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TRAVEL INTERVIEWS 

Hello, friends!
My name is +Anne SugaRay , I live in Ukraine and work as a copywriter. My biggest hobby is to travel the world, so today I’m going to answer your questions about my travel experience and I hope it’s gonna be fun for all of us:) Let’s start!

Read more here please: 
https://meets.com/articles/en/2016/01/travel-interview-with-anne-sugaray/

#travelinterviews   #travel   #italy   #meets  

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Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in California

Each year these high desert hills are absolutely covered with poppy flowers in a surreal show of nature. 

Walking along the eight miles of trails in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, you might feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz with the carpet of poppy flowers stretching out before you. 

The high desert landscape in the Mojave Desert is protected by the California Department of Parks and Recreation for its floral beauty.

Poppies are the California state flower, but nowhere else in the state are the blooms so stunning and vibrant. The flowers usually return in mid-February and last to mid-May, although it depends heavily on the rainfall.

Since the 1970s, grazing animals have been kept away and people visitors are prohibited from taking any souvenirs, but aside from that the poppies are left completely to their natural splendor. 

#valley   #desert   #california   #usa   #flowers   #reserve  
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2016-01-14
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Calbuco Volcano In Chile

Calbuco volcano, along with its neighbor Osorno, is one of Chile's most active volcanoes. It is located 11 km south of Lake Llanquihué and 30 km NE of the town of Puerto Mont in the Lake District in southern Chile. 

Calbuco volcano consists mainly of blocky aa lava flows and tephra layers, and its summit is truncated by a 400-500 m wide summit crater. Debris avalanches from Calbuco have reached Lake Llanquihue. 

One of the largest historical eruptions in southern Chile took place from Calbuco in 1893-1894. It ended with the formation of a lava dome in the summit crater. Later eruptions have enlarged the lava-dome complex.

#calbuco   #volcano   #volcanoes   #chile  
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Bran Castle - The Dracula's Home in Romania

Bram Stoker’s character, Dracula, is a Transylvanian Count with a castle located high above a valley perched on a rock with a flowing river below in the Principality of Transylvania.

This character is often confused with Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), sometimes known as Vlad Dracul, who was a Walachian Prince with a castle, now in ruins, located in the Principality of Wallachia.

Because Bran Castle is the only castle in all of Transylvania that actually fits Bram Stoker’s description of Dracula’s Castle, it is known throughout the world as Dracula’s Castle.

Bram Stoker never visited Romania. He depicted the imaginary Dracula’s castle based upon a description of Bran Castle that was available to him in turn-of-the-century Britain. Indeed, the imaginary depiction of Dracula’s Castle from the etching in the first edition of “Dracula” is strikingly similar to Bran Castle and no other in all of Romania.

Dracula – as he is perceived today – is a fictitious character whose name derives from the appellation given to Vlad Tepes, the ruler of Wallachia from 1456-1462 and 1476, and who, for largely political reasons, was depicted by some historians of that time as a blood-thirsty ruthless despot.

In the villages near Bran, there is a belief in the existence of evil spirits called ghosts or “steregoi” (a variant of “strigoi”). Until half a century ago, it was believed that there existed certain living people – “strigoi” – who were leading a normal life during the day but at night, during their sleep, their souls left their bodies and haunted the village tormenting people in their sleep. These evil spirits haunt their prey from midnight until the first cockcrow, when their power to harm people faded.

As for Vlad Tepes, the ruler of Walachia, he does, indeed, has an association with Bran Castle. Vlad was involved in several campaigns to punish the German merchants of Brasov who failed to abide by his commands as regards their trade in his Walachian markets. Passage to Wallachia was through Bran, the closest gorge to Brasov, which connects with Targoviste, Vlad Tepes’ capital. The original customs houses at which taxes were collected from merchants entering Transylvania are still at the base of Bran Castle.

The relationships with the Bran lords were not very cordial, as they were representatives of the Citadel of Brasov, which were hostile to Vlad the Impaler. It is not known if Vlad Tepes captured Bran Castle. Written documents do not describe it.

However, in the fall of 1462, after the army of the Hungarian king, Matei Corvin, captured Vlad Tepes nearby the fortress of Podul Dambovitei, near Rucar, it appears that Vlad was taken to Bran Castle and locked up there for two months. From here, Vlad was taken and imprisoned in the Visegrad Fortress.

Visitors to Bran Castle should make the distinction between the historic reality of Bran and the character of the Count in Bram Stoker’s novel. Dracula exists in the imagination.

#bran   #castle   #castles   #dracula   #romania  
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Kul Sharif Mosque in Kazan, Russia

The Kul Sharif Mosque is the biggest mosque in Europe. It was named in honor of the head of the Kazan knanate muslims, seid Kul Sharif, who got killed during the defence of the citadel. The minarets of the mosque are 57 meters high.

The mosque was destroyed in October 1552 during the assault of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible's troops. The reconstruction of the mosque began in 1996, and its inauguration took place in 2005.

The complex of the mosque includes the building of the mosque, a library-museum, publishing center and imaum's administration. Mass divine services in the mosque take place only on the days of principal muslim holidays.

The rest of the time the temple serves as the first museum of Islam in Russia and a scientific center. The collection of the mosque comprises more than two thousand exhibits, the most ancient among which belong to the stone monuments of the X-XIth centuries.

#mosque   #kulsharif   #kazan   #russia   #architecture  
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Bloemencorso - Beautiful Flower Parade in Holland

Bloemencorso Bollenstreek is a festive flower parade that rolls through Noordwijk and continues along a 40 km route all the way to Haarlem each spring. Its colourful floats and displays attract hundreds of thousands of spectators along the way.

The parade is beloved by locals and international visitors alike. The 2016 edition of the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek is set for 23 April and will feature 20 elaborate floats decorated with tulips and other locally-grown flowers. They’ll be joined by 30 luxury cars and musical acts.

Apart from the Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek being the only event of this calibre that occurs in the springtime, it is the only parade that is constructed and composed of bulb flowers such as hyacinths, tulips and daffodils. It is for this reason that this Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek is known as the face of spring, as no other parade can come close to the unique spring colours and perfumes that surround this one.

The procession consists of about twenty floats and over forty luxurious and special vehicles richly decorated with flowers. For an extra festive character the procession will be accompanied by several bands. There is plenty of room along the whole route for thousands of visitors.

#flower   #parade   #holland   #netherlands   #sculptures  
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2015-12-18
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Mount Nemrut – Home to Gods Beheaded

The Adiyaman Province of Turkey in the south east of the country is not wealthy – it is still classified as a developing rural region. Yet 25 miles from the small town of Kâhta the visitor discovers the remnants of once fabulous wealth.  High on the summit of Mount Nemrut is a huge but little visited necropolis, home to the beheaded gods of the past.

Sixty two years before the birth of Christ, King Antiochus I ordered a huge tomb come sanctuary to be built for himself. His place of burial was flanked by huge statues – one of himself but others of animals.

There were also gods – a syncretism of Iranian, Armenian and Greek which testify to the cultural mix of the area two thousand years ago. Hercules is there, as is Zeus, Tyche and Apollo.  

Their names were inscribed upon them – those Greek ones we recognize from books and movies as well as their Iranian and Armenian counterparts – Vahagn, Aramazd and Ahura Mazda.

Antiochus was half Armenian and half Greek – another reason why his tomb reflects more than just a single culture. This area was a true cross-road of peoples but there was but a single enemy at the time – the Romans. Antiochus managed to keep his kingdom of Commagene independent, even while many Anatolian territories were being annexed. The enemy became a treasured ally.

Antiochus was already part of a dynasty but he wanted to see this preserved. So he created a royal cult and his tomb was built in order for his vassals to worship him after his death. A Greek inscription reveals that he was buried here at the roof of his world as a sign of his parity with the gods.

The complex on Mount Nemrut (or Nemrut Dagi as it is locally known) was built so that many religious festivals could be held there. He commanded that his birthday should be celebrated on the 16th of each and every month and his coronation celebrated likewise on the 10th. To afford this he bought up wealth generating estates and properties which were legally bound to the sites.

He put in charge whole families with a vested interest in keeping this particular status quo. The priests of the tomb complex were to instruct their sons in administering the estates and so ensure that these celebrations would last in perpetuity. Or so Antiochus imagined.

Yet times change and at some point in the history there was a collective effort to demolish the statues – to bring down the gods of old.  All of the statues have been decapitated – their heads roughly removed from their bodies. Archaeologists placed them upright but have not attempted to re-attach the head to the bodies. So, their dismembered heads lie where they fell. 

Over the centuries people forgot about Antiochus’ tomb. Then in 1883 an engineer from Germany, Charles Sester, was assessing transport routes for the Ottoman Empire. He discovered more than he had bargained for. As he and his team dug they rediscovered the beheaded gods for the world.

We know that the damage was intentional as there is a pattern to it, particularly their noses. When and exactly why it was done is lost to history. The area is under snow for several months a year and so the statues have naturally weathered too, making it difficult to ascertain when injury came to the gods of Mount Nemrut.

Yet despite the distance from their bodies the heads of these gods are still magnificent and their divinely icy stares still demand something – if not worship then certainly awe. The ruins of the tomb-sanctuary of Antiochus are magnificent to behold even today.

#mount   #nemrut   #turkey   #gods   #myths  
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First Underwater Museum in Turkey!

Turkey’s and Europe’s first underwater museum has officially opened in Antalya. The museum displays 110 sculptures in five different themes. 

Taking a pioneering step for both Turkey and the European continent, cultural and trade officials in the southern district of Side have cut the ribbon on a new underwater museum on the Mediterranean.

IMRAK Chairman İnanç Kendiroğlu said the sculptures that featured the richness of Anatolian civilization had been finished in just nine months and placed underwater in Side. 

The museum is the first and only one of its kind in Turkey and Europe, Kendiroğlu said, adding that they were planning to improve diving tourism and open underwater museums in Kemer, Alanya and the Antalya provincial center in the coming years. 

Kendiroğlu said the sculptures had been designed to avoiding damaging the natural environment underwater. Kendiroğlu said the area of the underwater museum was closed to sea traffic, adding that everyone holding a certificate could dive there for free.

The museum aims to demonstrate the interaction between art and environmental science and form a complex reef structure for marine life to colonize, inhabit and increase biomass on a grand scale. 

Under several historical and cultural themes ranging from the “Turkish War of Independence” to “Whirling Dervishes,” “Camel Trains” and “Flower Gardens,” 110 sculptures are now on display under the Mediterranean waters. The sculptures were constructed from specialized materials used to foster coral life.

The sculptures were lowered into place at three different depth zones that will be accessible to all divers, whether amateur, semi-professional or professional.

#museum   #museums   #underwater   #sculptures   #turkey  
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2015-12-07
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7 Best Ski Resorts In Europe

Looking for the best destinations for your skiing holidays? If you are looking for cheap family ski resorts for amateur or the best ski resorts for professional skiers and with the best slopes in Europe, we have selected the best ski resorts in Europe. This ranking is yours because your votes have determinated the position of each of them. 

1. Val Thorens 

Val Thorens is the highest resort in Europe (at an altitude of 2,300 metres) and the highest point of the largest ski area in the world, the 3 Vallées (600 kilometres of interconnected runs). It’s a New World resort that combines the best of skiing with the best of atmospheres so that each holidaymaker feels UNIQUE and enjoys their very own Val Tho experience! Reinventing enjoyment to give its guests the best possible holiday is Val Thorens’ credo.

2. Alpe d'Huez
 
Alpe d’Huez is a true paradise for those who love snow and the great outdoors. The village has been developing since 1936 and sits perched on a full south facing plateau at 1860m altitude in the Grandes Rousses mountain range. The ski area called ‘Alpe d’Huez grand domaine Ski’ links up to the resort villages of Auris-en-Oisans, Huez, Ozen-Oisans, Vaujany, Villard-Reculas, La Garde and Le Freney. Its summit, the Pic Blanc is 3330 metres at its highest point and offers an exceptional panorama stretching over one fifth of French territory.

3. Megève
 
Located right in the heart of the Mont-Blanc massif, Megève’s skiing area benefits from a quality snow cover and an exceptional setting so that you can fully appreciate the 445 km of the Evasion Mont-Blanc skiing area. When skiing in Megève, one contemplates old historical farmhouses dotted along the slopes, one tastes local products in one of the many quality high altitude restaurants, of which only Megève holds the secret.

4. St. François Longchamp
 
Nestled on the mountainside between 1450m and 1650m altitude, the resort of Saint François Longchamp welcomes you to an exceptional setting, protected between the Mont Blanc mountain range on the north and the Glacier of Etendart on the south. Children, big or small, couples or tribes, everyone can find their place at Saint François Longchamp.

5. La Plagne
 
La Plagne is a family winter sports and summer resort located in the French Alps between 1250 and 3250 metres. For over 50 years, the destination has become internationally renowned for its huge ski area with 225 kilometres of runs for all levels of skier. The atmosphere and architecture are diverse and recount over 50 years of the history of winter sports!  Europe has 7 bobsleigh slopes, among them La Plagne has the unique French bobsleigh slopes.

6. Avoriaz
 
Avoriaz is ideally located in the middle of the Portes du Soleil ski area, with access to high-altitude skiing for everyone among the prettiest panoramas in the Alps. You will ski through stunning countryside, with open panoramic views of the Dents du Midi and Dents Blanches.
 
Whether you like to take it easy or push yourself to the limits, you will find a wide choice of routes on varied terrain, skiing down into broad, open valleys on pistes running through the trees. It’s a family skiing experience that appeals to skiers of all ages!

7. Zermatt

Zermatt (1,620 m) pulses with life. Shops, cafés, bars and noble hotel lounges offer variety. But Zermatt is also a Walser village with houses dating back more than 500 years. Everything within a walk – even romantic neighbourhoods and quiet corners. And all paths eventually lead directly to the peaceful and yet wild mountain world at the foot of the Matterhorn.

#ski   #resort   #skiresorts   #winter   #mountains   #europe   #alps  
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2015-12-01
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Madeira - the Heaven in the Middle of the Atlantic

Right in the middle of the Atlantic, the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo are a haven of natural beauty. The exotic colours of the flowers stand out from among the blue sea and the emerald green vegetation; this is an archipelago where two thirds are a protected area and where the largest Laurisilva forest in the world is located.

The springtime temperature, felt all year round, cries out for open air activities. You can go for a walk along the network of levadas (irrigation channels), visit the city of Funchal and discover the heritage associated with the Discoveries or roam freely around the island. Boat rides are an excellent way of admiring the coastline from a different perspective.

In such a naturally welcoming environment, balance and well-being are taken for granted. Madeira offers various tourist complexes and accesses to the sea with prime conditions for leisure boating and scuba diving. The island of Porto Santo, in particular, is the ideal place to escape from stress and undertake a thalassotherapy programme, or a beach holiday combined with a spot of golf.

Popular feasts, which take place all year round, are opportunities to appreciate traditional gastronomic flavours and see Madeira partying, especially for the Carnival parades, the Flower Festival, the Atlantic Festival and, above all, the end-of-year fireworks display. Join meets.com and travel with a pretty girl to the beautiful islands!

#madeira   #portugal   #islands   #beaches   #resort   #meets   #nature   #touristattractions  
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2015-11-02
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