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Messages - sadia.ameen

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61
Pharmacy / Warning signs of a serious sore throat
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:42:52 PM »
A sore throat can be triggered by allergies or by something more serious, such as a bacterial or viral infection. So how do you know when a sore throat is more serious? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentions these warning signs:
• If the sore throat persists longer than a week.
• If there are problems swallowing or breathing.
• If there is excessive drooling among younger children.
• If there is a temperature higher than 100.40F.
• If there are patches of pus on the back of the throat.
• If a skin rash develops.
• If there is blood in the phlegm or saliva.
• If there are symptoms of dehydration, including fatigue, dry mouth, infrequent urination or no tears.
• If there has been exposure to someone with strep throat.

62
Travel / Visit / Tour / Assam's village of magic is a tourist hotspot
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:37:59 PM »
An eerie silence envelopes Assam's Mayong village, well known for its magic and sorcery, as one drives towards it from the nearby city of Guwahati.

With a history that is bound to scare the daylights out of believers and make others gape in wonder, the peaceful ambience somehow looks like a cloak of mystery.

Situated near the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary, about 40 km from Guwahati, Mayong has often been called India's magic capital. Astounding tales of a man disappearing into thin air, or being turned into an animal, or a fierce tiger being tamed and serious illnesses being cured lie in the treasure trove of almost every family.

Today Mayong's fascinating stories are attracting tourists, prompting the government to develop this place as a tourist hotspot.

Lots of curious visitors come to the village to enquire if people still practise magic.

Nowadays, it's (magic, sorcery) not practised as much as before. These are modern times. People don't believe in magic or spells as much as they used to. Children go to school and shun these things as superstitions

Legends - like those of Chura Bez who could disappear into thin air just by muttering the 'Luki Mantra' and sedate an angry tiger with his 'Baagh Bandha Mantra' - anecdotal accounts and magical texts abound in Mayong's esoteric history.

Septuagenarian Basanta Nath, a magic practioner of the village, is a strong believer in magic.

"People these days dismiss magic as superstition. But when you see things for yourself, you believe. Nowadays, when people fall ill, they generally prefer to go to the doctor instead of us. But there are still people who come to us with their troubles," Nath said.

"People from far off states like Punjab, Haryana and West Bengal, other than from Assam and the surrounding places, come to Mayong to learn magic," he added.

Believer or not, courtesy its fascinating history, and also its beautiful surroundings - Mayong sits in the lap of nature, near the Brahmaputra, and has rich wildlife - the government is promoting it as a tourist destination for its culture, flora and fauna, along with the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary, which has a high concentration of the one-horned rhino.

63
Travel / Visit / Tour / Maldives, name of a paradise
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:37:32 PM »
While checking the Maldives off my list of beach retreats, I felt an inexplicable sense of pride and joy. Pride for pulling off my second international travel seamlessly, and joy for discovering a place I'd love to keep going back to.

A holiday in the Maldives is like entering the world in a picture postcard where a turquoise sea gently laps the virgin sands as warm sunlight peeks through dense coconut groves, and everything is happy as the day is long. One full-fledged flight from Colombo and a seaplane ride from Male (capital of the Maldives), and you are in an island like Robinson Crusoe's where the sea dazzles you with its brilliance like its tropical sun, and the verdant wilderness comes into its own.

If you are arriving at an odd hour in Colombo and halting the night at the airport transit hotel like us, the anticipation for the onward journey can kill you especially if you haven't flown in a seaplane before, and that too, over a gorgeous reef-dotted ocean that changes colors as often as the clock time. Scheduled for an early morning flight from Colombo to Male, we could hardly sleep the night and landed up several hours early at the departure terminal only to discover that there were more like us, even those who chose to snuggle up and catch a wink instead on the waiting chairs. Finally, a little after sunrise we were aboard the SriLankan sailing among the clouds in the faint orange light of dawn enjoying as we did even the not so savory vegetable burger and tea, musing about dreamy beaches and translucent waters.

Be glued to your window when landing in Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Male, for you don't want to miss the vista to probably one of world's most scenic airports surrounded by a cobalt blue sea dotted with white speed boats and a strip of tarmac running through its center. But once you arrive, the immigration clearance can be a bit of a dampener as the procedure is lengthy and you find yourself standing in a long queue that barely moves. About an hour later you'll be on the little red bus to the air taxi terminal, or if you please, the speed boat jetty. Now since our resort Adaaran Select Meedhupparu is on an island about 132 kilometers off the Male coast, we thought it best to fly and enjoy the magnificent aerial views. To not carry a good camera on a trip like this is sacrilege as you'll hover over a string of islands, sometimes from up close, sometimes from far behind. And you'll fly over brilliant patches of corals in colors unimaginable the whole time you are airborne.

Forty-five minutes hence we were careering across the bay towards a picturesque wooden pier. As we emerged the last monsoon shower came down sending the resort staff in a tizzy over equipping us with an umbrella and towel each. What a welcome! But none complained. There was so much to behold, the livid sky, the relentless downpour over a colourful sea, the tropical vegetation sapling green in the rain, a white beach, the endangered Maldivian Fruit Bats flying for cover, and divers scampering to the head of the pier. It was surreal, and I couldn't wait to explore the whole 42 acres of this rain and sun drenched wilderness.

In time for lunch, our host led us through a path among overhanging vines and creepers that opened up to a thatched gazebo-style dining area. The rain had let up by then, the birds were singing again, and we were sitting down to a buffet meal of lobsters, crabs, sauteed vegetables and curries to go with a glass of chilled white wine. It was the beginning of our tropical experience.

We walked around the island a little more before we thought it best to confirm with a staff member the way to our beach villa. The property has on it an array of beach villas scattered around the island affording brilliant sea views. Ours had its deck almost jutting into the sea with a watchtower adjacent to it. First I walked into the sea to get a closer view of the corals, a stone's throw away from the shore. The sand is so soft that it sinks under your feet and can hence be slippery. Don't be surprised to see snorkellers lurking around the shore, for marine life abounds right from there. Simply swim up to your nearest reef and watch the magic unfold as baby Angel fish, Tiger fish and Parrot fish swim out of its crevices.

For fish spotting and some refreshing sea breeze, we walked up the pier on the other end of the island that straddles the reef all the way to the deep blue sea. You'll spot Angel fish in royal blue with yellow strips, the yellow and black striped Tiger fish, the aqua blue Parrot fish with dark blue fins and stingrays swim around with gay abandon. You can sit on the pier for hours and watch the gorgeous marine life. Divers love to launch into the waters from this point. Besides, the pier is a vantage point to get a panoramic view of the beach, the island and its luxurious water villas that stand on stilts over the water in perfect symmetry. Their decks have a private pool and a staircase that goes down to the sea, a happy arrangement for diving enthusiasts. Dark clouds were gathering once again, and we decided to head to the poolside bar for a good sundowner. Evenings here are usually about guzzling beer over a game of cards, a quick table tennis match before settling down with a drink or reading in solitude, though the bar gets a lot of action by way of karaoke nights and some live orchestra.

The high point of a stay here is certainly the fish feeding session in the night at the pier when the dainty, colorful ones are replaced by predators like Jack fish, Barracudas, Tunas that invade the waters in shoals in search of food. You need to finish dinner early and find yourself a spot on the busy pier to witness this fascinating feeding session where portions of raw fish and crabs are hurled at the shoals of big fish by the hotel staff. My heart went out to the lonely yellow-necked turtle who tried in vain to get through the labyrinth of powerful fish.

Sunset cruise, jet skiing and dolphin spotting, bird watching are among other activities you can pursue at the resort. Else you can pull your sunbed onto the beach and spend hours reading and soaking up the sun. When making your way from one end of the island to the other through the jungle, remember to mind your head as the Fruit Bats hang quite low from the branches and give amused glances if you ran into them.

If unwinding is your idea of a holiday, you shouldn't miss out a nice, rejuvenating therapy at the spa. Typically the spa therapies offered here are avant-garde. After a sauna and steam bath, we went in for a traditional Balinese full body massage with hibiscus aroma oil followed by a refreshing cucumber facial performed by expert masseurs from Bali. Though a tad expensive, you get good bang for your buck. So much so that I went back the next day for a foot massage and manicure!

Seafood lovers, this is your place. From tunas, crabs, prawns, squids, lobsters, cuttlefish, to oysters your options are aplenty. Added to your rice, your broth, grills and curries, they are a core ingredient in every meal. But just as wonderful is sipping the nectar from fresh fruits anytime of the day you please.

At the end of our fourth and last night in the Maldives we still hadn't had our fill of its unpredictable showers, the bright morning sunshine, swimming with fish, the striking colors of the sea reflected in the open sky, the large meals and endless swigs of wine. Like in answer to our prayers it began to rain without ceremony as we took our seats in the little aircraft ready to fly out of paradise.

64
Travel / Visit / Tour / Bandarban: An attractive panorama in Bangladesh
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:37:10 PM »
 Bandarban is a district in South-Eastern Bangladesh, and a part of the Chittagong Division and Chittagong Hill Tracts. Bandarban is regarded as one of the most attractive travel destinations in Bangladesh.

Bandarban, comprising many tourist spots, is one of the most exotic tourist attractions in Bangladesh since the insurgency in Chittagong Hill Tracts has ceased more than a decade back. Nature has adorned this region with its magnificent and splendid green ornaments. Beauty is scattered everywhere of Bandarban in magnanimous mood. One will find the virgin beauty of Bandarban on every step he or she advances.
Bandarban Tourist Spots

Boga Lake

Boga Lake is the most beautiful natural lake in Bandarban. It is also known as Bagakain Lake or Baga Lake. Boga lake is 18 km away from Ruma Sadar Upazilla in Bandarban. The area of Boga lake in Bandarban is about 15 acres. Boga lake is situated at about 3000 feet above sea level. The color of water of this Boga lake is blue and very much eye catching. There are many mythological stories behind the creation of Boga lake.
Buddha Dhatu Jadi

The Buddha Dhatu Jadi is a Theravada Buddhist temple known as the Bandarban Golden Temple. The Buddha Dhatu Jadi is located at Pulpara, 4 km from Balaghata town and 10 km from the remote Bandarban hill district. The Bandarban Golden Temple is the largest Theravada Buddhist Temple with the second largest Buddha statue in Bangladesh.

Photo: Buddha Dhatu Jadi
Chimbuk Hill and Tribal Villages

Chimbuk hill is the third highest mountain in Bangladesh. Chimbuk is one of the most familiar tourist spots in Bandarban. Chimbuk hill is just 26 km away from Bandarban Sadar. Chimbuk hill is about 2500 feet high above the sea level of Bangladesh. The road of this area is zigzag. So if a traveler rides in a jeep it will be adventurous and charming. While the jeep will be moving through the various indigenous villages of Bandarban.
Keokradong

Keokradong is the second highest mountain of Bangladesh. Keokradong is about 4,035 feet high from the sea level of Bangladesh. It is situated at 30 kilometer away from the Ruma Sadar upazilla of Bandarban. This remote area is full of natural beauty. Here the travelers and nature lovers can see many small and big mountains and hills. Keokradong is covered with dense forests, birds and animals.
Meghla Tourist Spot

Photo: Meghla Tourist Spot

Meghla Parjatan Complex is one of the most amazing tourist spots for the travelers and tourists coming from all over Bangladesh and world. Meghla is in the contiguous area of the Bandarban hill district council on the gateway of Bandarban, maintained by Bandarban district administration.
Nilachal Tourist Spot

There is another beautiful place to see near Meghla, which is called Nilachal, maintained by Bandarban district administration. Nilachal is known as tiger hill. The view of Nilachal is so spectacular for snapping. Nilachal is the nearest tourist spot from Bandarban town, Bangladesh. Nilachal is situated at Tigerpara. Nilachal is near about 2000 feet above the sea level and 5 km away from the Bandarban town.
Mirinja Parjatan

Mirinja tourist spot (Parjatan complex) is situated at Lama upazilla of Bandarban district in Bangladesh. It is wonderful tourist spot in Lama. It is about 1500 feet high from sea level. In good weather, you can view Maheskhali Island, Bay of Bengal, Matamuhuri River and Lama upazilla at a glance. Parjatan Corporation developed an attractive tourist spot in that area. There is an observation tower in this spot.
Sangu River

Sangu River is the complete part of the natural beauty of Bandarban. It follows a northerly circuitous course in the hill tracts up to Bandarban. It enters the district from the east and flows west across the district and finally falls into the bay of Bengal at the end of a course of 270 km.

Photo: Sangu River

This river is flowing through the hills thousands of years. It is an important route to communicate with Ruma and Thanci Upozilla. It has huge financial interests for the population of Bandarban. This river is widely used for transportation, agricultural and other necessary products for the people of remote community.

In the winter season the current of the river almost becomes stagnant but in the rainy season the current becomes aggressive. Visitor must be attract with the beautification scattered on the both sides of it. You can find here hills, forests, falls with a river together. All the way you will be thrilled only and it is simply amazing.

You will enjoy a magnificent river cruise in Sangu and there are so many spots to arrange a picnic. You can hire traditional boats or engine boats from the old Sangu bridge or from Boatghat at Kyachingghata.
Nilgiri and Thanchi

Nilgiri (or Nil Giri) is one of the tallest peaks and beautiful tourist spot in Bangladesh. It is about 3500 feet high and situated at Thanci Thana. It is about 46 km south of Bandarban on the Bandarban-Chimbuk-Thanchi road. Beside this spot you can see Mro villages. Their colorful culture and living style are surely an unexplored experience for the visitors. In rainy season here creates a spectacular scenery, the whole spot is covered with the blanket of clouds. You can enjoy a cloudy experience.

Photo: Nilgiri

Winter is waiting for you with it’s foggy gesture on the height. It is a nice place for campfire in that season. Most attractive time is the dawn. It is better if you chose to stay during 7-18 dates of a lunar month to enjoy the moonlit night. You can also enjoy the serpentine course of Sangu River. This is the most spectacular tourist spot in Bandarban and managed by Army brigade of Bandarban.
Bandarban Hill District

Bandarban Hill District is the remotest and least populated district in Bangladesh. The lure of the tallest peaks of Bangladesh, treks through virgin forests and chance to meet more than 15 tribes of the region up close is growing both among Bangladeshis and tourists from other countries.

Bandarban, a 4,479 km² wide area with a population of 292,900 (2003 est.) inside Bangladesh is bordered by Cox’s Bazaar, Chittagong, Rangamati and Khagrachari. On the other side of the 129 kilometer international border lies Myanmar provinces of Chin and Arakan.

Bandarban has only one town that approaches anything near a city – the Bandraban town. The rest of the area is divided into 7 upazilas, which are in turn divided into varying numbers of unions. Each union is a cluster of paras and villages.
Things to Do:
Cruise on River Sangu:

One highly admired activity here is a boat trip in a sampan (a double oared boat with a blunt aft and a flat bottom) or a regular boat down the River Sangu. The trip can vary from a 1-hour trip, including a stop-over to take tea, to a whole day cruise including stop-overs to have food.You will find people working on river with bamboos. The river is not very deep in the dry season. Many times your boat might get stuck with the soil under the river.
Take a Guided Tour:

The only available regular guided tour package, offered by Guide Tours, takes tourists through Buddha Dhatu Jadi, Meghla, Shoilo Propat, Raj Vihar and Ujanipara Vihar, two tribal villages, Chimbuk Hill and a couple of more sites. An irregular guided tour package by Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation takes tourisst to Nilachal and Meghla, the artificially created government owned tourist attractions generally shunned by serious travelers.
Hiking:

A hike to either Keokaradong (883 m) or Tahjindong (1003 m), the two tallest peak is an exhilarating experience. On the side of both the peaks reside the remotest tribes-people of Bangladesh – the Khumi and the Kuki. Boga Lake, one of the two highest lakes in Bangladesh lie directly on the trek, while the other one, the Raikhiang Lake lies only a little off the way.
Where to stay?

There are many hotels, motels and hillside resorts available in Bandarban, Bangladesh. Maximum hotels and resorts are situated in Bandarban Sadar of Bandarban disctrict, Bangladesh. There are comparatively cheaper but luxurious hotels, motels and resorts information available with discount rates and up-to-date hotel or resorts info.

For more info about hotels: Hotels & Resorts in Bandarban

65
Travel / Visit / Tour / Romantic places to see before you die
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:36:34 PM »
There is a romantic in all of us. No matter how much we deny we’d still give anything to be in a place breathtakingly beautiful, and even better if we have someone special to share it with.

Of world’s most romantic places Paris tops the chart as the city of eternal romance where even sipping champagne at a roadside cafe facing the Eiffel Tower holds a special meaning. While places like Paris, Venice, the French Riviera are synonymous with ever-lasting romance, we scoured a few other destinations that spell romance, albeit in an unconventional way. Avignon, for instance, and its picturesque purple fields of lavender, the rolling tea estates of Munnar in Kerala, the lonely jungle walks in Portugal’s Madeira Island might appeal to your romantic side.

Valentine’s Day or otherwise, the below 10 experiences are an absolute must-do before you die.

An evening in Paris

Paris is magical, and a dream-come-true for diehard romantics. An illuminated Eiffel Tower, the life-giving waters of the Seine, the masterpieces at Louvre, the intricate detailing on every structure lining the boulevards, the saucy Moulin Rouge shows, and an atmospheric dinner at the recently refurbished ’58 Tour Eiffel’ restaurant on the Eiffel Tower, come together in a dizzying array to give you a different perspective on life, love and eternity.

Avignon, where time stands still…

See Europe’s biggest gothic structure, the Pope’s Palace in Avignon in Southern France among other architectural gems set against the coastal beauty of the Rhone River. The Monastery of the Val de Benediction with its superior frescoes is of particular importance. Stroll down the cobbled streets of Saint Remy, the village which inspired Van Gogh’s masterpiece ‘Starry Night’. Walk about in vineyards and savour the finest French wines. Explore the gorgeous lavender fields of Avignon; it opens up a painter’s canvas of rolling green valleys, sleepy homesteads interspersed by immense blue lavender fields.

The tranquil Cote d’ Azur or ‘French Riviera’

The charming port of St. Tropez sees chic Parisians and other international jet set spend a laidback vacation in their private yachts. Stunning coastal scenery mingles with a palpable sense of power, wealth and glamour in Nice, the capital of the French Riviera. It’s a quaint world there, only its material offerings are exclusive, rich and one-off. From shopping in chic boutiques, museum-hopping, enjoying the quiet beaches, strolling around the Roman ruins, to eating out at quaint roadside cafes, the French Riviera is an ideal retreat for a much-in-love pair.

An artist’s haven and a fashionista’s hub, Milan

Home to Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’, and the world’s top designer labels, Milan is beguiling and addictive. Do the town on coach or foot, and experience the grandeur of the massive marble Duomo, where every opera singer aspires to perform someday. Look up the oddball art pieces and furniture range at Castello Sforzesco. A walk in the evening while browsing the boutiques of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele arcade and the Corso Venezia is an ideal way to spend time in the Italian fashion capital with your beloved.

Venice, the city of canals on a gondola

Bards, painters and filmmakers for generations have glorified this tranquil Italian canal city in their works. A gondola ride on the Grand Canal through ancient bridges past pretty baroque houses of Venice is a feeling you will always hold close to your heart. It is a fine opportunity to soak up the Venetian way of life, the one thousand year old markets around Ponte di Rialto, and experience an architectural richness that makes up Italy’s most romantic city.

Lake Como and the Italian Lake District

Affording dramatic mountain scenery, Lake Como is the serenest of the three Italian lakes. In fact, Europeans love coming here because the city of Como is also the silk capital of Italy, what with silk factory outlets and branded stores strewn across its every nook and cranny. It’s a great idea to buy a pretty silk scarf or a printed silk dress for your partner on a trip down its narrow, scenic lanes. From Bellagio, an old-world town in the vicinity, you can take in panoramic views of the Alps and the aqua blue waters of Lake Como. Bellagio is characterised by old villas and luxuriant gardens.

The misty tea estates of Munnar

Not just is it the highest peak of the Western Ghats, the undulating, mist-covered tea estates, and gushing waterfalls, add to the other-worldly beauty of Munnar. Drive through dark, winding roads that look like an enchanted ribbon, and discover around every bend a starkly different view. The clouds hang so low that can reach out and touch them. Lush meadows sprayed with wild flowers, the quiet sound of the gurgling brooks through narrow rocks, the green lake at Echo Point, and the warm and hospitable local folks, make Munnar hauntingly romantic.

Witness a breaking dawn in Udaipur

Lovingly called ‘city of lakes’ and ‘city of dawn’, Udaipur’s romantic appeal lies in the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola and the white marble Lake Palace at its heart. The city virtually came up on the banks of Lake Pichola after Maharana Udai Singh II discovered it following a prophesy by an ascetic who summoned him to rebuild his empire over Lake Pichola after his defeat in Chittorgarh at the hands of Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Set against the looming Aravalis, Udaipur’s string of lakes, the sandstone City Palace on the eastern crest of Lake Pichola, the architectural structures dotting the city, the handicraft bazaars, local cuisine, and an idle pace of life are sure to bring you back for more.

Far away in the floating gardens of Madeira Island

Tossed on the sapphire blue waters of the Atlantic, just off the mainland of Portugal, the Madeira Island resembles a gigantic floating garden. Its capital city Funchal receives honeymooners from Europe who find glory in its fine wines, mild climate, bird songs, drunk-red rhododendron blossoms, forests of pine, terraced fields, secret gorges, and the glimmering blue Atlantic visible from every clearing in the jungle. Explore on foot a tired countryside sprawled on the crater of an extinct volcano which still resorts to wicker craft for a living. Follow a levada – an irrigational canal that winds through the jungles – and discover sights of immense natural beauty.

A pint of Guinness in Dublin

Head straight to the 250-year-old brewery, the Guinness Storehouse in Ireland’s capital city and find out all there is to know about the world’s most celebrated beer. From ground floor to the sky bar ‘Gravity’ on the seventh floor, the storehouse is an experience unlike any other. From taking you through the fine process of beer making to giving you a taste of their best brews, you can literally spend an entire day among great many varieties of beer. Take your date to Gravity in the evening and enjoy a few mugs of frosty beer with appetisers while looking over a brilliantly lit Dublin city. The haunting romanticism of the Irish Kilkenny and Malahide castles too are worth experiencing. Do it on a day trip from Dublin.

66
Travel / Visit / Tour / A road trip to France
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:35:12 PM »
 If you are after the provincial France of the past – with narrow country lanes, authentic village life and a population where cows still outnumber people – set your sights on a road trip through one of the country’s largest and least known departements (administrative regions): Aveyron.

The fifth largest of France’s departements, Aveyron is also one the most sparsely populated, with less than 300,000 inhabitants. Its diverse terrain includes the low Aubrac mountains in the northeast, sweeping plateaus in the south, deep gorges cut by narrow rivers and fertile meadows that are the backdrop for ancient monasteries, castles and villages.

Harder to reach from Paris than other areas of the country (the highway that leads from Paris to the Mediterranean town of Perpignan skirts the eastern reaches of Aveyron, but there are no major highways through the departement’s interior and no high-speed rail links), Aveyron’s relatively isolated location has left it on the sidelines.

“Even among the French, this central part of France is kind of unknown,” said luxury travel adviser Bernard Fromageau of HotelExcellence.com. “If people really want to see the country and the small villages not spoiled by tourism, this is the place to go.”
Hit the road

Unless you fly into the small but efficient airport in Rodez, Aveyron’s relaxed capital city, chances are you will be arriving from Paris on the A75 highway. Head straight into the heart of the Aubrac region, known for its austere and striking landscapes and home to a revered cattle species of the same name. The purebred vache Aubrac has beautiful eyeliner-like markings around its eyes and is said to be among the most juicy, marbled and flavourful beef anywhere.

Your first stop should be the village of Laguiole, famous for the beautiful handmade Laguiole knives that have become a staple on foodies’ tables across the planet. (If you buy one for a gift, follow local tradition and make sure the recipient gives you a coin, any coin, in return – a gesture that signifies that the friendship will not be severed.)

When you start feeling peckish, Aveyron’s most famous foodie pilgrimage (yes, even Parisians make it) is just 6km east. Bras is a three Michelin-starred restaurant where the focus is on the bounty from Aveyron’s terroir – beef from the Aubrac region, veal from the Ségala, truffles from the Causses. The menu varies with the season, but you might find such delicate preparations as kohlrabi with candied orange or a delicious throwback to traditional regional cooking, chou farci – stuffed cabbage served with a gratin of truffles. After your decadent meal, spend the night at Maison Bras, the restaurant’s hotel. The 15 bright and contemporary rooms have views of the Aubrac’s luminous landscape.
France’s plus beaux villages

The next morning, make the 30km drive southeast to Estaing, one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France (the Most Beautiful Villages of France): a listing with a slew of historic and aesthetic criteria that determines the country’s most beautifully preserved villages, of which Aveyron claims 10 – the most of any departement. Estaing is a fairytale village of just 600 people with a castle and a 16th-century Gothic bridge over the Lot River that has been awarded Unesco World Heritage status.

About 40km northwest is another of the plus beaux villages, Conques. Here, the 12th-century Abbey Church of Sainte-Foy steals the show, architecturally speaking, with a particularly elaborate bas-relief above the main entrance that displays flaming swords, angels, Jesus and the devil entangled in scenes from the Last Judgement. The church is at the heart of a lost-in-time village, full of rambling stone houses surrounded by wooded slopes where locals collect chestnuts in autumn. The famed Santiago de Compostela trail passes through here en route to northern Spain. And whether you are walking with the masses or not, stop to refuel with a gourmet meal of locally sourced meat and produce at the Michelin-starred Hôtel-Restaurant Hervé Busset, which occupies an 18th-century water mill perched over the Dourdou River. Try the œuf basse (poached egg cooked at a very low temperature) served alongside foie gras and truffle cream or the free-range chicken with a delicate crayfish sauce.

From Conques, drive just less than 70km south to the striking 13th-century town of Villefranche de Rouergue. This peaceful riverside enclave sparks to life during the weekly Thursday morning market, when you will hear vendors and shoppers trading the melodic sounds of Occitan (the original language of the region, spoken today by about 1.5 million people in southern France).

From here, a side trip to the nearby village of Belcastel is worth the detour, accessed by a narrow road that winds through a rolling landscape of farmer’s fields. Another of Aveyron’s plus beaux villages, its jewel is the 11th-century fort that occupies a lovely locale along the Aveyron River with a pretty waterfront municipal campground and good trout fishing. The most charming address in town for both eating and bedding down is the Hotel du Vieux Pont (advance reservations for the restaurant are a must); the restaurant and hotel are linked by an old bridge that yawns across the river. The menu includes more Aveyron specialties such as Cabecou au Laguiole and l’Ecir de l’Aubrac, two cheese varieties made from lait cru (raw cow’s milk) that have a light and fresh flavour. During spring and early summer, order the delicious asparagus dishes including one recipe flavoured with rhubarb and verbena.
Rodez, Aveyron’s mellow capital

From Belcastel it is a 27km jaunt east to Rodez, a proud hilltop capital of about 60,000 people that centres upon a towering Gothic church, the 13th-century Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Rodez . Saturday is the main market day; stroll the narrow streets that connect the old town’s two central squares, Place du la Cite and Place du Bourg, to find regional vendors selling fruit, vegetables and cheese, as well as Aveyron specialties such as farçous (savoury beignets made with swiss chard, onion and parsley) and gateau a la broche (a cake made from butter, flour and sugar that is cooked on a spit over an open fire and, owing to its dry texture, best enjoyed with coffee or ice cream). If you are feeling bold, scout the market for what is perhaps the most typical Aveyron specialty of all, tripous – veal intestines cooked in a carrot, white wine and tomato bouillon that is often eaten for breakfast during local celebrations. Cheese connoisseurs should head to Chez Marie (3 Rue Bosc), a small shop just behind the cathedral with a passionate proprietor and a huge selection of regional and French cheeses; try the strongly flavoured Lyonnaise specialty Saint-Félicien – so creamy you need a spoon to coax it from its clay pot.
The diverse landscapes of the south

About 70km southeast of Rodez, near the town of Millau, Aveyron’s southern landscapes expand into a dramatic river scene, where the Tarn River cuts through the impressive Gorges du Tarn. From Millau, follow the road heading north, the D809, for 18km to the village of Les Vignes, where you can rent a canoe from Coule à Pic, a popular campsite operator that provides shuttle service from the gorge parking lot to the put-in point upriver. From there – and depending on how many stops you make to picnic and swim along the way – count on two to five hours to paddle downriver back to the village of Les Prades. A plastic drum for toting your picnic items in the canoe is included, and afterwards you can relax in the campground’s Jacuzzi, sauna and swimming pool.

Millau is famous for the Norman Foster-designed Viaduc de Millau bridge – a cable-hung marvel that stretches across the Tarn River Valley and is the world’s tallest bridge at 343m. But there is another way to get your kicks on high here – the plateaus just outside town have favourable winds that lure paragliders and hang gliders for some of France’s best soaring. Try it yourself on a tandem flight with local operator Millau Evasion.

Finally, do not miss a visit to the famous caves of Roquefort in the town of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, about 25km southeast of Millau. You can tour the caves and the fabrication areas to learn how one of the world’s most legendary blue cheeses is made. Whether you choose to visit the Papillon caves, those of Société or another brand, you will surely hear the story of a smitten shepherd who, according to local legend, left a morsel of bread and piece of plain sheep’s cheese in a cave while he went off in search of a lady. Upon his return, the bread was covered with a tasty mould, and the legend of Roquefort was born.

With so much history, gastronomy and natural beauty packed into a single region, Aveyron’s diversity can be overwhelming. But wherever your route takes you, the region’s small country roads ensure the discoveries come at a pace slow enough to enjoy.
Practicalities

The northernmost parts of Aveyron can be reached in a little less than six hours by car (slightly longer by train) from Paris and the southern regions are just one and a half hours from Toulouse. Flights from London (Ryanair has flights from Stansted) and Paris (AirFrance and low-cost carrier, Hop) land in Rodez’s airport. Avis, Europcar, Hertz and Enterprise all have car rental kiosks in the airport.

News Source: BBC

67
Travel / Visit / Tour / Visit Blood River in Scotland
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:34:28 PM »
Devil’s Pulpit, found in southeastern Calloway County near New Concord, is a serene and peaceful place, filled with natural beauty and wonder.

Devil’s Pulpit is located about 200 yards off Deerberry Lane in the Blood River bottoms. This rock formation sits up high on a steep hill overlooking the valley below.

Situated at about 500 feet above sea level, the pulpit rises 130 feet above the river and provides a great vista. The only sign of civilization is a communications tower in the distance.

Various types of trees can be seen everywhere, with a few of them even growing on top of the rock.(priyo.com)

68
Travel / Visit / Tour / Charm of Putrajaya
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:33:46 PM »
The time we visited Putrajaya, we were at once greeted by the serenity of the lake. Engulfed in the majesty of the site and the silence of the waterway, the muffled noise of the traffic was a stark contrast to the previous night’s splendour of lights, the sound of musicians playing randomly on pavements and the cacophony of the people gathered around the bank of the lake to see the 14 flotillas decked in colourful lights cruise through a 3 kilometre stretch of the Putra Lake.

On that hot summer afternoon, we made our way through the still waters of the lake, the man made Putra Lake, a reservoir which serves as a cooling system for the city as well as serving the aesthetics, on an air-con boat. It is also an ecological site possessing hundreds of species of freshwater creatures — fish and otherwise.

To preserve the artificial habitat fishing and angling is strictly prohibited a strict eye is kept on the activities around the banks of the lakes through constant surveillance. But nothing takes away from the scenic images of the lake and the city that lies on its banks.

Our ride began near the Perdana Putra, the Prime Ministerial Office and the grand Putra Mosque, more popularly known as the Pink Mosque because of the colour of the stones used in its construction.

As our boat maneuvered, the tourist guide pointed at the architectural landmarks of the city that was picture perfect. A cool wind blew as we moved, heightening the experience of a peaceful atmosphere.

Built in the late 1990s, the city of Putrajaya was the brainchild of Dr Mahathir Bin Mohamad, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia. The city lies 25 km south of KL, between the international airport and the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Destined to become the capital of this nation one day, Putrajaya now boasts a spectacular architectural view from the lake itself and also from the motorways. However, it is not without its touch of vitality.

We were taken aback by the splendours of the Floria, an exhibition of the many varieties of orchids that have a natural habitat in Malaysia along with other cultured variants.

What has now become a hallmark of the city, the annual show hosts almost a million visitors who come to see the breathtaking flowers showcased in many landscaped garden plots. This year the popular orchid made a comeback at Floria 2013, which was themed “Orchid — Tropical Treasure.”

Orchids are a very popular and familiar flowering plant in the Malaysian landscape and are grown, maintained and bred throughout the country. As we walked through the aisles of the exhibition, Floria 2013, we saw breathtaking stalls featuring orchids in many different forms and cheerful, vibrant colours.

The theme itself is self-explanatory even though this plant has been introduced and used for centuries it is still a sight to behold as Malaysia’s Tropical Treasure.

The blissful silence of the show was shattered with a loud sound that marked the beginning of the boat show. And we rushed to the river bank, some 200 yards away from the spectacular Floria 2013.

The Magic of the Night is an annual programme hosted in Putrajaya, Malaysia — a show organised for the third consecutive year, ahead of the much promoted Visit Malaysia Year 2014, comprising a brilliant display of lights, fourteen brightly lit flotillas on themes familiarising the international tourists and the local audience to the grandeurs of the rich cultural heritage and the natural beauty that is the treasure of Malaysia.

There was an explosion of colours and music, from traditional Malay songs to the orchestra playing European classical music. The silent city of Putrajaya lingered as the backdrop of the extravaganza, with city lights being overshadowed by the grandeur of the boats, each of which compete against each other in an annual contest.

Putrajaya is a city lurked in isolation of the hustle and the bustle that is the Malaysian experience. That is not to say that that the place lacks a life of its own. As the fireworks following the boat exhibition lit up the dark sky, we took our exit from the show.

Malaysia is an exciting place to visit, it is a place where something is happening around the clock. This is as true for the mega cities that have already made a mark in the tourist’s map as it is for the lesser known, Putrajaya.

Source: Daily Star

69
Travel / Visit / Tour / What’s a tourist to do on a Sunday in Paris?
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:32:55 PM »
A great debate rages in France over whether more shops should open on Sundays. In the meantime, here are some ideas of what to do in Paris on a day when much is closed:

- Head to the Marais. Many shops in this former Jewish quarter, turned Paris’ gay center and trendy shopping hot spot, follow tradition and stay closed on Saturday to open on Sunday. While the rest of Paris can feel sleepy, the Marais positively buzzes on Sundays.

- Visit an ethnic neighborhood. The Little India and African markets near the Gare du Nord or the Chinatowns around the 13th arrondissement’s Avenue de Choisy and Belleville metro station in Paris’ east are all packed on Sundays. Join the crowds hunting for curry or dim sum.

- Take a day trip. There are several beautiful chateaux just outside Paris: Versailles, Vaux le Vicomte, Fontainebleau. Monet’s house and gardens at Giverny are also open during the spring, summer and fall. Sundays are good for exploring these mansions and having a picnic on the grounds.

- Visit a park. The Luxembourg and Tuileries gardens are Paris’ most famous, but the city is also edged by two woods: Vincennes in the east and Boulogne in the west. The Parc de Bagatelle, within the Bois de Boulogne, has beautiful rose gardens and a chateau of its own. You can rent a rowboat on the lake in Vincennes.

- Head to a market. Many food markets are open on Sunday mornings, and the flea markets on Paris’ periphery, like those at Saint-Ouen and Vanves, are also busy on the weekends.

Source:Dhaka Tribune

70
Travel / Visit / Tour / Frankfurt: a centre of commerce, culture
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:32:26 PM »
Frankfurt is one of the largest cities in Germany and once harboured the Great Roman Empire. Though the city was destroyed during World War II, it has now emerged as a centre of commerce, culture and education, ranking as one of the cities with the best quality of life. Mixing tradition with modernity, the city is every tourist’s haven.
WHAT TO DO

Revisit History

If you are in Frankfurt, make sure to visit Romerberg, the historical hub of the city. A walk along the Eiserner Steg, the city's most well-known pedestrian bridge, will give you a great view of the skyline and the main river. A visit to Alte Oper, the city's original opera house which now houses a variety of fancy events since its re-inauguration after being destroyed during WWII, will leave you in awe of German culture. Finally, Goethe Haus und Museum, which was the house of the Goethe family, is now a museum dedicated to one of the most well-known German poets and authors, and is well worth a tour.

Touch the sky

Frankfurt has some of the tallest buildings in Europe, hence its nickname "Mainhattan." A walk along the Main River bridges will give you a great view of the skyline. The Main Tower of Frankfurt is a sky rise building open to the public at a cost of €5(Tk500.) Visit it just before sunset to admire the transformation of the city at night. You can even take a look at the European Central Bank, where Europe’s major financial decisions are made, and buy souvenirs from the small gift shop below.


Music, Shops, Gardens

State-subsidised performances at the Oper Frankfurt will allow you to see high quality performances at an affordable price. Visit the English theatre, the largest theatre in continental Europe, to watch a play or visit the Ballet Wiliam Forsythe to witness an unforgettable ballet musical. If you have time, make sure to attend the annual Frankfurt Book Fair, held in mid-October. Finally, spend a pleasant evening strolling through Berger Street (Berger Strasse,) which has a lot of cafes and small, trendy shops. A walk through Gruneburgpark will soothe your mood and one through Palmengarten will bring you closer to nature.
WHAT TO EAT


Tafelspitz

If you are a meat-lover, you must try the tafelspitz, the national dish of Austria that is quite popular in Frankfurt. Essentially boiled beef served with horseradish or green sauce and crunchy potatoes, this dish is a welcome relief if you're trying to avoid pork.

Bethmannchen

These small, round cookies made with marzipan and egg whites are decorated with three almond halves. Bethmannchen is a Christmas treat, but can still be found throughout the year and is delicious to taste.
WHERE TO STAY

Villa Kennedy (TK35, 000 per night and up)

Right in the centre of Frankfurt, this luxurious five-star hotel is nestled just off the south bank of the Main River in a wonderful villa landscape on Kennedyallee. The hotel is a wonderful combination of tradition and innovation, built around the traditional 1904 Villa Speyer. With a picturesque central garden, spa and award winning Gusto restaurant, a stay at this hotel will relieve you of all your stress and have you enjoying every moment in the city.

Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof (TK17, 000 per night and up)

With a history of over 100 years, this hotel is synonymous with grand, comfort and exclusivity. As the centre point of the social scene, the heritage listed building is just a few steps away from the financial district, shopping areas and cultural attractions of the city. It consists of multiple restaurants, spa services, conference rooms, a gym and much more.

Holiday Inn Express, Frankfurt City Hauptbahnhof (TK11, 000 per night and up)

If you're on a budget and are looking for the best bet, this hotel will provide you with both comfort and excellent location. Surrounded by famous sights like the Opera Frankfurt, the German Museum of Architecture and the Goethe House, this hotel offers air-conditioned rooms, high speed WI-FI and many more facilities that will enhance your trip.

Source:Dhaka Tribune

71
Travel / Visit / Tour / Principles to Make Your Travels Memorable
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:31:52 PM »
You've saved hard, budgeted and got your hands on every deal you could find. The tickets are booked, your meeting up with friends in London, and your bag is packed.

No more listening to everyone else's travel stories; it's time to create your own. This is going to be the Greatest Year of your Life.

Or is it?

What happens if you get on that plane and you hate it? What if all that dreaming, planning, and saving only points to a swift return home?

I've had travel experiences that haven't been what I had hoped. It can be heartbreaking, not to mention a kick in the stomach financially. But it doesn't have to take you out of the game, as long as you have the right mindset.

How can you make sure you won't?

The following travel manifesto will help you stay on track to overcome challenges and create those memorable travel experiences you are hoping for.

1. Open your mind
Be open to new cultures and different (sometimes better) ways of thinking. Your life has the potential to grow in unlimited ways just by being open to learning new things. If you find something confronting, or you don't agree with, instead of being judgmental and hurtful simply say, "It's not better or worse, just different." Or "Isn't that interesting? Tell me more." And then open your mind to understand.

2. Stretch your boundaries. Experience something new. Discover yourself
Try something new every day to expand your horizons and get out of your comfort zone,
Head to nature and sleep under the stars; try exotic and strange foods; attend a religious ceremony; throw tomatoes at festivals; teach English in the middle of Borneo; do something that scares you; and talk to strangers. You'll soon discover strengths and talents you never knew existed. True growth comes from stretching our boundaries.

3. Interact. Engage. Listen. Embrace
Our most important discoveries and memorable experiences come from those we meet on the travel road. Interact with the local people and other travelers. Ask questions to dig deep into cultures and beliefs. Listen attentively. You have two ears and one mouth. Make it your mission to learn as much as you can and engage with those around you. Share your own culture as well. Help bring the world closer together and show how similar we really all are. You are an ambassador for your home country; represent it in the BEST light. Expand your horizons and embrace those who are completely different to you.

4. Travel with awe, wonder and gratitude
The only luck I believe in is the one which determines where you were born. If you are traveling the world, you are privileged. Be grateful for this and use that as a means to wander the world with the eyes of a child. Look at how beautiful the planet is. See how amazing every thundering waterfall, dancing gazelle, unconquerable mountain, and smiling, toothless market trader really is. How lucky are you to witness it? Take time to think about how the planet works and what your place in it all is. Use that awe as inspiration to create your best life, which in turn helps to create a better world. It all starts with gratitude and awe.


5. Take moments and memories over possessions
Possessions wither away and die. Moments shape our character and the memories stay with us forever. In 20 years' time, that Gucci handbag will not have made a difference to your life and will be a distant memory. The night you spent in a tent guarded by a Masai warrior while lions roamed outside, however, won't ever be forgotten. Experience life instead of experiencing things.

6. Be present and passionate
There is no past and future; life only exists now. Be present and experience every moment. Step away from the computer and the lens and allow your five senses to soak up the world. Get excited and live every moment with passion. Remember how lucky you are--rejoice in that! You planned and saved hard for this adventure, you don't want to miss it by living in the la la land of your mind or other people's business. (You know what that stalkbook does?) Be attentive in your conversations and aware of everything that is happening around you. You want to stay safe on your travels? Being present is the best way to do it. It prepares your body to know what to do.

7. Sloooow it down
It does not matter how many countries you have travelled to, it matters how deep your footprint was. Have you really travelled to a place if you raced through and didn't get the time to appreciate and understand it? The best way to travel is slowly. Stay longer in fewer places. It costs less, you'll see more, you'll learn more, you'll grow more, and you'll form amazing friendships.

8. Swing in hammocks at sunset often
Enjoy the simple things. It doesn't always have to be about the Must See sights, the adventure and the bucket lists. Go for an early morning walk on the beach, have a picnic in the park, attend a yoga retreat, sit on the sidewalk of a café and watch the world go by over a cup of steaming coffee, or my personal favorite, swing in hammocks at sunset. (I pair that with a mojito. And you?)


9. Love that it is not like home
Why go away if you want everything to be like home? You are simply wasting your money and it won't be long before you find yourself on the next place home. Sameness is boring. Different cultures, traditions, languages, money, and beliefs makes the world a vibrantly, exciting place. What would there be for us to learn if everything was the same? LOVE the diversity of the world. Get addicted to it.

10. Give back and share what you have learned
Give back to the local businesses and communities as you travel. Buy their local products, volunteer, help a stranger on the street. Sit with them in restaurants and homes and chat. Banter and play when you barter. Travel will teach you so much about the world and yourself. Don't keep those memories and lessons locked away. Share them to keep them alive and to inspire and help others do the same. How can you take this travel privilege of yours and use it to make the world a better place. You should now have a much better idea of what that looks like. Do as Gandi said, "Be the change."

Source:Huffington Post

72
Travel / Visit / Tour / World's 7 least honest cities
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:31:08 PM »
Four continents, 7 cities and lots of wallets lost. That's the basic formula for a recent sticky fingers experiment by Reader's Digest.

Reporters from the magazine dropped wallets in parks, on sidewalks and near shopping malls in international cities from New York to Mumbai and waited to see how people would respond. Each wallet contained the equivalent of $50, a cell phone number, business cards, coupons and a family photo.

Bottom line? Nearly half -- 47% -- of the wallets were returned.

"If you find money, you can't assume it belongs to a rich man," said Ursula Smist, who returned one of the five wallets recovered in London. "It might be the last bit of money a mother has to feed her family," said Smist, who is originally from Poland. The other seven wallets dropped in London remain at large.

Can your cell phone bring down a plane?

Of the 102 wallets subjected to the old "finders keepers" rule, one was pocketed by a male Zurich tram driver whose employer runs the city's lost and found office. In Warsaw, five of 12 wallets were returned while the other seven were pocketed by women. The magazine concluded that gender and age are unpredictable when it comes to sussing out honesty.

"The most surprising discovery for the team at Reader's Digest is that honesty is not a relative," said Raimo Moysa, editor-in-chief of Reader's Digest International Magazines. "For all the people who returned wallets, it was the only way to act in such a situation."

"'It is something you do naturally,' said 30-year-old optician's assistant in Prague when we asked about why she returned the wallet. A 73-year-old grandmother in Rio de Janeiro expressed the same sentiment by saying simply: 'Because it is not mine,' " Moysa wrote in an e-mail response.
7.Berlin

Berlin is the capital city of Germany and one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.3 million people Half of the 12 wallets were reunited with Reader's Digest reporters in Berlin. One method of keeping your wallet safe, which has never failed me, is to put it in an inside coat pocket, ( a front trouser pocket if you will be taking off your coat in a bar etc). Close the pocket with six small to medium sized safety pins, with three closure heads facing upwards, three closure heads facing downwards.
6.Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands. Its status as the Dutch capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands Amsterdam is a prime hunting ground for petty thieves of all sorts. With a city is full of canals and the friendly, laid-back, open locals, Amsterdam is the perfect haven for pickpockets to take advantage of countless tourists. The residents of Amsterdam also returned seven out of 12 wallets.
5.Moscow

Moscow is the capital city and the most populous federal subject of Russia.In Moscow, seven out of 12 wallets were returned.

Also, Men may approach you wanting to take you out to the clubs and introduce you to women or have women they can set up for you. Some want to rob you or use you for money while others just want to provide prostitute services. Many prostitute services are set up all around Moscow in private flats run by men. Best to avoid all of this in general.
4.New York

New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. New York is the 27th-most extensive, the third-most populous, and the seventh-most densely populated of the 50 United States. New Yorkers also returned eight out of the 12 wallets dropped.

Here's tip for NY tourists. If you see a sign warning about pickpockets, or telling you management has no responsibility....DO NOT check for your belongings on your person. There are guys out there who watch for that tell. DO, however, check for your wallet if you feel someone bump into you. If it is not there, scream "HELP" "STOP THIEF" "I HAVE JUST BEEN ROBBED"
3.Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is the capital and the largest city of Hungary, the largest in East-Central Europe and one of the largest cities in the European Union. In general, Hungary is one of the safest countries in Europe and violent crime is extremely rare, so there isn’t much to worry about with regard to personal security. However, the rate of theft in Budapest has grown in recent years and pickpockets, vehicle thieves and scam merchants do operate in the city. As in any major tourist area, it is wise to take some sensible precautions to stay safe when visiting. Eight out of 12 wallets were returned in Budapest.
2.Mumbai, India

Mumbai, also known as Bombay, is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million. In Mumbai, nine out of 12 wallets were returned.

It is good for everyone traveling in Mumbai to know the stories of all the Mumbai incidents of trains, crowds, swamis, the slum called Dharavi
1.Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki is the capital and largest city of Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland. In Helsinki, Finland, 11 out of 12 wallets were returned, putting the city at the top of the honesty heap. "Finns are naturally honest," one of the good Samaritans who returned a wallet told Reader's Digest.

Source:CNN

73
Travel / Visit / Tour / Safety Tips for Bungee Jumping
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:30:08 PM »
Bungee jumping is an activity in which people jump from a structure far above the ground, such as a bridge, while they are attached to a bungee cord. The sport is said to have originated in the South Pacific on Pentecoste Island, where natives jumped from bamboo towers with vines attached to their legs. The record for the highest bungee jump was set in 2002 by Curtis Rivers, who jumped from 15,200 feet above Puertollano, Spain. While bungee jumping can be a high-adrenaline activity, it is important to practice safe techniques because the activity can be deadly.

Equipment

Most deaths from bungee jumping occur because harnesses were not put on correctly. Therefore, it is important to have professionals help you put on your harness even if you are not a beginner. That means that you should go to a company or a club that specializes in bungee jumping. Make sure the club is certified by a government agency, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or the British Elastic Rope Sports Association.

One of the most important services clubs provide is taking your height and weight measurements. This helps them fit equipment properly.

Ankle harnesses are usually secured to both legs, and they are often used in conjunction with other harnesses, especially body harnesses. When using ankle harnesses, it is best to have your body facing the line of the cord, especially when the cord becomes tight, or you could risk breaking your ankles.

Body harnesses are often attached to the stomach area to allow people freedom of movement with their arms and legs. This type of harness is similar to what people use when they are climbing. Another type of harness is the shoulder, or arm, harness. However, this should not be used by itself. Doing so would put your full weight on your arms, which could lead to a shoulder dislocation or other arm injury.

Along with fitting harnesses, professionals take steps to ensure a location is safe for jumping. Such work includes ensuring that the bungee cord is anchored properly and other equipment, including airbags, is used as needed.

For a safe jump, it is essential that the bungee cord is tied off in a secure location, one that is stable and will not be affected by added weight. Steel railings or safety fences often make good places from which to anchor. Professionals also will make sure that the bungee cord is tied with weight-bearing knots that will stay in place when gravity is pulling jumpers downward.

In some locations, companies may place airbags, webbing or slings at the bottom of a jump space to guarantee the safety of jumpers. For inexperienced jumpers, locations with airbags and webbing can provide a safer place to start.

Some companies may call off jumps due to inclement weather: Equipment may not work properly in rain, snow and other types of weather. Poor visibility and unstable wind conditions also increase the risk of injury.

Preparation

Individuals who are pregnant or have high or abnormal blood pressure; an irregular heartbeat; leg, back, breathing and circulatory system disorders; head injuries or recent surgery are discouraged from bungee jumping and should receive a checkup and advice from their doctors before bungee jumping.

Although there is no dress code for bungee jumping, certain types of clothing can help keep jumpers safe. Clothing that is too loose should not be worn because it could interfere with the bungee cord. Accessories that could cause an injury if they fell off or came loose during a jump should be removed before jumping. Among these items are glasses, jewelry and contacts.

Whether you are a beginner, advanced or professional bungee jumper, three-part classes that teach skills such as the inspection, testing and maintenance of harnesses as well as how to use slings, webbing and jump spaces are available. The parts of the classes are rescue training, bungee training and an apprenticeship period.

Source:eHOW

74
Travel / Visit / Tour / Top 5 World Festivals You Won’t Want To Miss
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:28:51 PM »
A festival or gala is an event ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival. There are many festivals around the world such as like Chinese New Year, Day of the Dead, Diwali etc. Here are top 5 world's best festivals that you won’t want to miss.

1. Snow & Ice Festival — Harbin, China

When: Jan. 5–Feb. 5
Where: Harbin, China
Why you should go: The Harbin festival is the largest snow and ice festival in the world, and it features carvings towering over 20 feet in height and full-size buildings made from gigantic blocks of ice.

2. Holi — Celebrated by Hindus Around the World

When: March 27 (for 2014)
Where: India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and other Hindu regions
Why you should go: Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It’s fun, safe, and free. Just remember to BYOD (bring your own dye).

3. Cascamorras — Baza, Spain

When: Sept. 6
Where: Baza, Spain, in the province of Granada
Why you should go: Every year hundreds of Spaniards cover themselves in grease to reenact the stealing of a famous statue of the “Virgen de la Piedad,” which took place over 500 years ago. Best of all, after the greasing, a great big party ensues.

4. Carnevale — Venice, Italy

When: Feb. 14–March 4 (for 2014)
Where: Venice, Italy
Why you should go: Carnevale, or “Carnival,” has been a Venice tradition since the 13th century. People flock from all over the world to participate in the masked celebrations, arguably making it one of the best parties on Earth.

5. Up Helly Aa Fire Festival — Lerwick, Scotland

When: Last Tuesday in January
Where: Lerwick, Scotland
Why you should go: This is Europe’s largest fire festival, complete with the burning of a full-scale Viking ship. Need we say more?

Source:buzzfeed

75
Solar / Massive asteroid to hit Earth in 2032?
« on: December 01, 2013, 05:25:01 PM »
Ukrainian astronomers discover an asteroid, called 2013 TV135, with the power of 2,500 nuclear bombs. It's officially described as "potentially hazardous."

I know from all the financial ads on TV that you like to plan your portfolio well in advance.

Might I therefore suggest that you keep a vast stack of money for the vacation of several lifetimes in the early summer of 2032?

You see, I don't want to alarm you excessively, but the world might end in August 2032.

Yes, the chances are small -- perhaps 1 in 63,000. But, as they say in lottery ads, you never know.

My mildly alarmist tone comes from hearing that scientists at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in the Ukraine have spotted a rather large asteroid.

As Russia's RIA Novosti observed it, this menacing object is more than 1,300 feet wide and packs within it the power of 2,500 megatons of TNT. It is, indeed, the sumo wrestler of asteroids. And it's headed our way.

It's already got a name: 2013 TV 135. This seems a little disappointing. Why can't we name asteroids like hurricanes? Why can't this be Asteroid Annie? Why not Asteroid Spumante? Or, at the very least, The Big One?

The existence of this particular asteroid has already been confirmed by star-gazing experts around the world, and it is officially described as "potentially hazardous."

But, most importantly, what does NASA think? I had feared that its Web site would take a little time to lurch into action after the government shutdown.

Just one look, though, confirmed that NASA is on top of this threat. In a post headlined "Asteroid 2013 TV135 - A Reality Check," NASA admitted that 2013 TV135 "could be back in Earth's neighborhood in 2032."

But, then, so could Sir Richard Branson.

NASA confirmed the analysis that there is a 1-in-63,000 chance that this thing might hit us and hit us hard. That seems, at least, more chance than a Miami Marlins World Series win or a Jacksonville Jaguars Super Bowl win.

However, Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., insists: "This is a relatively new discovery. With more observations, I fully expect we will be able to significantly reduce, or rule out entirely, any impact probability for the foreseeable future."

Scientists always say that in the movies, before some Scientologist actor has to save the world.

Source: cnet
Written by: Chris Matyszczyk

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