Austria Travel

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.
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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.

Have a great time, let me know about your trip.

Haben Sie eine gute Reise!

Australia Travel

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.

Sweden Travel

Brief History of Sweden

Sweden is a great place to travel to,  it’s  history is full of interesting facts; here are a few of them.

8,000 BC to 6,000 BC
Sweden became populated by people who lived by hunting, farming and fishing, and who used simple stone tools.

800–1050 AD
The Viking set off from Sweden the Baltic coast and the rivers into Russia. They developed trading links with the Byzantine Empire and the Arab kingdoms.

1389
The crowns of Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united under the rule of the Danish Queen Margareta.No automatic alt text available.

1397 – 1523
The Kalmar Union joined Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Norway and the Faroes islands under a single monarch.

1611-1632

Gustav II Adolf came to assume great political importance. During his reign Sweden became a leading military power. Gustav II Adolf was killed in 1632 at the Battle of Lützen.

1632-1654
Just before her 6th birthday Kristina succeeded Gustav II Adolf in 1632. She ruled for 22 years.

1654
In 1654 Kristina abdicated converted to Catholicism and moved to Rome, She was succeeded by her cousin – Karl Gustav.

1660
Karl Gustav died in 1660. When Kristina heard about it she returned to Sweden to claim her throne. The Parliament did not accept her claim and she returned to Rome.

During the late 19th centuries 1.3 million Swedish immigrated to America.

1973

Carl Gustaf became King of Sweden on 15th of  September 1973, upon the death of his grandfather, Gustaf VI Adolf. Crown Princess Victoria, the eldest child of the King and his wife, Queen Silvia is heir to the throne.

All members of the Royal Family belongs to the Church of Sweden, which is an Evangelical Lutheran Church.

1977
There are over 20,000 Sámi people in Sweden.

The Sámi people were first documented almost 2,000 years ago.  The Sámi were recognized by the Riksdag as an indigenous people first in 1977.

1993

The Sámi Parliament was established as both a democratically elected body and a national administrative authority.

A vast majority of them earn their living from reindeer husbandry.

2006

The moderate party won; together with the Center Party, the Liberal party and the Christian Democrats – formed a government coalition  headed by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Places to visit 

Stockholm

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden; an old town with modern architecture, includes 14 islands connected by tunnels and bridges. Home of the nation’s capital, this region is known for it’s seaside cities, delightful cobblestone streets, old shops, churches, hotels, restaurants and government buildings.

West Coast
The west coast is full of rocky islands, pines, forests, fishes, and cottages. The west coast is car free and a great place for boating, fishing, and seal safaris.

Skane County
beautifully region, with medieval churches, castles, and Renaissance-style villages.

Uppsala County
Home of universities, museums, medieval castles, and old streets surrounded by pine forests.

Vasterbotten County
Swedens natural wilderness full of mountains and forests, A great place to go hiking even in the winter.

Orebro County
Historical town great place to learn about Swedish culture and lifestyle.

Uppsala County
Hundreds of lakes ranging from the very small to very large.

Midnight Sun Coast
This area is known for the phenomenon that only occurs in Europe’s Arctic Circle between June and July–an uninterrupted 24-hour period of complete sunlight. Great to see from the see.

Gotland
Viking treasures were discovered there, historical churches and fortresses.

Gothenburg
Once serving as the center of Sweden’s shipbuilding industry, today this city’s musical festivals and cultural events draw visitors from all over the world with a youthful and energetic atmosphere.

 

Lund
Europe home of the oldest universities, small town youthful energy with old architecture.
Must see Attractions
You must see the Vasa Museum, Stockholm City Hall, the Royal Palace, The ABBA Museum:, and the amusement park it has over 50 – roller coasters, water rides, and Europe’s tallest freefall attraction, plus a gardens and a sculpture park.

Stockholm Canals
Explore the canals that wind through the capital by boat or on foot either way.

Cuisine of Sweden
Sweden is full of international choices of foods they always include bread, pasta, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, fish, or some other meat.

Public Transportation
The larger the city the better the transportation, lots of street taxis, water taxis, ferries, trains, and buses.

There are trains you can take to Germany, Finland, Norway, and Denmark from Stockholm.

Languages of Sweden
The official language of Sweden is Swedish, but many natives speak English as a second language.

Have a good time in Sweden, let me know about your trip…

 

Italy Travel

Italy is one of those countries everyone knows and talks about. One of the reason is it’s boot shape structure, the other is it’s history.

Two good reasons to travel there and see all the wonderful sites.

Italian is the official language of Italy; spoken by the vast majority of people.

While each region has its own dialect, Tuscan, the dialect of Tuscany, is the standard dialect for Italian.

French is also spoken in parts of Piedmonte and in Valle d’Aosta, where it has become the second official language of the region.

Slovene is spoken in the Trieste-Gorizia area, and German is widely used in Bolzano Province.

One can say that Italy then has a greater linguistic spectrum than given credit for.

The presence of the Vatican in it’s  region has given Italy (Italien) a strong religious identity world wide.
Roman Catholicism, is affirmed as the state religion under the Lateran Treaty of 1929.

Italy’s highway system is considered, one of the world’s best, in 2002 totaled 479,688 km (298,366 mi).

These expressways route Milan-Como-Varese, Venice-Padua, Naples-Salerno, and Milan-Bologna-Florence-Rome-Naples. All great places to visit.

A major highway runs through the Mont Blanc Tunnel, connecting France and Italy.

The Italian patrimony, based on Roman antecedents is the oldest in Europe over 2,500 years old.

The earliest known inhabitants of Italy were the Ligurians, Sabines, and Umbrians, in the 9th century bc they were largely displaced in central Italy by the Etruscans, a seafaring people, probably from Asia Minor.

Southern Italy and Sicily were conquered shortly after by the Phoenicians and the Greeks.

By 650 bc, Italy was divided  into ethnic areas: the Umbrians in the north, the Ligurians in the northwest.

The Latins and Etruscans in the central regions, and the Greeks and Phoenicians in the south and Sicily.

By 350 bc, after a series of wars with both Greeks and Etruscans, the Latins, with Rome as their capital, gained the ascendancy.

By 272 bc, they managed to unite the entire Italian peninsula.

From its inception, Rome was a republican city-state.

Four famous civil conflicts destroyed the republic:

  • Sulla against Marius and his son (88–82 bc).
  • Julius Caesar against Pompey (49–45 bc).
  • Brutus and Cassius against Mark Antony and Octavian (43 bc), and Mark Antony against Octavian.
  • Octavian, the final victor (31 bc), was accorded the title of Augustus (“exalted”) by the Senate and thereby became the first Roman emperor.

Under imperial rule, Rome undertook a series of conquests that brought Roman law, Roman administration, and Pax Romana (“Roman peace”) to an area extending from the Atlantic to the Rhine, to the British Isles, to the Iberian Peninsula and large parts of North Africa, and to the Middle East as far as the Euphrates.

The word Italia (Italy) appears on a coin dating back to the 1st century BC. Which was minted by the confederation of the Italic peoples who rose up against Rome.

The coin was found in the region of Abruzzo in Corfinio, the ancient Corinium, capital of the confederation with the name of Italica.

The long Roman domination dating from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD has left a mark in Italy with its roads, aqueducts, temples, monuments, towns and cities, bridges, and theatres.

Travel to Italy,  and see a past that can still be seen in every part of the country.