Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country which consists of one main island along with 62 other islets.
Singapore is a global commerce, finance and transport huband a busy container port.
The country has also been identified as a tax haven.
Singapore ranks 5th on the UN Human Development Index and the 3rd highest GDP per capita.
It is ranked highly in education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and housing.
There are four official languages: English (common and first language), Malay, Mandarin and Tamil; almost all Singaporeans are bilingual.
Singapore is a unitary multiparty parliamentary republic, with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People’s Action Party has won every election since self-government in 1959.
Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate. Temperatures usually range from 22 to 35 °C (72 to 95 °F).
Singapore’s standard electricity supply is 230 volts AC with a frequency of 50 hertz (230V/50Hz).
You can use your electric appliances in Singapore, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220-240 V.
Some of Singapore’s most popular sites are:
Gardens by the Bay is a nature park in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden.
Sentosa is an island resort off Singapore’s southern coast, connected to the city by road, cable car, pedestrian boardwalk and monorail.
The River Safari is a river-themed zoo and aquarium located in Singapore.
The Singapore Zoo, located in a heavily forested area houses over 72 species of animals.
The Underwater World, is an oceanarium located on the offshore Singaporean island of Sentosa. It houses more than 2,500 marine animals of 250 species from different parts of the world.
Orchard Road is Singapore’s retail center, with discount outlets, department stores and upscale boutiques, alongside luxury hotels.
Other top rated locations in Singapore include Merlion Park full of statues and fountains, Jurong Bird Park, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple, Tiger Sky Tower, Peranakan Museum and The National Orchid Market.
There is no doubt that Singapore is not only a economic treasure but it’s an nature reserve treasure. Let me know all about your trip. Have a safe journey.
Dubai is the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Eubayy, iconic for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. In particular the Burj Khalifa – world’s tallest building.
Dubai is located on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates; and lies directly within the Arabian Desert.
Dubai has no rivers or oases; however Dubai it does have a natural inlet, the Dubai Creek.
Even though Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Eubayy, English is the most spoken language in Dubai.
There are also other languages spoken in Dubai like Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Tagalog, Persian, Chinese, Malayalam, and others.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven constituent monarchies: the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain.
The ruler of Dubai is the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, the head of government.
Tourism is an important part of the Dubai government’s strategy to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the emirate.
Dubai’s main tourist attraction is based mainly on shopping. Dubai has been called the “shopping capital of the Middle East”.
The City of Gold” – There are over 250 gold shops in Deira.
Dubai Creek Park plays a vital role in Dubai tourism.
Some of the most famous tourist attractions in Dubai are the Dolphinarium, Cable Car, Camel Ride, Horse Carriage and Exotic Birds Shows.
Palm Jumeirah Island
Dubai is home to several man-made islands, the Palm Jumeirah is an artificial archipelago.
It is one of three planned islands called the Palm Islands which extend into the Persian Gulf.
Palm Jumeirah has a monorail, that connects the Palm Jumeirah to the mainland, and has an extension to the Dubai Metro Rail.
Dubai Miracle Garden
The Dubai Miracle Garden, is the world’s largest flower garden. It has a total of 45 million flowers.
Dubai has a variety of parks like Safa Park, Mushrif Park, and Hamriya Park. Each park is different from the other; for example Mushrif Park showcases houses from different parts of the world.
Ski Dubai is a large indoor skiing facility at Mall of the Emirates, offering snowboarding, ski lessons, and has a children’s play area and a café.
Burj Al Arab Hotel
The Burj Al Arab Hotel / Tower of the Arabs Hotel , is a luxury hotel, is frequently described as “the world’s only 7-star” hotel on the hotel.
Transport in Dubai is controlled by the Roads and Transport Authority – The RTA. The RTA is a government agency of Dubai, formed by royal decree in 2005. The bus system services 140 different routes.
Dubai Taxi Corporation, is a division of the RTA, they are known for their taxis with red roofs. There are also five private taxi companies.
Dubai has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles.
In 2010 they completed the Burj Khalifa – Khalifa Tower in english – the world’s tallest building.
At the top of the Burj Khalifa, you will find the world’s highest observatory deck with an outdoor terrace.
Dubai International Airport is the 3rd busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic. It handles an estimated 83 million passengers annually.
The airport is also the busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic.
The Dubai Metro is the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula. All the trains run without a driver and are based on automatic navigation.
The tramway located in Al Sufouh, Dubai, runs for 14.5 kilometres that’s about 9.0 miles.
Arabic Food / Emirati Cuisine
Arabic food is very popular and tasty is available everywhere in the city. There are place in the tourist area that give free on the food laws and observations.
Dubai is known for its nightlife. Clubs and bars are found mostly in hotels due to the liquor laws.
Dress Code and the Law
The Emirati attire is typical of several countries in the Arabian peninsula.
Women usually wear the “Abaya”, a long black robe with a hijab – headscarf which also covers the neck.
The dress code is not mandatory nonetheless there are prohibitions on clothes that reveal too much skin.
Visitors are expected to conform to the dress code, and are encoded in Dubai’s criminal law.
Football and cricket are the most popular sports in Dubai.
The electrical current in Dubai is 220/240 V, 50 Hz AC. British-style 3-pin electrical plugs are used (Type G or 13 amp plug).
Most electrical goods sold in Dubai have European 2-pin plugs. The same power system is used throughout the United Arab Emirates.
There is no doubt traveling to Dubai is a must, discover the beauty of their islands. Take in the view from the highest of skyscrapers and gaze upon the beauty and charm of nature.
Let me know all about your experience in all those skyscrapers.
Take lots of pictures, and send us some. Have a good time.
Curacao is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, approximately 65 kilometers north of the Venezuelan coast, it’s capital is Willemstad. One of five island territories of the former Netherlands Antilles.
Before the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on the 10th of October of 2010, Curacao was administered as the “Island Territory of Curacao.
The original inhabitants of Curacao were the Arawak people.
In June 2017, the island was named the Top Cruise Destination in the Southern Caribbean by Cruise Critic, a major online forum.
The Curacao Sea Aquarium and the Dolphin Academy share an islet on the west coast of the island.
Curacao is a multi-lingual society. The official languages are Dutch, Papiamentu and English.
Nonetheless, Dutch is the sole language for all administration and legal matters.
Most of Curacao’s population is able to converse in at least two languages – spanish included.
Some of Curacao most interesting sites are:
Willemstad, Curaçao’s capital city – Pastel colored Dutch architecture buildings decorate the streets of the capital.
Travel along the waterway to the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge on your way to the historic downtown district.
Fort Amsterdam – is part of the capital built in 1635. today serves as the Governor’s Palace, it there is a Protestant church in the Palace’s courtyard.
Main Street – is full of floating boats where fresh produce is delivered from Venezuela by schooner.
The Queen Emma Bridge – connects pedestrians between the Punda and Otrobanda districts.
This swings open to allow the passage of ships to and from the port.
The Queen Juliana Bridge – is the tallest bridge in the Caribbean, it connects mobile traffic between the Punda and Otrobanda districts.
Buggy Excursions – enjoy a buggy excursion of the untamed nature and secluded spots only accessible by off the road vehicles.
Snorkeling – Snorkel and swim with tropical fishes then participate in an echolocation experiment – Get a ride from 2 dolphins pulling you up to the surface with their dorsal fins.
Deep Sea Fishing – Enjoy fishing on a yatch for marlin, mahi-mahi, wahoo, and tuna.
Boat cruise to Klein Curaçao – stroll the beach, visit the lighthouse, snorkel, and encounter sea turtles.
Kayak across Caracas Bay – great views.
Tugboat and Reef Snorkel Tours – scenic and extraordinary sites that you may not easily find on your own.
Private Yatch Cruise Tour – Sail the Caribbean Sea on board a private yacht, They usually serve drinks and snacks as you sail. Lots of Dolphins on the route.
Small Yatch Tour – see some of the Caribbean island’s most beautiful lagoons, jump off to swim and snorkel around shipwrecks.
Ostrich Farm – Find out how an ostrich develops from an egg to the fastest-running bird in the world. Feeding is allowed.
Participate in an echolocation experiment – Get a ride from 2 dolphins pulling you up to the surface with their dorsal fins.
Dolphins – Take this great opportunity to meet dolphins. Dive and swim with them.
There is no doubt Curacao is the place to Travel to.
Sint Eustatius also known as Statia, formerly part of the Netherlands Antilles.
Sint Eustatius became a special municipality within The Netherlands on October 10th, 2010.
The island is 21 square kilometres that is approxinmately 81 square miles.
The official language is Dutch, English is the widely spoken.
The island of St Eustatius does not really have its own specialized cuisine, but there are some tasty Creole options for those looking for something a little exotic.
The food is mainly Dutch cuisine, although you can savour a host of international flavors sucha as European, American, and Asian spices.
The capital city of St. Eustatius is called Oranjestad, the smallest capital in the world.
To reach St. Eustatius, you first have to first fly to St. Maarten.
There are regular flights to St. Maarten from Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
WinAir Airlines flies from St. Maarten to St. Eustatius frequently – it’s a 20 minutes flight.
Statia has become a marriage favorite in the Caribbean. that’s because of the many wedding packages available in the island.
You can get married in the Courthouse, in one of the churches or on the beach, in Fort Oranje which was built in 1636, in the Dutch Reformed Church, in a Jewish Synagogue built in 1739, or in the The Miriam C. Smith Botanical Garden.
Getting married in any of these places is possible any day of the week.
Another island attraction is The St Eustatius National Marine Park created in 1996, which protects a variety of habitats, including pristine coral reefs.
Within the Park are two actively- managed Reserves in which no fishing or anchoring is permitted.
St. Eustatias has a dormant volcano ‘The Quill’ and the ‘Boven’ which is an area covering five hills in the north of St Eustatius, also known as The Northern Hills.
Various types of habitats are protected, from the forests at the top of the Quill volcano to the thorny woodlands on the lower slopes.
The Miriam Schmidt Botanical Garden is a great place to visit, it was created in 1998 – this garden is protected an provides the opportunity to rest in a peaceful environment.
Statia has great hiking trails some lead to the volcano, you can buy a trail tag in the National Park office which costs $10.00 and is valid for a year.
No doubt Statia is the place to travel to, maybe the perfect place for that special moment .
Whatever you choose – take lots of pictures of it’s almost untouched natural nature.
Brief History of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a great place to travel to, it’s history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them:
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico) is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the Caribbean.
It consists of the main island Puerto Rico, and three small islands which are the Isla de Mona, Culebra, and Vieques.
History books tell of an Ortoiroid people who were displaced by the Saladoid’s, a culture from the same region that arrived on the island some time around 250 BC.
The Taíno culture developed on the island between the 7th and 11th century. By 1000 AD, it had become the dominant race.
By 1493, when Columbus arrived, the island was populated by an estimated 30,000 to 60,000 Amerindians Tainos, led by the cacique chief Agüeybaná.
The Tainos called the island Boriken, which means “The great land of the valiant and noble Lord”.
Christopher Columbus claimed the island, for the Crown of Castile in Spain.
For four centuries after that the island was transformed into a colony of Spain.
This changed the islands ethnic, cultural and physical landscapes. Some of which is still evident in Old San Juan.
During this era the island’s population grew with Africans, Canarians, and Andalusian settlers from Spain.
Hundreds also arrived in Puerto Rico, Corsica, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Scotland.
As the population grew they immigrated to the islands of Vieques and Culebra.
In 1898, following the Spanish–American War, the United States of America appropriated Puerto Rico together with most former Spanish colonies under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.
The Spanish vocabulary of Puerto Rico has words that differentiate them from the Spanish spoken in other Caribbean islands.
It’s similar to the Castilian dialect from Spain, with some Taino words in it.
Mainly in the context of vegetation, natural phenomenas or musical instruments.
They also use some words that are similar to words used in the West African languages, chiefly in the contexts of music dances.
For the last century the culture in Puerto Rico is Americanized which has led to the increment of the use of Spanglish.
Spanglish are english-spanish words. Many of which now grace the pages of dictionaries.
Since the occupation of Spain, the Roman Catholic faith is the dominant religion in the island. Every town has a catholic church in it’s town center, usually close to the Town Hall.
Other christians faith have grown in the island are the Pentecosts, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Adventist and Mormon’s faith, and a few Jewish Synagouges.
It is now the dominant religion in Puerto Rico. All municipalities in Puerto Rico have at least one Catholic Church, usually located in the center of the town, close to the Town Hall.
The largest and oldest Public University is the public Universidad de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico University), it has 11 large campuses.
You must have a B average (3.0 GPA) or higher or to get in, and you must maintain it in order to graduate.
The quality of the education it offers has been compared to Princeton, and Harvard.
It has a four (4) schools of Science and Medicine, and three (3) – ABA-approved Law Schools.
Some of the islands most brilliant minds, prominent senators, scientists, and scholars are graduates of the University of Puerto Rico.
The University of Puerto Rico has helped restore the islands faith in public education.
Puerto Rico also is one of the few countries in the world to have 5 Miss Universe title winners.
Must see places in Puerto Rico
El Yunque National Forest, Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristobal, La Fortaleza, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Culebra, Vieques, Isla de Mona, Condado Beach, Arecibo Observatory, Cayo Icacos, Cuevas de Camuy.
El Yunque Rain Forest
Hike through El Yunque Rain Forest and discover a true green paradise. La Coca Falls has an impressive natural water fall.
Flamenco Beach, Zoni Beach and El Polvorín are three of the must see beaches in Culebra especially for those who like to swim, dive or snorkel in a clear water – white – sand beach.
Culebra is a great place to do some beach hopping, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, and even surfing.
You can also hike and do some interesting like bird watching. There are tons of different birds and parrots. Some are huge.
Most people in Culebra park the car and walk everywhere.
Or you can just go there to get away from the city life, connect with nature and relax.
The Island of Vieques
Vieques is an island to simply relax. There are no casinos, no golf courses, no strip malls no major shopping centers, like there are in the main island.
Vieques is a getaway. What is there? A low tide beach, great food, and a relaxing atmosphere.
There is a bay that glows in the dark, the other is in Lares.
At night the sky lights up over Vieques – since the island is small the street lights do not dominate the space. The stars dominate the space. There are a few more than the city light allows you to see. I would say, a few hundred more.
The Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope in the municipality of Arecibo.
The radio telescope terrestrial aeronomy experiments include the Coqui II experiment, supported by NASA. The telescope has military intelligence.
The Arecibo Observatory telescope is said to be the largest on the planet. See the video. The city of Old San Juan
The first thing that you will notice about old San Juan is that it has been preserved. It houses, buildings, streets and forts that date back several hundred of years.
Old San Juan has the largest harbor in the region, and is the the capital of Puerto Rico.
Take a boat trip around San Juan then walk thru the city. It’s a wonderful way to start a day.
By the water front, you will see the Condado (Tourist Area), the Fort San Cristobal, it’s the largest fort built by Spain in the New World.
North you will observe, the Capitol Building – it’s made of marble. Similar in shape as the one in Washington, D.C.
Across the bay you will see the Bacardi Distillery in the (islet) Isla de Cabras with its Fort, San Juan De La Cruz. They have daily tours.
In old San Juan you will also see the – Paseo de La Princesa (full of street vendors), the Roots Fountain, The Governors Mansion (San Catalina Castle) and Fort San Felipe Del Morro – which dates back several hundred years.
Camuy River Cave Park
Once you arrive at the Camuy River Cave Park, you will board a trolley to descend about 200 feet (60 m) underground to an million year old cave, where you will walk through Cueva Clara. It has a limestone floor. And a gothic looking ceiling.
The cave is said to have been used by the Taíno Indians.
For such a small island Puerto Rico has a huge history, one of the great things about Puerto Rico is being able to hop on a cruise boat and sail away.
Puerto Rico Cruises
Have a good time in Puerto Rico, whether you get there by plane or cruise ship – you’ll be amazed.
Don’t forget o let me know about your trip.
Sint Maarten is an island in the Caribbean. It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Sint Maarten’s capital is called Philipsburg.
The island is divided into two parts the French side and the Dutch side.
This came about in the 1600’s:
In 1631, the Dutch founded Fort Amsterdam in Saint Maarten as protection from invaders.
Meanwhile, the French wanted to colonize the islands between Trinidad and Bermuda.
Threre after the Dutch West India Company began its salt mining operations in the island.
The Spanish wanted to control the salt trade and attacked the island, taking St. Martin from the Dutch in 1633.
Fifteen years after the Spanish conquered the island, the Eighty Years’ War ended. The Spanish deserted the island in 1648.
Saint Maarten freedom was welcomed news to the Dutch and the French, they reestablished their settlements.
Alot of the Dutch came from St. Eustatius. The French from St. Kitts, while the French came from St. Kitts.
In 1648 the Dutch and the French signed the Treaty of Concordia dividing the island in two, but this did not put an end to the conflict between them because the borders kept moving.
Between 1648 and 1816, the border moved 16 times.
During those years the Dutch and the French cultivated cotton, tobacco and sugar. As their harvest grew their need for man power grew.
They began to import slaves – so many that they became a populous race in the island, and their demands and rebellions against harsh treatment were hard to ignore.
In 1848, the French government abolished slavery, including in St. Martin. The slaves on the Dutch side then protested and it was said that they began to flee to the French side were they would be given asylum.
The local Dutch authorities then emancipated their slaves, this was seen as a sign of good will.
In the 1950’s the Dutch side of the island began to focus on tourism, the French side following suit two decades later.
Making Princess Juliana International Airport one of the busiest in the Eastern Caribbean.
During the era of growth the islands population grew from a 5,000 people to around 60,000 people by the mid 1990’s.
On the 10th of October of 2010, Sint Maarten became a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, making it a constitutional equal partner with Aruba, Curacao, and the Netherlands proper.
The Courthouse in Philipsburg is one of the symbols of Sint Maarten.
The Constitution of Sint Maarten was unanimously adopted by the island council of Sint Maarten on 21 July 2010.
Eugene Holiday was appointed as the first Governor of Sint Maarten by the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in September 2010.
He assumed office on 10 October 2010.
During the past few years Saint Maarten has put it’s name on the map because of the large amount of ships that docks in it’s port, from different parts of the world.
There is no doubt that Saint Maarten is a small island with a interesting history that keeps growing. Saint Maarten is known for it’s many beautiful beaches.
Chief among them are the ones where many cruise boats that visit the island daily park. There is one in the capital.
While packing remember that Electrical sockets in Sint Maarten (St. Martin) usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. Take an adapter if needed.
Have a good time in the island, it does not matter how you get there plane or ship you will have a great time.
Palma often called Palma de Mallorca, is the capital and largest city of the Balearic Islands of Spain. Located on the south coast of Majorca on the Bay of Palma.
Catalan is the local language spoken in Palma, Spanish is widely used.
The islands beauty and pleasant all year round climate has made Palma a huge tourist attraction; making the island alot wealthier than other regions of Spain.
Its airport, Palma de Mallorca Airport – Son Sant Joan Aeroport, receives more than 26 million people each year.
Palma is also known for it’s agricultural exports mainly almonds, oranges, lemons and olives.
The island also has copper mines and marble.
The city has several communities including Establishments; Nord, Son Espanyol, Ces Cases Noves, and Sa Creu Vermella.
The city borders the Serra de Tramuntana, the island’s major mountain range and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The transportation network of Palma is called Plaça d’Espanya. Intermodal provides buses and trains.
Palma is famous for La Seu, a huge cathedral originally built on a mosque from 1229 to 1601. The history behind the reasons that the construction took so long; is worth taking a tour of the church. It was restored in 1901.
Old Palma is behind the cathedral. It consists of a network of paths and streets designed by the Arab past of the island.
The Old City is also home to the Town Hall, the Convent of the Cathedral and the Banys Àrabs.
European style football – soccer – is the most popular sport on the island, led by the Segunda Division team Real Mallorca.
Palma’s sea location, makes it – an ideal place for sea sports. Road cycling is very popular in Majorca.
The city is also home to the Palma Arena. The Palma Arena is a multi sport pavilion.
The UNESCO listed Serra de Tramuntana – cliff jumping – is a great experience for height lovers in the heart of the mountains.
It involves leaping off cliffs and ledges into natural cool pools of water, then just flowing down stream. Instructors are present.
Bellver Castle, is a Gothic style castle from the 14th-century, it’s unique among Spanish castles. It has one of the best views of Palma.
Bellver means – lovely view – in Catalan.
For many centuries the castle was used as a prison. Nowadays it stores Palma’s municipal history, which traces the development of the island, it’s artifacts, and potteries from the islands Talaiotic, Roman, and Arab era.
There is no doubt that Palma de Mallorca; is a wonderful place to travel to, especially if you like walking, bike riding or just sitting back and enjoying a guided tour, let me know how your trip went.
Siegburg is a wonderful small city located on the banks of the rivers Sieg and Agger; in the district of Rhein-Sieg-Kreis, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Siegburg sits on the base of a mountain.
Siegburg is one of the few cities in the world that has converted – most – if not all of it’s street lights; to energy efficient – LED – bulbs. Reducing the use and cost of energy tremendously in Siegburg.
In 1816 Siegburg became the county seat of the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis.
Some of Siegburg most interesting sites in Siegburg are:
Holzgasse – The Holzgasse is a long cobblestone paved street full of shops and restaurants.
Abtei Michaelsberg – The Abtei Michaelsberg is the former residence of the Benedictine Monks; who produced a liquor called Siegburger Abtei-Likör and a beer called Michel.
Medieval Christmas Markett – Siegburg is known for it’s medieval Christmas market. The market features Medieval tents, full of the era’s artifacts and medieval music. A variety of wines are served – this includes honey wines and some of the era’s most tasteful breads. It’s a great place to step back in time.
Siegburg Museum – The Siegburg museum features the history of Siegburg from prehistoric times until the Federal Republic. The museum has a medieval cellar vault; conserved from 1826.
Oktopus Siegburg – The Oktopus Siegburg is a great place to go to if you like deep sea diving – here you can do it indoors. It’s one of the deepest indoor diving centers of Europe. The tower has a depth of 20 meters and a diameter of 10 to 18 meters.
Cineplex Siegburg – The Cineplex Is the biggest cinema in Siegburg; it shows the latest movies. It consists of: 2 small – cozy movie theaters, 4 medium size – movie halls, and one huge movie theater – that can house 500 people.
Michealsberg Abbey – Is a former monastery of the Benedictine Order, founded in 1064 by the Archbishop of Cologne, the monastery is dedicated to the Archangel Michael.
During the 14th century, the abbey was said to be directly subject to the Holy Roman Emperor. This led to a war, with the town of Siegburg.
In 1676, the abbey became the subject of local territorial power.
During the period of the Thirty Years’ War, the abbey became – a center of literary and musical studies.
There is no doubt that Siegburg is a great place to travel to; a small town with a huge history and great restaurants.
When you visit, check your electrical items – the voltage in Germany is 230 V 50 Hz, adapter C / F.
Let me know about your trip to Siegburg, did you dive? How deep did you go – was it cold outside when you did it?
The Republic of Austria is a Federal Republic, with a mountainous terrain, within the Alps.
The German name for Austria is Österreich, which means “Eastern Realm”.
German is Austria’s official language, other official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.
The Austrian Empire was officially proclaimed in 1804.
In 1867, the empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary.
In 1955, the Austrian State Treaty re-established Austria, as a Sovereign state.
That same year the Austrian Republic – became neutral.
In 1995, Austria joined the European Union, and adopted the euro currency in 1999.
Today, Austria is a Parliamentary Representative Democracy; made of nine federal states.
Vienna is Austria’s capital and – it’s largest city, with a population exceeding 1.7 million inhabitants.
Austria is also one of the richest countries in the world, with a nominal per capita GDP of $43,724.00.
Austria currently produces more than half of its electricity by hydro power, the rest is produced by gas and oil powered plants.
The Austrian Roman Catholic church reports 58% of the population to be Catholic. The rest of the population are registered members of various religious communities – mostly Muslims, due to the influx from Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.
There is also a large number of Orthodox Churches in Austria – mainly Serbs, and a growing number of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
And a small percentage of the population is of the Jewish Faith.
Below are some of the top tourist attractions in Austria; that are sure to make your day special.
Hochosterwitz Castle – Hochosterwitz Castle is fairy tale beautiful. An inclined railway brings visitors to the castle. Some say the castle is the inspiration behind – Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
The historic city of Krems – Krems is a good city to stroll about and visit the castle called Gozzoburg. Krems is where the blue Danube and the Krems river meet. The city of Krems has a reputation for its wine industry, there are with numerous tasting rooms.
Eisriesenwelt Cave – The Eisriesenwelt Caves are a amusement park for nature lovers, highlighting an Ice Cave.
Schloss Mirabell– Schloss Mirabell is a beautiful palace that dates back to early 16th century. It’s structured in marble, stuccoes and has enormous Frescoes on the walls – and a impressive garden.
Melk Abbey – The Melk Abbey is a huge world renowned monastery. situated high on a cliff.
Hohenwerfen Castle – Hohenwerfen Castle overlooks the Salzachtal Valley. The castle is typically medieval with dungeons. The dungeons still contain some of the original instruments of the castle.
There’s No doubt – Austria history is interesting – explore it and the beauty of nature that encompasses it’s land.
Austria is a great place for outdoor activities; and winter sports. Some of the major places in Austria for winter activities and sports include de Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck.
Innsbruck the capital city of Tyrol in Western Austria. The name translates as “Inn bridge”.
Innsbruck is an internationally renowned winter sports center, it hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics.
Austria is one of three countries in the world; which have hosted twice the Winter Games.The others are St. Moritz, in Switzerland and Lake Placid, New York in the United States of America.
In 1984 and 1988 Innsbruck hosted the Winter Paralympics.
Innsbruck also is host; to one of the 4 ski-jumping competitions – of the 4 Hills Tournament every year.
Because of it’s location in the mountains, Innsbruck serves as an ideal place for skiing in the winter, ski-jumping and mountaineering in the summer.
There are several ski resorts around Innsbruck, for ski lovers.
You can catch the Nordkette Cable car from central Innsbruck – and enjoy the amazing view.
he base of the cable car is located in the: Old Town Center.
The Nordkette Cable Car has been running since 1928, and has undergone several recent modern makeovers.
The Nordkette Cable Car leaves every 15 minutes, seven days a week. The price varies depending on how high you want to go.
There’s a restaurant and market, both with great views.
Salzburg is a great place to visit in Austria. It’s the birthplace of Mozart, and home of the Salzburg Festival.
The Haus der Natur in Salzburg is a museum, with fascinating aspects of Environmental Nature.
At the entrance you are greeted by a giant dinosaur, as you walk thru the museum – you get the feeling that you are walking thru time – passing millions of years; from the Land of the Dinosaurs – to the – Space Age.
Marvel at animals from around the world at Hellbrunn Zoo it houses over 1200 animals of 140 different species.
The Hellbrunn Estate, has a palace, fountains and a zoo, it was completed in 1619.
The Salzburg Zoo is dedicated to protecting nature, animals and species, it’s committed to keeping the animals in a habitat that is as close to nature as possible.
Some of Salzburg most impressive features are it lakes, castles, and museums.
Salzsbur is world known for it’s magnificent architecture.
Don’t forget, in Austria, the electricity power sockets are Type F (round tips plugs) and the standard voltage is 230 V 50 Hz.
Austria is great place to travel to, a small country with alot of things to do.
The Commonwealth of Australia is the world’s sixth-largest country by area, it houses a Liberal Democratic political system that functions as a Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy.
Australia has the world’s 13th-largest economy and holds the ninth-highest place in per capita income.
Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the Pacific Islands Forum.
The name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis “southern land”, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times.
Colloquial names for Australia include “Oz” and “the Land Down Under” usually shortened to just “Down Under”.
Australian forests are mostly made up of evergreen species, particularly eucalyptus trees in the less arid regions.
Among well-known Australian animals are the kangaroo, koala, and wombat.
The Australian Federal Government is separated into three branches: Legislature , Executive, and Judiciary.
Australia has six states; New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
It’s major two mainland territories are: The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the Northern Territory (NT).
The 2016 Australian census reported that the most reported ancestries in Australia were: English – 36.1%, Australian – 33.5%, Irish – 11.0%, Scottish -9.3%, Chinese -5.6%, Italian – 4.6%, German – 4.5%, Indian – 2.8%, Greek – 1.8%, and Dutch – 1.6%.
Canberra is Australia’s Capital:
English is the general spoken language in Australia – spoken by 72.7% of the population according to the Australian Census Department.
Other spoken languages are Mandarin 2.5%, Arabic 1.4%, Cantonese 1.2%, Vietnamese 1.2% and Italian 1.2%. This makes for a large bilingual population.
The Roman Catholic Church continues to be among the largest religious groups in Australia followed by Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism.
Australia coffee continues to circle the world, widely used in New York City.
Australia has made a name for itself in sports, it’s no surprise to hear of the medals won by Australia in sports such as Swimming, Surfing, Tennis, Cycling, Basketball, Cricket, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Skiing, Rugby and of course Soccer.
Sydney is Australias largest urban area.
Australia is no stranger to the arts, with a series of soap operas circulating the globe and renown Ballet companies that have captured and warmed the hearts of many.
The Sydney Opera House – is an architectural miracle. Surrounded by the Harbor and the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Opera House is a precious landmark.
Sydney Tower – is the city’s tallest structure, offering 360-degree views of the compact metropolis, harbor and surrounding countryside.
Here are some Australian popular sites you might enjoy:
The Parliament House – the meeting place of the Australian Parliament located in Canberra. It contains 4,700 rooms – many are opened to the public.
Mount Wellington – is located in the southeast coastal region of Tasmania. The mountain rises to 1,271 meters (4,170 ft) and is frequently covered by snow, sometimes even in summer.
Cable Beach – is located in Broome in Western Australia. Cable Beach is famous for its camel rides on the beach. You can cross the sands in a four-wheel-drive vehicle if you prefer.
Fraser Islandflickr – This beautiful island, which is located in Queensland, has a rain forests, sand dunes, freshwater and sand cliffs.
Taronga Zoo – Entrance to the zoo is accessed by short gondola ride. Zoo tickets are available that cover ferry and gondola fares.
Australian National Maritime Museum – Tickets are available that include entrance to the museum as well as tours of several of the vessels moored outside.
Kakadu National Park – is the country’s largest national park, includes a large concentration of Aboriginal rock art; some are over 20,000 years old. Bird watchers frequent this park.
The voltage in Australia is 230V 50Hz -Travelers from Asia, Africa and Europe should have appliances that work on the same voltage as Australia.
Japan, USA and Canada appliances use 100/120V 50/60Hz – you will need to purchase a voltage converter.
Have a good time down under, hope to hear about your trip.