A Travellerspoint blog

London!

Mind The Gap...

sunny 28 °C

London is a fascinating city and has a great mix of old and new attractions
and buildings. It's city has a split personality of old and traditional,
mixed with new and modern which is great to see.

IMG_4346_copy.jpg
IMG_4704.jpg
IMG_3701.jpg

When we visited it was June and summer in England and
we were blessed with long endless summer days with blue skies.
In fact it only rained once in six days we were in the city.
The people were all very friendly and the city is well planned
out and all attractions are well sign posted and with in walking
distance of Tube stops. Whilst visiting i was fascinated by the country's
Twilight and it took some getting used to to see daylight at 11pm at night.

My first memory of London was waking up to daybreak on board a
24 hour flight from Sydney and as the plane made it's decent into
Heathrow airport, the captain had to wait until 7am before landing.
We were the first plane here and arrived early, So we had to circle
over the city several times. It was so cool as i looked out of the plane's
window, we flew above England's most iconic landmarks, Buckingham
Palace, The London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.

IMG_1436.jpg
Copy_of_IMG_1443_copy.jpg
IMG_1761.jpg

Once on the ground we had meet with our city transfer car and
and went to check in to our hotel. As Check in wasn't until 2pm
we stored our bags and went out to explore. Our first stop was
a cafe for a traditional English Big Breakfast, and for less than 5 pound
we got Bacon, Eggs, Toast, Sausage, Hash Brown, Baked Beans and a
cup of coffee! In Australia you would pay $20 for this meal!

Our next stop was England's largest department stores, Harrods.
Inside you will find everything money can buy, Clothing, Jewellery,
Toys, Electronics, Home wares, Stationary, Furniture, Pet Products,
Wedding Gowns and even a lion was sold here in 1969!
There is also a Food Hall and a mutable dinning options.
The store employs 5,000 staff members and attracts up to
300,000 customers to the store on a busy day!

Next we headed to Kings Cross Station to check out Platform
9¾ made famous by the Harry Potter books and movies.
There is a sign and a luggage trolley that appears to be
magically disappearing into the wall and is a fun photo opp
for Harry Potter fans! This is set to be the final scene of the
Harry Potter films in The Deathly Hallows Part 2.

IMG_3445.jpg
IMG_1512.jpg
IMG_3315.jpg

Our last stop before check in was a stroll through Hyde Park.
It was a beautiful, well kept park and lots of locals were out enjoying
the sunshine. We passed by the lake and went to visit the Princess
Diana Memorial Fountain. This has become very popular and now has
over one million visitors a year, visitors are welcome to sit on the
edge of the memorial and dip their feet into the water.

The next day started on board a Red Double Decker Bus on route to
Westminster. Our first stop was to get up close to the Big Ben,
It was a real welcome to London moment and looked even "Bigger"
up close. The Clock was completed in 1858 and is the stands 16 stories
high, Unfortunately you must be a resident to go inside the clock tower.
We took photos and then took a stroll up to Westminster Abbey.

IMG_3503.jpg
IMG_3520.jpg
IMG_3573.jpg
IMG_3946.jpg

Westminster Abbey is a beautiful gothic styled Church that has been
became the traditional Wedding venue for many Royal Weddings
including Queen Elizabeth II and the upcoming wedding of Prince William
& Catherine Middleton.

We than walked up to St Paul's Cathedral, one of London's most
recognisable sights. The original St Paul's Cathedral was burned
down during the Great Fire of London in 1666. The new Cathedral
was completed in 1708 and features a large dome shaped roof.
This was also the venue for Prince Charles and Princess Diana
wedding in 1981. Visitors can pay an admission for a tour inside the
Church but unfortunately there is a 'No Photography' ban inside,
for that reason i did not.

IMG_3588.jpg
IMG_4164.jpg
IMG_1765.jpg
IMG_4232.jpg

It was then off to Buckingham Palace, a must see in London.
The Palace covers over 77,000 square meters and is the official
residence to Queen Elizabeth. It features 775 rooms, 1500 doors
and has 800 staff working on site. Amazingly it remains intact after
nine direct bomb hits during World War 2. A tradition is that a flag is
flown above Buckingham Palace when The Queen is in residence and
is lowered when she departs. We were lucky enough to witness the
Queen drive out & the flag lowered an hour before the Changing Of The Guard.

The Changing the Guard ceremony takes place in the forecourt of
Buckingham Palace at 11.30am every day in summer and every second
day in winter.

The New Guards marches to the Palace from Wellington Barracks,
This resembles a street parade as a band plays as they march.
The Old Guards hands over in a ceremony during which their places are
changed. The ceremony is free to watch and takes about 45 minutes,
I suggest getting there an hour before for the best position at the gates.
It was interesting to watch and makes for some great photo opportunities.

IMG_3729.jpg
IMG_3969.jpg
IMG_3805.jpg
IMG_3853.jpg

Next up is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK, visited by over
3 million people a year.... The London Eye. It is the largest Ferris Wheel in
Europe at 135-metres high. Situated on the banks of the River Thames from
here you can spot all of London's main attractions and get a unique birds
eye view of the city. The lines can be extremely long depending on what
time of day you visit but it's worth the wait. Each capsule holds up to 25
people and is air conditioned. Your ride includes a full 360 degree rotation
of the wheel which takes thirty minutes. A adult ticket to board cost £18.60.

IMG_1544.jpg
Eye.jpg
IMG_1848.jpg
IMG_4680.jpg

I was surprised to learn London's top visited attraction is the Tower Of
London. Luckily the historic castle was spared from the great fire of London
and dates back to the 11th Century. It is famous for it's Medieval history as
well as housing the Crown Jewels.

IMG_4054.jpg
IMG_4622.jpg
IMG_1758.jpg

Right by there is the Tower Bridge, often mistaken as The London Bridge.
Tower Bridge is a suspension bridge over the River Thames and opened in
1894. It total length is 244 meters long and it's estimated 40,000 people
cross the bridge daily. For the size of the bridge it is suprising it only has
one lane each way for cars. It was designed to open for tall ships to come
into the City's ports and today 24 hours notice is now required before
opening the bridge. It's now one of the most iconic bridges in the world
and i can see why, it really was spectacular to walk across and see
the detail close up, there is also an Exhibition if your interested...

IMG_4096.jpg
IMG_4062.jpg
IMG_4624.jpg

The Best way to get around London is defiantly by the underground Subway
known as The Tube. As everyone will tell you it is affordable, fast and
reliable and i was amazed how easy it is. All the lines are colour coded
and the voiceover will tell announce each stop as it approaches,
but remember to 'mind the gap' haha. It was also clean and safe but
beware it can close early, The last train was at 12pm on the night i was out.

Personally a visit to Madame Tussauds was a must do for me and it didn't
disappoint. This is the chance to rub shoulders with the rich and famous,
and get your picture taken with all your favourite celebrities at the wax
museum. And if you stand still long enough Chinese Tourist will even
try to get there picture with you! hehe There are movie stars,
Sport Stars, Royals and characters spanning over a decade.
When i was there the newest addition was the Robert Patterson
wax model and others included The Beckhams, Britney Spears,
Johnny Deep, Julia Roberts, Elvis and Prince William & Harry.
It was alot of fun and make sure you have your camera batteries
charged so you can take lots of silly photos with the celebrity lookalikes,
also take a ride on the Spirit Of London ride!

IMG_4478.jpg
IMG_4610.jpg
IMG_4558.jpg

From there you might like to check out some famous pop culture locations
in London, Take an old London black cab and check out Abbey Road made
famous by The Beatles. Get your picture walking across the crossing on
Abbey Road one of the most famous streets in the world after featuring on
the cover of The Beatles album. It's surprising how many people still visit
today and leave a message on the wall of Abbey Road Studios.

Then head to 221B Baker Street, the address of fictional detective
Sherlock Holmes, which is now home to the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
And what about Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
The original building can still be found at 186 Fleet St. Or check out
Platform 9 and 3/4 as featured in Harry Potter at Kings Cross
Station. Plus keep your eyes out for street named featured in Monopoly!

IMG_3737.jpg
IMG_3767.jpg

Another great attraction, is Piccadilly Circus. It is easy to get to via
the Tube and is best seen at night when all the neon lights come on.
It is instantly recognisable from the postcards and is now a popular
meeting place for locals. There is many restaurants, shops and theatres
in the area and for a great place to pick up your London souvenirs,
check out Cool Britannia.

Here you will see the video and neon signs mounted on the corner of the
building, Coca Cola has had a sign here since 1955 and other famous
neon signs include Sanyo, TDK and McDonalds. Here is also a well known
statue of the archer known as Eros the mythical Greek god of love, at the
Shaftesbury memorial fountain in the middle of the plaza which is a
popular hang out.

It's between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square you will find The
West End, London's Theatre district. Here you can catch a live performance
in one of the 40 plus theatres in the area. The longest running in West End
history is Les Misérables that ran for an incredible 21 years. This is a
popular night out for tourist and you can pick up some pretty cheap
tickets online. We ended up going to see Thriller Live which was a
tribute to Michael Jackson's music and was the night of his one year
anniversary. The casts were so talented and it was a great live energy and
even better by being original and not trying to be a complete copy of MJ.

IMG_4828.jpg
IMG_4860.jpg
IMG_4876.jpg

On one of our travel days we decided to head out of London and see
some of the English countryside. You will need to catch the Tube to
London Victoria Station and change to an above ground train.
From there we meet up with friends and we headed to Windsor
to visit the Windsor Castle!

Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in the English
county of Berkshire, The Castle dates back to the 11th is the largest
inhabited castle in the world. It spans over more than 13 acres and was
home to King Henry VII. Walking around the surrounds it is hard not to
be impressed, but once inside you will get a rare glimpse at life in
the 12th centaury. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take photos
inside, which is a shame as each room you walk into was a
good photo opportunity.

Afterwards we watched a guard ceremony in the village and went to
have a very English lunch of Fish, Chips and mushy peas.
Our next stop was a drive out to Stone Henge. This has been on my
travel wish list since i was a kid and was so excited to be finally
checking them out.

We opted for the audio guided tour and got a full commentary
as we made our way around the mysterious circle of rocks.
Speculation on the reason it was built range from human sacrifice
to astronomy but the most common thought is it is to resemble a
time piece. It amazingly estimates back to 2500 BC and are still
standing over 4,000 years later, It pulls a crowd of over 800,000
visitors per year and what i found funny is how it is right next to a
big freeway!

IMG_5003.jpg
IMG_4930.jpg
IMG_4928.jpg

Posted by PhotoGlen 23:06 Archived in England Tagged london tower england palace bridge stone big ben eye photoglen henge buchingham Comments (0)

Bali

sunny 34 °C

Bali is an island in Indonesia and it's tourism in recent years
has been growing to record numbers. It offers travelers
many options from relaxing in the 5 star resorts,
swimming at surfing at the many beaches, Shopping
and Hiking.

Alot of Australia's travel to Bali for the laid back lifestyle,
because it is one of the closest overseas destinations
and because it is cheap. We visited in May which is the
Dry Season until September, October to April is the wet season.

What brought me to Bali was a family wedding,
My cousin got married at Seminyak and my sister,
Kylie and I went for a five night stay for the wedding.
It was gorgeous and i just had to include a photo of
the Bride and Groom~ Linda and Dean.

IMG_0935.jpg

We stayed in Legian which is the next beach up from Kuta,
the main tourist hub. Our hotel was the Jayakarta which
was beautiful, it was a large resort surrounded by gardens and
had two large swimming pools, a swim up bar and beach access.
It was also within walking distance of restaurants and shops.

We arrived in the middle of the day and spend the rest of the
afternoon in the pool. Later that night we walked the main street
of Legian and haggled in the stores with the friendly locals.
You can find almost anything there from DVDs, Perfumes, Jewelery,
wood carvings and Clothing.

There are a few ways to get around the island.
Taxi-which is the safest way and the price is pay by the meter,
Private Driver- Where you can negotiate a daily price (this is what we did)
Hire a scooter- Looks like fun but you have to be so careful.
or negotiate a price to a destination close by and jump on the back of
a locals scooter. I did this a few times and it was always safe and fair.
Or if your traveling on your own or in pairs you can book on a
day trip to most places mentioned in my blog, ask at reception.

IMG_9344.jpg
IMG_9312.jpg
IMG_9301.jpg

The number one thing i believe is a must see whilst in Bali
has to be a visit to the Bali Safari Park! I am an
animal lover and has been to a few Zoo's around the
world now but Bali Safari park is the best by far.
It is located in Gianyar and opens daily from 9am to 5pm.

The Zoo is home to more than 50 species including some rare
& endangered species. Take a ride on the Safari Explorer,
A bus that takes you on a tour of the park, see Hippos,
Tigers, Crocodiles, Zebras and Rhinos right outside your window!

As you walk around the Safari Park you will have a
unique animal encounter, one of the highlights of my trip
was the opportunity to hold and interact with a baby orangutan!
We were also offered to pat a young tiger cub and even
hand feed a mother and son elephant at their open enclosure!

There is also a chance to ride on a Elephant and a Camel
and have lunch as you look into the Lion's Den.
The animals are all well looked after and the zoo is open
aired and spacious. It was a fantastic day out and something
i will never forget.

croped_copy.jpg
IMG_9474_copy.jpg
IMG_9502.jpg
IMG_9438.jpg

If you love elephants as much as i do, you have to check
out the Elephant Safari Park in Ubud. It opened in
2000 and is now home to 27 rescued Sumatran elephants!
Here you can hand feed them, pat them, take photos with them,
and even buy an elephant trunk painting! There is a show
were the elephants do tricks and even slam dunks a basket ball.

But the best thing about the park is you can take a Elephant
ride thought the Forrest, sitting high a top an elephant in a teak
wood chair for two. They were so cute and again very loved and
well treated which is so important.

IMG_9838.jpg
IMG_9761_copy.jpg
IMG_9745.jpg
IMG_9773_copy.jpg

Another cool thing to see in Bali was a Culture show.
We went to a dinner and the show at the restaurant in our
resort and the show featured native dances and
singers in a colorful ceremony. The Balinese practice Hindu Dharma
which is a combination of Hinduism and Buddhism.

IMG_9906.jpg
IMG_9895.jpg
IMG_9912.jpg
IMG_9922.jpg

The next day we went to the Sacred Monkey Forest
The monkeys here are called long-tailed macaques and
there are about 350 roaming around the forest.
A guide will walk you around the park and you are encouraged
to buy food and feed the monkeys, but we decided it was
safer not to as they are known to get aggressive around food.

We probably saw close to 100 when we were there,
including a few infants. The monkeys hangout at the temples
and sit up on the stone walls around the walking path.
We got to approach them and most were friendly, a few
even climbed onto us for some photo ops and learn to
cooperate to the local guides commands.

Look up in the trees to see large groups of bats.
You have free time to stop and go and afterwards
the guide take you back to their shop in the village were
you are encouraged to buy something, for my sister
a shopaholic this was an easy sale.

IMG_0054.jpg
IMG_0088.jpg
IMG_0043.jpg
k7.jpg

Later that day we also visited Bali Butterfly Park
It's located in Tabanan and is the largest Butterfly Park in Asia.
I was surprised that the cost of admission was 40,000rp.
That’s a bit steep for Bali. But once inside the net covered
gardens we did see lots of beautiful and colourful Butterflies.

There was a hut in the middle of the garden that had tanks
with a variety of butterflies and insects, including a stick insect.
A grounds keeper was also in there to point out all the interesting
ones and had took the butterflies and insects out for us to touch.
There is also a museum and gift shop inside, it was good but
we were driving by, I wouldn’t come from Kuta just to see this.

IMG_0102.jpg
IMG_0170.jpg
IMG_0156.jpg
k10.jpg

What is worth the drive is Tanah Lot, the seaside Temple.
It's one of the most popular places of interest in Bali and
can be seen on alot of the postcards. It's located in
Tabanan and best time to visit is in the late afternoon
so you can watch the sunset behind the temple.
It makes for some terrific photos!

You are required to pay to enter the area and will walk
thought a large Market street of stores to get there.
During low tide you can walk out on the rocks to the Temple
and can make a donation to get blessed by the gods.
Tanah Lot is dedicated to the guardian spirits of the sea
and is believed to be guarded from evil by the sea snakes.

We ended up going up to a restaurant on the cliff edge that
directly looked over Tanah Lot and had dinner and cocktails
as we watched the sun disappear behind the Temple.
It was gorgeous and another Best Of Moments in Bali!

Just know that thousands more are also there at the same
time to see the magic moment, Alot of bus tours end their day
at Tanah Lot so can get rather crowded. That was another reason
why the outside restaurant table worked well as it offered a
crowd free opportunity to watch the sunset.

IMG_0237.jpg
IMG_0342.jpg
IMG_0354.jpg
IMG_0470.jpg

One thing I could not wait to try whilst in Bali,
was to hire a Jet Ski, I have always wanted to try this.
I went to Nusa Dua which is in South Bali and Amazingly the
operators of Bali Water Sport Adventures offers free transfers
from most major beach front resorts, for two or more riders.

Nusa Due is just amazing and was defiantly the most beautiful,
clean and quite beaches in Bali. If your idea of coming to Bali is
to lay on the beach and relax by the pool than this is your place!
The water is crystal clear and there is white sand and palm trees
as far as you can see, it was just so beautiful!

At Bali Water Sport Adventures you can choose from
lots of water sports, There is Parasailing, Banana Boats,
Water Skiing, Wake Boarding, Jet Skiing and the Fly Fish,
This looked awesome!

IMGP6785.jpg
IMGP6793.jpg
IMGP6774.jpg
IMG_9970.jpg

I hired a jet ski for thirty minutes and the price was negotiable.
After a quick intro i was free to jump on and race up and down
the beach, I even surprised myself at how i was going full speed
and launching up and over the waves. It was so much fun!

My last mention in Bali is Kuta Beach
I went to see the Memorial for the Sari Club,
which was bombed in 2002 and killed 202 people including
88 Australians. The memorial is made of carved stone,
and names of the victims are mentioned on a marble plaque.

Kuta is were most tourist choose to stay and is
known for it's discount shopping on the main street
and it's busy nightlife. I remember going Shopping with Kylie
in Kuta but haggling and trying to politely say no to everything
the shop owner pushed you too, got exhausting and was worst
once they learnt my name haha I ended up going for a massage
instead. Kuta Beach was nice and has a cool street vibe!

IMGP6809.jpg
IMG_0256.jpg
IMG_9336_copy.jpg
IMG_9709.jpg
Picture-The Rice Fields in Ubud.

Posted by PhotoGlen 15:15 Archived in Indonesia Tagged bali legian kuta tanah lot ubud seminyak photoglen nusa dua Comments (0)

New York City!

overcast 21 °C

New York is the most diverse city in the world
It is home to over 22.5 million people and has a
significant impact on global Finance, Culture, Art,
Fashion, Research, Education, Film and Music!

There is so much to see in New York City
that i would recommend anyone planning a trip here
so have minimum five day stay to see as much of
the city as you can!

We came to NYC in May which was their Spring and
had an average temperature of 20 degrees. We stayed
at The Hotel Beacon which was located at the
Upper West Side of Manhattan.

We arrived late in the afternoon and most of us felt
hangover from our all nighter in Vegas, It was light drizzle
and after checking in to the hotel most were ready to crash
but I couldn't wait to start exploring! I took a bus straight
to Times Square and arrived just as the city was lighting up.

I remember standing in the middle of Times Square, on my
own and feeling that i was standing in the middle of the world!
The energy was incredible and the surroundings were visually
stunning! Everywhere you look is a billboard, flashing lights,
and theater posters. I have never seen a city more alive!

times_sq.jpg
IMGP5797.jpg
1111.jpg

Times Square is like the heartbeat of the NYC and
features in countless movies, TV Shows, Music Videos and
Video games. When i was there they were filming a car race
thought the streets for The Sorcerer's Apprentice!

It's here you will find the iconic Ball Drop on
New Years Eve and if your lucky you may even see the
Naked Cowboy! It's now home to Times Square Studios,
where Good Morning America is broadcast live. Check out the
Hershey's and M&M's stores and you can score up to 50% off
discounted tickets to the theater at TKTS booth. This is
under the big red steps in Duffy's square and its on the top
of the stairs you can get your best snapshot of Times Square!

IMG_6149.jpg
IMG_6042.jpg
IMG_6068.jpg

Now that your at the home of live theater, you must see a
show on Broadway! There is over 50 venues in the
Theater District which includes Times Square and the surrounds.
This is a hit for tourist and Broadway shows sold approximately
$1.037 billion worth of tickets a year. There is so much variety
you may choose to see more than one, we decided on
In The Heights, which was getting raved reviews when
we were there in 2009. The Phantom of the Opera is currently the
longest running show on Broadway which is still showing 23 years later!

But the City's most iconic feature has to be The Statue Of Liberty!
It has been a permanent feature in the Cityscape since 1886 when
it was received as a gift from France to symbolize the American
Declaration of Independence. The statue is 46 meters high and
stands on a platform 93 meters high. I remember expecting it to be alot
bigger but it was great to see close up! It's located on on Liberty Island in
the New York Harbor. You can catch a ferry from Battery Park in Manhattan
across to Liberty Island for $13 US.

44.jpg
3434.jpg
IMG_7825.jpg

Once returning to Battery Park, I recommend going to the
The Sphere and Eternal Flame 9/11 memorial. The Sphere is a large
metallic sculpture that once stood between the World Trade Centre
Towers. After the September 11 attacks it was recovered from the rubble
and had visible damage from the debris of the buildings. It has now
been relocated to Battery Park as a memorial to the victims of 9/11.
The location is only meant to be temporary and it will eventually be returned
to its original location following the completion of the Freedom Tower.

You are now just a short walk to Wall Street in the Financial District.
Here you will see the New York Stock Exchange and the famous statue
of the Charging Bull! During a tour of this neighborhood we were
taken to the former site of the World Trade Centre. It had been nine years
since the terrorist attack but the emotions were still very raw.

h768h5.jpg
76bh5.jpg
ytry.jpg

It resulted in 2,752 deaths and the process of cleanup and recovery
at the World Trade Center site took nine months. I remember hearing
It took six years to build the towers but only seconds for them to fall.
It was heartbreaking to hear about the stories from that day and the
suffering that the New Yorkers had to endure. We viewed the site from
a office block directly across from the site and we could see the rebuilding
process. The 'One World Trade Center' once completed will be the tallest
building in the United States and is expected to be completed by 2013.

From buildings to bridges, they don't get more famous than the
Brooklyn Bridge. It spans 486.3 meters and was once the
longest suspension bridge in the world. It has a wide pedestrian
walkway which you can walk or cycle over & it makes for some
awesome photos!

flickr.jpg
5544t.jpg
hftfd.jpg

So NYC is known for it's iconic Yellow Cabs but the best way
to get around is in the Subway. The City has a fantastic and
fast transport system and all major tourist attractions are just
a short walk from the nearest station. But one stop is now a
major tourist attraction... Grand Central Station!
It is the largest train station in the world and has 67 tracks.
The Main Concourse is the center of Grand Central Station and
it has features a four-faced clock on top of an information booth
and this can be seen in hundreds of movies including Men In
Black, One Fine Day, Madagascar, Superman and I Am Legend.

But the best feature of this busy building is on the ceiling.
It dates back to 1912 and is a astronomical artwork called
Gateway to a Million Lives. But in 1998 a 12-year restoration
was completed to bring the feature back to it's former glory as
it was revealed that tar and nicotine from tobacco smoke had
darkened and damaged the artpiece.

IMGP5822.jpg
IMG_8481.jpg
IMG_8452.jpg

Next up it was off to Fifth Avenue! and like almost every
thing in New York is has to be the world class, so this can boast
it's ranked among the most expensive shopping streets in the world!
The best way to experience 5th Avenue is by foot,
that was you can window shop as you go and pop into any store
that interests you and if your a shopaholic than you can choose
from Tiffany & Co, Gucci, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Versace,
and Louis Vuitton. There is also the Saks Fifth Avenue Department
Store, The Apple Store and FAO Schwarz.

This is the oldest toy store in America and opened it's doors in
1870. It has since expanded and is now one of the most
visited stores on Fifth Avenue. You are greeted at the door
by a Toy Solider and Inside you can create your own Barbie Doll,
Check out the Muppet Workshop or have a go at jumping around
on the Big Piano. Inside i saw a large stuffed toy dragon for $800 US!

8g657.jpg
IMG_7145.jpg
teef.jpg

Once you have finished shopping or if you have run out of money,
Head over to the Rockefeller Center, outside in the Plaza you will
see 200 world flags, the gold sculpture of Prometheus and in winter
this becomes an outdoor ice skating ring! Inside this building is
Top Of The Rock, an Observation deck with one of the best views
over looking New York City!

Whilst in the Big Apple, Try some foods that New York is famous
for Bagels, Cheesecake, a slice of Pizza and a hot dog from the
street cart! . If your a fan of Sex And The City you will want a
cupcake from the Magnolia Bakery.

77by.jpg
4356.jpg
tub4.jpg

Another thing New York has an abundance of is Museums.
You have an opportunity to visit the Metropolitan Museum,
the Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art,
Van Courtland House Museum, and even the the Museum of Sex!
It's up to you which ones you visit but for me it was an afternoon in
The American Museum of Natural History.

It features collections of more than 32 million specimens and artifacts
and was the filming location in the 'Night at the Museum' movies.
Inside are habitat dioramas of African, Asian and North American
mammals, and a full-size model of a Blue Whale hanging from the roof.

But the most impressive thing about this museum is it is home to
the World's Largest collection of Dinosaur fossils. Just walking in the
the foyer of this museum you come face to face with life sized
skeletons of a Brontosaurus! But it's the Tyrannosaurus Rex
inside, standing on it's back legs that will leave you speachless!

7654v.jpg
5434r.jpg
IMG_7004.jpg

For those of you who frequently read by blogs, you would know by
now that i love Pop Culture and being in NYC i was in heaven.
More movies are filmed in New York than any other location in the world,
So i had opted to do a NYC movie tour! There is a few to choose from but
our bus tour was with screentours.

On board we visited the filming locations to I am Legend, Enchanted,
When Harry Met Sally, August Rush, Ghost Busters, Men In Black II,
The Devil Wears Prada, Spider-Man, King Kong, Coyote Ugly and
The Day After Tomorrow. As well as TV series including Ugly Betty,
Gossip Girl, Sex and the City, Friends, Seinfeld and Will & Grace.

u55.jpg
IMG_7672.jpg
5ytr.jpg

We got pictures of the front of the firehouse FDNY Ladder 8 from
Ghostbusters & Hitch, out the front of Will Smith's house from I am Legend,
plus the apartment block used for Friends and The Cosby Show.
This was also a great way to check out New York Neighborhoods
such as Tribeca, Soho and Greenwich Village!

But for a city as massive as New York, the only way to really see it
is from the sky! So I recommend that you take a scenic helicopter flight
over the city. We flew around all the city skyline and got bird eye views of
everything that makes New York Famous! It really is the best city in the
world and from up there you can get a unique view of it!

hjtf.jpg
hhdrf.jpg
kluy.jpg

The top 3 signature buildings to check out whilst in the City would have
to be The Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building and my personal
favorite, the Flat Iron Building! We went up inside the Empire State Building
on our last night in New York City. It stands 381 meters high and is a
102 story building. It also listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

Once inside the building, take an elevator ride up to the 102nd Floor,
This offers a 360 degree view of the Big Apple and is now the most popular
outdoor observatory in the world with now over 110 million visitors.
Perhaps the most famous popular culture representation of the Building
was when King Kong climbed to the top in the films in 1933 and 2005.

It was extremely windy from the top of the tower and the views
were just spectacular! Looking over the city at night, all lite up
was a magic moment and the Chrysler Building looks great at night.
It was foggy when we went up but seeing the fog above the city
loooked so beatiful.

IMG_7536.jpg
IMG_8038.jpg
IMG_8284.jpg

The last thing to tick off any New York adventure is the one and only
Central Park! It attracts more than 25 million visitors a year
and has expanded to 4 kms of parkland's. The Park has it's own NYC
Police Department, Zoo, outdoor amphitheater, two ice-skating rinks
and a swimming pool.

It can take several hours to walk around but in such a gorgeous
park you won't be in a hurry. You may choose to Rowboat around
the Loeb Boathouse or get around via a horse pulled cart.
The park is changing all year around with the of the colours in Autumn,
the snow in winter and flowers in spring.

Look out for the Bethesda Terrace and admire the beautiful architecture
as well as checking out the Angel of the Waters fountain.
There are many Sculptures to see in Central Park and no
two bridges are the same. There are park benches around to relax
and lots of squirrels running around too.
The more time you can spend inside the park, the better.

864r5.jpg
8646r.jpg
IMG_8892.jpg
ii76.jpg

New York is now my favorite City in the world and it is so infectious,
Just by visiting this city it becomes apart of you and it has a way
of making you feel as if you belong here. It is so exciting and diverse
and your entertainment options are endless. You could stay in New York
for a year and still not do all it has to offer. I am already starting to plan a
return trip as i would love to see New York in Christmas time.
To see the stores all done up with their decorations,
to ice skate in the Rockefeller Centre and to see it snow
whilst strolling through Central Park!
To have a white Christmas in New York is now on my bucket list!

Posted by PhotoGlen 14:09 Archived in USA Tagged park statue of grand square bridge city new york building usa america nyc station central times wall st state brooklyn 5th avenue empire liberty photoglen Comments (0)

The Grand Canyon!

sunny 40 °C

The Grand Canyon! There is no surprise it is listed
as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World!

The Grand Canyon is 446 km long, up to 30 km
Wide and the Depth was measured at 1.83 km!
Amazingly out of the 5 million visitors per year,
85% of these are American citizens.

With the area so huge, the best way to see this
attraction is by air! There are many tours that offer
Scenic Flights out from Las Vegas and we chose
The Grand Celebration Tour with Papillon Helicopters.
The Helicopter can take up to 4 passengers
and takes off from Boulder City Terminal.

trtutur.jpg
IMG_5178.jpg

We started the tour on the border of Arizona
with a birds eye view of Hoover Dam.
It was completed in 1936 and is now attracts 1 million
visitors a year. The dam's generators provide
power for three states including Arizona, Nevada,
& California.

From there we headed into the Canyons and had
a 45 minute fly around with full panoramic views.
The flight was great and really smooth,
the scenery seemed endless and the colours
and shapes of the rocks were amazing.

IMG_5335.jpg
tuiuret.jpg
IMG_5289.jpg

Even as a keen photographer i can tell you that
camera's just can't capture it's magic,
it is something that simply has to been seen
with your own eyes!

We than descended 4,000 feet below the Canyon rim
to land in the Inner Gorge, we had extra time there
to explore the Canyon floor and take lots of photos.

777.jpg
4643.jpg

We landed beside the Colorado River and we
were treated to a picnic lunch that included sandwiches,
chips, fruit, cookies and soft drinks.

This is an exclusive to this tour operator as they had
permission granted by the Haualapai Indians,
spiritual guardians of the canyon.

The another way to check out a unique view of
The Grand Canyon and that is by the glass-bottomed
Skywalk, It looks pretty cool and costs about
$85 p.p but unfortunately they don't allow cameras
on the viewing platform.

57uytur.jpg
53453.jpg

It was a wonderful experience and the highlight to many
tourist's trip and i think it can't be missed!

Posted by PhotoGlen 22:56 Archived in USA Tagged canyon arizona the grand usa america photoglen Comments (0)

LA$ VEGA$!

sunny 35 °C

Welcome to the Entertainment Capital of the World!
Famous for it's Casinos, Hotels and shot gun weddings
Las Vegas has abit of a reputation to live up to,
and it doesn't disappoint! It's situated in the middle of
the Nevada desert and as you would expect it gets very
high temperatures almost all year round. Make sure you are
cashed up as even the airports has hundreds of pokies!

7IMGP5589.jpg
jj.jpg

You will find all the main attractions on The Strip which is
7km's long and includes 31 famous casinos. Each one has
a unique theme and other a different experience.
Here are my top 10 Casinos in no particular street order.

Mandalay Bay Resort is the southernmost Casino
on The Strip and offers Mandalay Beach with 3 heated pools,
a wave pool and a full sized Aquarium.

Next up is Luxor and it has an Egyptian theme,
The building is a 30-story pyramid made of glass.
Inside it's home to four live stage shows.

The MGM Grand is the second largest hotel in the world
and features the Studio 64 nightclub, The Grand Garden
Arena & has Lion's on displayed in a glass room enclosure.
When i visited i couldn't help but feel sorry for them,
There were about 4 and all just laid there looking depressed.

ty5.jpg
1IMG_4465.jpg

New York, New York is directly opposite and is a replica
of the New York skyline in 1940's, it's main attraction is a
roller coaster that travels both outside and inside the
casino and reaches speeds of 108k's per hour!

From Egypt to New York, you won't have to go far to
check out Paris! As its name suggests, its theme is the city
in France and includes a half scale replica of the Eiffel Tower
and a copy of the Arc de Triomphe!

But probably the most iconic casino on The Strip
would be the ultra stylish, Bellagio! The luxury
5 star resort has a lake that turns into the Fountains
of Bellagio, a large dancing water fountain synchronized
to music. This is a must see and is especially beautiful at
night. You may remember seeing this in Oceans 11.
The show takes place every 30 minutes and
I remember watching this three times to the tune of
Viva Las Vegas" but my favorite was to the Pink Panther
theme, it was very cool!

33333.jpg
yt.jpg

Caesars Palace is next in line and it's theme is Roman Empire.
It features 'The Colosseum' arena that seats over four thousand
and was originally built for Celine's Dion's concert, Elton John and
Cher have also called the stage home since. Inside the casino is a
free show called Fall of Atlantis which plays on the hour.
Plus check out the replica of the Trevi Fountain!

The Mirage used to be the most expensive casino in history,
The casino features gold dust windows and used to be the home
of the Siegfried & Roy show but now it's attraction the Secret Garden
that features white lions, white tigers, panthers and leopards. There is
also the Dolphin Habitat and a volcano that erupts regularly at night.

IMG_4586.jpg
IMG_4676.jpg

But it's hard to go past The Vientian as the most loved Casino
on The Strip. It manages to recreate everything Venice does best
including The Rialto Bridge, The Campanile Tower and even the
Canals! Relax on a Gondola ride either in or outdoors for $16 p.p.
The 15 minute ride takes you beneath bridges and past the
and the facade of the Doge's Palace, It's almost as good
as the real thing! Also go inside to see the replica of St. Mark's
Square, it even has man-made blue sky!

And number 10 is The Stratosphere!
which is hard to miss as it is the tallest observation tower
in America. It's the northernmost Casino on The Strip and
stands at 350 meters tall. It's from this viewing deck you get
the best view of The Strip! There are three thrill rides at the top
of the tower, X-Scream, Insanity and The Big Shot!

We were on a Contiki tour and our night out in Vegas
started with a group dinner, followed by a photo opp
at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. It was then off to old Vegas
to check out the Fremont Street Experience, this is a free
light & sound show that is projected on a massive canopy
27 meters above you. It projects special effects during a
six minute show, for us it was a tribute to Queen to the
soundtrack of 'We are The Champions.'
I would recommend adding this to your itentary too!

IMGP5703.jpg
gg.jpg

Next up we went to the Graceland Wedding Chapel to participate
in a Vegas Wedding complete with an Elvis impersonator!
Then it was off to a see V-The Ultimate Variety Show
at Planet Hollywood. The live show featured acrobats, comedians
and magicians and i was chosen from the crowd to come on stage
for part of the show!

We also went to The Palms Casino which is located just
off The Strip. It's famous for it's night life and has six nightclubs.
We went to Moon and on this night Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon
were throwing a party for their 1 year anniversary. The couple
came out to a VIP booth on the dance floor at about 1am.
Nick surprised Mariah with a video montage on a big screen.
They opened the roof of the club and let out 1,000 balloons
& cut their cake with was a huge towering white cake with a pink ribbon.

cc.jpg
8rf.jpg

Las Vegas in a crazy place where you can expected to see just about
anything! The Vegas rules are gamble, party like a rock star and
whatever happens in Vegas... stays in Vegas!

My little tip is don't worry to much about were you book to stay
because with so much to see and do, the last place you will be
is in your room! But if you do win big, then book a night at the Bellagio!

Posted by PhotoGlen 20:41 Archived in USA Tagged las vegas Comments (0)

(Entries 16 - 20 of 26) « Page 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 »