Andreas Gursky.

Hayward GalleryMorley Von Sternberg

Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada

The sleek new £80 million Remai Modern is a much-anticipated museum of modern and contemporary art on Saskatoon’s riverfront in the Canadian Prairies. It has 11 gallery spaces over four floors, as well as a theater, studio and outdoor terraces. The ground floor, with its eye-popping art installations, gallery space and cafe, is free to the public.

Remai Modern, Saskatoon, CanadaAdrien Williams

Visitor centre at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, England

The much-loved open-air Yorkshire Sculpture Park is opening a new £3.8 million visitor centre in the summer of 2018, which will include a restaurant and shop, as well as a gallery space to host a changing programme of word-class art from the 20th and 21st centuries. The planned building is environmentally friendly & sympathetic to the rolling west Yorkshire landscape. Visitors are being given the chance to immortalise their name in a “walk of art”, a steel walkway at the entrance of the new visitor centre. 😀😀

Yorkshire Sculpture Park new visitor centreCourtesy of Yorkshire Sculpture Park

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Birmingham, England

LEGO fans are looking forward to this summer when LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Birmingham opens its doors at the Arena Birmingham. The indoor attraction will have masterclasses from the LEGO Master Model Builder, interactive rides, a 4D cinema, and MINILAND, which will feature recreations of Birmingham’s top attractions in LEGO. Adults must be accompanied by a child.

Legoland BirminghamLegoland Discovery Centre Birmingham

Toy Story Land, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, USA

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a movie-themed park that’s part of Orlando’s vast Walt Disney World Resort. Its newest attraction (opening summer 2018) set in Andy’s backyard from the perspective of Toy Story characters Woody, Buzz, Slinky Dog, Rex and the Aliens. Giant building blocks and games boards set the scene and there’s a slinky dog roller coaster and alien flying saucers to ride. 🐰🐰

Toy Story Land, DisneyToy Story Land Disney

AJ Hackett Bungy Tower, Singapore

Singapore’s first and only bungy tower opened in August 2017 on Siloso Beach, Sentosa Island. The outdoor adventure site also boasts a 47 m high skybridge with a glass cube, a 144-foot vertical sky walk and two side-by-side giant swings. Post adrenaline activity, you can enjoy a cocktail or cold beer from the sundowner deck. The good news for budget travellers is that Norwegian Air have launched a London Gatwick to Singapore flight.

AJ Hackett Bungy towerAJ Hackett Bungy Tower

MV Fingal floating hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland

A first for Scotland, this £3.5 million development will see former lighthouse steam tender MV Fingal, completely overhauled and converted into a luxury floating hotel alongside one of the country’s biggest tourist attractions, the Royal Yacht Britannia. When MV Fingal is launched in spring 2018, she’ll have a high-spec Art Deco interior and 23 balconied cabins inspired by a rich maritime heritage. All this, and two Michelin-starred restaurants within walking distance in Leith, near Edinburgh.

MV Fingal, ScotlandMV Fingal

Icehotel Sweden

Located in the far north of Sweden in the village of Jukkasjärvi, just 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the Icehotel is built from around a thousand ice blocks harvested from the River Torne. The idea developed from an original 645-square-foot igloo ice structure, which was used as an art gallery in 1990. These days, the Icehotel reopens every year and closes when the ice melts in spring. Inside, it’s a fairly constant -5°C and guests sleep in thick Arctic sleeping bags.

Icehotel Sweden
Icehotel.com
Now it’s your turn to make the bucket list, right, but don’t forget to write in the comment section which one will be your’s first? I will be waiting….
:)) And as usual all pictures are collected and the credit goes to the respective photographers only…
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INDIA: Journey of Lifetime

Rajasthan is renowned all over the world for its formidable forts and princely palaces. These magnificent masterpieces attract travellers from different parts of the world. To see it once is not enough for them, so tourists come here again and again. Most of these splendid palaces have turned into Heritage Hotels giving tourists a chance to experience the royal living of the erstwhile royalties. Let us take a walk through some of the significant forts and palaces in Rajasthan.

Amber Fort – Jaipur

Situated atop a hill, Amber Fort offers a panoramic view of the Aaram Bagh, Maotha Lake,the Kesar Kyari and the old historic town down below. A steep uphill path is the approach to the Palace Complex, which is popularly traversed on elephant back. The huge courtyard Jaleb Chowk is the entrance to Shila Mata temple on one end and the Palace on the other. There is a spectacular Diwan-e-Aam and the glass adorned Diwane-e-Khas,the Jas Mandir and Sukh Niwas–all entice the entrants to the famous fort.Attractions: The Sound And Light show in the Kesar Kyari depicting the magic of the bygone era is worth a watch.: Amber Fort – Jaipur
© wikimedia.org Amber Fort – Jaipur

Image credit: wikimedia.org

Situated atop a hill, Amber Fort offers a panoramic view of the Aaram Bagh, Maotha Lake, the Kesar Kyari and the old historic town down below. A steep uphill path is the approach to the Palace Complex, which is popularly traversed on elephant back. The huge courtyard Jaleb Chowk is the entrance to Shila Mata temple on one end and the Palace on the other. There is a spectacular Diwan-e-Aam and the glass adorned Diwane-e-Khas, the Jas Mandir and Sukh Niwas – all entice the entrants to the famous fort.

Attractions: The Sound And Light show in the Kesar Kyari depicting the magic of the bygone era is worth a watch.

Jaigarh Fort–Jaipur

The fort is perched on a cliff like a military structure, surrounded by huge battlements. It is also known as the Fort Of Victory and is preserved almost exactly like it was. It contains an armoury, a granary, a cannon factory, some temples and a tall watch-tower. The view from the top is expansive and the pink-walled city appears like doll-houses. Attractions: The biggest attraction here is giant mounted cannon which the tourists explore with a lot of curiosity.: Jaigarh Fort–Jaipur
© wikipedia.org Jaigarh Fort–Jaipur

Image credit: wikipedia.org

The fort is perched on a cliff like a military structure, surrounded by huge battlements. It is also known as the Fort Of Victory and is preserved almost exactly like it was. It contains an armory, a granary, a cannon factory, some temples and a tall watch-tower. The view from the top is expansive and the pink-walled city appears like doll-houses.

Attractions:  The biggest attraction here is giant mounted cannon which the tourists explore with a lot of curiosity.

Nahargarh Fort – Jaipur

Beyond the hills of Jaigarh is the Nahargarh fort. The run-up to the fort is through an uphill road with bends and turns that will topple your tummy. On your way up, you will witness a striking amount of green in the surroundings. The fort has palaces and the suites here are unique because of the classic plasterwork called the 'Arayish' with a finish as smooth as marble. It is difficult for you to distinguish between the two. The exquisitely carved panels of mythological figures are also a traveller’s delight because he is here to explore the hidden facets of Rajasthan.Attractions: When you look down into the valley below, you see the gaitor. The 'Gaitor', with impressive white canopies, is the funeral ground of the rulers. The most remarkable is the “Cenotaph” of Maharaja Sawai Jaisingh.: Nahargarh Fort – Jaipur
© holidayiq.com Nahargarh Fort – Jaipur

Image credit: holidayiq.com

Beyond the hills of Jaigarh is the Nahargarh fort. The run-up to the fort is through an uphill road with bends and turns that will topple your tummy. On your way up, you will witness a striking amount of green in the surroundings. The fort has palaces and the suites here are unique because of the classic plaster work called the ‘Arayish’ with a finish as smooth as marble. It is difficult for you to distinguish between the two. The exquisitely carved panels of mythological figures are also a traveller’s delight because he is here to explore the hidden facets of Rajasthan.

Attractions:  When you look down into the valley below, you see the gaitor. The ‘Gaitor’, with impressive white canopies, is the funeral ground of the rulers. The most remarkable is the “Cenotaph” of Maharaja Sawai Jaisingh.

City Palace – Jaipur

 

In the heart of the city is the City Palace, a beautiful blend of the Mughal and Rajput architecture.The ceremonial Tripolia gate is imposing. Visitors enter through the "Mubarak Mahal' or the 'Welcome Palace'. Then they proceed to the 'Maharani Palace' which has a priceless collection of antique weapons.Attractions: The city museum has preserved antique pieces of Rajasthani jewellery, enamelware, carpets, miniature paintings, ancient manuscripts and old photographs. Also situated here is the elegant Chandra Mahal–the present day residential complex of the Maharaja. It is however not open for public-viewing.: City Palace – Jaipur
© wikipedia.org City Palace – Jaipur a caption

Image credit: wikipedia.org

 

In the heart of the city is the City Palace, a beautiful blend of the Mughal and Rajput architecture.The ceremonial Tripolia gate is imposing. Visitors enter through the “Mubarak Mahal’ or the ‘Welcome Palace’. Then they proceed to the ‘Maharani Palace’ which has a priceless collection of antique weapons.

Attractions: The city museum has preserved antique pieces of Rajasthani jewellery, enamelware, carpets, miniature paintings, ancient manuscripts and old photographs. Also situated here is the elegant Chandra Mahal–the present day residential complex of the Maharaja. It is however not open for public-viewing.

Chittorgarh Fort – Chittorgarh

 

The history of the chivalry of the rulers is depicted in this high walled battle-scarred fort–Chittorgarh Fort. It epitomises the oft-repeated history of the great courage and valour of the Sisodiya rulers of Mewar and also the sacrifices and the strictness of the 'death before dishonour' “or 'jauhar' that this fort witnessed. This is depicted and glorified in the Rajput fables and legends. The Chittorgarh Fort’s ruined palaces and its dilapidated towers and temples illustrate its turbulent and traumatic past.Attractions: A sprawling structure situated on a steep hill and set amidst rocky terrains, it leaves the travellers who visit it spellbound and speechless.: Jaigarh Fort–Jaipur
© indiaopines.com Jaigarh Fort–Jaipur

 

Image credit: indiaopines.com

The history of the chivalry of the rulers is depicted in this high walled battle-scarred fort–Chittorgarh Fort. It epitomises the oft-repeated history of the great courage and valour of the Sisodiya rulers of Mewar and also the sacrifices and the strictness of the ‘death before dishonour’ “or ‘jauhar’ that this fort witnessed. This is depicted and glorified in the Rajput fables and legends. The Chittorgarh Fort’s ruined palaces and its dilapidated towers and temples illustrate its turbulent and traumatic past.

Attractions: A sprawling structure situated on a steep hill and set amidst rocky terrains, it leaves the travellers who visit it spellbound and speechless.

Mehrangarh Fort – Jodhpur

 

It is the mightiest and the most majestic fort in Rajasthan. The royal living area now houses the best palace museum in the state .The royal chambers have been painstakingly and skilfully restored to give the viewer a vividly vibrant peek into the royal lifestyles and princely living of the Rajput rulers. A tourists travel diary remains incomplete without a visit to this magnificent and memorable fortress.Attractions: The 'Umaid Mahal' has a splendid collection of miniature paintings.The Daulat Khana with the gold palanquin and the Sileh Khana with its wonderful collection of weapons simply leave us in wonder. The Phool Mahal is the hall of public audience and a must-see.: Mehrangarh Fort – Jodhpur
© tourmet.com Mehrangarh Fort – Jodhpur

 

Image credit: tourmet.com

It is the mightiest and the most majestic fort in Rajasthan. The royal living area now houses the best palace museum in the state. The royal chambers have been painstakingly and skilfully restored to give the viewer a vividly vibrant peek into the royal lifestyles and princely living of the Rajput rulers.  A tourists travel diary remains incomplete without a visit to this magnificent and memorable fortress.

Attractions: The ‘Umaid Mahal’ has a splendid collection of miniature paintings.The Daulat Khana with the gold palanquin and the Sileh Khana with its wonderful collection of weapons simply leave us in wonder. The Phool Mahal is the hall of public audience and a must-see.

Junagarh Fort – Bikaner

 

This fort in Bikaner stands as a testimony to the unconquered spirit of the Rajput rulers. It is excellently preserved and in perfect state because it was protected by a long stretch of strong sand stone wall and a number of bastions, but most of all by the forbidding sandy expanse of the great Thar desert.Attractions: There are at least 37 beautifully decorated palaces contained within the fort built by the successive rulers over a period of time. .: Junagarh Fort – Bikaner
© wikipedia.org Junagarh Fort – Bikaner

 

Image credit: wikipedia.org

This fort in Bikaner stands as a testimony to the unconquered spirit of the Rajput rulers. It is excellently preserved and in perfect state because it was protected by a long stretch of strong sand stone wall and a number of bastions, but most of all by the forbidding sandy expanse of the great Thar desert.

Attractions: There are at least 37 beautifully decorated palaces contained within the fort built by the successive rulers over a period of time.

Sonar Kila – Jaisalmer

 

Jaisalmer, the city of sand dunes, is a tourist paradise. The Sonar Kila Fort rises out of the sand dunes like a mesmerising mirage. It stands majestically on the peak of Trikuta hills. It is known to be the largest fort with people residing in it in India. In ancient times, the entire population lived here. Even today many people reside within, with temples, palaces, shops and workplaces all contained in the living Fort. Attractions: The ramparts are awesome and the balconies give a spectacular view of the township and the rocky landscape that stretches beyond.: Sonar Kila – Jaisalmer
© footlooseforever.com Sonar Kila – Jaisalmer

 

Image credit: footlooseforever.com

Jaisalmer, the city of sand dunes, is a tourist paradise. The Sonar Kila Fort rises out of the sand dunes like a mesmerising mirage.  It stands majestically on the peak of Trikuta hills. It is known to be the largest fort with people residing in it in India. In ancient times, the entire population lived here. Even today many people reside within, with temples, palaces, shops and workplaces all contained in the living Fort.

Attractions:  The ramparts are awesome and the balconies give a spectacular view of the township and the rocky landscape that stretches beyond.

Hawa Mahal – Jaipur

 

This is an architectural marvel, which stays in our memory long after we leave the palace.This fanciful Palace Of Winds with its pink little wind vanes moving in every direction with the slight gust of wind gave this unique palace its popular name. It was built for the women of the royal household to watch the royal and religious processions without being seen by the commoners .Attractions: This picturesque five-storied pyramid-like monument is crowned with carved balconies, miniature domes and covered with delicately sculpted stone “Jalis” with an ornate pink façade. It is poetry in stone and a splendorous icon for the city.: Hawa Mahal – Jaipur
© blog.bucketlistly.com Hawa Mahal – Jaipur

 

Image credit: blog.bucketlistly.com

This is an architectural marvel, which stays in our memory long after we leave the palace. This fanciful Palace Of Winds with its pink little wind vanes moving in every direction with the slight gust of wind gave this unique palace its popular name. It was built for the women of the royal household to watch the royal and religious processions without being seen by the commoners .

Attractions: This picturesque five-storied pyramid-like monument is crowned with carved balconies, miniature domes and covered with delicately sculpted stone “Jalis” with an ornate pink facade. It is poetry in stone and a splendorous icon for the city.

Udaipur City palace – Udaipur

 

This palace is situated on the scenic shores of the stunning Lake Pichola. It is a masterpiece with the combined magnificence of Rajput military architecture and the Mughal period’s decorative style statement. It is the largest palace in Rajasthan.It is a complex of several palaces, most of which are now converted into super luxurious hotels and a memorable museum.Attractions It has a formidable fortress-like facade which cradles hanging carved balconies, crafted cupolas and terrific turrets. Which of these forts and palaces have you visited? Tell us in the comments!: Udaipur City palace – Udaipur
© sundayharmony.com Udaipur City palace – Udaipur

 

Image credit: sundayharmony.com

This palace is situated on the scenic shores of the stunning Lake Pichola. It is a masterpiece with the combined magnificence of Rajput military architecture and the Mughal period’s decorative style statement. It is the largest palace in Rajasthan. It is a complex of several palaces, most of which are now converted into super luxurious hotels and a memorable museum.

Attractions: It has a formidable fortress-like facade which cradles hanging carved balconies, crafted cupolas and terrific turrets.

In pics: Have you visited some of these  most beautiful places in India yet?

Slide 2 of 99: Backwaters in Kerala, India

Write in the comment section of your Trip plan to our country, India. I will be pleased to help you…

Taklamakan: Place of No Return

Located in southwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region, northwest China, Taklamakan desert is bounded by the Kunlun mountains to the south, the Pamir mountains and Tian Shan to the west and north, and the Gobi desert to the east, also known as “Place of No Return”, more commonly interpreted as “once you get in, you’ll never get out” or similar.

Free stock photo of landscape, nature, sky, sand

The Taklamakan Desert has an area of 337,000 km2 (130,000 sq mi), making it slightly smaller than Germany, and includes the Tarim Basin, which is 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long and 400 kilometres (250 mi) wide. It is the world’s second largest shifting sand desert with about 85% made up of shifting sand dunes ranking 16th in size in a ranking of the world’s largest deserts.

Because it lies in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, Taklamakan is a paradigmatic cold desert climate. Given its relative proximity with the cold to frigid air masses in Siberia, extreme temperatures are recorded in wintertime, sometimes well below −20 °C (−4 °F), while in summer they can rise up to 40 °C (104 °F). During the 2008 Chinese winter storms episode, the Taklamakan was reported to be covered, for the first time in its history, entirely with a thin layer of snow reaching 4 centimeters (1.6 in), with a temperature of −26.1 °C (−15 °F) in some observatories. Its extreme inland position, virtually in the very heartland of Asia and thousands of kilometres from any open body of water, accounts for the cold character of its nights even during summertime.

Free stock photo of landscape, nature, sky, sunset

The Taklamakan Desert is distinguished by its constantly moving sand dunes. Its vast sea of gold sand is whipped into crescent-shaped sand dunes, some of which soar to 800 to 1,650 feet tall when winds reach hurricane force. Camels are the only animals able to tackle these monstrous dunes — the way their feet splay outwards stops them from sinking into the sand. Scientists have yet to determine what causes the sand in some parts of the desert to sink.

The Taklamakan Desert supports small populations of animals like wild Bactrian camels, Asian wild asses, wolves, foxes, gazelles and wild boars. Camels, in particular, can tolerate the dryness of the desert area, and they are able to seal their slit-like nostrils closed, keeping out sand and dust.

The Taklamakan Desert is almost devoid of vegetation. Tamarisk, nitre bushes and reeds are the only types of greenery found in the depressions between the dunes; however, plant life is much richer along the edges of the desert area.

Free stock photo of landscape, nature, sand, desert

Locals recount tales that ancient cities filled with treasure lie lost and buried beneath the unknown depths of the Taklamakan Desert. In the late 1980s, an archaeological dig unearthed mummies in this remote region, some dating back to over 4,000 years. The mummies found show the wide range of peoples who have passed through the Chinese region; many exhibit Caucasoid features, and many were wearing European twill fabrics.

The interest in these mummies exists largely because of their extraordinarily well-preserved state. One of the most famous mummies unearthed from the Taklamakan Desert is that of “Cherchen Man.” He had reddish brown hair, a long nose, full lips and a ginger beard.

The trails that border the Taklamakan Desert once formed parts of the Silk Road, the trading routes of the past that are still being used in the early 21st century.

Free stock photo of light, dawn, landscape, sky

There are numbers of basic hotels/guesthouses along with camping options for your trip to Taklamakan, but be sure to book in advance.

Is it worth to be in your bucket list? Leave a comment and let us know….

Thanks for reading….

Signing off..

___Dev

 

Haven’t we Met?

I know you well. It’s true that I always had a little trouble with your name, but I do know your name, just I don’t know at this moment. 😅

We’re  at a big party and have kissed hello. We’ve had a delightful conversation about how we are the last two people on the face of the earth who don’t kiss on both cheeks.  😉 You are so charming. You had been to my house for dinner and I read your last book.  If only I could have remember your name. It’s inexcusable that I don’t. It’s something like Roger. Only it’s not. Rodrigo? That’s not in either. Your last name: three syllables, starts with a c. Starts with a g? I am losing my mind.

But a miracle occurs: ☺ The host is about to toast the guest of honour. Thank God. I can escape to the bar. I will spent the rest of the night scrolling through the alphabets in an attempt to come up with your name… 😚

Have we met? I think we’ve met, but I can’t be sure.

We’re introduced, but I didn’t catch your name as it’s too noisy at this party. I’m going to assume that we know each other and I am not going to say, “Nice to meet you.” If I say so, I know what will happen. You will say, “We have met.” You will say it in a sort of aggressive, irritable tone, and you won’t even tell me your name so I can recover in the same way. Only I’ll have a big smile on my face and won’t look desperate. But what I’ll be thinking is,  🤔 Please throw me your name. Please, please, please. Give me a hint.

——————————————————————————————————-:)) 🤨🤨🤨

All in a Day’s Work

Driving my car back home one evening, I rolled through a stop Sign 🛑.  I was stopped by a police sergeant, who recognised me as his former English teacher.

“Mrs Brown,” he said “those stop signs are full stops, not commas.” :))

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Days passed since I papered the town with my resume but hadn’t receive a single phone call  Image result for mobile symbol. So I decided to take a closer look at the copies my husband has printed at his real estate office.

I quickly realised that he hadn’t put blank paper in the machine. At the end of each copy, written in bold, was a common real estate disclaimer: “The information contained herein, while deemed to be accurate, is not guaranteed.”💔

_____________________________________________________________________________________

A customer called to complain that we had billed her for electricity on her long-distance phone bill ✔. One of our agents explained that we never charge for power. The customer, increasingly irate, insisted we had. So the agent asked her to read exactly what was on her long distance phone bill.

“It’s right here” the woman said triumphantly, “Current charges.”😍

GUNS ARE IN AMERICA’S DNA

Case Study 1: United Kingdom

Hungerford Massacre 1987: 16 people died by a lone gunman. Result: semi automatic and pump-action weapons banned. Registration mandatory for owning shotguns. And the bucks doesn’t  stops here:

Dunblane, Scotland 1996: One unspeakable coward bastard (sorry for my language) entered the gymnasium of a primary school (yea friends primary school) and  opened fire from his handgun resulting to the death of 15 children aged between five and six along with their teacher. Outcome: UK lawmakers, resulting in some of the toughest anti-gun legislation in the world, passed a ban on the private ownership of all handguns in mainland Britain. Though it took 18 months!

 

Case Study 2: Australia

Port Arthur massacre: After the tragic incident, former Australian President John Howard said, ” We have an opportunity in this country not to go down the American path.” And the opportunity was taken: weapons that can kill many people quickly _ semi automatic rifles and shotguns were banned. Though a waiting period of 28 days was implemented, for thorough background checks and authentic justification to own a gun. While gun violence did not end, Australia, cut off roughly half since 1996 and there has never been another Port Arthur since.

 

I will not focus on any further incidents, as it may divert my principle object of this article, making it a lengthy one. Let’s begin and go through the main issue.

 

But before I proceed, let me make a humble request to you all: I am not in a mood to give lectures neither I have the ability to do so, nor I am to suggest my American friends what to do and, I really, really do not want to hurt the sentiments of anyone alive under the sun. All my words are the outcome of the pain, that happened in Florida school recently, which could have happen anywhere, even in my country too. 

Please treat this article as an open letter to all, even you, who are responsible directly or indirectly for the tragedy.

 

If you all, my friends agree to my statement written above, do read further, else quit, I swear, I would not mind. Wanna stay tuned? OK…

Read More…

 


The United States: Facts & Figures

There has been 17 shooting incidents at schools in USA in the first month and half of 2018, some were intentional, some accidental, one was suicide and some resulted in no injury or death, but 22 people died and many more injured. There have been  290 school shootings since 2013, as of this writing. But the odds: Will United States ever ban the outright approach of Firearms?

 

My Odds: virtually nonexistent. From where I sit, there are two dominant reasons as I presume, which have the weight of history behind them.

 

The right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the  Constitution:

 

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The interpretation of the scope of that statement, in the absence of the people who framed it, is being examined in courts on a continual basis.

 

Firearms are an integral part of our nation’s history.

For better or for worse, the nation’s history depended on firearms. The expanding frontier and the uncertainties of life in a lawless country made owning a firearm (or an armory) often meant the difference between survival and becoming a nameless skeleton on the prairie.

 

write

 

The fact that guns are written into America’s DNA, has allowed the NRA, to morph from an organization for sports enthusiasts into a powerful political entity – one which seems determined to preserve and expand its influence at all costs. And their “cold dead hands,” any weapon, any time, any caliber, any size, any magazine, any bump-stock philosophy has been adopted by a significant portion of the citizenry, including a significant number of the legislators, who take obscene amounts of money, all the while sending their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims without being willing to do anything about the carnage.

The recent shooting at Parkland left 17 people dead. I haven’t even mentioned other gun-related deaths, such as the one in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and injured 851.

 

It’s time for a change!!

 

Yes, the 2nd Amendment still guarantees citizenry the right to bear arms, but I do not believe, rather I will not believe, being a part of an another democratic country, that the writers of that amendment ever meant for a single individual to own something like this, unless the zombie apocalypse were a real possibility, Huh!!

I personally believe that the writers of the 2nd Amendment would be shocked if they saw how that little bit of the Constitution was being interpreted and argued and implemented today, especially if they viewed the daily carnage in a nation with between 270 million to 310 million firearms, depending on whose estimate you believe.

As long as the 2nd Amendment remains in force,  citizens of this country must balance a right to bear arms with an end to the daily death toll which has reached untenable proportions – indeed, has been unbearable for decades.

 

I have many gun-toting, sharpshooting, hunting, and reloading friends who will disagree with my opinions, but that’s how America works. This is a highly-charged issue that I debated about, but I will always support civil discourse on difficult issues. Ignorant and trollish comments will be ignored and deleted without ceremony.

 

The old monk has spoken…..

Wilderness backpacking: Essential Tips & tricks

Wilderness backpacking

Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar

Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking

—Antonio Machado, “Proverbios y cantares XXIX”

Carrying everything you’ll need to get along for several days in the wilderness isn’t everyone’s idea of a “vacation”, but if you don’t mind including some physical effort and additional inconvenience in your travel time, it’s an ideal way to truly “get away from it all”, and hopefully see some truly majestic scenery.

Based on my experience and sharing the common passion with my fellow hikers, collectively we share few tips and points to be taken care off.  

Landscape

Before taking off on a backpacking trip, assess what kind of territory you’ll be traveling through. Distances on a map never look that hard to cover, but once you find yourself staring up at a 400-foot ridge standing between you and tonight’s camp, it’s a different story. Topographic maps will give you a better idea of what you’re getting yourself into, as well as being essential for navigation if you’re going off-trail.

Make sure you know how to cross the rivers on your route. Not all trails have bridges

Unless you have an uncanny sense of direction, you’ll probably need a compass, or at least know how to discern north from the time. GPS can be nifty, but many feel it takes the adventure out of hiking, and it may not always work as well as the sales pitch suggests.

 

Climate / Culture

Find out what kind of weather you can expect at the time of year you’re planning to go. When’s the rainy season? What’s the temperature range? Keep in mind that going up in altitude is like going up in latitude. Daytime temperatures may be pleasant, but how cold does it get at night?

Even when wilderness backpacking, you will meet local people: those in the village where you do the final preparations, people living in the wilderness (there are few truly uninhabited places on earth), park guards and other authorities. While preparing, get some feeling for what the wilderness means or has meant for people living there or nearby.

 

Fees/Permits

Check with the local authorities if you’ll be using a state/provincial/national park to see what fees there are for use of the park, and for the trails and campsites, if any. In some parts of the world, right to access may give you permission to hike on privately-owned undeveloped land, but elsewhere – especially the highly-territorial United States – be sure to get permission (unless you want to risk prosecution – or gunshot – for trespassing).

Free stock photo of snow, dawn, landscape, nature

 Prepare

Important to be well prepared for your wilderness travels and hikes. You should pack the correct clothes, sleeping gear, food and drinks, safety equipment and first aid kit in case something happens in the wild. Do all you can to avoid going “freestyle” and heading into the wild without letting others know your plans, your destination, your expected return time, and a “hot” deadline at which your absence should be considered an emergency by a trusted friend. If parking at a trail head, hide a spare key nearby and conceal a folded note above a visor indicating your identity and expected return day & time. Physical fitness is decisive for a good experience. If you are not used to physical exercise, you should begin at least a few weeks before the trip. Avoid high-risk exercise which might inflict injuries, though.

Get Around

Since “get around” means “walk”, footwear is one of the most important aspects of backpacking. Traditional hiking boots could kill a small animal just by being dropped on them (empty) from a few feet up, but modern boots can be much lighter, reducing the drag on every step you take. You don’t necessarily need to spend hundreds of dollars on state of the art boots, but odds are that your favorite athletic shoes or street shoes will leave you very uncomfortable and hold up just as poorly. Stiff soles and plenty of ankle support are a good idea if you’re going over any rocks.

If the terrain is especially challenging, or if your knees aren’t what they used to be, you might benefit from using a hiking stick or a pair of trekking poles (like cross-country ski poles, but without the skis). They aren’t just for the feeble; they can improve your balance and increase your pace by adding some power from your arms to your propulsion. A hiking stick is also often needed when fording. A sturdy chest-high branch (not pulled from a standing tree) will do, or you can buy a telescoping staff or set of poles. Some of them can double as a camera monopod. And while this usage isn’t recommended, you’d probably rather face an angry cougar with a pole in your hand than without one.

Free stock photo of mountains, people, water, bridge

Camping

Tents are available in many shapes, sizes, and levels of protection. Some models (especially domes) can be free-standing, requiring no stakes to hold them in shape. But they tend to be heavier, and trickier to set up. Unless you’re sure you’re never going to get rained on, a tent with a “rain fly” – a water resistant raincoat for your tent – is essential (this is integrated in some tents). Check how to set up the tent in a heavy rain without the inside getting wet. This is easier with some tents than with others. Also, some tents are more dependable in high winds than others.

At the small end of the scale is the “bivy sack”, which is little more than a raincoat for your sleeping bag; the most spacious ones are just big enough inside to carefully roll over. Important: a bivy bag is usually almost airtight and can cause suffocation if closed completely. Additionally, a bivy bag does not allow for drying anything, like a regular tent. Since it is so small condensation from your breath will build up. If you cannot get it dry in the day, your next night will not be too nice. Bivy bags are therefore great for shorter trips or if you are comfortable that the weather or area will provide some opportunities for drying, and are significantly lighter than even the smallest tent.

A typical “1-person” tent might give you enough room inside to actually hunch over and maybe even scrunch up and turn around, but no more. A “2-person” tent is going to be big enough for just that: two people, lying right side-by-side. Depending on just how close you and your camping partner want to be, you might prefer a “2-to-3-person” tent (otherwise big enough for two adults and a child). If you’re thinking of a larger tent so you can keep your gear with you (whether for easier access or to keep it out of the weather), a tent with a vestibule or an extended rain fly might be all you really need. By the time you get to a “4-person” tent, you’re generally talking about something spacious enough that one or two people can sit upright in it, but heavy enough that you’ll want to distribute the components among the people in your hiking party.

Although tents will keep most of the wind out, and usually trap air well enough to keep it warmer than outside, don’t count on them to keep you warm; that’s your sleeping bag’s job. The difference between a 3-season tent and a 4-season tent isn’t their warmth, but the latter’s ability to stand up to stronger winds and snow. Using a gas powered lamp can also help to warm up your tent, but beware of setting fire to your tent or melting something as the lantern casings get extremely hot.

Free stock photo of dawn, landscape, nature, sky

Medical supplies

You don’t want to go overboard with medical supplies, but a basic first aid kit is a worthwhile precaution. If you’re lucky, it’ll be the one thing you brought that you didn’t “need”, but if you’re not so lucky, then you’ll definitely regret leaving the essentials behind. Adhesive bandages, moleskin for blisters or bunions, disinfectant, and a general-purpose headache or inflammation remedy – aspirin or ibuprofen are okay in most areas, but if dengue fever is a risk, carry paracetamol (acetaminophen) instead – are the bare essentials. As makeshift bandages (and dozens of other uses), cotton hankies are worth the extra ounce in your pack.

Many travellers carry a hand sanitizer and a remedy for diarrhea as well. See altitude sickness and sunburn and sun protection for additional things needed in some areas.

Free stock photo of cold, wood, landscape, mountains

Happy Hiking….

___Dev