Sedona, Arizona – Enjoy The Beauty of Orange Red Rocks!

Here are only a few tidbits about Sedona, a small town (around 11 thousand people) in Arizona and one of the most visited natural attractions in the USA. The reason is sandstone formations of spectacular red color which got the name after Sedona Arabella Miller Schnebly (1877-1950). We collected several beautiful photos of Sedona Rocks from Pixabay.com, all Public Domain, to give you a hint of the awesome landscape, the main reason for all tourism facilities.

sedona-arizona-photos

Geography and Geology

Sedona lies at an elevation of 4500 feet in the Upper Sonoran Desert. Sonoran Desert is a large desert (approx. 100 thousand square miles) covering parts of California and Arizona in the USA and Baja California, Baja California Sura, and Sonora in Mexico. It is also the hottest desert in Mexico.

sunset-in-sedona

The City of Sedona was funded in 1902 but officially became a city only in 1988. It lies 110 miles north of Phoenix and almost 500 miles east of Los Angeles. While it’s Sedona Rocks count as one of the major natural attractions, we should mention one even bigger in the ‘neighborhood’: Grand Canyon is located just above 100 miles to the north.

Famous Sedona canyon walls consist of six layers of sandstone, two layers of limestone and a layer of basalt on the top. Layers were formed by mud deposits and the wind blows. The upper level made from basalt stone is a result of several volcanic eruptions taking place between 6 and 15 million years ago. The major component of Sedona Red Rocks is Schnebly Hill Formation, made of wind-blown quartz grains, stained by hematite (iron oxide, with the same chemical structure as rust), thus of distinctive red color.

sedona-images

Sedona is positioned on the so-called Colorado Plateau, which, thanks to pressures from North American and Pacific geological plates, is rising around one inch per century. One of the effects of this constant uplifting is exposure of sediments, created hundreds of millions of years ago. You can see different layers in different colors with fascinating red as a dominant tone, just like a picture book of geological history.

Part of Sedona Red Rock was under the ocean many millions of years ago and we can still find numerous fossils to witness the old history of the Sedona area. The oldest (and lowest) layer is named Redwall Limestone, was formed more than 300 million years ago and contain fossiless of trilobites. This stratum is of dark brownish color.

photos-of-sedona-az

Sedona’s climate is temperate with an average 57 F in January (coldest month) and 97 F in July (warmest month). On average less than 20 inch of rain falls per year. With more than 300 sunny days per year, it has more sun than Florida.

There are more national parks and monuments in Arizona than in any other state of USA. Sedona is located close to most of them!

sedona-pics

Short History

First settlers in the area of Sedona came there at least 7 thousand years ago. They were hunters and gatherers. First farmers were members of a Hohokam culture around 300 BC. They already used canals for irrigation, but abandoned the area around 1000 AD. Sinagua Indians dominated for next few hundred years. Apache and Yavapai Indians were next and first Europeans came in 1583.

After gold and silver diggers first farmers and ranchers settled in the area and in 1902 the settlement got its first post office. It had 55 residents and was named after the wife of the postmaster: Sedona. Development was slow until the 1940s and 1950 when several western movies used the spectacular scenery of the area. John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda, Rock Hudson and Robert De Niro all stared there.

sedona-arizona-pictures

Did you know?

The name Sedona is made out. Amanda Miller, the mother of Sedona Arabella, coined it ‘because it sounded pretty’. It is a relatively unique name in the USA, but quite popular in Arizona (among top 1.000 baby names for girls).

Sedona Rocks are so popular, a specific tone of orange-red got a name after it. Several tones, actually. Just like there is no definite hue of red among Sedona rocks, there is no consent among paint producers who added prefix Sedona to several orange-red and brown-red colors:

sedona-red-rocks-different-shades-of-red

credit: http://drawingblog.mycoloringland.com/red-shades/

Sedona has the first McDonalds in the world where the signature arches are not golden but colored in pastel green. The reason is the background of the area, where too many new facilities started to ruin the beauty of the view.

More than four million people visit the area of Sedona every year. Apart from ordinary tourists, there are thousands of artists, campers, hikers, mountain bikers and people who search for spiritual enlightenment. The so-called New-Agers found several energy-charged places in the area (vortexes – points where the energy of the Eart is focused) what somehow directed the development towards high-end tourism.

sedona-arizona-red-rocks

Some of the more popular attractions in the area are The Chapel, Slide Rock and Sedona Heritage Museum with hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Will you become one of them?

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What are the best honeymoon destinations?

The never ending quest for best honeymoon ideas …

Although tourism as an industry is not as old as many other activities, it seems people are on the hunt for best destinations for honeymoon for ever. I have seen dozens of lists, from Top fives to Top hundreds and none of them is perfect. It is clear the newlyweds in general look for the same elements of the perfect honeymoon. These are obviously: fun, romance, night life, amazing scenery, excursions varying from long trekkings to city shoppings, relaxation, romantic walks on the beaches, spectacular sunsets, … Even in the most cheap honeymoons some kind of luxury is expected. And of course everything still depends on the right company.

So when I compiled my list, I decided to make it much more open than somebody might expect. Look at it as you would look at the list of possibilities, ideas which can inspire your ideal trip – no matter if it is right after the wedding or for one of the anniversaries. There is no particular order, so you will not see a winner, although I will mark few interesting trends. If you find something interesting, or think you I should add something to te list, the comment section is already waiting for you. You can also share this post with people which may be interested

Let’s start!

1. If you are adventurous, Kenya could be the best spot for your honeymoon. You’ll enjoy in wilderness  with nature parks and safaris (I love photo safaris) and you can push yourself to climb the Kilimanjaro.

river-horse

This is certainly a trip to remember! But Africa, probably the most neglected continent on those kind of lists has definitely much more to offer. It’s the second biggest continent and thanks to unstable political situation in several countries definitely first though of newlyweds, but there is still plenty of GREAT and safe opportunities to make a dream honeymoon for everybody who wants to add a bit of excitement to the leisure and romance. You’ll find many precious gems on the list, some on the North, some on the South and some somewhere in between. Let’s st start with the 1001 Nights feel in Marrakesh, Morocco with colorful bazars, there is Livingstone, Zambia, South Africa (safari, diving with sharks), and Madagascar with its unique fauna.

Be different – think Africa!

2. Greece with beautiful see, sunny beaches and option of exploring the remains of ancient culture is always among the top destinations. You don’t need to get married to visit Greece (sound like a great slogan, huh?) and Mediterranean Sea offers much much more.

isalnd of santorini

Italy and France are another popular countries with famous beaches, lots of sun and great food, which is not only of great taste but it is a top competitor for healthiest diet as well (with Japanese the only serious contender at the moment). There are also Malta and Cyprus as two of the biggest island in this area. But the real gem in my opinion hides in the West coast of Adriatic Sea with Croatia and Monte Negro as two tourist destinations still waiting to be explored by spoiled honeymooners. Remember Croatia with its beautiful coast (I will always remember the commentary of my friend who returned from his first visit in France – he said he’ll never trade a square meter of Adriatic coast for the whole Azure coast) has much more than Dubrovnik to offer. It has hundreds of islands and if you don’t aim at hotels with five stars, you can find astonishing pieces of land in different areas.

By the way, according to the latest trends in 2014 Croatia is going to become the most popular destination for honeymoon very soon.

Just do your homework and ask around first!

3. What about Hawaii? There is no list of best destinations for freshly weds without this archipelago at right at the top, with Maui being named as the dream vacation spot. But next photo is from Kauai:

picture-of-kauai

If you are after volcanoes, spectacular beaches, snorkeling, hiking, sunbathing, surfing, … you’ll got everything and more in Hawaii. It’s probably the most popular honeymoon destination in last century, but in recent time other parts of the Pacific Ocean (think about Cook Islands, Fiji or Tahiti) are coming closer and closer. Believe it or not, the surprising winner in latest years is – New Zealand, what makes it THE MOST POPULAR honeymoon destination right now.

4.  If honeymoon is all about romance, a romantic city is certainly a must to consider.

paris-moulin-rouge

Paris is of course still number one and even if you don’t care for luxury (Anybody for a room in Shangri-la hotel with a terrace with private view on Eiffel tower?), you can still enoy in numerous day trips, exploring wine and culture, sightseeing, well, Joie de vivre, … Europe has many other beautiful romantic cities in the list: Budapest, Brugge, Prague Venice, Vienna, … Well, there are spectacular cities in other continents as well. What about a honeymoon in Buenos Aires or Istanbul or Rio de Janeiro?

5. Mexico with many lovely places, Mayan ruins, friendly people and, this can be very important, affordable prices is another popular spot for freshly wed couples. Citizens of USA are by no surprise the most numerous tourists in this beautiful country which traditionally served as popular getaway for outlaws in times of Wild West and is now becoming romantic getaway for visitors of very varying profiles.

mexican-ruins

Yes, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and San Miguel de Allende are high end vacation spots, but there is plenty more to explore. And Costa Rica and Belize are pretty close contenders …

6.  Do you know Maldives are called the most romantic spot in the world? It’s a perfect mix a couple in love may be looking to – different place, with different scenery different people, different food, but still with the best a mere mortal can imagine. This lovely piece of paradise in Indian Ocean is not the only spot in the neighborhood to consider. Bali and Thailand as great places for honeymooners too!

photo-bali

Prepare to be enchanted!

7. Talking about honeymoon destination spots, we can’t skip Caribbean area with Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and a jewell  most of you probably never heard of – Curacao, country which became independent only in 2010. If you are after sandy beaches, crytal clear sea, astonishing waterfalls, national parks, rafting, snorkeling and other aquatic joys of life, Caribbean Sea has all you can imagine and more.

visit-jamaica

Did you know Jamaica is becoming one of the most popular destinations for eco tourists?

8. What about the USA? This is the most influential tourist market  in the world and honeymooning is no exception. There  are many spectacular high end resorts in this country. Everybody probably already knows about Colorado with Aspen, Utah with Sundance, or Pebble Beach California, but on the top of the list you’ll find less known places with breath taking price tags.

horse-shoe-bend

Huge nature parks with astonishing scenery and wild nature are definitely among best spots to visit in North America. Just look at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona above?

9. If you love nature, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Costa Rica are eco oriented too. If you main goal is not to be pampered round o’clock, next photo can probably trigger few interesting ideas:

galapagos-penguins

Penguins from Galapagos are without doubt an experience to remember!

10. Well, it seems, we actually made a kind of Top ten honeymoon destinations after all! I would like to end the list with resorts for people who don’t really care about sunbathing, beaches and sea. Some honeymooners prefer mountains and this is great, because our world is big and beautiful. What about Alps in Europe with romantic cabins right under the snowy clad hills? Long walks in fresh air and romantic sunsets with long nights at the fireplaces, under the blanket?

picture-of-mountains

This scene from Austria rings some bells for all the fans of Sound of Music movie, right? Did you know there is also something as weird as Chocolate train driving in Switzerland? If you love trains and mountains, you have plenty of opportunity to find both in Asia with East Orient Express and there are similar romantic railways just about everywhere in the world.

But this will have to wait for another occasion …

Blanche McManus and Pictures of French Castles

I have already made a post about vintage cottages in England to prove England is not only London. Well, today I would like to show you France is not only Paris. We’ll take a little journey through space and time with a little help of Blanche Macmanus (1870-1935), American illustrator who made many illustrations for travel books (mostly written by her husband Milburg Francisco Mansfield, who used pen name Francis Miltoun).

I decided to share some beautiful color reproductions of her paintings of castles in France and additional scenery from historically well known and important spots which are still far from being popular among instant tourists. Castles are inspiring as always, pictures are beautiful and I hope you will enjoy in our little trip.

First set of paintings comes from the book Castles and Chateaux of old Touraine and the Loire Country, published in 1906 in Boston by L. C. Page & Company. Text was written by her husband.

painting-by-blanche-mcmanus

loiret-by-blanche-mcmanus

touraine-blanche-mcmanus

chateaux-de-chenonceau

tours-cathedral

vouvray-vineyards

picture-of-mehun-sur-yevre

Second set of paintings present eight French castles from the book called Castles and Chateaux of old Burgundy and the border provinces. The book was published by L. c. Page & Company, Boston, 1909, and it was written by Francis Miltoun, as well.

chateau-montbeliard

castle-in-arnay-le-duc

bussy-rabutin-chateau

chateau-tanlay

chateau-lamartine

annecy-chateau

chateau-miolans

picture-of-chateau-de-la-sone-by-bčanche-mcmanus

We will conclude with eight more pictures in color, again reproductions of paintings of Blanche McManus, this time from the book Royal Palaces and Parks of France, again written by Francis Miltoun, again by L. C. Page & Company, Boston, this time from 1910.

terrace-st-germain

fontainebleau-france

the-louvre

luxembourg-gardens

chateau-de-malmaison

fontaine-de-neptune-versailles

st-germain-view-from-terrace

maintenon-painting-mcmanus-blanche

I hope you get my point:) France can offer much much more than Paris and Euro Disney. Cheers!

Best destination weddings

Top destination wedding locations for couples from USA

June is the month when the vacations start. It is also the most popular month for weddings. Destination weddings became very popular in last years and it seems appropriate to check some of the top holiday resorts where you can kill two birds with one stone – metaphorically speaking, of course, many of these spots are known by their protection of the nature – having a memorable (not necessary loud as Niagara) wedding experience for you and your guests, and spending some time (maybe even a honeymoon?) in exotic location.

What are the best wedding destinations for Americans?

We can make few different groups based on location, but I think the one with the beach and the ocean in major roles is so powerful, we can skip others for now. Maybe on some other occasion?
All used photos are available as Public Domain material.

beach wedding acapulco

Romantic sunset in Acapulco

destination wedding barbados

Sandy beach in Barbados

Destination weddings are not necessary the most expensive option, because many popular destinations are already well prepared and can offer complete packages with ceremony, not just tje wedding venue and catering. They are highly adaptable and can satisfy the most demanding customers and people who are pretty much on the budget. They got hi-tech luxurous and eco-friendly options, but the most important thing is, they can help the newlyweds with experienced wedding planners.

Considering the fact there are less guests in destination weddings than in classic ones, this means significant reduction of stress and much more chance for pleasant first step in matrimony.

bahamas destination wedding

Lovely resort in Bahamas

bermuda destination wedding

Spectacular view in Bermuda

Less guests has good and not so good sides. The fact is, you don’t invite just everybody on destination wedding. It’s actually a great chance to keep things simple ad avoid people you don’t really know or you know them, but you’d rather don’t. Because a destination wedding is in most cases a three day event, you will have plenty of opportunities to hang out with everybody and enjoy the party, not just like many newlyweds experience when the run from table to table, to thank all three hundred invitees for being there in only few hours.

On the other side, some of your friends can’t afford to pay for the trip.Or the can pay, but this will be very painful for their pockets and their laugh at the wedding won’t be so loud as you may wish. Even if you pay for their travel and stay, there is still a chance they can’t afford to spend full three days away from their homes or jobs or whatever they have hundreds miles away from the exotic location of your choice. So be careful – it is very likely some people you care about, can’t be there.

I try to look at this dilemma on the bright side. If somebody can’t attend the party, we can catch up at the after-party!

jamaica destination wedding

Jamaica is known by eco-friendly facilities

bora bora destination wedding

Bora Bora offers very memorable experience

Apart from ceremonial part there will be plenty of other, less formal activities. The places offer some of the best beaches in the world, there will be a lot of sun, sea and free time. When you think about the locations, think about your guest’ preferences as well do the dive? Snorkeling? Windsurf? Or gamble? Exploring new places and cultures, making new friends? Most of wedding planners can arrange activities as short trips or sightseeing. It is up to you, to go through the list of your guests and find out what can be of their best interest.

destination wedding costa rica

Imagine leisure time under the palms of Costa Rica

destination wedding hawaii

There is no top list without Hawaii

Let me make one more point about destination weddings. Many couples today come from very different parts of the country. With a location which is kind of neutral terrain, maybe a place, which means something special to both of them, or a location they would like to visit some day anyway, their first step in the most important journey of their lives.

california destination wedding

California can offer beautiful nature

beach weddings in florida

Florida is known by beach weddings

For the final touch I have chosen two popular locations in Europe. A destination wedding in Greece or in Italy (Dubrovnik, Croatia, would be my choice, but, please, don’t tell that anybody!) can be a beautiful introduction in prologed vacation for guest and of course honeymoon for the happy couple. But remember: there will probably be parents of both and a honeymoon with parents doesn’t count as the real honeymoon.

destination wedding santorini

Santorini, Greece, looks like totally different world

destination weddings in capri italy

Cheers from Capri, Italy!

Last but not least! Before you send the invites, check the legal issues. If you decide to marry in different country (or at least state), you still want to have all the papers in perfect condition. you don’t want to find out after few years your marriage is not valid because you didn’t sign a certain document, don’t you?

Have the best destination wedding ever!

Interesting facts about history of Dubrovnik

Ever heard about Dubrovnik? Check it’s interesting history with next facts!

Dubrovnik is the pearl of Adriatic. (Lord Byron)

If you by any chance already heard about Dubrovnik, it was probably in connection with luxurious holiday locations for celebrities. It is actually not a fresh trend. I found out Agatha Christie spent her honeymoon in Dubrovnik. When we look at spectacular fortifications and amazing beaches, it is very easy to miss how much the city more has to offer.

city-walls-of-dubrovnik

So here are some interesting facts about Dubrovnik:

1. The name Dubrovnik is derived from dubrava (oak tree), but distorted by Turks to Dobro-Venedik (Good Venice). Venice was long-term rival and ally to the city.

2. Despite the legend of being founded on rocky island which served as a shelter , latest findings suggest it was established by Greek sailors what is supported with with next facts:

– being approximately half way between two well known Greek settlements,

– lying about one day of travel by a ship from each,

– having a good supply of fresh water.

3. It is believed Dubrovnik is among ten best preserved medieval walled cities in the world.

4. Dubrovnik was a center of Republic of Dubrovnik (1325-1808) which was independent under protection of Turkish Empire and other stronger entities. With over three hundred ships it had at its peak the third biggest capacity of ships in the world.

5. Motto of the Republic was: “Liberty can’t be sold for all the gold.” Dubrovnik officially abolished slavery in 1416, centuries before Great Britain or USA (both in 19th century).

6. There is a rumor Republic of Dubrovnik was the first state which recognized United States as independent country. This is not true for several reasons including simple fact Republic of Dubrovnik wasn’t real sovereign, but it is true they were probably the first who have sent merchants in New York in 1776 right after the Declaration was signed.

spectacular picture of dubrovnik by night

7. It is on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO from 1979.

8. The Patron Saint of Dubrovnik is Saint Blaise, who supposedly warned the rector of the cathedral in his dreams against the invasion of Venetians. There is a huge feast in his honor in every February.

9. There are 5.423 steps in Old Town of Dubrovnik: 1.080 on the city wall and 4.343 within the perimeter.

10. Considering rich cultural, scientific and political history it should be no surprise to find it as a scene of numerous festivals and other important international events, especially in July and August.

If you search for the Paradise on Earth, you should visit Dubrovnik. (George Bernard Shaw)

 

Vintage paintings as source of inspiration for the next vacation

Do you like vintage paintings of country houses?

I owe my today’s inspiration to Helen Allingham, fine painter who’s specialty were watercolor paintings of old country houses. By old I mean they were already old when she decided to portray them on canvass. Why she did that, apart from the obvious ‘they are so cute’ factor?

Well, the reason is pretty simple. She loved the idyllic countryside of England and she lived in times when everything was changing. (Aren’t we all living in times with too many changes?) So she traveled around and painted houses just before they were demolished by new owners which were new riches from London, looking for escape place from town where they actually earned the chance to leave it. And destroy something beautiful by the way.

Just because these house were old.

Or just because.

Shall we take a look?

01-helen-allingham-photo-portrait 02-in-the-farmhouse-garden 03-the-market-cross 04-the-robin 05-miltons-house 06-the-waller-oak 07-apple-and-pear-blossom 08-the-young-customers 09-the-sand-martins-haunt 10-the-old-mens-gardens 11-the-clothes-line 12-the-convalescent 13-the-goat-carriage 14-the-clothes-basket 15-in-the-hayloft 16-the-rabbit-hutch 17-the-donkey-ride 18-a-witley-lane 19-hindhead-from-witley-common 20-in-witley-village 21-blackdown-from-witley-common 22-the-fish-shop 23-the-childrens-tea 24-the-stile 25-pat-a-cake 26-lessons 27-bubbles 28-on-the-sands 29-drying-clothes 30-her-majestys-post-office 31-the-childrens-maypole 32-spring-on-the-kentish-downs 33-tig-bridge 34-spring-in-the-oakwood 35-the-cuckoo 36-the-old-yew-tree 37-the-hawthorn-valley 38-ox-eye-daisies 39-foxgloves 40-heather-on-crockham-hill 41-on-the-pilgrims-way 42-night-jar-lane 43-cherry-tree-cottage 44-cottage-at-chiddingfold 45-cittage-at-hambledon 46-in-wormley-wood 47-the-elder-bush 48-the-basket-woman 49-cottage-at-shottermill 50-valewood-farm 51-an-old-house-at-west-tarring 52-an-old-buckinghamshire-house 53-the-dukes-cottage 54-the-condemned-cottage 55-on-ide-hill 56-a-cheshire-cottage 57-the-six-bells 58-the-kentish-farmyard 59-study-of-a-rose-bush 60-wallflowers 61-minna 62-a-kentish-garden 63-cutting-cabbages 64-in-asummer-garden 65-by-the-terrace 66-the-south-border-1 67-the-south-border-2 68-study-of-leeks 69-the-apple-orchard 70-the-house 71-the-kitchen-garden 72-the-dairy 73-one-of-lord-tennysons-cottages 74-a-garden-in-october 75-hook-hill-farm 76-at-pound-green 77-a-cottage-at-freshwater-gate 78-a-cabin-at-ballyshannon 79-the-fairy-bridges 80-the-church-of-sta-maria-della-salute 81-a-fruit-stall

 

All these beautiful vintage paintings can be found in the Happy England, book published in 1903 by Adam and Charles Black. The first picture is of course photo of the artist, lady Helen Allingham herself and the last two are paintings from Venice, one of rare, if not the only occasion, when she left her homeland. All other painting are presentations of her country, part of her life which she managed to preserve although nobody asked her to do it. In my previous post I was talking about London, one of the favorite tourist destinations in the world ever. But only with artwork of Helen Allingham we can clearly see how much more has England to offer.

At least is had not so long ago. I bet it still can. And the same story is with all other countries. We really don’t know enough about cute little spots known only to the locals and selected elite.

Imagine to have a chance to have a vacation in one of these scenes. I am not talking about fancy replicas which, I am sure, are still available somewhere, at least to some extend. I am talking about the real thing. Can we do that?

Next set of images is also done by Helen Allingham. The book, where all were published is titled The Homes of Tennyson, publisher is the same, year of first edition 1905. Tennyson from the title is of course one of the most famous poets ever, Alfred Tennyson, first Baron Tennyson, Poet Laureate, who for many years lived and wrote in two locations: Farringford House on the Isle of Wight and Aldworth in West Sussex. Both homes with surroundings and the magic of time were captured by Ms. Helen Allingham and here they are:

01-aldworth 02-tennysons-down 03-the-primrose-path-of-dalliance 04-the-glade 05-gimpse-of-farringford-from-the-upper-lawn 06-farringford 07-freshwater-bay 08-arbour-in-farringford-kitchen-garden 09-in-the-kitchen-garden 10-the-kitchen-garden 11-the-dairy-door 12-farringford-dairy-and-home-farm 13-alsworth-from-blackdown 14-from-the-porch 15-chase-cottage-and-pond 16-the-temple-of-the-winds 17-cottage-at-roundhurst 18-shed-at-roundhurst 19-old-don 20-tennysons-woods-at-blackdown

Well, I prepared another set of beautiful paintings of country houses by Helen Allingham. She was apparently very prolific and in we still have 64 color plates published by Edward Arnold in 1909 to see how England looked one hundred years ago. I am sure, few pieces of this tranquility are still somewhere to be discovered, but it is up to you to discover and enjoy them. My main goal – to prove England has so much more than London to offer – is already achieved …

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I hope you enjoyed my little trip to vintage countryside. See you soon in new beautiful places!

What to do in London?

Things to do in London

 

With so many options the question is really not “What to do in London?”, but rather how to make the best of time in this metropolis. Because we are so different, don’t expect the exact answer with discount coupons. Well, I’ll probably should start …

 

photo-tower-of-london

 

Why London? It was named as the best city in the world several times. It claims it has best theater scene in the world, better museums than Paris and New York and is claimed as the cultural capital of the world. With so rich historical background and so many connections with all parts of the world, it can’t be far from truth.

Visit Tower Bridge and London Eye, or, if you are more into sacral objects, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral or less famous St Bride’s Church which tiered design supposedly inspired designs of modern wedding cakes, relax in at least one of the eight Royal Parks (from legendary Hyde Park with its legendary Speaker’s Corner to the Greenwich as the oldest of all Royal Parks and have it own herd of deers), walk over the Trafalgar Square or Millennium Bridge or even take a cruise on Thames River. Did you know you can visit Modern Tate Gallery with many collections of contemporary artists for free?

London is a city of technological innovations for centuries as well. The first traffic lights were installed in London at the House of Commons in 1868. They were made of semaphore arms and gas lamps of red and green color. The system was operated by a constable. Less than one month after the start lamps exploded due to the leakage of gas and injured him. The project was abandoned until 1912, when Salt Lake City in USA introduced electric traffic lights.

great-fire-of-london

 

London was also the largest city in the world for the majority of 19th century, when it counted from 1.3 to 6 million people. Now it has over 8 million people, but it is not even in top 10 anymore. Large cities are of course more prone to all sorts of catastrophes and London was no exception. Let’s point out only one which is particularly interesting because of the consequences. It was so called The Great Fire of London. Although it destroyed more than 13 thousand houses, the official number of deaths is only six. This sounds really shocking when we compare the number with number of people who died by jumping or dropping from the Monument to the Great Fire of London.

Yes, I could go on and on. But it’s still better to go – in London!