Posted by: RasmaSandra | November 22, 2022

Fabulous Fairbanks

On our armchair travels across the US, we have arrived in the US state of Alaska, in the Western US on the northwest extremity of North America. The state borders the Canadian province of British Columbia and the Yukon territory to the east. It shares a maritime border with the Russian Federation’s Chukotka Autonomous Okrug to the west, just across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas of the Arctic Ocean. To the south and southwest is the Pacific Ocean.

Our first stop is Fairbanks, which is the largest and coldest city in the Interior region of Alaska and the second largest in the state. It is less than 200 miles from the Arctic Circle.

Running Reindeer Ranch offers great tours on a private Fairbanks ranch that showcases family-owned reindeer. Reindeer-led tours take you through a boreal forest, and tour guides give information on the region’s natural history and the lives of the animals. Seasonal tours highlight the region’s aurora borealis and the organic vegetable and perennial gardens of the ranch. On a reservation-only tour, light refreshments are offered to all guests.

McKinley Explorer is a part of the largest dome railcar fleet in Alaska. It is operated by Princess Cruises and Holland America Line. Ten cars of the McKinley Explorer carry 88 passengers each aboard the train’s upper-level dome sections. This offers travelers a fantastic 360-degree view of the wilderness from the rooftop dome windows. Tour guides comment on the scenery between Anchorage and Denali National Park. The whole trip takes eight hours. On the lower level of the train is a restaurant and an outdoor viewing platform.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is a public research university. It serves as the flagship campus of the University of Alaska System. The campus has a variety of activities and facilities for students, community members, and visitors. It has two lakes and several miles of walking and biking trails.

The Rasmuson Library is the state’s largest public research library.

The Wood Center has a pub and bowling alley.

The University of Alaska Museum of the North is one of Fairbank’s premiere museums. It offers a variety of exhibits that are related to notable people and places of the state. The museum is designed to evoke the landscape of Alaska. It has design elements that mimic the state’s alpine mountains, glaciers, and rivers. One of the highlights here is the Rose Berry Alaska Art Gallery, which offers a collection of artworks by Alaskan artists throughout history, from ancient indigenous carvings to contemporary art pieces by both Native and non-Native artists. The Gallery of Alaska exhibit chronicles the cultural history of the state and its geological landscape is recreated in The Place Where You Go to Listen, an interactive exhibit.

Georgeson Botanical Garden is part of the University of Fairbanks campus. The garden is open to the public from dawn to dusk between May and September. Research programs at the garden emphasize domestication and exportation of plants, flowers, and fruits and vegetables, while educational programming teaches visitors about subarctic horticulture. There is also a children’s garden and hedge maze.

The Chena River State Recreation Area follows the path of the Chena River. It is home to abundant wildlife like black and grizzly bears, moose, and beavers. Catch-and-release fishing is permitted along the river. There are three ponds, and at Granite Tors you can hike and rock climb. Popular winter activities include dog sledding, skiing, and snow machining. There are overnight accommodations available.

Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge is located on the grounds of a turn-of-the-century dairy farm. It operated until 1966 as the Alaskan Interior’s most successful dairy. After it closed the site was turned into a wildlife refuge. Its former buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today this is an important refuge for waterfowl and migratory birds. The Farmhouse Visitor Center has historic exhibits. There are several nature trails you can follow among them the Boreal Forest Trail, the Farm Road Trail, and the interpretive Seasonal Wetland Trail.

Alyeska Pipeline Visitor Center lets visitors get an up-close look at the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. The pipeline was constructed between 1974 and 1977 with over 70,000 workers and at a cost of $8 billion. The pipeline stretches for 800 miles into the Alaskan wilderness. It is privately owned and operated by the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. You can see informational exhibits about the construction and operation. Outside the center, you can view a portion of the pipeline yourself.

Angel Rocks Trail east of Fairbanks, Alaska

Angel Rocks Trails is located within the Chena River State Recreation Area. It stretches along an 8.3-mile roundtrip loop ending at the popular Chena Hot Springs Resort. The trail is accessible via the riverside picnic stop at milepost 48.9 along Chena Hot Springs Road. Hikers enjoy the dense evergreen forest that provides access to the scenic cliffs of Angel Rocks, a series of unique geologic formations created by the uplift and erosion of molten rock. From there the trail continues to the resort, located at milepost 56, offering fantastic views of the Alaska Range, Chena Dome, and Bear Paw Butte along the way.

The Aurora Ice Museum is located approximately one hour from Fairbanks within the Chena Hot Springs Resort. It is the world’s largest year-round ice sculpture display. All of the ice sculptures were created by champion ice carvers Heather and Steve Brice, the winners of 23 World Ice Art Championships. The museum is temperature controlled at 25 degrees Fahrenheit. It showcases unique sculptures like a two-story observation tower, a Christmas tree, and fort-style children’s bedrooms. Hanging over the Aurora Ice Bar, you can see unique colored ice chandeliers meant to mimic the region’s aurora borealis. Tours of the museum are available.

Pioneer Park was constructed for the Alaska ’67 Centennial Exposition to commemorate the hundred-year anniversary of the state’s purchase from Russia. Four museums are within the park, among them Pioneer Hall, the Tanana Valley Railroad Museum, the Pioneer Air Museum, and the Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts. Several historic artifacts are preserved at the park, including the famous Harding Car, the “Queen of the Yukon” Riverboat Nenana Steamwheeler, and authentic mining equipment preserved at Mining Valley. Dining and entertainment experiences are offered by The Alaska Salmon Bake and the Palace Theater. The Gazebo Nights concert series offers outdoor music during the summer months. Attractions for children include the Pioneer Park Playground, Red and Roela’s Carousel, and Mini Golf Fairbanks.

Black Spruce Dog Sledding is Alaska’s top dog sledding tour experience. The company is owned by husband and wife Jeff and Katti Jo Deeter, who run the famed Iditarod race. A Sled Dog Safar is available between May and November that teaches dog harnessing and showcases rides in a summer buggy. Husky Hiking Expeditions are available during the summer months, featuring off-leash nature walks by the dogs. During the winter months, there are scenic day mushing excursions where participants can try to drive the dog sleds.

https://vacationidea.com/ideas/best-things-to-do-in-fairbanks-alaska.html

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | November 22, 2022

Bremen On the Weser River

Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. Hanseatic refers to a league of trading cities dating back to the 13th century. It is a commercial and industrial city with a major port on the Weser River. It is also one of the largest seaports and centers of seaborne trade in the country.

To continue reading about this beautiful city please follow the link below:

https://vocal.media/wander/bremen-on-the-weser-river?utm_

Posted by: RasmaSandra | November 22, 2022

Heidelberg on the Neckar River

Our armchair travels in Europe have taken us to Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia. Germany lies between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps to the south. The country borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, and France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands to the west.

Our travels begin in the lovely city of Heidelberg on the Neckar River. It is known for its distinguished 14th-century university.

Heidelberg Castle sits upon Konigstul Hill. You can reach the castle by taking the Bergbahn funicular, which also offers fantastic views of the river and the Baroque Old Town. Other options include climbing the steep, cobblestone trail. This is a Renaissance castle that is illuminated at night. Here you can find the world’s largest wine cask. The castle is the site of many festivals held in the courtyard. There are also theater performances, concerts, and fireworks displays. From June to August one of the most popular events is the Heidelberg Castle Festival featuring an eclectic mix of theater, choral music, chamber orchestras, jazz, folk, and opera.

The courtyard is surrounded by Gothic and Renaissance buildings. You can sit on the benches on the terrace to enjoy the view and have a picnic.

The Grosses Fass is the world’s largest wine cast with a capacity of about 228,000 liters. The wine barrel is from the mid-18th century and is shaped from 180 oak trees. At the adjacent cafe, you can enjoy beer, wine, and hot mulled wine in the wintertime.

Ruprecht Karls University is the oldest university in Germany. It was established in 1386 by Count Palatinate Ruprecht I. There are 12 faculties and over 29,000 students from 80 nations. The most historic facilities are around Universitatsplatz, which is dominated by the Alte Universitat on the south side and the Neue Universitat on the north side. Nearby is the Lowenbrunnen or Lions Fountain.

The New University was built from 1928-31. Behind it is the Hexenturm, or Witches Tower which was once part of the town’s fortifications.

In nearby Grabengasse is the University Library.

One of the highlights is the 15th -century Peterkirche, a tiny chapel used as the university church.

Along the Philosophers’ Way, you can take in great views through the forest to different monuments, towers, ruins, a beer garden, and the Thingsstatte, a Nazi-era amphitheater. The walkway is on the north side of the Neckar and stretches along the side of Heilignberg or Saints’ Mountain. There are beautiful views at sunset. The walkway is linked to the Old Bridge by the Snake Path, a series of switchbacks. This is where the university’s philosophers would walk, and was a favorite walk of author Mark Twain when he visited Heidelberg.

Heidelberg, Germany

Karl Theodor Bridge, or the Old Bridge, has been immortalized in many poems and paintings. It spans the Neckar, joining the two sides of historic Heidelberg. The bridge has lovely sculptures.

The Heiligenberg Hill rises more than 400 meters on the opposite side of the Neckar from the Altstadt. You can enjoy exploring the hill from the Schlangenweg, a winding path that begins just above the Old Bridge and winds through vineyards and into the forest, crossing the Philosophers’ Way.

At the top of the hill, you’ll find the ruins of Michaelskloster. The Monastery of St. Michael. It was built in the 11th century and abandoned in the 16th century.

Adjoining it is Thingstatte, a Nazi-era amphitheater, and at the very top the Heiligenberg Aussichtsturm, an old observation tower.

Beside the tower gate on the Old Town side is a brass sculpture of a monkey holding a mirror and surrounded by mice. It is thought that if you touch the mirror you’ll become wealthy, the outstretched fingers to make sure you return to Heidelberg, and the mice to make sure you have many children.

Haupststrasse is a narrow main street that spans out even narrower side streets and alleyways. It is interesting to explore as here you can find Medieval architecture, old churches, boutique shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants.

Along this street, you’ll find Heiliggeistkirche, or the Church of the Holy Spirit, an early 15th-century church. Its Baroque spire is a landmark of the Old Town. You can climb the 200 steps to the tower to get great views of the city, river, and castle.

Haus zum Ritter, a Renaissance building dating from 1592.

The Palatinate Museum is housed in the Baroque Palais Morass. It was founded in the late 1870s and it has a collection that includes a cast of the lower jaw of the 500,000-year-old Heidelberg Man, discovered near here in 1908. The Applied Arts collection includes fine examples of area porcelain, medallions, coins, and glassware. There are sculptures from the 12th to 20th centuries.

The Heidelberg Zoo is located on the north bank of the Neckar. It has over 1,100 animals. The red pandas enjoy spending the day high up in tree branches. The Sumatran tigers love to roam through the dense bamboo forest in their enclosure. You’ll see bright orange and red Cuban flamingos gathered by their lake, and the Asian elephants love to cool off in their bathing pool. Popular with visitors are the Berber lion pair, Chalid, and Binta. The zoo focuses on experimental education. The Zoo Academy, the education department, focuses on animals and nature, laboratories, technology, and exhibitions, and offers a wide range of events for different age groups.

https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/heidelberg-d-bw-hei.htm

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | November 5, 2022

Amazing Los Angeles

Los Angeles, or L.A., is the largest city in California and one of the most popular because of the movie industry and Hollywood. It is also known for the glamorous Beverly Hills. The city has been filmed many times and has a large tourism industry.

To read more about this city please follow the link below:

https://vocal.media/wander/amazing-los-angeles?utm

Posted by: RasmaSandra | November 5, 2022

Santa Cruz on the Monterey Bay

Santa Cruz from Spanish translates to Holy Cross and is located in northern California. The city is situated on the northern edge of Monterey Bar.

The city was founded by the Spanish in 1791 when Fermin de Lasuen established Mission Santa Cruz. A settlement grew up near the mission known as Branciforte and was known for its lawlessness. In 1866 Santa Cruz was incorporated as a city. When the Santa Cruz Boardwalk was created in 1907 the city became known as a seaside resort community. With the establishment of the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1965 it became known as a college town.

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk offers fun for the whole family with amusement park rides, games, and attractions. The park overlooks Main Beach and is considered to be one of the best seaside amusement parks in the world.

The Giant Dipper, a wooden roller coaster was built in 1924 and is classified as a National Historic Landmark.

Along the beachfront boardwalk, there are many food vendors and Santa Cruz is considered to be one of the best beach destinations in California. The two most popular beaches are Main Beach and Cowell Beach.

Main Beach is great for families with children since it is a sheltered cove. The waters are safe to wade in and there are sand volleyball courts.

Cowell Beach is great for surfers. It offers a sandy shoreline with great coastal views and lovely sunsets.

The Santa Cruz Wharf was built in 1914 and served deep-water vessels. Today it is a fishing wharf and sightseeing vantage point. There are lots of shops and things to do at the wharf.

Among the best restaurants is Stagnaro Bros. Serving fresh seafood.

Tourists enjoy bird-watching and viewing sea lions. Sea lions are here all year round and love to splash about. Their barking can be heard from the pier. There is a viewing area to see them better.

Other sea critters that can be seen are whales, dolphins, and otters. There are water sports shops to rent fishing gear, boats, and kayaks to get up close to the animals and get out on the water.

Near the wharf, you’ll find the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center. It is a facility that features interactive exhibits explaining how to enjoy the ocean and help protect the marine environment.

West Cliff Drive is a six-mile pathway running along the coastline. It is a scenic route for both walking and cycling. The views of the Pacific Ocean are fantastic. The path is flat and wheelchair accessible. There are benches along the way to sit and relax and enjoy the views.

Santa Cruz claims to be the original California surf town. There is a bronze surfer statue along the path. You can also visit the Surfing Museum located at the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse standing on a bluff overlooking the water. A small exhibit shows memorabilia like vintage photos of surfers in the 1930s.

Arches at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz California.

Natural Bridges State Beach is a small protected sandy beach great for relaxing and bird-watching. From April through November, you can see migrating whales and sometimes seals and otters playing offshore. There are tide pools that are home to sea stars, small crabs, sea anemones, and other ocean creatures.

From mid-October to mid-February the park near the beach is full of lovely wildflowers. The park’s Monarch Grove is a natural preserve full of monarch butterflies. The fragrant eucalyptus tree here blossoms in winter and provides the butterflies with a source of food. The best time to observe the monarchs is November.

The beach has a picnic area with barbecue pits in a shady grove of pine and eucalyptus trees.

You can take a ride on an old-fashioned train in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Roaring Camp Railroads takes passengers on wonderful rides with the beauty of nature all around. You have a choice of two routes – one departs from Roaring Camp in Felton, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, traveling to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and the other from Roaring Camp to Bear Mountain.

The Redwood Forest Steam Train is a narrow-gauge steam locomotive. The historic train takes passengers through redwood groves and winds its way through the mountains to the top of Bear Mountain. During the journey, you learn about the forest and the history of the Roaring Camp Railroad, which was created in the 1880s to haul lumber out of the mountains.

Forty-five minutes from Santa Cruz is the historic waterfront town of Monterey. It is situated alongside the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, one of the largest marine sanctuaries in the US. It stretches for 276 miles along the coastline and is a habitat for 36 marine mammal species and 525 fish species.

The coast of Monterey is one of the best places to take sightseeing cruises for whale watching. You can see gray whales, humpback whales, and blue whales. From April through November, humpback whales migrate through the region and a small population of humpbacks stays all summer long.

In the spring you can catch a glimpse of migrating killer whales and see pods of gigantic blue whales in Monterey Bay.

The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden overlooks Monterey Bay. It stands on an ancient marine terrace in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is a great destination for nature lovers. It provides the ideal microclimate and topography to grow Mediterranean plants. There are plants from Australia, California, New Zealand, and South Africa. The highlights here are the Australian Garden, the fragrant Eucalyptus Grove, and the small Butterfly Garden. In the picnic area, you can enjoy a picnic lunch with ocean views. The Arboretum offers free docent-led tours and art exhibits all year round.

The Santa Cruz Harbor has two large marinas and provides boating access to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. There are plenty of recreational water sports to take up like sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. You can arrange for charter-boat fishing excursions, private sailboat trips, and yacht charters.

The Walton Lighthouse stands on a jetty at the harbor.

The Mystery Spot is located in a circular area of the redwood forest. Here people and objects appear to be tilted even when trying to stand up straight. Scientists have not been able to explain this phenomenon at the Mystery Spot. You can take a guided tour and hike along a trail that winds through the redwood trees.

Downtown Santa Cruz has lovely tree-shaded streets. Pacific Avenue has restaurants, cafes, ice cream shops, bakeries, and retail boutiques. During the summer there are street musicians to listen to and enjoy the music.

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is located near Natural Bridges State Park. The Exhibit Hall informs about ocean research and about things like elephant seal behavior and the sea otter ecosystem. There are changing exhibits. The center also has an aquarium with both large and small aquatic life like sharks. Children enjoy the touch pool with sea anemones, sea urchins, sea stars, and hermit crabs.

You can enjoy the performances of the Santa Cruz Shakespeare company at the Audrey Stanley Grove at Delaveaga Park. This is an outdoor theater with a picnic area on the ocean bluffs with fantastic views of Monterey Bay. The season runs from July through August.

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History offers art exhibits and cultural events. There are paintings of the Monterey Bay to biographies of 19th-century Santa Cruz County residents. One of the highlights is the Mary and Harry Blanchard Sculpture garden on the rooftop of the museum.

The Santa Cruz Mission is part of a State Historic Park on Mission Hill. It was founded by Franciscan Christian missionaries from Spain in 1791. This was the 12th mission established in California. It was damaged during an earthquake in 1857 and today only one small adobe building survives. The rest of the complex is a replica that was constructed in 1931 to look like the original, including a replica of the 1797 mission church. There are original paintings, wooden crosses, and a tabernacle door found in the church.

The Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park has exhibits about the California Indians who lived here when the missionaries arrived. There is a sheltered sandy beach and pastel-painted waterfront houses. Capitola reminds one of a Mediterranean fishing village. This charming seaside village was the first beach resort in California. There are quaint streets to walk with many cafes and restaurants offering ocean views.

Next to the downtown is Capitola beach which is popular for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing.

Capitola Wharf is the place to arrange for excursion boats or boat rentals.

Wilder Ranch State Park is located four miles north of downtown Santa Cruz. There are 35 miles of hiking trails and it is a great place to go hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The scenic trails will take you through valleys and coastal terraces with awesome ocean views.

Visit the historic dairy ranch in the park and see the 1859 Gothic Revival farmhouse and an 1897 Victorian home, and other historic structures. Guided tours are available.

https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/santa-cruz-us-ca-scr.htm

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | November 5, 2022

Salzburg on the Salzach River

This is the lovely Austrian city on the German border where the hills came alive with the sound of music. In and around Salzburg, where many of the scenes of the popular movie about the Trapp Family Singers, “The Sound of Music” was filmed so many years ago. There are tours available that take you to all the familiar sights seen on the silver screen. Salzburg is divided by the Salzach River. The city has impressive Medieval and Baroque-style buildings with the pedestrian Old City on the left bank and the 19th-century New City on the right bank. It is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

To read more about this lovely city please follow the link below:

https://vocal.media/wander/salzburg-on-the-salzach-river?utm

Posted by: RasmaSandra | November 5, 2022

Graz On the Mur River

The capital of Styria and Austria’s second-largest city is Graz. It has a lovely location in the shadow of The Schlossberg hill and is situated on both sides of the Mur River. There are beautiful views all around and the city itself is charming with lots to see and delight in. It was the castle upon The Schlossberg that gave the city its name. It came from the Slavonic word Gradec for “little castle” and later became Graz.

It is the Schlossberg that attracts people, especially in the springtime and the summertime. You can walk under shady trees and see open-air performances. In the autumn people head up the hill to see the many different autumn colors, and in the winter to wander among freshly, white fallen snow.

To reach the top you have your choice of the modern funicular – Schlossbergbahn with new observation cars, a lift or you can walk up.

Highlights atop this 473m hill are the 28m tall Clock Tower, which is the city’s best-known landmark. The 94m deep Turkish Well and the 35m tall Belfry or Glockenturm. The bell tower dates from the 16th century and is home to the heaviest bell in Graz, known as the “Liesl”. To reach the Clock Tower you can take a modern glass lift, the funicular, or walk up the 660 steps. From the top, there are breathtaking views of Graz and the surrounding area.

Meanwhile, down below, inside the tunnels of The Schlossberg, is a magical fairy tale land that both adults and children enjoy. Just get aboard the train and you’re ready to travel into a land of fantasy. There’s an enchanted forest, the den of thieves, a witches’ domain, and a whole lot more.

Sitting pretty on top of the hill is Schloss Eggenberg, an impressive Baroque palace dating from 1635. It has four large towers, wonderful state apartments, and is rich with Rococo decors. The highlights on the interior are the walls and ceilings of the banquet hall, a masterpiece of Baroque architecture with over 600 amazing works of art including the signs of the zodiac and the planetary system. This theme is continued in the Reception Room, which is called the Room of the Planets. It is part of a suite of 24 staterooms decorated by Styrian artist Hans Adam Weissenkircher. The Alte Galerie offers a collection of wonderful artwork that includes the famous Admont Madonna dating from 1320. The Lambrecht votive tables from 1440 and many more Baroque sculptures and paintings. There are guided tours available in English.

Head for the Glockenspielplatz to see the interesting Glockenspiel clock. Three times during the day residents and tourists gather here to listen to and watch the clock. The Graz carillon chimes play three melodies, and in the gable windows, you’ll see a wooden couple in proper costume dance to the music. In the end, a golden cock crows three times “kikeriki” the German translation for “cock-a-doodle-doo”. The show can be seen at 11AM, 3PM, and 6PM.

The very heart and soul of Graz is the Old Town. Here medieval architecture mingles with the modern. It’s a great place for walking and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Some of the highlights of the Old Town are the Hauptplatz, the main square on the left bank of the Mur River, with its impressive statue of Archduke Johann, the Town Hall, and the 17th-century Haus am Luegg. On the west side of the square is the Gothic Franciscan Church is known for its west tower dating back from 1643, and its late Gothic nave with a ribbed, vaulted ceiling. Worth taking a look at is the church’s Chapel of St. Anthony, with its pieta dating from 1720. Other sights to delight in include the Graz Municipal Museum.

Take a walk along the Herrengasse pedestrian street and see the lovely old mansions, including the Painted House that has frescos from 1742. There are art galleries, shops, and cafes to enjoy as well. Imagine walking along the street and discovering a house that looks like it is covered in tattoos. That is the Painted House, and it was first painted in 1600. The artwork of Baroque painter Johann Mayer, who created the frescos in 1742, and this was when the house got its name.

Visitors enjoy seeing the majestic Landhaus, which is home to the Styrian provincial government. It was built in Renaissance style in 1565 and is looked upon as one of the finest buildings in Austria. Going through the amazing main facade with rounded windows and a loggia, you step into a wonderful arcaded courtyard with its three-storied pergolas on two sides and a lovely Renaissance fountain. Regularly outdoor concerts and theater performances are given here. Inside you’ll be impressed by the Knight’s Hall with its amazing stucco ceiling dating from 1746.

Visitors admire the architecture of Graz Kunsthaus. This is a contemporary art museum that looks like a rather large, blue whale. It is striking to see it among the other buildings in the historic city center. It lies on the right bank of the Mur River. It is the creation of British architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier. The biomorphic construction certainly contrasts with the surrounding gable houses with their red roofs. This incredible building consists of 1,066 acrylic glass elements and at night sends light signals or written messages from its “BIX facade” to the other bank of the river. It brings daylight into the building through the “nozzles” on top. Its “needle” is a viewing platform stretching into the sky on the eastern facade. The transparent base of the Kunsthaus is home to a restaurant and a media lounge. Visitors enter the building on a travelator, a slanted moving belt. Exhibitions are on two floors and it is all exclusively about art. At night it is all lit up just like a spaceship that has just landed.

The late Gothic St. Gile’s Cathedral was built between 1438 to 1462 on the site of an earlier church. Of particular interest is the main doorway, which is decorated with the coat of arms of its builder, Emperor Frederick III. On the south external wall, which faces onto a small square, are the remains of a late Gothic fresco from 1485 called the Landplagengild. It depicts Graz being threatened by pestilence, the Turks, and a plague of locusts. The Baroque interior is very impressive, with a wide nave separated from the choir by a narrow triumphal arch flanked by two reliquaries from 1477. The choir is dominated by a high altar and is noted for its altarpiece, which portrays the Miracle of St. Giles. Visit the adjoining mausoleum that was built in the early 1600s for Emperor Ferdinand II and is noted for its Tomb Chapel with intricate artwork and sculptures.

Murinsel is a ship anchored in place and connected to both river banks by two footbridges. At night it glows bright blue sitting on the Mur River. This is an amazing steel structure created by American artist Vito Acconci. It is a great place to have coffee or cocktails in the cafe, watching the river flow by.

Visit the Graz Stadtpark with its modern Opera House. It was laid out in 1869. The highlight of the park is the Emperor Francis Joseph Fountain, which is surrounded by many different figures and monuments, among them famous Austrian writers, scientists, and politicians.

Mariatrost Basilica sits on Purberg Hill and is one of the best-known pilgrimage destinations in Styria. Pilgrims from all over Europe come here to climb the 216 steps to the basilica that rises high into the sky. You’ll find the holy shrine to the Virgin Mary, beautiful frescos, and an impressive pulpit at this twin-spired church.

For the love of roses, visit the Giovannis Garden where there is the largest collection of roses in Austria and a lovely arboretum. This 2.5 hectare art garden has many rare plants, unusual art objects, exotic scents, and ancient Celtic truths. It is a place for peaceful relaxation.

You might wonder why there is a threatening figure of a man with a beard, turban, and dagger gazing at you from the top of this building. By now the well-known Turk decorates the roof of the Palais Saurau, which is one of the finest buildings in Graz.

It has an impressive Baroque wrought-iron gate, Renaissance arcades in the courtyard, and wonderfully decorated first-floor halls. You’ll discover the history of the Saurau family here.

The Botanical Gardens resemble a large exotic animal. The garden greenhouses lie among Art Nouveau mansions in one of the most beautiful districts in the city. Here you’ll find exotic flora from four distinct climatic zones. The tropical or warm house has tropical plants, orchids, and mangrove plants. In the cold house, you’ll find Mediterranean vegetation with citrus plants and eucalypts. The temperate house has cacti and other plants which love aridity. Visitors walk along wooden gangways and bridges through the four different climes.

https://www.placesofjuma.com/graz-austria/

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | October 26, 2022

Innsbruck on the River Inn

The capital of the western state of Tyrol and the fifth-largest city in Austria, Innsbruck is well-known as a winter sports destination. The city is located in a magical setting with the Alps all around. It sits on the River Inn. The city itself has lots to offer tourists, and then you can stray up the mountains and into the meadows for breathtaking views. In winter this is the ideal place for skiing and other winter sports, and in the summer months for hiking and mountain climbing.

To read more about this beautiful Austrian city, please follow the link below

https://vocal.media/wander/innsbruck-on-the-river-inn?utm

Posted by: RasmaSandra | October 26, 2022

Beautiful Linz on the Danube River

Our armchair travels in Europe have taken us to Austria or officially the Republic of Austria. This is a landlocked country in the southern part of Central Europe in the Eastern Alps. It is bordered by Germany to the northwest, the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia to the northeast, Hungary to the east, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west, and Slovenia and Italy to the south.

Our travels begin in Linz, the third-largest city in Austria in the northern part of the country on the Danube 30 kilometers south of the Czech border.

The Lentos Art Museum is located in a modern building built with glass and steel overlooking the Danube. This is one of the finest modern art collections in the country with artworks by Warhol, Schiele, Klimt, Kokoschka, and Lovis Corinth. The building itself is a work of art that looks fantastic when lit up at night. There are more than 1,500 artworks, among them masterpieces from the 19th century and Classical Modernism. From the 1920s and 1930s comes a collection from the German and Austrian Expressionist movements. You can also enjoy international artworks from the postwar period and see sculptures, sketches, and photos.

The Ars Electronica Center spotlights technology, science, and digital media of the future. Visitors can interact with robots, and animal digital objects, convert their names to DNA, and virtually travel to outer space in the laboratories here. Looking like a futuristic ship near the Danube after dark, when the LED glass skin kaleidoscopically changes color, the center opened in 2009. It also hosts the yearly Ars Electronica Festival, which honors world leaders in computer music, animation, interactive art, and web design. On display are also temporary and special exhibits.

For enjoyment and entertainment head to the Hauptplatz. The square is the place to greet, meet, and watch street performers. There are pavement cafes. It is the centerpiece square in Linz surrounded by Baroque and pastel-colored Renaissance houses. Here you’ll find the impressive Trinity Column rising 20m in the air and made of white marble. This is a symbol of the Baroque period and was erected in gratitude by those who have survived different kinds of disasters. The column protects the residents of the city from war, fire, and plague.

The Musiktheatre is a geometric opera house designed by London architect Terry Pawson. It hosts operas, operettas, ballets, musicals, and productions for children.


The Landesgalerie has made its home in a late 19th-century building. It highlights 20th and 21st -century paintings, photography, and installations. The exhibits are rotating and often focus on artwork by Upper Austrian artists like Alfred Kubin and Valie Export. You can also enjoy the open-air sculpture park.

The Schlossmuseum has made its home in the Linz Castle and sits on a hilltop overlooking the Danube and offering impressive views of Linz. This museum features artworks gathered from abbeys and palaces over the centuries. You can enjoy art, archaeology, historical weapons and instruments, technology, and folklore. Among the highlights here are the Gothic ecclesiastical paintings. The South Wing offers permanent exhibits focusing on nature, technology, as well as, some temporary exhibits.

Slightly below Linz Castle is St. Martin’s Church, the oldest church in Austria, still preserved in its original form. This is an 8th– century church built of the earliest Carolingian architecture. Highlights here include the 15th-century frescoes, outlines of old doorways and windows, a Roman oven, and stones bearing Roman inscriptions.

The twin towers of the 17th -century cathedral, Altar Dom or Old Cathedral are an impressive sight. The cathedral has incredible stucco-work, a pink marble altar, and gilt pillars. Austrian composer Anton Bruckner, served as an organist here from 1856 to 1868.

The Neuer Dom or New Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is an amazing three-aisled neo-Gothic pillard basilica. It was built of yellow sandstone with an ambulatory surrounded by a ring of chapels. It is the creation of German architect Vinzenz Statz featuring a 135m tower, a great organ built in 1968, and the crypt of Franz Josef Rudigier, Linz’ best-known Bishop. The cathedral also has a stained glass window referred to as the Linz-Window, depicting the history of the town.


The Bishop’s Palace dates from 1726 and is known for its unique iron gateway and staircase built in 1227.

St. Florian Augustinian Abbey is located twenty minutes south of Linz and is worth a visit. It was built over the grave of St. Florian, a Roman official martyred in 304 AD for becoming a Christian. This Baroque building was built between 1686 and 1751 and is an important theological seminary well-known for its boys’ choir. Highlights include the fascinating main doorway with the massive statues of Atlas and Virtue; the Abbey Church with its twin Baroque towers, stucco decorations, and Bruckner organ. In the crypt lies organist Anton Bruckner. You can see the Imperial Apartments once used by visiting Emperors and Popes. St. Sebastian’s Altar has 14 early 16th century paintings by Albrect Altdorfer, a master of the Danube School; the impressive library with ceiling paintings and Rococo gallery; and the St. Florian art collection. For relaxation, there is a restaurant, and there are B&B accommodations available in the guesthouse.

The Postlingberg is a 539m hill standing high on the left bank of the Danube. There is a viewing platform over the city, and it has become a popular tourist destination. Onsite are the Postlingberg Pilgrimage Church and the Linz Grottenbahn.

The Grottonbahn is an underground dragon train that will take you through the Land of Dwarfs and has a walk-through model of historic Linz. On the way up the hill, you’ll find the Linz Zoological Garden.

The Franz-Josef Tower offers lovely views over Linz, the Danube, Urfahr, and the Postlingberg. This is the highest point of Freinberg Mountain and takes just 100 steps to get to the top.

Zoo Linz is enjoyed by both adults and children. There are more than 600 animals here from different species. Among the highlights are exotic species, among them apes, lizards, snakes, and birds in the tropical hothouse. Children enjoy interacting with domestic animals here.

Linz Botanical Garden

Linz Botanical Gardens are among the most lovely in Europe. There are more than 10,000 different kinds of plants and five greenhouses with exotic plant types. In the garden is a unique collection of cacti. The gardens host special shows and exhibits.

https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/linz-a-o-linz.htm

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Posted by: RasmaSandra | October 26, 2022

Enjoying the American Riviera

Santa Barbara is a beautiful coastal city in Santa Barbara County, California. The city lies between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Since it has a Mediterranean kind of climate, the city has been referred to as the “American Riviera.” Everywhere you look there are amazing things to see like palm-lined beaches and elegant Spanish-style architecture.

To read more about this beautiful city, please follow the link below

https://vocal.media/wander/enjoying-the-american-riviera

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